Schemes & Intrigues: a Blackadder tale
by Jinny W
Disclaimer: Paramount owns all things Trek, but if they can recognise it in this story, good luck to them. Blackadder & all its characters belong to the BBC. God bless their little cotton socks.
Summary: this is what happens if you cross Voyager with Blackadder. Insanity, basically. Trust me, if you stick with it, it makes more sense as you go along.
Guess I have no one else to blame for this one but me. It was my own mad challenge, suggested in a mad moment of madness, which is probably appropriate for Blackadder. Thanks go to Clare and Bodie for egging me on. Also thanks to Bodie for the great beta-reading & for the plot suggestions - especially for reminding me of the episode(s) where Balders dresses up in drag (& the dimwits are fooled accordingly.) Those not familiar with the show might want to check out this Blackadder FAQ site first. Or not, it's up to you. This story uses characters from the second series.
Cast of characters:
Queenie - Kathryn
Lt. Edmund Blackadder- Tuvok
Ensign Baldrick- Harry
Mr. Percy - Tom
Mrs Miggins (a.k.a. the pie shop lady) - Seven
A passing mercenary who looks damn sexy in his mercenary outfit - Chakotay
Queenie lounged on her throne - well the chair in the centre of her starship bridge anyway, which was close enough to a throne to qualify for the title - and shot deathly glares at the minions who surrounded her. She was in a bad mood. A very bad mood. Somebody had better start entertaining her soon, or heads would roll.
They had been flying through the dullest section of space for two weeks now. It had been fun at first, using the extra time to drink pots of coffee, eat cream pies, watch Blackadder and Melchett fighting for her attention, and order the odd execution now and then. But now she was bored. Deathly bored, one might say, with a touch of nervousness. Especially if one happened to be a crewman with a surname that nobody could either pronounce or remember.
The swishing of the turbolift doors behind her heralded excitement, and she tossed her head eagerly, turning to see who had arrived. Out strode a coterie from her royal court, each jostling with the others to reach the throne first. Melchett and Percy led the way, as usual, with Baldrick trailing steps behind them. Percy, being the sniveling little weasel that he was, kept trying to step in front of Melchett to trip him over. But he was so absorbed in his task that he didn't look where he was going, and instead thudded into the railing and fell with a plop on the carpet next to the Ops console.
Melchett hooked his thumbs into the pockets of his garish outfit and strutted triumphantly down the stairs towards her chair.
"Melchy darling", she said with just a hint of danger in her voice, "I'm so very bored. Won't you come and entertain me?"
At the tone in her voice Melchett hesitated slightly and looked around him, but seeing no way out was forced to oblige.
"Anything you say, your majesty", he replied abjectly.
In the background, Percy muttered "ugh" and pulled himself up from the floor, hitting his head on the side of the Ops console in the process.
"Ugh", he said again, then added an extra "ugh" for good measure.
Queenie curled a strand of her hair around one finger. "Who's that funny looking monkey you brought me?" she asked Melchett, forgetting completely that Baldrick was in fact her "perpetual ensign" and Operations officer to boot. "Is he a present?"
"Oh, that's just Baldrick". Melchett looked behind him, to where Baldrick was hovering next to the empty security station. On hearing his name, Baldrick stepped forward into the Queen's line of sight.
"It's me your majesty."
"What is that objectionable odour?" she asked, sniffing, and ignoring Baldrick completely.
"That's Baldrick as well, I'm afraid," said Melchett, who was quite used to Baldrick being ignored. "We've tried everything we can to fix him. We dunked him into a tank of metrion gas, trawled him behind the ship for a few parsecs. I think we even sprayed him with an antimatter potion once, it didn't seem to do much good."
"Well get it away from me. It's making me cross. And you know how much I hate being made cross."
"Of course, your majesty," said Melchett, who also hated it when the Queen was cross. (It did after all tend to be bad for one's health.) He gestured for Baldrick to go and stand in the farthest corner. Misunderstanding the direction completely, being so stupid, Baldrick instead wandered past Percy to the Ops console and began randomly pushing buttons.
"Ugh", said Percy again, rubbing his head.
"What are you doing over there Percy?"
"I hit my head your majesty."
She frowned at him royally. "Never mind that, you silly boy. Shouldn't you be flying the ship?"
"Of course, your majesty," said Percy, who in his rush to be obsequious had indeed forgotten that he was the designated pilot. He scurried down to the pilot's chair. A crewman with an unknown surname vacated it for him and, with an anxious glance in the Queen's direction, scampered towards the turbolift.
"I'm still bored Melchy", she said, tapping her fingers irritably on the arm of the chair beside her. At the conn Percy bent his head closer to his station, trying desperately to remember which colour button was which. At times like this, it was not wise to appear superfluous.
"Perhaps a cream pie, your majesty", Melchett suggested tentatively.
"I don't want any more cream pies."
"Because I was down visiting Mrs Miggins earlier..." he began, then trailed off at the look on Queenies' face.
"You visited HER before you came to see me?"
"I... err... um..." Melchett flailed.
Queenie sniffed. "If I didn't know better, I'd think you thought SHE was prettier than me."
Melchett forced out a hearty laugh and slapped his chest jovially.
"Oh my, your majesty, you are in fine humour today. Mrs. Miggins, prettier than you? Why, she has those strange metal pieces attached to her face. Makes her look like a cockney fishing trawler. And those breasts of hers look like they've definitely been..."
He broke off as the Queen's eyebrow began its dangerous ascent.
"And then," he went on, looking around desperately for inspiration, "there's her hideous nose. It's not even in the same pot of noodles as yours, Majesty."
"It is rather cute isn't it", Queenie agreed. Thus mollified, she began preening in a small hand mirror she kept by her chair.
"Yes your majesty". Emboldened, Melchett went on. "As for her ears, well they look like great misshapen vegetables in comparison to yours."
Somewhere in the background Baldrick tittered.
"Alright then, I forgive you," Queenie said, putting down her mirror. "But only because I'm so lovely."
Glancing around the bridge, her eyes fell on the empty security station.
"Where's Edmund?" she demanded.
"Umm." Melchett shook his head. "I don't know, actually." He thought he remembered Blackadder saying something about drilling his security staff, but didn't want to suggest anything that would portray him in such a good light. He smiled with sudden inspiration. "I think he said he was going to get you a present". His grin grew broader, as he anticipated putting Blackadder on the spot when he arrived on the bridge empty handed.
"A present, for little me?" Queenie squealed in delight.
Melchett smirked. "Yes, your Majesty."
"Oh goodie", said Queenie.
"Ugh", Percy said, as he swerved, narrowly missing an asteroid.
"No, no, no, no."
Lt. Blackadder sighed, watching his security teams trip into each other as they tried to charge up their weapons and walk in straight lines at the same time. This was as much fun as having to listen to Melchett prattle on about his action figure collection. He steeled his shoulders and tried to think positive thoughts.
If you want to become first officer, Blacky, he told himself, you must impress the Queen.
The post of first officer, incidentally, had been empty since Queenie's previous XO had forgotten to compliment her on a particularly attractive new frock, and found himself floating out of an airlock to the strains of Baldrick singing "We'll meet again." Blackadder shuddered at the memory. Baldrick, you must understand, could not hold a tune, and had a dubious grasp of the lyrics at best. Which probably explained why he thought it was an appropriate funeral dirge in the first place.
Blackadder sighed again and surveyed the sorry assembly before him. How on earth could he put on a show using raw material like this? Every time an intruder so much as put a big toe on Voyager, he'd dutifully send off a security team to the correct deck, and they would inevitably find themselves outgunned, outclassed, and outwitted. Not that the last was too difficult, he amended mentally.
"If this wasn't a holodeck simulation, you'd all be pushing up daisies by now," he snapped. "Or knowing you lot, missing the daisies completely and just pushing up clods of useless dirt." He pointed at one ensign. "Smithers."
The young man stepped forward.
"How old were you when your mother taught you to walk?"
Smithers frowned. "I don't remember Sir."
"And that seems to be the problem. Remembering left-right-left-right. Perhaps we should send you down to the kindergarten, and you can practice some co-ordination games with the other children."
"Yes Sir," Smithers stammered, and began moving towards the door.
"Smithers," Blackadder said wearily. "Where are you going?"
"To the kindergarten, Sir."
"We don't actually have a kindergarten on Voyager, Smithers. Though I might be suggesting it to the Queen in my next report".
He rolled his eyes. "Back in line, if you can manage that without reversing the polarity on your phaser rifle and incinerating us all."
A chirrup from his comm badge interrupted his lesson.
"Bridge to Blackadder," came Melchett's smug sounding voice.
"Blackadder here. Very much wishing I wasn't."
"Report to the bridge please," Melchett said, in an irritating sing-song voice.
"On my way", he replied, looking around the room and sighing yet again.
Melchett, although he had known the Queen for less time, was less qualified, and less talented, was also jockeying for the position as her first officer. Given his lack of skill and experience he relied mainly on currying favour. An exercise, Blackadder reflected, that Queenie seemed to quite enjoy, given that it involved presents, flattery, presents, flattery, and then more presents.
"You're all dismissed. Let's try to be ready for the next time we have an alien intruder. Perhaps we could work in the meantime on pointing our rifles in the right direction."
He strode from the room before he could overhear the inevitable question.
"These things have a right direction?"
As soon as the bridge doors slid open he knew something was up. Melchitt was lounging sideways against the security console wearing a victorious grin. Percy hunched over the flight controls, but turned at Blackadder's entrance and sneered at him briefly, before concentrating once again on trying to keep the nacelles attached. The Queen was tapping her fingers impatiently on her chair, seemingly waiting for something. But for what?
Blackadder glanced quickly towards Baldrick at Ops for a clue. Baldrick however, as was usually the case, didn't have a clue himself. He appeared fully occupied reading a tattered copy of "Boys' own". Or, as Blackadder suspected, merely looking at the pictures in the deluded belief that it was really a dirty magazine in disguise, if only he kept looking...
He cleared his throat. "Ahem."
To his surprise, Queenie leapt out of her chair and ran to greet him.
"Edmund! It was sweet of you to try to keep it a secret. But I'm afraid Melchy has been telling me ALL about what you've been up to."
"Is that so, your majesty", he replied carefully, throwing Melchett a sideways stare. "Well I've always thought you can rely on Melchett to be discreet. At least, that's what the girls down at the Jolly Jugs brothel say, eh Melchett?"
Melchett narrowed his eyes for a moment, then forced a laugh to accentuate the jest. "Nothing like a little fun between friends, Blackadder."
Edmund smiled thinly. "Yes, they say that too."
Queenie, who was in the mood for presents not double entendre, stamped her foot impatiently.
"Well, where is it?"
She waggled her finger at him. "Don't try and tease me, Edmund. I know you've got a prezzie for me tucked away somewhere. Where is it?"
Melchett's smirk, if it were possible, grew even deeper as he watched Blackadder open and shut his mouth.
"Yes, your present," he said, recovering his voice.
He leaned his right hand casually on the security console, and unobtrusively began typing Melchett a message.
"I'll get you for this, you bastard," it read.
Melchett jeered softly, then just as unobtrusively erased Blackadder's message and replaced it with one of his own.
"Not if you don't have your head, you won't."
"Well Edmund", Queenie pouted, "I'm waiting."
Even Baldrick looked up at the threat implicit in those few words. No one was ever beheaded in "Boy's own". Not until the special bumper Christmas issue, that is.
Blackadder's mind was racing, taking a rapid inventory of all the things he was at present carrying on his person. A uniform. A phaser. A tricorder. No, no, she had all of those. He was sure he had a few things in his left trouser pocket... his hand slipped in and started rummaging about, while he tried to procrastinate further.
"Of course I have it with me, your majesty. I was just going to wait for the right opportunity to give it to you with a little more ceremony. Not just by bursting right onto the bridge and saying 'here it is'."
He glanced around him all the while he was speaking, taking a survey of any objects within reach that he could surreptitiously swipe. On his console sat a half eaten packet of chocolate biscuits, a few padds on which he was composing a novel during quiet times on his shift, and a near-empty mug of coffee.
That was it! Coffee! Relief washed over him at the memory of what he had slipped into his right pocket before his shift. Knowing that he would have to endure the painful security drills, he had thought it best to bring along a snack to keep him stimulated. The drills, however, had been so frustrating that he completely forgot about his snack. Resisting the urge to crow in triumph at Melchett, he instead calmly reached into his other pocket and drew out a bulging packet, handing it to Queenie with a subservient bob of his head.
She snatched it up with a cry of glee.
"Is this...?" She opened the top of the bag and sniffed its contents. "Is it really...?"
"Yes Ma'am," he said, allowing himself a small sideways glance at Melchett whose face was now turning bright red. "I brought you", he paused for emphasis, "chocolate covered coffee beans."
At that Melchett uttered an audible "oh pooh", but the sound was smothered by Queenie's squeals of delight, which were in turn themselves muffled by crunching and munching. She skipped happily back to her throne, and sank with a satisfied moan back into the plush cushions, cradling the precious bag in her hands.
"Oh Edmund", she sighed, "I could just about kiss you."
Blackadder did his best to look modest. "That won't be necessary, majesty."
Queenie suddenly sat up straight. "I say, Edmund," she said. "I've just had the most scrumptious idea."
She glanced at the seat beside her, then at him.
"What would that be, your majesty?" he said, doing his best to sound puzzled. It was a little difficult over the strangling sounds that Melchett was making.
"Well silly", she replied, "I could make you..."
Before she could complete the sentence, and Blackadder's promotion, a bleeping noise at Baldrick's console interrupted the happy scene.
"Begging your pardon, Majesty", he spoke up, hurriedly putting aside his "Boys' own", which he had been scanning intently for pictures of beheaded corpses (not realising that it was still three months to Christmas) "but there's a bleeping noise coming from my console."
Blackadder rolled his eyes. "I think you'll find, Baldrick, that it means we're receiving a transmission."
Queenie clapped her hands excitedly, dropping the bag of beans onto her lap. "Ooo, a message. I adore messages. Put it on the big screen."
Blackadder should have known that the sense of apprehension he felt in the pit of his stomach on first sighting the ruggedly handsome mercenary was not a good sign. After all, such feelings of foreboding rarely were harbingers of positive fortune.
The man appearing on Voyager's view screen was over six feet tall, with raven black hair (oddly similar to the colour of his own boot polish, Blackadder noted), passionate brown eyes, and a strange tattoo splashed across his forehead.
"... so I was wondering whether I could avail myself of your repair facilities," the wandering mercenary, who happened to be called Chakotay, finished his plea for help, and flashed Queenie a becoming dimpled grin.
Before Queenie could respond Blackadder muted the channel.
She turned to face him, delight evident in her eyes.
"What do you think, Edmund? Can we trust him?"
"Well, your majesty," Blackadder paused, wondering whether the queen was really seeking an honest assessment of the security risks involved in bringing this man aboard. After all, she was rapidly acquiring the same vacant eyed look as she did every time Melchett's morning entertainment show played clips of the Risa boys' topless acapella choir. Scanning his eyes down the readings on his console, Edmund decided on a modicum of honesty.
"His ship is in poor condition, majesty. Whether he was actually attacked by a bevy of phaser wielding pirates can only be, I'm afraid, a matter of conjecture. But he does," he concluded, "still have a significant amount of firepower. I suggest we allow him on board, but confiscate his weapons and give him limited access to ship's systems."
"That sounds fair," Queenie agreed, too distracted by the mercenary's dimples to notice that Blackadder had given a textbook security officer's reply. As she waved her hand, Blackadder reopened the channel (a task which technically should have fallen to Baldrick at Ops, but as we established previously, he was having enough trouble figuring out how not to randomly disconnect the bridge systems from the rest of the ship).
"My officers will be happy to help you with your repairs, Mr. Chakotay," Queenie offered, flicking her hair back from her face saucily.
"You're too kind," he responded with an even bigger grin. "And please, call me Chakotay. Mister sounds so formal and ... stiff."
At the word stiff Queenie blushed ever so slightly and stifled a giggle.
Blackadder groaned inaudibly. Yes, he'd definitely have to keep his eyes on this one.
As it turned out, Chakotay happened to be even more handsome in person. What was more, he walked with the bearing and swagger of one who knew that he was handsome.
Blackadder disliked him instantly.
Queenie, however, seemed to become more enamoured with every passing moment. Her giggles were increasing in frequency and pitch - not a good sign, Blackadder reflected. He didn't know if it was the mercenary's tight leather trousers, the figure hugging shirt, or his come-and-play-with-me dimples... but whatever was at fault, it had to be stopped.
After two days of repairs, Chakotay's battered ship seemed to be no nearer to readiness. It was as if for some reason he was maneuvering to stay on board Voyager. Ever suspicious, Blackadder ordered a security patrol to guard the ship at night time to ensure that Chakotay wasn't sneaking back into the shuttle bay to undo the day's repairs.
Of course, it took the patrol three more nights to discover anything. On the first, they had misheard Blackadder's directions and spent the evening guarding the mess hall (how that mistake happened he didn't know. To his hearing "mess hall" and "shuttle bay" sounded nothing alike.) On the second they spent the evening ensuring that no one got out of shuttle bay two without them seeing.
On the third however, the patrol reported back that no, they hadn't seen anyone going into the shuttle bay. Except, Smithers added as an afterthought, for Chakotay and Queenie, who both snuck into his battered ship at around one in the morning, and didn't come out again - blushing and snickering - until six o'clock.
Blackadder shuddered. It was worse than he thought.
It wasn't however until he overheard a discussion between Percy and Baldrick in the mess hall the following day that he really began to worry.
"I think its lovely", Baldrick was saying with typical mindless enthusiasm, "that Queenie has found herself a boyfriend. Someone she can share her hopes and dreams with."
"Yes," Percy, who was, as usual, thinking of himself, agreed, "perhaps now she won't monopolize the holodecks so often with those sordid scenarios of hers."
"You mean the ones where the characters haven't bathed recently?" asked Baldrick, completely missing the point as usual.
"I mean, she's really free to bonk whoever she chooses. It's just nice she's found herself a real person this time."
"I wish some handsome warrior would fly by and sweep me off my feet," Baldrick said wistfully.
Percy opened his mouth to respond, then with heroic restraint obviously thought the better of it.
"The thing I want to know", Percy went on, aware that he was for all intents and purposes having this conversation with himself, "is what Chakotay is going to do if he stays on Voyager. After all," he chuckled, "there's only really one job available at the moment."
She wouldn't! Blackadder thought, almost choking on his custard tart at the next table.
"You mean ship's counselor?" Baldrick asked.
"Er, yes", said Percy.
It took all of Blackadder's restraint for him not to scream foul curses at the top of his voice.
Later that night, Blackadder decided he'd had enough of pacing around his quarters, and decided to nip down to the mess hall, where he could make a pot of extra strong coffee and pace over a larger area of ground. Much to his disappointment Baldrick was already there. Not pacing mind you, but sitting at the same table he had been earlier, apparently lost in thought.
"Did somebody stick glue to the seat of your trousers?" Blackadder asked, by way of greeting.
"Not today", Baldrick replied.
"That's a shame". Blackadder began rummaging in the kitchen, putting on a pot of coffee.
"It's just I was thinking..." Baldrick began.
Blackadder poked his head around the corner. "Congratulations, Baldrick. But let's not get carried away and burn out those delicate brain cells in one night", he offered, then went back to his coffee making.
"I was thinking, you see..." he went on, obliviously.
Blackadder sighed. It would go on and on until he asked. "What were you thinking, Balders?"
"Well sir, it's about those two girls."
"What two girls?"
"The girls down at the brothel. I was wondering why they say that."
Blackadder frowned, forgetting that Baldrick's mind was, as usual, running a good ten hours behind the rest of the ship. "Why do they say what Baldrick?"
"You said they say there's nothing like a little fun between friends."
Blackadder sighed. "Baldrick, there are some things it would sully even your filthy ears to hear."
Blackadder poured himself a giant mug of coffee, then sank with another sigh into a nearby chair.
"I have other things on my mind at the moment, Baldrick."
"Like that lovely new boyfriend of Queenie's".
"Yes. He's just charming", he said sardonically.
"I think its so romantic," Baldrick said dreamily.
"You think its romantic?" Blackadder raised his eyebrows. "Picking up a complete stranger, just because you like the look of the package in their trousers, then spending the next week locked in sordid sexual contests in various parts of the ship..." He trailed off. "Actually that is rather romantic."
He put down his cup.
"But that swaggering nobody is planning on marching in and stealing my job. After all I've been through. I need a plan Baldrick."
"A cunning plan?"
"Yes", he said slowly, feeling a familiar sense of dread.
"I could help you get rid of him", Baldrick offered.
"You just said you thought it was lovely and romantic."
"Well it is. But I don't know I want some missionary being my new boss."
Blackadder blinked at him. "Some what?"
"Some missionary. I heard Percy and Melchett talking about it earlier. They said that he was a passing missionary for hire." His voice took on a plaintive tone. "I don't want the new first officer to be reading to me from the Scriptures during the night shift, or checking to make sure I don't have any dirty magazines hidden away."
At the last remark he leered slightly. Blackadder decided to let that one pass.
"I think you'll find Baldrick, that they said 'mercenary' not 'missionary'. Mercenary is something quite different altogether. Depending of course upon which denomination you belong to."
"Anyway, it just so happens," Baldrick said, leaning forward conspiratorially, "that I have a cunning plan."
"Do you now?" said Blackadder, his sense of dread deepening tenfold.
"Yes, you see, I was thinking that the reason that Queenie likes him so much is that he's so handsome. I happened to overhear her talking to Mrs Miggins about his dimples. Went on for hours, they did."
"Yes Baldrick, that's all very interesting...."
"So what I was thinking was, you could make the Queen fall in love with you instead, by stealing his dimples."
"Stealing his dimples. That's your cunning plan?"
"Yes. Or else, we could just figure out a way to give you some dimples of your own. If I went to sickbay and stole a surgical drill..."
"Yes, well, thankyou for your artistic input Balders, but I don't think that will quite cut it."
"It would if we made the tool sharp enough."
Blackadder merely rolled his eyes. It seemed he was doing a lot of that lately.
"Wait a minute!" he said suddenly, slapping his hand down on the table. "That's it!"
"You actually like one of my cunning plans sir?" Baldrick's eyes lit up excitedly.
"No Balders. I don't. It was as stinky as one of Mrs Miggins stinky pies on her stinkiest baking day. But this little exercise in stupidity has give me a cunning plan of my own. Baldrick", he said standing up. "I think its time we broke out one of your old frocks..."
please go on to the conclusion of Schemes & Intrigues