Enterprise
Minefield

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Starship Mine
Bridge. May-waste continues to navigate through the minefield. "I hope they're allowing extra clearance for Quantum's brow," Mathra comments. They pull free of the field, and Trip tells May-waste to take a break. "Ensign Hutchinson can cover the helm for awhile," Trip says, as May-waste shakes off his Nintendo Thumb. May-wasteroid tells Trip he prefers to stay at his post. He's just knows that if he leaves the Bridge, he'll never be seen in the episode again. T'Pol comms Quantum to tell him that the minefield is a thing of the past. Quantum acknowledges and turns back to more important and delicate matters. But first, the mine. More twiddling and adjusting and praying their eyelids won't be blown off by Quantum's supreme stupidity. "You must have realized this wasn't going to be your typical armory posting. That my command style lacked a certain spit and polish," Quantum says, in a revival of The Malcolm Reed Nobody Knows. Reed says, "That was obvious." Quantum chuckles and thinks it's strange that Reed comes from a Royal Navy family, going back several generations, and yet he chose to join up with Starfleet instead of serving Queen Elizabeth. What? Oh, come on, you don't really think she's going to die and leave her throne to that chinless son of hers, do you? Reed says he tried really hard to continue it. "Yeah, right -- the Reed who fought at Trafalgar," Mathra mutters to himself. "What happened?" Quantum wants to know, his helmet furrowing. "I'll need a circuit probe," Reed tells him. Already? I mean, shouldn't they have a few drinks first? Lord! What is wrong with me?! Finally, Reed tells his sordid tale. He was raised on the water -- not whisky, the actual water -- and knew all kinds of stuff about it and boats. "I dunno, I suppose I thought I'd just grow out of it," Reed sighs. "Grow out of what?" Quantum wonders. His pants, doof-butt -- what do you think? "Aquaphobia," Reed says. "You're afraid of the water?" Quantum wonders. "More precisely, afraid of drowning," Reed corrects him. "So instead of a life on the sea, you choose a life in the vacuum of space," Quantum postulates. Great, just give him a new phobia, why don't you? Spacaphobia: the fear of serving all your days under a furrowed brow, which eventually envelops, consumes, and digests you alive over a period of seven years. Along with all those eggs from Chef. Reed confesses that he had a great-uncle who suffered from the same problem. "But he faced his fears. Joined the Navy, had a distinguished career -- all you have to do is attach it to the --" Sorry, I didn't catch the pointless technobabble in time on that one. Reed tells a story of heroism, freaktitude, and death. Apparently, the great-uncle bravely decided to get himself assigned to a submarine. [Stupid, insensitive Quantum comment here about the gr'uncle facing his deepest fears.] He was promoted over the years and finally made Chief Engineer on the H.M.S. Clement. Reed asks, "Do you know the story of the Clement, sir?" Yeah, yeah! I think I saw that one on Broadway last year. Unfortunately, Quantum didn't have box seats as I did, so Reed has to tell the story. Reed says they were on some routine mission when they had an accident. "Now, there's a beautiful irony for you -- they hit a mine, left over from some world war. There they were, trapped underneath an ice shelf, several compartments flooding -- including Engineering. Can you imagine? My great-uncle...the man afraid of drowning. The ship was sinking, losing power. According to his lieutenant [Screw up! Shouldn't a Brit be pronouncing it "left-tenant"? Silas, Buni, russus -- help me out here.] my great-uncle sealed himself in the engine room and kept the reactor online long enough for his crew to make it to the escape pods. He went down with his ship. He did what he had to do to save his crewmates." No, no, that's not it -- it's the one with "A British tar is a soaring soul, as free as the mountain bird. His nose should pant and his lip should curl..." Quantum tells him he appreciates the sentiment, but he was counting on Reed putting his martyr streak aside for the nonce. "I just want you to know, sir, that I am prepared," Reed stiff-upper-lips. Sheesh, pessimist much? Quantum gets it. But Reed of Arc hasn't had his complete say yet. "If we're not able to defuse this mine, the safety of the crew -- " "I said I heard you, Lieutenant!" Quantum cuts him off, abruptly. What are you crabbing about? You're the one who started him down this maudlin path in the first place. Reed makes a face and says they have another problem. "What? What is it?" Quantum demands. "I need to use the bathroom," Reed admits. "I won't tell a soul," Quantum assures him. Yeah, well, you say that now, but every time you look at him you're going to be thinking, "You are the guy who peed himself. You were lying in urine!" "In my EV suit, sir?" Reed squeaks. Don't they have contraptions for that exact purpose? I mean, I know they do today, so wouldn't they have them then? Man, in that amount of time, they could be so advanced, Reed wouldn't even know he had to go until the next day. Reed and Quantum start laughing. So, did he go? Reed makes a weird face. Oooh, ooh, I'm sorry I asked. I take it back -- just make the pee face go away! "Sir!" Reed exclaims. Seriously, I said I was sorry! Quantum turns around and two Romulan Birds-of-Prey shimmer-shudder greenly into sight.

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