I was able to leave work early. Oh, I guess I didn't mention, I got fired from the Science Center. I had stepped on my manager's toes once too often and was not able to keep my mouth shut at the injustice of the situation and my fears of the direction things were going. No matter; within two weeks I had a new job with better hours, more pay and greater opportunities.
Anyway, I arrive at Dover early. Earlier than my captain who was, supposedly leaving earlier than me. Well, this was the first year that I was driving by myself to Dover as the Captain was getting a ride with someone else. He's often less than punctual. Anyway (again) It's good to be back at the Day's Inn; it feels like home.
At the chocolate party, I again bring a fudge brain. I also bring a new Klin Zha board and a stack of flyers. My mission this year is to promote Klin Zha and The Authorized Klin Zha Homepage. In short order I have an audience of half a dozen and am teaching them how to play. I'm so busy that I don't have an opportunity to have much chocolate at the chocolate party. Next year, I think I'll talk to Joe Manning about doing a formalized class, with a room and a slot on the official schedule.
My captain arrives at around this time. It seems they made a wrong turn and almost ended up back in West Virginia.
Which leads me into a story within a story.
This year, we had the honor of hosting a comrade named Steve from a Klingon group in England. On his trip from Pittsburgh to Dover, and passing through the panhandle of West Virginia, he heard a certain number of jokes about the citizens of that state. I felt compelled to tell him a true story.
I have a friend named Pete and, on this particular weekend, he and some friends of his (and mine) were traveling south to a camp in WVA. The Deliverance jokes were flying pretty well until they crossed the Mason-Dixon line and found a frightening percentage of it to be true.
On one night of that trip, Pete was snorkeling in the lake and Tim was paddling around in a surplus raft. Pete was having a good time with a waterproof flashlight and camera, taking pictures of the nocturnal denizens of the lake. He came upon a couple of guys in a boat out fishing.
Now, they shouldn't have been out fishing at night any more than Pete should have been swimming. Pete had no particular problem with that but decided to swim clear so as not to get hooked or tangled in lines.
With the lake quiet and the sound traveling across the water, Pete heard one of the fisherman say, "Hey, Billy-bob, what the hell is that? What the . . . what the hell is that? It must be one of them . . . creatures. Get the oar." (I have included some .wav files so that those of Steve's comrades in England can hear the accent as it's supposed to be.)
With visions of these men paddling over to him an beating him with the oars like he was some sort of Loch Ness Monster, he swam for his life. He caught up to Tim and dragged the boat as well as he could; "Let's get the hell out of here. Go! Go! Go!"
Well, to return to Dover, Steve is laughing at my presentation of the hick accent and the humor of the whole image. All weekend, he tries to relate the story and just can't do it justice with his English accent. He just can't seem to make "oar" a two syllable word. Whenever I chime in with the appropriate accent from the land of the scarlet nape, Steve breaks down in additional fits of laughter.
On a shopping trip, Steve found some small paddles and presented one to me. "Get the oar!" becomes our battle cry for the weekend.
Saturday brings Dover's first Big Ugly Gun contest. At Hope Con last year, I witnessed a Big Ugly Gun contest and saw that most of the entries were big bazooka-like tubes with strobe effects. Big, yes. Ugly, yes. But I felt they didn't have much style, no soul. So, beginning in October, I built the Armageddon 3000. It has it all; Coil gun, 25mm cannon, particle beam accelerator, flame thrower, chemical and biotoxin dispensers, a circular saw, integral bayonet, dual Pentium processors, AM/FM stereo and a half-kiloton rocket propelled micro-nuke. The gun you'd be proud to have them pry from your cold, dead fingers. It won.
My challenge now: what will I do to top it next year?
After the group photo, I see a team of Feddies dressed as jack-booted ATF gestapo troops. Body armor, masks, ballistic helmets, the embodiment of 24th Century abrogation of individual liberty. When guns are outlawed, only the Government will have guns. I brandish my gun at them, they point their puny phasers at me, and we spend the next 10 minutes having our pictures taken in that pose.
My first time at this Klingon camp-out and it was hot. Really hot. Hot and humid. Friday night was nasty and uncomfortable all the way till about 3:00 Saturday morning, when it became only too warm to sleep comfortably. It was even too hot to play Klin Zha, half the reason I went. John "Mike" Ford was there and I wanted to show off what I had done with The Authorized Klin Zha Homepage and talk to him about what he had in his mind about the game when he wrote "The Final Reflection." I didn't get much of a chance to do that but I did talk a bit with his consort about writing.
Saturday was hot as well but not quite so humid and, thus was a bit more tolerable. The Year Games began in earnest. I made a respectable showing in the Targ Toss but the wind was against me, preventing me from earning a medal. In the Mace Battle and Shields competitions I didn't do so well, either. I skipped a few things in the middle of the day, hoping to have a chance at Klin Zha again, but that was not to be. Then, late in the day, came the Romulan Raid. Competitors had to run across the bridge, along the pond shore, to retrieve a bomb (softball). Then run to the reactor core (a cardboard box) and race back. Along the way was a sneaky Romulan who would try to shoot you (with a Super Soaker). In that I placed second. I paid for that victory much later when my body realized all the muscles I had pulled in the attempt.
Then came the Consortship Ceremony of Mike and Elise. For this I was chosen to stand as one of the Honor Guard. There were four pairs of guards; two each for Fierceness, Honor, Strategy and Luck. I stood with Admiral Kishin (Sue Frank) representing strategy.
After the ceremony, which was quite nice by the way, Elise presented each of the Honor Guard with charms that had hung from her headdress during the ceremony with the bane to go forth and tell the tale. That was all very thoughtful but, by that time, I was really hot in my uniform and I was more looking forward to throwing myself into the swimming pool, opened after hours for the Honor Guard to cool off.
Then, after the fireworks in Mike and Elise's honor, there came the last official event of the day; The Great Lies of Battle. Mike read from "The Final Reflection" while Kishin, Kurriis and I prepared a special surprise for him. I didn't even know what was coming until I opened the box and began unwrapping a beautiful, hand-painted pewter Klin Zha set. I had seen poor xerox pictures of this set in an old "Agonizer" Klin Zha supplement but, it was an incredible piece of work. Mike was speechless when it was presented. Wow.
But, on with the lies. There were many tales told. My first story was the "Get the oar!" tale I told at Dover. I also told some other stories of adventures in Klindom, some of which you may have already read on this website. For presentation, style and sheer volume I won first place.
After that, it was hours of sitting around the ceremonial campfire and just talking. And talking. Then, around 3:30 in the morning, it was time for skinny dipping. My co-conspirators, who shall remain nameless, climbed the fence and we shucked our clothes. A pleasant experience. As the heat of the day slowly evaporated from the pool, one by one my fellow bathers left until there were just two of us. We stayed in the pool, talking, until the morning twilight suggested that we get going before the camp began waking up and discovered us. I hoped to get back to my tent before the birds started singing so that I could get at least some sleep. Too late.
There were a few more games on Sunday but I didn't participate. Again, I was talking and hoping to get in a game of Klin Zha. That was not to be. Oh well. I was able to get Mike Ford's e-mail address so that I can talk to him about the game and his book. It's probably better that way; I'll have the conversation documented instead of trying to remember what was said in person, and e-mail affords the luxury of composing ones questions and answers much better.
I'll definitely want to do this again next year, and it has also given me a nudge into attending Warriors' Weekend, another Klingon camping event at the end of the summer.
The theme for this year's Warrior's Weekend is pirates and I'm all set. Just a month ago, I was Bucconeer, the site of this year's World Con. That has a pirate theme and I was able to get plenty of ideas. I read "Treasure Island," purchased the video (the newer production with Charlton Heston as Long John Silver) and even saw the Muppet version on TV (Tim Currey as Silver is a lot of fun).
The weekend is a lot of fun and I drop into a pirate persona more easily, it seems, than dropping into a Klingon character. Perhaps it's easier to maintain because the sweat isn't building up under a rubber forehead and you're not risking heat stroke.
There were events planned but people were having enough fun just socializing that they don't want to bother with organized sports.
I've been trying to get a copy of Quake II from a friend of mine for some time. Well, I've finally got it. I've also seen skins on the Internet. In multiplayer games, you can change your appearance if you have different skins. Different clans get together and use distinctive skins to identify teams. Well, Clan Sto-vo-kor is a Klingon Quake Clan and they have skins that are, of course, Klingon.
But, in looking at those, I thought they weren't distinctively Klingon. Sure, if you get close enough you can see the ridges on the forehead, but from a distance they are just like so many other people in black armor.
So, immediately upon arriving home with my new copy of Quake II, I downloaded a skin viewing program, a bunch of skins for reference and I set to work. By the end of the day I had two skins. By the end of the next day I had two more. I had started with the typical movie-style Klingon uniform. I then did a female uniform like the one K'Ehleyr wore in "Emissary." I did a classic Klingon and a female uniform, like the Fallout Twins wear. I've also started getting good with scanning in a picture of a Klingon and adapting that image to the skin. I modified the Classic uniform to look like Kor (not a great job) and made an "Undiscovered Country" uniform with General Chang's face (the eye patch looks good). I've also done a warrioress from the Imperial Xena Legion. The Imperial Xena Legion??? Well, if you read the section earlier about my first Camp Dover Peace Conference in 1995, I mentioned the creation of the Imperial Xeno Legion, a place for non-Klingons to serve in the Klingon Assault Group. Well, the Demonic Press, a newsletter of the irreverent Demon Fleet, did an issue parodying the IXL, creating the Imperial XENA Legion. Lots of fun there.
OK, I was talking about Quake . . . Eventually, I'll move beyond making Quake skins and actually get on the Internet to play in some deathmatches. Lots of fun there, too. I'm also thinking of doing Deathmatch arenas. Imagine running around a D-7 Battlecruiser. I'm actually getting good at this. I've done a skin for the Red Skull, too.
You can see my skins at my Soldiers of the Quake Empire page.
At Warrior's Weekend, Twisty approached me to accept a command position with the Cyberspace Patrol. The CSP is the part of KAG that operates in the Internet. Intelligence Officers maintain their ship's webpages. The E-Corps helps others develop websites, mailing lists and otherwise get on-line. The ELINT Fleet is a place to actually be on-line, consisting of ships that exist only (or primarily) on the Internet.
I accepted command of KAG's ELINT Fleet and put up a webpage at http://www.tasigh.org/elint/index.html.
|http://www.tasigh.org/kordite/events-1998.html -- Revised: 18 May 2002
Copyright © 2002 Kevin A. Geiselman