cognitive hazard

Efficiency, thy name is Murgatroid

"Commander Khan, you may hand over the bridge to me. You are off duty until your next rotation." Khan, relieving Khan, was relieved to see Khan leave the bridge. Khan had clearly been there a couple of hours too long and needed a break.

mib_khan entered the bridge turbolift and stated as clearly as he could (given his state of exhaustion) "Deck Four". The turbolift doors closed, and so did Khan's eyes. The ride to Deck Four wasn't that far, but every second counted when it was a second of sleep he could have. He experienced a sensation of movement inside the lift, and then opened his eyes when he heard the doors open again. Looking out onto chaos, he rubbed his eyes, then blinked again. Nope, it didn't help. Everyone walking around Deck Four was upside down.

Someone walked past the turbolift door. Reaching out, Khan snagged the crewman's elbow and pulled him into the lift. The man did a flip in mid-air and landed right-side-up (per Khan's orientation), feet down on the turbolift floor. Khan sighed. This was clearly going to take more consciousness than he had to spare for the moment. He grabbed a hypospray and self-injected a short-acting sleep blocker. He gave it a second to take effect, then said, "Are you some kind of acrobat? What's going on out there?"

The crewman grinned. "Nope, but my Starfleet Academy alternate-g maneuvers are coming back to me pretty quickly. It's easy to get used to the change once you remember that we're in space. Why do all the decks have to be oriented the same way when you're in microgravity?"

Khan sighed again. "Crewman, you're making way too much sense. By definition, that means none of the crew's usual sots and imbiciles came up with whatever's going on. Was it ifix?" The crewman nodded. Khan dismissed the crewman, then slapped his combadge and ordered a point-to-point transport to the vicinity of Ifix. He was less sleepy, but no less exhausted, and he didn't want to have to climb or jump to the Chief Engineer.

The transporter system had either been programmed to orient him right-side up to Ifix or simply included protocols to reassemble transportees perpendicular to the local gravity gradient. Khan didn't care, but was satisfied that his brain wasn't further bent. The Chief Engineer looked up at Khan quizzically; he appeared to be stripping the gravity shielding off a gravstator at his desk in Engineering. A number of similarly-altered stators surrounded Ifix.

"Ifix, I was simply trying to go to bed. Please, for the love of all that's good and hallucinogenic, tell me why Deck 4 has been reassembled upside down?"

Ifix nodded. "Save energy. Improvements!" Khan slapped his forehead. This was going to take a while. Ifix sensed his commander's frustration and went over to a replicator. "Ifix sandwich demonstration display, open-face." He then ordered the same thing, closed face, and pulled a few green plastic soldiers off his desktop somewhere. The sandwiches were a layer of sauerkraut, swiss cheese, corned beef, Russian dressing and rye bread of the type colloquially called a 'Reuben'. Khan's mouth began to had been a long time since food, too.

Ifix pointed to the meat. "Gravstator". He pointed to the cheese, which was on top of the meat, melted and fragrant. "Grav shielding." He pointed to the sauerkraut. "Underdeck, above ceiling. He pointed at the bread on top of the sauerkraut, and said "Ceiling, lower-deck", and at the bread on the bottom of the sandwich, "Floor, upper deck." He then grabbed the sandwich and flipped it over. "Normal state on ship - floor, gravstator, gravshielding, underdeck, ceiling." He stuck a couple of plastic soldiers on the top (previously bottom) piece of bread, and handed the first sandwich to Khan. He then grabbed the open-face sandwich, peeled the cheese off of it (and tossed it behind him, where it stuck to a wall panel) and began to point again. "Gravstator" - at the meat. He added sauerkraut to both sides of the meat, and then stuck bread on both sides of the sauerkraut, mentioning "underdeck" and "floor" in relation to the two components. When he finished his masterpiece, Khan had finished the first Reuben. And the soldiers. He'd been hungry. Ifix stuck soldiers on both sides of the bread, oriented feet-down to the bread.

Khan licked his fingers, then said, "Okay, let me see if I got it. The purpose of the grav shielding on the underside of the grav stators is so that crewmen walking on Deck Four don't get stuck to the ceiling...the underside of Deck Three. The grav stators have to be machined precisely so that the field of the stator on the decks above and below don't interfere with each other, and that requires the shielding...which adds to the mass of the ship and also requires power." Ifix nodded. "So, if we skip the shielding, and simply walk around on unshelded stators, with floor on the tops and bottoms of the stators...?" Ifix nodded again.

Khan blinked. "How much power and mass are we saving, out of curiosity?" Ifix turned around, pulled the cheese off the display, cleaned it with an elbow, and tapped a few keys to bring up a graph. Khan's eyes widened. Ifix shrugged apologetically. "Only Decks 1 through 5 converted so far. More yet to save!" He tapped the display again, and the graph extended further through time, showing additional improvements.

Khan looked at Ifix. "Did you tell Captain Storvik about this, yet?" The engineer shook his head no. Khan tapped his combadge. "Khan to Storvik. Captain, I recommend you take a point-to-point transport to my location. And bring your appetite." Khan munched gently on a plastic soldier. They weren't too bad, once you added the Russian dressing.
  • Current Mood
    creative creative
Infinite Khans


A Khan walked into Sickbay. He blinked, and thought to himself, "Is this a joke?" There were four other Khans there, and no patients. They looked at him and said in unison, "Don't bother. Our schedules also say we're supposed to be here." The fifth Khan blinked again, and said, "I see you're ahead of me. Do we need five of us here?" The other four Khans shrugged, then shook their heads.

The doors opened, and a sixth Khan stepped in. "Sorry, my bad. I was rearranging the upcoming schedules and must have glitched it somehow. I'm here. Y'all are scheduled for Nine Backward." He stepped out of the way as the whooping Khans stampeded out of Sickbay and towards the holoturbolift.
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    giddy giddy
Infinite Khans

I remember doing the Time Warp

His Royal Multiplicity, King Khan of Khanworld, turned to his Prime Minister and smiled. All the Khans on Khanworld had received an update at the same time regarding the events that happened in the Apollo system, so there was no reason to talk. Prime Minister Khan passed the smile along to Security Minister Khan, who tapped a button, opening a door at the end of the royal hall. Stepping into the room was a female Vulcan, tsorvik. T'Sorvik was wearing a nonstandard Vulcan outfit, a jumpsuit with a fractal-geometry pattern on it that seemed to move over time, causing tearing from the eyes of anyone who stared at it long enough. T'Sorvik appeared to have reached maturity, which on a Vulcan meant anywhere from 25 to 85 standard years old.

T'Sorvik raised an eyebrow. "It is done?"

"As per our contract," replied King Khan, "You, your two parents and T'Vit have succeeded in taking the Ankh and have performed a slingshot maneuver around the Apollo star. You're the one with transtemporal future technology, so you can tell better than we as to whether or not the time-space continuum has achieved all the loops it is supposed to have regarding your own existence."

The pattern on T'Sorvik's jumpsuit flashed and changed, moving to a design somewhat reminiscent of a garb made from chain mail. Some of the loops met with larger numbers of their neighbors than others and seemed to swell or shrink on their own accord, which meant the outfit retained its eyestrain-causing capabilities. T'Sorvik nodded, and held out her hand, palm up. A Federation-standard data chip materialized on it, then wafted out of T'Sorvik's hand and into the waiting hand of the King. "Agreed. Here is your payment. If you put that information to good use, Khanworld should be free of economic concerns in the timespan we discussed."

Prime Minister Khan cleared his throat, and said, "It has been a pleasure doing business with you. I'm sure you'll let us know if we can be of additional assistance." T'Sorvik nodded, then smiled, and faded away. The smile was the last part of her to disappear.

A door opened, and Science Minister Khan stepped into the room. "Temporal anomalies resolved. T'Sorvik appears to be gone."

"Good," replied King Khan. "She may pay well, but her smile freaks me out." He tossed the chip to his Prime Minister and said, "Alright. Let's get to work."
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group intellect



Murgical Osshiffer Khan...pershonal germeral entree. Statush: drunk. Drunker?


Statush: floor. Drunkest!

  • Current Music
    ...tape runs out
Infinite Khans

(no subject)

The System Defense Boat First Khantact was in orbit over Khanworld. It was the flagship of Khanworld's fleet...well, the only ship they'd been able to afford with their somewhat irregular income. The marketing of potted meat from Khanworld had failed (it had been deemed to be in poor taste) and the microscopic payments from Federation Intelligence were rarely on time. Nevertheless, the Khans of Khanworld had thought that at least one System Defense Boat was a good thing to posess, and had made the purchase. There was a faint but calculable chance that the Vulcans might decide that they wanted to reclaim what resources had gone into the willy-nilly creation of several million Khans. Unlikely, but possible...the Vulcans had done stranger things, at least in the eyes of the Khans.

Captain Khan turned to his crew: First Mate Khan, Science Officer Khan, Medical Officer Khan, Engineer Khan, Communication Officer Khan, Weapons Officer Khan, and Conn Officer Khan. They regularly traded shifts, depending on who was awake. Khan cleared his throat, and said, "Well, I'm beat. Time for a little shut eye. Wake me if you need me." He thought briefly about putting on his chef's hat and firing up the galley, but decided that he was effectively already wearing enough hats, and sleep was the best course of action. He had made it as far as the turbolift when an alarm behind him went off. He turned and scanned the bridge, noticing that Conn Khan's console was the source of the cacophany.

"Well, what is it?" Conn Khan turned to look back at Captain Khan. Conn Khan was white as a sheet. The viewscreen changed, replacing the rolling surface of Khanworld with an image from the deep-space sensors. The shape was a cube. The image grew quickly, indicating rapid speed. As one, the Khans all hit the buttons on their tricorders, uploading their memories to the Khan collective Khansciousness.

Captain Khan turned to Communication Officer Khan and said, "Well, we can't defeat them. Anything we do here will be countered. Let's see if we can have a communication probe launched from the far side of the planet; perhaps it will survive long enough to let the Federation know what's happening to us. Once you've done that, open hailing frequencies. Maybe they'll talk." The image continued to loom on the viewscreen.

Communication Officer Khan tapped a control, and stated, "This is SDB First Khantact, to approaching ship. Acknowledge." There was a moment's silence, then a snicker. The snicker did not sound like a Khan, and a glance from CO Khan was enough to tell his fellow Khans that it came from over the comm channel. Conn Khan reduced the image to zero magnification. The cube was upon them.

The First Khantact was miniscule in comparison to the huge cube. The cube, strangely enough, began to rotate. The side that had been furthest away from the SDB faced to speak. The cube had an enormous humanoid face on it...two eyes, a nose and a mouth. The snickering over the comm system grew louder, and a colossal tongue dropped out of the cube's mouth and covered the First Khantact in saliva. All the Khans on board crapped their collective pants.

"It's the Boog! Run away!" Captain Khan's order was too late. The cube's mouth opened, swallowed the boat, and then let out a titanic belch. It was time to have the Khan the Boog. And in their first contact, the Boog had licked 'em...fair and square.
  • Current Music
Basic Khan

In the meantime

In their continuing effort to maintain a positive credit balance, a Khan arrived at Gorn outpost Gamma XII to become a "magician's assistant". After the airlock opened and Khan stepped out of his shuttle, a pair of Gorn picked Khan up and carried him off to his new boss.

Unsurprisingly, Khan's information had been incorrect. The magician was not human or another humanlike species. He was a Romulan, dressed in (of all things) a grey pinstriped suit with a red necktie. He was extremely tall for a Romulan, more than two full meters in height. The Romulan nodded at the Gorn, who placed Khan on his feet and left the room.

"I'm pleased to see're just in time. My last assistant left rather suddenly. I'm Trem. I perform prestidigitation, a human art which I have been demonstrating for several years at Gorn outposts. They're fascinated by what I's quite lucrative, although keeping in assistants is tough." Trem shrugged, indicating befuddlement.

Khan blinked. "Trem, I have no training in prestidigitation or magic. How am I to be of value to you?"

Trem smiled. It was not a pretty smile. "The Gorn themselves enjoy the show. They're not so much for participating, and they aren't capable of acting surprised. Their range of emotions is rather limited, and that makes for a dull show. I do have a Gorn partner, but he's out on stage right now. He's not much for conversation, so there's no point in introducing you to him prior to your joining the act."

Khan shrugged. "So, when's the next show?"

"In progress!" replied Trem. "Make yourself comfortable. I'll let you know when you're needed."

Khan sat down and fingered his tricorder. It was hard to not feel apprehensive. Gorn were one thing, but their outposts were usually forward sites for invasion fleets. That meant that the staff of the outposts tended to be especially agressive and unpleasant Gorn. His imagination was not good enough to guess why the lizardlike aliens were interested in magic.

Trem popped back into the room. He smiled again, even more widely than before. "We're ready. Come on out to the stage area; I'll call your name in a moment." Khan followed Trem.

From offstage, Khan could watch Trem working the crowd. Trem spoke Gorn, and Khan followed the hissing language through his universal translator. Trem informed the crowd that he and his partner (the translator pronounced the Gorn's name as "Killer", which did not quiet Khan's fears) were ready for the show's big finale. Trem then called for (in Gorn) "My lovely assistant, Khan!" Khan took that as his cue and stepped out on stage.

Killer was small by Gorn standards, and was actually shorter than Trem. He was, amazingly, dressed in a suit identical to Trem's. He was still taller than Khan, of course. Killer was wheeling out a coffinlike box. Trem opened the box, indicating that Khan should hop inside. His head stuck out of a hole in one end, and his feet out of the opposite end.

"And now that you've enjoyed Killer's trick of putting rabbits through a wood chipper, here's his final trick of the night: sawing a man in half!" With that, Trem slammed the lid closed on Khan, locking him in.

Khan looked up at Trem and Killer. Killer was silently hoisting one end of a two man saw. Khan sighed. He hated to be right, when it meant being right like this. "So, this is why your advertisement said 'no experience necessary', right?" Trem smirked, and slotted his end of the saw into the middle of the box. The two 'magicians' began to saw. Khan's hands, inside the box, felt around for his tricorder. He pressed the button that would synchronize his memories with the memories of the Khans on Khanworld, and then gave himself an enormous shot of narcotic painkillers. In a moment the saw would be going through his midsection, and he didn't need the other Khans to remember that part. Moments later, Trem and Killer pushed the box apart, spilling parts of Khan all over the stage to thunderous Gorn applause.

Khan, with his last breath, turned his head to Trem and said, "Starfleet says hi." Trem had an instant to blink, and for shock to begin to spread over his features. As Khan's heart stopped, an electrode triggered a magnetic failure of a containment field on a canister inside Khan's torso. Half a second later, Gorn outpost Gamma XII was obliterated in a matter-antimatter explosion from the photon mini-torpedo installed in Khan by Starfleet Intelligence.
  • Current Music
    "In the meantime", Space Hog
Basic Khan

Not-so-secret agent Khan

"I can't believe I thought this was a good idea," thought mib_khan to himself. Although the Federation had been happy to give a planet to the millions of Khans that had been on Vulcan, the Federation was adamant that they could earn their own way. "You Khan't expect a free ride," one political pundit had stated. So, the Khans made do with what they could, and when they needed hard currency (or other specie), they sent some of their number out to earn a wage.

"I can't believe I'm doing this." continued the Khan to himself. It could have been worse, he was theoretically possible he could have been sold to a Ferengi for immoral porpoises, or perhaps been sent to law school. Still, this was the stupidest "undercover" assignment he'd ever heard of...and as a former crew of the uss_murgatroid, Khan knew stupid when he saw it.

"You'll be at the head of the line soon, so you'll need to stop talking to us in a minute or two." The Federation Security officer's voice came through clearly via a communicator implant. FedSec was concerned about this planet, but apparently not concerned enough to do anything effective. Khan knew their efforts were not first rate, because they'd involved him. He wasn't impressed with his controller's skills, and was convinced that this mission would end poorly. He was almost convinced the guy had a bet to make the mission fail.

Khan subvocalized, "So, let me see if I've got this straight. This guy...'wet dirt'...he's president of this planet, and you want to overthrow him?"

"His name is Mudd," replied Khan's khantroller. "He comes from a long-line of flimflam artists. We're pretty sure he rigged the election. We doubt he would have won if it wasn't for the Maquis terrorism." The planet in question was on the Federation/Cardassian border, and had suffered moderately during the recent war. Mudd had gotten himself elected under the banner of "Peace or Else!" It hadn't hurt that he'd brought his own army along, even though (as mercenaries went) they were remarkably stupid.

The controller continued. "When you get to the front of the line, give your ID card to the border guard."

"My alias says I'm Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the United Federation of Planets!" Khan's subvocalizations were so loud, the being in front of him in line glanced back to see if Khan was okay. Khan's frustrations would have been obvious to most...the ID card (though electronic, and thus easily capable of displaying just about anything) had a picture of Picard, and someone had taken a marker and scribbled a beard, moustache, and bushy brown hair on the card with a marker. The ink smudged when touched.

"He won't speak English, anyway." Khan's controller's reply had tones of humor. "This world is full of stupid people. If you get through the line..."

"When I get through the line!" Khan cut off the FedSec officer. "When!"

"...we'll meet you at the mission at midnight. We'll beam you up there." Khan was not reassured. The man in front of him stepped away, leaving Khan as the next person for the border guard to inspect. Khan's universal translator made some indeterminate noises in response to the grunting of the simianlike card, then mumbled "ID?" in his ear. Khan handed over the doctored ID card to the guard.

The guard looked at the card, looked at Khan, looked at the card and squinted, then looked at Khan again. He handed the card back to Khan and said, "Have a good day, sir." Khan blinked, then walked on. Perhaps his day had a chance to improve.

Deep shit at Deep Space Nine

Interrogation at DS9 was pretty simple. A familiar gravelly-voiced Security officer interrogated me and asked who I was, what I was doing in a shuttle logged to belong to Threat forces, and why my clone ("Pinnochio") couldn't talk.

I replied, "Commander mib_khan, normally assigned to the uss_murgatroid. I left Deep Space Nine through the Bajoran Wormhole in your Runabout, Shit Creek. I suffered equipment failure inside the wormhole, got thrown into an alternate universe, captured, tortured, escaped, and made it back here with the help of the Prophets. None of this is similar to these are logged in DS9's records. My clone here is not a fully-function member of my group mind, due to my loss of ansible memory updating. The tricorder you confiscated from me could normally perform memory updates, but was damaged in the wormhole and has been nonfunctional ever since."

The security officer grunted and held up a tricorder. It was different than the one I'd had with me in the Imperium. "Your story, strangely enough, could have truth to it. There's only one thing that will prove all of it. A Khan left this modified tricorder here prior to going through the wormhole; if you call us from the Murgatroid after hitting the update button, that will lend creedence to your story. Of course, if you're not really a mib_khan, it'll probably fry your brain." He deactivated the security field and handed me the tricorder. With pleasure, I hit the memory update button for the first time in a long time. It was...glorious.
  • Current Music
    "Memories", Barbra Streisand
Infinite Khans

Holy wormholes, Pinnochio!

Strangely enough, mib_khan (and his defective clone, Pinnochio) made it safely to the Bajor system without being discovered. This was not what Khan had expected when the two of them escaped from the ISS Murgatroid. After doing some research, Khan figured out the answer.

Ships that fly faster than light tend to need warp engines. Warp engines are powerful and dangerous devices and their ownership and usage tended to be highly regulated. Ships tended to travel in convoys (so that they could be watched by the Empire) and the advent of molecular replication meant that trade among the stars was now more often information than actual atoms or molecules. Every so often, the shuttlepod's identity was queried by automated buoy systems, but when the buoy IFF systems read that the ISS Catamite was part of the ship complement of the iss_murgatroid, no further questions were asked. Whatever chaos Khan had left behind in his wake had been sufficient that the Imperium's "Identify Friend or Foe" systems were not looking out for him.

Khan took care to not fly close to Bajor on his way to the wormhole. Ship's systems indicated that the sector was very quiet on the subspace channels...this might have been one of the star systems "sterilized" by the Empire. Khan didn't plan to investigate, but instead intended to complete his escape and get back to sanity...or whatever passed for it on the uss_murgatroid. Without any difficulty, the shuttlepod found and entered the Bajoran wormhole...and then things got difficult.

Khan had done his best to reconstruct his incursion apparatus during their flight, but not everything he needed was available to him, even with replicator technology. He was able to successfully scan the wormhole, looking for the "hole" he expected to find that would lead back to his home universe...but had no success. That only left one option that a Ferengi would approve of. Khan began searching for Prophets.

As if by magic, a planetoid appeared inside the wormhole moments after Khan had made up his mind to search for Bajor's gods. Khan landed the shuttlepod, noted the presence of an M-class atmosphere outside the pod, and exited with Pinnochio. Starfleet records about the Prophets were sketchy, but it seemed as if the Prophets appeared as people Khan would recognise. This made him both pleased and scared.

The two clones walked around the shuttlepod, looking for signs of humanoid intelligence. At first, none could be found...but soon a trio of humanoids walked out from behind some foliage. Khan noted the presence of a Jellico, a Storvik, and a Lothar. Khan's anxiety did not decrease at the sight of familiar faces. After spending what seemed like a lifetime in the grip of a notsonicekhan, familiar faces only made him wary.

The Jellico cleared his throat and said, "You ain't from around here, are ya, boys?" In unison, Khan and Pinnochio shook their heads. The Storvik nodded, then added, "Fascinating." The Lothar belched. The belch fumes were intoxicating...and more than a little tempting. Khan had been sober too long for comfort. Khan cleared his suddenly dry throat, then said, "O wise prophets, my clone and I would like to go home. We just don't know how to get there." In an unreassuring fashion, the Lothar belched again, fell over, and started snoring.

The Jellico winked at Khan, turned his head, and gave a wolf whistle into the bushes. A squad of green women hurried out, picked up Jellico, and carried him off over their heads. The only remaining (vertical) Prophet was the Storvik. That entity pointed at Khan's feet, which were no longer garbed in standard boots, but were instead sheathed in some sort of sequined soft shoe. It was a style of which Khan was unfamiliar, and was very red and sparkly. "Commander," began the Storvik, "you have had the power to go home all along. Simply return to your conveyance, click your heels together three times, and say 'There's no place like home'." Khan blinked in confusion, then opened his mouth to ask a question. The Storvik sighed an irritated sigh, then said sotto voce "What is it with these humanoids? Don't they know how to take a hint?" He tapped his combadge, and a security team emerged from the bushes behind the Storvik. They pointed weapons at the pair of clones and said in unison, "Get off our paradise." Khan and Pinnochio now took the hint and beat feet back inside the shuttlepod. The planetoid evaporated out from under the shuttlepod, and Khan looked at Pinnochio, who shrugged. Khan then clicked his heels together three times, said "There's no place like home" out loud, and flew out of the wormhole.

Having forgotten to turn the ISS Catamite's transponder off, the two of them were shot out of the sky by Federation-armed Bajoran forces within 15 seconds of emerging from the wormhole. Luckily for them, the Bajorans were good shots, and the disabled but not destroyed shuttlepod was towed to Deep Space Nine and its crew complement taken immediately to detention.

In their cell, Khan and Pinnochio looked at each other. Khan sighed and said, "Well, at least we're familiar with the interrogation procedures here. And the food's better...and at least not intentionally poisoned." Pinnochio giggled, then laid down on his cot and dropped off to sleep. Khan pondered Pinnochio's choice, found merit in it, and followed suit.
  • Current Music
    Over the Rainbow

Concerns about the Murgatroid and its crew

I had a brief conversation with Commander storvik about how the ship and crew are doing. He mentioned retention of most of Captain Jellico's crew and maintenance of most of his policies. I agree that this seems wise, at least in terms of personal preservation; e.g. not starting a mutiny among crew who would be discomfited by changes, and who posess phasers, or are named Lothar. I think it wise for other reasons.

Although I am sad to see him go, I see that the hands-off policy espoused by Captain Jellico really has lead to a turnaround in ship functioning and crew satisfaction. I can project that his retirement (the ultimate "hands-off" situation) has the potential to mean only better and better things for those of us who call the uss_murgatroid home.
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    pleased pleased