Captain Khetara sutai-Lorenssith (Christine Evans-Arriaga) was crowned 2004 Miss Klingon Empire Sunday evening at Dragon*Con. The pageant featured one assassination, multiple injuries, death threats, and territorial disputes among previous pageant winners.
Docked to prevent hurricane damage, the I.K.A.V. Battle Fury lent its flag to the event. The flag was handmade by Lt. Col. j’rel vestai-Kar (Delton Wilson) in a time-honored Klingon warrior ritual. Dregs of the galaxy (humans, Jedi knights attempting mind tricks to influence the pageant, and a Ferengi trader wanted for fraud) were herded like sheep into the event and allowed to witness the annual demonstration of Klingon supremacy. The Battle Fury flag and flanking Klingon insignia were displayed onstage, cowing the audience into uneasy submission. Klingon warriors were placed throughout the ballroom and growled at the attending scum to keep them in line.
Eric L. Watts, Dragon*Con director of Trek Trak programming, acted as master of ceremonies. Celebrity judges were “Admiral Paris” from Star Trek: Voyager (Richard Herd), “Ensign Harry Kim,” also Star Trek: Voyager (Garrett Wang), Gary Graham, Star Trek: Enterprise (“Ambassador Soval”), and Miss Virginia Galaxy 2002 (Autumn-Skye Booth, a Miss America certified judge). “Admiral Paris” called out “I am the fairest of them all,” as he took his seat at the judges’ table. Luckily for the Admiral, none of the prior winners or this year’s contestants had entered the ballroom when he slighted the honor of Klingon females.
Emcee Watts introduced four previous pageant winners, Gunner H’nter, 1999 (Lynn Herrick), QeqiVah sutai-Lorenssith, 2000 (Sue Regonini), Ambassador K’Zeyhta, 2001 (Sherry Williams), Ma’Jon of the Clan IpaQ, 2003 (Marjan Peltier). Watts regaled the prior winners with a full-throated version of the “Miss Klingon” theme. Clad in leather, fur, costly fabrics and armaments, the past victors took the stage. One winner brandished a batetlh, another a whip, and the remaining pageant queens shook their fists at each other. At least two of the winners eyed Watts territorially. An uneasy truce settled over the pageant as the four warriors snarled at each of the current year’s contestants as they were introduced. KurDaj vestai Juriss (Joe Wellbrook) maintained order on and off stage, but narrowly avoided being stabbed by one of the contestants at one critical point in the event.
Watts again wore last year’s tuxedo with dazzling gold tie, cummerbund and sash. A rumor sailed through the ballroom that a Ferengi trader was wanted for cheating the Dragon*Con director. Apparently, Watts had purchased new pageant regalia, but the Ferengi had failed to deliver and was last seen flying into the vortex of Hurricane Frances, chased by several of the current year’s contestants warships. Reports of the Ferengi’s presence at the pageant were not confirmed although at least one contestant calmly wiped blood from her hands as she stepped onto the stage.
This year’s pageant contestants were Gwintal (Linda Voronetsky), Captain Khetara sutai-Lorenssith (Christine Evans-Arriaga), Dah EsaH of clan Epaq (Elisa Roper), SajQa’ sutai-Fenix (Andrea Benton), Legion Ambassador Kita’ sutai-Juriss (Rita Howard), and Tiq’suv’we (Billie Jo Bryant). Leather, armor and weapons accented the contestant’s elegant evening wear. Each of the contestants presented a talent. The talents ranged from pleasure guide to a spirited song and dance number by SajQa’ sutai-Fenix reminiscent of Tim Curry’s performance in Rocky Horror Picture Show. A marksmanship display by Gwintal resulted in injuries to two slaves used as target backing. A ricochet wounded a Daily Dragon reporter. The Dragon*Con reporter has since been listed among the casualties of the event.
After the contestant introductions, one of the prior winners shouted to the audience, “Are they any better than what you see up here?” The audience shouted “No!” The former winner scanned the audience and demanded, “If you say yes, come here.” No one stepped forward.
The pageant was briefly interrupted when Dr. Sheckler was murdered at his seat in the audience. Emcee Watts announced that the anti-cloaking device will never be finalized. Cheers resounded from the Klingon warriors guarding the ballroom and the contestants past and current at this announcement.
Pageant winner Captain Khetara sutai-Lorenssith struggled with the beauty queen sash and massive tiara presented to her when the judges announced their decision. Legion Ambassador Kita’ sutai-Juriss suggested to “Ensign Kim” that the newly crowned Miss Klingon should be strangled with the sash. When asked why Captain Khetara’s tiara was so much bigger than that of prior contestants, fan Becky Rivers courageously heckled “because her head is so much bigger.” During the post-pageant photo shoot, Captain Khetara told Rivers, “I’m going to choke you.” Rivers was last seen fleeing the ballroom with Captain Khetara in pursuit. At print-time, the exact number of casualties from the pageant was still undetermined.