Hey, Brother…Can You Spare a Quatloo?
Thankfully, that’s all rectified now. The confusion stemmed from the fact that the Monthly Pay Period hits on the Fifth of the month. If the Fifth is going to be on weekend, or a holiday, the pay roll distribution is advanced to the next workday…which would have been yesterday, since we stacked up BOTH a weekend and a holiday. This sort of happened…I could see my pay stub as much as I wanted, but the money did not actually change hands until midnight.
Not that I had anything at all to spend money on until today as it was…yesterday was my seven AM to midnight Big Day of school. However it was the very end of the pay period, on the first month of school…and the “Back to School” expenditures are something I spoke about earlier in the week. Finances were very Close to the Bone, and it was time to see some more money.
The art had to do with that on a “back burner” type of schedule. I was planning the composition, with no idea for the speech balloon until the moment it looked like my paycheck had gone badly awry. The composition hails from the fact that in my raw digital files, before processing them to be published online, I was approaching number 1701. This image, of course, in raw form was number 1701, which is the registry number painted on the Enterprise in the Original Series of “Star Trek.”
Trivia related to the site…the numbers of the raw images are waaaay behind the actual number of images I’ve drawn on the site, because I adopted hardware, and then naming conventions, somewhat after starting Adequacy. That was a pretty random side note, and the number of images I’ve drawn for the site, including this one is 1,886. That’s…a whole lot.
This image directly references one of the 79 Original Star Trek Episodes, in reflection of that unusual and high number. The episode was called “The Gamesters of Triskelion,” and is so incredibly rooted in 1960’s era sci-fi concepts that it remains as bizarrely cool today as the day that it aired.
So…what’s the episode about, huh? Brace yourself…I’ll keep this as brief as I can.
The Enterprise is on a routine inspection of an unmanned station at planet Gamma II. Kirk, Uhura and Chekov attempt to beam down, but disappear before the system is even turned on. How three people were selected for this abduction from massive distances away, we never find out…it just doesn’t matter that much. Spock orders the crew to start a sector-wide search for his missing friends. They find a whole lot of bupkus, but Spock discovers a faint “ion trail” leading to a nearby star system, and orders the ship to follow it.
Meanwhile, Kirk, Uhura, and Chekov regain consciousness on a strange planet within a gladiator’s arena, painted with a triangular shape. Let’s look, shall we?
The second they wake up, they are attacked by four humanoids, and find their phasers inoperable…so it turns into Space Fight Club. The fight is stopped by another humanoid that calls himself Galt, the Master Thrall of Triskelion. Galt informs the three they have performed well, and now will be trained to participate in games to entertain their masters, the Providers. Each is fitted with a shock collar that engages should they disobey the Master Thrall’s orders.
Uhura, Chekov, and Kirk are assigned individual drill Thralls: Lars, Tamoon, and Shahna…who you can see above in her tin foil bikin. I absolutely LOVE that costume, complete with go-go boots. Uhura and Chekov find their assigned instructor antagonistic, while Kirk finds that Shahna — once described in the script as “the green-haired female warrior who gets the hots for Captain Kirk” — shows some compassion for him. Kirk uses this to try to gain information about “the Providers” from Shahna during their drills by explaining the concept of freedom, but when she does open up, the Providers shock her through the collar.
Kirk tries to appeal to Galt that he should have been the one punished for disobedience. When they are returned to their cells, Shahna expresses her appreciation for Kirk’s attempt to take the punishment. When she moves to embrace him, Kirk knocks her out and uses the opportunity to free Uhura and chekov and escape, but they are stopped by Galt, and shocked by their collars, with the disembodied voices of the Providers warning that escape is impossible.
The Enterprise arrives at the planet Triskelion around now. When Spock and McCoy attempt to beam down to rescue the captain, the Providers ensnare the ship with a power beam and take it over…because that makes sense, right? We still haven’t seen the Providers, know nothing about them. The Providers tell Kirk that his ship is now at stake in the arena games. Kirk decides to give them a wager they cannot refuse, and he suddenly finds himself in an underground chamber. The Providers turn out to be three disembodied brains in a sort of Dairy Container, which hold the personas of the Providers. That image is where today’s art finds its inspiration…lets have a look:
The Providers explain that they watch over the Thralls and for their entertainment, wager “quatloos” over battles between the Thralls. Quatloos seem to be some unit of currency…but if you are a brain in a jar, what are you buying? That isn’t terribly important, because Kirk offers that if he and his two officers emerge victorious in battle with the Providers’ Thralls, that the Providers will let him and his crew go while freeing EVERYBODY. The brain guys are supposed to use their power to teach the Thralls to become a free society. If Kirk and his officers lose, the Providers can take his crew to use in further competitions. Nice, Kirk…you just gamble the freedom of four hundred people on you own machismo.
The Providers agree, but stipulate that Kirk must battle the three Thralls alone. Because, you know…that’s fair, right?
The match is quickly arranged, and as the Enterprise crew watches from above, Kirk is able to straight up KILL two Thralls and injure the third. The Providers replace the wounded Thrall with Shahna. Though Kirk is exhausted and does not want to kill Shahna, he manages to overpower her, and she offers him her surrender. The Providers show compassion and agree that Kirk fairly won the wager, and as promised, release his ship and the Thralls. Kirk gives Shahna a kiss and explains the Providers will help them become a free society before the crew is beamed back to the ship.
See what I mean? That plotline is all kinds of crazy, and easily one of my favorite episodes because of it’s weirdness. I watched it again, online, just to be able to get a handle on the images and the plot, such as it is, and was still just in awe of the crazy costuming, papier-mâché sets, and bizarre turns.
Still…the district finally gave me all my quatloos, and just in time. That’s a good thing.