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Part of USS Cygnus: A Failure to Communicate

Practical Jokers

Crew Decks
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“If you tell me that things could be worse once more, I swear I’m going to actually kill you.” Crewman Robert Scott, better known as Bob, said, glaring at his work partner, Crewman William Matthews, known as Bill. Bob, of course, hated the nickname Bill and Bob, but it had stuck. They had been friends for years, of course, but he still hated it.”We’re alive, we’re comfortable, we get good food, and get to see some cool stuff.” Bill replied, not looking up from the toilet he was scrubbing with a sponge.”Yes, and we’re doing a job that should be done by the bloody computer, because of you and your idea of a practical joke. We’re lucky Valdez was willing to overlook what you did and not press the matter with the Captain, and that he calmed down Ackerly.” Bob replied, glaring at his friend. He thought back to the meeting.

“You found it funny as well, and you helped me,” Bill pointed out. Bob rolled his eyes; it was a valid point, after all…*****(Three hours earlier)Standing to attention in the Security Office, in front of Lt. JG Valdez in the security office, Bob was finding it difficult to remain at attention and not burst out laughing. Okay, he had been there, but he hadn’t expected it to go that badly. “As I understand it, you played a rather embarrassing and unpleasant practical joke on a much loved member of the crew.” Valdez said, glaring at them.”Not true sir, we played a joke on Lt. Ackerly.” Bill replied. Bob wanted to laugh even more. They may have been in trouble, but Bob always made light of things.”Not the time for smart talk. So, who wants to tell me what happened?” Valdez asked, glaring at them.”We just…wanted him to admit that he was a git.” Bill replied.”If I may sir?” Bob replied.”No, you may not.” Valdez replied. “You, deciding you wanted to loosen his lips, broke into his quarters, and reprogrammed his replicator to add truth serum to his morning coffee. When he got on duty, you then asked him why he was so uptight, hoping to embarrass him, whereby he proceeded to confess that he and his wife hadn’t been having sex, before berating his colleagues and saying how he had dressed as an old character called Spiderman to seduce his supervisor.” Valdez said. Bob finally couldn’t hold it back.”Permission to snigger, sir?” Bob asked.”Denied.” Valdez replied angrily.”May have to snigger anyway, sir.” Bob replied. He and Bill bowed their heads, sniggering softly. Valdez ignored them.”Do either of you have anything to say?” Valdez asked.”Just that he’s a smarmy git, sir.” Bill replied.”Stow it. You’re lucky he isn’t pressing charges. But for your insolence, the refreshers need cleaning. Unfortunately, Lt. Anderson tells me that five decks worth of lavatory cleaning systems aren’t working, so you’re going to clean every lavatory by hand. And I’d better not hear anything else of this, or any other practical joke. Next time, I’ll be going straight to the Commodore.” Valdez replied. “Now get out.”*****”Oh, come on, you can’t tell me he didn’t deserve it” Bill replied.

“Of course he deserved it, but you should have covered your tracks better!” Bob pointed out.

“Fine, next time you can do the reprogramming,” Bill said. Bob smiled.

“Next time?” Bob asked. Bill laughed.

“Bob, you know there’s going to be a next time,” Bill pointed out. As much as Bob wanted to object, Bill was right. With the two of them together, there was always a next time.



(Bill and Bob, as played by Lt. Erica Anderson)


  • Wow, this reminds me so much of the prank I had played in a story because that's who the character was. He decided to reprogram the view screen on the bridge in dry dock to reflect the feelings he had for one of the bridge crew. Of course it was hilarious in his mind, but the Captain didn't find it too funny and the character got demoted and disciplined. Thanks for the reminder of that story and the humor put into a serious situation.

    April 8, 2022