Candescium
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Table Of Contents


Mission 19: CANDESCIUM

The contents of the Ship Logs are considered to be a "compilation" under the provisions of Title 17, U.S. Code (known as the Copyright Act): that is, "A work formed by the collection and assembling of preexisting materials or of data that is selected, coordinated or arranged in such a way that the resulting work as a whole constitutes an original work of authorship." As such, it is the property of the ship’s Captain; however, automatic transfer of ownership to STARSHIPS OF THE THIRD FLEET is effected upon publication of this mission by the ship’s Captain ipso facto.

As outlined in Circular 1 (Copyrighted Basics, Library of Congress, Washington DC, USGPO 1989-262-309/12), "copyrighted in each separate contribution to a periodical or other collective work is distinct from the copyright in the collective work as a whole and vests initially with the author of the contribution."

This mission may not be reproduced in any form without the express, written authorization of STARSHIPS OF THE THIRD FLEET.

Prologue

LT Gabrielle Leroux turned from the communications console to face the captain. "Captain Lawrence, you have a Priority One message from Third Fleet Headquarters."

Lawrence stood up, "Pipe it to my office, Leroux. Stryker, you have the conn."

Lawrence settled down into her chair before switching on the computer. The Third Fleet logo appeared and faded to reveal the face of Admiral Daniel Evans.

"Admiral, good to see you. What’s going on?"

"I’m sorry to say TE that I have to change your orders and divert you to the planet Castis IV."

"But Daniel, my crew is in need of some R&R. We got hit pretty hard on Dhal Theta III, let alone the problem on Glace. I think…."

Evans interrupted her. "I know, I know, but this comes straight from Starfleet Command. If I had another ship to send I would. I’ve pulled up the past data on this situation and am forwarding it after our conversation. Have you ever heard of Candescium?"

Lawrence sat up. "You’re kidding? Candescium? Good grief Daniel, that incident happened years ago and the crystal was never found."

"Not true anymore. The Translucian that was sent out to find the crystal and return it to their planet has been found murdered on Castis IV. This is after it was determined he had found the crystal and was taking it back to his planet. That means that someone has that stone, which puts Starfleet in danger if they decided to make a weapon from it."

"You are to proceed to Castis IV and look into the death of the Translucian and locate that stone. Due to the 20 years of investigation by Starfleet of this Translucian and the missing stone, the Castis government has turned over all authority of this murder investigation to Starfleet."

After Lawrence completed her conversation with the Admiral, an extensive file on Candescium was downloaded to her computer. She sat back in her chair and began to read.

When Lawrence entered her ready room, the department heads were already seated around the rectangular table. TE pulled out her chair at the head of the table and sat down. She sat a thick folder down in front of her and opened it up.

"You know by now that we will not be heading back to Flying Cloud. We have a Priority One situation and are on course to Castis IV, where we will investigate a murder and find a lost item. That item is a crystal called Candescium."

There was a flutter of murmurs from around the table.

"I thought that Candescium disappeared years ago, Captain. It was never found although Starfleet Command had assigned USS EXETER to locate the stone with the help of someone from the planet it was from." LCDR T’Prel spoke up.

"Yes, that’s true Commander, but things have changed. Let me brief all of you on the past and current situation."

"In 2299 an old, itinerant miner named Gerd Waither appeared at a trade center on Rigel VI with a fantastic tale of a crystal that could absorb light called ‘Candescium.’ He wanted to sell it to the highest bidder to get enough money to make a trip to Terra to die. His health had been growing worse for the past few months and he felt his time was near. Gerd never made the sale for he passed away before he could auction the piece off and was buried on Rigel VI. He had protected his crystal well for the search for it was fruitless. Soon people were saying his story was just the lunatic ramblings of an old man.

Starfleet Intelligence has not been idle for the past 20 years. They visited 30 worlds, checking where Gerd Waither had been, what he said, and to whom he said it. Starfleet knew Candescium existed—an alien, called a Translucian from the planet this stone came from—was also looking for the crystal. USS EXETER was sent to help look for the Candescium with the help of this alien. They never found it. That was 16 years ago.

The Translucian kept in touch with a crewmember of the USS EXETER, one Lieutenant Commander Gregory A. Pyatt. They seemed to have forged a friendship that has lasted for the better part of two decades. Commander Pyatt sent his personal journal to Third Fleet Headquarters when he found out his friend had been murdered. The Translucian had notified Pyatt that he had found the Candescium on Castis IV and was returning it to his planet.

Here are some of the data that Pyatt learned of his alien friend and the planet he was from: Translucians are from a planet called Candescia. Their world is a place in space with no stars, planets…nothing. They live in lightly illuminated dome-like structures. The planet’s atmosphere is breathable. Thick… but breathable. They wear dark robes to protect their almost translucent skin. Pyatt learned that Candescium is found in many mines on the planet.

When the Translucian learned of the sensors and transporters on ships, he told Pyatt that sensors were useless on his planet for there was no way to ascertain planetfall conditions. Also, since the planet’s primary element (Candescium) absorbs light and apparently other forms of energy as well, it would be safe to assume that a landing party in the act of beaming (comprised of nothing more than molecules of energy and light) would be absorbed.

The alien told Pyatt that their kind has watched us for many of our centuries, hoping that we would never discover them. That is until one of our ships crashed on their planet and the occupant stole what was their’s to protect. He stated that the void stone is too powerful an essence for a race as corrupt as ours to posses. ‘Let’s say that the void stone does more than just "absorb light" and, with time, its powers would be learned and exploited.’ The alien said that they were familiar with our Federations policies and would never let the stone get into our hands. Nevertheless, Pyatt and this alien became friends."

Lawrence looked up and closed the file. "Our orders are to solve the murder of the Translucian and find that stone. Any questions?"

After PHOENIX entered orbit above the planet Castis IV, landing parties were assembled to beam down to the planet, retrieve the Translucian’s body and begin their investigation.