CBS/Viacom/Paramount is the owner of all things Star Trek. They have the copyright to several of the items in this story. Thanks, guys. The rest, however, is mine. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or not.

Author: Alan Decker
Copyright: 1993

Star Traks

Reason to Panic

by Alan Decker

The bridge of the Secondprize was silent except for the occasional blips of computers and the ever-present hum of the starship’s powerful engines. Commander Travis Dillon sat in the command chair impatiently watching space go by. A comm was supposed to have arrived for him three minutes ago. He checked the chronometer displayed on the status panel on the left arm of the chair. Make that three minutes and thirty-five seconds ago. If there was one thing Dillon couldn’t stand, it was tardiness. Under normal circumstance, when the comm finally came, he would give the sender a verbal thrashing that they’d never forget. This comm was from his mother, though, so he wouldn’t be thrashing anyone. He tried to relax, but it just wasn’t happening.

“We’re receiving an incoming hail, Commander,” Lieutenant Lisa Beck said twelve point seven seconds later.

“On screen,” Dillon said, leaping out of the command chair with such force that he almost barreled right into Ensign Emily Sullivan at the navigation console. The star field on the viewscreen vanished and was instantly replaced with the image of a kind-looking woman with light brown hair that was being overcome with grey. Her face lit up upon seeing Travis.

“Hello, dear,” the woman said smiling. “How are you?”

“I’m fine, Mom,” Dillon replied. “How’s the trip going?”

“Oh, it’s fine, but I wish that the moron piloting this thing wouldn’t insist on flying through every asteroid belt from Starbase Fifty-nine to the Secondprize.” Lieutenant Beck suppressed a laugh. She wasn’t sure what she expected from the woman who produced Travis Dillon, but she seemed pretty normal so far.

“That ‘moron’ is a highly trained Starfleet officer, Mother,” Dillon said. “I’m sure that he is piloting the runabout per regulations.”

“Then the regulations need an overhaul, Travis.”

“Never mind the regulations. When will you be arriving?”

“Well, assuming there aren’t any more meteorite slalom courses between here and there, it should be about two days from now,” Mrs. Dillon said.

“Fine, I’ll see you in approximately forty-eight hours. I’m looking forward to it.”

“Me too. I haven’t seen you since you left on the Secondprize. Oh, by the way, what about that girl you were…”

“Mom!” Dillon shouted. “Not now! I’m on the bridge. We’ll talk about that later. Dillon out.”

“Bye, dear.” As Mrs. Dillon was replaced by the star field, Lieutenant Beck looked around the bridge nervously. The other female officers on duty were looking around the same way. A cold rush of panic had coursed through all of them upon hearing Mrs. Dillon’s words. Commander Dillon was interested in somebody on the ship. The same horrifying thought had run through the mind of every woman on the bridge: What if it’s me?

Something had to be done…and fast.

“Permission to leave the bridge, sir,” Beck said. Ensign Emily Sullivan shot her a scared look and mouthed “Don’t leave us” pleadingly. “Don’t worry,” Beck mouthed back.

Dillon didn’t seem to notice the exchange. “Why do you need to leave?”

“Woman problems,” Beck said. This definitely constituted a problem for every woman on the ship.

“Ah…oh…granted,” Dillon said hastily.

“Thank you, sir. Come on, ladies.” Lieutenant Patricia Hawkins, Ensign Sullivan, and Counselor Claire Webber followed Lieutenant Beck to the turbolift.

“Wha…but…” Dillon stammered.

“We are all women, sir,” Webber said. Ensign Larkin got up from the helm and headed back to the turbolift. Dillon just watched her, his mouth gaping and eyes bulging with exasperation.

“I am shaped like a female, sir,” the android said as she entered the turbolift. Dillon looked back at Lieutenant Commander Jaroch at the science station.

“Do you have any female past lives that want to go join them?” he said.

“No, sir,” Jaroch said.

“Any explanations for their behavior?”

“I don’t have a clue,” Jaroch said.

“What man does when it comes to women?” Dillon said sinking back into the command chair on the mostly deserted bridge.

“We’ve got to do something,” Lieutenant Beck muttered, lost in thought. The turbolift ceased its descent and moved horizontally toward the crew quarters on Deck Eight.

“I sure hope somebody’s got a plan because I’m too petrified to think,” Ensign Sullivan said.

“I suppose killing him is not an option,” Hawkins said.

“Don’t I wish,” Sullivan said.

“I don’t think I’ve got enough hugs in me to console whoever the poor girl is,” Counselor Webber said.

“But it could be you,” Ensign Larkin said. Webber screamed suddenly and collapsed to the floor of the turbolift just as it came to a stop.

“Sure, scare her into a coma. Nice job, Kris,” Beck said. Larkin leaned down and picked up the limp form of the counselor. The three conscious women and one pseudo-woman walked out of the turbolift and headed towards Beck’s quarters. Once inside, they laid Webber on the bed and sank heavily into the sofas and chairs of the living area.

“There are over three hundred women on this ship,” Sullivan said.

“Three hundred forty-seven to be precise,” Larkin said. “Forty-six point nine percent of the complement of the Secondprize. I am of course leaving out all those below the age of eighteen.”

“Why? Dillon could like a sixteen or seventeen-year-old,” Hawkins said.

“Maybe even younger. The kids in the nursery are just about his speed,” Sullivan said.

“He’d never go younger than eighteen,” Beck said. “It’s against regulations.”

“Good point,” Sullivan said. “But that still leaves us with three hundred and forty-seven possible victims. We’ve got to find out who he’s after.”

“Couldn’t we just contact his mother and ask her?” Webber asked.

“No message is sent from this ship without going through the bridge first for clearance,” Beck said. “Calling up Dillon’s mom would definitely arouse some suspicions, and that’s something we can’t afford in this serious of a situation.”

“Then we’re going to have to find out some other way,” Hawkins said.

“But first we have to warn everybody,” Beck said.

“What?!?” Hawkins exclaimed. “There’ll be mass panic!”

“It’s going to get out,” Beck said. “I’d rather it came out to everybody at once. That way they’ll all know, and we can discuss our options. Three hundred of us have a better chance of finding out who Dillon likes than just five of us.”

“I still think we should kill him,” Hawkins said.

The Recreation Deck was packed to capacity with confused members of the female compliment of the Secondprize. Lieutenant Beck stood up from her chair on the stage at the front of the room and approached the podium.

“Ladies, thank you all for coming on such short notice,” she said, surveying the mass of people before her. “We…meaning all of us in this room, have a problem. And this problem is a real and serious threat to every woman on this ship. Now, I don’t want anyone to panic, because there are ways of dealing with this threat. If we all remain calm and think rationally, we can prevent a horrible fate from befalling one of us. To explain the threat, I’m turning things over to our security chief, Lieutenant Patricia Hawkins and Counselor Claire Webber.” Beck walked over to the side of the stage and dimmed the lights. A lone spotlight shone on the podium as Hawkins stepped up to it.

“Thanks, Lisa,” Hawkins said. “All right, people. This is what we’re dealing with…” Hawkins pressed a button on the podium activating a holographic projection of Commander Dillon. Gasps and screams rippled through the crowd. “I can see that some of you already understand our problem. For the benefit of those of you who haven’t come in contact with our first officer, this is him: Commander Travis Michael Dillon. Twenty-nine years old; approximately six feet tall; two hundred and ten pounds. Counselor Webber will now give us a quick rundown of his psychological profile.” Webber stepped into the spotlight.

“Travis Dillon is, to put it simply, really uptight,” Webber said. “He is obsessed about rules and regulations to a degree which suggest that his home was run like a concentration camp or a junior high gym class. He associates following the rules with being the best, hence, an extreme superiority complex has developed in him. Dillon has an ego with the dimensions of your average gas giant. On top of this, Travis Dillon hasn’t got one iota of common sense in his entire body. He scores well on intelligence tests, but he is completely incapable of making connections between what he knows and the world around him. Some people view this as stupidity…and I’m one of those people.” Beck turned the lights back up and walked back to the podium.

“We told you all of this because Commander Dillon is interested in a woman on this ship,” Beck said. More screams erupted. “We don’t know who yet, but we’re going to find out. Until then, none of you are to act like anything is wrong. We will be giving certain ones of you jobs to do, any of which could be the one that reveals who Dillon likes, so perform them as if your lives depended on it, because they do. Dismissed.”

Commander Dillon stifled a yawn as he walked back to his quarters. For some reason, after the women left the bridge, Lieutenant Commander Jaroch had started babbling on about Yynsian females and their behaviors. Dillon tried to listen attentively at first, but then got sleepier and sleepier. The next thing he knew, he was curled up in front of the viewscreen and Jaroch was sitting in the command chair. Dillon figured that Jaroch must have been trying to make him fall asleep so that he could be in command for a while. Dillon was going to have to watch out for that in the future. Who did Jaroch think he was anyway? This was Dillon’s command as long as the captain was off duty, not Jaroch’s, and Dillon was going to keep it that way!

He rounded a corner and almost crashed straight into a young ensign. She looked at him like a scared animal for a second, then seemed to compose herself. It must be my powerful presence, Dillon thought. The poor girl’s overwhelmed.

“Hel…hello, Commander,” the ensign said shakily. “How are you?”

“Fine, Ensign. You shouldn’t stand just around corners. You’re going to cause an accident,” Dillon said, trying to sound kind and fatherly. He was coming across more like a bad PBS show.

“Yes, sir,” the ensign said. She handed him a rose that she was holding behind her back. “I’m sorry about being in the way. Why don’t you take this, with my apologies, and give it to someone you love?” It wasn’t subtle, but hey, it might just work.

“Thank you, Ensign,” Dillon replied, taking the flower. “That’s very nice of you.” He walked off down the hall and entered his quarters.

“Krieger to Beck,” the ensign said once Dillon was gone.

“Beck here.”

“Everything went according to plan. Dillon has the flower.”

“Did he give any indication as to who he might give it to?”


“Well, we’ll just have to wait,” Beck said. “Good work.”

“Thank you. I just hope I never have to do it again.”

Dillon walked over to the replicator as soon as he entered his quarters.

“One vase half full of water,” he ordered. The replicator instantly obeyed. Dillon put the rose in the vase and set it on his nightstand. That was so nice of that ensign. Now he didn’t have to bother going down to the arboretum to get a flower for his mother.

“Lisa, we’re running out of time here,” Lieutenant Hawkins said as they walked toward sickbay. “He went back to his quarters last night and went to bed. We’ve only got thirty hours left.”

“I know, but don’t worry about it. Dillon always has breakfast in Seven Backward on days that he has the afternoon shift on the bridge. Trinian is going to see what she can find out. And if that doesn’t work…” The two women entered sickbay. “We have other options.”

“Hi,” Dr. Rebecca Singer said weakly as she walked over to Beck and Hawkins.

“You look like hell, Rebecca!” Hawkins exclaimed.

“I know.” Her voice quivered with each word. “I’ve just been a wreck since the meeting.”

“Just calm down,” Beck said consolingly. “We’re going to take care of this. In fact, that’s why we’re here.”

“What could I do?”

“Can you make a truth serum?” Beck asked.

“I think so,” Singer said. “It’s going to take some time, though. Starfleet officers are inoculated against sodium pentothal and all the other usual stuff, but I’ll see what I can do.”

“Great,” Beck said. “We’ll see you later.” Beck charged out of sickbay forcing Hawkins to run to catch up.

“I take it that you have another idea,” Hawkins said, falling into step with Beck.


“Could you be a little more specific? Where are we going?”

“Holodeck Two,” Beck said. “We need to check a couple of things.”

Dillon walked into Seven Backward bright-eyed and ready to face another day. One of the many aspects of Dillon’s personality that the crew of the Secondprize despised was that he was a morning person.

“Good morning, Commander,” Trinian said, trying to look happy to see him. “Come on over and have a seat.”

“Good morning,” Dillon said warmly as he put himself onto a stool. “I’ll have the usual.”

“How about a drink first?” Trinian said.

“This early?”

“Of course, what better way to celebrate such a beautiful day?”

“This looks like every other day. We’re on a starship.”

Ignoring him, Trinian turned to the replicator and returned shortly with two glasses of scotch. It was the real thing. No synthehol here. “Cheers.” She drank while Dillon stared at the brown liquid in the glass before him.

“Isn’t this an awful lot for one serving?” he asked, spiraling the scotch into a little whirlpool.

“Nonsense. Now drink.” Trinian said.

“But I don’t like scotch.”

“No problem. What do you like?”

“Well, pina coladas are alright,” he said.

“Coming up.” She grabbed his scotch, swallowed it in one gulp, and turned back to the replicator.

“Can I have some breakfast, too?”

“Sure sure.” She replicated him his usual plate of biscuits with red-eye gravy, bacon, and a bowl of maple and brown sugar oatmeal and placed them in front of Dillon. He began to eat voraciously while she replicated the drinks. “Now then, drink up,” she said, hoisting the pina colada to her lips. Damn, those things were good.

“Where’s my orange juice?”

“Hold on,” Trinian said as she whirled back to the replicator. She lost control of her spin and smacked into the wall giggling hysterically. She got him his juice and managed to set it down in front of him without spilling it everywhere. He finished up his food and emptied his juice in one quick gulp. Normally, Trinian would have wondered how Dillon managed to consume food at just about warp speed, but she was too busy laughing at the rude pictures she could suddenly see in the fake wood of the bar top.

“You can have my pina colada if you want it,” Dillon said, standing up to leave. He looked at her disapprovingly. “I know you’re not Starfleet, but you run an establishment on a Starfleet vessel. Show and little professionalism. And don’t overdo it with the drinking.”

Trinian quickly emptied the pina colada. “Never,” she said just before passing out.

“So what are we looking for?” Hawkins asked as she and Beck scanned through the holodeck files.

“Incriminating programs,” Beck said. “Dillon’s probably got some perverted sex fantasy programmed in about whoever it is that he likes.”

“Oh gross! And you want to see this?”

“It should be good for a laugh,” Beck said. “Oh great, Dillon’s got these things numbered instead of named.”

“You mean we’re going to have to go through them one by one?” Hawkins said.

“I’m afraid so.”

“How many programs are there?”

“Thirty-seven. Computer, access program Dillon One.”

“Program complete,” the computer said a few seconds later.

“Here we go,” Beck said, walking toward the doors.

Dillon walked briskly back to his quarters, ready to get cracking on the mountains of personnel evaluations he had to do. He passed Ensign Sullivan and Lieutenant Monica Vaughn in the hallway without even bothering to say hello. He decided that it wouldn’t be a good idea since they were arguing…again. From what he had gathered, they were supposed to be best friends. Considering that, they sure did fight a lot. Was that normal? If he ever got a best friend, he’d have to see if he could avoid that part.

He didn’t bother to listen in to what the argument was about and instead continued on and entered his quarters.

“I’m not letting you do it,” Sullivan said fiercely.

“You really don’t have a say in the matter,” Vaughn said. “Besides, it worked for the Russians back in the twentieth century.”

“But how could you…?”

“It’ll be hilarious. He’s probably still a virgin.”

“What do you mean ‘probably’?” Sullivan said.

“Now you just run along,” Vaughn said, walking toward Dillon’s door. “I’ll have him loosened up and singing like a canary in no time.”

“I still can’t believe that you’re going to…ugggh!”

“It’s for a good cause.”

“I’ll put you in for a commendation. And I’m still going to be ready with my plan if you don’t get anything out of him.”

“I don’t think that will be a problem,” Vaughn said smiling as she pressed Dillon’s door chime.

Beck and Hawkins entered the holodeck and walked onto the bridge of the Secondprize.

“Orders, Captain?” the holodeck version of Ensign Sullivan said.

“What a surprise,” Hawkins said.

“End program,” Beck said. The bridge was replaced with the black walls and yellow grid of the holodeck. “Run program Dillon Two.” A few seconds later, Beck and Hawkins found themselves in a theater filled with people in tuxedos and fancy dresses. The audience had their attention focused on a man and woman at a glass podium on the stage.

“Those were the nominees for Best Actor,” the man said. “And the Oscar goes to…” The woman picked up a white envelope from the podium and opened it.

“…Travis Dillon for Gamma Patrol Six: The Vengeance of Namaroth!” she announced excitedly.

“Run Dillon Three!” Beck shouted. She was starting to wonder if she was going to make it through thirty-five more of Dillon’s ego-stroking programs.

“Come in,” Dillon said upon hearing his door chime. He didn’t even look up from his computer when Lieutenant Vaughn entered. She removed her uniform revealing a low cut, extremely tight, extremely short sun-dress. “Lieutenant,” he added curtly, barely glancing up at her. This was unusual. He didn’t get many visitors…or visitors period. Really, though, this was not the time for people to start coming by. He’d really gotten into a groove on the personnel reports.

“Hi, Travis,” she said sultrily walking over to him. Dillon grunted in reply. “Don’t you want to talk to me?”

“I’m very busy at the moment, Lieutenant,” Dillon said, typing away furiously. “I’m sure that there must be someone else on this ship you can talk to.”

“But I want you,” she said. She put her index finger under his chin and raised his head toward her. Finally getting a good look at how Vaughn was dressed, Dillon’s eyes widened until they almost ran into each other. His jaw dropped, allowing his tongue to roll out of his head. Dillon’s head went limp and fell into his computer. Vaughn yanked his head back off the keys. Dillon was completely gone. He fainted, she thought, chuckling to herself. She walked over to the door, picked up her uniform, and left. On the way back to Sullivan’s quarters, seven more crewmen joined Dillon in stunned unconsciousness.

“How’d it go?” Sullivan said as Vaughn entered.

“Well, he’s relaxed.”


“Yeah, comas tend to do that to people,” Vaughn said. “He took one look at me and fainted.”

“You’ve had your chance. Now, it’s my turn,” Sullivan said, heading toward the door.

“What are you going to do, Emily?” Sullivan turned back to her and smiled.

“Trust me.”

Dillon was jolted out of unconsciousness by the sound of his door chime. As his vision slowly transformed from a mass of blurs and blobs to the surroundings of his quarters, he tried to remember what had happened to him. He’d been doing personnel reports, and then…nothing. Maybe he was just tired. The door chimed again. He didn’t get many visitors…or any really…wait…did he? Why was something familiar about this?

“Come in,” he said, standing up and straightening his uniform. Ensign Sullivan walked in looking anxious.

“What can I do for you, Ensign?” Dillon asked, gesturing for her to have a seat. She moved to the sofa and sat down.

“How do you do it?” she said.

“What?” Dillon asked confused.

“Command so…well.” She hoped she sounded adoring enough.

“Why thank you. It nice to know that my skills are appreciated.”

“I’d really like to get to know you. Your likes…your dislikes…your LOVES.”

“Well…I’ve got these reports to do, but I guess I can spare a few minutes. Now to fully understand who I am currently, you have to understand my past. I was born in…”

“Uhh…Commander, that’s O.K.” Sullivan said. He wasn’t stopping. What had she done? This could take all day.

“My parents were good people. They raised me to be…” Emily sat back, made herself as comfortable as possible, and tried to tune him out. It wasn’t working. Dillon rambled on and on…and on…and on.

“Run program Dillon Twenty-three,” Beck ordered. The street and the Travis Dillon day parade in front of them mercifully vanished and was replaced with a ship, actually it was two ships. They were standing on a British galleon that was being attacked by pirates.

“Lisa!” Hawkins screamed. Beck whirled around and saw an eye-patched, angry-looking individual charging her with a sword. Hawkins pushed Beck aside and kicked the sword out of the pirate’s hand. She quickly finished him off with a kick to the stomach and a devastating fist to the face. Suddenly, she saw a British officer a short distance away from her about to be overpowered by a huge pirate. Hawkins dove for the sword that the pirate she had just knocked out of commission had dropped, picked it up in a graceful roll, and, upon coming back up, threw the sword into the pirate’s back. The officer smiled at her thankfully and charged back into the battle.

“Patricia, we’ve still got programs to look at,” Beck said, shouting above the screams and shouts.

“Just a minute!” Hawkins sliced another pirate to ribbons and grabbed a rope to swing over to the pirate ship. They wanted a fight. Well, they were going to get it rammed right down their smelly, rum-swilling throats.

“End program,” Beck said. The ships and rope dematerialized while Hawkins was in mid-swing. She smacked into the side wall of the holodeck and thudded to the floor.

“You could have waited until I landed at least,” Hawkins said as she stood up, gingerly rubbing her shoulder. She was going to have to remember this program for later.

“My God! What happened to you?” Lieutenant Monica Vaughn exclaimed as Ensign Sullivan stumbled weakly through the door to Vaughn’s quarters.

“Things…did not go as I had hoped,” Sullivan said softly as she collapsed in a chair. “He started telling me his entire life story.”

“Uggh. Are you okay?”

“I think so, but it was so horrible.”

“I know. I know,” Vaughn said consolingly as she hugged Sullivan. “It’s over now. Everything’s going to be alright.”

“I can see it coming. I’m going to have nightmares.”

“Did you get any useful information out of your ordeal?”

“No,” Sullivan said glumly. “He had only gotten to his first year at Starfleet Academy when he had to leave for his bridge shift.”


“The worst part is that he wants me to come back another time to hear the rest of it.”

“Ahhhh. He wants to see you again, does he?” Vaughn said smiling. “Maybe it’s you that he’s after. Yes, I can see it now. It’ll be the wedding of the century. The uptight, egotistic Commander and his cynical, bitchy bride. How sweet.” Vaughn broke down laughing.

“I hate you so much right now.”

“Run program Dillon Thirty-seven,” Beck said relieved. They had finally gotten to the last one. On the downside, they hadn’t found the slightest clue as to who it was that Dillon was interested in. The world around them reformed, and they found themselves standing outside. It was a gorgeous, sunny day. Birds chirped, clouds rolled slowly by, and masses of people were streaming into a large building to Beck and Hawkins’s right.

“Oh no,” Hawkins said in horror upon reading the giant gold letters above the door. “Please don’t make me do this.”

“I’m not going in their alone!” Beck said, grabbing Hawkins and pulling her toward The Travis Michael Dillon Memorial Hall. Inside, families were snapping holo-pictures standing beside full holograms of Dillon. Kids played with Dillon action figures and wore Dillon face masks while walking through mock-ups of Dillon’s boyhood home and past various memorabilia.

“I can’t do this,” Hawkins said weakly. “I’ll never make it. There has to be another way.”

“You’re right,” Beck said. She was growing nauseous from the scene before her. “Let’s get the hell out of here. Computer, end program!”

“I’m starting to feel like an auto-repeating message, but what do we do now?”

“See if Rebecca’s done with that truth serum yet. And if she’s not, you, Claire, Monica, and I have a job to do,” Beck said, walking out of the holodeck.

They walked into sickbay and immediately waded into a sea of tissues. Rebecca Singer was huddled over a molecular analyzer sobbing and adding to the ocean of white.

“How are you doing?” Beck asked reluctantly. She already knew the answer.

“Aaaaaaggggghhhhh!” Singer wailed, running over to Beck and throwing herself on her shoulder. “I’m having sooo much trouble. I just don’t know how soon I can…”

“Try harder!” Beck interrupted. “And keep me informed.” She and Hawkins retreated quickly out of sickbay and headed back to Beck’s quarters. “Beck to Vaughn.”

“Vaughn here,” she gasped in reply.

“Are you alright?” Beck asked confused.

“Fine,” Vaughn said. In the background, they could hear Sullivan shout “You’re dead, bitch!”

“Uhh…if you can pull yourself away from whatever you’re doing, could you come to my quarters now?”

“I’m on my way,” Vaughn said. Beck informed Counselor Webber, and ten minutes later, the group was assembled in Beck’s living area.

“Here’s the plan, people,” Beck said, standing before them. “Claire and Pat, meet up outside Dillon’s quarters at oh three hundred. Pat you just need to get Claire inside. Monica will be standing by in the transporter room if you need to get out of there in a hurry. I’ll be on the bridge to make sure that nobody notices any transports.”

“How are you going to do that?” Webber asked.

“Don’t worry about it. Just get that name. We have less than twelve hours until Dillon’s mother arrives. I want the girl warned and to be ready to act before Dillon tries to introduce her to his mom as his girlfriend or something.”

The doors of Dillon’s quarters opened with a quiet whoosh, allowing Hawkins and Webber to enter. They cautiously approached the bed, careful not to make any noise. Hawkins had her hand positioned over her commbadge, waiting for the slightest sign of trouble. Claire knelt down beside the bed while Hawkins paced anxiously.

“Hello, Travis,” Webber said softly. “I want you to relax and concentrate on my voice.” Dillon shifted slightly in bed, but didn’t wake up. “Very good, Travis, now in your dream you are on holovision being interviewed. I am the interviewer. Can you see this?”

“I love your show,” Dillon mumbled. “I’m very happy to be on.”

“Good. Good. Now, what is your name?” Hawkins moved over to the bed and knelt down on the opposite side from Webber.

“Commander Travis Michael Dillon.”

“How old are you?”

“Twenty-nine,” Dillon said. “Which camera is showing my best side?”

“It doesn’t matter. All of your sides are good,” Webber said. She glanced over at Hawkins, who was stifling a laugh. “Now, what is your job?”

“I’m the first officer of the starship Secondprize.”


“Is there a women in your life that you want to go out with?”

“Yes. She’s beautiful.”

“What is her name?” Webber practically shouted.

“Rydell to Dillon,” the comm system barked suddenly. Webber and Hawkins looked at each other with alarm and dove under the bed. Dillon snapped awake at sat up with a start.

“Dillon here.” Webber and Hawkins tried to make themselves semi-comfortable, but couldn’t because of the huge amount of junk under the bed. There were books and boxes and a weight set that looked like it hadn’t been used in ages.

“Can you come up to my ready room? I’m working on personnel reports, and I want your opinion on a couple of people,” Captain Rydell said.

“I was working on those earlier today,” Dillon said. “I’ll bring mine along so you can do the same for me. I’ll be there in a couple of minutes.”

“Not a problem. Rydell out.” Dillon got out of bed and pulled on his uniform. In a panic, Webber realized that Dillon’s boots were right by her head, and he was starting to lean down. Hawkins slapped her commbadge.

“Hawkins to Vaughn,” she whispered. “Get us out of here now!” Webber handed the boots out to Dillon.

“Thanks,” he said as he took them. Realizing what had just happened, he dove to the floor and looked under his bed, but there was no one there. Did he just hear a transporter? No. That was ridiculous. He must just need to wake up more.

Beck saw the transporter activation light flash on the operations console at the rear of the bridge. She screamed causing the ensign monitoring that station, and everyone else on the bridge, to whirl around and look at her.

“Is everything alright, Lieutenant?” Lieutenant Commander Jaroch said from the command chair.

“Fine. Why do you ask?” Beck said and went back to work. Jaroch made a mental note of reason number four hundred and six that Earth women were strange and returned to staring at the viewscreen.

At precisely nine the next morning, Commander Dillon was standing in the main shuttlebay watching his mother’s runabout come in for a graceful landing. The noise of the engines shutting down and the runabout’s hatch opening muffled the sound of the doors opening behind him. He saw his mother come to the hatch and then rapidly saw the floor as he was trampled by three hundred and forty-seven women charging the runabout.

“What a reception!” Dillon’s mom exclaimed as she walked out of the runabout. “I wasn’t expecting anything like this.”

“Welcome to the Secondprize, Mrs. Dillon,” Beck said impatiently. “Who does your son like?”

“Excuse me?” Mrs. Dillon said confused. Hawkins charged forward and slammed her against the outside of the runabout.

“Don’t play games with us,” she said menacingly. “We know that he likes someone on this ship. WHO?”

“My my. You are adamant about it. Very well. Her name is Laura…something. Adams. Yes, I think it was Laura Adams.” In the back of the crowd, Lieutenant Laura Adams screamed and ran out of the shuttlebay crying. Counselor Webber ran after her ready to provide as many hugs as she could.

After Mrs. Dillon had been assigned quarters, she said that she wanted to take a nap to rest from the trip. Dillon wandered down to Seven Backward to eat and try and make some sense out of what had happened. He saw his mother then the next thing he knew, he was lying on the floor of the deserted shuttlebay and his mom was out in the corridor talking to Lieutenant Beck. The two of them were laughing and having a great time, but shut up as soon as he approached. Oh well, it probably wasn’t important, but he was worried about these blackouts. This was the second one in two days. He walked into Seven Backward and sat down at the bar. One of the waiters was manning the bar.

“Where’s Trinian?” Dillon asked. She was almost always there during the day.

“Detox,” the waiter replied somberly. Dillon nodded. She had been drinking a lot yesterday morning, and that was unusual for her. He wondered if there was anything wrong. Even bartenders can have problems in their lives. The doors of Seven Backward opened, and Dr. Singer ran in.

“I’ve got it!” she screamed stabbing Dillon violently with a hypospray. “How do you feel?”

“Pissed off, you psychopath!” Dillon shouted. “What the hell is wrong with you? The carpeting in this room is awful. And the fake wood…talk about tacky. What happened to your hair? It looks like two Klingons mated in it.” He got up off the stool and stormed out of the lounge, criticizing everything and everyone he ran into.

“Captain’s log. Stardate 49113.5. I have just had a talk with Dr. Singer about two of my crew. She recommended that Lieutenant Laura Adams be transferred immediately. It was something about the Secondprize’s engines messing with her internal processes and stuff. I know that sounds a little weird, but I will defer to the expertise of my chief medical officer. Lieutenant Adams will be leaving tomorrow on the runabout with Commander Dillon’s mother. Speaking of the commander, Dillon is the other person I talked to her about due to his very recent verbal outbursts. She assured me that he’s just suffering from a temporary loss of all tact and mouth control due to an adverse reaction to some allergy medication and that it will wear off in a couple of days. I sure hope so because he’s driving everybody crazier than usual and won’t shut up.”

Commander Dillon sat in the command chair scowling at the viewscreen.

“We should be able to watch holovision up here or something. At least a movie. This constant star field is boring. Sullivan, I hate your hair like that. Larkin, stop jerking around like an epileptic bird every time you move your head. God, this is boring!”

“We should have killed him when we had the chance,” Hawkins whispered to Lieutenant Beck. Beck finally agreed.

Tags: Original