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Episode 43 — Out of Order
"WUTV, Channel 29 in Buffalo."
Tracking shot of DS9. Cut to Dax's quarters. She's leaned
back in a recliner/rocker with the headphones on, bobbing her
head with her eyes closed. She sings:
I want you, day after day-ay-ay.
She leaves off singing as the tune fades out, opens her eyes in
obvious bliss, and shifts in the chair waiting for the next
track. A small wrinkle forms between her brows. She sits up
straight, looks at the turntable and removes her headphones.
Shot of Dax coming out of the turbolift at Ops. She slides
into a seat and begins to enter commands into the computer
O'Brien: "What is it?"
Dax: "There is no way 'Do You Feel Like We Do' follows right
after 'Show Me the Way' on Frampton Comes Alive!"
O'Brien pauses while he figures out what she's talking
"Maybe there's some kind of glitch in the audio program."
"On an LP record?"
O'Brien makes a perplexed face.
She sits back from the console and taps her commbadge.
"Dax to Sisko."
Cut to Sisko standing barechested in his bathroom. He wipes
the last of the shaving cream from his chin and stands back to
inspect his mutton-chop sideburns in the mirror. He hears the
chirp of the commbadge and comes out of the bathroom with a towel
around his shoulders.
"Sisko here. What is it, Dax?"
*Benjamin, that Bolian freighter that pulled out two hours
ago must have had more than a little wrong with its warp coils.
I read a mass of temporal inversion pockets emanating from the
co-ordinates of the freighter's jump to warp speed. Several of
the pockets have passed through the station already, but the
greatest concentration of them has yet to hit us.*
"Red alert. I'll be at Ops momentarily."
Shot of Sisko as he leaves his quarters in a full beard.
The wardroom. The camera moves in on Commodore Jones as he
shuffles together his papers and pronounces, "After reviewing all
the evidence and testimony given here I declare the defendant
guilty as charged and sentence him to twenty-five years
imprisonment in the New Zealand Penal Settlement."
There's silence in the courtroom. Then Samuel T. Cogley IV,
DRG's lawyer, steps away from the witness stand and says:
"Commodore Jones, I haven't finished with this witness."
The Judge Advocate General sits back with his papers in his
hands, glances at the admiral at either side of him, blinks twice
An icy asteroid rolls by, spewing cometary material.
"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
Deep Space Nine space station drifts into view. A runabout
shoots past, revealing the words:
Star Trek: Door Repair Guy
Door Repair Guy as
James Earl Jones as
The Judge Advocate General
Michael Moriarty as
Jill Hennesy as
Clint Howard as
Samuel T. Cogley IV
Avery Brooks as
Rene Auberjonois as
Cirroc Lofotn as
Terry Farrell as
Colm Meaney as
Natalia Nogulich as
Clyde Kusatsu as
[Commercial: Frankie's Buffalo Wings]
"Commodore Jones to Commander Sisko. What is the meaning of
this Red Alert?"
*We are encountering temporal inversion pockets, Commodore.
Don't be surprised if things begin to happen in the wrong order.
We're working on it.*
Cogley: "Obviously this means a mistrial."
Stone: "Hold on a moment. Just because some events occur in
the wrong order it doesn't mean the verdict is in question."
Cogley: "You're the one who didn't want to discuss evidence
before the opening statements."
Stone: "Time was operating normally then."
Cogley: "The pronouncement of the verdict before all the
evidence has been heard is extremely prejudicial. In fact it's
the dictionary definition of prejudice. Clearly the case has to
be thrown out."
Stone: "The Judge Advocate General said in his decision that
it was based on all the evidence and testimony. There is nothing
in his verdict to indicate that this temporal anomaly has had or
will have any deleterious effect on the trial. All that remains
for us is to present the evidence."
Cogley: "Hear the verdict and then present the evidence? Is
Stone: "Just because a trial has never been conducted under
conditions of temporal inversion it does not follow that it
cannot. We may discover in the future that certain parts of the
universe regularly experience these conditions. Are we to
abandon our system of law in those circumstances?"
Cogley: "Surely prior knowledge of the verdict will alter
both the lines of questioning and the testimony upon which the
verdict has been based."
Stone: "I'm prepared to risk it."
Cogley: "Sure. You think you've already won."
They both turn their glares at the Judge Advocate General,
who senses the eyes of everyone else in the room to boot.
"Ahem. Well. This should make for an interesting holodeck
simulation, Mr Cogley. It seems we're in the middle of a
philosophical tug of war between free-will and determinism. I
wonder which of them my colleagues believe to be in the
Nakamura: "Free will."
"Hm. I think the only way to find out whether the verdict
is the correct one is to proceed with the trial. When all the
evidence has been presented, in whatever order it is presented,
I'll see if I agree with the verdict I have already delivered.
If I disagree I will dismiss the charges. If I agree the verdict
will stand. In either case I can expect an appeal will be
Cogley: "The motion is already in preparation."
Stone: "If there is a second contrary verdict I will be sure
JAG: "As long as we understand each other. Lieutenant, keep
an eye on the chronometer and let me know when all the time up to
the pronouncement of the verdict has been filled."
Court secretary, pulling out a stopwatch: "Aye aye sir."
[Commercial: Love Canal Buffalo Wings from Real Buffalo]
Stone approaches the bench.
"Your honour, I move that the court go in camera for the
next portion of the trial."
"I have a witness whose testimony in open court would surely
jeopardize the security of the Federation."
"Who is it?"
"I'm not at liberty to say."
"You have to tell me if you want to get your way."
"I'll write it."
Stone writes it on the palm of his hand and shows the Judge
"Hm. Motion granted. Constable, clear the court."
Odo: "All right, you looky-loos, into the corridor."
Cogley: "I object! The Prosecution has not apprized me of
the identity of this witness!"
Stone: "Yes I have."
Cogley: "Well I don't remember agreeing to it!"
Stone: "Well I do. And I have your signature on an
Commodore Jones gestures to see it.
JAG: "He's right. You signed it. Or will."
"This is going in the appeal."
Fade to shot of Smedley, Director of the Guardian of Forever
Institute, in the witness stand. The camera draws back to reveal
Stone approaching from the Prosecution table. There are rows of
empty chairs in the gallery.
"Dr Smedley. You are the Direction of the top secret
Guardian of Forever Institute, are you not?"
"And you have met the defendant before?"
"Yes I have, when he beamed down from the Enterprise to fix
"Did he fix the door?"
"After considerable delay and insubordination."
"Did he do anything else while he was there?"
"Yes. He altered the course of the history of planet 892
"How did he do that?"
"He whipped a stone through the time portal and struck a
major historical figure at a moment of great import."
"What was the consequence?"
"An entire rewriting of history."
"If the defendant had refrained from that act, what would
have been the result?"
"The history of the planet would have continued on its
rightful path, parallelling that of Earth."
"No further questions."
Stone sits while Cogley jumps up.
"Dr Smedley, how do you know that planet 892 IV was meant to
have a history that exactly parallelled that of Earth?"
"Up to that point in history the two worlds are identical in
every respect. This one pebble introduced from the outside by
that repairman is the source of all subsequent divergence."
"You wish the divergence had not taken place?"
"It's not a matter of wishing! I run a professional and
accredited scientific establishment. We observe the strictest
temporal hygiene. Scientists do not impose themselves on their
data. Interference with the subject renders the entire task of
observation futile and absurd."
"The way I understand it, you wanted to find out what caused
the divergence between the two worlds. Am I right?"
"That was the objective of that particular project, yes."
"And you found out. It was the pebble. You should be
"I --! I should be happy?! You should be disbarred! This
is the clearest violation of the Prime Directive in two hundred
"Or, perhaps, my client should be recognized as a major
historical figure in his own right; the agent of planet 892 IV's
"Tell me Dr Smedley, why do you want every planet to be just
like Earth? Are you an imperialist?"
"Planet 892 IV is not every planet!"
"Do you support or oppose the Children of Vaal?"
"Oppose them, of course!"
"Because they want to be different from Earth?"
Cogley: "I'm done with him!"
But Smedley isn't done. He stands up in the witness box and
begins to gesticulate angrily.
"Lock that evildoer away, for the love of sanity! He is a
menace! He is Door Repair Guy, Destroyer of Planets!"
JAG: "Dr Smedley! Get a hold of yourself, man! Constable,
get this maniac out of here!"
Shot of DRG drumming his fingers nervously.
[Commercial: Deb and Andy's Extra Large Buffalo Wings]
Samuel T. Cogley IV finds himself in front of the witness
stand. A Pakled grins up at him. Cogley turns to Stone.
"Is this my witness or your witness?"
Stone: "I've got a Pakled. Barchibod."
Pakled: "Barchibod is my friend. He is here too."
The Pakled points. Barchibod delivers a slow-motion wave
from the back of the room.
Cogley: "Then who are you?"
"I am Ostabod. We are Pakleds. We look for things."
Stone: "They serve together on the Big and Fast."
Cogley: "I must have called him when I knew you had called
JAG: "Remember you're in an adversarial relationaship,
gentlemen. Keep good notes."
Cogley (pointing to Door Repair Guy): "Mr Ostabod. Have you
seen that man before?"
Ostabod: "He is my friend."
"You know him socially?"
"He buys us ales. He is a real pal."
"You know him to be open-handed and always ready to help his
"He buys us ales."
"Could you recount the circumstances under which you last
"There was a bear."
"Yes. There was a bear."
From the back of the room: "Yes. There was a bear."
JAG: "No comments from the gallery."
Ostabod: "We saw him when there was a bear."
"When was there a bear?"
"When we saw him."
Cogley pauses, then tries a different tack.
"Mr Ostabod. At any point in your conversations with the
defendant during the period in question do you recall him ever
expressing any political opinion that would lead you to suppose
that he might be sympathetic to the cause of Gamma Triangular
JAG: "You have to answer the question."
Ostabod turns in his seat and looks at the Judge Advocate
General, then turns back to Cogley.
Cogley: "A simple yes or no."
Ostabod looks at DRG.
"He buys us ales."
Then he looks toward the replicator.
Cogley: "We're in court now, Mr Ostabod. I cannot give you
an ale for every answer. You have to wait."
Stone: "Objection! Is the Defense buying favourable replies
with mugs of ale?"
Ostabod: "We like ale."
Barchibod: "Yes. We like ale."
Cogley opens his mouth, closes it again, and says:
[Commercial: Erie Buffalo Wings]
DRG stretches and slouches in his chair and then jumps when
he realizes it's the witness seat.
"Hey! When did I say I'd testify?"
JAG: "This is a court martial. You testify when you're told
to. Enough of your monkeyshines. Answer the question."
"Um. What was the question again?"
Stone: "I'm not sure, your honour. I only just got here
JAG: "Check your notes."
Stone glances down at the steno pad in his hand and sees
that the top four questions on the page have been stroked through
with red ink. He notices the red magic marker in his other hand.
He reads: "Did you or did you not write this disclaimer?"
He searches around and then brings it from the Prosecution
"To refresh your memory it reads: 'I, Door Repair Guy,
didn't help the Children of Vaal, and if I did I didn't want to,
and if I wanted to it wasn't anything important, and if it was
important I didn't know it, and if I did know it I was drunk, and
if I wasn't drunk I was possessed, and if there's no such thing
as evil spirits it was all just a dream.'"
DRG leans forward, an unconscious gesture handed down from
the age of microphones.
"Did you dictate it?"
"Tell me, sir. Was it all a dream?"
"Do you believe there are evil spirits?"
"There's the Door Fek'lhr."
"Did the Door Fek'lhr have anything to do with this?"
"Were you drunk at the time?"
"Do you think that the overthrow of a planetary government
is important or unimportant?"
"Thank you. Did you know that at the time?"
"Yes or no."
"Did you want to help the Children of Vaal?"
"Ah-ha! Well! They stuck phasers in my face!"
"What would William Riker have done in those circumstances?"
"Glower and sulk probably."
"Would he co-operate?"
"What was that?"
"Why wouldn't he co-operate?"
(Reluctantly): "Starfleet officer."
"That's right. He's a Starfleet officer. Why wouldn't a
Starfleet officer co-operate with terrorists?"
"I guess duty."
"Thank you. Duty. Integrity?"
"Did you want to help the Children of Vaal?"
"How do you define 'want to'?"
"Did you sympathize with their cause?"
"They've got a point."
"Well, how would you feel if someone came along and phasered
"Is that all?"
"Well. Once they were happy and innocent. Then the
Federation came along and put them all in school."
"Are you against education?"
"No. I mean the sex education specifically."
"Ah, the famous James Kirk Effect. An uncontrollable cycle
of sexual promiscuity ending in black coffee and cigarette-
smoking. Would it surprise you to learn that Federation
scientists discount that theory?"
"They would, wouldn't they?"
"Tell me, sir. What is your attitude toward sexual
"Gotta have 'em. Without relations having sex we'd run out
"So you've sown a few wild oats yourself."
"Are we talking about agriculture now?"
"I mean, you are not unexperienced in the ways of love?"
"See this scar?"
He points to his neck.
"I see it."
"So you don't object to interspecies sexual relations. How
then can you justify helping a group opposed to it?"
"You haven't got me to admit helping them yet."
"Did you help them?"
"Well, 'help' is a pretty ambiguous word."
"Did you open the door to the auxiliary control room?"
"With my hands?"
"Don't try to evade the question! Do you open it?"
"Yeah I guess."
"One more question. Did you exceed posted decibel limits on
seventeen occasions since arriving at Deep Space Nine?"
"Yes I did but I don't see what it has to do with this
"Neither do I. No more questions."
JAG: "Your witness."
Cogley: "No questions."
"You may step down. But remember you're still under oath."
DRG jumps out of the chair and slides in behind the Defense
table, then turns to look at the left side of the gallery where
several Starfleet personnel are hissing him.
"Hey, why are they so mad?"
Cogley: "That surveillance tape was a killer."
"I don't remember any tape."
"Weren't you paying attention?"
"No less than usual."
T'Gel: "I do not recall it either. I would surmise that a
temporal inversion pocket may have passed through only a portion
of the courtroom, thereby creating a disparity of awareness."
"You may be right. Sidebar, your honour."
JAG: "What is it, Mr Cogley?"
"We suspect a temporal inversion pocket may have passed
through part of the room while leaving the other part unaffected.
My client is unaware of the surveillance tape."
Nakamura: "What surveillance tape?"
Nechayev: "Weren't you paying attention?"
(Sheepishly): "No less than usual."
JAG: "Hands up everyone who saw the tape."
The left side of the room holds up its hands and looks at
the right side of the room. The right side looks around
JAG: "This is a problem."
Stone: "Not in the least, your honour. Those who have not
seen it will see it at another time."
Cogley: "Can we be sure? Suppose we experience several
sections of time over and over, and others not at all? Some
piece of evidence vital to the Defense's case may go sailing off
in one of those temporal inversion pockets and never be seen."
JAG: "We could run the tape again."
Stone: "Wouldn't that jeopardize the timeline? We know we
only have a finite measure of time before the verdict is handed
down. If we start to rerun selected portions we'll use up time
that should be spent on other evidence."
Cogley: "In a normal trial we wouldn't be having this
discussion; therefore we're already using up time that was meant
for the presentation of evidence."
Stone: "That only holds true if you assume the trial was
meant to held in normal time."
Cogley: "It was."
Stone: "We don't know that."
JAG: "Well, I for one have seen what's on that tape, and
once is more than enough. We won't rerun it."
DRG to T'Gel: "Jeez. Do you think there's xenoerotic
amputee sex on it or something?"
T'Gel: "We can only live in hope."
DRG: "Sarcasm. Cool."
[Commercial: Niagara Frontier Buffalo Wings]
Cogley: "I strenuously object to this testimony."
Uncle Paving Contractor, from the witness stand: "Get
JAG: "Enough of that, you. From my notes I see that I have,
check, will admit this evidence on that grounds that it reveals
certain aspects of the defendant's character."
Uncle Paving Contractor: "Roll that tape!"
Stone: "Lieutenant, please."
A screen descends and the courtroom is treated to a
recording of Nepean City Council in which DRG is seen throwing a
bat'telh at the then mayor with apparent intent to injure.
Uncle Paving Contractor rubs his hands together merrily and
shouts: "Beat that, nephew!"
DRG: "That wasn't so bad. I'll just explain about Mom and
Cogley: "That wasn't the tape."
Cogley: "Mr Sotuka, we have heard the tale of how you came
to join the Children of Vaal, how you participated in the act of
piracy against the Pakled vessel Big and Fast, how -- as you
claim -- my client assisted in the activation of the Vaal
computer system, and lastly how you became disenchanted with the
conduct of the revolutionary Gamma Triangular government and
contrived to defect to the Federation authorities garrisoned on
Gamma Trianguli III."
Shotuka: "So? What is question?"
Cogley: "Here is question. Do you seriously expect this
court to believe the word of a proven terrorist who by his own
admission bears a grudge against my client?"
"He hit me with cribbage board."
"Answer the question, please."
"It is not. Why should anyone listen to you?"
"I am changed man. I love Federation."
"Can you prove your love?"
(Laughs): "I prove it all night long."
Admiral Nechayev: "It should be pointed out that the witness
has co-operated with the authorities in every way, endured
considerable peril and hardship to reach the Federation
authorities, and has provided us with information which may just
prove instrumental in shutting down that computer, and in general
is a fine and upstanding man in every way."
Nechayev and Shotuka make momentary eye contact and smile.
Cogley (under his breath): "So! The fix is in."
Stone leans toward the floor to pick up a pen and notices
the tricorder balanced on DRG's knee and pointed in his
Stone: "What are you doing?"
"Oh, nothing. Just a little sampling."
"My God. You're trying to create a holographic lawyer."
Stone looks around in disbelief.
"Why don't you copy your own lawyer?"
"Because he's not winning."
JAG: "Lieutenant. How's the time going?"
The court secretary holds up a piece of bristol board
showing a timeline of the trial. Over 90% of the line is
crosshatched with purple highlighter.
"Nearly done, sir."
[Commercial: Wings of Desire Buffalo Wings]
The screen descends.
Surveillance camera view of the Security holding area.
We see Sisko walk into the shot with a uniform draped over
"The trial begins in an hour. Here's your dress uniform."
"Maintenance Division dress uniform? When did those come
"While you were running around with that Duras sister. And
you can take personal credit. After you showed up in overalls to
meet the Kai I got on the subspace channel to Starfleet and they
"But it's green!"
"Maintenance is orange! It goes back to the twentieth
century! The orange is our connection with the early
"Well now it's green. Get dressed."
DRG (under his breath): "Green uniforms. It's enough to
make a fella sign up with the Maquis."
Court Secretary (holding up the stopwatch): "Time!"
A late summer's evening in Iowa. Crickets work their tiny
communication network in the still air. The constellations roll
westward toward the royal blue rim of South Dakota. In a corner
of a cornfield two banks of incandescent lights stand out,
separated by a backstop fence. The emerald diamond of the
infield stands at an angle between them, dewy and grass-fragrant.
Benjamin Sisko swings a bat at nothing, just to feel the motion.
Jake paces from first toward second, punching his baseball
glove. He kicks the bag, then looks up and grins.
"Hey, Dad, what did Darth Vader say to the second baseman?"
Benjamin rests the bat on his shoulder and says:
"That joke may have occurred to you just now, but I'll bet
it was first told nearly four hundred years ago."
"Cool. I guess."
"That's the nature of tradition, Jake. You shouldn't be
ashamed to discover that someone else did something first. Every
triple play is an original moment in time, despite the fact that
the first one was turned in the nineteenth century. In a way,
tradition is a different stream of time, a kind of temporal
wormhole, braided around linear time, and entirely created by
people. Two batters hundreds of years apart are competitors
while they're coming to bat. You and I are unlikely to do
anything that hasn't been done on a baseball field before, Jake,
but that's not the point. Here, everything old is new again."
"Huh. Hey, look."
A figure in a 23rd-Century captain's uniform emerges from
the outfield corn.
Captain Kirk: "Is this Heaven?"
Sisko: "No, it's Iowa."
"You're not kidding? Which way is Riverside?"
Sisko and Jake point. Shatner heads off.
Sisko: "Hey! Get off the field!"
"All right! All right!"
Captain Kirk disappears down the darkened road.
"Some people, eh?"
"You're telling me."
They pantomime hitting and fielding groundballs for a while.
"So, Dad, doesn't it bug you that the only other guy on the
station who knew anything about baseball is going to prison?"
"That flake? I thank my lucky stars I'm finally rid of him.
Did I ever tell you about Bill Lee?"
James Earl Jones appears out of the corn dressed in a 1919
White Sox uniform.
JAG: "That ball's definitely lost."
Jake: "We could turn off the programme. It'll be on the
Sisko: "Not so fast. I don't want to break the mood of this
JAG: "You really are glad to be rid of that guy."
Sisko: "I've got a feeling it's going to be a great season."
Jake: "I don't know. Of all the characters I've met on the
station he was one of the strangest. I think I'll put him in a
story. I found some old television screenplays in the library
database and I thought I'd try to write one."
Sisko: "Oh, Jake. Try to do something worthwhile with your
View of the constellations rolling over Iowa. Shot of Deep
Written by Douglas A. McLeod, firstname.lastname@example.org
Episode 43 — Out of Order
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