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Old 05-25-2009, 06:04 PM
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Arrow Fifth Novel Fiver: Q-Squared

(Haha, I just noticed, this is going to be the fifth novel fiver I've published, so it's like five squared! Get it? Heheheh . . . okay, fine, it's not funny. Whatever.)


Ohhhh boy. This is a big novel, it's got cross-dimensional shenanigans galore, and it's quite possibly the best Next Gen novel out there. If I had any sense I'd steer clear of trying to condense it like this, but apparently I don't. Have any sense, that is.

The result is long enough that I'll have to split it up into two parts, here.

Anyway, if you haven't read the book and there's the slightest chance of you doing so at some point in the future, you really should skip this as being awfully spoilery. Otherwise, plow ahead.
If you don't skip this, read the book anyway, if only because it's a fun ride. And it's not like I covered everything.




Q squares off against a super-omnipotent student of his who, furious because his beloved W/T is the only established Next Generation ‘ship not treated favorably in the book, decides to destroy the entire multiverse out of spite. Kinda puts C/7 in perspective, doesn’t it?


Baby Trelane: Goo-goo! Ga-gaa!
Q: You want to learn everything today? That's a bit too much, I think. Let's just focus on Philosophy, shall we? Today we'll learn about the Happy school of thought, starting with the legendary Barney of Dinos . . .

Jack: Good morning, Number One.
Jean-Luc: Hey, wait a moment! You're alive?! What happened to my captaincy? And Will?
Jack: What? Who?
Jean-Luc: Oops, sorry. Wrong timeline.
Jack: Anyway, time for exposition. My ex is coming aboard as Dr. Howard, Data’s weird, Geordi’s weird, the two of us are weird, and Worf’s freelancing. But you still don’t like children, and you’re still bald.
Jean-Luc: Some things never change.

Will: Stinks to be me. Both literally and figuratively.

Selan: I'll give you a choice. You can either kill this wretchedly miserable series crossover and have this slice of pie, or you can stick to your principles and continue to starve. Either way you’ll remain our favorite subject of torture, of course.
Will: THERE . . . ARE . . . FOUR . . . umm, what’s the word . . .
Turo: Buh? Have we tortured you beyond any capacity for coherent speech?
Will: Wait, what I meant to say is, would you two mind just giving me the knife and coming close enough to meet a sudden end already?
Turo: Of course not. No wait, I mean—GAK!
Selan: I most certainly do mind. Killed by a witless prisoner after giving him the knife to do it with — so humiliating! I'll opt for death at the hands of these invading Klingons instead. GAK!
Will: Worf, ol’ buddy ol' pal, you’ve saved me!
Worf: Umm, who are you? Have we met before?
Will: Oops, sorry. Wrong timeline.

Trelane: *taunt*
Yar: ATTACK KILL MAIM — eep!
Trelane: Okay, bored now. Bye! *poof*
Jean-Luc: And people wonder why I don't like children.

Picard: Ah, it’s so nice to be in a timeline where I’m Captain.
Sulu: Buh?
Picard: What I meant to say is, would you mind if I defeat you with a desperately clumsy bit of swordplay?
Sulu: Yes I would.

Martinez: I'm here because somebody finally caught on that all the really weird stuff happens to ships named Enterprise. And I wanna be there when it happens.
Data: Would a one-man game of volleyball on an uninhabitable asteroid be sufficiently weird for you?
Martinez: Only if the man in question can tell me all there is to know about spacetime weirdness.
Trelane: *poof* I'm willing to give it a try.

Trelane: Q doesn’t like you.
Guinan: I’m sorry about that.
Trelane: I don’t like you either.
Guinan: I said I’m sorry.
LaForge: The woman isn’t worth your trouble. Let me buy you a drink—
Trelane: *Zap!*

Q: I thought that I could train him just as well as my own mentor. I was wrong.
Troi: I'm sensing . . . pop culture references run amok . . .
Q: You know, next time I go to a mortal for advice, I think I'll ask a five-year-old. It'll be less embarrassing and more likely to be helpful.
Troi: Ooo, that gives me an idea!

Redshirts: Oh, pooh.

Trelane: Waah! Nobody listens to me, just because I’m a child!
Q: Stop that whining this very instant! You’re beginning to sound like Wesley Crusher.

Trelane: Waah! Nobody listens to me, just because I'm a child—yikes! Who are you?
Evil Trelane: I’m your future version of Darth Vader! You will now be assimilated. Resistance is futile. *Yoink!*

Evil Trelane’s Log: I just absorbed my younger, wimpier self, so henceforth I shall be known as “Trelane”. Everybody got that? Good.

Deanna: Thomas Riker, why did you beat up that boy at school today?
Tommy: *sob* He made fun of me for being telepathically challenged!
Deanna: *sob* I can't believe it. My own son, the target of politically incorrect prejudice! I thought he would be safe in TNG — and on Betazed, no less!
Tommy: Cheer up, Mother. I'm going to demonstrate my talent for dramatic foreshadowing by predicting today's news of Father's return from the dead!
Deanna: But that’s only to establish your credibility for when you predict his return to the dead!
Tommy: Details, shmetails.

Martinez: Eek! Wha…what’s going on? What am I doing here?
Trelane: It has just come to my attention that there has been a disgusting lack of innuendo thus far in this book. So on the spur of the moment, I decided we could talk about sex for a few pages, specifically about the feelings it inspires.
Martinez: But I’m a scientist, not a counselor!
Trelane: Hmm, good point.
Troi: Eek! Wha . . . what’s going on? What am I doing here?
Martinez: GAK!
Trelane: That’s odd, Counselor, she said the exact same thing!

Guinan: (singing) Powers like those of Charlie X can be such a painful hex, but Trey-lane be glad you aren’t named after that lad, or you’d be called Triple-X — *poof*
Charlie X: In the silence of space, no one can hear you scream . . .
Trelane: You keep out of this. It's my turn to be the child prodigy!
Spock: Just please avoid the chess puns, okay?
Trelane: Hey! You keep out too!

Troi: Would you mind if I use my professional reverse psychology to get you to do what I want?
Trelane: Yes I do.

Trelane: When I left you, I was the apprentice, now I am the master.
Q: Only a master of chaos, Trelane.
Lt. Worf: And you aren’t?
Trelane: Your powers are weak, old man. You should not have come back.
Q: You can’t win, Trelane. If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than Picard can possibly imagine. Even if it takes me billions of years.
Trelane: More powerful than Picard can imagine? Pfft, that wouldn’t take much. *ZA-BLAM!* (turns away scornfully) . . . That one was too easy.

Picard: Would you mind if I use my amateur reverse psychology to get you to do what I want?
Trelane: Of course not.

Q’s Log: So now I’m a free-floating cloud of quasi-sentient energy? Obi-Wan never had to put up with this!


Crew of the Enterprise-C: GAK!

The Entire United Federation of Planets: Stinks to be us.
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Last edited by NAHTMMM; 05-25-2009 at 06:22 PM.
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Old 05-25-2009, 06:08 PM
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Arrow Part 2-Squared

--------------------------------

Captain's Log: This is Capt. Picard, here. Still at war with the Klingons. We happened across a super-rare, old model of the Enterprise today. Unfortunately, it was in very poor shape and the interior smelled awful, like something had died in there. Which lots of somethings had. Anyway, since they don't make replacement parts for that production year anymore and it would have been very expensive to get the stench out of the upholstery, we just let Yar use it for target practice.

Newly Evil Trelane: Wheee! Now I'm more Chaos than Q, twisted and evil. What should I do first with my new powers?
Various People:
Newly Evil Trelane: I know! I'll maroon the Q Continuum, absorb my younger self, and smite anyone who tries a D&D alignment joke. Were you going to say something?
Various People: Um, no. Not at all.

Trelane: Stinks to be you, Captain Crusher. Johnny-boy, on the other hand, has got it pretty sweet . . .
Jean-Luc: You were really good . . . Q?
Howard: Wha? Did you say something, Jean-Luc?
Jean-Luc: Erm, nothing. Wrong timeline.
Jack: Grrr . . .

Trelane: No one ever told you what happens to your son in other dimensions.
Jack: Beverly told me enough! She told me my job killed him in this one!
Trelane: No, Jack. Your very existence killed your son.
Jack: Nooo! That can’t be true! It’s impossible!
Trelane: Search your feelings, Jack. You know it to be true. Join me, and together we will destroy the multiverse as master and puppet!
Jack: Okie-dokie.

Trelane: Today, class, we will learn how to braid strands of hair together into a pigtail.
Trelane: No, wait. We're going to learn how to smush strands of time together into one confusing stream of delicious, eternal chaos. Silly me.
Trelane: Mix well and serve with parsley and harpsichord music! Muahahahahaaaa!
Guinan: I sense a disturbance in the Force . . . as though children were on board the Enterprise . . .
Trelane: Oh be quiet, I'm cackling evilly.

Jack: Wes, I am your father!
Wesley: AAAAAAHHH! . . . Wait a moment, we played off that scene already. Never mind.

Captain's Log: Capt. Picard again. Just wanted to mention that I loathe Klingons. And traitors. And spies. In fact, the only things I loathe more than Klingons or traitors or spies are traitorous Klingon spies. I'm not certain how that works, but I'm too busy hunting down all of the above to think about it right now.
Worf's Log: I loathe Romulans. Always trying to infiltrate empires and federations with their cunning facial prosthetics and elaborate uniforms . . . actually, I guess it's not Romulans I loathe so much as it is Trekkies.
That's silly. At least Trekkies usually aren't trying to kill us. Hey, wait. You aren't a Klingon, are you?
Worf: Erm, must be going. Things to do, people to see, you know the drill.

R/T 'shippers: Awwwww, that's so adorable!
Deanna: Are you crazy? My husband killing his doppelganger bare-handed to defend his family is adorable?!
R/T 'shippers: *simper*

Worf: If you were any other man, I would kill you where — wait, you are some other man! By Kahless's bat'leth, can't you fanboys at least get the uniform right? DIE DIE DIE DIE . . .
Capt. Picard: From Hell's heart I stab at thee, spying Klingon traitor! DIE DIE DIE DIE . . .
Both: GAK!

Various Other Crewmembers From One Dimension Or Another: GAK!

Data: I predict that it will be my Geordi.
Data: Yes, definitely your Geordi.
Data: Well, I’m betting my five on my Geordi.
Data: Here goes. *Ahem* Commander Data to LaForge.
Nurse LaForge: Commander Data, for crying out loud quit doing that! You and your other yous are driving me nuts with all your lines one after the other!
Data: Ha! Go me! Me 10, You All -10!
Data and Data: Shouldn’t that be, “Me 10, Me –10”? Which means you really didn’t win any money?
Data: Hmm, you may have a point there . . .
Nurse LaForge: I SAID, cut it out!

Q: You must face Trelane, Luc. It is your destiny.

Picard: Care for a lightsaber duel?
Trelane: Delighted!
Picard: Mind if I defeat you with a desperately clumsy bit of swordplay?
Trelane: Of course not. No, wait, I mean — GAK!

Q: Bye, mortals. I'll just sit here and mourn by my lonesome for a while.
Picard: Shouldn't you be reconnecting the Q Continuum to the rest of reality?
Q: Meh, they can wait. *ahem* Alas, poor foolish Trelane. I wish I had a chance to do it all over again, every last minute of it . . . I'd do a much better job of raising you . . .
Baby Trelane: Goo-goo! Ga-gaa!
Q: . . . I DIDN'T MEAN IT! Nooooooo!

(The Enterprise — one of them, at least — sails away at Ludicrous Speed)


THE END
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Old 05-25-2009, 08:39 PM
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Truly one of the classic Trek novels, written by the immortal Peter David. My major nitpick is that the description of the three timelines should've been up front and all of the character's names should've had the letter designations after them.

Universe A: Takes place during the first year of the Enterprise-D's mission. Wesley dies and Jack lives. Jack and Beverly are divorced, and she's sleeping with Picard. Riker married Deanna and was captured by the Romulans before he knew she was pregnant. Worf was never adopted by the Roshenkos, so he was raised as a Klingon. Data is no longer an android, he's a positronic brain in a human body (presumably cloned from Dr. Soong). Oh, and he has a secret relationship with Tasha. Geordi was never an engineer, he got cloned eyes and became the head nurse. Jack Crusher is captain and Picard is first officer because Crusher saved the Stargazer via the Crusher Maneuver.

Universe B: The regular NextGen universe somewhere in Season Seven. Takes place after Parallels 'cause Worf isn't phased by parallel universes.

Universe C: A variant of the Klingon War timeline from "Yesterday's Enterprise." The main difference is that Trelane's interference has delayed the Enterprise-D's arrival in the Typhon Expanse, meaning that everyone on board the Enterprise-C is dead. Upon realizing that had things been a little different the war could've been prevented, Picard goes completely insane.
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Old 05-25-2009, 10:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate the Great View Post
My major nitpick is that the description of the three timelines should've been up front and all of the character's names should've had the letter designations after them.
I felt that mentioning the multiverse situation and then using different names for different timelines (Lt. Worf vs. Worf, Jean-Luc vs. Picard vs. Capt. Picard) would be enough, and at any rate since this is a forum thread people could ask about it.

Also it was all quite confusing to me the first time or two I read the book, and I figured I might as well let the potential for initial confusion color the fiver accordingly.



Quote:
Universe A: [...] Data is no longer an android, he's a positronic brain in a human body (presumably cloned from Dr. Soong).
I was kinda hoping for a natural way to mention that bit, but it never materialized. Oh well, one can only go so far before it becomes less of a parody and more of a plot summary. *shrug* Gotta leave something out so they can't sue you, I guess.

Hadn't really thought of the possibility of his being a clone of Soong, although maybe that's hinted at in the novel and I've forgotten it.



Quote:
Universe B: The regular NextGen universe somewhere in Season Seven. Takes place after Parallels 'cause Worf isn't phased by parallel universes.
Also because of something . . . oh yes, because it's after Picard and Crusher are telepathically linked.



Quote:
Universe C: [...] Upon realizing that had things been a little different the war could've been prevented, Picard goes completely insane.
Ehhhh, I didn't link that together as cause-and-effect. Not that directly, anyway. He has certainly been bitten by the "shoot first, ask later" bug. That's more the result of the way the whole war has been going, though.
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Old 05-26-2009, 12:07 AM
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Well, I sorta extrapolated the clone thing:

A. We're told it's a human body.
B. A character looks at the human-oid (ugh, that name...) Data and a regular Datat side-by-side and remarks that one Data looks normal and the other looks human. Thus he looks exactly the same. What looks exactly like Data but is human? Dr. Soong, of course. Thus the conclusion that the body is a clone of Dr. Soong.
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Old 05-26-2009, 06:27 PM
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Whoa! Talk about a blast from the past, NAHT.
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Old 06-07-2009, 06:42 AM
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I loved this book. Nice fiver.

I went on Google to look up "selan q-squared," as I had quite forgotten some of the details, and this fiver came up early in the results list. Sigh... search recursion.
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Old 06-08-2009, 03:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wowbagger View Post
I loved this book. Nice fiver.
Thanks!

Quote:
I went on Google to look up "selan q-squared," as I had quite forgotten some of the details, and this fiver came up early in the results list. Sigh... search recursion.
Heh, third on the list for me. Well, maybe we'll get a little more traffic this way. Eventually.
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“There must have been a point in early human history when it was actually advantageous to, when confronted with a difficult task, drop it altogether and go do something more fun, because I do that way too often for it to be anything but instinct.” -- Isto Combs
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Old 07-04-2009, 11:39 PM
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Good stuff
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Old 08-01-2009, 01:21 AM
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Brilliant fiver I remember listening to this book on tape, I wonder what bits were missed out.
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Old 08-01-2009, 02:23 AM
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A lot was left out of the book on tape; I have it. Just go and read the whole thing now; trust me. Besides, the audiobook doesn't give you the "Track A, B, or C" notation to let you know which timeline you're in; it get's confusing.
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Sa'ar Chasm on the 5M.net forum: Sit back, relax, and revel in the insanity.

Adam Savage: I reject your reality and substitute my own!

Hanlon's Razor: Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

Crow T. Robot: Oh, stop pretending there's a plot. Don't cheapen yourself further.
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Old 08-05-2009, 12:30 AM
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Thanks!

I don't know what the book-on-tape is like, but the book-on-paper is a blast. Leaving any bits out is probably a bad thing, all things considered.




On a somewhat different note: Looking over my folder, I seem to have a grand total of two mostly completed novel fivers left: Incident at Arbuk (VOY) and First Frontier (TOS). Also a very funny (I'm so modest!) halfway-done The Devil's Heart (TNG). After that it's really just scraps, novel-wise.
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