A Short Interview With
HARCOURT FENTON MUDD III
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.