Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Star Trek '12: 412 AD - Picard

There’s a famous Picard family story about the time the Visigoths came to town. Jean-Luc particularly enjoyed hearing this one growing up, and his brother Robert constantly reminded him about it in later years, saying that it helped transform him into the arrogant man he became (or at least, in Robert’s estimation).

The story goes, in the years following the sack of Rome, when they were looking for something else to do, the Visigoths landed in Gaul, on the land that would one day become the Picard vineyards, and got drunk. That’s the joke, anyway, but young Jean-Luc used to imagine what exactly it meant for his heritage, his connection to a vivid moment in time, when so many things were possible, the possibility of cultures intersecting and interacting and generally coming together, adding to one another, even if sometimes it was a little messy, and that’s probably when he first looked to the stars, dreaming of life as an officer in Starfleet, and yes, perhaps one day a captain of his own ship, never knowing from day to day what the future would bring, except that it would be glorious.

Yes, Robert certainly had his version of the young Jean-Luc, and he would have said that the joke would continue that Jean-Luc had Visigoth blood in him, all right, certainly not in the way Jean-Luc would ever suggest, perhaps remembering how unruly and headstrong his younger brother could sometimes be, less so after that incident with the Nausicaans, surely, but nothing like the cool resolve it took to look after tradition, the family as it was for many, many centuries, feet firmly planted on the earth.

Who’s to say which brother got it right? Both could look to the same moment in time and see different interpretations. Well, that’s what family does, that’s what everyone does. With family it can just be a little more personal, and who knows what the effects will be?

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Adventures of Kentucky Joe in Space!

One day Kentucky Joe was milking his cow Bessie, and the next, he was hurtling through space!

If he'd ever taken a close look at Bessie, he would have noticed that she was no ordinary cow. The fact is, however, that Kentucky Joe was always much like anyone else, in that he expected life to be pretty much to be a fairly predictable affair, and in fact it was, except it was predictable in all the ways he'd never even suspected.

Bessie was a cow, all right, but she was a cow from the distant reaches of the universe!

Stranded on Earth after a recon mission to find the lost dictator of the galaxy, Bessie settled into existence producing milk and munching on grass for years, waiting for the moment when she could exact her revenge on Kentucky Joe, who continued to baffle her in his inability to recognize anything past his own immediate airspace.

The moment finally came when a meteor streaked across the night sky one summer evening and struck Kentucky Joe clean on his head, knocking him unconscious for several minutes.

When he awoke, Kentucky Joe was inside a capsule barely large enough to contain him, with no perceptible propulsion system but a rocket seemingly pushing him along to some unknown destination.

He'd never seen the stars like this!

Also, his head was still spinning, and he suspected that he was suffering from a hangover, except he hadn't had a drink since high school graduation, when Susie May had rejected his marriage proposal on the grounds that, in all possible ironies, his father's farm had never had a cow in its pastures.

After a few minutes, Kentucky Joe was able to focus long enough to see that his ship was entering a wormhole, where he was startled to see an actual worm, or at least that's what he assumed it to be. He closed his eyes before he could give it much thought.

Kentucky Joe next felt a considerable shudder below the craft, the hatch popped open, and he tumbled out onto a surface that didn't seem to have enough gravity to keep him tethered. he floated for several minutes and saw what he took to be massive cucumbers, except they were waving at him. He blacked out again for a few minutes, and then saw a statue staring at him that looked remarkably like Bessie.

"Wooey!" was all Kentucky Joe could think to say.

And that's when things really got interesting.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Star Trek '12: 312 AD - Romulans

It was still whispered among a few of them, in the more remote quarters of the ships that comprised the convoy. There was the argument, or The Argument, as it had come to be known, when at last someone had dared challenge the teachings and reforms of Surak, who had so courageously chosen to mold the entirety of Vulcan under the trappings of Logic.

Ah, yes, Logic. That was another term that had earned the distinction of being almost a proper name. It, too, was scoffed at by those still of comparative good humor, who weren’t embittered by what they considered to be the end of civilization. Surak had presumed to give the Vulcans what he considered to be deliverance from barbarism, but he’d done so playing by the same rules everyone had always known, and the fools, the ridiculous fools, had assumed that it’d be best if everyone played along. Well, some of them hadn’t been willing. Hence The Argument. Hence the convoy. Hence exile. Hence the destination of the twin planets known as Romulus and Remus.

What awaited them? That was another popular subject in the bowels of the ships. Only those willing to speculate were willing to talk about it. Only those who still harbored a glimmer of hope, that life hadn’t been so bad, that the power of the mind needn’t be shackled by Logic, were willing to talk about it. The consensus was that there had already been too much talk. Maybe so.

It wasn’t easy, forsaking everything they’d known, but then, everything they’d known had just undergone an undesirable transformation. Change had been inevitable, and so some had chosen to embrace it on their own terms. It might take centuries, but they’d prove that they hadn’t been wrong, that they hadn’t made a mistake, that Surak alone couldn’t dictate the best destiny of his people.

So then, the future. There was a lot of talk about that, too. None of those who dared to talk cared to reflect on what they had already sacrificed, the loss of dignity, and that’s why they didn’t care about where they were free to talk, even in these circumstances, because they believed in the end result, in what they were doing. Some of them plotted redesigns to the very ships they currently inhabited, looking for the predator instincts they’d been told were no longer appropriate, creating still more distance from the Vulcans who were even then beginning to feel like an entirely separate people. They were hungry for the challenge. Would there even be indigenous peoples on those worlds? Would it even matter?

There was talk, too, of how they would be represented. There was talk of politics, of the best possible nominees for the Senate they were ready to believe in. What other choice did they have? The tyranny of Surak? They had already rejected that. So much would be different. But the truth was, they were ready to bring it all back to how it used to be. They would prove that it was possible. They would prove it to the entire universe.

Yes, this was just the beginning.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Star Trek '12: 212 AD - Vulcans

In those days, Vulcan was an incredibly harsh place to live, not just because of the suns baking the surface of the planet, but because its inhabitants had not yet learned to master their intensely passionate natures.

This is not to say Vulcans in this time were a savage people, but that their descendents would surely, without hesitation, say so. They were more tribal in nature, more given to developing rivalries and grudges against neighbors competing for scarce resources, not yet comprehending that there was an abundance of it, still clinging to illusions and fantasies. Yet they were already a devout people, capable of great appreciation for the stubborn earth and all of nature around them, even if it proved more challenging than they were able to master to that point in their history.

It was in this environment that the ancestors of Spock claimed what would in time become ancient ceremonial ground. Those who knew them, even those who shared their beliefs, were baffled by their insistence on this claim, shook their heads, whispered behind their backs, even plotted against them. Yet Sallek and his family held true to themselves, even in the midst of a world gripped by apparent madness, convinced as it was that anyone who might know themselves was the real threat. Sallek was himself a humble man, and was loved by his wife for it, and he was already more than a century old when he made the decision, and he smiled at his own children when they, too, questioned him, and didn’t say a word. In later years, when he was no longer in control of himself, his youngest daughter, Sevek, took him into her home, which was not far from the ceremonial ground he had claimed, and sometimes took him to it, and only sometimes admitted that she now understood what he’d done for them.

Sallek was near the end of his life when Surak entered into his ministry of logic. Somehow, even though Sevek never said a word of it, he knew that she saw him in a different light, in the hour his eyes dimmed to nothing. A bright future was ahead for his people, and his daughter would be there to see it.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Coming Soon: Star Trek '12

A series of short stories covering Star Trek centuries...

Flash Fiction

Frankie met two alternate versions of himself in a single afternoon. The thing that frightened him the most was that initially he didn't recognize either of them.

Flash Fiction

John had been described as a "mad scientist" since he attended middle school. It wasn't until he aligned himself with a third world dictator and actually held the world hostage that the distinction was referenced in the media.

Flash Fiction

Anna walked across the street one evening, only to discover that she was no longer on the same continent. That was the moment she discovered her greatest talent.

Flash Fiction

In the blink of an eye, the whole world changed. The only thing that remained the same was that Abner still had the same rotten luck, forced to witness every horrible accident in New York City.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Flash Fiction

Billy had been raising his daughter alone ever since the alien invasion, but still he believed that one day they would be reunited with her mother, even though they had been abducted to another world. Humanity's resistance had prevailed, but could Billy ever forgive himself for falling in love with one of the invaders?

Flash Fiction

Barry spoke as clearly as he could into his phone, hoping this time that it would understand what he was trying to say to it. The only reason he didn't give up on the voice recognition technology was that one day he hoped it would give him the one answer he sought more than any other, and that was where exactly he'd been stranded.

Flash Fiction

Two decades after the fact, Sydney still had no idea what had happened to her. She could still vividly recall waking up in Hong Kong, and the events as she learned that'd played out to reach that point, but it was still a period of her life she'd probably be thinking about until the day she died, and not necessarily fondly.