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--------------------- begin transmission -------------------------------

"Leaptrek" MiSTified

By Chris Street.

Part 1

[Crow and Tom are going over a pile of paper together. They are apparantly
brainstorming for something.]

Crow: And so, Professor Coldheart reveals his devastating plot to rid the
      world of caring...
Tom: Assisted by Marrissa Picard of the Starship Enterprise's Kid's Crew!
Crow: Yeah! Meanwhile, Frodo Baggins is carrying the One Ring to the Land
      of Dairy Queen...
Tom: But he takes a wrong turn at Albuquerque...

[Mike arrives carrying his morning cup of coffee.]

Mike: Hey, guys! What'cha doing?
Tom: You know, Mike, over the past few years, we've read some painful, painful
Crow: "The Rangers of NIMH", "Jammers", "Enterprized"...
Tom: To name only a very few. Anyway, we thought to ourselves, "Selves,
     what's the best way to get rid of all of this pain we're carrying
Crow: And what we came up with, was to write the very worst fanfic that ever

[Startled, Mike spills his coffee.]

Mike: That's gonna stain. Good thing I've got a million of these jumpsuits.
Crow: *That* will let us unleash the pain. Why, I can imagine all of the
      nasty things that will happen to Marrissa Picard!
Tom: So, once we've had the bad guys reveal everything, we'll have, um...
Crow: Inspector Gadget!
Tom: Yeah!! Assisted by the Rescue Rangers, with their new addition,
     Jonathan Brisby's great-grandson!
Crow: I can see it all now... "Go-Go Magic Amulet!"
Tom: But Professor Coldheart just laughs, points a finger at them, and a
     freeze ray shoots out and locks them all in a block of ice, forever!
Crow: *Yeah!*
Mike: You're killing off the good guys?
Tom: No, we're killing off *everybody* that's caused us so much pain!
Crow: We're saving Marrissa for the climatic scene, where she's fried by the
      X-Men, flayed by a chainsaw-wielding maniac, strangled by the ghost of
      William McKinley, and nuked by the entire Federation fleet, who finally
      realize what a traitor and idiot she is.
Magic Voice: Commercial sign in 5... 4... 3...
Mike: OK, guys, we've got commercial sign here.
Magic Voice: Commercial sign now.

[Commercial sign. I've cut out the boring stuff for you.]

[Crow and Tom are arguing]

Tom: But, I don't know, Crow, I kinda *liked* "Quantum Leap"!
Crow: Pshaw, as if! I say Mulder and Scully investigate Sam's "activities",
      and find themselves at Coldheart Castle, where they find him, having
      leapt into Professor Coldheart! Not knowing what to do, he presses
      random buttons, and the whole castle explodes, ridding the world of
      "Quantum Leap" and "The X-Files" once and for all!
Tom: That's a terrible, convoluted plot!
Crow: Good, it'll fit in the fanfic!
Tom: Well, I say we kill off the cast of *Friends*!
Crow: Now, wait a minute, Servo, I happen to *like* that show!
Tom: You *would*!
Crow: Oh, you...

[He lunges for Tom, but Mike intervenes.]

Mike: Bots! I'm ashamed of you! This fanfic thing has torn you apart!
Tom: Crow was going to kill off Bob Saget!
Mike: Why, you little...

[Mike and Tom go for Crow, but luckily for him, the Mads light flashes on.]

Mike: Oh, wait. Mr. and Mrs. Mitty are calling.

[Deep 13]

Dr. F: Hello, my fond little space guinea pigs. I see there's discord among
       the ranks. Good. It's only a matter of time until you finally snap.
Pearl: [off-screen] Clayton? Who are you talking to?
Dr. F: Just Mike and the 'bots, Mother.
Pearl: Could you tell them I said "hi"?
Dr. F: Mother said "hi". Anyway, Mike, I hear your, er... friends are writing
       a fanfic. Bravo zulu and more power to them. Maybe when they finish
       it, they could send it to me, and I could send it to you, hmm?


Crow: Not on your life.

[Deep 13]

Dr. F: I didn't think so, but I can't say that I care, either. I've got
       *plenty* of material to keep you guys busy for a long, long time.
Pearl: [off-screen] Are you going to tell them about today's experiment?
Dr. F: Yes, mother! Today's experiment is pretty painful. Servo, you're a
       "Quantum Leap" fan?


Tom: Not really...

[Deep 13]

Dr. F: This fanfic will be especially painful then. It's a crossover...


[Everybody gasps]

[Deep 13]

Dr. F: ...and it's "Star Trek: The Next Generation" meets the aforementioned
        "Quantum Leap".


[Everybody boggles]

[Deep 13]

Dr. F: What's worse, the Enterprise goes back in time through an anomaly to
       the year 1995 - so don't expect much Trekkish action.


[Everybody is stunned, shaking their heads mournfully]

Crow: Oh, I'm just gonna die...

[Deep 13]

Dr. F: That's the spirit! It's called "Leap Trek", and it's so bad you'll
       want to go trekking on your own... with a leap out the airlock,
       perhaps. Enjoy; I'll see you on the other side!

[Dr. Forrester sends them the fanfic. Buzzers and klaxons sound, and the
 usual lights flash, etcetera, etcetera.]



[Mike and the 'bots enter the theater in their respective manners. The fanfic

> Return-Path: krk1@pyuxe.uucp

Crow: Oh, a return path, good! We can send it back!

> Path: bridge2!mips!swrinde!!uunet!walter!porthos!pyuxe!krk1
> From: krk1@pyuxe.uucp (24220s-knights)
> Newsgroups: alt.startrek.creative
> Subject: LEAPTREK - PART I
> Keywords: Story in 4 parts

Mike: You mean "story in 4 *pieces*".

> Message-ID: <>
> Date: 8 Jun 92 15:46:27 GMT
> Sender: (USENET System Software)
> Organization: Bellcore, Livingston, NJ

Crow: New Jersey? Nah, too easy.

> Lines: 529
> Katriena Knights
> It was cold, and fire, and electricity;

Tom: It was the best of times; it was the worst of times.

>                                         it was
> pain and a suffocating sensation that drained
> him down to the bones he could no longer feel.

Crow: It was a Gallagher show.

> And, since this misbegotten experiment with time had begun, 
> it had never lasted so long.

Mike: It was an experiment with time that began, and *seemed* to last
      long, but it had really never lasted so long as some unknown comparison
      point that the author is so kind as to conceal from us.
Tom: What?

>                               He saw glimpses, snatches
> of reality, or thought he did, but it was like drowning, 
> struggling for the surface, seeing the open sky 
> while water filled up your lungs . . .

Crow: Now, this, class, is obviously a metaphor for the author.
Tom: Kind of like a muffled cry for help.

> Then it was gone, and Sam Beckett was _there_ -- 
> the only way he knew to describe the certainty of 
> the end of the leap.  He was _there_, ensconced 
> in someone else's reality.  

Mike: Hey! Get out of my reality!

> This time he was in a large, padded chair,
> fingers dug deep into the arms.

Tom: Oh, no! He's a hideous mutant!

>                                    His attention went first to himself --

Crow: [sarcasm sequencer] Oh, always thinking of *ourselves*, aren't we?

> to his heart that felt like it might implode if it contracted upon
> itself any harder, to his breathing which came far too fast -- 
> capturing control of himself before looking where he had leaped.

Mike: So, he's like about to explode or something?

> He looked up then, to see.  

All: What?!

> He was surrounded by people at instrument panels,
> and in front of them a wide screen showed a swath of stars and 
> whorls of strange color.

Tom: Oh! He's on the "Yellow Submarine".

>                           Then the world tipped out from
> under them all

Tom: Well, *that's* not good.

>                and Sam was dumped unceremoniously to the floor.
> The edge of the chair's arm made painful contact with his temple.

Mike: But thankfully missed his pagoda.
Tom: Punnery of that caliber is off-limits.

> "Red alert!" a voice shouted.

Crow: DUH, couldn't be, could it?

> "Oh, boy," Sam mumbled, and blacked out.

Mike: Oh, golly gee, what delightful tangle have I got myself into *now*?

>              *****

Crow:  Must be some of the stars she mentioned earlier.
Tom: Ahh! What a nice decorative touch!

> "Damage report."  The same voice, in its commanding tone.  

Tom: Damage report, sir: we seem to have lost the rest of that last sentence.

> A hand closed on Sam's arm and the voice continued, gentler,
> "Captain, are you all right?"
> Sam looked up.  Apparently he had only blacked out for a moment.  
> His head felt fairly clear, other than the usual leap-induced muzziness.  

Mike: Muzziness?

> The hand on his arm was attached to a dark-haired, bearded man about
> Sam's age, perhaps a little younger.  

Tom: It was, unfortunately, "attached" backwards.
Mike: Muzziness?!

> The man wore a red and black uniform, and his grey-blue
> eyes held genuine concern.

Mike: Anybody want to make a guess as to who Ms. Knights' favorite
      Star Trek: TNG character is?

> "Captain?" he said again.
> "Yeah, yeah, I'm fine," Sam mumbled.  He brushed himself off.
> The other man helped him get up and back into the chair.  

Tom: And proceeded to read him a bedtime story.

> Sam was also uniformed in red and black.

Crow: ... and green!
Mike: ... and purple!

> All around him, voices were coming out of the air,

Tom: Oh, don't worry. Those are only the banshees and ghouls again,

> reporting minor damage and minor injuries.  

Mike: *Major* damages and *major* injuries they kept to themselves.

> Behind it all was a wail of claxons.

Tom: Oh, you can't have *a* wail of klaxons. You can have *the* wail of klaxons,
     or *a wall* of klaxons.
Crow: Suffice it to say that there *were* klaxons.

>                                       "What was that, anyway?"
> Sam asked no one in particular.
> "I have no answer as of yet, sir."  

Crow: [Alex Trebek] Oh, sorry. But we've got some nice consolation prizes
      for you...

> The voice came from a gold-clad person seated ahead of Sam and to his left.
> The man turned then, to face Sam.  
> "It appears to have been an aftershock created by an anomaly in our
> quadrant combined with the gravitational forces of our 
> return from warp drive."

Mike: Ah, the techo-babble.
Tom: Staple of any good... er, *bad* Star Trek fanfic.
Crow: Say that again, soldier, I almost understood it.

> Sam missed most of the words.  
> The man speaking to him had the flesh tones of a man 
> three days dead, and his eyes were yellow.

Crow: Rigor mortis had set in, and his morbid stench filled the bridge with
      a frightfully putrid odor.

> "Um . . . I see.  Well.  
> Continue to investigate and . . . let me know what you find out."
> "Affirmative, sir."  The man turned back to face front.
> _What the hell was that?_ Sam thought.  
> _And where the hell am I?_  "And where the hell is Al?" he mumbled.

Crow: And why the hell can't I stop using the word "hell"?

> "I'm sorry, Captain?"  The man with the beard again, 
> leaning toward him expectantly.

Tom: ... did not bother to complete the sentence.

> "Nothing.  Um . . . how much damage have we sustained?"

Crow: *We* haven't sustained any yet, but the plot's quickly slowing to a

> "Surprisingly minor.  Nothing that will keep us from
> continuing on our course to Earth."
> "To Earth.  Yes, right, to Earth."  

Mike: To Oz?
The Bots: To Oz!

> Sam realized then that the strange, wide ribbons of
> color on the screen

Mike: Uh, they're called "test patterns", Sam.

>                     ahead of him had disappeared, leaving only a
> wide starfield.  This is a movie, he thought.  
> I've leaped into an actor, and 
> we're filming a movie.

Tom: His wishful thinking was drowned out by "a wail of claxons".

>                         "Well, then.  Let's . . . get going."
> Yellow Eyes peered back over his shoulder.  "We are going, Captain."

Crow: As you can see by the large stains on our uniforms.

> Sam nodded emphatically.  "Yes.  Right.  Well."

Mike: Uh-huh. Affirmative. Indeed. Yeah. Positively. Correct...

> The bearded man, seated now to Sam's right, was leaning toward him.  
> "Are you sure you're all right, Captain?  

     I mean, come on! "The bearded man." "Yellow Eyes."

> Perhaps you might want to sit in the ready room for a few minutes.

Mike: Ready, room?
The Bots: Yep!
Mike: I'll send some coffee, Danishes, and the Captain up in a few minutes.

> I think I can handle things here.  I'll have Dr. Crusher up right away."

Crow: Along with Shredder.

> If this is a movie, Sam was thinking, where are the cameras?  

Tom: You're on Candid Camera!

> And why is this man adjusting to me instead of looking
> at me like I don't know my lines?

Crow: It's called "impromptu" or "improvisonal" theater.
Mike: Get over it, Sam! It's *not* a movie.
Tom: Machiavelli doesn't have anything on this guy in the brains

> "Captain?" the man said again.  Sam looked at him.  The concern was very real.

Crow: Unlike anything you'll read here.

> "Not a bad idea," Sam said.  "You take care of things here for a while.
> But don't disturb the doctor.  I'm sure I'm all right.  

Tom: No, Sam. There is something seriously *wrong* with you.

> Just . . . a little bang on the head."

Mike: And a little pony-tail on my neck.
Tom: I told you! No lousy puns!
Mike: Sorry.

> Sam stood, rubbing his temple

Tom: Don't say it, Mike.

>                               where the chair had connected.
> The flesh felt puffy and warm, but he was certain the 
> blackout had been more an aftereffect of the extended 
> leap than a result of the injury.
> "Ensign."  The dark-haired man again, 
> in a hiss Sam thought he was not supposed to have heard.  
> "Escort the captain."

Mike: [very darkly] To his doom.

> Thank God, Sam thought.  Now I don't have to fumble around trying to 
> figure out where the ready room is . . .  

Crow: Well, that saves us some time.
Tom: Don't worry, Crow. He'll do a lot of fumbling 'fore *this* is over.

> The thought trailed off as the ensign took his arm.

Tom: He had to chase her to get it back.

> She was a pretty woman, with dark hair and even features,
> but the bumpy growth across the bridge of her nose was as 
> offputting as the complexion of the man who had spoken to Sam earlier.

Mike: [Sam] Did you know you've got a *huge* blackhead right there?

> _Where _are_ you, Al?_

Crow: That's the question we'd like to ask the author about now...

> The ensign gently guided Sam to a door at the back of the room.  
> >From this angle, it was obvious that the area was a command center of some 
> kind.  In fact, Sam was beginning to have the distinct 
> impression that he was on a spaceship.

Mike: [Sam] You know, I'm just beginning to have the distinct impression that
      I might be on a spaceship!...

> The door slid open as Sam and the bumpy-nosed ensign approached it.  
> "Would you like me to stay?" she asked.

Crow: Stay! Roll over! Good Ensign.

> "No.  No, I'm fine.  I'll just . . . I'll be back in a few minutes."
> He stepped in quickly and the door hissed shut behind him.

Tom: The elevator mocked him and the hallway taunted him.

> "Al!"  Sam hissed.

Mike: People do an awful lot of hissing in this fanfic.

>                     "_What_ is going on?"


> No answer.  There was a desk in the room, with a chair behind it.  
> Sam sat down.

Crow: Wow! What brilliant narration!
Tom: Hey, Crow, cool it.

> The room could have kept him fascinated for hours, with the strange
> pictures on the walls and the models of weird-looking 
> vessels displayed here and there,

Mike: Sam is a simple sort of man.

>                                   but Sam's attention was
> immediately grabbed by the computer terminal on the desk.  

Tom: [Sam] Hey! I wonder if I can still access my AOL account!

> First because it was obviously a source of information, but then
> because the black, staring screen returned him his reflection.

Mike: Here. Here's your reflection back. I'm returning it.

> The face that looked back at him was that of an older man, perhaps fifty.  
> The small portion of his hair that had not succumbed to male pattern 
> baldness was grey.

Tom: The skin at the top had somehow eroded away, leaving a portion of his
     skull bare.

>                     His eyes were grey, as well,
> and the entire face had the look of a man who carried 
> authority out of habit. Very Captainly, Sam thought.
> He was relieved to see that he did not have corpse-white skin, or a 
> bony, bumpy nose-bridge.  He looked perfectly normal.

All: [giggle]
Tom: Gee, I wonder what she means by "normal".
Mike: Well, Captain Picard, I guess.

> Sam found the switch on the small computer terminal and turned it on.  
> He was trying to puzzle out the machine's operating system 

Crow: Damn, it's Windows '95.
Tom: Ahh, I see you worked in the standard Micro$oft put-down.
Crow: Naturally.

> when he heard the familiar sound of the Imaging Chamber door opening.
> There was Al, finally, in a chartreuse suit accessoried with 
> magenta tie, shoes and lapel pin,

All: Eeeewwwwwwww!
Tom: Augh, the pictures this fanfic paints!

>                                   handlink blinking brightly
> in one hand, cigar smouldering in the other.
> "It is about time!"  Sam snapped.
> But Al had other things on his mind.  "Thank God you're all
> right, Sam.  For a while there, we thought we'd lost you permanently."
> "For how long?"

Mike: [Al] I already told you! Permanently!

> "You don't want to know.  We had a devil of a time
> locking on to your signal."
> "Where am I?  Who am I?"

Tom: [Sam] What am I? Why am I? How am I?!
Crow: Enquiring minds want to know.

> "Well, I hate to break this to you, Sam . . . In fact,
> maybe you'd better sit down . . ."

Tom: Isn't he already sitting down?
Mike: Maybe he got up and the author didn't know about it.

> "I'm on a spaceship, aren't I?"
> Al looked up from the handlink, a surprised expression
> on his face.  "How did you know?"

Mike: Ummm, the stars and galaxies, the fact that we're heading for Earth,
      um, you know... just your average, well-thought-out, throughly
      supported guess.

> "Just a guess.  How can I be on a spaceship?  There are no
> spaceships.

Tom: I don't know, I seem to remember something about NASA and a Space
     Shuttle... must have gotten it out of a fanfic or something.

>             Are all these people aliens or something?"
> "Ziggy has no idea.  He's been blowing gaskets trying to
> find information, and he's coming up with nothing."

Crow: ...except, of course, blown gaskets.

> "Ziggy doesn't have gaskets."
> "Well, you know, it's just an expression."  He poked at the
> handlink, then smacked it. "Okay, here's what we _do_ know. 
> You're in 1995.

Mike: Star Trek... 1995!
Crow: The 'X' Generation!

>                  But the guy in the waiting room says he's from
> the 24th century."
> "No way.  He must be nuts."
> "Well, he seems to be completely sane.  
> He says his name is Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the Federation 
> Starship _Enterprise_."

Crow: Sounds completely sane to me.

> "So now I'm . . . John Luke."
> "Jean-Luc.  It's French.  Yes, apparently you are."

Tom: How does Al know that Sam spelt his name incorrectly when he was only
     *speaking* to him?
Crow: Magic.

> "So why am I here?"
> Al shrugged, sucking on his cigar.

Mike: Ummm! This is good cigar!

>                                     "There's no way to know.
> If this guy's from the 24th century, whatever it is 
> you're supposed to change hasn't happened yet."
> "But you said it's 1995."

Crow: I lied!

> "February 27, 1995, yes."
> "Then it's not the future.  It's my immediate past."
> "But whatever happened here isn't recorded in any newspapers 
> or anything Ziggy can access, because you're in a high orbit 
> above planet Earth."

Tom: Hmmm...

> Sam slumped, digesting this decidedly convoluted batch of information.  

Mike: And deciding that he hated this story more every minute.

> It posed more questions than it answered.
> But that was fairly standard for Ziggy.  
> In the end, though, he supposed he could fake his 
> way through this situation as well as any other.

Crow: With his patented Tyco Disguise Kit and fake ID, he could impersonate

> "So I really am on board a spaceship, huh?"
> "It looks that way, yes."

All: We know! Get on with it!

> "And it's from the 24th century?"
> "Apparently."

Mike: Sam, since you're so dense, let me fill in the pieces for you. This
      is the starship "Enterprise". You know, *Enterprise*? From "Star
      Trek"? You're in a formidable cross-over fanfic! And no doubt you'll
      have to contend with some Star Trek problems, except for the
      incredibly stupid plot twist that you've gone back in time to the
      20th century! NOW CAN WE GET BACK TO THE STORY?!
Crow: It seems to me that that was done in "Star Trek IV" or something.
Tom: And done without success. This fanfic is going to be pain itself.

> "So what happened?  Did they get caught in a . . . 
> I don't know . . . a time warp or something?"

Mike: GEE, couldn't be, could it?
Tom: They *were* in the 24th century. They're *now* in the 20th century.
Crow: Put two and two together, Sam!

> "That's what Picard thinks.  
> He says they detected some anomalous readings off their 
> port bow

Mike: They just thought it was the gremlin again.

>          just as they came out of warp drive."

Crow: ...and entered the spin cycle!

> Al shrugged.  "I know.  Doesn't make any sense to me, either.
> But he says this kind of thing has happened to them before under various
> circumstances.

Tom: *Sure* it has.

>                 I explained our setup to him and he seemed to understand it.
> In fact, he called it quaint."
> Sam gaped, offended.  "Quaint?  Quaint?  

Mike: My setup's *bizarre*, not quaint!

> My life's work and all he can come up with is quaint?"
> Al shrugged.  "Well, you have to admit it would be a lot more 
> impressive if we had some kind of control over it."

Crow: Ouch! That stung.

> "Yeah, right."  Sam scrubbed forehead with fingertips.  

Tom: He must have cleanser on his fingertips.
Crow: Ouchy.

> "My guess is I'm here to help them get back where they belong."
> "A fair enough guess.  Oh, by the way, I got some names for you on your crew."
> "Okay, shoot.  I could use that."

Crow: [Al] How's a .44 straight in the head sound?
Mike: [Sam] Sure. I could use that.

> "Your second-in-command is Commander William Riker. . ."  Al paused.  
> "Hold on."  He fiddled with the handlink a moment,

Tom: ...playing "Turkey in the Straw" for all the handlink was worth.

>                                                    then stepped to the
> door and stuck his face through it.

Tom: Ouch! Should have opened the door first.
Mike: Al's a hologram person, remember?
Tom: Oh, yeah!

>                                      When it came back, he continued,
> "He's the guy with the beard."

Crow: Was Riker just standing outside the door?

>                                 Al frowned, then
> looked through the door again.  "Jeez, there's some weird-looking folks 
> out there.  Anyway.  The guy who looks like he's been dead for a week is 
> Lieutenant Commander Data.  Picard says he's an android."
> "An android?  You're kidding."
> "I don't know.  Why don't you stick a screwdriver in him and find out?  

All: Eeeeewwwwwww!

> Anyway, then there's an Ensign Ro,

Tom: Sister of Ensign Sigma and Ensign Mu.
Mike: That's "rho", Servo.

>                                    she's the one - I think -
> with the weird nose.  And somebody named Worf, 

Crow: Worf on Golf!

> but he's not on the bridge right now.  Neither is Counsellor Troi,
> she's off duty at the moment."
> "Well, that's a start, anyway."

Mike: Ugh! It took us long enough to get this story going!

> "Right.  Look, I'm going to get back and see what else 
> I can do to figure out what's going on.

Crow: He's read the whole fanfic, e-mailed the author, went for a literal
      or figurative interpretation on every passage here, and *still* can't
      understand it!
Mike: I think it's a futile quest.

>                                          I'm going to try to keep
> Picard nearby while I'm in contact with you so he can help supply information.
> Verbena says he's taking this all like just another day on the 
> job, so there's no risk of creating any trauma."

Tom: These things happen all the time to Jean-Luc Picard.

> "Good.  Get back to me as soon as you can."
> "You bet."

Crow: ...I won't.

> The Imaging Chamber door appeared again, and Al stepped back through, 
> giving Sam a look that was meant to be encouraging but looked far 
> too worried to be helpful.  Taking a deep breath, Sam rubbed at his eyes.  

Mike: [Sam] No matter how hard I rub or breathe, my eyes just *won't* catch on

> He had a feeling this short reprieve was nearing an end.
> He was right.  A voice addressed him just as he was returning his 
> attention to the computer.

Mike: Here. Here's my attention back. I'm returning it.

>                             After a second, more insistent,
> "Captain Picard," Sam realized the voice was coming from the pin on his 
> uniform.

Tom: Sam resolved to get off of angel dust.

>           He poked at it experimentally and it made a trilling sound.
> "Um . . . Picard here," he said, trying to sound authoritative.

Crow: The "Um . . ." really adds that authoritative touch.

> "It's Beverly, Captain.

Tom: [Sam] Why, hello, Beverly Captain! I mean...

>                          Commander Riker said you suffered a head injury.
> I really think it would be best if you let me look at it,

Mike: I'm just *so* fascinated by head injuries!

>                                                           just in case.
> Can I see you in sick bay in five minutes?"
> Sam considered.  As a doctor, he knew she was probably right.  
> As a man masquerading as the ship's captain, he wasn't 
> sure he wanted to be poked and prodded and examined

All: Eeewwwww!

>                                                     with
> instruments of a technological level he knew nothing about.  
> In the end, he decided that to succumb would create the least suspicion.

Tom: Ouch! I just suffered a head injury. Oh, well, I guess I'll "succumb"
     to medical examination.

> "All right.  I'll be there shortly."

Mike: I'll hunch over and squat.
Tom: One more pun like that and I'll moider you!

> "Good."  The voice sounded relieved, but also a little smug.  
> Sam stood resignedly.

Crow: [Sam] [sighs] Well, off I go to recieve medical attention.

>                        His uniform shirt had crept up and
> he yanked it back down with some annoyance.
> Commander Riker stood as Sam returned to the bridge, 
> giving his captain an expectant look.  Sam waved for him to sit back down.
> "As you were, Commander.  I've been ordered to sick bay."

Mike: Ordered. You know, by a higher officer... er...

> Riker gave him a knowing smile.  
> "We'll contact you as soon as we have more information on what happened."

Crow: Oh, you know already what's going to *happen*, Riker; wink, wink,
      nudge, nudge.

> "Yes, do that."
> Sam realized then that he had no idea how to get to sick bay.  
> There was a door ahead of him that said TURBO LIFT, though.  
> That looked promising.

Mike: Your guess is as good as mine.

>                         He headed toward it.
> No one was giving him strange looks, so he assumed he was 
> doing the right thing.
> The space beyond the door bore a comforting resemblance to an elevator, 

Tom: ...except for the unsettling blood seeping out of the walls.

> but there were no buttons at all, much less one conveniently
> labeled, "SICK BAY."
> "Oh, great," Sam muttered.  "So how do I get to sick bay?"
> Immediately, the elevator began to move.  On a hunch, Sam said, "Stop."  
> The movement stopped.

Mike: Aha! I caught you! I didn't say "Simon says".

>                        "Continue."
> He grinned as the elevator went on its way again.  "Voice activated.  Cool."

Crow: The air conditioners immediately went on.

> He was not so entranced, though, when the lift came to a 
> halt and the opening door revealed a hallway rather than an 
> immediate entrance into sickbay.

Tom: Better take the Wonkavator next time.

> "Now what?" he mumbled.  There were people wandering in the 
> halls, but about the best way he could think of to 
> blow his cover would be for him to stop one of them and ask the way.  

Mike: Which, being rock stupid, he proceeded to do.

> And there didn't seem to be any "You are Here" signs.
> "Don't even think about trying to avoid this, Jean-Luc."  
> Sam turned at the familiar voice.

All: Familiar?

>                                    Apparently this was
> Beverly, who had been speaking out of his chest a few minutes ago.  

Crow: Eeeewwwww....

> She took his arm

Tom: Give me my arm back!

>                  and headed him down the corridor, and
> Sam knew from the way she touched him that the relationship between the 
> doctor and her captain transcended the purely formal.  

Mike: Ahhhhh, Beverly's cozy supraprofessionality.

> Understandable, given her remarkable sweep of copper-coloured hair.

Tom: [Beverly] Do you like my sweep of hair? Got it off a barber's floor.

> "I can't believe you would think I would let a head injury get by me."

Crow: I simply *adore* head injuries.

> "It's nothing, really," Sam insisted.  
> "I'm sure there were other people hurt more severely . . ."
> "I had one broken wrist and a twisted ankle," Beverly cut in.

Mike: Ouch! Stop cutting in to me! I bet you do that to *all* your patients!

> "Now get in there and sit down."
> Her tone startled Sam a little, but he saw she was smiling 
> so he smiled back and did as told, taking a seat on one of the empty tables.  
> Next to him, a young black man sat with his right wrist 
> enclosed in a metallic sleeve which was attached to a control 
> panel in the wall.

Tom: And the green grass grew all around.

>                     He was smiling, also, apparently amused
> by the interchange.  It was difficult to read very much into his expression 
> because

Mike: ...this fanfic is so boring.

>         his eyes were hidden behind a metallic strip which
> appeared to be attached to his head at each temple.

Tom: Don't say it, Mike!

> "Even the captain can't avoid getting a once-over, huh?"  the man said.
> "No, it doesn't look that way," Sam answered.  

Crow: [Sam] Except, I'm not the Captain... oops...

> Beverly had returned and was pointing a hand-held instrument at Sam's head.

All: [cheer]

> "Oh, she can once me over any time."

All: *What*?!

>                                       Al's voice, of course.

All: Oh.

> "Or twice, or thrice . . ."  Sam resisted the urge to swing around

Mike: And punch him.

> to look at him.  The suit would only hurt his eyes, anyway.
> "Man o man o man . . ."  Al stepped through the table and 
> positioned himself where Sam could see him.  
> Sam took advantage of the opportunity to shoot him

All: [cheer]

>                                                    a
> dirty look.

All: Oh.

> "It is _not_ that bad, Captain," Beverly said in response.  


> "I'm just going to be sure there's no sign of concussion. . ."
> She broke off, shaking the instrument.  

Tom: Gee, the Federation is rough on its equipment.

> She made some adjustments and pointed it at him again.
> "I've got Picard here with me," Al continued.  
> "Don't even ask if you can see him, because we're already 
> pumping out mega-power to get my signal to you."

Mike: [to the Bots] Either of you mention the Power Rangers, and I shut you

> "Yeah, yeah," Sam mumbled, covering both situations.  
> Beverly was still tapping delicately on her instrument and frowning.

Crow: [Beverly] Tap, tap, tap. Frown, frown, frown.

> "Anyway," said Al, "this lovely lady is Dr. Beverly Crusher, 
> Chief Medical Officer.   The guy with the thing on his face . . . "  

Tom: It's called a *nose*, Al.

> He stopped, looking somewhere to his left, undoubtedly at the real Picard.
> "Visor?  It's a VISOR, Sam.  What?  Visual Instrument and Sensory
> Organ Replacement . . . He _sees_ with it?

Crow: Prosthetics... of the *future*!

>                                             Really?  Amazing.
> Isn't that amazing, Sam?"
> Sam nodded.  It was, indeed, amazing.  He wondered what else
> the technology of the 24th century had accomplished, but
> at the same time he was afraid to ask, knowing what the
> consequences could be.  

Mike: The 24th century might get really pissed at him.

> Al, however, seemed not to be at all

Tom: You mean he didn't exist?

> intimidated by either the technology or the captain.
> ". . . No, I will _not_ put out this cigar!" he was informing
> the air.  "Because I 

Crow: on nicotine!

>                      outrank you, that's why."  He turned back
> to Sam.  "Sorry, Sam.  This guy is really getting on my nerves.  

Mike: He's been climbing around my endocrine system, as well.

> He reminds me of one of the captains I used to serve under . . ."
> Catching Sam's look,

Tom: And Al fields Sam's look... that's the ball game!

>                      he waved the thought off.  "Never mind.
> Anyway.  This is Geordi LaForge.  He's Chief Engineer."
> Sam filed the name mentally.

Crow: *That's* a place I never want to go!

>                               There were a hundred other things he
> wanted to ask,

Crow: [Sam] Hey, Bev, what's your sign?

>                 but obviously they would have to wait.
> His inability to speak freely with Al was becoming more 
> frustrating by the minute.
> "Well," Beverly said, looking at her instrument, "if I can 
> trust my scanner, you seem to be all right."
> "Why wouldn't you trust the scanner?"

Mike: [Beverly] Because it says you weigh four pounds, have the brain of an
      aardvark and are seventeen miles high.

> "Because it's telling me your blood is AB positive."

Mike: That *is* funny, considering it's a thermometer.
Crow: [Beverly] Didn't you hear it? It *distinctly* spoke and told me, "His
      blood is AB positive."

> "AB positive?"  Sam repeated.  Which, of course, 
> was absolutely correct, but apparently not for Captain Jean-Luc Picard.

All: Apparently.

> "Yes.  Explain that one to me."

Crow: Oh, it's just that I'm not really Captain Picard... oops.

> "Yeah, that's strange, all right."  He slipped down from the table.  
> The action was met by another outburst from Beverly.
> "Don't move, Captain.

Mike: Stand back! I'll *use* this thing!

>                        Get back on the table and wait while
> I get another scanner."
> "Don't let her get another scanner, Sam!" Al protested.  

Crow: [Sam] Oh, *all right*, you whiney-baby!

> "She'll start poking and prodding and finding out all kinds of things . . ."

Tom: [Sam] Oh, she's a doctor. She's seen it all before.

> He hesitated.  "Not that that would be so bad, really . . ."

Mike: D'oh! That's our wacky Al for you!

> "Dr. Crusher," Sam said firmly.  "I do not need to be scanned again.  
> I am perfectly all right.  I merely sustained a minor bump to the head.  
> Now, if you don't mind, I would like to speak with Mister LaForge here, 
> and then I would appreciate it if you would allow me to return to my bridge."

Tom: [Sam] I *am* the Captain, after all.

> Beverly slumped, finally admitting defeat.
> "Aw, Sam, you hurt her feelings . . ."

Crow: Hey, *we're* the ones who are supposed to make the funny comments!

> "All right," Beverly said.  "But if you feel the slightest bit 
> dizzy, or anything else unusual, call me immediately."

Mike: [singing] You just call out my name, and you know wherever I am...

> "I feel a little dizzy," Al said hopefully.

Tom: No, just unusual.

> Sam gave the doctor a small smile.  It did not seem inappropriate.  

Mike: I should hope not.

> "You can count on it."
> Beverly shook her head in mock disgust.  
> "And you can talk to Geordi, also, if you like.  
> I'm almost finished with him, anyway."

Crow: Almost. Leave the room like a good boy, now, Captain!
Mike: Crow!
Crow: [innocently] No, I meant... oh, *you know* what I meant.

> "Thank you."
> Sam turned to LaForge, who had been watching him rather 
> intently, if it was possible to judge by the angle of his VISOR.

Tom: Don't force emotion into characters that don't show emotion.
Mike: Instead, give them something funny to look at, so you are distracted
      and don't notice how shallow the character is.
Crow: Like LaForge's VISOR, and Spock's ears.

> "What did you want to talk to me about, Captain?"
> "Where were you when we hit this . . . turbulence?  

Crow: About one hundred miles out of LAX.

> I was wondering if you might have some idea what might have caused it."
> Geordi nodded toward the arm which was being treated.  
> "Well, _un_fortunately, I was out on a catwalk.  

Mike: [Sam] That's not so bad. Riker was out on the baby elephant walk.

> Fortunately, it was a low catwalk."
> "Why were you on the catwalk?"

Tom: I wanted to caterwaul.

> "Just doing some curiosity checks.  You know me, always fiddling."  
> He tilted his head slightly.  Sam wondered what exactly he was looking at.  

Crow: He's looking directly into your soul!

> It was disconcerting, not being able to see the man's eyes.
> Not only was it very difficult to read his face, but 
> Sam was not certain where to look while conversing.  "Ensign 
> Lara may have gotten some readings.  
> I'm sure Data has spoken with her by now."

Mike: Now, who said that?
Tom: I *think* LaForge.

> Sam glanced nonchalantly in Al's direction.  
> Al shrugged.  "It was worth a shot."

Crow: What?

> "All right, Mister LaForge," Sam said.  "Take care of yourself."
> "Aye, sir."
> _Now back to the bridge_, Sam thought, 
> heading for the door, _to see if there are any answers yet_.

Mike: [Sam] Nope. No answers yet.

> "I'll meet you on the bridge," Al said.  Sam nodded.

Tom: I'll meet you on top of the Empire State Building.

> As the sickbay door slid open, Sam's chest badge spoke up again.

Crow: [chest badge] Whoa, that Beverly is *hot*!
Tom: [chest badge] I'm the *real* star of this fanfic!
Mike: [chest badge] I can't take much more of this tripe!

> "Riker to Picard."
> "Picard here," Sam told it.

Crow: Sam lied.

> "Captain, we have some information for you.  

Tom: [Riker] Not *useful* information, but *some* information.
Mike: [Riker] We have discovered the philosopher's stone.
Crow: [Riker] We now know how many licks it takes to get to the Tootsie Roll
              center of a Tootsie Pop.

> I think you should come to the bridge."
> "I'm on my way."

Mike: And so are we. Come on, guys.
Tom: Ooh! I ache already!
Crow: This is a well-deserved break...

[Mike and the 'bots leave the theater.]

(Continued in Part 2.)
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