Sincerest Form of Flattery: Guess the Author Game

By Distracted

Rating: PG-13

Genres: challenge humour


This story has been read by 1670 people.
This story has been read 4698 times.

Chapter 1: The Naming

Rating: G to PG-13

Disclaimer:  I'm still not making any money doing this.

 Summary:  Here begins a series of short vignettes I wrote for a writer's challenge on another website.  The challenge was to write a story somehow involving the Star Trek: Enterprise characters Trip and T'Pol in the style of a well known author.  The readers were then supposed to guess who it was.  When I'm done I'll give a listing of who I was trying to imitate for each story.  To make things easier, here is a list of authors to choose from:

Douglas Adams
Piers Anthony
Charlotte Brontë
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Helen Fielding
Ernest Hemingway
Frank Herbert
James Joyce
Edgar Allen Poe
Terry Pratchett
JRR Tolkien
Mark Twain
Kurt Vonnegut

Ready?  Okay... here goes.

Chapter One -The Naming

 By Distracted


Rating: PG

 Genre:  "Sincerest Form of Flattery" Challenge, humor

 Summary:  What if TnT had gone to Vulcan for other reasons than a blackmail induced marriage?  Here's an AU version of what might have happened.  After serious consideration, I have decided to channel an author for whom I have the utmost respect.  I sincerely apologize in advance for what I am about to do.  :  P


 "My father was fond of saying that he would have never lived to become the president of the Federation without the help of his friends.  In particular, he loved to tell stories about Commander Charles Tucker the Third, better known now in interplanetary diplomatic circles as Trip of Vulcan.  I have always wondered why the Vulcans all ended up calling Charles Tucker by his childhood nickname.  They're usually so proper about things like that.  I asked once, and couldn't get a straight answer.  I have my own theory about the name, though.  It's short, easy to pronounce, and has consonants fore and aft just like every other Vulcan name.  Why the hell not?"

 Admiral Maria Irena Sanchez-Archer, from "Memoirs of a First Daughter"

                         #                                  #                                  #

 T'Pol led her chosen mate onto the sand.  They didn't speak.  The time for speaking was long past.  She'd outfitted him in the traditional manner of her people.  The long, loose robes and flowing head covering hid his non-Vulcan attributes well.  He moved gracefully in them, as if he'd been born to wear them.  She suppressed her pride in him with some effort.  Now was not the time for unseemly emotion.  They began walking.  The eerie cry of a wild sehlat sounded in the rocky valley.  He pushed ahead of her with his phase pistol drawn. 

 Still he protects me, even here, she thought.  It made no sense.  She was much more capable of self defense in the thin atmosphere of her homeworld than he was, even with the triox.  She made no comment, though.  He was so human... and so male.  It was expected.

 They approached the entrance to the cave complex where her forefather had agreed to meet them.  T'Pol's father had died young.  His father, on the other hand, was still very much alive.  Stev was an eccentric for a Vulcan.  Shortly after the death of his mate, when T'Pol's father had still been a relative youngster, unmarried and just starting out with the Science Directorate, Stev had disappeared into the wastes of the desert surrounding his ancestral home.  He'd surfaced occasionally since then.  Once, she'd been told, for her parent's marriage, once for the occasion of her birth, and she'd seen him once as a child, standing on the outskirts of her clan's burial grounds at the entombment of her father's body.  He was the eldest of her male relatives still living.  Tradition required that he approve her choice of mate.  Why he thought he had the right to do so puzzled her, but she hadn't challenged it when he'd contacted her.  It was a male thing, and therefore incomprehensible.

 A figure appeared at the cave's entrance.  He was lean and straight, not at all what she'd expected of an almost 200 year old.  His face was hidden by the veils of his head covering.  Her companion strode boldly up to the mouth of the cave with his weapon drawn.  She eyed him warily, and then followed him.  She pulled her weapon as well. 

 Will he fire upon my forefather?  What could he possibly be thinking?

 The man at the cave entrance pulled the veil from his face.  He was unarmed save for a well-oiled lirpa.  His hair was steely grey, and his face was weathered and lined, but his dark eyes were fixed with alertness on his opponent.

 "I am Stev, first forefather of the one you would claim as mate," he told him in a voice as harsh and dry as the desert wind.  "State your claim.  Prove your worthiness to join my clan."

 Her mate pushed back his head covering, revealing hair like burnished gold gleaming in the light of the setting suns.  His blue eyes narrowed in his dusty face.  His weapon stayed up.

 "I don't hafta prove myself to anybody, but if ya plan to take her from me, you're in for a fight, Grampa!" he replied defiantly.

 T'Pol raised a brow, and looked from one man to another with a disbelieving look on her face.

 They can't possibly be serious!

 The ancient Vulcan raised a brow at the human.  His lips pursed slightly.  Then he turned to T'Pol.

 "This man has claimed you, daughter of my son... do you find him worthy?" he asked. 

 T'Pol stared back at the old Vulcan.  He certainly had nerve.  Without an introduction, without even an attempt at a formal greeting, he'd challenged her decision.  Who was he to tell her what to do?  She debated just shooting the old geezer right there on the spot... and then realized that her bond with her mate was affecting her judgment.

 "I do," she replied dryly.  Then she sheathed her phase pistol and deliberately walked to her mate.  His eyes met hers, and his face broke out in a wide, childlike and positively irresistible smile.  He sheathed his weapon and extended two fingers toward her.  She reached out, and closed her eyes at the deliciously seductive tingle that ran through her body as their fingertips touched.  Then she opened her eyes and faced Stev.

 Her forefather nodded approvingly.  Then he turned to her companion with a solemn expression.

 "Charles Tucker, my son's daughter finds you worthy.  Before you are accepted as a man of our clan, however, it is customary for you to choose a name of manhood ... one which only our people may call you.  What would you like to be called?"

 Her mate's vivid eyes widened in surprise, and he looked back at her for support.  She nodded her encouragement with a raised brow.

 It's your own name, you stubborn man.  You have to choose it!  she thought with exasperation.  I can't do it for you!  He gave her a puzzled look, almost as if he'd heard her thoughts.  They'd have to have a talk about the extent of their bond when all of this was over.

 His face twisted then into his customary "deep thought" expression, with his tongue buried deeply in one cheek.  T'Pol could practically see... no, she could definitely feel... the wheels turning inside of his head.  His eyes went up to the setting suns.  They narrowed in the glare.

 "What do your astronomers call that triangle shaped shadow on the surface of your second sun, there?" he asked, shielding his eyes and pointing.

 Stev looked taken aback by the question.

 "Han-sharu Los'rak Surak," he replied in a puzzled voice.  "Why do you ask?"

 The human shook his head wryly.  "It's kinda longer than I expected," he said in a disappointed voice.  He looked up hopefully at Stev.  "What does it mean?"

 Stev cocked his head and raised a brow at the human's foolish questions.  "Surak's Left Nostril," he replied in a deadpan voice.

 There it was.  T'Pol was sure of it.  She was feeling her mate's overpowering need to break out into a belly laugh.  There was no other explanation.  The feeling certainly wasn't hers.

 Her mate grinned uncomfortably at her forefather.  He was biting his lip the way he customarily did just prior to a most unseemly demonstration of hilarity. 

 "On second thought, Gramps... why don't ya just call me Trip," he said.






You got it!  :D


With a question about  the name of a shadow on the moon or in this case sun.... we're reliving Dune and Paul Atreides question when asked to give himself a name known only to the Fremen of Arakis-Dune. One of my favorite Sci Fi series and authors

Frank Herbert


Despite all the sand they're a great read.  The man really knew how to create a believable culture.


Well, I never did read any of the Dune books, if that's the direction you're pointing...  ;)  Honestly, I just couldn't stand the desert setting!


I enjoyed this when I read it the first time, I enjoy it now even more.:p


The clue with this one is the subject matter more than the style, but the author I'm imitating did like to use quotes from imaginary history texts at the beginnings of his chapters, the desert played a prominent role in his work, and the "naming" bit is sort of an in joke.  You really would have to read the author's work to get it.


No idea who the author is, though I suppose the style gets a bit Hemingwayish with the short sentences.  I particularly enjoyed T'Pol's bond-inspired homicidal feelings -- and of course, the real story of how Trip got his Vulcan name. :p

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