Car Trek

Shuttle-craft develops technical fault.

Did I mention that Bullet got a car during the year?  No?  Well he did, though he didn’t have to reach into his own pocket for it, obviously.  It’s an oldish car, as you’d expect for a young fella, but it gets him round, although I still haven’t been able to ask him for a medevac from hostile planets, nor will I until the lazy little shit gets a full pilot’s licence. It only has a sub-light motor, and minimal armaments.

The communicator buzzed. The car won’t start, Bullet said.

Have you got fuel?


Is the starter turning the engine?


Have you got a spark?


Oh God.  All right, I’ll look at it.

This is the coldest week in the entire year so far, and it was dark when I had a chance to investigate.  The obvious first solution seemed to be a jump-start, so I whipped out the leads and attached one to the negative terminal.

How do you know which is which? Bullet asked, not unreasonably.

Oh, I said, you can see where the earth is bolted onto the chassis.  Here, pass me that red cable.

There was a brief flash as the crocodile clip touched the terminal on my car’s battery and I looked at Bullet.

Hmmm, I said.  I think I reversed the polarity in the dark.

You mean you got it wrong, he countered.

Yes, I said.  I got it wrong.  Try the ignition.

Nothing, he said.

Nothing at all?


Shit.  I’ve reversed the polarity.  This means I might have knocked out the inertial dampers.  I might even mean I’ve blown one of the Jefferies Tubes.  I hope I haven’t destroyed the main computer.

Check for hull breaches, I shouted to Bullet.  Lucky we didn’t blow the warp core.

Bullet was slowly backing away from me.

Quick, I said.  We must detach the saucer section. It’s our only hope.

Why don’t we just take it to a garage? Bullet asked.

Why indeed?  You have much wisdom, young man.  Are all youths on your world as wise?

And so we did as Bullet suggested, but not without weirdness, in a good sort of way.  Two friendly Klingons appeared out of the internet – and they know who they are – complete with transporter, and conveyed the stricken vessel to a deep-space docking facility where it rested for two days.

Quick, I said.  Run a Level-3 diagnostic.  I think it’s the Jefferies Tubes.

I’ll call you, the mechanic said.

Not good.  Might we be searching for a new shuttle craft in these straitened times?

He called today. I checked it out.

Well?  Was it the Jefferies Tubes as I suspected?  Please don’t say it’s the warp drive.

There was a long silence.  You blew a fuse, he said.  And your battery is fucked.  I put in a new one.

12 thoughts on “Car Trek

  1. Best to cover cars in this kind of weather,the freezing and thawing leads to condensation under the bonnet which plays fuck with the electronics.

  2. Had the same problem myself Bock. Wouldn’t start for me when I was leaving work one night last week.
    Got it jump started by a friendly security guard and took it to the garage in the morning. I knew it needed a new battery.. cause with any bit of cold weather it was taking a while to start.. my lazy uncle who’s a mechanic kept telling me all cars are like that from the cold.
    They even put on my hubcaps for me in the garage. Took all of 20 minutes, while I had a cup of coffee in the horse and hound up the road.. Great service all together.

  3. I normally have no problem starting cars, fixing them, taking them to pieces or rebuilding them. However, when I accidentally blow the shit out of the electronics I tend to get a little stumped.

  4. Yeah, tis difficult to tell blue from red in the dark all right or is it black and red.. positive and negative.. oh i’ve no idea. I normally have no problem starting cars either.. the rest.. not so good.

  5. Yeah I see what you mean. It would benefit someone, just not me. :)
    The pitiful look and damsel in distress act is what I rely on.. hasn’t failed me yet.

  6. Apparently they plug their cars in in Canada to stop them freezing when they are not running. It’s probably not that cold here yet though….

  7. Ok, this might adversely impact my faltering credibility but it couldn’t have been the Jeffrey’s Tubes. They are merely access corridors to essential parts of the ship and are also used if the turbo lift fails. Now, had you said it could have been the starboard Nacell, then you’d be on to something. You could also have said that the dilithium chamber suffered a blowout, which would have …. erm… suited your idiom perfectly.

  8. I put paraffin in an outboard motor on my wife’s parents boat last summer in Norway. I didnt know anything about boats, paraffin, petrol or diesel. In fact, I only learnt to drive last March (because i reckoned i should do so before i turned 40). I have yet to open the bonnet of my car, although i guess i might soon as there’s no water coming out when i press the stick beside the steering wheel to clean my windscreen. i have to dash out when the lights turn red and give the windscreen a wee wipe sometimes. Always makes me feel like I’ve stolen the car. Maybe when i’m in Limerick you could give it the once over Bock.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.