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MATHS DEPARTMENT ST SWITHIN'S CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTION FOR BOYS NAME ....................................................... CLASS........................................................

ACRUX FANZINE

E N I Z K E TR

Vol.1 No.3 Dec 2008 .. . . . . . . . .

PR O PE R HOUS E TY OF THE O F L'S T OK – HA N D

S OF F!

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Issue 3, Dec. 2008

December 2008 Volume 1, Issue 3

Highlights of this Issue 1 2 3 4 5 8 9 10 18 19 20

Cover The Raven's Writing Desk Editorial by Kirok of L'Stok On The Honesty of Fan Productions Comment by Kirok of L'Stok Fan Works and The Law Comment by Kirok of L'Stok The Gift Fiction by R. Woodell, Art by Ken Gurton Never Again Fiction by Kirok of L'Stok Klingon Thought For The Day Comment by Kirok of L'Stok Its All Engineering Fiction & Art by SL Watson Afternoon Tea Fiction by Kirok of L'Stok Vulcan Thought For The Day Comment by Kirok of L'Stok Dedication

The Acrux Printzine is a perzine (personal fanzine) based on the work of Kirok of L'Stok unless otherwise credited. Note that text in blue is hyperlinked in electronic copies to further resources on the web. Most of these hyperlinks can also be accessed from the website. Editor and Publisher Kirok of L'Stok kirok.lieferikson@gmail.com A Production of ...

The Raven's Writing Desk The Editor Welcome to the fan fiction issue of Acrux! For one issue only Acrux goes into 'Trekzine' mode, following the almost traditional path of such seminal 'zines as Spokanalia by focusing on reader contributed fan fiction, poetry and art. For my part, I'll be mixing my usual profound pontifications of edification and elucidation with a bit of fun. Because that's what fan fiction is all about – having fun. Oh, certainly I've seen some excellent drama, tragedy and action in fan fiction over the years, but the genre really shines when it chases the sacred cows with comedy, romance and parody. I must make a point of saying from the start that this issue is not strictly speaking my usual “perzine” This month I have the pleasure of playing host to the work of a number of talented individuals who range from the legendary talent (well I think she is anyway!) of S.L.Watson to members of Starfleet International that I have never had the pleasure of meeting before. In my younger days I was quite a political animal. Oh, I never faced down authority as I sang the Internationale at the barricades, but I was known to rage against the machine and social injustice. Nowadays I'm more laid back with different definitions of good and evil, order and chaos but I still feel that modern Western society can devalue the worth of the common man. Fan fiction is an example of how creativity is not a commodity that is easily bought and sold, of how “everyman” can gain exactly the same satisfaction from his work that da Vinci, Hemingway and Speilberg got from theirs. I'm not saying that an amateur's work will commonly match the same level of excellence as the giants of their media simply that we can feel the same level of satisfaction as they did. Just as Van Gogh probably stood back from the canvas, scratching behind his one good ear, and said, “Damn! I'm good!” so too, I blush to admit, have I! Is it an immodesty to be one of your own favourite authors? I may never write anything that garners critical acclaim but that will not stop me from trying to live up to the expectations of my biggest fan and biggest critic – myself!

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Fan productions such as fan fiction have a a number of innate advantages over professional work. Being free from commercial restraints is one such boon – I only have to worry about what I want to give my audience, not what they demand. If I wish to write a political polemic that espouses the virtues of Ferengi existentialism I don't have to worry that it won't sell! We can, and many do, put whatever message we want into our fiction without worrying about the interference of media executives. If we are confident about what we are trying to do we can call down to the Engine Room, “Full speed ahead and damn the critics!” Without belittling the required technical knowledge needed to be a critic, all too often their reviews are not constructive and survive on the public's vicarious enjoyment of their negative attitude. Their purpose is not to improve the work of those being reviewed but to entertain the public. In some ways I feel that we are on the threshold of a new renaissance. Think about it. The European renaissance was a direct result of technology that precipitated a rapid period of development in science and the arts that caused major economic and social changes. The breakneck pace of technological change that we are going through today is challenging our traditional concepts of wealth, worth and personal identity. Just as the production of mirrors that were cheap enough for the public to own changed their concept of themselves as an individual, so to has the internet and interactive media changed our perception of who we are and what we can do. Is there a negative side to it, such as how professionals can get a fair return for their work? The copyright laws are proving to be inadequate to the challenge that this awakening of public power represents to them. The concept of “owning” a creative idea is proving to be very hard to enforce in a world that has cheap computer memory, increasing internet speeds and a (wrong) public perception that 'if it's on the net it's free to copy.' What is needed is a partnership between professionals and public, not a consumer / supplier relationship. The public need to change their attitudes as well and realise that “there ain't no such thing as a free lunch” - you get what you pay for. We should see ourselves as patrons of the arts rather than consumers of the arts. Will we be remembered as the 21st century's Medici's or Simpsons?

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On The Honesty Of Fan Productions Chris Johnstone wrote an excellent review of the audio book biography of Tolkein for the last copy of Ethel The Aardvark, the fanzine of the Melbourne Science Fiction Club, that seemed to catalyse for him (or her?) a personal questioning of how honest he was in his ability to sub-create his own fictional world when he writes his magnum opus. It was interesting for me because fan productions – fan fiction, films or audio dramas for example – are based on the fictional worlds of others. Does this imply that they are based on a basic dis-honesty? In fact, taking this one step further, could the fan fiction author be misleading their reader with the implication that their entertainment experience, whether it is a written fiction or a fan film, is a product of the skill and talent of the fan author or production crew? When in fact the fascination of a piece of fan fiction is built on the foundation of others work, the professionals who created the original on which the fanfic is based? I would disagree. Surely only the most casual and uninformed of viewers or readers would think that. Both readers and writers have one thing in common and that is their fascination for the original production. Not, I hasten to add, that fan fiction is automatically devoid of originality, it's just that readers of, for example, Star Trek: Enterprise fan fiction are at least initially more interested in gaining a resonance of the buzz that they got from the original show. They will read your fanfic to see how you recreate adventures for them that might fit right in with canon, how you place those familiar characters into new roles and relationships (especially romantically) or how you might extend on their fictional world by creating new characters, extrapolating on the established canon with new ships and crews. What about fan fiction that does not follow canon – the accepted details of plot established in the professional productions? On the one hand you could say that your work is an “appropriation” of the original and that you want to take it in a different creative direction however on the other it can be plain and simple “canon rape”. I'll be the first to admit that fan productions are not, in their base form, meant to be high art. My contention has always been that fan films, for example, are not created for the benefit of their audience but that

they are a way of “we-the-people” vicariously becoming a part of our fan obsession. If you have the cash and the drive, you could write, produce, direct and star in your very own Star Trek film! Casual readers are often turned off by the way that much of what they read is badly spelled and ungrammatical with stylistically poor and unoriginal plots that have little regard for established canon, especially in the way that canon characters are used. Well y'know what? The writer of a story like that probably doesn't give a fig for what you think of it because they've written it with an audience of one in mind themselves! Such fan fiction is often a form of creative role-playing, especially the type of thing produced by fan clubs as collective, group fiction right down to using member's real names in the fictional context. As long as you are honest about your motives for writing such fiction, there is absolutely nothing wrong with this type of thing. If you want to write an appropriation of Star Trek: Nemesis where Shinzon falls madly in love with you in a fictional form, go for it. Or a Voyager fic' where SevenOf-Nine is shown as the home-wrecker you know her to be then be my guest! But be honest about it! If you lodge your beloved novel about Emperor Palpatine's cuddly-wuddly side on a fan fiction archive and get cries of agony over it, don't get upset because few see him the same way you do! Appreciate your fan fiction as a writing experience and don't worry if it is universally panned. Was it fun to write? Did you get a kick out of it? Then it was worth it. If, on the other hand, you care what others think about your writing, if you crave the admiration of your peers, then you must learn the craft of writing, learn to welcome critique and aim to grow creatively! There is still a thriving, supportive fan fiction community out there for you to be involved in but be warned, whilst not many are as critical as the flamepits of FanFic.net, your fellow readers and writers will expect, appreciate and reward effort if not excellence! For readers, fan fiction is a bit like amateur theatre: you have to go into it with an open mind, knowing that it might have flat-spots and the occasional typo, otherwise it can drive you up the wall! If you do show tolerance though, you can be rewarded with some great reading.

Why do I write fan fiction? I make no bones about the fact that I am a fan of Star Trek – so much so that I have found myself describing ethical and moral problems to my kids in terms of the plots of certain episodes! The parables of Star Trek! It's not unique to Trek either for I've noticed that my son does the same thing with parables from The Simpsons and, more recently, from The Matrix! Over the years Trek has grown into a vast mythology of archetypal characters and world views. It quite frankly represents an immense playground for the imagination that I just do not have the willpower not to dabble in! In the course of parenting my two children I have had to think carefully about the life concepts that I have passed on to them and this has often made me question long-held beliefs: Adulthood, manhood, tolerance, social justice ... I recently wanted to write a series that dealt with the themes of aggression, bravery and honour and could think of no better framework to build my premise in than the diametrically opposed cultures of the Klingon and Vulcan in Star Trek. This shrinks the universality of my message though because it means that a knowledge of the basic world-view of Star Trek is vital. Whilst I would like my fictional series "Tales of Death and Honour" to appeal to as wide an audience as possible, my readers must understand what a Klingon is. It just won't make sense otherwise – who are these people and why have they got such a topsy-turvy attitude towards life and death? Therein lies the great advantage of using Star Trek fan fiction though. The series is so pervasive through Western Society and beyond that there would be few who can read the English language who would not have a working knowledge of it! And here, in a massively circuitous fashion, we come to the core of Chris Johnstone's article. Am I being creatively honest, am I being true to myself artistically, by using someone else's worldview rather than my own? If you view your work as a personal artistic expression then there is a lot of soul searching that needs to be done even before you start. Why are you doing this? What do you want to say? Who is your audience? How are you going to get your

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message across that gap between you, as the creator, and your audience? The depth and richness of your characters and locations, their society and backstory, are not just the background scenery against which you will be painting your picture but the very fabric of your canvas! Without an immersive world for your drama to unfold within your message will be flat and twodimensional. In this respect, I have to admit that fan fiction cannot be judged in the same creative league as original fiction because creating an original, fictional world is far more creatively challenging than extending on someone else's. Does this mean that my work, based as it is on the Star trek universe, is automatically “worse” than someone else's which is based on their own imagination? Not necessarily. The original world in question might not be as well constructed or original as that created by the professionals working for CBS / Paramount. In that case, the fan fiction could actually be more effective as a vehicle for getting your message across, but more “honest”? I think the author of original fiction automatically scores points in that respect for their originality. Taking this a step further, is Chris being honest with himself if he thinks less of his work because his sub-creation is not original enough? I think this depends on the importance that is placed on that originality. I personally value originality of world-vision but it is after all only one contributing factor towards the effectiveness of a piece of fiction. Your style and craft as a writer and the skill with which you weave your plot are other aspects that, if not addressed, can scuttle your work just as easily.

Fan Works and The Law1 The Parable of The Baker The legal status of fan-made works is a complex situation but to my mind what I boils down to is the question of ownership in creativity and what other people can do with things that you own. Just for fun, because I've bored everyone enough with facts and commentary, let's play a thought experiment and see if we can put it into perspective.

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Disclaimer: I'm not a lawyer just someone who is very interested in the subject

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Let's imagine a baker called Tom. He's thirty eight, married and expecting a child. He has a small shop that does speciality breads but his returns are low and he can ill afford to loose any money. What if someone, call him Bill, drove into his delivery dock, filled up the back of his van with Tom's bread and drove off to sell it down the street? You'd call that theft, right? Some would have us believe that breaches of copyright are an act of theft in exactly the same way. The analogy here is of someone backing up to a book warehouse and stealing books. I don't think anyone would disagree since we are talking about a solid possession of card, paper and ink that the printer made just the same as Tom baked his bread. But there are books and there are books. A van full of copies of the latest Harry Potter book stolen before it was released would be worth a thousand times more than the same number of romance potboilers! What's the difference? They might both be the same size and page-count, they might have had identical production and distribution costs but there is no denying that on the open market of supply and demand, JK Rawling's book is worth far more than your everyday romance novel. The difference is the content, the story, that phenomenon of modern culture, the world of wizards, witches and Muggles that is the unique creation of it's author, JK Rawlings. After years of development, Tom wins the blue ribbon at the state fair, The Sydney Royal Easter Show, for attaining the Ocker's Holy Grail, a loaf with alcoholic content: Beer Bread! Understandably he is featured in the major city tabloids because of the novelty and legal controversy that it causes and when questions are asked in Federal parliament about whether Tom's bread should only be sold in pubs, it hits the national newspapers. Tom and his Beer Bread are famous. If Bill were to take a van-load of Tom's bread now it would be worth much more than ordinary bread. If he were caught and “hauled before the beak”, what would his honour be expected to do to serve justice on Bill and recompence Tom? Certainly more than your normal van-load of bread, that's for sure! This could be serious. Tom might have invested thousands in research and development, perhaps borrowing money on the gamble that his invention would pay him back. If he can't make his repayents he might loose everything.

Luckily Tom's recipe is defined as his intellectual property and is covered by copyright. Society recognises that Tom put in the hard work to create the marvelous bread and will punish Bill for 'stealing his idea.' How? Well, Tom can expect to recoup the loss to his business that Bill has caused. He can stop Bill from selling the bogus bread with a “cease and desist” order, hand-over to him any profit that he has made (which Tom could have made) and (if the beak is having a really bad day) get him sligged with court costs and “punitive damages”, ie a fine to encourage him to be honest in the future. Now, up to now we've painted Bill as a crim' – he's stealing and that's it! But what if Bill had a brother, Bob, who is an aficionado of both bread and beer – imagine the effect Beer Bread would have on someone who is an amateur brewer and baker!? What if he is, in fact, a fan of Tom's bread? Bob might buy large quantities of Tom's bread to try to work out it's secret and he might find a way, by reverse engineering, of making something that is pretty close to it. What if he throws parties at his house and the local pub where he gives away his “Just-Like-Tom's” Beer Bread? Bob freely admits that his bread is not as good as Tom's and encourages his mates to buy Tom's bread. Some might not but there is a good chance that many will out of curiosity and Tom will get custom from a targeted section of the population – the boozers – who he hasn't been able to reach before. Should Bob be fined the same as his brother Bill? The Beer Bread that Bob gave away represents a small loss of revenue for Tom since Bob's mates would have otherwise have had to buy it from him. However this is more than balanced by the good publicity he has gathered and the positive effect on his reputation from Bill's actions. He will have gained custom rather than lost it! Copyright laws were created to allow creative people (and their financial backers) the ability to gain a fair return for their work and talent in creating something. This makes sense since it gives creators a way of being financially independent instead of having to depend upon the patronage of the rich as in medieval times. They were not created so that opportunistic lawyers could make a living by encouraging copyright owners to be litigious.

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THE GIFT

Written by Robin Wo o d e ll, USS Auror a Vulca n u s, R3, SFI Art by Ken Gurton, USS Fire bird, R3, SFI San Francisco is windy, cold and bone chilling damp in the winter. Since retiring from Starfleet, due to failing health, James Kirk spent his days reading his old books. He loved the ones from Earth’s Victorian Period. Kirk very seldom had visitors anymore since Scotty and Bones had passed on. As usual a half eaten meal and a half empty glass of wine sat on the table next to his reclining chair. His eyes closed, dozing off again. The book he had been reading lay spread upon his chest. A design of fine wrinkles and deeply etched lines of pain and sorrow decorated his face. His once dark brown hair had softened to a gentle gray. Those strong hands were now twisted and deformed with a disease that threatened his whole body. An old tattered afghan warmed his feet and legs. A roaring fire filled the room with a warm glow. The door chime echoed in the stillness of the room. Kirk slept on. Again it sounded and slowly he stirred. Kirk put the book aside and rose, adjusting his robe as he shuffled off toward the door. “Come.” The door slid open. In the shadows of the foyer stood a tall hooded figure clad in a brown cape, gold tunic, and black pants neatly bloused in black shiny boots. The figure stepped into the light and small hands reached up and removed the hood. Delicately pointed ears pierced the softly curled light brown hair that fell down past her shoulders. Piercing gray eyes looked directly through him as she asked in a lyrical voice, “James T. Kirk?” “Yes,” Kirk answered amazed by the beautiful woman who stood before him. “I am T’Rea, daughter of Spock and the granddaughter of Ambassador Sarek.” “Please,” Kirk gestured towards the two reclining chairs before the fireplace. T’Rea walked with power and grace, removing her cloak as she sat down. Somehow even in a reclined chair she managed to sit straight up like a board as Spock had always managed when he visited. Kirk gazed at her with wonderment. “It’s been so long. I had no idea you’d be so grown up by now,” his voice filled with surprise. “Being conceived on Genesis of three such diverse races does give one an accelerated beginning.” Her eyes twinkled when she spoke. “Father has not seen you in over fifteen years. I could hardly expect you to know all about me. Father hoped that one day I would meet you. He has told me so much about your friendship and how you saved him from death. I owe you thanks.” Kirk adjusted his position in the chair. “How are Spock and your mother, Saavik?”

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“Father was well the last time I saw him. His work keeps him very busy as usual, and he does not get off Vulcan much. I have not seen my mother in many years….” Her voice trailed off as she stared into the fire. “Well, have you come to join Starfleet then?” His head held up with pride. “No. Like my father I did not choose to follow anyone’s footsteps. I am an independent trader of rare and valuable goods. I have a small ship of my own.” Her voice was soft and filled with pride in her accomplishments.

Those strong hands were now twisted and deformed with a disease that threatened his whole body.

“Which no doubt has upset some of the family,” Kirk commented as he remembered Spock’s disagreement with Sarek over his career choice. “Actually, no one was surprised,” T’Rea replied, raising a pointed eyebrow until it disappeared under her curls. “I have always gone a different direction from others in the family. Grandmother said it was my Romulan blood that refused to be still. Sarek said that my career choice was logical for me.”

Kirk stifled a laugh at the last remark. “No doubt the Lady Amanda had her hands full raising you.” Kirk smiled and watched the fire glow make her face more radiant. “It was not an easy time; she had no experience with Romulan tempers,” T’Rea partially smiled back at Kirk as she studied his face. “It was an enlightening experience for the whole family. It seems that I turned out to be more than anyone bargained on. They say it is because of the cross breeding. I suspect that Genesis also assisted.” Her voice almost rang with laughter. “Yes, you are very different from your father. And yet, you were given a Vulcan name and raised on Vulcan like Spock was. I assume that you also chose the Vulcan way,” he stated in a matter of fact way as she searched his face. “Not really, I also have blended in some Romulan traditions. I had to; they stuck me with the traditional Romulan curse of four names at birth, just in case I turned out too Romulan. However, my natural talents made the Vulcan path too impossible to follow,” she allowed a slight chuckle and wink of the eye. Kirk straightened in his chair. “Now you have my curiosity peaked. I know that Vulcans have some superior mental abilities and are telepaths….” “True, but they are only touch telepaths. I have evolved much further. I have powers that Father isn’t even aware of,” T’Rea’s voice took on an evil touch as the fire crackled in the background. She looked deeply into Kirk’s troubled eyes, and he fidgeted and turned his gaze away as the hairs stood up on the back of his neck. “I have heard your cry in the night, Kirk, and I have come to you, to offer you peace from your pain and sorrow.” T’Rea reached out and gently touched Kirk’s tortured right hand. His facial expression changed from pain to surprise. He flexed the hand and then straightened the once deformed fingers. The pain was gone. He looked up, tears filling his eyes. “But how did you know? I have never met you before. Spock never told me about you beyond the fact that you existed.” Confusion clouded his mind and face. “I can offer you so much more. Total peace with the universe,” T’Rea’s lyrical voice conjured images of peaceful meadows in Kirk’s mind.

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“Grandmother was like you once, but I helped her and many others too. Please let me end your agony,” T’Rea pleaded in a most convincing voice that hinted of pleasures yet to come. “What is the price? What did Amanda and all the other pay?” He could hear the fear in his own voice. “Nothing, they are at peace now. Amanda’s time had come – I gave her dignity in the end.” She wore a pleased look, head held high with pride. “Then she’s dead?” Kirk asked, shocked by the news. “Of course, she was a human after all. She died when I was ten of your years old. I can do so much more now. You will see. I can make it much better now.” T’Rea insisted much like as a child would when she wanted to prove that she could exhibit a better skill as she aged. Fear and panic swelled in Kirk’s throat as T’Rea reached out towards Kirk with her mind. He stared at her face, and an unnatural glow occurred in the piercing gray eyes. The glow from the raging fire illuminated the pointed eyebrows and sharp facial lines in an eerie manner. Kirk tried to resist the touch of her mind, but T’Rea was too strong. She quickly turned his cold fear and panic into a hot glow that warmed and soothed his whole body. Her hot right hand gently touched his right temple. Kirk drifted in the warmth until he was peacefully asleep. T’Rea removed her hand from his face and placed it on his chest, above his heart. She slowed his breathing and the pulsing of his blood. He rested until he breathed no more. His face was filled with peace and contentment as he lay slumped in his easy chair. With a thought the fire died in the hearth. She stood up and put on her cape, glancing about the room until her eye caught a crystal which rested in a glass box on the bar. She walked over to it and took a closer look. In the crystal, suspended in mid air, was a replica of the U.S.S. Enterprise. With a gentle touch she removed it from its home and placed it in the velvet pouch on her belt. “Fee paid in full.” The room was dark and filled with peace as T’Rea turned towards the door. She noticed a portrait of Spock that hung by the door. “I have done as you commanded, My Father,” she reached up and touched the canvas before walking out the door. Robin Woodell is a winner of the National Novel Writing Month and is a long-standing fan returning to Star Trek fandom after a break. Ken Gurton, is a member of the USS Firebird who creates his artwork on Poser

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Never Again by Kirok of L'Stok

Newly gazetted Lieutenant, John Martin MacKinney, hungover from a heavy night's drinking in his room, paced purposefully towards the Monkey Bar, his gaze fixed ahead on the half-empty esplanade of Deep Space 6 on the smoking, screaming rubble of the battle bridge of the USS Churchill. The sweat on his forehead formed a single drip on his eyebrow like the blood dripping down his arm from the gaping wound in his shoulder towards his hands balled into fists which swung with military precision beside him. Twenty years of Starfleet service marched down the esplanade, twenty years of service to the United Federation of Planets which had made it the only decision possible. Iron control held back the horror of what he had done. “Warp core breach imminent.” Held back the tears unshed for comrades and friends. He stopped for a moment to survey the assembled senior officers at the end of the bar, “Computer! Authorisation MacKinney Bravo Foxtrot Charlie one-three-seven.” “Authorisation confirmed.” came the deep, soft yet precise female voice of the computer. “Ah! MacKinney! Over here!” Fleet Captain Emanuel Stone broke from his gathering to advance on his newest starship commander. “Computer, seal Engineering! Initiate warp core ejection and purge protocols!” “John! NO! We can fix this!” Alex. His friend, the best man at his wedding, “Out! OUT! Everybody! NOW!” The shouts, the running feet ... “Good to see you up and about.” A handsome, grey haired, square jawed man, Stone closed on MacKinney, smiling, hand extended. ... which turned to screams of rage and anger as they beat against the solid blast doors that had slid down on them. Under his breath Lt MacKinney, no longer CPO MacKinney after his field commission at Wolf 359, said, “Never again.” ... which turned to short screams of agony as the plasma conduits breached and the superheated plasma snuffed out their lives in seconds. Stone's smile turned to a query, “I beg your pardon” The Churchill wasn't fit for duty at Wolf 359, they should never have been scrambled to meet the Borg, they were in the middle of a major re-fit with most of the systems held together with temporary fittings, but they were ordered into space to meet their division by ... “Fleet Captain Emmanuel Stone.” The senior officer froze as he saw MacKinney draw a phaser as twenty years of service discipline crumbled before the overwhelming tide of grief. Hardly realising he had a lethal weapon in his hand, he clubbed the officer across the face, in his rage and madness sinking to a baser level where the quick, clean kill of the phaser wasn't enough. “You killed them!” He roared as he marched across the floor of the bar to pick him up from where he lay like a rag doll and smash a ham-sized fist into his face. Murderer! You killed them! Mac brushed off a burly Commander who had launched himself at him and turned to sit on Stone's chest, shaking the unconscious man like a rat, with each shake screaming in a barely

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intelligible roar, “You killed them!” You killed them! He never heard the armed men run up behind him but the flash of pain, as the phaser hit him in the arm, made him look on his hand his hand with blood running off it. He never felt the second phaser hit him in the back. They never heard his mumbled words as he slid to the floor as he slid to his knees on the floor of the battle bridge staring at the blood rolling down his hands to splash on the floor before him ... You killed them! “I killed them!”

Klingon Thought for the d ay by Kirok of L'Sto k

To court death is to desire failure and a treason to the Empire! The Klingon empire is the embodiment of growth and order, it survives on duty and honour. Duty is our responsibility and honour is knowing that we have discharged our responsibilities to the best of our Contributed by Kapact of House Abukoff abilities. The best that we can hope is that we will be honoured as someone who has served the empire well. If we allow our own desire for honour and glory to overcome our sense of duty we are betraying the Empire and deserve to be thrown out like a discarded engine part. Fools who race out to mindlessly charge the enemy think that they are being brave and increasing their honour but as a commander I can tell you that I am glad to be rid of them! They are a liability to their comrades and their unit. To waste their lives leaves us short on manpower, reducing the efficiency of the unit as others have to take over their duties, requiring us to train new crew to take their place. And for what? So that they can slake their thirst for blood? Blood is a by-product of battle as surely as a fire burns but it is just another resource to the good commander. The Empire fights to achieve it's goals, to survive and grow with the minimum of waste, and then use what we have taken to make the Empire stronger. A battle that leaves us with nothing but ashes is a waste of the lives spent to win it. All of us serve. We all have duties, responsibilities. You may not be soldiers of the Empire, you may serve one of the greater or lesser Houses. Even those of you who are base-born have responsibilities to your families and to your communities. Ultimately though we all have a responsibility to ourselves to discharge our duties and live with honour. You think that the higher you go, the less responsibility you have? Fool! Even the Emperor serves the Empire, not the other way around! Sometimes your responsibility requires that you die with honour but only if it serves your duty. Those who do so deserve the honour that we give them. But far more often our duty requires that we must live with honour, year-in and year-out, serving those who depend on us You might be surprised how much harder that can be.

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Issue 3, Dec. 2008

It's All Engineering Written by S L Wat s o n Art by S L Watson

It was cold, snowing and windy. Three things that didn't make for a pleasant walk, and three reasons to appreciate a climate controlled starship. Snow was well and good, certainly, but when combined with bitter coldness and wind, it lost its charm quickly. Scott hated shore leave. In fact, he found shore leaves to be cursed, especially lately. Go to a bar, get into a fight with klingons. Go planetside, get accused of murder. He was lucky to miss out on the homicidal planet with the white rabbit -- God only knew what woulda happened to him there. So he made every effort imaginable to avoid it, and had a perfect system worked out. Doctor McCoy seemed to have this delusional belief that Scotty actually needed to get away from his ship sometimes; Scott, in turn, obliged him. But only just. He managed to get his foot in the door of the coffee shop, wind-blasted and his other boot nearly slipping out from under him, but somehow he managed to not fall. It was a relief getting indoors -- last stop, then he could put his plan into action. "Five pounds o' the best Columbian ye've got," he said to the clerk behind the counter, with his brightest grin. "Whole bean, vacuum sealed." The clerk's eyebrows went up, but she nodded and went to get the order. After taking a moment to let his hands thaw, Scott flipped open his communicator. It only took a few seconds for communications to route the call. "Engineering, DeSalle." "De, would ye do me a favor?" There was a long pause on the other end, and Scotty had to chew down a smirk. DeSalle knew what was coming next, and eventually he answered with a world-weary tone, "What do you need, Chief?" "Run a diagnostic on the secondary plasma regulator, if ye could. And then call Captain Kirk and tell him the results." The communicator didn't manage to cut off the whole sigh, only about half of it. "Aye aye, sir." With a distinctly wicked grin, Scott flipped his communicator closed and turned back to where the clerk was pushing his coffee across the counter. One word encompassed both the coffee, and the plan. "Perfect." ---"Captain, Assistant Chief DeSalle wants to speak with you," the communications officer on duty said. McCoy raised an eyebrow as he watched his friend, but didn't comment. While he firmly believed that no one should be interrupted on shore leave, the Captain's work was never done. Kirk didn't seem too put off by it, and shrugged. "Put him on."

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After a moment, DeSalle came on the line. "Captain, we just ran a diagnostic on the secondary plasma regulator and came up with an abnormality." "Is it dangerous?" Kirk asked, immediately sitting forward from where he was leaned back, getting ready to tear into a big plate of steak and baked potatoes. "No, sir, it's not. It's just an abnormality, but..." DeSalle trailed off, sounding uncomfortable. "Oh." Now that he knew the Enterprise wasn't going to explode, at least not without him on board, the captain sat back. "Have you informed Mister Scott of the results?" "No, sir, not yet." "Well, get ahold of him and let him know. His discretion on whether or not he wants to beam back up to deal with it, though. Kirk out." Kirk flipped the communicator closed and focused back on his meal. "Why do you do that? Can't you let them at least acknowledge the order, before you go and say, 'Kirk out'?" McCoy asked, and wasn't particularly surprised when he got an oblivious look back. He'd gotten used to Jim doing that, but that didn't mean he liked it. It was just a pet peeve, but then again, McCoy never really was good at keeping those to himself. "I'll try to remember that, Bones. Now, are you going to eat that sweet potato you'd been pining after for the past month and a half?" McCoy rolled his eyes, then leaned forward. But for some reason, he couldn't keep his mind on the sweet potato, even though he really had wanted one. Something was bothering him; he just couldn't exactly place what that was. Something to do with DeSalle's call. Something.... Something familiar about it. Like de ja vu. Then it hit him. "That sneaky, underhanded bastard." Kirk looked up, one eyebrow going up, a fork halfway to his mouth. Probably wondering exactly who McCoy just insulted the integrity, personality and lineage of. "Who?" "I'll catch up to you later." Without bothering to explain, McCoy jumped up and headed for the door of the restaurant, pulling his communicator out as he went.

---"What part of 'get the Hell off of this ship once in awhile' don't you understand?!" Scott looked up, his penlight still in his teeth and his hands still buried in the guts of whatever he was working on, and McCoy almost thought for a second that he had been utterly mistaken in his revelation. Then, the now besieged chief engineer paused, took the penlight out of his mouth and asked, "What?" "You! You set this up! I don't know how you did it, but... but..." McCoy scowled and started pacing back and forth across the office. Given its size, it was a short distance. "...but?" Scotty leaned back, crossing his arms and watching the pacing.

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Issue 3, Dec. 2008

McCoy stopped, and thought for sure he saw a smirk, but it was gone in an instant. "I don't know how I didn't figure this out before. Last shore leave? Captain gets a call from DeSalle, telling him that some thingy or another is reading abnormal. Jim says to tell you. You beam up. Shore leave before that, captain gets a -- you get the point! This has gotta be the fifth time now!" "Fourth." Scott was picture perfect innocence as he reached across his desk and turned a clipboard around to show McCoy. "See, Doctor -- here's the report, and here's the abnormality." He even tapped the page. None of what was printed on said page made a damn bit of sense to McCoy, but he believed it. He was sure that there was an abnormality. He was also positive that Scotty had planned that, or had at least known that there would be one. An almost guaranteed out. "What is it with you? Sure, it's cold down there, but you have the prime opportunity to go rest, and relax. Have dinner--"

Scotty, preliminary sketch by SL Watson freehand on Wacom Bamboo tablet

"Aye, I did." "--check into a hotel, go out to a bar--" "That didn't exactly go well last time." "--find some lovely female company!" McCoy huffed, crossing his arms. "Consider it a medically necessary shore leave." There was a moment, then Scotty shook his head. "That didn't go so well last time, either, if ye'll recall." There was an even longer moment where McCoy had to scramble to try to find a way to brush that off. But, in all truth, he couldn't. Feeling a little bit like he'd just stuck his boot in his mouth, he cleared his throat. "Still. You can't seriously tell me that being cooped up on this ship for months on end is healthy." "Why not?" Scott tipped his head to the side, and McCoy got the feeling he was being sized up. He recognized that look; usually, though, it was reserved for people that had done something to get Scott's blood up. He gestured around. "The same halls, the same walls, the same faces..." "And?" McCoy sighed, shaking his head. "Don't you ever relax?" "This is relaxing," Scott answered, enunciating that exactly. He gestured to whatever the heck he was working on, then continued, "I like doin' this. I enjoy it. I don't need to traipse off, lookin' for trouble. Did it ever occur to ye, by chance, that maybe this is a far sight more relaxin' for me than wanderin' around planetside?" It hadn't, really. McCoy frowned to himself, then flopped in the chair opposite the engineer. After a long pause, he gestured to what looked like a metal box to him. "What're you working on, anyway?" Scott raised an eyebrow, but then shook his head with a half-grin. "If ye wanna know, ye've gotta wait until I'm done. And if ye're done givin' me a lecture, I'd like to get back to it." "By all means," McCoy answered, dryly. He could probably go and beam back down, maybe even catch Jim for dessert, but now he was kind of curious. And, really, he didn't want to risk any lingering hostility. "How long until the mystery box is finished?"

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"It's a mystery," Scott said, offhandedly, and already mostly back to being absorbed into what he was doing. Though he didn't fail to add, "Less time, if ye keep quiet." McCoy narrowed his eyes and opened his mouth... and then closed it with an audible click. And waited.

----"I would love t'know how a surgeon could be so bloody hopeless!" "I'd love to know who gave you the patience of a used tea bag!" McCoy shot back, pointing the screwdriver at the engineer. Scott was about to reply, then he stopped himself and thought about that for a moment before saying, "That didn't make any sense." "What part?" "What the Hell does patience have to do with teabags?" McCoy shook his head, sighing. "You're missing the point." "I don't know how I could miss a point, when ye didn't have one to begin with." Scotty shook his head, taking the screwdriver away from the doctor and eyeing the circuit board he had given to McCoy. "It's simple, Doctor. How ye managed to strip the thing..." "Do I have to say it? I'm a--" "No. Don't say it. Just..." Apparently trying to find more patience than a used teabag, Scott closed his eyes, took a breath, then handed the screwdriver back to McCoy. "Be careful. Three wires, to the board, think... uhm... that ye're doing some kind of delicate medical procedure." "Fine. And if you'll stop watching me like I'm about to blow up the ship, I'll probably have much better luck." McCoy didn't bother to check and see if he got a dirty look for that. He was sure of it. ----"Anything that smells that bad can't be healthy." "It's a solderin' iron. If it were dangerous, ye'd think it wouldn't have been in use for centuries." "It still stinks to high heaven." "Are ye just about done with that?" Scott looked up from what he was doing, gesturing to the circuit board. "'Cause it's been twenty minutes, and if ye spent a little more time attaching wires and a little less talkin'--" "I'd have as lovely a personality as you do." Scott worked his jaw for a moment in obvious irritation, and then sighed and went back to work. McCoy smirked to himself, and did the same.

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Issue 3, Dec. 2008

-----"I think that's it." The box was wholly unimpressive looking. About a foot and a half wide and a foot tall, it just looked like a metal box to McCoy. Then again, he had briefly caught a glimpse of the entrails of it, so he knew there was far more to it than that. "How'd you manage to fit everything in there?" Scott looked up with a quick grin, then went back to making sure all of the panels on it opened and closed properly. "Practice, mostly. This is the fifth design. Mark One--" he gestured over his shoulder to a much larger metal box sitting on his work bench behind him "--was a lot bigger. As ye can see." "So this is the Mark Five Mystery Box?" "Won't be a mystery much longer." McCoy hadn't checked the chronometer in a long time. Really, despite the back-and-forth sniping, it was almost fun. Sure, it took him a half hour just to attach three wires to a Scotty, preliminary sketch by SL Watson circuit board that it took Scott all of twenty seconds to install, freehand on Wacom Bamboo tablet but it was... well, it was kinda relaxing. Up in the Chief's office, Christmas Scotty the sound of the ship's engines was fairly strong, a low by SL Watson & Rachel freehand on OpenCanvas harmonic hum he didn't often notice elsewhere, and it was a couple of degrees warmer than it was in most of the rest of the ship. Sickbay was always kept cool, colored in blues and grays; Scotty's office, though, was mostly reds, whites and blacks, and surprisingly neat, right down to blueprints in what looked like an antique wooden map-cabinet. "I don't think I've ever been in here before," he said, to himself. "Not while I was here, anyway." McCoy broke out of his train of thought, looking back at the mystery box. "Are you ever gonna to tell me what that thing is?" Scotty shook his head. "No, but I'll show ye." He leaned back in his chair and picked up a plastic jug, filled with clear liquid. McCoy's eyes widened. "You're brewing moonshine, aren't you?" The tradition of engineers brewing up homemade spirits was a long standing one. "I knew it! I can't believe I never figured that out." "That's because ye didn't." Scott looked almost offended. "I did have a still once, back when I first signed aboard. And it was..." he winced, then continued, "a disaster. I promised Chief Barry that I'd never do it again, in a roundabout way, and I haven't." McCoy raised an eyebrow. "So... why the water? Purification?" "In part. Do ye always ask this many questions?" "Well, yeah." Scott shook his head, standing up to pour the water into one panel. And then he set the jug aside and picked up a bag. "Coffee. It's a coffee maker." He tested the weight of the bag in hand, then thumped it

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down on the desk in front of McCoy. "One hundred percent whole bean, vacuum sealed Columbian Nari単o, Reserva del Patron, cost me about half a week's pay out here." Having complained heartily, repeatedly, about the freeze-dried coffee crystals that were used to make the Enterprise's coffee, Scotty might as well have just put the Holy Grail down on the desk. McCoy picked the bag up, holding it carefully and studying it, and after a few moments he looked back up. "It's beautiful," he said, and he meant it. Scott laughed, "And ye say that I have to get out more." He reached over the desk and took his coffee back, looking a little surprised that it took some effort. McCoy didn't want to part with it. "Holdin' it isn't half as fine as drinkin' it." "But that's real coffee, Scotty! Not the kind that leaves a funky aftertaste for ten years, and makes me wonder if it's actually building up like old paint in my stomach." McCoy was halfway surprised that it had never actually occurred to him to go this route -- to get himself a coffee pot, buy his own coffee and brew it up himself. He wondered why. It was an entirely sensible thing to do. "Why didn't I think of this?" "Damned if I know." Scott cracked open the bag, and even prior to brewing, the smell of coffee hit the air. McCoy sighed, happily, closing his eyes. "That's... wonderful." After a moment, he opened them again and wasn't particularly shocked that the engineer was giving him a thoroughly amused look. "What? It is!" "I suppose," Scotty said, with a chuckle, then he measured out the coffee and put it in another compartment. "The coffee itself is just the start, though. It's how ye brew it that can make or break a cup." "You're just full of surprises, aren't you?" "Not really. It's all engineering, just different kinds. Put the parts together and make 'em work. That goes for starships, cookin' and coffee." McCoy watched as Scott flipped a switch on the back of the now affirmed Mark Five Coffee Maker. "You cook?" "Aye. And well, too." "And make coffee makers in your spare time, to relax." "Aye." "So, what happened to Marks Two, Three and Four?" Scott paused a moment, thinking. "Two I gave to DeSalle, Three is in Sulu's quarters, and Four I sent to a biomedical engineer friend o' mine. I'm guessin' that he'll give me his version of Mark Five for Christmas." If anyone would have told McCoy that he would be even mildly interested in engineering feats, he wouldn't have believed it. But this was about coffee, and as far as he was concerned, that was a whole different ball game. "So... how does it work?" Scott blinked in surprise. There had been more than one time when he tried to explain something mechanical to McCoy and was told not to bother. But he obliged anyway. "Works sort o' like an automated French press. See, ye add the water over here," he tapped the first compartment, "and it runs through the tubing, three filters that put a little life back into it, all the while heatin' up to the right temperature. Meanwhile, the coffee goes here where it's ground just prior to steeping..."

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Issue 3, Dec. 2008

-----It was the perfect cup of coffee. Even accounting for how McCoy used to brew his morning coffee back home in Georgia, even accounting for the fact that it had been a long time since he'd had the real thing, it was still the perfect cup of coffee. Heavier, somewhat stronger, perfectly fresh. "This is a much better past time than moonshine," he said, leaned back in the chair, holding the coffee mug close to his chest where he could smell the fresh brew in the steam curling up. "How long did it take you to make that thing?" "Few months." Scott had already pushed the Mark Five out of the way and was looking at the design blueprint for it on his desk, though he did have a fresh cup of the coffee he'd just made sitting beside it. "It's not puttin' it together, it's makin' all the parts for it. Ye can't just buy 'em." "I'd say it was a resounding success." McCoy was already thinking of excuses to stop by engineering, just to raid the coffee stash. "No, no. I don't like how long the water took to get through the filtration system. I'll have to do somethin' about it for Mark Six." McCoy looked up, incredulously. "You're kidding, right? You brewed a perfect cup of coffee, and you're not happy with it?" "Oh, the coffee's fine, but the design..." Scotty made a face, firmly intent on his blueprint. "Thought I had it this time, but I suppose it's all trial and error." It occurred to McCoy somewhere around that point that Scott liked this. He liked refining things until they were so infallible that even his perfectionism couldn't find a flaw in them. He liked tearing apart things and making them work better. Maybe that was some strange form of relaxation. "Tell me something..." "Depends on the somethin'." "You make a big deal about the speed that water runs through a coffee maker, but you're not worried about a diagnostic abnormality?" Scott stopped scribbling notes on the blueprint and looked up. Then he spent a moment in obvious self-debate, before picking up his coffee and taking a sip. Only after that did he reply, "No, I knew it'd be there. See, I just manufactured three new parts for the secondary plasma regulator; the original design wasn't bad, ye know, but there were a few things that coulda been more efficient about it. But the diagnostic computer hadn't been updated yet to take into account the changes, so of course, it read the new output levels as bein' abnormal. It was a quick thing to input the new variables, and then everything tested fine." McCoy thought again about calling Scott a sneaky, underhanded bastard, but it was a very brief thought. Considering the cup of coffee he was holding, he couldn't even begin to complain about the results. "All so you could beam back up and work on a coffee maker." "Aye, basically." McCoy just nodded, then, and went back to savoring his coffee. He'd definitely have to find reasons to stop by and obtain more of it. Especially in the morning hours. Sure, it was a bit out of the way, but given the perfection of actual, real, fresh-brewed coffee, it was a worthwhile waste of time. After he finished the cup, he stood up. "I suppose that I better get back down there; Jim's probably thinking that I ended up in trouble." "If he's not already in trouble himself."

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"Yeah. But thanks for the coffee." McCoy chuckled, setting the cup on a clean part of the desk. "I'm gonna have a damn hard time drinking anything less than this quality from here on out." "Well, ye did help make it," Scotty pointed out, with a half-shrug. "Ye're welcome." McCoy nodded, joking, "You know, people could almost accuse us of being friends." "Aye," Scott said, honestly, with a half-smile. "Almost." For a moment, McCoy thought about being offended by that. He was expecting an jokingly indignant reply about how they were friends, and instead he got 'almost' back. It took him a moment, though, to realize that the honest answer was at least a genuine one, and likewise realize that he would rather be considered almost Scott's friend, than to get a 'we are friends' from many other people. So he nodded, and echoed, "Almost." And then added, "Have fun with your coffee maker." "I will." -----Shore leave had been fun, despite the cold. Even Spock had finally been talked into coming down planetside, and two days of taking in the local color, as it were, had been a good break from the norm. Sure, the unlikely trio had to draw straws for how to spend their time -- Jim wanted to rent a snow-skimmer and fly around the countryside, Spock wanted to visit the cultural center, and McCoy wanted to find the best restaurant and bar on the planet -- but they all managed to enjoy it. It was almost a shame to leave. It was a month before Christmas, but the snow made McCoy think of it anyway, even though he hadn't seen much of any growing up. He'd done some shopping down on the planet, though he didn't have that many people to shop for, and the idyllic image of a snow-covered world outside restaurant windows stuck with him. He was still thinking about it when he stopped off in sickbay to make sure that there wasn't anything he needed to do, and found the Mark Five sitting on his desk with what looked to be about two pounds of newly vacuum sealed, whole bean Columbian Nariño, Reserva del Patron. The tag on top just read, "Merry Christmas." McCoy grinned and nodded to himself. The perfect cup of coffee would be a great way to end shore leave.

Stephanie “Steff” Watson has been a major part of the team that has put together the Twelve Trek Days of Christmas this year, giving unstintingly of her time and valuable technical advice from her experience in the printing trade. She has contributed creative works, including her novel “On The Nature Of Wind” as one of the eBooks that we will be featuring on Day 112, and edited the work of others, taking an immense amount of work off my shoulders. Her artwork, which is done freehand on the computer, and her fiction range from evocative to whimsical but always shows a care for her craft and a love of the characters and genre that is matched by her concern for her friends.

2 Which could well be in March sometime at the rate I'm going!

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Issue 3, Dec. 2008

Afternoon Tea by Kirok of L'Sto k

Nurse Christine Chapel sighed in relief as she dropped into the chair in her quarters at the end of her shift. The five year mission was coming to a close soon and there were a thousand and one things to tie up before the final berthing. Each of the tight-knit crew of the Enterprise was preparing in their own way and Christine's thoughts went to her own future. Reaching over to the terminal on her desk she pushed one of the buttons to log on to the ship's computer to see if there was any confirmation of her acceptance in the Starfleet Medical degree course she had applied for. “Computer! Check for incoming subspace communications, authorisation Chapel, Christine.” A voice she recognised answered her. “There are no unopened incoming messages.” ~~~ Christine stormed up to Lieutenant Commander Scott in Engineering “Scotty, is this some kind of joke?” Feigning innocence, he gave her one of his boyish smiles“What d'ye mean, lassie?” “You know very well what I mean you old reprobate! Why does the computer suddenly sound like me?” His look of hurt was not feigned this time. “Ah like a good joke as much as the next man but ah wouldn'a dream of tamperin' with ship's systems!” “Hmmm,” she looked only half-convinced, “perhaps. That doesn't answer my question though.” Scotty looked uncomfortable, as if he had bitten on something bitter. “It's a new upgrade to the ship's computer's vocal interface by, uh, Mr Spock.” “Spock?!” “Aye. He's been working on it for months now, he needed vocal engrams for the program and, uh, he seems to have used yours.” He seemed to find something interesting in a grill on the far corner of the ceiling as he continued casually, “I've heard that Starfleet Command is going to make it a standard across the fleet.” Christine was shocked! “My voice is going to be heard in every ship of the fleet?!” Her hand fluttered at her throat as she considered the enormity of the intrusion on her privacy. “What gives him the right ...!” She couldn't go on. All those years of lost opportunities, she thought, and now he callously takes something so personal as my voice from me. Her eyes misted at the hurt. “Christine, no!” Scotty walked around the console and touched her lightly on the arm. He felt awkward in this situation but couldn't bear to see a friend so hurt. “Ah know Mr Spock better than most and though he can be tactless, infuriating and stubborn as a mule there's not a hurtful bone in his body. He's nae said anything, aye, and he never would, but I think it's his way of keeping you with us after you've gone.” The eternal spark of hope in her flared once more as she doubtingly stammered, “But he's never ...” Scotty leaned forward, lowering his voice conspiratorially. “Christine, he's Vulcan. What d'ye expect from him? Flowers an' chocolates?” He leaned back against the console, crossing his arms. “We'll all miss ye, y'know. You've been a part of the Enterprise right from the beginning and you're

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closer to me than my family. It's a part of life that people have to move on and, although we can hope to meet again, until then ... all we can have is this 'digital you' and our memories” Turning to his Chief Technician he raised his voice, “Henderson! The shift is yours, I'll be in ma quarters on my break.” Gallantly offering his arm to his friend he gestured to the door. “Could I offer you some afternoon tea, miss?” Laughing, she took his arm. “You certainly may, sir!”

This was written as a response to the Majel Barrett Roddenberry tribute challenge on Alt.StarTrek.Creative. I've been involved with so many tragic storylines recently that I thought I would write something more optimistic about our leave-taking with Majel. As Heinlein said, “Good people never really leave us.” It's also a down-payment on the Scotty story I owe Steff Watson. (^V^)

Vulcan Thought for the d ay by Kirok of L'Sto k

Vulcan's are not unaware of the disdain with which most species look upon our desire to master our emotions but to us it is simple: to master the mind is to master reality. You who are reading these words right now, how do you experience reality? Through your senses, of course. Some species have more highly attuned senses than others, for example a wolf has an accute sense of smell and a dolphin can hear sounds in different frequencies just as some animals can see into the infrared or ultraviolet. However all of these senses render your reality and its amazing array of colours, scents and harmonies, that can range from the repulsive to the sublime, into simple binary code signals flashed along nerves to the physical brain that sits, in all humanoid species, atop your spinal column. What is the objective difference between the nerve impulses that signify beauty and those that tell us the opposite? Are they positive and negative? Is it a matter of degree, frequency or other biochemical parameter? It is none of these. The difference is in the interpretation that your mind puts to the signals. To put it in the words of one of your Earth homilies, "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder." Vulcans are not immune to the aesthetics that define beauty, justice and love. In fact it is because we understand these abstract values far better than you who wallow in them, that we control them so rigorously. You say that we are the poorer because we do not 'experience' the extremes of reality yet it is precisely because we do know the depths and heights of despair and euphoria that we severely limit them. Vulcan history is a garish panorama of the very best that we can be and the very worst and whilst, on the one extreme, our art and culture is so good as to be almost painful in it's appreciation, on the other extreme the horrors of the terror and depravity that we reached is such as to be almost unbearable. What you who say that you experience reality do not realise is that you make your own reality. A man and woman might look on the same child and experience polar opposite emotions, the one seeing the beauty of procreation, the other seeing evidence of their mortality. Who is right and who is wrong? Neither? Both! Two men with identical jobs can see it as an over-burdening responsibility and a challenging opportunity. Which is it? The importance of the question lies in the way that they react to their perception of reality.

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Issue 3, Dec. 2008

Because of his positive attitude, one man might do his job far better than the other. For love, a mother might run into a burning building giving her life in the hope of saving her child. The Vulcan Science Ministry theorises that it is because of our innate telepathic abilities that, historically, we have been vulnerable to the extremes of emotions and must be ever on our guard against both so that we must react to them objectively and logically. For humans it is different. Your society is based on choice, the idea that for each situation that you face, you can choose how you react to it. You can choose to be positive or negative. Ultimately, you can choose to be good or evil. But ask yourself this when you need to make such a choice next, what am I basing this on? Is my perception of the facts objective and thus statistically most likely to be correct? Is it tinged by fatigue or despair? Or can I manipulate my reality and work onwards with an optimistic view of the data? Humans can use their minds to control their bodies just as we Vulcan's do – it is called psychoneuroimmunology. Two people can be given the same course of medication, one told that it has a 70% chance of success the other that it has a 30% chance of failure. It is statistically proven that the former will have a greater success rate than the latter. Sometimes all that is needed to tip the scales in favour of a desired outcome is that we are actively working, consciously and subconsciously, towards success rather then resigned to failure. To quote one of your 20th century icons, "There are always alternatives."

RIP Majel B arrett Roddenberry 1932 - 2008

Number One by SL Watson Photo-ref'd freehand on Wacom Bamboo tablet

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Acrux Fanzine 0803 Dec '08  

For one issue Acrux becomes a Trekzine playing host to Star Trek fan fiction, art and poetry. As featured on Day 4 of The Twelve Trek Days o...

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