The Cuniculi Syndrome


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Episode Three — The Cuniculi Syndrome



Last time on Star Trek: Door Repair Guy:


     "Why do you think he did it, Jean-Luc?"
     "I don't know, Beverly."
     "Stop!  Freeze!  Right there!  Now that's yaw!  Do you see
that yaw?  Computer: superimpose line figure standing
perpendicular to the floor, and display angle of divergence."
     "My God, seventeen degrees."
     "Cmdr. Riker is unbalanced."

     "Is it the Battle Section, Ensign?"
     *No, sir.  It's a Borg ship*

     "I am dispatching an away team to the Borg ship.  My next
decisions will depend heavily on their assessment."
     "Ugh!"
     "Woof!"
     "Pyuu!"

     "We could kill them.  We could set them adrift, which would
have the same result.  We could try to find a way to return them
to what they were . . . or we could join them."
     "Be assimilated?"
     "No, Captain.  Confederation."

     "Cmdr. Riker, I arrest you in name of the Starfleet
Command!"
     "WORMHOLE!"


And now this week's episode.


     "Deal!"
     "Counsellor -- darling -- I have barely begun to shuffle the
deck."
     "Come on, cut the cards before I get out that . . . big old
sleigh runner you have hangin on the wall and cut them for ya!"
     Worf deals.  The two new six-year-old characters from "The
Pilot, Part One" dodge around the table, stealing handfuls of
salty snacks.
     Doctor Crusher gathers up her cards, arranges them in a fan,
and examines them uneasily.
     "I'm experiencing the strangest feeling of deja vu.  Do you
think we can have fallen into another time loop?"
     "That's what you always say!  It's Worfy!  He dealt the same
cards.  Ante up!"
     The Doctor folds.
     Lieutenant Barclay, holding his hand directly in front of
his face, squints and opens his mouth to call for two cards, then
reconsiders, chews his lip and comes close to calling for three,
stops himself just in time, agonizes a while, and finally, with a
defeated look on his face, folds.
     "And I fold.  You win again, Counsellor."
     The Door Repair Guy, who has been circling the table, comes
up behind Troi and whispers a wicked joke in her ear.  She bursts
out laughing and begins to rake in her winnings, laughing and
laughing and laughing.

     

     "Crawlspace: the final frontier.  These are the voyages of
the Door Repair Guy.  His mission: to install and maintain
proximity-activated entranceways, to stake out new rooms and new
service conduits -- to boldly go where no one with a pass key has
gone before."

     [Music]

                    Star Trek: Door Repair Guy

     Whoosh! (the Battle Section)

                         Starring 

                         Door Repair Guy
                         as Himself

     Whoosh! (the Saucer Section mounted on a Borg Cube)

                         Also Starring

                         Patrick Stewart
                    as Captain Jean-Luc Picard

     Whoosh! (Battle Section again)

                         Jonathan Frakes
                    as Cmdr. William Riker

                         Michael Dorn
                         as Lt. Worf

                         LeVar Burton
                    as Lt. Cmdr. Geordi LaForge

                         Gates McFadden
                    as Doctor Beverly Crusher

                         Roseanne Arnold
                    as Counsellor Deanna Troi

                         Brent Spiner
                         as Lt. Cmdr. Data

                         and Dwight Schultz
                    as Lieutenant Barclay


     Saucer Section looms into view, giving a good look at the
array of tractor beams joining it to the Borg Cube, which looms
into view just as the French horns are playing.  The two warp off
in a burst.


[Commercial:

     The friendly folk at Red Planet Terraforming would like to
wish you and yours a very happy holiday.  Come visit our showroom
and see all the latest in recreational sandblasting and sub-zero
lawn care.  Or visit our new location in the Pembroke Mall.]


     Blackness, relieved by only the tiny, shimmering lights of
distant galaxies.  There is a sudden smack of thunder, a
brilliant flash of light, and an enormous blue and orange cloud
appears, corkscrewing open into a tremendous aperture, from which
the Battle Section of the Enterprise tumbles.  As suddenly as it
appeared the aperture collapses on itself and vanishes into a
point of light and then nothing.  The Battle Section rolls slowly
past our point of view.
     On the battle bridge it's pandaemonium.  The lights are out,
except for glowing computer panels and flashing red alert signs. 
A klaxon honks frantically.  Crewmembers cling to chair arms,
railings and consoles, painfully pulling themselves from the
floor the time-honoured Starfleet way.  Geordi staggers into the
middle of the shot with his hand on his head.
     "Computer!  Restore lighting!  Cancel red alert!"
     The lights come on.  Bruised crewmembers pull each other to
their feet, clutching onto computer consoles and trying to
interpret the information scrolling across the monitors.
     "Helm!  Where are we?"
     An engineer slips into the chair and reports: "Computer
cannot get a fix.  There are no recognizable stars or
navigational beacons."
     "Do we have power?"
     "Engines are off line but not down.  Restoring power now."
     "How about other systems?"
     "Other nonessential systems are also off line but returning
to service now."
     A voice comes from the corner.
     "Get this android off of me!"
     Riker is lying spread-eagle on his back, with Data slumped
across his middle.
     Geordi: "Data, are you all right?"
     Data, speaking toward the floor: "Perfectly, Geordi.  I am
merely executing emergency wormhole arrest protocol Data One.  I
am slumping over Cmdr. Riker to ensure he does not escape in the
confusion of the moment."
     Geordi looks around the battle bridge, rubbing his chin
thoughtfully.
     "Yeah.  That must be what happened.  When we unexpected went
into the wormhole the computer turned off all unnecessary
systems, and we just sort of tumbled through like a limp body!" 
     "Sir, computer reports no major damage.  All systems
normal."
     "That's a relief.  Data, suspend emergency wormhole arrest
protocol!"
     Data stands up.
     "Commander Riker, I arrest you in the name of Starfleet
Command and the United Federation of Planets.  Until such time as
a court martial can be convened you will remain in confinement
under armed guard.  You have the right to counsel.  You have the
right to remain silent.  Anything you say can and will be used
against you in a court of law.  Security, take him to the brig."
     Four burly security guards hustle Riker off the bridge.  On
his way out the door Riker twists around and shouts, "I did it
all for l-o-o-o-o-o-ve!"
     "Cmdr. Riker is deeply in love, is he not, Geordi?"
     "Yeah, Data.  That Deanna is some woman."


     Troi's office.  Deanna and Lt. Barclay are seated at the two
ends of the couch.  Barclay is explaining his insecurity about
his recent promotion to Acting Chief of Engineering, his anxiety
about the demands on his time and the loss of his private life,
his doubts about his ability to fill Geordi's shoes, his gnawing
suspicions that the Captain might be having second thoughts about
the promotion, and, as always, his ongoing inability to attract a
member of the opposite sex.  Troi is sitting there with an
incredulous look on her face.
     ". . . so then *he* says, `I *could* recalibrate this sensor
array the way you want, but I'll just have to set it back when
LaForge returns.'  And so I say . . ."
     "Wa-a-a-a-it a minute."
     "Y-yes, Counsellor?"
     "Have you ever thought of, ya know, like, just clockin him? 
Why not just lay into him for a change?  I mean, are you the boss
or what!?  Well, OK, *I'm* the boss, but I've got a hundred other
nerve cases to look after.  I can't be goin out and fightin
everybody else's turf war.  I'll tell you what.  You go down
there and tell this guy to fly straight or it's lights out.  And
if he doesn't like it he can go cryin to the Captain."
     Barclay tries to get his mind around this new advice.
     "So, if I don't get the respect I want, I simply . . .
resort to physical intimidation.  Lower the boom.  Knuckle
sandwich."
     "Now you're talkin!!"
     "Thank you, Counsellor."
     "Don't mention it.  Next!!"


[Commercial:

     Connie, Jeff and Org at Barsoom Gamma-Welding would like to
extend to you and your family the warmest of holiday greetings.]



     Data and LaForge are having a conference on the battle
bridge.
     "How many people do we have on board, Data?"
     "Computer census registers 443 persons.  As would be
expected we have a large majority of the Enterprise's Engineering
Division.  On the other hand our share of the Medical Department
is extremely meagre.  We are well supplied with security guards,
but have no teachers, bartenders or door repair technicians.  One
hundred and twenty-eight individuals on board can pilot a
shuttlecraft, but no one, with the possible exception of Cmdr.
Riker, can cook an egg."
     "Do we have any children on board?"
     "No one under the legal drinking age."
     "And no Ten Forward.  Damn!  Have we figured out where we
are?"
     "We would appear to be in intergalactic space.  Sensors
indicate we are approximately one half million light years
outside the Milky Way Galaxy.  Gravimetric readings do suggest,
however, that we are within the gravitational sphere of our
galaxy and that we have already begun to spiral back toward it."
     "How long will that take?"
     "Three point two billion years."
     "Good thing we have warp drive."
     "Notwithstanding, it would be advisable to locate the
wormhole and determine whether it is stable enough to return us
to our own quadrant.  Under our own power, at an average velocity
of Warp 9, the journey back to the Milky Way would last
approximately 500 years."
     "So we'd better find that wormhole.  Helm, plot a course
back the way we came after leaving the wormhole."
     "I'll do my best, sir, but it's very difficult to get a
sense of direction out here without any stars."
     "I hadn't thought of that.  Well, double back along our ion
trail."
     "Engines were off when we exited the wormhole, sir.  We
didn't leave an ion trail."
     "Uh o-o-oh."
     "Are there no subgalactic formations to be seen at all,
helmsman?"
     "Checking.  Long range sensors identify a smudge which may
be a group of stars several hundred light years from here."
     "Make for that smudge, then."
     "Aye, aye, sir."
     "Geordi!"
     "What is it, Data?"
     "I wonder if they've remembered to feed my cat?"



     The Door Repair Guy comes along the corridor, muttering,
with a bowl of cat food in one hand.
     "Why do I always get the crummy jobs?  Feed the cat.  I, who
have rehinged the mighty gates of Herghngeng!"
     He stops outside of Data's quarters and keys in his door
repair technician override.  The door shooshes open and he
enters.
     "MMmRwwrRRRwweowWWW!!!!"
     He hits the opposite wall of the corridor.
     "Computer!  Emergency Lockout Code Door Repair One!"
     He catches a glimpse of Spot pouncing on the spilled cat
food.
     "The next time I'm beaming it in."


[Commercial:

     It's the Hottest Chili on Mars!  Rusty and Nanette want to
wish you and your family the happiest of holidays and invite you
to come down to the Uranium Chili Company, 3500 Bradbury
Boulevard.  Or try our new location in the Pembroke Mall!]



     Captain Picard is walking briskly along one of the curved
corridors of the Saucer Section.  Ahead he can hear the patter of
small feet, a cacophony of tiny bells, and lots of shrieking and
giggling.  In a moment he comes across a group of four people:
two children and a pair of Borg.
     "Whom have we here?" he demands.
     "That's Dweenie!"
     "It's short for Edwina!  And she's Clarabelle!  We're six!"
     "Would you please introduce me to your two friends, Edwina?"
     The two Borg straighten up and cast glances at one another,
uncertain about this human ritual.
     "This is Tulip," says Dweenie, taking one of them by the
hand.
     "And this is Chestnut," says Clarabelle, looking up at the
Borg with big brown eyes.
     "We named them."
     The two Borg have difficulty concealing their pleasure at
the sound of their new names.
     "Are you showing your Borg friends around?"
     "Yes!  We're teaching them all about everything!  What am I
playing?"
     Dweenie holds her bells up above her head and shakes them
rhythmically for what seems a long while.  Picard tries to pick
some melody from the racket.
     "I can't say."
     "Jingle Bells!"
     "What am I playing?"
     Clarabelle holds up an empty fist and shakes it in the air
for a while.
     "I'm completely at a loss."
     "Silent Night!"  Both girls laugh uproariously, then sprint
away, followed by the happy, embarrassed Borg.

     

     Shot of the Borgoprise falling out of warp.
     "Captain's Log, stardate 49581.2.  We have followed the
missing Battle Section's ion trail to these coordinates, far
beyond the previous limit of Federation-explored space, to find
that the trail comes to an abrupt end here.  Sensor sweeps reveal
no wreckage and no energy signature of the sort that would
indicate an explosion or failure of the antimatter containment
field.  The astrophysics lab is hard at work interpreting sensor
input that may serve to substantiate a idea that has been growing
in my mind."
     "Astrophysics reporting, Captain.  This entire region shows
extensive hydrogen eddying."
     "Have we seen this sort of thing before?"
     "Yes, we have.  It's a wormhole, sir.  And they went right
down its throat."
     "That's a mixed metaphor, Lieutenant."
     "Sorry, sir."
     "Mr Worf.  Prepare a series of Class One Sensor Probes. 
Fire them at intervals toward the last recorded location of the
Battle Section.  I want them programmed to do extensive
cartographic research on the far side of that wormhole and to
search out and reenter the wormhole once they have verified its
location.  We don't want to risk entering the wormhole until we
are sure that the other end is stable."
     "Very good, Captain.  Sir!  A Priority One transmission is
coming in from Starfleet Command."
     "Stand by on that Sensor Probe order.  I'll take the
transmission in my ready room."
     Swoosh goes the ready room door.  Picard slides into his
chair and activates his terminal.
     The Executive Producer appears on screen.  He says: "Picard,
are you crazy?  Each time you launch one of those probes we have
to show the wormhole!  You'll blow the special effects budget for
the next half season!"
     "Hm.  I appreciate your difficulty.  Perhaps you could just
show the first probe going in, and then *suggest* the others with
sound effects and shots of our astonished faces?"
     "No, no!  We already dropped a bundle to get Ms Arnold! 
Listen, Picard.  There's only going to be one more wormhole
effect this episode, and it'll be when you take the Enterprise
through!"
     "Really!  This is quite outrageous!"
     "I've got Diana Muldaur's agent on the other line."
     "Wait!  Stop!  Not that!  You win this round, Executive
Producer.  Just tell me one thing.  Is the other end of the
wormhole stable?"
     "Yes."
     "Perfectly stable?"
     "Reasonably stable.  Look, I gotta go.  Ross Perot wants to
be written in in the role of the Grand Nagus.  I'm doing lunch
with his private eye.  Ciao!"  The Starfleet Emblem comes up on
screen, with the caption `End of Transmission'.
     Picard sits back, draws a deep breath, then walks out onto
the Bridge.
     "Mr Worf, belay that sensor probe order.  Helm, take us into
the wormhole, one quarter impulse power."
     "Aye, aye, sir."
     Shot of the Borgoprise moving forward.  Suddenly the
wormhole blossoms and the ship disappears into it.  The wormhole
closes again.  Fadeout.
 

[Commercial:

     lalDan tay qoS Quch yIghaj 'e' luneH Krell loDnI'pu' je
lojmItHuSwI'pu'.  Pembroke MallDaq Quvchaj chu' yISuch.

     (Krell and Brothers, Doorhangers, want you to have a happy
religion ritual birthday.  Visit their new location in the
Pembroke Mall.)]


[Bob:
     "We-e-l-l-l!  Here we are on location at the Pembroke Mall.
We're having a great time.  Hey, I have here with me six-year-old
Jason.  Say `Hi,' Jason."
     "Hi."
     "Jason's here Christmas shopping with his Mom.  Say `Hi,'
Mom."
     From off camera: "Hi."
     "Jason's brought along some really cool action figures from
the new Star Trek ah Door Repair Guy series.  Hold some of those
up, Jason.  There's Ross Perot as Data . . . and Buddy
Whassisname.  Authentic rubber boots and sou'wester there. 
Roseanne Arnold as Deanna Troi.  The Executive Producer. 
Sunglasses and everything.  Wow.  Kind of a Cardassian neck on
that guy.  Edwina and Clarabelle.  How soon before they're acting
ensigns, Jason?"
     "A couple weeks."
     "What else have you got there?  A couple of Borg
characters."
     "Tulip and Chestnut."
     "Hey!  That's right!  And there's Door Repair Guy himself. 
I hear he's up for an Emmy.  Who's this blonde goof?"
     "That's you!"
     "Oh."]


     The wormhole blossoms and disgorges the Borgoprise.  The
hybrid ship cruises by at one quarter impulse power.  The
wormhole closes up and disappears.  The Board of Directors at
Industrial Light and Magic all sit back and light up cigars.
     Picard leans toward the viewscreen, squinting.
     "Any sign of the Battle Section, Ensign?"
     "No indication, sir."
     "Can you tell where we are?"
     "Stellar Cartography is reporting now.  Captain!  We are 500
million light years beyond the edge of the galaxy."
     "Extraordinary!  What's that dim light in the corner of the
viewscreen?  Magnify."
     "Stars.  A single constellation out here in intergalactic
space!"
     "It looks like two bunnies!"
     Everyone turns to look at the speaker.  Edwina is standing
by the turbolift with a badminton racket in one hand and a wicker
basket full of red chili peppers in the other.
     "Who let that child on the bridge?"
     Edwina puts on her best affronted face and says, "I let
myself."  She departs via the turbolift.
     "It does look like two bunnies, sir."
     Picard, sensing he has lost the sympathy of the bridge,
calls a conference. 


     The brig.  Riker is sitting on his bed, improvising on the
trombone.  Beyond the security containment field a broad-
shouldered security guard stands with his chest stuck out and his
chin up, ready for anything.
     The door opens and a female security guard enters.  She
debriefs the male guard and then relieves him of his post.  The
door closes behind him.  She assumes a position to the side of
the containment field, next to the controls.  She stands with her
feet shoulder-width apart, hands clasped behind her back, phaser
on her hip, chin up, ready for anything.
     Riker finishes his solo and lays the trombone aside.  He
gets up, nonchalantly strolls over to the containment field, and
glances out.  He leans up against the cell wall, just about where
she is standing on the other side, and begins:
     "Did I ever tell you how much I admire strong women?"


[Commercial: Old Spice]


     The conference room.  Present around the table are: Picard,
Doctor Crusher, Lt. Worf, Counsellor Troi (played by Roseanne
Arnold), Barclay, an Extra, playing someone from Stellar
Cartography, and a Borg.
     The Extra is explaining: "We have mapped the star cluster
and run spectroscopic analyses on all the stellar masses, and
conducted a sensor inventory of all planetary bodies, moons and
asteroids above 1000 metres in diameter.  There are twenty-four
suns in the cluster, ranging from Alpha Cuniculi, a yellow giant,
down to Omega Cuniculi, a nearly extinct red dwarf."
     Picard, under his breath: "I knew Red Dwarf would get in
here somehow."
     "We have discovered four Class M planets: Epsilon Cuniculi
IV, Theta Cuniculi III, Pi Cuniculi III, and Tau Cuniculi VII. 
For convenience we have named these Flopsa, Mopsa, Cauda Linea,
and Petrus.  There is also an exceptionally dense, dark nebula
which we have named Dominus McGregor."
     "Aren't these all Greek and Latin versions of names from
Peter Rabbit?"
     The officers turn their moral disapproval toward the head of
the table.
     "That's right, Captain."
     Worf speaks up, with a glint in his eye: "Captain, will we
have the opportunity to peruse these worlds?"
     "Not in this episode, Mr Worf.  Our first priority is to re-
establish contact with the Battle Section."
     "Oh, I hope we get to explore those planets.  They must have
many useful things."
     Everyone looks askance at the Borg.
     "I mean, that we could . . . ah . . . photograph."  The Borg
slides down in its chair and begins to punch a button on its arm,
trying to activate a faulty personal cloaking device.
     Troi: "Don't sweat it, DJ.  You'll get to use your cutter
beam just as soon as Worfy here takes me out and then spends the
whole night at the piano bar again.  Klingon C&W!  Sa-a-a-y,
that's a great shiner you've got there, Broccoli!"
     Barclay smiles self-consciously, revealing a missing tooth.
     Picard senses that he's losing control of the conference.
     "People, we all know the writers only put in this conference
to separate the two Riker scenes.  Let's at least try to comport
ourselves as Starfleet Officers until . . ."
     Troi gives a dirty laugh.
     Worf: "Captain, we didn't see much of Door Repair Guy in
this episode."
     "That's all right.  The next one is almost entirely about
him."
     "MajQa'."
     They sit around, drumming their fingers on the table.  A
little beeper goes off and half of them are out of their chairs
before Picard can say, "Dismissed."  The last one to leave the
room is Doctor Crusher, who slaps the two arms of her chair as
she stands up and says: "No lines again!"

     
     A Security team bursts into the brig.  The containment field
is off.  On the floor lies a commbadge.  A security guard scoops
it up and taps it.
     "Computer, who am I?"
     "You are Cmdr. William T. Riker."
     On the bed in the containment cell lies the motionless shape
of a body covered with a blanket.  An arm and a braid of brunette
hair dangle over the side.
     "Oh my God," says a guard, stepping into the cell.  As he
hesitantly reaches for the edge of the blanket he hears a low
sound emanating from beneath it:
     "ZZZZZzzzZZzzzzzzzz."
     He taps his commbadge.  "Security to LaForge."
     *LaForge here*
     "It's Riker, sir.  He slept . . . slipped past the guard."
     *Where do you think he could be now?*
     The camera moves in as the security guard's gaze goes from
one side of the room, up over his head, and around to the other
side.
     "Anywhere, sir."
     [Dramatic music.]

--
Written by Douglas A. McLeod (ai919@freenet.carleton.ca)
--

Episode Three — The Cuniculi Syndrome

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