Special Guest Star: Robert Smith as “The Cure-Taker” (you knew it had to happen eventually...)
“Captain’s Log: Stardate: 55555.5 — Oh Cool! Look at all those fives!! Anyways, we went to the Badlands and they managed to sweep us back into the Delta Quadrant. In fact, we are just a few hours away from the Ocampa Homeworld. My crew and I have gone into exile and so therefore we are some 75,000 light years from Earth... That was one hell of a reset button. But I’m afraid this is what had to be done. Or Starfleet would have locked us away forever.”
Tuvok suddenly pages Janeway to the bridge. Then Tuvok says to Janeway, “Captain! I just noticed this transmission from Starfleet Command. It was transmitted to us just before we entered the Badlands.”
Janeway turns to Chakotay and says, “Okay, little buddy. Put it onscreen.”
Chakotay growls, “How many times do I have to tell you?? I’m not Gilligan!!” With that, Chakotay puts the message on screen.
The message is Admiral Paris saying, “Captain Janeway. We just can’t do this anymore... We gotta tell you the truth. We were just messing with you. We were making it look like we hated you on Earth. It was just a practical joke for that TV show: Candid Holo-Image. So, none of you are in any trouble. In fact, we were going to give you all a huge bonus check. So just turn around and come on back home...”
The message terminates and the bridge crew stands there... Their jaws have pretty much dropped to the floor. Janeway says, “Oh dear. Heh heh. Looks like we shouldn’t have been so hasty...”
Kim is not very happy, “Janeway!! You mean we’re stuck out here again for absolutely no real reason??”
Janeway replies, “I’m ‘fraid so Harry... Sorry.”
Kim then says, “You are mean, aren’t you?!?”
Janeway responds by giving Harry a little wink. Tuvok interrupts and says, “Captain!! I don’t know how this is possible, but the long-range sensors are showing an array, just like the one that the Caretaker had. Well, except it looks like this new array has cable TV.”
Janeway says, “Hot damn! Set a course for the array!”
Suddenly the alarms start bleeping like crazy. Tuvok says, “Holy buckets, Irene! I’m showing four Kazon ships on an intercept course!”
Janeway says, “Hail them, Mr. Tuvok!!”
Tuvok then says, “Yes, Captain. Tuvok to the Weather Service... Please prepare the hailstones... We are going to shoot them at the Kazon.”
Janeway says, “Tuvok, you pedantic drone. I meant put them on screen!”
So then, First Maje Culluh and good old Seska appear onscreen. Janeway is shocked to see Seska alive and well and on board the Kazon ship. Janeway says, “Seska!! You are supposed to be dead!! How is this possible?? I demand a plausible explanation!”
Seska says, “Well Captain, you see I was at the Manzar Colony and...” Culluh interrupts, “None of your business, Janeway. You are going to surrender your ship to me, or I’ll destroy you.”
Janeway (the eternal smart-ass) answers, “Hey, Culluh. You wanna come up with something a little more original... You’re beginning to sound like the Legion of Doom!” Culluh is angry, “You watch your step Janeway, or you’ll be sorry.”
Janeway pushes further, “And, by the way, go a little easy on the hair gel. You Kazon look like you have cement growing out of the top of your head!”
With that, Culluh breaks down into tears. Seska is mad and she says, “Eventually, Janeway, you will pay for what you’ve done to my snooky-bear Culluh. But for right now, we have to jump to super-fast warp speed.”
Chakotay asks, “Why the super-fast warp speed?”
Seska replies, “Chakotay, you dolt. How else are we going to keep bumping into you and getting ahead of Voyager unless we go that fast?”
And at that moment, The Kazon jump to warp speed. Then Janeway, who has grown tired of saying her line over and over and over, simply holds up a big sign which reads: “I doubt we’ve seen the last of them...”
Meanwhile... In Voyager’s Brig...
Odo-Kes says, “Okay... Do you have any jacks??”
Kes replies, “Go fish.”
Odo-Kes asks, “How long we been here now?”
Kes answers, “At least four chapters... But hey, its a multi-episode story arc, so who am I to complain...”
Meanwhile...back on the Bridge...
Voyager arrives at this new array that they’ve discovered. Janeway hails them, expecting to see the Caretaker. But instead, a guy wearing all black and some blood-red lipstick shows up on screen.
Janeway asks, “Who the heck are you?? This array should belong to the Caretaker!”
The man says, “I am the Caretaker’s brother-in-law...I’m the Cure-Taker. And this is my array. Don’t you remember that you destroyed the Caretaker’s array?”
Janeway replies, “Oh yeah. Jeez, I forgot. Gotta love those tricobalt devices.”
At that moment, the Cure-Taker says, “Anyways, I was just getting ready to take my escape pod and go on a four week Delta Quadrant tour, so if you’ll excuse me.” With that, the transmission ends and the Cure-Taker leaves in his escape pod.
The crew turns to Janeway who holds up a sign that says, “You pedantic drone.” The crew gives Janeway a few strange looks. Then Janeway says, “Oops!! Sorry, wrong sign.” With that, Janeway holds up the “I doubt we’ve seen the last of him...” sign.
So Janeway ponders her next decision. She then says, “Okay. Well obviously we can go back home and all will be good. So I suggest we set a course toward home. We need to take the most direct route possible.”
Janeway looks at the array and then says to the crew, “According to my calculations, if we went around that array, it would add 47 seconds to our trip back to Earth. Not very efficient if you ask me. So I intend to destroy the array. By doing so, we will shave 47 seconds off our trip.”
Torres then says, “What?? That array is the only way we have to get back home. I bet if you took a vote, the whole crew would agree not to destroy the array.”
Janeway answers, “But Torres, the array is in the way. Oh cool, that was a little rhyme. But very well, we can take a vote with the crew.”
So the ballots are cast. The final tally:
- Vote to not destroy array: 147 votes.
- Vote to definitely destroy array: 1 vote.
Torres says, “See, Captain. Nobody else thinks we should destroy it.”
Janeway then says, “Oh and what is this, the Starship Democracy?? Hell no, I’m the Captain of my ship, so what I say goes... Destroy the array... now!!”
With that, the new array is blown to smithereens. Chakotay pulls Janeway aside and says, “Captain. You shouldn’t have destroyed that array. We could have used it to get back to Earth.”
Janeway replies, “Oh wow. We could have, couldn’t we?? That would have been a really good idea... Sorry ‘bout that...”
A little while later, Janeway gathers the crew together for a little pep talk:
“We’re alone... In a somewhat charted part of the galaxy. We’ve already made some good episodes here... And some bad ones. Commander Chakotay and I have agreed that this should be one crew: a Starfleet crew. And we will never mention the Maquis on this ship again. We’ll be looking for wormholes and new technologies to get us home quicker. Well, screw the wormholes, they never really helped us much at all, huh? But we will try to get some new technology... But you people can’t ever get stuff to work for long periods of time, so don’t hold your breath in the new technology department... Anyways, Mr. Paris: set a course for home!”
Meanwhile... on a sunny beach in Acapulco:
A voice says, “Hey!! Holo-Janeway, Sisko, Locutus, Kirk and Khan, I hope you enjoyed your brief vacation, but you better start packing your bags... You’ll probably be in Chapter 30.”
(And if that’s not intrigue, I don’t know what is... )