Episode 136: “Muddslide”

Written by “Krenim”

Published August 23, 2006

Captain Braxton and T’Lenol walked down one of the Relativity’s corridors towards the Mess Hall. Braxton was clearly in a very good mood. “Come on, Ducane!”

“My name is T’Lenol, sir. Remember?”

“Same thing. Anyway, they’re having pizza day today! You’re going to love it!”

“I don’t eat, sir. I’m a hologram.”

“Nonsense. Oh, hello, Ducane.”

Braxton seemed completely unphased by the fact that, indeed, his comatose first officer had just gone walking by. T’Lenol, however, did a double-take (or at least as much of a double-take as an emotionless Vulcan can). “Sir, Ducane’s awake!”


He’s awake!

The gravity of the situation finally struck the captain. “He’s awake! Ducane! Get back here!”

Braxton and T’Lenol went chasing after Ducane. When they caught up to him, Braxton grabbed a hold of him and turned him around. “Ducane!”

There was something off about Ducane. Maybe it was the lit-up number on his chest. “Greetings, fellow bio-unit. Shall we go buy things from Harcourt Fenton Mudd? Beep.”

T’Lenol raised an eyebrow in typical Vulcan fashion. “Beep?”

Braxton tapped his communicator. “Braxton to the Doctor.”

“Doctor here.”

“Congratulations on getting Ducane up and running again!”

“Uh... Captain? Ducane’s still comatose in Sickbay. I’m looking at him right now.”

“Then that means only one thing... The Ducane in Sickbay is an imposter!”

T’Lenol rolled her eyes. “Sir, I think this Ducane is the imposter.”

“Really? What makes you say that?”

“Other than the fact that he’s obviously an android?”

“I am not an android. Shall we go buy things from Harcourt Fenton Mudd? Beep.”

Braxton replied, “See? Totally not an android!”

Several minutes later, the Ducandroid was locked away behind a forcefield in the Relativity’s brig. For good measure, Yar and a contingent of security officers surrounded the cell. Damar had a tricorder and was using it to scan the prisoner. “Yup. Definitely an android.”

T’Lenol’s response, clearly directed at Braxton, was “Told you.”

Braxton mumbled something under his breath, and then said, “Fine, it’s an android! But what’s it doing here? And who built it?”

“I was not built by Harcourt Fenton Mudd. Shall we go buy things from Harcourt Fenton Mudd? Beep.”

“Oh no you don’t! You said you weren’t an android, and you are! So that means you were built by Harcourt Fenton Mudd! Now... who’s Harcourt Fenton Mudd?”

Xaronna whipped out her Big Book of TOS. “Mudd... Mudd... Here we go! Harcourt Fenton Mudd, aka Harry Mudd. Recurring character on the original series. He was a con man who was eventually stranded on a planet full of androids by Captain Kirk.”

Dax smirked. “Mudd never got off the planet?”

“Not unless you wanna fish the Mysterious Red Button out of the bottomless pit and then push it. He only got off the planet in the animated series.”

Everyone then turned to Captain Braxton. “Let me guess... It’s time to say the line, right?”

Everyone nodded.

“Very well. Ahem... Shouldn’t he be dead by now?”

Xaronna shook her head and she read along further in the book. “It seems the androids Mudd was stranded with had the ability to transfer a human mind into an android body, so he could very well be alive.”

“Well, that’s more of an explanation than we usually get as to how the villain-of-the-week is still alive.”

“Villain-of-the-week? What show have you been watching? We’ve got the most irregular schedule ever!”

“It’s a figure of speech! Xaronna, set a course for this planet you were talking about. In the meantime, I’m going to contact Admiral Crusher about the situation.”

Several minutes later, Captain Braxton was in his office calling Admiral Crusher. Crusher’s image finally appeared on the small viewscreen on Braxton’s desk. “Hello, Admiral. Feeling better?”

“I am functioning within normal parameters, fellow bio-unit. Shall we go buy things from Harcourt Fenton Mudd? Beep.”

Braxton couldn’t put his finger on it, but there was something off about Admiral Crusher. All of a sudden, the door to Crusher’s office opened and the real Admiral Crusher entered. Needless to say, he was quite irate at finding an imposter. He waved his hand up and down several times, sending the android crashing alternately into the ceiling and the floor. When nothing was left but spare parts, Crusher sat down at his desk. “Braxton? What are you doing calling me?”

“I was calling to call you about the android imposter we found on the Relativity.”

“Yes, I’m getting reports of these things popping up all over the Federation. They all seem very interested in getting people to buy things from Harry Mudd.”

“We’re already en route to Mudd’s last known location, sir.”

“How unusually efficient of you, Braxton. You’d better hurry, though. The Ferengi are not taking well to this extreme form of mass marketing, and an all-out trade war could erupt between them and the androids.”

Shortly thereafter, the Relativity dropped out of hyperwarp by the planet coincidentally also known as Mudd. Dax checked the sensors. “I’m not detecting any lifesigns down there, but I’m picking up a lot of energy signals. Probably all androids.”

T’Lenol said, “We’d better beam down and figure all this out.”

So the senior staff beamed down to the planet. They found it completely covered in huge shopping centers (like Wal-Mudd) and restaurants (like MuddDonald’s). A figure instantly recognizable as Harry Mudd came walking up to them. He was, as predicted, an android, as he had the number 1 on a small lit plate on his chest. “Welcome, my friends, to planet Mudd! You are here, of course, to take advantage of our wonderful bargains, yes?”

T’Lenol raised an eyebrow in typical fashion. “Hardly. You have been attempting to replace Starfleet officers with android replicants.”

“Now, now... I prefer to think of it as creative advertising.”

“We prefer to think of it as illegal. Isn’t that right, Captain?”

Braxton, however, was fixated on something else entirely. “Only 59 cents for a taco at Taco Mudd? You can’t beat that kind of deal!”

T’Lenol leaned close to the Doctor and whispered, “Are you sure Ducane’s not just faking it to get a vacation away from this guy?”

“Yeah, I’m sure. Wouldn’t blame him if he was faking it, though.”

T’Lenol shouted, “Captain!”

Spooked, Braxton returned to the conversation. “Right! Totally illegal! You’re under arrest!”

Mudd seemed quite amused at this. “Me? Under arrest? I’d like to see you try!”

On cue, a whole horde of Harry Mudd androids converged on the Relativity crew. The first Mudd android laughed. “You see, Captain Kirk stranded me here six hundred years ago with many android copies of my wife. They drove me crazy, but they did give me an idea. Once I had my mind transferred into an android body, I could make multiple copies of myself! Working together, we’re sure to become filthy rich!”

Braxton laughed himself. “Jokes on you, Mudd. The Ferengi aren’t too happy about you trying to usurp their place as Star Trek’s resident money-grubbers! Any moment now, a fleet of Ferengi warships will drop out of hyperwarp and bombard this planet to rubble!”

And with that, Braxton looked up into the sky. Nothing showed up.

I said, ‘Any moment now, a fleet of Ferengi warships will drop out of hyperwarp and bombard this planet to rubble!’”

A fleet of Ferengi warships then dropped out of hyperwarp. However, they didn’t bombard the planet to rubble.

“Well, one out of two ain’t bad.”

Instead, a Ferengi appeared in a transporter beam. The Ferengi sneered. “By order of the Ferengi Alliance, you are to cease your business operations!”

Mudd continued to be amused. “Or else what? You’ll reduce my planet to rubble? I’ve got ships of my own, you know. How do you think I got my android replicas out into space?”

“Reduce your planet to rubble? That’s not how businessmen handle competition! We merge with our competitors into a megacorporation, and without any competition, we charge outrageous prices for our merchandise!”

“That’s brilliant! We’ll make billions!”

Braxton cleared his throat. “I hate to spoil the greedfest here, but we have to arrest Mudd for impersonating Starfleet officers.”

Mudd waved at the rest of the Muddroids. “Fine. Pick one.”

“Ooh, ooh! I pick #47!”

And so, the crew of the Relativity left with Harcourt Fenton Mudd Android #47...

After dropping off both the Ducandroid and the Muddroid at Starbase 47, T’Lenol found Braxton looking quite unhappy in his office. “Something the matter, sir?”

“Yeah. The FerengiMudd Consortium has just raised the price of a taco to $300! How am I supposed to afford decent Mexican food now?”

“You could just replicate one for free.”

“Oh yeah. I totally forgot about that. Hey, here’s a question... If we can replicate anything we want for free, why would anybody spend their money on planet Mudd?”

To which T’Lenol raised an eyebrow and responded, “I imagine no-one would, considering how the Federation doesn’t even use money. Therefore, I imagine both Mudd and the Ferengi are in for a rough financial quarter...”

Braxton allowed himself a healthy smirk, and thought he saw the tiniest smile on T’Lenol’s face as well...

UPN Promo:

On the next episode of Star Trek: Series ?, MinutiaeMan presents a guest episode with more obscure references than you can shake a stick at!