I guess this post is kinda inspired by jespah’s blog post about how she got into Star Trek. Although, I promise you, my story is not very in depth. So, I’ll add to it and let my geek show.
I’m an eighties kid, though I don’t really claim it that much. I was born in 85, so my first memories don’t really come forward until about 89’ish (and even then, it’s us landing in West Germany, and I have chicken McNuggets from the airport we left from in the States). My parents tell me I fell asleep and my gum fell out of my mouth, getting all over my dad’s dress blues pants (he was enlisted Air Force at the time, and back then, you were required to be in your service dress when traveling. Nowadays? Forget about wearing that uniform ever in public in a new country.)
I was first introduced to Star Trek while we were stationed in Germany. It was the show we watched as a family at night, usually after the typical Armed Forces Network news. Saturday mornings had Sesame Street and Transformers and Gumbi, but night had the family watching Star Trek; The Next Generation. My first episode that I truly remember watching? Skin of Evil.
I was traumatized for life.
Still, I don’t remember much else of what was watched during that time were stationed in Germany. I remember my dad commenting on why we were watching Star Trek:
“Because I used to watch this as a kid, and it was great, so I’m passing it on to you and [your sister].”
We left in 92ish, going to a small base in Del Rio, Texas. Dad left for OTS, and I don’t remember us watching Star Trek, though I finally was exposed to the Original Series movies.
Wrath of Khan? Also traumatizing to a kid. *nervously bats at ears*
After dad commissioned, we left for Panama, where our family had probably the very best three years of our lives. The jungle, the beaches, the camping and hiking and backpacking. I got into Boy Scouts down there, and it definitely set the tone for what I enjoyed the most in scouts, and was an experience I never found again.
The Next Generation was still going strong in reruns on the main AFN channel there, though it was well into its 7th season. I saw “All Good Things…” the day it released. We went and saw Generations opening weekend (which, on base, was about two or three months after opening weekend in the states, lol). We went and saw First Contact when it came out as well. LOVED First Contact; still one of my favorites, along with Undiscovered Country.
At that point, I was a Trekkie. And, though I didn’t know it, a budding Fandom Creator. See, it was then that I began to really let my imagination fly. I would play Power Rangers and Star Trek and a number of other games with my friends at the time. We would run around the street shouting “pew pew” and “hi ya!” and “Morphin Time!” Star Trek days we’d build a bridge in someone’s carport and pretend to fire phasers and take damage and “engage.” My first curse word I shouted, rather unfortunately, during one of these play times when I was Riker:
“DAMMIT Geordi, I need shields!”
Yeah…that was fun.
I also created my first Trek, and of course (since I loved Power Rangers and G-Force and Saint Seiya) it was a crossover. My ship was the “Raptor Claw,” a little yellow-colored LEGO creation with a saucer, two nacelles on vertical-stabilizers, and a giant, green “claw” that held ALL the weapons. It was a Star Trek/Power Rangers conglomeration that I would draw over and over and over again in all kinds of space battles (some that even had the ‘Claw clashing with the Galactic Empire from Star Wars). I had characters, I had the ship, I had victories and defeats and “fire everything!” and “Morphin Time!” where the ship would even morph into a more tactical-friendly layout.
Damn, I had fun.
We moved back stateside and the Raptor Claw was shelved. I got busy with school. Saw Insurrection in the theater and liked it.
We moved back to Texas next after a two year stint in Ohio, and when I got into High School my geek started showing again. I played Magic. I played Video Games. I watched anime. I watched Star Trek. I began drawing trek again, this time creating a more Starfleet version of the ‘Claw. This one was simply USS Raptor. She was ENORMOUS; I had her dwarfing the Sovereign class. Three nacelles made her a dreadnaught, and more firepower than a Borg Cube could shake a stick at.
But still, she wasn’t very classy, and looked hilarious in drawings. But it was my ship. And I drew her over. And over. And over.
More little dreams of what she was about. More characters. Fun situations and battles and losses and triumphs. I actually started writing some of them down.
But it wasn’t until I was in college that I truly sat down and refined things. And THAT is when I consider MY Trek formally started.