Home Extras Links History Off-Topic Site Map Email

The Breach

We Wish He Stayed Silent Because He Can't Act Very Well Travis leads Trip and Malcolm spelunking in Non-Blood-Feverish caves to rescue a trio of stray Denobulan geologists. Trip wishes aloud for the hand rails and snack bar of his previous cave. (Obviously he's been somewhere else since the LSD Caves from the beginning of last season.) They carefully rappel down the first cliff. Trip misses a foot-plant about halfway down, causing a minor landslide, but doesn't fall -- "Just testing the rope," he quips.

The next leg of the journey is somewhat more perilous, however. Mal edges down the slippery slope with Trip behind him. (My rock-climbing brother-in-law advised that Travis, as the most experienced climber, should be the lead, not the anchor.) Before Trav can quite shoot the piton into the wall, the armory officer loses his footing and proceeds to prove that gravity works. In a Wile E. Coyote-worthy moment, the safety rope uncoils, and Trip has an ohnosecond to realize he's heading down the falls without a barrel.

All three of our intrepid explorers shoot the chute. I hope Trav brought a few extra waste disposal packs, because they're seriously going to need them after this run. Mal goes sailing out into the great wide open. Trip is free-fallin' right behind him. Travis realizes that since he had a whole episode last week without getting Kennyed, he's back to redshirt status. Just before learning to fly, he jams his foot into a convenient hole, breaking his senior officers' fall and his own leg.

Dangling like that terrifying scene in Vertical Limit, Trip and Malcolm struggle to reach the cavern wall so they can anchor a piton.

Trip slams hard into the wall but can't get a grip on it. Trav yells that he's about to give out. "Let's swing together!" Trip shouts to Mal, suddenly catching the interest of certain audience segments. After swingin' back and forth a few times, Trip manages to jam an anchor into the wall just before the rope slips out of Trav's hands.

Trip patches up Trav's broken leg, promises not to shoot him like a horse, and soldiers on with Malcolm in tow. They crawl (sideways, oddly) through the snug tunnels, getting filthy and scratched and annoyed.

At length they discover the rock docs' camp. Trip introduces himself and Mal to the Denobulans and tells them they've had their fun, but it's time to move on. The geologists seem surprised to see them, and politely brush off our boys' concerns and orders.

Trip firmly repeats that they're leaving. They declare that they're staying. Commander Tucker revs into high dudgeon and informs them that they can either leave under their own power or he'll drag them out by their ankles. (No really. I looooooove John Shiban.) They cave.

Crawling back out, one of the rockheads tries to claim one more sample for the bag. Trip goes ballistic and threatens, "If you don't start moving in the next five seconds, Ah'm going take my phase pistol and shoot you in the ass! One!... Two!..." The rockhead wisely flees. Malcolm gives Trip the thumbs-up for remembering, and hanging onto, the phase pistol this time.

They reach Almost Chunky Salsa Cliff. The place starts to shake. Trip guesses earthquake. Paranoid Mal guesses ordnance and names it down to the millimeter. Our boys strap on their gear, duck a boulder, and start to climb that hill by hauling themselves up a handspan at a time, while the geologists just Spider-Man up the sheer face. Showoffs.

They get Trav out and everyone into the shuttle pod. Fortunately, they're flying Invulnerable Shuttlepod One, which can take a few hits from the grouchy local government and not blow up.