I humbly beg for your forgiveness! I know I should be hard at work at Transformers fanfics and was all set to get to work, but then I rented Star Trek: First Contact and while I watched it I made fun of the characters as usual, even though I love 'em. I laughed at the usual stuff, but this little story began to play itself out in my head and I couldn't rest until I purged it. It's naturally very weird but I had great fun writing it! Disclaimer: Star Trek is the property of Paramount and used without permission. Calm down, guys, this is nowhere near professional quality.

Captain's Catastrophe

a.k.a. Star Trekkin'

by Phantom (phantom1313 at tfrid dot com)

"WESLEY!!!" Captain Picard bellowed. "For the last time, no Walkmans on the bridge!"

"Sorry, Captain," Wesley said sheepishly, removing the headphones.

"Captain, I believe the word is 'Walkmen', not 'Walkmans'," Data gently corrected.

"Yes, yes, of course, Data," he replied distractedly. "Wesley, I will have to order you off the bridge until you can make it through an entire shift without musical accompaniment. Besides, I'm a much better captain than Kirk, and don't you ever forget it!"

"All right," Wesley sighed, trudging across the bridge. "But Kirk had more hair," he muttered as the turbolift doors slid shut.

"What was that?!" Picard snapped, but it was too late. The impudent ensign was gone.

Data piped up. "I believe his exact words were--"

"Never mind," the captain sighed. When would Data ever grasp the concept of a rhetorical question?

Despite the fact that he was an inorganic being with no real emotions, Data was able to sense someone's gaze raptly focused on him. His golden eyes searched the bridge crew until they settled on the first officer. "Commander Riker, you are displaying an abnormal amount of interest in the back of my head," he said, always a master in the art of subtlety.

Riker leered. "Oh, Data," he breathed. "I never realized how beautiful the back of your neck is."

Troi suddenly frowned. "Captain, I sense peculiar brain activity from Commander Riker. I -- I am disgusted by the emotions I am receiving."

Riker rose and crossed the bridge, placing his hand on the back of Data's chair, as was his custom. "Doing anything tonight?" he murmured in Data's ear.

"Why, yes," Data replied, facial expression as calm as ever yet beginning to edge away. Even he was able to sense that something was amiss in his commander's behavior. "I have been given the assignment of purging the anti-matter chamber of impurities."

"Sounds romantic," Riker purred.

That was enough of a hint for Data. "Sir, I believe your advances to me are inappropriate," he stated, jumping up from his chair. "I have no interest in pursuing a non-platonic relationship."

"Well, how about Lore then?" Riker persisted. "He may be insane, but he can take over my quarters any day!"

Picard's mouth hung open, utterly appalled at the latest turn of events. "What has become of you, Riker?" he roared. "I will not tolerate harassment of my crew on the bridge!" He turned to Troi. "Counselor, please shed some light on this situation. Has he been taken over by an alien being? Is he under some kind of hypnosis or mind control?"

Troi shook her head. "Unfortunately it is not that simple. Riker's suppressed fetish for androids has finally come to the surface. Strange that I did not sense it before through our close bond." Her expression grew angered. "His relationship with me was only to distract himself from his true desires. Ugh! It's Data he really wants! To think I was ever involved with such a sicko!"

"So my first officer is a pervert?" Picard groaned.

"That would be my professional diagnosis," Troi confirmed.

"That's it! No perverts on my bridge! Riker, I order you to leave!"

"But Captain..." Riker whined.

"No buts!" Picard said firmly. "Data, stay here and keep us on course. Riker, go take a cold shower."

Riker dragged himself morosely to the turbolift, casting a longing glance at Data before the doors slid closed. Despite the fact that it was physically impossible, Data seemed to breathe a sigh of relief once his harasser was gone. "Thank you, Captain," he said, a note of relief in his voice. "I do not believe that was standard human behavior."

"It wasn't," the captain sighed and unconsciously adjusted his uniform, jokingly known as "the Picard maneuver," also the name of an innovative battle maneuver once used against the Ferengi. He stared out at the streaking star field, allowing the radiating points of light to calm him.

He had finally reassured himself that the rest of his bridge shift would be uneventful when the turbolift doors slid open. His gaze stayed focused on the viewscreen until he heard a gasp from one crewmember, and a muffled cry from another. A sinking sensation developed in the pit of his stomach as he turned.

He involuntarily rose in shock as he took in the sight before him. It was his chief engineer, Geordi LaForge, reporting for duty as usual, but his attire was anything but. The crew had long ago become accustomed to the VISOR that adorned his face and stimulated his optic nerve, allowing him to see in a fashion. However, instead of the standard gold Engineering uniform, his chocolate brown form was adorned with a candy-pink frilly dress.

"What is the meaning of this?!!" Picard roared, in no mood to deal with another of his crew's peculiarities. "Where is your uniform? *That*," he spat, "is against regulations!"

"But Captain," the engineer protested, "our dress uniforms resemble real dresses so much that I grew to like them. Don't you think it suits me?" He twirled in a pirouette, the dress flaring out.

"NO!!!" the bridge crew yelled, Picard's voice the loudest. He couldn't take much more of this.

"Q!!" he cried angrily. "Show yourself!"

The omnipotent being appeared before him, dressed in a Starfleet admiral uniform, grinning innocently. "Captain, what a pleasure it is to see you again! Did you call for me?"

"I refuse to allow this charade to go any further! Return my crew to normal!" Picard said insistently.

A genuine look of surprise crossed Q's features. "But I haven't done anything! No, really, I haven't!" he insisted when Picard began to advance upon him threateningly. "The years in deep space have begun to affect their psyches, bringing out deeply-rooted abnormal behavior. I wish I could take credit for this, but Guinan would laugh at me."

Picard looked at Troi sharply. "He's right," she said lamely.

"Ta!" Q laughed and disappeared in a puff of smoke.

Picard's fists clenched in frustration. This was not turning out to be a good day.

The computer suddenly spoke up. "Control panel malfunction detected."

Geordi frowned, and Picard was relieved. At least the engineer was keeping his mind on his duties. "What location, computer?" Geordi asked.

It replied, "Wesley Crusher's quarters. My sensors detect an organic liquid."

Geordi's dress rustled as he hastened into the turbolift, tapping his combadge. "LaForge to Ensign Crusher," he said sternly. "Wesley, please tell me you didn't molest *another* control panel? That's the seventh one this week!"

"Sorry," Wesley replied, sounding sheepish. "I just can't control myself!" (Someone wrote an NC-17 Star Trek story where Wesley finds sexual release by molesting a control panel no joke!!)

Picard shook his head wearily and slowly lowered himself into his chair. He didn't think he could take much more surprises. Just then the turbolift opened again, and he steeled himself, turning to face the new arrival. An anguished moan bubbled up from his throat.

"Jean-Luc!" an eager, feminine voice cooed. "It's been much too long."

Worf, holding her firmly by the arm, scowled. "My apologies, Captain. I detected that an intruder had broken into your quarters and discovered Madame Troi. Being a diplomat, regrettably I could not arrest her and throw her in the brig. She insisted on meeting with you."

"Oh yes," Lwaxana Troi laughed, "a private conference where we won't be disturbed."

If Picard had had any hair of consequence left, he would have commenced to rip it out in earnest. "Ah, your presence honors us, Ambassador," he fumbled, "but as you can see I'm a very busy man with important duties."

The elder Troi pouted. "I am Lwaxana Troi, daughter of the Fifth House, holder of the Sacred Chalice of Riix, heir to the Holy Rings of Betazed. I should be the most important duty on your list."

Picard groaned. He needed a drink. He turned his back on the source of his stress and strode briskly into his ready room. "Tea, Earl Grey, hot, spiked," he said crisply, breathing a sigh of relief when the calming drink appeared on the console, steaming. He froze in shock, however, when his eyes lit upon his private stash of wine from his brother's vineyard back on Earth. The bottles had been emptied to the last drop and left scattered carelessly on the floor.

Trembling with anger, he threw back his head and let loose a cry of frustration and rage. Why was all of this happening to him? He snatched up one of the empty bottles and brought it over to a small console. "Computer," he snapped, "fingerprint analysis."

The computer responded in a rather flat yet feminine voice. Picard flinched -- it sounded a tad bit too much like Lwaxana Troi for his tastes. "Analysis complete. Fingerprints detected belong to Captain Jean-Luc Picard, and Transporter Chief Miles O'Brien."

"O'Brien! I should have known!" he hissed. O'Brien had the most incurable thirst for alcohol on the ship, which was quite a feat, judging from the traffic in Ten-Forward. Picard stormed out of his ready room, empty bottle clutched in his hand. "Worf," he commanded, "I want you to apprehend Chief O'Brien and throw him in the brig for the theft of my wine!"

He nearly dropped the bottle when Worf turned around in his chair, brush clutched in his hand, brown hair trailing down to his shoulders. "In a moment, Captain," the Klingon rumbled. "First I must attend to my Klingon grooming rituals. For if today is a good day to die, my ponytail must be in order." He deftly braided his hair and fastened it at the end. "Now I will go apprehend the Chief. His theft of the ship's emergency alcohol stocks cannot be tolerated." He stepped into the turbolift, then turned and focused a piercing gaze on Picard. "It is a shame that you have no hair to bring you glory, Captain. I see that you have honor, but it has been difficult for the Klingons to find their place amongst those with thinning hair. Have you ever considered Hair Club for Men?" The turbolift doors slid closed, cutting off his view of the captain standing mutely with his mouth hanging open.

Worf strode briskly towards Ten-Forward, not bothering to consult the computer for the Chief's location, since he spent all of his spare time there. His ponytail bounced on his back with every stride. He pulled out his phaser and set it to stun, just in case the chief was more attached than usual to the barstool. The doors slid open and he marched inside, approaching the chief, who was laughing his head off, seeming ready to topple off the stool at any moment. "Chief," Worf said sternly, approaching the drunken figure. "You must come with me."

O'Brien wiped tears of laughter away with difficulty and struggled to focus his hazy vision on the imposing figure before him. "Ah, Worf!" he cried jovially. "Come join me! Guinan, prune juice for my friend here. Spiked, of course."

"Of course," Guinan muttered and began mixing yet another drink. It was difficult to keep up with the demand for drinks. She was amazed that the ship had managed to hold together this long with so many of its officers spending their time in her establishment.

The doors to Ten-Forward hissed open to admit yet another crewmember searching to slake his thirst. However, the sight of the newcomer was bizarre enough to capture the notice of even those who were dancing with imaginary pink elephants. Riker marched in with a blond wig fixed to his head, twin braids trailing down his back. In one hand he carried a mug, in another a peculiar sachet. "Hot water," he said to Guinan, who, used to Riker's bizarre antics by this point, simply shook her head and turned to fetch his order.

Scowling, Work approached his first officer, who had quite clearly lost his mind. "What is the meaning of this, sir?" he growled.

Riker smiled up at the glowering Klingon. "See this?" He held up the sealed packet. Despite his disgust, Worf leaned over for a better view. "It's hot chocolate mix," Riker said proudly.

Worf could see the title 'Swiss Miss' on the package, a small drawing of little girl with braids below the words. "I fail to see the connection between this powdered beverage and your bizarre attire."

Riker's smile grew larger. "I just love this stuff!" he chortled. "I was thinking of growing my hair to look just like the package, but it was taking too long, so I replicated a wig."

"But instead of becoming a Swiss Miss, he's a Swiss Pervert," Guinan sighed. Why couldn't she have chosen a ship with a normal crew?

Worf looked from the chief to Riker. O'Brien could wait -- he wouldn't be going anywhere soon, and besides, he had ordered him a drink. Riker, however was too cracked to be allowed to run loose. Besides, that ridiculous wig was offensive and dishonorable to his careful grooming of his own locks. "Come with me, Commander," he said sternly, grabbing the pervert by the arm.

Suddenly a chill raced down Guinan's back. Something was out there, she could sense it. Something formidable, terrifying, dangerous. "Guinan to Captain Picard," she said slowly.

"Picard here," he said with a note of surprise in his voice. Guinan rarely felt the need to contact the bridge -- whatever it was, it had to be important.

"I sense something that could be very dangerous to the ship and its crew. I really can't be more specific than that, I'm sorry. Also, my supply of alcohol and Grey Poupon Dijon mustard is running low."

Picard gasped, horrified. "Never mind the vague, unidentified threat. This shortage is a crisis to the whole ship! Without alcohol to keep the crew happy, they could revolt! And I simply can't bear to eat a meal without my special mustard! Bridge to Engineering, we're going to need all the power you can spare. Helm, set a course for Earth, maximum warp. Never mind that it's against space-faring rules to travel at greater than warp six unless there's an emergency, this is a great threat!"

The helmsman shot the captain a bemused look, then turned to his console and keyed in the course change. The captain was looking a bit frazzled, but who could blame him after a day like today? Besides, he liked alcohol as much as the next guy.

Picard massaged his temples, trying to stave off the headache that was heading his way. Ambassador's Troi's hands shooed his away and continued the task themselves. "My senior staff is full of wackos," he moaned, "Deanna's mother has snuck aboard, and we're running low on alcohol. What else could go wrong?"

Back in Ten-Forward, Guinan shut all the shouted orders for drinks out of her mind, focusing in on the disquieting sensation that permeated her mind. She had felt these sensations before, when the ship had been threatened. When the evil, soulless ones had arrived. Those that had destroyed her planet, nearly decimated her people. Those that wanted to assimilate the ship, whole planets, entire galaxies. "No!" she whispered softly. Please, please, it just couldn't be.

"Captain," Data spoke up from his console. "I am detecting a cube-shaped vessel approaching at warp nine. It is too late to alter our heading to avoid it."

"Onscreen," Picard snapped, rising from his chair. Data complied, and the ominous shape loomed before the bridge, drawing ever nearer. The sharp angles stood out starkly, casting fear in the hearts that had encountered these beings before.

Up on the bridge and down in Ten-Forward, two voices spoke with mixed awe and horror. Two beings felt their souls turn over in fear, having seen the devastation that the cubical vessel could wreak first hand. They spoke with dread. They spoke two final, doom-laden words. "The Borg."

Picard buried his head in his hands. "I had to ask, didn't I? I should have known -- things can always get worse."

A strange, deep, echoing voice permeated the bridge, coming in through the hailing frequency. "We are Borg. You will surrender control of your vessel and lead us sector 001."

"Earth? Never!!" Picard cried. "You will never get your hands on our alcohol!"

The voice replied, "Alcohol is irrelevant. Resistance is futile. You cannot stop us, Locutus. If you do not surrender your vessel, we will assimilate you and your crew."

"Wait!" the captain exclaimed, a plan forming in his head. "Leave the ship intact and I will surrender several of my key officers to your control."

The Borg seemed uninterested. "The Borg do not bargain. We conquer and assimilate. Your bargain is irrelevant."

"No, I believe it will be of interest to you," he replied. "The attempt to assimilate us will result in much damage to your systems, as you know from experience. By accepting the bargain you will receive that which you desire without unnecessary losses. You will need all the power that you have to penetrate Earth's defenses."

The silence on the other end lasted for an eternity. Finally there was a response. "Your offer is acceptable. However, we will not tolerate any attempt to deceive us. If you fail to deliver that which you have promised, you will be immediately assimilated."

"Understood," Picard growled, then motioned for the communications link to be severed. "Worf," he spoke into his combadge. "Round up Commander Riker, Lieutenant LaForge, and Chief O'Brien and bring them to Transporter Room One, where they will be transported to the Borg ship."

There was a brief moment of hesitation on the other end. "Aye, Captain," Worf then replied with a trace of satisfaction in his voice.

Picard continued, "And Ambassador Troi--"

"Captain!!!" Counselor Troi gasped in horror.

"--will remain on the bridge with me, where it is safe," he continued hastily. Deanna Troi was not mollified, however, and continued to shoot angry daggers from her eyes in his direction.

'Wish I could get rid of Wesley as well,' he thought to himself, 'but then that could spoil my chances with Dr. Crusher. Oh well, there's always Starfleet Academy.'

Worf struggled to herd his motley crew towards the transporter room. "Come now, the Borg are waiting," he said roughly.

"The Borg?" Riker asked, a note of excitement in his voice. "They aren't androids, but they are cyborgs. They'll do almost as well." Somehow Worf refrained from gagging. Geordi was too busy smoothing out the wrinkles in his taffeta to worry about menacing cyborgs that were about to assimilate him.

A growl rose in Worf's throat as O'Brien stumbled along, requiring assistance from the burly Klingon. "Will the Borg have Irish whiskey?" the red-faced transporter chief slurred.

"Of course," Worf grumbled, quite sure that the Borg required no sustenance whatsoever. Anything to get rid of these weirdos that were besmirching the honor of his ship.

He herded the trio onto the transporter pad, snarling as Riker fiddled with his blond wig and O'Brien struggled to stay upright. "Assimilate this," he growled in satisfaction. And this time he meant it.

Picard sank back in his chair as the transport was completed and the members of his crew were rapidly assimilated. "Data, back us off slowly," he instructed. "One-quarter impulse." He didn't want to encourage the Borg to follow, or worse, to open fire. Best to leave while they were occupied with their new converts.

"Captain," Data replied as he complied, "I am receiving a transmission from the Borg ship. This time we also have visual."

The ominous Borg ship on the screen was replaced by a congregation of pale-skinned humanoids with prosthetics protruding from every limb. They turned as one to face the screen, and it was then that the Enterprise bridge crew noticed the peculiarities. Some wore dresses, some were weaving unsteadily and waving about half-empty alcohol bottles, while those in the foreground sported blond wigs. They spoke as one. "Data.... We want you, Data!" One of the Borg wore a suspiciously familiar beard.

Data rose to his feet, open-mouthed. After many years of intense study in human behavior, there was no doubt left in his mind of how to react. He screamed.

"Data!" Picard cried in horror. He had never heard an android scream before and hoped to never again. "You leave him alone, you hear! That was part of the deal!"

The Borg seemed to sway a bit as they attempted to restore order to the Collective. "Data is irrelevant," they said. "Dresses are irrelevant. We will... have another round of drinks!"

"I don't believe it!" Troi gasped. "Their psychological problems have infected the Collective!"

A few of the Borg onscreen began to dance erratically as their technological components began to short out. Their collective mind was filled with gibberish, meaningless and irrelevant (not to mention perverted) urges. The transmission was abruptly lost, replacing the view with that of the Borg cube, sparking ominously.

"Data, get us out of here!"

"Sir, I require more specific infor--"

"Just do it!" Picard cried, unknowingly promoting Nike gear.

"Aye, Captain," Data said and quickly complied. He had no protests over putting as much distance between himself and Commander Riker as possible.

The Enterprise shot away from the crumbling cube. Inside, the collective mind decided with its last vestiges of clarity that it must self-destruct or lose itself in individualistic abnormalities. The cube exploded outward, throwing out a blinding flash of light and flying debris, which the Enterprise fortunately managed to outrun, as usual.

"Take us out of warp, Mister Data," Picard ordered when they had traveled a safe distance.

"Amazing," Troi murmured. "Our most diabolical foes was defeated just like that."

Picard shook his head. "I doubt the contamination spread to every part of the Collective, but this certainly wasn't a bad start. And we got rid of our most obnoxious crewmembers to boot."

"A job well done," Troi agreed heartily.

"Data, set course for Earth. We've got to restock this old girl properly."

"Aye sir. Captain," Data said inquisitively, "may I ask you a question?"

"Yes, of course, go ahead."

Data continued, "Sir, if you are from France, then why do you speak with a British accent?"

Picard scowled. "Just steer the ship, Data."

Troi had a hard time trying to hide her smile. "Captain, I sense--" his glare made her stammer for a moment "uh, nothing at all. Unusual but hardly anything to worry about."

Lwaxana took one look at her beau and decided that elsewhere might be a more cheerful and safe place to be. "Come now, Little One," she said cheerfully. "Let's see if we can't find a decent man for you."

"Motherrrr," Deanna groaned. Maybe she should have let Picard send her mother away too.

Picard sighed as he settled back into the well-cushioned captain's chair. It should be smooth sailing from now on. No distractions, no annoyances, no--

Suddenly the shipwide speakers were filled with ear- splitting music. "Star Trekkin' across the universe, on the starship Enterprise, under Captain Kirk!"

Captain Picard threw back his head and howled. "WESLEY!!!"

The End
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