Star Trek: The VCR

Stardate 12:00

Captain Kirk: Captains log, stardate
7412.6… hello? The red light still isnt going on. Testing, 1-2-3-4.
Chekov, its not recording.
Chekov: I know, Keptin. Perhaps a negative
function with the clock-timer.
Uhura: Captain, Im getting indications of a
Klingon presence.
Kirk: Mr. Spock?
Spock: I confirm at least six Imperial Klingon
warships, Captain, and heading toward our position at Warp 7.
Kirk: No, the Captains log. Why wont it record?
Spock: Might I suggest, Captain, that we first
remove ourselves to a more secure sector and then address the matter
of your log? That would be the…logical approach.
Kirk: Theres nothing logical about this
instruction manual. Chekov?
Chekov: Keptin?
Kirk: Try this. With the Rec-On day flashing,
press the 5 key.
Chekov: I did already, Keptin. Still negative function.
Sulu: Captain, Im having difficulty holding course.
Kirk: Shut down engines. Chekov, Press the number
for the day. For Sunday, press the 1 key, for Monday, the 2 key, and
so on.
Chekov: Affirmative, Keptin. Still negative
function. Perhaps ve should go back to page 15, vere it said to press
Rec-Off time and enter two digits for the hour.
Spock: Captain, the Klingons are arming their
photon torpedoes.
Kirk: Engineering.
Scotty: Aye, Captain?
Kirk: Mr. Scott, weve got a malfunction in the
log. Were going to need full deflector power while we get it fixed.
Scotty: I canna guarantee it, Captain. The systems
are overloaded as it is.
Chekov: Keptin, the flashing 12:00 disappeared!
Kirk: Good work, Chekov!
Chekov: Den it came right back.
Kirk: Damn it. Analysis, Mr. Spock.
Spock: It would appear, Captain, that this
instruction manual that you and Mr.Chekov have been attempting to
decipher was written in Taiwan.
Kirk: Taiwan?
Spock: A small island in the Pacific Rim Sector,
formerly inhabited by a determined people who believed that the
adductor muscles in giant clams, Tridacna gigas, conferred sexual
potency. In the later twentieth century, they became purveyors of
early video equipment to what was then the United States. They were
able to successfully emasculate the entire U.S. male population by
means of impenetrable instruction manuals. It was this that
eventually led to the Great Conflict.
Kirk: But this is 7412.6. How did a Taiwanese
instruction manual get aboard the Enterprise?
Spock: It is possible that a Taiwanese computer
virus was able to infiltrate Star Fleet Instruction Manual Command and
subtly alter the books so that not even university-trained humans
could understand them.
Kirk: Its diabolical.
Spock: On the contrary, it is perfectly
logical. Their strategy was based on an ancient form of Oriental
persuasion known as water torture. In this case, instead of water a
digital rendering of the hour of twelve oclock is flashed repeatedly
and will not disappear until the unit is correctly programmed.
Kirk: And for that you need a manual you can understand.
Spock: Precisely. Unless…
Kirk: Spit it out, Spock.
Spock: You have Star Log Plus. A small device that
permitted the Americans to bypass the instruction manuals and program
their units so that they would not end up with six hours of electronic
snow instead of Masterpiece Theater or, more likely, American
Kirk: Could you make one these things, Spock?
Spock: It would take more than the one minute and
twenty seconds that we have until we are within range of Klingon
Dr. McCoy: Jim, you know I hate to agree with
Spock, but hes right. Weve got to get out of here. There are
hundreds of people on this ship, young people, with homes and families
and futures, and pets– little hamsters on treadmills, Jim. You cant
sacrifice them just because you cant figure out how to program your
damn log!
Kirk: I know my responsibilities, Bones. Spock,
would it be possible to beam the flashing 12:00 into the Klingons
control panel?
Spock: Theoretically, yes.
Kirk: Do it.
Uhura: Captain, Im picking up a Klingon transmission.
Kirk: Put it on screen.
Klingons: QIyaH, majegh!
Kirk: Translation, Spock.
Spock: It appears to have worked, Captain. They
are surrendering.
Kirk: Take us home, Mr. Sulu. Mr. Chekov, try
pressing the OTR button twice.

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