Episode 24: New Crewmember Disorientation

Meanwhile, back on the ship…

“Hello everybody,” said Lt. Whatsisname as he stood at the front of Training Room B. “Sorry it’s taken so long for us to get the New Crewmember Orientation session going. As you know, we’ve had quite an unusual last couple of months, what with the yearly inspection, the kitchen fire, the Monopoly tournament, discovering over a dozen new floors to the ship, and all the other craziness going on. Still, it’s Fleet policy to go over all this stuff, and hey, better late than never. So, to get started, we’ll–”

Just then, the doors opened, and a very disheveled (and sleepy) Mr. Klaa’ck stumbled into the room.

“7:30am is a very illogical time for an orientation session,” he growled.

“It’s 8pm, sir.”

“You are very fortunate I do not have anything sharp on me.”

“Indeed,” Whatsisname said nervously. “If you would, sir, take your seat beside Lt. Cmdr Cecil.”

Klaa’ck sauntered over to the one empty seat in the room, and chugged away at his coffee in an attempt at continued consciousness.


“Please do not speak to me until over 75% of the contents of this mug is consumed.”


“Ahem,” Whatsisname continued. “Anyways, as I was saying, we’ve tried over the years to get this Orientation business as streamlined as possible, so we can all get back to our duties. So, after our 18th revision, we’ve managed to distill our work ethic down to just three simple words: Stay Out of the Way.”

“That’s five words!” shouted an unfortunately enthusiastic Ensign at the back of the room.

“Ensign, this will all be over sooner if we limit the number of interruptions to zero. Thanks.” The lights dimmed, and Whatsisname started the overhead projector. “As you can see from this diagram, we–”

The Lieutenant suddenly interrupted himself when he realized that he had gotten out the Fiscal Stardate Expense Reports transparencies instead of the New Crewmember Orientation set.

“– need to move on to the hands-on portion of the session.”


Wharf whistled as he leaned against the wall of the stairwell. After 15 tries, he still couldn’t manage to get the melody to “Summertime Blues” quite right. As he began try #16, one of the Ensigns spoke up.

“They’ve been in there a really long time, sir. Shouldn’t we be a little worried?”

“No, I wouldn’t be,” Wharf replied. “The Captain can take care of himself very well. He’s in a room with a bunch of comic books, and two of the Top Ten Most Harmless Criminals of the Last 15 Stardates. If anything, it’s them we should be worried about.

“Oh, okay. Sure is boring just standing out here though. How long do you figure this will take?”

“Hard to tell, Ensign. With the Captain and his brother arguing, it could go on for hours. It’s really not wise to have the two of them in the same conversation. You are right, though, it is a bit boring. I’ve got an idea. Wharf to Secondprize.”

Secondprize here. Tolstoy speaking.”

“The Captain is in a meeting right now, and we’re stuck outside. Could you beam down a SKIP-BO deck or something?”

“Right away, sir.”


“The purpose of this exercise is team-building: to build up a sense of respect and trust for one another, so in that crucial moment of crisis, instead of pushing one another into that oncoming phaser beam, you’ll work together toward a common solution! Let’s begin!”

Whatsisname patrolled around the room, checking on everybody’s progress. Everything was going well… until he got to the First Officer and Chief Engineer.

“I refuse to let myself freefall into the arms of someone with my back turned.”

“Commander, the logic here is to–”

“I know what the logic is, Lieutenant. I just think it’s… stupid.”


Klaa’ck sighed. “I would sooner attempt to tear the m’blarnghthis off a burangabeast.”

“Sir, it was either this or the three-legged race. We get fewer injuries with this activity.”


Klaa’ck stood with arms folded, facing away from the Gorn. He began to rock back on his heels a little, then stopped.

“We have no treaty with these people! If–”

“Commander, please.”


“For great justice.”


“That’s what I’m afraid of.”


Klaa’ck began again. Slowly he leaned back. As he began to fall back, finally deciding that the logical thing to do was go through with this. He even began to see the worth of getting along, even with Lt. Cmdr. Cecil. Running a vessel is a team effort. All officers and crew need to work together, even when–


The First Officer hit the floor with a resounding thud as his teammate stepped to see Ensign Rondo’s ridiculously overpriced shades.


“Commander! Let me help–”

“No, no… I’m fine, Lieutenant,” Klaa’ck said calmly. “I’m going to lie here for a minute and think about what I’ve done. Just… bring me my coffee mug.”