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Animated Earth Chronicles: The Legend of Darla Dimple


    I felt myself waking up. I saw a fair-skinned and fair-haired human in a kind of Starfleet uniform I did not recognize, but I did recognize the orange-furred cat standing next to him. Or did I? I could just as easily had confused him for the fatigue I was feeling as I woke up from cryostasis. So, I asked the only logical question I could ask at that particular moment:
    "Where am I?"
The human in the Starfleet uniform said, "You are aboard a Cylon Base Star. Who are you?" he asked.
    "Ensign Sito Jaxa, USS Enterprise NCC-1701-D," I said. "And you?"
The human frowned for a moment, then gave his name and posting. "Captain William Todman, Starfleet Intelligence. Now, let's go! The crew of Voyager need our help!" As I watched Captain Todman take his leave I noticed the rest of  his team-from which I recognized not only the orange cat, but a white cat as well. I was still waking up, so I dismissed the recognition and  went down the Cylon corridor, to catch up with Captain Todman,

    "Captain, when I mentioned the Enterprise-D, you frowned. Why?"
    "Twelve years have passed since you were captured in the mission with Joret Dal," Todman replied. "A year after you were apparently lost, the Enterprise-D was destroyed in orbit of planet Viridian III. If we get home, I'll make sure you're brought up to date."
    "Over here!" the orange cat called to us. I was  fully awake now and realized I was looking at Daniel Goldsmith, whom I had seen in the visions I had described to Counselor Troi. Danny pointed to a Cylon docking hatch. Captain Todman was about to start the pressurization cycle when the white cat-Sawyer Dumas, although based on the gold ring on her finger I could now call her Sawyer Goldsmith-put her hand on Todman's wrist.
    "I'm reading massive amounts of a Cylon neurotoxin in there. It can be countered by Federation neurozine gas, but we need to get to Voyager's Bridge to vent it!" Sawyer said. Captain Todman went to a supply drawer and pulled out six rebreathers. He handed one to each of us, leaving the final one for himself. As soon as we put on the rebreathers, we made our way onto the USS Voyager. As soon as we reached the Bridge, I remembered what I read of the Intrepid-class of starship and made my way to the OPS console.
    "Venting neurozine gas to all decks," I said. The Voyager's real Bridge crew began to stir as the neurozine gas began to counter the Cylon neurotoxin.
    "Air is safe to breathe," I said when the message appeared on the displays. Captain Todman took off his rebreather and turned to Sawyer, who had assumed Tactical.    
    "Mr. Goldsmith, target the docking clamps. Quantum torpedoes, full spread. Dispersal pattern: Sierra. And, fire!" Todman commanded.
    "Aye, Captain," Sawyer said.

    I had heard rumors of the development of a new kind of torpedo before I was captured, but I had never seen them in action, until now. On the main viewscreen, seven blue-colored flashes slammed into the Cylon docking arm, destroying it.
    "Mr. Yuki, set course to rendezvous with the Galactica. Ensign Sito, when we're within range, hail the Galactica. Tell Admiral Adama to launch a full attack compliment," Todman said.
    "Aye, sir," the brown-haired human dressed in red at the Helm and I acknowledged. A few minutes later, the Voyager's real Bridge crew had resumed their stations, leaving Captain Todman, the rescue team and I to watch as the Cylon Base Star detonated under the sustained fighter assault by the fleet Voyager had rendezvoused with. The man in the Captain's chair smiled.
    "Mr. Paris, set landing course for the Presidio. Mr. Kim, inform Admirals Janeway and Uhura of our success," he said.
The Helmsman nodded, while the Asian man who replaced me at OPS said, "Aye, sir."

Thirty minutes later, Voyager landed at the Presidio, the ancient military base which now served as the base of all of Starfleet operations. We resolved from the transporter beam as Admiral Nyota Uhura came out to greet us.
    "Welcome home, Captain," she said.
    "Thank you, sir," Captain Todman said.
    "Captain Todman, I have said it before, and I'll say it again: you are the best operative I have ever trained, which makes my next announcement all the more exciting," Uhura said as she stepped up to Todman. "This morning, I tendered my resignation from Starfleet and recommended to President Roslin that you be promoted to Admiral and replace me. A few minutes ago, the word came through."
Uhura smiled as she began to take the four ranking pips off of William's collar.
    "As my final duty and privilege in my long, long Starfleet career, I hereby promote William Henderson Todman to the rank of Vice Admiral, with the rights and privileges thereto."
She thenremoved her own Admiral's insignia and placed it on William's collar.
    "Congratulations, Admiral Todman," Danny said.
    "Thanks, Danny," William said. "Now, let's head back to Pallet Town. We have a wedding to go to." William tapped his commbadge. "Todman to Voyager. Seven to beam up." We dissolved in the beam.
    A few hours later, Voyager took off, bound for Pallet Town. In my visitor's quarters, I sat, wearing my new uniform and reading over the materials the newly-promoted Admiral Todman had provided to bring me up to date on the events of the previous twelve years. The section on the Dominion War was especially difficult for me to read. The door chime sounded.
    "Come in," I said.
Admiral Todman walked in, followed by some old friends.
    "Sam! Alyssa! Taurik!"
Sam Lavelle, now a Lieutenant Commander, smiled and hugged me.
    "When Admiral Janeway contacted us and told us that you were alive, I didn't believe her. But, seeing you again..." Sam hugged me again. Commander Alyssa Ogawa did the same.
    "Sito, I have to thank you," she said. "Shortly after you were 'lost,' Andrew and I got married!"
    "Congratulations, Commander Powell," I said.
    "I kept the name Ogawa," Alyssa said.
Taurik stepped forward and gave me the "live long and prosper" salute.
    "Peace and long life, Ensign Sito. It is agreeable to see you again after all this time," he said. I returned the salute.
    "Live long and prosper, Commander Taurik," I said.
    "I wanted everyone here to hear this," William said as he brought the PADD he was holding to viewing range. "'Let it be known that as of Stardate 60034.5 and retroactive to Stardate 47609.5, Ensign Sito Jaxa is promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Junior Grade with all the rights and privileges thereto. Signed, Vice Admiral William Todman, Starfleet Command.'"
William put a blacked-out rank pip on my collar.
    "Thank you, sir," I said before deciding "to hell with decorum" and kissed William on the lips.
    "I love you, William," I said when the kiss broke. Sam and Alyssa gasped, while Taurik simply cocked an eyebrow.

    A few days later, I was preparing to attend the wedding of a man named Ashton Ketchum, who was a member of the now-Admiral Todman's rescue team. I was almost finished dressing when a voice came on the comm.
   "Paris to Sito."
I smiled as I tapped my commbadge. "Sito here," I said.
    "Report to Main Shuttlebay," Paris said.
    "On my way," I said. Tapping the badge again to close the channel, I finished donning my new uniform jacket, then left my quarters.

As I arrived in the shuttlebay, I saw William leaning against a shuttle, reading a PADD. When he saw me, he gestured for a crewman to raise the shuttlebay door, which was safe to do since Voyager was in a Class-M atmosphere. After William and I cleared the door, it came down behind us.
    "Sito, since we rescued you on the Cylon Base Star, I have felt something in my life change. A hole in my heart, if you will. And when you came into my life, the hole was filled. I hope you feel the same," William said.
    "Yes, I do," I said, and then added. "I do not feel, however, that it is appropriate for me, a Lieutenant, to have a romantic relationship with a superior officer."
    "Oh, come off it, Sito!" William exclaimed. "If two people are in love, let them be. We may be at opposite ends of the rank scale, but that's when we're on duty. And since we are Starfleet Intelligence now, we can basically say when we work."
It was then that, as humans like William would say, he popped the question.
    "Sito Jaxa, will you marry me?" he asked. As if on cue, a blue and white flying Pokémon landed on the fantail with blue and white case securely in its beak. William retrieved the case.
    "Thank you, Latios," William said as he petted the Pokémon on the head. Latios cooed, then soared back into the sky. William opened the case, revealing a gold and diamond ring. I nodded, then removed my Bajoran earring and put it on William's ear as he put the ring on my finger. In Bajoran society, when a girl receives a marriage proposal, she gives her earring-the symbol of her family-to her suitor an indication that she accepted the proposal. William broke into a smile as he tapped his commbadge.
    "Todman to Transporter Room 3. Two to beam directly to Holodeck 2."
The transporter beam claimed us. As it did, I suddenly had an eerie feeling- unrelated to the transporter, but a feeling I'd had before-when I had a vision of Darla Dimple. This time the feeling was stronger than ever before. It was as if Darla Dimple was here.

    On the Holodeck, the wedding of Ashton Ketchum and Misty Williams had began. Voyager's captain, Chakotay-acting as father of the bride-escorted Misty down the aisle. When Misty and Ash stepped up to the lectern, William began the ceremony.
    "True love can take many forms and change many lives. It is this essence of true love that binds us all. It binds Daniel and Sawyer Goldsmith. It binds myself and Sito Jaxa. And tonight, it will bind two more loving souls. And so, we are gathered here tonight to join Ashton James Ketchum and Misty Annabeth Williams in the greatest bond one can experience in life-the bond of matrimony. If anyone present amongst us tonight has a valid reason for these two souls to not be joined, let them speak now, or forever hold their peace,".

    Voyager shook as four towers of crimson transporter energy-Klingon, I determined-resolved into four figures: a girl with short blond hair, a boy with long black hair and two people I instantly recognized from the visions as Darla Dimple and her gigantic bodyguard, Max. Ash obviously recognized the blond-haired girl and the black-haired boy.
    "Cassidy! Butch!" Ash exclaimed.
    "Hello, twerp," the girl Ash called Cassidy said. "We have a proposition for you: a three-on-three Pokémon battle. If your team wins-oh, and you cannot participate, Ash-we will leave and you can resume this wedding. If we win, not only must you and Misty break up, but you must hand that Pikachu over to us. You have ten minutes to choose your team."
Ash stepped forward. "I already have chosen. Admiral Todman, Lieutenant Sito and Ensign Goldsmith"--referring to Danny, whom, like Ash, had been granted a field commission in Starfleet. "They will defend me, Misty and Pikachu."

    I smiled as Darla gulped. Evidentially, she had visions of me, as well.
    "Hello, Darla," I said. Turning to Danny and William, I revealed the truth of the existence of Darla Dimple."20 years ago, we were a single entity. A horrible accident on the set of Darladdin and Her Magic Lamp separated me into the two individuals you see before you today."
    "I see," Danny said, taking a while to assimilate the truth: that his hated rival in the events of almost a decade before was originally as nice as he was. "What happened?"
I quickly described to him how the electric wire touched the water in the "A" Tank during the swimming sequence, as well as how I started to remember the life I once had. As I talked I had moved over to the lectern and picked up Ash's Pikachu.
    "I figure that Ash's Pikachu, using Thunder attack, puts out about 10,000 volts," I said. It was then that I realized why Cassidy denied Ash permission to participate in the three-on-three battle. "That's why you don't want Ash to participate in the battle isn't it? If Pikachu uses Thunder in our vicinity, the shock could cause us to merge into a single being again."
    "Well, I have an idea," William said as he stepped between me and Danny. "If we win, in addition to allowing us to proceed with the wedding, Darla must consent to a merger with Lieutenant Sito."
    "Agreed," Darla said. "Computer, randomly select three Pokémon stadium configurations-rock field, grass field, etc.,"
William said. "First field, now!"

    The church dissolved into a Pokémon battle stadium with scoreboard. The symbol of Team Rocket, a red R, and the Starfleet delta appeared on the screen. Tillie Hippo, another person I recognized from the visions, stepped up to the referee's podium.
    "Our first field will be an ice field," she said. "Computer, randomly select a member of Team Rocket and a member of Team Victory to compete in the first round."
The images of Cassidy and Danny replaced their respective teams' symbols.
    "Cassidy of Team Rocket and Ensign Daniel Goldsmith of Team Victory, step forward," Tillie said. "This will be a two-on-two battle, with the trainers able to exchange at any time. Best two out of three falls wins the battle. Begin!"
William pulled me and Ash aside. Evidentially, William believed as I did that Team Rocket was going to try to cheat to win the battle, so he was planning something.
    "Sito, think back to the accident on the Darladdin set 20 years ago. How long was the wire in contact with the tank before you blacked out?" William asked.
    "30 seconds, at least," I said.
William turned to the entrance to the fake Pokémon stadium. "Computer, on the command 'Initiate Conversion Beta,' remove any surface under the feet of Darla Dimple and Lieutenant Sito, causing them to fall into a pool of water," William said. "This command cannot be countermanded, except by myself." The computer beeped in acceptance of William's command.
Ash then turned to Pikachu. "Pikachu, when William calls for help from Sickbay, use Thunder. Your targets are Darla Dimple and Lieutenant Sito," he said. Pikachu nodded, accepting it's master's command.
    "Now, let's get back to the battle," William said. "I wanna see how Danny is doing."

    Not too well, it turned out. As we re-entered the stadium, we saw that Danny's scoreboard portrait was blacked out, indicating that Cassidy had won the first fall. The computer created a grass field for the second fall and chose Butch and William as the competitors. Butch sent out a Marowak. William reached for a Pokéball from a cart that Ash wheeled out to the field.
    "Any last words, Admiral?" Butch said with a snide tone.
William glanced at Ash and Misty, then turned back to face Butch. "Yes. I have exactly four words," William said.
I smiled to myself, knowing what was about to happen.
William held up four fingers. One by one, he tucked them back into a fist as he said, "Computer, initiate Conversion Beta."
I felt the ground under my feet dissolve, sending me into a pool of water. An astonished Darla fell into her own pool of water. As the pools merged, William tapped his commbadge. "Todman to Sickbay. Medical emergency in Holodeck 2!"
With that, Ash sent Pikachu into the water. Darla shook her head wildly, as if to say, "No! Don't do this!"
I just smiled back at her.  "As the Borg say, 'Resistance is futile.'"
The final thought I had before the blackness claimed me was of the first vision I had of Darla: the curly blond-haired girl in the harem suit that I saw in the matter stream between my ship and the Academy evac station after the Nova Squadron Incident.

Finally, the blackness came....

Next time..
Was the operation successful?
Oh, come on! Those who have really been reading know better by now!