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The Wrong Drink

Posted on 30 Mar 2019 @ 9:58am by Captain Abigail Rhodes

Mission: Gremlins


[Ready Room]

It wasn't going to take long to reach their destination, but Abby still retired to her Ready Room as soon as they entered warp.  She still had some paperwork to deal with, and she didn't want to miss a second of the impending collision.  She knew there was no way to get it all done, but at least she could make a dent.  It would certainly help in case she got back-logged while staring at the viewscreen.

She had completed a few reports and a bit of administrative housekeeping when her brain informed her of a need for liquid refreshment.  She smacked her lips and glanced at her camouflaged compartment.  It wouldn't do to be under any kind of influence now.  Not only would it dampen her experience of the event, but it would set a poor precedent if she showed up on duty in such a state.

Instead, she opted for the replicator.  She leaned over and keyed the device, "Whiskey, neat," she commanded.  She didn't even look at it while the telltale whine produced her order.  Blindly reaching over, she retrieved the cool glass and took a sip.

The surprising flavor made her choke, spit-taking and spilling the liquid down her uniform tunic and all over the PADD she was working on.  Immediately she stood, wiping the stain on her uniform with a hand, and taking stock of the disaster.  "What in the hell?" she asked the glass.

A pale violet colored liquid had been splashed across her desk, chair, PADD, and self.  What remained in the tumbler she had drunk out of was a similar, if a bit darker, shade.  "Computer, what is in this glass?"

A beep of acknowledgement, "Prune juice."

"Prune juice?  Really?"  Abby blinked a few times, attempting to parse the information she was given.  "What, exactly, did I order from the replicator?"

Another beep, "Whiskey, neat."

"Then how did I get prune juice of all things?"

The computer was silent for an unusual length of time.  Then, "Unknown."

Abby sighed and tugged at her ruined tunic.  This wouldn't do at all.  The violet stain clashed pretty badly with the red uniform and would stick out like a sore thumb.  She pulled it off and used the unstained portions to mop up what juice had escaped.  She then keyed the replicator to produce a replacement tunic using her personal measurements.  The unit whirred and produced a folded red cloth.  Abby retrieved it and discovered it was a cocktail dress roughly three sizes too large, and for someone seven feet tall.  She made a face and tried again, this time producing a wool blanket sized for a crib.

This went on for some time, with Abby tossing the not-tunics into a growing plie behind her desk.  Her call chime sounded for a third time, accompanied by an insistent and concerned "Captain?" from the other side of the door.  

Suddenly cognizant of being clad in her brassiere, Abby was glad that her crew respected the closed door.  "What is it?" she attempted to sound as natural as possible.

The voice, muffled from being behind the door, continued, "We are approaching the coordinates.  Commander Dantarno says he will drop us out of warp in five minutes."

"Acknowledged.  Thank you.  I will be out shortly."

There were no further sounds from the door so she continued to fail to produce a replacement tunic.  Frowning, and running out of time, she stared at the machine, fists on her hips.  Something was messing up the database recall.  As an experiment, she keyed in a local override on the replicator and had it produce a glass of water.  The unit created the ordered item and Abby tentatively retrieved it, bringing it to her lips.

"Yep, that's definitely not vodka or anything that isn't water."

Nodding satisfactorily, she accessed the other local patterns.  In case of emergency and/or database error, each replicator was programmed with a basic set of patterns.  Rations, water, tools, and most importantly, uniforms.  

She wouldn't be able to get a perfect fit due to the database connection issues, but it should be serviceable at least.  Entering her measurements from memory, Abby keyed in the local pattern and created a replacement uniform tunic with Captain pips.  Sighing, she donned it, and checked the fit by extending her arms in a systematic but, from an outside observer with no context, downright silly configuration.  It was a little tight here, and a little loose there, but otherwise fit.  It wouldn't be the most comfortable long-term wear, but hopefully it wouldn't need to be.

Satisfied with her uniform, she stepped onto the bridge with as much confidence as she could muster.  "Report," she said as she sank into her chair, crossing her legs at the ankle.

There wasn't really much to report, so it came down to, "Dropping out of warp in three, two, one…"

The deflected particle streaks on the viewscreen faded, revealing a generic starscape.  Tapping her console, Abby noted they were a few billion kilometers from the planets.  They were in the outer reaches of the system, as was protocol.  They knew when the planets would hit, so there was no real rush.  "Bring us in.  Commander, position us above and behind the Class-D as you suggested so we can get a good scan of her."

She then turned to Operations, "Replicator systems are a bit… wonky.  Please look into the database retrieval algorithms.  Until repaired, replicators should only be utilized in emergency situations with local patterns."

"Aye Captain."

"And have someone clear out the pile of fabrics in my ready room."

She turned to the legitimately questioning gaze of her XO.  "Don't ask."


Captain Abigail Rhodes
Commanding Officer
USS Mark Miller


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