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Part of USS Luna: Draw and Bravo Fleet: Labyrinth

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Starbase 86 / Paris X
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—- Starbase 86, Station Ops —-

Commander Olivia Carrillo waited glancing around the busy station operations centre until Commodore Ciffao Tharc was free to speak. The diminutive Tellerite waved the human commander into her office and got right to the point.

“Starfleet was impressed with your handling of the last mission once Captain Cruz went missing. Now I’d butter your toast more, that’s a human saying right?” the Commodore asked.

“I suppose,” Commander Carrillo said, not sure if it was, but knowing both what toast and butter was and it certainly did not sound like a Vulcan saying.

“Good,” Tharc said, “Now the USS Luna will be out of commission for at least two weeks, and Captain Cruz is in physical therapy. Now usually you’d get to stay on my lovely station but with these portals to the Underspace opening up all over Starfleet is stretched thin.”

Carrillo nodded, apart from the one that the USS Luna had been sent through there were anomalies all over known space. It was both an exploration opportunity and a threat as new worlds and spaces opened up. Nobody yet knew all what was behind those doors.

“In the early days we lost a starship, the USS Paris. It was launched shortly after Kirk’s Enterprise. So alongside the USS Boston, your Lieutenant Lambert’s ship,” Thrac explained.

“Okay,” Carrillo said not following.

“The ship was lost but never found, until now. A Nebula-class science vessel found it, on the other side of one of these gateways. On a populated planet,” Thrac explained, “We are not sure yet what cultural contamination may have occurred, or more importantly what technological issues they may have occurred.”

Carrillo nodded, “So take a ship and retrieve the Paris?”

“What part of stretched thin did you miss? You’ll be taking the Apollo runabout, which we’re replacing with one of the New Atlantic-classes. You’ll take that and a team of five, destroy the Paris and retrieve any Starfleet materials you can. Report on the contamination, but do not reveal yourself as Starfleet or be responsible for any deaths,” the Commodore said.

Carrillo nodded, “Will do ma’am.”

“Good alright go away now, thank you, but I’ve got about thirty anomalies to assign ships to investigate,” she said ushering the commander from her office.
 

—- Starbase 86, Medical Bay —-
 

“You’re still limping, the physical therapist said sternly.

Captain Adriana Cruz winced in pain at her discomfort, the leg continued to hurt even though it was artificial. She tried twitching the toes and watched a kind of pale plastic foot respond as if it were hers. “You don’t have a darker skin tone do you?” Cruz asked.

The therapist shook his head, “We have one for someone three feet taller than you, if you want to be picky. This is top of the line robotics, they don’t customize them. Not out here anyway.”

Commander Olivia Carrillo entered looking for her captain. Spotting Cruz she came over and the physical therapist made his excuses and left the pair of women alone for the time being.

“Talk to Thrac?” Cruz asked, she had known some of what the Commodore had been intending to say.

“I did,” Carrillo confirmed.

Cruz nodded, “So you’re here to tell me that you got your own command. I hope you held out for a Rhode Island-class.”

Carrillo waved her hand and laughed, “It’s way too early for that, I’m still learning the ropes. No I do have an assignment on the Apollo though. I’ll be gone for a week or two taking five other people with me. Any objections?”

“Leave Young, he’s got a ship to fix,” Cruz said of their Chief Engineering Officer, “You won’t be able to tear him away from the repairs anyway. Take an engineer, Lambert to fly, some security. Other than Young nobody is off the table.”

“Nice leg, it’s really… white,” Carrillo said pointing at the cybernetic leg.

Cruz nodded, “It is, isn’t it.”

—- Apollo, Briefing Room —-

 

The runabout made its way through Federation space without incident. With Lieutenant Pierre Lambert handling the flight controls the rest of the team assembled in the back of the small ship to go over the plan and the mission parameters as well as the Nebula-class ship’s scan of the planet.

Engineering Officer Lieutenant Murf sat down with a hot cup of of tea that she had brewed using the sythezisynthesizer. So perhaps not brewed so much as had appear in an instant. This meeting was informal so the crew were in the midst of a meal, with Historian Lieutenant Jacob Siegel spreading cream cheese over a bagel. He claimed that he preferred to assemble the synthesized raw ingredients himself, rather than just ordering a bagel with cream cheese, lox, and cappers.

Commander Olivia Carrillo sat down with her four crew members, the fifth member of her team was Lieutenant Lambert, who was currently driving.

“Can you put the autopilot on Pierre and come back here?” she called. It would be better to have him involved since this dealt with technology from the time period that he’d first been a member of Starfleet.

Carrillo stood and pulled up her mission brief on a screen on the Runabout’s wall as Lambert joined them sitting at the table. Carrillo had assembled an engineering officer, a science officer, a pilot, and in Lieutenant Syvia Voosha an intelligence officer, and in security there was Bajoran Lieutenant Sesi Oari.

Carrillo waited until they all were settled then began, “The USS Paris is was a Miranda class ship, lost in the Alpha Quadrant on its way to Andoria. Nobody saw it or has heard from it since, until this gateway through Underspace opened. We’re familiar with Underspace, we’ve all been there it’s a way across great distances in a short amount of time. For us, and for the USS Paris which was spotted by long range scans from a Nebula-class ship exploring the other end of the fissure. The remains of the ship are on a populated, post-industrial pre-warp planet. Our mission is to destroy the ship, retrieve what technology we can and assess the amount of contamination that’s happened. We don’t know if there’s survivors, but I assume we’d take them home with us. Mister Siegel, can you tell us anything about the people?”

Siegel brushed the crumbs from his face, “No. Scans show animal still used to transportation. So we’re pre-internal combustion engine. Similar to Earth post first American Civil War. There seems to be industrial areas and the Paris is located in a lesser populated area.”

“Anything we need to know about the Paris, Murf and Lambert?” Carrillo asked.

Lambert shrugged, “It shouldn’t be there, it’s a typical Miranda-class from back in the day. We didn’t got as fast as even the Luna could, so who knows.”

“We’ll have to retrieve the dilithium and potentially the torpedoes, they could damage something when they explode. It depends on how close to a population we are,” Murf said, she smiled, “So do we get to ride horses.”

“I doubt that the locals will call them horses,” Siegel said.

 

—- Paris X, Planetside —-

 

“So they do call them horses,” Siegel said, not sure what that meant other than there was likely some serious cultural contamination going on, the fact that everyone spoke perfect American English was another issue. The chances of that happening naturally were astronomically low.

Carrillo adjusted her dress, uncomfortable in it, but having no choice now that the away team had entered the nearest small town to the Runabout’s landing point and the Paris’ crash point.

“This is the old west,” Lambert said, “The American west the Frenchman corrected himself.”

“A pulp novel version of it maybe,” Siegel said, “There are inaccuracies, but the chance of this occurring naturally is well hard to fathom.”

Lieutenant’s Murf and Voosha had gone off on foot to investigate the crash site while the rest of the team tried to determine how much cultural contamination there was. The remaining members had all donned period appropriate “western” clothing, which meant the women were in dresses much to the chagrin of both Commander Carrillo and Lieutenant Oari who hid her Barjoran nose under a fake bridge.

“So,” Oari asked Siegel, “What should we know about this period of Earth?”

“Well this is a pulp fictional version, so it’s hard to say. Likely a lot of shootouts. Limited employment opportunities or rights for women. Women were either teachers, mothers, or…” Siegel trailed off looking rather embarrassed.

Standing on the side walk Carrillo sighed, “Okay, Lambert and I will take the saloon. Siegel and Oari take the General Store. Meet back here in an hour.”

Commander Carrillo and Lieutenant Lambert entered the saloon and made their way to the bar. Lambert wearing denim jeans and a flannel shirt, along with a traditional cowboy hat. At the bar Carrillo flagged down the bartender.

“We’re new in town, just wondering what’s around here worth seeing?” Carrillo said.

The bartender frowned, “Whatda mean new in town, where you come from.”

“Out East,” Lambert said his French accent showing through.

“You one of them Europeans I heard about?” the Bartender asked accusingly.

The pair shared a look, while Lambert was from France an alien world should not have a Europe. Lambert nodded finally, “Oui, I am.”

“Weee,” laughed the bartender, “You Europeans sure talk funny. Right well we got a bible in town, that’s at the church house.”

Lambert thanked the man and left him chuckling at the accents. Carrillo had a New York infused English, that did not quite match the flat standard that everyone seemed to be speaking.

“You want to go see the Bible?” Carrillo asked, or suggested since that seemed the only thread to pull on so far.

Walking one street over they found the church, a white building that looked basically like a church might back home made of wood and with a nice plot of land around it where grass and flowers grew. They headed up into it, to find a man in black robes with a white collar sweeping.

“Father,” Lambert said, recognizing the man as a Catholic priest, “We were told that there was a bible here.”

The man nodded and smiled, “Well visitors, we haven’t had visitors for dogs years. Come we have the Bible here on display.”

Carrillo saw that he was gesturing to a box of glass and a book inside, a book that was most definitely not a Bible. While neither her nor Lambert were religious they both came from Catholic backgrounds, and could identify a Bible.

Lambert seemed more surprised at the book but he managed to nod and smile, “Very nice. I will think on that, on how to better… We should go.”

“What was that?” Carrillo asked outside.

“That was a book that was popular in the Academy, an American western book and it ends in a gun fight where more of the town is killed,” Lambert explained, “Clearly someone on the USS Paris had it, and then it’s here.”

Lieutenant’s Siegel and Oari entered the general store and had to keep from staring at the shop keeper. As they pretended to browse Oari asked, “That’s an Andorian right?”

Siegel shrugged, “At least half, but he’s too young to have been on the Paris, what’s an Andorian doing living here.”

Picking out a bag of what Sesi Oari approached and set it down on the counter, “So I’m Sesi and you are.”

The shopkeeper looked at her, not used to either strangers or people introducing themselves out of the blue.

“Max,” he said punching in the price to a manual cash register.

“Max?” Jacob Siegel repeated, not quite knowing how to deal with a light blue skinned Andorian named Max, “Is that short for something?”

“It’s short for Max,” the man said annoyed by these customers. He rang up the wheat, “That’s four cents.”

“I forgot my money in my, thing you keep money in,” Oari said.

“Purse, you’d keep your money in your purse,” Siegel said, ever the historian. He nodded, “I also forgot my umm wallet as well.”

The pair backed out, “What’s a purse and a wallet?”

“A purse is a little bag women carry and men have wallets for their pockets,” Siegel explained.

“I bet you wish you had a bag,” Oari said.

They spotted Lambert and Carrillo, and finding a quiet spot not too far of a walk out of town reviewed what they’d learned.

“There’s Andorians here,” Oari said.

“We spotted a few in the saloon,” Carrillo said.

“Starships were less diverse back when I was starting out,” Lambert said, “One, maybe two non-humans was possible on a ship.”

“Nobody’s here is old enough to have been on the Paris,” Siegel pointed out, “Unless time travel like Lambert here.”

“No, but they’re the right age to be the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the Paris survivors,” Carrillo said.

“Let’s check the manifest back at the runabout for Andorians,” Siegel said, happy to be doing research and not be in the field.

Suddenly there were loud booms back in town, and the four went to investigate to see that six men had come into town on horseback. They wore black cowboy hats, and held guns. On the ground a man with a star on his check lay bleeding.

“Y’all are late in payments this month,” one of the men shouted, “I’ll be generous and give you another week. If you all don’t pay up, well, there’s going to be trouble.”

The six men scanned the crowd, as if itching for someone to step forward and be a problem. The main one, the one that had been speaking, looked at Carrillo and then Oari.

He smiled, “Well some pretty new faces in town. You two step forward.”

“That’s a phaser,” Siegel noted quietly.

Lambert did a visual check the gang had a mixture of Starfleet issue phasers and old style handguns. He glanced at Carrillo who was taking a step forward along with the security officer Oari.

The man waved at the pair, “Tie the ladies up, we’ll take them back to camp. They can cook for us.”

“And other things,” laughed one of the other men.

Lambert could feel the phaser that he had hidden on his person, but he did not intervene. Him getting shot by six men was not the plan, and he doubted that the scientific Siegel had used a phaser since basic training. His hand brushed the handle, as he wanted to fire, but for now resisted.

“Catch up with the rest of the team,” Carrillo said under her breath as the men approached to bind her and Oari, “And don’t do anything stupid.”

Three large men worked to bind the two female officers in thick rope, and sling them over their shoulders, carrying them back to their horses which were actually a kind of ostrich looking bird that must be native to the land. Throwing the women over the backs of the birds they mounted their rides.

“I’ll be back, you better be able to pay up then,” the outlaw laughed and rode away.

Comments

  • I just really enjoyed the post. It had a really relaxing feel to the story when they hit the surface of Paris and I enjoyed the comradery between the characters. A nice post with just some pleasant all around story! Great work on making something just feel so pleasant.

    June 21, 2024
  • That’s the goal here is to kind of go classic TOS where they arrive and everyone is a Hatfield or McCoy, or even one is a Nazi for some reason. No galactic problems to solve, just a mystery to figure out and a planet to unscrew up.

    June 21, 2024
  • This is a wonderful story that shows why we follow the prime directive for a reason. The Paris crew might not been able to do anything about it and the travel of the sudden appearing and disappearing of the violent gates didnt do put the Paris in a good position anyway. It is an interesting mission to be on, lets see how this pans out. Great work so far!

    June 21, 2024
  • What was the crew complement of a Miranda at that time, it would be interesting to see how many from the Paris survived. Do any of the people have the remotest knowledge of what happened? Its a great idea you've created here and interesting story. I look forward to seeing how this one plays out.

    June 23, 2024