Short of a nanite infestation or removal of ODN cards by crewmen infected with the
Tchaikovsky virus, the coolant leak is the most dire and fearsome thing to befall the USS
Enterprise-D, for it often precipitates that most dreaded of shipboard malfunctions: the warp core breach. Make
no mistake: the coolant leak is as serious as a heart attack.
Coolant leaks apparently occur whenever the ship takes heavy damage of any kind, whether it is doled out
from Romulan disruptors, natural space disasters, or the cutting beam of the nefarious Borg. Given enough damage, the
coolant piping will spring a leak, always midway up the open shaft area of Engineering. Should
coolant fail to get to the warp core, the plasma used in the matter/antimatter process
overheats, leading to a supremely heightened chance of a warp core breach. It also poses an
environmental threat to sentients working in Engineering.
Terrifying as a coolant leak may be, there is always one man on hand to immediately rectify the
situation. Known for his technobabble, his stunning visual-aid-accessorizing, and his
ill-fated dealings with the fair sex, our hero is seemingly perpetually there to save the
Some call him "Commander". Others, "Kunta". But for us, two words sum it up: Geordi
LaForge. Man, myth, legend, and ex-almost-Klingo-Romulan partisan, Geordi is the Johnny-on-the-spot: he's there to deal
with the situation. The following is a transcript of his dealings with all things coolant
leak-related, which are performed exactly the same way every time (those Starfleet SOPs must
be something, all right):
Geordi is scrutinizing a console in the angry red light of a Red Alert.
Geordi (into communicator): Captain, we've got a serious problem down
here. The (insert shipboard systems here) won't hold for long.
Suddenly, midway up the warp core shaft, a stream of angry white gas bursts out of its metal
Geordi (shouting): Coolant leak! (Into communicator, gravely): We have a coolant
leak here. I'm evacuating Engineering. (To the hapless crew members trundling around the warp
core): Coolant leak! Everybody out!
The crewmen (and -women) run towards the turbolift end of Engineering, while the Official
Starfleet Radiation Door slowly descends, severing the core from the rest of the stardrive section. Geordi stands on the wrong side of the threshhold, his arm
pinwheeling as the crew run by.
Geordi (shouting): Go, go, go!
The last crew member breezes past and Geordi rolls under the door, barely clearing it. As he
comes out of his roll, he presses his communicator (this is also known as the LaForge Maneuver).
Geordi (into communicator): All right, everyone's out.
He breathes out gustily in the glare of the red lights. The door comes to a thundering close behind him. Engineering? Evacuated. The day? Saved.
As one can see, Commander LaForge is no joke when it comes to evacuation, never losing a single
soul to the horrors of Engineering, a feat not even William T. Riker could pull off. Of course, no one really finds out how the coolant leak gets fixed.
Update: Recently, this has been captured on ytmnd.com as "Epic Geordi Maneuvers".