Thank The Great Bird They Weren’t There

Volume Four

By

Alan Decker, Anthony Butler, Brad Dusen, Brendan Shust, and

Maija Meneks

 

 

WELCOME TO THIS SPECIAL CHRISTMAS EDITION OF “THANK THE GREAT BIRD THEY WEREN’T THERE.”  IN IT YOU’LL FIND…

“Um…Mr. Omniscient Narrator Voice?”

YES, ALAN?

“I don’t see how a bunch of TV, movie, and video game parodies are all that Christmasy.  We didn’t even do anything based on a Christmas special.”

THERE MAY BE ONE HIDDEN IN THERE.

“Maybe, but still…”

WHAT ARE YOU DOING CHRISTMAS NIGHT?

“Watching the Doctor Who Christmas Special?”

AND WHAT IS THAT PACKAGE UNDER YOUR TREE?

“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II on Blu-Ray.”

AND THAT ONE?

“The new Legend of Zelda game.”

I REST MY CASE.  I THINK I’VE PROVEN THAT NOTHING SAYS CHRISTMAS LIKE TV, MOVIES, AND VIDEO GAMES.

“I see your point.”

AND THAT YOU’RE A GIANT CHILD.

“What?”

I DIDN’T SAY ANYTHING.

“Uh-huh.  So does that mean we’re doing Doctor Who, Harry Potter, and Legend of Zelda parodies this time?”

UM…NO.  BUT IT’S THE THOUGHT THAT COUNTS.  SAY “MERRY CHRISTMAS” TO EVERYONE.

“But…”

SAY MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

“Merry Christmas, Everybody!”

 

 

Star Traks: The Vexed Generation in...Star Trek: Nemesis

 

            “Thank you for coming to my palace to dine with me, Captain.”

            Captain Andy Baxter sat across the dinner table from his...well, nemesis, and looked at him askance.  “I didn’t come willingly, Chinzon.  I’m here because I’m strangely curious about you.  It seems I’ve seen you somewhere before.”

            The young, bald, plump boy wearing a none-too-flattering spandex black suit eagerly spooned some sort of squiggly Reman cabbage into his mouth.  “That’s because I am you, Andy.  The Romulans cloned you fifteen years ago in an attempt to take over the Federation.  I am the result.”

            “I was in Starfleet Academy fifteen years ago,” Baxter said.  “Why on Earth would they pick me?”

            “I’m afraid that’s a plot hole, Captain,” Chinzon said smoothly.

            Baxter folded his arms.  “Besides, you may look like me when I was a teenager, but there are significant differences.”

            “Such as...?”

            “You have a dimpled chin.  I don’t.”

            “Um...yes.  Well that was from when I was fighting for my life in the Reman mines.  I was... um...punched in the chin.”

            “You’re bald.”

            Chinzon laughed.  “Ah, yes.  That’s because, although the rest of my body is designed to look as you did as a teenager, the top of my head is actually taken from your future.”

            “You mean...I’ll be going bald?”

            “Yes!” Chinzon giggled, stuffing more food in his face.  “Isn’t that delicious?”

            “No!  That’s not delicious at all!”  Baxter sighed.  “Look, why am I here?”  He looked over at the person sitting quietly at the other end of the table.  “And, for that matter, why is Wesley Crusher here?”

            “That’s irrelevant!” Chinzon shouted, standing up and planting his hands on the table.  “Besides, the fans will like it.”

            Baxter yawned.  “If you say so.”

            Chinzon sat back down.  “If you must know, Captain, I called you here because I’m in a bit of a crunch.”

            “Oh, yeah?”

            “It seems that Reman Social Services only take care of clones until they’re fifteen.  Then they get put out at auction.  I can’t be auctioned!  My hands aren’t made for heavy labor.”

            “Trust me, I know what you mean.”  Baxter sighed, looking at his own hands.  “Fine, let’s go.”

            “Great,” Chinzon said.  “Let me just go tell my social worker.”  He clapped his hands, and a huge, burly, fanged and scaly creature resembling Nosferatu stepped out of the shadows.

            “How about you just send him a memo?” Baxter suggested, his voice shaking.

 

TWO DAYS LATER

 

            “What the devil is that noise?” Counselor Peterman moaned, rolling over in bed next to Baxter as ear-wrenching clanging music rattled the bedroom walls.  “Doesn’t he realize he’ll wake the baby?”

            “It’s Reman Synth-Classical,” Baxter replied.  “Don’t worry.  It’s just a phase.”

            “I don’t care.  I can’t sleep, and I have appointments in the morning.  Go in there and settle your clone down.”

            “Why is he always ‘my clone’ when he’s misbehaving?  He’s your clone too, you know!”

            “No he isn’t!  He has your DNA!”

            “Details, details...” Baxter mumbled, tying on his robe and shuffling down the hall to the door to Chinzon’s room.  He pushed the call button.  Chinny...we need to talk.”

            The door didn’t open.  Baxter tapped in his override and the door slid open.

            Ohhhhhh, do me good, Commander Hartley, I mean Megan...do me good!” Chinzon said, sitting crosslegged in bed as the Nosferatu creature massaged his bald skull.

            Eeeeeeeeep!” Baxter shrieked.  “How many times have I told you that you can’t have your social worker in your bedroom!  And stop entering the minds of my crew when they have sex.  They think that’s creepy!”

            “Baraka here thinks you’re creepy, Captain,” Chinzon said, glancing back at the Nosferatu thing.  “He says we should eliminate you and be done with it.”

            “Nobody’s eliminating anybody until they get a good night’s sleep,” Baxter said.  “Now send your friend home and get to bed.  We’ll talk about it in the morning.”

            “You never make any time for me,” Chinzon muttered.

            “It’s oh-four hundred!  You need to be in bed.”

            “But I want to work on my plans to irradiate the Earth and kill all the people on it!”

            Baxter chuckled to himself as he ducked out of Chinzon’s room.  Ahh, reminds me of when I was a kid...”

 

 

Star Traks: BorgSpace - Cube #347 in... "The Walking Dead"

Crouched on top of the RV, Sensors leaned forward to peer over the side. Below, the leading elements of the herd of walking dead was just beginning to shamble past the back end of vehicle. With careful placement of her limbs, she crept towards the RV's front, took off her floppy hat, and waved it. At the signal, those of the refugee band who had not already taken shelter ducked under or into those vehicles which clogged the street in front of the small mall.

Inside a delivery truck, Captain peered out the front window while at the same time keeping himself carefully hidden in the shadows. Packages had fallen from shelves to form boxy drifts. The circumstances which had brought the command drones of Borg Exploratory-class Cube #347 to this nightmare post-apocalyptic Terra of the living-dead was unclear. Top theories included (1) a pissed off omnipotent entity, (2) psycho-hallucinogenic drugs in the environmental systems, or (3) a silicon-based parasite infecting the cube's computer. Whatever the cause, they had been stuck in this alternate universe hell long enough to know that a herd of walkers was a bad thing.

The thump of a slammed door alerted Captain that something was amiss. A glance out the truck's side window in the direction of the noise rewarded him with the unwelcome sight of Weapons exiting an adjacent vehicle.

"No!" shouted Captain with a frantic wave of a hand. "Back inside! Comply!" The walkers were attracted to living, warm-blooded creatures, a category of which Borg, unfortunately, were included. After seeing several humans literally torn apart and eaten, it had been decided that such a termination was undesirable. This living-dead infested planet may only be a figment of an intoxicated omnipotent entity's imagination, but none wanted to take the chance such an unBorg death might be permanent.

Ignoring Captain, Weapons raised a rifle, one of the dozen guns he had strapped about his body. He began to take aim, then dropped the muzzle of the barrel. "This is stupid," he stated bluntly. Weapons reslung the rifle to his back, then aimed his limb-mounted disruptor. "Running from /dead/ humans, not shooting, all stupid. And when we are allowed to shoot, we use primitive projectiles. Bah. This ends here."

Jiggling the latch of the delivery truck's rear door, Captain finally managed to escape to the street. Unfortunately, he was too late to stop Weapons. A disruptor beam lanced out, catching one of the two dozen walkers in the herd. It immediately combusted, as if a marshmallow in the middle of a bonfire; and then it fell to the pavement, an unmoving blackened mound.

"Hah! I win! And I do not even need to shoot the target in the head!"

The remaining walkers turned towards their antagonist, lumbering walk accelerating to an uncoordinated jog. One by one they were tagged by Weapons' disruptor and tumbled to the ground as smoking heaps of burnt meat.

Less than ten minutes later, most of the Borg had gathered amongst what was left of the walkers. As Captain and Second berated an overly smug Weapons for not complying with orders, Assimilation and Doctor poked the barbequed living-dead. Meanwhile, Delta had wandered off to search for vehicle parts which could be used to repair the RV, should it malfunction (again); and Sensors remained atop her mobile observation platform to watch for additional walkers.

"Remarkable," noted Doctor as he prodded a corpse with a stick.

"The body was not consumed by the fire. Weapons' big-bad disruptor should
have turned the wittle walker to ash."

Assimilation apathetically shrugged as scrutiny by the duo turned to another body.

"For the last time Weapons, just because we are not on the cube..." Captain's futile rebuke trailed off. "I just heard a noise. There's a dead charred human standing right behind me, isn't there?"

In answer, Second backed away a step, only to bump into a yielding form that smelled of fire and overdone pork.

"They're still alive! And dead! But not dead-dead!" was Doctor's shout into the moment of silence.

Programmed Borg instinct is difficult to overcome; and threatened by biologicals (even ones which were technically dead) at close range, that instinct rose to the forefront. Within a too short amount of time, those walkers which had not previously received a disruptor to the head were back on the ground, victim of assimilation.

The only question was... "How will nanomachines react to the living-dead?" inquired Captain of Assimilation.

"The walkers are re-animated bodies. They are brain-dead. There should be no reaction," replied Assimilation.

"Perhaps someone should tell the walkers that," said Reserve. He pointed a blackened living-dead corpse which was slowly struggling back to its feet. As it was doing so, a small implant erupted with a sickening pop upon the face through what remained of the epidermis.

Other walker bodies were also beginning to twitch.

Captain made a decision. "Retreat!" A glance towards Weapons bade rephrasing, "Advance to a fortified position to regroup and reconsider our options! This means you too, Weapons! Comply!" The five Borg lurched away at best speed, pursued by the walkers. Because they were elsewhere, Delta and Sensors were safe for the nonce, undead walkers more interested in the fresh, cybernized meat before them.

One of the doors at the mall entrance proved to be slightly ajar; and, once entered, was luckily discovered to be shut and locked. The Borg quietly regarded the mass of Borgified walkers which pounded upon the glass in their frenzy to reach their prey.

"Any more bright ideas, Weapons?" asked Reserve in scorn.

 

 

Star Traks: Banshee in...Star Trek: Generations

 

            The bridge of the Banshee was quiet as Commander Charlotte Burns sat in the command chair filing her nails.  She glanced up only occasionally at the decrepit old Klingon Bird of Prey that sat floating in orbit several thousand kilometers away.  Her attention was suddenly diverted back to the viewer as she watched the Bird of Prey unleash a bright green torpedo that flew through the Banshee's shields and slammed into the side of the ship.

            "They have found a way to penetrate our shields!"  Lieutenant Commander DiSanto announced from tactical as the Banshee shook from the blast and alert sirens blared.

            "Thank you, Lieutenant Commander Obvious."  Charlotte muttered as she staggered to her feet.  "I knew those Klingons would be trouble."  She turned back to Vince at tactical and shouted, "Lock phasers and return fire."

            The Banshee turned, firing a single phaser blast into the Klingon vessel's shields as the Bird of Prey unleashed two more shots onto the Banshee.

            Charlotte paused for a moment as the ship shook again, this time a bit more violently.  "Umm..." she finally spoke, "Commander DiSanto?"

            "Yes?"  Vince replied.

            "I thought I told you to return fire."  Charlotte's voice was a cross between confusion and exasperation.

            "I did!"  He protested.

            "I meant more than once!"  Charlotte screamed as the Banshee shook again.

            "Well you should have said so, jeez.  Don't be yelling at me just because you don't know how to give orders."  Vince turned from Charlotte, crossed his arms and cocked his head back indignantly.

            "Oh for the love of..." Charlotte grumbled as she stormed around from her command chair and violently shoved Vince off his stool at tactical.  "Out of my way, wimp!"  She sat down and her hands began dancing over the tactical controls.

            At her bidding, the Banshee came about, phasers lashing out from every array like a strobe light before a blizzard of photon and quantum torpedoes flew forward and blasted the Bird of Prey to smoldering wreckage.

            The bridge crew sat in a stunned silence.  Finally, Charlotte turned back to Vince and snapped, "THAT'S how you return fire!"  She shook her head and straightened her uniform out slightly as she walked back to her command chair, all the while grumbling "Jeez, keep that up and we could have wound up with a warp core breach and crash landed the saucer or something."

 

 

Star Traks: Silverado in…Battlestar Galactica

 

            Awww, c’mon people,” Captain Christopher Stafford whined as he looked around the Galactica’s dilapidated CIC, “We’ve already done this whole ‘get stuck with a piece of junk, outdated ship’ routine.  Can’t we have something built in THIS decade for once?  And why is there a bald guy in a bath tub up on the balcony?”

            “He’s brain-dead,” Lt. Cmdr Fifebee said helpfully, “but apparently we can use him as a computer,”

            “I find that COMPLETELY insulting!” Sylvia’s holo-avatar snapped angrily. “Really!”

            “Again…can’t we get a newer ship?” Stafford asked.

            “We could,” Commander T’Parief replied, “However, in this series, all the modern starships were destroyed by evil robots and their crews horribly killed.”

            Aaaannnd scratch that idea!” Stafford did an abrupt about-face, “So, who’s running this fleet?”

            “I am,” Dr. Wowryk announced, “I’m the President of the Colonies.  I’m also having religious visions about Earth…I just don’t know if they’re about the real Earth, or the Earth that was destroyed thousands of years ago.”

            Stafford blinked.

            “What?”

            “Look, I can’t explain this stuff in five minutes,” Wowryk snapped. “You need to sit through the four-hour mini-series first, then watch every episode religiously if you want to have the slightest HINT about what’s going on!”

            “Hi guys!” Lieutenant Trish Yanick’s voice came over the comm. “I’m back from the dead, and I’ve got one of these cool space-fighter thingies too!”

            “You…what?” Stafford’s eyes were starting to glaze over.

            “And I’m apparently a machine,” Jall added cheerfully as he stepped into the CIC, “Which is fine by me, cuz I’ve been telling you that for years!”

            “You’ve been telling us you’re a party animal,” Stafford said tiredly.

            That, and a sex machine!” Jall said.  He perked up as he looked around.  “Oh wow, who’s the totally hot guy in the bathtub!?”

            “He’s brain-dead!” Stafford snapped as Jall ran for the stairs.

            “Which means Jall actually has a chance,” Wowryk muttered.

            Ewww,”

            “Does anybody else hear music?” Yanick asked. “I’ve had this tune stuck in my head all day!”

            “So what?  Who cares?” Stafford snapped.

            “Well, who knows?  Maybe the secret location of the planet we’ve been searching for is being covertly fed into my brain!” Yanick giggled.

            “That is the most ridiculous piece of nonsense I’ve heard today!”  Fifebee said.

            “Then you haven’t been paying attention to the rest of this conversation,” Stafford muttered.

            Ah’ve been hearing music too,” Jeffery said uneasily.

            “And I see angels,” added a man with an odd accent.  “Beautiful, blond, big-breasted angels!”

            “I’ve been hearing music,” Jall called down from the balcony.  He was poking the brain-dead Samuel Anders in the side of the head.  “But, y’know, there’s always a party going on in my head.  And in my p-“

            “Are we attacking the Cylon Colony today or what?” a slightly lispy sounding voice demanded.

            Stafford turned to find a dark haired male human stepping into the CIC.

            “Hey, handsome!” Jall waved.

            “I’m straight,” Lee Adama said flatly.

            Puh-leeze,” Jall laughed.  “Between the way you talk and the way you walk, you’re not fooling anybody!”

            “Who are you, anyway?” Stafford asked, “Actually, no.  Don’t tell me.  We’ve got people hearing things, people seeing things, people back from the dead, brain-dead people, brain-dead people about to get molested by horny Trill and people convinced they’re some sort of messiah!  I don’t care!  I’ve had it!  This place is ridiculous!  We’re leaving.  Where’s the exit?”

            “Perhaps the tear in reality Captain Beck and her team made during their visit here is still present,” Fifebee offered.

            “Honestly, that sounds like the best plan I’ve heard all day.  Which truly frightens me,” Stafford said, massaging his temples.

           

           

The Original Star Traks in…Caprica

 

            “Oh no,” Captain Alexander Rydell said, looking around at the skyscrapers rising above him.  “I’ve heard about this Battlestar Galactica universe.  We are not doing this.”

            “Don’t worry, sir,” Commander Jaroch said.  “This is a prequel series.  No Cylons.”

            “And no decent spaceships,” Commander Travis Dillon said.  “I did not sign up to get stuck on a planet for…”

            The cityscape suddenly faded to white.  In the middle of the nothingness, giant black letters appeared reading:

            ATTENTION!  THIS SERIES HAS BEEN CANCELLED

            “Problem solved,” Rydell and Dillon said in unison.

            Rydell turned on his first officer.  “If you say ‘jinx’ and that I owe you anything, I’m going to slap you.”

            Dillon quickly closed his mouth.

            “All right.  What’s next?”

 

 

Star Traks: The Vexed Generation in...CSI Miami

 

            “Thanks for coming, Lieutenant,” Lieutenant Ariel Tilleran said, kneeling by an inert figure shrouded in black.  “We covered up the body.  There was...a lot of carnage.”

            Lieutenant J’hana ducked crime scene tape, entering the small, cramped and sunlit apartment just as dawn crept over the skyline outside.

            She approached the body and knelt beside Lieutenant Tilleran, grimacing.  “Cause of death?”

            “Seems like the victim was...mauled by...her cat.”

            “I see,” J’hana said, lifting the blanket.  Her antennae twitched slightly as she took in the grim scene.  “Well, looks like this cat owner is out of lives.”

            “What?”

            “I said, looks like this cat owner is out of lives.”

            “That doesn’t make sense.  Cats have nine lives.  Cat owners only get one life.  It’s just illogical, is all.”

            “Oh.  Right.  Maybe that’s why the music didn’t start.”

            “What music?”

            Nevermind.”  J’hana stood up.  “Looks like someone felt a little frisky.”  She paused, looking around.

            “Who felt frisky?  Again, you’re not making any sense.”

            “Hmm,” J’hana said.  “Usually I’m pretty good at this.”

            “At what?  Figuring out who the murder victim is?”

            “Give me a second.  Let’s see..”

            Tilleran rolled her eyes.

            “I’ve got it,” J’hana said.  “Looks like this cat owner has a serious case of cat scratch fever!”  With that, she took her sunglasses off and...

            “WAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!”  Searing guitar music filled the room. 

            Tilleran covered her ears.  “What the hell is that?”

            “Theme music!”

            “Now I wish I was dead!”

            “That can be arranged.  Or CAT be arranged!”                                 

            “Not again!”   

            “WAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!”

 

 

The Traks Files in…Raiders of the Lost Ark

 

            Batyn peered into the just-opened Well of the Souls, his bulging eyes struggling to make out what little the torch that had been dropped into the ancient chamber was illuminating.

            “Dallas, why does the floor…move?”

            His partner didn’t respond.

            “Dallas?” he asked, glancing over.

            She was no longer there.

            “Dallas!” Batyn shouted, spotting her running down the sandy hill that covered the structure.  He sprinted after Dallas, barely managing to catch up with her before she reached the bottom.  “Where the hell are you going?” he demanded.

            “Not in there,” Samantha Dallas replied to her Antidean partner.  “I don’t do snakes.”

            “No one’s asking you to copulate with them.  Just retrieve the Ark of the Covenant, so that we can get out of this sandbox.  My skin is starting to chafe.”

            “That’s not happening.  It’s pointless anyway.”

            “Pointless?  If the Nazis take the Ark, they will have an unbeatable super-weapon and…”  He trailed off.  “You peeked ahead in the script, didn’t you?”

            “Yep.  They’re going to take it to an island, open it up, and all die horrible melty deaths.  That’s going to happen whether we’re there or not.  I say we go back to the hotel, hang out by the pool for a few days, then swing by the island and pick up the Ark when the Nazis are done being liquefied.”

            “Pool, huh?  All right.  We’ll do that.  But this island had better not be like the last one you took me to.  That whole smoke monster thing was ridiculous.”

            “You just didn’t appreciate the symbolism of the resolution or the focus on the people rather than the…”

            “I’ll be in the pool.  Order me one of those umbrella drinks when you get there,” Batyn said, storming off.

 

 

Star Traks: Banshee in...Star Trek: First Contact

 

            Lieutenant Carn was getting bored as he lay strapped to a table in the darkened engineering compartment, staring blankly up at the ceiling as several Borg drones worked around him.  If he didn't know any better, he'd swear he was in a bad Halloween special with all the black lights and lightning plates that had been installed.

            "Are you ready?" a seductive sounding female voice echoed from above.

            Carn raised his eyebrow.  "Ready for what?"

            "To meet me, silly," the voice cooed.

            "That depends," Carn replied.  "Are you coming down here to let me out?"

            "No," the voice replied flatly.

            "Are you coming down here to inflict large amounts of physical and/or psychological pain on me?"

            "Perhaps."

            "Then no, I am not ready."

            "Oh, come on," the voice whined.  "You know you want me to come down there."

            Carn grumbled, "Okay, fine, but no more drilling holes in my head."

            "Deal."  The voice came from what appeared to be a dismembered torso with a metal spine dangling from below.  As it was lowered from the ceiling on three metal vines, her voice echoed, "I am the beginning, the end, the one who is many."  The vines dropped the torso into a waiting body that promptly latched onto it.  "I am the Borg."

            "Greetings."  Carn said, somewhat bewildered.  He paused, then asked, "What the hell were you doing up there for so long, anyways?"

            "I was getting my spine polished to make a good first impression, but that's not important," the Borg Queen snapped.  "This is about you, Carn."

            "Me?" the android replied nervously.

            "Yes, you."  The Queen smiled as she circled the captive android.  "You are the contradiction, Carn.  A machine who wishes to be human."

            Carn furrowed his brow.  "No I don't.  I'm quite happy being a machine, in fact."

            "That's impossible," the queen protested.  "Our records show you have every desire to become more human!"

            "You must have grabbed the wrong file."  Carn shrugged.  "There are other androids out there."

            "So does this mean I can't graft organic skin onto your endoskeletal structure and then have bizarre machine sex with you?"  The queen looked distraught, and she pouted ever so slightly.

            "I'd prefer you didn't," Carn said calmly.

            "Well this is turning out to be one fine assimilation mission!" the queen grumbled.

            "I'm afraid it will only get worse," Carn said as he used his android strength to quickly free himself from the table and walk towards the warp core.  "Do you like the smell of plasma coolant?"

            The queen paused, puzzled.  "No... why?"

            "That's a shame."  He shrugged.  "You're about to get a very big whiff of it."  He smiled before punching a massive hole in the plasma coolant tanks, sending a wall of the corrosive greenish gas barrelling at the queen.

 

 

Star Traks: Halfway to Haven in…Stargate: Atlantis

 

            “Shields are about to c-c-collapse!”  Lt. Shurgroe announced loudly.

            “So what?” Captain Simplot shrugged, gazing through a stained-glass window and out at the starry void outside, “We’re just drifting in space.  We’re not being attacked or anything.”  She frowned for a moment.  “What are we doing here, anyway?  There’s no planet nearby that I can see.”

            “Well…the hyperdrive engines sort of…stalled…before we got where we were going,” Shurgroe said sheepishly.

            “Wow.  Million-year old technology that throws a city around like a kid playing marbles and you say it ‘stalled’,” Simplot giggled.

            “I don’t like this so-called ‘city’,” Colonel Abela announced, stepping through the sliding door that led into the control rooms from the outside balcony.  “I mean, sure the buildings look fancier than Haven’s, but there’s nothing out there but glass and metal!  There’s no lake, no parks, no nothing!  Who the hell wants to live in a place this sterile?”

            “I don’t think you quite understand the seriousness of our problem, Captain,” Lt. Cmdr Virgii said in his clipped accent, looking over Shurgroe’s shoulder.  “If the shields fail, we’ll all die quite horribly,”

            “Stellar radiation?” Abela asked.

            “Subspace distortion?” Simplot wondered.

            “Some sort of alien death-ray being fired at us from a ridiculous distance?” Wyer queried.

            “Uh…actually, if the shields fail, all the atmosphere is going rush out into space,” Virgii informed them.  “And we’ll suffocate.”

            Everybody stared at him for a moment.

            “WHAT?” Abela, Simplot and Wyer all demanded.

            “Yeah, he’s r-r-right,” Shurgroe said glumly.  “Apparently the buildings aren’t air-tight.  But hey!  We have an intergalactic hyperdrive!  Isn’t that cool!?”

            “But we don’t have enough power to run it,” Virgii corrected.  “Or the shields.  Or the sublight drive.  Or anything other than the lights, really.”

            “No antimatter?” Simplot asked.

            “Well, actually the whole city runs on these three self-contained regions of space-time,” Dr. Strobnick informed them, stepping into the control room.  “And apparently, we’re down to one.  And it’s getting low.”

            “Huh?”

            “Glass-looking thingies about the size of a coffee thermos,” Virgii explained. “They power the city.  Then they die.”

“So…we’re all going to die because our shields are going to fail, our batteries are running out and our space station city-ship thing isn’t air-tight,” Simplot announced.

            “Yup,”

            “Wow, for an advanced Ancient civilization, the guys who built this place were TERRIBLE engineers,” Simplot shook her head.

Virgii chuckled.

            “SO PLUG IN A NEW BATTERY!”  Abela snapped.

            “It’s called a ZPM,” Strobnick said primly.  “And we can’t.  We don’t have any.”

            “You seriously mean to tell me that in a city the size of Manhattan, these Ancients didn’t leave a warehouse of the things?  You said they were source the size of a coffee thermos!” Simplot crossed her arms.

            “Correct.”

            “Then build some,” Abela said.  “There must be a factory!  Designs schematics!  A ‘ZPMs for Dummies’ book!  You cannot honestly expect me to believe that in hundreds of buildings and thousands of rooms, with intergalactic hyperdrive, sublight engines that can boost a city into orbit, a wormhole-generating device, cloakable shuttles and sensors that reach across the galaxy, that this place doesn’t have the means to produce the very objects it depends on for power?”

            Shurgroe, Strobnick and Virgii shrugged.

            “I guess the Ancients w-w-weren’t very good at planning ahead either,” Shurgroe offered.

            At that moment, the Stargate at the other end of the control room burst into life.

            “Bad planners or not, you have to admit that’s impressive,” Wyer commented.

            Before anybody could reply, Lieutenants Laarthi and Boxer popped out of the gate and sprinted for cover.

            “CLOSE IT!  CLOSE IT!”  Laarthi snapped.

            “What happened?” Simplot demanded.

            “Big, scary blue guys!” Laarthi reported, “Long hair, weird hands…they suck the life right out of you!”

            “Avatar?” Virgii asked.

            “Wraith, apparently,” Laarthi replied.

            “I thought I was going to get a tummy rub,” Boxer sniffled.  “Instead, that thing took about 14 years off my life!”

            “You don’t look any different,” Wyer said.

            “14 dog-years, I guess,” Boxer shrugged.

            “Oops, the shields are collapsing,” Virgii sighed.  “Everybody take a deep breath!”

            “This is what happens, people!” Simplot said crossly as air began rushing out of the room.  “This is what happens when you push that whole ‘suspension of disbelief’ thing just a BIT too far!”

 

 

Star Traks: Boldly Gone in…Torchwood

 

            It wasn’t exactly the bridge of a starship, but The Hub had its charms, Reginald Bain thought as he strolled past the bank of computer consoles where Dr. Natalia Kasyov was intently typing.  Still, something was bothering him.

            “Didn’t that narrator bloke at the beginning say that we weren’t doing Doctor Who?” Bain asked.

            “We’re not.  This is a spinoff,” Kasyov replied.

            “Isn’t that the same damn thing?”

            “Not in this case.  Doctor Who is a family show.  Torchwood…isn’t.”

            “I’m not sure if I’m comfortable appearing in something that I can’t watch with the grandkids,” Bain said.

            “Sorry, sir.  This is what we got stuck with.”

            “I am really going to have to have a word with those two gits who write for us.”

            “Can I come down yet?” Cabral called from high above them, his black sphere flying in circles around The Hub’s upper reaches.

            “You’re supposed to be a pterodactyl,” Kasyov said.

            “There really wasn’t another part I could play on this show?”

            “Sorry, honey!  Keep circling!”

            “I get to be included this time!” Dr. Fred Nooney said from the next console, clapping giddily.

            “Why is he here?” Bain asked.

            “It’s in the script, sir.  We needed a doctor,” Tovar said, walking in with Centurion Nortal.  Tovar was dressed in a smart black suit.   Nortal, meanwhile, was in what appeared to be a police uniform.  She looked around The Hub in disgust.

            “I have been brought to a sewer!” she cried.

            “We’re underground, but this is not a sewer,” Tovar said.

            “Falsehood!”

            “Couldn’t you have brought Marsie instead?” Bain asked.

            “The script called for a female Welsh police officer.  Nortal was as close as I could get,” Tovar said.

            “I protest!” Nortal exclaimed.

            “So do the Welsh.”

            “Right!” Bain said.  “Enough of that.  What are supposed to be doing now?”

            “Defending Cardiff against alien threats.”

            “Cardiff?  Really?”

            “Yes, but the aliens that show up here could endanger the entire planet.”

            “Oh.  Good.  That we know how to handle,” Bain said.  “Where are the aliens?”

            “Not here at the moment.”

            “I’m detecting rift activity,” Kasyov said.  “Near the harbor.  Looks like a group of Weevils.”

            “That was convenient,” Tovar said.

            “Wait.  What rift?  What’s a Weevil?” Bain asked.

            “Just go with it, sir,” Tovar said.

            “Fair enough.  Can’t say I honestly cared.”

            “Onward to defeat our extraterrestrial foes!” Nortal exclaimed, charging out of The Hub.

 

FIVE MINUTES LATER…

           

            The six Weevils lay in an unconscious heap on the dock.

            “You punched them,” Tovar said.

            “Yes.  And?” Bain asked.

            “You punched all of them.  Repeatedly.”

            “I know that, lad.”

            “The rest of us didn’t get to do anything.”

            “Sorry.  You can have the next ones.”

            “But they were the plot for the whole hour episode.  We’re ten minutes in, and you’re done.”

            “Dealing with this lot was supposed to take an hour?  These Torchwood blokes must not be very good at their jobs.”

            “No, they’re really not.  But now we’re stuck here for another fifty minutes.”

“What are we supposed to do in the meantime?” Bain asked.

            “According to the script, have lots of sex with each other,” Tovar replied.

            The gathered group exchanged looks.

            “That won’t be happening,” Bain said.  “Anyone for pinochle?”

 

 

Star Traks: The Vexed Generation in...How I Met Your Mother

 

            “Kids, your father made some bad choices in his life, but the one choice he’ll never regret is proposing to your mother...”           

            Ooooh!” Teenaged Steffie and Raymond said, leaning forward on their couch.  “Are you finally going to tell us how you met Mom?”

            “No, not yet,” said Baxter.  “I’ve got a few more stories about me and my friends hanging out at this bar, getting drunk, and picking up women.”

            “Isn’t that a little inappropriate for you to tell your kids about?” Steffie asked.

            “No, it builds character.  Just listen.”

                                               

            “...and that’s when the fourth girl stepped in, and I was like...have you driven a...wait for it...Ford lately?” Zack Ford said, leaning back in his chair and chuckling.

            “This is annoying,” Chris Richards said, turning to Janice Browning.  “Are you annoyed?”

            Browning pursed her lips.  “Yes, I’m annoyed.”  She looked across the table at Andy Baxter.  “Is this any kind of story to tell your kids?”

            “I want them to know how I met their mother.”

            “I’m right here,” Kelly Peterman said, sitting next to Baxter.

            “Are you?” Baxter asked, playfully elbowing her.  “Or is it someone else?  Nobody knows!”

            “I know!  Just get the story over with already!”

            “But there are so many more interesting tales to tell,” Baxter said.

            “Why is Ford here?” Richards asked.  “We’re barely friends.”

            “I’m comical and entertaining,” Ford said.

            “This is all just a bad idea, Andy,” Browning said.  “Just tell your kids how you and your wife met.”

 

            “Wait, I’m confused,” Raymond said.  “How does everyone in the past know you’re telling this story?’

            “The narrative has gone totally off-track,” Steffie said.  “Not to mention it’s derivative and more than a little self-indulgent.”

            “Yeah, Dad,” Raymond said.  “Totally self-indulgent.  Do you have any other stories?”

            “Not really.  Just more bar stories.”

            Steffie sighed.  “I’m getting Mom!”

            “No!” Baxter shot up.  “I’ll tell you something a little more interesting.”

            “Like what?”

            “Like when we ran into these...um...beings from outer space...”

            “Now that’s more like it.  Tell us some space stories!” Steffie cheered.       

            “Yeah, and these beings...they could transform...into cars and things...”

            Raymond covered his face.  “Oh my God.”

 

                                                                                   

Star Traks: The Vexed Generation in...Transformers

           

            “AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!” Commander David Conway braced his arms and legs against the walls of the blue tractor trailer rig as it swerved down a side street in some downtown location.  “WHY AM I IN THIS ONE??”

            “Shut up and let me steer,” a familiar voice said from the car stereo panel.

            “Wait a minute.  You sound familiar.  BAXTER!”

            Ain’t this fun?  We’re saving the world from evil robots.”

            “What am I supposed to do?  Can’t I be a robot too?”

            “Nope,” Baxter’s voice said as suddenly the cab of the truck shifted all around Conway and the seat fell out from under him as he was spilled into the street.

            CHAK-CHORK-BRAP-BRAP-BRAP-BART

            “What’s happening?”

            “I’m transforming!  This is so cool!”

            Conway ducked behind a garbage can as a flying robot came streaking toward them firing a barrage of laser weapons.  “GET ME OUT OF THIS!”

            Baxter, now in robot form, swung some kind of electrified sword at the attacking cyborg, knocking it out of the sky.

            Conway turn and ran, but was cornered by a yellow Chevy Camaro screeching up.  Its doors and hood flipped open as it too transformed into a hulking robot.

            “Hey guys, what’s up?”

            “RICHARDS!” Conway said.  “We’re in some kind of robot battle zone!  Hide me!”

            A tank came around the other end of the alley and started blasting as the Baxter robot leapt forward, flipping the tank end over end as it shot wildly, then, predictably, turned into a robot too.

            “Cool,” Richards said, and started blasting.

            “Save me from this!” Conway screamed, as an exploding dumpster came flying at him.  “Why do things keep flying at me?”

            “Because it’s in 3D!” Richards said as he kicked the dumpster away from Conway’s face.  “These effects are very expensive.”

            “But there’s no storyline!”

            “You noticed that too?  Hmph.”

           

 

Star Traks: The Vexed Generation in...CSI Miami

 

            “Killed by robots, huh?” J’hana said as she knelt over the inert form of David Conway.  “Such a shame when they die this way.”     

            Tilleran nodded.  “That’s what the guy told me before he turned into a truck and drove off.”

            “Any suspects?”

            “Just a robot that can turn into a Plymouth Reliant.  We ran the tags, but it’ll take a while to...”

            “Oh, almost forgot...”

            Tilleran covered her face.  “Please don’t.”

            J’hana took her sunglasses off.  “There’s more to this case than meets the eye.”

            “Ugh.  More theme music.”

            “WAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!”

 

 

Star Traks: BorgSpace - Cube #238 MiniSeries in... "Avatar"

Selfridge gestured at his desk and, more specifically, at the small, silver rock floating in the air atop an otherwise nondescript base. Grabbing the sample, he held it up in front of his face, brandishing it like a weapon. "This is why we're here. Unobtainium. Because this little gray rock sells for twenty million a kilo. No other reason. This is what pays for the party. And it's what pays for your science. Comprendo?"

Prime was quiet as she stared at the small, self-important human and his rock. Finally, after several very long seconds of silence, she rumbled, "Unobtainium? There is a joke there that someone, one day, will have to explain to you using very short words. Beyond that, I /still/ do not understand why it is necessary to mine the vein under the local Na'vi tribe's tree. Personally, I really don't care about those excessively tall, blue soft-skins or their village. The true exploitable wealth of this moon is in the botanicals and genetics. But does anyone listen to me? No. I'm expected to win the hearts and minds of blue cat-monkeys so that you can root earth under their stupid tree like a Terran pig.

"You do understand that there are other, more accessible locations to get your unobtainium? I'd start with the Hallelujah Mountains - they are gigantic chunks of nearly pure ore just floating there for the taking.  Rope one or two of those and drag 'em back to base or an easily protected processing plant. All the unobtainium you could want. A lot cheaper than sending mining equipment through the jungle to /dig/, or the cost of expensive munitions to drive the Na'vi away.

"This discourse is too logical for you, isn't it? Well, too bad. Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to return to the lab to try to salvage something from that moronic jarhead marine you dropped in my lap. And if you try /anything/ further to sabotage my assignment, I will slam you through a wall." Pause. "Comprendo?"

Without further word, Prime pivoted in place and stamped from the
office.

Selfridge gazed at the doorway, a glazed expression to his face. "You know," he muttered to himself, "I don't think I've every really noticed how big Grace is. Or how armored. Or how insect-like? Reptilian? Or how, well, many /things/ she has plugged into her body."

With an abrupt shake to his head, Selfridge replaced the unobtainium sample in the air over its base. "No, just my imagination. Not enough sleep. And allergies to whatever crap it is that Grace smokes. Yah, that's it. I need a drink. Several of them, I think."

 

 

Star Traks: Banshee in..."The Best of Both Worlds (TNG)"

 

            The bridge was tensely quiet as Commander Burns patiently awaited the return of her away team from the Borg cube that sat ominously on the main viewer.  With a swish of the door, a distraught looking away team came darting in.

            "What happened!?"  Charlotte demanded.  "And where's the Captain?"

            "The Captain has been altered by the Borg," Lieutenant Carn said in his calm, collected android manner.

            "Altered?"  Charlotte raised his eyebrow.

            "He IS a Borg!"  Commander Tagel Axik cried out as tears ran down her face.

            "We're being hailed," Commander DiSanto said from tactical.

            "On screen."

            The darkened inside of the Borg vessel became visible on the viewer.  Walking slowly into view was the newly Borgified Captain Vorezze.  His face was colorless, his eyes gazed numbly forward and he spoke with a mechanical tinge to his voice.

            "My god that's a good Halloween costume," Charlotte uttered in disbelief.

            "I am Noclue-tus of Borg," the Captain began.  "Resistance is futile.  Your lives, as they have been, are over.  From this time forward, you shall service ... us!"

            Tension seemed to swell around her like the world was abruptly about to climax into a burst of suspenseful music.  Commander Burns breathed in deep before forcefully shouting, "Mister DiSanto. FIRE!"

 

......

 

            "Deflector charging now, ma'am!" Commander DiSanto announced from the tactical station.

            Charlotte let her breath out and took a step backwards.  "Phew, that was intense.  I feel like it took a solid three months or so for that moment to pass."

            "Tell me about it," Dr. Elizabeth Lang said before she froze, glancing around at the floor.  "Is it just me or did they install slightly different color carpets in the last thirty seconds?"  She looked up to see if anyone else had noticed and quickly realized Commander Smith was staring directly at her.

            "Doctor..?"  Commander Daniel Smith asked nervously, "Did you get your hair done in the last minute or so?"

            "I don't think so."  Liz looked bewildered as she glanced at her reflection in a display panel.

            "Well it looks curlier now."

            Commander DiSanto interrupted with a status announcement.  "Charged and ready, here we go!"           

            From the Banshee's deflector dish, a massive blue beam of energy shot out and struck the Borg cube, slashing through it with brutal force and blasting it into trillions of smoldering pieces.

            "Oh my god!" Commander Burns gasped in both horror and amazement.  "That actually worked!"

            Liz paused, then shook her head.  "Wait a second, that doesn't seem right."  She quickly grabbed her copy of the script and began flipping through the pages.  "I thought the Borg were supposed to use Captain Vorezze's knowledge of the ship and its capabilities to shield themselves against any possible attack."

            "Yeah right."  Charlotte smirked as she walked over to the replicator.  "Like the Captain ever bothered to read the owner's manual."  She turned and smiled at the bridge crew.  "Coffee anyone?"

 

 

Star Traks: Silverado (The Hazardous Team) in…Team Fortress 2

 

            “Mission begins in sixty seconds!” Fifebee’s voice came over the intercom, a dark edge in it.  “Was that right?  Did I sound like a cold-hearted, temperamental businesswoman?”

            “Give me the microphone, Jane!” Sylvia’s voice came next.  “I want this role!”

            “No, the script clearly calls for a darker, moody character.  You are far too cheerful,” Fifebee’s voice again.  “I thought we agreed that I would be the Team Fortress Administrator, and you would be the psychotic, passive/aggressive computer in the Portal 2 segment.”

            “I changed my mind.  The Administrator doesn’t actually kill anybody.”

            “Ladies, do you mind?  We’re trying to plan our attack here!” Lt. Cmdr David Stern said, speaking from the Red Team’s spawning & resupply point. “OK, I’ll be the Sniper, obviously.  Ensign Simmons will be the Demoman.”

            “No argument there!” Simmons giggled, hefting the grenade launcher and popping the eyepatch on his left eye.  Arrgghh!  I be the grenade pirate!”

            “He’s Scottish, not a pirate,” Lt. Rengs pointed out.  “And honestly?  A grenade launcher?  Do you REALLY thing giving Simmons one of those is a good idea?”

            “No, but the other options aren’t much better,” Stern shrugged.  “OK, Rengs, you’re the Pyro, Marsden, you’re the Spy, Dar’ugal’s the Heavy Weapons Guy, Kreklor’s the Scout…did I miss anybody?”

            “I don’t want to be the Scout,” Kreklor said.  “He is weak, and easily killed.”

            “You can be the Spy instead,” Marsden offered.  “I’m really not keen on stabbing people in the back.”

            “The Spy is dishonourable and underhanded,” Kreklor bellowed, “Only a Romulan would play such a despicable class!”

            “I don’t really want to be the Pyro either,” Rengs said.  “I…I don’t think I can deal with the smell of burning flesh.”

            “That’s what the mask is for,” Stern said.  “Besides, Darg can’t be the Pyro, he’d probably just set his fur on fire.”

            “Can’t I be the soldier?  Somebody should be the soldier,” Rengs complained.

            “No,” Kreklor snapped.  “I will be the soldier!  Honour and glory will be mine!  My enemies will tremble at my feet!”

            “Mission begins in thirty seconds!” Fifebee announced.  There was a sudden sound of scuffling, then a feedback whine from the mike.

            “Mission begins in twenty-eight seconds!” Sylvia’s voice said.

            “What’s our mission, anyway?” Marsden asked.

            “We’re attacking the Blue Base and stealing their intelligence before they steal ours,” Sterm said.

            “Too late,” Regns muttered.  “WAAAYYYY too late.”

            “Why is there a blue base over there anyway?  And why are we fighting them?” Simmons asked.  “I mean, if we win, and we take their base, then what-”

            “Stop,” Stern held up a hand to silence him.  “Say no more.  Far more successful parodies than ours have already beaten that particular joke to death.”

            “Mission begins,” Sylvia called in a fake-angry voice.  “GET GOING!”

 

            Ouside the Red Base, the Blue Team members lay in wait.

            “Ready?” Captain Stafford asked.

            “Ready,” replied Commander Jall.

            “Things are much simpler when you just pull rank instead of letting people argue,” Stafford said, aiming his sniper rifle at the base exit.

 

            “Go, go, go!” Stern shouted, running out the front door.  There was a crack of a rifle, then his head abruptly disappeared in a pink mist.

            “I…I…AHHHHHHH!!!!” Marsden screamed.  He frantically tapped at his personal cloak, succeeding only in flickering in and out.

            “To honourable death!” Kreklor cried, running out the door, brandishing a shotgun.  He managed to take out two of the attacking Blues before a well-aimed rocket blew him to tattered, bloody shreds.

            “DIE, BLUE PIGS, DIE!” Simmons squeezed his eyes shut and pulled the trigger on his grenade launcher, taking out two more Blues before Stafford’s sniper rifle found him.

            “THAT….WAS….AWESOME!” Kreklor screamed from behind Rengs, running back into the battle.  Stern was right behind him.

            “What?  But…you…he…” Rengs stuttered.

            “We re-spawned,” Stern said, staying behind cover this time as he blew a hole in Stafford’s head with his sniper rifle.

            “Dammit, Fifebee, stop pulling my hair!” Sylvia’s voice came over the intercom.

            “The enemy has taken our intelligence!” Fifebee managed to shout into the mike.

            “Somebody took their intelligence all right,” Rengs said, just before a well-placed Blue barrage blew him and Stern to pieces.

 

            “This is barbaric,” Lieutenant Yanick said, looking at the many display screens in the Administrator’s control room.  Nearby, Sylvia and Fifebee’s dispute over the microphone had turned into a full-fledged, hair-pulling catfight, with the forgotten mike lying on the floor.

            “This is some of the best Earth entertainment I’ve ever seen,” T’Parief disagreed.  He chuckled as Lt. Cmdr. Jeffery ran out of the Red Base carrying a briefcase, the coveted ‘intelligence’ he supposed, only to be set on fire by Lt. Rengs.  The Scottsman ran around screaming for a moment until a hit from Kreklor’s shovel did him in.  On another screen, they could see him re-spawning at the Blue Base.

            “It’s disgusting.  I sure won’t be letting our kids play video games like this!” she said.

            T’Parief lightly stroked the egg sitting on the seat next to him.

            “Our child would never be satisfied with mere simulated carnage,” he said.

            Ohhhh!  That’s it!  The fun’s over!” Yanick snapped.  She grabbed the microphone, then scanned the buttons on the console in front of her and plugged the mike into the ‘All Teams’ slot.

            “You’ve failed!” she shouted, managing to sound more pissed of than either Fifebee or Sylvia could.  “Prepare for sudden death!”

            “Huh?” one of the Reds got out before she stabbed a button, instantly killing both teams.  She set the mike down, then returned to her seat.

            “Happy now?” she asked T’Parief.

            “No,” he grumbled.  “But luckily, the next mission will commence in sixty seconds.”

            “That’s my line!” Sylvia and Fifebee shouted together, then resumed their battle.

            “Should have stuck with television,” Yanick pouted.

 

 

The Original Star Traks in…Pushing Daisies

 

            “All right!  Pie!  This I can deal with!” Captain Rydell said.  He grabbed a big piece of glorious cherry pie off of the plate on the counter in front of him and shoved it into his mouth.  Uugguggh,” he gagged, spitting it right back out again.  “That was awful.  How the hell does this place stay open?  This show had better not be relying on my baking skills.”

            “You can bring things back from the dead by touching them,” Lieutenant Andrea Carr replied.  “But if you touch them a second time, they die again.  You touched rotten fruit and made it into that pie.  Once you touched it again with your tongue, it went back to being rotten.  Everybody else thinks your pies are great.  You also solve murders.”

            “The hell?  What kind of show is this?”

            “A cancelled one,” Karina Durham said, walking into The Pie Hole with a large white sign with big black letters reading:

            ATTENTION!  THIS SERIES HAS BEEN CANCELLED

            “Serves it right,” Rydell said, spitting out a bit more pie.  “Now somebody find me some mouthwash.”

 

 

The Star Traks Science Officers in…The Big Bang Theory

 

            Jaroch nodded his head approvingly as he took in his apartment.  “This is acceptable, and this will be my spot on the sofa.”

            “I don’t care,” Craig Porter replied.  “Just tell me which bedroom is mine.”

            “Bedroom?  What makes you believe that you are going to be my roommate?”

            “Um…I’m the only other guy here.”

            “True; however, your past difficulties in dealing with females would make you far more appropriate for the Rajesh analog.”

            “But I…”

            Porter was cut off by a knock on the door.

            “Come in,” Jaroch called.  The door opened, and Ariel Tilleran, Fifebee, Dr. Natalia Kasyov, and Dr. Elizabeth Lang entered the apartment…to a loud round of applause that seemingly came from nowhere.

            “We’re here about the apartment,” Tilleran said.  She stopped, spotting Porter.  “Or is the room already taken.”

            “No, it’s available,” Jaroch said.  “Craig was just leaving.”

            Craig opened his mouth to protest.  “Hey!  I wasn’t…”

            “You can’t talk around them.  It’s in the script.”

            “You’re going to regret this,” Porter muttered, stalking toward the door.

            Jaroch considered the array of lovely and highly intelligent women (and a hologram) waiting to speak with him.  “No.  I don’t think I will,” he said.  Bazinga.”

 

 

The Traks Files in…Frosty The Snowman

 

            “Where did you find that hat?” Batyn asked as he and Agent Samantha Dallas walked along the snow covered paths of a park in the middle of the city.

            “I don’t know.  It was lying around,” Dallas replied.

            “And you picked it up?  That’s disgusting!”

            “It’s a hat, Batyn.  How bad could…”

            “Give me that!” Batyn said, snatching the batter black top hat away.  “You don’t know where it’s been!”  He slammed it down on the head of a snowman that some children had built in the park.

            The snowman began to twinkle, then it suddenly came to life.  “Happy Birthday!” it exclaimed.

            “AHHHHHH!  SNOW MONSTER!” Dallas cried, whipping out her phaser.

            ZAPOW!

            “You melted it!” Batyn shouted in shock.

            “No, that was vaporization, my friend,” Dallas said smugly.

            “But it was alive.  Possibly a whole new lifeform.”

            “Snow monster.”

            “I’m keeping the hat,” Batyn said, reaching for the magic headgear, which had dropped to the ground when the snowman it was sitting on abruptly turned to steam.  Dallas fired again, disintegrating the hat.  “Hey!”

            “You were right.  It was disgusting.  And now I know where it’s been.  On a snow monster’s head.”

            “What monster starts its attack with ‘Happy Birthday’?”

            “A sneaky one.  I just saved your life.  Now come on.  I want to see Santa,” Dallas said, striding off down the street.

            “I bet you’re on the naughty list!” Batyn called after her.  Dallas responded with a hand gesture that proved it.

 

 

Star Traks: Banshee in...????

 

            The sky was a crystal clear blue and the air was hot and dry as Lieutenant Commander Vincent DiSanto made his way down the barren country road, clad in worn looking blue jeans and a simple button down shirt.  He glanced around, attempting to read the opening credits that hovered just off to his left.

            "Hmmm, what movie is this?" he pondered aloud as he continued walking, now reaching the edge of a small village.

            The words "BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN" appeared below the commander as he glanced down to read the title.

            "Ohhhh no!" Vince snapped.  "I'm not falling for this one, no sir, nuh uh!"  He yanked off his hat and stomped on it.  "I am SO not being the butt of another one of these jokes, not this time, oh no, no, no!"  He promptly turned and began running frantically back the way from which he came.

 

 

Star Traks: Halfway to Haven in the…Aperture Science Cooperative Testing Initiative

 

            “So let me get this straight,” Lt. Laarthi said.  “There are sentry turrets and an insane, murderous computer, but I’m not allowed any weapons?”

            “WE aren’t allowed any weapons,” Lt Boxer said, standing next to her in the Assembly Room.

            “You are each equipped with an Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device,” came a computerized voice, “Worth more than the combined incomes and vital organs of the writers of this website.”

            “Colonel Abela?  Is that you?’ Laarthia asked.

            The voice came back again, only this time without the electronic modulation.

            “It is,” Abela said.  “The computer woman from Silverado couldn’t make it, so now I have to try to play the part of a passive-aggressive maniac from Terran fiction.  Needless to say, I am not happy.”

            “Perfect!  Then you’re all set to play the part!” Boxer said happily.

            “Proceed to the first test.”  Abela had turned the modulator back on.  “Before I decide to hit the ‘kill’ button.”

            “Kill button?” Boxer asked.

            “Yes.  Technically, you are playing the part of robots in the Aperture Science Cooperative Testing Initiative.  I can kill you both with the push of a button.”

            Boxer moved right through the round doorway and into the first test chamber.

            Sooo…what does this funny gun thing do?” he asked.

            “It creates portals.  It’s like a mini-wormhole gun,” Laarthi explained.

            “Really?  Oh my god!  I’ve always wanted one of these!”  Boxer immediately ran to the corner and popped a pair of portals onto the adjoining walls.  Standing between them, he reached through the portal in front of him.

            Ahhhh….” he sighed in contentment as his arm emerged from the portal behind him and began scratching his back.  Ohhh, that is priceless.”

            “Stop that at once!” Abela’s computerized voice snapped.

            “You’re talking to a species that could be doing far, far worse things WITHOUT needing a portal,” Laarthi said dryly.  She placed a portal on the ceiling above her, then shot the second at the floor beneath Boxer.  He immediately fell through, landing next to Laarthi.

            “Focus!” Abela snapped.  “This is a chance to display your intellect and problem-solving skills.  Assuming you have any.  Oh, and you’re both fat and have no parents,”

            “Huh?” Boxer asked.  He fired two more portals, positioned so he could check out his butt.  “I’m not fat.”

            “And I have parents, along with eight siblings,” Laarthi added.

            “Look, it’s part of the scrip, OK?” Abela said, “Now, initiate testing!”

            Laarthi and Boxer stepped past the small antechamber and into the test chamber proper.  The room was huge, covered in a combination of white and black panels, some of which were placed at strange angles.  A single door with a small platform was placed up near the cavernous ceiling.  Unfortunately, Laarthi’s attempts to fire portals through the Aperture Science Material Emancipation Grill set between her and the door resulted in nothing more than a series of sparks.

            “Hmmm…”  She contemplated an angled surface.

            “So, I think we’re screwed,” Boxer said.

            Not replying, Laarthi fired a portal directly above and below the canine officer, who immediate fell though…and fell through again…and again, rapidly accelerating to terminal velocity.

            “IIIII’MMMMM GETTTTING DIZZZZZYYYYYY!!!” Boxer cried out.

            Laarthi, as much as I’d love to see him get killed, I think I forgot something,” Abela said suddenly.

            “Forgot something?  Aren’t you an all-powerful computer?” Laarthi asked.  Boxer continued to drop out of one portal down into the other with amazing speed.

            “No, I’m a Matrian pretending to be an all-powerful computer,” Abela’s voice came back.  “Now, what was it…”

            Turning back to the test, Laarthi fired the exit portal at the angled surface, causing Boxer to be launched up and across the room at full speed.  With cat-like reflexes, she repositioned the two portals on the far wall.  Boxer flew in one, then was launched out the other in yet another new direction.  Laarthi repeated this again until finally Boxer was soaring directly towards the door.

            “I remember now,” Abela snapped.

            “What?” Laarthi demanded.

            There was a dull THUD as Boxer hit the wall next to the exit door, his legs buckling and his body striking the wall.  He slid bonelessly down to the floor, leaving a streaks of blood on the smooth surface.

            Behind Laarthi, there was a hiss as two pairs of white boots, complete with shock-absorbing heel mounts, dropped through the entry tubes.

            “Long-fall boots,” Abela said, “designed specifically to allow test subjects to hit floors, walls and various other surfaces without being splattered into an organic paste,”

            “Ah yes,” Laarthi nodded, pulling on her boots.  “That would be very helpful.”

            Boxer let out a low groan.

 

 

Star Traks: Waystation in…Psych

 

            “Sean, what are you doing?” Craig Porter demanded as Sean Russell placed his finger to his temple and took on a look of intense concentration.

            “It’s my psychic move.  If I don’t do this, people won’t know that I’m a psychic,” Russell replied.

            “You’re not a psychic.  And there’s nobody else here but me,” Porter said as the pair stood in the crime scene, which in this case was a fairly non-descript conference room.

            “Don’t be Captain Kirk’s toupee stand.”

            “What does that even mean?”

            Shh.  I’m getting something.  Yes.  The vision is coming in now.  Stronger.  Stronger.  Wait for iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit!”

            “We’re all waiting, Mister Russell,” Lisa Beck said striding into the room with Walter Morales and Tina Jones in tow.

            Russell took his finger away from his forehead.  “I know the identity of our thief.”

            “So do we.  You stole the donuts, Russell,” Beck said.

            “How could they possibly know that?” Russell asked Porter.

            “There’s jelly and powdered sugar all down the front of you, Sean,” Porter said.

            “Okay.  Fine.  I needed them to fuel my psychic abilities.  But now I’m sensing that my gifts are needed elsewhere.”

            “For what?  Is it fresh muffin time at the Beanus Coffee Hut?” Morales asked snidely.

            “It is!” Russell said.  “That’s amazing.  Maybe you’re psychic, too!  Try to lift the empty donut box off of the table with your mind.  Use your psychoconnectfour powers.”

            “Psychokinetic, Sean,” Porter said.

            “I’ve heard it both ways.”

            “No, you haven’t.”

            “Maybe not.  But I think I just got through every major catch phrase from the show.”

            Whaaaaaat?” Porter said.  “NOW we’ve gone through every major catch phrase.”

            “Nicely done.  Time for the fist bump.”

            “I’m not doing that with you, Sean,” Porter said, shaking his head at Russell’s outstretched fist and walking away.

            “Come on, Craig.  You can’t leave me hanging.  Don’t be Kira Nerys’ nose ridge!”

            “WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN?!?”

 

 

Star Traks: Banshee in... Star Trek: Generations (again)

 

            Everything was spinning.  Spinning faster than Captain Jad Vorezze could comprehend.  It felt like he was wearing a blindfold but he wasn't sure.  The last thing he remembered was watching the Veridian star go dark, and then an intense wave of energy sweeping over him.  He heard voices.  Mostly female voices, distant but becoming more distinct.

            His attention was suddenly brought to focus as he felt what seemed to be the lash of a whip across his back.  "Merry Christmas, slave," the female voice said.

            The blindfold came off and the captain found himself in what appeared to be some kind of a love dungeon that was decked out for the holidays.  Standing in front of him was a tall Orion mistress decked out in a red leather Mrs. Claus costume which went nicely with her pine-tree green skin.  She lashed the captain again with the whip.

            The captain grunted.  Normally he'd enjoy this type of thing, but something didn't feel right.  He shook his head to indicate his disapproval.

            "What's the safety word, slave?" The dominatrix asked as she lashed him one more time.

            "Applesauce!"  Jad cried out.  "Applesauce."

            The dominatrix immediately relaxed her stance.  "Well I was ready for a break anyway."  She set down the whip and motioned to the other room.  "Glass of iced tea?"

            "That would be perfect."  Jad smiled.

            As the dominatrix walked off, Jad got up and began to examine his surroundings.  Leather stockings with metal studs were hung around an all-black fireplace with red and green candles lit over it.  There was a Christmas tree in the corner decked in chains and miniature whip ornaments.  Two ornaments in particular caught the captain's eye, however.  Glass spheres with a cycling pattern of expanding and contracting light.  It reminded him of something, something which seemed like a distant memory that was still so fresh.

            "This isn't right..." he said to himself.  "This isn't real."

            "It's as real as you want it to be," a voice from behind said.

            Jad turned around to see his bartender, Peter Stefanski, standing behind him.  "Peter?  What are you doing here?"

            "I'm here because you wanted me here," Peter responded.

            The captain paused for a moment.  "I don't like where this is going..."

            "No, no.  Think of me as an echo of the person you know.  A part of me that was left in the Nexus."

            "Can I leave the Nexus?" the captain asked.

            "Where would you go?" Peter asked cryptically.

            "Well if I had help, to the mountaintop on Veridian III.  To stop Soran from launching his probe into the star.  But I need help.  Can you come with me?"

            "I just told you I'm not real," Peter huffed.  "But there is someone here who could help you.  And from his perspective, he just got here too."

 

            In the blink of an eye, Jad found himself standing on a sun drenched mountaintop, surrounded by pine trees.  The only sounds in the air were that of birds chirping punctuated by the sharp sound of chopping wood.

            Jad slowly advanced towards the wood chopping noise and came upon a clearing with a house.  Out front was a jolly looking fat man decked out in red and white.

            "Santa Claus!?" Jad exclaimed in amazement.

            Peter instantly materialized alongside the captain and smacked him in the back of the head.  "No, you jackass!  That's Captain James T. Kirk!"

            Jad leered forward at the elder captain.  "Really?  Are you sure?  He looks nothing like the history book pictures."

            A smile came to Kirk's broad face as he chopped again, his big round belly shaking as he chopped like a bowl full of jelly.  "Afternoon!"  He smiled and nodded towards the Captain.  Peter had vanished without notice.

            "Afternoon," Jad said hesitantly.  "I'm Captain Jad Vorezze of the USS Banshee."

            "Never heard of it," Kirk replied.

            "Yes, you predate my ship by quite some time..." Jad stated.  "Look, captain, I-"

            Before Jad could finish, Kirk snapped to attention.  "Do you smell something burning?"  And before Jad could respond, Kirk darted inside.

            The younger captain hesitantly followed Kirk into his kitchen as the older captain hurriedly scraped the smoking remains of whatever was left in a frying pan into a nearby sink disposal.

            "Looks like someone was trying to cook some eggs!" Kirk said, half confused.

            "Hopefully not for you," Jad mumbled, eying Kirk's waistline.  "You know, cholesterol and whatnot..."

            "I remember this now," Kirk murmured, holding up the eggshells.  "These were for Antonia.  They were her favorite.  I was making them to soften the blow... to tell her I was going back to Starfleet."  Kirk sighed, then looked up.  "But I have another chance!  This time is going to be different!  This time I'm going to march upstairs and tell Antonia I want to marry her!"

            Kirk charged directly past Vorezze who stood idly by the elder captain charged up the wooden staircase.

            Peter materialized alongside Jad with a perplexed look on his face.  "Um, aren't you going to go after him?"

            Jad chuckled.  "Are you kidding?  I'm not going into a fight with Soran with this guy as my only backup!  You know how awkward that fight scene would look to a third party?  Like watching a bloated red sumo wrestler attacking."  He shook his head.  "No, I have a much better idea.  How the heck do I get out of this Nexus thing?"

            "Well," Peter said, "there are two ways.  You can either exit on horse, or you can spin around in circles while singing the mid-section of 'Bad Romance' by 21st century Earth artist Lady Gaga."

            Jad paused to consider his options.  "Well I don't want to look foolish."  He immediately began twirling in circles and belting off key "RA RA AH AH AH AH, RO MA RO MA MA AH..."

 

            The bridge of the Banshee was bathed in the warm glow of light from the nearby star as Commander Charlotte Burns made the announcement, "We're approaching Amargosa, sir.  It looks like the observatory took quite a beating."

            The captain nodded in agreement, "Prepare an away team to search for survivors."

            The turbolift doors immediately opened and a far more battered and disheveled looking version of Captain Vorezze came stumbling out, looking rather dizzy.

            "What the hell?" the existing Vorezze said in confusion.

             "WAIT!" the new Vorezze bellowed.  "Destroy that station!  The only survivor is a crazed madman who is going to blow up several stars in a desperate attempt to return to some kind of energy vortex pleasure palace all the while being assisted by two Klingon sisters in a beat up Bird of Prey who will use a technical weakness to destroy one of the most powerful ships in the Federation, crash the saucer section and kill the entire crew when the planet is destroyed!"

            The original Vorezze paused, shrugged and said, "Sounds like a completely plausible story to me."  He motioned to the tactical station.  "Mr. DiSanto, photon torpedoes please.  One should suffice."

            "Ready, sir," the tactical officer replied.

            "Fire!"

            A golden orb streaked from the Banshee's forward launcher and struck the dead center of the station, engulfing it in a massive fireball and blowing it to bits.

            The current captain smiled with satisfaction.  "Well I think that clears up my week."

            "Agreed," Commander Burns smiled.

            "So..." the newer Jad said awkwardly.  "I guess there's two of us now."

            "Yes, there is."  The original Jad nodded awkwardly.

            "What do we do in situations like this?" Newer Jad asked.

            "Hmmmm... fight to the death?" Original Jad responded.

            "Sounds like a plan!" Newer Jad said excitedly.

            "Excellent!  Prepare the ship's gymnasium for combat!"  Original Jad motioned to Commander Burns.  "Commander, start taking bets!"

            "Yes, sir!" the first officer squealed.

 

 

Star Traks: BorgSpace - Cube #347 in... "Mythbusters"

The shout "Fire in the hole! Fire in the hole!" wafted over the bomb range, accompanied by a siren.

"Wait! I don't want to do this! I'm having second thoughts! Waaaaaait!"

With a doubled sigh, the command "Abort" was issued. A matching set of footsteps crunched over well disintegrated gravel towards an A-frame upon which hung a dummy clothed in stiff overalls. Behind came the heavy sound of additional feet, but in differing cadences.

The lead bodies separated, one to the front of the dummy and one to the back.

 Said Delta A, "201 of 510, you have disrupted the test.  There better be a good explanation."

Said the dummy, now revealed to be a living entity trussed to the framework by a harness looped around his torso, "Because I do not want to be blown up? Or burned? Or blown up and burned?"

"Irrelevant," replied Delta, both of her. Continued Delta B as she examined the back of the 201 of 510's yoke to ensure it remained uncompromised, "We have been tasked to explore the concept of 'Exploding Trousers', and thus we are doing so. So far, small scale tests have shown a mixture inclusive a specific fertilizer to be the most probable cause of the phenomenon."

"Small scale is for wusses," spat Weapons. "We must replicate the results! The ends justify the means!"

Both of Delta rolled her eyes. "Unfortunately, for once I must agree with Weapons, minus the 'wuss' comment," stated Delta A. "But if the results are to be replicated, there must be a test dummy. You, a minor sensory hierarchy designation with no real importance, were selected."

201 of 510 fidgeted, which only sent him spinning around in a lazy circle. When the straw hat on his head threatened to fall off, Delta A adroitly set it back into place.

"Doctor," whined the test drone, "do something! Exploding trousers will certainly hinder my usefulness, yes?"

Doctor clicked his teeth together. "Personally, I think the pants will burn, not explode. Maybe 75% sure? Your species responds to burn treatment well. If you were cuter, perhaps had long, fluffy fur and witsy, tinsy paws, a second opinion would be neccessary. Regardless, sensory drones primarily remain bedded down in their alcoves, lending mental resources to the sub-collective. Light to moderate injury will not hinder your utility overmuch."

"Only 75%? What about the other 25%?" desperately asked 201 of 510. The Deltas had halted his spin to allow Weapons to add extra 'secret powder' to the pockets of the overalls.

"Then you'll go boom. But it is quite easy to replace test drones. Expendable. Here, have a cookie." A dog biscuit, apparently materializing out of thin air, was shoved into 201 of 510's mouth, effectively ending the conversation.

"All is good here," stated Weapons brusquely. "Time to blow up some pants. And /I/ get the trigger this time." A glare was riveted first upon Doctor, then each of Delta's bodies in turn.

"Whatever," replied both of Delta together, body A adding in a dismissive gesture.

Delta, Weapons, and Doctor retreated from the A-frame, leaving a dangling 201 of 510 behind, mouth too full of dry biscuit to voice protest.

"Fire in the hole! Fire in the hole!"

 

 

Star Traks: Silverado in…Avatar

 

            “Wow.  That is impressive,”

            “Jeffery, stop it,” Captain Christopher Stafford said, trying to avoid looking in Jeffery’s direction.

            Oy, you’re tellin’ me yer not even curious?” Jeffery asked.

            “Simon, I swear to God, if you don’t take your hands out of your loincloth, I’m going to find your real body and clunk it over the head,” Stafford said angrily.

            “It’s just…I’ve always wondered what it would be like to have a-”

            “SIMON!”

            “Right,” clearing his throat, Jeffery crossed his arms across his chest.  His bare chest.  His bare, blue chest, “So.  We’re just supposed to explore this admittedly snazzy, psychedelic jungle in these fake blue bodies while our real bodies snooze in that base over there?”  He gestured in the distance, where the Terran mining facility sat like an ugly scab on Pandora’s surface.

            “Yup.  Apparently,” Stafford said, moving deeper in the jungle.  “And let’s hurry up and get out of here before-”

            “Hey guys!” Commander Jall ran up to them, likewise using one of the 8-foot tall avatar bodies.  “Man, did you check out the package on these things?  Wow!  I’ve always wanted the foot-long, ‘au natural’ version!”

            “Before he shows up,” Stafford muttered to Jeffery.

            “This is TOTALLY AWSOME!” Lieutenant Yanick cried out, running through the trees in her own blue avatar body, “C’mon Pari, it won’t be that bad!”

            T’Parief, still in his own body, ran past at full speed.

            “Help,” he managed to call out to Stafford, Jall & Jeffery as he sped by.  “Our size difference isn’t fun anymore!”

            “Captain, shouldn’t we pay a bit more attention to our actual mission?” Dr. Wowryk asked.  Her avatar body was the only one that was fully dressed.  “If we’re going to spread Christianity to these poor souls, we need to hurry up and get it done before the Rapture starts!”

            “Um, Noel, we’re just exploring.  And I think they already have their own religion.  I’m very sure I read about it in the briefing notes,” Stafford said.  Behind them, Yanick was in the process of pinning T’Parief to the ground and commencing…intimate relations.

            “I don’t care if they already have a religion, it’s a false one,” Wowryk snapped.

            “Uh…Doc?” Jall bit his lip.

            “Billions of beings have turned to the righteous Word of our Lord, and it would be unforgivable for me to deny them!”

            “Honestly, we’re just here to do a scientific survey,” Stafford said, trying to use a calming voice.  “We’re certainly not here to question anybody’s beliefs…or imply that anybody…um…oh geez.”

            “What?” Wowryk asked.  She realized Stafford wasn’t look at her, but at a point somewhere over her right shoulder.

            She turned, finding herself facing about three hundred armed, angry Na’vi.  Even as she mentally prepared to welcome them into the embrace of God, they pulled back on their bow strings and aimed their deadly-looking arrows right at her.

            “Ah.  I can see you’re happy with your current religion.  I’ll just be on my way then,” Wowryk said pleasantly.

           

            Thirty seconds later, they all woke up in the Link Room.

            “Aw…now suddenly that just seems…disappointing,” Jall sighed, peeking down the front of his pants.

            “You are a pervert,” Fifebee commented from her place at the link control station.  Next to her, Riven Valtaic gave a disapproving stare.

            “But I’m so much fun at parties!” Jall objected.

            “Congratulations people, we’ve managed to get our very expensive avatar bodies shot into Swiss cheese,” Stafford said, getting to his feet and looking around at his senior officers.  “Now what?”

            “I think we’re done here,” Valtaic said.  “Can we return to the ship?  All the bright colours on this planet give me a headache.”

            “Wait, we have to wait for Trish and T’Parief!” Wowryk said.

            “What, they’re not dead yet?” Stafford wondered.

            “No,” Fifebee reported.  “Either the Na’vi haven’t spotted them yet…or…”

            “Or…what?”

            “Well, these ARE people who live together in a big tree with no walls and barely any clothes,” Jall piped up.  “I imagine they like to watch.”

 

 

The Original Star Traks in…The Playboy Club

 

“Now THIS is more like it!” Captain Alexander Rydell said as he took a sip of the martini in his hand.  Stylish suits, swinging music, and lots of beautiful...

“ATTENTION!  THIS SERIES HAS BEEN CANCELLED,” a loud voice boomed from all around him.

“Oh, come on!” Rydell shouted.  “You really don’t want us in this round, do you?”

“Apparently not,” Commander Travis Dillon said, emerging from a back room.

“Dillon,” Rydell said, trying to keep his drink down, “why are you wearing one of the bunny outfits?”

“They wanted to try non-traditional casting.”

“And I want to keep my lunch.  Take it off.”

“Ok.  Fine.”

“NOT HERE!”

 

 

Star Traks: The Vexed Generation in...Star Trek (2009)

 

            “I already don’t like this,” Cadet David Conway said as he sat in one of a long row of seats in a shuttlecraft heading for Starfleet Academy.  “I’m on a shuttle craft and I don’t know where the heck I am.  What’s worse, for all I know the shuttle could turn into a robot any minute now and kill me.”

            “At least you’re alive,” Cadet Baxter said from beside him.  “Hi.  Andy Baxter.”

            “Oh.  Are we doing this like it’s the first time we meet?”

            “Yes.  We rebooted the franchise.  We’re starting over.”

            “Sheesh.”

            “It’s not in 3D, but the next one will be.”

            Guh.  Awful.”

            “The uniforms and sets are way cooler.  And we’re obviously younger, thinner, and better looking.”

            Conway looked down at his body.  “I guess that’s a good thing.”

            “Yeah.  So we all meet at the academy and become friends.”

            “But that never happened.”               

            “It does now.  Things are all different now.  We’re going to call the old universe the ‘prime’ universe...”

            “Oh no, not more transformers!”

            Baxter shook his head.  “In this universe, Vulcan blows up, and there’s a love triangle between me, Peterman, and Richards.”

            “That would never happen.”

            “We tried all the other love triangles before, and this was the only one left.”

            “How long is this shuttle ride going to take?”

            “As long as it needs to for me to explain how everything works.”

            “And this is supposed to be entertaining?”

 

 

            “I don’t want to hear how you met Dave Conway!” Raymond Baxter interrupted.  “I want to hear how you met our mother!”

            “It’s coming,” Baxter said.  “Wait for it.”

            “But this is BOR-RING!” Steffie muttered, putting her face in her hands.

            “Anyway, we’re in a different universe now, and in this universe, we meet at Starfleet Academy...”

            “DOUBLE BORING!” Raymond moaned.

            “Just be patient.”

 

 

            “So this is the Explorer,” Baxter said, as he stepped out onto the bridge of the new Starship, glancing around.

            “It’s totally not,” Richards said, elbowing past Baxter.  “The bridge is all white.  It looks like a cross between a Radio Shack and Superman’s fortress of solitude without all the ice.  And don’t get me started on engineering.  What the hell is that supposed to be?  The New Jersey Department of Public Works?”

            Ensign Ford spun around in his chair to face the new arrivals.  “And can someone explain to me why I’m fifteen?  I shouldn’t even have a learner’s permit at this point!”

            “His voice is still cracking,” Peterman joked, stepping between Richards and Baxter.

            Ahh, love triangle,” Richards said, looking appreciatively at Peterman.  “At least I get something out of this whole inadvisable adventure.”

            “Red alert!” a man said, rising from the center seat.  “There’s been a disturbance near Vulcan. All available ships have been diverted there.”

            “Who the hell are you?”

            “Captain Christopher Pike,” the man said, reaching out to shake Baxter’s hand.

            “That doesn’t even make any sense!” Baxter exclaimed.  “What time are we in?”

            Cadet Conway emerged from the aft turbolift.  “Guys, the toilets here are not at all how I remembered them.  Wait, why is everything all white?”

            “That’s what we’re trying to figure out,” Richards said.

            “Maybe we shouldn’t have done this,” Pike said.

            “You think?” Baxter asked, and slumped into the command chair.

            Richards walked up next to Baxter.  “I literally can’t imagine anything worse than this.”

 

 

Star Traks: The Vexed Generation in...American Horror Story

 

            Baxter, Richards, Browning, Peterman, and Conway suddenly found themselves standing in the foyer of a stately old mansion.

            “Finally, a tastefully decorated place,” Peterman said.

            “Yeah,” Conway said. “I could enjoy living here.”

            “So what,” Richards said.  “We all just live together here?  I guess that’s fine.  Seems like there’s enough rooms and...”  

            THUD!

            “Did you guys hear that?” Browning asked.

            “I’m sure it’s just the house settling,” Baxter said.  “I’m going to see if this place has a TV room.”

            “Don’t go far!” Peterman called after him.  “We’re having dinner soon.”

            “I definitely heard a thud,” Browning said.

            “Want to go check it out?” Richards suggested.

            “Sure,” Browning said, taking Richards’ arm and walking off with him.

            “I’ll make dinner,” Peterman said cheerfully, and headed back to the kitchen...

            Where she came face to face with a tall man in a head-to-toe rubber suit.  He just stood there staring at her.           

            “AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!” Peterman screamed.

            The counselor stopped screaming when J’hana ducked in and announced: “Looks like this rubber man finally snapped.”

            Peterman glared at her.  “What the hell are you doing here?”

            J’hana took her sunglasses off and glanced about.  “Oops.  Looks like you haven’t been murdered yet.  I’ll come back a little later.”

            “Like five or ten minutes should be fine,” the tall rubber man said.

 

 

            “And THAT’S how I met your mother,” Baxter said with a satisfied grin.

            Raymond and Steffie stared back at him blankly.  “It’s totally not.  It was a confusing, alarming, and frightening mess,” Raymond said.

            “No wonder you married your therapist,” Steffie said, shaking her head.

            “Oh.  Wait.  Now I remember.  THAT’S how we met!”

            “Sheesh,” Steffie said.  “Dad, you are the WORST storyteller ever.  Just give it up already.”

            “I’ve only just begun,” Baxter said.

            “That’s what we were afraid of,” Raymond said.