“Log: It’s better than bad, it’s good! Anyway, we’re on our way to Memory Alpha, the Federation’s greatest depository of knowledge. Hopefully, if A leads to B, and B leads to C... Wait. That phrase sounds vaguely familiar... Oh well. If any Federation ship, probe, or whatever has found the Plot Device, it’ll be catalogued there.”
On the Excelsior’s bridge, Dax’s console started beeping. She performed a sensor sweep. “Captain, there’s some sort of an energy field headed straight for us!”
Sulu took a break from sipping his tea. “Onscreen!”
Sure enough, there was an energy field rapidly closing on them from behind. Dax continued to monitor it. “It will overtake us in two minutes!”
“Yar, raise shields!”
“I already raised shields, sir.”
“Uh... Very good!”
Sulu pushed a button on one of his armrests. “This is Captain Sulu! All hands prepare for impact!”
And with that, Braxton put on some mittens. Ducane gave him a peculiar look. “What are you staring at, Ducane?”
“You. Why’d you put on mittens?”
“Because all hands need to prepare for impact.”
“You fool! ‘All hands’ means everyone aboard!”
“Oh...” Braxton took off his mittens.
The energy field struck the ship. Everyone got disoriented, and Sulu dropped his teacup (which of course shattered). In a few seconds, it passed, leaving the ship apparently undamaged. Sulu, after scowling at the remains of yet another teacup, began taking action. “Dax, I need a damage report!”
“No damage, sir. There are a few reports of dizziness, but nothing serious.”
Sulu thought for a second. “This seems so familiar. Going to Memory Alpha, getting attack by weird energy... Uh oh... They’re the Lights of Zetar!”
Ducane recognized the name. “The Lights of Zetar? Aren’t they dead?”
“I thought so. Where are they headed?”
Dax checked. “They’re headed straight for Memory Alpha, sir!”
“Again? Didn’t they learn anything the last time they tried that? Yar, I want you to blow up the Lights of Zetar!”
“Uh, sir? Have you forgotten this ship has really pathetic weaponry?”
“Yes, I have forgotten. So we can’t blow them up?”
“No, sir. And we can’t catch up to them with this equally pathetic warp drive, either.”
“Rats! Hail Memory Alpha! Warn them!”
Dax tried the comm system. “The hail isn’t getting through, sir!”
And with that, the Lights of Zetar struck Memory Alpha. A few minutes later, the Excelsior arrived in orbit. Sulu stood up. “Okay, we’re all going down there! We need to find survivors, defeat the Lights of Zetar, and see if we can find info on the Plah D’Viz!”
Everyone appeared inside Memory Alpha in a blue flash of transporter light. The library had sustained major damage. The lights were out, conduits were blown, and rubble was all over the place. They all turned on their wrist-flashlight-things while Sulu gave out instructions. “I want all of you to go looking for survivors and info on the Plah D’Viz. I’m going to stay here and let you do all the work. Dismissed.”
So everyone except Sulu went off searching through the hallways. Sulu let out a sigh of relief. “Heh heh heh. Now I get to relax!”
Suddenly, a figure grabbed Sulu and dragged him off into the deepest, darkest shadows...
The rest of the crew wandered through the dark until they came to a room filled with tables, chairs, and access terminals. Unfortunately, they were all thrown about. Braxton looked around. “Okay, guys, let’s get a few of these access terminals back up and running.”
Everyone set the tables, chairs, and access terminals back up. Dax checked the connections. “I’m going to have to restore auxiliary power and reconnect these terminals to the computer cores.”
Braxton and Dax headed back out of the room to do just that. Suddenly, one of the Lights of Zetar appeared. Braxton took out his phaser. “Hold it right there!”
The Light stopped. Oh, it’s one of you people...
“Uh, yeah, whatever. I’m not going to let you carry out your plan!”
You don’t even know what our plan is.
“We do to! You’re trying to get new bodies!”
Oh please... You are so wrong.
Yes, our associate is completing the next step in our plan even as we speak...
Sulu soon found himself tied to a chair in a dark room. His captor stood in the darkness, but it was obvious that he was holding a PADD. He started reading from it. “Hikaru Sulu. Starfleet rank: Captain.”
“Yeah, that’s me. And who the heck are you?”
The captor stepped into an area that was less dark. It was a Cardassian. “I am Gul Madred.”
“Gul Madred? You mean that torture guy from the ‘Chain of Command’ two-parter?”
“Shouldn’t you be dead?”
“No. I and my associates are from an alternate universe. Have you forgotten about the temporal fugitives unleashed by temporal shockwave over a season ago?”
“Actually, yeah. That plotline kind of got set aside...”
“Silence! I and my allies, the Lights of Zetar, will take over your universe! And the information you will provide me on Starfleet’s defenses will greatly assist us!”
“I’m not going to tell you anything!”
“Then I’ll have to torture you.”
“What are you going to do, hang me from the ceiling while I’m naked?”
“Eew... Heavens no! I want to keep my lunch down!”
Madred pushed a few buttons on his PADD, and several lights came on. “Tell me, Captain... How many lights do you see?”
“Wow! That was easy! I thought it would take a lot longer to break you!”
“No, there are really five lights.”
Madred turned to look at the lights. Sure enough, there were five. He punched a few more buttons, and one of the lights went out. “Okay, now how many lights?”
“Wrong! There are five lights!”
“Did you fail math or something?”
“Actually, yes I did. But that’s beside the point! How many lights are there?”
“Very well, then I shall have to punish you!”
Madred pushed a few more buttons. “I shall force you to watch this video!”
“What’s the video?”
”Girls Gone Wild.”
“Woohoo! Bring it on!”
“Oh, wait... I’m sorry, it’s Ferengi Girls Gone Wild.” And with that, Madred turned it on.
Sulu began wailing. “My eyes! They burn! they burn!”
Meanwhile, Braxton and Dax were facing off against all of the Lights of Zetar. Braxton was hitting them with his phaser, but to no effect.
The Lights laughed. You fool! We’re made of light! You think your bright little phaser will hurt us?
Braxton examined his phaser for a second. “Hmm... Maybe if I flip this switch that says ‘Bright/Dark’ it’ll work...” He flipped the switch and started phasering again. This time, the inverse dark beam wiped out the Lights. Braxton and Dax then proceeded to the libary’s core.
Dax looked at the core. “Well, it doesn’t look too damaged. I should be able to get auxiliary power working again.”
“Need any help?”
“From you? No offense, but I wouldn’t trust you to hold a wrench, let alone rewire conduits.”
“Okay, then I’ll be burning the words ‘Braxton Rules’ into the wall over here with my phaser.”
About fifteen minutes later, Dax brought auxiliary power back online and the lights came back on. She and Braxton headed back to the room with the access terminals, where the rest of the crew had managed to bring one of them online. Braxton watched as the terminal searched through the total knowledge of the Federation for the Plah D’Viz.
Finally, the computer stopped searching. No match found.
Braxton frowned. “Dax, try putting in those theoretical energy signatures you came up with.”
Dax entered the calculations and began another search. Again, the computer simply said, No match found.
Damar tried to cheer Braxton up. “Don’t worry, sir. This just means the Federation has never encountered the Plah D’Viz. We haven’t been everywhere.”
“Well, is there any species that has been everywhere?”
They all thought for a few minutes. Suddenly, the Doctor said, “The Iconians!”
Dax agreed. “You’re right! With their gateways, they’ve been everywhere! But didn’t their homeworld get blown up by Picard centuries ago?”
“No, just the gateway. Their records may still be there somewhere.”
Braxton headed to the door. “Well, then let’s get going! We’ll pick up Sulu and be on our way!”
Meanwhile, Gul Madred was throwing a fit. “Who turned the lights back on? This is ruining my whole evil interrogation motif!”
Sulu, however, was less concerned with the lights than he was about making the horrific images on the screen in front of him stop. “Turn it off! Turn it off! For the love of all that’s good and decent, turn it off!”
Suddenly, the rest of the crew stormed in on Madred. Braxton shouted, “Aha! We’ve got you now, you... Oh my God! Turn it off! Turn it off!”
Madred took his weapon out of his holster. “Nobody move!”
Yar shook her head. “You idiot! That’s not a phaser! That’s a remote control!”
Madred looked the thing in his hand. “Oh, so it is. I mixed it up with those early TNG phasers. I guess I’ll just have to... run away!”
While Madred began running away as fast as he could, Dax whipped out a gizmo and fired it at him. The Cardassian vanished.
Braxton took a piece of debris and smashed the screen to bits while Ducane untied Sulu. Sulu, who was slowly recovering from his ordeal, turned to Dax. “What was that thing?”
“It’s a portable chronometric singularity generator. It sent Madred back to his own timeline.”
“Oh. Well, let’s get out of here...”
A few minutes later, everyone was back on the bridge of the Excelsior. Braxton smiled and shouted, “Onwards to Iconia!”
Sulu shot Braxton a death glare. “Excuse me, but I am the captain now! I give the orders! And what’s this about Iconia, anyway?”
“We decided to go to Iconia to see if the Iconians ever ran into the Plot Device. Try to keep up, Sulu...”
“Well excuuuuuuuse me! I was kind of busy being tortured with images of naked Ferengi!”
And so, as the Excelsior went to warp, Braxton and Sulu began beating each other up...
Next time, on Star Trek: Series ?, the search for the Plah D’Viz continues as the crew explores the ruins of Iconia!