Episode 66: “Even More Ways to Skin a Cat”

Written by Swordtail

Published July 4, 2008

Scene 1 - The USS Solaris is warping through space. On the bridge, Captain Ketrell, Commander Ren, Lieutenant-Commander Adair, Lieutenant-Commander Dalarsh, Doctor Samson, Lieutenant Frell, Lieutenant Tevarin, and the nameless science officer are sitting around looking bored.

No-Name #1 - Scans of sector 477 are complete. Nothing to report. Beginning scans of sector 478.

Ren - What? That’s it? Just “nothing to report”?

No-Name #1 - Well... it’s pretty empty around here.

Ren - No snarky, sarcastic remarks about how stupid this mission is? No jabs at Valen here for ordering you to do the scans?

No-Name #1 - No ma’am, I go by the book! (Looks proud)

Long pause.

Frell - I miss Sa’lol.

Adair - Wait a second...

Ketrell - What is it?

Adair - We’ve gone like a minute without the Celestial showing up.

Dalarsh - So?

Adair - That means we might get this entire episode to ourselves!

Samson - But if memory serves me correctly, and I admit it rarely does, the last time we got an episode to ourselves we nearly got destroyed, nearly let Earth get conquered, and then got charged and barely acquitted for using biological weapons on a cat that just escaped custody the next day anyway.

Frell - We’re nearly 8,000 lightyears from known space: What could possibly be out here that could cause us that much grief?

The camera looks at the rest of the senior staff who just shrug (ah, to be young and naive again...). The camera then flies out of the ship and zooms across space to a small type-9 shuttlecraft. Inside, a fluffy cat makes a log entry while two Romulans snore in the background.

Chester - Evil Warlord’s log, stardate... unknown. R’lentra went on a cleaning spree yesterday and erased my little scratch tally I’ve been using to keep track of days since the main computer went down. We’re running out of food fast and I can’t activate the replicators because we’d lose life support. With no hope of rescue, I may be forced to eat my henchmen.

A hand moves into view holding a phaser to Chester’s head. Chester sees it out of the corner of his eye.

Chester - I may also be forced to invest in soundproofing this shuttle...

Opening Credits... for those of you who’ve forgotten, you may want to review The Solaris Chronicles or the Appendix (depending on what site you’re reading this at).

Scene 3 - On the bridge of Solaris, Tevarin’s console starts beeping.

Tevarin - Captain, there’s a type-9 Starfleet shuttlecraft off the port bow. It has limited power and I’m detecting three lifeforms aboard.

Ren - Finally, something worth of our attention!

Ketrell - Hail them.

Tevarin - Righto.

On the shuttle, a console lights up and starts beeping. Chester, Spliff, and R’lentra look at it.

Chester - What the heck?

A static-ridden viewscreen turns on and Captain Ketrell appears on the screen.

Ketrell - This is the Federation starship... you!

Chester - You!

Ren - You!

Spliff - You!

R’lentra - Muffins!

Everyone looks at her.

R’lentra - Well, someone had to put a stop to that.

Ketrell - Chester, you know the drill: Lower whatever shields you have left and surrender to us.

Chester - You’ll never take us alive!

Ren - Works for me. Rick, lock weapons on their warp core and fire.

Chester - Wait! Fine!

Ren - Oh, you’re no fun.

Ketrell - Beam them all to the brig.

Scene 4 - Brig. Spliff is sitting with his arms crossed and a frown on his face while Chester pokes the forcefield looking for a way out and R’lentra just watches the both of them.

Spliff - This is all your fault.

Chester - My fault? You were the one who suggested we take a shuttlecraft. I wanted to steal a starship!

Spliff - We wouldn’t have gotten five lightyears if we’d stolen a starship!

 Chester - That’s only because you’re incompetent!

Spliff - Oh, I’ve had enough of you insulting me!

Spliff lunges at Chester and Chester dodges out of the way, causing Spliff to go headfirst into the forcefield. Chester then attacks Spliff’s leg and the angry Romulan manages to land a few punches. Both of them fall to the floor, Spliff with his hands around Chester’s neck and Chester with his claws up against Spliff’s. They both hear something and look out of the cell across the room, where a Vulcan crewman is sitting in another cell watching them. The Vulcan raises an eyebrow. Spliff and Chester let go of each other.

Chester - What are you in for?

No-Name #2 - I violated one of the Ship’s Rules.

R’lentra - Ship’s Rules?

No-Name #2 - Captain Ketrell created a list of guidelines to help ensure the smooth functioning of this vessel. For example, “The waitresses are not hitting on you, they’re just doing their jobs,” or “shut the fuck up,” or “the crunchy bits aren’t harmful, just eat the damned food.”

Spliff - That doesn’t sound like Captain Ketrell.

No-Name #2 - Actually, he delegated the task of consolidating the rules into easy-to-remember lines to Commander Ren.

Spliff, Chester, R’lentra - Ah.

Spliff - So which rule did you violate?

No-Name #2 - I accidentally farted in the general direction of Romulus.

Spliff - Good! It’s about time Starfleet started putting a stop to that!

Chester - ...What?

Spliff - After the century-long war between my people and the Vulcans, a treaty was signed. One of the obligations was for neither side to fart in the general direction of the other’s homeworld.

Chester - That’s the most retarded thing I’ve ever heard. Who the hell would enforce that policy?

In the distance, a corny theme song starts getting louder.

Background Music - Badda badda badda badda, badda badda badda badda, badda badda badda badda—

The doors open and a Vulcan dressed in white robes with the IDIC symbol on them jumps into the room and strikes a pose.

Background Music - Logic Man!

Logic Man walks up to the cell holding No-Name #2 and takes out a PADD.

Logic Man - As you are well aware, you farted in the general direction of Romulus without a proper “farting in general directions” license. Here’s your ticket.

Logic Man starts to leave.

Spliff - Wait! You guys have “farting in general directions” licenses? That’s against the treaty!

Logic Man - Actually, if you read the fine print, we’re allowed to do it.

Spliff - Curses... why were my ancestors so damned illiterate?

Chester - So you’re telling me this guy just jumps around the galaxy handing out fines to people for doing something that most people wouldn’t think twice about?

Spliff - You underestimate Vulcans. They like to say that it’s just a natural bodily function, and it is, but they also like to say that it’s just a “coincidence” that they just happen to have their back to Romulus at the time. They all act so damned smug about it, too!

Chester - That is so effing retarded I think I’m going to hurl.

R’lentra - Not really, we aren’t allowed to break wind in the general direction of Vulcan either.

Chester - And who the hell enforces that?

Logic Man (shaking a fist in the air) - My arch nemesis, Professor Illogica!

Chester - I just had to ask...

Scene 5 - Briefing room of the Solaris. All senior staff are present.

Dalarsh - Logic Man boarded the ship about an hour ago. So far I have no idea how he got here.

Ketrell - Damn it, those rules are in place for a reason! What should we do about it now that he’s here?

Ren - We could airlock him.

Ketrell - Preferably something legal and ethical.

Ren - Ah come on, no one will know. Hell, no one will care...

Adair - We should interrogate our prisoners, see what they’ve been up to these past few months.

Ketrell - My thoughts exactly. So, any other news?

No one says anything.

Ketrell - Nothing?

No-Name #1 - I detected a class-seven nebula this morning... Well, actually I just confirmed an earlier subspace scan done by a long range telescope, but it was exciting nonetheless.

Ren - Christ, I bet the Celestial is doing something fun and interesting right now...

The camera goes all across space to the Celestial’s briefing room, where the entire senior staff is present and sitting around the table, looking bored.

Long pause. The camera looks at each person’s face. Finally, someone speaks:

Baque - You know what? I don’t like the layout of this room.

Garell - What?

Baque - Everyone sitting on the starboard side of the table has to turn around to see the wall monitor, and they block the view of everyone on the port side.

Garell - It was designed so the captain can see it, not so we can be comfortable.

Righteous - Actually, I can’t see it.

Garell - Why the hell didn’t you tell someone then!

Righteous - I didn’t want to be difficult... besides, English just looks like a bunch of crazy lines anyway so I barely can read from this far back anyways.

Baque - So why don’t we move the monitor to the end of the table, get the captain glasses, and kick Blavik out so we don’t have to sit someone down there.

Puker - What? How am I supposed to remember what goes on in these meetings if someone doesn’t remember it for me?

Garell - We can’t move the monitor down there because there’s a window there.

Baque - Well, next time the briefing room gets blown up in battle, can we rebuild it in a different way?

Genocide - Why wait for a battle? A few well programmed torpedoes ought to do the trick.

Garell - Try it and I’ll stab your eyes out and pour salt in the sockets.

Camera goes back to the Solaris.

Samson - Oh, I’m sure they’re keeping busy.

Ketrell - Rick, Nezna, question our guests. The rest of you, go back to whatever you were doing before all this happened.

Scene 6, Episode 66. Camera is in Hell. Satan is doing an ad campaign.

Satan - Are your knees starting to hurt from kneeling all day?

The camera goes to a random worshiper at the foot of their bed, who is finishing up praying.

Worshipper (eyes closed, praying) - ...Forever and ever, amen...

He tries to get up and his knees buckle and he falls to the floor in pain.

Worshipper - Why hast thou forsaken me!?!

Camera goes back to Satan.

Satan - Tired of missing out on life to attend Church?

Camera goes to two women somewhere.

Woman #1 - Hey, wanna go collect our 10 million dollar cheque from that lottery, then head down to the Caribbean so we can spend half of it on charities and the other half on having one wicked party?

Woman #2 - Can’t. Gotta go to church.

Satan - Tired of seeing more and more proof of science, while your beliefs are rocked by scandal, corruption, and meaningless conflict?

Camera goes to random soldier in Iraq, being shot at by angry Islamics.

Soldier #1 - Damn it this is not a relaxing day on the beach like the army ads told me it would be!

Satan - If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, maybe it’s time to find a new God!

Camera goes to each of the four people shown before, who all perk up and start smiling.

Satan (holding out a list) - We here at Eight Circles Inc. have everything you’ll need to change your beliefs! You could even become a sun worshipper!

Camera goes to random sun worshipper, who is slathering on sunscreen.

Sun Worshipper - Best part is you can buy Vengenceblock SPF 50 at your local convenience store!

Satan - Or choose from thousands of other religions, the Catholic Church doesn’t want you to know about!

Camera goes to a Catholic Church.

Bishop - Now show your devotion to God, through the offering.

Satan and his demons burst in and start throwing money around.

Satan - Why waste hard earned cash on frivolous things like Church when you could be buying cars! Diamonds! Stocks in the TSX!

Demon #1 - But if you act now, we’ll also throw in a guaranteed one-way ticket to hell!

The background music grinds to a halt.

Satan - What’s that you say? Hell sounds bad?

The screen shows a black and white image of the pope making a mean face.

Satan (voiceover) - That’s exactly what these guys want you to think!

Demon #2 - Every hard-core partier, everyone who drinks alcohol, everyone who basically enjoys life is guaranteed to go to hell. At least the Church got that part right!

Demon #1 - But what they don’t tell you is that down in the underworld we have bitchin’ awesome rave parties!!!!11

Camera goes to show a shot of a bitchin’ awesome rave party, then back to the head office of hell.

Satan - What are you waiting for? Repent! The hour of the beast is upon you!

...a million Pentecostal fundamentalists go into cardiac arrest.

Some random dude goes up to the devil.

Random Dude - Uh... if fun-loving people are destined to go to hell, and hell is actually a neat place, where do the truly evil people go? You know, the ones who actually hurt other people?

Satan - Oh, they’re down there too.

The camera goes to one of the resorts in hell. Two old dead guys are chatting and sipping martinis.

Charles Darwin - ...So I says to him, I says, “you should get an award for being so dumb you necessarily weeded yourself out of the gene pool.”

Issac Newton - Well, anyone dumb enough to do a running start so he can win a spitting contest deserves to be attracted to the earth from 11 stories up. Hey! Buckmienster! Another martini!

Adolf Hitler, wearing a butler’s outfit and carrying a tray, walks into view.

Hitler - Mien name is Adolf! Not Buckmienster!

A random demon comes up and jabs him with a cattle prod.

Demon - Less complaining and more working! You think eternity is a long time right now? Just keep up this attitude, mister!

(The makers of this program do not endorse, condone, or encourage jabbing people with cattle prods, regardless of what they’ve done, or devil worship, in any way, shape, or form. However, we are also brutally against all forms of organized religion and believe strongly that people who refuse to keep an open mind are just fooling themselves. While you do have a right to believe in utter nonsense, you do not have the right to attempt to convert others to your barbaric faith. Please, put down the picket sign and shut the fuck up. We now return you to your regularly scheduled worthless crap.)

Scene 6 - Doctor R’lentra sits in a empty room, twiddling her fingers and looking around. Outside, Ren and Adair are watching her through a security camera.

Ren - Alright, let’s do this the old “good cop, bad cop” way. I’ll be the bad cop.

Adair - Fine.

The open a door and walk in and go over to the chair R’lentra’s sitting in.

Adair - Hello. I’m Lieutenant-Commander Richard Adair. This is Commander Nezna Ren. We’d like to ask you a few questions.

Ren (leaning on the desk and looking R’lentra in the eye) - And if we don’t like your answers, you can look forward to spending the rest of your life in a damp, dark prison cell on some obscure Romulan moon.

R’lentra - Alright! I’ll cooperate! Ask me anything!

Adair - What’s the code to access your shuttle’s data files? Dalarsh says if she tries to hack it the shuttle will explode.

R’lentra - The code is 4 5 8, 7 3 2.

Adair and Ren looked slightly surprised.

Ren - That was easy. Why was that so easy?

R’lentra - I’m tired of being on the losing side all the time. For once I want to be one of the good guys and not get killed. But don’t tell Commander Spliff.

Adair - Well, thank you very much. It will go a long way to helping your case before the Federation courts. That’s all for now, we’ll check back with you later. Guard!

A security officer comes in and leads R’lentra away. Ren and Adair also leave the room and go back to the control room while another guard brings in Chester.

Adair - I call bad cop this time.

Ren - What?

Adair - You always get to be the bad cop. I want to be the bad cop for at least once.

Ren (rolling her eyes) - Fine, fine, whatever.

They walk back into the room.

Adair - Alright you miserable piece of shit, start talking or—

Ren winds up and punches Chester square in the face, sending him flying back into the fall.

Adair - What the hell, ma’am!?! I thought you said I could be the bad cop!

Ren - And you are. But now we’re playing “bad cop, worse cop.”

Chester (coughing) - What the fuck?! I bet the SPCA will have a thing or two to say about this!

Ren - Not likely: In space, no one can hear your civil rights being violated.

Adair - Now answer all our questions or else the commander might decide to break every Starfleet regulation in the book... again.

Ren - I do so enjoy the regulation breaking.

Adair - What have you been up to over the past couple months?

Chester - Fine, fine... it all started on stardate 60072.6 when I broke Spliff and his annoying girlfriend out of prison. Not a difficult task, by the way. You guys seriously need to upgrade your security.

Ren punches him again.

Chester - Ow! Quit it! Alright! We travelled through space for about a month, and somehow managed to traverse several thousand lightyears. We barely made it through Gorn space, but eventually ended up out here. Then... well... I’ll let your captain explain it to you in the next scene.

Scene 7 - Solaris floats through space. You know, standard spaceship stuff.

Ketrell (voiceover) - Captain’s log, stardate 60239.7. Why is nothing ever easy?

(No answer)

Ketrell (sigh) - That’s what I thought.

Camera goes to Solaris’ briefing room. The entire senior staff are present.

Ketrell - So it turns out Chester has been up to his usual bad behaviour. Violated the Prime Directive on a half dozen planets, and actually made a bit of a mess in this sector, before fleeing and running out of fuel out here.

Dalarsh - Yeah that shuttle took a few hits. Pretty powerful weapons by the looks of it.

Ren - Apparently after they noticed the galaxy wasn’t being turned into zombies, Chester tried to reform the Orion Syndicate all the way out here. He boosted some local warlord into power and then it all hit the fan.

Frell - Um, sounds like we might want to be somewhere else then...

Ren - I agree.

Ketrell - We can’t. Chester is our responsibility, as are his messes.

Ren (muttering) - Lame...

Samson - So what are we doing, running in with weapons blazing and basically making a shitty situation worse?

Ketrell - Actually, kind of.

He gets up and ignores the confused expressions on the crew’s faces, then goes to the wall monitor and turns it on. A picture of some mean looking goofy forehead alien appears on the screen.

Ketrell - Wermon Dolyt. Used to run a smuggling operation between here and the tail edge of the Sargan Consortium. Then Chester came along and gave him advanced Federation technology. He started manufacturing quantum torpedoes by the freight load, although we’re not sure how, since it’s impossible to replicate the zero point module, as far as we know.

Ren - Then how does the Federation make them in the first place?

Ketrell - Wage slaves on outlying worlds toil day and night to get the alignment just right. Half the time they do it wrong and blow themselves up.

Ren - Why don’t we get robots to do that?

Ketrell - Actually, they’re EMH Mark II’s.

Dalarsh - The thought of Andy Dick being blown up a million fold is pretty amusing.

Adair - You mentioned something about going in with weapons blazing...?

Ketrell - Yeah. This guy runs a monthly weapons exhibition near here, at Pulsar Anchorage, whatever that is. Everyone around here uses disruptors so we could go in with our phasers and show off and gain their trust, then find a way to get our technology back and turn this guy in to the local authorities.

Dalarsh - Why do I get the feeling I’ll be reattaching large pieces of the hull before this is over?

Samson - Why do I get the feeling I’ll be reattaching limbs before this is over?

Frell - Could be worse, just think what trouble the Celestial is probably getting into right now...

The camera goes to the Celestial, where the crew are still in the briefing room. Garell has a measuring tape out and is measuring the wall monitor.

Sa’lol - Why not put it along the back wall? No one uses that door much, so it wouldn’t be a problem.

Garell - Can’t, that’s an escape pod access door, so blocking it is a safety hazard.

Tener - Why don’t we just use the holo-projector like it was meant to be used. Enough of this 2D bullshit.

Garell - Works for me. I frankly don’t see why we need to use this dumb wall monitor in the first place.

Righteous - Why don’t we extend the room past the back door! Then we can put the monitor along the wall and everyone will be safe.

Garell - Do you have any idea how long that would take? We’d have to practically dismantle the entire room!

Righteous - And in the meantime people can walk through my office to get to the escape pods. I don’t mind, I’m not in there much anyways during abandon ship calls.

Casey - But, like, if we extend this room we’ll, like, have to extend the other one too because, like, it wouldn’t, like, be all symmetrical and stuff, or like whatever.

Long pause...

Righteous - Wow, this is the biggest problem we’ve faced in years!

Scene 8 - Bridge of Solaris. Ketrell, Ren, Adair, Frell, Dalarsh, Tevarin, Samson, the no-name science officer, and a bunch of guards are present as more guards walk onto the bridge dragging Chester by a leash and pushing Spliff and R’lentra.

Ren - Good, everyone is here. Operation This-is-a-Very-Bad-Idea can now commence.

Ketrell - Alright, prove your worth: We’ve reached the coordinates. Tevarin, put it onscreen.

The viewscreen activates and a dimly glowing white star appears in the centre.

Spliff (reluctantly) - Look for a small asteroid orbiting the pulsar.

Frell - Found it. Taking us there.... we’re in orbit.

Spliff - Now drop anchor and wait.

Adair - Drop anchor?

Spliff - This ship is a bit big to land on the asteroid, so you’ll have to anchor yourself to it.

Ren - We don’t have a fucking anchor, what the hell do you think this is? A steamship?

Ketrell - We do have some grappling hooks that might work, but it would be easier to use the tractor beams.

R’lentra - Use the grappling hooks, the tractor beam will soon be useless.

Ketrell (shrugging) - Alright, fire the grappling hooks.

The camera watches as a seldom used hatch opens and four sharp-looking hooks fire out from the bottom of the ship, trailing long metal wires. They all slam into the surface of the asteroid and dig in.

No-Name #1 - I hope that asteroid isn’t just made of gravel.

Tevarin - It’s solid nickel, we aren’t going anywhere.

Ketrell - Alright, Chester, we’re anchored. Now how do we meet this guy?

No-Name #1 - Captain, the pulsar is—

Foooooooom! All over the ship, power cuts. On the pitch black bridge, the crew turn on flashlights.

Dalarsh - Main power is out all across the ship! Trying to activate auxiliary power supply...

Spliff - Don’t bother... just... hold onto something.

Ketrell - What?

The entire crew except for Ketrell grabs onto something. The camera watches as the pulsar rotates to face the asteroid and hits it with a blast of energy. The ship is thrown tight against its mooring lines but luckily the asteroid moves only a little bit. On the bridge, everyone is thrown around, despite having held onto something. Slowly, power starts coming back on and everyone gets back into their seats.

No-Name #1 - Captain! The pulsar fired! It knocked out our systems but... holy crap we’re in the middle of a mine field!

Adair - Scanning... some kind of self-replicating, cloaked, random relocation proximity mines. Pretty powerful by the looks of it. If we had drifted into one, we probably wouldn’t even have felt it.

Spliff leans forward.

Spliff - You’re welcome.

R’lentra - The mines will be offline for exactly 2 hours and 47 minutes while they run internal diagnostics. The pulsar disrupts their circuitry. Their proximity sensors are offline, so as long as you don’t physically hit one we should be fine.

Adair - Wait a damned minute: How the hell did we get into this minefield without hitting one?

Frell - And how did Enterprise get into that Romulan minefield without hitting one sooner?

Samson - No sense, no sense at all, because this is Star Trek!

Tevarin - Hey, there’s a space station out there!

He hits some buttons and the station appears onscreen. It is large and bristling with weapons, the shimmer of a failing cloaking device still rippling across the hull. Dozens of small ships are docked with it, all of which also look evil.

Chester - That will be Dolyt’s base of operations. Full of bloodthirsty, vicious, bad-mouthed, untrustworthy, evil villains.

Adair - Sounds like you’d fit right in.

Chester - You’re too kind.

Adair - No, really, you’d fit right in: You’re going to get us in there.

Chester starts laughing. Spliff rolls his eyes.

Spliff - We aren’t too well-liked around here. If you say we’re running this ship you’ll be blown to pieces before Fluffy here has time to yell out some obscenity.

Chester - What part of “don’t call me Fluffy in front of my enemies” didn’t you get?

Ren - So they hate your guts?

Chester - Pretty much. I’m none to fond of them either. Welp, let’s go. Lots more galaxy to explore, or whatever it is you people do.

Ren - This may work better than we thought...

Ketrell - You’ve got an idea?

Ren - Oh, do I? Tevarin, open hailing frequencies.

Spliff, R’lentra, Chester - No!

Tevarin halts with his finger nearly touching his console.

R’lentra - The mines could be set off by such a close proximity communication. Move us closer to the station first.

Ren - Pbbbt, those mines don’t look so tough.

Suddenly, on the viewscreen, a small ship drops out of warp and enters the mine field. After a short time, it strikes a mine and the whole screen is filled with a blinding white light.

R’lentra - They’re full of 90 exajoules of explosive power.

Ren - ....Right...

Dalarsh - Wait... wouldn’t that... blow up the whole... mine... field....

Ketrell - “Ship’s rule #1: This is Star Trek, nothing makes sense.” Just go with it, ok?

Frell - We’ve cleared the minefield. Entering parking orbit around the station.

Ketrell - Scramble our transponder signal and open a channel.

Tevarin - Channel open.

Ketrell - Nezna, all yours.

Ren - Hey! Assholes!

Ketrell (sigh) - So much for diplomacy.

Ren - We’ve got Chester! If you want him, you’re going to have to let us join your little party!


Voice (comm) - Dock at the following coordinates. Keep your weapons disarmed or you will be destroyed. The demonstration will happen in two of your hours.

Tevarin - They cut the channel.

Ketrell - Frell, dock us at that... station. Ex-Commander Spliff, what did they mean “your hours”?

Spliff (trying to innocently smile) - We may have told them about the Federation on our last trip through here...

Adair - Apparently you left out the part about us being peace-loving and gullible?

Spliff - Try a bunch of war-mongering, oppressive racist bigots so crazed for expansion that you make up grandiose claims of invading super-races just to make other races bend to their will...

Ketrell looks at the rest of the bridge crew.

Ketrell - Damn it, who told them?

Dalarsh - What, about the Borg invasion? I might have let it slip...

Ketrell - Commander?

Ren (pulling out then reading from a PADD) - “Ship’s rule #33: Shut the fuck up!”

Ketrell - No, not that one...

Ren - Sorry... “Ship’s rule #34: Seriously, shut the fuck up.”

Ketrell (slapping his forehead) - No, not that one either...

Ren - Err... “Ship’s Rule #19: War is not good for business, stop trying to sell it to people” ...um...

She frantically starts flipping pages.

Ketrell - I thought you memorized all these!?

Ren - You don’t pay me enough to memorize stuff.

Ketrell - I don’t pay you at all.

Ren - Exactly...here it is: “Ship’s Rule #99: When ordered not to talk to prisoners, then seriously, don’t fucking talk to the prisoners.”

Ketrell - Close enough. Come on people, regulations exist for a reason.

Adair - It’s a dumb reason.

Dalarsh - You’re a dumb reason.

Adair - Just reel in the damn grappling hooks before they get caught on something.

Scene 9 - On the evil space station, Ketrell, Ren, Adair, three security guards, each pushing Chester, R’lentra, and Spliff, walk cautiously through the crowds of drunken, smelly villains. Most look like they couldn’t hurt a flea even if they got access to a nuclear warhead, but some are a little more dangerous-looking.

Ketrell - Stay alert, everyone. There’s no telling what forms of evil lurk around here.

A shady looking guy steps in front of them.

Drifter - Urrr, wanna buy a watch?

He pulls open his trenchcoat, revealing rows and rows of paper watch cut-outs taken from magazine ads.

Drifter - I have many, many watches!

One of the security guards steps up.

No-Name #3 - Don’t worry, I know what to do.

He waves his hand in front of the drifter.

No-Name #3 - You don’t want to sell us anything.

Drifter (eyes glazed) - You don’t want to sell us anything...

No-Name #3 - You’re going to go home and rethink your life.

Drifter (eyes still glazed) - You’re going to go home and rethink your life.... but before you do, would you like to buy a—

BZZZZZT! Adair stuns the annoying alien. Everyone else in the room stops what they’re doing and looks at the new comers.

Ren - Way to stay subtle, douche bag.

Voice - Very impressive. Not every day you see a weapon that can render someone unconscious. Oh wait, yes... a fist works quite nicely.

Ketrell (looking for the voice) - Our weapons can range anywhere from mildly annoying to completely disrupting the atomic bonds throughout your body.

A figure steps out of the crowd and the voice is revealed to be that of Wermon Dolyt.

Dolyt - So, the mighty United Federation of Planets. I’ve heard much about you.

He shoots a glance at Chester.

Dolyt - I see you’ve brought me some gifts.

Ren - Accccttuuuallllly.... No.

Dolyt - No?

Ren - Nope. You’re under arrest for being a bloodthirsty warlord and for breaking Federation patent laws by reverse engineering our weaponry. You’re coming with us.

All the bad guys burst out laughing. The crew look around at them. One of the no-names starts laughing too. Finally everyone stops. Ketrell looks at the no-name.

No-Name #3 - What? It’s contagious!

Dolyt - You have one ship, we’ve got dozens! What hope do you have against us?

Ketrell - Well, for that you’d have to talk to one of my people. See, we have this saying back where we come from: If you value life and limb and status quo, never give an engineer free time.

He taps his commbadge.

Ketrell - Away team to Lieutenant-Commander Dalarsh?

Dalarsh (comm) - Yeah?

Ketrell - Mr. Dolyt wants us to explain why two hours was way more time than he should have given us.

Dalarsh (comm) - Oh yeah, I interfaced our computers with the mines and accessed their detonation subroutines. I adjusted their proximity sensors to ignore Federation starships and then stopped the diagnostic routine.

Ketrell - In other words, anyone who moves their ship will kill us all.

Dolyt - You’re insane!

Chester - My thoughts exactly!

Ketrell - Look, it’s been a long month, alright? Things are pretty hectic these days.

Adair - So, Dolyt comes with us. The rest of you can stay here until the authorities come to pick you up, or you can take your chances with the mine field. Either way works for us.

Dolyt - You’re all insane! I’m going to take you hostage! Bet you didn’t see that coming, did you? Ah ah ha ha!

He motions for several of his guards to move in. The no-names take aim and gun down the approaching guards, but somehow that doesn’t stop them from also being killed. Ketrell, Ren, and Adair dive behind cover and take down the rest of the guards as some villians join Dolyt while others just run around trying to get away. Chester, R’lentra, and Spliff stand in the middle of the room not sure what to do.

Ketrell (yelling to Ren) - Is this part of the plan? You never finished explaining it to me.

Ren (yelling back) - Actually, I’m just making shit up as I go along!

Chester - On one side, people who want to kill us. On the other: People who will probably end up getting us killed. Decisions, decisions.

Dolyt is ignoring the firefight and picks up a grape-fruit sized device and pushes a button on it.

Dolyt - You want your technology back so bad? Fine! You can have it!

He tosses the device into the air and Spliff catches it.

Spliff - What’s this?

R’lentra (ducking as a phaser blast narrowly misses her) - The explosive warhead from a quantum torpedo. Oh, and it’s armed by the way.

Spliff - Oooooffff course it is.

Adair, Ren, and Ketrell see this and stop firing.

Adair - Wow, this must be how the Celestial crew feels every week.

Camera goes to the Celestial’s briefing room. The entire senior staff are present and have removed the wall monitor. Wires and an exposed plasma conduit can be seen behind the wall and the blank screen sits against the table while Sa’lol and Garell try to see if the wires even go anywhere else in the room.

Garell - Hmm... anyone have a tricorder? This is a more complicated circuit than I thought.

The camera goes back to the space station.

Spliff - So, I’m holding something powerful enough to blow a hole through solid neutronium?

Chester - Yeah, so don’t drop it.

Pzzzt! One of Dolyt’s lackeys misses the Starfleet officers and grazes Spliff’s leg.

Spliff - Ow!

He drops the warhead and it starts to make a high pitched whining sound.

Chester - Oh crud...

Ketrell runs forward, does a somersault, picks up the bomb, and throws it with all his might towards where Dolyt is hiding. He then jumps off to the side, just as Chester jumps that way as well and Spliff throws himself and R’lentra to the ground. Adair and Ren hide better behind the crates they’re behind and the warhead goes off.

Scene 10 - Bridge of Solaris. Tevarin, Frell, Dalarsh and some no-names watch as an explosion blows a hole in the side of the station.

Frell - That’s our cue. Powering engines.

Tevarin - Raising shields.

Dalarsh - Getting a transporter lock.

Frell - Wait, I think we screwed the order of that up.

Dalarsh - Yeah, I’m having a bit of trouble.

Tevarin - Yeah, and I can’t fully raise the shields while we’re docked with this station.

Frell - And your shields are keeping me from undocking!


Dalarsh - Come on, think: What Would Geordi Do?

Scene 11 - Back on the station, Chester, Ketrell, Spliff, R’lentra, Adair, and Ren crawl out of the wreckage and look at the gaping hole through which the minefield can be seen. All around them are dead bad guys.

Ren - Wow, that went a lot worse than we expected.

Ketrell - Hey, you made up the plan.

Ren - Oh shut up, sir.

Suddenly, there’s movement over in the corner. Wermon Dolyt sits up. Strangely, his face is half melted off.

Adair - Ew... hey, what the... you’re not a goofy forehead alien! You’re a—

Dolyt rips the latex mask off and reveals himself to be—

Adair - You’re a Romulan!

I was going to say that!

Dolyt - Not just any Romulan! I am Professor Illogica!

Lightening strikes in the background and electrocutes a barely-surviving henchman.

Professor Illogica - You, you, and you. Come with me. We have to start another subplot.

Adair - Eat nadions, sucker!

Adair fires his phaser but Illogica is wearing a personal shield of some kind and the phaser does no damage.

Illogica - Bwah ha ha! Mere energy weapons are no match for illogic! I am invincible!

Chester, Spliff, and R’lentra walk over to where Professor Illogica is waiting.

Illogica (to the three officers) - Oh, one more thing before I go... please die.

He raises a weapon and is about to fire when a lead pipe flies out of nowhere and hits his weapon. The shot goes wild and ruptures a plasma conduit. As toxic plasma starts to fill the room, Logic Man steps into view, his hand still in “I just threw something” mode.

Logic Man - Lead pipes: Never leave Vulcan without one.

Illogica - So, Logic Man, we meet again.

Logic Man - Professor Illogica, your reign of never-before-mentioned terror is over! I’ve removed the spark plugs from all of the other ships: They can’t assist you until they replicate new ones.

Illogica - Blast! Foiled again! This isn’t over, Logic Man! I leave you know with the most potent gift I can give you: No sense at all!

He throws something at his feet and a cloud of smoke fills the air. When it clears, the four bad guys are still there.

Illogica - Uh... any minute now?

Zzzzzzzzzzt! The four are beamed away in an evil-looking transporter beam.

Logic Man - We must leave immediately! This station is about to explode!

Ren - How do you know?

Logic Man - That’s what usually happens in these situations. Logic dictates that it will likely happen here as well.

Sure enough, as the three officers run back onto Solaris and Logic Man beams to the Logic Mobile to take chase after Professor Illogica, the station starts to blow up real good.

On Solaris’ bridge, Ketrell, Adair, and Ren walk out of the turbolift and take their seats.

Ketrell - Frell, get us out of here, maximum warp!

The ship jumps to warp just as the station explodes and detonates the entire mine field. Every villain ship is caught in the explosion and is destroyed, except for a small, darkly coloured, fast ship that weaves among the explosions and then jumps to warp and cloaks. Back on Solaris’ bridge...

Ren - I doubt we’ve seen the last of them.

Ketrell - This entire episode made no sense. Why was it here again?

Samson - Shits and giggles.

Adair - Why aren’t you in sickbay?

Samson - Why aren’t you?

Adair - I don’t even know what to say to that.

Frell - Well, hopefully the Celestial didn’t fuck whatever mission they’re on up as badly as we did on this one.

The entire bridge crew bursts out laughing.

Frell - Oh, I crack myself up...

Meanwhile, back on the Celestial, the entire senior staff are still sitting around the table as Garell finishes spot-welding the monitor back onto the wall.

Garell - So, is it decided? We look into getting a differently shaped table?

Righteous - Works for me.

Senseless - Yep.

Garell - Good, these past 4 hours were a waste of time then. Oh shoot, the new Federation Idol is on now! Well, it’s prerecorded because we’re way the heck out here, but you get the idea.

She presses the monitor’s “on” button but nothing happens. She tries again but still to no avail.

Baque - Um... did you remember to plug in all the cords back there before you welded it to the wall?

The camera goes out across space and watches as Solaris warps past.

Garell - Gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dalarsh - Oh gee, that’s the “I forget to plug everything back in before closing the device” yell... happens to me far too often...

Ketrell - Oh?

Dalarsh - Yeah, I hope I didn’t do it unknowingly this morning when I replaced a warp coil.

Boom! The a section of the port nacelle explodes and the ship drops out of warp.


The End