At the Paramount Studios, in Rick Berman’s office, something devious is afoot. Berman is joined by Brannon Braga, Jeri Taylor, Michael Piller, and Kenneth Biller. However, since it is Halloween, Paramount has let all of its employees dress up. Berman is dressed up as an evil producer, who is in charge of overseeing Star Trek, Kenneth Biller is dressed up as Rick Berman (he wound up winning the Paramount costume contest, much to Rick Berman’s protest), Jeri Taylor is dressed up as a lady of the night, complete with caked on make-up and short leather skirt, Michael Piller is dressed as a vampire, and Brannon Braga is dressed up as Donatello, of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Berman: All right, I’m glad you all could join us. Now, as you know, our production of Star Trek: Voyager is running a little behind schedule, and I thought the fans would love it if we produced a Halloween episode.
Piller: That’s a very good idea, Mr. Berman, but, assuming we begin production today, given the time it takes to make an episode, the post-production, shipping, etc, according to my calculations, the Halloween episode won’t be shown until the middle of April.
Berman: Bwahahahahahahahahahahaha! I know! That was my intention!
Taylor: But, sir, we don’t even have a script ready. That in itself will push the episode back a couple of months. A Halloween episode around June?
Berman: That is where Mr. Braga comes in. Brannon?
Braga: Yes. I could start on the script now and have it done in twenty minutes.
Piller: Twenty minutes? My God, man! The writing staff has really sped up since I left the show to become a creative consultant.
Berman: Well, actually, for a normal episode, we usually end up spending about ten minutes in the writing process. The extra time gives up some more time for product placement.
Braga: Yes. Mr. Berman has allocated me some extra time to write a very special episode. Mr. Berman really cares for the fans.
(Berman gives a very hideous smile. Everybody winces.)
Piller: Wait a minute. I don’t get it. If you already have it planned out, then what’s the point in having this meeting?
Berman: We’ve got some ideas we’ve been kicking around, various Halloween ideas, and we want to see what you think about them.
Piller: Aight. Let’s hear them.
Berman: Mr. Braga, go ahead.
Braga: Alrighty! First off, we have come up with this wonderful story where Voyager encounters a nebula, where some creatures, which live in the nebula, of course, latch onto the hull and start humping the ship. Harry ends up getting a console exploded on him, and dies, and Seven of Nine polarizes the hull to save the day.
Piller: Um, actually, we already did an episode like that. About season one, if I remember correctly. Harry didn’t die, but space creatures started humping the hull and Kes became pregnant...
Piller: Kes. She was this character we had on there for about three years. Before Seven of Nine. Anyway, Torres ended up polarizing the hull and Paris rotated the ship. It was really fantastic. That episode rated up there with “The Best of Both Worlds.”
Braga: Dammit! That’s some of that stuff people have been writing about. Conti... conti... new... continew...
Taylor: Continuity. (Pulls out a Webster’s Pocket Dictionary) Continuity: A way of keeping stories consistent with stories that have happened before.
Berman: Hey, you know what? Screw Webster! Mr. Braga, continue.
Braga: Okay. We’ve thought of this other episode where Voyager goes to this nebula and the holodeck malfunctions. It’s pretty cool because the Doctor and Seven of Nine go in there and have to fight off this polaric axionic energy being...
Piller: “Heroes and Demons”, season one.
Braga: Son of a bitch!
(Everybody stares at Braga, in his Donatello outfit, and the tick tock of Berman’s clock can be heard in the background as Jeri Taylor starts to file her fingernails/)
Braga: Okay. How about this one? It deals with Voyager going into this nebula to get some coffee, and the ship jumps to warp ten, Harry dies, and everybody starts turning into giant lizards that go around humping people. Janeway ends up getting pregnant, and Chakotay and Tuvok get some real character development saying smart-ass comments to each other. Seven of Nine finds an ingenious way to save the Captain and Tom Paris, using some of her nanoprobes to save the day.
Piller: (Starts banging his head against Berman’s desk) For the love of God! You wrote that episode yourself! It was called “Threshold"!
Braga: I thought that sounded kind of familiar...
Berman: Now, listen here, Piller! We’re being very patient with you, and you are trying my patience! We will give you one more idea, and if you don’t like it, the only creative consulting you will be doing will be for cheap pornos! That goes for Taylor too!
Taylor: Hey! I didn’t say anything. However, I did come up with a Halloween idea. Check this out: Chakotay dresses up as old Crazy Horse, and the crew uses the holodeck to reenact that tragic battle, learning about history, all the while learning something about themselves and coming out feeling better about their situation, being lost in the Delta Quadrant?
(Everybody looks at Jeri Taylor. Rick Berman gets up from his chair, calmly walks over to her, bitch-slaps her in the face, and calmly walks back to his desk and sits down.)
Berman: Mrs. Taylor, that is the stupidest idea I’ve ever heard. “Character development.” Bah! The fans don’t want character development! They want mindless action and explosions! Mr. Piller, Mrs. Taylor! Get out! You’re fired!
(Piller and Taylor get up, heads hung low, and proceed to exit Berman’s office.)
Biller: I’ve got it!
Berman: Speak. Tell me your idea, Mr. Biller. It had better be good, or you can join ol’ Mike and Jeri at the unemployment office cashing your welfare check.
Biller: Okay. Neelix is sitting around, telling Icheb and the Borg kids about this monster-thing they picked up while exploring a nebula. He makes it out like a horror story, and it makes the Borg kids all fidgety. Hilarity ensues as the Borg kids try to convince Neelix to show them the nebula-monster. At the end of the episode, Seven of Nine uses her nanoprobes, and the nebula monster leaves!
(The three sit there for a minute.)
Braga: That’s the lamest idea I’ve ever heard!
Berman: (Smiles) Which is exactly why it’s perfect. Mr. Biller, I may make you executive producer of Star Trek: Voyager yet. Mr. Braga, start churning out the script.
Braga: (Sighs) Aye sir. (Then, he lightens up) Yeah! This will be great! I have the perfect idea for the title! (He starts gazing up to the heavens) “The Haunting of Deck Forty-Seven"!
Biller: Um, Brannon, Voyager only has fifteen decks...
(Braga leaves Berman’s office, weeping.)