The Pinup Coverup

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They say that all good things must end someday

Autumn leaves must fall

But don't you know that it hurts me so

To say goodbye to you

Wish you didn't have to go

No, no, no, no

– Chad and Jeremy (A Summer Song)

=/\=

In 2192, Empress Hoshi Sato yawned and stretched. "Tell me more about that ship," she said to Milton Walker.

"Well, hmm, let me tell you a bit about temporal integration," he replied. "See, let's say we take a little trip to, I dunno, 2011. And we stay for two decades, and then we return here, but to just before our departure."

"Does it have to be seconds before?"

"I don't believe so," he said, kissing her hand. They were alone in her Ready Room.

"And?" she demanded, taking her hand away. She was in no mood for his clumsy attempts at romance.

"And you end up with two versions of yourself. Now, the one that traveled is, of course, two decades older. So if we left today, she would be," he paused for a moment and she glared at him, "about fifty-five."

"You're lying like a rug," she said to him, annoyedly. "You know I'm not really thirty-five."

He swallowed hard. He had read the literature, and knew, for real, that she was going to be sixty-three at her next birthday, which was about six weeks away. Too young, he had just learned, was going to peeve her to no end. But an estimate that was too old would probably get him a dagger in his side. He had already told her that he was sixty-seven years of age. "I, I know," he said cautiously, "Though you could certainly pass for it. And I know that your eldest is about that age. But you do not look like his mother! You appear as if you could be his elder sister."

"How much elder?" she glared at him. The wrong answer could still spell major trouble for him.

"Less than five years," he said, hoping that about forty would be the sweet spot.

"You really think so? It's so hard to replicate good hair dye. I always end up with roots."

"I don't even notice, my dear." He kissed her.

"Tell me more about temporal integration," she said.

"Very well," he sighed, it was not looking good for him getting any more that evening. "So let's say we return from 2011."

"Does it have to be earlier time travel, or can it be later?"

"It can be either," he said, "As I was saying, we return. And there are two versions of both of us. If we touch our other versions, the most extraordinary thing happens. See, the two versions merge. They become the age of the younger version, but with the memories, knowledge and experience of the older version. It's quite remarkable, really."

"So if we go back to January of 2155, when I first got the Defiant," she said, "er, never mind how old I was then," she glanced at him and he just smiled at her, "I could have all of this information at my fingertips. And I wouldn't have to busy myself with replicating any hair dye. Why, I could do that an infinite amount of times and live forever!" She grinned at him.

"I, uh, I suppose, with careful planning, one could."

Uh, oh...

=/\=

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