Episode 17: The Logical Thing to Do

Captain’s Blog, Stardate… well, the last few days have been a blur, and I don’t have a watch on me, so I really don’t know. Note to self: edit this part out. I am on my way to visit the Secondprize‘s new First Officer, Klaa’ck, who may prove to be an interesting fellow. He’s half-Vulcan and half-Klingon (which still makes no sense to me), and is both a highly-regarded intellectual and a battle-tested warrior. I must admit, I’m pretty nervous. Every time I’ve walked past his quarters, I hear nothing but the sounds of metal hitting metal, which my yeoman insists is his form of meditation. After all that’s gone on with the Port, the Bord, and the inspection, I’m probably not ready for this, but I can’t waste time. We’re about to embark on a new mission soon, and we’ve got to at least meet each other first…

Captain Clerk had had more than his fair share of First Officers. For some reason, they always wound up suddenly transferring to other ships within about six weeks of being assigned to the Secondprize, and he never understood why. And with Klaa’ck’s peculiar history (and lineage), Clerk was particularly unsure of how things would go.

However, considering how crazy things tended to be on this ship, it may be that they’d finally found somebody who was enough of a misfit to stick around.

As the Captain approached Klaa’ck’s room, he suddenly stopped in his tracks. Instead of hearing the usual clangs and bangs, he heard a faint chanting. Curious, he slowly crept up to the door, turning his ear to get a better listen. He could make out a couple of words, but it didn’t make any sense.

This door is locked,” the door informed Clerk.

“I know, I know,” Clerk whispered. “I was just–”

Would you like to use your personal security override?

“Huh? I can do that?”

Yes, sir. Captains always have top security privileges.

Whoa, really? “Um… sure. Okay.”

The door opened quietly, and Clerk sneaked in. The room was dimly lit. Klaa’ck was at the other end of the room, facing his mirror. As he was chanting, he assumed two different stances: first, he stood straight and tall; next, he quickly crouched into a fighting stance. He alternated between these two poses. Once in the room, the Captain could hear the chanting clearly…

…and it still didn’t make sense.

“What time is it? It’s KLAA’CK TIME! What time is it? It’s KLAA’CK TIME! What time is it? It’s KLAA’CK TIME! What time is it? It’s KLAA’CK TIME!

Clerk stepped in a bit further to get a better look, and in doing so, bumped into Klaa’ck’s weapons rack. Klaa’ck spun around as he heard the blades hit the floor.

“Captain!” Klaa’ck exclaimed, embarrassed to be caught in the act. “What are you doing?”

“Well, I was just… um… I mean, I needed to… what were you doing?”

Klaa’ck cleared his throat. He looked around nervously. “I was… practicing battle cries.”

Clerk turned the light on, and finally got a good look at his new First Officer. Klaa’ck was tall and muscular, dressed in a traditional Vulcan robe, with long hair tied back in a pony tail. His skin was the typical Klingon brown, but his visage was more Vulcan. Upswept eyebrows and pointed ears framed a calm, logical face… with a Fu Manchu mustache.

At a loss for words, Captain Clerk fumbled with Klaa’ck’s weapons rack. “Sorry about this… I was just…”

“It’s okay, sir. I had forgotten you were on your way. I let time get away from me. It won’t happen again.”

“No worries, Commander.”

Once the weapons were all in order, the two stood together with an uncomfortable silence between them.

“So…” Clerk stammered, breaking the ice as best he could. “Battle cries? Really? Why would a Vulcan…”

Sighing, Klaa’ck pointed at his facial hair.

“Oh… right, right. The… the Klingon part.”

“I can glue a crustacean to my forehead if it’ll help, Captain.”

“No, no, I’ll get it. Still… it really doesn’t seem logical to–”


Clerk stammered back, wide-eyed. “Um… maybe I should… just… go…”

Realizing what he’d done, Klaa’ck began to apologize profusely. “Sorry, sir! It must have been the Klingon in me! I–”

“It’s okay. Don’t worry about it.”

“I’m so sorry! I try to keep my rage at bay. Sometimes I… get a bit carried away…”

“Really, Klaa’ck, it’s okay. Relax.

Klaa’ck tried his best to regain his composure. “Yes, sir. I’ll… just try to be more diligent with my meditation regimen.”

“Speaking of that… those are some… formidable weapons. How did you get those things past security? I barely got my pocket knife onto the ship.”

“I… have credentials, sir.”

“What kind of credentials lets you get away with this?

“Well, my father is an ambassador.” Klaa’ck paused as a mischievous smile tried to work its way through his Vulcan Emotion Blocker. “I get away with stuff you wouldn’t believe.”

Clerk smiled. “I’ll bet.”

Finally the tension was all gone as the two shared a good laugh, though Klaa’ck promptly cut his short.

“Well… I need to be going,” Clerk finally said. “Glad we got to meet at last. See you on the Bridge in the morning. We should get our next assignment sometime tomorrow.”

“Yes, sir.”

Clerk patted him on the back as he headed toward the door. Just before the doors opened, however, he turned back around.

Klaa’ck Time?

“That’s the best I have so far. I do have another I’ve been working on.”

“Alright, let’s hear it.”

Klaa’ck assumed his fighting stance. “Can you smell what the Klaa’ck is cooking?”

Clerk winced. “I like Klaa’ck Time better.”

“I do as well, sir.”

At that, Clerk left the room. As soon as the doors closed, he stopped. As often as he had arguments with the elevator, talking to anything else on the ship always made him feel a little nervous. He never seemed to know what to say.


Yes, Captain?

“Just out of curiosity, who else has personal security override?”

That privilege is reserved for the Captain, the First Officer, and the Security Chief.

“Oh, okay… but that’s all, right?”

Yes sir.

“You’re sure?”

The door sighed. “Yes, Captain.

Okay, okay! Just checking. “Thank you… Door…”

Still a little nervous (and not sure if the last few minutes had really happened), Clerk finally left and headed to his room for the evening. As he sat down on his bed, he sighed and shook his head.

This is the second craziest week I’ve had all year.