Episode 66: Eight is (Not) Enough

Captain’s Blog, Stardate. I have never regretted staying up so late playing the Starship Captain Simulator game until now. My eyes are staging a mutiny as I record this. We are currently on our way to starbase Deep Dish $9, traveling at Warp Factor 8. I have been repeatedly assured that that is the fastest safe speed we could possibly go. However, at that rate, it will take at least five days to get there, in spite of Admiral Safeway’s insistence that we arrive by tomorrow evening. I have had to resort to renaming the admiral’s office as “Do Not Answer” in my contacts list.

“Helm,” Clerk asked, partly out of frustration but mostly out of sheer boredom, “Is there any way we can get a little more speed? I’m in no hurry to spend time at Deep Dish $9, don’t get me wrong, but Admiral Safeway keeps calling me every hour and a half saying he’s got a truckload of demerits with my name on them.”

Before Ensign Hazyweather could answer, Lt. Eric spoke up. “He’s asking the impossible, if you don’t mind me saying, sir. We’re already at the maximum recommended speed for this vessel. Sorry to bring that up again, but we must keep safety in mind.” Pause. “And, uh, what’s a truckload?”

Hmm. That’s a good question. “Well, he’s an admiral. He asks the impossible for a living.”

“Still, sir,” the navigator replied without catching the joke, “We can’t push very far past our current speed without risking serious damage to the engines.”

Nonsense. I spent way too many late nights with Georgie LaGrange reading the technical manuals for this thing to give up at Warp 8.

“I dunno, Lieutenant… there’s gotta be another option,” Clerk replied, his voice trailing off as he stroked his chin. “Info, I’m gonna need you to take the Conn while I go talk to Engineering.” He got up from the Big Comfy Chair, and was nearly halfway to the elevator when he got interrupted.

“I’m sorry, sir,” the android said in mock confusion. “The what?

Sigh. Clerk reluctantly drew in a sharp breath and assumed a dramatic pose. “Info, I’m gonna need you to take the… Connnnnnn… while I go talk to Engineering.”

Info nodded. “Aye, sir.”

One little emotional outburst and everybody goofs on you for it. Using homophones, no less.

Blushing, Clerk stepped into the elevator — no stranger itself to goofing on the captain for every little word spoken — hoping to get to Engineering without much ado.

Not that the elevator wasn’t gonna try. “So… captain… I hear–”

“Not today, Otis 1138.0. I gotta get to Engineering pronto, and I don’t want any lip about it.”

“But I have no–”


If an elevator could slink into a corner, this would be the moment. Instead, a whimper was all it could do.

Clerk enjoyed the silent ride down to Engineering. It was a refreshing change of pace.