The Disbanding 2: Breaking Up is Hard to Do
Last time on Star Trek: Voyager....
Janeway: So it's settled. If this spatial anomaly doesn't take us back to the Alpha Quadrant we'll all disband and join other sci-fis.
And now, the continuation....
Bouncer of the Underused Characters' Tavern: Name?
Kim: Harry Kim.
Bouncer: (grin) We've been wondering when you'd get here. C'mon in. Watch your step, we've got construction going on.
Kim: I'll be careful.
Bouncer: You'll be dead!
(Harry walks in and quickly spots a familiar face. He heads over to the pool table.)
Paris: Corner pocket. ...Damn!
Luke Ward: Suckaaaa! Neener neener neener!
Paris: Oh, real mature.
Kim: How the mighty have fallen, eh Tom?
Paris: Harry! When did you get here?
Kim: Just in time to watch a high schooler kick your butt.
Luke: Welcome to the U.C.T., bitch! This is how it's done here!
Paris: He can be safely ignored. So how've you been, Harry? It's been what, five years since we all split up?
Kim: Yeah. I still can't believe that anomaly didn't pan out. I had such high hopes!
Paris: Well, you know what they say about high hopes.
Kim: ..."Whoops, there goes another rubber-tree plant?"
Paris: Yes, Harry. That's what they say.
Kim: I'm surprised to find you here in the Underused Characters' Tavern. I'm a given, but you? I thought you had big plans.
Paris: Heh, yeah. Plans. Heh... so hey, where did you end up going?
Kim: You didn't answer my --
Paris: I asked first.
Kim: Oh, fine. I was heading for Dark Angel originally, but I guess I took a wrong turn....
Kim: So you fight evil?
Angel: When we're not being evil ourselves. Which is pretty often.
Gunn: No kiddin'. Cordy was evil last year, Wes the year before....
Fred: We're all working for an evil law firm now....
Spike: I'm a drunken, violent lech at the best of times....
Lorne: I sing karaoke....
Wesley: And of course, our leader cannot allow himself to experience a single moment of happiness, forcing him to be distant and brooding.
Kim: Well, that at least sounds familiar. But what's with all the internal conflicts? You come from a wide variety of backgrounds, right?
Kim: Then how come that hasn't brought you together into a big happy family? That's how it's supposed to work! You guys don't even seem to like each other.
Angel: That's not true at -- Gunn! Stop giving Wesley noogies!
Angel: Seriously, we -- Fred! Quit tying Lorne's shoelaces together!
Fred: My bad.
Angel: Now as I was -- Dammit! Spike, duck!
Spike: Duck what? ACK! (sidesteps an arrow) What the bloody...?
Angel: (holding crossbow) Sorry.
Kim: That was just confusing.
Kim: I had a pretty good time there, but eventually they were going to fight this massive army in a rain-soaked alley, and I was like, "Screw this!"
Paris: Good call. It's a pity you missed out on Max, though.
Kim: It wasn't a huge loss. Her show didn't last long, so she joined the Fantastic Four, and then ended up stripping at a bar in Sin City. God, what a huge loss.
Paris: I hear you. Hey, look who else just got here!
Neelix: Tom! Harry! My, you two are looking healthy. You must have found another cook like me!
Kim: ...Yeah. Like you.
Neelix: Leola root cracker? I have about six hundred in my left pocket alone. And feel free to get drinks, they'll be on the house.
Paris: Wait, you work here?
Neelix: This place had to replace a lot of employees recently, and apparently I was just what they were looking for. I cook in the evenings.
(Harry glances at the posted menu and notices a sign reading "FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, DON'T ORDER FOOD IN THE EVENINGS.")
Kim: I'm sure they appreciate you.
Neelix: More than Farscape did, anyway. I showed up there and nobody cared. It was as if wacky, furry aliens were par for the course.
Paris: So what did you do instead?
Neelix: Oh, I'll tell you what I did. I hit the jackpot!
Archer: Doctor, I have this pain in my -- what the?
Neelix: Something wrong, Captain?
Archer: You seem different somehow.
Neelix: What are you insinuating, that I clubbed the real Phlox and jettisoned his insensate body onto the mysterious Planet Zero? That I'm really some other guy with no medical training posing as him? Girl, you so crazy.
Archer: Relax, Doc. Nobody's suggesting that.
Neelix: Good. Leola root vaccine?
Archer: No, I came here because I have a pain in my --
Neelix: It's a sex thing.
Archer: You know, I just remembered I'm needed on the bridge.
Neelix: I was "Phlox" for that entire show and no one was the wiser. I even got the second-highest-ranked human and the ship's babe together!
Kim: (Why does that sound so familiar, Tom?)
Paris: (I dunno, but I have the oddest feeling we dodged a bullet by disbanding when we did.)
Neelix: Hey, look who's here! Shall I get you the usual, Mr. Vulcan?
Kim: Tuvok! Have a seat!
Paris: "Usual," eh? Come here often?
Tuvok: (raising an eyebrow) Not an appealing image, Mr. Paris.
Paris: Figures. That's what the ladies say too.
Kim: Huh? What are you two talking about?
Tuvok: Impressive. Mr. Kim has adapted to rejection to the point that he can no longer perceive it in his environment.
Paris: Neelix is like that with condescension.
Kim: I'm so confused!
Paris: So Tuvok, where have you been the last few years?
Tuvok: The answer is complicated. I must first explain that shortly before rejoining Starfleet, I briefly served as the administrator of an undersea training facility for aspiring computer programmers.
Paris: You ran a teen hacker camp?
Kim: I heard about something like that. Didn't the campers try to break into the World Bank?
Paris: You ran a teen cracker camp?
Tuvok: Colloquially, yes. It was a very brief period of employment, but I gained a reputation in certain communities. As a result, after I departed from Voyager, I was offered a position requiring similar talents....
Tuvok: I present you with two mutually exclusive alternatives. If you select the blue capsule, your memory of the past several days will be overwritten, and you will be returned to your domicile to resume your prior status quo. If you choose instead to consume the red capsule, I will produce the value of the depth of the rabbit's habitat to within five significant digits.
Trinity: He's intimidating, I know.
Neo: No, I mean I didn't understand anything he just said.
Tuvok: The power to comprehend the Matrix is within your mind, Neo. You are the One.
Neo: What makes you so sure?
Tuvok: I have a predilection for permutations of alphanumeric characters.
Kim: Sounds like a good deal. How did it turn out?
Tuvok: The first mission was highly successful. Unfortunately, there followed a sequence of increasingly complicated events, and keeping track of them all proved infeasible. I was forced to pursue other activities.
Paris: Such as hanging out in bars?
Paris: Hey, I completely understand. I've been in the same position.
Tuvok: I find that less than reassuring.
Neelix: Your drinks, my friends! I've added my own special seasoning to them, free of charge.
(Paris and Kim exchange a glance)
Paris and Kim: DINOSAUR!
Tuvok: It is highly improbable that an extinct saurian is present, but rather than question the word of fellow officers, I too will turn around.
(Tuvok turns; Tom and Harry immediately pour their drinks into his)
Neelix: Do you see it, Mr. Vulcan?
Tuvok: No. It occurs to me that Mr. Paris and Mr. Kim are no longer my fellow officers.
Neelix: Let's keep looking, just in case.
Tuvok: I believe you are competent to monitor the situation yourself.
Neelix: You... you believe in me? You? I'm... this is so...
(Neelix bursts into tears; Tuvok turns back to his drink)
Tuvok: Impressive. Mr. Neelix's beverage appears capable of increasing its volume.
Kim: That's why you've gotta drink it fast. Hey! Is that...
Paris: Nah. Couldn't be.
Seven: Your assessment is flawed.
Kim: Seven! It's really you!
Paris: (to the bouncer) Hey! What gives? You hassled me for not being underused enough, but you let her in?
Bouncer: Modern science has yet to devise a way of saying no to that much booty.
Paris: It's called self-control and maturity!
Bouncer: You're talking an awful lot like a guy with a character arc.
Paris: ...Keep up the good work.
Kim: I've missed you so much, Seven! How have you been spending these last few years?
Seven: Not missing you.
Kim: I'd be disappointed, but that's pretty much what I was expecting.
Paris: Come on, Seven. You must have missed some of your friends from Voyager.
Seven: (thinks) There are times when I have missed the Doctor.
Tuvok: He is certainly a unique individual. Few other holograms have --
Seven: Not that Doctor. I spent some time with someone else by that name....
The Eighth Doctor: By the way, what's your name?
Seven: My designation is Seven of Nine.
The Eighth Doctor: (holds up detonator) Pleased to meet you, Seven of Nine. Run for your life!
(Seven runs away; the Doctor stares after her, transfixed)
The Eighth Doctor: Whoooaaaaaaa....
(Suddenly, an Auton yanks the Doctor back inside the doorway)
The Eighth Doctor: Nooo! You don't understand! That catsuit! In motion! It was like --
Seven: Fortunately, as a Time Lord, he was able to fix the Auton problem in his next regeneration.
Seven: Praise is futile. Are they all right?
(Tom and Harry are frozen in place, drooling at the mental image of Seven's dash)
Seven: That is acceptable.
Tuvok: I find it surprising that you did not pursue your original career plan. Was there a problem with Babylon 5?
Seven: (sighing) I did indeed travel to Epsilon 3, but by the time I arrived, nearly all the major characters had relocated. Those who remained -- Captain Lochley, Zach Allan, Lieutenant Corwin -- were unworthy of assimilation.
Tuvok: Unfortunate. Did you --
Seven: I tried Crusade. We will never speak of it again.
Paris: So where did you end up?
Seven: Ironically, Earth proved a suitable destination after all. I spent some time as a teacher in Boston, and recently relocated to California, right back where I started from.
Tuvok: Your grammar is clearly suffering. You would find Vulcan an environment far better suited to your mindset.
Kim: (Tuvok, we don't like her mindset.)
Tuvok: (I am employing the Earth stratagem of reverse psychology.)
Seven: Vulcan, eh? Hmm....
Kim: (In future, could you employ the Earth stratagem of shutting up?)
Paris: Hey! Do you guys smell that?
Kim: Smell what?
Paris: Neelix, you know what I'm talking about, right?
Neelix: (squinting) There is a dinosaur and I will find it!
Paris: Tuvok? Seven?
Seven: We do possess superior olfactory organs.
Seven: But we're not talkin'.
Tuvok: Damn straight.
Paris: Look, I may be crazy, but I'm sure those are banana pancakes I smell. And that can only mean one thing!
Torres: Well, well. Maybe you're not quite the p'taK I thought.
Kim: B'Elanna! Long time no see! How's the baby?
Kim: You were pregnant when we disbanded. I'm sure of it.
Torres: Oh. You remember.
(B'Elanna grabs Tom by the collar and pulls him away from the table)
Torres: Why the hell does he remember?
Paris: I have no idea! The mindwipe applied to everyone in this whole dimension! ...Oh. Wait. Harry's from that duplicate Voyager.
Torres: You realize what this means, right?
Paris: We have to kill him?
Torres: Him we can trust. But Naomi Wildman's gotta go.
(B'Elanna and Tom return to the table)
Paris: In conclusion, our child was not kidnapped into a hell dimension, sent back as a psychotic teen, and eventually wiped from the memories of everyone everywhere.
Torres: We'll explain later, Harry.
Kim: I want that guarantee in writing.
Seven: Enough irrelevant futility. Where have you spent the last few years, Lieutenant?
Torres: It's a little involved. Like I said at the time, I was aiming for Stargate SG-1, but....
Torres: Who are you?
Lt. Col. Cameron Mitchell: Once upon a time, there was a boy named Cameron. And Cameron was an astronaut. He lived in a faraway place called Earth, which is so far away, you've never heard of it.
Lt. Col. Cameron Mitchell: I'm the new commander. You know you want some 'a this!
Torres: And who's she?
Vala Mal Doran: (pins Torres to the floor) You first! Name, rank, and regiment!
Torres: What the hell happened to this place?
Daniel Jackson: Don't ask me. I stopped paying attention about four seasons ago.
Paris: Wow. That's exactly like what happened to Harry. Except his thing didn't have girl-pinning-girl-to-the-floor action.
Torres: Still beats the other place I tried, though. I bet that one can top any place you people went.
Seven: Try me.
Torres: Atlantis was in space.
Seven: You win.
Doc: Seven! It's really you! And the others, too!
Paris: Doc! If ever there were a sight for sore eyes, it's this beer in front of me!
Doc: Charming as usual. How are you all doing?
Kim: Not bad at all, aside from being in an underused-characters bar. And you?
Doc: As satisfied as my satisfaction subroutine allows. I just completed a tour of duty, and now it's time to unwind.
Torres: Well, let's hear it. Where'd you go?
Paris: I'll bet you set your sights high.
Kim: Yeah, you're not the type to settle for the occasional director gig.
(Tom and B'Elanna glare)
Kim: Or small-scale musical ventures.
Kim: Or cheesy vampire films.
Seven: Hey! Who are you to be so smug when you were on that show I'm not speaking of?
Kim: That wasn't me, it was my cousin Daniel. Easy mistake to make.
Doc: Well, you're quite correct. My first target was as big as they come!
George Lucas: You're unbelievable, Doctor. CGI built right into the actor -- it's what I've been working toward for years!
Doc: Then you have a role for me?
George Lucas: A role? You can take your pick of any character in the film, up to and including Yoda.
Doc: Splendid! I can picture it now... Darth Doctor!
George Lucas: There's just one tweak we'll need to make first. Won't take a moment.
Doc: Hey, get away from my --
(Lucas adjusts the settings of the Doctor's mobile emitter)
Doc: Gah! I'm... blue! And fritzy!
George Lucas: Yep. See, it's a retro thing. The original Star Wars movies had low-tech blue holograms, so to keep the fanboys happy, all the holograms in this trilogy have to be blue and fritzy too.
Doc: You have no IDEA how much I'm about to quit.
Doc: Then I quit.
Kim: How much?
Torres: Shut up, Starfleet. Doctor, if this wasn't your "tour of duty," where did you go?
Doc: Oh, I reverted to my original target. The one show that boasts a stunning, babeular hologram.
Paris and Kim: (wistfully) Andromeda.
Tuvok: I do not recall your joining that series' cast.
Doc: No one does! That's the beauty of it!
Tuvok: (raises eyebrow) Indeed?
Doc: Everyone watch closely. Nothing up my sleeve....
(The Doctor vanishes, replaced by --)
Dylan Hunt: Commonwealth, baby, Commonwealth!
(The Voyager crew's jaws drop in unison)
Dylan Hunt: Well? Isn't anyone going to cheer me on?
Dylan Hunt: Oh, very well. (reverts to EMH mode)
Paris: ...Gah. Whoa. I think I need an eyewash.
Torres: Isn't this where you'd usually say "Impressive," Tuvok?
Tuvok: Whatever my catch phrase may imply, Lieutenant, I do have standards.
(The Doctor's transformation has been noticed at another table...)
Harper: Holy Toledo! Did you see that?
Trance: It all makes sense now. Dylan's expanding ego... Rommie's attraction to him... his sudden interest in opera...
Rev Bem: And those distress signals from Planet Zero with Dylan's authorization codes.
Trance: I was getting to that.
(The crew gradually come out of shock mode)
Torres: I think I'm going to go with denial on this one.
Paris: Me too. Once I get past the hysterical blindness.
Kim: I may just die again, it's simpler.
Doc: Scoff if you want, but this look got me a new job and babes out the wazoo port. Not that I've given up my desperate longing for --
Chakotay: Seven! It's really you!
Seven: I'm getting tired of hearing that.
Kim: Commander! About time! I figured you'd be the first one to show up here.
Paris: How was (snicker) Earth 2?
Chakotay: Did you just snicker?
Paris: Only parenthetically.
Chakotay: Watch your mouth, Paris. I seriously doubt you've done better than I have.
Kim: Say, what did you --
Paris: (AHEM) Now now, Harry, age before beauty! Let's hear Chakotay's story.
Torres: Oh Kahless, not this again.
Tuvok: Mr. Paris said story, not fable.
Torres: I mean Chakotay talking at all.
Chakotay: It's so nice to be missed by my friends. Listen anyway. I think you'll be impressed.
Seven: Tuvok certainly will be.
Tuvok: I have stan--
Seven: You've called Harry impressive.
Tuvok: But --
Seven: Four times.
Tuvok: Very well. (muttering) Sick of her half-breed interference....
Chakotay: See, Earth 2 turned out to be just a flash in the pan. But I found another show with similar qualities, and it had something else going for it: an overrated bigshot creator.
Torres: Veronica Mars?
Paris: CSI: Some City?
Kim: Oo, I know! Crusade?
Seven: (wincing) NAME IT NOT!
Chakotay: Three strikes. It was Firefly -- and it was a perfect fit.
Doc: How so?
Chakotay: For starters, there are no aliens in the whole series. I don't know what that says to you, but to me it says anthropology, which I love and have always loved.
Torres: Oh, fine, you can have that one. I still say the boxing was contrived.
Chakotay: Which was another hobby that flourished in Firefly's fighting-rich environment. I got to debate religion with Book, compare notes with Simon on mysterious sisters... Kaylee was like a B'Elanna to me.
Paris: Okay, but how come you were never actually in any episodes?
Chakotay: Well... Joss Whedon, uh, cut all my scenes. I think I may have offended him in some way.
Joss Whedon: Here's the next scr--
Chakotay: YOU ARE BEELZEBUB!
Kim: Wait a sec. Didn't you always say that there was no Great Satan but Berman, and Braga was his prophet?
Seven: Yes. Constantly. He actually has those exact words tattooed on his -- uh, somewhere, probably.
Paris: Sounds pretty polytheistic, Chakotay. You could go to Indian Hell for that.
Chakotay: Wrong tribe.
Tuvok: Another question arises from this: Firefly too was a "flash in the pan." How did you spend the remaining time?
Chakotay: Oh, odd jobs here and there. Sci-fi cons, musicals, you know the drill.
Torres: Musicals? I love musicals!
Doc: Me too!
Torres and Doc: (singing) Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes....
Paris: Dammit, that one always gets stuck in my head.
Seven: What musical work have you done, exactly?
Chakotay: Well, I won't say who I played, but I recently costarred in the first-ever Nintendo musical. It was based on a game series from back in 20XX called Mega Man.
Paris: Wait a minute. I went to that!
Torres: Big surprise.
Paris: No, listen! I knew one of those Robot Masters looked familiar! It was on the tip of my tongue, but I couldn't place it!
Chakotay: Paris, if you value your life --
Paris: Wood Man! You were Wood Man!
(The bar erupts with laughter and humming of the Wood Man theme)
Bouncer: Man, I haven't had a laugh like that since Spike tried to get in here.
Chakotay: Okay, Paris, that does it. Right here, right now, you tell us where the hell you --
Neelix: THE DINOSAUR!
Neelix: I told you I'd see it! Look! Over there! Tell me that's not a dinosaur!
Janeway: Oh, shut up, Neelix.
Janeway: Seven! It's really you!
Seven: Okay, that just doesn't bear thinking about.
Chakotay: It's wonderful to see you again, Kathryn. You're looking well.
Janeway: The same goes for all of you. Wow, what were the odds that we would all come here?
(The bouncer chuckles -- that's what all the casts of cancelled shows say the first time)
Janeway: I hope you've all been having fun out there. I certainly have.
Tuvok: Did you succeed in your plan?
Kim: (What was her plan again?)
Torres: (Battlestar Galactica. Don't worry, it was forgettable at the time.)
Janeway: Well... yes and no.
Tigh: Commander on deck. (double-take) Huh?
Janeway: As you were, Colonel.
Janeway: Something wrong?
Tigh: You, um... you have... dammit, when the hell did this happen?
Gaeta: Wow. Starbuck, Boomer, now the commander. I swear we can't leave anyone on this ship alone for ten seconds.
Tigh: This is no laughing matter! It could well be a Cylon plot!
Janeway: Oh, Saul, loosen up.
Tigh: That's what I'm afraid of!
Janeway: What do you want to do about it, institute regular pants checks?
Baltar: That's brilliant! As the fleet's trusted science expert, I'll perform the checks on female crew....
Gaeta: Is that necessary? So far it's always gone the other way.
Tigh: Agreed. But we'll definitely need someone to check the men.
Starbuck: Pick me! PICK ME!
Tigh: (scoffs) You? What makes you think you're qualified?
Starbuck: I've already seen every male crewman's --
Janeway: And it went ON like that.
Chakotay: Wow. This new series isn't much like the one you were heading for.
Janeway: I'll say. They were at least heading for Earth, but the previous Adama didn't even know where it was. That's what made me such an attractive replacement.
Chakotay: That and the obvious.
Janeway: Oh, you.
Torres: So what happened? Did you quit?
Janeway: Had to. I couldn't take all that damn continuity -- it's only healthy up to a point. Besides, I hate working on shows with overrated bigshot creators.
Kim: You mean like Cru--
(Seven wangs Harry with a two-by-four)
Chakotay: Put me down!
Paris: Well, guys, it's been fun, but I gotta go.
Neelix: What? But we just --
Paris: Can't stay! I have a pool game to get back to.
Kim: Uh, Tom?
(Harry points to the pool table, where Luke has long since found a new opponent)
Luke: This is a great pool game. Isn't this a great pool game?
Wallace Fennel: One day in my memoirs I'll describe you as scrutable.
Luke: You're funny. Can I sleep with your mom?
(The Voyager crew turn suspiciously back to Paris)
Paris: Well, that's a shame. But I still have to go. I have a... a duel! At high noon! If I don't hurry I'll be late!
Tuvok: The current time is 2147 hours.
Paris: Uh, heh, never got the hang of military time. But surely you don't want me to miss my big audition for Desperate Housewives!
Chakotay: Funny you should say "desperate."
Janeway: Oh, I see what's going on here. He hasn't told you yet where he's been.
Tuvok: He and he alone.
Paris: Good theory! Debate it among yourselves and I'll be back soon to see what you've learned.
(Paris jumps to his feet, but is immediately slammed down by a Tsunkatse move from Seven)
Janeway: Thank you ma'am. Get him back in his seat so Tuvok can use the Vulcan truth grip.
Doc: There's no such thing.
Janeway: When has that stopped him before?
Paris: All right, all right! I'll tell you. See, I just didn't want you to be jealous of me for being in the Lord of the Rings movies.
Pippin: No you weren't.
Paris: Did I say Lord of the Rings? I meant Harry Potter.
Neville: I've never seen you at Hogwarts.
Paris: Well, you don't get out much, do you?
Janeway: Mr. Paris....
Paris: Wouldja believe I went back for our lizard children?
Janeway: (death glare)
Paris: All right. But only because I respect you so much and the alternative is death. (deep sigh) Do you remember the one line we all agreed we'd never cross?
All: (in unison) Fanfic.
Paris: Yeah, that line.
Kim: No. You didn't. Say you didn't.
Kim: You did! My God, Tom, do you have no self-respect at all?
Paris: It was all about self-respect! I got to be an admiral in the finale!
Kim: That can't possibly make up for --
Paris: And you married Seven!
(Another round of jaws dropping)
Kim: You're making that up.
Paris: I didn't. Somebody else did.
Kim: Wow. Seven, did you hear --
Kim: Guess so.
Doc: She's going into shock! Administer a sedative!
(Thinking fast, Neelix grabs everyone's beer, taps Seven's hand to extend her assimilation tubules, and sticks them in the beer, which they promptly suck up)
Chakotay: Wow. That was quick thinking.
Tuvok: It was quick.
Seven: I loooove you guys. You're my besht... friends. Except the Voyjager crew... cuz I like them beshter... than you. MORE BOOZES!
Janeway: Well, she's down for the count. Maybe when she wakes up she'll have forgotten what she heard.
Chakotay: We can hope.
Doc: Married to Kim. There is no God in fanfic.
Kim: I hate you guys.
Torres: Wow, this is just like old times.
Paris: Hey, it is, isn't it? You know what? I bet this is a sign. We can't all have arrived here on the same night for no reason.
Tuvok: What are you suggesting?
Paris: Maybe disbanding was a mistake all along! Maybe we should have stuck together and finished our journey.
Janeway: Maybe so, but it's a little late to change that now.
Paris: So why don't we just get back together? We haven't done well on our own, so let's disdisband and do a reunion tour! We can recapture the magic of our time on Voyager!
(Everyone mulls that over for a minute)
Paris: Or we can stay here and drink some more.
Chakotay: I like that plan better.
Neelix: Say no more! Jimmy, another round!
Kim: And if I may, folks... (raises glass) To the staying still!
Janeway: Good times, Mr. Kim. Good times.
Got a comment on "The Disbanding 2"? Contact the author, Zeke.
DISCLAIMER: This story steps on the lawns of just about everybody. Know what? I'm not sorry. I'd do it again. Annin, you agree, right? ...Um, Annin, please stop reporting me to the authorities.
All material © 2005, Colin Hayman.