"Rest in peace, colonel."
– William T. Riker, 2365 ("The Royale")

Colonel Stephen G. Richey was a 21st century NASA astronaut who served as the commander of the exploratory shuttle Charybdis, launched on July 23, 2037.

Richey arrived at the planet Theta VIII in 2044, where an artificial environment, based on the novel Hotel Royale (which apparently was in the possession of one of his crew), was created for him by an unknown alien force, which according to Richey's diary, accidentally destroyed his ship and the rest of his crew and had been trying to atone for their mistake. He lived out the rest of his life in room 727 of the hotel, where he eventually died in his sleep in 2082.

Colonel Richey's name patch

His partially decomposed remains were discovered by Commander William T. Riker, Lieutenant Commander Data, and Lieutenant Worf of the USS Enterprise-D in 2365. Data further found that due to the sterile environment of the hotel, Richey's body did not undergo advanced decomposition in the years since his death. They also discovered his diary, which contained a single entry revealing the truth behind the artificial environment. (TNG: "The Royale")

Final words

  • "I write this in the hope that it will someday be read by Human eyes. I can only surmise at this point, but apparently our exploratory shuttle was contaminated by an alien life form which infected and killed all personnel except myself. I awakened to find myself here in the Royale Hotel precisely described in the novel I found in my room. For the last 38 years, I have survived here. I have come to understand that the alien contaminators created this place for me out of some sense of guilt, presuming that the novel we had on board the shuttle about the Hotel Royale was in fact a guide to our preferred lifestyle and social habits. Obviously, they thought this was the world from which I came. I hold no malice toward my benefactors; they could not possibly know the hell they have put me through, for it was such a badly written book, filled with endless clichés and shallow characters. I shall welcome death when it comes."

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