Friday, October 30, 2009

Kill Vader - a Kill Bill Parody

This starts out a bit slow, setting the scene of why Vader must die, but then it really rocks. Check it out.

To find the Godhead

I'm not religious at all, and actually this story sounds Humanistic to me, but I like it:

Once upon a time, when God had finished making the world, he wanted to leave behin Him for man a piece of His own divinity, a spark of His essence, a promise to man of what he could become, with effort. He looked for a place to hide this Godhead because, he explained, what man could find too easily would never be valued by him.

"Then you must hide the Godhead on the highest mountain peak on earth," said one of His councillors.

God shook His head. "No, for man is an adventurous creature, and he will soon enough learn to climb the highest mountain peaks."

"Hide it then, O Great One, in the depths of the earth!"

"I think not," said God, "for man will one day discover that he can dig into the deepest parts of the earth."

"In the middle of the ocean, then, Master?"

Good shook His head. "I've given man a brain, you see, and one day he'll learn to build ships and cross the mightiest oceans."

"Where then, Master?" cried his councillors.

God smiled. "I'll hide it in the most inaccessible place of all, and the one place that man will never think to look for it. I'll hide it deep inside of man himself."

Let Joy and Innocence Prevail

Mark your calendars for 5-6 Feb, 2010 for Weekender SFX Convention

PRESS RELEASE: Fantasy author Stephen Hunt to guest star at the SFX Weekender

More details of Stephen Hunt's novels at and

British fans gearing up for the 5th-6th February 2010 Weekender, the UK equivalent of the Comic-Con event, which is taking place at the Camber Sands Holiday Park in East Sussex.

Stephen Hunt will now be appearing with genre stars such as John Barrowman (from the BBC's Torchwood TV series), James Marsters (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Smallville), Lis Sladen (Doctor Who's Sarah Jane) and a number of the world's best-selling scifi authors and comic-book creators.

SFX have an exciting announcement for fans of modern fantasy literature: Stephen Hunt - author of the Jackelian fantasy series - has confirmed that he'll be joining SFX for a weekend in Camber Sands. And not just any old weekend, he's joining them for the British equivalent of Comic-Con, the Weekender, taking place 5th-6th February 2010.

Stephen's novel, The Court Of The Air (2007), commenced his international best-selling Jackelian fantasy series, and was the first of his works to be published by JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis's publishers, HarperCollins.

The Court Of The Air was also one of the ten books selected by the organisers of the Berlinale Film Festival for presentation to US and European film producers, and was the only fantasy novel in the line-up. HarperCollins pitched The Court Of The Air as "Charles Dickens meets Blade Runner", instantly earning the book a place on SFX's shelves.

In November 2008, his second book in the Jackelian series, 'The Kingdom Beyond the Waves', was nominated for the long-list of the David Gemmell Legend Award for Fantasy. The third book in the series, 'The Rise of the Iron Moon', was published in the UK in February 2009, and the fourth book, 'Secrets of the Fire Sea', will be published February 6th 2010.

Foreign language and international editions of the three novels of the Jackelian series have been published by Tor Books (USA), Albin Michel (France), Verlagsgruppe Random House (Germany), Enterbrain Manga and Anime (Japan), Edições Saída de Emergência (Portugal), Paidós (Spain), AST (Russia), and the Anhui Literature and Art Publishing House (China).

It's a two day event that will become legend - the Woodstock of science fiction and fantasy!


More details of Stephen Hunt's novels at and

More details of the Weekender at

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

William Stromberg Conducts Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein

William Stromberg conducts Frank Skinner's Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein live in concert with the Golden State Pops Orchestra Halloween 2008

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Go back to the future on March 5, 2010

Received this press release today:

Tickets On Sale For 'Back to the Future' Reunion

FLORENCE, Ala. – Tickets are now on sale for the 25th anniversary Back to
the Future
reunion, a special event of the University of North Alabama’s
2010 George Lindsey UNA Film Festival
. The reunion will be held at 7 p.m.
March 5 at the historic Shoals Theater in downtown Florence. Back to the
screenwriter Bob Gale and actors Lea Thompson, Marc McClure and
James Tolkan are scheduled to appear at the reunion.

Tickets, which are $15 plus tax and processing fee, are available at and at the UNA Bookstore. UNA student tickets are
$5 plus tax and must be purchased at the UNA Bookstore, one ticket per
student ID. Students will need to show their ticket and student ID at the
event. All tickets are general admission.

The George Lindsey UNA Film Festival is one of the few film festivals
hosted by a university. The event was founded in 1998 by UNA alumnus and
celebrated actors and entertainer George Lindsey. Lindsey’s own film career
has included several important roles, including the character Goober Pyle
on The Andy Griffith Show.

For more information on the 2010 George Lindsey UNA Film Festival, visit, or contact the film festival staff at or 256-765-4592.

Saturday, October 24, 2009


I received this Press release from the Eyecon organizers, and share it here in its entirety.


Mark your calendars for: Orlando, Florida on November 13-15, 2009

October 17 - EyeCon Celebrity Autograph Convention featuring stars from the hit HBO series True Blood has added Todd Lowe who stars as "Terry Bellefleur", the shell-shocked short order cook who works at Merlotte's Bar on the show. Todd is also known for his recurring role on the television series Gilmore Girls. He will be appearing all weekend for autograph and photo op sessions.

EyeCon is announcing the launch of the famous celebrity breakfast auctions. The auctions will be held on EBay and will be the opportunity for a few fans to win an hour long breakfast with one of their favorite stars in attendance. The link to the auctions will be posted on the EyeCon website as the auctions become live at

EyeCon Celebrity Autograph Conventions has announced the launch of the first ever fan convention based on the popular television series True Blood in Orlando, Florida on November 13-15, 2009. The convention will give fans the opportunity to gather with each other and celebrate this breakout new series. The convention will feature celebrity guests, bands, artists, vendors, Q&A’s, parties, contests, panels, fan films, photo shoots, video games, blood drives and more.

The celebrity guest list includes:
* Sam Trammell (Sam Merlotte)
* Nelsan Ellis (Lafayette Reynolds)
* Allan Hyde (Godric)
* Ashley Jones (Daphne)
* Todd Lowe (Terry Bellefleur)
More guests will be added soon. Keep track of all the updates at

The convention hours of operation are:
Friday: 4:00pm - 1:00am
Saturday: 10:00am - 1:00am
Sunday: 10:00am - 5:00pm

Tickets are currently available online, pricing is as follows:
General Admission
Friday: $10, Saturday: $40, Sunday: $40
3 Day Weekend: $80
Silver Weekend Pass: $110
Gold Weekend Pass: $135
Platinum Weekend Pass: $295

Special rates are available for all attendees who stay at the host hotel. Hotel information and room rate information can be found at

A little about us:
EyeCon is a fan-friendly multi-genre celebrity autograph convention for science fiction, horror, television and movie fans! We have been running successful fan conventions since 2006, bringing fans closer to the stars they love and providing enriched fan experiences for their favorite television shows and movies. There will be Celebrity Autograph sessions, Celebrity Photo Op sessions, a Celebrity Banquet, a Cocktail Party with the stars, a Fangbanger's Ball, Panels, Games, Guitar Hero, Celebrity Breakfast auctions, Blood Drives and so much more! There will always be something to do during the busy, fun-packed weekend!

Our goal is to bring the celebrity guests together with their fans in a relaxed atmosphere with the most exposure possible. At EyeCon, it's like a family reunion. We hope to see you there and look forward to an amazing, memorable weekend! For more information and updates visit:

Marc Antony's Funeral Oration for Caesar

One of the best I have every seen.

Okay, I exaggerate a little bit. But theater majors will get a kick out of this.

Eric Morecambe as Marc Anthony. Ernie Wise as the body of Julius Ceasar.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Peter Cushing in Morecambe and Wise

Morecambe & Wise were the most popular comedy duo in England for some time. Peter Cushing, star of many a Hammer film, including The Hound of the Baskervilles as Sherlock Holmes, and of course Grand Moff Tarkin from Star Wars.

In July 1969, Peter Cushing guest-starred on the show, in a sketch about King Arthur. Every year for the next 10 or so years, he would show up periodically on the show, asking for his money.

His first appearance, July 1969:

More reapperances, trying to get paid:

2nd appearance in the year, Sept 1969:

1970 Christmas Special

1978 - moved from BBC to different Network

1978 Christmas special

He appears very briefly at the end of the Jekyll and Hyde sketch:

1980 Christmas special:

Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Making of the Outer Limits

The original series.

A 9 minute documentary/retrospective.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Don't miss the Mile High Con: October 23-25, 2009

Just received a press release from the event's organizers:

41st Annual MileHiCon, October 23-25, 2009

Denver, CO
- The forty-first MileHiCon, the Rocky Mountain Region's largest literary science fiction convention, will be October 23-25 at the Hyatt Regency Tech Center-Denver.

See the convention website: (If you've got young kids, they'll be verrry interested in the kids' events - take a look at the bottom of the press release to see what's planned at "Avistrum Academy."

Run entirely by volunteers, MileHiCon will feature more than 80 authors and speakers, programming on every aspect of the SF and fantasy genres, the largest SF/fantasy art show in the region, round-the-clock gaming, a room full of dealers of SF-, fantasy-, and horror-related materials, and a masquerade (costume contest). The convention will also include video and anime rooms, as well as the Critter Crunch-the first robotic combat competition, from which all others came.

MileHiCon has been run by local SF fans since its beginning in 1969. The convention, which celebrated its fortieth anniversary in 2008, has approximately 1,000 attendees, and is still run and staffed entirely by volunteers. Its purpose is to further interest in reading and writing SF and related genres, although it has long since branched out to include television, film, anime, and gaming.

This year's guests of honor are authors Barbara Hambly and Nancy Kress, artist John Picacio, and musician Marc Gunn. Author Brandon Sanderson is toastmaster.

Hambly is an award-winning novelist and screenwriter, best known for her fantasy and vampire novels. She has also written novels set in the Star Wars and Star Trek universes, a novelization of the television series Beauty and the Beast, and historical fiction.

Kress, who started writing science fiction in 1976, has written twenty-three books, including three nonfiction books on writing. Since winning the Hugo and Nebula awards in 1991 for her novella, Beggars in Spain, she has received numerous other awards for her work. Her novella, The Erdmann Nexus, has won 2009 Hugo award.

Sanderson, since the 2005 publication of his first novel, Elantris, has published the Mistborn Trilogy, Warbreaker, and the juvenile series Alcatraz. He has recently been asked to complete the novel A Memory of Light, the twelfth and final title in the late Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series.

In addition to the guests of honor, MileHiCon will be attended by other SF, fantasy, and horror authors, including Connie Willis, Carrie Vaughn, Ed Bryant, and Mario Acevedo. They will give readings of work in progress and participate in programs on various aspects of writing and publishing. They and other special guests will also give presentations and participate in panels on various topics, including science, literature, and media.

John Picacio is an acclaimed illustrator whose illustrations and book covers have won numerous awards in the genres of science fiction, fantasy, and horror. Some of his work will be displayed in the art show, as will the work of other artists from all over the United States. Many of the artists will be at the Convention, and will participate in panels, give demonstrations, and lead tours of the art show throughout the weekend. Most of the works on display will be available for sale at the art auction on Sunday.

Marc Gunn, formerly of the award-winning Brobdingnagian Bards, is a musician and songwriter from Austin, Texas, who performs traditional Celtic and American folk music, as well as original folk songs with science fiction and fantasy themes, commonly known as filk music. He will perform in a special musical event on Friday evening, which will also feature Odd Austin, the parody singer/songwriter from Longmont.

Other musical programming will include Dr. Horrible’s Singalong Blog and Name That Sci-Fi Tune. The dance troupe Serpent Moon, a MileHiCon favorite, will be returning for a fourth year to perform and to teach an interstellar bellydancing workshop.

The MileHiCon annual literacy auction of SF-, fantasy-, and horror-related materials, which benefits a local literacy program, will be held on Saturday night, while the masquerade judges deliberate. This year’s literacy auction will include an array of signed books and advance reading copies, including at least one that won’t be published until several weeks after the event, plus jewelry, works of art, and more.

For kids:
A special programming track of activities and programs is designed for, but not restricted to, younger attendees. The theme for MileHiCon’s children’s programming this year is “Superhero Island.” Also, Mischief Managed Entertainment will once again present its popular "Tales From Avistrum" in tandem with MileHiCon. This event requires separate registration. The top floor of the Hyatt Regency will be transformed into the wizarding school called 'Avistrum Academy' where students help solve a mystery, fight villains, and participate in The Sorting Ceremony, Start of Term Feast, the Quidditch Cup Tournament and a full schedule of classes, including Potions, Charms, Defense Against the Dark Arts and Transfiguration. All classes will include a craft project that students can take home.

All MileHiCon activities will be at The Hyatt Regency Tech Center-Denver, located at 7800 E. Tufts Ave., Denver, CO 80237. For more information, see the convention website:

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Diva Dance from The Fifth Element

No, it's not Loulie Jean Norman doing the singing, but rather an Albanian colaratura, Inva Mula.

(I prefer these wordless vocals to actual opera singing.)

And here's a young woman who can do it too, thought she doesn't quite hit all the notes. (She starts singing at .54).

Wordless vocalists were quite popular on space music of the 1970s. Read an article about it here:

A favorite effect among space age pop arrangers is the wordless vocal. While the instrumentals plunge ahead on the melody, an other-worldly voice comes echoing from the distance, like the haunting sound of a siren. It was the next best thing to a theremin! Among the better-known wordless vocalizers of the period are:

Leda Annest
Bas Sheva
Beverly Ford
Mary Mayo
Loulie Jean Norman
Marni Nixon
Lois Hunt
Lois Winter
Jackie Allen
Patricia Clark
Edda dell'Orso
Colleen Lovett
Jane Doe

Here's Leda Annest:

Bas Sheva:

Mary Mayo (singing an actual song):

Who Goes There? Epilog

An epilogue to Who Goes There, the re-envisioning of Star Trek: Whom God's Destroy starring Steve Ihnat as Garth of Izar, supported by William Shatner as Captain Kirk, Leonard Nimoy as Mr. Spock, and James Doohan as Scotty.


Part One

“Captain’s log, stardate 1206.72. It’s been seven days since the Enterprise was attacked without warning or provocation and almost destroyed by an unknown alien craft, which we succeeded in destroying in turn, thanks to the sacrifice of Fleet Captain Garth of Izar.

It took Lt. Commander Montgomery Scott and his crews three days of non-stop work to get the engines back on line… first the subspace and now the warp engines, and we are continued en route to the last reported position of the USS Red Admiral – the first ship to be attacked by these unknown aliens. At our present rate of speed, we expect to be at their coordinates in 48 more hours.

Meanwhile, Doctor McCoy and his medical crew have been working around the clock to aid the dozens upon dozens of crewmembers injured during the attack. Repair crews have also been working around the clock to ensure atmospherics and livability are maintained. I cannot emphasize enough how proud I am of my crew.”

Jim Kirk pressed the button to end his recording of his captain’s log. Then he leaned back in his command chair and took a deep breath, which he exhaled out slowly.

It had been a long seven days. Knowing his ship was in good hands with his officers and their repair crews, he’d had to spend much of his time communicating with Star Fleet Command and discussing what had occurred from every angle. Was the Federation about to be invaded by these aliens with their incredibly powerful ships? Three more starships were on their way, and would be expanding out into the unknown to see what could be seen…but they would not arrive for at least another four or five days.

Meanwhile, the Red Admiral was still out there. It may have been vaporized, or it may be a hulk of a ship, with a few desperate survivors remaining, hoping against hope that rescue would come.

The first thing he’d had to decide was, should the Enterprise still try a rescue attempt, or should it return to a space station as quickly as possible for repair or refit? He’d had to wait for Scotty’s recommendations before he’d made his decision, and after three hours of examining the engines Scotty had confirmed that, although they were badly damaged, they could be repaired sufficiently enough that they would be in no danger of breaking down again, if the Enterprise wanted to continue on its present course.

Kirk had discussed the matter with his bridge crew, and in particular Mr. Spock, and they’d all concurred. If another alien ship were to enter Federation space, bent on destruction, its speed was such that it could overtake them if they headed back to a space station. So why not risk meeting such a ship, and continuing onward for a possible rescue of the Red Admiral’s crew?

After that conference, Scotty had returned to the engine room. Kirk had tried to draw him aside as he’d left the conference room, to discuss Scotty’s feelings regarding his failure to rescue Garth of Izar from the alien ship, but Scotty had shrugged him off. “I’ve got engines to rrrrepair, Captain.”

Scotty had spent three straight days – seventy two hours – working with his crews on repairing the engines, stopping for only a few minutes at a time to relieve himself, shower, and shave. He’d contacted the bridge only twice, to say the subspace engines were back on line, and then finally that the warp engines were ready to go. And that he, and his crew, were going to go to sleep for a thousand years.

For the last four days, Scotty hadn’t stopped by the bridge, hadn’t communicated with him at all. Knowing Scotty as he did, Kirk figured he spent every waking moment in the engine room, except for a few odd catnaps.

Well, this silence was going to have to end.

“Spock, you have the con,” he said, standing up. “I’m going to go have a chat with Scotty.”

“Yes, sir,” said Spock.

Kirk entered the engine room and glanced around. Crewmen were seated at their consoles, eyes on the various flickering lights. A few, dressed in overalls, had panels open and were delving inside…but in a non-panicked, business as usual type of way. But he didn’t see Scotty.

He stopped by Scotty’s station, currently occupied by Lieutenant Gerhardt. “Gerhardt, where’s Scotty?”

“Captain.” Gerhardt said in his soft German accent. “Commander Scott’s shift ended two hours ago. He has left, and will be returning at 0600.”

Six hours from now? Scotty was actually taking an eight hour break? “Oh,” said Kirk. “Good.”

Gerhardt nodded sharply. “Yes, sir. As you know Commander Scott has been here practically every moment since the battle. He has not taken a complete rest period since that time, I know. A couple hours here. A couple hours there. This will be his first complete eight hour rest period.”

Kirk nodded. “Good. Carry on, Gerhardt.”

Kirk felt a little easier in his mind as he left Engineering. If Scotty thought it was safe to leave engineering for eight hours, then it was safe for him to leave engineering for eight hours. Those engines were like his babies…

Nevertheless, he wanted to have a word with him. Kirk knew Scotty. He’d been sent to that transporter specifically to rescue Garth, and he hadn’t been able to do it. He probably felt that he’d let Kirk down, he’d definitely feel he’d let Garth down…that must be why he was avoiding speaking to him.

Part Two

Scotty looked at the face in the mirror. He was tired…so tired…yet nothing of that tiredness showed up in the face, or in the expression. Should it? he wondered briefly. No…he preferred a face to be pristine…

Strangely enough, it had been an enjoyable seven days. It was always enjoyable, using one’s skills to the utmost to solve problems that would have defeated lesser men. The first three days had been extremely intense…he hadn’t had time to pay attention to anything, just direct people to do their jobs and do his own…hours and hours on hands and knees swapping out panels, building from scratch, programming…

He hadn’t played the role of Montgomery Scott then, of course, only the face and the voice…he’d heard of Scotty of the Enterprise, the best engineer on board a starship, so they said…he had not tried to duplicate Scotty’s flair, but he had skills himself and he had used them.

Scotty’s cheek puckered faintly in a sideways grin. Scott had lost his reputation of always finishing repairs hours and hours ahead of his estimated projections, but the repairs had been made and engines that by rights shouldn’t be working at all were working quite nicely. Thanks to him, and thanks to Scott’s crew, whom he had trained well…

One of whom among them had been Katya Landau.

She had been good…very good, working with skill, precision and confidence. Like all the others, she had put in double shifts. He had worked with her on one of those shifts, and enjoyed it. But she had seemed rather sad. He wondered why…by then the entire ship had known that Garth of Izar had been aboard, and that he’d beamed over to the alien ship to rescue the Enterprise, and had died in the attempt… was that what she was sad about?

But he had heard her and her crew talking, and the Boss had been injured in the aftermath of the battle, while helping to rescue people trapped in badly damaged areas of the ship…perhaps that’s what she was sad about.

He had thought about approaching her as Gus Keller, but then had decided against it…even if the Boss had not revealed to her who her friend Gus had really been (for he was sure she would have visited him in sickbay, or at least communicated with him), she would have been smart enough to put two and two together…

A pity…

But perhaps if he approached her as someone else…

The door buzzed. Garth/Scotty had set it to announce the name of anyone seeking to gain access. James T. Kirk, announced the computer.

Garth’s eyes, in Scotty’s face, widened, then narrowed. This could be delicious.

“Enter,” he called. The computer read his voice, unlocked the door, and it slid open. Kirk walked in.

“Scotty,” said Kirk. “I thought I was going to interrupt you in the middle of a good night’s sleep, yet here you are, wide awake.”

Scotty/Garth smiled. “I’m winding down.” Indeed, as Garth well knew, Scotty did like to wind down with a couple of glasses of scotch every now and again. Real scotch, not the kind of thing the ship’s computer synthesized.

Garth walked over to a wall unit and withdrew a heavy, cut glass decanter, half full of a golden liquid. “Are you off-duty, Captain?” he asked, pouring himself a very small drink.

“For a couple of hours,” Kirk said. “Make it a very small one, Scotty.”

Garth splashed just the slightest of drops into the shot glass…a single finger’s worth, and handed it to Kirk.

Kirk tossed it back quickly. He watched with a bit of surprise as Scotty merely sipped at his own drink. That wasn’t like him.

“Scotty, I’m glad to see you’re holding up well. I stopped in at Engineering. Everything’s working like clockwork.”

Scotty shrugged. “I’ve got a good crew.”

“Yes… dammit Scotty, here’s the truth. I wanted to talk to you about what happened seven days ago.”

“What happened seven days ago?” Scotty asked shortly.

“I told you to go to the transporter room. I told you to beam Garth of Izar back here. You weren’t able to do so. I know you, Scotty. That…well, you think it was a failure, but it wasn’t. If you couldn’t do it, nobody could. You know that.”

Scotty moved his neck with a rather serpentine motion that seemed vaguely familiar to Kirk. He’d never seen Scotty do it …but he’d seen somebody…

“I appreciate your concern, Captain. But there’s nothing for you to worry about. I don’t deny I was a bit upset at the time…but as you say…nobody else could have saved him, either.”

“Well, okay, Scotty.”

Kirk looked at the chief engineer, whom he’d known for a long time. Scotty took another sip of his drink. And that was something Scotty never did. Scotty knocked back his drinks like a man.

Kirk went very, very still.

In the heat of that battle, he’d sent Scotty to the transporter room alone. The technician who normally manned the room had probably been out, fighting fires or helping people get through smoking corridors, or something.

Scotty had been in the transporter room alone…and he’d succeeded in beaming Garth of Izar back to the ship.

Kirk sighed and stood up. “Okay, Scotty, well, I won’t keep you from your rack.” He extended his hand, holding out his whiskey glass. “Thanks for the drink.”

Garth/Scotty reached out to take it. Kirk dropped the glass and surged forward, grabbing Garth’s hand and twisting his arm behind his back as he forced him to his knees. “Where’s Scotty?” he demanded.

Scotty began to laugh. Then, he rose back to his feet, inexorably, for all that Kirk had half his weight on the man’s back, trying to hold him down. Garth/Scotty drove his legs like pistons, forcing Kirk backward, ramming his back into the wall. Kirk’s grip loosened on Garth’s arm and Garth ripped it away. He turned into the center of the room, facing Kirk, grinning.

“What have you done with Scotty?” demanded Kirk. “Where is he?”

“He’s here,” said Garth, carelessly.

“He’s still alive?”

“For the moment.”

“Listen to me, Garth,” Kirk said urgently.

Garth drew himself up to his full height. “I’ve told you before. You will address me by my proper title.”

“I’m sorry,” said Kirk. “I should have said, Captain Garth.”

“Lord Garth!”

“No, sir” Kirk said intensely. “Captain Garth. Starship fleet captain. That’s an honorable title.”

“And I was the greatest of them all wasn’t I?” said Garth.

“Yes you were,” said Kirk, very softly. “Yes. But you’re a sick man now, sir.”

“I have never been more healthy.”

“No. No. Think. Think back to what you were, before the accident that sent you to Antos IV. Try.”

Scotty’s features flickered. “I can’t remember,” said Garth. It’s almost as if I died, and was reborn.”

“Well, I can remember. You were the finest student at the academy. You were the finest starship captain. You were the prototype, the model, for the rest of us.”

“Yes, I do remember that,” said Garth, equally softly. “It was a great responsibility, and one I was proud to bear.”

“You bore it well,” said Kirk, eagerly. “And the disease, that changed you, it’s not your fault. And the terrible things you did since then, you’re not truly responsible…”

Garth’s eyes widened. “I don’t want to hear any more,” he said softly. “You’re weak, and you’re trying to drain me of my strength.”

“No, I’m not. I want you to find what you once had. I want you to go back to the greatness that you’ve lost, Captain Garth.”

Greatness that he’d lost?

“I am Lord Garth,” he barked, angrily. “No man can stand against me, least of all you.”

Kirk knew he’d made a mistake. He should have kept on about Garth’s former accomplishments, without bringing his insanity into it.

“That’s true,” he said softly. “That’s true. Scotty couldn’t…but he did save your life, didn’t he?”

“Yes, he did.”

“Please, tell me where he is.”

Garth jerked his head towards the sleeping quarters. “He’s in there.”

“And he’s still alive?”

“I told you, yes. After all, he did save my life.”

“I’d like to see him.”

Garth grinned. He strode over to the wall and activated the door that led to Scotty’s sleeping quarters. Kirk followed him. There, on the bed, was Scotty. Stretched out, legs and wrists bound together with security restraints. His face was waxen, his chest barely moved up and down.

Kirk turned and hit Garth in the mouth. It was totally unplanned, but seeing Scotty helpless….

Garth staggered back a few steps, shocked.

Kirk lunged forward, bringing his hands down on Garth’s shoulders. Garth returned the hold on Kirk’s shoulders – classic Greco-Roman wrestling starting position. The two men strained their strength to the utmost…unmoving…

Part Three

Katya and the rest of her crew watched as Ensign Tyler closed the panel on the polarity flux capacitor, and switched it on. All eyes were on the gauges as the power level climbed upward…. 60%, 65%, 70%, 71%, 72%.....69%....65%.

“No, no, no!” shouted Tyler, and pounded a fist against the panel.

“It’s no use,” said Ensign Lucas, in a defeated tone.

“Belay that,” snapped Lieutenant Minns, who was in charge of the repair detail. “Each time we fail we learn more about what’s wrong. Let’s just analyze this…”

“Lieutenant, I think we need to ask Commander Scott for help,” said Katya Landau.

“Belay that, Landau,” Minns replied grimly. “Scotty’s finally gone to his rack for some much needed shuteye, and I’m not going to bother him for 8 hours. We can fix this, and we will.”

Katya gritted her teeth, but did not argue further. As the rest of the crew huddled together, she stepped backward, and backward, and then turned and headed for Commander Scott’s quarters. Each repair they made to the capacitor had only reduced its effectiveness…they were doing something wrong and if they didn’t stop doing it, they’d suck its energy down to nothing. They had to have help, and she was going to ask Scotty for it.

Part Four

The alert bell to Scotty’s quarter’s buzzed softly. “Sargeant Landau.” The computer voice informed them.

Things had progressed. Kirk had managed to slip Garth’s grip off his shoulder…and then things hand gone wrong from there. They both exchanged body blows, and clinched and rolled back and forth, but Kirk was losing the battle. Garth was thirty years older than he, but he was incredibly strong, stronger than Spock. Their reaction time and reflexes were about equal, and that was the only thing that was saving him.

He was hurting Garth, he knew it. For one thing, Garth no longer wore Scotty’s face, but his own. Not the horribly scarred face that was his true appearance, but the handsome, older Garth…it must be the easiest face for him to assume and hold onto while he fought.

When he heard the buzzer, Kirk grabbed Garth’s shoulders, absorbed a punch to the belly, twisted to the right, and allowed Garth to twist him back to the left. His back hit the wall just where the entry panel was, and the door to the corridor slid open.

A woman dressed in engineering red stood framed in the doorway.

Incredibly, instead of registering what was occurring inside the room, turning and running for help, she stepped in, and the door slid shut behind her.

She looked from him to Garth, and her eyes widened a bit.

Kirk swung back to face Garth, and paused…for Garth was staring at the woman in surprise.

“Gus, I’m so glad to see you,” said Katya with pleasure.

“Katya.” Garth’s voice dropped an octave as he stepped away from Kirk, lowering his hands to his sides. He moved his head in a bit of a serpentine motion, easing his neck, as he shifted into a different persona. “This is a somewhat inopportune moment.”

“I’m sorry to interrupt, Gus, but I need help.”

Garth gestured at Kirk. “I’m in the middle of something, Katya.”

“I’m sure Captain Kirk won’t mind.”

Kirk had backed up to lean against a wall. He could feel his ribs shifting…a couple of them must be broken. He knew he’d had to have done some damage to Garth, but the man was so insane he seemed to be impervious to physical pain. He was standing straight as an arrow. He also seemed transfixed. Whatever was happening, Kirk figured he’d better let it run its course. Give him a chance to get his breath back, at any rate. “I don’t mind,” he put in, in a non-threatening way. Meanwhile, his eyes darted here and there, looking for a weapon.

Garth glanced between the two of them, once, twice. Kirk expected him to a fling a hand in his direction and say, “You do realize Kirk and I have been fighting to the death here, don’t you?” but he didn’t. Instead, he drew himself up and said with dignity. “Very well, Katya. You need help?”

Kirk’s eyes fell on the cut glass decanter. The nice, heavy, cut glass decanter.

Katya Landau was not a fool, and she was not without knowledge. The Boss had been injured during the aftermath of the battle with the alien ship (rushing in to severely damaged sections of the ships and helping to bring out the survivors…he’d pulled a mal-functioning door open with his bare hands and held it open while three men had managed to squeeze through, before it snapped shut and broke his arm before he could get completely out of the way). She had visited him in sickbay when she could grab a moment, and although he had not gone into complete detail, he had told her that Gus Keller had been Garth of Izar.

The man standing in front of her, looking at her politely, bleeding from his lip and from both hands, was Garth of Izar.

“An hour or so ago, the polarity flux capacitors in the starboard nacelle went SOL, she said. I’m part of the team that Minns chose to fix it.”

“Minns, yes,” said Gus. “I remember he was put in charge of the starboard nacelle.”

Katya nodded. Had Garth been Commander Scott, as well? How else could he know that?

“And we can’t do it.” Katya went on rapidly. “At first we could get the power back up to 75…80 percent tops, but then…it just went down again, each time worse than before. I’m afraid that if we keep on the way we’re going, we’re going to drain the capacitors completely. We really need your help.”

“Of course. I’ll be glad to. Just give me five minutes to take care of this…this…”

“No, Gus, please. We really need you now.” She moved toward the door. “Please come.”

Garth took a couple of steps toward her, and the door, and Kirk’s heart rose. She’s actually done it, he thought.

But Garth stopped abruptly. He threw back his head and laughed. Damn, thought Kirk. So close.

“Gus, please…” said Katya.

“Stop calling me that,” barked Garth. “I am Garth of Izar.”

Katya turned to face him. “No, no you’re not.” She said calmly. “Garth of Izar died seven days ago! He sacrificed his life to save the entire crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise. Didn’t he, Captain Kirk?”

“Yes, he did,” said Kirk, softly. “He died a hero. No more than what I would have expected of him, though.”

Garth stared at her. A whole range of expressions ran over his face, his eyes widened, then narrowed, his eyebrows rose up and down, his lips worked. But he was speechless.

Katya pointed at him. “You are Gus Keller. And we’re going to lose the starboard nacelle totally unless you come and help me now.”

“I am Lord...”

“Garth of Izar is dead,” repeated Katya, persuasively. “You’re Gus Keller. You’re the Lord of the Universe, and you can be whoever you want to be. Let Garth die. Let him rest in the peace he deserves, with the accolades he deserves.”

Half of Kirk, at this moment, wanted to attack Garth with the decanter. But his instincts held him back. If his attack failed, Gus Keller would be lost forever…and so, really, would be Garth of Izar. But Landau seemed to have touched a chord in him…

“Scotty won’t be conscious for a while, Gus,” Kirk said softly. “If we’re not going to lose that nacelle, you’ve got to do something. The whole crew is counting on you, again. So are the survivors of the Red Admiral, if any.”

“And…and…and I won’t let them down,” said Gus. “Quickly, Katya.”

The door slid shut behind the two of them.

Immediately, Kirk hit the communicator in his insignia. “Kirk to McCoy. Please come to Scotty’s quarters, Doctor. Bring your black bag.”

Bones didn’t waste time on questions. “On my way, Jim,” he said. Of course, he wouldn’t be bringing a black bag but rather his tricorder, but he’d gotten the implication that someone needed help.

Kirk tried to take a deep breath, and stopped. Pain. Ribs, definitely broken. He took a shallow breath instead.

He tapped his insignia again. “Kirk to Spock.”

“Spock here, Captain.”

“Spock. I need you to come to Scotty’s quarters immediately. Bring a security detail.”

Once McCoy had arrived and was dealing with Scotty, he, Spock and the detail would go to the starboard nacelle, and wait for Garth to finish the repairs. Then, they’d nab him.

No…no…that would be the wrong move....Landau had him convinced, somehow, that he was this Gus Keller…and there was hope for Gus Keller…as there was no hope for Garth of Izar…

Kirk took another shallow breath, then tapped his insignia again.

“Kirk to Spock. Belay that last order. Come as you are.”

“Very good, Captain.”


The U.S.S. Enterprise succeeded in finding the wreck of the USS Red Admiral, and managed to rescue fifteen survivors. Fifteen, from a crew of four hundred. Nevertheless, it was something.

Scotty recovered quickly from his drugged slip, and he, Kirk, Spock and Doctor McCoy agreed that while Garth of Izar must die, Gus Keller must live.

The four starships that answered the Enterprise’s distress call swept the area and remained on station there for several months, but no trace of any more of the strange alien craft were ever found.

After rescuing the survivors, the Enterprise headed for Starbase 1934, for repair and refit.

Once there, Sergeant Katya Landau and Scientist Gus Keller transferred to a civilian research ship, the Praetorious, where they served on detached duty, and integrated quite happily with the crew of scientists who were delighted to have the imprimatur of the Federation for their voyage.

After three months, the Enterprise, ship-shape and Bristol fashion, left Starbase 1934 and resumed her five year mission to seek out new life, new civilizations, and to boldly go where no one had gone before.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Who Goes There? Part 7 of 7

Download this story as a free PDF from Star Trek: Whom Gods Destroy Fan Fiction.


Part One

Captain James T. Kirk regained consciousness in a heartbeat. He remained unmoving, however, as he tried to assess what was happening. He was sitting…in a chair…from the way it felt to his body he knew it was his chair, in his own quarters. He didn’t need to try to move his arms lying on the armrests to know that they were secured, he could feel the tightness of the straps on his wrists. His legs were free, however.

What had happened? The Enterprise had been warping along towards what remained of the USS Red Admiral, with an estimated arrival time of 18 hours. He’d decided to get some sleep… he’d need to be rested and refreshed to deal with both a madman loose on his ship and some unknown aliens going around destroying Federation starships…

He’d been walking along the corridor to his quarters with a security guard…but he’d never made it…what the hell had happened?

He strained his ears. He could hear nothing…or could he…no one was moving about…but was someone breathing?

Kirk opened his eyes. They widened only slightly when he saw himself sitting opposite him, smiling cheerfully.

“We meet again, Captain Kirk,” said the apparition.

“Captain Garth.”

“You will address me by my proper title,” said Garth/Kirk. “I am Lord Garth, master of the universe.”

“You look like a captain to me,” said Kirk.

Garth/Kirk’s forehead creased, as he tried to figure out if Kirk were trying to insult him. Then he laughed mirthlessly. To Kirk, the world seemed to turn inside out, and then he saw Garth of Izar sitting in front of him, clad in the simple blue tunic of the scientist.

“You…” Kirk tried away to swallow away the dryness in his mouth… “you’re very good with that little trick. How do you do it?”

“Cellular metamorphosis,” Garth said. “Taught to me by the Antosians…”

“But…you can’t be controlling your clothing as well?”

“Oh, that. No, that’s another little trick I taught myself…we don’t need to discuss it. What I want to know is this. Why has the Enterprise left orbit? Where is she going?”

“Don’t you know?”

Garth’s eyes narrowed dangerously. “I’m asking you.”

“We received a distress call. The USS Red Admiral has been attacked…destroyed. We’re en route to their last known location, in Sector Alpha Gamma 2.2. How long have I been…here?”

“Four hours.”

“Then we’re fourteen hours away.”

“I see,” said Garth, musingly.

Garth gazed at Captain Kirk speculatively. His story had worked with the Boss…would it work with Kirk?

“I want you to read something, Kirk.”

Garth pointed a device at Kirk’s left hand, and the restraining strap released. Kirk glanced down at his wrists, and saw that he was restrained by straps used by his own security people. Someone had punched holes through the fabric of his favorite chair in order to do so. When he got out of this predicament, he’d allow himself to be annoyed by that.

Garth tossed him a print book, which Kirk caught awkwardly. “Read the marked passages.”

Kirk did as he was bid. Then he looked up. “This doesn’t match what the Federation has on file about you.”

“No, it doesn’t. But that’s the true story.”

“Yes…yes, I believe you.” Kirk looked at him with compassion.

“I’m not insane, Kirk. I never was. But as you doubtless know, retired Admiral Dixon Welles, the man responsible for the debacle which I then had to go in and salvage, is the brother of the President of the Federation. He suspected…rightly, I grant you… that I wasn’t going to let his brother get away with his incompetence. So he had me framed.”

Kirk blinked at him. Didn’t the man remember five minutes ago, when he’d instructed him to call him Lord Garth, Master of the Universe? But even if that happened…Kirk had a lot of respect for Donald Cory, governor of Elba II, and Cory believed Garth to be mad.

“If what you say is true, Garth…” began Kirk.

“If?” said Garth dangerously.
“Then I’ll help you. But you can’t hijack a starship…”

“Can’t?” said Garth again.

“Yes,” barked Kirk. “If! Can’t! Do those words infuriate you so?”

Garth took a deep breath.

“And if they do, it doesn’t mean I’m insane, damn you. It just means I’m used to people following my orders.”

Kirk nodded. “Yes, I understand. Well, I’m telling you, this is my ship….”

At that precise moment, there was a beep and Lieutenant Uhura’s voice filled the room. “Bridge to Captain Kirk.”

Smilingly, Garth punched the button, even as to Kirk, the world seemed to turn upside down again, and then Kirk was looking at himself. “Kirk here,” said Garth, grinning at his captive.

“You’re needed on the bridge immediately, Captain. There’s….”

Suddenly, the ship rocked violently, and Garth/Kirk almost fell out of his chair. It rocked again. Garth knew what that meant – they were being hit by torpedoes!

The door to the living room of Kirk’s quarters slid open, and the Boss strode in. “Captain…” he began. He stopped, looked at Kirk imprisoned in his chair and Garth/Kirk standing.

Garth/Kirk grabbed a phaser from his belt. “I’m Kirk, sergeant,” he barked. “That’s Garth in the chair. Now, take me to the bridge.”

The ship rocked again, so violently that the Boss and Garth were flung against the bulkhead like ragdolls. The red alert sirens began to shriek.

“Garth!” Kirk yelled. “Let me go! They’re blowing apart my ship!”

Garth of Izar swore viciously, even as he resumed his own form. He could not deny the captain a chance to protect his ship. He deactivated the other restraint. As three, Kirk, Garth and the Boss raced for the bridge.

It was a difficult journey. The Enterprise was being hit by torpedo after torpedo. Smoke and fire filled the corridors. Damage repair crews swarmed here and there. The Boss put his bulk to good use, running interference for the two captains behind him. Finally they reached the Bridge.

Spock jumped out of the command chair and Kirk slipped into it. Spock glanced at Garth and an eyebrow raised as he assumed his own seat.

“What’s going on, Spock?” Kirk demanded.

“We were attacked from long range, Captain. Our sensors spotted incoming torpedoes, but they came in too fast. We are too slow, and too immobile. We are being beaten into submission, and there’s nothing we can do.”

“Who’s attacking us?”

Sulu put it on screen without being bid. The ship was neither Romulan nor Klingon. But whatever it was, it was killing them.

Kirk pounded the button to Engineering. “Scotty, what’s the status down there?”

Scotty’s voice came coughing. “We’re dead in the water, Captain. No power to the warp engines at all. We’ve barely got enough power left to run essential systems.”

“Right. Hang in there, Scotty, Kirk out.”

Kirk turned to Sulu. “Status of our weapons, Mr. Sulu.”

“Photon torpedoes are out sir. Phasers are offline…it will take at least thirty minutes to repair them….” Replied Sulu.

“Not that it would do any good,” Chekov said, sotto voce.

“Uhura, open hailing frequencies,” barked Kirk.

“Hailing frequencies open, Captain.”

Garth was impressed by the calmness displayed by the Enterprise crew. They were seconds away from death and they must now it, yet they were going about their business as if it were an everyday occurrence. Did they have so much confidence in their captain, then, that they believed that even now he’d be able to do something to save them?

Two aliens appeared on the view screen, ugly (to human eyes) lizard like creatures.

“This is Captain James T. Kirk of the starship Enterprise,” began Kirk, and then Kirk felt a hand on his shoulder, as Garth came to stand beside him.

“And I am Fleet Captain Garth of Izar,” said Garth, loudly. “In command of the Enterprise at the present time. What are your terms?”

“Terms, Garth of Izar?” laughed the lizard. “You are beaten. One more launch of torpedoes and your ship is blown into millions of pieces.”

“I don’t deny what you say…yet you haven’t blown us apart yet, so you must want something. Therefore, I ask again, what are your terms?”

“Complete surrender. You must beg for our mercy, and perhaps we will extend it to you.”

The other lizard made a noise that sounded like laughter.

“We don’t beg for anything,” snapped Garth.

“Oh…you will beg, Garth of Izar. You will beg. We beam you over to our ship, you surrender, you beg.”

“If I beam over to your ship, you will stop your attacks on the Enterprise?”

More laughter from the lizards. “They do not die…yet,” said the leader.

“You have attacked a starship of the United Federation of Planets. Do you really want a war?”

“If your Enterprise is an example of the starships you have, why should we be afraid of a war?” laughed the lizard.

Garth’s shoulders shrank, defeated, even as his eyes continued to dance around what he could see of the bridge of that alien ship. All starship builders, regardless of race, seemed to put the same kinds of instruments in the same kinds of locations….

“Very well,” he said. “I will beam over to your ship.”

“Garth….” Said Kirk.

Garth turned to face him. “Thirty minutes, Kirk,” he said meaningfully. “All you need is thirty minutes.”

“The wessel has lowered its shields,” Checkov reported. “They’re activating their transporter beam.”

Garth shimmered and disappeared, and the view screen of the alien ship snapped off.

Kirk brought his hand down on his communication console. “Scotty. Get to the transporter room now. Now.”

“Aye, aye, sir.”

“Chekov, you said thirty minutes for phasers. Do it!”

“Yes, sir.”

Spock came to stand beside Kirk’s command chair. Kirk glanced up at him.

“You don’t think Garth planned this?” Spock asked.

“There’s no way he could have,” Kirk said, definitively. “With a ship like that at his command? He never would have messed around trying to hijack the Enterprise. No, whatever those things are, they’re acting on their own.”

“Scott here,” came Scott’s voice. “I’m in the transporter room, Captain.”

“Scotty, in about thirty minutes something’s going to happen. I want you to be ready to get a fix on the bridge of that other ship. You’re going to need to beam Garth of Izar aboard as soon as possible.”

“Aye, aye, Captain.”

They waited. Damage control reports flowed in from all over the ship. Damage repair parties went out to do what they could.”

Kirk knew what Garth was going to try to do. Hell, they all knew. Nevertheless, he gave Sulu the order. “Keep your sensors on their shields, Sulu. Let me know the instant they come down.”

For that was Garth’s plan. That had to be Garth’s plan. Beam over, stall for time, then, either as himself, or metamorphosizing himself into a lizard, he’d find someway to cut the shields of that alien ship. And once he did so…

“Phasers back on line, Captain,” Chekov shouted joyously.

“Sulu, status of their shields?”

“Their shields are fully operational, Captain. Our phasers will bounce off them like peashooters.”

“Wait for it, Sulu.”

Five minutes…ten….then Sulu shouted. “Their shields are down! Their shields are down!”

“All phasers fire,” Kirk ordered. “Scotty, get Garth out of there!”

Without shields, a starship is as vulnerable to a microscopic meteorite than as to a phaser. The Enterprise’s phasers darted outward, targeting every vulnerable spot Sulu and the weapons control room could think of, from what looked like engines to their phaser and torpedo capability.

“Direct hits,” shouted Sulu. “Like a knife through butter. She’s going to blow!”

And indeed, within a very few seconds the starship opposite them had disappeared into a white hot fireball.

Kirk hammered the communication console again. “Scotty.”


The jubilation on the bridge quieted abruptly, as they all heard the sound of failure in Montgomery Scott’s voice.

“Captain…I was never able to get a fix on him…I tried to beam the entire bridge crew aboard…but nothing came… I lost him, Captain.”

Kirk took a deep breath. “It’s okay, Scotty. It was a long shot. Get back to the engine room, you’ve got a lot of work to do there.”

“Aye, aye, captain.”

Kirk punched another button.

“Captain’s log, stardate 1205.72. The Enterprise, en route to answer the distress call of the USS Red Admiral, was attacked and disabled by an unknown alien ship. Fleet Captain Garth of Izar gave his life, in order to rescue us all. …. Kirk out.

Kirk brought his hand down on the log button again. Mad or not, Garth had died as he had a hero. And that’s how he would be remembered.

Who Goes There? Part 6 of 7

Download this story as a free PDF from Star Trek: Whom Gods Destroy Fan Fiction.


Part One

“Bridge to Captain Kirk.”

Even before Kirk and the others had had a chance to leave the ready room in order to give thought to their little problem, Lt. Uhura had signaled the Captain.

Kirk punched a button on the conference room table. “Kirk here.”

“I’m picking up a distress signal sir. A Federation ship is under attack.”

“On my way.”

Kirk stood up. “Gentlemen. Stay in pairs. Return here in an hour. Mr. Spock, you’re with me.”

Kirk strode to his command chair, while Spock assumed his position at his science station.

“On screen, Uhura.”

Uhura pressed a button, and the view screen sprang to life… or rather, to death. Out of the fog of a severely damaged bridge, the beaten and bloody face of a man looked out…his shirt showing that he was a captain in the Federation.

“This is…” static…. “of the USS Red Admiral. We’ve been…” static. “Nothing left… no hope…. Help.”

“Open a channel, Uhura.” Kirk barked.

“Channel open, sir.”

“Red Admiral, this is the USS Enterprise. I repeat, this is the USS Enterprise. What is your location? I repeat. What is your location?”


“Their communications must be out, Captain,” said Uhura. “All I’m getting is the same distress signal, over and over again.”

“Spock?” asked Kirk.

Spock twisted in his seat to look at Kirk.

“The USS Red Admiral is an advance scout ship, captained by Richard Budman. Last reported location was in Sector Alpha Gamma 2.2. We are the closest starship to that location, Captain, by at least a week’s travel time.”

“Uhuru, do you have the coordinates from the distress signal?”

“Yes, sir, I’ve fed them to Mr. Sulu.”

“Sulu, plot us a course. Then take us out of here. Warp factor six.”

“Aye, aye, sir.”

“Uhura, can you clean up that message? I want to be able to hear the whole thing.”

“Working on it, Captain.”

“Very good. Spock, a minute with you in my ready room, please.”

As the doors closed behind them, Kirk turned to Spock. “What do you think? Could this be a trap? Something laid on by Garth?”

“Impossible to say, Captain. But I would not have thought that Garth could have orchestrated anything of this nature from Elba II.”

“That’s what I think, also. If he could give orders to a ship capable of destroying the Red Admiral, he wouldn’t have wasted it on destroying that ship. He’d have had it come here to take over Elba II.”

“Agreed , sir.”

Kirk pounded his right fist into his other palm.

Part Two

“Boss. There’s someone I want you to meet. This is Gus Keller.”

The two men shook hands.

The Pit Boss, as he seemed to prefer to be known, was a tall, husky youth of perhaps twenty five, Garth estimated. Several inches over six feet, with the musculature of a body-builder, he noted, as the youth rose to his feet from where he’d been seated gazing into a computer screen, and gave Garth a firm handshake.

He was also wearing the off-duty uniform of a security guard, as Garth had deduced he would…if his father had been a marine on Axanar, the Boss would follow in his father’s footsteps. (All off-duty uniforms still had the insignia of one’s rank and position aboard the Enterprise.)

So far…so good.

Katya continued the introductions. “I told Gus about what you knew about Garth of Izar, and he was very interested.”

“Katya tells me you actually have a book…a printed book…from Axanar. I wonder if I might see it.”

“Uh, sure. It’s in my quarters.”

“I hate to impose…”

“Oh, no, not at all. I love showing it to people.”

“So Katya tells me. Everyone in your…. Jet Pack….knows of it, eh?”

“That’s right. I’m sure she told you my father was on Axanar.”

“Yes, she told me.”

Katya looked at the two men consideringly. She’d always had rather a thing for the Boss, but he was too tall. Keller, now…he was older, indeed, he was one of the oldest crewmembers she’d seen aboard the Enterprise, but he’d kept himself in great shape, and he was just the right height, and kind of handsome, too. She wanted to stick around – after all, she’d been interested in Axanar too and she was not too shabby in the stratagem department…but she had the impression that Gus wanted to talk to the Boss alone. Well, she’d let them. Time enough for her to display her knowledge and acumen later on…

“Well, I’ll let you two go alone, eh?” she said aloud.”I’m going to go over to the duty room and try to find out why we’ve left station.”

“We’ve left station?” asked the Boss, surprised.

Katya nodded. “Just a few minutes ago.”


Katya nodded again. She sketched a wave at Garth, who gave her a charming smile, and then she turned and walked away.

Part Three

Garth and the Boss walked down the corridor. “Katya has only referred to you as The Boss,” Garth commented. “What was your father’s name?”

“Rick Hubbard. I’m Vince.”

“Rick Hubbard,” said Garth, musingly. He had led many marines, when he’d beamed down to Axanar for hand-to-hand combat with the enemy remaining on the planet’s surface, after he’d destroyed their fleet…but he didn’t remember a Hubbard…he must have been on the ground prior to the invasion…prior to the destruction of Axanar…one of the Federation men tasked with protecting Axanar from the Klingons…and failing.

He had expected as much. None of the marines who’d landed with him would have found any print books still in existence…nothing had been left of his planet when he’d arrived except burned shells of buildings, scorched bodies, and Klingons to hunt down and kill.

They arrived at Vince’s quarters, he pressed his palm against the hand plate and they walked in.

All the security guards lived two to a suite…but worked split shifts so that each person usually had the rooms pretty much to themselves. So it was on this occasion.

“Have a seat,” said Vince. “Would you like a drink?” He waived his hand at the dispenser set in the wall. Garth went over and filled a cup full of Pepsi as the big security guard went to a bookcase. A bookcase, filled with archaic, print books.

Instead of sitting down, Garth went over and looked at them. “It’s been a long time since I’ve touched a paper book,” he murmured, running his left hand over the spines gently.

“Not many people have,” said Vince, glancing at Garth in surprise. He drew out one of them. “Here it is. The book from Axanar. A History of the Royal House of Gaveston.”

Garth took the book in fingers that trembled a little. Of all the books the Boss might have had, he had not expected this one. In its pages was almost the whole story of his life, of how he’d been a peasant boy, saved the life of Baron Simov’s son from a runaway horse, been taken into the royal household as a reward and had grown as close to Simony as to a brother. How he had left Axanar to join the Starfleet Academy, while Simony had stayed behind.

That’s where the story ended, too, for this book had been printed a couple of years before the battle of Axanar. The publishing house had decided to honor him when he had graduated from the Academy quicker than any cadet had ever done it before. The book had ended by predicting a bright future for him… Garth blinked away tears, and then looked up to find Vince staring at him.

“You okay?” asked Vince.

“Do you…” Garth began in a tight voice. He stopped, swallowed, and started again. “Do you know the story…of the destruction of Axanar?”

“What do you mean?” asked Vince cautiously.

“Not the battle of Axanar. The destruction before it. The destruction in which your father undoubtedly died.”

Vince’s face froze. “He did die on Axanar, yes. When the first wave of Klingons attacked.”

“Do you know how it happened?”

“Yes,” said Vince quietly. “I know how it happened.”

Garth spoke, as if reciting a funeral dirge. “The Federation promised to protect Axanar, and its mining resources, from the Klingons. There was a squadron on station in that solar system. A whole squadron, under the command of the brother of the President of the Federation himself, Admiral Dixon Welles. And then the Klingons launched a feint that shouldn’t have fooled the greenest of lieutenants, and Dixon Welles detached himself and half his squadron to meet it. Then the Klingons came in and overwhelmed the remaining ships, and then they beamed down to the surface of Axanar and they systematically destroyed it!”

“You’re…uh…you sound very passionate about this…” said Vince, looking at him closely. “Did you lose someone on Axanar, too?”

“I lost everybody,” gritted Garth. “And I use that word with precision. And what happened to Dixon Welles, eh? Nothing. Nothing! He retired on half-pay and was assigned to a cushy job at a space station at the other end of the galaxy, where he lives now, in luxury.”

“I’m sure he thinks about what he did every minute…” said Vince uncertainly.

“That’s not enough,” Garth barked. “Even if it were true, that’s not enough. But it isn’t true. If he felt any guilt about what he’d done that day, he’d have committed suicide long ago to make amends. But he continues to live…and laugh…and love.”

Vince drew himself up to his full six foot six frame, and stood in front of the door to his quarters, as he realized that something was very, very wrong here. “Who are you?” he asked hoarsely.

Garth flung back his head. “I am Garth of Izar.”

Vince stared at him, knowing it was true. “But…but…how did you get off the planet….?”

Garth came closer to Vince, who simultaneously shifted his feet into a karate stance. The huge, muscular man had no fear of the smaller one.

Garth relaxed control over his face, and the molecules shifted and dissolved.

Vince’s eyes widened in horror and he turned his face away, clamping his lips together and swallowing convulsively.

“Look at me,” said Garth, reaching out to turn the other man’s face back to his. “Look at me! My parents! My sister! My brother! My wife! My people! Do you think any of them looked better than this, when the Klingons were finished with them?”

Vince shoved him away, but instead of trying to leave the room he strode further into the room itself, covering his face with both hands.

“What do you want from me?” he demanded from between his hands.

Garth breathed deeply, fighting for calm, and brought his face back to its usual, handsome appearance. “The Federation was supposed to protect them. Your father was supposed to protect them. You owe me a debt.”

Vince balled his hands into fists and whirled on Garth. “My father died trying to protect your people from the Klingons! All his squadron died!”

“That’s right, Vince. That’s right. It’s retired Admiral Dixon Welles who owes us all. And I think he should be made to repay it.”

“But….but…” Vince looked at him uncertainly. “You’re….this is an insane asylum…”

“I’m not insane, Vince,” Garth said quietly. “Far from it. But the President knew that I was going to seek out his brother, eventually…and he framed me…he had me sent here to protect his brother.”

That was a good story, Garth thought. And clearly Vince was believing it. And it was true, as far as it went. He did intend to kill retired Admiral Dixon Welles, as one of his first acts when he got command of a starship…he’d been working his way around to Dixon Welles’ station, in the course of fulfilling his duties….before the accident…before Antos IV.

“What do you want me to do?” asked Vince.

“Captain Kirk knows I’m on board. He knows I can change my face – as you have seen. He is doubtless taking precautions. He will have someone with him at all times. A security guard. I want you to be that security guard.”

“No,” said Vince, incontrovertibly. “I’ll do a lot for you, but I’m not going to betray my captain.”

“That is no more than I would expect from you,” said Garth, calmly. “Kirk is a tremendous captain, isn’t he?”

“Yes, sir,” said Vince.

Garth nodded. “Vince, I’m not asking you to betray him, in the way you mean. He will not be harmed. No one on this ship will be harmed. All I’m asking is that you help me get to some kind of an outpost where I can get off this ship, and get on another one. That’s all I ask.”

“But…so why do you want the captain?”

“Because, should I assume his shape, it will make it all the easier for me to get to that outpost.”

“But you won’t harm him?”

Garth nodded. “You have my word, Vince. If you help me, no one aboard this ship will be harmed. The first man I’m going to kill is Dixon Welles.”

Vince took a deep breath. “O…kay. Okay then.”

Who Goes There? Part 5 of 7

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Part One

As a perceptive Vulcan once observed, “It is far easier for civilized men to behave like barbarians, then it is for barbarians to behave like civilized men.”

The same might be said, in reverse, for the insane…or at least for Garth of Izar. Oh, he was insane, but his insanity did not manifest itself in the flamboyant, openly psychotic mannerisms that he had adopted on his arrival at Elba II. He had not hidden his intentions…he would take over the universe by right of conquest…but by playing a flamboyant role he had cowed his fellow inmates and bent them to his will. By his quicksilver moods and temper tantrums he had also succeeded in reducing the respect for him of the guards and medical staff, who saw him simply as a posturing fool.

Except for Dr. Evangeline. She had listened to his monologues, to his soliloquies about the universe and his place in it…and she had believed. To her he had been as a god…she had been among the first of his converts.

And now this girl…this Katya Landau…would become one, too.

It was galling, of course, to walk among these ants, these inferiors, to have to play these roles…but it had to be done…but once he had achieved his rightful place…he would cast aside these shackles and….

“I guess I do feel a little sad,” admitted Katya.

Garth blinked, and returned his attention to the girl. “What….what?”

“Well, who wouldn’t, orbiting a place like this?”

“Oh, yes,” said Garth, bringing himself back to the task at hand. “Elba II, home to the most incorrigibly criminally insane in the universe.”

“Not even that, although that’s depressing, of course. But to think that Garth of Izar is down there…”

Garth raised an eyebrow. “You’ve heard of Garth of Izar?”

It was her turn to stare at him in surprise. “Everybody has! Garth of Izar! We studied him at the academy.”

“Not him,” murmured Garth. “You studied his strategies…his battles…the famous battle of Axanar where he made his reputation.”

Katay nodded. “That’s true. But I’ve found out stuff about him since. Did you know he was actually born on Axanar?”

Garth’s eyes flared briefly. “You are incorrect,” he said, very quietly. “Garth was born on the planet Izar.”

She shook her head. “No…no he wasn’t. He was born in a little village called Izar, on Axanar.”

A fin of rage poked up out of the black waters of Garth’s mind. He jumped to his feet, and seizing her wrist, pulled Katya to her feet also. “Where’s your proof?” he demanded.

Katya stared at him in surprise, as he punched a button that caused a computer screen to rise up out of one of the tables in the observation chamber. (They were all equipped with them.)

“Show me,” he said.

“What’s the matter?” laughed Katya. “Have you been writing your thesis on Garth, or something? You’re not going to find the truth in the computer system. Electronic books can be rewritten easier than anything, you know.”

“Yes,” said Garth, with a quick smile. “That’s true. That is very true. But…I must admit I am somewhat disconcerted. Of a thousand people on this ship, I sit next to the one person who knows that Garth was born on Axanar.”

“Oh, no, everyone knows,” said Katya carelessly.

Garth felt like he was going insane. (The irony of that feeling was lost on him.) He forced himself to speak calmly.

“How do they know? Explain this to me!”

“Well, I shouldn’t say everyone,” admitted Katya. “Probably just everyone in my jetpack group. The Pit Boss told us.”

“The Pit Boss?”

“That’s just what we call him,” Katya said with a grin. “We have a weekly poker game – my jetpack group, that is – the Boss is the only one who won’t play. So we just call him the Pit Boss. Anyway, his father was actually one of the marines who fought on Axanar. And he brought back a book...a printed book…they still had those on Axanar back then. And it says that Garth had been born there. I’ve seen it with my own eyes.”

“I see,” said Garth. Each word dropped like a piece of ice.

“I’ve often wondered who was responsible for this rewriting of history,” Katya admitted. “The Federation let down Axanar badly, and then Garth came in to save the day. Saves the Federation fleet only to find out that his entire planet is destroyed, all his people, killed.”

Garth was very, very still.

“So did the Federation rewrite the reference books, change Garth’s birthplace, so it wouldn’t seem…I dunno, quite so tragic? Or did Garth ask that it be done himself? I mean, it would have been galling, wouldn’t it, everyone complementing him on his success at the Battle of Axanar, and then saying, in low tones, “too bad about the planet and your family, though. You’re coping very well.” So he has them change the references to where he was born, so he doesn’t have to put up with that stuff.”

“Yessss,” said Garth.

“As a matter of fact,” continued Katya, “I don’t think it was his later accident that drove him mad, at all. I think it happened the day he beamed down onto what was left of Axanar. Well…the seeds of it were sewn then, anyway.”

“How perceptive of you, Katya,” murmured Garth, looking at her with his cold grey eyes.

Katya looked at him searchingly. “Are you alright? Don’t tell me, you are writing a thesis on Garth, aren’t you!”

Garth laughed. “No, not at all. But I wonder…would you mind introducing me to this Pit Boss of yours? I would very much like to meet him.”

“Sure. Now?”


Katya looked at her chronometer. “He’s off duty, too. I think he spends his time in Library Four about now. Let’s go.”

They turned toward the door, then suddenly Garth swung back. He watched, incredulously, as the aspect outside the rear observation window changed. The Enterprise had turned so that the beautiful green…and ironically poisonous….atmosphere of Elba II loomed large in their sights. And then suddenly it began to drop away, as the ship left orbit in a hurry.

Katya stared out with him. “That’s odd,” she murmured. “I thought we were here for another forty-eight hours. I wonder what’s going on.”

“Yes,” said Garth very quietly. “So do I.”

Who Goes There? Part 4 of 7

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Part One

The woman – she was a Lieutenant, Garth noted – sipped her Pepsi. Then she held out her hand to him. “I’m Katya. Katya Landau.”

He smiled. “I’m G…us. Keller. Gus Keller.”

“Hullo, Gus,” she said, and then turned her attention back to the stars.

Garth noted that she looked rather sad. Was she one of those people who liked to look at the stars because it made them feel in their place, with regards to the universe? Small and infinitesimal?

“What are you thinking?” he asked her, gently.

She grinned. “I was thinking of a poem.

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
of sun-split clouds, — and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of—wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there,
I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air....

Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark nor even eagle flew—
And, while with silent lifting mind I’ve trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.”

Garth stared at her, shocked.

She looked at him curiously. “What’s the matter? Don’t you like poetry?”

“Yes,” he said quickly. “It’s just…I had been thinking of something similar, only a few seconds ago.” But he knew that she had not been thinking what he was thinking…that he’d like her to be touching his face. So odd, that she had been thinking of that…

“The stars make you think of god,” he said, carefully.

She grinned. “Oh, no. Not at all. It’s just that I’ve become addicted to jet aerobatics. Every time we’re in orbit around a planet, a group of us put on our spacesuits and jetpacks and go out and just soar among the stars. There is nothing quite like it. But we’re not allowed to do that here, and it’s just so disappointing.”

Garth threw back his head and laughed.

“What’s so funny?” she asked, prepared to enjoy the joke.

“I was amused, because I had completely misinterpreted your expression, that’s all. As I said, some people look at the stars and think they are god, some look at them and think of how small they are…and you look at them and wish you could go out and play among them.”

Katya laughed, but inwardly she felt a bit puzzled. Why would looking at stars ever make someone think they were God? She didn’t bother to ask, though. This man was fascinating her. Handsome, self-confident…but something curiously vulnerable about him…

She nodded at the stars outside the glass. “Do they inspire you to poetry?” she asked.

Garth turned to look out at the stars once more. He’d long been an aficionado of the Earth poet, Shakespeare…. Very slowly he said, “I could be bounded in a nutshell, and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams.”

Katya’s face sobered, and here eyes looked at his face searchingly. “Yes,” she said, quietly. “You don’t sleep very well, do you?”

Garth stared at her again. One hand went to his face. How could she know that?

“I’m sorry,” she said quickly. “I just… are you okay?”

Garth brought his hand away and smiled a brilliant smile. “I’m bored with the subject,” he said. “Let’s talk about something else.”

Part Two

Kirk, Spock, Scotty, and Security Chief Clay Barker were in Kirk’s ready room, and Kirk had just finished laying out the situation to them.

“We’ve got a man on board who can assume any form he wishes. Me, Spock, one of you…presumably even a woman. He could be anyone. Now, how do we find him? Bearing in mind that I want as few people as possible to know this. If the crew thought that I or Spock could be an impostor at any time… morale aboard this ship would break down in a heart beat.”

Barker nodded. “What steps have you taken so far?

“Since Garth escaped the transporter room, neither Spock nor I have been out of each other’s sight. So I know that we two are who we say we are. I want you to assign a security guard to each of us. We will go nowhere alone. If we are ever found alone, we get clapped in irons, no exceptions.”

Barker nodded again. “You think he’ll come after you or Mr. Spock?”

“Yes. Either me, Spock, or any of the command crew. I’ll want a security guard assigned to each of them as well. No exceptions.”

“Would it do any good to distribute a photo of him as he looks now?” asked Barker. “I mean, as he normally looked, when he was in custody here?”

Cory shook his head. “I doubt it, Chief Barker. For example…” he punched up, on screen, the same photo that the false Doctor Cory had shown Kirk and Spock on their initial visit to the command center. “That, for example, isn’t Garth of Izar at all – his bodily shape, let alone his face…and yet that is the only photo in our databanks now. Garth must have substituted it when he took over my office. As for the face he had before the accident…he looked nothing like that when he came to us, so that won’t help, either.”

“Pity,” said Kirk. “All the more reason why none of the command crew is to be left alone. Ever. He may come after any of us and there’s no way of knowing what shape he’ll assume. Even if he uses his…let’s just call it his “real face”, for the sake of argument, there’s no way to recognize him.”

“There is one thing,” mused Donald Cory. “Garth…has a temper… which he is quite unable to control. Any slight, real or imagined, anyone who does not pay due deference to him as lord of the universe…and he is quite likely to go berserk.”

Kirk leaned forward with a concerned expression on his face, as his heart sank. He didn’t like the thought of a madman running loose on the Enterprise, but he had believed that however mad he was, he would not make the mistake of attacking the general crew…that only the command crew would be his target.

“Do you think that’s likely, Donald? That he’d attack and harm an anonymous crewmember? When he must know how important it is for him to stay…well…invisible?”

“There is that,” Cory nodded. “He is able to control his mania for periods of time. If he is pretending to be a …well, an anonymous crewmember…he likely will not become offended if someone treats as an anonymous crewmember.”

Kirk breathed a sigh of relief. “That’s what I’d thought.”

“Why does this madman have to go after anyone at all?” asked Scotty. “All he has to do is pretend to be a crewman. The next planet we reach that has passenger freighters, he jumps ship and away he goes.”

Kirk shook his head. “No one is getting off this ship until we find Garth, Scotty. And he must know that. He’s trapped on board the Enterprise as surely as he was trapped on Elba II.”

“Unless he finds a way…initiates a way…for it to be necessary to evacuate the ship,” mused Spock.

“Thank you for that cheerful thought, Spock,” commented Kirk.

Spock gave one of his patented shrugs. “We are dealing with Garth of Izar, one of the most…if not the most, brilliant starship officers the Federation has ever had. We must be prepared for anything.”

Barker cleared his throat. “How about this?” he said. “We beam every crewmember down to the planet. You said yourself that his disguise can’t withstand the transporter. Once they’ve beamed down successfully, they’re paired with another, real crew member. Eventually, everyone has beamed down. Sooner or later, one of them will be Garth, and I’ll have a security team on the surface, waiting for him.”

“There are over a thousand people on board this starship,” Spock commented. “The buildings in the colony below can house….perhaps….three hundred. No more.”

“As we clear the crewmembers, we beam them back on board using one of the auxiliary transporters,” Barker said. “Then we quarantine them, in pairs, in their quarters. Easy.”

Kirk grinned wryly. “Easy,” he said. He got to his feet. “Barker…it’s a good plan. Time consuming, and with so many steps involved that errors can creep in. But I think, if implemented properly, it is the most proactive thing we can do.”

Barker smiled. “Thank you, sir.”

“Opinions, Mr. Spock?”

Spock steepled his fingers. “As you say, Captain, it will be time consuming, and with so many steps…it is indeed prone to error. Between the transporter room here, and the transporter room on the planet, and the auxiliary transporter rooms…and think of this…it may not work. What occurred earlier, when Garth was revealed to us. It may just have been that he had not realized that the transporter would rearrange his molecules as it did… but what if, now that he knows that, he can counteract it in future?”

Kirk grimaced. “Another cheerful thought, Spock. Thank you.”

“My pleasure, Captain.”

“Let’s take a break for one hour,” Kirk said. “When we reassemble, I want solutions that will actually work. Barker, call in a couple of guards for Spock and myself, please. We are in an urgent situation, but we can spare an hour to do some thinking. In that period of time, Garth isn’t going to be harming anyone. He has no reason to, and every reason not to.”

“Unless he feels himself trapped already,” pointed out Spock, “and begins to assemble hostages immediately. Collecting bargaining chips to be used later, if the need arises.”

Kirk gritted his teeth. The thought of his crew in danger…. And them not knowing they were in danger…

“The situation just keeps getting better and better,” he said grimly.

Who Goes There? Part 3 of 7

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Part One

While Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock made their way to the bridge, Lt. Parker activated the com-link to the surface and requested that the force field be lowered.

In Dr. Cory’s command center, Dr. Evangeline bit her lip. This wasn’t supposed to happen. Garth…or Dr. Cory!…he was the only one who should be requesting that the force field be lowered…and that only so that he could have her beamed up to the Enterprise!

Should she refuse? No, that would only create suspicion. If Garth had been captured…but he couldn’t have been…but…but…if he had been captured….then she had to insure that she appeared innocent…so she’d be free to provide help if needed in future…no one on the planet suspected her, or even knew what was going on, for that matter…she had nothing to fear if she just kept calm.

“Lowering the force field now,” she said, and pressed the appropriate buttons.

The six red-shirted security guards shimmered into life in front of her. One of them, a woman wearing more hash marks on her sleeves than the others, stepped forward. “I’m Lt. Agatha Parker,” she said. “May I ask who you are?”

“Dr. Evangeline,” she replied. “What’s the matter? What’s happening?” she didn’t try to keep the anxiety out of her voice.

“We have reason to believe that the inmates have taken over the asylum,” said Lt. Parker. Behind her she heard a snigger. She coughed. “I mean to say, we need to inspect the facility. Do you know where the inmate Garth of Izar is being kept?”

Evangeline’s heart sank. So, something had gone wrong.

“I can show you, certainly. But you’re quite wrong. Look, I can show you from here.”

She indicated a rack of monitor screens, and pressed button after button. “Here are all our patients.” She stressed the word, patients. “As you can see they’re all…they’re all…”

“What’s the matter?” demanded Parker sharply.

“That man in Garth of Izar’s cubicle…” Evangeline said… “that’s not…that’s Dr. Cory.”

Parker peered at the screen. There was indeed a man in the cubicle, who matched the photo her Captain had shown her. Of Asian descent, in his sixties, he stood with arms folded, gazing out into the corridor.

“There’s a man on the bed, too,” commented Parker.

Evangeline squinted. “Yes, I see him. That’s one of our security guards. That’s Al.”

“What about the rest of the in..I mean…the patients?”

Evangeline made a show of looking carefully at each monitor. “The rest are where they should be. And you can see from these buttons,” she indicated, “they’re locked in. It’s only…but I don’t understand. I saw Dr. Cory just a few minutes ago! He beamed up to the Enterprise with the Captain and a … a Mr. Spock I think his name was.”

“Everything will be made clear in due time,” said the lieutenant. “Captain Kirk would like to have a little chat with you in a few minutes. For now…Tyler, Logan, you remain here with Dr. Evangeline. The rest of us will go get Dr. Cory and bring him here. And Al.”

She turned to Evangeline. “Can you give me a key to the cell?”

“The cubicle,” Evangeline corrected automatically. “I, yes, here.” She handed over a little black device, about the size of a communicator. “It opens everything. Just point and press.”

“Right. Thanks.”

In a very few moments, she and the rest of her team had returned to the control center with Dr. Cory and the security guard. Parker opened her communicator.

“Parker to Captain Kirk.”

“Kirk here.”

“ The facility is secure, sir. Only Garth of Izar is missing. Dr. Cory and Dr. Evangeline are with me now.”

“Donald,” came Kirk’s voice. “Are you alright?”

“Yes, Jim,” Cory said, though his voice was tired. “I must speak with your urgently.”

“Right. Prepare to beam up.”

“But what about the force field?” demanded Evangeline…. “what about…”

“Lieutenant Parker, choose someone to remain behind with you. You’ll have to get in touch with the medical staff there shortly, in any event,” Kirk spoke briskly. “The rest of you beam up. Then, Parker, activate that force field again.”

“Yes, sir.”

She flipped closed her communicator. “Wade, you’re with me. The rest of you, prepare to beam up.” She flipped open her communicator again, this time for the transporter room. “Beam ‘em up, O’Dell,” she said.

And within seconds, she and ensign Ben Wade were alone in the command center.

Part Two

Every starship captain has a ready room just off the bridge, where he or she can meet with his officers and crew in a more private atmosphere than the bridge itself, while still remaining close to that heart of the starship.

Kirk, Spock and Dr. Cory were in the ready room. They had already interviewed the security guard, Al, who had explained that he’d been making his rounds as usual when he saw Dr. Cory in the cubicle of Garth of Izar, looking beaten and bloody. He’d rushed in, and that Dr. Cory had risen up and struck him. And that’s all he knew.

Cory had then given his story. He’d been in the command center, the door had slid open, and he came face to face with himself. And then he, too, remembered nothing more. Garth must have equipped himself with Al’s phaser. The next thing he remembered, he had waked in the cubicle, with Al lying unconscious on the bed.

Dr. Evangeline gave her story next. Dr. Cory had approached her, and told her that the starship Enterprise was nearly there. He was going to give her in charge of the medicine she was inspecting. That Cory had acted completely normal, completely sane…she had no reason to suspect…

Al and Evangeline had then both taken their leave, escorted by security guards. Al to sickbay, to have a thorough check-up to ensure there were no lingering after-effects from being knocked unconscious, and Dr. Evangeline to guest quarters where she would remain until they found Garth of Izar.

When they were alone, Kirk looked at Cory.

“Tell me abut Garth, Donald. How can he change his form at will?”

“You know what happened to him, don’t you?”

“Pretend I don’t,” said Kirk. “Tell me the whole story.”

Cory shrugged. “He was taking his ship to Vomisa IV for a refit, when he received a distress call from a mining colony. His was the only ship in range, so of course he went to their rescue. It was a rogue mining colony. People had come across an asteroid full of …” Cory gestured… “some valuable metal….I forget now what and it’s not the point. They’d settled there and began mining, and it was an unstable asteroid. It started to disintegrate, and the lives of a hundred people were at stake.”

Kirk nodded, grimly.

“The metal was such that it was impenetrable to the transporter. The only way to rescue those miners was to go in physically and drag them out…the asteroid disintegrating around them all the time. Garth would never ask a crewman to do what he himself would not do…” Kirk nodded, approvingly…. “and so he led the rescue party, along with a group of volunteers.”

Cory spread his hands. “The rest you know. Garth and his men saved most of the miners. Garth was still in one of the tunnels, trying to get out the last of them, when it collapsed, crushing him. The men he’d been trying to save abandoned him, rushing to the surface and safety. A few of his own people went back into the tunnel and dragged him out, but he was near death.

Garth’s crew loved him, as I’m sure you can appreciate. They knew the only way to save him was to break protocol, to take him to the forbidden planet, Antos VII, where the Antosians could save his life. And they did so, by teaching him cellular metamorphosis…. which enabled him to restore the destroyed parts of his body..including his face.”

“Yes….I saw his face…”

Cory nodded. “From there….it must have been a natural progression for him to realize that he use that knowledge to recreate himself as anyone he wanted to be.”

“Re-create himself,” murmured Kirk.

Cory nodded. “They saved his life, but they drove him mad.”

“Perhaps,” said Spock, “that is part of the cause of his insanity. Anyone who can change themselves to look like anyone else they please…it would be difficult not to become a megalomaniac.”

“And that’s the form Garth’s madness takes, eh?” asked Kirk.

Cory steepled his fingers. “It’s true. Garth’s goal is to take over the entire universe. He styles himself, “Lord Garth” now.”

Kirk blinked at him. “The entire universe?”

“It could be done,” said Spock judiciously. “If he could have taken the Enterprise to Earth, sought out the President of the Federation, and replaced him….he would effectively be in control of much of the known universe.”

Cory smiled wanly. “That’s your Vulcan logic coming to the fore, Mr. Spock. But unfortunately you are wrong. Garth doesn’t want to assume control of the universe, he wants to take control of it. By violence. He wishes to assemble a fleet of starships and destroy everyone who stands in his way. Conquest by war…that’s what he intends.”

“Destruction for the sake of it,” murmured Kirk.

“Exactly. Some burgeoning hatred…something…is driving him to destroy …I could never get him to speak to me of anything…personal…it was only his goals of conquest he would freely discuss. Drugs, medication, nothing could break the block into his unconscious mind…I failed him…”

“Only up until now, Donald,” said Kirk. “We’ll find him, we’ll give him that new drug, and he’ll be on the way to being himself again.”

“I hope so, Jim. But that doesn’t change the fact that right now, you’ve got a megalomaniacal madman running around the Enterprise, with only one goal in mind. Destruction. No one on board this ship is safe.”

Kirk nodded, face grim. “I know, Donald. I know.”

Part Three

Garth of Izar walked into the Observation Room, stopped just inside the door, and assessed possibilities.

There were a handful of people in the room. A man and woman were sharing drinks at a corner table, another couple were gazing into each other’s eyes in a different corner table…. And a woman sat alone at the observation portals in the rear of the room, gazing out into infinite space.

Garth walked over to the drinks dispenser and checked the choices. A variety of soft drinks…no alcohol. Did Kirk run a dry ship, then? Or did he just not allow it in the Observation rooms?

Garth chose two Pepsis… a favorite tipple of his since his Academy days, and then carried the small cups back toward the rear of the room, which was one vast expanse of glass and darkness beyond.

He stopped beside the woman. “May I join you?” he asked.

She looked up at him, and smiled sweetly. “Sure.”

Garth sat down next to her, and held up a glass to her. “I hope you like Pepsi.”

She smiled again, and took it. “Thank you.”

Garth leaned back into the softness of the chair and stared out into the darkness…and at his face, reflected in the glass…it seemed as if his entire face were spread out over the universe…like that of a god.