Too Short a SeasonBy Marc Richard
Posted at December 25, 2004 - 5:07 PM GMT
See Also: 'Too Short a Season' Episode Guide
Captain's Log: We have been ordered to bring Admiral Mark Jameson to Mordan IV to resolve a hostage crisis there. If he is successful, the news will surely discourage our enemies everywhere from taking any more Federation prisoners in the future.
Jameson: (on viewscreen) Captain, show me the message you received from my old adversary, Supreme Planetary Overlord Karnas.
Picard: Here it is, sir.
Karnas: (on viewscreen) Unspecified nasty rebels have taken some Federation diplomats hostage. This awful situation is beyond the scope of my humble abilities. The brilliant Admiral Jameson is the only man whose genius is up to the task of saving those poor people. Please send him here with a minimal escort as soon as possible.
Jameson: Hmm. Karnas seems to have grown mellow in his old age.
Picard: Perhaps he's assuming you've grown naive in yours.
Picard: Welcome aboard, Admiral.
Riker: If you'll let us put these antigravs on your wheelchair, sir, we'll get you down from our transporter platform right away.
Jameson: What? A twenty-fourth-century starship without adapted transportation? Why don't you have an access ramp?
Picard: It's supposed to arrive next Tuesday.
Jameson: Allow me to present Anne, my wife.
Riker: Thanks for the clarification. I thought she was your daughter.
Anne: Mark always wanted to marry someone half his age, and I always wanted to have an older husband. That's why we're such a perfect couple.
Picard: I'm surprised that Karnas isn't able to handle this hostage situation on his own. He is, after all, the one who unified the planet after forty years of civil war.
Riker: Perhaps he made too many enemies in the process.
Jameson: Quite possible. It's easy to dislike a man whose motto is, "Peace through superior firepower."
Picard: Karnas seems confident you'll be able to get these people released.
Jameson: With good reason. I once resolved a similar crisis on Mordan IV. The hostages were set free precisely five minutes before the civil war started.
Data: Should one infer anything from this fortuitous timing?
Crusher: I think our guest is hiding something from me about the status of his health.
Picard: What makes you suspect that?
Crusher: Nurse Ogawa noticed someone in an admiral's track suit jogging on Deck Ten late last night.
Picard: That's not possible. Is she sure it was Admiral Jameson?
Crusher: Well, not really. She tried to catch up with him, but he was too fast for her.
Picard: Dr. Crusher believes that you're using some kind of rejuvenation treatment.
Jameson: Nonsense. All I'm taking is a daily dose of Vitamin E.
Picard: That doesn't fully explain why you look twenty years younger than you did twelve hours ago.
Jameson: I'm also benefiting from a trip I made last week to the famous Briar Patch Health Spa.
Picard: I've never heard of it.
Jameson: You will.
Anne: Mark, you lied to the Captain. You've never been to any health spa!
Jameson: I didn't want him to know the real reason why I'm getting younger.
Anne: The real reason? Oh, my goodness -- so that's what happened to my hormone-replacement pills!
Jameson: I didn't think you'd notice.
Anne: Not notice that the bottle suddenly went from full to empty?
Jameson: Not notice that those weren't peanuts I was eating yesterday while watching the news.
Anne: My husband is using an alien drug treatment that reverses aging.
Crusher: He's putting his life in danger. There's no telling how far back he'll regress towards early youth.
Anne: You're not kidding. When I last saw him, the rascal was jumping up and down on the bed.
Picard: How did you solve the earlier crisis on Mordan IV?
Jameson: I gave Karnas weapons in exchange for the people he was holding.
Picard: Trading weapons for hostages is illegal and unethical!
Jameson: So? What's good enough for Oliver North should be good enough for me.
Picard: Admiral, I strongly disagree. You've made the Federation look like an arms dealer.
Jameson: I like to think of us as "the arsenal of freedom."
Picard: The policy of supplying weapons to one side in an alien conflict was discredited long ago by the "Tyree's Planet" fiasco.
Jameson: Ah, but that's why I supplied weapons to both sides!
Picard: Is that why Karnas now wants to avenge himself on you?
Jameson: Apparently. For some strange reason, he doesn't seem to like balanced diplomacy.
Jameson: Here I am, Karnas. Now release the hostages!
Karnas: I want the Admiral, not a teenaged impostor!
Picard: It really is the Admiral, Karnas. He's using a youth serum he got from the people of Cerebrus II.
Jameson: It was my reward for negotiating the release of some hostages being held there by a radical faction called the Anti-Grup Liberation Foolie.
Karnas: Hah! A likely story! Just for fun, though, tell me what you did to free the prisoners.
Jameson: I gave their captors fifty thousand colouring books, one million wax crayons and twelve tons of chocolate chip cookies.
Karnas: Hmm. Sounds like Jameson all right.
Jameson: Here is the proof of who I am! The scar from the blood-cut that sealed our bargain!
Karnas: This youth drug gave you back the body of an eighteen-year-old, but it wasn't able to heal a tiny little scar?
Jameson: Well, what do you expect from a rejuvenation treatment -- miracles?
Crusher: He's dead, Captain. His body couldn't tolerate the drug overdose.
Karnas: Can you revive him? I wanted to kill him myself.
Crusher: No, you'll have to settle for hurling insults at his corpse.
Picard: Let the Admiral's fate be a lesson to us all. He meddled in things man must leave alone.
Riker: Tampering with nature?
Picard: Getting involved in shady weapons-for-hostages trades.
(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.