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Unwinding at last

Posted on Sun Aug 11th, 2019 @ 3:16pm by Captain Colby Drayton

Mission: Episode 8: A Greater Power
Location: Captain's Quarters
Timeline: Day 179 at 2350

The hour was late and the only source of illumination in the Captain’s quarters was that of the stars out beyond the hull of his ship. Oh, and the data PADD he held for late night reading. It was hard to switch off at the best of times, but after recent events he had really struggled to find the time to unwind, to the point that he had to order the bridge to not contact him unless there was an emergency or some update on the personnel transfers that would be arriving any day now.

With his newfound time, the Captain found himself laying in bed, a hot chocolate in one hand and a data PADD in the other. On the PADD, a whole list of news articles from the Federation News Service, articles that would help him get updated on what had been happening around the alpha quadrant and beyond. He could have opted for a novel, a classic like Shakespeare or Stephen King but, aside from the fact he actually wanted to sleep at some point, he wasn’t one for long winded books. He rarely had the time to sit and finish them, so it seemed pointless getting engrossed in them anymore. No, a few short stories about the galaxy would be perfect right now.

The first article he had read was about the Denobulan Dodgers Ice Hockey team and how they were set to face the Antaran Athletes after a rousing victory in the first division of the Galactic Ice Hockey Tournament. The action was ramping up at the tournament as the Denobulan Dodgers were off to a flying start after topping their first division and set to face old enemies in the next game. Losing only one of their games in the group – their game against The Gallant Grazites – the team missed a last-minute goal, making the score 2-1 in favour of the Grazites. The loss was a shock to everyone, apparently, as they were last in the group with the one game to go. Sadly, the Grazerites stayed in last position but showed performance to be proud of for their fans.

According to the article, other teams in the league displayed rousing feats of power as well. The Blessed Bajorans came second. While they didn’t lose any matches, they drew two and only won the singular game, coming in position behind the Denobulan Dodgers by only a couple of points. In third was the Haliian Heroes. They lost all their games bar one against the Gallant Grazities, which came in at 4-1. Their opponent came in dead last, losing all their games bar the surprising win over the Denobulan Dodgers, and coming in under the Haliians due to scoring fewer goals in the group. They only managed the three goals by full-time – two against the Denobulans, and the one against the Haliians – they failed to score against the Bajoran team, thrashed 7-0 by the unit from Bajor.

The highest scoring match in the group was the Denobulan Dodgers vs. Blessed Bajoran match, culminating in a thrilling 8-9 win for the Denobulan Dodgers. Every fan in the stadium was up on their feet for almost the whole match. It was quite something to watch, or so the article claimed.

The Captain had briefly watched one of the linked interviews from members of the Denobulan team and couldn’t help but feel excited for them. “My guys and gals did amazing out there,” commented Captain Arax – of the Denobulan Dodgers – how she felt about her team’s success in the group. “I’m extremely proud of them and I know that they did our planet and people just as proud.”

Receiving the “Denobulan of the Match”, Krez Carlson scored four of the nine goals against the Blessed Bajorans. A Denobulan Human Hybrid, Carlson was permitted to play for the team due to his Denobulan heritage.

“It’s an amazing feeling,” top goal scorer Carlson had added, regarding his performance in the matches. “I’m just happy I can show off how much we’ve developed as a team since the last tournament. We didn’t do too well then and we’ve all been training almost day and night for the past three months for this. So yeah, it’s amazing!”

The Denobulan Dodgers would next play the Antaran Athletes in the next stage of the competition following their decisive victory in their group. According to the author of the article, the game was set to be an interesting one due to the history between the two species. Drayton had made a note to try and catch it if he could.

He’d only glanced at the next article, although he’d made a mental note to tell Idra about it when she arrived. The next series of the Galactic Bake Off was to be filmed on Ferenginar. Ferenginar of all places! Entrants from Qo’nos and Earth were to be joined by a Talaxian, Romulans, Cardassians, and Bajorans in an epic struggle to win the grand title of Galactic Bake Off Champion. The competition was rapidly building for this year’s Galactic Bake Off. Ever resourceful, the Bake Off team had apparently thrown in extra challenges. Zero-G baking and assimilation baking were on top of the list.

Though Zero-G baking speaks for itself, he was relieved when it pointed out that no Borg were used in the assimilation heat. The simple rule being that their creation had to be baked and assimilated into another recipe, creating a whole new recipe.

“Today is a good day to fry!” reportedly exclaimed the great Klingon chef Krohong Juc. No, time to skip the rest of that article, the Captain had decided.

The next article on the list had piqued his curiosity far more than the Ferenginar-based baking contest. The Federation Cultural Society had supposedly named Andoria as the “Best Planet to Visit”

According to the article, the Federation Cultural Society had announced the Andorian homeworld as the winner of their annual travel contest. Once each year, the Federation Cultural Society featured a system that is often overlooked or underestimated as a vacation spot. In the past, they had focused on such diverse locales as Cestus III and Nimbus, the Planet of Galactic Peace. This year’s spotlight went to what many have called the “Icy Jewel” – Andoria!

Reading on, the Captain nodded and smirked as he took in the words on the PADD. ‘Don’t let its frosty reputation fool you,’ the author wrote. ‘The Andorians are a warm and welcoming people. You are sure to find an abundance of rest and relaxation at this travel destination among the stars.’ Andoria? A place for rest and relaxation? That was something he had never considered, but maybe next year he’d head there to watch the Galactic Ice Hockey tournament he had read about earlier.

The Andorian system, also known as the Kay’va system, is located in the Beta Quadrant within Sector 006. The homeworld of the blue-skinned Andorians was actually a moon orbiting a ringed gas giant which made for outstanding visuals in the clear night skies. The planet has a long and storied history but has flourished since its people helped birth the Federation as a founding member. The rotational period of the world is 32 hours – a bit longer than the Federation standard. But the Federation Cultural Society believes that will only allow for more daylight to enjoy the sights on this cool planet. Blah, blah, BLAH!

Speaking of “cool” – definitely pack your thermal jacket. The surface temperatures stay well below zero centigrade, though rare heatwaves can send the temperature soaring above this. Because of low temperatures, most settlements are located in subterranean tunnels and caves. A true winter wonderland!

“No shit,” the Captain smirked as he shook his head and decided that enough was enough. Putting the PADD face down on the table beside his bed, the Captain placed his glass of hot chocolate down too and snuggled under his duvet and, almost effortlessly for once, drifted off to sleep.

It would be the last time for a while that sleep would come so naturally…

…if only he had known that when he had set his alarm for the early hours of the morning.

 

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