The Relativity had been barreling through intergalactic space as fast as its patched-together hyperwarp drive would allow for several days. All of a sudden, Jadzia’s console started playing the theme song from Family Guy. Jadzia, however, seemed completely unaware of that fact.
Yar, along with the rest of the senior staff, glared at her. “Well?”
Jadzia, in her blissfully stupid state, answered, “Well what?”
“Aren’t you going to answer that?”
“Your console! You programmed it to play theme songs instead of beep incessantly, remember?”
Jadzia checked her console. “It says that the sensors have detected a star system.”
Yar rolled her eyes. “You’ve got to be reading that incorrectly. We’re in the middle of the intergalactic void. There’s nothing out here.”
The ship’s computer interrupted Yar’s ranting. Nope, there’s a star out there. The intergalactic void isn’t totally empty, you know.
“Since when are you the ship’s science officer, computer?”
Since the ship’s science officer became a total moron.
As if to illustrate the computer’s point, Jadzia was sticking a fork into a toaster.
Kes rolled her eyes this time. “I don’t know what scarier: the fact that she’s sticking a fork in a toaster or the fact that she has a toaster on the bridge.”
Braxton pointed at Xaronna. “Set a course for the star. Maximum hyperwarp.”
Several minutes later, Jadzia’s console started playing the Brady Bunch. Rather than wait for Jadzia, Yar tossed her out of her chair and checked the console herself. “The sensors are detecting an energy signature.”
Braxton turned to face Yar. “So there’s some kind of civilization way out here?”
“I wouldn’t say a civilization. There’s one space station. And... Whoa!”
“The ship’s identified the energy signature.”
“It has? Who do we know that would be out in the middle of nowhere?”
Kes’ eyes bugged out of her head. “It’s what?!?!”
Braxton typically replied, “Let’s pretend I have no idea what that means.”
Jadzia grinned. “Yay, it’s pretend time!”
Kes had composed herself enough to explain. “The Nacene! As in the Caretaker! The one who transported Voyager across the galaxy in the first place!”
Jadzia shook her head. “But we’re not in a galaxy, so that doesn’t help us.”
Braxton asked, “Is this really what all of you go through with me?”
“Set a course for the space station.”
Several minutes later, the Relativity dropped out of hyperwarp next to an all-too-familiar station.
Braxton kept his eye on the station, which looked really familiar. “Yar, hail the station.”
The Relativity launched several icy spheres at the station.
“Oh come on! Do you have any idea how long I’ve been waiting for the perfect setup for that joke?”
“Fine. Hailing the station.”
The image of the station was replaced by that of...
”Soval?!?! Shouldn’t you be dead by now?”
Kes cleared her throat. “Sir, right actor, wrong character. If I may?”
“By all means.”
”Tanis?!?! Shouldn’t you be dead by now?”
Sure enough, it was Tanis on the viewscreen, the totally evil Ocampa that Kes had first met five hundred years ago onboard Suspiria’s Array. “Yes, it is I, Tanis! Finally come crawling back to me after five hundred years to finish my totally evil lessons, Kes?”
“Heck no! Wait a minute... If you’re out here, then this is... Suspiria’s Array!”
“It’s Suspiria’s Summer Array, where she goes to get away from it all for vacations. After all, how much farther away from it all can you get than the intergalactic void?”
“Yeah, well, do you think you could power up the displacement wave generator and send us back to the Milky Way Galaxy?”
“Nope. I don’t really feel like it, being totally evil and all. And even if I did, Suspiria gets really mad if I touch her stuff without permission.”
“Then maybe you could give her a call and get her out here?”
“Yeah. She’s still really miffed with Starfleet even after five centuries. You can try to plead your case to her, but odds are she’ll just try and kill you all.”
Braxton grinned. “Might as well play the odds. After all, we’ve had so many highly improbable things happen to us lately. Are we sure we haven’t bumbled into the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy universe by accident?”
And so, the Relativity crew waited patiently for Suspiria to show up. Well, all except one...
Kes stared at the banana split in front of her as she sat in the Mess Hall. Braxton walked up to her. “Banana split?”
“I swear, if you ask why I don’t have a chocolate sundae instead, I will grab your tongue and ram it so far down your right ear that you’ll be able to taste what your left ear is hearing.”
“Ow. So what’s the matter?”
“It’s been over a year since I lost my nearly-omnipotent powers sealing away the Vaadwaur’s subspace domain. I miss them, and they most certainly could have come in handy lately. Tanis’ lessons could help me regain my powers, but both he and his lessons are totally evil.”
“How totally evil?”
“The last time he taught me, I reduced Voyager’s entire hydroponics bay to ash.”
“Well, do you think that you could get the lessons without the evil?”
“I doubt it.”
“What about this Suspiria person? If she taught these Ocampa how to use their powers, could she help you?”
“Hmm... That’s an idea. I should ask her when she gets here. You know, if she doesn’t try to kill us and stuff.”
Damar’s voice came over the comm. “Damar to Braxton. There’s a creepy little girl here in Main Engineering.”
Kes sighed. “That’d be her. Let’s go.”
A few minutes later, Braxton and Kes arrived in Main Engineering to find Damar and the rest of the engineering crew unconscious on the floor. Suspiria, still in the form of a creepy little girl after all these years, stood by the hyperwarp core. “Captain Braxton, I presume? And Kes?”
Kes eyed Suspiria carefully. “Yeah, it’s me. You didn’t kill all these guys, did you?”
Suspiria smiled eerily. “No, I didn’t kill them, I simply terrified them until they passed out from fear.”
Braxton asked, “What did you do that scared them so badly?”
“I sang a nursery rhyme. There’s nothing more terrifying in the universe than a creepy little girl singing a nursery rhyme.”
Braxton turned to Kes. “She’s got us there.”
“Tanis said you wanted me to send you home. Why, praytell, would I do that? You killed my mate!”
Kes’ eyes lit up with an idea. “We didn’t kill your mate. Janeway did, and he totally hates Janeway too. Isn’t that right, Captain?”
Braxton, however, was too busy stabbing a picture of Janeway to pay attention. “Die, Janeway, die!”
Suspiria raised an eyebrow in typical Vulcan fashion. “I’ll have to think about it.”
Before Suspiria could vanish, Kes spoke up again. “I was also wondering if you could help me. I lost my powers about a year ago. Could you restore them for me?”
Suspiria walked up to Kes and eyed her carefully. “You once had a lot of power. What happened to it?”
Kes muttered, “They stuck me in a machine and used me as a battery.”
“I had to use my power to seal the Vaadwaur away in their subspace domain.”
“The Vaadwaur? Those jerks attacked my Array in the Delta Quadrant about two years ago. You were the one that got rid of them?”
Suspiria pondered for a few moments, and then responded. “Which would you rather I do? Restore your powers or send you home?”
Kes rolled her eyes. “Another ‘needs of the one vs. needs of the many’ situation? Can’t we get another recurring moral?”
“I’m afraid not.”
“If you restore my powers, can’t I just use them to send all of us home?”
“You’d think so, but for the purposes of this episode, no.”
“How about you restore my powers, and then I send us home next episode?”
“Would you shut up and make your choice?”
“Fine, I guess I have to do the right thing and ask you to send us home.”
And with that, Suspiria changed into a big pink tentacled blob and disappeared.
Xaronna’s voice came over the comm. “Xaronna to Braxton. The Array is powering up.”
Kes said to Braxton, “Better raise shields. I’ve heard this is a bumpy ride.”
Braxton tapped his comm badge. “Understood. Raise shields. I’ll be there momentarily.”
A few minutes later, Braxton and Kes stepped onto the bridge and took their seats. Xaronna turned to the captain. “Displacement wave forming, bearing 180 mark 0.”
Braxton tapped a few buttons on his armrest. Kes noticed. “What are you doing, sir?”
“Making sure we return home in style.”
The displacement wave struck the Relativity from behind sweeping it along at incredible speeds towards the Milky Way. At the same time, “Surfin’ USA” began blaring over the comm.
The ship shook under the stress of the displacement wave’s power, but the 29th century shields held. After a few minutes, the wave dispersed.
Braxton tensely asked, “Where are we?”
Xaronna checked. “I’m picking up Federation signatures. We’re back, sir. Not too far from Starbase 47, too.”
Braxton breathed a sigh of relief, and then turned to Kes. “Thanks.”
“You know you totally have to let me back into the poker games now, right?”
“Fair enough, but for right now, let’s head back to Starbase 47 and let Admiral Crusher know what’s happened...”
Is the evil crew of the evil Excelsior really dead? Will Ducane ever wake from his coma? Will I ever stop asking questions? Find out when the Relativity finally gets home again... again.