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Episode 31: “Treachery, Faith, and the Great Machine”

Written by “Krenim”

Published April 19, 2001

The events of this episode take place approximately at the same time as the events in “The Charge of the Fire Brigade.”

All was quiet in the depths of space, until a huge flash of red light appeared. As it faded, one could see an object hurdling uncontrollably end over end. Closer inspection of this object revealed it to be none other than... the Excelsior!

The evil crew of the evil ship were trying desperately to stabilize their trajectory. Evil Braxton was turning an unpleasant shade of green. “I’m getting nauseous here, people! Stop the flipping!”

Dukat and Valtane worked furiously to stop the ship, but they weren’t taking the motion of the ship very well either. Finally, they managed to get the Excelsior under control.

Evil Braxton grinned. “At last, we’ve destroyed the Federation! At last, we’ve had our revenge!”

A shout of “Huzzah!” went out from the senior staff. However, when Valtane got back to his control panel, a look of confusion went over his face. “Sir, you should see these readings...”

Evil Braxton sighed. “Valtane, you’re not going to spoil our evil fun, are you?”

“I don’t know, sir. Let me put this on the main screen.”

A map of the Federation came onscreen. Valtane explained. “These are readings I took before the explosion. Hyperwarp energy signatures, border markers, subspace communications, and so on.”

Evil Braxton scratched his head. “This had better be going somewhere fast, Mr. Valtane, or else I may have to punish you by making you watch an Olsen twins movie.”

Valtane began to twitch. “No sir, not that! Anything but that!”

“Well, they don’t call me Evil Braxton for nothing. So, for your sake, hurry it up.”

The map on the main screen changed. “This is a scan I just took. Astronomical phenomena are identical, but technological phenomena are completely different. I’m not detecting any conventional drive systems or any conventional communication systems. Border markers are completely out of whack, and their energy signatures are completely unknown.”

“So... Did we destroy the Federation or not?”

“I have no idea if we did or not, sir. You see, the quantum signature of this universe is different than our universe. We’re not in our universe anymore!”

“Let me get this straight... The explosion knocked us into another universe?”

“Yes, sir.”

“So we have no idea whether or not we actually destroyed the Federation?”

“Exactly, sir.”

“Do you have any idea how we can get back to our universe?”

“Not a clue, sir.”

“Aw... I wanted to gloat over the flaming wreckage of the galaxy! Whose brilliant idea was it to link all those temporal superweapons together, anyway?”

“I think it was you, sir.”

“Oh... Well, never mind, then.”

Rand interrupted. “Sir, we’re being hailed.”

“Onscreen!”

“That’s not what I meant, sir. Small fragments of metal are slamming into the ship!”

“Well, that’s just great... The one time that windshield joke would have actually made sense has just been wasted!”

Valtane scanned the fragments. “Sir, it appears to be some sort of debris. Perhaps we should beam some aboard to see if they can clue us in to where we are.”

“Oh, very well... Beam some down to Cargo Bay 1. Everyone get down there!”

A few minutes later, the evil crew of the evil Excelsior arrived in the evil Cargo Bay 1. Pieces of metal ranging from tiny to huge were scattered about. The crew spread out and began examining them. After a few minutes, Rand began screaming. The rest of the crew gathered in front of her. Evil Braxton covered his ears. “Stop the screaming! Stop the screaming!”

Rand tried to calm herself down. “I’m sorry, sir, but it’s just so horrendous!”

“Now, Rand, we are the most evil beings ever to have existed. We tried to blow up the galaxy! Nothing could be so evil that it would frighten us. So, what is it?”

“I know where we are...”

And with that, she flipped over the piece of metal she had been holding. Upon seeing what was inscribed upon it, the entire Excelsior crew began screaming their heads off.

Written upon the piece of metal were the words “Babylon 5.”

Evil Braxton fell to his knees. “We’re in the Babylon 5 universe! Not even we deserve that!”

And so, they all wept and screamed for about an hour before they finally managed to regain composure. Valtane said, “Sir, you have a great idea right now, don’t you?”

“Actually, I do... How did you know that?”

“You’re fiddling with your commbadge. You always do that when you have a great idea.”

“Really?”

“No, not really, but with all this wreckage in a cargo bay, it felt like the right moment to make a ‘Dark Frontier’ joke.”

“Ah... Well, something just occurred to me. Let’s look at the facts. We are in the Babylon 5 debris field, right?”

“Right.”

“Babylon 5 was in orbit around Epsilon 3, right?”

“Right.”

“And what was on Epsilon 3?”

A big grin came over Valtane’s face. “The Great Machine!”

“Right! The Great Machine! Maybe it can get us out of this forsaken universe and back to our own, so we can see the smoking wreckage of the Federation and laugh!”

“Quite possibly, sir.”

“The question is... How are we going to get down there? The defensive armaments of the Great Machine are superpowerful!”

“We could take a shuttlecraft down to the surface.”

“Nah, we can’t do that. All the shuttles we had were taken off-ship while we were wasting away in the Federation Maximum Security Prison.”

“We could beam down, sir. These Babylon 5 universe natives don’t have transporter technology! We’d have the advantage!”

“The problem is, Valtane, that we’d have to get in transporter range. Getting that close would set off the defense systems. If our shields hold, we won’t be able to beam through them. If they fail, well, it’s Kentucky Fried Excelsior.”

“If only we had some way to defend against the Great Machine’s weaponry besides energy shielding...”

“Hmm... Hey, you forget that we’re in the Babylon 5 universe! If we can get our hands on some Shadow or Vorlon organic hull armor, we could probably get close enough!”

“Yeah, but where are we going to get some Shadow or Vorlon tech? The only thing we know about the 29th Century Babylon 5 universe is that Earth went kablooie about a century ago.”

Evil Braxton thought for a second. “Well, we could check that map up on the bridge’s main viewscreen for shipyards.”

Valtane smiled. “Excellent idea, sir! I’ll transfer the map down to one of the screens down here!”

“No, Valtane! It’ll be much more exciting if we all run back to the bridge!”

So, the Excelsior crew ran all the way back up to the bridge, and then took a few minutes to catch their breath. Evil Braxton studied the map. “Ah ha! Here’s a shipyard that’s really close! Set a course for it, maximum warp!”

Several hours later, the Excelsior arrived at the shipyards. Rand scanned the installation. “Sir, it looks like this is the place we want! I’m detecting Shadow hull armor being installed on several ships!”

Evil Braxton grinned evilly. “Excellent! Beam us to the installation!”

A few minutes later, the crew appeared on the shipyards. They walked through the door that said “Enter here if you want Shadow armor on your ship.”

Evil Braxton walked up to the guy sitting at the desk inside. “I want my ship outfitted with Shadow armor!”

“Very well, that’ll be one billion credits.”

“One billion credits? Curse the Federation for not using money!”

Valtane interrupted. “Sir, even if the Federation had money, it wouldn’t be good here...”

“Shut up, Valtane! I’m busy ranting!”

Evil Braxton turned back to the guy behind the desk. “How about a trade of technology? My ship is from an alternate dimension where energy shielding, transporters, and warp drive exist. I’ll trade you a copy of our schematics for Shadow armor!”

Valtane interrupted again. “Sir, it’s against the Prime Directive for us to give such technology to anyone else...”

Evil Braxton whacked Valtane upside the head. “Valtane, we’re evil! Evil people don’t obey the Prime Directive! We can give anyone anything we want!”

“Oh yeah...”

The guy behind the desk thought it over for a minute, then came to a decision. “Okay, I’ll take you up on your offer! Besides, your ship is so tiny compared to the ships of this dimension that it won’t take much material to cover it.”

Dukat whispered to Rand, “I think this guy just insulted the size of our ship.”

Rand whispered back, “I know this guy just insulted the size of our ship.”

The Excelsior crew was about to leave to watch their ship get its hull upgrade when the guy behind the desk stopped them. “Hey, you forgot to get your prize!”

Evil Braxton turned around. “Prize?”

“Yeah, everyone who gets Shadow armor today gets a free prize!”

“Really? What is it?”

“It’s called an Apocalypse Box!”

With that, the guy gave Evil Braxton a small glowing box. “What’s it do?”

“Oh... This and that...”

“Well, anything that has the word ‘apocalypse’ in it must be good for an evil villain like me! I’ll take it!”


About a week later, the upgrade to the Excelsior’s hull was complete, and the ship headed back to Epsilon 3. Evil Braxton put together a plan. “Okay, we’re going to get in transporter range. While our new shielding protects us from the Great Machine’s weaponry, we’re going to beam down and find a way to get back to the Star Trek universe! Anyone have a question?”

Hawk raised his hand. “Should we bring a detachment of security officers with us, sir?”

“Security officers? We have security officers?”

“Of course, sir! The ship has a crew compliment of 750 officers and crew, at least according to the Deep Space Nine Technical Manual. We’re just the senior staff!”

“Then why haven’t we seen any of these other crew members?”

“Because they’re nameless extras that aren’t important to the story.”

“Ah... Well, sure... Bring along some security officers!”

So, the Excelsior began moving towards the planet. As expected, lasers and missiles began impacting on the ship, but the Shadow armor held. Seconds later, the away team materialized down in the Great Machine’s landing bay. Evil Braxton looked around. “Okay, where should we start looking?”

Rand pointed to something in the distance. “How about we ask that guy over there?”

Sure enough, there was some little man over in the distance. Evil Braxton called out to him, and he came over to them. Evil Braxton looked down at the man. “Who are you?”

The little man, clad in what seemed to be a variety of furs, looked up and answered, “Name is Zathras.”

“Zathras?”

“No, Zathras.”

“Don’t tell me you’ve been taking lessons from the Captain Braxton School of Acting...”

“Captain Braxton has School of Acting?”

“No... We need something that can take us back to our universe, so can we look around and steal anything that looks interesting?”

“Zathras not care. However, if want to go home, Zathras would ask Draal. Draal is keeper of Great Machine. Draal could help.”

“Very well, show the way.”

So, Zathras lead the away team to the heart of the Great Machine, where Draal was still hooked up to it after all these centuries. Evil Braxton walked up to the Minbari. “We’ve come to see if you could send us home!”

Draal looked down at Evil Braxton. “Even if it were in my power to send you home, Evil Braxton, I wouldn’t. Unlike you, I can’t give away the technology here.”

“Fine... Well, you mind if we look around and steal some stuff?”

“Yes, I mind!”

“Well, too bad, because we’re going to do so anyway!”

Draal looked over at Zathras. “Stop them, Zathras!”

Zathras thought for a second. “No, Zathras not stop. Zathras bored. Zathras want off planet. Zathras help bad guys.”

Draal rolled his eyes. “Well fine, just ignore the wise old man trapped in the machine...”

“Okay.”

So, the Excelsior crew gathered up as much interesting technology as they could. Evil Braxton then turned to Zathras. “As an evil guy, I can’t bring you along with us unless you actually serve a purpose.”

“Zathras knows this technology. Zathras knows this universe. Zathras is useful.”

“Good enough. Let’s beam this stuff aboard.”

So, everyone beamed up to the ship and left Epsilon 3...


Evil Braxton, now in his quarters, studied the Apocalypse Box. “I wonder what this thing does...”

The box answered. “I can tell you where you want to go...”

Evil Braxton was shocked. “You talk?”

“Of course I talk! It’s okay for buttons to talk on this show, but not boxes?”

“Okay, okay... So, where should we start looking for a way home?”

“There is a planet far from here... A planet that may have what you’re looking for...”

“And does this planet have a name?”

“Yes. It is called... Brig’Ha’Dun...”


Who are you?

Evil Braxton, evil captain of the evil Excelsior.

What do you want?

To return to the Star Trek universe, that we may see the galaxy ablaze.

Where are you going?

Anywhere I have to, as long as it doesn’t take very long.

Who do you serve? Who do you trust?

Nobody, because I’m evil! Mwahahaha!


UPN Promo:

Next time, on Star Trek: Series ?, something will happen! Exactly what will happen, I don’t know quite yet, though...

This page was last modified on Wednesday, July 04, 2012.