Episode 23: “Rising Fuel Prices”
Written by Swordtail
Published August 22, 2006
Scene 1 - Camera is on the Celestial as it flies through space at warp.
Righteous - Captain’s log, stardate 435846.1. We’re still stranded in the Beta Quadrant, and I’d still like to know why we didn’t think of this when we took the ring out this far from Federation space. My underlings tell me that fixing all the holes those weird unnamed ships punched into our hull has seriously depleted our deuterium and dilithium reserves. Apparently, we have to go into “grey mode,” whatever that is.
Camera goes to the bridge. All bridge staff are present and looking at Captain Righteous.
Baque - You know, your “underlings” are right here while you record your logs!
Senseless - Sir, grey mode means we have to shut down all non-essential systems, and group all the crew together and shut down entire decks. Ensign, proceed with power-down.
Center - Aye, sir.
Camera watches as lights in some corridors, life support on some decks, power to some consoles, a few replicators, a cappuccino machine, three sonic showers, and the main viewer on the bridge go offline.
Center - Should I also shut down power to Triage Facilities 1 and 2?
Bios - Sure, it’s not like we ever use them in place of sickbay.
Camera goes outside the ship and watches as most of the window lights and exterior lights turn off. Camera goes back to the bridge.
Senseless - How much longer do we have until total deuterium loss?
Center - If the fuel gauge is working right, about thirty days, give or take a few hours.
Righteous - If it’s working right? Who last serviced it and when?
Bios - Oh, I took a look at it a few days ago.
Camera goes into space and watches as the blue and red lights on the nacelles flicker and then go out, followed by all remaining window lights. Camera goes to a very dark and disabled bridge.
Bios - Oopsie...
Opening–Ah f*** it.
Scene 2 - Briefing room. The only light is from what’s streaming in from the stars, which means it’s pretty much pitch black. All senior staff are present.
Righteous - Let’s skip to the question we all want to know: Who forgot to check whether we paid the utility bill?
Greaser - There was no reason to question the gauge... until now. Thanks a lot, Lieutenant Bios.
Bios - I said I was sorry...
Genocide - What the hell were you doing screwing with it, anyway?
Bios - It was slightly off, so I figured I’d fix it.
Greaser - Well, we’re totally out of deuterium. All tanks are dry and we don’t even have enough to start up the fusion reactors. All systems are offline.
Puker - What about those red emergency lights?
Greaser - I had to tie their power sources into the grav plating and life support, along with the shuttles and almost every other source of power we have left available to us.
Senseless - Could we use the shuttles to go look for more deuterium?
Greaser - Sure, if you don’t mind holding your breath until they come back.
Senseless - Damn it. Okay, here’s what’s going to happen: I want every available member of this crew searching the entire ship with tricorders for every atom of deuterium we have left. Look for heavy water in the toilets, any American beer that’s lying around, scrape it off the pipes and tanks. I want enough to activate the subspace transponder so we can send a distress signal. Hopefully people in this part of the galaxy are friendly and willing to share.
Tener - Doesn’t this part of space border on the Romulan Empire?
Blavik - It does.
Tener - Then the only way they haven’t been conquered yet is if they are as ruthless as the Romulans... or worse.
Senseless - Well, that’s just great. How long until the shuttles’ power supplies run out and life support fails?
Greaser - About eight hours.
Righteous - And how long after that will we not be able to breathe?
Greaser - About twenty minutes, give or take.
Genocide (sarcastically) - As I recall this isn’t the first time we’ve lost all power and had to send out a distress signal. Think the USS Saratoga will show up this time?
Righteous - Well the Prophets do work in mysterious ways...
Puker - Now I hate to end this pointless dialogue, but we’re wasting valuable time. Let’s start looking for that deuterium or whatever it’s called these days.
Righteous - The doctor’s right. Dismissed, people.
Everyone gets up and fumbles around stumbling into things as they try to find the door, which, of course, won’t open anyway.
Scene 3 - Some dirty rusted ship in the middle of nowhere. From the looks of it, it’s about fifty years old or so. The ship is manned by a bunch of goofy forehead aliens. You know the thing in the Super Mario games where there are three rows of parts of stars, mushrooms, and flowers flying by and you have to match them up? Well, these aliens look like UPN or CBS or whatever used the same method of matching up various cosmetic things, but didn’t get it quite right and just took what they got.
Pirate #1 (oops, gave that away, didn’t I?) - Captain!
Pirate Captain - What is it?
Pirate #1 - I’m detecting a faint distress signal.
Pirate Captain - Source?
Pirate #1 - A large ship of unknown origin. There is no power on it, sir.
Pirate Captain - Set a course, raise shields and arm weapons.
Camera goes into space and watches the broken down vessel jump to warp... somehow.
Scene 4 - The pirate ship drops out of warp and moves toward the dark Celestial. On its bridge...
Pirate #2 - Um, that’s a bigggggggg ship. Are you sure we can take it?
Pirate #1 - There are over 700 life signs. We’d never be able to steal that ship, if it were running at peak efficiency.
Pirate Captain - Hail them.
Pirate #1 - Opening a channel... no response. Their communications system seems to be down.
Pirate Captain - Then how did they send their previous distress signal?
Pirate #1 - Wait! We’re being hailed! Audio only.
Pirate Captain - Let’s hear it.
Senseless - This is Commander Jack Senseless of the Federation starship Celestial. Can you help our sorry asses?
Pirate Captain - I am Captain Pinkbeard of the warship Skullcrusher. Perhaps we can help. What is the problem?
Senseless - Well, it’s a funny story, actually. You see, we were on a mission to destroy a dangerous object, and it was able to get us out here very fast, but now we have to return home, which is over ten thousand lightyears away, under our own power and we’ve run out of deuterium because one of our crewmen accidentally damaged the gauge and it says we have a quarter of a tank but we’re completely out. Can you spare enough to get to the nearest deuterium refinery?
Captain Pinkbeard - Uh, let me just, um, consult my chief engineer. Stand by, Celestial.
Camera goes to the astrometrics lab of the Celestial. Righteous, Bios, Senseless, Greaser, and Center are present.
Greaser - I don’t trust them.
Bios - I have to agree. They sound a little... eccentric.
Righteous - It’s a good thing for them that we have no choice.
Center - Or shields and weapons.
Greaser - Or a competent security force.
Righteous - I refuse to stand here and let you insult my ship and crew!
Righteous storms to the back of the room, forces open the doors, and pounds down the corridor. A few seconds later he comes back carrying a chair. He enters the room, drops the chair, sits in it, crosses his arms, and looks annoyed.
Righteous - There.
Scene 5 - Bridge. Baque, Genocide, Blavik and Puker are standing around in the dark.
Baque - So three Vulcans walk into a bar and–
Genocide - Are you trying to get us killed?
Baque - Just shut up a minute. Three Vulcans walk into a bar and order some bloodwine. The bartender gives them a funny look but proceeds with the order. While he is rummaging around looking for the bottle, the Vulcans get up and start singing and dancing around the room. When they come back to the bar, the bartender has a dumbfounded expression on his face. One of the Vulcans asks him what the matter is. The bartender responds, “I can honestly say we’ve never gotten anyone quite like you three in here before.” Another Vulcan responds, “At the prices you’re charging, I’m not surprised.”
The sound of two drum beats and someone hitting the cymbals can be heard in the background.
Genocide - It took you almost a year to tell that!?!
Blavik - Fascinating. I seem to “get it.” The high prices were the punchline of the joke, not the illogical behaviour of the three Vulcans.
Puker meanwhile is rolling on the floor laughing his ass off.
Puker - AH HA HA! THAT’S F***ING HILARIOUS!!!
Baque - At least someone admires the classics made new.
Suddenly, the lights come on, pulse for a second, then go out again.
Baque - What the?
Genocide - Engineering must have found a power source.
Blavik - Most unlikely. It is more probable that the ship the Commander was talking about a few minutes ago has boarded us and is attempting to refuel the ship.
Camera goes to the astrometrics lab.
Righteous - Well, it’s a start anyway. Good work, Lieutenant-Commander.
Greaser - I didn’t do anything.
Center - Maybe our new friends..?
The channel opens again and Captain Pinkbeard appears on the screen.
Pinkbeard - After a careful search of your ship and after consulting your main computer after a two second power-up, we’ve decided to tow you to the nearest deuterium refinery... but you’re not invited.
Righteous - Well, that’s not very nice of you.
Pinkbeard - We’re pirates, get used to it.
Bios looks at the console.
Bios - Um, they’re moving closer and I’m detecting transporter activity throughout the ship.
Righteous - Commander! Do something!
Senseless - Greaser! Reroute power from life support to transporter inhibitors!
Greaser - Don’t we need life support!?!
Senseless - Not if we get beamed into space!
Greaser hits some buttons on the console.
Greaser - Done. We have one hour of air left, though. It’ll keep us in but not them out!
Just as she finishes, an angry looking boarding party bursts in through the doors and begins firing at them.
Senseless - Computer, lock out all command functions authorization Senseless omega one G!
Computer (faintly, since it’s only coming from one console) - Command lockout engaged.
Senseless - Well then, nothing left to do except get stunned.
One of the pirates fires a wide beam weapon at the group of officers.
Scene 6 - Lieutenant Tener, once again being ignored, is crawling around in some Jefferies tubes.
Tener - Okay James, remember Starfleet training: When you’re the only one left on the ship, always remember that it’s all up to you or else everyone is going to die. Secondly, stay calm at all costs... I never should have memorized that passage.
He reaches an EPS terminal thingy and opens it.
Tener - Let’s see... these gel packs control... damn. I can’t remember what these control. Oh well, better pull them out anyway.
He removes the two blue bio-neural gel packs and sets them aside.
Tener - Hmm... Nothing.
Meanwhile, deck 18 is being flooded with carbon dioxide from the rest of the ship. Camera goes to the pirates on that deck, who are now coughing up lungs and cursing the faulty Starfleet equipment. Camera goes back to Lieutenant Tener.
Tener - Alright, now think, I should know this: Where is the nearest weapons locker?
Tener - Right, I’ve got nothing. Trusty hand phaser it is then.
Tener takes out his phaser, sets it to heavy stun, re-holsters it, and begins to climb up a ladder.
Scene 7 - Bridge. A bunch of balding, middle aged thugs with hygiene problems are guarding Senseless as he is being beat to sh*t by Captain Pinkbeard.
Pinkbeard - I’M ONLY GOING TO TELL YOU THIS ONCE MORE! DISENGAGE THE COMMAND LOCKOUT, IMMEDIATELY!!!
Senseless - I’ve said this once, and I’ll say it again: Go f*** yourself!
Pinkbeard - Alright, have it your way...
Senseless - Yep, I guess you’ll just have to go f*** yourself now.
Pinkbeard - Nameless crewman, go get the tapes...
No-Name Pirate #3 - Right here, sir.
Pinkbeard puts the isolinear chip into the computer console next to Senseless and the screen shows a “loading” image.
Pinkbeard - We were able to search your library computer and found various ways to torture the mind of Humans. This one is the worst we’ve found. Computer, play. MAXIMUM VOLUME!!!
On the main viewer, the American Idol logo flies past, followed by the words: “Audition archives.”
Senseless - My... god...
A clip of some punk-assed teen girl with piercings in more places than you want to know is singing very badly in front of a bunch of random no-name judges.
Girl - NEAR! FAR! WHERE EVER YOU ARE...!!!
Senseless - NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Pinkbeard - Our medical guys says that this type of sound is fatal to the human brain! Have fun watching and listening to all 1,000 HOURS OF IT! Mwah ha ha ha ha ha ha!
Senseless - OH FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, NO! PLEASE STOP! COMPUTER, ACTIVATE THE SELF DESTRUCT SYSTEM.
Computer - Unable to comply. Primary computer core has been disconnected from main processor. Get used to it.
Senseless - AHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Scene 8 - Camera goes to Lieutenant-Commander Genocide’s quarters. He is currently throwing paper airplanes into the air and shooting them down with a phaser. Suddenly, the communicator on the wall beeps. Genocide goes over and activates it.
Genocide - Yes?
Tener - Sir! Is that you?
Genocide - Um... yes?
Tener - Cool. It still works.
Genocide - I thought the pirates disabled the communications system.
Tener - I’ve tapped into the EPS system and am transmitting the message that way.
Genocide - Where did you learn a thing like that?
Tener - Enterprise episode #27. Now, are you armed?
Genocide - Is that a serious question?
Tener - I suppose not. Can you get out of your quarters?
Genocide - Yeah, I’ve tried that already. They posted twenty armed guards around my door.
Tener - Okay well, I’m still up and about. I’m going to try to contact the rest of the senior staff.
Genocide - So who are you going to get to crawl through the ventilation ducts?
Tener - What?
Genocide - I saw that episode too.
Tener - Damn it, this has nothing to do with that episode! That entire series sucked!
Genocide - So does this one, and I want you to know that it’s not going to be me that’s crawling through those ducts!
Tener - Whatever. I’m going to try to get to Greaser’s quarters. She can then easily talk me through rewiring the entire ship to talk to anyone I want.
Scene 9 - Camera is in Lieutenant-Commander Greaser’s quarters as she is talking into her wall communicator thingy that the ships still have in case anyone forgets their combadge or something dumb like that.
Greaser - Okay, first you have to unload the dohicky and reroute power from the watchamacallit. Then, shunt all the hot killy stuff into the main go thing and bypass the whoseamatron.
Tener - You’re one of those people who can do stuff themselves but can’t teach others to do the same things, aren’t you?
Greaser - Does it show? I was always interested in teaching at the Academy when I retire... oh well. I should be dead by then anyway.
Tener - How ‘bout I just wipe the control circuitry that protects the plasma grid in this section, reroute warp plasma from the backup tanks into the main core, and then bypass the energy filters?
Greaser - Actually, that’s what I was trying to tell you. Go for it.
Tener - Well, on the bright side the pirates refueled the ship for us.
Greaser - True...
Tener - There, I think I did it. I’m opening a channel to the rest of the senior staff.
Center - Hello?
Genocide - What? How did you hack this channel?
Baque - What? What’s going on?
Righteous - Prophets!
Bios - I thought I broke that communicator!
Blavik - Most illogical.
Puker - Hey guys!
Tener - Before you all start talking at once, I’m using the EPS grid to communicate with you all.
Righteuos - Didn’t I see this on a TV show once?
Tener - Well, try to keep your lunch down. We have to retake the ship.
Genocide - I’m all for it, but how?
Tener - We know this ship better than they do. All we have to do is outwit them. Then, with a fully fueled Opaka-class starship at our disposal, they’ll have no choice but to back off.
Genocide - Um... have you looked out a window any time recently?
Tener - Not for an hour or two, why?
Puker - Well out my window are about fifty different ships and a big trading station of some kind. Our pirate friends are moored right next to us. I’m guessing we’ve been towed to some kind of pirate hang-out or something.
Center - Why would they keep us alive then?
Righteous - To sell us into slavery, of course... Prophets-damned Cardassian totalitarians!
Greaser - Right...
Bios - Where is the commander?
Baque - Good question.
Blavik - Perhaps the consoles on the battle bridge can be of some assistance?
Tener - Good thinking. They probably haven’t found it yet. It’s pretty well hidden from the rest of the ship.
Greaser - What about the site to site transporters? Can you get them working?
Tener - Woah, woah, one thing at a time. First I have to get to the battle bridge without being seen or shot at.
Genocide - Take the Jefferies tubes down to deck 11, then go on foot from there. It’s only about 100 metres. Who knows? You might find some crewpeoples who are willing to act as human shields.
Tener - Okay. You guys talk amongst yourselves. I’ll contact you once I reach the battle bridge.
Scene 10 - Later, Tener and three no-name red, blue, and yellow shirts are running around corridors carrying phaser rifles for stealth... so it’s not working all that well.
Tener - Twenty five metres.
No-Name #1 - So far so good.
Tener - Wait! Two hostiles approaching from the right.
No-Name #2 - Where–?
The two pirates open fire and No-Name #2 is killed instantly. Tener and the other two no-names take off running.
Tener - Ten metres to the battle bridge! If you two can hold them off, I’ll go in and start up the ship!
No-Name #1 - Um... Okay! Well make sure no-one gets through that door!
Tener and his group finally reach the door. While the two no-names lay down cover fire, Tener fiddles with the lock and manages to open the door. He runs inside and yells to the computer.
Tener - Computer, disengage command lockout for the battle bridge. Authorization Tener delta two two one theta!
Computer - Command lockout disengaged. Access to ship systems being routed through auxiliary computer processor. Full power available to all systems.
Tener - Excellent.
Camera goes outside the battle bridge where the two no-names are running out of ammo fast.
No-Name #3 - We can’t hold the much longer!!!
No-Name #1 - Sh*t! My phaser is jammed or something!
He looks down the barrel as he messes with it. Of course, it goes off in his face, blowing his head off and fusing the door behind him.
No-Name #3 - Crap.
No-Name #3 does the only logical thing remaining to him and sets his phaser to overload. As soon as he finishes, the pirates manage to hit him. As the pirates approach the door, the humming of No-Name #3’s phaser rifle gets more high pitched and the camera goes inside the battle bridge. Tener jumps as a loud BOOM fills the room and the door gets bulged inward.
Tener - Computer, lock onto all non-Starfleet personnel and transport them onto the nearby station.
Computer - Transport in progress.
Camera watches as pirates throughout the ship are transported away. Camera goes to the main bridge and watches as the pirate on the left of Senseless is beamed away. Senseless acts fast and grabs the weapon from the pirate on his right. He fires at Captain Pinkbeard as he and the other remaining pirates on the ship are transported away. Senseless then sets the weapon on maximum and aims it at the main viewer’s speakers.
PZZZZZZT!!! The terribly annoying music finally stops as some kid with a severe acne problem is trying to sing “I Feel Like Chicken Tonight.” Camera goes back to the battle bridge.
Tener - Computer, unlock all quarters. Transport the senior staff to the main bridge.
The entire senior staff materializes on the main bridge. Puker and Blavik go over to tend to Senseless’s ear wounds as the rest take their stations.
Greaser (leaving) - Why didn’t you beam me to Engineering? Now I have to walk there!
Righteous - Good work, Lieutenant. Now, let’s go home.
Genocide - Why don’t we blow this joint first?
Righteous - Isn’t that the same?
Genocide - No, blowing this joint means we blow it out of the sky. Permission to arm weapons and raise shields?
Senseless - Maybe. Lieutenant-Commander Greaser, what is our fuel supply like?
Greaser - Since I personally fixed the gauge, we are at 3/4 of a tank. Plenty for a few months at least.
Senseless - Then by all means... Charge phasers, load torpedoes, raise shields, turn on the warp core. All hands, battlestations.
Camera goes to the outside of the ship, which suddenly comes alive with flashy lights and glowing nacelles. Camera goes to the station’s command centre. Some nameless thugs are sitting around doing nothing when Captain Pinkbeard and a few of his pirate friends burst in and start yelling at the station commander.
Pinkbeard - LOCK ALL WEAPONS ON THAT DAMN SHIP! BLOW IT OUT OF THE SKY!!! NO ONE CROSSES CAPTAIN PINKBEARD AND GETS AWAY WITH IT! FIRE!!!
Station Commander - Sheesh, take a chill pill or something. That ship is dead in the water and its crew are locked away in quarters. Besides, we’re expecting it to bring the largest price ever seen in this part of the galaxy. No way we’re shooting at it.
Out the window the Celestial starts to move off. The station commander turns around in time to see that his prize ship is leaving.
Station Commander - Son of a bi**h! Trading Ops to all ships: The person who destroys that rust bucket will get 10% of what we thought we’d make on it! Attack!
Pinkbeard - I better still get payment for bringing it in.
Station Commander - Only if you destroy it before it leaves the nebula. If that ship alerts the authorities to our location, we’ll all be arrested and/or forced to share a cell with a carnivorous potted plant.
Camera watches as a few hundred odd ships plus one heavily-armed illegal black market trading station open fire on the USS Celestial. On the Celestial’s bridge...
Boom, ship rocks, sparks!
Senselses - My God, they don’t want us to leave, do they!?!
Righteous - I think we should surrender! I’m not sure dying out here will ensure my spirit gets to the Celestial Temple!
Baque - Then lucky for us we don’t listen to you.
Genocide - These ships are making me angry. And when Genocide gets angry, my trigger finger gets twitchy. And when my trigger finger gets twitchy... people DIE!
He hits practically every button on his console at once and the Celestial fires all its phasers simultaneously and launches every loaded torpedo in a single salvo. Every shot somehow hits a target, destroying, disabling, or just plain pissing off said item.
Genocide - THAT’S WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT!
Center - Congratulations, you just blew a bunch of plasma conduits on deck 5.
Genocide looks toward Righteous.
Genocide - Excuse me, captain.
Righteous - Yeah?
Genocide - Was I transferred to the Engineering department and not told?
Righteous - Not that I recall...
Genocide looks back at Center.
Genocide - Then I don’t care!
He hits every button again and once again the Celestial fires all its weapons at the same time.
Bios - Long range sensors have picked up another thirty large ships approaching at high warp.
Senseless - How long until we clear the nebula?
Baque - We’re at the edge right now.
Senseless - Then set a course for Earth, warp 9.
Genocide - No wait, I’m having too much fun!
Camera watches as the Celestial grudgingly goes to warp.
Righteous - Somehow I doubt we’ve seen the last of those pirate peoples.
Center - Especially considering they’re right on our tail and gaining on us.
Genocide - They don’t give up do they? Good!
Camera watches as the Celestial fires its aft torpedo launchers directly at the pursuing ships. Several drop out of warp after being hit.
Center - Commander Genocide, I don’t think the tactical systems can take this kind of abuse much longer.
Genocide - Neither can the ship if those pirates catch us. You have a better idea?
Baque - They’re still gaining on us.
Bios - Um, incoming...
Boom, ship rocks, sparks.
Center - Direct hit to our primary plasma grid. Main power is fluctuating!
Genocide - Oh sh*t, what does this big flashing red light in the middle of my console mean?
BOOM! The tactical console explodes, sending Genocide flying back against the wall and knocking him unconscious.
Senseless - Medical team to the bridge!
Center - We’ve lost all weapons! Shields are failing!
Boom, ship rocks, sparks!
Camera goes to Engineering. Greaser and her team are running around frantically trying to keep the ship in one piece.
Greaser - Damn it! Where is that auxiliary power?
No-Name #5 - You’re living off it!
Greaser - Crewman! Watch the intermix ratio! Make sure the antimatter injectors don’t–
FOOOOOooooooooommmmmmmmmmmmmmm.... The warp core goes offline.
MmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmooooooooooooooOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOFFFFFFFFF Warp core comes back online.
Greaser - Well son of a—
BOOM! Ship lurches violently, consoles explode!
Greaser - Crap!
Camera goes back to the bridge.
Baque - Warp drive is fluctuating! It’ll go offline if we take much more of this!
Blavik (at the back tending to Genocide with some medics) - Then I believe the logical thing to do would be to place our heads between our legs and kiss our proverbial asses goodbye.
Boom! Ship rocks, sparks.
Greaser - Engineering to bridge, we’re looking at structural collapse if we don’t stop flying in weird formations!
Senseless - How much longer until we reach Romulan space?
Baque - A little over two minutes, but I don’t think we’ll make it.
Righteous - Now would be a good time to engage the ship’s cloaking device!
Bios - WE DON’T HAVE A CLOAKING DEVICE!
Righteous - Why the fire caves not!?!
Bios - Because we stupidly signed a treaty with the Romulans that effectively screwed us over for all eternity!
Boom, ship rocks, sparks.
Righteous - That’s it! I’ve had it! Drop out of warp!
Baque looks at Senseless.
Righteous - Damn it, Lieutenant, I’m the captain here! DO AS I SAY!
Baque - Okay, dropping out of warp.
Camera watches as the Celestial drops out of warp and the other ships fly right by.
Righteous - Now. How close are those ships to the Romulan border?
Center (understanding) - They just crossed into it.
Camera watches the pirates drop out of warp and come about. However, before they can go back to warp, a fleet of Romulan warbirds decloak and open fire. The pirates are quickly decimated... except one: The Skullcrusher. Camera goes back to the Celestial’s bridge.
Righteous - Us: 1. Pirates: 1. I do believe a bowl of porridge is in store for everyone concerned. Hail the Romulans.
Center - Wait! Captain Pinkbeard is hailing us!
Senseless - Onscreen.
Pinkbeard - (silence)
Senseless - Oh crap I forgot. Um... patch the audio through the console speakers.
Pinkbeard - --this round but I’ll be back soon! No one crosses Captain Pinkbeard and lives to brag about it! Adieu, till next time!
Righteous - Now, hail the Romulans! I want to brag about this!
Center - Um, the Romulans are heading straight for us.
Righteous - Excellent, they’re probably going to tow us back to Earth.
BOOM! Ship lurches violently, consoles spark.
Righteous - WHAT THE HELL!?!
Senseless - Call me cynical, but I have a feeling we’ve no longer welcome in Romulan territory. They probably didn’t like us bringing company with us.
Bios - And with only 5,000 lightyears to go too... so sad.
Senseless - Evasive maneuvers. Options, people.
Genocide (just awakening) - I saw we ram one and pour a few tricobalt torpedoes into their hull.
Bios - That still won’t get us home.
Tener - I’m going to interject here just to let everyone know I’m still around: I do remember we once used something called quantum slipstream?
Bios - Oh no, not again! We almost destroyed ourselves last time, and that was only a short jump of a few thousand lightyears, with a fully repaired ship. We’ve never survive!
Senseless - Unfortunately, without help that Romulan fleet will destroy us much faster. Bios, Center, make the necessary modifications to the deflector. Bridge to Engineering, we’re going to attempt quantum slipstream. Divert power from the warp core into the main and secondary deflector arrays. Prepare to hold the ship together with duct tape if you have to.
Camera goes to Engineering.
Greaser - Did he miss my rant about structural collapse? Did he? God damn it!
Camera goes back to the bridge.
Bios - We’re as ready as we’ll ever be.
Senseless - Then by all means, Lieutenant Baque?
Baque - Here goes everything... Slipstream in 4... 3... 2... 1...
The crew are thrown back in their seats as the ship is sucked into that weird bluish energy vortex slipstream thing.
Scene 11 - Camera is in the Spacedock, near Earth. Admiral Spot and Admiral Nelix are standing around talking by a window in Spot’s office.
Spot - The Lexington took a beating from that ion storm, yes. But! They also gathered valuable data regarding the internal structure of ion storms. It could be used to protect ships in the future.
Nelix - The Saratoga could have done that and would have taken fewer casualties. Now I have to contact a hundred families and tell them why their relatives are dead... sheesh, why did the Federation pass that bill anyway?
Pause as they look out the window.
Spot - No word from the Celestial?
Nelix - No, and good riddance.
Spot - I have to agree with you. Without them around damaging themselves, we’ve managed to keep enough supplies on hand to build two Galaxy-class starships in their absence.
Nelix - Hopefully they’ll be lazy like they usually are and not get into any battles that will damage their pathetic ship.
Scene 12 - Celestial’s bridge. Everything is exploding around them.
Center - Structural integrity is offline!
Bios - One minute till normal space!
Baque - SH*T! We’re losing the port nacelle!
Senseless - On screen!
The main viewer changes just in time to watch the port warp nacelle break at the pylon and fall away from the ship. It impacts with the side of the slipstream and explodes in an contrived ball of fire.
Center - Hull breaches on decks 7 through 12! We’re venting plasma, air, and that liquid detergent we use to clean carpets and blood-stained uniforms!
Bios - 30 seconds!
Boom! A beam falls from the ceiling in front of the command chairs.
Righteous - PROPHETS! DAMN THAT WAS CLOSE! ANY CLOSER AND THAT BEAM COULD HAVE–
Bam! A piece of ceiling tile falls and hits Righteous in the head..
Righteous - Okay, I’ll shut up now.
Baque - We’ve just lost the port impulse engine! We’re starting to drift!
Bios - Ten seconds!
Camera watches as the Celestial grazes the side of the slipstream and rips off a huge chunk of its primary hull.
Scene 13 - Spacedock. Spot and Nelix are still at a window looking out into space. Suddenly, they see a small blueish vortex begin to form.
Spot - What the hell is that?
Nelix - Whatever it is, it isn’t too far away. I’d guess only about 5 or 10 kilometres.
Then, expectantly, the USS Celestial comes flying out of the slipstream, debris streaming from the gaping hole in the port side, plasma streaming from the broken port nacelle pylon. Of course, the ship is heading straight for the Spacedock.
Spot - OH, SH*T!
Camera goes to the Celestial’s bridge.
Senseless - TOC!
Baque - EMERGENCY REVERSE!
Bios - We don’t have enough power!
Righteous - ALL HANDS BRACE FOR IMPACT!!!
Camera goes back to Spot and Nelix.
Spot - RUN!!!
The camera goes in front of the two cats as they run as fast as they possibly can away from the window. A few seconds later, the Celestial slams into the spacedock’s shields... It slows down, but not enough.
Spot - HISSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!
The two cats run as fast as their four furry legs will take them as the 700-metre-long starship comes crashing through the corridor behind them. Sparks fly, explosions ripple through the section, no-names go flying through the air, and the Opaka-class ship comes to a dead stop about 50 metres inside the station.
Spot - That was close!
The two felines go back to the front of the Celestial. A hatch pops open and Lieutenant Tener and Ensign Blavik come out.
Nelix - You’re coming home missing parts of your ship again!?! Do we have to make a holographic ship for you?
Tener - Ma’am, before you say what I’m sure you’re going to say, I should inform you that we successfully destroyed the ring.
Spot - ... (angry demented look on her face)
Tener - But...
Blavik - We also managed to anger the Romulans somehow...
Righteous pops his head out of the hatch.
Righteous - Hi ma’am and sir. Did you miss us?
Spot lunges at Righteous with her claws extended.
Spot - I’LL KILL YOU, RIGHTEOUS! THAT WAS MY OFFICE YOU JUST DESTROYED! GOD DAMN IT!