Episode 147: “The Parody Cares Not for the Source Material’s Cry, Part I”
Written by Krenim
Published February 25, 2018
WARNING! Just in case you couldn’t guess from the title of this story, this episode of Series ? is nothing but one really really big spoiler for the new Star Trek series: Discovery. And not just spoilers for one or two episodes. The whole first season of the show is fair game, folks. So don’t come crying to me complaining about how you got spoiled for some episode(s) you haven’t seen yet when I’ve given you a nice big disclaimer and stuff.
Once again: Discovery. First season. Megaspoilers. You have been warned.
Well, if you didn’t read this warning, you haven’t been warned. But it’s at the beginning of the story in nice red text, so if you didn’t read it, that’s your fault.
Have a nice day.
...anyone else getting a strange sense of déjà vu?
“Captain’s Log: T’Lenol and I have once again been called to Admiral Crusher’s office to discuss a threat to all of continuity...”
Admiral Crusher looked more irate than usual as Captain Braxton and T’Lenol walked into his office. “Sit down, you two!”
Braxton and T’Lenol sat down. T’Lenol asked, “What is going on, Admiral?”
Crusher scowled. “One ship has suddenly become a threat to all of continuity!”
Braxton stroked his chin. “Why does this all sound so familiar?” He thought for a few seconds, and then whipped out what was clearly a script from behind his back. “Yup, I thought so! This is almost word-for-word exactly the same as Episode 67!” He showed the “Enter: Enterprise, Part I” script to T’Lenol. “See? Here’s where I ask if the ship in question is the Excelsior... although I suppose that question doesn’t make much sense at this point in the series, since it got destroyed and all.”
Admiral Crusher, seemingly oblivious to Braxton’s breaking of the fourth wall, continued. “No, not the Excelsior! This ship poses such a threat to the timeline that it makes the Excelsior look like the good ship Lollipop!”
T’Lenol read Braxton’s next line from the script. “A ship even more evil than the Excelsior? Surely not.”
An image of the ship in question appeared on the viewscreen immediately behind Crusher. The ship, however, was not the NX-01.
Braxton got up and squinted at the ship in question. “Okay, I’m not just saying this because it’s the next line in the script, but... What in the heck is that thing?”
Even T’Lenol shuddered in a barely perceptible manner. She got up and stood beside Braxton. “Did someone find some hideous unused ship design from the 1970’s or something?”
Crusher nodded. “That’s exactly what someone did. Behold NCC-1031, the USS Discovery.”
Both Braxton and T’Lenol looked at the script, and then replied in unison. “Never heard of it.”
“Yeah, me neither, but it’s ruining Star Trek, so go give it the Vulcan Hello!”
T’Lenol raised an eyebrow in typical Vulcan fashion. “You want me to greet this ship, Admiral?”
“No, I want you to go blow it up!”
“...that does not sound very Vulcan.”
Braxton and T’Lenol stepped out of the Admiral’s office. Braxton sighed. “Well, I don’t know about you, but I think I’ve got some questions that need answered before we proceed.”
“Such as how exactly this ship is destroying Star Trek?”
“No, how much longer we’re going to be ripping off a Series ? episode from three years ago.”
“Sixteen years ago, sir.”
Several minutes later, Braxton and T’Lenol walked onto the Relativity bridge. “Listen up, everyone! Starfleet has given us a new mission!”
Everyone gathered around Braxton. “There’s a new Star Trek series, and it’s apparently worse than Enterprise... somehow.”
The Doctor gasped. “Worse than Enterprise? Surely such a thing isn’t possible!”
Braxton shrugged. “Dunno, haven’t watched it yet. In fact, I’m not going to watch it. Last time we had to deal with a new Star Trek series, I was the one that watched it... and the nightmares still haunt me to this day. So this time, you all are watching it. I’m going to be in my ready room awaiting your report.”
Braxton then walked into his ready room. The senior staff all looked at each other. Finally, Dax said, “Have I mentioned lately how much I hate that he’s smart now?”
Braxton sat down at his desk and got to work, but was interrupted by his door chime several minutes later. “Come in.”
The senior staff filed in, somehow looking both nervous and very relieved. Braxton raised an eyebrow in typical Vulcan fashion. “You can’t be done already.”
T’Lenol reciprocated the eyebrow raising. “No, sir. We have a problem. We can’t watch Discovery.”
“No, sir. The show is not on television.”
“What?! It’s a television show! Of course it’s on television!”
“Actually, sir, it’s exclusively on CBS’s streaming service, which you have to pay for. And this being the future...”
“...we don’t have any money.”
“Wow, this show is evil! Okay, fine, we’ll go in blind. Damar, fire up the temporal drive. Xaronna, set a course for the 2250’s.”
The senior staff filed out of the ready room while Xaronna wondered to herself how she was going to set a course for an entire decade...
Meanwhile, many centuries earlier...
Specialist Michael Burnham stood at her post on the Discovery’s bridge continuing to brood about... well... everything.
Her brooding was interrupted by the arrival of Discovery’s first officer, Commander Saru. Saru approached. “Specialist Burnham?”
Things had been tense between Burnham and Saru since her arrival on the ship. Previously, they had served together on the USS Shenzhou; she as first officer and he as science officer. However, following the Battle of the Binary Stars (because how many binary stars are there in the Milky Way, anyway?) she had been convicted of mutiny, stripped of rank, and sentenced to life in prison. The only reason she was walking around free on the Discovery was due to the actions of the ship’s morally ambiguous captain, Gabriel Lorca.
Burnham responded in her usual pseudo-Vulcan manner. “Commander?”
“Would you kindly get your roommate off of me?”
Commander Saru lifted up his arm, and sure enough, Cadet Sylvia Tilly had clamped her jaws onto it, clearly trying to take a bite out of it.
Burnham allowed herself a smile. “Sylvia, please get off of him.”
Looking quite disappointed, Tilly let go and dropped to the floor. “But he’s so &@$%ing tasty!”
“It is inappropriate for you to try to eat your commanding officer.”
Saru tilted his head slightly while making a clicking sound. “When we were on the Shenzhou, you once attempted to convince me that Starfleet had re-instituted the practice of decon rooms and that a bottle of barbecue sauce was decon gel.”
“That was completely different.”
“I was your commanding officer at the time.”
Exasperated, Saru walked across the bridge to his own station.
Burnham’s console started beeping. She checked the sensors, and then turned to Saru. “Commander, I’m reading some sort of spatial distortion forming ahead of us.”
Saru turned to a redheaded bridge officer. “Lt. Detmer, plot a course around it.”
Burnham continued. “I’m reading a graviton matrix from the distortion, sir. I think it’s being artificially generated.”
Saru’s threat ganglia extended. “Captain to the bridge!”
Moments later, Captain Lorca emerged from his ready room and took his seat. Despite the fact that the Discovery’s bridge was not brightly lit, Lorca was wearing a pair of sunglasses. “Specialist Burnham, what do we have?”
Saru interjected. “Captain, we do have a proper science officer... somewhere or other. Why are you not asking them?”
“Well, I’ll tell you one thing, it’s definitely not because I’m from an alternate universe and using Specialist Burnham as part of an elaborate plan to return to my own reality and stage a coup against the doppelgänger of your former captain. That would just be silly.”
“That seems an oddly specific denial.”
“Specialist Burnham, I’m still waiting...”
“Sorry, Captain. Spatial distortion ahead, possibly artificial. Captain, something’s emerging from it! A ship!”
As soon as Burnham said the words, the USS Relativity emerged from the timestream ahead of the Discovery.
Lorca scowled. “What kind of ship is that?”
“Energy signature and transponder codes indicate that it’s Starfleet, but that’s no design that I’m familiar with.”
Tilly squinted at the screen and the information printed on the ship’s hull. “USS Relativity. NC... V? What kind of @&$&ing registry number starts with NCV?”
Lt. Bryce turned to Lorca. “Captain, we’re being hailed.”
“Put it through.”
The Relativity’s bridge appeared on the Discovery’s main viewscreen, with Braxton standing dead-center. “Captain Lorca, is it?”
“That’s me. Captain Gabriel Lorca. And definitely not his mirror counterpart.”
“That seems an oddly specific denial.”
“And you are?”
“Captain Albert Braxton of the Federation timeship Relativity.”
“We’re from the future. The 29th century, to be specific.”
“I see... How may I help you, Captain Braxton?”
“I need to blow up your ship.”
“You need to what now?”
“Blow up your ship. You’re wrecking continuity... apparently.”
“Hey, we tried to watch your show to get some specifics, but we couldn’t.”
“So you just show up out of nowhere, tell me you have to blow us all up, give me only the sketchiest of reasons as to why, and expect me to just let you?”
“Is this something you’ve done before?”
“Nope. Definitely not.”
In the background, both the Doctor and Kes cleared their throats conspicuously.
“Oh right, the Voyager thing. Yeah, I guess that didn’t end well, did it? Okay, Lorca, here’s the deal. You’re going to let me and my senior staff beam over to your ship. Give us the tour. If we like what we see, then we don’t blow you up.”
Lorca pondered for a moment. “Lt. Rhys, do we stand a chance against them?”
Rhys shook his head. “Not even close, sir.”
“Alright, fine. We’ll expect you and your entourage shortly, Captain Braxton.”
Several minutes later, the Relativity’s senior staff materialized on the Discovery’s bridge. Lorca had already assembled Discovery’s main characters to meet them.
Lt. Stamets look confusedly at the Relativity crew as they beamed in. “Huh. Their transporter beams are blue.”
Braxton nodded. “Yes, they are. What color are yours?”
Braxton turned to Xaronna. “Is that correct?”
Xaronna whipped out her Big Book of TOS. “Uh... Yes! Gold is correct!”
“Good. Alright, Lorca, that’s one point in your favor.”
Lorca was incredulous. “What?! That’s what you’re going to judge us on?! Trivial things like the color of our transporter beams?!”
“Of course. What else would a new Star Trek show be judged on besides minutiae?”
“The writing! The acting! The things that actually matter!”
“What universe are you from?”
Lorca quickly shut up.
Braxton pointed to Lorca’s sunglasses. “Also, why are you wearing those? This bridge isn’t brightly lit.”
“It’s definitely not because I’m from an alternate universe where humans have a sensitivity to light that has never been seen or mentioned in any other episodes pertaining to that alternate universe, that’s for sure.”
“That seems an oddly specific denial.”
When it became clear that Braxton was still waiting for an actual answer, Lorca replied, “Well, you’re from the future, right?”
“The future’s so bright, I gotta wear shades?”
Both crews facepalmed. Braxton sighed. “Was that joke the whole reason we’re doing this crossover?”
“Maaaaaaaaaaaaybe. Anyways, Specialist Burnham, please introduce the rest of the main cast, please.”
“Because you’re the show’s main character. I’m heading back to my ready room where I’m totally not going to plan how to use all of you to further my nefarious schemes.”
And with that, Lorca left the bridge.
Burnham started introducing the others. “First, let me introduce our ship’s first officer, Commander Saru.”
Saru strode forward and extended his hand. “Nice to meet you.”
Braxton shook the Kelpien’s hand. “Nice to meat you too.”
Saru, sensing that Braxton had, in fact, said “meat” instead of “meet”, quickly took a few steps back.
Burnham continued, “Next, my roommate, Cadet Sylvia Tilly.”
Tilly jumped up and down excitedly, with a huge smile on her face. “Oh my gosh, it is so @&$&ing nice to meet all of you!”
All of the Relativity crew minus T’Lenol recoiled in abject horror. T’Lenol merely raised an eyebrow in typical Vulcan fashion and asked, “Excuse me, young lady, what did you just say?”
Completely oblivious, Tilly repeated herself. “I said it’s so @&$&ing nice to meet all of you!”
T’Lenol stepped forward such that her face and Tilly’s were practically touching. “Star Trek is a family show, Cadet. As such, we do NOT use that kind of language. Now go stand in the corner and think about what you’ve done.”
Tilly looked towards Burnham confusedly. “Star Trek is a family show?”
Burnham shrugged, leaned over, and whispered, “These folks are threatening to blow us up. Humor them and go find a corner.”
Tilly walked off, stopping briefly beside Tyler and whispering, “Do NOT tell them about the flashbacks with L’Rell’s nipples.”
Tyler nodded in agreement.
Burnham introduced the next main cast member. “This is our security chief, Lt. Ash Tyler. Also, he’s totally my boyfriend. Isn’t he just so dreamy?”
Tyler stepped forward. “Hoch pIHoH jIH.”
Braxton asked, “Is he a Klingon?”
Burnham shook her head furiously. “Klingon?! No, my parents were killed by Klingons! We’re at war with the Klingons! I would never ever date a Klingon!”
Tyler smiled warmly at Burnham and said, “‘oH nuq DaHar.”
“I love you too.”
Burnham gave Tyler a kiss, and then turned back to Braxton. “Besides, does he look Klingon to you?”
Xaronna flipped through her book. “Um... Yeah, actually, he kinda does.” She held up the page with a picture of TOS Klingons.
The Discovery crew gawked at the page. Saru shook his head. “Those are not Klingons.”
“Yeah, they are. There was a whole two-parter on Enterprise explaining why they look like that. Haven’t you ever heard of the Augment virus?”
“The what virus?”
Xaronna slammed her book shut. “Ugh, never mind!”
Burnham once again tried to change the subject. “Lastly, Lt. Paul Stamets, our chief engineer.”
Stamets extended his hand, which Braxton shook. Braxton looked mildly concerned at Stamets. “You’ve been on this dark ship for way too long, haven’t you?”
“What makes you say that?”
“You... need some sun.”
“Sorry, not in the cards. I can’t leave my baby.”
“The spore drive.”
“The what drive?”
“The ship’s spore drive. It uses the mycelial network to allow the ship to jump anywhere we want. It might even let us travel through time or to parallel realities.”
“Dax? Damar? Do either of you have any idea what he’s talking about?”
Dax shrugged. “Sounds like the ship runs on magic fungus, sir.”
Stamets rolled his eyes. “Why does everybody say it’s magic?! Just because I have to sacrifice a goat every time we jump does not mean that it’s magic!”
“You just keep telling yourself that.”
Braxton turned to Burnham. “What about you? What’s your deal? Lorca said you were the show’s main character.”
Burnham nodded. “As I said, my parents were killed by Klingons. I was adopted by Ambassador Sarek and raised on Vulcan, and...”
“Whoa. Stop. ‘Adopted by Ambassador Sarek’?”
“You’re Spock’s adopted sister?”
“I’ve seen ‘Yesteryear’, and you weren’t in it. Although I guess Sybok wasn’t in it either...”
“Never mind. Continue.”
“Mutinied against my former captain. Started a war with the Klingons. Kicked out of Starfleet. Sentenced to life in prison.”
“And yet you’re here.”
“Captain Lorca’s doing.”
“Oooooooookay. Well, shall we start with the tour?”
Before the tour could start, though, Discovery’s bridge started to shake. Slightly at first, but the intensity of the shaking was rapidly increasing. Saru started shouting. “What’s happening?! Are we under attack?!”
Bryce turned to face Saru. “No, sir, we’re not being attacked. We’re being hailed!”
“Yes, sir! I can’t pinpoint the source, but it’s a very powerful signal and it’s not fully compatible with our holographic comm system! I’m attempting to compensate!”
As the shaking began to subside, a pillar of white light appeared in the center of the Discovery’s bridge. Slowly, a shadowy figure emerged within.
Future Guy had arrived.
On the next episode of Star Trek: Series ?, the crews of the Relativity and the Discovery clash with history itself at stake!