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JP: Commander Iljor Etan & LT JG Josh Herrick: E-I-E-I-O


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((Holosuite 1, Deck 5, Holosuite 1)

Josh wasn’t exactly sure that this was the best use of his time; this had been his first break in several days of double trying to hobble the Oumuamua back into serviceable shape after the encounter with Alpha Brenkelvi II’s moon. Now that they were docked at DS9, and supplemental engineers from Starfleet were coming on board, he had a sliver of time to himself. And he’d spent the last 10 hours in the Holosuite, getting it ready.

JOPA had already turned over quite a number of members since he’d joined, and he didn’t want to be the second person in history to have not pulled a prank before getting ‘kicked out’. But there wasn’t really a guideline around limits, probably just common sense, Josh thought to himself. But then again, common sense wasn’t so common. He placed the finishing touches and informed the computer to save the program.

When it activated, which would be on Commander Etan’s off day, with no one around him, he would be transported here to Holosuite 1 and it would start. The engineer had banked up quite a bit of holotime so that he could book the full day. You couldn’t really expect others to align to a desired schedule they didn’t know about.

---

(( USS ‘Oumuamua ))

Etan Iljor did not take ‘days off’. As the Executive Officer of a state-of-the-art Luna-class Long Range Explorer, there was an endless stream of paperwork and minutiae that occupied his time, even on those days when he vowed to do nothing but relax… not that he made such plans. No, he was something humans often referred to as a ‘workaholic’ and that suited him down to the ground. He loved his work, he loved his ship and he loved the crew under his command (although he was still decidedly cool on Lhandon Nilsen). But after four sixteen-hour duty shifts supervising Deep Space 9’s repair technicians were completing their assignments to his standards (much to the chagrin of the station’s Chief Operations Officer), even the Bajoran had to admit he needed some R&R.

That meant he needed to get off the ‘Oumumua and off Deep Space 9. There was little left for him on Bajor now that his parents were in a penal colony on Prophet’s Landing, so he had decided to take a day trip to Sefalla Prime to see the famed Crystal Waterfalls of Chonakra Wept. A twenty-six-hour round trip aboard a Kressari Liner with a complimentary buffet, guided tour of the falls- including an hour in a seventeen-storey gift shop!- and a performance by a Lady Shadonna tribute drag act. He would probably skip the concert since Lady Shadonna was not really to his taste, but Iljor could not deny that he was excited by the prospect of seeing one of the Bajor Sector’s most beautiful sights.

He had packed a bag with the usual essentials and had double (and triple) checked that his vaccinations were up to date since the Kressari were unusually stringent about that particular demand. When he was content that he had everything he needed, he made a beeline for the docking port that would take him to DS9’s Promenade.

He was less than twenty metres from the Cardassian-design gateway when the world around him suddenly began to shimmer with blue and white energy. With a sigh, he realised the moment right before he dematerialised that he was never going to get a chance to see the Crystal Waterfalls. 

He sighed inwardly.

---

((Deck 4, Holosuite 1)

Josh had taken a higher vantage point at the top of the barn. He thought about leaving it on autopilot, but he was unsure exactly how the Commander would react and wanted to be able to step in if needed. As the commander shimmered in, he was placed directly in the centre of the farm field. Circling him were 20 cows, grazing casually around him, seemingly unbothered by his appearance.

As the commander looked around, a slightly modified Terran song blared out over the intercom.

Old Oumuamua had a farm, E-I-E-I-O

And on this farm, he had a cow, E-I-E-I-O

With a moo-moo here and an moo-moo there

Here a moo, there an moo, everywhere a moo-moo

Old Oumuamua had a farm, E-I-E-I-O

Standing in the middle of a large field, Iljor squinted as his eyes tried to adjust to the bright sunlight. filled with confusion and mounting irritation, he listened to the strange, twangy tune. He looked around through half-opened eyes and tried to figure out what was going on. He recognised the bovine creatures as cows, Earth creatures that had been brought to Bajor in the wake of the Occupation’s end. Pa and Ma had never had them on their homestead, but he knew enough to know their manure was a potent fertiliser. He looked down instinctively and hoped that he was not standing in some. 

It was clear, the first officer was bewildered. Josh smirked; that was the reaction he was going for. Something so bizarre you weren’t even sure you were awake.

Etan: What the- :: he pinched the bridge of his ridged nose. :: Computer, arch!

As he called for the exit, large mooing erupted from the bovines and they shook their head. Instead, a stand appeared in front of him, with a microphone, and a copy of the rhyme.

Iljor pursed his lips, realising what he needed to do. He was also beginning to realise that this entire situation was likely the work of junior officers. This had JOPA written all over it. Folding his arms across his chest, he shook his head.

Etan: Somebody is getting a court marshal for this. :: he muttered, before huffing out a sigh.::

Iljor picked up the card and stumped to the microphone. Determined to get this over and done with, he quickly and without any intonation read aloud the rhyme.

Etan: Old Oumuamua had a farm, E-I-E-I-O / And on this farm, he had a cow, E-I-E-I-O / With a moo-moo here and an moo-moo there / Here a moo, there a moo, everywhere a moo-moo / Old Oumuamua had a farm, E-I-E-I-O. :: he paused and then spoke again. :: Are we done?

It was clear to Josh that the Commander was less than amused at the prank — Josh didn’t really have enough exposure in this area to know if that was an issue, or if it was a typical reaction. He was sure T’Larn would be having a field day herself if she was here. Perhaps it was an oversight to not have them here giving the unique look into humour — but he wasn’t sure the Vulcan wouldn’t have reported him.

Sure the card was read, line for line, but it was all in the performance. After Etan read out the final line, the computer bleeped at him with a rather unimpressed tone.

Computer: Talent score calculated. Result: Needs Improvement. Adding ambiance.

The holo emitters overlaid the man’s clothing with a checkered shirt, denim overalls, and cowboy boots.

Etan: Oh for Prophets sake!.

Computer: Once again, with feeling!

Etan: You have got to be kidding me! :: he said under his breath. ::

Iljor looked around the simulation again and thought he saw movement atop the large wooden barn at one end of the pasture. He was sure he saw a person there, but given the distance, he could not make out who it was.

Etan: Do you want me to sing for my supper? :: he asked, speaking into the microphone. :: Am I supposed to put on a show?

The computer bleeped at Etan, indicating that this was indeed what Josh had wanted from him.

Etan: Fine. But once I do this, I’m getting out of here. :: he sighed. :: Computer, top hat and tails… and a really jazzy cane.

If the junior officer wanted a show, then he would give them a show. The country attire that had appeared just a minute ago was replaced with an elegant suit. Interestingly, the computer had also decided to add a bit of Bajoran flair to each piece of clothing. A ribbon around the base of the ‘top hat chimney’ and the same pattern adorned the lapels

Josh wondered if it was a modern take on the classic Terran outfit, or if it was a typical Bajoran outfit. Given this was his second attempt, Josh had programmed the words to appear mid-air and change colour to help the commander keep pace. The LCARS had mentioned this ‘karaoke’ and the earthlings stole the idea.

And so Etan Iljor strutted and twirled as though he were performing on the one of the stages of Ashalla’s theatre district. As he threw the cane and twirled it behind his back, he hoped and prayed that there would be no recorded footage uploaded. He didn’t think he could handle the shame.

Etan: Old Oumuamua had a farm, E-I-E-I-O / And on this farm, he had a cow, E-I-E-I-O / With a moo-moo here and an moo-moo there / Here a moo, there a moo, everywhere a moo-moo / Old Oumuamua had a farm, E-I-E-I-O.

It was clear that the commander had decided to put more energy and chutzpah into this round. The cheng was trying to convince himself that the first officer was now enjoying himself, but he could have easily been just trying to escape. Etan finished the round and the computer bleeped cheerfully.

Computer: Talent score calculated. Adding ambiance.

Etan: Oh no you don’t! :: he snapped, before realising what was happening. :: Wait a minute-

The holodeck then populated with 50 farmers and cowboys, rowdily applauding.

Computer: Congratulations. You have been awarded ‘Rockstar of the Mississippi'.

The imagery in the holodeck faded into the familiar black and yellow lines, with a gold trophy hovering in front of the commander. As the barn dissipated from underneath Josh, he was gently swept into a standing position from by the finely-tuned force fields.

Herrick: Commander! ::smirking:: I’ve come to rescue you!

Iljor whirled around to see the Chief Engineer smirking at him. His mouth dropped open. Herrick had planned all of this? He didn’t seem the sort. He pursed his lips and favoured the officer with a thoroughly unimpressed stare.

Etan: Rescue, my eye! This was your doing, wasn’t it?! :: he jabbed a finger towards the man. ::

Josh wasn’t exactly sure how to take the man’s response. Was he angry, was he playing along? He shifted a bit awkwardly and only a single sound escaped his mouth.

Herrick: Uh…

Iljor folded his arms and decided that retribution would be a matter of when, not if. JOPA had been tolerated for too long in his eyes, and he thought that it was high-time for a crackdown.

Etan: Just a thought, Josh… isn’t your performance review coming up in the next couple of weeks? :: he raised an eyebrow in mischief. :: I could think of several… shall we say, cruel and unusual scenarios that could happen before then?

Herrick: oO He must be playing along? Oo

He wondered what a safe response could be.

Herrick: Not from saving the first officer…surely. ::a playful smile turning up in the corner of his mouth::

As Iljor headed for the door, he stopped and turned back to the Chief Engineer.

Etan: I’d sleep with one eye open tonight, Lieutenant. :: he said with a chuckle, his mind whirring with plots and schemes. ::

And with that, the ship’s executive officer turned about and walked out of the recently revealed arch. Josh pondered the implications of the Bajoran’s words; he was now more worried at the reprisal than he had been of a reprimand.

He noticed that the trophy was still spinning mid-air.

Herrick: Computer, replicate and transport a 6 foot version of the rockstar trophy and place it in front of the doors of Commander Etan’s quarters.

Computer: Requested operation will take 5 minutes to complete, industrial replicator in use.

Herrick: Do it.

He noticed even his interactions were getting a bit more casual with the Oumuamua; this was becoming his home.

---

Commander Etan Iljor

Executive Officer

USS ‘Oumuamua

NCC - 81226

C239203TW0

&

Lieutenant JG Josh Herrick

Acting Chief Engineer

USS ‘Oumuamua

O240005JH3

 

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