Star Trek: Defiant

"The Planet of Professor Migalito" - Part One

Written by Takila "Mak" Shuriik


Captain Jeffrey Bridges sat in the "big chair" gazing at the lush green planet on the viewscreen. Though they weren't an explorer ship like the Voyager, the U.S.S. Defiant roamed space keeping an eye on things -- and, if necessary, preventing particularly weird things from happening. Of course it wasn't the standard issue "big chair" as sat upon by standard Captains, it was a specially designed "hover chair" to accommodate the needs of a slightly less than ambulatory, but still a pretty darn tough Starfleet Captain.

"Readings, Mr. Lebin", he requested. The young officer instantly obeyed as they are so often want to do because that's really what they did: take orders, building up enough of them so one day they might hope to cash them in for a really big chair of their own.

"Class M designation. Indications of four hemispheres corresponding to the atmosphereic conditions of: jungle, desert, arctic zone and temperate zone, Sir."

"Life forms?" Bridges inquired. Rule number two in 'How to be a Starship Captain -- the Digest Version': Always ask for a life form reading.

Lebin was highly tempted to begin singing a song about "lovely little lifeforms," but opted against it. "Abundant, Captain. However specific readings are puzzling. They seem to be fluctuating." Sigh. Protocol was so tedious.

"How so?"

"Lockable readings are impossible. It is as if the exact natures of the life forms are shifting before the sensors can get an adequate reading."

"A planet of shapeshifters?" Oh, God, not the Dominion, he thought. Well, a few were ok, like Constable Odo on DS9 and the ship's own Security Chief, Jen Matute. What a coincidence that they were both Starfleet.

"No, not as such. These organisms don't exhibit any coalescent qualitites suggesting the ability to completely restructure themselves. These creatures seem more of a combination of two or more genetically diverse templates. That could explain why sensors can't get a firm reading." What Lebin really wanted to say was this: "there were lots of goofy things running around that make absolutely no sense and consequently have to be examined in person." It was the sort of hing that always happened in these situations -- it naturally fostered the need for some poor bunch to go down and investigate: hopefully bringing a necessary complement of "redshirts"(as Midshipmen were often called) for alien fodder.

If all else failed, it was always good to do things yourself -- especially if that meant to give the order that someone else was to explore some new vast uncharted place. Bridges tapped his comm badge. "Lt. Commander Matute, assemble an away team. Mr. Mak will also be joining you." It wasn't that the Captain wouldn't go by any means. It was his duty to command the ship: even if it meant missing out on all the fun -- probably the biggest drawback of sitting in "the big chair."

"Yes sir," the resident changeling replied. Mak logged off his console behind where the Captain hovered and flashed a grin at Lebin. The idea of going planetside for some genuine Intelligence field work made his muscles tingle in anticipation.

"Old Man," the Captain spoke just before Jen and the rest of the team arrived. Mak looked at him. "See that everyone returns safely." Mak winked. It had taken nearly two years, but Bridges was finally getting used to Mak's laid back, if not flippant attitude. Nothing seemed to ever worry him--but then why should it, the fool was practically immortal, not like the rest of them. Well, that is except for Catrin now. Bridges may have had the "big chair," but Mak would be probably be around to see to see it reupholstered a hundred times over the next couple millennia -- the bastard.


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