Mission 9: TOMBSTONE TREK
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assembling of preexisting materials or of data that is selected, coordinated or
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effected upon publication of this mission by the ship’s Captain ipso facto.
As outlined in Circular 1 (Copyrighted Basics, Library
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the express, written authorization of STARSHIPS OF THE THIRD FLEET.
"You want us to do what?"
"Now just hear me out, ‘Red’."
Oh, she hated it when he called her Red, his pet name for her. It was
always followed by something he knew she wasn’t going to like. She
started to open her mouth, but Daniel held his hand up to quiet her.
"The Phoenix is going to be down for a month. When this
assignment came in from Starfleet Command I thought it would be a
perfect relaxing project for your crew. Not to mention the fresh air and
being landside for a while. This project is very important to Starfleet
and I figure it shouldn’t take more than a month to accomplish. The
town is pretty run down and needs some sprucing up. After the repairs
are finished you’ll just have to dress like townspeople and let the
dignitaries take a look around. The Federation wants to sell the place
for a shore leave entertainment area and there have been a great deal of
interest in buying the property from different worlds."
"So this town is designed after an old western town?"
"Horses and all. Has a stagecoach that needs a few repairs and
will be used to show the visitors around," answered the Admiral
with a wide grin across his face.
"Well now Captain, this could be fun." Stryker added.
"I read an old book once called Stagecoach To Yuma. It was quite
interesting. Might I add that this adventure could be called a Starship
To Tombstone," Stryker snickered.
Talon glared at the two men as they broke out in laughter. "Very
fun!" She turned her attention back to the Admiral.
Captain Steele sat quietly in her quarters sipping her orange juice
and nibbling on three cookies, a ritual breakfast she had enjoyed for
many years. This was the time when she organized her thoughts and
prepared her agenda for the day. She had found that by relaxing and
letting her mind wander, the decisions that must be made came much
easier. Thoughts came and went - planeside tomorrow… What had Daniel
said? Pick fifty of your best. Have them report for orientation. You’re
going on an excursion. Passage has been booked on the prestigious
Santura Shipping Lines, the SS NOVA. Shaking her head to clear her
thoughts, the Talon began her log.
This is our fifth day out from Flying Cloud on our present
assignment. Tomorrow we will be shuttling to the planet surface. We will
have to give up the luxury of this vessel for the harsher environment of
Alnitak IV. We are scheduled to commence the shuttle operation at 0600.
Quite a change from the catering to our every whim to us taking the
responsibility for our basic needs. The next month will certainly be
interesting, if nothing else!
Believe it or not, we’re going to be working for the Federation
Secretariat, running a nineteenth century wild west town. Fifty of my
crew members, myself and some general personnel from various departments
of the Secretariat are charged with providing repairs to structures,
security, administrative support and entertainment facilities for a
large contingent of potential investors and Federation bureaucrats. This
is the second effort to colonize the planet, the first having failed
miserably a number of years ago. The Federation has run out its big guns
for this event. The Secretaries of Interstellar Trade, Colonization and
Planetary Development will be there with their retinues. The Federation
wants to insure that this time the colonization will be a success.
It seems there was a colony established on the planet in the 2250s
following the Four Years War. An eccentric billionaire, a history buff
from America’s Southwest had underwritten the original colonization
effort. At great expense, he had bankrolled the building of a frontier
town. When the town had been finished (it was a replica of an American
frontier town of the mid nineteenth century) the billionaire found that
his popularity had waned. The colonists no longer took his word on
everything some were even questioning his leadership!
Abruptly, in the middle of a campaign to elect the town’s first
mayor, the billionaire abdicated his position of leadership, stating
that he had brought them thus far and that the team he had created was
now capable of operating without his guidance. The next day his
spaceship was gone. The colonists, unable to support themselves in the
short term, were soon forced to abandon the town and the planet. By
2260, the town stood empty.
In the intervening years, the only beings to visit the planet were
occasional entrepreneurs lured there by rumors of vast deposits of gold,
silver and other ores, which were in short supply in this sector of the
quadrant. The rumor persists to this date. The billionaire was never
heard from again, on this planet or any other. It may be superstition,
but some believe that much of his wealth is hidden in the mountains.
Some believe he never left the town… alive.
For the most part, my crew has been assigned specific duties while on
this mission. Lets hope that we don’t step all over ourselves.
Captain Steele, having finished her personal log, arose and headed
for the door. As she strolled down the corridor toward the main
conference room, she was heard to mumble something like,
the horses it’s going to be a bumpy ride!