The Curse of Roberta's Purse

Chapter 11

When Claudia got the call from Seven to beam him back to his place, she had just managed to open the door to the safe-like enclosure. She knew that she had very little time to beam him back to the apartment before Kirk and company could. She thought she had remembered the correct combination of dials and switches, but soon found out that she was wrong. With a gasp and an expletive, she found herself being pulled apart an atom at a time, as she was drawn into the transporter effect. It didn't hurt, but it was an odd sensation. She thought she saw Seven in the matter stream, and he looked mighty peeved. They both ended up on the starship Enterprise this time. Claudia wondered briefly where Isis had gone. She didn't materialize with them, and Claudia hoped that wherever she was, she was all right.

Seven got up from the transporter pad he was sitting on and glared at Claudia angrily. However, he knew that they had just a few minutes before the nuclear warhead would divert from its planned course and then plummet dangerously towards the Earth's surface. Sighing, he offered her a hand off the platform.

"Sorry, Mr. Seven. I thought I had the sequence down to transport you back before Scotty did."

"Well, it's obvious you didn't, Claudia." He answered with a frustrated sigh, glancing at the chief engineer, who looked a little surprised to see a young lady with their former prisoner. "However, we don't have time to talk about it. We have to stop that missile before it crashes into the planet. Mr. Scott, this is an emergency situation! There is a nuclear warhead about to deviate from its programmed flight path and plunge into the heart of Europe. We have to phaser it immediately—"

"And quickly hide behind the moon to avoid detection by the Earth's scientists!" Claudia added smartly. "They have enough to panic about down there, without adding a possible alien invasion to the list."

"Where are Kirk and Spock?" Seven asked the engineer.

"They are on the planet's surface. Miss Uhura has been unable to raise them on their communicators."

Remembering this part of the episode, Claudia realized that they were being detained for questioning at the McKinley Rocket Base, but couldn't recall how they had finally managed to escape the custody of the security personnel on the base. As if on cue, Scott called Uhura on the nearest com link and told her to break radio silence. Claudia smiled, now remembering when Spock gave one of them a neck pinch as he was picking up a communicator. She heard Kirk's voice order Scott to beam them directly to Seven's apartment.

"Sir, I have Seven and a young lass in the transporter room! They said that a warhead was heading for Earth and that we must destroy it."

"Good work, Scotty. You just earned your pay for the week. Beam us up to the ship, fast and have Chekov destroy that warhead immediately."

"Aye, sir. The young lass said something about hiding behind the moon so we won't be mistaken for a UFO."

"Good idea. Proceed fast. We don't want to set off a nuclear holocaust. Energize."

Meanwhile, in the warehouse in the twenty-first century, the older Roberta was worried that she may have been too late to retrieve her purse. They all found out that Isis had been mistaken about Roberta being fired. She explained that she had been on her first solo mission as an intergalactic agent, and Seven did not want her new friend Isis to interfere. Artie had just taken a bucket of purple goop off a nearby shelf, and was ready to dunk the artifact into it to neutralize its power. She stepped forward, holding her hand up urgently.

"Hold it, Artie! Don't dunk it! The purse isn't really cursed! There is advanced alien time-travel technology under the lining! Let me have it and I will take it back to the sixties and have Isis deactivate it."

"Claudia isn't back yet." He glanced at the young Roberta, who was staring at her older self in disbelief, and was still in Claudia's body. The purse was still on the table in front of her, and suddenly, it gave off the orange glow. Roberta staggered and gasped as she went back to where she belonged. Claudia was back, and smiled at the new arrival.

"Are you Teri Garr?"

"No, but I get that a lot. I'm Roberta. Please let me have my purse back. I need to return it so this time line can end."

There was the unmistakable sound of a battering ram as the technology police were trying to bash their way into the complex. Artie suddenly realized that there was no sign of any kind of technology in the warehouse office other than the little purse. His computers had vanished. Technology had been outlawed after the incident with the warhead being mysteriously destroyed, and despite the efforts of the Enterprise to avoid detection, the Earth's inhabitants became fearful that aliens were going to destroy any kind of technology they might happen to launch, so they made laws to avoid developing advanced technology so they wouldn't upset whatever might be up in space. They quickly did as she asked, and she smiled as she vanished, clutching her old purse lovingly to her chest, saying she had missed it and the sixties and thanking them for not dunking it in the goop. As she disappeared, things returned to normal, and Roberta managed to make things right at last.

The End