Crewman Frank Spence laid in his bunk and contemplated the effort it would talk to roll his bulk out of it. The air in the small room stank of sweat, desperation, and a hint of pastrami. His red shirt had rolled up over his belly exposing a large hairy gut that hadn’t been there when he originally joined the crew of the Enterprise. He sat up and kicked his legs over the side of his bunk and pulled the shirt down over his girth.
“Five year mission my butt” he muttered to himself.
When he signed up, Frank had no clue what the mission would entail, but how dangerous could the security detail be on a ship that was just supposed to be exploring strange new worlds? Little did he know that he and his fellow security officers would become the captain’s own personal storm troopers beaming down and taking the brunt of the casualties?
“Who has these types of casualties on a peaceful mission?” Frank thought to himself.
Every week some innocent red shirt gets knocked off. Three weeks ago it was his best friend on the ship, Jason. Some rock creature disintegrated Jason in an instant. Frank pondered this fact. In a blink of an eye his friend was gone. They were all gone so Kirk can get it on with whatever strange colored chick came his way.
It was losing his best friend that got Frank some extended time off to sort everything out.
“It’s just too high a price to pay so Captain can be a rock star” Frank mumbled again. He raised his voice louder and resolutely announced to his empty cabin “Well little does Kirk know, I’m not playing the game anymore.”
He grunted as he eased off his bunk and his feet hit the ground with a loud thump. He walked over to the food replicator and pushed a large red button and commanded “Bowl of Gravy.”
The replicator replied back in its comforting female voice “Will that be brown or white gravy?”
Frank thought about it for a second and decided to change his mind. “Computer, please give me a chocolate cake with extra frosting……and three bowls of ice cream.”
The female voice came back with another question. “Sir, you have not had any protein this morning.”
“I had a chicken” Frank retorted.
“I did indeed replicate a chicken for you, but you only consumed the skin.” The computer said matter of factly.
“Fine then,” Frank said disgustedly, “I’ll take a bowl of spaghetti and throw a big fat ribeye on top. And then give me the dang cake and ice cream. And don’t forget the extra frosting. In fact just replicate me a whole container of frosting. “
“Are you positive that this is what you want?” The replicator chirped back. The computers voice reminded Frank of his mother which made him feel even more defiant.
“It’s what I asked for isn’t it!” Frank said angrily.
“Sir, I question this meal choice because my sensors indicate that you are near the maximum weight capacity of the transporter. If your weight exceed the transporters limits you will be disqualified for any planet side missions.”
“DUH. That’s the whole point” the crewman thought to himself. Oddly enough it was Kirk who gave him the idea to eat himself out of a job. Frank ran into the captain in the hallway a couple of week after the mission where Frank lost his friend and he had spent it mourning over a never ending supply of chicken fried steak. In an attempt to bond with the common man on his ship the Captain slapped Frank in the belly, put him in a headlock, and then gave him a noogie while saying “You’re really packing on the pounds Fred.” That was the beginning of the end for Frank.
“I’m on R and R. You are supposed to give me whatever I want.” Frank demanded of the food program.
“My records indicate that you are indeed on rest and relaxation leave, however my programming does not allow me to put the ships mission at risk and the current caloric pace you have been on will keep you from performing your duties. I’m sorry, but I cannot provide you with your request. Can I replicate you a bowl of oatmeal or perhaps a salad?” The voice said as helpful as it could.
Crewman Spence plopped himself back on the bunk and thought. “I am so close to getting drummed out of the security detail. How am I supposed to get there if the dang replicator is keeping track of everything?” He thought of friends that he might be able to go see who might order him a pound or seven of bacon . Then the idea hit him. He knew what to do.
He jumped off the bunk. Pulled the thick red shirt over his belly yet again, yanked his black pants up to cover the crack in his rear, and went out the door.
He made his way down the hall, up the elevator, and went into holodeck fourteen.
“Holodeck. Run program 645.” He announced.
Suddenly the program kicked in and Frank found himself inside a strange building where a young woman with a strange apparatus on her head looked at him and then spoke.
“Welcome to McDonald's, can I take your order?”