Problem Child

By Amy Chused and Charles Dickson

Page 19

  Captain's Log, stardate 201513: We are now arriving at starbase 
  LMC1 and are making preparations to transfer the remains of the 
  HVR ship into a parking orbit. The presence of the ship in 
  Federation space appears to have been an accident, and it seems 
  as though Commander Scribonia has found a way to have the HVR 
  child Bloocheez Lite transferred back to his Uncle. I am raising 
  the commander of the starbase now to see if we can transfer him 
  over there, so we can be well away when the C_Sick arrives to 
  pick him up.
  Scene: Bridge. The plaque reads "Is Jez alive or dead before 
  you look inside the Heisenberg?" Kabeta is talking to some 
  desk-commander on the screen. McDonagh, standing behind her, 
  tries to whisper to her.
  McDonagh: Ask them if they have any antimatter.
  Kabeta: Later.
  McDonagh: Aw, come on, just a little bit of antimatter...
  Kabeta glowers at McDonagh until he goes to a corner of the 
  bridge and sulks.
  Scene:   Scribonia and the Transporter Operator are walking 
  towards Jiapa's office to pick up Lite.
  Transporter Operator: I'll be so glad to see the last of that 
  little brat. Have you warned the Starbase about him? Do they 
  have a padded room ready?
  Scribonia: Transporter Operator, I'll thank you to speak more 
  charitably about Lite. Imagine having Bloocheez for an uncle. 
  Transporter Operator: Heh. I'll bet Bloocheez is such a hardass 
  because his nephew drives him away from home.
  Scribonia:  Transporter Operator, Bloocheez has been an 
  ass a lot longer than Lite has been around. I hope Jiapa hasn't 
  had too much trouble with him.
  They arrive at Jiapa's office and open the door. What they see 
  amazes them. The office is strewn with papers and disks, many 
  with footprints in them. Most of the disks are broken. There 
  are about 4 or 5 smashed psych tests thrown against the walls, 
  including the Wisconsin Card Sort. There are dirty footprints on 
  the walls and ceiling, and the ceiling light is missing its 
  cover. Almost all the cabinets are closed and locked, a rare 
  sight in Jiapa's office, and the few that aren't have broken 
  doors and their contents strewn about the room. In a corner is a 
  small metal chair with Lite tied into it and gagged. In front of 
  him is running the Posner Spatial Reaction Time task, and since 
  his hands are tied above the button, he is at least apparently 
  taking it. Jiapa is covered with sweat and spit and more 
  footprints, although an attempt has been made to clean her face. 
  She is sitting at the desk with her feet up reading her book.
  Jiapa: Lite, remember, when you finish that test I'll give you 2 
  more minutes of null gravity. And if you do really well, I'll 
  even untie your hands so you can fly around.
  Lite shows no apparent reaction, but the just entering Scribonia 
  and Transporter Operator can see that the stars on the screen are 
  disappearing even faster.
  Scribonia: What on EARTH is going on here?!
  Transporter Operator: Bwah hah hah. Good job Counselor. You 
  showed the little brat.
  Jiapa: Good afternoon Commander. And Transporter Operator, 
  please do not be offensive to Bloocheez Lite. We have come to an 
  amicable agreement and he is fulfilling his part of the bargain.
  Scribonia: Well, when are you and Lite going to be done?
  Jiapa: We can be done in 5 minutes. It won't take more than 3 
  more minutes for him to finish that test, and then he gets 2 
  minutes of free play. Um, you might want to wait out in the hall 
  during his free play time.
  Scribonia: I can well believe that!
  Scribonia and the Transporter Operator just stare at the rubble 
  in Jiapa's office until she warns them that the gravity's about 
  to go off and they really should leave now.
  Standing outside the door they hear multiple WHEEEEE's for two 
  minutes and then silence. A few seconds later, the door opens 
  with Jiapa holding the hand of an unbound Lite.
  Jiapa: Well, let's be off. Bloocheez Lite is quite ready to go 
  to the Starbase, and he has promised to behave himself, at least 
  for the next few minutes.
  Transporter Operator: Then let's get him off before the time is 

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