Episode 28: Single-Use Characters Meeting

“Ahem. Let this meeting now come to order,” Commander Youlla announced from behind the lectern in Conference Room 11B. “I’m glad everyone could make it on such short notice, but seeing as not being busy is why we’re all here–”

“Well, really, it’s a diversion in the story, where–”

“Thank you, Dr. Exposition, but that’s not necessary.”

“But I–”

“We’re on a tight schedule, here, Doctor,” Youlla interrupted again. “We need to get moving as fast as we can.”

“Sorry, sir.”

“Okay, first of all, let’s do the requisite Roll Call. Lt. Cmdr. Shenanigans?”

“I am present, sir.”

“Lt. Cmdr. LaGrange?”

The room fell silent. Dr. Exposition cleared his throat.

“Sir, we couldn’t get the teleconference set up.”

“What happened? I thought we’d cleared it with their government and all.”

“Oh, that’s not the problem,” the doctor replied. “It’s… um… we didn’t have the right drivers for the webcam. You see, our respective systems aren’t compatible. They’re still using–”

“Fine, we’ll go on without him. Lt. Ethel?”

“Honey, I’m here,” she replied in her deep Southern drawl.

“Let’s see… now for our ensigns. Mr. Nubiee?”



“He’s not here either,” Exposition interjected. “Last week, he was promoted to Junior Science Officer, and is going to be featured later on this season.”

“How disappointing,” lamented Youlla. “I was really looking forward to his report on the Dress Code Situation.”

A few chuckles permeated the room. Youlla pounded on the lectern.

“Moving right along…” he continued. “Ensign #7812?”

“Here and happy to be on solid flooring.”


“Hey man, I’m here. Let the good stardates roll.”

“Um… thank you. Nice shades, by the way.”

“Thanks, man.”

“Now, let’s see… on to our non-crewmembers…”

“How long is this gonna take?” Quirk yelled out, finally having been given a speaking part. “I have customers, you know!”

“Ah yes, I see that Mr. Quirk and his waitress are here–”

“I have a name, you know.”

“Of course you do. 6 of 1?”

The resident Bord sighed. “Whatever.”

“And, finally, our newest crewmember, Mr. Ka’ppaa’ck, who was brought on board just for this meeting.”

Arrrrrrr!” the Klingon assistant engineer growled.

“Thank you, Ka’ppaa’ck. Anyways, on to business. We all know it’s been an ongoing issue of crewmembers only being given one assignment, and then never getting to be in another episode ever again. That’s why I’ve called this meeting. Our respective jokes are over, ladies and gentlemen, and it’s up to us to come up with a plan for integrating ourselves into future episodes.”

“Episodes can only be so long, Commander,” Exposition spoke up. “It won’t be easy for us to get screen time.”

“I know, Doctor, but–”

“I’ve got it!” Nubiee exclaimed. “Let’s go on strike!”

“You can’t go on strike, Nubiee,” Quirk sneered. “You don’t have a union, dummy!”

“Well… okay, then, Mr. Smarty-ears. We’ll organize a union, then go on strike. Duh.”

“Bad idea, Nubiee,” Youlla spoke up. “The Trepidatious unionized last season, and it’s been one problem after another. They need 6 redshirt ensigns just to change a lightbulb.”

“Dude, we need 6 ensigns to change a lightbulb.”

“Yes, but that’s because 5 of them usually get lost on the way to the store room.”

“If I may interject, gentlemen,” Shenanigans said, walking up to the front of the room so he’d be visible.

“Please do. We could use a voice of reason here.”

“Thank you, Commander. Indubitably, while it would be propitious for tertiary characters such as us to collectively aspire to augment our respective presences, unionization would ineluctably exacerbate our predicament, as any venture to escalate our prominence by coercion would inevitably engender more adverse effects than any leverage such an endeavor would procure.”

Youlla stood there for a moment, speechless. “Okaaaaaay… well, since the Automatic Translator didn’t kick in, I’ll assume that was English, but can somebody explain what he just said?”

“He’s saying it’s more trouble than it’s worth, darlin’,” Lt. Ethel replied with a sigh.

“Well… are there any other suggestions? We’ve been in here a while now and have accomplished precisely zilch.”

The room’s occupants grumbled for a minute until Youlla finally pounded on the lectern again.

“Okay, everybody. It’s become apparent this whole thing was a concentrated dose of fail. Meeting adjourned. See you again next month.”

“Wait, this is gonna be a monthly thing?” Ensign #7812 whined.

“Yes,” Youlla said sternly. “Until you goofballs stop complaining about it. Now get out of here before I start reading contracts to you.”

As everybody quickly made their way to the exit, Youlla sighed and shook his head. “Well… it was worth a shot, anyways.”