That Damned Planet

(Feb, 2009)
Illustrations by D. Kerr Greenlaw, Company Archivist



PuckAppalachian Impatient to know just where she was she strode across the huge room to the Navigation centre.

C/S Group Captain Ellenshaw almost fell over her own feet in sheer surprise. She had enjoyed the company of Marc L Addrison most evenings on the long flight from V762Cas/4 to Earth and knew the timbre of his voice well, but as far as she knew he was just the usual well-educated and polite Company executive hitching a ride in the private crew quarters of a company spacecraft, as many did, across the space-ways in order to execute the various complex commands of their individual Company sections. What surprised her very deeply was a certain note of command, and she knew that note well, which was present in his voice as he uttered those words.

In that instant she registered the periwinkle blue flash, the sparkling light of a rare natural sapphire, mounted on silver gilt, worn on a velvet band at his throat, which confirmed his status as a Board Member.

She handed her copy to him. It took him just a minute or so to digest its contents.

It took just a few minutes for all of them to file in and take seats at the old oak and walnut conference table.

That last statement drew a collective gasp from every person seated around that impressive table. The Great Company always rescued any of their spacecraft in trouble. Casualties in space were practically unheard of and the Company certainly never abandoned its passengers if there was the slightest chance of saving even just one life. That fact is what had earned for the Company the absolute trust of all the peoples on all the inhabited worlds.

Addrison appeared to take a moment or two to think.

He let the silence stretch out beyond his remark for over a minute.

Ellenshaw decided the matter a scant second after that interruption by standing up and exerting her authority as Commander.

She grinned and with that she turned about and strode back into the control room.

Her Officers followed her.

Board Member Addrison sat alone at that antique table after they had all left. He gazed serenely at nothing at all, but a faint, sardonic, self-deprecating smile played upon his lips.

1) The following is from The Encyclopaedia OmniBritannica (5448 ed.)

3. katie

Pronunciation: k?-t?

Function: noun

Inflected Form(s): plural katie also katies

Etymology: Technical jargon, The Great Company, contraction of KTM (Kiloton Mass).

b: a unit approximately equal to the volume of the weight of inertial mass reckoning the inertial thrust from mass of ships of The Great Company to reach a speed of 2.5% of relativity

Date first recorded in use: 21st century.

See also: Maggie (MTM, Megaton Mass), Gertie (GTM, Gigaton Mass), Titanya (TTM, Teraton Mass)

Sommerholm. This picture was used in a brochure issued on 16th January 5386 to celebrate her retirement. This picture was taken on a voyage from Fortuna to Earth in the winter of 5385. Company Archive No. 072645065 – 06.

Additional (A):

Mrs. Virginia Cole (Registry 37951-D-376) taken during the successful recovery operation of the Appalachian and its passengers and crew. It shows the retrieval of life pod no. 419 of the Appalachian (Registry 915RP617923683/34367-G-387) after its collision with the Monitoring Station of the unnamed Mewslime virus contaminated planet. The Cole’s spotlight circle is clearly visible, as are the dark marks of the life pod’s collision with that station above its airlock – in the centre of the picture. Company Archive No. 394559183 – 65.



Additional (B):

Footnote (C):

The Space Company (The Great Company) Series 2009 – 6540, Copyright © The Black Whole © 2009 and onwards, and D. Kerr Greenlaw © 2009 and onwards and John M Joyce © 2009 and onwards. Any images not attributed and texts not attributed are the property of the Space Company (The Great Company) and are copyright © John M. Joyce 2009 and onwards. In any event all images and texts are copyright © of the Lexcentrics Ltd

News outlet reproduction rights can be obtained from the Great Company Press Office and from the New English Review.

Lexcentrics Ltd.

Footnote (D):

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