Chipmunk, Chipmunk


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Episode 18 — Chipmunk, Chipmunk


     A small town in Alaska on a warm summer day.  A lone figure
clad in orange overalls and yellow chestwaders slogs up the road
from the river.  Over one shoulder is his fishing rod (in
Klingon: naQ), over the other a stick weighed down with half a
dozen rainbow trout (SISbat'telh Dawt).  His tackle box ('aH
qengwI') is on his hip.  He is well-tanned about the neck and
lower face, with a tanned half-moon in the middle of his forehead
where he wore his baseball cap backwards.  He passes an old
trapper on the road and waves.
     Trapper: "Fine July we're having."
     DRG: (Stupified pause).  "July!"  (Another stupified pause). 
"I'm two months late for work!"
     He throws down his gear and bolts up the hill toward the
town transporter station.  The trapper's eyes follow him until
he's out of sight, then turn to the abandoned fish.
     "Mmm!  Pan-fried SISbat'telh Dawt!"
     DRG tops the hill, looks this way and that, and dashes
toward a storefront marked "George and Edna's Live Bait and
Transporter".  He hurries through the screen door and declares:
     "Put me in orbit."
     George and Edna look up from the base of the single-pad
transporter.  Service panels are pulled off and tools are
scattered over the pad and adjacent dry goods and flyfishin'
supplies.
     "Can't.  Chipmunk in the pattern buffer."
     "Oh yeah?"  (His curiosity is piqued.)  "Can I have a look?"
     Edna sits back and blows a lock of hair off her face.
     "It's kinda customized.  You gotta certificate?"
     DRG pats his pockets, then produces an old Province of New
Brumswick Liquor Licensing Board ID.  He holds it out with his
thumb over the text.
     "Utopia Planitia Transporter Division, Technician, Third
Grade."
     "Third Grade, congratulations."
     "Oh, Edna, the fella's just trying to be helpful.  Let him
have a look."
     DRG gets down on hands and knees and peers in.  He backs out
again.
     "That's a chipmunk, all right.  You can see its tail
sticking out of the matter stream.  Where's the emergency shunt?"
     "Well, now . . . ."
     "Hush, George!  He's an inspector!"
     "I was just about to fly down to Juneau and pick one up!"
     "Juno?"
     George and Edna exchange looks that say, "He's no
inspector."
     "Look, if you've got a pair of needle-nose pliers and a
blowtorch I can fix this for you in no time."
     "I'll have a look around."
     In no time Door Repair Guy is crawling in with the pliers
and the blowtorch.  A loud squeak emerges as he gets down to
work.  The smell of cooked rodent quickly fills the place.
     "That's about it."
     DRG backs out and holds up the popping, smoking hindquarters
of the chipmunk in the needle-nose pliers.
     "Should work like a charm now.  I need to get to Spacedock."
     "Wait a minute til I see."
     George removes a display of blackfly repellent from the
transporter console and checks the targeting control.
     "Spacedock's on the other side of the planet."
     "Is there any place else handy?"
     "Lagrange Point Space Vessel Museum."
     "That's a start!"
     DRG leaps onto the pad.
     "Energize!"
     George passes his hand over the sequence initiator.  A dim
blue column of transporter beam appears around the passenger.
     "That's not enough," says Edna, moving in beside George. 
"Transfer to backup systems."
     "You always say that just so you can take over."
     "Whose transporter is it?"
     "That Ferengi fella took you for a ride, missy."
     Suddenly a flash of light fills the store and the
transporter pad is empty.  They stand back in surprise a moment.
     "Did he pay you?"
     "I thought he paid you!"
     DRG materializes on a starship transporter pad, with one
finger pressed against the other forearm.  To his surprise there
is a six-foot chipmunk in Starfleet uniform operating the
transporter console.  The chipmunk draws a phaser and taps its
commbadge.
     "Captain, I think you'd better get down here.  There's a
six-foot-tall tree-human on the transporter pad."
     

     "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]
     The planet Saturn swoops by, followed by Jupiter.  The moon
looms into view with the Sun behind it, then moves aside to
reveal the blue and white planet Earth.  We're watching the first
season opening credits sequence from Star Trek: The Next
Generation in reverse!  The camera moves in on the northern
hemisphere, then Alaska, then a river valley, then a guy casting
flies.


                    Star Trek: Door Repair Guy


                    Starring Door Repair Guy as
                              Himself

                         Also Starring

                    Lindsey Wagner as
                         the Captain

                    David Gautreaux as
                    the Science Officer

                    John Winston as
                    the Transporter Chief

                    Marc Alaimo as
                         Vole Dukat

                    David Warner as
                         Vole Madred

                    Andrew Robinson as
                         Garak

                    Bobcat Goldthwaite as
                         the Tree-Human

               The Cast of Beverly Hills 90210 as
                         the Humans


[Commercial: Glengarry Highland Games]


     Shot of DRG on the transporter pad, his eyes fixed on the
transporter chief's phaser.  He moves to scratch his nose but the
six-foot-tall Chipmunk makes a threatening motion with the
weapon, deterring him.  They stare uneasily at one another.  The
doors swoosh open and three more Starfleet Chipmunks stride in,
the Captain and two armed guards.
     The Captain looks him up and down, impatiently.
     "How did it get in here?"
     "The transporter started itself, sir.  Before I could verify
the source of the signal there was a flash of light, and that was
standing there."
     The door swooshes open again and another Chipmunk enters. 
It gets one look at Door Repair Guy and begins to take tricorder
readings.
     "Fascinating."
     "What do you make of it?"
     "Definitely an animal lifeform."
     "I am not an animal.  I . . . am . . . a . . . man."
     Universal surprise.  The two redshirted Chipmunks in the
back of the shot glance at one another nervously and tighten
their grips on their phasers.
     The Captain steps forward.
     "You speak Chipmunk?"
     "Un petit peu."
     "And Squirrel!"
     "Da."
     "And Polar Bear.  What manner of creature are you?"
     "I'm just a guy."
     "Justagui.  Science officer, any record of that species?"
     "None to my knowledge, Captain.  It would appear to be
*humanoid*, if I might coin a phrase."
     "*Humanoid*."  The Captain rolls the idea around in her
mind.  "But why here?  Why now, right when I've got a galactic
peace conference to worry about?  Can it be a Targ ploy?"
     "Unknown."
     "This is the damnedest thing.  Guards, put this creature
under confinement.  Science officer, I want some answers.  Not a
word of this to the Voles."
     "Aye, Captain."


[Commercial: International Plowing Match at Pembroke]


     A bare interrogation room.  The door slides open and Door
Repair Guy is directed in.  The science officer follows, phaser
on hip.  As the door closes we catch a glimpse of the redshirts
taking up positions outside.  DRG looks around the room, then
flops down on the bed and folds his hands behind his head.
     "So, what now?" he smiles, blinking disingenuously.
     "Now I shall attempt to determine what you are, and more
importantly, why you are."
     "Oh, well, first you take a mommy human and a daddy human
and you put them together . . ."
     "Sarcasm.  Extraordinary.  There are only forty-seven known 
species capable of that, and you're not one of them."
     "Cool.  Add me to the list.  Listen, I'm trying to get to
the Bajoran system.  I'm kind of late for my next assignment. 
You think you could drop me off in that vicinity?"
     "I know of no such system."
     "Come on.  You know.  They're all into ear gear."
     "Cybats?"
     "Huh?"
     "Cybernetically enhanced chiropterae."
     "Never heard of them."
     "Amazing."
     They sit sizing each other up for a while.
     "Do you have a name?"
     "They can me . . . Don Antonio Gregorio Bermuda de Ontario y
Patagonia . . . the Third."
     "Impressive.  What does it mean?"
     "Nothing, really.  Just a name."
     The science officer rubs the fur under his chin, trying to
think of a new approach.  He knocks the tabletop.
     "What is that?"
     "A table."
     "And that?"
     "A chair."
     "And that?"
     "A door."
     "How does it work?"
     "Well now, that looks to me like one of your basic
proximity-activated jobs.  Most models operate on a three-stage
system of detection, analysis and propulsion.  Stage one relies
on an imbedded sensor net configured to collect data on the
motion of nearby bodies as well as micro-changes in ambient
atmospheric pressure.  A dedicated isolinear circuit determines
whether incoming data indicates an incipient threshold event, and
initiates a propulsion system startup if such an event is
anticipated.  The propulsion system itself may take the form of
an electromagnetic track, gravipolar heads, or a hydrolic set-up
of some kind, to mention only three possibilities.  The principal
safety advantage of your proximity-sensing door in space is that
in the event of sudden depressurization it makes up its own mind
to stay closed without relying on instructions from the ship's
computers which may at that moment be preoccupied.  The chief
disadvantage inherent in the design is that they are impossible
to slam, making them psychologically useless on prolonged space
missions."
     The door chimes.  The science officer goes to the door and
returns with a large object covered with a cloth.
     "What you have told me confirms in my mind that you are a
member of a highly sophisticated and intelligent species.  I
wonder then, what you can tell me about this?"
     The Chipmunk pulls away the cloth, revealing a large cage. 
Inside is a small branch and on the branch a small naked human.
     The human: "Chipchipchipchip.  Lulululululululu!  Hey!  Hey! 
What's up?  What's up?  Eek!  Eek!  Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaablblblb!"
     Close-up of DRG's astonished face.


[Commercial: Arnprior Sheep Dip]


     Still astonished, DRG leans down to stare at the little
homonculus.  It gives him the finger.
     "Opinionated little cuss."
     "Was that language?"
     "Oh yeah.  Where did you get him?"
     "Getting rid of him is the problem.  There are billions on
Earth.  They flourish in all climates, but they particularly
enjoy trees, which makes them especially bothersome for a
civilization such as our own.  And try as we might we don't seem
to be able to prevent ourselves from spreading them throughout
the cosmos.  They have a special talent for concealment.  Any
planet we sylvaform ends up with its own population within
months.  They're dirty, offensive and they steal acorns."
     "What do they do with the acorns?"
     "They eat them."
     "How do they get into them?"
     "They're clever with their hands.  They can make a tool out
of anything.  Most annoying.  The popular myth about them is that
they cause forest fires."
     DRG leans down to the cage and says, "You're a menace to
society."
     The human moons him.
     

     A reception hall elsewhere on the Chipmunk ship.  The tables
are spread with delicacies and fine wines.  A string quartet
plays over in the corner.  Starfleet officers in dress uniform
mingle with members of the Vole delegation.  The Voles stand out
with their superior height, gray pointed heads and body armour. 
The Chipmunk Captain finds herself being addressed by the Voles'
military attache, Vole Dukat.
     "So, Captain, any sight of our mysterious Targ escort?"
     "Long-range sensors have failed to pick up any vessel.  Have
your people run a diagnostic on their sensors?"
     "There's no need.  I'm confident the Targs are out there,
monitoring developments.  The prospect of Chipmunk-Vole peace
negotiations must be very distressing to the Targ High Council. 
I am sure they'll do whatever they can to oppose an alliance
between our two peoples."
     "We have nothing to fear if we support one another."
     "Well-spoken, Captain.  You are a true diplomat."
     "If you'll excuse me."
     The Captain takes her leave.
     Dukat turns to his compatriot, the negotiator Madred.
     "She doesn't like me."
     "Chipmunks are insufferable snobs, my friend.  They take
their good fortune entirely for granted.  To them the universe is
one endless underbrush full of nuts and berries just waiting for
them to come a-gathering.  That is their fatal weakness."
     "I look forward to the more *equitable* distribution of nuts
and berries that is sure to follow upon the heels of these
negotiations."
     "As do I, my friend.  As do I."
     "Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha."
     "Ha ha ha ha ha."
     "Shall we retire to our chambers?  I believe Garak has
prepared something a little less . . . vegetarian."
     "After you."
     From across the room the Chipmunk Captain and Science
Officer watch the Voles make their exit.
     "What news of our tree-human?"
     "It's remarkable.  On the one hand it exhibits all the
traits of a highly civilized species, along with a subtle
familiarity with much of our technology.  I'm convinced, for
instance, that it could disassemble, repair, and reinstall any of
our proxity-activated entranceways.  On the other hand it is
utterly ignorant of the Chipmunk Collectivity.  I showed it a map
of the Earth and it was unable to point out a single one of our
major cities, but it claimed to know seven great fishing spots in
the northern hemisphere, all of which, it turns out, exist."
     "How did it react to a genuine tree-human?"
     ""There seems to be some kind of affinity -- a rudimentary
communication that we do not share, but I'm sure it had never
seen one before."
     "Can it be from another quadrant of the galaxy -- perhaps
evolved from some ancient tree-humans transplanted by an earlier
space-travelling species?"
     "I suspect the truth may be even more incredible.  I believe
this being is from a parallel universe where humans rule."
     The Captain sets down her single-nut whiskey.
     "Humans?  You're pulling my tail."
     "I'd stake my entire cache on it."
     The Captain gives the Science Officer a long look.
     "I believe you.  Let's get down there and talk to it."
     She starts away, but stops.
     "We can't keep calling it `it'.  Does it have a name?"
     "It's long and complicated."
     "We need something that won't arouse suspicion.  Something
ordinary.  We'll call it `The Door Repair Guy' for now, all
right?  Let's go."
     The two head out the door.  They enter a turbolift.  They
come out of the turbolift and proceed down a corridor, passing
other Chipmunks in uniform.  They come up to a guarded door.  The
security guards admit them.  The doors swoosh closed behind the
two officers.  They are alone in the room.  The camera moves in
as the Captain throws a stern look at the Science Officer.


[Bob:
     "Okay!  Back in a minute for more Star Trek: Door Repair
Human.  I know many of you are asking, `Bob, could chipmunks
really rule the universe?  Is chipmunk-based intelligence a
serious possibility?  And where can I get my own chipmunk?'  With
answers to these and many more questions is Marilyn Matte, the
owner of `Chipmunks R Us' located, well, they're all over town,
am I right, Marilyn?"
     "That's right, Bob.  Twelve locations."
     "So they're popular little critters."
     "People love'm."
     "They sure do.  You've got a couple here with you . . . I
think."
     "They were right here a minute ago."
     "Gee, I thought . . . wait a minute . . . what . . . oh my
God, something's on me!!!"
     Bob grabs his armpit and throws.  We catch a fleeting
glimpse of flung rodent.
     From off-camera: Thump! "Squeak!!"
     Marilyn: glare.
     Bob: "Um, back to Door Repair Guy in just a moment."]


[Commercial: Renfrew House-Toss Championship]


     The camera pans across the trunks and underbrush of the
Chipmunk ship's large Arboretum.  The door swooshes open and
Dukat and Madred enter.
     Madred: "The Chipmunks like their woods."
     Dukat: "Charming.  It's hard to imagine how discipline and
character can develop in such a sylvan environment.  Our planet
is much tougher."
     Garak: "Our planet was once like this, before we tunnelled
it up."
     "Ah, Garak.  Always with the inappropriate observation. 
What word on the secure channel?"
     "The Targ vessel remains just beyond the Chipmunk sensor
range.  Our scout reports that the Targs are keeping up the
appearance of grazing a nearby star system for scientific data
while they keep us in view.  Tell me, do you intend to provoke a
charge if talks go badly?"
     "Ha ha.  That's why you're the caterer and we're the
ambassadors.  Have you anything worth eating?"
     "Some Earth delicacies for your enjoyment.  With success you
will be able to dine out on these whenever you wish."
     Dukat swaggers over to the buffet, and picks over plates of
clams, mussels, oysters, various types of tropical fruit,
steaming dishes of baked quail, bowls of candied locust.  He
throws Garak a sneer.
     "There's nothing here but . . ."
     He lifts a cover.
     "Humans!"
     He dips into the deep earthenware tureen and lifts out a
swirming pink, naked tree-human.
     Dukat: "Love to eat them humans.  Humans what I love to
eat."
     Madred: "Bite they little heads off."
     Both: "Nibble on they tiny feet!"
     The two diplomats dig in.  Soon the juice is running down
their chins.
     The camera pans away from the banquet, stops, and moves up a
tree trunk into the leafy canopy.  We descry Door Repair Guy
seated on a branch.  The little tree-human from the cage is
seated on his shoulder.  They both have their hands pressed to
their mouths in horror.


[Commercial: Vankleek Hill Tumble]


     The bridge of the Targ vessel.  The communications officer
turns suddenly from his console and addresses his commander.
     "joHwI', jabbI'ID wIHev."
     [Subtitles: "My lord, we are receiving a transmission."]
     The commander rises, his nostrils flaring between his
curving tusks.
     "Daqmaj Sovbe' ghot.  yItamtaH."
     ["Nobody knows our location!  Maintain silence!"]
     "nupong.  majang 'e' lupoQ chaH."
     ["They name us.  They demand that we answer."]
     "vaj yIHotlh."
     ["Put it on screen, then!"]
     A split-screen image appears, showing two humans.  On the
left is Door Repair Guy.  On the right is the little tree-human. 
DRG has adjusted the settings so that the tree-human seems to be
the same size as him.  DRG speaks:
     *targhngan Duj.  bISo' 'ach qalargh.  HIjang*
     ["Targ vessel.  You are hiding but I smell you.  Answer!"]
     Targ commander: "jatlh 'Iv."
     ["Who speaks?"]
     *Humanpu' DevwI' jIH.  boq vIneH*
     ["I am leader of the Humans.  Alliance: I want it."]
     "Humanmey.  ghewmey bIH."
     ["Humans!  They are bugs!"]
     *malo'laHbej.  jupwI'Daq yIQoy*
     ["We are definitely worthy.  Listen to my friend."]
     Tree-human: *yipyipyipyipyahoy!  O-h-h-h-h-h!*
     "nuq jatlh ghaH."
     ["What does he say?"]
     *tera' lutlhaprup volpu' 'e' jatlh ghaH.  vaj lIHIv. 
peQan'egh*
     ["He says, `The Voles are prepared to take Earth.  Then they
are going to attack you.  Protect yourselves.'"]
     "chay' Sov ghaH."
     ["How does he know?"]
     *Dat maH*
     ["We are everywhere."]
     "nuq bochup."
     ["What do you suggest?]
     *volngan Duj yIHIv.  chIpmangq DujDaq yIjol.  naDev maH. 
rojmab wIqI'rup*
     ["Attack the Vole vessel.  Beam over to the Chipmunk ship. 
We are here.  We are ready to sign a peace treaty."]
     "jIwuq vIlum."
     ["I can't make up my mind."]
     *Qapla' yIbuS*
     ["Think of the glory."]
     "neH."
     ["Well . . . ."]
     *'u' San.*
     ["The fate of the universe!"]
     "jISovHa'."
     ["I don't know."]
     *ayqornmey vIghaj*
     ["I have acorns."]
     "ayqornmey.  Degh.  He.  QuQmey.  chu'."
     ["Acorns?!  Helm!  Course!  Engines!  Engage!"]
     View of Targ ship accelerating into warp.
     The bridge of the Chipmunk vessel.  The ensign at Helm turns
toward the Captain's chair.
     "Sensors reading Targ vessel on charge vector, sir!"
     The Captain stabs a control on her chair arm.
     "Vole flagship!  Targ vessel attacking!  Advise evasive
manoeuvres!"
     Shot of the Vole and Chipmunk vessels parting company.
     [Specs: Chipmunk vessel looks pretty much like a Federation
starship, though the saucer is just a little reminiscent of a
nest on a branch.  The Vole ship is Cardassian, but with little
feet like a vole.  The attacking Targ ship -- hands? -- yes, it's
a Klingon ship with tusks.]
     As the Chipmunk ship moves off the Targ vessel gets its nose
in under the Voles and fires volley after volley of phaser and
torpedo.  The Voles put up with this for about four seconds and
then head for the hills.
     Chipmunk bridge.  The Captain stabs the chair again.
     "Targ vessel!  What is the meaning of this?"
     The Targ commander appears on screen.
     *We charge the Voles with crimes against humanity!*
     "Humanity?!  Who the . . . !  Door Repair Guy!"
     As if on cue, DRG emerges from the turbolift, with his pal
the tree-human.
     "Yes, Captain, humanity.  Too long have the little tree-
humans suffered under the neglect, nay, the mismanagement of
their Chipmunk overlords.  The day has come for them to take
their place among the family of intelligent species.  The Targs
have come at the invitation of the human government to open
negotiations on a peace treaty."
     Captain: "Peace treaty?  Humans can't even read!"
     Tree-human: "Ooooohhh!  Youyouyouyouyou!  RRrrrrr!!!"
     Captain: "What did he say?"
     DRG: "He's taking a contrary position."
     Captain: "Well, I'm flabbergasted."
     Science Officer: "Captain, the Humpback Whales have their
own system of interstellar alliances."
     Captain: "Say, you're right.  I hadn't thought of that.  All
right, Mr Parallel Universe, you'll have your way.  Targ
Commander, kindly beam aboard, and bring your peace treaty with
you."
     The Targ beams directly to the bridge.  He dramatically
unrolls the parchment and holds it up for all to see.  Then he
kneels down and lays it on the carpet.  The tree-human toddles
over and pees on the corner.
     DRG: "He's making his mark."
     The Targ Commander stands, holding the treaty by one corner.
     "Thus begins a new day in galactic relations.  Who can say
what new paths we have begun to explore."


     The transporter room.  Enter the Chipmunk Captain, Science
Officer and Door Repair Guy.  DRG mounts the transporter pad.
     Captain: "Tell me one thing before you go.  The Chipmunks in
your universe: what are they like?"
     DRG, taken aback: "Ah, oh.  Inquisitive.  Curious about
stuff.  Great collectors.  A bit smaller than you two."
     The Captain and Science Officer look nervously at each
other.
     Captain: "But have they, have they accomplished anything?"
     "Oh, sure!  Beat us humans to the moon by two, three
thousand years!"
     They look relieved.
     Science Officer: "Are you sure you know how to get back?"
     "I've got an idea.  Transporter chief, are you familiar with
the MacIntosh 4000 Single-pad office transporter?"
     "Sure, I've got one in my own place."
     "Can you configure this system to imitate a Mac 4000
customized to exhibit a 43% inefficiency in annular confinement
with an inoperative emergency shunt?"
     "Sure, but do you want to step into it?"
     "I have no choice."
     Captain: "You could stay here."
     DRG: "I must return.  You see, where I come from I'm rather
an important man."
     "Then bon voyage."
     "System is reconfigured.  Proceed when ready."
     "Energize."
     The tepid beam surrounds DRG.  He activates his Borg
transporter.  There is a flash of light.
     He finds himself materializing on a transporter pad in
another place.  He notices humans of various sizes materializing
on the pads around him.  The transporter shimmer dissipates. 
There is a giant turtle standing at the transporter console.
     A kid beside him says: "Aw, cool, Teenage Mutant Ninja
Turtles!"
     A sign over the transporter console says WELCOME TO THE
LAGRANGE POINT SPACE VESSEL MUSEUM.  The tourists shuffle for the
door.  On the way out Door Repair Guy turns to the transporter
operator and says, "Don't you feel like a dork?"

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

Episode 18 — Chipmunk, Chipmunk

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