Episode 31: Don’t Sit Under the Holo-Tree with Anyone Else But Me

“Pete and RePete beamed down to a planet. Pete was a redshirt security officer. Who beamed back up?”

Commander Klaa’ck sat back in the Big Comfy Chair and mulled over Whatsisname’s question. It didn’t take long to come up with a logical answer. He answered confidently, given the statistically probable outcome of the theoretical mission.


Whatsisname smiled, and started again. “Pete and RePete beamed down to a planet. Pete was a redshirt–”

“Lieutenant,” Klaa’ck interrupted. “You have already told me that part of the story. It is not logical for you to say it again verbatim, especially since I responded to your query.”

Just then, the elevator doors opened and Captain Clerk emerged.

Captain on the Bridge!” Klaa’ck stood and announced, only to be met with confused stares from everybody else in the room.

“Relax, Klaa’ck,” said Clerk. “These guys aren’t used to protocol.”

Snickers ensued as the Captain made his way across the Bridge to the Ready Room.

“Captain, are you taking over the Bridge now?” the embarrassed First Officer asked.

“No, I just need to get something out of my office real quick. I have somewhere to be in half an hour.”

“Oh, is this that date you were talking about?” asked Whatsisname.

Clerk’s face turned red. “No, it’s not a date. I told you that. Captain Safeway and I are just having a meal together, and catching up on old times. Distress call aside, we haven’t talked to each other in months.”

After hurriedly making his way to and from the Ready Room, he left the Bridge without another word.

“It’s not logical for him to insist it isn’t a date.”

“Yeah, I know,” said Whatsisname as he checked his watch. “Of all the crazy stuff I’ve seen in the universe, the thing I understand least is dating. Makes me glad I’m not human. Anyways, I have to be going too. There’s a poetry slam down at the Topiary Gardens that I’ve been looking forward to for weeks.” And with that, the Lieutenant was gone as well.

Klaa’ck stood there silently for a moment while confusion made its way onto his face.

“He’s not human?” he said to nobody in particular.


Clerk stood outside the door marked HOLODECK, unsure of what exactly he was standing outside of. He had quickly searched for some information, but mostly ran into websites about Holodeck Addiction. Virtual Reality was one thing, but this…

“Your punctuality never ceases to amaze me, Jimi,” Safeway said, interrupting the Captain’s train of thought.

“Well, you know what I always say: Better two hours early than five minutes late.

“Do you mean to tell me you’ve been here for–”

“No, only about 15 minutes.” Trying to get up enough gumption to enter this thing, to be honest.

“Good. I’d hate for you to have been waiting too long for me.” She tried her best to hide the nervousness in her speech, but then again, she figured if it showed, Clerk probably wouldn’t be observant enough to notice it anyways.

“So how do you–”

“It’s easy. It’s like everything else on the ship, it’s voice-activated.”

And so, it will be the bane of my existence. Like everything else on the ship.

Safeway turned to the panel to the right of the door. “Watch this. Computer?”

The panel chirped.

“Italian restaurant, 21st-Century era, with an ocean view.”

A few seconds passed. “Program Ready,” the panel announced at last.

Voilà,” Safeway said with a smile, gesturing to the door.

I’ve got a bad feeling about this.

The pair entered the room, and Clerk froze in place, nearly having to pick his jaw up from the floor. He continued being in a state of disbelief as the simulated waitress took them to their table.

“Wow… so, this is all holograms? But how can we sit on these chairs? You set this up in advance, didn’t you?”

“No, of course not. Computer?” Chirp. “Switch to night time view.”

In an instant, time appeared to advance about 6 hours.

“But wait… how does this work?”

Safeway then proceeded to utter a lot of long words that he didn’t understand in the slightest.

The waitress, still standing by the table, attempted small talk. “So… do you always talk tech when on a date?”

It’s not a date!” they both said in unison.

“Of course it isn’t. Would you like to order something to drink?”


After eating what was still to Clerk an inexplicable meal, and trying to find anything else to talk about besides their relationship, the two sat at the table, quietly enjoying the simulated gentle breeze. Safeway was gazing out the window, and Clerk was wondering if you still had to pay for the meal, even if it was simulated.

“This is so nice. I miss this,” Safeway said wistfully.

“Oh, no. Don’t even go there. You say that every time we’ve broken up, and then it starts all over again. It’s not happening again this time, Kathy.”

“What? No! I wasn’t… uh…” she stammered, having been snapped out of her romantic haze.

“Uh huh.”

Safeway slumped in her chair and pouted a bit.

Whew. Dodged a phaser blast there.

“Anyways, I’ve really enjoyed seeing you, and–”

“Engineering to Captain Clerk.”

Clerk, relieved to have been interrupted, broke out his communicator, almost dropping it because his hands were still shaking.

“Clerk here.”

“Captain, we have just received word that the Citation is almost here. They will arrive in four hours.”

“Thanks, Reely… I mean Riley. Clerk out.”

“Gotta go?” Safeway asked.

“Well, no… no rush. I mean, it’s four hours. So… yeah, I…”

“Okay, that’s cool… um…”



As Clerk and Safeway made it to her guest quarters, they both simultaneously stressed out over how to end the evening, since it wasn’t a date or anything.

“Well, good night, Kathy. I’ll, uh… see you… whenever, I guess.”

“Yeah… good night… I, I had a… nice time.”

Clerk nervously waved as he turned around and headed to the nearest elevator, silently wondering if he should have kissed her or something.

Safeway nervously waved back as she watched him go, silently wishing he’d have kissed her or something.