Mission 4: ENYA BY STARLIGHT
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
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.
Talon Steele lay in bed.
She was in that particularly wonderful state between sleep and
wakefulness, where the body couldn’t move and the mind wasn’t
willing. She knew without
opening her eyes that the light of a million stars were shining through
the viewport in her sleeping quarters, bathing her and her bedroom in a
soft glow. With a minimum
of effort, Talon changed positions, going from lying on her right side
to flat on her back. Such a wonderful
feeling, she thought lazily.
No where to go, nothing to do. At least not until her 0900 meeting with Admiral Evans.
Cloud engineers had moved aboard the PHOENIX, repairing the
damage from the Jirzzaque encounter, and adding a few last-minute
improvements to the ship. What
should I have for breakfast?
She wondered. Should
I have my usual, or try what Wolfbayne Stryker has every morning?
It was a hard choice: pancakes
with Maple syrup and bacon and a large glass of milk―or
fried eggs, grits (whatever they
tasted like), sausage patties, toast, orange juice, and
coffee. Idly, she wondered how anyone could eat that much every
morning and still be able to walk.
The more she thought about it, the more interesting Stryker’s
breakfast sounded. Thinking
about food whisked away the last cobwebs in her mind.
She was awake now, and trying to decide whether to get up or stay
in bed. Suddenly, Talon
realized that Mother Nature had made the decision for her.
She threw the covers back and padded toward the head in her bare
Once there, it was a simple step to
a shower and a clean uniform. Well,
now, what’s for breakfast?
She stepped to the replicator and made her decision.
“Two eggs, sunny-side up; two
sausage patties; grits with butter; two pieces of toast, buttered;
orange juice; and coffee, black.”
A moment later, her meal was ready.
She looked at the full plate in dismay.
Can I really eat all this?
She sat down at the table and started eating, determined to at
least try. In no time at
all, she realized that the plate was empty.
That was good! Maybe
he’s on to something after all.
She glanced quickly at her waist.
Nope, no way.
I’d look like a pregnant elephant in no time at all if I ate
like this every morning.
Pushing the plate away, Talon leaned
back and sipped on her coffee. She
reached over and activated the computer, called up her morning schedule,
and found there was nothing there, except for her meeting with the
Admiral. She glanced at the
enough time for a tour of the ship to check on repairs.
Talon finished her coffee, put on her Captain Talon Steele,
Commanding Officer face, and headed out the door.
Starbase Flying Cloud
Steele was early. Her tour of the ship went quickly and she couldn’t think of
anything else to do, so she headed to Admiral Evans’ office.
As she entered the anteroom, Josh Seven looked up from his
computer screen. The Flag
Lieutenant, Admiral Evans’ primary assistant, stood up and smiled.
“Good morning, Captain.”
“I’m a little early, Seven―”
Talon began but her apology was waved away by Josh.
“No problem, Captain.
Eagerness, so I’m told, is highly prized among starship
captains.” His toothy
grin made Steele smile in return.
“Guilty as charged, Lieutenant.”
The intercom on Seven’s desk broke
into their conversation. “Steven,
is Talon here yet?”
“Yes, Admiral. She just arrived.”
“Good! Good. Talon, come on in.”
Steele strode through the door into
the inner office. Admiral
Daniel Evans stood up, moved quickly toward her, and held out his arms
for a hug.
Evans motioned to the couch.
They sat down together.
“Well, Admiral. I’m here for our next assignment.” Steele began.
“How’s the ship?”
“Coming along nicely.
Although I’ll admit I’m worried.”
Evans frowned. “What’s wrong?”
“I just hope that the next time I
leave my First Officer in charge of my ship, he doesn’t go out and
break things again.”
Evans laughed. “Stryker can break anything he wants, as far as I’m
concerned. That is, as long
as the results are the same. Good
man, that Stryker.”
Talon agreed. “The best First Officer I’ve had. Now, about our next assignment.”
Admiral Evans got a very serious
look on his face. “This
one’s going to be an iron-clad bitch, Captain.
It’ll take everything you and your crew have, and then some.”
Talon looked confused.
What’s going on?
I haven’t heard of anything-serious happening in this Quadrant.
Did something blow up while I was asleep? And why is he suddenly so formal?
She waited for him to continue.
Admiral Evans stood up and walked
over to the credenza and poured himself a cup of coffee. “Want one?”
Talon shook her head. “So,
what is it? What’s the
Evans sipped his coffee and sat on
the edge of the credenza. “Don’t
worry. It’ll only last
“What will last only two weeks?”
The frustration in her voice began to show.
“Two weeks worth.”
“Two weeks? Of shore leave?”
Evans laughed. “If you don’t quit repeating what I say, I’m going to
cancel the whole thing and send you out on the most boring job I can
come up with.” He walked
over and sat down next to her again.
“I think you—and your crew—could use a little rest.
Besides, that’ll give some time for healing.
I believe you still have a couple of people in Sickbay?”
Take two weeks off. I
want every person you can spare to get off the ship and have fun.”
He looked at her with a wide grin.
“Think you can handle it?”
Steele was smiling now.
“Yes, Sir! I’m
sure we can handle it.”
“Get out for a while, Talon.
Get your crew out. Go see Enya by starlight.”