Episode 75: The Best Part Of Waking Up

Captain’s Blog, Stardate: Hammer Time. I still haven’t yet gotten used to being an Admiral, but I’ve more or less gotten used to being called Capt-I-Mean-Admiral. So I guess they haven’t gotten used to it either. Anyway, on to business. Here’s the deal: Captain Billard Doubledecker has been missing ever since I took over the Secondprize. The Fleet hates to waste a good captain, of course, so we’ve been sent to go find him. He was last seen at Fleet Headquarters in Burbank running around the courtyard like a madman, shouting “Ollie Ollie Oxen Free!!!” and flailing his arms around like an inflatable tube guy. This is going to be fun…

Admiral Jimi Clerk knew in advance that Kathy Safeway was a morning person, but he figured that love conquers all, and that things would work out on their own. He was not, however, prepared for what the conquering would consist of.

“Time to wake up, dear,” Kathy said gently as she washed her sleeping husband’s face with a washcloth. “We’ve got a lot to do today. No sleeping in.”

Clerk shot upright in an instant. “What in the universe are you doing?” he exclaimed. “A wet washcloth? Seriously?”

“It’s what my mother did to wake me up. I’m just carrying on the tradition.”

“You caused me to dream I was going through a shuttle wash without the shuttle!” Clerk said as he dried his face with his blanket. “That’s messed up!”

“Well it worked didn’t it?” Safeway-Clerk said. “You’re not even drowsy. That’s a good start to your day.”

Clerk looked at the clock. “It’s 5:30AM, Kathy! What, are we gonna beam down to watch the sunrise or something?”

“Don’t be ridiculous, Jimi. Now take your shower and get going before the brownout happens.”

“Before the what happens?”

Kathy sighed. “You know, the brownout. The time of the morning when everybody plugs in their hairdryers and the power nearly goes out. It happens every day, Jimi. What, do you sleep through it or something?”

I guess so. “Can’t we do something about this?” Clerk said as he reached for his communicator. “Surely they fixed it during the remodeling they just did.”

“No, it still happens— wait… you’re not about to call the Electrical department at 5:30 in the morning, are you?”

“Of course not. I’m just gonna leave them a text message so they can check it later.”

“That’s not gonna work, dear. Lt. Wattsenvolts doesn’t even know how to check his messages. Everybody knows that.”

Fine,” Clerk said. “I’ll leave him a sticky note.”


“You’re here early,” Info said as Clerk approached the Big Comfy Chair. It was 7AM, a full 45 minutes before Clerk’s normal arrival time. “Trouble sleeping?”

“No, it’s my, ahem, ‘alarm clock.’”

“Is this, ahem, ‘alarm clock’ the reason we had the Other Big Comfy Chair installed?”

Clerk feigned shock. “Why, Info, I never knew you were a mind-reader!”

Info didn’t miss a beat. “You humans make it easy, being so predictable.” He picked up the FleetPad™ from the arm of the Chair. “I’ll have the Overnight Report ready for you in just a few minutes.”

“No rush,” Clerk said as he sat down, putting his coffee in the cupholder and placing his newspaper on his lap.

Before Clerk could open up his newspaper, however, the ship’s ringtone sounded. “Incoming call,” said Lt. Cmdr. Kato. “Wait a second,” she said as it continued to ring. “Why is Fleet Headquarters labeled as Scam Likely?”

“That’s for the ensigns,” Clerk said. “Once they learn how to properly screen calls, we’ll change it back.” The ringtone continued. Whoever was calling was definitely determined to talk to him. He sighed. “Fine, answer it.” He turned to the viewscreen and cleared his throat. “U.S.S. Secondprize, Admiral Clerk speaking.”

Admiral Lenny “Caribou” Safeway had long since perfected the art of scowling, but today, he had it down to a science. “I don’t like you, Clerk,” he began. “So I’m going to make this quick. We’ve been receiving a series of crank calls from Deep Space Pi, and we need you to go there and see what’s going on.”

“But what about our mission to locate Captain Doubledecker?”

“We’re going to let local security handle that, which is what I had suggested all along. You have one week to sort this whole thing out. Safeway out.”

Wow, a whole week. That’s actually… reasonable. Clearly this must be an alien mind taking over my father-in-law’s body. Sounds good to me.

“Lt. Eric, lay in a course for Deep Space Pi,” Clerk said. “But be careful. There’s a speed trap on the way, so, like, do the speed limit.”

“Aye, sir,” said Lt. Eric. “Course laid in.”

“Smasher, let’s go to Warp Factor 5.5.”

“But Capt— I mean Admiral,” said the ensign, who then proceeded to sing. “I. Can’t. Drive—“

“Karaoke Night was last night, and it didn’t sound good then, either. So do it to it, or I’ll have you cleaning the animal cages at the zoo.”

“Y-Yes, sir. Warp 5.5.”

At that moment, Admiral Kathy Safeway-Clerk entered the Bridge, and quietly made her way to the Other Big Comfy Chair. She looked at Clerk. “Are you OK?” she asked. “You seem awfully tense.”

Clerk sat down. “The Nicest Man in the Universe just called.”

“Oh. What did Daddy want?”

“He just gave us a new mission,” Clerk said between sips of coffee.

“Wait. Did we find Doubledecker?”

“No, they’ve re-assigned that task to local security.”

“More like Loco Security,” Kathy said, rolling her eyes. “What’s the new mission?”

“The screwballs over at Deep Space Pi are giving Fleet Headquarters a headache, so we’re going to see what’s up.”

Kathy’s eyes widened, and her face reddened. “Oh, really? He… sent us… there…”

Clerk raised an eyebrow. “What’s the matter?”

“Uh, just some… uh… old friends there. That’s all.”

“What’s got you all agitated?” Clerk said as he unfurled his newspaper.

“Nothing, dear! I mean… uh… nothing… yeah. Nothing.”

Ohh… kay…