Tag Archives: immortality

The X-Files: Year Zero – Issue #5

XFiles_YearZero_05

This issue concludes the mini-series and does so superbly. Unlike the previous issue, there is a lot of great stuff woven into this story.

Mulder and Scully discover Dorothy Sears’ identity in the present day. Having gained immortality by tricking the trickster Xero into giving her ambrosiac, she has lived below the radar and maintained her youth into the present day. There is a great panel where she relates to Scully what it was like to be a woman in the 1940s.

“But then, you don’t know what it was like in the forties, Agent Scully—for women, I mean. We had very limited roles, very few options. And a Cape Cod house with a picket fence was just a pretty cage—for me, at least.”

(p. 4)

During the climactic confrontation with Xero/Zero, Sears again tricks the trickster and escapes. Angered, Xero vows to hunt her down, but Mulder challenges him, claiming to know the tricksters true, secret name.

Xero: No! She will not do this again! She has broken her word—and so shall I! I will unheal her son, then hunt her down and—

Scully: You won’t hurt either of them!

Xero: No? And how would you stop me?

Mulder: By saying your true name!

Xero: You… play a card you do not have.

Mulder: Try me.

Xero: You are foolhardy, Fox Mulder. I like that in a man. It has earned you a reprieve. Until we meet again…

(Xero vanishes)

Scully: So… for future reference… what is his true name?

Mulder: Rumpelstiltskin?

(pp. 13 – 14)

I particularly loved the ending. It flashes back to 1947 where Ellinson and Ohio are setting up their new office space, from where they will begin investigating X-files. The two discuss how to set up their filing system.

Ohio: How should we have these sorted? The Sears case could go under “S”—or “L” for Long Island. But our Christmas trip—should that be “D” for Detroit? “H” for Hardin? “G” for gremlin?

Ellinson: Let’s keep it simple, keep them together so we can get at them quick. Bottom line is, these weird cases we’re looking into—past, present, and future—they’re all because of Mr. Xero. They’re all X-FILES.

(p. 20)

So this explains how the X-files got the name. Mentally filing that away for future trivia.

Hope you have an X-ellent day!!

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“Star Trek: The Ashes of Eden” by William Shatner

StarTrekAshesOfEden

Several months ago, I stopped at a yard sale to look for books and records. Among the various items I discovered a couple of Star Trek novels, one of which was written by William Shanter. A Star Trek novel written by Kirk himself? In hardcover? For one dollar? I couldn’t pass it up. Well, I finally got around to reading it and it was everything I expected: sci-fi adventure, some philosophical ideas to mull over, enough cheesiness to make it endearing, and a healthy portion of Shatner’s ego. In fact, there were several places where other characters wondered what Kirk would do in the situation, which made me chuckle and think “WWKD.” Anyway, combined together, all these things made for a fun, entertaining read, which was what I was in the mood for.

The general theme of this book is how we as humans deal with getting old and our quest for youth. It’s a universal concept, that we seek immortality through fame and that we try to keep ourselves feeling young; but there is always a cost. Early in the book, Kirk reflects on his fame and the issues associated with it.

But then his recognition had moved beyond the Fleet. Civilians began approaching him, asking the same questions, seeking more details. Always details. After the incident with V’Ger, the floodgates had opened. All Earth claimed to know him. Most of the other worlds too.

Now Kirk couldn’t go anywhere without detecting the unsettling flash of recognition in strangers’ eyes. All the more intense because, unlike the sudden recognition awarded a new sports star or politician, people had come to recognize him over decades of his career.

(p. 39)

I see this as very autobiographical. Shatner certainly gained fame as Kirk, but he had plenty of other roles which added to his fame and recognition, such as T. J Hooker and his role as Denny Crane in Boston Legal.

As Kirk struggles to find his place in life as a person who is no longer young, he turns to his memories. There is a great passage about how memories mark your journey through life. By following the path of your memories, you begin to see patterns which enable you to make a reasonable guess at where the path is leading you.

Memories were the markers of the journey through life. It was necessary to know where you had come from. Only then could you know where you were going.

(p. 72)

At one point in the book, Kirk considers a question that resonated with me: “When was it ever right to give up doing what you lived to do?” (p. 126) I have asked myself this question many times throughout my life, particularly in regard to playing music and writing. These are things I love. They are a part of who I am. Would I be more successful if I gave them up and focused all my energy on the pursuit of material gain? Yes, but at what cost? I would be sacrificing a part of who I am. I could never do that and continue living a happy life.

One of my favorite quotes from this book appears in the later part.

… we’re not responsible for the world we’re born into. Only for the world we leave when we die. So we have to accept what’s gone before us in the past, and work to change the only thing we can—the future.

(p. 268)

This is so very true. I make a conscious effort to think about the future whenever I am acting or making a decision. Everything I do, every choice I make, directly affects the future in ways that I may never know. My actions may not have a recognizable impact on the world today, but I know that what I do now will impact the world that my children’s children will inherit.

So I want to close this post with one last quote that ties in with a little nerdy Star Trek trivia.

Then Kirk gave an order he had never given before.
“Beam me up, Scotty.”

(p. 282)

If you’re a Trekkie, you know that Kirk never actually said “Beam me up, Scotty” in any of the Star Trek episodes. I found it funny that Shatner pointed that out in the book.

So, this is not great literature, but it is a fun and easy read, and if you are a Star Trek fan, you’ll definitely get a kick out of it.

Live long and prosper.

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