PAGE 11 OF 18 (Lieutenant Reed, cont.)
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.