Cauda Linea

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Episode 11 — Cauda Linea

     View of the Enterprise in close proximity to a blue gaseous
moon of the ivory and beige ringed planet Mu Cuniculi XII.  A
tractor beam extends from the Enterprise to the atmosphere of the
moon, drawing wisps of gas up along its length.
     "Captain's log, stardate 49611.3.  We continue in orbit
around the planet Mu Cuniculi XII.  Lt Cmdr La Forge has devised
a method of synthesizing deuterium from the hydrogen-rich
atmosphere of one of the planet's five major satellites, and
estimates that we shall have sufficient reserves to allow for
extended warp flight within two hours.  In honour of the five
crew members most instrumental in the reunification of the Saucer
and Battle Sections I have named the five major satellites Logic,
Security, Batlh, Annoyance and Maintenance.  As soon as warp
engines are back on line we shall intercept the flagship of the
Ferengi squadron.  The Ferengi's experience of the wormhole
should prove invaluable in determining whether we can return
through it to our own space."
     The door chimes.
     Troi enters.
     "Captain, I was wondering.  What are your plans regarding
the prisoners' court martial?"
     "Well, Counsellor, I've been reviewing the regulations
governing the convening of courts martial and it appears that we
must have three officers of rank equal to or greater than the
accused's.  We could proceed with the trial of the tactical
officer who supported Commander Riker, but we shall have to wait
until we return to starbase before we can try Will.  In view of
that I'm inclined to let the entire matter rest until we make it
back through the wormhole.  Until then the two will just have 
to get used to each other's company."
     The brig.  Riker is playing a mournful blues ballad on the
trombone.  The tactical officer is playing "Yankee Doodle" on the
paper and comb.  They pause, growl at one other, and resume

     "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."
                    Star Trek: Door Repair Guy


                    Starring Door Repair Guy 
                         as Himself


                         Also Starring

                         Patrick Stewart
                    as Captain Jean-Luc Picard


                         Jonathan Frakes
                    as Cmdr. William Riker

                         Marina Sirtis 
                    as Counsellor Deanna Troi

                         Michael Dorn
                         as Lt. Worf

                         LeVar Burton
                    as Lt. Cmdr. Geordi LaForge

                         Gates McFadden
                    as Doctor Beverly Crusher

                         Brent Spiner
                    as Lt. Cmdr. Data

                    with Special Guest Star
                         Ross Perot as
                         the Grand Nagus  
     Enterprise looms into view and warps off in a burst.

     Sister: "Dad's making supper."
     Brother: strangling sound.
     Dad breezes in with a covered serving tray.  He lifts the
cover to reveal: a Klingon communicator.
     "KFC de-liv-er-y."
     "Klingon Fried Chicken!"
     The front door.  The Klingon restaurateur from DS9 episodes
"Melora" and "Playing God" hands over a large delivery bag.
     The family digs in.
     "Who's making supper tomorrow night?"
     Brother grabs the communicator and holds it up.  "jIH!"]

     A work station way off in the bowels of the Engineering
Section.  Door Repair Guy shifts impatiently in his chair in
front of the door monitoring display.
     "Computer. Time."
     *Eleven hundred fifty-nine hours, forty-one seconds*
     He drums his fingers.
     "Computer.  Time."
     *Eleven hundred fifty-nine hours, forty-nine seconds*
     He activates a door fourteen decks away.  It opens and
     *Eleven hundred fifty-nine hours, fifty-six seconds*
     "How did you know I was going to ask about the time?"
     *I am programmed to recognize clock-watching and to place an
entry on the next performance review*
     The door swooshes open.
     DRG's replacement, a half-Benzite, half-Scottish Engineering
ensign, pops through the door.
     "Here am I, as punctual as ever."
     "Clear the track!  I'm outta here!"
     The door closes behind him.
     "Hmph.  Some people just dinna take any pleasure in their
work.  Now, look at me.  I'll sit here at this board and there
isnae a door that'll escape my watchful eye.  Hunnerts of
doors'll open and close before my shift is through, and it'll be
me and me alone who'll have the responsibility of keeping them
all in perfect working order.  And I'll succeed, aye, that I
will.  And brilliantly, too."

     "Captain, we are now entering standard orbit around Cauda
     "Very good, Mr Data.  Mr Worf, what are the locations of the
other vessels in the cluster?"
     "There is one Ferengi vessel in orbit around Flopsa. 
Another is at Mopsa . . . the chipmunk planet.  The third is in
orbit around Cauda Linea.  It is presently coming into view
beyond the far side of the planet.  The Borg Cube is also here."
     "Hm.  I wonder what affairs the Ferengi and the Borg can
have in common."
     "Captain, the Borg Cube is showing a thirty-four per cent
reduction in mass."
     Picard turns around in his chair.
     "That's odd.  On screen."
     View of the partly disassembled Cube.
     Data: "Captain, I am picking up a structure on the surface. 
A tower, one hundred metres in height, twenty metres on each
side, surrounded by a single-storied structure covering three
hectares in area.  It is built entirely of materials taken from
the Borg Cube."
     "Can you be sure of that?"
     "Spectrographic analysis confirms."
     "Any life signs?"
     "I am reading over four hundred Borg and two hundred sixty
Ferengi within the structure."
     "And the Cube."
     "There are no Borg present aboard the Cube.  Curious."
     "What is it, Data?"
     "I am still reading some sort of life sign from the Borg
Cube, but it is not humanoid.  In fact it is not individual or
specific to any one part of the ship."
     Troi stands up from her chair.
     Geordi: "Could it be some kind of systemic parasite?  Mould
in the air ducts, that sort of thing?  I'd imagine a Borg ship
like that would have a pretty good case of Sick Building Syndrome
before too long."
     Picard: "Hm, that may be.  I think it's time we investigated
that structure on the surface.  Data, Worf, Counsellor Troi,
please form an away team."  He taps his commbadge.  "Doctor
Crusher, would you join the away team in the transporter room? 
It's time to see what has become of our Borg confederates."
     *I'm on my way*
     Picard stands examining the image of the Borg ship as the
away team members pile into the turbolift out of focus over his
left shoulder.  Counsellor Troi looks back in the direction of
the viewscreen as she goes.
     [Bob For a Day.]

     A corridor in the abandoned Borg Cube.  Cables hang from
above and there are huge gaps in the walls and floors where
entire systems have been transported out of the ship's structure
for reassembly on the planet's surface.
     A Borg transporter effect.  Door Repair Guy appears.  He
picks up his toolbox and looks around, then begins down the
corridor.  He comes to a familiar door: NOT FRAGILE SURGICAL
IMPLANTS.  He pushes open the door.  The place is empty. 
Everything is gone: chairs, desk, magazine rack; the works.  He
sees a small notice thumbtacked to the wall.
     "To our loyal customers.  Not Fragile Surgical Implants has
moved to new premises.  Please come and see us at our new
location in Cauda Linea Galleria."

     The transporter room.  Data arrives to discover Doctor
Crusher already waiting.
     "Congratulations, Doctor."
     "Congratulations on what, Data?"
     "On having lines in this episode."
     Doctor Crusher gets that hunched, intense look on her.
     Worf and Counsellor Troi arrive.  All four climb onto the
transporter pad.
     Worf: "Ready to beam down."
     Door Repair Guy bursts in.
     "Take me too!"
     "This is a sensitive away mission!"
     "I'm a sensitive guy!"
     "Out of the question!  Energize!"
     DRG turns away, grinding a fist into his hand.  He looks
this way and that, the horns and kettle drums playing ominously. 
He comes to a decision, turns and shoulders his way out of the
transporter room.  The doors close behind him to dramatic scene-
ending music.

[Commercial: Pepsi Max:
     "It tastes good, that's all I know."
     "Gul Labul!  What do you think stops some crazy bigwig at
Pepsi from just printing up a bunch of false labels?"
     "Four or five lightbulbs?"]

     A field on the surface of Cauda Linea.  The away team
materializes.  Before them, beyond a small grassy hill, rises an
apartment block built entirely of pieces of the Borg ship.  Troi
gasps.  Data holds up a tricorder.
     Doctor Crusher: "They've simply rebuilt their Cube on the
surface.  What this has to do with voting Green is beyond me."
     Worf is on the top of the grassy hill.
     They join him.
     Spread out around the foot of the black metal apartment
block is a mall.  The sign over the door reads "Cauda Linea

     DRG enters the door-monitoring station.
     "You've been dashing about a bit, laddie.  You've left a
trail of door-activation that would put the Fuller Brush Man to
     "The what?"  He's rifling a drawer.
     "Don't tell me ye dinna ken the Fuller Brush Man!"
     "Ah ha!  Found you, you little rascal!"  He pulls out an
optical circuit scanner, rolls up his sleeve, and begins to
search his forearm freckle by freckle.  On the screen above his
head can be seen view after view of his epidermal cell structure.
     "He goes from door to door selling Fuller Brushes."
     On the screen appears a chunk of text skewed sideways.  DRG
angles the scanner around until the words stand right side up.
     "Fifty kilometres?  Computer, how far above the surface are
     *One thousand kilometres*
     "One thousand kilometres."  He searches around.
     "We still have them on my planet."
     "What?"  He pulls a panel off the wall, revealing a power
conduit.  He thrusts his hand in and activates the personal
transporter, disappearing in a swirl of green and a crackle of
blue electricity.
     "Fuller Brush Men."

     Door Repair Guy materializes in a green and blue Borg/power
conduit transporter effect in the waiting room of Not Fragile
Surgical Implants.  Madeline puts down her Starlog.  Two Ferengi
pull their feet up onto their chairs and hide their faces behind
glossy tattoo catalogues, then stare at him from around the sides
of the covers.
     "You need an appointment.  Can't ya see we're full up?"
     DRG unzips his overalls and shrugs his shoulders out,
saying, "I'm here about a manufacturer's  . . . DEFECT!"  As he
says the last word he bares his back and displays it to everyone
in the room.  The Ferengi gasp and scramble for the door.
     LABATT M       ICE.
     Not Fragile bustles out of the inner office.
     "Did somebody say the D word?!"
     "I said it.  Look."
     "So, my friend, so, we meet again."  He turns Door Repair
Guy around, inspecting him from various angles.  "Many adventures
on the Battle Section?  Many . . . battles?"      [Bob For a Day]
     "One or two.  What about my tattoo?"
     "Come with me.  I'll see what I can do about this."
     An hour later Door Repair Guy strolls out into the Mall with
a case of beer under one arm and a new keyboard in the other. 
And I do mean in.

     The half-Benzite, half-Scottish engineering ensign is seated
at the breakfast table.  He fondly regards the bowl of cereal
set in front of him, his catfish whiskers waving.
     "It's a bonnie cereal.  But it's no oatmeal!"]

     The four away team members stop outside the great double
doors of the Cauda Linea Galleria.  Worf, Data and Doctor Crusher
each hold up a tricorder, taking readings.  Troi watches for a
moment and then walks over to the door and holds it open for the
other three.  They enter.
     Inside is a wide concourse lined with shops and fast food
outlets.  Ferengi mill about the front of the shops, arguing and
gesticulating.  Borg pace up and down the concourse, peering
curiously, but not going in.  Everyone stops to stare at the
     Troi pulls on Doctor Crusher's sleeve.
     "Beverly, look at all the pockets."
     It's true.  Pocketmania has swept the Borg population.  They
are all wearing versions of Doctor Crusher's loose blue lab coat.
     Worf tarries before a food stand called Flopsan Style Chili. 
The proprietor and his assistant are in the middle of a whispered
argument in the back.
     "What do you mean they don't have any latinum?  You told me
they were the ultimate consumers!"
     They both spot Worf at the same time and come forward to the
counter, smiling broadly.
     "Greetings, Klingon.  Would you care to sample a bowl of our
award-winning Flopsan Chili?"
     "Have you anything with serpent-worms in it?"
     "Serpent-worms?!  I'll just look and see."  The proprietor
shooes his assistant into the back, then grabs him by the shirt
and hisses, "Are serpent-worms native to this planet?"
     "I don't know, employer!"
     "Then find out!  Find out!"
     He propels the assistant out the back way, but when he
returns Worf has strolled on.
     "Ooooohh!  I'll never win Franchisee-of-the-Month!"

     Troi and Doctor Crusher are strolling along the concourse.
     "Beverly, do you find this as unusual as I do?"
     "I'm at a loss for words, Deanna.  I'm no economist, but how
is this relationship supposed to work?  The Borg have no money,
or any goods to barter.  They don't produce anything.  The only
thing they'll be able to do here is work in these stores.  The
Ferengi will have to import money to pay to the Borg so the Borg
will have money to pay back to the Ferengi.  What kind of an
economy is that?"
     "Didn't Earth go through it's own Mall Age?"
     "Short-lived, thank God."
     "Beverly.  Look."
     Four teenaged Borg females slink by, two of them avoiding
eye contact, the other two showing off their new pockets.
     Doctor Crusher waves.
     "Hi, girls!"
     "I was just being friendly.  Look over there."
     Ahead of them is a store-front hung with a banner reading
"Green Party Headquarters."
     They go in.
     A Borg wheezes over, wearing a tie-dye labcoat and the
slogan "Save the Ship."
     "Do you wish to contribute?"
     "I'd be glad to, but we aren't on a money system."
     "Neither are we Borg.  Have you any service to contribute?"
     "What could we possibly do that would preserve your ship? 
You yourselves are dismantling it."
     "We must.  We must remove all non-biological material."
     "Non-biological material?  What would be left?"
     "The ship."
     Troi grasps Doctor Crusher's arm. 
     "Beverly, I think I'm beginning to understand what's going
on here."

     Data and Worf are standing outside a framing shop.  On an
easel in front of the shop stands a rectangular framed picture
showing nothing but line after line of the same small grey
abstract motif printed on a lime green background.
     "Lieutenant, I fail to comprehend the meaning of this
     "It is an optical illusion. If you stare at it long enough a
sea creature will appear."
     "Curious."  He stares at it.
     Worf ambles on.  Suddenly he tenses.  Ahead of him, seated
on a park bench in front of the Tim Horton's is Door Repair Guy!
Worf draws his weapon and dashes forward.
     "You are absent without leave!  Consider yourself under
arrest, Door Repair Guy!"

[Commercial: Saturn:
     (Music: drums and horns)
     "When B'Etor and Lursa leased a new Saturn they got more
than just driver- and passenger-side air bags and impact-
resistant polymer side-panels.  They got treated like a pair of
     View of B'Etor and Lursa kicking the car doors.  A Saturn
employee comes over demonstrating his disapproval with angry
gestures and various threatening body postures.  B'Etor grabs him
by the upper arms and butts his head.  Lursa coldcocks him, puts
a headlock on him and drives him into the impact-resistant
polymer side-panel.  The two Klingons grasp their bellies and
laugh and laugh.  The Saturn employee staggers to his feet and
joins in weakly.]

     "Okay!  Great episode, eh?  I wonder why there's never been
a sitcom, or action drama, set entirely in a mall?  Pretty good
concept, eh?  And you got it straight from the Bob couch.  Think
about it.  You could work all day at the mall, and then, like, go
shopping at the mall, and then get home and rewind the VCR and
watch the mall show.  Sort of a case of life imitating mart.  Ho
ho!  And with me on the couch today is Jason Derka-'
     "Who's having a great time, cause he's Bob For A Day!  How
you liking it so far, Jason?"
     "I think it's stupid.  I can't believe I let myself be
talked into this.  What was it in my life that led me to this
point?  Why am I here?"
     Off camera: "Cause I'm a bitch."
     Bob: "That's his agent."]

     "Captain, we are being hailed by the Ferengi vessel."
     "On screen."
     "Federation vessel, I am Tong, DaiMon of the . . . "
     "Tong!  Do ya think he wants to talk to you?  Get outta the
     The grizzled face of the Grand Nagus replaces that of DaiMon
     "Ah ha!  The military!  Torg!  Alert the people on the
ground!  The army's here!"
     "I am Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the Federation starship
Enterprise.  We are not here in a military capacity.  We are
explorers.  To whom have I the honour of speaking?"
     "I'm the Grand Nagus.  You got that?  El Numero Uno Cheese. 
The Big Tulaberry.  Majority shareholder in just about everything
you can see from here.  Ya understand what I'm sayin?"
     "I believe I do.  You are here on commercial business.  Let
me assure you that there is no need to put your people on alert. 
We intend no harm."
     "You're darned right ya mean no harm.  We've got ya
outgunned three to one.  I'm just makin sure my flunkies have the
right price structure in place before your crew start beaming
down to the mall.  You know what they say, `When the army's
around, the prices go up.'"
     "Would that be some sort of Rule of Acquisition?"
     "Nah!  It's Sun Tzu!"
     [Sun Tzu: "Where the army is, prices are high."
      Chia Lin: "Where troops are gathered the price of every
commodity goes up because everyone covets the extraordinary
profits to be made."]
     "Grand Nagus, we are anxious to exchange information on the
     "Ha!  The wormhole!  You'd just love to know what we know
about the wormhole!  We know all about you Federation types and
your wormhole plans!  Phasing out warp drive!  What a ploy! 
Lookit, I'll make you an offer.  Get your crew down there buyin,
and we'll talk wormholes!  Ya got that?"
     "Grand Nagus . . . I have a call on another line.  Would you
     "Just don't be all day about it."
     "Connection in stand-by mode, Captain."
     "Comets and monkeys.  Ops, has the away team reported in?"
     "Aye, sir.  I am in contact with Doctor Crusher now."
     "Doctor, what is the situation there?"
     *It's a mall, Jean-Luc.  The Ferengi built it with the idea
of selling to the Borg, but the Borg haven't any money.  The
Ferengi seem a little desperate*
     "Do you see any problem in our transporting down crewmembers
to act as . . . shoppers?"
     *Lt. Worf here, Captain.  The security situation is
acceptable.  The Ferengi are outnumbered by the Borg.  There does
not appear to be any collusion between the two groups*
     "Very well.  Open channel.  Grand Nagus, we accept your kind
offer, and will begin to beam our people down immediately. 
Perhaps you would care to transport over to the Enterprise where
we might exchange data on the wormhole."
     "What?  Beam over?  When you've got a yacht?"
     Picard glances around the bridge.
     "Ah, yes.  The yacht."

     "This week at Lincoln Heights Galleria: the world's smallest

     The transporter room.  An away team beams down.  As soon as
they are gone another team steps up on the transporter.  The
transporter chief leans over the console and shouts over the
heads of the waiting teams, "How many more in the hall?"
     "Sixteen teams!"
     He reacts to a signal on the console.
     "You lot!  Off the platform!"
     They scramble.  A moment latter Troi appears.  She puts a
hand to her temple and sways a little, then dashes through the
waiting crowd, shouting, "Let me through!  Let me through!"

     View of the Captain's yacht coasting low above the Cauda
Linean atmosphere.
     "Nyah!  What a ride!  This beats the heck out of that
expletive deleted transporter.  Although, and don't spread this
around -- unless she's beautiful -- I once came out of a
malfunctioning transporter with an extra -- well, I won't go into
too much detail.  But you get the idea!  Made a new man out of
me!  Ya understand what I'm tellin ya?"
     Picard leans back from the controls, frames a reply, and
then keeps it to himself.
     "About the wormhole, Grand Nagus."
     "Yeah, yeah, the wormhole.  You've been tryin to get that in
for the last hour."
     "It would assist me very much if you were to tell me where
you entered it, and whether you did so in the knowledge that it
would return you to where you started out."
     "He he he!  We know more than you do!"
     "Grand Nagus, a significant proportion of my crew are now
down on the planet shopping, as was our agreement.  If you hope
to see a regular stream of customers coming through the wormhole
-- colonists, tourists, traders, with all the financial resources
necessary to maintaining a modern economy -- it strikes me as
highly advantageous from your point of view to tell me what you
know about the wormhole."
     "I'll tell ya what.  One more spin around the Borg ship and
I'll tell you a word."
     "A word!"
     "It's a very informative word."
     Picard takes a deep breath and banks the yacht back toward
the Borg ship.

     Troi dashes out of the turbolift.
     "Quickly, where is the Captain?"
     "The Captain is escorting the Grand Nagus around the Borg
Cube in his yacht."
     "Oh no!  Patch me through to him!"
     The yacht.  Looking through the front cabin windows we see
the industrial landscape of the Borg ship sliding past.  The
Grand Nagus is saying:
     ". . . of course, salvage operations per se will have to
wait until a more advantageous occasion, but given my five-
eighths controlling interest . . ."
     *Captain, this is Troi speaking*
     "I am receiving you.  What is it, Counsellor?"
     *Captain, move away from the Borg ship right now.  It is
about to destabilize!*
     He turns and accelerates.  The Grand Nagus braces himself,
waving his walking stick.
     "Not much of an inspection tour!"
     "Computer.  View of Borg ship on screen."
     "What in blue tarnation?"
     The Borg ship can be seen shedding large quantities of
metal.  Whole layers of pipe and wiring come loose and twist
away.  The space around the Cube begins to shimmer with flying
     "Counsellor, what's going on?"
     *The ship is breaking loose, Captain!*
     "Don't you mean `up'?"
     *No, Captain!  It's freeing itself.  It's returning to its
natural form*
     View of the Borg ship amid an expanding cloud of space junk. 
Slowly its sides begin to bulge and pulsate.  Picard gets a
premonition and puts his foot to the floor.  We see the yacht
shooting away.  With a sudden thunk the Borg ship snaps out of
its cubical form, showering machinery in all directions.  The
yacht rocks as spinning metal debris careens off its deflector
     "Yeehaw!  Ride'm bronco!"
     Picard fights the controls until the shaking dies down.  He
surveys the controls and then glances at the viewscreen.  What he
sees causes him to exclaim:
     The Borg ship has assumed the form of one of those jellyfish
from "Encounter at Farpoint".  It floats by, still shedding
hardware, toward the outer reaches of the system.  It looks a bit
grimy -- but optimistic.
     "Counsellor, what are you reading?"
     *Happiness, Captain.  Great happiness and joy*
     "Not from me, you ain't!  There goes a valuable asset, shot
to hell!  Well, I'm going.  Tong!  Prepare to transport me outta
     "Wait, Grand Nagus!  The word!"
     "The word?  Oh yeah.  The word is `on-ramp'."  He disappears
in a Ferengi transporter effect.
     A look of understanding comes over Picard's face.

     The brig.  Worf is giving instructions to Ursula, the guard
on duty.  In the containment cell Riker and the tactical officer
from the Battle Section are squeezed down to one end of the
bench, glaring at Door Repair Guy, who sits at the other end
playing with the new keyboard implant in his left forearm.
     "Control-F2.  Hey, I know how to spell.  Exit.  Hey, I
forget how to spell.  Hey, guard, when do I get my beer back?"
     Ursula: "You don't."
     Worf gives the prisoners a final knowing look and saunters
out.  Ursula turns her attention to a handheld computer pad,
keying up Silhouette Romance #1098675, entitled _Asteroids of
Desire_, sets her thumb beside the `go security report' macro
key, in case a senior officer shows up, and is soon wrapped up in
the story.
     Riker and the tactical officer watch her a while, then rise
from their places and move menacingly toward Door Repair Guy, who
hits his forearm, setting up an array of translucent rectangular
deflector shields between him and his cellmates.
     They slump back into their places and growl.

     The mall.  Worf appears in front of the framing shop.  Data
is still staring at the picture on the easel.
     "Sir, a giant jellyfish has just floated out of this stellar
     Data steps back from the picture.  

Written by Douglas A. McLeod (

Episode 11 — Cauda Linea

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