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Author Topic: Series ?: Episode 6x13, "Large and In Charge, Part II"
Krenim
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Star Trek: Series ?
Episode 6x13: Large and In Charge, Part II


Previously on Star Trek: Series ?, T’Lenol’s holographic Vulcan patience was beginning to fracture under the strain of putting up with Captain Braxton. Fortunately for her, Joe and Admiral Crusher summoned the Relativity crew to Starfleet Command, where everyone assumed Joe had come up with a cure for Ducane’s coma. What nobody expected was that Joe instead had come up with a cure for Braxton’s temporal psychosis! After undergoing the procedure, the now clear-headed Braxton received orders from Crusher to save the universe from a new Romulan threat. And now the continuation...

***

“Captain’s Log: Stardate 558447.532...”

“Sir, you can’t do that!”

“I can’t do what, Dax?”

“You can’t give the stardate!"

"And why not?"

"Because its a running gag!"

"Let me tell you something, Dax! You all may have gotten away with running this ship like some kind of bad parody fanfiction for the past six years, but that's over now!"

Xaronna, who was sitting at her usual place at the helm, muttered under her breath, "That's what you think..."

Her finger went to tap the button that would deliver an unpleasant electric shock to her captain, but Braxton's voice interrupted her. "And I wouldn't bother with that button, Xaronna. I've had it disconnected."

Xaronna's jaw dropped so far that it actually hit said button. Braxton was indeed correct that it was no longer functional.

"Yes indeed, things are going to be different. Now where was I...? Oh yes, the captain's log. Starfleet Intelligence has determined that the Romulans have invented some sort of new ultimate weapon. My mission is to stop the Romulans from deploying this weapon. There are no further details on exactly what sort of weapon this is, but I have no doubt that the situation is one of the utmost seriousness..."

***

Meanwhile on Romulus...

The new Romulan Praetor (the old one having been reduced to crumbly stone way back in "When on Romulus...") held up a comically large pink cylinder. "At long last, the Comically Large Magic Eraser is mine to command! Bwahammphmmph..."

Sela XIV had put her hand over the Praetor's mouth to shut him up. "My liege, you mustn't laugh maniacally like that!"

"And why not?"

"Because legends tell of a big purple robot that beats people up for laughing maniacally!"

"Don't be ridiculous. Something like that could only happen in a bad parody fanfiction."

"This is a bad parody fanfiction. If this show was grounded in any sort of reality, I would have been executed two years ago for helping Evil Doctor stage a coup against your predecessor."

"So that's why I haven't had you executed..."

"Exactly. Now, you were gloating about your new superweapon?"

"Yes, I was! This Comically Large Magic Eraser will allow us to erase any special effect we want!"

"What good is that?"

"Are you kidding? Practically everything in Star Trek these days is a special effect, especially starships! With one wave of the Comically Large Magic Eraser, entire fleets will cease to exist!"

"That's so stupid it just might work!"

"Just wait, it gets even stupider!"

Before Sela could explain that she was being sarcastic, the Praetor continued. "You will take the Comically Large Magic Eraser back in time to the 23rd Century. Specifically, you'll be going back to the episode 'Balance of Terror.' Once there, you'll erase the Enterprise from history, thereby ensuring Romulan domination of the Alpha Quadrant!"

"Uh... Then why not go back to the Romulan Wars and erase the Earth fleet from history? Or go even further back to the Vulcan Civil War and erase Surak and his CGI armies from history? That would make more sense."

"What part of 'Just wait, it gets even stupider!' do you not understand?"

Sela muttered several Romulan obsenities under her breath, grabbed the Comically Large Magic Eraser, and headed towards the nearest Romulan timeship...

***

Meanwhile, as the Relativity hurdled at hyperwarp towards the Neutral Zone, several of the ship's senior staff gathered for an impromptu meeting in the mess hall...

Dax slammed her fist on the table. "He gave the stardate!"

Xaronna slammed her fist on the table. "He disconnected my zappy button!"

Kes slammed her fist on the table. "He made me wear a normal Starfleet uniform, thereby making this episode a parody of 'Chain of Command' and further pigeonholing me into the role of Troi!"

Damar motioned for calm. "People, we're forgetting something very important. This thing will never stick."

Yar raised an eyebrow in typical Vulcan fashion. "What do you mean?"

"I mean that Braxton won't stay smart. This being the bad parody fanfiction that it is, most of the humor is based on Braxton's stupidity. I bet you anything that during the course of this Romulan crisis, he reverts back to his usual dimwitted self at the worst possible moment and yet somehow manages to inexplicably luck out and save the day anyway!"

Damar's logic (if you could call it that) seemed to make sense to the grumbling crew, but their relief was short-lived. Braxton's voice came over the comm. All senior officers report to the bridge.

***

On the bridge, Captain Braxton sat in his chair looking intently at the viewscreen. By his side was T'Lenol, who, since Braxton's transformation, was looking as happy as a Vulcan was capable of looking.

Minutes later, the rest of the senior staff arrived on the bridge. They eyed Braxton intently, looking for any signs that their captain had lost a few IQ points. They saw no such signs, so they went to their posts.

Braxton pointed to the viewscreen. "Federation long-range temporal sensors have picked up a chroniton signature near Romulus. This can't be a coincidence."

Dax checked the sensors. "Temporal anomaly confirmed. Signature matches that of known Romulan timeships."

"Can you determine its destination timeframe?"

Dax punched a few buttons. "Stardate 1709.1, Romulan Neutral Zone."

Braxton thought for a moment until he noticed Damar was staring at him over his shoulder. "Having trouble thinking, sir?"

"No, Damar, I am not. Now stop looking at me like that. It's weird."

Damar went back to his station, and Braxton continued his thinking. "That would be the episode 'Balance of Terror,' would it not?"

T'Lenol nodded. "Indeed, Captain."

"The Romulans must be attempting to use their new superweapon to alter the events of that episode. Xaronna, set a course for that same timeframe."

Xaronna punched a few buttons, and the ship vanished into the timestream.

***

At the same time, Sela was sitting in her command chair looking at the Comically Large Magic Eraser in her hands. "Hmm... I wonder if this thing's ever been tested..."

She glanced up at the timestream special effects that were on the viewscreen, momentarily entertaining the idea of erasing them. She then quickly decided it was probably not a good idea to erase the timestream while they were actually in it.

One of the nameless Romulan flunkies interrupted Sela's musings. "Ma'am?"

"It's not crunch time yet, nameless flunky. I'll tell you when."

***

Across time and space, at Starfleet's Master Temporal Observatory...

Galvatron, looking quite disoriented, walked up to his wife. "Dear, I'm not feeling so well."

WHAT PLAGUES THE HUSBAND OF THE ROBO-NECHAYEV?

"I've got the strangest feeling that, somewhere out there, someone is stealing one of Admiral Janeway's routines."

THAT IS... ODD.

***

Sela tapped her fingers waiting for the cut-away scene to end. "Are we back?"

"I believe so."

"About time. What is it that you want?"

"We've picked up another temporal signature on a heading parallel to our own. It appears to be Starfleet in origin."

Sela smiled wickedly. "Knowing this show, I'm betting that's Captain Cretin and the Relativity. Perfect."

"Perfect?"

"I'll test the Comically Large Magic Eraser by erasing the Relativity, leaving Braxton floating helplessly in space! Bwahahahaha!"

***

Across time and space, in the Federation Maximum Security Prison...

Admiral Janeway, who had been slumping in her cell, suddenly snapped upright. "Someone's... laughing maniacally? Wait, that can't be right..."

***

As the Relativity approached the proper space-time coordinates, Braxton began issuing orders. "Prepare to exit the timestream. Standby to cloak as soon as we re-enter normal space. I don't want the Enterprise or the Bird-of-Prey detecting our presence."

Dax whispered to Damar, "Did he just actually remember that we have a cloak?"

The ship then exited the timestream and immediately cloaked. Braxton turned to Dax. "Dax, scan for any subspace anomalies. We need to find our Romulan adversaries, and we need to do it fast."

Dax checked the sensors. "I'm only picking up the cloaked 23rd Century Romulan Bird-of-Prey. No cloaked 29th Century Romulan timeship, though."

While she was working at it, Dax's console started playing the Avatar: The Last Airbender theme song. "Uh, sir? We're being hailed by the Romulans."

"Onscreen."

The bridge of the Romulan timeship appeared on the viewscreen, with Sela center stage. Sela continued to smile wickedly. "Hello, Captain Braxton."

Braxton nodded in mock cordiality. "Sela."

Sela studied her adversary for a few moments, and then jumped out of her chair. Still focusing on Braxton, her face now took up most of the viewscreen. "Wait... Something's different about you. There's something in your eyes. A twinkle? A sparkle? Quick, what's two plus two?"

"Four. Five for large values of two."

"Aha! You're smart! You're smart? How the heck did that happen?"

"Federation medicine works wonders these days."

"Well, your recovery is going to be short-lived! Behold the instrument of your doom!"

Sela held the Comically Large Magic Eraser in front of her.

Braxton looked quizzically at Sela's superweapon. "The new Romulan superweapon is a giant pink marshmallow?"

"It's an eraser! A Comically Large Magic Eraser! All I have to do is wave it at a special effect, and it will disappear forever!"

"That's got to be the dumbest thing I've ever heard."

"Go back and listen to yourself in previous episodes. I think you'll find a Comically Large Magic Eraser pales in comparison. But I digress. Goodbye, Captain Braxton!"

And with that, Sela waved the Comically Large Magic Eraser around furiously.

Nothing happened.

Sela got even madder. "Why won't this thing work?!"

It was Braxton's turn to grin. "We're cloaked. As such, there's no special effect for the Relativity and thus nothing to erase."

"Fine! I wanted to test this thing on you first, but I guess I can go ahead and give it a field test on the Enterprise!"

Braxton nonchalantly punched a few buttons on his armrest while Sela screamed at one of her nameless flunkies. "Where's the Enterprise?!"

The flunky checked the scanners. "I don't know. It just vanished."

Braxton responded, "I've extended our cloak around the Enterprise. Your gizmo is now useless."

At this point, Sela was having a full-blown fit, waving her arms around and yelling at everyone and everything around her. The Comically Large Magic Eraser, constantly being activated but having nothing to erase, began to start smoking. It soon blew up, caking the Romulan bridge in pink goo.

Sela, who had been blown back into her command seat, yelled "I liked you better when you were stupid!" and closed the channel. Seconds later, the Romulan timeship vanished into the timestream.

Braxton turned to Xaronna. "I think our work here is done. Take us home."

As soon as the Relativity entered the timestream, Braxton got out of his seat and headed towards the turbolift. "Good job, everyone. Now if you will excuse me, there's a lot I have to catch up on after all these years..."

After the turbolift doors closed, everyone turned to Damar. "What?"

Yar gave him a mean right hook to the jaw. "That's for getting my hopes up for him getting stupid again! When am I gonna get to blow stuff up if he simply outsmarts the bad guys?"

***

On the next episode of Series ?, a sinister meeting leads to total chaos!

--------------------
"Kirito? I killed a thing and now it says I have XPs! Is that bad? Am I dying?"

-Asuna, Episode 2, Sword Art Online Abridged

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Krenim
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And the previews for upcoming episodes:

Episode 6x14: Dead Horse

EVIL EXCELSIOR CREW SUPER HAPPY FUN TIME VARIETY SHOW HOUR! (Run for your lives.)

Episode 6x15: Revenge of the Singh

Khan finally returns, and he's running for Emperor Supreme Chancellor Senator Federation President!

Episode 6x16: Gary 007

Gary Seven, the galaxy's most boring secret agent, arrives on the Relativity. But will his secret mission spell doom for a member of the crew?

Episode 6x17: Another Cheap Crossover

The title says it all.

Episode 6x18: Q&A, Part I
Episode 6x19: Q&A, Part II


Welcome to the afterlife, Patrick. You're dead.

--------------------
"Kirito? I killed a thing and now it says I have XPs! Is that bad? Am I dying?"

-Asuna, Episode 2, Sword Art Online Abridged

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MinutiaeMan
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Oh my... Xaronna's favorite button disabled? An actual stardate? (That means the current season takes place in 2881, BTW.)

I've got one question, though... this whole "cure" thing is kind of predicated on Braxton having originally been a reasonably intelligent person. But how can that be the case, considering the decision that he made at the very beginning of "Future's End" (i.e. to go blow up Voyager)? That sure wasn't smart. [Wink]

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“Those people who think they know everything are a great annoyance to those of us who do.” — Isaac Asimov
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Krenim
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quote:
Originally posted by MinutiaeMan:
An actual stardate? (That means the current season takes place in 2881, BTW.)

Indeed. When I decided that Braxton was going to start spoiling running jokes (and he isn't even close to being done with that), I knew that I had to finally give the stardate. I decided to pick a year late in the century so that all of Braxton's life fits into the 29th Century. (After all, if Braxton was alive in the 28th Century, people might start thinking he was Future Guy, which he isn't.)

quote:
Originally posted by MinutiaeMan:
I've got one question, though... this whole "cure" thing is kind of predicated on Braxton having originally been a reasonably intelligent person. But how can that be the case, considering the decision that he made at the very beginning of "Future's End" (i.e. to go blow up Voyager)? That sure wasn't smart. [Wink]

In my view, it wasn't that Braxton wasn't smart when he made the decision that set "Future's End" into motion. It was that he was impulsive. Braxton's past, present, and future are all going to be explored to various extents as we approach the end of the Progeny arc. (And I say "the end of the Progeny arc" since I know you'll never believe me when I say it'll also be the series finale. [Wink] )

--------------------
"Kirito? I killed a thing and now it says I have XPs! Is that bad? Am I dying?"

-Asuna, Episode 2, Sword Art Online Abridged

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Lee
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I guess it would be interesting to explore exactly what led a (presumably) experienced Starfleet captain decide to a) fix a catastrophic timeline by just choosing to destroy a historically-renowned ship without any investigation, and b) totally fail to cope with finding himself marooned in an unfamilar timeline and failing to adjust and become a homeless loony. I mean, if Picard and co can just easily fit into 19th century USA, why couldn't a timeship pilot, who's presumably trained to do so, fit into 20th century USA?

Unless it HAS been covered previously and I've suppressed the memory for the sake of my sanity. 8)

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MinutiaeMan
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In fairness, I can think of a plausible scenario for Braxton failing to fit in on 20th century Earth. After Henry Starling took possession of the Aeon and formed his company, Braxton tried to get it back. He probably tried to break in to the warehouse where it was kept or something. To push him out of the way, Starling had him committed, probably based on some of Braxton's unusual out-of-time behaviors that even Picard and everyone else couldn't quite cover up, but usually managed to get away with. Once Braxton was placed in the oh-so-wonderful 20th century mental health system, it's obvious that he would've gotten loonier, hence his crazy behavior later in the episode.

But yeah, I still can't come up with a good explanation for (A). Except that it kinda-sorta was addressed back in episode 57.

--------------------
“Those people who think they know everything are a great annoyance to those of us who do.” — Isaac Asimov
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Krenim
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Based on information given in "Future's End" and "Relativity", as well as using a bit of the info I came up with for the UP3 write-ups of the Aeon and the Wells classes, we might assume that Braxton's decision to destroy Voyager in "Future's End" was more of a major ship-design and policy failure on Starfleet's part than it was a measure of Braxton's initial intelligence.

Let's assume that you're the captain of a one-person timeship that makes time-travel jumps on a regular basis. "Relativity" establishes that multiple jumps in short periods of time lead to medical problems like temporal aphasia and temporal psychosis. Therefore, you might already be suffering from a judgement-impairing affliction that nobody else is around to diagnose or treat.

Let's also assume that you suddenly find yourself in a situation where Starfleet Command (as well as the rest of the solar system) has just exploded. There's no central authority to issue you orders. You're on your own.

Therefore, it's not too far out of the realm of possibility that Braxton originally was a very intelligent and capable officer. Repeated time travel and the stress of seeing most of your species obliterated probably degraded him to the point where he was making irrational decisions.

And since Joe used a complete temporal profile to undo any and all temporal damage to Braxton, his mental faculties have been restored to default.

And Starfleet quickly did away with the one-person Aeon and replaced them with the Wells in order to have more oversight and so that not everybody on the ship was constantly time-travelling and therefore damaging themselves.

--------------------
"Kirito? I killed a thing and now it says I have XPs! Is that bad? Am I dying?"

-Asuna, Episode 2, Sword Art Online Abridged

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MinutiaeMan
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I think that's a perfectly reasonable rationalization. And I remember now reading your material for UP3 way back when. I just have to point out one logical flaw in your justification for the Wells class:

If the ship travels through time, then the entire crew is still susceptible to the exact same problems that were encountered with the Aeon. Only now there's more people exposed to the craziness.

Although I guess that would easily explain Series ?, wouldn't it? [Wink]

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What I want to know is why the hell would you buid a ship that could potentialy screw with the timeline and make everyone on it go mad, without some sort of [plot device]temporal buffer[/plot device].

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MinutiaeMan
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Just to go back to the year for a minute (and also provide clear evidence of probable OCD on my part)...

Prior to this episode, there actually was one not-very-useful clue as to what year it was: in "The Long Arne of the Law", Braxton stated that the current day was "Tuesday the 27th." There's surprisingly many possibilities for that date (35 occasions in the first 20 years of the century, when I stopped counting), so it turns out not to be all that useful.

But now that there's an official date (I can't bring myself to use the word "canon" in relation to Series ?) [Smile] , I thought I'd go take a second look. Based on the year from this episode, the second season took place in 2877. (Assuming that both season 5 and the miniseries took place in 2880.) And there's actually a Tuesday the 27th in both April and July of that year. So it surprisingly fits!

Since the episode in question is episode 9 of 26, that puts it most likely in April, assuming a roughly equal distribution of episodes.

(In my defense, since I did editing to format all the episodes for archiving on my website, I've been a little more thorough in reading a lot of the episodes. I'm not quite as far gone as it looks.)

--------------------
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TSN
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(Every year has a Tuesday the 27th in it somewhere.)
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The Ginger Beacon
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But not every month has one.

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I have plenty of experience in biology. I bought a Tamagotchi in 1998... And... it's still alive.

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MinutiaeMan
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Yeah, I didn't originally realize that every year would have a Tuesday the 27th... For whatever reason I figured it might be a little less common than it turned out to be.

However, since modern Trek series have generally had their television seasons correspond with a calendar year, I figured that it would be reasonable to narrow down the candidate years by assuming that the episode takes place somewhere between March and May. (That criteria, for example, would mean the episode could take place in 2801, 2803, 2804, 2807, 2808, 2810...) Or, if we narrow it down to just April, that would mean either 2804 or 2810.

Again, as I originally pointed out, the whole exercise turned out to be less useful than I thought. [Wink] I just thought that the coincidence of the one exact day mentioned in the story fitting with the now-official year bore mentioning.

--------------------
“Those people who think they know everything are a great annoyance to those of us who do.” — Isaac Asimov
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The Ginger Beacon
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Absolutly. I can now fit series ? into my chronology (which is somewhere, but so battered and frankly full of in jokes it's pretty worthless...)

It is the right of every Trek fan to be anal and whip out their slide rule/calculator/mobile/iphone (depending on age) at the slightest bit of information gleaned from a series.

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I have plenty of experience in biology. I bought a Tamagotchi in 1998... And... it's still alive.

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Lee
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Thread revive!

Yes, it's me. Just catching up on stuff, and it occurred to me, "whither Series ?"

Is this the last one written/published?

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