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.)
(Title: Evil Twin)
(Pod Contents: a hand held mirror showing Baldrick's face peering out. Baldrick is shoved aside, and Blackadder looks out the looking glass)
(In a Starfleet office with many desks, all covered with data readers and smaller data storage modules. Among them, only one worker, Baldrick, is visible. He sorts various storage modules by reading the side, or plugging them into a reader, then placing them in various data trays. As he fills a tray with modules, he takes it through a door in the back of the office and returns, with an empty tray, and repeats. Blackadder enters)
BLACKADDER: Baldrick, what are you doing in Payroll?
BALDRICK: Sorting pay records, Mr. Blackadder.
BLACKADDER: Why are you doing it, instead of Payroll personnel?
BALDRICK: They've all come down with the Dionysus Flu, sir, and I am pitching in to lend a hand in this time of crisis. (he takes another tray to the back)
BLACKADDER: Baldrick, the Dionysus Flu is a jargon term for an extreme hangover. The Department Head retired last night, and by all accounts her going away party achieved legendary status.
BALDRICK: (comes back in) How do you gage a legendary party, Mr. B?
BLACKADDER: In this case, by the record number of Vulcans they managed to get arrested for being drunk and disorderly. Miss Tylly may have finally surpassed Zephram Cochrane's record. Nothing like listening to someone explain the rational imperative of doing The Macarena Hustle to the William Tell Overture… What are you doing, Baldrick?
BALDRICK: Sorting pay records by rank, command and duty status, isolating all the pay records with Problem Flags, and referring them to higher authority for review.
BLACKADDER: (scans the office… the terribly empty office) And who is higher authority, if you don't mind my asking?
BALDRICK: Admiral Melchett said I should refer everything to you, sir, for the foreseeable future.
BLACKADDER: Ah. I see. Well, paperwork is the curse of superior rank. (takes a seat at a desk in the middle of the room, facing Baldrick's work station, with his back to the door to the store room) Computer.
BLACKADDER: Computer, locate all pay files requiring my signature. Access my electronic signature file and apply it where required. Continue as necessary until Baldrick finishes sorting the pay records.
BLACKADDER: There. Paperwork in, paperwork out, another job well accomplished.
BALDRICK: But what about the files that aren't ready for your signature, sir? The one's still got problem flags what I can't resolve?
BLACKADDER: Computer. Inform me of any action requests not completed by previous order.(Baldrick continues to sort and store pay records in the back room throughout the scene)
COMPUTER: There are 452 files listed as having pay problems not completely resolved.
BLACKADDER: Alright. For any pay problems resulting from time travel, time loops or time warps, Starfleet policy is that the individual receives one quarter pay for any duration that the universe's time passed while his didn't. Apply double pay for any time spent in overlapping durations. Apply additional one third pay for each successive iteration of a time loop, for any that can be determined to have occurred.
COMPUTER: There are now 337 files listed as having pay problems not completely resolved.
BLACKADDER: Any pay issues resulting from time spent possessed by an alien intelligence, apply standard pay rate as long as the body fulfilled a command billet, and half-pay for any time spent ignoring his Starfleet job while investigating matters of 'higher significance.'
COMPUTER: There are now 214 files listed as having pay problems not completely resolved.
BLACKADDER: (sighs) Any problems arising from time spent pretending to not be a Starfleet officer, pay is suspended for the duration of the mission, and fully reinstated, with back pay, once they return to uniform.
COMPUTER: There are now 159 files listed as having pay problems not completely resolved.
BLACKADDER: Any pay issues resulting from problems of duplication, doppelgangers, evil twins, evil copies, clones, androids, future selves, dimensional substitutes, alien insurgent facsimiles, resolve by requesting the chief administrative officer of the command where the event or events took place provide an estimate of any additional man-hours of work produced by the duplicate to maintain his, her or its cover, and apply the result to the original's account.
COMPUTER: File resolution pending report from administrative officers. There are no other problem files remaining.
BLACKADDER: Excellent. (leans back comfortably in the chair)
BALDRICK: (Sorting pay records) Would you like to be duplicated, Mr. B?
BLACKADDER: God, no, Baldrick. Far too much work, and too open to the insidious elements of farce.
BALDRICK: Farce, sir?
BLACKADDER: Well, look at what happens when you get duplicated. You'd think a pure duplication would just be a simple way to increase your manning, right?
BALDRICK: Sounds likely.
BLACKADDER: But it is almost impossible to accidentally get perfectly duplicated. One way or another, there's always an element of 'evil twin' in the mix. The copy, or its alien creators, are interested in working evil with your copy, and somehow, the rest of your crew never notices.
BALDRICK: Well, they wouldn't, would they? It's a copy of you.
BLACKADDER: Please. A copy? They always experiment with wardrobe changes, drop politically incorrect remarks, drink like fish, grow trendy facial hair (Baldrick takes another tray in the back, meets a second Baldrick at the doorway, they step around each other (all behind Blackadder's back) and continue on), use makeup and generally act evil for the sake of evil. And not a bit of it draws anyone's attention.
BALDRICK: So, that leaves it up to you to identify your evil twin?
BLACKADDER: Oh, no, no, no. Anything you might suggest is possibly part of the plot, if in fact you are the evil twin. First you have to convince everyone there IS an evil twin of yourself working evil, then you have to wait for one of the idiot shipmates to figure a way to determine which is the 'real' you.
BALDRICK: What do you do if your twin suggests something?
BLACKADDER: Never agree with any suggestion made by your Evil Twin, no matter how useful, without first saying 'Oh, you're good.' to show how transparent the trick is (Baldrick steps out of the back room, walks to the desk just as Baldrick finishes another tray and stands, they step around each other (all in front of Blackadder) and continue on), and that you're on to him.
BALDRICK: Don't you usually end up having to fight your twin?
BLACKADDER: Yes, but it never does any good. Evil usually triumphs. Moral superiority is seldom a useful tool in the face of sheer bloody-mindedness.
BALDRICK: So if the fight doesn't help…
BLACKADDER: It's really up to the people around you, Baldrick. People who know you intimately, to notice the changes that show it's not 'really you.' Then to figure out the characteristics that really make you 'you.' Nothing you do has any bearing on the problem.
BALDRICK: (second Baldrick returns from storeroom, both work at the desk) So you need people to take notice, Commander?
BLACKADDER: That's the only way it works, Chief. And now, if you'll excuse me, I have some actual work to do.
BALDRICK: Okay. G'bye sir.
BLACKADDER: (at the door) Good bye, Baldrick. Baldrick. (he exits…a three count later, he comes back around the corner and scowls at the two Baldricks).
(Blackadder enters Melchett's office)
BLACKADDER: You wanted to see me, sir?
MELCHETT: Yes, Commander, we've received an Alert from the Department of Duplicated Starfleet Personnel. They have indications that we have a doppelganger among the staff, or will have one within the next four and a half hours-
BLACKADDER: It's Chief Petty Officer Baldrick, sir. He's been duplicated.
MELCHETT: Chief Baldrick? How?
BLACKADDER: No one is sure how he made Chief, sir. The board records were lost in a freak accident when a powerful alien entity temporarily moved Mars to Mercury's orbit.
MELCHETT: No, how was he duplicated?
BLACKADDER: Again, Admiral, no one is sure. He did use the virtual transporter on the holodeck during an ion storm that caused a power surge in the imaging firmware of the monitoring protocols.
MELCHETT: Well, who hasn't?
BLACKADDER: Exactly, sir. I have Medical and Security attempting to track down the causing event. Meanwhile, we can be glad that it seems to be an exact copy.
MELCHETT: Exact? How can we be sure? Maybe he's just trying to fit in until he can reveal his evil plan.
BLACKADDER: Well, while total certainty may be beyond our reach, they have been deeply scanned by Medical and Security personnel in an attempt to differentiate between the two. All efforts by Medical determined that the physical characteristics were indistinguishable, as were their interview responses and psycho evaluations.
MELCHETT: Ah, commander, you mean a 'psyche' evaluation.
BLACKADDER: I know what I said, sir. Anyway, a Vulcan security team did attempt to compare mind-melds between the two. One Vulcan melded with each Baldrick and another directly compared their impressions.
MELCHETT: So, no matter what, at least one Vulcan was intimate with the mind of Baldrick.
BLACKADDER: Sadly, yes, sir.
MELCHETT: What's the prognosis?
BLACKADDER: They hope for both of them to recover basic motor skills by Christmas. But the verdict of the evaluator, once translated from the rather guttural Germanic dialect he's been reduced to, is that there are no detectable differences between the two Baldricks.
MELCHETT: So, we end up with an extra Chief on establishment.
BLACKADDER: Yes, sir. And if he stays for the entire length of Baldrick's enlistment, we might get an extra month's worth of work out of him.
MELCHETT: So, we'll just keep an eye on him for the duration, eh?
BLACKADDER: If by 'we' you mean anyone at the command below the rank of Admiral, then yes, sir, that would be the current plan.
MELCHETT: Very well. Carry on, Commander.
BLACKADDER: Yes, Admiral.
(Blackadder returns to his office. One Baldrick at Baldrick's desk, the other with a blindfold staggers around the other end of the space.)
BALDRICK1: Warmer. Warmer. Warmer. Very warm. Getting Hot. (Baldrick2 continues to grope further across the room.)
BLACKADDER: What is he trying to find?
BALDRICK1: Me, sir.
BLACKADDER: Then why are you saying 'warmer' when he's getting farther away?
BALDRICK1: Because I am getting warmer, sir. Hot, in fact.
BLACKADDER: What- (Reaches behind Baldrick1, pulls out a clothing iron) What are you doing sitting on this?
BALDRICK1: (stands, turns around, a patch shaped like the clothing iron smokes on his uniform tunic) Oh! That's where that went. Thank you, sir.
BLACKADDER: (tosses iron to the floor) If you want to thank me, Baldrick, stop playing games and get some work done.
BALDRICK1: Yes, sir.
BALDRICK2: Yes, sir, soon as I find me, sir. Where am I?
BALDRICK1: Over here.
BALDRICK2: Right. Where?
(Blackadder rolls eyes, walks out)
(Blackadder walking down a hallway, talking to Percy, who takes notes on his data reader.)
BLACKADDER: And tell Lieutenant Pringle to get cracking on that-
(At a cross passage, Baldrick walks from the left to the right, carrying one end of a long metal case. Predictably, after the first Baldrick is out of sight, more of the case passes by to be held at the back end by the other Baldrick. Immediately behind him is the first Baldrick, carrying the front end in parade behind the Back Baldrick. They stop.)
Front End BALDRICK: What's the hold-up?
Back End BALDRICK: I can't see.
Front End BALDRICK: Give it a shove, see if he'll move along.
Back End BALDRICK: Right. (Shoves the case's back end. On the left, Front End Baldrick gets shoved in the back by the case he's carrying, stumbles forward, hits the back of Back End Baldrick. They move along. As the case continues across the line of sight, Blackadder backs up, taking Percy by the sleeve.)
BLACKADDER: Let's go another way, Perce..(steps through doorway).. I'm not sure I can stand to see what's on the other end of that case.
(Blackadder sits in his office, reading from his computer screen. Blackadder enters.)
BLACKADDER (standing): Well. Fancy meeting me here. Excuse me, good looking, do I come here often?
BLACKADDER (sitting): You're probably wondering what you're doing here.
BLACKADDER (standing): Not to get too existential on me, but I'm right. That is what I'm wondering.
BLACKADDER (sitting): First off, I mean no harm.
BLACKADDER (standing): Yes, well, that's what I'd say if I DID mean harm, isn't it? Or 'not hurt I.'
BLACKADDER (sitting): As it happens, I've been exploring the galaxy for quite a while. I've been people, I've been places, and I've been things. Seen suns born and planets die. Ruled gods and been enslaved to ants. A constantly reinvented existence, seeing ever new sights and moving from one existence to its diametric opposite. And until I explored the condition of being a Baldrick, I didn't understand the term 'boring.'
BLACKADDER (standing): I was wondering why one would choose to duplicate him.
BLACKADDER (sitting): Seemed harmless enough. If the president of the Federation Council was duplicated, security would never rest until the issue was resolved. Duplicating Baldrick, everyone would just reset their passwords and assume the security condition 'wait and see.'
BLACKADDER (standing): Yes, pretty much. Or condition 'wait and give a rat's furry behind.'
BLACKADDER (sitting): Precisely.
BLACKADDER (standing): So, what brings me to my office?
BLACKADDER (sitting): It's my office.
BLACKADDER (standing): Ah. But we both know how inaccurate that is.
BLACKADDER (sitting): No, really. I am an exact copy. I know what I know, think like I think. As long as I have my form, I am to all extents a copy of me. The alien explorer part of me is just an observer, no input at all.
BLACKADDER (standing): Of course not. So. What would I like to do?
BLACKADDER (sitting): I can't help but think there are ways I should be using this duplication condition to my personal advantage.
BLACKADDER (standing): True. That seems the sort of thing I'd indulge in, given the resources of an additional myself. But there's only one problem.
BLACKADDER (sitting): Yes. If I'm not really a copy of me, you can't trust me to act in my own interests.
BLACKADDER (standing): And more to the point, if you ARE a real copy of me, I still can't trust myself to act in my own interests without trying to stab myself in the back.
BLACKADDER (sitting): I see what I mean. And yet, the urge remains. There must be some profit to be found in this situation.
BLACKADDER (standing): Well. I can think of one…
(Blackadder enters Melchett's office)
BLACKADDER: I thought you'd want to know, sir, that the alien duplication of Baldrick no longer duplicates Baldrick.
MELCHETT: Really? What happened to him?
(Melchett enters Melchett's office)
MELCHETT2: I'm duplicating me instead.
MELCHETT: What!?! No. This is intolerable. Can't have personnel not knowing if the senior staff is or isn't the senior staff. Get out! And clear off! And stop being me. Or any of my personnel.
MELCHETT2: I mean no harm- (changes to:
BALDRICK2: We seek only to learn- (changes to:
BLACKADDER2: It is our way- (changes to:
PERCY2: We explore, just as you- (changes to a big poofy green cloud, that fades out of sight.)
MELCHETT: Is… is it gone?
BLACKADDER: At least for the moment, sir. Although we will have to remain vigilant.
MELCHETT: Yes, I suppose so. Luckily, it wasn't a perfect copy, what?
MELCHETT: That horrible, cheesy mustache. As long as it is so bad at duplication, we should have no problem identifying it in the future.
BLACKADDER: Um… of course, sir.
(Blackadder sits in his office, reading from his computer screen. Blackadder enters.)
BLACKADDER (standing): So, that's all you wanted?
BLACKADDER (sitting): That's all.
BLACKADDER (standing): And you know a way to wrest some form of profit from my leaving, rather than staying and doubling you?
BLACKADDER (sitting): That's right.
BLACKADDER (standing): Okay, I guess I'll be off, then. There's a vulcan freighter leaving in an hour.
BLACKADDER (sitting): If... if you dislike boring, I'd suggest the Klingon cruiser that's leaving in two hours. Just a suggestion.
BLACKADDER (standing): Thanks. I might try it at that… Good bye, Blackadder.
BLACKADDER (sitting): Good bye, Blackadder.(alien duplicate leaves. 'Real' Blackadder watches the door for a second, then pulls a really cheesy fake mustache out of his drawer, puts it on, picks up a baseball bat and walks out.)
(Blackadder returns to his office, carrying a large case that he slings under his desk. He removes the mustache and tosses it beneath Baldrick's desk. He sits down just as two security guards enter the office)
SECURITY: Commander Edmund Blackadder?
SECURITY: We need you to come with us, sir.
BLACKADDER: Whatever for? Has Baldrick been peeping in the Deltan Embassy again?
SECURITY: No, sir. It's about your assault on the Ferrengi Trade Association Representative at his hotel, sir.
BLACKADDER: My assault?
SECURITY: Yes, sir. You were positively identified in your assault on the Representative and your theft of his latinum.
BLACKADDER: Really? Positively identified?
SECURITY: Yes, sir. We even took your prints off the weapon left at the scene.
(Melchett enters Blackadder's office)
MELCHETT: What are you people doing? That man didn't do anything! It was the alien!
SECURITY: Alien, sir?
MELCHETT: Yes, the alien that's been copying people on this base for so long.
SECURITY: Are you positive, sir?
MELCHETT: Of course. You could tell by the cheesy mustache.
SECURITY: Ah. Sorry to have bothered you, sir.
BLACKADDER: No, no, you're just doing your job. No problem at all.
SECURITY: Thank you, sir.
(Melchett and Security turn to leave. Blackadder scoots closer to his desk, kicks the case. Everyone hears a distinct 'chink' of latinum on latinum. They all look at Blackadder for a second. Then everyone shakes their head and walks out. Blackadder lets out a breath when the door closes. Baldick climbs out from under his desk where he's been napping. Stretches, yawns, scratches. The mustache is stuck to his forehead.)
BALDRICK: What's all the noise about, Mr. Blackadder?
BLACKADDER: Um… nothing Baldrick. Say, could you go down the hall and see if Admiral Melchett is anywhere around? He wanted to see you about something.
BALDRICK: Certainly, sir. (Leaves. Before the doors close we hear:
BALDRICK's voice: Mr. Admiral! Did you-
MELCHETT's voice: There he is!
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