ST: CITADEL - "A Still More Glorious Dawn" (DONE)

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ST: CITADEL - "A Still More Glorious Dawn" (DONE)

Postby AdmiralSirJohn » Wed May 11, 2011 10:05 pm

Here's a teaser...

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Re: ST: CITADEL - "A Still More Glorious Dawn"

Postby AdmiralSirJohn » Tue May 24, 2011 11:42 pm

And the first couple of scenes:

STAR TREK
CITADEL
“A Still More Glorious Dawn”
By John H. Harris

Ensign Grace Tapper looked out the window of the tiny crew quarters on the ancient freighter.

At least, it seemed ancient. Even though it had been overhauled a number of times, the DMS R.H. Jackson was nearly seventy years old. The last of the old Antares-class freighters, the ship had originally been built as a Starfleet high-security transport/tug, a duty which the vessel was once again undertaking, though the security wasn’t quite as high.

No, Grace thought, just me, one little biochemist fresh out of the Academy. Still wet behind the ears. And it’s not the starship duty I’d hoped to get.

Still, they said it was a plum assignment. She'd be in charge of solving a mystery that made the planet they were approaching a target for the Tzenkethi. Already, there had been one minor battle fought over the planet, and Starfleet had accepted an offer to jointly administer what would eventually become a full Starbase.

She’d read the briefing on the Intarans that Starfleet provided her. At first, she couldn’t wrap her mind around an entire species that had embraced such an unhealthy lifestyle as obesity, but she’d come to accept it, in time. The cultural specialists from the First Contact Office had been quite enlightening. It was rare to see such large humans, since nearly all of the causes of obesity had been addressed, either medically or culturally. Of course, there were a number of still untreatable medical conditions that produced obesity as a symptom, and the FCO team were examples of just such conditions.

“Hey, Grace! We need you on the bridge,” came the voice of the freighter’s cargomaster, who had doubled as an informal cruise director during the voyage out from New Fabrina. “Grace, to the bridge, please.”

Nothing was very far from anything on board the old freighter, so it took under three minutes for Grace to reach the small bridge.

“What’s up, Captain?” she asked as the turbolift deposited her there.

The captain turned from his place at the flight control console. “I thought I told you to call me Pete?”

“Sorry, force of habit.”

Pete chuckled. “We just got word from Gwalior. Citadel is having an ionizing thunderstorm.”

“That shouldn’t be a problem, should it?”

“Not normally, but there’s a lot of rubidium in the ground that the city is built on,” Joey, the ship’s unofficial science officer, informed her. “Any lightning strikes while you’re beaming, and –”

“And it could generate a subspace pulse that would scramble my pattern.”

“At least until they get the transporter center up and running,” Pete continued. “The forecast calls for pop-up storms over the next three days, so alternative transport has been arranged.”

“What kind? Shuttle?”

“No, you’ll still be beaming down, but it’ll be to Kravitz, about a day out from Citadel.”

“So how do I get to Citadel?” Grace asked.

Pete held out a sheet of flimsiplast. “Rail ticket. We upgraded you to business class.”

“Maglev?”

“Not this route. The maglevs were booked.”

“As long as it gets me there…”



Grace materialized outside a small brick building, emblazoned with the rail company’s logo. For a medium-sized city, it seemed quite small, but if the Academy had taught her anything, it was that size could be misleading. With that thought firmly in her mind, she shifted the personal gear case on her shoulder and walked through the glass doors, which parted at her approach.

The building’s interior was just as the exterior suggested. About half of it was waiting area, while the ticket office and waste disposal filled the rest. Needless to say, the amenities were sparse, but Grace didn’t pay it much mind as she stepped up to the sales window.

“Good morning!” the woman behind the counter said, a cheerful smile on her face. “How may I help you?”

“I’m Ensign Tapper, from Starfleet,” Grace answered, pulling out the flimsiplast printout. “I believe I have a reservation.”

“Oh, yes, you do. We were informed that the storms over Citadel were playing havoc with those new transporters. I guess these older trains aren’t as obsolete as we feared, eh?”

“Apparently not. Do I need to check in or anything?”

“No, just head out to the platform. The train should be arriving in about five minutes.”

“Thank you.”



True to the woman’s word, the train did arrive about five minutes later. It was an old fuel cell-electric engine pulling six cars, the last of which was labeled café/business. It reminded Grace of the old TGV or ICE trains that crisscrossed Europe in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, before the tracks were converted to maglev.

A remarkably thin (for an Intaran) conductor met her on the platform. His skin was quite dark, but his smile was as bright as the twinkle that must have been in her own eyes when she graduated from the Academy.

“Good morning, Ensign. Heading to Citadel today?”

Grace was momentarily taken aback that the man knew her rank, but she quickly recovered and gave the conductor a brilliant smile to match his own.
“That’s right. Apparently, the maglev trains were all booked, and flights are grounded by the storms.”

“Well, then you’re lucky we run this old legacy train. It might not get you there as fast, but it’ll get you there in style. Climb aboard and sit wherever you like.”

“Thank you.”

As with most of Intaran society, the train car was built for much heavier people. Thus, the leather seat Grace lowered herself into was more like a throne, with several inches of space available to her.

“Don’t you just love these old trains?” a woman seated across the aisle asked.

“I wouldn’t know, Ma’am,” Grace answered. “This is my first time on one, though it does remind me of an excursion train I once rode on Earth.”

“Interesting. You’re in Starfleet, right?”

“That’s right.”

“What is it you do?”

“I’m a biochemist. I’ll be working on identifying the compound in your food that reacts with various physiologies. Hopefully, we can find a way to neutralize it without affecting any of the indigenous life-form physiologies. We’ve done it on Earth with compounds like nicotine.”

“So you’ll be working with Dr. Meav?”

“Excuse me, who?”

“Jarre Meav. He’s a biochemist at Citadel University.”

“Oh. They didn’t tell me who I’d be working with.”

“Well, I’d be surprised if you didn’t. He’s been on a lot of the update channels lately talking about how our plants affect different species.”

“Interesting.”

A moment later, the train began moving, and the conductor appeared at the doorway that separated the business class area from the café. “Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome aboard the Continental Runner. As you are in business class, there are some complimentary items available. On this trip, we have soft drinks and some snacks, while the rest is available the Intaran way, meaning you must pay… that is, except for our Federation guest. Starfleet has already arranged payment for anything you’d like, Ensign. In fact, is there anything I can get you?”

“To be honest, I’ve never tried any of your food.”

“Well, then, come right up and see if there’s anything that looks good to you. We even have a few of those Fauxbars you folks like.”

“Oh, well, in that case, I think I’ll have one of those and some water.”


I'm basing the train trip on my own travel between Buffalo and New York this last two Fridays. There will even be a tragic delay...
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Re: ST: CITADEL - "A Still More Glorious Dawn"

Postby CamSPD » Tue May 24, 2011 11:54 pm

A nice little introduction so far.
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Re: ST: CITADEL - "A Still More Glorious Dawn"

Postby AdmiralSirJohn » Tue May 24, 2011 11:56 pm

Yeah, I figured I'd start at the "bottom of the totem pole"...
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Re: ST: CITADEL - "A Still More Glorious Dawn"

Postby amehatrekkie » Wed May 25, 2011 12:56 am

cool stuff dude :/
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Re: ST: CITADEL - "A Still More Glorious Dawn"

Postby AdmiralSirJohn » Wed Jun 01, 2011 8:03 pm

Here's another short scene, inspired by watching Large, Dangerous Rocket Ships:

They were forty minutes behind schedule by the time they reached Fourton, but the lady seated across the aisle from Grace reassured her that it wasn’t unusual for legacy trains, which shared tracks with various freight lines. Unlike the maglev lines, freight took precedence on the ground-level tracks.

“Of course, even the maglev trains will be running slow in this weather,” she added. “The magnetic fields tend to attract lightning.”

“It sounds like you folks could use a weather modification network,” Grace remarked before taking a sip of tanzila.

“Oh, I don’t know about that. Most people I know rather enjoy unpredictable weather.”

“I guess I’m just used to knowing what the weather will be.”

“I’m sure we will, too, as new technology is introduced.”

Jackson to Tapper.”

Grace tapped her commbadge. “Tapper here. Go ahead.”

“How’s your ride, Grace?” Pete’s voice asked.

“Not bad. We’re about forty minutes behind schedule, but I’ve been informed that’s not unusual for legacy trains like this.”

“Glad to hear it. Just wanted to let you know that we found something of yours that you forgot.”

Grace wondered what the freighter captain was talking about, but then it occurred to her. “Nibbles! How could I have forgotten him?”

“Do you want us to beam him down to your quarters?”

“Have they cleared transporter use?”

“Not yet… Hang on a second. Sharon says she can beam it onto the train with you.”

“That’ll work.”

There was genuine mirth in the captain’s voice as he said, “Hold out your hand.”

“I think you’ll like this,” Grace said, holding out her hand. “Energize when ready.”

As the entire business class looked on, there was a smear of quantum glitter that ended in Grace’s out-held hand and formed itself into a life-size plush kitten wearing a century-old Starfleet uniform. “Got him! Thanks, guys!”

“Anytime, Grace. By the way, the cargo shuttle pilots are reporting major turbulence. There’s even been some damage due to it.”

“Good thing I’m taking the train, then.”

“Indeed. Jackson out.”

As a round of applause filled the car, Grace hugged Nibbles.


More to come...
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Re: ST: CITADEL - "A Still More Glorious Dawn"

Postby captainuniverse » Wed Jun 01, 2011 8:56 pm

Nice, John. I love the idea of a kitten in Starfleet uniform. :/
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Re: ST: CITADEL - "A Still More Glorious Dawn"

Postby AdmiralSirJohn » Wed Jun 01, 2011 9:12 pm

Yup. Somebody will have to do a manip now. I've seen plenty of teddy bears, but no plush cats...
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Re: ST: CITADEL - "A Still More Glorious Dawn"

Postby AdmiralSirJohn » Wed Jun 01, 2011 9:25 pm

Here's a page about the current Nibbles: http://astrocatrocketry.com/
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Re: ST: CITADEL - "A Still More Glorious Dawn"

Postby CamSPD » Wed Jun 01, 2011 10:24 pm

While I wouldn't mind a seeing a cat or a dog in a Trek uniform, I still very much love my little James Tibearius Kirk, this stuffed teddy bear I got in the Paramount store at King's Island.
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Re: ST: CITADEL - "A Still More Glorious Dawn"

Postby AdmiralSirJohn » Fri Jun 03, 2011 10:55 am

Here's the next part:

The train stopped two hours outside Citadel, and the conductor appeared at the door to the café a few seconds later.

“Sorry, folks. It looks like we’re going to be stuck here for a while. There’s been an incident at one of the crossings up ahead.”

“What sort of incident?” one of the passengers asked.

“Officially, we’re supposed to say only that there’s an obstruction on the tracks, but you folks deserve the truth. Apparently, a pedestrian has been struck and killed. He tried to beat a freight train, and didn’t notice the passenger train coming the other way.”

There were the expected reactions from the Intarans, and Grace grimaced herself, imagining the injuries the person must have suffered.

“Any idea how long we’ll be stopped?” another passenger asked.

“A couple of hours, probably,” the conductor answered. “The police have to investigate, and the rail police, and then they have to clean up the pieces. Not to mention the crew, especially the engineer.

“We had a fatality on a train I worked some years ago, and the engineer went through every emotion known in a matter of seconds. I had to keep asking if he was all right.”

“I assume you have counselors available?” Grace asked.

“Yes. It’s mandatory now, and counseling is available for the passengers, as well.”

Grace nodded. “We have similar regulations in Starfleet.”

Changing the subject, the conductor nodded at Nibbles. “What’s that? It looks sort of like a Tzenkethi.”

“This is Nibbles,” Grace answered, holding the toy out for inspection. “I’ve had him since I was a little girl. He’s based on a Terran domestic cat.”

“What’s he wearing?”

“It’s a captain’s uniform from last century. The insignia is from the Exeter group. Back then, each fleet group had its own symbol, and was named for the flagship, but after James T. Kirk made the Enterprise famous, Starfleet as a whole adopted its group’s insignia.”

“Interesting.”

“Is Starfleet still organized that way?” another of the passengers asked.

“No. It’s organized into fleets now. A lot of the big ships carry on the names of those old ships, and they commonly serve as flagships, but there’s no hard and fast rule that they have to. For instance, the current Enterprise is officially Starfleet’s overall flagship, but it usually operates alone.”

“What about the Marshal Martz, Captain Harris’ ship?”

“To be honest, I’m not really familiar with that ship. All I do know is that the Nottingham class is designed as a deep-range explorer. They’re the ones that go way out there.”

“That’s something I could never really wrap my mind around,” another of the Intarans remarked. “Why do you do it? What makes you leave everything behind and head off into the dangerous unknown?”

Grace looked around at the big folks, thinking over exactly how to answer the man’s question.

“Four hundred years ago, there was a man named Carl Sagan. He was an astronomer with a great vision. He once said, ‘A still more glorious dawn awaits. Not a sunrise, but a galaxy rise. A morning filled with four hundred billion suns. The rising of the Milky Way.’ I want to see that more glorious dawn, or, if not me, my children... or yours. And that's why I do it. That’s why a lot of us do it. In fact, there’s a name for it. It’s called Le Rêve d’Etoiles.

“What does that mean?” the conductor asked. “Your translation device didn’t change it.”

“That’s because the Universal Translator recognized it as a proper noun, like a name. It comes from the French language, from Earth. Literally translated, it means The Dream of Stars.”



The train stayed motionless for close to an hour, waiting for the authorities to conduct their preliminary investigation and clear the tracks.

Finally, the conductor came back again.

“They’ve cleared the trains to proceed, so we should be moving again in a few minutes.”

“It made the local updates,” one of the passengers near the front of the compartment remarked, holding up a data tablet. “They’re saying it was a high school kid.”

“Yeah, that’s what we’re hearing, too,” the conductor answered. “We’ll be limited as to how fast we can go for a while. Since an emergency stop was done, all trains will be speed limited until they can check the tracks. That’ll put us even farther behind, I’m afraid, so you should all probably contact whoever will meet you and let them know.”

As others heaved sighs and pulled various personal communication devices from pockets and bags, Grace tapped her commbadge. “Tapper to Gwalior.”

“This is FOB Gwalior communications. Sergeant Ilon. Go ahead.”

“This is Ensign Grace Tapper. I’m aboard a legacy train heading to Citadel. There have been some delays that has put us quite a bit behind schedule. Are there any instructions for me?”

“One moment, Ensign. Let me check.” There was the sound of a series of computer input beeps before the sergeant returned. “Operations has been advised, Ma’am. At this time, they advise that you continue as originally planned. Your duty check-in isn’t until tomorrow morning, in any case. We’ll have ground transport waiting whenever you get in.”

“Understood. Thank you, Sergeant. Tapper out.”

“It’s nice to know the military isn’t completely heartless, isn’t it?” the lady across the aisle remarked.

“My orders said as soon as possible rather than specifying a specific date, so I have some flexibility. I notice you didn’t call anyone.”

“Oh, I run my own business, so there’s really nobody to call. They’ll manage without me.”

“What is it you do?”

“I’m a chef. Me and my grandsons run a little place in Citadel. In fact, I’d love to talk about your favorite dishes. I’m hoping to be able to adapt some alien recipes.”

“I’d love to. There was this great place in a city called New Orleans that a lot of us went to, back when we were at the Academy. The best thing they made there was Broccoli Crawfish Cheese Soup.”

“Crawfish? I’ve never heard of that.”

“It’s a type of shellfish that lives in fresh water.”

“Interesting. I’ll have to do a bit of research and find something with a similar taste.”

“You know, I never got your name.”

“Oh, just call me Nana. Everyone does.”


*Note: As stated above, the pedestrian fatality was based on an actual event on May 20.

http://www.wgrz.com/news/local/story.as ... yid=122104 is a story from one of the Buffalo TV stations about the event.

More to come.
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Re: ST: CITADEL - "A Still More Glorious Dawn"

Postby amehatrekkie » Fri Jun 03, 2011 11:26 am

i like the story


when i was HS, a kid my age tried to beat a train....and died, so i'm sure that has happened somewhere in the US at one time or another....
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Re: ST: CITADEL - "A Still More Glorious Dawn"

Postby AdmiralSirJohn » Fri Jun 03, 2011 11:29 am

Yeah. The conductor's words in the story about having a fatality on a train he worked were almost verbatim what the conductor on my train said at the time.
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Re: ST: CITADEL - "A Still More Glorious Dawn"

Postby amehatrekkie » Fri Jun 03, 2011 11:36 am

AdmiralSirJohn wrote:Yeah. The conductor's words in the story about having a fatality on a train he worked were almost verbatim what the conductor on my train said at the time.


were u on the train or a friend?
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Re: ST: CITADEL - "A Still More Glorious Dawn"

Postby AdmiralSirJohn » Fri Jun 03, 2011 11:45 am

I was on a following train. If I hadn't changed the train I was going to return home on to a later one, I'd have been on the train that hit the kid.
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