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Plastic Fantastic Theatre Presents:
Day of the Tripods

Captain's log, Stardate 2007.03. Waitaminute, we're not doing Stardates yet. Captain's log, July 20, 2156. It's the 187th anniversary of the first time humans set foot on our moon. I wonder what adventures might be in store for us today? Maybe T'Pol can find us a nice planet to explore. Preferably one which the Vulcans haven't already screwed up for us.

"Captain, there is an L-class planetoid orbiting a red star on our current heading," T'Pol reports.

"I'm reading plant and animal life," Malcolm adds. "Wait a moment...that's odd."

"What is it, Malcolm?"

"For a moment, I thought I saw a power source. Very faint. But now it's gone."

"Here, let me take a look." Trip comes over and starts fiddling with dials and switches. "Looks like there is a power source of some kind, Cap'n."

"A power source could only mean... intelligent life!" Archer leaps up from his chair and strides over to Tactical, full of excitement. "I'm going to go down there and have a look!"

"Captain, shouldn't we attempt to make contact first?" T'Pol calls, but Archer waves her off without concern, since I didn't bother to get the T'Pol Action Figure so it's not like she's going to come over and whap him upside the head.

"How strong is that signal?"

"Not very," says Trip. "Whatever's puttin' that out might be real weak. Or old."

"Ruins? An ancient civilization?"

"Could be. Or it could be someone who doesn't want to be bothered and is trying to hide their power output so as not to attract attention, hint hint," says Malcolm.

"I'm betting it's ruins. I'm going down," Archer annouces.

"Captain, you should take a security detail with you. For your own protection."

"All right, then, Mister Reed. You're with me."

"You'll need someone to take a look at that power source, Cap'n...." Trip starts.

"Malcolm's pretty handy," Archer says with a smile. "I'm sure we can manage. I'll call you if I need you." Trip sulks quietly.

Hey, if I always mute the theme song, I'm not going to make you sit through it.

Captain's log, supplemental. We've entered orbit over the planet. In the spirit of exploration which we're celebrating today, and because it looks really cool, I've decided to use the transporter.

Malcolm and the captain beam down near the power source.

"T'Pol to Captain Archer."

"We arrived safely, Subcommander. I was right. It does look like ruins."

"Can you see the power source, Captain?"

"Not from where we're standing. We'll have to investigate."

"Sensors are detecting lifeforms in your vicinity. However, I am unable to determine how many, or what kind."

"Understood. Archer out." He flips the communicator closed. "Malcolm, why don't you scout the perimeter of the area and see if you can find whatever T'Pol's yammering about. I'm going to check out these artifacty-looking structures over here."

"I think we should stay together, sir," Malcolm objects stiffly.

"I'll be fine," Archer assures him. "I'll call you if I need you." Malcolm heads off into the brush grumbling.

Archer spies something on the other side of the clearing. "Hm, what's this? How interesting!" He wades through the circle of markers surrounding the stack of pods.

"I wonder what these could be? Storage units? Flower pots? Food? A game? Maybe it's their communications array!" He clears his throat. "This is Captain Jonathan Archer of the starship Enterprise. We are on a peaceful mission of exploration. We're from a planet called Earth. Enterprise is the first Warp-5-capable ship our species has ever built. My father designed the engines, you know..."

A mighty claw suddenly strikes Archer from behind and slams him to the ground.

"NO! NO! Please! I come in peace! Please! Don't hurt me! Malcolm! MALCOLM!"

The creature advances...

A terrible high-pitched scream echoes across the clearing! Archer has been -- transmogrified!

"Get away from him, you bitch!" Malcolm roars.

The creature hisses and growls. Malcolm stands his ground. "Back away from him! Now!"

The scaled thing picks up a slab of wood, which begins to writhe and bubble. Moments later a chunk of pumice sits in the alien's claw. The meaning is clear: this is what I will do to you if you come any closer. Or maybe it's offering lunch. Or this is how this species communicates, and it's expecting Malcolm to say hello by changing lead into gold, or spinning gold into straw, or something. You can never tell with these nonhumanoid non-English-speaking aliens. I should have gotten a Hoshi Action Figure to translate, I guess.

A weak gasp from the transmogrified captain. ""

"Sir!" Malcolm cries.


Malcolm obeys the order and flees back to Enterprise.

Malcolm beams back to the ship, where Trip meets him in the Transporter Room.

"I tried...I swear I tried...but he -- he sent me off!" Malcolm sobs to Trip. "He's always doing this! He won't let me protect him! I can't do my job!" Malcolm abruptly raises his fist and begins pounding the back of his own head. "BAD DOBBY! BAD ELF! DOBBY LET CAPTAIN ARCHER GET TRANSMOGRIFIED! DOBBY IS A BAD ELF!"

"It's gonna be jes' fine, Mal," Trip soothes. "We'll get Cap'n back. You'll see."

Malcolm finally stops hitting himself after his paint starts to flake. "Thank you, thank you, Commander, I -- I certainly hope so," he sniffs.

"We'll need somethin' bigger'n the phase pistol, though."

Malcolm brightens, wiping his tears. "You know, I have just the thing! You go change into your EV suit. Meet me back here in ten minutes."

Malcolm hands Trip his new weapon.

"What the hell is this? It's half as big as Ah am!"

"Just a little something I've been working on in my spare time," Malcolm confesses. "I call it a 'Betsy Boomstick.' "

"Holy catfish, Malcolm! This is a 'little' somethin'? Ah could take out the Great Wall of China with this thang!"

"Indeed. It's got 47 times the power of our phase pistols. The only drawback is that it's powered by unstable dilithium crystals."

"...Yeah, that's a real bug, all right."

"Handle it carefully and you should be fine. Good luck, Commander."

Trip beams down to the surface of the planet.

Be vewwy vewwy quiet...Ah'm huntin' aliens. heheheheheheheheheheh.

Trip spots the creature looming over the transmogrified captain. He aims the Boomstick carefully.

"Damn! That's got some power!"

The creature leaps up and lunges towards Trip.

Trip circles to the side, trying to get to Archer. "Cap'n! Are you all right? Can you hear me?" Trip, of course, has forgotten that sound waves carry poorly through the helmet of his EV suit.

The alien jumps on top of the tree stumps. Trip, trying to watch the captain, isn't watching where he's walking, and falls on his butt.

Trip aims the Boomstick desperately, knowing that if he misses, he's dead. Also knowing his reputation in this part of the galaxy, if he misses, the creature will try to mate with him, in which case he'll wish he were dead.

Trip fires!

"Ah come to bury...Caesar, or whatever the hell this poor sonofabitch was, not to praise him..."

Trip slings the Boomstick over his back and finds Archer. "C'mon. Let's get out of here, Cap'n. Phlox'll fix ya right up."

"I wonder...why he...attacked me?" the captain murmurs weakly.

"Ah guess we'll never know now. He's dead, Jon."

{insert alien baby sound effect here}

"My babies...{gasp} my babies are all right..."

" them out, my children...grow strong, seek them out, destroy them...find Enterprise...avenge me... " {insert alien death rattle sound effect here}

Depending on whether I get more ENT figures for my birthday or Christmas, hint hint.