My Line in the Sand

“David and Saavik – Shooting Stars – Part 2” will not be seen tonight, so that we may bring you the following special FIAWOL presentation.

Drawing a line in the sand is popular right now. We like to know who’s like us and who isn’t. Who can be trusted and who can’t. Who’s in our tribe, and who’s an evil outsider who needs to be kicked to the curb. So we draw a line in the sand and ask those like us to stand on our side of it. We go on Facebook and say, “If you don’t agree with me that drinking Green Kool-Aid is a hate crime, you are what is wrong with the world, unfriend me now, you are dead to me. Oh, and thanks for electing Trump.”

Silly, right? Well here’s my line in the sand: If you approve of James Gunn losing his job because he made jokes on Twitter years ago, then you are what’s wrong with the world, I don’t trust you, and you are clearly not of my tribe.

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The Colonel’s Plan – Sidesteps

January 17, 2018

Dear Daddy —

Kind of a pretty shot, but it’s the ugly rubble of Crabbers’ Cove

If it sounds like not a lot got done towards actually finishing the house in the last two months of the year, it’s because we became so focused on the holidays. I told you last time about Christmas. I didn’t even mention Thanksgiving. It was a little hectic, but we got through it, making the first Thanksgiving dinner in a kitchen which did not also double as a workshop and storeroom. To be fair, that kitchen, despite lacking cabinets, a stove and a sink, managed to be used to prepare dozens of festive dinners over the years. It was just a cumbersome process. 

We still don’t have a stove, but at least we have a sink and cabinets. 

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Enterprise Lost – Chapter Six

Accepting Saavik’s voice print, the computer-activated door slid open into the access corridor which led to Regula’s main reception area. The last time she had been here, the station had been cold and dark and strewn with bodies of the victims of Khan Singh’s mad attempt to appropriate the Genesis project. 

Now it had been restored after two months of labor on the parts of the remaining Genesis team and a Starfleet work crew. Saavik wondered how much of the actual work Carol Marcus and her colleagues had found themselves able to actually participate in. This laboratory complex was a vessel for horrible memories for those who had survived the Reliant affair as well as those of the Genesis personnel who had returned from leave only to discover that the project had come to an end after years of dedicated labor with the deaths of their friends. 

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David and Saavik – Shooting Stars – Part 1 of 2

A few Wednesdays ago now, I went to the Lyric Opera House with family and friends to see Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan on the big screen. I had last seen it thus-presented back in 1982, when it was released. I believe it was the first movie I ever returned to the theater to see more than once, because it was just that good. (For a lot of people, that movie was Star Wars. Not for me. I was a Trek kid.) The screening of the film was followed by a Q&A with William Shatner, MC’d by my friend Bob Greenberger. (Who may someday forget that he was on stage with Bill Shatner for an hour, but not any day soon.) 

Shatner’s presence was a good thing, because the audio on the film was terrible. Kinda disappointing in a hall where people go to hear live musical performances. 

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Enterprise Lost – Chapter Five

In the Guardian’s central area, the images Saavik and McCoy had observed faded now, obscured by swirling mists. She and the Doctor stood, numbed by what they had seen. He probably did not fully understand as she did what it all meant. He had not had the dream. For the moment, he was spared the pain of knowing how things must be. Knowledge was not always a blessing. 

The voice boomed, “Saavik.” 

“Yes,” she responded coolly. 

“Now you have seen what must be. Are you willing to do what must be done? I cannot force you, but I believe you know some of the consequences should you refuse.” 

I cannot force you. True enough, she supposed, but certainly it had seen to it that she would not refuse. What kind of creature would? A low, unprincipled one might, one that placed the lives of a select few above the lives of a universe. Saavik might have—long ago.  Continue reading

Enterprise Lost – Chapter Four


The central living area Sarek escorted Terry to was not what he would have expected of Vulcan living. Onboard ship, Vulcans tended to be rather spartan in their decor. This room, in fact. the whole house, showed a human touch—specifically a feminine one. Obviously, Amanda had had a hand in the decorating. 

Once inside the central room, however, Terry didn’t find himself noticing walls or floors or other things inanimate. Around him were anxious faces, most of them with a touch of sympathy in their expression. Captain Scott, Dr. McCoy and Commander Uhura sat casually on the large couch in front of him. In nearby chairs, facing one another, were his commander, Hikaru Sulu, and a man he assumed to be Pavel Chekov. 

Sulu smiled at him in greeting, as did Uhura and McCoy. Could they see how nervous he was? Were they offering him a vote of confidence? Perhaps they wanted to remind him that they were old friends and teachers as well as criminals he’d been sent to arrest. He remembered. 

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Freedom? That is a Worship Word… You Will Not Speak It!

Terrible episode, right? If you’re of a generation of fan that doesn’t recognize any Star Trek quote other than, “Khaaaaaaaannnnnn!!!”, I’ll explain.

Gene Roddenberry, aka the Great Bird of the Galaxy, creator of Star Trek, developed a script early on in the production of Trekso early that it was a contender for the show’s famed second pilot episode—called “The Omega Glory.” The premise was that there was a planet of two primitive, but apparently immortal, tribes of people called the Yangs and the Kohms. They had a hereditary feud. The Kohms presented as basically civilized, the Yangs were mute and apparently savage.

They were mute, that is, until Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock, imprisoned with two Yangs, mentioned that they needed to somehow attain their freedom.

“Freedom?” said the big, male, mute, shocking the two Starfleet officers. “Freedom?” And, as above, he told the outworlders that they were not to use the sacred word.

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The Colonel’s Plan – Clearing out for Christmas

Janury 11th, 2018

Dear Daddy —

The Christmas Tree from People’s Drug. Why the circle of chairs, you ask? There was some concern about how the dogs would react to the tree. In days gone by, it was kept in a playpen, to protect it from the cat. The cat loved laying in the playpen under the tree. The dogs were indifferent, chairs or no chairs.

Let me tell you about Christmas. Our first Christmas without you. The first Christmas the world has had without you since 1921. And, in 1921, Christmas would have been celebrated—at least in Pensacola, North Carolina, without streaming music, without CD players or vinyl record players, even without a radio. Your Daddy owned the first radio back in those hills, and neighbors came to visit in the evening just to listen to it. But that was years later.

Christmas would have been celebrated without electric lights on the tree or the house, without telephones so that out-of-town loved ones could call. Your Grandpa and Grandma Rathbone would have had to come through the woods or around the bend in the road to visit the log cabin where you were born. (Although I think your Grandma essentially lived with you anyway. She delivered you.) Your Grandfather Jake Wilson was five years dead, and his wife had married for a third time.

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Enterprise Lost – Chapter Three

USS Phoenix Log, Stardate: 8223.4 

Lieutenant Aer’La commanding in the absence of First Officer Hadley. 

Phoenix has been called out of maintenance in spacedock and ordered to follow the path of the USS Enterprise, stolen by a band of Starfleet renegades led by Admiral James Kirk and including former Phoenix commander Sulu, to the Genesis planet in the Mutara sector. 

It was truly the most bizarre order she had ever been given: pull the ship out of dock in the middle of maintenance work and reassemble what crew she could to track down and arrest six of the most celebrated officers in the fleet—the former command crew of the Enterprise. Two thirds of the crew had been available, and, despite their grumbling, the repair crews had had the ship ready to go in six hours. 

Aer’La had looked at Admiral Morrow as though he were mad when he had called her, a simple lieutenant just off of border patrol, into his office and put her in charge of the most delicate mission the fleet could ever dream of undertaking—the arrest of a band of heroes for mutiny. No diplomatic undertaking could ever be so sensitive as this. Starfleet would not be popular when it hauled Jim Kirk in for court martial. Why her? And why Phoenix? 

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“We Don’t Serve Their Kind?” or “The Advanced Trait of Mercy?”

Few fans of science fiction do not remember the moment in Star Wars when Luke Skywalker enters the cantina at Mos Eisley, accompanied by C3PO and R2D2 and is told “We don’t serve their kind.” Luke is confused, and the barman explains that ‘droids are not wanted in his establishment. So the ‘droids glumly go to wait outside while Luke and Obi Wan meet Han Solo.

Nothing else happens related to this incident. The hateful behavior of the barman is not addressed. We’re left to assume, I suppose, that someone is always at the bottom rung of the social ladder, and such people are always discriminated against. In the Star Wars universe, those disenfranchised people are ‘droids. The moment stands that hate is a fact of life.

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