Episode 44: “Cause and Suspect”

Written by Swordtail

Published September 7, 2007

Scene 1 - The USS Litterbox flies toward a star.

Spot - Chief of Defence Staff’s log, stardate 59760.3. A day ago, a long range subspace telescope detected an odd mass around a star previously thought to be vacant of all planets. Closer inspection revealed that the mass was a Dyson sphere of some sort. It wasn’t there when we looked at the star ten years ago. The Litterbox was dispatched to make contact with the race that’s building this thing. When we were within visual range, they agreed to meet with us. It turns out they’re a race of beings known as the Xyranites who evolved tens of millions of years ago in another galaxy. They’re what we call a Type II civilization, one that utilizes the power of stars to fuel their society. By comparison, the Federation is only Type I, utilizing mainly geothermal energy to produce antimatter for our ships. Being peaceful, they’ve decided that since we’re their new neighbours, they would be willing to share their advanced technology for constructing mega-structures with us.

The tape suddenly grinds to a halt. Camera goes to a room somewhere, and zooms in on Fleet Admiral Spot’s angry cat face.

Spot - ...Which is what would have happened, if someone hadn’t shown up and ruined everything!

The camera spins around to show a very guilty-looking crew of the USS Celestial.

Opening credits, da.

Scene 2 - Camera zooms in on the spacedock, then goes through one of the windows into a large auditorium. Captain Righteous, Commander Senseless, Lieutenant-Commander Genocide, Lieutenant-Commander Garell, Doctor Puker, Lieutenant-Commander Baque, Lieutenant Tener, Lieutenant Bios, Lieutenant Blavik, Ensign Casey, Captain Farfetched, Commander Shelby, Lieutenant-Commander Garsh, Lieutenant Scratcher, Captain Castanea, Captain Ketrell, Commander Ren, Lieutenant-Commander Adair, Lieutenant-Commander Dalarsh, Lieutenant Frell, Lieutenant Sa’lol, Doctor Samson, Lieutenant Tevarin, Admiral Nelix, and Fleet Admiral Spot are all sitting in the room... so basically practically every major character in this entire series is in that room.

Fleet Admiral Spot - We are gathered here today to pay homage to the idiocy of our dear friend Captain Righteous Lee. And his dumb crew. And the rest of you morons. Seriously, you guys really fucked things up today. All of you.

Nelix - Well, I should have seen it coming. You guys really hit an all-time low.

Spot - Shut it, Admiral, you were in charge of them when it happened.

She starts prancing around the room.

Spot - Alright, let’s try to figure out what exactly went wrong, shall we? Righteous and crew, want to explain what the hell you were doing in that system to begin with?

Righteous - Well, it all started millions of years ago when the Prophets decided to create the universe...

Spot - Someone else please start!

Senseless - It all started early that morning when we got a weird sensor reading...

A flashback starts. The camera goes to watching the USS Celestial fly through space.

Righteous - Captain’s log, stardate 59760.3. All systems are functioning normally, the crew is in good spirits, the Prophets are smiling down on us, and we’re all bored out of our skulls... time for an adventure, I guess.

Camera goes onto the bridge. All senior staff are present.

Bios - No, no, no, the cosmological constant basically states that pie is good, it’s a well known fact.

Genocide - Are you 100% sure about that? I always thought it had something to do with relativity and the expansion of the universe.

Bios - Oh please, you’re thinking of the other cosmological constant.

Genocide - There’s two?

Bios - Sure, why not?

Casey - What’s a constant?

Righteous - What does cosmological mean?

Bios - Wait, wait, hold up guys... getting something weird on the sensors.

Genocide - Define weird.

Bios - It’s a star that’s not emitting anywhere near the amount of light it should be emitting for its mass.

Righteous - Is that a bad thing?

Bios - Probably, but we can’t be sure from this distance.

Senseless - Where is it?

Bios - Six light-years, bearing 056 mark 280.

Righteous - Sounds like fun. Lay in a course, helm boy!

The Celestial turns and goes to warp. Later, on the bridge...

Baque - We’re here.

Senseless - On screen.

A space station with a big “Burger King” sign appears onscreen.

Senseless - This is what was so interesting?

Bios - What the—! This isn’t it! You took us to the wrong coordinates!

Baque - I know, but it was on our way so I figured we’d all like some non-replicated food.

The comm system activates.

Waiter - Welcome to Burger King, how can I help you?

Righteous - I’ll have a large Big Mac.

Genocide - I’ll have an egg McMuffin,

Baque - I’ll have an ice cap and a large double double.

Casey - I, like, want the Super Fun Pack!

Waiter - ...Just a moment.

Camera goes inside the station.

Waiter - Um...

Manager - Just do the usual.

The waiter replicates the food and then transports it to the bridge of the Celestial. The ship pulls away and jumps back into warp.

Scene 3 - That room on the Spacedock. Admiral Spot, still pissed, turns away from the crew of the Celestial and looks menacingly at the crew of Solaris.

Spot - Alright, so we know how they ended up getting there, but what about you jerks?

Ketrell - Alright, it started that same morning...

Camera jumps into another flashback. The USS Solaris is cruising along at warp, minding its own business. On the bridge, everyone is present except Doctor Samson.

Ren - So.... anyone know anything about what happened to Chester?

Tevarin - Who cares, he’s just gonna die in a few months anyway.

Sa’lol - I’m touched that you have so much faith in my abilities to create viruses, but chances are he’ll just hire some doctors to cure him. Or more likely he’ll just steal the cure.

Frell - Oh, here we go again...

The ship drops out of warp and the lights flicker.

Dalarsh (sigh) - Alright, give me a second.

She walks into the turbolift.

Dalarsh - Main Engineering.

The doors close, the turbolift goes down a few decks, and then opens into a corridor. The angered Andorian walks into Main Engineering and hits the warp core with a two-foot-long lead pipe. She then goes back to the bridge and smacks the helm console, and the ship goes back to warp.

Ketrell - It’s a good thing you keep that pipe within reach at all times.

Dalarsh - Are you kidding? I sleep with this thing under my pillow.

Adair - Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t lead carcinogenic or something?

Dalarsh - Yeah, but I coated the pipe with arsenic.

Adair - Ah.

Sa’lol - Woah, check this out.

She presses some buttons and the viewscreen changes to show a black sphere surrounded by starscape. At the equator of the sphere is a strip of alternating light and dark rectangles.

Ketrell - What the heck? It looks like some kind of... big... sphere?

Ren - No shit, Sherlock.

Sa’lol - Whatever it is, it’s huge. It’s more massive than most solar systems.

Tevarin - It’s about five light-years from our current location.

Sa’lol - Uh guys... the dimensions are coming in.

Ren - Well, don’t keep it to yourself, Lieutenant.

Sa’lol - Um... it’s a perfect sphere approximately a hundred million kilometres in diameter. It’s about one kilometre thick and... it’s around a star.

Adait - My god... it’s a Dyson sphere!

Frell - You mean that thing the USS Enterprise found a decade ago? Oh crap, are we off course?

As she fumbles with the helm console, Sa’lol continues reading stuff off of her science station.

Sa’lol - It’s definitely being used for energy collection... there’s so much electromagnetic interference that subspace communications are being affected... that must be why we didn’t detect it earlier.

Adair - I’m thinking we should go to yellow alert, just to be safe.

Ketrell - Agreed. Take us in closer.

The Solaris veers off and heads in another direction at warp.

Scene 4 - Back in the space dock.

Spot - Alright, so let me get this straight... somehow, Solaris, which was about as far away from the system as the Celestial was, was able to get all that detail so easily?

Genocide - Don’t blame us, they have better sensors than we do.

Spot - Not that much better!

Bios - Hey, someone keeps screwing with the presets on the science console... I think it’s the night shift guy. It isn’t my fault if it doesn’t work right.

Spot - Whatever, I’m pretty much immune to your level of incompetence by now... Captain Farfetched... what the hell is your story?

Farfetched - Well....

Camera jumps into yet another flashback. Scene is on the bridge of the USS Saratoga, all nice and fixed.

Farfetched - Well aside from putting the nacelles on backwards the first time, I’d say those jackasses in the shipyard did a pretty good job with our new stardrive section.

No-Name #1 (helm girl) - Sir, there’s a large vessel approaching... it’s towing a planet...

Farfetched - What?

No-Name #1 - Sir, there’s a vessel approaching... it’s—

Farfetched - Oh don’t even start that joke. It’s been beaten to a bloody pulp with two-foot-long, three-inch-diameter composite lead pipes long enough.

Shelby - On screen.

A boxy ship appears on screen. Behind it, extending several thousand kilometres, is a blue tractor beam. At the end of the tractor beam is a gas giant, its rings skewed by the motion, and several moons still following at a safe distance.

Lieutenant-Commander Garsh - Well... you don’t see that everyday.

Farfetched - Holy... mother... of... um... hail that ship.

Lieutenant Scratcher - They are responding, sir!

Shelby - On screen.

A goofy forehead alien appears onscreen. Just make something up.

Alien - Greetings, I’m Captain Nameless, of the Xyranite transport ship Nameless. How may we be of service?

Farfetched - Xyranite? We’ve never heard of you. Where are you from?

Captain Nameless - I’m not surprised. We’re new to this galaxy. We came from the smaller of the two large satellite galaxies to this one. A hypernova destroyed our native systems millennia ago so we decided to come here.

Farfetched - The Small Magellanic Cloud? But that’s over 61 thousand parsecs away! How did you get here?

Captain Nameless - We flew here... it required a lot of patience, and a lot of TV dinners.

Farfetched - Well, I suppose we should introduce ourselves. I’m Captain Leon Farfetched, of the United Federation of Planets starship Saratoga. It’s a pleasure to meet you.

Captain Nameless - Yes, we’ve already spoken to the Federation Council. They’ve allowed us to set up our empire within Federation space, in exchange for some minor technological upgrades.

Farfetched - So, next question... why are you towing a gas giant behind your ship?

Captain Nameless - Oh... we’re using the raw material to construct a ringworld around the star we’re using. We’ve already finished building the energy sphere, which we brought with us, in pieces.

Camera jumps to show a guy who looks like a construction worker, who’s holding a piece of paper with a picture of a sphere on it in one hand, and holding a small black screw-like thing in another.

Worker - (sigh) There’s always a piece left over...

Camera goes back to the Saratoga.

Captain Nameless - So yeah. Hey, do you want the moons? I know you guys still use planets to live on and to produce energy.

Farfetched - Uh... well, I don’t know where we’d put them... or how we’d move them...

Captain Nameless - Well, let us know if you change your mind. In the meantime, feel free to enter our system and observe our operations. Nameless out.

The screen goes blank.

No-Name #1 - We’re within visual range of the system.

Shelby - On screen.

The now-familiar Dyson sphere with little rectangles cut into it appears onscreen.

Farfetched - Call the Citadel... tell Amy I think we have something they might like to see...

Scratcher - Consider it done, sir!!!

Scene 5 - Spacedock again.

Spot - So now we know how everyone got there, and it seems benign enough... so... what happened next?

Nelix - That would have been the Celestial’s fault.

Senseless - Not entirely...

Another flashback... Camera goes to the bridge of the Celestial.

Bios - Wow that’s a big... whatever it is.

Camera pans out as the Celestial flies through millions of kilometres of scaffolding. Massive ships towing chunks of matter are flying in rows toward massive furnaces of some sort. In one end goes the raw gas or dust and out the other end comes some sort of metal which is then welded to the scaffolding. Back on the bridge.

Righteous - I reallllllllly hope these guys are friendly.

Casey - Why are they like making a ring?

Senseless - What?

Casey - Like all the different parts are like in the same orbit and stuff and like they all like have the same curvature.

Genocide - They’re actually building a ringworld?

Casey - A what?

Baque - Oh right, you weren’t there, were you?

Casey - Weren’t where?

Senseless - The extra-dimensional hell plain was a ringworld... which we accidentally destroyed. Um... Mr. Baque, maybe we should park ourselves a safe distance from this one.

Genocide - Guys, there’s three more Federation ships entering the system. They’re the Saratoga, the Citadel, and Solaris.

Righteous - Aw man, I was hoping we’d be the ones to make the big discovery.

Casey - Wow, like, the Saratoga is saying that apparently these guys are going to help us and stuff.

Senseless - Really? Wow... Okay people, let’s be very, very, careful... make sure nothing happens to screw this up...

Meanwhile, in another part of the ship, a temporal portal opens up and Binky the Mistreated assimilated Targ pops out and is instantly given a message the Borg put into his voice mail.

Borg (in Binky’s head) - Two of One, last adjunct of Unimatrix 01... Assimilate all knowledge related to the technology in your vicinity and report it to the Collective. Resistance is futile.

Binky the Borg trots mechanically down the corridor and enters a room. He injects assimilation tubules into a console and downloads the Celestial’s sensor logs. On the bridge...

Bios - Hang on, someone’s into our main computer. They’re accessing our entire database!

Genocide - Damn it, I knew these guys sounded too good to be true! Raising shields, arming weapons!

Senseless - Belay that. Where is it happening?

Bios - Uh, deck 8, a science lab.

Righteous - Nope. No science labs on deck 8. Only Bajoran temples.

Bios - You mean those ones you never use that I reconverted back into science labs?

Garell (comm) - Engineering to bridge, what the hell is going on? Someone just tapped into the deflector array and reconfigured it to send out a long range subspace... never mind, it just got sent.

Casey - Hey, we like have an intruder in that room thing.

Senseless - What kind of intruder?

Casey - I don’t know... wait... what does this urgently flashing green hand thing mean?

Senseless and Righteous walk over to the operations console and see the Borg symbol flashing on the screen.

Senseless - ...Ah come on! Why does this always happen to us!?!

Scene 6 - Spacedock.

Spot - Oh, you’re blaming it on the targ now, are you?

Senseless - The Borg targ!

Spot - Why in the galaxy would the Borg assimilate Binky the Mistreated Targ?

Senseless - Why in the galaxy would anyone allow a cat to order around all of Starfleet?

Spot - ...Point taken. Proceed.

Ketrell - Uh, yeah, I think that’s where we butt in.

Camera goes to the bridge of Solaris, where everyone is just awestruck at the massive construction project under way in front of the ship.

Ren - Wow... that’s a big fucking thing.

Ketrell - Noooo kidding.

Sa’lol - Hey, do you guys feel that?

Samson - Feel what?

Sa’lol - That faint vibration...

Dalarsh - Probably just the engines not working right.

Sa’lol - No, it’s different...

Suddenly, a half dozen consoles start beeping at once and the ship goes to red alert on its own.

Adair - Uh... ah oh!

He presses some buttons and the viewscreen changes to show a glowing green portal behind Solaris. Suddenly, a Borg sphere comes out, followed by another one, then a tactical cube, and another, and another, and then one of those massive honking assimilation cubes... and then Solaris starts to really shake as the six Borg ships move toward the Xyranite star system. The comm system activates.

Borg - We are the Borg. You will be assimilated. You will not pass go, you will not collect $200. Resistance is futile.

Ketrell - All hands, battlestations!

Adair - They’re ignoring us...

Frell - Oh, how rude of them... um... do you think maybe we should help the Xyranites?

They watch the viewscreen as a Borg tactical cube is hit by a Xyranite ship’s torpedo and explodes.

Ketrell - Nah, they’ll be fine.

They watch as another torpedo hits one of the spheres, but is absorbed by its shields.

Ketrell - Then again, I have been wrong before.

Camera jumps to the Saratoga.

Farfetched - Oh bugger... um... hail Starfleet.

Scratcher - Electromagnetic interference is preventing us from sending a long range message, sir!

Camera jumps to the bridge of the USS Celestial.

Senseless - Crap... alright, start sending the Xyranites everything we know about fighting the Borg. It doesn’t look like they’re using random-frequency phasers like we do.

Righteous - Maybe it’s just me, but it seems that if the Borg manage to assimilwhatever one of those big ships out there, they’d be a little harder to fight the next time we meet them.

Genocide - Uh... no that’s not just you, sir, that time you actually made some sense.

Righteous - So...?

Senseless - All hands, battlestations! Genocide, target the nearest Borg ship and fire at will!

Camera watches as the Celestial fires several quantum torpedoes and destroys one of the spheres. Camera suddenly jumps to the spacedock.

Spot - Oh come on, that did not happen! You guys didn’t destroy an entire Borg sphere by yourselves!

Righteous - Who’s telling this story?!? Me or you?

Senseless - Sir, just tell it right.

Righteous (rolling eyes) - Fiiiiiiine!

Camera watches as the Celestial flies dangerously through some scaffolding with the sphere in hot pursuit, then makes a sharp turn and tricks the sphere into crashing into the side of a piece of ringworld. Camera jumps to the spacedock.

Spot - Oh come on! Spheres have engines on all sides! They’re a dozen times as manoeuvrable as the Celestial!

Righteous - Sheesh, whatever happened to the art of harmless exaggeration?

Camera watches as the Celestial meekly fires phasers at the sphere, long enough the annoy the crap out of it. As soon as it trains its weapons on the Celestial, a Xyranite ship blows it up with a welding beam of some sort. Camera goes to the Celestial’s bridge.

Righteous - Open a channel to all ships. This is Captain Righteous Lee of the USS Celestial. I’m taking command of the fleet. Target all weapons on the following coordinates.

Righteous turns to the rest of the bridge staff.

Righteous - I was paying attention when Picard told everyone how to blow up Borg cubes!

Casey - Uh, sir? Those coordinates you just sent out, they’re, like, in the middle of space.

A pause.

Righteous - This is Captain Righteous Lee of the USS Celestial. I’m giving up command of the fleet.

Genocide - Good move, jerk.

Righteous - It was worth a try.

Suddenly, a Xyranite captain appears onscreen.

Xyranite Captain - Who the heck are these guys!??!

Senseless - Um... they’re called the Borg. They’re a race of cybernetically enhanced beings. They reproduce by kidnapping members of other races and converting them into drones. They have a hive mentality and a collective consciousness. Their ultimate goal is to achieve perfection and to “give perfection to everyone else.” They’re highly adaptive and extremely resourceful.

Baque - Yeah, long story short, we’re boned.

Xyranite Captain - If they’re so bad, why did you call them in?

Senseless - Oops, totally forgot about that. Um, that’s still their fault, can you, just...

He motions to Casey who puts up the “Hold” screen ("Please stay on the line, your hail is important to us!")

Senseless - Bridge to Lieutenant Tener, what’s happening in the targ category?

Camera goes to a corridor where Tener is talking. Behind him is Garell and several no-names who are trying to cut open a door with a phaser welder.

Tener - The damn thing locked itself inside the science lab and we can’t get in.

Senseless (comm) - Have you tried flooding the area with tachyon particles?

Tener - Yeah, it doesn’t seem to be working for some reason.

Garell - Commander it’s probably our proximity to so many Borg ships. The collective is adapting the targ’s shielding to block them out.

Camera goes back to the spacedock.

Admiral Nelix - Did it ever occur to you to just beam the damn targ into space? You do have multi-adaptive transporters, don’t you? The ones that supposedly can beam through shields if you set them up right?

Righteous - We have what in the where now?

Senseless - Admiral, with all due respect, that’s utter B.S. Everyone knows it’s impossible to beam through shields...that’s kind of what shields are meant to do, stop things from getting in or out.

Nelix - Pbbbt... that didn’t stop Voyager.

Spot - Well we all know Voyager had a knack for faking log entries...

Camera jumps to the USS Voyager, several years earlier, while they were still in the Delta Quadrant. Paris, Janeway, Tuvok, Torres, and Chakotay are on an away mission, standing on a cliff overlooking the remains of a burning city, phasers in hand, all splattered in orange blood or something.

Janeway - Um....

Long pause.

Janeway - Uh, make a note in the ship’s log... 0700 hours, responded to a distress call... 0900... arrived, no survivors. We don’t know who these people were, but we do know that the Borg are to blame... Yep, when in doubt, blame the Collective.

Tuvok - A most logical approach, captain.

Paris - Wow, it’s a good thing we stopped the Equinox from using that transwarp coil they developed using their superior resources from getting home before us and telling everyone of the damage we’ve caused.

Torres - I’ve set up a convenient accident to take care of those few “loose ends” we recruited from that ship before you destroyed it, captain. I call it the “The Killing Game, Parts I and II.”

Camera jumps back to the spacedock.

Ketrell - Wait a minute, “The Killing Game” happened long before “Equinox!”

Spot - What part of “faked the log entries” didn’t you get? Now, I’m eager to hear what the Celestial did with that targ... should be amusing.

Another flashback starts. Camera is in that corridor where Tener and Garell and their subordinates are trying to cut through the door to get to Binky.

Tener - Hurry up, guys, there’s no telling what kind of damage that targ could do from in there!

Garell - Shut up, we’re working as fast as we can!

Tener - You’re just standing there, filing your nails!!!

Garell - Well someone’s got to supervise!

Tener - You know, I’m no expert in spatial mechanics, but maybe we should turn the tachyon emitter off... just to be on the safe side?

Garell - Oh come on, it’s not hurting anything.

Suddenly, the TARDIS appears in the middle of the corridor. The Doctor and that Martha girl from the third season step out and look around.

Doctor - What the bloody hell...

Tener and Garell just look at each other.

Doctor - This isn’t 4th century China!

Garell - Righto, turning off the tachyon emitter.

Doctor - ...Must be a glitch somewhere.

He kicks the blue police box and then they both get back in and leave.


Tener - Let’s never speak of this again...

Camera goes to the spacedock, where Tener pipes up from the back and interrupts Garell.

Tener - Ma’am! You agreed we were never going to speak of that again!

Camera goes back to the Celestial’s bridge.

Senseless - I can’t help feeling like we should be out there helping, but they seem to be doing fine on their own.

Baque - Personally I kind of like being the spectator for once. Feels safe.

Senseless - Get your feet off the console. Lieutenant-Commander Genocide, can you aim the ship’s phasers at the science lab the targ is on?

Genocide - Afraid not.

Senseless - Damn.

Bios - The assimilation cube is moving towards us.

Casey - That, like, sounds bad.

Bios (reading console) - I don’t think they’re coming after us though... ah oh... long range sensors have detected a fleet of large ships coming in at high warp. There’s... this can’t be right... um... sir...

Genocide (reading his console) - Oh my god...

Casey (looking to see what all the commotion is about) - Oh... my... GOD! That is soooooo cool!

Baque (reading his console as well) - The things the universe throws as us just boggles the mind...

Righteous - Would someone please tell me what the hell is so “amazing!?!”

Senseless - Report... how many ships are inbound?

No one who has a console says anything, the just keep staring at their screens.

Righteous - Commander!

Senseless goes over to the operations console and pushes Casey out of the way. He looks at the console and his jaw drops.

Righteous - Well?

Senseless - There are over 7,380,000 three-kilometre-long starships entering the system.

Bios - Uh... there are around 100,000 biosigns on each ship... look to be in stasis.

Suddenly Puker and Blavik burst onto the bridge.

Puker - What’s the matter, what’s happening?

Senseless - Oh nothing really, we’ve just picked up over 7,380,000 starships carrying 100,000 people each entering the system.

Puker - What the hell? How can there be 730 billion people in a single solar system! Why, the energy requirements for food and medicine would be enormous! They must be intending to colonize other stars as well...

Genocide - You don’t think...

Baque - It’s an invasion, isn’t it?

Senseless - Hail the nearest Xyranite ship.

A Xyranite Captain appears onscreen.

Senseless - Why so many people?

Xyranite Captain - Ah, you’ve seen them. Yes, we need more workers to finish the ring.

Senseless - Workers??? You’ve brought in 738 billion workers??? What the hell for!?!

Xyranite Captain - Once the ring is complete and the terrain and atmosphere has been added, someone will have to build cities and clear space for farmland and space ports and Walmarts. It all has to be done before the rest of our population arrives.

Righteous - In the name of the Prophets, how many damn people does your population have?

Xyranite Captain - At last estimate, a little over 47 trillion.

Baque - Those ships are armed, right?

Camera goes to watch the Borg assimilation cube approach the armada of ships, which have lit up a swath of space to star-like brightness just with their running lights alone.

Borg - We are the Borg. You will be assimilated. Resistance is... oh, we are so f—

BOOM! Camera goes back to the bridge of the Celestial.

Righteous - Well, I didn’t see that coming.

Everyone turns to look at him (viewscreen just showed the explosion, btw).

Genocide - I’ll just pretend I didn’t hear that.

Suddenly the face of Captain Ketrell appears on the screen.

Ketrell - What’s the deal with all those ships?

Senseless - Apparently that’s just a small, insignificant, bunch of extra workers.

Ketrell - Oh... okay, Solaris out.

Righteous - Okay now, Mr. Genocide, see that sphere out there? Use a glowy white torpedo thing and blow it up, please.

Genocide - With pleasure!

The Celestial comes about and fires a tricobalt torpedo at the remaining Borg sphere. It explodes in a ball of contrived green fire and stuff. The camera goes to the space dock, where Admiral Spot is sitting there twitching.

Spot - ...What... Did... I... Tell... You... About... Using... you know what, just, never mind, I don’t even have the energy anymore. Never mind that you just gave the Borg information about what it feels like to get hit with a tricobalt torpedo, our most powerful weapon!

Righteous - Sheesh, I said I was sorry.

Spot - So I suppose that’s about when I came in?

Farfetched - No, something else happened first...

Camera jumps back to the bridge of the Saratoga.


Farfetched - Good, all problems solved.


Shelby - Onscreen.

An important looking Xyranite appears onscreen.

Important Guy - All ships, begin emergency evacuation protocol. It has been decided that the Borg threat is too great a risk. We will relocate to another galaxy and start again. One ship will remain behind to erase all of our technology from the system.

The channel cuts.

Farfetched - Those jackasses are bugging out on us!

Camera goes back to the spacedock.

Castanea - Okay, now you came in, ma’am.

Camera goes to watch as the USS Litterbox approaches a star. That’s right, just a star. Everything else is already gone, except the pieces of scaffolding used to build the ringworld pieces.

Spot - Chief of Defence Staff’s log, stardate 59760.3. A day ago, a long range subspace telescope detected an odd mass around a star previously thought to be vacant of all planets. Closer inspection revealed that the mass was a Dyson sphere of some sort. It wasn’t there when we looked at the star ten years ago. The Litterbox was dispatched to make contact with the race that’s building this thing. When we were within visual range, they agreed to meet with us. It turns out they’re a race of beings known as the Xyranites who evolved tens of millions of years ago in another galaxy. They’re what we call a Type II civilization, one that utilizes the power of stars to fuel their society. By comparison, the Federation is only Type I, utilizing mainly geothermal energy to produce antimatter for our ships. Being peaceful, they’ve decided that since we’re they’re new neighbours, they would be willing to share their advanced technology for constructing mega-structures with us.

Camera goes to the bridge of the Litterbox.

No-Name #2 - Admiral... there’s no sign of the Xyranites.

Spot - What??

No-Name #2 - Admiral, there’s no sign of the Xyranites.

Spot - Oh very funny. Now what do you mean?

No-Name #2 - There’s no Xyranite ships, no stations, no power supplies, and the Dyson sphere is gone as well. I’m detecting several inert masses in orbit, and four ships with Federation signatures coming our way, but nothing else.

Spot - Four ships?

No-Name #3 - The Celestial is hailing us, ma’am.

Spot - Onscreen.

Beep! Righteous and Senseless appear on the screen.

Senseless - Uh, ma’am? You might want to turn around and get out of here.

Spot - Not until someone tells me what’s going on! We’re here to properly make first contact with a technologically advanced civilization! They invited us! Where did they go!?

Senseless (breaking up) - No time, get out of here!

No-Name #2 - The Celestial, Saratoga, Citadel, and Solaris have gone to warp, Admiral.

The channel cuts, and the star comes back onscreen. Suddenly, it goes out with a flash.

Spot - What the hell?

No-Name #2 - Level 12 shockwave! Approaching!

The USS Litterbox hightails it out of there as the supernova destroys everything in the system.

Scene 7 - Back on the spacedock.

Senseless - So yeah, that about wraps it up. That’s how it happened.

There are murmurs of agreement from the rest of the officers in the room.

Spot - Since your stories were so concise and plausible, except maybe the 47 trillion people part, I’m inclined to believe you.

Nelix - See? Not my fault!

Spot - Okay, I guess really no one’s to blame here, except maybe that damn targ. Speaking of which, I did a little research while you all were blabbering along and I’ve come to the conclusion that there’s a good reason why this particular targ pops up around you guys so often.

Garell - Yeah, I was wondering why we seem to be around almost every time he shows up.

Spot - That targ got a nearly lethal dose of tachyons from a Klingon cloaking device, a long time ago. He showed up on the USS Enterprise, NX-01 once, then on the USS Enterprise-D once, then on Voyager once or twice, then on the USS Borg Buster a few times, but it all seems to be focussed mainly on the USS Celestial.

Righteous - Whatever it was, I didn’t do it.

Spot - No, it’s not your fault.

Righteous - ...It’s not?

Spot - No. It’s Starfleet’s. Remember that quantum flux warp core you were testing out a while back? The one that could use tritium as well as deuterium as a fuel?

Baque - I remember it blew up.

Spot - Apparently, it did something do your ship that created a temporal link between yourselves and Binky. I suspect something similar happened or will happen to the USS Borg Buster.

Garell - But we didn’t get that warp core until the end of the first season, and the targ showed up long before then, and well after it was destroyed.

Spot - Yes, but just having it onboard once created the link throughout all of history.

Tener - What?!?

Spot - Sorry, but you’re stuck with that targ forever.


The End