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mack makes a diplomatic blunder

Posted on Thu Oct 14th, 2021 @ 4:26am by Lieutenant JG Julius Mack

Mission: Consult the Anomaly
Location: conference room, then bridge


Mack:{on atypical communicator broadcast} =/\="Very sorry captain. I will personally provide a tour of the bridge and personally provide the science briefing for mister Rubbletree. I will meet him at the conference room in three earth minutes."=/\=

Sprague: {replying to broadcast}=^="Oh. Okay mister Mack." ::pauses:: "Sprague out." ::taps comm badge::

Rubbletree: "Oh no, I don't need that now."

Sprague: "Mister Mack is our science officer. He knows those systems like nobody else. And you will love his bridge tour. Only the best brass get that."

Mack stops by a break room on his way out of the turbolift. "Food replicator. Coffee, in insulated mug, 99 degrees Celsius, laced with 15 percent boric acid
and five percent poison oak sap, hermetically covered."

Replicator: "this order does not constitute food."

Mack: "record this order in my personal log and carry it out as I said."

Replicator: "working..." ::a covered large mug appears.:: "have a nice day."

Mack beeps the conference room door.

Sprague: "enter"

Mack: "very sorry sir, we were deterred by some problems with our comm network. I did mean to help out with the science briefing.
In any case, we must move along smartly. Fleet protcol requires tours only be given during times where we are not under way to a critical mission,
so this is a good a time as any and you never know when Commander Andrews might change his mind. You know how he can be."

Rubbletree: "Really I can just read the materials at my leisure mister Mack."

Mack: "maybe so, but that information is always subject to updates and modification. I have not yet approved it, given my position as science officer. All of it
must be approved by me before it is regarded officially as "science" anyway. Until then, it is best regarded as rumor."

Rubbletree makes a quizzical look, but not nearly as quizzical as the one on Sprague's face. Fortunately Sprague is behind Rubbletree, so the latter does not see this.

Mack: "Let's go mister Rubbletree. Haste makes waste. And this coffee is getting cold. It is for Commander Andrews. He is very particular about who prepares
coffee for him."

Rubbletree makes another face and heads out the door with Mack. Sprague sits at the table attempting to sort out what just happened.

Mack: would you like to see our food replicator? It is one of the best in the Fleet. It makes about a thousand different coffee recipes. I'm sure
there would be few to your liking...?"

Rubbletree: "No thank you mister Mack. I thought we were in a hurry to do this. I would really like to get back to my quarters."

Mack: "The captain would have nothing of that. You were promised a science briefing and a bridge tour. He would tolerate no less."

Both enter the turbolift. Mack takes the top off his mug of poisoned coffee, which immediately puts boric acid vapor into the air. Mack takes a rather circuitous
route to the bridge, in curvy routes and changing directions carefully designed to produce motion sickness but not in a manner obvious otherwise.
They emerge on the bridge, and Rubbletree is looking a bit green and pale.

Mack: "first let's have a look at the bridge. We have one of our best officers, Ensign Varlet, studiously at the controls, demonstrating his hands-on
style despite there being a nav computer which could have done this, but he likes to keep in practice. Don't you Varlet?"

Mack stands next to Rubbletree and sort of crowds him uncomfortably close to Varley. Varley manages to avoid casting a blank look at Mack, and
keeps his eyes on the console, which he has unwisely switched to manual, as Mack implied he was already doing. "He is one of the few who can
navigate just by looking at this wonderful new ultra high-resolution view screen."
Mack begins a grand gesture, absently with the hand carrying his mug of coffee. The coffee begins to leave the mug and land mostly upon mister

Rubbletree: (screams) "You fool, you have drenched me with that acrid drink! The captain will hear about this!"

Mack: (waiting for a few seconds as the steam rises off Rubbletree). "Oh sorry sir, let me try to wipe some of that off. He takes a handkerchief
with some kind of dank substance already on it, and lunges toward Rubbletree, knocking him into Ensign Varley and shoving his hand across the
control console. Rubbletree screams some vague epithet.

Varley can contain himself no more. "What are you doing Lieutenant?"

Mack: "sorry Varlet. Continue on your course to sector 3529 as ordered."

This time Varley has had enough. "It's Varley, sir."

Mack: =^=Mack to sick bay. Medical emergency, bridge. Send first aid for burns immediately."

Spivick: =^="Please indicate physiology of victim."

Mack: mister Rubbletree, what is your native physiology?

Rubbletree: none of your goddam business!

Mack: =^="sick bay. be advised that physiology is unknown. Assume that Klingon flesh worms will be the best choice."

Spivick: (has unseen blank look) =^="acknowledged."=^=

Mack: =^="I will meet you at the deck five turbo lift, to facilitate bringing the hyperbaric unit."=^=

Spivick: (says nothing, makes yet another vacant look, begins to assemble the hyperbaric triage kit). He has never heard of
klingon flesh worms. He hopes they are not a form of food.

While Varley gets to decide WHICH "orders" to carry out, Andrews comes out of the ready room. "What the devil is going on?
Are we off course?"

Varley: It's kind of a long story. I would suggest you ask mister Mack, since he was more or less commanding at the time, but
I'd say we have veered off course a good fifteen degrees at warp five. Should I go back to...uh...previous course?"

Andrews: (thinks for a second, and sort of smiles to himself) "First, Go to impulse. Second, assess if there is any damage.
Third, dump any onboard waste while we are out of warp. I don't want to suck anything up the nacelles."

Varley: (to himself: shit, this is a day to remember but why would I want to.) "Yes sir. Then should I resume original course?"

Andrews: "not until I order it. Carry out your current orders and report back when the holding tanks are empty."

Mack meets the mystified Spivick on deck 5.

Mack: "There isn't a lot of time. I think we have an impostor aboard, possibly a double agent. I'm arranging some surprises
for him. Just play along."

Spivick: "this is hardly medical protcol."

Mack: "protest noted. Under no circumstances are you to release this patient from sick bay until Commander Andrews orders it.
Feel free to be creative in coming up with reasons to hold him in sick bay. Let's call him a security risk, and he will remain
behind a containment force field that only you can pass, and under no circumstances have any access to any comm devices.
Are we clear?"

Spivick: "this is very un-regulation."

Mack: "tell me about it. Just do it, okay sir?"

they emerge from the turbo lift.

Spivick: "there was a strange smell in that lift. And I have never heard of Klingon flesh worms. will some replicator Gak do.?"

Mack: " you are about to smell more of it. I suggest you handle the patient with gloves. You did bring those, right?"

Spivick: "normally I don't require those when rendering first aid. But given the possibility of handling clinical Gak, I shall."

Mack: "Good thinking doctor. I believe you will find that he has earth "poison oak" symptoms but take your time about diagnosing that.
"and you might make up some calamine lotion in case you hear from mister Varlet. Or Varley. Most likely the latter. Do not treat
both patients in the same room. Rubbletree is to have no visitors. Tell everyone that he has some kind of skin lesion, maybe leprosy."

Mack and Spivick return the bridge, Spivick takes Rubbletree, now having been given a sedative, down to his new quarters in medical isolation.

Mack: (text only, your eyes only)=^="Andrews: Mack here, you might want to be creative about how to tell the captain about this. I trust you
have sort of pieced together what is going on. Suggest you also creatively edit all records that the captain gave Rubbletree access to, just
in case, he actually saw any of it. And maybe make some further remarks about a random course destination while he is still on the bridge."



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