This is not Star Trek. It is Star Traks. Star Trek is owned by CBS, Paramount and Viacom, yada yada. Star Traks is owned by Alan Decker. The Captain's Table books are owned by Simon and Schuster and Pocketbooks. Apologies to John J. Ordover and Dean Wesley Smith, who came up with the concept, and probably never imagined a Reject's Table as part of it. We did. The Reject's Table is a product of the dynamic and somewhat twisted minds of Butler, Decker, Dusen, and Meneks.

Author: Brad Dusen
Copyright: 1998


Book Four of Five

“Tolkien III”

By Brad Dusen

The Reject’s Table Concept by Anthony Butler and Alan Decker

“You know, for a pirate, he can sure move well.” Baxter stared in awe as Redbeard danced around Beck. “Especially given the beating he’s just taken.”

“The Nausicaan, beautiful idea.” Vorezze said to Rydell.

“I try.” Rydell shrugged.

“HEY!” Beck screamed as she stormed away from Redbeard.

“What did he do?” Rydell asked.

“He kept trying to look down my robe.” Beck said in disgust.

“Why didn’t I think of that?” Baxter whispered to Rydell.

“Men…” Beck groaned.

“So captain, how is Section Thirty-One going?” Rydell asked Vorezze.

“We just got our asses kicked by the Voran Imperium, and we’re in spacedock for a month’s worth of repairs.” Vorezze replied.

“Ouch.” Rydell muttered.

“Now may I ask what the hell you’re talking about?” Beck asked.

“Well Captain Rydell knows, but you, 4 of 8 and Baxter are still in the dark.”

“Darkness is irrelevant.” 4 of 8 said.

“I’ll bet you’re so much fun at parties.” Baxter added.

“The Borg do not party.” 4 of 8 retorted.

“ANYWAY,” Vorezze said, drawing attention back to himself. “Section Thirty-One is a division of Starfleet that must remain secret because we use illegal technologies and methods.”

“Like what?” Beck asked.

“The phasing cloak; we’re above the Prime Directive; things like that.” Vorezze explained.

“Ah, gotcha.” Beck turned back to her drink.

“Well do you have a story for us?” Rydell asked.

“Given that Beck’s was about her first command experience, I think I’ll do something along those lines, though that happened to be the worst week of my life.”

“Oooooh.” Beck smiled. “This sounds fun.”

“Your sympathy truly touches me.” Vorezze said dryly. “This story also tells how I met each of my senior staff and how we got ahold of a ship like the Banshee.”

“Yeah, I was wondering why you get a Sovereign-Class starship and I only got an Excelsior.” Rydell said.

“And I only have a Galaxy. What makes you so special?”

“You’ll find out.” Vorezze said. “Now may I begin?”

“Go right ahead.” Beck leaned back in her chair.

It was the end of last year, or as Captains Baxter and Beck would think, two years ago. Either way, the war with the Dominion had just broken out and a Federation/Klingon armada had just returned from a successful attack on the Dominion spacedocks. I was the first officer at the time of the starship Rameses, an Intrepid-Class vessel. We were setting a course back for Federation space when it happened.

“Report.” Captain Kate Copeland emerged from her ready room and walked into the cold, grayscale bridge.

“We’re passing the Tolkien system. We should reach starbase 936 in an hour.” Helmsman Ensign Javin Rintal, a Trill officer fresh out of Starfleet Academy, reported.

We didn’t see them coming. Five Jem’Hadar raiders came screaming out of the Tolkien Nebula, opening fire on our fleet before we could even raise our shields.

“How can a ship scream?” Baxter asked. “This isn’t Star Wars, you know, their fighters won’t make that ‘waaaaaaaaaaa’ sound when they fly.”

“Okay, they came ‘charging out of the nebula.” Vorezze looked over at Beck. “And Captain, by the way, I have to apologize for my comment earlier. You don’t have to look at my genitals if you don’t want to. It was the thoughts to those two,” Vorezze pointed at Baxter and Rydell, “that made 4 of 8 and myself say that.”

Rydell and Baxter looked at each other as if they had both been betrayed.

“Apology accepted.” Beck smiled. “You know, Captain, how I said I watched holovideos of Captain Kirk’s adventures?”

“Uh huh.” Vorezze nodded blankly, not seeing any connection.

“Well may I ask, is it true for Betazoids what Martia said when Kirk was imprisoned in Rura Penthe?”

“And what was that?”

Beck grinned slyly. “She said ‘Not everybody keeps their genitals in the same place.’”

Rydell and Baxter burst out laughing.

“I will not dignify that with an answer.” Vorezze said. He then whispered something into Beck’s ear.

“Really?” Beck asked in amazement.

“Can we not have this conversation?” Baxter asked. “Especially since I’m eating pretzel sticks.”

“Well, can I get back to the story?” Vorezze asked.

“Please.” The four others said in unison.

The Miranda-Class ship next to the Rameses exploded on impact, but we quickly erected out shields.

“You said that word on purpose, didn’t you?” Baxter asked.

“Hey, you’re the one who interpreted that word the way you did.” Vorezze shrugged.

“Five Jem’Hadar raiders.” Lieutenant Vincent DiSanto said from tactical.

“Lock quantum torpedoes and return fire.” I ordered.

The Rameses chased after one of the raiders, flinging a few quantum torpedoes before the raider blew apart in a blaze of fire.

“Two of the other raiders are getting away at warp 5.” Lieutenant Tagel Axik said from ops.

“Helm, set course after them and engage at warp 7.” Copeland ordered.

That was our first mistake, leaving the relative protection of the fleet. Our second mistake would be underestimating the Dominion.

“Fire!” Copeland ordered as the first raider came into range.

As hard as the tiny ship tried, it couldn’t outmaneuver the Rameses’ weapons, and it burst into flaming wreckage. Now all we had to do was find the last raider, and we could return to the fleet.

“But we’re guessing that didn’t happen.” Baxter said.

“Unless you gave us a short story to be merciful.” Rydell added.

“Mercy is irrelevant.” 4 of 8 piped in.

“Let me ask you this, Borgy,” Beck said, “is there anything that ISN’T irrelevant.”

4 of 8 thought for a few moments. “No.”

Fritz suddenly jumped up from out of nowhere, plunking down on Beck’s lap and falling asleep, or unconscious from too much drinking.

“Do I really want him here?” Beck asked.

“He was there before.” Baxter shrugged. “I thought you liked him.”

“That was BEFORE I knew he was sentient.” Beck looked down at the furry lump on her lap. “How do I know he’s not getting something off of this?”

“He’s been neutered… I think.” Baxter shrugged. “Captain Vorezze?”

“Thank you.” Vorezze said.

“Damage report.” Copeland asked as she paced the darkened bridge of the Rameses. We had sustained several direct hits, though our shields absorbed most of it.

“Shields are down, and our atmospheric thrusters are offline.” Axik responded.

“Where is the last attack ship?” I asked.

“Sensors can’t find it.” Vince reported. “It may have gone back into the Tolkien Nebula.”

Apparently it didn’t. We later figured out that it must have been a sensor malfunction, but we didn’t even see the last raider until it shot into our aft section, tearing up the engine nacelles and shuttle bay.

“All weapons, fire at will!” I screamed. “I want that thing obliterated.”

“You were nasty!” Beck said.

“Okay, so that line was… beefed up a little.” Vorezze said.

“Well what did you really say.”

“Something along the lines of ‘We’re screwed, save me!’”

“Well that’s heroic.” Beck groaned as she slowly pet Fritz on the head.

“Hey, I thought I was going to die. Give me a break.”

The raider maneuvered away from our front sections, and since the Intrepid-Class has no aft torpedo bay, we were stuck with phasers as it came around for another pass. The Rameses rocked and sparked when the Jem’Hadar’s weapons slammed into our hull. Finally, with one last blow from our phasers, the raider was gone.

“Okay, great story, NEXT!” Baxter shouted.

“No, I’m not done. That was only to set the stage for the catastrophe that was about to occur.” Vorezze said

“You were about to be promoted?”

Vorezze concentrated for a moment, channeling his psychic energies into Fritz. The cat suddenly jumped out of Beck’s lap and attached himself to Baxter’s head.

“Get it off, please! I’m sorry!” Baxter pleaded from underneath the cat.

Vorezze concentrated again, releasing Fritz and sending him back to Beck’s lap, where he promptly fell asleep.

The Rameses hung dead in space, drifting slowly towards a planet. Tolkien III. It was a class M world and extremely hospitable to human life, in fact all forms of life in general.

“Riley to bridge.” Our chief engineer, Lieutenant Commander David Riley said over the comm. “I can’t get any propulsion systems back on line.”

The look on Captain Copeland’s face as she watched Tolkien III loom closer on the viewer could only be matched by the words she screamed out, many of them capable of making Howard Stern blush.

“Care to share any of them?” Rydell asked. “I could try them out on my first officer.”

“I’d rather not.” Vorezze said.

After a few moments, the Rameses came alive with a blaze of fire as we plummeted downwards towards the planet. I know that many ships, including my current command, the Banshee, are capable of landing, and the Rameses was no exception, but all atmospheric maneuvering systems were offline and our landing struts would be sanded off if we dropped them. All we could do was hang on for dear life.

Everyone on the crew knew what an ordeal it was when the saucer section of the Enterprise-D crashed on Veridian III. The thing was, the Rameses was only a third of the overall size of the Enterprise’s saucer, though it was just as long. That meant it was a somewhat more, let’s just say ‘bumpy’ ride.

“OWW! OUCH! OHHH! OWIE!” Were just a few things I heard as the Rameses finally stopped sliding. The inertial force sent the bridge crew flying forwards the front of the ship. At that point we all lost consciousness.

I wasn’t sure how long I was out, but I was the first one on the bridge to wake up. I looked around. There were no hull breaches, but from the fires burning around the trashed command center, I could see that the massive overhead lights had fallen. Fallen on someone to be precise.

I quickly rushed over to the officer, digging her out. It was the captain.

“Jad…” She moaned, blood trickling from her mouth, “Get the crew home.” She closed her eyes and said softly, “That’s an order.” Her body went limp as she took her final breath, and the greatest captain I had ever met died in my arms. All I could do was cry after losing my friend and mentor.

“Crybaby! Crybaby! Crybaby!” Baxter taunted.

“Fritz…” Vorezze smiled.

“I’ll be good.” Baxter said weakly.

A few days had passed and whatever was still working on the ship was failing quickly. Others had died and many couldn’t get their injuries treated; half the medical staff was dead and the Emergency Medical Hologram was offline. First time we need him in an emergency, and it doesn’t work. Thankfully, we still had out chief medical officer, Dr. Brian Issac.

I walked into Engineering, wearing a fourth pin on my collar now that I was the Rameses’ captain. What was left of it, anyway. Engineering was a mess of broken glass. Though they were able to shut it down in time, the warp core had pretty much been destroyed.

“Report.” I asked Commander Riley.

“All systems are offline.” Riley said. “We had to eject the anti-matter out into space, so we at least don’t have to worry about blowing up.”

“That’s a comfort.” I sighed.

Little did I, or anyone else on the Rameses’ crew, know, but we were not alone on that planet. The Tolkien system had been captured by the Dominion, and there was a base on the other side of the planet.

Vorta field operative Hanock walked into the command center of the base. “Report.” She said.

“An Intrepid-Class starship has landed on the planet a few hours ago.” Her Jem’Hadar first, Crotel, said. “We just detected it now.”

“Why didn’t you detect it when it landed?” Hanock was outraged.

“Because the Jem’Hadar monitoring sensors was playing Super Mario Brothers at the time.”

“Now wait a second!” Beck interrupted.

“Oh what now?” Vorezze groaned.

“Well for one thing, how do you know what’s going on if you’re on the other side of Tolkein III?”

“I’m a Betazoid. I got those thoughts when I got around to meeting Hanock.” Vorezze explained.

“And since when do Jem’Hadar play Super Mario Brothers?” Baxter asked.

“Have you ever played that game?”


“Have you ever wanted to stop playing it?”


“My point exactly.”

Anyway, Hanock was this Vorta who rose through the levels of Dominion command. She had originally been an intern at Dominion Headquarters for Weyoun, but for some odd reason, after a few months, he gave Hanock her own ship and a legion of Dominion troops.

“This must be an attempt by the Federation to re-capture the Tolkien system.” Hanock said.

“I’ll call for… the WEAPON.” Crotel said ominously.

“Wait, I don’t think we should use… the WEAPON, until it is fully tested. Call for the attack troops.”

“Ma’am, the troops are on vacation right now.

Hanock grumbled, “Ah hell, just send in… the WEAPON, then.”

“Right away, ma’am.” Crotel sped off to fetch the WEAPON.

Back on the Rameses, repairs were going somewhat better. We had partial operations restored, but no weapons, shields or propulsion.

I sat in the ship’s ready room, going through some of the captain’s things. I never knew that women liked porn so much.

“Captain Vorezze, report to the bridge.” Axik said over the comm. It was nice to have every system working again.

I slammed into the unopened door. Well, almost every system was working again. I picked up the nearby door trigger and opened it manually. After walking out onto the bridge, I saw what they wanted me to see. The viewer was filled with what looked like a giant spider.

Needless to say, at least one member of the crew had arachniphobia.

“AAAAAAEEEEEEEEEEEE!” My ears hurt for days.

“Thank you, ladies and gentlemen.” I said as I unplugged my ears. “What is that thing?”

“It’s a mutant spider come to eat us!” A woman named Lieutenant Delia Carson shouted.

“Oh be a man!” I responded.

“I was.”

Shuddering, I turned back to the viewer.

“Wait, hang on!” Rydell said frantically. “Was this Lieutenant Carson later posted on the Banshee?”


“And when we were doing a patrol of the Federation/Dominion border, did she ever go onto the Secondprize?”


“And she was once really a man?” Rydell began to sweat profusely.

“Why do you ask?” Vorezze asked.

“We, uhh, spent some, er, time together…” Rydell’s voice began to squeak. “Excuse me.” He ran into the Captain’s Bathroom.

“I’m sure he’ll be back shortly.” Vorezze smiled as the sound of vomiting drifted from the bathroom.

“It looks mechanical.” Axik said.

I paced the bridge, a habit I’d developed over the years. “What could it be?”

“I’ve isolated some writing on the spider-bot’s hull.” Vince reported. “It’s Jem’Hadar.”

“The Dominion.” I groaned. “Can you find any Cardassian, Jem’Hadar or Vorta life-signs on the planet.”

“There are 50 Jem’Hadar and one Vorta in a large structure on the other side of the planet.” Vince snickered, “Funny how I never noticed that earlier.”

“Well, guess whose up for a promotion next month?” I smiled.

“Really?” Vince gasped in disbelief.

“The person next to you!”

A young ensign looked up and began jumping up and down. “Oooh, goody! Wait till I tell my parents!” He ran into the turbolift, then ran out. “Wait, my parents are dead.”

I shook my head. “How long until we can get weapons online?” I asked.

“Not for another few hours. And it will take at least another ten days before we can lift off.” Vince reported.

I emulated my former captain in the words she said when we were crashing.

“Still won’t share any?” Baxter asked.

“No.” Vorezze responded.

Rydell stumbled out of the bathroom, looking pale-faced and sickly. He handed his last beer to Beck. “Here.” He said weakly.

“Oooh!” Beck picked up the mug and gulped away.

“Arrr…” A voice muttered from behind Beck as she sat down her beer.

“Please tell me that’s not who I think it is.” Beck said. “PLEASE!”

Redbeard staggered up behind Beck, more hammered than before. “Would you like to finish that dance we started?” He asked in a drunken haze.

Beck looked around to the other four captains who proceeded to bury themselves in their drinks.

“He’s yours, Lisa.” Rydell smirked. “Sick ‘em!”

“Would you come with me?” Beck asked as she got up and led Redbeard away.

“Ooooh, and all I asked for was a dance.” The pirate said jovially.

“Oh trust me,” Beck winked at the other four captains, “You’ll get more than a dance.”

Vorezze turned back to the others. “Well while we’re waiting for Captain Beck to return, why not continue the story?”

“I could give you a few reasons.” Baxter mumbled.

“That is not an option.” Vorezze replied.

“Swell.” All three said in unison.

The giant spider drew closer and closer to the wreckage of the Rameses, and with no weapons of our own, we were helpless against whatever weapons it may have.

“I need options, people.” I said, calling forth the collective efforts of my entire bridge staff.

“Run like hell and don’t look back.” Vince suggested.

“Get a giant fly swatter.” Axik shrugged.

“Plant a quantum torpedo on their hull and blow it up?” Dr. Brian Issac suggested.

“No, no and good idea.” I replied to all three. “Liz, have Commander Riley begin working on a quantum torpedo with some type of magnet on it.”

“I’ll get the krazy glue.” Brian hopped into a turbolift.

Little did I know, but Hanock was manning, or womanning as the case may be,… the WEAPON. Somehow I would have expected more from the Dominion than a giant spider, but I guess they ran out of ideas.

“It’s the USS Rameses.” Crotel said. “NCC-74657, Intrepid-Class.”

The eyepieces had the image of the section of the Rameses’ hull with the ID markings on it.

“Thank you for that wonderful observation, Crotel.” Hanock said.

The Rameses’ lower air-lock opened as Vince and Dave ran out holding a quantum torpedo with adhesive on it. The spider slowly inched closer and closer to the Rameses, sleek and black and just plain mean looking.

“Riley to bridge, we are below the spider and the torpedo is in place.” Dave shouted into the communicator above the intense mechanical clunking of the spider.

“Good, now haul your ass out of there, so we can blow it up!” I said over the comm channel.

Back on the bridge, Axik said, “Sir, we’re getting a message from the spider.”

“On screen.” I said, hoping that they were going to beg for mercy.

The image of a Vorta female and a Jem’Hadar filled the screen.

“Greetings, Captain.” Hanock said in her creepy, almost morbid Vorta way. “I am Hanock of the Dominion. This is my Jem’Hadar first, Crotel.”

“You will die horribly.” Crotel smiled.

“You’ll have to excuse him, Captain.” Hanock said. “He is a Jem’Hadar after all.”

“Enough said.” I responded. “What can we do for you?”

“Oh nothing much, we’d just like to kill you, that’s all.” Hanock smiled cheerfully.”

“Oh, is that-“

Vorezze was cut off as the sound of breaking glass echoed through the bar. The four captain’s turned to see Beck hurl Redbeard into a table packed with drunken Kazon.

“I said no!” Beck said as she walked back over to the Reject’s Table.

The two captain’s next to her began inching away.

“Pitiful Human, feel my wrath!” The lead Kazon shouted.

“Uh oh!” Redbeard shouted as a pack of Kazon jumped on top of him.

“So what did I miss?” Beck asked cheerfully.

“AAAAAHHHH, no not the face!”

“Oh nothing much.” Baxter said. “Captain Vorezze was about to blow up the giant spider.”

“No, not there! Anything but the crotch- AAAAAIIIIIEEEE!”

“Well please, continue.” Beck smiled.

“Oh, is that all?” I retorted. Vince and Dave walked onto the bridge.

“We’re ready captain.” Vince said.

“Well, I think I’m going to have to ruin your little party.” I smiled demonically. “Detonate.”

The explosion was a little different from what we expected. Mainly, it shot the spider up into the air where it landed a few hundred kilometers away. Hanock and Crotel survived, however.

It was later that night. The senior staff was gathered in our cramped little conference room.

“Captain, replicators are still offline, and we’re almost out of ration sticks.” Axik said.

I noticed that Vince was chewing on one. “Give me that!” I swiped it from him. After thinking long and hard, gnashing on the other end of the stick, I said, “Send a team out to collect food. Use tricorders to determine if wild fruit is harmful and use phasers to hunt the wildlife. Commander Riley!”

Dave, who was nodding off, looked up with a start, “I never went near your sister!” He shouted, then looked around, realizing where he was. “Oh, yes captain?” He chuckled nervously.

“I need you to get the subspace radio working as soon as possible, so we can find a ship to rescue us.” I stood up. “Dismissed.”

“I thought you said this would tell us how you got command of the Banshee.” Baxter said.

“Yeah.” Beck nodded.

“Hey, I’m not done yet.” Vorezze responded. “Did you think I was done?”

“I guess my luck DIDN’T change.” Baxter grumbled. A waiter stopped by and dropped off another drink. “Oooh.” Baxter picked it up.

“Well I’m at least halfway through.” Vorezze said.

A collective moan of despair emanated from the other captains.

“Okay, I’ll try to speed things up.” Vorezze said. “I know that you want to get back to your massages, fire controls and ballets.”

“Peter Pan!” Rydell bellowed. Half the bar turned to look at him.

“Sheesh.” Vorezze sighed.

“CAPTAIN!” Vince charged into my quarters early the next morning.

“What?” I leaned up in bed.

“It’s the away team, come quickly!” Vince ran out of the room.

I fell back to sleep.

“CAPTAIN!” Vince ran back in.

“Don’t you ever knock?”

“Come on, we need you on the bridge.”

“Let me get dressed.” I began to get out of bed until I realized that all I was wearing were my Starfleet issue boxer shorts. “Excuse me, Commander.” I said to Vince.


“OUT!” I screamed. Vince quickly vacated the room.

I quickly slipped into my uniform and headed to the bridge.

“We’re entering some kind of large cavern.” A woman’s voice played over the speakers. “There’s a lake in here!”

A loud, high pitched roar, like a lion on helium, echoed through the cavern.

“Hey, there’s something in the water.” The woman said. “It’s a cute little thing, it almost looks like my pet- AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!” There was a lot of splashing and roaring. “Help us! Help us!” The transmission ended.

“Where was the source of the transmission?” I asked.

“A network of caves about seven kilometers from here.” Vince said. “It was sent just a few minutes ago.”

Our radio suddenly crackled to life. “Starship Rameses, this is the USS Banshee.” A woman’s voice said.

“This is the Rameses.” I said happily. We had been rescued.

“Where the hell are you, sensors don’t show you anywhere in orbit of Tolkien III?”

“We’re ON Tolkien III!” I said. “I’m acting captain Jad Vorezze.”

“Prepare to beam up.”

The command crew smiled as we vanished in a flash of light.

I walked onto the bridge of the Banshee, only to find a woman sitting in the command chair who could be described as both pretty and ugly at the same time. Her nose-ring twinkled in the light.

“I’m Lieutenant Commander Charlotte Burns, acting captain of the Banshee.” Charlotte shook my hand.

“Acting captain?” I asked.

“The Banshee was just launched a few days ago to help with the fighting along the Dominion border, so Starfleet put me in temporary command.” Charlotte explained.

“The rest of the Rameses’ crew has been beamed aboard.” Tactical officer Lieutenant Commander Dan Smith said. “We can disembark any time now.”

“Commander, there is an away team still on the surface. We have to find them.” I said.

“Sir, according to this, Tolkien is becoming more and more unstable.” Chief of sciences Dr. Liz Lang said. “Given these readings, the star will go nova in a matter of hours.”

“Okay, let’s find their away team and get out of here.” Charlotte said.

“Now we’re getting interesting.” Baxter said. “Exploding suns, mutant creatures.”

“But what about the Jem’Hadar?” Beck asked.

“They must have gotten similar readings, because we had detected a raider leaving the planet while we were away.” Vorezze responded. “Now if you’ll let me finish, we can go on to 4 of 8’s story.”

The interior caverns of Tolkien III were wet and slimy. Captain Baxter, no jokes please.


Vince, Dan, Axik and myself slowly made our way through the dark tunnels. “Ten meters this way.” Vince read a Starfleet communications signal off of his tricorder. He made his way into a small grotto before entering a large cavern with a lake in the middle.

“Hello?” I called out. “Lieutenant Keppler? Ensign Shreevis?”

There was a splash in the water nearby. Vince shined his light into the water, but nothing was there.

“Over here!” A voice shouted. Dan shined his light across the lake and saw a battered looking Bolian. Ensign Shreevis.

“Where is Lt. Keppler?” I asked.

“She was eaten by those things in the lake.”

Axik removed a small item from her pack, a mini pattern enhancer. She tossed it across the lake. “The USS Banshee is in orbit. They’ll beam you up!” She shouted. Shreevis activated the enhancer and was beamed up.

“Now we can go home.” I sighed.

A tentacle reached up from the lake and grabbed Vince. “AHH, help, help!” Vince screamed.

Dan shot into the water with his phaser as Vince climbed ashore, bite marks on his leg.

“You had to save him.” I said to Dan. “You just had to, didn’t you?”

“Let’s go.” Axik said.

Our troubles weren’t over yet.

As we emerged from the caves high atop a mountain, we felt a deep rumbling coming from below us.

“Please tell me that’s your stomach.” I asked Vince.

“Sorry, captain.”

The top of the mountain exploded as magma came spewing out. Leave it to us to crash near a volcano zone.

Axik fell, and I grabbed her hand.

“Hang on!” I shouted, holding her above a river of molten rock. She slipped and fell down towards the lava.

“Vorezze to Banshee, lock onto Axik and energize!” I shouted.

I saw Axik become engulfed in a blue flash of light.

“Captain, you have two minutes before the Tolkien sun goes nova.” Charlotte warned, “And you have to get farther from the volcano before we can beam you out.”

Dan, Vince and I ran down the mountain towards the plains the Rameses was crashed on. The ground was falling out from underneath us, melting into molten magma.

I saw the ground fall out from underneath the Rameses as the sleek, Intrepid-Class vessel sank into the depths of the planet’s mantle.

“ENERGIZE!” I screamed. As the last bit of ground fell out from underneath us, we felt the welcome tingle of a Starfleet transporter.

The Tolkien sun exploded, sending out a shock wave.

“Captain Vorezze and his team are aboard.” Helmsman Lieutenant Commander Ben Rachow reported.

“Get us out of the Tolkien system, warp nine!”

The Banshee sped away from the Tolkien system as the shock wave tore through Tolkien III, demolishing everything in its path.

“Less than a week later, I was promoted to the rank of full Captain and given permanent command of the Banshee. Various other crewmembers were promoted, and all of the Rameses’ crew was given a posting on the Banshee.” Vorezze said. “Two weeks after that, we had our first major encounter with the Borg.”

The others fell silent. “Not bad.” Beck shrugged.

“You are done, right?” Rydell asked.

“Yes, I’m done.” Vorezze leaned back and sipped at his drink.

A badly bruised figure approached Beck from behind.

“Please, just let me finish the dance.” Redbeard begged.

Beck sighed. “Sick ‘em, Fritz!”

Redbeard screamed as the cat jumped up, latching himself onto the pirate’s face.

NEXT: Just what would it take to get you to root for the Borg? Are there places where being a reject is a good thing? Can the Rejects finally leave The Captain’s Table? Or will Redbeard have the last laugh? Find out in the final round of THE REJECT’S TABLE!