Five-Minute "The Next Phase"
by Marc Richard
Data: We are receiving a distress call from the Romulan science vessel Kelavak.
Picard: Set course to intercept.
Data: I must point out that Kelavak is the Romulan word for "sneaky double-crosser."
Riker: What an odd name to give to a science ship.
Picard: The workings of the Romulan mind are often impenetrable, Number One.
Mirok: Our engine core is malfunctioning.
La Forge: Let me check. Hmm...it's got a very strange configuration.
Ro: Are you experimenting with some kind of artificial quantum singularity propulsion system?
Varel: No, but that's a great suggestion. We'll have to try it out sometime.
La Forge: Enterprise, two people and one piece of weird Romulan equipment to beam aboard.
Chief Brossmer: (over the comm) I don't like the sound of that, sir. Any chance you and Ensign Ro could fax me a signed waiver before I energize?
La Forge: No.
Brossmer: (over the comm): Commander Riker, they vanished! I activated the transporter and they just vanished!
Riker: I presume you mean they vanished in a manner not consistent with the usual workings of the transporter.
Brossmer: Aye, o'course I mean that! D'ye think I'd call ye if they'd just beamed doon?
Riker: Funny how I never noticed that Scottish accent of yours until now.
Ro: Oh, my aching head! How did I end up on the floor outside Sickbay? Note to self -- Romulan ale no longer to be consumed during rescue missions.
Ro: Excuse me, Doctor, but I need help. Doctor? Nurse? Hello? Why is everyone ignoring me? I thought that HMOs had been abolished by Captain Archer's time, right along with war and poverty!
Picard: La Forge and Ro are dead.
Crusher: Are you sure that report isn't greatly exaggerated?
Picard: No, it's not.
Ro: Yes, it is!
Picard: Advise me when you've filled out the death certificates, Doctor.
Ro: Now I understand how Mark Twain must have felt.
Ro: Captain, I'm right here! I wish you wouldn't talk through me like that!
Ro: Nor walk either.
Ro: La Forge, can you see me?
La Forge: Yes, and I'm sure glad you can see me! No one else can! I was beginning to understand how Cyrus Ramsey must have felt.
La Forge: I've discovered that I can walk through bulkheads and tables and even people.
Ro: So can I.
La Forge: Floors too?
Ro: No, not floors.
La Forge: Me neither.
Ro: Thank goodness. Otherwise it would have made walking awfully hard.
La Forge: Not to mention using the turbolifts.
Ro: I think we're ghosts. Dr. Crusher says we died in a transporter accident.
La Forge: I'm not dead!
Ro: Yes, you are.
La Forge: No, I'm not! And I'm going for a walk!
Ro: Look, you're not fooling anyone. Now just wait here with me for the wooden cart, will you?
Ro: Our condition was caused by a Romulan experiment gone haywire?
La Forge: It looks that way. That's why we need to hitch a ride on the next shuttle that's heading over to the Romulan ship.
Ro: Won't the whole shuttle go right through us as soon as the pilot starts to accelerate?
La Forge: No, the shuttle seats are made of the same material as the floors of the Enterprise.
Worf: What have you decided for the memorial service you are planning?
Data: Tradition calls for Ensign Ro to be honoured with the ancient Bajoran Death Chant.
Ro: Oh, no. I wish he'd settle for the modern five-minute version.
La Forge: Why?
Ro: Because the Chant is long and life is short.
La Forge: I've figured it out! The Romulans have developed a phased cloaking device that allows matter to pass through solid objects!
Ro: Didn't the Klingons once experiment with phasing technology too?
La Forge: Yes, but they had some terrible accidents when they did. I'm glad Starfleet was never stupid enough to fool around with that sort of thing.
Varel: I'm worried the android will discover our interphase generator.
Mirok: We must sabotage their vessel to safeguard our secret.
Varel: Destroy the Enterprise after all the help they gave us?
Mirok: If you have a problem with that, find a Romulan ship with a different name to serve on.
La Forge: We have to figure out how to let Data know we're still alive.
Ro: Could we send him a Morse code message by making some lights blink?
La Forge: Oh, right -- as if that would have any chance of working.
Data: Curious. I am detecting chroniton particles at various locations on the Enterprise.
La Forge: That's us! Ro, we're leaving a trail of breadcrumbs behind us and Data is picking them up!
Ro: Then we have another problem. According to Data's tricorder, there's a third loaf of bread walking around the ship.
La Forge: Uh oh.
Parem: Tell me how we can get back to normal or I'll kill her!
La Forge: Let her go or I'll shove you through that bulkhead into outer space!
Parem: Don't even think about trying it, you weakling human -- OOOMPF!
Ro: Okay...we shouldn't have been able to hear that last part, but it was gratifying anyway.
La Forge: I don't believe it. They're having a party in our honour?
Ro: What a crummy way to commemorate our deaths.
La Forge: Crummy? Ro, you're a genius! Start trailing chronitons big time!
Ro: (sigh) Again with the chronitons....
Data: Chroniton density in Ten-Forward has just gone off the scale. We should flood this room with anyon emissions.
Picard: For what purpose?
Data: Anyons are known for their exceptionally high decrumbification properties.
Picard: Good. Make it so.
Picard: Lieutenant? Ensign? We thought you were both dead!
La Forge: It worked!
Ro: We're back to normal!
Data: Excuse me, but this memorial service is by invitation only. I will have to ask you to leave.
La Forge: Did our near-death experience give you any new insights about life?
Ro: It'd be impossible to discuss the subject without a common frame of reference.
La Forge: But we've got one. It happened to me too, remember?
Ro: I was talking about your being a straight-arrow officer who's never broken a single Starfleet rule.
La Forge: Oh. You're right, that is a problem.
(The Enterprise sails away at Ludicrous Speed)
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Next fiver: The Inner Light
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___ Five-Minute Next Generation
___ ___ Season 5
___ ___ ___ Five-Minute "The Next Phase"
DISCLAIMER: A lot of stuff in here is copyrighted by Paramount Pictures. My intent isn't to infringe on that; I and those like me are just having a little fun in the universe Gene Roddenberry created. I don't think he'd mind.
All material © 2003, Marc Richard.