The Voyager Coronary III: The Search for Cureboy, Part I
Written by Dan Carlson, aka “MinutiaeMan”
Published February 1, 2001
This special story is dedicated to our friend Cureboy. I sincerely hope that he’ll come back soon! In the meantime, I will humbly try to fill his shoes for this special chapter in the ongoing saga of The Voyager Coronary...
“Captain’s Log, Stardate: It’s Miller Time! We have set a course towards home... again. Chakotay is finally dead, thank God. We destroyed his ship in the Marinara Nebula at the end of the last movie. But before his ship was destroyed, he managed to take a few potshots at us with his BB gun. In just a few short volleys, he destroyed our shields, phasers, the warp core, the computer core, our CD player, and the tennis court. The damage to Voyager has been extreme, but we should have it all repaired by morning. Tuvok’s dead too... we think. The Doctor forgot to check his pulse before we dumped his body into space. Anyways, I’ve been having disturbing premonitions lately. Something tells me that disaster is coming for the Federation...”
Seven of Nine speaks up from her post in Astrometrics, “Captain, I am detecting an anomaly. Absolutely nothing is decloaking off the port bow.” Janeway says, “And I care because....?” Seven replies, “I was under the impression that a vessel or object was supposed to decloak off the port bow following every opening captain’s log. Yet there is nothing out there.” Janeway is becoming concerned. She orders, “Run a full quantum-level tri-matrix imaging scan. Do you see anything out there?” Mr. Kim answers, “No, ma’am. Nothing.” Janeway growls, “For the last time, Harry, it’s not crunch time yet! Hail Starfleet Command!” Harry says, “Yes, ma— uh, I mean— aye, captain!”
A surly Starfleet Lieutenant appears on the viewscreen. Janeway says, “This is Captain Janeway of the starship Voyager. There’s nothing going on around here. It’s supposed to be a big, exciting movie! Explosions, battles, holodeck malfunctions, the whole forty-seven yards! What gives?” The surly Starfleet Lieutenant replies, “You’ve been recalled, Captain. Starfleet wants you back at Earth immediately! The Admiral has some important news for you.” And he cuts the connection.
Janeway is excited. “Wow! I’m excited! I wonder who ‘The Admiral’ is...” She comes out of her reverie. “Mr. Paris, set a course towards Earth, maximum warp!” Paris asks, “‘Maximum warp’? Why is it always ‘maximum warp’? How come we never get to go at minimum warp instead?” Janeway walks over and smacks Paris on the head. “Because then it would take us the rest of this chapter just to get where we’re supposed to be, you pedantic drone!”
Several hours later... Voyager has arrived at Earth...
A bored Starfleet space traffic controller assigns Voyager a docking port at Spacedock 47. Janeway orders, “Take us in, Lieutenant.” Mr. Paris speaks up, “Um, Captain? I should tell you that I’ve never piloted a starship into spacedock before.” Janeway replies, “That’s all right, Lieutenant, neither have I.” Paris protests, “But Captain, you’re not the one doing the flying! I don’t even know how to parallel park!” Janeway says, “Never mind that, Tom. Just take us in!”
So Voyager flies into spacedock. As Voyager pulls up to the curb, though, the side of the ship crashes into the airlock! Paris exclaims, “Whoops! Heh heh... Sorry about that...” He activates the reverse gear, backs out a ways, and tries again.
The ship is finally docked, mostly safe and sound, right next to Starfleet’s newest ship, the USS Excellent. The crew is impressed by the latest in starship engineering. “She’s supposed to have super-duper warp drive,” Janeway comments. Torres says, “Aye, an’ i’ mae gran’mamae ha’ wheel’s, she’ be’a wag’n!” The Doctor butts in, “That’s a pitiful Scottish accent, Torres...”
The station dockmaster beams onto the Bridge with a surprise announcement. “All right, everyone, listen up! Voyager is going to be decommissioned!”
Janeway shrieks, “What??!!”
The dockmaster explains, “You see, Captain, Voyager’s been through a lot lately. It can’t take many more of these adventures.” Janeway is shocked, and asks “Why??? The ship is in perfect shape! In fact... it’s in ship-shape! Even though we’ve spent more than seven years in the Delta Quadrant, fighting countless battles against vastly superior forces with no support of our own, Voyager is in perfect condition!” The dockmaster replies, “Yeah, I know. But don’t forget General Order 7477X47.40-Z: ‘A starship shall not feature in more than three movies before it is severely damaged, decommissioned, or destroyed.’ Your time is up, Janeway!” With that, he beams back to his office.
Janeway vows to save her ship from the depressing Starfleet bureaucracy and takes the matter straight to the Chief of Starfleet Operations himself... Admiral Rick Berman.
A short while later...
Janeway bursts into Admiral Berman’s office. She shouts, “I demand to know what’s going on! Why are you trying to cancel... I mean decommission Voyager??”
Berman explains, “You see, Captain, we’ve had some exciting ideas lately. My partner Mini-Rick and I are currently developing two fascinating concepts which will bring new life to the Federation franchise. We call them ‘Trek X’ and ‘Series V’!” Janeway is flabbergasted. “You mean you’re taking Voyager off the air? Even though it’s still going strong? Even though there are still stories to tell about our grand adventures?” Berman apologizes, “I’m sorry, but it’s company policy. A ship can only be in service for seven straight years, then we pull the plug.”
Janeway asks, “I’ve heard rumors that these two secret projects won’t be ready anytime soon... Wouldn’t you want to keep Voyager active so Starfleet actually has a ship that’s doing something important out there?” Berman says, “Nah... We’ve got this backup plan in case everything goes haywire... we call it Star Trek: Excellent!”
There’s nothing Janeway can do at this point... So the Voyager crew assembles for what may be the last time. (Actually, it’s nowhere near the last time and we all know it, but give me a little dramatic license here, okay?)
Admiral Berman’s assistant Captain Brannon “Mini-Rick” Braga comes aboard to hand out the crew’s new assignments...
Seven of Nine is transferred to the USS Excellent, as the new Chief Engineer. Braga explains, “See, your character offers huge ratings potential — if we put your character on the Excellent right away, the show’ll be an instant hit! Those teenage guys really love those tight catsuits of yours, you know...” Seven is not pleased and growls, “I know somebody who won’t be getting any tonight...”
Next, Captain Braga turns to Ensign Kim. He says, “Mr. Kim, I’m pleased to tell you that you’ve been promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Commander!” The crew is shocked! “How can Harry get promoted?” Paris shouts. Braga says, “Mr. Kim, you’re being appointed First Mate... I mean First Officer... of the USS Minnow!” And Braga puts the brand-new pips on his collar. Harry is overcome with joy. “Wow... I finally made it....”
Braga then says, “Mr. Paris, I understand you’re the one who... um, ‘piloted’ Voyager into spacedock, correct? Well, you’re just going to have to repair the damage you did! Your work detail starts tomorrow morning at 0530. Be there on time!” Paris is naturally ticked off, but he’s stuck.
B’Elanna is mad. “How dare you treat my hubby like that???” Braga says, “Excuse me, but I’m the Executive Producer around here! Oh, and by the way, B’Elanna... you’re going to prison for joining the Maquis rebellion all those years ago. Even though you’ve saved Voyager from annihilation hundreds of times since then... Take her away, boys!” And B’Elanna is beamed off the ship...
Finally, Braga turns to the Doctor. “Doctor, I’ve heard so much about you! Doctor Zimmerman has told me about how you helped save his life last season...” The Doctor is flattered. “Really?? How is dear old Dad?” Braga replies, “Oh, he’s doing just fine. But he’s really annoyed that you never sent him any letters after you got back to Voyager. He’s been quite bitter about it. Oh, and he asked me to deactivate your program.” And with a few taps on the console, the Doctor vanishes...
With the crew reassignments handed out, Braga gets ready to beam out. But as he’s about to leave, he says to Janeway, “Oh, by the way, captain... we’ve just instituted a new fleet-wide directive: all replicators are to be reprogrammed to make only decaf!
Janeway screams in horror...
A little while later...
The remaining former crew of the starship Voyager meet in a sleazy hotel room in a bad quarter of San Francisco, plotting to retake their ship. Janeway, Ensign... I mean, Lt. Commander Kim... and Seven of Nine and Mr. Paris. As they get down to business, there’s a knock on the door. Mr. Kim goes to see who’s there, and finds that old schmuck Reg Barclay standing in the hall.
Naturally, he starts stuttering as soon as he begins to speak. “H-hh-HI! Uh... I h-heard tthaat you g-got ki-cked off-uh-of Voy-ager. I j-just wa-anted to sssseee if there-ere was any-thing I uh... I could do to hu-help-p?” Harry looks at Janeway, and just rolls his eyes. Janeway reminds Mr. Kim, “Well, we are missing more than half of the crew... we could probably use an extra hand or two.” Harry asks, “Even if he’s as clumsy as Barclay?” Seven says, “Oh, like you’re any better at helping out in a crisis...” So Barclay joins the Voyager conspirators.
Then, someone else knocks on the door... and Commander Riker walks in. Janeway is impressed this time and says, “Commander, so good of you to come! We’d love to have your help, too!” Riker replies, “Nah, I’m not here to help. I’m just directing this movie, and thought I should pop in for a 47-second cameo. See you later...”
Just as the conspirators are finally about to get started, there’s another knock on the door! Janeway yells, “Unless it’s Juan Valdez out there, I don’t want to hear it!” The door opens... and B’Elanna walks in. “Miss me?” she asks. Mr. Paris exclaims, “B’Elanna! How’d you get out of prison??” Torres responds, “Oh, I just told them I needed to take a short walk and get some fresh air...”
So now, the crew finally gets down to business. Janeway, Mr. Kim, Seven, B’Elanna, Mr. Paris... oh, and Mr. Barclay too.
Later that day...
For once, the plan goes off without a hitch. Seven steals the tiny microchip which is the miraculous super-duper warp drive from the starship Excellent, and the Voyagers manage to sneak past the guards at the airlock while Barclay engages them in pointless conversation. The only thing they forget is to wait for Reg to catch up after frightening away the guards... Actually they didn’t forget, they told him that his shoelaces were untied and ran on ahead when he stopped to fix them.
Unfortunately, things soon start to fall apart. As Torres revs the engines to make their great escape, the Spacedock goes on security alert and closes the space doors! Voyager is trapped! Janeway says, “Hmmm.... maybe we should’ve thought of that earlier. Mr. Kim, I need some really good technobabble to get those doors open, and I need it now!” Harry says, “I’ve got a better idea, Captain... let’s blast the doors open with our phasers instead.” Janeway is impressed and says, “I’m impressed, Mr. Kim! That’s a great idea. Make it so! ...uh... I mean, Do it!”
So Voyager blasts its way through the space doors and makes its escape.
Meanwhile, in Engineering...
B’Elanna and Seven are working frantically to hook up the super-duper warp drive microchip, but Voyager’s warp core conveniently isn’t equipped with the right leads. Seven says, “I do not understand. It was my impression that all Starfleet technology is interchangeable.” B’Elanna retorts, “Well, what did you expect? Voyager’s been out of touch for the last seven years, why would you think that everything would remain perfectly the same?!”
Out in space, trouble is brewing. The USS Excellent has been ordered to recapture Voyager, and the Excellent opens fire. Janeway says, “Hmmm... maybe we should’ve thought of that earlier... Mr. Paris, get us out of here!” Paris panics, “I can’t! B’Elanna and Seven haven’t got the warp drive online yet!” As Voyager continues to rumble with blasts from the Excellent, Lt. Ayala, the security guy at Tactical, calls out, “Captain, the ship’s falling apart! Shields are down! Impulse engines are down! A light bulb just blew out on deck 13!!!” Janeway says, “Ayala! You’re not supposed to speak, buddy. You’re a dead man now...” Ayala shouts, “But Captain, the situation is desperate!”
Janeway says, “Fine, I’ll deal with you later...” She sits down melodramatically. “We have no choice. All hands: this is the Captain. I am enacting the Voyager Directive! Plot holes and continuity are suspended for the remainder of this episode!”
Down in Engineering, B’Elanna finally tries a radical procedure — she just slaps the chip onto the side of the warp core. Miraculously, it works! On the Bridge, Ayala reports, “Power’s back online, Captain! Shields and phasers are at 300%.” Janeway says, “Nice work, Torres and Seven! Ayala, fire at will!”
Meanwhile... Jonathan Frakes is over by the catering table grabbing a doughnut and some coffee. Suddenly, a gigantic phaser beam comes out of nowhere and blasts him into oblivion! Janeway shouts, “Dammit, Ayala, I didn’t mean fire at Will Riker, I meant fire when you’re ready!” Ayala says, “Sorry, Captain...”
Voyager opens fire on the Excellent... the barrage overwhelms the Excellent’s shields almost immediately, and starts blasting its hull to pieces. Within seconds, the Excellent is destroyed! Janeway says, “Excellent! Uh... I mean, well done!”
A little while later...
The crew is gathered on the bridge to hear Janeway’s pep talk.
“We’re alone. In a very well-charted part of the galaxy. We’ve made plenty of enemies so far in this movie alone. Pretty much the entire Federation is mad at us right now, and Admiral Berman is undoubtedly trying to shut us down at this very moment. It’s clear that we will have to work together in order to survive. But our primary goal is obvious: we must find a way to save the Federation from its own shortsightedness. And there’s only one man for that job...”
B’Elanna exclaims, “You mean....”
Janeway continues, “Yes! The master of The Voyager Coronary himself! We must find Cureboy! He’s our last, best hope for... oh, wait. Wrong show. Uh, anyways, we must find this man and bring him back. The future of Starfleet may depend on it!” Janeway orders, “Mr. Paris, set a course for the Toyota Homeworld!” Mr. Kim is surprised and asks, “The Toyota Homeworld?? Why the heck do we want to go there?” Janeway replies, “I dunno. But we’ve gone there in every movie since the first one, and I have a feeling that this flick will have something to do with it too. Engage the super-duper warp drive, maximum warp!”
Paris grumbles, “I really wish she’d order ‘minimum warp’ just once...”
And Voyager heads off on its noble crusade...
To Be Continued...