Episode 40: Admiral Jenkins?

Immediately, Captain Clerk called a Senior Officers meeting. It was tough to find a meeting place, however, what with Convention Week still in full swing. Since every single conference room was filled, everybody crammed into the Ready Room. Clerk, Klaa’ck, Flüshaht, Whatsisname, Wharf, Rind, Doubledecker, Cecil, Youlla, and Kato all squeezed their way into a room meant for no more than three people.

Moving binders, technical manuals, and CDs to clear his seat, Clerk began.

“I’ll forego the roll call this time since we’re in a bit of a pinch. Let’s get down to business. What information have we been able to get on these guys?”

“Not much,” Lt. Whatsisname replied. “Since they were masked and all, it’s impossible to ID them, and nobody on Venetian IV seems to have any leads on any suspicious activity. But really, we need to call Shenanigans on this one. Since he’s our Chief Intelligence Officer, I’m sure he’d be able to dig up more info.”

“Yes, but it’s crowded enough in here already. I don’t think we could even fit him in here. Good call, though. I’ll talk to him when we’re done here.”

“What I wanna know is, how did they get past Security? And how come no Intruder Alert went off?” Dr. Flüshaht chimed in.

“Beats me,” said Lt. Wharf. “I mean, we had every station manned. Even our new guy, Ensign Siryessir, was working a shift.”

“Is that that unfortunately enthusiastic Ensign I had in Orientation a while back?” asked Whatsisname.

“Yeah, that’s probably him. Won’t stop talking for a minute.”

“My condolences.”

“Gentlemen, gentlemen,” Clerk interrupted. “We’re getting off track. Obviously, they’re skilled at sneaking in, but it appears their intelligence is very lacking.”

“What do you mean?” Whatsisname asked.

“Well… if they’ve been tracking down Jed Jenkins for months, with orders to kidnap him immediately, you know that somebody has no idea what they’re doing.”

“And they called him an ‘officer’,” Kato spoke up. “I mean, he’s just Head of Maintenance. It’s not like he’s an admiral or anything.”

“Wait a minute…” said Clerk. He paused in thought, then snapped his fingers. “That’s it!”

“What’s it?” asked Whatsisname.

“They must have gotten him confused for ol’ Admiral J’henkins!”


“Admiral Horace Q. J’henkins… the first captain of the Secondprize. He got promoted years ago, but was said to be a man of extreme talent and verisimilitude.”

“Veri-what?” asked Kato.

Commander Youlla leaned in and whispered. “It means he was always keeping it real.”


“He does seem like a logical choice for a kidnapping target,” Commander Klaa’ck said. “I will say it’s a bit of a stretch for their intelligence to be so poor as to garble his identity this much, but I suppose I can see how it could happen. Though I will say you are correct in that it reflects very poorly on their research skills.”

“No kidding,” replied Clerk. “These guys are a shoo-in for Intelligence Flub of the Year, that’s for sure.”

“So… what are we going to do?” asked Whatsisname.

Clerk shrugged. “I dunno.” Rind elbowed him hard. “I mean, we, uh, should… do… something to get him back.”

“You did already say we would meet them there,” Whatsisname said.

“Are you suggesting we negotiate with these guys?” Flüshaht asked. “We need to just get a fix on him when we get there and just beam him out.”

“Can’t do that,” Clerk replied. “Transportation shields are standard with negotiation spaces. It’s part of why the fees are so high.”

“Additionally, Doctor,” interjected Klaa’ck, “it stands to reason that if their intelligence is this faulty, they may also be lacking in negotiation skills as well.”

“Though they were able to get onto the ship very easily,” said Wharf. “And I sincerely apologize for–

“Don’t beat yourself up, Wharf,” said the Captain. “With everybody coming and going for Convention Week, it’s entirely possible they came on unnoticed during all the hubbub.”

“Well, is this the plan then, sir?” asked Whatsisname. “Play their game?”

“Yes, I guess we have to,” Clerk said with a sigh. “After all, he is a valuable member of the crew.”

“How magnanimous of you to say so, sir. I’m impressed,” Rind said with a straight face.

A beep suddenly sounded. Flüshaht suddenly started elbowing his way to the exit.

“What was that?” asked Clerk.

“It’s my beeper,” Flüshaht replied. “I’m needed in the Dispensary. I’m guessing you don’t need my expert advice anymore?”

“Um, I guess not, but what’s the–”

“They changed the name again. Some bozo at HQ somehow thinks Dispensary sounds ‘more positive’ than Sick Bay. I just feel sorry for the kid that’s been hand-painting these signs every time.”

“Oh, okay. Yeah, we don’t need you here. See you later.” Turning to Rind, Clerk whispered, “What else did I miss in this morning’s email?”

“I sent you a summary. It’s in your inbox.”

Natch. “Well, if there’s nothing else, then the meeting’s adjourned. Set course for Stevia II.”