#175 – oh hi mark

25 Comments on #175 – oh hi mark

This may be the most Star Trek story arc I’ve ever written here. (For those catching up, it started a few strips ago with Reg Barclay wearing his anxieties on his sleeve.)

Because, look: it’s a perfectly logical explanation.

I mean, sure, it’s also a stupid explanation; it doesn’t hold up to the least scrutiny in either the immediate sense (what the hell is phase displacement, how would that even work, what are the implications for Reg’s sense of his surroundings or even the viability of his biological existence, does he even still see the ship or hear himself or etc. etc. etc.) or in the long-term (if this is something a bored transporter engineer can cobble together on his downtime, why hasn’t it been done before, and regardless of provenance if something like this was invented why wouldn’t it be used constantly for all kinds of things instead of being something that will no doubt never be mentioned again even though it could neatly solve any number of future dun dun DUNNNNN tense situations).

But still: it’s explained. A weird, apparently impossible thing happened, and then the answer was that somebody teched the tech and ergo blah blah blah, back to status quo. A bit of technical handwaving bullshit is used as an escape clause to excuse the actual core motivation for the storyline which is a bit of character examination about the A-plot character.

Someone mentioned a few strips ago the TNG episode Remember Me, which according to the Golden Rule of Larp Trek Continuity has of course not happened yet as of our mid/late season 3 timeline. Similar territory; Bev has a tremendously exciting/terrifying existential experience that turns out to amount to literally nothing but some character development notes because not a goddam thing that happened to her stuck. I mean, it’s an entertainingly disconcerting episode (at least up until the point where shit starts getting explained), but it’s also silly Trekish nonsense of the highest order.

(Also, my developing theory re: the Golden Rule is that everything that happens in TNG after Larp Trek and that hence hasn’t actually happened in TNG and might never happen is actually the content of Bev’s private fanfic novellas. She’s written like a thousand of the things over the years, and a ton of them are nicked from this game campaign. Remember Me is her reworking the phasing idea (and Mary Sue-ing her own son into some kind of space god to boot); The Host is her reifying her invention of the Trill race for the game along with a bit of Riker slashfic and even a dull-as-dirt prudish dalliance with the idea of a lesbian affair; the implication in All Good Things… that she had eventually married Jean-Luc at some point is essentially her doodling “Dr. Mrs. Beverly Picard” with a heart for the dot on the i on her 24th century Trapper Keeper. There’s probably at least a few stories that feature particularly unflattering cameos by one Katherine “Flatasski” Pulaski.)

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