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ST:TNG - "Chain of Command" 3/4
Article #127 (134 is last):
From: email@example.com (Joseph F. Young)
Subject: FROM THE ARCHIVES: story/tng/ChainOfCommand.zip (part 03/04)
Date: Thu Oct 28 04:30:13 1993
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when we arrive at Starbase 2-0-9.
If your actions hamper the function
of this ship in any way, I will have
you confined to quarters.
Getting rid of me won't change the
situation, Captain. This is a
movement. There are hundreds of
people like us, all over the ship.
Picard looks surprised.
Never underestimate the power of
ideas, Captain. Freedom of
information, freedom of choice,
freedom to know just what's going on
in our lives. That's what we want.
Good-bye, Mr. Jennings.
He turns to leave, but stops suddenly, just short of
stepping on someone.
Good-bye, Captain. See you soon.
Long shot down hall as Picard carefully picks his way
though a dozen or so people laying across the floor.
Picard enters from the AFT TURBOLIFT. The bridge is at
yellow alert, and the crew has shifted accordingly.
Geordi is working at the engineering station, Riker has
relieved Data of command, Data has moved to Ops, Worf
has replaced Garrison at Tactical, and Susan is
stationed at Conn. There is an urgency in everybody's
actions. Nobody wants to hang around long.
I was delayed, Number One. Mr.
LaForge, the situation?
We've isolated the problem. It
looks like we collided with a fairly
large meteor. Normally the
deflectors would have had no problem
with the stress, but because we re-
routed warp power through them...
How long until repairs are complete?
Geordi finishes working at the keyboard and stands up.
About five minutes. Some power
feeds in Engineering need to be
Make it so.
Geordi heads for the Aft Turbolift and exits.
We have not been scanned, sir.
Phasers and photon torpedoes are
Data, is there a way to determine
the number of people lying in
In a moment, Number One.
Data types a bit.
Yes, sir. There are 120 people in
corridors at the moment, 68 of whom
are lying down.
Picard is lost in thought. Riker snaps him out of it.
Lying down, sir?
Outside my quarters, I was
confronted by Mr. Jennings. Lying
across my doorway.
So it would appear.
Picard to Engineering. Mr. LaForge,
Uh, Captain, this is Lieutenant
Duffy. Mr. LaForge isn't here.
Picard and Riker exchanged surprised looks.
Thank you, Mr. Duffy. Computer,
locate Mr. LaForge.
Lieutenant Commander LaForge is in
Aft Access Hallway 42.
Data types a bit.
No one is lying down, sir, but a
large group of people is assembled
in one area.
Picard to LaForge. Geordi, what's
Geordi is surrounded by about a dozen people, a
different group than outside Picard's quarters. He is
unsuccessfully attempting to push his way through
clasped arms. There are angry shouts.
Not good, Captain. I'm trying to
work my way through a crowd...
Geordi is hit, probably accidentally.
Worf, send a security detail. Get
LaForge to Engineering. Stun the
protesters if need be.
Worf begins tapping keys, then suddenly reacts to a
Sir! We have just been scanned!
Riker reacts, Picard stands.
Confirmed. A wormhole is forming to
Status of the security team?
A Tholian ship rams through the wormhole and steers
towards the Enterprise.
The Tholian ship has cleared the
Defensive fire only.
Another wormhole is forming to port.
The security team?
Picard makes a quick decision.
Picard to Transporter Room. Beam
LaForge directly to Engineering.
Considerably battered, Geordi continues to push his way
Let me _throu--_
He beams out.
Geordi beams in, finishing his push against nothing.
He regains his balance and heads for a console.
Engineering to Bridge. LaForge
here, Captain. Give me five
The second Tholian ship has just emerged from the
wormhole and both turn towards the Enterprise.
The Tholians fire, but their shots are absorbed by the
The ships shakes slightly.
Pericles Evasion. Worf, a photon
torpedo between them.
The Enterprise launches a photon torpedo directly
between the Tholian ships, and it explodes as both
ships veer off in opposite directions.
GEORDI'S COM VOICE
Sir! The Tholians are forming a
The two Tholian ships have moved next to each other,
directly in front of the Enterprise. Suddenly, they
begin moving away from each other, the space between
them growing murky and distorted. The ships begin to
arc around the Enterprise, intending to surround it.
Geordi finishes his work.
Warp one, any heading!
The Enterprise stretches out and disappears.
The Web being formed collapses and the two Tholian ships
warp out after the Enterprise.
The Tholians are in pursuit.
Continual fire of aft photon
torpedoes, random dispersal.
Photons jet out of the back of the Enterprise.
The Tholian ships attempt to dodge the explosions, but
eventually give up and drop pursuit.
They have dropped out of warp,
Picard is very, very stern.
Continue evasive course, Ensign.
Riker approaches Picard.
Shall I have Jennings arrested?
Picard thinks for a moment.
Something has to be done, sir.
Something will be done, Number One.
The ship is in warp, the port nacelle still dark.
Several hours have gone by.
PICARD'S COM VOICE
Picard to Mr. Bryan Jennings.
Report to the Bridge.
People erupt in a cheer, clapping and whistling. Bryan
smiles. He stands and walks to a comm panel.
Ride got a little bumpy there,
PICARD'S COM VOICE
Report to the Bridge, Mr. Jennings.
That sounded like an order.
The Bridge personnel have changed. Worf is gone,
replaced by JEFFERSON at Tactical. A SUPERNUMERARY
works at Conn and Data fills Ops. Riker and Picard
Picard grits his teeth.
Please come to the Bridge.
BRYAN'S COM VOICE
I won't be alone, Captain. The
Citizens' Committee will be with me.
So be it.
The members of the Citizens' Committee stand to join
This, my friends, is the first day
of the future.
He and the Committee exit.
The Aft Turbolift opens and Bryan and the Committee step
Picard whirls on Bryan.
Mr. Jennings, you have made running
this ship an impossibility. Your
"passive resistance" very nearly
cost everybody aboard their lives.
Bryan is a little taken aback, but recovers quickly.
Come now, Captain. That's being a
little dramatic, isn't it?
But then I wouldn't know. Civilians
aren't allowed to know when their
lives are in danger.
You know what we want, Captain. I
don't see that there's anything
wrong with wanting to have the power
to control our own lives.
Indeed. And you shall have it. You
have made the situation completely
intolerable. I forfeit control of
the Enterprise to you.
Bryan really didn't expect this. He's taken completely
by surprise. Riker appears to be.
Picard ignores both Bryan and Riker.
Number One, brief the... Citizens'
Committee. Good-bye, Mr. Jennings.
Picard walks stiffly to the Aft Turbolift and exits.
Jennings stares at Riker, stunned.
END OF ACT FOUR
STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION
"Chain of Command"
Bryan and the Citizens' Committee are all staggered.
Well... Uh... Riker, does this
mean I... I mean we, are in charge?
Riker looks at Bryan with contempt.
It means, Mr. Jennings, that you and
your Citizens' Committee are now in
command of this ship.
But... But if Picard resigns,
shouldn't command fall to you?
Data is puzzled.
The regulation regarding a captain's
(turns to Bryan)
Within certain restrictions, a
captain may temporarily relinquish
command to whomever he wishes.
Yes, sir. The decision can only be
made in crisis situations, and can
be countermanded by any Starfleet
officer who outranks the captain.
Until we re-enter Federation
territory and establish sub-space
communication... you are in charge.
Bryan begins to recover -- he's won.
I had no idea that it would be so
simple. I mean, I'd read about it,
but it actually happened...
(beat, to Riker)
Re-enter Federation territory?
The Enterprise is currently in
Tholian space. The odds are that
there are Tholian ships out there,
right now, trying to find us. Shall
I call the Captain?
What? No. Of course not. The
citizens are in charge, now. We'll
do things my way.
(barks out an order)
Fill us in on the details of this
mission, Mr. Riker.
Riker sets his jaw.
We're on a rescue mission. The
Tholians surprised us while we were
retrieving the crew of a damaged
--what happened to the civilians.
Why are we still here?
Our warp drive was damaged during
the battle. We can barely hold warp
Bryan understands now.
If you had just told us...
It's a Starfleet secret.
Don't give me that! All of this
could have been avoided if--
Sir! We have just been scanned!
They've found us again. Data, begin
Hey! I'm in charge here.
(he indicates Council)
We're in charge.
No, I'm not. We fought hard for
You don't know what you're doing!
One more outburst from you, Riker,
and I'll have you removed from the
Bridge! If I need your advice, I'll
ask. Otherwise, keep your mouth
A warning sound begins.
Readings show a wormhole has opened
in our path.
It's how the Tholians travel!
Bryan looks a little nervous.
OK. Uh, prepare to fire.
Riker steps quickly toward Bryan.
You can't do that!
Sensors indicate a Tholian ship has
emerged from the wormhole.
Right now, all we've done is angered
the Tholians by trespassing into
their space. But destroying a
Tholian ship would lead to war. You
The Tholians are firing!
Bryan's eyes go wide.
A photon torpedo comes blazing straight toward the
viewscreen. It hits. Some lights go out, others blink
on and off, alert sounds are heard, and a few fuses blow
-- the ship, however, does not shake.
Readings show we have dropped out of
Moderate damage to secondary hull,
sir. Casualty reports coming in.
Bryan is stunned.
There were casualties?
On the viewscreen, the Tholian ship loops towards the
The Tholians are firing again!
Phasers lash at the ship. More lights go out. Sparks
fly. A low rumble begins and builds.
What's going on?
The rumble gets louder, followed by a horrible
explosion. The ship still does not shake.
What was _that_?
Computer, reverse angle on the
The viewscreen changes to a view back over the spine of
the Enterprise. The remains of a warp nacelle can be
seen spiraling off into space as fires and small
explosions run up and down along the strut.
There is stunned silence for a moment.
Oh, my God...
Readings show complete destruction
of all propulsion systems and a
primary hull breach in Engineering.
Bridge to Engineering! Geordi!
Static plays for a moment.
The Tholians are requesting
Bryan still stares horrified at the viewscreen.
What? Oh! Yes. Yes!
The viewscreen switches to the face of the Tholian
Federation ship, this space is
claimed by the Tholian Assembly.
You will surrender immediately or be
Uh... Look, can't we talk about
this? This whole thing has been a
Listen to me. We apologize. If you
would just let us go, we promise--
The communications channel closes.
They've cut communications, sir.
Their phasers are powering up.
Again, Bryan panics.
Get them back! Get them back!
Riker jumps up out of his chair.
You can't do that!
No response, sir.
(to Riker, almost
Riker, there's got to be a way to
let them know that we'll surrender.
We can't surrender.
You say you're representing the
people of this starship. Does that
mean that when you say you're
willing to taken prisoner, you're
speaking for everyone?
I don't... Of course not.
(turns to Committee)
Should we surrender?
The Committee collectively takes a step back. They're
more overwhelmed by all this than Bryan is.
We, uh... We can't speak for the
whole ship. It wouldn't be fair.
You're right. We need to have a
A warning sound turns Bryan's attention back to Ops.
Readings show another Tholian ship
is entering scanner range.
What does that mean?
They know we're wrecked. They're
probably planning on towing us back
home, taking us all prisoner and
stripping the Enterprise for its
So what do we do?
Riker stares at Bryan.
You're asking my advice?
Dammit, Riker! What?
I recommend self-destruction.
Self-destruction. It's the only
No. Uh-uh. That's ridiculous. I
can't order the death of everyone on
Mr. Data, do you have a
Data looks at Riker quickly, then back at Bryan.
No, sir, I do not.
Bryan starts to speak several times, pulling up short.
He knows he's out of options and begins to try to
The only reason I started this whole
thing was to get control of our
lives! It was for Richard! It
wasn't supposed to happen like this!
The only reason we tried to... _do_
any of this was to know what was
going on. We just wanted to know...
Riker is bitter and ironic.
Was it worth it?
There is another warning sound. Data turns around to
look at Bryan and Riker.
Readings indicate that the Tholians
have locked on tractor beams and are
Your orders, sir?
Bryan is dazed, confused, and lost.
Bryan sits heavily into the captain's chair, his head
held in his hands. He is completely miserable.
INT. BATTLE BRIDGE
A tight shot of Picard's face pulls back to reveal Worf
at Tactical, a supernumerary at Ops, and Susan at Conn.
Picard has been running the ship during the duration and
the events on the Main Bridge were viewscreen graphics,
rigged panels and rehearsed officers -- for Bryan's
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