copyright 1991 Matthew Wayne Gertz

(Permission to copy electronically and to print copies is granted, but not to sell.)

PICARD: Captain's Log, Star Date Fifty-Four-Forty-or-fight. The Enterprise is en route to Planet Babel, where I will be conducting a treaty negotiation with the Romulans, who have shown the appallingly bad manners of attacking our outposts along the Neutral Zone.

RIKER: Captain, you really sound as if you're looking forward this assignment. I personally find Babel to be a disgusting little planet.

PICARD: True, but don't you see, Number One, it's a chance to practice diplomacy! The art of words, rather than phasers...

WORF: Words are for puny humans. [stops and thinks a minute] Sir.

TROI: Going to Babel makes me feel great pain. All those minds... how can you stand it, sir?

PICARD: Well, Counselor, it's like this:

["One Night On Babel" (with apologies to Tim Rice, Bjorn Ulvaeus, and Benny Andersson)]


Babel, just another setting,
And the planet don't know what the planet is getting,
The highest of the brass in a show with everything but Bill Shatner.

Babel, just another stop
In the diplomat circus. Ambassadors drop in,
Meet, argue, check out, and then you
Move on to another venue.

Like Vulcan... or Romulus... or Earth... or, or this place!

One night on Babel and you'll meet some weirdos,
You'll try to guess the races of the throng,
You'll try to flirt with something young and pretty,
And then you'll find you got the gender wrong,
God, I hope I'm not gonna have to stay here long.

Babel's gonna be the witness,
To a treaty that'll stop the Romulan hit list,
This grips me more than would a boring nova
Or an archeological dig.

(Thank God I'm only mediating the ceremonies, controlling them!)

I don't see my crew rating
A shore leave while I'm down debating.
I'd let them watch, I'd encourage convening,
But the Enterprise needs some serious cleaning.

One night on Babel and you'll need your phaser,
(You never know how cooked the food might be),
It's hard to tell the dishes from the eaters
Or whether the courses might begin to breathe.
I can see some heartburn fast approaching me!

PICARD: So you see, Couselor, this is an exciting occasion. I can hob-nob with important diplomats. I can make important political connections. I can bark "Q'apla!" at Klingons so that they don't think I'm whitebread.

WORF: (under his breath) Lotsa luck.

PICARD: Mr. Data, what's our ETA for Babel?

DATA: Eighteen hours, six minutes, thirteen seconds.

PICARD: [frowning] Eighteen hours? That doesn't sound right. We should only be ten hours away at warp six.

RIKER: Well, sir, if memory serves me, we are near where the USS Lake Wobegon was lost.

DATA: Precisely, and so we must take great care not to have what happened to them happen to us. I plotted a longer roundabout course to take care of this.

PICARD: Lake Wobegon? I don't recall that particular ship.

DATA: It was lost twelve years before Starfleet was founded. The Lake Wobegon was a vessel in the Gal-Trans Shipping Corporation before the disaster.

PICARD: What disaster? Mr. Data, you're being deliberately vague. Summarize!

DATA: Yes, sir...

["The Wreck of the Lake Wobegon " (with apologies to Gordon Lightfoot)]


The legend is told by the spacemen of old,
Of the black hole they call Cygnus X-1,
The hole, it is quipped, likes to suck down starships,
And its exit is yet known to no one.

With some 'lithium ore, headed off to a war,
The Lake Wobegon was outdated,
Their company was dead (profits down in the red),
And their insurance claim was well needed.

The ship was the bane of the shipping space lanes,
Coming back from some mine down on Vulcan,
Her commander said, "I know a shortcut ahead,
"And we'll get to the war quick as we can."

The warp engines choked, and the circuits all smoked,
As the black hole latched onto its victims,
With a gravity well equal to ten trillion Orson Welles,
The crew of the Lake was all sucked in.

Does anyone know where the spacemen all go,
When the Hole turns your ship into Jell-O?
Only one man escaped, the commander of the Lake,
(Coincidentally the policy holder.)

In a musty old hall on Arcturus they came,
To the bar known as "Bill's Grill and Deli,"
They hoisted a pint, and they toasted the lives,
Of the spacemen who'd turned into jelly.

The legend is told by the spacemen of old,
Of the black hole they call Cygnus X-1,
The hole, it is said, killed the Wobegon dead,
And saved Gal-Trans from "Chaper 11."

PICARD: Oh. Oh, very well, then. Carry on. I'll be in my ready room.

[Meanwhile, several thousand light-years away, on a planet on the edge of the galaxy, a really big rock flies up into the air.]

[And in 10-Forward: A really attractive diplomat walks in and approaches the bar.]

GUINAN: What can I get y-- oh. Ingrid.

INGRID: Where is he, Guinan?

GUINAN: He's on the bridge. You really hurt him last time. He still talks about you.

INGRID: Could you -- could you play that song over the speakers, Guinan?

GUINAN: No, no. I promised him I'd never play it again.

INGRID: Please, Guinan? I really need to hear it.

GUINAN: Well, alright...

["As Ships Fly By" (with apologies to Bogie fans everywhere)]


You must remember this,
A ship is just a ship,
A guy is just a guy,
There ain't no reason to go cry,
When he says "Bye."

He says he loves his vessel,
And because of this the stress'll
Kill any romance plans,
No dame can ever get a man,
When he's captain.

He claims to not like kids,
And this will put the skids
On marriage in his life,
I'll never ever be his wife,
Eternal strife!

PICARD: [storming into 10-Forward] Guinan, I thought I told you to never...

INGRID: Hello, Jean Luc.

PICARD: Ingrid! [after a minute, they embrace]

[a really sudden ear-wrenching cacophony of twisting, exploding metal. Someone dressed in a yellow velour shirt and black trousers drops into the bar]

MITCHELL: Hello, Jean-Luc! We don't know each other, but since you're the captain of the Enterprise, I'm going to have to kill you anyway!


While you're waiting for the feature to start again, why not check out our snack bar?

There are some real bargains at our snack bar.

How will you know if you don't go see?

Tribble chips for $1.50 a box.

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I guess you're not really interested. "Star Trek: The Next Generation Musical" will be back right after this message.

"Tasha! Gays on Trek! Newsgroup reorganizations! I'm tired of all these posts!"

Has this ever happened to you? You sit down to read your favorite newsgroup, only to find that 80% of the posts have nothing to do with Star Trek, or have been hashed out to death for the past six months?

Us, too. That's why the net.gods of r.a.s have designed a new newsreader program. You've heard of rn, rrn, nn, dxrn, and xrn? Well, now there's:


"Tnt" gives all the same features you've come to expect from other news readers plus more. For instance, not only can you cancel your own articles, but you can cancel other people's, too! Furthermore, while the "k" button still means "kill" in this newsreader, the action resulting from pressing that button is somewhat different. (Heh, heh.)

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We now return you to "Star Trek: The Next Generation Musical"...

[10-Forward. Mitchell is facing Picard, Ingrid, and Guinan]

PICARD: Who the devil are you? Q?

MITCHELL: The name is Gary Mitchell, and I'm mightily pissed. I've been trapped under a big rock for one hundred and one years and this gotten me slightly peeved.

PICARD: What has this got to do with us?

MITCHELL: I was marooned by my supposed best friend James T. Kirk, captain of the U.S.S. Enterprise!

PICARD/CREW: [ad lib] "Kirk?" "Who's he?" "I've never heard of a Kirk." "I knew a Gurk, but not a Kirk." "Isn't a gurk a pickle?" "No, that's a gerkin." [etc.]

MITCHELL: Well, that's something anyway. But I'm still going to kill you. Do you want to hear why? [a beat] [chairs and glasses start to rattle.] Well, DO YOU???

PICARD: Um, yeah, sure!

GUINAN: Definitely, yep, yep!

MITCHELL: It's like this:

["Mitch, The Navigator" (with apologies to Peter, Paul, and Mary)]


Mitch, the navigator,
Lived to be free,
Chasing girls and getting kissed
Throughout the galaxy.

Little Jimmy T. Kirk,
Had known him years galore,
And signed him up for a five-year trip,
Where No Man'd Gone Before.

Together they did travel,
To find the Valiant's prize,
Jimmy got its message pod,
And Mitch got glowing eyes.


Now Mitch was getting feisty,
And Liz was right behind,
Jimmy thought he'd better ditch
Them on some planetside.

They fought a pitched battle,
Which Mitch was sure to win,
But Gary fell into a hole,
And Kirk did fill it in.


So Gary now was buried,
And Kirk went on with life,
But Mitch slowly regained his powers,
To cause Kirk grief and strife.

But a century has gone by,
And Kirk, he is no more,
So Mitch will have to settle
For killing this bald bore.

Mitch, the navigator,
Lived to be free,
Chasing girls and getting kissed
Throughout the galaxy.

PICARD: Well, that's very entertaining, but I fail to see how this has anything to do with me.

MITCHELL: I need your ship. I got a lift on a Pakled ship (after killing off some damned android), but I need one with more power. Yours is perfect.

INGRID: I will not have my plans interfered with!

MITCHELL: Huh? Who are you?

Q: I'm Q. [to Picard] Told you I might show up as a female.

PICARD: Eeooughh! [wipes his lips. (Picard wants you to know that he did this, not because he's homophobic, but because Q disgusts him in general :-) ]

MITCHELL: [says nothing, as he is gone]

GUINAN: What did you do with him?

Q: Sent him back to the land of Needless Plot Devices. Which is where I'll be heading myself, now. Bye! [he's gone]

[In another corner of 10 Forward, a lonely old Vulcan diplomat sits. His mind is failing, his prospects look bleak. Guinan approaches him.]

GUINAN: Can I get you anything, Ambassador Sarek?

SAREK: Thank you, no.

GUINAN: You look a bit down in the dumps. How about a smile?

SAREK: I am a Vulcan. Vulcans do not smile. [a tear] Except me. I hate -- I am not pleased with the problems that advanced age is handing me. Look at my wife, enjoying herself. [waves a hand at Perrin] I cannot even talk to anyone else, lest I lose control. I cannot even act as a diplomat anymore without responding emotionally to issues. And soon, I'll be just one more disembodied spirit in the Hall of Katras.

GUINAN: Tell me more.

"I Think I'd Better Try To Get A Grip" (apologies to Ron Moody and the composer of "Oliver!")


A man's got a heart, hasn't he?
Though mine's over here. [points to liver area] Hasn't he?
And though I'd be the first one to say that my mind's not okay,
I'm finding it hard to be a diplomat today.

I'm reviewing the situation,
Can a Vulcan be a sourpuss all his life?
All the illogic, all the emotions,
That I notice while I'm talking to my wife!
And my wife, though she's real fond of me,
Is making eyes at Geordi,
And I should go, negotiate,
To logically show her mistake,
Of thinking that I'm past my prime,
I'd take her out for a good time...

I think I'd better try to get a grip.

My wife wouldn't listen, anyway,
(She'd rather dance with Riker, anyway.)
Left without any part of my mind that I can still control,
So, how to regain my diplomacy somehow?

I'm reviewing the situation,
I must quickly look up everyone I know,
Who are MD's, or psychologists,
Who might yet cure my condition, don't you know?
I could return to diplomacy,
And even run an embassy,
And meet with all the aliens,
With Tellarites I'd make amends
And greet them with the wits I'd have:
"Good morning, to you, Ambassador Gav!"...

I think I'd better try to get a grip.

What happens when I'm a katra?
Must come a time -- a katra?
When I'm dead and my head is divulged of all my memory,
And I'm left to consider my life for eternity.....?

I'm reviewing the situation,
I'm a Vulcan and a Vulcan I will stay!
You'll be seeing no transformation,
If Spock can live again then why can't I?

I don't want to be a small spirit
In some metaphysical closet,
To be bored throughout eternity,
With dull katras for company.
They'll be no funeral for me,
But who will regenerate me?
I need the Marcuses today,
To make for me a Genesis wave!

I think I'd better try to get a grip! Hey!

SAREK: And so here I am, decrepit at age 202. But, I suppose it happens to everyone. By the way, Guinan, how old are you?

GUINAN: Er, umm, about 280, actually...

SAREK: Go away.

[Data walks in with Worf and Troi]

TROI: Data, why are you so happy?

DATA: I was working at my station, when suddenly I noticed that I was biting on my pencil.

TROI: Data, that's very human!

DATA: I know!

RIKER: Worf, you look pretty upbeat yourself.

WORF: Yes. I have just received a letter from my son. He is well. He gives me honor.

PICARD: Tea, Earl Grey, hot.

GUINAN: I'm not a machine.

PICARD: Oh, forgive me. I'm just happy about going to Babel. How exciting it will be!

DATA: Although, Counselor, I am not sure that I am happy, or, indeed, what happiness is.

GEORDI: That's easy, Data...

"Happiness Is A Warm Tribble" (Apologies to Charles Shultz.)


Happiness is getting new eyeballs!
Avoiding Troi's mother!
Holodeck Three!
Happiness is chewing a pencil!
Fudge chocolate ice cream!
A good bowl or three!
Happiness is playing the diplomat now and then,
And happiness is killing Roms again!
TASHA: [stepping out of shadows]
Happiness is reincarnation!
(I'll second that motion.)
Cutting up stiffs!
Happiness is saving the vessel,
Spice runs to Kessel,
You're not in this script!!!
Happiness is meeting some monster from outer space,
And happiness is removing all its trace.
Happiness is maniacal brothers,
And mad scientist fathers, too,
For happiness is anyone and anything at all,
That is not Q!

DATA: So that's what happiness is. Hey, I made a contraction!

TROI: You're a good human, Charlie... er, Data.

[Shot of Enterprise warping off towards Babel...]

- FINE -

--Matt Gertz--*