Episode 45: “Broken Lantern”
Written by Swordtail
Published September 21, 2007
Scene 1 - Deep in the void between galaxies, with the Milky Way as a backdrop, a tear forms in the fabric of space. Billions and billions of small pieces of debris fly out and the tear shuts. But it’s millions of lightyears away so no one cares. Camera zooms into our galaxy and flies over to where the USS Celestial is warping through space.
Righteous - Captain’s Log, stardate 59771.2. Someone decided it would be funny to reset the water fountain in the bathroom on deck 18 to shoot water into the face of whoever uses it. I don’t have time to fix it so I just put a sign on the door that says “Warning, water may hit you in the face.”
Camera is in the briefing room, where the entire senior staff are present.
Garell (dripping wet) - It might have helped if you had put the sign on the outside of the door!
Righteous - Alrighty then, let’s get down to business. Today’s religious forecast calls for clear skies and good harvests for worshippers of the Prophets, and only a 5% chance of apocalypse. The winds of change are blowing in from the galactic east at 30 km/h with gusts to 100. For weather anytime, log onto the weather network dot com.
Senseless (trying to ignore Righteous) - In Federation news, someone raided the medical centre on New Sydney. Three guesses as to who did it.
Casey’s hand shoots into the air.
Senseless - That was a rhetorical question, ensign.
Casey - Is that the kind where like I’m not supposed to answer, or is it like the kind where like the answer is like really obvious. I get those two mixed up like all the time.
Genocide - Can I make the guess that what our grammar-school dropout here was trying to tell us is that it was Chester?
Righteous - Which fluffy kitty was he again?
Puker - He would be the one that has tried to kill us repeatedly.
Righteous - ...So which one is that again?
Tener - The one that actually managed to kill me once.
Righteous - Yeah but you turned out okay. Thank the Prophets.
Tener - I still have nightmares about what they meant by “He could be useful to the game.”
Senseless - Whatever. We’re on our way to New Sydney to investigate and see if we can capture Chester... again.
Opening credits... or should I call it “Opening Sequence”? I can never decide...
Scene 2 - Camera is in a kitchen somewhere. A chef is talking.
Chef - On today’s show, we’re going to be making Turbolax Surprise. Okay, start with a big bowl.
He takes a bowl.
Chef - The first ingredient is Metamucil... get regular, stay regular. Grind it all up and dump it in the pot. One bottle serves two.
He takes the bottle and empties it into the bowl, then starts crushing it with a spoon.
Chef - Next, add some mashed apples, mashed bananas, a third of a cup of bran, three tablespoons of flaxseed oil, some molasses, a half cup of honey, some minced licorice, ten teaspoons of psyllium seed husks, crushed of course. Now, add some baked beans, one can should do. And finally, the secret ingredients: Add a generous helping of Ex-Lax and mix it all together with some strong vodka.
The chef stirs it all together and sits it on the stove top.
Chef - Heat for five to fifteen minutes, then serve.
He takes a spoonful.
Chef - Turbolax Surprise: It tastes like shit, it’ll make you shit, but it’s cheap!
The Chef suddenly has a gas attack.
Chef - Ah oh...
Camera pans around to see that the cooking show is being watched in the Celestial’s messhall. Garell, Baque, Tener, and Blavik are sitting around eating while the ship is at warp.
Garell - You know, I’ve been thinking... actually Casey got me thinking... I guess because she can’t do it herself... Anyway, next time we’re in drydock, getting repaired as usual, we should look into expanding the messhall.
Baque - Why? There’s not that many people in here most of the time.
Garell - Yeah, but I was thinking of putting in like a bar or something. The Borg Buster and Solaris have one, but we don’t for some reason.
Blavik - It would require moving some crew members around but I believe it may be logical to add an amenity which allows for the crew to get plastered when off duty.
Tener - I am so not being barkeep.
Garell - Don’t worry, we’ll get Casey or Bios to do it.
Bllllrb! The ship goes to yellow alert and the intercom activates.
Senseless (comm) - All hands, code blue. All medical staff report to stations.
Blavik - Most untimely. It seems I haven’t had enough time to fully consume my plomeek soup.
Garell - For a logical race, you people sure dawdle a lot.
Scene 3 - Bridge. Baque, Tener, and Garell run on. Everywhere, No-Name blue shirts are running around looking busy.
Baque - What’s going on now?
Genocide - Someone released a plague into the atmosphere of a nearby colony. Reports are saying half the planet is already infected and it’s spreading like wildfire.
Baque - What the hell?
Senseless - We’re the closest ship, so we’ve been ordered there to provide viral cures until a proper hospital ship can arrive.
Garell - Sounds to me like Admiral Nelix is just hoping we’ll all get infected ourselves so we’re not his problem anymore.
Righteous - I don’t see what he’s so pissed about, what did we ever do to him?
Senseless - Nothing sir, he’s just a total asshole.
Baque - So I take it we’re not going to New Sydney to recapture Chester?
Senseless - No. This other colony is in far graver danger.
Baque - Is this the kind of colony that’s been heard of before, or is it one of those dozens of nameless colonies the Federation has kicking around?
Senseless - It’s a nameless colony and it isn’t part of the Federation.
Baque - Wow, you weren’t kidding when you said grave danger...
Bios - We’re in sensor range, captain.
Righteous - Let’s take a look-see then.
Bios - Scanning... weird... I’m not picking up any advanced lifeforms.
Genocide - Oh, that’s not good.
Senseless - Check again, there should be 1,600 colonists down there.
Bios - Still getting nothing.
Baque - We’re entering the system.
Senseless - Put us in orbit. Casey, start transporting the medical teams down.
Casey - Alright! My first transport!
Casey - Like, which button is that again?
Senseless - On second thought, help Bios scan for lifeforms. Senseless to Doctor Puker.
Puker (comm) - Go ahead, Herr Commander.
Senseless - First, drop the German accent. Second, you’re clear to transport. Good luck.
Puker (comm) - Sofort, Kommandant!
Senseless (sigh) - Blavik, hit him for me.
Blavik (comm) - Aye, sir.
Puker (comm) - Auch, mein kopf!
Scene 4 - Doctor Puker and Lieutenant Blavik and a bunch of blueshirts materialize in the middle of a big open concrete paved area. No one is around, but there are blood stains and some small fires here and there.
Puker - Well... maybe they all exploded.
Blavik (using tricorder) - I doubt it, sir. I’m detecting phaser signatures.
No-Name #1 - By the looks of things they were through quite a battle.
Puker - So where is everyone?
No-Name #1 - Maybe they’re sleeping!
Blavik - In the middle of the day?
No-Name #1 - Well, maybe they have siestas here. A brilliant idea by the way, one which the Federation should have adopted.
No-Name #2 - Yeah well, World War III took care of that, didn’t it?
No-Name #1 - Yeah, but Mexico was mostly untouched by the war. All they got was the nuclear fallout from Texas.
Puker (using tricorder) - Quiet down, guys. I’m picking up a lifeform...
Blavik - What kind of lifeform?
Puker - I don’t know. Whatever it is, its genetic structure is in such a state of flux that the tricorder can’t even be sure it’s carbon based. Whatever it is, it’s massive. Over 200 kilograms. Wait... now it’s only 100 kilograms... now it’s 200... 150... 75? ...200 again?
Blavik - That doesn’t sound good.
Puker - No siree. Away team to Celestial.
Senseless (comm) - Go ahead. Found anyone?
Puker - Not sure. Could you send down a security team, please?
Senseless (comm) - I knew there was going to be a catch.
Scene 5 - Transporter Room 1 (the big one). Tener and a bunch of yellow-shirts are standing on the pad while someone operates the controls.
Tener - Ready?
No-Name #3 (transporter operator) - Almost. Hang on.
Meanwhile, on the planet, hiding behind some big rock, a weird looking guy who looks like a hobo is messing with something that looks like a tricorder. He presses a few buttons. Camera goes back to the ship.
Tener - Alright, energize.
As the security team dematerializes, the camera watches as the guy on the planet hits some more buttons and starts to dematerialize as well. Back in the transporter room, the consoles spark and No-Name #3 steps back from the controls. Somehow, the guy on the planet has hacked into the transport and beamed himself to the ship just as Tener and the security team has beamed away (if it’s good enough for The Original Series...). No-Name #3 looks up and sees that the guy is standing on the transporter pad.
No-Name #3 - Oh crap!
He raises his phaser, but the intruder lunges, and in one leap has covered the entire distance from the pad to the console. He grabs the phaser and fires it point blank against No-Name #3’s head, killing him even though it was on stun. Camera goes to the bridge.
Casey - Hey, there’s like, phaser fire in transporter room 1.
Senseless - What?
Genocide - We’ve got an intruder!
The ship goes to red alert.
Righteous - Not on my ship we don’t! Security report to deck... um... which deck is Transporter Room 1 on?
Senseless - Um... let’s say deck 5 for now. We can change it later if we need to.
Righteous - Okay, security to deck 5!
Camera goes to watch as a bunch of steroid-pumped body builder men and women who look like they came straight out of Unreal Tournament 2004 walk down the hallway toting compression phaser rifles. The camera stops and watches them as they round a corner and go out of sight. Seconds later, screams and phaser blasts can be heard. Blood and body parts go flying against the wall and a few seconds later all the commotion stops and the intruder guy walks calmly out of the corridor and down another one. He walks into a control room of some kind and starts messing with the consoles. Back on the bridge...
Senseless - Security team? Hello? Come in security team?
Genocide - I don’t think they’re there anymore.
Bios - Should I get Lieutenant Tener back up here?
Senseless - Yeah, recall all our away teams.
Suddenly, the lights start flickering and the power drops.
Garell - We’re losing main power! The warp core is going offline!
Sure enough, everything goes dark. Everything.
Garell - Um...
Senseless - Let me guess... you can’t fix it from here, can you?
Garell - No. I’ll have to manually restart the warp core. Our “guest” decided to redirect the positron flow from the antimatter injectors into the impulse reactors. They’re probably fused. I can replace them, but I’ll need warp power to bring online the industrial replicators.
Senseless - Bios, go with her. Casey, Genocide, get down to the shuttlebay and use the transporters on the shuttle to beam our teams back.
Baque - Um, sir?
Senseless - What?
Baque - You know how you told me to put us in geosynchronous orbit above the colony?
Senseless - Yes..?
Baque - Well, on this planet, which rotates faster than most do, geosynchronous orbit is slightly within the upper reaches of the atmosphere. I mean, I had the computer set up to compensate with anti-gravity thrusters for the atmospheric friction, but they’re offline now, so...
Righteous - Oh, here’s where you tell me something bad’s going to happen.
Senseless - How long do we have until we lose orbit?
Baque - We won’t make it back to this spot again. I estimate, about... 45 minutes?
Genocide - What kind of planet has a 45 minute day!?!?
Bios - One that was struck by an asteroid the size of Titan billions of years ago, which sped it up.
Genocide - You just have to have a plausible excuse for everything, don’t you?
Senseless - Move it, people! Captain, come with me. We’re going to go have a nice diplomatic chat with our new friend.
Righteous - Correct me if I’m wrong, but he or she doesn’t seem like the talking type.
Senseless - Well, that’s okay. I have a back-up plan. Genocide, is that hunter probe still in your quarters?
Genocide - I-what-how-damn it! How did you find out about that!?!
Senseless - Just a guess. I’m gonna need one.
Genocide - Fine, there’s a box of them behind the sofa, underneath the Houdini mines.
Scene 6 - On the planet, Puker, Blavik, Tener, and the various idiot No-Names are trying in vain to contact the ship.
Tener - Away team to Celestial! Away team to Commander Senseless! Away team to Six Flags! God damn it why won’t anyone answer?
Puker - And where did that lifeform go?
Puker - And why do I get the feeling those two questions are related?
Blavik - Are we then under the assumption that this lifeform killed everyone in the colony and now intends to do the same with the crew of the Celestial?
Tener - You know, Starfleet training and all the Federation school stuff says we should never assume a new lifeform is dangerous before we get to know it, but common sense and a million years of evolution says “you bet your fucking ass it’s dangerous!”
Puker - Let’s look around, shall we? This colony is sure to have subspace sensors somewhere.
Tener - Yeah and maybe a replimat, I’m starving!
No-Name #1 (a short distance away) - Hey guys! Over here!
They run over and look at what he’s pointing to.
Tener - Holy—
Scene 7 - Main Engineering.
Garell - Shit!
Bios - What’s wrong?
Camera is in main engineering. The lights are all off, but a few consoles are back online.
Garell - Whoever did this sure made a mess of things. It’ll take a week to clean everything up. Engines are ka-put.
Bios - So we’re screwed then?
Garell - Yep. We aren’t getting back into orbit on our own.
Bios - Is this one of those times where we survive crash landing, or one of those times where we don’t?
Garell - Um... this would be the time we don’t. Our relative speed with the surface is pretty much zero. We’ll be dropping like a rock. We’re not moving fast enough to generate any lift like we did last time.
Bios - So, this is one of the weeks where we don’t magically come up with a way to survive being pulverized by the ground.
Garell - Right, like how Voyager evaluated its policy of beaming through shields on a similar weekly basis.
Garell - Wait, did that actually ever happen? I can’t remember a single instance!
Bios - Um... is that a plasma flow I see there?
Garell - Alright! The sonic showers are online! At least we can look pretty before we die!
Scene 8 - On deck 5, Senseless and Righteous are walking down a corridor, Senseless with a tricorder.
Senseless - Just up ahead.
Sure enough as they round the corner they find that all the doors have been torn open and the quarters have been ransacked. Senseless cautiously keeps one eye on the tricorder and another on the corridor. Righteous, being much dumber, just looks around. He sees something through one of the torn open doors that makes him do a double take.
Righteous - Hey look, a full moon!
Senseless - Yeah, we’re probably passing between the planet and its largest moon right now.
They round the corner and see that generic looking guy just standing there looking through another door out another window at the same moon.
Senseless - Ha! Got it!
He hits a few buttons on his tricorder and then folds it up.
Senseless - Stay where you are. I’ve just locked onto you with a hunter probe. In less than a minute it will slam into you and detonate, unless I deactivate it. Now, explain why you’re here and who you are? Not necessarily in that order.
Guy - You’re too late. The storm is brewing...
Righteous - That doesn’t make any sense! The Prophets said no storms brewing for years! You’re making that up.
Suddenly, as the Celestial passes directly between the planet and its moon, the guy morphs into a two-metre-long metallic dragon like thing, complete with a spiky tail, razor sharp claws, and several rows of needle sharp teeth. Righteous and Senseless just stand there staring at it.
Senseless - Why can’t anything be easy?
The creature lunges at them but they manage to dodge and start to run away. The metal dragon thing clamps onto the walls and whips around the corner to follow them. As the two officers run forward, they see a small object whizzing toward them.
Senseless - Woah!
They manage to dodge aside and avoid being impaled by the speeding hunter drone, which continues on its way until it slams into the side of metal creature and explodes violently, blowing a hole in the ship so large that several decks are visible through it. Righteous and Senseless pick themselves up and dust the debris off themselves.
Creature (from somewhere) - Roar!
Righteous - Did we get it?
Senseless - No, I think we just pissed it off. But we bought ourselves some time. Come on!
Scene 9 - On the planet, Puker, Blavik, Tener, and the various blue and yellow shirts have stumbled upon a Federation laboratory. You can tell it’s a Federation lab because everything is standardised and cheap.
Tener - What is a Federation science lab doing on a non-Federation world?
Puker - Who knows?
Blavik - It appears they were working on harnessing gravity energy.
Tener - What’s that?
Blavik - It’s a theoretical energy source derived from changes in local gravitational pull. In theory, you could power an entire planet for millions of years just from the pull of its moons.
Tener - Doesn’t sound too sinister. Why would it be hidden away on a world outside of Federation space? I can name off the top of my head at least five worlds with greater moon-planet gravity conditions, Earth included.
Blavik - Perhaps it has something to do with the unusually high rotational speed of this planet.
Puker - Or... perhaps it has something to do with the fact it would be illegal on most worlds.
Tener - What?
Puker - They couldn’t get a computer to run the necessary calculations needed to harness the energy, so they started using DNA sequences to perform the math.
Tener - How is that illegal? We do it all the time with the bio-neural gel packs.
Puker - Take a look at this.
Tener goes over and reads a console.
Tener - They genetically engineered a human being to act as an organic battery?
Puker - Yep. Brilliant, in a way. The person could live on this world and as the hours went by their genetic structure would alter at the right times to soak up the energy in the changing gravity. Once a day they’d just plug in and discharge the chemical energy into a reactor which would turn it into electricity.
Tener - Eww...
Puker - And by plug in and discharge, I mean have various organs forcibly drained of their fluids. Probably quite painful.
Blavik - I think I found out what went wrong. The energy was collected by the subject, but before it could be removed his genetic structure mutated and used the energy to fuse elements and alter his DNA pattern. The change would have been nearly instantaneous with that much cellular energy to draw upon.
Puker reads further.
Puker - My god, he became an metallic-based lifeform! His body somehow constructed a rudimentary replicator which allowed a direct conversion from energy to matter! I think we’ve found out where everyone went!
Tener - They were eaten?
Puker - Yes. In the creature-form, the person’s metabolism would be in overdrive. There wouldn’t be enough energy being collected from the gravity-harvesters in his cells, so he’d have to consume massive quantities of protein, and the only place to get that from would be carbon-based lifeforms.
Tener - That’s kinda disgusting. He turned into a cannibal?
Blavik - Technically, he is no longer a carbon-based lifeform, so the term is inaccurate.
Tener - I can’t believe the Federation would sanction experiments like this! Where did the researchers come from?
Puker - Don’t know, but there is a shuttlecraft missing from this facility. There’s a launchbay in the back which has been used recently. Looks like they got away.
Tener - ...And just left this thing to feed on the colonists... that’s sick. I’m having a hard time buying that Federation citizens would do this. Is there any chance all this stuff was stolen?
Blavik - Perhaps you’re forgetting about the Son’a incident and Section 31.
Tener - Section 31’s been all but wiped out... we think. These guys must be something new.
Suddenly, they hear something from outside. Everyone runs outside and sees an Argo-type shuttlecraft hovering above the square. It lands and the back door opens. Genocide and Casey walk out.
Genocide - Sorry we’re late, but Casey here didn’t quite understand the concepts related to the pre-flight checklist.
Tener - Do I want to know?
Genocide - Instead of actually turning things on or checking them, she just said “check.”
Casey - That’s like, all they did in the movies!
Genocide - Long story short, we managed to retract the landing gear without turning on the anti-gravity thrusters. Can you believe they didn’t make the floor strong enough to handle a several hundred tonne ship falling on it?
Puker - Very little surprises me about that ship anymore. What’s the situation up there? Why didn’t you beam us up?
Genocide - There’s an intruder onboard. Whoever it was shut down main power and fused the impulse reactors. We’re dead in the water and losing orbit fast.
Puker - Ah oh... everyone get in!
Genocide - Know something we don’t?
Puker - I’ll tell you on the way. Let’s go.
So, a short time later, the shuttle is still plodding toward the doomed Celestial. Onboard...
Genocide - That’s a crazy theory. I’m calling Admiral Nelix.
He hits some buttons. Camera jumps to Jupiter Station, in Admiral Nelix’s office. The high-ranking cat is sleeping on his table while some yellow-shirts fill out reports. All of a sudden his computer starts beeping.
Nelix - God damn it...
No-Name #4 - Are you going to get that, sir?
Nelix - No, it’s just the Celestial calling again. I don’t have the energy to deal with whatever mess they’ve made now. I’ll let the machine answer it.
Sure enough, after about four “beep, beep, beep’s” an answering machine kicks in.
Nelix (voice on machine) - You’ve reached Admiral Nelix, head of the Ninth Fleet. Leave a message after the tone!
Genocide (machine) - Uh, hi, Admiral? I was wondering if you could clear something up for us: Is the Federation running any top-secret and highly illegal experiments on that colony near New Sydney? Cause apparently this were-lizard like thing is running amok on the ship now and might be using the planet’s moon as an energy source thus making it nearly impossible to kill. So, um, if you could get back to us before we all die, that would be appreciated. Thanks, sir. Bye.
Nelix - ...Don’t have the energy.
He goes back to sleep.
Scene 10 - Righteous and Senseless are in Main Engineering talking with Garell and Bios about that corny lizard thing with a metal exo-skeleton.
Senseless - ...So that’s pretty much the whole story. It turned into a metal lizard, and survived a direct hit from a hunter probe.
Garell - Why do we always get the hard-to-kill creatures? First the zombies, then Chester, and now this.
Senseless - The captain and I are going to go manually reroute the plasma flow from the warp core into the thrusters. I assume you two can get the core back online?
Garell - Commander, with all due respect, that’s the dumbest fucking idea I’ve ever heard. Do you know how hot warp plasma gets? Plus, the thrusters actually use thrust to move the ship! You’d vent all our warp plasma!
Righteous - And that’s a bad thing because..?
Garell - Without warp plasma we can’t go to warp.
Senseless - Don’t worry, I have an idea. We’re going to use a little bit of primitive technology to make this work. Trust me.
Garell - Whatever. Just don’t blow up the ship, please. We’re a little further from Federation reinforcements than usual.
Senseless and Righteous leave Main Engineering.
Garell - Alright everyone! You heard the Commander! You there, go check the deuterium injectors and replace them if need be. You, do the same with the antimatter injectors. You, check the coolant tanks and make sure the flow isn’t obstructed. You, and you, go get some new dilithium crystals and install them in the magnetic resonance chamber on deck 19.
She realizes a few seconds later that her and Bios are now the only ones left in the room.
Garell - Crap... hey, what’s Baque up to? Why isn’t he down here helping us?
Camera jumps to the bridge, where Lieutenant Baque and the creature are playing 3D-chess.
Creature - Look, if you’re not gonna make a move, I’m out of here.
Baque - Quiet, I’m thinking.
Creature - Whatever. I’m hungry. I’m gonna go eat your comrades. I’ll be back later. Don’t change the board!
Scene 11 - Back in Engineering, Garell and Bios are poking things with sharp glowing objects when they suddenly hear a noise.
Bios - What was that?
Garell - Whatever it was, it’s close!
They hear the noise again, like metal scraping against metal, but louder.
Garell - Oh crapppp.....
BAM! The door is knocked inward by the impact of something large.
Garell - Let’s get out of here!
They run around for a while and eventually run into a large storage room. Bios fidgets with the controls and locks the blast door.
Bios - There, that should slow it down.
Garell - Yes, but you realize you’ve locked us in here.
Smash! The door vibrates and bulges in slightly.
Garell - That isn’t going to hold forever. What do we have in here that could be used as a weapon?
They look around.
Bios - Um... we’ve got some power cords, some gravity plating, some portable power cells... nothing of any use.
Garell looks at her like she just said the dumbest thing ever.
Garell - Are you retarded?
Bios - No, but I didn’t get enough sleep last night.
Garell walks over and starts to pull a gravity plate toward the middle of the room.
Garell - Give me a hand with this, I have an idea. I saw it in one of Enterprise’s less-crappy episodes.
Scene 12 - Argo shuttle.
Genocide - Still no answer at Fleet Admiral Spot’s office.
Tener - You don’t think maybe they’re deliberately ignoring us?
Genocide - I think that’s exactly what they’re doing.
Casey - Ooh look there’s the ship!
Out the front window they can see the USS Celestial, lit only by the atmospheric friction on its belly.
Puker - Doesn’t look like they have much time.
Genocide - No... park us above them. Casey, lock a tractor beam on them and see if we can buy them some time.
Casey - Which button does that again?
Blavik - It would be the one labelled tractor beam.
Casey - Oh yeah... Okay, now its asking me to select a target...
Genocide - Click “USS CELESTIAL.”
Casey - Uh huh... now what? It wants beam torsion, length, and angle...
Genocide - ...Casey, were you dropped on your head at birth?
Casey - No, but wouldn’t that be like really cool? You could like sue your parents!
After a lot of hand holding, Casey manages to get the tractor beam working and the Celestial is bought some orbit time... but not much.
Scene 13 - Somewhere near the bottom of the ship, Righteous walks down a corridor pulling a long garden hose behind him, holding the end in a kink. He pulls it into a room where Senseless is working on a plasma junction.
Righteous - Is this what you wanted?
Senseless does a double take when he sees the hose.
Senseless - When I said re-route the water flow, I meant by shunting all the water into the pipes that lead to this room!
Righteous - Oh... well, my way was easier.
Senseless - How is connecting together three hundred metres of water hose easier!?!
Righteous - The great thing about being captain is I don’t have to explain my reasoning to anyone beneath me. Why do you need all the water on the ship in this room anyway? Are we making a swimming pool!?!
Senseless - No we’re—
Righteous - Ooh we can play water polo! I hear you humans love to play water polo.
Senseless - Sir, if you ever mention that sport again, I’ll tell Admiral Spot you went to a Chinese restaurant and ordered the deep-fried cat meat.
Righteous - Sheesh. Fine. Where do you want the water then?
Senseless grabs the hose from him and connects it to the plasma junction.
Senseless - It’s a good thing Starfleet makes everything standardized.
Righteous - Yes... very convenient...
Senseless - Okay, now we just have to wait and hope Garell got the warp core online.
Meanwhile, Garell and Bios are rigging up some sort of contraption in the storage room. Just to the left of the door is the gravity plate, with the “This Side Up” side facing across door threshold to the other side of the room. Wires and cables run into it from a multitude of portable power cells. Behind the power cells, Garell stands holding two wires apart. Bios is standing just past the plate, facing the door.
Bios - You wanna explain this to me again? How does me standing right in the line of attack of this thing help us?
Garell - You’re bait. I’m betting it will attack you before it looks around. When it crosses through the door, I’ll connect these two wires. The power will activate the gravity plate with enough energy to give it a pull of 200 G’s. I’d prefer more, but I’m not sure the opposite wall can sustain that much force.
Bios - I thought the range of the gravity produced by those things was very limited?!
Garell - You wanna risk having the next room come crashing in on us?
Bios - No, but I’d also not have a 200-kilogram metal reptile rip me to pieces either.
Garell - Trust me, you’ll be fine. Just don’t get in the way of the grav-plate. Ready?
Bios - No.
Garell - Here goes!
She presses a button on the wall and the door opens. She quickly presses the wires together and the opposite wall start to buckle a little... but the creature is nowhere in sight.
Bios - Uh...
Garell - Damn it! I worked too damn hard on this for it to not work!
She disconnects the wires and the gravity shuts off.
Garell - Go find it!
Bios - Oh, like hell I will! You go find it!
Garell - I have to operate the wires cause you’d probably break something. Just go find it and lure it back here!
Bios - I hate you, ma’am.
Bios cautiously walks out of the room.
Garell - Heh, heh, heh... I live for this kind of thing...
Camera follows Bios as she walks down the corridor. She rounds a corner muttering to herself and spies the creature eating a No-Name. Both stop dead in their actions.
Bios - Uh...
Camera goes back to where Garell is getting impatient. Suddenly, Bios runs into the room like a bat out of hell.
Bios - Turn the damn thing on!!!
No sooner had she said it, the creature bounded into sight and went through the door. Luckily Garell had acted as soon as Bios entered the room. With a yelp, the creature flies left as soon as it enters the room, ripping the door frame and adjoining bulkhead to pieces as its tail follows the rest of it’s body in a sudden force of 392 kilo-Newtons. The creature slams into the gravity plate, sending it flying back against the wall so hard it keeps going and smashes through about three bulkheads before finally stopping. Garell and Bios look through the hole and see the creature lying on the floor, its head and upper-torso flattened to the thickness of paper. Sparks fly from the broken gravity plate.
Garell, Bios - ....Daaaaaaammmmmmmmnnnnnn!!!!!!
Scene 14 - On the bridge, Baque is sleeping when suddenly the ship shakes and he falls out of his chair. He scrambles back into his seat and watches as the bridge comes alive again. He checks his console.
Baque - Alright! Thrust!
Camera goes to where Senseless and Righteous are. As the warp core comes online, super-hot warp plasma flows into the junction. Coming from 300 metres of hose away, the ship’s water supply flows into the same junction and is vaporised. The steam is shot into the thruster assembly and blown out the bottom of the ship, providing thrust. Out in space, everyone on the shuttle is caught by surprise when suddenly the ship’s lights come back on and it starts moving upward.
Genocide - Oh son of a-
BAM! The shuttle is struck by the Celestial and everyone is thrown around.
Scene 15 - Camera is watching as the Celestial flies away from the planet.
Righteous (voiceover) - Captain’s log, supplemental. We were in quite a bind there for a while. Thankfully the Prophets were smiling down on us the whole time. We’ve killed the metal-thingy that used to be a person, and then blew up the research facility. I don’t remember quite why we did that, but someone suggested it and before we took a vote, Lieutenant-Commander Genocide had launched every torpedo we had in the torpedo tubes at the time.
Camera goes to the bridge. Everyone is present.
Baque - We’ve cleared the planet’s gravity well.
Righteous - Good. Take us to Starbase 546.
Baque - You just made that number up, didn’t you?
Righteous - Yes, I did. Now take us there!
Baque - Well, if you’re going to make up numbers so will I.
He blindly presses a bunch of numbers into the helm console and hits the “warp” button. The ship turns in a random direction and jumps to warp.
Puker - So how did you guys get the ship back into orbit?
Senseless - Oh, we just used liquid water and boiled it into steam and blew it out the bottom of the ship.
Puker - Why would we have liquid water onboard?
Senseless - All ships do. It has many uses, not just for drinking. Too energy intensive to replicate it whenever you turn on a tap.
Puker - Did you use it all?
Senseless - I think so, we left the valves open till nothing more came out.
Puker - Then how come when I turned on the tap in my quarters just a few minutes ago water came out?
Senseless - Uh... um...
He looks at Garell.
Garell - Don’t look at me, you let the Captain hook up the hose.
Baque - You let the Captain hook up the hose?!?
Righteous - Yep, I hooked it up.
Senseless - Um... are you sure you hooked it to the water tanks?
Righteous - Yes, I’m sure. I hooked up to the big tank that said “Liquid” on it. And everyone knows water is a liquid.
Garell - Um... the only tank on the ship that says “Liquid” on it would be the one that says “Liquid Deuterium Storage.”
They all come to the sudden realization just seconds before the ship runs out of gas and comes to a stop.
Righteous - Oops...
Senseless - Damn it! God damn it!