Star Trek: The Panicky Generation
Captain’s log stardate 41726.4. We are on temporary picket duty along the Neutral Zone, filling in for the USS Gagarin until her replacement can arrive in three days time. The Romulans have been quiet, so we’re not expecting—
The navigation console began to beep for attention.
Wesley Crusher’s eyes went wide with terror. “Captain! Unknown object dead ahead!”
Captain Picard jumped up from his seat with a rush of adrenalin. “Red alert! Raise shields! Arm photon torpedoes!”
“Captain!” said Lieutenant Worf as he stood at his security station. “I’m picking up a distress beacon from the object ahead.”
“A likely ruse,” replied Will Riker with a smug tone. “Ignore it, Mr. Worf.”
“Sensors show it to be an unarmed ship operating at low power,” Mr. Worf continued. “I do not believe it is a threat.”
Riker turned around in his seat to look up at Worf, a look of disbelief on his face. “Oh really?” he said sarcastically. “And what if there’s a warp core breech? You Klingons love to throw caution to the wind.”
Worf ground his teeth, trying to be patient. “I’ve identified her as the Canterbury, a civilian transport reported missing two days ago. Life support is at critical. Over two hundred life signs.” He paused and smiled. “The warp core is stable, but inactive.”
“Well it would be, wouldn’t it,” interjected Captain Picard. “Right up until we’re lulled into lowering our shields to transport survivors, and then boom!” He waved his hands in an imaginary explosion.
“Besides,” sneered Riker. “What’s a civilian transport doing this close to the Neutral Zone?” Both he and Picard exchanged knowing little smiles.
“Actually, their approved flight plan did take them close to here,” replied Mr. Worf.
“Sirs!” Wesley cried out in a panicked squeak as he stared at the view screen ahead.
Picard waved impatiently. “Enough if this. Fire at will!”
As one, the bridge crew jumped up, pulled phasers, and shot Will Riker. He managed a brief scream before he was vaporized.
Picard slapped his forehead. “No! No! No!” He pointed at the view screen. “Fire at that!”
Mr. Worf sighed and pressed a button. Power built and phasers lanced out, destroying the helpless Canterbury.
“Good job everyone!” exclaimed Captain Picard. “We saw that ship make a furtive movement, right?”
“Yes sir!” shouted the bridge crew as one.