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Five-Minute "The Terratin Incident"

by Kira

Captain's Log: Starfleet has ordered us on a mission to survey a radioactive supernova. Somehow, I get the impression Starfleet doesn't like us very much.

Uhura: Captain, we're receiving a radio transmission.
Spock: The signals appear to be random, Captain.
Kirk: Are you just saying that to avoid analyzing them?
Spock: Um.... I stand corrected, it's an old code. There is a single word: T... E... R... R....
Kirk: Terratin. We all get it, Spock.
Spock: The computer does not know what the word "terratin" means.
Kirk: Are y--
Spock: I'll look it up, Captain.
Kirk: You do that.

Kirk: I've heard enough. Time to abandon our mission and investigate this mysterious signal that we know nothing about.
McCoy: But Jim! Starfleet must have had a reason for us to endanger ourselves scanning this radioactive supernova!
Kirk: And I have a reason for investigating this signal.
McCoy: Oh? What reason is that?
Kirk: I hate Starfleet.

Spock: This planet is entirely crystalline, Captain.
Kirk: And look, volcanic eruptions! Those must have been the source of the radio transmissions.
Uhura: But I thought you said that the word "terratin" occuring twice had to be more than just a coincidence.
Kirk: Yeah, I say lots of things.

Spock: Captain, I have just detected a strange pulse directed at us from the planet. Perhaps we should ensure that the ship has not incurred any damage.
Kirk: Bridge?
Sulu: Nothing abnormal yet, sir. Unless you count the freak sitting next to me.
Arex: Same here, on both counts.
Sulu: Hey!
Kirk: Engineering?
Scotty: (over the comm) Aye, cap'n, there's nothin' wrong wit' me engine. She's purrin' like a kitten.
Kirk: Well, Scotty's accent is still intact. Sickbay? How are the canaries doing?
McCoy: (over the comm) We don't use canaries anymore, Jim. We're far more sophisticated than that.
Kirk: Well, whatever you're using, is there anything out of the ordinary?
McCoy: The redshirts are still doing fine.
Kirk: And this scene is getting way too long, so let's assume everything is normal and get on with it.

Kirk: Begin your scans, Mr. Arex. And this time, no punching Sulu under the console with your third arm.
Arex: Aw.
Sulu: Um, Captain?
Kirk: Ah yes. No kicking him with your third leg, either.
Arex: Aw. Anyways, the planet appears to be --
Kirk: What the heck was that?
Spock: Our plot complication, no doubt. It was due to arrive at any moment. As is our engine tr--
Scotty: (over the comm) Sir, I can't give you warp! The engines have been completely torn apart!

Kirk: Well, Spock?
Spock: The dilithium molecules appear to have been broken by the pulse.
Kirk: That's odd. You'd think that if the pulse could break apart the hardest molecule known to exist, they'd have some sort of effect on --
Engineer: Sir! Sir! The tools! They're all getting too big for us!
Kirk: My God... the pulse! It's made all the tools bigger!
Spock: Try again, Captain.

Uhura: Captain, the entire ship seems to have expanded!
Spock: It is also possible that we are shrinking.
Kirk: GASP!
Spock: Captain?
Kirk: (tucking his shirt in) Uh... nothing. Get us out of here, Mr. Sulu, before any more shrinkage occurs.

McCoy: I hate to say this, but it looks like Spock was right -- we're shrinking.
Spock: Fascinating.
McCoy: Isn't it always. Anyways, probably in defiance of all sorts of physics I don't know, the number of atoms in our bodies is the same, just the space between the molecules is decreasing.
Spock: I find it odd that nothing else is shrinking except our uniforms.
Kirk: Yes, I find it disappointing too.
Spock: Your ability for selective hearing never ceases to amaze me.

McCoy: So, only organic material like the crew and our organic-based uniforms are shrinking.
Spock: And the pulse wound the dilithium molecules into tight spirals.
Kirk: Hm. Spirals... I've got it! The pulse must be compacting the DNA in our cells, causing us to shrink!
McCoy: But Jim, the DNA is our cells is naturally compacted. It's called chromatin. And that wouldn't have anything to do with the cells shrinking.
Spock: And didn't we just decide that it was space between atoms making us shrink?
Kirk: I'm the captain, I get to decide what's making us shrink.
Spock: But I thought I was the science officer.
Kirk: I've always thought of that as more of an honorary title.

Captain's Log: The crew is continuing to shrink at an alarming, though thankfully proportional rate. Soon we will be too small to operate the ship. I pointed out that we would be able to have fun adventures like swimming in a bowl of Cheerios, but nobody else seemed to share my enthusiasm.

Kirk: We must find where that pulse came from. Scotty -- meet me in the transporter room!
Scotty: (over the comm) You can't be serious, Captain. How do you expect to cover any ground when you're an inch tall?
Kirk: Do you want to stop all this shrinkage, or not?
Scotty: Well, I could certainly use to drop a few inches around the waist...
Kirk: Not until the movies, Scotty.
Scotty: One can never be thinking too far ahead, I always say.

Captain's Log: I'm beaming down to the planet. With any luck, I can find some friendly insect to tame and carry me in my search for the source of the pulse.

Transporter: WHOOSH
Kirk: Eureka! Kirk to Enterprise -- the shrinkage has been reversed!
Spock: (over the comm) Completely reversed?
Kirk: You'd hear my screams of agony from here if it wasn't.
Spock: Right. The wave bombardment has ceased, so it appears that all is well.
Volcanoes: BOOM!
Kirk: Spock, have I ever told you you're a real jinx?
Spock: It's a gift.

Transporter: WHOOSH
Kirk: Well, it's good to be back. ...Hello? Anyone?
(checks the bottom of his shoes)
Kirk: Phew.

Kirk: Scotty, there you are, and I doubt I'll ever say this again but boy are you tiny. Is everyone accounted for?
Scotty: Everyone but the bridge crew. They were beamed away.
Kirk: I'll bet they were taken to the miniature city I found. There's only one thing to do.
Scotty: Train all weapons on it and threaten to blast it to Hell?
Kirk: Precisely.

Kirk: Attention puny city -- I'm prepared to destroy you unless you return my crew. Well, maybe not Spock. Or Bones. Come to think of it --
Mendant: (over the comm) All right, all right, we'll give them back! We only shrunk you to get your attention so we could tell you that our planet is dying.
Spock: (over the comm) They colonized this planet many years ago, Captain. Their colony was believed to be lost, but in fact they were merely shrunk.
Kirk: Pity Earth never found out. We could've had a good laugh.

Spock: Captain, the transporter has returned the crew to normal size and we have replenished our dilithium.
Kirk: And the Terratins?
Spock: Their city has been beamed aboard. We can relocate them on a nearby planet that will be more suitable.
Kirk: Good, good. And it sure is nice to be back to normal size again.
Uhura: It sure would have been terrible if we had remained that small.
Kirk: Please, Uhura. What do women know about shrinkage?
(The Enterprise warps off at Ludicrous Speed)


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This fiver was originally published on April 24, 2004.

DISCLAIMER: A lot of stuff in here is copyrighted by Paramount Pictures. My intent isn't to infringe on that; I and those like me are just having a little fun in the universe Gene Roddenberry created. I don't think he'd mind.

All material © 2004, Carolyn Paterson.