Originally posted to rec.arts.startrek back around 1988, just after the conclusion of ST:TNG's first season.


Every one else seems to be writing a Star Trek parody, so I guess it's my turn (although my friends would suggest that my time would be better spent on MircoSaga).

What with all the "suggestions" for the next season being bandied about, Gates McFadden leaving, Crosby already dead, the Romulans being "back", and nobody being particularly fond of Wheaton or Frakes; AND a whole bunch of other things, I think we have some ripe writing material here.

So here goes. Excuse any spelling errors; they're all typos, anyway. Honest.


Star Trek: The Next (de)Generation

"Where no sane man would go."

Captain's Log, Stardate 32768.0:
After a particularly poorly written but nonetheless successful first season, the Enterprise has been assigned to do an exploratory survey of an unexplored quadrant nearest the center of the galaxy, in the hopes that something interesting will happen. On another note, I must admit that I am somewhat distressed at the seemingly random nature of these stardates I am required to quote. They remain a great mystery to me, despite the extensive research that was done on them nearly 400 years ago.
Picard:
Stop smirking, number one.
Riker:
I wasn't aware that I was, sir.
Picard:
You do, Riker. All the time. And stop leaning against things with your head hunched down between your shoulders.
Riker:
[Standing up straight for a change] Aye, sir.
[ Tweedlesquirge ]
Data:
Captain, ship's sensors have detected a derelict spacecraft at extreme range.
Picard:
Analysis?
Data:
It's too far away for any meaningful scan, sir.
Picard:
Then how do you know it's a derelict?
Data:
I do not know, sir. I would speculate that it is a writer's error.
Picard:
Obviously. Well, let's rubberband our way over there and have a look at it. Geordi, set course.
Geordi:
Aye, sir. Three two two point eight nine mark four three.... seven... and some other meaningful numbers.
Picard:
Engage.
[ Purrdlefreezowp ]

External Shot:

[ fwEESH!!! POOOWWWWWW!!!!! ]

Bridge:

Data:
Approaching derelict craft.
Picard:
Scan it, Mr. Data.
[ Blinkitydinkitydinkityzeerp ]
Data:
It appears to be an old Earth craft from the late 20th century.
Picard:
[Muttering] Not again....
Data:
It seems to be saucer-shaped, with little lights that spin around and around on the bottom, serving no other readily apparent function.
Riker:
I've got a bad feeling about this.
Troi:
Hey! That's MY line!
Riker:
Well, you dropped your cue....
Picard:
I will not have petty bickering on my bridge.
Data:
Awwww....
Picard:
Riker, put together an away team.
Riker:
Aye, sir. Geordi, Worf; come with me. [Shouting at ceiling] Lieutenant Tsu to the bridge.
Ceiling:
OH, GOODIE!
Picard:
And don't bother to wear environmental suits, since they obviously have an oxygen-pressurized atmosphere over there.
Riker:
Of course, sir.

[ Fade. Opening credits. Commerical for Ginsu Knives and a digital watch (if you order now), followed by a man accusing you of having gingivitis. ]


Captain's Log, Stardate 32768.5:
We have encountered a dippy-looking flying saucer. Riker, LaForge, and Worf are beaming over to investigate. While these plots always resolve themselves in 50 minutes, I nontheless feel that this is going to be very unpleasant.

INTERIOR, DERELICT SPACECRAFT. A DOME-ISH STRUCTURE IS IN THE MIDDLE THAT LOOKS VAGUELY LIKE A COMPASS. STEEL SQUARES ADORN ONE WALL, DESCENDING TO A LOWER LEVEL, RIGHT NEXT TO AN ELEVATOR. THE CAMERA PANS TO A CONTROL PANEL FILLED WITH SWITCHES AND FLASHING LIGHTS WHICH IS SET BEFORE A LARGE ORDINARY PLATE GLASS WINDOW WHICH LOOKS OUT INTO OPEN SPACE.

[ FFFeeeeeerrrrrrrrzzzzzzzzsssshhhhhhhh! The away team appears. ]
Riker:
[Tapping communicator] Down and safe.
Worf:
Uh, wrong series, sir.
Riker:
Ooops...
Picard:
Good, number one. Keep the channel open and continue to report.
Riker:
Aye, sir.
Picard:
And don't smirk.
Riker:
Yes, sir.
Geordi:
Sir, this doesn't make any sense. This is an ordinary plate glass window, and yet it looks out onto open space. It should shatter under the pressure.
Riker:
That's nothing compared to what I think we're going to find.
Worf:
OOoooo. Foreshadowing.
Geordi:
[Looking through a disc of plexiglas] Now, this is interesting...
Picard:
Describe what you see, Geordi.
Geordi:
I see... Jimmy, and Tommy, and Billy, and Susan, and Mary......
Riker:
Come on, Worf. Let's go downstairs.
[ Riker and Worf go downstairs. ]
Riker:
Well, here we are downstairs.
Worf:
It appears to be the crew's quarters.
[ Riker draws a curtain and finds two bunkbeds, with a human female in each. ]
Riker:
Hey! Lookit what I found!
Picard:
What have you found, Number One?
Riker:
No, I found two females. They appear to be in some sort of coma.
[ Worf draws another curtain, and finds two human males. ]
Worf:
Two more humans over here, sir. They also appear to be comatose.
[ Riker moves to examine the newfound humans, while Worf draws another curtain and finds a young boy and an oldish man. ]
Worf:
Still more over here, also dead to the universe.
Picard:
Let's hope they stay that way.
[ Suddenly, the old man wakes with a start. ]
O.M:
AAGGGHHH!!!! Oh, good heavens! Who are you?? What do you want??
Riker:
No such luck, sir.
Picard:
Oh, piss...
O.M:
[Pointing at Worf, cowering] What are you??
Worf:
I am a Klingon.
O.M:
[Cowering] Oh, how very apt.
[ As a result of the old man's screaming, the others come out of their coma. ]
Man 1:
Who are you? What are doing on my ship?
Woman 1:
Who are they?
Man 1:
I don't know.
Worf:
I think we better get Geordi down here, sir.
Riker:
Agreed. [Taps comm.] Geordi....
Geordi:
...Patrick, and Walter, and Edna, and Sally, and.....
Riker:
Put a sock in it, LaForge, and get down here!
Geordi:
.... er, yes, sir!
Man 1:
Who are you?
Riker:
I am Commander William T. Riker, and this is Lieutenant Worf.
Man 1:
Where do you come from? How did you get aboard?
Riker:
We're from the Starship Enterprise.
Man 1:
Never heard of it.
[ Riker and Worf flash each other quizzical looks. Geordi enters from the rear of the room. ]
Riker:
We're from Starfleet Command.
[ No response. ]
Riker:
The United Federation of Planets.
[ Still no response. ]
Riker:
Earth, you dullards!
Man 1:
Oh! Sorry. We've been out of touch for a while.
Riker:
And you are.....
Man 1:
My name is Robinson. This is my wife, whose name I can't seem to remember; my co-pilot, whose name I also can't seem to remember; my daughter, Penny; and my son, Will.
O.M:
[Sheepishly] Hello...
Robinson:
And that is Dr. Zachary Smith.
Smith:
How do you do, sir. I apologize for my appalling behavior earlier. I should have recognized immediately that you were from Earth. I fear my powers of perception are failing me.
[ A vaguely mechanical voice descends on the elevator. ]
Voice:
Disturbance! Disturbance! I will render assistance.
Robnsn:
And that is our robot.
Picard:
Riker! What's going on???
Riker:
We've encountered six humans and a robot. They seem ordinary enough, though they haven't heard of the Federation.
Data:
I recommend we beam them over, sir.
Picard:
You would.
Geordi:
I concur with Data, sir. That plate glass window is going to go at..... Any Moment!
Picard:
Oh, very well. But keep them out of my way.
Tsu:
[Bouncing onto the bridge, if you know what I mean, and I think you do] I'm here, sir.
Picard:
Good. Take Geordi's station.
Riker:
Transporter room!
Xport:
Sir.
Picard:
Nine people and a robot to beam over.
Xport:
Ready to beam you over, sir.
Riker:
Engage.
Xport:
You mean "energize".
Riker:
Oh, yeah. Right.
Xport:
........ Well?
Riker:
ENERGIZE!!!!!!
[ FFFeeeeeerrrrrrrrzzzzzzzzsssshhhhhhhh! ]

CUT TO MEDICAL BAY. THE DOCTOR IS EXAMINING DR. SMITH. THE REST OF THE DIPS ARE WATCHING. PICARD ENTERS WITH DATA AND TROI. THE DOCTOR TURNS TO ADDRESS PICARD.

McCoy:
Dammit, Picard. What do you think you're doing throwing these peoples' molecules all over creation?
Picard:
Admiral McCoy! What are you doing here?
McCoy:
Starfleet cited a seldom-used activation clause. Why the hell did you fire Crusher, anyway?
Picard:
She wasn't cute enough.
McCoy:
You must be kidding!
Troi:
Captain....
Picard:
Yes, counselor.
Troi:
I'm sensing great stupidity.
Picard:
Who from?
Troi:
Everyone.
McCoy:
That's unsurprising. I ran an IQ test on all these guys, and it's barely measureable, even all the way down to the smallest intelligence unit available; they only measure about two to three Reagans apiece.
Troi:
No, sir. It's more than just the people we picked up from the ship. It's much greater than that....
Ceiling:
Captain, this is Ensign Tsu. The helm has just gone down. I can't navigate the ship.
Picard:
Go to manual control.
Ceiling:
Sir, that trick never works.
Picard:
Try it, anyway.
Ceiling:
Captain, this is Chief Engineer Roland W. Whatshisname. The fire sprinklers just went off down here, but we don't know why. Everything's getting wet. Funny, though; I thought it was a Halon setup down here...
Picard:
Turn them off, engineer.
Ceiling:
We can't, sir. The faucet handle broke off in my hand.
Picard:
[Rhetorically] What is going on????
Ceiling:
Sir, this is Wesley Crusher.
Picard:
Data:
Riker:
McCoy:
Geordi:
Worf:
Troi:
Shut up, Wesley!
Ceiling:
But sir! Holodeck two just turned itself inside out. And it's not a pretty sight, I can tell you.
[ Picard dons a look of amazement and panic. ]
Ceiling:
...Though it is kinda neat.

[ Fade to black. A female starts lecturing you on athlete's foot, followed by an obnoxious brat eating a chocolate bar. Dick Cavett tries to sell you on a TV dinner, and a bunch of dips drive around in a Japanese excuse for a Jeep. ]


Captain's Log, Supplemental:
I've given up on stardates. It's probably meaningless, anyway. My ship is in total chaos. Utterly impossible things are happening all over the ship, seemingly defying all the known laws of physics, or even common sense, the holodeck notwithstanding. It's like a nightmare.
Picard:
Riker, you're smirking again.
Riker:
Sorry, sir, but this is all so amusing.
Picard:
I find nothing amusing about it. You can't run a starship with chaos running rampant. I didn't get where I am today by letting chaos run rampant.
Leonard Rositter:
Of course not, C.J.
Riker:
Where did he come from?
Data:
I believe it is a reference to a old British entertainment series.
Picard:
Good God! Everyone's being infected. Even me!
Ceiling:
Sir, this is Chief Engineer Smedley X. Dinklephwat. The toilets have just backed up into the warp drive. It'll take time to clear.
Picard:
WHAT!!?????
Ceiling:
In the meantime, we have...... No Power!
Picard:
[Rhetorically] This is unbelievable.
Ceiling:
And the fire sprinklers are still running. We're working on it.
[ Pshhhhhh. The turbolift doors open to reveal a rotund penguin and a rather delapidated tabby cat. ]
Penguin:
[Approaching Picard] How do you do. I'm Mr. P. Opus. George Bush is a wimp. I'd like you to meet my running mate, Bill the Cat.
Bill:
Ack! Phft!!
[ Pshhhhhh. Wesley enters from the other turbolift. ]
Wesley:
Sorry, sir. They got loose from the holodeck. It's going absolutely berserk. Tasha even walked out and handed me an old pulp-paper publication entitled Playboy.
Data:
Is she still there?
Wesley:
Dunno. Why don't you go look?
[ Data gets up to leave. ]
Picard:
AS YOU WERE, MR. DATA!
Data:
But sir....
[ Pshhhhhhh. The Robot enters. ]
Robot:
[Flailing arms] DANGER! DANGER! WARNING! DANGER! WARNING WILL ROBINSON! DANGER!
Picard:
Why are you yelling that?
Robot:
I don't know. It seems appropriate somehow.
[ PFFT! The main viewer changes to reveal a remotely human and quite boorish man. ]
Viewer:
TV... or MTV? [PFFT! Same thing, only female this time.] TV... or MTV?
Picard:
[In a perfect Graham Chapman twang] WHAT IS GOING ON!!?????
Data:
We appear to be intercepting some old Earth transmissions, sir.
[ Pshhhhh. Will Robinson enters. ]
Robot:
DANGER WILL ROBINSON.
Will:
What is it, Robot?
Robot:
Unknown intelligence nearby. Danger!
[ Pshhhhhh. Dr. Smith enters. Picard is fuming. ]
Smith:
There you are, you bubble-headed booby! I have chores for you.
Robot:
DANGER! DANGER!
[ Dr. Smith unplugs the Robot's power pack. ]
Smith:
That'll teach you to talk back, you tin-plated bathtub!
Picard:
[Smoke pouring out of his ears] EVERYONE GET OFF MY BRIDGE!!!!
Riker:
Aye, sir.
Picard:
NOT YOU!!
Ceiling:
Captain, this is Chief Engineer Ernie R. Ferretface. We're up to our waists here with water from the fire sprinklers. Some of the waterproof components are starting to rust.
Smith:
[At ceiling] You incompetent ninny! Where did you study engineering?
Ceiling:
I sent in a bunch of Cheerios boxtops and......
Picard:
OUT!!! OUT!!! OUTOUTOUTOUTOUTOUTOUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Riker:
Yes sir.
Picard:
NOT YOU!!!!
[ The bridge is cleared of all non-starfleet personnel. Picard sits down, ready to spit venom. ]
Troi:
I sense great frustration, sir.
Picard:
No shit, Sherlock.
Troi:
You mustn't blame yourself, sir. You are not at fault. Some greater force is at work.
Picard:
Shut up, Wesley.
Troi:
Huh?
Picard:
[At ceiling] Bridge to Medical Bay. Doctor.....
Ceiling:
This is the Medical Bay. All our lines are busy. Please hold; your call will be answered in the order it was received. [Muzak]
[ Riker smirks. ]
Picard:
Computer!!!
Computer:
Hi there! Whatever your problem, I'm here to help you solve it. All I want to do is to make your day more and more bearable.
[ Picard is stunned rigid. He ambles in a daze over to his ready room. ]
Door:
[Pshhhhhh] Thank you for making a simple door very happy.

CUT TO PICARD'S READY ROOM/OFFICE (you know, the room with the tropical fish in it). PICARD IS SEATED AT HIS DESK, UTTERLY DUMBFOUNDED. RIKER ENTERS.

Door:
[Pshhhhh] Glad to be of service.
Riker:
Shut up. [To Picard] Sir, are you all right?
Picard:
I've lost control.
Riker:
Sir, I don't know what's going on.
Picard:
So what else is new?
Riker:
There's no need to be abusive, sir.
Picard:
It makes me feel better, Number One.
Riker:
Sir, there has to be some external force at work. All this chaos couldn't happen naturally. I mean, everyone's acting so stupid...
[ You can almost see the light go on above Picard's head. ]
Picard:
STUPID! That's IT!! Counselor Troi mentioned something about stupidity just before all hell broke loose. Where is she?
Riker:
Last I saw, sir, she left for Yar's quarters to pick out a new costume for herself.
Picard:
Let's go. [They get up.]
Door:
[Pshhhhh] Thank you so very much.
Picard:
Stick it up your nose. [To Data] Data, come with me. Tsu, you have the con.
Tsu:
Oh, thank you thank you thank you!
[ They enter the turbolift. ]
Picard:
Lieutenant Yar's quarters.
Turbolift:
I'm fine; how are you?
Picard:
I said, Lieutenant Yar's quarters.
Turbolift:
I'm fine; how are you?
Picard:
Now what!?
Data:
Sir, I believe I can resolve the situation.
Riker:
Go for it.
Data:
Elevator, this is Lieutenant Commander Data. If you don't take us to Yar's quarters pretty damn pronto, I shall go straight to your major databank with a very large axe and give you a reprogramming you will never forget. Understand?
[ Silence. ]
Data:
Okay. Get the axe.
[ The elevator starts on its journey to Yar's quarters. Picard and Riker eye Data quizzically. ]
Data:
A literary reference, sir. Given the current situation, it seemed appropriate.
[ The door opens, and they exit. ]

CUT TO YAR'S STATEROOM. PICARD, RIKER, AND DATA ENTER.

Picard:
Counselor Troi! Where are you?
[ Troi emerges from the bedroom wearing the same getup that Yar wore for Data. ]
Troi:
Hello, Umzadi.
Riker:
Troi! Uh....
Troi:
I sense great desire...
Picard:
Good God! Troi's been affected, too.
Data:
Rather well, it would seem.
Riker:
Sir, if you don't mind.....
Picard:
Oh, go ahead. You're no use to me, anyway. Go do something productive for a change.
Riker:
Aye, sir. [ Riker smirks, and then retires to the bedroom with Troi. Picard and Data enter the hallway. ]
Picard:
Now what do we do?
Data:
If I may recommend, sir. Since all the trouble began with the arrival of the Robinson family, it would seem prudent to question them.
Picard:
Excellent suggestion, Mr. Data. Let's get some answers.

[ Fade to black. Large boxes of anti-acne medicine fall on people, followed by a surrealistic Pepsi commercial. K-Tel offers you every Top 10 hit ever made. Trained professionals demonstrate a Popiell Pocket Fisherman, since no normal human could use them; and a banana slug tries to sell you a used car. ]


PICARD AND DATA ENTER THE LOUNGE WHERE THE ROBINSON FAMILY WAS INSTRUCTED TO REMAIN. EVERYONE, INCLUDING THE ROBOT, IS THERE.

Picard:
Right. I want some answers, and I want them now.
Will:
Two plus two is four.
Mother:
Be quiet, dear.
Will:
Where's Lassie, mom?
Mother:
I left that series, dear.
Picard:
Shut up, all of you, and answer my questions.
Mr. Robinson:
[To Data] Are you an android?
Data:
[Getting upset] No! I'm an eggplant!! WHY DOES EVERYBODY ASK ME THAT??? [Starts jumping up and down]
Picard:
Data! Why are you getting upset?
Data:
[Reverting instantly to his normal self] Getting upset is a human trait, and I do try to be more human....
Picard:
Well, stop it. [To family] Now, I want some answers. Things on my ship are going bonkers, and I want to know why.
Mr. Robinson:
No idea.
Mother:
Got me.
Penny:
Duh....
Co-Pilot:
Let me get back to you on that.
Robot:
Danger! Unknown intelligence nearby!
Smith:
Oh, shut up, you bubble-headed booby!
Will:
Captain? I'd like to help if I can.
Picard:
Oh, great. Another boy genius. I should have signed onto a trawler or something.
Data:
I would not discount the boy's offer so quickly, Captain.
Picard:
[Sighs] Oh, all right. Tell me how you got all the way out here.
Will:
Well, a long time ago, we left Earth for Alpha Centauri. But our robot malfunctioned, and we were thrown off course. Since then, we've been Lost In Space....
[ Stupid music starts up. ]
Picard:
Stop that! Stop that! Stop it!
[ Music runs down. ]
Picard:
Please go on.
Will:
Anyway, everywhere we went, we'd encounter strange aliens in bad makeup who were always bent on destroying us. The robot always tried to help, but Dr. Smith usually got us into trouble.
Smith:
[Indignant] Such gratitude! And after all the help I've rendered...
Picard:
Shut up!! [To Will] So how long have you been out here?
Will:
I don't really know.
Picard:
Couldn't you ever find your way back to Earth?
Will:
Oh, we almost did a few times, but something would always happen, and we'd get lost again.
Picard:
What would happen?
Will:
Oh.... It was usually something stupid, like Dr. Smith taking a space walk for no reason, or....
Picard:
STUPID! Are you sure?
Will:
Oh, yeah. It was always something really dumb.
Picard:
Thank you. You have been helpful. [To Data] Let's go.
[ Picard and Data leave the lounge and enter the hall. ]
Picard:
What do you think, Data?
Data:
Penny is cute....
Picard:
No no no no!! What do you think of their story?
Data:
I do not believe they are directly responsible for the situation that is upon us now. However, I believe that whatever has affected them adversely was brought aboard when they were beamed over, and is now affecting us.
Picard:
Speculation?
Data:
I would surmise that a creature similar to the hate creature from The Old Series is at work here, except that it generates and feeds on stupidity.
Picard:
What? You mean we're reusing a plot device?
Data:
It has been done before, sir. If you'll recall in The Naked Now...
Picard:
Yes, yes, I know...
Data:
This situation seems far more amusing, however...
Picard:
Never mind your editorial remarks, Data. How do you propose to eliminate this creature?
Data:
To eliminate it, we must first locate it.
Picard:
And how do we do that?
Data:
Are you completely helpless or something?
Picard:
Humor me!
Data:
It would be logical to assume that the creature is at the epicenter of the stupid activity.
Picard:
The holodeck?
Data:
A good place to start, sir.
Comm button:
Captain Picard? This is Chief Engineer Snidely P. Whiplash. We're up to our chests in it now...
Picard:
Why don't you just beam the water out?
Comm:
Oh, no, sir. That's far too obvious.
Picard:
What are you doing about it?
Comm:
I've got my best men working on it....
[ In the background: ]
Man 1:
You numbskull!! [SLAP!]
Man 2:
Nyuk nyuk nyuk nyuk!
Man 1:
And you! [BONK!]
Man 2:
Ow!
Man 3:
Hey, leave him alone!
Man 1:
Oh, a wise guy... [TOINK!]
Picard:
Dear God. Should we set self-destruct?
Data:
Unadviseable, sir. It would probably malfunction. I suggest we move to the holodeck as quickly as possible. Delay could be fatal.
Picard:
Agreed. [Taps comm.] Computer....
Computer:
Hi there!
Picard:
[Winces] Hi. Sound Red Alert.
Computer:
Sure thing!
[Klaxons and lights start going off.]
Computer:
How's that?
Picard:
Wonderful. Thank you. [Glances heavenward. Taps comm. again] Worf!
Worf:
Sir!
Picard:
Meet us at holodeck two. And don't take the turbolifts. Bring Geordi with you.
Worf:
At once, sir.
Picard:
Why do you seem unaffected, Worf?
Worf:
Stupidity is too much like..... bathing!
Picard:
[Shakes head] Picard out. Let's go, Data.

[ Fade to black. John McEnroe gets livid about Bic razors, a bunch of diseased obnoxious people swill beer, and more banana slugs try to sell you Dodge Trucks, Toyota Trucks, and Pontiac Gran Prix's. Highlights of this week's National Enquirer flash before you, "For prying idle minds." ]


PICARD AND DATA WALK THE HALLS OF THE ENTERPRISE. THEY AVOID THE TURBOLIFTS LIKE THE PLAGUE, TAKING THE GANGWAYS INSTEAD.

Data:
Caution is recommended, sir. Anything could happen.
[ A giant 16-ton weight falls from nowhere and crashes to the deck. ]
Picard:
Understood, Data.
[ Pshhhhh. A nearby set of doors opens to reveal a moose standing erect on its hind legs, and a squirrel wearing a leather flight helmet. ]
Moose:
Rocky, I don't think we're in Frostbite Falls anymore.
Squirrel:
Don't be silly, Bullwinkle. This is the Starship Enterprise.
Moose:
Are you sure? I used to watch that show all the time, and this doesn't look anything like it.
Squirrel:
Silly, this is the new Enterprise.
Moose:
[Pointing to Picard] Who's that guy?
Picard:
I'm Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the USS Enterprise.
Moose:
You've got to be kidding.
Squirrel:
He's the new Captain, Bullwinkle....
Moose:
You'd think they would have found a cure for baldness after 300 years.
Picard:
Phasers on kill, Mr. Data.
Moose:
Oooo! I always wanted to see what those looked like from this angle...
Squirrel:
Oh, Bullwinkle...
Picard:
Fire!
[ PHWATT!! The moose and squirrel disintegrate. ]
Picard:
I wish I'd thought of that before. Let's hurry before something else stupid happens.
[ Before they can get twenty feet, another door opens to reveal a well-dressed man holding a briefcase. ]
Man:
Excuse me, Captain, but I'm afraid you'll have to cease and desist this story immediately.
Picard:
Ignore him, Data. [They try and move on, but the man obstructs their path]
Man:
I'm sorry, sir, but I have an injunction. [Produces thick legal document] I'm afraid this show infringes on the look-and-feel of my client's copyrighted works. You'll have to cease immediately, pending a lengthy and obscenely expensive civil suit.
Picard:
Infringement?! What are you talking about?
Man:
Your companion, Mr. Data. He clearly infringes on my client's copyrighted character, C3PO.
Data:
[Aside to Picard] It's a lawyer, sir. Very dangerous.
Picard:
Understood. [To lawyer] Ahem. Writ ex-post-facto habeas corpus, ipso-facto, injunction hearing, irreperable harm disclaimer, and overturned on appeal.
Man:
[Confused] Mr. Picard, you're talking nonsense.
Picard:
So are you. FIRE!
[ PHWATT!! Data and Picard fire at... POINT BLANK RANGE! The lawyer slowly collapses, and his chest bursts open. Zillions of little white cockroaches fly out. A mother creature identical to the one in Conspiracy rears up from the chest cavity and shrieks. Picard and Data phaser it to smithereens. ]
Picard:
I hope that's the last of them.
Data:
Quickly, sir. Time is of the essence.

PICARD AND DATA CLIMB A GANGWAY TO THE HOLODECK LEVEL. THEY EMERGE INTO THE HALLWAY.

Picard:
What could happen now?
Data:
Absolutely anything, sir.
[ There is a loud BEEP BEEP from behind. Picard jumps straight up into the ceiling, banging his head. He turns to find a very large road runner standing there. It sticks its tongue out at him. Picard fires his phaser, but the bird takes off down the hall, outrunning it. The phaser beam instead blasts a very large black duck at the end of the hall, who is now burnt and smoking. ]
Duck:
[Wholly indignant and sarcastic] Shoot me again! I love the smell of ionized air! And burnt feathers! I'm an Elk! Go ahead and shoot me! I'm a Fiddler Crab!! Why don't you shoot me?!?? IT'S FIDDLER CRAB SEASON!!!!!
[ Picard obliges. PHWATT!! The duck ceases to exist. ]
Data:
Classical physics may no longer apply here, Captain.
Picard:
Let's hurry up.
[ Picard and Data run down the hall. As they approach an intersection, they hear a horrible grinding noise that grows louder. As they arrive, a large blue box appears out of nowhere, with a flashing white light on top of it. The door to the box opens, and a female emerges. ]
Female:
[Screams bloody murder. A nearby transparent aluminum panel shatters.]
[ An appallingy badly dressed man emerges from the box. ]
Man:
What is it, Mel?
Female:
Oh, nothing Doctor. I just felt like screaming.
[ Picard raises his phaser. ]
Data:
No, sir. They may be useful.
Picard:
They're looney toons, Data.
[ Stupid music starts. ]
Picard:
Stop that!! Stop it!!
[ Music runs down. ]
Man:
Hello. I'm the Doctor, and this is my friend Mel.
Picard:
I'm Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the USS Enterprise. This is Lieutenant Commander Data.
Doctor:
An android?
Picard:
No, he's an eggplant.
Data:
Thank you, sir.
Doctor:
He sure beats the hell out of Kamelion...
Picard:
Why do you think they're useful, Data?
Data:
The woman's scream may be useful as a diversion.
Picard:
Agreed.
Doctor:
[Sarcastically] Thank you! I can be useful, too, you know.
Picard:
Somehow, I doubt it. But come along anyway.
[ The Doctor locks up the blue box and he and Mel follow along. They walk along the corridor, now very close to the Holodeck. ]
Singing voice down the hall:
Love, exciting and new, come aboard, we're expecting you....
[ Picard and Data fire in the direction of the voice out of reflex. ]
Voice:
Love, life's sweetest re.... [PHWATT!!] AAGGGHHH!!!
Voice from opposite end of hall:
Gimme a light!
[ Data spins around and blasts its owner. ]
Voice:
[Just before completely disintegrating] No, Bud Light.... AAGGGHH!!
[ Picard and Co. approach the last intersection before the holodeck. Worf and Geordi are there. ]
Picard:
Excellent Worf. You made it.
Worf:
Not without difficulty, sir. We had to phaser our way through several dozen blue dwarves wearing white stockings on their heads. I found it quite satisfying.
Picard:
Geordi, what's your assessment?
Geordi:
I'm scanning through the entire spectrum. Nothing makes any sense, though it does look really cool.
Picard:
Can you discern any center of activity?
Geordi:
No sir, not directly. The activity appears to be coming from within the holodeck itself.
Picard:
Right everyone. Phasers set to industrial strength kill.
Worf:
I only have a Dustbuster, sir.
Picard:
Set it to "shag rug" and let's go.
[ Picard and Co. approach the open holodeck door. Light, gas, dust, and all manner of stuff is spewing forth from the door, not unlike the scenes from Poltergeist. Wesley is at the door, fooling with some circuit panel. ]
Picard:
Wesley! What are you doing?
Wesley:
I'm trying to get my Mom to come back!
Picard:
You can't do that! Gene fired her!
Wesley:
I don't care! I'll bring her back at all costs!! MWAH HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!!!
[ Worf slugs Wesley in the gut, who doubles over and falls motionless to the floor. ]
Picard:
Good work, Worf. Geordi, what do you see?
Geordi:
I'm sorry sir, but my batteries just went dead. I shoulda used Duracells....
Picard:
Dura-what?
Geordi:
Lasts millions of times longer than regular carbon batteries.... [Geordi starts going bonkers.]
Data:
He appears to have been completely engulfed by the force inside, sir.
[ Picard adjusts his phaser to stun, and shoots Geordi. Geordi falls unconscious on the floor. ]
Picard:
That should keep him out of trouble, as well as keeping him out of our way. Deep breath, everyone. We're going in.

[ They plunge into the maelstrom. ]


[ Fade to black. More banana slugs. Vidal Sasoon doesn't look good. Time magazine tries to entice you with a cheap phone. And of course it's absolutely vital that you call 976-1212; directory assistance for 976 services (all calls $2 plus toll). ]


[ Picard and Co. plough through the insanity. All is chaos for a few moments, then suddenly, everything clears, and they all find themselves in a plush wood-paneled corporate board room. The walls are adorned with gaudy and self-serving plaques, trophies, and mementos. Several posters adorn the walls, apparently advertising various forms of entertainment, including Under The Cherry Moon, Hello, Marin, Hello, Heaven's Gate, and Lorimar Telepictures. Three men are seated at the head of the table. ]
Man 1:
Welcome, Captain Picard.
Data:
[Aside to Picard] This is it, sir. This is the core of the disturbance.
Man 1:
Quite right, Mister Data, quite right. Allow me to introduce myself. I am Aaron Spelling. This is my good friend, Glen A. Larson...
Glen:
How do you do.
Aaron:
And this is Steven J. Cannell.
Steve:
Hello.
Aaron:
Please, sit down.
Picard:
No, thank you. What's happened to my ship?
Aaron:
Relax, Captain, relax. It's the natural order of things. Some refreshments!
[ Aaron claps his hands. A vapid female dressed in a trendy gown loaded with more sequins than you can count appears with a tray and sets it down upon the table. ]
Aaron:
Thank you, Vanna. [She turns around once, then exits.]
Picard:
What do you mean, the natural order of things?
Aaron:
Surely, you're aware of the principle of entropy?
Picard:
Of course.
Aaron:
We are merely carrying that principle to its natural conclusion: The entropy of human intelligence.
Picard:
But man isn't naturally stupid.....
Aaron:
Oh, but he is, Captain. Simply observe for yourself how easily your ship and your crew succumbed to even the simplest of our techniques.
Picard:
Fortunate happenstance. We weren't expecting it...
Aaron:
I'm afraid not, Captain. We've successfully subjected entire nations to these techniques, and they have capitulated quite readily. They've even welcomed it.
Picard:
Welcomed it?!??!!! No doubt you didn't give them a choice!
Aaron:
Oh, but we did, Captain. They could have stopped at any time. All they had to do was turn us off. There were plenty of alternatives. Movies, live theatre -- something which I understand you're familiar with --, even PBS. But they chose to stay with us. We didn't make that choice for them. Humans want to be stupid, Picard. Otherwise, we would not have been successful. Look at your own history. Drug abuse, religious wars of all kinds, American politics, the legal profession, rec.humor, talk.bizarre, IBM, Apple.... The list goes on and on.
Picard:
We've grown beyond that. To quote my first officer, we're not savages anymore.
Aaron:
Ah, yes. Your first officer, who is currently participating in various forms of debauchery without protection, which by now your species should realize is the height of stupidity. No, Captain. Your species is no better now than it was a thousand years ago.
Picard:
He's under your influence! He wouldn't do such a thing of his own accord. How can you call yourselves superior when you treat those beneath you so harshly?
Aaron:
It's not like we're heartless monsters, Captain. We do have morals, and it pains us to see your species so easily taken in.
Steve:
I even chose to pull one of my own creations off, partly because it was too stupid even for your species....
Picard:
[Fishing] But mostly because....
Steve:
[Eagerly completing sentence] It wasn't profitable anymore...
Aaron:
Shhhhh!!!!
[ Picard, Data, and Worf look at one another. A lightbulb goes on above all three of them. ]
Worf:
FERENGI, SIR!!

[ At this very moment, Mel lets out a perfect blood-curdling ear- shatterer. All the tumblers on the tray burst into pieces. Aaron, Glen, and Steve cover their ears tightly, trying in vain to shut out the unexpected sound. Worf, who is used to such sounds, drops, rolls, and comes up with his phaser firing. He hits Steve, who falls to the ground. His disguise dissolves, revealing him to be the Ferengi that he is.

[ Worf makes ready to fire at Aaron, but a toy dumptruck nearby turns into a warrior robot, and moves toward Worf at about five frames per second. Worf spins to parry, but the robot catches him in the head, and Worf is knocked unconscious.

[ Data rises and phasers the robot (pitifully simple, since it's moving at five FPS), turns, and shoots Glen, who crumples to the floor. His disguise dissolves, too.

[ Suddenly, Data's head pops off on a large spring, and his body flops to the ground. ]

Data's head:
Oh dear!

[ Mel stops screaming, and falls to the ground exhausted. Picard recovers from the ordeal. He looks to the end of the table to see Aaron, or rather, the Ferengi officer. Picard raises his phaser and fires.

[ POING! A large flag pops out of his phaser, reading "BANG!" ]

Ferengi:
It is too late, Picard Captain. Your ship will transmit our stupidity waves across your entire Federation. Your species will be turned into babbling nincompoops, and we will profit endlessly from your species as a result, selling them cheap merchandise at inflated prices.
[ He punches a button victoriously on a box behind him. ]
Ferengi:
Good-BYE, Picard Captain!!!

[ The Ferengi steps to leave through a side door, but falls through a trap door that appears out of nowhere. There is a long descending whistling sound, followed by a faint "POW". ]

[ Shortly thereafter, an image appears on the box's screen: ]

Box:
WHEEL! OF! FORTUNE!
[ The Doctor runs in abject terror. ]
Box:
Look at this studio! Filled with glamorous bonus prizes! Fabulous and exciting merchandise!!
[ Picard screams in agony, unable to turn his eyes away from the screen. ]
Box:
Our first puzzle is a phrase. [Doo dee ding dong]
Data's head:
Sir!! Destroy the box!! Quickly!
Box:
"One-fifty." "S!" BZZT! "Nope, no S."
Picard:
With what?
Data's head:
Anything!!!!
Box:
"Two hundred..."
Picard:
There's nothing here! What should I use?!?!??!
Data's head:
R! Guess R!
Box:
"P!" BZZZT! "Nope, no P."
Data's head:
You idiot!!
[ Data is lost to the stupidity wave. Picard forces himself toward the device. The box has a slot with the legend "Tape". ]
Picard:
[Summoning all his will power] COMPUTER!
Computer:
Hi there!
Picard:
Eject the tape!!
Computer:
[BINGGGGGGGGGG...] Are you sure you want to do that?
Picard:
YES!!!!
Computer:
[BINGGGGGGGGGG...] Are you absolutely sure? It's not finished with yet....
[ Picard ignores the question. He manages to look at the conference table, and notices a stack of papers. He grabs the stack, and removes the paper clip holding them together. He bends it straight, and shoves it into a hole next to the tape slot. The tape promptly ejects. However, the screen does not go blank. ]
Box:
Yes, there are three F's. [Ding. Ding. Ding.]
Picard:
DATA! WHAT DO I DO!!???
Data's head:
Guess R! Guess R!
[ In a final desperate act, Picard throws the tape at the screen with all the strength he can muster. The tape case and screen crack. The screen goes blank. For a moment, all is quiet. Then, the tape and screen start arcing, slowly at first, but gaining in intensity. Picard steps back. ]
Data's head:
[Recovering] Sir! You must get it off the ship at once, and get as far away as possible!
[ Picard moves to put Data back together. ]
Data's head:
No sir! There's no time for that! You must get it off the ship now!!!
[ By now, the box and tape are arcing too wildly for Picard to pick up. He wracks his brains.... ]
Picard:
Computer! Exit!
Computer:
Sure thing!
[ The exit appears. Picard rushes outside to find the nearest transporter. The ship is still in chaos. Thousands of tubes of pump- format Crest For Kids obstruct his path. He stumbles over a Pet Rock. He rounds a corner and collides with a man dressed in a white suit. ]
Man:
Welcome to Fantasy Starship! I am Mr. Rork, your host.
[ Picard phasers him, revealing a dwarf behind him. ]
Dwarf:
Oooo, dat wasn't verry nice!
[ Picard phasers him, too. He continues to rush down the corridor. Suddenly, an ancient petrochemical-powered vehicle painted black with flickering red lights on the front rounds the corner and speeds toward Picard at 100 MPH. Picard attempts to phaser it, but the beam simply bounces off with some cheap pyrotechnics. ]
Car:
Michael! There's a man obstructing the corridor!
Driver:
I see him. Turbos, buddie!
[ PWAFFFF!! The car sails into the air, over Picard, and into the wall behind him. The car is demolished. ]
Car:
That was pretty damn stupid, Michael....
Driver:
Well, it's always worked before....

[ Picard does not hear the rest of the conversation. He speeds down the hall, turns the final corner, dodges several religious fanatics with no hair and handing out flowers, and enters the transporter room.

[ Picard scrabbles at the controls. He programs the computer to connect to the holodeck's interprocess communication port, and extract the box/tape from the holodeck and place it on the transporter platform. In moments, the box/tape appears, arcing wildly. Picard punches in random coordinates frantically, and energizes. The box/tape disappears. ]

Picard:
[Punching comm. panel] Ensign Tsu!!
Tsu:
Yo!
Picard:
Get us out of here!! Warp nine!!
Tsu:
But I want to see if she wins the bonus round...

[ Picard curses, and rushes into the hallway. He runs to a bridge- access turbolift, and suddenly remembers that the only way on to the main bridge is by turbolift. Cursing again, he spins around and heads for engineering.

[ He manages to duck a salesman hawking something called MultiFinder, and phasers a few Writer's Guild workers picketing in the hallway. He rounds another corner, and collides with a heavy-set man with glasses, and a pocket protector. He is holding a thick tome of stapled pages. ]

Man:
Hi. We're thinking of implementing the keyword noalias. What do you think? Not that what you think makes any difference....
Picard:
[Picking himself up] Huh?
Man:
We're also going to make the string space read-only, and enforce parenthetical groupings in all cases. We feel this will go a long way to make C a respected standard, like Pascal and Ada.
Picard:
What about binary constants?
Man:
Sorry, no way. No prior art....
[ PHWATT!! Picard phasers him and the tome. He continues running. In short order, he arrives at the door to engineering, and nearly runs into it, since it fails to open. Picard waves his arms around, but nothing happens. ]
Picard:
COMPUTER!
Computer:
Hi there!
Picard:
Open this door!
Computer:
[BINGGGGGGGGGG...] Are you sure you want me to do that?
Picard:
YES!!!!
Computer:
Okay, you asked for it!
[ Pshhhhhhhh! Instantly, the corridor is inundated with water. Three men ride out in a bathtub, slapping each other. ]
Man 1:
You idiots! [THUMP! BONK!]
Man 2&3:
Oooff!
[ Picard forces his way in to the nearest control console. ]
Picard:
Engineer!
Engineer:
Chief Engineer Frederick Y. Airhead here, sir.
Picard:
Start the main engines!
Engineer:
But we haven't unclogged the toilets yet.....
Picard:
I DON'T GIVE A SHIT!!!!
Engineer:
No, but the toilets will if we start the engines. [Into comm. panel] How are you two making out down there?
Female voice 1:
Laverne! Get your head out of the matter-antimatter reactor!
Female voice 2:
I can't, Shirley! My hairpins are caught! Hand me the magnetic scissors...
Female voice 1:
You mean this?
Female voice 2:
No! Not that! [BLAM! static....]
Picard:
[Losing it] START THE ENGINES!! NOW!!!
Engineer:
[Capitulating] Aye aye, sir.
[ Airhead presses the engine start button. Immediately, all the toilets on the Enterprise violently spew forth odiferous guck. A disgusting but nonetheless impressive sight. ]
Picard:
Course is set! WARP NINE, NOW!!!
Engineer:
But sir!....
Picard:
NOW, YOU FLATHEAD!!!
[ Airhead shuts his eyes tight, and presses a Big Red Button. ]

CUT TO EXTERIOR REAR SHOT:

[ RumblerumbleburbleburblebucoughubbleBuSLOSHubbbubububBubUUBUBB.... SPLOWFFFF!!!! Water spurts out of every conceivable engine orifice.

[ fwEESH!!! POOOWWWWWW!!!!! ]

Picard:
Computer! Rear viewer!
Computer:
Righto!

[ The ship diagram on the wall vanishes and is replaced by a view of the rear of the ship. Stars streak off into the void at warp nine. Suddenly, the biggest, loudest, most impressive, and most expensive explosion ILM ever made goes off. The entire ship is flooded with an intense white hazy light. The ship rocks violently. People are bouncing off the walls. Sparks fly everywhere. ]

CUT TO YAR'S BEDROOM.

Troi:
Oh, Umzadi! In-CREDIBLE!
Riker:
[Smirking] Uh, thanks.

Cut to external shot of explosion effects. ILM struts their stuff like never before. Not a single matte line anywhere! As the explosion subsides, the resulting cloud forms itself into the vague shape of a clown's head. And despite the total vacuum of space, we can barely make out a voice, which seems to utter, "I have complete faith in Ed Meese." Soon, all is dark and silent.

Cut back to engineering. Picard is leaning against the control panel. He awakens, and looks about.

Picard:
[Shouting at ceiling] Bridge! Ensign Tsu!
Ceiling:
Aye, sir.
Picard:
Damage report.
Ceiling:
[Pause] No damage, sir.
Picard:
No damage?? That's impossible!!
Ceiling:
With all due respect sir, so was everything else that happened in this kooky story.
Picard:
[Reflecting] Hmmm. Quite right, Ensign. I'm on my way up.

CUT TO BRIDGE. THE ENTIRE BRIDGE CREW IS ASSEMBLED. DATA IS IN ONE PIECE AGAIN.

Picard:
So the destruction of the Ferengi device caused all the chaos on the ship to spontaneously vanish and return to normal.
Data:
Correct, sir. Since there was no logical foundation for the chaos to exist upon, the anomalies vanished when the Ferengi device was destroyed.
Picard:
Hmmmm... Do you suppose that they may try again?
Data:
Unknown.
Riker:
I certainly hope not. What do you think, Deanna?
[ Troi says nothing; she just keeps purring and petting Riker. ]
Worf:
I think the Ferengi will not try again. They do not have the necessary bravery.
Picard:
Yes, Worf. You were unaffected. Aren't Klingons susceptible to stupidity?
Worf:
[Shakes head] Klingons are immune to all forms of human weakness.
Geordi:
Except, it would seem, ethnocentricity.
Picard:
We may have a great deal to learn from you, Worf. It would seem that we, as a race, have a great deal of maturing to do. Data, lay in a course for Starbase One. We're in serious need of some R&R.
Data:
Course plotted and laid in, sir.
Picard:
Engage.
[ Freedlezrowp! ]
Riker:
What about the Robinson family?
Picard:
What about them?
Riker:
Well, are we going to keep them on board, or what?
Data:
I'd like to keep the Robot, if I may. It could prove most intriguing.
Picard:
Absolutely not! I'm having them transferred to the USS Scuttlebucket, which will land them on Earth in about eight months. It'll give them time to get a clue.
Geordi:
What about The Doctor and Mel?
Data:
Mel disappeared with the Ferengi device. The Doctor regenerated into a different actor with much better fashion sense, entered his blue box, and disappeared.
Picard:
Good. I didn't have much use for them.
[ FOOMP! A lemon meringue pie lands squarely on Wesley's head. Picard eyes him with some regard. ]
Riker:
It was Data's idea sir. He's still exploring the nature of human humor.
Picard:
Excellent, Data! You're beginning to get the idea.
Wesley:
I'm going to sell you for scrap, Data.
Picard:
Shut up, Wesley.
[ Riker smirks. ]
Picard:
And don't smirk, Number One.
Riker:
Sir.
Picard:
And stop hunching your head between your shoulders!

THE END

(Thank God!)

I had fun with this. I hope you did, too.