The Hunt for a Lost Story

Many years ago, I had a great idea for a Star Trek fan fiction series.

It was never meant to be anything huge.  I think I only planned about 6 stories in total (if that), and even fleshed out the first story quite a bit.  This was way back in the day of GeoCities, where my Star Trek: The Cantabrian Expeditions (and later Star Trek: The Prospect Chronicles) was originally hosted.

I learned a lot about HTML and Web design over the years, starting with GeoCities back in 1996.  It’s amazing to think that, 17 years ago, I was living in America and had never been overseas and didn’t even know what HTML was, let alone able to code anything in it.  And here we are, 17 years later, and I have created several Web sites, including my work ones.

Sorry.  I’m digressing again.

So, I came up with this premise, nothing too flash, around 1998 or 1999 I think.  It was called Star Trek: The Guardian Project.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with Star Trek, I’m sure this is going to get a little crazy for you, but I’ll try to explain the premise as simply as possible, highlighting the original story first.

Way back in 1967, during the original Star Trek‘s run, there was an episode called “The City on the Edge of Forever“.  Essentially, the Enterprise encounters a planet emanating a large amount of time distortions.  Dr. McCoy injects himself with a drug that makes him go a bit wacko, and he beams down to the planet.  Captain Kirk, Spock, Scotty, Uhura, and two random redshirts beam down to follow him.  McCoy ends up jumping through a sentient time portal known as the Guardian of Forever, altering Earth’s history.  There’s no more Enterprise in orbit.  It’s up to the away team to set time right again.

(Still following this?)

Actually, I don’t need to tell any more of the story than that.  Basically, the Guardian of Forever is a time portal that someone can use to alter history.  (If you want to read more, visit the Star Trek Wiki article above about the episode or watch it.)  Obviously, when you have a time portal that can alter history, you have a pretty powerful weapon.

My idea was, in Star Trek: The Guardian Project, that one too many problems came from alien races, hostile and friendly, trying to use the Guardian of Forever for their own means that a team was assembled to exclusively protect it.  The Guardian Project dealt with that team and some of their adventures in not only protecting the Guardian but also correcting large errors in the time-line.

(<geekrant>Changes in the time-line, in my version of fan fiction, emits a signal, detectable by various pieces of specialized equipment.  The size of these changes are measured on the Manheim-Hudec scale, much like an earthquake’s magnitude is measured by the moment magnitude scale.</geekrant>)

There were a few Starfleet officers involved, but I also mixed in a few civilians and people with honorary ranks to make the story a bit more interesting.  One was a mercenary, “the best criminal in the galaxy”, while another was a historian specializing in period costumes and could sew up a mean disguise relatively quickly.  (A handy skill to have if you were jumping through time.)

Yet another digression.  Sorry.

For some reason, I’ve felt compelled to find the original Web site and the information on it and retrieve it for my fan fiction wiki.  I’m not quite sure why.  I have tried previously to find it — I believed I had a copy on one of my old Zip or Orb discs — but with the drivers expired, there was really no way to access the discs until recently.

I found some of the old discs, but the ones I can access via Orb drive are lost somewhere or don’t have the data I need.  The Zip drive works via a serial port which I also don’t have (until Noel pointed out an old work computer here at home has one).  So… I’m hoping one of my discs does have that information on it.

Other than that… I can only find four pages of the original scribbles of an idea in an old notebook.  If I could remember the GeoCities address, I might have a chance at finding it archived.  But a Google search finds nothing.

What this whole story means is that we are now so reliant on digital media and software to preserve things for all time that it is so easy to lose those things with a shift in digital storage techniques or file types.  Even one company going under or shifting its focus can bring things crashing to their knees (so to speak).

So… the hunt for a lost story continues.  Here’s hoping that somewhere in cyberspace, or on one of my old discs, I can find that information.