The Measure of a ManBy Colin 'Zeke' Hayman
Posted at December 25, 2004 - 5:13 PM GMT
See Also: 'The Measure of a Man' Episode Guide
Captain's Log: The Enterprise has docked at a magnificent but unfinished starbase. I'm to meet with Admiral Schubert in the morning.
Riker: I'll see your five and raise forty-two.
Data: You appear confident. As this is the only occasion on which I have observed that quality in you, your hand must be excellent. I fold.
Riker: Ha! Joke's on you. All I had were four sevens.
Data: Is this why they call it a "Riker face"?
Admiral Nakamura: Welcome to Starbase Whatever Number This One Is, Captain Picard. This is Commander Bruce Maddox.
Maddox: Data may remember me from when I tried to bar his entrance to the Academy. Or maybe the time I snuck up behind him, pushed him down the stairs, and ran.
Data: I do not. But I am pleased to pieces to meet you.
Maddox: Funny you should say that....
Picard: You want to what?
Maddox: Now, Captain, be reasonable. If Data were a human, you'd hardly deny me this request.
Picard: That's a fair point, I admit. But I shouldn't be the one to decide this, even though I'm very, very good at deciding things. Data?
Data: Commander, I am concerned about the possible effect on my memories.
Maddox: What, are you missing any engrams? I think I've got a few in my pocket here.
Data: You misunderstand. My memories would be intact, but the creepy voodoo spirit aura of those memories would not. I would remember roses, but not how they smelled. I would remember that I slept with Lieutenant Yar, but not whether she was any good.
Maddox: Fine. Enjoy your freedom to decide... while it lasts. Mwahahaha!
Picard: He can't enjoy it. He's an android, and he's not as good at deciding as I am.
Maddox: I'm back. And this time I have a warrant from Starfleet to dismantle you!
Picard: What? Starfleet would never give you permission to do something so horrible in this kind of time!
Maddox: You mean "in this day and age"?
Picard: No, this kind of time. You were gone for like two minutes.
Troi: We've got to save Data! This is my only line today.
Pulaski: Yeah! Mine too.
Picard: All right, everyone relax. I won't allow Data to be dismantled. I have a contact who might be able to help.
Crusher: It's not a rival love interest, is it?
Picard: I'm afraid so, my dear.
Crusher: Nuts. I got two lines!
Louvois: Well, well, if it isn't Jean-Luc Picard.
Picard: I know my name. And I also know yours, so clearly I have the advantage here. I need your help.
Louvois: Oh, did you blow up another ship?
Picard: No. Not... yet. A maddox scientist wants to dismantle Data like so much Jenga, and Starfleet's going to let him do it. I'm calling in that favour you owe me.
Louvois: What? You owe me a favour!
Picard: Sigh... very well. I'll help you save Data if you insist.
Louvois: Darn right you will. --Hey!
Data: Have you found a way for me to escape forced discombobulation?
Louvois: Sort of. You don't have to follow orders if you resign.
Data: A perfect solution. Thank you very much.
Picard: But there's that whole resigning downside. You know, not being on the ship anymore.
Data: Was "perfect" unclear? Perhaps I should recite synonyms. Perfect: immaculate, spiffy, five-by-five....
Maddox: You're resigning? Come on, don't be like this! Tell you what... after the dis- and reassembly, I'll buy you flowers. Would you like that? Nice flowers?
Data: I would like to remember how they smell, sir.
Maddox: Meanie. I guess I may as well just give up... there's no way Starfleet would help me out twice in one episode.
Starfleet: (over the comm) Great, now we have to do it just to prove him wrong.
Geordi: Goodbye, Data. I hope I'll see you again someday.
Data: Strictly speaking, you have never seen me before.
Geordi: I think I'll miss the literalism most of all.
Worf: What kind of goodbye party is this? Where's the jazz music? Where's the death inflicted by me on the people playing the jazz music?
Riker: (in the doorway with his trombone) Um... I'll just be turning around then.
Louvois: Bad news, Jean-Luc: I was just informed that Data can't resign because he's Starfleet property. Apparently Starfleet could have made a spork your Operations Officer.
Picard: Good God, what have I missed out on?
Louvois: ...Anyway, I've worked out a compromise. We'll be having a little trial to decide the matter.
Riker: A trial conducted by Starfleet officers? That's never been tried!
Louvois: And probably never will be again.
Picard: Looks like I'll be defending you, Data. Anything I should know about?
Data: Perhaps we should wait until Commander Riker leaves the room.
Riker: What? Just because I've been ordered to prosecute doesn't mean I'm sitting here taking notes... with this pad and pen... see you guys later.
Picard: All right, Data, he's gone. Anything I should know?
Data: Lieutenant Yar was really, really good.
Louvois: Hear ye, hear ye. This court is now in session. I'm enjoying the chance to recite these legal phrases everyone knows. Please be seated.
Riker: Let me begin by saying that Data is a good toaster, and one I'm proud to have served with. That said, Data is a toaster -- toaster oven, tops. I will demonstrate this by removing his arm.
Riker: Oh, wait. Data's sitting on that side of the room.
Picard: Will made his case brilliantly, Guinan. I don't know how I'll ever outdo him.
Guinan: You know, if Maddox wins, they'll eventually make more Datas. Soon there could be thousands, all intelligent but legally bound to obey their human masters. It would be like....
Picard: Tribbles! Guinan, you're so right! This is just like the tribble trade!
Guinan: I'm going to go make myself the most syntheholic drink I can find.
Picard: The question, gentlemen, is whether Data has a soul. I know we enlightened Federation types don't believe in souls, but bear with me, all right? I know Data, and I'm here to tell you he's more than just a machine that mindlessly churns out --
Data: Soul: spirit, animus, quintessence, gypsy curse....
Picard: I'm just going to rest my case now before anything else happens.
Louvois: This court finds in favour of the... oh. I guess I should have decided before starting that. Let me think.
Louvois: What's that word for the one making the accusation?
Louvois: Plaintiff! Right. This court finds in favour of the defendant.
Picard and Data: Woo hoo!
Data: Do not be sad, Commander. Someday you will be sufficiently skilled to dismantle me without any danger.
Maddox: And then you'll let me do it?
Data: Shee-yeah, right.
Captain's Log: Since we only came to the starbase for the hope of legal drama, we've now departed. I hope Louvois can deal with the pain of losing me again. Still owes me a favour, though.
Data: Do not be sad, Commander. You are welcome at my un-goodbye party.
Riker: Don't you see? I prosecuted you! How can you forgive that or guarantee that Worf won't kill the first jazz player he sees at the party?
Data: He already has.
Riker: Oh. Shoot. Bronson had a mean bass guitar solo.
Data: Come along, sir. I forgive you, the hors d'oeuvres are excellent, and Worf can only eat one human per day before getting full.
Riker: Thank you, Data. That means a lot to me.
(The Enterprise sails away at Litigious Speed)
Colin 'Zeke' Hayman is one of the contributors of Five-Minute Voyager, where sci-fi episodes are reduced to "fivers" of one-twelfth their original length.