Episode 35: “Improper Tense”

Written by Swordtail

Published June 16, 2007

Scene 1 - Camera pans around an unfamiliar part of space. It pans by a weird looking ship, which looks quite similar to the Monarch class (Enterprise-J), but with a two-pronged hull similar to the Celestial. In other words it’s a really flat Opaka class...if that’s possible. It appears to have been in many battles recently, with massive hull damage and only a few windows are lit. The ship’s captain can be heard making a log entry.

Captain - Colonel’s log, stardate 549950.7. That’s the year 2496 for those of you that are keeping track. The FSS Celestial is en route to investigate the anomaly that has appeared in sector 43. I didn’t think it was a good idea to send only one ship, but Federate Command, in their infinite wisdom, ordered only us to check it out. They think that if the Confederation hears of an entire fleet converging on a single location, they’ll send an entire assault force there to seize it.

Camera goes inside the ship to its bridge. The captain, a Bajoran, walks on and goes over to his Cardassian first officer. He glances at several other bridge officers and nods to each of them. The uniforms are similar to Starfleet uniforms, but mostly black with only a few strips of colour indicating what department they’re in.

Cardassian - Ah, Colonel Alman, you’re up.

Colonel Alman - How much longer till we get there, Major Basat?

Basat - A few minutes. No-Name #1 at Ops, any sign of Confederation ships in the area?

No-Name #1 (a Bolian) - No, sir. Nothing on long range sensors.

Camera watches the ship approach a vortex in the middle of space. Oddly, it looks awfully familiar to the one encountered by the USS Halfass over a hundred years before. Camera zooms over the front of the ship, where the lettering and numbering is written in Bajoran so no one can figure out what exactly it says. Camera goes into the bridge.

No-Name #2 (A Vulcan at the science station) - Colonel, something’s happening in the vortex. Verteron emissions are off the scale, sir.

No-Name #1 - Uh... and we have another problem... five Confederation ships on an intercept course.

Alman - Prophets damn it...

Opening credits... Woot.

Scene 2 - The words “present day... aka 2382” flash across the screen as the Opaka-class USS Celestial flies by at impulse speed.

Righteous - Captain’s log, stardate 436106.8. We’re flying around looking for adventure because we’re bored and Admiral Spot still won’t return my calls. Apparently she’s been meeting with the President and Congress for the past four days straight. You’d almost think something important was going on.

Camera goes to the captain’s ready room, where Righteous is spinning in his chair really fast.

Righteous - WOOOOOOO!!!

Fwoosh! He flies out of the chair and crashes into the couch. The door chimes.

Righteous - Enter!

Senseless walks in.

Senseless - Since when do you use this office?

Righteous - It says on the door it’s the “Captain’s Ready Room,” so I figured I’d come here to get ready for the day... not sure what I have to do, though.

Senseless - Lieutenant Bios says she’s found a weird verteron signature in this area of space. We’re trying to localize it now.

Righteous - Sounds fun. Let’s go, Commander!

He gets off the couch and starts to walk to the door, following Senseless out onto the bridge. Halfway there, he suddenly grimaces in pain and grabs his head.

Righteous - Ow, that hurts!

Senseless turns around.

Senseless - You alright, sir?

Righteous - Yeah, I think so, I must have eaten something that didn’t agree with me.

He continues walking toward the door but suddenly doubles over in pain and falls to the floor.

Senseless - Senseless to Sickbay, medical emergency in the Ready Room!

Puker - On my way.

Senseless checks the Captain’s pulse as the other bridge officers crowd around the door.

Genocide - Normally I’d be happy about this, but it probably means we’re all about to get our butts kicked.

Then, out of nowhere, the ship lurches violently to port and everyone is thrown across the room.

Senseless - Report!

Baque - I don’t know! We’re being pulled into some kind of energy vortex.

Bios - Um... I think we found our verteron source....

Everyone looks at the viewscreen and sees a vortex very similar to the one encountered last scene out in space, getting closer by the second.

Baque - Trying to break us free.

Bios - Verteron emissions are off the scale!

Senseless - Hail Starfleet! Send out a distress call! Something! I don’t wanna have to deal with alternate timelines again!

Center - Message sent, sir!

Righteous - Owwwwwwww....

Puker and Blavik run onto the bridge. They go over to check on Righteous.

Puker - There’s nothing wrong with him that I can detect.

Baque - We’re entering the vortex!

Bios - Chroniton particles! It’s definitely a temporal anomaly!

Senseless - Oh, that’s just great...

FLASH! The ship is sucked into the vortex and reappears on the other side, right in front of the Monarch-class rip-off future Celestial. Camera goes to said ship’s bridge.

No-Name #1 - Sir!

No-Name #3 (an Andorian at helm) - Taking evasive action!

Camera watches as the future-Celestial is grazed by the present Celestial. Both ships bounce off each other and fly off in random directions, spinning wildly. Camera goes to the present-Celestial’s bridge.

Senseless - What was that!?!

Baque - We hit something. Trying to triangulate our position.

Genocide - There’s another ship out there.

Center - The stars are in the wrong place...

Bios - (sigh) When are we?

Center - ...sometime in 2496.

Righteous - Does anyone care that I’m feeling better now?

Center - Yes, sir.

Baque - No, sir.

Righteous - Well, then...

Genocide - Sensors are coming back online. There’s a ship just off our port bow and five more approaching at... very, very high warp. They’ll be here in one minute.

Center - The nearest ship is hailing us.

Senseless - Onscreen.

Colonel Alman appears onscreen.

Alman - I am Colonel Alman Jekar of the Federate starship Celestial. Identify yourselves and your affiliation!

Everyone on the bridge raises an eyebrow.

Righteous - Uh... I’m Captain Righteous Lee of the Federation starship Celestial...

Colonel Alman looks to his Cardassian first officer then back at Righteous.

Alman - Celestial?

Senseless - Yes... We’re from the year 2382. Are you responsible for us being here?

Basat - No, we were just as perplexed as you are.

Righteous - Mr. Alman, why is there a Cardassian on your ship?

Bios - Commander?

Senseless walks over to her.

Bios (whispering) - I’m not detecting a single human lifesign on that ship. Dozens of other Federation species, but no humans.

Senseless - Perhaps we should meet face to face.

Alman - I’m afraid there’s no time for that.

Genocide - Those five ships are dropping out of... warp...

Senseless - Onscreen. Stand by, Celestial.

Four Defiant and one Prometheus-class starships appear on the screen, assuming an attack formation.

Genocide - They’re opening fire!

BOOM! Ship lurches violently, stuff explodes.

Genocide - Shields are at 50%! Those aren’t normal phasers they’re using!

Bios - We’re over a hundred years in the future, I doubt we’d last ten seconds in a fight with those ships.

Center - The FSS Celestial is hailing again.

Colonel Alman appears on screen, his bridge shaking around him.

Alman - We have to get out of here! What’s your top speed?

Senseless - Warp 9.936.

Alman - That’s about warp 12 on our scale. That’s nowhere near the top speed of those ships. We’ll have to tow you. Standby.

The screen goes back to showing the stars flying by in various directions as Baque tries to stay out of harm’s way. Then, the ship jolts to a halt and starts moving.

Genocide - They have us in a tractor beam. Should I try to break free?

Senseless - Let’s give them the benefit of the doubt, seeing as they haven’t yet blown a hole in us.

Camera goes into space and watches the larger future-Celestial, towing the other one, jump into very high warp.

Scene 3 - Briefing room. Lieutenant-Commander Garell finishes installing a replicator and turns it on.

Garell - Coffee, really strong.

Zzzzzt! She takes the coffee and goes over and sits down at her place at the briefing room table. Everyone else, including Colonel Alman and Major Basat, are present.

Righteous - You done?

Garell - Yes. Proceed.

Senseless - So... I’ll assume you know our logs, care to fill us in?

Alman - Certainly.

He and Basat get up and go over to the monitor. It activates showing a schematic of the timeline.

Alman - Everything was as you know it right up until your ship disappeared on stardate 436106.8.

Lieutenant Baque - I see you still use that weird stardate system that actually makes a little sense.

Alman - We do. After you disappeared, Starfleet Command quickly gave up the search.

Ensign Blavik - Highly illogical.

Doctor Puker - Highly unsurprising.

Alman - All they had was your distress call saying you’d encountered a temporal anomaly... again. They assumed you had been pulled into the past or the future and just left a communications buoy in place in case you reappeared.

Puker - Oh... Well, that’s not so bad then.

Basat - Everything was going alright until a few months after you vanished. Something happened that no one is really sure of. Long story short, without any explanation, the Celestial Temple simply sealed itself.

Bios - You mean the wormhole? Looked fine the last time we were in there.

Basat - I said no one was sure why. Oh, I almost forgot. Most of the Federation fleet was in the Gamma Quadrant fighting the Dominion at the time, trying to drive them back into their own space and leave the wormhole clear so exploration could resume. Thus, when the wormhole sealed itself, almost 80% of Starfleet was cut off from the rest of the Federation.

Genocide - The Dominion attacked again... really...

Alman - After that, the Federation started to fall apart. So few ships were left that the council couldn’t decide which planets were important enough to be protected. To top it all off, the Breen attacked again. The Federation Council, in its infinite wisdom, pulled every starship back to protect the Sol system. Half the Federation worlds broke away that very day, and the rest followed suit within the next few weeks. Without Starfleet to protect them, most decided to form their own little cliques with their neighbours.

Basat - Earth, on its own and vastly screwed, would have surrendered if not for the Romulans and the Klingons. After the Breen were wiped out, Earth decided to–

Tener - Woah, woah, woah, the Breen were wiped out?

Alman - Earth, Qo’noS, and Romulus decided they posed too much of a threat.

Basat - Earth and the Klingons and Romulans formed an alliance, which called themselves the Confederation. They also weren’t too happy about the fact that the Federation had abandoned them.

Alman - They started turning a blind eye to hit and run attacks their own people were performing on trading routes within the break-away planets. Eventually they started annexing entire worlds, citing them as “threats to Confederation security.”

No one notices, but Genocide looks shocked at that last sentence.

Senseless - This still doesn’t explain where you came from.

Basat - In response to the attacks, the other worlds joined together to form the Federate Alliance, loosely based on the original United Federation of Planets. They managed to sway the Cardassian Union and the Tholion Assembly to join.

Righteous - What! Bajor would never join hands with Cardassia!

Basat and Alman shake hands to prove him wrong.

Righteous - Prophets damn it!

Senseless - So, you’re telling us that Earth is now the bad guys? That doesn’t sound like the Earth we left. Everyone there was lazy, unmotivated, and really couldn’t care less about stuff.

Basat - We think that Section 31 launched a coup and took over the council, at least in the background.

Genocide - That’s impossible!

Alman - Is it?

Genocide - Well... I don’t know anymore.

Center - How do you know our disappearance made all the difference?

Alman - Well... we don’t... but everything was sort of going okay until you left. Then it went down the proverbial crapper.

Center - Well, we have to get back to 2382 and warn everyone!

Basat - That... could be a problem.

Senseless puts his head in his hands.

Senseless - There’s always a problem...

Basat - We’re traveling at what we call warp factor 14. That’s about three times your top speed. Also, over a dozen Confederation ships have arrived at the site of the temporal anomaly. Even if you wanted to go back, Federate Command can’t afford to lose another ship, and it would take you weeks to get there at warp 7.

Baque - Ah man, our speed limits have never stopped us from getting around quickly before...

Alman - Nor did it for people in Pirates of the Caribbean 3...

Tener - That was a good movie.

Senseless - Get back on track, people. I think the obvious choice is to perform a time warp manoeuver and get back to our proper point in time.

Bios - Ooh...

Senseless - (groan) Now what!?

Bios - I already thought about that, sir. At the inertial speeds we’d need to obtain, the ship would rip itself apart. We’re a little bigger than a Sabre-class ship, remember.

Righteous - Is that a bad thing?

Bios - Very, sir. We can’t use the time warp manoeuver.

Righteous - So, we’ll just go back and fly through the triple apricot.

Baque - Oh, here we go again... weren’t you paying attention!?!

Alman - Well, we’ll pull you to our nearest space station and get you repaired. We’ll even install some advanced technology, including weapons–

Genocide (throwing his arms in the air) - WOO HOO!

Alman - And engines.

Garell - Great, more that will break down.

Basat - We should tell you that you’ll probably get a lot of attention there. The NCC-80164 is somewhat of an icon to us. You represented a force that had the best interests of the Federation, not just Earth, in mind.

Righteous - Never thought I’d see the day a Cardassian was sucking up to me.

Scene 4 - Camera zooms in on Earth, goes down into San Francisco, and into the Federation Council Chamber, after narrowly dodging a few hovercars and rabid birds. It flies along the main hallway and then cuts toward a door which says “Chief of Defence Staff.” The camera breaks open the door and flies inside. Sitting on a ornate wooden desk is Fleet Admiral Spot, filling out paperwork. The camera jiggles a little then looks down past the cameraman’s feet, watching Admiral Nelix trot past and hop up on the desk to meet with Spot.

Nelix - Getting settled in, ma’am?

Spot - Go away, Admiral, I’m busy. Who knew this would be so much work?

Nelix - The Celestial has encountered another temporal anomaly. This time they sent out a distress signal.

Spot’s face goes blank.

Spot - It just doesn’t end, does it? I get promoted to Chief of Starfleet Operations or Commander in Chief of Starfleet or whatever it’s called today, and I still have to deal with Righteous!

Nelix - Needless to say they went through it.

Spot - Of course, of course... well, send a ship to investigate it. Hey, why did you come to me in the first place? There’s a half a dozen other admirals who should have taken care of it by now. What gives?

Nelix - Besides the fact that they’re all No-Names and are incompetent?

Spot - Yeah.

Nelix - It’s the same temporal anomaly that they encountered last time.

Spot - Impossible, I saw that one get destroyed. Something to do with targs.

Nelix - Well, it’s back. Verteron flux matches the last one exactly.

Spot - Do you think it poses any danger to the Federation?

Nelix - No, but I’ll bet a million bars of gold-pressed latinum that the Celestial poses a danger. For all we know, they’ve already changed the timeline.

Spot - Well, nothing we can really do about it. Send the Saratoga to drop a communications buoy near the anomaly and we’ll just have to wait for them.

Scene 5 - In the Celestial’s mess hall (the present-ship, not the future one. Not enough money to make more sets) Lieutenant Baque is reading some PADDs and eating some pumpkin pie. Lieutenant-Commander Garell comes in and plops herself down across from him, looking worn out.

Garell - I have spent the last four hours trying to make sense of this advanced warp engine technology. Our counterpart, the Celestial-B, brought over one of their power converters which should boost our top speed to about warp 9.9995, or warp 15 by their standards.

Baque - Sounds fun. What’s the problem?

Garell - It doesn’t work. No change in our power flow.

Baque - Bummer.

Garell - I give up. We’re not getting any advanced technology this time, by the looks of it.

Baque - Genocide won’t be happy. He was looking forward to some of those weapons.

Bios walks in and sits down.

Bios - This sucks. I’ve spent the last six hours trying to figure out a way back without using that damn temporal anomaly and it’s not working!

Garell - Join the club.

Bios - I don’t understand how the Constitution-class Enterprise could have done it without flying itself apart.

The room shakes slightly and a Confederation starship flies by the window, firing phasers wildly. The red alert klaxons go off.

No-Name #4 - All senior staff report to the bridge.

Baque - Grr. Here we go again...

Scene 6 - Camera watches as a large Confederation starship, which closely resembles a Prometheus-class ship, splits into 3 and attacks the Celestial-B, putting a few more holes in it. (Just goes to show that every ship of that name is destined to get the crap kicked out of it on a regular basis.) Camera goes to the Celestial’s bridge.

Righteous - Prophets help us!

Senseless - Divert all power to the shields, prepare to return fire!

Genocide - So far they’re leaving us alone. Should we give the other Celestial a hand?

Baque - Our counterpart has locked on a tractor beam and is preparing to go to warp.

Boom, ship rocks, sparks.

Center - The Confederation ship has destroyed the Celestial-B’s tractor emitter.

Senseless - Then what was that jolt we felt?

Center - ...Plot device.

Jolt... again.

Senseless - Now what!?

Center - The Confederation ship has locked a tractor beam on us. They’re turning us away from the other Celestial.

Senseless - Lock weapons on their tractor emitter. Fire!

Genocide - Firing... no effect. It looks like they have independent shielding around their tractor emitter.

Bios - Why didn’t our Starfleet ever think of that?

Baque - Our besieged friends have jumped into warp.

Righteous - Eager to leave, aren’t they?

Center - We’re receiving a transmission.

Some Romulan appears on the screen.

Romulan - Please do not resist. You will not be harmed in any way.

Righteous - Release us! I hate tractor beams! What is the meaning of this!?!

Romulan - Everything the Federate Alliance has told you is a lie.

Senseless - Oh, for crying out loud...

Scene 7 - Celestial’s briefing room... again. All senior staff and the Romulan captain are present.

Puker - All this running around is wearing me out. Can someone please set up a schedule for events?

Righteous - Mr. Romulan, please begin.

Romulan - My name is Captain Talor of the Confederation starship USS Litterbox.

Tener looks like he’s gagging. Everyone else just rolls their eyes.

Talor - You’ve been told that Earth betrayed the rest of the Federation. That is a lie. The Breen wanted to destroy Earth, and would have annihilated anything that got in their way. Instead of standing with us, the rest of the Federation threw us out and left us fend for ourselves. They were snatched up by the Cardassians and the Tholians, and formed the Federate Alliance to protect themselves from the Breen and the Dominion in case the wormhole ever reopened.

Righteous - I knew it! The Cardassians can’t be trusted!

Talor - The Klingons beat the Breen back to their homeworld and have managed to contain them ever since, preventing them from building any more ships. The alliance the Romulans and Klingons forged with us to fight the Breen and the Dominion led to the Confederation. Then, for no apparent reason, the Federate Alliance declared war on us.

Senseless - Okay, well, we really don’t care, we’re just trying to get back to our time.

Talor - We intend to help. We believe that if the Celestial had not disappeared a century ago, the Breen wouldn’t have attacked and the Federation wouldn’t have broken apart.

Baque - I think you’re overestimating our importance just a little...

Talor - We’ll install a cloaking device onboard and take you back to the temporal anomaly.

Righteous - You better make sure it’s still there. It is temporal after all.

Captain Talor just looks at him, blinking. Genocide gets up and whispers into his ear.

Genocide (whispering) - That’s idiot talk for “make it so.”

Scene 8 - Messhall. Baque sits down, licks his lips, and dives back into that same piece of pie he had been eating earlier. Garell comes in and plops down in the other chair again. Out the window the USS Litterbox, probably with a dumb letter attached to its registry number, is towing the Celestial at very high warp. Several other ships can also be seen holding formation nearby.

Garell - Why does nothing work today? Stupid cloaking device won’t interface with our deflector field properly. I can cloak all of Main Engineering, but nothing else.

Baque - Mmmgh mmff mmmeee mmoof.

Garell - What?

Baque swallows.

Baque - Sorry. I said I couldn’t care less. I was eating pie, in case you hadn’t noticed.

Garell is about so say something when the red alert klaxons go off... again.

No-Name #4 - All senior staff report to the bridge... again.

Baque, still not finished his pie, curses and gets up and leaves the room with Garell and everyone else. As they enter the bridge, Baque grabs a phaser from a nearby console and points it at No-Name #4.

Baque - Stop interrupting my snack!

Pzzzzt! The No-Name redshirt is vapourized.

Garell - Aren’t those supposed to be set on stun?

Baque - It was...

All the other officers run onto the bridge from various doors.

Puker - What is the meaning of this! Why was I called up here! Is there a medical emergency? Because if not, why call all senior staff to the bridge!?! For crying out loud.

Blavik - Exercise is good for you, sir.

Puker - Christ, you sound like a fricking doctor.

Blavik just shakes her head as the two go to stand behind the command chairs where they usually while away their bridge time.

Righteous - Prophets damn it, what now?!

Senseless - Ensign?

Center - Long range sensors have picked up a Federate Alliance fleet guarding the temporal anomaly. Several more Confederation ships are moving in from another direction.

Righteous - Why is everyone so hyped about the timely archipelago?

Bios - Probably because whoever sends us back will get on our good books, and we might change history in their favour.

Center - I’m picking up a transmission between the Celestial-B and the Litterbox-A.

Righteous - Hey, what happened to the Celestial-A?

Puker - Wasn’t that an Ares-class ship with lots of weapons?

Genocide - That was all a big holodeck simulation.

Puker - Or was it?

Genocide - Whatever... raising shields, just to be on the safe side.

Righteous - Is there anyway we can get to the two-timing arch-angel?

Baque - Not without ramming someone, Captain... Is it my imagination, or are your word slip-ups getting worse each time?

Righteous - You mean every time I say twenty apes?

Senseless - Put that transmission onscreen, ensign.

Captain Talor and Colonel Alman appear on their own sides of the screen, bickering at each other.

Alman - ...have no right to seize that ship! Hand it over, or we’ll destroy you!

Talor - Our ships outgun yours!

Alman - Our ships outnumber yours!

Senseless - That’s it. Lieutenant Bios, can you shove us into this?

Bios - Yep... you’re on.

Senseless - Both of you, shut up!

Alman - Whatever he told you about us is a lie! We didn’t declare war on them, they declared war on us!

Talor - After a series of unprovoked attacks!

Alman - They were preemptive strikes!

Talor - They were unjustified massacres of our people!

Alman - You were cloaking your ships!

Talor - We had every right to! Romulus and Earth are now allies!

Senseless - Shut up! Both of you! Mr. Genocide, fire at both ships!

Genocide - Firing.

On the screen, both bridges shake slightly, enough to drag each commanding officer’s attention away from each other and onto Commander Senseless.

Senseless - We don’t care about your petty war, or your petty timeline, or the Dominion, or the Breen, or what ship got what name or who did what to whom. All we care about is going home. So, if you don’t mind, we’ll be heading through the temporal anomaly and you guys can fight it out amongst yourselves as you disappear from the timeline.

Alman - Ah ha! I knew it! You’re trying to wipe us out! Tactical, target their flagship and open fire!

Talor - And this proves you were trying the same thing! Weapons officer, fire at will!

Boom, ships rock, sparks and stuff... For once, it isn’t the Celestial getting pounded on.

Talor - Celestial, go through the temporal anomaly, we’ll protect you as long as we can!

Alman - No! Don’t listen to them, we’ll protect you! Go!

Senseless is just shaking his head and Righteous is looking back and forth trying to follow the conversation.

Righteous - So... which are the good guys?

Sensleess - Neither, sir.

Alman - Bajor is on our side! The Prophets are smiling down on us! Go!

Talor - In the name of all that you hold dear as a civilization, don’t listen to them! Think of Earth!

Righteous - Gah... Federation oath or common sense?

BOOM! The bridge explodes around them.

Genocide - Lieutenant Baque, please kindly move us out of the cross fire!

Baque - Oh, sorry!

Camera watches the Celestial fly away from the battle and park itself a good million clicks away.

Senseless - Let’s just let them fight it out for a while.

Center - Isn’t that unethical?

Senseless - Not according to the Prime Directive. Go to yellow alert and keep the shields up. I’ll be in the gym.

Baque - I’ll be in the mess hall.

Genocide - I’ll be in the holodeck.

Garell - And I’ll be in various locations around the ship fixing the shit you bastards let break.

Scene 9 - A corridor on some random deck. Genocide is walking along, humming to himself. Out of nowhere, the Section 31 agent starts walking with him.

Agent - How’ve ya been?

Genocide jumps and reaches for his phaser.

Genocide - How did you get here!?!

Agent - Relax. I have my ways. For one, that temporal anomaly is still open. It forms a linear temporal alignment pattern with the time frame you left. In other words, if you were to cross back now, you’d arrive several hours later then when you left. And by several hours I mean the time that has passed for you since you got here.

Genocide - That still doesn’t answer my question.

Agent - I transported through the anomaly using a subspace transporter.

Genocide - Aren’t those really energy intensive?

Agent - There’s very little we can’t do.

Genocide - I’m beginning to see that. Is it true you’re planning to take over the government?

Agent - We are the government.

Genocide - Right... so... what brings you to this neck of the space-time continuum?

Agent - I’ve reviewed all the sensor logs and log entries, so I’m up to speed. I suppose you want to know about the Dominion now?

Genocide - Could help. I thought they weren’t planning on attacking us again. Weyoun told us so himself.

Agent - Our intelligence points to the threat coming from a radical sect within the Great Link itself. It seems that not all the Changelings wanted to listen to Odo. Some broke away and reformed the Dominion as we know it: Ruthless, corny, and really contrived.

Genocide - One good thing came from all this fuss. We got to see how things could go seriously wrong if we didn’t exist.

Agent - Then you think your crew can intervene somehow and stop all this?

Genocide - I think you’re putting a little too much faith in Captain Righteous, but I’m sure the rest of us will do our best... or close enough.

Agent - In the meantime, I’ll start forwarding our intelligence reports to you. I trust you won’t reveal them to your captain?

Genocide - Even if I did, he wouldn’t be able to understand them. Sometimes I get the feeling he never learned English.

Agent - Good, then I’ll let the Chief of Defence Staff know to expect you shortly.

Genocide - ...Who?

Agent - Your good friend Fleet Admiral Spot went up another notch. She’s now in charge of all Federation defence and exploration operations... everywhere. Not just Starfleet, but the Naval Command, the Marines, the guys who run around and look important at the back of Starfleet Headquarters, etc, etc. She reports directly to the President.

Genocide - Who died to let her get to that position?

Agent - Who cares?

Genocide - Right you are.

Genocide enters the holodeck and pulls out his phaser.

Genocide - Play time.

Scene 10 - Mess hall. Baque sits back at that same chair and takes another bite of the same piece of pumpkin pie, which by now is probably room temperature. Just as he swallows his first bite, the red alert klaxons go off again. Baque gets up and storms out of the room.

Baque - Mother fucking son of a bitch!

On the bridge, Righteous is intently watching the viewscreen for signs of who might win. Everyone else enters, Genocide looking like he’s been in the middle of a war zone for months.

Righteous - Ah, you’re all here.

Puker - God damn it!

Senseless - What’s going on, sir?

Righteous - I’ve gotten bored with our predicament. We’re going home.

Baque - Finally...

Righteous - All power to the shields. Standby phasers and quantum torpedoes. Set a course for the temp... temper... temple almighty at full impulse.

Garell - And he was so close, too...

Righteous - I’ve been practicing that line for nearly an hour. Is it right?

Senseless - Close enough, Captain. Mr. Baque, engage.

Baque - Here we go.

Senseless - Open a channel to the Celestial-B and the Litterbox-A.

Center - Channel open.

Senseless - Whomever protects us the best will get in our good books.

On the viewscreen, every ship suddenly stops firing at each other and turns toward the Celestial.

Tener - Uh... that doesn’t look good.

Colonel Alman and Captain Talor appear on the screen on their respective halves.

Talor - We’ve decided that the only way to prevent you from altering the timeline in favour of the Federate Alliance is to destroy you.

Alman - And we’ve come to the same conclusion.

Genocide - Oh, perfect.

Righteous - Gentlemen, can’t we talk this over?

Beep! The communication cuts and the ships open fire. The bridge explodes around everyone.

Puker - And off to sickbay we go.

Blavik - Why we weren’t there in the first place is beyond me.

They leave.

Tener - Um... I’ll go somewhere safe.

Garell - And I’ll get to engineering and start fixing crap.

Righteous - Both of you just stay put.

Garell, Tener - Ah, come on!

BOOM! Ship lurches, consoles explode, No-Names die.

Baque - Twenty seconds to the anomaly.

Bios - The ships are targeting the anomaly with antichroniton beams! They’re trying to close it!

Boom, ship rocks, sparks.

Genocide - Shields are down! Weapons are offline!

Center - Hull breaches on decks 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8–


Center - Ah... 1, 2, 3


Center - Screw it. There isn’t a hull breach on decks 12, 15, and 19.


Center - God damn it!

Garell - Warp core is offline!

Baque - I’m losing power! We’re slowing down!

Garell - I’m diverting life support to the engines, try it now!

Baque - Hang on!

FLASH! Camera watches as the Celestial enters the anomaly, which promptly seals behind them. On the other side, the USS Saratoga is dropping a buoy. On the bridge...

Captain Farfetched (reading a console) - You jackass, you put it in the wrong place... again!

No-Name #5 (helm girl) - Damn it, not according to this!

Commander Shelby - It’s close enough, Leon.

Farfetched - Gah, you’re right. Let’s go.

Lieutenant Scratcher - Sir! There is a chroniton surge in the temporal anomaly! It is beginning to collapse!

Farfetched - Oh perfect, I bet we put this thing here for nothing then.

FLASH! The light from the viewscreen nearly blinds them all but when it clears they see the USS Celestial, pock-marked with holes and streaming plasma from both nacelles, barreling toward them.

Farfetched - Oh son of a jack–

BAM! Everyone is thrown around the bridge. Camera goes to space and sees the Celestial sticking out of the Saratoga’s stardrive section as the mass of metal that used to be the two ships spins through space together.

Scratcher - They are hailing us, sir!

Farfetched - Put those jackasses onscreen.

Beep! Righteous appears onscreen, plasma conduits and ceiling tiles and duranium beams littering the bridge behind him.

Righteous - Hi, sorry bout that!

Farfetched just closes his eyes and rubs his forehead.

Scene 11 - Astrometrics lab onboard the Celestial. A few No-Names are cleaning up in the back as Bios works the controls of the flickering screen. Senseless comes on.

Senseless - Your call sounded urgent.

Bios - Well, not really. I’m just really surprised, that’s all. I was wondering about where this temporal anomaly came from in the first place, so I compared it to the last one. The verteron flux is identical.

Senseless - You think they’re related?

Bios - I think it’s the same phenomenon. Why it went into the future this time is beyond me.

Senseless - Wait... We closed the last one.

Bios - I didn’t say it made sense. But that’s not what surprised me. I noticed something about the verteron flux patterns that looked familiar, so I searched the database for anything similar.

Senseless - And?

Bios presses some buttons, and the screen stops showing the anomaly and shows space, numbers near the top indicate that it’s some kind of recording, and one of DS9’s upper docking pylon’s can be seen. A few seconds later, the wormhole opens and then closes. Senseless lets his jaw drop.

Senseless - Are you saying..?

Bios - Yep. The verteron flux in this anomaly is nearly identical to the verteron flux in the Bajoran wormhole.

Senseless - Oh... my... God... Righteous won’t shut up about this for the next twenty years.

Scene 12 - Mess hall. Baque walks in, rubbing his hands together and licking his lips. He goes over to his table and finds a No-Name wiping her mouth with a napkin.

Baque - Hey, where’s my pie?

No-Name #6 - Oh, sorry, was that yours?

Baque - Damn it! God damn it!

The End