The Wil Wheaton/John Scalzi Fan Fiction Contest
Below was my submission to the Wil Wheaton/John Scalzi Fan Fiction Contest (Summer, 2010) to benefit the Lupus Alliance of America. The purpose of the contest was to explain the strange painting dubbed "Unicorn Pegasus Kitten" shown here. That's Wheaton on the kitten, with Scalzi as a green orc. The story (2000 words) didn't win, but you might still find it a fun read. Nearly every obscure reference in the story comes from Star Trek, Wheaton, or Scalzi trivia.
The Parasitic Eggs of an Orc
By Larry Hodges
monster came first for the soldiers, and I didn't defend them because I was no
longer a soldier. Then it came for the giants, and I didn't defend them because
I wasn't a giant. Then it came for the people, and I didn't defend them because
I wasn't one of the people. I was an outcast living in the caves outside
the monster came for Thundercat, and by that time there was no one left to
defend my precious kitten. The Scalzi orc, a fiend spat out from Hell's heart,
had devastated the defenseless land. But who cared about those who had abandoned
me to my shadowy domain, leaving me to my blogs and computer games? How soon
they forgot who helmed the
Thundercat's yowling was a stab to my shrunken heart. I raced to the catcave and
found her whimpering in fright on the floor amongst scraps of bacon left over
from her breakfast. Sunlight shown through an orc-sized hole in the wall where
the mighty Scalzi had torn its way in through sheer rock. Blood poured from the
wound in Thundercat's gigantic head where I realized the monster had laid its
eggs directly into her brain. My poor cat! I threw my arms around her
massive neck and hugged with all my might. There was nothing to be done.
gently disengaged herself from my grasp and spread her wings. The blood from her
head wound had spattered her fine brown fur and dripped from her wing feathers,
and my own clothing was now streaked with red. She had been violated in a manner
no sentient being should suffer. How could any creature do such a thing?
from outside came the roar of the Scalzi orc, a deep thunder that shook the
ground as it echoed across the land. The orc had lain claim to this world, and I
had done nothing.
nothing awaken your wrath?" I spun about, adrenaline pumping as I launched
myself toward the voice, prepared to fight the monstrous orc. But it was only
Frow of the Nognilk tribe of giants. He'd stuck his head through the hole, which
was far too small for him to enter. The ridges on his forehead were torn apart
as if bitten. Blood dripped from his face.
do you want?" I asked, turning my back to him as I returned to my
Volkswagen-sized pet. I rubbed her back and she began to purr.
have a message from Scalzi," Frow said.
message is clear," I said. "But what can I do? I'm just an out-of-work
actor, hopelessly typecast."
message is far beyond what you see, Wil," Frow said. "It said, 'This
is only the beginning. Come play with me.' Then it did this." Frow held up
his right shoulder so I could see the stump where his sword arm had once been. I
looked away. "The world needs you," Frow said.
was the world when I needed it?" I cried. A huge tear rolled out of
Thundercat's eye. It mixed with blood on the fur of her cheek, creating a hairy,
never left, Wil," Frow said. "You left, hiding in the shadows of
geekiness. You cannot escape your past nor your future, Teen Idol."
had been a long time since anyone had called me that. I stared at Thundercat.
Her big brown eyes peered back, like two orbs in a huge tribble splashed with
outside so we may talk," Frow said.
turned and retreated to the passageway from the catcave to my cave. Thundercat
followed. Only a cat can weigh a ton and still move like, well, a cat.
wiped Thundercat clean with a towel. I stripped off my now bloody clothing and
put on blue shorts and one of my old ensign shirts, burgundy red with black
shoulders, with the Starfleet insignia on the left. Then I changed my mind; it
was time to leave the past behind. I removed the shirt and replaced it with a
simple white sweater with red shoulders. The wool rubbed against my skin,
scratching an itch I didn't know was there. I grabbed my spear, two bottles of
warrior brew, and led Thundercat outside.
sunshine hurt my eyes. I had been in the shadows too long.
handed my old mentor one of the warrior brew bottles. "Prune juice!"
he cried, eyes suddenly bright. "The drink of a warrior." He downed it
in one gulp as I sipped at mine. Then his eyes darkened.
have fought the Scalzi orc," he said, rubbing his remaining hand over the
remains of his forehead ridges. He wore black and blue war paint around his
eyes, but his eyebrows, nose, and lips were covered in blood. "But I would
rather fight ten Balduk warriors than face this one small orc again. And yet,
fight it again I must. Will you stand by me?"
shot through me at what the Scalzi orc had done to Frow, knowing the same
ferocity would not be so restrained when I faced it.
too powerful," I said. "It single-handedly destroyed the entire
region. If millions cannot stand up to it, how can I?"
past the numbers," Frow said. "Trust yourself."
can't," I cried. "I can't do it."
shook his head, and even Thundercat stared with disapproval. "When the time
comes, you will. You will." Frow turned to leave.
I said, frightened at what I was about to do. I looked into the giant almond
eyes of Thundercat, and knew we had to do it. "I will stand with you."
turned back. "You must do more that that. Look what this orc did to me, a giant!
It did far worse to others of my kind--there are few of us left. Only you can
face it, Wil. Thundercat can help, and I will do what I can, but I am getting
old, and this is not an old man's war. The brunt of the attack must come from
you and your mighty spear."
bowed my head at my old friend. "I will do what I can."
a giant teddy bear, he hugged me, burying his face in my chest. When he pulled
back there were tears in his eyes. I glanced down; the blood and war paint from
his massive face had left an eerie clown-like impression on the front of my
no-longer pristine white sweater. I would wear his imprint with honor.
what is honor if one cannot overcome one's adversaries, and leaves the world in
once said that questions are the beginning of wisdom, the mark of a true
warrior," I said. "And so I ask this question. What chance do we have
against this Scalzi orc?"
bowed his head. "Kobayashi Maru."
three of us peered over the walls of the volcano the Scalzi orc now called home.
The orc munched on what appeared to be Frow's arm, its fangs tearing off strips
of flesh like a phaser through wet tissue paper. It was green with pointy ears;
it must have Vulcan blood in it. Or more likely Romulan.
must put aside our fears before we attack," Frow said.
thought there was nothing that could frighten a warrior," I said.
fools have no fear," Frow said. He held his sword in his remaining left
hand, which trembled slightly. "You have taught me what I needed to know to
be a geek. And I have taught you what you need to know to be a warrior. Make me
proud." Then, on his hands and knees, he quietly circled about to the far
side of the volcano, seeming to take forever. Then he leaped to his feet.
you a warrior or an Alverian dung beetle?" he cried as he charged into the
volcano. As planned, I stayed where I was on the other side, feeling rather
Scalzi orc tossed aside the remains of the huge arm as it looked up, then raised
its axe. "I hungered for the rest of your flesh," it cried, "and
behold, you return! Your arm is stringy and tasteless; I look forward to the
more juicy parts." It charged at Frow.
two collided, like a sumo wrestler and a small child. The sumo wrestler--Frow--bounced
back like a superball while the orc barely broke its stride. There was a
horrible crack as Frow slammed against the wall on the far side of the volcano
and lay still, his neck at an impossible angle. I must face that?
pawed at the ground. There was no time to mourn; I leaped onto her back, she
spread her wings, and we soared into the volcano. Hot volcano air singed us as
we shot toward our target, its back to us, its attention on the still Frow. I
held out my spear to skewer the orc, and could almost hear the words of Obi-wan
to trust my feelings to aim it true. But that was from a movie; this was real.
my aim was true. The spear would hit dead center on the orc's back. Victory
would be ours.
impact was like jousting a neutronium wall as the spear hit the immovable and
impenetrable orc, yanking me off Thundercat. My right leg snapped in agonizing
pain as I hit the rocky ground.
turned. "Ah, Mr. Wheaton, I presume? You've come to play!" A toothy
I glanced down at my clown-faced sweater, the orc slashed at me with its axe. I
barely jumped back in time, dragging my broken leg, trying and failing to ignore
the pain. Then Thundercat flew by, and with an awkward one-legged jump, I
scrambled onto her back. Perhaps we could make our escape from this hot pit of
death, and live out our lives in the quiet shadows where no orc could find us.
What else could we do? My spear would not penetrate orc flesh.
no; I could not leave. I was a warrior. I had to try, even if my most powerful
spear thrusts were mere tickles to the orc. Maybe it would die laughing.
a cracking sound came from Thundercat's head. A sharp, spiraled point came out
of her forehead. It extended outward like the horn of a unicorn.
exclaimed Scalzi, "my larvae are hatching! Feast your eyes on the baby
tooth of an orc, the hardest substance in the universe, as it tears free from
its host! Soon they will feast on your pet's brain . . . and yours!"
yowled in pain and fear as we flew about over Scalzi's head. I tossed aside the
useless spear and grabbed Thundercat by the hair on the top of her head.
"Dive!" I screamed, and aimed her head and the horn downward.
dove like a hawk from Hell. Scalzi's eyes widened as it held up its shield. The
orc tooth hit dead center.
went straight through the shield, through the heart of the orc behind, and into
the rock floor, and didn't stop until Thundercat's head was jammed against the
shield and body of Scalzi, pinned like a butterfly.
and I locked eyes for a moment, two warriors at the end of battle. "Raise
my children well," it whispered. Then it grinned, closed its eyes, and