Problem Child

By Amy Chused and Charles Dickson

Page 13

  Scene: Engineering Room. The setting is calm, with technicians 
  standing at various colorful consoles describing engine 
  McDonagh is giving some kind of lecture to a trapped looking 
  underling. He is waving a long pointer around in the air with 
  great swooshing sounds. For some reason he is wearing an Indian 
  headdress. In the distance, the sound of spurs can be heard 
  approaching down a corridor, and then Lite runs in as if being 
  chased. He stops and feels his face hesitantly. Then he looks 
  around and spies McDonagh and dashes towards him.
  McDonagh: Well, if it isn't the Lone Ranger. (reaches into a 
  pocket and pulls out his rubber chicken, holding it in front of 
  Lite just as he is a foot away) Here kid, play with this!
  Lite: (Screeching to a halt) What? What's this?
  McDonagh: It's a rubber chicken boy? Ain't you ever seen a 
  rubber chicken before? Be careful kid, it's slightly 
  radioactive. (Turns back to the underling) Now as I was 
  Lite: Mister?
  McDonagh: It's simply a matter of two eggs
  Lite: Mister?
  McDonagh: Beat lightly
  Lite: Mister?
  McDonagh: Salt and pepper to taste.
  Lite: Mister?
  McDonagh: What? What IS it kid?
  Lite: I'm done with your chicken, mister. It didn't taste too 
  McDonagh: (takes it) (stares 
  into space for a second, then whirls around to find Lite) Why 
  you little.....
  Lite: (in front of a console) Oh boy! Look at all these great 
  buttons and knobs! (twist, twist, twist)
  McDonagh: Oh no kid! Those are the antimatter controls!
  Lights in engineering suddenly turn red. Steam starts billowing 
  and through the din a mechanical Computer Voices shouts 
  "Engineering Alert! Antimatter venting in progress! Irreversible 
  McDonagh: Oh no! Geez! Ensign Quartz! Quick, try to bypass the 
  core reaction motors by reversing the secondary interface 
  controls! (picks up a spanner but the trick handle wilts in his 
  Kabeta (ic): Engineering! What's going on down there?
  McDonagh: It's that damned HVR kid! He started fiddling with the 
  controls and started an antimatter core dump!
  Kabeta (puzzled): But, we don't use antimatter for hardly 
  anything on this ship, do we?
  McDonagh (hotly): Well, it's still antimatter, isn't it? Geez! It 
  powers important stuff you know! Look, next time you try your 
  automatic bread maker and it doesn't go on, don't come crying to 
  me about antimatter! (hits intercom off) Captains! Always think 
  they know everything about engineering. Now where'd that kid go? 
  Nuts! Did we manage to save the antimatter, Ensign?
  Scene: On Board the HVR ship
  Mreen and Topaz sit side by side in front of the computer 
  console, from which even more wires emerge. They now go into a 
  box covered with slick-looking Federation controls, which in turn 
  is attached to a tricorder.
  Topaz: Alright, start the data transfer now.
  Mreen: Right. (flips a couple of switches) Here it comes. 
  Using a tricorder for data storage was a beautiful idea, Topaz! 
  (flirt, flirt) This way we don't have to mess around with all 
  the stupid HVR communications equipment to transfer it to the 
  Topaz: Thank you! But the best part is we can review it with 
  the tricorder while it's being transferred.   Come on over and 
  let's look at the screen. It's about at the time of the attack.
  They crowd around the tiny instrument, and from the speaker on 
  the tricorder can be heard the sounds of phaser shots, then a 
  tiny "YEEEE - HAW!"  Mreen and Topaz look up at each other and 

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