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What if Data were Microsoft (In)compatible?

By Unknown

Worf
Captain, there are three Romulan warships uncloaking dead ahead.
Picard
On screen.

The main viewing screen changes to a pattern of horizontal lines, each only a single pixel wide.

Picard
Data, what’s wrong here?
Data
Captain, the main viewscreen does not have sufficient video memory to display an image of this size. May I suggest that you select a lower resolution?
Picard
Very well....

The screen blanks, and then an image appears, with big, blocky square pixels. Three objects appear in the center, which could be Romulan warbirds, but which actually look more like the aliens in Space Invaders.

Picard
Data, open a hailing channel to the Romulans.
Data
Aye, sir.

Data picks up an hourglass from the floor beside him, turns it over, and places it on the console in front of him. He punches some buttons on the console and sits motionless for several seconds. A flash of light blossoms from one of the Romulan ships on the viewscreen.

Worf
Incoming plasma torpedo, Captain!
Picard
Shields up!
Data
I am sorry, Captain, but I am still attempting to complete your last instruction. I must ask you to wait until I have finished before you issue your next command.
Picard
What on earth do you mean? Data, this is important! I want those shields up right now!
Data
I am sorry, Captain, but I am still attempting to complete your last instruction. I must ask you to wait until I have finished before you issue your next command.
LaForge
Allow me, Captain. (to Data) Control-alt-delete, Data.

Data removes the hourglass from the console, and returns it to the floor.

Data
The Romulans are not responding to my hails. Press my nose to cancel and return to Windows. Pull my left ear to close this communications channel which is not responding. You will lose any information sent by the Romulans.

LaForge pulls Data’s left ear.

Picard
Shields...

There is a tremendous explosion. The bridge shakes violently, and all the crew members are thrown to the floor. A shower of sparks erupts from Wesley Crusher’s station at the helm, throwing Wesley back away from the console.

Picard
...up, Data!
Data
Aye, sir.
Riker
All decks, damage report!
Worf
Captain, Ensign Crusher is injured. He appears to be unconscious.

Data picks up the hourglass again, places it on his console, and punches some more buttons. He waits a few seconds, then puts the hourglass back on the floor.

Data
Shields are now up, captain.
Picard
And not a moment too soon. Worf, lock all phasers on the lead Romulan ship.
Worf
Aye, sir.

He punches buttons on the weapons console.

Picard
Mr. Data, take the helm, and prepare for evasive action.
Data
I am sorry, sir, but I do not have the proper device driver installed for that console.
Picard
Well, damn it, install the right one.
Data
Please insert Setup Implant 1 in my right nostril.
Picard
Number One, where do we keep Data’s setup implants?
Riker
I left them with Geordi.
LaForge
(in a surprised voice) What!!? I thought you still had them!
Picard
Data, don’t you have device drivers stored in your internal memory?
Data
Not found, sir. Please insert Setup Implant 1 in my right nostril.
Picard
Data, I don’t have Setup Implant 1.
Data
Not ready reading right nostril. Abort, Retry, Fail?
Picard
Abort!
Data
Not ready reading right nostril. Abort, Retry, Fail?
Picard
Well, fail, then!
Data
Current nose is no longer valid.

Data walks over to the helm, and presses several buttons. The ship lurches, the images of the Romulan warships suddenly shift to one side of the viewscreen, and a high-pitched whining noise is heard coming from somewhere else in the ship.

LaForge
(alarmed) Data, what the hell are you doing?
Picard
Number One, do we have a customer service number for Data?
Riker
Yes sir, but last time I tried to call them, I got put on hold for two hours before I was able to talk to anyone. And that person wasn’t knowledgeable about androids of Data’s model. She specialized in industrial control robots.

Suddenly, the lights all go out, the viewscreen goes blank, and all the usual noise of fans, motors, and so on whines to a halt. After a few seconds, the red emergency lights come on. Data is standing by the console, absolutely motionless.

Picard
What’s going on?
LaForge
(checking the helm console) Data has caused a General Protection Fault in the warp core!
Picard
These androids look really sharp, but you can’t really do anything with them.

The shimmer of the transporter effect appears, and six Romulans in full battle dress materialize on the bridge. A seventh figure, a Ferengi, appears moments later.

Ferengi
(with a mercenary grin) Can I interest you in a Macintosh, Captain?

This page was last modified on Wednesday, January 26, 2011.