“Captain’s Log: And no, I’m not Captain Braxton. I’m Captain Sulu. I’m in charge of the Excelsior now, remember? Anyway, we’re heading back to Starbase 47 at warp speed, because the Excelsior only has warp drive. Therefore, it’ll take us... oh... until the season finale to get back there. In the meantime, both I and the crew are becoming increasingly worried about Captain Braxton, who has been in a depressed funk since the whole Fortyseventhspace incident. Hopefully, he’ll emerge from his quarters to attend the funeral today...”
The entire former crew of the Relativity, along with the evil former senior staff of the formerly evil Excelsior, stood before a torpedo casing that was being used as a coffin.
Captain Sulu was about to begin the ceremony when Captain Braxton walked in. He stood before the coffin. “I just wanted to come in and say a few words. Of all the things I have known, it was the most... ugly.”
Ducane interrupted. “Sir, I know Evil Braxton was a horrible guy and all, but isn’t that just a little harsh?”
“Wait... This is Evil Braxton’s funeral? I thought this was the Relativity’s funeral! Well, I’m not staying for this jerk’s funeral! I’m going back to my quarters to resume my depression!”
And with that, Braxton stormed out.
Ducane whispered to Sulu, “Why are we having a funeral for Evil Braxton, anyway? I mean, he really was a horrible guy.”
“First of all, he did save the entire galaxy. Who knows why, because Braxton ain’t saying anything about what happened out there, but he did it nonetheless. Second, the whole Excelsior crew was shouting for one, and 750 people yelling all at the same time makes a lot of noise. Hopefully, this will shut them all up.”
So, they held the service. After everyone had spoken, Sulu turned to Ducane. “Okay, as we launch the coffin out into space, I want ‘Amazing Grace’ being played on bagpipes like in Star Trek II.”
“Uh, sir, I couldn’t find any bagpipe players.”
“Nobody onboard plays the bagpipes?”
“Well, what about a trumpet or tuba or something like that?”
“Do you mean to tell me that nobody here plays a musical instrument at all?”
“Well, that’s not entirely true, sir...”
“Lt. Peters plays a musical instrument.”
“And that would be...?”
“The kazoo, sir.”
“The kazoo? The kazoo? That’s the best you could come up with? The kazoo?”
“I’m sorry, sir.”
Sulu banged his head against the coffin several times in disgust. Finally, he stood up, and said, “Fine. Have Lt. Peters play ‘Amazing Grace’ on the kazoo while we launch Evil Braxton’s coffin into space.”
And so, while ‘Amazing Grace’ was being kazooed, Evil Braxton’s coffin was loaded into a torpedo launcher and shot into space. Kes, who was standing by a window, watched the coffin fly away. Suddenly, she started yelling. “Captain Sulu! Captain Sulu! Come here, quick!”
Sulu came rushing over. “What is it, Kes?”
“Evil Braxton’s coffin just flew into that blue giant over there!”
“Yeah, I know.”
“Kes, do you know how often supposedly dead Star Trek characters show up?”
Sulu pointed to Valtane. “See that guy over there?”
“He lived through Star Trek VI.”
“But he died in ‘Flashback,’ which took place during the same time period as Star Trek VI.”
“Exactly. Now, do you want Evil Braxton to come back?”
“Neither do I. That’s why we stopped to pick up all his remains, down to the last cell. Sending them all into that star makes it quite difficult for him to be revived or cloned or whatever.”
“Oh, well, in that case, never mind.”
Later, Dax and Yar were walking down one of the ship corridors. Yar looked around and scowled. “This stinks! I hate this ship! Why can’t we just go back in time and save the Relativity?”
Dax shook her head. “We can’t do that! If we saved the Relativity, that would mean that it didn’t explode, which would mean that the portal to Fortyseventhspace would never have been sealed, which would mean that we and everyone else in the galaxy would be very very dead.”
“Oh... Well, I still don’t like this ship!”
“Well, I think a lot of it is that Braxton’s been so depressed lately that it’s been rubbing off on the crew. If we could cheer him up, I think everyone would feel better.”
“Us? Wouldn’t that be Kes’ job?”
“Yeah, but she just had a scene.”
“Right. Let’s go.”
So, the two took a turbolift to Captain Braxton’s quarters. Yar pushed the little doorbell button.
No one responded.
Yar sighed, “Well, he’s not here.”
Dax nodded in agreement. “Computer, locate Captain Braxton.”
Captain Braxton is in his quarters. And for heaven’s sake, cheer him up! He’s depressing me!
Yar pounded on the door. “Captain, it’s Dax and Yar! Let us in!”
There was still no answer.
Yar finally had enough. She whipped out her phaser and vaporized the door. Dax rolled her eyes. “You know, you could have just used an emergency override...”
“I could have, but I’m in a Malcolm Reedish kind of mood.”
“And the obligatory references to NX-01 personnel commence...”
The two stepped into Braxton’s quarters. All of the lights were off. After looking around for a few seconds, they noticed Braxton sitting in a chair in the darkest part of the room. Braxton looked at them. “Jim... Why did you leave me on Genesis?”
“You moron! You’re not Dr. McCoy!”
“Oh... Well, then, uh...”
And with that, Braxton collapsed.
Dax tapped her communicator. “Dax to Sickbay! I need an emergency transport! Captain Braxton has collapsed!”
Sulu and Ducane rushed into Sickbay. Sulu began questioning the Doctor. “What’s going on?”
The Doctor answered while continuing to monitor Braxton’s lifesigns. “He’s fallen into a coma. I believe that the problem is that his brain is attempting to comprehend some sort of paradox, but failing miserably.”
“How can you tell he’s trying to comprehend a paradox?”
“Oh, that’s easy. The area of his brain affected is the temporal lobe.”
Ducane rolled his eyes at the horrible pun. Sulu pulled up a chair and sat down next to Braxton. “Is there anything you can do for him?”
“Well, the only way to bring him out of the coma would be for him to resolve the paradox. But considering Braxton’s... uh... usually less than average intelligence, he may be like this forever.”
“Doesn’t his Borg implant usually handle stuff like this?”
“Hmm... Aha! I’ve got it!”
The Doctor pushed a few buttons on the computer interface nearby. “I can use Braxton’s Borg implant to interface his mind with the holomatrix! We can directly interact with his consciousness and help him resolve the paradox!”
Ducane interrupted. “Uh, there’s just two problems with that, Doctor. First, this is the Excelsior. It’s a 23rd Century ship. It doesn’t have a holomatrix, or even a holodeck.”
“Not so. When we were evacuating, Dax grabbed two portable hologenerators. She set one up in here for me, and she set one up in Harvey the Wonder Hamster’s old quarters as a holomatrix. After all, all it had in it was a hamster wheel and a water bottle, so it was really easy to empty out.”
“Okay. Secondly, wouldn’t us projecting Braxton’s thoughts into the holomatrix constitute a serious breach of privacy?”
“Your point being?”
“No point. Just thought I’d mention it.”
A few minutes later, Ducane, the Doctor, Kes, and Dax assembled outside the makeshift holomatrix. The Doctor stood in front of the door and said, “Ladies and gentlemen, we are about to enter the most frightening place known to sentient life: Captain Braxton’s brain. What lies behind this door may very well drive us all insane ourselves. If anyone wants to back out now, raise your hand.”
Ducane, Kes, and Dax all raised their hands.
“Well, that’s too bad! You’re all coming in anyway!”
The four entered. Inside, they found themselves in what appeared to be one of the Relativity’s hallways. It was dark, and reality itself appeared to be twisting in ways it shouldn’t.
Dax walked over to one of the walls. “There’s less distortion over here by this green vein thing on the wall.”
They all went over to examine the vein. The Doctor suddenly realized something. “I bet this vein is the symbol for the Borg implant. It helps keep Braxton’s mind stable, so...”
Ducane suddenly shut the Doctor up. He whispered, “Does anyone else hear that?”
Sure enough, the sound of someone screaming was rapidly becoming louder and louder. The screamer was soon revealed to be Captain Braxton, who went running by. Ducane was about to go follow him, but Kes stopped him. “I think I hear something else coming. We should probably see what it is before we figure out what to do.”
Sure enough, four figures went racing by, all in pursuit of Braxton. Dax watched as they ran off. “Were those who I think they were?”
Ducane nodded. “Yup. Old Captain Braxton, Young Psycho Braxton, Old Psycho Braxton, and Evil Braxton.”
Ducane and company gave chase to the Braxton Bunch, finally catching up with them. Ducane asked them, “Why are you chasing Captain Braxton?”
Old Captain Braxton turned and said, “Well, if A leads to B, and B leads to C...”
Young Psycho Braxton turned and said, “VOYAGER GO BOOM!”
Old Psycho Braxton turned and said, “We need him.”
Evil Braxton turned and said, “He is our key.”
The Braxton Bunch continued onwards, while Ducane and the rest stopped. Dax scratched her head in confusion. “What do you think they meant by that? They’re dead and gone.”
The screaming suddenly got loud again as Captain Braxton went running by. The four gave chase to him. Ducane, nearly out of breath, asked, “Sir, why are they chasing you?”
“They need me!”
“Why do they need you? They’re dead! They can’t do anything anymore!”
“They’re not dead! They haven’t even been born yet!”
Ducane puzzled for a second, then stopped dead in his tracks. The Doctor, Dax, and Yar all ran into him. Dax shook her fist at him. “Why’d you stop like that for?”
“Because I get it now.”
“The Braxton Bunch, and Evil Braxton in particular, have been around for so long, we started thinking of them as separate entities from Captain Braxton. But they were all future versions of him. Captain Braxton must think he is destined to become Old Captain Braxton, Young Psycho Braxton, Old Psycho Braxton, and Evil Braxton. And the scary thing is that I think he’s right. It’s his fate...”
All of a sudden, the program vanished, leaving the four in an empty room.
Back in Sickbay, Captain Braxton was sitting upright on his bed, crying and whimpering to himself.
“It’s my fate... It’s my fate...”
Next time, on Star Trek: Series ?, Q shows up to annoy everyone, but does he hold the key to Captain Braxton’s destiny?