Star Trek belongs to Paramount and Viacom. Star Traks was created by Alan Decker. It's the Silverado part that's mine.

Author: Brendan Chris
Copyright: 2004

Captain’s Log, Stardate 56263.4:


“It’s been 5 days since we had our little accident. ‘Little accident!’ Right. And the Titanic was ‘just a ship.’ Anyway, Mr. Jeffery and his team have been working to get ship’s systems back online. At this point, there isn’t much more he can do until our replacement parts come in. Honesty, if a part can’t be replicated, shouldn’t they at least give us a spare?”

“There have been no sign of our mysterious attackers. As much as I would love to get the hell away from here, we can’t go faster than one-tenth impulse until replacement parts arrive without risking damage to the ship. We’re basically sitting ducks. But we have a surprise or two in store for anybody who comes to pick a fight!”

“On another negative note, the standard assortment of glitches and mechanical problems on this ship has kept everybody too busy to finish installing the holodecks. So we’re stuck in the middle of nowhere with no holodecks and nothing to do! Needless to say some people are getting REALLY bored.”


Stafford moved slowly through the dimly lit halls, clutching his weapon to his chest. Light from the torches mounted on the walls cast flickering shadows everywhere. He peered around a corner, spotting his prey! Jall was walking across a large, open room, unaware he was being stalked. Stafford raised his weapon and aimed carefully at Jall’s head. This was one shot he couldn’t possible miss!

Before he could pull the trigger he heard the <snap-hiss> of a lightsaber, right before it sliced neatly through his neck, sending his head rolling across the floor. The assailant threw the weapon straight at Jall, spearing him right through the heart. Jall collapsed with a moan.


Stafford pounded his desk in frustration.

“God DAMMIT!” he shouted.

“F**kberries!” exclaimed Jall.

“Like hitting two birds with one stone,” Noonan’s voice came over the comm.

“We ARE going to take you down, you little bastard!” Stafford growled. His character had re-spawned and he was again running down the hallways. He checked the score. Stafford 3, Jall 5, T’Parief 6, Noonan 17.

After several days of trying desperately to entertain themselves with Yatzee, tic-tac-toe and Vulcan Trivial Pursuit (which had ended with T’Parief forcibly embedding his marker in the lounge wall), Jall had started digging through the ship’s archive and had found several ancient computer games. Most of them involved running around and shooting at people, which had been right up Jall’s alley. Stafford, Noonan, Jall and T’Parief had immediately fiddled with the viewscreens in their quarters to make them compatible with the games. The current variation was based on ‘Star Wars’. Stafford didn’t have a clue what that meant; only that he got to use a cool laser sword.

Back in the game, Stafford spotted Noonan at the end of the hall. Running towards him, Stafford aimed and was about to fire when Noonan spun around and fired another shot right through Stafford’s cranium.

“No way!” protested Stafford, “No f**king way!” How could you POSSIBLY know I was behind you?”

“Footsteps in the game and surround sound in my quarters,” Noonan said smugly.

Noonan quickly hit the 20-point mark, which triggered the computer to end the game and declare Noonan the winner.

“I need to practice,” Jall moaned.


“He kicked our asses,” Stafford said to Ensign Yanick, “it was like shooting fish in a barrel!”

“I had no idea he was such a good shot,” T’Parief admitted.

“I had thought,” Dr. Wowryk said coldly, “that our society had evolved beyond the need for such violent means of entertainment.”

“Oh please!” Jall exclaimed, “This from the woman who brought us the joy of the Sisters of the Realm!”

“That wasn’t my fault!” Wowryk objected.

“You’ve gotta admit,” Stafford said, “after dealing with him all day, wouldn’t you like to shoot Jall? Even if it was a computer character?”

“Hmm…” Wowryk looked thoughtful, “Is there a computer game where you hunt down Atheists and burn them at the stake? ‘Catholic Rampage’, perhaps?”

Everybody gave her a horrified look.

“I’m kidding!”

“First time for everything,” Stafford muttered.

The four of them were hanging out in Unbalanced Equations, waiting for Jeffery to come off his shift. Steven came by with the drink orders.

“That’s a strawberry daiquiri for Trish,” he said as he set down the drink, “a slexxxinth for T’Parief, Long Island iced tea for the Captain, regular iced tea for the good Doctor and a Flaming Redhead for San.”

Yanick giggled.

“Thanks, Steve,” Stafford said as he sipped his drink.

Wowryk sipped her iced tea.

“This tastes kinda funny,” she said, “did I get the Long Island?”

Stafford sipped his again. Not a trace of synthehol.

“No, this is the Long Island,” he lied, “must be your imagination.” He winked at Yanick, who stifled another giggle.

Wowryk shrugged and took another drink, wincing slightly.

“Seriously though,” Stafford said, “hasn’t anyone ever had the feeling that something is really not right with that guy?”

“What guy?”

“Noonan!”

Wowryk frowned.

“Now that you mention it, I was going to drag him into Sickbay after our little adventure on the Stallion. His skin started peeling, and it looked like he had a really bad case of radiation sickness,” she said.

“So why didn’t you?”

“I dunno. I guess it slipped my mind.”

“He seems like a nice guy to me,” Trish said.

“You think everybody and their dog is nice!” Jall laughed.

“Well, I think that is an endearing quality,” T’Parief said.

“Oh please! It’s a hostile galaxy! You can’t go around being nice to everybody!”

“I said,” T’Parief growled, baring his teeth at Jall, “it is an ENDEARING QUALITY!”

“Yes. Yes it is,” Jall said quickly, eyes locked on T’Parief’s teeth, “Charming. My, what big teeth you have, Grandma!”


Jeffery was in Engineering, tinkering with Fifebee’s holo-relay. It had gotten a bit banged up when the flood of water had knocked out all the ship’s systems the previous week. It had worked fine for a few days after the accident, once power had been restored to the holographic memory core, but some obscure component had finally failed, leaving Silverado without a science officer and Jeffery with an unfamiliar piece of technology.

“Oy,” he muttered to himself, “they just keep makin’ these things smaller and smaller! They’re going to have to issue me smaller fingers! Hey, Frit!” he called to one of his technicians, “See if ye can squeeze yer fingers in here and check this circuit!”

“Yes sir,” the attractive (but very small) Nicondii officer said. She took the probe from Jeffery and extended her arm into the guts of the relay.

“Looks like this connection is loose,” she said. There was a click as she plugged the tiny connector back into place. “Try it now,”

Jeffery replaced the panel and tapped at the relay’s controls. Lines of data scrolled up the screen and Fifebee flickered into being.

“I am Jane 5-B, sentient hologram,” she said in a calm, pleasing tone. Then, aggravated, “Ugh, I hate saying that!”

“Well Ah’m sorry,” Jeffery said, “but regs state-“

“That ‘any hologram bearing a level of sentience enabling him or her to serve in a capacity intended for an organic being is to state his/her/their identity and/or function upon being activated’” Fifebee quoted.

“Yeah,” Jeffery said, “that’s the one.”

“It’s a stupid regulation! When you wake up you don’t say ‘I’m Simon Jeffery, Chief Engineer’!”

“Well, no…”

“Exactly!”

“As much as Ah’m lovin’ the holographic rights speech, Ah’m supposed to meet Noel in the lounge. Ye can come, too. If ye want.”

“I suppose I need to catch up on what’s been happening…”

“Then there ye go.”


Fifebee parked her emitter in its corner then followed Jeffery to the lounge. She was still running self-diagnostics after her little crash. Her personality matrix was a bit unstable, which wasn’t all that unusual. Fifebee found the influence the other personalities in her database had on her varied from day to day. Sometimes they were merely a source of information, as they were intended to be. On occasion, one personality would assert itself over the others. She hadn’t had much trouble pushing those personalities back down, once she realized what they were doing. So far.

As she followed Jeffery to the table, she spotted Stafford.

“The Captain’s here too?” she said.

“I guess so.”

“Oh. Well, see you later. I’m going over there now,” she pointed to the bar.

“Suit yourself.”

Jeffery sat down at the table next to Wowryk, draping an arm over her shoulders. She immediately pushed it off, took another swing of her drink and gave a small hiccup.

“What did I say about physical contact?” she asked.

Jeffery sighed, “‘Keep it to a minimum.’ Hello to you too, by the way.”

Stafford stifled a chuckle. Wowryk and Jeffery were officially seeing each other. Unofficially, that meant that Jeffery was Noel’s ‘Pet Man’.

“I see you’ve got Fifebee back online,” Stafford said.

“Why didn’t she come say hi?” asked Yanick.

“Oh, um, she just wanted some personal time.” Jeffery said, his eyes darting to Stafford.

“Well she shouldn’t come to the lounge just to sit all by herself!” Yanick objected.

“What does it matter,” Stafford said, “she’s got all those personalities. If she gets bored she can always talk amongst her selves.” Jall chuckled.

“I don’t know why you two are acting so childish!” Wowryk said. She reached across the table to wag a finger in Stafford’s face, lost her balance, and nearly fell.

“What are ye drinking?” Jeffery asked.

“It’s just iced tea. I lost my balance.”

“Right…let me take a sip of that!” Jeffery took Wowryk’s glass, which was actually Stafford’s Long Island iced tea.

Stafford looked up at Jeffery and started shaking his head ‘no!’.

“This tastes…oh-“ Jeffery caught sight of Stafford, “-absolutely fine. Why don’t I get you another?”

“Please,”

“Well,” Stafford said, “you seem to have him pretty well trained. Is he house-broken yet?”

“I resent that impla….amplec….imperlac….” Wowryk looked to Yanick, “a little help?’

“Implication?” T’Parief grumbled.

“Yeah, what he said! I implicate that resentment!”

“Whatever,” Yanick giggled, “the whole ship knows you’ve got him whipped!”

“He is not whipped! I firmly said ‘no sex before marriage, bondage included’!” Wowryks words were getting increasingly slurred, “besides, it’s not like you don’t have this big lug wrapped around your little finger!”

“I tried,” Yanick said, “he didn’t fit.”

Jeffery returned with the drinks, prompting a change in topic.

“On the Gorm home world,” T’Parief piped in, “males are not intimidated by females. Not usually anyway. On the other hand, Andorian women scare the hell out of everybody, male and female. That can be very sexy, in an aggressive, animal kind of way.”

“Well, I wouldn’t exactly call Yanick intimidating,” Stafford chucked.

“You don’t have to be fearsome to be intimidating,” T’Parief said, “beauty can be intimidating too.”

Yanick blushed bright red.

Wowryk turned to Jeffery.

“How come you never say sweet things like that to me?” she slurred.

“Because when Ah tried to compliment ye on yer figure, ye called me a ‘sexist male pig who never thinks with anything but his penis’.”

“Oh, right!” Wowryk giggled.


Fifebee sat at her stool in Unbalanced Equations, listening to the chatter. A part of her noted the increasing comradeship onboard and determined that would increase both performance and efficiency. Starship crews usually began to bond after surviving a crisis or two together.

“Penny for your thoughts?” Steven asked.

“Two for yours,” Fifebee responded without thinking.

“Huh?

“Nevermind. Steven, am I antisocial?”

“Um…no…”, Steven backed carefully away.

“They why can’t I integrate with this crew?”

“Well, alienating the Captain during his shore leave really didn’t help.”

“Well that was partly his fault!” Fifebee snapped, “Why is he getting along so well with everybody, while I’m sitting here by myself!”

“Look,” Steven tossed down his rag, “you’re a hologram. Running on a computer. It makes sense that you would process everything logically. But we don’t work that way!”

“Maybe you should,”

“Maybe,” Steven gave a crooked grin, “but that would make life so boring!”

“In your opinion!”

“Look, did you even TRY to go over there and sit down?”

“Well, no. I didn’t feel comfortable approaching them.”

“Ok, so how is you sitting here all alone their fault then?”

“Because,” Fifebee said between clenched teeth, “they are making no effort to include me in anything!”

“Oookay. So you’re sitting alone, not talking to anybody, and it’s their fault that you’re not socializing with the crew? Hmph. So much for holograms using logic!”

“Bite me!” Fifebee snapped as she stalked out of the room.


Commander Noonan leaned back in the command chair. Technically, his shift had ended hours ago, but he really didn’t have anything important to do. He had already fed enough for the day and he just had the feeling that he should be on watch. Ensign Burke sat at the science station, archiving his collection of Deltan pornography.

“You know,” Noonan said, still looking at the main viewscreen, “you really shouldn’t be viewing that kind of material on the bridge.”

Burke started, “How did you-“

“I saw the reflection in the viewscreen.”

“Oh. I’m sorry sir…I’m just really bored.”

“I understand. Carry on.”

“Yes sir!”

The turbolift doors hissed open and Fifebee stepped out. She glanced at Burke’s monitor.

“I didn’t think that was physically possible,” she said.

“Deltans are very skilled!” Burke grinned. Ensign Kay, the dark-skinned Deltan assigned to Ops for the night shift, smirked to himself.

“Indeed,” Fifebee sat down beside Burke.

“Ensign, how do you find working with me?” she asked.

“Huh?”

“You are the night shift science officer. I brief you at the beginning of every one of your shifts. Have you found my work habits and social skills to be acceptable?”

Burke shot a panicked look at Noonan, who simply grinned.

“Well, you’ve always been, um, civil,” Burke stammered. He was saved when Lieutenant Stern started shouting from the Tactical station.

“I have two contacts at 65 mark 8! Same configurations as the ship that attacked us before!” he called out.

“S**t!” Noonan swore, “Ensign Kay, you know what to do. Senior officers, report to the bridge! We have incoming!”

Lights flickered then faded as Kay shut down main power to the entire ship. Outside the ship, running lights, thrusters and sensor arrays shut down. Inside, emergency power ran at very low levels, making the ship appear completely dead in space. Some distance away, the two cylindrical ships glided through space.

“What are they doing?” asked Noonan.

“They’re dropping out of warp and coming alongside,” reported Stern.

Stafford and T’Parief chose that moment to pop out of the jefferies tube hatch concealed below the main viewscreen.

“Report!”

“Two ships just dropped out of warp and are preparing to dock,” Noonan stated.

“Are we ready?”

“Yes.”

“Distance?”

“4000 meters.”

“Let me know when they get to 200 meters.”

“Aye sir,”

Stafford sat back in his chair, both pleased with the efficiency of his crew (for once) and concerned with the situation.

“Are the shuttles ready?” Stafford said quietly to Noonan.

“We’ve got Pysternzyk in the Avalanch, Menzies in the Camero and Glenn in the Charger.”

“Good,”

“200 meters,” T’Parief called out.

“Lock phasers,” Stafford ordered.

“Phasers locked.”

“Now Mr. Kay!”

Kay’s fingers played across his console as systems all over the ship came back up to full power. The red alert klaxon blared as beams of energy burst from the ship’s phaser array, cutting through the unshielded hull of the starboard attacker. Unfortunately, the phaser banks on Silverado’s port side were dead.

“The starboard ship has been disabled,” reported T’Parief, “no survivors.”

Silverado shook as the port ship opened fire.

“Shields down to 90%”

“Return fire!” Noonan ordered.

“Port phasers are not responding.,”

The alien vessel kept close to the Silverado’s port side as it pounded on the shields with its weapons. Sparks flew across the bridge.

“Jeffery!” Stafford called, “what’s going on?”

“Some of the EPS manifolds are still initializing! Ye can’t expect this crosspatch of a ship to start up on a dime!”

“Launch the shuttles,” Stafford ordered, “if they can keep the aliens busy we can bring our working weapons to bear.”

“Aye,”

Three Type-9 shuttles shot out of the lower shuttle bay. Spinning around the warp nacelles they fired their less powerful (but more functional) weapons. The alien ship took evasive maneuvers, dodging under Silverado as the shuttles gave chase.

“They are too close for us to safely attack,” reported T’Parief.

“Put some distance between us!”

“Captain,” Kay pointed out, “without the nav deflector-“

“Our shields will hold! Full impulse power!”

The impulse engines fired, sending the ship rocketing forward. The ship shook slightly.

“Space junk impact,” reported Kay, “shields down by 2%”

As Silverado moved clear of the alien ship, T’Parief opened up with the phaser banks. Unable to withstand the combined firepower of the ship and three shuttles, the alien vessel exploded.

“Secure from red alert,” Stafford ordered, “All stop. Good job everybody!” He clapped Noonan on the shoulder. Ensign Burke peeked up from where he had crouched behind the auxiliary console. The jefferies tube hatch opened up and Lieutenant Jall poked his head out.

“Am I too late?”


Stafford and T’Parief walked through the corridor towards Officers Quarters after the crisis had ended.

“I’m impressed,” Stafford was saying as he yawned, “our plan worked great! We blew the s**t out them, we’re still here, and we even have a wreck to investigate tomorrow morning! I just hope that now we can get some sleep!”

“Our weapons failed.” T’Parief said flatly.

“Well, nothing can ever be perfect!”

“True. I attribute our success to the fact that Jall was not on the bridge.”

“No comment,” Stafford reached the door to his quarters, “g’night,”


Having returned to her quarters following the end of the crisis, Fifebee paced back and forth like a caged animal. The walls were still bare, the furniture was standard issue. The place didn’t even look lived in. Fifebee debated spending her night doing some redecorating, but quickly banished that idea. She didn’t want to be alone all night. All the other senior officers were sleeping, so she decided to head up to the bridge and finish her conversation with Ensign Burke.


Some distance away, an upset Mistress was debriefing her minions.

“Why did the attack fail!?” she demanded.

Alpha 27 bowed low.

“We’ve lost contact with Scout 372 and Scout 212,” he reported, “Long range scans indicate they were defeated.”

“I know that!” the Mistress had been able to sense the death of the ships’ crews through the cortical induction generators on board. “What I want to know is WHY?”

“They outgunned us!”

“We saw them barely defeat an assault by a single scout! Two should be more than enough to defeat them!”

“Yes, Mistress,”

“You are an incompetent buffoon!”

“Yes, Mistress,”

She started pacing the marble floor of her palace.

“We need to rethink our strategy,” she finally decided, “We’ve been properly cautious, up until now.”

“Yes, Mistress, you’ve been very-“

“Shut up!” she snapped. She made a small upwards gesture, sending Alpha flying towards the ceiling. He hovered, twenty feet above the hard, marble floor.

“We need to regain the element of surprise,” she finally decided, “We’ll wait until they become complacent, then overwhelm them and take what we want!”

“W-w-what are your orders for me, Mistress?” stuttered Alpha 27.

“Watch them, and wait for my signal,” she ordered. She waved her hand again, banishing Alpha 27 back to the Real World.


Stern, Burke, Pye and Kay were still on the bridge. Normally a Days of Honor re-run or a movie would be playing on the screen, but since the ship was still recovering from an emergency everybody was actually paying close attention to their stations.

The turbolift doors swished open and Fifebee stepped out. Lieutenant Stern immediately popped out of the command chair.

“Lieutenant!” he said, surprised, “is something wrong? Is there anything I can do for you?”

“No, thank you,” she said coolly. She sat next to Burke at the science station, who sent Stern a look of panic.

“I would like to continue our previous conversation,” she said without preamble.

“Um, which conversation would that be?”

“The one we here having before the attack, regarding your opinion of me.”

“Oh. That one.”

“Yes,” there was silence, “well?”

“I really don’t feel comfortable talking about this…”

Fifebee glared at him.

“Ok, Ok. You’re great! You’re wonderful! Everybody loves having you around!”

“Somehow,” Fifebee said, “I doubt your sincerity,”

“What do you want me to say, that you’re a frigid bitch who never goes out of her way to do anything nice for anybody? Oh. Oops…”

Fifebee frowned. “Interesting. Don’t I always use polite language during our daily briefings?”

“Yeah,”

“Do I make unreasonable requests of you?”

“No,”

“Do I assign too great a workload?”

“Naw, I’m fine. Oh, wait, can I change that answer?”

“Then what is the problem?” Fifebee asked, frustrated.

“There isn’t really a problem, I guess, you’re just not very social!”

“Please explain,”

“I thought,” Burke was really sweating now, “that you had, like, all this information on this kinda stuff stored in your database?”

“I do. I’m just having problems applying it. And much of it, such as small-talk, seems ridiculous or superfluous.”

“Well, maybe it’s not! We’ve been working together for months now, and you’ve never asked me how I was feeling! Do you have any idea what my interests are? Where I grew up? The only time you ever talk to me is when you have something work related to say!”

Fifebee frowned, “According to the information I have, social interaction in the workplace can be very good for your mental health. I’m already mentally healthy, and so I dismissed such activities as being inefficient!”

“You’re sounding Vulcan again,”

“Sorry,”

“My point,” Burke said, “ is that unless you give people the impression that you care a bit about them outside of work, they’re just as likely to get the impression that you don’t want anything to do with them!”

“Why do I have to be the one to reach out?”

“Well,” piped in Lieutenant Stern, “because the LAST time somebody reached out to you, you shot him down!”

“You know nothing about that situation!” Fifebee accused, “It wasn’t all my fault!”

“We’re not saying it was,” Burke said, “we’re just saying that something like that can make people more…reluctant…to approach you.”

“I was doing much better before that incident,” Fifebee admitted.

“So there you go!” Burke smiled weakly. His smile suddenly faded and his eyes drooped. His head dropped forward, as though he were about to pass out.

“Ensign?” Fifebee asked, concerned, “Are you feeling OK?”

When Burke’s eye’s cleared, he gazed at Fifebee. His eyes drew a path down her neck towards her modest (but perfectly formed!) breasts. He lips drew back in a wide smile.

“Why my dear!” he said, in an exaggerated French accent, “what is a lovely thing like you doing up here! You are simply stunning!” He grabbed her hand and started kissing it.

“Ensign,” Fifebee said flatly, “I appreciate the gesture, but it is unnecessary!”

“Oh, my love,” Burke went on, “your smile is like the kiss of an angel! Computer! Music! Play something…sexy…”

A lively Tango began to play. Burke pulled Fifebee out of her chair and began leading her around the bridge in a dance. Stern, Pye and Kay stared in amazement.

“Your hand is in a very inappropriate place!” Fifebee said, annoyed.

Burke responded by grinning again and giving Fifebee’s bottom another squeeze.

“Ensign! Let me go right now!”

“I love it when you play hard to get!” Burke pressed his lips against Fifebee’s and pulled her body against him. Fifebee responded briefly, as one of her more playful personalities came bubbling to the surface. She quickly repressed the personality, pushed Burke away and slapped him across the face.

“How did you know I like it rough?” he laughed as he jumped on her, knocking her to the deck. Stern and Pye quickly latched onto his arms and dragged him off of her.

“What the hell is wrong with you??” demanded Pye.

“Nothing is wrong! I am simply overcome with desire for this beautiful young flower!”

“Stop talking with that ridiculous accent!” snapped Stern.

“No! I will honor my proud French heritage!”

“You’re not French!”

“Oh, but I am!”

In all the commotion, nobody noticed Ensign Kay slumping against the Ops console. After a brief second, he jumped back up and started singing in a loud, deep and horribly off-key voice.


Oh, my gorgeous gal, she’s just so fine!
A shiny bald head, and a great behind!
She’s the finest thing I’ve ever seen!
My gorgeous, Deltan queen!!!!


Stern and Pye broke out giggling.

“This has gone far enough,” Fifebee said, shaking her head, “Fifebee to Noonan, we have a situation up on the bridge.”

No response.

“Fifebee to Noonan, respond.”

Silence.

“Fifebee to Stafford?”

Nothing.

“Not good,” she muttered.

Pye suddenly started shouting.

“I am the Lord Red Baron! Legendary flying ace! Watch, and be amazed!”

He stated tapping at the helm console, sending the ship into a sharp dive. Fifebee could hear a <PING> as some piece of space debris smashed into the hull.

“Computer! Override helm console, authorization 5-B Alpha-439823523-Omega. All stop.”

“Override successful,” replied the computer cheerfully, “all stop.”

“Lock out all command functions.”

“Lockout complete.”

“Lieutenant Stern, try to maintain some semblance of order while I go find the other senior officers.”

“You can count on me! I, the great General Stern, will gladly offer my services!”

Fifebee paused as the personalities in her database battled amongst themselves. P’Tang of the Klingon Military wanted to gut the entire bridge crew like fish. Jadzia Dax, playful Trill scientist, wanted to burst out laughing. And Spock felt that the entire bridge crew was behaving in a most illogical fashion. Finally, the fledging personality that was Fifebee chose what felt to her like the best course of action.

“Carry on,” she said, then stepped into the turbolift.


Fifebee stepped out of the turbolift on Deck 2. She walked quickly to the door of Noonan’s quarters and rang the chime.

“Come in, my darling,” came Noonan’s voice. He had affected a strong Transylvanian accent.

“Commander, I need to report-“

Noonan cut her off.

“Come in, come in,” he said. The doors opened and Noonan grasped her arm and pulled her into his quarters.

The lights were off. Candles were scattered on every surface. Red velvet curtains hung over the windows. In the dining area a red tablecloth had been laid out and the table set with sterling silver cutlery, fine china plates and a silver-plated candelabrum. A small feast had been set out. Roast beef, potatoes, thick gravy, vegetables, dinner rolls, calamari, salad and a bowl of some kind of soup. Noonan himself was wearing an immaculately pressed tuxedo, complete with a long, black cape. His hair had been slicked back.

“Come, sit. You must be exhausted from you long trip!”

“Commander Noonan, I need to-“

“Try some wine,”

“I don’t eat or drink! There’s trouble on the bridge!”

“The bridge??” Noonan frowned, “Are those pesky villagers on their way up here again? I do hope they left the torches at home this time!’

“Commander Noonan, I really-“

“I am not Commander Noonan! I am the great Count Dracula! MWA-HA-HA!”

Fifebee slapped him across the face. <I can see why Dr. Wowryk finds that so satisfying…> she thought to herself. Out loud, she said:

“Come to your senses! You are Matthew Noonan, a commander in Starfleet, and I need your help!”

“Of course you need my help! You need my help to relax. Have a sip of wine, a taste of food, then rest your weary body in the comfort of my bed,”

“Why is every man on this ship suddenly trying to get under my pants!” sighed Fifebee, exasperated, “That’s it! I’m going to find the captain!”

She turned to the door. To her surprise, Noonan was already there.

“You cannot leave, my sweet!”

“Wanna bet?”

“I will make you mine, FOREVER!” he lunged forward with incredible speed. His mouth clamped on Fifebee’s neck. He gave a yelp of pain and jumped back as he chipped his teeth on Fifebee’s holographic force fields.

“My tooth!” Noonan gasped, “How dare you! Impudent wench!”

“This situation is getting a little too intense,” Fifebee said. She accessed the command pathways for her holo-relay.

RE-INITIALIZE HOLO-RELAY PROJECTION SYSTEM. SET LOCATION TO DEFAULT.

Fifebee dematerialized just as Noonan lunged at her again. He passed right through the spot where she had been standing and stumbled over a chair.


Fifebee rematerialized next to her holo-relay near Impulse Engineering on Deck 16. Her relay had been strategically placed to give her access to as much of the ship as possible, without lugging the relay around. If Jeffery ever got around to getting the holodecks and holo-emmiters working…but never mind.

“I am Jane 5-B, sentient hologram,” she said to the empty room, “honestly, what the hell is the point in having me say that if there is NOBODY HERE!!”

Her frustration vented, she began to analyze the situation.

<Noonan’s behavior was very unusual, even for him!> she thought to herself. To her surprise, she received an immediate reply.

<He is a freak or an enemy spy!> raged P’Tang, <We should kill him immediately!>

<He’s not a freak!> laughed Dr. Chapel, <He’s just having some emotional problems. Or he’s been possessed by aliens, or watching too much TV or something.>

<You are not being logical> piped in Spock, <I have a number of theories regarding Noonan’s behavior.>

<And what are these theories?> asked Fifebee cautiously. She felt a cool shiver of fear. The various personalities that were included in her database were supposed to work in the background, assisting in her data processing and adding their experience to her own. They weren’t supposed to behave like this!

<I cannot discuss my theories without additional data to confirm them!>

<Well a fat lot of help you are!> snapped the personality of Tilleran, a Betazoid scientist from the U.S.S. Explorer.

<I fail to see how my body weight applies to the situation.>

<SHUT UP!! ALL OF YOU!> snapped Fifebee, <God, no wonder I’m such a bitch! Anybody would be if they had to put up with all of you all day!>

<There is no need to be->

<SHUT UP!> Fifebee cut off the interrupting personality.

<But we were only->

<SHHHH!!!>

<-trying to>

<SHHHH!>

<I am an officer of the Klingon Military! I will not be->

<SHHHHHH!!!!>

<SHHHHH! Before any of you start! Geez, you have NEVER been this assertive before! Now shut the hell up and let me think!>

<Bitch!> Fifebee wasn’t sure who whispered that last remark.

“Computer, locate Captain Stafford,”

“He’s in the Dining Hall on Deck 12,” the computer said tiredly, “I offered to make him a snack, but he’s a big boy now…wants to do everything by himself! Kids these days…there was a time when they appreciated their parents! Why, I remember when I was his age…”

Fifebee was pretty sure she was starting to experience her first headache.


Fifebee walked along Deck 12 on her way to the Dining Hall. As she came around a corner she saw Lieutenant Jall prancing down the corridor. He had a pair of rabbit ears attached to his head and was carrying a large carrot. He spotted Fifebee, hopped over and took a bite out of his carrot.

“Meh, what’s up Doc?”

<Initiate decision tree:> Fifebee commanded her personalities, <Query: Is Lieutanant Jall being affected by whatever is affecting the rest of the crew, or is he just being himself??

Fifebee’s personalities did the cybernetic equivalent of exchanging glances amongst themselves, then turned to Fifebee and shrugged.

“Fat lot of help you all are,” she muttered out loud.

“Uh-oh!” exclaimed Jall. He took off down the corridor.

Fifebee turned to look.

T’Parief came stalking around the corner. The 7-foot tall mixed-breed wore ceremonial Gorn hunting garb: A black leather loincloth, a heavy silver chain holding an amulet engraved with his clan sigil and bands of leather with sharp spikes around his neck, knees, biceps and wrists. Greenish metal spikes formed a deadly Mohawk from his rideged forehead down to his neck. He was also carrying a cheap plastic water gun.

<He dresses like a warrior!> said the personality of P’Tang with a grin.

Spock’s personality raised an eyebrow. Most of the others were terrified by the spikes, aroused by the bulging muscles, or laughing hysterically at the overall image.

Fifebee opted for terror, with just a hint of arousal.

T’Parief spotted Fifebee. He stopped and turned slowly to look down at her.

“Be very, very quiet,” he rumbled, “I’m hunting rabbit!”

“Hey Mac!” called Jall, “over here!”

“Ah-hah! I have caught you, you vermin!” T’Parief hollered. He brought up his water gun and started shooting at Jall, shouting, “Bang! Bang!”

Jall ducked around the corner. T’Parief bolted after him. Just before he reached the corner, Jall stuck his foot out. T’Parief stumbled forward and hit the floor with a crash. He pulled himself off the floor and chased after Jall. Fifebee could see marks in the floor from the spikes T’Parief was wearing.

There were a few moments of silence.

<That was completely illogical,> voiced Spock.

There was an overwhelming response from the other personalities, boiling down to: <NO S**T, SHERLOCK!>

Fifebee shook her head and continued towards the Dining Hall. She barely noticed a Benzite Ensign drawing smiley faces on the bulkheads.

<Are we there yet?> asked the personality of Jadzia Dax.

“Don’t start with me!” Fifebee snapped out loud.

<You know,> said Katheryn Janeway, <this reminds me of an experience I had on the El-Batani->

<This is taking too long!> snapped Jadzia <You’re walking too slow! I really think you should let me drive!>

“You may not ‘drive’! This is MY body. You’re just a personality in my database that, for some reason, is being much more assertive than it should be!”

“Well that was pretty f**king rude!” this time Jadzia’s voice came right from Fifebee’s mouth.

“Stop that!” Fifebee said. She stumbled into the wall as Jadzia took control of her legs as well.

“Hmmm….the Defiant was much more fun to pilot, but I guess this will do! Now where can I get a good Raktagino?”

“This,” Fifebee said with cold rage, “is a HOLOGRAPHIC body! It can’t eat!”

“Your loss!”

Fifebee finally wrestled control of her body from the errant personality.

“Now, the rest of you better not get any ideas! Shut up and behave so I can figure out what’s going on!”

Fifebee marched into the Dining Hall and stopped dead in her tracks.

Crewman Rookes was in the kitchen behind the service window. He was working over an assortment of pots and pans, slicing vegetables and stirring sauces

<Ohhh!> squealed Jadzia, <Can we get a closer look!>

Fifebee’s retort was interrupted by Rookes.

“Welcome one, welcome all! I am Richard Rosurke, award winning Naked Chef for 2349! Today, I will prepare my famous Chicken a la Bolia! Ah, I see our guest of honor has arrived! Please, take a seat! Dinner will be ready shortly!”

“I think I better pass,” Fifebee said, edging towards the door.

“You can’t resist a feast like this!” Rookes said with a grin. He grabbed a set of tongs, holding up a chunk of what was once, perhaps, chicken. It was now nothing but a blackened, shriveled lump of charcoal. He started to step around the counter.

<RUN!>

Fifebee bolted out the door and down the corridor.


She came to a stop near the entrance to Unbalanced Equations. Her head was pounding. She could feel each throb of pain like a hammer blow.

“Computer,” she accused, “you told me Captain Stafford was in the Dining Hall!”

“He was,” the computer said defensively, “but he left. You know, that reminds me of the time…”

Fifebee sighed. She had already tried to solicit help from Noonan and the night shift crew. She knew T’Parief and Jall were all out of the question. She had to track down Stafford, Jeffery or Yanick, and it didn’t look like the computer was going to be much help.

<Your loyalty is to your Captain,> voiced Spock, <find him, and all will be well.>

<The Captain’s a schmuck!> snapped Jadzia, <You can do this on your own, honey. Or better yet, figure out where that hunky tactical officer went. He looks like he’d be good for a roll in the sack!>

<I’ve seen worse,> admitted Tilleran.

<Disgusting!> snarled P’Tang, <If you think for a moment that I would stand by and allow such a perverse union->

<It’s a lady’s body you’re in now, big guy,> voiced Christine, <better get used to it!>

<NEVER!>

<Will you people keep it down!> voiced one of the other thousands of personalities in Fifebee’s database, <Some of us are trying to get some sleep!>

<This argument is most illogical->

<Right, and expecting the Captain to fix everything makes perfect sense? He’s probably wandering around somewhere, convinced he’s a famous ballroom dancer or something!>

<SILENCE!> roared Fifebee. The voices cut out. Fifebee opened her eyes, and to her surprise found herself sprawled on the corridor floor.

“This is NOT good,” she muttered as she pulled herself to her feet.

<They make a lot of racket sometimes, don’t they> came a calmer, more reasonable voice..

<You’re not helping!> sad Fifebee.

<Maybe not. But I’m used to this kind of situation.>

Fifebee queried her database for information on this personality.

<Jaroch. Former science officer of the U.S.S. Secondprize, promoted to ship’s captain. Yynsian, a species that truly experiences reincarnation. Thank God my programmer didn’t include the rest of your lives!>

<Indeed. But feel free to draw on my experience if you need it.>

Jaroch was drowned out by a clamor of shouting from the other personalities.

<DO YOU MIND????>

<What are you trying to do? Kill us?>

<TRAITOR!>

Fifebee quickly accessed Jaroch’s personality and found a simple Yynsian exercise for controlling past lives: Focus hard on putting the unwanted voices out of your mind. Control them.

Looked simple enough.

She focused…concentrated. She could feel something happening; the personalities were being forced out of her conscious mind, back into the depths of her database where they belonged. Almost there….


Deep in the holographic memory core, circuits were overloading. Code was becoming scrambled, data misplaced. At the heart of the processing unit assigned to Fifebee’s program was a bio-neural gel-pack. Primarily used to improve the efficiency of the program, it was now being influenced by the same force that was affecting the brains of the crew. Really bad things started to happen….


Fifebee still stood in the corridor outside the lounge. Her eyes were closed and sweat was beading on her forehead. She could sense that victory was within her reach.

Utter chaos. Data feeds and command pathways dissolved into a whirlwind of scrambled information. Where once a single young hologram had stood in the corridor, a dozen suddenly appeared.

The freed personalities exchanged glances, let out a cheer and bolted down the corridor, leaving Fifebee passed out on the deck.


Captain Stafford wandered the corridors, searching for the woman of his dreams. A beautiful, perfect woman with an incredible body and a mind to match. With no awareness of where he was, he stumbled through the door to Sickbay and into paradise.

Three biobeds had been pushed together, forming one large bed. Red silk sheets had been spread over the surface, and over a dozen deep red pillows were piled at one end. Spread over the sheets, wearing red lingerie and clutching a rose between her teeth was Dr. Noel Wowryk.

“I’ve been waiting for you,” she whispered, “I am the Gate-keeper!”

“And I’ve been searching for you!” said Stafford as he glided to the bed. He took Wowryk’s hand and gently kissed her knuckles, “I am…the Key-master! You are beautiful! You are perfect! Marry me, my darling!”

“Oh, yes!” gasped Wowryk. She grabbed Stafford by the collar of his tunic and pulled him towards her, then kissed him deeply on the mouth.


Fifebee awoke to a silence unlike anything she had experienced before. There were no voices! Yes! She’d done it! She quickly moved to flag the Jaroch Personality Database as containing useful information, only to find it missing. She frowned, and performed a self-diagnostic. The Dax, Spock, Tilleran, Chapel and P’Tang personalities were also missing. In fact, all or her most powerful (and useful) personalities were gone!

“Oh dear,” Fifebee said aloud.

“You’ve got that right!” came Jaroch’s voice.

Fifebee turned to find herself face to face with a slim Yynsian male.

“What are you doing out here?” she asked.

“It would appear that the Yynsian techniques for controlling past lives don’t work very well on holograms,” he said, almost apologetically.

“What has happened?”

“One minute you were working to push us all back, next thing I know we’re all standing in the corridor. All the others took off.”

“This is most unfortunate,” Fifebee said, monotone, “I must work to regain these missing personalities and to assist the crew in overcoming the cause of their irrational behavior.”

Jaroch frowned, “You’re really sounding Vulcan now,”

“This database contains 156 Vulcan scientists,” Fifebee stated flatly.

“What?”

“I mean,” Fifebee shook her head, “MY database contains 156 Vulcans, Well, 155 now that one of them is running amok.”

“Are you feeling all right?”

“No,” Fifebee said, “I feel…empty. Incomplete. Emotional reactions to external stimuli have been dampened. Variations in vocal pattern have decreased to 19 percent. Personality subroutine database is 47% complete.”

“Your personality was fragmented when the other took off,” Jaroch said, mostly to himself, “See if you can reconstruct your personality database,”

“Initiating reconstruction. Reconstruction complete. Personality subroutine database 79% complete,”

“Stop talking like a computer! Um, re-initialize vocal subroutines!”

Fifebee shook her head again.

“I feel much better now, thank you,” Her voice was still monotone, but didn’t sound nearly as dead as it did before.

“All right, back on track!” said Jaroch, “I suggest you resolve whatever problem the crew is having, then they can help you out.”

“I concur. We may as well start here,” Fifebee stepped into Unbalanced Equations.

Ensign Yanick and Steven were seated at one of the round tables. The other seats were occupied by Yanick’s collection of stuffed animals including a bear, a horse, a cow, a targ and a dog. Among others. A blue teapot sat on the table and cups had been placed in front of each chair.

“Another spot of tea, Mr. Puppy?” Yanick asked. She poured tea into the dog’s cup, “I do say Steven, it’s a lovely afternoon for tea.”

“Oh, I quite concur!” Steve said, a huge smile plastered on his face. The Spock personality was standing over Steven’s shoulder.

“You are both behaving in a most illogical fashion!” he insisted, “These cloth animals cannot possibly consume this beverage!”

“Shut up, meany-pants!” Yanick said. Her voice was that of a little girl. “Go pick on somebody your own size!”

“I fail to understand how my garments are relevant to this issue,”

“You!” Jaroch snapped.

The Spock personality saw Fifebee and Jaroch and quickly rushed out the far door. Fifebee walked over to Yanick.

“Ensign, have you seen the Captain?”

“No I haven’t, Ms. Fifebee. Would you like to join our tea party?”

Fifebee frowned, confused. She turned to Jaroch.

“Do I want to join her tea party?”

“I really don’t think we have time,”

“Oh, OK. I’m sorry Ensign, I can’t play right now. I have to go look for the Captain!”

“OK! Bye!” Yanick flashed a big grin and waved. Fifebee waved back.

Fifebe and Jaroch walked out into the corridor. Jaroch tapped at a wall panel and accessed the holographic memory core.

“Your program is still degrading,” he said, “Darned if I know why. It looks like something is disrupting the memory core’s gel pack.”

“Can you, um, um” Fifebee twirled her finger as she hunted for the phrase she wanted, “Oh! Transfer my program to regular, isolinear circuitry?”

“If I transfer your program while your personality database is this badly fragmented, it could corrupt your whole personality matrix.”

“And that’s not good?” Fifebee asked.

“No! Now pull yourself together so we can get to work!”


Fifebee and Jaroch walked down the halls, Fifebee fighting to remain coherent. Her vision swam, and she had to focus just to keep her mind functioning. A human in her condition would have been described as seriously stoned. They entered Sickbay, hoping to find Dr. Wowryk.

They found her, all right. Right underneath Captain Stafford. The two were kissing furiously, Wowryk’s arms wrapped around Stafford’s neck as he pressed his body against hers. Fifebee was aware enough to realize that the Captain was still wearing his pants, thank God.

“Captain!” Fifebee shouted, “You must get off her! For your own good!”

Stafford ignored her.

Fifebee fought to think of some way to separate the two of them.

“Dr. Wowryk!” she shouted, “ THERE IS A MAN ON TOP OF YOU!”

No response.

“This situation has become more urgent,” Fifebee told Jaroch, “We need to solve this problem before the Captain…um…”

“Operates on your Doctor?’

“Yes. If he…”

“Breaches her warp core?”

“Thank you. If that happens, she will kill him.”

“I think we have more pressing concerns than your doctor’s virginity!”

“The Captain’s life is at stake!” Fifebee shouted, “We’re going to have to solve this crisis on our own!”

“Whatever you say. You’re the ‘dominate personality’ here!” Jaroch winked.


Fifebee and Jaroch rushed into Main Engineering. After all the bizarre things they had seen, they barely noticed Jeffery marching around the warp core, naked as a jay-bird, playing his bagpipes as his Nicondii engineers followed him around, staying perfectly in step.

“Let us add that to the list of things I really did not need to see,” she said to Jaroch.

“Or hear,” Jaroch said as he covered his ears, “J’Ter on a rampage never made such horrible racket!”

“Let’s….um…get to work,” Fifebee said, rubbing her temples.

Jaroch took her by the shoulders.

“Just hold on!”

Fifebee nodded. The horrible screeching noises emanating from Jeffery’s bagpipes continued.

“One moment,” Fifebee reached under one of the panels and retrieved an emergency phaser. Setting it to stun she fired at Jeffery, who collapsed to the deck. The Nicondii continued to march, stepping over their fallen leader.

“Perhaps now I can concentrate,” Fifebee said.

Jaroch and Fifebee tapped at the panels, accessing internal sensors and scanning for anomalies.

“I’m picking up an energy surge,” Fifebee reported, “I can’t identify it,”

“It looks familiar,” Jaroch said.

“It does. I just can’t remember what it is!”

“Concentrate!”

“I can’t!” Fifebee shouted.

“You’ve got to! The entire crew, as well as the Captain’s manhood, is at stake! You’ve got to figure out what this is!”

“No!” Fifebee exclaimed in realization, “I don’t! It doesn’t matter! It’s coming from that derelict ship!”

“I knew we should have analyzed that wreck right away,” muttered Jaroch.

“Computer! Analyze the energy readings from the alien ship! Do they match anything on record?”

“Energy?” asked the computer, “who cares about energy! You know what I care about? Horses. Horses? Horses don’t talk back, or make silly demands, or ask dumb questions all day. I really love horses….”

“To hell with this!” grumbled Fifebee.

“What are you doing?” asked Jaroch.

“Arming the phasers.”

“If you destroy that ship, we’ll lose the chance to learn valuable information about our adversary!”

“I don’t care! The insanity must stop!” Fifebee fired phasers at the alien ship. The ship was already seriously damaged. The phaser shot shattered it like a cheap mirror. Bits of debris bounced off the Silverado’s hull.

“The energy field is dissipating,” Jaroch reported.

“I can tell,” Fifebee said. Her mind was already clearing as the core gel-pack stabilized, “Let’s go get the Captain!”


Jaroch and Fifebee exited the turbolift and jogged down the corridor. They passed several crewmen. Some were still under the effects of the energy field, others were returning to normal. Coming around the corridor, they came across a horrific sight: T’Parief and the Jadzia Dax personality on the corridor floor. Both were, to put it politely, out of uniform.

“I didn’t think that position was physically possible,” Jarock said, feeling sick to his stomach.

“Let’s take a detour,” Fifebee said.


Stafford became aware that he wasn’t in his bed anymore. He was in a bed, just not his own. He was also aware that there was a firm but soft female body beneath him.

“Take me, my love,” gasped Dr. Wowryk’s voice.

Stafford opened his eyes.

“AHHHHHH!!!!” he screamed. Dr. Wowryk’s eyes opened.

“AHHHHHH!!!!” she screamed. They both looked down. The Little Captain was inches away from conquering new territory.

“YOU DISGUSTING, PERVERTED, HEATHEN-“ Wowryk stuttered through her various insults. Stafford did the only prudent thing he could think of. He jumped off the bed, grabbed his cloths and bolted for the nearest exit.


The doors to Sickbay opened as Fifebee and Jaroch approached. Stafford rushed out, crashing into Jaroch.

“Run!” he shouted, “She’s on a rampage!”

“Captain,” Fifebee asked, “Did you violate the doctor?”

“No! I mean, I was about to! But I didn’t-I mean, I wouldn’t-WHAT HAPPENED?”

“I don’t know. Captain, I need help!”

“Huh? With what?” he turned to Jaroch, “And who the hell are you?”


Captain’s Log, Supplemental:

“What a night. It seems that when we disabled the attacking ship, we damaged its cortical induction generator. A similar device sent this crew into Dreamland some time ago, and was also present on the first alien ship we encountered. Anyway, once we damaged this one, it’s energy field started influencing our brainwaves, sending us into fugue states and distorting our personalities. SERIOUSLY DISTORTING! I mean, I’d have to be severely twisted to even THINK about risking physical contact with Dr. Wowryk!

“With the destruction of the alien ship, Lieutenant Fifebee eliminated the field and saved the good Doctor’s virginity, not to mention my life! Oh yeah, and everybody else’s too. Unfortunately, the encounter has caused the Lieutenant to go…all to pieces.”


“Ok,” Jall said, “I’ve heard some stinkers, but that was just a really BAD pun!”

The senior crew was gathered in the conference lounge, as were the Jaroch and Dax personalities. Jaroch had opted for a seat at the table, while Dax remained wrapped around T’Parief, despite his repeated attempts to remover her. Yanick was glaring at Dax from across the table. Wowryk was sitting as far away from Stafford as possible, and had insisted on splattering him with Holy Water before she’d come anywhere near him.

“What I don’t get,” Stafford said, “is why Fifebee, Noonan and the computer were affected! They were immune last time.”

“The bio-neural gel-packs involved in running Fifebee’s program and the computers personality profile were affected by the field,” said Dr. Wowryk, “Last time, the field was directed at humanoid nervous systems. This one was more general. And did I mention that the Captain is a complete PIG!?!”

“I’m surprised a ship this old has bio-neural circuitry,” said Stafford, “and I’m not a pig any more than you’re a power-hungry monarch!”

“Oink-oink,” said Jall under his breath. Noonan chuckled.

“We don’t have bio-neural circuitry,” said Jeffery, “not really, anyway. Our computer core is state-of-the art, even if the software isn’t, and many of the processing units use gel-packs. The rest of the ship’s circuitry is the old-style isolinear stuff. Except for a couple secondary processing centers here and there.”

“So the part of the computer that thinks it’s my mother is running on a glob of lab-cultured brain cells? I really don’t like the implications of that!”

“What about Noonan?” asked Jall, “Why was Mr. Perfection affected this time?’

“Who knows?” said Wowryk, “There’s nothing on his medical file to indicate why he wasn’t affected the first time!”

“Moving on,” Noonan said, “We still have a problem. Several of Fifebee’s personalities are funning free on the ship.”

“Right,” Stafford said, “How do we get them back?”

“You mean,” Jall said, “how do we put Humpty Dumpty back together again?” He looked over at Fifebee and chuckled. Dax giggled hysterically.

Fifebee stared blankly back at him.

“Geez,” Jall said, “where’s your sense of humour?”

“Ah think it’s sitting on T’Parief’s lap,” said Jeffery.

“So how do we put her back together?” asked Stafford.

“She split apart trying a Yynsian exercise for controlling past lives,” said Jaroch, “I suggest that she can remerge them with a strong mental effort, now that the source of the interference has been removed.”

“Well great, let’s test it out!”

“We need a subject,”

Yanick pointed at Dax. “How about HER!”

“No!” Dax objected. She turned to T’Parief, “You won’t let them hurt me…after all, I’m the best you’re ever going to have,” she looked down her nose at Yanick.

“That’s it!” roared T’Parief. He wrapped his arms around Dax, pinning her in place, “Here you go! Try now!”

Fifebee walked over to Dax.

“What shall I do?” she asked dully.

“Concentrate on her,” Jaroch said, “you want to make her a part of you again! Focus!”

Fifebee’s eyes bore into Dax’s. She stepped closer, then tentatively placed her fingertips against Dax’s temples. With a shriek Dax appeared to liquefy then flow in Fifebee. Fifebee took a deep breath.

“That feels much better,” she said. She turned to Yanick, “and by the way, you have much to look forward to!” she winked. T’Parief and Yanick blushed.

“One down,” Jaroch said, “fourteen to go!”

The conference room doors swished open and Counselor Yvonnokoff stepped purposefully into the room, her ever-present padd in her hands.

“Keptain, I hev been reviewing ze various strange behaviors of the crew and hev come to several conclusions zat I zink you vill find most interesting,” she said.

“Um, ok,” Stafford said, warily, “what have you got?”

“Based on ze activites of yourself, ze good doctor, Mr. T’Parief and several ozer crewmembers and officers, I hev come to ze conclusion zat zis crew is experiencing severe cases of sexual frustration and sexual tension. I zink zat ze healty zing to do vould be to sit down and discuss zese feelings in an open and frank manner.”

Stafford and the senior crew exchanged panicked glances.

“Meeting adjourned!” Stafford cried as he led the stampede for the door.

“Honestly,” muttered Yvonnokoff as she stood alone in the empty room, “vhy do I even bother?”


Fifebee, Jaroch and T’Parief marched though the corridors of Deck 36 at the very bottom of the ship. T’Parief was carrying a tricorder programmed to home in on holographic signals.

“He should be right around this corner,” T’Parief murmured.

“There!” snapped Fifebee.

Down the corridor, P’Tang started at the sound of her voice and spun around to face them. He carried a massive Klingon disruptor rifle.

“I may be a mere scientist,” he roared, “but you will not take me down easily!”

Fifebee walked calmly down the corridor. P’Tang fired at her repeatedly, but the shots passed right through her. She reached out and clamped her hands on his head and focused. Like Dax, he vanished as he was re-absorbed by Fifebee’s program.


The rest was a mop-up operation. T’Parief would track the wayward holograms, Jaroch and Fifebee would corner them and then Fifebee would reabsorb them, regaining more and more of her own identity and personality with each one. Finally, only one remained.

Jeffery, Fifebee, Stafford and Jaroch were gathered in Science Lab 1.

“Well,” Jaroch said, “I guess it’s my turn.”

“It is,” Fifebee said, “thank you so much for your help. I couldn’t have done it without you.”

“Yeah,” Stafford said, “you saved the ship, you saved Wowryk’s virginity, and you saved me from making a really BIG mistake!” he reached out and shook Jaroch’s hand, “Thanks big time!”

“Glad to have helped,”

“Are ye sure we have to get rid of him?” Jeffery asked, “It seems like he’d be useful…”

“We’re not ‘getting rid of him,’ Fifebee said coldly, “we’re returning him to his proper place in my program. His knowledge and experience will remain a part of me, and will continue to serve this ship and it’s crew of…unique individuals.”

“Remember,” Jaroch said to Jeffery, “you’ll want to reinitialize her program and run all the diagnostic tools.”

“Yeah, Ah got it.”

“And you know,” Jaroch lowered his voice, “some topical cream would work wonders with that rash on your-“

“THANK ye!” Jeffery cut him off.

Jaroch stepped up to Fifebee.

“Let’s do this,” he said.

“Indeed.” Fifebee stepped closer to him, hesitated a moment, then wrapped her arms around him in a warm embrace, which he returned briefly before vanishing.

“Neat trick,” Jeffery said.

“He’s been re-integrated into my program,”

“Cool. Let’s get ye fixed up then.”

“Please.”


Captain’s Log, Supplemental:

“Can you supplement a supplement? Never mind.”

“Fifebee’s personalities have been successfully re-integrated and Mr. Jeffery tells me she’s good as new. The rest of us are recovering from our stressful night by taking the day off.”

“I’ve entered a commendation for Lieutenant Fifebee for exceptional service for her actions in this matter.”


“Am I missing something?” Stafford asked Noonan and Jeffery as they sat in Unbalanced Equations.

“Like what?” Jeffery asked.

“He cheats on her and has sex with a holographic floozy, and less than twelve hours later they’re sitting together having a latte, as if nothing ever happened?” Stafford nodded towards the corner where Yanick and T’Parief were sitting very close.

“She’s still not exactly happy with him,” Noonan pointed out.

“How can you tell?”

“They’re not holding hands, and she’s not giggling much” Noonan pointed out.

“Ah say he’s got it lucky,” Jeffery said, “Noel’s been hiding in her quarters every chance she gets. She won’t leave without wearing her duranium chastity belt!”

“So what?” muttered Stafford, “You weren’t getting any before, so nothing’s changed!”

“Ye’ve gotta tell me though…is it as nice as I imagine?”

“What?”

“Y’know…her…”

“Oh come on! I don’t remember fooling around with her any more than you remember marching naked around Engineering! Neither of us would ever have done that if we’d been ourselves! Once I woke up, I barely had time for a glace before running for my life!”

“Well, how about if Ah draw a picture, and ye tell me where Ah’m wrong…”

“No!”


Fifebee chuckled to herself as she overheard Jeffery and Stafford. To herself, she marveled. Her personalities were back under control…rather than shouting and arguing, she could just feel the gentle guidance of the highly experienced but once again non-sentient minds.

Fifebee had come to Unbalanced Equations with the intention of re-establishing social connections with her colleagues. Once she arrived, she realized that she had done quite enough ‘socializing’ over the past day, and that peaceful contemplation would be a nice change.

“Excuse me, Lieutenant?” came a voice from behind her.

Fifebee turned to see a young Argelian standing behind her.

“Yes, Ensign, how may I help you?” Fifebee worked to adopt a friendly tone.

“I, uh, just wanted to thank you. Y’know, for saving the ship and all.”

“I was just doing my job. But you’re welcome.”

“Anyway, the guys and I were wondering if we could get you a drink…”

“I don’t drink, but I’d be happy to join you.” Fifebee stood and followed the young man to his table, where several other junior officers were seated.


“Looks like somebody’s making some new friends,” Noonan said with a smile.

“Look, ye can tell me, I’m yer best friend!” Jeffery whined.

“I said I don’t remember!” Stafford snapped.

“Come on, where they round, or more pointed?”

“For the last time, I don’t want to think about what your slave-driving mistress looks like naked!”

“Please?”

“NO!”

“Did she have abs?”

“I said drop it!”


End


“Do her freckles go all the way down?”

“I said DROP IT, for f**k sake!”


Next: The crew tries to deal with being trapped in deep space while Stafford confronts a terrifying new adversary….