MSTed: SELA 4/4
by PAUL GADZIKOWSKI
MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATRE 3000 series characters and concepts copyright Best
STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION series characters and concepts copyright
DOCTOR WHO series characters and concepts copyright BBC tv
THIS TIME ROUND conceived by Tyler Dion, after Kielle
SHOCK VALUE characters by BKWillis
BOOK OF TALIESIN by Helen Fayle
KING ARTHUR IN TIME AND SPACE is mine.
[SCENE: This Time Round. ADRIC is behind the bar. It is a slow night
and there are only a few patrons, all lined up at the bar: DOCTOR THREE;
PERI; Space KING ARTHUR at about fifty in sort-of Captain Kirk's movie
uniform; Space KING ARTHUR at about twenty in sort-of Captain Archer's
uniform; the Bradleyard's sidekick LYDIA; and VIVIENNE of the Book of
[All are reading off of a bigscreen tv presently in use as a computer
> SELA 4/4
> by PAUL GADZIKOWSKI
> STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION series characters and concepts copyright
> Paramount Pictures
> DOCTOR WHO series characters and concepts copyright BBC tv
> Chapter 2
> "I intend to plead Sela's defense and clear her of treason," said
> After a moment the Doctor grinned at him. "You intrigue me," he said. He
> began setting the controls, then waved Picard at the console room interior
> door. "Why don't you change? There's bound to be a proper Starfleet dress
> uniform of your size, rank and era in the wardrobe."
DOCTOR THREE The ramifications of that in intellectual property law boggle
> "Wait here until you're called," said the Doctor, and exited the TARDIS.
> On the console room scanner screen Picard watched the Doctor step out
> into the Romulan justice hall and tip his hat. The room was all carved
> stonework, even the seating. A triumvirate of judges sat behind a podium.
> Sela stood in a box Picard didn't have to be told was the dock, at the left
> end of the judges' podium, facing the podium. On a bench at the other end sat
> several Romulan fleet officers - prosecutors and/or witnesses for the
> prosecution, one of them no doubt the commander of the warship that had
> destroyed the personnel carriers after Spock had exposed the plan for the
> invasion of Vulcan. Opposite and facing the podium were tiers of seating for
> observers. They were full. The TARDIS had landed next to the dock.
LYDIA [sings] Watching the time roll away...
> "Hello," said the Doctor.
> "Doctor," said the triumvir seated in the center, from appearances the
> senior. She was white-haired, dressed in an elegant robe not of military
> cut (jurist robes?)
VIVIENNE Well, they're the jurist robes *I've* ever seen.
> though still with the everpresent squared shoulders.
ADRIC Romulan tailors can't cut patterns for curves?
OLD ARTHUR They didn't have square-shouldered clothes in the original series.
DOCTOR THREE First sign of the fall of civilization is failure in the little
> was impassive as a Vulcan. "I trust there is a reason for your interruption
> of these proceedings?"
> "Yes, there is," said the Doctor casually. "If I've my timing right,
[All but DOCTOR THREE laugh.]
DOCTOR THREE Say now!
> you've finished hearing the prosecuting arguments."
> "Indeed," said the senior triumvir. "I and my fellow judges were just
> preparing to deliberate our verdict."
> "There is a defense argument to be heard."
> "You are not a relative," objected the junior triumvir. He was a young
> man in military uniform.
> "I do not claim the Right of Blood,"
YOUNG ARTHUR This is a BUFFY crossover too?
> said the Doctor, "for myself."
> "For whom then?" demanded the other triumvir, a stout, middle-aged
> graying man. He wore a simple civilian tunic of a fine material. "None of her
> family have stepped forward before now."
> Picard saw where this was going.
LYDIA Into the potty?
> Apparently in the Romulan court system
> defense, outside of the defendant's Right of Statement, was not ordinarily
> presented; and, when it was, could be presented only by a family member,
> whose line and reputation could conceivably suffer for the condemnation of
> the defendant.
> The Doctor could have warned him. The Time Lord was going to present
> Picard as Sela's parent.
YOUNG ARTHUR What, suddenly it's a paternity trial?
> "I presume this court is as familiar as the defendant with the entire
> story of the defendant's origins?" said the Doctor.
> "Naturally," replied the military triumvir. Sela would had to have
> explained her relationship with Picard three months ago.
VIVIENNE [Sela] "Nothing like that! Honest!"
YOUNG ARTHUR Better not be now he's her parent.
OLD ARTHUR Are there hillbillies on Romulus?
> She had, after all,
> met with Picard on the Enterprise just before Picard's fleet had exposed her
> conspiracy with the House of Duras. She'd have needed to explain away all
> appearance of collusion with the exposure.
> The failure of that plan, however, had involved only the loss of some
> resources and face to the Romulans; the house of Duras and their allies in
> the Klingon civil war (as well as many of their enemies) had taken the brunt
> of the damage in that. But the failure of the invasion of Vulcan had cost
> Romulus lives, intelligence sources, the capture of Spock and the conquest of
> Vulcan. It would take more than explanations for Sela to keep her position,
> perhaps her life, this time.
DOCTOR THREE Certainly any future appearances on the tv show.
ADRIC You know, I'm certain Tamalak's lines in 'All Good Things' were written
originally for Sela. Tamalak had always been cooler and more formal
PERI Hey! This isn't alt.startrek.romulans.esoterica.geeks-only!
> The Doctor signalled, and Picard stepped out of the TARDIS.
> There was an instant uproar, and the loudest voice was Sela's. "This
> human is no family of mine!"
> "That's not what you said when we first met!" Picard spoke loudly but
> calmly, and the gallery quieted, not wanting to miss the show. "You told me
> that your existence is my responsibility, and I am convinced. Does not that
> make me your parent, as much or more than Yar and Toranus? Your honors," he
> continued to the triumvirate before Sela could speak, bringing to bear all
> his charm, "I stand before you
YOUNG ARTHUR [Picard] - Because my legs move faster than yours.
> not as the captain of the Federation starship
> Enterprise but as
LYDIA The leader of a group of mutant superheroes?
>a fellow seeker of justice."
> "Pardon me," said the civilian triumvir drily, "if I doubt you truly
> believe those are two separate things." Picard bowed to him with a smile.
> "But it is to the point: Stipulating your sincerity, is your justice our
> "Justice," said the Doctor quietly, "is justice."
> That seemed to settle the question. "You may proceed," said the senior
> The Doctor had stepped back to the TARDIS when Picard had taken, as it
> were, center stage. Picard turned to him and asked quietly - not that
> Romulan ears would miss his words - "Can I call witnesses?"
OLD ARTHUR What are you going to call them?
> The Doctor
> nodded. "Your honors," Picard continued, "I call as a witness Commander
> "You may interrogate the defendant."
> "Commander," said Picard, crossing to Sela, who was still fuming,
> "please cast your mind back to our most recent meeting. Specifically, to the
> exchange between yourself and Ambassador Spock on the subject of your
> literary efforts. Do you recall this exchange?"
VIVIENNE [Sela] "See I-Chaya! See I-Chaya run!"
ADRIC [Spock] The deceptively simple narration disguises a complex plot
involving such advanced themes as -
> Fury tempered by confusion, Sela answered, "I do."
> "Please describe it for the court."
PERI And for anyone who missed 'Unification'.
> "I tried to argue Spock into personally reading the subspace message I
> had drafted for him to lull the Federation into the invasion of Vulcan."
OLD ARTHUR First you drafted it, then you drafted him! Haha!
> "'Coerce' might be a more accurate term than 'argue', mightn't it,
> "All right, I tried to coerce him."
> "And were you successful?"
> "No, I wasn't," Sela snapped.
> "And why not?"
> "Because of that damned Vulcan stubborness! He refused to make things
> easier on himself by doing as I asked, just because his 'logic' told him that
> it wouldn't make any difference in the long run."
> "You responded to his objurateness with a deprecation against Vulcans
> in general. Is it accurate to infer that you've had dealings with others of
> "Yes." Now Sela was wary. She probably thought he was trying to trap
> her; no doubt any interactions she'd had with Vulcans constituted acts Picard
> wouldn't approve of.
VIVIENNE Such as ending sentences with prepositions.
> But that wasn't where he was going.
> "How would you rate Spock's Vulcan behavioral characteristics against
> those of the other Vulcans you've met?'
> "Oh, he was easily the worst of the lot."
YOUNG ARTHUR There's a better used Vulcan lot across town.
> As Picard paced back to the center of the open area, the military
> triumvir said, "I fail to see the relevance of this line of questioning."
DOCTOR THREE There are a lotta relevance at the circus.
> Picard spun back to face Sela. "Commander, are you aware of Ambassador
> Spock's genetic heritage?"
> The military triumvir, the room, went perfectly silent. Even Romulans
> knew the answer to that.
> "He's half human," whispered Sela.
> "Thank you, Commander, no more questions.
LYDIA What's the capital of South Dakota?
DOCTOR Oh be quiet.
LYDIA *You* keep bringing the Marx Brothers into this.
> I call as a witness the Time
> Lord known as the Doctor."
> The Doctor looked up, startled. He'd been watching the floor, affecting
> disinterest for his own reasons, or just not caring whether people knew he
> was paying attention. Picard knew better of course.
> "He's no witness," the civilian triumvir objected. "He was nowhere
> near -"
> "Allowed," interrupted the senior triumvir. That settled that.
OLD ARTHUR Romulans seem to settle for a lot.
> The Doctor had obviously deduced Picard's line of argument and was not
> happy at being called into it. But he joined Picard in front of the judges'
> podium, so that they were facing each other as if at the beginning of a
OLD ARTHUR A dual what?
> "Doctor," asked Picard, "how would you characterize the members of your
> "Boring," said the Doctor,
PERI That's why they need a Loom.
VIVIENNE That's not what Picard meant by "members".
> prompting more than one laugh from the
PERI See? I wasn't the only one to take it that way.
> "The Time Lords sit on their one planet in their one system,
> spouting their non-interference doctrine, and watch the universe pass them
> "Do they never extend their influence beyond their planet?"
> "No," said the Doctor. "Never. Absolutely never. Unless, of course, it
> suits them."
> "When does it suit them?"
OLD ARTHUR When they must go to the tailor's.
VIVIENNE Don't go to Romulans! They can't do curves!
> "When it preserves their monopoly on time-travel,"
ADRIC Two hotels on Symbiotic Nucleii! You owe me one googol credit units!
> said the Doctor. "Or
> pushes such as the Daleks to the outer fringes of history. Or preserves the
> natural course of history of the universe. Of course, most of this is
> accomplished through their meddling with my own navigational controls, that
> they needn't get their own hands dirty."
> "So it wouldn't be far off the mark to say Time Lords concern
> themselves with the dispassionate maintenance of history - at the cost of
> manipulation of others?"
> "Not far at all."
> "What warning did you give me at the start of our investigation of the
> Commander's origins?"
> "That it would likely turn out a predestination paradox."
> "And when did you tell me this?"
> "After you were aboard the TARDIS."
> "When I couldn't have backed out if I'd wanted to."
YOUNG ARTHUR See? Picard *backs* out of the TARDIS.
OLD ARTHUR No slash!
> "How would you compare this behavior to that of more typical Time
> "They would have scooped you through time without warning, without even
> showing their faces. I know."
> "Whereas yours is a more hands-on, do-it-right-yourself approach."
> "Yes," said the Doctor. He was not enjoying this.
VIVENNE Neither are we.
> As a rule he despised
> his fellow Time Lords as hypocrites. To have his behavior shown so similar -
> something that, however, couldn't have been done so easily or at all with
> his other personalities - had to grate. But he stood calmly meeting Picard's
> eyes and answering Picard's questions.
> "Doctor," Picard asked, "what is your genetic heritage?"
> The silence in the hall was tangible.
> "I am," said the Doctor, "half human."
> "No more questions. Your honors," said Picard, raising his voice to
> drown the sudden chatter, "I have made myself familiar, since first meeting
> the Commander, with such of her military record as Starfleet Intelligence is
> able to make available to its officers. The youngest cadet in your fleet's
> history at twelve, youngest to ship out at fifteen, youngest commander at
> twenty-one. A most precocious career.
> "Does it not speak of a formidable aptitude, even instinct, for the
> talents and skills required in the highest caste of Romulan society? Does
> this speak not merely of exceptional merit in the actual skills required for
> such a career, but also for the 'office politics', the 'system', the
> unofficial 'networking' of the Romulan fleet, which is the apex and epitome
> of Romulan society saving only the Senate and Praetorship?"
> Picard risked this praise of the Romulan military, knowing the odds were
> that none of the triumvirs had risen to their position without military
> service. It seemed to pay off; the military triumvir preened, the civilian
> triumvir nodded to himself. The senior triumvir, of course, merely remained
> inscrutable. "Make your point," she said.
> Picard turned clockwise as he spoke, addressing the triumvirate, the
> prosecutors, the gallery in turn. "Ambassador Spock," he declaimed, "- half
> human, yet more Vulcan than the Vulcans. The Doctor - half human, yet more
> Time Lord than the Time Lords."
> He came to a stop facing Sela in the dock.
DOCTOR THREE Don't call me "Dock"!
YOUNG ARTHUR Oh, for a moment there I thought the author was going to go
Picard's whole summing-up without interrupting it.
PERI I guess he just found nothing funny in it.
LYDIA I know I didn't.
> "Commander Sela - half
> He turned to the judges again. "I submit, your honors, that human blood
> is not a dilutant but a catalyst!
PERI Wow! Humanism in STAR TREK! Who'd'a thought.
> I submit that the defendant embodies the
> people of Romulus as has none ever before her. Sela *is* the Romulan
> "And if you condemn her for treachery," Picard pronounced, "you condemn
> After a few seconds the gallery burst into applause.
> The senior triumvir waited until the noise had spent itself before
> speaking. "A most unusual defense, Picard. I had not thought when awaking
YOUNG ARTHUR How about since then?
> to be lectured in this court on what makes a Romulan, by a human - nor
> to discover that the essential element is humanity."
> "Then perhaps, in a figurative rather than literal sense, your honor,"
> conceded Picard.
> She regarded Picard expressionlessly while the translators processed
> that, then nodded. "Your defense is ended.
VIVIENNE Go in peace.
> The Right of Blood no longer
> lends you protection as a seeker of justice, and even the Doctor cannot
> persuade me to suffer a Starfleet captain in this court for any longer. You
> are dismissed; you may discover the outcome of your defense by means of your
> vaunted Starfleet Intelligence."
> Picard bowed. "Most fair, your honors. I thank you for your attention,
> and beg only a moment more of your indulgence to take leave of
ADRIC My senses.
> Picard wondered what he was going to say to this foster kinsman he'd
> suddenly acquired
YOUNG ARTHUR "Hello, foster kinsman"?
> , but she didn't allow him the luxury of deciding for
> himself. "Why did you do this?" Sela demanded as he approached.
> "Because I believe that the human way is justice," said Picard.
> Sela stared at him a moment, then sat back in her chair. "Hah," she
> said scornfully.
> "And you know that I do," he added, "or you wouldn't have attempted to
> use my sense of responsibility as a weapon against me at our first meeting."
> "Your argument here was specious.
ADRIC Okay, but was it phylum and genus?
LYDIA [to ADRIC] Maybe Nyssa's right about you.
> I told you, all that was human in me
> died with my mother."
> Picard ignored what she said and addressed what he believed the real
> issue. "Sela, you were a child. Your mother's death was *not your fault*."
> Sela only glared back at him, but somehow Picard sensed a shift from
> defiance to a vulnerable confusion. "I don't understand what you want."
> "What every parent wants,"
PERI Isn't that a Mel Gibson movie?
> said Picard without hesitating. "I want you
> to be happy."
OLD ARTHUR [sings] But I won't be happy ...
> Again, with no visual cue, Picard sensed a shift in her mood, this time
> to urgency. She leaned forward and spoke tightly in a low voice. "Then tell
> me: Is Spock still on Romulus?"
> It was either a plea for help
LYDIA "Get me out of this story!"
VIVIENNE Almost over.
> - for the mentor Picard could not, for
> astrographic and political distance, be - or a test of Picard's loyalties, a
> challenge to trust her with information that would be most useful to her
> superiors. Picard couldn't tell which. Even if it was a plea, Sela must make
> it sound a challenge, for despite her conspiratorial whisper Picard had no
> doubt everything they said was being overheard.
> "Yes," he said.
PERI Isn't that that hair removal cream on tv?
> "... Not that I don't personally believe the entire Roluman government
> and military *deserves* to be condemned for treason against the other powers
> and by extension against its own people," Picard summed up, "but to say so
> would have been neither politic nor to my purposes."
> "What do you think Sela will do?" Guinan asked.
> "I don't know," said Picard frankly.
> This time Guinan had joined Picard in his ready room.
YOUNG ARTHUR Joined him to what?
> But she had
> brought the tea (fresh again).
> "My intent," Picard explained, "was to create for Sela the maximum
> number of options for her future. I think in the main I succeeded. Even if
> she were stripped of her honors, I hope I suggested that Romulus is not the
> whole quadrant. But I don't know her well enough personally to say which
> option she will choose."
> "Then it was a pretty big risk letting her know Spock is still there."
> Picard shook his head. "The Romulans know Spock of old - I only
> confirmed what their high command must already have guessed. In asking me
> about Spock, Sela was really saying something else. Or at least I hope so."
> "Saying what?"
DOCTOR THREE "Break the ball in the handle of her cane."
OLD ARTHUR Like anyone's going to get that.
> "That with my arguments before the triumvirate I'd made her see Romulan
> society the way the rest of the galaxy has seen it for the last hundred years
> - treacherous and duplicitous, with their cloaking devices, conspiracies and
> sneak attacks. That she sees it's truly time for that to be put aside, and
> then for Vulcan-Romulan unification.
LYDIA Maybe that's why she wants Spock. She wants to unify with him.
PERI [Butthead] Huh-huh.
DOCTOR THREE [to PERI] Goodness. Haven't seen a 'Beavis & Butthead' allusion
VIVIENNE That *is* a goodness.
> That she's willing to embrace her human
LYDIA Or Spock's.
> after denying it all her life, just like Spock. That she's ready to
> understand that a four-year-old child wasn't responsible for her mother's
> death. ...One or more of the above."
> "Perhaps," said Guinan. "What if she doesn't? What if she hunts Spock
> down, like a good little Romulan soldier?"
> Picard shrugged. "Spock can take care of himself or I wouldn't have
> allowed him to stay."
> Guinan shook her finger at him. Picard knew that wasn't what she'd been
> asking; but he just sipped his tea, and she didn't press.
> The Doctor had warned him there would be consequences, and had been
> right, and Picard was going to need some time to adjust. Picard hadn't known
> what he was getting into, but he had known he hadn't known and done it
> anyway. That, a lifetime of outside observation had already suggested to
> him, was how parenthood usually worked.
OLD ARTHUR Say, you wouldn't guess that the author of this paragraph was a
stepparent, would you?
YOUNG ARTHUR Who says I wouldn't?
> THE END
> There's a sequel to this story called 'Tasha'.
DOCTOR THREE Wonder who that's about.
[The monitor screen goes blank.]
YOUNG ARTHUR Well, that was an interesting way to pass an evening at the
LYDIA And to write another MSTing without inventing another way to stage a
MST3K crossover with DOCTOR WHO or with KING ARTHUR IN TIME AND SPACE.
DOCTOR THREE The invention exchange business tends to stump him.
OLD ARTHUR [draining his glass] It's been fun, people, but I have a wife and
kingdom at home.
[ALL make farewell noises and start shuffling off toward the door,
except for ADRIC behind the bar.]
DOCTOR THREE [to ADRIC as the others exit] Need someone to stick around, in
case Nyssa drops by?
ADRIC No thanks. If it's crossover guy writing, she won't.
[DOCTOR THREE nods and leaves.
[After a moment MORGAN LE FEY of KING ARTHUR IN TIME AND SPACE enters.
She is dressed in a shapeless robe with a large circular headpiece, and
is leading a slender bald man in aser-reflective armour styled very like
a TNG Starfleet uniform.]
MORGAN LE FEY Adric! This is Sir Lohengrin the Grail Knight. Set him up with
ADRIC [after looking hard at LOHENGRIN] Earl Grey tea?
LOHENGRIN [as he and MORGAN sit at the bar] That sounds somehow appropriate.
[ADRIC goes to what looks like a STAR TREK replicator behind the bar and
- without seeming to input any command verbally or otherwise - retrieves
from it a tray holding a teapot steaming at its spout and two
ADRIC [as MORGAN pours, to LOHENGRIN] Not to go all Polly on you, but you
were in the KAITAS version of the WHO-BUFFY-TNG crossover, weren't you?
LOHENGRIN And my Evilspace counterpart was in 'Quondam Futurusque', where he
got to work with your KAITAS analog, didn't he?
ADRIC Not really. Pelleas looks like me, but in that story he was analog to
MORGAN [finished pouring] There, captain. Drink up and tell me all about it.
LOHENGRIN [sips his tea first] Well, after our visit to the Roman attack on
the Saxon colony, I persuaded Nimue to take me to Constantinople, where
I pleaded Elsa's defense at her treason trial for the failure of the
invasion of Benwick, and admitted to her that Lancelot's still on
> "That's not what you said when we first met!"
Paul Gadzikowski, email@example.com since 1995
Just because fanfiction is escapism, doesn't mean that everyone involved
with it is involved with it to move *away* from *something else*.
Part Zero - Part One - Part Two - Part Three