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THE SHORT VERSION: Paramount owns Star Trek and everything to do with it. I make no money off this site; it's just for fun. For more details, read the long version. Live long and prosper.


Welcome to the BowMouth
(or, What It Could Be Like if Joss Whedon Came to Write for ENT)
Part 3

{ARCHER's quarters. ARCHER is lying on his bed, leg bandaged, watching a water polo game. PORTHOS, in beagle form, has torn open the corner of a Velveeta box and is about a third of the way through the loaf.}

ARCHER {cheering a play}: Yeaaaaaaah! All right!

T'POL {over comm}: T'Pol to Captain Archer.

{ARCHER grabs the remote and pauses the game. He hunkers down in bed and clears his throat before hitting the button to answer, in a weak voice.}

ARCHER: Archer here.

T'POL: If you're feeling well enough to come to the Bridge, Captain, now would be a good time.

ARCHER: Well... I'm still a little woozy...

MALCOLM {over comm in background}: Bollocks. He's watching water polo again.

ARCHER {sitting up}: Well, actually, I'm starting to feel better. I'll be there shortly. Archer out.


MALCOLM: I told you. {makes a "gimme gimme" gesture}

T'POL: Can I give it to you Thursday when we get paid?

MALCOLM: Plus ten percent interest.

HOSHI: And don't welsh on him either.

MALCOLM: Actually, my family's all from the Midlands.

HOSHI: Subcommander, I'm getting a subspace message.

T'POL: From whom?

HOSHI: A Lieutenant Paris. Something about damages to his shuttle from the Suliban. He wants us to pay his insurance deductible.

T'POL: Send him an apology and ask if he'll accept PayPal.

{ARCHER enters, limping slightly.}

ARCHER: Got anything?

MALCOLM: The sinking feeling that your love of water polo is going to be your lone character trait for a long while.

ARCHER: Then be grateful I didn't pick dwarf-tossing.

HOSHI {in a gruff voice}: "Don't tell the elf." {All laugh.}

T'POL: It appears we've located the Suliban ship.

{On the viewscreen is an orange planet with a swirling black spot -- sort of an alternate Jupiter. Small buoys with repeating runway lights create a path from orbit through the atmosphere leading directly to the dark blotch. From a small probe, a large hand with a white cartoon glove extends, holding up a blinking neon sign with an arrow reading "THEY WENT THATAWAY.")

ARCHER: Boy, you could cut the suspense with a knife.

MALCOLM: And spread it on a scone.

ARCHER {taking the Big Chair, tugging on his uniform top, and crossing his legs}: Red alert. Shields up, Mister Reed. Helm, take us in at one-quarter impulse.

HOSHI: Sir, you did it again.

ARCHER {slamming his fist on the armrest}: Dammit! I knew I overprepared for this role. Can I have a do-over?

T'POL: Of course. {All nod agreement.}

{ARCHER gets up and jogs a few steps back towards the turbolift. He faces the viewscreen.}

ARCHER {puffing up his chest and over-reciting}: I believe we've found what we're looking for: Planet Hellmouth. Malcolm, polarize the hull plating. Travis, lay in a sixty-degree vector. We're going in. And Hoshi, send Trip a memo to remind him to fix that scraping thing in the turbolift.

{Helix temporal chamber. FUTURE GUY is talking to SILIK through the Temporal Interference Field.}

FUTURE GUY: They escaped? They walked free when I should be quaffing Klingon blood right now? Careless...

SILIK: Master, we had them trapped!

FUTURE GUY: Oh, are you going to make excuses? Something about...{sneers} sunrise? {SILIK doesn't answer.} You're weak. It's been too long since you faced a Captain. But no matter. They won't stop me.

SILIK: Master, I can bring them here, to you, so you may dispose of them as you please.


SILIK: I have something they want. {holds up a pair of pointy headphones} They'll come here, and we'll destroy them. Sarin's message will never reach the Chancellor.

FUTURE GUY: And I'll have a pair of really cool headphones. Good deal. {The Temporal Interference Field turns off. SILIK is alone.}

SILIK: Yes, I'll bring him here... but you may find your vessel has a leak.


T'POL: The planet has a layered atmosphere. Each layer has a different density.

ARCHER: Oooh, like tri-colors? I love those.

T'POL: More like Dante.

ARCHER: I don't love that so much.

T'POL: It's going to be a rough ride.

HOSHI: And Starfleet abolished seatbelts why?

ARCHER {frowns, leans over and stage-whispers}: Turn on the mag-locks in your boots.

HOSHI: Oh! {leans down and flips a switch on either side} I didn't realize those were our stabilizers.

ARCHER {sitting back up straight}: How else is the captain supposed to pace in a crisis?

T'POL: That actually explains a lot about your posture and gait.

{The ship lurches hither and yon. The crew jolts but stays seated.}

T'POL: Almost through.

{The ship bursts into to a blue level.}

HOSHI: This must be the Smurf Layer.

ARCHER: Or the Picassosphere.

{More shaking and jolting and one thirty-second interval of teeth-rattling shivers. They burst through to a layer of white pockmarked with black circles.}

ARCHER: What the hell...?

{A yellow submarine swoops out of one hole and putters by. The four moptops and one elderly gentleman inside wave gaily.}

MALCOLM {singing under his breath}: And we live a life of ease, ev'ry one of us has all we need, Andorians blue, and Vulcans green, in our yellow, submarine...

{The submarine disappears into another hole. The ship continues downward and emerges in a clear although liquid atmosphere.}

T'POL: Probability factor of one to one. We have normality, I repeat, we have normality. Anything you still can't cope with is therefore your own problem. Please relax.

MALCOLM: Two ships on sensors. Small and fast.

HOSHI: Something else on sensors, large and not moving.

ARCHER: A bird in the hand, yadda yadda. Can you zoom in?

{HOSHI increases the magnification on the Helix. Cell ships come and go like bees.}

ARCHER {rubbing his hands together}: Now, where's my boy?

T'POL: Isn't it a little early for that?

ARCHER {rolling his eyes and glaring at T'POL}: I meant Klaang.

MALCOLM: It's definitely too early for that.

ARCHER {holding hands out to HOSHI desperately}: Hoshi?

HOSHI: Hey, whatever blows your skirt up, Captain. I'm not here to judge. It's all good.

ARCHER {pinching the bridge of his nose}: Travis, for the love of god, can you use the sensors to find Klaang in that thing? {TRAVIS hits a few buttons, then turns and shakes his head.}

MALCOLM: Incoming! {The ship jolts.} No damage. Incoming! {The ship jolts again.}

HOSHI: Can't we arrange for some "outgoing"?

TRIP {over comm}: Cap'n! Ma wee bairns cannae take much more!

ARCHER: Keep your kilt on, Commander.

T'POL: I suggest we return to the Neverland layer.

MALCOLM: That's "Pepperland," Subcommander. "Neverland" is inhabited by pale pedophiliac freaks with fake noses, tattooed eyeliner, and abnormally high-pitched voices. Incoming! {The ship jolts.}

T'POL: Ew! So very not. You're right, I meant Pepperland.

ARCHER: Travis, take us up.

{The ship moves upward into the polka-dotted layer. While strange oversized cartoon figures pop in and out of the holes, and the yellow submarine putters by at least once, Enterprise is left alone. ARCHER stands and clumps awkwardly to T'POL's station.}

ARCHER: Got anything?

T'POL: An intense desire for you to come up with a new catchphrase.

HOSHI: Boy, that's not where I thought that sentence was going.

ARCHER: You and the rest of the Target Demographic.

T'POL {examining scans of Helix}: It appears to be an aggregate structure... comprised of hundreds of vessels. They're held in place by an interlocking system of magnetic seals.

ARCHER: Magnetic seals... oh! {leans down and switches off the mag-locks on his boots} Oh, that's so much better.

HOSHI: I think I've located Klaang.

ARCHER {punching comm button}: Transporter room two, lock onto the Klingon's coordinates and beam him directly to Sickbay.

O'BRIEN {over comm}: I'd be happy to, sir, if I had the vaguest idea what you were talking about.

HOSHI: Do-over!

ARCHER {pounds console}: Dammit! Never mind. {punches button to turn off comm} Malcolm, is our grappler online?

MALCOLM: Let me check. {punches comm button} Crewman Zorn? What's your status?

CREWMAN ZORN {over comm}: Ready when you are, sir.

MALCOLM: Very good. Reed out. {punches button to turn off comm}

ARCHER: Travis, follow that rabbit.

{Enterprise follows a large white rabbit down one of the holes into the clear layer of atmosphere. Three cell ships are patrolling. Enterprise shoots and misses, but nails a fourth ship a kilometer down.}

MALCOLM: Incoming! {The ship jolts. MALCOLM mutters as he works his console} Join Starfleet, the recruiter said. Lots of chances to blow things up, he said. {louder} Incoming! {The ship jolts.}

T'POL: These scanners were not designed for a liquid atmosphere.

ARCHER: We don'need no steenken scanners. {waves} The ship's right in front of us.

HOSHI: That's the aft view, sir.

MALCOLM {still muttering}: No oceans in space, he said. Aquaphobia doesn't make a difference in space, he said. {louder} Incoming! {The ship jolts.}

T'POL: You have got to work on a better alert system.

MALCOLM: I'll add it to my "honey- do" list. In the meantime, the lead ship is within one thousand meters. Incoming! {The ship jolts.}

ARCHER: Fire the Wave Motion gun!

MALCOLM: Fire the wot?!

ARCHER: Sorry, wrong franchise. In fact, wrong medium altogether. Fire the grapplers!

{Two large grappling hooks on massive tethers streak out from Enterprise and grab the cell ship. The Suliban pilot, played by a small doll with no articulated joints, is ejected and falls through the atmosphere towards the planet. Enterprise reels the cell ship in.}

ARCHER {punches comm button}: Did we get it?

TRIP {over comm}: Ah'm sorry, Cap'n, but it's below the legal size limit. You'll have to throw it back.

ARCHER: Wiseass. Let's see you tell fish jokes with only one arm.

TRIP {over comm}: Sir?

ARCHER: Um... never mind. I have to stop talking to Chef's intern. Did you fix that scraping thing in the turbolift yet?

TRIP {over comm}: Yeah. Funny thing -- it was a bloodied wrist with a hook attached. Kinda creepy.

{Cell ship. TRIP and TRAVIS are examining the console. TRAVIS is pointing to various controls, and TRIP is trying to identify them.}

TRIP: Pitch control. {TRAVIS shakes his head and points to another button.} That's pitch control. {TRAVIS nods. He points to a display.} Cloak. {TRAVIS shakes his head and points to another button.} Ah dunno, it's the stereo. Play some Dixie Chicks. {TRAVIS grins.} Look, Ah know you ain't mute, just tell me what these damn things are!

{The lights go down, music swells, the spotlight appears, and TRAVIS whips out the top hat and cane. TRIP rolls his eyes and goes back to the buttons.}

TRAVIS {singing}: Hello my baby, hello my honey, hello my ragtime gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaal...

TRIP: Shut up, wouldja? Ah'm not impressed anymore.

{The music fades, and the lights come back up. TRAVIS slowly lowers the hat and cane, looking very disappointed. TRIP continues to ignore him. TRAVIS thinks for a long moment. Suddenly he gets an idea and smiles broadly. The lights go down about halfway this time, with no spotlight. Guitar music begins with TRAVIS's voice.}

TRAVIS {singing}: It's been a long road, gettin' from there to here...

{TRIP's head snaps up, his eyes wide in horror.}

TRAVIS {singing, getting into it}: It's been a long time, but my time is finally near...

{TRIP looks around frantically. He spots the tool box behind him and lunges for it.}

TRAVIS {singing, gesticulating, not watching TRIP}: And I will see my dream come alive at last -- I will touch the sky...

{TRIP finds a tremendous monkey wrench.}

TRAVIS {singing}: And they're not gonna hold me down no more, no they're not gonna change my mind, 'cause I've got -- {TRIP clocks TRAVIS with the wrench. TRAVIS goes down like a sack of wet cement.}

ARCHER {over the comm}: How's it going, Trip?

{TRIP is breathing hard, but he stumbles back to his seat and punches the button to answer.}

TRIP: Jes' fine, Cap'n. Gettin' on jes' fine. {hefts the wrench, panting, and looks over at TRAVIS's inert form}

{Ready Room. Why does Archer have a Ready Room in 2151 when Kirk doesn't have one in the late 2200s? ARCHER has a crossbow slung on his back and is giving last-minute instructions to T'POL.}

ARCHER:...and whatever you do, don't let him have any gorgonzola.

T'POL {tapping her Palm Pilot}: Understood.

ARCHER: Are the Suliban still trying to locate us by Braille?

T'POL: Apparently. Fortunately for us, they're as blind as bats.{The ship jolts.}

ARCHER: The bats on Vulcan must not eat very well.

T'POL: Vulcan only has vampire bats. They navigate by smell.

ARCHER: Wow, an intra-planet, cross-species ability reference! That's subtle and complex even for Deep Space Nine.

T'POL: Joss is God.

ARCHER: Have the Helm lay in a course for Qo'noS. What's the relief's name?

T'POL: Crewman Sulu.

ARCHER: Sulu, right. Poor Travis, coming down with such a horrible migraine right before the biggest, most important journey we've ever made. Something like this could really put a pilot on the fast track to an amazing career. Give him a reputation his descendants could inherit.

T'POL: It might be something more serious than a mere migraine.

ARCHER: Doctor Phlox assures me it's not a tumor. {furrows his brow in concern} I hope Travis wakes up before we get to the Klingon homeworld, though. {The doorbell sounds. Before ARCHER can respond, MALCOLM enters carrying two silver equipment cases.} You know, one of these days you people are going to regret barging in on me.

MALCOLM {setting the cases down}: Don't be ridiculous. You're the Captain. You have no privacy and no personal life, and the only intimate contact you're allowed is a string of one-night stands or dead spouses. {flips open the first case} Now, here's the anti-magnet magnet you requested. Press this button and you've got five seconds to be on the piece which isn't floating off into space.

ARCHER: Five seconds. Got it.

MALCOLM {flips open the second case}: Here are the new hand weapons. They're called phase-pistols. They have two settings: stun and kill. It would be best not to confuse them.

T'POL: That joke is straight from the script.

MALCOLM: It's one of the funniest lines B&B have written. I'll be reminiscing about it in interviews for years to come. {cocks his head suddenly, then grabs onto the wall.} Incoming! {The ship jolts.}

ARCHER: Subcommander, the ship is yours. {grabs a quiver of crossbow bolts}

T'POL: Break a leg.

ARCHER: Wow, you really are jockeying for the Observer role, aren't you?

HOSHI {over comm}: Bridge to Captain Archer.

ARCHER {punching button}: Go ahead.

HOSHI {over comm}: Admiral Forrest is on Line Two, sir.

ARCHER: Put it through to my Ready Room. Archer out. {to MALCOLM} Would you mind taking those cases to the cell ship, please?

MALCOLM: My pleasure, sir.

{T'POL and MALCOLM nod curtly and leave with the cases. ARCHER puts down the crossbow and bolts and sits at his desk, then turns on the terminal.}

ARCHER: Admiral.

ADMIRAL FORREST: You're going out?

ARCHER: I have to.

ADMIRAL FORREST: You haven't filed a log in days.

ARCHER: It's been really quiet.

ADMIRAL FORREST: It's happening again, isn't it? I got a call from Soval. Said you made a detour to Rigel and Subcommander T'Pol was injured?

ARCHER: I was running an errand.

ADMIRAL FORREST: Enterprise still has that new-ship smell, and I'm getting calls from the Vulcan ambassador.

ARCHER: Admiral, I promise, it is not gonna be like before. But I have to go.



ADMIRAL FORREST: The tapes all say I should get used to saying it. No.

ARCHER: This is really, really important. You have no idea.

ADMIRAL FORREST: I know. If you don't go out it'll be the end of the universe. Everything is life or death when you're a Captain. {sighs fondly} I remember my first command -- 438 souls reporting to me, every decision could mean discovery or destruction.... That kind of power can really make your head swell.

ARCHER: Look, I don't have time to talk about this...

ADMIRAL FORREST: Captain, you've got all the time in the world. You're not going anywhere. Now, if you want to sit in your quarters and watch water polo and sulk, I won't hold it against you. But if you're willing to get back with the program, I'll be here to get your logs. {closes channel}

ARCHER: This is why superheroes are freelancers, renegades, and orphans. {picks up crossbow and bolts and leaves}

{Cell ship. ARCHER and TRIP are squeezed together on the single seat in front of the controls. A light on a side panel begins to blink, and an alarm is heard.}

ARCHER: What's that?

TRIP: Means the microwave is done. {He punches a button to turn off the alarm, opens a small door, and takes out a packet. Reads off the wrapper} Ham and Swiss with a little no-fat mayo on Wonder Bread -- that one's yours. {hands it to ARCHER and takes out the second for himself}

ARCHER: Thanks. {unwraps sandwich} Whadja get? {takes a bite}

TRIP: Smoked turkey and brie with honey mustard on a fresh wheat baguette. {unwraps the end and takes a bite}

ARCHER: I'm beginning to think Chef likes you better.

TRIP: Ah don't keep badgerin' his intern with stupid questions.

ARCHER: Remind me why you're flying this ship when I'm the pilot?

TRIP: "Rigel."

ARCHER: Never mind.

TRIP: Napkin?


MALCOLM: Incoming! {The ship jolts.}

HOSHI: I think you just like saying that.

MALCOLM: Would you rather I made "You sunk my bat-tle-ship!" jokes?

HOSHI: Point taken.

T'POL: You know, Tuvok never had to put up with this kind of blatant species-ism.

MALCOLM: These are much less PC times, Subcommander.

HOSHI: Which is why you're never ever coming out, right?

MALCOLM: Unfortunately. {to T'POL} You know, if we moved over just a tetch, the Suliban would have to start looking for us all over again.

T'POL: If we move even half a tetch, the Captain will never find us.

MALCOLM: Mister Tucker is piloting, not the Captain.

T'POL: Oh. In that case: Helm, move us two tetches to starboard.

CREWMAN SULU: Two tetches to starboard, aye.

{Cell ship.}

TRIP {as he punches buttons}: Welcome to the Helix. Please stow your luggage, close your trays, and return your seatbacks to their upright position. Thank you for flying Really Close Quarters Airlines.

ARCHER: Aren't you glad you use Dial?

TRIP: Don't you wish everybody else did?

ARCHER: The future of television: no commercial interruptions, just constant internal product placement. {The ship thunks hard against the side of the Helix. ARCHER looks artfully queasy.} Where's my Dramamine?

{Whirring mechanical sounds and hissing as atmospheric pressure equalizes. The hatch door opens onto a dark corridor. ARCHER and TRIP clamber out of the cell ship, each with a phase pistol, TRIP carrying the silver case and hand scanner, ARCHER with his crossbow and bolts.

They come around a corner and surprise a Suliban. TRIP fires his phase pistol, to no effect. The Suliban shoots and misses. ARCHER fires his crossbow, catching the Suliban in the heart. He puddles.}

ARCHER: Gotta have a Plan B.

TRIP: Mal is gonna be so disappointed.


HOSHI: Please please please can't I do it just once?

MALCOLM: All right. Just this once. Mind you don't muck it up.

HOSHI: Oh goody! Thanks. {She puts the little silver earpiece thingy into her ear and listens intently for a long beat. Suddenly she yanks it out.} Ow! Incoming! {There are two loud BOOMs, and the ship jolts hard, twice.}

MALCOLM: Nicely done, Ensign.

HOSHI: Thank you. Now I have a headache this big {gestures} and it's got Excedrin written all over it.

T'POL: Helm, move us a few tetches farther to starboard.

CREWMAN SULU: A few tetches farther to starboard, aye. Do you think it's going to help us avoid the Suliban, Subcommander?

T'POL: No, but the interference on my Blackberry reception might clear up.

{Helix. ARCHER kicks open a door. He and TRIP point their pistols every which way, trying to cover all directions at once. TRIP cautiously flips on the light. The room is empty except for KLAANG, sprawled unconscious at a table, both hands in small bowls.}

ARCHER: Dibs on the door. Get Klaang.

TRIP {surprised}: Don't you wanna do the whole big hero rescue thing?

ARCHER: Nah, I believe in sharing the wealth. It's supposed to be an ensemble show, remember?

TRIP: Ah will, but the writers won't.

ARCHER: You're one of the Big Four; don't bitch.

TRIP {holstering his pistol}: Four? Ah thought it was gonna be the Big Three.

ARCHER: It's the accent. Malcolm's is real.

TRIP: Hey!

ARCHER {motioning with the phase pistol}: Klaang?

{TRIP makes an annoyed face, but hurries over to KLAANG, taking his hands out of the bowls. KLAANG's fingers are crushed in giant mousetraps.}

TRIP: Man, that's gotta sting. {He pries them off one by one. As he gets the last trap off, KLAANG wakes up and slugs TRIP halfway across the room.} Oooof!

KLAANG {raising his mangled hands in victory}: Qa'pla! {ARCHER puts a crossbow bolt between KLAANG's feet before he can move again. KLAANG looks down, then slowly up at ARCHER.}

ARCHER: Let's see who can win a prize for keeping their cool. You come with us like a good boy and you got an amazing story to tell your friends. If not, you got a tag on your toe. You decide.

TRIP {getting up creakily}: And you're makin' comments about my accent?

{KLAANG grudgingly follows ARCHER and TRIP. They reach the hallway, and Suliban begin firing at them.}

ARCHER: Give me the case and scanner. Get Klaang to the ship. I'll be right there.

{ARCHER puts the case on the floor, opens it, and begins setting up the anti-magnet magnet. TRIP phasers a Suliban and he goes down.}

TRIP: Yeah! Ah got one!

{Another Suliban leaps for them. He meets KLAANG's mailed fist in mid-air. The Suliban explodes in a spray of of silver goo and purple Klingon blood.}

KLAANG {groaning and shaking his hand}: ghuy'cha'!

TRIP: Ah'll bet. C'mon, we gotta get to the ship. {They run off.}

{ARCHER puts the the anti-magnet magnet against the wall. It promptly slides down to the floor and falls over. ARCHER rolls his eyes and flips it back upright.}

ARCHER: Now, what did Malcolm say... five seconds to be on the piece which isn't floating off into space.

{He checks the flooring seals, then turns the machine on.}


{A brief flash of light fills the corridor. Mechanisms start to go off everywhere, as the interlocking pieces decouple. The Helix is coming apart at the seams. ARCHER is quite pleased, until he looks at the separating cells and realizes that the piece which is floating off into space is attached to the ship where TRIP and KLAANG are waiting for him.}

ARCHER: ghuy'cha'.

{Cell ship. TRIP is sitting in KLAANG's lap because there's no other way to fit both of them in the ship. TRIP hails ARCHER with some desperation.}

TRIP: Cap'n? You all right?

ARCHER {over communicator}: I'm still on the central core. Get Klaang back to Enterprise.

TRIP: Ah ain't leavin' you there!

ARCHER{over communicator}: Come back for me when things have cleared up. Archer out.

TRIP: Damn. {He starts punching buttons. The cell ship roughly disengages from the disintegrating Helix and zips away, dodging other ships and corridors and a tiny woman on a broom. KLAANG roars irritably.}

KLAANG: nuqDaq 'oH puchpa''e'?

TRIP: And if a bullfrog had wings his ass wouldn't drag on the ground. Ah'm gettin' us out of here the best Ah can.

{They clear the debris field and head outward, looking for Enterprise. KLAANG quiets down and eyes TRIP craftily. He sniffs once or twice.}

TRIP: Ah don't particularly like the way you smell either.

KLAANG {in English}: I think you smell just fine, warrior. Invigorating. {TRIP's eyes widen, and he whips around.} I should thank you, for releasing me from the Suliban's traps.

TRIP: Please tell me you ain't gonna start singin'.

KLAANG {shaking his head}: No. {He inhales deeply and suddenly tightens his arms around TRIP, trapping him.} But your blood is sweet -- {KLAANG opens his mouth widely to reveal many sharp teeth. TRIP screams.}

Part 1

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Part 4