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Keith DeCandido

Fiction and Excerpts [2]
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Fiction and Excerpts [2]

Ragnarok and Roll (Excerpt)

, || Cassie Zukav has always been a bit of a weirdness magnet. Strange things always happened to her, even before she came to Key West for vacation and never left. She's dealt with sea monsters and nixies and dragons, and shares her room with the ghost of an old wrecker captain, whom only she can see and hear. Now she spends her days leading scuba diving jaunts and her nights at Mayor Fred's Saloon watching the house band, 1812, rock the joint. But when 1812 takes a break, they're replaced by Jötunheim, a band everyone but Cassie loves. Their lead singer is Loki, the Norse trickster god, who is trying to bring about Ragnarok-the end of all that is. Cassie learns that she's a Dís, a fate goddess, from Odin himself, the Allfather of the Norse gods. She's the only one who can stop Loki from destroying the world. And then things get really weird...

Star Trek The Original Series Rewatch: “This Side of Paradise”

“This Side of Paradise”
Written by Nathan Butler and D.C. Fontana
Directed by Ralph Senensky
Season 1, Episode 25
Production episode 6149-25
Original air date: March 2, 1967
Stardate: 3417.3

Captain’s log. The Enterprise arrives at the colony on Omicron Ceti III. The planet is bathed in Berthold rays, a form of radiation that is new to the Federation, so they don’t know its full effects, but extended exposure disintegrates living tissue. It is unlikely that there are any survivors of the colony—led by Elias Sandoval—a likelihood that is increased by the complete lack of response to Uhura’s hails.

However, Kirk beams down a landing party—Spock assures him that limited exposure is safe—including himself, Spock, McCoy, Sulu, DeSalle, and Kelowitz. The settlement is intact, but there’s no sign of any habitation. Kirk waxes rhapsodic on the tragedy of these people travelling all this way, including a year in space to reach the planet, only to die.

And then three people from the colony, including Sandoval, show up alive and well, and doesn’t Kirk feel foolish? Sandoval thinks they came because their subspace radio is on the fritz.

[What can you expect from a simpering, devil-eared freak?]

Series: Star Trek: The Original Series Rewatch

The Stargate Rewatch: Universe Season One

Stargate Universe Season 1
Executive producers: Robert C. Cooper, Brad Wright
Original air dates: October 2, 2009 – June 11, 2010

Mission briefing. The Atlantis database includes a nine-chevron address (well, eight chevrons, plus whatever the point of origin is). It’s believed that there should be a way to dial an even greater distance than between galaxies with nine chevrons. Dr. Nicholas Rush is recruited (by Jackson) to work on it, and he spends two years trying to solve the problem—in that time, his wife dies of a never-specified illness.

The Air Force embeds the problem in a videogame on the off-chance that someone will solve it. That someone turns out to be a young slacker named Eli Wallace, who is beamed to the General George Hammond and brought to Icarus base. Icarus is a top-secret SGC installation that is on a planet full of naquadria, so it has enough energy to power a nine-chevron wormhole.

[This ship simply doesn’t have the capability to dial Earth….]

Series: Stargate Rewatch

Star Trek The Original Series Rewatch: “Space Seed”

“Space Seed”
Written by Carey Wilber and Gene L. Coon
Directed by Joseph Pevney
Season 1, Episode 24
Production episode 6149-24
Original air date: February 16, 1967
Stardate: 3141.9

Captain’s log. The Enterprise finds a derelict Earth ship from the 1990s. McCoy is detecting heartbeats at a very slow rate—four beats per minute—and Spock detects electrical activity. He also makes out a name on the hull: Botany Bay. There’s no record of such a ship, but that was a tumultuous era thanks to the Eugenics Wars, and records are fragmentary.

Kirk takes a team to the ship that includes McCoy, Scotty, and ship’s historian Lieutenant Marla McGivers. Once the Enterprise takes the Botany Bay in tow, the heat comes on and air starts being pumped in.

[Well, either choke me or cut my throat! Make up your mind!]

Series: Star Trek: The Original Series Rewatch

The Stargate Rewatch: Atlantis Season Five

Stargate Atlantis Season 5
Executive producers: Carl Binder, Martin Gero, Robert C. Cooper, Brad Wright, Joseph Malozzi, Paul Mullie
Original air dates: July 11, 2008 – January 9, 2009

Mission briefing. Carter leads a rescue team to get Sheppard and his team out of the rubble of Michael’s facility, then use the Daedalus to rescue Teyla from Michael’s clutches. McKay winds up having to deliver Teyla’s baby and the mission is a success, with Michael’s operation crippled.

Carter is recalled to Earth where she has been removed from command of the expedition, replaced by Woolsey for reasons that are never made clear, but probably relate to the IOA wanting someone more pliable in command.

[You know how to talk to me, John Sheppard…]

Series: Stargate Rewatch

Star Trek The Original Series Rewatch: “A Taste of Armageddon”

“A Taste of Armageddon”
Written by Robert Hammer and Gene L. Coon
Directed by Joseph Pevney
Season 1, Episode 23
Production episode 6149-23
Original air date: February 23, 1967

Captain’s log. The Enterprise has been hailing the people of the Eminiar star system. Ambassador Robert Fox is on board, as the Federation is hoping to open up diplomatic relations, but there’s been no response.

Uhura finally gets an answer: a code 710, which is a message that there is conflict and to stay away or risk being damaged. Fox orders Kirk to disobey the 710 despite the very real risk to the Enterprise, so Kirk sighs and orders yellow alert and goes in. Fox’s orders are to open diplomatic relations with these planets so the Federation can establish a needed port there.

[Sir, there’s a multi-legged creature crawling on your shoulder…]

Series: Star Trek: The Original Series Rewatch

Star Trek The Original Series Rewatch: “The Return of the Archons”

“The Return of the Archons”
Written by Gene Roddenberry and Boris Sobelman
Directed by Joseph Pevney
Season 1, Episodes 22
Production episode 6149-22
Original air date: February 9, 1967
Stardate: 3156.2

Captain’s log. Sulu and O’Neil have been sent down to Beta III, dressed in native clothes, searching for evidence of the U.S.S. Archon, which disappeared there a hundred years earlier. They’re being chased by guys in monk’s robes. Sulu calls for beam-out, but O’Neil is panicking and runs away. And before Sulu can be transported up, one of the guys in robes hits him with a stick. When he materializes, he’s spouting gibberish about being of the body, looking for Archons, paradise, and so on, all with a goofy smile on his face.

Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Lieutenant Lindstrom (the ship’s sociologist), and two security guards, Leslie and Galloway, beam down, also in native attire. Spock observes that everyone’s as vacantly content as Sulu is now. A native asks if they’re in for the festival, and they say they are, and they don’t have accommodations for it yet.

[Paradise… paradise….]

Series: Star Trek: The Original Series Rewatch

The Stargate Rewatch: Continuum

Stargate: Continuum
Written by Brad Wright
Directed by Martin Wood
Original release date: July 29, 2008

Mission briefing. The last Ba’al clone has been captured and brought to the Tok’ra homeworld for extraction. SG-1 has been invited to observe the ceremony, including O’Neill. Vala, who has been through this herself when Qetesh was extracted from her, wants to bring along an X-699, but Mitchell won’t let her. The ceremony itself is quite lengthy, as it includes a listing of Ba’al’s crimes, which go back millennia. (Jackson at one point says he knows it’s almost over because the crimes they’re listing are starting to sound familiar.)

Ba’al’s last words are ones of confidence. He insists that, while he’s the last clone, the original is still free.

[“I take it that in your timeline, you’re not a discredited wackjob living on the fringes of society?” “That really depends on who you ask…”]

Series: Stargate Rewatch

Star Trek The Original Series Rewatch: “Tomorrow is Yesterday”

“Tomorrow is Yesterday”
Written by D.C. Fontana
Directed by Michael O’Herlihy
Season 1, Episodes 21
Production episode 6149-21
Original air date: January 26, 1967
Stardate: 3113.2

Captain’s log. We open at an Air Force Base in 1969, which picks up a giant aircraft like nothing they’ve ever seen before, and it just appeared out of nowhere, “like it dropped out of the sky.” A plane is scrambled to get a better look, and we see that it’s the Enterprise. They collided with a black hole (they call it a “black star”) while en route to Starbase 9, and wound up at Earth. Scotty manages to get power back online, but warp drive is offline. Sulu reports that the impulse drive is sluggish, but he gets them some altitude. Uhura reports silence on the usual Starfleet channels—all she’s able to get is radio, including an announcement of the upcoming first moon landing. This confirms Spock’s hypothesis that the black star sent them back in time to the 20th century.

[“I never have believed in little green men.” “Neither have I.”]

Series: Star Trek: The Original Series Rewatch

The Stargate Rewatch: Atlantis Season Four

Stargate Atlantis Season 4
Executive producers: Robert C. Cooper, Brad Wright, Joseph Malozzi, Paul Mullie
Original air dates: September 28, 2007 – March 7, 2008

Mission briefing. Atlantis is drifting between star systems, with McKay and Zelenka trying desperately to keep everyone from dying through various manipulations of the power and the shield. Meanwhile, Weir is dying, and the only solution that Keller can come up with involves activating the nanites that are still in her system. Sheppard thinks this is a terrible idea, but they do it anyhow, as she’ll die otherwise. Weir herself thinks it’s a bad idea when she’s revived.

The city needs a ZPM or they’ll be drifting forever, but they have a jumper that can make it to a planet—specifically, the Asuran homeworld. Weir is now plugged into the replicators, so she helps them get the ZPM, and also keeps Oberoth at bay. But in the end, she is taken by the replicators, even as the others escape with a ZPM.

As an added bonus, McKay has altered the replicator base code so that they will do what the Ancients originally built them for: to fight the Wraith. A Wraith-replicator war proceeds to break out in the Pegasus galaxy.

[Good. We can finally get to work without having to look over our shoulders.]

Series: Stargate Rewatch

Star Trek The Original Series Rewatch: “The Alternative Factor”

“The Alternative Factor”
Written by Don Ingalls
Directed by Gerd Oswald
Season 1, Episodes 20
Production episode 6149-20
Original air date: March 30, 1967
Stardate: 3087.6

Captain’s log. The Enterprise is finishing up an orbital survey of an uninhabited planet, when they’re buffeted by some kind of force. According to Spock, for an instant the magnetic field of the solar system disappeared and the planet below had no mass—it was as if reality winked out of existence for a second. As soon as the phenomenon abated, a humanoid life sign reading appeared on the planet out of nowhere.

Kirk, Spock, and a four-person security detail beam down to investigate. They find a small, one-person ship—which, weirdly, Spock’s sensors did not pick up—and its pilot, who is ranting and raving and then faints.

[“Coffee?” “Is that an order, Lieutenant?”]

Series: Star Trek: The Original Series Rewatch

Star Trek The Original Series Rewatch: “Arena”

“Arena”
Written by Fredric Brown and Gene L. Coon
Directed by Joseph Pevney
Season 1, Episodes 19
Production episode 6149-19
Original air date: January 19, 1967
Stardate: 3045.6

Captain’s log. Kirk, Spock, McCoy, and the Enterprise‘s best tactical specialists are beaming down to the base on Cestus III—an isolated colony, and one commanded by Commodore Travers. Kirk and McCoy are looking forward to seeing Travers’s chef as much as they are the commodore himself.

When they materialize on the surface, however, they find a smoking ruin where the base should be. Kirk immediately puts the Enterprise on red alert. The base was obviously destroyed days ago, so the messages they received from Travers were faked. Spock takes tricorder readings, while Kirk sends Lang and Kelowitz to search for survivors. O’Herlihy sticks with Kirk, Spock, and McCoy, and they find one survivor who’s got bad radiation burns and internal injuries. Spock also detects non-human life nearby. O’Herlihy investigates and is vaporized by some kind of disruptor mortar.

[This place is a mineralogist’s dream!]

Series: Star Trek: The Original Series Rewatch

The Stargate Rewatch: The Ark of Truth

Stargate: The Ark of Truth
Written and directed by Robert C. Cooper
Original release date: March 11, 2008

Mission briefing. A prelude shows the Ancients—or, rather, the Alterans—deciding to leave their home galaxy and head to the Milky Way rather than deal directly with the Ori. They consider and reject the notion of using the Ark of Truth to expose the Ori as frauds. The Ark convinces all who are exposed to it of the absolute truth, but the Alterans consider it too extreme. They depart for the Milky Way, leaving the Ark behind and destroying the mountain city it was in.

In the present day, SG-1 is digging through the ruins of Dakara in an attempt to find the Ark. Shortly after Jackson finds what he thinks is it, an Ori ship shows up and the troops—led by Tomin—call for SG-1’s surrender, promising to spare them if they do. The box they found turns out not to be the Ark. The Prior in command of these troops orders SG-1 killed, but Tomin balks, as he promised to spare them. The Prior insists, and SG-1 points out that the Prior is powerless to do it himself. SG-1 manages to kill the Prior, only then revealing to Tomin that they have their Prior disruptor working. Seeing that the Priors are not all-knowing or invulnerable, Tomin dismisses his troops and surrenders himself to SG-1.

[“I haven’t showered.” “None of us have.” “That is painfully obvious!”]

Series: Stargate Rewatch

Star Trek The Original Series Rewatch: “The Squire of Gothos”

“The Squire of Gothos”
Written by Paul Schneider
Directed by Don McDougall
Season 1, Episodes 18
Production episode 6149-18
Original air date: January 12, 1967
Stardate: 2124.5

Captain’s log. Enterprise is proceeding to Beta VI to deliver supplies, and they’re travelling via a large void between star systems. To everyone’s surprise, a planet appears out of nowhere directly in their flight path. Spock finds it hard to believe nobody charted this before, but they don’t have time to investigate. Kirk orders Uhura to alert the authorities to this new planet, Spock to gather as much data as possible while they fly by, and Sulu to veer forty degrees to starboard.

However, Uhura can’t punch through subspace interference, and Sulu just disappears. Kirk runs over to the helm to see what happened—and he disappears, too.

[“Hip hip hoorah”? And I believe it is pronounced, “tally-ho!”]

Series: Star Trek: The Original Series Rewatch

The Stargate Rewatch: Atlantis Season Three

Stargate Atlantis Season 3
Executive producers: Robert C. Cooper, Brad Wright, Joseph Malozzi, Paul Mullie, N. John Smith
Original air dates: July 14, 2006 – February 5, 2007

Mission briefing. The Daedalus and the Orion are dispatched to stop the two Wraith hive ships, and they’re assisted by Sheppard (who hid his 302 on one of the ships before it went to hyperspace), Michael (who has realized that the Wraith consider him an outcast), and McKay and Ronon (who manage to escape from the cocoon). One hive ship and the Orion are both destroyed, and they use the retrovirus to turn the Wraith on the surviving ship into amnesiac humans, and bring the ship and them home. But the Wraith start to remember who they are and, led by Michael, they make their escape.

Michael starts performing experiments on humans throughout the galaxy, proving himself to be an enemy to both humans and Wraith alike, while using Beckett’s retrovirus as a starting point for a weapon to be used against both.

[Just out of political curiosity, how much trouble is it going to cause you if I knock this Woolsey guy in the head?]

Series: Stargate Rewatch

Star Trek The Original Series Rewatch: “Shore Leave”

“Shore Leave”
Written by Theodore Sturgeon
Directed by Robert Sparr
Season 1, Episode 17
Production episode 6149-17
Original air date: December 29, 1966
Stardate: 3025.3

Captain’s log. The Enterprise has been in space for three months. They arrive at a planet, and Sulu, McCoy, and a bunch of others take a landing party down to investigate it. Kirk is tired and needs sleep, something he’s been told by McCoy as well as Yeoman Tonia Barrows. (He complains of a kink in his back, and Barrows gives him a massage; Kirk thinks it’s Spock, but when the first officer moves to stand next to him and he’s still getting the backrub, Kirk quickly tells her to stop. This, children, is how slash fiction gets started.)

[My dear girl, I am a doctor. When I peek, it’s in the line of duty.]

Series: Star Trek: The Original Series Rewatch

The Stargate Rewatch: SG-1 Season Ten

Stargate SG-1 Season 10
Executive producers: Robert C. Cooper, Brad Wright, Joseph Mallozzi, Paul Mullie
Original air dates: July 14, 2006 – June 22, 2007

Mission briefing. There are now four Ori warships in the Milky Way, which make incredibly short work of the fleet at the supergate. The Korolev and most of the Lucian Alliance ships are destroyed, and the Odyssey is badly damaged. On one of those warships, Vala gives birth to a daughter whom she names Adria, after her awful stepmother. However, the Ori used Vala as a vehicle to sneak one of their own into the corporeal world, so Adria grows to adulthood in a few days and takes command of Ori forces in the Milky Way, starting with invading Chulak.

[You better not be messing with me.]

Series: Stargate Rewatch

The Stargate Rewatch: Atlantis Season Two

Stargate Atlantis Season 2
Executive producers: Robert C. Cooper, Brad Wright
Original air dates: July 15, 2005 – January 30, 2006

Mission briefing. The Daedalus arrives under the command of Colonel Steven Caldwell, destroying the other two hive ships, though Everett is “aged” by the Wraith before it’s all over. That experience allows him to forgive Sheppard for shooting Sumner. With a dozen more hive ships coming, the expedition fakes blowing up the city, using a nuke and switching the shield to cloak mode, making the Wraith think the city is destroyed. They continue to pretend to be nomads to the rest of the galaxy, removing the Atlantis patches from their uniforms when they go offworld. This deception lasts until the end of the season.

[“Best case scenario?” “I win a Nobel Prize.” “Worst case scenario?” “We tear a hole in the fabric of the universe.”]

Series: Stargate Rewatch

Star Trek The Original Series: “The Menagerie” Parts 1 & 2

“The Menagerie” Parts 1 & 2
Written by Gene Roddenberry
Directed by Marc Daniels (framing sequence) and Robert Butler (flashbacks)
Season 1, Episodes 15 & 16
Production episode 6149-16A & 6149-16B
Original air date: November 17 & 24, 1966
Stardate: 3012.4

Captain’s log. The Enterprise received a subspace message to report to Starbase 11, but when Kirk, Spock, and McCoy beam down, Lieutenant Piper says no such message was sent by the starbase. They meet with Commodore Mendez, telling him that Spock received a message from the former commander of the Enterprise, Fleet Captain Christopher Pike. Mendez assures Kirk that that’s impossible. Pike was injured while rescuing cadets on an old Class-J ship where the baffle plate ruptured. The delta rays injured him sufficiently that he’s wheelchair bound, paralyzed, unable to speak. All he can do is indicate yes or no by making his wheelchair beep.

Mendez takes the trio to see Pike, but he doesn’t want company. He does make an exception for Spock, who served under Pike for over eleven years. When they’re alone, Spock says he has a plan to help him. Pike keeps saying no, but Spock insists, even though he knows it’s mutiny and treason.

[To question Spock of all people! Me, yes. I could run off half-cocked given a good reason; so could you! But not Spock. It’s impossible!]

Series: Star Trek: The Original Series Rewatch

Star Trek The Original Series Rewatch: “Court Martial”

“Court Martial”
Written by Don M. Mankiewicz and Stephen W. Carabastos
Directed by Marc Daniels
Season 1, Episode 14
Production episode 6149-15
Original air date: February 2, 1967
Stardate: 2947.3

Captain’s log. Following a severe ion storm, which badly damaged the Enterprise and killed Lt. Commander Ben Finney, the ship goes to Starbase 11 for repairs. Kirk reports to Commodore Stone, signing a deposition. Spock beams down with a computer log just as Finney’s daughter Jame shows up accusing Kirk of murdering her father. Finney was an instructor at the Academy when Kirk was a midshipman, and they became close friends—Jame was named after him—but a black mark on his record slowed his promotion prospects. Kirk himself was responsible for reporting the lapse that led to the black mark in question: when they served together on Republic, Finney neglected to close a circuit.

Spock’s log shows a discrepancy: Kirk put in his deposition that he didn’t eject the pod until the ship went to red alert, but the log states that he ejected the pod while still at yellow alert. Stone confines Kirk to the base pending a review board.

[“You have to be either an obsessive crackpot who’s escaped from his keeper or Samuel T. Cogley, attorney at law.” “You’re right on both counts!”]

Series: Star Trek: The Original Series Rewatch

The Stargate Rewatch: SG-1 Season Nine

Stargate SG-1 Season 9

Executive producers: Robert C. Cooper, Brad Wright, Joseph Mallozzi, Paul Mullie

Original air dates: July 15, 2005 – March 10, 2006

Mission briefing. Lt. Colonel Cameron Mitchell was the Commander of the Air Group supporting Prometheus in “Lost City” against Anubis over Antarctica. His 302 was shot down, and he spent a year recovering and re-learning how to walk. For his heroism, O’Neill, the newly appointed head of Homeworld Security, gives Mitchell his choice of assignments, and he chooses SG-1.

So he’s kinda surprised when the new head of the SGC, General Hank Landry, informs him that he has to pick a new SG-1. Jackson has been reassigned to Atlantis, Carter has taken over R&D of Area 51, and Teal’c has returned to Dakara to help form the first-ever Free Jaffa government. Mitchell tries to convince all three to come back—he wanted to serve with those three, not form his own team—and fails.

[We’re gettin’ the band back together!]

Series: Stargate Rewatch