Star Trek: Lower Decks - CF058 - "Jurassic Ark"


Lieutenant Commander
Red Shirt
Originally posted on - Link.

Jurassic Ark

“You’ve really done it this time, Beckett,” Captain Freeman glared across the table of Conference Room Four. “Your reckless, insubordinate behavior has finally gone too far!”

“Hey, it wasn’t my fault,” Mariner protested. “I’m just an innocent victim of improbable and unforeseen circumstances. I was simply doing my sworn Starfleet duty.”

“Oh really?” Freeman gave her defiant daughter a look. “Then maybe you can explain how a simple planetary survey mission turned into a complete and utter fiasco!”

“Well, it’s not like it was planned or anything,” Mariner defended. “Everything that went down on that planet could have easily happened to the crew of any other Federation ship. The fact the Cerritos was involved was pure, coincidental dumb luck.”

“Emphasis on dumb,” Freeman snapped. “And it’s consistently peculiar how such chaos-causing ‘coincidences’ always seem to involve you!”

“Hey, I’m not the one who volunteered to go on that boring-sounding away mission in the first place,” Mariner shot back. “If you really want to blame the one who assigned me to help conduct yet another survey of a planet Starfleet has scanned so many, many times before, go pin it on Ransom!”

“Stop trying to shift the blame to someone else,” Freeman scolded. “And it was not just another survey. It was the first survey Starfleet conducted with personnel conducting scans on the surface instead of from orbit.”

“Good thing too. Otherwise we wouldn’t have made the scientific discovery of a lifetime,” Mariner pointed out. “Of course, we probably wouldn’t have made it at all if Boimler hadn’t literally stumbled across that undetected sinkhole…”

“A sinkhole which led to a vast underground chamber built by an ancient, technologically advanced civilization,” Freeman continued. “Filled with hundreds of sample containers and still functional biostasis units.”

“More like thousands,” Mariner corrected. “Talk about a race of obsessive wildlife hoarders.”

“And each biostasis unit contained a living specimen from Earth’s prehistoric past,” Freeman went on. “Primarily from the Mesozoic Era.”

“Yup,” Mariner confirmed. “Who’da thunk ancient aliens would have spent millions of years collecting random samples of plants and animals. They must’ve had way too much time on their hands. That is if their species even had hands.”

“An interesting speculation,” Freeman glared at Mariner once again. “Though what isn’t speculation is the fact you activated the reanimation sequence for every single one of the biostasis units and arranged for all the associated specimens to be suddenly beamed aboard the Cerritos!”

“What else was I supposed to do? All the power to the biostasis units was failing,” Mariner protested. “The cream of plasmonic radiation soup that suddenly engulfed the planet was causing massive tremors, earthquakes and energy bursts that disrupted the biostasis units’ ridiculously redundant geothermal generators. If I hadn’t engaged the reanimation sequence every single one of those preserved plants and animals would be dead.”

“Which you did without first consulting the leader of the away team,” Freeman snapped. “And without asking permission from me first. And without telling anyone about your impulsive decision to beam all the reanimated specimens up.”

“So I pulled a Nikolai Rozhenko. Big stinking deal,” Mariner rolled her eyes. “I was just following Starfleet’s continuing mission of exploration. To seek out new life. Well, more like new old life in this case…”

“That may be,” Freeman allowed. “But it still doesn’t excuse you violating away mission protocols and acting without the consent of the away team’s senior officers.”

“I was the away team’s senior officer,” Mariner insisted. “Well, the only remaining acting one anyway. Ransom had been knocked out by a piece of falling rock, Stevens fainted when he saw the contents of the biostasis units for the first time and Boimler’s combadge had been suddenly, accidentally, mysteriously ‘misplaced’…”

“Nevertheless,” Freeman pushed on. “You still should have reported the situation to me and let me decide whether any of your later actions were risks worth taking.”

“There wasn’t any time. The chamber was literally falling to pieces around us,” Mariner pointed out in exasperation. “Had I waited for you to make up your mind, all those ancient plant and animal species would have been lost.”

“If only that had been the case,” Freeman grumbled heading for the door. “At least then I wouldn’t have wound up being forced to put up with this!”

“Hoooooot!” A young, Shaxs-sized Parasaurolophus tooted at it casually made its way down the corridor filled with various species of conifers, ginkoales, cycads and ferns.

“Klirp! Klirp!” An equally youthful Allosaurus dashed around another intersection while chirping excitedly.

“Bak!” A band of immature Coelophysis ran in and out among the legs of saurians and humanoids alike.


The entire deck shook as a graceful, towering young Apatosaurus strode by while filling the entire width and height of the corridor.

“I don’t believe this,” Freeman groaned rubbing her temples. “It’s bad enough having actual living dinosaurs running loose aboard my ship. Having most of them being living juvenile dinosaurs is sheer ludicrous!”

“Hey, what did you expect?” Mariner asked as saurians of all shapes and sizes wandered about the Cerritos. “Lots of famous dinosaurs were giants that wouldn’t have fit even in the ship’s shuttle or cargo bays. I can see why those dead ancient aliens choose to collect young dinosaurs instead of adults. Their smaller sizes made them much easier to herd and move around.”




“Though not necessarily easier to manage,” Freeman moaned as a pair of snorting, squabbling adolescent Pachycephalosaurus rammed head-first into each other while occasionally destroying nearby bulkheads. “Whoever thought riding herd on a bunch of rowdy young lifeforms would be easy obviously never had any of their own!”

“Yay!” The children from the Cerritos’ childcare center cheered as they happily played and chased after their favorite dinosaurs amongst the unexpected menagerie. “Come back, dinosaurs! We want to be your friends!”

“Careful!” Childcare provider Ms. Arnemann warned as she struggled to monitor her class of excited charges. “No pulling any of the dinosaurs’ tails. Watch out for the teeth!”

“Oh geeze, the ship’s parents are going to have a field day with this,” Freeman groaned holding her head. “I always said having children aboard a starship was a bad idea.”

“Yaaahoooooo!” Rutherford whooped perched between the plates of a juvenile Stegosaurus. “This is great!”

“Wheeeeee!” Tendi giggled riding on the back of a young, stub-horned Triceratops. “I love my job!”

“Oh man, this is so cool!” Boimler laughed joyfully while hugging the neck of a passing adolescent Brachiosaurus with beaming eyes and a light-year wide smile. “This is what joining Starfleet is all about! Dreams really do come true!”

“Not that the adults around here are much better,” Freeman hissed. “And I’m not talking about the dinosaurs!”

“Hahahahaha!” Lieutenant Shaxs howled gleefully while wrestling with a juvenile Carnotaurus twice his size. “Now this is what I call a challenge! Bring it on!”

“Come back here you thieving featherless chickens!” Doctor T’Ana yelled chasing after a flock of young Struthiomimuses. “Give me back those hypospray vials!”

“Billups to Engineering. I need another Repair Team to report to Corridor 384 on the double,” Lieutenant Commander Billups reported while trying to keep up with an energetic Euoplocephalus and the associated damage it left in its wake. “Ugh, and I thought it was hard enough looking after dragons.”

“HELP!” Lieutenant Levy screamed dashing down the corridor with a pack of young Deinonychuses nipping at his heels. “THEY’RE GOING TO EAT ME!”

“Eh, no loss there,” Mariner quipped. “Though those poor dinos will probably suffer a bad case of indigestion.”

“Ugh, this is ridiculous!” Freeman ranted while watching the panorama of saurian-fueled chaos. “How the heck did you ever manage to transport all these dinosaurs and their associated ancient fauna aboard in the first place?”

“The same way we saved the crews of the Merced and the Rubidoux when we mass transported them,” Mariner said. “Don’t ask me for the details. I’m not an engineer. I just gave the order.”

“I know what order I’d like to give right now,” Freeman glared dangerously at Mariner. “Starting with throwing you in the Brig and ending with your court-martial!”

“Sorry, Cap. But the Brig has been taken over by a group of Styracosauruses and they aren’t letting anyone else in,” Mariner reported pulling out a padd. “The Ichthyosaurs, Plesiosaurs and other aquatic species are currently being cared for in Cetacean Ops. Pterosaurs and Archaeopteryxes of all types are roosting in Stellar Cartography. A herd of Ankylosauruses are busy picking the entire Hydroponics Bay clean…”

“Just like the rest of these reanimated abnormalities are doing to my sanity,” Freeman muttered.

“And all the really big adolescent dinos are being housed in the holodecks,” Mariner finished. “Boy, I pity the poor soul who ends up assigned to that holodeck waste removal duty.”

“Really?” Freeman glared. “‘Cause I’m looking right at her!”

“I gotta admit, I was a little worried about surpassing the Cerritos’ evacuation limit by having all these different dinos aboard,” Mariner commented. “Good thing Starfleet builds ships with absurd amounts of space compared to their crew sizes. Ever notice that?”

“I notice all the many different species of carnivores you careless packed aboard my ship,” Freeman snapped. “And since they all recently came out of biostasis they are undoubtedly very, very hungry!”

“Relax, Cap. It’s all being taken care of,” Mariner assured. “The Cerritos’ replicators are working overtime right now to provide every dino with their respective nutritional needs to keep them healthy, happy and alert.”




“Maybe a little too healthy,” Freeman winced as a young, energetic Pachyrhinosaurus casually tore through a bulkhead.

“Oops! Sorry about that, Captain,” Jet poked his head out from the newly made hole. “Had a little feeding accident. Some of the more vocal dinosaurs somehow managed to get the replicators to distribute large quantities of raktajino and concentrated sucrose along with their allocated amounts of replicated water, plants and proteins…”

“What?!” Freeman yelped. “You’re saying the dinosaurs have been eating a combination of Klingon coffee and sugar?”

“Yep,” Jet confirmed.





“I see,” A vein on Freeman’s forehead began to throb. “And just how many replicators have the dinosaurs managed to affect?”

“Uh, all of them,” Jet reported.

“Whoa!” Rutherford yelped reappearing with the Stegosaurs he was riding on shooting by in a fast trot. “Look out! Happy dinosaur on the loose!”

“Hehehehehe!” Tendi whooped as she and her Triceratops raced after him. “This is so cool! Can’t catch me!”

“Aaahhhhhh!” Boimler hung on to his galloping Brachiosaurs’ neck for dear life. “Help! What’s gotten into this thing? HAAAUUUHHHHHH!”

“Of course they have,” Freeman groaned.

“Eh, could be worse,” Mariner shrugged. “The dinos could have broken into the ship’s bar and gotten completely drunk.”

“A state I really wish I was in right now,” Freeman grumbled. “That way there would at least be a chance all this improbable idiocy was an alcohol-based delusion!”

“Yayayayaya!” Shaxs roared joyfully while dueling an opposing Baryonyx with his bare hands. “This is great! Best day ever!”

“Gaaarrrhhh!” T’Ana screeched pursing a chittering pack of Oviraptors. “Get back here you little thieves!”

“Repair Team to Deck Six,” Billups ordered while attempting to keep track of the ever-growing repair list. “And Deck Seven, Deck Eight, Decks Twelve through Nineteen…”

“That’s it! I’ve put up with this insufferable insanity long enough!” Freeman declared. “I want every single one of these troublemaking living fossils off my ship immediately…!”

Bridge to Captain Freeman,” Ensign P’jok’s voice came over Freeman’s combadge. “You have an incoming message from Starfleet Command.

“Acknowledged,” Freeman said ducking back into the Conference Room. “I’ll take it down here.”

Captain Freeman,” Admiral Vassery’s no-nonsense face appeared on the room’s large display screen. “I’m contacting you about your recent discovery of a hitherto unknown collection of ancient Earth dino-sears.

“Huh?” A stunned Freeman blinked. “How do you know about that? We’re still dealing with them. I haven’t even submitted a report yet.”

“But I did,” Mariner said having followed Freeman into the room. “Just following official protocol of keep Starfleet appraised of our situation.”

“WHAT?” Freeman yelped glaring at her. “Are you kidding me, Beckett? You deliberately went over my head you little…!”

I’ve finished reading through the preliminary report,” Vassery continued glancing at a padd. “Though parts of it were a bit difficult to follow. Especially the references to ‘a dynamite, dreamy dino-find of a pre-Voth Lost World that would make Marsh and Cope wet their pants in a good way’.”

“Oh no!” Freeman groaned covering her face in embarrassment. “Admiral, I assure you, the contents of that report and the ongoing incident it describes are completely…”

No need to finish that thought, Captain Freeman,” Vassery said holding up a hand. “It is perfectly clear that this unexpected situation proves that you and your crew are true consummate professionals.

“HUH?!” Freeman’s jaw dropped in shock.

Yes, this outstanding discovery of living specimens of dino-sears from Earth’s prehistorical past is the scientific find of a lifetime,” Vassery went on. “You are to be commended for saving an untold number of ancient species from a second mass extinction-level event. The potential knowledge gains to Paleobotany, Paleontology and Zoology are incalculable.

“Uh,” Freeman struggled to regain her composure. “How…gratifying to hear.”

This may even open up an entirely new field of Paleobiology,” Vassery continued. “The Cerritos is therefore ordered to deliver the entire collection of related plants and dino-sears to the Anning Research Institute on Horner IV.

“Horner IV?” Freeman blinked. “But that’s in an entirely different sector.”

Well of course it is,” Vassery said. “It would be quite fortuitous and convenient if such a profound discovery had been made within a short distance of one of the Federation’s top Paleontological research facilities, thus allowing you to deliver the dino-sears within a mere matter of hours.

“Yeah, like that’d be really likely,” Mariner chuckled under her breath.

Of course, you will need to travel at a moderate speed to ensure the dino-sears comfort and safety,” Vassery went on. “At Warp 6 you should arrive at the Anning Research Institute in about a week. Maybe two. Three at most…

“A week?” Freeman’s eye began to twitch. “Or three…?”

Keep up the good work, Captain,” Vassery gave an approving nod. “Starfleet out.

“See? That wasn’t so bad,” Mariner said as Vassery closed the channel. “My report caught the immediate attention of Starfleet’s’ brass and allowed you get all the credit.”

“Great,” Freeman groaned. “If only that didn’t mean I’d also be saddled with taking all the responsibility if anything goes wrong. Along with having to deal with a bunch of unruly dinosaurs stuck aboard my ship for possibly the better part of a month!”

“Well, those are all part of the risks that come along with being a starship captain,” Mariner pointed out. “All the more reason why I prefer staying unpromoted and continue serving among Starfleet’s Lower Decks.”





“You’ll be served a big dose of karma by being assigned to clean up after all these dinosaurs until we finally manage to get them off the ship,” Freeman warned as the sounds of excited saurians and crew echoed throughout the Cerritos. “Presuming there will still be a functioning ship left…”

“Though I gotta say, having to drop the dinos off at some boring old research institute seems like a real waste,” Mariner commented musingly. “It’d be much better if we found them a suitable uninhabited planet so they could freely roam around to their hearts content. Or better yet, set ‘em up in some kind of dino-based theme park. Bet nothing bad could ever happen with that!”

“Maybe I should consider putting myself into biostasis for a geological epoch or two,” Freeman groaned as the collection of dinosaurs and Starfleet officers continued to wreck havoc aboard the Cerritos. “That way I’d finally be able to get some well-deserved rest, quiet and peace!”

Disclaimer: I do not own Star Trek: Lower Decks.