An Expression of Thanks and A Gift to My Friends For the Holidays

iggy's picture
November 28, 2013 - 8:04pm
Pale Thankfulness

Most colonies in the frontier celebrate their founding with feasts and holidays.  The people of White Light are famous for their annual banquets and balls.  The dralasites of Fromeltar have the Debate of The Stoas and the great tangle matches where all gather to participate and share in public feasting.  Morgaine’s World celebrates the planet’s New Year in conjunction with their founding.  Athor has an inter-clan hunt where all clans gather for 8 days of communal hunting and feasting in their world wildlife preserve.  K'aken-Kar holds the common corporate conference rooted in the annual meeting of the K'aken-Kar colonization company.  The final report of the K'aken-Kar colonization company is read then the companies formed by its’ division each present a very brief annual report followed by each company now operating and chartered on K'aken-Kar.  The public event is more a reason to gather, visit, and feast than listen to the endless line of broadcast reports by each CEO.

The holiday of gratitude for the founding of the colony is universal, no matter how, when, where, or how often it is celebrated.  In each of them the beings all remember and celebrate their colony and give thanks for the success and those in the past that established their home.  Now let me tell you about one colony where the people have something extra to be thankful for on their founding day.

The Sathar invaded Truane’s Star in the run-up to the annual arrival day celebrations, the day the first colony ship arrived in the Truane’s Star system.  Residents of Pale and New Pale commemorate the day with family meals and well wishes to each other.  Colonization ration packs are used for the midday meal to remind the people of their struggles in setting up the new colony.  Now space fleet emergency rations are also included in remembrance of the exodus.  Then the evening meal is the best of the local farm, laboratory, and hydroponics food production in remembrance of the colony success and since the exodus their successful return and rebirth.  The governments of Pale and New Pale have made a big deal of the holiday since the return to Truane’s Star.  Planetary differences are put aside and all beings are encouraged to spend time with their families and loved ones.

Orbiting Pale is an average trading station with a long history.  She started as the command station for the colonization of Pale.  She has grown as the colonies of Pale and New Pale grew.  In the third quadrant of the station there is a room sealed from the public.  There the scars of the first Sathar war are permanent for all to see.  The large windows are blown out and radiation shields are permanently closed in their place.  The long table and its’ chairs are cut, pocked with holes, or mangled.  This is the old board room of Truane Spacecraft.  The company has been gone since the war, but she is honored by all residents of Pale and New Pale so her board room remains an honored hall to all of the TSC personnel who made the star exodus possible.  Shelves have been erected from floor to ceiling along each wall.  Upon these shelves are scores of crystal goblets.  Each year as the people of Truane’s Star gather to feast and celebrate the founding of Pale they pause at the last hour of the day to watch the remaining TSC employees gather and give thanks for 16 ships and their crews that bore the brunt of the exodus.  Then the crews of the many TSC system ships that ferried refugees out of the system are honored.

Truane’s Star has always lacked a starship construction center with the facilities to produce void capable ships.  This left the inhabitants of Pale and New Pale without many options for escape when the Sathar attacked.  To this dilemma Truane Spacecraft Corporation rose to its’ finest and final moments.  Truane Spacecraft had been building system ships since the founding of New Pale.  Her ships were the core of the system fleet that established New Pale, ferrying supplies and colonists from Pale to New Pale.  By the time the Sathar attacked TSC had built and sold hundreds of ships and established strong sales throughout the frontier.  To support this she purchased 16 jump tugs in cash to ferry her ships to the out-system customers.  When the Sathar attacked Gordon Tracey, President, Founder, and CEO, ordered all company ships capable of landing to head to safety on the planet surfaces of Pale and New Pale whether construction was complete or not.  This impulsive act to protect the company assets put an invaluable supply of ships on the surface ready for the evacuation that would eventually be forced upon the population.  The Sathar attacked the orbital space station of Pale and destroyed Truane Spacecraft’s space ship construction station and yards.  Fortunately Mr. Tracey had ordered all ship construction inventories unable to land, tugged as quickly as possible to the outer system.  Mr. Tracey lost an arm and leg when his office next to the board room was hit by a Sathar missile and was forced to land on Pale for medical attention.

While in post operation recovery, hiding on besieged Pale, Mr. Tracey determined that the population of Pale would not survive the Sathar occupation.  News broadcasts displayed the Sathar genocide and Gordon Tracey resolved to spend his fortune to save as many of the people of Pale and New Pale as possible.  He contacted his Senior VP of Operations and Engineering, Toyohiro Itokawa, who had been forced to flee on the last departing jump tug, to organize a fast relay of jump tugs to quickly evacuate as many system ships to the outer system and later out-system.  Toyohiro put his engineers and their crews on an asteroid in Truane’s Star’s oort cloud.  They finished the construction of unfinished system ships.  He then coordinated with Mr. Tracey a far side rendezvous of the escaping system ships and the jump tugs.  The jump tugs then scattered and jumped individually to Dixon’s Star.  The jump tugs soon returned from Dixon’s Star with more system ships, supplies to finish the ships under construction, and cargo containers full of as many freeze fields as he could muster.   At the end of the Sathar occupation Mr. Tracey had died during the Sathar ground campaign.  He moved constantly to divert the Sathar forces away from his system ships conducting the evacuation.  His air car was shot down as he lured a Sathar reconnaissance patrol away from a landing site.  Toyohiro Itokawa died piloting a junk cargo vessel running a blockade of Sathar warships.  It is believed his engines were shot out and he crashed into a Sathar frigate by firing his landing thrusters.
The captains and crews of the jump tugs persisted under the leadership of Mr. Tracey’s son, Hans Tracey, Captain of the (Truane Spacecraft Corporation Jump Tug) TSC-JT Bull.  They completed 19 jumps to Dixon’s Star carrying refugees.  Three jump tugs were lost during return trips to Truane’s Star.  No tugs were damaged during jumps out of system with ships and cargos of evacuees in tow.  After the war Hans valiantly tried to rebuild his father’s company but ultimately lost the company while trying to rebuild the shipyard.  The government of Pale purchased the uncompleted shipyard, allowing Hans to pay off the company debts and securing work for the many past employees of TSC as Pale System Shipyard employees.  Hans left Pale and is rumored to have been last seen on Boneyard station working on a special project.

Because of the selfless acts of valor of TSC and her employees the residents of Pale and New Pale tune their holovids to a broadcast of a solemn gathering in the employees of TSC in the old board room at the last hour of the day on Truane Remembrance Day.  The boardroom is sealed by combination code known only to TSC employees.  Inside the walls have been lined with shelves.  Upon the shelves are crystal goblets with the names of every TSC employee and system ship crew member who assisted in the evacuation.  The names are etched twice, one upside and one downside so that the names can be read with the goblets standing up or turned up-side-down.  The event is broadcast silent, for those that serve and die in space die in science.  The participating employees, all those that can make it, arrive in the room in space suits by space walking, their gold visors are drawn over their faces.  When all are present, the airlock is sealed.  Then one, unknown to all, circles the room turning over any goblet on the walls that belongs to someone who has passed away.  Following this simple act of honor the room is re-pressurized.  The congregation then mingle among themselves so that the goblet master may become lost among them, it is said they close their eyes as they mingle.  This is timed so that the light of Truane’s Star enters the last remaining port hole as they stop mingling.  They all remove their helmets, gather their own goblets, remove a flask from their breast pocket, and pour their drink into their goblet.  Then another who has been chosen by ballot makes a toast to the fallen.  None but those in the board room hear the toast in this silent broadcast.  The people of Pale and New Pale make their own toasts in their homes.  Then for a brief instant the audio is enabled and another employee, chosen by ballot, toasts the living and the refugees.  The employees then return their goblets, don their helmets, evacuate the atmosphere, and exit the airlock.  As they float across the war damaged gap in the station hull to the return airlock they let their flasks float away into space.

On this day of Thanksgiving I wish to toast our forefathers, give thanks for our present freedoms and safety, express my gratitude for my family and children, and show my appreciation for my friends and all gentle beings.

-Alex Stone

iggy's picture
November 28, 2013 - 8:06pm
I wrote this as a gift to everyone on the site and as and to show how much I appreciate all that everyone shares on this site.

Thanks for hanging out here.  Thanks for sharing.

If you've been gone for a while or just silent, I'd love to hear from you again.

bossmoss's picture
November 28, 2013 - 9:10pm

I'm thankful just to be alive right now, and I absolutely appreciate the thoughts, ideas, and company of everyone here.  Thank you all.

Jaxon's picture
November 29, 2013 - 6:52am
That is a wonderful story. 

May you and you families have a special time on this special day.


Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
November 30, 2013 - 1:05pm
Good read, and belated Turkey Day wishes to all.

And always remember: Gollywog has big balls.

I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide...nor do I have any qualms stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

jedion357's picture
December 1, 2013 - 6:05pm
Good stuff, thank you Iggy.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Rollo's picture
December 3, 2013 - 9:25am
Thanx for sharing Iggy! It was a good read! :)
I don't have to outrun that nasty beast my friend...I just have to outrun you! Wink