Tuesday, March 7, 2017

The Moxie Pod, Webisode 15: Shore Leave

Having an Episode: Shore Leave

You are never going to believe this one. Where do I start.

Well, first of all, everyone on the ship was on edge. After the wedding fiasco and that kerfuffle along the neutral zone everyone was just exhausted. And before that we had that mass murdering troupe of actors on board. Oh and even before that Spock's mutiny for Pike and a near ship-wide death penalty panic, preceded by "death by Balok", insane prisoners, ancient children with horrible contagious diseases, android doppelgangers, beauties hopped up on Venus drug, evil doppelgangers, highly contagious drunken space madness, god-like former collegues acting like murderous asses, god-like adolescents removing people's mouths and what not, oh and let's not forget salt vampire doppelgangers. Whew! We certainly were due for a break. Dr. McCoy even told Kirk that some of the more fatigued members of the crew were showing early warning signs of garden variety space madness. And even though that is not nearly as bad as highly contagious drunken space madness, it is still something to be avoided, and easily avoided it is. The Doctor ordered R&R for one and all.

We found the perfect planet for it, this verdant little gem with no animal life to bother (or eat) us. Well, for some reason the captain wanted to do this by the book. I think he's a little gun shy what with all the brushes with death we've had lately, so he sent down a little landing party to check out the place and make sure there were no surprises waiting for us--strictly routine. Well, we were not on the original list, but Dr. McCoy owes me some poker money so convincing him to include Janice and I was really quite simple. What better way to get a jump on the R&R?

Ah, my dear friend Janice! She is, as you know, leaving us. This will be her last week on the Enterprise and she is more than a little down. I don't think she's cut out for deep space exploration. Barrows has already taken over as the Captain's primary yeoman. That Tonia Barrows, why she is something else! She's not one of the Starfleet career girls like me or Uhura. She one of those who joined the fleet to obtain the rank of Mrs. And let me tell you, she's zipping up the ranks! She's got her eye on our good doctor right now, but before it's all over she'll be an admiral's wife as sure as a Vulcan has pointy ears. She does have beautiful hair. I styled it in a lovely flip right before the landing party beamed down.

"boy, do I need a drink!"
The landing party consisted of Bones, Sulu, Maritine, and Rodriguez. Of course you've heard me go on and on about Bones and Sulu. Martine, of course is Angela Martine, our own grieving little almost bride, robbed of the comfort of being a starfleet widow. Bless her heart. The up side is that she's Alvian, so her sorrow is numbed by the holy whiskey of Lord Alvis. Estaban Rodriguez I know little about. I've always seen him as a bore to be avoided. He's always talking about war this and war that. His knowledge of World War II weapon's and tactics is amazing and amazingly boring. Why he could put an insomniac hummingbird on stimulants to sleep with five minutes of his conversation! Oh, but that isn't very kind of me. Anyhoo, Janice and I joined the other four with no intention of doing any kind of work. I just wanted some girlfriend time before she left us. So, as soon as we hit the ground we put some distance between ourselves and the others.

We walked around a little lake and Janice started telling me something about how she always wanted to learn to tag, you know, to spray paint her signature on buildings, she always wanted to be a graffiti artist. I gave her a dumb look. "What in heavens are you going on about!"

"Well," she said, "I was just thinking about it when I noticed there was a can of red spray paint on the ground by that tree."

A Khan man with a flowered tattoo
Of course we both thought it odd, but we were just out to have a good time so I encouraged Janice to have a go at it. Well, she picked up that red can of paint and did the absolute worst job of tagging a tree that ever there was. She tried again on some banana trees but by then we were both giggling so hard she couldn't hold the can upright. "Oh well," she said, "I guess I can mark that off my list of things to do!"

We continued around the lake, and, as we often do, chatted like a couple of school girls. We talked about how this place was like an island paradise. We were half listening to each other and just gabbing about what our recent intrests. I was telling her something that I'd been reading about Khan Noonian Singh and she was telling me something she had been watching, I wasn't really listening so all I can remember is that it was something about 20th century television and tattoos. Well, we rounded a corner in the path we were on and there among the palm fronds stood two men in white suits. One was a dashing older gentleman whom I'm sure I must have met before. The other was a tiny little fellow.

They were standing a few feet away and I heard the little one say "Who's that boss?" and the bigger guy said "Oh that my friend is a middle-aged love sick hairdresser and her brokenhearted friend." As we got closer he said "Welcome, Welcome to Fantasy Island. I am your host, Mr...."

I didn't catch his name because about that time my attention was diverted by a 6 foot bunny carrying a pocket watch and wearing a waste coat followed by a little girl. They marched off to the left of us and were swallowed by a hole in the ground. Janice and I ran after them but there was no trace of even the hole where they had disappeared! When we turned back the man in white and his little friend were gone.

Janice and I gave each other a puzzled look but didn't have much time to speak as our thoughts were interrupted by four loud bangs! Being a science officer I fell flat upon the ground as I was trained. Janice, of course, having been trained as command remained bolt upright. I pulled her down next to me and told her to be quiet. After a few minutes we decided to stand up and assess the situation and as soon as we did we heard a woman's blood curdling scream. We ran for the trees. Once we got to cover I realized that I'd lost my communicator somewhere, probably while lying on the ground.

"Janice, give me your communicator." I said.

"Um, I didn't bring it." she said.

"You what?"

"Well, there aren't any pockets in this thing and you said 'There's no animal life, so what could possibly go wrong. Let's just go and lay in the grass and look at the clouds' you said. 'I'll make sure we get in the landing party.' you said."

I was about ready to throttle Janice.

"You bird brained idiot!" I yelled. "I bet you've got a whole flock of geese in that head of yours where your brain should be!" Just then a whole flock of geese flew over our heads making all kinds of noise.

We were so startled we jumped together and grabbed hold of each other. We couldn't help but laugh at how stupid we were being and how strange things were becoming all around us. We decided we better find the rest of the landing party as soon as possible by making our way back to the glade where we landed.

Well, before you could say "boo", we ran into an old nemisis of mine named Ruth. She just appeared out of nowhere! There she stood, looking as stunning as ever with that sly smile on her face. Her blonde hair piled on her head was as enticing as cinnamon buns in a basket. She wore that black and white number that she had designed herself for the cover of Earth Vogue. Her shoes were mismatched, one black one white--mismatched shoes had always been her signature. How ridiculous is that? And oh how I hated those shoes!

"You head on to the glade, Janice." I'll be right behind. Janice must have known by the set of my jaw that I wasn't to be argued with because she only hesitated a moment before continuing on.

"My dear Moxie. You haven't aged a day." Ruth paused, "Not one day; it's more like 30 years."

"Oh yeah," I said. I couldn't think of anything witty to say so I jumped her. It's like I'm always telling everyone, If you've got some ass to kick, shut the hell up and kick some ass. When your done you can get snappy with the small talk and the tag lines but don't let them get the upper hand by blathering on and on.

So, we wrestled to the ground. She had me in a head lock but I got away. I tried some of those flying kicks and shoulder rolls that Jim is always trying to show me but my hair just got in the way. Ruth grabbed me by my hair and threw me to the ground. Enough was enough, but when I got up she was gone.

Standing in front of me was Finnegan! He was one of my beau's at the academy. He looked so young and handsome. He said, "Moxie Anne, as I live and breathe!" in that Irish accent of his. "I had hoped I'd meet you here." Well, just like fighting, if you've got something to do go at it and save the words for later. Before I knew it Finnegan held me in his arms. He dipped me low and planted a passionate kiss on my lips. I closed my eyes enjoying the moment. I opened them just in time to see Ruth's balled up fist before it knocked me from Finnegan's arms to the ground.

I was awakened by 3 loud bangs! I don't know how long I was out, but when I woke up, my head was in Janice's lap and she was stroking my hair. "Oh, Moxie! Thank heaven's you're ok." Janice had only gone as far as the trees where she had watched the whole scene. Apparently, once I passed out Ruth and Finnegan had both wandered off. Janice had then swooped in to save me. I assured her I was ok. I wiped the blood from the corner of my lip on the sleeve of my uniform. That's when I noticed that my dress was ripped at the right shoulder, a particularly week area in these uniforms for some reason.

Whatever you wear, wear it well
"I do wish I had something less drafty to wear" I said.

"Like what?" Janice asked.

"Oh, I don't know!" I was just about at the end of my patience, "A gorilla suit for all I care!"

Wouldn't you know it. Just as we stood up and headed for the glade we noticed a gorilla suit hanging from a branch.

I, of course, put the suit on. After I'd just been so snippy with Janice I almost felt I had to. At least it cheered her up a little bit, and me too for that matter.

"Janice, I've got an idea about what's going on" I said. "When I say 'now' I want you to say whatever pops into your head and concentrate on imagining that thing. Ok?" She shook her head in agreement.

be careful what you wish for
"NOW!" I said.

Well Janice blurted out "homicidal robot cowboy" and I shouted "Rama IV, King Mongkut of Siam, fourth ruler of the Chakri dynasty!"

"Oh Janice!" I said, "Did it have to be something deadly!"

Nothing happened at first but then out of nowhere an amalgam of what we'd just said appeared! I told Janice to run for the bushes as I stood resolute, facing the Royal Thai cowboy as he drew his guns and pointed them directly at us. My mind raced. It looked like it was just the king and I and only one of us could survive. But before he could fire, he was shot down by a WWII flying machine.

"Thank the gods! Rodriguez must be close by." I said. "Who would have thought we'd be saved by his tedious knowledge of World War II?"

Once the flying machines had disappeared on the horizon, we continued on and almost immediately found Angela lying at the base of a tree with Rodriguez standing over her. We just about scared him to death until I took the head off that gorilla suit and convinced him it was, indeed, me. We were very concerned about Angela, but he assured us she was alright, just drunk. He said she'd been thinking of whiskey all day and she kept finding shots of it every time they turned around! We decided it best for Janice and I to wait with Angela and for Rodriguez to try and find the rest of the landing party.

I told Janice I thought it would be best if we hid in some bushes while we waited. We dragged Angela into the bushes with us. That turned out to be a really good idea. While we waited a veritable parade passed us by. First there was the giant rabbit followed by the little girl followed by the handsome man in white. The little fellow in white was running behind trying to keep up. Next came a samurai riding a tiger followed by an army of Don Juans. Waddling behind all of this was our little flock of geese. I was not amused though cute they were bringing up the rear.

Once the parade was out of sight, we roused Angela. I wasn't willing to wait here any longer, what with Rand's homicidal imagination on the loose. The three of us headed to the glade. Just as we got there we saw Kirk heading off into the bushes with Ruth. Everyone was there and everyone was ok. I might add there were also two stunning showgirls in brightly colored fur bikini's and some old man in a mumu. Spock and the old man explained everything to us. Something about higher life forms and Micky Mouse. I'm not going to go into the details, you can cross reference this with the captain's log if you want to know more. All I know is that we could have our hearts desire, just for the wishing. Suffice it to say, Janice and I wished for something more suitable to wear, got changed, and headed back to where we'd met the older gentlemen and his diminutive companion in their nice white suits. We were going to wish us up a five star spa, a wave pool and a dozen or so pool boys of various colors and shades in brightly colored fur bikinis of their very own! The rest? Well, let's just say, what happens on shore leave doesn't leave the shore! *wink wink*

"Do you have this one with pointy ears who prefers straight gentlemen?"

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Having an Episode: Balance of Terror

The wedding day is here! The wedding day is here! I'm so excited. We haven't had a wedding on this ship in, oh, well never! And it is sooooo needed; after all, morale on this spaceboat is about as low as the captain's standards in women! Robert and Angela are such a lovely couple. They met right here on our little love boat. They are both weapons specialists working in phaser control. They got to know each other in those long hours when there was absolutely no one out here to shoot at and realized that they were just meant to be together. I have never seen a couple so blessed by destiny. It's as if the universe itself existed only to bring them together as one.

The wedding is going to take place today in the ship's chapel (and I ain't talking about the nurse-BaZing!). We almost never use that room, what with almost everyone on the ship being post-theists. Why, here in the 23rd century strong religious belief is largely a thing of the past as everyone simply loves one another (sometimes with abandon!)--excluding, of course, Klingons and Romulans; they simply don't appreciate life the way we do. Anyhoo, there are a number of religious people on board the Enterprise. The bride being among them.

"Alvis, my Lord, is big, pistols waving" (thanks to JoeAdonis at deviant art for the pic!)

Angela Martine, our young bride, is an Alvian--you know one of those latter day followers of Alvis. As religions go it's fairly new--really only took off in those undersea labs in the 21st century. Well, Angela really wanted to have a traditional Alvian wedding followed by an Alvian hootenanny reception, full of ham and liquor and pomp. Since we have so few weddings the captain agreed and as the ships rec officer I naturally took over the planning. I did manage to convince Angela to abandon the traditional Alvian vows. (Who wants to hear the groom promise to never pistol whip the bride--I mean, who uses a pistol anymore? Or the bride promise, and I quote "Nay, I shall never smite thee upside yer no-good head with a cast iron skillet, unless commanded by the Lord! Nay indeed, I even spit upon the prospect!") They are going to write their own vows, which should be fine. Robert isn't Alvian and I really think Angela is only a high holy day Alvian anyway. She certainly doesn't drink enough to be an Alvian fundamentalist.

So, back to the wedding! Mr. Scott has been so involved in everything. Both Angela and Robert see Mr. Scott as their engineering mentor. Angela also likes him because he likes a good drink! (No, it's not that our young bride is blushing, she, like all Alvians, keeps her sacred hip flask on her at all times.) Angela asked Mr. Scott to give her away and he's absolutely beside himself with pride! He's also been very helpful in getting the chapel ready for the wedding (And I don't mean our dear nurse--BaZing!). He set up the camera from an old mars rover we had on board so that everyone could watch the ceremony. (Biggest lens you ever saw! High magnification capablilities! Why, you can see every follicle in the brides head, one at a time! Which I certainly took into account when styling her do.) Mr. Scott also helped me change the light settings in the hall from "Fuscia" to "Stained-glass" so we could have more of a religious look. I just love stained glass, don't you? And there is no better place for it than a spaceship!

Even though she is leaving soon, Rand is helping out with the wedding. She's going to light the "Blazin' Candelabra of Lord Alvis."  We rewove her hair just for the occasion. I even suggested she borrow my dress tricorder to wear to the service; it just looks so lovely on her and gives her an air of authority.

I have repeatedly told the ladies not to sleep in their uniforms.
The maid of honor looks lovely--her hair looked so wonderful just out of the curlers that she wouldn't even let me comb it out! As for the bride, well, I never go into space without my own personal protein replicator--not all of them have a marabou feather setting, which is absurd, should be a factory standard; A twenty-third century lady who is further than an over night express package delivery from a reliable source of marabou feathers can hardly call herself civilized. Using marabou feathers as decoration is really what separates us from lower beasts. Anyhoo, that is exactly what we gilded this lily with--white marabou wedding feathers! It was either that or replicated polar bear fur and that would have just been silly!

Enough for now. I've got to run off to the wedding. I'm already late----What's that sound?

Hell's bells! The dream of a white wedding gave way to a ship-wide red alert. Everyone was hustled back to their posts. The captain came on the com to let us know how serious things were. The outposts monitoring the Romulan Neutral Zone had been attacked. We can, for no reason, violate the neutral zone and the captain made clear that our lives were on the line. We were called to battle stations. During ship-wide red alert, all non-essential personnel; you know, cooks, custodial staff, hair dressers; are required to remain either in their cabins, in the rec rooms, or in the gym or bowling alley. We may be called at anytime during red alert to assist medical, engineering or, of course, to evacuate the ship. I grabbed Tina and Rand and my portable manicure kit and we headed for the captain's quarters. His com-screen is directly linked to the bridge. We could pass the time there and be on top of anything that might happen.

We got to his cabin just in time to see outpost four disintegrated! We were stunned. "Do you think it was the Romulans?" Janice asked.

"It certainly wasn't one of our vessels. I've never seen a ship like that." I told her. "What color do you want your nails."

"Oh, do you think red is too much with my red uniform?"

"Probably", I said. "You know, we have no idea what those Romulans look like, they could be right here on this ship." Rand and I looked at Tina who had been awfully silent through this whole conversation.

I went over to the captain's computer and pulled up an amateur sketch that dated from the time of the Romulan Wars. This sketch came from the description of the one human ever to see a Romulan. With his last breath he described what he had seen and someone had the good sense to make a quick sketch. (Actually, his last words have always been somewhat cryptic. Just before he crossed the veil he said "I want to know where the gold at." What could he have meant?)

Looking at the sketch I said, "Well, all this tells us is that they have two eyes and they wear hats....or they have strange growths on their heads."

The only known depiction of a Romulan at the time of our encounter

Just then we started receiving a transmission from the bridge. "What's this then." Janice asked. It didn't appear to be on our ship although everything was bathed in a fuchsia light.

"Merciful Zeus," I said, searching through my mind for who this guy reminded me of, "he looks just like..." I stopped myself before the name could leave my lips. The three of us just stared at each other. I'm sure they thought I meant to say what they were thinking: "He looks just like a Vulcan!" But, no, I was thinking the commander looked just like Ambassador Sarek, Spock's father! Yes, it's true, the Romulans look just like the Vulcans and, what's worse, this one looks just like Spock's daddy! I knew him back in the days when I was a docent at the Alien Anthropology Museum in San Francisco. (You can read more about that here.)

Well, the three of us stayed in the captain's quarters and did each others nails. I got Janice to paint mine. Tina was in such a state that she'd have lacquered all the way up to my elbows with her shaky hands. We didn't talk much. The threat of death was enough to make even a good manicure seem pointless; but of course it wasn't. If you're gonna go you want your nails to look good. If you're buried and your not dead not only can strong nails help you claw your way out of the casket, but you'll look classy doing it. Anyhoo, at least the ship remained steady through the process. Janice left us for the bridge and Tina wanted to go down to the rec room to tell everyone what she had seen.

I didn't know what to do. Should I go to the bridge and tell the captain that the Romulan commander not only looked like a Vulcan but he looked exactly like Spock's father? It had to be just an incredible coincidence. Sarek was such a lovely man. You know, he married an earth woman and no common one at that. She used to volunteer as a docent at the Alien Anthropology Museum so we'd often lunch together and that's how I got to know them both. Oh the stories she would tell about her years on Vulcan. She'd say "Kitten, Love always trumps logic." That's what she called me, Kitten. We grew to be such good friends.

The ship started bouncing all over the place so I decided I'd just go to my cabin and and strap myself to my bed. I needed to put on some false eyelashes and dab some color on my lids anyway. If anyone was going to find my cold dead body floating in the debris of the Enterprise here along the neutral zone, by God, they were going to find old Moxie floatin' in a cloud of glitter looking like a living glamour shot photograph of a supermodel angel.

I am soooooo bored. Who knew instant death could take so long. I just wish we would all die or that we could continue with our little wedding. I mean, I can only read hair magazines for so long. If I'm not frozen by the void of space soon, I'm going to have to shower and start with a clean canvas.  I'm heading back to the captain's cabin to see if I can pick up on what's going on on the bridge.


Ok. At least now something is happening. We've moved in on the disabled Romulan's. I got to the captain's cabin just in time to watch the Romulan commander blow up his own ship; so it's all over. Unless, of course, there's a flock of invisible warbirds heading our way. Spock, as it turns out, has saved us all. All except our, groom, Robert Tomlinson. . I don't really know the details. Something about noxious fuchsia phaser fumes (NFP), yet another of the thousand ways to die in space. I wonder if Spock realized the irony of killing a man who looked just like his father. Boy is this ship just becoming one big Shakespeare play, or what? Oh and not one of the funny ones either.

So here we are. All alone out by the neutral zone. We've got a ghost on board (remember, last time I told you about Karidian and that traveling actor troupe). Janice is leaving us. The universe has denied our celebration of love and our chapel will go unused (and no, I don't even get any pleasure in pointing out that by "chapel" I don't mean our dear nurse. *sigh* not even a BaZing can lift my spirits). Why I doubt that even replicated marabou can make this mess any better. Prettier and more civilized, yes of course, but better, I'm just not so sure.

Poor Angela, she can't even retire to the Alvian widows feed-store gun commune at Old Fort Klugman now since she didn't actually marry. I suppose she does have the comfort of whiskey and the loving embrace of ham to help her through this sad time. Oh, and of course revenge, best served cold like so many uneaten replicated wedding shrimp cocktails. Oh well, this will certainly test her faith. We'd better keep the fire arms from her until she gets a little better.

Anyhoo, it just goes to show you. What, I'll never know, but it sure does show you. Anyhoo, I'm taking the wedding cake back to my quarters so no one has to look at it.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015


Not much going on here at the moment, but my comic, TALES FROM SALONBAY, just went weekly. Check it out!