Episode 40: “Free Game”
Written by “Krenim”
Published September 26, 2001
Danger, Will Robinson, danger! This episode contains spoilers for the Voyager finale, “Endgame.” Aw, heck... This episode is nothing but one big fat spoiler for “Endgame.”
- If you haven’t seen “Endgame” and don’t want to be spoiled, don’t read this episode.
- If you haven’t seen “Endgame” and you don’t mind being spoiled, read ahead.
- If you have seen “Endgame” and don’t want to be spoiled, you’re just plain strange.
- If you are one of those normal people who have seen “Endgame” and don’t mind being spoiled, read ahead.
Consider yourself warned. If you go ahead and read this, and then complain about being spoiled, I shall summon the wrath of the all-powerful Spoiler God to smite thee. Once again, for those who have short attention spans, this episode is one big fat spoiler for “Endgame.”
Now having covered all the bases, on with the show!
“Captain’s Log: Admiral Picard has called Lt. Ducane and I to his office for some unknown reason. Hopefully by the end of the meeting, the reason will be known. Otherwise, it will still be unknown.”
Braxton and Ducane sat down at Picard’s desk. Picard, as usual, was floating in a small tank of nutrients. “Braxton, I called you here because I need your expertise for a very important mission.”
Ducane started laughing his head off. “Braxton? Expertise? That’s a good one, sir! Oh, wait... You’re serious...”
“Yes, I’m dead serious, Ducane! We are facing the worst threat we have ever faced!”
“No, bad writing! I just watched ‘Endgame,’ and now I’m sick to my stomach! It was horrible!”
“And Captain Braxton can help you out how...?”
“It’s well known that your captain has quite a grudge against Janeway.”
Braxton, who, instead of listening, was busy stabbing a picture of Janeway, looked up. “What about Janeway, sir?”
“Braxton, Starfleet Command has given you permission to arrest Janeway.”
A huge, wicked grin spread across Braxton’s face as the weight of that statement slowly made itself known to his tiny brain. “I get to arrest Janeway?!?!”
Braxton jumped up and began doing a victory dance. “Yes! Yes! I finally get to have my revenge! The red-haired psychopath is going down! Wahoo!”
Picard rolled his eyes. “Calm down, Braxton! There’s more...”
Braxton sat back down and listened to Picard, but still had the sinister grin on his face. “Go ahead, sir.”
“You’re not going to arrest Captain Janeway. You’re going to arrest Admiral Janeway.”
“I don’t want to arrest Janeway’s father! I want to arrest Janeway!”
“You are going to arrest Janeway! It’s just going to be an older Janeway, from a timeframe in which she becomes an admiral!”
“Yes! I want you to travel back in time and prevent Admiral Janeway from altering history!”
Meanwhile, back in the 25th Century, Admiral Janeway’s shuttle was taking heavy damage from the Klingon warships tailing her. Captain Kim, aboard the Rhode Island, was attempting to disable the Klingons while Janeway was trying to open a temporal rift...
The shuttle’s computer detected something strange. Warning, temporal rift forming.
“There can’t be a temporal rift forming. I haven’t activated the device yet.”
I know what I’m talking about, Admiral. Just look out the window.
Sure enough, a temporal rift was forming. Out of it shot the Relativity. Captain Braxton’s face came onscreen. “At last I will reveal myself to you, Janeway! At last I will have my revenge!”
”Episode I jokes went out of style last year, Braxton.”
“Oh... Well, I’m still going to have my revenge!”
“Get out of my way, Braxton! I’m going to alter history, and there’s nothing you can do about it!”
“Yeah! I’ve got 25th Century ablative armor, stealth technology, and transphasic torpedoes! You can’t stop me!”
“You must be getting senile, Janeway! We have 28th Century technology, and that beats 25th Century technology any day of the week! Well, except for Tuesday, but today is Wednesday!”
Ducane interrupted. “Sir, we have 29th Century technology, not 28th.”
Suddenly, the ship shook. Yar shouted, “Sir, the Klingon vessels are attacking us. They must think we’re here to help Janeway.”
Braxton scowled. “I don’t want to be interrupted! Just blow up the Klingons!”
So, the Relativity fired its weapons and blew up the Klingon warships. Dax, however, was monitoring something else. “Captain, Janeway has used the distraction to open up a temporal rift! She’s traveling back in time!”
“We can’t, sir. The rift is collapsing!”
Braxton began beating his head against the wall. “I was so close to getting even with her! So close...”
Ducane sighed. “Sir, we don’t need to use her rift to follow her. This is a timeship. We can open our own rift.”
“Well, okay then. Follow that Janeway! But first, blow up the Rhode Island!”
“I don’t see any need to blow up the Rhode Island, sir...”
“Harry Kim having any rank other than ensign is just plain wrong, Ducane.”
“Point taken. Fire torpedoes!”
Back in the 24th Century, the Voyager crew had sealed Admiral Janeway’s temporal rift, and were watching her shuttle dock. Suddenly, Harry Kim (still an ensign, as he should be) noticed something else. “Captain, there’s another temporal rift opening!”
The Relativity dropped out of the timestream. Captain Braxton’s face appeared. “Janeway, you are under arrest!”
Captain Janeway looked confused. “Me? What did I do?”
“No, not you you. The other you. The one I’m allowed to arrest.”
“Oh... Well, I’m not going to hand her over until I understand everything that’s going on. Beam over to my ship, and we’ll talk about this.”
So, a few minutes later, the Voyager senior staff, Admiral Janeway, Captain Braxton, and Lt. Ducane all convened in the Voyager ready room. Captain Janeway turned to her future self. “Okay, what are you doing here?”
“I’m here to get Voyager home. I want you to turn this ship around and go back to that nebula you passed a little while back.”
“But it’s swarming with Borg!”
“Borg, shmorg! I’ve got really cool tech which will keep them at bay.”
Captain Janeway turned to Braxton. “Okay, now what do you want? You’re not here to try and blow my ship up again, are you?”
“That wasn’t me. That was one of my temporal clones. You don’t need to worry about them anymore, they got merged into one being and then sucked in the Babylon 5 universe.”
“That’s the dumbest story I ever heard of, Braxton.”
“Yup. Anyway, I’m here to arrest Admiral Janeway for attempting to alter the timeline. You’d better hand her over.”
“No way. You just confirmed that she really is me from the future, and I trust me a lot more than I trust you. Get off my ship!”
“Fine, I’ll blow this entire ship up! So there!”
Ducane shook his head. “We’re not authorized to blow up Voyager, sir.”
“We’re not? Fine, then we’ll find some other way to stop you. Ducane, what’s another way we can stop her?”
“I’ll tell you once we get back to the Relativity.”
“Captain’s Log, Supplemental: We have set a course for Unimatrix One, in the heart of Borg territory. We hope to beat Admiral Janeway there and stop her plan before it is executed...”
The Relativity dropped out of hyperwarp outside Unimatrix One. It was instantly swarmed by Borg cubes. Braxton began having a panic attack. “Ducane, you idiot! I knew I shouldn’t have gone along with this dumb plan of yours! We’re surrounded by Borg! We’re doomed!”
“Calm down, sir. They won’t be able to touch us.”
“But they’re Borg! We will be assimilated, resistance is futile, yadda yadda yadda...”
“Remember how poorly the Borg fared against Admiral Janeway’s 25th Century technology, sir?”
“Yeah, they got blown up real good.”
“Just imagine how they’re fare against 29th Century technology.”
“Ooh... Okay. So, now what do we do?”
“We hail them, sir.”
Seconds later, the Borg Queen appeared onscreen. Well, well, well... It’s been a while, Captain Braxton.
“Wait a minute... Borg Queen #1? I thought I blew you up real good a few episodes ago!”
I’m not Borg Queen #1, I’m Borg Queen #3! I look just like Borg Queen #1, but I’m just as inept as Borg Queen #2.
“Ah... Well, we’re here to... Uh, Ducane, what are we here to do, anyway?”
“We’re here to make a bargain, sir.”
“Right, we’re here to make a bargain.”
Oh? And what might that be?
“Ducane, what is the bargain?”
“In a little while, Admiral Janeway is going to be dropping out of transwarp here. We have been ordered to arrest the admiral, so we want you to hand her over to us.”
And what do I get out of this?
“In the timeline Admiral Janeway will bring about if you don’t hand her over to us, you fall apart at the seams, and Unimatrix One and your transwarp hub get blown to bits. By handing her over, you will prevent this.”
Very well. I will allow you to beam over. When Janeway shows up, you may take her into custody.
“Understood, but if you double-cross us, we’ll be the ones that blow you up...”
A few minutes later, Braxton and Ducane beamed into the Queen’s alcove chamber armed with phaser rifles. The Queen greeted them. Now, now... Are those weapons really necessary? Aren’t we all... Friends?
Braxton smirked. “These aren’t for you. I want to zap Janeway real good when she gets here! Now, the Relativity has cloaked and we’re going to hide somewhere. When Janeway shows up, we zap her!”
So, Braxton and Ducane waited in the shadows for a few minutes. Finally, they heard Admiral Janeway’s voice. They jumped out and fired phasers. They struck Janeway perfectly, but they didn’t harm her in the least. Braxton suddenly remembered something. “I forgot... She’s a hologram!”
Admiral Janeway smirked. “Are you still trying to catch me, Braxton?”
“Yes, I am! I’ll chase you ‘round the moons of Nibia and ‘round the Antares Maelstrom and ‘round perdition’s flames before I give you up!”
“Impressed with how determined I am, Admiral?”
“No, I’m impressed that you actually managed to say such a long quote. But since you’re all on to me, I’m getting out of here! Ta ta!”
And with that, Admiral Janeway vanished.
Ducane tapped his communicator. “Ducane to Relativity: Decloak, beam us back, and follow Janeway!”
Seconds later, Braxton was once again pursuing Janeway’s shuttle. Suddenly, it vanished. Braxton was furious. “Where’d she go this time?”
Dax checked. “She’s entered a transwarp aperture, sir.”
So, the Relativity entered the transwarp conduit, just mere seconds behind Admiral Janeway’s shuttle. The two ships screamed through the twisted network of conduits. Dax suddenly noticed something on sensors. “Captain, I’m reading Voyager in another conduit that will merge with ours shortly. There are three Borg cubes pursuing them.”
“Hmm... Okay, here’s the plan: We maneuver in-between Voyager and the cubes, so that it will be, in order, Voyager, Admiral Janeway, us, and the cubes. Our shields will protect us, and we’ll use our aft weapons to blow up both the cubes and the conduits.”
Ducane was shocked. “Sir, that’s a great plan! How did you come up with it?”
“Well, it had to happen sooner or later, didn’t it?”
So, the three Federation ships shot out of the conduit into Federation space, and the Relativity’s weapons blew up the cubes and the conduit. Everyone cheered except for Braxton. Ducane noticed. “Sir, what’s wrong?”
“Admiral Janeway’s going to get away again!”
“No, she’s not.”
“You see, sir, when Janeway was in the Delta Quadrant, she could do whatever she wanted and violate the Temporal Prime Directive anytime she wanted. Back in the Federation, she answers to Starfleet. See for yourself...”
Sure enough, onscreen, the fleet assembled to fight the Borg had disabled Admiral Janeway’s shuttle...
“First Officer’s Log: 24th Century Starfleet handed over Admiral Janeway to us, and we have returned to the 29th Century. Admiral Janeway has been imprisoned in the Federation Maximum Security Prison, and Braxton has spent nearly an hour taunting her from outside her cell...”
Braxton pointed at Janeway and said, in a sing-song voice, “You’re in prison! You’re in prison!”
“Shut up, Braxton! You got me, okay? You beat me! You won! End of story! Now go away!”
Braxton thought for a second. “Yes, as a Starfleet officer, I really shouldn’t take this much pleasure in this... But I’m going to anyway! You’re in prison! You’re in prison!”
Next time, on Star Trek: Series ?, Captain Braxton’s history is threatened by an old enemy who seeks to restore his own past...