And when you’ve done that, well, heck, that’s what the Internet is for, right? I mean, something has to fill up all those web pages.
It is in this spirit that I now present a story written especially for my friends Alden and Cheryl, in celebration of their recent nuptials. They’re Star Trek fans, like me, so I thought they would appreciate this script-format story I like to call, Star Trek: Second Contact.
FADE IN: EXT. SPACE The Enterprise-E approaching Earth at high impulse speed. INT. ENTERPRISE BRIDGE The crew is at stations, PICARD, RIKER, TROI under the "horseshoe," WORF at security with DR. CRUSHER nearby, DATA at Operations. We're at Red Alert, and mood is tense. PICARD Local time, Mr. Data. DATA Ten hundred hours, thirty seven minutes, April 25th ... 1998. CRUSHER Seems like we were just here. PICARD Doctor? CRUSHER Earth ... in the past, I mean. TROI In a sense, we were. DATA If there has been further Borg damage to the timeline, this is the most likely target. RIKER But how could they have still affected our future? I thought everything went off without a hitch? Zefram Cochrane made his warp flight, and first contact with the Vulcans. DATA Apparently, a Borg nano-probe continued on back through the timestream. Although we were able to negate all of the damage done in Cochrane's era, further damage was done by the probe when it reached this era. That wiped out the results of our actions. WORF An effective back-up plan. If we hadn't been notified of the changes when we returned to our era, it might have succeeded. DATA Correct. That is why this return trip back in time was necessary. PICARD So in order to restore the timeline, we must correct whatever damage is being done by the probe here? DATA That is correct, sir. (off-panel) Sensors are detecting unusual metaphasic readings, coming from the western hemisphere -- in the old United States of America. CRUSHER That sounds about right. TROI (realizing) The wedding! DATA Precisely, Counselor. The probe has apparently zeroed in on the most significant historical event recorded on this date. PICARD Picard to Engineering, Geordi, we need more speed. INT. ENGINEERING LAFORGE is working hard on a console, and various crew people scurry around behind him. LAFORGE I'm working on it, Captain. The impulse engines are running at 105% ... but I think I can push her up to 110. I can have us in standard orbit within seven minutes. INTERCUT: PICARD That doesn't leave much time for the Away Team. LAFORGE Best I can do, Captain. We could attempt a long-range transport. DATA There is the possibility of reflecting a transporter beam off of high- frequency electromagnetic satellite already in planetary orbit. Doing so would allow us to begin the away mission within three minutes. Picard agrees with Data's plan, and stands to issue commands. PICARD Very well, Mr. Data. Number One, assemble your team in the Transporter Room. Riker stands and starts to exit. RIKER Doctor, Deanna, Worf -- let's go. Crusher, Troi, and Worf follow Riker in to a turbo-lift, and exit. Picard moves close to Data. PICARD Every ounce of speed you can muster, Data. We have to reach Earth in time. DATA It will be close, but the Away Team should have plenty of time to complete their mission. PICARD I hope so, Data. (quietly) For all of our sake. CUT TO: INT. CORRIDOR Riker, Troi, Crusher and Worf are moving briskly. Riker is issuing last-minute instructions. RIKER You all know the mission parameters. TROI "No deviation from the timeline. Avoid contact with natives from this century. Stay "on mission" at all costs." CRUSHER What's the cover story again? RIKER We are caterers at the wedding. WORF (with distaste) Caterers? RIKER Yes, Mr. Worf ... CUT TO: INT. TRANSPORTER ROOM -- CONTINUOUS RIKER Caterers! As they arrive, a team of N.D. personnel hand them white jackets and smocks, your typical catering uniform. CRUSHER Okay, this should cover up our uniforms, but what about Worf ... She turns to see Worf, who has covered his Klingon forehead with a giant, floppy chef's hat. Crusher and Troi do their best not to laugh. Worf looks distinctly unhappy. Riker is all business. RIKER Ready? They move up on to the pads. Troi stands next to Worf, still stifling a laugh at the sight of this imposing figure in a chef's hat. WORF (quietly) Not a word, Counselor. Not a word. RIKER Energize. The dematerialization effect begins, and the away team fades out. CUT TO: EXT. TEMPLE -- CONTINUOUS Riker, Troi, Crusher and Worf beam in. They've arrived in the back alley behind a Buddhist Temple, on a street in late 20th Century Earth. RIKER Counselor, come with me. Worf, you and the doctor sneak around that way, and look for the bride and groom. We need to know where they are at all times. WORF Right. RIKER And Worf? WORF Yes, Commander? RIKER Bon apetit. Worf doesn't get the cooking reference, as Crusher grabs his arm and pulls him away. Troi and Riker are all smiles as they head in the opposite direction. TROI That hat! RIKER Best the computer could come up with on short notice. TROI Do you think we've made it in time? RIKER We'll know shortly. They've arrived at the front of the temple. Several well- dressed guests are walking in through the front, signing a guest book, chatting, catching up. It's the same scene you'd see at just about any wedding. TROI (pointing) That looks like the groom's family. The groom has got to be around here somewhere. RIKER Why don't we ask? TROI A direct approach? I like it. EXT. TEMPLE ENTRANCE -- CONTINUOUS A well-dressed couple, JAMES and SANDRA BAGNALL, are greeting people as they arrive. Riker and Troi approach from behind. RIKER Excuse me, sir? JAMES Yeah? RIKER We're looking for the groom. JAMES Yeah, Alden. He's around here somewhere. If he didn't forget. SANDRA I think he's adjusting his dickey. JAMES (softly) That's not too surprising. TROI Can you point us toward his dressing room? SANDRA Sure, Sweetie, you just go inside, make a left, and have the monks take you the rest of the way. RIKER Thank you both. JAMES Huh? RIKER (a little louder) I said, thank you! JAMES Yeah, great. Riker and Troi move off. SANDRA (swatting him) Jim! (a beat) Why are there caterers here? JAMES I ain't paying for them. INT. TEMPLE ENTRANCE -- CONTINUOUS Riker and Troi move into the temple. TROI I don't believe we just met them. RIKER Certainly not the first time we've met historical figures, but you never quite get over the thrill. TROI Just think, Will, those are the great, great-grandparents of ... RIKER I know, I know. We've got to stay focused, though. We've got to get to Alden before ... A loud EXPLOSION is from the back of the temple. Riker and Troi share a look of alarm, and start running toward the source. CUT TO: INT. TEMPLE KITCHEN Smoke fills the room. Worf's white smock and chef's hat are covered with soot. He's holding a burned-out bowl and charred spoon, and it's obvious this is the source of the explosion. Crusher is waving a hand, trying to move the smoke away. CRUSHER Worf, I don't think that was supposed to happen. WORF I do not understand. CRUSHER You said you knew how to make a simple souffle, something that would make people think we really were caterers. WORF I do! I simply failed to anticipate the interaction of these primitive ingredients. CRUSHER And the source of ignition? WORF (pondering) It must have been my phaser. CRUSHER (alarmed) Your phaser? WORF To sear the crust! You don't expect me to serve raw Gah'Mack lu-Chuk? A temple monk enters the room. MONK Excuse me, why are you using these facilities? Crusher and Worf both look a bit confused. WORF We are ... caterers. MONK Yes, but there is no food being served here today. The reception is being held elsewhere. CRUSHER But we thought ... I mean ... WORF (again, with menace) We are caterers! We will cater when and where we wish! The monk backs off, moving slowly out of the room. MONK Of course. My mistake. Continue to ... cater. WORF We shall! The monk is gone, and this time, Crusher can't hold back a laugh. Worf looks at her sternly, but eventually crumbles, and the smallest Klingon smiles escapes. Troi and Riker come BURSTING in the door, and survey the scene. RIKER What happened? CRUSHER Oh, your usual kitchen accident. Worf set off a small explosion while attempting to sear the Gah'Mack lu- Chuk. RIKER Oh, really? Troi laughs. TROI Happens all the time. RIKER Any progress? CRUSHER Well, we did find out one important fact our intelligence report seemed to overlook. RIKER What's that? CRUSHER No caterers at the temple. The reception is being held at a nearby restaurant. Worf looks at the sooty mess he's become. WORF You mean, all this was unnecessary? CRUSHER Technically, yes. TROI But you do look cute in that hat. Worf growls. Riker taps his combadge. RIKER Away team to Enterprise. INTERCUT: INT. BRIDGE -- CONTINUOUS PICARD Go ahead, Commander. RIKER Bad news sir. There's no caterers at the wedding. PICARD You mean, they've been replaced? RIKER No sir, there are NO caterers. The reception is being held at a nearby restaurant. PICARD Then the damage to the timeline might be more extensive than we thought. Continue your investigation. Picard out. The away team look worriedly at each other. CRUSHER We still haven't located the bride or the groom. If it's not a terrible catering mishap that derails the time-line, then what? TROI Well, this is a wedding, right? WORF Correct. TROI Then perhaps the Borg nano-probe is somewhere else close to the bride or groom. RIKER A probe that small could lodge almost anywhere ... TROI But at a wedding, it would most likely be in ... WORF The rings! Riker grabs Worf's shoulder. RIKER We'll find the groom, and check out her ring. CRUSHER We'll track down the bride. She's got to be here somewhere. They quickly move away. INT. DRESSING ROOM -- MOMENTS LATER A nervous groom, ALDEN BAGNALL, is adjusting his tuxedo. He's alone in the room, when there is a knock at the door. ALDEN Yeah, yeah, I'm gonna marry her, just give me a minute. Worf and Riker enter, still in the catering outfits. RIKER Excuse me, Alden, is it? ALDEN Yeah, who are you? WORF We are ... caterers! ALDEN Well, thanks, but my stomach is just barely hanging in there as it is. No last second snacks for me. He looks at their outfits. ALDEN Are you guys ... you know ... Buddhists? RIKER Yes, yes we are. ALDEN Buddhist caterers? WORF (menacing) That is what we said! RIKER (quickly) And, we've come to perform a ... uh ... Buddhist Catering Ritual on your wedding ring. ALDEN My ring? You mean the one I'm giving to Cheryl? RIKER Yes, may we see it, just for a moment? Alden fumbles through a pocket in his tuxedo, and produces the ring. ALDEN 'Kay. ("Okay") He hands the ring to Worf, who holds it waist-high. Riker brings his hands up underneath his caterer smock, concealing a tricorder. It starts to hum and chirp, as Riker scans the ring. ALDEN That's the ritual? RIKER Oh, yes, the ritual. Worf? Worf is startled. WORF Yes? RIKER (smiling) Perform the ritual. WORF (through clenched teeth) I think it would be better if you did so. RIKER Oh, I insist. Worf realizes he's not getting out of this. WORF (improvising) Ring, ring ... ring of fire. Let the warriors of your house come forth. Let their blood and their honor sanctify this union. Worf is really getting in to it now, warming to the task. WORF From Kahless' Forge to your hand ... the circle of honor must never be broken ... RIKER (interrupting) I think that's enough! ALDEN I'll say! RIKER Thank you for your time. And ... good luck. ALDEN Thanks. Alden returns to preening in the mirror. Worf and Riker exit. INT. HALLWAY -- CONTINUOUS Outside Alden's dressing room, Riker quickly removes the tricorder from under his smock. WORF Well? Riker studies the readings. RIKER Six percent silver, 40 percent pewter, a good amount of aluminum and three percent zirconium. No sign of Borg technology. WORF Then that must mean it's in the other ring! CUT TO: INT. WOMEN'S DRESSING ROOM -- CONTINUOUS A bride, CHERYL IKEMIYA, is being attended to by her MOTHER. MOTHER You look so beautiful! CHERYL Mom ... MOTHER I can't help it. You truly are the world's most beautiful bride. CHERYL (sniffles a bit) We're going to be crying a lot this morning, aren't we? MOTHER (joining her in sniffles) I think so. They hug, as a knock sounds at the door. MOTHER It's not time yet! We've got another five minutes! The door squeaks open, and Troi and Crusher walk through. TROI We're sorry to disturb you, but there's an environmental health issue we need to investigate. MOTHER My daughter is getting married in just a few minutes. Can't it wait? CRUSHER We're sorry for the intrusion, it will just take a second. Crusher flips open her tricorder. CHERYL What's that? TROI It's a scanning device, to read the level of lead oxide in the room. You don't have any metals in here now, do you? CHERYL Just this ring ... She takes Alden's wedding band off of the table in front of her. Crusher's tricorder emits a new series of high-pitched warning beeps. CRUSHER Deanna! (points to tricorder face) Look at this! Troi moves to take a look. TROI Oh no ... MOTHER (concerned) What is it? TROI May we ... borrow that ring for a moment? Both Cheryl and her mother look somewhat shocked. CHERYL Um ... okay. But I need it in just a few minutes. Cheryl holds out the ring in the palm of her hand. Troi takes it quickly and throws it to the floor. TROI Now! In one move, Crusher reaches under her smock and pulls out her phaser, FIRING at the ring, the bright burst of the weapon filling the room. Cheryl and her mother SCREAM, and stagger back from the blast. Immediately, the ring emits a separate energy discharge, a bright blue streak which erupts from within. Whatever was in there has been destroyed. The ring itself remains remarkably intact. Crusher scans it again with her tricorder. CRUSHER Nothing. It's gone. CHERYL (shaken) What's gone? TROI Um ... the dangerous fume build-up we were talking about. CRUSHER You could have passed out during the ceremony! It's a good thing I had my pocket sterilization kit with me. MOTHER That ... was a pocket sterilization kit? CRUSHER Oh, sure. You'd be amazed at what they issue us for field work these days. Troi is now simply staring at Cheryl. TROI You're very lucky, you know? CHERYL (surprised) What? Crusher grabs Troi by the arm, steering her toward the door. CRUSHER Okay, time for us to go! Our work here is done. She pushes Troi out the door. CRUSHER Have a lovely wedding. MOTHER We will. And Crusher and Troi are gone, leaving the Ikemiyas to themselves. Without saying a word, they hug again. INT. CORRIDOR -- CONTINUOUS Crusher taps her combadge. CRUSHER Crusher to Riker. We've neutralized the Borg nano-probe. It had attached itself to a beryllium imperfection in the ring. RIKER'S COM VOICE Good work, Doctor, return to the Enterprise immediately. We'll see you there. Troi and Crusher look around to make sure no one is watching. TROI Are you sure we couldn't stay for the wedding? I love weddings ... Crusher gives her a look, and hits her communicator. CRUSHER Crusher to Enterprise, two to beam up ... (looking at Deanna) Now! The dematerialization effect begins, and they FADE OUT. CUT TO: INT. TEMPLE WEDDING AREA -- LATER The wedding is in progress. Cheryl and Alden are in position, exchanging rings. Alden leans close to Cheryl as he places the ring on her hand. ALDEN (softly) You know, this ring was blessed by Buddhist caterers. She puts his ring on to his hand. CHERYL Well, mine had to be cleared with the Health Department. ALDEN (somewhat worried) Huh? CHERYL We'll chat at the reception. ALDEN I hope so. He looks warily at the ring. CUT TO: INT. BRIDGE -- CONTINUOUS The main viewscreen is displaying the wedding in progress, and all of our Enterprise crewmembers are watching intently, as the ring ceremony comes to an end. WORF The transmission of this signal is coming from low-level camcorder radiation at the site. We're intercepting the data as it's being recorded on to the magnetic tape. PICARD Very good, Mr. Worf. (surveys the scene) Well, that just about does it. It seems the timeline is back on course. RIKER Data, could you show us that alternate history once again? DATA Yes, Commander. He works a few buttons on his panel, and the viewscreen changes to show a recording, very poor quality, of the same ring ceremony we have just seen. DATA This was automatically downloaded into our computers from a chronologically guarded Temporal Fluctuation Detection Matrix installed by Federation scientists working with the Guardian of Forever. TROI The Guardian of Forever? You mean that big, doughnut-shaped thing Captain Kirk and Mister Spock used to travel back to the 1930's? DATA Precisely. It now maintains a copy of the "correct" timeline in its "memory," for lack of a better term, and is designed to notify ships returning from the past if a temporal distortion has occurred. The scene being played out on the screen is much different. When Alden's ring is put on, he writhes in pain, falling to his knees. DATA As you can see, if we had not destroyed the Borg nano-probe, it would have become activated when it came in to close proximity to Alden's finger. On the recording, we can see the dreaded BORGIFICATION EFFECT starting to take place, with tubes and metallic parts shooting out of Alden's head and body. DATA His enhanced blood pressure due to the stress of become married triggered the probe in the alternate timeline. The Borg effect is now complete, and an hideous-looking ALDEN BORG is now beginning to assimilate people in the front row at the ceremony. PICARD Horrific. DATA Yes sir. According to the Guardian, had we not intervened, this Alden Borg would have begun assimilating humans in mass quantities. The Federation would never have been born. Humanity as we know it would not exist. On the screen, the Alden Borg assimilates a screaming Cheryl, then turns, and heads for James and Sandra. PICARD That's enough of the alternate history, Mr. Data. DATA Yes sir. Data presses a few buttons, and the normal starfield reappears. RIKER And all because the Borg knew enough about Earth history to target this wedding. PICARD Yes, well, as a back-up plan, it's pure, evil, Borg brilliance. If the nano-probe doesn't completely turn Alden in to a Borg, it at least disrupts the wedding, making him ill, and perhaps ruining the day. TROI A ruined wedding is a tough foundation to build a future on ... no pun intended. CRUSHER That would reverberate down through the timeline ... causing tension and mistrust. RIKER No children for Alden and Cheryl ... no grandchildren ... LAFORGE (finishing the thought) And no great-grand children! Especially not Morgan Masako Bagnall Junior! DATA Precisely. Without Morgan Masako Bagnall Junior to invent a sustained reaction intermix chamber, Zefram Cochrane would never have been able to build the first warp ship. RIKER And as we've seen ... no first warp ship, no Federation. The viewscreen returns to a real-time shot of the happy, non- Borg Alden and Cheryl leaving the temple. PICARD Well, let's set a course for home Data. Thanks to those two ... I do believe our future is secure at last. DATA Temporal calculation complete. Course plotted for home. Picard stands and takes one last look at the happy couple on his viewscreen. Riker moves to stand near him. PICARD There are times I wonder if I've made the right choices in life, Will. RIKER Sir? PICARD Look at them. Look at how happy they are. And we know what the future has in store for them ... RIKER We've had some pretty fantastic adventures on the Enterprise, sir. PICARD But none so rewarding, perhaps, as the one those two have just set off on. Riker contemplates this. PICARD Mr. Data ... engage! EXT. SPACE A temporal "hole" forms in the sky, and the Enterprise leaps forward in a sparkling pattern of a thousand rainbow colors, stretching to infinity as the ship jumps to warp. FADE OUT: THE END