Author: Alan Decker
“Problems and Solutions”
by Alan Decker
“God, he’s gorgeous,” Lieutenant Laura Hooper sighed as she sat down on a bar stool, her eyes locked on a man across the lounge.
“Who?” Trinian asked.
“Brad Forrester. He’s fantastic, but I’m scared to go near him. I want to ask him out, but how?”
“Forrester! What the hell do you see in him? He’s slime.”
“Trinian, I don’t care what you think about him; I like him. Now help me figure out how to ask him out.”
“You’re right. I’m just the bartender. I should only give advice not personal opinions. I’m sure the Brad’s a very nice guy. Lieutenant Kowalski seemed to think so last week. Of course, that was before she caught him in the holodeck with Ensign Logan. Brad is quite handsome actually, if you ignore his eyes.”
“What’s wrong with his eyes?”
“Surely you’ve noticed that they tear right through everyone he looks at. It’s like he feels everyone else is lower than him.”
“He does not!”
“I’m sure you’re right, but…”
“You’ve forced me to tell you. Ensign Robbins was in here just last week crying about how Brad Forrester had yelled at her when she had to work late and pushed their date back an hour. He couldn’t believe that she would dare do that to him.”
“But I thought he was with Lieutenant Kowalski.”
“That was two days ago. Ensign Desmond was before her, then Lieutenant Commander Wills, and then Robbins.”
“Oh yeah. He goes through one a day. Chews them up and spits them out. I have to try and rebuild most of their destroyed egos myself. Some of the more serious ones see Counselor Plank. Except of course for Ensign Miller last year.”
“What happened to her?”
“You don’t really want to know.”
“Yes, I do!”
“Poor girl. She hanged herself the day after he dumped her. I heard that he felt really proud that he’d had that kind of effect on someone. But don’t let that stop you. Just go on over there, stand right in front of him, and ask him out.”
“You know, Ensign Lewis is pretty cute.”
“Yes, he’s very nice.”
“I’ll talk to you later, Trinian. Thanks for the help.”
“Anytime,” the hostess replied smiling as she watched Laura approach the young ensign seated on the opposite side of the lounge from Brad Forrester.
Commander Travis Michael Dillon, First Officer of the Secondprize, was staring at his feet as he walked into Seven Backward. He sat down at the bar and continued staring. Trinian had a feeling that she was going to regret this, but curiosity got the better of her.
“Interesting carpet?” she asked warmly. Dillon looked up at her like she’d just asked the stupidest question in the world.
“It’s dark purple. No patterns or anything. I’d have to be an idiot to find it interesting.”
“That’s why I asked,” Trinian thought to herself.
“I am looking at my boots,” Dillon continued. “The replicator is not created boots polished up to Starfleet standards. I’ve ordered three hundred pairs of boots in the last two hours, and not one of them has met regulations. It’s disgraceful. This is a Starfleet vessel, and, therefore, everything on board should be up to Starfleet regulations. Commander Baird was extremely nasty to me when I suggested that he correct the replicator’s programming, and Captain Rydell didn’t even want to talk about it. I don’t really want to do this, but I may have to contact Starfleet Command about this. Do you have any ideas?”
“Get a life.”
Fifteen-year-old James Forrester strutted into Seven Backward and headed straight to the bar. Trinian groaned inwardly. James was living-proof that being an asshole was genetic. His older brother, Brad still was the worst, but James was catching up quick.
“Hey, Trinian. How about a drink?”
“How about you wait a minute!” she retorted as she finished wiping the other end of the bar. Slowly, she walked over to James. “Now what do you want?”
“Fine, give me a soda or something. I really just came here to ask your advice anyway.” Trinian almost dropped James’ drink. This was a switch. He usually didn’t want help from anyone.
“What seems to be the problem?”
“You see this?” James asked pointing to his forehead.
“It’s a zit. Acne! A pimple! I can’t believe it. No one has zits anymore. Kids in the twentieth century got zits; not me! It’s not fair. It would hurt my image if any babes saw me with this. I can’t let that happen. My sex-god status is just too important. This should have happened to some insignificant dweeb like Roger over there.” James pointed at the slightly overweight teen seated alone by the view ports. “This should no be happening to someone like me. What should I do about it?”
“Your zits are from the same century as your attitude. You are vermin, Forrester! You want help? Go ask Dr. Singer to remove it for you. Maybe she’ll give you a lobotomy while she’s at it! Get the hell out of my lounge!”
Lieutenant Commander Natalie Johnson walked into Seven Backward looking depressed. Trinian greeted the engineer with a warm smile as she sat down at the bar.
“Anything I can help you with?” she asked kindly.
“I doubt it. I’ve got this project I have to have finished for Commander Baird by tomorrow morning, and I’m stumped.”
“Can’t anyone else in engineering help you?”
“They’ve all got their own projects to deal with. I’m just going to have to figure this one out by myself.”
“Well, why don’t you just talk it out. Sometimes that helps. I’m not an engineer, but I’m willing to listen.”
“Thanks, Trinian. I’ve been working on a reading enhancer for the main sensor array. I’ve connected a series of signal boosters to the data relay chips, but it’s not helping. I’m just getting really clear readings on what we can normally detect. I haven’t enhanced the sensor capabilities at all.”
“That’s because you’ve been boosting the readings that are already taken. You have to connect the boosters to the collectors themselves. Then, you will have enhanced their collection abilities.”
“You’re right!” Johnson exclaimed as she leapt from the barstool and headed toward the door.
“No problem. Just make sure that you use the 765 cable for the connection. A standard 500 will be overloaded too quickly and blow the whole array.”
“Right! Thanks, Trinian! You sure that you’re not an engineer?”
“I’m just a simple bartender,” she replied with an enigmatic smile.
“Trinian, you’ve got to help me. I do a lot of writing in my spare time, and I’ve been working on this story for a while, but I don’t know how to end it. I mean it doesn’t really have an end because its not really a story as such, but I have to figure out where to stop writing.”
“That’s easy. Just get to the point where you want to stop and write ‘the end.’ It’s that simple.”