AquielBy Marc Richard
Posted at December 25, 2004 - 5:45 PM GMT
See Also: 'Aquiel' Episode Guide
Captain's Log: We have arrived at Starfleet Relay Station 47, near the Klingon border. In view of its failure to respond to our hails, I am sending over an Away Team armed with some choice remarks about their slogan, "Communications are our business."
Riker: Where did the crew go?
La Forge: Beats me, but this empty space station gives me the creeps.
La Forge: AAAAAAAAAAH! Was that a windowpane rattling in the wind?
Worf: In space....
La Forge: I know, I know -- there's no such thing as wind out here.
Worf: I was going to say, "...no one can hear you scream."
Riker: Look at what I just found in a service conduit -- a dog. She's the one who was making all that noise.
La Forge: Good. For a second, I thought this station was haunted.
Crusher: And look at what I just found on the floor -- some ectoplasmic goo.
La Forge: You...you mean....
Crusher: No, I don't mean something that was left by a ghost. I think it's the remains of one of the station's crewmembers.
La Forge: That's a relief.
Crusher: Captain, I'll have to analyze this goo sample to be sure, but I think this used to be Lieutenant Aquiel Uhnari.
Picard: What about her colleague, Lieutenant Rocha?
Riker: We're assuming he killed her and fled in the station's shuttlecraft. Geordi's going through Uhnari's personal logs to see if he can determine a motive by finding out more about her.
Picard: Oh, wonderful. Computer, deny Commander La Forge all access to the Holodeck until further notice!
Aquiel: (on viewscreen) Dear diary -- I've been having those awful dreams again. I'm taking a shower, and then this psychotic young man dressed like an old woman slashes through the shower curtain with a carving knife and....
Dog: Woof! Woof!
La Forge: What's the matter, girl? Oh, I get it...you want some of my popcorn, right?
Picard: My officers have found evidence that Station 47 was regularly harassed by a certain Morag, the commander of a Klingon ship that patrols this sector.
Governor Torak: (on viewscreen) Lies! True Klingon warriors slaughter, loot and ravage; they do not stoop to something as petty as harassment!
Picard: My apologies. No insult was intended.
Torak: Here is the woman you claim was killed! We found her in a shuttle on our side of the border!
Picard: I'm glad to see that you're alive, Lieutenant Uhnari.
La Forge: So am I. Now maybe I can get my Holodeck privileges restored.
Aquiel: So then, uh, Rocha kind of attacked me, you know, and after the business with the weapons locker I ended up on our shuttle and, gosh, all of a sudden I was sort of like in Klingon space getting arrested and stuff.
Riker: Lieutenant, did you lie about your age to get into Starfleet?
Aquiel: No, sir, but my teenage sister Shiana lives in California and we spend hours talking on the phone every night.
La Forge: That must cost a fortune in long-distance charges.
Aquiel: For people who don't work on communication relay stations, yes.
Dog: Woof! Woof!
Aquiel: Maura! I'm so happy to see you again, girl!
La Forge: Looks like she means a lot to you.
Aquiel: Yes, we've been inseparable ever since I found her wandering around an isolated Arctic research station whose personnel had all mysteriously died.
La Forge: Was that before or after you developed a taste for gothic novels?
Aquiel: During. Other than reading and watching the skies, there's not much else to do up there.
Riker: Rocha's Starfleet file says he was an exemplary officer. I find it hard to believe Uhnari's claim that he was arrogant and abusive towards her.
Picard: Why would she make up something like that?
Riker: According to her personnel records, she has a history of being stubborn and uncooperative. As a cadet, for instance, she was kicked off the Academy debating team because she argued too much.
Aquiel: I did not kill Lieutenant Rocha!
Worf: This phaser from the station's weapons locker was found on your shuttle.
Aquiel: The power was out in the replicators, so I used it to make myself a pot of coffee.
Riker: A phaser set on level 10?
Aquiel: I like really strong coffee, okay?
Riker: Did you go aboard Station 47 recently?
Morag: No! (prod from Torak) Yes.
Riker: Did you steal any codes from the station's computer?
Morag: No! (prod from Torak) Yes.
Riker: Did you kill Lieutenant Rocha?
Morag: No! (prod from Torak) I said no!
Riker: Damn. I thought we were one prod away from wrapping up this investigation.
Worf: Perhaps I should do the prodding.
Riker: Just put him in the Brig for now, Mr. Torquemada.
La Forge: Why did you delete one of Rocha's private files?
Aquiel: It wasn't on purpose! I just accidentally leaned against the wrong button and erased seventeen minutes of the recording he made!
La Forge: Do you seriously think anyone's going to believe an excuse like that?
Aquiel: If it can happen to Richard Nixon's secretary, it can happen to anyone.
Crusher: That's funny -- this ectoplasmic goo is starting to change shape.
Crusher: AAAAAAAAAAH! It's the legendary disembodied hand that strangled people!
Ogawa: The notorious one that nobody ever found? EEEEEEEK!
Selar: It is clear that I will have to revise my interpretation of the human concept of "funniness."
Crusher: I think that a coalescent organism killed Rocha at the end of his last assignment, took his shape, then came aboard Station 47 in his place.
Picard: Assuming this sample of goo is only a small part of the creature, where did the rest of it go? Who is it pretending to be this time?
Crusher: Given a choice between a klutzy Klingon who's safely in our Brig and a femme fatale who's romancing Geordi in her quarters, what would you say the odds are?
Riker: (tapping combadge) Riker to Security! Transport eight fully-armed platoons to the space station right away!
Riker: I'm sorry we had to haul your girlfriend away like that, Geordi, but it was for your own safety.
La Forge: Yeah, well, I think it was a bit much to send in the MACOs too. They scared us half to death when they kicked their way in through the walls and the ceiling.
Riker: Major Culp asked me to apologize on his behalf about that. He said his troops didn't realize the door was unlocked.
La Forge: Well, pooch, I guess it's just you and me until Aquiel gets released from observation. Would you like to have something to eat?
La Forge: AAAAAAAAAAH! No, wait, I didn't mean me!
La Forge: ...and so I managed to shoot the thing with my phaser just in the nick of time.
Aquiel: I'm so glad this nightmare is over. That means I can start figuring out what to do with my life now that I've decided to leave Starfleet.
La Forge: Since you like reading gothic novels so much, maybe you could try writing one.
Aquiel: I don't think I'd be very good at that.
La Forge: I disagree. When was the last time you re-read your own diary?
(The Enterprise sails away at Ludicrous Speed)
Marc Richard is one of the contributors of Five-Minute Voyager, where sci-fi episodes are reduced to "fivers" of one-twelfth their original length.