Episode 33: Take a Walk on the Out Side

Captain’s Blog, Stardate: The Middle of the Night, and I’d rather be asleep. The U.S.S. Citation just arrived to jump us off so we can get going and take Captain Safeway to Deep Space Seven-Eleven for her new assignment. Our Head of Maintenance, Lt. Jed Jenkins, is going out in a space suit to perform the outside connection, as apparently he’s the only person on board who has any experience with it.

Coffee in hand, Captain Clerk stood in the upper deck of Engineering, staring at a monitor trained on Jenkins, who was still in the process of suiting up.

“No, no, no, you put that tab in the back of — wait, that’s not right — you tie this up with some cable ties, and…”

“You do know how to do this, don’t you?” Clerk said, irritated.

“Well, yessir, I b’lieve so.”

“Alright, well, I’m gonna leave you to this. Let me know when you’re ready.”

“Okey dokey, Cap’m!”

“Clerk out.”

Some nights a quadruple expresso just isn’t enough.

“Captain,” Wharf said as he approached the station. “We’ve just received word from the Citation. They’re ready for the connection procedure. How’s Jenkins coming along?”

“I think we could have invented and manufactured a space suit in the time it’s taken for him to get it half put on.”

“So… we’re ahead of schedule?”

“Next thing you know he’s gonna have the wiring re-done in the Zoo Maintenance Area like he’s been saying for four seasons now.”

As Clerk refilled his coffee mug, the airlock attendant called.

“Captain! Jenkins is ready. The connection on his radio is a bit shaky, so he asked me to let you know.”

“Roger that.”

“No, I’m Nigel. Roger’s off today.”

Do other captains deal with this? Or do they just send them all to me?

“C…pt….n…can….y….h….r….m…?” a crackly voice spoke over the intercom.

“Just barely, Jenkins. Can you boost your signal?”

“Ok…h….w….it….oh….h…..lo….s….lik…..I…..d…dn….p…ug…… Hay Cap’m! Can you hear me now?”


“Yeah, I fergot ya gotta plug the mic in manually.”

They have automatic ones? “Glad you’re coming through. Nigel told me–”

“Nigel? I thought it was Roger.”

“Apparently Roger’s off tonight.”

“Ohhhh…. that would explain why — WHOA!”

“What’s going on? Are you okay?”

“Cap’m! This is SOOOO COOOOL! I fergot how much fun this is!”

“Well, okay, but let’s focus on–”

“Cap’m! There’s a UFO out here!”

A what??

“Oh wait, never mind. It’s jest one uh them shootin’ stars or whatever. Whew buddy… it’s so perty out here, Cap’m! I mean, ya could just–”

“Focus on the mission, Jenkins. We need this done ASAP.”

“Right, right, Cap’m. Sorry. I’m getting to the power port now.”

“Captain?” Nigel or Roger asked.


“Do… you need me anymore… ‘cos if you can hear him…”

“No, go on. You–”


Clerk could practically hear whoever it was sprint out of the airlock area.

SSSSSIR!” Cecil yelled from the lower deck. “ISSSSS JENKINSSSSS READY YET?

“I think so. He said he was nearly to the power port.”


Dude, nothing happens quickly with Jenkins. “He’s going as fast as he can, Cecil.”

Gorn sighs are a strange sound, and this was the first Clerk had ever heard.


“Cap’m! Cap’m! Hay Cap’m! Hay–”

“Yes, Jenkins, I hear you. What’s going on?”

“Can we talk in private?”

“Um… I’m in Engineering. An open space with lots of people around. I don’t think I can–”

Wharf handed Clerk a headset. “Would this help?”

“Everybody will still be able to hear my half of the conversation.”

“That’s fine,” Jenkins butted in. “I jest need my half private.”

Just when you begin to make a little sense, you take it away and make it worse. “Okay… plugging it in now.”

“Got it?”

“Got it.”

“Um… Cap’m…” the grave concern in Jenkins voice caused the color to leave the Captain’s face. He’s broken something. He forgot a vital part. The port’s not compatible. His life support is running out…

“What’s wrong?” Clerk asked as quietly as he could.

“I forgot to go to the restroom before I headed out here, and –”


“I know… I’m worried ’bout it too, Cap’m, but I dunno if I can concentrate on this!”

It was Wharf’s lightning-fast reflexes that prevented a hole from being punched in the console.