Encounter at Far Point Bronson

Captain’s Log, Stardate 091518

We’ve arrived at the edges of Federation space, transiting through the Dakotas into Northern Minnesota. It is a strange sight to watch the last of the stars slip off the bow and then stare into a featureless void. Gravitational currents of unknown origin pull on Discovery’s hull as we cross the emptiness. A lone cargo ship hurtles by out of the murk. Smugglers? Arms dealers? No one has cause to be in this desolate place.

Rumors abound of what we’ll encounter. Myths and legends of a prosperous world with free Medical Bays and oddly polite inhabitants have drawn some to explore, but we’ve come to uncover the truth.

Deeper in, and the dark void turned into a uniform grayness. Science Officer Alfie suggested microwaves and I found it a brilliant explanation. That primordial radiation accumulated and thrown outward in the big bang – perhaps we’d reached the edge of the expansion and we could solve one of the universe’s biggest cosmological mysteries…

“No, he’s staring at the microwave,” my first officer offered. “Your lunch is ready.”

Right.

What seemed like months of travel with our engines pushing maximum warp, we finally spotted an anomaly on the sensors. A band of color cut through the middle of the empty, grey of our view screen. Asteroid belt? An oddly shaped nebula? As the view screen filled, we tried to gather as much data as possible and at great peril.

viewscreen

Gravitational swells and meteor showers pummeled the hull for days. The debris suggested this land was once inhabited, but by whom? And where have their settlements, their outposts gone?

Scanners indicated the strange celestial body to be solid enough to bring Discovery in for  a landing and we found a spot between golden, feathery growths. These impossible, vibrant formations covered the horizon. Golds, reds, and their combinations in a rich ocher coated the landscape.

“We’ve done it,” I muttered. “We’ve found Fall.”

We would hold off on our official report however until further research had been done. Such news ireaching the home port of Texas would likely not go over well. Jealous officers refuting our claim. Angry protests. Riots. We had to be certain.

Our science officer eagerly sniffed the air and declared the environment hospitable. Class M, so far out on the fringes, it was a miracle. And we were all alone.

Or so we thought…

During the bombardments, Discovery suffered a hull breach near the forward communications array. As Captain, I offered to undertake the dangerous mission of fixing the breach. Halfway through my climb, I stopped.

Not far off the port aft was another ship. Scanners had indicated no other vessels. But before I could alert the bridge, the ship vanished. Derelict or ghost ship, I couldn’t know. Or perhaps this strange planet was playing tricks on my mind. I’d need to visit medical, but first, the breach.

Hull patched, I began the perilous descent and once again froze on the ladder. She’d returned. The ghost ship. Only this time, she closed the distance.

I checked twice, rubbing my eyes to be certain. It looked so familiar. The champagne and taupe stripes on the hull, the large retractable nacelle…

The ship was…us???

To Be Continued…

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