Warning: Serious violence to an inanimate object.
Summary: Malcolm recites Shakespeare.
Disclaimer: Paramount owns everything. I own nothing and I'm not getting paid
Comment: Many thanks to Kathy who was the unsuspecting beta for this piece. She
thought she was just doing me a favour by 'checking it over', but ended up doing
a very good beta job.
This won't have you all rolling in the aisles, but it should raise a titter or
two. Hope you enjoy it, but please, I really would like feedback.
"Hey, Mal. Coming to the movie tonight?"
"Maybe, Trip. What's on?"
"You mean you haven't heard? My, you're slacking."
"I've been busy."
"I've noticed. It's time you took a break and had some fun."
"Your idea of a 'fun' movie is not always mine."
"I think you'll like this one. It's 'Richard the Third'."
"Really? Which version?"
"Which would you like it to be?"
"Well, the version Ian McKellan did was excellent. It was set during the Second
World War. Guns and German uniforms and such. And some decent explosions at the
end as I recall."
"Naturally you would remember that."
"But I much preferred the Olivier version."
"You mean men in tights?"
"There's more to it than that. I think Olivier put over Shakespeare's speeches
much better, but I just prefer it done in contemporary costume. So all in all it
would be my choice."
"You're in luck, then, 'cause Olivier it is."
"Great. I'll see you there."
The mess hall, which had been converted into a cinema for the evening, was abuzz
with excitement. Trip and Malcolm sat alongside Travis Mayweather and Hoshi Sato,
who had already claimed bowls of popcorn for them all.
Hoshi admitted that she had never seen this film, although she had heard about
it, so Malcolm began to fill her in on a few points of interest.
"Look out for the scene where Richard persuades the Lady Anne to marry him. It's
my favourite. He's so devious, she simply cannot turn him down."
"Ooh. I 'm getting shivers up and down my spine already." Hoshi squirmed in her
seat. Further talk was quashed however, as the lights were lowered, the music
began, and the opening titles appeared on the screen.
As the show finished and the credits rolled, people started to move towards the
exit, discussing the film animatedly.
Travis turned to Malcolm and said, "I could see you were really enjoying that,
Malcolm. Do you know the play well?"
"You could say that. I actually played the lead in a school production once."
"What?" gasped Trip. "You mean - tights an' all?"
"Yes. Tights, armour, sword. You name it."
"I'd love to have seen you in tights, Mal. Bet you looked pretty good,
especially with those sexy legs of yours."
"I can't imagine they looked very 'sexy' when I was sixteen."
"You'd look really good in them now, though." Trip insisted.
Hoshi had other things on her mind.
"Could you still recite any of the speeches?" Hoshi asked. "You know, like the 'winter
of discontent' speech."
"Probably." Most of the movie-goers were now standing around listening to this
conversation, and Malcolm was getting just a tiny bit worried as to where it was
"We'd love to hear it." Hoshi said what others would like to have said but
wouldn't dare. But then, Hoshi's like that. She doesn't mind jumping in with
There was an immediate clamour of voices begging Malcolm to do it. And then
Captain Archer's voice was heard above the others.
"I think that's a splendid idea. Come on, Malcolm, let's hear it."
"Is that an order, Sir?"
"No. Its a request."
"In that case it would be churlish of me to refuse. But I haven't done this for
some time, so I might be a bit rusty. And if you're expecting anything like
Olivier, forget it. I do it my way."
"That's fine with us, Malcolm. Wouldn't want it any other way." The Captain
found himself a seat in the front row and settled down to watch. The other
chairs were soon filled with an expectant audience.
Malcolm pulled a table forward clearing it of empty popcorn bowls and other
paraphernalia, placed a chair in front of it, sat on the table and put one foot
on the chair. He was very quiet and still for a few moments, as if gathering his
The audience was equally quiet, waiting ...
Suddenly Malcolm was holding a vicious-looking knife, with a blade about twenty
centimetres long. He must have had it in one of the many pockets of his uniform,
but the ability to produce it seemingly from nowhere was due to the
sleight-of-hand he had learned during his security training.
Malcolm huffed and then quietly but with bitterness spoke the first lines.
'Now is the winter of our discontent made glorious summer by this son of York.'
He looked upwards, then slowly down again.
'And all the clouds that lower'd upon our house in the deep bosom of the ocean
Now are our brows hung with victorious wreaths, our bruised arms hung up for
Our stern alarums changed to merry meetings; our dreadful marches to delightful
Toying with the knife his voice changed to more of a sneer -
'Grim-visaged war hath smoothed his wrinkled front; and now, instead of mounting
barbed steeds to fright the souls of fearful adversaries, - he capers nimbly in
a lady's chamber to the lascivious pleasing of a lute.'
He became angry, getting louder -
'But I - that am not made for sportive tricks, nor made to court an amorous
He raised the knife to look into the blade as if in a mirror.
'I, that am rudely stamped, and want love's majesty to strut before a wanton,
I, that am curtailed of this fair proportion, cheated of feature by dissembling
His voice rose to a crescendo -
'Deformed, unfinished, sent before my time into this breathing world scarce half
At this point he angrily, viciously, stabbed the knife into and through the
metal table-top. It went in up to the hilt. There was an audible gasp from the
audience. This could have been from the very considerable force of the blow, or
the fact that he had apparently wantonly damaged Starfleet property.
Lowering his voice a little, he continued -
'And that so lamely and unfashionable, that dogs bark at me as I halt by them.'
He carefully eased the weapon out of the table and examined the blade from hilt
to tip for damage, then he looked at the hole and ran his fingers gently over
it. He shrugged, as if to say 'What's done is done.'
'Why I, in this weak, piping time of peace, have no delights to pass away the
time, unless to see my shadow in the sun and descant on mine own deformity.'
His attitude changed. He stood up and faced the audience, nonchalantly tossing
the knife from hand to hand. The finely honed blade glinted and flashed in the
light as it flew dangerously, in a high arc, from one side to the other. His
voice became soft, silky - sly.
'And therefore, since I cannot prove a lover to entertain these fair,
well-spoken days, I am determined to prove a villain, and hate the idle
pleasures of these days.
Plots have I laid, inductions dangerous, by drunken prophecies, libels and
dreams, to set my brother Clarence, and the King in deadly hate the one against
And if King Edward be as true and just as I am subtle, false and treacherous,
this day should Clarence closely be mewed up about a prophecy which says, that
'G' of Edward's heirs the murderer shall be.'
He all but whispered the last few words -
'Dive, thoughts, down to my soul. Here Clarence comes.'
For about five seconds there was absolute silence, then the hall erupted in a
huge burst of applause. Somewhat overcome by this response, Malcolm took a bow,
but the applause kept coming. Finally he stepped to one side as Captain Archer
"Ladies and gentlemen, I am sure we are all equally amazed at Lieutenant Reed's
impromptu, but excellent rendition of one of Shakespeare's best known soliloquys.
I never knew we had such a talented actor in our midst. Perhaps we can persuade
him to do another - Hamlet or Henry V maybe. We must have those films among the
50,000 on the ship's database. Thank you for a great performance, Malcolm.' This
led to another outburst of applause. After a while Archer held up his hand for
"I have a couple of questions, though, Malcolm."
"I thought you might, Sir."
Archer indicated the weapon in Malcolm's hand. "Firstly, about that knife - "
"What about the knife, Sir?"
"Where were you hiding it? I never saw you draw it."
"Ah, now. That would be telling, Sir."
"Are you refusing to tell me where you keep it?"
"This sounds like insubordination." A collective gasp came from the audience,
but there was a hint of a smile on Archer's face, and Malcolm didn't seem too
"Not at all, Sir. As your chief of security I am required to carry a weapon of
some sort at all times, and I don't have to let you know where it is."
"Oh, so you won't be putting it away while I'm watching, then?"
"In your dreams, Sir."
"Hmm." Then - "Next question."
"Oh dear. I'd hoped that was all."
"No such luck, Malcolm. Did you deliberately vandalise that table?"
"Ah.... Um.... Not deliberately, Sir, no. It just seemed the appropriate action
to take at the time. It was completely unpremeditated. I do apologise for that."
"But we still have a table with a great big hole in it."
"Cap'n." Trip Tucker stood up and came forward. "Engineering will be only too
glad to put that to rights for you. I can have it good as new in no time."
"Thank you, Trip, but surely Malcolm should be doing that?"
"What, after that performance? Nah. It'll be my pleasure to do it. My way of
saying how much we enjoyed it."
"OK, Trip. I'll leave it up to you. Now about that knife, Malcolm - by the way,
where is it?"
"I've put it away, Sir."
"You're a real sneaky so-and-so, Malcolm."
There was a definite smirk on the armoury officer's face.
"If you say so, Sir."
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