Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Picard’s Complaint, a Fanfic

          Picard’s Complaint
          A Star Wars vs. Star Trek fanfic
by Nathaniel Hellerstein

(Captain Picard is in his ready room.)
Picard: Mr. Data, I require your presence in the ready room.
(The door opens; whoosh.)
Data: Sir?
Picard: Is your analysis complete?
Data: Yes, sir. (He hands Picard a data tablet.) Here is a complete analysis of our multiphasic scan of the large spherical vessel that we encountered near Lucas 23-42.
Picard (picks up the tablet): Very good, Mr. Data.
Data: Unfortunately, resolution is only 99% in certain wavelengths.
Picard: Why is that so, Mr. Data?
Data: The scan sequence halted when the large spherical vessel opened fire upon the Enterprise, and the Enterprise retreated from the large spherical vessel at Warp 9 point 5.
Picard (shifts uneasily in seat): Indeed.
Data: Scans reveal that the large spherical vessel is as Commander Riker described it; a weapon of mass destruction. Specifically, a planet-killer.
Picard (reading tablet): I see… Does it have a vulnerability?
Data: It has more than one, sir. Its most obvious fatal flaw is the thermal exhaust port that vents directly into space.
Picard: What?
Data: And there are dozens of other fatal structural flaws. For instance, the port laser array will short out if hit with a low-level EM pulse. This will then take down half the power grid, and with it, life support.
Picard: Preposterous!
Data: That is fatal flaw #2. Fatal flaw #3 is…
Picard: That will do, Mr. Data. Dismissed.
Data leaves the ready room. Picard reads the tablet.
Somewhat later:
Picard: Counselor Troi, I require your presence in the ready room.
(The door opens; whoosh.)
Troi: Sir?
Picard is standing beside his desk. He slaps the data tablet onto it.
Picard: It’s a scandal! An outrage! A disgrace!
Troi: What is, sir?
Picard: That thing of theirs! That foul excuse for a ship!
(Picard sits in the ready-room couch and buries his head in his hands. Troi sits gingerly next to him.)
Troi: Well, we’ve encountered hostile vessels before…
Picard (looking up sharply): Yes, yes, other weapons of mass destruction, other brutal tools of murderous intent, but this
Troi: – you find personally disturbing. It offends your value system.
Picard: Yes!
Troi: How in particular, Captain?
Picard: It’s a botch! A blunder! An idiotic mess! They should be ashamed of themselves! (He rises from the couch, paces the floor.) Every single major system on board that vessel is riddled with lethal design errors!
Troi: So you dislike… the incompetence of the vessel’s design?
Picard: It isn’t ship-shape!
Troi: And that angers you.
Picard: I expect people to have some standards!
Troi: Even your foes?
Picard: I feel only pity and contempt for the crew of that shoddy death-trap. No, what infuriates me, Counselor, is the arrogant disregard its designers have for factuality itself!
Troi: Sir?
Picard: They built their ship as if they could bully the very laws of nature! They double down on every mistake! Intelligence be damned! Force over finesse, every single time!
Troi: No doubt that’s a reflection of their society’s politics, sir.
Picard: Indeed! And along with the moronic micro-management from above, I see signs of an equally ruinous resistance from below! That… thing… is a tissue of minimal-effort short-cuts!
Troi: Another reflection of their society’s politics.
Picard: Indeed! A politics that they intend to impose upon us!
Troi: So what do you intend to do, Captain?
Picard: I intend to do the wretched crew of that vile vessel… a favor.
(Picard picks up the data tablet and marches towards the door. It opens; whoosh. He enters the bridge, Troi following close behind. He approaches Riker, gives him the data tablet.)
Picard: Commander Riker, prepare an attack plan for each of the fatal design flaws specified here. Ready each one for my command.
Riker: Yes, sir!
Picard: Mr. Data, lay in a course for Lucas 23-42. Warp 7.
Data: Course laid in, sir.
Picard: Engage!

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