Episode 48: “The Imperfect Storm, Part I”

Written by Swordtail

Published November 16, 2007

Scene 1 - The camera pans around deep space. A bright star pans by the camera as it focuses on an odd shaped planetoid. All is quiet... but not for long. The planetoid starts to shake a little, then more, then it starts shaking so much it starts to fall apart. Suddenly, the entire sky is filled with a blinding white light which flashes into and then out of existence. As it fades away, it is replaced by a massive wavefront of what can only be an ion storm, which fills the starscape for as far as can be seen. It passes over the small planet like it were a marble, leaving the surface polished smooth. The camera follows the massive spatial anomaly as it moves toward the bright star in the distance... The camera zooms quickly in, through the ion storm, and toward the bright star, then toward the third planet, and to an orbiting station known as the Spacedock. In the station’s ops, Fleet Admiral Spot, Admiral Ross, and the Federation President (whatever one it is this week) are watching the outer reaches of the solar system as the ion storm approaches.

No-Name #1 - Ma’am, it just dropped to warp 2 and passed over Quaoar.

Ross - It’s on a direct course for Sol. It’ll pass over most of the inner planets, as well as hitting Jupiter.

Spot - You know what this means!

Ross - It means that we’ll have to evacuate every facility in the system and put everyone living on Earth, Mars, Venus, and the lunar colonies on full disaster alert?

Spot - No, it means Admiral Necheyav owes me money! Ha! We had a bet going. She said that the ion storm would miss us, since one this big has never hit Sector 001 before, but I said that Murphy’s Law states that there’s no doubt at all it will veer off course and head straight for Earth.

President - Shouldn’t we start the evacuation?

Ross - Already on it.

He presses a button and the red alert lights go off.

Computer - Red alert! Red alert! We’re fucked! We’re fucked! Abandon station in an orderly fashion!

No-Names everywhere scramble to get to the transporters.

Ross - We should probably get around to reprogramming that alarm one of these days.

Nelix - Nah, it works. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have an HTH meeting.

Spot - HTH?

Nelix - The Hide the Homeworld organization. Didn’t you see our posters?

Spot - I’ve been busy. Now, we’ve ordered every ship to keep an eye on the rest of the Federation while the planet is on lockdown, and that means we’re left with the Ninth Fleet to take care of the trivial little concerns in the Sol system.

President - Is it wise to only keep a handful of ships here to help us?

Spot - Not when it’s these ships.

Pause. The camera back and forth between the President who is looking for more answers, and Spot, who seems content to end the conversation.

President - Well?

Spot - Well what?

President - Aren’t you going to tell me some good news?

Spot - I would, but frankly, when it comes to the USS Celetsial, Saratoga, Citadel, Solaris, and Enterprise, there isn’t any.

Credits of Opening-ness.

Scene 2 - In a meeting room onboard the USS Celestial, Lieutenant-Commander Genocide, Lieutenant-Commander Adair, Ensign Casey, Commander Shelby, Admiral Nelix, and various other humans and felines are present and sitting in chair facing the front, where Genocide stands before a screen.

Genocide - Welcome everyone. Thanks to coming to the second meeting of the Hide the Homeworld Committee. Good to see our numbers have grown to more than... three... Anyway, you’re probably wondering why you’re here.

Casey raises her hand.

Casey - Is there going to be donuts?

Murmurs of agreement sound throughout the room.

Genocide - Yes, there will be donuts. Now, I’ll turn the floor over to Lieutenant-Commander Richard Adair to give us a little back story on why this organization is necessary.

Genocide sits down and Adair, the Solaris tactical officer, takes the podium.

Adair - The first recorded attack came in April 2063, when the Borg opened fire on Montana in an attempt to prevent Zefram Cochrane from completing his first warp flight. Luckily, they were stopped.

Captain Picard (at the back of the room) - Please, please, no need to thank me.

No one thanks him.

Adair (continuing) - About a hundred years later, the Xindi, under influence of a bunch of contrived extra-dimensional beings, killed 7 million people in an unprovoked attack and then almost killed the rest of us. Luckily, they were never seen again.

The screen shows a picture of the Xindi weapon exploding, with the caption “Pwned!” underneath it.

Adair - Then, about a century later, V’ger almost destroyed Earth as well. Then in 2286, a cigar the size of a small moon almost destroyed the Earth’s ecosystem while looking for some whales. Speaking of the whales, they couldn’t be present today but express their support for this organization.

Pictures of whales appear on the screen, with the caption “Thanks for de-pwning us, you’re welcome for us de-pwning you!”

Adair - In years since, most was quiet, except for the occasional war or extra-galactic parasites taking over, or various Changeling and Borg scares... Then, a few decades ago, the Breen successfully attacked Earth and decimated Starfleet Command. Then, to top it all off, the Reman Warbird Scimitar almost irradiated Earth.

Picard - Please, please, no need to thank me.

No one bothers.

Adair - As you can see, Earth has constantly been ground zero for a large number of threats. Why? Simple. We kick ass and everyone is jealous!

Murmurs of agreement and “here, here” can be heard throughout the room.

Adair - So, what can we do about this? Well, I’m glad you care enough to think about asking... ladies and gentlemen, and felines of all ages... we give you... Project Bubble!

Scene 3 - In the Celestial’s briefing room, Senseless, Blavik, Tener, Garell, Baque, Puker, Bios, Righteous, and a holographic Admiral Spot are present.

Spot - Where’s your tactical and operations officers?

Senseless - We don’t know. They’re not on the ship right now.

Baque - They said they were going to some meeting or something.

Spot - HTH?

Baque - Yeah.

Spot - Figures. Alright, forget them. Here’s the deal: The most powerful ion storm ever recorded has been moving through this area of space for some time now, at warp seven. A few days ago, it diverted course and is now headed into the Sol system. By now it’s dropped to just under lightspeed, but it’s still powerful. Now, the magnetic fields of the planets will protect our colonies from the radiation, but the electromagnetic forces will wreak havoc on any electronics we have. That is why we’re shutting everything down. Including the coffee machines on the Lunar colonies.

Tener - Ah man...

Spot - So, that means someone will have to baby-sit the spacedock while it’s powered down, make sure it doesn’t fall out of orbit. Someone with an expendable starship...

Righteous - Ooh! Ooh! Pick us!

Spot - Well, I was actually considering the USS Halfass, but sure, you’ll do I suppose.

Baque - Way to go, jerk-face.

Righteous - And just for that, you and blue woman over here are in charge of doing something with the engines.

Garell - What in the galaxy could we possibly need to do to the engines?

Spot - Well for starters you could find a way to prevent the bussard collectors from flying open under ionic pressure and flooding the nacelle conduits with cold plasma.

Garell - ...Which could blow up the ship. Gotcha. Come on Toc.

Garell and Baque get up and leave the room.

Spot - Damn it, I didn’t mean do it now! Ah, forget it. Now, I’m counting on you guys not to let anything happen to the spacedock.

Righteous - Why?

Spot - Because the damn thing cost a freaking fortune and we’re still paying it off.

Righteous - I thought the Federation didn’t use money?

Spot - Okay, you try going up to various other galactic powers and saying “Can I have several hundred billion tonnes of metal, polymers, and oh yeah can I have it for free?”

Righteous - I’m still confused.

Spot (sigh) - Gah, someone else explain it to him.

Senseless - Sir, the current spacedock was constructed about thirty years ago in response to the ever increasing size of starships and the increasing size of the Federation. Starfleet sold off the one that we used to use and used the funds to partially offset the cost of building this one.

Righteous - Ah, so that’s where that one went. I always wondered why we never explained away that plot hole.

Spot - As a matter of fact we did, because I remember you asking about it!

Righteous - Whatever. So what happens if it gets blown up?

Spot - If it gets destroyed, you’d better hope that you’re onboard when it does, because it will be a far less painful fate than when I get my paws on you.

Bios - Can I ask a question?

Spot - Go ahead...

Bios - Why don’t we just attach a lot of antigravity devices to the space dock and lower it into the Earth’s atmosphere.

Spot - We could, but we have to turn them off or they’ll fry anyway when the ion storm hits.

Bios - So why don’t we set the spacedock down in the deep ocean somewhere, fill its upper parts full of air, then seal it, and it will float! The Earth’s magnetic field and atmosphere will protect it and we can all go have some shore leave.

Spot - OK, two problems with that. First, we’re talking about a structure that’s almost ten kilometres high and about half as wide. I mean, what kind of pressures would this thing face at the depths it would reach in the ocean?

Blavik - Approximately 78.5 mega Pascals, assuming the top section is above the surface.

Spot - OK, actually that’s not that much... but the other problem is that we can’t seal in air because someone kept hitting the Gamma-side doors and now they won’t close all the way!

Tener - I figured we’d somehow be responsible for one of those problems.

Spot - So that’s the deal. You’ll park your sorry asses inside the spacedock, and use the Celestial to keep it in a stable orbit.

Bios - Can I ask another question?

Spot - Go ahead...

Bios - Why don’t we move it out of Earth orbit altogether and put it somewhere where it won’t crash into anything? Like in deep space.

Spot - Do you have to have a technical solution to everything?

Bios - Uh, it’s kind of my job isn’t it?

Spot - Look, we’re trying to set up a frakking plot line here, so just do as I told you! Spot out!

Bios looks at each of the other officers in the room.

Bios - Way to back me up, guys!

Righteous - Now girl who breaks stuff a lot, it’s not polite to question the wisdom of the one person in the universe would could have us all killed with the push of a button and not even get questioned for it.

Bios - You guys are all a bunch of lazy pansies.

Righteous - Just for that, you have to do thirty laps around the outer corridor on deck 10.

Bios - But that’s the longest corridor on the ship!

Righteous - Forty laps.

Bios - Fine, I’m going...

She gets up and walks out of the room.

Senseless - You know, she does have a point.

Righteous - What’s the big freaking deal? All we have to do is babysit the largest space station the Federation ever constructed.

Senseless - Yeah, in the middle of an ion storm.

Righteous - Oh don’t tell me you’re all afraid of a little ions. We Bajorans have been dealing with them for thousands of years. It’s a well known fact that the Denorios Belt is full of them, and we’re all now used to them. This is nothing compared to some of the storms that hit Bajor when I was a kid. Why, I can remember—

Tener - You didn’t grow up on Bajor, the Cardassians kicked you and your family out when you were only five, then you lived on Magellis III for five years, then we have no idea where you went but it certainly wasn’t back to Bajor. You only went there after the Cardassians withdrew and you had gotten a commission with Starfleet. God knows how that happened.

Righteous - Well... I... fine!

He gets up and leaves the room. Senseless, Tener, Blavik, and Puker are the only ones left.

Puker - So... meeting adjourned?

Scene 4 - Baque and Garell are working in Engineering, currently bickering about something.

Baque - No, no, no, if you do that we’ll have to shut down the aft impulse engines and we’ll lose a quarter of our thrust.

Garell - We’re going to be moving within a fricking space station, what the hell would you need impulse engines for anyway?

Genocide walks holding a PADD and looks around till he sees Garell. He briskly walks over to her.

Genocide - Hey, Garell, how many subspace field generators would we need to move...

He presses some buttons on the PADD.

Genocide - 5.9742 × 10^24 kilograms at warp?

Garell (barely paying him any attention) - A lot.

Genocide - Like, a lot as in we have enough or a lot as in we need more?

Baque - You’re not moving the Earth, get it through your head.

Garell - Why are you trying to move the Earth?

Genocide - I never said I was trying to move the Earth, but to answer your question, it’s because the universe is out to get us.

Garell - Get used to it, the universe is out to get us all.

Genocide - Yeah, but I never saw the Borg attack your homeworld.

He storms out of the room.

Garell - Whatever that was all about...

The room starts to shake slightly.

Senseless (comm) - All hands, brace for an incoming ionic wavefront.

Garell - Oh perfect. Get the impulse manifold locked down before—

While she is talking to Baque who’s on the other side of the room, Garell’s work station explodes and throws her to the floor, nearly knocking her out. Baque runs over and begins dragging her away from the flaming console.

Baque (struggling) - Okay, one of us needs to exercise more...

Garell (barely conscious) - What... what the fuck? Stupid console!

The red alert klaxons go off. Camera goes to the bridge. Righteous, Senseless, Casey, Bios, and Blavik at the helm are present.

Senseless - Ensign, get us inside the spacedock.

Blavik - Aye sir.

The camera watches as the Celestial starts to move toward the darkened spacedock, with bright auroras covering almost all of Earth’s sky. The ship moves through the space doors and—

SCRAPE!!! Camera goes to the bridge.

Senseless - Lieutenant!

Blavik - I apologize sir, apparently this is harder than it would appear from an outside perspective.

Genocide runs in and takes his station.

Genocide - What did I miss?

Righteous - Stuff went boom!

Senseless - An ionic wavefront. They were expected to hit before the storm did, but this one was ridiculously powerful. Damage report?

Casey - Stuff went boom on like deck 15.

Senseless - Thanks Casey, that helped a lot.

Casey - Like, you’re welcome sir.

Blavik - We’re inside.

Senseless - Bios, use the fore and aft tractor beams to close the space doors.

Bios - I’m on it.

Inside the pitch black docking bay of the station, only lit by the Celestial’s various lights, the ship turns to put its ventral side facing the space doors, then two tractor beams come out and start pulling the doors shut. They slam with a loud bang. Camera goes to the bridge.

Bios - Wait... why would there be a sound in space?

Senseless - Who cares? Now, start evacuating all non-essential personnel.

Genocide - Aw why do the No-Names get to leave?

Senseless - Because they’d just keep dying anyway.

Casey - Like, incoming hail from Starfleet.

Righteous - On viewer, if you please.

Beep! Fleet Admiral Spot and the President appear on the screen.

Spot - Are you all done up there yet?

Senseless - We’ve parked ourselves inside the docking bay and have sealed the doors the best we can.

Spot - Good enough. We’re shutting down the planetary power grid. Jupiter Station was hit a few moments ago to let you know, we’re not sure what happened to it.

Genocide - Well that’s comforting.

President - I just want to let you and the rest or your fleet know... good luck... we’re all counting on you.

Spot lets out a sigh of embarrassment and shakes her head.

Spot - ...Earth out.

The screen goes back to showing the dark inside of the spacedock.

Righteous - Well... we’ll do our best then!

The camera flies out of the bridge, out of the station, and zooms away from Earth, upwards above the North Pole until the massive ion storm can be seen, spanning a good third of the solar system. The camera then inches sideways until it is just over a small, beat up looking spaceship, which has just decloaked. It goes inside, to where a bunch of shifty-looking beings are working control panels. Suddenly, a familiar face crosses the camera... well, familiar-ish... minus the severe scarring and lack of hair on the right side of his head, it’s clearly the Romulan Commander Spliff, of the warbird that the Celestial kept blowing up back in the first season.

No-Name Alien #1 - Sir, the ion storm has hit Earth. The planetary power grid is being shut down.

Commander Spliff - And the spacedock?

No-Name Alien #1 - Also unpowered. It’s defenceless! It looks like they just left it in orbit.

Spliff - Excellent... bring the multi-spectral shielding online, and plot an intercept course, but take us in slowly... I don’t trust the Ferengi who sold us these shields...

No-Name Alien #2 (at helm) - Course laid in. Intercept in twenty minutes.

Spliff - Excellent... sooo... what should be do to pass the time? Anyone wanna sing “99 Bottles of Romulan Ale on the Wall?”

Scene 5 - Somewhere on Earth, Genocide, Adair, and various other persons are walking down an elaborately decorated hallway in a building somewhere. Adair turns to Genocide.

Adair - Why do we need to consult the Prime Minister of Earth again?

Genocide - Because if our plan doesn’t work, we’ll need someone to take the fall for us. Speaking of that, where’s Admiral Nelix?

Suddenly Admiral Nelix materializes in the room.

Nelix - Sorry I’m late, Admiral Spot wanted me to go check on Jupiter Station.

Adair - Um, isn’t that the station that got hit by the ion storm and all contact was lost?

Nelix - Yes.

Adair - So she sent you to a possibly-destroyed station, in the middle of an ion storm, to check on it???

Nelix - ...Yes...

Genocide - Wait a minute, how did you beam in here? Aren’t these offices supposed to be filled with transporter inhibitors?

Nelix - That’s a good point, Lieutenant-Commander. I’ll be sure to bring it up with the President the next time I give a rat’s ass!

Genocide - Sheesh, alright.

They push open a large wooden door and walk into the office of the Prime Minister of Earth (I don’t know if that’s the actual title for that position, but it is now!). The Prime Minister gets up and shakes their hands/paw.

Prime Minister - Welcome to Tokyo, gentlemen. Your message said you had a good idea?

Genocide - The best! We’re going to ensure no one ever attacks the Earth again...

Adair - And we’re going to do it for a mere two weeks of guaranteed shore leave and some Class-7 replicator rations. You know, the industrial replicators? Shuttles for all!

Scene 6 - Camera pans around the Celestial, which is firing its tractor beam at random intervals at the inside of the spacedock.

Righteous (voiceover) - Captain’s log, stardate 59798.6. We’ve been stuck up here for two days now, because that dumb storm stalled over Sol or something stupid like that. This kind of thing never happened in the Denorios Belt because we always had the Prophets protecting us. I can only hope that after being lashed with storms like this a few times the people of Earth will finally see the light and turn to the Prophets.

Camera goes to the bridge, where Casey, Baque, Righteous, Garell, and Tener are present, and looking bored.

Baque - Feel free to hold your breath.

Tener (spinning around in the Tactical Station chair) - I don’t get it. If this ion storm is so bad, how come all we’ve had to do so far is give the station a little push every now and then to keep it in a proper orbit?

Garell - Gah, you can never trust the weathermen: Always wrong.

Suddenly, Righteous’ coffee cup clatters slightly on its coaster.

Casey - Like, what was that?

Righteous - What was what?

Baque - Your cup just clattered a little.

Righteous - No it didn’t.

Baque - Uh, Casey and I both saw it, yes it did.

Garell - You’re agreeing with Casey? Is that wise?

Casey - Hey! I saw it first!

Garell (turning to Casey) - That’s why I said “he’s” agreeing with “you.”

Casey - Oh...

Baque - Well, find out what did it. That’s the first time I’ve seen it happen.

Garell - Can’t. External sensors are offline. All we can do is judge visually how far the station’s walls are from us.

Baque - Um... so you’re saying that if we’re out of orbit, we’re dragging the station down with us?

Garell - Uh... essentially, yes.

The cup clatters again, this time more loudly.

Baque - Okay, that time you had to have seen it!

Garell - Yeah, I even saw it that time.

Casey - Ooh me too!

Righteous (rolling his eyes) - Fine, fine, so we’ll assume the cup clattered. What do you want me to do about it?

Suddenly, the whole room shakes a little.

Righteous - Okay, that I felt...

Senseless (comm) - Senseless to bridge, what’s going on up there?

Baque - No idea, sir.

Senseless - Well, find out.

Baque (sarcastically) - Oh great idea! I wish I had thought of it!

Senseless - Just do your job god damn it. I’m on my way. Senseless out.

Garell - Alright well we’ll have to do this the old fashioned way. Casey, extend a forcefield a few metres above dorsal docking hatch and seal in the air.

Casey - Like, sure thing, ma’am.

Garell (thinks for a second) - On second thought, I’ll do it myself.

She presses some buttons, then walks into the briefing room as the camera follows her. She goes through the other door into the corridor that runs behind the bridge, then down another corridor that runs along some escape pod hatches until she reaches a ladder. She climbs up it, opens the hatch at the top, and crawls out onto the top of the ship and looks around. Aside from the Celestial’s running and window lights, the station is still dark.

Garell (hitting combadge) - Casey I need some light up here.

Two spotlights mounted on each nacelle activate pointing at Garell and nearly blind her.

Garell (shielding eyes) - Ah! Not on me, you idiot! The station!

Casey (comm) - Oh, right. Sorry.

The spot lights rotate up and start scanning the inside of the station. They pass over a small, beat-up looking ship that’s docked at the central core of the docking bay.

Garell - That isn’t supposed to be there. Casey, focus the lights on the central core.

The ship is fully illuminated. Garell looks at it a bit more then goes back inside and shuts the hatch. Back on the bridge, Senseless and Bios are now present as Garell walks back in.

Garell - There’s a ship out there.

Bios - I thought the spacedock was fully emptied?

Senseless - It was. Ensign, hail the ship.

Casey - No response.

Senseless (sigh) - Push the button first, then read the results, then tell me whether they’ve responded or not.

Casey - Right, right... still no response.

Baque - That’s a big surprise.

Righteous - Are they bad guys?

Baque - Well, let’s see: They’ve broken into a Federation installation, refused to respond to us, and didn’t even tell us they were coming... I’d say yes.

Tener - Should I try firing a warning shot?

Senseless - And hit the inside of the spacedock? No, I don’t think having Admiral Spot kill us will solve this problem. Do you think you can hit them without missing?

Tener - Probably, they’re not that far away for manual aiming to be pretty accurate.

Senseless - Alright. Ensign, open a channel.


Senseless - This is the Federation starship Celestial contacting the unidentified craft that is docked inside our station: Scram!

The disfigured Commander Spliff appears on the screen. As soon as he sees the crew he gets really mad.

Spliff - You again!?!

Senseless - Have we met?

Spliff - Have we met? Have we met!? Thanks to you, I lost two warbirds! That’s the maximum number you’re allowed to lose! Now I’m stuck doing pirating work thanks to you idiots!

Senseless - Well we’re sorry, but please get out of our station before we are forced to use-

Spliff - Prepare to die!

The channel cuts and the viewscreen watches as the small ship detaches from the spacedock and fires weapons at the Celestial.

Boom, ship rocks, sparks!

Senseless - Shields up! Red alert!

Righteous - Hoorah! Interesting times!

Senseless - Just do what you usually do sir, just sit back and eat some popcorn.

Tener - I can’t get a lock on them! They’re moving too fast!

Senseless - Bios, you said you had built some kind of probe that would do our job for us?

Bios - Yeah, it’s a great big tractor-beam equipped gyro-stabilizer. But Admiral Spot told me not to use it.

Senseless - Deploy it, then get those damn doors open and get us outside.

Baque - Uh... outside where there’s an ion storm?

Senseless - Yes. Hopefully we’ll be able to do better out there then they will.

The camera watches as the Celestial fires a half-shot thing that looks like it’s been thrown together with scotch tape out the shuttlebay doors and then uses its tractor beams to pry open the space doors.

Senseless - All ahead full!

Boom, ship rocks, sparks.... SCRAPE!!!!!

Baque - We’re out.

Righteous - Where the hell is Genocide?

Senseless - He’s been down on Earth for the past two days, remember?

Righteous - Why does he get to be down there while we’re stuck up here?

Senseless - Admiral Nelix’s orders. I didn’t have the energy to question them.

Righteous - Fine.

Bios - The other vessel has followed us out.

Boom, ship rocks, sparks.

Tener - Shields are at 81% and dropping fast.

Casey - Stuff’s breaking, like, all over the ship!

Senseless - What about that Romulan?

Tener - Their shields are still at 100%!

Senseless - What? Damn. They must have found a way to resist the ion storm. Oh well. Fire phasers! Full spread!

The Celestial fires all its phasers in a feeble attempt to hit the other ship, but they all go wild.

Senseless - Oh for the love of God... Someone find a way to disable that ship; ram it if you have to! Damn it, how come whenever there’s a massive space battle involving lots and lots of ships, you see them getting blown up in one shot, but when there’s just two it takes freaking forever?

Scene 7 - On Earth, in a laboratory somewhere, Lieutenant-Commander Genocide, Adair, Commander Shelby, Captain Picard, Admiral Nelix, and a useless-looking Prime Minister of Earth are working on some machinery.

Prime Minister - So explain again to me how this is going to work?

Nelix - It’s, ironically, all thanks to this storm. It’s perfect for what we need to do!

Genocide - Yeah, yeah, perfect storm, we get the joke...

Nelix - Anyway, this device will generate a subspace inversion field, which will interact with the ion storm to create a massive repulsion wave that will sweep throughout the system.

Prime Minister - What will that do?

Adair - It’ll essentially push every ship out of the solar system, unless they shut down all their power. Any ship with its shields up will be flung at warp speed out into the Oort Cloud!

Prime Minister - But we aren’t under attack, how will this help us?

Adair - Simple. Once the wave has passed, the entire solar system will be surrounded by a impermeable shield consisting of ionized subspace stuff, which we have yet to truly understand, but we know how it works, sort of. Once it’s out there, solar flux will keep it powered for centuries! No ship will be able to get in.

Prime Minister - What about Starfleet? How will ships get in and out?

Genocide - By matching their deflector fields to a certain frequency, it will allow them to temporarily punch through the field, but as soon as they go through the field’s polarity will be scrambled so nothing can follow them. We’ll be able to use Earth-based sensor systems to determine the right frequency to use and then transmit it to the ships.

Picard - We’ll transmit a message to all the ships currently in the system telling them to keep their shields down. Hopefully they’ve all stayed in the same location, because we have no way of determining where they are now and they won’t be able to respond.

Prime Minister - Then, by all means, you have a go.

Commander Shelby - Why do I get the feeling those will be famous last words?

Scene 8 - Up in space, a fair distance from the Earth, the Celestial, Saratoga, Citadel, Solaris, and Enterprise are all shooting blindly at the pirate ship, which easily dodges torpedoes and phaser blasts. Camera goes to the Celestial’s bridge.

Senseless - I really hope none of the crew are recording this... it would really be embarrassing to see this end up on YouTube...

Boom, ship rocks, sparks.

Tener - Shields at 19.47%.

The Enterprise crosses the viewscreen a tad too close for comfort.

Baque - Woah now...

The Celestial quickly pitches down and avoids a collision.

Baque - That was too close. We need to find a better way to beat this guy.

Righteous - Any one have any suggestions?

Casey - Ooh let’s try getting him in a cross fire!

Senseless - We tried that, remember?

Casey - Oh right, the hull breach... I forgot...

Scene 9 - Earth, in some lab.

Genocide - We’re ready.

Nelix - Alright, send the transmission.

Camera goes up to the spacedock, then to an LCD display on the side of the gyro-stabilizing probe the Celestial had left in there. It turns on and displays something.

LCD - “You have 1 new message in your inbox!”

Camera goes back to the lab.

Nelix - Message sent. Ready?

Prime Minister - Go ahead...

Shelby - Initiating subspace inversion pulse in five... four... three... two...

Scene 10 - Up in space, the battle is still going on. On the Celestial’s bridge...

Bios - Sir!!!

Senseless, Righteous - Yes?

Bios - The sensors are detecting something!

Senseless - I thought they wouldn’t work?

Bios - The ion storm is dissipating, but... gah, this is confusing...

Senseless - What is?

WHAM! Everyone is thrown into the left wall and the lights flicker. The camera goes outside and watches as the Celestial, Citadel, Saratoga, Solaris, and Enterprise are thrown across space like leaves in a hurricane. However, strangely, the pirate ship doesn’t even budge. On the pirate ship’s bridge...

Spliff - What in Romulus?

No-Name Alien #1 - Sir, some sort of repulsion wave has moved through the system... the ion storm, it’s gone!

No-Name Alien #2 - All Starfleet ships have been thrown well outside the system.

Spliff - Cloak the ship, then take us to the edge of the system.

Scene 11 - On the dimly-lit bridge of the Celestial, the crew pull themselves off the floor and crawl back to their stations.

Senseless - Report!

Garell - Damage to all decks, engines are offline.

Casey - Like, casualty reports are like coming in: 11 wounded, 56 dead..

Righteous - Turn the viewy-thingy on! I wanna see out!

Garell hits some buttons and the viewscreen flickers back to life. The Saratoga, Solaris, and Citadel can be seen, all in about as bad a shape as the Celestial: Flickering lights, fires visible through hull breaches. However, the Enterprise seems to be at least mobile.

Senseless - Hail the Enterprise.

Captain Riker appears on the screen, flanked by B-4 and Troi and Worf. LaForge is in the background fixing stuff.

Riker - What happened?

Senseless - No idea. Have you tried contacting Earth?

Riker - No response. We were just about to go check it out.

Senseless - Alright, bring back some repair ships please.

Riker - Will do. Enterprise out.

The screen goes back to showing the other four ships floating in space. As they watch, the Enterprise starts moving forward. It gets about a hundred metres before its shields suddenly flicker all over the ship and then die, only to be followed by the front of the ship crumpling up like tissue paper. Two explosions detonate from near the impulse engines and then the ship comes to a stop, now in even worse shape than the others. Camera goes to the Enterprise’s bridge.

Riker - Report!

B-4 - We hit a thing!

LaForge - Ah damn it, we lost all the forward sections... again!

Riker looks blankly at the camera, his face as white as a ghost.

Riker - Picard’s going to kill me...

Scene 12 - On Earth, in the lab, Nelix, Genocide, Adair, Shelby, and the Prime Minister look quite pleased with themselves.

Genocide - Well, if a certain colleague of mine were here, he’d be saying “all’s well that ends well.” We’ve gotten rid of the ion storm, formed a protective shield around Earth, and didn’t blow ourselves up in the process!

Suddenly, a bunch of consoles activate showing the face of Fleet Admiral Spot.

Spot - Perhaps one of you could tell me why there are no Federation starships left in the solar system, and why we can’t seem to contact anyone outside Sector 001?

Genocide - Damn it! God damn it!

To Be Continued...