Int. Enterprise Conference Room — Day
Picard and Riker sit facing the monitor. Riker has coffee. Picard has tea. It is Earl Grey (hot).
PICARD: Is it working?
RIKER: I think so. Are they dialing in?
PICARD: No. We’re dialing them.
RIKER: Oh right. Hang on.
Riker fumbles with the controls in the centre of the table. A loud voice comes out of the speakers and the command crew of DS9 appear on screen. Picard winces. Riker quickly turns down the volume.
SISKO (on-screen): ..ou hear me? Hello? Anyone there? Enterprise?
PICARD: Yes! We can hear you! Okay so in the room we have…
SISKO: Hello? Enterprise?
Picard looks at Riker. Riker fumbles with the controls again.
RIKER: Hello Sisko! Sisko?
SISKO: O’Brien I can see their lips moving
PICARD: Sisko can you hear us?! [Turning to Riker] He can’t hear us.
RIKER: I’ll ring IT.
Riker taps his comm badge and mumbles into it.
SISKO: We can’t hear them. O’Brien is it our end?
RIKER: IT are sending Data over.
A phone in the middle of the conference table begins to ring. Riker points at the screen. On it, O’Brien is holding a phone handset.
RIKER (to Picard): That’s them.
Picard gives Riker a look. Riker answers the phone.
RIKER (on phone): Hey O’Brien. No. We can see and hear you.
PICARD: What are they saying?
RIKER (to O’Brien): I don’t know.
There is a light knock on the door, then Data enters the room.
RIKER: Hang on Data is here now he’ll know. Data, O’Brien says: ‘Are we on the latest comms patch?’
DATA: Yes sir. We rolled that out last week during the at-risk period. There was a note on the intranet about it and…
RIKER (interrupting): Whatever. You speak to him.
He hands Data the phone.
DATA: O’Brien? Okay. Yes try that.
On the screen, O’Brien fiddles with the controls. The picture disappears.
PICARD: They’ve gone?
RIKER: Data it’s disconnected
DATA: They’re going to dial in.
The console in front of Picard starts flashing and buzzing. This catches Picard off guard. He looks like a startled, but sophisticated, gazelle.
PICARD: How do I pick this up?
RIKER (pointing): Push that one
PICARD (confused): This one?
DATA (gently): No that one
Picard pushes the indicated button. The sound is restored but the screen remains blank.
PICARD: Screen’s black?
RIKER: Data we can’t see them.
SISKO: Oh great! We can hear you!
PICARD: We can… we can hear you Sisko but we can’t see you…
DATA (flustered): Yes I’m looking now
SISKO: What about now I’m waving
Picard gives Riker another look.
KIRA: So am I
PICARD (perking up): Oh hey Kira
RIKER: Data we still cant’ see…
DATA (more flustered): I know. Two minutes. I need something.
Data leaves the room doing that special walky-run thing IT people do when they really need a particular cable and know exactly which cupboard they last saw one in.
There is an awkward silence.
SISKO: Can you see us now?
DAX: We can see you
RIKER (perking up): Oh hey Dax
PICARD: Mr Data has gone to get something.
SISKO: Shall we just start?
RIKER: Well we should probably…
PICARD (interrupting): Let’s start I’ve another meeting in half hour.
SISKO: Okay, so… let’s go through the minutes from last meeting.
Data enters. He has a cable.
RIKER: Wait Data is back.
DAX: Hey Data!
DATA (not blushing, but only because he’s an android): Oh hey Dax
KIRA: We’re waving but you can’t see us.
DATA: LOL! Okay I’m changing the cable one second.
Data starts changing the cable.
PICARD: Sisko how’s Jake?
There’s no answer
KIRA: He’s just popped out.
PICARD: Hah. Okay. You good Kira?
KIRA: Yeah I’m alright we…
Data steps back from the table. The DS9 crew appear on screen.
DATA: All sorted.
PICARD (relieved): Thanks Mr Data
Data nods and shuffles out of the room while checking Twitter on his phone.
DAX: Hi every… oh.
KIRA: Picard, why hasn’t Riker got a shirt on?
PICARD: What do you mean he..? God damn it Number One!
RIKER: I thought it might help.
PICARD: Cover yourself up. Sorry everyone let’s… uh…
Dax, Kira and O’Brien are visible on screen. Sisko is missing.
PICARD: Is Sisko still out?
O’BRIEN: I’ll go grab him.
RIKER: I’m gonna run to the loo while they do that.
Riker leaves the room before Picard can stop him.
PICARD (shouting): Okay be quick though we need to get started with this.
On screen, Sisko and O’Brien return.
SISKO: I’m back. Hey Picard! Where’s RIker?
PICARD: Men’s room. Back in a sec. How’s Jake?
PICARD (louder): Jake
SISKO: Oh sorry. The volume is a bit quiet
PICARD (fidding with the controls): Oh okay. I can’t… We’ll speak up
Riker enters the room, zipping up his fly. Picard gives him a third look.
PICARD (sighing): Okay let’s get this meeting started then. We got there in the end!
This article is based on a particularly painful conference call I suffered through and wrote about on Twitter. You can find the original thread (and follow me) here.
If you like this, you can find lots of other stuff by me on my Medium profile.