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Episode 45: “Barcode”

Written by “Krenim”

Published November 26, 2001

“Captain’s Log: Since nothing exciting has happened in a while, I’m going to do something I probably should have done a long time ago...”

Ducane walked into Braxton’s ready room. Braxton was sitting at his desk with a large box in front of him. Ducane pointed at the box. “What’s that, sir?”

“This is a suggestion box I set up a while back that I completely forgot about. I figured that this would be a perfect time to look through it. Of course, I’m sure that there aren’t any suggestions in it, because I’m the greatest captain that ever lived!”

“Uh, sir... Are you sure you want to do this?”

“Positive.”

Braxton opened up the box. There were tons of PADDs inside. “What the...? What are all these PADDs doing in here? Where are the little slips of paper?”

“Sir, I think the suggestions are on the PADDs. We stopped using paper centuries ago.”

“Oh.”

Braxton picked up a PADD and read what was on it. “‘For the love of all that’s good and decent in the universe, replace Braxton with a captain that isn’t grossly incompetent and mentally unbalanced!’ Ducane, I want this person hunted down and killed.”

“Sir, first of all, the whole idea of a suggestion box is that the suggestions are anonymous. Second, we don’t hunt down and kill people for expressing their opinion.”

“We don’t?”

“No, sir, we don’t.”

“Oh well. Okay, let’s take a look at another suggestion... ‘I don’t have a suggestion. Captain Braxton is the greatest captain that ever lived.’ That is so the truth.”

“Sir, I think you wrote that.”

“You do? How can you tell?”

“It says ‘Signed, Captain Braxton.’”

“Oh. Well, okay, let’s look at another suggestion. ‘Hire a bartender for the Observation Lounge. There’s a bar there, but no bartender.’ Ducane, is this true?”

“Yes, sir. You never hired one.”

“Then send out the word, Ducane! The Relativity needs a bartender!”


Several days later, the floating head of Admiral Picard was at his desk when his secretary came in. “Sir, there’s someone here to see you.”

“Tell whoever it is to go away! I’m busy right now!”

“Doing what?”

“Coming up with ways to get rid of Braxton!”

“Well, I think you’ll want to see this person, sir.”

“Well, who is it?”

A woman with very large headgear stepped into the office. Picard’s eyes went wide. “Guinan?”

Sure enough, it was Guinan. Five centuries later, Guinan only looked a few years older than when she served on the Enterprise-D. She smiled and sat down at Picard’s desk. “It’s good to see you again, Jean-Luc.”

“It’s good to see you too.”

“So, what’s been going on with you these last five centuries?”

“Well, I became an admiral. And I’m a disembodied head now. Not much else to tell. How about you?”

“Oh, this and that.”

“So, what brings you to this area of space?”

Guinan took out a PADD. “Well, I hear a ship near here needs a bartender. I figured I’d apply for the position.”

“Which ship?”

“The Relativity.”

What? Don’t go on that ship!

“Why not?”

“That’s Braxton’s ship! He’s a lunatic! I’ve been trying to find a way to get rid of him forever! If you value your life and/or your sanity, you’ll stay away from that ship!”

“I’m sure this Braxton can’t be that bad...”

“He’s been known to mix up his ship’s log with his mashed potatoes.”

“Then I’m sure he’s in need of my sage yet cryptic advice.”

“Fine, but don’t say I didn’t warn you...”


On the Relativity, a long line of applicants stood in front of Braxton’s office. Guinan stepped off the turbolift. She took a look around, and got in line. She caught sight of Tasha Yar working the Security console. “Excuse me, are you Tasha Yar?”

“Yes. Do I know you?”

“Long answer: Yes. Short answer: No.”

“You’re very cryptic.”

“I know.”

After a while, it was Guinan’s turn. She stepped into Braxton’s office. Braxton and Ducane were sitting at the desk. Ducane was surprised. “Wow! Captain, do you know who this is?”

“I sure do! I’ve always wanted to meet Whoopi Goldberg! I watch reruns of Hollywood Squares all the time!”

“You nitwit! That’s Guinan! She was the Enterprise-D’s bartender!”

Braxton looked at Guinan closely. “I know I’ve said this a lot this season, but shouldn’t you be dead?”

“No. I’m from El-Auria.”

“That’s odd. I didn’t know the Spanish were so long-lived...”

Ducane whispered to Guinan, “Never mind him, he’s an idiot. Don’t worry, you’re hired. Shall I escort you down to the Observation Lounge?”

Guinan smiled. “That would be nice.”

So, the two of them walked down to the Observation Lounge. The lounge doors opened, and the two looked around. The room was dark and covered with cobwebs. Ducane apologized. “This place hasn’t seen any use for quite a while.”

Guinan headed over to the bar. “Well, as long as there are plenty of drinks, I’ll be okay.”

“Don’t worry, the bar is fully stocked.”

Guinan looked under the bar. Instead of many exotic drinks, there were a bunch of PADDs. She picked one up and read it. “‘I.O.U. 1 bottle of Romulan ale. Signed, Damar.’” She picked up another PADD. “‘I.O.U. 1 bottle of Saurian brandy. Signed, Damar.’ Whoever this Damar guy is, he owes me a lot of drinks...”

Ducane rolled his eyes. “Yes, Damar used to have quite a drinking problem until we sent him to AAA.”

“The car-towing service?”

“No, Astro-Alcoholics Anonymous.”

“Ah.”

“Well, I’ll have some of the crew clean this place up for you, and I’ll try to get the place restocked. I have to get back to the bridge and fix whatever Braxton’s done wrong while I’ve been gone. See you later...”


“Captain’s Log: After a week of cleaning and restocking, the ship’s Observation Lounge is ready for its grand opening. Lt. Yar and I shall be heading down to the ceremony together, because I am apparently not allowed to carry the scissors for ribbon-cutting by myself.”

Braxton and Yar arrived at the Observation Lounge doors. A huge crowd was gathered there. Braxton held the scissors to the ribbon. “Thanks to our new Spanish friend, I now declare this facility open!”

Braxton snipped the ribbon. Guinan got behind the bar while everyone sat down to chat, drink, and watch the stars. Dax sat at the bar. “Well, that was quite a surprise.”

“What, that he thinks I’m Spanish?”

“No, he does things like that all the time. I’m surprised he didn’t impale or lacerate himself on those scissors. We had the Doctor and a whole medical team standing by.”

“Oh. Well, it sounds like Captain Braxton could benefit from my advice.”

“Yeah, good luck with that. Ducane’s been giving him advice forever and none of it sinks in.”

“You must be exaggerating. They wouldn’t make someone like that a Starfleet captain.”

“Well, he was okay when he became a captain. Then there was this whole time-loop thingy and he got temporal psychosis and so on and so forth...”

Dax left to go talk to some other people. Damar came over and sat down, looking at a PADD. Guinan smiled. “Can I get you anything?”

Damar shook his head. “No, I can’t. I’m Damar.”

“Oh... You’re Damar. You owe me a lot of drinks, you know.”

“I know, I know.”

“What are you looking at?”

“A list of possible new running jokes for myself.”

“Why do you need a running joke?”

“I don’t want to lose all my screen time. A running joke would help prevent that. I’m considering one where I die in every episode.”

“You die in every episode?”

“Yup.”

“How can you do that?”

“Beats me, but it sounds funny, doesn’t it?”

“Not really. In fact, it sounds quite painful.”

“Hmm... You may have a point there. I’d better go come up with some more ideas...”


Several hours later, after the bar closed for the night, Guinan collapsed in a chair in her new quarters. “Computer, open a channel to Starbase 47, Admiral Picard’s office.”

Channel open.

Picard’s voice came over the comm system. “Hello, Guinan! How’s your new job!”

“Jean-Luc, please remind me why I wanted this job.”

“Let me guess, Braxton getting on your nerves?”

“Not just him, everybody! There’s the deranged captain, the ex-alcoholic engineer who needs a new running joke, the 31st Century hologram who sings off-key, and the security chief that I just know I’ve met somewhere before... They’re driving me nuts! Listening to them for hours on end will drive me crazy too!”

“Then quit.”

“I can’t. Braxton made me sign this contract. If I leave in less than a year, I get deported to Spain forever.”

“Spain?”

“Don’t ask.”

“Then get fired.”

“I’m not quite sure how. How do you get fired from a ship in which everyone’s crazy?”

“I think I’ve got an idea...”


“Captain’s Log: Wow, this makes three log entries in the same episode! Anyway, we’re taking a look at this protonebula. It’s interesting, in a boring sort of way.”

Guinan stepped off the bridge’s turbolift. Braxton saw her and smiled. “Here to see the protonebula, Guinan?”

“Yes, I am.”

Guinan walked over to in front of the viewscreen. Everyone else tilted their heads and craned their necks trying to see the viewscreen, for Guinan’s hat blocked most of it. Dax rolled her eyes. “Guinan, could you please go somewhere else? We can’t see the viewscreen.”

“Oh. Okay.”


Several hours later, Braxton stepped into the Observation Lounge. He looked around, then walked over to Guinan. “There’s something different in here, isn’t there?”

“Yes, Captain. I moved the bar over to the other side of the Observation Lounge.”

Braxton frowned. “Well, now I can’t look out the windows because your hat is in the way. An Observation Lounge isn’t an Observation Lounge if there’s nothing to observe. Now, it’s just a... It’s a...”

“Lounge, sir?”

“No, I don’t think that’s it. Anyway, I’ll see you later.”


Several hours later, Ducane met up with Guinan in one of the ship’s hallways. “Guinan, I have something to tell you.”

“Oh? What’s that?”

“Well, I don’t think you’re going to work out here.”

“Why not?”

“Well, your hat is causing all sorts of problems. No one can see around it, and people in the hallways keep bumping into it when they pass you. I’m afraid I have to ask you to leave.”

Guinan suppressed her smile. “Well, I’ll manage. I’ll pack my things and go.”

Ducane nodded, then whispered to her, “By the way, excellent plan. Too bad I don’t wear hats...”

They both grinned, and went their separate ways...


UPN Promo:

Next time, on Star Trek: Series ?, the Relativity must deal with a sinister plot by an alien lifeform!

This page was last modified on Wednesday, July 04, 2012.