Tombstone Trek
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Table Of Contents


Mission 9: TOMBSTONE TREK

 

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

"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.

 

 

Captains 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 Out

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, saddle up the horses it’s going to be a bumpy ride!