Episode 138: “The Stupidity Syndrome”
Written by “Krenim”
Published January 6, 2007
Captain Braxton and Lt. Peters sat in the Enterprise-Z as it sped through the emptiness of space. Braxton had gotten called to Starbase 47 by the combined forces of Admiral Picard, Robo-Nechayev, and Admiral Crusher; none of whom could believe that Braxton had received a medal. The medal in question had been given to him and the rest of his crew by Admiral Delfune, who bestowed upon them a variant of the Star Cross entitled the Star Got-Rid-of-Cross.
Peters had been chosen to pilot the shuttle to and from Starbase 47; for as much of an imbecile as Braxton was, he was at least true to his word and worked his Token Recurring Character into another scene. Normally, this sort of assignment (being stuck in close quarters with Captain Braxton) would drive people insane. Luckily, Braxton was so distracted by his own shiny medal that he was hardly annoying at all.
As the Enterprise-Z approached the rendezvous point with the Relativity, Peters noticed that something was quite wrong. “Sir, I’m not picking up the Relativity on sensors.”
Braxton, though, was still enthralled by his medal. “So... shiny...”
Peters whipped out his own medal and used it to grab his captain’s attention. “Sir!”
“I said I’m not picking up the Relativity on sensors.”
“Of course not. The Relativity’s quite heavy. I doubt anyone could pick it up, let alone on sensors.”
“I meant it’s not where it’s supposed to be!”
“Oh. Well then, uh, look for it!”
Peters rolled his eyes. “You’re a tactical genius, sir.”
“And I’ve got a medal, too!”
It wasn’t too long before they found the Relativity, which adrift in space. Although there was no visible damage, there was a rather large banner affixed to the outer hull.
Peters read the banner. “‘Honk if you love eggplants’?”
Braxton immediately began looking for the Enterprise-Z’s horn.
Peters had to swat him away. “Relativity, this is the Enterprise. Please respond.”
There was no response.
”Relativity, please respond!”
Still no response.
Peters sighed. “I’m not getting a response, sir.”
“Nevermind that! Just help me find the horn!”
“The Enterprise doesn’t have a horn.”
“And why not?!”
“Because we’re in space. There’s no air to carry the sound.”
“Then why can we hear things like the warp engines and torpedoes firing?”
“Because... uh... You know, I have no idea. Anyway, sir, about the ship?”
“Yes, yes, we should investigate. After all, if we don’t, this is going to be a really short episode.”
“But how are we going to get aboard the Relativity? The shuttle bay doors are closed.”
“Then we open them.”
And with that, Braxton whipped out something that looked like a futuristic garage door opener. It apparently had the same function too, since the Relativity’s shuttle bay doors started opening. Peters landed the Enterprise and the duo disembarked.
The shuttle bay was completely dark. Peters had to fish out a pair of wrist-mounted flashlight thingies for himself and Braxton.
The yelp didn’t come from either Peters or Braxton. A quick search revealed Xaronna to also be in the shuttle bay, working on a conduit. “Ow!”
Braxton walked up to her. “Xaronna! What going on around here?”
“I’m trying to fix this power conduit, but every time I put my hand in there, I get shocked.”
To demonstrate, she stuck her hand in the conduit, and then yelled out “Ow!” again.
Peters raised an eyebrow in typical Vulcan fashion, and then suggested, “Then stop sticking your hand in there.”
Normally, one might expect Xaronna to respond with a witty, sarcasm-loaded retort. However, she looked up at Peters with wide eyes, and asked, “You really think that will work?”
Xaronna turned back to the conduit, and held her hand outside the conduit as though she had to concentrate to do so. After a few seconds, she lept up and gave Peters a huge hug. “Thank you! I’ve been trying to figure out how to stop getting shocked for hours!”
While Peters was getting hugged, Braxton whipped out a tricorder and began scanning the conduit. “Now, I’m no expert, but I’m pretty sure that there’s nothing wrong with this conduit. If there was, I think the tricorder would be beeping angrily.”
Xaronna turned to Braxton. “The lights wouldn’t come on, so I figured there would have to be something wrong with the conduit.”
Peters tapped a few buttons on the small panel by the door. The lights came on.
Xaronna’s eyes went wide for a second time. “Why didn’t I think of that?”
“Because you’re apparently a moron?”
She didn’t hear the insult, as she was too enthralled by the lights.
Peter whispered to Braxton, “Sir, something’s really wrong with her. She’s acting dumber than, well, you.”
Braxton, however, was stooped by the open conduit. “Hold on, I’m trying to fix this conduit... Ow!”
Peters rubbed his temples, trying to stave off the inevitable headache...
Peters eventually managed to drag Braxton away from the conduit and out into the dark hallway, where they began looking for others. Their tricorders eventually led them to the ship’s school. Braxton whispered, “Judging by how much this thing is beeping, I think that there’s a bunch of people in there.”
Peters again punched a few buttons on the panel by the door. Inside, Miss Nova and the ship’s children were listening to yet another one of Damar’s stories. However, they all seemed to be enjoying them.
At this point, it was beginning to penetrate even Braxton’s tiny brain how very wrong things were getting. “They’re enjoying Damar’s stories? But they’re so... awful!”
Peters responded, “Sir, I think that, for some unknown reason, everyone on this ship has become a total moron.”
Braxton whipped out a PADD and began looking for something on it. Peters looked over Braxton’s shoulder, trying to figure out what he was doing. “Sir?”
“There was something I was supposed to do in a situation like this, but I can’t remember what it was. I think I wrote it down on this PADD, though.”
After a few minutes, Braxton found what he was looking for. “Aha! Here it is! The Doctor forced me to write this down after I completely forgot about him in ‘Just Kidding’ last season. If something happens to the rest of the crew, I’m supposed to go find him in Sickbay.”
“Sound advice, I suppose. Let’s get going.”
A few minutes later, they arrived in Sickbay. It was also pitch black inside until Peters turned on the lights. “It’s like everyone’s so stupid they can’t even remember how to flip a light switch.”
And when Braxton looked like he was about to object, Peters added, “Yes, I know, we don’t actually use switches anymore.”
Other than the comatose Ducane, nobody else was in Sickbay. However, after a few seconds, one of the monitors automatically turned itself on. The Doctor, looking quite upset, started talking. “Captain Braxton, I am leaving this recorded message for you. As I’m sure you are well-aware by now, the entire crew has been reduced to complete idiocy. I’m afraid this situation is entirely my fault.”
Braxton rolled his eyes. “Figures. He’s done so little work around here the last few years that he’s gotten rusty, and it’s only a hop, skip, and a jump from that to a medical-science-gone-awry story.”
The recording continued. “I was struck by inspiration in my attempts to wake Commander Ducane from his coma. Your own mental functions, as pitiful as they are, are augmented by the Borg implant in your brain. I attempted to reverse-engineer the nanoprobes in your bloodstream in order to augment Ducane’s mental functions. Unfortunately, when I say ‘reverse-engineered’, I mean I really ‘reverse-engineered’ them. They do the reverse of what they should, making people stupider instead of smarter. Needless to say, the nanoprobes escaped and infected the crew, and since this plague is technological in origin, not even I and Commander T’Lenol are immune to it. In fact, after I finish this message, I intend to email a desperate gentleman in Nigeria and give him access to my bank account. What makes that even more frightening is that I don’t have a bank account.”
Peters responded, “Boy, he has gotten stupid...”
“In order to shut down the nanoprobes, the hyperwarp core has to be configured to emit a transquantum neuroinversion pulse. Unfortunately, I’ve forgotten how to get to Main Engineering. You are the only one that will be immune to the nanoprobes, as your own Borg implant will cancel them out. Lt. Peters, if he is with you, has no such immunity and will also become a total moron if he hasn’t already.”
“I think he’s right, sir. I’m... I’m...”
“It’s alright, Peters. You can say it.”
“I’m beginning to care about Britney and K-Fed!”
“You poor soul!”
The Doctor’s message concluded with a haunting warning. “There is one last thing that I must say, Captain. The transquantum neuroinversion pulse will permanently disable all Borg technology onboard the Relativity... The implant suppressing your temporal psychosis included. The fate of the crew is in your hands. And thank for not talking to the recorded message this time. Doctor out.”
Braxton pointed to his PADD. Sure enough, “Do not talk to recorded messages” was also written on it.
Peters sighed, “So... Are you going to carry out the Doctor’s plan?”
“I kind of have to. If I don’t, it kind of negates the whole ‘needs of the many’ theme we have going. Now... How do we get to Main Engineering?”
It took several hours, but Braxton eventually made it to Main Engineering. Peters had completely succumbed to the nanoprobes along the way, starting a staring contest with his own reflection.
It was then that Braxton realized that he had no idea what a transquantum neuroinversion pulse was, let alone how to generate one.
It was then that T’Lenol strolled into Main Engineering. “Captain!”
“Not now, Ducane, I’m trying to figure out how to generate a transquantum neuroinversion pulse.”
“That sounds familiar. Unfortunately, I have fallen victim to the nanoprobe disease and cannot remember why.”
“You seem quite calm about the matter.”
“I may be a stupid holographic Vulcan, but I’m still a holographic Vulcan.”
Braxton paced back and forth trying desperately to come up with a plan. Eventually, inspiration finally struck him. “You did know what a transquantum neuroinversion pulse is, right?”
T’Lenol responded, “I believe so, sir.”
“The nanoprobes may have affected you, but not me. We could transfer your memories to my Borg implant, and I would be able to access them.”
“That sounds reasonable, but in my current condition, I find James Earl Jones’ decision to appear in The Sandlot 2 equally reasonable.”
Braxton ran over to one of the consoles in Main Engineering, and after a lot of searching, found T’Lenol’s program. After a lot more searching, he eventually determined how to copy-and-paste the memories from the ship’s computer to the Borg implant in his brain.
“Here goes nothing...”
And Braxton initiated the final sequence of commands. His eyes went wide as the influx of new information flooded his brain. After a few minutes of disorientation, he managed to focus enough to access the appropriate memories.
T’Lenol had been sent by the Doctor to initiate a transquantum neuroinversion pulse, but like Peters, had completely forgotten what she was doing on the way. Armed with the appropriate knowledge, Braxton easily set up the appropriate controls.
Before initiating the pulse, Braxton turned to T’Lenol. “I’m sorry.”
T’Lenol raised an eyebrow in typical Vulcan fashion. “Sorry, sir?”
“You’ll understand why later on.”
And then Braxton pressed the final button.
Several hours later, the Relativity crew had assembled in Sickbay. The pulse had knocked out the crew, but they had woken up back to normal. Braxton, however, was still unconscious.
The Doctor scanned him. “He’s fine. It’s just that, being so close to the pulse’s origin point, he’ll be out longer than everyone else.”
Dax poked Braxton’s head. “What about the Borg implant?”
The Doctor shook his head. “Unfortunately, it’s been completely destroyed. So have all the nanoprobes in his bloodstream, which means that it won’t be regenerating either.”
Braxton’s eyes slowly opened, and he sat up. T’Lenol stepped forward. “Captain, it’s good to see that you’re awake.”
To which Braxton predictably replied, “No, it’s good to see that I’m awake.”
T’Lenol paused and then responded, “Oh. That’s what you meant...”
On the next episode of Star Trek: Series ?, the evil Mirror Universe duplicates of the Relativity crew return! But what is their evil plan this time?