Episode 65: “C²”
Written by Swordtail
Published May 29, 2008
Scene 1 - On the bridge, stuff is breaking.
Boom, ship rocks, sparks.
Lieutenant Sa’lol - Pietian carrier ship, launching fighter craft.
Lieutenant-Commander Baque - Our warp drive is offline! I can’t get us out of here!
Lieutenant-Commander Garell (comm) - Engineering to bridge. That last shot took out the starboard main plasma feed conduit. Nearly severed the nacelle. It’ll take at least ten minutes to reroute power to the port engine!
Commander Senseless - We don’t have ten minutes...
Captain Righteous - Shit! I forgot to pray today! What if the Prophets forget about me?
Baque - I’m sure they’re trying...
Boom, ship rocks, sparks. A console explodes and kills a no-name.
Ensign Casey - Like, hull breach on, like, deck 6.
Sa’lol - One of the Pietian fighters did a suicide run at us.
Lieutenant-Commander Genocide - Sweeping through phaser arcs, what’s left of them.
Doctor Puker (comm) - Bridge, it’s starting to look like the aftermath of a Klingon bachelor party down here.
Camera goes to sickbay, where the dead and dying keep pouring in. Lieutenant Blavik and the doctor are up to their ears in casualties.
Puker - Son of a bitch, did the Saratoga just give us all their wimp crew, or the ones that injure easily?
Blavik - Doctor, half of these people just got a console blast to the face!
NoName #1 (raising hand) - Uh, actually I just choked on a pretzel, I think it’s hurting my lungs.
Puker - Fine, inject him with cyanide.
Blavik - But doctor, that will kill him—
Doctor - Damn it, nurse, I didn’t spend eight or nine years in Starfleet Medical Academy to have my naive Vulcan underlings question my medical expertise!
Blavik shrugs and injects cyanide into the no-name.
NoName #1 - Hey! I feel all better! Thanks, doc!
As he hops off the biobed a conduit blows on the ceiling and kills him. Puker sees this and shakes his head.
Puker - Why do I even bother?
Back on the bridge, stuff is still breaking.
Senseless - Forget the fighters, attack the carrier ship!
Baque - We can’t get anywhere near it without being shot to pieces.
Genocide - Annnnnnd we are officially out of torpedoes!
Senseless - Which kind?
Genocide - All of them.
Boom, ship rocks, sparks.
Casey - Like, hull breach on deck 2.
Boom, ship rocks again, more sparks. A beam falls from the ceiling. Righteous tugs down on his tunic and stands up.
Righteous - Weeeelp, no sense staying here. Everyone abandon ship and let’s hope the Pietians take prisoners. I call the Captain’s yacht.
Boom, ship rocks, sparks.
Casey - Like, that just got fused to the hull.
Righteous - Who wants to share an escape pod with me?
The “get the fuck off the ship” alarm starts blaring and the crew head for the briefing room and ready room doors when suddenly Casey’s console starts beeping. They all stop dead in their tracks.
Baque - Wait a minute... she muted every alarm, didn’t she?
Casey - Well, like, every alarm that’s happened so far.
Genocide - But the only alarm that hasn’t gone off yet is the “Friendly ship approaching on intercept course” alarm.
They all spin around in time to see a strangely familiar shape cross the static-ridden viewscreen. The bridge crew run back to their stations and cancel the abandon ship alarm.
Senseless - Are they Vorn?
Genocide - No, it’s Federation...
Righteous (squinting) - Hard to make out, we get terrible reception on this TV during battles, but it looks like a cross between a Sovereign and a stealth bomber...
Sa’lol - Sir... it’s... Celestial class...?
The camera goes into space and watches as, sure enough, a Celestial-class starship, identical to the USS Celestial (but less blown up) flies in and literally lays waste to the Pietian fleet. Dozens of the little ships get smashed against the newcomer’s shields, while the rest are picked off by phaser beams. Pulse phaser blasts and quantum torpedoes shoot towards the carrier ship, which tries to flee but is quickly and thoroughly blown to smithereens. Back on the Celestial’s bridge, the crew’s jaws are nearly hitting the floor.
Casey - Um... like, I thought we were the only ship of this, like, type.
Garell runs onto the bridge.
Garell - Why aren’t we dead yet... what the?
The viewscreen has started clearing up and the Celestial class ship has come to face the Celestial.
Genocide - Twenty bucks says it’s a future version of us.
Baque - Been done.
Genocide - Okay, then it must be from an alternate universe.
Baque - Been done too.
Genocide - Maybe it’s made of a deuterium-based changeling-like organism.
Baque - Been there also.
Genocide - Casey, just hail the damned thing so we can find out?
Casey - Don’t, like, need to. They’re, like, hailing us or whatever.
The viewscreen changes.
Righteous - Hi. I’m Captain Righteous Lee of the Federation starship—
Other Generic Looking Human Captain - —Celestial! Fancy meeting you all the way out here!
He shoves up his hand as Senseless is about to speak.
Other Captain - Before I answer any of your questions, maybe you could answer one of mine...
He picks up a PADD and a stylus.
Other Captain - What’s a five letter word, ends with “Y,” means “Term applied to free-thinkers, ex-girlfriends, and those with a loose grip on sanity?”
Scene 2 - The camera watches as the two nearly identical ships float past next to each other, docked. No-names wearing space suits try to fix the Celestial’s external damage. The camera pans by the new ship and reveals it is named the “USS Enforcer, NCC-80182.” Camera goes to a random damaged corridor, where Righteous, Senseless, Genocide, and Casey are walking with the Other Captain and some Andorian woman who appears to be his first officer.
Righteous - Captain’s log, stardate 60226.0. We’ve come across the USS Enforcer, an Opaka class starship, or Celestial class or whatever the heck Starfleet calls us. They saved our butts. More to come later. End log.
The other people are just staring at him.
Righteous - What!? I didn’t have time earlier, the Pietians attacked, then I had to suck up to the Prophets, and then you made me come here.
Senseless - Whatever. Well, Captain Maluco, your timing is perfect.
Captain Maluco - I’ll say. Another few minutes and we’d be picking you all up in little pieces. Pietians aren’t known for taking prisoners.
Genocide - You’ve run into them before?
Commander Person - Oh hell no, we steered well clear of them. Heard some rumours from some... passing traders. Figured we didn’t want to get caught up in that.
Casey - Like, smart idea. Why didn’t we do a, like, background check on the Pietians...?
Commander - Not that we wouldn’t be able to whip their fanatic butts so hard they’d think the Wise Ones themselves gave them a spanking...
Genocide - I doubt that, you’re no more powerful than us and we barely kept our own until today.
Maluco - Commander Talca is right, though, we are better equipped to deal with them then you are. From now on I suggest you leave the fighting to us.
Senseless - I don’t see how it would make any difference.
Commander Talca - We’re a warship, not a science vessel. We were designed to fight threats like that.
Senseless - Well, we used to be primarily a warship, but then about a year ago we underwent a refit and now do mostly nothing.
Genocide - We were always under the impression that we were the only ship of this class. Admiral Spot once said Starfleet decided to go with nothing but Sovereigns.
Talca - Actually, after the prototype, the USS Punisher, later renamed the USS Celestial, five ships started construction. One only got half finished before Admiral Nelix got lazy and welded a half-finished Sovereign class ship to its stardrive section. Two more were finished. One is this one and the other is the Enforcer. The other two weren’t space-worthy by the time Starfleet cut funding, so they’ve just been mothballed as is. They’re probably still sitting around at the Advanced Ship Design and Construction Facility on Telsa Prime.
Senseless - So that brings us to our nagging question: How did you get here?
Maluco - Oh, same way as you, I imagine: The laws of physics and a lot of luck.
Righteous - And the Prophets.
Genocide and Senseless roll their eyes.
Casey (muttering) - I gotta write that line down...
Maluco - Seriously though, we’re actually on a top-secret mission to do tactical reconnaissance of this area of space prior to a full-scale Federation expansion campaign.
Senseless - Expansion campaign?
Maluco - The Federation has been stagnant for too long. There are thousands of worlds just waiting to join but we’re prevented from doing so by the surrounding powers. Starfleet plans to literally go around these obstacles.
Genocide - Those obstacles being the Gorn, the Satarrans, and the Lysian Alliance?
Talca - Yep.
Genocide - They’re all as freaked out as we are about the Borg invasion. Getting through their space was easy as proverbial pie.
Maluco - Borg invasion?
Senseless pats him on the shoulder.
Senseless - Captain, you and I need to have a little chat...
Talca, Maluco, and Senseless turn down a corridor while the other three lag behind.
Righteous - They seem nice.
Genocide (frowning) - Something about that guy seems a little odd.
Casey - Yeah, and, like, why would the Federation be so, like, sneaky about, like expanding? I mean it’s not like the Gorn or those other two could, like, stop us if we, like, wanted to make new friends.
Righteous - Sheesh, fine, I’ll go clear their story with Admiral Spot.
Scene 3 - In Righteous’ ready room, he spins in his chair and faces the wall monitor.
Righteous - Computer, hail Starfleet Command.
Computer - Powering up secondary deflector... done. Targeting nearest quantum singularity... done. Interfacing with MIDAS array... done. Uploading paparazzi pictures... done. Contacting Starfleet Command... done!
Admiral Nelix appears on the screen. (If this series had a laugh-track, cue the cheers and cat-calls. But thankfully, it’s a Canadian comedy and therefore doesn’t sink to the depths of American sit-coms.) (Seriously though, I don’t need to be told when to laugh!)
Nelix - Alright, don’t tell me... someone else declared war on you. Who is it this time? The Klingons? The Romulans? The Federation itself?
Righteous - Actually, we came across a Celestial-class starship, called the USS Enforcer. They say they’ve been on a top secret mission for the past two years.
Nelix - What are you, an idiot?
Righteous - That’s what they tell me.
Nelix - Hang on a second.
Camera goes to Jupiter Station, where Nelix hops off his desk and walks out of the room, leaving Righteous staring at a blank wall. The angry feline walks out of his office, down a corridor, and enters Jupiter Station’s cafeteria. He trots over to a counter where Dr. Zimmerman is working.
Nelix - Hey doc. How’s about some ice cream?
Doc - What’s the occasion, finally got de-neutered?
Nelix - Oh doctor, you’re a funny one. That’s the only reason I haven’t blown you and all your holographic friends out the nearest airlock. Now gimme some damned ice cream!
Zimmerman hands him a small bowl, which he starts pushing back along the corridor.
Nelix - Stupid good for nothing bald bastard didn’t even put it on wheels for me.
He finally manages to get back into his office, hooks the bowl up to the little pulley system attached to his desk, and then hops up. He pulls on a rope and the bowl lifts up to desk level. Nelix starts eating out of it while Righteous looks on.
Nelix - Now. (Then, cringing) Tell me it all from the start.
Scene 4 - The camera pans around the Telsa Prime shipyards, the Federation’s largest ship-building facility. Yes, I made that up. The camera pans by dozens of scaffolding bays, containing partially assembled or dissembled starships. Numerous advanced classes are in the process of construction, including Sovereign-class ships, Prometheus-class ships, Defiants, Intrepids, Ares-class ships, a couple Akiras, and at least one Excalibur class. The camera goes into an office, where a Starfleet engineer is fast asleep with her feet up on her desk.
NoName #2 (comm) - Ma’am, there’s a call coming in from Fleet Admiral Spot.
The engineer bolts awake and nearly falls out of her chair.
NoName #3 - Fuck!
She starts frantically trying to clean up her desk, tossing PADDs and empty soda cans into a corner. Finally she presses a button on her laptop computer and Admiral Spot appears on the screen.
Spot - Good day, Commander, perhaps you could help me with a little problem we seem to be having... it seems we’ve misplaced a freaking starship!
The camera goes back to Righteous’ ready room, where now Admiral Spot is talking to him.
Spot - So it seems Captain Maluco was right. And there are still two Celestial-class starships just sitting out there, almost built.
Righteous - Awesome. Are you going to rush them into service?
Spot - Oh hell no, do you know how much paperwork that would be? The only way we’d potentially finish one of them would be if a group of characters wanted to start a series or something, but didn’t have a decent ship and we couldn’t find another one for them. In the meantime, I’ll look into why the Enforcer is all the way out there, half way to the galactic core and such. Spot out.
The screen goes blank. Righteous starts to get up but then Spot comes back on the viewer.
Spot - And don’t break anything in the mean time!
The screen goes blank again and explodes. Righteous gets up and walks out the back door of his ready room. As he walks down the corridor leading behind the bridge, he passes a T intersection, where another corridor leads down to the escape pods and airlocks and stuff. A bunch of no-names are playing hopscotch. He then continues along as if not noticing and enters the briefing room. Senseless, Captain Maluco, and Commander Talca are already there.
Maluco - Well, I think we can all agree there’s only one logical course of action here.
Righteous - Suck up to the Prophets till they let us all hide out in the Celestial Temple till the Borg leave?
Maluco - Um... no. We need to wipe out every threat to the Federation before they have a chance to weaken us. We can’t come down on the Borg with an iron fist unless all of our fingers are clenched together.
Senseless - I agree, but diplomatic relations with the Pietians have broken down. Starfleet says our best option is to ignore them.
Maluco - Commander, I respect your devotion to the ideals of peace and diplomacy, but in cases when you’re dealing with religious fanatics like these, you have to speak the only language they understand.
Righteous - You want me to convert them?
Maluco - No. Force! We need to hit them so hard they lose faith. Once that happens, we can move in for the kill and judging by the amount of faith these losers have, I think we could do it with just the two ships we have.
Senseless - What you’re proposing is suicide.
Talca - No it’s not, we’ve managed to do things like this before, with only one ship. Imagine what we can do with two!
Maluco - We figured out a way to replicate the zero-point vacuum chambers which are the key component to quantum torpedoes. Since then we’ve never had to worry about running out. We can show you how to do it, if you’d like.
The doors suddenly burst open and Genocide jumps in.
Genocide - Did I just hear someone say they figured out a way to replicate ZPMs?
Senseless (blinking) - Yes. I thought you were off duty.
Genocide - I was. I was doing some target practice in the holodeck.
Senseless - The holodeck on deck 8?
Genocide - Yes.
Pause. The camera looks at Senseless, then at Genocide, then at Senseless, then at Genocide again.
Genocide - I have good hearing for some words.
He leaves the room.
Senseless - Regardless, the Prime Directive kind of prohibits us from doing what you’re proposing.
Talca - What if the Pietians invade Federation space? We could lose a lot of ships before they’re finally stopped.
Maluco - I’m going to leave the final decision in your hands, Captain Righteous.
Righteous - Okay. Dismissed everyone.
Maluco - Lee, can I have a word with you?
Senseless and Talca leave the room. Righteous turns to Maluco.
Righteous - What’s up?
Malcuo - I didn’t want to bring this up in front of Commander Senseless, because I know he wouldn’t understand, but our meeting here wasn’t a coincidence.
Righteous - Yeah, I was wondering that. Everyone always says space is so big and empty and quiet.
Maluco - Our meeting was predestined... by the Prophets.
Righteous - I’m listening.
Maluco - I’m sure by now you’ve figured out that the “Wise Ones” the Pietians worship are actually the Pah-Wraiths.
Righteous clenches a fist and slams it down on the table.
Righteous - I knew it!
Maluco - The Prophets clearly want us to stop the Pietians here and now. With the Celestial’s help, we can crush the Pah-Wraiths! What do you say?
Righteous - I say “what are we waiting around here for?”
Maluco (smiling and snapping his fingers) - Excellent. I’ll draft up a battle plan and submit it to you tonight.
Righteous - Okey-dokey.
Scene 5 - Messhall. Talca is seated at a table drinking something while Garell, Baque, and Puker listen to her tell stories of the Enforcer’s various “missions.”
Talca - ...But by that time the Sargans thought we were on the other side of the system. We came in hot and blew up their refueling base before they could even get a shot off! It was freaking awesome! You should have been there.
Baque - Sounds like a real fun time you’ve been having. You’ve gone up against nearly every species in the sector except the Pietians and the Vorn.
Talca - Plus a few others you haven’t heard of. I must say, I had no idea there were so many hostile species beyond the borders of the Federation. If it weren’t for Captain Maluco, I’m certain we’d all be dead a dozen times over.
Puker - Take my expert medical opinion: You can only die once.
Talca - Yeah, well, you get the idea. Hey, once this Pietian mission is over, you guys should join us! Especially you, Garell, we could use another chief engineer.
Garell - What happened to yours?
Talca - Oh... he died. There was an accident and an airlock he was working on malfunctioned. Anyway, it’s been nice talking to you, but I’d better get back and get some sleep. We’ve got a big day ahead of us.
Talca gets up and leaves. Baque puts down his drink and follows her. Garell sits in her chair frowning.
Puker - Something wrong?
Garell - Airlocks have over a dozen different backup systems to prevent accidental failure. In fact they’re so redundant that they’re a pain in the ass to use. Takes three crowbars and a rubber chicken just to get the damned things to unlock, much less open.
Puker - What are you implying?
Garell - What the hell does it sound like I’m implying? That sea cows eat brains only on Tuesdays? The bastard was probably murdered! Come on, airlocking people is the oldest method in the book. Go look it up.
Puker reaches under the table and brings up a PADD with the cover page Starfleet for Dummies: A Reference Guide for the Rest of Us.
Garell - How long has that been down there?
Puker - Since the ship was built, probably. Here it is: “Airlocking: The process of shoving an unlucky no-name into an airlock and then opening it. Has the added benefit of you get to have long camera shots of them receding into the distance. Is only detectable in instances where no-name is replaced with a main character. See Colonial Fleet Regulations for Dummies for more information.”
Garell - I rest my case.
Scene 6 - In the aft observation lounge, at the very back of the ship, Tener and Sa’lol watch out the windows as shuttlecraft bring in loads of quantum torpedoes from the Enforcer’s torpedo factory.
Tener - I wonder if Genocide has killed Garell yet.
Sa’lol - What’s that?
Tener - Turns out their zero-point module-maker won’t work with our power grid, and we’d have to do extensive refits to make it compatible. Garell said she didn’t want to do it, so Genocide started grinding his teeth into dust and then there was some phaser fire and I have no idea what happened.
Sa’lol - Sounds like you guys had one hell of a reunion party last night.
Lieutenant Blavik walks in and goes up to the replicator. The other two walk over to her.
Sa’lol - Hi, sis.
Blavik - Greetings.
Tener - What are you doing here?
Blavik - Doctor Puker wanted me to do a complete inventory of all the equipment stored in the stardrive triage facility.
Tener - That’s just code for he wants to go on a fifteen hour break and doesn’t want anyone looking over his shoulder.
Blavik - I just came down here for some breakfast.
Sa’lol - Tell me: Have you been over to see the Enforcer yet?
Blavik - No. I’ve been counting hyposprays for the last 10 hours. Why?
Tener - It’s a mess. The carpets have been ripped up, the wall panels all removed, half the lights have been taken out, and their crew count is less than half of ours.
Blavik - It is logical to assume they’ve had more battles than us. If we hadn’t been close to a shipyard throughout the last two years we’d all be dead.
Sa’lol - I’ve talked to some of their less-important crew members: Turns out this ship has been in battle after battle. Every battle is the result of “failed diplomatic relations.”
Blavik - Most are.
Sa’lol - Then how come the ship’s diplomatic team consists entirely of Captain Maluco and a secure channel from his ready room?
Blavik - Fascinating. Why are you two down here?
Sa’lol - Because if I have to listen to Commander Talca recount one more story, I’m going to go insane!
Scene 6 - Briefing room. The entire senior staff of the Celestial are barely awake. It’s so early that the ship is still in gray shift and the lights are dimmed everywhere but the briefing room. Captain Maluco and Commander Talca walk in, way too cheerfully.
Maluco - Rise and shine, everyone, rise and shine!
Baque - Kill me now...
Genocide - Take a number...
Talca puts a PADD on the table and uploads something to the wall monitor. The crew sort of glance over at it.
Maluco - Here is a map of Pietian space! Note the irregular shape, for that, my friends, is their weakness!
He grinds his teeth on that last word.
Garell - Whoop dee fucking doo, wake me up when I need to give a shit.
Maluco turns his back to the rest of the crew and fiddles with the monitor. It zooms in on a system.
Maluco - This is their primary shipyard facility. If we knock it out, they won’t be able to launch any kind of counter offensive. They’ll be crippled! So, the Celestial will drop out of warp—
He closes his eyes, waves his hand around, and stabs a finger at a random place on the board.
Maluco - —Here! You’ll then pretend to be damaged and emitting a distress call. While you lure the carrier ships away from the shipyards, the Enforcer will drop right on top of them and tear them to shreds.
Tener (raising his hand) - Question: What happens when all the Pietian ships decide to come after us? Aren’t we literally stirring up a wasp’s nest here?
Talca - We’ve thought of that. Captain Maluco says they will be too disorientated to mount any kind of pursuit. By the time they regroup, we’ll be long gone. I trust his assessment of the situation.
Senseless - Lieutenant Tener makes a good point. This plan is a death trap.
Maluco - Commander, I respect your opinion, but I was plotting strategies when you were writing your entrance exams. I know more about this than you do. The Pietians will be too disoriented to do more than throw insults at us, and we’ll get away without so much as losing a percentage of shielding.
Talca looks like her pride is about to cause the ship to implode.
Senseless - Genocide, what do you think?
Genocide - While I would normally jump at the chance to run headlong into so much mindless carnage, and believe me I’d love to, I don’t see how we could possibly come out the other side except in pieces.
Senseless - Good enough for me, I’ve never known you to make a mistake when it came to a tactical stuff.
Blavik - Except for that time when he accidentally ejected the main deflector—
Puker slaps a hand over her mouth.
Blavik - Mmmafh hmmwme!
Senseless - Captain Maluco, I won’t risk the safety of this ship or the incredibly fragile crew just on your “opinion.”
Maluco - And if it were your ship, I’d respect your decision. However, it’s not your decision to make.
Righteous - That’s right! We’re going to do this! Not because it will be easy—
Garell - Because it won’t be—
Righteous - —And not because it will be fun—
Genocide - And believe me, it will be—
Righteous - —But because it’s the right thing to do! We have a duty to uphold the ideals of peace and justice and something else I can’t recall right now... and by golly, we’re going to do it!
Maluco - That’s the spirit! We leave immediately.
Maluco and Talca leave the briefing room. The rest of the crew just stare at Righteous.
Baque - Have you gone flipping mental!?!
Puker - Captain, how many fingers am I holding up?
Righteous - Three. I’m in perfect health, so don’t try to pull that trick again.
Baque - Okay, then how many fingers am I holding up?
Righteous - Just one. I don’t even need to look to know that. Look, I agree with Captain What’s-his-face and the blue commander person with the antennas.
Garell - Must you feel it necessary to point out skin colours whenever they’re not the same as your own?
Righteous - I do what now? Anyway, you heard the perfectly-sane other captain. Let’s get to it, men! And women. And invited transgendered species. But only if you’re invited...
Everyone gets up and grudgingly leaves the room.
Commercial: Three rabbits are sitting on a log. One goes home and hangs himself... buy a bike!
Scene 7 - Puker and Blavik are on their way to the turbolift at the back of the bridge when Sa’lol and Tener catch up to them.
Sa’lol - Hey, do you guys have time?
Puker - No, we have to go prepare to treat the deaths of the entire crew. What did you want?
Sa’lol - I need one of you to go look more into the history of the Enforcer, particularly the psych results of this Captain Maluco guy. Also, see if you can hack into the Enforcer’s computer and get the personal logs of their chief engineer.
Blavik - Why can’t you do it?
Sa’lol - ‘Cause I’m lazy. Just do it, okay?
Blavik - Very well.
Tener - Meh, I’m bored. I’ll go too.
Puker, Blavik, and Tener get into the turbolift.
Puker - Deck seven.
The doors close and the turbolift rattles away down the tube.
Scene 8 - On the Enforcer’s bridge, which is identical to the Celestial’s (So why do I feel the need to state the obvious? We may never know.), Captain Maluco gets up and presses a button.
Maluco - All hands, this is your captain speaking. As many of you are now aware, we are once again poised to thrust ourselves boldly into battle. Not because we want to, but because we must. In service of a higher cause, one that we can’t hope to understand but must nonetheless strive to act towards. I know we’ve lost many friends, and before our time is up we may lose many more. So let’s make sure none of those lives were extinguished in vain. We ride with our sister ship to fight an enemy so crazed for galactic domination that their hostility will only serve to weaken our resistance to the incoming Borg threat. I know I can count on each and every one of you to perform above and beyond the call of duty. Men, women, some of you may die today, and for that I salute you.
He gives a salute and then closes the channel. He sits back in his chair and Talca leans over and whispers to him.
Talca - Excellent speech, sir, but you already know the crew will follow you anywhere.
Maluco - Yes, but I wonder if the same can be said between the crew of the Celestial and their Captain.
Talca - They seem to know no other way of life. I think they just go along with orders because they’re used to it.
Maluco - Good, I could use people like that.
Talca - What?
Maluco - Nothing.
NoName #4 - Sir, we’re approaching the Pietian shipyard system. The Celestial is veering off and preparing to drop out of warp.
Maluco - Good. (Then, almost inaudibly) Stars, hide your fires... let not light see our black and deep desires...
The camera leaves the Enforcer watching Captain Maluco, who looks crazier by the second.
Scene 9 - In a computer lab on the Celestial, Blavik is pouring through data being sent from Starfleet Command, while Tener tries to keep up merely with the titles of the pages.
Tener - How the hell do you do that?
Blavik - I have a photographic memory. I store the images and then search them for relevant words.
Tener - Anything yet?
Blavik - I just found the Enforcer’s command prefix code. I’m accessing their main computer now.
She hits a few buttons. More pages start flashing by.
Blavik - Most of the crew appear to almost worship their captain. He apparently has a great deal of charisma... wait... It appears there was an altercation between the chief engineer and the captain. The engineer became increasingly convinced that the captain was losing a grip on reality. His last log entry indicates he was becoming convinced that the entire mission was a hoax. He was planning to break communications silence and attempt to contact the Federation and request confirmation of the captain’s orders.
Tener - Nothing after that?
Blavik - The incident with the malfunctioning airlock happened shortly after. I’ve also accessed encrypted internal sensor records from an adjoining corridor to the airlock. They show both the chief engineer and the captain entering, but only the captain leaving. The records for the airlock themselves have been corrupted and are essentially erased.
Tener - Well... looks like he was murdered after all.
Blavik - Lieutenant-Commander Garell was right.
Tener - What exactly was the Enforcer’s mission out here?
Blavik - Let’s see... assigned to the 5th Fleet, under Fleet Admiral Nechayev, was sent to investigate the loss of contact with a Federation colony. Turned out Federation colony was destroyed by the Gorn. Captain Maluco’s wife and children were on the colony. The Enforcer proceeded into Gorn space and attacked various civilian transports due to a lack of actual warships. Wait... I’m cross referencing with the logs. It doesn’t look like the Captain told the crew they were attacking civilian transports: He told them they were weapons convoys. Starfleet ordered the Enforcer to return to face crimes against sentient life, but Maluco broke off contact and the Enforcer was never heard from again.
Tener - Holy shit... we’re letting a crazy, xenocidial maniac plan a military operation! We have to get to the bridge before—
Boom, ship rocks, sparks. The ship goes instantly to red alert.
Senseless (comm) - All hands to battlestations. Don’t ask me why we weren’t at them already, I haven’t a damn clue.
Blavik and Tener run for the doors.
Scene 10 - Bridge. Sa’lol is frowning at her console.
Sa’lol - Uh... wasn’t there supposed to be a shipyard here?
Genocide - There isn’t?
Sa’lol - No, just a Pietian colony. Population 900,000.
Boom, ship rocks, sparks.
Genocide - One Pietian carrier ship, I’m returning fire.
Righteous - Hmm, why would the Prophets want us to attack a Pietian colony?
Baque - What?
Righteous - Captain Maluco said the Prophets told him we needed to stop the Pah-Wraiths.
Tener and Blavik burst onto the bridge.
Tener - Captain Maluco is crazier than a box of tribbles high on LSD dropped into downtown Qo’noS!
Righteous - But he seemed so nice...
Casey - Um, the Enforcer is, like, heading for the system’s sun...
Garell - Why the hell would he do that, roast marsh mellows?
Tener - Or... roast planets!
Sa’lol - Scanning... I’m detecting a trilithium radiation signature in one of the ship’s torpedo launchers!
Senseless - He’s going to blow up the sun!
Righteous - That sounds dangerous. Let’s be somewhere else.
Baque - Aye, Captain Obvious, getting us out of here.
Senseless - No, take us straight to them, maximum warp!
Baque - Have you gone crazy too? If we overshoot them we’ll drop out of warp right in the middle of the sun!
Senseless - We’ve got super-advanced sensors and a redundant navigation system: You’d have to deliberately drop us into the sun... idiot.
Sa’lol - The Pietian’s have detected the trilithium. I’m detecting mass hysteria all over the planet. The carriers are beaming up as many people as possible but they’ll never evacuate the entire colony in two minutes.
Senseless - Then it’s up to use to stop the Enforcer.
Genocide - Query: Why should we give a shit about the fate of the people who have been hell-bent on obliterating us for the last few weeks?
Righteous - Because we’re the good guys and its our job to throw ourselves into the line of fire for people who don’t like us.
Baque - Fine... engaging.
The Celestial jumps to warp.
Scene 11 - Bridge of the Enforcer.
NoName #4 - Sir, I don’t fully understand why we need to blow up the sun in this system to take out the shipyards.
Maluco - You saw the size of the fleet in the data I gave you that was in no way falsified, we have no choice. Besides, one look at the destruction we can create will convince the Pietians we’re not worth having as adversaries.
NoName #5 - Captain, the Celestial is heading our way at warp 9.934. They’re hailing.
Talca - Onscre—
Maluco - Belay that. They’d never push their engines like this in a solar system. They must have been infected with a Pietian virus. Intelligence has been suggesting they’re working on a way to control our ships. The virus rides in on a subspace carrier signal and then takes control of the ship.
NoName #5 - They’re opening a priority one channel.
Maluco - Block it!
Senseless (comm) - This is a populated system, repeat, a civilian planet is in this system. Do not destroy the sun. We have reason to believe Captain Maluco has gone ape-shit on the Pietians. Relieve him of duty pending an investigation.
Maluco hits some buttons on his arm rest and the channel cuts.
NoName #5 - Hey! I was listening to that! Wait... you’re crazy!
Maluco - Ridiculous!
The rest of the bridge crew are sort of hesitant to do anything.
Talca - Tell me, what really happened that night with the malfunctioning airlock?
Maluco - I’m not crazy!
NoName #4 - That’s exactly what a crazy person would say!
Talca - Captain Maluco, I am hereby relieving you of active duty. NoName #4, get us out of here, maximum warp.
Maluco - No!
He takes a phaser and vapourizes Commander Talca. He then aims it back and forth between the other crew on the bridge.
Maluco - Computer, lock out all helm controls, authorization Maluco sigma phi delta. Maintain present course.
Computer - Warning. Present course will kill us all. But your next command will just be “override” so why do I even bother?
NoName #5 - Noooooooooo!!!!
He lunges in slow motion at Maluco, who just fires and kills him. The camera goes back to the Celestial.
Genocide - They’re not slowing down.
Casey - Like, someone’s shooting a phaser on the bridge.
Righteous - Welp, we tried, that’s what counts. Time to go.
Senseless - Casey, transmit the Enforcer’s command prefix code. Lower their shields and start beaming the crew over.
Sa’lol - Done. Their shields are down. Wow, it looks like Casey can count higher than 100.
Casey - Toooolld youuu!
Sa’lol - They only have a crew of 300. We’re getting the last of them now... Shit. Maluco erected a dampening field around the bridge.
Baque - Uh, hate to intrude, but we’re within firing range.
Genocide - Captain? Commander? Some orders please?
Sa’lol - I’ve got everyone I can get. But... never mind, he killed the last of them.
Senseless - Genocide, target the Enforcer’s warp core. We’ll only get one chance.
Genocide - Target locked. Loading quantum torpedoes.
Senseless - Casey, open a channel.
Casey - Beep!
The camera goes to the Enforcer’s bridge, where Maluco, practically rabid, is surrounded by burn marks on the carpet and working the helm console.
Righteous (Comm) - The jig is up, Mr. Bad Captain Dude, we know all about your little domestic troubles and your disobeying of orders. We’ve got your entire crew locked away in our cargo bay and it’ll be easy to convince them you were nuts. Lower the damning field or whatever and let us beam you over so we can lock you up forever! The alternative, so I’m told, is death. Sounds like a bad alternative.
Malcuo says nothing, but reaches for a button on his console. The camera goes back to the Celestial.
Casey - Like, he’s firing a torpedo at the sun!
Senseless - Genocide!
Genocide - Oooh, I’m so on it, it’s not even funny.
The camera watches as the Celestial fires a phaser blast and takes out the torpedo before it impacts the sun. The Enforcer swings about and starts phasering the Celestial.
Sa’lol - Funny how he never thought to use our prefix code against us.
Baque - Well, he is crazy. Let’s cut him some slack.
Sa’lol - And he’s loading another trilithium torpedo.
Righteous - Would someone please end this already?
Genocide - Music to my ears.
Genocide hits another button and the Celestial unloads four quantum torpedoes right into the USS Enforcer’s unshielded stardrive section. They pound through the hull and the last one impacts and breaches the warp core. The stardrive blows up, sending the nacelles spinning away, tearing themselves into burning pieces. The forward section continues spinning end over end for a while, then it too explodes into a billion pieces just because it can.
Tener - Well, as Doctor Puker always says—
Puker walks onto the bridge.
Puker - As I always say, all’s well that ends well. We solved the mystery of why it always seemed we were the only Celestial-class ship around, saved our mortal enemies, and gained over 300 crew members, bringing our total complement up to just over 1,000. By the way, that’s too many to keep up good morale.
Righteous - Agreed. Genocide, you’re in charge of crew morale.
Genocide - Got it.
He presses some buttons and the camera watches as all over the ship, in random places, phaser turrets lower from the ceiling and shoot unsuspecting crewmembers. Genocide’s voice booms over the carnage.
Genocide (comm) - Attention all personnel: The random murders will continue until morale improves! Also we’ve got a movie night planned for this Thursday. Anyone still alive by then is welcome to attend. Bring your friends.
Back on the bridge, the crew are either rolling their eyes or groaning or both.
Senseless - You’ve got a real way with people, don’t you?
Genocide - It’s a gift.