Category Archives: space travel

Ships of the Line


Stardate, 334639.04

Friday, August 22nd, 2657

Reported by Lt. Brian Hutchinson

Historical Division

Federation of Planets.

Currently serving on the USS Enterprise – NCC 1701 M

 

For one of the classes on this multi-family exploration Starship, I have been asked for my opinion of the most relevant moments in Federation history involving ships of the line named Enterprise.

I believe I should start at the beginning, which actually starts in 2373, Star Date 50100.2 when the USS Enterprise – NCC 1701-E, commanded by Captain Jean-Luc Picard, follows a Borg sphere into the past to March 2, 2063.

Here the Borg attempted to assimilate Earth before Zephram Cochrane’s first warp drive test that bought about First Contact. With the help of his crew Picard manages to save the future of Earth. I’ve always loved the time travel stories that the Enterprise’s crews and Captains have shared with the Federation readers. The way Picard describes this in his logs the action was fast paced and they saved the Phoenix almost at the last minute, and also destroyed the Borg Queen, but not without some loses in the process.

 

For the next instance, I will pick the incident at Broken Bow on April 16, 2151. Earth’s first encounter with a Klingon brings about the launch of the very first warp drive ship, the Enterprise NX-01 commanded by Captain Jonathan Archer. Against the wishes of the Vulcan High Command the Enterprise launches with a Vulcan Science Officer and Denoblian doctor. This starts an exciting four year voyage where the tenacious starship Captain and his crew meet Klingon, Romulans, Sulaban, Organisms, Onions, Tholians, and Androrians and save Earth from the misguided Zindi. His voyages alone opened up space for more exploration and laid the foot steps that would eventually lead to the beginning of the Federation. Archer eventually became an Admiral in Star Fleet and served in many more campaigns for peace.

 

For another one, we should first pay a visit to 1996 and the Eugenics War and the escape of Khan Noonien Singh in a sleeper ship called The Botany Bay. The ship is recovered accidently in 2267, Star Date 3141.9, by Captain James T. Kirk on the USS ENTERPRISE – 1701. Khan and his crew are awakened accidently and eventually commandeer the Enterprise, coming very close to killing Kirk and his crew before Lt. Marla McGivers comes to her senses and rescues Kirk. For reasons only known to Kirk, the crew of the Botany Bay is stranded on Ceti-Alpha 5. The story doesn’t end here.

In 2285, Star Date 8130.3, First Officer Pavel Chekov, formerly of the USS Enterprise, is serving aboard the starship USS Reliant while they search of a lifeless planet for the Genesis Project. When they get a possible glitch in their sensors from Ceti-Alpha 6 they beam down and investigate further, finding Kahn still alive, and very upset. Khan manages to gain control of the Reliant and the Genesis device. He eventually finds Admiral James T. Kirk aboard the training ship USS Enterprise and manages to set off the device, killing Kirk’s best friend, Captain Spock. Soon after the USS Enterprise, NCC-1701 is destroyed by Admiral James T. Kirk. Many things begin at this point which will eventually help stabilize the Federation, including the rebirth of Spock, the saving of Earth (again) and the peace accord with the Klingon Empire.

 

Which is actually my next little historical note, in 2293 – Stardate 9521.6, Captain Kirk and the new crew of the Enterprise – NCC 1701 A escorts Chancellor Gorkon of the Klingon Empire to a peace conference on Earth. During the voyage Gorkon is assassinated and Kik and McCoy are arrested for murder. The two of them are found guilty then tried on Kronos before being sentenced to the penal asteroid, Rura Pente. After escaping they discovered a conspiracy to undermine the efforts of the peace plan. Once again, Kirk saves Earth. Soon afterwards the Enterprise –A is decommissioned and the higher ranking officers retire.

 

The last item on my list involves “Q”, a member of a race of beings so advanced even now we know little about them. Q had a habit of interfering with the journeys of the USS Enterprise D under the command of Jean-Luc Picard. During one of these chance meetings in 2365, Star Date 42761.3 the crew is sent into system J25 where they meet the Borg. This is possibly the second time, or third that the Borg has been met since Humans discovered warp drive. But this meeting forced the Borg to seek Humans out and eventually meet the Federation in battle. This was a devastating event for the Federation, but because of their overcoming the Borg presence they had a chance to study their science and technology. This helped a lot in the future exploration of the galaxy and humans were a lot more comfortable going where no man has gone before.

 Be sure to warp over to visit Ellie’s blog fest for the rest of the fest!  http://www.elliegarratt.blogspot.com/ 

 

 

Where were you in 1977?


You know the movie is bad when all you remember are the previews for coming attractions. I believe it was the fall of 1976; I was 19 years old, working a night job at a chili place when a high school buddy asked me if I wanted to catch a movie with him. It would of course be a matinee, no screaming monsters, err kids, and the place would not be very full.

We grabbed an overpriced drink, some popcorn, and headed into the local 5 screen movie theatre. (The place is still there, but I think they have 50 screens.)

I think there were only about ten people in there and we found seats right in the exact middle, best place to sit. We talked about your basic juvenile male stuff, girls, action movies, sports, girls, jobs and girls.

Finally, the lights dimmed, the logo for coming attractions blazed on the screen, I saw a field of stars and barely made out the now familiar logo as the voice over began: “Somewhere in space, this may all be happening right now…”

I think I froze at this point, my body shivered and I actually had goose bumps as I witnessed the teaser trailer for what was then just called “Star Wars”. Even if I didn’t recognize any star except Sir Alec Guinness.

The worst part was waiting almost nine months for its release.

Do you really need to ask?

I was there, in line, waiting on opening day with my bride to be. They barely had the room for us and we sat in the middle of the very front row. This spot just made it more awesome.

And once a month, I returned. I think I saw it about 12 times that first year, sometimes alone, sometimes with family and friends. Of course, I couldn’t wait for the sequel either. Once again I was in line, waiting for “The Empire Strikes Back.” It has been 31 years since that one came out, and once again, I saw it a dozen times, followed by “Return of The Jedi

I heard a rumor during that time that Mark Hamill, who was not a complete unknown in 77’, was contracted to appear in the last three episodes, if they were ever made. I longed for the continuation of these, and the beginning, reading my way to present and past with the books and comic books – which until about 15 years ago I had all of – and waited and waited.

When they came out on VHS (that was a tape that you put in a player and could watch the movie on your TV, very similar to DVD’s except they didn’t last as long) I bought them and proceeded to wear the tapes out, watching them as much as I could. It got to the point where I memorized the dialogue – and I still know it. (Don’t test me.)

When the next three came out – I did the same thing, but I only saw them at the theater once, and waited impatiently for the DVD’s

Lucas did a few things different when he redid the originals, but they needed to be done, except for making Han Solo shot first in the Cantina – I still have problems when I see that.

But I am happy! I have the remastered first six chapters – still waiting for the last three.

Now I even have a Blu-Ray player. But today, they announced the release of all six chapters on Blu-Ray with more extras STAR WARS: THE COMPLETE SAGA. These will be available in September (perfect timing for my birthday) but I doubt that will happen. The price will maybe be about $125.00. I have no proof of this, but that is what I am thinking.

I’m also thinking George pulled a fast one on us when he rereleased chapters 4,5 and 6. This release was soon followed by chapters 1, 2, and 3. Are 7, 8 and 9 just around the corner? It has been a little quiet at Skywalker Ranch lately.

What do you think George has up his amazing sleeve?

Where were you in 1977?

Temptation Tuesday


No…not that kind of temptation. (Get your mind out of the gutter. There isn’t enough room in here for both of us.)

Well I hope my writing samples tempt you to read more of my work. This particular story is part of an ongoing series. The first few chapters can be found in an earlier post called, Sample Sunday. (I highly recommend you check that out before reading the rest of this post.) I changed the title to Sunset because this is an idea that wormed its way into my head after hearing about Gliese_581_g, a planet that could possibly support humans or some other type of life form twenty light years away from Earth. In my theory – which does not include warp drive – it should take twenty years to get there, if you traveled at the speed of light. To help conserve power and ration, every one is frozen for a year at a time. Every month two souls are unfrozen so they can check on the ship and make sure everything is going as it should…

SUNSET

Friday, February 28th, 2521; 1845 hrs

Wow, some people are just consumed with lazyness. The first part of my letter to you this month is a rant, in case you haven’t noticed that yet.

Before I start I must say I am glad you took another injection, now I know I will see you when I get home. Anyway, the rule is, you wait for your relief to fully come out of sleep so you can pass off any information on anything that happened the past year or more. Well the Singlers, the only two married people we have on board, Tania and Darryl, decided it would be funny if they disabled Wesley and lock him in an airlock. It took a whole day to find him. I’ll tell you, some people never grow up. And they are 34 years old. To add to the insanity they caused, they didn’t check any ship systems and returned to their sleep chamber two days before we were scheduled to get out. Because they didn’t do their job, we went off course by about a half a light year – so it will take a little while longer to get to Sunset than we thought we had planned.

This is the not the first time I’ve had trouble with these two, sometimes I wonder how they made it this far. They didn’t even bother to clean up after themselves, the galley was a total mess, even the self cleaning sinks and counter tops were cruddy.  Those two were this close to getting disconnected, but after a message burst to mission control, it was suggested that we pass on them the next time their turn to defrost comes up.

Once we got Wesley back in the ship, defrosted and recharged we had to reprogram him too. Lucky for us we had the right information to program him with. It took two weeks and during that time James and I switched off for twelve hour shifts. That put both of us in a bad mood, but we hung in there until it was time to wake the next ones.

Oh yeah, almost forgot. Our shadow is still with us. Wesley and James still think it is only a figment of our own ship. The Science Officer, Wade, and I think it is something else, maybe like a space traveling creature living off our exhaust. Well that is what I told the Captain, and he just laughed. I want to thank you dad for making me watch all those Start Trek space operas.

message sent…

Saturday, March 31st, 2522; 2046 hrs

Hey Pop’s, yeah, it’s me again. I’ll tell you, this sleeping a year at a time is something I could get use to, but my body can’t. I am so hungry I feel like a ravenous monster when I get up. We woke on the first of the month, everything appeared normal, like it was supposed to, that thing that was following us is gone, if it was following us. It seems a lot colder now than it did the last time we were awake. I wonder if that is my imagination or if it really is colder. Wesley claims it is the recommended temperature and always has been.

Hey, guess what, we had to come to a full stop at the beginning of the week because one of our hull plates was loose. It was real fun walking in space to repair it. I felt like a slug on steroids because of the excitement of the moment and the slowness of my moving. It took three days to get this monster back up to full speed, so we are about a week behind schedule.

As to the Singlers, they behaved last time they were out, even waited for their reliefs to fully awaken. I am so glad they learned their lesson.

message sent…

 

Sunday, April 4th, 2523 0700 hrs

Happy Easter Pops! I know they did away with that holiday once Christianity was over thrown for the more peaceful regime. I was reading some old history books I found packed away and found out about this one. I still can’t figure out how the rising of a profit would bring about the arrival of a huge rabbit that gave away snacks that rotted your teeth. I suppose we brought the books with us to share with any intelligent life form we find. I hope they can read Standard.

One thing I really shouldn’t tell you about – but don’t worry – I am sure it is just a fluke. We can’t get any readings from our aft sensors. It’s more like a blind spot, and one you can’t crane your neck around to see. There is one little spot where you can look down and watch the area. Unfortunately it is at the rear of the ship and closer to the engine housings. The heat is unbearable for a human – but perfect for an android. If you guessed that we threw Wesley back there to fix the issue – you would be right. The problem is he was sent back there six months ago, and we haven’t heard from him. Jim tried to go back and find him, but we must have been hit by a small piece of space dust because the only way back there is sealed. Whenever our hull is injured the bulk plates come down, cutting off that section, so the whole ship won’t lose any air.

If I could only get a visual of the area, I would be able to tell if it is okay. Since we are behind schedule as it is, Jim isn’t stopping the ship. There has got to be another way back there. Or so he says.

…message sent…

*Note: This is a work in progress, any ideas or suggestions are most welcome. And let me know what you think.

Dragon Speak


Today, we will step again into my time machine. Watch your step there.

Be sure to fasten your belts. We are only going back about 10 years and zooming ahead to 5.

When I first started really getting into my writing, about ten years ago, I joined a website that I am sure a lot of you have heard of called writing.com. I learned a lot from that site, and I had a lot of fun with it. After a while the reviews slowed down and some of the suggestions were just simply wrong. That and other reasons hastened my retreat from there.

While I was there I participated in what ever contests came up – including a 500 word dialogue contest. I didn’t always win but I managed to come in a close second occasionally. The moderator would pick the subject and challenge us.  These were straight dialogue, no intros, no action, you had to be able to see the story unfold without all the other stuff. They were pretty fun.

In my search for a good blog topic, I thought about this a few times and wondered if I had any of those stories still around. Well I found one. I think the subject here was dragons.

With out further ado, Dragon Speak

“What are you doing here? HUMAN!”

“Looking for you.”

“And what do you intend to do to me, once you find me?”

“You keep talking and I will find you.”

“No, you won’t. This canyon you’re in just echoes the sound of my voice off the rocks. And you didn’t answer my first question.”

“I will…slay you. Yeah, I’ll slay you.”

“You slay me, but with laughter. You’re a funny little human.”

“No. You’re wrong. The sword I carry is forged with magic.”

“You still have to find me first. And that sword looks too heavy for your thin bones to wield.”

“You see me? That means I’m close.”

“That means nothing! I can move through the air, as you are limited within the narrow confines of my trap!”

“Flying away will not help. I heard the sound of your wings, felt the brush of the air you disturbed against my cheek.”

“No. You cannot hear the sound of my wings. They are silent, as you will be soon little human.”

“Hide and seek works both ways dragon….”

“Then I challenge you to seek me out….Where did you go?…Did you run and hide human!”

“Why would I hide, when I can strike?”

“Hey! That hurt….The sun will set soon; I will have you for dinner to get revenge from the scar you set upon my tail.”

“Ha…you fly again. Are you a dragon, or a rodent? I can wait till darkness comes. I shall banish you from these rocky mountains, so you no longer trouble man.”

“What is the name of your sword human? Its sting seems familiar.”

“The name is of no consequence. You have met it in the past, but it will avenge for the deed you did.”

“Oh. Now I know you. You carry the sword of Askalath. But, you cannot be him. You’re standing on his ashes.”

“Missed again dragon! Tell me, why you returned the sword to his home?”

“He was the bravest human I have yet to meet. We battled for three days and nights. The scar I wear on my face, he placed with that sword. Now that I have a matching one on my tail, I am complete.”

“So you saw fit to return his sword to his home.”

“It was a way of honoring him.”

“You just dropped it through the roof, and went on. Never looking back.”

“How would you know of that?”

“Because I was talking to his wife, my mother, when the sword came through the roof, and sliced through her heart.”

“Oh…Now I see. This is double revenge. You wish to take it out on me, I welcome the fight….the pain….you have pierced my chest…”

“Yes dragon. I am the son of Asklath. Blinded by the horror I witnessed as a child. I can hear better, smell better, walk quieter than any man on this earth. I have stood in front of you for the last five minutes, and you didn’t even see me.”

“….I die….”

Hope you liked my tale.

Oh, before I take you back to the present, I need to mention that I will be interviewed about my book Journey of Tara by Kelli McCraken on Para Your Normal’s Blog Talk Radio show Monday at 6PM. Please be sure to tune in and ask me anything.

Well almost anything.

Ok, are we ready to go back?….We missing anyone? Hmm… thought there was one more…oh well, hold on!


Sample Sunday – Letters Home


You ever have one of those stories that seem to haunt you, trying to get out of your head and move to your fingertips like molasses in January. This is one of those stories. I have a beginning (which always seems to come in handy) and an end. In other words, I know where I am going, what happens when I get there, but I don’t know how I arrived. Sort of like being drunk.

Here is a short little Sci-fi story that I am really going to work on finishing…..Honest….I am.

Letters Home (or Sunset)   {decisions, decisions}

Tuesday, April 25th, 2519. 1300 hrs.
Hey Pops, thought I’d send you this little run down of my day, hope you enjoy it.
For the past month, me and the other twenty-four crew members of the exploration ship Vogt have been in the eco-chamber due to the travel we will be doing for the next twenty years, our systems have to get use to space.
It will really seem like about six months since we will spend most of the time asleep. Each member of the crew will spend a week awake doing all the random stuff, what I like to call ‘grunt work’, that goes on around a ship. General maintenance and making sure we are not off course.
Well to continue, today is the day we get to head off for Gliese 581g, or more loving revered to as Sunset. When the first probe landed there it found a spot almost on the line where the day/night break is. Sunset happens all year round, and a beautiful one too.
At 0600 hours they moved us from the chamber and down a long corridor we could look out of, above a sea of humans. I felt like I was on display at one of those old fashioned zoos Grandpa kept telling us about. Thousands of people came to see us off and wish us good luck. I couldn’t make out anyone specific, but I knew you would be there.
The sealed pleztube stretched out about forty feet between the building and the shuttle that would take us to the ship, fifty feet above the maddening crowd. We stood in the middle of the tube and waved to the peeps down there, just because we were told to. We knew we would never see anyone again, unless someone cured aging. They have practically cured everything else – even cancer. Our life spans have been doubled, once we could only live to around 70 to 75, now most women live till they are 150, most men only last till they are 130.
Even with the excitement of being the first manned ship to leave the solar system – it was still a little scary – body numbing and stimulating at the same time. I saw the mix of emotions running through my crew members faces, fear, happiness, concern and wonder. Jim was showing no expression at all as we fastened ourselves into the seats on the shuttle.
Oh, I never told you about Jim. Well dad – your daughter has a new boyfriend. It isn’t really anything serious – but he is awesome at almost everything he does. The crew is actually split up evenly – 12 men, 12 women. The 25th is an android – his duty is just to walk the ship encase there is an emergency on board that the two crew members need help with while everyone else is asleep. We call him Wesley. He is actually the on board computer – but he also comes in mobile form.
Any way – I don’t have much time to finish this little note so I may have to talk fast. My sleep cycle starts in 10 minutes.
Once planted firmly on the shuttle we lifted off without any problems and circled the giant ship Vogt once before entering the massive belly that serves as the cargo hold. The ship isn’t really that much – the news services are making more of a big deal than they need to about it. Most of the bulk of the ship is the AFTL drive (we cal it the Almost Faster Than Light Drive); it takes up at least 60% of the ship. Wesley has all the specs and owner manuals in case there is a flat tire or something, and I gave him your message – “You better not run out of gas.” Remind me never to tease an android. Everyone has read the manuals at least twice. (In my opinion they are pretty dry for reading materials, but at least we know how to fix it if it breaks.)
Connected to the engineering section is the container that has all the sleep chambers in it, twenty four in all – each scheduled in 12 month cycles, waking two crewmen – male and female – for a month at a time.
Before they put us in there, they shaved all our body hair – even if only one day passes for us, our hair will still grow at the regular rate. Basically we sleep for a year, wake up for a month and then go back to sleep – so only 20 months will go by for us, but you won’t hear from me for a year.
You will only have to imagine your little baby girl bald – I ain’t sending you a picture.
I’m really looking forward to this and please tell everyone I will miss them.
I’m falling asleep now – catch you later.
Love you all,
LT Commander Tia Bourbon
ESS VOGT
…message sent…
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 30th, 2520: 1950 hours.
I’ve been really busy since I woke up on the first of the month, or I would have sent this earlier. Once the capsule opened it took me thirty minutes to fully wake up. During our training, they told us we wouldn’t dream. They were wrong. I still remember some of it, flashes of pictures, like watching a old disc out of the 21st century. Scratched and pitted with only the occasional clear picture. One is a foreign alien landscape charred and broken with totally red skies. Could this be Sunset, or just something my imagination came up with? Another scene is a bloody reminder of human nature,
I’m still trying to make since of it.
Any way, they only wake us for a month at a time, I think I mentioned that, and that month is spent checking up on shop systems, making sure everything is still working like it should.
Jim and I spend about an hour each night getting acquainted again, even if it feels like yesterday we still missed each other.
The pair before us, and all the others, did a pretty decent job keeping the ship in good order. Nothing much happened out of the ordinary this month. Thirty days floating at the speed of light with only one man as company, there wasn’t much we could do except get caught up on what’s happening back home and each other.
As to our android, Wesley, he spends most of the time walking the ship – if he finds anything at all, he lets us know.
Nothing unusual in our sightseeing duties, we did see a few solar systems that may have a habitual world if Sunset doesn’t pan out like we are hoping.
There was one strange thing; our sensors noticed something off our stern, port side, which seemed to be matching us for speed and trajectory.
I ordered Wes outside to check it out – after spending almost three hours tethered to the ship he came in and said it must have been a shadow of our ship. “A glitch in the sensors,” he said. I didn’t think androids believed in glitches. But I suppose it could have been a shadow of our selves.
Since we are the first humans to travel at light speed, no one really knows what we will experience. That does seem a little scary now that I think about it.
Yesterday we woke two Lieutenants, Dona Tussey and Ted Rathburn. They will keep an eye on the “shadow” as we continue our journey.
Guess I will write again as soon as I can, which should be in about a year.
Night Dad, Miss you.
TB
.message sent….
TO BE CONTINUED

Hope you enjoyed that, this is still a very rough draft – but the important part is it is out there.

My next book, The Set’la will hopefully be sent to Smashwords tonight. Basic part of the cover is done, just need the title now.

The first


Years ago, I started two different stories. I didn’t know where I was going with either of them until I put them together.

This may become an ongoing series, thoughts are beginning to form.
In the mean time, I’ll be working on a detective series that has been crawling through my head trying to get out.