Time is a funny thing.
To simple entities, it is invariant. Its speed and direction are forever fixed.
To those entities that are somewhat more advanced, only its direction is believed to be forever forward. One’s velocity, however, can cause time’s speed to change.
To even more advanced entities, neither time’s speed or direction are fixed. One can travel both forward and backwards through time, if one has the proper technology.
And then there are entities so advanced and so powerful that they just don’t have a clue what time even is. Such are the Bajoran Prophets, who exist outside of linear time.
By the reckoning of lower beings, the Prophets exiled some of their own to the planet Bajor ages ago. These beings were condemned to be forever trapped in a bottomless pit hidden within a system of caves. The native Bajorans eventually named these caverns the “Fire Caves,” since the appearance of the banished Prophets was not unlike flame.
In addition to these banished Prophets, three other entities in recorded history had fallen into the bottomless pit. Two were Benjamin Sisko and Gul Dukat. Neither was in the bottomless pit very long, though. Sisko was transported to the Celestial Temple, also known as the Bajoran Wormhole. Dukat was saved from his fate by being transported through time to the 29th Century.
The third (and most recent) victim of the bottomless pit was not so lucky. By the reckoning of the aforementioned lower beings, it had been falling for almost two years.
That, however, was about to change...
Festivities the likes of which had never been seen were taking place on Starbase 47. Tables and tables were covered with culinary delights from across the galaxy, being picked over by Starfleet’s top brass. Balloons and streamers decorated every hallway. The disembodied head of Admiral Picard was atop its robot body, and had been dancing nonstop for quite a while. Finally, large posters were everywhere, adorned with the words “Good Riddance Braxton!”
Indeed, Captain Braxton and his crew had been declared dead by Picard after an apparently fatal accident with Scorpius’ new subspace drive. The novelty had yet to wear off for Picard.
It was thus unfortunate for Picard that one of his aides stepped into his office clutching a PADD and looking quite nervous.
Picard stopped dancing. “What is it? Can’t you see I’m busy celebrating?”
“Yes, sir. I can see that. But this urgent report just arrived from Bajor.”
Picard took the PADD from the aide with his massively powerful robot hands. He looked it over, and when he was done, he looked quite grim. “That will be all. You may go.”
The nervous aide quickly left. Picard had his robot body unscrew his disembodied head off and place it on the desk. “This would be the sort of suicidal mission that I would send Braxton on, but with him gone, who am I going to send?”
Picard thought for a few minutes, almost unhappy that Braxton was now gone. Almost. Finally, Picard’s face lit up with inspiration...
Meanwhile, deep within the bottomless pit on Bajor, the Mysterious Red Button continued to fall. The console to which it was attached was now oriented in such a manner that the Button was facing upwards. As such, it didn’t see what it was rapidly approaching...
With incredible force, the Mysterious Red Button struck the ground, leaving a large crater where it hit.
As the dust settled, the Button was shown to be in pretty good shape.
Sure enough, the Button had landed on a rocky ledge jutting out over the pit.
As if on cue, a light shone on the Mysterious Red Button...
Still fugitives from both the Federation and the Vaadwaur, the evil crew of the evil Excelsior hid themselves within the Coular Nebula. With little to do, the senior staff were regularly asleep at their consoles. Rand woke up when her console started beeping.
Janeway turned to her communications officer. “What’s going on? Have we been detected?”
“No, but we are being hailed... By Starfleet!”
“Put it onscreen. At least we’ve got something to do now...”
Admiral Picard’s face appeared on the evil Excelsior’s main viewer. In a curt manner, he said, “Admiral Janeway...”
Janeway replied, “Jean-Luc! How nice it is to hear from you!”
“Sarcasm does not become you, Janeway.”
“Who’s being sarcastic? I’m bored to death over here! It’s good to have somebody quasi-intelligent to talk to!”
Dukat muttered under his breath, “And what are we, chopped liver?”
Janeway shot Dukat a death glare, then turned back to Picard. “So... What’s up?”
“I need you for a mission.”
“A mission? I don’t know if anybody’s mentioned this to you, Jean-Luc, but we’re evil now! We don’t take orders from Starfleet anymore!”
“The mission is to save the universe, and seeing as how you’re in the universe, it might be in your best interests.”
Janeway mused for a while, then said, “Give me the details.”
Meanwhile, the Mysterious Red Button had been hauled off the ledge and into an adjoining cave by several scruffy-looking Bajorans.
If they did, the Bajorans didn’t answer back. After several minutes, they set the Button down in a large chamber surrounded by rather large torches. A rather mean-looking Bajoran man dressed in black robes sat on an ominous-looking throne. “So... You have arrived at last!”
The Bajoran motioned to one of his scruffy-looking subordinates. “Bring me the book!”
The subordinate quickly returned with a large tome. The Mysterious Red Button instantly recognized it. He had seen this book once before, although it was a version from an alternate timeline. He was looking at the Book of the Kosst Amojan...
The head Bajoran leafed through the book’s pages. “Your coming was foretold to us centuries ago when this book fell down here.”
“Yes! Hear now the Prophecy of the Button...
One button to irk them all
One button to annoy them
One button to bring them all
And in the darkness”
“Well, the author of the book obviously couldn’t find a good rhyme for the word ‘annoy.’ But that’s not the point. Your arrival here heralds the release of the Pah-wraiths!”
“Soon our masters will be free and they will destroy the universe! Hahahahahaha!”
“Very well! I shall use our sacred artifact to transport you anywhere you want to go!”
The evil Bajoran got up and opened a cabinet of sorts nearby. Inside was one of the Bajoran Orbs. However, unlike the other Orbs, this one was red. “Behold the Orb of Ultimate Evil!”
“The last time it was used, Farscape was cancelled!”
“Yes! And soon, when the time is right, we shall use it to release the Pah-wraiths! Now, where do you want to go?”
To Be Continued...
Can the evil crew of the evil Excelsior save the day? Will the Pah-wraiths be released at last? What does the Mysterious Red Button have in store for Dukat? Do bad guys always have to be dressed in black? For the answers to some of these questions, read the quasi-exciting conclusion!