A meeting just isn't a meeting without caffeine, and Captain Clerk's preferred source is coffee. However, with tea being all the rage with captains these days, he finally bowed to pressure and decided to give it a try. A hot beverage is a hot beverage, right?

Standing in front of the break room's replicator, Clerk braced himself for whatever grief this thing was going to give him.

"I'd like some tea."

"What kind of tea would you like, Captain?"

Already, he'd run up against a question he wasn't prepared for. "Um... hot?"

"Confirmed. What blend would you like?"

0 for 2. Should I have studied for this? "I have no idea. What kinds are there?"

"I am programmed to replicate any of dozens of popular blends that have been produced, such as Earl Grey, Irish Breakfast, Green tea..."

Well, there's always the Admiral's old favorite. "Alright, I'll have an Earl Grey."

"I'm sorry, Captain, but that blend is not currently available."

Of course not. "Irish Breakfast?"


"Green tea?"


"Well, what do you have?"

"Tea is currently unavailable right now."

Sigh. "Fine. Look, I've got to get to a meeting, pronto. Just give me a black coffee and don't burn it this time."


Beverage in hand, Clerk entered the conference room and set up shop at the Captain Eddie Jellatin Memorial Lectern. He wasn't looking forward to this particular meeting, and having already had trouble with both the shower stall and the replicator, his day was already off to a rough start. All eyes were upon him, which only served to exacerbate his anxiety.

Not that that was anything out of the ordinary.

"Okay, ladies and gentlemen, I'm sure you're all still giddy from your simultaneous vacations. Just so you know, I've closed that loophole. From now on, no more than two Senior Officers can be on vacation at any given time. We nearly fell apart while you guys were gone, what with Severe Crisis after Severe Crisis hitting us." Clerk sighed as he continued to shuffle papers. "But I digress. The main point of this meeting is attendance."

He turned to Lieutenant Kato, who immediately threw a plush cube at him.

"Kato, I know that I told you to attack me at any time, to keep me on my toes--" he stopped as the second cube hit him directly in the face."--Yes, that. That was a joke, Lieutenant. You can stop now." Unfortunately, he didn't get the sentence out fast enough to stop the third pitch. "I'm serious, now. Stop."

Lt. Kato slouched in her chair slightly and pouted.

"I realize that since the navigator seat was vacant, I pulled you away, but that left us with an Ensign in charge, and I need you back there."

"Fine with me. I hate doing that anyways."

Lt. Whatsisname raised his hand. "Since that vacates the navigator position, does that mean I have to go back?"

"No, you're doing too good a job as Director of Operations." Then a lightbulb went off. "Oh! I know! Ensign Tolstoy has been begging to do that job you loathe so much, Kato. Mind if I take him from the Communications Department and put him there?"

"That's cool," she replied with a shrug. "I can always get a redshirt from Security who's realized what he's gotten into."

"Anyways," Clerk said as he turned back to Whatsisname. "I've been meaning to tell you, Lieutenant, you've been doing so well that I've decided to put in for a promotion for you. Admiral Nezbomb is supposed to take care of that when he gets back from vacation."

"Thank you, sir!"

"You're welcome, Lieutenant. You've earned it."

Now I'll have to think of something to call him besides Lieutenant. Maybe I should, dare I say it, learn his name at some point.

Lieutenant Wharf raised his hand. "Can we address the fact that Commander Doubledecker hasn't set foot on the Bridge since he got back?"

Clerk rolled his eyes. "Thank you, Mr. Tattle-Tale. I was just getting to that. Billard has been working with the newly-discovered Stellar Cartography Department on a special project, but now that that's just about finished, he'll be back." He turned to the extremely distracted Science Officer. "I'll especially need you around since you've taken Ensign Kazoo under your wing."

"Yes, sir," Doubledecker replied hazily, his mind still on that cute bald girl he met while on vacation.

"Next, I'd like to speak to Lieutenant Dux..." Clerk looked around and did not find the Ship's Counselor anywhere in sight.

Clearing his throat, Lt. Commander Shenanigans spoke up. "She's out on an assignment to Regular I."

"Again? Why do I never get notified of these things?" Clerk did a double-take when he realized who it was he was talking to. "What are you doing here? You weren't--"

"Well, I am Chief Intelligence Officer."

"Yes, but that's not a Senior position. Thanks for the tip, though. You are dismissed."

After the doors closed, Clerk let out a sigh of relief. "Last thing we need is Shenanigans all up in here."

Everybody else in the room groaned. Clerk smiled. That was how he knew he was doing his job properly.

"Finally, I wanted to address the fact that although Lt. Kato is back at the Communications station, we still don't have a Senior officer in that division. How that happened, I don't know." Seems like I never know how any of this happens. "We will be looking to have somebody to fill that position soon. And before you ask, Kato, no I'm not promoting you. You know you have to stay in your position at least six months before you can be promoted. Fleet's rules, not mine. Now, does anybody have any questions?"

Seeing as nobody wanted to be there to begin with, nobody wanted to volunteer to prolong the experience.

"Alrighty then. Meeting's over. Try not to gang up on the donut shop all at once."