Episode 140: “Tuckered Out, Part I”
Written by “Krenim”
Published August 16, 2007
Tasha Yar burst into Sickbay with a dozen security officers. Carrying a phaser rifle in each hand, she shouted, “We have you surrounded!”
The only other individuals in Sickbay were the Doctor and Captain Braxton. Braxton was sitting on a biobed screaming his head off, while the Doctor was performing scans. The Doctor glared at Yar. “You could have just knocked, you know.”
Yar looked around suspiciously. “What, it’s just the two of you? With all the screaming, I thought there might have been something seriously wrong in here.”
Braxton continued screaming hysterically.
The Doctor rolled his eyes. “Oh, there is something seriously wrong. The captain made the near-fatal mistake of watching the final episode of Enterprise.”
“It couldn’t have been that bad.”
“Nine out of ten EMHs agree: ‘These are the Voyages...’ makes ‘Endgame’ seem like a masterpiece.”
Many many light-years away, in the evil Admiral Janeway’s evil cell aboard the Federation Maximum Security Prison...
“See! I told you ‘Endgame’ wasn’t that bad!”
The Doctor injected Braxton with a sedative. After a few seconds, his screaming subsided. “Feeling better, Captain?”
“Well, I would be if it wasn’t for one thing.”
“And what’s that?”
“I was afraid of that. The trauma of watching the episode has left you with hysterical blindness. It’ll go away on its own eventually.”
Braxton cradled his aching head. “But... it was just so bad! The pointless TNG cameos, the poor characterization of Shran, the meaningless death of Trip, the...”
Yar interrupted. “Meaningless death?”
“Yeah, I mean, it was the last episode! What was the point of killing him off like that? It’s like Joe Carey’s death, except a zillion times worse!”
Yar, seemingly disturbed by the captain’s words, motioned for the security guards to follow her out of Sickbay.
About an hour later...
Captain Braxton burst into Sickbay with a dozen security officers. Unfortunately, Braxton was still blind, and so he ran into one of the consoles and fell down.
This time, it was the Doctor and Yar, with Yar screaming her head off. The Doctor sighed while injecting her with a sedative. “You’d think the crew would listen to their chief medical officer, but no, you just had to go watch it, didn’t you?”
Braxton, still on the floor, mumbled, “No, she just had to go watch it.”
By the next day, Braxton and Yar had both gotten over their hysterical blindness. However, while Braxton’s nearly-infinitesimal attention span caused him to forget he had even watched the accursed episode, Yar was afforded no such luxury.
She had been sitting at one of the Mess Hall’s tables for quite some time, looking utterly morbid. Dax and Kes were sitting at another table having lunch, when the two of them noticed Yar’s sulking.
Kes pointed at Yar. “Look at her. She’s been that way all day. Someone should go and talk to her.”
Dax sarcastically replied, “Yes, someone should. Someone whose job it is to talk to people and make them feel better. Where in the galaxy would we find someone like that?”
Kes gave Dax a death glare. “Har dee har har.”
“Hey, I’m just saying that with the Doctor actually doing his job this season, you’re next in line to be the most useless character on the show.”
Kes grumbled and went over to sit by Yar. “Recovering from your ordeal?”
Yar sighed and then replied, “Have you ever thought about how lucky we are?”
”Lucky? Have you met our captain?”
“I mean, all of us got written out of our shows by getting killed off...”
“Not me. Sort of. I’m still not entirely sure how ‘Fury’ happens now. I guess it’s for the best if it doesn’t happen, actually.”
“...only to be brought into the 29th Century by a fluke of fate.”
“Blah blah blah. Get to the point.”
“Trip Tucker got killed off in the most pointless manner possible, just like I almost did. I mean, a living puddle of crude oil, how stupid is that? It’s just a pity we can’t bring Trip to the 29th Century like we all were.”
“Who says we can’t?”
“I beg your pardon?”
“Why don’t we replace the real Trip Tucker with a lifelike replica microseconds before he dies, and then bring him to the 29th Century?”
“That’s actually a pretty good idea, but where are we going to get a lifelike replica of Trip Tucker?”
“I dunno. Where’d Braxton and Ducane get the lifelike replicas of us?”
“Good question. Computer, where did Braxton and Ducane get the lifelike replicas of us?”
The Lifelike Replica Room, of course.
“Of course. And where would that be?”
The tiny bits of what used to be the Lifelike Replica Room are now scattered over half the Fortyseventhspace Quarantine Zone. You all blew up the Relativity-G, remember?
“We don’t have one of these rooms on the Relativity-H?”
No. Damar considered it more important to have a bowling alley instead.
Yar rubbed her temples in frustration. “Remind me to hit Damar when I see him next.”
Kes sighed. “Again?”
“Yes, again! But for now, we need a lifelike replica of Trip Tucker...”
In the year 2161, Dr. Phlox worked furiously as Tucker was placed in the NX-01’s imaging chamber, while Captain Archer watched. Within a few seconds, Phlox looked horribly confused and stopped working. “Captain, I’ve lost his life signs.”
Archer’s heart visibly sank. “He’s dead?”
Phlox pushed a few more buttons, and the imaging chamber opened. Instead of Tucker’s corpse, the chamber was occupied by a single crudely-made sock puppet. Pinned to the sock puppet was a name tag reading, “Hi, my name is Trip.”
Archer and Phlox looked at each other, then at the sock puppet, and then back to each other. Eventually, Archer managed to get out a sentence. “Let us never speak of this again.”
To which Phlox barely managed to reply, “Understood.”
The real Tucker, still fatally wounded, materialized in the 29th Century on the bed next to the still-comatose Ducane. The Doctor, investigating the transporter sound-effect, muttered, “What the...”
Several hours later, the Relativity crew (minus the Doctor) was summoned to Braxton’s ready room, where he and T’Lenol were waiting for them.
Braxton did not look pleased. “Ladies and gentlemen, one of you has done something bad. Something very very bad. What was that very very bad thing again, Ducane?”
“T’Lenol was the very very bad thing?”
“No, sir. I meant that my name is T’Lenol, not Ducane.”
“No, your name is T’Lenol, not Ducane. So what was the very very bad thing?”
“Someone aboard this ship transported one Charles Tucker III from his deathbed in the 22nd Century, to our Sickbay here in the 29th Century. Not only that, but instead of leaving behind a lifelike replica, the guilty party left behind a sock puppet. Fortunately, ‘These are the Voyages...’ was so full of continuity problems that one more had no effect on the timeline.”
To which Braxton mused, “I should watch that episode at some point, just to see how bad it really is...”
T’Lenol rubbed her temples. “The Doctor managed to heal Mr. Tucker, and he’s getting acclimated down in Sickbay. The guilty party, however, is in violation of the Temporal Prime Directive. Which one of you is responsible?”
Everyone pointed to Yar. Well, everyone except Yar, who was pointing at Damar. Before Damar had a chance to look indignant, Yar punched him in the face. “And that’s for putting a bowling alley on this ship instead of a lifelike replica room! Nobody on this ship even bowls, not even you!”
About an hour later, Yar and Dax went down to visit Tucker down in Sickbay. Tucker, now dressed in a 29th Century uniform, was passing the time by inspecting all the new technology that had been invented in the last 700 years.
Damar was also down in Sickbay, having his jaw repaired yet again. Upon seeing Yar, he scowled horribly, unable to say anything.
Ignoring Damar, Yar walked up to Tucker, who had taken off one of the wall panels and was inspecting the circuitry inside. “Finding the wall interesting?”
Tucker replied, “I feel like I could spend years just going over this stuff...” At that point, he finally turned to the two women and introduced himself. “Charles Tucker III. But you can call me...”
Yar interrupted. “Trip. I know. I’m the one that brought you here.”
Tucker thought for a moment, then snapped his fingers. “Yar, right?”
“I’m as happy to see you as I am to see catfish on the Fourth of July!”
Dax whispered to the Doctor, “What in the heck does that mean?”
“I have no idea. He peppers his speech with so many folksy nonsensical sayings that I can only understand him about half the time.”
Ignorant of the other conversation, Tucker continued. “I thought I was as dead as a pigeon in a cornfield, but you’ve given me a new lease on life. Thank you.”
Yar actually blushed. “You’re welcome.”
Damar rolled his eyes and mumbled something incomprehensibly.
Yar glared at Damar. “Hush you. If you were half the engineer he is, I wouldn’t have had to right-hook you.”
Damar looked positively furious. “MMPH! Mmph mmph mmph mmph mmph? Mmmph mmph! MMPH MMPH!”
Damar’s tirade only received odd looks and a “Huh?” from Dax.
The Doctor stepped in. “Given the number of times I’ve had to heal his jaw, I’ve gotten rather good at interpreting Damar’s mumbling. I believe he said, ‘Fine! You like him so much? Have him! I quit!’”
The Doctor looked rather pleased with himself for all of two seconds before the gravity of his translation sunk in. His holographic eyes nearly popped out of his holographic skull. “You what?!?!”
Captain Braxton looked utterly confused. T’Lenol repeated herself. “I said that Damar quit, sir.”
“Hold on, I still can’t understand you. Let me get this marmalade out of my ears.”
T’Lenol did not bother to ask why her captain had filled his ears with marmalade.
About a minute later, Braxton finished washing out his ears to his satisfaction. “Alright, Ducane, could you repeat that, please?”
“I said that Damar quit, sir.”
“I think you may need to clean your ears out more, sir.”
“No, no. I heard you perfectly. This time I was expressing shock. But... he quit? You can’t quit Starfleet!”
“Sure you can. You quit Starfleet almost four years ago to go looking for the Plah D’Viz.”
“No, I quit Starfleet almost four years ago to go looking for the Plah D’Viz. I’ll miss Damar. He might have been a whiny loser, but he was my whiny loser, darn it!”
“This may all be for the best, Captain. After all, Damar was never a trained engineer in the first place.”
“Really? Then why did I hire him as chief engineer?”
“Because Dukat was seduced back to the dark side by the Mysterious Red Button, and Admiral Picard forced you to choose between Damar and Wesley Crusher for a replacement.”
Braxton shuddered. “Could you imagine how catastrophically awful it would be to have Wesley Crusher serving on this ship? Or worse yet, if he somehow became an admiral?!”
T’Lenol rolled her eyes. “Oh, I can imagine, sir.”
“Very well, then. Tucker is now our new chief engineer. Set a course for Cardassia Prime.”
“Cardassia Prime, sir?”
“Yes, according to My First Big Book of Starfleet Captaining for Dummies, if an individual is brought into the future to serve aboard a timeship, they may afterwards stay in the 29th Century but be returned to their original physical location.”
“Ergo, why Dukat was returned to the bottomless pit in the fire caves on Bajor, correct?”
“Why who was what now?”
Several hours later, the Relativity arrived in orbit around Cardassia Prime. Damar had gathered up his belongings, which were sitting on the transporter pads in Transporter Room 1. The rest of the crew assembled and gave their farewells, including Lt. Peters in yet another cameo. Yar, however, was absent, mostly due to the fact that Braxton ordered her not to attend. After all, Damar didn’t need his jaw broken yet again.
When all was said and done, Damar made his way onto one of the transporter pads. Captain Braxton saluted, and Damar returned the gesture.
T’Lenol turned to Xaronna, who was operating the transporter. “Energize.”
Damar and his belongings vanished in flashes of blue light.
The crowd slowly began to thin. Braxton took the opportunity to walk with his new chief engineer for a few moments. “It’s good to have you on board, Ducane.”
“Whatever. Just get back to Main Engineering and start fixing stuff.”
“Of course, Captain. Have a MURDERXINDI day...”
Is Damar gone forever? What is Cardassia like in the 29th Century? Is it possible that Tucker is even less mentally stable than Braxton? Find out in the next exciting episode! (Whenever the heck that is.)