Episode 63: “The Bad Side of Town”

Written by Swordtail

Published May 10, 2008

Scene 1 - In a big room somewhere on the Celestial, the entire senior staff plus a bunch of the higher-ranking and less-mortal no-names are seated in rows. In the front of the room, standing in front of a microphone, is another no-name, obviously telling jokes. No one seems to be laughing.

No-Name #1 - And... um... oh! Did you hear the one about the Klingon who always killed his gagh before eating it?


No-Name #1 - Yeah... he preferred his food freshly slaughtered.

Everyone just looks at him, blinking.

No-Name #1 - Thanks, I’ll be here all week!

The audience lightly claps as the no-name leaves the microphone and makes his way to the back of the room. He leaves the room and two security guards start beating the shit out of him. The doors close and Captain Righteous gets up and walks to the front of the room.

Baque (quietly, to Garell) - Three hours of holodeck time says he starts quoting some obscure prophecy.

Garell - Sorry, already made that bet with Casey. She’s gone against the entire crew, apparently.

Righteous (clearing throat) - Attention please. Thank you all for coming. Now, I know most of you have bet that I’ll be quoting scripture for my entry into the annual talent contest, but I figure since I do that every other day I should use this rare opportunity to explore other aspects of my creativity.

Half the room groans, then starts dolling out latinum or pieces of paper to Casey, who just grins.

Righteous - I’ve written a short little serenade to someone we all hold dear in our hearts: Fleet Admiral Spot. I call it, “Ode, to Spot.”

The rest of the senior staff just look at each other.

Righteous - Felis Catus, is your taxonomic nomenclature,
a highly-sentient quadruped dissatisfied by nature.
Your visual, olfactory, and auditory senses
contribute to your yelling skills, your insults, and offences.

My viewscreen’s quite intrigued by your long-range manipulations,
a psychic-like development in cat communications
that obviates your basic hedonistic predilection
for a angry ruffling of your fur, to motivate my mission.

A tail is quite essential for your administrative talents,
you would not be so high-ranked if you lacked its counterbalance
And when not being utilized to aide in Starfleet’s motions,
it often serves to warn about the state of your emotion.

Oh Spot, the complex levels of competence you display,
connote a fairly decent anger management array.
And though you find me stupid, ma’am, and I barely comprehend,
I nonetheless consider you a true and valued friend.

Promeritum oris, the rare and exotic Opening Credits Sequence. It is a good indicator that the endangered One-Hour Drama is living nearby. Since the early part of the 21st century, their habitat, network television, has been threatened by the more prolific Reality Television Show. Scientists are blaming global stupidity as the cause.

Scene 2 - The Celestial flies through space at warp.

Righteous - Captain’s log, stardate 60193.2. I won the talent show. Go figure. Anyway, in response to the impending Borg invasion, Starfleet, the Klingons, Romulans, and lots of other people with ships have begun sending those ships throughout the galaxy in search of allies. Currently, we, along with the rest of the Ninth Fleet, are spread out and heading towards the Galactic Core. The Powers That Be have decided we can’t do any harm so our orders are to make contact with every warp-capable race we find and tell them to both A) build up a war fleet and B) find out where the damn invasion is supposed to happen because we have no clue. End log.

The camera goes to Sa’lol’s quarters. She’s currently eating an omelette and talking to Lieutenant-Commander Richard Adair (the Solaris tactical officer) on her viewscreen.

Sa’lol - ...Beats where we’re heading. Rumour has it these people killed the last exploration team that treaded even a nanometre into their space.

Adair - Commander Ren has started a betting pool over how many of these races will declare war on us rather than on the Borg. We are, after all, trespassing.

Sa’lol - Put me down for 47% of them.

Adair - Gotcha.

Sa’lol - Okay, well I have to go now. Duty starts in a few minutes. First though, I need to get something back...

Adair - Bye.

Sa’lol turns off the screen then heads for the door. Out in the corridor, Lieutenant Tener is walking along minding his own business. Suddenly, up ahead, a door opens and Sa’lol darts across the hallway and into another door. A few moments later, she comes running back out of that door and into her own quarters at warp 9, carrying a plush toy sehlat. Tener is just about to reach the door and peek in to see what all the commotion is about when a phaser blast flies from one room into Sa’lol’s. Lieutenant Blavik, holding a phaser, calmly walks across the hall into her sister’s room and takes the sehlat from Sa’lol’s unconscious grasp. She then walks back into her own quarters and nods to Tener on the way.

Blavik - Sir.

Tener - Lieutenant.

The doors close and Tener keeps walking.

Tener - It’s going to be a loooooooong mission.

Scene 3 - Briefing room. All senior staff are present.

Righteous - Now I bet you’re all wondering why I’ve called you here today.

Garell - Is it because you always call us here, everyday?

Righteous - It could be that, but let’s pretend it’s not. As you all know, we’re royally fucked but feel we should go down fighting rather than suck up to the Prophets and ensure our place in the Celestial Temple. So, we’re now trying to forge treaties with everyone we come across on our way to the Galactic Core, and Eden.

Baque - As Lieutenant-Commander Bios told us time and time again, the Enterprise never made it to the galactic core. There is no planet there, just a supermassive black hole and possibly a huge shockwave.

Genocide - Shockwave?

Sa’lol (rubbing a bump on her head) - The densely packed stars there have led some scientists to theorize that a single supernova could cause a chain reaction of novas that would wipe out all life within a 10,000 light-year radius of the galactic centre. The subspace interference being emitted from the black hole has blocked deep-space scans. We’ll know whether the explosion has occurred when we finally run into it. Hopefully, that will never happen.

Righteous - So everyone only has 27,000 years to worry about it. But when do we get there?

Garell - At the impossible speed we’re flying, who knows. Seriously, we’ve been traveling at warp seven for only a week yet we’ve already crossed more than four thousand light-years. It should have taken us six years.

Senseless - Let’s not nitpick, alright? Our destination is here.

He flicks a button on the little control panel at his place at the table and the viewscreen turns on to show a solar system.

Senseless - The Pietian system. Home to over three billion sentient beings.

Baque - So many deaths on our conscience...

Senseless - Oh, shut up. It’s right along our route and these people seem to have a pretty high level of technology, similar to our own.

Genocide - Crap. That means it’s gonna hurt.

Senseless - Why are you all so pessimistic all the time?

The rest of the crew just look at him funny.

Garell - You have to ask that after the shit we’ve been through? The Breen, Species 8472, Chester, the Romulans, the Dominion, the Borg, black holes, Omega particles, inversion bombs, Cardassians, the captain?

Righteous - Huh?

Senseless - And if we don’t keep a positive outlook on life we’re already dead. We’re heading into uncharted space, and for the first time we’re not within reach of the rest of the fleet.

Tener - No, not the first time. Remember when we went deep into the Beta Quadrant to get rid of that artifact? Or what about the time we got sucked into hyperspace? How about just two months ago when we went into the Delta Quadrant to make a pointless and apparently useless alliance with the Borg?

Righteous - Hooray for continuity!

Scene 4 - The Celestial enters orbit around a M-class planet and docks at a busy spaceport. The camera goes to the airlock, where Senseless and Righteous, both wearing their dress uniforms, wait for someone. The airlock opens and out walks two Ninja-looking guards. They’re dressed in varying shades of dark orange from head to foot, and only their eyes aren’t covered. Attached to their belts are weapons: One side holds what is obviously a particle weapon, while the other side holds what looks an awful lot like a lightsabre.

Guard #1 - Behold, the great Anointed Holy One, Lord Poushee, Exalted Ruler of the Pietian Empire!

With a clunking sound, the two guards spin to face each other, cross their fists across their chests, and bow down. Another man, dressed in very ornate robes of a material that’s anyone’s guess, walks in, covered in more jewelry than Xerxes from 300.

Righteous - Are you the Annoyed Holy One, Lord Pooper, Exhausted Measuring-Stick of the Pie-people Empire?

Senseless groans and smacks his forehead.

Lord Poushee - Close enough. We’ve known for some time that you’re an idiot and I didn’t expect you to remember my dignified title. Still, why are you not bowing?

Senseless - Sorry.

Senseless does a quick bow and Righteous follows suit. As soon as they get back up though...

Poushee - Did I say you could rise?

Senseless rolls his eyes and bows back down.

Poushee - Better. Now rise.

Senseless - Lord Poushee, we are honoured by your choice to meet with us. We have a matter of upmost importance to discuss with you.

Poushee - Silence! Captain Righteous Lee, please make him silent. I do not allow my inferiors to speak out of place, you should not do the same in my presence.

Righteous - Okey dokey. Jack, shut up.

Senseless frowns but doesn’t say anything.

Poushee - Now, I don’t have all day to waste on your pathetic excuse for a starship. Show me where you meet with persons such as I, and we will... discuss... this matter of upmost importance you speak of.

Lord Poushee and Righteous start walking down the corridor, and the two guards follow. Two yellow-shirts follow them and Senseless brings up the rear.

Senseless (muttering) - Gonna be a long day, I can see...

Scene 5 - Bridge. Casey, Sa’lol, Tener, Garell, Genocide, and Baque are present and all looking at the closed briefing room doors.

Tener - They’ve been in there too long. I don’t like the feel of this.

Genocide - Did you see the way those guards looked at us? It was almost like they’ve decided we’re all gonna die even before they got to know us.

Casey - They, like, seemed nice to me.

Tener - Casey, everyone seems nice to you. It’s going to get you killed someday.

Genocide - Sa’lol, back me up on this: Those guys want us dead, right?

Sa’lol - Shhh! I’m trying to read. The cultural database they sent us is massive...

Baque - Anything interesting?

Sa’lol - Yeah, turns out they have a very odd religion. Polytheistic, extremely rigid, and dates back over ten thousand years without any change.

Baque - Sounds boring to me.

Sa’lol - Nearly all of their sacred practices involve consuming a kind of fruit-filled pastry food, which unless I’m mistaken would fall under the category of pie.

Genocide - They worship pie? That’s retarded.

Sa’lol - They don’t worship pie, idiot, sir, Commander, they just use it like the ancient Christians used bread and wine to remember the sacrifice of Christ or something like that.

Tener - Maybe we should introduce them to our recipe for the Galaxy’s best pumpkin pie.

Casey - Like, why would it, like, be the galaxy’s best? I thought, like, pumpkins only, like, grew on Earth?

Sa’lol - Pumpkins will grow on nearly any M-Class world. Ooh, this is interesting... their religion dictates that when contact is made with non-believers, the Pietians must...

Tener - Must what?

Sa’lol - Ah oh...

Scene 6 - Briefing room. Senseless sits fuming at the back while Righteous does his best to explain the Borg threat to Lord Poushee and his two confused guards.

Righteous - And as you can easily see, these aren’t like the Borg we have growing in cabbage patches around here. These guys are mean. They microwave kittens. They don’t just make cubes and balls, they make pointy four-sided things that spin and shoot planets and stuff. And we now of course think that they have hyperwarp speed drives that let them go really, really, no really fast and they could come any day and when the dead Borg whose exact name I can’t remember showed up with only two ships even all of Starfleet and the Romulans and the Klingons and even those backstabbing, no-good, untrustworthy, Cardie jerks couldn’t stop them. Even the Vorn Empirical Confluferation couldn’t. Heard of them? Rumour is it they come from around here or something. Yeah, I’m done.

Righteous, looking quite pleased with himself, waits for Poushee to speak. Poushee just looks at his two guards, then speaks:

Lord Poushee - This is it? This is what you’ve wasted my time for?

Righteous - Well, I think it’s easy to see we need everyone to cooperate and help.

Poushee - Don’t insult me, Captain, I’m probably a million times smarter than the combined total of everyone on your ship.

Senseless raises and eyebrow.

Poushee - Well?

Righteous - You might be right about that. I hear some of the crew failed their IQ tests. Jack won’t tell me exactly who though.

Senseless rolls his eyes.

Poushee - So, you’ll kindly vacate our space as soon as possible and I never want to hear from you again.

Righteous - Oh oh oh! Not gonna happen! You guys have the biggest fleet within the range that I’m willing to sit in my chair and wait to fly to, and you’re gonna help us, because when the Borg come flying through here, the Prophets will be so busy protecting Bajor that they won’t even notice when you guys all get assimilated!

The three Pietians seem taken aback.

Poushee - The... Prophets?

Righteous - Oh please don’t tell me you’ve never heard of the Prophets? They created the universe, for Their sake!

Poushee - These... Prophets, you worship them?

Righteous - Every day. Sometimes twice a day. Every hour, unless I’m busy. Then it’s every few minutes.

Poushee - And your entire crew believe in these... Prophets, as well?

Senseless - Like hell we do.

Poushee - Silence!

Senseless - With all due respect, I think I’ve put up with your antics long enough. We come here with hard proof of an impending invasion—

Guard #1 - The word of a baby cat?

Senseless - —And you just shut us out and stay on your high horse. We weren’t kidding when we said we got lucky the first round with this race. The zomborg were dead, not alive like the invading forces will be. For all we know they’ll invade by connecting with our resident Borg collective and then God help us all.

Poushee - God? Prophets? It has become clear to me that you people do not follow the Way of the Wise Ones.

Senseless - Why does that sound familiar?

Poushee - Will you convert, without question, to the one true belief?

Righteous - Ah ha ha ha ha ha!

Righteous continues laughing his ass off while Senseless starts to get up from his chair.

Poushee - Then you leave me no choice. Guards! Cleanse them!

The two guards get up and whip out those fancy lightsabres of theirs. An impossibly thin, glowing wire extends with the press of a button and one of the guards swipes the weapon at Righteous, who dodges out of the way just in the knick of time. The molecular filament cuts through the table like a hot knife through boiling butter. A small duck suddenly waddles out from under the table and quacks, quite loud.

Scene 7 - Bridge.

Duck (muffled) - Quack!!!

Tener - Shit, that’s our cue.

Genocide - A quacking duck? Where did you get a duck?

Casey (beaming) - It was my idea to use a duck!

Tener motions to two security guards and takes out his phaser. One of the no-names moves towards the briefing room door and it opens, revealing one of the Pietian guards. Said guard spins around and swipes his blade through the no-name, chopping him clean in two.

Genocide - Ooh, nice weapon.

The other security guard raises his phaser but the Pietian guard is quicker on the draw and blasts the second no-name with his own particle weapon. By this time Tener has managed to get his second phaser out and fires both simultaneously, killing both the guard standing at the door as well as the one still trying to decapitate Righteous and Senseless.

Tener (blowing the smoke from the tip of his weapons) - Ambidexterity: The only good thing to come out of losing an arm.

Sa’lol - Whatever happened to using the stun setting?

Tener - They’re wearing body armour. Stun setting wouldn’t have made a dent. I scanned them earlier.

Lord Poushee, seeing that both his guards are lying on the floor with smouldering patches on them, hits a button on his arm and turns to Righteous.

Poushee - This isn’t over! On behalf of the Pietian Empire, I formally declare a holy war upon the United Federation of Infidel Planets!

He is transported away.

Senseless (yelling out the door which is being held open by a dead guard) - Genocide!

Genocide - Gotcha, raising shields.

Boom, ship rocks, sparks.

Baque - I think we’ve thoroughly crashed this party. Fasten your seat belts, this next part breaks every docking rule in the books.

The camera watches as the Celestial disconnects from the airlock, moves about three inches away from it, and then does a pi over two radian barrel roll, followed by a similar ninety degree upward pitch, which results in the nacelles narrowing missing the station’s roof and bottom. The impulse engines fire up and the ship motors away as fast as possible, clears the station, and jumps to warp.

Scene 8 - In Righteous’s ready room, the captain sits down at his desk and turns on his computer.

Righteous - Computer, hail Starfleet.

Computer - Unable to comply. Subspace amplification buoys have been destroyed.

Righteous - What? When!

Computer - The minute the Pietians declared war, you idiot!

Righteous - That wasn’t very nice of them. Um...

Computer - Use the MIDAS array?

Righteous - Right! That thing! Use the MIDAS Array Thingy.

Computer - Initiating secondary deflector power-up sequence... done. Targeting nearest quantum singularity... done. Interfacing with MIDAS array... done. Hailing Starfleet.

Beep! Admiral Spot appears on the screen.

Spot - What the hell are you calling me on the MIDAS array for? I thought we told you idiots to drop subspace relay buoys for real-time communications!

Righteous - Turns out we made first contact with the wrong people. Not only do they not worship the Prophets, but unlike most people they incorrectly believe that their religion is right, and that they have to kill everyone who doesn’t believe as they do. They’ve declared war on the Federation.

Spot’s face goes neutral, then she looks a bit to her upper-left, then back at the screen, then presses her comm-off button.

Computer - Transmission terminated.

Righteous - Well, that wasn’t very nice.

Boom, ship rocks, sparks.

Righteous - Now what!?!

He gets up and goes onto the bridge, which is at red alert.

Genocide - Wow, that’s a big ship...

On the viewscreen is a massive vessel. Make up your own damn description for it. Space doors open all along it and hundreds of small ships fly out and veer towards the Celestial.

Baque - That... carrier ship, or whatever it is, seems to be pretty slow moving, but those little buggers flying out of it are pretty quick.

Senseless - We don’t have time for this. Mr. Baque, resume our course for the Core, warp 9.

The Celestial turns and jumps to warp. The hundreds of small fighter craft take chase and gain on the Federation ship, while the large carrier lags behind a little but easily keeps pace.

Casey - Like, um...

Boom, ship rocks, sparks.

Casey - What that says.

Genocide - These little insects are starting to annoy me. Permission to swat them, sir?

Senseless - Not yet. Casey, open a channel to the carrier ship.

Casey - Beep!

Baque - Casey, I told you—

Casey - I found the mute button, sir!

Senseless - Pietian ship, we do not wish to quarrel with you. We’re now leaving your space and I can guarantee we won’t be coming back through it. You guys have the worst tourist treatment policy I’ve ever seen.

Boom! Ship rocks, a console explodes and kills a no-name.

Tener - Call me cynical, but I don’t think they give a shit.

Senseless - Fine, Commander, fire at will.

The camera watches as the Celestial unloads its aft torpedo launchers into the trailing mass of tiny ships. A bunch get blown to smithereens. The rest open fire even more.

Righteous (ship rocking around him) - What did we ever do to them?

Sa’lol - Nothing, they’re just all nuts. Kind of like another group of religious fanatics I know...

Boom, ship rocks, sparks.

Genocide - I hate to pester you guys but our aft shields are almost gone and we don’t exactly have an unlimited supply of torpedoes here.

Righteous - Fire phasers, duh!

Genocide - I can’t while we’re at warp! They’ll destabilize the warp field... I’d like to know who the hell put the pulse phaser cannons on the front of the ship...

Baque - Because we’re a warship and we are supposed to be the ones chasing people, not the other way around.

Sa’lol - Maybe we can lose them around this weird anomaly thing.

Beep! The viewscreen changes to show a particle fountain.

Righteous - Ooh, pretty! Let’s go there!

Baque - Are you out of your frigging mind? Those things are unpredictable, expand and contract without warning, defy half the laws of physics as we know them, and dozens of starships have been destroyed studying them!

Casey - But, like, wouldn’t it be, like, just as dangerous for, like the Pietians?

Senseless - This is true. Toc, take us in, full speed.

Baque - This is a stupid plan.

The Celestial drops out of warp and flies straight towards the particle fountain.

Scene 9 - In the Spacedock’s commercial district, Fleet Admiral Spot is poking around at a seafood store, debating whether to get a can of “Quality Aqua-Culture-Grown, Non-Replicated Sardines.” A poorly dressed Ferengi who was looking around, suddenly spots Spot and runs over to her before she can get away.

Spot (muttering) - Oh gee...

Ferengi - Ah! Admiral! Just the feline I wanted to see!

Spot - I don’t have time for it, DaiMon Ted.

Daimon Ted - Everyone everywhere has been hearing about the impending Borg invasion. As the one to personally oversee the debriefing of our honoured guest from the M101 galaxy, I’m sure you fully understand the grave danger we’re all in. Might I interest you in a guaranteed life insurance plan, which, in the unfortunate event of your timely—err—untimely demise, your loved ones will receive a large severance—err—compensation package and—

Spot - The Federation doesn’t use money, so even if I do die, my kittens wouldn’t be any worse off then they are now.

Daimon Ted - Ah, but if the Federation collapses, the barter and monetary systems of the Ferengi Alliance will be all that will stand in the way of total chaos! Better safe than sorry! Buy today!

Spot - You’re that same jerk who sold Solaris a crappy shuttle for only 14 slips of latinum, and the damn thing wasn’t worth more than five and you knew it!

Ted - Yes, a most unfortunate accident, I assure you—

Spot - Read my furry lips: Go away!

Ted - Of course, Admiral, but first might I interest you in a watch? I have many, many watches!

He pulls open his vest, revealing rows and rows of plastic Barbie and Elmo watches, only half of which look like they’re still working.

Spot - Security!

Two burly security guards walk up and start dragging Daimon Ted away.

Ted - This is an outrage! I demand screen time! Bahhh!!!!

He suddenly spies an LCARS screen.

Ted - Oh! My stock in refined dilithium just jumped 200%! I’m rich!

Spot - Oh, that’s it... Spot to Admiral Broker, cash in all our shares in refined dilithium right away.

Ted - Oh no! It just fell to being worth only slightly more than the ore it comes out of! Oh, woe is me.

The two guards look at each other, then start taking turns beating the stuffing out of DaiMon Ted.

Ted - Police brutality! You’ll be hearing from my lawyer!

Spot ignores him, grabs the box of sardines, shows it to the store owner, and then walks off through the mall. Later, she stumbles into her office, still carrying the sardines (I’m not sure how she manages to carry things, maybe on her head?). Electronics pieces litter the floor. Spot looks towards her wall console station in time to see an isolinear chip fly out of it.

Spot - What the hell?

The fluffy gray kitten trots out of the gutted console.

Kitten (in its cute Slavic accent) - Oh hey! I upgraded your ram!

Spot - Adeline, the console is not a toy. Here, I brought you some sardines.

Spot extends a single claw and uses it to cut through the metal lid of the sardine can, opening it. She puts it in front of the console and Adeline hops over and starts happily eating.

No-Name #2 (Comm) - Admiral Spot, Captain Riker and Admiral Ross are here to speak with you.

Spot (trying to push all the console components into a pile) - Send them in.

The door opens and Riker and Admiral Ross walk in. Riker, in his annoying arrogant overconfidence, doesn’t watch his feet and steps on Adeline’s tail.

Adeline - Hisss!!!!

A hissing ball of fur flies at Riker’s face and starts tearing him to pieces. While Riker flails screaming about the office, Spot turns to Admiral Ross.

Spot - What now, Admiral?

Ross (nodding towards the spectacle in the middle of the room) - Has Adeline told you where the invasion is going to happen yet?

Riker - Ah get it off, get it off!!!

Spot - I’m not sure she knows. I’ve discovered that M101 has literally been overrun by the Borg. The feline race has scattered across the Universe. Most elected to simply super-charge the space folding drive on their ships and go as far away as they possibly can, but a few stayed behind and fought.

Ross - And?

Spot - Well, they got their furry asses kicked. They started blowing up all their technology to prevent the Borg from getting it. The last thing anyone needs is a race of contrived cybernetic douche-bags who can jump from galaxy to galaxy in the blink of an eye.

Riker - No, please, not the hair!

Ross - ...So?

Spot - The Borg discovered that our galaxy contained a plethora of species and want to assimilate us all. The surviving cats sent out various packages to known members of the Feline Association of Influence, such as the Federation.

Ross - So there are more kittens out there?

Riker - Okay, you little fur-ball, no more mister nice cameo...

Riker grabs a lead pipe (no Starfleet office should ever be without one!) And swings it straight at the scratching ball attached to his face. The kitten jumps to his lower arm just in the knick of time and Riker smacks himself in the forehead.

Riker - OW!

Spot - The nearest FAI member is the Vorn Imperial Confederation, who live more towards the galactic core. If I had known before today that they were getting a kitten...

Ross - Wait, don’t tell me... you’re saying that the Ninth Fleet has to make contact with them? Righteous, Ketrell, Farfetched, whatever the hell the Citadel’s captain is named?

Spot - Well, they are the closest fleet that could get there in time...

Riker - This time I got you!

Adeline is currently clawing up the inside of Riker’s leg. Riker swings the pipe towards her and she drops down. The pipe then hits Riker squarely in the crotch.

Riker - Ooof.... mommy...

Crash! Riker falls to the floor and crashes through a short wooden table along the way, smashing his head off the side of Spot’s desk. Spot and Ross turn to look at the mess. Adeline is sitting on top of Riker, cleaning herself.

Ross - Awwww.... who’s a little cutie kitty wumkins!

He wiggles his finger under the Adeline’s chin and the kitten just purrs while Riker lies unconscious beneath her.

Spot - What did the captain want, anyway?

Ross - Dunno, something about a new ship, probably.

Spot - When he wakes up I’ll put him in command of the USS Cream Puff.

Ross - Is that... humane?

Spot - Meh, the Halfass is out on patrol.

Scene 10 - The Celestial flies perilously close to the particle fountain while the Pietian fleet chases them, firing like crazy. On the bridge, Baque is having a grand old time dodging plasma eddies and particle flares.

Baque - Woooo! Now this is flying! I can almost ignore the fact that at any second we could all die!

Genocide - God damn it, I can’t get a weapons lock on anything due to the interference! This sucks!

Righteous - Well, at least that means they can’t hit us either.

Boom, ship rocks, sparks.

Genocide - Tell them that.

The camera watches as a flare engulfs and vapourizes several of the fighters. More sweep in and continue the pursuit. Suddenly, the carrier ship retracts several hull plates and several massive cannons extend. They fire and streams of plasma shoot towards the Celestial. One hits it so hard it pushes the ship down several dozen metres.

Baque (bridge exploding around him) - Oh not fair! Not freaking fair!

Senseless - Any suggestions, anyone?

Genocide - We go out and ram their sorry asses? Then pour some proverbial salt in the wound via photonic explosive goodness?

Righteous - Let’s get close to the particle fluffy thing.

Garell - Are you out of your Prophet-damned mind?

Righteous just looks at her.

Righteous - Do I look like I’m crazy?

Garell - Right, of course: ask question, get answer.

Baque - How close?

Righteous - What’s the closest anything can get to one of these?

Sa’lol - They have a sort of event horizon, where the matter being ejected is moving at the speed of light and has a density approaching infinite. Nothing can get closer than that without being blown into its component quarks and thrown away at relativistic velocities... oh, I probably shouldn’t have said that...

Righteous - Take us towards the evangelical horizontal!

Baque - If we die, I’m going to kill you, sir.

The Celestial veers towards the centre of the particle fountain. The Pietian ships follow. One by one the fighters begin exploding.

Baque - Uh, guys? We’re accelerating... 0.26 lightspeed, point two seven, point three?

Sa’lol - It’s sucking us in! This doesn’t make sense unless we’ve hit a region of low particle density!

Righteous - In Bajoran, please?

Sa’lol - We’re already moving too fast! If we hit a pocket of normal density now we’ll be torn to shreds, shields or no shields.

Baque - Who cares, this is the fastest we’ve ever gotten the ship to move at impulse! Any faster and we’ll have time dilation effects! Woo hoo!

The camera watches as the Celestial, now oddly squashed-looking, flies towards the glowing white spot which marks the centre of the particle fountain.

Baque (Voiceover) - YEEEEEEHHHHAAAAWWWWW!!!!!

The ship whips in and misses grazing the core of the fountain by about two millimetres. Everything suddenly stops.

Narrator - Looks like them Starfleet boys are in one dilly of a pickle, and not the tasty, yummy, “please-put-extra-on-my-cheeseburger” kind of pickle...

Sa’lol - Who the fuck are you? Would you please turn the laws of physics back on?

Narrator - Fine, fine...

The Celestial slingshots around the particle fountain, then picks up the particle wind on the other side and gets accelerated even faster. On the bridge, everything is getting laggy.

Casey (slowly) - Llliiikkkke,... weee’vveee... cllleaarreedd.... theeeee.... ppppaaaarrrrtiiiiccclllleee.... fffoooouunnnnttaaaiinnn.

Genocide - Ensign, why the heck are you talking like that?

Casey - Like, relativistic effects?

Genocide (shaking his head) - Casey, those are only obvious to an observer outside the ship. We’re all in the same frame of reference, you twit.

Casey - Oh... sorry. My bad!

Baque - Yo, check out what’s on channel 7.

Casey flips the viewscreen in time to see the Pietian carrier ship lose control and tumble into a plasma eddy, then explode.

Righteous - So much for them.

The turbolift doors open and Doctor Puker and Lieutenant Blavik walk onto the bridge.

Tener - Why the hell do you guys always show up towards the end of the episode?

Puker - Why the hell are you never working?

Tener - We’re not being boarded and we’re not sending an away team anywhere: What else do I have to do around here? See, this is why the tactical and security positions are combined on most ships.

Genocide - Feel free to quit.

Tener - Really?

Genocide - Sure, if you wanna die.

Senseless - Can we please focus? We’re still in danger.

Baque - Ha! I’d like to see them try to catch us while we’re going this fast!

Senseless - Speaking of which, let’s jump to warp and get back to our original mission.

Baque - Fine, fine... we were making great time too.

The Celestial jumps to warp.

Righteous - I still don’t see why we can’t use that weird blue tunnel thing to go very fast.

Garell - Because for one, we don’t have the slipstream core anymore, and damned if I’m going to spend the next 96 hours working nonstop to modify ours to make slipstream work right, and for two, I don’t think you realize how close we come to crushing ourselves every time we go to slipstream. One of these days our luck is going to run out.

Righteous - Not with the Prophets on our side!

Garell - Let’s hope they don’t ever go on vacation then.

Puker - So all’s well that ends well. We informed another race about the Borg threat, had them declare war on us, and nearly escaped with our lives. To top it off, we’re still in danger until we clear their space.

Casey - Like, how is that well?

Blavik - It pleases me to report that all crew are in good health, Commander.

Everyone looks at her.

Senseless - O...kay?

Blavik - ...I only got one other line in this entire episode.

Casey - Um... guys? There’s, a, like, ship...

Boom, ship rocks, sparks.

Casey - Yeah.

Genocide - Woo hoo! More target practice!

Baque - Woo hoo, more dangerous flying for the purpose of staying alive!

Puker - Woo hoo! More causalities!

Righteous - Woo hoo! Stuff is happening, so I won’t get bored!

Garell is about to say something but the various flashing red lights on her console silence her.

Garell (sigh) - I hate you all.

She gets up, picks up a hypospanner, and leaves the bridge.

The End