And now, the conclusion . . .
Captain's Log, Stardate six one six five six point six. I have been stranded. After a routine mission analyzing a globular cluster in the Caldora sector, I decided to give my crew a day to relax and catch up on some much needed R&R. I took the opportunity to try out a new Holodeck program I found recently, recreating the late-twentieth century phenomenon known as "Battlebots." However, the Holodeck malfunctioned, causing my ship, the U.S.S. Bozeman, to be overwhelmed with killer robots. My chief engineer decided to, rather cleverly, solve the problem using the ship's transporter, to beam me out of the dangerous area of the ship. However, since we were so close to the R-415 Globular Cluster, excess epsilon radiation overwhelmed our tertiary field grid, and I woke up here, on this unknown world.
I seem to be in good shape. I am still in the period clothes I was wearing in the Holodeck, so I do not have access to my com-badge or tricorder. As a result, I am committing this log entirely to my memory, as I was trained to do in the Academy. Duty dictates that I am not caught without having taken a log of the proceedings. Still, something about my condition feels . . . strange.
I am standing in some sort of ruins. Whatever civilization existed here must be gone now. Strangely, the ground is scattered with small torches, each seeming to burn endlessly. Someone must have been here before me.
Whoever it was, they must have been quite afraid of the dark. A moderately comfortable bed sits in the middle of the torches, apparently meant to be in some relative safety. Darkness on this world must contain some level of danger.
A long bridge connected one mountain top with the other. More of the strange torches led along the path. I followed them. Perhaps this was the work of one lone explorer, stranded here like me. I was following his breadcrumbs.
I found another arrow on the other side of the bridge. If only all explorations were this easy. I couldn't help but think back on my Academy days, under many excellent professors like the great Professor Data. They prepared me well for my adventures here. So far, I haven't encountered anything that would tax my Starfleet knowledge.
It all started to become clear. Images flashed before me. Great wooden structures - strange signs - dangerous monsters that explode in my face. This world, this strange world, was my world. I had been here before. It was my trail leading me here, my clues bringing me to this great realization. It was a message . . . from myself. It all made sense now. I could understand it. "BOZEMAN." The name of my ship, etched out in wood and the very torches that led me here.
I climbed down the mountain, and found my way to the wooden letters. There, scattered around them were artifacts of my trials here. The items I gathered and lost in my quest to send myself a message. I do not know how I managed to figure it all out, or how many times I had died in this world while trying to lead myself here, or, for that matter, how many times I had come to this very point to reach this same realization.
This world and I were - are - linked. Somehow, when I die, I just return to that place beyond the mountains, rejuvenated and fresh, with no memory of what came before. I do not know how I got here, or if I ever will - ever can - escape.
No, that's not right. I remember, now. The transporter accident didn't beam me off the ship - it beamed me into the ship. I became a part of the ship itself, somehow melding with the computer. This world, then, was just some representation of my consciousness inside the Bozeman's memory banks. I understand. I can sense my crew, working in the ship - in me. They are trying to restore my transporter pattern, to recover me from my current fate.
Everything will be okay. My time in this software purgatory will not be much longer. I have faith in my crew. I have faith in the Starfleet training they have received. They should have me out of here in no time. As long as that house I burned down wasn't a manifestation of some key component of the ship's computer, that is . . .
"Take your time," I'll say, "I'm doing just fine." I can use the rest.
Why, what's this creature headed toward me?