If I Were A Starfleet Captain

If I were a Starfleet captain, I would …
on Jul 20, 2016 · 15 comments

If I were a Starfleet captain, I would employ a strict policy of avoiding all unusual enterpriseand/or unexplained phenomena. Temporal rifts, subspace distortions, collapsing stars, expanding black holes, folds in space, a stitch in time – whenever one of these appears, I will order my crew to point the ship 180 degrees away from it and depart at a brisk speed of Warp 5. Due to forward-thinking actions such as this, I anticipate a longer, happier life for myself and all my crew.

If I were a Starfleet captain, I would listen very carefully to any advice my first officer has to give. If I am ever wrong, he will be the one to tell me so.

If I were a Starfleet captain, I would turn the lights in Ten Forward all the way up. I would also replace unnaturally-colored drinks that appear to be foreign substances with ice cream sundaes. This would help to lift the gloomy atmosphere that too often pervades Ten Forward.

If I were a Starfleet captain, I would permanently shut down the holodeck. As I would explain to the crew, the holodeck encourages unhealthy inclinations, anti-social tendencies, denial, and extended unnecessary, pretentious scenes. Additionally, the holodeck will invariably go wrong, not to mention weird, and further encourage disconnection from reality. For the crew’s mental and physical well-being, the holodeck will be replaced by a gym, library, coffee shop, and chapel.

If I were a Starfleet captain, I would disassemble the self-destruct mechanism. There is no point.

If I were a Starfleet captain, I would not assure obviously hostile persons that I mean them no harm. For one thing, the fact that they are firing on my ship, menacing my officers with a weapon, or commandeering the ship’s computer indicates that they do not care. For another thing, if they do not very shortly cease to fire, menace, or commandeer, I will mean them harm.

If I were a Starfleet captain, I would install seat belts at every station on the bridge. I would also install seats for those officers who, for reasons undisclosed, always have to stand up. Their jobs are perfectly sedentary in nature and will, from a sitting position, be performed with equal efficiency, greater happiness, and (due to the new seat belts) increased safety.

If I were a Starfleet captain, I would launch an inquiry into what, exactly, replicator food is and where it comes from. Nothing just appears out of nowhere.

If I were a Starfleet captain, and my ship unexpectedly crossed paths with eccentric scientists, superficially harmless wanderers, or mysterious aliens traveling alone, I would immediately order them clapped into the brig and their crafts impounded. They get you every time.

If I were a Starfleet captain, I would memorize the Prime Directive so that I can quote it just before disregarding it.

If I were a Starfleet captain, I would memorize the following words and phrases: “Red alert;” “Divert power to the shields;” “Compensate;” “Evasive maneuvers pattern [random letter of the Greek alphabet];” “Damage report;” “Launch the torpedoes;” “Fire;” and “Retreat.” This would prepare me to meet any battle situation.

If I were a Starfleet captain, I would ban the color red from all uniforms save those worn by the most senior officers. In a related initiative, I would make it a policy to send only prominent deck officers into dangerous or mysterious off-ship situations. They always come back.

If I were a Starfleet captain, and any member of my crew began to exhibit classic and incontrovertible signs of insanity, I would immediately consider that he is suffering some disease unknown to medical science, that he is being tampered with by an alien, that he is an alien, that he recently arrived from another time-space continuum. I will continue to consider all these things even in the face of a total lack of physical, statistical, and anecdotal evidence. Finally, I will even consider that he is actually insane, just in case they try to trick us.

If I were a Starfleet captain, I would lead the safest, happiest, most well-adjusted crew in Starfleet.

Shannon McDermott is an author of science fiction and has been occupied for years with constructing scenarios of the colonization of Mars. Her first Mars-centric novel will be released by Enclave Publishing in late 2024. Her earlier works include “Jack and I” (Once Upon a Future Time: Volume 2) and “The Fulcrum” (Hidden Histories: Third Flatiron Anthologies Spring/Summer 2019).
  1. Sparksofember says:

    If I were a starfleet captain,
    Ya ba dibba dibba dibba dibba dibba dibba dum.
    All day long I’d biddy biddy bum.
    If I were a starfleet captain!

    I don’t know – they may be the safest crew but they also might be the most bored. 😉

  2. Steve says:

    Ssooo… kinda like the far distant future version of the Love Boat then, huh?

  3. Hahah!! Love it! I’d only add to the list of memorized phrases: Warp 8, engage!

    When the original Star Trek went through an early re-run, I was so over it because in every episode, the people on the bridge had to hang on as they shook violently or shifted or wobbled.More often than not, it seemed, someone ended up on the floor. Seat belts would have taken care of the problem beautifully. Hahah! And the observation of those standing for no apparent reason. Another good one!

    This was a lot of fun, Shannon.


    • Thanks, Becky! I’ve never gotten over the lack of seat belts on all these ships. You’d think that, with all their technological brilliance, someone would have thought of that.

      • A TV network called H&I is doing a re-run of all the Star Trek shows, from first episode on. They started last night, and I couldn’t help but think from time to time, “See? Seat belts!!” HA!


  4. Love this! I think the holodeck could definitely be replaced by a coffee shop, gym, library, and community center.

    • Tamra Wilson says:

      Add a Klingon-proof dojo next to the gym and you’d be all set. No live weapons allowed of course.

  5. Lisa says:

    Nooooo!! You can’t get rid of the holodeck!!! But if I were a Starfleet Captain, I would not allow anyone under 18 on the bridge. Even if they were a genius who could solve every single problem you encounter….nope.

  6. Meagan says:

    Keep the holodeck – it could be your gym, training facility, etc without having to put in extra space for those rooms (and it could be scheduled for certain times of the day so everyone knows when to make use of said space)

    And it isn’t “Fire” it is “Fire at Will” just be sure your first officer isn’t named Will in case someone misunderstood your command 🙁

  7. Tamra Wilson says:

    If I were a Starfleet captain I would attach an emergency beacon and small taser on all female officer’s uniforms. Use the taser, set off beacon, help on the way within seconds. No more getting trapped with creepy psychics and former dictators! I would also have said ladies take some form of martial art so they can do more than yell out for security. (Troi being the constant subject of kidnap/mental torture made me mad.)

What do you think?