[The Future (dun dun dun!)]
(In a dark room, a TV is on.)
Anchorman: ...And in more trivial news about which I for one don't care, today marks the tenth anniversary of the day the Federation starship eventually called Five-Minute Voyager reached Earth. Other ships visit Earth all the time, but we made a big deal over this one. And why? Just because it was "lost"? I'll bet they were faking the whole thing. We humans are such suckers.
(The camera pans to an aged-looking Zeke, who frowns and clenches his fist. Then he clenches the other one. It's a fist-clenching extravaganza, kids.)
[5MV Anniversary Party]
(IJD GAF, in a captain's uniform, spots a young girl among the partygoers.)
IJD: Hey there. You look familiar....
Admiral Sab: Stand at attention, you maggot! You're in the presence of a superior officer! -- Oo, is that a Trip/T'Pol convention in the next room?
(She scampers off. IJD shrugs and heads to the main room, where he spots....)
IJD: Doc! Who's the little woman?
Marc: She was Admiral Sab. You should know her, she's been on our mailing list for --
IJD: I meant the one next to you.
Marc: Oh. Yes, this is Dérique.
IJD: Heh, that's a funny name. It sounds kind of like a female Derek.
(Marc ponders this for about 0.86 seconds, decides it doesn't bear pondering, and settles on....)
Marc: Shut up.
IJD: Same old cranky bedside manner, eh, Marc?
Dérique: Oh, he hasn't told you his new name yet?
IJD: (raising an eyebrow) New name?
Marc: Ah yes! It took me years, but I've finally decided on a nickname for myself, like the ones the rest of you have.
IJD: What did you pick?
Marc: Um... well....
Marc: Yes. You wanna make somethin' of it?
(Shaking his fist, Marc walks off. IJD mulls it over.)
IJD: Marc "Rocket" Richard... nah. It'll never sell.
(There's a knock at the door. Zeke looks out the peephole and sees his contact.)
Zeke: (whispering) You got the stuff?
Contact: What stuff?
Zeke: You are Dave, aren't you?
Contact: Dave's not here.
Zeke: (chuckles) Oh, Section 47, you and your mindwipes. Hold still.
Contact: Hold what? I --
(Zeke kicks down the door on top of the contact, grabs the stuff from him, and runs.)
Summer: This is a great party. Isn't this a great party?
Ryan: Whatever. I'm just here in case there's someone to beat up.
Bouncer: Hey! Who invited the Californians?
(The bouncer grabs Summer and Ryan and throws them out the door.)
Bouncer: Yeah, you better go back where you started from!
(He's about to close it when he notices Zeke approaching. He lets him in.)
Bouncer: Just remember, now that you're in here, you can never leave.
Zeke: I think you worked at that other job too long. Hey guys. How are things going so far?
IJD: Pretty well. Looks like you're just in time -- here comes Sa'ar to give the toast.
Marc: (sigh) I could do without that. He's always babbling on.
Sa'arclay: Greetings, everyone! On this important anniversary, I'd like to propose a toast to --
Zeke: Hey, I don't have any toast fodder yet.
Sa'arclay: Oh. Somebody bring Zeke a beer.
Zeke: What proof is the beer?
Sa'arclay: Uh... ten?
Zeke: Insufficient! What else have you got?
Sa'arclay: (scratching his head) Well, there's wine. I don't know if --
Zeke: Over here! NOW!
(Bewildered, Sa'ar waits for a waitress to bring Zeke a glass of wine.)
Zeke: Thank you. MWAHAHAHAHA!
Sa'arclay: Uh... can I continue now?
Zeke: Sure, you do that. I'll just be taking this complicated equipment out of my backpack.
Marc: (whispering) Admiral... is there something wrong with your chair?
IJD: If so, it wasn't me this time.
(Ignoring them both, Zeke finishes assembling a large device. He waits for Sa'ar to finish the toast.)
Sa'arclay: ...And so, a toast to lemmings, and the lemmingness thereof.
All: Hear, hear!
(Everyone takes a drink except Zeke, who pours his into the machine with an evil grin.)
Zeke: See you in hell, candy-boys!
Sa'arclay: What the --
(In a deafening explosion, the entire building is destroyed...)
[The Present, Yo]
Kira: "So many wormholes! One of them must lead home!"
Zeke: Shut up.
Kira: "Take us in, IJD! Don't even take the time to put the shields up! We're busy people!"
Zeke: I couldn't have known.
Kira: Good point! It's not like we have sensors and probes!
(Exterior shot. The heavily-damaged Five-Minute Voyager is limping away from a nebula. The words "TAKE THAT" have been etched into the hull with Borg cutting beams.)
Zeke: So the nebula was full of Borg. Life goes on.
Kira: Only because they stopped following us for some reason! You know, I'm really starting to doubt your ability to get us home in one piece. I don't think you can do it.
Voice: Yes he can. But not well.
(Zeke and Kira turn to see a portal opening in the middle of the corridor. Admiral Zeke has just come through it.)
Kira: What the....
Zeke: Who are you?
Admiral Zeke: You.
Zeke: No, I'm me.
Admiral Zeke: Yes, you're me, but I'm you.
Zeke: No, you're you!
Admiral Zeke: Then we understand each other.
(Zeke looks helplessly at Kira. She shrugs and extends a hand to Admiral Zeke.)
Kira: You must be from the future. Welcome to the present.
Admiral Zeke: I'm from the present, and you should be welcoming me to the past.
Kira: Well, I gave it a shot. (She leaves.)
Admiral Zeke: Let me break it down for you, Zeke. I'm your future self. I've come back in time.
Zeke: Oh. That makes sense. It's what future selves do.
Admiral Zeke: That's one reason, but not the main one. I need to prevent you from making a terrible mistake. 25 years ago my time, you turned away from a Borg-filled nebula. As a result, you took 15 more years to get the Five-Minute Voyager home.
Zeke: What's so terrible about that? 22 years for a 70-year trip is pretty good.
Admiral Zeke: "Pretty good"? You... ARRGH! How could I ever have been you? You take forever to do anything, and you don't care who dies from it!
Zeke: Wait. Dies? Do you mean Cat was serious when she threatened to kill herself if I delayed any longer with that birthday fiver for her?
Admiral Zeke: I'm talking about your crew! Kira and Derek will both die before you reach Earth!
Zeke: Whoa! That's a turnaround. I was expecting one of them to kill me before we reached Earth. What happens to them?
Admiral Zeke: Kira dies on an away mission for no particular reason. And Derek... there's something he hasn't told you.
Zeke: If it's the favourite-colour thing, you're a little late.
Admiral Zeke: Not exactly....
[Zeke's Ready Room]
Zeke: Why didn't you ever tell me?
Derek: I didn't see how my fondness for the colour blue would have affected our --
Zeke: About the neurological disorder! The one that makes you a little more insane every year!
Derek: Oh. Well, I couldn't let you risk the ship trying to steal a Borg psychortical node. I didn't think my sanity would be that grave a loss around here.
Zeke: That's it. I'm taking down that stupid "You Don't Have to Be Crazy to Work Here, But It Helps" sign.
(The door chime rings.)
Zeke: Enter, Return, Line Feed, whatever.
Kira: (line feeding) I've had a look at the technology your future self brought back. If what he's saying is true, it should protect us from all Borg weapons.
Zeke: Let's get it installed. And by "let's," I mean "You and IJD go work on the hull."
Kira: So what are you going to do?
Zeke: Important captainly things!
Zeke: This better be good. I had to pause the season finale of The AC.
Admiral Zeke: (chuckles) Those wacky Alpha Centaurians.
Marc: I've scanned your future self, Captain. Looks like his story checks out. I've also found a particularly strong piece of corroborating evidence: he's crazy.
Zeke: Jack Nicholson crazy?
Marc: Mm-hmm. And there's something else. Admiral, could you step outside for a minute, please?
Admiral Zeke: Sure.
Zeke: So? What's the something else?
Marc: That was it! Don't you see? I asked him to do something and he did it right then! I don't like it, Zeke. I think he's dangerous.
Zeke: Maybe so. But if he can get us home, he's the kind of dangerous I like....
Captain's Log: We've upgraded the ship and we're ready to enter the nebula. With any luck, we'll be home by the end of the day. Unless the luck is bad.
IJD: Here we go....
Kira: Two Borg cubes off the starboard, three off the port. They're firing!
Derek: That's a good sign. We didn't get thrown around like fireflies in a rambunctious toddler's jar like we usually do.
Kira: Zero percent. Oo! I don't think I've ever said that before.
Zeke: Looks like your information was right, future self! Those green Borg beams are powerless against the colour yellow!
(Exterior shot. The Five-Minute Voyager looks exactly the same as usual, aside from now being painted chartreuse.)
IJD: Funny how Derek didn't tell us that years ago.
Derek: ...Yes. Funny, that.
(Shrugging off further Borg attacks, the 5MV proceeds to the centre of the nebula, where they find....)
IJD: What is that thing? It looks like a big telescope.
Zeke: No way. Derek, is that...?
Derek: Yep. That's a Borg transwarp Hubble.
Derek: The Borg found a way to use primitive Earth spacecraft to power a huge transwarp network. The Hubble telescope, SkyLab, Mir, Deep Space 1, that International Space Station thing that was finally finished last year... they even tried to use Voyager 6, but it got away.
IJD: So that's where the first four Babylon stations went!
Derek: Just the first three.
Kira: Wow. Is this why the Borg haven't just wiped us out? They need our probes?
Derek: You make it sound so dirty.
Zeke: Kira! Take all the scans you can -- we'll go back out and analyze them. There must be a way we can trash this thing.
Admiral Zeke: But you can use it to get home! Don't be a fool!
Zeke: You're only saying that because I would be retroactively making you one.
Admiral Zeke: That does it! My ready room, now!
(They exit, arguing about whose ready room it is.)
IJD: So do I take us out, or what?
Kira: Quite honestly, I don't care where the ship is. What matters is that I'm in command now, and that means we watch my shows.
(Kira picks up the remote. Veronica Mars appears on the viewscreen.)
Kira: Ahh, the Season 1 DVDs. Take that, real Kira!
Captain's Log: As I had hoped, IJD and Derek have come up with a way to destroy the Borg's transwarp Hubble. But if we do that, we can't use it to go home. I am faced with the toughest decision I've had to make since Mega Man Battle Network 4 came out in two different versions.
First Officer's Log: Dork.
(The crew, plus Admiral Zeke, are gathered in the Observation Lounge.)
IJD: Coffee? I'm handing them out at this meeting for some reason.
Admiral Zeke: Sure, thanks.
Zeke: (Whew. Other things about me may change, but at least I'll still dr--)
Admiral Zeke: Where's the milk?
(Zeke runs around in circles screaming, finally coming to a stop when Marc trips him. He gets up and brushes himself off.)
Zeke: Men, I've called you here for a reason. We have two courses ahead of us: bash the Borg a good one, or go home. After intense deliberation, I have decided that Reed Richards would choose to bash the Borg a good one. So that's the plan I'm recommending.
(Silence, except for Kira muttering "Reed Richards?")
Zeke: However, I understand that you are human beings or holograms and you have feelings or subroutines too. I have it on sort-of-good authority that we won't get another shortcut home for a long time, and so I am offering the choice to you. Each of you can vote for one of the two plans.
Derek: Is your vote by any chance worth five of ours?
Zeke: I think that line of discussion is counterproductive.
(Another silence, except for Kira muttering "Men?" Finally IJD speaks up.)
IJD: I know I've probably been the one on this crew most eager to get home. Which isn't saying much, because none of us seem to particularly care about it. We're all pretty blasé.
Marc: What's your point?
IJD: I'm just thinking that maybe what matters most is how we get there. If we just go home, that's it. But if we blow up the transwarp Hubble, we'll get to watch a totally awesome explosion.
(Everyone ponders that for a second.)
IJD: Maybe it's not the destination that matters. Maybe it's the detonation. And if that detonation takes a little more of our effects budget, I can't think of any distance I'd rather be from it, or any people I'd rather watch it with.
Marc: (raising his glass, moved) To the detonation.
Zeke: The detonation.
(Everyone toasts the detonation. Admiral Zeke glowers.)
(Ship's night. Admiral Zeke is staring at the warp core as Zeke walks in.)
Zeke: I know this isn't what you came back in time for. But it's going to be cool, don't you think?
Admiral Zeke: Sure. And maybe you're okay with losing Kira and Derek as the price for that. But I can't accept it.
Zeke: Hey, you've given us some warning now. I'll just keep them in the brig for the next 15 years or something.
Admiral Zeke: Still, I can't help but wonder... is that black coffee you're holding?
Zeke: Is the Space Pope a Futurama reference?
Admiral Zeke: May I?
(Zeke hands over the coffee. Admiral Zeke raises it to his lips -- and then dumps it into a device at his feet.)
Zeke: What the --?
Admiral Zeke: See you in hell, candy-boy!
(He straps the device onto his back, runs up to the warp core, and hugs it. In a huge flash of light, he disappears.)
[The Past (nud nud nud!)]
(The old guy with the banjo is strumming "Dueling Banjos." Suddenly, a huge flash of light throws off his E chord. Admiral Zeke steps into the rustic surroundings.)
Admiral Zeke: Seen a bunch of humans lately?
Banjo Man: They just left. I reckon I've seen you someplace before....
Admiral Zeke: Forget it. Can you transport me onto their ship?
Banjo Man: (shrug) Dunno why not.
Admiral Zeke: MWAHAHAHAHA!
Banjo Man: Once I'm finished this song, that is.
Admiral Zeke: Oh. Well, be quick about it. Give one of the banjos a phaser or something.
Derek: According to my analysis, Admiral Zeke used the warp core's energy to transport himself farther into the past -- all the way back to when you guys first arrived in the Delta Quadrant.
Zeke: This is no good. Who knows what damage he could do back there?
IJD: My guess is he'll try to give our past selves the same deal he gave us. We probably won't argue with him. We'd just gotten lost at that point, so we'll be more eager for a quick fix.
Kira: And you were more malleable before the ponytail, Zeke.
Zeke: But we were nowhere near the transwarp Hubble seven years ago! What way home could he be planning to offer us?
Derek: I've never told you this because it was a moot point, but the Borg knew a little more about that Array than you do. In particular, the special subspace reflectors it used to pull ships across the galaxy... could be triggered from outside. The right kind of pulse could even activate them in reverse.
Zeke: We could have gotten ourselves home the first day?
Derek: But at a cost! Without the Array's operator controlling things, you'd have blasted yourselves across the galaxy all right, but in a straight line -- and the energy released would have decimated every sector in your path!
IJD: Uh oh. Does Admiral Zeke know this?
Derek: Yes. I just told his past self.
IJD: Can I just say I hate time travel?
Kira: I don't know. Zeke's pretty messed up, but he's not a murderer. Even his future self surely wouldn't --
(Wordlessly, Derek holds out a small book marked "Admiral Zeke's Overly Secret Diary." Kira takes it.)
Kira: June 4... June 4... here we go. "Dear Diary: Yes I would."
Marc: A little convenient.
IJD: What else is new?
Zeke: (standing up) All right, there's only one thing to do. Derek, the Borg Queen is still harassing you in your dreams, right?
Derek: Every night. I think she's bored.
Zeke: Then here's how we'll play it tonight....
Borg Queen: Hello, Five of Five! Ready to betray the Five-Minute Voyager crew yet? I'll give you twenty of those tactical cubes!
Derek: The silver ones? Make it thirty and we'll talk. But right now there's someone else who wants to see you.
Zeke: (stepping out of the shadows) Howdy doo, Your Highness.
Borg Queen: What the --? What are you doing in Derek's head?
Zeke: Bridging of the Minds. IJD's getting good at it now. I'm here to offer you a deal.
Borg Queen: Ha! What could you have to offer the mighty Collective?
(Zeke mentally creates a PADD and hands it to the Queen.)
Zeke: My future self has gone back in time to send the 5MV home early. These are the sectors that will be destroyed if he succeeds.
Borg Queen: Hey! Most of these are Borg sectors!
Zeke: That's what happens when you get greedy.
Borg Queen: This is unacceptable! Only I may destroy parts of my empire!
Zeke: Want to know how to prevent it? I'll tell you. But you have to do something in return.
Borg Queen: I'm listening....
[The Past (slightly Paster than the last one)]
(A Borg drone is walking down the corridor when he hears the Queen's voice in his mind.)
Borg Queen: Five of Five. Take a Class-6 vessel to Sector 483156. I will instruct you further from there.
Derek: Well, I guess this conduit will have to wax itself.
Borg Queen: Scan for a human lifesign with an unusual quantum signature.
Derek: Found. He's on that Array. Wow, that's one cool Array. We should assimilate it or something.
Borg Queen: Fire a repulsive tractor beam at the smaller of the two ships nearby. Send it into the Array.
(Derek fires the beam. The Maquis ship starts falling towards the Array....)
[Maquis starship Millennium Falcon]
Kira: Everyone to the transporters! We can't stop this thing!
Maquis: Where are we beaming?
Kira: I made us some space on that stupid Starfleet ship. Move!
(The Maquis crew are quickly evacuated. The ship is empty for a long moment, and then....)
Admiral Zeke: Ha! I thought that banjo moron would never finish! Now to -- hey! He sent me to the wrong ship! But if I'm on the... then... NOOOOOOOO!
(Admiral Zeke leaps for the transporter controls -- and is still a few inches away when the Maquis ship explodes, taking the Array with it. History sighs with relief and resumes its established course.)
[Present; Bridge of the Five-Minute Voyager]
Derek: The Queen's ship just reappeared from the temporal vortex. Looks like she succeeded.
Kira: (staring at Zeke) You took out a contract on yourself. That actually takes cojones. I can't believe I'm saying this, but I'm impressed.
Zeke: How impressed?
Kira: Impressed enough to cancel the contract I took out on the current you.
Marc: Aw. (puts away electric hypospray)
Borg Queen: (over the comm) Well, you were right. I suppose I owe you some thanks.
Zeke: You owe us more than that. We're ready when you are.
Borg Queen: (sigh) Very well.
(The Queen fires a tractor beam at the Five-Minute Voyager and takes off into transwarp....)
(The Borg ship and the 5MV come out of a transwarp conduit. The Queen quickly pulls a U-turn and goes back in, closing the conduit after her.)
Derek: All systems normal -- and our location checks out.
IJD: We're here. We're really here. I can't believe it!
Zeke: Kira, I believe you know where to point the viewer....
(The viewscreen switches to an episode of Lost.)
Zeke: Very funny.
(The viewscreen switches again, this time showing Earth.)
Zeke: (under his breath) No thanks to you, Admiral Zeke.
(On closer inspection, the crew notice several starships approaching.)
Kira: They must have detected the conduit and prepared a reception for the Borg.
Marc: It could also be a starship convention. They have those, right?
Zeke: Not conventionally, no. Cons are usually for non-artificial beings.
Marc: So explain the holo-party I was invited to last week.
Derek: Maybe we should talk about this later. They're hailing.
Zeke: Put 'em on.
(Earth vanishes from the screen, replaced with two faces familiar to the crew from their encounters with the Pathological Project: Lieutenant Sa'arclay and his superior officer, IJD GAF's father.)
Admiral IJ2 GAF: Welcome back! We, uh, weren't expecting you.
Zeke: Thanks for not firing anyway.
Admiral IJ2 GAF: What happened? How did you get back?
Zeke: It'll all be in my fiver of the mission, sir.
Admiral IJ2 GAF: I look forward to reading it. Eventually. Now let's get you people home.
(The transmission closes. IJD turns to Zeke.)
IJD: Shall I set a course?
Zeke: Second star to the right... and straight on till morning.
IJD: I think we'd all rather go to Earth.
Zeke: Fine. Geez. I thought you of all people would appreciate that.
Kira: So this is it, huh? No more voyages?
Marc: I certainly hope so. Any more of what we've put up with over the last seven years would be virtually intolerable.
Derek: We could all use a rest.
Zeke: So be it! IJD --
Kira: We've seen now what happens when you stop procrastinating and become a man of action. Why don't you take your time giving this order?
Zeke: Hmm. Thanks, Kira. I'll be in my ready room.
(Zeke leaves. Kira takes his chair and puts on Battlestar Galactica.)