Episode -19: Bord to Death, Part II

Last time, on Star Sick: the Original Generation…

“Captain,” said First Officer Willie T. Wrecker, “these Bord aliens are taking over the ship! They’ve converted over a quarter of the crew into moping, black-clad drones, dimmed the lights everywhere by over 47%, and changed the hold music for Customer Support to nothing but The Smiths and Joy Division!”

“I know! I know!” Captain Clerk said, exasperated. “But how?”

“They seem to be converging on the Bridge, sir,” said Lt. Whatsisname, tracking their motion on the conference room’s really sweet HD display. “We might be able to detain them there if we can cut off access to the upper decks.”

Clerk’s eyes were on the surveillance monitor. “What are they doing to the décor?

“It looks like they’re installing strobe lights… and a smoke machine…”

And now… the conclusion…

“Evacuation of the upper decks is going smoothly, sir.”

“Thanks, Mr. Wharf,” said Clerk, relieved to hear that something was going well for a change. “Keep calm and carry on.”

“Calmness is illness to a Klingon, sir.”

“Well then… keep enraged and carry on.”

That I can do!” Wharf said, snapping to attention briefly before turning and exiting the room. As he did, in walked Dr. Flüshaht and Chief Engineer LaGrange.

“You wanted to speak with us, sir?” asked LaGrange.

“Yes,” Clerk replied. “Since we’re getting the upper twelve decks evacuated, we need to figure out what we’re gonna do once that’s complete.”

Twelve decks?” Flüshaht asked. “I thought it was only going to be three or four.”

“Nurse Ethel seemed to think it was best to give them a little more space. I’m inclined to agree, what with how powerful their influence can be. Plus, we could really use a buffer between us and them, since even thinking about–”

“Sir,” Wrecker interrupted. “Best to change the subject. Don’t want to dwell on it.”

“Right. Thanks.” Clerk sighed. “Shame you’re going to be leaving us soon; you’ve been the best First Officer a captain could ask for.”

“You’re leaving?” Flüshaht asked, surprised. “You’ve been here nearly five weeks. You’re this close to setting the record for–”

“Commander — or shall I say Captain — Wrecker has been assigned command of the U.S.S. Excelsheet.”

“Actually, sir,” Wrecker interjected. “I’m going to be commanding the new Secondprize beta version.”

Beta version?”

“Yes. It’ll be where the Fleet will test new technologies and stuff. Quite exciting, really.”

“Sounds like a recipe for everything being broken all the time,” groused Flüshaht. “Not sure if I’d want to be on that ship anyways. I heard there’s a psychopath assigned to it.”

“That’s my wife you’re talking about,” Wrecker said, getting more than a little annoyed. “and she’s a telepath, not a psychopath.”

“Yeah, all the psychopaths are here on this ship,” said LaGrange.

Clerk shook his head. “I told you not to marry your therapist. But then again, you’ve never really listened to me.”

“Does anybody?”

“Touché. So… who’s getting the Excelsheet?

“Our helmsman,” said Whatsisname.

“Hazyweather? But he just start–”

“No, sir, that’s his replacement. It’s–”

“Oh, right, right. I know who you’re talking about. So like, is everybody getting a new ship or something?” He turned to the Chief Engineer. “You’re not going anywhere, are you Mr. LaGrange?”

“Not that I’m aware of, Captain.”

Just then, Nurse Smasher walked in with a few syringes.

“What’s with the shots?” asked Clerk.

“To combat the raging depression that’s hitting us, I thought some regular SSRI injections might help.”

“Good idea! I can tell you’ll make a fine doctor someday.”

“Thank you,” said the beautiful widowed redhead on the cusp of earning her doctorate, who has a genius son in his early teens, and all this detail is being given to you for no apparent reason.

“Anyways, back to what we were saying,” said Clerk, trying to talk without looking at the needles in the room. “We’ve managed to cut off all decks above the secondary bridge, but we can’t just let them run riot up there. We have to have a plan. That is, besides having Jenkins stuff every scrap of paper into Deck 2.”

“That’s gonna put a terrible strain on the bulkhead,” LaGrange mentioned. “Add to that all the damage they’ve done already… it’s a shame this had to happen right after the refit.”

“Oh, I know,” replied the Captain. “I’m still upset about all the stuff we’re losing access to, like Stellar Cartography, the bowling alley…”

“…and the best pizza place on the whole ship,” Flüshaht added.

“Security to Captain Clerk,” said a voice over the intercom.

“Yes, Mr. Wharf?”

“Everybody who’s not affected has been successfully relocated, but there’s a problem.”

“What’s that?”

“Well, given the design of the containment system we’re using–”

“Cut to the chase, Wharf.”

“Somebody’s got to close the hatch. From the inside.”

Everybody in the room looked at each other nervously. This was going to be a one way trip.

“I’ll do it,” Flüshaht said, breaking the ice after a few minutes.

“That’s great of you to volunteer,” Captain Clerk replied. “I’m curious as to why. I mean, you know what this means. We have to erase all memory of all of this, since it’s so bad that even thinking about it will spread the contagion.”

Flüshaht shrugged. “Ah, I was going to retire anyways. This way, I get to get away from it all and never leave the comfort of the ship.”

“True dat,” Clerk said sadly. “But everybody’s gonna think you’re dead.”

“Oh brother,” Flüshaht said, rolling his eyes. “Just don’t go holding a funeral or anything, okay?”


Clerk and Flüshaht arrived at the main elevator on Deck 12, where Wharf was waiting for them.

“Are we ready to go?” Clerk asked.

“Not quite. There are three Bord that are still unaccounted for. We need to hold off sealing the decks until we know for sure they’re here.”

“I hate to do that, Wharf. Every second we wait, the closer we get to them breaking through.”

“Don’t worry, Captain, I’ll find them.” Flüshaht said, patting the Captain on the back reassuringly.

“Are you sure? Because–”

Relax. Just get down there and start with the memory wiping. I’ll handle the rest from here.”

“It’s been nice working with ya, Doc.”

“Thanks. You’ve been the captain I’ve tolerated the most.”

Was that a compliment? I’m not sure. “Take care of yourself up here.”

“I will. Now both of you, get out of here. I got a hatch to close, and about a million antidepressants to prescribe.”

With that, the two officers left, and the hatch was closed tight. Flüshaht took a deep breath, and braced himself.

“Alright, you parade-raining slackers. Let’s do this.”