NASA, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, was said today to be contemplating preparing plans to send a manned mission to Klingon. News of the agency’s brainstorm to venture where no man has gone before was leaked onto a blog devoted to the achievements of actor Michael Braveheart, who portrayed a Klingon officer throughout several generations of the television franchise Star Trek.
Like darkness in a New York black out, word spread throughout the world Trekky community that interviews would soon be conducted at the Johnson Space Center near Houston, Texas for a translator to accompany the mission’s medical officer. “I’m a doctor, not a babel fish,” the team physician was rumored to have griped at administrators when it was suggested he learn to speak Klingon.
Applicants from around the globe packed hotels and RV parks in and around the originally Quaker community of Friendswood, across Interstate 45 from Mission Control. In Hollywood, California the crowds were worse. Lines three deep stretched all the way around Paramount Pictures inner city studio lot. There were complaints from some people about a guy named Nathan, who kept exclaiming he should get picked because, “I am ruggedly handsome,” and elbowing his way to the front, as if that were a reason.
“We are under attack!” wailed long time Star Trek casting director Junie Lowry-Johnson. Their accents “and the smells,” she moaned, were running thicker than most candidates’ scotch-taped horn rimmed glasses.
Most encounters among the applicants were collegial. Some were a little astonished to learn that Royal Shakespeare Company actor, Patrick Stewart, who played Captain Jean-Luc Picard on Star Trek Next Generation, had been recently outed as gay. But many of the Trekkies said they actually found the news quite comforting.
Among galactic languages, Klingon is considered to be one of the most difficult to learn, because of its many gutteral sounds and reverse palate inflections.
Three days after the leak appeared on the Michael Braveheart fan blog, a rumor whipped through the overripe ranks of applicants that NASA had chosen Arvid Engen, best known for his work on the 1980s TV show, Head of the Class to accompany the mission to Klingon.
There was outrage on the lines, and fighting broke out near Paramount’s Melrose Avenue gate when news spread that some Hollywood dude had been chosen for the gig. People believed they had been subjected to abuse just to satisfy some obscure Screen Actors Guild (SAG) rule. However, it appeared that no one on the line had actually gotten past security for an interview.
“They never intended to hire any of us,” gloomily remarked Brenda (no last name), as she hauled camping gear back to her Dodge Dart, parked four blocks away at a Von’s grocery store. “It’s like some outer space episode of Bunheads.”
Arvid suggested the “coin of the realm” that tipped the scales in his favor was his relationship with Mike Tyson. “Mike would come to me quite often, asking advice on how he might get along better with Robin [Givens]. They were married then. She was kind of testy. I heard that Mike could be challenging, too. But he was always perfectly gentle with me.”
Arvid believed that NASA’s people saw in him the ability to handle himself among Klingons, well known for their tough exteriors. “I’ve been practicing, check this out,” he said, “nuqDaq ‘oH puchpa’ ‘e’. That means ‘where is the bathroom.’ Handy.”
When asked how old he would be upon arrival on Klingon, Arvid explained that, though the planet is 112 light years away, it only takes four days to get there traveling at warp 5. “I age well. That’s why NASA is sending me on this mission to Klingon. What can I say, I just have good genes.”
By Melissa Roddy (satire)