Blackadder of Starfleet
Blackadder: Bureau of Starfleet Personnel
Blackadder: Bureau of Starfleet Personnel
(As names fade in and out across the bottom of the screen, a starship with the classic design of most Starfleet vessels appears in the distance and approaches swiftly. At closest point of approach, it turns back to the stars, and a small object falls from it. It screams down through the atmosphere. The camera turns and sees Commander Blackadder narrowly escape the crash of the cargo pod to the surface. He shakes a fist at the sky, then kicks the pod. It falls open to reveal an object. Each episode has a different object, which is at least slightly relevant to the plot.)
(Pod Contents: a gavel leaning against a globe of Earth)
(Blackadder pilots a Runabout, Baldrick sits in the co-pilot seat, swathed in restraints. An amazing number of straps hold down his upper and lower arms, legs, feet, individual fingers, and multiple straps hold him to the seat. The padlocks may be overkill. They sit in silence for a minute.)
BALDRICK: I get the feeling, commander, that you're still mad at me.
BLACKADDER: Oh, no, Baldrick. If anything, I should be mad at myself.
BALDRICK: Yourself, sir?
BLACKADDER: Yes. In my typical soft-heartedness, I left you just enough freedom of movement to pick your nose and wipe it on your trouser leg. It's only to be expected that you should somehow have managed to bring about a power crisis, an environmental support emergency, and managed to make the close approach of the Moon a total surprise, despite it being one of the most well documented orbital bodies since mankind looked up through the branches and said, "Hey, that's a shiny piece of fruit, isn't it? One day I'll climb up high enough to smash into it at just slightly less than light speed."
BALDRICK: Sorry, sir.
BLACKADDER: You said that.
BALDRICK: Will I have to sit like this all the way to Targus III?
BLACKADDER: Tempting as it may be, Balders, I suppose I'll have to let you use the head a time or two. Besides, we're not going to Targus III.
BALDRICK: We're not? But Admiral Melchett sent us to set up the personnel office at the forward deployment base there.
BLACKADDER: All we have to do is show up at the end and make sure that the terribly competent people stationed there set it up right. In the meantime, there's a casino on the way that I've been meaning to visit for quite a while.
BALDRICK: So we're taking leave?
BLACKADDER: No, I'm taking a detour. No one needs to know.
BALDRICK: But they'll know when we turn up late, won't they?
BLACKADDER: Oh, We'll just say some supreme being, or race, held us on trial for all of humanity's sins, then let us go when we proved our intent to improve on our past through future behavior and strict moral oversight and blah, blah, blah.
BALDRICK: Does that ever really happen, Mr. B?
BLACKADDER: Probably not as often as the reports seem to indicate, Chief. I really find it suspicious that every time some omni-judgmental being chooses representatives for humanity, he takes the best and brightest, usually off the flagship of Starfleet.
BALDRICK: Isn't that the best choice, sir?
BLACKADDER: Oh, for Mankind, sure. But if I were going to try a species, I'd skip the bright flames and orators. I'd tip over rocks until I found some sniveling, cowardly wretch. Someone who'd do anything for five minutes of fame, fortune, or fornication. Someone so weaselly, dishonest and deceitful that they'd sell their own mother for sixpence.
(A high pitched whine fills the shuttle, climaxing in volume as the two men fade from view, leaving an empty and silent shuttle. Shift to a scene of a surreal courtroom, with Blackadder and Baldrick in the docket, dressed in clichéd striped prisoner outfits, chained hand and foot to large metal balls. Blackadder looks around then grumbles:)
BLACKADDER: I hate my life. (And fade….)
(Admiral Melchett's office. Melchett behind desk, Percy enters)
PERCY: Admiral Melchett! We've lost contact with Commander Blackadder's shuttle!
MELCHETT: Near what casino?
PERCY: No, sir, it was just outside of Jupiter's orbit.
MELCHETT: Now that's odd. What do scans show?
PERCY: Well, it depends on the scanner, sir. Medical scanners compare a person's biological readings to an estimated average for an individual of that species-
MELCHETT: I meant, have we scanned the area the shuttle was in?
PERCY: Oh, yes, sir. (silence)
PERCY: OH! Well, there's nothing conclusive there, sir.
MELCHETT: I see. Then alert the usual agencies, and carry on smartly.
PERCY: That'd be the Interspatial Anomaly Bureau, the Time Travel Investigative Corps, The Supreme Being Undersight Committee (turns and walks out, still counting on his fingers), Area 51 and a half, Stargate Command…
(Back in the Courtroom, a shadowy figure speaks to the prisoners)
SHADOW1: Right, here's the deal, see. Humanity has come to the attention of The Court. You gots two choices, cooperate or don't. Don't matter none to me, really. Either way, you, personally, don't have to face the repercussions of the Judgment on Humanity. Keeps the witnesses, honest, says His Honor.
BLACKADDER: What, exactly, does cooperation entail, if I may ask?
SHADOW1: You agree to be a representative of all Humanity, on Earth and scattered through the Galaxy, discounting, of course, those under the influence of The Borg, Amway or other insidious parasites that preempt the exercise of Free Will. You answer the charges, and agree to take the terms of any punishments back to Humanity's leaders.
BLACKADDER: And what might those punishments include?
SHADOW1: For the crimes listed so far, anything from a 1-planet fine, to a thousand years in Null Space for each and every member of the species, up to and not to exceed the instant death of every living human.
BLACKADDER: 'Every living human' except me, right?
SHADOW1: Well, both of you.
BLACKADDER: Yes, yes, both of us. (Blackadder gestures a wave in Baldrick's direction, clearly dismissing the Chief's fate from any consideration) But the point, you see, is that I don't have to face this 'punishment,' whatever it is, right?
SHADOW1: Right, but you might end up living out a thousand years on an empty Earth.
BLACKADDER: Alright, you've made your sale. Now, just out of curiosity, what would NOT cooperating be?
SHADOW1: You refuse to represent your species, and become a spectator to a trial of Humanity in effigy. You still carry the judgment back to your leaders, but are subject to that judgment, and subsequent punishment.
BLACKADDER: Yes, well, I'm certainly willing to cooperate. When do we start?
SHADOW1: You will be given quarters, and time to prepare your statements. (The Earthmen fade from the Courtroom,
and appear in a bare, iron-barred cell. Soon after they appear, large stacks of paperwork appear in the room. Blackadder steps over to scan one stack.)
BALDRICK: What is it, Mr. Blackadder?
BLACKADDER: It appears to be the case for the prosecution, Baldrick. Every crime of Mankind since two ape-creatures decided to knock another one out of the tree to steal his leg of antelope.
BALDRICK: So, how we gonna answer it, Commander?
BLACKADDER: This is very important work, Chief. I want you to promise me something.
BALDRICK: Yes, sir. What?
BLACKADDER: The lives of every man, woman and child, Earth and all her colonies, space stations, space vessels, and prisoners of war in Romulus, and more especially, me, depend on what is said in that Courtroom later. This is literally the most important thing we have ever done.
BALDRICK: You want me to shut the hell up, sir, don't you?
BLACKADDER: In a nutshell, Baldrick. Yes.
BALDRICK: Righto, sir. And what are you going to do, sir?
BLACKADDER: I don't know what I can do, Baldrick. From what I can see, the Supreme Prosecutor has a fairly solid case. Pity, really, but then again, mankind did, in fact, perform every one of these actions. Or a card-carrying member of Mankind did. I always thought that Humanity fellow was headed for a bad end, one of these days.
(Another shadowy figure appears outside the bars. The shape is slightly different, and the voice is very different)
SHADOW2: And what if I were to tell you it was not, quite, an open and shut case, Mr. Human?
BLACKADDER: I'd ask if you were reading the same court documents I was going through.
SHADOW2: I am, in fact, the prosecutor. I wrote those documents.
BLACKADDER: Then should you be here without our counsel? Actually, I wanted to ask, do we GET defending counsel?
SHADOW2: It is mankind that is on trial, so it is mankind that must defend itself.
BLACKADDER: Ah. Wonderful. So what is it you want?
SHADOW2: I am very close to achieving a personal goal, human. I wish to ensure success in this trial, which will place me on a fast track to advancement. I can make it worth your while.
BLACKADDER: All of humanity except me and the Hunchhead of Notre Dame are at risk, and you think I'm willing to discuss personal profit at their expense?
BLACKADDER: Well, you are the right man for this job, aren't you. What do you offer?
SHADOW2: If you agree to all of the charges, I'll see to it that His Honor limits the punishment in deference to your cooperation and humility.
BLACKADDER: Yes, but what do I get?
SHADOW2: Oh, um, well, if you end up the only remaining humans in the galaxy, I'd see to it that you got a clean getaway before the other races started looting your planets.
BLACKADDER: And all I have to do for this would be to stand in the docket and nod my head?
SHADOW2: Actually, to be absolutely certain of victory, I would require you to become a witness for the Prosecution.
BLACKADDER: You expect me to actively contribute to the prosecution of the lip-reading, knuckle-dragging, god-fearing, mealy-mouthed, two-faced rat bastards that make up what is laughingly refered to as 'Homo Sapiens?'
BLACKADDER: I think I can manage that…
(Shadow2 fades from sight)
BALDRICK: SIR! You're not considering going along with that, are you?
BLACKADDER: Considering? As in 'mind not made up, yet?' No, I'm not considering it. I've decided.
BALDRICK: Sir, you can't!
BLACKADDER: Why not? I'm here. The charges are lengthy. Humanity's pretty well doomed, whatever we do. Why not make the best deal possible before it goes?
BALDRICK: But it's immoral, sir.
BLACKADDER: Yes, and...?
BALDRICK: Think of humanity, sir?
BLACKADDER: I haven't been able to forget about humanity since the first time one hauled me out into the bright, cold, noisy galaxy. They're smelly, loud, obnoxious, and way too interested in my standards of morality for any so-called enlightened society. Even the Vulcans can barely tolerate us, most of the others won't miss us. Frankly, to argue with any of those charges listed would be a disingenuous act on my part. Besides, what do you want me to do, pretend to be Picard, and make a 'just watch us go' speech? I'm just not that sappy, Baldrick. It's not in me.
SHADOW1: Right. Here we go, time for your trial.
BLACKADDER: Yes, I suppose we must face the music for our history of criminal behavior. Too bad, though, there's a chance that humanity will be wiped from existence.
SHADOW1: Oh, not wiped. That's why there's two of you.
BLACKADDER: What do you mean?
SHADOW1 (Waves a shadow between Blackadder and Baldrick): You two. His Honor always makes sure to save a breeding pair from any species that faces judgment.
(View of Blackadder's stunned face turning slowly towards Baldrick...view pans backwards to include Baldrick's face...and his come-hither smile)
(Change to docket, catching Blackadder in mid speech:)
BLACKADDER: …and so, in conclusion, I ask that you not look at human history as down a well, seeing all the hate and violence at once, but in profile, seeing that though our technology to harm one another has steadily climbed over the eras, the actual harm done has been steadily decreasing, in comparison. We are a species with great potential, for good and bad, but I must insist that our potential for Good far outweighs the likelihood of Evil. Please, please, Your Honor, show mercy on us, and give us a chance to rise above our own basic nature. Just, uh, watch us go.(long silence)
DEEPVOICE: Case… Dismissed!
(Baldrick moves towards Blackadder as they fade from the courtroom...)
BALDRICK: Congratulations, Sir!
BLACKADDER: Don't touch me!
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