Mindscanner #54
Straight from the Water Tower (again)
by Capt. K'Han Den (sutai) a.k.a. Wakov Warnok
[email protected]

There comes a time on every Klingon ship when a mission calls for that horrifying thing known as a "road trip". Sure it sounds easy enough, take 14 burly Klingon warriors and place them in two Volkswagen beetles to travel 200 miles in under a day. Unfortunately the reality of the situation is not a pretty picture, it's more of a spaghetti western/Friday the 13th part 25 type thing, the stuff that nightmares (with commercials) are made from.

The Stranglehold has taken a few of these trips, in fact some of our missions take us to some strange exotic lands like Los Angeles or more recently to Lake Arrowhead complete with snow covered mountains. Our trips start out with meeting at one spot and dividing up into groups to fit into the vehicles available. Your group can be the command staff group, or by House affiliation, or by sex (male, female, yes frequently, etc.), or just by who can fit into what car (skateboard to semi-truck). Next is a trick that requires those blessed with the ability to fit square pegs into round holes, to load all the gear into the vehicles. One can truly say that Klingons do not know how to pack light and with all the gear we need to make ourselves look pretty can make the mundane question our sanity.

So now the cars are packed, the crew is divided into groups, we're ready to go but who should lead the caravan. This should be left to someone who is experienced in the ways of the highway, who has spent time amongst the natives we may encounter along the route, whose expertise as a guide should help this adventure along should there be any trouble along the way; and if you can't find someone like that it's the person who has the directions or bought a map. So now we can hit the trail and this is where all your plans go awry.

Along the way there will be many mishaps that will test your abilities as a true warrior or will frustrate you as a true living creature. This includes: potty emergencies (frequent if people drank the abyss boy coke's), leg cramps, lead foot drivers who want to do warp speed and leave everyone else in the dust, anger, tornadoes & floods (trust me we got this one going into LA), boredom, hunger, gas (bring a filtration device these can be nasty in enclosed spaces), traffic, people who try to relieve boredom by giving the entire Jungle Cruise spiel and follow it up with America Sings (sorry I can't help it I get punchy after 6 hours), and Karaoke round robins. Now there are benefits too:... ...............uh, the great experience of spending lots of time together in a tight confining space for several hours on end?

To alleviate some of these problems, try to share ahead of time the route to be taken, the planned stops for change of drivers, when you'll stop for meal breaks, and how to signal for the caravan to pull off for emergencies ( flash, wave hands, smoke signals, flares, phaser burst across the bow). Remember though that something will happen that was not planned for and even though this will get your ire up do not let this interfere with your mission. We are asked to be performers for some event and they don't want to see us yelling at each other over how stupid the other person's driving is or why does that person have to go to the little aliens room 500 times. Take time when you arrive to relax, flush your system of the anger or put it on hold and do your mission. Remember you are representing your ship, group, club, friends and you may find this mission fun and want to do it again. Our crew has had it's share of mishaps on road trips and after all the complaints and swearing have died down, we end up doing it again. Why? We're crazy, but mostly in the end we have fun.

By Dennis Hanon

a.k.a. Capt. K'Han Den (sutai) a.k.a. Wakov Warnok
commanding IKV Stranglehold
Kri'stak Quadrant, Ring of Fire Fleet
10883 Elderburry Ct
San Diego, Ca 92126

[email protected]