Captain Kirk meets Darth Vader

“Red Alert! Shields up, Mr. Chekov!” Captain Kirk ordered.

“Mr. Spock, what do your readings tell us about the alien craft?” he asked.

“Well captain. What appears to be a moon is not a moon at all. It is a space station. Heavily fortified, fully operational, and capable of destroying entire planets. Sensors show a nearby planet recently exploded. Fragments are radiating out from the point of origin.” Mr. Spock replied.

“We’re being hailed captain.” Lieutenant Uhura said.

“On screen.” he ordered.

[Main viewscreen activates and changes from a star field to the image of Darth Vader standing in a command center.]

“I’m Captain James T. Kirk commanding the USS Enterprise of the Federation of Planets. Who are you and what do you want?” Captain Kirk asked.

“You can call me Darth Vader. What is your purpose here? I sensed a disturbance in the Force when you arrived.” Darth Vader answered.

“We are on a peaceful mission of exploration.” Kirk answered.

“Peaceful? Your puny weapons are powered up, your shields are raised, and your weapons officer seems anxious to push the buttons on his console.” Vader stated.

[Vader raises his hand in a choking gesture and Chekov beings gagging, unable to breathe. Vader holds the gesture until Chekov falls over dead.]

“Fascinating.” says Mr. Spock.

“Where is the rebel base?” Vader asks.

“The what?” Kirk inquires.

“Do not be coy with me, Kirk. I have the princess. Where is the rebel base?” Vader continues.

“Princess? There’s a princess nearby? I like space princesses. Red, green, pink, purple, yellow, it doesn’t matter. Dr. McCoy can cure almost anything I might catch.” Kirk blurted.

“I sense you are a blithering idiot driven by your ego and overdeveloped libido, captain. You are of no use to me and your puny ship is no match for the Empire.” Vader responded.

“Empire? Whatever. Where’s this princess?” Kirk asked.

“Captain, I recommend we retreat. We are no match for his space station or telekinetic powers.” Mr. Spock stated.

“Very well. Mr. Sulu, plot us a course away from here. Mr. Scott, we’ll need full power from the engines to reach maximum warp.” Kirk commanded.

“Aye, captain.” Mr. Sulu answered.

“Now! Mr. Sulu, engage maximum warp!” Kirk ordered.

“We’re not moving, captain. We appear to be in a tractor beam.” Mr. Sulu answered.

“Scotty, I need more power.” Kirk urged.

“I’m giving it all she’s got, captain.” Mr. Scott said.

“Captain, another ship just appeared on sensors. Configuration unknown.” Mr. Spock stated.

“Captain, the tractor beam has switched from us to the other ship.” Mr. Sulu said. “We’re freed.”

“Get us out of here!” Kirk bellowed.

“Aye, captain.” Mr. Sulu answered.

“Uhura, hail the other ship.” Kirk commanded.

“Both are on screen now, captain.” Uhura responded.

[Main viewscreen shows Darth Vader and the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon side by side.]

“This is Captain James T. Kirk of the starship Enterprise of the United Federation of Planets. We’re on a peaceful mission of exploration. Who are you and what are your intentions?” Kirk asked.

“Will you shut up?” Han Solo barked. “We’re trying to sneak in. Chewie, cut the comms. The rest of you, time to get into my smuggling holds.”

[Transmission ends]

Write a post in which the protagonists of two different books or movies meet for the first time. How do they react to each other? Do they get along?

Always and Forever – Penned by Hand

On a flight from San Diego, California to Hartford, Connecticut I penned this poem.
It was one week before my wedding day.

Always and forever
My love for you will grow
Together or apart
It’s you I love, ya’ know? 

Away from you
My heart grows weary
Apart from you
My joy is low

When you’re near me
My heart lights up
When you’re close
My insides glow

Soon that day will be upon us
Soon our lives will be joined

I cannot picture my life without you
I can’t imagine being so alone
Now we’re together, reunited again
This time forever, forever my friend

Most of our courtship had been spent apart from each other. We developed our relationship through many letters and phone calls. My wife says my letters are what captured her heart.

I believe it was that and the fact I had full employment and benefits. The rest was merely potential and the desire to work with raw materials.

Admit it ladies, every woman who looks at a man as a future mate says to herself, “Hmmm. I can work with that.”

When was the last time you wrote something substantive — a letter, a story, a journal entry, etc. — by hand? Could you ever imagine returning to a pre-keyboard era?

Friendless is the Best Way to Go

“YOU! OFF my planet!” Tim shouted at him.

The visitor from another world stooped a little and shuffled off to his ship in sadness. He had come to offer humanity such advancements. Medicines, vaccines, inventions, and absolutely amazing technology the people of Earth had never seen. All his people wanted in return were the delicious bite sized peanut butter candies with a sweet crunchy shell.

Tim refused to negotiate. The disagreement started from a simple misunderstanding about toilet water that grew into a flooded bathroom and a stinky mess. He was done. Whatever fantastical technology was promised could not be worth cleaning up after the visitor passed through each room. The visitor touched everything it could reach. It knocked over decorative items, broke porcelain vases, and smudged glass surfaces.

Tim’s stubborn ways had cost him a lot of friends over the years. He didn’t care. They were all nuisances in one way or another. Always wanting a drink of water, light snacks, meals, or hours of his precious time. In return, they offered inane chatter, empty laughter, and frequently put the toilet seat down if it didn’t flush. If only they could learn to properly jiggle the handle life could have been so much better.

Instead, here he was being the gatekeeper for all humanity as yet another space-based visiting race failed to grasp his cultural nuances. Sending them packing was his only logical choice.

“And tell your other deep space friends that if they want to visit here they need to learn how to flush and wash their hands!” Tim shouted after him.

Do you have a good friend or close relative with whom you disagree on a major issue (political, personal, cultural)? What’s the issue, and how do you make the relationship work?

100% Brain Function – Still Not Enough

The procedure worked as advertised. Final testing confirmed his brain functioned at 100% capability. He could process information at an amazing rate. There would be some changes at his home to accommodate his new abilities. Faster bandwidth, more screens, more tablets, more phones, more books, the list grew exponentially as he focused on it.

The doctors told him his need for sleep would diminish rapidly. He would learn to put portions of his brain into idling mode when not fully engaged to allow rest. He would master his metabolic rate and restore his body parts without medications. Sickness and disease would become a thing of the past.

He thanked the medical team and drove home. His wife met him at the door with a frown.

“Where are the groceries?” she asked. “Did you remember to pick up my dry cleaning?”

“Um” he responded.

“Did you at least stop at the bank and withdraw cash for the weekend shopping?” she went on.

“Um, no.” he mumbled.

“Still useless I see. I don’t know why I agreed to let you get a brain upgrade. It doesn’t seem to have helped much.” she muttered. “Twelve more days.” she commented.

“Twelve more days and what?” he asked

“Twelve more days until you daughter’s birthday, you idiot. Did they really do the upgrade?” she remarked. “And don’t forget about my mother.” she went on.

“What about your mother?” he asked, cringing.

“I swear. If you didn’t have the stitches and medical paperwork I would think you went somewhere else. You didn’t have a reverse procedure done, did you? Did you donate brain cells instead of getting them all activated?” she demanded.

“Of course not. I got fully activated and tested to confirm it.” he replied holding out the charts.

“Whatever. We’ll have to see if you’re any better after an adjustment period.” she growled.

He didn’t answer. His hopes for humanity were slipping. He had planned on solving the major problems of the world. Hunger, disease, sea level changes, desert growth, famines, clean energy, were just a few items on his personal list.

Here he was at his own home still unable to keep up with his wife in conversation. She changed topics too quickly. Illogical leaps that were completely untraceable to him. The doctors had assured him of 100% capability. It still wasn’t enough.

Let’s assume we do, in fact, use only 10% of our brain. If you could unlock the remaining 90%, what would you do with it?

Connecting Random Dots

A co-worker’s son enjoys drawing portraits. His favorite person to draw is Morgan Freeman. He says it is the complexity of the man’s face with all the dots and wrinkles that adds extra challenge to the task. Sometimes they try to imagine constellation patterns taking shape on Mr. Freeman’s face. What if he were a living star map?

Today’s random quote from page 82 of a nearby book is:

“For example, he retained the custom of calling corporate meetings to order by quoting from the Biblical book of Isaiah.”

Can you imagine doing this?

“All right people. Let’s come to order. Our scripture reading today comes from the book of Isaiah, as usual.”

People will oppress each other—
    man against man, neighbor against neighbor.
The young will rise up against the old,
    the nobody against the honored.” Isaiah 3:5

“Remember to sign up for leadership and sales training by Friday. The theme is maximizing opportunities found in chaos.” the manager continued.

Open your nearest book to page 82. Take the third full sentence on the page, and work it into a post somehow.

Well, That is Random


Yellowstone Tree by Tim Pepper


The tree grew where the wind blew steadily most days.
The constant pushing force induced a permanent lean.
The rolling hilltop provided an uneven plane.
Despite difficulty, the pine grew tall and strong.

Random image prompt

Pick a random word and do Google image search on it. Check out the eleventh picture it brings up. Write about whatever that image brings to mind.

I Would Argue Your Side, but You Are an Idiot

Flex your thinking. Walk a mile in someone else’s shoes. See it from their point of view.


I like the rigidity of my thoughts, thank you. You can keep your foot fungus to yourself. I don’t want to have to install an abdominal window.

I’m reaching a point in my life where I just don’t want to change my mind. I think I’m becoming that cranky old man who shouts at kids to get off his lawn. (Well, I would be that guy if I cared about the lawn. It’s just grass after all.)

Occupy Wall Street? Whatever happened from all that? Did anything really change? Did the protesters get prosecuted for the crimes they committed on one another at their sites? Whose thinking got altered? Not mine.

Media bias? Sure it’s out there. Story distortion? Absolutely.

“Hands up, don’t shoot” was fiction.

“I can’t breathe” another distortion.

“Stand your ground” not applicable to the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin case no matter how much it was trumpeted in the press. The facts did not present that as a valid defense, so why did the media bring it up at every opportunity?

Keystone Pipeline? Where’s the debate of the full situation? Pipeline versus rail cars would seem to be a major point to discuss. The two are not even mentioned in the same articles. Safety record of rail cars versus pipeline spills? Good luck digging up the statistics. What we are presented are the numbers for how much oil would flow through the pipeline each day. Where are the corresponding stats for how many rail cars that would take for an equal amount?

Excuse me now while I go check my blood pressure.

Pick a contentious issue about which you care deeply — it could be the same-sex marriage debate, or just a disagreement you’re having with a friend. Write a post defending the opposite position, and then reflect on what it was like to do that.