Captain's Blog, Stardate. I have never regretted staying up so late playing the Starship Captain Simulator game until now. My eyes are staging a mutiny as I record this. We are currently on our way to starbase Deep Dish $9, traveling at Warp Factor 8. I have been repeatedly assured that that is the fastest safe speed we could possibly go. However, at that rate, it will take at least five days to get there, in spite of Admiral Safeway’s insistence that we arrive by tomorrow evening. I have had to resort to renaming the admiral’s office as "Do Not Answer" in my contacts list.

"Helm," Clerk asked, partly out of frustration but mostly out of sheer boredom, "Is there any way we can get a little more speed? I'm in no hurry to spend time at Deep Dish $9, don't get me wrong, but Admiral Safeway keeps calling me every hour and a half saying he’s got a truckload of demerits with my name on them."

Before Ensign Hazyweather could answer, Lt. Eric spoke up. "He's asking the impossible, if you don't mind me saying, sir. We're already at the maximum recommended speed for this vessel. Sorry to bring that up again, but we must keep safety in mind." Pause. "And, uh, what's a truckload?"

Hmm. That's a good question. "Well, he's an admiral. He asks the impossible for a living."

"Still, sir," the navigator replied without catching the joke, "We can't push very far past our current speed without risking serious damage to the engines."

Nonsense. I spent way too many late nights with Georgie LaGrange reading the technical manuals for this thing to give up at Warp 8.

"I dunno, Lieutenant... there's gotta be another option," Clerk replied, his voice trailing off as he stroked his chin. "Info, I'm gonna need you to take the Conn while I go talk to Engineering." He got up from the Big Comfy Chair, and was nearly halfway to the elevator when he got interrupted.

"I'm sorry, sir," the android said in mock confusion. "The what?"

Sigh. Clerk reluctantly drew in a sharp breath and assumed a dramatic pose. "Info, I'm gonna need you to take the… Connnnnnn... while I go talk to Engineering."

Info nodded. "Aye, sir."

One little emotional outburst and everybody goofs on you for it. Using homophones, no less.

Blushing, Clerk stepped into the elevator -- no stranger itself to goofing on the captain for every little word spoken -- hoping to get to Engineering without much ado.

Not that the elevator wasn't gonna try. "So... captain... I hear--"

"Not today, Otis 1138.0. I gotta get to Engineering pronto, and I don't want any lip about it."

"But I have no--"

"None."

If an elevator could slink into a corner, this would be the moment. Instead, a whimper was all it could do.

Clerk enjoyed the silent ride down to Engineering. It was a refreshing change of pace.

Episode 65: Pop-Ups Detected

Today was Captain Clerk's first day on the New Bridge, and he was still taking it all in. He slowly walked around the perimeter, arms behind his back, admiring all the shiny new equipment, and unintentionally making all the ensigns nervous in the process.

At least they refitted the entire ship this time, instead of just rearranging the offices and installing fog lights like they did last time. Definitely gonna have to get Jenkins to come up here and repaint the Bridge, though. This all-white-and-transparent look just seems a tad... dull. They should totally go for this look in Sick Bay, though. Sigh. They never consult me on these things.

When he got to the Navigation station, Clerk noted Lt. Eric's apparent confusion and frustration over the new control panel's layout (and all the crumbs the navigator was dropping all over it).

"Something wrong, Lieutenant?" Clerk asked.

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Episode 64: Happy Gornday

After throwing away his fifth cheap Ferengi "barely used" recorder off FleetBayTM, Lt. Commander Georgie "Rainbow" LaGrange was relieved to hear that he had finally been given access to the Gornucopia's built-in personal recorder system. Granted, the only reason they didn't let him in earlier was that everybody on board had forgotten the password. As he spent months hacking the system, LaGrange caught himself wishing that Gorn ships came equipped with sticky notes.

"All right," he said with a sigh. "Let's see if this works."

Without bothering to collect his thoughts, he went ahead and hurriedly pressed RECORD before he got locked out. Again.

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Captain's Blog, Stardate... uh... sigh. Figures my communicator would die right now. Sometime I should actually put a clock in here. Anyways, we are just finishing up our latest refit, and while I'm dreading having to learn my own ship all over again, at least they finally granted my request to have the Captain's Shuttle re-instated. Not that I've ever needed to use it in an episode ever before, but I miss my FleeT Cruiser. Sure, the thing is leaking oil like crazy, and the CD player doesn't work, and I haven't seen my keys since Season 1, but still... it's a little slice of home, and I'll take what I can get. Plus, Jed Jenkins is working on it right now, and says it oughta be purring like Tolstoy's kitten by the time we ship out.

The Fleet has had a troubling trend regarding Academy graduates the last several stardates, and that is the rising number of Ship Design majors versus the dwindling number of Ship Repair majors. As a result, many starbases have had no other way to deal with damaged or otherwise-in-need-of-upgrading vessels than to simply do a refit every time. While some people -- mostly admirals -- enjoyed the fact that practically the entire Fleet got a facelift on a regular basis, none of them have had to actually serve on any of those constantly-changing ships... except, of course, for the technical writers, who have plenty of work to do continually revising the Ship Operating Procedure manuals.

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Episode 62: It's a Rap!

Captain's Blog, Stardate: Season Finale. The trip to Andoria actually was fairly uneventful, contrary to expectations, and we all came away unscathed. That is, except for our Security Chief, Lt. Yarrrrr, who slipped on a small oil slick and fell and hit her head, putting her out of commission. As the Embassy medics took her away, she seemed frustrated, mumbling something about it "not being the way the contract was supposed to end" and her Academy loans. Women are weird. Anyways, I'm riding out the rest of the trip to Starbase Johnny 5 hoping absolutely nothing will happen.

"We're here already?" Captain Clerk had barely sat down in his Ready Room when his navigator walked in and gave him the news.

"Aye, Captain," said Lt. Eric with a smile. "I found a shortcut. We didn't even have to go over Warp 4!"

Wait, how do you...? Never mind. Best not to ask questions. "Uh, good job. Have Kato no--"

"She's already worked everything out. We even found a good parking spot!"

I leave the Bridge for five minutes and suddenly everybody goes into hyper-productivity mode. I get it, I get it.

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