A Short Interview With

Terra Today reporter Strattah Zvier interviews one of the quadrant's most notorious characters.

Strattah Zvier: Thank you for taking this time to be with us, Mr. Mudd.

Harcourt Fenton Mudd: My pleasure. Just "Harry ," if you please.

SZ: OK, Harry. Last week the Federation Bureau of Criminal Affairs named you "Most Troublesome Renegade of the Year." Harry, do you believe that you merit this distinction?

HFM: That all depends on how you define "renegade," my dear. You see, a renegade is someone who goes about the galaxy causing all sorts of disruption, terror, and the like. I'd never go about causing any terror.

SZ: Only to your jailers, perhaps. You have to admit that many of your activities have been disruptive.

HFM: Not in the least. I am a businessman. I travel the galaxy in search of rare and unique treasures that catch the eye and heart of many a prospective buyer.

SZ: You call the three stolen spacerunners last month "rare and unique treasures"?

HFM: Those spaceships were not stolen!... Weeellll, not in terms of that world's colloquial definition. I had no idea that they belonged to anybody.

SZ: Why is that?

HFM: Because there was nobody in them!

SZ: So you "borrowed" them.

HFM: Well, yes...

SZ: It didn't occur to you that they were just parked?

HFM: I can't say it did at the time. However, when I realized my mistake. I tried to pilot the one ship back to its parking port.

SZ: In the opposite direction with the two others in tow?

HFM: Well, I got lost!

SZ: C'mon, Harry! Did you think the police were going to believe that?

HFM: Any reasonable being would have. But those redshirts have no understanding of human nature at all!

SZ: On the contrary, Harry. I think they understand you all too well. If one of the rehab colonies—

HFM: —They have no understanding of human nature, either! I should know. I've been to several.

SZ: It doesn't seem to have been much help.

HFM: True. I don't know why they keep sending me back. They'd save a lot of taxpayer money by not sending me there at all.

SZ: And let you go to roam the galaxy at will?

HFM: That was the idea.

SZ: Do you think you'll roam free again?

HFM: I don't think I could answer that one "yes" or "no." You see, there is always hope that they will catch on someday. I am an eternal optimist.

SZ: So are the police. That's why they keep sending you to those rehab colonies.

HFM: Really? I wish they wouldn't be so optimistic.

SZ: Are you saying that there's no hope for you?

HFM: Of course there's hope for me! I am who I've always hoped to be.

SZ: How you ever imagined, much less hoped for, your current condition is amazing.

HFM: I am amazing, aren't I?

SZ: Some might prefer other terms.

HFM: You know, the only problem with the universe is that it has no sense of humor.

SZ: How do you explain your existence then?

HFM: A stroke of good luck. I am a messenger, a teacher. Someone has to instill some humor into this place!

SZ: And you're just the person to do it, too. Thank you for taking time to talk to us.

HFM: My pleasure.

DISCLAIMER: Neither Harry Mudd nor I can claim ownership of Star Trek or its characters, nor will we profit from this work, though I wouldn't put it past Harry to try.