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Margarita Jha was a junior officer on the USS Benjamin Franklin working in the biology departement under Captain Maggie Kauffman, she then travelled on the USS Neil A. Armstrong II and became the chief science officer on the USS Brian Cowley, this time under Captain Nathan Boss.[1][2]

Appearance

In 2058, Margarita was described as in her late forties, being slim, dark and crisp-looking.[2]

The Long War

During the Franklin's stay at Four Waters City, Margarita helped Joe Mackenzie analyze a local highly addictive and hallucinogenic flower that caused Roderick Bacon to administer drugs to nine years old Angela Hartmann.[1]

The Long Mars

In 2045, Maragarita took part in the expedition to Earth West 250,000,000 aboard the USS Neil A. Armstrong II.[2]

The Long Utopia

New Springfield

In 2058, she was travelling aboard the USS Brian Cowley as its chief science officer when the ship was called to Earth West 1,217,756, to the town of New Springfield, to investigate why the day was getting shorter there and this new extraterrestrial specie named the silver beetles.[2]

The day was now reduced to twenty hours and a community meeting was held outside the house of some of the pioneers where the militaries were not warmly welcomed.

Margarita told them that they have now passed a certain point and that all lifeforms on this planet could not adapt to a day this short and things were about to get worst.

Nathan Boss tried to explain to the locals that they were doing their best to understand what was happening to this world but failed to do so for the moment despite having science teams working on it. At this moment, a local pioneer, George Abrahams stepped up, told them that the silver beetles was building a Dyson motor and asked to talk to the scientific staff.

Margarita took George Abrahams to meet Dr Ken Bowring, the head of the civilian scientists travelling with the Cowley, who set up shop on trestle tables under the shadow of the ship.[3] George explained to them the principal of the Dyson motor on a basketball were photographs of the world had been glued and they were able to inspect a dead silver beetle, found in the Gallery, and realized they could replicate themselves from any material with the right chemical composition.

George then proceeded to tell them that the silver beetles were extraterrestrial and brought them to the Planetarium as proof. They all had to be stepped away one by one by holding the local kids's hands.

Dismantling the planet

Since the Cowley arrived in New Springfield, Margarita visited the Planetarium several times.[4] On this particular day, she stepped over there to meet up with George Abrahams and Ken Bowring. She was greeted by Colonel Wang, in charge of the marines, who told her that nothing unusual happened.

She walked to George and Ken and discussed of the progress they have made. Ken discovered that the galaxy they were in might be one catalogued as M15 and that the silver beetles were not originally from the Planetarium.

They also figured out that someone in this galaxy, resisting the beetles, slowing their expansion. This would explain why the beetles were speeding up their activity on Earth West 1,217,576 since they encountered mankind and anticipated resistance.

It was a this moment that they understood that the Dyson motor they built was meant to dismantle the planet.

World tour

In January 2059, the day was now reduced to twelve hours, Nathan decided to take a selected group of passengers on a global expedition to show the extent of the damages caused by the silver beetles and what they had learned so far.[5] Among the passengers were the famous Joshua Valienté, Sally Linsay, George Abrahams and his wife Agnes who proved to be androids, a long-lost copy of George back from the remote Long Earths, Oliver and Marina Irwin as representatives of the locals and two Next, Stella Welch and Marvin Lovelace, summoned by George.

Margarita brought everyone to an observation gallery and the Irwins started to see the damages brought to their world for the first time. As they were flying in clouds of volcanic ashes, Maragarita reassured them since all Navy twains had ash filters equipped since Yellowstone. She then announced that a cocktail party was going to be held in the captain's cabin.

The next day, they finally reached New York's footprint.[6] As they were hovering on top of this world's version of Rhode Island, Joshua saw that it was bare rock now when a few months ago there were still trees on it. Margarita and Ken explained to their passengers that any attempt at contacting or harming the beetles failed. They even used a nuke to destroy the viaduct by it was rebuilt in forty-eight hours.

Understanding that the beetles couldn't be stopped, Stella Welch, one of the Next, stepped up and announced that this world was doomed but they had to prevent the beetles to spread to the other Earths by sealing this world off from the inside. For this, they would have to ask for the help of a young boy named Stan Berg, supposedly the strongest Next there was, but it meant that Stan would be sacrificing his life.

The Cauterizing

The operation of sealing the world off was named the Cauterizing by the militaries.[7] The day was now reduced to eight hours. Sally Linsay went all the way to Miami West 4 to get Stan and came back. The Cowley was still hovering on top of what was left of this world, the New Springfielders long gone somewhere else, as people were saying goodbye to those giving up their lives to save the Long Earths.

The ship stepped away with its passengers as Stan Berg, Sally Linsay and George Abrahams stayed behind.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 The Long War - Chapter 15
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 The Long Utopia - Chapter 38
  3. The Long Utopia - Chapter 39
  4. The Long Utopia - Chapter 40
  5. The Long Utopia - Chapter 45
  6. The Long Utopia - Chapter 47
  7. The Long Utopia - Chapter 51

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