Episode 51 / 53: That Syncing Feeling

Waves of strange images floated through Captain Clerk’s mind. Statue-like representations of the bridge crew, some weird swan thing, a mannequin on fire, and numerous other images that you wouldn’t think would be time travel-related, but apparently are. Echoey voices sounded out command orders, or maybe it was his voice mail. It was hard to tell. The dreamlike haze began to lift as Clerk found himself in his quarters, in bed. It was pretty dark in there, but he could tell there was somebody else in there with him…

“Oh, good. You’re finally awake,” the person said at last.

“Yeoman Rind? Is that you?”

“Yes, sir. I’ve been checking up on you since The Rollover, to make sure you were recovering alright.”

“Recovering? From what?”

“You took a nasty fall and whacked your head real hard on the navigation console. Put a gnarly dent in it, too.”

“So… it’s all over, right?” Clerk said, rubbing the knot on his head. “We’re back where we’re supposed to be?”

“Yep. We’re safe and sound, right back here in good old Episode 51.”

51?” the Captain exclaimed. “You mean it isn’t 53?”

“Why would it be? We left at 50, we’re back at 51.”

“But we had two episodes happen while we were there. Or… then… Anyways, I would think they’d add to the overall total.”

“I wouldn’t know about that, Captain.”

“I know who to ask,” Clerk replied, reaching for his communicator. “Captain to Bridge.”

“Bridge here, sir,” Commander Klaa’ck answered.

“Can you tell me what episode this is?”

“Is this a trick question, Captain?”

“No, but it’ll probably be a trivia question at a convention someday.”


After a thorough audit of all the Secondprize‘s computer systems, Captain Clerk and Lt. Whatsisname discovered major discrepancies in the ship’s logs. Some systems registered the negative episodes, while others did not, so crewmembers were getting confused over what episode it was.

“Simply put, Command and Ops systems registered the episodes, and Science systems didn’t,” Whatsisname said, pointing at the readout on the screen.

That’s the last time we’re outsourcing any programming to the Andorians. “Can it be fixed?”

“Sure, but which number is the correct one?”

Clerk sat back, sighed heavily, and covered his face with his hands. “Something tells me this calls for a meeting.”

Within the hour, the usual suspects were rounded up and corralled into the nearest conference room. At least “be there in five minutes” means the same regardless of which episode you think you’re in.

“So what’s this thing about?” Dr. Flüshaht began. “I have some really important complaining to do.”

“Which you seem to be getting done just fine right here,” Clerk replied without missing a beat.

“Yeah, but I like to do it in the comfort of my office,” the doctor grumbled in return.

“Okay, you guys all know that the last thing I wanna do is call a meeting–”

Sporadic snickers erupted around the room.

“–but we have to solve the issue of the episode number discrepancy. We have a plan for resetting all of the systems to match each other, but we have to agree with each other on which one to use. Apparently–”

Flüshaht spoke up again. “Can’t you just make an ‘Executive Decision’ and let us go?”

The Captain stopped dead in his tracks. Now why didn’t I think of that? Deciding he may as well go on since everybody was there anyways, he continued. “Apparently, the discrepancy comes from whether or not a particular system registered the negative episodes. Just so we’ll all be on the same page, we’re going to vote on whether we’re in Episode 51 or 53.”

“An Executive Decision would be the logical course of action, Captain,” said Commander Klaa’ck. “Time is not up for a vote.”

Clerk facepalmed. “Guys, just work with me here. We’re already here in the conference room, it’s already up for a vote, and the donuts are already on their way, so we might as well stick to the agenda.”

“To flee from donuts is not honorable,” Klaa’ck acquiesced.

Finally, something that resembles agreement. “All those in favor of counting the negative episodes, say ‘Aye’.”

The smell of donuts wafted into the room, and mouths began to water. “Aye!” everybody said in unison.

This is easier than I thought. Just have every meeting catered, and you get results. I gotta write this down somewhere.


Captain Clerk sat patiently in the Big Comfy Chair, listening to the soothing drone of Jenkins’ vacuum cleaner as Whatsisname and Ka’ppaa’ck patched the ship’s software. Despite assurances that it could be done in less than an hour, four hours had already passed, and now they were saying they haven’t even gotten to Sick Bay yet. It didn’t really bother the Captain too much, however. He was spending his time formatting his tricorder and deleting old programs off the DVR. His peaceful evening was disturbed by only one thing…

“Hay Cap’m!” Jenkins shouted over the noise as he vacuumed in front of the Captain. “I was just wanderin’, if–”

“I can’t hear you! Turn off the vacuum cleaner!”



Jenkins did so, and resumed his question. “Sorry, Cap’m. Sometimes I ferget that thing is so loud. Ennyways, I’s just wanderin’ about something with the episode changin’.”

“What is it?”

“Well, if the episode number is changin’, does that mean it ain’t Tuesday ennymore?”

I should have just let him keep it running. “Don’t worry, it’s still Tuesday.”

“Aw, okay,” Jenkins said with a little disappointment. “I’s hoping that it was gunna skip ta Thursday.”

“Why? Looking forward to the weekend?”

“Naw, it’s jest that I gotta repaint the walls on Deck X on Wednesday, and it still smells a bit down there.”

“Sorry Jed, you still have to do it.”

“Oh well. Ah reckon ev’rybody’s got a Deck X, and this jest happens ta be mine.” Jenkins said as he turned the vacuum cleaner back on.

Clerk snickered a little. That may be the first actually witty thing he’s ever said… and he probably didn’t even mean it to be.

Just then, his communicator beeped. He looked to find one unread text message, which he probably wouldn’t have bothered with at that moment, except that it was from Admiral Placãrd. Upon opening it, Clerk found that it was composed of only two characters: