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Papermodels are a craft rather than an art but a papermodel designer still needs to consider the same problems faced by other artists/craftsmen: should one focus on form or function - in other words, should it focus on looking good or being practical? If you wanted a prop of the Next Generation Tricorder you couldn't go past the attention to detail of the one sold by Master Replicas. However technology that does the same work as the Tricorder has been developed by Vital Technologies, Raman Systems and even the New Zealand firm ARANZ Medical, none of which look remotely like the canon prop!

I was in the same dilema when looking for a papermodel project for this year's Twelve Trek Days of Christmas. Last year we did a calendar and I like the idea of something practical like that however I wanted it to have something to do with papermodels this year. A pepermodel calendar? Close but too easy. I thought about doing a datebook (too much like a fanzine and you'll be getting fed up of my writing by now!) or a CD jewel case calendar (a good project but not really a papermodel is it?).

I decided to finally bring together some ideas I have had percolating through what I laughingly call a brain, for some time. In the past I've tried my hand at science education for primary schoolers and agonised over a papermodel of a PADD. I've often thought that it would be cool to handout science notes in a PADD but never taken it beyond following the great work in paper information technology being done by the "paper PDA" community.

So here's The Paper PADD Mk 01 for the Starfleet Cadet Academy, Tech Level: 2009. It stands to reason that, even with all the wizz-bang technology they will have in the 24th century, kids will still want to make things and besides, understanding is something that needs to be experienced rather than force-fed. It's my belief that primary schoolers will still be taught to use the traditional media of pencil, pen and paper, alongside more high technology resources, so that the ancient skills of writing and crafts - and their necessary hand/eye coordination - will not be lost.

At the moment it is at the Beta testing stage and I have just included notepad drawing and text pages but will update this soon with a 2009 Star Trek papermodel calendar. I'd like feedback from builders on either the forum, the Star Trek Papermodel Yahoo Group or the DIYPlanner forum.

Fan fiction is the Cindarella of Star Trek fan productions.

Whereas advances in technology have allowed fans to expand into creative areas that they have hitherto been locked out of because of the expenses of production and distribution, why have there been no corresponding advances in fan fiction? Fans are making their own sophisticated films, audio productions, comics, computer games - all of these being media that where the exclusive realm of professionals only twenty years ago.

What is the "Holy Grail" of any fan, the secret desire that we would never admit to but which draws us to the concept of fan productions? That we too might be a part of the Star Trek world! Some fans are living that dream! Their face might be recognised across the world by their fellow fans as "That guy who played an Andorian in Starship Exeter" or as the voice of a starship captain in an audio drama. Most though are happy to be part of the team that brings these major projects to life, either as production crew or supporters. It would be fair to say that the secret dream of most fan fiction writers is to be published and for their work to be read and appreciated by as wide an audience as possible.

This has been virtually unattainable in the past because the publishing industry has been a "closed shop" that relied on large print-runs and a complex warehousing and distribution system that was expesive to maintain and needed to be protected by the stringent application of the copyright laws. Sounds familiar? Yes, you could say the same about the movie studios and the music industry, both of whom have had major problems with the changing face of technology

There is one advance in technology that could prove to be advantagious to the publishing industry though. Consider the lifespan of a book. It is written by the author, published by the printer, distributed by the trucking firms, warehoused, stacked in the shelves and then sold. From it's first release the average book can expect a popular lifespan of months or years when it is economical for the publisher, distributor and bookseller to keep the shelves stocked with new copies of it. Eventually the public will stop buying it, perhaps it might have exhausted the reader-base for it's genre, and the remaining copies will end up in the clearance sale bin and the publisher will stop publishing that edition. Once the remaining copies are sold, it will be one of the millions of "out-of-print" books that are only available as second hand copies.

What if I were to tell you that there was a way of extending the lifespan of a book indefinately? That there was a way of making it possible for publishers to reap a profit from books hat had been out of print for years? That to make that profit all they had to provide was some basic production infrastructure (at a fraction of the cost of the traditional printing industry) that there were virtually no distribution costs and that the customers would come direct to them, the publisher, rather than a bookseller?

It's called electronic publishing and the advantage to fans is that it also represents a way for us to see our own work distributed for free internationally in a near-professional format.

As part of the Twelve Trek Days of Christmas, From today TrekUnited and ShadowKnight Productions present for your free entertainment, six outstanding examples of Star Trek fan fiction, to be released over consecutive days in Adobe Acrobat format, on the Issuu distribution network: the closest thing you'll get to free online publishing!

In the following weeks we will be following this with releases of the same books in different eBook formats, initially TXT, HTML, Mobipocket and ePub. It is our hope that this will encourage Star Trek fans - normally the first to pick up new technology - to checkout the licensed eBooks from Pocketbook, many of which are no longer available in print, and stimulate Pocketbooks to release more of their archive of out of print novels.

Follow the links in each release to go to the book's download page.

Day 10 of the Twelve Trek Days of Christmas is "Ten Gamers Gaming" in which I'm going to link to Star Trek fan-made games in ten categories. Last year I used these categories ...

  1. The Board Game - Last year I featured 3D Chess but this year I have something else up my sleeve ;)
  2. The Customizable Card Game - The Decipher CCG has died but are there any Fan-made CCGs?
  3. The Constructable Card Game - cross between a trading card game and tabletop wargaming.
  4. The Starship Sim - Tabletop wargaming and board games have morphed with RPG's to form the space battle simulation.
  5. The Role Playing Games
  6. The Text-based Computer Game - A historical curiosity still of interest to a small core of retro-gamers!
  7. The 2D Games - Gameplay as if you are looking down from the top - "top-down" - or from the side - a "side-scroller"
  8. The 3D Games - An immersive 3D environment
  9. The Mods - A mod (or modification) of an existing, commercial game.
You can checkout what I suggested last year HERE.

What would you suggest I list for this year?

  • Is there a category you think I'm missing?
  • Are there any fan-made card games available? Pirates of the Federation seems dormant or dead unfortunately.
  • For the Starship Sim I'm featuring Kapact's Fantasy Trek, any others?
  • For the RPG I'm featuring ST: Above And Beyond from Fasty, but I'll gladly list any others
  • How about general comments on the different gaming categories - how do you assign scores in an RPG? What's the dividing line between a very large gaming environment like Starbase 11 and an MMOG?

Why, yes, as a matter of fact I will be compiling this into a fanzine! What made you guess that? :rolleyes: if anyone feels up to taking on an article for one of the categories, they'll get credit as a contributor.

Gotta Blaze!


In simplistic terms, a “music video” is exactly what it says, a video presentation to accompany a musical piece, but in real terms they have become so much more! Just as a good music video to accompany a new release is essential for it’s success, a bad video can ruin the chances of a good song.

Fans have put their own twist to this by doing "mash-ups", and on a larger scale "fan-edits", that take items of copyrighted material and combine them into new productions of their own. This does not change their legals status, they're still technically in breach of the law and as such are under the same restrictions as all other fan productions. They are, in fact, more likely to run afoul of the music industry than the movie studio!

This year we have found what we think are eight music videos that are representative of the best that has been produced in 2008 on YouTube, the largest online video hosting service, and by the magic of the internet have them on this very page for your enjoyment. I had some help finding the videos this year too, from the denizens of the TrekUnited forum and if you are a music video producer who would like to tell the world about your work, or just a fan who would like to see the many other videos that, for differing reasons didn't make the final eight, checkout the thread HERE.

... and of course visit the YouTube homepage's of the creators (hyperlinked below) to say thanks!

Christine Chapel and Spock
How better to celebrate the life of "The First Lady of Trek" than by leading off with a romantic ballad, Sway by Bic Runga, celebrating one of the great unrequited love stories of Star Trek, Christine Chapel and Mr Spock. From dgmpepper8

For those who like a happier ending Johannalaforge gives us Will Riker's and Deanna Troi's romance played out to the accompaniment of Maybe I'm Amazed, the Wings classic, performed by Jem.

To Tell A Lie
Captain Krunch has given us another of his video tales of intrigue and romance, this time involving Ro Laren and ... Captain Picard! To the dulcet tones of Brent Spiner singing It's A Sin To Tell A Lie and the cool jazz guitar rifs of Baby Please Don't Go.

Don't Stop Me Now
For Original series fans lynsaygreen has put together a slideshow of screencap's of Dr 'Bones' McCoy, the irascible medical officer of the Enterprise as played by DeForest Kelley's whose 'larger-than-life' character meshes well with Queen's Don't Stop me Now.

Janeway The Alien Slayer
This clever play on the similarity between two of TV's leading ladies from Bloempje721 is more of a true mash-up, in that it re-uses clips of Cpt Janeway from Voyager over the theme music from Buffy The Vampire Slayer to give it the same "feel".

SazzyAgain has used When You Believe by Leon Jackson as the basis for a character piece on Katherine Janeway as we saw her in the two-part Year of Hell episode from season 4

The Twelve Pains of Christmas
Music videos excel at humour and SazzyAgain has put together a witty backing video to Bob Rivers' take on my favourite Christmas Carol. I wish I'd seen this before Christmas!

What I Like About Elim Garak
Istandil, a Czeck fan, has turned the Romantics' 1979 rock anthem, What I Like About You, into a boppy video that will have you rocking along with it right up to the surprise end.

Just as with the mass media market, animation is enjoying a boom as an option for creating video drama, both for the cinema and for TV.

What are the advantages? Making a fan film takes some immense resources in time effort and money. Let's take Star Trek: Phase II for example, although one could just as easily take Starship Exeter, Farragut or the German Das Vermachtnis. One of their major resources are their sets, built by James Cawley as a labour of love and based on original plans taking years to build. The investment in time, effort and cash on something like this is immense and not easily reproduced!

Groups like Star Trek: Odyssey and Intrepid have got around this by using a technique called "Greenscreen" filming, where live actors are 'overlaid' onto a computer generated background against. However animation takes this a step further by making even the actors virtual! This can be a challenge in that it takes a certain amount of skill to breath life into two or even three dimensional graphics.



There are a bewildering array of methods for creating a virtual world within which we can play. Some are well known already such as the "stop motion" type monsters that Ray Harryhausen became famous for. The technique involves stringing together a series of photos of a model that is moved. There are a number of examples of this that have been applied to Star Trek that use different methods of building the models or "puppets".

The traditional media for building stop-motion puppets is clay and early in '07 there was a cute two-part YouTube video called "Clay Trek" that has since been taken down by the creator. There are now two major forms of stop-motion in fan animation (all examples are listed in alphabetical order) ...

Lego 'Brickfilms'
Action Figure puppetry


By far the most recognisable form of animation though is Cel animation graphics which are hand-drawn & animated and whenever Trek fans think of Star Trek animation, they think of Star Trek: The Animated series which was made by Filmation in 1973. Amazingly, two Star Trek fans are following this traditional route.

Cel Animation
There's no way around it though, cel animation is very labour intensive and takes considerable artistic talent, basically you are animating two dimensional artwork. Using a computer can now speed up the creation of the artwork and in some cases is the basis of a digital (as against a photographic) animation process.

Toonshows - Which bring a limited number of stills to life via fades and wipes
Flash - A popular software package for creating and animating graphics


So far we've been talking about creating and animating (bringing to life) 2d artwork but computers are capable of creating 3d worlds. Fan animators have a wide array of tools at their disposal that create three dimensional models that can be filmed in virtual sets. So many in fact that the resulting shows are as individual as their creators ...

The principle behind Machinima is that users control avatars in a proprietary game engine like Star Trek: Elite Force or one of the MMOG's, and then record what they do, like this Second Life promotion. They have become so popular that games have been specially developed to take advantage of in-game movie-making, such as ...

The Sims
The Movies

Understandably this can only be a partial list and viewers and film-makers are invited to discuss this and add their own finds on the TrekUnited forum.

What lies ahead for Star Trek fan animation in the next twelve months? I think we are going to see more work done on all of these fronts as those who follow, build on the experience of the trail-blazers. Will one become more popular than the others? Not necessarily, each appeals to people for different reasons and each has different strongpoints and requirements in terms of investment in skill and cost.

Perhaps the biggest opportunity that animation suggests as a creative fan media is that it is accessible. Anyone who learns how to play a computer game with a certain amount of skill will find it possible to record themselves and use this to make a machinima.

The challenge will be to make good ones, which means developing skills in all areas - I think we're up to it!

This year you get three fanzines and a lump of coal – Santa decided that you hadn’t been good enough to deserve four fanzines and … oh, all right! I only got three submissions but I’m hoping that we can improve on that again next year! Does this perhaps suggest that fanzines are loosing their popularity? I don't see why they should be. The opportunities today for creative people to self-publish are immense – whether you want to blog a daily journal or write reviews, commentary or fiction the possibilities are immense and growing every day!

Fanzines are a form of fan publication that has been around since before there was an internet, yes, when people could only distribute their writing on pressed wood pulp known as paper. Fanzines have today become a significant part of our literary culture, there has been a Hugo award for fanzines since 1955, but where have they come from? What have they become? Perhaps of more to us, what part did Star Trek play in their development and what lies in their future?

In his 1973 "The World of fanzines", Frederic Wertham describes fanzines as "uncommercial, nonprofessional, small-circulation magazines which their editors produce, publish and distribute. They deal primarily with fantasy literature and art. The fact that they are not commercially oriented, may come out irregularly, and are privately distributed differentiates them from the professional newsstand magazines. Their writers and readers belong chiefly to the under-thirty group." He cites "The Comet" that came out in 1930 as the first fanzine although Wikipedia traces their roots to amateur press associations that go back to the 19th century. If you're interested in reading transcriptions and scans of historical fanzines look no further than Fanac.

J.M. Verba's "Boldly Writing" gives us a pretty exhaustive picture of the early history of Star Trek fan activity between 1967 & 1987 - that it was a fertile time for Trek fanzines can be seen from the fact that she has a five page list of 'zines that are referenced in the book! Another important resource is "Star Trek Lives" by Jacqueline Lichtenberg who, with her writing partner Jean Lorrah, whose work was in Spockanalia, the first Star Trek fanzine, are two early luminaries of the Trek fan world who have gone on to champion the use of action / adventure stories to test the boundaries between science fiction and romance.

Star Trek has always had an emphasis on character centric storylines and over the years a subgenre of Trekzines have come to focus on love and lust in the Star Trek universe. One of the ways that Star Trek fanzines broke new ground was with the invention of the term slash, from "Kirk-slash-Spock" (K/S), the idea of Kirk and Spock being lovers.

For the purposes of this project, I set myself the goal of looking for fanzines that covered four criteria: They had to be about Star Trek, free, family friendly and a fanzine as opposed to a newsletter. Whilst the first three are self-evident, why, you might ask, make the distinction with the latter?

There is no hard and fast definition of what is, and is not, a fanzine. Over the course of the years different subsets of the fanzine world have been identified, such as Perzines (personal 'zines) Clubzines and even Crudzines which are the 'zines that no-one likes! One of the things that they all have in common though is their individuality: they have a purpose ... even though that aim might be, to be aimless!

Newsletters on the other hand have one, over-riding purpose, they exist to report on and for their readership or membership. Their scope of content is created to cater for the likes and dislikes of the members. Nowhere is this more in evidence in the newsletters of Star Trek fan clubs and Starfleet International (SFI) is a perfect example of this. Not only is there an expectation that a chapter or 'ship' will have its own newsletter, like ScuttleButt the newsletter of the USS Southern Cross, but there are also newsletters for regions, such as the award winning Subspace Communicator and SFI has it's own excellent, long-running, tabloid-sized, hardcopy newsletter sent by mail to all members, Communique.

So what’s the difference between a newsletter and a fanzine? Because of their mandate to focus on the membership, a newsletter sacrifices a large amount of the individuality that is part and parcel of the fanzine. A newsletter editor would be remiss if he reported on the latest rumours from the set of the new Star Trek film at the expense of reports that could encourage a member to participate and feel part of the crew. By the same token, Jacques Moreu, a some-time Star Trek fan of Montreal, is unlikely to be interested in the administrivia of a Star Trek club in Ohio. This is not to say that the Ohio newsletter does not have some well written material that is of general interest to Star Trek fans all over the world, but you might have to search for it.

Fanzines have no such imperative. They might have a certain scope, say to write about Music or genre fiction and they might be “clubzines” in that they are the publications of a specific club, but their focus is more on the subject of their club than the members which certainly makes them more interesting to the general reading public.

Most fanzines were, in practical terms, free - the pittance that was sometimes asked was barely enough to cover photocopying and mailing expenses. Interestingly it was usual for a fanzine editor to offer a free exchange with other editors, such that they would send you one of theirs in exchange for one of yours. This had the effect of encouraging a readership of people who would be expected to have similar interests. In their heyday, fanzines were a forum for discussion for their readership and it was expected that if you exchanged fanzines, you would exchange LOC's or "Letters Of Comment" about matters raised in articles.

Part of their charm for us today is their “hand-made look”. Because of the limited technology of the day they were all typewritten and reproduced by methods that only exist in museums today. Artwork was often original and hand-drawn and I cannot help but think we have lost a lot of originality because of the ease with which we can copy & paste a graphic (or article) from the internet to suit our purposes.

Today, many of the functions that the fanzine used to service for the literary everyman have been usurped by other, more efficient, internet-driven media. Whereas APA's struggled to distribute contributions from isolated members, Blogs, internet forums and mailing lists take all the work out of distributing your work. Similarly, whereas before computers a Letter of Comment might have been laboriously drafted and typed out, to be mailed off once a month, now we can dash off our thoughts and comments in a night, to see them exhibited and commented back on within minutes.

The internet is changing many of the things that made fanzines what they are. I found the article "Fanzines: Their Production, Culture and Future" by Phil Stoneman to be fascinating and stimulating reading, even though the thrust of the content was more on music 'zines in the UK. I particularly liked his comparison between Perzines and personal home pages, to which, given the speed with which things change, I would now add Blogs, Facebook and MySpace ... or whatever flavour of social networking you prefer.

These all facilitate cultural communication far quicker than the unwieldy fanzine yet it might be that very aspect of the intermittent nature of LOC's that made them more valued. If you knew that you only had one chance a month to say your piece, you jolly-well put some thought into it and the resulting missives are some quite excellent examples of the essayist’s art.

Trekzines are a specific subgenre of fanzines that has evolved in a different direction to the average fanzine available today which, to my mind, is more about commenting on literature than creating it. Their roots lie in the early Star Trek 'zines of the 1967 - 1987 era as described in J.M. Verba's definitive "Boldly Writing" and Jacqueline Lichtenberg's seminal "Star Trek Lives" which covers the whole fan experience of the time, not just fanzines. Their focus has always been on fan fiction, art, poetry and filk and as such I feel that today they represent a largely underused distribution medium for creative fans.


In alphabetical order, the fanzines we have for you this year are …

Acrux Fanzine 0803, Dec 2008
For one issue, Acrux becomes a Trekzine instead of a perzine, playing host to Star Trek fan fiction, art and poetry. As a perzine or personal fanzine, I try to keep the content as close to 100% my own work as possible but this issue I'm publishing contributions from a number of sources. I have a challenging story written by Robin Woodell and illustrated by Ken Gurton, both from Region 3 (Louisianna & Texas) of Starfleet International, plus the story of a Christmas leave spent by Bones and Scotty in Engineering, written & illustrated by SL Watson. Of course I hope you'll enjoy the other fiction and commentaries from my favourite author - ME!

This year, I turned away from my original idea of a blogzine (a 'zine created using Blogging software) in favour of something more traditional with a pdf file that can be printed out as a 20 page booklet in A3 (or as a digest sized version on A4). Because of this, it can partake in the existing world of fanzines – I’ll gladly partake in a fanzine exchange and look forward to Letters of Comment. However as an electronic file, it also has a foot in the door of the internet such as being available for live browsing on ISSUU. Now if I can just open it up into a few other avenues of distribution …

Hailing Frequencies Open Issue 26, Christmas 2008
Since it's creation three years ago, TrekUnited has shown itself to be a pro-active (some might say Quixotic) fan group that tries to give Star Trek fans a voice, within the fan community and outside it. Part of that mandate for action has been their magazine, Hailing Frequencies Open (HFO), which through a long, monthly print run of nearly two years, steered by the flamboyant Richard Anderson, they delivered a quality news magazine for members. Over the past year though their focus has changed, primarily with the winding down and eventual closing of the Save Enterprise Campaign, and what has taken it's place is an organisation that strives to provide a friendly forum for Star Trek fans to make the most of their fandom, regardless of whether they are into collectables, conventions, gaming or fan productions.

As a sign of that re-direction, they are rebooting their flagship publication in a new format - as a fanzine and as the incumbent editor for the rebirth of HFO it is my privilege to be able to deliver something a little different for the TrekUnited membership and fans in general. What I've tried to do is to give the TrekUnited membership a publication that is written *for* them rather than *by* and *about* them. I see the scope of the 'zine as entertainment, information and commentary drawn from the whole of Star Trek fandom rather than just TrekUnited. I see this as a fan production in that it is a meeting of the energy and creativity of the common man and the love of their craft shown by respected professionals. I feel that it should reflect the "Infinite Diversity" of Star Trek fans (and isn't everyone a Trek fan deep down?) and that it should provide a fan experience for both those who wish to be involved in it's creation and those who simply want to enjoy reading it.

Starting with a short summary of online resources for those who like to read or create Star Trek Fan Fiction, it has three episodes of Star Trek: The Forge, a new Enterprise Virtual Season 5, a short story from Robin Woodell, a longer Christmas tale from the Mirror Universe by SL Watson and a flash fiction from my favourite author. The issue is dedicated to Majel Barrett Roddenberry, ‘The First Lady of Trek’, from her fans.

Imaginations Unlimited Vol 11, Dec 2008
Imaginations Unlimited is a Trekzine that started as a member’s project with Jeff Davis, the president, or CO, of the USS Indiana, which is a chapter of Starfleet International (SFI). It is now the official fanzine for their Region 1, covering Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, North & South Carolina and Virginia & West Virginia where he draws his material from a core of contributors although submissions from outside this area are welcome.

Jeff's fanzine follows the accepted Trekzine formula of a fan fiction anthology covering short stories, serials, artwork, poetry, filk, etc. For this year’s Twelve Trek days of Christmas he has released a 28 page Christmas special with a mixture of fiction with an episode from Jeff’s "Captain Ryan Chronicles" and a new collaborative story from two of his crew on the Indiana, Walter Ewing and Michael Kent. This month, Jeff too has tried something different, with a review on the Original Series episode Amok time and an article on a new starship design, the Proxima.


What does the future hold for Star Trek fanzines? Well they're certainly not going to disappear altogether although perhaps they will need to think about what their readers want and what their contributors have to give. There is plenty of scope for development, in the same way that fan films and audio dramas have, though some exciting technological advances in the fields of desk top publishing, electronic publishing and distribution.

Who knows, perhaps next year we might have more Trekzines available than I can shake a stick at? One can but hope!


The weak must die to give way to the strong, that is a fact of life that makes the Empire the powerhouse that it is. Certainly diversity makes the Federation a worthy competitor - and occasional partner - but the great judgment comes when the strong stand tall and victorious over the lifeless husks of the weak and vanquished. Throughout history, it has been shown that the strong live on while the weak and inferior die. The human concept of natural selection, a simple restating of the infinitely more profound Klingon theory, demonstrates that members of a species better suited to conquer their inferiors always shape the destiny of that species.

If we were to take that theory to another level, we would see that a strong, more organized and better trained force will always prevail over a weak, poorly run and ill-trained force. One might continue to arm and equip that inferior force, but it still must fail. Only a fool would waste resources on a force that did not know how to use them. An empire that sends in the Imperial Guard to save the hides of worthless cowards who had cut and run is preserving weakness over strength!

One must question the motivations of leaders who insist on keeping such a poorly run force going in such a state. One needs to consider that such a leader may be more interested in wasting resources, perpetuating fruitless struggles, and therefore maintaining the illusion of their own importance than in actually seeing their Empire victorious and prosperous. That paints them as either ignorant or treasonous. In any case, they are not deserving of our loyalty. Indeed, when they force incompetent commanders to beg like common petaQpu', they demonstrate their own cowardice and dishonor. Weak, cowardly leaders all eventually fall, as they should, and that poorly run force, unless it were to dedicate itself to success over status quo, deserves to fall with him to be consigned to the ash heap of history.

So what does this say of an economic 'bail-out'? Throw good money after bad, and wait for the situation to improve? While you're waiting for the Targ to change his spots, keep one eye on who decides where to spend your money and consider their history of success ... and failure. You may find that they do not, in fact, fix anything but their own position of power. And you will continue to get the leadership you deserve.

The floor of the stock exchange is truly a battlefield to test the nerve of the real warrior! I watched in disgust as, at the first sign of a setback, weak-livered petaq's rushed to be the first to sell. Like the first cowards to run in the face of the enemy, they broke the spirit of their weaker comrades and caused a mass retreat that made my blood boil! These were the same boastful fellows who would tell everyone about how, if you would follow them, they would lead you to great spoils in a victory of glory and honour!

But an economy is a war, not a battle and this is what they did not understand. It is a war that can only be won on the large scale, by sticking to long term strategies, building resources on a strong base and consolidating your hold over your conquered territories. They were an army without reserves and broke because they had overstretched themselves, their lines of supply were thin and open to attack. Their whole strategy was based on the idea of constant advancement as fast as possible, surviving on what they could forage, without any thought for how their empire of hot air would be blown away at the first breeze.

I have always handled my business affairs as I used to command my last ship, the Klingon battleship the IKV Corporate Raider. She was a sleek killing machine, designed to take advantage of any opportunity that fell within our sights! We had many glorious victories and my crew feasted well on the spoils of war, leaving our rivals shattered, crippled or barely able to limp away, leaking assets from every vent!

For every victorious encounter there were months of lean times though, cruising the commerce routes looking for targets of opportunity. In times like those we had to tighten our belts and make do with what we had. The ship's replicators were strictly rationed and maintained at peak efficiency to recycle everything. In times like these there could be no waste and on some ships, the weak made lunch for the strong.

These lean times would bring to mind the hunting trips of my youth, when my father would teach me the ways of the wild. I remember clearly on my first hunt how, when I had a clear shot of my prey, he stayed my hand saying,"We eat what we kill, we do not kill when we do not need to eat."

I was angered by this since I was hot for the kill. "If this is so, why then do you bring meat home at the end of the hunt?"

He laughed, scaring off my prey, and said, "It's true, the hunt is not always good and the house must have a reserve for the lean times. Never fear, o' mighty hunter, we will take home plenty of meat to make the clan proud of us but that is in the last days of the hunt. We do not need that Kolar beast tonight and his meat would have gone off by the time we are ready to return. To kill him now would be to waste him, better to leave him with his herd. If you cannot catch him again you do not deserve him!"

When we got home he took me to the workshops of the servitors and showed me how they had many cunning ways of preserving the bounty of one season for the famine of he next. Ever since then I have abhored waste and gluttony, consuming things simply for the pleasure of the moment.

From the Journal of Kash the Klingon
A joint translation from the original by
The House of L'Stok and House Abukoff
For Day 3 of The Twelve Trek Days of Christmas