- May 15, 2020
Another person asks about this story in a usenet group:
This is a short story I read sometime in the last ten years or so.
Humans and an alien species cooperate on making a stargate, for rapid transit of starships.
One of the lady scientist becomes involved with an alien scientist in a long discussion of some classic US music by a certain composer whose name escapes me. I seem to remember that the composer's music was jazz, or waltz, or something like that. The alien is fascinated.
But one day, disaster strikes. Something goes wrong with the stargate while an uncrewed starship is transiting the gate. All communication between the human and alien control teams is cut off. This can be fixed by performing a certain sequence of stargate functions precisely timed. If it is not fixed, the stargate will be destroyed and it will take a long and expensive time to make a new one.
Naturally it will be almost impossible to coordinate the stargate sequences when the human and alien control teams cannot communicate.
The situation is saved when the lady scientist and the alien scientist perform the functions using timing from the jazz composer.
Later, somebody asks how did they know if the human or alien sequence was to be performed first, if they could not communicate. The lady scientist said that was easy, in the jazz dances the man always leads.
Does this sound familiar?
Thank you for your time.