Rinse, Wash, and Repeat

Harper had been tinkering with various systems upgrades and the like when Tyr burst into the Machine Lab and pinned him with a fierce glare. He d been clad only in a metal version of what Harper liked to think

of as a metallic hair-shirt which showed off the big man's muscular physique. His torso, brow and face glistened with sheen of sweat as well.

Instinctively backing up a bit to put as much distance between himself and the big man Harper said: "What seems to be the problem?"

"Whatever it is that you are doing." Tyr stated emphatically and tersely, "I do not wish to become part of your experiments. Do I make myself perfectly clear?"

"Like silicon chips on a flexie," Harper cheerfully replied."But I honestly have no idea what you re talking about."

"You must be, because I distinctly recall having this conversation with you once already today," Tyr said.

"News to me," Harper replied reassured that he was back on firmer footing and excited that there seemed to be a mystery afoot that was just begging for a Harper-sized intelligence to get to the bottom of it.

'In fact," Tyr recalled at the same time as his breathing, heart-rate and pulse all returned to normal as soon as he calmed down. "Now that you mention it, that sport Dylan insists that I participate in, has already occurred three times already."

"That can't be!" Harper exclaimed and then trailed off as he mind raced through the myriad possibilities that could have caused a case of recurring events in which the participants would experience the exact same activates, emotions, and words identical sequences. His brow furrowed and rocked back and forth on his heels while he tapped the fingers of his right hand on top of the console in front of him.

Tyr merely observed this process of Harper-cogitation with a wry smile and waited. It out.

"Unless," Harper said aloud, snapping his fingers.

"Yes, go on", Tyr replied.

"Unless, what you re describing is a kind of time dilation, once known back on Old Earth as a Groundhog Day effect."

"I do not understand", Tyr admitted.

"it's a known phenomenom where the events play out over and over again", Harper replied. "Odd, that only you and Dylan have experienced this? Has anyone else aboard the ship experienced similar effects of time dilation?"

"Beka, no one else." Tyr replied.

Harper nodded and said. "That does figure. It could have something to do with residual effects from the time ship. We got rid of it, so that might not be the cause."

"Agreed," Tyr replied.

"Or, as you surmised before you stormed into my Machine Shop, the time dilation experiments I've been conducting to rid myself of the creepy-crawlies in my gut, Harper mused, but that really is n t important right now."

"Harper", Tyr prodded, knowing that the acting ship's engineer was not nearly as sanguine as he might wish to appear or sound regarding the Magog larva in his stomach and while he wished the little professor as he referred to Harper; at the moment it was important to keep him on task.

"I can have Rommie run a complete diagnostic of the ships systems, time-dilation or notwithstanding. In most cases the groundhog effect wears itself out, but not before you get sick and tired of having the same conversations over and over again.""

"Terrific," Tyr muttered. "Why do you seem unaffected?".

"Because I've been stuck in here and probably because I've been tinkering with my own phase modulation energy projector," Harper replied/Tyr shook his head and said, half mock-severely; "I am afraid that I only understand half of what you just said. I am sorry I asked. Let us be clear on this point, you do not seem to be affected, it is equally doubtful that Rommie would be. What do the rest of us do in order to break the cycle?"

"Play it out," Harper replied, "once you do it say for more than three times in a row you then find a place where the pattern differs and that should snap you out of it. It s kinda like following a trail of bread crumbs."

"Bread crumbs," Tyr muttered. "Interesting metaphor. I will return to report the results of my efforts. In the meantime I would strongly suggest shutting down your device until further notice."

"Sure, sure," Harper waved as Tyr departed the Machine Shop. "Not a problem." ***