Problem Child

By Amy Chused and Charles Dickson

Page 16

  Scene: Outside Scribonia's door. The crowd stands around for a 
  second, everybody looking at each other. Counselor Jiapa runs up 
  out of breath and assesses the situation.
  Jiapa: You've got him! Finally! Well, isn't anybody going to 
  go in?
  People glance at each other again, until the Insecurity Officer 
  hesitantly pushes the entry button.
  Scribonia: Come!
  The doors slide open to reveal Scribonia at her desk, and Ananda 
  sitting across from her. They both look up as all of twelve 
  people tumble into the normally spacious office.
  The child-like wonder steps forward, or rather, squeezes forward 
  holding Lite above his head: "I understand you were looking for 
  Jiapa: Yes, he's been roaming the ship and won't seem to settle 
  down and be tested.
  Transporter Officer: Roaming the ship is one way to put it. 
  Causing havoc and being a real pain in the ass is another.
  Redshirt: Yeah! An' he killed us!
  CrimsonTunic: Hit.
  Redshirt: Wha?
  Redshirt and CrimsonTunic are steadily ignored by everyone else.
  Insecurity Officer: He, well, he didn't seem that bad. He's 
  just a kid.
  Kendragon: He may be just a kid, but I want him dealt with. He 
  Guillaume: Specifically, he shredded library papers. 
  Stoops: My MUSIC for the library. He deserves to be locked up! 
  yaz: Yes, he came into my room, ruined my puzzle and broke my 
  statuette, and his only excuse was that he was looking for some 
  zero gravity...
  Metag: He even jumped up and down on the artificial gravity 
  cube, trying to disable the gravity!
  Stoops: (horrified) Did he break it?
  Metag gives Stoops a sarcastic look.
  Metag: Noooooo!
  Outside Scribonia's door again: Mreen and Topaz arrive at the 
  Mreen: Well, here we are. Do you want to go in or shall I?
  Topaz: You should go in. I don't what to be around when 
  Scribonia or Kabeta hears about this. 
  Mreen: Ok, you go on then. See you later. Maybe. (smiles and 
  waves, then pushes the door buzzer)
  Inside the room:
  Scribonia: (holding her head) Come!
  Mreen enters, is startled by the packed state of the room.
  Mreen: I just came by to tell you that the logs have been 
  transferred up, and we found out what happened to the crew of the 
  ship. It looks like there never was one.
  Scribonia: WHAT? Did you review the logs? Give me a full 
  Mreen: The kid was the only one on board the whole time! We 
  rewound the logs back to several days ago and saw him sneaking on 
  board the ship while it was in drydock and the crew was on shore 
  leave. He talked the computer into giving him control of the 
  ship, with it's help for navigation and engineering, and stole 
  the ship single handedly! He was using the computer to fire 
  phasers on the Nash and forgot to tell it to raise shields before 
  starting the attack. The whole thing was a joyride!
  Scribonia: (to Lite) A joy ride? A JOY RIDE?
  Lite: (sulking) Well, I almost blew up one of your stupid ships!
  Scribonia: A JOY RIDE?
  yaz: Wait a minute! This whole thing could still be set up! He 
  could still be a spy!
  Ananda: That's what I came here to tell you! (everybody stops 
  talking and looks at the tiny source of this passionate outburst) 
  When I accidently read his consciousness (she looks at her feet 
  while admitting that she did this) on the Hidden Valley ship I 
  didn't see anything that indicated that he was sent here by 
  anybody. He really is a child! Just a child with a big 
  imagination. I had to come by to tell you before you jumped to a 
  wrong conclusion.
  All of them mull over this for a bit. Lite sulks.
  Child-Like Wonder: But how can one kid be so destructive? And 
  what are we going to do with him now?
  Scribonia: I don't know the answer to your first question, Lt., 
  I think it's up to our ship's counselor to find out, however.
  Jiapa: What?
  Scribonia: To prevent any further damage to the ship, Lite will 
  be locked in Jiapa's room for the remainder of the time until we 
  reach the starbase.
  Jiapa: But...but...
  Murmurs of approval from the crowd
  Scribonia: We'll have to seal the door from the outside to 
  prevent any escape, Counsellor. You should have about six hours 
  to conduct tests before we arrive. 
  Jiapa: Wait! Why me?
  Scribonia: Any information you can get about ways to manage him 
  is of vital interest to the Federation, and more importantly, to 
  whoever gets "saddled" with him on the starbase.
  Cheers and applause from the crowd. Several hands reach for 
  Transporter Operator: Come on! We'll throw him in there 
  They move exuberantly out to the hall, sweeping Jiapa along with 
  Jiapa: Wait! Nooooo! 

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