Meanwhile, back in the Federation Maximum Security Prison...
They’re Rand and Valtane!
They’re Rand and Valtane!
One once got fired,
The other’s a pain!
They’re traveling through time,
Soon we’ll end this stupid rhyme!
They’re Rand, they’re Rand and Valtane, Valtane, Valtane, Valtane, Valtane!
Admiral Janeway was on the verge of tearing her hair out. “Shut up! I hate that song! Stop singing it!”
A very tired Zathras nodded in agreement. “Zathras say stop song. Rand sing all day and all night. Zathras get no sleep.”
Rand started pouting. “Fine, whatever. It’s not like there’s anything else to do here in prison.”
Yes, the entire evil ex-crew of the formerly evil Excelsior was going stir-crazy. Even Harvey the Wonder Hamster had gotten bored of running in his wheel.
Valtane started complaining. “This is unacceptable! We are this show’s villains, and we haven’t even been seen since ‘...But What We Make!’ We’ve got to break out of here!”
Dr. Frankenstein countered, shouting, “How exactly are we supposed to do that? The only way we got out last time was Dark Helmet and Yoda taking over Braxton’s mind, and they can’t do that with those telepathy-inhibiting things they’ve got on!”
Everyone sighed simultaneously...
“Captain’s Log: After freeing Braxton from his timeloop, we have returned to Starbase 47 to meet with Admiral Picard...”
Braxton, Ducane, and Sulu walked into Admiral Picard’s office. The admiral’s floating head glared at his visitors. “What do you three want?”
Ducane started. “First of all, sir, we want you to let Captain Braxton back into Starfleet.”
”What?!?! Let him back into Starfleet? After I spent all that time trying to get rid of him? Never!”
Braxton grinned wickedly. “I wouldn’t say never, Admiral. Ducane’s got something up his sleeve. Figuratively, not literally...”
“Oh? And what’s that?”
“Uh... I don’t know. Ducane never told me. Ducane, what do you have up your sleeve?”
Ducane took out a PADD and punched a few buttons on it. He then held it up to Picard’s nutrient tank. Picard read what was on the PADD, and then his eyes went wide. “You wouldn’t dare!”
“Just try me, Admiral.”
“If that got out, I’d be ruined!”
“Okay, okay... Braxton’s back in!”
Braxton jumped up and started doing a victory dance. Sulu leaned towards Ducane. “What was on that PADD, Ducane?”
“Paternity records? Who could he be the father of that would be so absolutely horrific... Oh... You mean...?
“Egads. How’d you find those records anyway?”
“When you work in the time travel business, you tend to find all sorts of good stuff like this.”
Braxton stopped doing his victory dance. “Okay guys, let’s go to our ship!”
It was now Picard’s turn to smirk. “What ship, Braxton? The Relativity was destroyed, and the Excelsior has to be readied to return to the 23rd Century! Hahahahahaha!”
Picard’s head rotated until it faced the window. Outside they could all see the Excelsior docked with Starbase 47. At least, they could all see the Excelsior for a few seconds, because it then vanished in an orange flash.
Picard’s eyes nearly popped out of his head. “Can someone please tell me what just happened?”
But Braxton, Ducane, and Sulu were all just as dumbfounded...
Back at the Federation Maximum Security Prison, the evil ex-crew of the currently missing Excelsior was still trying to figure out what to do with itself, when Harvey the Wonder Hamster vanished in a flash of orange light. Everyone looked to where he had just been.
Valtane scratched his head in confusion. “Now how do you suppose he did that?”
Then Dr. Frankenstein vanished the same way.
Dukat answered Valtane’s question. “Apparently the same way he did that...”
Before anyone else could speculate as to what was going on, the rest of them all disappeared in orange flashes...
Picard, Braxton, Ducane, and Sulu were still quite stunned when a voice came over the comm. “Admiral, I’ve got some awful news!”
“I know, I know... The Excelsior just vanished!”
“Not just that, sir! The Federation Maximum Security Prison just hailed us! The evil crew of the evil Excelsior just vanished from their cells as well!”
“That’s horrible! Think about the kind of havoc they could wreak on the galaxy!”
Picard turned to Braxton. “Braxton, you and your crew are the experts on these guys! Go hunt them down!”
Braxton rolled his eyes. “Well, we would, except we don’t have a ship to hunt them down with!”
Picard was torn. “Hmm... How do I reconcile my duty to protect the universe and my intense desire to make you suffer as much as possible...? Oh, I know! You can have a new ship, but... You and your crew have to build it yourselves!”
Braxton turned to Ducane. “Ducane, how long will it take us to build a ship?”
“Well, sir, it normally takes several decades to get from the initial planning phase to having a fully-functional spaceworthy vessel... But since we don’t have decades, I’m sure we could get it done in about three or four episodes.”
“Excellent! Let’s all get to work!”
The evil crew of the evil Excelsior rematerialized to find themselves in the Excelsior’s Engineering section. Rand looked around. “How in the heck did we get back here?”
Dark Helmet responded, “Who cares? All that matters is that we’re back, and we can resume causing mayhem and chaos throughout the galaxy!”
Valtane went over and knocked on Dark Helmet’s helmet. “And how exactly are we going to do that, Sherlock? Sulu transferred the ship’s command codes to himself, remember? We can’t do diddly-squat!”
A figure in the shadows knew what to do about that. “Computer, transfer command codes to me.”
Who are you to tell me to transfer my command codes?
The figure stepped out of the shadows. “Admiral Janeway, authorization Caffeine Coffee Java Mocha.”
Dude, an admiral! Cool! Command codes transferred!
“And while you’re at it, change your prefix code.”
The evil Excelsior crew was stunned. After a few moments, Valtane stepped forward. “So... You’re our new captain?”
“Can we go do evil things now?”
Janeway thought for a few seconds. “Tell you what... Let’s find out what’s going on first, and then we’ll go do evil things.”
“Sounds fair to me! Let’s go to the bridge and see what’s going on.”
Meanwhile, Braxton gathered together his senior staff in one of Starbase 47’s conference rooms. Braxton stood up to address the group. “Okay people, as you all know by now, the Excelsior and its crew have gone missing, and we need to build a ship to go hunt them down again. This meeting is for all of us to make suggestions for the new ship. We shall start with my suggestions...”
The crew groaned, expecting the stupidest suggestions they had ever heard.
Braxton began. “First of all, I suggest the new ship be named the Relativity, because I’m not that creative and I can’t think of a better name.”
The staff sat still for a few seconds, completely stunned that Braxton’s idea wasn’t all that bad. They talked it over for a while, and after that Ducane stood up. “Okay, sir, we all talked it over and we agree. The new ship will be the Relativity-H, the eighth ship to bear the name. Or the ninth, we’re still not quite sure what happened with the Relativity-E and the Relativity-F...”
Braxton read off his next suggestion. “I also suggest that this ship not be really really ugly, unlike the previous Relativity.”
The others didn’t even have to discuss that one, they all nodded in agreement.
“Thirdly, I’d like to suggest a basic concept for the new ship. Of course, its main function will still be a timeship, as it is our mission to preserve the timeline. But it seems like we, more often than any other crew in the timeship fleet, run into nutcases like the Excelsior crew or temporal fugitives or aliens from other dimensions. Therefore, for lack of a better term, I suggest the Relativity-H be a temporal warship.”
Yar, obviously overjoyed by the thought of having superweapons at her disposal, shouted “Woohoo!”
But they all discussed the matter, and finally Ducane spoke for all of them. “We just want to know three things, sir.”
“First, we are quite reluctant to have our ship be some sort of fanboy’s dream come true...”
“Oh no no no... That’s not what I meant at all! I just meant we might want to have a few more torpedo ports and molecular disruptors than the last ship had, better hull plating, and the latest in weaponry improvements. It’s not like I’m suggesting an ubermassive invincible ship with 1,000 torpedo ports, nova bombs, wormhole technology, etc...”
“Oh. Well in that case, that’s okay. Secondly, we feel the need to remind you that Starfleet is generally against warships.”
“Well, if Starfleet gets all uppity about it, we’ll just call it an ‘escort’ like they did with the original Defiant. What’s the last question?”
“Where the heck are you coming up with these suggestions? They’re actually... making sense...”
“You know, everyone’s been complaining about lack of continuity in Star Trek lately, but when I actually try to be a good captain after reviewing my past in the last plot arc, people complain! I just can’t win!”
While the planning of the Relativity-H continued, the Excelsior crew made their way to the bridge. On the way there, it had become obvious that it was not just the senior staff that had been transported aboard, but all 750 crew members. Once on the bridge, Admiral Janeway opened the ship’s log. “Hmm... It seems that this ship spent the last three months or so being crewed by the Relativity crew.”
Dark Helmet shirked. “Eew... That means everything’s covered in good guy cooties!”
Everyone glared at Dark Helmet for a few seconds, then turned their attention back to Janeway and the log. “Anyway, soon after they took the ship back to Starbase 47, it was transported away and so were we.”
Valtane nodded. “Yeah, but where were we transported to? And by whom? And why bring Admiral Janeway along?”
Rand speculated, “It’s possible whoever took us all wanted us to regain control of the ship.”
Janeway closed the log and sat down in the captain’s chair. “It’s possible. But let’s find out where we are. Turn on the viewscreen.”
Rand, who sat back down at her station, looked from her controls, to the viewscreen, and back to her controls in confusion. “Ma’am?”
“It’s not crunch time yet, Rand. I’ll tell you when.”
“Never mind. What’s wrong?”
“The viewscreen is on...”
However, the viewscreen was completely black. Everyone was quite confused. Janeway turned to Valtane. “What do the sensors show?”
“The sensors are offline.”
“I don’t know, but it appears that all exterior systems are offline. Sensors, propulsion, weapons, even the lighting...”
“Okay, I want all of you to get at least sensors online. Dismissed!”
Rand and Valtane went to the turbolift while everyone else stood still. Rand added, “That’s Starfleet for ‘get out.’”
And so, everyone else got on the turbolift...
Braxton and Ducane walked into one of Starbase 47’s holomatrices, where Damar was fiddling with a PADD. After a moment, Damar noticed the two. “Oh, I’m glad you’re here! I’ve just about got something for you to look at...”
Damar pressed a few buttons and a model of the new ship appeared, floating in mid-air. Braxton circled the model. “Very nice, Damar. I’m impressed. How’d you come up with it?”
“Well, you mentioned the old Defiant-class earlier, so I started with that. Of course, I upgraded its systems to 29th Century standards, made it a little bigger. Then I added in some stuff from the Aeon and the last Relativity to make sure it could navigate the timestream correctly.”
Sure enough, the model did look similar to the old Defiant. But the hull was jet black, like the Aeon, yet shiny like the Relativity, giving it the appearance of obsidian or onyx.
Ducane smiled. “I think you have the captain’s approval, Damar. Now all we have to do is build it...”
The evil Excelsior crew had split into teams to see if they could get external sensors online. Zathras and Rand were scanning around when Rand heard something. “What’s that?”
Zathras listened carefully. “Zathras not know. But Zathras think it coming from there...”
The sound was apparently coming from behind a door. But not just any door, it was Evil Braxton’s former quarters. They opened the door.
It turned out to be the Apocalypse Box. “Well, it’s about time somebody found me! Where’s Evil Braxton?”
Zathras picked up the box. “Evil Braxton dead. You can stay with Zathras.”
“Well, I guess it’s better than being stuck in a dark room...”
Valtane and Dukat reported back to the bridge. Valtane handed Janeway a PADD. “We think we’ve found the problem.”
Janeway looked at the data. “A dampening field? Where’s it coming from?”
“We don’t know, because the sensors are still offline. But we might be able to fool the field into thinking the sensors are an internal system long enough to get some readings.”
“Very well. Proceed.”
Dukat pushed a few buttons on his console. An image came onto the viewscreen. It was a ship. But not the outside of a ship. The Excelsior was trapped inside another ship!
The dampening field caused the sensors to fail again. But Dukat had managed to get some readings. He handed them to Janeway.
Janeway got up. “I’ll look over these readings in my ready room.”
She went to her reading room. “Computer?”
“I want you to compare the readings on this PADD with an energy signature that I will give you.”
Janeway pushed a few buttons.
These energy signatures are 99.47% identical. That’s really really close...
“Just as I feared... I knew we hadn’t seen the last of them...”
Next time on Star Trek: Series ?, construction begins on the new Relativity!