Blackadder of Starfleet
Blackadder: Bureau of Starfleet Personnel
(As names fade in and out across the bottom of the screen, a starship with the classic design of most Starfleet vessels appears in the distance and approaches swiftly. At closest point of approach, it turns back to the stars, and a small object falls from it. It screams down through the atmosphere. The camera turns and sees Commander Blackadder narrowly escape the crash of the cargo pod to the surface. He shakes a fist at the sky, then kicks the pod. It falls open to reveal an object. Each episode has a different object, which is at least slightly relevant to the plot.)
(Pod Contents: a bag of gold-pressed latinum strips)
(Blackadder behind his desk in his office, Starfleet uniform of a Commander, Baldrick beside a table heavily laden with writing pads in the corner, dressed as a Chief Petty Officer)
BLACKADDER: Chief Baldrick?
BALDRICK: Yes, sir?
BLACKADDER: About this database of personnel about to graduate from the Academy…?
BALDRICK: Yes, Mr. Blackadder, I thought it would be convenient to you to have the whole graduatin’ class’ vital statistics readily available.
BLACKADDER: Except you didn’t say ‘convenient’ in your cover letter, Balders, you indicate the purpose of compiling this collection of trivia as being for my ‘connivance.’
BLACKADDER: Oh, nothing, just the intimation that somehow, someway, I’ve entered into a form of conspiracy with 3000 Shiny New Ensigns might not reflect well on my next evaluation.
BALDRICK: But you write your own evaluations, sir.
BLACKADDER: I said ‘might.’ Still, Chief, it’s an amazing bit of work, really.
BALDRICK: Really, sir?
BLACKADDER: Yes, considering the sophistication of modern word processors, the sheer fact of so-called-by-our-forefathers ‘typos’ humbles the enlightened mind, while the overwhelming number of them would drive a Vulcan to swearing, probably in French. Quite the achievement, Baldrick.
BALDRICK: Thank you, sir. So, do you want the database or not?
BLACKADDER: (tosses the reading pad to Baldrick’s table) All I need, Baldrick, is the list of names, class standing at graduation, and whether or not any of them have relatives currently serving in a space-going billet.
BALDRICK: Why do you need to know that, sir?
BLACKADDER: If I can match someone with a sister or brother, who can tell tales about who they used to date and what their nickname was way back when, little nostalgic tidbits such as the age at which they stopped wearing diapers and mastered ‘big boy underwear,’(sigh) In short, Baldrick, I cannot pass up the chance, if it is available to me, to make yet another pair of sentient beings miserable. Why should I have all the fun?
(Lt. Percy walks briskly into the office)
PERCY: Commander Blackadder! Admiral Melchett wants to speak with you! He’s very cross!
BLACKADDER: You mean a Jewish religious activist has been nailed to him?
PERCY: No, sir, I mean he wants to see the manning list for the new Sovereign class ship being assembled at Utopia Planetia, and he wants to see it urgently!
BLACKADDER: Baldrick, have you got that list of mine?
BALDRICK: “People in Starfleet that can kiss my shiny white…”
BLACKADDER: No, the smaller list.
BLACKADDER: “People in Starfleet that I owe a favor to.”
BLACKADDER: No, the bigger list.
BALDRICK: “People in Starfleet that I will repay the favor I owe them…”
BLACKADDER: Is there anyone on that list?
BALDRICK: Uh…not as such, sir. No.
BLACKADDER: Then I probably don’t mean that list, do I? Where’s that list of all the people I’ve assigned?
BALDRICK: The one’s that are happy?
BLACKADDER: Is there anyone on that list?
BALDRICK: Uh…not as such, sir. No. You want the list of one’s that complained that they’re in a horribly inappropriate billet and are a standing detriment to their ship, their squadron, and Starfleet in general?
BLACKADDER: How many people are on that list?
BLACKADDER: And how many people serve on a Sovereign class ship?
BLACKADDER: Perfect! Give me a copy of that list, Baldrick, and tell the computer to burn some transfer orders for every malcontent. We’ll call it ‘initial manning.’
PERCY: What about the remaining 139?
BLACKADDER: Baldrick, take the bottom 140 cadets off the graduation list and send them to the yards as well.
PERCY: Why the bottom, Edmund, and not the top?
BLACKADDER: Because I’m saving them for something else. At least a few of those 735 will leave a commanding officer complaining about losing a crew member, no matter how useless. They’ll consider it their due if they receive a replacement that I can say ‘was at, or near, the top of their class at the Academy.’ (he stands) And if there is no further business, I’ve got an appointment with Dr. Tee and Nurse Green at St. Andrews. (he walks out)
(Melchett’s Office: Melchett behind his desk, a rather dapper gentleman seated beside it, Blackadder walks in)
BLACKADDER: You wanted to see me, sir?
MELCHETT: Ah, Commander, do come in. Excellent work on the Persistent, Mr. Blackadder.
BLACKADDER: The Persistent, Admiral?
MELCHETT: The latest Sovereign class ship, Edmund, the one you so meticulously manned.
BLACKADDER: Ah! Yes. Well, the hull names never matter much to me, it’s the billets, you see.
MELCHETT: Yes, yes, and such a widely experienced crew you managed to find. Should be very exciting to see them bring her out of the yards next year.
BLACKADDER: Yes, sir. Very exciting.
MELCHETT: You’re probably wondering why I called you here. This is Ambassador Lukens. He’s been ‘our man’ at Ferrenghal for a few years. (At the word ‘Ferrenghal’ Blackadder tries to suppress a marked reaction of surprise).
LUKENS: Hello, Commander Blackadder. I’ve been wanting to see you for quite some time.
BLACKADDER: (Very agitated)Oh…Really?
LUKENS: It’s about those people you’ve been assigning to the Embassy.
BLACKADDER: Well, sir, I can explain…
LUKENS: No need, son! Just keep up the good work!
BLACKADDER: (relaxes visibly) Um…………What?
LUKENS: Ever since we established that Embassy, it’s been impossible to get any work done. Since Starfleet personnel won’t accept bribes, and Ferrengi never really trust a diplomat that doesn’t have a price list for services, no one stops trying to change the other and attend to diplomacy. All the accusations of graft and counteraccusations of honesty… it was horrible. Each side looked down on the other as having no moral stature.
BLACKADDER: Did they?
LUKENS: Well, all the people you’ve been assigning to us have gotten along swimmingly with the locals.
LUKENS: My Starfleet Attaché, one Captain Bellows, has in fact let it be known that it is Starfleet Custom for him to handle all bribes for my office, leaving me to concentrate on diplomatic matters entirely.
BLACKADDER: So, you are aware of the bribes?
LUKENS: Yes, Bellows convinced me that the Prime Directive would prevent us from actually trying to force a change in their system of government, and the careful redistribution of wealth is integral to their self-image.
BLACKADDER: And you are aware that Starfleet personnel are taking bribes?
LUKENS: Only to get along with the native species, Commander. All funds received are plowed back into programs to enlighten the Ferrengi about the lives and values of others, from across the Federation.
BLACKADDER: And that doesn’t violate the Prime Directive?
LUKENS: Making information available to a warp-capable culture is a far cry from forcing them to change or refusing to participate with them on a government-to-government basis.
BLACKADDER: Ah. Of course.
MELCHETT: Anyway, Blackadder, we need your expertise once more.
LUKENS: Yes, I’m retiring from the Diplomatic Corps, and I’ll be needing a replacement.
BLACKADDER: Well, surely the Corps provides your replacement, sir?
LUKENS: Usually. But it’s been agreed that Ferrenghal is a unique posting. It’s more essential that the embassy get along with our space-neighbors than that the billet be filled with a professional diplomat. So, if Starfleet or Starfleet Intelligence can provide a candidate that’s ideally suited, they’ll be given a leave of absence from the Fleet for the duration of their posting to Ferrenghal.
BLACKADDER: A leave of absence?
MELCHETT: They’ll be basically a civilian for all purposes, with rank restored to them when they return in, oh, four or five years.
BLACKADDER: (almost visibly salivating) Yes, well, of course, if I were to find a proper candidate, they might worry that they’ll miss a chance at promotion while on leave…
MELCHETT: Oh, assure them that we’ll just promote them upon their return to even things up.
BLACKADDER: Alrighty, then (stands) I’ll go put my best man on the task, right away. (Briskly leaves the office)
BLACKADDER: Baldrick, Perce, I’ve got the chance of a lifetime at hand, and if either one of you screw it up for me, I’ll make you wish you’d been captured by Romulan military action on a Klingon world, and that the diplomatic solution involved you being tortured at the hands of the Romulans and the Klingons on an alternating basis, with a guest Cardassian psychopath in for holidays and leap years.
BALDRICK: But Mr. Blackadder…there hasn’t been a Romulan action on Klingon territory for 30 years.
BLACKADDER: Right. 30 years of torture would be more appealing than pissing me off right now. Got it? Now. There’s a crisis on Ferrenghal. There’s money to be made and I’m not making it.
PERCY: Don’t you get a percentage of what Bellows’ and his crew have been taking in since you posted them there?
BLACKADDER: Yes, a percentage. ‘Per cent’ from the Latin meaning ‘nowhere nearly enough.’
PERCY: What do you mean ‘enough,’ Edmund? Earth Government and the Federation make sure you have everything you need. After the Basic Needs Initiative of ’86, money’s only been sort of scoring system for anyone who cares.
BLACKADDER: Within the Federation, yes. But aliens outside of the Federation of Planets don’t always take Energy Stipend Allowances in trade, and no one at the Basic Needs Ministry feels that it’s an absolute necessity to have an Orion Slave Girl in twice a week for low-gravity dancing demonstrations and zero-gravity erotic aerobics research. No, I have to get there. HAVE to. Baldrick, find me the part of the Diplomatic Corps Manual of Administration that covers the position of Ambassador to an alien planet that’s not currently a member of the Federation.
(Baldrick picks up a computer pad and bends over it)
PERCY: So, you really want this posting, Commander.
BLACKADDER: Percy, this is an opportunity for wealth that is beyond the dreams of avarice. The Ferrengi consider a merchant ‘well to do’ if he owns his own craft that’s warp capable. The nouveau riche are those that own an entire orbital body, and the extremely wealthy families play Star Monopoly with real planets. But Starfleet goodniks have lulled them into a pleasant feeling of superiority over us ‘oomans’ that I can use to my advantage. I’m telling you, Perce, I’m going to teach the Ferrengi what being a Ferrengi is.
PERCY: You could end up with your face stamped on one of their coins.
BLACKADDER: Only if I get a piece of the action when something’s bought with it.
BALDRICK: ‘Ere it is, sir.
BLACKADDER: Right. Now, I have to make sure my service record is ‘ideally suited’ to this position.
PERCY: What if it isn’t, though?
BLACKADDER: I said ‘have to make sure.’ What part of ‘willing to hack into the system’ did you not understand? Now get out, both of you. I have some clever forgeries to make.
(some time later, Blackadder leans back from his desk)
BLACKADDER: Well. Rather an impressive bit of work, if I do say so myself.
VOICE: A bit too impressive, perhaps.
BLACKADDER: I suppose it’s too much to hope that the disembodied voice remains disembodied, is it?
(Captain Flasheart fades in from invisibility standing beside Blackadder’s desk)
FLASHEART: Flasheart! Starfleet Intelligence!
BLACKADDER: Oh, alright. Mine would be ‘Alien Natives.’
FLASHEART: Huh? What are you blathering about, SlackBladder? (Flasheart kicks Baldrick’s seat, which spins and bounces off the wall, coming back to stop perfectly under him as he sits down without looking)
BLACKADDER: Aren’t we trading our favorite oxymorons?
FLASHEART: No, HAH! I’m identifying myself.
BLACKADDER: Oh, just favorite morons, then.
FLASHEART: Just came by to save you some time, Bladders, I’m the SI candidate for the Ferrengi Embassy. Figure you shouldn’t get any Fleet jobby’s hopes up before the decision’s been made. Because it already has. (Flash leaps up, bends over, and farts noisily) Catch that, paint a Starfleet Registry on it, and you can be my administrative assistant. (Flops back into the chair)
BLACKADDER: Is Intelligence trying to get rid of you for being too non-descript?
FLASHEART: Sheer jealousy, mate. You’re impressed by me, and the ambassador will be, too.
BLACKADDER: No, really, aren’t spies supposed to blend into the background?
FLASHEART: Spies are, but I’m Counter Intelligence.
BLACKADDER: Truer words were never spoken. Is that over-the-counter or bargain-counter?
FLASHEART: Listen, mate, the Far-In-Geese need to learn how the game’s played, Starfleet style. They want to play ball with us, they need to come on board with the winning team. Get into the scrumble, as it were, and field our passes. They can’t be playing on whichever team offers the most shiny bits.
BLACKADDER: Do you think we could dispense with the hilarious sports metaphor for a moment? Why do you need to be the ambassador? I should think being tied to one post would be terribly boring for you?
FLASHEART: On a planet that makes all the women go about naked? A year after I’m there, not only will most of the graduating class of ‘53 be named after me, but the men will be pleading with their wives to wear clothes.
BLACKADDER: You really find Ferrengi women attractive?
FLASHEART: I don’t need to find them attractive, I just need to find them in the dark! WOOF! WOOF! Won’t be the first time sex was a force for civilized behavior.
BLACKADDER: Well, this has been pleasant, but I have a prior engagement to have Romulan Ale poured into my hair and set alight. So if you’ll excuse me…
FLASHEART: Alright, all joking aside, Bladdy, the Ferrengeese have to be brought to heel. And I’m just the man to do it. So stay outta my way, and you won’t get hurt. (He fades out.)
(Blackadder waves a hand in the direction of the empty seat. Then he picks up a stylus and tosses it towards the seat.)
VOICE: HAH! I moved.
(Blackadder spins and wings a reading pad towards the voice at just below waist high. The voice squawks and there is a sound of a tumble)
BLACKADDER: And then you told me where you’d moved to. It’s that Anti-intelligence all over again. (he walks out)
(Flasheart fades in, curled on the floor holding his jollies)
FLASHEART: Aha! A worthy foe. Once I can walk again, I’m going to enjoy this. Wooooof…..
(In a Federation drinking establishment, the standard alien types mingle freely. Blackadder sits at the bar. Lt. Cdr. George Colhurst St. Barleigh takes a seat next to him. Neither look at each other.)
BLACKADDER: So, George, hows spying?
GEORGE: Tip-tops, Blackadder. Spiffy.
BLACKADDER: Have any curvy aliens, buxom and beautiful by human standards despite an off-planet evolutionary ancestry that makes them farther from Miss September than a banana slug, fallen into your lap, sparking an adventure full of sex, phaser-blasts, evil plots and intrigue, pretty much in that order?
GEORGE: No, but I have asked for a transfer to Deep Space 6. What do you need, Commander?
BLACKADDER: I’m supposed to find a Starfleet officer that can take the reins at the Federation Embassy to the Ferrengi. But His Royal Dunderhead Captain Flasheart tells me that he’s the Chosen One. What’s SI’s interest in Ferrenghal?
GEORGE: Gosh, Blackadder, no one’s told you?
BLACKADDER: Well, of course they have, George, but I’m seeking confirmation.
GEORGE: Of the plan to spark an incident in their Capital, bring about a short, decisive conflict, proving the superiority of Federation ideology and eventually converting the Ferrengi to something more civilized by our standards? That plot?
BLACKADDER: Unless there’s another one involving the Embassy, SI and Captain Flash-ass?
GEORGE: Gosh, no, sir, I can’t think of any.
BLACKADDER: Alright, then. That must be it. Is this official Starfleet policy, or something the sub-rosa boys have dreamed up in the name of Manifest Destiny?
GEORGE: It’ll start as an Intelligence operation, as it is, but naturally in due course the brilliance and correctness of the plot will become apparent.
BLACKADDER: So Flash is going to sexually harrass an entire planet into picking a fight with us, and the might of six thousand planets, colonies and space stations will descend on the miserable blighters to convince them to shape up?
GEORGE: Pretty much. Although I rather thought he’d only have to harrass a few strategically chosen Ferrengi, not the whole planet.
BLACKADDER: Flash strikes me as someone who’d cheerfully rape the entire race, figuring that on average he’d gotten a female, and hope at least one of them has the authority to react the way he wants them to.
GEORGE: Well, everyone in the office says he’s ideal for the job.
BLACKADDER: Great. Twenty years in uniform, and the first time I come across a decent conspiracy, I have to foil it.
GEORGE: Foil it, sir? Whatever for?
BLACKADDER: It violates Starfleet policy, George, and the very ideals of the Federation. It’s putting the lives of untold thousands of Ferrengi and Starfleet personnel in the hands of the man who brought sexual harrassment into the 24th century. But most important, because they close embassies during war, George, and after war the embassies are immensely important and kept under close scrutiny. That means that Flash and his plot stand between me and a position where the wages of sin are heaps and heaps of slightly smelly cash. That’s what for, Commander. Thank you for your help.
GEORGE: My pleasure, sir. And good luck.
BLACKADDER: And George…
BLACKADDER: For what it’s worth, Deep Space 6 is where they are trying to establish communication with great big living clouds of plasma that roam the spaceways across the light years and down the millenia. The only reason an SI agent is stationed there is that if they start talking, they might mention a few years worth of sensitive information about starship operations. Then the agent will declare them a security risk, and bung them into a mason jar in the interests of interstellar security. You want an odd-numbered DS, George. Seven, or Nine, one of those.
GEORGE: Yes, sir. Thank you, sir.
(Blackadder’s office, Blackadder, Percy and Baldrick attending:)
BLACKADDER: So, there’s three things I need to do in order to be the next ambassador to Ferrenghal. I need to discredit Flasheart in the eyes of the Diplomatic Corps, I need to inflate my credit in the eyes of the Diplomatic Corps, and last (leans forward), and most importantly (Percy & Baldrick lean towards him, Blackadder starts whispering) the one thing with the greatest impact
(In a very small room, Flasheart leans close to a speaker from which Blackadder's voice issues clearly)
BLACKADDER: on the future of the Federation…
BLACKADDER: …something critical to (Blackadder pulls out an air-horn, moves it close to the wastebasket next to his desk, and blasts the basket)
(In a hallway, Flasheart bursts out of a door, holding both ears, screaming. Behind him, the amplified BLAAT is shaking the bulkheads)
BLACKADDER: (leans back in satisfaction) Did anyone hear a distant scream?
PERCY: (rubbing his ears) Over that? You must be kidding?
BALDRICK: You must have imagined it, sir.
BLACKADDER: Well, maybe. Anyway, gentlemen, what’s the worst thing you can do to a Starfleet Intelligence Officer?
BALDRICK: Transfer him to an Embassy?
PERCY: Give him a desk job?
BLACKADDER: Seeing as how I have a desk job and want to transfer to an Embassy, is there any reason I shouldn’t take those suggestions as insults?
BALDRICK: Because if you feel insulted, you won’t talk to us anymore.
BLACKADDER: Chief, if that were true, I’d have stopped speaking to you a year before we were introduced and 5 years after my death I’d still be doing my impression of Farkles the Non-talking Clown and his attempt to set the land speed record for the most boring mime act in history.
PERCY: Oh, I love mimes, Edmund. There’s a guy downtown who (fades at a look from Blackadder)…well, never mind.
BLACKADDER: No, gentlemen, for those that go among the shadows, what they fear is the Light. We are going to bring the actions of Captain Flasheart out where the Diplomatic Corps can see him for what he truly is.
PERCY: How are you going to do that, sir? If he’s an operative, his file is surely classified.
BLACKADDER: I won’t need his file.
BALDRICK: And you can’t forge his file, because he’d just produce his real one, or part of it, and prove you’re a liar.
BLACKADDER: People see what they expect to see. And when they don’t, they see what they’re told to see. Here’s how I envision it:
(Scene fades in a wavy manner indicating fantasy)
(Melchett’s Office: Melchett behind his desk, Lukens beside it. Melchett taps an intercom)
MELCHETT: Blackadder! Tell my gorgeous secretary to stop gratifying you sexually so we can have our meeting.
BLACKADDER: Yes, sir. Nearly done, sir. (walks in, carrying message pad, straightening tunic) I believe I have the perfect man for the job.
MELCHETT: Just a moment, Blackadder, there’s another side to be heard from.
(a blast blows a hole in the bulkhead, shrapnel flying, Flasheart bursts through, writes his name in the bulkhead with a phaser, then stands at attention)
FLASHEART: Captain Flasheart reporting as ordered, Admiral.
MELCHETT: (Dusting himself off) Excellent, excellent. Now, Commander Blackadder, you had a name selected?
BLACKADDER: Yes, sir. In point of fact, it’s Captain Flasheart, here. (Melchett, Lukens and Flasheart react with a visible start. A disheveled female from the outer office rushes in just to react with a visible start to the statement) He sent me a fascinating letter, denoting his experience and qualities, he just seemed the perfect choice. Here, sir. (Hands Melchett the reader)
MELCHETT: “Dear Commander Blackadder: I should be the ambassador. Never mind that guff in my service file, the things I’ve REALLY done for the Federation are…. (mumbles)… infiltrated…. destroyed… 40 tons of raw sewage into Low Earth Orbit?! That was YOU!?!
BLACKADDER: Oh, I’m sorry sir, that was the first version. I suggested (takes reader) a cleaned up draft that’s here somewhere…
FLASHEART: How the devil did you find out about that, Blackadder?!
MELCHETT: You rat bastard! My sister was on that space station! (takes out phaser and burns Flash to a grease spot on the floor.’) Well, Commander, I guess you need to find a replacement for the replacement.
BLACKADDER: Actually, sir, until I learned about Captain Flash, I’d rather come to the conclusion the most appropriate replacement would be…me.
MELCHETT: Excellent! Transfer approved. And why don’t we promote you now, instead of upon your return, so as to improve your seniority standings?
BLACKADDER: And Captains still get paid during leaves of absence, don’t they, unlike Commanders?
MELCHETT: Ah! I’d forgotten that. How lucky for you.
(Scene fades back from fantasy to Blackadder’s office)
PERCY: Sounds reasonable, Commander.
BLACKADDER: Yes. I need the letter of a few wretched things he’s guilty of to blow him out of the water, and a backup letter singing his praises that makes me look like I really was backing his play except for an innocent mistake.
BALDRICK: But how will you get the details of something he’s guilty of but that’s been swept under the rug by SI?
MELCHETT: Miss Esmerelda Maria Escalosa.
MELCHETT: Miss Esmerelda Maria Escalosa. She’s the senior records assistant for Starfleet Intelligence Personnel Office. What she doesn’t know about the doings of SI you’d have to ask Q to tell you. (At the mention of Q everyone freezes and scans back and forth with their eyes to see if mentioning… Him… causes Him to appear. After a moment, they relax) Yes, if there’s any torpedo in Flash’s past, she’ll know how to arm it.
BALDRICK: But why would she tell you?
BLACKADDER: Miss Escalosa is both the largest and the best guarded security leak on Earth. She is incapable of keeping a secret from anyone that sleeps with her.
PERCY: Then why do they keep her in a sensitive position?
BLACKADDER: Because even on the days that she shaves, she looks like a Klingon beaten half to death with an Ugly stick culled from the largest Ugly tree on planet Uglia II.
PERCY: So, Edmund, you’re going to have your way with her, exploiting her vulnerabilities then casting her aside like particularly loathsome flotsam.
PERCY: I’m sorry?
BLACKADDER: Flotsam is something you recover from someone else’s tragedy. Jetsam is something you throw over the side to prevent tragedy.
PERCY: Oh. Well, loathsome jetsam, then.
BLACKADDER: You’re quite right, Percy. Horrible cad and bounder that I am, I’m not at all concerned about the after effect of a night of passion with Miss Medusa Escalosa. And there’s two reasons for that.
BALDRICK: What a’ those reasons, Mr. Blackadder?
BLACKADDER: First, sacrifices are often required for the good of man, the safety of the Federation, and my personal profit. I’m sure somewhere in there is something the woman would find appealing enough to give her all in it’s name…if she only knew it existed.
PERCY: And what’s the second reason?
BLACKADDER: I’m not going to be having ‘my’ way with her.
(The view is of a closeup of the door to someone’s personal quarters, from the inside. A doorchime is heard. The door opens. We see Percy, dressed as an Andorian Chippendales Dancer, (lots of blue skin and antennae) holding a very large bottle of wine and a data reader. )
PERCY: Esmer….Esmerelda? Someone said that we could maybe do each other a favor? I have some questions-
(long arms yank Percy into the compartment, behind the camera. The door shuts on the sounds of kissing and tearing of clothing. Hallway passersby stare in shock until the door shuts)
PERCY: Or we could just hold each other and – EEEK!
(Blackadder’s office. In his finest dress uniform, Blackadder paces back and forth, carrying a reader)
BALDRICK: Sickbay called, sir, Percy’s responding to treatment.
BLACKADDER: Oh, has he come out from under the bed?
BALDRICK: No, sir, but he stopped biting the orderlies.
BLACKADDER: Whatever. At least the recording was recovered.
VOICE: Commander Blackadder, report to Admiral Melchett’s office.
BLACKADDER: This is it, Baldrick. Wish me well.
BALDRICK: I wish you were well, sir.
(Melchett’s Office: Melchett behind his desk, Lukens beside it. Blackadder walks in, carrying message pad, straightening tunic)
BLACKADDER: I believe I have the perfect man for the job, sir.
MELCHETT: Just a moment, Blackadder, there’s another side to be heard from.
(Flasheart enters, through the door, in a dress uniform. No phaser-play.)
FLASHEART: Captain Flasheart reporting as ordered, Admiral.
MELCHETT: Excellent, excellent. Now, Commander Blackadder, you had a name selected?
BLACKADDER: Yes, sir.
LUKENS: Before you begin, Commander, I feel there’s something you should know. Whoever takes the position will be needing a complete new staff, as well.
BLACKADDER: New staff, sir?
LUKENS: Yes. On the advice of an anonymous tip, we contacted the Ferrengi government on the subject of bribes.
BLACKADDER: You said you knew about the bribes, sir.
LUKENS: Yes, but not in detail. Turns out the Ferrengi have been keeping precise records of the funds they’ve been giving our personnel, which turn out to be far more than what they’ve been reporting.
BLACKADDER: (glances at grinning Flash) Anonymous tip, eh?
LUKENS: The men at the embassy have been embezzling a huge amount of latinum out of the system, Blackadder. They’re all being processed into a penal colony until their debt to society is paid.
BLACKADDER: Any idea…um, that is… are the funds being recovered?
MELCHETT: Oh, who cares about the money, Blackadder. This is a serious spot on the record of Starfleet! I want you to be very careful about who you send to that embassy in the future, Commander. Lots of Vulcans, see? Morally straight and humorless.
BLACKADDER: How about some telepaths, to make sure this sort of mistake never occurs again or slips our notice?
MELCHETT: Perfect! It’s just that sort of thinking that makes you so valuable here, Blackadder. Now, who was it you were going to suggest for the post of Ambassador?
BLACKADDER: (taps a bit on the data reader) In point of fact, it’s Captain Flasheart, here. (Flasheart reacts with a visible start) He sent me a fascinating letter, denoting his experience and qualities, he just seemed the perfect choice. Here, sir. (Hands Melchett the reader)
MELCHETT: “Dear Commander Blackadder: I should be the ambassador. A lot of my finer moments in the service are too classified for my file, but let me tell you some of the things I’ve done for the Federation ….(mumbles)… infiltrated…. restored… replanted… negotiated… repatriated…” Gosh darn it, Blackadder, you’re right. He is the perfect choice.
FLASHEART: What? Me? On Ferrenghal? With Vulcans? And mind readers?
MELCHETT: Well, since SI and Fleet both recommend you for the post, we could probably put you there for TEN years. I can’t tell you how much the Federation is depending on us for this, Captain. We’ll all be watching you very closely. Congratulations.
(Blackadder departs as Flash sputters)
(Roll credits, end song:)
Explorers scattered through the stars,
Defenders of our many planets,
They send manning requests to Mars,
The Commander tells them they can can it.
Black Adder! Black Adder!
He rose up through the ranks,
Black Adder! Black Adder!
He's something of a crank.
And now the filling of his purse,
Is his very own Prime Directive,
While others save us from the worst,
He tends to hurl us vile invective.
Black Adder! Black Adder!
With many a cunning plan,
Black Adder! Black Adder!
You horrid little man!
Cap Flasheart! Cap Flasheart!
I wish you were the star!
Cap Flasheart! Cap Flasheart!
The bravest man by faaaaaaaaarr....
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