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Old 10-25-2004, 03:09 AM
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Default Second Novel "Fiver": Gulliver's Fugitives

I wouldn't worry about spoilers with this one, because 1: it's one of the earliest TNG novels, and 2: It's probably the worst Trek novel I've ever read, so who cares, right?

Gulliver's Fugitives

The crew puts on a performance of “Turkey in the Straw”. The Alan Parsons Project files a protest.

Data: Wesley, Commander Riker made a remark about "theme songs" yesterday. Could you explain the reference to me?
Wesley: Um, theme songs? Oh, I remember reading about them in historical culture classes. They were used to make mediocre motion pictures seem appealing. The audience would get into the song being played, and I think the movie's plot would be rigged so that lyrics would occur at the same time as actions that somehow related to them. And the audience's approval of the song would thus transfer to what was happening in the movie, or else the music would distract them from the movie's worthlessness. The crazy part is, most of the time, a movie's theme song had been recorded long before the movie containing it was made. There were even a few cases where the filmmakers were so uncreative that they actually modeled an hour-long plot after a few minutes’ worth of lyrics.
Data: Interesting. This information comes at an excellent time, because this story looks like it is going to be a "yawner". I shall try out this "theme song" concept.

Crichton: Leave, losers.
Picard: I’d love to, but unfortunately I can’t because a Starfleet ship was lost in this area years ago, and although it was such a trivial loss that no one has ever bothered until now to look for them, I’m somehow duty-bound to keep searching until I find them.
Crichton: Well, just stay away. We can’t risk the chance that you’ll encourage our brainwashed citizens to start lying.
Troi: Psst, you aren’t supposed to let the readers know that yet. You’re supposed to talk nonsense about “Allpox”.
Crichton: Oh, er, right. We can’t risk the chance that you’ll infect our planet with the Allpox.
Crusher: I’ve never heard of this “Allpox”. What are its symptoms?
Crichton: Never heard the term “Allpox” before? That’s a shock, lady, considering that it was coined by our predecessors years after they arrived at this planet and that none of us had communicated with anyone from off-planet from the day we settled here until now. As for the symptoms, I’d tell you what they were, except that that would be a dead giveaway. Tell you what, I might let you continue to search around here on one condition. I and a few of my friends come aboard your ship and check every nook and cranny with our ugly robots of unknown function, construction, and ability that we refer to as “eyes”, to make sure that you are free of the Allpox.
LaForge: Sir, that would break the Prime Directive and so many regulations concerning allowing non-aligned powers into classified areas, it wouldn’t even be funny.
Crusher: They needn’t bother, Captain. Everyone on board has been immunized against practically every harmful strain of microbes known to Starfleet. That includes fifty-eight varieties of the flu alone.
Picard: I’m aware of those facts, people, but I am willing to bend a little. What are we out here for, anyway? To meet and become buddy-buddy with new races, lost colonies, and really weird organisms that practically destroy the ship in their fervent desire to communicate. Mr. Crichton, you are granted permission to do as you have requested.

Redshirt: Welcome to the Enterprise, folks. *Thinks, "Yawn, booooring. I can't wait till I get off shift to find out what happens to the magenta zebra in that novel I've been reading.”*
Eye: "Magenta zebra"? Arrrgh! Fiction! Lies! *Shzap*
Redshirt: GAK!
Data: Hmm. What would be a good theme song for this scene? How about "Well, you've let the wrong word slip, by kissing those suede-silk lips. The odds are you won't live to see tomorrow"?
Wesley: Not bad. Just remember, it can't make too much sense.
Eye: Oookay, that entire conversation was just plain disturbing. I'm not even gonna try to process that.
Crichton: Aha! I knew it! (unrolls a scroll, reads from it) “Let it be known that we are the Rampart. Get lost or get assimilated. Fiction is evil.”
Picard: No, you’re evil! And icky! How DARE you preach at me about your anti-fiction, anti-falsehood closed-mindedness? Just for that, I’m gonna preach at you about my ideals of freedom for all to lie and make up stuff whenever they want!
Riker: Worf, this looks like this could get violent in a hurry. Better whistle up some more expendable redshirts. –What are you doing?
Worf: I’m taking notes for the future, in case I have to play diplomat or be an ambassador.
Riker: Ha! Yeah, right. You, an ambassador? Fat chance of that happening.

Captain’s Log: Unfortunately, Data’s drivel and our ridiculing the plot will take up so much room, we won’t get to Troi’s hallucinations or Worf getting drunk on tranya and passing out like the wimpy loser he is. …Oh, by the way, Crichton and his pals have abducted me, and those eyes are floating around the ship.

LaForge: LaForge to Bridge. The eyes are now on this deck, intersection of corridors 33 and 33C, just 53.4 feet away from us as the disruptor bolt flies…
Crusher: If you can track the eyes so precisely, why don’t you just beam them out? It isn’t as if anyone would care if you only got a piece of them.
LaForge: Hey, that makes great sense! Too bad we can’t do it.
Crusher: Why not?
LaForge: It’s too easy.

Crichton’s Personal Log: Don’t tell anyone, but I’ve gone OCD again. This time, it’s manifesting as an almost uncontrollable urge to eat crack. Ers.

LaForge: LaForge to Bridge: the two eyes have taken over Engineering and locked themselves in!
Worf: Curses! What would the Captain do if he were here?
Wesley: If Commander Data were here, he might sing "I'll Take You Home Again, Kathleen".
Crusher: Can you say "VVS8"?
Worf: I believe that would be "Kathryn", not "Kathleen", Doctor.

Crichton: Muahahahaha! How goes the evil mind-control-by-way-of-the-media scheme, henchman?
Ferris: Muahaha! You won’t believe what we got them to swallow tonight!
Crichton: (reads the anchor’s script, then looks up shocked) You did not air this.
Ferris: Ohhh yes we did! And you know we’ve kept them too stupid for them to realize it might be false.
Crichton: “Red Sox and Cubs share World Series title” and “Weapons of mass destruction found in Saddam’s palace”? In the same broadcast? …Mr. Ferris, you da man!
Ferris: No, you da man!

Riker: Woo-hoo! Here we are on the surface of the planet with another straw-man culture for us to slap around!
Data: I have thought of another theme song. “In 2314 we took a little trip, along with Captain Picard in a super-duper ship. We took some torps and phasers and the best of Starfleet’s crew, but those backward Rampart losers went and beat us black-and-blue. We tried to fire, but those nasty eyes just nuked us. There weren’t as many redshirts as there were a while ago—"
Riker: That’s more than enough, Mr. Data. Any more of that and I’ll have your access to Johnny Horton recordings restricted.

Troi: Why aren't all those Rampart ships attacking us while we're helpless?
Worf: Obviously the fools actually expect their quaint one-trick machines to overwhelm the best technology and crew Starfleet has to offer.
Eye: (over the comm) Well, I don't see any evidence to cast doubt on their expectations...

Picard: You regularly purge all thoughts you consider imaginative or inaccurate from people's minds?
Crichton: If it helps, think of it as a modern "flashy thingy".

Shikibu: Hm, phasers don't seem to work well with these things. I think I'll try something random, like...Zen archery.
Eye: Arrgh! Of the million things you could have tried, you had to use my one weakness! What are the odds? GAK!

Technician: Preparing for download of subject Picard’s memory. I’m having trouble establishing a connection. …Wow, no wonder.
Ferris: Why? Does he use a really old operating system, like Windows 95?
Technician: It isn’t just the OS. This guy actually uses vacuum tubes.

Captain’s Log: I never could get the hang of moving that little turtle around the screen…

Crichton’s Personal Log: Am I seriously deranged or something? I mean, why did it have to be crackers, of all things? Why not something worth obsessing over, like caviar or ribeye steak or cherry pie? But crackers? They don’t matter!

Data: Captain, Commander Riker, I suggest that you plug your ears. I shall defend us by reciting the work of a forgotten twentieth-century performer known as "Celine Dion".
Eyes: NOOOO! Let's get out of here!

Guard: (bursting into Crichton’s office) Sir, the prisoners are escaping!
Crichton: Crunch crunch…Excuse me, I missed the part where you explained how that is more important than eating these crack. Ers.
Guard: Sir?
Crichton: Hey, they aren’t going to eat themselves, you know.

Odysseus: Prepare to have your mind fried by nonsense, scum!
Ferris: Bwahahaha! My Acme Ultra-Super-Duper Helmet of Truth can handle any amount of fiction and incoherent gobbledygook. You are helpless against me!
Odysseus: We’ll see about that. (draws tape recorder from his pocket, “points” it at Ferris, and triggers the “play” mechanism)
Tape recorder: The-erre used to be a graying tower alone by the sea, yoouu became the light from the dark side of me…
Ferris's helmet: *Grind blop rumble* Warning! Excessive nonsensical non sequiturs. Overload imminent!
Tape recorder: …did you know, that when it snows, my eyes become large and the light that you shine can’t be seeeeeeeeen…
Ferris‘s helmet: GAK!
Ferris: AAAARRRGGH! Must…save…myself…
Gun: Bang!
Odysseus: GAK!
Ferris: Ugh. Now I can’t get that infernal song out of my head…
Eyes: Here, let us help.
Ferris: GAK!

Troi: Hey, Captain, now that we're all captured and on the brink of being executed, let's have a madcap ending straight out of a children's movie that will allow the readers to vicariously take revenge upon the nasty censors who govern this world!
Picard: Troi, I'm surprised at you! We're peace-loving Starfleet officers being led like so many lambs to the slaughter, remember?
Troi: Hey, a girl can dream, can't she?

Picard: All right, I think we’ve trashed censorship enough for today. Let’s leave this straw world already.
Wesley: Wait! What about the missing ship? We gotta resolve the plot somehow!
Shikibu: We did resolve it. We smacked around all censorship everywhere for being so icky-evil and closed-minded. That was the plot.
Wesley: I don’t understand. Is all censorship really bad?
Picard: Yes, Wesley, all of it! Bad bad bad! Especially when done in the name of icky-poo religion!
Wesley: But isn’t what you just said kinda closed-minded too? Or at least an over-generalization?
LaForge: Wes, as you grow older, you’ll learn that there are some truths that just don’t make sense at first glance. ...But you did have a point. If the Captain is relieved of command because he didn’t find the ship we were supposed to look for, it’ll be a disaster!
Crusher: I’ll say! Then he'd be court-martialed and Riker would be in charge.
Riker: You hush. If nobody says anything, maybe no one will realize it until it’s too late.
Troi: But we’ve been slacking off. We haven’t been looking for the ship at all, we’ve been too busy kicking butt.
Data: Don’t forget we’ve been getting our butts kicked too.
Troi: Data, doesn’t the phrase “they didn’t beat us, we beat ourselves” mean anything to you?

LaForge: It’s going to take a deus ex machina of supernatural proportions to get us out of this mess—
Crichton: (over the comm) Hiya guys, you’ll never believe this, but I was walking along just a minute ago when this huge anvil labelled “deus ex machina” fell out of the blue and whacked me in the head. And I remembered: I’m not an evil nasty fascist dictator out to suppress love and good, I’m the captain of that crashed starship you were looking for, sworn to uphold truth, justice, and the freedom of thought everywhere! Anyway, can I come with you? I wanna ‘scape far away from this lame planet.
LaForge: Whoa. Sounds like you might want to consider altering your stance on religion a tad, Captain.

Data: I am the eye in the sky, looking at you-ou-ouuu, I can read your mind.
Wesley: You know, the Rampartians were right about one thing.
Crusher: And what would this one thing be?
Data: ...And I don't need to see any more to know that I can read your mind, I can read your mind.
Wesley: That is disturbing.

(The Enterprise warps off at Ludicrous Speed. –Arrrrgh, that's impossible! Lies! All lies!…)
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