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Holonovels And The Dictates Of Poetics

Tom And Tuvok's Trojan Vacation
Ginny — 27 Jun 1997

NOTE: Due to the shortage of women characters on the Good Ship Voyager, the ladies will be playing dual roles.

Our story begins on Starbase Olympus, where Hera (Kathryn), Queen of the Gods, Athena (B'Elanna), Goddess of Wisdom and Strategy, and Aphrodite (Kes), Goddess of Luv, are having a phaserfire fight over who's the most beautiful. Enter the handsome, cocky, incredibly short-sighted Trojan pilot, Paris (that worked out nicely, didn't it?). Hera and Athena use their deified feminine wiles on young Paris to persuade him to chose one of them, but it is Aphrodite who knows what men really want and offers him the deal-clincher--the most beautiful woman in the quadrant, Helen (B'Elanna, who in a novel dramatic interpretation, plays her as a woman who's perpetually pissed off), who is currently married to the pig-headed and irascible General Menelaus (the Holodoctor, playing to type). Not one to look a gift horse in the mouth (either now OR later), Paris steals Helen away to his father's fortified city, Troy. There, Helen gets to know, and annoy, her new in-laws--the brave and noble Hector (Chakotay), his faithful, loving, and longsuffering wife (Kathryn), whose name excapes me, and the family nutca--er, eccentric, Cassandra (Voyager's own little harbinger of doom, Kes).

Meanwhile, the Greeks pursue and lay seige to the city. Menelaus brings in his go-to man, Achilles, tall, dark and invincible (Tuvok, in a tour-de-force performance), but prone to vanity and pouting alone in his tent. Along for the ride is Achilles' little "friend", Patrocles, who dies a truly ignoble death on the battlefield. . .and that's only the beginning. (This kid's got Harry written all over him.)

The siege goes on and on and on (as seiges are wont to do), the goddesses choose sides and place bets, and then it gets really ugly.

Lots of people die--badly. Troy is destroyed. So is the old-growth forest used to build the Trojan horse. Helen returns to Greece with Menelaus, who spends the rest of his program wondering why he wanted her back, in the first place. Hera puts itching powder in Aphrodite's face cream. Odysseus (Neelix) escapes Troy alive, only to suffer the indignity, centuries later, of being featured in a really bad miniseries.

Ah, well. It is a tragedy, after all.

EPILOGUE--After the Trojan War holonovel debacle, Tom and Tuvok decide that "Oedipus Rex" is probably a really poor choice as a follow-up and, in the interest of crew morale, put the entire "Ancient Classic Holonovel Series" on indefinite hold. Our intrepid writers discuss their next project.

Tom: How about "Hamlet"? It has sex, a tormented blonde guy haunted by the memory of his father, and a cool swordfight.

Tuvok: And you would play...Hamlet?

Tom: (nonchalantly) Well, sure.

Tuvok: I mean no offense, Mr. Paris, but even Mel Gibson had more depth.

Tom: (not as offended as one would expect) Well, then, Mr. Drama Critic, what do you suggest?

Tuvok: I believe the crew would enjoy something light and amusing, with an occasional musical interlude. Something from the 20th century, perhaps. I considered the works of Lerner and Loew, but I believe the more logical choice would be a Walt Disney animated musical.

Tom: (shaking his head) Can't do it.

Tuvok: (evenly) And why not, Mr. Paris?

Tom: I'm Southern Baptist. (Tuvok raises an eyebrow. Tom looks embarassed.) O...kay. So I'm not a particularly good Southern Baptist. I'm still not doing Disney.

Tuvok: Very well. What do you suggest as an alternative?

An excellent question. Do any of you have any suggestions?