Problem Child

By Amy Chused and Charles Dickson

Page 18

  Scribonia sits a her desktop com console in her room. She looks 
  somewhat worried, and is punching some keys, working on a 
  background task when the com officer's voice comes through the 
  Ensign G'O Forever: Ok, Commander. I've got a channel though to 
  HVR space.
  Scribonia:Thanks Ensign. You just earned your pay for the week. 
  (mashes a button.)
  This is Commander Scribonia of the USS Heisenberg. To whom am I 
  (From the screen:) Wha Haw! Haw! Haw! Haw! Well if it isn't the 
  lovely FIRST MATE of the Heisenberg! Looking for a real man at 
  last, are you? Well I'm ready for you baby, come on down and 
  bring your lovely Captain too!
  Scribonia: Bloocheez! What an unusual coincidence to get you of 
  all scum to answer this transmission. Perhaps you're missing 
  something? Or someone?
  Bloocheez: Lost something? Hey if I loose my damn hat what 
  makes you think I'd tell you about it? Why, a nice new 20 gallon 
  Stetson too! What business is it of yours anyhow, woman?
  Scribonia: Well, I just thought you might like to know one of 
  our freighters destroyed a Hidden Valley warbird, and guess who 
  we found inside? (fiendish grin)
  Bloocheez: (slapping his hand to his face): Oh Jeez.  He must 
  have headed straight for Federation space. Did he get ANY shots 
  Scribonia: (gleefully) He MISSED! So, I have a little trade to 
  make with you. We will be keeping Lite in custody at our 
  starbase LMC1. However, we are willing to let you come and get 
  him back, under escort, if you swear to leave Captain Kabeta 
  alone from now on.
  Bloocheez: HAW! You must be addled, woman! What in tarnation 
  makes you think I would ever go tippy-toeing into Federation 
  space for that kid when he just blew up an entire battle-cruiser! 
  If anybody ever even found out I'd be hog-tied and dragged 
  through a briar bush so big...well, you can just keep him; I'm 
  too busy conquering the universe to keep fixing all the damage he 
  does anyhow. HAW! You want a deal little lady, you just send 
  that bucking-bronk Captain down to my place for a little date, 
  and I'll send you leash for that boy so he doesn't wreck your 
  nice clean Star-base too bad!
  Scribonia: But...but...he's your nephew! Don't you have any 
  feelings about him?
  Bloocheez: FEELINGS? HAW! Try again! How about you give me a 
  nice new ship, maybe the Heisenberg -- now that would help my 
  poor hurtin' feelings-- and Miss Kabeta as my personal Ensign! 
  Scribonia: It is your family duty to take your nephew back! You 
  must come and get him for the honor of the Hidden Valley 
  Ranchers! You wouldn't want to leave a Rancher as a hostage to 
  the Federation, would you?
  Bloocheez: Sheee-it, woman! He's doing me more good over there 
  than he'd be anywhere else. Maybe he might even teach your 
  Federation kids a thing or too! (grins)
  Scribonia: (looking up thoughtfully) Hmmm. He is school age, 
  isn't he?  Well, I guess if he's going to stay at the starbase 
  he'll have to go in the elementary school there. Let's see, he's 
  about 6, that would put him in the 1st grade. Gee, that's the 
  year the kids start their courses in "Male Sensitivity."
  Bloocheez: (paling) You're kidding.
  Scribonia: (sweetly) Oh yeah? Later on he goes into Home Ec, 
  where he learns how to cook and keep house.
  Bloocheez: Why you...Psychological torture is against 
  intergalactic law you whore!
  Scribonia: I think with a little help, he can be a model 
  Federation citizen. Why...
  Bloocheez: ALRIGHT! ALRIGHT! You stay right there, dammit!  
  We can deal later.

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