The Infinity Factor Pt 1
The Infinity Factor Pt 2
This time Jon and Buddy get assigned to fly the Hyperion, which has been fitted out with a cutting edge super-light drive (how this differs from regular FTL is not explained except that it is something only "an infinity of light" has experienced). To everyone's surprise the ship does not go super-light but instead vanishes.
The Hyperion is in a region unknown to the ship's navigational devices. Tom, the guy who designed the super-light drive, gives some surprisingy exact directions for someone in a region of space unknown to man; it turns out they are in an alternate universe Tom visited during earlier undocumented tests of the drive, although not one he was planning to revisit quite so soon.
Back in our universe, Starlab works out what happened from the fact that their sensors tell them the Hyperium was shrinking to subatomic size and from what they learn from Tom's notes. This unfortunately does not allow them to help the Hyperion.
The locals are dependent on an ion generator to maintain balance and health; one tribe has stolen a vital component from this (how he could do this if it were working is not explained). As it turns out Tom is friends with the people from whom the device was stolen, whose righteousness he never doubts.
Although the villain schemes to take his enemies prisoner, he does not know they are now accompanied by two men carrying weapons of unfamiliar design and so all confrontations end in ignominious defeat for the villain's forces (Interesting, he never kills anyone for failing him). In the end the villain is easily defeated and forced to hand back what he stole.
The ion generator is repaired; as a side effect the villain is turned into a jolly man who cannot recall quite what he was up to before. As another side effect, Tom has a useful insight based in epic philosophical gibberish that helps him understand what all was going on.
Tom says good-bye to his native friends and promises to return as soon as he faces the music for not telling the authorities that the super-light drive is also a universe-hopper.
Why are there humans in the other universe? We never find out.
Tom is apparently supposed to be Asian and he speaks English as Americans circa 1980 imagined Asians spoke English. So do the natives, even when talking to each other without Tom, Jon or Buddy around (except there I think the writers are going for a simple but good-hearted native vibe). This is from about 20 years too late but it gives much of the flavour:
Also posted at Dreamwidth, where there are comment(s); comment here or there.
- Alien Worlds: The Infinity Factor Pt 1 and The Infinity Factor Pt 2