I must confess that this is not entirely my own creation. It was inspired by a much shorter and skimpier version that I came across waaaayyyy back in the old dial-up BBS days; alas, the original author (or authors) did not see fit to attach their names to it. Still, it seemed too good an idea to leave alone and so one night, in a fit of creative lunacy, I extended it to this full-length version. Now if only we could get someone to animate it... Paramount and Warner Bros. probably wouldn't appreciate it, of course; but somehow, I think Gene Roddenberry would have gotten a good laugh out of it.
CAPTAIN'S LOG, Stardate 9324.21: Starfleet Command has directed us to perform a preliminary survey of the planet catalogued as WBR-4115, in advance of a full research team. Scanners report breathable atmosphere and nominal gravity; the planet's terrain appears to be primarily desert, similar to much of the American southwest on Earth. Mr. Spock is having some difficulty in getting a reliable life-form scan, and is intrigued by what appears to be a complex system of paved roads crisscrossing the surface. I am beaming down with a landing party, to take a closer look.
CAPTAIN'S LOG, Supplemental: Security officer Riley has received a minor head injury, apparently while exploring under a high rock shelf. He is unsure as to how it happened — all he remembers is hearing a loud whistling sound just before he was struck. Dr. McCoy has examined him thoroughly, and pronounced him fit to continue duty.
CAPTAIN'S LOG, Stardate 9325.3: We have encountered an alien creature on the planet. It does not seem to be menacing or hostile in itself; there was, however, another unfortunate occurrence on the planet while it was present. The creature appeared behind us without warning, and on my orders Lt. Sulu drew his phaser. The creature disappeared again in a puff of smoke. Immediately following its disappearance, a loud BANG! was heard, startling Sulu into firing his phaser and accidentally hitting Ensign Chekov. Strangely, instead of stunning Ensign Chekov, the phaser blast left him covered with a fine black powder. Mr. Spock has analyzed the substance, which has turned out to be some form of soot, but he is unable to explain where it came from or how the ensign came to be covered with it. He is also unable to explain the apparent malfunction of the phaser. Mr. Chekov appeared to be otherwise unharmed by the incident, but I have sent him back to the ship for a full examination.
SHIP'S LOG, Stardate 9326.2, Science Officer Spock reporting: Tricorder readings indicate that the tall, bird-like creature we encountered earlier is constantly moving across the surface of the planet at a high rate of speed. In an effort to slow the creature for study, I attempted to stun it with my phaser. My attempt was unsuccessful, as the creature somehow outran the phaser beam. The beam instead struck an outcropping of rock just over the Captain's head, causing it to break off and fall. Curiously, although the Captain was struck by several metric tons of rock and driven roughly 2.5 meters into the ground, he was not injured, only momentarily stunned. He has been beamed back to the ship for a full medical evaluation, leaving me in command of the landing party until his return.
CAPTAIN'S LOG, Stardate 9342.1: The creature is still at large on the planet's surface; Mr. Spock is continuing to research ways in which we might capture it for study.
PERSONAL LOG, supplemental: Having been discharged from sickbay, I am now on my way down to engineering to discuss with Mr. Scott some plans for an Acme Pressure Cooker, for use when the creature is finally apprehended.
CAPTAIN'S LOG, Stardate 9342.3: Strange occurrences have plagued our landing party since our arrival at WBR-4115, all of them taking place while the creature was present or in the nearby vicinity. This has led me to believe that the creature is in some way responsible for them, although I am unsure as to how. Mr. Chekov and I have been cleared for return to duty, although Dr. McCoy feels we should be kept under observation a while longer.
Down on the surface, Mr. Spock has constructed a device which he believes will succeed in capturing the creature. We have placed a dish of birdseed out in the open, atop a cleverly concealed trapdoor mechanism that will open when any weight (other than the dish itself, of course) rests on it. The creature will fall down a slideway, into a cage constructed of transparent aluminum and sealed with a grade-4 security forcefield. We will then be free to study it at our leisure. In the meantime, in an attempt to avoid further unfortunate incidents I have forbidden anyone to beam down to the planet except on my or Mr. Spock's direct orders.
CAPTAIN'S LOG, Stardate 9342.5: The plan failed. The creature was indeed lured by the birdseed, as expected; it sped to the trap, consumed the bait, and set off again without touching off the trap mechanism. Mr. Spock is at a loss to explain this, and has begun tests to discover if there are any hidden flaws in the design. I have sent out three search parties, in an attempt to box in the creature or at least try to observe its behavior; one party is headed by Mr. Sulu, one by Mr. Chekov, and one by Security officer Snnanagfashtalli.
PERSONAL LOG: I have taken care to explain to Ensign Snnanagfashtalli that she is only supposed to capture the creature, not eat it. Her species has been known to do that. However, her quick felinoid reflexes and predatory instincts may give her a better chance at successfully capturing the creature.
CAPTAIN'S LOG, Stardate 9342.8: Snnanagfashtalli's team has been temporarily incapacitated. In pursuing the creature, they somehow managed to cross the exact spot where Mr. Spock had placed his trap, just after he had finished making the necessary adjustments to the trigger mechanism. The trap was sprung, and the entire party hung suspended in mid-air for a moment, puzzled, just before they fell into the cage we constructed. Getting them back out again could be a problem, as the controls were accidentally smashed by Snnanagfashtalli's foot as she fell. Mr. Spock is attempting to deactivate the field so we can cut through the cage with phasers. I consider this to be a major setback. Snnanagfashtalli considers it an intolerable disgrace. Mr. Spock considers it "fascinating".
CAPTAIN'S LOG, Stardate 9343.3: The creature has behaved in an extremely cunning manner, and while Mr. Spock says this is not necessarily a sign of true intelligence I am now firmly convinced that the creature is somehow responsible for everything that has occurred. In an all-out attempt to stop it once and for all, I have beamed down to the surface with a phaser rifle. Meanwhile, Lt. Uhura has been unsuccessful in her attempts to raise Starfleet Command, and now Mr. Scott informs me that our dilithium crystals are decaying at an alarming rate. He has jury-rigged a system to slow the decay, but this is only a temporary measure. It is imperative that we find new crystals soon.
CAPTAIN'S LOG, Supplemental: Mr. Sulu has located Hecht radiation readings, indicating the presence of dilithium, emanating from an area of the planet that the creature has not previously been sighted in. He and Mr. Spock have beamed down to the high-elevation plateau from which the Hecht radiation emanates to investigate further in hopes of obtaining new crystals for the warp reactors. Meanwhile, I have been analyzing the creature's movements. It seems to travel over a fairly consistent path, and I have begun to formulate a plan whereby we might corner it in a tunnel that it seems to pass through frequently.
CAPTAIN'S LOG, Stardate 9344.7: Mr. Spock and Mr. Sulu have succeeded in locating a vein of dilithium crystals. Unfortunately, while they were collecting the crystals the edge of the cliff they were standing on broke off, and the two men plummeted several hundred feet. Despite the great height from which they fell, they survived, with no more than raising a cloud of dust on impact. Mr. Sulu reports that, curiously, he felt no fear at his predicament, merely a vague sense of unease, followed by a realization that he was suspended several hundred feet off the ground, and then a feeling of resignation as he fell. They were not injured by the fall, but they did pass the chunk of cliff face on the way down; the chunk fell on top of them and they were buried in the rubble, again with little or no injury to themselves. A rescue excavation has commenced and they should be safe momentarily.
CAPTAIN'S LOG, Supplemental: Mr. Spock has beamed aboard with the crystals. The ore has proven to be of high grade, more than adequate for our purposes. Strangely, each crystal appears to have the letters "ACME" stamped into one of the facets. Computer analysis has assured us that this geological curiosity (which Mr. Spock, of course, finds "fascinating") will not affect the function of the crystals, and Mr. Scott is busily installing them into the intermix chamber.
CAPTAIN'S LOG, Stardate 9344.9: We have suffered yet another setback in our attempts to deal with the creature. Mr. Chekov led a party of twelve down to the surface, in an attempt to trap the creature inside the aforementioned tunnel. He positioned Ensign Snnanagfashtalli at the opposite end of the tunnel, as a lookout; when she reported the creature entering the tunnel, Mr. Chekov ordered his men into position. A loud BEEP, BEEP was heard, and Mr. Chekov brought the phaser rifle into firing position. I hereby wish to state for the record that I would have done no differently under the circumstances, and that Ensign Chekov should in no way be held responsible for the unfortunate events which followed the sudden and totally unexpected appearance of an old 20th-Century-Earth-style freight train. Ensign Snnanagfashtalli swears that the freight train did NOT enter the tunnel from her end. The creature apparently doubled back within the tunnel and sped past the dazed landing party. Mr. Chekov and three others have beamed aboard to be treated for minor injuries resulting from the accident.
CAPTAIN'S LOG, Stardate 9345.1: Dr. McCoy has beamed down to the planet with a hypo containing a mixture of Tri-Ox compound and a Scalosian-water derivative, plus a few odds and ends he found in some unmarked bottles lying around sickbay. By injecting a small amount into each member of the landing party, we may be able to deal with the creature on its own high-speed terms.
CAPTAIN'S LOG, Supplemental: Although Dr. McCoy's hypo solution had the desired effect, things did not go quite as planned. As McCoy was preparing to inject a dose of the compound into the first landing-party member, the strange creature suddenly appeared behind him and uttered its characteristic "BEEP, BEEP!" sound, very loudly. Dr. McCoy, understandably startled, accidentally pressured the entire contents of the hypo into his arm. A full security team is in pursuit of him, waiting for the effect of the compound to wear off.
CAPTAIN'S LOG, Stardate 9345.2: The creature seems to make considerable use of the many tunnels cut through the cliffs on the planet as it pursues its semi-erratic course. Mr. Chekov has an idea for dealing with the creature which makes use of this fact. He proposes to take one of the holographic projectors out of the rec room and down to the planet, aim it at a solid cliff face, and program it to generate the illusion of a tunnel. When the creature attempts to enter the hologram it will knock itself senseless, hopefully long enough for us to capture it. For lack of any better ideas, I have decided to try Mr. Chekov's suggestion.
CAPTAIN'S LOG, Stardate 9345.4: The latest attempt to deal with the strange creature has failed. We beamed down with the hologram projector, and sent out several men to chase the creature in our direction. Just as we finished setting up the hologram, the creature came around a bluff and headed towards our "tunnel" — with Ensign Snnanagfashtalli close behind, in hot pursuit and gaining on the creature. Before any of us had time to shout a warning to her, they both sped past us and towards the hologram. The creature somehow entered the hologram, just as if it had been a real tunnel. Needless to say, Ensign Snnanagfashtalli was unable to duplicate this feat and slammed into the cliff face. She was knocked unconscious for a moment, but was otherwise unharmed. We ran to assist the Ensign, and as Dr. McCoy bent over her the creature sped back out of the tunnel hologram and stopped behind him. It looked over his shoulder for a split second, surveying the situation, then uttered its "BEEP, BEEP!" cry and sped off again. Mr. Spock claims that I am anthropomorphising, but I believe the creature looked distinctly pleased with itself.
CAPTAIN'S LOG, Stardate 9345.5: Mr. Scott has completed installation of the new dilithium crystals. I have ordered all landing parties beamed back aboard the ship. On my responsibility, we are preparing to fire the ship's main phasers at the creature.
CAPTAIN'S LOG, Stardate 9345.7: This is a warning to all other starships that may pass this way. I am placing WBR-4115 under a Code 7-10 — do not, under any circumstances, approach this planet! The illogical events occurring there cannot be overcome or even understood by mere science; the strange birdlike alien which inhabits the planet appears to be able to suspend natural laws at will, making it virtually undefeatable.
As per my previous log entry, we channeled full ship's power through the phaser banks and fired at the planet, targeting the creature as it sped across the surface. Theoretically the creature should have been vaporized, but instead it somehow managed to outrun the beams, staying just ahead of the tracking mechanisms, until the dilithium crystals overloaded and triggered a warp-core breach. Such an overload should have destroyed the ship, but Mr. Scott reports that when the crystals overloaded a fine webwork of black lines spread through the structure of the intermix chambers, which subsequently collapsed in a thousand pieces to the floor of the engineering deck. Mr. Scott is attempting to sort out the fragments and perhaps reconstruct them. We are limping out of the system on impulse power, with a distress call beacon going out ahead of us in a message torpedo. I repeat, a Code 7-10 has been placed on WBR-4115. Do not approach this planet.