INSIDE PITCH TOY SHOW
IXL Colonel Keela zantai-Septaric reporting.
I secured permission to enter Executioner space to set up and man a KAG table at the Inside Pitch Promotions Toy Show at the Hickory (NC) Metro Convention Center on October 5, 2013. After arranging with the Inside Pitch coordinator, Wes Starkey, for the Klingon Assault Group to once again have a table, I informed him that the charity was the Marine Corps Reserves Toys for Tots program. Friday at noon I loaded the IKV Raging Wolf shuttle with all the necessary equipment and took off for the Hickory system. After off-loading (with plans to return and set up) and warping over to visit my daughter, NiQi, we all headed back to the Lenoir system. While entering orbit at planet Wal-Mart, I heard unusual noises coming from the front of the vehicle. NiQi was beamed down and I warped to Fairway Tire where I had had a tire fixed earlier that day. The bad news was both brake calipers on the front end had locked up. Much Klingon screaming and pulling of hair ensued.
After successfully reaching home port and contracting with another vessel to pick up a cloaked IXL Lt. NiQi tai and her progeny (who were both in my care), I contacted by subspace the CO of the IKV Fanged Moon, Lt. BeQ’cha vestai-Majjas, to let her know that there was a possibility that the dilithium charge would not hold. Long story short, the dilithium crystals on the old cargo shuttle were charged for 1 1/2 hours total that night, thus it left space dock successfully the following morning with the rest of the cargo that had been missed in the first shipment. Qapla’!
BeQ’cha and her XO, IXL Lt. Nivek tai of Vulcan, warped early to the battle site and ably set up the KAG table. When I arrived, it was already powered up and humming smoothly. Qapla’ to the Fanged Moon for their achievement! I set up the rest of the materials, armored up and began raising funds. The Fanged Moon ran the Dice Game which proved to be successful, however, it was slow going at first.
I had chosen a corner site with much room to spread out and enjoy the battle. But then vendors began parking the convention center’s huge transport carriers beside us. I had no idea this would happen or I would have chosen different coordinates. When the fourth carrier was pushed towards us, I forbid its entry into Klingon space and pointed to an alternate storage location, thanks to the friendly advice of our neighbor, GI Dave’s Collectibles. Throughout the morning we battled as best we could and slowly the green currency began to fill the collection jar. Surprisingly enough the hardest thing seemed to be convincing the attendees that a $2 donation would earn them a chance to roll for a guaranteed prize! At approximately 11:00 am, while doing reconnaissance, I ran into a fully-armored, Death-Sting-toting Lt. Kas’Duj vestai-Mjolnir who expressed great joy that I had made the event. I showed him the location of the battle site and filled him in on necessary details.
Later that morning, one (and one half) of my crew beamed down. IXL Lt. S’Risha tai of Vulcan and her half targ, half Borg, dubbed the “Raging Marshmallow” armored up and began prowling the convention, raising awareness and some funds for Toys for Tots. Qapla’! Throughout the day, Inside Pitch promoter, Wes Starkey, gave announcements about our charity project. I am grateful for him assisting in this manner as it validated our presence and our actions.
I had just taken a bite of a delicious yuchchip cookie, made by Nivek, when a young man approached the table and asked me if I remembered a Richard Heckert, aka Cmdr. Raqkor sutai-K’mpec. I said yes, I did, and asked how he was. The young man then relayed the shocking news that Richard, his father, had passed away unexpectedly in his sleep on September 30th. I dropped my cookie. The young man’s name was Bill and he recounted how much Raqkor had loved being a Klingon and how much he enjoyed talking with KAG members when he came to events where we were. I met Raqkor K’mpec in 2002. He belonged to the Klingon Strike Force, of which his membership consisted mostly of online interaction and chatting. He was the Sector 5 CO and SATCOM CO for KSF last I had heard. I always invited him to join KAG, and he kept saying he might, but I never got a robo-application from him. Coincidentally the Klingon Strike Force was founded by John Halvorson (TA Kris zantai-Kurkura) before he founded the Klingon Assault Group.
The news was a shock to all at the KAG table. I mentioned to Bill that we would do a Death Howl for his father, and Kas’Duj said let’s do it now. Bill said he would be so grateful if we would and that it would have meant so much to his father. So after securing permission, I wrote up a quick script for Wes to read over the sound system to announce our howl. Kas’ Duj proofread it and we took it to him. Briefly, it apprised everyone that a long-time attendee of Inside Pitch events, named Richard Heckert, had died unexpectedly on 9-30-13, and that he was a member of a Klingon group. So the Klingon Assault Group requested a moment of silence in order to offer up a howl to warn Sto-Vo-Kor, Klingon heaven, that a Warrior was approaching. When Wes finished speaking, we began with a low growling and built in intensity until our mighty howls filled the room. For most of the KAG Warriors present, it was their first Howl. They will not soon forget it.
Bill was moved greatly and stated that he would be joining KAG in honor of his father. We all hugged him and some shook his hand. I will be in touch with him, and will sending him a copy of this AER. I ask that all Warriors remember Raqkor of House K’mpec when they Howl for the fallen at their appointed times of honoring our fallen KAG Warriors. I also ask that his name be placed on the KAG Hall of Warriors, for he was my friend and I am very sad at his passing.
Duty is everything, so we returned to ours and continued raising funds. Kas’Duj had to rendezvous with his real life family, so he took his leave of us around 2:00 pm. The remaining Warriors continued to battle. S’Risha and I went over to the Terrier Show and looked at some of the four-legged barking animals (similar to targs) there. I wandered over to look at some of the arts and crafts for sale. S’Risha is a dog person and was in her element, so after a while I left her there and went back to the battle field. She returned later and brought a donation with her. Qapla’!
Vendors began tearing down sooner than expected, as the crowds were thinning out, so we also began slowly to tear down. We received 13 donations of toys that event and (after counting the money later) $131, with most of the proceeds coming from the Dice Game brought by the IKV Fanged Moon. Many thanks to them for donating the goods that were being used. Also thanks to Wes and JoAnn Starkey for their generous donation.
It was a glorious battle, despite the sad news of Raqkor, and we were satisfied at our victory for the Toys For Tots program. We departed at about 4:15 pm for a well deserved Good Day to Dine at the NY Hibachi Grill.
A GOOD DAY TO DINE
After the glorious and successful Toys For Tots toy and fundraiser, we all set course for the NY Hibachi Buffet. The cargo shuttle’s dilithium crystals continued to hold their charge and the impulse engines turned over. Nivek and BeQ’cha warped quickly to the Feast site and secured us a table. The cargo shuttle, an older and slower vessel, finally docked. Nivek met us as we came through the entrance and showed us where to sit. We got so many wild looks from the wait staff, you would have thought we had never eaten there before. While everyone left to get food, I guarded the table. The waitress rounded the corner and came walking towards the table bearing two drinks. She stopped mid-stride and I beckoned towards her. “Come on,” I said, “those drinks go here.” She came over, put down the drinks, took mine and S’Risha’s drink order, and scuttled away quickly.
The food was superb and there was plent! We sat, ate and chatted for a good long time. Several holo-images were requested by patrons of the restaurant. After a while, I had to cut our Feast short because I had to head back to my home coordinates, so we paid our latinum and parted ways. I took S’Risha and the Raging Marshmallow to their apartment and then, coaxing the engines to warp, set course for the Lenoir system. It was a glorious event, filled with much emotion and success. Our total amount of money and toys will be added to the previous IKV Executioner’s and IKV Fanged Moon’s efforts, and a grand total of toys and funds will be announced by the IKV Executioner CO shortly.
IXL Colonel Keela zantai-Septaric
CO, IKV Raging Wolf