Enterprise Bridge. Everyone at his/her stations.
Data: Captain, sensors are picking up two vessels ahead. One appears to be firing upon the other. However, I am receiving no distress signals.
Picard: Is it the Borg, Mr. Data?
Data: I believe it is the Borg, sir. The larger ship appears to be rectangular in shape.
Riker: Red Alert! Shields up! Fire all weapons!
Picard: Delay that order, Number One. In case you haven't noticed, I'm not even kidnapped yet. Therefore, I am in charge of this ship!
Riker: Oh, that's right. Sorry, sir. I'll wait until you've been kidnapped, and *then* I'll fire at the Borg ship, with you in it!
Picard: Err..., right! What about the other ship, Data? Is it the Romulans?
Data: Unknown, Captain. It's shaped like ... a shoe.
Picard: A shoe?
Riker: It must be the rumored Romulan Nike class. It's supposed to run faster, jump farther, has better shields for shock absorption, and a little pump on top that you can squeeze. I read about it in this week's _Playbeing_ ... err, (avoiding the questioning gaze of Troi) only for the articles, of course. It's supposed to be top secret. Didn't you see it, Captain?
Picard: You mean that article on page 42, right after the holoimages of Eccentrica Gallumbits, the triple-breasted whore of Eroticon Six? Of course not! Everyone knows that I only read William Shakespeare and Oolon Colluphid. Data, on screen.
On the screen, holoimages of Eccentrica Gallumbits of Eroticon Six flash by. She is shown in a variety of rather creative poses. Her three breasts hanging ...
Picard: The Borg, Mr. Data!
Data: My apologies, sir. I thought you meant ...
Picard: Thank you, Mr. Data!
On the screen, we now see the Borg ship tractor-beaming a much smaller, white, shoe-shaped ship. It's shields almost gone, offering no resistance. Hushed disappointments fill the bridge.
Picard: (coughs) Worf, open a channel to the ... shoe.
Worf: Channel opened, sir.
Eddie: Hi there! I'm Eddie, the shipboard computer here at the Heart of Gold, and I want to be your friend!
Picard: (standing up, straightening his uniform) I'm Jean-Luc Picard, Captain of the USS Enterprise. I notice that you are having some difficulties. Do you wish our assistance.
Eddie: Well, hello, Jean-Luc! Oh yeah, I can definitely use an extra hand over here. You see, I'm trying to make some tea.
Data: Tea. An ancient Earth beverage originated in Asia. China, to be precise. It consists of dried leaves in boiled water.
Eddie: Yep, just like your robot says! With milk.
Riker: Squirted out of a cow?
Data: Which, I believe, is an English tradition. By the way, I am not a robot. I'm an android.
Wesley: (whispers) Contractions, Data!
Data: What? Oh, I mean, _I am_ an android.
Picard: Well, that's all very nice. I am sure we can arrange for some tea to be made. Right, Mr. LaForge?
Geordi: It will require redesigning the data structures of our food synthesizers, reprogramming the holodeck to create solid matters simulating Asiatic plant life, implementing an error checking protocol that allows the two to communicate in parallel, and creating a user-friendly, menu-driven, icon-based graphics user interface with mouse support and on-line, context-sensitive, hypertext help. Give me twenty minutes, and I'll have it purring like a Syranian monkey-cow in heat.
Picard: Make it so, Lieutenant. (turning to Eddie on the screen) Actually, the difficulty I was referring to was the Borg that is currently attacking you.
Eddie: Huh? What Borg? Hold on, let me allocate a couple megajoules to my external sensors. (pause) Yikes! Hey, guys, I'm being attac about this. I'll get back to you in a sec.
[Insert 30 seconds of Nike Michael Jordon promo commercial here, interrupted by an Energizer rabbit drumming in ... "Thump! Thump! Thump! And it keeps going, and going, ..."]
Meanwhile, on the bridge of the Heart of Gold, Arthur, Ford, Zaphod, and Trillian are staring at the rear viewer as if they are being attacked by the Borg, which, as it happens, they are. The ship continuous to rock continuously as it absorbs blows upon blows of Borg's phasers. Marvin begins to whistle a new tune that he had just made up ...
Arthur: So, this is it. We're all going to die.
Ford: Over a cup of tea.
Trillian: With milk.
Marvin: Don't bother to ask me what tune I'm whistling, because even if I tell you, you won't understand it. Here I am, brain the size of a planet, reduced to entertaining myself by making music. Music. Oh, how I hate music. By the way, our shields can last another 23.2536 seconds, in case anyone's wondering.
He paused for what he calculates to the nanosecond the amount of time required for an average human being and an average Betelgeusian to register in their pity cerebrums the destruction time that he had just cited, then added another 1.2548 seconds to compensate for this particular crew.
Marvin: I'm not getting you down at all, am I?
Zaphod: Hey, guys, lighten up! I'm sure we can think of something! Let's see (looking under the control console) ... where's Eddie's plug? Maybe we can, like, pull it or something.
Marvin: I thought you wanted excitement and adventure and really wild things.
Zaphod: Shut up, Marvin. Zarquons, I need a drink!
Eddie: Hi guys! (coming back, he startled everyone on the Heart of Gold. Zaphod bangs both of his heads under the control console) Did someone say a drink? Come on, give me a break! Here I am, being attacked by a Borg, whatever _that_ is, and first you asked me to make you some tea, and now you want a drink??!! All right, what'll it be?
Zaphod: Some Gargle Blasters, you misaligned piece of Kronian El-Cheapo Silicon! Now get us outta here!
Eddie: On the rocks?
Zaphod: I said, GET US OUTTA HERE !!!!!!!
Eddie: Okay, okay. Gee, you don't have to take it so personally. Now, where would you like to visit today. I am programmed to take you ...
Zaphod: ANYWHERE !!!!!!
Marvin: If I may be so bold as to interrupt, which I know is pointless anyway as nobody ever listens to what I have to say. Nobody ever cares about what I thinks, not that it's anyone's fault. My intelligence is so mind-bogglingly vast that nobody can even _began_ to understand what I am thinking. Anyway, I just like to mention that we will all be dissipated into our composing molecules in 5.2387 seconds, not that I'm counting. It's being nice knowing you all ...
Eddie: Anywhere? Hmmmm... well, can someone at least give me a seed for the random number generator?
Zaphod lunges toward the control console, hitting a combination of buttons and switches all at once. Suddenly, the bridge begins to bend out of shape. Space and time warps on top of itself and falls over. Traffic lights appear out of nowhere and amuse themselves by handing out parking tickets. The last decimal digit of pi shys away into a corner and hides itself from mathematicians forever.
It starts to rain "We are the World" albums.
What will happen to our beloved Enterprise? Will they be able to stop the Borg? What about the Heart of Gold? Will it survive the Borg's phasers? Does Arthur still have his pocket fluff? Is anyone carrying a towel? Finally, the question that has been burning in our hearts since the beginning of time ... will Arthur finally be able to get his cup of tea? With milk? For the answers to these, and many other, totally irrelevant questions, stay tuned for the next exciting episode of ...
The Hitchhiker's Guide to Star Trek: The Next Generation!
Last time, the Borg was just about to destroy the Heart of Gold, along with all of its crew, while the Enterprise helps out by making some tea ...
Data: Captain, I am getting some very strange readings.
Data: Well, it appears that the Heart of Gold has suddenly disappeared, and the Borg has just turned into a sperm whale.
Data: The probability of the Borg's transformation is two to the power of seven trillion, one hundred forty seven million, eight hundred eighteen thousand, four hundred seventy three to one against. That is very improbable, sir.
Riker: This could be a new offensive weapon that we have not yet encountered, Captain.
Picard: Agreed. Torpedoes away!
Two torpedoes speed out from the Enterprise, one of which promptly turns into ten thousand scoops of whipped cream, covering the sperm whale. The other torpedo turns into a giant Frontanian mega-cherry, hitting the whale a second later.
Wesley: Wow! A giant banana split!
Data: Captain, I am getting sporadic readings on the Enterprise.
Data: (crooking his head) Captain?
Data turns around from his console.
Data: Captain, may I inform you that you have turned into a small blue furry creature from Alpha Centuri. (turning to Troi) And you, counselor, have turned into Eccentrica Gallumbits, the triple-breasted whore of Eroticon Six.
Riker: I'm glad to see that you're getting your hair back, sir. And Deanna, that extra breast suits you well.
Data: Sir, the probability of you and Counselor Troi's metamorphosis is two to the power of six trillion, twenty seven million, four hundred forty three thousand, eight hundred ninety three to one against.
Data: (turning to Wesley) Interesting. It appears that your console has just turned into an IBM PCjr. (looking back at his own console) And mine has just turned into a Commodore VIC 20.
Meanwhile, Worf has turned into a Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal, and quickly devoured one of the nameless officers on the back of the bridge, who, out of pure coincidence, happens to be wearing a red uniform today. Just before he vanishes into the fangs of Worf, however, a visual contact with the Bridge of the Heart of Gold was suddenly established for a split second, for no good reason other than that it's very very improbable. The rather bewildered face of Arthur Dent flashed across the main viewer. Interestingly, the only thought that crossed the unfortunate officer's mind at that moment, upon seeing Arthur's face, was "Oh no, not again!"
The other officers, in blue uniforms, never met Arthur in their previous lives, and conversant with the creatures of the galaxy, quickly covered their eyes with their Starfleet-issued auto-inflatable towel-in-a-pip that they all wear on their collars.
Wesley: (calmed down, tentatively tapping his PCjr chicklet keyboard) Sir, the computer says that it's tired of opening, and closing, and opening, and closing, and opening, and closing, all the doors on the Enterprise, and that it's now setting course to Ursa Minor for a long-deserved vacation, at maximum warp.
Picard: sqeek sqeek, sqeeeeek sqek sqeek!
Troi: Captain, I am sensing a great deal of ... confusion, and ... anger ... from you. Are you feeling all right? (battering her eyelashes seductively and sliding her right leg along his furs) Is there _anything_ I can do to make you feel better?
Picard: sqeek sqeeek sqeeeek!
Riker: (staring at Troi) Captain, perhaps I should get Dr. Crusher?
Troi: Oh, all right. Wesley, call your mother.
Moments later, Dr. Beverly Crusher arrived at the bridge accompanied by five thousand Tribbles and a rather nasty Pogolarian snow blizzard.
[commercial for Snuggles fabric softener ... of course.]
Now, back to the Heart of Gold, the improbability level is still high, but rapidly coming down.
Trillian: (relaxing on a bean bag, Romulan Ale in hand, the drink rapidly eating through the mug that holds it) Well, the probability factor has come down to only two to the power of six million, and sixty to one against. Everyone should be starting to feel better now.
Arthur: (hanging in mid-air, in a rather soapy bubble bath) Whir ... what's going on? Where am I? What happened? (slight pause) I don't understand ... isn't there any tea to go with this bath?
Zaphod: (fighting off a pack of Algonian turbo-turtles) Shut up, monkey brain, you and your tea almost got us killed. Hey, I'm still missing one of my heads!
Eddie: Well, guys, how 'bout that! I sure got us outta that Borg mess in a hurry, huh? Man! I sure feel like a song right now. Let's see... any requests? It's request time, gang, and all of my lines are open right now. If there's anything that you'd like to hear, just ... mmm, what the ..., mmm, mmmmmm mmmm mmmm!
Zaphod: (just finishing up applying Stick-O-Tape over Eddie's speakers) That oughta shut you up for a while.
Ford: (drawing himself up from the deck with great difficulty) Wow, that was some hangover!
Trillian: That's no hangover. Eddie just kicked in the improbability drive. Want some Romulan Ale? It'll make you feel better.
Zaphod: Hey, give me some of that stuff.
Trillian: Well, we're down to probability level two to the power of four thousand, six hundred eight to one against. Everything will be normal in a few more seconds. (pause) Where's Marvin? Marvin?
Trillian: Marvin, where are you?
Still no answer.
Trillian: Eddie, where's Marvin?
Eddie: mmmmm mmm mmmmmmm mmm-mmm mmmmm.
Trillian: Oh, brother.
Arthur: I think Marvin's missing.
An expression of deep genuine concern failed completely to cross both of Zaphod's faces.
Zaphod: Oh, who cares about that heap of junk metal, anyway? All he ever does is remind us how stupid that monkey-man is, as if we need to be reminded. Asking the ship's computer for a cup of tea when we're getting blown into bits ...
Trillian: Okay! We are now back to normal. But where are we?
Zaphod: Eddie, turn on the external cameras.
Eddie: mm mmm mmm mmm-mmm m mmm mmmm-mmmm-mm mm-mmm mmm mmmmm!
Zaphod: What's he saying?
Ford: I think he wants you to ungag him first.
Zaphod: Yeah, right. I'll just turn the cameras on myself!
Zaphod stumbles over to the console, examining it.
Zaphod: Hmmmm... anyone know what these buttons here do?
And, from outside the ship, a voice is heard ...
Voice: All right, open up! We know you're in there, and we've got you surrounded!
Will the crew of the Enterprise be able to come to terms with their improbable transformations? Where's Marvin? Will Picard like his new hair? Does Deanna have to shop for a new wardrobe to match her new breast? Will Worf eat the Tribbles? And finally, who's holding the crew of the Heart of Gold prisoners? For the the answers (in full color and stereo sound) to these, and many other, rather unimportant questions, watch for the next exciting episode of ...
The Hitchhiker's Guide to Star Trek: The Next Generation!
On the Enterprise, everything is slowly returning to normal. Continental plates are again forming on the forehead of Worf. Picard is rapidly losing his hair and his shade of blue, and Troi's third breast is fast melting away, much to her, and Riker's, silent disappointments.
Meanwhile, the Borg has left the sector in a rather confused state of a collectively irrelevant whale existence.
Picard: Your report, Mr. Data.
Data: It appears that an improbability field was created by the Heart of Gold, which caused the Borg to turn into the sperm whale, and everything else that happened here on the Enterprise as well. Including, sir, your existence as a small blue ...
Picard: Yes, yes, Data. And where is the Heart of Gold?
Worf: Sir, the Heart of Gold has materialized in Shuttle Bay Three. Should I send over a security team?
Picard: Prisoners! Good, I've always wanted some. Worf, Data, come with me. You have the bridge, Number One.
Worf and Data starts to follow Picard into the turbo-lift.
Picard: Prisoners ... perhaps I will read them some of my favorite Shakespearean performances.
Worf paused in his tracks like a waiter with five trays on each arm suddenly stopped by a very merry and potentially high-tipping grandmother holding out the fifty photographs of her twenty grandchildren, and asking him, very nicely, if he would like to see her pictures.
Worf: Shakespeare, sir?
Picard: Yes, Mr. Worf. William Shakespeare was a sixteenth century Earth playwrite. One of the most talented ...
Worf: I am familiar with Shakespeare, sir. Permission to remain on the bridge, sir, in case the Borg returns.
Picard: But Worf, I don't believe you've heard me do Anthony of Julius Caesar before. (clears throat) Friends, Romans, countrymen!
Worf: In fact, sir, I *have* heard you do Anthony of Julius Caesar.
Picard: Oh. Well, come along anyway. Maybe I'll do one of Hamlet's soliloquys.
Worf followed Picard and Data into the turbo-lift, first with great hesitation, then with a re-newed sense of Klingon's enjoyment for pain and suffering.
Worf: Yes, sir.
Data: I, sir, have always being intrigued by your fascination with Shakespeare.
Picard: Ah, well. You see, Data, Shakespeare ...
The doors of the turbo-lift closed on them with a sigh of a job well done. Worf took a deep breath, vastly expanding his chest, and with great difficulty refrained himself from breaking Data's rather stiff neck with a snap of his own rather stiff fingers. Ah ... he sighed deeply to himself. This is going to be even better than the Age of Ascension Ceremony that he went through a couple staryears ago on the holodeck, courtesy of Data, Geordi, and Wes. No fake and cowardly computer imageries this time. This, he thought happily, is going to be _real_ pain.
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In Shuttle Bay Three, Picard, Data, Worf, and a team of security personnels have surrounded the Heart of Gold.
Picard: All right, open up! We know you're in there, and we've got you surrounded!
Worf: Permission to kick the door in, sir.
Picard: No, Lieutenant. We must act like civilized Starfleet officers. (coughs) "In civility thou seem'st so empty", Mr. Worf.
Data: Ah, Captain. _As You Like It_, Act Two. Spoken by, I believe, Duke Senior.
Picard: You're quite correct, Mr. Data.
Worf had a sudden vision of Picard running and screaming from his burning quarters, with twenty sweetly poisoned Klingon Death-O-Shot crossbow arrows protruding from his back, and Data running closely behind, informing him on exactly how much longer before the poisons will take effect, whether he will die first due to loss of blood, what kind of psychological impacts that the arrows will likely to have on his subconscious, and then lightly comment on the fact that he is acting quite uncivilized for a Starfleet Captain.
Shaking himself into reality, he is suddenly relieved by the fact that both Picard and Data are standing on the other side of the Heart of Gold from him.
Worf: My apologies, sir. It's just that I've got myself all worked up.
He is desperately hoping that the occupants of the ship in front of him will give themselves up real soon, so that he can show them just how uncivilized he really is.
Meanwhile, in the Heart of Gold, Zaphod and company have finally activated the external cameras without Eddie ...
Arthur: I think we're surrounded.
Zaphod: Nice observation, Monkey Man.
Arthur: What happened to that guy's head?
Zaphod: He's a Klingon, dumbo.
Arthur is relieved that he is still being insulted. Even though he has no idea what is going on, at least he is still in familiar territory.
Forways outta here.
Trillian: I think we should surrender.
Ford: That was my second idea.
Arthur: Good thinking.
Zaphod: I was gonna show them who they're dealing with, but seeing that I'm out-voted here, and it would take much too much energy for me to do it all along ... well, all right, we'll let them have their fun, just for now.
The loading platform of the Heart of Gold swings open, and the crew walks out into the circle of the Enterprise security, arms above the heads.
Picard: (straightening his uniform, of course) I am Jean-Luc Picard, Captain of the USS Enterprise. I demand to know what on the Enterprise are you doing in my Shuttle Bay Three!
Zaphod: Captain Picard. Do you have any idea who you are speaking to?
Picard: (taken aback) Err..., no.
Zaphod: Count my heads, Picard.
Picard: Well, you have two heads.
Zaphod: Very good, Picard. And how many arms do I have?
Picard: You have three arms.
Data: Captain, only one man in the galaxy has two heads and three arms.
Picard: Yes ... Zaphod Beeblebrox the First, President of the United Federation of Planets!
Zaphod: That's right, dude. You're looking at the very froody Zaphod Beeblebrox. The one and only.
Data: _Former_ President, Captain. We have just received an emergency all-channel sub-etha broadcast announcing his theft of the Federation's newest starship, the Heart of Gold. The broadcast also includes an arrest order for Mr. Beeblebrox.
Ford: Oh, Zarquons!
Worf: (beaming happily) An arrest! (this is working out better than Worf had hoped) May I interrogate them, sir?
Picard: Well, he _was_ the President.
Worf: But they are prisoners now, sir.
Picard: All right, interrogate them if you must. Ask them what they want to drink.
Worf takes a deep breath, expanding his chest tremendously. He walks around the crew of the Heart of Gold, eyeing them through the corner of his eyes. His lips are shut in a tight, thin line. He examines every square centimeter of every person up and down, in great detail, stopping at Trillian a little longer than the others.
Worf: (barks) All right, you scums! (taking both of Zaphod's two chins in his two hands and turning both of his heads to him) Look at me when I'm talking to you, you no-good, stinking, son-of-a-Purmusian jungle turtle with ...
Picard: Relax, Lieutenant.
Worf: (takes another deep breath) Yes, sir. (turning back to Zaphod, he barks) WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DRINK ??!!
Zaphod: Well, I can sure use some Pan Galactic Gargle Blasters.
Worf: WITH ICE OR WITHOUT ???!!!
Zaphod: Without. I like it straight.
Worf: LEMON ????!!!!
Zaphod: Yeah. Give me two slices.
Worf: (turning to Ford) AND YOU??!!
Ford: Oh, the same, please. But can you put one of those Pogolarian snow lizards in mine?
Worf: I AM THE ONE ASKING THE QUESTIONS !!!!!!!
Picard: Lieutenant ...
Worf: (turning to Arthur) AND WHAT DO YOU WANT, MONKEY MAN??!!
Arthur: Do you have any tea?
Data: Tea, Worf. I believe Geordi is working on some right now.
Suddenly, the red-alert siren echoes through the ship.
Riker: (over the intercom) Captain Picard to the bridge!
Picard: (hitting his communications pin) On my way. (to the security) Take these gentlemen and the lady to our Presidential Detention Suite. Make sure you show them how to use the jacuzzi.
Ensign 1: Yes, sir!
Will Arthur finally be able to get his tea? Did Worf just narrowly escaped another one of Picard's Shakespeare performances? Will the Enterprise send Zaphod to (gasp!) the Total Perspective Vortex on Frogstar? And finally, will Deanna add a third breast to herself surgically? Don't miss the next exciting episode of ...
The Hitchhiker's Guide to Star Trek: The Next Generation!
Moments later, Picard, Data, and Worf arrived on the bridge of the Enterprise. A Borg ship hangs ominously in the empty void in front of them.
Riker: Sir, the Borg has returned.
Wesley: I think I like them better as a banana split.
Worf: Captain, we are being probed.
Picard: All hands, battle stations. Shields up, Mr. Worf.
Worf: (pause) Sir, the computer is not responding.
Riker: Is the Borg interfering with our defense systems?
Data: Negative, sir. It seems that the computer is ... busy. We are only getting 15 percent CPU time.
Worf: Confirmed, sir. Our shields are now activated.
Picard: Arm everything you have, Mr. Worf. I want you to dump them all at my signal.
Worf: Yes sir!
Meanwhile, on the way to the Presidential Detention Suite ...
Ford: Hey! Careful with that phaser!
Ensign 1: Resistance is useless!
Ford: Well, you don't have to have that thing glued to my back all the time.
Ensign 2: Resistance is useless!
Arthur: What about my tea?
Ensign 1: Resistance is useless!
Computer: (from one of its speakers) Tea synthesization in progress. CPU time, 87.9 percent. Estimated completion time, fifteen minutes.
Ensign 2: Resistance is useless!
The red alert klaxon sounds throughout the corridors of the Enterprise. The call "All hands, battle stations" goes out, slightly bewildering the two ensigns ...
Ensign 1: Battle stations? Do you think that includes us?
Ensign 2: No way. We have direct orders from the Captain to escort these prisoners to the brig.
Ford: (realizing his opportunity to cause some dissension) Sure, you guys get all of the easy work while your Captain sweats it out on the bridge.
Ensign 1: What was that crack supposed to mean?
Ford: Oh, nothing, nothing at all.
Ensign 2: We didn't think so.
Ford: Well, I'm just saying that maybe Captain Picard realizes that the two of you just aren't up to manning battle stations...
Zaphod: (whispering harshly) Ford!
Ford: (ignoring Zaphod) ... and that is why you were given the relatively simple task of escorting us to the brig.
Ensign 2: Oh, yeah? I'll have you know that we happen to be pretty tough customers for a Federation starship.
Ensign 1: That's right. There was a time on Damascus when we had to stun a whole room of aliens with our phasers.
Ensign 2: Yeah, we can get rough if we have to, so don't force us to do anything unpleasant.
Ford: Sounds pretty tough to me. How about you, Arthur?
Arthur: Hmmm? Oh, yes, terribly so. I certainly wouldn't want to get on their bad side.
Ford: (after a pause) How can we be sure that you're really capable of stunning us though? Those phasers of yours look pretty small for such work.
Ensign 2: Hey, do you want us to stun you or what?
Ford smiles one of those smiles that makes other people feel that there is something horribly wrong with Things In General. After three more steps, the group of prisoners enters the middle of an intersection of two corridors. Another pair of security guards turn the corner just as Ford says ...
Ford: Stun me.
Ensign 1: (firing) You asked for it, bud!
Somewhere on their way to the Presidential Detention Suite, Ford has prompted Ensign One to fire his phaser at him, just as two other security guards turn the corner in front of them ...
Ford hits the ground and rolls back past the two ensigns. Ensign 1 accidentally stuns one of the security guards. The other guard immediately jumps the ensign.
Zaphod: Follow Ford, everyone!
Zaphod, Arthur, and Trillian race after Ford as Ensign Two emerges from the scuffle.
Ensign 2: I'm setting my phaser to 'evaporate,' Beeblebrox! Now surrender in the name of the United Federation of Planets!
Voice of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: This is a good time to pause and review a section of what the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy has to say about the United Federation of Planets.
There are several important things to remember when dealing with officers of the United Federation of Planets. The first is that they always claim to be on peaceful missions, insisting that they will not use violent means to accomplish their goals. It invariably so happens, however, that one or two (or perhaps even an entire starship of personnel) get a bit overzealous in their tasks and feel by vaporizing a prisoner or two, if not entire planets. Starfleet Command is always rather understanding about these little mishaps, even when it violates their own Prime Directive. These incidents were usually hushed up appropriately, and passed off as accidents, as in the case of the sudden and unexpected supernova of the star Turas, taking with it a few orbiting planets where Romulan ships were rumored to have been sighted.
The second important thing of note is that the United Federation of Planets is very big. Even a man like Zaphod Beeblebrox should not attempt to betray the Federation because no matter where in the known space and time he hides, the Federation is bound to find him there. In fact, if Zaphod Beeblebrox's brains were functioning correctly (e.g. he has not touched a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster in at least 5,678.84 years), he might realize that the only reasonable way to escape the Federation is to paint himself pink, and then activate a Somebody Else's Problem Field about himself, whereupon the Federation would immediately cease to worry about him.
The third, and perhaps the most important, thing to remember about the United Federation of Planets in general, and Starfleet in particular, is that it is impossible to be served a decent Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster on any of its starship, especially when it is a Klingon that is serving you the drink. Federation food synthesizers are not capable of getting just the proper kick into the drink which leads to certain problems, as Zaphod Beeblebrox is about to discover.
Trillian: We're almost back to the shuttle bay where the Heart of Gold is being kept!
They stopped at a crossroad where three corridors are leading straight through, to their left, and to their right. The group paused to catch their breath.
Arthur: So, (pant, pant) which way (pant) do we (pant) go?
Trillian: I believe, (pant) that we (pant) ...
Ensign Two rounded the corner behind them, and, stopping, yells:
Ensign 2: I've (pant, pant) I've got you (pant, pant) now, Beeble- (pant) Beeble- (pant) Beeblebrox!
Zaphod: (running to the left) This way!
Ford: (running to the right) This way!
Both Zaphod and Ford starts to run in their respective directions. They both paused. They both looked at each other. Panting, Ensign Two raises his phaser shakily.
Zaphod: We came this way.
Ford: No, we came this way.
They both paused again, in slight confusion. They look first at the other person's direction, then at their own direction. Both decides to agree with the other, and proceeds to run in the opposite directions again.
Ensign Two, hands shaking wildly, takes aim at Beeblebrox and fires.
Trillian pulls Arthur down, neatly dodging the phaser fire that would have ceased his crave for tea forever. Ensign One rounds the same corner behind Ensign Two. Seeing Ensign Two too late and unable to stop himself, Ensign One crashes into Ensign Two in a flurry of arms and legs.
Trillian: Here, this way!
Pulling Arthur behind her, Trillian runs down the corridor in front of them. Zaphod and Ford stared after her, shrugged, and followed.
Moments later, they arrived at the entranceway to Shuttle Bay Three.
Arthur: Let's just hope that security in there isn't as trigger happy as this ensign that has been chasing us through the last three levels...
Zaphod: Don't worry, Earthman. My brilliant plan has worked so far, hasn't it?
Ford: Your brilliant plan? I thought this was _my_ brilliant plan.
Zaphod: Just read all about it in my memoirs, Ford. It's too long and complicated to explain right now, okay?
Trillian: (choosing this time to notice Marvin's disappearance) Say, guys, keep an eye out for Marvin. He must have been transported on this ship somewhere along with us...
Zaphod: Forget the Paranoid Android, willya kid? We can't keep worrying about where Marvin...
Zaphod suddenly stops cold.
Ford: What? Hey, Zaphod, what's the problem?
Zaphod: I feel ... very depressed at this moment.
Zaphod: Not just this moment, but I will feel depressed at every moment consecutive to this one as well...
Ford: Snap out of it, Zaphod. You're beginning to sound like Marvin.
Arthur: ...and that horrible smell. What is it?
Surprisingly, Zaphod is still holding the empty glass that once held his Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster. Trillian snatched the glass from him. The horrible smell is very obviously coming from it.
Trillian: Oh, no! Zaphod's drink wasn't mixed properly! It caused a chemical imbalance in his brains so that when he heard Marvin's name he became chronically depressed!
Ford: What can we do?
Trillian: We have to get back to the Heart of Gold immediately. I can prepare an antidote there.
Ensign 2: (catching up again) You're right in front of the shuttle bay doors, but you're not getting the chance to go in!
Zaphod: How depressing. Here I am, the most important person in the galaxy, and I can't even get into a blasted shuttle bay.
The ensign attempts to shoot Zaphod, only to discover that his phaser had just run out of batteries ("Damn! Should've used Energizer!"). Trillian quickly ushers the others into the empty shuttle bay where they board the Heart of Gold.
Will the Enterprise be able to prevent its computer from making tea? If they do, will Arthur be able to _survive_? Will Picard defeat the Borg by reading them Shakespeare? Will a towel ever come into this galactic saga? Find out, on the next exciting episode of ...
The Hitchhiker's Guide to Star Trek: The Next Generation!
[ End Part 1 of 2 ]