Lounge, Earth: Final Conflict
Summary: After drafting up "the fanfic lounge" idea for DS9 and LotR, Nell (AKA "Cupcake"), put this out as a challenge on the Godawful board. The concept of "the lounge" is where characters can go and rest up between fanfics.
Dedicated: To Seven
O'Nine, the undisputed queen of this realm, and to Nell, the person who posted
(The lounge looks like an old union hall - battered furniture, a shelf of books towards the back, a kitchen behind the closed door on the right, and a workstation on the left wall with an upward-leading staircase behind it. A poster on the wall says RODDENBERRY CHARACTERS' UNION, LOCAL 318: EARTH: FINAL CONFLICT).
(The door opens, and SIOBHAN BECKETT enters, wearing the coat and hat she "liberated" from Agent Lassiter in "The Joining." She hangs them up, and walks behind the workstation, logging on. A few seconds later, there's a knock on the door. She crosses to the door and opens it. RON SANDOVAL staggers in, a rather nasty looking piece of pig iron sticking through his torso. Beckett doesn't seemed too concerned, mostly irritated.)
SANDOVAL: No regrets...why in hell...?
BECKETT (dryly) : I see it's death-fic again.
(She guides him over to sofa, bracing Sandoval as he yanks the skewer from his chest. He covers the wound with his hand and counts to three. When he's done, he pulls away his hand, the wound is gone, but there's an impressive looking hole in his suit. He studies the bloodstained metal and shakes his head.)
SANDOVAL: When they told me they were killing me off, I didn't expect this.
(He yanks over a coat closet and shoves the rod inside to join the several dozen others already present. He slams the door shut and turns back to her, continuing his rant)
I mean, Boone is murdered
while unconscious in a blue tank. You fall in a cave. I...end up like a piece
SANDOVAL: And my last line..."no regrets?" No regrets? If they'd given me a damn minute, I could have provided them with lists. Is there anything to drink around here, Siobhan?
BECKETT: Tea's in the kitchen. Figured you Yanks can make your own coffee.
SANDOVAL: Tea's fine.
(He vanishes in the back, and the door swings open again. It's LIAM "KINCAID," looking worse for wear - hair tangled, bruises, black eye...his palms look burnt. Sandoval comes out of the kitchen just as Liam collapses into an overstuffed chair.)
LIAM: Hi, Mom. (looks up) Hi, Dad.
SANDOVAL: You look like hell.
LIAM: No thanks to you.
BECKETT: I'm startin' to wonder with you two if I even want to know.
SANDOVAL and LIAM (in unison) : You don't.
LIAM: I thought I was getting enough bruises from all those "Zo'or finds out I'm Kimera," "My Resistance ties are exposed," and the occasional case gone bad, but having to climb out of a volcano in these resurrection fics...Man, I'm sore.
SANDOVAL: You think you are sore? (gestures to the gaping hole in his shirt) This was my best suit!
LIAM: And you've trashed my leather jacket how many times? Not to mention all those "Phantom Companion" vignettes, or the fics where I get outed and you get to kick my a$$ . What's really bad is that you enjoy it!
(Sandoval sips his tea then sits on the sofa next to Beckett.)
SANDOVAL: Actually, what I really enjoy about those is the psychological angst you do on those. Good to see someone else other than me picking up that duty.
LIAM: It's getting old.
BECKETT: I know that all the beatings and the tragic tales aren't much fun, but I think there's something to be said for character development under trying circumstances. The fic writers, believe it or not, rather like both of you.
LIAM: They have a funny way of showing it.
(Door SLAMS open, RENEE PALMER storms in, crossing the room in a flash. She is royally pissed off. She disappears behind the kitchen door and lets out an enraged scream. This is followed by a mostly-muffled blue streak.)
SANDOVAL: And just what's gotten into Ms. Palmer?
LIAM: NC-17er...with Howlyn.
(Liam gets up stiffly)
LIAM: I'll make sure she's not breaking things back there.
(He heads for the stream of billingsgate and vanishes behind the kitchen door. HOWLYN and JUDA enter, TATE at their heels. YULYN brings up the rear. Like usual, Tate has his mouth full, his hand buried in a bag of potato chips.)
SANDOVAL: I see that diet lasted all of three days.
TATE: I'm cutting down.
SANDOVAL: I'm still wishing some fanfic writer sends you to the fat farm.
TATE: Not a chance!
HOWLYN: Where is Renee Palmer?
BECKETT: In the back, making unflattering remarks about your origin. What happened?
HOWLYN: We were alone on the Mothership, and I put her in a hybrid chamber. After she woke up...
SANDOVAL: That's enough for my stomach.
JUDA: And mine.
(Palmer storms out of the kitchen, carrying a cup of water. Liam is still hobbling, and isn't able to catch up to her.)
LIAM: Renee...Renee, come on.
(She storms up to Howlyn and throws the water in his face.)
PALMER: Of all the humiliating, degrading things I have to do in this job -
HOWLYN (wiping water away from his face) : And here I thought you enjoyed it.
YULYN: You know we don't have any control in these things. Fanfic is fanfic.
PALMER: Doesn't change the fact that Howlyn actually looks forward to NC-17 duty. God, I feel cheap. Where in hell is the shower?
LIAM: Upstairs, and to the left.
(Palmer races to the stairs and starts climbing. The door opens again - AUGUR and STREET are mid-debate as they trot in.)
AUGUR: And I haven't had a good one in years. I'm always playing some bit part of "hack this," "break into that."
STREET: Hey, you were on slash duty last month...
AUGUR: You're right, I suppose. Still, why was I put on slash duty with -
LIAM: Can't blame you, Augur. Wasn't my favorite job, either.
AUGUR: What gets me is that you are three years old and getting more action than me.
LIAM: You want to climb out of a volcano? I'll trade you schedules.
STREET (half-joking) : Next time you boys get slash duty, let me know. I'll bring popcorn and a video camera.
AUGUR: You'd better not!
STREET: Who's to say I already haven't? (vanishes behind the kitchen door)
AUGUR: That girl scares me sometimes.
LIAM: You trained her.
AUGUR: That's why she scares me.
(LILI MARQUETTE walks in, carrying Ariel, a diaper bag is slung over her shoulder. She holds the door open for VORJAK, DA'AN, and ZO'OR.)
LILI: Well, at least we got here on time.
BECKETT: Greetings, Captain Marquette. How's the little one?
LILI (adjusting her hold on Ariel): Doing very well. Her moods, though, are definitely Jaridian. I can't wait until she can sleep through the night.
Beckett: Ah, don't wish for the wee babes to grow up quickly. They always seem to grow too fast.
LILI (shooting a pointed look at Liam) : Some faster than others.
ZO'OR: Enduring these "fan fiction stories" is a waste of time. It is a degrading practice.
DA'AN: Not all fan faction is badly written, Zo'or. It is an attempt on the part of the writers to understand our personalities and our actions.
ZO'OR: I fail to understand how transforming me into a human female constitutes an attempt to understand us, Da'an.
DA'AN: Perhaps it is a way to explore how we would react if given the chance to experience humanity more directly. Such stories are often flawed, but not without merit.
LIAM: You just described just about everything on the Sphere, Da'an.
DA'AN: Perhaps, yet I also find much of what is written to be equally beautiful and disturbing.
ZO'OR: How can you see beauty in that which is so crudely produced? Much of it lacks editing, basic grammatical principles, and misconstrues our motives and actions.
DA'AN: An equal part of it, however, is written with great care. It makes up for the concepts and continuity our series often lacked.
(Reaction is mixed. Some of the people laugh, others groan.)
LIAM: Hate to admit it, but Da'an is right. The series apparently forgot that my ID was fake, forgot I was a hybrid, forgot a lot of things...
BECKETT: 'Tis rather interesting that many of them call you "Liam Beckett."
SANDOVAL: I wonder why they never have you taking my last name.
LIAM: Maybe all the fics where you torture me has something to do with it.
(People are walking through the door in groups of two or three. Soon it's a full house with the cast of EFC from all 5 seasons. Palmer comes down the stairs, toweling off her hair. Street comes out of the kitchen with a couple pots of coffee that she sets on another empty table, then goes back in the kitchen and returns with a bunch of cups. People get up, pour coffee, and chat among themselves. Typical break room atmosphere.)
SANDOVAL: Well, there's only one person missing now. Where's Boone?
BECKETT: Last I checked, he was pulling the latest batch of assignments off the Sphere.
(BOONE'S voice calls from upstairs as he starts down the staircase, carrying his global.)
BOONE: Ok, people. I have the roster for nest week.
(The room quiets as Boone sits on one of the middle stairs.)
BOONE: Everyone present, it looks like. (opens his global) Let's see. First on the list this time is Lili.
LILI: What is it this time?
BOONE: Well, there's a piece with you and Vorjak. Kinda explains that whole trip from Jaridia to Earth. Looks like a lot of fans weren't happy with how the show played it.
LILI: I wasn't too happy with how the show played it. Is there anything else?
BOONE: Yeah, but nothing much. There's an angst piece about your dad and kid brother, a short story with you and Agent Beckett about why you refused a CVI, and...well, looks like you get deathfic detail this week.
SANDOVAL: Oh, the joys of the Grim Reaper. How is she to die this time?
BOONE: It's not too bad, Lili. It's an alternate universe where you really do die trying to sabotage the Mothership.
LILI: So long as it's quick.
BOONE: Add that to the seasons one and two fics where you're advising me or stuck with Liam over there, and it looks like you've got a lot this week...wait a minute. It says at the bottom, "See Marcus Deveraux."
AUGUR: Well, now!
BOONE: It's G-rated, Augur. Just a two-page post-ep for "Bliss."
AUGUR: I can live with that.
BOONE: As for you, Augur. Aside from that post-ep, there's nothing much. Just the usual appearances where your genius is required. Well, that and comic relief.
AUGUR (sighs): It figures.
BOONE: OK, next up is Sandoval. Looks like your schedule's packed.
SANDOVAL: Isn't it always?
BOONE: Good news. No deathfic. However, I've got three summaries here for the "Sandoval finds out Liam is his kid" genre.
SANDOVAL: Let me guess. I get a hold of the blood sample that saved my life...
LIAM: He processes it and finds the third DNA strand.
BECKETT: He finds my DNA as well as his.
SANDOVAL: Then a Resistance raid goes wrong and I find a sample of the same blood.
LIAM: Or I get captured and they find out what I am.
SANDOVAL: And I end up confronting Mr. Beckett over here.
LIAM: And I tell him everything through a haze of tears and a lump in my throat.
SANDOVAL: Then I have about 5 pages worth of angst as I realize that I've been trying to kill my son since day one. I go up to apologize and repent my evil ways.
LIAM: And I forgive him since he is my dad...
SANDOVAL: And we wind up with an ending that would send most into a diabetic coma.
BOONE: I take it you've done a few of these.
TATE: Just a few?
LIAM and SANDOVAL: Shut up, Tate.
BOONE: There's also a couple of "Atonement" pieces, one "Sandoval's Run" post-ep...and two visits from Volunteer Mary Sue.
DEDE SANDOVAL (teasing): Careful, Ron. I don't think our divorce was ever finalized.
BOONE: On topic, guys. I know we all want to be out of here. OK, Liam Beckett. In addition to the ones with Sandoval, you get a couple angst pieces, alternate universe versions of a couple Season 3 episodes - looks like a lot of folks wanted you to keep the shaqs.
LIAM: Yeah, I wondered why the canon writers got rid of them in the first place.
BOONE: There's also a romance with Renee Palmer here. Looks like it's mostly sugar.
PALMER (sarcastic): Well, that's just what I needed, more complications to my love life. Let me bet, some sixteen-year-old wrote it.
(Boone's sympathetic expression counts as an affirmative).
BOONE: Song-fic. Some artist I've never heard of. Looks like one of those boy bands.
(Palmer rubs her forehead like a headache is coming on.)
LIAM: Could be worse, Renee. It could be another round with Howlyn.
BOONE: The last one in Liam's schedule is an alternate Season 2 where he doesn't grow to adulthood in a day.
SANDOVAL: So long as it isn't one of those "finding out Liam's paternity" stories. The next fanfiction writer that has me changing diapers gets it.
BOONE (grins): Lili, break out a box of Huggies for Agent Sandoval.
(Liam and Sandoval groan. Beckett stifles a giggle.)
BOONE: Agent Beckett, you're in that Season 2 alternate universe and the in the short story with Lili. Otherwise, you're clear. Da'an and Zo'or...
ZO'OR: Get on with it, Commander Boone.
DA'AN: We are listening.
BOONE: Da'an, you don't have any stories of your own, but you have big parts to play in just about everything this week. You'll have to get with Lili, Liam, and me this week to hammer things out. It also looks like Seven has a story coming out next month - a novel-length you're starring in. Just an FYI. (pause)
Zo'or, you've got the same thing, but you'll have to be conferring with Agent Sandoval instead. Last week's story where you turn human also just posted the next installment.
ZO'OR: That story is an affront to my dignity!
SANDOVAL: Affront or no affront, I'd like to see this.
BOONE: Street, your parts are similar to Augur's, but meet up with Palmer. She has two Atavus-buster fics, that romance with Liam, and a 5th season angst piece...the rest of you, schedules are posted to the Sphere and have been broadcast to your globals. Dismissed.
(Folks start filing out the door, and conversations begin anew. JONATHAN DOORS speaks above the crowd's murmur.)
DOORS: Wait a minute. I don't have any fanfic?
LILI: Jonathan, hate to break it to you, but Joshua gets more than you do.
BOONE: Those alternate universe bits have some scenes for you. Check the Sphere.
SANDOVAL: Ok, Boone. I want to see your schedule.
BOONE: Same thing I get every week, Sandoval. I get to be Will Boone.
(Boone goes back upstairs. Everyone files out, leaving Liam and Palmer behind. Palmer sinks into a chair. Liam comes up behind her and puts a hand on her shoulder.)
LIAM: You gonna be all right, Renee?
PALMER: Yeah, I think so.
LIAM: Fanfic is hard work. Gotta wonder if it's worth it.
PALMER: I'm not sure. It's certainly frustrating.
LIAM: Yeah, it is. But just when I think it's all a bunch of trash, I get a good one, and it's not always the ones I expect to be good. Funny how that works.
PALMER: I'm surprised that anything came out of this, especially considering the mess the show was. Cast changes, plot twists that came out of nowhere, characterization irregularities, and continuity that became a total joke even by the time I arrived. (pause) Do you think fan fiction is an attempt to correct that or to confuse it further?
LIAM: Not our place to ask. But if you want my opinion, I think they're just asking "what if," and seeing how it goes from there.
PALMER: And here I thought the Taelons were insidious.
LIAM: They are - in the fanfic. C'mon, you want to come over to my place? We can order Chinese and rehearse that L&R that's on the agenda for tomorrow.
PALMER: I think I'd wind up falling asleep after dinner.
LIAM: The couch is open. We show up to the L&R in rumpled clothing and who's gonna be the wiser?
PALMER (laughs) : You devious little...
LIAM: Hey, I'm one-third Sandoval. I learned from the best.
PALMER: You buying?
(Palmer gets up and Liam escorts her to the door. He turns off the light as they exit.)
(Suggestions? Comments? Ideas for version 2.0?)