The Star Fleet Lark

Who do you think you are kidding, Mr Romulan?

Tony Atkinson
5 min readSep 11, 2023
Photo by Andy Hermawan on Unsplash

*WARNING: Some non-PC language, those where the days!*

Captains’ Log, star date, star date…Wilson, what’s the stardate? “37771.4, Sir.” Star date 37771.4. The “Impeccable” has been seconded to Section 31 to perform a survey of the Romulan Neutral Zone, under the supervision of Commander Flick.

Captain Mainwaring sat bolt upright in the command chair, casting the occasional disapproving glance at his XO, Commander Wilson, who lounged beside him, apparently at peace with the Universe.

“Have we reached the survey area, yet?” Mainwaring asked the tall, blond man in steel-framed spectacles who sat on his other side.

“Ve are in position.” Flick replied. “You may begin der survey.”

“Ensign Philips!” Mainwaring said. “Commence survey pattern.”

“Aye, aye, Sir!” The Ensign replied. “Now, let’s see. 45 degrees starboard, ahead one-quarter impulse and, er, left hand down a bit!”

A pretty young Yeoman came by with s tray of tea. Philips looked up at her and smiled. “Oooh heeelllooo!” He drawled. “Haven’t seen you before! What’s your name?”

“Yeoman Bell, sir.” She replied brightly.

“Ding, dong!” He responded.

Mainwaring cleared his throat, loudly. “Wilson, I’ve never come across the Romulans before. Know much about them?”

“Not a great deal, sir.” Wilson admitted. “Mysterious chaps. I’m told they’re very much like Vulcans. But the Klingons know more. Lieutentant Bark?”

The big Klingon at Tactical frowned even more than usual. “They may look like Vulcans, sir, but they is not like them. The Romulans is fightin’ men, warriors. The Vulcans is a load of poofs.”

“Yes, quite.” Wilson said. “I think we should be careful if we meet any, sir.”

The Marine corporal guarding the bridge door said. “Permission to speak, sir!”

“Yes, what is it, Jones?” Mainwaring asked.

“If we meet any Romulans, sir, we should grapple ’em with a tractor beam and board, sir! With fixed bayonets, sir! Nothing like a bit of cold duranium; they don’t like it up ’em, sir! They don’t like it up ‘em!” Jones enthused.

“Yes, thank you, Jones. I’ll take it under advisement.” Mainwaring said.

“Romulan vessel dead ahead!” The Ops Officer said.

“All stop!” Wilson commanded.

“Brakes, brakes…” Philips stabbed at a control and the ship shot forward.

“EVERYBODY DOWN!” Bark bellowed.

Crash. Grind. Screech.


“Well done, Philips,” Wilson said. “A classic ramming manoeuvre. Not quite what I asked for, though, was it?”

“Well, in the heat of the moment, sir.” Philips murmured.

“In future, Philips,” Mainwaring said, “please confine your heated moments to off-duty hours!

“Wilson, battle stations!”

“Are you sure that’s wise, sir?” Wilson asked. “We don’t want to provoke them any more.”

“I think, Wilson, that ramming their ship will already have provoked them as much as they can be! Battle stations!”

Wilson activated ship-wide. “Good morning everyone! Would you mind awfully going to battle stations? Thank you.”

“Copting?” This was Lieutenant Crabtree, the Communications Officer. “The cimmonder of the Rimulon shop washes to spook to you!”

“Put him on, Crabtree!” Mainwaring said. “He probably wants to surrender!”

The Romulan commander had a dour, hangdog face. “Gid moaning.” He said.

“Morning.” Mainwaring replied. “I’m Captain Mainwaring of the Federation star ship Impeccable, what can I do for you?”

The Romulan sighed with relief. “Well, at least you don’t all sound like your Communications Officer!”

“I was silocted for the jib because of the clority of my spooch!” Crabtree protested.

“Ah! Here I was thinking it was some new kind of Federation code!” The Romulan said. “Delighted to meet you, Captain, I am Commander Blakadr of the Imperial warbird A’skika. We seem to have made rather more contact than usual. In fairness, I must point out that Helmsman B’aldr’k has the navigational ability of a blindfolded mole in a black bag.”

“We have a similar sutuation here.” Mainwaring admitted. “I wonder if we can find a solution?”

Another Romulan stepped into view. “Sub-Commander Dalin, Tal-shiar.” He said. Why are you on our side of the Neutral Zone?”

“Excuse me.” Flick broke in. “Commander Flick, of Section 31. Vy are you on our side?”

“That can’t be right.” Wilson said. He got up, went over to Flick, took the PADD from him and looked at it, then back up at the Romulans.

“Look, I’m terribly sorry about this, but it seems that our Commander Flick here had his starmap upside down, so we are definitely not where we are supposed to be!” Wilson explained.

“I see.” Blakadr said. “That’s still a bit of a diplomatic incident, though, isn’t it Dalin?”

“Oh, I don’t know.” Dalin said airily. “Sort of thing that could happen to anyone, really…”

Blakadr looked at him “Upside down?” He asked.

“Sideways, actually.” Dalin admitted. “Bit of a headache this morning….”

“Too much ale again.” Blakadr noted. “We’ll talk about this when we’re alone, Dalin.

“Meanwhile, Captain Mainwaring, you and I need to decide. Do we start shooting at each other? Or do we go our separate ways and report the damage as, what, asteroid collision?”

“Asteroids are a hazard to navigation.” Mainwaring noted. “Especially incompetent navigation.”

“My thoughts exactly!” Blakadr said. “What about the Tal’shiar?”

“Asteroids are not a threat to the Empire.” Dalin pointed out. “No need to tell them anything!”

“I shall not,” Flick announced, “report zis incident to the section. I do not vish to look a right ‘nana.”

Some hours later, Wilson looked up from the sensor logs he was perusing.

“It turns out, sir that the Romulans couldn’t have fired on us, their disruptors were offline!”

“Well, if it comes to that, Wilson,” Mainwaring said, closing the damage report he’d been reading, “so were our phasers!”

You have been reading

Arthur Lowe as Captain Mainwaring

John le Mesurier as Commander Wilson

Richard Gibson as Commander Flick

Leslie Philips as Ensign Philips

Emma Watson as Yeoman Bell

Windsor Davis as Lieutenant Bark

Clive Dunn as Corporal Jones

Arthur Bostrom as Lieutenant Crabtree

Rowan Atkinson as Commander Blakadr

Tim McInerney as Sub-Commander Dalin

Inspiration by David Croft, Jimmy Perry, Jeremy Lloyd, Richard Curtis and Ben Elton.

This is a work of parody and I do not own any of the characters or concepts, For that reason, I will not be placing this piece behind the paywall.

If you are not a Brit, this will not mean a damn thing to you, but never mind!



Tony Atkinson

Snapper-up of unconsidered trifles, walker of paths less travelled by. Writer of fanfiction. Player of games.