Episode 29: The Man in Black and the Lady in Red

There was no time to waste. Captain Clerk, Lt. Wharf, and a couple of Redshirts beamed over to the garbage scow and quickly made their way to the bridge, where Cliff Hanger had just stunned Captain Safeway, and was about to pick her up and carry her away.

“Don’t even think about it, Mr. Hanger,” Clerk said, brandishing his phaser. “I’m not going to let you do anything to my gir– I mean my former– uhh… I mean to a Starship Captain!

“No such doing!” Cliff yelled back. “This is no concern of yours. This is between me… and my wife Barbara!

“Okay, one, she’s never been married, and two, her name is Kathy, okay? So–”

“That’s preposterous! How dare you say that about my Barbara!”

“Listen, man, it’s on her birth certificate… well, Kathirynne, but you get the picture.”

Cliff turned to the unconscious Safeway, still slumped in the corner of the bridge. “You lied to me! I can’t believe this! For all those years, you…” He paused suddenly, squinting. “Wait a minute…”

Clerk and company stood there, befuddled, as Cliff stopped to clean his glasses with the tail of his shirt.

“Man… I need a new prescription. You’re not my Barbara. Come to think of it… you don’t look much like her at all.” He turned to Clerk and shrugged. “Um, my bad.”

“Yeah, well, your bad is still getting you jail time, buckaroo. Your blind chase has left you with quite a rack up of charges, what with all the ships you’ve shot down, protocols you’ve breached, attempted kidnapping, plus, the Fleet database tells me you have a ton of speeding tickets to boot. But because I’m such a groovy guy, I’m gonna ask you what you have to say for yourself.”

Cliff really had no excuse, and he knew it. So, he replied with the one thing he had going for him.

“Nice cape, though, don’t you think?”

Clerk had to admit it was a pretty sweet cape. “Yeah man, totally. Wharf, take him away.”

“Aye, sir!” Wharf and his Redshirts took Cliff Hanger into custody and beamed back to the ship.

Clerk knelt down beside Safeway and took her pulse. Whew, at least she’s still alive. He got out his communicator.

“Clerk to Secondprize.”

Secondprize here.”

“I’m here with Captain Safeway. She’s alive, but in bad shape. I need us to be beamed to the Full Warp Salon on deck -6, immediately!”

“Um, sir…” stammered Ensign Tolstoy. “Shouldn’t we be beaming her to Sick Bay?”

“No way, Ensign. She’d kill me if I let her in there with her nails looking like this. Trust me on this one.”

“Whatever you say, Captain. Two to beam to the new salon.”

As the pair materialized in the salon, Sallé, the Head Beautician, walked up. “Can I help you?”

“She needs an Express Manicure, pronto. I’ll explain later.”

As the extremely confused beautician began her work, Clerk made a call to Sick Bay. “Flüshaht, are you there?”

“I’m here, but not all there, sir,” the doctor grumbled. “Is she on board?”

“Yes, we got her here safely.”

“Have you already–”

“Yes, we’re at the new place on -6.”

“Alright, I’m on my way.”

Minutes later, Flüshaht and a small medical team showed up and crowded the station in the salon. As they worked around each other, Sallé’s question of what it was like to work on a starship was finally answered.

“Can you help her?” Clerk asked.

“Well, her nails are pretty scuffed up, but–”

“Not you, I’m talking to Dr. Flüshaht.”

“Sorry, sir,” Sallé said sheepishly, returning to her work.

“Jimi, I dunno what’s going on. She’s not responding to the stimulant.”


“Well, yeah. It’s the standard stuff we use for phaser stuns.”

“But what about–”

“Everything else is fine. Bumps, bruises, she’ll be alright. I just can’t get her to wake up.”

“She may not want to until I finish with these nails; they’re pretty bad.” Sallé piped up.

“I’ll try the Downloadable Doctor,” said Nurse Smasher.

Flüshaht pointed his finger. “You do and I’ll–”

“Now wait a minute,” Clerk interrupted. “Let’s do it, if it’ll help her.”

With a loud sigh, Flüshaht relented. “Fine.

It was bad enough working with the Captain and a medical team as an audience, but now Sallé had a hologram in her way as well. At least it didn’t take up any space.

“Version at your service!”

Another upgrade?” Clerk asked.

“Baked fresh this morning,” Flüshaht said sarcastically.

No wonder you’re in such a foul mood.

“Alright, Minesweeper, here’s the deal,” the doctor continued grousing. “She’s been stunned, but we can’t seem to wake her up. The usual stuff isn’t working.”

“Do you know the type of phaser that was used? The newer kinds produce–”

“No, I don’t know what kind! I wasn’t there!”

“It looked like some custom job,” Clerk spoke up. “Maybe a modded Klingon type or something.”

“That would explain it, sir,” the hologram politely replied. “Many of those produce nonstandard neurological disruptions. Let me see if I can decipher it.”

Everybody in the room waited expectantly for the Downloadable Doctor’s evaluation.

“Tsk, tsk,” it finally replied. “It’s a hack job, alright, and a really lousy one at that, obviously produced by some script kiddie with–”

“Can you help?” even the Captain was getting frustrated with the hologram at this point.

“Yes, sir. All we need to do is tweak the dosage and apply it directly to the forehead.”

As they did so, Safeway came to, and started to look around. “Aww, Jimi, you remembered!” she said as she noticed where she was.

“There was no way I was going to go through that argument again with you.”

“Well, I’m all done here,” Sallé interrupted. “Check ’em out!”

“They’re beautiful. Thank you,” Safeway said as she admired Sallé’s handiwork.

Once Safeway was transferred to Sick Bay for recovery, Clerk took Flüshaht aside. “Well, you gotta admit, those Downloadable Doctors are good for something after all.”

With a scowl for the ages on his face, the doctor relented. “Yeah… I guess so. I won’t delete it this week.”

“Good man,” Clerk said, patting Flüshaht on the back as he headed out the door, en route to the Bridge.


Finally back in his Big Comfy Chair, Captain Clerk was relieved that, finally, all was ostensibly well. He had contacted Safeway’s ship and apprised them of the situation, and was all settled in for a nice relaxing trip to Deep Space Seven-Eleven.

“Warp 4, helmsman.”

“No response from the engines, sir.”

“What? Clerk to Engineering.”

YESSSSS SSSSSIR!” Cecil answered.

“Is there something wrong with the engines?”


Not again…