Create a short story, set in an established sci-fi/fantasy universe with a character based on yourself as protagonist. Challenge/mock/exploit that universe's staples and tropes to humorous effect.
Established sci-fi universe with plenty of cliches & tropes to mock? There's an obvious way to go with this one!
Space. The Final Frontier.
These are the voyages of the Starship 'Watford Gap.' Its interminable mission - to seek out and map spatial anomalies in sector 826. To boldly stay out of the way, and do as little damage to Star Fleet's reputation as possible.
Captain's Log, Stardate 2416.8. Captain James L. Stuart recording. Following a navigational error, the 'Watford Gap' is drifting dangerously close to Romulan space.
'Ensign Bombshell, Acting Ensign Precocious... can you explain to me WHY we've ended up halfway across the Neutral Zone?"
"I'm so sorry sir... I always did tend to get 6's and 9's mixed up! (giggle)"
"Captain Sir! If you'd only let ME calculate the quadratic B-splines instead, I'm sure I could..."
"Shut up Sidney, or I'll send you back to kindergarten. Ensign Bombshell, I'm putting you on a disciplinary, report to clean my quarters tonight. In the meantime, get us back to where we're supposed to be before..."
"Sir, two Warbirds decloaking, dead ahead!"
"My, now I'm really glad I got out of bed this morning."
"Good to have you with us Doctor Llewellyn. Lt. Woo, raise shields!"
"Ensign Bombshell, put them on screen. Are they hailing us?"
"Negative Captain. Sir, they're opening fire!!"
"Another salvo incoming!"
"Sir, shields at 68%. They're re-charging phaser banks, do we return fire?"
"No, prepare to execute... the J.L. Stuart maneuvre!"
"Do we have to, Jim? I don't think my stomach's recovered from last time yet!"
"Don't worry Doc, I'll send Ensign Bombshell to clean your quarters too."
"Engineering, full power to shields. Ensign, bring us to heading 457... Lt. Woo, prepare to engage the warp engines on my mark."
"3... 2... 1... Engage!"
"And, goodbye Romulans! That's why the 'Watford Gap' is the first ship in the fleet to have 5 warp nacelles..." "Bleeeeurgh..."
"Oh dear. Can we get a mop and bucket up here please?"
Captain's Log, Supplemental. A few hours after our heroic encounter with the Romulan armada, we have resumed our usual task of mapping sector 826.
"Captain, sensors are detecting some highly irregular wave patterns from the region of space ahead. I believe it may be a quantum anomaly in the very fabric of the space-time continuum."
"Really, Mr. Gigabyte. Let's hope it's more useful than the one you found last week. All that did was make all the replicators on the ship produce nothing but Gorgonzola cheese for 3 days."
"Okaaay... so what are we looking at here, Mr. Gigabyte?"
"I do not know, Captain. It would appear that a large area of space as surrounded by overlapping energy spheres that
affect electromagnetic radiation in unpredictable ways. The fields are creating too much interference to determine
their source, but it must be some kind of highly advanced technology. There does appear to be something of significant mass at the centre of the spheres - perhaps a
space station or a small planetoid."
"Can we beam in there?"
"Are you insane, Jim? We'd probably end up splattered halfway across the Alpha quadrant!"
"The good Doctor's analysis, while crude, is correct, Captain. The energy fields would interfere fatally with transporters, and at close proximity may cause our warp engines to explode. However, I believe physical penetration should be possible in a shuttlecraft."
"Fair enough. Doc, Mr. Gigabyte, you're with me. Have the duty security officer meet us in shuttle bay 2. Lt. Woo, you have the bridge."
"Aye aye sir!"
"I have a strong feeling I'm going to regret this."
"We're off to see the wizard, the wonderful wizard of Oz..."
"Do you have to, Jim?"
"Is this your first away team, Ensign Barto?"
"Jolly good, just follow my lead, I'm sure everything'll be fine... let's take a closer
look at this thing."
"What do you think, Mr. Gigabyte? Can we pass through the spheres?"
"I am detecting no immediate danger, Captain. However, the readings from the fields
are unlike anything we have encountered before. I cannot rule out that they may
have some unexpected effects."
"Here goes nothing then... take us in, Mr. Gigabyte."
"Yes Captain. We'll be entering the first energy field in 5 seconds... 3, 2, 1,..."
"Well THAT sure felt strange."
"Strange? It felt like my intestines were just turned inside out!
Are you sure we shouldn't just head back to the ship, Jim?"
"Unfortunately, Doctor, that is not an option."
"What do you mean, you pink-fleshed freak?"
"I mean that, our controls appear to have turned into vegetables, and we
are locked on our current course. We'll enter the next energy field shortly."
"What the Sam Hill just happened??"
"Curious. The energy fields seem to cause local alterations in the nature of reality -
reality bubbles, if you will. Hence our apparent ability to fly through space on a
magic carpet. The effects of the bubbles are evidently growing more severe as we
approach the epicentre. However, I think it is encouraging that we are still alive."
"What?? How is that supposed to make me feel better?
"These reality bubbles were created by technology far in advance of our own. If the owners wanted to kill us, we would already be dead."
"Well of all the..."
"Calm down, Doc! We'll get through this, as long as we all just keep our heads."
"You had to say that didn't you?"
"Well, thank goodness that's over with."
"Yes, Captain. We have reached the centre of the reality bubbles. And they originate from that space station. It appears to be ancient, and of unknown alien design."
"They certainly like cubes. Always a sign of a friendly and rational culture, in my book."
"Be that as it may, Captain, there appears to be a landing bay. Shall I take us in?"
"Make it so, Mr. Gigabyte."
"The atmosphere in the space station is breatheable, Captain."
"Thank you Mr. Gigabyte. Doc, let's get tooled up!"
"Er, excuse me, Sir... don't Star Fleet regulations state that when making first contact with unknown aliens, officers should wear nothing but a thin polyester uniform, to avoid giving an impression of hostility?"
"That's right Ensign..."
"...that's why you're going first!"
TO BE CONTINUED.....
What is the secret of the mysterious space station? What's in Doctor Llewellyn's haversack? And will Ensign Barto survive? Find out in the next episode of Star Trek: TNVoDSE!
Fourth wall: okay, sorry for the cliffhanger, I rather underestimated the time it would take to do what I originally envisaged on this one. I have the rest of the story planned out, but didn't manage to fit it into the contest timeframe!
Working on this has further increased my respect for MOCcers like Ludgonious and El Barto, who in my opinion do the best examples of this kind of story on the pages. Thanks for your inspiration guys.
Thanks also to Yuri, for setting up the contest - as a 5 year veteran who puts a lot of effort into encouraging other builders, I hope you've enjoyed our efforts to match the fun & challenging themes you've set us. And thanks too to Matt, my talented and thoroughly deserving final opponent. Knowing I was up against a builder as prolific and talented as you certainly made me push my boundaries. Whichever way this goes, I look forward to competing with or against you in the future!
wow, this is exactly what i always think about in star trek, if the flagship the Enterprise, has as many issues as it does. then i can only imagine what all of the other ships are dealing with! the Shuttle is brilliant one of the best scale models I've seen. and the mini ship! brilliant use of the alien pods, never thought I'd see a good use for those beyond holding the aliens! story was great too found myself wanting to see the ending and very engaged in the story. which is something that stories presented this way don't often achieve (for me) very well done! Now hurry and give us the conclusion!
Oh my, Stu, there are so many funny lines and scenes in this! And the colors just made me smile the whole time I was viewing! The poses of the crew as the ship bounces are perfect! And those 2 scenes involving the transitions in reality are hilarious. I love the toilet and the heads! And do I detect some Galaxy Quest references with the kid and the bombshell? Just Fabulous! Best of Luck!
Absolutely insane fun! Send the red shirt in first = pure love. All the Trek references are splendid especially ensign Precocious and Bombshell. Classic! Have to say my favorite is the crew falling from side to side with the barrage. I still laugh at that in the shows, thank you for including that fine staple, just wouldn't be Trek without it. XD The builds are perfect and to be honest, I really want to see their further adventures, these guys are truly nutty. That shuttle really turned out great even as a flying carpet. Best of luck to you as well. Awesome!