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G2: Grudgement Day


The Scenario


Footsteps echo in the judgment chamber. Curious yellow eyes, set into a golden face, absorb the detail from Earth's Post-Atomic Era. "Intriguing" is his only word.

"Fascinating."

The new arrival emerges from shadow, dressed in a blue uniform shirt, with ears tapering to graceful points. "I am Commander Spock. Who are you, and why have you brought me here?"

"My name is Data, and the more appropriate question is, who has brought us here?"

There is a flash, and a puckish figure dressed as a Starfleet captain appears on the judge's throne. "Me. You know me already, Data, but Spock doesn't. I'm Q, your basic omnipotent life form. I've brought you through time, and Data through space, for amusement--mine, and a few of my friends."

The judgment chamber suddenly fills with post-apocalyptic spectators, jeering, shaking their fists, consumed with unslaked blood lust. Most of them wear soiled and tattered "WWWF Ground Zero" t-shirts.

"And so amusing you are," Q continues. "The humanoid who aspires to be a machine, and the machine who aspires to be a humanoid. Befitting that, I've come up with three very entertaining contests. Best two out of three wins."

Q snaps his fingers. Part of the darkness recedes to reveal a long row of three-dimensional chess boards. "First, the test of intellect. Twelve simultaneous games of chess, blindfolded, with a two-hour limit for all your moves. Don't ask what I'll feed you to if you go long."

Another snap, and a stage is floodlit, with a rumbling from surrounding tables that rivals the bestial snarls of the spectators. "Second, and my favorite, the test of sense of humor. Whoever gets the best response during a ten-minute stand-up comedy routine wins this one. You'll have as your audience an assortment of Borg drones, English soccer hooligans, and several dozen clones of an obscure 20th-century comedienne named Roseanne." Q rubs his hands gleefully. "I can hardly wait."

One more snap summons a pair of captain's chairs. "Last, the test of leadership. You'll command identical starships in combat against each other. First one to kill or capture the opposing captain wins." The howls of glee rise to a crescendo around him. "They wanted a little blood. I'm happy to oblige."

"Q, abduction and coercion are highly immoral," Data says. "We will not perform at your command."

"I am a Vulcan, bred to peace," Spock likewise avers. "I will not kill to satisfy your whim."

"Moralizing to the last," Q sniffs. "Well, I can't disappoint the spectators. If you won't fight, I'll just have to leave you here with them for all eternity, as they argue over which of you would have won."

Spock and Data consider their options, and immediately reach a joint conclusion. "Mister Spock, I regret to inform you that your gluteal folds are grass."

"Correction. It will require 47.3358 man-hours to reassemble your pieces."

"Wonderful!" Q cries. "Let the games begin!"

So, Brendan, will it be the valiant Vulcan vanquished, or the adamantine android atomized?

Spock Data

Spock

vs.

Data


The Commentary


BRENDAN: Could this be any more obvious? Spock is so far ahead of Data in all three of these categories, that this has to be the most lopsided match in the history of the Grudgeverse. Let's look at it on an event by event basis.

CHESS-Spock possesses a brilliant analytical mind, coldly logical yet still innovative. The perfect mind for a chessmaster. Data on the other hand is a choker, when the stakes get high he tends to blow it. Just look at his past record, he was completely humiliated by Professor Moriarty and had to go running to Jean-Luc to protect him from the big bad holodeck creature. He regularly loses to Riker at poker. And most humiliating of all, he was once beaten in chess by Counselor Deanna "I sense the blindingly obvious" Troi. You can't honestly think that the man that lost to the biggest bimbo in Star Trek history can possibly challenge its biggest brain, can you?

STAND-UP COMEDY-Having read Bill Maher's novel, True Story, which is about life as a stand-up comedian I can now tell you the key to success in that field. Name Recognition! When people recognize the name the laughs always come a little easier, even when what's being said isn't all that funny. (How else do you think Paul Golba won all those ROTWs?) And while a few socially maladjusted individuals out there might recognize Data, everyone under the yellow sun knows who Spock is. However, just in case some of you out there still labor under the delusion that material will decide this event, I will remind you of the fact that damns Data in this event, he learned about comedy from Whoopi Goldberg.

STARSHIP COMBAT-Now by this point Spock has already won, but being a perfectionist I'm sure he'll go for the clean sweep and trounce Data here as well. Remember that on the old series, they actually used things like tactics, sensors, and the fact the space is three dimensional (Balance of Terror, Wrath of Khan) Thus Spock has experience at winning space battles. Meanwhile battles on the Next Generation, always go one of three ways.

Final Score 3-0 Spock!

SHANE: Brendan, Brendan. Your organic chauvinism would be offensive, were it not so pathetic. Data is so superior in every category, even Spock would admit it.

First, starship combat. Data has experience here, single-handedly foiling the nefarious designs of a Romulan fleet during the Klingon civil war. What does Spock do? Protest "I have no wish to command" in every other episode. Turn a cadet-crewed Enterprise over to Admiral Kirk at the first hint of trouble. And why? Because deep down, he knows his veneer of Vulcan perfection would be ripped away if he ever ran the show. And speaking of "Balance of Terror", when Captain Kirk was running in full reverse from a Romulan plasma torpedo, I never heard Spock pipe up and say, "Jim, I suggest you turn." Forget three-dimensional thinking. That's one-dimensional! Data will school Spock and make him like it.

As for stand-up comedy, Henny Youngman knew the real secret to success: steal from the best. It won't matter that he was taught comedy by Whoopi Goldberg and Joe Piscopo. Data has perfect recall, and can mimic human voices so well he can fool the Enterprise computer into thinking he's Captain Picard--or Counselor Troi. (More about her later.) All Data needs to do is retrieve and deliver a classic Eddie Murphy routine, and even the Borg will be rolling in the aisles. Spock might lift his eyebrow humorously, but that's the breadth of his repertoire.

Finally, chess. In case you missed it, Brendan, Deep Blue beat Garry Kasparov. Machines are already ahead of the best humanoids, so think how bad the disparity will be centuries from now. Spock even admitted once that the ship's computer could not lose at chess, and used the fact that he beat it five times straight to prove someone had tampered with it. Even if you don't know, he does: he's gonna lose bad.

"But Counselor Cleavage!" you protest. Well, isn't it obvious? He threw that game. Android or not, Data can tell Deanna's a Robo-babe™, and if he ever gets emotions, he'll want to try them out on her first. Brilliantly foreseeing future Plot Twists™, he realized he would get those emotions eventually, and deliberately lost to stay on her good side. (The front, as if you had doubts.) And did you see some of those scenes between the two in Star Trek: Generations? Don't tell me something wasn't starting to happen there. So what does this prove? It proves Data has tremendous long-term planning, giving up immediate advantage(winning a game) for future benefits(censored). And long-term strategic planning is what chess is all about.

You may now concede graciously.

BRENDAN: Your talents are wasted here, Shane, with your ability to produce such an amazingly illogical, incoherent and absurd discourse you really should be working for Voyager.

Of course Spock didn't want the command chair; he realized true power came from being the puppet master, from pulling Kirk's strings from behind the scenes. You'll notice that the one time Kirk didn't have Spock there to tell him what to do is the time the Enterprise got destroyed.

As for Data, I can't believe you would use the Klingon Civil War as an example of his tactical ability. Look who he was up against, the Romulan version of Tasha Yar. A drunken red-shirted ensign in command of the Mir Space Station could beat Tasha. And lets look at how Data managed to defeat this "dreaded" adversary, essentially a high tech version of the spray the invisible enemy with paint trick, a tactic straight out of Rocky and Bullwinkle. Spock isn't going to be impressed with such simple minded tactics.

As for stand-up comedy, I don't think Data's even going to get started. His new found horniness will spell doom for him once he sees all those overly endowed Borg babes in the audience (and if he is in Eddie Murphy mode then I really don't want to imagine the carnage that will be unleashed). Spock can coast to victory on name recognition and the audience laughing at the big words that it doesn't understand, while Data is being dragged off the stage by the vice cops.

Now let us review Data's strategic abilities in regards to the Counselor Troi incident. First of all such an elaborate scheme is hardly necessary, Data has to be the only person on the Enterprise that hasn't scored with Troi. Second of all, the scheme didn't even work, she never went for Data, she ended up falling for Worf. If that's the extent of Data's strategic abilities, Spock is going to have an even easier win than I thought (and I will point out that Spock wouldn't have any problem getting Troi, she would be perfectly willing to Lewinskify herself, just so she could say she had been with the great man)

P.J. O'Rourke said it best, "Age and guile beat youth, innocence, and a bad haircut", and Spock is going to be taking Data to the barber shop real soon.

SHANE: Bad haircut? With bangs by Moe Howard and those funky triangular sideburns, Spock is the last person to talk about hair styling. But back to substantive issues.

Worf never got anywhere with Troi, except for a near-kiss interrupted by a time-tripping Captain Picard. He probably left for Deep Space Nine out of shame at his dishonorable failure to bed the good--by some accounts fantastic--Counselor. (Probably good for her. All Worf's other lovers end up dying violently.) On the other hand, what does Data do at the end of Generations? He cries, right in front of her. Don't tell me that won't get him some fond Mattress Memories. Empathic chicks love sensitive men. The crowning example of his flawless strategic planning, which will guarantee his victory at chess and starship combat--which you'll remember was the point. Oh, and his timing was perfect, too--and timing is the essence of stand-up technique.

As for Spock's planning and timing, well, what was his crowning moment? Getting fatally irradiated after Khan had already died of excessive Melville quoting and chest implant leakage. Bad strategy, which sinks him in chess and combat, plus dreadful timing, which will doom him on the stand-up stage. With one example, Brendan, I prove Spock's inferiority in every category. Give up, already!

You still defy me? Very well, I shall smite thee again. If Spock's strengths in stand-up are name recognition and long words, don't you think Data's encyclopedic positronic brain will outperform him like a Maserati drag-racing a Yugo? And don't mock the Eddie Murphy impersonation, either. Someone that white sounding that black would make even the Racial Sensitivity Thought Police™ belly-laugh.

The one great lesson of our technological age is: machines do it better. Counselor Troi knows it, and so will Spock after he gets his pointed ears handed to him.


Thanks to Sean & Tracy Jackson, Sarah Tamara Braun, Jeff Weiss, and nep@creamcity.com for suggesting this match.


The Results


Spock (786 - 51.30548302872%)

dismantles

Data (746 - 48.69451697128%)


There is substantial and credible information that persons on libcom.com, splitrock.net, 208.13.225.*, and rmi.net have repeatedly contravened WWWF restrictions on voting frequency during the preceding match. 75 of their votes are hereby disqualified. This office further recommends that Articles of Impeachment be passed on these violations, and I will perosnally be visiting all the violators to employ the Rubber-Gloved Fist™ Any appeals of this ruling may be filed with Q. He has promised his personal attention to your pleas for mercy. Mwu-ha-ha-ha-ha!

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Voter Comments


Due to the large number quality of responses, we were forced to employ The Neutronium Fist™. When that didn't work, we set the phasers to "Heartless Edit". We salute everyone who sent us a response. Keep up the great work!
Gold Grudgie

RESPONSE OF THE WEEK GRUDGIE ™

I'm going to share something personal here, something that directly connects to my response. It concerns the most powerful event of a modern adolescent's life, their first viewing of the Simpsons where Homer goes to college.

I was a senior in high school when it first aired, and it woke me up to who I really was. Homer describes his day with the nerds. I didn't think of myself as a nerd, I didn't want to be a nerd, and I tried to do unnerdish things, but any one of the trio of all-too-honest stereotypes I was watching could have been me. I looked at all things nerd in the episode, which was accurately written by Conan O'Brian, who most all nerds imagine themselves to act like. How many did I match up with?

Check: Played Dungeons and Dragons for three hours.

Nope: Slain by an elf.

Check: Knew all the lines of Monty Python routines.

Nope: Put retainer in the dishwasher.

Check: Could leave for weeks at a time without a message on the answering machine.

Nope: Spilled my ear medication in the car.

Check: Couldn't go to the bathroom because someone knocked on the door (but only for serious missions, if you know what I mean).

Nope: Unplug TV violence for a rock tumbler.

In all, I was batting .500% for nerddom. Any more offenses, and I might as well make a web page devoted to Tron.

As everyone recalls (it's incredible how everyone's memories becomes photographic when it comes to Simpsons recall) the nerds were getting sent a list from some guys at M.I.T. about why Picard was better than Kirk, and cackling dorkishly about how they were wrong. Having such strong opinions about something so fundamentally nerdy is the coredom of being a nerd, since once you've got those opinions and are shamelessly proud of expressing them, you might as well wear your Seaquest t-shirts in public and write Earth 2 fan fiction.

Despite this being Spock vs. Data, and not Picard vs. Kirk, this battle isn't technically the same thing, but it's close enough to qualify as the nerd legde I don't want to willingly go over. So I'll say, uh, well, I don't have huge opinions on who's going to win. I don't love or hate either character much over the other. But Data's from the future, and everyone gets smarter in the future, so I'll say Data, and hope I don't fall over the cliff and start reading Piers Anthony.

- Kilgore Trout


Silver Grudgie

ROTW ™ Silver Medal Grudgie ™

OK, let's remember some basic facts here:

What you're going to see here is the worst case of grand mal repeat narcolepsy ever to befall an android. Data's head is going to be bouncing off the table in front of him like a basketball at a Globetrotters game. He'll be lucky if Spock doesn't hook him up to The ClapperTM! In fact, Spock's entire comedy routine might well consist of precisely-timed hand claps as Data tries to get off stage!

Spock takes it all, and the droid takes a dive!

- Thag


Bronze Grudgie

ROTW ™ Bronze Medal Grudgie ™

It doesn't matter what atrocities Q puts them through. It could be a math competition, a test of strength or a wet T-shirt contest; the outcome will be the same. Fate is Data's true opponent, and Data will lose. Spock wins because of what he is, or rather, what he doesn't want to be.

My personal philosophy for life can be used to arrive at this conclusion. It's so blindingly simple that you probably should put sunglasses on before reading any further. And here it is.

HUMANS SUCK.

This explains why our world is so screwed up, why we don't have colonies on the moon like they said we would in the 50's, and why the human race as a whole is so fascinated with Clinton's unique use of a cigar. Any problem with our lives can be explained by those two words:

HUMANS SUCK.

Spock is half-human, true. But is he proud of this? Hell no. Whenever anyone of our pitiful species says that Spock is "becoming more human" or "acting human" or that "he's only human", he takes it as an insult. As he should, because, as we've seen:

HUMANS SUCK.

Data has tried his whole life to be human. What a pathetic destiny lies ahead for this android! Who would want to be a slimy bag of protoplasm that destroys worlds and produces Jerry Springer, CNN, Bill Clinton, Kenneth Starr, Bill Gates and the Microsoft Corporation, AND Walt Disney? I'd much rather be an emotionless, super-strong, never-forgetting, non-sucking machine any day of the frickin' week. Why?

HUMANS SUCK.

And don't you forget it.

- The Black Shadow: Master of the Night and Android Wannabe



Data has a positronic brain, which is an Isaac Asimov reference. This means he has access to the science of psychohistory (logic jumps? on the Grudge Match? preposterous!) and can predict Spock's moves well in advance. He's got this one sewn up. How about a real contest, like the Foundation vs. the Borg?

- Denis M. Moskowitz


I think Data will let his new-found emotions get the better of him. He will experience fear and awe of this Starfleet legend. While Spock has the years of Vulcan emotional control, Data has the emotional control of a two year old. THAT will be his downfall... Need I remind you of the OH SHIT episode and the paralisis from fear in Generations, not to mention the imbalance from First Contact.

While Data may have the edge in the sense of humor department, he still has no grasp of exactly what is funny and the appropriate places to use it (see tricorder episode in Generations). He would probably insult the Borg's mothers and make tasteless comments about Rosanne's weight. Now while we might all find this amusing, I think the audience will turn on him and mangle him. The Borg can beat him, and all Rosanne would have to do is sit on him, ending the contest...

If Data does survive the comedy section, then the chess contest will be interesting. But the total lack of control of his emotions will be his undoing. He'll let himself get psyched out and lose.

And the same goes for the tacticle battle. Emotions will get the better of him.

If it was the Data of old, he could have taken Spock in a close battle. But now that he has the emotion chip and no idea how to control them, the game is over. Re-do it in a few more movies when Data get control and then he wins it, hands down, with the best of both worlds.

- Lee (I know way too much about this for my own good...)


Before the contest starts, Data regresses into a past-show character. Yup, you guessed it, the redneck from Night Court.

Needless to say, Data totally bombs the chess match.

"Those are some nice horsies on the board. Emma Sue shore would've loved to have a pon-ay. If only we wasn't hit by that danged tornada."

In the stand-up comedy bit, however, Data sweeps by trying to have a normal redneck conversation. The audience mistakes him for Jeff Foxworthy, and give him the edge over Spock's observational humour ("Have you ever noticed how Kirk has relations with every girl that boards the ship?").

"Emma Sue got trapped in the garbage can last week. Why're y'all laughing? It's true. She thought that it was Oscar the Grouch's house. That stank up the place sumthin' awful."

And, in a surprise move, Data also wins the starship simulation, totally defying Spock's logical theories.

"Whoo-ee! It's just like playin' Space Invaders! I just kept on firin' them pho-ton torpedas, and she went boom, all purty-like!"

Data in a last minute squeaker...

- Vlad, Lord of the redneck province


This match will never happen.

The Borg attempt to assimilate.

The English Soccer hooligans piss on them thereby short-circuiting them (nothing can withstand that much beer-piss).

The Roseannes shake their tits at the English hooligans causing them to go on a Roseanne/Frog killing rampage.

Q gets bored and returns to harassing Picard and his lackeys.

Meanwhile the two Commanders will retire to the Science Lab to compare notes on quantum dynamic particle flux theories.

- Lewis of Cypher


Let's see...

Data kisses Picard's butt.

Picard kisses Spock's butt.

It only stands to reason...

- Scarmig


Ok, here's what it boils down to. The Cool Factor.

Spock is a cold, calculating guy, and that may be cool, but he's also a scientist, and that equals geek. At best his qualities cancel each other out.

Data is an android. Lame sci-fi gimmick. But, he can pull bits of himself off and show his inner workings! If that's not cool, I don't know what is. Plus,

- Nate "The Snake"


Spock takes this one 2-1:

1: I'll give this one to the computer. Twelve games, blindfolded? Not even Spock can do that.

2: Spock has already proven that he can win this one. All he has to do is sing the hopelessly bad "Highly Illogical" (TM) song he did in the 70's. If he can enlist the help of William Shatner singing his legendary version of "Mr. Tamborine Man" (TM), the Borg will laugh so hard that they'll break off from the collective.

3. Here, Data is stymied by Issac Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics (TM), of which number one is "Do not cause harm to a human being, or through inaction, allow a human to come to harm." But does Spock count as human? While Data is pondering that one, Spock is firing his photon torpedoes.

- Mike


You both do an excellent job of debating the points, but you left out a cruicial one. The one point which will lock in Spock's victory.

Your TV rerun knowledge may remember that it was Spock who hosted "In Search Of" many years back. From this experience he has knowledge of all strange powers and mysticism. Knowledge of the pyramids. Knowledge of Atlantis. Knowledge of Stonehenge. Knowledge of the Bermuda Triangle. With such information at his fingertips, he will use his secret occult/alien/voodoo powers (so secret you didn't even know about them) to defeat Data in any form of competition. He may take out Q just for fun as well.

Come on, how do you think he & Kirk managed to survive through all their adventures if he didn'thave these powers? Think about it.

P.S. I am not a crackpot.

- STEVE


I believe, Shane you said something about Data's(what kind of a name is that anyway?) emotions? Aha! This is his undoing! Spock has no emotions, which him a

- Bob the magical hobo


Let's break this down one event at a time shall we?

CHESS: Based on the spectators listed everyone falls asleep and, in the case of the hooligans, get totally hammered on Romulan ale.

STAND-UP: Spock approaches the mic first. Stares at it, raises an eyebrow, and then gives into Leonard Nimoy's uncontrollable urge to sing karaoke. Needless to say the crowd is not pleased. The Roseanne clones start shrieking further irritating the already enraged soccer hooligans. And we all know what hooligans do when they get irritated. Spock is ripped to shreds, and then their attention is turned to the Roseanne clones. Q finds this much more entertaining than chess and, frankly, who wouldn't?

- King of no Media


Basically it comes down to this: Who wins the battle to the death. Cause Stand-up comedy and chess don't mean poop when you get vaporized.

Which is why Spock's the man. I mean, Vulcan. Spock can kill with no regret if a) the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, b) when he's mating, and c) Vulcan Death Grip. Data doesn't have a mantra, doesn't mate, and doesn't have a cool kill technique. Need I say more?

While Data, with that malfunctioning emotion chip, sobs at the slightest hint of blood and would kill himself from the guilt if his program would allow self-destruction. The only things he's really allowed himself to kill are Borg and Romulans. Big woop. My grandma could spank either, make them eat lima beans and like it.

- Sharra P.


I have to give Data the edge in Manliness. We've seen Data manage to score, and you gotta figure his batteries can last all night long, but Spock? A guy who only gets horny once every seven years, and the one time he had a chance to get some he settled for ritual combat rather than grabbing his woman and telling her what was what (although I admit the prospect of strangling Kirk to death would indeed potentially be more tempting than sex).

Bottom line: Spock's been fired out a photon torpedo tube before, it is only logical thing'll end the same for this no-win scenario.

- "Mad Dog" Mike


Starship combat: Data can access every single byte of the Federation's Starship Combat Archives, just by asking. Spock has to stare into that peepshow thing on his science (!) console.

Advantage: Data.

Chess: Spock got beat by Captain Kirk, since Kirk had a tendency to play so appallingly that Spock couldn't cope. Spock learns from his mistakes. Worse, Data was easily distracted by Counselor Exposition's cleavage (as are we all), and lost even though Troi was not entirely clear on the finer points of the game, like what a rook is.

Advantage: Spock.

Stand-up Comedy: Here's the tie-breaker. Spock has never truly learned what's funny and what's not funny. Data has learned what's funny from Whoopi Goldberg and what's not funny from Joe Piscopo.

Game, set, and match: Data.

That is all.

- Perry "Merritt Stone" Bruns


In the end, two of the three catagories come down to forethought and stratagy. Since Spock was wise enough to get out of ST:Generations.....

Spock turns Data into a sack full of PalmPilots

- J Smith


Right about now, my computer is lying in bits on the dining table, while I have to use the scabby school computers. For the past 3 months I have had to completely reinstall Win95 every 6 days on average, as my new 32 speed CD-ROM drive keeps disappearing from windows along with my second hard drive, because my motherboard IDE dislikes it. I got a new motherboard and processor, but now I find my Matrox Mystique is incompatible with my new motherboard, so I can't get the monitor to work for neither love nor money. My computer has been crap since the day I paid foolishly 1500 for it, and now I can get a twice as powerful one for half the price. It's getting to the stage where I am desperate to gouge out Bill Gates' and whoever owns IBM's eyes with the edges of my old motherboard. With all this, how can I possibly vote for the machine? Spock wins anyday anyway.

- Scotty


This was one of the tougher fights to call, but I had to go with the ol' flesh-'n'-blood on this one. Let's take it one contest at a time.

First, chess. Shane was correct that Spock said that the ship's main computer could not be defeated in chess, but he failed to mentioned that in that very scene Spock explains why: because Spock himself programmed it! The computer could not lose because Spock taught it how to play. The Decision: Spock

Second, stand-up. Data fell flat on his face when he tried stand-up before his emotion chip because he had no idea what was funny. With his emotion chip Advantage: Data

Finally, starship combat. Definitely the hardest to call. Always unpredictable and constantly demanding adaptation to current situations (I know from know from hundreds of hours of Star Fleet Battles), the winner in one instance can easily be (and often is) the loser in the second instance. But Spock was a trainer of starship captains; Saavik's training as starship commander was conducted by him. He taught at the Academy in this capacity for over two years. He managed to sneak himself *out* of the Federation and *into* the Romulan Star Empire(!) without anybody knowing about it until some freak photograph. Data figured out how to make cloaked Romulan ships visible. Like he couldn't have used one of the thousand-and-one ways already stored in the big E's computers. And they were commanded by the half-Romulan daughter of a Tasha Yar from an alternate dimesion(!!). The Decision: Spock

After a hard-fought combat, Spock finally blows Data out of space. Then he asks Q to magic up a TV, and Spock and Q sit down and watch "In Search of..."

- Bishop F. Majere


  1. The chess match. Data wins this one hands down. The Deep Blue / Kasparov argument.
  2. The comedy match. Spock takes this one. "They're not laughing with you, they're laughing at you." Almost every single Old Trek episode ends with Kirk and Bones making fun of Spock, the ultimate straight man. Data occasionally tries to be funny, which is just pathetic. Spock gets loads of laughs as the hecklers rip him to shreds. Which means it all comes down to
  3. The Starship Battle. Truth to tell, this is the only match which counts, since victory doesn't mean much if you're reduced to your component atoms. Every starship needs a crew. Both contestants will choose the crews of their respective Enterprises as their compatriots. But if Data and Spock are sitting in the captains' chairs, who's manning the sensors? Picard and Kirk, apparently. Now, we've seen time and time again that Picard can do anything from plasma physics to fencing; I've no doubt he can run the sensors. But Kirk?
    "Kirk, what's the position of the enemy ship?"
    "I dunno, but wouldja look at the hooters on that brunette they've got on the bridge! I'd like to check out some of her positions..."
Spock takes two photon torpedoes up the shuttlebay and goes down in flames.

- Jason Goodman


It depends: is this an old Trek episode or a new Trek episode?

If this happened on an old Star Trek, Kirk would inevitably show up. He'd give some impassioned plea about how humanity must be free, and then sucker-punch effeminate Q at the last possible moment and save the day. He'd also pork some random space fox. Kirk wraps up the show with some crack about how weird Spock's ears look. Everyone on the bridge laughs and laughs and laughs while Spock just stands there.

If it was a new Trek show, Spock and Data would work out some incredibly tedious calculation to use their combat ships to create a 'slingshot effect' and a 'tachyon burst' to escape this alternate reality blah blah blah yawn yawn. Then they'd learn how there's really no such thing as right and wrong and it's really important to respect other perspectives...etc. etc. etc. etc...."gee, maybe Q is just teaching us how to work together - and that's the most valuable lesson of all!"...zzzzzzzz...*thud*.

- -- Whit


As the contest begins, the original Star Trek series fight music begins: Dah Da DAH DAH DAH DAH Da Da DAH DA... Dah Da DAH DAH DAH DAH Da Da DAAAHH DA

Data and Spock grind away at the chess boards for 31 minutes until they miraculously play ALL TWELVE MATCHES TO STALEMATES...

Then Data fails miserably with his "...take my wife, please" routine, followed only by the equally unsuccessful "There once was a man from Nantucket..." posturing of Spock. Once again, a 'stale'mate is reached (judging by the reactions of the drunken, but unsatisfied visages of the onlookers).

Finally, the two are about to be matched in starship battle to decide the ultimate victor! As...

TO BE CONTINUED
(next season)

- ex-WVU Chuck


Very good commentary, both of you. You've managed to sway the minds of simple sheep into voting for Data, BUT here's one factor Spock has going for him that you didn't mention:

The Back-From-The-Dead Factor!![TM]

The Rules say that anyone who dies and comes back to life (see "The Four Gospels," "Alien: Resurrection," "The Fifth Element" and all those cheesy horror movies) comes back with a vengance and ALWAYS (unless he's the villian) whoops butt! Spock can't lose with this in his favor.

- MonkeyDog


Fascinating.
Mr. Spock, I think, would have the rage (TM) in this match up. But, since he doesn't want the rage, for that is emotion, he would be trying to neutralize it. But since he can't neutralize it, he'd have even more rage, increasing the amount of effort put into neutralizing it. Which would increase it more because it's a lost cause. A vicious cycle, dooming Spock.

Intriguing.
Data, I think, would like to have the rage(TM), but can't, for (in the television program) he has no emotion capabilities. Which would raise his rage even more, but doesn't because he doesn't have a rage to raise. Which would raise it more yet. A vicious cycle, dooming Data.

In all the mental commotion, a 10,000 A.D. (Earthdate) Charles Montgomery Burns, from episode 1F01, "Rosebud," walks through and takes the trophy and prize money. A vicious cyborg (with cypuppy Smithers), dooming Data and Spock.
Excellent!

- Mark Wentz


To really determine the winner, one must look to the real force involved: THE VOTERS! Who is more powerful, TOS Trekies or TNG Trekies? Looking at this statistic alone proves that Spock will be the victor. TOS Trekies are almost as fanatical as Middle East terrorists or the Waco, Texas group. Heck, they STILL think the Enterprise can defeat the Death Star even though the Grudge Match™ proved beyond any doubt that it cannot possibly be true.

- Topcat


I really don't think impressing Troi would be much of an accomplishment. Everyone knows she's the ship's doorknob. Everyone from Wesley Crusher to *ahem* Dr. Crusher has had their way with her at one time or another.

- When's it MY turn?


This is entirely unreasonable. As much as Data is a worthless, irritating prat who never did ANYTHING worthwhile, he can still beat the multifaceted interesting Spock. Its quite sad, but analysis shows that Superstrong-Supersmart-Superimpersonating androids beat the humans every time unless there is the goodguy-badguy thing. Since they are both goodguys, this has no meaning, and Data stomps the Vulcan flat.

- E. F. Libby-Burroughs-Burroughs-Libby


It's going to be Data in a close 2-1 match; let's take a logical, analytical approach to this dilemma:

Chess - usually I would agree that any computer worth half its salt would trump Spock, especially since he even admitted it. But we know Data will lose from these proofs of his gaming ability: a) he was beat by Councelor Troi! Anybody that loses a game to a friggin' space-cheerleader has to be a few positronic pathways short of a full neural net; b) he admitted he wasn't able to beat the grandmaster of another difficult game: Strategima. He couldn't beat the master, so he played him to a continous stalemate, until the guy quit in frustration. We know this plan could never work on Mentos™-cool Spock, so Spock takes this round.

Spock-1, Data-0

Stand-up Comedy - here, even Spock himself will tell you he barely understands the emotion of laughter, let alone be able to induce it in others. Data would admit the same. But, he doesn't have to: with Data's perfect simulation ability and gigaquads-vast memory, he will quickly be able to recall and carry out a routine by popular 20th-century comic Chris Rock: "What's up with the Borg, anyway? Why they always gotta be white? You goona tell me there ain't no brothas in the Collective? They gotta've assimilated some ghettos by now!... And forget Viagra; I want me some o'that Pon Farr action, baby!", etc. etc. Even Roseanne couldn't resist masterpiece comedy of that calibre.

Spock-1, Data-1

Starship Combat - this is the deciding round, but naturally neither competitor is feeling pressure. We've seen what Spock can do in combat-whine about liking it where he is, and letting Kirk take over. He can't even captain a trainee crew when things get tough! With no one to turn the ship over to, Spock'll be dead in the water. OTOH, Data has proven his leadership skills in combat consistantly: He stopped an entire Romulan fleet during the Klingon Civil War; was able to think faster than the Borg and save the Enterprise in First Contact and "The Best of Both Worlds"; (with Worf) rescued Locutus from a cube full of Borg; and is always Picard's commander of choice, after Riker. Data is easily the third-best (after Picard and Riker) starship commander in Starfleet.

Spock-1, Data-2

Data gets a new story to tell to Counselor Cleavage, and Spock get the rest of his life to ponder the humorous significance of a 'ghetto' and 'Viagra'.

- -Chris, from the Please, Please, Please Get a Life Center for the Socially Challenged (Thanks a lot you bastards for turning peaceful nerds debates into a Civil War in e-space. You'll see.)


There is no question that Spock would win. He is a perfect blend of Vulcan logic and human ingenuity -- the best of both worlds. Yeah, Data's got a slightly better time of it with brute strength, but since when has brute strength gone anywhere? Spock would have figured out the location of his off switch long before then. If Data wins this one in the public eye, it's because Brent Spiner has more current diehard fans, thus the fight is fixed ...

Chess: I admit it would likely be a stalemate here. Spock has a superior mind; Data has great circuits. Although, if Spock were to put some ingenuity into his game . . . bye bye Data.

Comedy: You gotta be kidding me. Remember Data's not-quite-laughable attempts at comedy? Ha. Ha. Now remember the times when Spock tried comedy? Spock is not only ROTFL-funny when he tries to be, he even draws a good long guffaw at the close of an episode when he's not attempting to be humorous!! The Vulcan has charisma. Trust me. I know. He has major charisma. :-)

Space battle: See Data fly. Fly, Data, fly. See Data perform all the well-known battle maneuvers because they worked before, didn't they? Data, it's all been done before. See Spock improvise. Improvise, Spock, improvise. See Data die.

Die, Data, die.

No offense to Data fans, I'm one too . . . it's just that being a Spock fan is my first, best destiny . . .

- Both fighters are turn-ons . . . and look who gets turned off!


Well, you guys have successfully DOOMED yourself to and endless bombardment by trekkies everywhere. Have fun sorting through all the footnoted and cross-referenced responses.

Regardless of this, I'm gonna have to go with Data on this one. At any given instance, Data can percieve of nigh infinite possible outcomes, AND plan for every eventuality. With this in mind, He'll whup Spock silly at chess and starship combat. After that, Who cares if he's not funny?

- Ajota


There is only one factor that will decide this battle. Data has an off switch and Spock has hung around Jim Kirk long enough to have the slyness to use it.

This coupled with the fact that Data knows he can be put back together again by Spock, but Spock can't be put back together by Data. Data's going to throw the fight anyway, because STTNG all about those kinds of tough moral decisions. Spock spent all his time around Jim Kirk, an expert in immoral expediency, he's just going to try to take Data out.

- Jeff Acheson


Match #1: Spock in twelve moves. Why? He's been learning all those sneaky moves from Kirk. As we've seen from the TNG episode with the annoying guy who whipped everybody at that games thingee, all Data can do when his back's against the wall is play to draw.

Match #2: This one goes resoundingly to Data. He's not only been tutored by Joe Piscopo but he of course was a regular on TNG, which has been surpassed only by Voyager for 100 yuks a minute.

Match #3: You've gotta be kidding right? I know I always say that when I comment on the WWWF matches but this time I mean it. Who was the one who advised Kirk to kill Gary Mitchell? Data would have spouted nonsense about "the highest principles of the Federation". Who is it that gets so horny every seven years he has to swim upstream to spawn and kill everything in sight? While Data is fooling around with his new emotion chip and crying over how Tasha Yar broke his little positronic heart, Spock's been charging phasers and loading the torp tubes. BLAMMO! Goodbye Data!

- Big Boy


Well, well, well. It looks that the Grudgemasters(tm) have finally come up with a worthy match. While the answer may not be obvious to everyone, the question can be solved. How might you ask? Well, since we are on the subject of Spock and Data, I will use logic to prove who the winner will be.


First, let us start with chess:
Data is a computor(or reasonable facsimile thereof)
Data was created by a human
Chess was created by a human(or humans)
A computor can beat a human at chess (Deep Blue Postulate)
So now we know that Data could beat a human at chess.... This brings us to the following facts:
Captain Kirk is a human
Captain Kirk outranks Spock
Therefore, Data can beat Spock at chess. Tally: Data-1; Spock-0 Now lets move on to comedy acts:
Data=Spock=Borg drones=Roseanne=not funny
Things that aren't funny make people angry
Hooligans beat the bloody hell out of people when they are angry
After this round: Data-1; Spock-0; Hooligans- 1
Finnaly, lets move on to Starship battles:
Data and Spock will be concentrating on fighting
Angry hooligans with the taste of blood from previous battles tend to break concentrations
Q will TRY to stop anyone that ruins his fun
Hooligans WILL stop anything that ruins their fun
After the final round: Data-1; Spock-0; Hooligans-2; Q- gets 2 photon torpedo enemas fired by hooligans that are wearing Spock's ears and waving spare parts around.
As we can see, the soccer hooligans clearly have the win. But if only Spock or Data could win, then I guess a disassembled Data wins by a nose(or what's left of it).

- Shaft


Gotta go with Spock here. Why? The Transformer Mystique. yes, Leonard Nimoy was not only the voice of Galvatron in 'Transformers: The Movie," but, due to the untimely death of Orson Welles during taping, he stood in as the voice of the monster planet known as Unicron. So, on his side, Nimoy has not one, but TWO massive, deathbringing Transformers on his side. One of whom is an entire PLANET. Who has Data's actor voiced? Jack and Squat, and Jack's outta town, baby. Spock gets a hold of Unicron, who eats Data, the hooligans, the Borg, and Q for good measure. As they say over on the CBUB, Spock's gonna whip Data like a four-year-old in K-mart.

- Hooper X


The problem here is that we have another good guy vs. good guy match. This is compounded by the fact that there is no stakes in this match. The only incentive to win is ego, and neither Data or Spock have any to speak of.

So they will go to plan B - frustrate Q. No one ever cooperates when emeshed in one of Q's games, they always find away to escape without giving Q any satisfication. This will be no different.

Spock and Data will draw at chess, each winning 6 games, all 12 games being the 2 move fools mate.

In the starship battle, Spock and Data will immediatly capture each other, resulting in another tie.

Q will be very frustated, though somewhat curious about how they will manage a tie in the comedy contest.

Spock approaches Data
Spock : I understand that you have changed the command structure on the Enterprise.
Data : Yes. Instead of one captain, we now have 3. Each captain will be in command for one 8 hour shift.
Spock : Most logical. By having 3 captains, each one will have sufficent time for relaxing and sleeping.
Data : That is the intention.
Spock : Who is the captain of the first shift.
Data : That is correct.
Q : What ?!?
Data (turning to Q) : What is the name of the captain of the second shift.
Q : I don't know!
Data and Spock : Third shift.

By the time they get to explaining the security officers 'names' Q will be totally lost and in frustration will dismiss the two logic commedians back to their ships.

- The TieMaster


Chess: Is, I say in all fairness, the sport of nerds. Data is the Uber-Nerd. 1-0, Data.

Comedy: Joe Piscopo? Joe freakin' Piscopo?? Shit, Data, why not get advice from Bobcat Goldthwait and Tom Arnold while you're at it? Meanwhile, Spock's droning monotone will make the audience perceive his humor as dry and British, which should go over big with the soccer yobs and Roseanne, the only American who actually thinks Absolutely Fabulous is funny. 1-1.

Starship combat: For Spock's ineptness as a commander, I cite "The Galileo Seven" (which happened to be on the Sci-Fi Channel last night). He himself admits he acted logically throughout, but still got two of his crew killed, and the remainder were thisclose to fragging him. He will decide it's only logical to shut off life support everywhere except the bridge, Engineering, and the weapons banks, and divert the power to the shields. The bridge crew will be unswayed by his argument that the people thus killed are only Q-created imitations, anyway. Mercifully, Data's photon torpedo spread will blast his ship out of existence before the crew can finish ripping him limb from limb. Final result: 2-1 for the android.

- Shem


Normally, I would not even go near this match, due to the extreme level of absolute geekdom that it generates. However, my classes are fairly boring today, so here goes:

Part 1: The chess matches. Each of these competitors has no personality and a very logical mind, which makes for a good chess player. The first eleven games will be finished within one hour and each will end in a stalemate. During the last game, while Data is busy plotting to get Counselor "Look at my Melons" Troi into bed, Spock deftly kypes a few of Data's more valuable pieces. Data, whose entire positronic net is busy watching Deanna's old pornos, doesn't even notice. Score: Keebler Elf, 1; Robocop, 0.

Part 2: The Stand Up Act. This time the lack of personality and very logical minds are both detrimental factors. However, in every next gen. episode, Data NEVER gets a laugh. Even after he got emotions in that horrid movie, no one still thought he was funny! Spock, on the other hand, routinely gets laughed at even though he doesn't know why. Dr. "Dammit Jim, I'm a Child Molester not a Doctor" McCoy bursts out at least once an episode over something that zany Vulcan does. Score: Genetic Freak, 2; Metalhead, 0.

At this point, the contest is technically over. However, due to the laws of Star-Trekkian physics, the contest must continue because up to this point the Enterprise has not been blown up. The Universal "No, Really, Star Trek Movies Are Good" Law states that during every major Star Trek event the Enterprise must blow up in an incredible explosion, allowing a new version of the ship to be made for the next major Star Trek event. Therefore, we come to:

Part 3: Neither of these putzes have ever had much experience doing tactical combat in their starship. The only chance Data ever got, he spent the entire episode convincing "The Racist" that he knew what he was doing. Everyone else played the part of the "Suddenly Moronic Bystander" who stepped aside and let him do his thing. Shouting such high-tech three dimensional tactical instructions like, "Evasive Maneuvers" and "Fire", each pilot pretty much relies on how good the crew is at dodging each other's Photon Torpedos. AKA: Both ships blow up in a massive fireball.

Spock, although technically dead, still recieves the award because he was ahead until he died. Data recieves no commendations, save that we won't have to see him in any more Star Trek movies.

- - Some Dork


Data can save himself the trouble of even participating in these lengthy competitions. A few lines of his inane, badly constructed poetry, and Spock will almost certainly turn a phaser on himself. Observe:

Data: If you will indulge me, before we begin, sir...

Spock: Very well.

Data: (Ahem) An ode to my cat, Spot. Felus Cattus is your taxonomic nomenclature. An endothermic quadruped, carnivorous by nature...

Spock: YAAAAAAAARRRRGGHH!...

Q: Oh my, it seems Mr. Spock has expired. I guess you win by default.

Data: Heh. I knew I'd win!

Q: Data, you just used a contraction!

Data: No, I didn't.

- Dave "I'm recovering quite nicely from the pepper spray, thanks for the cards" Nelson


ok, let's summarize the facts as we know them. Spock is from the original star trek, and Data is an android that was built by a human.

Knowing this, we can summarize thusly:

1. Data's creator was human.

2. Data's creator was a geek, because we all know that normal humans beings can't create highly intellegent androids on a remote planet without cable.

3. Geeks love Star Trek. Dont know why, it's just hardwired into their genes

4. All geeks want to be like Captain Kirk, but with the mind of Spock.

5. Therefore, any geeks building an intellegent android are automatically going to have a circuit built into it to guarantee that should the extremely unlikely occur (a fight with anyone from the original star trek), the android will lose, but not know they're losing (aka protocol 4, (see robocop for details)).

Thus, it is inherently impossible for data to win, because his creator was a geek.

- ExentriC: not your normal everyday slacker.


Simple. As any college student knows, computers crash at the most important times. And the more complex the computer, the worse and more often the crash (did TRS-80's crash as much as Win 98?) Sooo, Data's positronic pea-brain will have a 24th century GPF and Spock will take this one

- Tristan "The Griffon Master" Pratt


Spock can't win. The match is fixed.

When Q was human, Data saved his life. Q is fixing the match, Data is on it.

Q will change the rules of chess so that Data wins. Q will zap Data with a personality for the comedy routine (he did make Data laugh). In order to keep thing's close, he'll let Spock win the Starship contest.

And Q will earn lots of money for betting on Data.

- The One who Knows Too Much


All of you know the old expression "Rank has its Privliges". Well, Spock (a Starfleet Captain) would simply give Data (a Starfleet Leutannant Commander) a Direct Order to calculate PI, just like he did in the episode "The Ultimate Computer". Data, being the machine that he is, would be forced by his programming to perform this calculation, thus causing him to lock up like a 286 trying to run NT Server 4.0. Results--Spock wins the first round by using logic,and the other two by default.

- L_U_R_K_E_R


Intellect:
Sure, sure, Data's got IntelInside (TM) and can process data at the speed of a data processor. But that's not intellect. Nowhere does this show more clearly than in his pathetic attempts at understanding classical music. He's got technique and theory down, but the only way he can put the package together is by slavishly imitating the great cello masters of the 20th century. Whereas Spock plays an extremely complicated high-tech harp, and plays it with Soul (he's also a lot more ethnic than Data, but I digress). But musical intellect is not what you're looking for you say? Very well, let's stick strictly to space-ship know-how. Yes, Data is pretty savvy -- provided he's equipped with his fancy schmancy space lab equipment, 3D planetarium, etc., not to mention getting the HoloDeck PlasmoEinstein to pass him notes. Spock can make a tachyon hyperspace transponder from bear skins, bone knives, and Depression-era RCA vacuum tubes. Nuff said.

Comedy:
Data's crimes against comedy are too well known to warrant recapitulation here. He's about as funny as Margaret Thatcher. Spock, on the other hand, is an integral part of the old and well- loved comedy team of Spock & McCoy. Sure, Spock's the straight (well, more about that later) guy, but are you going to tell me that George Burns isn't funny just because he did the set-up work and Gracie hit the rimshots? Besides, Spocks shares another comedic talent with the great Burns -- he's versatile (well, more about that later). Spock has had his share of great punchlines ("Logic is a wreath of pretty flowers that smell bad" -- I'm still rolling over that one!), not to mention slapstick: Who could forget Spock hanging upside down in a tree, giggling, high on SpacePollen (not available in stores)?

Command:
Admittedly not Mr. Spock's primary function, but when motivated by TheRage (TM), Spock is a HighlySuccessful QualityTeamLeader (C). When deprived of his beloved Jim and driven into paroxysms of internalized homophobia ("When I feel friendship for you ... I feel ASHAMED(sm)!!!"), Mr. Spock gets single-minded and takes control. "Must ... find ... Captain ... must ... restore submissive role ... in chain of command." I.e. "at your side", ref. cit. Edith Keeler, q.v.. Once propelled into the captain's seat (chair, whatever), Mr. Spock has a unique and HighlySuccessful (C) managerial style, including bold paradigms for employee conflict-of-interest resolution, such as the famous VulcanBrainRape (patent pending).[movie 6] Now THAT'S what I call "Command". Sure, when Kirk is back in dominance, Spock happily assumes a submissive position in the chain of command, but until then, he's The Man (R). Data simply isn't able to put that kind of sociosexual agony to work for him.

- Marco


On Spock vs. Data

You cannot beat the computer. I am a programmer and I know. When making computer games, companies make the computer players weak to give you a smug sense of snobbish, self-satisfaction, but if the word 'win' is in the the parameters of its programming, it will. Especially at chess. DO YOU HEAR ME!! ARE YOU LISTENING!! RESISTANCE IS FUTILE!!!

- A Slovokian Hacker


Spock will win because he is a fast and thorough learner, and he has spent the last three decades gallivanting around the galaxy with the greatest terror known to computer-kind, James T. Kirk. About every other episode or so, Kirk would, with only a few words, blow a computer system straight to downtown Smithereens.

During the chess match, Spock mutters under his breath, "Janet Reno and Ross Perot doing the nasty." Data has devoted full concentration to the game, so it takes several minutes for a small subprocessor to identify the two names and access the relevant historical data. Unendowed with the defenses that allow biological lifeforms to block out such horrors, Data is helpless as the horrble image leaps unbidden to his mind. This causes a massive buildup of zapruderon particles (A certified Star Trek Particle of the Week (TM)) blowing the back of Data's head off. Q declares Spock the winner by default.

While Data is doing his stand-up act, Spock slips in amongst the crowd and starts two rumors: 1. Data is gay. 2. Data is hot for Roseanne. As the rumors spread through the crowd, the Roseanne clones cover both bases by shouting affirmation for Data's lifestyle while stripping off their tops. Assaulted by 20 shrill Roseanne voices, 40 Roseanne bazongas and an acute case of sexual confusion, Data has another zapruderon overload and his head explodes. The confused crowd applauds politely. Q declares Spock the winner of the overall contest, but decrees that the space battle will go on anyway.

Since the starships are made by Q, they both feature rotating license plates, oil slick dispensers and ejection seats. After a violent running battle, Spock's ship is nearly crippled. Realizing that his only hope is an ambush, he makes a run for a nearby nebula and lies in wait for Data. Unfortunately, he has left his turn signal on for the last 10 lightyears, and Data coolly fires a full spread of torpedoes into the part of the nebula that is blinking amber. Spock is killed by one of those sticks of dynamite that seems to be stored under all Star Trek bridge consoles. Spock is returned to the bridge of the Enterprise with a years supply of Starship Formula Turtle Wax (TM) and Vulc-a-Roni, the pacifistic treat. Q sentences Data to three years as a talking pay toilet at a remote and well-populated Klingon laxative testing facility.

- Mr. Silverback- Spice Girls approaching, men. Set phasers to slaughter.


Ah, how easily they forget! As if there is actually a need to devise such a contest between the head-cocking, I-really-need-a-new-haircut android and the eyebrow-raising, I-need-a-new-haircut-even-more Vulcan!

One needs to look no further than the classic Star Trek episode entitled, "I, Mudd," in which Kirk and the Enterprise crew are held hostage by Harry Mudd in his android whorehouse. Not only does the Enterprise crew--comprised mainly of flawed, intellectually inferior humans--outwit Mudd's women, but Spock himself befuddles the head 'droid, Norman, to the extent that smoke actually emerges from his ears before the unitard-clad Norman short-circuits.

As shown by this important precedent, Spock will easily confound Data and turn him into nothing more than a jumble of wiring and other electrical garbage that will allow our pointy-eared friend to construct something much more advanced (and hopefully, much less annoying) than Data himself.

Fascinating.

- Michelle the Great (vix91@hotmail.com)


seeing as how "Spock" sounds like "spork", i refuse to vote for such an utterly worthless tool.

- Bri Rob the Caveman


The chess match will end in a draw. Spock has 200 years worth of chess under his belt, but Data has surely studied Spock's strategy, so the games will end with the king pieces chasing each other around the board.

Stand-up Comedy. Spock takes the gold in this one. Data's already tried stand-up and he failed miserably. Spock, on the other hand, can recite "DETERIORATA" and bring the house down.

Starship combat: By the time Data gets through with his long-winded explanation of the history of the Picard Maneuver™ to his crew, Spock comes from behind with a stolen Romulan cloaking device and gives him a Quantum Torpedo™ enema.

- Don Meyers


Data will kick Spock's butt and revel in it. He's got one thing Spock will never have: the emotion chip he pilfered from his no-good, rotten, evil-twin half-brother, Lore.

CHESS: Forget about Deep Blue, Kasparov, and artificial intelligence. That chip is going to teach Data the greatest philosophy ever espoused by Lore: If at first you don't succeed, CHEAT! Q, of course, will be amused with this and gladly let Data get by with it.

If that doesn't work, Data can always revert to a lesson he learned after getting beaten at Stratagema: If you can't beat 'em, stalemate 'em. And being the "perfectionist" that he is, Spock will suffer a total emotional overload and quit in disgust.

COMEDY: Again, the emotion chip will put Data light-years ahead of Spock. All Spock has are the plastic pointy ears that went out with the stupid-looking polyester outfits decades ago.

And who needs Whoopi? (NO WHITE HOUSE JOKES!!!!) By now, the original Enterprise crew (heck, the original show) has for centuries served as a minefield for all kinds of fun-making and ridicule (see previous Grudge Matches), so Data has plenty of material to work with. For example:

Data imitating Uhura: "I'm terribly sorry, but the Captain cannot see you right now, he's busy over-acting in his Ready Room."

For the hardiest audience (e.g., Borg drones), Data needs only imitate his own long-lost brother, make a few passing jokes about their beloved leader, Bill Gates, and they will gladly die laughing for him.

INTERGALACTIC CONFLICT: If Data can kick Spock's butt at a simulated battle (such as chess), then Spock doesn't stand a chance in a real one...

RESISTANCE IS FUTILE...ASSIMILATE THE SOCCER HOOLIGANS AND THE ROSEANNE CLONES...THEN LAUGH AT MY JOKES...THEN KILL THE VULCAN.

And while Spock is preoccupied with assessing the futility of resisting this onslaught, Data gets Troi and boldly goes where every other man has gone before...

- The Genius Formerly (and Still) Known as Eddie


Well, well, well. Two Star Trekkers in a Grudge Match.

Now, knowing that Star Trek is totally incapable of winning a Grudge Match has colored my voting. This match is the third in a row that has required the "both lose" button, and makes a pretty good argument for its permanent institution.

So, with this in mind... I gotta say they team up.

This, my friends, is a love connection. They realize they share a Passion Which Cannot Be Named (tm), and decide that no matter what happens, they cannot fight each other. To do this would be to deny their forbidden desire, and well, they can't do that.

So the HotBranch! fans rip them apart.

A rough, but messy, and apt, justice is served.

- Thomas Wilde


Mr. Spock will win quite handily, and for one reason...

Second-Banana-itis.

You see, the last two or three Star Trek movies (and a great number of the episodes) were directed by Johnathan Frakes, who plays Commander Riker. Only he can truly empathise with Spock, having to suck up all the time, never getting the green chicks, and having to laugh at the captain's retarded jokes at the end of every episode. Frakes has 'The Rage', and will strike a mighty blow for first officers all throughout the universe.

With a creak of the director's chair and a snap of the clapboard, The Borg will be using Data's positronic head as a soccer ball to challenge the post-apocalyptic stragglers for posession of the Earth. (In true Star Trek fashion, the Earth will be saved as the English Soccer Hooligans will no doubt harbor resentment against the Borg, thinking them to be Swedish)

- The Direct-inator


I am afraid I have to go with Spock. You know what they say about men with long pointy ears! They have the "intelligence" to go with them.

- Elbows


Spock is going down thanks to a conspiracy that would make the X-Files wince.

Consider if you will that Data had sexual relations with Tasha Yar back when the two of them were wildly drunk. Yar was subsequently killed by a big black pile of goo only to be resurrected in a space/time anomaly only to be sent back in time and be killed by the Romulans but not before being married and having a child, who grows up Romulan and hates the Federation for being responsible for killing her mother because the Romulans killed her when attempted to escape.

Now comes the confusing part. Am I the only one that notices that Yar's daughter looks EXACTLY like her mother (except for the ears)? That's genetically impossible unless the father provided no genetic material for physical appearance. And considering that no one in the Star Trek universe understands temporal mechanics and Data is "fully functional" and his body is mechanical and thus does not require DNA, I can come up with only one conclusion:

DATA IS THE FATHER OF TASHA YAR'S DAUGHTER!

Doesn't that explain everything? That's how Data knew the paintball trick - it's genetic. That's how the highly-xenophobic Romulans allow a "half-breed" into their military - a half android could easily fake it with some plastic surgery, a pair of prosthetic ears and some help from Mom. And beyond a doubt, that explains the really bad acting involved - she doesn't have a full grasp of the emotions thanks to dear old dad.

As for Spock, the Romulans have a score to settle with him ever since he prevented their invasion of Vulcan. In return for dropping her paternity suit, Data agrees to off Spock. After the competition ends in a draw (well, big surprise there), Data lifts Spock's arm in the air in a sign of double victory and then ambushes him ala the Midnight Express from Pro Wrestling. On the bright side, Spock's head makes a very interesting prop for Hamlet.

Space, The Truth Is Out There...

- Paul G.


Sorry about the genericism of my response, but I forgot to stock up on ™s and I only have a precious few left...

Ok, this is a question of whether I prefer Trek Classic or New Trek. Seems to me that an Atlanta-based multi-gazillion dollar soft drink company had me by the short and curlies in much the same fashion, back in the early 80s...

I will tell you now, what I told "them" then: IF IT AIN'T BROKE DON'T FRIGGIN' FIX IT! There was nothing wrong with Spock. He was cool, calm, collected, and in control of his bodily functions when everyone else on the Enterprise was soiling their polyester outfits.

When I first tasted the new formula of the popular soft drink, I thought it had a kind of skanky lemony aftertaste. Data has a silvery-yellow skin color, kind of like a radioactive lemon. Strike one!

Public backlash to the new soft drink, and banishment of the original, resulted in a nasty public backlash. People were selling leftover cases of the original beverage on the black market. People don't like change. Spock is the original; he is what people are familiar with. Data represents change. Data bad. Strike two!

The main competitor of the Atlanta-based beverage company uses the slogan of "Generation Next"™ (Damn, only one left!). Data is the next incarnation of Star Trek's emotionless being. Next™ (Great! Now I'm out. Can anyone spare a few ™s? Anyone?... Ok, screw you guys, I'm going home!) is a computer developed by Steve Jobs, co-founder of a desktop heap of microchips named after a fruit. Steeeeeerike three! You're outtathere!

Data had about the same chance as Paul Golba staring down a Pedro Martinez curveball.

- HotBranch!


How could ANYBODY that always is defeated in poker by Will Riker ever hope to best Spock in anything more mentally stimulating than tiddly-winks?

- Adam B.


The Final Word

THE FINAL WORD...™

sigh...

Is this the only way that Star Trek can hope to win on WWWF now?

- Chris 'Jedi' Knight, siding with the Vorlons on this one


If you liked this match, check out these other past matches:

Khan v. Lex Luthor
Chewbacca v. Worf
Other Star Trek based Grudge Matches


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ETA: Wednesday, September 30th.

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