Damar rematerialized in a flash of blue transporter special effects on the surface of Cardassia Prime. It took a few moments for him to figure out exactly where on the planet he was, and once he did he was not entirely pleased to see himself there.
True to Captain Braxton’s word, the Relativity had transported Damar to the place where he had (from his point of view) “died” more than four years ago: the building that served as Dominion Headquarters. Although it was still as poorly-lit as ever, it seemed to have been taken care of rather well.
Damar stumbled around in the dark, unsure of what else he would find. After all, when last he was here, the Jem’Hadar had just destroyed most of Cardassia Prime’s major cities and killed almost a billion of its inhabitants. Not only that, but Series ? had been mysteriously silent on the planet’s fate...
After about a minute of stumbling through dark corridors, Damar hit his head on a low ceiling. Although he had sustained far worse inflicted on him (mostly from Yar’s fists), he still let out a rather loud “Ouch!”
To which a female’s voice responded, “Excuse me, is someone back there?”
A young Cardassian lady rounded one of the corners, carrying a flashlight. She briskly walked up to him and shone the flashlight right in his face. “Great, another Damar enthusiast wandering off by himself again. Come with me, sir.”
Before Damar could protest that he was, in fact, Damar, the lady grabbed him by the arm and practically dragged him around the corner. He found a large group of assorted aliens carrying cameras who he suspected to be tourists. His suspicions were confirmed when the woman scolded him again. “Please stay with the tour group, sir. And we’re walking... we’re walking...”
Although he really should have been on his way to start his new life, Damar was more than a little curious as to how his own people remembered him, so he obeyed the tour guide and stuck with the group...
Meanwhile, back on board the Relativity-H, Captain Braxton was walking down one of the ship’s corridors. Commander T’Lenol was quickly trying to catch up with him. “Sir, I think we need to discuss the matter of Damar’s replacement.”
Braxton stopped and looked at T’Lenol. The blank expression on the captain’s face indicated that he had already forgotten who Damar was. T’Lenol rolled her eyes. “Damar. Your former chief engineer. The one we just dropped off on Cardassia Prime. That Damar.”
Even though Braxton still had absolutely no idea who she was talking about, he still nodded and muttered, “Oh, yes, go on.”
“Sir, I understand that this is a ship crewed by misfits and morons, but I’m beginning to suspect that Mr. Tucker may become a danger to himself and this crew.”
“Oh, and why’s that?”
“Well, he seems to pepper his sentences with violent imagery and insane rambling about the Xindi.”
On cue, Tucker came walking down the corridor towards the duo. “Captain, I want you to know that I’ve gotten the DEATHTOTHEXINDI engines operating at maximum VENGANCEISMINE efficiency.”
Braxton looked at Tucker carefully. “What did you just say?”
“I said I’ve gotten the engines operating at maximum efficiency.”
“That’s what I thought you said. Carry on.”
As Tucker strolled off towards engineering, Braxton turned to T’Lenol and said, “See? Perfectly normal.”
T’Lenol sighed and headed towards the bridge.
Back on Cardassia Prime, the tour group had reached the heart of Dominion Headquarters. Most of it was roped off, but otherwise, it was just as Damar had remembered it. Also included were statues of those who were present there during the final moments of the Dominion War; including Kira, Garak, Weyoun, the Female Changeling, and Odo.
The tour guide stopped the group. “And here we have our display of how the Dominion War ended.”
This piqued Damar’s interest, as he hadn’t actually gotten to see the end of the war centuries earlier.
The tour guide continued. “Many of the records on this historic event have been lost over the centuries, but we believe it went something like this...”
She pushed a button on some kind of remote. It was then that the statues were revealed to be animatronic, as they began to sing...
We’re whalers on the moon...
Even as Damar was suffering horribly, things quickly began to go awry for the Relativity crew...
Braxton stormed into the Mess Hall with T’Lenol in tow. He was clearly not happy in the least. He stormed up to Dax and began yelling. “Xaronna, what exactly do you think you’re doing?!”
“Uh, sir, I’m Dax. Xaronna’s over there.”
“No, you’re Dax! Xaronna’s over there!”
And with that, Braxton quickly turned to Xaronna and repeated himself (but not in the usual funny way). “Xaronna, what exactly do you think you’re doing?!”
“Uh, eating lunch, sir?”
“This ship is supposed to be headed back to Earth for its next assignment!”
“Yes, sir, it is. I put in the coordinates myself.”
“Then why is it on a direct course for New Xindus?”
Xaronna was frantically tapping on the table she was sitting at, utterly forgetting that she wasn’t at her console with the “shock Braxton” button. “I don’t know, sir, but I didn’t change course. Maybe it’s an engineering problem.”
“No, no... It can’t be an engineering problem. Mr. Tucker has assured me that everything is operating correctly. On a completely unrelated note, he also told me that the Xindi’s moment of reckoning is nigh, and that he will use the Relativity’s weaponry to destroy New Xindus.”
T’Pol raised an eyebrow in typical Vulcan fashion. “Sir, don’t you think we ought to stop him?”
“No, but we ought to stop him. To Engineering!”
After the “tour” of Dominion Headquarters was over, Damar emerged from the building to get his first look at 29th century Cardassia Prime. He looked around in horror. For as far as the eye could see, all Damar could see were...
“Gift shops! Thousands and thousands of gift shops!”
Yes, Cardassia Prime had become the ultimate tourist trap for Dominion War aficionados. Damar could see collectors plates, bells, thimbles, and yes, even “I visited Cardassia Prime and all I got was this lousy T-shirt” T-shirts.
He dropped to his knees and wailed, “What happened?!”
A familiar voice responded, “That’s a long story.”
Damar whirled around to find himself facing Admiral Crusher. “Sir?”
“Following the end of the Dominion War, much of the planet was in ruins. Eight hundred million were dead. The survivors had to rebuild somehow. Souvenir shops became the backbone of the economy once the Cardassians realized how popular the Dominion War was amongst Star Trek fans.”
“But, sir, what are you doing here?”
“Your replacement, Mr. Tucker, has apparently seized control of the Relativity and is planning on using it to destroy New Xindus.”
“How do you know that?”
“He sent out this transmission.”
Crusher handed him a PADD and hit the play button. Trip’s face appeared. “AT LAST I WILL REVEAL MYSELF TO THE XINDI! AT LAST I WILL HAVE REVENGE! BWAHAHAHAHA! TWITCH!”
Damar raised an eyebrow. “That’s disturbing.”
“Which part? The fact that he’s going to destroy New Xindus? The fact that he’s still using that bad Episode I joke? The fact that he actually said ‘twitch’ during his maniacal facial tic? The fact that he was talking in red text even though that’s usually reserved for the Mysterious Red Button?”
Meanwhile, back in the bottomless pit on Bajor...
“All of the above, sir.”
“Anyway, we need your help to stop the Relativity before I’m forced to blow it up. If anybody knows how to do so, it’s the man who designed it.”
“You mean blowing up Captain Braxton isn’t your first choice?”
“I forgot my favorite shirt the last time I was on the ship, and I’d really hate to blow up my favorite shirt. Two to beam up!”
And with that, the two disappeared in a blue shimmer...
Back on the Relativity, the senior staff arrived in Engineering to find Trip laughing and setting his plan into motion while nobody was lifting a finger to stop him.
Braxton grabbed one of the nameless crewmembers. “Why aren’t you doing anything to stop him?!”
The crewmember replied, “Well, we were, but then he started using those nonsensical Southern metaphors which put us remarkably at ease.”
It was then that Trip noticed the new arrivals. His facial tic was getting far worse. “Captain, how nice it is DESTROYALLXINDI for you to visit! How can I DEEEEEEEESTROY help you?”
“I’ve been told you’ve taken over the ship and are going to use it destroy New Xindus. Is this true?”
“Sure is, Captain, but please don’t REVENGEATLAST try to stop me. If you do, you’ll make me sadder than a bedbug at a hammock convention.”
Once again, Trip’s folksy manner put everyone except for T’Lenol into a hypnotic state. Braxton smiled. “Well, I wouldn’t want to make you sad, so we’ll be going.”
Just then, Damar and Crusher burst into Engineering, both of them toting phaser rifles. Crusher shouted, “Step away from the controls!”
Trip responded by asking, “How did you two get here with the shields up?”
Damar smirked. “Back door.”
“A back door program?”
“No, a back door.”
Yar rolled her eyes. “Damar, only you would be so lame as to install a literal back door on a timeship’s shields.”
Damar’s response was to give Yar a mean right hook. Everyone stared at him. “What? You know she’s had that coming forever.”
Crusher stunned Trip with his phaser rifle, and he collapsed to the floor. Damar retook control of the ship within a few minutes and everything was back to normal...
“Captain’s Log: Admiral Crusher has taken Mr. Tucker into custody aboard Admiral Picard’s Flagship, along with his favorite shirt. Damar has resumed his duties onboard the Relativity, although he’s currently avoiding the ever-vengeful Yar. I guess that wraps everything up rather nicely...”
Captain Braxton closed his log and leaned back in his ready room chair. All of a sudden, something started beeping.
Braxton stuck his head out the door and into the bridge. “Dax, there’s that beeping again.”
“You’re being hailed personally, Captain. Answer it.”
“No, I think I should answer it.”
Braxton answered the hail, only to see an annoyed Admiral Crusher on the viewscreen. “Yes, Admiral.”
“I’m just calling to warn you, Braxton, that Mr. Tucker has escaped.”
“Yes, escaped. He was sitting in our brig when he was transported away.”
“Unknown. There was a ship on edge of our sensor range, but we weren’t able to ID it. Be careful, this is one of those plot points that’s sure to be brought up again. Crusher out...”
On the next exciting episode of Star Trek: Series ?, Ducane doesn’t wake up, the Progeny don’t attack, and the evil crew of the evil Excelsior don’t escape! So why’s it such an important episode? Well, if you’d been paying attention to all the clues scattered through Season 6, you’d know why...