Episode 118: “Desk Jockeys, Part I”

Written by “Krenim”

Published February 25, 2005

Albert Braxton awoke to the sound of his doorchime being activated. “Who the heck is waking me up at... whatever time it is?”

Braxton’s pet cat Helix, who had been curled up next to his owner, got up and used one of his paws to light up the clock next to Braxton’s bed. Braxton looked blurry-eyed at the clock. “05:00? Someone’s going to pay for this!”

He got up and started shuffling towards the door while the doorchime continued to sound several times. Unfortunately, he didn’t get far before he ran into a wall. And then another. And then another. And then another. “Ow! This has to be at least twice the cranial trauma I’m used to in the morning!”

Braxton eventually managed to make it to his door by following the sound of the chime, but not before running into several more walls. He hit the door control panel, and his door slid open. The light from the corridor momentarily blinded him, but after a few seconds, he was able to make out a female Vulcan in a Starfleet uniform. “Good morning, Admiral.”

Braxton yelped like a little girl. “Admiral Crusher’s here?”

“No, sir.”

Braxton yelped even louder. “Robo-Nechayev? Run for your lives!”

“I was referring to you, sir.”

Braxton scratched his head in confusion. “Me? You must be mistaken. Go pester somebody else.”

“You are Admiral Albert Braxton, are you not?”

Braxton turned around to check the name sown into his underwear. “I’m Albert Braxton, but I’m almost positive I’m not an admiral.”

“I see your first officer was not embelishing when he provided me with details about you. Computer, lights.”

The lights came on in Braxton’s quarters. Braxton was confused. Well, more than usual. “These aren’t my quarters! How did I get here?”

“You’re not on the Relativity anymore, sir. You’re in your new quarters aboard Starbase 666. You were promoted to the rank of Admiral three days ago and transferred to your new post here. I’m your new aide, Commander T’Lenol.”

“Tylenol? I’d love some; I’m getting a headache.”

“T’Lenol, sir.”

“Well, where’s the Relativity now?”

“She’s still docked here, sir. Captain Ducane is scheduled to leave later this morning.”

Captain Ducane? I want to see him immediately!”

“Very well, sir, but may I suggest putting on some clothes first? It simply won’t do to have a Starfleet admiral walking around a starbase in his underwear.”

A short time later, T’Lenol and a fully-clothed Braxton arrived at the airlock which led to the Relativity. Ducane, now with one more pip than usual, was directing the transfer of supplies onto the ship. He noticed his former captain approaching. “Here to see us off, sir?”

“Uh... Not quite. Can I have a word with you? Alone?”

“Well, I’m kind of busy right now, so...”

Braxton grabbed Ducane and dragged him into one of the nearby hallways. He then grabbed him and began shaking him. “Ducane, what the heck is going on?”

“What do you mean, sir?”

“I woke up this morning to that crazy Vulcan telling me I’m an admiral!”

“You are an admiral, sir.”

“What? Since when?”

“Since three days ago.”

“But I don’t remember anything about any of this!”

“You can’t remember how to eat half the time. I would think you’re used to big blank spots in your memory.”

“Well, yeah, okay. But what total and complete moron would promote somebody like me to the rank of admiral?”

“I haven’t the slightest idea. You could ask the computer.”

“Ooh, why didn’t I think of that?”

“You don’t think of a lot of things. Computer, who was responsible for Admiral Braxton’s most recent promotion?”

Admiral Steia, Starfleet Command.

Braxton scratched his head in confusion. “Never heard of him. Or her.”

“He or she’s probably never heard of you, either. Anybody who knows anything about you would never promote you. Listen, I need to get going. Admiral Crusher wants us back at Starbase 47. In the meantime, I’ve prepped Commander T’Lenol on your unique personality quirks. She should be able to help you. Just don’t trash all of Starfleet now that you’re an admiral, okay?”

“I’ll try.”

And with that, Ducane boarded the Relativity. A short time later, Braxton and T’Lenol watched as it left and jumped to hyperwarp.

Braxton sighed. “Well, that’s that. I guess I’d better get to my office and start doing whatever the heck admirals do.”

T’Lenol let loose a very small smile. “Excellent. If only our other crazy new admiral was adjusting as well.”

“Whoa. Hold on. Other crazy new admiral?”

“Yes. Some old human woman obsessed with coffee...”

“I want to see this other admiral and I want to see her now!”

Admiral Janeway, dressed in a 29th Century admiral’s uniform rather than her usual 25th Century one, was throttling some junior officer. “For the last time, you sniveling little worm, I am not supposed to be here! I am not in Starfleet! I am an evil villain and if you don’t leave me alone, I’m going to make you wish you were never born!”

The junior officer managed to squeak out, “Perhaps you need to go to Sickbay, ma’am. You’re obviously not feeling well.”

It was at that time that Braxton and T’Lenol came running down the hallway. Braxton shouted angrily at his archnemesis. “Janeway! So you’re the one behind this evil plot!”

Janeway dropped the junior officer, who scurried off. “Braxton?!?!” Her eyes turned to his uniform. “They’ve made you an admiral?!?! That’s so sick and twisted, not even I would think of that!”

Braxton halted mere inches from Janeway. “Then you’re not behind this?”

“Wait a minute... You don’t know what you’re doing here either?”

“Not a clue. I was rudely woken this morning by this lady and told I was an admiral.”

“The same thing happened to me. I was returning from my evil vacation and all of a sudden, I’m here in this uniform, and these clowns are telling me that I’m back in Starfleet.”

“That’s just wrong. Not as wrong as me being an admiral, but still pretty wrong.”

“Hmm... You, Vulcan lady!”

T’Lenol raised an eyebrow in typical Vulcan fashion. “I assume you’re referring to me?”

“Do you see any other Vulcan ladies around here? Where’s the nearest weapons locker?”

“Down the hallway on the left.”

Janeway grabbed Braxton by the hair and dragged him to the weapons locker. She opened it, grabbed a phaser rifle, and pointed it at Braxton. “Don’t move.”

Braxton was irate. “What do you think you’re doing?”

Janeway pulled the trigger. A red beam shot out from the phaser rifle and struck Braxton in the center of his chest. However, it had absolutely no effect. Janeway rolled her eyes and sighed. “Holodeck.”

T’Lenol corrected her. “Holomatrix.”

“Whatever! The point is, this is all a simulation!”

Braxton pointed at T’Lenol. “What about her?”

Janeway adjusted the setting on the rifle and fired at T’Lenol. This time, the weapon clearly knocked her to the floor.

Braxton was clearly dismayed. “You killed her just like that?”

“Relax, moron. I just stunned her. She may yet prove useful.”

“By helping us expose the mastermind behind this bizzare plot?”

“No, by pointing out where the nearest replicator is! I need a quadruple raktajino and I need one now!”

A short time later, Braxton, Janeway, and T’Lenol were in Braxton’s new office aboard Starbase 666. Janeway was drinking her quadruple raktajino while poring over the base’s computer, trying to find clues.

T’Lenol looked at Janeway’s raktajino. “If I’m a hologram, and this whole place is a hologram, what makes you think that raktajino’s real?”

Janeway took the phaser rifle and shot the raktajino. Nothing happened. “This simulation is obviously meant for longterm use. As such, it would need to tie in to real replicators in order to keep us alive and maintain the illusion.”

Braxton thought for a moment, and then asked, “Wait... Holomatrix safety protocols apply to food?”

“Destroying a quadruple raktajino is a crime against nature. Or rather, it should be.”

T’Lenol raised one of her eyebrows again. “You two are very weird.”

A few moments later, Braxton had another question. “Why are we still here, anyway?”

Janeway paused. “Getting philosophical, Braxton? How uncharacteristic.”

“Huh? Oh, that’s not what I meant. We’ve discovered all of this is a hologram. Wouldn’t whoever’s behind this stop the program?”

“Yeah, that’s bothering me, too. Who would kidnap us, stick us in the most unlikely holomatrix scenario ever, and not even stop the program once we’ve figured out that it is a program? What could anyone have to gain?”

“I don’t know, but I’ve got an idea on how to find out who would know...”

A short time later, Janeway and Braxton both stepped out of Braxton’s office. Both one of them were toting phaser rifles, and each went off in a different direction. Along the way, they shot their rifles (on heavy stun) at anyone they came across. Everybody fell to the ground.

Janeway rounded a hallway corner and came across a woman in a Starfleet uniform working on a panel. She casually shot the woman as she walked by. Several seconds later, she stopped dead in her tracks, realizing she hadn’t heard the thud of the woman hitting the ground. “Janeway to Braxton. Get to my location immediately.”

Several minutes later, Braxton arrived. Janeway was standing with one foot on the woman’s neck. “Found me a live one. You know her?”

Braxton got closer and took a good look at the woman. “Hmm... Nope, never met her before in my life.”

The woman (who we finally get a good look at for the first time and is awfully darn familiar) rolled her eyes. Fool. You don’t remember me? No matter...

In mid-sentence, the woman’s appearance began to change. Her limbs extended, and her features became more alien. Her Starfleet uniform changed to a simple white dress, and she began to glow.

...by the time I’m through with you, you’ll never forget the Progeny!

To be continued...

UPN Promo:

A nightmarish enemy you knew would return

*Shot of the Progeny*

Allies you thought you would never see

*Shot of Braxton and Janeway*

And a battle for control of time itself

*Shot of the timestream*

Episode 119: “Desk Jockeys, Part II”