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Welcome to the BowMouth
(or, What It Could Be Like if Joss Whedon Came to Write for ENT)
Part 4


T'POL: Anything?

HOSHI {holding her little silver earpiece thingy in her ear}: Nope. {a beat} Wait -- wait, I think I've got something -- {All lean forward in anticipation.} There's a lot of static -- interference --

T'POL: Helm, move us another three and a half tetches to 005 mark 011.

CREWMAN SULU: Three and a half tetches, 005 mark 011, aye.

HOSHI: I've got it! {a beat} Mets over the Braves, 4-3 in 12 innings! {All cheer.}

MALCOLM: I knew they could do it!

T'POL: Subway Series, here we come!

CREWMAN SULU: You realize the Mets stand no chance against the Yankees.

MALCOLM: Five pounds says the Mets win it in six.

CREWMAN SULU: You're on, Lieutenant.

HOSHI: I'm in. Oh, and the cell ship with Commander Tucker and the Klingon are at 158 mark 3.

T'POL: Put me down too.

CREWMAN SULU: You're all going to be buying me drinks when we get to Risa.

MALCOLM {chuckling}: We'll see.

CREWMAN SULU {grinning}: We certainly will. {to T'POL} Should I adjust course to pick up the cell ship, Subcommander?

T'POL: What? Oh yeah, sure, fine, whatever. {to HOSHI} Do you think the Captain would mind if I wore a Mets cap on the Bridge?

{Helix. ARCHER is creeping down a hallway, crossbow at the ready. He ducks into a doorway as two Suliban thugs hurry by. He peeks back out, looks both ways, and continues.}

DANIELS {wearing a tall white tocque and an apron over a Starfleet uniform}: Don't...go down that hall.

ARCHER: Deal with my going.

DANIELS: You shouldn't be putting yourself at risk. The future depends on you.

ARCHER: I thought you weren't going to be in this episode.

DANIELS: I'm on break.

ARCHER: Break on through to a state of attention. Your roast is burning. {DANIELS looks startled, then punches a few buttons on his temporal thingy and disappears. ARCHER chuckles.} Cooks. Gets 'em every time.

{ARCHER continues along the hallway, checking for Suliban. His scanner registers no life-signs. He sees a door with another flashing neon sign reading "LOOK IN HERE." Glancing in all directions, he opens the door and looks in cautiously. It's the room where SILIK was talking to FUTURE GUY, but there's no one there. ARCHER enters, looking around.

A Suliban morphs out of the wall behind him and stalks him. As the Suliban raises his gun, ARCHER brings the crossbow back over his shoulder and shoots without looking. The Suliban is speared and puddles.}

ARCHER: Your boys need to invest in shoes that don't squeak.

SILIK {invisible}: Your boys should invest in Kevlar.

ARCHER {trying to track SILIK's voice}: Why? It's not like you can hit the broad side of a shuttlepod with a can of paint.

SILIK: There's so much more going on than you understand, Jon. May I call you Jon?

ARCHER: Just don't call me late for dinner.

SILIK {sounds as though he's moved behind ARCHER}: I had Klaang restrained for a reason.

ARCHER {turning around, crossbow raised}: I know. To keep him from getting to the Chancellor with Sarin's message.

SILIK: To protect you.

ARCHER: Bored now. {fires several crossbow bolts randomly. Three Suliban melt off the ceiling and into view, becoming puddles as they hit the floor.}

SILIK: Don't you want to hear what I have to say, mon capitane?

ARCHER: Only if it involves the words "I surrender."

SILIK {jumping off the wall as he becomes visible}: You should really give me a chance, Jon.

ARCHER {aiming crossbow at SILIK's chest}: The only chance you had with me was back on whatever the hell that planet was when I was unconscious.

SILIK {frowning}: Rigel?

ARCHER {rolling eyes}: Don't you start with that!

SILIK {advancing a step}: I had to keep you safe, Jon. If Klaang had gotten to you, it would have been... very bad.

ARCHER: "Gotten to me" how?

{Bridge. The turbolift swishes open. TRIP comes onto the Bridge looking disheveled, stumbling a little, with his turtleneck pulled up very high.}

T'POL: Commander. What's your status?

TRIP: Jes' fine, Subcommander.

T'POL: Helm, take us out.

TRIP: B'lay that. {approaches T'POL slowly} The Cap'n's still down there. We hafta go back for'im.

T'POL: We have to get Klaang to Qo'noS. If we send another team for Captain Archer we risk getting everyone killed.

TRIP: The Cap'n gave me an order.

T'POL: I am in command here.

TRIP {advancing, unblinking, pupils very wide}: Listen, Alexander T'Haig, the Cap'n tole me ta come back for 'im. {reaches for T'POL. She tries to step away, but her boots are mag-locked. She staggers. He seizes her arms and shakes her with each word.} And -- we're -- goin' -- back.

MALCOLM: Commander Tucker! What's the matter with you?

TRIP {not taking his eyes off T'POL}: Nothin's wrong, Mister Reed. Ev'rythang's gonna be jes' fine.

{MALCOLM clenches his jaw, then raises his pistol and fires at TRIP. CREWMAN SULU gasps. TRIP doesn't even rock from the blow.}

ROCKY HORROR AUDIENCE: Shoulders! Of! Steel!

TRIP {squeezing T'POL more tightly and bending her backwards a little}: Now, we're gonna turn this ship around an' go back fer th' Cap'n. An' then you an' me, pretty, we're spendin' some serious time in Dee-con.

{TRIP grins inhumanly wide, showing many pointed teeth. He abruptly pulls T'POL close to bite her. She gets her hands up barely in time.}

T'POL: Help!

{HOSHI flings her entire mug of tea at TRIP's back and head. He lets T'POL go with an agonized scream and falls to the deck, writhing. Smoke rises from where the tea struck him. T'POL clomps away a few steps, wiping at her neck.}

CREWMAN SULU: What did you do? What's going on?

HOSHI {holding up her mug}: Green tea with eelbane in it. Watch.

{TRIP is whimpering, face in his hands. Several small wormlike creatures wriggle out of his ear, smoldering, and drop to the deck, where they melt into reddish blobs.}

T'POL: What are those?

HOSHI: Ceti Alpha VII demon gagh. I'm surprised they're not in the Vulcan database.

MALCOLM: Demon gagh... of course.

HOSHI: They enter through the ear and wrap around the victim's soul. Whoever raised the gagh just gives him instructions.

MALCOLM: Complete lack of control over his own actions.

T'POL But... how did you know?

MALCOLM: He never calls me "Mister Reed." I should have realized what was going on at once. Good job, Hoshi.

HOSHI: Thanks! It was pretty obvious. His accent was really hokey and overdone.

CREWMAN SULU: What's eelbane?

HOSHI: Um, an ancient Japanese herb, used to cast out demons and evil spirits and protect against possession. Its mystical properties were discovered by Buddhist monks around 547 B.C.E.

CREWMAN SULU: So you drink it all the time, to keep yourself from being seized by an alien?

HOSHI: Oh no, I just like the minty flavor. Keeps my breath fresh.

{The turbolift door swishes open. PHLOX enters with some EMTs carrying a stretcher.}

PHLOX: Oh, they've all turned to mush! Couldn't you have saved me one, Ensign?

HOSHI: Sorry, Doctor. Eelbane is kind of a blunt instrument. {The EMTs load TRIP onto the stretcher.}

PHLOX {brightly}: Was the Captain infected as well? Perhaps I can get some samples from him!

MALCOLM: Excuse me. Incoming! {The ship jolts.}

T'POL: He's, um, not on board.

PHLOX: Not on board? {The EMTs cart the stretcher to the turbolift.}

T'POL {mumbling}: He's still on the core of the Helix.

PHLOX: Well, go rescue him, Subcommander!

T'POL: Doctor?

PHLOX: He went back for you when you dropped your iPod and busted your lips, as I recall.

T'POL {looking away}: Yeah, well, that was different.

PHLOX {patiently}: Without the Captain, the Chosen One, the demons from the future start the Klingon Civil War, break through the dimensional rift on Planet Hellmouth, take over this universe, and you {pokes her in the shoulder a few times} don't get that big scene your agent is negotiating for.

T'POL: If I don't get him, we don't have to endure "A Night in Sickbay."

PHLOX: Hmm... {considers} That is a rather compelling argument...

HOSHI {taking the little silver earpiece thingy from her ear}: Sorry, Subcommander. I just checked with Crewman Daniels. If we lose Captain Archer, "A Night in Sickbay," will still be filmed, but Carrot Top will be leading the series.

T'POL {whipping around}: Helm, turn us about. Ensign, find Captain Archer's biosign on the Helix. Lieutenant, work with Engineering to get the matter transporter functioning.

PHLOX {airily as he heads for the turbolift}: I'll keep you apprised of Commander Tucker's condition.

MALCOLM: Thank you, Doctor. Incoming! {The ship jolts.}

{Helix. A now-visible SILIK and ARCHER are sitting at a table, sharing a bottle of Shiraz, deep in conversation.} you see what I meant?

ARCHER: Oh, entirely. I can't believe I was so stupid.

SILIK: Well, it happens to the best of us.

ARCHER: At least your contact from the future is...

SILIK {nodding vigorously}: Yes. {they share a nervous laugh} But the important thing is, Jon, now we both know what's really going on.

ARCHER {meaningfully}: Yes. We do. {raises his glass} This could be the beginning of a beautiful...

SILIK {raising his glass}: L'chayim. {they clink glasses and drink} So now that we've gotten that out of the way...

ARCHER: I hate to say this, but I should be going.

SILIK: What do you mean? You've only just arrived!

ARCHER: I know, but my ship is going to come looking for me.

SILIK {soothingly}: They have to get Klaang to Qo'noS. We'll have plenty of time.

ARCHER {looking down and playing with the water drops on the table}: I told Trip to come back for me.

SILIK {looking down}: Oh. Well.


{ARCHER looks up, as does SILIK. Their eyes meet for a long moment.}

{Bridge. Enterprise is soaring towards what's left of the Helix. Cell ships blast Enterprise with weapons fire. Enterprise is giving as good as she gets, taking out cell ships one by one.}

MALCOLM: Incoming! {The ship jolts.} But I got another two!

T'POL: Mister Sulu, can we dock?

CREWMAN SULU: Yes, but their dock isn't attached to the Helix. The Captain uncoupled it.

MALCOLM: Incoming! {The ship jolts.}

T'POL {pressing button on the armrest}: Engineering, we're going to Plan B. {No response.} Engineering, report.

KELLY {over comm}: Um, Lieutenant Hess had to, uh, she and Crewman Rostov went to console Porthos, Subcommander. About the Captain being left behind and all.

MALCOLM: Incoming! {The ship jolts.}

T'POL: Never mind, Engineering. {punches two buttons in a row} Transporter Room Two, lock onto the Captain and energize.

{Transporter Room. The transporter shimmers. ARCHER appears on the pad, crossbow and bolts at his feet, arm outstretched to someone who's no longer there.}

T'POL {over comm}: Transporter Room, do you have him?

O'BRIEN: Yes ma'am.

MALCOLM {over comm}: Incoming! {The ship jolts.}

T'POL {over comm}: Captain, are you all right?

{ARCHER walks to the console and presses a button. His voice is raw.}

ARCHER: Yeah. I'm fine.

T'POL {over comm}: Did you get my headphones?

{ARCHER looks up at O'BRIEN. An idea is forming.}

ARCHER: Why, no, I didn't... I'll go back for them. I'll just be a minute. {runs back to transporter pad} Set the transporter to retrieve me in one minute. Then go help out in Engineering. I'm sure they could use a hand.

O'BRIEN: Understood, sir. {ARCHER dematerializes.}

{Qo'noS. Big-ass matte painting.

ARCHER, T'POL, MALCOLM, HOSHI, and a thoroughly chastened TRIP are seated on a wooden bench, waiting outside a tremendous pair of carved oaken doors with metal bands across them. Four honor guards flank the doors, glaring like angry statues. City sounds can be heard through the open windows.}

HOSHI: It's such a shame about Travis. He really wanted to see this place.

MALCOLM: Still hasn't awakened yet?

ARCHER: Nope. Doctor Phlox said it could be weeks. However, he finally had time to conduct an examination of Travis's vocal chords.


ARCHER {leaning forward around T'POL, who is reading a three-year-old Maxim}: Crushed. Like eggs. Phlox said if he ever had been able to speak, he never will again. {TRIP fidgets.}

HOSHI: Well, that's Stephen King-y kind of horrible.

{The door opens. A Klingon woman comes into the vestibule. Her breasts pop out a full two inches from her leather bustier.}

GRILKA: Humans! {They stand. T'POL remains seated, ostentatiously reading and swinging her crossed leg.} And Vulcan. {She puts down the magazine and stands.} The Chancellor has received Klaang's message. There will be no civil war. Planet Hellmouth has been blasted into pebbles by the IDF. The p'taQ demons who tried to manipulate the Klingon Empire will be hunted down like dogs, and their skulls will adorn the Chancellor's bathroom.You are free to go. {She turns to leave.}

ARCHER: Free to go? That's it?

GRILKA: What exactly were you expecting?

ARCHER: I don't know, something. I mean, we stopped a war. We should at least have a meeting with a lot of speeches and gushing expressions of gratitude.

GRILKA {looking him up and down}: Perhaps you're right. My House's ranks are rather thin. Would you like to become studs? You'll be rewarded handsomely.

ARCHER: You know, you're right. No thanks necessary. {starts to back away; the crew follows him} I am the Chosen One, after all. Just doing my job.

GRILKA: Are you sure? Maybe you could just spare me the little one? {winks at MALCOLM} He looks tough.

MALCOLM {making a disgusted face}: Ew!

T'POL: I thought you humans were... explorers. Searching out the new and the different?

MALCOLM: That's not the part I was objecting to.

{They reach the outer hallway.}

TRIP: Wait -- was Klaang a bad guy or not?

HOSHI: Ask again in ten minutes and you'll get another answer. The only absolute in the Jossverse is that there are no absolutes.

TRIP: Ah'm just tryin' to get a handle on how embarrassed Ah should be that he got the better of me.

MALCOLM: Very. You're a Starfleet officer. You should be able to defend yourself.

ARCHER: Not at all, Trip! Klaang is built like a linebacker and was possessed by gagh wraiths.


{Enterprise, ARCHER's quarters. The doorbell rings. TRIP, MALCOLM, and T'POL enter without waiting for a response.}

T'POL: Please do forgive me, Lieutenant. I had no idea --

{She stops and stares in shock. TRIP and MALCOLM look over to see ARCHER in bed, hastily putting out a cigarette, SILIK's head pillowed on his chest.}

T'POL: Captain!

ARCHER: Not for anything, but I did warn you about barging in.

MALCOLM: I do not like green eggs and ham. I do not like them, Sam I am! {leaves}

ARCHER {to SILIK}: Mon petit chou, why don't you go jump in the shower? I need to talk to my friends.

SILIK: Don't be long, angel. {They kiss, lingeringly. SILIK morphs on the orange jumpsuit before getting out of bed and heading for the bathroom. TRIP finds ARCHER's thick pink terrycloth bathrobe and tosses it to him.}

ARCHER {putting it on}: Thanks.

T'POL: You had sex with the Suliban leader.

ARCHER {standing and tying his robe}: T'Pol, things are so much more complicated than you realize. He's different now --

T'POL {hissing}: He stole my headphones! Right out of my pocket!

ARCHER: And he gave them back, didn't he? Besides, he said he was sorry.

TRIP: Cap'n, you asked us here. Did you want somethin', or were you just flauntin' the newest thing in avocado facials?

ARCHER {flushing}: Starfleet said, and I quote, "You didn't screw that up too badly. We'll let you keep going."

TRIP: Ah'm giddy with pride. Can Ah put that on a plaque and bolt it to the wall in Engineering?

ARCHER: You obviously didn't hear me, Trip. Maybe you need to clean out your ears. {TRIP flushes and looks down.} I said, we get to keep going.

T'POL: We're not returning to your planet?

ARCHER: Your people are coming to pick you up. {a beat}...Unless you'd rather stay?

T'POL: Only if you ditch Mister Pizza With Broccoli.

ARCHER {sighing, crossing his arms, dragging his toe on the carpet}: It would never work out anyway. I'm a Captain, and he's...

TRIP: Shapeshifting traitorous scum with serious complexion issues?

SILIK {singing in the shower}: 'Cause I've got FAITH, of the HEART, going where my HEART will TAKE me...

ARCHER: ...a Russell Watson groupie with lousy pitch.

{Bridge. The entire main cast is present. TRAVIS is sporting a large bandage on his head and another on his throat, but is at the Helm.}

ARCHER: with Starfleet's, um, blessing, we're heading out. Our seven-year mission --

HOSHI: We hope.

ARCHER: To explore strange new worlds --

T'POL {checking her Palm Pilot}: That's in two weeks.

ARCHER: To seek out new life --

TRIP {checking his day-timer}: That's in three.

ARCHER: And new civilizations --

HOSHI: Scheduled for the end of July.

ARCHER: Hello, motormouths, can I get a sentence finished? {All fall silent.} Thank you. Now, where was I?

MALCOLM: To boldly go where no man -- where no one -- has gone before.

ARCHER: Thank you. Maybe I should just go back to my room and put on a water polo game. I'm obviously not needed here.

TRIP: You were sayin' somethin' about sharin' the wealth with an ensemble cast?

PHLOX: Of course, considering the vagaries of current network television, a seven-year run is actually not guaranteed.

ARCHER: To be --

MALCOLM: Or not to be --

TRIP: That is the question.

T'POL: Course heading, Captain?

ARCHER: Second star to the right, and straight on 'til morning.

T'POL: It is already morning somewhere, Captain.

ARCHER: Shut up, T'Pol.

T'POL: Shutting up, sir.

With apologies to Joss Whedon. And a whole bunch of other people.

"Buffy the Vampire Slayer" belongs to Joss and Mutant Enemy, and probably partly to the WB Network, possibly 20th Century Fox, and Paramount. All Klingon dialogue was taken either from Marc Okrand's "The Klingon Dictionary" or the Klingon Language Institute. "We Are All Made of Stars" by Moby, from the album "18," ©2002. "Hello My Baby" by Ida Emerson and Joseph E. Howard, ©1899 (that's not a typo) by Francis Day & Hunter Ltd. "Faith of the Heart" written by Diane Warren and performed by Russell Watson, ©2001, I guess.

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