What Kind of Question Is That?

Darrel W. Beach

May, 1999
HTMLized August, 2000


I wanted to see what would happen when I took one of the Star Trek series and crossed it with "Whose Line Is It, Anyway?" For those of you who may not be familiar with the show (either the original BBC version or the more recent, bastardized ABC version), "Whose Line Is It, Anyway?" is an improvisational comedy program wherein a group of actors perform various skits (often suggested by the audience) in a "points- based competition" (if you've ever seen either show, you know why I hesitate to call it a real competition!)

One particular game featured in the show is referred to as "Questions". The object of the game is to play out a conversation in which the actors are only allowed to say things in question form. Two players would start, and when one got stumped they would be buzzed out and replaced with another player (unless of course totally unfair questions were asked, in which case the other player got buzzed). I wanted to try adapting this game into a Trek story and see how far I could take it.

This work is pure whimsy, concocted during a moment of temporary lunacy, so right off the bat you should be warned that I haven't studiously edited this or put it into narrative form.


What do you mean, I need a disclaimer? Oh, wait, the story hasn't started yet. Ahem, right. "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" is a product of Paramount Studios. "Whose Line Is It, Anyway?" is a Hat Trick production for Channel 4 Television Corporation (by birthright). The twain is my invention, and God help all your souls for reading it.

The following presentation is rated G.

[DS9's security office.  The station's lighting indicates it is still early morning.  Odo sits behind his desk staring intently at a PADD in his hand, oblivious to the stirrings of the morning crowd on the Promenade.  He doesn't even notice the office doors open.]

[Kira enters.  She smiles at the sight of the changeling.  She stops far enough away from the entrance to allow the doors to close.   Only when Odo still makes no move to greet her after several moments does she speak up.]  Odo?

[Odo looks up, startled.]  Nerys?  What can I do for you?

[Kira laughs.]  Don't tell me you've forgotten?

[Odo is nonplussed for a moment.  A pained expression forms on his face as he remembers.]  We were supposed to have breakfast together this morning, weren't we?

[Kira looks a little concerned.]  Is this a bad time, Odo?  Did something come up?

[Odo sets down the PADD, gets up and walks over to Kira.  He clasps her shoulders and attempts his most endearing smile.]  What do you think?

[Kira smiles back.]  To the replimat, then?

[Kira and Odo exit the security office.  Halfway down the Promenade Odo spots Quark in his bar behaving suspiciously.]  (To himself)   Now what is he up to?  (To Kira)  Will you excuse me a minute, Colonel?

[Kira has seen who has taken Odo's attention.  She squeezes his arm in an affectionate gesture.]  Don't be too long, okay?

[Odo smiles and nods before breaking off towards Quark's.  He slips into a mode of professionalism tailored specifically for dealing with the Ferengi bartender: gruff, cynical and highly suspicious.]

[Quark is hunched over a console behind the bar, crowding the display screen as much as possible to keep prying eyes at bay.  Odo slips up behind him.]  What are you doing, Quark?

[Quark stiffens visibly, as he does every time he hears the shapeshifter's gravelly voice.]  What makes you thing I'm doing anything?

[Odo folds his arms across his chest.]  From the way you're hovering over that console like you're trying to hide something, maybe?

[Quark presses a few keys to mute the display.  He then turns around, looking indignant.  He keeps close to the display, though, to block access to it.]  Why do you always assume the worst of me, Odo?  Has it ever occurred to you that maybe -- just maybe -- I'm not doing anything wrong?

[Odo harumphs.]  If you're so innocent, why are you being so defensive?

[Quark frowns.  With furtive glances to the left and right, he motions Odo to lean over the bar.  He lowers his voice so as not to be overheard.]  I'm reviewing my personal portfolio, okay?  Do you think I want people snooping around trying to steal any of my financial strategies?  How would you like having people watch you regenerate?

[Now it's Odo's turn to scowl.  Quark's story seems to fit his behavior.  There's no conclusive evidence to suspect Quark of committing any felonies.]  You do realize what I'll do to you if I find out that you're not telling me the truth, don't you, Quark?

[Quark raises his hands defensively.]  Would I lie to you, Constable?

[Odo glares at the bartender.  Quark wouldn't dismiss duplicity if the situation called for it, so the assurance is no assurance at all.   But as much as it would please him to worm some admission of guilt from the Ferengi, he does not have the time this morning.  Kira is waiting for him in the replimat.  He leaves the bar shaking his head and muttering.]

[Quark looks askance at Morn.]  I wonder what his problem is?

[Morn merely shrugs, at a loss for words to explain it.  He nudges his glass across the bar counter and looks expectantly at the bartender.]

[Quark suppresses the urge to sigh.  If he didn't welcome the profit he generated from Morn alone, he'd worry about the sheer quantity of alcohol the Lissepian consumed on a daily basis.]  The usual?

[Odo completes his trip to the replimat.  Kira is already seated at a table waiting for him.  She can tell by his sour expression that Quark has finagled his way out of trouble once again.]  Do I even want to know what he did this time?

[Odo shakes his head as sits down and emits a rasping sigh.]  Would you believe that he's just keeping tabs on his financial accounts?

[Kira is a bit taken aback.]  You're kidding, right?

[Odo gives her a look that clearly expresses his seriousness.]  Let's just change the subject, shall we?

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