To boldly go where no sane HR
director commander has gone before …
Acting Captain’s log, Stardate 2015. I have assumed command at the request of … someone – perhaps even me. Our situation is deteriorating; many of the crew are unable to function and our life support systems are beginning to falter.”
Supplemental log. stardate 2015 Sector: Earth orbit. It looks like Earth but I am unsure. The crew are beginning to look at me with sideways glances. I fear I am losing their trust. My command is threatened. I must work out which planet we are near, or it may be too late to return through the wormhole.
On the bridge of the stalled starship Avonprise stood several of the bewildered senior officers and crew.
Second Lieutenant Jones adjusted a wedgie that was giving him gyp and said, to no-one in particular, “Is it just me, or is everyone on this ship monumentally f****d up about review missions?”
“What do you mean?” Bulpitt replied, a quizzical frown momentarily shadowing the studied bland innocence of his normal appearance.
“Well, I’m thinking that ever since Commander Zeeman was called back to Starfleet on that ‘misunderstanding’, Commander Kern has put us all in these red jumpers. You know what happens when crew members wear red!” Jones said.
Dr Johnson arched an eyebrow at this. “What makes you say that, Jonesy?”
Before Jones could formulate a reply Galley Overseer Wood interjected into what would otherwise have been a long pause, “Well, we’re all replacing former crew members,” Wood pointed at Johnson and continued,“What happened to the one you replaced? Transferred out?”
“No,” said Johnson, “He was the death by vaporization one.”
“And mine got sucked out of the shuttle,” interjected Jones, who seemed to have momentarily regained focus. He continued, “And Nikolai Garganov got eaten by a giant Octopus that was unable to keep its tentacles to itself. Maybe. Apparently. You have to admit there’s something going on there. Ever since that Borg Mountstevens tried to assimilate Kern, things have been weird around here. He said he escaped unharmed but I’m not too sure…”
Once started. Jones’ verbal diarrhoea was usually hard to stop, but he suddenly broke off as the communicator barked into life
“Travel time to the nearest uncontested completed review?” screamed the demanding voice of Kern.
Taking a deep sigh, Jones pressed the button and replied, “At maximum warp, in 2 years, 7 months, 3 days, 18 hours, we would reach a point where we can see infinity.” He quickly clicked the communicator off.
“Why does Commander Kern now think he is now a Starfleet captain?” questioned Wood, pouting.
“We have been captain-less for so long the power has driven him space-bat shit crazy,” opined Jones.
“Speaking of which,” Bulpitt said, motioning with his finger in the general direction of a spot behind Wood.
Jones and Johnson looked to where he pointed to see Kern materialise in a glowing circle of transporter light right in the middle of the bridge.
“Shields up! Rrrrred alert!” shouted Kern, as he shimmered into full materialisation. “I’m now controlling everything. You! Doc Johnson – every decision you ever made about anything doesn’t matter any more as I’m saying I can redo it. Final is no longer final and everything with an outcome is now not concluded.” He paused for dramatic effect as his words sank in, then continued, “And I am doing this just because I can,” he raved.
“But Commander Kern,” ventured Bulpitt nervously avoiding eye-contact with Kern whilst busily looking at his shoes, “Starfleet Prime Directives say that the Doctor is the only authority which is permitted to make the decisions on review missions. All we can look at is the degree of disablement and that’s a medical question. Even when he’s ballsed it all up … ”, Bulpitt shot an accusing glance at Johnson, “And he has. Its got diddly-squat to do with any Commander.”
A hard, glazed look came into Kern’s eyes, and his face took on a flushed appearance. “I will continue, aboard this ship, to speak for the Borg. My orders are that you will continue, without further delay, to Sector 001, where my hive will force your unconditional surrender.” Looking imperiously about him, Kern continued, in a monotonous echoing tone, “We care not for your StarFleet directives. The Borg do what we want. I may be a lowly commander but I’ve been assimilated into the Borg collective and I now run this ship – and I will soon rule the whole universe, prime directives or not.”
“Oh well,” meekly ventured Wood, “looks like the whole galactic quadrant is up shit creek.”
Bulpitt turned to Wood and whispered in her ear, careful not be be overheard by Kern but thankful that the psychotic Borg drone was engaged in entering a long monologue about how he and his Borg buddies were doing exactly the opposite of what Starfleet directives and regulations demands of them.
“Death by falling rock. Death by toxic atmosphere. Death by pulse gun vaporization. It’s all good compared to being stuck on the same ship as this loon,” Bulpitt said.
“Death by shuttle door malfunction,” Wood whispered in reply.
“Death by ice shark,” Bulpitt replied.
“Death by what?” Wood said, blinking. “What the hell is an ice shark?”
“You got me,” Bulpitt said. “I had no idea there was such a thing.”
“Is it a shark made of ice?” Wood asked. “Or a shark that lives in ice?”
“It wasn’t specified at the time,” Bulpitt said.
“I’m thinking you should have called bullshit on the ice shark story,” Jones said, earwigging.
“Even if the details are sketchy, it fits your larger point,” Bulpitt said. “People here have review missions on the brain.”
“It’s because someone always meets one’s end on them,” Wood said.
At this point the utter confusion, petty bickering, position-protecting and empire building was thankfully brought to a sudden end as the starship Avonprise was blown to smithereens by a missile launched from deep hyperspace by the all-powerful Guardians of Law and Decency.