Star Trek: Lower Decks - CF068 - "Away Teams Anonymous" (Challenge Entry - Mar/Apr 2024)


Lieutenant Commander
Red Shirt
Originally posted on - Link.

Away Teams Anonymous

“Alright, people. We’re here,” Captain Freeman announced as she personally piloted the shuttlecraft Redwood down to the surface of an unexplored planet. “Everyone stay alert and be ready for anything.”

“Yes, sir,” Ensign Haubold nodded checking her phaser along with half a dozen other members of a heavily-armed Security team.

“All our previous away teams have failed to submit proper check-in reports,” Freeman reminded as she landed the Redwood next to a row of other unoccupied shuttlecraft from the Cerritos. She swiftly powered down the engines and moved to the Redwood’s aft before signaling Haubold to lower the rear hatch. “Limited preliminary scans indicate our people are still alive, but they could be trapped. They could be unconscious. They could be…what the heck?”

“Wahooo!” A bare-chested Commander Ransom whooped happily while dancing on top of an outdoor table. He and a collection of other Cerritos personnel were scattered around a large, wide, table-and-chair-cluttered pier which extended into a shimmering, tropical-like bay surrounded by a series of majestic cliffs and other breathtaking rock formations. “Now that’s what I’m talking about! Yeah!”

“Huh?” Freeman gaped at the gyrating Ransom in shock. “Jack! What the devil do you think you’re…?”

“Hey, look everybody! The Captain’s here!” Jack grinned and giddily waved at Freeman. “Now we can really get this party started!”

“Yay!” The crowd of boisterous Cerritos personnel cheered.

“Party? Are you crazy?” Freeman barked in disbelief. “What the heck’s gotten into you people? I thought you were all in serious trouble and instead you’re lounging around dancing and acting like lunatics…”

“Captain Freeman!” A dripping wet Boimler shouted shoving his way through the throng. “Thank goodness you’re here!”

“Please excuse Commander Ransom’s current behavior, Captain,” A similarly soaked Rutherford said emerging from the crowd as well. “You see, it’s not exactly his fault.”

What’s not his fault?” Freeman demanded glaring at the two ensigns. “What in Pike’s name is going on here? Report!”

“Uh, well, you see,” Boimler gulped nervously. “Remember how the Cerritos came to survey this planet and ended up detecting an old-fashioned Earth distress signal?”

“Yes,” Freeman said tensely. “We couldn’t use transporters or pinpoint the distress signal’s exact location due to the energy barrier surrounding this planet, but we estimated it originated approximated three hundred meters below the surface of one of the planet’s major oceans. That’s why Ransom led an away team down in shuttlecraft composed of the Cerritos’ cetaceans.”

“Yes, and they successfully located the origins of the distress signal,” Boimler continued. “Turns out it was from an old Earth colony ship. The ship was originally headed for Ingraham C, but ending up getting lost and landing here instead.”

“Most of the original colonists managed to evacuate and make it to shore before the ship sank,” Rutherford explained. “But the ship itself still managed to maintain power and broadcast a distress signal that barely managed to punch through the planet’s atmosphere and associated energy barrier. Gotta hand it to the old-time engineers who designed and built that baby.”

“Ah, I see,” Freeman nodded. “That explains why there was never any record of a lost Earth colony ship reporting missing in this system.”

“Wheeeeee!” A trio of Human non-Cerritos personnel ran by while tossing handfuls of brightly colored streamers everywhere. “Party! Party! Party!”

“Though it still doesn’t explain why Ransom and the other away teams chose to join the locals in this wild display of inane revelry while failing to check in properly,” Freeman growled at the crowd of scantily clad Humans partying alongside other crewmembers from the Cerritos.

“Uh yeah. About that,” Boimler coughed. “The Cerritos’ sensors didn’t detect it due to the energy barrier, but all the liquid bodies on this planet aren’t composed of water. Instead, they’re composed of a diverse array of ethanol-based solutions created by various naturally occurring, planet-wide fermentation processes.”

“Huh?” Freeman did a take before turning to stare out at the foamy, golden-pale colored bay. “Wait, are saying all the liquid bodies on this planet are entirely made of beer?”

“Oh no. Of course not,” Rutherford shook his head. “That would be silly.”

“No kidding,” Freeman muttered.

“Only the oceans and open seas are made of beer,” Rutherford corrected. “The inland seas are made of wine, the lakes are made of gin and the rivers are made of either brandy, whiskey, rum or the equivalent of other distilled liquors.”

“WHAT?!” Freeman was stunned.

“Yes, I couldn’t believe it either,” Boimler sighed. “The water, er, I mean ethanol cycle on this planet must be crazy. And since the away team’s mission involved most of them swimming in the ocean…”

“Yahooo!” Ensign Matao hooted zooming around the bay while flashing a dazzling dolphin grin. “I love my job! Best away mission ever!”

“Look at me! Look at me!” A very happy Lieutenant Yuna roared leaping completely over the pier. “Hahahahaha!”


“I get the picture,” Freeman groaned as the inebriated orca made a small tidal wave of beer which washed over the pier, much to its occupants’ delight. “Great, just what we need. A pod of drunken cetaceans. Now I’ve seen everything!”

“Commander Ransom did speak to the colony’s leaders in order to find out more about them and their history,” Rutherford said. “Who also insisted he join them in sampling several glasses of the planet’s various natural liquid wonders…”

“Hehehehehe!” Ransom giggled while leading a combined conga-limbo line. “Go Jackie! Go Jackie! Yeah!”

“I should have known,” Freeman groaned.

“Commander Ransom did manage to make an initial check-in report, though he was apparently pretty drunk at the time,” Rutherford went on. “At least from what we heard. And when we arrived as part of the second away team led by Lieutenant Shaxs to check in on the original away team Ransom ordered us all to have several drinks too. In order to show proper respect for the local colonists’ customs…”

“I see where this is going,” Freeman moaned. “Unfortunately.”

“Which of course led to the follow-up away team getting drunk,” Boimler said. “Along with the follow-up away team to the follow-up away team led by Lieutenant Commander Stevens …”

“Which led to me leading the final follow-up away team with the Cerritos’ final remaining shuttlecraft,” Freeman concluded. “Not to mention my final last nerve!”

“Yipppeeeeee!” Mariner whooped prancing around with a mug of spirits in each hand and an arm around a pair of well-toned colonists. “Now this is what being an intrepid Starfleet explorer is all about! Paradise really does exist! Eat your heart out, Shore Leave Planet!”

“Speaking of which,” Freeman gritted her teeth. “Beckett Mariner! Get your sorry inebriated butt over here right now…!”


“Hahahahaha!” Colonists and Cerritos crewmembers alike cackled as they shot streams of flavored alcohol at each other.

“Aaahhhhhh!” Freeman yelped as she was helplessly caught in the crossfire.

“Oops! Sorry we forgot to warn you about that, Captain,” Boimler apologized. “The colonists enjoy making and using several variations of an old Earth toy called ‘squirt guns’. Though their versions are filled with beer, brandy, whiskey or rum…”

“No, really? I never would have guessed,” Freeman snapped wiping her face. “Ugh, I’m going to end up smelling like bitters and hops for days. Wait a minute,” She stared at Boimler and Rutherford curiously. “Why aren’t you two ensigns drunk like everyone else?”

“Oh, my implant has a special alcohol-blocking feature,” Rutherford explained pointing at it. “It protects my brain from all harmful alcohol-related effects. Though it doesn’t work on the rest of my body’s internal organs.”

“And I always carry a small personal supply of anti-intoxicants around,” Boimler said. “I learned the hard way not doing so can be hazardous to my health. Especially considering who I inevitably end up hanging out with …”

“Mambo, mambo, mam-bo!” Mariner hooted dancing around with her eyes practically spinning in circles. “Bomb shots, bomb shots, bomb-bo!”

“Good thinking,” Freeman sighed.

“I did try to check-in with the Cerritos by myself,” Boimler insisted. “That is until Ensign Mariner and others accidentily ended up wrecking all the shuttlecrafts’ communication arrays during the combadge tossing contest…”

“Another piece of the puzzle,” Freeman groaned.

“Oh boy! Time for some fresh salmon fillets!” Petty Officer Dulae cackled drunkenly knifing through a series of beer waves and bearing down on his target. “Papa’s going to dine well tonight!”

“AAAHHHHHH! HELP!” Lieutenant Commander Stevens screamed floundering in the bay while wearing an inflatable fish costume. “HE’S GOING TO EAT ME!”

“Ha! Is this all you lightweights got? Bring it on!” Lieutenant Shaxs boasted tossing an empty stein over his shoulder while competing in a no-holds-barred drinking contest. “Nobody outdrinks Security!”

“Seaweed fight!” More people ran about tossing clumps of wet seaweed in all directions.



“What the heck?!” Freeman yelped as the shuttlecraft Whiskeytown zoomed dangerously over the bay and buzzed the pier to the inebriated crowd’s amusement. “Who the devil is flying that thing?”

“Uh, that would be Ensign Tendi,” Boimler blanched watching the shuttlecraft perform a series of bizarre and reckless stunts. “She volunteered to fly a few crewmembers around in an attempt to sober them up. Well, more like insisted…”

“Is Ensign Tendi drunk too?” Freeman twitched as the shuttlecraft skimmed over the beer-filled bay like an oversized hydroscooter.

“No, she hasn’t had a drop,” Rutherford assured Freeman as the Whiskeytown just barely avoided crashing into the row of Cerritos’ grounded shuttlecraft only to clip a few of the more protruding rock formations. “Tendi can just be a little…enthusiastic about certain things.”

“WAAAUUUGGGHHHHHH! SOMEBODY SAVE US!” Wails of terror rang out from the Whiskeytown’s doomed passengers. “THIS PILOT IS CRAZY! WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE!”

“Though I have to say, Tendi’s piloting skills have gotten a lot better,” Rutherford commented as the shuttlecraft spun around like a corkscrew. “Relatively speaking.”

“Did I just hear the occupants of that shuttle scream?” Freeman gawked at the Whiskeytown in horror. “Without the use of their combadges?”

“I’m afraid so,” Boimler sighed. “It’s nothing I or other poor souls of Tendi’s flying haven’t done a few dozen times before.”

“Attack!” Several people perched on top of a covered section of the pier began bombarding those gathered below with beach balls.

“Huh?” Freeman blinked while shielding herself with her hands. “How do these people keep getting their hands on these things?”

“It’s amazing what the original colonists were able to salvage from their ship before it sunk,” Boimler noted. “Not to mention terrifying.”

“Bubbles! Bubbles!” Specialist Paikea giggled swimming around while blasting a frothy stream of beer foam from her blowhole. “Bubbles for everyone!”

“Oh yeah, that’s the stuff!” Ransom grinned pumping out push-ups with a pair of beaming ladies dancing on his back. “Hit me right there! Feel the burn!”

“Hey, watch it! Back off! Don’t make me stun you…hey, give me back my phaser!” Ensign Haubold and the rest of the Security team attempted to impose some kind of order upon the crowd only to find themselves swept up in the revelry. “Gahhh, don’t throw it into the bay! No, I don’t want to take those kinds of shots…aaaggguuulppp! Ahhh…ohhh…mmm, say that’s some pretty tasty beer!”

“Hehehehehe!” People laughed and merrily ran about as a series of liquor-soaked chairs suddenly went up in flames. “Burn, baby, burn!”

“Aggghhh, I don’t believe this!” Freeman cried clutching her hair in aggravation. “This whole inexplicable situation is absurd! What’s next? Coming across a planet with oceans entirely made of coffee?”

“Please don’t give the universe ideas,” Boimler begged. “Sir!”

“Boy, I bet Janeway would love that,” Rutherford commented at the suggestion. “Talk about a planet that never sleeps.”

In Heaven there is no beer!” Mariner sang leading a chorus of very sloshed and happy revelers. “That’s why we drinks it here! And when we’re gone from here! Our friends will be drinking all the beer!

“You’re certainly gone alright,” Boimler groaned at the sight. “Though definitely not in the way I or certain other superior officers would like.”

“That’s it! I’ve had it!” Freeman declared making her way to the pier. She climbed onto one of the thick railing posts in an attempt to be seen and heard over the crowd. “Attention all Cerritos personnel! Return to the line of shuttlecraft at once and prepare to return to the ship…!”


“What the…AAAHHHHHHHHH!” Freeman yelled as Dulae leapt from the bay and grabbed her outstretched uniform sleeve in his teeth. “YAAAHHHHHH! WHAT ARE YOU DOING?! LET ME GO… BLUBBURUBBURUUUB!”

“Hey, look! I got a toy!” Dulae giggled drunkenly while porpoising to join his fellow cetaceans. “It is beer polo time!”

“Yay!” Yuna, Paikea and Matao hooted happily.

“WHAT?! NO…GAAAHHHHHH!” Freeman screamed as Dulae balanced her on top of his snout. “PUT ME DOWN! THAT’S A DIRECT ORDER…NO, NOT LIKE THAT! AAAUUUGGGHHHHHH!”

“Oooh, that’s going to leave a mark,” Rutherford commented watching Freeman be tossed around like a ball between the giggling dolphins and orcas. “And to think the cetaceans are considered to be some of the saniest people aboard the Cerritos.”

“Are you crazy? That’s ridiculous,” Boimler gave his friend a look while the madness reigned supreme. “Whoever heard of there being sane people aboard the Cerritos?”

Disclaimer: I do not own Star Trek: Lower Decks or the song “In Heaven There is No Beer”.
Last edited: