Reed, Malcolm

STARFLEET PERSONNEL FILE: Reed, Malcolm

Rank: Lieutenant
Assignment: Armory Officer, Enterprise NX-01
Full Name: Malcolm Reed
Birthday: September 2
Parents: Stuart & Mary Reed
Siblings: Younger sister, Madeline Reed
Marital status: Single


Psychological Profile: Report of Starfleet Medical/Counselor's Office

Reed is descended from a long line of British navy men; in fact, he takes after his grandfather who was an ordnance officer in the Royal Navy. Rules and regulations, discipline, schedules — life is strictly by-the-book for this officer who is fascinated by munitions and what he can create next in his Armory. Around women, however, he becomes soft-spoken and tongue-tied.

Biographical Overview

Lieutenant Malcolm Reed is the weapons and tactical expert on Enterprise NX-01, and the first to jump into the fray when a rescue mission becomes necessary or when explosions need to be mounted.

Reed believes in always maintaining a high state of readiness, and was frustrated that Enterprise left dock before all the ship's planned weaponry was installed and tested. He was never optimistic about the degree of friendliness the starship would encounter in deep space, and his pessimism has proven valid. Reed has had to improvise against hostile aliens with superior weaponry many times. In one battle early in the mission, the Enterprise crew was nearly captured to be drained of their fluids after the ship's torpedoes failed to penetrate an enemy ship's defenses. It took cooperation between Reed and an Axanar captain to destroy their common foe. Later, attacks from another unknown race prompted Reed and Chief Engineer Tucker to lead the crew in building a complement of phase cannons from scratch while in mid-space — accomplishing in two days what would have taken the armory team at Jupiter Station at least a week. While the first deployment of the phase cannons was less than clean, they were ultimately successful in warding off the hostile aliens and finally gave Enterprise the firepower that Reed has always wanted.

Malcolm Reed is the man the crew turns to for weapons training and target practice. It was Reed who presented Captain Archer with the crew's new hand weapons called "phase-pistols," explaining, "They have two settings, stun and kill. It would be best not to confuse them." It is Reed who sits at the tactical console on the Bridge, and in any encounter with an alien vessel he is the one who immediately scans the ship for weapons and engine configurations. He is very protective of the Armory and the ship's tactical systems, and tries to keep those areas off-limits to visitors (although he did give a visiting Vissian tactical officer a tour). He is also in charge of security and procedures for locking down the ship in an emergency, such as being boarded.

Although Reed was initially skeptical about using the newly approved bio-transport platform ("I don't think I'm quite ready to have my molecules compressed into a datastream"), he has used the transporter probably more than anyone on the crew — its safety being less a concern to him than its tactical advantage. For example, when Archer and other crewmembers were taken hostage in their first encounter with Andorians at the Vulcan sanctuary P'Jem, Reed led a munitions team to the surface via the transporter, to mount a series of explosions that led to a firefight that ultimately resolved the situation.

Even under peaceful circumstances, Reed loves to "blow things up." When Archer decided to obtain samples of a rare mineral called eisilium from a large comet the crew was studying, Reed volunteered to take a portable drilling rig on a little "cometwalk." Fortunately for him, the drilling effort first required blasting a hole in the comet surface. The perfectionist that he is, he was disappointed the explosion wasn't more symmetrical. When the ship has a movie night, Reed's favorite films are always those that show lots of explosions.

Blowing up stuff is not all that Reed is expert at. He has made technological strides in other ways, such as perfecting a stable EM barrier, also known as a "forcefield." When a strange, growing organism invaded Enterprise and tried to absorb several crewmembers, Reed needed a way to stop the creature from spreading and capturing more people. He jury-rigged a prototype based on specs in the database and found a way to control the particle density, something Starfleet hadn't been able to do in five years. Another accomplishment was a "Tactical Alert" that saved Enterprise at a crucial moment. Because of this, Archer recommended that the alert and accompanying protocols be made standard procedure.

Even with all of his accomplishments, Reed isn't above being rattled. He was upset when he accidentally left his communicator behind on a pre-warp alien planet, and went on an away mission with Archer to retrieve it. The duo was captured, but was later rescued by their fellow crewmembers. Still, Reed noted that he wasn't afraid to die in order to avoid contaminating the pre-warp culture.

Everyone knows Malcolm Reed as an exemplary armory officer, but people don't know much about him as a person. He keeps to himself much of the time, preferring to work over lunch rather than socializing. When his September 2 birthday came up, the crew realized they didn't know what he liked to eat (although Dr. Phlox observed that he seems to love a good breakfast, including lots of eggs and pancakes spread with peanut butter). Malcolm is a bit of a mystery even to his own family — sister Madeline, Uncle Archie, Aunt Sherry and two other spinster aunts — and his parents, Stuart and Mary, don't know much about his career other than the fact he was assigned to Enterprise. But they can share the blame for being uncommunicative, as they were occupied with moving back to Kota Baharu, Malaysia, while Malcolm was preparing to leave Earth. Besides, Stuart never seemed particularly pleased that his son joined Starfleet instead of the Navy, feeling almost insulted that the ocean was not big enough for him. For his part, Malcolm always hoped that he would be able to follow in the footsteps of his father and grandfather and join the Royal Navy — he was raised on the water, studied all of the great naval battles and "knew how to handle a boat before [he] could ride a bicycle." Unfortunately, he suffers from aquaphobia and is afraid of drowning. Malcolm's great-uncle suffered from a similar fear, but he faced it head-on by joining the Navy and signing up for submarine service. He was eventually made chief engineer of the H.M.S. Clement, and went down with his ship when it was trapped underneath an ice shelf. Malcolm couldn't help but recall this when he was pinned to Enterprise's hull by an orbital alien mine. Luckily, Reed and Archer worked together and managed to free him and save the ship.

 

Emotional detachment has defined many of Malcolm's personal relationships, especially those with women. He's had a lot of involvements, but none serious or lasting. There was Ruby, a waitress at the 602 Club in Mill Valley where all the Starfleet trainees used to go; there was Maureen, another waitress at a restaurant on the Embarcadero. When Malcolm thought he was doomed to die aboard Shuttlepod 1, he wrote letters to Deborah, Rochelle, Catelin and several others — all girls he had short-lived relationships with because he could never get close to them, but they were all he had besides his family to say farewell to.

Malcolm is beginning to realize, though, that the crew of Enterprise is different. They are his family now, and he is beginning to feel comfortable enough with them to reveal more of himself. Still, Reed was somewhat uncomfortable when Archer invited him to breakfast so that they could get to know each other better. Reed has been trained not to fraternize with his superior officers, and only feels comfortable discussing work with the captain. He also believes the captain could show a bit more caution in certain areas, though he will admit that Archer's style has its advantages.

He was an Eagle Scout with 28 merit badges, including exobiology (more than Captain Archer). His health is a bit delicate — once he was the only crewman on board to catch a head cold, apparently from a virus lurking inside a case of plasma coolant. Plus, he suffers from a number of allergies including dust mites, oak pollen, tropical grasses, and various plant enzymes, including bromelin. For several years he's been taking regular injections to help his body tolerate bromelin, because that's an enzyme found in pineapple, which he loves. When his crewmates presented him with a pineapple cake for his birthday, he was quite impressed.

Reed's knowledge of ship's weaponry, his professionalism and his dedication to duty make him vital member of the crew as Enterprise enters the mysterious area known as the Delphic Expanse.

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