(Warning Label/Disclaimer: if you’ve seen Equinox, then you know that Max Burke is obviously a date raping sex offender. It’s who he is, and I think it’s criminal to avoid talking about what an unsettling jerk he is just because it’s too unsettling how much of a jerk he is. And remember B’Elanna slept with him, so we know that he had game despite being a creep and a jerk. To cover up his creepy jerkiness Burke must have had super game or B’Elanna was just working out her daddy issues, and the lucky bastard fluked into a perfect storm.)
It’d been 4 hours of relative calm since they had consecrated that gamey crone to stasis whereafter the brave scientist warriors of the Equinox rebegan to fly without a net again just like everyone else who isn’t being haunted by the ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, it’s odd don’t you think, that A Christmas Carol, the novel, outlived actual Christmas, anthropologically the major religions almost completely petered out after/during World War 3, why respect or love some asshole who determined that the necessary destruction of 4 billion souls was part of a confidence trick straight out of Joey Stalin’s playbook to manipulate the survivors into loving him a little more… Although really, what was a day with a net compared to a life time of freewill, it’s not like they were utterly changed institutionalized creatures who would suddenly be drunk from the unscrupulous freedom of not having that crazy old dingbat saying “Oh no you didn’t!” or “Tut, tut… Really? Do you think that that’s a good idea?” But now that Admiral Janeway had been interned for the duration never to see the light of day until these odysseyian star trekkers see the light of Earth, unless Captain Ransom or some of his intrepid underlings wimp-out hat in hand and rub her magic belly to unfoil the cheatcodes to all their problems, then doomed, sadsacked and sorry they might as well admit that they’re mice trapped on Admiral Janeway’s universal hamster wheel.
…They didn’t have a problem. They weren’t junkies. They could totally teetotal the future knowledge. It’s was all sorted. Leave the hag in her freezer and everything is copasetic. No one is sweating, these are not the shakes, stop looking at us like that…
Without a lick of help from Future-Gran these prime examples of Starfleet’s finest were on top of the immediate stumbling blocks in the way of the 72 crewmen aboard equinox celebrating their many birthdays Earth-side, well except for Carter, it was her birthday today, but other than Carter there shouldn’t be an issue, I mean it’s not like anyone had blown up the space station that had brought them here, it was just floating there happy as Larry with all its fantastically advanced alien super tech waiting to be seduced by a right sexy engineering team wedging into all its supple secrets like the dribble of sunlight coaxing a young bud to expose itself come dawn’s release. If they can buckle down and figure out this new scientific depth, then those green blooded freak Romulans are just going to back the hell off and the Klingon’s are going to stay on their side of the fence like good dogs. This space station was a game-changer and Equinox would be remembered as the ship that instrumentally changed the balance of power in the Alpha Quadrant securing Earthspace for the next century.
BIG FRICKING SHINEY MEDALS FOR EVERYONE!
But we’re foolishly putting the cart before the horse.
There was a list.
Firstly they had to raise hell.
If we’re talking about hell, Dante was a wimp that got all moo-eyed over a girl. Considering the chase Beatrice put him through, circle after circle of hell, Max was certain that that epic journey would have been a layover if the fictional renaissance poet had had the fire power of this Space Station to back up his boner for a deadgirl. Kill Satan, kill god, rip their genitals off and translocate their love spuds to another galaxy! Nothing could stand in his way if he could rationalize boosting himself to the absolute ruler of some new Empire, I mean what had the Federation done for Max Burke lately? Accidents happen every day, maybe they get the axis upside down and lose Rudy in the Gama Quadrant? No, no, this is no time to think about long term plans when there’s too much on his plate right here today to make sure he doesn’t wind up stuck out here like some hermit marooned by… THINK POSITVE! The Space station was fricking amazing and practically his, this astute nugget of final answers perched 18 thousand meters amid ships of Equinox like it was nothing special, I mean it was big, actually massive, sporting dozens of hectares of Holodecks which could only comfortably hardly handle a quarter the musky temporal refugees from tomorrow’s Qo’noS, but the space Station could uncomfortably deal with about 2/3rds of these damned honourless kurrs while they got ready for stage two, because fortunately (fortune favours the cramped?) hell isn’t supposed to be comfortable, even though comfort is so untimely despised by Klingons that you should logically expect that Klingon hell should be nothing but pillows, chamber music and cross-stitch. But when have the Klingonese ever made sense? What they had set up was basically a Klingon healthspa because collectively they get off on pretending that they are above pain and really get off on pretending that they more above pain than the idiots either side of them also getting whipped and sodomized by cattle prods. From what Burke, who was in charge of this section of the overall project, could tell, cannibalizing the rape processing factory on the space station could turn an 8th of the nearby seemingly barren planet which the array was still sending power bursts towards which they should really get to the bottom of sooner rather than later, into the very image of the inferno they needed to complete their artistically humorous cunning ruse, without effecting the pan galactic tractor beam or structural integrity or any other essential systems. A holocontinent a 26 hours away at warp 4 while he garrisoned the space station and sent Equinox back to the AQ for orders and relief, just think about how amazing that is! Back and forth across the galaxy, 150 light years as a round trip in a matter of seconds, something that should be impossible by 24th century standards but between the 25th century Klingon fleet and all the alien tech on the space station, all their bases were covered. It’s like they had discovered real magic just by taking a few innovative 25th century programming short cuts. Between authority of command and the ultimate power of this Space Station this entire predicament made Max feel more virile than a Denodulan in a sexpit. He needed to remind some woman that she was in love with him quick.
Sometimes this dark horse told women that his name was Maximillian to seem taller with a fuller head of hair, other times he more honestly confided that his given name in full was Maxwell, but it all really depended on how he felt and how drunk she was, and today Commander BURKE felt Godlike and far too randy to be merely a simple “Maximillian” but what about MAXIMUS, like some a sort of Imperial Roman Emperor. That’ll get some birds attention… It was then that his sexual repulsiveness truly began to wander towards an ill place, It’s a fact that if you don’t know how to tell some bugger to get on their knees and lick a toilet bowl clean, then you’ve sadly wasted your best years as an Academy upperclassman. By comparison for the next two days until his role in this farce was recast by someone more holographic, it was unimaginable how far past the odd purple-nurple and bogwashing he could get away with in the pursuance of realism here to treat these Klingons how awfully they want to be treated and what he hadn’t really considered until this exact second was that a lot of theses macochists were women… They might be one of the least attractive species in the galaxy,he’d discovered from intimate examinations at Starfleet Academy with B, B, B… her name started with a B. but the freshly gazette commander had all but tapped or been rejected by the usable talent on Equinox and fresh fields are fresh fields even if it’s sadly unproductive trying to injure the pride of masochists with nothing more complicated than branding and some light whipping when most of the prisoners, even the men, would think it’s suspicious that they aren’t his concubines and... It was his duty to give these women the Hell they expected! It was the only gentlemanly thing to do.
Even though Rudolph had divvied up command, he kept Equinox, Max was field-promoted to full Commander to oversee the Space Station, and Gilmore because she was the gal with the plan leaped over years of insincere ingratiating bootlicking to Lieutenant Commander because this blonde angel was going to govern the new prison, they all had to be fitted for their own Fek’Lhr costume which the paleoklingistician on the crew announced might never be convincing if they didn’t pee on their disguises at least once, and that that was only a third of the problem, because the super astute klingon nose might wonder and disregard why the lord of evil stinks of human urine, but it would defy convention if the klingon lord of evil stank alternatively of three different humans unique urine, so to be fair, and contiguous, Marla, Rudy and Max had to piss on all each other’s and their own three costumes, but let’s keep our focus on Maxwell for just now… In theory Max Burke was in command of the most powerful weapon in the galaxy, in practice 90 percent of the controls had been locked by the witch Janeway. The midlife crisis metaphor for his junk don’t translate well because his penis is powerful but it’s not 90 percent ineffective, so it was just a matter of time until they broke her lockout and the Space Station was as powerful and effective as his penis. Maybe he shouldn’t think too literally about how the Admiral would lockout his cock. Scary. But the lockout on the space station was not all-encompassing; they could keep life support afloat, there were some nonintegrated weapons, and needs must when “ironically” the devil drives because they could pivot the station to retarget this power transfer to the nearby star system into welding arc that could cut a moon in half. So if Push came to shove they could easily push back a Borg Tactical Cube left handed which recompensated for any theories about how a vicious prune like Kathryn Janeway might leave him with a permanent soft on.
Now you know what real men have nightmares about.
Even if playing dress up isn’t just for kids and perverts anymore, it wasn’t easy for Burke to breathe through all this latex and synthiflesh, but Maximillion now dominated with a clear resolve of radiating dread from under a face bodice propping some fifteen pounds of thatched birdsnest replicated dandruff strung through like Halloween sugar candy corn decorations on the bridgework of a mangy super-toupee, and a mess of prosthetic ridges, and oh so many teeth so that a puny human can pass as the mighty Fek’lehr (Klingon Satan) an inspirational robust confirmation of complete doom . A real bastard who snatches the damned souls of the dishonored off the Barge of the Dead, dragging the hated dishonoured off to Grethor to punish them for a life devoid of scope and excellence, or those who merely forgot to pay off the clergy before they bought the farm. But it was few hours until their staging area was fixed up on the planet, to received the first of the damned and the captain was prepping a shuttle mission to sort out that planet as a permanent home for their guests. The crew was already taking bets on how long it would take the Klingons to figure out that they had been duped. Outside margins measured in the decades. Klingons, even super klingons form the future aren’t very bright yet as far as Burke’s detainees were concerned: THIS IS GRETHOR! (Klingon Hell.) but as far as the lad holding the pain stick figured it, mere Shuttles don’t count. Runabouts neither, but this did. This was his first. He popped his cherry with Hell. Maximillian Copernicus Burke had been given command of the Space Station that had kidnapped them. The old lady called it “The Array” but Maxy is not sure what that really means in context against the facilities this complex provides. It’s a mass-rape production-line. Home for a medium sized boulder with life signs, and some sort of energy collection derrick that no one from Equinox rightly understood, but it deductively, it seemed to involve exploiting a weakness in real space that allowed it to plumb some unknowable other-place and furrow away ridiculous amounts of power to a nearby lifeless planet, and hopefully not seemingly lifeless planet, they were going to build their holoprison.
Before however they could count their chickens they had to get the Klingon EMH on board. Not on board Equinox, but onboard with their plan. Looking under the hood of the KEMH was distasteful, it only seemed to have two real settings “Euthanasia” and “laughing at weakness”, which from experience wasn’t that far estranged from the directive of the FEMH. I jest. As a Doctor the future technology was decades behind what Starfleet was capable of producing in the here and now, which is odd since the technology seems to be stolen from Starfleet, the holograms even looked alike, exactly alike, y’know except one was klingonoid and the other was humanoid, so there was some pretty obviously proprietary ideas that had been co-opted by this HONOURABLE alien power, they didn’t even care to disguise in the slightest… But then they had paired the technology down because true warriors don’t need Doctors, but it will always be against Standards and Practices to not have a Doctor on a Military mission, so what an elegant compromise to save space and face by mass-staffing the defense force with a Doctor that doesn’t want to practice medicine on patients who don’t want to be saved because they’d lose honour if they admitted that they needed anything cauterized or amputated like as if they were a child or a human.
He was perfect. But that was for later.
What I have been talking about this whole time, what gem they glommed onto three hours earlier, when frustratedly the command-staff bitched back and forth amongst themselves fully accepting that any attempt to keep these unkempt “people” (call a Klingon a “person” or “people” and they’ll bat your head clear off your shoulders with one paw.) who were technically their allies, even if they weren’t sure if the Empire and the Federation could just as easily be at war in 30 years when these bastards are from, because Janeway had been put on ice before she could explain the exact state of the Federation’s friends and foes, but individually confining the colony of klingons to quarters or continuously blasting them with the Space Stations pre-rape stunner or retrofitting the each of the ships deflector array into a stasis generator, or manually sedating each of the thousands of them personally with a hypospay in the arm every 9 hours was labour intensive and hardly a final solution… The Klingons would either die from medical complications or wake up and kill everyone onboard Equinox. There was no way out of this without thousands of klingons chanting “Kill the Humans! Kill the Humans! Kill the damn Humans!” The idea of spacing them didn’t even approach the table. Back at this moment Max could feel that his Captain wasn’t quite there yet to accept that real decisions had to be made under this sort of gravity now that the Federation wasn’t here to coddle and support his Captaincy structurally or emotionally. They could just open fire, all those Klingon ship’s shields were down… Equinox by itself could cull that fleet them in 30 seconds or less and then they’d all be able to sleep soundly tonight. Sometimes, Burke worked for people who made sure that %98 of the day to day running of the Federation was rainbows, Kittens and unicorns so that everyone could sleep soundly, but if he tried to act like they do without real orders, it’s likely that he’d wake up in the hour of the wolf screaming because a baby Salt Vampire had been transported inside his digestive tract. Autonomy is not appreciated by his dark sometimes masters even if they are half a galaxy away. The genesis of their scheme flopped into existence after some usual hard boiled Captaineese hyperbola “Why can’t we send these bastards to hell?” a remark which generated the casually relaxed answer From attractive but not so confident Marla Gilmore, I mean seriously she could be so attractive if she didn’t act like everyone was about to slap her, and for Gods sake do something about your posture woman! Your shoes are not that bloody interesting! But what she said clear as day was this: “Oh, but we can. We could totally send them to hell. It really wouldn’t be that difficult. I looked on those Klingon Ships, they’re all full of Holodecks, incredibly advanced, you can’t tell the difference between photons and reality, if we wanted to we could have them believe that they’ve crash landed on Andor in the middleages… But Hell would be much easier to program. Just say the word Captain and we can send them straight to hell.”
You might think Gilmore chanced upon a truly fantastic lily livered cop out that made sure that everyone lived. If their guests, all seven thousand of them, thought that they were already dead, trapped in an afterlife that tasted like the Hell in their hearts they knew they belonged damned to, that they’d just stomach their fate and bend over, it seemed like a benign way to keep these quasichronistic timebombs occupied, basking in the bloodthirsty decadence of an endless Klingon bar brawl drinking mosh orgy from each other’s skulls while holodevils with painsticks ripped them new bung holes. Benign for Klingongs. And seriously, these raw villains were from 30 years in the future, short of telling them the truth, and wishing against a million years of evolutionary imperatives, that they would react civilizedly, rather than peeling all the human meat off the bone they can find to make exotic rain coats, nothing short of a fantastical lie would seem logical to stop everything turning into a circus. Not a Big top circus with monkeys, clowns and elephants, but the Roman variety where tax dodgers are pulled into 5 unevenly weighted pieces by wild horses being moored to their limbs, and other sorts of crowd pleasing entertaining mass slaughterings. “So we’d need a holographic environment huge enough, backed up by enough variable predictive algorithms that we can keep all of them occupied for the next 30 years until all their foreknowledge and advanced future tech is rendered redundant when the rest of the universe catches up.”
You’re up to speed? I’m talking to you “reader”.
You do remember all that simple
trigonometry from school, where they’d have two trains leave from two different cities travelling at different speeds and you have to calculate where or when, or where and where they will cross paths? I used to be able to do that stuff in my head. Well with a pencil and a scrap of paper, but I definitely did not need a calculator. That was a very long time ago. It would be less humiliating now to take that pencil and stab the person asking me to solve these differential equations rather than even half pretend that I remember how to do such things. We all have our way of running away from problems, but Max in his Fek’Lhr suit saturated in the combined wizz of three command rank officers is strutting about the command deck of the alien Space Station, and Gilmore in her Fek’Lhr suit saturated in the combined wizz of three command rank officers is shepherding Equinox’s fleet of shuttles tractoring half a dozen Klingon warbirds to the as far as they know unnamed planet off in the yonder (it’s Ocampa dummy. Sorry. You’re not a dummy, but I am just furious that Burke, Ransom and the rest still don’t know what Ocampa is. Mysterious planet my ass.) at warp 2, the shuttle, both of them, Burke is not the only one with some delusions if she can call two shuttles a “fleet”, but this morning she was an Ensign and it’s normal to be a little full of yourself after getting a fresh pip on your collar, can obviously go faster but they’re towing at least a billion of tons of duranium, torpedoes and murderous assholes. But minutes after Marla’s Shuttles leave the bosom of Burke’s space station’s solace at warp two, not so far away in the midst of a hootenanny Kathryn Janeway’s super futuristic 25th century Shuttlecraft blasts off form the surface THE MYSTERIOUS PLANET in a flurry at it’s gotta be at least be warp 9. So we’re literally talking seconds before that Shuttlecraft intersected with the bosom solace of Burke’s first command, which doesn’t give Captain Ransom in his Fek’Lhr suit saturated in the combined wizz of three command rank officers aboard his lightly armed meek little rowboat (Equinox) jack shit time at all to get between this threat and his prize.
Equinox and the Space station are hailed simultaneously (And ostensibly Marla too but Strategically, does she really count? The phasers on a type 6 shuttle are barely more powerful than a phase compression rifle.)by what appears to be a scruffy hedgehog and a teenage girl “Please! You have to help us! This ship said that you would help us! It took us to you because she said that you were good people who be able to stop them from keeping us separated because we’re in love.”
“That’s right, I love him. I do.”
“The ship said, the ship told me to tell you that Kathryn Joneway insists that you protect us and stop the Kazon before it’s too late. Please! They’re right behind us and I stole her and they’re reee-eally not happy about it.”
“They didn’t really own me. That was just a funny game we played. I don’t quite understand their humour all the time but I’m fairly certain that people can’t own people.”
“Well sweety, it’s really a grey area legally speaking since they are technically the l…”
It is now that shit begins to truly get real as two Kazon City Ships, each the size of 10 Galaxy Class Star Ships or 47 nova class science vessels (Yes they are that big but that’s mostly because they’re 200 years less advanced than the Federation, they need an engine as big as Equinox to impel just a little over half as fast as Equinox, and also these are really literally cities carrying tens of thousands of Kazon on board because it’s their home where they live, and not because they’re crew or troops being transported from one engagement to the next, and let’s not joke around 200 years ago the Romulans could build a fine ass disrupter that could melt through almost anything, and these city ships have hundreds of disrupter batteries all over their hulls because there’s just so much endless hull that it’s just stupid not to cover it with weapons when they’re protecting all the women and children on board too. There are hundreds of innocent children on each of these ships. What sort of asshole would fire a photon torpedo at all those kiddies? Alternatively what sort of asshole would put all those breast feeding babies into the line of fire? Either way by the end of this someone under the age of five is going to get terminal radiation poisoning. That’s not a vague hokum psychic prediction, I’m serious. It’s a ship chock full of children, they’re not all going to make it.) fall out of warp and engage everyone.