This article is part of the The Blue Stripe Logs series.
Oh, to work security. The guys in engineering make fun of them, call them "red shirts" and talk about how they're meat shields on every away-mission. Not me. Those guys have it made. They sit around and play three-tiered chess all day in the break room, they get double the standard holodeck time and then they get to go out in a blaze of glory on the away-missions with the upper crust of the bridge crew. I'd trade an extra twenty years onboard this bucket of shit for my name in a captain's log talking about how I had all of my carbon sucked out by some monster that looked like the hottest woman ever.
And the bridge crew, feh. Do you know how many times I've even been on the bridge? Once, when Captain Picard somehow fucked up the holodeck again (not my department) and got Moriarty to come out of his replicator. There was tweed everywhere. Bolts of the stuff just kept coming out of the damn replicator. Those assholes only ever call me when something breaks. My chest never beeps and then says "Ensign Dupree, we are under attack, what do you think the replicator can do." I would say "a whole hell of a lot," because holy crap, it's only like the second most incredible technology ever made. It would be the most incredible, but you can't make a replicator generate forty identical women with giant breasts and insatiable libidos. That's holodeck territory.
Anyway, I'm not too good at doing these report things for self-assessments so I'm just going to fill up the computer's word limit with my job logs. No one is every going to read this anyway and if the computer gives two shits she ain't tellin' me.
Call: 02:55 - Replicator Malfunction (emergency)
Complainant: Lt. Junior Grade Worf
Report: Was woken up in the middle of the sleep cycle by a call from Lt. Worf. Asshead said he was having difficulty getting the replicator to produce k'ruh'nuwhatever. Some bullshit Klingon crap. I get there and Worf answers the door completely naked. Great start. He smells like he's been running laps inside a dog's asshole and he is apparently drunk again. I ask him what the hell the k'ruh'nuwhatever crap is and he launches into some unlistenable shit about his Klingon house. He's slurring all over the place with his giant deformed Klingon dong flapping around and I'm barely able to stay awake. I pretend to "tune" the replicator until he passes out and then leave.
Call: 21:30 - Replicator Malfunction (non-emergency)
Complainant: Commander Beverly Crusher
Report: Not fifteen minutes into my shift I get a call from Doctor Crusher. She's legendary around replicator maintenance. She calls in a complaint after a couple glasses of wine and then tries to seduce whichever guy shows up. It's a running joke around the place that not even Lieutenant LaForge would fall for it, but to be honest it was my first call to her quarters and I was kind of excited. I was two weeks out from my next holodeck chit and some genuine officer tang was sounding mighty good. BIG mistake. I get to her quarters and the lights are all dimmed and she has some vanilla scented candles burning.
She comes out in this billowy night gown and she says she is having problems with her replicator and then she says "sensual oil, 95 degrees" and boom, it works. She's all like "I don't know if it worked though, the consistency doesn't seem right, rub some into my back." She drops the night gown and I start rubbing the crap onto her shoulders, we're both starting to get into it and then she turns around. She's got an okay rack, but I look down and she's wearing this thong thing. The carpet matches the drapes, but she's got wall to wall Berber. It was like a rubber band wrapped around a big red spider. I'm backing away and then there is this clatter and her kid freaking falls out of a closet nearby. She's all like "Wesley, go to your room!" and I beat a hasty retreat. The real bitch of the situation is that after I escaped I checked my worklog and she had filed a complaint saying I was "unbelievably rude." Fuck that old bag, and I don't mean literally.
Stardate 41202Call: 06:31 - User Error (emergency)
Complainant: Lt. Commander Data
Report: I was covering for Ensign Glurch's morning shift when this call came. According to Glurch's worklog he gets the same call once or twice every month at around the same time. According to Lt. Commander Data, the replicator had "entered a non-terminating cycle of production" and was spewing out translucent plastic cubes at a rate of about one a second. Needless to say that was putting quite a strain on the old dilithium crystals and we were getting brownouts all over the saucer section. I get to Data's quarters and the cubes are piled up at least three feet deep and they're still falling out of the damn replicator. Data is just looking at them and cocking his head like some sort of albino bird. I ask him what he had it replicate and he says "love." After a really cathartic sigh and shake of the head I dig through the cubes and open up the override panel and toggle it off and then back on.
"I suppose the computer was generating a metaphor," was Data's theory. "I believe it is meant to be the ever-giving burden of love."
"Replicator: one wish." I said to demonstrate. Cubes started shooting out of it again.
Happens every time you try to replicate an idea. I tried to explain it to him but he just kept saying "fascinating" so I called down to janitorial and had them send up a cleaning crew.
Call: 10:08 - Maintenance (non-emergency)
Complainant: Commander William Riker
Report: No one puts a strain on the replicator infrastructure quite like Commander Riker. The man is the laziest officer in all of Starfleet and the ultimate bachelor. His quarters are heaped with junk and he can never find anything in the teetering piles of books, gee-gaws, dishes and discarded clothing. What is a lazy man with unlimited access to a renewable resource going to do? Replicate everything he needs rather than even looking for it, of course. Can't find the keys to his gym locker? Replicate them. Can't find his leftover hoagie? Replicate a new one and let the old one rot. Can't find his bath robe? You get the idea.
That kind of workload on a private replicator means I have to make a trip down to Riker's quarters once a week to service his replicator. Normally that isn't too bad. I just shove my way through all the junk, replace some circuits and follow my footsteps back out. However, today was his day off so I had to contend with Riker. He sat on his swaybacked sofa watching me fix the damn thing and then he cajoled me into looking at his collection of alien bongs. He boasted about the adventures he'd gone on to acquire each bong, but I knew from looking through his replicator buffer that the bongs were just one of the thousands of things he had replicated. I didn't say anything though, he's got horrible self-esteem and will become extremely defensive and liable to pull rank if you criticize him in the least. After looking at the bongs I could tell he wanted me to smoke some replicated weed and sit around and talk for a while, but I had work to do. The whole encounter was more depressing than annoying.
Call: 23:38 - Maintenance (non-emergency)
Complainant: Computer Dispatch
Report: This was a good one. I get a computer pop-up on my console telling me to report to acting Ensign Wesley Crusher's room in his mother's suite. It's flagged non-urgent so I take care of some other crap and then make my way down. Commander Crusher is sitting on her sofa in tears and there is a medical team and an engineering team already down there. Turns out Wesley decided he wanted a "giant rubber vagina" (direct quote from Lt. Barclay) and it came out of the replicator a bit more suddenly than Wesley had expected. One end of the thing got wedged in the replicator slot and the other end ballooned out of the replicator and pinned him to the floor of his room. The engineering team had to set their phasers to shame to get him out of that predicament. Unfortunately, by the time I showed up, he was long gone and there were just pieces of rubber left in the replicator that needed some work.
I'll never let that little prick live this one down.
Call: 03:46 - Security Emergency
Report: We were boarded by some Romulans at about 3:25, smack dab in the middle of my lunch break. Security details were sent to the locations where the Romulans had beamed aboard and a huge sissy fight erupted with phasers. I used the replicator to make a .45 pistol and I went down and shot them all in the head. A couple of them shot at me but I just casually stepped out of the path of their phaser beams. Somehow, LaForge managed to take the credit claiming he "disabled them with a phase-inversion field by venting the plasma containment units." Oh, is that why maintenance spent three hours cleaning brain-smeared bullets out of the corridor walls on deck 18? Fucking asshole.
Call: 10:34 - User Error (Non-Emergency)
Complainant: Keiko Ishikawa
Report: During the middle of one of our more recent time travel incidents I was called to the shared quarters of Keiko Ishikawa and Miles O'Brien. I didn't ask why they were living together, but Keiko was in a tizzy about some food she had been replicating right when the time shift happened. I went in to their living room and there was some sort of live parasitic monster fused into the replicator. It looked sort of like a cross between a fish and a human baby only it was at least as big as a person and had these horrible hooked talons on the end of floppy vestigial arms. I asked the transporter room to beam it off the ship but they were all "transporter use is reserved for Commander use only and besides we're trying to slingshot around the sun and fly at the earth to travel in whatever direction in time."
Completely useless, as usual. Maintenance came down and had a look and they had no idea what to do either. The whole time we're trying to figure out what to do, Keiko is screaming her head off and that thing is moaning and puking up green crap all over the carpet. I eventually got a hold of Counselor Troi and I convinced her to get off her psychic ass and come down and help out. She walked in and started doing all her stupid mind magic crap, which actually worked for once and seemed to calm the thing down. That gave me the opportunity I needed so I snuck up behind it and brained it with a pipe. Took about ten good whacks to bash in its skull. Then Troi totally loses it and talks about how I just committed genocide on a new alien race and that it was scrambled DNA from such and such. She was threatening to confine me to quarters and just yelling and yelling. I was about to blow my top but finally I just managed to get in the zone and stare at her cleavage until she shut up. I would be ready to kill people about now, but my holodeck chit is up tonight and I think I know who is going to make an appearance.
Unfortunately, the replicator unit is out of operation. I will have to go back for a refit next week.
There's my report for the mandatory self-assessment. My conclusion is that, uh, I need to work harder on my personal skills and I should also probably get a promotion. I think I pretty much run Replicator Maintenance anyway. Maybe when my tour is up I can open my own replicator repair business on some nice little private station like DS7 or 8.
Works great on my child, who hasn't barked at all for as long as she's worn the apparatus. When she turns three, we will remove it for a trial period.
This lousy world just gets lousier every year as these stores put out their skeletons and Santas in summer.
Try not to break your console while I try not to break my cyber brain.
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