Enterprise is surrounded. The universal translator is offline. What do the aliens want?
|*The Starship Enterprise has just entered an un-mapped region of space. Before long two alien ships engage the Enterprise; shields up, weapons powered.
Kirk: "Lieutenant Uhura, open hailing frequencies."
Uhura: "Hailing frequencies open, Captain."
Kirk: "This is Captain James T. Kirk of the Starship Enterprise. We are on a peaceful mission of exploration. Please acknowledge."
(Incoming message from lead ship) "Blthenn shpllf dtipfh!"
Kirk: "Dangit lieutenant can't you auto-tune that stinking universal translator!"
Uhura: "Auto-tune engaged Captain."
Kirk: "I repeat this is Captain James T. Kirk of the Starship Enterprise..."
(Message interrupted by incoming transmission) "Blthenn shpllf dtipfh!!!"
Kirk: "Hailing frequencies closed, Uhura."
Uhura: " Hailing frequencies closed Captain."
Kirk: "Bones, Spock, I need a plan of action - NOW! Suggestions?"
Spock: "Logic would dictate that we leave this region of space immediately without further adieu."
Bones: "Logic would dictate, logic would dictate... listen you green-blooded pointy-eared freak of nature, we've got guns pointed at us from every direction. Just where would you suggest we go? Oh, I know, you're gonna use some sort of projected telepathy to put 'em all in some kinda trance, while we just 'skip to my lou' on outta here! Hmmph! Logic my..."
Kirk butts in: "Gentlemen, gentlemen, what I need are answers, not petty debates. Spock, you recommended exiting. How would we go about it?"
Spock: "Well Captain, uh, I was going to suggest using my telepathy to..."
Bones jumps in: "See there, what'd I tell ya? He's recommending a massive Vulcan mind-meld from hell. By the time he's done we're all gonna be in some kinda trance, and I for one have no intention of living out the rest of my life as some sort of space zombie frozen in some godforsaken nether region of space..."
Kirk: "Bones, Bones. I'm afraid I must now confine you to sick-bay. Surely there are crew members suffering from various and sundry space-related ailments, hmmm? I will keep you apprised of any decisions made. And McCoy, try to smile, huh? It's not the end of the world."
Chekhov chimes in (under his breath): "Not yet..."
McCoy exits, mumbling: "Blthenn shpllf dtipfh!"
Uhura (to herself): "Why does that sound familiar...?"
Kirk: "Mr. Chekhov, do you have something you'd like to share with the rest of us?"
Chekhov: "No sir, Captain sir! I was just thinking about how good a shot of wodka would taste right about now, sir."
Kirk: "I share your sentiments ensign. We all share them. Don't we Mr. Spock?"
Spock: "Wodka, Captain?"
Kirk: "Enough! Mr. Scott, give me warp nine, on the double! Get us out of here Scotty."
Scotty: "I canna obey yer order, Captain. If we try n' take Enterprise from full stop to warp nine, she'll shake apart!"
Kirk: "I'm not looking for excuses Mister! Now get us out of here, before I lose my temper!"
Scotty: "Aye aye Captain, I'll give her all she's got, and maybe just a wee bit more..."
* Three additional alien ships have suddenly arrived on the scene, bringing the total to five. Enterprise now has no way out. Exit appears impossible. And yet...
Kirk: "Answers gentlemen, I said I want answers!"
Spock: "The only logical course at this point would be to surrender, Captain. I, for one, have no desire to be blown to bits by a hundred photon torpedoes, as it would logically interfere with my future scientific research endeavors..."
Kirk: "I said I need real answers, not pansy-inspired ones! No offense Mr. Spock, but perhaps a human point of view.."
Uhura: "Captain, There was something odd about Dr. McCoy's behavior as he was leaving the bridge..."
Kirk: "Spock, did you hear that strange buzzing noise? It sounded as though it was coming from the communications station."
Spock: "Well, Captain, um..."
Uhura (stands up and stomps to the center of the bridge): "That's it! I will no longer be ignored, treated as sub-rate, or likened to an anomalous noise. Now get this straight buster! When Dr. McCoy left the bridge he mumbled something. That something was picked up by the computer and recorded. Now everyone listen carefully as I play the recording back (returns to station): 'Blthenn shpllf dtipfh!' Sound familiar?"
(Entire bridge crew afraid to move, including Kirk, whose jaw has dropped and is now sweating profusely, though he has to admit that Uhura is really hot when she's angry)
Uhura: "Hellooo? It's the exact same message that we received from the lead alien ship when we first found ourselves in this mess!"
Kirk: "Spock, is it possible McCoy is somehow being controlled by an alien presence?"
Spock: "Curiously, I have long believed that McCoy was..."
Kirk: "Not now Spock! Sheesh. Sulu, get McCoy up here, on the double!"
Kirk: "I said on the double, Mister!"
Sulu: "On the double, Captain." (under his breath) "Been flying this ship for 36 hours straight but does anyone care about the token Asian-American on board? Star Fleet's gonna hear about this..."
Kirk: "Spock, I'm hearing that buzzing noise again..."
(After a bit McCoy enters the bridge, in traditional zombie style)
Kirk: "Spock, just look at him! He's obviously under the influence."
Spock: (mumbling) "He's under the influence all right..."
Kirk: "Did you say something Mr. Spock?"
Spock: "As I was saying Captain, logic would seem to suggest that Dr. McCoy is under some sort of alien mind-control. There is only one logical explanation."
Kirk: "And that is...?"
Spock: "Um, that the aliens are controlling his mind, Captain, sir."
Kirk: (sighs) "Well that's somewhat obvious now isn't it Mr. Spock. Is there anything you can do?"
Spock: "A Vulcan mind-meld should reveal what the aliens want from us, Captain. However, may I point out that doing so would require me to put my hands all over Dr. McCoy's face and..."
Kirk: "Spock, Spock. Just do it!"
(Spock engages McCoy in a Vulcan mind-meld, while secretly considering how easy it would be to switch from mind-meld to the Vulcan death-grip. Nevertheless, his Star Fleet sensibilities keep him focused on the task at hand. After a few minutes, The mind-meld is over. Spock quietly returns to his station. McCoy is unconscious.)
Kirk: "Well Spock? What do they want?"
Spock: "I'd rather not say, Captain."
Kirk: "Mr. Spock, I order you to reveal the results of the mind-meld, now!!"
Spock: "Well Captain, um... er..."
Spock: "It would appear that the aliens are on a long-term mission and have run out of (ahem) toilet tissue and were wondering if we might spare a thousand rolls or so. Seems their inventory control officer forgot to add this item to his itinerary. After securing such we are free to pass through their space, unhindered."
(Bridge crew is silent, then all bust out laughing. McCoy wakes up.)
McCoy: "Wha, what happened? Where am I? And what's so danged funny?"
(Bridge crew laughs all the harder)
Kirk: "Scotty, can you make sure that our new friends receive their request? Transporter two has been made available, at your discretion."
Scotty: "Aye, Captain, and I'll send the load with a red ribbon attached as well."
(Bridge crew laughing again)
McCoy: "Will someone please tell me what all the laughing is about? Spock, if you had anything to do with this..."
Kirk: "Bones, why not join me in my ready-room. I've got a little story to tell you..."
(Spock smiles, discreetly)