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Rescue Plan


Mrs P

Attention, please,
It's me again,
With yet another story.
A tale of conflict in the Fleet,
And squabbles over glory.

Through the doors of Fleet Headquarters, down the corridors of power
Came an unexpected Starship delegation.
With one notable exception, came the captains of the Fleet
To complain at biased duty allocation.
They were tired of coming second, every time adventure beckoned,
Of the routine, boring nature of their work.
They'd prepared a signed petition, with a list of every mission
Bringing honour and prestige to James T. Kirk.

They complained of dull assignments while the Enterprise saved worlds,
Of shipping freight while Kirk and Co had fun.
Of charting endless star maps while a certain ship sailed out,
Returning every time with medals won.
They expressed their deep frustration at the lack of exploration,
Described their low morale and mental strain.
And confirmed the rumoured story that the quest for fame and glory
Was the reason Starship captains went insane.

They recalled poor Garth of Izar, Matthew Decker's sad demise,
And Captain Tracey's mad immortal plan,
And the tale of Captain Merrick and his Roman Empire hopes,
And Lester's strange attempt to be a man.
When these tragic souls recruited they'd appeared ideally suited
To a life of noble deeds in Fleet Command.
But when sent on Starfleet missions they'd pursued their own ambitions,
And power crazy schemes got out of hand.

The Powers that Be were shaken by the cries of discontent,
Complaints that Starfleet rules were quite unfair.
It really was coincidence that when they needed help,
The Starship Enterprise was always there.
The other crews were able; if their Captains' minds were stable,
To deal with threatened planet-wide disaster.
They needn't feel dejected at the honours Kirk collected,
Or the fact his crew solved problems so much faster.

The delegation named their price, demanding equal work,
An equal share of fame for equal pay.
An equal share of glory for each Starship in the Fleet,
An equal chance to bravely save the day.
They advised the Federation to give consideration
To treating all its Starship crews alike.
If one ship's five year mission grabbed all the recognition
Twelve like it in the Fleet would go on strike!

Thus followed many frantic hours while Starfleet heads conferred,
And plans to solve the crisis were defined.
They allocated daring quests to those who longed for fame,
And all prestigious tasks were reassigned.
They had to take quick action to ease dissatisfaction,
They could not risk a Fleet reduced to one.
The ships were redirected but they carelessly neglected
To tell the Enterprise what they had done.

Our noble ship had carried out her latest daring quest,
A tyrant overthrown, a planet saved.
A peaceful new addition to the Federation's ranks,
And freedom for a people long enslaved.
We had time for recreation, shipwide rest and relaxation,
While waiting for our next exciting mission.
Alas we had no notion of the Fleet HQ commotion,
The Federation's difficult position.

In blissful, peaceful ignorance the Enterprise sailed on,
Quite unaware of imminent distress.
The sound of Bantu star songs filled the recreation lounge,
Where Kirk and Mr Spock were playing chess.
The Doctor watched their movements, suggesting some improvements,
A master at the art of Vulcan-baiting.
His greatest satisfaction was in watching Spock's reaction
For signs of Vulcan poise disintegrating.

The Scottish engineer relaxed with technical reports,
The helmsman found new hobbies to pursue.
As yeoman to the Captain I found time to sort his shirts,
He'd recently ripped holes in one or two.
We cruised the Starfleet borders, awaiting further orders,
Prepared for yet another daring trip.
But no transmission sought us, no word from Fleet Headquarters,
No sight nor sound of any other ship.

James Kirk became impatient at the lack of Fleet response,
Desire for action heightened day by day.
The Vulcan was instructed to increase the scanners' range,
To clarify the reason for delay.
After hours of concentration he passed on the information
Confirming that the ship was quite alone.
Until reallocated, the Enterprise was fated
To endlessly patrol the Neutral Zone.

So days of forced inaction passed, the Enterprise sailed on
Her endless, uneventful star patrol.
The steel-like nerves of crewmen snapped, the atmosphere grew tense,
As dull routine and boredom took its toll.
Then came the unexpected, a beacon was detected.
A standard Fleet distress buoy came in view.
Its message was unloaded and carefully decoded,
An urgent plea for help from Fleet HQ.

"Attention, Captain James T. Kirk," the message tape began,
"Your expertise is needed at the double!
We've sent your Starship colleagues out on enterprising tasks
And need your help to get them out of trouble.
They wanted satisfaction, more pieces of the action,
The higher profile jobs they felt they'd earned.
We therefore reassigned them, but now we cannot find them.
All contact lost, no single ship returned."

"Department heads to briefing room!" the Captain's call rang out,
"Prepare for yet another daring trip.
A mission from Headquarters, they`ve mislaid the Fleet en masse,
Our orders are to seek out every ship.
With some useful information on each vessel's destination
A conference began without delay.
With new worlds to be discovered, and the Fleet to be recovered,
The Enterprise was boldly on her way.

We first set out for Janus VI, one ship had been involved
In checking out suspected sabotage,
Investigating rumours from a mining colony
That tunnel roaming monsters were at large.
Kirk assessed the situation and arranged a confrontation.
Demands to "kill the creature" were ignored.
Spock melded with the Horta, the Doctor healed with mortar,
And peaceful co-existence was restored.

We then sought out a second ship, the last HQ had heard
Her captain had ignored a warning buoy,
And faced an unknown vessel of enormous size and power
Whose single aim in life was to destroy.
We approached the known position of the starship's last transmission
Uhura tried all frequencies to raise her.
I guessed before we finished ship wide power would be diminished,
So practised heating coffee with my phaser.

With poker-face and Corbomite, our Captain stood his ground,
Ignoring Vulcan pleas to stick to chess.
He bluffed his way through threats of death to find his foe at last,
A tiny one man vessel in distress.
We offered our assistance, and met with no resistance.
Our action meant we'd passed a vital test.
With rescue bid completed and new found ally greeted,
We left behind a crewman as his guest.

The third ship, so our briefing went, had saved from certain death
A trader, known as Harcourt Fenton Mudd.
When chaos and catastrophe developed in his wake
Our Captain, all too clearly, understood.
No rehabilitation could alter Mudd`s vocation;
An interstellar nuisance all his life.
But Kirk had ammunition to threaten Mudd's position,
The help of Harry's dear devoted wife.

The fourth beleaguered Starship team had met their Waterloo,
While shipping tons of high-grade hybrid wheat.
They'd clashed with shore leave Klingons and introduced a pest
Which lived to eat and breed (and bred to eat).
Instead of multiplying, these furry hordes were dying.
McCoy found deadly poison in the grain.
The evil plot was thwarted, all tribble guests transported,
To join their friends, the Klingons, once again.

The ultimate computer game had crippled three more ships;
The Daystrom M5 unit running wild.
Instead of crew replacements as expected Daystrom had
Created an unstable, lethal child.
Our timely intervention gained M5's full attention,
We showed how many crewmen could have died.
Its circuits in confusion thus produced the sad conclusion;
Its only course of action - suicide.

The eighth crew deep in trouble had beamed inside a world
Where age-old living entities were stored.
Who occupied the bodies of three willing volunteers,
Until they made their own ones back on board.
Compared to spheres of plastic, real bodies felt fantastic,
They did not want the androids they'd designed.
We found a way of stopping this spate of body swapping
When Spock and Christine Chapel shared one mind.

We paused for crew rebriefing, then sought out Starship nine,
Entangled in a tale of ancient Greece.
Enforced to serve Apollo, the last remaining god,
And live a simple peasant life of peace.
Kirk's answer was inspired, a yeoman was attired
In gravity-defying chiffon gown.
She gained the god's devotion and set the wheels in motion
To bring the last of Mount Olympus down.

The tenth unlucky Starship had shared the Archons' fate,
The Body had absorbed them one by one.
They now existed peacefully in harmony and love,
Their thirst for exploration sadly gone.
The source of all transmissions confirmed our worst suspicions;
Another damned computer in control!
Reducing smart machinery to bits of molten scenery
Achieved a certain Captain's lifelong goal.

Eleventh on our rescue bid, we found a stricken crew
With fever and no antidote in sight.
We had to find a planet source abundant in a drug,
To ease our ailing comrades stricken plight.
A cure was soon detected and Kirk found (as expected)
A blonde and brainy android, Flint designed.
His amorous flirtations caused fatal complications,
The pain of indecision blew her mind.

The end of our crusade in sight, we reached the final ship,
Its life support was fading by the hour.
A vast one-celled creation used energy for food
And slowly drained the ship and crew of power.
If this bringer of destruction considered reproduction,
Catastrophe and countless deaths would follow.
Kirk stopped the infestation, prescribed some medication;
An anti-matter pill it couldn't swallow.

Back to Fleet Headquarters, the Enterprise returned,
Twelve battered grateful Starships in her wake.
Their captains, and the Powers That Be, apologised to Kirk,
Acknowledged the extent of their mistake.
The lesson would be heeded, whenever help was needed
For future wild adventures out in space.
One Starship`s five year mission was back in top position.
Twelve like her in the Fleet now knew their place.

This merely goes to prove a point,
You won't find too surprising.
Solutions to such discontent
Are always Enterprising


Copyright Mrs P