Episode 47: Noise, Noise, Noise in the Attic

Exhausted from an evening of dealing with requests, suggestions, and grievances, Captain Clerk lay down on his bed, trying to think of anything besides reams of paper and frustrated ensigns.

I mean come on, even I don’t get food as good as you guys are requesting.

Just as he was reaching for his Tricorder for his ritual marathon of Tetris, he suddenly remembered: The Attic. That mysterious place on Deck -12 that few know about and even fewer talk about… although Dr. Flüshaht seemed to refer to it like it was common knowledge. The list of decks only mentions its name, not giving any description. How bizarre.

Yeah, I totally need to check that place out… tomorrow.

Two weeks later, when he finally remembered it again, Clerk took the elevator up to the top of the ship, finally ready to see the pinnacle of those decks that had mysteriously appeared all those episodes ago. Sure, it was probably full of some kind of storage units or something, but at least he will have finally seen it. With a name like “The Attic” it couldn’t be that exciting.

The doors opened to reveal a sight the Captain wouldn’t have anticipated in a million years: a small room, dimly it, with “The Attic” in neon letters hanging on the wall, and, at the other end, a line of velvet ropes in front of a very nice looking door.

In front of those velvet ropes, there stood… a bouncer.

“May I help you?” the bouncer asked.

Still in shock, Clerk stood there and just stared for a moment.

May I help you?” the bouncer asked again.

“Uh… um…”

“Would you like to enter?”

“Uh… yes! That’s exactly what I want.”

“Name, please.”

Excuse me?

The bouncer rolled his eyes. “I said, name, please.”

“You don’t know who I am?”

“I don’t care who you are. Rules are rules. Name, please.”

Who does this guy think he is?

“I’m James Clerk, captain of–”

“One moment. Let me check the guest list.”

Too confused to raise a fuss, Clerk stood there and waited as the bouncer checked his tricorder.

“I’m sorry, sir, but I don’t see your name on the list. I’m afraid I’m can’t let you in.”

“What do you mean you can’t let me in? I’m the captain of this ship!

“Mm-hmm. Sure you are.”

“How can my name not be on the list?”

“I don’t make the list, sir, I just enforce it.”

Clerk stood there, flustered, trying to think of how there could possibly be a place on board his own ship that he wasn’t allowed into. Then it hit him.

Oh yeah! My security override! That should work!

“I’m sorry to have to interfere with your function on this ship, my good man, but I’m going to have to use my personal security override to get in.”

The burly doorman didn’t budge.

“I said–”

“I know what you said. That only works on automated security measures, ‘Captain’. I am not automated.”

Defeated, Clerk stepped off to the side of the room to rethink his strategy. Of all the unbelievable things that had happened on the Secondprize, this took the cake. And just when he thought things couldn’t get any more unbelievable, he heard a voice from behind…

“Hay, Cap’m! What’re you doin’ up here?”

Of all the words the Captain could think of to describe Jed Jenkins, “welcome” was not among them. But then again, maybe he could make sense of all this. However, before Clerk could begin to ask, he saw the bouncer nod his head and unlatch the end of the velvet rope.

“Good to see you again, Mr. Jenkins,” he said.

“Hay dude! How’s it goin’?” Jenkins said as he started towards the door. He stopped and turned around when he saw that Clerk wasn’t following. “You ain’t goin’ in, Cap’m?”

“No, Jed, I’m–” he paused as he began to turn red with embarrassment. “–not on the guest list.”

“You ain’t? Huh. Reckon that’d be why I ain’t never seen ya up here. Well, come on in, Cap’m!” Jenkins turned to the bouncer. “Don’t worry, fella. He’s with me!”

The bouncer nodded again. Speechless, Clerk joined Jenkins at the entrance. Jed slapped him on the back.

“Yer gonna love this place, Cap’m!”

The door opened in front of them, and Clerk’s jaw dropped. The room was shaped and laid out just like the Bridge, only bigger, and all around people were sitting, talking, and so on. In front was a gigantic screen, on which played various visualizations, from laser-like abstract shapes to random video clips to bright flashing colors, while Andorian techno music played loudly in the background. Instead of things like science and communications stations, there were decorations and dispensers of various refreshments. On top of all that, the room looked as if it were lit with glowsticks.

“So this… is The Attic?” he finally managed to utter.

“Yep,” said Jenkins. “Most exclusive club on the ship. Nigh on impossible to get an invite. I mean, I’m only here ‘cos I’m the only one who knows how to fix the strobes and all. Don’t worry, Cap’m. I’ll make sure yer name’s on the list b’fore we leave, so you won’t have trouble gettin’ in next time.”

“Thanks… uh, I appreciate it.”

“No probl’m, sir! Happy to help ya out! Ennyways, you go on and mingle. I gotta get ta repairin’ the sound system. They keep playin’ the bass too loud, and they done gone and blown the speakers again. See ya!”

And with that, Jenkins was gone and Clerk just stood there, still in a daze.