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Intruder Alert

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Previously on “Rebecca Drysdale is a Time Traveling Lesbian” . . .

Rebecca peaked around the sliding door to survey the room before going in. According to the schematic Carl had shown her, this room was supposed to be the Mess Hall and so she shouldn't have any trouble slipping in unnoticed, but then again, the schematic had also said the quantum generator grid could be discreetly accessed from the Engineering subdeck and that had only been technically accurate.

The room looked fine, though, with enough of the tables occupied by people in and out of uniform that Rebecca was confident she wouldn't stick out. She slipped in and immediately started looking for the bar; this was only the third time she'd gotten to travel to the future instead of the past, and she was going to try futuristic booze this time no matter what Carl said.

His voice, pitched low but not low enough, piped up as if on cue.

“This is an unnecessary side trip,” he said. “I recommend not lingering on The Orville for any longer than - ”

“Can you keep your voice down?” Rebecca hissed, heading towards the bar.

“You've disrupted The Leak's plan and completed your mission. Any other interaction with your future and you risk detection, possibly contaminating the timeline,” Carl continued. At least he'd dialed down the volume. “I could send you back home right now.”

Rebecca rolled her eyes. “Don't be such a buzzkill, Carl.”

He didn't bother answering but Rebecca knew she'd won. What was he going to do, teleport her out of there with a roomful of people watching? She'd have one drink then find a quiet corner to disappear in and the timeline would be fine, honestly. Carl worried too much.

Once she'd convinced the bartender to give her something that was “the spacier the better” that turned out to be green and weirdly chunky, Rebecca settled into a seat near the window. This was a sipping drink for sure, so she let herself enjoy the view – of stars! Like, right there! - while she slowly downed the glass.

“Haven't seen you around here before,” came a voice from nearby.

Rebecca turned away from the window and found an attractive if bumpy-foreheaded brunette smiling at her. Alien, Rebecca thought, and a frisson of excitement went through her.

“I'm, uh, new. To the ship,” she said, and offered her hand. She wondered too late if handshakes were a thing in the twenty-fifth century, but the woman shook her hand without hesitation so it was probably fine, right?

The woman took a seat across from Rebecca. “Well, consider me your welcoming committee, then. I'm Talla.”

“Becky,” Rebecca said. She held up her glass. “Can I get you a drink, or . . .?”

Talla shook her head and gave her a simple, “No thanks,” and Rebecca was just about confident that she was, in fact, getting hit on by a member of an extraterrestrial species and could potentially check two items off her time travel bucket list this trip when Talla's smile tightened and Rebecca started to get a bad feeling.

“So, how long have you been aboard?” Talla asked.

Shit. “Just since the last . . . stop. You know.”

Talla nodded. “When we docked at Alvari Station?”

“Yep,” said Rebecca. Then she took another sip of her drink to hide a quick glance towards the exit.

There were two uniformed officers standing at the sliding doors. Goddamn it.

When Rebecca put her glass back down, Talla leaned back in her chair and crossed her arms. The smile – which, yes, Rebecca now realized had been fake the whole time – was gone.

“We haven't been to Alvari Station in over a year.”

Busted. Rebecca jumped up. Talla didn't follow suit, but both of the uniformed officers from the doorway pulled their weapons.

“Uh, Carl?” Rebecca looked frantically around her but what was she supposed to do? Hide under a table? Throw a chair? The officers were getting closer. “Carl!”

Just as she was backing away from the nearest space laser pointed at her chest, the Mess Hall dissolved around her and Rebecca reappeared in her apartment and promptly tripped over her coffee table. Lying on her back on the living room floor Rebecca pinched the bridge of her nose and sighed.

“I want you to know that I get no satisfaction from saying this,” Carl started.

“Don't - ”

“I told you so.”