((Starbase 118 - Crew Quarters - Malko’s Room))
As if led by his nose like a bloodhound, the commander went straight for the replicator service panel. No doubt he smelled the slightly sweet odour.
Malko began to panic, clasping his hands together in an attempt to compose the anxiety flitting across his skin.
Hael: You ain’ has no issues with the replicator either has ya?
Malko: Issues? None.
Hael: You-uh ::he pointed at the signs of tinkering on the wall.:: doin’ yer own maintenance?
The Denobulan was sweating through his grin. Hael was onto him. How did he know? Malko had lost his cool less than an hour ago and not a soul had been witness. And he was about to lose it again.
Malko: Oh. Oh, that? I had to reboot the thing once or twice, and I didn't have a screwdriver. I'm a counsellor, not an engineer! ::he chuckled nervously::
Hael: Ya’know Therr be folks stationed ‘ere to do jus’ this kind’a thing. Tha’n ways you ain’ gotta do it. ::he chuckled as he began to take scans.::
Malko: Is, that against the law?
Hael: No’ real’y. Folk always try’na fix their own stuff. Jus’ mentionin’ tha’ therr be folks ‘ere to do jus’ this thing, so you ain’ inconveincin’ anyone, none.
Malko: ::gulp:: Commander, I... I have a confession to make…
Hael: ::he leaned to one side.:: Real’y ani’ no thing. If’n sumthin’ broke we can fix’r no problem.
Malko: I'm the one you're looking for.
Hael: I’m’a sor’y Doc… You wanna run tha’ past me one more time - only.. ::he put his hands up.:: a bit slower, eh?
oO Is he coercing a confession out of me? Oo
Malko: I made a mistake and I was too ashamed to tell anyone, I'm sure you know - why else would you be here?
Hael took a few seconds to retrace the words Malko had spilled forth.
Hael: Well’s.. Uh… We can ge’ through tha’ .. ::he mumbled.:: mos’ likely.
Malko: Yeah? What sort of trouble am I facing?
Malko sat in his office chair, facing the Commander who was kneeled in front of the panel. This was a different counselling that what usually occurred in Malko's office.
Malko: Well, you see... I was trying to research recipes - to make a dessert I could bring to the crew that would wow everyone. I did a preliminary search for some award-winning cakes, and was having the replicator make me some samples.
He covered his forehead in embarrassment.
Malko: And when I asked for Chocolate Infinity Cake, the replicator must have misunderstood -because it began making 'infinite chocolate cake'. I attempted to verbally cancel the process, but it was locked in some sort of request loop - leeching energy from the floor. The pot-lights dimmed in my office menacingly. At first I tried catching the fountain of cake in whatever empty vessels I had around the office, but they quickly filled. By that time the cake had begun spreading across the floor. I rolled my pant legs and waded through the molten flow, armed with a decorative letter opener. By the time I got the access panel open, well, the cake was threatening breaching the room. I wasn't sure what I was looking at in there, but I steeled myself and flipped a bunch of breakers until I saw the cook light die out - and finally the cascade of cake ceased. Shovel by shovel, I packed the viscous maroon sludge into the refuse chute - and attempted to scrub any traces out of my office and skin with diluted cleaners I stole from the sanitation closet. Ultimately, I was able to dispose of the cake batter, but I could not disguise the incident or my shame. Please - have mercy.
Malko: Sir? I - I don't understand.
Malko: Then how?