Episode 67

Star Trek: Phoenix-X
The Deterioration

Commander Seifer takes a seat in the Captain’s chair. The ship is speeding at maximum warp, on a mission of mercy.
Seifer: “How’s that E.T.A. coming along?”
RaeLuna: “It is coming alone fine. We should be at the Black Ant Home-world in almost no time.”
Seifer: “Excellent. The Red Ant invasion will be thwarted most swiftly.”
RaeLuna: “I find the thought of giant bugs disgusting!”
Seifer: “Hmm. You’re right. Let’s change course for Risa the Vacation Planet, instead.”

The Phoenix-X turns in space. Meanwhile, on the Black Ant Home-world fear and famine strike at dangerous levels.
Ant-Lieutenant: “General! Our supplies have run out, and the giant crumb rations are turning stale!!”
Ant-General: “Dammit!! Here come the Red Ants now!”
Rocket-strapped giant-ant’s fly in from space and begin their attack. Meanwhile, an enormous can approaches the planet in space and sprays it with bug-spray.

The Commander looks at the view-screen, worried.
Seifer: “That bug species should be okay right?”
RaeLuna “They’re troopers.”
Seifer: “I didn’t want to singe the Phoenix-X anyway. This ship is too perfect to get dirty.”
RaeLuna: “It is a very good ship.”
Seifer: “Yes it is, isn’t it?”
RaeLuna: “It has the ability to function properly.”
Seifer: “Ahh yes... an ability no Starship should be without.”

Back on Utopia Planitia, the Starship-constructing facility...
Warren: “Sir, let me introduce you to the new Rhondo Class ship!”
Pegsly: “What the hell? You were supposed to make a Starship that works.”
Warren: “Oops. I guess it’s back to the drawing board.”
Manufacturing Teams begin tearing the ship apart.

Amp transfers his holographic-self to a lower deck on the Phoenix-X, and approaches Holodeck 3. Just then, Ensign Dan steps out.
Ensign Dan: “Sorry, but I’m still using this Holodeck.”
Amp: “But I’m scheduled for it right now.”
Ensign Dan: “You have no merit here. You’re a Hologram! ...In fact, you’re a Computer Virus manifesting itself as a Hologram.”
Amp: “Just because I’m different, doesn’t mean you can discriminate on me.”
Ensign Dan: “Discrimination only applies to organic beings. For your kind, it’s called disk-cleanup!”
Amp: “Huh!? How dare you?? Sir. I’m going to have to ask you to leave...”
Ensign Dan: “You can’t tell me what to--”
Amp: “You’re relieved!”
Ensign Dan walks away, grumbling.

The Lieutenant enters the Holodeck to find a Dungeons and Dragons game going on, but the Dragons are all wearing pink dresses.
Amp: “Umm, okkaayy...”
He deactivates it, and brings up his own program. It’s a living room of a house on Earth. There, he intends on creating his own family.
Amp: “Computer, please create me a wife.”
#Computer: “Specify gender.”
Amp: “Uhh, female.”
Just then, a female wife appears in front of him of a Nicole Richie likeness.
Amp: “Someone more good-looking.”
The Computer alters her appearance, and she then looks just like Angelina Jolie.
Amp: “Now create me a son and a daughter.”
Then a son appears, at age 12 and a daughter appears, at age 17.
Amp: “Perfect! With these holograms I can simulate what it would be like to have a family of my own. Being a sentient Virus Hologram, I had never experienced a life under normal circumstances. Well there was that one time with the Borg, and that Queen acting like she was my mother... but that was it.”

Captain Cell sits at his desk in the Ready Room, staring at the doors blankly.
#Computer: “You’ve got visitor.”
Cell: “Come in.”
Kugo, enters: “Hey.”
Cell: “I really have to get that door-bell back.”
Kugo: “Crewman Finnegan apologizes again for the relentless pranking. He said it was in his blood.”
Cell: “Oh well. Let’s see what’s on the Federation News.”
He turns to his desk laptop and activates the view-screen. On it, a female reporter addresses the audience.
>Tracy: “...And yet another threat to the Federation forces the entire left Fleet to be recalled for battle. This time, giant Blobs have it in for our insignificant little blue planet. As you know, at every suspenseful space battle there is only one ship that comes out a hero, out-smarting all the rest! Today we recognize the U.S.S. Enterprise.”
A quick montage of the ship flying through space and in fire-fights plays with heroic music. The Captain shuts off the view-screen and turns away.
Cell: “Oh man. Not another threat to the Federation?? I just wish we could do something about all that’s going on, but Section 31’s afraid we’ll use our secret weapons and be found out!”
Kugo: “I had a brother in Section 31... but he never returned my phone-calls. Now I curse the organization to hell’s inferno.”

Doctor Lox enters the Tech Room, where Omega is busy installing a new technology into the ship.
Lox: “Hey Omega, what’s up?”
Omega: “I am testing out the new Surveillance Technology given to us by the Kes.”
They both glance on the view-screen showing an angle on a guy in his quarters cutting his toe-nails.
>Kortos: “Oh man. These have gotten so long, there are tears in my boots!”
Lox: “Whoa. It sees everything!!”
On another view, an attractive woman is about to unclothe and step into the shower, but suddenly gets a knock at her door.
>Elly: “Yes?”
>GoyCho: “Hey, wanna go solve mysteries?”
>Elly: “Sure!”
They both run out. Lox stops watching and turns to Omega.
Lox: “This will improve security 300-percent... and all thanks to yet another alien technology that got incorporated into the Phoenix-X.”
Omega: “It is almost like the ship is a pieced-together Frankenstein monster.”

Suddenly, all the lights and power throughout the Phoenix-X fluxuate; blinking on and then off several times. Back-up Systems attempt to recover lost data, but also weaken in strength.

Captain Cell is watching the events on the News just as this happens.
>Tracy: “We are now witnessing the events Live and on the field. Here we see the giant Blobs annihilating the U.S.S. Rhondo-A........ and now the giant Blob is approaching Earth unhindered---”
The screen blinks off as with the flickering lights in the room.
Cell: “What the--?? I wanted to see what happens next.”

The Captain runs out onto the Bridge. There he finds the crew working frantically to find out what has been going on.
RaeLuna: “I..... I just don’t get it!”
Seifer: “Wait a minute... you never took Starfleet Academy, did you?”
RaeLuna: “Yes, that’s right. You’ve found me out, but all too late I’m sure! Hahahaha!!!”
She runs and jumps into the Turbolift in quick escape.

But nothing happens, forcing her to stand up.
RaeLuna: “Uhhh, please take me to Deck 8.”
The Computer acknowledges and closes the doors.

Meanwhile, the Captain approaches Seifer.
Cell: “What’s going on?”
Seifer: “Systems from all over the Phoenix-X have begun failing for some odd reason.”
Cell: “It wasn’t the bean and burrito contest again? You know how the stench affected the computers last time.”
Seifer: “No, sir. It appears the ship is losing coherence on its own.”
Cell: “Well, then perhaps we’ve got a few gremlins on board. Eh, Commander?”
Seifer: “Captain, that’s not a good thing.”
Cell: “Ah yes, furry little gremlins. The idea deserves a nice little chuckle, if I do say so myself. Heh, heh... heh. Well something like that.”

Lieutenant Amp enters his holographic house after a long day’s work. He puts his hat and suitcase down.
Amp: “Honey, I’m home!”
Jolene: “I cook and clean all day and get no appreciation for it!”
Amp: “Perfect. You’re creating conflict, just as I hoped for. --Err, honey, but I do apprecia....”
He looks at her and notices that she blinks on and then off again. When she comes back on, her lower body takes on the form of a serpent.
Amp: “...yyeaa!! What the heck??”
His son runs over, having taken on the Klingon culture into his life, but the defective computer has stripped half of his head to reveal skull-features. His daughter, who was fatally sick, returns in ghost form.
Amp: “You two aren’t normal.”

#Computer: “Incoming transmission for Lieutenant Amp.”
Amp goes over to the view-screen and accepts it.
>EMH: “Greetings. I am the Doctor formerly from the U.S.S. Voyager.”
Amp: “Hey!”
>EMH: “Rumour has it, that you’ve created your own holographic family.”
Amp: “Yeah, I wanted to explore my simulated humanity.”
>EMH: “Well it’s been done! I’m de-activating your program remotely.”
The on-screen EMH presses a button which harshly destroys Amp’s already deteriorating program.
Amp: “What the-???”
>EMH: “Next time, pursue something we writers call ‘originality’!”

The Captain takes a seat at the Bridge of the Phoenix-X.
Cell: “All this Captaining... it’s so stressful at times!”
Seifer: “Are you okay, sir?”
Cell: “Sometimes I just ask myself... why am I doing all this? Aren’t I a Changeling? A Changeling with Omni powers??”
He goes into deep emotional thought and then stands from his seat.
Cell: “--Commander, set course for the Blob Attacks. We’re not going to stand idly by while an enemy destroys one of the Federation’s founding members!!!”
Commander Seifer goes to the Helm and attempts to activate thrusters.
Seifer: “Uhh, sir. The Helm controls have burnt out... along with all the other Bridge controls.”
Cell: “How are the weapon systems?”
Seifer: “They’ve practically vapourized themselves to avoid the pain of breaking down.”
Cell: “Ah, those Blobs’ll probably do Earth some good.”

Later, the Senior Staff all meet up in the Briefing Room to address this perilous issue.
Lox: “Alright, everyone. We’ve got a problem here that we now can solve without the negative attitude of RaeLuna.”
RaeLuna, enters: “Hey guys, sorry I was late. The Shuttles weren’t working, so I came back.”
Cell: “These computer glitches have got to be caused by an alien influence of some sort.”
Amp: “Yeah; or a Romulan Virus... I hope it’s that, so we can deal with Romulans again.”
Seifer: “Well there’s only one way to find out, and that’s this Wheel of Peril sitting in the middle of the table.”
He gets up and spins the Wheel of Peril. The needle passes peril after peril, closing in on... Borg, then Dominion, then Random Ominous Energy Beings, then finally landing on Wild Card.
Seifer: “Oh man! I hate it when we get that.”
Lieutenant Commander Kugo immediately slams her fists on the desk and gets up.
Kugo: “You idiots! It’s not an alien attack. The Phoenix-X just needs a refit!”
Cell: “Huh? Didn’t we get one at the Engine Apex Center?”
Kugo: “That was just for the engines! We haven’t gotten an actual full Starship Tune-up since we launched 8-years ago.”
Seifer: “Whoa. That’s quite a long time to go without a refit. Our lack of Standard Refits have catapulted us years closer to one of a Major status.”
Kugo: “Not only that, but because we have so many alien technologies incorporated into the Phoenix-X, we aren’t able to have proper servicing at any Federation Starbase or Shipyard.”
Cell: “I don’t want to hear all this mumbo-jumbo! Are you a Mexi-can, or a Mexi-can’t??”
Kugo: “Neither.”
Cell: “Well then.”

The crew is quickly dismissed and put to work on the Phoenix-X. Amp, Kugo, and Seifer meet Omega at the back of the Bridge.
Omega: “What is our plan of action?”
Seifer: “We could hammer the bulkheads and hope for the best?”
Kugo: “Umm. I’ll get started on re-structuring the transwarp-coils.”
Seifer: “Ah, Transwarp. One of the plusses of being the most top-secret Starship in the Federation.”

Elsewhere, on the U.S.S. Titan...
Riker: “Hey it says here, that the Phoenix-X is some kind of top-secret Federation Starship.”
Akaar: “Who cares.”

Lieutenant Amp enters the Turbolift where the Chef, Kortos, is waiting for his next stop.
Amp: “Hey Kortos, how’s it going?”
Kortos: “Not so great. I was cooking live Targ when a surge blew my barbeque. Now there’s Targ all over the Kitchen!”
Amp: “You’re still going to eat it, aren’t you?”
Kortos: “Oh of course. But it’s the principle that counts.”
He suddenly notices that Amp is flickering on and off.
Kortos: “You seem to be... flickering.”
Amp: “Ahh! What’s happening?”
Kortos: “I do not know, but it can’t be worse than Targ bladder in your face!”

Captain Cell enters his Ready Room, where he finds Omega trying to get his laptop working again.
Omega: “I was built with weapons all over my exoskeleton so that I may destroy entire worlds myself; and now I am reduced to fixing a laptop.”
Cell: “Ah, Omega. I’m sorry for making you do that. I promise, as soon as the Phoenix-X is working again, you can re-apply the stucco to the Phoenix-X bulkheads.”
The Android presses a button on the laptop, but it fails to work.
Omega: “The device appears to be malfunctioned.”
Cell: “Oh.”
He looks down in disappointment.
Cell: “I’m just going to... sit around here for a while.”

Meanwhile, Commander Seifer takes a seat on the Bridge.
Seifer: “Bridge to Engineering, how is the rebuild going?”
#Kugo: “Not good, sir. The plasma coils aren’t coiling, and the secondary units are uniting!”
Seifer: “Damn. There has to be another way to go about this.”
RaeLuna: “What other way is there? Refitting at a Shipyard will blow our cover; and asking Q to fix it all will just make us vulnerable to continuous ridicule.”
Seifer: “You’re right! If we go anywhere, people are going to find out about the Phoenix-X’s truths. We can’t allow that. You remember what happened last time?”

Last time...
Seifer: “Oh no! Everyone knows about us!”
Cell: “Goddammit! Now where’s that temporal reset button?”

Lox: “As I recall... There was so much time-traveling, that the Eugenics Wars happened on Mars instead of Earth; and these things called Stargates replaced Warp drives!!”
Seifer: “Well, it was bad.”
He then gets an idea.
Seifer: “Hey! We’ll use the non-time-traveling computer this time.”
RaeLuna: “Computer, do you have a working console anywhere?”
#Computer: “Workstation 3-Beta-Pie.”
The Commander looks to his left, where an arm-stretched view-screen is sitting by chance.
Seifer: “What the-?? It says here that there’s a station in Cardassian Territory where the Phoenix-X was built.”
Lox: “Our ship wasn’t even built in Federation space?”
Seifer: “I guess the shame was too high.”
Lox: “We should try to reconnect with that shame.”
Seifer: “Amp, set a course for Cardassian Territory!”
Amp goes to take a seat at the Helm, but he disappears in malfunction.
Seifer: “Well that’s the end of him. I guess I’ll take over.”
The Commander takes the Helm and rotates the Phoenix-X around. The ship jumps to Transwarp.

Meanwhile, Amp finds himself transferred to Engineering.
Kugo: “Your holo-structure seems to be resetting to some of your previous locations on the ship.”
Amp: “Is there anything you can do to help me?”
Kugo: “Not really. I must concentrate on fixing the Phoenix-X.”
She turns to a control panel and resumes tapping at it. But something she presses causes the Phoenix-X to drop out of Transwarp.
Amp: “Fine then! I don’t need you. --I don’t need anybody. I’m hittin’ the road, man! I never needed this crap, man! I’m outta here, man! Hasta-la-vista, man! How they say in foreign lang? ...Sio-narah, man!”
Lieutenant Commander Kugo turns around, just as Amp leaves Engineering.
Kugo: “Okay I stopped the ship. Now I’m ready to fix you without the ionic interference................ Amp? Where’d you go?”

Captain Cell wanders the corridors of the Phoenix-X, detached and indifferent.
Cell: “Captain’s Log; Stardate 59132-point-6. The ship... Dropped out of Transwarp? Have I the most uncoordinated crew in the whole of Starfleet? Do we lack the type of communication needed to function above a graduate level?”
Just then, a giant green Blob, the size of a person, slams into the side of the Phoenix-X and seeps its way through the hull. It reforms into Blob-esque shape before Cell.
Blob: “Greetings Earthling. I am Blognor. But to outsiders I am called Blob.”
Cell: “Eeuu. Am I hallucinating?”
Blob: “Not this time. We intend on destroying your precious Federation!”
Cell: “Why?”
Blob: “Because! --It’s just a thing... we do. Now prepare battle!”

As that is going, Doctor Lox is strolling the corridors, looking for wrongs to right. He suddenly sees the Captain, battling the green Blob creature in the distance.

Lox: “What the--?? Captain!”
He runs over, just as Cell is knocked back by the Blob. Cell is panting, out of breath from the fight.
Cell: “Can’t...... defeat....... blob.... Have become...... too... weak.......”
Lox: “That’s just your inner-Ensgin talking; you’re a Captain now. Hurt that unknown life-form again!”
Cell: “No. I’m at a loss for strength, exactly as the Phoenix-X has become inoperative.”
Lox: “But, sir; just because the ship has become weak, doesn’t mean you have! You’re not your ship sir! Listen to these words I speak!”
Cell: “Could you be right?”
Lox: “Yes!”
Blob: “.......................Blognor feel your pain. I too have once felt emotion during the invasion of Hirogen 5. Let’s just say, the said species was never a masculinesque race to start with.”
The Blob stands down, and jumps through the wall once more. It seeps its way out through the ship, back into space, never to be seen again.

Lieutenant Amp stumbles into scene, dramatic and over-acted.
Amp: “...and all these woes shall serve for sweet discourses in our time to come. Dry sorrow drinks our blood. Adieu, adieu!”
Cell: “Umm.”
Amp: “--Oh; there’s people here. ...But I really am beginning to decompile. Honest, mister.”
Lox: “If you were organic, I’d heal you in a second.”
Cell: “Maybe we can back-up his program somewhere.”
Lox: “Where? The only other place I know is that mobile-emitter the Voyager EMH let us borrow; and we lost that to the Borg last week.”
Cell: “Shh! You will never speak of that again.”

The three of them make their way to the Tech Lab, where old projects are forgotten due to laziness or lack of high-tech knowledge. On a corner table, they find a device labeled Particle-Matrix Technology.
Zoe, pale and shaking: “Can’t leave lab until something’s complete. Can’t leave lab until something’s complete.”
Cell: “Ensign, you need to see a Doctor!”
Zoe: “I can’t leave the lab sir. Everything here is still broken!”
Lox: “I’ll handle this case, Captain. I’m a Doctor; and a damn average one at that.”
Cell: “Very well.”

The Captain and Amp go over to the Particle-Matrix Technology.
Amp: “I thought the Descenites threw this technology out their atmosphere, a-la Superman when he tossed the giant mirror off of Earth?”
Cell: “Yeah, but who do you think caught it? Us. We’re the ship that takes on any technology, dangerous or destructive!”
Amp: “I’m just going to leave now...”
Cell: “No! I have no reservations risking your program for this.”
Amp: “Well that’s just great.”
Cell: “Because I think I can figure this out.”
He taps a few buttons on it. The device starts to light up, and spin. The two of them look at it, curiously as it interlinks quickly with the Phoenix-X computer. Amp is suddenly hit with nano-like particles that wrap around his body and transfer his program to it. Lieutenant Amp suddenly becomes independent of the computer.
Cell: “Now go! Pilot the ship my pretty! As that is your position!”
Amp: “Yes, sir, Mr. Wonka!”
Cell: “It’s Cell.”
Amp: “Oh right.”

The Phoenix-X jumps to Warp, crossing the Cardassian boarder almost too late. The ship’s hull begins to tear apart in turbulence and instability. Pieces of hull fling out of Warp, trailing all throughout normal space.

Amp runs onto the Bridge, leaping into his Helm seat. He attempts to stabilize the ship as they near the coordinates and drop out of Warp.

Seifer: “Eeeaaaa!”
The full stop drifts the ship off-angle, aside a large McKinly-like Station... only it’s name is Teketekon Station; the most unknown station not known by anyone anywhere at almost anytime.
RaeLuna: “We did it... we’re here.”
Cell: “We’ve finally returned to the Alpha Quadrant after seven years...”
Seifer: “Umm, that’s some other ship. We’ve made it to Teketekon Station, where the Phoenix-X was built during the Bajoran Occupation.”
Just then, the screen clicks on to a view of a Cardassian.
>Durane: “Obbb, oh my! We ever expected you to arrive here.”
Cell: “I’m Captain James T. Cell of the Federation Starship Voyager.”
Seifer: “No you’re not!”
>Durane: “I’m Agent Durane, of the Obsidian Order.”
Cell: “The Order? I thought it was destroyed long ago.”
>Durane: “Ah, a long and slow deterioration of state. But some of us have begun rebuilding, here on this repair station. Here is where the Order will begin again!”
Seifer: “What happened to all the Starfleet Technicians?”
>Durane: “They agreed to work with us.”
>Larry: “Hi. Well, we thought it was so freakin’ boring alone out here anyway. If ya can’t beat ‘em, ya might as well join ‘em.”
Seifer: “But don’t you work for Section 31?”
>Larry: “They allowed a collaboration.”
Cell: “You all should be ashamed of yourselves!”
Seifer: “Teketekon Station, I implore you; we require a major refit.”
>Durane: “Well... we’re going to have to check with our schedule...”
He looks at a padd, detailing the last starship to be here. On it, it says - ‘Phoenix-X; 2374, Launched.’
>Durane: “Yup. We’ve just got an opening.”
Cell: “Excellent. The Phoenix-X will dock shortly.”
>Durane: “Teketekon out.”

The screen clicks off, and the Phoenix-X bursts oxygen out into space in order to shift them over to the station properly. Teams get to work on servicing the ship, and replacing parts. Most of the Alien technologies are given strict attention.

In a Science Lab on the Station, Lieutenant Amp is re-transferred to the main-computer system. Holo-emitters throughout the place give him his old structure back, including a few extra arms.
Kugo: “Any longer in that state you were in, and you may have dispersed into nothingness.”
Amp: “I guess Particle-Matrix Technology has a long way to go... And it just occurred to me; couldn’t I have transferred myself to our local android, Omega??”
Omega: “Omega detests such a proceeding. The last time such was done, I was.... ugh, dancing the Irish jig.”
Amp: “Ohhh yeah.”
He glances over at them.
Amp: “Thanks guys.”
Kugo: “No problem, Amp.”

Captain Cell takes up an Office on the Station. Un-associating his personal feelings with state, he is finally able to watch the Federation News again. A planet-sized Blob encompassing Earth finally pulls off and returns to deep space with the others. All is right in the galaxy again, and nothing bad ever happens from that day forward.