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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: “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!]

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

Star Trek The Original Series Rewatch: “The Galileo Seven”

“The Galileo Seven”
Written by Oliver Crawford and S. Bar-David
Directed by Robert Gist
Season 1, Episode 13
Production episode 6149-14
Original air date: January 5, 1967
Stardate: 2821.5

Captain’s log. While en route to deliver emergency medical supplies to Makus III, where they’ll meet another ship to take those supplies to the plague-ridden New Paris colony, the Enterprise‘s course takes them near Murasaki 312, a quasar-like formation. Kirk has standing orders to investigate any such phenomena, so he sends Spock in the shuttlecraft Galileo along with six others—McCoy, Scotty, Lieutenants Boma, Gaetano, and Latimer, and Yeoman Mears—to do scientific research on Murasaki.

High Commissioner Ferris—on board to supervise the delivery of the medicine—is opposed to this diversion, but Kirk points out that they’re two days ahead of schedule for their rendezvous at Makus, so there’s plenty of time. (Insert dramatic irony music here…)

[Picturesque descriptions will not mend broken circuits, Mr. Scott]

Series: Star Trek: The Original Series Rewatch

The Stargate Rewatch: Atlantis Season One

Stargate Atlantis Season 1
Executive producers: Robert C. Cooper, Brad Wright
Original air dates: July 16, 2004 – March 25, 2005

Mission briefing. After being relieved of command of the SGC, Weir is assigned to head up the international coalition of scientists who are examining the Antarctic Ancient base SG-1 discovered in “Lost City.” Jackson discovers an eighth chevron that finishes the gate address to the lost city of Atlantis in the Pegasus Galaxy. There’s just enough power left in the Antarctic ZPM to power a single wormhole to Pegasus.

O’Neill approves an expedition led by Weir, with Colonel Marshall Sumner in charge of a contingent of Marines, among them Lieutenant Aiden Ford and Sergeants Bates, Markham, and Stackhouse. The scientists include Dr. Rodney McKay, Dr. Peter Grodin, Dr. Carson Beckett, Dr. Radek Zelenka, and many many many more, who are willing to give up their lives to see what’s on the other side of that gate address in Pegasus. In addition, an Air Force pilot with a checkered history, Major John Sheppard, discovers that he has the Ancient gene that allows him to use Ancient tech, and is convinced by Weir and O’Neill to join the expedition.

[Get as far away from the nuclear explosion as possible. Good advice, Rodney, thanks.]

Series: Stargate Rewatch

Star Trek The Original Series Rewatch: “The Conscience of the King”

“The Conscience of the King”
Written by Barry Trivers
Directed by Gerd Oswald
Season 1, Episode 12
Production episode 6149-13
Original air date: December 8, 1966
Stardate: 2817.6

Captain’s log. We open with Kirk and an old friend of his named Dr. Thomas Leighton watching a production of Macbeth. Leighton insists that Anton Karidian, the leader of the theatre company, who’s playing the title role, is Kodos the Executioner. Leighton is so sure that he lied to Kirk, telling him he’d discovered a synthetic food that could end famine, diverting the Enterprise. Kirk is sure that Kodos is dead, but Leighton is convinced that Karidian is Kodos, and he’s going to prove it by inviting the theatre company to a cocktail reception at his house that night. Kirk, though, just goes back to the Enterprise.

[Caesar, beware the ides of March!]

Series: Star Trek: The Original Series Rewatch

The Stargate Rewatch: SG-1 Season Eight

Stargate SG-1 Season 8
Executive producers: Robert C. Cooper, Brad Wright, Michael Greenburg, Richard Dean Anderson
Executive producers (“Gemini” onward): Joseph Mallozzi, Paul Mullie
Original air dates: July 9, 2004 – March 25, 2005

Mission briefing. The fallout from the battle with Anubis is both immediate and far-reaching. In the short term, the location of the battle in Antarctica may have kept it out of the public eye, but the governments who signed the Antarctic Treaty became aware of it, and the terms of that treaty meant that all the signatories had to agree on how to proceed to investigate the Ancient outpost—a problem insofar as O’Neill is still in stasis down there with the Ancient repository downloaded into his head.

[“Didn’t that tape say there was no fish in your pond?” “Close enough.”]

Series: Stargate Rewatch

Star Trek The Original Series Rewatch: “Miri”

“Miri”
Written by Adrian Spies
Directed by Vincent McEveety
Season 1, Episode 11
Production episode 6149-12
Original air date: October 27, 1966
Stardate: 2713.5

Captain’s log. The Enterprise picks up an Earth-style SOS from a planet that is a dead ringer for Earth. Kirk beams down along with Spock, McCoy, Rand, and two security guards. They find abandoned buildings and vehicles, but no life. They find a tricycle, and McCoy futzes with it—only to be attacked by a scab-covered creature. Kirk and Spock manage to subdue him, and then he starts crying because the tricycle is broken. The creature has a seizure and dies. McCoy’s readings indicate that his biochemistry is acting like he’s aged a century in a few minutes.

They hear noises in a building, so they investigate. They check a closet, where Kirk—while standing with a phaser surrounded by several other people with phasers—says to come out because they mean no harm. They find a young woman named Miri in the closet, crying, begging them not to hurt her.

[“This is the vaccine?” “That’s what the computers will tell us.” “Without them, it could be a beaker full of death.”]

Series: Star Trek: The Original Series Rewatch

Star Trek The Original Series Rewatch: “Dagger of the Mind”

“Dagger of the Mind”
Written by S. Bar-David
Directed by Vincent McEveety
Season 1, Episode 10
Production episode 6149-11
Original air date: November 3, 1966
Stardate: 2715.1

Captain’s log. The Enterprise is beaming stuff down to Dr. Tristan Adams on the Tantalus Penal Colony. The transporter operator fails his saving roll versus doofus and forgets that penal colonies have shielding. They beam the stuff down and then beam up a box labeled “CLASSIFIED MATERIAL: DO NOT OPEN.” It contains a person: Dr. Simon Van Gelder, who knocks out the transporter operator and takes his clothes. However, Tantalus alerts the Enterprise to a violent criminal who escaped the penal colony. Despite the security alert, Van Gelder makes it to the bridge, pointing a phaser, begging for asylum. He’s only willing to put the weapon down if Kirk promises not to take him back to Tantalus. Kirk not only refuses to promise such a thing, he and Spock manage to subdue Van Gelder.

[You smart, button-pushing brass hat! Wash your hands of it! Is that your system?]

Series: Star Trek: The Original Series Rewatch

The Stargate Rewatch: SG-1 Season Seven

Stargate SG-1 Season 7
Executive producers: Robert C. Cooper, Michael Greenburg, Richard Dean Anderson
Consulting producer: Brad Wright
Original air dates: June 13, 2003 – March 19, 2004

Mission briefing. The theme of this season is the search for the Lost City of the Ancients—the initial part of which involves finding a naked Jackson, who has de-ascended and remembers nothing. Eventually, his memory of his previous life returns, but he recalls nothing of his time while ascended. Later, Osiris tries to goose Jackson’s quest for the Lost City through his dreams.

[We get paid for this, right?]

Series: Stargate Rewatch

Star Trek The Original Series Rewatch: “What Are Little Girls Made Of?”

“What Are Little Girls Made Of?”
Written by Robert Bloch
Directed by James Goldstone
Season 1, Episode 9
Production episode 6149-10
Original air date: October 20, 1966
Stardate: 2712.4

Captain’s log. The Enterprise arrives at Exo III. They’re in search of Roger Korby, an archeologist who hasn’t been heard from in five years. It turns out that Chapel is his fiancée, and she gave up her career in bio-research to sign onto a starship as a nurse in the hopes of finding him. Two previous expeditions have failed to find him—but Uhura gets a response to her signal from Korby himself. The doctor insists that Kirk beam down alone, but when Kirk reveals that Chapel is on board, he is thrilled, and agrees to have them both transport to a cavern on the surface, one that’s protected from the sub-zero temperatures by a transparency.

[I will kiss you.]

Series: Star Trek: The Original Series Rewatch

The Stargate Rewatch: SG-1 Season Six

Stargate SG-1 Season 6
Executive producers: Brad Wright, Robert C. Cooper, Michael Greenburg, Richard Dean Anderson
Original air dates: June 7, 2002 – March 23, 2003

Mission briefing. Even as SG-1 mourns the loss of Jackson, there’s a fresh attack from Anubis, as he uses a weapon to overload Earth’s Stargate so it will explode, taking the planet with it. SG-1 manages to save the Earth with a combination of Carter’s brains, O’Neill’s piloting skills, and a clever suggestion by Quinn, who replaces Jackson on SG-1. However, the Stargate itself is lost, forcing the U.S. to purchase use of the other Stargate from the Russians.

[As in Bocce????]

Series: Stargate Rewatch