Wednesday, December 6, 2017

"The Trek Tower, Part 1" or: A plot summary for some really bad fan-fiction

Strange ideas pop into my head sometimes.  I'm not alone in that, of course.  But recently, when a series of Star Trek-themed Stephen King crossovers began popping into my head, I found myself wondering if I could possibly be more THAT GUY than I already am.
  
The answer is: oh, sure, you bet I could.
  
I could write the shit down.
  
I don't have the energy or time to actually do that, but I could always vomit up a bunch of ones and zeros that take the shape of bulletpoints toward a plot summary for what such an inane "story" might be like.
  
Let's have a looksee at the outcome:
  
  • So, as it turns out, the Tet Corporation is a big company.  Google-sized big, maybe?  Probably a lot larger than that, even.  Well, we already know they have agents who are tasked with assisting Roland and his ka-tet along their way to the Tower.  Let's be honest: how helpful have these schmoes actually been?
  • That's the question one low-level staff member begins asking himself one day while working there.  He's not one of the heavy-hitters -- the techs who spend their days reading the books and stories of Stephen King looking for ways to be useful -- but is a low-level functionary of some sort.  He thinks he can do more, though, and begins trying to figure out how to use the portals that are on an upper level of the building.  (Floor 19?  Nah, I think that's too lame.  Let's say it's floor 42.  Also lame, but more obscure.)
  • He's successful in infiltrating that floor, and uses a portal to actually visit the Dark Tower.  He evades the grenades the Crimson King lobs at him, and goes inside.  There are three doors, which have the following symbols on them, with the following words atop the doors:


PROGRESS



REGRESS

INGRESS


  • He feels as if a couple of them are symbols he's seen before, put he can't immediately place their meaning.  He decides to go through the door labelled PROGRESS, and finds himself standing on the bridge of the U.S.S. Enterprise, NCC-1701.  Initially, nobody sees him; he simply pops into being in front of the rear turbolift doors, and is unobserved by the busy crew.  He immediately recognizes his location, and blurts out, "What the fuck?!?"  Captain James Tiberius Kirk turns to look at him, startled.
 
 
I know, I know; that's not the bridge.  Please do not write in with a correction.

  • By the way, this is the Enterprise of the animated series.  Nobody will appear animated, though; these are "real" people (including Lieutenants Arex and M'Ress).  Now, you might surmise that this is a ploy to get rid of Ensign Chekov, who does not appear on the animated series, but no sir, he'll be there, too.  If I remember to put him in.  No guarantees.
  • Our hero needs a name, doesn't he?  Hey, who says he has to be a "he"?  Fuck that, the hero of this crossover mega-spectacular is a charming young woman named ... uh ... let's call her ... Isabelle Cameron; Izzy for short.  FYI, I stole those names from two characters Mackenzie Davis has played, and yeah, Izzy looks just like Mackenzie Davis in my mind.  I like Mackenzie Davis, just so you know.  After all, this IS fan-fic.
 
 
Here are photos of Mackenzie Davis, who should in no way feel creeped out by my attentions to her during the course of this post:
 
 


from Blade Runner 2049 (specifically, from a scene that may be one of the best uses of CGI ever committed to cinema)

more Blade Runner 2049

from "San Junipero," a Black Mirror episode that may be one of my favorite things ever
  
   
Anyways, Izzy looks kinda like that, by which I mean the last one, where Davis is playing a character named Yorkie. 

  • Izzy gets taken to the briefing room, where the series regulars ship's senior staff plies her for information.  Kirk refuses to believe her story about them all being fictional characters (and refuses to believe that the "fiction" of twentieth-century author Stephen King is a reality), but Spock insists that quantum theory does permit for such a potentiality.  He reminds Kirk that they have some personal experience with parallel-universe issues.  (Somewhere in here, Chekov probably makes a crack about King being the most famous Russian author of the era.)
  • Izzy is still able to see the door back to the Tower; it is always behind her, and she can turn and look at it, but is reluctant to go through.  Nobody else can see it, until she takes Kirk by the hand, at which point he sees it too.  He insists that there is nothing they can do to help, however; the "beam quakes" Izzy says are harbingers of the Tower's destruction do not exist in their universe, meaning that the Tower does not exist, either.  And the Prime Directive prevents them from helping, anyways.  (I think Kirk just makes this shit up when he feels like getting out of something.)
  • Once again, Spock expresses doubt as to the thing Kirk is sure of.  He speculates that, based on what Izzy has said about the Tower not taking the same form in all universes, there could be an equivalent somewhere in theirs.  He suggests that the Guardian of Forever might be able to tell them where it is; if it is.
  • They go to the homeworld of the Guardian of Forever, and it tells them what they need to know: THE TOWER STANDS IN ALL UNIVERSES, AT ALL TIMES, SO LONG AS IT IS THREATENED.  Kirk is confused by the seeming paradox in the Guardian's words, and asks for clarification, but the Guardian is silent.  Izzy asks, "Guardian, on what planet in this universe does the Tower reside?"  The Guardian answers by turning its display on: it shows images of Talos IV, and of Vina, a broken young woman who does not show she is broken. 
 
 
  

  • "THE TOWER STANDS," booms the Guardian.  "ON THIS LEVEL IT IS ... PROTECTED.  ON ALL LEVELS, IT IS PROTECTED.  ON YOUR LEVEL, ISABELLE CAMERON, IT IS THREATENED."  Izzy is confused by this; even Spock hoists a quizzical eyebrow.  "IF IT SHOULD FALL THERE, THIS UNIVERSE WILL FALL; THE BARRIERS BETWEEN GALAXIES WILL ERODE.  THAT WHICH IS OUTSIDE WILL BE OUTSIDE NO LONGER.  THE Q HOLD THE BARRIERS IN PLACE.  THE Q DRAW THEIR STRENGTH FROM THE TOWER.  IF THE TOWER FALLS, THE Q FALL.  IF THE Q FALL, THE BARRIERS FALL.  IF THE BARRIERS FALL, THE OUTSIDERS RISE."
  • The guardian then goes silent and dark, and Lieutenant Uhura begins weeping.  Kirk, concerned, takes her gently by the shoulders and asks her what the matter is.  "I don't know, Captain," she answers; "I suddenly felt a wave of emotion like nothing I've ever experienced."  Everyone returns to the Enterprise, unsettled.
  • While they've been gone, Scotty has been scanning Izzy to try to get a fix of some sort on the door through which she came, and he's finally succeeded.  He runs a technobabble babbledybabble scan, and then uses a wide-range gobbledygook beam to cause the door to be both visible and physically present in their reality.  It still shows an exit to the interior of the Tower, but no longer follows Izzy.  Spock has been conducting his own tests, and announces that he believe the door could be transported into outer space.  He theorizes that certain readings on the blarney-hokum spectrum indicate that its size is variable, and that if it were to be placed in the path of the ship itself, the Enterprise could pass through it, into the Tower itself.
  • Izzy is alarmed, worried that the size of the ship might damage the Tower from the inside, but Spock theorizes that since the Tower itself is apparently infinitely large -- and that its size adjusts to the experience of the person or persons inside it -- it would not be possible for the Tower to be harmed.  McCoy is unreasonably angered by all of this, and tries to bait Spock in some way.  
 
 
  

  • Kirk tells them both to calm down, and decides to leave the decision up to Izzy.  She decides to follow Spock's advice.
  • They beam the door out into space, and sure enough, it materializes at a sufficient size that the ship is able to fly right through it.  It arrives inside a Tower that is much larger than it had been when Izzy was there previously.  The Enterprise finds itself more or less docked in place, and -- V'Ger style (though they have not yet experienced V'Ger) -- the away team is able to walk out of the saucer section onto the floor of the Tower where Izzy chose which door to go through.  The "PROGRESS" door (as well as the other two) remains present, but they are all ship-sized.  The PROGRESS door remains open, showing the orbit around the planet of the Guardian of Forever.
  • Spock, who has stayed onboard to conduct extensive scans, reports that some of the ship's systems seem to be affected.  The communications systems are now able to transmit messages across the expanse of space and time and, seemingly, reality; the transporters are similarly able to function in a manner similar to the portals through which Izzy came to Mid-World via the Tet Corporation.
  • "Well," says Kirk, at something of a charmed loss, "we're here.  How can we help?"
 
 


Moving on, shit begins to get real.
  • Izzy produces some sort of device that contains her off-the-books research for the Tet Corporation.  She believes the key to preventing the fall of the Tower is preventing it from ever having been attacked.  This means the destruction of the Crimson King and the other beings from the Prim.  She does not believe Roland and his ka-tet can accomplish this alone; they will need an army, and she believes that army must be drawn from the "stories" of Stephen King.
  • She believes the first "story" they should begin with is the story of Carrietta White, a lonely teenage girl who was born with telekinetic abilities that became heightened at the onset of puberty.  Kirk ruefully admits that his crew has had experience with telekinetic teenagers, and tells Izzy the story of Charlie Evans.
  • Kirk uses the transporter to beam with Izzy into Chamberlain, Maine one week prior to the fateful prom.  They get jobs as substitute teachers, and observe one night as Chris Hargensen and Billy Nolan plant the pail of pig's blood.  Kirk swaps the bucket out for a plastic one full of glitter and confetti.  
  • Prom night arrives, and Carrie and Tommy are elected king and queen.  
  • Much to their disappointment, Chris and Billy are able only to add to the jubilation, and they slink away, defeated.  
  • Izzy thinks that in this new timeline, Carrie and Tommy will go to get burgers after the prom, which theoretically buys them some time.  She and Kirk go to the Carrie's home, to wait for the teens.  (Does that make any sense?  Nope.  But it's the kind of thing you'd get in a mediocre screenplay, so I figure why not.)  They convince Margaret to let them inside.  Kirk gives her a speech about how religion should be a tool for love and acceptance, not one of fear and hatred.  Margaret tries to stab him, but Izzy shoves him out of the way and takes very nearly the full brunt of the blade.  She is badly hurt, and Kirk is unable to get to her while he is wrestling with Margaret.  
  • By this time, Carrie and Tommy have arrived on the scene.  Carrie telekinetically pins her mother in place, and Tommy is shellshocked by the presence of what appears to be William Shatner standing in front of him.  Kirk uses his communicator to call McCoy, who beams "down" (it's less down than it is ... through?) and assesses Izzy's condition.  "She'll live, but I've got to get her back to sickbay," he snaps, and the two of them transport away.  
  • Tommy is further shellshocked to realize that it's not William Shatner he's seeing; it's somehow Captain Kirk himself!  Margaret is also shellshocked.  She believes she is seeing angels, and tearfully begins making a prayer for forgiveness for her actions.  Carrie wants to know who Kirk is and why he is in her house.  He begins walking toward her, smiling, and she holds him in place.  But he is able to convince her that he means neither her nor her mother any harm, and she releases him.  Tommy, awestruck, tells her who Kirk is, and asks him how it is possible that he can be there.  This all leads to Kirk fretting over how to best resolve the situation.  
  • By this time, Spock has arrived, and Margaret, seeing him, lets out a wail of terror, believing that she is seeing a demon in league with the angels.  Spock hoists an eyebrow, goes to Margaret, and mind-melds with her; "forget," he enjoins her, "and judge not."  Spock recommends that Tommy be similarly mind-melded into forgetfulness, but Tommy says he can keep quiet.  And when he hears that Carrie is going with Kirk and Spock, he asks if he can go, too; he always wanted out of Chamberlain, and the future is even better than college.  
  • Back aboard the Enterprise, Izzy is recovering, and Carrie feels a presence -- perhaps the Tower itself -- in her mind.  It both reassures and terrifies her, but she seems to understand that whatever it is, it is necessary.  She and Tommy hold hands while McCoy runs a few last tests on Izzy, who tells them about the novel Carrie and how sad it always made her.  Now, the two of them have a chance to live, and to love, and to serve the Beam.  All is well, but when Carrie is alone, she screams in fury, and the doors to her quarters buckle outward ... and finally tear open.  For her, the danger may not yet be fully past.
 
Thus ends the first part.  Here's the on-the-next-episode commercial:
  • The Enterprise receives a hail -- from the Tet Corporation.  Izzy's boss, as well as the Corporation in general, have discovered what is happening, and are attempting to intercede.  But the doors and portals have all ceased to function; the Tower is blocking them from accessing it.  Scotty beams whoever this boss is aboard, and the boss tells them what he thinks the next mission should be: a trip to a different town in Maine, called Jerusalem's Lot, where a priest's damnation needs to be ensured.
 

 
I couldn't agree more, Mr. Spock.

8 comments:

  1. (1) "McCoy is unreasonably angered by all of this, and tries to bait Spock in some way." This into that screencap really cracked me up.

    (2) "Tommy is shellshocked by the presence of what appears to be William Shatner standing in front of him." It's quite understandable.

    (3) "Tommy is further shellshocked to realize that it's not William Shatner he's seeing; it's somehow Captain Kirk himself! Margaret is also shellshocked. She believes she is seeing angels" Likewise, all around.

    (4) Carrie X!

    (5) I love that NEXT EPISODE bit leading into that screencap! Nicely done.

    (6) I would watch the crap out of this show. You could even do it concurrently with a NextGen sort of deal where they're all dealing the events 30 years later, but with the NextGen cast, and someone stutters. If Paramount/CBS would get their heads around ideas like this, it would hit people like Romulan Ale mixed with Nozz-a-la!

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    1. (1) It had not initially occurred to me to put Trek screencaps into the post, and in fact I only had the idea when I was doing a loose passthrough looking for typos. I proceeded to spend an hour fretting over finding JUUUUUUUST the right ones, which I more or less did, although a couple of them didn't quite land for me.

      (2) This is almost certainly both the stupidest AND the nerdiest post I have ever written. BUT ... it was worth it just for the degree to which I amused myself writing it, and I don't know that that amusement was ever greater than when I imagined Tommy (who I am imagining to be a secretive Trekkie) gobsmacked by the thought that William Shatner, in uniform, was visiting his date's house for some unknown reason.

      (5) Yeah, I got a chuckle out of that, too. Yet another only-thought-of-it-right-before-publishing thing.

      (6) It's bound to be only a matter of time before somebody actually tries a ridiculous mashup like this. Shit, I guess that's kind of what "The Lego Movie" is. But a live action one, I mean. If Warner Bros. and Netflix could get a "Stranger Things" vs. "It" movie into theatres next year, it would make more than "The Force Awakens" did, I bet. Fuck, I'd go see it!

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  2. What do you think of Tarantino doing the next Star Trek movie?? bold choice for sure

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    1. I'm a Trekkie AND a Tarantino fan, so I'm voting yes to this, although part of me thinks it's a bad fit. But it's one of those things where I'm so curious to see what that would be like that I'm down for it even if I knew in advance it would stink.

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  3. Wow, this is kind of awful and amazing all at the same time. And I say that with the greatest respect and admiration. I love it!

    Could you have Kirk karate-chop Margaret after Izzy gets stabbed? That we be awesome :)

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    1. That WOULD be awesome; I should have thought of it myself! I feel like I need to save the karate chop -- and the dropkick -- for bigger fish further down the line, though.

      Thanks for the suggestion!

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  4. I don't know if a woman has ever been awkwardly karate chopped to the back of the neck on television before... this could be another TV first for Star Trek!

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    1. I'm going to have to have Spock nerve-pinch somebody, too, aren't I? It'd be irresponsible not to.

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