Author: Anthony Butler, Alan Decker
AUTHORS’ NOTE: The following is completely pointless…just thought you should know. The authors have decided in their infinite wisdom (or infinite opportunism, if you prefer) to cash in on the current Survivor craze. Not all Star Traks series are represented. Since Decker and Butler are the ones responsible for this, they only subjected their own characters to the trials ahead. So without further ado (not that there was much ado to begin with) we bring you…
by Alan Decker and Anthony Butler
JEFF: Eight Starfleet officers, four captains and their first officers, have been plucked out of their respective times and stranded on a deserted planet. Here they must work together to find food and shelter all the while engaging in competitions designed to test their minds and bodies. Every third night, they will gather to vote one of their own off the planet. In the end, THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE!!! Sorry. In the end, the sole remaining officer will win a fabulous prize (yet to be determined) and will be the ultimate SURVIVOR!
THE SCENE: Eight Starfleet captains (Captain Reginald Bain, Captain Andy Baxter, Captain Lisa Beck, and Captain Alexander Rydell) and their first officers (Commander David Conway, Commander Travis Dillon, Commander Walter Morales, and Commander Prosak) stand in a confused gaggle (Well, gaggle plus one really, since a gaggle is seven…and of course they’re people instead of geese) on a tropical beach. After a quick round of introductions (Well, only Bain and Prosak had to introduce themselves. The rest already knew each other.), they break into pairs with each captain and first officer beginning to devise their strategies.
“I think we need to take out Baxter first,” Commander Travis Dillon whispered conspiratorially as Captain Alexander Rydell turned a seashell over in his hands. “Then Conway. I don’t trust either of them. After that…”
“Dillon, do you really think I care?” Rydell replied.
“Do you want to get voted off of the planet?” Dillon snapped.
“I never asked to be on it in the first place,” Rydell said.
“But what about the fabulous prize?”
“We don’t even know what it is.”
“Our ship’s honor then. They could be broadcasting this on holovision.”
“Come on! Who in their right mind would sit around watching a bunch of castaways jumping through hoops for some silly prize?”
A short distance away, Captain Andy Baxter considered the competition. “Beck hates me. I’m not sure about Morales, and the new people don’t even know me yet. But I don’t think Rydell really likes me. And I know Dillon hates me.”
“And I hate you,” Commander David Conway added snidely.
“If we’re going to win this thing, we have to be a team.”
“Woah, pal. When did this become we? You heard that disembodied voice. There can be only one.”
“Fine. If that’s the way you want it,” Baxter said angrily. “I’m taking you down!”
Conway started laughing. “Right, Baxter. You have an entire planet full of people who hate you. Meanwhile, Rydell and I are on fairly good terms. Dillon, Beck and I can unite in our dislike of you. And the others don’t give a rat’s ass about you. You’re history.”
“Maybe, but I’m going to remember this Conway. When we get back to the Explorer, you’re a dead man!”
And meanwhile in the Waystation group…
“I’m not sure that I understand the rules here,” Commander Walter Morales said. “Are we supposed to work as a group or not?”
“Got me,” Captain Lisa Beck replied. “I’m planning to, though. Who knows how long we’re going to be here? I’m more worried about finding food and a decent place to sleep than some stupid contest.” She was quiet for a moment as she watched Baxter and Conway launch into their argument.
“Great. Mutt and Jeff have started in already,” Beck continued.
“Maybe they’ll build their own hut,” Morales said hopefully.
“Not a chance,” Beck said ruefully. “They’ll end up in our hut. They’ll both sleep next to me. And they’ll both snore. That’s just how things go. On the bright side, I’ll probably go insane during the night and give them both…hell, I’ll kill Dillon too just for the fun of it.”
“At least we have a strategy,” Morales quipped, drawing a smile from Beck.
“Damn unsporting of them to just dump is off like this,” Captain Reginald Bain groused as he surveyed the beachhead he’d found himself on. “Just not cricket.”
“I sincerely doubt that that particular Earth insect is located here,” Commander Prosak replied.
“It’s a game.”
“Yes. They already explained that.”
“No. Cricket. It’s a game. You have a ball, and a person with a bat hits it.”
“I thought that was baseball,” Prosak said confused.
“Never mind.” Bain took a deep breath and pounded his fists on his chest. “Now maybe this won’t be so bad after all. Fresh sea air. Scenic surroundings. It’s all a damn sight better than Polabris Three. That was a bloody mess. Fire monsoons everywhere, and all Tovar and I had for shelter was have of a shuttle.”
“Where was the other half?
“Blew up on the way down. Made for an interesting landing I can tell you. But enough of that. We need shelter. Tovar!”
“He’s not here, sir,” Prosak said.
Bain’s mood instantly deflated a bit. “Right. Well…we’ll just have to carry on without the lad.”
“If we’re going to be here for an extended time, perhaps I should do a show. I think I remember most of Medea.”
“Splendid,” Bain said, not entirely convincingly as he headed toward the treeline. Something glimmering in the shadows caught his eyes. Sure enough, there was something there: a large metal trunk.
Bain pulled the trunk out onto the beach and opened it as the other castaways rushed over. “Now this is more like it!” Bain exclaimed as he pulled out a hatchet and several coils of rope and tossed them aside. “There’s bags of rice. Pots. More tools. This is going to be rather pleasant.”
“Since when was subsisting on rice while living in a tree pleasant?” Rydell asked.
“Guess you didn’t camp much, huh Alex?” Beck said.
“Only indoors,” Rydell replied.
“Then it’s time you got acquainted with nature, old boy,” Bain said, handing Rydell a hatchet. “And your first lesson is shelter. We need one ready to go before nature decides to properly introduce herself.”
“I’ll start looking for palm fronds for the roof,” Beck said, heading toward the trees.
“Um…and I’ll help her, I guess,” Morales said, chasing off after her.
Bain turned his gaze on Conway and Dillon. “You two go help Captain Rydell.” And then to Prosak: “You’re on fire detail. Find us kindling. I’ll be clearing the spot for the shelter.” He turned to Baxter. “But you have the most important job of all.”
“What’s that?” Baxter asked warily.
Bain reached into the trunk and handed Baxter a small metal shovel. “Latrine duty. Find two good spots well away from camp. One for the ladies and one for the blokes.”
“Yippee,” Baxter muttered as he walked off down the beach.
JEFF: Day two on the planet. The morning is crisp and cool as the castaways crawl out from the shelter they spent most of the day before constructing. They have a place to sleep and rice to eat. Now it’s time to make them a little less comfortable.
“Who the devil are you?” Captain Bain demanded as a smug-looking man in safari gear materialized in the center of camp. The other castaways looked up from their bowls of rice in hopes that the newcomer just might be carrying a replicator. They were disappointed.
“I am Jeff, your host. It’s time for the first challenge.”
Rydell leaned back lazily against a tree trunk. “Mind if I pass on this one?”
“Everyone plays,” Jeff said, that smug grin never leaving his face. “You will each be transported to an unknown location on this island. The first one to find their way back to camp wins.”
“Wins what?” Dillon and Conway asked in unison.
“A lighter,” Jeff replied. “Fire will be at your fingertips.”
“Just give me back my phaser, and the fire will be up your ass,” Beck muttered.
“Survivors ready!” Jeff shouted, raising his hand in the air.
In an instant, the eight castaways vanished…
Each reappeared a moment later alone in the jungle, a canteen hanging over his or her shoulder.
Bain stood still for a moment, feeling the breeze flow by him. Back in camp, the breeze had been from the east, therefore…that way! Confident in his course, Bain strode off through the jungle, forcing his way through the fronds and underbrush.
Baxter really wished Jeff had scheduled this game at night. Then he could follow the stars. But then again, he didn’t know what planet he was on, so the stars wouldn’t help much. Time for Plan B. Baxter climbed up the nearest tree, trying to get high enough to see his surroundings. Finally he broke through the canopy and could look out across the treetops…where Conway, Dillon, Beck, and Morales were staring back at him. So much for original thinking.
Rydell shrugged and just started walking in one direction. At some point he’d get back to the beach. That was enough for him.
Two hours later, Captain Bain broke through the underbrush and saw the camp just a few yards in the distance. Then there was a rustling to his left…and to his right…and then some more.
Bain took off running and cleared the jungle just as Baxter, Conway, Beck, Dillon, and Morales did the same. Bain pushed his bulky 70 year old body to the extreme in his effort to beat the others…then noticed the pair of boots sticking out from the shelter. He stopped in his tracks as the boots disappeared inside the shelter. Commander Prosak emerged a moment later.
“What? How?” Dillon demanded.
“Good show, Prossie, but I have to agree with Commander Dillon here. How did you pull it off?”
“I was a Romulan Ranger as a child,” Prosak said simply.
“But I was a Starfleet Scout,” Dillon whined.
“Oh get over it,” Beck snapped. Just then Captain Rydell wandered up from the shoreline carrying his boots. His pant legs were rolled up and damp from his stroll along the coast.
“Lovely afternoon,” Rydell said, taking a seat under a palm tree. “Just perfect for a nap.”
Rydell didn’t look up as Jeff reappeared, lighter in hand. “This belongs to you,” Jeff said, handing the lighter to Prosak. “Congratulations.”
“Thank you,” Prosak replied with a nod.
“Relax this evening, but the fun isn’t over yet. Tomorrow, you vote one of your own off the planet. Sleep well.”
And the Jeff was gone.