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Star Trek: The Next Generation Pilot - Encounter at Farpoint In 2364, the new flagship of the United Federation of Planets, Starfleet's USS Enterprise, travels to the planet Deneb IV for its maiden voyage. Enterprise is to open relations with the simple Bandi people who have somehow been able to tap immense energy reserves and construct Farpoint Station, much to the surprise of the Federation. En route, the Enterprise is met by an omnipotent being who identifies himself as Q, a member of the Q Continuum and declares that humanity is being put on trial—posing in appearance as a Grand Inquisitor—and deciding that their actions in their upcoming mission will be used to judge their worthiness and determine their fate as a race. Before letting the ship resume its course, Q warns Captain Picard (Patrick Stewart) that he is destined to fail. As the Enterprise arrives, the crew members explore the offerings of Farpoint Station and establish relations with their Bandi host, Groppler Zorn (Michael Bell). The crew becomes suspicious when items they desire seem to appear out of nowhere moments later, and are unable to identify the power source that feeds the station. Deanna Troi (Marina Sirtis), an empath, senses a being with powerful yet despairing emotions nearby, and the crew discover a strange labyrinth beneath the station, but Zorn does not offer an explanation. As the Enterprise crew continues its explorations, a large unknown alien craft enters orbit and begins to fire upon an older Bandi settlement near Farpoint Station, and abducts Zorn. Before Picard orders the ship's phasers to be fired at the craft, Q appears to remind him of humanity's trial and prompts Picard to send an away team to the alien craft. The away team discovers the craft has passages similar to those under Farpoint and they are able to free Zorn. Their actions cause the alien craft to transform into a jellyfish-like space creature, and Picard is able to deduce the mystery of Farpoint Station. He confirms with the apologetic Zorn that the Bandi found a similar lifeform injured on their planet and, while attempting to care for it, they also exploited its ability to synthesize matter to create Farpoint Station. The creature now in orbit is trying to help free its mate by attacking those who hold it captive. Though Q goads Picard into punishing the Bandi, Picard refuses, instead ordering the Enterprise to fire a vivifying energy beam onto Farpoint after the station is evacuated. The beam allows the land-bound creature to transform back into its jellyfish-like form, and it flies into orbit to join its fellow being. As the crew watches the reunion of the alien creatures, Q reluctantly tells Picard that they have succeeded in their test, but hints that they will meet again.

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We were fighting on the wrong side, of a war we couldn't win. And that was the good news. The Ruhar hit us on Columbus Day. There we were, innocently drifting along the cosmos on our little blue marble, like the native Americans in 1492. Over the horizon come ships of a technologically advanced, aggressive culture, and BAM! There go the good old days, when humans only got killed by each other. So, Columbus Day. It fits. When the morning sky twinkled again, this time with Kristang starships jumping in to hammer the Ruhar, we thought we were saved. The UN Expeditionary Force hitched a ride on Kristang ships to fight the Ruhar, wherever our new allies thought we could be useful. So, I went from fighting with the US Army in Nigeria, to fighting in space. It was lies, all of it. We shouldn't even be fighting the Ruhar, they aren't our enemy, our allies are. I'd better start at the beginning....

Direct download: The_Orbital_Sword__Expeditionary_Force__Columbus_Day_by_Craig_Alanson.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:13am EST
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