Ally McBeal-Collins puttered through the kitchen of her Collinsport home happily making lunch for her family as she wondered where her daughters were. She had heated their soup and was now making their sandwiches. Little Georgia preferred mustard with her bologna sandwich and Lainey preferred mayonnaise. Her husband didn't even like bologna so it was a sandwich of roast beef from last night's roast. She put it all on a tray to carry to his study as she heard the back door slam shut.
"Mommy..." Lainey climbed up on a stool as her big brown eyes poked up over the surface of the counter. "Why is it when you dig a hole, you never have as much dirt to fill it back up again?"
"Well," Ally looked at her as she thought. "I guess it's because of... uh, well,.......... wait a minute, you aren't digging holes in the backyard, are you?"
"The backyard?" Lainey nervously rolled her eyes.
"Noooooooooooooo...." She lied unconvincingly as her sister came crashing through the back door on the mud porch.
"Mom.........." Little Georgia was calling. "If we catch the gopher, can we keep it as a pet?" She pranced up dirty and soiled with dirt up her arms and in her face.
"Good lord!!" Ally loved being a mom, but this was not one of those times.
"You are dirty!! I want the two of you to go wash up, and Georgia. Use soap!"
"Okay........." The two scurried off like tiny brunette fairies for the downstairs bathroom. Ally gasped and followed them only as far as her husband's study. Carry his lunch tray, she braced it on one hand expecting to hear him typing, but instead heard the sounds of a light saber fight as if he were watching one of his movies. The sound was a bit too subdued and a bit amateurish as she realized he was making the noises himself. She stood watching him secretly as he waved an invisible sword and made the sound of the energy blade cutting through the air.
"Luke..." He spoke in a low guttural voice. "I am your father...." He switched to his normal voice for a subdued shriek. "Nooooooo!!!" He pitched straight forward into another sword fight mimicking the noises of swords striking, fighting and cutting through the air. He made another short silent shriek unaware his wife was watching as he covered his right wrist with his left hand as if it were cut off. Ally rolled her eyes and began clearing his throat.
"Excuse me…" She spoke as William whirled around in surprised shock. "But before you get seduced by the Dark Side, your lunch is ready."
"Oh," William embarrassingly looked at her as she placed his tray down. "I guess I got carried away..........."
"I thought you were working on a big writing project?" Ally asked him.
"I am." William sat at his desk. "I was just trying to choreograph this scene and got distracted." He sat at his computer. "You see, Rich Petrie said I could have a writing credit on his up-coming Sci-Fi series, but first he wants me to prove I can do Sci-Fi as well as I can do horror."
"Oh," Ally stood over him as he bit into his sandwich and blew into his soup. "Sounds neat, can I read it?" She thumbed the pages he had printed so far.
"Uhhhhhhhhh, not yet." William put down his sandwich and picked up the manuscript.
"What are you hiding from me?" Ally looked at him suspiciously. "You always let me read your stuff. Why is this one so different?"
"It's not." William dropped the manuscript into a secret compartment in the paneling behind his desk and closed the door. Ally watched as he turned and closed out his computer. "You can read it later."
"What are you hiding from me?"
"Are you sure?"
"Would I lie?"
Lainey and Georgia began laughing in the hall as if their father had made a joke. Ally scowled as William beamed to her innocently.
Ally looked up as her daughters dumped their big box of Barbies on the floor of the living room before the TV and started spreading things out. Several contorted Barbies in various stages of undress looked up from the mess of clothing and tiny plastic shoes and accessories as Georgia looked to the cartoons on the TV and then began looking for a matching outfit. Lainey started making voices for one of her dolls and moving it like a real person as she combed its long hair.
"Wow," Ally moved among them and sat on the sofa. "You girls sure have a lot of Barbies." She looked at the mess. There had to be twenty to thirty of them with various colors of hair and styles and even a few African-American Barbies with a token Ariel or Belle doll. "What are they? Multiplying or something?"
"Daddy got them for us!!" Lainey cooed with delight.
"Yeah!!" Georgia was dressing one of the dolls with khakis from a GIJoe.
"From that little store behind the McDonalds. They had a big box full of old Barbies and daddy got us all of them!!!"
"That's the Collinsport Thrift Center." Ally realized. "Is that where he's been buying your clothes?" She solved the mystery of where her husband was buying the clothes for their girls. She looked up as he appeared in the foyer outside the living room.
"Ally, I have to...."
"Have you been buying used clothing for our daughters every time they out grew their clothes?" Ally asked wondering if she had married a cheapskate or if he was just very frugal with his money.
"Sometimes." William looked at her. "I can't take them in a real store. They run around and get lost and into mischief. If I take them to the thrift store, I can find them easier."
"I like the thrift store." Lainey added. "They have a lot of neat toys and places to hide."
"Ally," William continued. "When we take them to Boston again, I'll get them some really nice clothes, but right now I have to get to Collinwood. My dad's out of town again and my mom needs me to come by the Old House." He kissed her. "I'll be back as soon as I can."
"Okay," Ally looked him over as he kissed both the girls and grabbed his jacket off the coat rack. The girls continued to be obsessed with their dolls as Ally stood and poked her head past the curtain. She watched her husband's black trans-am reverse, back up and then head down the hundred-foot driveway as it vanished beyond the trees. She stepped back as Georgia picked up her Princess Leia doll and tried to get Barbie clothing on its body.
"You girls play nice...." Ally stroked Lainey's head. "I'll be in your father's study."
" 'Kay, mommy........."
Ally bolted as for her husband's study as her eyes glanced over the desk for the manuscript. It wasn't in sight so it had to be still in the secret compartment behind the desk. Sitting on the floor, Ally began running her fingers for the secret release. She had found only a few of the secret compartments in the house so far and this one was no different. She had seen it open it enough times, but she had no idea as to how William opened it. Desperate to find out what he was hiding in the manuscript, she glided and danced the tips of her fingers over the baroque designs in the woodwork trying to find the trigger.
"How does he open it?" Ally mumbled as she leaned back and braced her left hand on the shelf above her. As she did, she pushed the panel in and it popped out. She felt for the childproof lock and ecstatically pulled it open.
She giggled to herself as she opened her husband's treasure trove. He had photos of herself, the girls and even Maddie, pictures of Elaine, Paula his first girlfriend and Tricia, the blonde cheerleader he was mad about in high school. She peeked in his High School Memories scrapbook, but ignored the metal lock box as she hunted for the manuscript.
"What is this?" Ally grinned as she found a gift-wrapped in tissue and ribbon. Wondering if she had found her birthday present, her glee and curiosity dissipated as she found cards with the gift. Each one covered a different holiday: "Merry Christmas," "Happy Birthday," "Happy St. Valentines Day," "Happy Anniversary," and one very interesting "I'm sorry for the fight, let's make up." Ally realized it was her conniving husband's emergency gift in the event he forgot to buy her anything.
"Oh, he's good..........." Ally rolled her eyes as she continued her search for the manuscript. Tossing the gift back inside as she found it, she closed the secret panel back and stood up glancing over the desk again. Even peeking under the blotter, she poked through the drawers of the huge oak desk then stopped and gasped defeatedly.
"Where is he hiding it?" She asked herself as she went around the room rapping the walls for another hidden compartment. She looked for strange cracks and weird grooves in the floor that might be left by a secret door. She walked along the long wall of shelves covered by books, glanced around the windows and then along the wall until she came to her wedding portrait by the entrance. She beamed at her likeness and realized how beautiful she looked. It was the happiest day in her life. William had made her just as happy as she was when she was with Billy. She straightened the picture as she gave up the search for her husband's hiding places. She barely stepped away as the picture began tilting again. Her eyes glared at the weird angle as she fixed it again. It shifted back into an angle.
"What is wrong with this?" Ally mumbled as she pulled it out to rehang it. As she did, a large manila envelope fell out from behind it and dropped to the floor. It was the manuscript!!!
"Jackpot!!!" Ally cackled as she finally out sneaked her husband and rehung the picture. She jumped on the almost scattered pages like a cat on a mouse and sat back on to the small sofa in the room. Making herself comfortable, she began reading her husband's first Sci-Fi script.
"Space," It started. "The final frontier, a long time from now in a galaxy far, far away............."
"And he preaches to Elaine for originality???" Ally rolled her eyes as she continued reading.
Space, the final frontier, a long time from now in a galaxy far, far away it is a time of Civil War as all of Earth's colonies in the known galaxy were being collected under one United Federation of Planets. Several of the planets colonized by humanity were eagerly accepting the unity to band together a capable Starfleet to exorcise the lawlessness and piracy of the colonies on the outer rim. A shadowy dark figure in black armor was trying to stop the creation of the Federation. His name was Bloodscream, and no one knew who he really was because no one ever escaped his wrath. One of many men stood to confront him. Captain William Thomas of the Starship Poseidon was one of the more daring figures to emerge in this the Twenty Fifth century. He had assembled the best band of explorers and adventurers that had ever been seen and his current mission to return several representatives to Earth was not without its problems. One of the representatives had hurt herself in a combat simulation on the holodeck.
"How'd you hurt yourself?" Doctor Larry Paul used his tricorder to scan the torn tissues in the elbow of Princess and Senator Ally McBeal from the sovereign planet of Camelot. He looked up into her big brown eyes.
"I got hit from behind." Ally glared at him. "One minute I'm kickboxing Sand-people and then this Klingon comes up behind me and knocks me over."
"How will she be?" Captain Thomas entered Sickbay as Ambassador Nell Porter from the Tartarus System followed behind him.
"She's be okay..." Larry admitted. "If we can keep her off the holodeck."
"Awwww...." Nell grinned sinisterly. "Did someone turn off your safety protocols?"
"I wonder who would have done that." Ally growled as the ship's boatswain whistle called Billy to the Bridge.
"Captain," Helmsman Maddie Harrington called. "We have the Demeter in sight to transport our diplomats."
"Take us a port." Billy smoothed out his uniform as he turned to head back to the bridge. No sooner as he did so as Nell took him by the arm and escorted him.
She started. "As per my request. I desire a shuttlecraft to move me from ship to ship. This...
beaming... Business rather unsettles
"I'll handle it." Billy returned to the Bridge. His Number One was Lt. Commander John Cage, a decorated officer from the Atlantis Colony with experience from ordeals with the Cylons. His Chief Science officer was his wife, Georgia Thomas, a stunning beauty with his heart. On the helm was Maddie Harrington, an ensign with a mysterious past with one dream but to locate the lost mother she was taken away from by the Borg.
"Ready to transport...." Georgia stood at her controls.
"Make it so."
"Captain," Maddie noticed a new signal coming in. "We have a Hive ship uncloaking off the starboard side!"
"Bloodscream." Georgia realized.
"Red Alert!!!" John called as the shields went up. The ship took a hit and shook from the blast as the dark despot made an attempt to kill the diplomats. Ally McBeal staggered as she returned to her quarters with her elbow still sensitive. Her vavasour Richard Fish was trying to hide under her bed as the battle began outside the ship.
"What's going on?!!" He asked as the ship shook from another blast.
"Do I look like I know everything?" Ally's long hair tied up in two buns on her head started to unravel and come apart as the shaking continued. She felt a loud explosion through the hull.
"We just lost Ambassador Porter's shuttle craft!" John read the sensors as he fired the photon torpedoes on the Hive ship.
"Only two diplomats haven't made it yet." Georgia rerouted power to keep the shields up. "Princess McBeal and Ambassador Vassal."
"John," Billy stood at the ready. "Plan Delta-Omega. Georgia, take us out."
"Affirmative." Georgia gave the order to separate from the Demeter. Maddie set the settings for the ship to move out as the Hive ship began to give chase to the more experienced ship instead of the one with the surviving diplomats. A few photon torpedoes didn't slow it down as John ran to collect the last two diplomats on board.
"Georgia," Billy sat back as he gave the orders. "Take us into the atmosphere at Danu Five."
"Our shields have taken some damage." She looked up. "We wouldn't be able to take the...."
"I know what I'm doing." Billy added as Georgia had Maddie maneuver the ship into the atmosphere of the desert planet. The Hive ship was closing in as the upper atmosphere of the planet began cooking the ship. The Hive ship entered too as it started heating up.
"Proton torpedo!" Billy ordered.
Georgia hit the mark as the Hive ship exploded from the added heat. The crew of the Poseidon gasped a brief relief as they survived another one.
"Maddie, take us out." Billy ordered. "Georgia, send a message to Tartarus giving our condolences to Nell's planet. The rest is up to John."
As the Poseidon left the vicinity of the planet, Lt. Commander John Cage landed his shuttlecraft on the desert planet with the two diplomats. Elaine Vassal from Paradise looked toward Ally McBeal and her vavasour from Camelot. Richard was scoping her out.
"What's a vavasour anyway?" She asked.
"It means he answers to me." Ally answered as her eyes looked across the desert planet and then to John. The puckish Lt. Commander disembarked the shuttle with his light saber rattling on his belt.
"Ladies," He started.
"Excuse me?" Richard looked at him.
"Like I said.... ladies," John continued. "The atmosphere affected our engines so I can't take you to the next ship on our own. We'll have to get to the nearest city and arrange transport."
"Oh goody," Ally folded her arms. "That means sand in my shoes, sand in my dress, sand in my hair........."
"My fist in your jaw..." Elaine added as Ally scowled at her.
Ally and Elaine sat with Richard in a corner booth of the cantina waiting for John to return them as he looked for a ship to transport them. Though owned by a Betazoid named Vonda, the bar played host to the miners, merchants and traders that passed through as well as certain elements of scum running from the law. Ally scooted closer to Richard for protection as the Klingons started beating up the Jawas, but then a few Cassiopeian pirates drifted through looking for drinks. Richard sipped his water as part of the crowd parted and they saw John talking to a tall hairy figure. A few Centaurians and Kree blocked their view a second as John traversed the room back to them.
"Okay," He slid into the booth with them. "I found a co-pilot. He's going to give the message to his captain."
"Please tell me," Elaine sat back as this creature cantina was a bit too low for her comforts. "That you did not book us passage on a barge."
"Is this safe?" Richard asked as he looked up. The big hairy fellow was back and walking next to a normal human. A bit tall with dark brown hair and big brown eyes, his leather jacket squeaked as he walked.
"William Collins," He started. "Captain of the Slipstream; this is my buddy, Sasquatch."
"He tells me you need a safe passage back to Earth." Collins looked at John.
"Forget that!" Elaine beamed ear to ear. "Please tell me you're single!!" She grinned ear to ear as Ally rolled her eyes.
"Yes," John continued unfazed. "Our shuttle crashed and it's imperative we get back. We could even pay you for your trouble. Twenty thousand credits?"
"Twenty Five??" Ally dropped her jaw. "Look here you swindling, no-good piece of........."
"Ally," Richard clamped his hand over his mouth. "Don't tick off the nice pilot."
"Twenty and I'll throw myself into the deal." Elaine started to climb over the table as John pulled her back.
"Deal." John looked Collins over. "Eighteen now, the rest on safe arrival."
"Not a problem." Collins responded as the band started in the background.
"Docking bay 85." He and John shook hands on it as gazed upon Ally. Her regal up bringing did not leave much room for him in her life, but the hedonistic life on Elaine's world left her open to enter almost anything.
"Call me." She teased her hair and followed John. Collins grinned a little devilishly at her as Sasquatch blocked his line of vision. If there was one thing his hairy anthropoid race of Bigfeet held in high regard, it was honor.
"Twenty Five Thousand Dollars." Collins grinned like a pirate. "This could really pay off my debts and get my father off my back. Tell Gypsy to get the ship ready. I'll be right there."
Sasquatch stared at him a few minutes more then headed off. Collins pulled out his combadge and hooked it up to a power amplifier to see if his father would finally let him come home then looked up and saw the beady eyes of a Sleestak slide into the booth across of him.
"Capa tada nui sa, Collins?"
"Hello to you too, Arcade." Collins recognized the mercenary.
"Sahda nui qa amei fah-to krachta mui hempa." Arcade spoke from a reptilian mouth lined with teeth.
"That high now?" Collins heard the bounty for his gambling debts had been increased. "Well, forget it. You go tell Mojo I got his money so back off." His hand slowly and carefully moved to his blaster.
Mush ta mui sha hashi mhinki tah noi suo qwemp bei'tu..."
Arcade drifted into a little giggle.
"Yeah," Collins glared at him. "And then have you vanish with the credits enroute." Arcade didn't like the insult to his character. He reached for his gun as Collins shot him under the table. The huge headed saurian fell forward as his stomach turned to jelly. Collins stood and tossed a short wad of bills to Vonda to haul off the dead alien.
"By the way, Arcade." He mumbled to the corpse. "It's, 'Mhinkas noi suo qwemp boi'ta.' When are you stupid Sleestak going to learn basic Chelonian?"
The old scoundrel sat by the side of the creek relaxing in the shade as his robotic sidekick gently fanned and rocked him to the tune of Mozart. The robot had been intended for other business, but now these days, he catered to the whims of the man who made other lives miserable.
"Fan gently you doddering contraption of used pinball parts," The figure being rocked complained. "Or else I'll reprogram you to make toast."
"DOCTOR SMITH," The Robot turned to him. "YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO BE PULLING WEEDS OUT OF THE GARDEN."
"Ohhhhhh..." Smith moaned. "For such a momentous task, I must work up the energy. They'll still be there tomorrow." He heard a slight humming in the air as he looked over the other way and saw three plasma signatures forming. One idea rushed to his frightened mind as he hid behind the Robot.
"Invaders!!" He screamed. "Fight them off and I'll warn the women."
"Doctor Smith." Captain Billy Thomas beamed with a steely grin to his old mentor.
"Oh, Billy, my young lad..." Smith stood up straight unafraid as he whacked the Robot. "And you thought he was an invader...." Billy hugged Dr. Smith and briefly scanned the Robot to make sure it was okay on alert. Maddie had beamed down with him as well as Doctor Larry Paul went to check the health of Billy's family on the moon and the other colonists.
"We haven't seen you since your father passed away." Smith added as he and Billy headed for camp.
"Yeah," Billy became a brief reflective. His father, John Thomas had passed away shortly after he had entered Starfleet. Major Don West, his brother in law, was running things now as the unofficial leader of the settlement. "But I'm a bit here on business. My mother here?"
Billy looked up as his older sister, Penny, placed aside her pet tribble and rushed to meet him. His other sister, Judy looked up from the garden as their mother emerged from the Jupiter Two. The old sleeper ship was still home to the Thomas Family after all these years, but it was less a ship as it was now one of a hundred settlements on the moon. Major West shook Billy's hand as he hugged his mother.
"So," Don started. "How's the big Starship Captain?"
"Busy," Billy admitted as Maddie followed silently listening. "Mom, is she here?"
"Yes, she's here." Maureen Thomas looked around as Billy covered his eyes to the sight of the sun coming over the bluff. Standing a few yards away, the young woman pulled her hair away from blowing into her face and locked eyes on Billy. She had been away from Starfleet for three years and now she suspected it was time to go back.
"Ling," Billy briefly broke from the reunion. "I want to know if you want to come back to Poseidon."
"I'm not ready." The half-Cimmerian beauty returned from the drill site carrying pieces of ore to turn into energy for the ship.
"Ling," Billy followed her back into his old home. "I know Bloodscream treated you badly, but Starfleet has a plan to destroy his power. For it to work I need my best Security Officer back and that was you."
"I can't do it." Ling scanned the ore for traces of dilithium. "What about John?"
"He's on another mission escorting some diplomat we secreted off ship." Billy told her. "I need you back."
Ling looked to Billy's family. They had treated her just as warmly as her own family once did. She felt as if she were a member of the Thomas family herself as she looked back to Billy.
"Let me get my uniform..." Ling relented as she realized she wanted revenge on Bloodscream for killing her family.
John brushed past Richard as he, Princess Ally and Ambassador Vassal left the market after selling parts from their crashed shuttle to pay to Collins. A bit of John's mind magic enabled him to get the money he wanted from the Klatoonian junk dealer, but he didn't feel right about it. As they turned for the ship hangars, a cloaked figure noticed them and started following.
"I don't understand." Ally looked at John. "Why can't we just have Starfleet send another ship? Why pay this pilot to transport us?"
"We got to keep your location secret." John maneuvered through the busy market place. "Right now, Bloodscream thinks you are still on Poseidon and bound for Earth. If he knows where you are, your life would be in danger."
They looked for Docking Bay 85, which was accessed by two stairs leading down under one of the markets. Down a long corridor lead to the hangar as their cloaked shadow stood and watched.
"What a piece of junk........." Ally looked at the ship. Saucer shaped with a separate cockpit, the fifty-meter long craft looked as if it was a mess of machinery and lights squashed between two saucers. Nearby, Sasquatch was holding the cables charging the ship's Ion drive as Collins turned round.
"She can make Warp Eight." Collins boasted as he grinned toward her. "Make your ways in and don't break anything." Sasquatch rolled his eyes as William and John conducted business and passed credit points. Ally looked around Collins floating bachelor pad. It looked comfortable and elite, but it had the air of a single man.
"I love it!" Richard grinned.
"Needs a woman's touch." Elaine passed her fingers over a computer console. "Oooooooooooh, what I could do if we were married."
"I hope............" Ally dropped down hesitantly on a leather sofa. "This is a short trip." As she sank into the sofa, she felt movement behind and looked around as a short golden robot with a pinball shaped head and a catcher's mask antennae looked at her with two pinball eyes.
"Sayyyyyyyyyyy..." He looked at her. "William's finally got a girl on board!!!"
"Crap." Ally stared at it. "He's got droids!!!"
"What's wrong with this gum machine?" Richard shoved a quarter in as the gum machine began choking up his quarter.
"I'm not a gum machine!!" The short, squat red droid looked at him. "And keep the quarter out of my mouth!!!"
"Oh," Elaine beamed at them. "They're so cute!!!"
"Hey, baby........." The gold droid looked over. "Name's Crow T. Robot and that's my buddy, Tom Servo. Interested in a multi-species relationship?" The droid's eye sockets moved as he winked at her.
"Oh for the love of God..........." John boarded the ship while Collins was still unhooking tether lines and power cables to take off. As he did, he looked up and saw several Hive soldiers entering through the corridor to the hangar. He pulled out his gun and fired a few shots just before charging up the gangplank.
"Gypsy, fire the engines!!!!" He closed the ship's doors. "Sasquatch, get us out of here!!!!!"
"What's going on?" John asked he looked out the port windows and saw the Hive soldiers firing on the ship. The ship's automatic defenses snapped on and fired back as Collins rushed to his pilot's seat and jumped in. As he did, a huge head shaped like a wastebasket tethered to the ship looked at him with one huge eye.
"William," Gypsy looked at him. "Engines are on, but the shields are off-line!!!"
"Why are they off line?" Collins yelled as the Hive fired on his slowly moving ship. The entire craft shook from the plasma blasts striking it.
"Arrrrrrrrrrrrrhhk." Sasquatch began responding. "Rahhhrk herrrr woooooorrrkkkkkkkkkaaaaa..."
"You did it!!!" Collins yelled back. "Haven't I told you to let me fix them?"
"Is there a problem?" John called.
"No, course not." Collins grinned as the ship became airborne. "I should have asked for fifty..........." He mumbled as he pulled loose a floor panel and dropped into the auxiliary controls to turn the shields on. Under Sasquatch's control, the ship turned and rolled sharply through the atmosphere as Ally widened her eyes and rolled across the ship. Elaine gripped on to a fixture as she watched Richard fall to his feet.
"Where'd you get your license?!" Ally screamed as William brought the shields back up. "Through a mail order catalog????!!!!"
"You told her?!!!!!!!!" Collins screamed at Sasquatch as the huge Bigfoot took evasive patterns against eight Hive Skimmers.
"I knew it!!!!!" Ally screamed as she rolled backward into the sofa and nearly hit her head. She felt like she was in the trunk of a land speeder as she flew around the quarters of the ship. John landed on Elaine as Collins worked to get his ship's shields working. Sasquatch continued flying all over the place through canyons and over mountains as the Hive Skimmers caught up.
"Rookies." Crow and Tom adhered themselves magnetically to the ship's hull and they watched the humans rolling around and crashing into furniture under the ship's movements. They were used to both Collins and Sasquatch's irreverent flying styles and became amused to watch humans flying around the cabin.
"Ahhhhhh, Collins," A mustached face popped up on a ship screen as Collins tried to reboot his shields. "Your movie for today........."
"Not now, Dr. Forrester..........." Collins was being slammed back and forth in tight quarters as the rocking ship slowed his progress. He hit the screen off and punched "Enter" on his ship's computer banks as he reattached several disconnected lines. "Sasquatch, take her out!!!!!"
As the ship angled for space, John, Richard, Ally and Elaine landed en masse in the back wall. As gravity came on, they rolled to the floor. Richard looked a bit sick as Collins crawled out and rushed to his pilot seat. With him back, Sasquatch left his post and looked back at the frustrated passengers.
"Out of my way, you walking carpet," Ally lifted to her feet. "I'm going to kill me a captain."
"Ally," John helped Elaine up. "Don't go there. He's trying to save our lives." John noticed several mines being jettisoned by the Jetstream as the Hive Skimmers blew up in contact with them. A few more appeared to replace them as the ship turned and revealed a huge Hive Destroyer in orbit. He realized they had been discovered and that Bloodscream knew where they were.
"Lord Bloodscream," Lt. Raymond Milbury turned to his dark master. "We have traced McBeal and Vassal to the Jetstream. It will be a matter of seconds before we can lock our transporters on her." The dark lord looked back on him from behind a black skull mask. The hissing from his breath came through the suit.
"You mean Collins is now involved!!!!!" Bloodscream roared with a loathsome hollow voice digitally enhanced. "How the heck did that happen???!!!" They turned and watched through the port windows the Jetstream swerving an odd flight through fighters and actually crashing a few Skimmers into each other. His piloting actually caused a few ships to fire not on him but on the Destroyer. Bloodscream began losing it as the hotshot pilot and scoundrel made Hive Soldier little more than idiots.
"Setting course............" Collins was computing data as John sat in the co-pilot seat.
"That's not for Earth." John noticed.
"They're expecting us to go directly for Earth." William kept his ship cruising at top speed. "I'm taking a curved path through the Kelly Cluster near Antares."
"How can you not love him?" Elaine swooned as Ally rolled her eyes. As she did, Crow T. Robot appeared behind her and winked at her as the love-starved droid craved a bit of attention.
Maddie Harrington was keeping an eye on the orbit around Thomas's Planet where Billy's family lived as he returned to the bridge. Behind him, Ling returned in her green and black uniform as Georgia recognized her.
"You're back." Georgia forced a grin.
"Yes," Ling took her old post at security. "Channels cleared, shields are still working I hope."
"Of course." Georgia looked toward Billy.
"Maddie," Billy took his seat at command. "Lay in a course for the Kelly Cluster at Antares. Intelligence tells us that's where Bloodscream's been holding his fleets." Billy turned round. "Ling, you're going to help us destroy the Hive for the last time."
William Collins of the Jetstream was modifying his phaser banks as Ally watched him. She thought he was kind of cute in a scoundrel sort of way, but he was obviously so wrong for him. She was a princess worthy of only marrying royalty and he was just a few shades above being a pirate.
"Your worshipness," Collins grinned toward her. "Is there something about me you find interesting?"
"Don't even think it." Ally tried acting a bit put off. "I mean you're... a good pilot and all, but what makes you think I would be interested in you."
"You've been staring at me as if I was the last cashmere sweater on the block." He grinned a bit annoyingly at her.
"I have not!!" Ally rolled her eyes and realized she couldn't explain how she was getting weak in the knees. "I was just..."
"Why don't we talk it over in my quarters?" He gently escorted her for the front of the ship past the cockpit. "I've got a bottle of Emerald Tea and a block of sweet cheese I've yet to.........." He brushed the curtain aside to enter as they scanned the pile of clothes on the floor over to the bunk. Wrapped in blankets, Elaine beamed ear to ear as the blue sheets barely covered her naughty areas.
"Did I tell you how dangerous it is to be an ambassador?" She smiled with a toss of her curly blonde hair. "I never know where I'm going to be sleeping..........."
Ally dropped her jaw as Collins rolled his eyes embarrassingly. He had just installed that new bunk because the old one smelled like manga roots.
"I just remembered..." Collins stepped back. "I've got emitters that need to be updated." He turned around as Ally took another look at Elaine then left her. The over-sexed diplomat started wondering if she had come on too strong as she felt movement and turned round to see who was with her.
"Oh, it's been so long..." Crow reached his long gold limbs around her as she bolted up in a panic. Although programmed to do the housekeeping, he had much of the personality of the former owner who programmed him.
"I see you're fond of our benefactor." John watched ally emerge from the lower deck.
"He's cute............" Ally told him.
"I know." John was helping to modify the ship's defense systems. "Elaine's only told me about a million times."
"I couldn't marry him if was interested." Ally slightly swooned. "I mean, I'm a princess. I can only marry a prince."
"That's your mother talking." John could be oddly prophetic and philosophical. Many believed it was part of his Jedi training than his classes at Starfleet. "You ought to be able to make your own decisions. What does your father believe?"
"I never knew my father." Ally admitted. "I was a baby when my mother married into Camelot's Royal Family." She thought of her younger half-brother Adam and half-sister Adora a second as she pictured herself back on the colony. It was an idyllic life growing up, but she always thought she was connected to so much more.
"I know where you're coming from." John waxed nostalgic as Elaine had escaped Crow and approached zipping up her uniform. "I never knew my mother. I often wonder what happened to her, and where I'd be if I had known her." He stared out the port side window as the stars passed by them. Elaine looked at both of them as she noticed the obvious between them that they were missing.
"Naaaaaah, it's not possible." She continued as she found Richard sitting at the helm with Sasquatch. The huge hairy beast with hidden brown eyes altered the headings as the ship slowed to affect its course for Earth. Collins wiped oil from his hands as Richard moved out of his way.
"Coming out of warp," Richard told him.
"Good." Collins sat down and took the jaw stick on the control pattern. Sasquatch was ready to set the new headings as the ship stopped in the middle of trouble. In the outside system was over a hundred Hive ships and with them a huge abandoned Borg cube now commandeered by the Hive. It was not a welcome sight.
"How'd they find us?!!!!" John screamed.
"I don't know!!!" Collins jumped to affect retreat. "Evasive!!! Don't let them lock tractors on us!!! Gypsy, shields so they can't beam us out!!!" The ship turned away as it started to escape, but the jerking of the ship had indicated they were already stuck.
"Shields up!" The droid screamed. "But their tractors have us!!!"
"We're going to die!!!" Richard was screaming with Tom and Crow. "We're going to die!!!!"
"Cambot! Outside port!!!!" Collins saw a deflected signal of his ship being tugged in. "Gypsy, scramble channels so they can't hook into our systems."
"Done and done!!!!"
"What can you do?" John reacted as Ally and Elaine watched in panic.
"Well," Collins was searching his memory banks for a weapon. "I got a megaton we can use to bomb their holding bay. The reaction would tear up their cube."
"Wouldn't that kill us too?" Elaine asked.
"Well," Collins watched as his ship was sucked into the immense cube. "If you're going to tie my hands............"
"Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhrrrrrrrrkkkkk..." Sasquatch began responding. "Maaaaaarrrrrrrrrr Kkkkkkrrrreeeeepp Yyyyyyrrrrrr.."
"The holds?" Collins understood him.
"What is this?" Ally contorted her face into confusion. "An old episode of Lassie?"
"What about holds?" John asked as the Jetstream was dragged inside the cube.
"They're a hold-over from the last owner who was a smuggler." Collins stood up and headed to the forward hall panels. "Sensors can't break through the duranium linings."
"And then what?" Richard asked.
"We pray for help." Collins opened the first one as Hive soldiers were already knocking on his front door. It was several loud pounding noises as Hive officer Glenn Foy opened the on-ramp of the captured ship from the outside.
"And they better be on there!!!" New Commander Mark Albert yelled at him.
"Yeah, yeah, yeah…" Foy turned to Jackson Duper. "I hope they're not because then I get to be commander."
"And when you screw up," Duper looked at him as they readied weapons. "I'm next.............."
As the Hive had now captured the Jetstream, the space cruiser of Captain William Collins, it was up to Jackson Duper and Glenn Foy to capture everyone on board, but they were getting stress attacks as the interior of the ship turned into a floating haunted house. The shadows were creeping up on them as they found themselves the only living things on board.
"Where is everyone?" Foy scanned the ship.
"I'm reading large duranium weights down below." Duper looked to the dark mawl of an access way leading to the lower deck. "I bet they're used to shield the holds like the old smugglers used to do."
"Let's check it out." Foy lowered his tricorder as he led the way with his light. He no sooner had it clicked on when the two of them heard a fizzing noise. They turned their heads as they saw a line of black powder on board. It had been lit and was burning toward a target. From a dark corner, Crow T. Robot peeked out from hiding.
"Dum-dum-da-dum, da-da dum...." He was silently humming the Mission Impossible theme as the burning powder distracted the two Hive soldiers.
"What is that?" Foy began following the line of powder.
"Black powder." Duper smelled it as the trail led into a small viewing room on board ship. "It was used in the Old Earth-style fire arms to fire projectiles." They looked around the tiny theatre. Wondering what sort of movies Collins watched on board, they were suddenly knocked into the seats by John Cage and William Collins. Dropping their guns, they were trapped to the seats as bars lowered down around them.
"Ahhhhhhhhhhhh, fresh meat!!!" The screen came alive with the appearance of Doctor Forrester. "Your movie for today will be a rancid piece of celluloid from the year 2000 called Charlie's Angels. It stars three actresses also made of celluloid plus several people who never worked in Hollywood again............"
"Nooooooooo!!!!" Foy and Duper began scrambling to get free as they were tormented by the acting abilities of Cameron Diaz. Fighting to get their guns to fire out their eyes, they were left trapped as William and John left them to their fate.
"I knew those things would someday come in handy." William took their guns as he and John joined Richard and the girls.
"Here's our plan," John checked to see if the coast was clear. "You stay here with the girls as I go turn off the tractor beam. William's going to set explosives as a diversionary contract."
"I got the idea from Colonel Robert Hogan." Collins claimed.
"What do we do while we wait for you?" Richard asked as one of the droids pulled out a board game.
"Anyone in the mood for Twister???" Crow held it up over his head.
"Your majesty," Commander Mark Albert looked down on the captive Jetstream from a viewing port over the docking bay. Bloodscream, his superior, was still waiting for results.
"I have your best officers on that ship," Albert continued. "No one gets off alive." He turned to look back as Collins and Cage scampered off, fired a few warning shots and then split up. He dropped his jaw in shock as he turned back to his master. A hand suddenly grabbed his throat.
"I screwed up big, didn't I?" Albert choked out as Bloodscream snapped his neck. The dark dictator turned with a flourish to the only officer in the room.
"Commander Jenny Shaw," He bellowed through his automated facemask. "Kill them on sight. No one leaves the Cube."
"Yes, your majesty!" Shaw took charge sending the soldiers in the room out to kill Cage and Collins.
Just coming into view, Lt. Commander Ling Wu of Starfleet sat in a one-seater fighter Dryad-Class Stinger. At the head of the attack mission, Captain Billy Thomas and five Enterprise class Starships advanced on the Hive cube to destroy it. Behind Ling, was over a hundred of Starfleet's best pilots and gunners.
"No one becomes a hero." She ordered. "We're here to take out that Cube and destroy it we will. This is for all those families and colonies that Bloodscream and his Hive has killed. Omega Plan Delta, by the book."
"Ling," Georgia was at ops on the Poseidon. "I'm reading over a thousand Hive Darts coming for you."
"Let's lower that number." Ling grinned at the thrill of battle.
On the Cube, William Collins and Sasquatch was timing his explosives for thirty minutes and dropping the small pen-sized explosives in vents and chutes around him. Along the way, he clenched his teeth and blew away as many Hive soldiers as he could.
"One little, two little, three little idiots...." He laughed as they briefly became cornered in a hall. His buddy covered him as he shot at the soldiers and knocked them down one at a time.
"Four little, five little, six little idiots............" He blasted several more as they jumped off a crosswalk over a warp core.
"Seven little, eight little, nine little idiots.........." He
another way clear as he charged down another hallway and skidded to a stop. Jenny Shaw stood there in her black uniform. She never looked sexier as Sasquatch covered his eyes unable to watch.
"Jenny, baby, remember me?" Collins looked at her.
"I sure do, pumpkin." Jenny remembered once being in love with him before they broke up. She lifted her laser rifle. "You told me to get breast implants!!!!"
Collins just barely jumped out of the way as he crawled for safety. Sasquatch was laughing at him between shots.
"You still could use them!!!!" Collins yelled as he fired his way back to his ship. One shot from him dropped the blast-resistant doors between them for he and Sasquatch to escape from her.
The Poseidon shook briefly as the Cube fired on it. Maddie was in her flight gear and hurrying to get to her own fighter as Dr. Larry Paul came down behind her and stopped her.
"Maddie," He called her.
"Make it fast, doctor." The young girl was eager for her first time in a Stinger. "We're under attack." The ship shook again.
"I found something interesting in our medical records." Larry hurried to tell her. "I think I found your mother. You two have 98.7 DNA markers in common."
"My mother....?" Maddie briefly forgot her duty as the Poseidon shook from another cannon blast. She took the tricorder from Dr. Paul and read the name of her mother's identity. "Oh god! Not her!!!!!"
John had shut off the tractors holding the Jetstream and even shut them down from being used for several hours. With just his light saber and his Jedi skills, he raced to return for the ship, but as he turned a corner, he found his way blocked.
"Bloodscream." He recognized the seven-foot tall dark shadow of armor. The mad despot turned on his sword and readied to fight as John responded first. He swung his weapon as the two energy blades blew off a volley of sparks. He thrust and parried as he fought off the sinister overlord.
"Duh-duh-da-da-da-duh-duh..." Crow hummed along to the fight as Richard looked out the view port. John was fighting with his might as the battle-suit augmented villain pressed hard. The short Jedi partially cut into the villain's mask as the psychotic potentate thrust forward once more. John leapt over a bar to escape dismemberment then somersaulted over the madman as he inflicted another blow.
"I think I saw this on Dragonslayer." Richard mumbled as Ally and Elaine looked out as well. The blonde sexpot watched as Ally grabbed a blaster to help. She lowered the on-ramp to see them.
"John!!" She raised her weapon.
"Ally?" John briefly looked over as he felt his hand seared and cauterized at the same time. The pain was tremendous as he dropped to the tarmac. Bloodscream gestured as Ally felt her gun psychically ripped from her hands. At the same time, the madman's helmet fell off and revealed his true identity and sex.
"Nell!!!" Ally dropped to her feet. "But you're dead!!!"
"I faked it!!!!" The blonde villainess cackled with power in her strength-augmenting armor. Ally dropped to her feet as she felt John's saber by her. She picked it up and flicked it back on. Clenching her teeth, she began fighting back as she engaged Nell in a swordfight of their own.
"Wow," Elaine watched her. "She's ticked off."
"Remind me to never get her mad at me." Richard watched as the tiny female powerhouse combined kickboxing and swordplay. He pulled John to safety as Ally outwitted her blonde nemesis.
Ling watched another of her pilots killed in a exploding ball of fire as she rocketed through to the center of the Cube. Her mind was centered as she readied to blow up the massive satellite's warp core. She aimed her torpedo and started targeting.
"Ling, use the Force." A ghostly voice whispered in her ear.
"What the..." She looked around. "Shouldn't have watched Star Wars last night." She positioned her aim on the Cube's power source and fired with a flick of her thumb. Her torpedoes aimed true as the massive battery was breached and began leaking plasma. It was going to blow like a burst balloon if she didn't get her Stinger out of the reactor. Her opening had collapsed!
Collins's explosives started going off through the Cube as he raced for the Jetstream. Lost and firing everything in sight, he was still over twelve flights above his ship and looking for a way down as he was still fired upon.
"Ever see Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid?" He looked at Sasquatch.
"Uh-oh." The large Bigfoot mumbled as another explosive rocked the Cube. The chain reaction had started as the resulting explosions freed Ling from the center. Shooting through the landing bay, she noticed the Jetstream below her.
"I wonder if William wants to get back together." She asked herself as she rocketed into space.
"Billy!!" Georgia stood at Ops with alarm as Billy controlled the battle. "I'm reading John's signal on the Cube. I'm also getting Elaine, Richard and Ally!!!"
"Beam them off!!!" He screamed as he watched explosions rock the Hive Cube. Ally was getting tired as Nell was fortified by her life-enhancing armor. The psycho blonde in the armor was getting the upper hand as Ally continued fighting.
"You can't defeat me!!!" Nell glared with glee as Ally tried to kill her.
"And why not?" Ally glared back at her.
"Because I'm your sister!!!!!"
"Noooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!" Ally screamed at the top of her lungs and swung as hard as could. As Nell started to swing her deathblow, Ally vanished from sight right before her.
"What the..." Nell looked around as the Cube blew up around her. Her armies were running and fighting to escape. "Usually when I kill someone there's something left............."
Dr. Larry Paul helped John to Sickbay to reattach his severed hand. Elaine hugged Richard glad to be safe as Ally looked around for William and Sasquatch.
"Where's William?" She asked as she heard a huge nuclear explosion in space. Her head turned to the window as the Cube exploded in one huge star-sized fireball. She dropped her jaw in shock as a tear fell from her face. As she turned away, debris from the Cube rained on Poseidon. Among it, a familiar ship was shooting just inches from the shockwaves. Despite the physics, Ally heard Collins screaming in delighted excitement.
"He made it!!!" She grinned through her tears. She spun around as Maddie blocked her path.
"Are you my mother?" The thirteen year old asked.
"No," Ally looked at her. "My baby was kidnapped by the Borg."
"Want to see my implants?" Maddie pulled her hair to one side as Ally saw permanent cybernetic devices entrenched behind the girl's ear. The short princess slowly grinned in delight as she hugged her tightly.
"My baby..........." Ally beamed in delight. "Alive! After all these years............."
"Is John Cage my uncle?" Maddie asked as Ally couldn't take the excitement. The petite princess started squeezing her too tight.
"Mom," Maddie gasped. "I can't breath............."
Having found her long lost daughter, Ally followed Maddie around and even dragged her with her into the United Nations as the first drafts for the United Federation of Planets Treaty was being drafted. There was so much to catch up on as Ally missed her first steps and her first words. Maddie was taken arm and arm as Ally lead her across the underground tarmac under Greater Metropolitan Boston.
"Of course," Ally continued talking as Maddie's eyes rolled back. "As the daughter of a princess you need to go through Finishing School and learn how to be a little lady. Of course, that means you have to leave Starfleet."
"Leave Starfleet?" Maddie turned around and looked at her in the midst of all the ships fueling and loading. "Ally, I don't want to do that."
"Of course, you do." Ally pulled Maddie close and hugged her. "And what's this Ally business? Please call me, mommy."
"Uhhhhhhhhh...." Maddie twitched her head in shock as Ally planned her life and future. "I had to going looking for her. I had to go looking for her..........."
"We need to go shopping and then.........." Ally stopped as she recognized the Jetstream in the underground hangar. Collins and Sasquatch were loading the huge hulking cruiser with a history. The two of them were obvious buddies as Ally wondered if there was room for her in his life.
"I don't care what it smells like, just load it!!!" Collins yelled at the big hairy beast in the underside of the ship's hold.
"Raaaaaaarrrrkkkkkk heeeerrrrrrqqqq mehhhr..." Sasquatch shot back.
"I'll clean it when we reach Danvers Colony." Collins hoisted another crate to Sasquatch's hairy arms. "It's on our way." He turned as he saw Ally and her daughter approached. Ally looked even lovelier in her Amidala gown and Maddie was extremely official in her star-fighter uniform.
"So," Ally looked at him. "You're leaving?"
"Yeah, well," The scoundrel grinned briefly. "Places to go, people to see. You know how it is."
"Will I see you again?" Ally looked fondly at him.
"I don't know." Collins lifted a crate of foodstuffs in to his ship's hold. "Look me up if you're ever in the Chelonian Sector."
"Collins!!!" John Cage called from the far wall as he rushed over. His severed hand reattached, but in a cast and sling, the Lt. Commander hastened over to hand over his owed credits.
"John," Ally turned to her newfound brother. "Please tell him to stay."
"I can't do that." John looked at her then turned back to William. "Collins, I have good news for you. Your parents are here to take you home."
"His parents?" Maddie wondered.
"My parents?" Collins looked worried as he started speeding up the loading of his ship. "Sasquatch, speed it up!!! We got to get out of..."
"William, my boy!!!!" A tall bearded figure in regal robes passed between John and Ally and hugged William. The older attractive blonde woman was in similar attire as she hugged and kissed her son.
"His parents????" Ally was shocked.
"Of course," John revealed. "King Barnabas and Queen Angelique of Collins Planets."
"He's a prince?!!!!!!" Ally looked at William.
"Of course, he's a prince!!!!" King Barnabas revealed. "Heir apparent to the Collins System and its environs."
"And one of the galaxy's most eligible bachelors." Queen Angelique added as well.
"I'm not exactly proud of it." Collins mumbled as his father proudly supported him.
"Come with me," Ally grabbed William's arm. "We're finding a preacher!!!!" She started dragging him off as his parents greatly approved the union.
"What?!" William tired to tear loose but Ally's determination was too strong. He looked to his co-pilot for help as he was dragged from his ship. "Sasquatch, get me out of this!!!!!"
"William and Ally sitting in the tree..." Crow, Gypsy and Tom were watching from aboard the Jetstream as two of them started chanting. "K-I-S-S-I-N-G..."
"We'll have to add room to the ship for all the babies." Gypsy watched as William broke loose twice, but Ally caught him and was dragging him by his feet. John pulled his newfound sister's daughter closer as they observed the spectacle.
"I smell a sequel............." He mumbled.
Ally McBeal-Collins sat in the big chair near the fireplace sipping her brandy as she waited for her husband to come home. Her daughters were in bed upstairs and the wind outside the house was blowing gently across the roof outside as she felt like she was the only person left in the world. She relished these moments of quiet sanity out of her busy life as a wife, mother and lawyer as she stared into the dancing flames in the fireplace.
Her head turned as she heard William's Trans Am coming up the drive. She snuggled deeper into her chair as she heard his car door slam shut and then his feet trek up the walkway and on to the front landing. She heard the front door open and close.
"I'm sorry I'm late, Ally." William closed the front door and hung his jacket on the coat rack by the door. "It was just one thing after another with my mom and then she wanted to make me dinner." He kissed her. "I'm sorry you had to wait."
"Don't worry about it." Ally gasped a bit. "The girls are in bed and I've just been sitting here."
"Okay," He kissed her again as he glimpsed into her brown eyes. "I just need to get some work done in my study and then I'll be off to bed."
"Okay," Ally beamed as William turned for his study at the end of the foyer. She grinned mischievously as she counted down the seconds to when he discovered his story missing. "Five, four, three, two...."
She grinned knowingly as he dashed back to the parlor where she was sitting. He glared back at her knowing she had violated the sanctity of his study.
"Looking for this??" She held up the manuscript.
"You read it?"
"Word for word..." Ally stood and glared mischievously toward him. "And I laughed so much............." She was partially annoyed. "I especially loved the part where I dragged you off to get married..."
"Ally," William was unsure if she was really upset or just mildly annoyed. "It's just a story. I used a lot of humor in it to make it interesting to me to write. You know I prefer ghost stories; I can't make heads or tails out of science fiction. I love being married to you. Being with you is the culmination of my life existence."
"Uh huh.........." Ally partially narrowed her eyes.
"You believe me, don't you?" He beamed to her. "I mean, was I upset when you wrote that fantasy story? I was honored that you included me in your imagination."
"Didn't you also write a fiction where John Cage spawned more children than Jay Hawkins and Wilt Chamberlain?" Ally brought that up.
"Yes," William remembered that. "And Elaine wrote that Xena thing and you used to have superhero dreams............"
"Okay, okay, I get it." Ally lightly twitched her head. "But I would like to know why you wouldn't let me read it earlier. I thought you were hiding something in it from me, but if anything, you were a lot more critical of yourself than me, and.............."
"Ally," William took her hand and kissed it. "I need to correct the typos and add some things to the master on the floppy. Let me get to that and we'll talk more later."
"Okay," Ally kissed him back as she tried to think of him as the rogue scoundrel from the story. Her husband was a real romantic, but his fictional counterpart seemed by of a cosmic playboy with old girlfriends everywhere. She heard the phone ringing near her as she wondered if he was anything really like that.
"Hello," Ally picked up the receiver and held it to her ear as she sat down again. "Hi, mom..." It was her mother-in-law on the phone calling from the Old House as her voice lowered to subdued tones and she looked to be sure William had left for his study. "Thank you so much for keeping him busy for me to read that story." She grinned and felt a bit rotten as she still had it in her hand. "You want to read it? I think you might like to........... I'm also sending copies to Elaine, Billy, John and everyone else in Boston."