The Raven - 24th-Century Redux

By Kris Schuler and Jim Wright

I guess it was inevitable. You just can't name an episode "The Raven," and release it in October (Holloween Month) and not expect someone to make the connection between this and the Edgar Allan Poe original.

Far be it from me to resist the call...I won't quit until all the timeless classics of English-language poetry lay in smoking, parodied ruin at my feet. I can't help myself; I was raised on Dr. Demento and MAD Magazine. It's in my blood.

I sent a typical post-episode first impression to my net buddy Kris Schuler, and included the first segment of the poem, parodized for her amusement. She replied with a verse of her own. Several back-and-forths later, we had the episode retold, more or less, in neo-classic Poe "Raven" format.

I don't expect the Pulitzer people to be knocking down our door anytime soon, but if you get a kick out of it, we've succeeded. I know we had fun writing it.


Once upon a Stardate cheery as I pondered, Borg and bleary
Over many a quaint and curious trinket Of Italian lore,
Suddenly there came a screeching as of someone madly reaching
Through my skull and rudely breaching all resistence to my core.
   Growled the Captain: Nevermore.

Ah, distinctly I remember, as if it was in September
As each new invention's shadow danced its way across the floor;
At the clay I did stare briefly, though its purpose did elude me:
These things strewn about annoyed me; oh, this visit was a chore.
Then I peered into the rafters, there -- a way for me to soar?
   Screeched the raven: Nevermore.

Then that Doctor said that funny grumbling in my once-Borg tummy
Irked me -- perked me with unuttered hungers never felt before:
So that now, to still the bleating of my stomach, "Eat!" repeating
Doc to mess hall sent me, treating me to Neelix' food groups, four:
Spam, Leola Root and Snapple, and Doritos by the score.
   "Just eat that, and nothing more."

Soon my hunger became stronger, as I stood there by the larder,
Watching Neelix the Talaxian observe me through the door;
From the galley he came laughing, Doctor's PADD he began tapping,
For me to "come in" he did implore, and rustled in his store,
Boiling up a creation I did not know of as a Borg.
   "Just eat that, and nothing more?"

Though digestion I was rueing I sat down and started chewing;
Neelix offered to start brewing some nice tea from Tuvok's store.
But my meal was interrupted when a Borg implant erupted
On my hand and made me push that future drone onto the floor.
"You will be assimilated," I said to him on the floor.
   Shocked expression, nothing more.

To leave this ship and rejoin the Collective I was a-yearning,
And my footsteps were quite fleeting as I raided Janeway's hoard.
"Surely," said I, "surely this one rifle she will not miss dearly."
And I used it to stun the no-names (perhaps they will play Morn),
For I did not appreciate their disdainful looks of scorn.
   They were human, nothing more.

To the shuttle bay I ventured -- O to be soon re-indentured! --
Easily bypassing Tuvok's Starfleet measures by the score
Beamed into a shuttle waiting, blasting right through solid grating
Into alien space I fled. Instincts cried out to the Borg...
Yet a screech of terror filled me as a Spectre by the door,
   Understanding nothing more.

B'omar claims of my defiling their space grated and were tiring;
I phasered them all five; now they'd be breathing (yet still quite sore),
And I continued to the Borg, hearing their voices in a roar
Calling me, ordering me, pulling me back into their core.
Sensors alerted of a craft, off to aft (no, not to fore).
   And then Tuvok beamed aboard.

For a moment we did struggle (though some fanfic might say "snuggle")
'til a well-placed neck pinch sent that valiant Vulcan to the floor.
He awoke to find me shielded, to the situation yielded.
"But you seem to be in torment; please feel free to tell me more."
At his prompting heard my tellings of those images so sore
   Borg and birds, and fear...and more.

Tuvok listened quite intently, and then he responded gently,
"The Collective voice you hear is nowhere near us anymore."
To return he tried to sway me and his words he did not mince.
An urge to assimilate came, then receded from my shore;
Only to confuse me, scare me, shake me to my very core.
   I pledged to him: Nevermore.

When we reached our destination I displayed some hesitation
My irrelevant emotions pressed a path toward the fore.
Re-assimilation beckoned, but this drone just hadn't reckoned
On that stubborn Captain Janeway -- foster Mom and so much more.
I asked Tuvok to extend my thanks for all she'd done before.
   I would see her...nevermore.

This human fear I'd have to face until I made it to the place
Where my people would meet me and return me to being Borg.
Tuvok's voice held a somber tone: "You do not have to go alone."
This suprised me to no end: I demanded, "Whatever for?
You will be assimilated. Have you not heard stories of yore?"
   His eyebrow fluttered. "Nevermore."

To the planet we transported. Tuvok's tricorder reported
Progress to our destination--yonder Starship, partly Borg.
When we reached the homing beacon I began some flashback freakin'
Saw the final moments of my human self so long before.
I cried for my Papa, frightened, saw him dragged along the floor
   Of the Starship Raven...Borg.

I dove under the desk and shook when Tuvok's soothing hand I took;
Around the wrecked vessel I gazed, dazed, my memories restored.
Papa's experiments, travel -- for his work was somewhat special --
My sixth birthday party with cake and candles seven, not four --
But then the strange men came along with a new fate for me in store.
   Then...Annika was no more.

Just before this scene got tiring, angry B'omar started firing
At the ancient SS Raven, and the blasts shook aft to fore.
I and Tuvok aren't immortal, so we moved toward the portal
Pushing through debris to reach the daylight whence we came before.
Paris beamed us up; The Raven fell towards the valley's floor.
   My past grounded evermore.

Leonardo's workshop beckoned; Captain Janeway hadn't reckoned
That this place for innovation would console my heart so sore
And the glider, never gliding, still is hanging, still is riding
On the windless wings of vision just above his workshop floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating 'bove the floor
   Shall be raised -- forevermore!

Last Updated: October 12, 1997
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