Episode 56: The New Hires

Captain’s Blog, Stardate: six months after we left off. Things have been relatively calm since we got cancelled. I guess being off the air kinda takes the edge off a bit. Anyways, we’ve had a lot of changes, particularly in the personnel realm. First off, Klaa’ck’s record-breaking tenure as First Officer finally came to an end, as he was called back to Vulcan for some kind of traditional camping trek or whatever. I think it’s called Colander. Or is it Calendar? It’s a real challenge to parse Vulcan names through a Klingon dialect. But I digress. Wharf also had to leave, which made me sad; he was the first friend I made on this ship. He’ll be back at the next Big Event, I’m sure. As for new people, let’s see… there are some replacements, of course, but I haven’t met all of them. We have a new barber, Buzz O’Hara. He’s set up shop right next to the Salon; I’m guessing he’s trying to hit the “hairdo date night” niche market. There’s our new navigator, a new bartender up on Deck -10, and, of course, a supply of fresh redshirts. Oh, and nothing really happened while we were away. Nothing out of the ordinary, anyways. Whew, this was a really long blog entry. I hope I changed out the SD card before I started. Last time, I forgot, and got–

Businesses come and go, but FleetbucksTM was on the rise. By now, they had at least one on nearly every deck. The one on Deck -7 was right by the elevator, so, for efficiency’s sake, that became Captain Clerk’s preferred stop on the way to the Bridge every morning. Sure, it was a little bit of backtracking, commute-wise, but after carefully calculating all the different distances to the coffee shops on each deck, he figured that was the least inefficient way to go. The elevator chided him on going with the chain rather than the local brands, but Clerk reminded it that never in the history of the Fleet did an elevator outrank a Captain, and just take him to work, okay?

“Sellout,” the elevator mumbled under its breath.

Finally, they arrived, and the elevator doors opened to a moderately busy Bridge. They were still at the starbase, awaiting departure orders, so there wasn’t all that much to do, but some of the new crewmembers were already on duty, and Clerk was looking forward to meeting them.

“Captain on the Bridge!” came a voice from just to his left, about 560 nanoseconds after the Captain’s first boot hit the carpet. It was Lieutenant Yarrrrr, the spunky short-haired Security Chief who is under contract to die sometime this season.

Clerk walked over to her. “I don’t think I’ve met you; what’s your name?”

“Yarrrrr, sir!”

“Soooo… you’re a pirate?”

“No, sir. That is my name.”

“Sorry, I–”

“It’s okay. You don’t need to memorize it. You have 6 episodes left.”

“Excuse me?”

“Never mind, sir,” Yarrrrr said, realizing the Captain obviously hadn’t been briefed. Clerk was still reeling a bit from the conversation as she walked away.

Taking a few cautious sips from his Extra Mocha SupremeTM, he made his way to the Big Comfy Chair. Just as he was about to login for the morning, a strangely-nosed man walked up to him, uttering a hearty “Good morning, Captain!” as he did.

“Good morning, Mister…?”

“Odor, sir.”

“Ahh, yes, that’s right. You’re my new First Officer. Pleasure to meet you.”

“That’s what you think.”


“Just kiddin’, Captain!” Commander Odor said, laughing hard.

Move along, just move along. “So, your dossier didn’t really say all that much about you. I reckon we’ll have to have a chat or two, get to know one another.”

“Fair enough. Well, first off, I’m a shapeshifter.”

A shapeshifter? Now I’ve seen everything. Or, at least, at some point, I probably will.

“Next… well, I don’t do much. My last assignment was on some dumpy outpost way out in the sticks. Nothing to do out there, so I haven’t really engaged in any hobbies lately. Anything else you wanna know?”

“Hmm… only one thing off the top of my head. Your bio listed your name as just Odor. Is that your complete name?”

“Well, I do have a first name.”

“What is it?”


Clerk’s brow furrowed. “Ivan Odor?”

You sure do, Captain! Ah ha ha ha ha!”

I’ve been had twice now. It’s the first full episode of the new season, and so far I’m 0 for 2. Sigh. Par for the course.

As Odor’s maniacal laughter continued, the elevator doors opened, and in walked a three-armed, three-legged officer. Clerk set down his coffee, stood up, and made a bee line for him, hoping this conversation might be an improvement.

“Hi! You must be our new navigator.”

“Yes, I’m Lieutenant Eric, at your service.”


“Is there something wrong?”

“Oh, I just figured you’d have a more exotic name.”

“It is! Nobody else on my world has this name.”

I’ll bet. “Well, it’s common where I’m from.”

“Where is that?”


“Oh! I’ve never heard of Iowa! What star system is that in?”

Hoo boy. Too early in the morning for this kind of conversation. “Never mind. Nice to meet you.”

Clerk was actually relieved to hear the intercom beep. He walked back to the Big Comfy Chair, leaving Eric confused as to where the “Nevermind” sector is. Reaching the console on the chair’s right arm, he pressed the Answer button.

“Clerk here.”

“Good morning, Captain. This is Dr. Pullum, and no, I’m not trying to schedule an appointment, although I’m sure those teeth of yours could stand another cleaning.”

“So, what’cha need?”

“Well, I’m running low on a lot of my essential supplies, and unfortunately, this starbase isn’t particularly well-stocked. There is a planet just a few parsecs away that has what I need, and at much better prices than you’d get here anyways. I was wondering if we could make a brief trip over there to get stuff.”

Well, that would give us something to do while waiting for Fleet Command to make up its mind as to where to send us next. “Okay, Doc. We’ll set out as soon as possible.”

“Thanks, Captain! Pullum out.”

I wish you’d find a different way to sign off. You make me nervous, Doc.