Whatever happened to Mirasta Yale?

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I was watching the TNG episode ‘First Contact’ for the seventeenth time yesterday and after replaying the final scene a few times, I felt curious enough to check on the progress of Malkorian Scientist Mirasta Yale in the Trek verse.

First port of call was Memory alpha, which is basically the Trek bible [far as I know].

Her name was listed in the episode profile, but it wasn’t hyperlinked to anything, and there were no references at the bottom to other work she was in.

Strange.

After looking around a bit, I found another Trek site which seemed to have a database of all the Trek novels and shows. Again, it had references to her, but it also didn’t mention what happened to her after the episode.

Then I checked the forums, where people just speculated as to what she ended up doing. No one knew for sure though. I think one guy said that there was a reference to a Malkorian Scientist in one of the novels and assumed that was her as she was the only Malkorian off her planet. Another said that she married the blue alien from Ten Forward as she looked impressed when she walked in and saw him…

It’s possible, but she also seemed impressed by Data. And it’s not clear if she really believed in marriage, or close family relationships, as she left her planet without hesitation. Now I think about it, how did the Chancellor explain her sudden disappearance? A job for Krola perhaps?

Back to post-episode stuff: what did happen to her?

Or:

What reasonably could’ve happened to her? Continue reading

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Blake’s 7 [Redux] // S01E04 – Time Squad

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INT: THE LIBERATOR BRIDGE, TIME UNKNOWN, MAYBE A FEW DAYS AFTER BRIAN BLESSED GOT BLOWN UP OVER CYGNUS ALPHA

Blake stands two feet away from Jenna, who is in front of the pilot’s console, running through the instructions to make the ship move.

‘Orbit rotation in sync,’ says Blake.

‘Check,’ says Jenna.

‘Rotate thrusters a bit.’

‘A bit?’

‘Not too much. A bit.’

‘More detail.’

Blake shrugs. ‘17 spatials?’

Jenna looks puzzled for a moment, checks the script then nudges Blake in the side. They whisper for a bit, Blake looks reluctant, then they finally swap positions.

‘Compensate for orbital drift,’ says Jenna.

‘Check,’ says Blake.

‘Align thrusters.’

‘Check.’

Jenna shakes her head and points at a different button. Blake smiles and presses it.

‘Engines present?’ continues Jenna

‘Check,’ says Gan.

‘Keyboard?’

‘Check,’ says Vila.

‘Bitter enmity?’

Avon growls.

Blake claps his hands together and looks at Avon, Gan and Villa, making sure they’re not gurning. ‘Okay, now we know how to move the ship, let’s check if there’s anyone following us. Zen, are there any Federation ships in the vicinity?’ Continue reading

The 3 Body Problem // Cixin Liu [Thoughts + Spoilers]

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Plot: The Cultural Revolution is laid out for 50 pages and characters that no one knows nor cares about die/suffer. The only one left standing is a woman who will eventually sell out humans to aliens living in the Alpha Centauri System [off-camera]. In modern times, a scientist/nanotech engineer[?] called Wang forgets his family so he can focus on a video game called The Three Body Problem. It’s not a hard game, not as hard as the original Mega Man, and he quickly comes across the alien plot to take over Earth. Luckily, it will take 400 years for the aliens to arrive. Unluckily, they’ve invented nine dimensional protons that fly to Earth and do their best Stasi impression, which in effect limits humans to doing nothing scientifically for the next 400 years, which in turn will allow the aliens to land on Earth and do what?

Subplot: Disregarding the blurb on the back of the cover, 100 odd pages are dedicated to flashbacks of the traitor scientist figuring out how to send a signal to aliens without telling us that’s what she’s doing even though we know that’s what she’s doing cos we’ve read the blurb on the back cover.

Subplot: Wang’s wife asks for a divorce.

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The above summary of the plot may come across as negative, but I enjoyed about half of this book, especially the parts focused on the video game and the three body aliens themselves.

However, it takes a long while to get there.

The biggest problem is definitely the opening 50 pages or so. If you’re gonna write a sci-fi book that starts with some historical context, at least write it well. Or organise it well. Or make it involving, either emotionally or concept-wise. What Liu has done is write a succession of scenes that involve characters we don’t get to know at all and then kill them off. Continue reading

Blake’s 7 [Redux] // S01E03 – Cygnus Alpha

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Trying to phase out the sleaze, but it keeps creeping back…

If you can’t be bothered checking the categories at the side, here’s where the other Blake’s 7 reduxes are:

The Way Back

Space Fall

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EXT: SURFACE OF PENAL COLONY, CYGNUS ALPHA

A man dressed like a monk raises a machete and chops a cooked animal in half. There’s a noise nearby and a woman also dressed like a monk appears, telling the man that the federation ship has arrived in the sky.

‘That shooting star up there?’

‘It’s a big ship.’

‘Well-lit, too.’

‘’tis true.’

The man frowns, wondering if any of the new prisoners are either a] bigger than him or b] sexier than him.

‘I guess I’ll leave dinner here and go tell Brian Blessed that the new prisoners have arrived.’

‘The new believers…’ corrects the woman.

‘Huh?’

‘They are believers, not prisoners.’

‘Right. What is it we believe again?’

‘Indulging Brian Blessed.’

The man rubs his nose bridge. ‘He did the Iago monologue last night.’

‘Soft then loud but never really soft?’

The man nods. ‘As if I  were at the back row of a stadium.’

‘You did the Lord’s work. Now go.’

‘Going.’

The woman swishes her hand leftwards and the man trots off in that direction. After staring up at the sky for a bit, the woman walks the opposite way, off the quarry set and straight into a barrage of ‘show us your crystal balls, luv.’

She shakes it off, reminding herself over and over that it’s not just here, it’s everywhere.

 

INT: PENAL SHIP COCKPIT, SAME ONE FROM SPACE FALL

The young lieutenant walks through a door with Flight Control Deck stencilled on it and tells the captain that the prisoners are all high as fuck and looking forward to Cygnus Alpha. Continue reading

Blake’s 7 [Redux] // S01E02 – Space Fall

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It’s been a while, but you can find the first episode redux [The Way Back] here

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INT: SPACESHIP/BBC STOREROOM, ONE CIRCULAR WINDOW TO SHOW BLACKNESS OF SPACE, LOTS OF CONVICTS SITTING ON CLASSROOM CHAIRS, NO TATTOOS

Blake sits with his back to the window, restrained by a piece of ribbed plastic tubing curving round his torso.

He surveys the convicts in front of him.

‘Who wants to join my crew?’

Half of them raise their hands.

‘Who knows how to act?’

Hands drop.

‘Okay. Jenna, Vila, Gan, young-looking student.’

Young looking student grins. ‘Hi, I’m…’

‘Should be enough.’

 

SWITCH TO: SHIP COCKPIT/DRIVE ROOM/BRIDGE/ROOM WITH 3 CHAIRS AND CARDBOARD CONTROL PANELS

An old-ish guy tells his crew of two to say some random numbers and set course for Cygnus Alpha. They repeat the numbers for a few seconds then the youngest crew member, we’ll give him the rank of lieutenant, goes back to the book he was studying. Continue reading

Not Another Mishima

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Gena Rowlands met with the scientists somewhere near Almeria, Southern Spain. She didn’t know this but they were the same scientists who’d brought back Pol Pot, the same scientists who’d predicted genocide holes = long distance space travel and the same scientists who would one day put the mind of a Japanese student into the body of an English lit student/gym instructor.

It was 1989.

‘Here’s what I want,’ said Gena, checking her watch. ‘My husband, John…you know him? He’s a director…was a director…he did Shadows and Faces and…Gloria. No? Doesn’t matter. The point is…what I want is my husband, alive again, via science.’

The scientists muttered something in Spanish.

‘I know, he’s dead. But only just. I mean, it happened a few weeks ago. But that doesn’t matter, right? From what I’ve heard of you guys, the science you can do, that doesn’t matter. Does it?’

The scientists nodded.

‘Cool. That’s cool. So the point is, what I want is…’ Gena paused, realising she’d said this part already. ‘Okay, you know what I want. Bring John back. My husband, bring him back to me.’

The scientists looked at each other.

‘You can do that, can’t you?’ Gena said, lighting up a cigarette. ‘I mean, I’m not just talking to a bunch of fucking actors here…am I?’

The lead scientist broke off from the others and led Gena to another part of the desert twenty metres away.

‘We can do it, of course. Explanations, however, are a different matter. Science is…it’s very complicated, the methods are…perhaps not so easy for you to understand.’

Gena breathed smoke on his jacket. ‘Try me.’ Continue reading