Blackadder of Starfleet
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 gangster-era machine gun next to a pile of coins)
(Blackadder enters a large administrative office. Ambassador Hood steps around his desk to shake hands with him)
HOOD: Commander Blackadder, welcome to Sigma Iotia II.
BLACKADDER: Thank you, Ambassador Hood.
HOOD: How was your trip out from Mars?
BLACKADDER: Fine, thank you.
HOOD: Good, good. Sit down, please. (returns behind his desk while Blackadder sits in front of it) I suppose you're wondering why you're here?
BLACKADDER: Well, my orders are plain, to report to you, but no one's really explained what for.
HOOD: We have a problem, here, Commander. A problem that's about 200 years old, starting with the S.S. Horizon. The USS Enterprise tried to fix it about 100 years ago, but we're really not seeing any impressive results, yet.
BLACKADDER: So, what can I do for you, sir?
HOOD: How much do you know about Sigma Iotia?
BLACKADDER: Inventive people, impressed by a book about the Chicago Mob scene of the early 20th century, the planet divided into territories belonging to anywhere between 10 and 30 Bosses, depending on how greedy the living Bosses get.
HOOD: Hmm. More than a lot of officer's might know. And what about the Federation's presence here?
BLACKADDER: Attempting to fulfill Captain Kirk's plan of education for the Iotians, to unify the territories, and encourage imaginative, inventive gangsters to become imaginative and inventive Federation members.
HOOD: And what do you know about our success rate?
BLACKADDER: Oh, you have to face facts, Ambassador. Playing gangster is a lot more fun than mastering warp field physics or the maths for orbital mechanics.
HOOD: Pretty much. And that would be why you're here.
BLACKADDER: Me, sir?
HOOD: I've been here for 12 years, directing the efforts of Federation educators, analyzers, political theorists, crowd dynamicsticians, and every other expert we could bring to bear on the problem, and we haven't had an impact to speak off. So for the last year, I've been writing to every other Ambassador on the lists, to see if they have any suggestions. Ambassador Lukens spoke highly of you, and your ability to match personnel to the task at hand.
BLACKADDER: Really, sir. That's gratifying.
HOOD: It should be. What I need from you is an individual to take charge of the education effort, to generate Iotian interest in the options available to them. To repair the damage done by the S.S. Horizon and bring them into the Federation, as a one-world-government.
BLACKADDER: Without breaking the Prime Directive, or infringing on their right to self-direction.
HOOD: (without a trace fo irony) Exactly. Find me a charismatic, self-less leader, to show the Iotians what the Federation ideal is, and how it could, WOULD benefit them. Someone they can relate to, a beacon to the possibilities inherent in the potential these people possess.
BLACKADDER: I see. And what sort of assets would be available for this mission?
HOOD: We've been sinking resources into this planet for almost a century. Schools, classrooms all built and empty, laying in wait for some spark of interest by the population. (slides a data reader across to Blackadder) That's my budget for the next four years, Commander. I'd give all of it to get even a measurable percentage of the population to apply themselves to any of our programs.
BLACKADDER: (glances at data reader… eyes pop) I see. I'll do it.
HOOD: Um… you? Well, I was rather expecting… I mean, not that you're not… You see, while your job may be..
BLACKADDER: I'm not exactly a walking recruiting poster for Starfleet, is what you mean.
HOOD: To be honest-
BLACKADDER: And that's you biggest problem, sir. You don't need to show them the ideals fo the Federation until you get them interested in the benefits of Federation membership. You need someone who understands the current Iotian mindset, who can communicate with them at a level they can grasp.
(Caption: 7 months later.)(On a dark street, a car whips around a corner, guns from both right side windows stutter a hail of bullets into a building. Lights go out, glass shatters and a few pistols return fire. The back seat door of the car opens, a body rolls out onto the road, then the car roars off. Inside, Blackadder rests his tommy gun in his lap, and directs the driver)
BLACKADDER: Let's go home, Baldrick. I think they got the message, there.(In the front seat, Percy reloads his gun while Baldrick drives)
(On another 1920's-decorated street, the car stops long enough for Percy and Blackadder to get out. The start up the steps to a building, and find Ambassador Hood in the vestibule. Doormen take the three men's coats and tommy guns.)
HOOD: Blackadder! Where the hell have you been?
BLACKADDER: Public relations, sir. A conference with Boss Zeppo, to give him a message about harrassing our personnel.
HOOD: Zeppo? How did he take it?
BLACKADDER: We left him speechless, sir. (They begin walking down a hallway) Was there something you needed?
HOOD: Well, I was just wondering about your headquarters, here. Are you aware that this building used to be… well, a house of ill repute.
BLACKADDER: No, sir. It used to be a whore house. Women, some liquor, lots of red velvet, one piano and not much else. (opens a big door dramatically) THIS, sir, is a Bordello!
(Music floods the room as Iotian men dance, drink, play cards and just flirt with mostly-naked women of a dozen species. All are exotically attractive, and at least visibly mammalian, upstanding examples of the Rodenberry Feminine Ideal. A sweeping staircase leads up to rooms where men enter, leave, or stagger out and collapse on the balcony. A cigar-girl lights a huge stogie for Blackadder, offers one to Hood who turns it down. Another girl in fishnets and not a whole lot more offers drinks to Blackadder's party. Blackadder and Percy take them, Hood doesn't. They move on to a small non-descript door at the end of the bar, enter Blackadder's office.)
HOOD: What is going on out there?
BLACKADDER: Didn't anyone ever tell you? Okay, the Daddy Iotian loves the Mommy Iotian, or Deltan, or Denebian, or whatever, VERY much, and they kiss REAL Hard, and the Daddy Iotian pays the Mommy Whatever a bit of money. Then the next payday, he comes back, and picks a different Mommy…
HOOD: That's not what I meant. Why are they doing it HERE!?
BLACKADDER: Because other houses can only offer local women. Here, they can dally with women of a dozen species, with more coming each week. It's drawing custom away from our competitors, and money away from the Bosses. In fact, we've even drawn a few Bosses here.
HOOD: You're …. you're a pimp!
BLACKADDER: I'm a host.
PERCY: You have to admit, sir, it's the first time so many Iotians have expressed an interest in the other members of the Federation.
BLACKADDER: Or in 'joining' with those members.
HOOD: It's their 'members' I'm worried about! Dammit, Blackadder, you can't do this! What are you trying to do, here?
BLACKADDER: Have you ever read the book Chicago Mobs of the Twenties (published in 1992)?
HOOD: Of course I have. Ever member of the Embassy has.
BLACKADDER: And did you notice the professions discussed in that book? The ones for women?
HOOD: Well, I, I haven't recently, I mean, I suppose… Okay, um, moll and…
BLACKADDER: Moll, prostitute, including Madam, and innocent bystander. That's all the women mentioned in all 653 pages. One or the other.
HOOD: I suppose that's right. What's your point?
BLACKADDER: Not to many options for an intelligent, innovative woman in a society set up around that book, eh?
HOOD: No, not many at all.
BLACKADDER: Luckily, the book doesn't discuss infrastructure, either. So women fill a lot of the roles keeping society going while the men play (A knock at the door interrupts, Baldrick enters).
BALDRICK: Sir? You'd better come to the private poker room.
(In a small, tastefully decorated room, six men sit around a poker table. Two more lean at the wet bar and sip drinks. Blackadder enters, followed by Percy and Hood. He looks around, walks up to one of the players. Sweating and disheveled, he has no poker chips in front of him, but one hand of cards lay face up. Blackadder glances at the hand, winces in sympathy)
BLACKADDER: Oh, bad hand, Boss Wittsa. I hope you didn't bet a lot on it.
PLAYER #1: He bet everything he had. And a few things he didn't.
PLAYER #2: And now he won't pay up.
BLACKADDER: Oh, dear. I'm sure the rules were explained to you when you entered, Boss Wittsa. You must make good on any wagers before departing the premises.
WITTSA: I just, I… I only have… I mean, I didn't bring…
BLACKADDER: Now, what would you people have done a year ago, to someone like Wittsa, here?
PLAYER #3: My boss'd break both his legs, then go blow up his office.
PLAYER #4: My boss'd blow up his legs, and then break his house.
PLAYER #5: My boss'd blow up Wittsa, then blow up everything he ever owned, then blow up his grave after they buried him.
(Everyone looks at Player #5, and all together say) Boss Gawl.
PLAYER #5: Yeah! You know 'im?
BLACKADDER: Anyway, boys, you know that this is Federation territory. I'm the Federation Boss, and we don't really take to bloodshed. Not at first offense, anyway. No, we'll have to figure out what else Wittsa may have that interests us.
WITTSA: I got a piece of that pistol factory on 3rd! And half of two radio stations!
BLACKADDER: The Feds aren't really interested in partnership, Wittsa. What do you have that you own completely?
WITTSA: Uh… well…
PLAYER #3: He owns a bar on 25th.
PLAYER #1: He owns a brothel on 18th.
BLACKADDER: A brothel, eh?
WITTSA: No, you can't take that. That was my mom's place.
BLACKADDER: How much does he owe the pot?
PLAYER #4: Sixteen long.
BLACKADDER: Alright, Wittsa, I'll give you 17 for the place, everything in it, and the contracts for all your women. I'm sure we can find something productive for them to do. (Everyone except Wittsa and Hood laughs. ) You get to pay all your debts and even have a little bit to take home… (Wittsa nods. Blackadder beckons to the men at the bar) Percy, take the boys over to our new brothel. Have Wittsa explain the deal to the Madam, take stock, make the usual arrangements, and have the women here by 9 tomorrow. (He leaves)
(In the hall)
HOOD: Good HEAVENS, Blackadder! You just aquired MORE prostitutes?
BLACKADDER: For the moment, Ambassador. As I said, we'll find something productive for them.
HOOD: Have you forgotten that you're Starfleet! Are you out of your MIND!?!
BLACKADDER: I'm sorry you feel that way, Ambassador, but if you'd only-
HOOD: You've lost it, Comander! I'm going to see to it that you are busted down to your first day at the Academy!
BLACKADDER: Actually, I never attended the Academy-
HOOD: Oh, I'm sure of that. Pack your bags, sir, because when the Admiralty hears my complaint against you, you're going to be bounced back to Mars so fast you'll achieve Trans-warp! (he storms out)
BLACKADDER: I should probably be worried about that… Nah. Baldrick! Contact Madam Ticka, tell her we have another class for her- (the sound of gunfire interrupts. He rushes to a window overlooking the front street. He sees a car rushing off.)
DOORMAN: Mr. Blackadder! Someone's kidnapped the Ambassador!
BLACKADDER: (stares blankly back at him) … I'm sorry, was there something else?
(In a warehouse, Hood tied to a chair, thugs surround him. A handful play poker in the corner.)
HOOD: You'll never get away with this.
THUG #1: What do you mean? We already grabbed you.
HOOD: They'll be looking for me. With technology you can only barely imagine.
THUG #2: Tell it to the Boss.
HOOD: Alright. Who is your boss?
VINST: That's me. Vinst. And you got problems you can only barely imagine.
HOOD: What? Like what?
VINST: (Pulls a device from his pocket) Like this thing. You gotta locator beacon in your skull, don't'cha?
HOOD: Um, why?
VINST: Got this off a Ferrengi trader comes by every five years or so. Says it blocks power transmissions and stuff like your locator, your heaters, and your blink-porter thing won't work.
HOOD: Okay, but you're up against some pretty impressive technology anyway. You can't cover all your personnel with that.
VINST: Don't gotta cover everyone, just you. Now, first off, I'm gonna ask for a password. Some way for you to help me convince Blackadder that I got you. And then we're gonna discuss what you're gonna tell him to do for me. (Pulls a switchblade from a pocket, opens it) And unlike youse guys, I don't need no impressive technology to get what I want, see?
(In a Boss' office, Blackadder and Percy transport into the center of the room. A host of gun-toting thugs immediately start shooting at the pair. A shimmering force field absorbs all the bullets, the Starfleet officers don't even blink. At their leisure, they fire phasers out through the field, dropping one guard after another. Eventually only the Boss is left.)
BLACKADDER: Alright, I haven't got much time. I want my Ambassador back. I don't care who has him, I don't care what he wants, and I don't care to wait for him to make demands. I also don't care what interstellar law says I can't do to you to rescue him. If anyone gives him back, I'll forgive and forget. If anyone gives me the information to get him back, I'll let them have half the territory of whoever has him. Whatever's left of it, anyway. If no one helps me, I'm going to start melting all the Bosses. Eventually, someone will rise to power who's willing to make a deal. Now, Baldrick (They fade. The boss crawls slowly to his phone and dials)
BOSS: Hey, Krako Junior? It's me. What have you heard about the Federation Head Guy?
(In a warehouse, Hood tied to a chair, disheveled but not yet cut. Vinst walks around him, talking)
VINST: And I wanna know where all the women are! Are youse guys shipping them off planet? Maybe to a space brothel on some other planet?
HOOD: I have no idea what you're talking about.
VINST: And what'd you guys do to the bullet supply? You hoarding? It's getting real expensive to maintain a decent stockpile of bullets these days. And it ain't cuz the factories ain't working, I own four and they're maxed out. So what's up?
HOOD: I have no idea what you mean.
VINST: Oh, sure. And I want you to gimmee some contacts. I want alien butts in my whore houses. But only mine, so no one else can compete.
HOOD: You'll have to ask the Commander, I wouldn't even know where to get-(he's interrupted by the entire wall of the warehouse burning away in a bright red glow.
VINST: FEDS! Get 'em! (Gun-toting thugs immediately start shooting at the pair. A shimmering forcefield absorbs all the bullets, the Starfleet officers don't even blink. At their leisure, they fire phasers out through the field, dropping one guard after another. Shots at or past Vinst fade in mid-air. Blackadder pulls a box from his belt, presses a button. Vinst's Ferrengi-box starts to beep. Then it beeps furiously. As he stares at it in confusion, it explodes, blasting him across the room. Soon after, no Iotians are left standing.)
HOOD: Blackadder! How did you…? His device? (Percy starts untying Hood, while Blackadder keeps an eye on all the Iotians.
BLACKADDER: Daimon Nacht is an associate of mine. After he sold the blanking device to Vinst, here, he sold me an accessory for it.
(Blackadder and Hood are in Hood's office)
HOOD: Well, thank you, commander, but I hope you don't think my gratitude is enough to stop me from-
BLACKADDER: It doesn't matter, sir. May I take this opportunity to submit my request for a transfer?
HOOD: I- What, because of the rescue? I'm going to request a full investigation, of course, but this action is well within the guidelines of Starfleet's standing-
BLACKADDER: Starfleet is at war with Iotia, sir.
HOOD: War?! We wanted to avoid WAR! We're trying to help these people, not destroy them!
BLACKADDER: To put it more precisely, sir, we're trying to help the people, so we are at war with the government.
HOOD: They don't have a government.
BLACKADDER: I spoke with your Legal attaché. Since the 14 Big Bosses of this world cooperate in the division of territory, and all lead by the same standard, namely the book Chicago Mobs of the Twenties (published in 1992), they CAN be considered a world government. An inefficient one, but close enough. And as one of them entered the Federation Territory for the purpose of kidnapping you, that CAN be considered an act of war. We responded with violence, so we've effectively declared war on the Big Bosses and their system of leadership. One way or another, The Boss system on Sigma Iotia II is doomed. And something needs to take over leadership when they're gone.
HOOD: So, you provoked them into fighting us, and now we're supposed to steam roller over them, and prop up a new society when we're done. I don't think that's quite right.
BLACKADDER: Your problem, on this planet, sir, is that you were unwilling to do what was 'right' to get this planet back on a normal course of development.
HOOD: And 'war' is what's right? Especially dragging ourselves down to their level?
BLACKADDER: What do you mean, their level?
HOOD: You became a gangster, Blackadder! Prostitution, assassination, extortion.
BLACKADDER: We always used a stun setting, sir. And never hired or provided prostitutes.
HOOD: You killed Vinst!
BLACKADDER: That man carried an explosive device in his pocket for a month. If he was as intelligent as everyone says Iotians are, he might have asked Nacht 'Does this doohickey contain a self-destruct capability, and will that have enough force to blast me across a warehouse and halfway through the wall?' He didn't. He had to live with the consequences of that oversight. Or, well, NOT live with them.
HOOD: But I DID see the prostitutes!
BLACKADDER: Have you checked your in-box recently, Ambassador?
BLACKADDER: Mrs. Pachoon has urgently requested some additional instructors.
HOOD: Additional? Why?
BLACKADDER: The schools are full, sir.
HOOD: How did that happen?
BLACKADDER: As I was saying, sir, before you stormed out of the Federation Club, that there are mighty few 'fun' roles for women in this system. They are, however, holding down 80 to 95% of the jobs in any industry on the planet. All the men are invested in the gangster system. Which leaves women to run the factories, the farms, the mines, transportation, the media-
HOOD: Under control of the men.
BLACKADDER: Under ownership of the bosses, yes. But they haven't been paying close attention to anything that doesn't constitute 'A piece of the action' as it were.
HOOD: But what does this have to do with the prostitution? Or the schools?
BLACKADDER: Any brothel I took control of, all the women were entered into one of your education programs. A placement program found them productive jobs in existing planetary industry, where they referred as many women as possible back into other education programs.
HOOD: (Thoughtfully) You said 80 to 95%?
BLACKADDER: Yes, sir. When the Boss system topples, which I expect it will once the Fleet Marines get here and start fighting the war I started, they'll find that an estimated 89% of the entire industry on this planet is in the direct control of 'dames.' Many of them graduates of your Political Theory courses, who we've provided with a communication system far superior to the phone lines the men are using. Especially when the women stop operating them.
HOOD: But for actual leadership…
BLACKADDER: I interviewed a few of the Madams that we 'acquired.' Much like indigenous peoples everywhere, there have been those that kept the original traditions of the local people going, despite the outer changes. Lore keepers, or medicine women, these sages are prepared to reintroduce Iotian culture to the Iotians. Mrs. Pachoon is also adding information from them to existing lesson plans. Many of the weapons-making factories have been converted to reproducing some of the artifacts of their heritage. A few of the more 'imaginative' Iotian males have started looking into your education programs to 'catch-up' with the women.
HOOD: But… the women YOU imported…
BLACKADDER: Androids, sir. Carefully built, exotic, fully functional androids. And we can recoup most of the cost of construction by selling them to Daimon Nacht.
HOOD: I…. I guess you've done it, Commander Blackadder. I never would have thought of your plan, I must admit. Good job, but you shouldn't quit now. There's a lot more to do.
BLACKADDER: It was really easy, sir. The universe is out there. They're down here playing cops and robbers… well, robbers and robbers. If they really took a look at what we've been trying to show them, they'd have been out there, long ago. Probably leading us by the nose. All I did was, well, make something happen that's the same thing that makes me want to go back to Mars. It's just not fun to be a Boss around here, any longer. (He lights up a cigar, walks out of the office. At the door, he puts his arms around two of the 'girls' from the club (one purple, one with tiger stripes) and walks out of sight) Well, maybe for a little bit longer…
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