Sgt. Peeper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
After two years in the center seat, Jim Kirk had thought he’d heard it all.
“Captain, a well-projected and energetic croak is the male frog's most important asset in his quest to attract mates to his pond.”
Wow, and Spock had said that with a completely straight face, too. Why, Jim was not yet sure. He had confidence, though, that the participants of this briefing would get to the point eventually.
"If there are a number of different males calling, the one that sounds the best often gets the girl," Lt. Parris from Xenobiology explained enthusiastically to the captain. "You have to be pretty clear about your assets if you're a male frog."
“I see.” Jim didn’t know whether to snicker or cry, so he simply ended up looking confused and constipated.
His dedicated Science Department tried explaining further.
"Generally, if he's putting a lot of energy into calling - if he's calling loudly or quickly or for a long time or all those things combined - it shows he's fit and strong, and those things tend to correlate with female choice," Parris added.
Jim nodded. Now that he understood. He didn’t know why it was important to discuss, but he did know it tended to work like that. Perseverance and enthusiasm were key.
Spock tag-teamed his group, finally getting to the details. “However, our team found the distance at which a frog suitor can be heard by a potential mate is effected greatly by local environmental noise. This makes it much harder for the male frogs to attract mates and could lead to their breeding success being reduced," he added.
Jim blinked, thinking hard. Things were starting to come into focus. He decided to skip the rest of the details and jump right to the end. “Okaaay…so basically you’re telling me that Argana II’s famine all boils down somehow to a bunch of frogs that can’t get their groove on?”
Spock opened his mouth and Jim raised an eyebrow. Spock started to speak and Jim raised it even further, then added a glare. He’d refined that eyebrow raise and glare after two years of watching the master himself, and this time, reading the signs correctly, Spock subsided before he could verbalize his five minute monologue correcting the captain’s logic stream.
“Yes, Captain, that is…basically, very basically, correct.” Spock, annoyed by agreeing with Jim’s less-than-precise assessment, looked like he was sucking lemons.
“Great. I knew my team would figure it out. Best damn crew in the entire ‘fleet. Now tell me you’ve come up with a fix for it, and you’ll make my day.”
Spock actually sighed. “Yes, sir, we have devised a plan for relocating the frog populations to quieter waters, away from the Argana II’s factories and technology. With Engineering’s help to cover the entire affected area, I calculate we can accomplish this in less than two weeks.”
“And once relocated, our amorous amphibians will be able to resume their normal sex lives?”
“That is Xenobiology’s finding, yes.”
“So once we appease the amphibious gods with lots of frog sex, how long is it going to take to turn around the crop situation?”
Parris grinned; some members of her team tittered. Spock looked resigned.
“Since the frogs reproduce very quickly in an appropriately wet environment,” Parris said, “we figure that within two months, there will be a significant rise in the frog population, enough to begin diverting the chera’s attention away from the bean crops, especially since it’s not their preferred food choice and the frogs are. Up until now, all efforts to stop the local rodents from swarming the crops have proven ineffective."
Jim nodded. “Two months…so how much relief should I recommend the Federation send in the interim? A year at the least? Two years, even better?”
Spock straightened up, and Jim thought he saw respect filter through Spock’s eyes. “I think that’s a fair assessment, Captain. While the ecosystem will begin to recover quickly, returning it to its pre-disaster state will take longer. And in that time, the colonists will still need to eat.”
“Excellent.” Jim slapped his hands down on the conference table. “No death, no disease, an easy solution, and lots of sex. Sounds like a great mission outcome to me.” It was hard to miss Spock’s flaring nose and his pointed stare at the far corner of the ready room’s ceiling. Jim grinned again. “I’m authorizing the team to begin relocation procedures. Lieutenant, you’re in charge; do what’s necessary. Dismissed.”
Parris’ small xenobio team got up, talking among themselves, and slowly filed from the captain’s ready room.
Jim waited until they had all left, then hopped up from his chair and perched on the table next to Spock. “Great job, Spock. You’ve got good people.”
Spock nodded his head once. “It is highly gratifying that they were able to deduce the cause of the famine so quickly.”
“They’re enthusiastic, Spock. They’ve got great energy. I like that in my crew.” Jim leaned down close to Spock, mouth brushing the tip of his ear. “I have a lot of energy, too,” Jim whispered. “And my perseverance is legendary.” He felt a shudder run through Spock. “And my stamina…. Wanna go appease the gods?”
Spock grabbed on to Jim’s wrist and stood. “I tend to agree with your assessment of your perseverance. However, we shall see about your stamina.”
As Spock pulled him toward the door, Jim grinned and leaned in to his ear again.
“Ribbit, ribbit. Cro-o-o-a-k.”
“Not the preferred method for seducing Vulcans,” Spock noted, not breaking his stride. “If you prefer, I can transport up some of the local frogs for you.”
Jim grinned. “No thanks, Spock. They may be a bit much for me. I’ll stick to what I know.”
Nobody blinked an eye as Spock pulled the captain across the bridge to the turbolift. Just another day on Enterprise.