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THE SHORT VERSION: Paramount owns Star Trek and everything to do with it. I make no money off this site; it's just for fun. For more details, read the long version. Live long and prosper.


Welcome to the BowMouth
(or, What It Could Be Like if Joss Whedon Came to Write for ENT)

{Two farmers walk through cornfield.}

FARMER TED: Are you sure there's nobody around here? I don't wanna get caught.

FARMER FRED: Positive. I own fifty acres in every direction. No neighbors.

FARMER TED: I thought I heard something.

FARMER FRED: Just the wind rustlin' the corn. We're all alone. I promise.

FARMER TED: Good. {turns to face FRED. TED's skin abruptly mottles and turns green. His fingers elongate like tentacles and wrap around FRED's neck. FRED oops, acks, gasps, and passes out. TED drops him as a ship plummets from the sky and slams into the cornfield. KLAANG crawls from the wreckage and looks around.}


{TED begins to run towards KLAANG, clothes morphing into the orange jumpsuit.}

KLAANG: qaStaH nuq? p'taQ! Hab SoSlI' Quch!

{A violent explosion rocks the cornfield. KLAANG goes flying. TED is chunky green salsa.}

FARMER MAGGOT {clutching plasma grenade launcher}: I told you damn hobbits to stay out of my mushrooms!

ADMIRAL LEONARD: So, I've been looking over your past record. Quite...colorful.

ARCHER: Oh, I know, but that is so totally in the past. Yesterday's news. Obsolete. Really. Nothing like that is going to happen here. {skitters away}

ADMIRAL LEONARD: Damn shame. I was just going to complement him on the writing, directing, and acting of Quantum Leap.

{Starfleet Medical. A group of Vulcans is standing around glaring quietly while PHLOX and his assistants work on KLAANG in the surgical room, separated from the outer room by glass walls. Starfleet Admirals are muttering in another corner. ARCHER enters.}

ARCHER: So, what's the sitch?

SOVAL: The... sitch?

T'POL: A small golden ball with wings. Its capture by a player called "the Seeker" signals the end of the match in an aggressive aerial team sport named "Quidditch." Each team consists of --

ARCHER: I said the sitch. The situation. What's going on?

ADMIRAL FORREST: This alien crashed in a cornfield in Oklahoma --

ARCHER: Is he the same guy who's been leaving those crop circles all over Bucks County?

SOVAL: His corpse will need to be returned to his homeworld for burial. His House is already sitting shiva.

ARCHER {furrowing his brown in concern}: His corpse? He's not dead yet.

T'POL: No, but he will be soon. If we send him now, he'll be just dead by the time he arrives on Qo'noS.

{ARCHER bangs on the window. PHLOX glances up, then smiles that horrendous CGI smile. Fortunately, it's mostly hidden by the surgical mask.}

PHLOX {slightly muffled}: Ah, Captain Archer! You've arrived. Your shuttle made excellent time. I'm just about finished here. I'll be with you shortly.

ARCHER: Is he dead yet?

SOVAL: Not far now.

ARCHER {glaring over his shoulder}: Morbid much?

ADMIRAL FORREST: I think that's his point, Jon.

SOVAL {to T'POL}: What is their fascination with our ears?

ARCHER: You prob'ly think that song is about you, don't you?

{PHLOX exits the surgical room, stripping off gloves and mask.}

PHLOX: The next 24 hours will be critical, but I believe Mister Klaang will pull through.

ADMIRAL FORREST: Doctor, that's wonderful! Thank you!

SOVAL: Damn. I mean, your work was adequate to the task.

ARCHER: Whatever. Doc, can you tell me what's going on?

PHLOX: Certainly. This way, please. {They start to walk to a door opposite where ARCHER entered.}

SOVAL: Where are you going?

PHLOX: We have matters to discuss.

SOVAL: So, discuss them here! Leaving a perfectly good room to have a conversation is illogical. Plus my ears aren't that goo-- I mean, your species is volatile and irrational and you are in need of our guidance.

PHLOX: You'll be apprised of all pertinent information.

SOVAL {stepping forward}: How about a prize Vulcan?

PHLOX: Very well. Subcommander, would you join us? {SOVAL blinks. T'POL follows PHLOX and ARCHER into a waiting room, where TRIP, MALCOLM, HOSHI, and TRAVIS are sitting on uncomfortable plastic chairs. All four stand as ARCHER, T'POL, and PHLOX enter.}

ARCHER: Now, you were saying?

PHLOX: You think it's coincidence, your being here, at the moment that Klingon was captured? Klaang was only the beginning.

ARCHER: Yeah, I think that's why they call it "the pilot."

PHLOX: Into each generation a Captain is born, one person in all the world, a chosen one, one born with the strength and skill to lead the flagship, with the charisma to get the babe of the week, the...

ARCHER {interrupting}: ...Babe of the week, Chosen One, yeah, yeah, lead humanity to the next step in their evolution, jewel of the network, blah blah, I know the drill. The rest of my crew is already here to save valuable exposition time. So you're, what, the Observer?

PHLOX: I work for the Interspecies Medical Exchange.

ARCHER: But you're not human?

PHLOX: I am a Denobulan. In our society, each man has three wives, and each woman has three husbands. And if that isn't enough action, they're pretty friendly with whomever's in groping range, too.

ARCHER: Right. The Observer.

TRIP: Sorry, didn't have exact change for the fare on the Metabus. Break that down for me?

ARCHER: Phlox is the "alien observer" whose purpose on the show is to comment on and reflect humanity's foibles from the outside.

T'POL: So what am I, chopped sehlat?

HOSHI: Demographic Magnet.

TRIP: Potential love interest for all --

MALCOLM: -- actual shagging for none.

ARCHER {chagrined and a little embarrassed}: Oh, T'Pol, I'm sorry, You can observe if you want. It's just that traditionally the "Observer" character wants to or winds up becoming human in some way, and you're a Vulcan, and you're all... y'know... {T'POL cocks an eyebrow}... logicky and stuff. I didn't think you, um, played for that team. Which is fine! I mean, it's fine with me. If you do. Play for that team. Or the other team. Totally okay with me. Whatever. IDIC and all that.

PHLOX {rolling eyes}: If we could get on with it, please? {The crew fidgets and snickers but eventually pays attention.} Now, things are getting worse. Battles being fought for no reason. There's unrest in the Klingon Empire. Factions are being stirred up against one another. There's a reason you're here, there's a reason you're assigned to Enterprise, and there's a reason it's now.

ARCHER: Oh, I know! I know! It's because my father built the engines, right?

PHLOX: Right. -- no, no, that's wrong, that's not it at all. It's --

T'POL: Name recognition. Nobody else in this room besides him and my breasts has any Q score.

PHLOX: You're right. It's because your daddy built the engines. {ARCHER makes a "yes!" gesture and exchanges high-fives with TRIP.} Now please, it's very important that you listen to me. Soon, in a matter of days, something will be coming to try and take Klaang. You've got to stop it from happening.

ARCHER: Great! Carpe diem! Let's go, gang! {The humans pile out, talking excitedly -- except for TRAVIS, who never speaks -- leaving T'POL and PHLOX behind.}

PHLOX: But wait -- the Temporal Cold War -- Daniels -- I have to --

T'POL: Being the Chosen One means never having to say you're sorry.

{ARCHER and TRIP are having coffee in ARCHER's quarters.}

TRIP: So, we're really goin' to Qo'noS, huh?

ARCHER: It won't take long. Four days each way.

TRIP: And you brought him because... {They both turn to the corner, where PORTHOS is dozing on his cushion.}

ARCHER: Well, I'm not comfortable leaving him alone -- since Al left me for his own series there's really nobody I can ask to watch him --

{The doorbell sounds. Before ARCHER can respond, T'POL enters.}

T'POL {handing ARCHER a PADD}: I have been officially transferred to your command. Sir.

ARCHER: "Sir" is acceptable in a crunch, but I prefer Captain. Or Sam. Or "my round-eared muffin."

T'POL: Captain, what is that disgusting smell?

TRIP {sniffing his demitasse}: You don't like espresso?

T'POL: I prefer Chai tea, but I was referring to the other smell.

ARCHER: What, Porthos? {PORTHOS awakens and lifts his head at the sound of his name.} C'mere and introduce yourself, boy.

{PORTHOS stands, stretches, yawns, and morphs into a young man with sharp features, green eyes, and spiky blond hair. He walks over to T'POL.}

ARCHER {cheerfully}: Shake, Porthos!

PORTHOS {raising his hand in the Vulcan salute}: Mene sakkhet ur-seveh, Subcommander. I am called Porthos.

T'POL: How did you do that?

PORTHOS: We're out in space. Without an atmosphere, the sunlight reflected off Terra's natural satellite isn't filtered, so I can change at will.

TRIP: What happens when we leave orbit?

PORTHOS: I'm stuck in whichever shape I'm in until the next planet with a moon.

ARCHER: Oh, by the way, your agent called. Something about a show with a mix of live action and puppets.

PORTHOS: Puppets?

ARCHER: Eugene Levy's already signed.

PORTHOS: Oh, in that case, I'm in. He's hilarious.

T'POL: Excuse me, I have to call everyone I have ever met, right now.


ARCHER: Okay, places everyone! T'Pol?

T'POL: Here at the science station. Just setting precedent for something which has already happened.

MALCOLM: That's not very logical.

T'POL: Neither is a human male wearing excessive lipstick, but I was politely not pointing that out. {MALCOLM finds his hanky and hastily rubs at his mouth.}

ARCHER: Hoshi?

HOSHI: Got my little silver earpiece thingy, my XM satellite receiver, and SYSTRANsoft booted up. Ready to roll.

ARCHER: Malcolm?

MALCOLM {stuffing hanky back in his pocket}: Tactical is ready, sir. We're armed for bear.

T'POL: Our course does not take us through either of those constellations.

MALCOLM {irritated}: Would you rather see my elephant gun, pet?

T'POL: We're not going there either, Stinky.

ARCHER {pressing a button on his armrest}: Trip?

HESS {over the comm from Engineering}: He had to pee, sir. He'll be back in just a moment.

ARCHER: All right, never mind. {hits a different button} Doctor Phlox?

PHLOX {over the comm from Sickbay}: These Klingons have a fascinating culture. Did you know that when the male wishes to mate with the female, he has to read love poetry to her while she throws things at him?

ARCHER: Gives "poetry slam" a whole new meaning. Thank you, Doctor. {hits button to turn comm off} Travis? {TRAVIS waves.} All right then. Take her out. And please don't scrape the hull along the side of Spacedock.

MALCOLM: By Grabthar's hammer, sir, Travis knows how to fly. He's been in space longer than any of us. Except maybe the elf with the overactive thyroid at Science.

T'POL: I would resent that, but I think Legolas is hot.

{The Suliban Helix temporal chamber. FUTURE GUY is talking to SILIK through the Temporal Interference Field.}

FUTURE GUY: Where's Klaang? You promised me an offering.

SILIK: I had him, Master, but... there was a Captain!

FUTURE GUY: A Captain? A new Chosen One?

SILIK: Yes, Master. Tall of stature and furrowed of brow. Decent of rear view, too.

FUTURE GUY: Have you any proof?

SILIK: I saw him leaving the toupée shop myself.

FUTURE GUY: This... Captain must not be allowed to interfere in our plans.

SILIK: We had Klaang in our grasp, when one of the stupid little Earth folk came out of the middle of nowhere, murdered my soldier, and seized your offering.

FUTURE GUY: Life can be such a trial sometimes. Where is the Klingon now?

SILIK: The Captain has him. They're returning him to his homeworld.

FUTURE GUY: Recover him. And pray that when you do... {The field crackles and shimmers.} ...I'm in a better mood.

SILIK: You know, most people just eat chocolate when they're having a bad day. Ben & Jerry's has this great new ice cream flavor, "Brownie Batter." Maybe you should pick up a pint.

FUTURE GUY: I wish I could, but you know how the Temporal Interference Field always adds ten pounds.

SILIK: Tell me about it! And these jumpsuits? They show every potato chip I've had in the last five years.

{TRIP and TRAVIS are crawling through a Jeffries tube. They reach the end and clamber out into the junction. TRIP takes a panel off and glares at the wires.}

TRIP {doing bad Jimmy Cagney impression; sounds more like a Bugs Bunny villain}: So, you thought you could outsmart me, eh? Thought you were a big shot, eh? {his normal voice} Hand me that microcaliper, would you, Trav? {TRAVIS digs through the box and hands him the instrument.} So you're a "boomer," right? Been to all kind of planets?{TRAVIS nods.}...That is so cool. Ah've only been to one inhabited planet besides Earth... nothin' there but souvenir shops sellin' little pieces of whale blubber in lucite and a restaurant where the cow walks up and asks you what piece'a her you want for dinner. Kinda boring. Screwdriver? {TRAVIS waits.} Sorry, hex head. {He produces the correct tool.} Don't you ever talk?

{Suddenly the ambient lighting goes down and a spotlight shines on the helmsman. TRAVIS puts down the toolbox and pulls out a black silk top hat and a cane. Music swells out of nowhere.}

TRAVIS {high-stepping and singing}: Hello my baby, hello my honey, hello my ragtime gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaal... {TRIP stares, mouth open in astonishment. The screwdriver falls from his hand.}

TRIP: You talk! You sing! You dance!

TRAVIS: Send me a kiss by wiiiiiiiiiiire; baby my heart's on fiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiire!

TRIP: Ah gotta tell somebody! Holy catfish! {leans down the Jeffries tube} Hess! Rostov! You gotta come see this!

TRAVIS: If you refuse me, honey, you'll lose me, then you'll be left aloooooooooooooooone...

HESS {yelling back}: Coming!

TRAVIS:...oh baby, telephone, and tell me I'm your oooooooooooooooown!

{HESS and ROSTOV come out of the tube. Before they can stand, the lights have reverted to normal.}

ROSTOV: What is it, Commander?

TRIP: Travis can talk! He was just singing! {TRAVIS's hat and cane have mysteriously disappeared. He looks up, questioning.}

HESS: Oh, good one, Commander.

TRIP: No really! Ah mean it! {turns to TRAVIS} Trav, show'em! Show'em what you just did! {TRAVIS blinks.} The song! You were just singin' a song! {mimics the cane movements} "Hello my baby, hello my honey, hello my..." {trails off}

HESS {rolling eyes}: Whatever.

ROSTOV: I told you it was a drill. Lieutenant Reed's been running the Armory staff ragged all day with "battle simulations." {They climb back out.}

TRIP: No wait! Ah'm serious! Guys!... {realizes they've left. Turns and shoots a nasty look at TRAVIS.} Thanks. {TRAVIS gives him a big bright smile and hands him the screwdriver.}

{ARCHER exits Sickbay, muttering to himself.}

ARCHER: Of all the doctors in the IME, I get the one who prefers macrobiotics to microchips. "I'll have one of my assistants wrest some information from that dread machine," he says. If I had a nickel for every time --

DANIELS {finishing his sentence}: -- for every time someone insulted Ziggy, you could have retired to Jamaica by now.

ARCHER {frowning}: Who are you?

DANIELS: Let's just say... I'm a friend.

ARCHER: You look like you could stand to make friends with GQ. What do you call that look, early Michelin Man?

DANIELS: I'll have you know this is haute couture in my day.

ARCHER: I hope I never live to see the day when's that's haute stuff.

DANIELS: That's more easily arranged than you realize.

ARCHER: Waitaminute, I recognize you. You're not supposed to be in the pilot.

DANIELS: I know, but I'm doing research for my later appearances.

ARCHER: Research?

DANIELS: Nothing serious, just interning with Chef to familiarize myself with your breakfast preferences.

ARCHER: Oh, that's all right, then.

DANIELS: Plus someone had to fill in the "Angel" character slot, and Buffy has more people with lines than your show does.

ARCHER {shrugs}: It's a union thing. Wait until Buffy comes over to our network. The number of NPC speaking parts will go way down.

DANIELS: Understood. Good luck with the rest of your mission.

ARCHER: Thanks. Can you give me any, you know, hints about the future?

DANIELS: Well, Jeffrey Combs is going to be able to afford that Lexus he was looking at.

{Captain's Mess.}

ARCHER: Farfalle pesto, Trip?

TRIP: Don't mind if Ah do. {takes the bowl and spoons some onto his plate} Subcommander, would you like some ricotta salata?

T'POL: Yes, thank you. {She holds out her plate. TRIP grates the cheese onto the pasta.}

ARCHER: Remind me -- what was the purpose of this scene?

TRIP: To establish the Food Chain, and for T'Pol and Ah to insult each other.

T'POL: Your species is impatient and illogical, and Chef has overcooked the roast beef.

ARCHER: Oh, that was Daniels. Sorry.

TRIP: Your people are prejudiced and close-minded, and don't expect dessert unless you clean your plate.

T'POL: What's for dessert?

ARCHER: Amaretti and gelato.

T'POL: I'm eating, I'm eating.

{Bridge. T'POL is talking to someone in Vulcan on her cell phone while she's working at her station.}

T'POL {on phone}: I walk in and there's this smell, right? And I'm all, "What is that stench?" And he's all "Ah took a shower this morning; how 'bout you, Cap'n?" And I'm like "Not you, you hairless primate, the other lower life-form." {giggles}

HOSHI {in English}: I thought you were supposed to speak English on this mission.

T'POL {in Vulcan}: Hang on a sec. {to HOSHI in English} Excuse me? Do I horn in on your private discussions? No. Why? Because you're boring. {HOSHI looks away, embarrassed. ARCHER looks up, but he didn't catch the exchange. T'POL returns to her conversation in Vulcan.} So then the dog gets up off the pillow and -- get this -- he totally shapeshifts. Into a guy! {punches more buttons} Stupid human interface. What? No, it's this primitive computer system. It's like trying to construct a mnemonic circuit using stone knives and bearskins.

PHLOX {over the comm}: Captain, our patient is regaining consciousness.

ARCHER: On my way. {Stands.} Hoshi?

T'POL {in English to HOSHI as she passes}: How do I send this report to the Vulcan High Command?

HOSHI: 'Deliver.'

T'POL: Deliver? Where's that? {searches the keyboard} Oh! Thanks.... hey, wait a minute, the whole thing just disappeared!

{Sickbay. KLAANG is strapped to a biobed and ranting in Klingon. ARCHER, HOSHI, PHLOX, and a REDSHIRT with a proto-BetsyBoomstick are gathered around him.}

KLAANG: nuqDaq 'oH puchpa''e'? nuqDaq 'oH puchpa''e'??

ARCHER: What's he saying?

HOSHI: Something like "Right in my EV suit?"

KLAANG: Heghlu'meH QaQ jajvam!

ARCHER: Tell him we're taking him home.

HOSHI: maH jaH Dung ngem juH.

KLAANG {groaning}: ghuy'cha'!

HOSHI: I think it's a proper name... "Jerry Shiban"?

ARCHER: Tell him his ship was destroyed, but the insurance company promised the check will be here in three, four weeks tops.

PHLOX: I don't believe that was the adjuster's estimate.

ARCHER {waving}: Hello? Who's the Captain here? Tactics, Doctor. You have think strategically.

PHLOX: Oh, right, right, Klingons have a great love of boasting and exaggeration. You're correct. Pardon my intrusion.

HOSHI: jIH Ho' yuch chor. jIH naj vut quHvaj.

KLAANG: jIH qoy' Hegh'bat! mev be'joy'!



HOSHI: Sir, I think he just made a pass at you.

ARCHER {looking pleased}: Really? Boy, the Vulcans, the Klingons... they weren't kidding about this "Chosen One gets all the babes" stuff.

KLAANG: mevyap!

{The ship lurches violently. Everyone jolts in different directions, regardless of inertia. The lights flicker and go out. Reaction shots of various crew members as consoles shut down, including T'POL and MALCOLM looking alarmed on the Bridge, TRIP running about frantically in Engineering, HESS and ROSTOV playing cards with PORTHOS, and TRAVIS in a muscle shirt lifting 50-pound dumbbells in the gym.}

ARCHER {slapping his chest}: Bridge, report. {Nothing happens. HOSHI and PHLOX stare at the Captain for a long moment.} Oh, right, damn, we can't do that yet. {runs to wall comm and punches button} Bridge, report.

T'POL: Captain, we've dropped out of warp. Main power is -- {the comm goes out}

ARCHER: T'Pol? T'Pol? {punches button repeatedly} T'Pol? {bangs fist on wall} We were supposed to have service all the way to Qo'noS! That's why we switched to Verizon! {turns to HOSHI} Get me Customer Service! I'm having this taken off our bill!


MALCOLM: What was that?

T'POL: What was what?

MALCOLM: I thought I saw something -- only for a moment, then the moment was gone.

T'POL: Must've been your entire life flashing before your eyes.

{Sickbay. The main cast has little flashlights. KLAANG continues to bitch in Klingon.}

ARCHER: Can someone get him to shut up, please?

HOSHI: bIjatlh 'e' yImev! {KLAANG falls silent.}

PHLOX {impressed}: You picked Klingonaase up rather quickly, Ensign.

HOSHI {holding up PADD}: I bookmarked before the power went down.

ARCHER: I'm going to the Bridge. {bumps into REDSHIRT} Oh, sorry.

REDSHIRT: That's all right... Captain. {morphs into Suliban and cracks ARCHER upside the head with the rifle}

ARCHER: Ooof! {ARCHER'S beacon goes flying. HOSHI screams like a twelve-year-old.}

KLAANG: Vampires! -- I mean, Suliban! -- I mean, mevyap!

{PHLOX and HOSHI desperately try to light up the fighters so ARCHER can see what he's hitting. Two more Suliban are intermittently visible in the jumpy beams.}

ARCHER: You shifting types are all alike. {punches Suliban in the face; he goes down and stays there} You always stall when you floor it.

HOSHI: Look out! Behind you! {Another Suliban leaps from the shadows and lands on ARCHER's back. He flips the Suliban over, then piledrivers into his stomach.}

ARCHER: Can you smell what the Chosen One is cooking?

PHLOX: I should never have agreed to switching networks. These cross-promotions are so lame.

{ARCHER dives across the room, grabs the rifle, sits up, and blasts the Suliban leaping on him. Everything is very quiet for a moment as everyone blinks, trying to adjust their eyes after the huge burst of light.}


{The lights come up and systems come back online. The dead Suliban is sprawled over the Pyrithian bat's cage. She's inside whimpering "ew! ew! ew!"}

PHLOX {blinking}: Is everyone all right?

ARCHER: That all depends on what the meaning of "is" is. {All turn to see the biobed is empty, and the remaining Suliban are gone.}

{Bridge. ARCHER is ranting. In English.}

ARCHER:...and while you two were having a FaceFinityOff, the Kelly Chameleons broke into Sickbay and kidnapped Klaang!

MALCOLM {discreetly wiping spittle off his face}: I did detect something, sir, but...faint.

TRIP: We have a couch for that.

ARCHER: Trip, get me an analysis of Mister Reed's "faint" problem.

TRIP: Dammit, Jon, Ah'm an engineer, not a doctor.

ARCHER: What's our weapons status?

MALCOLM: We kick arse.

ARCHER: Good. Hoshi, I want you to -- wait, we do?

MALCOLM: Of course we do. Did you think I was going to wait until Tuesday to have our targeting scanners tuned? We can blast the snot out of anything in fifty parsecs.

ARCHER: Wow, we're shattering continuity like a diva with a wine glass. Go help Trip, then. {TRIP and MALCOLM exit.} Okay, Hoshi, get back online and find out what Klaang was yelling about.

HOSHI: I already posted on the KLI BBS, sir. I should have an answer shortly.

ARCHER: Good. Keep me advised. {T'POL is waiting to speak.} Was there something else, Subcommander?

T'POL: For the record, sir, I use EsT'ée Lauder and Mister Reed prefers Revlon. To object to a Max Factor product is illogical.

ARCHER: Those department store brands are really expensive, T'Pol. You should try Maybelline.

T'POL: I will consider it. In the meantime, you've lost the Klingon --

ARCHER: "Misplaced."

T'POL: -- so there is no reason for Enterprise to be out here any longer. We should return to San Francisco.

ARCHER: Why, did you leave your heart there? {Everyone on the Bridge stops and stares at ARCHER. The background music clatters to a halt. Crickets can be heard. ARCHER looks around, uncomfortable.} What? Just because it's an old joke... {After a long beat, the music starts again, and everyone slowly resumes their positions.}

T'POL {edging towards the turbolift}: I think I'll go ask Commander Tucker what brand he recommends.

{Engineering. TRIP and T'POL are looking over sensor data.}

TRIP: Well, yeah, Maybelline's not bad. You can find it most places. Ah use Cover Girl m'self.

T'POL: What about Prescriptives? They have that skin-tone color palette which actually applies to me.

TRIP {shaking his head}: Still department-store stuff. You don't have to pay that much.

HESS {stage whisper}: Commander! You're on!

TRIP: Oh! Sorry. {starts pressing buttons on the console} Um, yeah, plasma degradation rate something. Ah so forgot to study the script last night.

T'POL: Plasma decay rate. Your coal-burning sensors can't track it. Vulcan children play with video games more sophisticated than these piddling radar detectors.

TRIP: Shame we don't have some Vulcan children around to help us, isn't it?

T'POL: You should blow your lines more often. Your ad-libbing makes more sense than the script.

{ARCHER enters.}

ARCHER: Got anything?

T'POL: A much-lowered level of respect for the current lords of the franchise.

ARCHER: Which for our purposes translates into...

TRIP: Bupkus.

{HOSHI enters.}

ARCHER: Got anything?

HOSHI: Well, if you must know, when I was in the Amazon I picked up this really nasty itch on my --

ARCHER: Were you able to figure out any of what Klaang said?

HOSHI {handing ARCHER a PADD}: Most of it was pretty innocuous, sir. He wanted to go home, he had to do laundry, he was meeting with someone about classified information which would head off a civil war, he missed his dog, he needed to pee --

TRIP: Ah can sympathize.

ARCHER {reading}: "All your base are belong to us."

HOSHI: Oh, sorry. Wrong page. Klaang's stuff is on the next one.

ARCHER: "Someone go feed my targ! I called my wife from Rigel after I met with Sarin, but she started telling me about the plumber and I got distracted! Where's my date book? I need to give the House of K'nekknek's invasion schedule to the Tholian captain! Dammit, I ordered a raktajino an hour ago!"

TRIP: Oh, what a tangled web we weave...

ARCHER {to T'POL}: Rigel? Sarin? Tholians? Any of these sound familiar?

TRIP:...when first we practice, hint hint.

T'POL: Rigel is a human word, Arabic, I believe, for the brightest star in the constellation you call Orion. Which you should know since you're the captain of a starship, you mouth-breather.

ARCHER:...right. Just... testing you. Yeah. {shakes the PADD in her face} But he couldn't very well land on the star, now could he? Huh? So where did he land, Miss T'My Astrometrics Sensors Are Bigger Than Seven Of Nine's?

HOSHI: Bigger than whose?

ARCHER: Sorry. Something Chef's new intern told me.

T'POL: Klaang landed on the tenth planet.

TRIP: Well now, aren't you a fount of information!

ARCHER: Yeah, and if I find you stop being founty, you're going to be wearing something a lot less comfortable than those four-inch stiletto heels.

HOSHI: Until she threatens to take her star charts and go home.

TRIP: That'd be mutiny on the founty, wouldn't it? {ARCHER ignores them and hits a button on the comm panel.}

ARCHER: Archer to Helm. {No response.}

HOSHI: Uh, sir?

ARCHER {sighing}: Trip, can't you fix that?

TRIP: You wouldn't believe me if Ah told you.

ARCHER: Archer to Bridge.

MALCOLM {over comm}: Bridge, Reed here.

ARCHER: Tell Travis to -- waitaminute, what are you doing on the Bridge? I told you to go help Trip analyze the sensor readings.

MALCOLM {over comm, snippily}: Three's a crowd, sir. {TRIP and T'POL look at each other and fidget.} And after Hoshi left the Bridge, the only senior officer remaining --

ARCHER: Understood. Tell Travis to set a course for the tenth planet in a system called "Rigel." That's R-I-G-E-L. It's in --

MALCOLM {over comm}: Oh, Rigel 10 again? I thought we were out here to "boldly go where no man has gone before." {sighs deeply} I suppose we'll be having dinner at the same old haunts too. God forbid we go three blocks out of our way to find a new pub.

ARCHER {punches comm button to end transmission}: Don't all jump on the Archer's an Airhead Wagon at once, now.

TRIP: Ah understand Doctor Phlox is going to wait until your next trip to Sickbay.

ARCHER: Oh good. That should be a while.

{Helix. SILIK and KLAANG are sitting across from each other at a small table. SILIK is filing KLAANG's nails. KLAANG is on his third tankard.}

SILIK: My stars! You Klingons are such interesting creatures! I was just saying to my girlfriend, just the other day, "Klingons are such interesting people! Why, I'll bet they lead such interesting lives!" The things you must see and the things you must do! My stars!

KLAANG: Well, you know, it's not all bloodwine and fresh gagh. It's very hard work being a warrior.

SILIK: Of course it is, dear!

KLAANG: And me! {waves one hand dramatically as SILIK works on the other} I don't even get to fight like my brothers in arms! I'm reduced to a mere courier!

SILIK: You don't say. What a shame. A big strapping strong man like you, running messages around?

KLAANG: There's no justice. {takes a swig from his flagon} I should be leading the defense of our glorious Empire, not dancing attendance on some Suliban floozy.

SILIK: You don't say.

KLAANG {gestures wildly with mug, which slops around and spills}: And the qoH didn't even give me anything! Just scratched me with her nail and wouldn't start a mating ritual. {leans forward drunkenly} Is it true what they say about your people, that you can... change your shape? Into anything? {leers toothily}

SILIK {picks up KLAANG's hand and examines the nails critically}: Oh my, my! This will never do! {places a finger bowl on the table} Now let's stick our paddies in the water!

{Shuttle bay. The main cast less PHLOX are assembled.}

ARCHER: We're heading down to Rigel 10 to find out what Klaang was after. That might help us locate him.

T'POL: Don't drink the water, don't feed the animals, don't snog the locals, and beware of pickpockets.

HOSHI: Well, this is going to be a dull mission.

ARCHER: Don't worry; those protocols won't apply to any future Away Teams.

TRIP {to MALCOLM}: By the way, you look good in that duster. Black leather suits you.

MALCOLM: Thank you. I refused to go the peroxide route, though. Burns your scalp something awful.

TRIP: And completely turns your hair to straw if you use it for too long.

MALCOLM: Cigarette? {TRIP makes a disgusted face.} Oh, come off it, Mr. Wonderful. They're just props. You don't think I actually smoke, do you?

TRIP {relieved}: Oh. Well, in that case, sure. Domo arigato.

{Rigel 10. Snow is falling and turning to icky brown slush on the filthy pavement. The crew is in an industrial-park setting -- warehouses with corrugated metal walls and oversized double doors, fences blocking off alleys, trashbins, abandoned and stripped shuttlecraft, drunks sleeping in doorways, the Giant Inflatable Union Protest Rat outside a shuttered office.

The crew enters one of the buildings. It's a club. The lights are low and the atmosphere is hazy. Two fat Nausicaans in day-glo tie-dyed skin-tight catsuits gyrate listlessly on either side of a stage, where a band is playing. Occasionally one of them pulls a small, cackling, rat-like creature out of a cage beside her and eats it. There's a dance floor in front of the stage, a few pool tables, a bar, tables and chairs, and doors leading to the back of the building. The club's upper level is primarily made of balconies overlooking the stage, and holds more two-person tables.

T'POL moves confidently through the throng. MALCOLM follows, coolly assessing everyone in range. TRIP, HOSHI, and ARCHER are trying not to stare at the madding crowd. And failing. Aliens of every species, shape, color, stripe, and gender are talking, drinking, dancing, arguing, laughing, groping, and listening to the music.}

SINGER: Growing in numbers/Growing in speed/Can't fight the future/Can't fight what I see/People they come together/People they fall apart/No one can stop us now/'Cos we are all made of stars

T'POL: We should split up. One redshirt per pair. Dibs on Trip.

MALCOLM: Right. Travis, you're with me.

HOSHI: Um...

ARCHER {soothingly}: It's all right. The writers are just throwing random characters together to check for potential sparks.

HOSHI: Oh, a chemistry test?

ARCHER: Exactly. {They start to walk towards the bar.}

HOSHI: Wow, they didn't get one pairing right, did they?

ARCHER: That's why it's the pilot.

SINGER: Slow so slow (come come)/Someone come (come come)/Even love is a goin' 'round/Bad noise goin' round/Slowly rebuilding/I feel it in me/Growing in numbers/Growing in peace

TRIP: What did you say this place was called?

T'POL: The Bronze. It's the only club worth going to around here. They let anybody in, but it's still the scene. It's in the bad part of town.

TRIP: This place has a good part of town?

T'POL: That's where they actually take the time to leave you in a bathtub full of ice after stealing your kidneys.

SINGER: People they come together/People they fall apart/No one can stop us now/'Cos we are all made of stars/People they come together/People they fall apart/No one can stop us now/'Cos we are all made of stars

MALCOLM {to floozy alien}: Subterranean gardens? Seems like an unlikely place for a Klingon to go.

DEE'AHN {draping herself over MALCOLM}: Klingons love mushrooms.

LATIA {taking TRAVIS's arm}: It's just downstairs and over a bit. We'll show you.

SINGER: We are all made of stars/(People they come together)/We are all made of stars/(People they fall apart)/We are all made of stars/(No one can stop us now)/We are all made of stars/(We are all made of stars)

{ARCHER tries to strike up a conversation with the bartender.}

ARCHER: I'm looking for a friend of mine -- he came through here a few days ago. You'd remember him -- two and a half meters tall, hairy, dark skin, sharp teeth? He's a Klingon. Named Klaang.

QUARK {polishing a glass}: I might.

ARCHER: You might what?

QUARK: Remember him.

ARCHER {getting it}: If I... cough up a bribe.

QUARK: Please! "Bribe" is such an ugly word. I prefer to call it... greasing the wheels of memory.

{ARCHER nods slowly, then leans over the bar and grabs QUARK by the lapels.}

ARCHER: You're going to be the memory of a grease spot if you don't tell me where the Klingon went.

ROM: He went to see a Suliban woman named Sarin. I can take you there.

ARCHER: Thank you. {releases QUARK, who looks disgusted}

ROM {shrugging}: Sorry, brother.

QUARK {straightening his jacket with a great show of injured dignity}: That's quite all right. This gentleman obviously didn't want to do business anyway.

ARCHER {into communicator}: T'Pol, meet us by the back door. I think we have a lead.

T'POL {over communicator}: Acknowledged. The band is on break anyway.

{ROM leaves with ARCHER and HOSHI. QUARK looks down the bar and nods meaningfully. MORN nods back and slips off his stool, following them.}

{Bar basement. It's dank, dusty, and cobwebbed, with clanking pipes and bare bulbs. Random boxes and barrels huddle next to uninviting doorways. Wine racks intermittently line the walls. Sounds can be heard from some of the rooms -- not sounds to investigate.

MALCOLM and TRAVIS are already unconscious and sprawled on the floor by some filing cabinets. T'POL and TRIP come down the stairs.}

TRIP: Malcolm! {runs over and crouches next to MALCOLM} Mal, buddy, wake up. Malcolm, are you all right?

T'POL: What happened?

TRIP: My guess is, either they were watching a documentary on ancient Babylonian actuaries, or they were knocked out.

T'POL: I thought it was my job to state the blindingly obvious.

TRIP: Actually, that position rotates.

ROM: ...right through here. {ROM comes through one of the creaky doors, leading HOSHI and ARCHER.}

T'POL: Captain!

ARCHER: T'Pol? Malcolm! {MORN appears from the shadows and grabs ARCHER. ROM restrains HOSHI, who screams like a twelve-year-old.} Hey! Let me go!

{ARCHER head-butts MORN. They stumble through a doorway into a room lavishly appointed in mirrors, red velvet, and leather. They fall to the ground, fighting. ARCHER kicks MORN in the stomach. MORN sprays latinum over ARCHER's uniform, then tackles ARCHER and slams him into a table. The vase of flowers falls off and lands on MORN's head.}

ARCHER: Aren't you flower children supposed to be all peace-and-friendshippy? {MORN tries to bite him and misses.}

INTENDENT: Enough! {ARCHER looks up. MORN socks him in the jaw one more time for good measure, and then gets up and limps out.}

ARCHER {getting to his feet and wiping the blood from his mouth}: Who are you? And what's with the Domme's Secret outfit?

INTENDENT {slinking towards ARCHER, trailing a whip on the ground behind her}: You're looking for Klaang... why?

ARCHER: He owes me money.

INTENDENT {running her fingers along ARCHER's torso as she walks a slow circle around him}: Tell me about the people who took Klaang from your ship.

ARCHER: Why should I tell you anything?

INTENDENT: You're right. {big shark smile up into his face} It's a lot more fun if I force it out of you. {raises whip} Shall we play a game?

ARCHER: Um, maybe we can work something out?

{The INTENDENT grabs ARCHER's head and kisses him ferociously. Serious tonsil hockey. When they come up for air, she's morphed into SARIN, a Suliban woman. ARCHER tries not to look too grossed out.}

ARCHER: I can't believe I kissed you.

SARIN: It must have been the biggest thrill of your life.

ARCHER: You're obviously not familiar with my previous work.

SARIN: Let's get down to cases, shall we? Some members of my species are part of a group called the Cabal. They take orders from a group in the 29th century of a demon dimension in exchange for genetic enhancements. These future demons are using the Cabal to foment a civil war in the Klingon Empire. If a war erupts, all the bloodshed will allow the demons to enter our time and dimension through a portal on the Hellmouth planet and take over the universe. I gave Klaang the proof of this plan to take back to the Chancellor. The Cabal stole him from your ship to prevent him from getting there. I can help you find Klaang if you take me with you.

ARCHER: I feel like I'm listening to a recap of today's "All My Children."

SARIN: Look, this is a more complex plot than you're going to get in the next dozen episodes. Don't knock it.

ARCHER: Complex, sure. And talky and political and and murky and with absolutely no connection to the greater story which happens later on. Throw in a queen with a three-meter kabuki wig and some CGI and we're talking Phantom Menace.

SARIN: I thought you sci-fi geeks liked big complicated stories.

ARCHER {shrugging}: It's not me personally. The crew's been ordered to appeal to a demographic with room-temperature IQ. We're slated for gratuitous flesh exposure, swearing, poop jokes, and fisticuffs.

SARIN: Oh, it's so action you want?

ARCHER: Depends on what kind of action. Are you going to change back into the leather?

SARIN: Would that fall under "gratuitous flesh exposure"?

{An explosion sounds in the corridor. The door blows open. Two Suliban come charging in, firing weapons. ARCHER and SARIN dive in opposite directions.}

SARIN {from behind a couch}: Is this more what you had in mind?

ARCHER {from behind a chair, firing back}: It is more predictable. If you kissed me again, I wasn't sure what you were going to turn into next.

SULIBAN THUG: Captain! Don't panic. There is no cause for alarm. Actually, there is cause for alarm. It just won't do any good.

{ARCHER shoots him. The other Suliban thug runs back out. ARCHER and SARIN follow him. In the hallway, TRIP, HOSHI, and T'POL are trapped behind a force field. The Suliban is gone, but there's weapons fire just out of sight.}

ARCHER: Are you guys all right? Where are Malcolm and Travis?

TRIP: T'Pol twisted the little guy's big ears and he ran off cryin', so we sent Mal and Travis to start the shuttlepod. Then the Leprosychauns showed up and turned on the electric fence.

T'POL: We are undamaged. Who's the tramp with the acne problem?

ARCHER: She said she can help us find Klaang.


ARCHER {rolling eyes}: ...and a whole bunch of other boring stuff. I'll tell you later.


{Suliban fire at each other. One of them starts firing at the force field. ARCHER yanks a random girder off the wall and hurls it at the Suliban. It spears through his chest, and he puddles into silvery goo.}

ARCHER {to SARIN}: He's not going to reconstitute as Robert Patrick, is he?

SARIN: Completely the wrong franchise.

{SARIN turns off the force field. TRIP, T'POL, and HOSHI follow her to the weapons locker, where she gives TRIP a phase pistol and metal stakes to T'POL and HOSHI.}

T'POL: Why are you arming us with spikes?

SARIN: Some of the Cabal are genetically enhanced to resist energy weapons.

HOSHI {hefting the stake}: But a little cold steel and Freddie Mercury just melts, huh?

SARIN: It's a specialized alloy. It unravels the bonds between their molecules -- essentially unzipping their DNA.

HOSHI {queasily, lowering the stake}: That sounds like a real nightmare. I wouldn't want that to happen to me.

SARIN {to ARCHER}: Where's your ship?

ARCHER: Lot B, I think.

TRIP: Cap'n, we'd better get outta here. The little guy with the big ears brought back a lotta freckled friends. {All turn to see Suliban creeping along the walls, crawling on the ceiling, and stalking towards them, firing phasers.}

SARIN: This way! {She leads them in the other direction. They run through dim corridors, ducking and returning phaser fire, until they reach an elevator. SARIN presses the button. They wait.} Dammit, they always hold it on the second floor. {More shots. The door finally bings and opens to reveal three entangled aliens in various states of undress.}

T'POL: Save it for the train like everybody else. {Grabs the nearest alien by the nearest body part and hauls all three of them out into the corridor.}

SARIN: Quickly, get in! {ARCHER, T'POL, HOSHI, and TRIP enter the elevator, but SARIN is shot in the back.}

ARCHER: Sarin! {crouches beside her. TRIP provides cover fire.}

SARIN {weakly}: Captain...

ARCHER: Yes? {The door bings and starts to close on him. He shoves it back.}

SARIN:...Rose...bud... {dies}

ARCHER: What? Rosebud? What does that have to do with Klaang? {The door bings. ARCHER's jaw clenches. He looks up to see SILIK silhouetted in the doorway.}

TRIP: Cap'n! {The door bings again. SILIK raises his phaser.}

ARCHER: Dammit! Now I'll never know who Rosebud was, 'cause, like, she's dead! {They dive into the elevator as it slides shut. Shots burst onto the closed doors.}

{Outside the club. The elevator bings and the door opens. The four crewmembers pile out into the snow. Another shot is fired. They duck in all directions.}

ARCHER: Which way is Lot B?

TRIP: This way! {points left}

T'POL: That's Lot A. Lot B is closer to the club. It's this way. {runs off into the snow. ARCHER follows. TRIP grumbles and drags HOSHI along. They trade potshots with unseen assailants.}

ARCHER {into communicator}: Malcolm! We're on our way!

MALCOLM {over communicator, through a lot of static}: No sir, Lot B! We're in Lot B! Not A!

T'POL: The shuttle is right over... here. {They come up to the DELTA FLYER.}

HOSHI: That's not our shuttle, Sherlock.

TRIP: Yeah, but wow, can't we just take it for a spin? {gently runs his hands over the curves}

ARCHER: This baby was built by a pilot -- she's like greased lightspeed.

T'POL: Would you three like to be alone?

{Heavy firing commences. They duck behind the FLYER.}

TRIP: Ah told you Lot B was the other way.

ARCHER: Never mind -- let's just get out of here.

{They run back across the landing area, exchanging fire with Suliban. They come to the shuttlepod. MALCOLM appears at the open door, laying down covering fire.}

ARCHER: Everybody in! {HOSHI and TRIP scramble in. ARCHER is right behind them.}

T'POL: Wait! My iPod! Where's my iPod?

ARCHER: Maybe you left it in the shuttle?

T'POL {frantically going through pockets}: No, I had it with me in the club. It must have fallen out when we were running. {turns and looks behind her} There it is! {She sprints back across the open asphalt to grab it. A Suliban shot catches her and knocks her flat with a loud pop.}

ARCHER: T'Pol! Are you all right?

T'POL: Yesh, but I fink you'd better pull out the shpares.

HOSHI: Breasts?

T'POL: Lipsh.

MALCOLM: I'm so glad I insisted we get travelers' insurance.

HOSHI: That's covered?

MALCOLM: Under "body parts." You'd be amazed what's in the fine print.

ARCHER: Stay here. I'll be right back. Cover me. {MALCOLM gleefully recommences shooting. ARCHER runs out, grabs T'POL, and helps her back to the shuttle. Another Suliban shot hits ARCHER in the leg. He collapses into the pod. MALCOLM slams the door shut as TRAVIS lifts off. SILIK and two of his cronies run out, shooting; a few blasts rock the shuttlepod but they escape.}

SULIBAN THUG {to SILIK}: You just know we're gonna get grounded for this.

SILIK: Shut up while I think of a decent excuse.

SULIBAN THUG: ...Sunrise?

SILIK {rolling eyes}: It's in about nine hours, moron!

{Shuttlepod. ARCHER is lying on the floor of the pod bleeding, his head in HOSHI's lap.}

ARCHER {to T'POL}: You're not going to make me suffer through that pointless flashback, are you?

T'POL {examining spare lip implant in pocket mirror}: Of course not. Why should I put myself through a standing-on-the-beach scene wearing more and looking worse than Jeri Ryan?

ARCHER: Thank you. {passes out}

{Decon. Blue lights. Goo. TRIP and T'POL in their tighty-bluesies. Greasy sax music. Perky genitalia.}

TRIP: Blah blah no precedent for you takin' command.

T'POL: Something about tattling to Soval.

TRIP: Suliban blah Klaang yadda yadda Cap'n's just like his dad.

T'POL: Captain Archer did this to himself something something.

TRIP: Vulcans blah blah still jerks.

T'POL: Does it bother you that we barely rehearsed for this scene?

TRIP: Not really. Do you think there's one sighted person tuned in who'll be able to remember a single line of our dialogue?

T'POL: Good point.

TRIP: Speaking of which -- {sweeps gel up the tips of her ears}

{Sickbay. PHLOX is scolding ARCHER.}

PHLOX:...and another thing: you're a pilot! You should know every star system from Terra to Vulcan! There's absolutely no excuse for you not to have recognized "Rigel"!

ARCHER: Can I have the eel back? I think if he stretches, I can stuff him in both ears at the same time.

{T'POL and TRIP enter.}

TRIP: How ya feelin', Cap'n?

ARCHER: You know those dreams you get sometimes where you're sitting in a lecture hall naked and you realize you didn't study for the test you're about to take?

T'POL: I told you they were watching us on DeconCam.

PHLOX: No, the Chosen One has prophetic dreams sometimes. They're mostly symbolic.

ARCHER: So if the other night I dreamed that T'Pol was a cellular peptide sheet cake with mint frosting...?

PHLOX: Absolutely no meaning whatsoever.

ARCHER: Or that we were making out on the desk in front of an empty lecture hall?

PHLOX: For that, you might need therapy.

TRIP: Cap'n, bite your tongue! Don't give the scriptwriters ideas!

PHLOX: Too late, I think.

T'POL: We're tracking a Suliban ship which left Rigel shortly after you were injured.

ARCHER: I figured you'd be slinging us back to Earth like a warp-powered boomerang.

T'POL: One of Silik's toadies took my iPod's headphones. I want them back.

ARCHER: Those irritating little bud things? You like them?

T'POL: No, I had a really nice Vulcan set. They fit really comfortably on my... {trails off. TRIP raises an eyebrow. She backpedals.} ...head. They fit my head. Yeah. Well. Shouldn't we be getting back to the Bridge, Commander?

TRIP: You go on ahead, Subcommander. Ah'll catch up. {to ARCHER as T'POL leaves} You need anything?

ARCHER {obviously an old joke}: A tall ship and a star to steer her by.

PHLOX: Which star, Captain? How are you going to steer by the stars if you can't remember their names? {ARCHER winces as PHLOX picks up where he left off. TRIP grins and leaves with a little wave.} It's not as if you can't see it with the naked eye from your own planet...

TRIP {chuckling}: He deserves that. {He reaches the turbolift and presses the button. When it arrives and opens, TRAVIS is already inside.} Hey, Trav. Just gettin' off lunch? {TRAVIS nods.} Ah was thinkin' of grabbin' a bite to eat m'self. {TRIP leans on the turbolift wall, arms crossed, and regards TRAVIS with amused suspicion.} Ah don't suppose you'd be willin' to tell me what Chef's makin' this afternoon?

{The lights go down, music swells, the spotlight appears, and TRAVIS whips out the top hat and cane. TRIP 's eyes widen as he realizes what's about to happen.}

TRAVIS {singing}: Hello my baby, hello my honey, hello my ragtime gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaal...

TRIP: He's doin' it again! And this time we're headin' right for the Bridge!

TRAVIS: Send me a kiss by wiiiiiiiiiiire; baby my heart's on fiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiire!

TRIP: Maybe now they'll believe me! What's takin' this lift so damn long?

TRAVIS: If you refuse me, honey, you'll lose me, then you'll be left aloooooooooooooooone...

{The lift slows and makes a scraping sound as it approaches the Bridge.}

TRIP: Remind me Ah gotta fix that.

TRAVIS:...oh baby, telephone, and tell me I'm your oooooooooooooooown!

{The lights come back up and the music finishes as the lift doors softly swish open. TRAVIS beams at TRIP before exiting. TRIP stares after him. T'POL glances up.}

T'POL: Commander.

TRIP: Did you hear that?

T'POL: Hear what?

HOSHI: Hey Trav. Did you have a good lunch? {TRAVIS nods.}

TRIP: C'mon, Vulcans are supposed to have great hearing! You didn't hear him singin' in the turbolift?

HOSHI: Travis doesn't sing, Commander.

TRIP: But -- the music -- and -- he was --

T'POL: Don't you have an elsewhere to be?

TRIP: You know, Ah changed my mind. Ah think Ah'm going to Engineering. {The lift doors close on his nonplussed face.}

T'POL: Whatever. {under her breath in Vulcan} Freak.

{ARCHER's quarters. ARCHER is lying on his bed, leg bandaged, watching a water polo game. PORTHOS, in beagle form, has torn open the corner of a Velveeta box and is about a third of the way through the loaf.}

ARCHER {cheering a play}: Yeaaaaaaah! All right!

T'POL {over comm}: T'Pol to Captain Archer.

{ARCHER grabs the remote and pauses the game. He hunkers down in bed and clears his throat before hitting the button to answer, in a weak voice.}

ARCHER: Archer here.

T'POL: If you're feeling well enough to come to the Bridge, Captain, now would be a good time.

ARCHER: Well... I'm still a little woozy...

MALCOLM {over comm in background}: Bollocks. He's watching water polo again.

ARCHER {sitting up}: Well, actually, I'm starting to feel better. I'll be there shortly. Archer out.


MALCOLM: I told you. {makes a "gimme gimme" gesture}

T'POL: Can I give it to you Thursday when we get paid?

MALCOLM: Plus ten percent interest.

HOSHI: And don't welsh on him either.

MALCOLM: Actually, my family's all from the Midlands.

HOSHI: Subcommander, I'm getting a subspace message.

T'POL: From whom?

HOSHI: A Lieutenant Paris. Something about damages to his shuttle from the Suliban. He wants us to pay his insurance deductible.

T'POL: Send him an apology and ask if he'll accept PayPal.

{ARCHER enters, limping slightly.}

ARCHER: Got anything?

MALCOLM: The sinking feeling that your love of water polo is going to be your lone character trait for a long while.

ARCHER: Then be grateful I didn't pick dwarf-tossing.

HOSHI {in a gruff voice}: "Don't tell the elf." {All laugh.}

T'POL: It appears we've located the Suliban ship.

{On the viewscreen is an orange planet with a swirling black spot -- sort of an alternate Jupiter. Small buoys with repeating runway lights create a path from orbit through the atmosphere leading directly to the dark blotch. From a small probe, a large hand with a white cartoon glove extends, holding up a blinking neon sign with an arrow reading "THEY WENT THATAWAY.")

ARCHER: Boy, you could cut the suspense with a knife.

MALCOLM: And spread it on a scone.

ARCHER {taking the Big Chair, tugging on his uniform top, and crossing his legs}: Red alert. Shields up, Mister Reed. Helm, take us in at one-quarter impulse.

HOSHI: Sir, you did it again.

ARCHER {slamming his fist on the armrest}: Dammit! I knew I overprepared for this role. Can I have a do-over?

T'POL: Of course. {All nod agreement.}

{ARCHER gets up and jogs a few steps back towards the turbolift. He faces the viewscreen.}

ARCHER {puffing up his chest and over-reciting}: I believe we've found what we're looking for: Planet Hellmouth. Malcolm, polarize the hull plating. Travis, lay in a sixty-degree vector. We're going in. And Hoshi, send Trip a memo to remind him to fix that scraping thing in the turbolift.

{Helix temporal chamber. FUTURE GUY is talking to SILIK through the Temporal Interference Field.}

FUTURE GUY: They escaped? They walked free when I should be quaffing Klingon blood right now? Careless...

SILIK: Master, we had them trapped!

FUTURE GUY: Oh, are you going to make excuses? Something about...{sneers} sunrise? {SILIK doesn't answer.} You're weak. It's been too long since you faced a Captain. But no matter. They won't stop me.

SILIK: Master, I can bring them here, to you, so you may dispose of them as you please.


SILIK: I have something they want. {holds up a pair of pointy headphones} They'll come here, and we'll destroy them. Sarin's message will never reach the Chancellor.

FUTURE GUY: And I'll have a pair of really cool headphones. Good deal. {The Temporal Interference Field turns off. SILIK is alone.}

SILIK: Yes, I'll bring him here... but you may find your vessel has a leak.


T'POL: The planet has a layered atmosphere. Each layer has a different density.

ARCHER: Oooh, like tri-colors? I love those.

T'POL: More like Dante.

ARCHER: I don't love that so much.

T'POL: It's going to be a rough ride.

HOSHI: And Starfleet abolished seatbelts why?

ARCHER {frowns, leans over and stage-whispers}: Turn on the mag-locks in your boots.

HOSHI: Oh! {leans down and flips a switch on either side} I didn't realize those were our stabilizers.

ARCHER {sitting back up straight}: How else is the captain supposed to pace in a crisis?

T'POL: That actually explains a lot about your posture and gait.

{The ship lurches hither and yon. The crew jolts but stays seated.}

T'POL: Almost through.

{The ship bursts into to a blue level.}

HOSHI: This must be the Smurf Layer.

ARCHER: Or the Picassosphere.

{More shaking and jolting and one thirty-second interval of teeth-rattling shivers. They burst through to a layer of white pockmarked with black circles.}

ARCHER: What the hell...?

{A yellow submarine swoops out of one hole and putters by. The four moptops and one elderly gentleman inside wave gaily.}

MALCOLM {singing under his breath}: And we live a life of ease, ev'ry one of us has all we need, Andorians blue, and Vulcans green, in our yellow, submarine...

{The submarine disappears into another hole. The ship continues downward and emerges in a clear although liquid atmosphere.}

T'POL: Probability factor of one to one. We have normality, I repeat, we have normality. Anything you still can't cope with is therefore your own problem. Please relax.

MALCOLM: Two ships on sensors. Small and fast.

HOSHI: Something else on sensors, large and not moving.

ARCHER: A bird in the hand, yadda yadda. Can you zoom in?

{HOSHI increases the magnification on the Helix. Cell ships come and go like bees.}

ARCHER {rubbing his hands together}: Now, where's my boy?

T'POL: Isn't it a little early for that?

ARCHER {rolling his eyes and glaring at T'POL}: I meant Klaang.

MALCOLM: It's definitely too early for that.

ARCHER {holding hands out to HOSHI desperately}: Hoshi?

HOSHI: Hey, whatever blows your skirt up, Captain. I'm not here to judge. It's all good.

ARCHER {pinching the bridge of his nose}: Travis, for the love of god, can you use the sensors to find Klaang in that thing? {TRAVIS hits a few buttons, then turns and shakes his head.}

MALCOLM: Incoming! {The ship jolts.} No damage. Incoming! {The ship jolts again.}

HOSHI: Can't we arrange for some "outgoing"?

TRIP {over comm}: Cap'n! Ma wee bairns cannae take much more!

ARCHER: Keep your kilt on, Commander.

T'POL: I suggest we return to the Neverland layer.

MALCOLM: That's "Pepperland," Subcommander. "Neverland" is inhabited by pale pedophiliac freaks with fake noses, tattooed eyeliner, and abnormally high-pitched voices. Incoming! {The ship jolts.}

T'POL: Ew! So very not. You're right, I meant Pepperland.

ARCHER: Travis, take us up.

{The ship moves upward into the polka-dotted layer. While strange oversized cartoon figures pop in and out of the holes, and the yellow submarine putters by at least once, Enterprise is left alone. ARCHER stands and clumps awkwardly to T'POL's station.}

ARCHER: Got anything?

T'POL: An intense desire for you to come up with a new catchphrase.

HOSHI: Boy, that's not where I thought that sentence was going.

ARCHER: You and the rest of the Target Demographic.

T'POL {examining scans of Helix}: It appears to be an aggregate structure... comprised of hundreds of vessels. They're held in place by an interlocking system of magnetic seals.

ARCHER: Magnetic seals... oh! {leans down and switches off the mag-locks on his boots} Oh, that's so much better.

HOSHI: I think I've located Klaang.

ARCHER {punching comm button}: Transporter room two, lock onto the Klingon's coordinates and beam him directly to Sickbay.

O'BRIEN {over comm}: I'd be happy to, sir, if I had the vaguest idea what you were talking about.

HOSHI: Do-over!

ARCHER {pounds console}: Dammit! Never mind. {punches button to turn off comm} Malcolm, is our grappler online?

MALCOLM: Let me check. {punches comm button} Crewman Zorn? What's your status?

CREWMAN ZORN {over comm}: Ready when you are, sir.

MALCOLM: Very good. Reed out. {punches button to turn off comm}

ARCHER: Travis, follow that rabbit.

{Enterprise follows a large white rabbit down one of the holes into the clear layer of atmosphere. Three cell ships are patrolling. Enterprise shoots and misses, but nails a fourth ship a kilometer down.}

MALCOLM: Incoming! {The ship jolts. MALCOLM mutters as he works his console} Join Starfleet, the recruiter said. Lots of chances to blow things up, he said. {louder} Incoming! {The ship jolts.}

T'POL: These scanners were not designed for a liquid atmosphere.

ARCHER: We don'need no steenken scanners. {waves} The ship's right in front of us.

HOSHI: That's the aft view, sir.

MALCOLM {still muttering}: No oceans in space, he said. Aquaphobia doesn't make a difference in space, he said. {louder} Incoming! {The ship jolts.}

T'POL: You have got to work on a better alert system.

MALCOLM: I'll add it to my "honey-do" list. In the meantime, the lead ship is within one thousand meters. Incoming! {The ship jolts.}

ARCHER: Fire the Wave Motion gun!

MALCOLM: Fire the wot?!

ARCHER: Sorry, wrong franchise. In fact, wrong medium altogether. Fire the grapplers!

{Two large grappling hooks on massive tethers streak out from Enterprise and grab the cell ship. The Suliban pilot, played by a small doll with no articulated joints, is ejected and falls through the atmosphere towards the planet. Enterprise reels the cell ship in.}

ARCHER {punches comm button}: Did we get it?

TRIP {over comm}: Ah'm sorry, Cap'n, but it's below the legal size limit. You'll have to throw it back.

ARCHER: Wiseass. Let's see you tell fish jokes with only one arm.

TRIP {over comm}: Sir?

ARCHER: Um... never mind. I have to stop talking to Chef's intern. Did you fix that scraping thing in the turbolift yet?

TRIP {over comm}: Yeah. Funny thing -- it was a bloodied wrist with a hook attached. Kinda creepy.

{Cell ship. TRIP and TRAVIS are examining the console. TRAVIS is pointing to various controls, and TRIP is trying to identify them.}

TRIP: Pitch control. {TRAVIS shakes his head and points to another button.} That's pitch control. {TRAVIS nods. He points to a display.} Cloak. {TRAVIS shakes his head and points to another button.} Ah dunno, it's the stereo. Play some Dixie Chicks. {TRAVIS grins.} Look, Ah know you ain't mute, just tell me what these damn things are!

{The lights go down, music swells, the spotlight appears, and TRAVIS whips out the top hat and cane. TRIP rolls his eyes and goes back to the buttons.}

TRAVIS {singing}: Hello my baby, hello my honey, hello my ragtime gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaal...

TRIP: Shut up, wouldja? Ah'm not impressed anymore.

{The music fades, and the lights come back up. TRAVIS slowly lowers the hat and cane, looking very disappointed. TRIP continues to ignore him. TRAVIS thinks for a long moment. Suddenly he gets an idea and smiles broadly. The lights go down about halfway this time, with no spotlight. Guitar music begins with TRAVIS's voice.}

TRAVIS {singing}: It's been a long road, gettin' from there to here...

{TRIP's head snaps up, his eyes wide in horror.}

TRAVIS {singing, getting into it}: It's been a long time, but my time is finally near...

{TRIP looks around frantically. He spots the tool box behind him and lunges for it.}

TRAVIS {singing, gesticulating, not watching TRIP}: And I will see my dream come alive at last -- I will touch the sky...

{TRIP finds a tremendous monkey wrench.}

TRAVIS {singing}: And they're not gonna hold me down no more, no they're not gonna change my mind, 'cause I've got -- {TRIP clocks TRAVIS with the wrench. TRAVIS goes down like a sack of wet cement.}

ARCHER {over the comm}: How's it going, Trip?

{TRIP is breathing hard, but he stumbles back to his seat and punches the button to answer.}

TRIP: Jes' fine, Cap'n. Gettin' on jes' fine. {hefts the wrench, panting, and looks over at TRAVIS's inert form}

{Ready Room. Why does Archer have a Ready Room in 2151 when Kirk doesn't have one in the late 2200s? ARCHER has a crossbow slung on his back and is giving last-minute instructions to T'POL.}

ARCHER:...and whatever you do, don't let him have any gorgonzola.

T'POL {tapping her Palm Pilot}: Understood.

ARCHER: Are the Suliban still trying to locate us by Braille?

T'POL: Apparently. Fortunately for us, they're as blind as bats.{The ship jolts.}

ARCHER: The bats on Vulcan must not eat very well.

T'POL: Vulcan only has vampire bats. They navigate by smell.

ARCHER: Wow, an intra-planet, cross-species ability reference! That's subtle and complex even for Deep Space Nine.

T'POL: Joss is God.

ARCHER: Have the Helm lay in a course for Qo'noS. What's the relief's name?

T'POL: Crewman Sulu.

ARCHER: Sulu, right. Poor Travis, coming down with such a horrible migraine right before the biggest, most important journey we've ever made. Something like this could really put a pilot on the fast track to an amazing career. Give him a reputation his descendants could inherit.

T'POL: It might be something more serious than a mere migraine.

ARCHER: Doctor Phlox assures me it's not a tumor. {furrows his brow in concern} I hope Travis wakes up before we get to the Klingon homeworld, though. {The doorbell sounds. Before ARCHER can respond, MALCOLM enters carrying two silver equipment cases.} You know, one of these days you people are going to regret barging in on me.

MALCOLM {setting the cases down}: Don't be ridiculous. You're the Captain. You have no privacy and no personal life, and the only intimate contact you're allowed is a string of one-night stands or dead spouses. {flips open the first case} Now, here's the anti-magnet magnet you requested. Press this button and you've got five seconds to be on the piece which isn't floating off into space.

ARCHER: Five seconds. Got it.

MALCOLM {flips open the second case}: Here are the new hand weapons. They're called phase-pistols. They have two settings: stun and kill. It would be best not to confuse them.

T'POL: That joke is straight from the script.

MALCOLM: It's one of the funniest lines B&B have written. I'll be reminiscing about it in interviews for years to come. {cocks his head suddenly, then grabs onto the wall.} Incoming! {The ship jolts.}

ARCHER: Subcommander, the ship is yours. {grabs a quiver of crossbow bolts}

T'POL: Break a leg.

ARCHER: Wow, you really are jockeying for the Observer role, aren't you?

HOSHI {over comm}: Bridge to Captain Archer.

ARCHER {punching button}: Go ahead.

HOSHI {over comm}: Admiral Forrest is on Line Two, sir.

ARCHER: Put it through to my Ready Room. Archer out. {to MALCOLM} Would you mind taking those cases to the cell ship, please?

MALCOLM: My pleasure, sir.

{T'POL and MALCOLM nod curtly and leave with the cases. ARCHER puts down the crossbow and bolts and sits at his desk, then turns on the terminal.}

ARCHER: Admiral.

ADMIRAL FORREST: You're going out?

ARCHER: I have to.

ADMIRAL FORREST: You haven't filed a log in days.

ARCHER: It's been really quiet.

ADMIRAL FORREST: It's happening again, isn't it? I got a call from Soval. Said you made a detour to Rigel and Subcommander T'Pol was injured?

ARCHER: I was running an errand.

ADMIRAL FORREST: Enterprise still has that new-ship smell, and I'm getting calls from the Vulcan ambassador.

ARCHER: Admiral, I promise, it is not gonna be like before. But I have to go.



ADMIRAL FORREST: The tapes all say I should get used to saying it. No.

ARCHER: This is really, really important. You have no idea.

ADMIRAL FORREST: I know. If you don't go out it'll be the end of the universe. Everything is life or death when you're a Captain. {sighs fondly} I remember my first command -- 438 souls reporting to me, every decision could mean discovery or destruction.... That kind of power can really make your head swell.

ARCHER: Look, I don't have time to talk about this...

ADMIRAL FORREST: Captain, you've got all the time in the world. You're not going anywhere. Now, if you want to sit in your quarters and watch water polo and sulk, I won't hold it against you. But if you're willing to get back with the program, I'll be here to get your logs. {closes channel}

ARCHER: This is why superheroes are freelancers, renegades, and orphans. {picks up crossbow and bolts and leaves}

{Cell ship. ARCHER and TRIP are squeezed together on the single seat in front of the controls. A light on a side panel begins to blink, and an alarm is heard.}

ARCHER: What's that?

TRIP: Means the microwave is done. {He punches a button to turn off the alarm, opens a small door, and takes out a packet. Reads off the wrapper} Ham and Swiss with a little no-fat mayo on Wonder Bread -- that one's yours. {hands it to ARCHER and takes out the second for himself}

ARCHER: Thanks. {unwraps sandwich} Whadja get? {takes a bite}

TRIP: Smoked turkey and brie with honey mustard on a fresh wheat baguette. {unwraps the end and takes a bite}

ARCHER: I'm beginning to think Chef likes you better.

TRIP: Ah don't keep badgerin' his intern with stupid questions.

ARCHER: Remind me why you're flying this ship when I'm the pilot?

TRIP: "Rigel."

ARCHER: Never mind.

TRIP: Napkin?


MALCOLM: Incoming! {The ship jolts.}

HOSHI: I think you just like saying that.

MALCOLM: Would you rather I made "You sunk my bat-tle-ship!" jokes?

HOSHI: Point taken.

T'POL: You know, Tuvok never had to put up with this kind of blatant species-ism.

MALCOLM: These are much less PC times, Subcommander.

HOSHI: Which is why you're never ever coming out, right?

MALCOLM: Unfortunately. {to T'POL} You know, if we moved over just a tetch, the Suliban would have to start looking for us all over again.

T'POL: If we move even half a tetch, the Captain will never find us.

MALCOLM: Mister Tucker is piloting, not the Captain.

T'POL: Oh. In that case: Helm, move us two tetches to starboard.

CREWMAN SULU: Two tetches to starboard, aye.

{Cell ship.}

TRIP {as he punches buttons}: Welcome to the Helix. Please stow your luggage, close your trays, and return your seatbacks to their upright position. Thank you for flying Really Close Quarters Airlines.

ARCHER: Aren't you glad you use Dial?

TRIP: Don't you wish everybody else did?

ARCHER: The future of television: no commercial interruptions, just constant internal product placement. {The ship thunks hard against the side of the Helix. ARCHER looks artfully queasy.} Where's my Dramamine?

{Whirring mechanical sounds and hissing as atmospheric pressure equalizes. The hatch door opens onto a dark corridor. ARCHER and TRIP clamber out of the cell ship, each with a phase pistol, TRIP carrying the silver case and hand scanner, ARCHER with his crossbow and bolts.

They come around a corner and surprise a Suliban. TRIP fires his phase pistol, to no effect. The Suliban shoots and misses. ARCHER fires his crossbow, catching the Suliban in the heart. He puddles.}

ARCHER: Gotta have a Plan B.

TRIP: Mal is gonna be so disappointed.


HOSHI: Please please please can't I do it just once?

MALCOLM: All right. Just this once. Mind you don't muck it up.

HOSHI: Oh goody! Thanks. {She puts the little silver earpiece thingy into her ear and listens intently for a long beat. Suddenly she yanks it out.} Ow! Incoming! {There are two loud BOOMs, and the ship jolts hard, twice.}

MALCOLM: Nicely done, Ensign.

HOSHI: Thank you. Now I have a headache this big {gestures} and it's got Excedrin written all over it.

T'POL: Helm, move us a few tetches farther to starboard.

CREWMAN SULU: A few tetches farther to starboard, aye. Do you think it's going to help us avoid the Suliban, Subcommander?

T'POL: No, but the interference on my Blackberry reception might clear up.

{Helix. ARCHER kicks open a door. He and TRIP point their pistols every which way, trying to cover all directions at once. TRIP cautiously flips on the light. The room is empty except for KLAANG, sprawled unconscious at a table, both hands in small bowls.}

ARCHER: Dibs on the door. Get Klaang.

TRIP {surprised}: Don't you wanna do the whole big hero rescue thing?

ARCHER: Nah, I believe in sharing the wealth. It's supposed to be an ensemble show, remember?

TRIP: Ah will, but the writers won't.

ARCHER: You're one of the Big Four; don't bitch.

TRIP {holstering his pistol}: Four? Ah thought it was gonna be the Big Three.

ARCHER: It's the accent. Malcolm's is real.

TRIP: Hey!

ARCHER {motioning with the phase pistol}: Klaang?

{TRIP makes an annoyed face, but hurries over to KLAANG, taking his hands out of the bowls. KLAANG's fingers are crushed in giant mousetraps.}

TRIP: Man, that's gotta sting. {He pries them off one by one. As he gets the last trap off, KLAANG wakes up and slugs TRIP halfway across the room.} Oooof!

KLAANG {raising his mangled hands in victory}: Qa'pla! {ARCHER puts a crossbow bolt between KLAANG's feet before he can move again. KLAANG looks down, then slowly up at ARCHER.}

ARCHER: Let's see who can win a prize for keeping their cool. You come with us like a good boy and you got an amazing story to tell your friends. If not, you got a tag on your toe. You decide.

TRIP {getting up creakily}: And you're makin' comments about my accent?

{KLAANG grudgingly follows ARCHER and TRIP. They reach the hallway, and Suliban begin firing at them.}

ARCHER: Give me the case and scanner. Get Klaang to the ship. I'll be right there.

{ARCHER puts the case on the floor, opens it, and begins setting up the anti-magnet magnet. TRIP phasers a Suliban and he goes down.}

TRIP: Yeah! Ah got one!

{Another Suliban leaps for them. He meets KLAANG's mailed fist in mid-air. The Suliban explodes in a spray of of silver goo and purple Klingon blood.}

KLAANG {groaning and shaking his hand}: ghuy'cha'!

TRIP: Ah'll bet. C'mon, we gotta get to the ship. {They run off.}

{ARCHER puts the the anti-magnet magnet against the wall. It promptly slides down to the floor and falls over. ARCHER rolls his eyes and flips it back upright.}

ARCHER: Now, what did Malcolm say... five seconds to be on the piece which isn't floating off into space.

{He checks the flooring seals, then turns the machine on.}


{A brief flash of light fills the corridor. Mechanisms start to go off everywhere, as the interlocking pieces decouple. The Helix is coming apart at the seams. ARCHER is quite pleased, until he looks at the separating cells and realizes that the piece which is floating off into space is attached to the ship where TRIP and KLAANG are waiting for him.}

ARCHER: ghuy'cha'.

{Cell ship. TRIP is sitting in KLAANG's lap because there's no other way to fit both of them in the ship. TRIP hails ARCHER with some desperation.}

TRIP: Cap'n? You all right?

ARCHER {over communicator}: I'm still on the central core. Get Klaang back to Enterprise.

TRIP: Ah ain't leavin' you there!

ARCHER{over communicator}: Come back for me when things have cleared up. Archer out.

TRIP: Damn. {He starts punching buttons. The cell ship roughly disengages from the disintegrating Helix and zips away, dodging other ships and corridors and a tiny woman on a broom. KLAANG roars irritably.}

KLAANG: nuqDaq 'oH puchpa''e'?

TRIP: And if a bullfrog had wings his ass wouldn't drag on the ground. Ah'm gettin' us out of here the best Ah can.

{They clear the debris field and head outward, looking for Enterprise. KLAANG quiets down and eyes TRIP craftily. He sniffs once or twice.}

TRIP: Ah don't particularly like the way you smell either.

KLAANG {in English}: I think you smell just fine, warrior. Invigorating. {TRIP's eyes widen, and he whips around.} I should thank you, for releasing me from the Suliban's traps.

TRIP: Please tell me you ain't gonna start singin'.

KLAANG {shaking his head}: No. {He inhales deeply and suddenly tightens his arms around TRIP, trapping him.} But your blood is sweet -- {KLAANG opens his mouth widely to reveal many sharp teeth. TRIP screams.}


T'POL: Anything?

HOSHI {holding her little silver earpiece thingy in her ear}: Nope. {a beat} Wait -- wait, I think I've got something -- {All lean forward in anticipation.} There's a lot of static -- interference --

T'POL: Helm, move us another three and a half tetches to 005 mark 011.

CREWMAN SULU: Three and a half tetches, 005 mark 011, aye.

HOSHI: I've got it! {a beat} Mets over the Braves, 4-3 in 12 innings! {All cheer.}

MALCOLM: I knew they could do it!

T'POL: Subway Series, here we come!

CREWMAN SULU: You realize the Mets stand no chance against the Yankees.

MALCOLM: Five pounds says the Mets win it in six.

CREWMAN SULU: You're on, Lieutenant.

HOSHI: I'm in. Oh, and the cell ship with Commander Tucker and the Klingon are at 158 mark 3.

T'POL: Put me down too.

CREWMAN SULU: You're all going to be buying me drinks when we get to Risa.

MALCOLM {chuckling}: We'll see.

CREWMAN SULU {grinning}: We certainly will. {to T'POL} Should I adjust course to pick up the cell ship, Subcommander?

T'POL: What? Oh yeah, sure, fine, whatever. {to HOSHI} Do you think the Captain would mind if I wore a Mets cap on the Bridge?

{Helix. ARCHER is creeping down a hallway, crossbow at the ready. He ducks into a doorway as two Suliban thugs hurry by. He peeks back out, looks both ways, and continues.}

DANIELS {wearing a tall white tocque and an apron over a Starfleet uniform}: Don't...go down that hall.

ARCHER: Deal with my going.

DANIELS: You shouldn't be putting yourself at risk. The future depends on you.

ARCHER: I thought you weren't going to be in this episode.

DANIELS: I'm on break.

ARCHER: Break on through to a state of attention. Your roast is burning. {DANIELS looks startled, then punches a few buttons on his temporal thingy and disappears. ARCHER chuckles.} Cooks. Gets 'em every time.

{ARCHER continues along the hallway, checking for Suliban. His scanner registers no life-signs. He sees a door with another flashing neon sign reading "LOOK IN HERE." Glancing in all directions, he opens the door and looks in cautiously. It's the room where SILIK was talking to FUTURE GUY, but there's no one there. ARCHER enters, looking around.

A Suliban morphs out of the wall behind him and stalks him. As the Suliban raises his gun, ARCHER brings the crossbow back over his shoulder and shoots without looking. The Suliban is speared and puddles.}

ARCHER: Your boys need to invest in shoes that don't squeak.

SILIK {invisible}: Your boys should invest in Kevlar.

ARCHER {trying to track SILIK's voice}: Why? It's not like you can hit the broad side of a shuttlepod with a can of paint.

SILIK: There's so much more going on than you understand, Jon. May I call you Jon?

ARCHER: Just don't call me late for dinner.

SILIK {sounds as though he's moved behind ARCHER}: I had Klaang restrained for a reason.

ARCHER {turning around, crossbow raised}: I know. To keep him from getting to the Chancellor with Sarin's message.

SILIK: To protect you.

ARCHER: Bored now. {fires several crossbow bolts randomly. Three Suliban melt off the ceiling and into view, becoming puddles as they hit the floor.}

SILIK: Don't you want to hear what I have to say, mon capitane?

ARCHER: Only if it involves the words "I surrender."

SILIK {jumping off the wall as he becomes visible}: You should really give me a chance, Jon.

ARCHER {aiming crossbow at SILIK's chest}: The only chance you had with me was back on whatever the hell that planet was when I was unconscious.

SILIK {frowning}: Rigel?

ARCHER {rolling eyes}: Don't you start with that!

SILIK {advancing a step}: I had to keep you safe, Jon. If Klaang had gotten to you, it would have been... very bad.

ARCHER: "Gotten to me" how?

{Bridge. The turbolift swishes open. TRIP comes onto the Bridge looking disheveled, stumbling a little, with his turtleneck pulled up very high.}

T'POL: Commander. What's your status?

TRIP: Jes' fine, Subcommander.

T'POL: Helm, take us out.

TRIP: B'lay that. {approaches T'POL slowly} The Cap'n's still down there. We hafta go back for'im.

T'POL: We have to get Klaang to Qo'noS. If we send another team for Captain Archer we risk getting everyone killed.

TRIP: The Cap'n gave me an order.

T'POL: I am in command here.

TRIP {advancing, unblinking, pupils very wide}: Listen, Alexander T'Haig, the Cap'n tole me ta come back for 'im. {reaches for T'POL. She tries to step away, but her boots are mag-locked. She staggers. He seizes her arms and shakes her with each word.} And -- we're -- goin' -- back.

MALCOLM: Commander Tucker! What's the matter with you?

TRIP {not taking his eyes off T'POL}: Nothin's wrong, Mister Reed. Ev'rythang's gonna be jes' fine.

{MALCOLM clenches his jaw, then raises his pistol and fires at TRIP. CREWMAN SULU gasps. TRIP doesn't even rock from the blow.}

ROCKY HORROR AUDIENCE: Shoulders! Of! Steel!

TRIP {squeezing T'POL more tightly and bending her backwards a little}: Now, we're gonna turn this ship around an' go back fer th' Cap'n. An' then you an' me, pretty, we're spendin' some serious time in Dee-con.

{TRIP grins inhumanly wide, showing many pointed teeth. He abruptly pulls T'POL close to bite her. She gets her hands up barely in time.}

T'POL: Help!

{HOSHI flings her entire mug of tea at TRIP's back and head. He lets T'POL go with an agonized scream and falls to the deck, writhing. Smoke rises from where the tea struck him. T'POL clomps away a few steps, wiping at her neck.}

CREWMAN SULU: What did you do? What's going on?

HOSHI {holding up her mug}: Green tea with eelbane in it. Watch.

{TRIP is whimpering, face in his hands. Several small wormlike creatures wriggle out of his ear, smoldering, and drop to the deck, where they melt into reddish blobs.}

T'POL: What are those?

HOSHI: Ceti Alpha VII demon gagh. I'm surprised they're not in the Vulcan database.

MALCOLM: Demon gagh... of course.

HOSHI: They enter through the ear and wrap around the victim's soul. Whoever raised the gagh just gives him instructions.

MALCOLM: Complete lack of control over his own actions.

T'POL But... how did you know?

MALCOLM: He never calls me "Mister Reed." I should have realized what was going on at once. Good job, Hoshi.

HOSHI: Thanks! It was pretty obvious. His accent was really hokey and overdone.

CREWMAN SULU: What's eelbane?

HOSHI: Um, an ancient Japanese herb, used to cast out demons and evil spirits and protect against possession. Its mystical properties were discovered by Buddhist monks around 547 B.C.E.

CREWMAN SULU: So you drink it all the time, to keep yourself from being seized by an alien?

HOSHI: Oh no, I just like the minty flavor. Keeps my breath fresh.

{The turbolift door swishes open. PHLOX enters with some EMTs carrying a stretcher.}

PHLOX: Oh, they've all turned to mush! Couldn't you have saved me one, Ensign?

HOSHI: Sorry, Doctor. Eelbane is kind of a blunt instrument. {The EMTs load TRIP onto the stretcher.}

PHLOX {brightly}: Was the Captain infected as well? Perhaps I can get some samples from him!

MALCOLM: Excuse me. Incoming! {The ship jolts.}

T'POL: He's, um, not on board.

PHLOX: Not on board? {The EMTs cart the stretcher to the turbolift.}

T'POL {mumbling}: He's still on the core of the Helix.

PHLOX: Well, go rescue him, Subcommander!

T'POL: Doctor?

PHLOX: He went back for you when you dropped your iPod and busted your lips, as I recall.

T'POL {looking away}: Yeah, well, that was different.

PHLOX {patiently}: Without the Captain, the Chosen One, the demons from the future start the Klingon Civil War, break through the dimensional rift on Planet Hellmouth, take over this universe, and you {pokes her in the shoulder a few times} don't get that big scene your agent is negotiating for.

T'POL: If I don't get him, we don't have to endure "A Night in Sickbay."

PHLOX: Hmm... {considers} That is a rather compelling argument...

HOSHI {taking the little silver earpiece thingy from her ear}: Sorry, Subcommander. I just checked with Crewman Daniels. If we lose Captain Archer, "A Night in Sickbay," will still be filmed, but Carrot Top will be leading the series.

T'POL {whipping around}: Helm, turn us about. Ensign, find Captain Archer's biosign on the Helix. Lieutenant, work with Engineering to get the matter transporter functioning.

PHLOX {airily as he heads for the turbolift}: I'll keep you apprised of Commander Tucker's condition.

MALCOLM: Thank you, Doctor. Incoming! {The ship jolts.}

{Helix. A now-visible SILIK and ARCHER are sitting at a table, sharing a bottle of Shiraz, deep in conversation.} you see what I meant?

ARCHER: Oh, entirely. I can't believe I was so stupid.

SILIK: Well, it happens to the best of us.

ARCHER: At least your contact from the future is...

SILIK {nodding vigorously}: Yes. {they share a nervous laugh} But the important thing is, Jon, now we both know what's really going on.

ARCHER {meaningfully}: Yes. We do. {raises his glass} This could be the beginning of a beautiful...

SILIK {raising his glass}: L'chayim. {they clink glasses and drink} So now that we've gotten that out of the way...

ARCHER: I hate to say this, but I should be going.

SILIK: What do you mean? You've only just arrived!

ARCHER: I know, but my ship is going to come looking for me.

SILIK {soothingly}: They have to get Klaang to Qo'noS. We'll have plenty of time.

ARCHER {looking down and playing with the water drops on the table}: I told Trip to come back for me.

SILIK {looking down}: Oh. Well.


{ARCHER looks up, as does SILIK. Their eyes meet for a long moment.}

{Bridge. Enterprise is soaring towards what's left of the Helix. Cell ships blast Enterprise with weapons fire. Enterprise is giving as good as she gets, taking out cell ships one by one.}

MALCOLM: Incoming! {The ship jolts.} But I got another two!

T'POL: Mister Sulu, can we dock?

CREWMAN SULU: Yes, but their dock isn't attached to the Helix. The Captain uncoupled it.

MALCOLM: Incoming! {The ship jolts.}

T'POL {pressing button on the armrest}: Engineering, we're going to Plan B. {No response.} Engineering, report.

KELLY {over comm}: Um, Lieutenant Hess had to, uh, she and Crewman Rostov went to console Porthos, Subcommander. About the Captain being left behind and all.

MALCOLM: Incoming! {The ship jolts.}

T'POL: Never mind, Engineering. {punches two buttons in a row} Transporter Room Two, lock onto the Captain and energize.

{Transporter Room. The transporter shimmers. ARCHER appears on the pad, crossbow and bolts at his feet, arm outstretched to someone who's no longer there.}

T'POL {over comm}: Transporter Room, do you have him?

O'BRIEN: Yes ma'am.

MALCOLM {over comm}: Incoming! {The ship jolts.}

T'POL {over comm}: Captain, are you all right?

{ARCHER walks to the console and presses a button. His voice is raw.}

ARCHER: Yeah. I'm fine.

T'POL {over comm}: Did you get my headphones?

{ARCHER looks up at O'BRIEN. An idea is forming.}

ARCHER: Why, no, I didn't... I'll go back for them. I'll just be a minute. {runs back to transporter pad} Set the transporter to retrieve me in one minute. Then go help out in Engineering. I'm sure they could use a hand.

O'BRIEN: Understood, sir. {ARCHER dematerializes.}

{Qo'noS. Big-ass matte painting.

ARCHER, T'POL, MALCOLM, HOSHI, and a thoroughly chastened TRIP are seated on a wooden bench, waiting outside a tremendous pair of carved oaken doors with metal bands across them. Four honor guards flank the doors, glaring like angry statues. City sounds can be heard through the open windows.}

HOSHI: It's such a shame about Travis. He really wanted to see this place.

MALCOLM: Still hasn't awakened yet?

ARCHER: Nope. Doctor Phlox said it could be weeks. However, he finally had time to conduct an examination of Travis's vocal chords.


ARCHER {leaning forward around T'POL, who is reading a three-year-old Maxim}: Crushed. Like eggs. Phlox said if he ever had been able to speak, he never will again. {TRIP fidgets.}

HOSHI: Well, that's Stephen King-y kind of horrible.

{The door opens. A Klingon woman comes into the vestibule. Her breasts pop out a full two inches from her leather bustier.}

GRILKA: Humans! {They stand. T'POL remains seated, ostentatiously reading and swinging her crossed leg.} And Vulcan. {She puts down the magazine and stands.} The Chancellor has received Klaang's message. There will be no civil war. Planet Hellmouth has been blasted into pebbles by the IDF. The p'taQ demons who tried to manipulate the Klingon Empire will be hunted down like dogs, and their skulls will adorn the Chancellor's bathroom.You are free to go. {She turns to leave.}

ARCHER: Free to go? That's it?

GRILKA: What exactly were you expecting?

ARCHER: I don't know, something. I mean, we stopped a war. We should at least have a meeting with a lot of speeches and gushing expressions of gratitude.

GRILKA {looking him up and down}: Perhaps you're right. My House's ranks are rather thin. Would you like to become studs? You'll be rewarded handsomely.

ARCHER: You know, you're right. No thanks necessary. {starts to back away; the crew follows him} I am the Chosen One, after all. Just doing my job.

GRILKA: Are you sure? Maybe you could just spare me the little one? {winks at MALCOLM} He looks tough.

MALCOLM {making a disgusted face}: Ew!

T'POL: I thought you humans were... explorers. Searching out the new and the different?

MALCOLM: That's not the part I was objecting to.

{They reach the outer hallway.}

TRIP: Wait -- was Klaang a bad guy or not?

HOSHI: Ask again in ten minutes and you'll get another answer. The only absolute in the Jossverse is that there are no absolutes.

TRIP: Ah'm just tryin' to get a handle on how embarrassed Ah should be that he got the better of me.

MALCOLM: Very. You're a Starfleet officer. You should be able to defend yourself.

ARCHER: Not at all, Trip! Klaang is built like a linebacker and was possessed by gagh wraiths.


{Enterprise, ARCHER's quarters. The doorbell rings. TRIP, MALCOLM, and T'POL enter without waiting for a response.}

T'POL: Please do forgive me, Lieutenant. I had no idea --

{She stops and stares in shock. TRIP and MALCOLM look over to see ARCHER in bed, hastily putting out a cigarette, SILIK's head pillowed on his chest.}

T'POL: Captain!

ARCHER: Not for anything, but I did warn you about barging in.

MALCOLM: I do not like green eggs and ham. I do not like them, Sam I am! {leaves}

ARCHER {to SILIK}: Mon petit chou, why don't you go jump in the shower? I need to talk to my friends.

SILIK: Don't be long, angel. {They kiss, lingeringly. SILIK morphs on the orange jumpsuit before getting out of bed and heading for the bathroom. TRIP finds ARCHER's thick pink terrycloth bathrobe and tosses it to him.}

ARCHER {putting it on}: Thanks.

T'POL: You had sex with the Suliban leader.

ARCHER {standing and tying his robe}: T'Pol, things are so much more complicated than you realize. He's different now --

T'POL {hissing}: He stole my headphones! Right out of my pocket!

ARCHER: And he gave them back, didn't he? Besides, he said he was sorry.

TRIP: Cap'n, you asked us here. Did you want somethin', or were you just flauntin' the newest thing in avocado facials?

ARCHER {flushing}: Starfleet said, and I quote, "You didn't screw that up too badly. We'll let you keep going."

TRIP: Ah'm giddy with pride. Can Ah put that on a plaque and bolt it to the wall in Engineering?

ARCHER: You obviously didn't hear me, Trip. Maybe you need to clean out your ears. {TRIP flushes and looks down.} I said, we get to keep going.

T'POL: We're not returning to your planet?

ARCHER: Your people are coming to pick you up. {a beat}...Unless you'd rather stay?

T'POL: Only if you ditch Mister Pizza With Broccoli.

ARCHER {sighing, crossing his arms, dragging his toe on the carpet}: It would never work out anyway. I'm a Captain, and he's...

TRIP: Shapeshifting traitorous scum with serious complexion issues?

SILIK {singing in the shower}: 'Cause I've got FAITH, of the HEART, going where my HEART will TAKE me...

ARCHER: ...a Russell Watson groupie with lousy pitch.

{Bridge. The entire main cast is present. TRAVIS is sporting a large bandage on his head and another on his throat, but is at the Helm.}

ARCHER: with Starfleet's, um, blessing, we're heading out. Our seven-year mission --

HOSHI: We hope.

ARCHER: To explore strange new worlds --

T'POL {checking her Palm Pilot}: That's in two weeks.

ARCHER: To seek out new life --

TRIP {checking his day-timer}: That's in three.

ARCHER: And new civilizations --

HOSHI: Scheduled for the end of July.

ARCHER: Hello, motormouths, can I get a sentence finished? {All fall silent.} Thank you. Now, where was I?

MALCOLM: To boldly go where no man -- where no one -- has gone before.

ARCHER: Thank you. Maybe I should just go back to my room and put on a water polo game. I'm obviously not needed here.

TRIP: You were sayin' somethin' about sharin' the wealth with an ensemble cast?

PHLOX: Of course, considering the vagaries of current network television, a seven-year run is actually not guaranteed.

ARCHER: To be --

MALCOLM: Or not to be --

TRIP: That is the question.

T'POL: Course heading, Captain?

ARCHER: Second star to the right, and straight on 'til morning.

T'POL: It is already morning somewhere, Captain.

ARCHER: Shut up, T'Pol.

T'POL: Shutting up, sir.

With apologies to Joss Whedon. And a whole bunch of other people.

"Buffy the Vampire Slayer" belongs to Joss and Mutant Enemy, and probably partly to the WB Network, possibly 20th Century Fox, and Paramount. All Klingon dialogue was taken either from Marc Okrand's "The Klingon Dictionary" or the Klingon Language Institute. "We Are All Made of Stars" by Moby, from the album "18," ©2002. "Hello My Baby" by Ida Emerson and Joseph E. Howard, ©1899 (that's not a typo) by Francis Day & Hunter Ltd. "Faith of the Heart" written by Diane Warren and performed by Russell Watson, ©2001, I guess.

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