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Night of the Feast (novella)

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Star Trek: Lexington released this novella on 11 September 2009 at 1709 hours on both issuu.com and as a secured PDF document available from their website.

From the coverEdit

The USS Lexington is attending a member planet’s presidential inauguration when an unknown assailant attacks one of the crew. Soon, two officers are abducted with no clue as to their whereabouts. The ship is placed in a special security lockdown but the abductions continue. Lexington becomes a battleground with the crew caught in the crossfire.

With time running out against an enemy who knows the ship and crew as well as he, Captain Alexander McKnight must face off against a childhood monster in order to save his ship, his crew, and his soul!

TriviaEdit

Non-SpoilerEdit

  • This is the first 'standalone' novella written for this series.
  • This is the first regular appearance of Starfleet Marines in the series and introduces their commanding officer, Major Cullen Areniego. The Marines' commander was mentioned briefly in the "Fool's Paradise" episode and novel but was not named until this novella.
  • The cover images were created by Mr. Bonice just prior to the release of the novella. To his recollection, one morning he woke up and had the image in his head, staying with him all day at work. When he arrived at home that night, he designed it in three hours using Adobe Photoshop CS4.
  • Originally, this was a short story that Mr. Bonice and his best friend (who he will not name to respect her privacy) wrote as part of a creative writing class they took together. They earned an "A" for the short story in 1998. It was not until 2009 that Mr. Bonice returned to the story and completely revised it to make it part of the current series.
  • The planet featured in the novella has been equated with a planet seen in the Babylon 5 series. The author insists this is a coincidence, as he is not a true Babylon 5 fan and has seen only a few episodes. He didn’t know the name existed when he originally wrote the story in 1998.
  • The author wanted to make the villain someone who would give Alexander McKnight “a run for his money”. Recent Trek villains, such as the Borg or Nero, he feels, has been overused and have become one-dimensional. Mr. Bonice wanted this villain a step ahead of McKnight but not so far ahead as to be omnipotent. The best battle, he says, “is the one where the opponents are evenly matched and it’s touch-and-go the whole time. The outcome is only certain at the very end.” He maintains the conflict between the two men is both a physical and mental battle.
  • This novella was not originally intended to be filmed when it was recently re-written, as it may be difficult to accomplish the special effects (both physical and CG) as required by the plotline. However, there is a possibility of filming it later on as a short vignette.


SpoilersEdit

  • Dawn Mathias’ mentioning of Doctor McCoy’s shore leave on Earth and the subsequent mention of the Intrepid rendezvousing with the Enterprise at Nimbus III indicates the story is set during roughly the same time as Star Trek V.
  • There are two references to Project Genesis in the story. The events seen in Star Trek IV occurred only a short time before the Lexington series, so those events would be common knowledge, though how Dawn knew Alexander McKnight had been involved with the project is a matter of some speculation (a shot in the dark?).
  • Cullen Areniego’s Marine unit stationed on the Lexington is a nod to the film Full Metal Jacket, which also featured a Hotel Company, 2nd Marine Battalion, 5th Marine Division (or “Hotel 2/5”). The unit featured in the novella is Special Operations Capable, hence the “SOC” designator.
  • Both the M-16A4 rifle and the M-4 carbine are currently used by the US military, which would explain why the McKnights were using them. However, the M-41A pulse rifle mentioned in the story is a nod to the same weapon the Colonial Marines used in James Cameron’s film Aliens. Jason McKnight’s shotgun has been assumed to be a combat-use shotgun but is not mentioned by model.
  • The use of battle suits sprang from the armor worn by Starfleet security personnel in Star Trek III. Mr. Bonice added the introduction of energy absorption and eye pointing devices in the helmet in the first re-write of the story. Their assault phasers are the ones seen in Star Trek V. The rifles, to date, have not been seen on screen and this is their first mention in any TMP-era series.
  • This is the first time in any TMP-era series that the secondary battle bridge, the swimming pool, and the botanical gardens for the Enterprise-class are mentioned by deck and section. The data was taken from both “Mr. Scott’s Guide to the Enterprise” [Shane Johnson, 1986] and “U.S.S. Enterprise Deck Plans (25th Anniversary Edition)” [David Schmidt, 1992].
  • The scenes of Dawn and Valentina Tereshkova being hypnotized in their quarters and bitten were added less than a week before the novella’s release. Originally, these events were only briefly mentioned in a back-story.
  • The story establishes that Dawn is from a fictional town named Two Corners in the Queensland Territory, has an older brother named “John”, her hobby is cooking, studied under McCoy when in her residency, and was proposed to by Alexander’s son, Montgomery, at Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.
  • Valentina’s parents, Alexander & Tonya, are seen for the first time in the series. Apparently, both are former Starfleet officers who have left the Service for unknown reasons. It is established that she is an only child and somewhat of a ‘daddy’s girl’.
  • Angelica McKnight’s song in the epilogue was not the first one used for the scene. Originally, it was another song made in the 1980’s (which is from what era Angelica normally sings) but was changed at the final moment by the author. He heard the song on the radio and felt it would better matched Angelica’s mood, emotions, and circumstances in the scene. He admits this is not the type of song she usually sings but feels she would have made an exception in this case.
  • This story establishes that Alexander and Jason had an uncle, James McKnight, who was a lieutenant colonel with the US 3rd Rangers and died from a similar wound Alexander suffers late in the story. It is also established their father is a QA munitions inspector for the US Air Force and have lived in quite a few places around the world.
  • The use of hypnosis to entice his prey and the use of UV rays to kill the vampire are in line with the modern coda of Dracula’s myth. Mr. Bonice deliberately did not use the more traditional methods, such as a garlic repellent, silver nitrates, and wooden stakes, to kill him as he feels they are “overused and too easy an out” for good Trek storytelling.
  • One question surrounding the story is Dawn as the villain’s bride. Mr. Bonice says that he wanted Dawn to play a big part in the story and would probably be the least likely of the main characters to be his bride.
  • Another question involves why Angelica was not bitten when the other women were bitten in short order after they’d been hypnotized. “I think it was because Angie’s half-Romulan,” he said. “I’ll leave it to the reader to decide on the why but if I have to really give an answer, then it’s either because he wouldn’t like the taste of her blood, was afraid of what the copper would do to him, or he may simply be allergic to it.”
  • In the original and first re-write, Dawn was never under Dracula’s influence. However, her personality inexplicably changed during the course of the story. The author realized this during the second re-write and changed it to where no one, not even the audience, knew she was under his control until the beginning of the garden battle. In the final re-write, her induction scene was added, though McKnight and the crew would not know until after the last battle.
  • There exists the question of how the vampire was able to make his way aboard the ship to begin with. Mr. Bonice has not answered that question directly but infers that he may have stowed away in one of the cargo containers the ship was bringing to Minbar III.
  • Mr. Bonice based the vampire in the novella on Christopher Lee’s portrayal of Dracula, who “scared the hell out of me because he knew how you worked and how he blended in with everything until he would strike.”

External linkEdit

Lexington's message board

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