Episode 52: “New Year’s Desolations”
Written by Swordtail
Published January 5, 2008
Scene 1 - In orbit above Mars, the USS Celestial sits inside a shipyard, apparently undergoing a major overhaul. The nacelles have been removed and the warp coils are being replaced, the primary and secondary deflector dishes are missing, hull plates are gone from dozens of spots, and numerous shuttles and maintenance drones are moving back and forth nearby. The camera goes to the side of the bridge, into the Captain’s Ready Room, where Captain Righteous Lee is sitting in his chair playing with a Rubik’s cube.
Righteous - No, oh, almost... damn it! This is not as easy as that Ferengi said it was!
Suddenly, the door opens and Commander Senseless walks in carrying an assortment of PADDs. Righteous is startled and tosses the cube across the room.
Righteous - Don’t you people ever knock?!
Senseless - The door chime isn’t working, sorry. I need you to fill out these forms.
Righteous - Why can’t you do it?
Senseless - I’m busy helping Casey and Doctor Puker set up for the New Year’s party. Besides, I’ve been filling out forms for the last two fricking months, sir, I think you can do these five.
Righteous - Yeah, why is it taking so long to do everything blue woman says we needed to do? I thought she said we just had to replace the graviton generators from our little trip into hyperspace, but she told me it would take no more than a week!
Senseless (rolling his eyes) - We’ve been over this every day, sir: That was before they found that the ODN relays were degrading, which was before they found out the EPS grid was pretty much an accident waiting to happen, which was before they found out the warp coils were past their warranty.
Righteous - “Five years or fifty thousand lightyears?”
Senseless - That’s the one. It kind of snowballed from there. So, in order to avoid the red tape, and partly as an excuse to keep us out of trouble for a while, Admiral Nelix ordered us to undergo a complete overhaul of all systems. However, we’ll be done in 36 hours if you just fill out these forms. It’ll take two hours, no more. Now, if you’ll excuse me, they’re having trouble with the tinsel.
Senseless drops the PADDs on Righteous’ desk and turns and walks out of the room. Righteous picks one up and reads it.
Righteous - “Health Insurance Claim”? (Sigh) I knew I was going to regret giving the crew the option of buying foreign health insurance...
Scene 2 - Sometime later, in the Celestial’s messhall, everyone of importance is present and getting smashed. The room is decorated with various festive things from various Alpha Quadrant religions and cultures. Work on the ship has apparently stopped and the various pods are just floating about inside the shipyard. At one of the still-present tables, Garell, Genocide, and Baque are sipping drinks and chatting about something.
Genocide - ...And then he was complaining that I had given him fake latinum, to which I simply replied, “Well, of course I did: The Federation doesn’t deal with arms dealers, so I couldn’t legally buy these weapons from you,” and of course he wasn’t pleased. So I killed him.
Garell - You do realize our quantum torpedoes are nearly twice as powerful as the ones you just stole from that guy.
Genocide - Yeah, but they don’t return if they miss, now do they?
Garell - Fine, whatever. Oh hey, there’s James.
Baque - You mean Stumpy?
Lieutenant Tener walks over to their table, just as Lieutenant-Commander Baque stands up with a stupid grin on his face, obviously about to say something dumb.
Tener - ‘Evening, sir!
Tener pulls his fully regrown right arm back and punches Baque right in the face. Baque spins on the spot and falls back into his chair, rubbing his jaw.
Baque - I deserved that... but it was so worth it!
Tener steals a no-name’s drink and takes a seat.
Tener - You know, I hate to say it, but I’ve been pretty bored these past two months.
Genocide - Yeah, these past two months have been pretty non-eventful.
Garell - Okay! We get it! Two months have gone by! We don’t need to beat that fact to a bloody pulp!
Baque (adding) - With lead pipes.
The camera goes out into the corridor, where Righteous is strolling toward the messhall as over-drunk no-names stumble out.
Righteuos - Captain’s log, stardate 59999.9. I believe this is the part where I say ten, nine, eight...
He walks into the messhall where everyone else is already counting, while watching a holographic display from San Francisco, which is showing another holographic ball of light hovering over the Golden Gate bridge.
Everyone - Seven!
Camera goes to Vulcan
Every Vulcan (stoically) - Six.
Camera goes to Qo’noS, where all the Klingons are in the midst of drinking blood wine and killing everything that moves... you know, standard Klingon stuff.
Every Klingon - FIVE!
Camera goes to Ferenginar, where a giant ball of pure latinum is falling from the top of the spire on the Tower of Commerce.
Ferengi - Four! (Then in the second between that and three they all start trading stocks)
Camera goes to Bynaus.
All the Bynars - 11!
Camera goes to Bajor, where Deep Space Nine has launched some small object at the wormhole, apparently trying to force it open.
Bajorans - Two!
Camera goes to Starfleet Headquarters, where Fleet Admiral Spot and her various subordinates are watching the same display of San Francisco while a clock at the top of the screen says “59999.9.”
Everyone - ONE!
The camera goes to San Francisco, out to where tens of millions of people have gathered to watch the spectacle above the bridge.
Everyone - ZERO!
The hologram explodes in a flash of bright light. Everyone starts cheering, singing, or drinking, or a combination of all three. At Starfleet HQ, the clock is now saying “60000.0,” and everyone is cheering. Up on the Celestial, everyone is cheering when suddenly the lights flicker and then go out. Everyone stops cheering as the emergency lights come on.
Righteous - Captain’s log, stardate 60000.0... um... I get first post! Hello? Computer? Helllooooo...
They all look out the window to see fireworks exploding amid the still-lit Utopia Planitia Shipyards. The entire senior staff turn to look at Lieutenant Bios.
Garell - Um.... by any chance, is the CelestOS operating system designed to have an arithmetic overflow at stardate 60k?
Bios - ...Maybe...
Opening Credits... Who the hell even reads them anyway? Seriously! BSG once didn’t include them, and you know what? That episode was awesome! All shows should follow suit.
Scene 3 - Meanwhile, somewhere in deep space, onboard a ship or something, Chester stands on a chair facing out the window towards a Federation world, where antimatter fireworks are irradiating the sky.
Chester (sigh) - Well, it’s official: It’s now 2383 and I am still not in control of... well... anything at the moment. And why is that?
He turns around to face a long table. Seated around it are the Romulans Commander Spliff and that yet-to-be-named Romulan Scientist from the last episode. Nearby are some of Chester’s more trustworthy henchmen, mostly Farians and Orions. On the other side of the table sits three radioactive mutant zombie Borg no-names from the bottom of the Celestial’s deck 20. Despite being sucked into subspace by a tricobalt torpedo, apparently, they seem very much alive... well, undead at least.
Chester - Anyone?
No one says anything. The Romulans and the henchmen are carefully keeping one eye on the zomborg drones, obviously not sure why Chester would invite them.
Chester - I’ll tell you why! It’s because we’ve been thinking too small scale!
Spliff - How is trying to seize control of a 200+ planet, trillion-plus population, 8,000-light-year interstellar empire small scale?
Chester - We need to think bigger. Commander, isn’t it true you only joined with me once I vowed to make you the head of the Romulan Star Empire once I conquered the Alpha Quadrant?
Spliff - Yeah, that and I had no other reason to be on the show so I figured I’d better secure my future.
Chester - Well, that’s the new plan. You see, I’ve been talking with my zomborg friends over here...
Zomborg #1 - Negotiation is urggggg!
Chester - Well... trying to talk with them anyway. You see, the Federation decimated their plans for galactic domination. Not only that, but the Federation was responsible for creating them in the first place. Doctor R’lentra, please explain.
The Romulan Scientist, who now has a name and apparently is now immortal (for a while at least) stands up and turns on a holographic projection. It shows human cells and some sort of virus particle being bombarded by radiation.
R’lentra - During the launch of the USS Celestial NCC-91482, on April 25, 2379, the ship accidentally destroyed its shipyard. In the process, a large amount of antimatter radiation was released into the surrounding area. Workers were irradiated. Most died, but one, who happened to be infected with Rigellian Fever at the time, mutated. The virus began to take control of his bodily functions, everything from oxygen and nutrient transportation to neural processing. In essence, his body could survive even if over 70% of his major organs were offline. He became known as Zombie #1. The virus spread to a Cardassian colony, where it easily infected numerous Bajoran slaves that were still being held there.
Chester - And then of course I made a deal with them, a very profitable deal I might add...
R’lentra - Yes, but the Celestial’s CMO was able to create a retrovirus that killed them all. And you were out of a partnership.
Chester - Don’t remind me.
R’lentra - Then, just over five months ago, on stardate 59475.3, the Celestial’s CMO accidentally mixed Borg nano-probes, salvaged from the USS Enterprise after the Battle of Sector 001, and surviving zombie virus protein sequences. The result, our guests here.
Zomborg #1 - Urrrrg!!!
R’lentra - Naturally, the nanoprobes attempted to connect them to the Borg collective consciousness, but failed. The Borg perceived them as inferior, seeing as they were dead, and cut off the link every time they connected.
Spliff - Kind of like trying to connect to the subnet with an old 15 terahertz PC.
Henchman #1 - Yeah, the anti-noob protocols kick you off right away.
R’lentra - Exactly. So, without direction from the Hive Mind, the zomborg army simply followed their instincts, which was to infect every living thing.
Henchman #2 - What, no demented quest for perfection?
The drones shake their heads. One’s head falls off. He picks it up and reattaches it.
R’lentra - They actually have a critical mass too. Due to the synaptic degradation which death usually causes, their minds can’t process more than about thirty billion voices at once. They assimilated a pre-warp planet a while back and were perfectly content to stay there but the Federation tried to destroy them.
Chester - Yes, the Federation has been the source of all our troubles...
He glances out the window again.
Chester - Look at them... going around projecting their will upon the galaxy... they’re like a virus. (looks at the zomborgs) No offence.
Zomborg #2 - Offence is irrelevant.
Chester - Many have tried to destroy the Federation in the past. The Borg, the Klingons, the Dominion, the Romulans... all have failed. And why?
Spliff - Because they were all incompetent?
Chester - Yes, but besides that.
Chester - Because they all went straight for Earth!
R’lentra - The Dominion didn’t.
Chester - Yeah but the Dominion puts the “in” in incompetent. I don’t know what everyone was expecting! The capitol of the Federation is the most heavily guarded planet in the Alpha Quadrant.
Spliff - Then why did you try to attack it so often?
Chester - I was curious! No, the key to our success will be to destroy the other Federation worlds, one at a time, cutting off Earth from its resource base.
Henchman #1 - Cut off a snake’s body and the head will die.
Chester - Precisely.
Spliff - But how can we hope to achieve this? We only have one ship, this one! I’m still looking for another warbird but so far they’re all on backorder!
Chester - I’ve come to realize something...
Spliff - That you’re incompetent?
Chester - No, I’ve come to realize that the Orion Syndicate fell because it became too organized. We lost the guerilla warfare aspect, and became a singular power that Starfleet could attack easily. Our new plan doesn’t require many ships.
Spliff - Oh this ought to be good. Please, continue, for my amusement.
Chester - The zomborg ship is currently heading back into the galaxy, at hyperwarp speeds. It’ll reach Federation space in a little over a month.
The Romulans and henchmen turn to look at the zomborg drones.
R’lentra - Wow... that’s fast.
Chester - Yes, very fast. In the meantime, to cause general disarray, we’re going to do the most evil thing that can be done... Doctor!
R’lentra points to herself in a questioning look.
Chester - No, not you, the other doctor.
A geeky, nerdy, glasses wearing, pocket-protector equipped guy with an acne problem, carrying what looks like a state-of-the-art PADD walks clumsily into the room.
Chester - Ladies and gentlemen, and imbeciles of all ages, allow me to introduce Dr. Will Doores, formerly head of the Daystrom Institute’s Advanced Computer Development section, then he went to work for me. Then he got arrested, then I broke him out of prison.
Dr. Doores - Gah, hello everyone!
Everyone sits there staring at him.
Chester - The good doctor here knows my plan, why don’t you explain it?
Doores - Well it’s a simple matter of hacking into the Federation’s subspace communications network with a recursive algorithm that constantly searches for weak spots in their firewall security grid. Once planted, it will spread throughout the subnet onto every ship and station and planet in Federation space.
Doores - Uh, it won’t give us control of anything, but it will constantly and randomly make subspace hails from one ship to another, leaving a message telling the recipient of a great deal to be made at some random place! It will also use the priority one channel so the ships, under regulations, can’t ignore it.
Henchman #1 - Wait... you’re going to set up an auto-dialler system? And fill it with SPAM!?!
Chester - Brilliant, isn’t it?
Spliff - Dude, that’s... that’s fucking evil! I love it!
Chester - I thought you might. Bwah ha ha!
Chester starts laughing evilly. Everyone follows suit.
Everyone - Bwah ha ha ha! Bwah ha ha ha ha!
The camera zooms out of the window and flies away from the Son’a ship as the scene fades to black.
Scene 4 - Back in the Celestial’s messhall, it’s still nearly pitch black, but everyone has turned on their communicator’s illumination thingy (Hey, if wrist watches can do it already...) And are waving them back and forth as some 24th century techno band plays a slow song or something all retarded like that. Finally, as the song ends, the lights come back on. At the back of the messhall, Bios and Garell close up a wall panel and stand up to face Commander Senseless.
Senseless - Fixed it?
Bios - Yep. Just a glitch. I simply restored the computer to an earlier time. I’ll fix the problem tomorrow and get our date set to the right one. Just don’t rely on the computer for the stardates for your logs for a while.
Meanwhile, onboard the Spacedock, orbiting Earth, Fleet Admiral Spot is now doing some work. Another Admiral walks in.
No-Name Admiral #1 - Ma’am, Starfleet Intelligence has determined that Chester is attempting to disrupt the subnet with an auto-dialler program that tries to spam everyone in the quadrant.
Spot - What!?! Now he’s dropped to a new low... If he’s not careful, he’s going to be kicked out of the Feline Association of Influence.
No-Name Admiral #1 - Uh... what’s he doing in there in the first place?
Spot - Don’t get me started on the United Nations letting in overly violent countries like Iran and China and America...
No-Name Admiral #1 - Point taken. Now, there is good news though. It attempts to exploit a hole in the LCARS operating system that we’ve recently patched. It won’t be able to infect any of our ships or stations.
Spot - And all ships received the patch?
No-Name Admiral #1 - Yes, even the LCARS emulators some ships use got patched, so unless someone deliberately rolled back their operating system for some reason, the fleet is safe.
Meanwhile, back on the USS Celestial...the camera goes to the empty bridge, then over to the Ops console. It slowly zooms in on one of the blank consoles, as the music from Jaws plays in the background... suddenly, the screen flashes and beeps! A picture of an envelope appears.
Console - “You’ve got mail!”
The message opens, and then all the bridge consoles almost perceivably flicker. Then it hits the fan. The camera goes to the spacedock, where Admiral Spot is still talking with that nameless admiral, when suddenly her console fires up and advertises for wholesale Tholian toilet plungers.
Spot - What in the name of all that is furry in this universe just happened!?!
No-Name Admiral #1 reads some consoles and hits some buttons, or vice versa.
No-Name Admiral #1 - It looks like we’ve got a fleet wide drain of computer resources! The entire Subnet is being used to upload spam onto our units! If this continues, ships won’t even be able to open the turbolift doors much less defend themselves! But how did this happen!?!
Spot shakes her head and looks out the window.
Spot - Oh, I have a pretty good guess...
The camera flies out said window and zooms across the solar system to where the Celestial is still in the shipyard, reassembled, but still probably disabled. The camera goes to deck 4, section 8, into Commander Senseless’s quarters, where he is sleeping soundly. Suddenly, the ship-wide intercom activates and a loud blaring advertisement comes in over the speakers.
Intercom - Hey! Pissed off? Depressed? Bored? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then maybe it’s time to buy a gun!
Senseless jolts awake and bangs his head off the top of the window frame.
Intercom - At Crazy Insane Schizophrenic Demented Nutjob Bob’s House of Fine Things to Kill People With, we’ve got just the gun for the job! Shut that noisy dog up at night! End your suffering! Or start a war! Don’t have a good reason to buy one? Who cares! Buy a gun anyway! Starfleet has guns! So do the Klingons! And the Romulans! You should have one too!
Senseless (stumbling to the door) - All senior staff report to the bridge!!!
Intercom - Just email firstname.lastname@example.org and include your personal identification information so we can confirm you are indeed a person and not a Borg drone, and we’ll send you a free demo pack, including the TR-116! The Stone of Gol! Transphasic torpedoes! And a lifetime supply of power packs for any and all particle weapons!
Scene 5 - On the bridge, ads are still blaring from the speakers and the screens. The entire senior staff except Garell are present and in their Starfleet Standard Issue pajamas.
Righteous - What in the name of the Prophets is going on!?!
Bios - Looks like we’ve been infected with adware... again.
Genocide - How did we get rid of it last time?
Bios - I honestly don’t remember.
Suddenly, the screens all go blank.
Garell (comm) - Garell to bridge, I just blew up the main computer. Is everything back to normal?
Baque - If you call having lost all computer control “normal” then yeah, we’re peachy.
Garell (comm) - Don’t get smart with me, I’m not in the mood for it. We’ll just get the station to fix it.
Bios - Maybe rolling back the OS left open a security hole.
Senseless - Ensign, hail the station.
Casey, who was half asleep against her console, groans and hits some buttons.
Casey - They’re, like, not responding or whatever.
Blavik - Are you certain you hailed the right station?
Casey - I just hailed them all at once. Saves time.
Righteous - We should probably do something before Admiral Spot yells at us again. I don’t like it when she yells at us.
Baque - Do you even remember what she says when she yells at you?
Righteous - Of course I do! I’m not stupid!
Baque - When was the last time she yelled at you?
Righteous - Uhhh....
Baque - That’s what I thought.
Senseless - He’s right though, we need to figure out what’s happening and the best place to do that isn’t sitting in a shipyard.
Garell (comm) - Better said than done. The main computer is completely shot. Quite literally.
Puker - Commander, is your first instinct always to pull a phaser on a piece of machinery that’s pissing you off?
Garell (comm) - Actually my first instinct is to kill you all just for kicks, but I manage to suppress it.
Puker - Point taken.
Baque - I can fly manually, as long as we don’t have to go to warp. I was never very good at trigonometry in high school.
Senseless - Whatever. Take us out.
Baque hits his controls and the Celestial jerks forward pushing everyone back into their seats.
Tener - Let me guess: Inertial dampeners were computer controlled?
Baque - Yah, seems so. I just set them on automatic and hope they don’t lag too much or we’ll be scraping no-names off the bulkheads till the cows return to Earth.
Casey - Yah, man, I still can’t believe, like, that animal rights group, like, stole all the cows and took them somewhere a hundred years ago.
Genocide - Oh be quiet, replicated meat tastes better anyway. If you want to be a real hunter go live with the Klingons.
Casey - Oh, like, I did for one summer at the Academy.
Everyone turns to look at her.
Righteous - You did what?
Senseless - I’d say I’m surprised but... not really.
Baque - Damn it!
Tener - Hey, watch the screen!
They all look at the blank viewscreen (since it’s offline), then back at Tener.
Tener - Wow, the stupidity in the room must be wearing off on me finally.
Puker - It happens.
Baque - Why are there no windows on the bridge?
Bios - Cause it’s an inferior operating system and... oh you meant panes of glass... oh, here’s the viewscreen-on switch!
Righteous - We have a skylight, does that count as a window?
Senseless (looking up at the skylight) - I’m still wondering where the heck that thing came from, because I’m pretty sure it wasn’t in the original blueprints.
A few seconds later, the Celestial flies by the spacedock, which is filled with flickering lights.
Righteous - Ooh pretty. Are they setting off fireworks inside?
Genocide - Nah, they’ve been infected with the same malware.
Senseless - Lieutenant, can you remove the program from the computers?
Bios - I’ll need to know more about the program that caused this in the first place before I can shut it down.
Puker - Heh, that sounds like a line I’d use when asked to heal a patient hit by a weird weapon.
Blavik - You mean the line you use to get out of doing work for several more hours?
Puker - That’s the one!
Suddenly, Fleet Admiral Spot and that other nameless admiral appear on the screen. Banner ads scroll across the top and bottom, selling everything from no-name brand diapers to peel-proof wallpaper.
Spot - I don’t know how, but this is somehow your fault!
Righteous - Okay, we’ll go fix it then.
Spot - No, you’ll just screw something up even more. Just stay put and—
The channel cuts.
Righteous - Oops, didn’t get that last part. Let’s go fix everything like we usually do. How do we track down the people responsible for this?
Casey - But like, who would do such a thing!?!
Everyone Else - Chester.
Senseless - Alright, so how do we find him? Especially with no sensors.
An ad flies across the screen.
Ad - Feeling down? Send money to 12254 Standard Parking Orbit, New Sydney, Alpha Quadrant, R5G 5T2 H8T today to feel better!
Garell - Damn it I thought I fixed that! Time to shoot something else.
Senseless - Wait... that world is pretty close to where Chester used to rule the Orion Syndicate from, right? Could he possibly be stupid enough to list exactly where he is in an ad?
Everyone Else - Yes.
Righteous - Alright then, lay in a course, maximum warp!
Baque - Uh... which way is New Sydney?
Bios and Garell go over to the viewscreen and start squinting at it as Baque slowly turns the ship in place.
Garell - There, is it that blue one?
Bios - No, it’s a mid sequence yellow dwarf I always thought.
Garell - Yeah but there’s a big blue one close to it I always thought.
Baque - Meh, whatever.
He hits some buttons an crosshairs appear on the viewscreen. He manoeuvres the ship until the yellow star next to a big blue one is in the crosshairs, then hits a button and the ship jumps to high warp.
Tener - You do of course realize if we’re off by even a fraction of a degree we’ll end up in the wrong solar system.
Baque - Oh yee of little faith..
Tener - You hit the side of the spacedock every time to enter or leave it!
Baque (pointing at Blavik) - So does she! I’m telling you, someone keeps messing with the lateral proximity sensors.
Scene 6 - Chester is sitting in his overly-ornate throne room onboard that stupid Son’a ship, hitting buttons on a PDA.
Chester - Wow I can’t believe people are actually stupid enough to fall for some of these...
Spliff walks in, mid rant, with that Romulan scientist woman in tow.
Spliff - ...And for the last time stop worrying! I’m not going to let him kill you, and he needs me more than I need him.
Chester - What’s this?
Spliff - You tell him.
R’lentra - Uh... um... good news and bad news. The bad news is that what we thought was the cure for your illness was actually just another more potent virus.
Chester - What!?!
He pulls out a phaser and aims it at R’lentra but Spliff steps in front of her.
Spliff - Ah HEM!
Chester grudgingly puts the phaser away.
Chester - Miserable no good Vulcans...
R’lentra - But the good news is that we’ve discovered exactly what Lieutenant Sa’lol infected you with.
Chester - Oh?
Spliff - First off, do you know exactly what the residents of Fortus VII gave you that has extended your life?
Chester - Some of kind of immune booster stuff, I think.
R’lentra - It took a while to track it down, but you’ve been infected with Feline Leukemia Virus.
Chester - Never heard of it.
R’lentra - I’m not surprised. It’s been extinct for centuries, and even when it was around it only was present on one planet, that we know of.
Spliff - Earth.
Chester - What? How did Sa’lol get her hands on it if it’s been extinct for centuries.
R’lentra - No idea, don’t really care. But the point is, it would take years to develop a cure. I’m not even certain Sa’lol created one.
Spliff - That would explain her lack of informing us.
Chester - Curses! Outsmarted by humanoids again!
R’lentra - Not quite. Historical records stolen from the Federation indicate that at a certain period in Earth’s history a cure for the disease was developed. In fact, the vaccine the humans made was so useful it was one of the leading causes of the diseases’ extinction.
Chester - Humans doing something competent? You’d better double check those records... so Earth might still have the cure?
R’lentra - No, it was destroyed in their Third World War.
Chester - Well, I suppose you both have figured out what we must do then...
Spliff - (sigh) Yeah, we have...
Suddenly, the red alert klaxons go off.
Klaxons - Alert! Alert! All competent personnel to battle stations! Federation starship on intercept course!
Chester - We’ll continue this discussion later.
They all leave the throne room, R’lentra practically jumping with joy over the fact she’s still alive.
Scene 7 - On the bridge of the Celestial, the viewscreen is still showing stars streaming past.
Baque - Man, we are so lost right now...
Casey - Like, what if one of those, like, stars flying by is it? Like, how will we know?
Bios - First off, those aren’t stars. That’s dust hitting the deflector field and being super-heated. Those stationary dots further back are stars.
Casey - Ooooh... but... how do we know which is which?
Senseless - Computer, phase shift the viewscreen to show the ultraviolet wavelength.
Senseless - Oh, right... Lieutenant?
Bios hits some buttons and suddenly the viewscreen is filled with purple light. In the centre is a large purple ball, getting larger.
Baque - Right on target. Okay, dropping out of warp.... now!
The purple all over the viewscreen goes black and the ball in the middle drops in brightness. (And until someone actually breaks the light speed barrier, my theory about how this stuff will look is sound as any :-P). Then, the ship starts to shake.
Bios - Switching back to normal view...
Beep! A wall of white cloud appears, as does the gradual curve of a horizon.
Baque - That’s a planet...
WHAM! The USS Celestial, moving at nearly a quarter of the speed of light relative to New Sydney, hits the atmosphere as if it were concrete. Everyone is thrown out of their chairs and tossed across the bridge, no-names being killed or maimed in the process.
Genocide - Shields are down!
Baque - Helm isn’t responding!
Tener - Ah man, not again...
All over the bridge, consoles start sparking and flickering.
Baque - Piece of shit...
He hits a switch (yes, a switch) on his console and his chair automatically slides backwards. The helm console flips forward and down, and in it’s place a different type of control panel appears. It’s covered in dials instead of LCD readouts, and instead of LCARS helm controls, two joysticks on the console and two foot pedals on the floor pop up. Baque’s chair slides forward again and he takes the two joysticks and pulls both of them backwards as far as they’ll go. The ship pitches upward, and the ventral thrusters fire. Everyone is pressed into their seats or into the floor as the ship undergoes extreme deceleration.
Righteous - This... is... kinda... fun!
The atmosphere becomes denser and the roar of moving at several hundred times the speed of sound can be heard reverberating off the hull. The distinct sound of stressed metal can also be heard.
On the planet’s surface, in a large city filled with dozens of sky-scrapers and probably a hundred million people, the sun is nearly set. Suddenly, the streets are illuminated by a blinding white-blue light. Everyone looks up to see the USS Celestial streaking across the starry sky towards the sunset... and right towards the city. Recognizing the shape and therefore the ship, everyone starts screaming in terror as the multi-million metric tonne starship plunges towards the urban area.
Back on the Celestial’s bridge, the G-forces have gotten even worse, and everyone can barely even move their hands. Baque, sweat dripping from his forehead, still pulls on the controls trying to level the ship out. On the viewscreen, the shape of the city can be seen approaching very fast.
Baque - That’s a city...
Genocide - No... shit..!
Senseless - Use... emergency... stop!
Casey hits some buttons and at the back of the ship, the aft impulse engines rotate in place and face forward instead of backwards. Baque hits one of the floor pedals as hard as he can and the aft impulse engines flare to life.
Throughout the city, hovercars are scrambling to get out of the way and people are quickly taking shelter underground. Multiple sonic booms can be heard over and over as the ship drops its Mach number. The light of the super-heated air around the ship is acting like a second sun as the ship approaches the city.
Back on the bridge, the crew finally see the image on the viewscreen pan upward, and when the city can no longer be seen on the screen, Baque takes his foot off the reverse pedal and punches the forward petal. The aft impulse engines shut off and the main ones activate. Everyone is thrown back in their chairs.
The ship finally stops dropping and flies just barely over the city at supersonic speeds, narrowly dodging several buildings. Just after it passes, the sonic booms hit the city and blows out the windows of every building there is, showering the sidewalks with glass. The Celestial continues to pitch upward and ends up flying straight up away from the planet. On the bridge, the inertial dampeners finally manage to kick in and everyone lets out a sigh of relief.
Senseless - That... was close.
Baque - I think I deserve an award for that...
Boom, ship rocks, sparks.
Genocide - Okay, my turn to pull a rabbit out of a hat.
The ship pans around and that Son’a ship can be seen firing at them, heading off.
Genocide - Cowards are running away from us!
Boom, ship rocks, sparks.
Casey - Hey! I found the source of the ads!
Righteous - Where?
Casey - Like, there’s an orbiting communications thingy that’s doing it.
Garell walks onto the bridge.
Garell - You know, those carpets are the most uncomfortable things to be pressed into by ten times your own normal weight.
Senseless - Lieutenant, what can we do to stop the adware?
Bios - If we shut down the source of the program, our computer systems won’t be able to get updates and our own engineers should be able to remove it.
Righteous - I don’t know what exactly that all meant, but Mr. Genocide, Fire!
The ship stops chasing the Son’a ship and flies toward the comm relay. A single quantum torpedo blows the thing to smithereens.
Puker - Well, as I always say, all’s well that ends well. We got a much needed overhaul, got to save the day, and I didn’t have to do any work.
Senseless - Get your ass to sickbay and fix whatever broken bones Mr. Baque’s little manoeuver caused.
Baque - Hey I saved the damn ship, didn’t I?
Senseless - One good mark on a list dominated by bad ones.
Baque - Alright, point taken.
Scene 8 - On the bridge of the Son’a ship, Chester and Spliff are fighting over the Captain’s chair while R’lentra, Doores, and one of the zomborg drones looks on.
Spliff - Come on, you know how this is supposed to work: I sit in the chair, you’re the evil cat that hisses when I’m angry and sits on my lap and keeps quiet otherwise.
Chester - Hey, I’m the brains around here, you be the evil mute Romulan who sits next to me and scowls when I’m angry!
Spliff - I will not sit on the floor and let you pat me on the head.
R’lentra - I’ll do it!
Chester - No way, you’re creepy enough just standing there.
Doores - My beautiful programs! Destroyed! Oh the agony!
Chester - Oh shut up. Hail the Celestial, and lay in that course I told you to lay in.
Henchman #2 - Yes, my lord.
Beep! Captain Righteous and Commander Senseless appear on the screen.
Senseless - Give it up, Chester, there’s nowhere to run to. You’ve now pissed off the whole quadrant.
Spliff - Who says we need to run to a place!?
Righteous - I don’t get it.
The camera goes to the Celestial’s bridge, where the rest of the crew don’t get it either.
Chester - Anyway, we must be going now. I’ll see you in hell, Celestial!
Beep! The channel cuts. On the screen, the Son’a ship can be seen streaking toward the sun, then looping around behind it. The crew wait a couple seconds but the ship doesn’t come around the other side.
Tener - Where’d they go?
Garell - Gah, they probably used the sun to mask their escape. They could have warped in any direction and without sensors there’s no way to track them.
Senseless - Speaking of that, set a course for Earth. We need to get our main computer fixed.
Baque - Uh... Okay, does anyone know what Sol looks like from this far away?
Senseless smacks his forehead. Puker, Blavik, Garell, Genocide, and Tener help Baque squint at the viewscreen trying to find Sol.
Righteous - In the meantime, girl who breaks stuff a lot, I can’t record my Captain’s Log, and you made me lose first post of stardate 60000!
Senseless - Yeah, get to work creating a new operating system.
Bios - Uh... is now a bad time to tell you that I’m transferring off the ship to work at the Daystrom Institute’s section for Advanced Computer Development?
Senseless - Damn it! God damn it! Now we have to find another new crewman!