|Justin B Rye 1991–2002|
Have you ever wondered what kind of adventures the Starship Enterprise under Captain Kirk would have run into in the fourth year of their five-year mission, if it hadn't been cancelled after three? You have? Well, stop it! We all know perfectly well what they'd have run into – more of the same, as generated from the standard formula reproduced below.
To create a new Star Trek (TOS) plotline, simply run through the table from the top, following any path you like as long as you only go downwards or across within a cell, and assemble its output into an episode synopsis! All resulting scripts are guaranteed to contain at least 20% authentic-style Roddenberry flavouring and are practically indistinguishable from real episodes of the Original Series, not to mention the Animated Series (ever).
|boldly going where no man has gone before||ferrying bigwigs about||
|investigating a||carrying out a vital mission of mercy||taking a shortcut through the Neutral Zone|
|strangely familiar world||
|form of energy never previously encountered||
|Captain Kirk||Spock||Bones||Scotty||the crew of the USS Enterprise||the guest star|
|starts aging rapidly||
|when the Enterprise|
|Kirk||Spock||an old friend||a human being||Abraham Lincoln||some historical period on Earth||the Enterprise|
|which is||which is|
|in fact||in fact|
|an android||a shapechanger||not what it seems|
|…||– as well as|
a horde of
a gang of
|a Klingon||a Romulan|
|shapeless||huge||computer||being||captain with a|
|which tries to ingest||which pisses them about||grudge||new secret weapon|
|them||everything||as a test||for fun||who ambushes them|
|and [pick one or more]|
|drains the dilithium crystals||hijacks the Enterprise||picks off the security guards||isolates the landing party||depletes the shields to 5%|
|but their opponent turns out to be||…|
|…||mad||all alone||well meaning||misled||just a kid|
|the guest star dies a heroic death,||Kirk delivers a||Bones develops a vaccine,||Spock does||Scotty juryrigs the engines,|
|speech,||right hook,||something seemingly illogical,||
|which means everything turns out okay,|
and the planet is saved
in the nick of time.
give or take a few
and everybody forgets
it ever happened.
though a few regulations
have been broken.
|and they leave at warp factor [2d6−1].|
This precursor to my Star Trek Rant was on my
webdesign back burner for years! The original 1991 version
was published as a centrefold in Edinburgh SF 'zine
New Dawn Fades (NDF#10 also featured
Ken MacLeod and Dave
Green before they were famous, namedrop namedrop). Then
ever since I started moving things from dead-tree to electronic
format, people who'd stuck my ST:TOS Plot Generator on their
bathroom walls have been on at me to put it online. However,
I didn't want to force it into the black-box
press this button
to see another combination model that's standard on the
trust Perl. So I spent years hesitating between
option A, giving up and scanning the whole thing in as a
bloaty great piece of text-as-graphics, and option B,
tormenting the layout into something compatible with standard HTML
markup. In the end I settled for the table you see above;
ironically enough it still won't work in non-graphical browsers
like Lynx, which can't handle such fancy cell-layouts!
Those still wondering what this would look like implemented as a script (in the computing sense) can now find out thanks to John Sensebe's PHP version!
|Star Trek: Mark Two||JBR Home Page||Babylon Five: Mark Two|