The Hitchhikers Guide to Star Trek - Part 2


Last time, Zaphod and company had regained the Heart of Gold, and the Enterprise was trying to make some tea while the ever-annoying Borg crashes the party by throwing phasers at them ...

Picard: What do you mean the computer is busy making tea!?

Data: Sir, you gave the order to make some tea precisely four minutes and thirty-two seconds ago.

Picard: Dammit, I'm giving the order to _stop_ making tea, now!

The ship rocks again as another wave of Borg's phasers further weakens the shield.

Geordi: I'm trying, sir. But it seems that whenever I kill off a tea process, another two springs up!

Picard: Then work twice as fast!

Geordi, of course, did not realize that the Nutri-Matic on the Heart of Gold has managed, through Eddie, to connect with the Enterprise's main and backup computers in an effort to synthesize a beverage that is almost, but not quite, entire _not_ unlike tea.

Data: Sir, my reflexes are faster than Geordi's. If I connect myself to the main computer, I believe I may be able to shut down all the tea processes.

Picard: Make it so, Data, and step on it!

Data: Step on it, sir?

Picard: DO IT, DATA!

Data: Yes, sir.

Another shock wave, courtesy of the Borg, sends everyone scrambling. A Borg materializes on the bridge, grabs Picard, and disappears in a sizzle of champagne bubbles.

Riker: (activating the ship's intercom) This is Commander Riker, your friendly First Officer. This message is to inform you that Captain Picard has just been kidnapped. But don't worry, I'm now in charge of this ship.

Worf: Commander, reports of panic riots are just coming in on decks 1, 2, 5, 7 through 11 inclusive, 14, 15, 16, 20 through 25, and more or less the rest of the Enterprise.

Riker: (activating the ship's intercom again) This is Commander Riker again. I repeat, I am now in charge of this ship. There is now absolutely no reason to panic. You are in very capable hands.

Worf: Commander, there is now a major traffic jam at all routes to all shuttle bays and all emergency escape modules.

Riker: Shuttle crafts and escape modules ... of course! That will give the Borg more targets to worry about, so they wouldn't come and kidnap _me_ as well. What a faithful and dedicated crew I have, risking their lives to save their First Officer!

The bridge crew silently registered their own opinions on this explanation.

Riker: (thinking out loud) No... I can't risk the lives of my crew to save myself. (commanding) Worf, seal off all access to shuttle bays and escape modules.

Worf: Yes, sir.

Wesley: Commander, the Borg has tractor-beamed us, and is sucking us in!

Riker: Data, how are you doing on those tea?

There is an uneasy pause.

Riker: Data?

Wesley: (reaching over to shake Data) Data, the tea!

Data: (slow, mechanical, computerized voice) tea. synthesization. in. progress. CPU. time. 96.4. percent. estimated. completion. time. ten. minutes. twenty. four. seconds. please. stand. by.

Wesley: Oh no, the computer's got Data!

Worf: Commander, the phasers have finally being armed.

Riker: Mr. Worf, fire!

An impressive array of phaser fires spread out from under the Enterprise, breaking off a loose screw on the Borg's exterior hull and lightly scratching its paint. A tiny service robot screeches out from its power plug nearby, quickly replaced the screw and, realizing that it bought with it the wrong color of paint, simply repainted the entire five square kilometers under its jurisdiction with the new color.

Riker: Mr. Worf, what's their damage.

Worf: Sir, sensors indicate that one of their service robots spilled some paint on its left mobile joint.

Riker: Good. That 'ought to hold them for awhile.

Troi: Will, the Captain is in danger!

Riker: How do you know? Are you in telepathic contact with him?

Troi: No, I can see him waving frantically at us through that window on the Borg ship.

Sure enough, the Enterprise has now being drawn uncomfortably close to the Borg vessel, and through the main viewer, they can see Picard waving frantically at them from a window, signaling in various sign languages that now would be a good time for them to beam over and rescue him. Meanwhile, a Borg comes up on him from behind, pulls him away from the window and, very obviously and with unnecessary force, pulls the shades down on them.

Wesley: Commander, I think I have detected a weakness in the Borg's system of waste management. It is ...

Riker: Their system of what?!

Wesley: Waste management, sir. It seems that the Borg have not been taking care of their environment, and some of their water supplies are now so polluted that new life forms are being created from them spontaneously, demanding welfare and voting rights.

Riker: I see, much like the East River of New York.

Wesley: Precisely, sir. And if we can form an allegiance with those life forms, we may be able to overthrow the Borg!

Riker: Excellent plan, Ensign. How can we get in contact with these new life forms?

Wesley: I will need to build a slime-communicator that can transmit spaghetti code, and ...

Riker: Okay, okay, just do it!

Wesley: Yes sir!



While Picard is busy being kidnapped, the crew of the Heart of Gold are busy trying to get back the control of their ship, and convincing Zaphod that he is, in fact, not a fish.

Zaphod: Of course I'm a fish. I'm just an insignificant little fish. The kind that people keep throwing overboard despite me keep biting the bait.

Trillian: You're talking, Zaphod. Fishes don't talk.

Zaphod: The Crotesians on Oceania Five do, and they're fish.

Trillian: Yeah, well, but you're not Crotesian.

Zaphod: No, the Crotesians kicked me out of their system.

Arthur: Why?

Zaphod: They hated me. Everybody do.

Trillian: We don't.

Arthur: We don't?

Trillian: Shut up, Arthur. We don't.

Zaphod: Yes, you do. Everybody hates me. Oh, I'm sooooooo depressed.

Meanwhile, Ford has been working on the console, trying frantically to get Eddie to talk to them.

Ford: Dammit, I still can't get Eddie to talk to us.

Zaphod: You see, even a computer won't talk to me.

Trillian: It's not talking to any of us, Zaphod.

Zaphod: That's because I'm here. Just throw me overboard, and then the computer will talk to you. Don't worry about me. I'm quite used to being thrown overboard, you know. After all, I'm just an insignificant little fish that nobody wants. I'm meant to be thrown overboard.

Ford: Shut up, Zaphod. Hey Trillian, is that antidote ready yet?

Trillian: I can't make that antidote without Eddie.

Ford: Oh, great.

Arthur: Err ...

Ford: Be quiet, Arthur. Can't you see I'm trying to concentrate here? It's bad enough with two depressed heads I don't need any tea-chats as well.

Arthur: Well, I'd just like to mention that ...

Ford: Trillian, why don't you just give Zaphod a mirror, some fish pictures, and let him work it out himself.

Arthur: I think that ...

Trillian: I don't have any fish pictures.

Arthur: Does anyone know ...

Zaphod: Why would you want fish pictures when you have a fish? Oh, I see. No, you don't have to answer that. I know. You prefer pictures over me. That's understandable. After all, I'm just an insig...

Ford: Shut up, Zaphod.

Arthur: I'm just wondering ...

Zaphod: ...nificant little fish.

Arthur: Can I put a word in ...

Trillian: You're not a fish, Zaphod. Fish live in water. If you're a fish, you would've suffocated by now.

Slowly, with almost deliberated concentration, both of Zaphod's heads rise from under his hands and wobbles swimmily toward Trillian. An expression of deep concern slowly creeps upon his face like a wall of thunderclouds rolling across a late summer afternoon sky.

Arthur: Look here, I think ...

Zaphod: WATER!!!!

Gasping, two of Zaphod's hands suddenly closed in on his two throats. His third hand, with no throat to cling to, flings himself off his seat and onto the floor, thrashing himself about like a fish out of water.

Arthur, refusing to be interrupted this time, tries again.

Arthur: I think I _know_ ...

With super-Betelguesian strength Zaphod flings himself high above the floor and, on his way down, knocks Ford off his seat.

Ford: Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish!!!

Arthur: The reason why ...

Trillian: Ford! Watch what you're saying!

Ford picks up his satchel, and swings it hard at Zaphod, knocking out one of his two heads. Zaphod, still thrashing about, lands on top of Ford and knocks him down. Trillian quickly jumps Zaphod and, with a quick snap of her wrist, throws two pills of Inst-O-Snooze down his one still conscious throat. Zaphod passes out within seconds.

Both Ford and Trillian lie on the deck, panting.

Arthur: As I was saying ...

He looks around, dully expecting to be interrupted and was so surprised that he wasn't he fully forgot to finish off his sentence.

He tried again.

Arthur: As I was saying, I believe the reason why Eddie isn't talking to us, other than the fact that he still has that Stick-O-Tape over his speakers ...

He reaches over and peels off the Stick-O-Tape. The lights dim for a brief second as Eddie screams out silently in pain ...

Arthur: ... is this knob over here marked "Volume" is for some reason set to "0".

He turns up the volume.

Eddie: Ouch.

Will Riker be able to rescue Captain Picard from the Borg? Will the angry crew of the Enterprise storm the bridge demanding democracy? Will Zaphod be cured of his fishy existence and chronic depression? And now that Eddie is back, does that mean that Arthur will _finally_ have his tea? To find out, stay tuned for the next exciting episode of ...

The Hitchhiker's Guide to Star Trek: The Next Generation!



The situation aboard the Enterprise has now become intolerable. Data is incapacitated by the computer, which is trying to manufacture tea. Wesley is attempting to communicate with slime that is living in the Borg sewer. Most importantly, Captain Picard is a hostage aboard the Borg ship where undescribably hideous things will happen to him if Riker does not come up with a plan of action soon...

Riker: So, Deanna, now that I'm the Captain, I don't see any problems with us rekindling our past intimate relationship...

Worf: (interrupting Riker purposefully) Commander Riker, sir! I have just received a report from security regarding the escape of Zaphod Beeblebrox and his associates.

Riker: What? Dammit! My first chance to actually be in command and everything goes wrong! Where are they, Worf?

Worf: They are still in the shuttle bay, sir. Auxiliary computer relays show that they are unable to leave because their computer is linked with ours.

Riker: What? Why?

Data: (turning from his console) I believe I can answer that, sir.

Riker: Data! You're okay!

Data: Yes, Commander. Is there any reason why you would believe that I have suffered some kind of harm or affliction?

Riker: Never mind, Data. Just tell me why the Heart of Gold's computer is tied in with ours.

Data: That is most interesting, sir. You see, the two computers had joined forces in order to produce a real cup of tea. When I connected to the Enterprise computer systems, I became so intrigued by the idea that I devoted my full positronic abilities to assisting them in this task. The paradox inherent in the procedure was quite interesting. By cross-circuiting...

Riker: Understood, Data. What's the current status of the computer?

Data: All systems are one hundred percent on line, Commander.

Riker: Then what are we waiting for? Mr. Worf, lock phasers on the Borg ship.

Worf: (with smug anticipation) Phasers locked, sir.

Riker: Fire!!

The Enterprise's phasers lanced out at the Borg, accidentally hitting a major power distributor, rendering a few service robots inactive. A couple more torpedoes finally managed to do more than ruining its paint job. The Borg cut off its tractor beam for a few moments to perform a minor architectural remodeling.

Troi: Will!

Riker: Not _now_, Deanna.

Troi: No, I feel that something horrible is happening to the Captain!

Riker: The Captain? Captain Picard? What could the Borg be doing to him?

Data: Sir, I feel that I should point out that we are the party currently inflicting possible harm onto Captain Picard.

Riker: Oops! Worf, cease fire!

Worf: (obstinantly) Is that really necessary, sir?

Riker: Now, Worf!

The phaser fire halts, but before the shields go back up, two slimy creatures materialize in the middle of the bridge. The first one, appearantly the leader, is wearing its ambassador ceremonial pizza-box shorts and a ring of partly decomposed aluminum cans around the neck. He is accompanied by an assistant wearing a less glamorous half-eaten microwave-dinner suit and a non-biodegradeble styrofoam cup necklace. Both are emitting an odor that is suspiciously similar to a truckload of well-aged deceased fish upon which someone had accidentally dumped a couple gallons of the O' Janx Spirit.

Wesley: I did it! I managed to communicate with an emissary from the Borg's waste system!

Emissary: We are the Slimers. We have just being created, and we are very curious about this universe. We believe in peace, justice, truth, sport, family life, and the obliteration of all other life forms!

One of the spiky, slimy, squiggly eel-like creatures immediately slings itself around Wesley's neck and then proceeds to choke him.

Data: Commander Riker, it would seem that the inhabitants of the Borg's waste system are decidedly hostile in their inter- actions with other lifeforms.

Riker: Thank you, Mr. Data, but I think that we can all see that for ourselves.

Wesley: Gyaaarrrrgggghhhh!!!!

Worf: Commander, I would like permission to go recapture the escaped prisoners. Alone this time if I may.

Riker: Permission granted, Mr. Worf. Before you go, call Dr. Crusher to the bridge. We have a combination of save-the-ailing-crew-member and your-son-is-in-mortal-danger scenario here for her. That should really give her something to work on.



Things are not going well for the Enterprise and the Heart of Gold. Picard is _still_ kidnapped by the Borg, Zaphod still thinks he's a very depressed fish, and Wesley is still struggling with a piece of neckwear that more or less resembles a living microwave pizza grease called Slimer ...

Worf: I have hailed Dr. Crusher, Commander, although I feel it would still be better to let Wesley have a warrior's death. It would finally allow him some honor and dignity.

Riker: Thank you, Mr. Worf. Now go get the prisoners.

Worf: Yes, sir!

Worf turns and marches out while the rest of the bridge crew turns to the other Slimer.

Riker: Can't you make your fellow Slimer stop this mindless violence against Wesley? He _is_ one of your kind!

Troi: But Will, I can sense that mindless violence is the whole purpose of their existence! Their thoughts are filled with peace ...

Slimer: Justice ...

Troi and Slimer: Truth, sport, family life, the obliteration of all other life forms ...

Slimer: And the most aromatic socks for our Kamikaze head-bands.

The second Slimer immediately slings itself at Data, who simply grabs it in mid-air. He examines the creature with some curiosity as it tries to swat at him with its tail.

Data: What should I do with it, Commander Riker?

Riker: Kill it, Data! It might get one of us!

Data: But, sir, to kill another living creature, even a murderous one, when I have it incapacitated as such, would be...

Riker draws his phaser and vaporizes the Slimer, being careful not to hit Data. He casually replaces the phaser with a shrug.

Riker: We didn't need another moral dilemma on our hands.

Troi: Perhaps you should shoot the one that is choking Wesley as well.

Wesley: Ggggggnnnnnnrrrrrrffffffkkk!!!

Riker: No, I'm afraid that there is too much risk of vaporizing Wesley with the creature. We'll just have to wait it out.

Wesley: TTTTThhhhyyyyyaaaaaaaarrrrrr!

Meanwhile, On the Heart of Gold, Trillian has finally begun to synthesize a cure for Zaphod's unusual chemical imbalance with Eddie's help. Arthur and Ford stand watch outside the Heart of Gold while Trillian and Eddie continue their work.

Arthur: I don't understand why I'm constantly being left out of the problem-solving procedures around here.

Ford: Well, do you know anything about Betelguesian body chemistry?

Arthur: Well, no, not exactly, but...

Ford: How about the synaptical pathways between two brains?

Arthur: Two brains? Well, not as such as two brains, no...

Ford: Then don't worry about it, Arthur. At least out here we're safe if Zaphod wakes up and goes insane on us again.

Arthur: I rather thought the whole idea behind Zaphod was that he is supposed to be insane.

Ford: Yeah, well, I mean insane for Zaphod. I mean that if you accept his base level of insanity as being sane in Zaphod's case, then you could say that Zaphod has gone insane, I suppose.

Arthur: Then I think he has the right idea. Maybe _we_ should go insane.

Ford: Well, the universe is a funny place. Maybe you'll get your wish someday.

Arthur: (after a pause) Ford?

Ford: Yeah?

Arthur: I think I would rather be out here than inside. It is much more peaceful here in the shuttle bay.

Suddenly, the doors to Shuttle Bay Three fly open and a growling Worf leaps in. He immediately tackles Ford, causing him to drop his satchel. Arthur steps back, timidly observing the ensuing battle. Worf tosses Ford across the floor, and leaps after him.

Will the Enterprise be able to rescue Captain Picard? Will Dr. Crusher be able to rescue Wesley? Will Trillian be able to rescue Zaphod? Will Arthur be able to rescue Ford? And finally, will _anyone_ be able to rescue Troi from Riker? Find out, on the next exciting episode of ...

The Hitchhiker's Guide to Star Trek: The Next Generation!



The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy notes that one of the Klingon's many expertise is their skill at skeletal and organ remodeling-one of the most tricky of all modern medical specialties. The Klingons are so skilled, in fact, that with proper coercing, they will even lend out their services for free.

The Guide goes on to explain that the best way to coerce such services out of a Klingon is to simply tell the Klingon that he is, in fact, a very nice person.

Interestingly, Ford Prefect was able to coerce such services out of a Klingon without any provocation. Showing, once again, that reality is terribly mistaken and wildly inaccurate and that only The Guide is indeed the true source of all universal knowledge and wisdom.

With a single hand, Worf lifts Ford high above the head, spins him around a number of revolutions, and then lightly flicks him off with a twist of his wrist. Ford lands a few meters away like a sack of potatoes.

Ford: Omph. ARTHUR!!

Arthur: Err ...

Worf pounces on Ford and slaps him against the hull of the Heart of Gold.

Ford: Ouch! Say, Arthur ...

Worf grabs Ford and bounces him against the door to the shuttle bay.

Arthur: Ford, are you trying to tell me something?

Worf jumps on and begins choking Ford by lightly pressing his left pinky against Ford's throat.

Ford: Arthur! Ggggg-ack-get...

Arthur: Hmmm? What was that Ford? I can't really distinguish what it is that you are saying due to the ... err ... difficulties you seem to be suffocating ... I mean suffering.

Worf begins to skillfully bounce Ford on his legs, feet, and head in such a fashion that would've caused a hundred British soccer fans to break out of an Italian jail, ransack a few neighboring pubs, and launch a few ICBM's as well.

Ford: (mouth jibbering) Sssatcheerrrk!

Arthur: Ah, I see! Am I correct in deducing that you are requesting my help with your current ... (he pauses in search for the right word) ... engagement, and that you would like me to, ummm, pass you your satchel?

Ford frantically nods his head as Worf slides his face along the wall.

Arthur: Well,...I'll just go over there, and, uhm, get the satchel, then ...

Worf grabs Ford and wipes the floor with him (literally). Arthur scurries past them and gets the satchel. He quickly opens it and examines the contents.

Arthur: Let's see, the Sub-Etha Sens-O-Matic and signaling device, some peanuts, twenty pounds, some rather compromising pictures of a brunette I once saw you dating, the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, an improbable number of credit cards, and a towel.

Ford: (flying into another wall) The towel! Give me the towel!

Worf starts toward Ford again.

Arthur: (tossing Ford the towel) Ford, I really don't think that this is the appropriate time for bath apparel. I fail to see what ...

Arthur is cut short by a savage snarl from Worf, who leaps by Arthur a bit too close for comfort. Arthur snaps the satchel shut and retreats to the Heart of Gold. While he is retreating, however, he manages to trip over his own feet. Just when Arthur should be about to hit the ground, he catches a glimpse of the rather distracting sight of Ford Prefect dancing with his towel.

This, of course, causes Arthur to completely miss the ground.

Arthur bobbed in the air as Worf attacked Ford yet again. Ford jumped to the side and, holding on to the two opposite edges of his towel, binds it around Worf's head and then leaps onto his back. With one swift motion and a rather un-nerving growl, Worf throws Ford over his shoulders and narrowly missing the wobbily floating Arthur Dent. Arthur bobbed slightly higher as Worf leaps under him after Ford. Luckily for Arthur, the law of physics is too busy concentrating on the Klingon suddenly slamming into Ford Prefect's chest to notice him resting at his somewhat unusual altitude.

Ford quickly wraps the towel around Worf's throat, and shuts it tight. Worf stands up unhurriedly and, with another Enterprise-shattering growl, rips the towel away from his neck. Holding Ford by his cuff, Worf shook and shook until Ford thought he's seeing five Eccentrica Gallumbits strip- teasing in the background.

While Ford and Worf continue to struggle, or, more accurately, while Worf continues to shook and Ford continues to wriggle, Arthur has gotten the hang of this flying stuff once again. He floats over to Worf and gives him a swift kick on the back of the head. Worf collapses noiselessly to the ground; Ford and his towel land rather awkwardly underneath him.

Ford: (panting) Good work, Arthur. Rather brilliant of you ... to decide to fly ...

Arthur: Ahem. Thank you, Ford, but I ...

Ford: Now, how 'bout help me get out (cough) from this Klingon mess ...

Meanwhile Trillian, with the help of Eddie, has brought sanity (or insanity, depends on one's private View of Things) back to Zaphod, who is now standing in the Heart of Gold and beaming out brightly at the ensemble in the Shuttle Bay. Trillian stands a little behind him.

Zaphod: (giving out a little laugh) Hi guys, what's beating you?

Startled, Arthur twirled around to face Zaphod, slightly losing his balance.

Trillian: My God, Arthur, you can't possibly be flying!

Now freed from the myriad of exercises that Worf had been giving it the last five minutes or so, The law of physics suddenly glances sharply at Arthur, demanding to know what in the universe he thinks he's doing up there, and suddenly the ground greets Arthur's jaw with the sort of smug self-righteousness you would expect from the ground when it sees the law of gravity (even artificial gravity) blatantly denied, then suddenly corrected.

Arthur: I think we should probably get back to the Heart of Gold. Now.

They found that they had to carry Ford into the ship.



Meanwhile, on the bridge of the Enterprise, Dr. Beverly Crusher has just arrived at the bridge.

Beverly: Oh my God, Commander, you've got to save my son!

Riker: But I'm too busy trying to save the Captain right now. Which one do you want me to save first?

Beverly: Oh. Err ...

Suddenly, the Slimer loses grip on Wesley, and drops to the deck, gasping.

Slimer: Slime! Grease! Hazardous nuclear wastes! Cough, cough!

Wesley, now disengaged from Slimer, runs into Beverly's open arms as the two closes in for a sentimental embrace.

Troi: Ohhh ... how sweet. This is such a touching moment *snif*.

Slimer: This place is too dry, too clean! I need water, great rolling tides of black, polluted water! Seas! Seas of pizza cartons! Oceans of spilled crude oil and hazardous waste drums!

Data: I believe the creature is dying, sir.

Riker pulls out his phaser and vaporizes Slimer.

Riker: (shrugs) Just putting it out of its misery.

Wesley and Beverly continues to hug vigorously.

Riker: Okay, Wes, now take your stations. We're going to rescue Captain Picard.

Wesley: (disengaging from Beverly) Yes sir.

Riker: Load phasers and torpedoes, lock on target, and fire!

Wesley: Weapons fired, Commander.

There was a few blasts of orange-red explosions as the Enterprise's weapons hit a few Borg landscape designers out on the hull surveying the ship's exterior tower formation and arguing heatedly over the degree of curvatures necessary for the service robot pathways in order to achieve maximum karma enjoyment.

Riker: Data, damage report.

Data: Scanning, sir.

Wesley: Commander!

Wesley is pointing at the main viewer, where they can see the Borg ship slowly deteriorating. Bits and pieces are floating off its hull. Lights are flashing on and off uncertainly, then decide to simply cease functioning.

Troi: It's dying, I can feel it! It's so ... oh!

Troi suddenly collapses onto the deck, weeping. Dr. Crusher kneels down beside her, and runs her Sens-O-Medic over her body. She then throws up her hands hopelessly.

Beverly: Sorry, Commander. Everything checks out normal. There's nothing I can do.

Data: Counselor Troi is correct, Commander. Sensors are indicating that the Borg is losing power at an astounding rate.

Wesley: Yes! We did it! We've destroyed the Borg!

Data: But what about the Captain?

Riker: There's nothing we can do about him now. I guess I'll just have to take over from now on. Data, turn the ship around. Let's get out of here.

Wesley: Sir, the Borg is hailing us.

Riker: What? Oh, err ...

Wesley: It's probably the Borg asking for the terms of surrender.

Riker: Really? Oh, okay. Data, open visual transmissions on screen.

On the main viewer, a dismayed, limping, slouching, metallic figure walks up the Borg's remaining operating camera. In the background, they can see dense, acrid smokes fast filling the entire Borg ship. The figure seems to be dragging something heavy behind him.

Figure: Hello there.

Will Zaphod and company finally be able to escape? Will Worf force himself into the Heart of Gold before they can do so? Is Captain Picard dead? Will Troi ever recover from her grief over ... what? And finally, who is this mysterious metallic figure who hailed them from the Borg? For the answers to these, and many other, non-towel-related questions, watch for the next exciting _CONCLUSION_ of ...

The Hitchhiker's Guide to Star Trek: The Next Generation!



On the Heart of Gold, Ford is moaning and groaning in the sickbay while Zaphod attempts to reason with Eddie ...

Zaphod: Tell me again why I can't just leave.

Eddie: Because we still have to get Marvin.

Zaphod: Marvin is gone. Poof. Blitzbo. Nobody knows where he is.

Eddie: I do.

Zaphod: Good for you. Now let's take us out of here, okay?

Trillian: Wait, Zaphod. Eddie, why don't you tell us where Marvin is.

Zaphod: Is this really necessary?

Trillian: Yes. Now Eddie, where's Marvin?

Eddie: I'll show you.

The main viewer on the Heart of Gold comes alive. At first, all they can see is a dense fog of acrid smoke. Then, from within the smoke, they can make out a dismayed, limping, slouching, metallic figure slowly emerging from the smoke. He seems to be dragging something heavy behind him.

Arthur, Trillian, Zaphod: Marvin!

Marvin: Hello there.

Trillian: Marvin, where are you?

Marvin: Me? Oh, I'm just over here at the Borg's ship. Pretty smart of you to drop me here when the improbability drive kicked in.

Zaphod: Zowee! You were over there with the scourge of the galaxy, Marvin? It must have been exciting! Think of the danger!

Marvin: Don't talk to me about excitement.

Trillian: We didn't know you were there, honest. It was the improbability field ...

Marvin: Sure, sure. That's what they all say. 'We didn't know that, Marvin'. 'We hope it won't inconvenience you too much, Marvin'. 'We didn't know you were standing under that 50-ton weight when we dropped it, Marvin'. That's all right, you don't have to explain. I'm quite used to it.

Trillian: Marvin, we've been worried about you.

Marvin: Don't pretend that you care about me. It won't work. Nobody likes me. Not even (he waves his hand around) this ship.

Trillian: The Borg? What happened to the Borg?

Marvin: Out of boredom, I hooked myself in with the Borg's collective intelligence. I quickly became bored of the monotony of the Borg technology and attempted to hold a conversation with the Borg central processing unit.

Trillian: Wow. And ...

Marvin: We had the most enlightening conversation about the relationship between outdoor landscape architectural design and Hinduism.

Zaphod: Hey, Marvin. That's great! (whispers to Trillian) What in Zarquon's Flooding Bathtub is he talking about?

Marvin: As I said, the ship didn't like me. The subject of Hinduism lead to the discussion to my personal view of the universe, and ...

Trillian: ... And?

Marvin: and the ship became so depressed it committed suicide.

Zaphod: All right, Marvin! Way to go, kid!

Marvin: Don't start patronizing me.

Trillian: Still, that doesn't explain the architectural failure that the Borg is undergoing ...

Marvin: I have something that should explain that, too. (Marvin pulls out a panel that was strapped to his back.) I took this off the central processing unit. Would you like me to read it to you? It seems like the least that I can do. It will only be another menial task that my vast intellectual capacity be called upon to perform. It's always 'Marvin, would you scratch my back?', or 'Marvin, would you stick your hand in to check the temperature of my bath?', or 'Marvin, would you mind going over there and rescuing that Starfleet Captain?'. Here I am, brain the size of a planet, and they ask me to ...

Zaphod: What does it say, Marvin?

Trillian appears to be puzzled by something that Marvin had just said ...

Marvin: Oh, I suppose that I should just get to the point, shouldn't I? I mean, why am I even bother complaining, with this pain down on all the diodes on my left side ...

Zaphod: (warningly) Marvin ...

Marvin: Yes, of course. It says, (reading) Another fine product of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation.

Trillian and Zaphod thought about this reflectively, then nodded in comprehension. Yes, it all makes sense now.

Trillian: No doubt they'll be the first against the wall when the revolution comes.

Zaphod: Yeah, no doubt.

Trillian continuously to be puzzled by something that Marvin had mentioned earlier ...

Marvin: Anyway, the only reason that I called ...

Trillian: Marvin, Did you said something about a Starfleet Captain?

Marvin: As I was saying ... (he paused just long enought for effect) the only reason that I called is because I think I have something that you might like to take back.

Zaphod: Yeah, kid? What is it?

Marvin holds up the limp figure of Captain Picard, whom he had been dragging behind him.

Marvin: (indicating the Captain) This.

Trillian: Isn't that Captain Picard?

Zaphod: Hey, yeah. What's he doing over there?

Marvin: (looking at the unconscious Picard) Not much.

Eddie: Hey, gang. The Enterprise is beaming Marvin and the Captain over. Should I intercept the transmission for you?

On the main viewer, they see that both Marvin and Picard begins to fade as the transporter kicks in to bring them back.

Trillian: Yes, Eddie. Bring Marvin here. We don't need the Captain.

Zaphod: Hey, I thought I was in charge here!

Moments later, Marvin alone appears on the Heart of Gold.

Marvin: You didn't have to do that, you know.

He slouches to his corner.



While Marvin was being transported to the Heart of Gold, Captain Picard appears on the bridge of the Enterprise. Dr. Crusher quickly jumps in, runs her Sens-O-Medic over the Captain, and gives him a dose of Inst-A-Wake on the neck.

Picard: What happened, Number One.

Riker: Captain, I have rescued you from the Borg.

Data: Correction, Commander. It appears that the Captain was rescued by the robot named Marvin, who is now in Shuttle Bay Three.

Riker: I thought I gave the orders to transport him directly to detention.

Data: You did, Commander. But the Heart of Gold intercepted that signal.

Riker: What? I thought Worf took care of those prisoners.

Data: Appearantly not, sir. My sensors are showing that the Heart of Gold is now firing up their improbability drive.

Picard: (rising from the deck) Okay, I'm fine now. Data, come with me. We're going to Shuttle Bay Three.

Beverly: But Captain, I need to run more checks on you. After all, the Borg might have ...

Picard: Borgified me? Nonsense! They treated me rather well. All they wanted was my opinion on this screenplay for Hamlet that they've worked out. It was an excellent script, but I thought that their soliloquys can use a tad more ...

Riker: Sir ...

Picard: Yes, Number One?

Riker: The prisoners, sir. Zaphod Beeblebrox on Shuttle Bay Three.

Picard: Oh yes, (clears his throat) "I hold my duty, as I hold my soul." That was Polonius in Hamlet, Number One. Come, Data, speaking as Cade in Henry VI, "our enemies shall fall before us!"

Picard and Data marches into the turbo-lift.

Beverly: Yep, he's fine, all right.

The twin door of the turbo-lift closes in on Picard and Data just as the bridge starts to twist out of shape, the reason being that the Heart of Gold has just kicked in their improbability drive. On the Heart of Gold, Ford is rapidly having his body parts readjusted as Zaphod works out, or rather, have Eddie work out, the improbability factors necessary to take them to their next stop.

Arthur strolls leisurely back to his quarters where he finds, much to his delight, four tiny bone china tea cups on four tiny bone china saucers surrounding a tiny bone china tea kettle containing the best tea that he had ever had. There is also a small note in Old English calligraphy saying, "Share and Enjoy".

Ford was right. Arthur's wish has finally been realized.

He was also alarmed for a moment to find a somewhat confused cow standing rather awkwardly in his closet, but the admonition rapidly fades away as he realizes that the only cloth he has is the dressing gown that he is currently, and has been for as long as he can now remember, wearing.

Zaphod: (over the ship's intercom) All this adventure has made me hungry. How 'bout you, monkey man?

Arthur: (sipping his tea, a dazed, content amusement on his face) Yeah, that sounds fine.

Zaphod: Okay, then. Let's take a quick bite at Milliway's, the Restaurant at the End of the Universe!

EPILOGUE: Data and Picard arrives at Shuttle Bay Three just in time to see the Heart of Gold vanishes in a sudden and unexpected tropical torrential downpour. They help the overly wet and slightly dazed Lieutenant Worf off his feet.

Data: Beeblebrox and the others have escaped, sir.

Picard: I see, Mr. Data.

Data: I wish I could have the opportunity to converse with the robot named Marvin. He seems to have a ... personality.

Picard: Well, Data. Perhaps it's for the best ...

Holding Worf, Picard turns to leave.

Data: Captain, wait!

Picard: What is it, Data?

Data: (picking up a black book with the words "Don't Panic" written in large friendly letters on the cover) The Heart of Gold left this behind.

Picard: (Taking the book and examining it) What is it?

Data: I believe that it is called the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, sir. It is a wholly remarkable book. In fact, it is probably the most remarkable book ever to come out of the great publishing corporations of Ursa Minor. Not only is it a wholly remarkable book, it is also a highly successful one-more popular than the 'Celestial Home Care Omnibus,' better selling than 'Fifty-three More Things to Do in Zero Gravity,' and more controversial than Oolon Colluphid's trilogy of philosophical blockbusters, 'Where God Went Wrong,' 'Some More of God's Greatest Mistakes,' and 'Who Is This God Person Anyway?'

Picard: Intriguing, Mr. Data, please continue.

Data: Well, sir, in many of the more relaxed civilizations on the Outer Eastern Rim of the Galaxy ...

* * * T h e E n d * * *

[Data's explanation of the Hitchhiker's Guide quoted from the preface to the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams ]