Stuff


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Episode Five — Stuff


Last time on Star Trek: Door Repair Guy:


     Visual of approaching Borg Cube with Saucer Section mounted
on the leading corner.
     "Oh my God!  The Borg have assimilated the Saucer Section! 
Evasive manoeuvres!"
     Dr Crusher: "They're going to hide in the star's corona and
attempt to destroy us with an induced solar flare."
     
     "Our plan is to warp in on a stealth approach pattern and
execute a near warp transport of one of our personnel on to the
Battle Section."
     "I'll do it!"

     Picard: "Transporter room!  Is he away?!"

     On a chair in the midst of Door Repair Guy's stuff, frozen
by surprise in the act of lifting a forkful of beans from a tin
can to his mouth, sits the renegade fugitive, Cmdr. William
Riker.


And now this week's exciting episode:


     Riker throws down the beans and pulls a phaser.
     DRG: "Have you been messin with my stuff?"
     Riker breaks into his buccaneer's smile.  "Are these your
quarters?  I was wondering who would have bothered to keep an
entire run of "Field and Stream" on board a starship."
     "They're out of order!  You were readin them!"
     "What can I say?  I'm from Alaska."
     "Did you see the one on flyfishing for Denebian trout
devils?"
     "Excellent.  But enough small talk.  I assume Geordi sent
you."
     "Uh uh."
     "Data?"
     "Incorrectimundo."
     "Red Green?"
     "Three strikes!  Yerouttathere!  Picard."
     Riker is dumbfounded.  "Picard came through the wormhole? 
The Saucer Section doesn't have warp drive.  Starfleet must have
given him another ship."
     "Yeah.  Sort of."
     "I'm a marked man.  The whole fleet's out after me.  I
suppose you'll turn me over to Data and La Forge and we'll all
head for home now.  Court martial."  He slumps in his seat.
     Door Repair Guy takes off his baseball cap and scratches his
head.
     "'T'aint quite so simple as all that."
     Riker looks up, alert.  
     "What do you mean?"
     Door Repair Guy weighs his options, considering how much he
should tell.
     "La Forge and Data have refused to make contact with Captain
Picard's ship.  They may need some persuading."
     "Do you mean they've gone renegade?"
     "Yeah.  Sort of."
     Riker strokes his beard.
     "So, if I bring them in, Starfleet might drop the charges
against me.  Are you in a position to offer that?"
     "But of course."
     Riker sticks out his hand.
     "Partners!"
     "Partners!"
     


     "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 Saucer Section mounted on a Borg Cube)

                         Starring 

                         Door Repair Guy
                         as Himself

     Whoosh! (the Battle Section)

                         Also Starring

                    The Goodyear Tune-Up Guy
                    as Captain Jean-Luc Picard

     Whoosh! (Saucer Section/Borg Cube 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

                         Marina Sirtis
                    as Counsellor Deanna Troi

                         Brent Spiner
                         as Lt. Cmdr. Data

     The Battle Section looms into view, begins to elongate in
the warp effect, suddenly snaps back into shape, does a barrel
roll and sneaks out the lower right-hand corner of the screen.


[Commercial:

     "Goodyear makes great tires.  Sure!  But did you know
Goodyear also . . . [checks three by five card] . . . calibrates
verterium cortenide warp field coils?  And they do a darned fine
job of it too, if I do say so myself.  He he he."



     "Acting Captain's Log, stardate 49589.3.  Lt. Cmdr. La Forge
reporting.  It has been several hours since we fended off the
Borg attack.  We are still in close orbit around the yellow
giant.  Cmdr. Riker remains at large, somewhere on board."
     He stops, wipes the back of his hand across his cheek, and
says, "Data, is it me, or is it getting warm in here?"
     "It is you, Geordi.  Correction.  External sensors indicate
the beginning of a parabolic thermal increment.  At the present
rate of increase we should completely vaporize in fourteen
minutes and three seconds.  Counting.  Fourteen minutes and one
second.  Fourteen minutes.  Thirteen min . . ."
     "OK, Data, we get the point.  Pick it up again when it
becomes more dramatically interesting."
     "As you wish, Geordi.  To address the root of the problem,
though, our metaphasic shielding is breaking down."
     "Yeah, that's the way it looks.  Helm, do we have any idea
where the Borg ship is now?"
     "No, sir.  After we failed to destroy it with the solar
flares we were able to track it only briefly before solar
interference rendered sensor readings useless."
     "Did we get a good sense of the neighbourhood before
spotting the Borg ship?"
     "We have a rough idea of stellar configuration, but no
planetary count and nothing has a name yet, sir."
     "Well, I name this star The Frying Pan."
     "Geordi, is that a reference to the aphorism 'Out of the
frying pan, into the fire?'"
     "You got it, Data."
     "In twelve minutes, forty nine seconds, the appellation The
Fire will become more appropriate."
     "All right!  All right!  What do you suggest?"
     "It is reasonable to assume that in no matter what direction
we leave The Frying Pan the Borg will be able to track and follow
us and no doubt outrun us as well.  I believe that we should
therefore formulate our strategy around the assumption of contact
with the Borg, rather than escape from them.  Using knowledge
gained from previous encounters with the Borg, we must invent a
means of confounding them based on some quirk of their own
systems.  To do that we must board their ship."
     "Yeah!  And I'll bet we can use our familiarity with the
Saucer Section to make them wish they never saw it!  Helm, plot a
course out of here.  As soon as we're clear of the corona, head
for the nearest star system, warp nine point five.  Find the
planet with the strongest magnetosphere and park us over its
north pole.  If we're lucky that'll confuse their sensors long
enough for us to work out our plan of attack.  How much time left
on the countdown, Data?"
     "Four seconds, three seconds . . ."
     "Helm!  Warp drive!  Engage now!"
     Shot of Battle Section shooting out of the sun's corona and
disappearing into the distance.
     "Did I tell you I have been refining my humour programme,
Geordi?"
     "Data!!!"  La Forge sinks into the command chair, holding in
his heart with both hands.


[Commercial:

     "We-e-e-l-l-l.  It seems the word is spreading about
Goodyear's great, ah, verterium cortenide warp coil calibrations! 
Yes.  We have some actual footage of ordinary people saying the
kindest things about them.  Roll that footage, Gord."
     ("When I say Goodyear, what do you think?"
     "Oh, you mean, like, 'Have a good year?'"
     "When I say the word Goodyear, what springs to mind?"
     "There's my bus!"
     "The name Goodyear.  What does that evoke in your
imagination?"
     "Ah-h-h.  Tune-ups?")
     Timid laugh: "He he he."]


     The main bridge.  Picard hurries in from the turbolift,
straightening his tie.
     "What . . . what is it?"
     Worf: "The Battle Section has just warped out of the yellow
giant on a course for the Epsilon Cuniculi system."
     "What do they have there?  The green giant?  He he he!"  He
looks around nervously for some sign of merriment among the
bridge crew.
     "Very droll, sir.  Do you wish us to pursue them?"
     Picard edges over in Worf's direction.  In a undertone: "Do
you . . . do you think that's a good plan?"
     Worf gives the slightest nod.
     "By heck, let's chase 'em!  We'll show 'em what good
traction can do!  They won't know what hit 'em!  All right,
Battle Section, prepare to meet your match!  Floor it, helm-guy!"
     "Very good, sir."
     The Borgoprise shoots off in a burst.


     The Battle Section speeds through space.     
     Somewhere inside, a hatch opens and first Door Repair Guy
and then Riker (dressed in orange overalls) peer out into a
corridor.
     "The coast is clear."
     They climb out.  Riker winces and begins to massage his
thoracal lumbar fascia.
     DRG, noticing, exclaims, "What a climb!"
     Riker looks at him suspiciously.
     "It didn't seem to bother you much.  It was all I could do
to keep up with you."
     DRG slaps his leg.  "Strong thighs!  Feel that thigh."
     "Thanks all the same.  So what's this plan you spoke about?"
     "Simple.  Everybody's on the lookout for you, right?"
     "Right."
     "But they're not on the lookout for me."
     "That's because they don't know you're here."
     "Well, suppose they didn't know you were here."
     "It's a bit late for that."
     "Not if you were dead."
     Riker looks at him really suspiciously.
     "What are you getting at?"
     "Look, listen, and learn.  That door there is the turbolift. 
That door over there is a disused guest suite."
     "How do you know it's disused?"
     "I'm in Maintenance, ain't I?  Let's go in."
     DRG keys in his door repair lockout override.  The door
opens to a darkened, empty suite.
     "Told ya."
     They enter.  DRG heads over to the replicator.
     "Do you like chili?"
     Riker's curiosity is piqued.
     "Who doesn't?  I've programmed fourteen chili recipes
myself."
     "Well, ask for your favourite."
     "Computer, Chili Recipe Hot Tamale Number One."
     "Ten gallons."
     "Ten gallons."
     "With a spoon."
     "With a spoon."
     A huge pot of chili resolves in the replicator window, with
a spoon.
     They lug the chili to the turbolift door.
     "Phase two."
     DRG keys in a low priority maintenance safety override and
opens the turbolift door.  Opposite them is the far side of the
turboshaft.
     "Right.  We're just a few decks below the battle bridge, and
I don't see any cars up there, so we're safe in assuming we can
stick our heads out."
     The empty shaft yawns below.
     "Hello-o-o-o down there."
     Riker makes up his mind about something.  "You're really not
from Starfleet Security, are you?"
     "Nope.  Not really.  Now, gimme that spoon."
     Riker hands it over.  DRG leans out into the shaft with the
spoon held high above his head and explains: "On my planet we put
a lot of value on the skill of precision spoon-throwing.  Oh! 
Here it comes!"  He whips the spoon down the shaft.
     Shot of the turbolift car speeding up the shaft.  Suddenly
there's a loud screech and a stream of sparks flying from the
juncture between the shaft wall and the car.
     "Right in the groove!"
     The car grinds to a halt.
     "Phase three.  Got your uniform?"
     Riker pulls his Starfleet uniform out of a canvas shoulder
bag.
     "Stick it in the chili."
     In it goes.
     "Now gimme a hand with this."
     Together they pour the chili down the turboshaft.  It hits
the roof of the turbolift car with a loud, wet smack.
     "Now what?"
     "Now we run away."
     DRG hits the turbolift door control, returning it to its
original locked condition.  Riker stows the chili pot in the
replicator and dematerializes it.  They climb back into the
Jefferies Tube and shut the hatch.
     Several decks above them a security guard pokes her head out
into the turboshaft.  She points a tricorder down the shaft at
the red mess surrounding the Starfleet uniform.  Several other
heads appear and have a look.  They disappear again.
     The Acting Chief of Security taps his commbadge.
     "Security to La Forge."
     *La Forge here, Chief.  What is it?*
     "It's Riker, sir.  He did a header down the turboshaft. 
It's a complete mess down there."
     *He was a good man, Chief, but he gave it all up for Love. 
Let that be a lesson to all of us.  La Forge out*
     The security personnel disperse, all except one female guard
with the brunette braids who lingers a moment by the turbolift
door to shed a quiet tear.


     "Acting Captain's Log, stardate 49591.2.  Lt. Cmdr. La Forge
reporting.  We have just learned the sad news of the death of our
former comrade, Cmdr. William Riker.  Whether it was accident or
suicide I guess we'll never know.  It seems kinda strange that
the man who brought us so far won't be returning with us."
     Geordi tries to think of something else to add, but in the
end he merely says, "Conclusion of entry."
     Data is gazing at the planet on the screen.  The north polar
region is enveloped in night.  A bright ring of aurorae borealis
forms a circle around the top of the planet.
     Geordi comes up beside him.
     Data: "It is beautiful, is it not, Geordi?"
     "Yeah, you got that right."  He begins to hum to himself,
then sings under his breath,

          Will the circle be unbroken?
          By and by, Lord, by and by.
          Will the circle be unbroken?
          In the sky, Lord, in the sky.
 
     Data tilts his head slightly, frowning.  "Geordi, I sense
you are drawing a connection between Cmdr. Riker's death and the
electromagnetic phenomenon below.  However, I fail to understand
what relationship the two bear to one another."
     "Mystery, Data, pure mystery."
     Exterior shot of Battle Section.  The music swells into an
orchestral version of "Will the Circle Be Unbroken?"  A small
projectile fires from the forward torpedo launcher.  We see it
curve toward the planet.  It enters the atmosphere just as dawn
breaks.


[Commercial:

     "Goodyear's having a verterium cortenide warp coil
calibration sale, with good reason.
      They've got all these nacelles, they're radial, they're
all-season."]


     Picard stumbles out of his ready room.
     "What now?"
     Worf: "Captain, we have trailed the Battle Section to the
Epsilon Cuniculi system, but now the ship has disappeared."
     "Omigod!  What should we do?"
     "I suggest we take up a position below the south pole of the
fourth planet Flopsa.  Its unusually strong magnetic field should
conceal us from their sensors.  From there we can watch and
wait."
     "Great thinking.  Helm-guy, oh, now its helm-girl.  Helm-
girl, do that thing."
     "'Make it so', Captain."
     "Make it so they can't say no!  He he, pretty good slogan,
eh?  Oughta go into advertising."
     View of the Borgoprise taking up its station below the south
pole of the planet.


[Commercial:

     "I've just written a song about Goodyear nacelles.
      If you buy Goodyear, you'll prove you've got a lot of grey
cells.
     Everybody!"


[Bob:

     Bob and the Pizza Guy are seated at the two ends of the Bob
couch.  The pizza box rests lid up on the Pizza Guy's lap.  Bob
is eating.
     "MMmm.  *chomp*  Grlfpf.  Ohhh.  That's good.  What do you
call that?"
     "It is Klingon with Pineapple."
     "MMMmm.  Gimme another piece.  *chomp*  Mmm.  I can't get
enough of that.  Erff.  *gulp*  Hoo, brother."
     "There is also Vegetarian with no gakh."
     "Hhmm.  I love it.  *gulp*  Boy.  Hey, you'll let me know
when we're coming up to air?"
     From off camera: "Yeah."
     "Thanks!  Grulpf.  Mnn."]


     Shot of the Battle Section holding its position over the
north pole of the planet Flopsa.  The camera moves away and
follows the curve of the planet down past the equator and
eventually to the south pole, where the Borgoprise can be seen
holding its position. 
     A corridor in the Saucer Section.  Six-year-old Clarabelle
appears around the curve of the corridor, carrying a large
colouring book.  She stops at a door and jumps up several times
until she manages to hit the door chime.  The door opens.
     "Can Dweenie come out to play?"
     In a moment six-year-old Edwina appears.  She has a large
box of crayons.  The two girls dash off down the corridor
together.
     They run and run and run all the way around the Saucer
Section.  Then they run into a turbolift and run out again on
another deck.  They run around that deck.  See them go!  Go,
Dweenie!  Go, Clarabelle!  They run circles around the
Enterprise.  They dash around a corner into a side-corridor and
come to a screeching halt.
     "Eeeeeek!!"
     Before them in the side-corridor is an alien aurora effect,
swirling and changing hue.  A menacing voice intones:
     "We are the Antipodeans.  In ancient times we studied the
aurorae australis, gazed upon their wisdom, and learned their
truth.  At last we transcended our mundane forms and became one
with the shimmering lights."
     A brilliant flash.  In the place of the aurora stands a six-
year-old girl who, notwithstanding, speaks with the voice of
Lorne Greene sound-engineered with plenty of reverb:
     "You who have invaded our sky disturb the aurorae, and bring
malachromatic disarray to our beautiful world."
     Edwina: "Oh, you're so scary.  Why don't you just show some
patience and wait a minute till we warp away to some place else."
     The Antipodean girl seems a little less sure of herself. 
She declares: "You can little understand the chromatic majesty
you desecrate.  Without the harmony of celestial colour existence
is without meaning, we are as nothing."
     Edwina and Clarabelle nod politely, making eye contact and
employing best-friend telepathy.
     Clarabelle: "So why don't you borrow our crayons until we
go?"  She steps up and puts them in the Antipodean's hands.
     The Antipodean opens the box.  Slowly her jaw drops.  Her
eyes widen.  Colours begin to swirl around her, filling the side-
corridor.  Edwina and Clarabelle back away step by step as
hundreds of thousands of dollars begin to flow and cascade into
the coffers of Industrial Light and Magic.  The friends edge
around the two corners at the junction of the corridor, but not
so far that they lose sight of the girl with the crayons who
stands rooted in the centre of what is now a chromatic hurricane,
her hair blowing around her head and her wide eyes fixed on the
crayons in the box.
     "This is the single most important discovery in the history
of the world!!!!"
     The corridor explodes with light and colour, almost
obliterating the images of the two girls leaning into the effect
with their hands around their eyes and their clothes flapping. 
As the light level gradually returns to normal security personnel
come dashing up from two directions, weapons drawn.  Worf pushes
his way forward, followed by Troi.  Everyone mills around,
looking down the now-empty side-corridor and at the two six-year-
olds who are beginning to grow increasingly impressed by the
attention paid them.
     Clarabelle moves over behind Edwina and whispers: "I think
she liked your crayons."


     The Captain's ready room.  Picard is leaning with his elbow
on his desk and his cheekbone in the ball of his hand, playing
Leisuresuit Larry on the computer terminal.  The door chimes.  He
sits up, jerks his tie straight, yells, "Come on in!" and at the
last moment stretches over and bats at the power switch on the
terminal, sits up, re-straightens his tie, and rises smiling as
Doctor Crusher enters.
     "Doctor, entrez-vous, he he he."
     "Captain, I'm here on a formal matter."
     Picard smiles unctuously, and smooths the hair on the back
of his head.
     "As you know, Captain, we have a little tradition on the
Enterprise."
     Picard nods emphatically.
     "Absolutely!  No doubt about it!"
     Crusher: "Now, we've just been through some extraordinary
circumstances."
     Picard puts on a serious face and nods and nods.
     Crusher: "But we've come through it thanks to some inspired
thinking and quick action."
     Picard goes through a series of aw-shucks gestures.
     "And, with all that said, I'd like to present the two heroes
of the hour: Edwina and Clarabelle.  Girls."
     The door swooshes open and the two six-year-olds come in and
line up in front of the Doctor.  Picard smiles and shakes his
head, desperately searching the room for some clue of what the
Doctor expects him to do now.
     The Doctor catches his confusion and begins to prompt him.
     "You'll remember one time after Wesley saved the ship you
made him an (she mouths the words) Acting . . . Ensign."
     "Acting Ensign!  Kids!  How would you like to be Acting
Ensigns?"
     Dweenie: "First we need new crayons!"
     Clarabelle: "And not the box with the Klingon Blue!"
     Picard laughs nervously.  "Kids."
     The camera moves slowly away from the Borgoprise.


     We are on the forested northern continent of Epsilon
Cuniculi IV.  Great fern-trees spread above us, filtering the
sunlight.  The air is alive with the rustle of the wind in the
foliage.  Strange animal cries can be heard on the breeze.  All
around us the foliage sways, heavy from a recent rain shower.
     A twig snaps.  We crouch behind a clump of leafy tendrils,
our eyes darting here and there.
     A humanoid clumps into view, pushing wet branches aside left
and right.  It sees what it is searching for just ahead of us on
the moss-covered ground.  Silently we creep around to get a
better look.  A photon torpedo casing.
     Swiftly the humanoid -- a Borealan as the inhabitants of the
northern continent are called -- falls to work, probing and
exploring the torpedo casing with strong, ingenious hands and
instruments carved from antler and bone.  With a cry of triumph
the searcher leaps back as the lid of the casing rises with a
pneumatic hiss.  Inside the torpedo is an empty Starfleet uniform
and a red meaty mess.
     The Borealan contemplates these alien wonders a while. 
Then, bending down, it runs a finger through the red mass.  The
Borealan stands, rubbing the substance between its fingertips. 
Hesitantly, it takes a taste.  It moves its tongue around in its
mouth.  Gradually its eyes widen.  Wonder and delight suffuse its
being.  In a rapture the Borealan begins to dance and shout.
     "This is the best chili I've ever tasted!!!"

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

Episode Five — Stuff

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