Star Trek Meets the Roadrunner
Let us suppose that the Enterprise is on a research mission to an unknown planet. Perhaps the Captain’s Log would be worth a look...
Captain’s Log, Stardate 54324.5: Starfleet Command has directed the Enterprise to perform a preliminary exploration of planet Loo-Ney Tuns IV in advance of a full research team. Scanners report that the atmosphere is breathable, but they are receiving confusing readings concerning life signs. I am beaming down with a landing party composed of all our senior officers except for poor Scotty.
Captain’s Log, Supplemental: Ensign Redshirt has received a head injury, apparently while exploring under a high rock shelf. He recalls only hearing a loud sound and jumping before being struck. After examination by Doctor McCoy he has been judged capable of returning to duty.
Captain’s Log, Supplemental: We have encountered an alien creature on this planet. While it does not itself seem menacing, an unfortunate occurrence took place when it was present. Specifically, on my orders Lieutenant Sulu drew his phaser. The creature disappeared in a puff of smoke, immediately following which a loud noise was heard next to Sulu. Sulu fired, accidentally hitting Ensign Chekov. Oddly enough, while the phaser was set to stun, Chekov was also covered with a black powder similar to soot. Mister Chekov has been beamed back to the ship for examination and quarantine.
Ship’s Log, Stardate 54326.2: Mister Spock reporting: Tricorder readings indicate that the creature we encountered earlier is constantly moving at great speed over the surface of the planet. We have encountered the creature once again. In an attempt to slow the creature for study, I attempted to fire on it. The creature, however, appeared to move faster than the phaser beam. Regretfully, the beam struck an outcropping of rock above the Captain’s head, causing it to break off and fall. Although it appears that several tons of rock fell squarely on the Captain, he was driven straight into the ground but not seriously injured, though stunned. The Captain has been beamed up to Sickbay, leaving me in charge of the landing party.
Captain’s Log, Stardate 54352.1: The creature is still at large on the planet surface. While Mister Spock continues to lead the landing party, I am currently at work with Mister Scott on an Acme Pressure Cooker for our lab, for when the creature is finally apprehended.
Captain’s Log, Stardate 54342.3: The strange occurrences that have dogged the landing party since our arrival have led me to believe that the creature is in some way directly responsible for them. Mister Chekov and I have both been declared fit for duty, though Doctor McCoy has entered in his medical log that he feels we should be kept under observation. Mister Spock has constructed a device which he suspects should be able to counteract the creature’s incredible speed, as follows: We have placed a dish of birdseed out in the open, with several prominent signs announcing “FREE BIRDSEED!” pointing to it. The dish is atop a cleverly concealed trap door, which will open when any weight falls upon it. The creature will then travel a slide, eventually being deposited in a cage constructed of sheets of transparent aluminum. We will then be free to analyze it at our leisure. Meanwhile, I have forbidden all beaming down to the surface except on my or Mister Spock’s direct order.
Captain’s Log, Supplemental: The plan failed. The creature was indeed lured by the birdseed as expected. It sped to the dish, consumed the bait, and sped off without setting off the trap. Mister Spock is as puzzled as I, and has begun tests to uncover the flaw in the design. I have sent out three search parties to see if we can box the creature in, one headed by Mister Sulu, one by Mister Chekov, and one by Sociologist Xontel.
Captain’s Log, Stardate 54342.8: Sociologist Xontel has been temporarily incapacitated. In pursuing the creature, he and his men somehow managed to cross the place where Mister Spock’s trap was set, just as he completed the corrections to it. The trap was sprung, and all four of my men were suspended for a moment in mid-air, puzzled, just before they fell into the cage we constructed. We are now trying to release them with phasers, as the lock was inadvertently smashed by the impact from Sociologist Xontel’s foot as he fell. I consider this a major setback. Mister Spock considers it “fascinating.”
Captain’s Log, Stardate 54343.4: In an all-out attempt to stop the creature once and for all, I have had a phaser rifle beamed down from the Enterprise armory. The creature has behaved in an extremely cunning manner, yet I am unsure whether this is a sign of actual intelligence. Lieutenant Uhura has been unsuccessful in her attempts to raise Starfleet Command. Meanwhile, Mister Scott informs me that our dilithium crystals are deteriorating at an alarming rate. He has jury-rigged a system that will prevent decay for a time, but it is imperative that we find new crystals soon.
Captain’s Log, Supplemental: Mister Sulu reports high energy tricorder readings from an area of the planet in which the creature has not yet been sighted. He has taken a small landing party, including Mister Spock, to the high-elevation spot from which the readings emanate. In the mean time, I have begun to analyze the creature’s movements. It seems to travel consistently over a set path. Perhaps we can corner it in a tunnel it seems to pass through frequently.
Captain’s Log, Stardate 54344.7: Mister Sulu has located a cache of ACME Dilithium Crystals atop a high cliff. Regretfully, while collecting them, the edge of the cliff broke off, and he and Mister Spock plummeted several hundred feet into the canyon below. Strangely enough, they both survived the fall and raised no more than a cloud of dust on impact, although they did pass the chunk of rock on the way down and ended up completely buried. A rescue excavation has commenced, and they should be safe shortly.
Captain’s Log, Stardate 54344.9: Mister Spock has beamed up to the ship with the ACME Dilithium Crystals to assist Mister Scott in their installation, as he foresees compatibility problems. Back on the planet’s surface, Mister Chekov led seven men to the tunnel in an attempt to capture the creature in transit. A loud “MBEEP-BEEP” was heard, and Chekov aimed his phaser rifle, and ordered the men to spread out. I wish to state for the record that I would have acted similarly, and that Ensign Chekov should in no way be held responsible for the unfortunate circumstances arising from the unexpected appearance of an old Earth-style freight train. He has been beamed back to the ship with minor injuries.
Captain’s Log, Stardate 54345.1: Doctor McCoy has beamed down with a hypo containing a mixture of kironide, tri-ox compound, Scalosian concentrate, a theragen derivative, and some other items he found in unmarked containers in Sickbay. By injecting a small amount into each member of the landing party, I hope to be able to deal with the creature on its own high-speed terms.
Captain’s Log, Supplemental: The latest attempt to deal with the strange creature has failed. As Doctor McCoy was injecting a measured dose of the compound, the creature abruptly appeared behind him and uttered a loud “MBEEP-BEEP!” Doctor McCoy, understandably startled, accidentally injected the entire contents of the hypo into his arm. A full security team is in pursuit, waiting for the effects of the drug to wear off.
Captain’s Log, Stardate 54345.6: I have ordered the landing party back to the ship. The new dilithium crystals have been successfully installed. The ship is preparing to engage main phasers to attack the creature, which continues on its semi-erratic course across the planet’s surface.
Captain’s Log, Supplemental: This is a warning to all other starships that may pass this way. Do not approach this planet! The illogical events occurring here are too much to overcome with simple science. If you have heard the events transcribed in this log, you have learned that this creature is nearly undefeatable. We channeled full ship’s power through the phaser banks. Theoretically, the creature should have been annihilated; however the energies proved too much of a strain on the ACME crystals. The full force of the phasers backlashed over the Enterprise, engulfing her completely. At first, the only noticeable effect was the complete loss of all systems except for artificial gravity and life support. Then, a web of black lines spread across the Enterprise’s hull. Next, the ship began breaking up, piece by piece, falling through the atmosphere to land on the surface. When the ship had collapsed entirely, my crew was left hanging in space for a short time, and finally each of us began to fall to the planet below. We have no theories as to how any of us survived, but every crew member reported nothing more than a sense of uneasiness, followed by the realization that they were several hundred miles in the air, a sinking sensation, and then a gradual drop: first the feet, then the body, and finally the head, usually wearing a resigned expression of perplexion. We are attempting now to communicate with the creature in the hopes that it will prove intelligent. Perhaps we can express our peaceful intentions to it. Mister Spock has constructed a crude rocket and launcher from the wreckage of the ship, and we hope to sent the recorder marker into space, where hopefully someone will find it.
Captain James T. Kirk, recording.