Place your hand on the nearest Star Trek book and repeat after me: CBS/Viacom owns Star Trek. They rule us all. The copyright is theirs. Amen.

Author: Alan Decker
Copyright: 1993

Star Traks

A Serious Case of the Stupids

by Alan Decker


“Captain’s log. Stardate 49752.0. The Secondprize has been diverted to Bytellus III to help with a medical emergency. Starfleet Command hasn’t provided us with much in the way of information, but Admiral Farraday assures me that we are needed desperately. Dr. Singer is beaming down to the surface with Commander Dillon and Lieutenant Commander Jaroch to assess the situation and, if possible, offer assistance.”


Dr. Rebecca Singer materialized in the center of the capital city of Bytellus III and was immediately overcome by its non-descriptness. It looked just like hundreds of other worlds that she’d been to. She couldn’t find one feature that would make it stand out. Frustration overcame her quickly causing tears to well up in her eyes. She was stopped right on the edge of a complete breakdown by a voice.

“What the hell are they doing?” Commander Travis Michael Dillon demanded. “They’re starting to scare me.” Singer turned around and quickly saw what the Secondprize’s first officer was referring to. A large group of people was standing in a circle staring at each other with blank expressions on their faces.

“Unknown, sir,” Lieutenant Commander Jaroch replied after doing a brief scan with his tricorder. “There is nothing at all in the center of the circle. I have no idea what could be holding their attention.”

“Go check them out, Doctor,” Dillon ordered. “Jaroch, we’ve got to find President Voolez. Evidently, his last message to Starfleet ended a bit abruptly. Any idea where the capitol building is?”

“I believe that it may be the building behind you with the gigantic sign reading ‘Capitol Building,’ sir,” Jaroch replied. Dillon whirled around.

“Oh, good. Great job, Jaroch. Let’s go.” Dillon marched off authoritatively. Jaroch soon followed, shaking his head with disdain.

Dr. Singer cautiously approached the group of staring Bytellians while scanning them with her tricorder. They didn’t even acknowledge her presence. She decided to try to take the initiative.

“Hello?” she said tentatively.

“Hi,” they all replied in unison without looking at her.

“What are you doing?” she asked after a few moments of complete silence.

“The President told us to keep an eye on each other,” they replied. Singer then realized that all of them only had one eye open.

“Why?”

“He said that we may start to see our friends acting stupid, and if we do, we are to report it immediately.”

“Have any of you seen anything?” she asked wondering if standing around in a circle with one eye open staring at each other counted as stupid on this planet.

“Nope,” they all announced resolutely.

“Well, why did the President think someone might start acting stupid?”

“It’s been going around,” they said casually. They evidently weren’t concerned. She checked her tricorder scans. Stupidity normally wasn’t contagious, but maybe there was a stupidity virus on this planet. And if there was… she was probably infected. She let out a wail and ran toward the capitol building, tears flowing down her face.

Commander Dillon was standing at the window of the President’s office looking out at the Bytellian capital city stretched out before him. He didn’t know anything about medicine, but he did know that something strange was happening to the population of this planet. He watched as three people in the street below gained enormous pleasure from watching a neon store sign blink on and off. In one corner of the room, the President was seated on the floor in front of a pile of blocks. Jaroch stood over him observing the leader’s behavior.

“One,” the President said picking up a block. As he reached for another, a confused expression spread across his face.

“Two,” Jaroch prompted. The President ignored him and placed the blocks back into the main pile.

“One,” he announced as he picked up a block. He picked up the next, and the confused expression reappeared.

“Two,” Jaroch said more forcefully. The President replaced the blocks in the pile.

“One.”

“Two!” Jaroch shouted. The blocks were placed back in the pile.

“One.”

“TWO, god damn you!” Jaroch screamed. “TWO! TWO! TWO! NO! Don’t put that damn block back in the pile!!!”

“Jaroch, this man is in charge of the entire planet,” Dillon said calmly as he turned from the window. “Try to show a little respect.”

“I am sorry, sir. I just was getting a bit…,” the Secondprize’s science officer fell silent for a few seconds as a blank expression crossed his face. Soon, he regained the ability to speak. “Jaroch mad. Jaroch want man to count right.”

Dillon looked at him in irritation. “Hey, we’re representing the Federation here. You could talk like a normal person.”

“One,” the President said as he picked up a block. Jaroch sat down to join him.

“Two,” Jaroch said as he placed another block by the first. The President reached for another block.

“Uh…”

“Uh…” Jaroch and the President stared at each other. They soon gave up and pushed the blocks back into the main pile.

“One.”

“Two,” Jaroch said happily. Dillon backed toward the door and slowly eased his way out of the office. As soon as he was in the hall, he took off running to find Dr. Singer.

He found her approximately two point seven seconds later when he dashed around a corner and barreled straight into her.

“I think something’s wrong with, Jaroch,” he announced trying to hide his fear. This was not good. Jaroch was usually the one who saved Dillon’s butt on away missions, and now he was counting… well, attempting to count blocks.

“He’s stupid, isn’t he?” Singer sobbed.

“Aren’t you overreacting just a bit here? Not that that’s surprising. Jaroch’s a very intelligent guy normally.”

“But he’s acting stupid now.”

“Well, yes. Stupidity would definitely be a good word to describe his condition.”

“It’s some kind of virus,” Singer explained. “Evidently, Yynsians are more susceptible to it than humans. You aren’t feeling any stupider than usual, are you?”

“No,” Dillon replied. “Hey… are you implying that I’m stupid?”

“No need to imply it, sir. I have to beam up to the Secondprize. I need my equipment on the ship to isolate this virus, and hopefully cure it.”

“Isn’t there a danger of infecting the rest of the crew?” Dillon asked.

“I don’t think that it could affect some of them too much, but I’m going to beam directly to sickbay into a quarantined area.”

“Fine,” Dillon said. “Wait a second. What about me?!?”

“If two of us go up, it doubles the risk that the virus might escape. Besides, you’d better stay here and look after Jaroch.”

“Fine, but report back as soon as you find anything. I don’t want to hang around here any longer than I have to.” Dillon walked back toward the President’s office. The idea of having to baby-sit Jaroch and the President was not very appealing. He’d have to sit there and watch them play with blocks. Blocks! Now that could be fun. He could sit on the floor and count them too. One. Two. Three. What came after three? Oh well, maybe he’d remember if he tried again. One. Two…


Dr. Singer worked as quickly as she possibly could to isolate the stupidity virus that was plaguing Bytellus III. She tried not to let her fear of falling victim to the virus overwhelm her, but it was a losing battle. She cried when she had nothing to cry about. In this case, she did have something to cry about, which made things even worse.

Her scans of the Bytellians proved to be useless. Everyone she scanned had the virus, and the ship’s computer didn’t have a scan of a normal Bytellian on file. The thing she needed to do was compare Lieutenant Commander Jaroch’s file to his current condition. Unfortunately, she didn’t get a chance to scan him on the planet’s surface. Dillon would have to do it and relay the information to the ship’s computer.

“Singer to Dillon,” she said.

“What comes after three?” Dillon’s voice replied over the comm. That question could only mean one thing: he was infected too. Maybe he could still assist her though.

“Four,” she answered. “Can you help me with something?”

“I don’t wanna. We’re counting blocks. It’s fun!”

“This will be more fun.”

“Really?”

“I promise,” Singer said.

“Okay. What do you want?”

“I need you to use Jaroch’s tricorder…”

“His what?” Dillon asked.

“Can you get the large grey box that Jaroch has and open it for me?”

“Okay. Jaroch, gimme that box!”

“No! It mine!” Jaroch shouted in reply. “Ouch! That hurt!”

“Ha ha! I’ve got the box, Doc,” Dillon announced happily. A long period of silence followed.

“Have you opened it yet?” Singer demanded growing impatient.

“Oh yeah… how do I open it?”

“Just push the little switch at the top.”

“Oh.” CLICK. “Wow! Neat!”

The information from the tricorder flashed up on the main sickbay monitor. She was getting Jaroch’s and Dillon’s biological readouts which would make her job even easier. If she couldn’t isolate it in Jaroch, she could probably do it in Dillon.

“I want box!” Jaroch wailed.

“Come and get it,” Dillon taunted. Singer heard a scream and a crash. The information from the tricorder stopped abruptly. “Uh oh,” Dillon said softly.

“You fault,” Jaroch retorted.

“Was not!”

“Was too!”

“Was not!”

“Was too!”

“Not!”

“Too!”

Singer closed the channel and got back to work. With any luck, she’d have the virus isolated in the next hour and have a treatment by the next morning. With a little more luck, Dillon and Jaroch wouldn’t have killed each other and, once treated, they could help her track down the source of the virus, so it could be destroyed.

As Singer had hoped, the virus was fairly easy to isolate. Actually, she found it almost instantly when she looked at Jaroch’s brain scans. There were huge amounts of it everywhere. The virus evidently set up barriers which blocked many of the brain’s reasoning and knowledge centers. Its complex chemical structure, however, made finding a way to destroy it rather difficult.

As the night wore on, she found that thinking became more and more of a struggle. Her brain was begging her to rest, but she knew that it was the virus talking. Her studies had revealed that the virus could only bloom into to full-blown stupidity when the infected victim wasn’t using their reasoning and knowledge centers. She had been concentrating on the virus from the moment she met the group that was keeping an eye on each other. Jaroch and Dillon must not have been keeping their brains occupied. That was fairly easy to believe with Dillon, but something must have been distracting Jaroch.

Finally, she couldn’t fight the fog overcoming her brain anymore. She had synthesized a cure for stupidity, but she just couldn’t remember how to use a hypospray. In desperation she slapped her commbadge.

“Singer to… bridge. Yeah, that’s right.”

“Rydell here, Doctor. What’s the problem?”

“Cured stupidity… need help. Please…” She collapsed to the floor unconscious as the victorious virus ravaged her brain.


Ignoring his own safety, Captain Alexander Rydell ran to sickbay at top speed. He stopped ignoring it just as he was about to enter.

“Rydell to Larkin,” he said slapping his commbadge.

“Larkin here,” the android replied.

“Come down to sickbay now. I need you to help me out.”

After several more quarantine fields had been set up and Captain Rydell was at a safe distance, Larkin entered sickbay. She quickly found the unconscious body of Dr. Singer on the floor and a small vial of liquid near a hypospray on the table. She loaded the vial into the hypo and injected its contents into the doctor.


The fully recovered Dr. Rebecca Singer materialized on Bytellus III a couple of hours later and headed straight for the capitol building. She had a feeling that Dillon and Jaroch hadn’t gone far. She was right.

“One.”

“Two.”

“Three.”

“Four.”

“What next?” Jaroch asked for the ten thousandth time.

“I don’t know,” Dillon replied. “I guess we’ll try it again.”

“One.”

“Stop!” Dr. Singer screamed as she burst in the door. “I’ve come to save you!”

“Hey, Rebecca,” Dillon said happily. “What comes after four?”

“Five, but we don’t have time for that now. We have a planet to save!” she announced. She was enjoying this. Finally, after being trapped in sickbay mission after mission, she was going to save a planet.

“Okay,” Dillon sighed dejectedly. “But can I tell you a joke?”

“Sure,” she replied as she walked over to him with the hypospray.

“What do you call a boomerang that doesn’t come back?”

“I don’t know,” Singer said as she injected Dillon with the stupidity cure.

“Uh… I don’t remember. Sorry.”

“Don’t worry. I’m sure that you’ll figure it out later,” Singer assured Dillon as she walked over to Jaroch.

“You dumb,” Jaroch laughed.

“Shut up!” Dillon shouted.

“No, you shut up!”

Singer quickly injected Jaroch and President Voolez. The rest of the planet would have to wait until a large scale inoculation system could be set up. Before that could be done, though, the source of the illness had to be found and eliminated.

“Singer to Secondprize.”

“Vaughn here,” the voice of the Secondprize’s transporter chief replied.

“Four to beam up.”


“I have traced airborne specimens of the virus back to this central point,” Lieutenant Commander Jaroch explained as Dillon, Singer, and President Voolez leaned over his science console. On the monitor, lines representing the spread of the illness radiated out from building in the center of the Bytellian capital city. “The highest levels of emissions are from approximately noon to four in the afternoon Bytellian Standard Time.”

“Is this some type of chemical weapons facility?” Singer asked.

“No,” the President replied confused. “That’s our new television station. We just got the technology in a trade with our former enemies on Bytellus Two.”

“What shows are broadcast in that time period?” Jaroch asked.

“Soap operas.”

“That explains everything.”


“Captain’s log. Stardate 49754.6. President Voolez has ordered the shut down of the Bytellus III television station in order to save his population. Unfortunately, they were all now too stupid to carry out the order. We ended up blasting the building to atoms from space. From the look on Lieutenant Hawkins’ face, I’d say it was the most fun she’s had all week.

Dr. Singer and Lieutenant Commander Jaroch have confirmed that the station’s broadcasting equipment was spreading the virus over the airwaves whether the victims were watching the soap operas or not. President Voolez was all set to go to war with Bytellus II over this incident, but it was revealed that the stupidity virus was engineered by the station manager in an effort to boost ratings. He figured that if he lowered his audiences’ intelligence enough, they’d actually watch soap operas. Unfortunately, the preliminary ratings are proving his theory. I have a feeling that something like this may happen here again soon.”


Dr. Singer was sitting in her office in sickbay filling out her report for Starfleet on the Bytellus III incident. The sound of her door chime interrupted her work.

“Come in,” she said. The doors opened revealing Commander Dillon.

“A stick,” he stated as he walked into the office.

“What?”

“What do you call a boomerang that doesn’t come back? The answer is a stick. I finally remembered it.”

“Ahh. I see the effects of the stupidity virus have finally worn off completely,” Singer said.

“Yep, I’m back to normal,” Dillon announced as he turned to leave. He marched straight into the wall.

“The door’s another foot to the left, sir,” Singer said suppressing a laugh.

“Thank you,” Dillon replied and quickly left. She turned back to her work.

“Too bad some stupidity isn’t curable,” she thought. Seconds later, she broke down in gales of hysterical laughter. She was overreacting again, but she didn’t care. At least she wasn’t stupid.



Tags: Original