by David Deckert

May 14, 2001

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OK, so I'm probably the 5,000th person to write this exact parody, but... I heard that there was a book out there teaching the management techniques of Captain Jean Luc Picard. That's all well and good, but I have to wonder, what if the Enterprise was one? And so, in the grand tradition of VAXTrek I bring you...

Space - The final frontier. These are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise. It's continuing mission to explore strange new markets, to seek out new strategic partners, to boldly go IPO.


PICARD: Captain's Log. Stardate 57198.6. We are on route to the Bintar system where we hope to...

DATA: Captain? Um, Captain? That is not our present course.

Picard gets up, straightens his uniform,
and strides toward the viewscreen.

PICARD: It's not?

DATA: No, sir. Our course is 219 mark 17. Destination: the Quintax system.

PICARD: Who ordered our course change?

DATA: Marketing, sir.

PICARD: Picard to Marketing.

VOICE 1: Marketing here, sir.

PICARD: Did you order our destination changed to the Quintax system?

VOICE 1: Yes, sir. We're working on this really big deal there.

PICARD: What about our contract in the Bintar system?

VOICE 1: This is really, really big. We'll do that after this one.

PICARD (resignedly): Fine. Mr. Data, continue course.

Outside shot: Ship coming into orbit of generic planet.
Inside: the bridge.

DATA: Entering orbit of Quintax IV, sir.

WORF: Reading a Ferengi ship in orbit.

PICARD: Picard to Marketing. Do you know anything about this Ferengi ship?

PICARD: Marketing! Come in!

DATA: Internal sensors indicate that Marketing is in a meeting, sir.

The ship shakes violently.

WORF: Captain! The Ferengi have fired a lawyer at us.

PICARD: Damage Report!

DATA: Direct hit to our port nacelle. We are venting capital.

PICARD: Mr. Worf, Shields up!

WORF: Legal team deployed, sir.

PICARD: Hail the Ferengi ship.

WORF: No reply, sir.

Ship shakes several times.

PICARD: Shield status?

WORF: Down to a handful of paralegals. We can't take another hit.

PICARD: Prepare a volley of lawsuits. Maximum yield, full-spread.

WORF: Ready.


VOICE on COMM: Attention all personnel. Would the owner of a white shuttle, number NCC-1701-D-17, please come to the shuttlebay. You left your lights on.

WORF: What?

PICARD: I said, Fire!!!

Outside shot: Ferengi ship is hit and explodes.
Debris rains down on the populace of the planet.

WORF: Target blown to hell. Sir.

Picard sits back down in command chair.

HELMSMAN: Captain! Helm is not responding. Our orbit is decaying. Estimate 10 minutes until we hit the upper atmosphere.

PICARD: Picard to Engineering.

PICARD: Engineering. Respond!

PICARD: Mr. Data, why isn't Engineering responding?

DATA: There is no more Engineering, sir. They were re-org'd. You probably want Propulsion Services.

Picard looks increduously at Data.

PICARD: Picard to... Propulsion Services.

VOICE 2: Propulsion here. What can we do for you captain?

PICARD: We're loosing orbit. We need the engines back online!

VOICE 2: Engines are fine, sir. Must be a problem with helm control.

PICARD: And who do I talk to about that?

VOICE 2: I dunno. Try the Guidance and Helm Interface Technologies Department. Look, I've gotta run to a meeting. Let me know if there's anything else I can do.

PICARD: Picard to... Guidance and Helm Interface Technologies.

VOICE 3: Yes, Captain?

PICARD: We're loosing orbit! What's going on down there?

VOICE 3: I dunno. Did you want us to stay in orbit? We didn't get a memo or anything about that.

PICARD: Look, I just need you to find out what's wrong with helm control before this ship, the ship that YOU'RE on, burns up in the planet's atmosphere.

VOICE 3: Guidance is working fine. Says we're going to hit the atmosphere in eight minutes.

PICARD: I know that. I need...

VOICE on COMM: Attention all personnel. Don't forget the ship-wide meeting tomorrow at 10 A.M. We'll be announcing the winner of our efficiency prize.

PICARD: I NEED to find out what's wrong with my ship.

VOICE 3: All I can tell you is that guidance is working fine. Maybe it's the engines.

PICARD: I already talked to Propulsion. They said engines are fine.

VOICE 3: Oh, well. I don't know then. I can bring it up at the next interdepartmental meeting.

PICARD: We'll all be dead by then.

WORF: Captain. We just received an email from Marketing that says to expect aggressive competition when we get to Quintax IV.

Picard glares at Worf. Worf shrugs.

PICARD: Data. Can we use the deflector dish to boost us back into a stable orbit until we get this worked out?

DATA: Theoretically, it should work, sir.

PICARD: Do it.

Data pushes buttons on his console at
high speed and then sits back.

PICARD: Mr. Data?

DATA: Yes?

PICARD: What about the deflector dish?

DATA: I have just written a complete BRS and emailed it to Market Services and Development Group. Once they have signed off, it will go to the Deflector Technologies and Turbolift Control Department and they will implement it.


DATA: Bridge Requirements Specification.

PICARD: And will this all happen before we burn up in the atmosphere in the next...?

DATA: Five minutes 42 seconds. Not very likely, sir.

VOICE on COMM: Attention all personnel. We're happy to announce that Arboretum 2.0 is Functionally Complete! Please join me in congratulating everyone whose hard work went into this project! Come on down and smell the roses!

PICARD (agitated): Picard to Marketing.

PICARD: Marketing! Mr. Data, now where the hell is Marketing? Don't tell me they've been re-org'd too.

DATA: No, sir. It's after 6 P.M. They left in the escape pods.

PICARD: Mr. Data. Can you suggest any other options?

DATA: Not without violating procedure.

PICARD: Just do something!

Data pushes a button on his console.

WORF: Deflector activated.

HELMSMAN: Orbit restored, sir.

Picard glares at Data. Data shrugs.

PICARD: Have all department heads report to the conference room. Immediately.

VOICE of COMPUTER: No members of that group are onboard the Enterprise.

WORF: I'm reading a launch from the shuttle bay. It's the Runabout Golden Parachute.

PICARD (gritting teeth): Fine. Let them go. I'll be in my ready room.

Picard enters ready room

PICARD: Computer. Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.

VOICE of COMPUTER: Unable to process request. That item is not on Strategic Roadmap.


       David Deckert is a software engineer for a dot.com company in the Northwest with a keen eye for the absurdities of the world and the wit to expose them in delightful but frequently biting satire.

         Please, DO NOT steal, scavenge or repost this work without the expressed written authorization of Swans, which will seek permission from the author. This material is copyrighted, © David Deckert 2001. All rights reserved.

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Published May 14, 2001
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