Monday, January 28, 2013

Having an Episode: The Corbomite Maneuver

Dear Cosmetology log:

So, Uhura stopped by on the way to the bridge this morning looking like a re-heated redshirt. She was wearing that gold uniform again, which really isn't her color. The red really brings out the fire in her eyes. And besides, she works communications so according to regulations, her uniform is supposed to be red, after all this is work, not a cocktail party! I swear I'm going to have to ask Dr. McCoy if there's such thing as red/gold color blindness or if she's just trying to double her wardrobe. I just let it pass. I figured in the state she's in today, uniform color was the last thing she wanted to discuss.

Red/Yellow color blind
Anyhoo, she oozes into salonbay looking like yesterday's replicated meatloaf. Scotty sent her to me for my hangover remedy because he knows first hand how well it works. You see, last night at poker, she was very close to winning and, well, she just throws back the booze when she's nervous. More on the game in a minute. So, she comes in this morning sweating like a Vulcan at a comedy club and asks me about this traditional remedy I devised back in my days as an astrobiology student at Starfleet (yes, I did biology as my second major along with xeno-cosmetology).

Well, I sat her right down in a salon chair and got one of the girls to tidy her up while I mixed her up my little remedy. My remedy is no secret as I made it to aid mankind, not for personal gain so I'll pass it along to you. Here it is: one part corn syrup, one part botox and one part Vegemite. Take a teaspoon or two of that and your hangover will be 100% cured and it will numb your gastrointestinal track for at least the next week. There's one little side effect, explosive diarrhea, but you won't notice the stomach cramps because of the numbness. Stay close to a bathroom. (Which, believe me, is a little difficult on this ship.)  I used to just call it "my remedy" or "corn syrup/botox/vegemite combo", but Kirk shortened it to "cor-bo-mite" back when we were at the Academy together and that name just kinda stuck. And, incidentally, that was also back when our little poker night tradition started. 

Kirk knows the benefits and side effects of my Corbomite
Poker night has been a bit somber ever since Gary gained god-like power and we had to put him down. (Remember Gary Mitchell? He was with Kirk and me at Starfleet Academy, handsome, brown hair, silvery eyes that caught the light. You know, that guy Kirk buried beneath several tons of stone on Delta Vega.) Well, last night moods lightened a bit. I came in late; one of the girls had left the hair weave replicator on and we were waist deep in blonde curls before anyone realized, so I was late leaving salonbay. Anyhoo, When I got to the briefing room everyone already had their drinks and snacks and they were just waiting for little old me.

Poker night, as a tradition, started back when Jimmy Kirk, Gary Mitchell and I were at the Academy. Others would come and go, but we were the core group. In fact, I think Jimmy insisted on having Gary and I assigned to the Enterprise to try and make back some of his loses from those days. Now, here on the ship, we play every other Friday. That is, if we are not facing impending doom, which is more often then you might guess. We have a cap of ten players and we usually play at capacity, but since Gary died we've played with one chair empty. I've been pushing to give Spock an invite but everyone seems to think he would find the game distasteful since Vulcan's don't bluff, eat pretzels or (like Baptists) play cards.

Poker, I don't even know her
As for the other crew members with standing invites, first, of course there's Kirk and me. Kirk's plays an erratic game of poker, but he can't reprogram the game so he's had to get used to losing to me which really irritates him. Then there's McCoy who plays a solid game, but his eyes flash when he's got good cards so he's a little too easy to read. Chapel is always the first out. I swear, sometimes I wonder if she knows a heart from a spade. Sulu and Riley always come together. Riley plays an average game and Sulu is super competitive but loses his game when the heat is on. Rand is on the roster, but I think Kirk just likes to have her close so she can get him chips and fill his glass. She says she just plays for fun which must mean she gets her jollies from leaving empty handed, because believe me sister she always does. My real competition comes from Scotty and Uhura. Scotty can bluff like nobody ("That will take three days to fix." yeah right, while you sit down in engineering searching through e-harmony profiles and watching Orion Girls Gone Wild.) and Uhura can read the room faster than she reads those romance novels of hers (In 50 different languages). She's one sharp cookie. Gary was a pretty even match, but I'm really the player to watch, that's why they call me the Poker-oshi Maru.

So last night, the conversation turned to the position of recreational officer. You see, Gary served in that capacity in addition to his duties as helmsman and Kirk mentioned that we needed a replacement; you know, what with Gary being dead and all. Well, several people had a horse in that race. The position is pretty cushy; it doesn't require much, mostly delegation and signing off on activities. All the planning and executing are done by the rec staff. What makes the job so desirable is the perks that come with it. First of all, who doesn't love the rec officer. Second, you can push activities and destinations that you like the most; Gary liked to set up lots of hunting and hiking trips. He also liked visiting casino settlements and colonies with large, clean brothels (That wasn't bad for me because, as you know, those working girls always have some of the most experimental hairdos in the universe and when there are brothels around there are also good Korean beauty supply stores). Anyhoo, the biggest perk of the job is that it comes with new quarters. That's right, an apartment like suite with an amazing view and a jacuzzi inset tub!

Dr. McCoy's Ancestor, Julie McCoy with her captain and crew
Uhura mentioned right away that she was interested. Bones put in his two cents worth (which isn't much since we don't use money in the future). He's the favorite for the job because he comes from a long line of cruise directors. In fact, he has an ancestor who was one of the most celebrated and famous cruise directors of all time. There's been a cruise director in his family for more than 10 generations. His parents were so disappointed when he told them he was going to be a doctor. He wants the job, but Bones doesn't need the room. His quarters are already quite nice. Sulu and Riley both think the position should be theirs and Rand would like it but she really doesn't have the rank. Of course, I think I'm the right woman for the position, mostly because who else would look as fabulous as I in that inset tub filled with bubbles, sipping on a replicated mimosa?

Let's get physical
So, as the evening wore on and the alcohol begin to kick in, Uhura suggested that we play for the position. Kirk was out early but in good spirits and the mood was light enough that he agreed without thinking it through. Uhura was up in the game and looked like she'd take the pot. Bones, Sulu, Riley, Scotty, and myself were still in. The gloves came off. Scotty wisely just took what he'd won and kicked back to watch the rest of us scramble for the prize. We quickly eliminated Riley and Sulu. The game came down to me, Bones and Uhura. With the pressure on Uhura started really guzzling the Saurian brandy. She never realizes how drunk she's getting on that stuff because she likes to mix it with Coca Cola and lime. I thought we were going to be there all night, but Kirk suggested we play one last round, winner take all. That round turned out to be a nail biter. Well, it's true what they say: Those unlucky in love have the cards on their side and I did. I had a full house: Kings and Aces. Uhura had three jacks and Bones had a pair of queens (not Riley and Sulu mind you). Bones was fuming! Kirk had to agree to come in tomorrow for his long overdue physical just to calm him down. And that's how I became the rec officer and got the sweetest new pad! (and yes, we do say pad, and groovy too, in the future.)

There are no hard feelings between Uhrua and I today, but Bones is fit to be tied. I sent Uhura off to the bridge, she still looks a little rough, but it's going to be a slow day of star mapping so she'll be fine. I'll avoid Bones until things calm down a bit. He can take it out on Kirk during his physical today.


Rubic's cube
I was called to the bridge. Kirk wanted to meet with all the department heads. Some kind of Rubic's cube flew up and blocked our path. Bailey, the navigator reported that it was 1593 meters away from us. Sulu said it's mass was around 11000 metric tonnes. Scotty said it was a solid cube and he didn't get how it could move. Bailey suggested we blow it up. I said I thought it was really really pretty and wouldn't it make a nice lamp, the way it spins and everything, kind of like a lava lamp. We'd have to make it smaller of course.

"Hey, did that noise come from you?"
Kirk wanted us to all to get together in the briefing room to decide what course of action we were going to take. We were in there forever! I finally said "Look, either sh*t or get off the pot. It doesn't have hair or need it's nails done so I'm going back to salonbay where I can be useful. You can reach me there." Uhura took my suggestion literally. The Corbomite has really kicked in. She still doesn't look so good, but she did say she feels fine.

Well, I was working on Tina Lawton's hair when we blasted that cube. There was really no warning. Now, as an aside, I have never understood why the safety division of Starfleet was eliminated by the Federation Council or how the anti-seat belt lobby ever became that powerful. Some say it is a deliberate attempt at population control. Others buy the Heavyco conspiracy theory (Heavyco is the company that owns the monopoly in gravity plating). No matter what the reason for the policy, I directly defied all orders and regulations by making sure all of the salon chairs in salonbay are equipped with black market, contraband seat belts that I personally obtained through my connections deep within the Orion Syndicate. (Oh, Computer, strike this last paragraph from my log.)

Seat belts? Too much to ask?
Anyhoo, I was working on Tina's hair when the ship listed sharply starboard. We decided the best way to fix the damage was just to shave the poor child bald. Luckily, this style is currently very popular due to my very own research (The article "The Deltan Placebo Effect" was published in The New England Journal of Medicine, The Vulcan Science Academy Journal and UFP Cosmetology Weekly). I ordered salonbay shut down until further notice. I'm going to see if I can get security to assign some redshirts to help me pack. After all, I've got a new cabin to move into.

Anyone who has a ship that big is compensating for something
Well, there's no point finishing with the packing until I find out if I'm going to live through the next ten minutes. I swear, if I had a credit for every time my life was in danger; I'd have a lot of credits (and nothing to buy because, did I mention, we don't use money in the future). Some alien named Bollocks has flown his massive ship up and told us to get ready to die. The pictures of him have spread around the ship like wildfire. The captain wanted me on the bridge. He wanted my input. I said all I knew is with a ship that big the captain had to be overcompensating for something and since this alien has no hair I don't see the point of making my way to the bridge unless he wants me to get started on a wig. That made me think: I did suggest working up some of those salonbay simulations of how different hairdos would look on Ballocks that we could send over. After all, a successful makeover is the antidote to aggression. That has been proven by medical science again and again. (Oprah single-handedly did her part in the Eugenics Wars of the 90's) Jim changed his mind and said maybe I could get the doctor off his back by calming Bailey down.

I found Bailey in his quarters. He was weeping, positively squealing, like a Tellerite child. I ordered him to quit blubbering and to walk with me. He asked me how we could have ended up in such a situation and I told him to think of his "WAWOHA" training. (See my post WAWOHA: Why Are We Out Here Anyway). I reminded him of the mission. I told him to think of all the good things that have come from space exploration. I made him remember the unicorns. Then I reminded him that if he was going to die or be disabled in space he'd get a lot more compensation if he was on duty. I've never seen a man move that fast.

Nothing like coffee to take your mind off death
I ran into Janice in the rec room. She was trying to get coffee out of the replicator but non-essential power was down. I told her to check the galley for half empty cups from this morning, pour them together and heat them with a hand phaser. Nobody will know.

I guess I should continue packing, not for my new quarters but for the planet on which we are about to be abandoned. Balok (not Ballocks as I previously thought though the latter does match the shape of his head) is going to escort us to a suitable world and then destroy my new cabin (along with the rest of the ship). Get this, Kirk told Balok that all UFP ships contain a substance called "corbomite" that creates an equal and opposite deadly force when attacked. What a hoot! It apparently kept Balok from firing on us (although Uhura probably knows about equal and opposite explosive forces right now.)

I like long walks on the beach and puppies
Instead of packing, I decided instead to see if I could help out and find out who this Balok is. I did what any single girl would do and I checked the computer to see if I could find his profile. Well, there was an interesting one on eHarmony. I took one look at it and knew right away that this guy was blowing smoke up our miniskirts. First off, he said he was 7 feet tall and weighed 50 pounds--that had to be a lie. Then he said he had an Olympic gold medal but I couldn't find any Olympic medalists named Balok. Before I could tell the captain the ship was rocking all over the place and we had broken free of that tractor beam.

Is this tranya roofied?
Well, Bones and Kirk came back from Balok's ship. Seems they left Bailey over there. As I suspected Balok was using fake pictures in his profile on eHarmony. He doesn't look anything like that bubble headed Don Juan he was trying to pass himself off as. When they got back, Kirk and Bones were so hopped up on Tranya they were just ready to let Baily be whisked off into space by someone we just met. I sat right down and explained to Jim that a girlfriend doesn't abandon another girlfriend on a first date. For all we know Balok could be a real creep. I convinced Jim to go by the books although I think the Tranya made him real open to any and all suggestions. Anyhoo, we're going to be here a few days to get the paperwork and clearance for the inter-species exchange program. That way, we will have at least covered ourselves if Balok turns out to be on of those crazy "To Serve Man" types.


After meeting him, I don't think Balok is a threat. He just has a little self-esteem problem and needs to learn the lesson that Ruth got back with that whole Venus drug incident. I told him, "Put down the tranya and be the best you, you can be. 'Cause no one can love you until you love yourself." I told him all about Ruth and how she got pretty from within. But I wanted to be realistic. I told him she started with a little more paint on her palette, so to speak, than he had. I convinced Balok to come over and let us replicate him a few wigs that he can wear for some new profile pictures. I told him we could make him look a little more masculine and intimidating if we ditch the silver headband and get him some pointy sideburns. Oh and we're gonna trim those bushy brows.
Having a laugh with Balok

When Balok got to Salonbay he had a terrible Tranya hangover. I mixed him up my hangover remedy and he said "What do you call this?" I said, "That, my friend, is corbomite." With that we both threw our heads back and laughed and laughed! I stopped laughing before he did, but it was so awkward I just pretended to laugh some more.

Oh and I almost forgot. When Kirk came staggering back and smelling of tranya he called me right up. He said he'd found a tenth for our next poker night. He slurred out something about someone wanting to know more about the game, and then I think he must have passed out because the com went all silent. I wonder who that tenth player could be? I guess I'll find out soon enough!