Small Wonder


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Episode 37 — Small Wonder

Last time on Star Trek: Door Repair Guy:


     The sickbay in what appears to be a Klingon vessel.  Door
Repair Guy opens first one eye and then the other.  His vision is
still pretty cloudy.  A figure advances toward him and thrusts
the plate of targ and fries at him.
     "nuq Hech'a'."  ["What is the meaning of this?"]


And now this week's hair-raising episode:


     We are in orbit above a maroon, purple and aubergine storm-
swirled planet.  The camera turns toward space, sweeping past
Vor'cha-class targs-of-war beyond and between whose nacelles we
glimpse flight upon flight of additional Targ ships arrayed in
battle order.  It is an invasion fleet to rival any in the last
five episodes.  The camera lifts above the mighty armada, then
descends toward the command centre of one of the lead vessels. 
(The Targs are still building vessels out of lead.)
     The Targ Captain is slouched in the command chair, curling
her lips and flaring her nostrils, a gloved fist planted on each
armrest.  The door to the outside corridor wheezes open and the
First Officer clomps in.  The Captain swings her chair partway in
his direction and demands:
     "jatlhpu''a' qama'."  ["Has the prisoner spoken?"]
     The First Officer grasps the command chair by the armrest
and back and pulls it further around toward him.  He leans down,
flares his nostrils, and replies:
     "vultaH."  ["He is still unconscious."]
     She sneers up at him and wraps a strand of her wavy red hair
around her finger.
     "HaDI'baH Do'Ha'."  ["Poor beast."]
     The First Officer inhales sharply, shifts his weight, then
breathes out a long stream of lung-flavoured air over her face
and hair.  She turns away with a calculating look and then
inhales, filling her chest.
     Captain: "not Sor tera'ngan tIn vIleghpu'."  ["I have never
seen a giant Tree-Human before."]
     First Officer: "moHqu' 'oH."  ["It is very ugly."]
     Captain: "'oH moH law' SoH moH puS'a'."  ["It is uglier than
you?"]  She tilts her head in his direction.
     First Officer (smirking): "moH jIH."  ["I am ugly."]
     Captain (smiling): "jIQochbe'."  ["I agree."]
     First Officer: "moHqu' jIH."  ["I am very ugly."]
     Captain: "ar'."  ["How ugly?"]
     First Officer: "moHqu'qu'."  ["Very very ugly."]
     Captain: "qaHarbe'."  ["I don't believe you."]
     First Officer: "jIH moH law' Hoch moH puS."  ["I am the
ugliest of all."]
     The Captain eases out of her chair and takes him by the arm. 
     "yItob."  ["Prove it."]
     She headbutts him through the opening doors.



     We approach a planetary system.  The great bulk of a gaseous
giant fills the upper half of the screen.  A jagged asteroid
rolls by, revealing the words:


               Star Trek: Door Repair Guy


     A tiny companion moon tumbles after, revealing the word:


                         Starring


     We close in on a planetoid, and as the mottled surface
speeds across the screen we read:


                    Door Repair Guy as
                         Himself (twice)

                    Suzie Plaxson as
                         Targ Captain

                    Michael Dorn as
                         Targ First Officer

                    Jessica Steen as
                         Targ Doctor

                    Andrew Robinson as
                         Garak

                    Marc Alaimo as
                         Vole Ducat

                    Natalia Nogulich as
                    Chipmunk Rear-Admiral Nechayev

                    Clyde Kusatsu as
                    Chipmunk Admiral Nakamura

                    Bobcat Goldthwaite as
                         Tree-Human President


     We come up on a black monolith in orbit around the moon.  It
turns toward us.  My God, it's full of stars!  It's a gateway to
another region of the universe!  We pass through it in a
spectacular light show, ending up finally in some other galaxy. 
A planet looms up.  We skim low over the surface, which looks a
lot like the Scottish Highlands only orange, green and blue.  Oh,
brother, do we ever need some eyedrops.  Look out!  We crash. 
The next moment we step out of the hotel bathroom, breathing
loudly in our own ear.  We're having dinner.  We look up in
surprise at the spacesuited figure in the bathroom door and knock
a wineglass to the floor.  We bend to look at it and notice
ourselves lying in the bed.  With an ancient, liver-spotted hand
we lift the remote control and click to:


[Commercial: Apollo 13
     Shot of the Apollo 13 spaceship drawing away from the earth.
     Cut to the interior.  Tom Hanks is afloat in the foreground,
checking some instruments with a clipboard in one hand.  He
rotates slightly with the weightlessness just as Door Repair Guy
swims by in the background.  Hanks does a doubletake, stares as
DRG's boots disappear into the lunar module, then grabs his
headphones.
     "Houston, we have a problem!"]


     The sickbay.  The camera pans across an assortment of
medical equipment, and then up along the body of Door Repair Guy
who is laid out on an examining table with wires and tubes
sticking out of him in all directions.  His nose and cheekbones
show the lingering effects of frostbite, as if he'd recently
walked to the end of Merivale Road and back.  At the sound of the
doors hissing closed his eyes open and dart around the room.  The
doors swish open again unexpectedly.  He shuts his eyes tight and
begins to snore.
     Doctor: "qalegh."  ["I see you."]
     She trundles a tray up beside him.  On it are a variety of
roots and tubers.  She holds one out.
     "mInDu'raj tIpoSmoH 'ej yIyIv."  ["Open your eyes and chew
this."]
     He opens his eyes, sits up, takes the purple parsnip and
begins to gnaw.
     "maj.  Hergh je."  ["Tasty.  And medicinal."]
     "'oH QaQtaHghach law' DaSoppu'bogh Soj QaQtaHghach puS. 
HaDI'baH Sop Sor tera'ngan 'e' vISovpu'be'.  ja'chuq Hoch." 
["It's better than what you were eating before.  I didn't know
tree-humans were carnivorous.  Everyone is talking about it."]
     He takes a series of rapid Bugs Bunny-like bites.
     "tI je."  ["We like vegetables too."]
     "Ha'DIbaHmey Huj."  ["Strange creatures."]
     "Dajatlhchugh."  ["If you say so."]
     The Doctor regards him, clearly thinking that she's seen him
somewhere before, and if so, why she didn't put him out of his
misery then, when her eyes and nostrils widen in recognition. 
She hurries out of the room and re-enters with a computer pad,
tapping its controls rapidly.  She studies the image on the small
screen, then turns it to show him.  It shows the historical
painting "Sor tera'ngan mab lulop" ["They Celebrate the Tree-
Human Treaty"], which hangs in the Musee de Beaux Arts in the
Targ capital city of Yotlh [Field], on the Targ home world Yav
[Ground].  The original is a grand-assembly-hall-sized canvas in
mixed media depicting the signing on the bridge of a Chipmunk
starship of the Targ/Tree-Human Mutual Defence and Economic Co-
operation and Extradiction Treaty.  A yellow rectangle frames a
baseball-capped profile in the third row, brings the detail
forward, expanding it until it fills the screen.  Door Repair
Guy.
     "bIrchoH.  National Geographic rur."  ["Cool.  National
Geographic."]
     "yab.  mab ghotvetlh SoH.  'oH yIghoH."  ["Enough.  You're
that treaty guy.  Deny it."]
     He sits up and stretches his legs out, tensing all the
muscles and spreading his toes as far as they'll go, to the sound
of cracking joints.  Then he lets his feet dangle.  He kicks them
back and forth and smiles ingenuously up at the Doctor:
     "teHbej."  ["To be sure."]
     "'oH yImev."  ["Stop it."]
     "nuq.  mabmey vISutlhQo'."  ["What?  Don't negotiate
treaties?"]
     "ghobe'.  qamDu'raj Dochvetlh yIHeSqa'Qo'.  ["No.  Don't do
that thing with your feet again."]
     "jItlhIj.  tIghmey pIm 'e' vIloy."  ["Sorry.  Cultural
difference, I guess."]
     "HoDDaq qatlhap."  ["I'm going to take you to the Captain."]
     "'ach qatlh."  ["But why?"]
     She pauses by the door.
     "SoHvaD veS wISuv 'e' wIHech.  vaj Sut tItuQmoH"  ["We're
about to fight a war over you.  So get dressed."]
     Camera moves in on DRG's surprised, confused and not-a-
little-pleased expression.


[Commercial: Hugh Grant in _Nine Months to a Year_]


     The bridge doors hiss open and the Doctor drags Door Repair
Guy in by the arm.  The bridge staff all glance at him with
suspicion and fear.
     "HoDDaq vIjatlh vIneH."  ["I want to talk to the Captain."]
     Helmstarg: "tlheDpu'."  ["She left."]
     "vaj nuqDaq ghaHtaH yaS'e' wa'DIch."  ["Then where is the
First Officer?"]
     Helmstarg: "HoD pa'."  ["Captain's quarters."]
     Doctor: "jIlegh."  ["I see."]
     DRG: "vaj tIrI'."  ["So page them."]
     The whole bridge staff looks at him.  He stands there
frowning until the light of understanding dawns.
     "DaH 'oH vISuq."  ["Now I get it."]
     Helmstarg: "qatlh DaneH."  ["Why do you want them?"]
     "'utbe' veSvam.  Sor tera'nganpu' DevwI' wIghaj."  ["This
war is already won.  We have the leader of the Tree-Humans."]
     "ghaH DaHech'a'."  ["You mean him?"]
     "HIja'."  ["Certainly."]
     They look him up and down, snorting and flicking at flies
with their tails.
     "vay' DevlaHQo'."  ["He couldn't lead anyone."]
     The camera sneaks a glance sideways to see what he thinks of
that.  He doesn't like it.  He activates his personal transporter
and disappears.  The Targs look startled and only their military
training prevents them from stampeding.
     Cut to Door Repair Guy stomping down a corridor.
     "Couldn't lead anyone, eh?  I'll fix their little red
wagon."
     He comes up to the auxiliary communications monitoring
station, takes a slimjim out of his workboot, slips it into the
recess between the door and the wall and trips the spring-loaded
retraction bar mechanism.  The door springs open.  A crewtarg
looks up and inhales sharply.
     DRG: "tIqlIj vISop vIneH."  ["I came to eat your heart."]
     The Targ stampedes.  DRG secures the door, takes a seat at
the monitoring control, and cracks his knuckles.
     "So what's on?"
     He begins to play with the controls.  A screen above his
head reveals the disposition of the Targ fleet, as well as a tiny
dot off to one side.
     "Hm.  Either that's a Chipmunk ship on the extreme edge of
sensor range, or some kind of little sensor probe or mine or
something . . ."
     He enters some commands and gets an exterior view of the
object.  We see the sleek black casing of a converted photon
torpedo, then a visual from the *bridge* of the photon torpedo.
     Tree-Humans crowd up to the screen, pointing and chattering. 
They're dressed like pirates.  One of them pushes forward and
stares up at the screen.  DRG gets the feeling he's seen this one
before somewhere.
     Tree-Human: "Cool!"
     Suddenly the Targ ship rocks.  We catch a brief glimpse of
the Tree-Humans all pointing at their viewscreen, then the
exterior shot of the torpedo, then a visual of dozens of Vole
ships descending on the Targ fleet.  Two Voles in body armour
materialize behind DRG.  One of them clubs him on the head and
the other squeeks into a communicator.  DRG and the Voles
dematerialize.
     Panoramic view of the Targ and Vole fleets squaring off.


[Commercial: Hugh Grant in _The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But
Fell Down a Mountain_]


     Door Repair Guy opens one eye and then the other.  He is
afloat in some kind of capsule or pod.  He sniffs.  A pungent
fragrance fills his nostrils and starts his mouth watering.  All
at once the lid of the capsule lifts away.  A Vole turns toward
him and scrapes a cutting-board-load of onions into the . . .
tureen.
     "Hey!  You're marinating me!"
     The chef peers down at him with intense interest.
     "Yes.  And all indications are you'll be delicious."
     "Not that I'm trying to tell you your job or anything, but
isn't it customary to . . . like . . . clean me first?"
     He makes a cutting motion across his throat.  The chef looks
appalled.
     "Tree-Human is best when served live.  If you'll allow me I
must say your reputation as menaces to civilized living is well-
deserved."
     "I've met you before.  You're Garak!"
     "I confess I don't recall the occasion."
     "No, I guess you don't.  Are you going to serve me to that
rat Ducat?"
     "He *is* a rat, isn't he.  He'll be so pleased when I call
him that."
     "Why are the Targs and the Voles fighting over the Tree-
Humans?"
     Garak tastes the marinate and adds a little more wine
vinegar.
     "I have never ceased to be astonished by the questions put
by main courses."
     "Come on.  Gimme a hint.  Final request."
     "Tell me.  What do you eat?  Are you fond of acorns?  I'm
counting on you having a nutty flavour."
     "You're the one with the nutty flavour."
     "There's no need for that."
     "You're about to serve me up!"
     "That's no excuse for incivility!"
     Garak picks up the lid, gives DRG a final glare, and shuts
the tureen.
     DRG: "I'm outta here."
     He hits his transporter control.
     **FZZT**
     "Damn!  Vinegar.  I gotta dry out."
     He tries his toe levitation control, which works.  He lifts
out of the juice and carries the lid of the tureen up to the
ceiling where he begins to walk around and shake off his purple-
red limbs.  We get an above view of Garak walking back into the
room, looking this way and that and finally up.
     "Come down at once!"
     DRG drops the tureen lid on him and tries the transporter
again.  It works this time, but with a wine-vinegar-coloured
annular confinement beam.
     

[Bob:
     Shot of Bob on the couch inside a cargo plane.
     "Okay, back to Door Repair Guy after this, but first I've
got two tickets here for the grand opening of _Apollo 13_, the
big summer blockbuster, and so stay tuned to CHRO for details --"
     Bob has lifted off the couch.
     "And you can see we're here onboard the NASA KC-135 zero-g
simulator -- they flew it in for the air show! --"
     The cushions have begun to drift off of the couch.
     "Do you know they shot the entire Apollo 13 movie inside one
of these things?"
     The couch has developed yaw, pitch and roll.
     "They've got a nickname for this plane too!  It's the --
er -- I mean they call it -- ah -- erf -- oh boy --"
     Cameraman: "We're clear in ten seconds, Bob.  Hang in there,
buddy."
     Bob is hanging upside down with the microphone shaking in
his sweaty hand.  The eyes swell out of his pallid face.
     Cameraman: "In five, four, three --"
     Bob: "It's the, the -- BRRRUUUGGGGGHHHHHGggGgggHHHGGG!!!!!"
     The discharge sends him spinning down toward the far end of
the plane.
     Bob (bouncing around the far end of the plane): "Back to
Door Repair Guy after this!"]


[Commercial: 
     Vladimir Georyevich Titov, Soviet cosmonaut, for Mir dish
detergent, official dish detergent of the Soviet space
programme.]


     DRG pads down a corridor somewhere in the Vole ship.  He
mutters to himself as he goes:
     "Better watch myself.  If those Voles are anything like the
Cardassians they've got booby traps all over the place.  I'll bet
they're tracking me too.  Wish I had a way to block their
sensors.  Oh, wait a minute."
     He looks at his keyboard implant and jabs F12.
     On the bridge the Chief of Security sits back and looks at
his instrumentation in disgust.
     Vole Ducat: "What is it?"
     Chief of Security: "He's found a way to block our internal
sensors!"
     Ducat: "Call yourself a Vole?  Find him!"
     DRG stops at an intersection and peers around a corner.
     "They'll have the pack out too."
     As if on schedule a pack of security guards charges past. 
One of them stops and comes back around the corner, sniffing, but
finds nothing except a maintainence crawlway access panel.
     Cut to Door Repair Guy elbow-crawling along the service
tunnel.
     "This is too ironic by far."
     The tunnel shakes to the sound of a distant explosion.
     "Oops.  Battle starting up.  That should tie up the guards."
     To disprove his hypothesis a flashlight beam appears behind
him.  Phaser fire streaks past in the dark.  He scurries round a
corner, only to come up against another search beam not twenty
feet ahead.  He hits his transporter.  Nothing happens.  Damping
field!  Realizing the only defence now is a good offence he
scrambles for the light ahead of him, but catches his toe and
does a face-plant into the floorgrill just as phaser fire streaks
past him and the familiar smell of vapourized vole fills the
tunnel.  He looks behind and makes out a cloudy afterglow.  He
looks ahead and sees . . . navigational lights.  The tunnel
lights up as these intensify.
     Afloat just ahead of him is the Tree-Human ship.


[Commercial: Hugh Borg for Zekware:
     Shot of dramatically lit muscular thigh with black tubes
sticking out of it.
     "This could be your thigh."
     Similar shot of shoulders with implants.
     "These could be your shoulders."
     Bicep flexing.  Below the elbow it's nothing but machinery.
     "This could be your arm."
     Shot of extremely muscular Borg.
     "This could be your body.  Phone 1-800-Zekware."]


     Panoramic view of the Vole and Targ warfleets engaged in
space combat.  Though the military hardware in this alternate
universe parallels that of our own quite closely, battle tactics
would appear to be based on an entirely different set of
principles.  The Targs show a pronounced herd mentality, moving
in a group and covering each other's backs until one commander
gets worked up enough to charge the opposing forces, at which
point the Voles scurry in all directions and reform elsewhere.
     Cut to the service conduit in the Vole warship.  Door Repair
Guy is on all fours peering at the converted photon torpedo Tree-
Human pirate ship.  A small hatch springs open, grazing the end
of his nose and causing him to recoil.  He lands on his behind. 
An action-figure-sized humunculus in pirate costume climbs out of
the hatch, wobbles and balances himself on the smooth black
surface, then, with one hand clamped to the open hatch cover,
whisks off his wide-brimmed hat and yelps:
     "I am the dread pirate Don Antonio Gregorio Bermuda de
Ontario y Patagonia the Third!  Yippee!"
     Door Repair Guy crawls forward hurriedly, stares, then backs
away in amazement.
     DRG: "I'm a Tiny Toon."
     Mini-DRG: "Hey, didn't I once see you tethered to a Pink
Floyd concert?"
     "You're me, all right.  Where did you get that torpedo?"
     "Stole it, obviously!"
     "It's a Chipmunk design.  Did they customize it for you?"
     "Not for us!  For the puppet government!"
     Cut to a Tree-Human-sized office.  Bobcat Goldthwaite is
seated in the presidential chair, signing bills into law. 
Strings attached to his elbows and wrists angle upward past the
tops of the walls toward a wooden cross in the hand of a Chipmunk
Rear-Admiral (played by Admiral Nechayev).  A Chipmunk Admiral
Nakamura enters.
     Nakamura: "We've got that squash appointment at 1300 hours."
     Nechayev: "Keep your shirt on a minute.  He's about to sign
over the whole Beta Quadrant acorn production for a box of HB
pencils."
     Back to the tunnel:
     "You should keep abreast of current developments!  We're
fighting in insurgency!  We're up against some big customers! 
Hey, you know, you've got a piece of purple parsnip in your
teeth, and it's THIS BIG."  The little guy holds up his hands is
if describing the SISbat'telh Dawt that got away.
     DRG digs the chunk out with the edge of his fingernail and
chews on it meditatively.
     "How come the Targs and Voles are going after each other?"
     "Our analysts believe it to be an displaced imperialist
reaction triggered by the sudden and uncontrolled migration of
emergent humanoid populations throughout the quadrant without
respect to traditional spheres of influence!  Cool, eh?""
     "You mean this is bigger than the Tree-Humans?"
     "Yeah, baby!  The Cling-ons are overrunning the Neutral Zone
right now!  As we speak!"
     "But how do they get from planet to planet?"
     "Luggage, mailbags, cargo containers.  A million ways!"
     Cut to an exterior shot of an enormous orbiting starbase. 
Two Chipmunks emerge from an airlock, put down their hand-
luggage, and greet their comrades with shouts and open arms.  Cut
to a piece of hand-luggage on the floor.  The material bulges and
stirs.  The zipper draws open from the inside.  A small bony
Cling-on head pushes out and looks around. 
     DRG: "Migrating?  What for?  Food?  Better-paying jobs?"
     The little pirate's face gets a far-away look.
     "We are in search of freedom.  Self-determination.  The
basic rights to which all humanoids aspire.  A tree you can call
your own.  And the abolition of pest-control."
     "Can't the powerful animals stop you?  They're a lot
bigger."
     "It's too late now.  We're EVERYWHER-R-R-R-R-R-E!!"
     "Wow.  And I started it all.  Who'd've known it'd get out of
hand like this?"
     "You should not do magic you do not understand.  Like it or
not, we're on the move, and we're takin' you with us."
     "What?  In that little thing?"
     "We have some friends."
     With that the little pirate jumps back into the torpedo and
secures the hatch.  A white and blue bubbly transporter effect
surrounds DRG and the pirate ship.  They disappear from the
service conduit.  Cut to the interior of a huge space enclosed by
a long black vaulted roof above and a watery surface below.  Door
Repair Guy and the torpedo materialize and DRG immediately
plunges into the water.  He surfaces and begins to splash around
and spit out seawater.  Pirates climb out on top of the torpedo
and start to rain insults and other stuff on his head.  He treads
water and turns this way and that.  A dark shape passes him in
the water, and then another.
     "Yikes!  Sharks!"
     Two humped backs surface beside him.  He hears, or rather,
feels through the water and his bones:
     "You must be that Door Repair Guy.  We've heard all about
you.  How do you do?  I'm George.  This is Gracie.  Say hello,
Gracie."
     Gracie: "Hello, Gracie."
     DRG treads on.  "Wow."
     View of the enormous black cylindrical Probe moving through
the midst of the battle, neutralizing Vole and Targ warships as
it goes, the nacelles and running lights blinking off ship by
ship.


[Commercial:
     This Thursday, Friday and Saturday only at the Ottawa
Congress Centre, hear the author of the New York Times sixteen
week bestseller _Creative Procrastination_, Douglas A. McLeod,
explain how you too can apply the proven success strategies of
Creative Procrastination to your business, your personal finances
and lifestyle.  Thousands have profited from the take-your-own-
sweet-time commando tactics of Creative Procrastination and so
can you.  Seating is limited, so phone now.  Or go and have a cup
of coffee.  There's always time to get the cheap standing-room-
only at the back of the hall.  Tickets at Ticketmaster.]


[ MEMO

     From: Executive Producer
     To: Other Executive Producer
     Re: Episode 037, Rescue of


Gul Piller:

     This one's been through rewrite five times, and you still
haven't worked out an ending?  We go to principal photography the
day after tomorrow!]


[ MEMO

     From: Other Executive Producer
     To: Executive Producer
     Re: Re: Episode 037, Rescue of


Gul Berman:

     Gene Roddenberry used to rewrite *during* principal
photography.]


[ MEMO

     From: Executive Producer
     To: Other Executive Producer
     Re: Re: Re: Episode 037, Rescue of


Gul Piller:

     The bearer of this message is Gul Taylor, the new Other
Other Executive Producer.  Hand all notes and drafts relating to
037 to her and get on to episode 038.  Pronto.
     P.S.  I knew Gene Roddenberry, and believe me, Other
Executive Producer, you're no

     Gul Piller angrily mashes the memo into a ball and fires it
into a nearby waste basket.  He walks around his desk and reaches
down toward a drawer, but Gul Taylor's voice brings him to a
sudden halt, her words sending a chill up his arm.
     Gul Taylor: "Freeze.  You didn't think I'd come in here
unarmed, did you?"
     She has a Cardassian phaser pointed directly at him.  He
slowly straightens.
     Gul Taylor: "I've had my eye on you a long time, Gul Piller. 
Deep Space Nine, Voyager, Door Repair Guy, Legend.  I knew that
sooner or later it would all catch up with you, would all be too
much.  Too much power is a dangerous thing, don't you agree?  It
only increases the possibility of a fall.  Your fall has been
overdue.  And now it has arrived.  I will take over this series,
and with time the others too.  And I have other projects in
development.  Captain Sulu.  Star Trek Academy.  My Mother the
Car: The Next Generation.  Hollywood Parrisies Squares.  And
that's only the beginning.  There's a whole new network out
there, and I plan to be a big part of it.  I -- "  
     She lurches and slumps onto the couch, unconscious.
     Gul Piller: "It took you long enough."
     The office door inches open and Gul Berman's lovely
assistant Madeline enters, a Type 2 phaser in her hand.  She
locks the door behind her, glances toward the prostrate Taylor,
then high-heels over and drapes herself across Piller's desk.
     Madeline: "Law of Script Repair Number Four: Don't interrupt
while the villain's explaining the plot."
     "You've learned well."
     "Kiss me." 
     "Okay.  But first get me John de Lancie."
     She does that Elvis lip and reaches for the phone.


     The camera glides past the blunt, pitted bow of the Humpback
Probe.  We hear the deep ocean-liner engine-room thump familiar
to viewers of ST IV: The Voyage Home.  Disabled targs- and voles-
of-war drift by, neutralized.
     Cut to the interior.  DRG is still treading water.
     "I can't keep this up forever, you know!"
     George: "Gracie, don't we have a life-preserver around here
somewhere?"
     Gracie: "Oh, I threw that out."
     George: "You threw it out?"
     Gracie: "Oh, my, yes!  It had a big hole in the middle!"
     Door Repair Guy jabs ineffectually at his waterlogged
transporter control.  Nothing.  He kicks off his boots and tries
the toe antigrav.  It doesn't even improve his buoyancy.  He
starts to go under.  On the pirate torpedo they're giving him the
count.
     "Once!  Twice!  Three times!  Hurray!!!"
     DRG finds himself sinking into the dark waters.  He resolves
to show more character development if he ever gets out of this
one.  His arse collides with a rising metal surface.
     The submarine surfaces, periscope-first.  The conning tower
appears, spewing water, then DRG's head, also spewing water.  A
hatch opens, and Q climbs out and leans over the railing.  He's
dressed in the uniform of a submarine commander.
     Q: "Do you like it?  I got it from _1941_."
     DRG (coughing): "Buster Keaton used it first."
     "Excellent.  For a species that exists only in Time you'd be
amazed how few of you bother to learn about everything that's
ever happened in it."
     "Well, we had the full cable selection in our house."
     The pirate ship comes up behind Q and cruises slowly around
him, the Tree-Human crew glaring.  Q gives them a disapproving,
slightly disgusted look.
     "Well, well, *you've* certainly taken insignificance to new
levels."
     Tree-Humans: "Nyah!!  Booo!!"
     "Pity this entire dimension is doomed to be run by you runts
for the next seven millenia."
     "Hurray!!  Yahoo!!!"
     DRG struggles to his feet in the kneedeep water on top of
the submerged submarine hull.  He starts to lose his footing,
swings his arms wildly, goes down, flails around underwater,
resurfaces, gets to his hands and feet with his arse stuck up in
the air, walks his hands in toward his feet, rises unsteadily,
moves his arms like the two hand of a clock trying to prevent the
slow slide of his left foot, shouts "Oh!", does the splits and
goes down, struggles up again, points at Q and asks:
     "You mean the future of the Tree-Humans is predetermined?"
     Q (rolling his eyes): "Oh, if I had a dime for every time
I've been asked about predetermination.  The answers are Yes! and
No!  Comprenez-vous?  I'll dumb it down for you.  The part that
concerns you the most is the fact that it wouldn't have happened
without you.  We in the Continuum have been noting a high degree
of turbulence in the background probability of your universe.  To
put it nautically, you're leaving a wake, you chaotic little
entity.  That would be bad enough, but now you've stumbled onto
interdimensionality, which means you're not only throwing monkey
wrenches into the affairs of the merely mortal, you actually have
the potential to interfere in the well laid plans of . . ."
     DRG: "Whom?"
     Q: "Your betters."
     "Cool."
     Q (cocking his head, and looking brainless): "Cool."
     "Hey!"
     "So the choice is this.  Drown you like a puppy *now*, or
put a shadow on you and find out just how improbable the human
race can get."
     "Is that a dare?"
     "Only if you remember it."
     He passes his hand over Door Repair Guy . . .
     Who opens first one eye and then the other, notices the
daisies bobbing and swaying above his head, sits up suddenly,
looks this way and that in a panic, and zeroes in on the figure
of a woman in a homespun skirt pulling up a plant and furiously
shaking the earth off the roots.
     "Ex-girlfriend!"
     Her head snaps in his direction.
     "Ex-boyfriend!"
     She tightens her grip around the plant, hurries toward him
through the waist-deep herbs, and begins to pummel him with the
root end.


Next time on Star Trek: Door Repair Guy:

     "Cool!"


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

Episode 37 — Small Wonder

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