No, I don't have "Star Trek: Online" on my brain to the point of obsession -- why do you ask?

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Starslip!

(From Starslip! Click on the thumbnail for full sized OH JUST KISS ALREADY!)

I like endings and beginnings. When you hit a resolution that's done well, it perks you up and makes you a happy person. When you launch into a new storyline after a few days of quasi-denoument and one-shot jokes and japes, you can feel the nice, clean potential.

Starslip's at that point right now, as they get ready for a (probably relatively light) storyline following the single most brilliant Science Fiction Move ever done in sequential art, which might also rank up there with literature and movies while we're at it.

Hold on, my hyperbolomatic's running a touch hot. Sorry about that.

Kris Straub, not content with being shockingly good at what he does, has done something that makes Star Trek seem like a piker. Having found a new universe that Deep Time isn't about to blow up real good (and I can't help but think we'll see some kind of return to that situation -- perhaps the Paradigm will encounter a rift in space/time that will let them see what Deep Time has sown for themselves. But it won't happen today if it happens) and setting a new set of ground rules for faster-than-light travel and interstellar government, Kris began to run a more traditional Star Trek parody -- albeit one that was very well realized.

The Paradigm encountered a race they called the Anthelerix Polygmeon -- a race far beyond the technology or even the comprehension of the United Star Configuration. Starcon -- the organization of explorers and mili-- look, it's Starfleet. Okay? It's fucking Starfleet under a different name -- demanded they make peaceful, diplomatic contact with the race... by any means necessary. It took a lot for the crew to even be noticed by the Anthelerix Polygmeon, but when they did the race teleported the Paradigm all the way back to Earth. They wanted to be left alone.

Starcon's generals, however, didn't think "oh, they want to be left alone." They thought "oh my Fucking God these people have the technology to teleport entire starships hundreds of light years with pinpoint precision we totally have to get our hands on that shit make friends with them!"

All right, it's a more realistic version of Starfleet.

So, they sent the Paradigm back out, and this time the ship's protocol officer spent the entire trip learning to say one word-symbol in the Anthelerix's language. He used it as a greeting and was instantly killed in a probe-kind of way (Quine, the officer in question, dies horribly on every mission. He has a thing that makes him better, so, you know. Thing.)

This time, the Anthelerix decide their message wasn't clear enough, so they clarify. By teleporting the Paradigm to Earth, and then teleporting Earth, every planet in the United Star Configuration, and every other planet that the United Star Configuration has had contact with to an entirely different part of the galaxy.

In other words, the USC is still there, all the standard races are familiar... but every other star in the sky is different. In one monumental step, even though everything familiar is still within reach, everything else is a complete unknown.

It's like if Star Trek: Voyager took the basic premise of "a powerful entity decides to yank the ship to the Delta quadrant 70,000 light years from home" but instead of yanking the U.S.S. Voyager, they yank the entire Federation, the Klingons, the Gorn, the Orions, the Romulans, the Cardassians -- Hell, the Ferengi -- into the Delta Quadrant, putting all their planets in exactly the same configuration and the same distance away from each other but otherwise not disturbing the existing framework.

That's utterly brilliant. In one fell swoop, Straub has both wiped the slate clean and created the universe that we used to see in 30's Science Fiction, where we didn't know Jack or Shit about what was out there so it was entirely reasonable to assume Brian Blessed and a legion of winged Brian Blessed wannabes were swooping around shouting "dive!" somewhere over the jungle forests of Titan.

And, after all that, it makes perfect sense that the next storyline involves revisiting the old ship, and revisiting the roots of the strip. When the foundation's been changed, the first thing you do is show how other things have changed along with it. It also gives us an excellent sense chance to see how Vanderbeam and Cutter have changed, both in their relationship with each other and in themselves.

And, most importantly, it gives Vanderbeam a chance to be entirely outraged over silly little shit. And that's always fun.

5 Comments

Man, it's good to have you back.

"Having found a new universe that Deep Time isn't about to blow up real good"

…and switched places with their counterparts from that universe, presumably condemning them to death…

It's weird how Straub will tiptoe up to the implications of the Starshift drive (e.g. Holiday's counterpart's fiancee) and then stop.

Which is not to say I don't enjoy the series and the current plot twist.

Huh, I didn't even think of how the A.P.'s teleportation changed the status quo in the Starslip universe (beyond, of course, all the wonderful new butt-constellations). Of course, before we get any more answers about the changed state of this universe, it looks like we're seeing the return of Obdrath von Lucifuge, the character with a name so wonderful that I can't believe it took me five minutes to remember it. Use that name more, Straub!

Brian Blessed and a legion of winged Brian Blessed wannabes were swooping around shouting "dive!" somewhere over the jungle forests of Titan.

That's not Star Trek, that's Doctor Who.

Paul, I think your fixating on a detail that's not strictly relevant to the point being made.

Besides, it's obviously Flash Gordon.

Logo: Sleeping Snarky

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