Boldly Gone

Sidey’s Weekend Theme is “those that survive”…

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It had been hours now, so they had to face it. Molloy wasn’t back, and he wasn’t coming back.

Crewman Conway raised a glass. “Absent friends,” he said.

“Absent friends,” said the other three, members of one of the smallest clubs in the Universe, and one to which Molloy would not, apparently, be applying for membership.

They called themselves the Survivors Club. Each of them were unknown, forgettable faces, and each of them, at some time, had beamed down to some planet with Kirk, Spock and Bones, and had survived.

They were like mayflies who had lived into a second day.

Each of them had been filled with joy when they had been posted to the Enterprise. They had dreams of exploring strange new worlds, and of seeking out new life and new civilisations. Each of them also secretly dreamed of a planet populated solely by fantastically beautiful and lonely females, who would enslave them, because that‘s just the way men are.

The reality had been different. They had indeed explored strange new worlds, but only ones from which some Starfleet beacon had suddenly ceased to broadcast, or from which there was a strange energy reading, or which had fired missiles at them. Anyone with any common sense would have avoided such planets like the plague (oh, some of the planets had contained the plague), but Kirk was attracted to them like a toddler to a shiny object, and would always decide to send down a landing party, generally of about four people, all with phasers set on stun. Once there they would invariably meet huge gorilla-like creatures, or balls of pure gas, or beings whose staple diet was human brains, despite the fact that these beings had never met a human before.

None of these species ever had their weapons set on stun. We seem to be the only ones in the Galaxy to have heard of such a setting.

And on each of these daft forays Kirk would bring one unknown crewman, ostensibly for them to gain experience but in practice because he had learned that they acted as talismans, warding off evil from Kirk by attracting it to themselves.

Some had been melted, some vaporised, one turned inside-out, one turned into a pillar of snot and one accidentally squished on his wedding night to some creature five times his size.

The crew of 500 which had left Earth now stood at 122. People were working double shifts, or forsaking time off. Several jobs were no longer being done. The food replicators had not been serviced for over six months, and now produced only salt-and-vinegar crisps.

But these four were The Survivors, though at some cost to each of them. Browne had had an organ harvested, but luckily by a race interested only in appendixes. Harvey’s head now faced the other way. DeSilva had lost all of his body hair, but it was fine, he was Brazilian.

Conway was the doyen of the group, the wonder kid. Not only had he been unknown and unheard of when he beamed down to some stupid rock, but in addition he had had only two days to go to retirement. Spock, had he been asked, would have calculated the odds of his survival at 2.326 million to one, but here he was, though he was now part man, part petunia, thanks to some weird pollen disease on the planet.

The four were still in the bar, each silently thinking about those not as lucky as them, when the door schwooshed open and Molloy came in.

“You’ve survived!” said Conway.

“Sure did,” said Molloy. “you won’t believe this, guys, but the planet is full of fantastically beautiful and lonely females. They want to enslave us.”

“Are we leaving orbit?” asked deSilva.

“Not exactly,” said Molloy, “There’s a queue at the transporters two hundred yards long.”

And so it was that the unseen, unsung, unknown heroes of the Enterprise fulfilled their greatest dream. The females enslaved them. They made them mow the grass, put up shelves and take their feet down off the coffee table.

Sometimes you have to be careful what you wish for.

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