Part 50: Episode 50: "The Emperor's New Backstab"Episode 50: "The Emperor's New Backstab"
Captain's Log posted:
"Find the Path."
Why do the Prophets (and their Emissary, I suppose) enjoy being so cryptic? Wouldn't it be easier to say 'we know you're going to be the one who does this, Isshan, so go do this'? I suppose that'd be less fun for them, or something.
There's only one known way to cross over to the alternate universe, which was originally via a transporter accident. The last time the other world's version of Miles O'Brien was here, he left Captain Sisko with a device that could artificially create a transporter accident. If I use it… there's no telling where I'll wind up. This little device was originally designed to let Sisko (and only Sisko) through the 'mirror'. We can work around that, but only one person can make the trip. I'll have to leave the Oza… the Calvin Hudson behind, and go alone. Everyone else seems to think this is a bad idea.
… I happen to agree, but I don't have some other, magical option to take that'd solve all our problems in one fell swoop.
"… Sir, are you sure this is a good idea?"
"No, but it's the only way. Initiate transport."
"SIR! Intruder alert, transporter room two! Sir, it's… it's you!"
"It's like looking in a…"
"No mirror jokes, please."
"Sorry, si… er, other universe sir."
"See? Even the other universe you is a better Captain than you are, Ijan."
"Ha, I've just got Tre-"
"You two can make out to your heart's content later-"
"-we have more important things to worry about."
"Like what to do with you."
"Wrong. Like what to do about the Terran Federation."
"What do you mean? We serve the-"
"Which is why you sent your Janzer to our Deep Space Nine to warn us about the Terran Federation plot? Come now, Ijan, I'm not an idiot."
"… Am I so transperant? The Klingon-Cardassian-"
"-Alliance lost. We can't stand up to the Terran Federation's technology. The Typhoon-class-"
"Is hardly invincible, if you know how to fight them."
"Mm, it would be so much easier if you'd give us the technology-"
"Hehehe, I told you he wouldn't go for it."
"Mm, I had to try."
"Molly… aren't you a Terran? Shouldn't we be-"
"Oh, relax, other universe Captain. Hehehe. I know where my loyalties lie."
"And where is that, exactly?"
"Mm, with me. Mmmm."
"… Wow, that is… unexpected. And something I really don't think I needed to see."
"… I believe you had something to propose?"
"First… I'm going to need some information. Tell me about this ship."
"The I.S.S. Caesar is the pride of the Terran Federation's fleet. It's the second ship of the new Imperial-class vessels. The Federation has been building Sovereign-class ships based on designs… uh, borrowed from your universe, but the Imperial is only loosely based on the Sovereign. We have more armor and weaponry than a comparable design from your dimension, but our top speed is greatly reduced. The Imperial-class has been constructed only at a single Bajoran shipyard currently under Federation control. They consider construction of the Imperial-class by Bajoran slaves to be an 'apology' to the Terrans on behalf of the Bajoran people. None of the armaments are built here, but the Terran Federation still has less than two-thousand warships; so they need every shipyard they can get."
"Interesting. Very interesting."
"Unfortunately, as a ship staffed by primarily nonhumans, the Terran Federation keeps a close eye on us. They have a means of dropping the ship's shields remotely, so there's no way for us to-"
"Heh, the prefix code. Of course."
"It's a safety feature in our dimension. Every ship used to have a unique prefix code enabling a friendly vessel to lower the vessel's shields remotely. It was supposed to enable emergency beam-outs in case a ship's crew were otherwise indisposed, but we've discontinued them. I'm surprised you didn't just disable the subroutines."
"… We can do that?!"
"It seems I may have something to offer you after all."
"… It seems you do. You will disable these… 'prefix codes', or-"
"You're hardly in a position to make threats, Captain. Quite the opposite, I'd say."
"We are conspiring to betray the Terran Federation. That's technically treason."
"They'd execute us for it, hehehe."
"Choice time, Ijan. Slave to the Federation, or the first to show the Cardassian people the true way to resist their oppressors."
"Ffffffff... All right. Tell me what I should do."
"Nicely done with the Captain. I didn't think anyone from the goody-goody universe would have it in them."
"… Aaaand You're still angry at me for stabbing you, aren't you."
"Got it on the first guess. And here I thought everyone in this universe was an idiot."
"Wow, I'd say you're in rare form, Ijan, but the real Ijan has never been this good. You're quite a step up from our universe's model. Say… what do I call you, anyway? I know you're not Ijan, so what do I call you?"
"I'd really like to get to know you a little better…"
"You stabbed me."
"You didn't exactly give me a lot of choice, Ijan-"
"Hhh… Captain. To be perfectly honest, I was going to sleep with you until you caught on. You're the best challenge I've had in… forever. Most Cardassians are so spineless. They can't use the bathroom without a Bajoran or Klingon to hold their hand and tell them they're doing alright. I know stabbing you probably isn't the best way to make friends in your dimension, but you're not dead… and I certainly don't have any ill will towards you. How about you and I-"
"Not even a little?"
"Not even a little."
"Oh, come on, look at me! I know how my Ijan looks at me, and there's a spark of that with you. More than a spark, before you realized I wasn't your Janzer. You can't just tell me you're not interested and expect me to walk away after seeing the passion in your eyes."
"Not. Interested. Besides, I'm going to be gone in a few days. You'll hardly be able to ride my coattails to a position of power."
"What makes you think I want to?"
"… Don't answer that. It was a really, really stupid question."
"Yes. It really was."
"Welcome to your quarters, Captain. Mm, I've been waiting for you…"
"… Uugh, this place. What are you doing here?"
"I'm the Captain's Woman, sir… and since you're the Captain now, I-"
"Do you have your own quarters?"
"… Er, yes, but…"
"Please go there. And put some clothes on."
"… Y-you're kicking me out? Am I not good enough for you?!"
"You can still be 'Captain's Woman' for Ijan, or something. I'm simply not interested."
"B-but, I… Hhh… I suppose you'd rather I send up Molly, or… or Hela?"
"No. I'd really rather you didn't."
"… I hate this universe so much."
"… Heh, we did it! We actually pulled it off!"
"You sound like you expected we'd fail."
"Well, I did have to question your sense when you turned me down…"
"Turned us down, although I didn't know you made a play for him."
"When he turned you down, I just assumed he had more refined taste in women."
"Still doesn't explain why you thought he'd go for you. My offer's still-"
"Before you leave, we could-"
"I don't want to have to say this again: I'm not interested."
"… Does that mean if I ask again you'll be more likely to say 'yes'?"
"They're just trying to get a rise out of you, Captain. If you said 'yes', they'd both back off in a heartbeat…"
"Just because I won't sleep with you doesn't mean I won't sleep with him."
"Er… s-sorry, sir."
"You all did well, especially Tre'gata."
"Thank you, sir."
"For some reason, my expectations of your performance was extremely low, but you really pulled through in the end-"
"Is this what you do in your universe after a great victory? We really ought to call yours the Boring Universe."
"That's fine by me. Yours can be the Idiot Universe. With any luck, as soon as I return our orb to the 'Boring Universe', we'll never see you idiots again."
"… B-but, you're so much better than our Captain! Can't we send him with the orb and keep you? It'd totally be worth your while…"
"Until one of you decided you could do the job better and stabs me in the neck?"
"Well, that is one of the downsides to leadership…"
"I'm going back."
"I… Captain, I know this doesn't mean anything coming from me, but… thank you. For everything."
"Huh. There may be hope for this place yet. Oh, and Ijan? You should really grow a goatee."
"I've been considering it, you really think I-"
"Of course not, you'd look like an idiot. Molly, begin transport, if you please."
"Hehehe, transport init-"
"-curity to Transporter Room Two… belay that, it's the Captain! The Captain's back, Eeeeeeeeeeee!"
"Oof, Molly! I'm glad to see you too, but please, not so tight!"
"Hehehe, it's good to have you back sir! … Wait, you're our Captain, right? Um, quick, what's-"
"It is you! Hehehehe… Oh! While you were away, we… uh, we kinda received new orders."
"Better let me tell him, Molly."
"I think I can guess, since I see Captain's pips. Am I reassigned, or are you?"
"I'm keeping the Calvin Hudson. Glin Vorlaj is… well, she was assigned to the ship, not her Captain, so she'll be staying with me. The Calvin Hudson is to complete her original mission as planned. Everyone else wants to go with you, though, and I've already ok'd it. I'm also told they'll be assigning some other officers to you."
"Tell him about the ship, tell him about the ship, tell him about the ship!"
"… Heh… yes, 'the ship'. You've been assigned to the U.S.S. Brutus, sir, as her Captain."
"I know it. Good ship, bad reputation."
"You've turned reputations around before. That's her, right there."
"… They really did assign me to a Sovereign."
"I sense great… happiness. You're that eager to be rid of me?"
"… No, sorry, I-"
"-forgive me, I'm just teasing you, Captain."
"… That seems to be happening a lot, lately. I should probably return this Orb to Bajor."
"Mmhm, and then go put the Brutus through her paces."
"… Elerena, It's been a pleasure serving with you. You've more than earned this."
"And you, sir."
Suggestions are currently open for:
a) Our new Talaxian Tactical Officer (male)
c) Our new Bajoran Engineering Officer (male)
d) Our new Photonic Science Officer (male, unalterable)