Episode 12: De Pain, Boss! De Pain!

Last thing I need at this point is a meeting…

The debriefing meeting began at Half Past Late, and mainly consisted of Captain Clerk, Lt. Wharf, Dr. Flüshaht and Lt. Whatsisname coming up with a plan for Damage Control.

Head in hands, Clerk began the meeting. “Okay guys, the Admiral is on board, and there’s nothing we can do about it. So… what are we gonna do about it?”

“Well, we never quite reached all of the objectives for Operation Make This Ship Look Presentable,” Whatsisname began. “We got pretty far along, but what with the Bord, um, ‘Event’, and New Member Orientation and all… well, we’ve still got a ways to go.”

“I know one part of the ship that ain’t ready,” grumbled Flüshaht.

“Yeah, that’s definitely last on the tour,” Clerk groaned. “If he makes it that far without giving us all a Dishonorable Discharge.” He turned to Whatsisname. “So, what parts are done? Do we have somewhere to begin?”

The Lieutenant flipped through his notes. “Let’s see… Engineering’s not too bad… Topiary Garden’s in good shape… aside from a few key rooms, the Crew Quarters are fine… as detailed and thorough as Nezbomb tends to be, that’s at least one or two day’s worth. I think we could draw up an itinerary for tomorrow that would take him through the good parts while we work on the rest.”

“Sounds good,” replied the beyond-weary Captain.

“What about the rest of the ship?” Wharf chimed in. “Can we get the rest of it done while the Admiral is inspecting what we have so far?”

“We’ll have to do it incrementally,” said Whatsisname. “As soon as a new section is done, the Captain will take Admiral Nezbomb to that area, while the Cleaning Crew moves on to their next area. Basically, we’ll have two itineraries.”

“That’s gonna be hard to pull off,” said Dr. Flüshaht.

“It’s our only option, as far as I can tell,” Clerk responded with a sigh. “Now that he’s here, we can’t put him off. He’s going to be on the attack first thing in the morning, that’s for sure. Lieutenant, I’ll need you to get right on that. I know it’s late, but we’re officially out of time. I’ll meet with you here at 5am to go over things. The Admiral always gets up at 5:45am exactly, so that will at least give us a little bit of a head start. You are dismissed.”

“Yes, sir.”

“As for the rest of you, it’s business as usual unless you hear from us, which you probably will. We’ll be handing out assignments as necessary throughout the day.”

Just then, Yeoman Janet Rind walked in. “Captain, I’ve been trying to reach you for hours. Is your communicator set to Silent?”

“I’ve been a little busy.”

“Anyways, I know it’s late, but the Admiral wanted me to give you his itinerary for tomorrow. He expects to see you at his quarters at 7am sharp.”

Rind dropped the itinerary down on the table and walked out without another word. Everyone sat there silently until Clerk finally got the gumption to pick up the itinerary and read it.

Yep. Just as I suspected. It’s the exact opposite of what we need…


The stress of what was about to happen and the fatigue of what had just happened played tug-of-war with Clerk until he finally passed out at 1am. Three hours later, his alarm went off, and he begrudgingly accepted his fate. Showered, shaved, and armed with a load of energy drinks, aspirin and eye drops, the Captain made his way to the Conference Room to hash things out with Lt. Whatsisname. It was probably a fruitless endeavor, but he figured there was no harm in having a Plan B just in case Nezbomb had a brief fit of malleability.

That’s when the headaches began.

“Captain, are you okay?” Whatsisname asked after seeing Clerk wince for the 20th time in 45 minutes.

“Just headaches, Lieutenant.” This one’s a beaut, though, thanks for asking.

“No surprise there.”

“Well, I don’t know how much sleep you got, but I got less than 4 hours. I always take a trip to Headache City when I haven’t had enough sleep.”

Lt. Whatsisname cocked his head. “Is that another one of your Earth idioms?”

Not now, Lieutenant! “Uh… I guess. I’m from Earth and I just made up the idiom.” Focus!

6:50am arrived quickly, and Contingency Plans A-F got drafted fairly quickly. Clerk prided himself on the fact that he only consumed half a bottle of antacids during the planning session.

Clerk sighed. “None of this is going to work.”

“I know, sir,” Whatsisname replied. “A guy can dream, though, right?”

“Yeah,” Clerk said with a hint of a laugh. “Anyways, I gotta go. He’s expecting me in 10 minutes. Start with Plan A and we’ll keep in touch via text message.”

“Yes sir.”

Clerk walked out and headed toward the Admiral’s quarters. He could practically hear the guillotine being built…