Enya By Starlight
Up Phoenix Rising Pandemic Intruder Alert! Enya By Starlight Black Ice The HanI’Rhy Mystery Passion Fruit The Object Tombstone Trek City Under Glass The Witch Hunt Spindizzy Turn Off the Lights Trekkin' Flying Cloud What The Hell's... Survival Of The Fittest On The Edge Candescium Blindsided Shore Leave Melissa Wells The Listening Post Nostalgia The Artifact The Darkness Within Let The Games Begin Enemy Action Here's Mud In Your Eye The Tungsten Factor Xanadu Sicilian Defense When Worlds Collide Color Of Justice The Gin Joint Sabotage It's About Time Papa The Willow Race

 

Table Of Contents

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 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

0500, USS PHOENIX

      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.
      Starbase Flying 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 feet.
      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.  Hot damn!  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 time.  Just 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.
      “Come.  Sit.  Stay.”  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 mission?”
      Evans sipped his coffee and sat on the edge of the credenza.  “Don’t worry.  It’ll only last two weeks.”
      “What will last only two weeks?”  The frustration in her voice began to show.
      “Shore leave.”
      “Shore leave?”
      “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?”
      Talon nodded.
      “So.  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.”