Quantum tells Reed that he has Trip working on a backup plan, but he really would prefer not to use it. "Right now, you're our best bet. Be careful, Malcolm," Quantum signs off. What they aren't telling him is that the backup plan is to use Malcolm as a battering ram through the minefield. Peter Cooke in Blackadder voice: "Cannon fodder!" To no one in particular and apropos of I don't know what, May-waste says, "I see it," as he guides the ship along. The corresponding movement rattles Reed and the mine. The mine sticks another securing arm out and drives it through Reed's leg, pinning him to the hull. Hey, look, it's Reed Satay! A few bubbles of blood float away, and something white oozes out of the EV suit to seal the space surrounding the spike's entry. Reed groan-comms the Bridge and tells him of his appetizing situation. Geddit? Reed's now an appetizer, because of the thing through his leg? Oh, just get a sense of humor already. Quantum tells him he's on his way, but Trip tries to stop him, saying he's the one who should go out there. "Aw, lookit that -- Trip's missing his lover," Mathra croons, then looks wild-eyed at me, "SLASH! God, what have your forums done to me?" He runs screaming out of the apartment. Quantum tells Trip he needs his engineer to stay on the ship and leaves. I hope Mathra remembers we need milk.
Sickbay. Hoshi again tries to get to the Bridge to do her duty and again Phlox makes her stay. "If you'd like, I can have them bring the comm-logs here," Phlox offers. Aw, I love Phlox. Hoshi nods wearily.
Hull. Quantum walks ponderously toward his armory officer. Considering Reed's been skewered like a Lil'Smokey at a 1978 cocktail party, you'd think he could pick up the pace a little. What? You're saying it's space and not his brow or the Weight of the World that's causing him to walk like that? Okay, gotcha. "Thought you might need a hand," Quantum says, greeting him. "Actually, I'd prefer a leg," Reed responds. Yuk-yuk-yuk, now shut up. Quantum pulls out a tri-corder and scans Reed. "Could have been worse. It missed the bone and it looks like the pressure from the spike is keeping the wound from bleeding to much," Quantum reports. Yeah, whatever. I'd like to know how something of that diameter happened to have the foresight to miss a bone as large as a femur. I know what you're going to say: it's a television show about flying through space, searching for improbable missions in the twenty-second century. But with the Ferengi, the Romulans, T'Pol's "uniform", Trip's "accent", and a brow-furrowing obsessor as captain, my Willful Suspension of Disbelief is a little used up at the moment. Quantum prepares to cut through the spike holding Reed down. "Actually, sir, I wouldn't do that," Malcolm warns him. "My scans show detonation circuits inside the spike. I would consider letting you amputate, but if Chef got hold of it, he'd be serving Roast Reed for Sunday dinner." That's a random thought and for some reason it reminds me of Dr. Seuss. Reed asks for a pain reliever so he can continue working to disable the bomb with a clear head. Well, clearer. "Not without doing more damage to that leg," Quantum tells him. "What's more important -- my leg or your ship?" Reed asks. Quantum fiddles with something that I really hope is a hypo-spray of Shut Up and tells Reed that he has a plan to save Reed's leg as well as the ship. He outlines Trip's plan of detaching the hull-plating they're standing on. "Seemed like a good idea at the time," Quantum comments. So, now he really doesn't have a plan to save both the ship and Reed's leg, right? "It's still a good idea," Reed sniffs. "Not with you attached to it," Quantum tells him, and FINALLY hypo-sprays Reed through his uniform. "I hope that's an anesthetic," Reed whines. "Phlox's own recipe," Quantum assures him. Why does that make me nervous? Reed goes all google-eyed, "Please, sir, may I have some more?" Because Oliver! jokes never get old as much as they make me want to rip my ear canals out and boil them in a veal stock! Quantum tells Oliver-Reed (Heh, I loved his work in The Three Musketeers, and strangely enough, he was also in Oliver!) that he doesn't want him too sedated. "I'm going to need your help -- someone's got to defuse this thing," Quantum reminds him. And I really don't think that that somebody should be you -- it's a funny thing about bombs, you can't furrow them away. Reed tells Quantum that disarming mines is very delicate work. "I'm trained for it. You're not," Reed snorts. Quantum says he's a quick learner -- good thing disabling mines doesn't involve not interfering with alien cultures -- and gets up. Reed argues a bit more, and I start to count Poppadum's spots. Isn't this supposed to be the "rising action" portion of the story? The only thing rising around here is my blood-alcohol level. Quantum reminds Reed how close they are to the ship's impulse reactor. More unnecessary arguing until Quantum reminds Reed how very at-one with the ship's hull he is at that moment. Reed hands over his tools. "I hope you've got a steady hand," he comments. He could just wedge the tools in one of the furrows of his brows -- I'm willing to bet they've got more of a grip than his hands do.