Episode 78: “In Like a Lion” (Season 3 Finale)
Written by “Krenim”
Published January 12, 2003
Deep within Gorei’s command center on Vaadwaur Prime, the Vaadwaur leader himself sat in his thronelike chair. Gorei had been sitting there for quite some time, waiting for word from his generals. The time was drawing near when the entire galaxy would bow before him. The time was drawing so near...
Finally, the large tritanium doors to the chamber opened, shedding light on the dark room. Gorei looked up as one of his generals entered and then knelt before him.
“What news do you bring me?”
The general answered, “Preparations are complete. We only await you.”
Gorei smiled evilly, then stood up and headed for the door. Unfortunately for him, he had barely taken a few steps before he tripped and fell. So much for drama...
As Gorei gets to his feet, the camera zooms out through the walls of the compound. Outside, we see thousands upon thousands upon thousands of troops leaving on transports.
Continuing to zoom out, we pass out of Vaadwaur Prime’s atmosphere. We pass a ship. Then another. Then several others. Finally, as the camera stops, we see Vaadwaur Prime is completely surrounded by a countless number of ships. And those ships are ready to leave...
The space surrounding System J-25 was calm and peaceful. Unfortunately, it was not to be so for very long. The jet-black, spiny, and utterly evil Excelsior zoomed by, firing several subspace torpedoes from its aft launchers. Close behind the Excelsior was the Relativity, which was in hot pursuit. It barely dodged the Excelsior’s barrage, then launched its own. The Excelsior took several direct hits, causing it to shake violently.
Admiral Janeway was not pleased. “They want to play hardball, huh? Fine. Mr. Hamster, set a course for that planet over there. Let’s see if Braxton’s up to playing chicken...”
The Excelsior made a hard left and made straight for the planet.
Onboard the Relativity, Captain Braxton was determined not to let his prey get away. “Stay with them, Captain Sulu!”
“You called me ‘Captain!’”
“We’ve got the Excelsior right where we want it. Now is not the time for recurring jokes.”
The Relativity also made a hard left, started closing with the Excelsior once again.
The Excelsior was rapidly approaching the planet. Valtane checked his instruments. “We’re now entering the atmosphere, Captain.”
“I’m well aware of that, Mr. Valtane.”
“Aren’t we going to pull up?”
The Excelsior’s hull began to glow red from the friction with the atmosphere. The Relativity continued to close, launching several paradox torpedoes. All struck their target.
Hawk read out the damage report. “Aft shields are down, but Shadow armor is holding.”
Dark Helmet was becoming increasingly nervous. “Aren’t we going to pull up?”
“Wait for it...”
“Wait for it...”
The surface of the planet was getting closer and closer.
Harvey pulled up on the controls. The Excelsior veered away from the planet, but it was so close that the tops of the trees below were snapped off by the ship.
Braxton smiled. “Perfect. You know what to do, Sulu.”
“I do indeed.”
The Relativity continued to streak nosefirst towards the surface. However, it didn’t manage to pull up in time. It struck the planet, sending up a huge cloud of debris.
Janeway grinned evilly as she watched the crash on the viewscreen. “Mr. Valtane?”
“I’m not reading any energy signatures or lifesigns. I think we’ve seen the last of Captain Braxton and his crew.”
“For centuries, Braxton has made my life miserable. Today he got his just desserts. Set a course for Vaadwaur Prime. I think Gorei will be happy to hear we’ve finally defeated our archenemies...”
With that, the Excelsior vanished as it entered a subspace corridor.
A few minutes later, a completely intact Relativity rose from the smoke. Braxton smiled. “Excellent work, Dax.”
“All I did was divert all power to inertial dampeners and shields, and then switch it to the scattering field I set up. The perfect fake crash-and-burn.”
“Are you picking up the signal?”
Dax pressed a few buttons on her console. “Just barely, sir.”
“Perfect. That subspatial beacon will allow us to track the Excelsior anywhere it goes, even in those blasted subspace corridors. The next time they come out, we’ll have a task force laying in wait to take them into custody. Let’s head back to Starbase 47...”
The evil Excelsior twisted and turned its way through the maze of subspace corridors underlaying the galaxy, its crew completely unaware that they were being tracked.
Janeway turned to Rand. “Open a channel to Gorei.”
Seconds later, Gorei’s image appeared on the main viewer. He was sitting in the command chair of his flagship. “I’m kind of busy right now, Janeway. What do you want?”
“I wanted to report that we have finally destroyed the Relativity.”
“Well, well, well... You screw-ups managed to do something right for a change.”
“Thank you, sir.”
“In fact, I’m so impressed that I want you to rendezvous with my fleet at the following coordinates.”
“Your fleet, sir?”
“Yes, Janeway. The Vaad War ends today...”
The Relativity dropped out of hyperwarp by Starbase 47. However, the station was crawling with Starfleet ships of every shape and size. Braxton didn’t know what was going on, but he was determined to find out. “Dax!”
“Already on it, sir! Channel open!”
“Braxton to Picard. What’s going on here?”
The disembodied head of Admiral Picard came onscreen. “Braxton! Believe it or not, I’m actually glad to see you, and for once it’s not because I have yet another suicide mission planned for you!”
“Uh... That’s nice, sir. But why are you happy to see me?”
“There’s a subspace disturbance that’s headed towards Earth.”
“Several days ago, the Vaadwaur began pulling a lot of their ships off the front lines of the war. We didn’t know where they were going until we started tracking the Excelsior via that beacon you attached to it. We now believe that these ships are headed towards Earth with the Excelsior, and that the subspace disturbance is caused by the incredible number of ships travelling through the subspace corridors together. We’re putting together a fleet of our own to intercept them.”
“But sir, how do you know they’re headed for Earth?”
“It’s the season finale, Braxton. Where else would they be headed?”
A Vaadwaur officer stepped onto Gorei’s bridge and handed him a PADD. As Gorei looked over it, his face began to develop a very cross expression. “Starfleet’s massing a fleet at Earth? They couldn’t have possibly known we were coming! Unless...”
He got up, walked over to the science station, and threw his science officer out of his chair. He then proceeded to scan the fleet. He then yelled over to his tactical officer. “Fire a torpedo at the coordinates I’m sending to you!”
The tactical officer checked the coordinates. “Sir?”
“I said fire!”
Gorei’s flagship fired a single torpedo towards the Excelsior. It struck it, causing it to shake horribly. Janeway’s image appeared on Gorei’s viewscreen. “What do you think you’re doing?”
“I think I’m correcting another one of your screw-ups!”
“The Relativity tagged you with a subspatial beacon! They’ve been tracking us ever since you got here!”
Janeway was not pleased. “I’ll bet that also means Braxton was just playing dead. Well... When we get to Earth, we’ll just have to pay him back for this...”
Picard’s task force arrived in Earth orbit and joined the sizable fleet already there. Unfortunately, the number of Starfleet ships still paled in comparison with the number of Vaadwaur ships that were en route.
Braxton turned to Dax. “How much longer until they get here?”
“I can’t give you a precise time. The beacon’s gone offline, which means that they know we know they’re coming.”
“Yes, but they don’t know that we know they know we know they’re coming.”
“Actually, they probably do know we know they know we know they’re coming.”
“Anyway, about an hour.”
“Do you think we’ll pull together enough ships by then?”
Yar pointed to the viewscreen. “Will that be enough?”
Outside, a huge number of ships dropped out of hyperwarp. Braxton was astonished. “Klingons and Romulans and Cardassians! Oh my! But what are they doing here?”
“If we lose, they lose. The Federation’s the only thing that stands between the Vaadwaur and galactic domination.”
Another bunch of ships dropped out of hyperwarp. Braxton’s jaw dropped. “It’s the Nemesis!”
Sure enough, it was Galvatron’s ship. Galvatron himself appeared onscreen, with Optimus Prime right behind him. “Greetings, Captain Braxton! We’re here to help!”
“Yeah. Prime threatened to have my body recycled into cans of Slug-O-Cola if I didn’t.”
“Where’d you get all the other ships?”
“I called Scourge and Cyclonus back home and had them bring the Sweeps and the Armada over here.”
“You called who and had the what brought here?”
Galvatron turned to Prime. “See? I told you that was too obscure a Transformers reference!”
Prime responded, “Shut up. This is the last episode of this show you and I are going to be in, so we can be as obscure as we want to be.”
One last ship dropped out of hyperspace. Scorpius’ face replaced Galvatron and Prime. “Hello, Captain Braxton!”
“Didn’t I tell you never to call me that?”
“I came to assist you with my new Command Carrier.”
“Let me guess... You called the Farscape universe and had someone bring it over?”
“Don’t be ridiculous. I bought it on eBay.”
“Ah. Well, glad to have you here. Now all we do is wait...”
A short time later, the Vaadwaur fleet emerged from subspace just outside the Mars Defense Perimeter. The unmanned fighters immediately began firing upon the invaders, but they were quickly defeated. The fleet passed by Mars, and wiped out the Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards on the way. Finally, they were within sight of Earth itself.
Gorei stood. “All ships prepare to attack...”
Admiral Janeway grinned. “It’s payback time!”
Admiral Picard’s disembodied head watched as the fleet approached. “The line must be drawn here!”
Captain Braxton was grim. “Let the battle begin...”
Galvatron pointed at the incoming fleet and shouted, “Decepticons... Attack!”
The two fleets opened fire on each other. Fighters from both sides started dogfighting with each other. The Excelsior plowed a path through the carnage towards the Relativity, with Janeway bent on destroying Braxton once and for all. And so, with the biggest battle ever going on around them, the two ships began yet another deadly dance...
Admiral Picard’s Flagship soon found itself being swarmed by Vaadwaur fighters, but the fighters themselves were soon overwhelmed by the Decepticons. Gorei, who was not content to sit back and let others fight, had his huge flagship lurch forward, taking potshots at any Starfleet ship that dared to get close enough.
Braxton noticed the enemy flagship moving towards Earth, and had an idea. “Janeway likes to play chicken, so let’s play chicken...”
Sulu nodded. “Understood, sir.”
The Relativity veered towards Gorei’s ship, firing all its weapons. Gorei smiled as the Relativity came into range. “I’ve got you now, Braxton...”
On the opposite side of the Relativity, Janeway also smiled. “I’ve got you now, Braxton...”
Both ships fired all their weapons. The Relativity made a hard 90 degree angle, and both Janeway and Gorei’s ships took heavy damage from the other’s fire.
The Excelsior bridge was filled with smoke as consoles all over the place exploded. Janeway had enough. “Today is not a good day to die! Run away!”
And with that, the Excelsior made a hasty retreat. Gorei, watching them go, sneered and said, “So much for them being the most evil villains in the galaxy...”
Galvatron was having the time of his life. He had gotten on top of his ship (being a robot, he could survive in space) and began firing his particle cannon at enemy ships passing by. “Take this! And this! And this! Bwahahahahaha!”
Gorei’s second-in-command shouted, “Sir, we’re being driven back! We weren’t expecting this level of resistance!”
Gorei nodded in agreement. “Yes, thanks to those Excelsior morons, they had time to plan a counterattack. But that is of no consequence. Execute Plan B. Deploy the weapon.”
Several Vaadwaur ships broke away from the battle and made their way to Earth. Well, not quite to Earth. Instead of heading straight for the planet, they set up a ring formation around it.
Picard watched the ships onscreen. “I don’t know what they’re doing, but I want those ships stopped now!”
Starfleet fighters moved to attack them, but Vaadwaur ships moved to block them. The enemy ships surrounding the Earth began to glow bright orange. Arcs of energy began to flow between the ships, resulting in a ring of energy all around the planet.
Braxton watched in horror. “What are they doing?”
All of a sudden, the ships and the Earth flashed a bright orange, and they vanished.
After being momentarily blinded by the flash, Picard looked in terror. “The Earth...? What happened to the Earth...?”
His master plan completed, Gorei cackled with glee. “Hahahahahahaha...”
To Be Continued...
The final season of Series ? begins March 26...