Episode 135: “Not-So-Average Joe”
Written by “Krenim”
Published August 22, 2006
Joe strolled through Starfleet Medical with a big smile on his face. After all, 500 years of experience had landed him the position of Head of Starfleet Medical, allowing him to do what he loved: saving people’s lives.
All of a sudden, one of Joe’s assistants came running up to him. “Sir, this communication just came in from Starbase 47. It’s a very odd case.”
“Good, I like challenges. What’s the problem?”
“The timeship Relativity passed through the galactic barrier; mutating one of the crew. The subject gained evil godlike powers. To reverse the process, he was tricked into entering a temporal transporter. The energy involved counteracted the negative energy from the barrier and the transporter itself restored his original genetics. However, he is now comatose and all attempts to wake him thus far have failed.”
“Hmm... That sounds like something I would have done.”
“That’s the weird part, sir. Look at who wrote the medical report.”
Joe grabbed the PADD from the assistant. “Blah blah blah godlike powers blah blah blah comatose blah blah blah The Doctor?”
“Yeah. Wasn’t that your name?”
“Indeed. It’s time to go find out who’s been impersonating me!”
Meanwhile, back on the Relativity, attempts were still underway to awaken Commander Ducane...
Captain Braxton held a plate of piping-hot curry in front of Ducane’s nose. “Mmm... Smell that curry, Ducane! Wake up and have some!”
The Doctor, who was sitting nearby, rolled his eyes. “I don’t think that’s going to work, Captain.”
“Nonsense! Curry makes everything better! Now wake up, Ducane! I need you back at your post. That Vulcan hologram lady is annoying and stupid and I don’t like her.”
“I’m right here, you know.” Sure enough, T’Lenol was standing directly behind Braxton.
“So you are... so you are... Hey, I know what the problem is! We need to get the curry in him! Help me get some into a hypospray!”
While Braxton proceeded to make a complete mess of things by trying to slide a plateful of curry into a hypospray, T’Lenol walked over to the Doctor. “Any word back from Starfleet Medical?”
“Not yet. I tried everything in the book and then some to wake Ducane up, so it’ll probably take them some time to come up with other medical techniques.”
“Let me know if there’s anything I can do to assist.”
“Well, you could get ship’s maintenance in here. There’s curry all over the place...”
Some time later, Dax’s console started beeping. Braxton turned and looked at Dax. “Wait, your console is beeping? What happened to all the theme songs?”
“I ran out of theme songs.”
“You ran out of theme songs?”
“Yeah. You have to pay for those things, you know. And remember what the Federation doesn’t use?”
“Money! Anyway, the ship’s sensors have detected something heading towards us at maximum hyperwarp.”
“Could you be a little more specific?”
“It’s a Starfleet medical ship.”
“I meant more specific about maximum hyperwarp. How fast is that? And don’t give me that ‘as fast as the plot requires’ garbage!”
The USS Boyce dropped out of hyperwarp alongside the Relativity. Yes, you’ll have to use your imagination as to what it looks like. Yes, I know I say that a lot.
Braxton squinted at the ship on the main viewscreen. “Boyce? What kind of name is that?”
T’Lenol responded, “It’s named after Dr. Phil.”
“The annoying bald guy from Oprah?”
“No, Dr. Phillip Boyce. He was the chief medical officer onboard the NCC-1701 under Captain Pike.”
Dax interrupted. “The Boyce is hailing us, sir.”
The image of the Boyce was replaced by that of Joe sitting in the ship’s captain’s chair.
Everybody who was on the Relativity’s bridge let out an audible gasp. Well, everybody except for T’Lenol, who kept her Vulcan composure.
A very confused (and actually understandably so) Braxton squinted at the screen. “Doctor? How’d you get over there?”
“I go by Joe, actually, and you’ve got somebody on your ship that’s been impersonating me!”
Braxton turned to T’Lenol. “Right! Round up everyone on the ship who claims to have the name of Joe!”
“I think he’s referring to the Doctor, sir.”
“I’ve never heard the Doctor refer to himself as Joe before.”
T’Lenol tapped her communicator. “T’Lenol to the Doctor. I think there’s something you need to see on the bridge.”
“Fine. I’ll be right up.”
A few minutes later, the Doctor stepped off the turbolift to find himself on the main viewscreen. “Hey, I thought we destroyed my evil clone two years ago!”
Joe shouted back, “I am not an evil clone! You are!”
T’Lenol took a good look at Joe, and then turned back to Braxton. “Captain, I think he’s correct.”
“The Doctor’s an evil clone?”
“Well, not evil, but he is a clone. I’ve been going over all the show’s previous episodes to familiarize myself with everything I need to know, and I think these episodes may be relevant.”
T’Lenol then whipped out the scripts to the “A Pair O’ Docs” two-parter from Season One. “You see, our Doctor is the backup EMH from ‘Living Witness’ who traveled back in time from the 31st Century. Our Doctor, in two hundred years, will arrange to come back in time again and set up the timeloop in which we give the 24th Century Voyager their backup EMH module and the Doctor gets sent back to the 29th Century in time in the first place to already be on the Relativity-G for the first episode. However, although the backup EMH continues to go through the timeloop, Voyager’s actual EMH continued linearly, finding out about our Doctor five hundred years later.”
The explanation had taken so long that Braxton had fallen asleep in his chair. Kes gave him a good nudge, and the captain woke with a start. “Holy Jeebus! Can we please get a timeloop on this show that doesn’t take hours to explain?”
Joe was clearly not having any of this. “Yes, I am Voyager’s EMH, and I’m not going to put up with any cheap knockoffs! There’s only one way we can settle this... With a singing contest!”
Everyone on both the Relativity and the Boyce shouted “No!!!” at the top of their lungs.
“Not music lovers, eh? Alright, we’ll have a medical contest! The first one to devise a treatment to wake up your Ducane wins! The loser leaves the Federation and never returns!”
To which the Doctor replied, “Game on!”
The entirety of the Relativity senior staff watched as Joe and the Doctor tried everything to wake up Ducane. Sickbay was littered with every medical device imaginable running every test known to science.
Damar whistled. “You know, I think the Doctor’s worked more in the past five episodes than he did the entirety of the last five seasons.”
Without skipping a beat, the Doctor shouted, “I heard that!”
Joe, who was hunched over several PADDs and medical tools, jumped up. “I’ve got it! He needs a psychographic energy transfer!” He gathered up some gizmos and stuck them to Ducane’s temples. “Clear!”
Ducane’s body convulsed as bolts of energy shot through him. When it was over, Ducane was smoking but not conscious.
The Doctor scoffed. “Psychographic energy transfer indeed. Might as well try injecting curry into his bloodstream.”
Braxton then sped out of Sickbay. T’Lenol remarked, “Anyone want to bet he’s going to get more curry?”
The Doctor held up something triumphantly. “This neurolytic isostimulator should work!”
Joe sarcastically replied, “Really? Would you like some stone knives and bearskins while you’re at it?”
The Doctor shrugged him off and used the isostimulator. Sparks starting flying from Ducane’s head, but he still didn’t wake up.
Dax whispered to Braxton, “Sir, at this rate, they’re going to kill Ducane long before they figure out how to wake him up.”
To which T’Lenol added, “And neither of them is going to tire of this, being holograms and all.”
Braxton nodded and stepped through all the medical junk on the floor to approach the dueling medical officers. “Alright, I’m putting a stop to this!”
The Doctor scowled. “You can’t do that! As chief medical officer, I’m countermanding your orders!”
“Let me put it this way. Before Joe showed up, did his existence ever bother you?”
“And Joe, before you found out about the Doctor, did his existence ever bother you?”
“Then what’s the big deal?”
The two stared dumbfoundedly at Braxton, and then at each other. Joe was the first to speak. “I’ve always wanted to sing harmony with myself...”
The Doctor replied, “Me too!”
And the two began singing...
As the senior staff began losing consciousness due to the “singing,” Yar managed to shout at Braxton, “Way to go, genius!”
Only T’Lenol remained standing. The Doctor paused from his singing and smiled at her. “Finally, someone else on this ship who appreciates my voice!”
T’Lenol only raised an eyebrow in typical Vulcan fashion and shouted, “I can’t hear you! I turned off my auditory subroutines!”
“Captain’s Log: After several hours, Dax and Damar finally managed to hack into Joe’s and the Doctor’s vocal subroutines to get them to stop screeching. After they promised to be quiet, we turned their voices back on. The two EMH’s seem to have come to an understanding, and Joe has downloaded the ship’s medical logs to further study Ducane’s predicament back at Starfleet Medical. In the meantime...”
“Sir, why are you talking into your plate of curry?”
“I’m talking into what now?”
On the next episode of Star Trek: Series ?, who should show up but Harcourt Fenton Mudd! But does his return spell galactic catastrophe?