Unhappy with a new treaty, Federation colonists along the Cardassian border have banded together. Calling themselves "The Maquis," blah blah blah, it is a dark time for the Rebellion, something about taxation, blah blah Republic, blah.
(A Maquis ship flies at top speed, with a Cardassian Star Destroyer in hot pursuit.)
Gul Evek: (over the comm) Maquis ship, this is your last warning. Surrender or we will open fire!
Kira: You've been firing for the last twenty minutes!
Gul Evek: Well, you haven't surrendered, have you?
Kira: You'll never take me alive, coppers! (cuts off the comm) Man, this is bad. What did I ever do to deserve this?
(Three days ago at a Maquis base)
Cal Hudson: I need to go to the bathroom. Don't touch the weapons console.
Kira: Aye aye, sir!
(Hudson leaves. Kira stares at the button marked "Fire 600 warheads at Cardassia Prime." Her eyes shift back and forth.)
Kira: Well, never mind. If I'm going to survive, I'll have to be quick-witted. Let's see... I've got it! (hails the Cardassians)
Gul Evek: Yes?
Kira: Bet you won't fly right into a plasma discharge.
Gul Evek: YOU'RE ON!
(A moment later, the Cardassian ship is crippled.)
Kira: Yes! Kira 1, Cardassians 0!
Computer: Um, you might want to reconsider that....
Computer: See, there's this tetryon displacement wave.
Kira: No, I mean when did I get a computer inst--
(The Maquis ship is struck by the displacement wave and disappears. The Badlands return to their usual, um, peaceful state.)
[New Zealand Penal Colony]
(IJD GAF, dressed in drab prison attire, is planting a seedling.)
Zeke: Helping nature along?
IJD: It was this or hitting rocks with hammers for no reason.
Zeke: (looks around) Quite the little grove you've got here. Are these all --
IJD: Cedar, yeah.
Zeke: How come?
IJD: Ask me no questions and I'll tell you no lies. Anyway, who are you?
Zeke: (extends hand) Commodore Zeke. I served with your father on some ship or other. I'm here to offer you a deal.
IJD: I like my current long-distance provider fine.
Zeke: You might like mine better. The long distances my ship provides are measured in lightyears.
IJD: Ship? Would I be piloting? Please? Pretty please with a sapling to the face on top?
Zeke: I think you're a little too Young. (winks into the camera at the three VVS9 readers who get that) No, I need you on board as an observer. You're going to help us find someone you served with in the Maquis.
IJD: You mean Kira? She's probably in the Badlands. You know, Saskatchewan.
Zeke: We checked there already. Our next best guess is the other Badlands, so we're going there to search for her. You'll be helping us.
IJD: Ha! I'm not betraying my --
Zeke: In exchange for your freedom.
IJD: Ha! You can't buy --
Zeke: And the original series Season 3 DVD set.
IJD: (awestruck) But... but that's not out yet!
Zeke: Maybe in the Maquis you had to wait for the release date. We Starfleet officers have salaries, and what else are they going to pay us with? So, do we have a deal?
IJD: I will actually kill you if we don't have a deal.
Zeke: Excellent. Pack your bags and I'll see you at Deep Space 9. I trust you know the way?
IJD: If I get lost, I'll just follow the ship in front of me.
(Zeke nods and leaves. IJD grabs a bag and starts loading cedar cones into it.)
[Deep Space 9]
(As the shuttle carrying IJD to DS9 approaches, Zeke's ship comes into view.)
Stadi: There's our ship. Isn't she something?
IJD: (squinting) I guess a gigantic spoon counts as something, yeah.
Stadi: She's the first of a new class designed for maximum speed and power. Our mission is to go all over the Federation solving the smaller problems that crop up, freeing up bigger ships for bigger problems. Galaxy-class ships are hindered by whining kids; Ambassador-class ships are out exploring new frontiers. But our ship is in and out in five minutes.
IJD: What's it called?
Stadi: The name doesn't arrive until Tuesday.
IJD: Uh huh. (checks watch) Okay, we've admired the thing. Can we go, Stadi?
Zeke: Welcome aboard. Allow me to introduce my senior staff.
Zeke: (turns to the staff) Gentlemen, I'm afraid I've forgotten your names.
First Officer: Don't worry about it. We have years to get to know each other. I'm --
IJD: Look, just forget it. I know you all hate me for being a traitor and a liar and a member of Section 31 and everything.
Zeke: Section what?
Zeke: All right, we'll forego the introductions. Helm, set a course for the Badlands!
Stadi: Yes, ma'am!
Zeke: It's not cross-dressing time yet, Ensign. I'll let you know when.
(The ship blasts off to....)
Zeke: Here we are, Mr. GAF. Which way do we go?
IJD: Give me a minute to get my bearings. Let's see... okay, see that really big plume of fire over there?
Zeke: Yes. Wait, now it's gone.
IJD: They'll do that. Take a left at that plume, then a right at the one up ahead, then realize there's no consistency to this place whatsoever and ask yourself why you brought me.
Zeke: You heard the man, Ensign. Left at that plume.
Tactical Officer: Sir! I'm detecting a wave. A displacement wave. A tetryon displacement wave.
Ops Officer: ...and an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope. Our four chief weapons....
Zeke: We've got to get out of here! Which way, IJD?
IJD: Away from the wave!
Zeke: Hm, I guess that would make sense. Helm!
Stadi: Yes, sir?
Zeke: What's your name?
Stadi: You forgot again?
Zeke: Just t--
(The wave hits. The ship is catapulted across the galaxy at a more legitimately ludicrous speed than any seen on Enterprise. Zing!)
[The Delta Quadrant]
Zeke: Damage report! ...Um, is anyone alive to give me one?
IJD: I'm alive. There's damage.
Zeke: Thank you so much.
Ops Officer: Shields are gone... weapons down... warp drive doesn't even remember how to work... we've got sensors, though.
Zeke: What is this, McCarthyism?
Ops Officer: Okay, you've made that joke three times since the mission started, and I don't intend to listen to it for an entire tour of duty. I'm getting killed too. (nudges the ceiling, which gives way and crushes him)
Zeke: Rats. IJD, take his station and tell me where we are.
IJD: (checks) You'd better sit down for this.
Zeke: My chair is covered in sharp debris.
IJD: I know, it'll be funny. (sees Zeke glaring) Okay, okay. We're 70 thousand lightyears from Earth.
Zeke: Good Lord! That means we're 70 thousand lightyears and 8 lightminutes from the Sun!
IJD: Oh, and there's an array. (puts it on screen)
Zeke: Hmm. Doesn't look like an Array of Light.
IJD: Or an Array Charles.
Zeke: Or an Everybody Loves Arraymond.
IJD: Or Arrayed: Kills Bugs Dead.
Zeke: Or --
(Both suddenly disappear in a transporter effect that sounds like someone sighing.)
(Everything is chaotic. Injured crew are being brought in from all over the ship.)
Officer 1: Doctor! Nurse! Anyone!
Officer 2: I don't see any blueshirts in here. Wait, except you!
Blueshirt: I'm a science officer!
Officer 2: (whacks the blueshirt in the face) Then WHO NEEDS YOU?
Officer 1: Without doctors, there's only one option! Computer, activate the EMH!
(Marc shimmers into being.)
Marc: Please state that I'm a doctor, not a medical emergency.
Officer 1: Uh... right. Doc, we need help, big time.
Marc: I can see that. Very well, please line up in alphabetical order.
(Officers 1 and 2 look at each other, than at Marc.)
Officer 2: You're not seri--
Marc: Hurry up! These patients clearly require attention.
Officer 1: (turning to the crowd) Um. Yeah, sorry about this. Whose last name starts with A?
(The casualties are eventually lined up lexicographically. Marc looks at the first one.)
Officer 2: He's Lieutenant Ayala. I think there's something wrong with his voicebox.
Marc: Ah. Tricorder.
(Officer 1 looks quickly around the room and finds only a spoon, which he hands Marc.)
Marc: (glaring) Medical tricorder!
Officer 1: There is no tr--
(Suddenly everyone but Marc disappears. Nothing remains but the hologram, his spoon, and some leftover blood and guts. Marc sighs.)
Marc: Yet again, for the first time, no one has remembered to turn me off. Computer, deactivate EMH.
Computer: Unable to comply. Assisted suicide is prohibited under Federation law.
(Marc sighs again.)
IJD: Well. This, um, wasn't what I expected....
Zeke: What did you expect?
IJD: I dunno. The Civil War. A ghost town. Maybe something Irish. Not... well....
(Zeke, IJD, and the rest of the crew are in the middle of a cornfield.)
IJD: I was thinking the Twilight Zone, but yeah.
Farmer: Hey there! Yer just in time fer the hoedown!
Zeke: There's a hoedown? Who are you? Where is this? Why is down being hoed?
IJD: Do we really need to know these things? What I know is there's a hoedown going on. And where there's hoedowns, there's hoes.
Farmer: We got jest what yer lookin' for, neighbour. (calls to the farmhouse) Sally! C'mon out here!
Zeke: (muttering) Out of the Alpha Quadrant and straight into a farmer's daughter joke.
(IJD watches with anticipation as the fair miss Sally approaches, her hands coyly behind her back.)
Farmer: This young fella's lookin' for hoes, hon. I reckon you can give him what he's after.
Sally: Ah sher can, daddy.
(She grins at IJD and shows him the hoe she was holding behind her back.)
IJD: (crestfallen) Oh.
Sally: No, hoe.
Farmer: Good girl, honey. Now give it to 'im.
(Sally rears back and whacks IJD in the face with the hoe.)
Sally: No, hoe.
Farmer: We ain't complete idjits 'round here. Ah gotta git back, it's almost square dance time -- you folks hurry up an' join us, hear?
(The farmer heads back to the house; Sally follows, giggling.)
Zeke: You know, this is exactly how first contact with the Klingons went wrong.
IJD: (rubbing his forehead) That's debatable.
Officer 1: Can we go to the hoedown? To, um, investigate, of course.
Officer 2: What my friend is trying to say is that Southern hospitality really beats that hologram we were with a minute ago.
Zeke: The EMH? Yeah, they're still working on its personality. Ours is just a Marc one.
Officer 1: So let's go already!
Zeke: Wait! We're in a dangerous situation. As commander, I need to think carefully about what action to take. Hold on a minute or two.
(Seven hours later)
Officer 2: It's been 420.
Zeke: And I've decided. To the hoedown!
Officer 2: It's night.
Zeke: Oh, in that case we should find shelter. To the barn!
Officer 2: The barn burned down! Out of sheer boredom!
Kira: Actually, that was us.
(Everyone turns to see Kira standing with a group of Maquis.)
Zeke and IJD: YOU!
Kira: But we did do it out of boredom.
Zeke: What are you doing here? Did the tetryon wave get you too?
Kira: (angrily) I have a better question. What's HE doing here?
(Kira points at Officer 1.)
Officer 1: I just work here....
Kira: Oh, sorry. I meant him. (points at IJD)
IJD: I'm in it for the EXP.
Kira: You betrayed us, you punk!
Zeke: Like you betrayed Starfleet!
Kira: I didn't betray Starfleet, I just hate Cardassians!
Officer 2: (puzzled) Why would someone named Kira hate Cardassians?
Zeke: Surrender! You're named after a French resistance movement and I speak German -- what choice do you have?
Kira: I'll never surrender to a twerp like --
IJD: Everyone, look!
(They look. The barn is now completely gone, as is the entire farmhouse, except for the porch. There, on a rocking chair, an old man is playing a banjo.)
IJD: Let's ask him what's going on.
Zeke: Old guys do tend to know stuff.
Kira: You're both nuts.
(Nonetheless, the group walks towards the porch.)
Computer: Incoming hail.
Marc: There's no one else aboard who can handle this?
Computer: Negative. (static)
Marc: -- Hey! That was binary for "sucker"!
Computer: Currently experiencing technical difficulties. Please stand by. (static)
Marc: (sigh) Put the hail through to my desk computer and stop calling me those things.
(Marc sits down at his desk and presses the required button. A fuzzy-looking alien appears.)
Neelix: (over the comm) You've got to help me! My sweetie is stuck working for the --
Marc: Ask me if I care.
Neelix: Do you care?
Marc: Sorry, we're experiencing some static... (says "No" in binary, then cuts off the comm)
Computer: That was rude.
Marc: So turn me off.
Zeke: (ahem) Sir? Hello. I'm Commodore Zeke and these are my crew and some assorted twits.
Banjo Man: Hey there, younguns. What kin ah do fer ya?
Zeke: Well, somebody pulled us across the galaxy. Was that you?
Banjo Man: Yep.
Banjo Man: (growing serious) To answer that question, I will need to tell you a story. A story similar to your own. A story that will broaden your minds and expand your horizons. A story that will amaze, stun, and terrify you. A story of adventure, romance, drama, and titillation. A story that kills anyone who hears it in seven --
Kira: Tell us the damn story!
Banjo Man: Ah thought ye'd never ask. (leans back in the car and stars plucking his banjo) Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale, a tale of a fateful trip. The midsize starship Voyager went out on a huntin' trip....
(Six hours later)
Banjo Man: An' that's the sixth verse. There'll be a brief intermission while ah ketch mah breath.
IJD: Is it just me, or has each verse been twice as long as the last?
Banjo Man: It's one a' mah talents. Ah was class valee-dictoreean at the Wordy Bastards Hall a' Fame.
IJD: (confused) That doesn't even sound like a university.
Kira: (to Zeke) Look, you Starfleet pig, we have to get some answers out of him. Give him a cue to wrap it up, or I'll do it myself!
Zeke: Of course you wouldn't understand first contact situations. We have to be gentle and encourage him with praise. (to the banjo man) Author, author!
Banjo Man: Thankee. But ta be totally honest, ah'm a-gittin' tired. Mah voicebox kin only take so much in a day.
(Ayala nods in sympathy.)
Zeke: Look, mister banjo man....
Banjo Man: Fatherly Uncle banjo man.
Zeke: ...Right. It's just that we really need to get home. You brought us here, so you can send us back, right?
Banjo Man: 'Course ah kin! Watch.
(Banjo man waves his hand; the crew disappear.)
Banjo Man: Hmm. Mebbe they meant all the way back where they came from, not just back to their ships. Well, ah'm sure they'll tell me if ah was wrong. (starts idly playing "Dueling Banjos")
Zeke: We're back! IJD, are we --?
IJD: Nope. Still in the Delta Quadrant. But we're being hailed.
Zeke: On screen! The big screen! See how big it is? Beat that, Brent Sienna! I love this ship.
(Kira appears on the screen, with explosions and such behind her.)
Zeke: Oh, it's you. Everything okay?
Kira: (over the comm) Yes, except for the part where my ship is hurtling uncontrollably into the Array!
Zeke: Uh huh. Keep us posted. (gives IJD the neck-cutting gesture)
IJD: I know I'm new at this, but maybe we should save them.
Zeke: Hmm. Yeah, okay. Fire a tractor beam.
(The beam appears on the screen. Moments later, Kira's ship and the Array explode in a massive fireball of death.)
IJD: ....Um, Zeke?
IJD: I don't want to alarm you, but that might have been set on repulse.
Zeke: (sighing heavily) Okay, scan the debris for --
Kira: (over the comm) Thanks a lot, you Starfleet brain trusts!
Zeke: Huh? Kira? How did you --
Kira: We beamed over to your ship. Specifically, the cargo bay. We beamed your GameCube out to make room.
IJD: That explains why I'm detecting Metroid DNA in the debris. And -- hey! Is that --
Kira: Also a backpack full of pinecones or something.
IJD: YOU MURDERING BASTARDS!
Marc: (over the comm) I see you're back. Will someone please turn me off now?
Zeke: All right, clearly we have a very complex situation here. I'm going to go to my ready room to think about how to handle it. You have the bridge, somebody.
IJD: He may be a while.
Kira: Come to the cargo bay, then. I brought a DVD player.
(A while later, everyone is on the Bridge in Starfleet uniforms, including the Maquis crew. Zeke is facing them to make his dramatic speech.)
Zeke: We're alone. In an uncharted part of the galaxy....
Neelix: (over the comm) I have charts! Someone answer me!
(IJD cuts off the comm. Zeke continues.)
Zeke: We have no idea of the dangers we're going to face. In fact, we don't really have a clue about the ones we've faced already. But we will persevere, and someday, we'll find a way back. Aboard this ship -- this living ship, full of strange alien lifeforms. Help me! Is there anyone out there who can hear me? I'm being --
Kira: We know this already. The only thing you haven't told us is what the ship is called.
Zeke: Huh. I guess we won't know for a while. We should probably pick our own.
IJD: The Boiling Hell?
Zeke: It's been done.
Kira: The Millennium Falcon?
Zeke: That's what you called your ship and look how it turned out.
Marc: (over the comm) How about the Regayov?
Zeke: Doctor, you can't see this, but I'm glaring at you VERY HARD.
Officer 1: Personally, I liked the name of that ship in banjo man's story. Voyager. Seems cool.
Zeke: We shouldn't steal it outright, though. Maybe if we changed a letter, or added something....
IJD: Stadi told me this ship was supposed to be in and out in five minutes. That was right before she dumped me.
Kira: Five minutes, eh? We could go with Five-Minute Voyager.
Zeke: (thinks that over) It's doable. Might get dated after a while, but what're you gonna do?
Officer 2: And we could call it FMV for short!
Zeke, IJD, and Kira: NO.
(Officer 2 sulks.)
Zeke: (striking a commanding pose) Five-Minute Voyager it is. And if we work together, somewhere along our journey... we'll find a way back. Mr. GAF, set a course... for home.
(Five-Minute Voyager blasts off at Ludicrous Speed. No, seriously, that's what the drive is actually called. After it's been gone for a while, a small vessel sneaks out from behind the Ocampa homeworld. Aboard it...)
Derek: Five of Five to Unicomplex. Mission complete. But I still don't understand why it was necessary to destroy that array and the smaller ship.
Borg Queen: (over the comm) You don't understand? What kind of collective mind have we got here? Oh, whatever. Just proceed to the next target.
Derek: Acknowledged. But I can't help but wonder if I'll encounter that ship again....
Borg Queen: Yes you can! I'm not wondering a damn thing!
(The Queen sighs heavily.)
TO BE CONTINUED....