Today, there was a major disaster on the Enterprise.
What happened, you may ask? A warp core breach? An attack by the Borg?
No, the plumbing had broken down.
Now you might think that's rather trivial, but when there are over 1000 people on board, and the water fails to flow, and the, er, 'wastage' won't get dispersed, we are heading for serious difficulties.
You might think LaForge ought to be able to handle this, being Chief Engineer; well he might be able to stop engines overloading, but he's useless when it comes to plumbing.
A distress signal was sent out immediately; as we were in a remote part of the quadrant, there was little chance of any assistance from Federation vessels
Hours went by, and things were getting very desperate, I can tell you.
Finally, we heard a voice.
"Do you require assistance with plumbing?"
We were so relieved that someone was there to help us, but when his image came on the viewscreen, our hearts sank.
It was a Ferengi.
Of all the species in the galaxy to aid us with plumbing, it has to be the one who will do anything for profit.
We beamed him over, and he took a good, long look at where the problem was. He shook his head and and I heard a sharp intake of breath.
"Well, of course, this is all obselete now. This sort of plumbing went out ages ago. It must have been an amateur who put this in."
"How much is it going to cost us?" I asked nervously.
"It's very difficult to get the parts nowadays; they're so expensive." he said.
"HOW MUCH!" Riker said desperately.
"I guess I can do it all for 100 bars of Latium."
"We don't have that much!" I said.
"Well, if you want it done....."
I took the officers for a discussion about it in the conference room. Riker was eager to speak.
"Captain, I'm sure I speak for all of us that we need it fixed urgently."
"Will he not accept replicated Latium?" asked Worf.
"No, he only wants the real thing."
"The Ferengi are without honour."
Deanna Troi suddenly spoke. "Captain, let me talk to him for a moment."
Three minutes later, she returned.
"The Ferengi will do it for free".
"I managed to persuade him by saying that it would be a very charitable gesture on his part; I was also stroking his ears at the time. As you know, the ears of a Ferengi are very sensitive, and to stroke them gives them a lot of pleasure."
Thanks to Counselor Troi, the Enterprise is now up and running. We are all relieved, you might say.