Thursday, January 13, 2011

Star Trek: Ghost of a Savior

In one dream last night I was flipping through my TV listings and saw Star Trek: Ghost of a Savior. I knew this was for The Next Generation and was thinking I’d never seen that episode. I was intrigued. When I woke up, of course, I realized I’d never seen it because such an episode never existed. However, I think I know the plot.

The Enterprise arrives at a far flung Federation outpost to find no one home. The place is abandoned. Lightless and lifeless. There’s no sign of an attack from outside. It looks like everyone just packed up and left.

Then, at extreme sensor range, Data detects a ship of alien design fleeing the vicinity at high warp. Because the outpost monitors the Neutral Zone, the Enterprise can’t leave it abandoned. A skeleton crew is beamed down to the base while the Enterprise herself takes off in pursuit of the alien ship.

Riker and Beverly Crusher are among the crew members who beam down to the station. There’s about a dozen others. They start getting all the base’s equipment back on line but two minor mysteries quickly rear their heads. First, they find that all the base’s plant life has died or is dying. Then they find three empty coffins that look like they were being prepared for space burials. While Crusher goes to work on figuring out what is killing the plants, Riker knows his primary job is to get the base up and monitoring the Neutral Zone.

In the meantime, the Enterprise is catching up to the alien ship, which is running like the hounds of hell are on its tail and which will not answer hails. Back at the space station, more mysterious events occur. Things left in one spot appear to have moved when the users return. Systems turn on and off apparently on their own. Doors open when no one is coming through. Scans reveal no life force readings on the base, however, except for Riker and his group.

The Enterprise catches the alien ship and discover the entire compliment of the star base on board it and perfectly safe. Their communications and sensors were out so they didn’t know the Enterprise was hailing them. Confused, Picard wants to know why they’ve abandoned their posts and mentions that he had to leave a skeleton crew behind to take over the duties. The leader of the star base crew blanches and demands. “You didn’t leave anyone back there. Tell me you didn’t. You’ve signed their death warrants. There’s something on that base.”

Picard immediately tries to contact Riker to warn him, but they can’t get through. “Mysteriously,” the communication system aboard the star base has crashed. And then the first of Riker’s crew is torn apart by an unseen force.

I have an idea for how this would end but I’m going to let your own imaginations do that work. Since Star Trek: TNG is no more, I may end up writing this as an SF story set in my own universe. If I do that I don’t want to give everything away here. I think there are some interesting possibilities.

Dreams, man. You gotta love the ideas.
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33 comments:

The Golden Eagle said...

I've had several ideas come to me in dreams--they generate some fascinating ideas.

Now my brain is spinning in all directions trying to finish the story . . .

X. Dell said...

Sounds like a better episode of TNG than most.

If I were you, I'd write up a treatment and pitch this idea to Brannon Braga.

Deka Black said...

I'mnot a Star Trek fan, but i know a little so, hete it is my idea: What is prowling the outpost is a group of Hacvesters: A small sized (a meter tall maximum) furry peace loving race what feed on clorophile (that's the reason of the plants dying).

The crew meber being torn apart is a security sytem of the Harvesters gone rogue.

The malfunctioning of the systems is simply the own devices of the harvesters: they're jamming the systems of the outpost without noticing it.

Charles Gramlich said...

Golden Eagle, I've got a whole file of such ideas written down.

X-Dell, I'm thinking about it.

Deka, that would be one way to go, and a way that TREK sometimes used. The misunderstood alien. I'm thinking more along the lines of the movie "the Thing," Or "Alien" itself, but there are quite a few possiblities.

jennifer said...

You should include Tribbles in there somewhere :)

I have never written a science fiction story. Even though I watched (and enjoyed) Star Trek, Star Wars, The Last Starfighter, and E.T., I don't think my imagination works that way.

Steve Malley said...

I *love* your dreams!

BernardL said...

Better plot than many episodes I saw. :)

Deka Black said...

Hmm Then how about a predatory vegetable lifeform? The dying of the plants could be... the alien seeing them as a threat.

David J. West said...

Oh yeah, you gotta write this one down. Excellent blend of sci-fi and horror.

jodi said...

Charles, that you can remember them in such detail, amazes me!

ivan said...

Impressive!

Sounds a little likethe trip to Solaris, but Solaris was a sentient planet and not necessarily a destructive one.

Cloudia said...

You have the soul of a SF writer, Charles - give it back! LOL


Seriously, you should enjoy the lush richness; obviously you function highly, so sleep/dream serves you well.


Aloha from Waikiki

Comfort Spiral

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Hanny said...

This definitely sounds like an idea that you can adapt to many different sci-fi scenarios. Hope your alarm didn't go off right at the climax of the story like mine always does!

Charles Gramlich said...

jennifer, lol. I don't write that many SF stories either. I prefer horror and fantasy.

Steve Malley, me too.

BernardL, I'm thinking it has possibilities.

Deka Black,that would be cool. And unpredictable as well.

David J. West, my favorite horror movies have that blend.

jodi, well, now, some of this I just made up. Not quite that much detail in the dream.

ivan, Star Trek did a couple of giant sentient creatures, not quite planet size but huge.

Cloudia, indeed I should. :)

Hanny, I've missed a few good endings that way, or what I thought were going to be good endings anyway. I'll never know now.

Ron Scheer said...

Holy smoke, you have an imagination!

Charles Gramlich said...

Ron, I know. I can't seem to shake it. :)

Michelle's Spell said...

Hey Charles,

Happy new year! You have WAY better dreams than I do! Mine are so boring that sometimes I dream that I'm sitting by my computer with no ideas. Get enough of that in reality :)

Charles Gramlich said...

Michelle, I do dream about driving at times, and about typing. So I do have some mundane stuff happening too.

Barbara Martin said...

Dreams are a wonderful source of inspiration, and this rendition of yours, Charles, certainly bears out in your fine example.

Erik Donald France said...

You've certainly piqued my interest. I'm still trying to figure out what happened with the Maya, exactly, which this tangentially reminds me of.

Travis Cody said...

This is a great idea! I'd buy that book.

Lana Gramlich said...

Stories about being forced to fly to Belgium against one's will aren't quite as story-worthy, I'm afraid.

Heather said...

I'm loving your dream posts Charles...reading them has caused me to think about my own dreams first thing as I wake. It's interesting to say the least!

Charles Gramlich said...

Barbara Martin, thankee. I have a lot of fun in my dreams. :)

Erik Donald France, I was fascinated by the Maya in college and did a paper on them. I still am, just without much time to pursue the interest.

Travis Cody, I need to pitch it to Hollywood.

Lana Gramlich, well, I don't know about that. I can see a story there too.

Heather, I've been working lately on remembering them better and have been having some success.

Jodi MacArthur said...

I like reading your dreams. They are such wonders. Stephanie Meyers wrote Twilight based on a dream she had. Turned out pretty good for her. ;-) The other morning I awoke to the phrase "To perform the torrid we must be fools." No clue what it means.. but it suonds like a character I haven't met yet in one of my stories. Our writer minds introduce characters/voices in funny ways.

Lana Gramlich said...

That's why I'm not a writer, hon.

laughingwolf said...

lol... i have no use for picard or riker, and would not lift a finger to help either one...

as for braga, just another asshole... have no use for him, either GRRRRRRRRRRRR

but yeah, i can see you doing a good tale from this....

sage said...

Dreams can be great sources of inspriation, maybe even more so for those who write in a fiction genre. I remember preparing for a speech and giving it in a dream. I woke up, it was 3 AM, I went to my computer and wrote it down and went back to bed. I used most of what I'd written early that morning!

Ocean Girl said...

Make sure there is love and sensuality in it, like Twilight.

Carole said...

Greatest episode never written. Write it soon.

Charles Gramlich said...

Jodi MacArthur, I like that line. Evocative. Maybe you'll find that character soon, or they'll find you more like it.

Lana Gramlich, only the writer of my personal love story. ;)

laughingwolf, Riker was a kind of wimpier Kirk but I did come to like Picard. I don't really know anything about Braga. I didn't know you felt so strongly, my friend.

sage, I've had something like that happen with lectures before. If you think about things before bedtime, your mind will sometimes work things out for you in dreams.

Ocean Girl, eek. I actually did see the first movie in that series and wasn't a big fan. Never read the books, though.

Carole, lol. I wonder how much a writer gets paid for a single episode like that.

Aimless Writer said...

I vote for Tribbles!

Charles Gramlich said...

Aimless writer, hum, a giant monsterous tribble who eats the flesh of sentient beings. I like it. :)