Thursday, February 18, 2016

Liars, a Next Trek Fanfic

          A Next Trek fanfic

          Redshirt is riding a turbo-lift with LaForge, Data, and Worf. He and LaForge chat; we hear that he’s temporarily on loan to the Enterprise. Meanwhile Troi is in the corridor, telling Picard and Riker about the slave-running ring they’ve tracked to the planet below.
          Whoosh, the turbo-lift door opens, some get in, some get off. Redshirt and Troi see each other. A searing glaze…
          Whoosh, the door shuts. Both turn around, obviously upset, panting. “What’s the matter?” LaForge asks Redshirt and Riker asks Troi.
          “Nothing’s wrong,” says Redshirt.
          “Nothing at all,” says Troi.
          Then display the show title: “LIARS”.

          Both know that he’s fallen for her, but neither knows who the other one is! They hide it from others for awhile.
          Redshirt approaches Riker. “Commander, I have a problem.”
          “What’s the trouble, Ensign?”
          “I’ve been… distracted lately.”
          “A psychological problem?”
          “It’s been driving me out of my mind!”
          Riker smiles. He says gently, “Go see the Counsellor.”
          So he does.
          “It’s you!”
          Troi says, “Have a seat, and tell me what’s on your mind.”
          He has a seat, and says, “There’s no point in lying to you, is there? You know what I’m thinking.”
          “Not quite,” she says. “I’m an empath, not a telepath.”
          “So you know how I feel?”
          “I can’t help knowing,” sighs Troi. “You’re in love.”
          “Yes. With you.”
          “Could you express those feelings in words?”
          “I’m crazy about you. I’m mad, obsessed. I think about you constantly. I suffer from wild romantic fantasies.”
          “About me?”
          “You are passionate.”
          “I adore you. Just looking at you makes me dizzy.”
          “Yes, I can tell that’s true.”
          “And are you in love with me?”
          She closes her eyes briefly, then opens them and says, “I must tell you the truth. The answer is no.”
          “You’re not?”
          “I am sorry,” Troi says sadly, “but no.” She takes his hands. “I care for you, I worry about you, I want you to be sane and happy. I like you. But…”
          “You don’t want me.”
          “No. I don’t.”
          Redshirt heaves a deep sigh. “I guess you’re right… It couldn’t possibly work out between us anyhow. Temporary assignment. Unrequited desire.”
          She sighs. “How sad.”
          Redshirt says, “And I have to get over it, don’t I, Counsellor? I can’t afford emotional distractions!”
          Troi nods. “You’re in a hazardous occupation.”
          He says, “One mistake on the job could be fatal.”
          “I don’t want that!”
          “So you do care about me.”
          She says, “Yes, I do. I’m Ship’s Counsellor.”
          “And I need counselling! I’m miserable!”
          She smiles. “I’ll counsel you.”
          He gulps. “What do you advise?”
          Troi declares, “Above all, honesty, especially with yourself. Have you told anyone else any details about your troubles?”
          “Well, you may do so.”
          “I won’t tell them your name, Counsellor!”
          She smiles. “Thank you.”

          She reports to Captain Picard some of the facts, except her own name. She evades that question, and Picard does not pursue it.
          He’s sympathetic and concerned. He muses, “Unrequited love? How tragic.”
          The Counsellor says, “He’ll get over it in time.”
          “No doubt he will see reason after he takes counsel with himself.”
          “Yes, he will counsel himself,” says Deanna Troi, “or I shall.”
          Picard says, “You are Ship’s Counsellor.”
          “Yes, it is my job. I counsel all those, and only those, who do not counsel themselves.”
          Picard chuckles, and leaves.
          Troi says to herself, “But who shall counsel the Counsellor?”

          Sub-plot continues; ship’s sensors attempt tracking slaver’s activities; their location is shielded from detection.
          “Keep looking,” Riker tells LaForge. “There’s nothing lower than a slaver.”
          LaForge says, “Yes, sir!

          Troi, Dr. Crusher and Guinan are at a kaffeeklatch, gossiping about the new guy. Crusher says, “Everybody’s talking about it. He’s fallen madly in love with a crewmember, but he can’t stay and she doesn’t want him.”
          “How sad,” says Troi.
          Guinan asks, “Who’s he fallen for?”
          Crusher says, “Nobody knows except him and her, and neither one is talking.”
          Troi says, “I suppose she wants privacy.”
          Crusher says cattily, “I could re-adjust his hormone balance, but that might have side effects.”
          Guinan says, “There’s one sure cure for frustration.”
          Crusher says, “What?”
          “She could say yes…”
          Troi and Crusher shake their heads. Crusher says, “It’s her choice.”
          Troi says, “And besides, that might make him even more obsessed with her.”
          “Or,” says Crusher, “it’ll bring him straight to his senses. But it’s still her choice.”
          Guinan says, “I wonder who she is?”
          “He’s not telling,” Troi says, smiling over her coffee.
          Guinan says, “How gallant!”
          Dr. Crusher says, “What have you prescribed for him? He’s your patient.”
          “I’ve told him to keep busy, to take his mind off his troubles. Routine duties…”
          (We see him working with Riker mapping the planet below.)
          “… exercise…”
          (We see him lifting weights and doing pull-ups and push-ups.)
          “… and, of course, cold showers.”
          (We see his upper torso in the shower.)
          “I figure that might work,” says Troi.
          Crusher and Guinan nod.
          “Yeah. Sure,” says Crusher.
          “It’s bound to,” says Guinan.
          “You know what would really work?” Dr. Crusher confides to Troi. “He could get her drunk.” Guinan and Troi laugh. “No, I mean it! Make her feel looser, less inhibited…”
          “That’ll work,” says Guinan, “but it wouldn’t be fair.

          Next we see him at a table in the bar. He’s writing on a datapad. Guinan comes by, says “Hi. What are you writing?”
“Who are you?”
“I’m Guinan. I tend bar. And I listen. That’s a love poem, isn’t it?”
He nods. “But don’t look. It has her name in it.”
“And you’re not supposed to tell.”
          “In fact,” he says, pushing some buttons – beep, beep – “I’d better edit her name out.”
          Guinan smiles. “You’re very protective.”
          “That’s right.” Beep, beep. “There.”
          “Now may I see?”
          “If you want to. But I’m not done yet.”
          “All right, I’ll let you work on it some more.”
          “Thanks.” He orders another drink.
          She leaves him, he writes some more.
LaForge, Data and Worf show up. LaForge says, “Hey, what’s that? Can I see?”
Redshirt takes a drink from Guinan, gulps some down, and says, “Why not? Here. But it isn’t done yet.”
LaForge reads it, whistles, and says “Wow! Who is she?”
“I’m not going to tell you.”
LaForge hands the data-pad silently to Worf. Worf frowns, looks perplexed, hands it to Data, and says, “What is this?”
Data scans it. “I believe that this is a literary work of the genre known as a ‘love poem’.”
Worf says “It reminds me of Klingon Grand Opera.”
Data says “I am now analyzing the meter. Dee dum dee dum dee dum dee… dee?”
Redshirt says, “I said it’s not done yet.”
Data says, “If I may offer a suggestion…”, then shows the data-pad to Redshirt. “If you move this passage” – beep – “from here to over there” – beep – “then you will improve both scansion and semantic content.”
Redshirt says, “You’re right.” He pushes buttons; beep, beep.
“That was not the precise change that I indicated,” says Data. He reads over Redshirt’s shoulder as he writes. “Intriguing.’

          Deanna Troi reads the poem.
          She says, “It’s beautiful!”

          Sub-plot interjection: Picard is invited to breakfast with local Starfleet officer to discuss the slaver problem. He jovially includes 1st officer and Ship’s Counsellor, and orders Worf to assemble a security detail to accompany.

          That night Deanna Troi has a nightmare of Redshirt being vaporized by a phaser beam. She awakes in the dark, screaming the same note as the phaser beam. She says, panting, “It’s a dream, I’m projecting. Calm down, Deanna!”
          She reports to the transporter room to attend the breakfast. Picard, Riker, Troi, Worf and Redshirt all beam down.
          Double-cross! The location is incorrect, communicators are jammed, the ship is out of contact!
          Deanna Troi, horrified, cries, “That dream I had! It was precognitive!”
          Picard says, “What dream?”
          She whirls toward Redshirt. “We’re in danger!”
          The dream’s next detail recurs: the entrance collapses…

          [cut to commercial]

          The team, in combat mode, rushes towards the collapsed entrance.
Riker orders “Vaporize that rubble.”  Redshirt obeys. They pass through, cautiously.
Troi says, “They’re hiding behind that boulder!”
Redshirt says, “Which…” – and sees it.
[camera cut-action speeds up.]
[Shot: boulder.]
[Shot: Redshirt staring hard at it.]
Team spreads out. Riker asks Troi, “Which side are they on?”
Troi says, “I can’t remember!”
Redshirt rushes directly toward boulder. Troi looks truly alarmed. He scrambles to the boulder’s top.
Top view: two ambushers, one per side, squinting up.
Bottom view: Redshirt above, backlit by glaring sun. He adjusts his phaser; click, click. Then he fires two phaser bolts.
Ambushers fall. Redshirt jumps down to the ground.
Riker rushes up. Redshirt hands him a jamming device and two phasers. “They were set on vaporize, sir.”
Riker looks down at the fallen. “Are they dead?”
“No, sir; heavy stun. They were also carrying these.” He hands over official badges.
Picard says, “Beam them aboard for interrogation.”
Riker slaps his chest. “Enterprise, two to beam directly to the brig!” Up they go.
Picard says, “Official corruption. Ensign, you have opened a very large can of worms indeed.”
Troi, arriving last, takes Redshirt’s hands, sighs, and says, “You were so brave.
Picard raises his eyebrows, Worf looks puzzled, and Riker gives Redshirt a poisonous glare.

Troi takes Redshirt to Ten-Forward. Guinan is wide-eyed as she serves drinks.
Troi gets drunker than Redshirt. “Listen… have you been undressing me with your eyes?”
He admits, “I can’t lie to you.”
“Don’t be ashamed, it’s natural. Psychologically speaking, clothes are only optionally opaque!”
“Is that a Betazoid secret?”
“Uh-huh. People see through each other’s clothes all the time. Take those two over there…” She leans close. “Do you think he’s looking at what she’s wearing?”
“I doubt it,” he says.
“And do you suppose she sees what he’s wearing?”
“Does she?”
“Absolutely not,” Troi says, and laughs a bit giddily. She drinks some more and says, “I’ll let you in on another Betazoid secret. You’re all naked to me!
She looks lingeringly at him.

She takes him to her quarters. She kisses him passionately…
… then she opens her eyes wide and hurls herself from him.
“Doctor Crusher was right!
She slaps him, hard.
She rages, “What a time for you to come to your senses!”
“What was that for?” he says, holding his cheek.
She yells, “You can’t lie to me! Are you still in love with me, or not?”
“Well, I…” He pauses, surprised…
“You like me,” she says. “You respect and admire me. And now, finally, you can see me calmly and clearly.”
He says, “You’re beautiful.”
She says, “But you aren’t in love with me. You’re no longer sick and crazy about me. Looking at me doesn’t make you dizzy.
“You’re right,” he admits. “It doesn’t.”
“Then you no longer need counselling. You’re cured!”
“You’re right, I am.” He smiles. “Thank you!”
Troi says, “You are welcome, Ensign. And you may leave my quarters. Now.”
“Uh, yes ma’am,” he says. He leaves; the door whooshes shut.
Troi orders the computer to replicate a double-chocolate sundae.

Last scene, on the bridge, with Riker and Picard.
Picard says, “He skillfully captured alive two dangerous criminals, whose testimony shall prove invaluable in future prosecutions.”
Riker says, “He lowered his phaser setting in a combat situation, endangering himself without my orders.”
“Nonetheless he shall receive my commendation.”
“Fine. Commend him. Promote him. Anything. Just get him off the Enterprise,” says Riker. “He was grandstanding, Captain, and we both know why!”
Redshirt comes in. “Ah, Ensign,” says Picard, “we’ve summoned you here to receive new orders.”
Riker says, “Effective immediately.”
“Starfleet was very impressed with your recent heroism. Your courage and initiative has earned you a commendation and a promotion.”
“To another ship,” says Riker.
Whoosh. In walks Troi.
“Ah. Counsellor,” says Picard. “I trust that you have heard about Ensign Redshirt’s promotion and reassignment?”
“Yes, I have,” she says.
“Please accompany him to the transporter room.”
Troi and Redshirt leave. In the turbo-lift, they embrace.
They separate and he says, “I’m sorry.”
She smiles and says, “No, you’re not.”
“You’re right, I’m not sorry at all.” Pause. “Counsellor Troi, tell me… why do lovers lie?”
Troi says, “Because you can’t always get what you want.” She takes his hands and says, “But sometimes… you get what you need.”
They kiss.
They separate just before the turbo-lift door opens. They go to the transporter room.
He gets on the transporter pad. We see him from behind, Troi from in front. The engineer on duty beams him away.
She goes to the door and leaves.

No comments:

Post a Comment