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NAHTMMM 10-06-2007 07:55 PM

4th Novel Fiver: Pawns and Symbols
This novel's much better than any of the other three I've "fived" so far. In its defense, the crew has a much larger role in the actual book. In my defense, the novel's also 277 pages in middling-small print and this is a rather pared-down version of what I've got as it stands. *shrugs*

Bored with beating Koloth all the time, Kirk accepts an old foe’s challenge for a rematch. Kang loses.

Sherman's Planet: *Rumble*
Various Scientists: GAK!
Jean Czerny: AK!

Eknaar: Wow, you were one letter away from getting killed there. We only just arrived in the nick of time to save you. Even then, we nearly lost you to that allergic reaction to the truth serum.
Czerny: …Waait. I was unconscious, practically dead, and you tried to interrogate me?!
Eknaar: Hey, we're Klingons, we interrogate things. It's in the job description.
Kang: Bwahahaha! Shut up and stand in awe of my grand anti-heroic victorious entrance. I saved your life, Jenny-girl, so under convenient Klingon tradition I own you. Muahah! Now, first off, you're mine. And by the way, we've gotta get you a better name than "Czerny". Second, I've got the quadrotri-whatever grain. Third—
Czerny: Hey, wait a moment. Where's my standard-issue headwear?
Kang: That's number three. I sent that stupid hat to Koloth. He'll probably beam it into space and torpedo it to bits personally. Fourth, when Kirk catches up—
Kirk: (over comm) KAAAAAANNG!
Kang: Shut up, I'm not done gloating here yet. —Now that he has caught up to us, he's violating the Neutral Zone. Let the record show that the score is now Klingon Empire 4, Kirk 2!

Captain's Log: Yeah, that captain. We were caught off-guard by Kang pinch-hitting for Koloth. But we've managed to adapt remarkably well…

Kang: Captain James T. Kirk, you are in violation of the Organian Treaty and a hundred other—what are those things on your heads?
Kirk: Hats. With sticky notes stuck on.
Kang: (reading) "Captain Kangaroo is a loser"? Who's Captain Kan—oh. Hey!
Kirk: Heheh.
Kang: Just for that, I'm taking The Grain Scientist Formerly Known As Jean Czerny and the grain with me.
Kirk: You can have Czerny—
Czerny: Hey!
Kirk: —but we want the grain back. And I must be allowed to speak with Czerny.
Kang: No grain. If you must talk, talk quickly—even the in-system rates around here are terrible.
McCoy: Another reason why I don't like the Klingons. No 10-10-220.
Kirk: Are you all right, Czerny?
Czerny: Other than having a lump on my head and being surrounded by Klingon warriors, on a Klingon warship, in Klingon space, yes, I'm all right. Of course I'm not all right! Get me out of here!
Kirk: Hmm. Uh, on a related note, "Belgium, cricket, eggplant".
All: GASP!
Kang: How DARE you swear so foully at me! This insult will be avenged!
Kirk: Huh? What?
Spock: Give the Captain a break, loser. He is too busy to read Douglas Adams.
Kang: Anyway, time up. Bye!

Aernath: Captain, the grain is locked up tight in this Acme safe.
Czerny: Nyah, nyah.
Kang: I order you to open that safe RIGHT THIS INSTANT!
Czerny: Ooo, touchy. Why all this fuss over grain? You’re a Klingon; you eat nasty predators raw as snacks.
Kang: Silence, kibitzer. Aernath, can't you unlock it?
Aernath: No, it's all solids.
Kang: That has to be the most pathetic Diane Duane reference I've ever heard. You do realize I'll have to kill you for that.
Aernath: eek!
Czerny: No, don't kill him! If you let him live, I'll unlock the safe.
Kang: Deal.
Czerny: …so that means I've saved his life, so I have power over him now.
Aernath: Arrgggh!
Kang: Fwahahaha! What a cunning woman. You remind me of my Mara, only uglier. But this will only make my ultimate revenge on Kirk all the sweeter.
Czerny: And that would be…?
Kang: Scoring with one of his own crewwomen.

Captain's Log: NOOOOOOOO! That is quite possibly the most evil revenge anyone has ever plotted against me…

Aernath: Why don't you let me kill myself and end my misery?
Czerny: No!
Aernath: What made you do it, anyway? That perverted human trait you call "mercy"?
Czerny: No, you're like the first Klingon I've ever met whose name doesn't begin with "K".
Kang: Hey, Aernath, I would be upset that I've lost the full-time use of you, but you're such a wimpy pawn, it doesn't matter. Hawhawhaw!
Aernath: If you were any other man, I might sneak over there and poke you where you stand!
Czerny: Oh, just be glad I'm being civil and willingly helping you study this grain I was originally so determined not to give you.

Kang: Okay, exposition time: there’s a blight spreading around, and so we need that blight-resistant grain.
Czerny: Is that what that whole combination against Kirk was about? Aww, Kang, you could’ve told me and asked nicely. I would’ve helped.
Romulan: Heh heh.
Kang: What’s so funny?
Romulan: Nothing. I merely find the dramatic irony fascinating.

Kang: Marry me.
Czerny: No! You're an evil archenemy character!
Kang: Would it help if I turned into a sympathetic anti-hero character by telling you how Mara deserted me for pacifism and reminding you that I’m trying to save my people from starvation? Plus you’ll get to thumb your nose at your archenemy we haven’t seen fit to mention in this fiver.
Czerny: Still no. Actually, yes.
Kang: Okay, now we’re married. Now go with Aernath to this planet and work on the grain there awhile. Do not cause a commotion. Do not make a fool of yourself. And above all, don’t embarrass me by showing your human compassion for weaklings.

Captain’s Log: We were sent on a wild pawn chase to the middle of nowhere by Starfleet Command. It’s not gonna be shown here, because we lost a bunch of tempi, and all we found was a cheap Romulan wreck, a dead Romulan dude, and a paranoid Romulan babe; and Chekov got her. I mean, Chekov? This is ridiculous. I am 0 for 2 in this stupid book, thanks to the likes of Chekov and Captain Kangaroo the loser. I’m so disgusted I can’t bring myself to complete this entry. So insert casual mention here of Spock having left for Organia a while back to play "diplomat" and end log.

Kang: Hi, I’m back. Did you do as I ordered you?
Czerny: Umm, I succeeded with the grain thingy. The others, well, I kinda goofed up on.
Kang: Ha! I knew it! (slaps nearby officer on the back, hard) Pay up, sucker!

Aernath: Hey, Czerny, come with me on a secret mission.
Czerny: Why?
Aernath: Um, because…it’ll be fun. And I’ll take you to meet the president of the Kang Fan Club.
Czerny: OK.

Mara: Hiya.
Czerny: What?! You’re the president of the KFC? But you deserted Kang, right?
Mara: No, I merely left him. I practically worship him, he’s so smart and strong and handsome and wise, it’s just that I think he’s wrong on this one particular problem, so I’ve organized an entire underground resistance against him.
Czerny: (shudders)
Aernath: Czerny, are you all right?
Czerny: I think so. Mara’s words just reminded me of politics on late-20th-century Earth, with its single-issue “special interest” groups and "hot-button" voters…

Czerny: You’re nuts!
Mara: No, I’m bitter. Don’t you know anything about etymology? I’m perfectly safe walking back into Kang’s clutches. Trust me, I’m not sacrificing myself. I’ve got a pawn up my sleeve he doesn’t know about. So I’m sending you and Aernath with my pawn on a secret mission to the Enterprise. The plan is to turn him into a passed pawn so the Federation can wave him in Kang’s face and force a draw.
Czerny: When did we start playing partner chess? And who's this pawn supposed to be?
Aethelnor: I am Aethelnor, son of Kang!
Czerny: Oh.

NAHTMMM 10-06-2007 07:57 PM

Czerny: Aernath, I think the contact we’re supposed to meet is in that restaurant.
Aernath: Why do you think that?
Czerny: Oh, a little mouse told me.

Romulan: “Pawns are the soul of chess.”
Aernath: "An isolated Pawn spreads gloom all over the chessboard."
Czerny: I know how that pawn feels…
Romulan: Fascinating.
Aernath: So you’re our contact.
Spock: Affirmative.
Czerny: Oooo! Don’t do that! You startled me!

Secret mission people: Dum de dum, sneaking through airport security…
Random Bodyguard: This one's a FAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAKE!
Czerny: Urk?
Bodyguard: Now, where did the people with her get to?
Security Guard: Probably escaped somewhere around "AAAA".

Aernath: You know, one thing puzzles me. There have been Klingons, quadrotriticale, and even Cyrano Jones, but so far there hasn’t even been a mention of—
Tribble: Bonzai—Eek! Eep! Eep! Eep! Eep!
Jones: Ah, I see you’ve met Juliette. Isn’t she cuuute? Don’t be scared, her clinging to your scalp ridges like that means she likes you.
Tribble: Eep! Eep! Eep!
Aernath: I’m so very unflattered.

McCoy: Spock figured out Klingons can't see red.
Kirk: I guess the designers of this ship got all the "Keep Out—Sensitive stuff in this room" signs right, then.
McCoy: And to think they only went with a red-and-black color scheme because it was in style at the time.

Kirk: …And so the cricket says to the eggplant, “I think I’d rather be in Belgium.” Hahahahah!
Kang: I don’t get it—
Czerny: Erp!
Kang: —But I think I got the meaning behind that.
Czerny: Urk!

Czerny: Divorce me.
Kang: No, not yet. Actually, might as well.

Aernath: Pweeease marry me.
Czerny: OK. Actually, you bet I will! Hey, whodathunkit—a Klingon warrior marrying an alien scientist.

Aernath: And so, to end this, I’ll quote an unknown chess player, who said, “Never miss a Czech—she might be a mate.”
Czerny: I am so going to get you for that one.

(The Enterprise warps off at Ludicrous Speed.)

Nate the Great 10-06-2007 09:03 PM

Was that an actual novel? The plot seems a little out there, even for Trek. (bah-dum-bum-chissh)

NAHTMMM 10-06-2007 09:14 PM

An actual early novel. I don't think it's "out there" so much as "unusual" and "something that wouldn't happen after Paramount became concerned with keeping the novels from going too far out of the way of potential future episodes and movies".

Nate the Great 10-06-2007 11:05 PM

Was anyone insulted by my oh-so-subtle jab at Trek plots? Or was it the use of the dead horse trope called the cymbal clash?

NAHTMMM 10-06-2007 11:34 PM

I just figured it was a stock jab (like a stock answer or stock phrase, only not). I wasn't insulted--I know there are some pretty inane Trek novels out there and have never claimed otherwise . . . ;)

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