Union of Treks III: Degenerations

Union of Treks III: Degenerations
Author: Silk,

Captain’s Personal Log, Stardate 51531.1:
It has been eighteen months since the Enterprise’s last mission.   During that time, the ship has undergone a complete overhaul and redesign.   The majority of the crew have temporarily been re-assigned, leaving me only with Commander Riker, Lt. Commander Data, his new emotion-chip installed, and the bro, Commander LaForge.   Young and snotty Wesley Crusher is at Starfleet Academy.   God knows why.   He already seems to know more about the Enterprise than most of the crew.
And meanwhile, Admiral James T. Kirk, Ambassador Spock, and Doctor Leonard McCoy are on trial for their tampering with the space-time continuum and trying to enter a genre that has so obviously passed them by.

*

The courtroom was filled as the President read out the list of charges.   Kirk, Spock and Bones stood before the President’s podium.   Lt. Commander Worf, having temporarily been reassigned to Spacedock security, stood behind Kirk.   Young Wesley Crusher flanked Worf;   Wesley was going to write a thesis on the trial – How to escape court-martial with just a grin.
“How do you plead?” the President asked, having finished with the charges.
“On behalf of my crewmates, I have been authorized to plead guilty,” Kirk grinned, and the assembled throng muttered their apprehension.   – Kirk had never been authorized to do anything.
“Admiral Kirk, Ambassador Spock and Doctor Leonard McCoy, it is the decision of this court that you all be broken-”
“Yes, yes, I know,” Kirk said, “`and given the duties for which we – and me in particular – have shown an unswerving ability and countless boyish grins.    – The command of a Starship.'”
“I’m sorry,” the President said.   “Our budget won’t allow us to build you a new ship.”
“The command of a present one?” Kirk suggested.
“No commissions are due to expire.”
“The Presidency, then?”
“No, I’m afraid not.”
“A T.J.    Hooker telemovie?” Kirk asked with final hope.
“Don’t push it, fatso.   No.” The President crossed his arms in front of his chest.   “Insubordination, disobeying Starfleet orders and blowing up things and having a fistfight every week might have been all right in your own genre, but it’s not in this one.   Admiral Kirk, it is the decision of this court that the three of you-”
There were the numerous flashes of transporter light then.    About fifteen Romulans suddenly appeared.   With a snarl, Worf leapt at one, missed, and was knocked in the head by a phaser butt.   He slumped to the ground and Romulans took hold of him.   Other Romulans quickly took hold of Kirk.
Then, for no apparent reason at all and without warning, another Romulan fired at Wesley and vaporized him.   No, actually, that didn’t happen.   I was just lying.   The Romulan put the phaser under Wesley’s chin and took him hostage.
Cries sounded throughout the assembled peoples.
The lead Romulan took a step forward and to gain the attention of the crowd fired his phaser into the ceiling.   The phaser, however, was on maximum setting, achieving nothing other than putting a hole in the roof.
“Silence!” he called.   “Silence, or the young lad dies.” He pointed at Wesley.
The sudden noise was horrendous.
“Okay, then,” the Romulan said.   “Silence or we don’t kill him.”
A pin dropping could have been heard in the resultant quiet.
“What is the meaning of this?” the President demanded.   “As you know the High Council-”
“Bah!” the Romulan spat, phlegm landing splat right in the middle of Wesley’s face.   “We are here to take Kirk!”
“If this has anything to do with Kirk’s prior wrong-doings against the Romulan race,” the President said, “then I can assure you, he is about to be rightly punished.”
“You mistake our intentions, Mr. President,” the Romulan said.   “We will take the Klingon, too, to provide us with amusement for our long trip back and continued sub-plot.   And the boy.   We have heard of his genius.”
“Romulan,” Spock said.
“Yes?”
“Nothing.   I just hadn’t had a line for a while.”
“Goddamnit, Spock!” McCoy cried.   “Is that all you care about, whether you get a line or not?   We’re talking about Jim’s life here and his wellbeing-”
For the first time since they’d arrived, the lead Romulan noticed McCoy.   “Hey, Bones,” he said with familiarity, “we left that case of Romulan ale in your quarters.”
McCoy lowered his head sheepishly.
The lead Romulan turned back to the President.   “And don’t try to follow us because…because…because we have a cloaked ship and we’re invisible.   So there!”
Transporter light filled the chamber once more;   when it faded, the Romulans, Kirk, Worf and Wesley were gone.

*

Picard was sitting in the center-seat, his eyes on the viewer.    The viewer presented an aft angle of Spacedock;   over ten other starships were being refitted or overhauled.   It was quite a pretty sight and he was really admiring it when the signal chimed to tell him he was being hailed.
He opened a connection.   The viewer suddenly showed a skeleton in a Starfleet admiral’s uniform.   Quite ostensibly, a hand could be seen snaking into the rear of the skull to operate the jaw and mouth when the skeleton talked.
Picard shook his head in disgust.   He couldn’t believe how many times Admiral Nogura had been forced out of retirement.
“Captain Picard,” the skeleton said, but the voice came from elsewhere out of range of the viewer’s capacity, “a sudden crisis has arisen.   Admiral Kirk, Lt. Commander Worf and Ensign Wesley Crusher have just been kidnapped by Romulans.”
“What?” Picard exclaimed.   “Whatever for?”
“The Romulans’ reasons are, at present, unfathomable, Captain.    But Starfleet is faced with a sudden dilemma.   It’s not common knowledge, but the Romulan government has been embroiled in civil turmoil for the last twenty-four months.”
“Civil turmoil?”
“Yes.   Bring your First and Second Officers and we’ll discuss this immediately.   Some things are better discussed at a later date.”
“You’re afraid this frequency is not secure?” Picard asked.
“No, my hand is getting tired,” said the would-be Nogura.
The transmission ended.

*

Admiral Nogura was not present at the next meeting.   Instead, Picard, Riker and Data met with Admiral Benson, Admiral Hicks and the President.   Spock and McCoy were also there.   They sat at a polished charcoal-glass table with these really nifty things sticking out from the surface which served no purpose other than to stick out and look nifty.   They gave the table a futuristic look.
“The Romulan government has been embroiled in civil turmoil for the last twenty-four months, gentlemen,” Admiral Benson said.   “A predominant amount of Romulans have leaned toward possible Romulan/Vulcan reunification and, potentially, peace between the Romulans and the Federation.”
“Peace?” Riker asked, shocked.
Data suddenly burst into hysterical sobbing.   They all looked at him and he said, “Pardon me, but I am attempting to master the emotions available in my new emotion chip.   I am presently feeling sorrow for the demise of the Romulan government.”
“Try to contain yourself, Data,” Picard told him.
“Are you talking to me?” Data asked angrily.
“Yes, Data-”
“Are you talking to me?”
“Data-”
“Well you must be talking to me;   I am-”
“Data!”
“Yes, sir.”
“Ambassador Spock, who was put on trial today as merely a smokescreen,” Hicks resumed his story, “has been negotiating with the Romulan President for the last eighteen months for peace.   That’s why the Enterprise was brought in.   She was to be refitted and overhauled so she could rendezvous with the Romulans in tiptop condition.”
“Meet the Romulans?” Picard asked.
“Yes.   You, Captain Picard, are to escort the Romulan representatives back here to negotiate with myself for peace between our two governments,” the President said.
“But they’ve already done this storyline,” Riker protested, pointing at Spock and McCoy, “except they did it with Klingons.”
“But they never had the twist of Admiral Kirk and the others being kidnapped,” Benson pointed out.   “We believe a small group of extremist anti-peace Romulans perpetrated the act to sabotage the negotiations.   They may try again in some other way, like ambushing your ship, killing the Romulan representatives, or even by threatening to keep young Wesley Crusher alive.”
“However, the negotiations will go ahead,” the President vowed.   “After all, Kirk’s retired, Wesley can easily be killed by one of our spies, and Worf’s is a security officer.   It’s about time he was killed.”
“Do you expect me to sacrifice one my crew as easily as that?” Picard asked.
Benson, Hicks and the President looked at one other somberly.   “Sure,” Hicks said.
“With all due respect, sir,” Data said, “but the completion of the Enterprise‘s redesign and overhaul was not expected for another six months.” He laughed again.
“Mr. Data’s right,” Picard said.   “The ship’s in barely serviceable condition and we have only a skeleton crew.   Just about everybody’s been reassigned.”
“The ship’s problems will have to be solved en route,” Benson said.   “As for the crew, fifteen per cent of them have been recalled – just the major characters really, and a few unknowns to kill off during the journey.”
“There must be other ships?” Riker asked.
“The Enterprise is closest to the Romulan rendezvous point.”
“But there’s ten other ships in Spacedock!” Picard protested.
“Yes, but they’re all docked behind you, making you closer.   I’m sorry, Captain, our decision is final.   Ambassador Spock and Doctor McCoy will accompany you.” Benson rose.   “This meeting is at an end.”
Hicks and the President rose also and followed Benson out, leaving Picard and the others to stare at each other in perplexity.

*

Kirk was being dragged down a gleaming corridor by two Romulans and a tractor beam.   The leader of the party which had kidnapped him was bringing up the rear.   Worf and Wesley had been whisked off to some unknown destination by the others.
Ultimately, Kirk was brought to a small and dark chamber and strapped into an iron chair.   The tractor beam was shut off and the two Romulans quietly departed, leaving Kirk with the leader.
“What’s the meaning of this?” Kirk demanded.   “Who are you?”
“My name is Andiom,” the Romulan told him.   “All things will be explained shortly.”
Kirk waited impatiently.   He heard the door behind him slide open and another Romulan appeared, this one a woman.   If Kirk was Picard, or even Spock, he would have recognized her immediately, but he wasn’t and so she had to introduce herself.
“My name is Sela,” she told him.
“What’s going on?” Kirk exclaimed.   “What’s the meaning of this?”
“Let me explain our situation, Kirk,” Sela said.   “We Romulans have tremendous Warbirds, savage disruptor weaponry and an impenetrable cloaking device.   Yet time and time again, we are defeated by Federation vessels.   Why?”
“Because you have really bad Captains?” Kirk suggested.
“Exactly!   Right now, factions of our Government have decided that if we can’t defeat the Federation, we should make our peace with them.   I’m not overly impressed with the idea, so we’ve decided to go with the bogus Paramount script.”
Kirk frowned as Andiom’s face appeared right in front of his.
“We’ve decided to take an outsider,” the Romulan told him, “- a man with vision, with strength, with stunning military and tactical genius, a man who will not accept defeat and will fight to the very end, and make him our leader!   This is such a man we need.” Andiom withdrew.
“Unfortunately,” Sela said, “Hulk Hogan was not available, so we’ve settled on you, Kirk – probably the luckiest tubbiest bastard in the galaxy.”
“I’ll never command your forces,” Kirk said.
“Not to fear,” Sela said.   “We have effective brainwashing techniques.”
She clapped her hands and two Romulans wheeled in a strange contraption with a conical helmet, a visor and electrodes hanging off it.   Andiom strapped the helmet to Kirk’s head and connected the electrodes to various areas of his face.   Lastly, he placed the visor over Kirk’s eyes.
“This machine will show you such horrors as you have never known, Kirk,” Sela told him.   “The electrodes will send electromagnetic impulses into your brain, weakening your will and softening your resolve until you agree to serve us.”
Sela turned the machine on.
She and Andiom looked at each other.   “It will be little more than an hour now,” she said.

*

The Enterprise was en route to rendezvous with the Romulan Warbird carrying the representatives which would meet with the President.   The Bridge felt strangely empty.
To be sure, Data and Ro were at Helm and Nav, and Troi sat alongside Picard, but Riker – as the only qualified officer – had to man tactical.   Spock sat on the other side of Picard.
“Captain,” Riker said, “Romulan Warbird decloaking.”
Picard didn’t need to be told.   The Warbird appeared directly on the viewer.   Picard gave the order to come to a full stop, then, “Open a hailing frequency, Number One.”
“Hailing frequency open.”
A Romulan appeared on the screen.   “Captain Picard, Ambassador Spock, I am Centurion Preax.   Greetings.”
Picard was wary.   “Centurion Preax, greetings,” he said with the utmost courtesy, “I am Captain Jean-Luc Picard.   We have been instructed to escort you back to Federation Spacedock.”
“Captain Picard,” Preax said, “may our journey be free of incident.”
“A Vulcan saying, isn’t it?”
“Such is the way toward peace.”
Picard nodded.   “Perhaps yourself and your officers would care to join us tonight for supper?” he asked.   “The beginning of peace?”
“Of course.”
“1900 hours?”
“1900 hours,” Preax confirmed.   “Until then.”
The transmission ended.

*

Sela wasn’t too happy.   Her face showed it.   Of the wide variety of expressions she showed, she now showed that she wasn’t too happy.
“This isn’t working,” Andiom said.
She didn’t need to be told that.   One look at Kirk’s face told her that her brainwashing techniques weren’t working.
“This is great,” Kirk laughed at the viewing.
“Fantastic,” Sela said.   “Incomparable suffering, untold anguish and he’s laughing.”
“He’s done worse in his career than he’s seeing,” Andiom told her.
“Leave,” Sela said.
“Ma’am?”
“Leave!”
Andiom left quickly.
Sela ripped the head-gear off Kirk.   Then she ripped her skirt off, standing naked from waist-down in front of Kirk.   Kirk didn’t look very appreciative.   Sela straddled herself upon Kirk’s bound body.
“I can promise you untold pleasure,” Sela said, gyrating herself upon Kirk’s crotch.
“I deserve untold pleasure,” Kirk said.
Sela smiled.   “But only if you serve us,” she told him.
“Never.”
“Think of the possibilities.”
“I’ve conquered every possibility scriptwriters have offered me.   I am the greatest.”
Sela undid Kirk’s uniform.   Kirk, being Kirk, was immediately attentive.
Sela impaled herself upon him.   She let out a great moan.   It was heard all over the ship.   Kirk was obviously more than reputation alone.    But nevertheless, he was placid.   He’d been here.   He’d done that.   He was cool.   He was ultimately macho.
For he was Kirk.

*

Picard sat at dinner with the Romulan representative, Centurion Preax.   Spock, McCoy, Riker, Data, LaForge, Crusher and Ro sat with them.   Troi wasn’t there because her abilities might impede the storyline.   Preax had several bodyguards with him, as well as his gorgeously beautiful daughter, Pria, who has no role in this story other than to suggest she might provide a romantic link to someone.   She doesn’t, though.   – Sorry.
Worf and Wesley watched the scene upon a viewer in their detention cell.   They were strapped down to iron chairs.   Andiom stood behind them.   Quite loudly, through the walls of the cell, Kirk’s and Sela’s depredations could be heard.
“As you can see,” Andiom said smugly, “we Romulans are making extraordinary technological advances.   See here how we can tap into the Enterprise‘s flight recorder.”
“That’s actually Camera #3, sir-” Wesley began.
Andiom clobbered him over the head.   “Shut up!”
“Yes, sir.”
“You are a coward, Romulan,” Worf said, “to backhand a weaselly boy.   A forehand would be much more suitable.”
“Careful, Klingon, or I’ll have your head.”
“You do not scare a Klingon of true honor and pride.”
Andiom said nothing and they returned their attention to the viewer.
“Despite our prior misadventures,” Picard was saying, “I can only hope for peace between our two cultures.”
“But of course,” Preax said.   “As the Klingon poet said, To be or not to be.   We wish to be.”
“You are a student of poetry?” Crusher asked.
“Yes,” Preax said.   “Especially of the greats.”
“Romulan greats?” Picard asked.
“Of all cultures!” Preax exclaimed expansively.   “Truly, you have not experienced Dr.    Suess until you have read him in the original Romulan.”
“Really?” Picard said politely.   Then he noticed something quite peculiar, something he had never seen the like of before.
Data was picking his nose.   And he just wasn’t picking it, he was really getting his finger in there, burying it to the knuckle.   Quite outraged, Picard forgot about his guests.
“Excuse me, Mr. Data,” he said tersely, “but are you picking your nose?”
“Yes, sir.   I am endeavoring to experience every emotion available.   To be caught picking my nose at a state event would provide me with utter humiliation,” Data explained.
Andiom laughed.   “What a fool the android is!” he exclaimed.   “Picking his nose!   How inferior Starfleet officers are.”
“You are wrong, Romulan,” Worf rumbled, then said with pride, “You have not picked your nose until you have picked it like a true Klingon.”
“You are a fool, Klingon.   We Romulans can pick our noses with far more efficiency and skill than Klingons could ever master.”
Worf said nothing and he looked back at the viewer.
“Stop it, Data,” Picard admonished the android.
“Aye, sir.” Data elicited his finger from his nostril and wiped it on the sleeve of Centurion Preax.”
Andiom laughed once more.   “Peace!” he exclaimed.   “Little do you all know,” he said.

*

Sela rose from Kirk and took her skirt from the floor.   “Will you change your mind now?” she asked breathlessly.
“No, I won’t change my mind.   I’ll change my underwear, but I won’t change my mind.”
Sela put her skirt back on.   “Your stubbornness is irrational, Kirk.   I did not wish to break your mind like this, but there is no other choice.”
Sela clapped her hands and two Romulans wheeled in a large viewer with two data-disks on top of it.   Sela took one of the disks and held it up in front of Kirk’s face.   “This disk contains every millisecond of every minute of every Next Gen Episode.   Do you know what that means, Kirk?   No unnecessary fistfights!   No unnecessary blowing up of anything that got in the way.”
“It does not frighten me,” Kirk said, although tremulously.
“These episodes also don’t focus on the Captain alone;   they focus on an ensemble of people – bit players, like Barclay!”
“Have you no mercy?” Kirk wavered.
Sela inserted the disc into the viewer.   “The second disk contains episodes of your unwarranted and really badly choreographed barbarity,” she told him.   “Classic Trek, they call it.   Classically bad, I think.”
Sela engaged the viewer.   “Enjoy, Kirk, for now I show no more mercy.”
She left the chamber and Kirk was left to watch Next Gen.

*

The Romulans had returned to their own ship.   Following the Enterprise, the two ships began their way back to Spacedock.
Picard and the others were back on the bridge.   Picard was engaged in a conversation with Riker.   Troi was back in her own seat now that her abilities couldn’t impede the storyline.
“What did you think of the Romulans, Number One?” Picard asked.
“Quite enigmatic.   Ambassador Preax is-”
The Enterprise shook suddenly.
“What was that?” Picard asked.
“We have just experienced a temporal distortion,” Data told him.
“Distortion?”
“Yes.   Directly ahead.”
“Full stop,” Riker called out his token order.
“Full stop,” Ro obliged.
“A temporal disruption has emerged directly twenty thousand kilometers ahead of us,” Data told them.   “It is not listed in Starfleet records.   It appears we have discovered a spatial anomaly, Captain.”
Picard swore under his breath.   “Of all the infinity of space, of which comparatively the Enterprise is just a pinprick, why do we have to run into these spatial anomalies every third week!” he cursed.   “Is there any normal space in this show?”
“Are we in any danger?” Riker asked.
“The disruption is emanating with waves we have naturally never seen before,” Data said.   “They are intensifying with each moment.   We may be in trouble, sir.    I believe Starfleet regulations insist that we investigate and analyze the phenomena.”
Picard regarded Data.   Now that the android had the emotion-chip installed he wasn’t as predictable as he used to be.   “Number One, inform the Romulans about what’s going on.”
“Aye, sir,” Riker said, making his way to Tactical.
“The distortion is expanding slowly, Captain,” Data said.
“Are we in any danger?”
“Not presently.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yes.”
Picard shuddered, suddenly feeling a moment of déjà   vu.   He took a breath before asking, “Have we had this conversation before?”
“I believe not, sir,” Data said.
“Then-” Picard said
said
said
said
said
said
%*&(&(*!#$$#(*#@&$%^^#%@&*^@(*^$(*&*@*(#*$*(#$*@#$(#$@*$%*

The author apologizes for this break in transmission, but he has suddenly run out of ideas.

*&#$*

While the author attempts to conjure some sort of story out of this mess, please enjoy, for your reading pleasure, Paramount’s promo for their exciting replacement for Star Trek:   the Next Generation.

*%

{imagine, if you will, the theme music for Star Trek:   the Motion Picture, the orchestra in all their resplendent glory}

{voiceover}: Now, all new from Paramount:   KLINGON TREK!

A new crew, a new ship, now experience the exciting all new adventures of the Klingon Battlecruiser Ptzagh.

{Picture a Klingon bridge}.

{voiceover}: Experience the excitement of Klingon discovery.

“Captain,” a Klingon with pointed ears said, “we are reading an unknown entity off the starboard bow.”
“On screen.”
A strange, luminous shape as large as the Battlecruiser itself appeared.
“It’s some sort of life-form,” the first Klingon said, “the like of which we’ve never seen before.”
“Astounding,” the Captain said.   “Gunner, target photons and fire at will!”
“Aye, sir.” The Gunner fired the photons, absolutely obliterating the new life-form.

{voiceover}: Experience the compassion of the Klingon heart.

“Captain,” the Klingon with pointed ears said, “we are receiving distress calls from the planet below.”
“On screen,” the Captain ordered.
The viewer showed the planet at close range with nuclear explosions ravaging its surface.
“They are using primitive 15 megaton nuclear devices,” the Klingon with the pointed ears said.
“How sad,” the Captain said.   “They are not weapons.   Gunner, all photons, fire!”
The Gunner enveloped the planet in a complete photon spread, killing every life form that once lived on it.

{voiceover}: With Captain Klarg, a Klingon of unique Klingonness.
{picture Klingon of immense stature standing over his center-seat, one arm outstretched dramatically}
“To destroy with phasers or photons, that is the question,” Klarg said.

{voiceover}: His First Officer, Shlock, half Klingon half Vulcan.
{picture pointy-eared Klingon with high brows addressing a junior Klingon officer}
“As part Klingon, I am inclined toward incredible violence and barbarity,” Shlock was telling the junior officer.   “But as part Vulcan, I have learned to-”
“Shlock, all you do is talk, talk-” the junior officer began but was cut off by a vicious backhander from Shlock, which sent him sprawling.
“But as part Vulcan, I have learnt to discipline my natural Klingon tendencies,” Shlock finished.

{voiceover}: Gunner Lagortz, a Klingon with unique vision.
{picture Klingon with blonde hair, a flower behind his ears and his dark eyes glazed and vacant}
“Whoa, man,” Lagortz said absently, “the colors.”

{voiceover}: Doctor Frusher.
{picture attractive female Klingon addressing Captain Klarg}
“Captain, a virus has infected the ship,” Frusher said.   “Every crew member has it.”
“What do you recommend, Doctor?” Klarg asked.
“Mass suicide.”
“But it’s only a cold,” Klarg pointed out.

{voiceover}: Her brilliant son, Pexly.
{picture young Klingon bent over in his studies.   His mother, Frusher, stands over him}
“Pexly, what are you doing?” Frusher asked.
“My studies, mummy-tummy-dearest.”
Frusher grabbed Pexly by the ear and hoisted him up to his feet.   “Forget your studies!” she exclaimed.   “Go out there – maim, kill!”
Frusher threw him out the door.

{voiceover}: John Smith, the human Chief of Security.
{picture sickly looking human being jumped by five Klingons}

{voiceover}: And Counselor Shoi, a woman with unique abilities.
{picture attractive Klingon female addressing Captain Klarg}
“Captain, I sense great anger and unremitting hostility boiling within you,” Shoi said.
“What are you saying, Counselor?”
“You are all right.”

{voiceover}: All new adventures, all new excitement on KLINGON TREK!

{picture a Klingon Battlecruiser warping off into space}

{theme music fades off}

&*!&#*

#

{The author apologizes for the break in transmission and will now resume Union of Treks III:   Degenerations!}

The Enterprise shook suddenly.
“What was that?” Picard asked.
“We have just experienced a temporal distortion,” Data told him.
“Distortion?”
“Yes.   Directly ahead.”
“Full stop,” Riker called out his token order.
“Full stop,” Ro obliged.
“A temporal disruption has emerged directly twenty thousand kilometers ahead of us,” Data told them.   “It is not listed in Starfleet records.   It appears we have discovered a spatial anomaly, Captain.”
Picard swore under his breath.   “Of all the infinity of space, of which comparatively the Enterprise is just a pinprick, why do we have to run into these spatial anomalies every third week!” he cursed.   “Is there any normal space in this show?”
“Are we in any danger?” Riker asked.
“The disruption is emanating with waves we have naturally never seen before,” Data said.   “They are intensifying with each moment.   We may be in trouble, sir.    I believe Starfleet regulations insist that we investigate and analyze the phenomena.”
Picard regarded Data.   Now that the android had the emotion-chip installed he wasn’t as predictable as he used to be.   “Number One, inform the Romulans about what’s going on.”
“Aye, sir,” Riker said, making his way to Tactical.
“The distortion is expanding slowly, Captain,” Data said.
“Are we in any danger?”
“Not presently.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yes.”
Picard shuddered, suddenly feeling a moment of déjà   vu.   He took a breath before asking, “Have we had this conversation before?”
“I believe we have, sir,” Data said.
“Then time is repeating itself,” Picard said.
“Yes, sir.” Data consulted his sensors.   “The disruptions are intensifying, Captain.   I believe we will continue to experience moments when time repeats itself.   Ultimately, we will be caught in one endless loop.”
Picard looked thoughtful.   He was just realizing that after seven seasons, he hadn’t the faintest idea what anybody on this ship was talking about.   He turned to Riker.   “Recommendations, Number One?” he asked.
Riker rose to his full height.   “I’ll take the main characters down below for a few hands of poker,” he suggested.   “It seems the thing we’re always doing during serious crises.”
“Make it so,” Picard agreed.   He understood that.
“Sir,” Spock spoke up, “if you would permit myself and Mister Data to continue studying the temporal phenomena…?”
Picard nodded.   “If you discover anything, I’ll be in my ready-room.” He walked off.

*

It had only taken a few episodes of Next Gen to get Kirk’s blood boiling.   No fistfights?   All focus not centered on the Captain?   Just what the hell was this genre about?   No.   Something would have to be done.
Kirk rose, not thoroughly brainwashed but quite thoroughly pissed off.   Sela and Andiom were with him.   They bowed low and stayed like that as Kirk rose.
“I will lead us to a great triumph as only I can lead,” Kirk said conceitedly.   He spoke low and slow and menacing now.   “We will destroy Starfleet and the Next Gen.”
Sela rose slowly and clapped her hands.   A Romulan entered bearing flowing, pitch-black robes with hood attached in his hands.   He passed it to Sela, who passed it to Kirk.   “The traditional attire of our Emperor,” she explained.
Kirk put it on, then pulled the hood low over his face – a face which now showed unremitting hostility.   “I will need a bodyguard,” he said, “a warrior.   Bring the Klingon to me.”
“To use a Klingon-” Andiom began to protest.   Kirk glanced at him briefly and Andiom cowered away.   Andiom nodded hurriedly.   “The Klingon will be brought to you.” He fled.
Sela smiled seductively.   “And we have more surprises for you, Emperor,” she purred.
Kirk looked at her.
Then smiled back.

*

McCoy was outrageously boisterous during poker.   He’d been drinking Romulan ale since the first hand.   They had now played twelve hands, of which Troi and LaForge had won six each.   McCoy didn’t like it, and had no qualms about complaining.
“They’re cheating!” he protested.
“Doctor,” Riker tried to calm him, “they wouldn’t cheat.   There’s no way of cheating.   The cards aren’t marked-”
“My God, man,” McCoy said dramatically, “LaForge is wearing a VISOR and the Counselor’s an empath.   That VISOR can probably see right through the cards.”
“I assure you, Doctor, my VISOR doesn’t have an x-ray capability,” LaForge said.   “It has everything else, but not that.”
“What about her, then?” McCoy pointed at Troi.   “She’s an empath.   She can sense whether we’re bluffing or not.   She can read our emotions!”
“Hey,” Riker realized, “I’d never thought about that.”
“And how can we play for chips?   We don’t use money in this century.   How can we play for the value of something we’ve never known?”
“You have a better suggestion, Doctor?” Crusher asked.
“Yeah;   let’s play strip poker!”
“What?”
“I feel like playing strip poker!”
Riker regarded him;   McCoy was sweating and seemed quite amorous.   When he looked around the table, it seemed Troi and LaForge and Ro appeared to be the same.
Something was going on.

*

Worf was dragged before Kirk and forced to his knees.   Worf struggled before his Romulan captors but was held down easily.   Kirk looked him right in the eye.
“You are a Klingon and you are a warrior,” Kirk said.   “Your abilities are wasted in this genre.   Join me and we will show this genre what a true warrior is.”
“I will not be a traitor!” Worf rumbled.   “I am a Starfleet officer.   And I have a pony-tail.”
“Then I will have to convince you otherwise,” Kirk said.
He put the Classic Trek disk into the viewer and forced Worf to watch.
Worf howled.

*

The signal to Picard’s ready-room chimed and at his beckoning, Data and Spock entered.
“Yes?   What is it?” Picard asked.
“Mr. Spock and I have discovered something, Captain,” Data said.   “We believe it may be the cause of the temporal rift.”
“What is it?”
“A smachyon beam, directed from the Romulan ship and concentrated intensely into one pinpoint of space,” Spock told him.   “We believe it may have caused the temporal disruption.”
Picard rose in disbelief.   “A smachyon beam?” he asked.
“Yes, sir,” Data confirmed.   “It is like a tachyon beam but with a lot more smack.”
“You’re making that up,” Picard accused him.
“I am not, sir.”
“But what could the Romulans hope to achieve by causing a temporal rift?”
“We must consider the circumstances logically, Captain,” Spock said.   “We were returning to Spacedock.   The rift compels us, under Starfleet regulations, to investigate.”
“You believe the Romulans are trying to delay us for some reason?”
“Yes, sir.”
The door signal chimed again and Crusher came in looking quite mussed, her face sweaty.   “Captain, I have some bad news,” she said immediately.   “There’s a virus aboard the ship.”
“Another one?” Picard asked.   “If it’s not a spatial anomaly it’s a virus.   Now we have both.”
“What sort of virus, Doctor?” Spock asked.
“It induces partial delirium and causes sexual aggression,” Crusher explained.   “I’m already partly affected.   Doctor McCoy, Geordi, Ro and Troi also have it.   Troi’s suffering seriously.   She’s moaning violently.”
“Are you sure she’s not just sensing something?” Picard asked.
“Yes, sir.”
“But how did the virus get aboard-” Picard faltered, then realized, “The Romulans!   But why would they want to delay us!   That’s the question!”
“I suggest, Captain, we endeavor to find out,” Spock said.
Picard nodded and left for the bridge.   Spock followed and Data was about to do the same when Crusher took his wrist and held him back.
“I find you incredibly attractive, Data,” Crusher said amorously.
“I do too, Doctor,” Data said.
“You find me attractive?”
“No.   I find myself attractive.   My new emotion chip has allowed me immodesty.   Excuse me, Doctor.”
Data left for the bridge.

*

The Warbird carrying Kirk and company had been travelling steadily at Warp 8 for over an hour.   That had given the transformed Kirk more than enough time to brainwash Worf, to regress the Klingon to adhere to his more dominant, primal instincts.   The Classic Trek had really done the trick.
“Will you follow me now, Worf?” Kirk asked.
Worf nodded and rose slowly.   “I will, Emperor.”
“Together we will dominate the galaxy.”
A Romulan woman entered and approached Sela;   Kirk thought he should know her, but didn’t.   She spoke softly with Sela, Sela smiling broadly at the information she was receiving.
“We have arrived,” she told Kirk.
“Arrived where?” Kirk had noticed the Warbird had exited Warp space.
Sela directed Kirk’s attention to a viewer.   It showed, empty, stationery space.   The Warbird had come to a full-stop.
Suddenly, cloaked Warbirds began to materialize – over forty of them.
Then, directly in the center of them another ship materialized.   It looked almost like a Warbird, but was bigger.   It was almost green like a Warbird, but greener.    It’s warp engines were like a Warbird’s warp engines, but warpier.   And it’s armory was impressive.
“Our new super-weapon,” Sela said.   “The Wardodo.   Built especially for you to command, Emperor Kirk.   With this fleet, we will destroy Starfleet and the Federation once and for all.”
Kirk smiled.   “I will build a dynasty.   I will conquer the galaxy and build a great dynasty.   But I need an heir.”
“There will be no shortage of applicants, I assure you,” Sela promised.
“Yes, I believe that, but I need somebody now,” Kirk said.   He smiled.   “Bring me Wesley Crusher.”
The Romulan woman who had brought Sela the news of the rendezvous with the fleet blanched.   She left the chamber and surreptitiously made her way to a small, hidden room in which she had stored a mass of communications’ equipment.
She opened a signal.   “This is Saavik to Starfleet,” she said, “come in Starfleet.   This is Saavik to Starfleet, come in Starfleet!”

*

The Enterprise was booming with decadence.   Crew members were unashamedly fornicating in the hallways and at their posts.   Picard was concerned;   he was starting to feel amorous also.   As he sat in his center-seat, sweat poured down his face.   Riker looked at him.   Of all people, Riker was unaffected.
“Hail coming in from Starfleet,” Ro said.
“On screen,” Picard said breathlessly.
Admiral Benson appeared on the viewer.   “We’ve just had some bad news, Captain Picard,” he said.
“Howard the Duck’s going to become part of my crew?” Picard asked.
“No.   The Romulan extremist faction are massing a fleet.    We’ve heard news from one of our spies.   They plan to attack – with Admiral Kirk directing the attack!”
That was enough to shake Picard into some semblance of sobriety.   “His military genius and unnatural luck might just be enough to give the Romulans victory over us once and for all.”
“Correct.   We’re massing our own fleet.   They will rendezvous with you in three hours.   The Romulan delegation with you will be escorted back to Spacedock by another ship.   You, Captain Picard, will lead our fleet into battle.   They have the co-ordinates to intercept the Romulan fleet.” Benson smiled.   “Good luck.”
The transmission ended.
“Why didn’t you tell him about the virus, Captain?” Riker asked.
Picard suddenly bolted from the chamber.

*

Kirk, Worf hovering over him as a bodyguard, and Sela were in the superbridge of the new Wardodo.   It was an immense chamber with a throne-like center-seat situated on a dais at the top of twenty steps.   The center-seat was enveloped by a huge viewer.   In fact, the whole chamber seemed to be made up of viewers.   In the center of the chamber was a ventilation shaft, a huge, bottomless hole about fifteen feet in diameter.
There was no crew in the superbridge.   They had their own bridge.   But Kirk could direct them from the superbridge, and that was what he did, giving the order for the fleet to proceed toward Earth and the attack formations for when they encountered the Federation’s fleet.
That was when Wesley was dragged into the chamber by Andiom and brought to the foot of the stairs.   Wesley was struggling, but when he saw Kirk and Worf he stopped and looked up at them with hope in his eyes.
Kirk looked at Wesley.   “Welcome, young Wesley;   I have been expecting you.”
Wesley stared at Kirk and Worf with horror in his eyes.
“Leave us,” Kirk told Andiom and Sela.
“But-” Sela began.
“Now.”
Sela and Andiom scurried out.
“Admiral Kirk, Worf, what’s going on?” Wesley asked.
“The Romulans have made me their Emperor,” Kirk told him.   “Worf has abandoned Starfleet and now serves me.   We intend to defeat the Federation and then conquer the galaxy.”
“What?   That’s mad!” Wesley said.
“We want you to join us, Wesley.”
“I can’t.   It’ll interfere with my studies.   Worf, what’s gotten into you?”
Classic Trek,” Worf said.   “I hunger for battle now.”
Kirk came down the stairs and showed Wesley the two disks, one containing every episode of Classic Trek, the other holding every episode of the Next Gen.   “You will join us, Wesley,” he said.   “I am looking forward to converting you, as I converted Worf.”
“You’re gravely mistaken,” Wesley said.
Kirk inserted the Classic Trek disk into the viewer and started it running.   Then he returned to his throne and placed the Next Gen disk on the armrest.   “No, boy, I think you will find that it is you who are mistaken,” he told Wesley, “about a great many things.”
“It is pointless to resist, Wesley,” Worf said.
Wesley turned to the viewer and screamed.

*

Picard had somehow found his way to the Infirmary and to Crusher.    They stared at each other for a long while, wordlessly.
“I’m looking for a cure,” Crusher told him finally.
“So soon?” Picard approached her.
Crusher bit her lip.   “You don’t know how often I’ve stood on the bridge and been excited by your control, by your intensity of emotion and passion.   Say something to me, Jean-Luc.   Say something.”
Picard wobbled his head to and fro coolly.   “You have great tits,” he said.
Crusher slapped him.   “I meant from Shakespeare!” she exclaimed.
“Sorry.   It was the Cockney in me coming out.   Anyway, Shakespeare could have said that.” Picard grasped her tightly and engaged in a passionate kiss.   Hurriedly, they began to undress one another.
That was when the red alert signals went off.

*

“The Romulans are firing up their disruptors!” Data said hysterically.   “We’re going to die!” He ran screaming from the room.
“Something’s got to be done about that emotion chip,” Riker said.   “Shields!   Red alert.”
“Shields up,” Spock said from tactical.   “The Romulans are hailing us.”
Riker sat in the center-seat.   “On viewer.”
Centurion Preax appeared.   “Captain Haddock,” he said.
“Commander Riker,” Riker corrected him.
“Of course.”
“What’s the meaning of all this?” Riker demanded.
“Isn’t that obvious?   It has been a conspiracy from the beginning.   Destroy Starfleet’s flagship and leave the Romulan fleet to triumph.   Couldn’t you tell that from the way the camera closed on our sly glances just before commercials?”
“We won’t be destroyed so easily.”
The viewer reverted to empty space.
“They’ve cloaked, Commander,” Spock said.
“Come now, Commander,” Preax’s voice continued to sound over the speakers, “this is the way our new Emperor would want it.”
“Arm all weapons,” Riker said.   “Raise shields.”
The Warbird suddenly materialized from astern and fired disruptors into the Enterprise‘s Battledrive.   The ship shook savagely.   The Warbird sped overhead and just as Riker was about to give the order to fire, she cloaked.
Then reappeared, firing disruptors into the Enterprise‘s saucer.   Explosions suddenly ravaged the bridge.   The Warbird disappeared then reappeared directly in front of them, firing once more.
The Warbird’s continual savage blast of disruptors forced the Enterprise into a spin.   Preax could be heard laughing over the ship’s speakers.   “The Cat sat in the Hat, Commander!” he roared a quote from his favorite poet.
Picard appeared on the bridge, looking sweaty and flustered and as if he’d just gotten dressed.   “What’s happening?” he asked.
“Preax is attacking us,” Riker told him.
“He’s not using his ship?”
“Yes he’s using his ship,” Riker hissed.   He wondered whether he should take command;   Picard didn’t look up to it, right now.
The Warbird reappeared, fired, and disappeared again.   The Enterprise shook violently.
LaForge arrived on the bridge.   “I have an idea, Captain,” he said.   “We could use the deflector dish to spray the immediate area with quantum filaments.   Once the cloaked Warbird flies through them, it’ll leave a magnetic resonance our sensors will be able to pick up.”
“Is the deflector dish capable of that?” Riker asked.
“I don’t see why not.   It’s seems capable of just about everything else.”
“But will it work?” Picard asked.
“It’s worth a try, Captain,” Riker said.
Picard nodded.   “Make it so,” he agreed.

*

Wesley was starting to feel aggressive.   Classic Trek really had some shining points to it.   But he held onto his link to Next Gen, using the Next Gen disk sitting on Kirk’s throne’s armrest as a reminder whenever his hold began to get tenuous.   He tried to turn away from the viewers, but there were viewers everywhere.   He had to watch.
“Come, boy,” Kirk said, urging him up the stairs and toward the largest viewer.   “see for yourself.   From here you will witness the focus and fistfights of Classic Trek, and the end of your respect for Next Gen.”
Wesley turned away from the viewer and looked at the Next Gen disk on the throne’s armrest.   Kirk smiled and patted the disk.
“You want this, don’t you?” Kirk asked.   “The hate is swelling in you now.   Take the Next Gen disk.   Try and use it.   Insert the disk in the viewer.   Strike me down with its saccharine.   Give in to your anger.   With each passing moment you make yourself more a fan of Classic Trek.”
Wesley looked at the Next Gen disk once more.   If he went for it, he could save himself.   But if he inserted it in the viewer he would be hurting Kirk, and that was what Kirk wanted him to do – to act aggressively.   He shook his head.
“No,” he said.
“It is unavoidable,” Kirk said.   “It is your destiny.   You, like Worf, are now mine.”

*

“Reading magnetic resonance trail to starboard,” Spock reported.
“Target and fire!” Picard ordered.
The Enterprise fired, apparently into empty space, but moments later there was an explosion.   The Warbird suddenly materialized.   That was when Federation’s Fleet arrived and blasted the hell out of it pretty much because they were just looking for something to blast the hell out of.   The Warbird exploded with one final, brilliant blinding flash.
“Patch me through to the rest of the ships,” Picard said.
“Aye, sir,” Spock said.
“Federation vessels,” Picard said, “we will now proceed to intercept the Romulan fleet.   All vessels at my command, Warp 8.”
“Sir,” Riker said softly, “we don’t actually know where the fleet is.”
“Well get the co-ordinates!”
“Aye, sir.” Riker nodded at Spock.
“Co-ordinates coming through now,” Spock said.
“Setting course,” Ro said.
“Warp 8.   Engage!”
The Federation fleet took off into Warp space.

*

“Your fleet will lose,” Kirk said, “and your Next Gen friends will not survive.   There is no escape, my young apprentice.   The Next Gen genre will die, as will your friends.”
Wesley stared at Kirk balefully.
“Good,” Kirk smiled.   “I feel your anger.   I am defenseless.   Take the Next Gen disk.   Use it against me.   Strike me down with all of your hatred and your journey to Classic Trek will be complete.”
Wesley turned away, looking back to the viewer where Kirk was fighting Kahn in a wild fistfight.
He spun sharply on his heel and made a leap for the Next Gen disk.   But suddenly Worf was there.   They grappled with each other.   Wesley broke loose and then did something he’d never done before.
He punched Worf in the face.

*

“I believe I have found a cure to the virus, Captain,” Spock told Picard.   Spock was in Picard’s quarters and Picard was mostly undressed, as was Beverly Crusher.
“Can’t it wait?” Picard demanded.
“We are approaching the Romulan fleet, sir,” Spock said serenely.   “It would appear Admiral Kirk has been suffering from this virus for most of his life.   Studying his DNA, I have been able to reproduce his antibodies to manufacture a vaccine.”
“But Kirk’s not here!” Picard complained.
“His records are.” Spock approached them and gave them both a shot.   “There you are, sir.” He turned and left Picard’s quarters.
Picard looked at Crusher.   “I’m sorry, Beverly,” he said.
“Sorry that’ll we never consummate our unspoken love?” she asked.
“Love?   What love?   All I ever felt was a fantasy to screw my old ex-best friend’s wife.   Well,” Picard got up off the bed and started putting his uniform back on, “now that that’s over, back to ship business.”

*

Wesley and Worf were engaged in a torrid fistfight on the dais.   Wesley got in a sudden lucky punch and Worf went sprawling down the stairs.   Bedraggled, Worf rose to his full height as Wesley stared down at him.
Kirk laughed.   “Good,” he said.   “Use your aggressive feelings, boy.   Let Classic Trek flow through you.”
Worf started up the stairs.
“I will not fight you, Worf,” Wesley said, lowering his fists.
“You are unwise to lower your defenses.”
Worf leapt for him and Wesley fled.

*

Sela was on the bridge of the Wardodo as they sped through Warp space.
“Sela,” Andiom said, “the sensors are picking up the incoming Federation fleet.”
“All vessels exit Warp space,” Sela said.   “Here is as good a place as any to finish the battle.”
The Wardodo and accompanying Warbirds exited Warp space.

*

Picard was back on the bridge.   “All vessels exit Warp speed,” he gave the order.
At the head of the fleet, the Enterprise emerged from Warp space to be confronted by the Romulan fleet.   She was immediately enveloped in an array of disruptor blasts.
“What the hell is that?” Riker asked, not identifying the Wardodo.
“If Admiral Kirk is directing the attack,” Spock surmised, “then logic would presume he is on the lead ship.   We must find a way to lower her shields and transport to Admiral Kirk’s side.”
The Enterprise shook violently as more disruptor blasts tore into the saucer and Battledrive.
“Mr. Spock, we’ll be lucky if we survive this!” Riker said.
“We have no choice,” Picard decided.   “All weapons,” he said slowly, “fire!”

*

The Romulan woman Kirk thought he knew but couldn’t identify but had in fact identified herself as Saavik made her way through the engineering section sabotaging the Wardodo’s systems.   She knew the undermanned, problem-ridden Enterprise was no match for them.
So she sabotaged the shields.

*

Wesley and Worf were engaged in a wild fistfight once more.   Wesley suddenly found himself inundated with a skill he never knew he possessed, or was indeed capable of.   He wondered if it came from watching all that Classic Trek.
Like two boxers on their last legs, he and Worf engaged in a slugging match at the foot of the stairs and in front of the ventilation shaft.   Realizing he must win or die, Wesley produced one last great effort, ducking beneath a savage hook from Worf and returning with a kick to the Klingon’s stomach.
Worf staggered to his knees and grabbing him by the hair, Wesley proceeded to thunder punch after punch into the Klingon’s face.   Blood and flesh spewed everywhere.   Wesley measured his last punch and caught Worf in the chin, sending him sprawling to the floor.
He looked at his opponent, once his friend, once a former crew member.   Wesley’s breathing was ragged, and exhilaration coursed through his veins.   So this is what it was like to be a warrior!
Then he heard Kirk’s laughter behind him.
“Good,” he said.   “Good.   The hate has made you powerful.   Fulfil your destiny.   Take Worf’s place at my side.”
Wesley looked at Kirk, the beaten Worf, then at his bloodied and bruised hands.   “Never,” he decided.   “I’ll never turn to Classic Trek.   You’ve failed, your tubbiness.   Worf’s never won a fight.   You picked the wrong person to use against me.” He paused.   “I’m a Next Gen officer, like Worf was before me.”
“So be it, Next Gen officer.”

*

“Captain,” Spock said, “the large Warbird’s shields have just fallen unexpectedly.   I am reading a Starfleet communicator signal in their engineering section.”
“But who?” Picard asked.
“Starfleet’s spy,” Riker realized.
“Transporter Room, beam the main characters directly to that signal.”
“Aye, sir,” the reply came back.
Moments later, Picard, Riker, Spock, McCoy, LaForge, Crusher and Troi were in the Romulan ship’s engineering section.   A Romulan woman stood before them.
“Who are you?” Picard asked.
“My name is Saavik,” she told them.
“But you’re not Kirstie Alley or Robin Curtis,” Spock said.
“That was Starfleet’s and Paramount’s plan – to cast another actress into the role.   It works better than a disguise.   Come on, I can bring you to Admiral Kirk.”
She started off and they were following after her when Riker said, “Captain, do you realize you didn’t leave anybody in charge of the ship?”
“Forget the ship, Commander,” Picard said.   “We’ll get a shinier new one for the next movie.”
“Good idea,” Riker agreed.

*

Kirk was standing right before Wesley now.   “If you will not be turned to Classic Trek, you will be destroyed,” he vowed.
He punched Wesley in the face.   Wesley staggered back and tried to defend himself, but Kirk was too skilled and experienced.   Punch after punch pummeled into Wesley’s face.
“Young fool,” Kirk said, “only now do you understand.”
He resumed his attack, Wesley valiantly trying to find some way to counter Kirk.   But as soon as Wesley adopted one defense, Kirk took up another form of attack.   He seemed to be relishing it.   Wesley couldn’t find a clue as to how to defend himself against Kirk.
“Your feeble Next Gen fighting skills are no match for the powers of Classic Trek,” he told Wesley.
Kirk took hold of Wesley by the scruff of the neck and delivered a vicious uppercut into Wesley’s chin, shattering his jaw and sending him flying.
That was when the door opened and Picard, Spock and others entered.

*

“Kirk!” Picard shouted out.
Kirk released Wesley, letting Wesley slump to the ground.   “Picard!” he hissed.   He started forward slowly but deliberately.
“It’s over, Kirk,” Picard said, also taking a step forward.   “This is our genre.   It’s time you left.”
“Never.” Kirk stopped right before Picard’s face.
“Jim, our time has come and gone,” Spock said serenely.
“How can it be gone?” Kirk asked unbelievingly.   “I’m not even ten years older than this bald fool Paramount got to be replace me.”
“It does not matter.   Our time has passed.”
“But we can bring it back with this ship, Spock!   We can conquer this genre.   You don’t know what this ship’s capable of!” Kirk told him vehemently.   “We have disruptors, phasers, photons, Transwarp, a lost human colony on deck eight!   Spock, this ship has everything to take our genre into the next era.”
“It is too, late, Jim.”
“Goddamnit, Jim!” McCoy exclaimed.   “This isn’t about eras!   It’s about paycheques and Paramount’s refusal to front the millions it takes to pay our salaries.   It’s over.   We’re finished.”
“Admiral Kirk,” Picard broke in, “you have begun a tradition that has spawned twenty-five years.   It’s time you stopped carrying the burden and let somebody else take it up.   Forget this madness.   Let your legacy end with your beating of Wesley;   it’s the way everybody would want to remember you.”
Kirk looked indecisive.
That was when Andiom entered.   Without a word, he aimed a phaser at Picard and fired.   Kirk, however, leaped in front of Picard and pushed him out of the way, the disruptor blast lancing directly through his chest and almost splitting him in two.
Worf, who was nearby and just happened to be handy to the storyline, leapt on Andiom.   The two wrestled briefly, their tussle ending with the sound of the disruptor firing and Andiom’s head exploding.   Andiom, headless, fell aside suitably, Worf turning to face his crew.
“Well done, Worf,” Picard said, then knelt by Kirk who was beginning to bleed all over the place.   “You finally realized,” Picard said to him.   “And you gave your life so we could carry on the tradition.”
“You idiot,” Kirk said weakly.   “I was about to be upstaged.   I couldn’t let that happen.”
“Beverly, can you save him?”
Crusher leaned by Kirk’s side and examined him.   “Yes, if I-”
Picard punched her in the face, knocking her unconscious.   “I’m sorry, Admiral Kirk,” he said sympathetically, “but when your time has come…”
Kirk smiled.   “I’ll be back,” he promised.
Then he died.

*

“You don’t seem very upset, Dr.    McCoy?” Spock noted.
“I’d say, He’s dead, Jim, but Jim’s dead, Spock,” McCoy told him.   “There’s nobody I can use my line on.”
The Wardodo shook suddenly with such violence that everybody was knocked off their feet.   Warily, they pulled themselves up, Worf and Wesley coming over to the group.
“Are you all right, Wes?” LaForge asked.
“Yeah,” Wesley nodded.
“Pity.”
They gathered around Kirk’s body as the Wardodo continued to shudder from the onslaught of Starfleet’s attack.
“He’s finally dead,” McCoy said.   “Three seasons and seven movies and he’s finally dead.   It makes me wonder.”
“About the indomitable human spirit, Doctor?” Riker asked.
“No.”
“Then what do you wonder about, Doctor?” Data asked.
“How such a fat guy can be in such demand.”
“You do realize what his death signifies, don’t you?” Spock asked.
“You don’t mean-?” Picard began, horrified.
“That’s correct.   The next movie – The Search for Kirk.”
“But he’s not lost,” Troi noted.   “He’s just dead.”
“Then we’ll just roll him down this shaft…” Spock said.
With Picard and Riker assisting, Spock guided Kirk’s body to the ventilation shaft and rolled it down into the gaping pit.   The blackness of the shaft swallowed him up in an instant.
Picard rose.   “Picard to Enterprise, bring us home,” he said into his comm-badge.
Moments later, they were immersed in transporter light.

*

Picard was in his ready-room.   The Enterprise itself was a mess, but his ready-room still looked pretty snazzy.   Once Kirk had died, the Federation’s fleet had seemed to gain an edge over the Romulan fleet and had driven them off.   As for the Wardodo, it had spontaneously malfunctioned and leapt into TransWarp space for no apparent reason and with no apparent destination.   As for the Enterprise, she was on her way back home.
The door-signal chimed and Picard said, “Come!”
Spock came in and sat himself down.   “We near the end, Captain,” the Vulcan said.   “The Romulans have been fought off and Admiral Kirk is dead.   The only loose end is Sela, who escaped to appear in a later movie.”
“I feel we can never defeat her, Spock.”
“You are wary of Sela’s cunning and genius?”
“No, Denise Crosby’s.   She’s already died in two episodes and she keeps coming back to make more.   She’s giving security a bad name.”
“And yourself, Captain?” Spock asked.   “What does the future hold in store for you?”
“I don’t know,” Picard admitted.   “In three stories, I’ve suffered from a virus that has made me violent, another has made be behave like an erratic adolescent, and the last which made me sexually aggressive.   It’s make me wonder, Spock.”
“About your immunity to alien viruses?”
“No;   about why I was cured for each of them.   I could have been really interesting if I wasn’t cured.”
“You are interesting now.”
“I want to be more interesting.” Picard looked down thoughtfully.   “Let’s return to the bridge.   I still have Admiral Kirk’s eulogy to deliver.”
Spock nodded and followed Picard out.

*

Everybody was standing and in full military dress for Picard’s eulogy.   Picard was patched through to the entire ship;   Kirk was known well for his reputation.   In fact, his reputation could probably account for the wild parties on Decks #8 and #9.
“He was a fat man,” Picard said, “take him for all in all, if you can carry him.   I shall not look upon his like again…unless the bastard manages to weasel another five million out of Paramount and they want him for another movie when they’ve got me to-”
“Captain!” Riker interrupted.
“I apologize.   Goodbye, Admiral Kirk.”
“Goodbye, Admiral Kirk!” the bridge crew intoned together.
The battered Enterprise glided smoothly through Warp space.
(imagine Kirk’s voice)
“Space, the final frontier;   these are the voyages of the U.S.S. Enterprise, her ongoing mission, to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new civilizations and life-forms, and to boldly go…where no one has gone before…

(imagine credits)

THE END!?!

August 4th, 1993.
Silk.

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