Chapter 4: “Foul-Ups, Flogging, and Folgers”

Written by Tim Mohr, aka “Cureboy”

“Captain’s Log: Stardate: 867-5309 (I love that song!). We have resumed a course for the Alpha Quadrant... again. But then I became intrigued by a 10-pound asteroid that was 9,000 light years in the opposite direction, so I’ve ordered that we alter course to investigate it. By my estimates, this will add another 18 years to our journey. The crew said something about me being a tyrant, but they’re all a bunch of kidders.”

Suddenly a nebula decloaks off the port bow. Janeway shrieks, “How the hell can a nebula be decloaking off our port bow??” Chakotay responds, “I don’t know.” So Janeway drops the subject. A scan of the nebula shows that there is a planetoid inside, populated by 100,000 people, all named Juan Valdez. Janeway triumphantly announces, “There’s Folgers in that Nebula...”

Voyager changes course and approaches the nebula. On the perimeter, Tuvok makes a startling announcement, “Captain, there is a puddle of super-fast Warp Juice at the center of the Nebula!” Janeway growls and says, “What have I told you about laymen’s terms, Tuvok??” Tuvok tries again, “Sorry Captain, I mean there is a concentration of Trilithium-Based Quantum Transwarp Particle Synthesizers with Metreon Isotopes and Tetryon Cascades!” Janeway looks excited and says, “I’ll bet we can...” Paris interrupts, “I bet we can use the energy to enhance our Warp Drive!!” Janeway snaps, “Mr. Paris, if you don’t quit interrupting, I’ll send you on a shuttle mission with Commander Chakotay!” Paris remains quiet for the rest of the episode.

Janeway orders that some of the energy be beamed to Voyager for analysis. Tuvok asks, “What about the shields, Captain, can we beam through the shields this week?” Janeway pulls a nickel out of her pocket and flips it in the air... It lands on the floor, heads-up. Janeway answers, “Sorry, old friend, but we will have to lower shields this time.” Tuvok says, “Well, the shields are already down.” Janeway snaps, “Well, why the hell did you ask me??? Just beam the damn stuff aboard.” Tuvok asks sarcastically, “Shall I flog myself as well?” Janeway answers, “Don’t tease me, Tuvok...”

So the energy is beamed to Transporter Room Two. Unfortunately the substance is unstable and explodes, destroying Transporter Room Two and killing three technicians. Janeway and Torres rush to the Transporter Room to assess the damage. Janeway looks at the three corpses and says, “Who the hell are these people??” Torres answers, “Captain... They’ve been on Voyager since we first got to the Delta Quadrant five years ago...” Janeway laments, “Really??? I’ve never seen them before in my life. I don’t even know their names...” Torres comforts her, “Don’t worry Captain, they were wearing red shirts. They were non-speaking extras.” Janeway feels better, “Oh, well....”

Several hours later the energy is hooked up to the Warp Drive and Janeway enters the turbolift on her way to the Bridge. Naomi Wildman joins her on the turbolift and says, “Captain, I’m beginning to get worried, I haven’t seen my mother in over a year... Not since that silly ‘Once Upon A Time’ episode.” Janeway reminisces, “Ah yes... The ‘Buried Alive’ episode... One of our more interesting missions.” Naomi continues, “So I haven’t seen her in over a year, do you know where she is?” Janeway breaks the news, “Naomi, I’m sorry. Your mother and Lt. Carey left Voyager some 11 months ago... They were talking ‘elopement.’” Naomi is stunned and breaks out into tears. Janeway (who isn’t always the most tactful) says, “By the way, Naomi, you gotta do something with those things on your forehead. This whole aliens with goofy-looking foreheads theme is getting really, really old.”

Janeway enters the bridge and Chakotay announces, “The modifications are complete... Our old maximum speed was Warp 9.975, and now with our enhancements, we can achieve Warp 9.979... We will be able to reach Earth in a matter of hours.” Janeway is impressed and says, “I’m impressed.” She then makes the ship-wide announcement, “All hands, this is the Captain. We are ready for the jump to Super-Warp Speed. Secure all primary stations... Please fill out your life insurance forms... And return your tray tables to their full, upright position.”

After minutes of dramatic music, Janeway says, “Engage Warp 9.979!” And the ships flies off into Super-Warp Speed... About ten minutes later Harry says, “Captain, we’ve traveled 5,000 light years in just ten minutes!!” Suddenly the bridge lights go dark and the red alert lights start flashing like crazy, Janeway surmises, “Uh-oh, this can’t be good.” Voyager comes out of warp. Mr. Kim says, “Don’t worry Captain, this is normal. We can only use the Enhanced Warp Drive for 10 minutes at a time. We simply need to activate it again and we can travel another 5,000 light years.” Janeway says, “No way, Ensign Kim!!” Mr. Kim (reverting back to defiant “Demon” episode Harry Kim) says, “Captain, that’s crazy!! We can still use this Warp Drive to get home in a matter of hours!!” Janeway gets a really dirty look on her face and says, “Oh Harry, and you wonder why you’re still an Ensign...”

“Captains Log: Supplemental. Our journey with the Enhanced Warp Drive may have been brief, but it managed to eliminate 5 years from our journey. I’ve ordered that the Enhanced Warp Drive be taken offline until the technology can be perfected. If my crew can’t get us home with one big jump, I want nothing to do with their lame-brain ideas... It’s the principle of the thing.”

Janeway is in her quarters and in walks Chakotay. Chakotay says, “Captain, we need to talk... now... I want to tell you a parable I heard as a child... and I never forgot it...”

(at this point we must cut out two minutes of the episode to allow for more commercial time for the UPN advertisers... please stand by...)

(okay, we’re back)

Chakotay continues, “Don’t you see, Captain?? If the Elephant had never taken Mambo Lessons, he would never have crushed all the mice in the village with his dance steps...” Janeway is utterly confused and says, “Chakotay, what the hell are you talking about? You’re making no sense.” Chakotay responds mysteriously, “It’s my nature...” Janeway finishes, “Sorry, Chakotay, I don’t have time to debate this with you right now. I am late for a very hot date with a 6-foot-4, 200-pound, 26-year-old underwear model with blonde hair and blue eyes... And he’s wild about me.” Chakotay says, “I’m not surprised, he’s a hologram, and you programmed him.” Janeway growls and says, “Nothing wrong with dating a hologram!!......