Natural Selection


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Episode Eight — Natural Selection

Previously on Star Trek: Door Repair Guy:

     "Riker did this!  Oh, where will it end?"

And now this week's exciting episode:

     Shot of Borg Cube/Saucer Section confederation leaving
Mopsan orbit.
     The door chimes.
     "Come."
     Lt. Cmdr. Data enters.
     "Captain, we have completed our survey of the planet Mopsa."
     "Excellent, Mr Data.  Have you found anything of interest?"
     "Yes, Captain.  The planet is entirely capable of supporting
humanoid life.  However, we have been unable to identify any
indigenous lifeform superior to a remarkably varied family of
rodentia which might best be classified as 'chipmunkoid'.  These
creatures appear to have descended from one single group of
ancestors.  By measuring genetic drift we have postulated a
genesis nest dating 150,000 years before the present day.  It
raises the possibility that ancient travellers from the Milky Way
once passed this way, spreading chipmunks as they went.  From
their nucleus population the chipmunkoids have evolved in a
remarkable variety of directions.  It is a perfect demonstration
of the principles of Charles Darwin, Captain.  To use a figure of
speech, sir, Mopsa is a veritable Galapagos of chipmunks.  The
chipmunks have evolved to fill every available ecological niche.
There are flying chipmunks, aquatic chipmunks, tiny intestinal
chipmunks, as well as huge tusked chipmunks who spent their lives
browsing the tundra of the subarc . . . Captain, have I said
something amusing?"
     Picard wipes his eyes.
     "I'm sorry, Mr Data, you didn't.  You did.  Forgive me.
It's just that the image of intrepid chipmunks conquering a new
world . . . it just . . . it just tickled my funny bone."
     Data frowns, flexes his arm, and looks at his elbow.
     "Do you mean I told a joke, sir?"
     "No, Data.  You didn't tell a joke.  That's what made it
funny.  It was situational humour."
     "So, there are situations in which a person can be a source
of humour by . . . not being funny."
     "Yes."
     "And it is always unintentional."
     "Indeed, no, Mr Data.  The history of comedy is full of
straight men who were funny by intentionally not telling jokes.
Bob and Ray are an example."
     "Accessing.  Curious.  They specialized in the interview
format.  Both were straight men.  Neither one of them told jokes.
Yet they were revered as masters of comedy."
     "That's right."
     "I shall have to watch for situations in which humour arises
without the telling of jokes.  Thank you, Captain."
     "Quite all right.  Is that all, Mr Data?"
     Data snaps out of his review of the collected works of Bob
and Ray, says, "Yes, Captain," and exits.
     Picard presses a control, clears his throat and begins his
log entry.
     "Captain's Log, stardate 49599.0.  We continue our
exploration of the anomalous Cuniculi Cluster deep in
intergalactic space.  We find the planet Mopsa entirely capable
of supporting humanoid life.  I am recommending the planet for
possible colonization, if anyone can be persuaded to live this
far from the bright lights . . . and if we ever get back through
the wormhole to report on it.  We are moving on to the planet
Cauda Linea.  Meanwhile, we maintain a constant monitor of the
movements of the missing Battle Section, which has been
infiltrated by Technician Door Repair Guy and Lt. Worf, and which
now appears to be under the control of some new rogue officer.
Lt. Cmdrs. Data and La Forge, who beamed over from the Battle
Section just before it headed for the Dominus McGregor Nebula,
report that the mutinous Cmdr. Riker met a sudden and grizzly
demise in a turbolift shaft.  It is sad to think that all that
remain of a brilliant career are a few chili recipes in the
replicator.  As for the Battle Section, we can only speculate on
who controls that vessel now."

     The Battle Section banks around an arm of the Dominus
McGregor Nebula.
     "Rogue Captain's Log, stardate 49599.0, William Riker
reporting.  We continue to orbit this nebula, awaiting the
reappearance of the Borg ship.  I have devised fourteen scenarios
designed to lure the Borg to their destruction, but so far they
are not biting.  In the absence of Data and La Forge, who beamed
over to the Borg ship and are no doubt assimilated by now, most
officers, all of them junior, have come over to my banner.  There
remain a small number of bothersome truancies, however.
Commbadges have been stolen, deactivated or mysteriously
duplicated.  I am no longer certain how many people are aboard or
whether there are efforts being made against my command.  I
continue to eat and sleep on the battle bridge.  Riker out."
     He turns, scratches his beard, and asks the ensign nearest
him, "What do think?  Pizza or Chinese tonight?"
     The ensign tries to look enthusiastic about the choice.
     "We had Chinese for lunch, sir."
     "True."  He rubs his belly.  "But I'm still hungry for
almond guy ding.  Chinese it is."
     "Very good, sir."  She rolls her eyes when he's looking the
other way.

     Three-quarter view of Borgoprise flying at warp speed, the
stars streaking behind.  Suddenly the blue tractor beams joining
the Saucer to the Cube wink out and the Cube comes to a dead
stop, dwindling away into the distance.  The Saucer, carrying on
as the vestigial warp envelope dissipates, drops out of warp a
moment later and also comes to a dead stop.
     The main bridge.  The bridge crew are all over the place.
Small planets are orbiting the heads of the conn and ops
officers, who have both piled up against the main viewscreen.
The tactical officer has landed face down in the captain's chair.
Picard staggers out of his ready room, wearing most of a cup of
Earl Grey.
     "What in damnation is going on out here?!"
     A lieutenant trying to staunch a nosebleed reports:
     "The Borg shib hash deactivaded itsh tracdor beamsh and
drobbed oud of warb, Cabdain.  *sniff*"
     "Casualty reports coming in, sir.  Over three hundred broken
noses."
     Counsellor Troi spills out of the turbolift.
     "Captain!  I was on my way up to warn you!"
     "Warn me what, Counsellor?  That the Borg have turned
against us?"
     "No, Captain!  They've forgotten us!"

     "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/Borg Cube)

                         Also Starring

                         Patrick Stewart
                    as Captain Jean-Luc Picard

     Whoosh! (the 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

                         Marina Sirtis
                    as Counsellor Deanna Troi

                         and Brent Spiner
                         as Lt. Cmdr. Data

     The Saucer Section looms into view, followed by the Borg
Cube.  Those with really big TV screens can see the construction
paper cut-out bunnies stuck on the observation lounge windows by
acting ensigns Edwina and Clarabelle.  The combined Borgoprise
warps off in a burst of light.

[Commercial:

     "I'm in this Klingon opera to show just how Klingon our new
subs sandwiches are."]

     Shot of the Battle Section skirting the edge of the nebula.
     A corridor.  Doctor Selar approaches, walking calmly and
observantly, hands folded behind her back, just like a Vulcan.
She passes a security guard and nods.  The guard nods back,
suddenly feeling vaguely guilty and undeserving beneath the calm
gaze of Vulcan rationality.  Vulcans do that to humans, and
Doctor Selar is good at it.
     The doctor enters a little-used medical lab and keys in a
security code at an inner door marked "Xenobiology -- Specimens".
Inside there is a work station and a wall of large drawers.  She
pulls one open and removes the cortical stimulator from the
forehead of the specimen.
     "Wake up."
     Door Repair Guy blinks and fixes a stare on the doctor.
     "I'm a spaceman, not a specimen."
     "It took you four days to think that up?"
     She scans him carefully with a medical tricorder.
     "I thought it was pretty good."
     "Sit up.  Take deep breaths."
     She surveys a series of tissue regenerators arranged around
his chest and back.
     "You have survived, thanks to your alien implants.  They
appear to have redirected the energy of Cmdr. Riker's phaser
blast into the subspace realm.  A number of the relays have burnt
out entirely.  You will have to have them replaced.  Do you have
a warranty?"
     "The guy's a friend of mine."
     "That is fortunate.  Your back currently displays the
message LABATT M------ ICE."
     "Ha!  Maybe I'll get a free case of beer out of this."
     "Fascinating."
     "What is?"
     "The human capacity for tangential thought."
     "I'm also good at fuzzy logic."
     "Doubtlessly.  Tell me, technician, do you have a message
from Captain Picard?"
     "Huh?  How do you know I'm from Captain Picard?"
     "I am good at logic.  Cmdr. Riker is maintaining a constant
watch for a vessel he believes to be a member of the Borg
collective, and has shot you in the belief that you are Borg.
You display extensive Borg implantation.  However, you also
exhibit undeniable human personality traits.  I conclude that
Picard has somehow managed to assimilate a group of stranded,
individualized Borg, and is using their technology to compensate
for the loss of the Battle Section."
     "Close, but no banana.  It's not assimilation.  It's
confederation."
     She sits back on the edge of the desk.
     "Of course.  Nineteenth-century Canada.  The model for all
subsequent civilized societies."
     "We have a bingo!"
     She gives him a look that indicates she thinks he's a
specimen, not a spaceman.
     "Technician, I am in the unenviable situation of depending
on your help.  I represent a small number of officers and crew
who believe that Commander Riker must be returned to the brig.
You helped him seize control of this ship.  You know his methods.
Will you help us seize back the ship?"
     "Hm.  What's in it for me?"
     "Commendation.  A chance to return to Federation space.
Access to your personal quarters, which Commander Riker now has
under 24-hour guard."
     "My stuff!  That tears it.  I'll do anything you want."
     "Fascinating."

     A moving turbolift car.  We look down from overhead.  The
decks zip by, then slow.  The doors open and a tall male extra in
a blue uniform enters.  The car moves on, then slows and stops.
Data enters and the extra and he exchange nods.  The car starts
moving.  Both Data and the extra stand as people do in elevators:
both of them look at door.  Soon, however, Data glances at his
own elbow, then at the elbow of the extra.  The extra studiously
ignores him.  Data leans toward the extra, hesitates, then begins
to tickle the man's elbow with his index finger.  For a moment
the man doesn't realize what's going on, then suddenly he starts
and pulls his elbow away, hitting it against a metal upright in
the wall.
     "Ouch!!  I hit my funny bone!  Ow!  I hate that!  It's all
numb!  Ooo!"
     The turbolift slows and Data escapes.

[Commercial: Romulan Ale Max]

     The conference room.  Seated around the table are Picard,
Doctor Crusher, Troi, Data and Geordi.
     "Counsellor, what do you think has happened over there?"
     "Well, Captain, I believe that they have all turned their
attention toward some problem or other, to the exclusion of all
other considerations."
     Geordi: "Captain, based on our observation of earlier Borg
encounters, this seems to be fairly standard behaviour for them.
When they all agree to go somewhere, they go, warp nine.  When
they have some problem to work through they're likely to stop
dead in space until they have it figured out."
     "I thought they had lost all capacity for united action."
     Troi: "Yes, they had, Captain, soon after they were cut off
from the greater Borg collective.  Since then they have been
working individually through the dilemma of their individuality."
     Geordi: "And their ship's systems have been able to continue
to operate only because they were tied in to certain subroutines
slaved to our main computer frame.  But their capacity for
collective action never disappeared entirely because the
programming . . . ."
     Troi: "What you might also call their collective unconscious
. . . ."
     Geordi: "Never disappeared.  It was always there, waiting
for them to get over their confusion."
     "So they are all beginning to think alike again."
     "Not necessarily, Captain," interjects Doctor Crusher.  "My
department's observations have shown increased individuality
among these Borg.  They argue, they lie, they compete and show
off, and there's always some kind of scuffle breaking out.  I'd
say the idea of individual self-interest is very firmly imbedded
in their thinking now."
     Troi: "They may have re-established what we would call a
sense of community within which their individuality can operate.
You may recall that we provided them with our political
philosophy database.  What we are seeing may be the next step in
their group development."
     Picard: "And I would say that the only way to find that out
for sure would be to go and have a look."
     He hits his commbadge.
     "Picard to Helm.  How long until we reach the Borg ship at
full impulse power?"
     *Forty-three minutes, ship's time, Captain*
     "Make it so."
     The conference breaks up.  Data is the last to leave.  He
gets out of his chair, but hesitates and looks down, frowning.
     "There was not a single joke in that scene, and still no one
laughed."
     He glances to one side, then the other, decides he still
hasn't got it, and follows the others out.
     The Saucer makes a turn and powers away in the direction of
the Borg ship.

[Commercial: Klingon Blood Wine Max]

[Bob:
     Oka-a-y.  Some Door Repair Guy rumours.  Apparently -- and I
have this directly from the grocery checkout -- apparently there
are three scripts being considered for the Star Trek: Door Repair
Guy: The Motion Picture ah motion picture which may or may not be
made at the end of this season, depending on whether QVC or
Viacom buys Paramount Pictures, and whether Door Repair Guy signs
a contract, which up 'til now he has not yet done, because
apparently he wants to direct the picture, and, well, you
remember Star Trek V.  So, anyway, the first script involves an
enormous alien probe that sneaks up on the Earth, and rings all
the doorbells and runs away.  I kid you not.  And Door Repair Guy
has to solve that.  And the second is all about the Klingons, and
how Door Repair Guy was trained in, in door repair, by the
Klingons.  You remember that guy Krell.  Well, he would be in it.
Played by John Colicos I hear.  And the third script, which is
the one I would really like to see, is a sequel to the original
Star Trek episode "Assignment: Earth", in which Door Repair Guy
and Gary Seven have to go through that door in the computer and
rescue Terry Garr from endless guest appearances on the Letterman
Show.]

     Shot of the Saucer Section coasting up to the stationary
Borg Cube.
     The interior of the Borg ship.  Three shimmering columns of
transporter effect appear.  Troi, Dr Crusher and Geordi
materialize in a circle, back to back, with tricorders held out.
     La Forge: "Doctor, my tricorder is picking up incredible
levels of local subspace activity."
     "Can you characterize it?"
     "It's communication traffic for sure.  These Borg are
thinking up a storm."
     Troi: "They are preoccupied.  I'm sensing the strangest
mixture of anxiety, jealousy, indignation, braggadocio, bravura,
idealism, self-satisfaction and greed."
     "Here comes one now."
     A Borg hisses and wheezes by, ignoring them.  Doctor Crusher
reaches out and grabs it by the prosthesis.  It stops and turns.
     "Hey!"
     "It's all right.  I'm a doctor.  What's going on here?"
     The Borg glances from person to person, it's optical implant
zooming in and out with a whirring motor sound as it refocuses on
each one in turn.
     "The ship.  We must save the ship."
     It reaches into a large pocket, pulls out an oversized
button, and attaches it to Doctor Crusher's lapel.  Counsellor
Troi and Lt. Cmdr. La Forge also each get a button.  The Borg
turns and walks away, its joints producing a variety of pneumatic
sound effects.
     They look down at their buttons.
     Crusher: "'Think Green.'  What do you suppose that means?"
     La Forge: "Beats me.  Here comes another one."
     This Borg is draped in red ribbons.  It stops when it sees
them and pronounces:
     "Down with the petty Borgeoisie."
     It walks on.
     "This is very strange."
     "Here comes another one."
     A third Borg approaches.  This one looks them up and down
and declares, "Vive le Borg.  Vive le Borg libre!"
     "How odd!"
     Troi: "Beverly, I think I know what's going on here.  It's
election day!"
     Beverly looks amazed, Geordi whistles in surprise, Deanna
looks serious and wide-eyed, and we go to commercial.

[Commercial: 1% Milk Max]

     The three of them stand there in the same positions they
were in before the commercial.
     Geordi: "A Borg election?  That's something I never expected
to see."
     Crusher: "I wonder how they plan to go about it?"
     Troi: "There's a door over there.  It looks like some kind
of campaign centre.  Let's find out."
     They approach a door bearing the sign Yellow Party.  They
enter.  It's the foyer of Not Fragile Surgical Implants.
     Geordi: "I've been here before."
     Madeline the receptionist sits behind a display of campaign
literature.  She has her chin in her hand and her elbow on the
desk.  She chews her gum and watches the three as they look
around.
     Doctor Crusher approaches the desk.  "Excuse me.  Is there
an election going on?  How are you doing this?  Will the results
be out soon?  What issues are at stake?"
     "Yeah, there's an election.  What planet you been on?"
     Troi steps forward.  "It's just that we've never seen Borg
democracy in action before.  Tell us, what does the Yellow Party
stand for?"
     The Borg implant specialist Not Fragile steps from the inner
office with his arms in a wide, welcoming gesture.
     "The Yellow Party stands for the gradual assimilation of the
Federation, based on the unregulated supply of surgical implant
services and a free market economy."
     Geordi: "You mean, if enough humans come and get Borg
implants from you, eventually we'll all be as good as Borg, and
everyone will be happy?"
     "Precisely, my friend.  Precisely.  I must say I admire your
optical implant.  A fine piece of work.  Fine."
     "Ah, gee, thanks."
     Troi: "Tell me, sir.  How many parties are running?"
     "Three hundred and five at the registration deadline."
     "That's more than one for every two Borg."
     "Which puts us slightly in the lead.  Right, Madeline?"
     "Yeah, right."
     He gives her a look that suggests he has doubts about her
loyalty.
     "Will there be an actual ballot?  What happens if no party
achieves a majority?"
     "Oh, we vote in our heads.  Whatever government we form will
represent a reasonable amalgamation of all platforms."
     "Deanna, this is incredible.  We've got to report back to
the Captain."
     Geordi: "Wait a minute, Doctor."  He addresses Not Fragile:
"What happens to the Saucer Section?"
     Not Fragile makes a gesture that would involve running his
thumbs up and down the inside of his suspenders, if he had any.
     "We'll know that when the people have spoken."

[Commercial: Pepto Bismal Max]

     A small storage room somewhere in the Battle Section.  Door
Repair Guy, Doctor Selar, and the annoying lieutenant from
"Suspicions" are all squeezed in and looking uncomfortable and
impatient.
     Annoying lieutenant: "Where in blazes is that security
guard?  She's eleven minutes late!"
     Doctor Selar: "Lieutenant, Security Guard Braun is under
close observation at all times.  It is reasonable to assume she
has been forced to take special measures to reach us here."
     "Yeah, lighten up, eh?  You're gettin on my nerves."
     "I haven't forgotten about that gakh."
     "It was delicious."
     "Technician, please.  He's growing pale.  If you provoke an
unfortunate incident we will all be wearing it."
     "All right, all right."
     They all shift uncomfortably, all suffering numbness of the
posterior musculature.

     Security Guard Ursula Braun slips out of a Jefferies Tube,
crosses a corridor, and disappears into a nearby room.  She
emerges from another door further down the corridor and hurries
down a side corridor nearby.  She is about enter a turbolift when
she overhears footsteps in the nearby corridor, and presses her
back against a closed door.  Two crewmembers walk past the
entrance of the side corridor without noticing her.  She is about
to move away toward the turbolift when the door behind her opens
and a hand closes over her mouth and pulls her into a darkened
room.
     She gets her teeth around the middle two fingers of the hand
and grinds.  There is a tremendous yell and she finds herself
flying up and over her assailant's back.  She hits the floor on
the other side of the room, a padded armchair breaking her fall.
She scrambles behind a table and squints furiously, trying to
make out her adversary in the dark.  The table leg lifts away
from her hand and she perceives her opponent's wide set feet.
She grabs an ankle and pulls it out.  Her opponent hits the floor
and the table lands on top of him.  She hears it clatter aside.
Throwing herself toward the dark shape on the floor, she lands
with a knee in her assailant's solar plexus.  She gets a couple
of shots in on what feels like a very solid chin before she is
spun head over heals.  She collides with the floor and rolls.
Her hand comes in contact with a metal handle.  She grabs it and
lunges sideways across the room at knee level.  She catches the
assailant off-stride and he crashes over her.  She leaps and
lands with one foot on his chest and the metal object jabbing at
his throat.  She shouts, "Computer, lights on!" and bends down
snarling at Lt. Worf, who is drawing a hand back to punch the
weapon from his throat and snarling up at her.  They remain in
this attitude for a split second.
     "Oh."
     "Oh."
     "Security Guard Braun."
     "Chief of Security Worf."
     He stands, straightens his cat burglar suit, and adjusts his
pony tail.
     "A commendable display of self-defence.  A little more
pressure on the bat'telh would have completed the job.  You must
come to my clinic."
     She throws her head from side to side, feeling profound
depths of personal satisfaction.  Her brown braids do a little
celebration dance.
     "I am just on my way to a small gathering of mutineers.
Would you like to join me, Lieutenant?"
     "Excellent.  I would be honoured."
     They walk out together.
     "That bite.  Very painful."

     View of the Battle Section rounding the nebula.
     "Ensign.  Let me know as soon as sensors reacquire the Borg
ship."
     "Readings just coming in now, sir.  Sir!  The Borg ship has
divided into two parts!  They're standing dead in space!"
     Riker rises from his chair.
     "This is just the opportunity I've been waiting for!  Arm
photon torpedoes!  Phasers ready!  Helm, initiate attack approach
Riker Delta Three."
     The nacelles gather steam and the Battle Section goes to
warp speed in a burst of light, leaving behind the nebula and the
words

                    CONTINUED NEXT WEEK

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

Episode Eight — Natural Selection

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