Here I post articles from my Star Trek Fanzine: Sehlat's Roar. I hope to place all of the work online for fan's enjoyment. This Fanzine was first published in the late 1970's by a band of most unlikely friends located in Flat Rock, in the southeastern quadrant of Michigan. The material is clearly born of the time, and some of it is quite dated; yet, for those who enjoy this sort of thing, I trust, at the least, interesting.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Chapter ONE, part three

Originally uploaded by Randuwa.
As a good hostess must, Dayton spent the evening moving around, deftly inserting stray newcomers into various discussion groups, seeing to it that these remained fairly well mixed and frequently aired. Now, however, she was taking a breather, enjoying some of the thick red juice she'd tried earlier, as well as another piece of that delicious prookle. It was rather like a cross between peanut brittle and brownies, and tasted vaguely like butterscotch intertwined with vanilla. As she ate, she observed the chattering groups. So far, everything was going just beautifully. Even the Tellarites seemed to be on their best behavior. No complaints about the food being too flat for a change. Perhaps she dared hope they would get through the evening unscathed.

T'Alyen made her appearance then, the silver trim of her pink tunic and pants suit sparkling in the half-light. Dayton couldn't help admiring the way she could move with such poise through the intricacies of conversation with members of five other species on a wide range of subjects, from astrophysics to the fine points of the dance. This really was the Vulcan concept of IDIC in action, she decided.

“If you like prookle, perhaps you would also find yunyon to your liking. It is a fruit most esteemed among my people,” suggested the Vulcan in her low, well-modulated voice as she indicated a bowl of half-peeled fruit and a dip.

“I'm willing to try anything at least once,” returned Dayton, setting down her glass. “I just need a guide.”

T'Alyen showed her how to peel the fruit and section it, setting the seeds neatly in the bowl awaiting them, then dipped a section in the sauce. Dayton followed her example and discovered the fruit was almost unbearably sweet and the sauce almost unbearably tart. The combination was heavenly.

“Shirley, I am curious. May I ask what you meant by saying that you need a guide?” asked T'Alyen after several minutes.

“Well,” said the ensign after a moment of thought. “All this is kind of like an unexplored country. I don't know the names of any of these dishes -- except the prookle and this -- yunyon. I don't know what any of them tastes like, or what they're made of, or -- or anything. So I need a guide to show me the country ---”

But T'Alyen apparently wasn't listening anymore. Dayton broke off, curious to know what was causing the slight frown on the other girl's dark face. She seemed to be listening to something else. Trouble, maybe? Alerted, the ensign pricked her own ears.

Somewhere behind her, at the table for human dishes, she heard the hissing giggle of a Mrraneti girl as she listened to a human's description of some incident having to do with a Tellarite. She could only catch a word here and there, but she recognized the fake southern drawl of Trina Anderson, one of the human contestants. She sighed and picked up her glass of juice, dipping up more as an excuse for watching.

T'Alyen wasn't the only one listening. It looked like of Yteskar, an Andorian with what Dayton considered a nasty mind, was also intrigued by the conversation. To the ensign's trained mind, that spelled trouble in the making, but there wasn't a darned thing she could do about it. . . Well, nothing official, anyway.

“T'Alyen, I don't believe you've met Ms. Anderson or Ms. Mrrim,” said she in as conversational a tone as she could manage.

The Vulcan blinked and turned her dark eyes searchingly on the ensign before saying quietly, “I applaud your suggestion. I have met Ms. Anderson, but not Ms. Mrrim.”

“Come on, then.” Dayton couldn't quite keep her voice steady as she led the way. “Uh, Mrrim? This is T'Alyen of Vulcan. She is a dancer, too.”

“I am honored to make your acquaintance, T'Alyen,” purred the lynx-faced Mrranet in her stilted English. “What iss the dance that you perrforrm?”

T'Alyen proceeded to explain.

“Trina,” murmured Dayton softly, “what are you trying to do, start a fight? I didn't hear exactly what you said about the Tellarites -- and I don't want to -- but Yteskar did. If she repeats it to the wrong persons ---”

“Look heah, deahry, Ah'll say what Ah want to say to whoever Ah want -- an' y'all cain't stop me,” hissed the platinum blonde, nastily.

“Maybe not, Trina, but if somebody smashes a pie into your pretty face, you can't say you weren't warned.”

“Ah thank y'all ever so much for the warnin', little girl.” drawled the woman in the purple gown, turning away in contemptuous dismissal.

Clenching her fists briefly, Dayton half-wished someone WOULD smash a pie in her face. How Anderson got away with that kind of snottiness was beyond her.

“You Mrrim?!” barked a hoarse Tellarite voice beside her.

She jumped, just as the Tellarite woman snatched up a pie and hit the Mrranet in the face with it, rubbing it in before Mrrim could even open her mouth to protest.

“Hey --” started Dayton, making as if to interfere.

The Tellarite shoved her aside with one strong, hairy arm. She caught herself just too late to prevent the enraged woman from dumping a whole bowlful of orange punch over Trina's head.

“What the hell do you think you're doing!” squawked the human, whirling angrily, all pretenses at an accent gone. “I'll have ---”

“You PEEG, Anderson,” growled the Tellarite as Dayton tried to get between them.

“Come one, you guys ---” she started urgently, but the maddened Tellarite merely shoved her away again. She caught her hip on the corner of the Sandorians' table hard, and her leg gave way with a faint popping sound. She collapsed into a heap on the deck, the abrupt, intense pain startling a yelp from her.

“You called me carrion, I treat you like dirt, PEEG!” rumbled the Tellarite, ignoring T'Alyen's attempts to intervene and shoving Anderson back against the table.

“You BEAST!” shrilled the red-faced woman, picking up a German chocolate cake and hurling it at the snout-nosed Tellarite. She ducked. The missile smacked into the back of an Andorian's head, right between the antennae. She whirled like lightning, her blue-skinned fingers exploring the mess adhering to her cottony white hair.

“Who did thiss!” she hissed sharply, her red-rimmed eyes flashing fire.

“That one,” returned the Tellarite in a growl of aggrieved injury, pointing at Anderson with one hairy paw. “See how humans insult intelligence ---”

“WHAT intelligence, Greva dahlin'?” snarled Anderson, crouching at the ready like a cornered animal.

“O, please, stop it, you guys!” cried Dayton from where she sat. She was hard put to contain her tears of pain. But none of the would-be combatants paid her the least attention. All she could so was watch helplessly as the Andorian and her three sisters joined the Tellarite in advancing on Anderson. The human slid behind a table and picked up another pie, waited, threw it at the Andorian. The latter ducked and returned fire with a dish full of sticky fudge. The human couldn't quite avoid the barrage, as a piece squished itself into her damp hair.

“Damn you clods, anyhow!” she screamed, dodging a casserole and running the short distance to the Tellarite table. Here she picked up a bowl of some hot chili-like food and threw it at Greva, yelling, “Have some of your own crap in the eye!”

By this time, almost everyone had stopped talking and turned to observe in surprise. Through her tears of pain, Dayton saw Ensign D'kura not far away, watching in frustrated helplessness, forbidden to lay a hand on any of the contestants.

“Cassu!” called Dayton with an effort. “Cassu, c'm'ere!”

The other ensign turned, then hurried over to kneel beside her. “What happened, Shirley?”

“I think I dislocated my hip,” she gasped. “Listen, get Bran down here right away with a security detail. Hurry!”

“Right on!” replied D'kura crisply, rising and walking quickly away.

By now, the battle forces had grown to include nearly all of the Andorian contestants, several more Tellarites, two Mrraneti who had been hit with punch or cookies by accident, and most of the human contestants. The later were outnumbered, but were putting up stiff resistance.

The telepathic Schillians had withdrawn to the farthest part of the large room, and the Vulcans stood observing in what looked to Dayton like helpless confusion. She couldn't really blame them. What little she'd read about them seemed to indicate that they very well might not know how to deal with raw, uncontrolled emotion in members of other species -- not to mention the fact that they must find it distressingly painful.

Nearby, the Mrraneti watching the fight seemed to be applauding the good moves of each side indiscriminately, and booing the bad ones, while the Andorian judges conferred together in low whispers. The Tellarites watched and made bets while the rest of the hostesses either fidgeted or tried to be helpful to those watching.

“You are injured,” came T'Alyen's voice, conveying to the ensign's ears the faintest hint of -- of chagrin and anger.

Dayton looked up, puzzled by what her ears told her, then nodded absently, wishing the marines would hurry up.

“One has done violence and must be punished ---”

The ensign caught the Vulcan's hand urgently. That WAS anger. “No, T'Alyen,” she urged firmly. “It wasn't intentional. Please, let Bran handle it. He'll be here any second.”

The girl looked down into Dayton's pain-twisted face for a moment, her own face quite impassive, then relaxed a little and said formally, “Thee are wise for one so young ---”

Just then the lights came up to full, announcing the arrival of the marines, a group of chunky young men in red with business-like expressions on their faces as they went about the task of separating the battling contestants by species. Their leader, a tall young man wearing the green of command, flipped his mop of wavy black hair out of his sleepy eyes and snapped, “All right, knock it OFF! . . That means you, Anderson.”

The girl who had just thrown a plate full of Jell-O at one the security men, whipped around, all traces of beauty wiped out by the animal snarl contorting her face. Snatching up a lemon meringue pie which had miraculously escaped being thrown earlier, she stepped behind the Vulcan table and flung it at the commander. He caught it with a deftness bespeaking of superb control and barked, “Anderson, c'm'ere!”

“Wha should Ah, you creep!?” she sneered. “Y'all think you're so great, come an' get me, ol' ha an' mighty Jeremy Branfield.”

The commander's lips tightened, and for a moment, Dayton really thought he was going to smash the pie into Anderson's ugly face. He didn't, however, but set it very gently on the Mrraneti table immediately behind him and said, his voice low and tight, “Kerrigan, please restrain this -- woman -- and bring her over here.”

“Yessir,” replied the red-haired Security Officer, obeying with alacrity.

When he had her in the center of the room, her hands firmly pinioned in his, Kerrigan looked over at the commander. Branfield swept his dark grey eyes over the heavily breathing combatants, all of whom were badly stained, before asking abruptly, “Do I get the impression this -- person is responsible?”

“She called me carrion!” barked Greva, nursing a cut on one cheek.

“Did she now.”

“She threw a cake at me,” added the first Andorian.

“It was an accident,” grumbled Anderson. “Greva ducked.”

“Oh. That makes it less a crime?” inquired the commander with a sardonic chuckle. “. . .look, ladies, a contest like this is no place for vindictive childishness. If you can't behave yourselves, you've no business being here. These gentlemen will escort you back to your quarters to clean up.” He looked around at the badly littered deck, then said, “In view of the circumstances, I think everyone should call it a night.”


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