Episode 120: “Big Bad Bugs”
Written by “Krenim”
Published May 2, 2005
Way out in the middle of nowhere, the USS Generic Starship was in the midst of an otherwise completely boring mission involving counting the number of helium atoms in an entire sector.
Captain Not-Important-Enough-To-Have-A-Real-Name slumped in his chair. “How’s it going?”
Lt. Commander Also-Not-Important-Enough-To-Have-A-Real-Name answered, “Getting there. So far I’ve counted 47,365,784,234,832,787 helium atoms. Or was it 47,365,784,234,832,788? Oh man, I lost count! I’ll have to start all over! One... Two... Three...”
“You’ve been counting them yourself?”
“You know a better way to count helium atoms?”
“That’s what we have a computer for.”
“A computer? Counting? Preposterous!”
“You imbecile! No wonder we’ve been at this mission for 47 years! Computer, begin counting the number of helium atoms in this sector.”
Well, I could do that, or I could warn you about the weird metal bug things flying through space at us.
“We’ve been at this mission for 47 years, I just want those helium atoms counted!”
Fine, it’s your funeral.
Several minutes later, the ship shook. Captain Not-Important-Enough-To... Heck, I’m not taking the time to write that out again. The captain asked, “Computer, what was that?”
Remember those metal bugs that you didn’t want me to warn you about?
“No, because you didn’t warn us about them.”
Well, they’ve breached the hull on Deck 3. And they’re making more of themselves.
“Really? How many of them are there?”
I would know, except I’ve been counting helium atoms instead.
“Fine, count the number of metal bugs onboard.”
Processing. 4747 metal bugs are onboard.
They appear to have gotten to a replicator.
“Can we get rid of them?”
Nope, they are immune to internal defenses. Phaser beams are having no effect.
“Well, at least we know why we’re not important enough to have names. We die in the first five minutes of the episode.”
Lt. Commander Also-Not-Important... The other guy piped up. “Five minutes? It took you five minutes to read this scene? How slowly do you read?”
Some time later, Captain Braxton was summoned to Admiral Crusher’s office. “You wanted to see me, sir?”
“‘Wanted’ is such a strong word. Starfleet Command has lost touch with the USS Generic Starship. Its last transmission indicates that it’s been taken over... by Replicators.”
“Aha! I knew replicators were evil! All of their making things we want appear out of thin air! Evil, I say!”
“Braxton, I’d insult you, but quite frankly, I’ve exhausted my supply of synonyms for ‘idiot.’ Not replicators, Replicators. Capital R. Nasty robotic bugs from the Stargate universe.”
”Stargate universe? How’d they get here?”
“Considering how Janeway’s new chief engineer is Apophis, I’m betting they came with him. Regardless, I want you to stop those Replicators before they endanger the rest of the galaxy.”
“Why is it that I always get all these crazy assignments? Where the heck is the rest of Starfleet?”
“Who cares? It’s your show. Now get going!”
A little while later, the Relativity dropped out of hyperwarp near the Generic Starship. “Dax, scan that ship!”
Dax pressed a few buttons. “It’s full of Replicators. And replicators. Apparently the Replicators are replicating replicators. Or the replicators are replicating Replicators. Or the replicators are Replicating replicators. Or...”
“Shut up, Dax! There’s only one thing to do in a situation like this... Run away!”
Ducane rolled his eyes. “No, sir, we have to go over there and stop the Replicators.”
“Why? Why do we have to?”
“Because if we don’t, it’ll be a really boring episode.”
“We don’t want to get cancelled, do we? First Enterprise, then us?”
“Pfft. We’ve already done the whole cancellation thing, remember? Didn’t work out. We couldn’t be cancelled even if nobody was reading this.”
“But... But... Okay, you got me there. Running away it is, then.”
Dax’s console started playing the Battlestar Galactica theme song. “Sir, the Generic Starship is hailing us.”
“Don’t answer. Pretend we’re not here.”
“Too late. Whoever it is says they know we’re here, and that they’re inviting us to dinner over there.”
In his worst Russian accent, Braxton responded, “Guess who’s not coming to dinner...”
Ducane rolled his eyes. “Not us. Starfleet General Order 99 states that, if invited to dinner by the enemy, we have to go.”
“Ugh. Fine. Dax, let them know we’ll be over shortly, and that they’d better have spaghetti.”
The Relativity’s senior staff beamed into the Generic Starship’s mess hall. Although it was rather dark, there was a large table with lots of delicious food (including spaghetti) on it. Many Replicators were crawling on the walls.
Braxton called out. “Hello?”
A mysterious figure clad in black emerged from the shadows. It was... Seven of Nine?
The Doctor’s holographic eyes bugged out of his holographic head. “Seven? What the devil are you doing here? And shouldn’t...”
Braxton interrupted. “That’s my phrase! Ahem... Shouldn’t you be dead by now?”
“I am not Seven of Nine. I am Seventh, a human-form Replicator. I command the Replicators on this vessel. Once this ship’s replicators finish replicating Replicators, we shall spread out and assimilate the galaxy!”
Braxton whipped out a phaser rifle. “Assimilate this!”
The phaser beam didn’t affect Seventh. “I think you’ll find your energy weapons completely useless here. Please, have a seat. Have some food. You’ll need your strength when I stick my fingers in your brains and read your minds.”
Braxton shrugged and began shovelling spaghetti into his face. Ducane tapped his communicator. “Ducane to Relativity, beam us back!”
Nothing happened. Seventh smiled. “I’ve raised shields. You can’t beam back.”
Everyone except Braxton huddled together. Ducane whispered, “Okay, we need a new plan...”
Kes answered, “I say we let her read Braxton’s mind first. Remember what his brain’s like? His thoughts should fry her, or at the very least momentarily stun her.”
“Good plan. I guess we have a seat, then.”
Everybody sat down. Several minutes later, Braxton belched loudly. “That was great! I’m stuffed!”
Seventh got up. “I’m glad you think so. Now it’s time to read your mind.”
Her fingers slid through Braxton’s skull, a feeling that Braxton did not find too pleasant. “It feels like the New Kids on the Block got back together and are doing a tour in my cerebral cortex!”
Seventh seemed to be having an equally unpleasant time. “Holy cow, that’s an empty brain! You must have the attention span of a flea!”
Braxton responded with, “Who are you again?”
Seventh suddenly seemed interested. “Hey, what’s this? An implant? Seems pretty advanced, too! Let me just see if I can... Hey... What the... My hand’s stuck! That stupid implant latched itself onto my hand!”
Ducane leaped up out of his seat. “Of course! The Borg tech is trying to assimilate the Replicator tech! Sir, try to use the link between you and Seventh to shut down the Replicators!”
Braxton, however, had that expression on his face. That expression that he hadn’t had for a few years now. That expression when he was having one of his temporal psychosis episodes. “Look at all the pretty flowers... I must drink their nectar!”
And with that, Braxton got up, started flapping his arms like a hummingbird, and ran himself into the wall over and over. Seventh was along for the ride, as her fingers were still stuck in Braxton’s head. A more comic situation you could not imagine. (Well, okay, I’m sure you could imagine, but it would take some effort.)
The normal bug-shaped Replicators began falling to pieces, disintegrating into dust. Damar whipped out a tricorder and began taking readings. “It looks like Braxton’s temporal psychosis is causing the Replicator network to overload.”
Eventually, all the Replictors turned to dust. Seventh, battered and bruised from being run into the wall with Braxton over and over, seemed relieved when she finally disintegrated. Braxton fell to the ground unconscious.
“First Officer’s Log: All the Replicators have been destroyed, and we have returned to the Relativity. Luckily, there appears to be no damage to Captain Braxton’s implant, and other than a bunch of bruises and a concussion, Captain Braxton himself appears okay.”
Ducane, Damar, and the Doctor huddled around a viewscreen in Sickbay. The Doctor was explaining what happened. “When Braxton’s Borg implant came in contact with the Replicator, it attempted to assimilate it. However, it wasn’t designed to assimilate anything, so it malfunctioned and triggered a temporal psychosis episode. The overflow of information was spread out to all the Replicators, destroying them all.”
Damar pointed to the scans of the implant. “The implant seems okay.”
“Yes, when Seventh disintegrated, the implant resumed normal functioning.”
Ducane walked over to Braxton, who was asleep on one of Sickbay’s beds. “How long is he going to be out?”
“Not too much longer. I’ve gotten good at repairing his cranial trauma over the years.”
“Well, while he’s sleeping off his injuries, I’m going to get something to eat. It was hard to resist all that replicated food. Or is that Replicated food? Oh well...”
And with that, Ducane headed off to the mess hall.
The Relativity in the clutches of the Ferengi? How can this be? Find out in the next mind-bogglingly strange episode!