Star Trek TOS Meets TCOM1

Author’s Note: There is an incident in TCOM1 where Sam apparently meets an Alien on Mars. Many readers have asked me if the event actually happened. I tell them it’s up to them as readers to construct their own understanding of the event (and the whole book, actually). So after watching Canadian Space Hero William Shatner and the supporting cast in all of the Star Trek the Original Series episodes for the third (at least!) time it crossed my mind that in the Universe in which TCOM happens, this could happen. Enjoy it. I did.

Star Trek –The Original Series

Season 1 - Episode 31,

The Martian Comicals - A REPLAY IN THREE ACTS

Opening Scene – On the Bridge of the USS Enterprise

Personnel are in their usual positions on the Bridge. Loud tings, brrinngs, bings, bongs, beeps and toots of the Bridge Systems are heard continuously in the background, all for no apparent purpose. However, a dramatic event has just occurred.

Captain Kirk is sitting in the Commander’s seat staring alternately down at something unseen and straight ahead into the ever-present-in-his-mind but non-existent camera

Suddenly a redshirt stands up and, holding his hands over his ears, screams “I can’t stand it any longer! The noise. The noise!” Before everyone’s eyes the crewman pulls out a phaser, turns it towards himself, fires and disappears with a loud ‘boi-inn-gaah’. The phaser falls to the ground with a loud 'clack'. A redshirt bends down, picks up the phaser and stuffs it into his belt. Simultaneously several of the other redshirts look at each other, shrug their shoulders and turn back to their work

KIRK

Spock.

SPOCK

Yes Jim?

KIRK

Where the hell are we? Better yet, where aren’t we? And how many times have I told you not to call me Jim on the bridge?

SPOCK

Thirty-one times Captain, to be exact, just since we left Star Base 102. God only knows how many times before that, Captain and she ain’t telling. However, we are in the present. Something you’d know if you took your hand out of your pocket and stopped playing with yourself.

KIRK

Both hands held up in supplication to Spock

Yes, Spock. That better?

SPOCK

Yes, Captain.

Music soars. Cut to image of a plastic replica of a spaceship defying all known physical laws swooping past the camera

Commercial Break

Note to the AUDIENCE

This play, which I have been assured via telepathic mind link by Neil deGrasse Tyson from Multiverse 2489234A is due to open on Broadway in Multiverse 987589029D on 230th of Unicorn 2312, is not about you.

I have learned by sad and painful experience that modifying short (and long) stories to include the names of people I have known, currently know and will know in the future in hope of creating a ‘comic moment’ for them can offend. So, this is not about you. It’s all about me.

Enjoy. Now, back to our story.

By the way, it helps if you read TCOM1. Otherwise the reference about Star Trek crossing paths with TCOM1 means nothing. Reading TCOM2 will not, however, help.

Weird Music intro

Kirk Voice Over during Introduction

Space, possibly the final frontier, but who really knows? I mean space is…....big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. These are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise. Its three-year mission: to explore strangely different worlds, to seek out new lifeforms and……..innovative sexual partners. Oh yeah, and new civilizations, too. Basically, to boldly go where no one as handsome as ‘yours truly’ has gone before.

Music soars

Act 1, Scene 1 – On the Bridge of the USS Enterprise

Kirk Voice Over

Star Date…..unknown. The same effect that tossed us back to Earth into the mid-1960’s in Episode 19 of Season 1 has happened again. I’d fire that god-damned Spock for incompetence if I wasn’t so much into his ears. They’re so cute. Like a kitty-cat. That and he saw me and Uhura making out and he holds that over me like a light sabre. It’s worse than that, though. This is definitely our ship but definitely not our universe. It’s something parallel……a parallel universe it appears, one coexisting with ours…….on another dimension, with everything duplicated. Or not. How the hell would I know at this point, anyway? We appear to have been thrown into orbit around that dustbowl POS known as the planet Mars, the fourth planet of our home solar system. Gods help us! Mars is death!

Personnel are in their usual positions. Captain Kirk is sitting in the Commander’s seat, as usual. The sounds of beeps and dings, dongs and swirling and swooshing – the usual noise made by twenty-third century electronics - are present. The view screen, with 640 by 480 pixel resolution is half-filled by a reddish planet. Only a very thin atmospheric band is visible

KIRK

Spock.

SPOCK

Yes, Captain?

KIRK

So that looks like Mars, but is it really Mars?

SPOCK

Yes. Very good, Captain. Sensors confirm that the planet before us is Mars. However, it is not the Mars of the historical records.

KIRK

Meaning?

SPOCK

Meaning that it appears we have been thrown into an alternate universe, one that is, potentially, completely different from our own, from the one we are familiar with. Potentially.

KIRK

That seems very unlikely.

SPOCK

Shrugs his ears and one eyebrow

Meh. Shit happens, Jim.

KIRK

Grins broadly and nods his head in agreement

It sure does, Spock. Damn. I was going to watch Game of Thrones this evening on Netflix and now this happens.

SPOCK

Deadpan

As if! Captain, sometimes life is so cruel. I don’t know how you humans cope.

KIRK

Life goes on, Spock. Somehow we do cope and life…..goes on. Well? Evaluation Spock? Scan for life signs and stuff like that, will ya?

SPOCK

Scanning. Scanning in-range north latitudes. Scanning in-range south latitudes. Scanning in-range north polar region, scan….

KIRK

Spock? Could you please do it without bothering us with the continuous updates? It’s really annoying.

SPOCK

Captain?

KIRK

Stands up and opens his arms to all. First to the left, then to the right side of the crew

Isn’t it? Everyone. Pay attention to me for a moment will you please. Isn’t it annoying when he does that droning on bit?

A chorus of ‘ayes’ and ‘you betchas’ emanates from the Bridge Crew

KIRK

See Spock? I told you they didn’t like you and your know-it-allyness.

SPOCK

If you’re done disrespecting my position, race, competencies and manners Captain, I’ll tell you what the sensors have found. If you’re nice. Besides, if you like I could text you.

KIRK

Sits back down

Never heard of it. What the hell is that?

SPOCK

I send you a written message from my communicator which you receive on your communicator. You can reply from your communicator when you are able or wish to. Everyone in Starfleet is doing it. Everyone.

KIRK

That sounds terribly inefficient Spock and possibly……intrusive. I mean, what if it came in while I was on the toilet? Or doing something else like……never mind. Report please, Mr Spock.

SPOCK

As you wish, mon capitaine. A very brief scan of Earth reveals that it is approximately, as we reckon, approximately the year 2045. Give or take a year or two. The planet below appears to be in the early stages of colonial development. There is very little infrastructure and almost no sign of organic life. The surface is littered with the wreckage of a great many failed and/or lapsed missions. Compared to our timeline I would place it in the very early twenty-first century, possibly the late twentieth century.

KIRK

Wow. So Mars is not the new home of humanity?

SPOCK

Obviously not, Captain. At least….not in this universe.

KIRK

So maybe in this universe….Grand Moff Elon…..did not colonise this planet……with his……friends.

SPOCK

Apparently not, Captain. It was after all, a pretty iffy thing in our own universe, if the records of human history can be trusted. All that fakes news presented as real. All that real news presented as fake. It is so illogical.

KIRK

Praise be to Moff Elon!

SPOCK

Yes, praise Musk, Captain. So…

KIRK

So, no casinos, no Trump Towers with their hot baths and….whirlpools?

SPOCK

No. And no green alien women. At least, not yet. You must be devastated, Jim.

KIRK

Yes. Damn. A complete waste of a planet.

Looks to the view screen

Oh well, what the hell. How do things look over on Earth?

SPOCK

Pretty miserable. By my count, there are eleven billion persons, mostly agrarian and homeless. The effects of global warming have begun to set in. There are many seacoasts devoid of life and people have….….

KIRK

Need I remind you Spock that…..global warming is not……an undisputed scientific fact? You need to…..remember…..that.

SPOCK

Yes, Captain.

KIRK

Continue.

SPOCK

As I was about to say before I was so wooedly interrupted, there are just a few places with casinos, resorts and spas and that other stuff we are on this mission to find. Of course I haven’t had time to look at the whole planet, seeing we’ve been here like for about five minutes and you persist in interrupting my systematic investigation with your banal chatter. Captain.

KIRK

Glares at Spock

Mr Spock! Conduct a complete scan of the planet below for life signs, mineral deposits, sources of water, including ice and oh yes, methane. And report in five minutes or less.

SPOCK

Always with the methane, Captain. It’s not really that important, you know.

KIRK

Methane means life; life that eats things like beans and lentils, corn and cola drinks sweetened with fructose. And prunes. I hate prunes.

Pauses

Yeoman Janice?

Yeoman Janice is in her customary position to Kirk’s left, about a half pace back of him

Yeoman Janice

Yes Captain?

KIRK

Oh. There you are.

KIRK

Gives her the full scan

Red….looks good….on you. Really good. Why don’t more of the crew wear red?

Looks away to the view screen

Yeoman, take a note. Food replicators to no longer serve prunes. And beans. And lentils. Oh hell. What else? Oh yeah.

In a hushed voice

Pass the word that all ship’s crew-women are to begin wearing their hair loosely, about the shoulders. Copy that?

Yeoman Janice

Captain, have you been speaking with Lieutenant O’Reilly?

KIRK

Turns abruptly back to Yeoman Janice

Yes. Yes. I have been speaking to him. Just last night in the Officer’s Mess Club Dining Hall Bar area. Why…..do you…..ask?

Yeoman Janice pouts at Kirk.

Yes, I see. See me later. Much later. Well talk about this…..later.

Turns back to the screen.

Yeoman Janice

Raises her voice

Yes, Captain. The usual time?

KIRK

Yes. The usual time.

In a hushed voice

And bring a friend. And don’t forget to oil your traps.

Yeoman Janice

Giggles

Yes Captain. I wi…We will.

Spock

Interrupts Kirk and the Yeoman

Fascinating.

KIRK

What?

Act 1, Scene 2 – Still on the Bridge of the USS Enterprise. Yes, I know, but they badly needed a space for a commercial break

Kirk Voice Over

So I told him to leave you alone. You are the Captain’s Yeoman and he has no business talking to you like that no matter who or what has taken over his body. I mean how many times have I used that excuse?

SPOCK

Interrupts

Jim. I have the report.

KIRK

Glares at Spock, annoyed at the interruption

Well spill, man.

SPOCK

Slips into ‘presentation mode’ voice from early in season one – a fast pace, exaggerated arm and hand gestures, an overly emotional tone with pretentious pauses and an annoying inflection

The planet we are currently in orbit about is a dry desert, devoid of natural surface dwelling life forms. On the surface everything tends to look essentially the same - sand, dust, dunes and rocks. Ultraviolet light bathes the surface and minimally attenuated solar winds scour the rocks. Gamma and X-rays smash though the thin atmosphere, wreaking havoc on organic bonds – great and humble. Spock pauses and looks around to see if anyone is listening. No one comments. He shrugs his ears and continues, Yes, I actually said humble. The regolith, the very earth you hope to stand on Captain is toxic. Dust storms can build static charges to dangerous levels. Dust devils can blast exposed surfaces of their protective coats. The windblown fines are toxic. Mars is a tentative world; a departed world made of rock, dry sand, Styrofoam, Plasticine and Silly Putty. And poop.

KIRK

Studies his fingernails, checks out Yeoman Janice again and as Spock finishes, perks up, turns and faces him

Spock. Really? Where do you get this shit? I mean, what’s that about…..poop?

SPOCK

There are four habitations scattered across the surface all apparently in use by a very small human population. Each habitation is surrounded by an area where human feces have apparently been dumped on the surface. The entire surface is apparently contaminated with human poop. Windblown human poop.

Eyebrows raised, looks directly at camera

Enough, apparently, to grow potatoes.

KIRK

Laughs

So much for lying on the beach.

Yeoman Janice laughs initially, suddenly stops, grimaces and punches Kirk on the arm, hard. He flinches.

KIRK

Ow. That hurt.

She sticks her tongue out at him, turns away and looks to Uhura for concurrence. Uhura sticks out her tongue and blows a raspberry

SPOCK

Yes, Captain.

KIRK

Continue.

SPOCK

The surface is littered with the cast off equipment bodies and debris left behind by dozens of manned missions and the worn out abandoned and lost landers of many decades of autonomous rover missions. However, after all that effort, scanners detect only four humans on the surface and approximately one hundred twenty humans who are currently in the habitations. Most of them are either asleep or in an apparently drug-induced stupor. The remainder are watching television. ‘Games of Drones’, I believe it is.

KIRK

Perks up

A stupor, you say! I’d like to know more about that. That seems serious enough to allow us to break the prime rule thingy or whatever it is.

Kirk laughs; Yeoman Janice gives him a puzzled look

SPOCK

Really? Continuing if I may? Unlike our advanced universe, this universe has apparently never developed magnetic tape technology for the mass storage of information. Data is apparently recorded on something referred to as ‘SD-RAM’ and ‘Hard Drives’. I am unfamiliar with these technologies, therefore I am unable to read the data stored on them. Some form of force field protects them. AVG, McAfee, er something, something. Whatever the hell it is, it is unlike anything we have ever encountered. It renders them invulnerable to further analysis.

KIRK

What about the humans? Savages, no doubt Spock? Primitive, ignorant savages? Or do I dignify them by even calling them humans?

SPOCK

They are identical to your kind Jim, in every respect. Ignorant, primitive, self-centered savages.

KIRK

Say what?

SPOCK

Moving on Captain, three are on the surface, near the largest habitation, apparently engaged in rock sampling. The other is in a relatively narrow ravine in the general area referred to as Tempe Terra. Apparently engaged in rock sampling. There are apparently a large number of what appear to be autonomous rovers, apparently engaged in exploring the planet. The one human off on his or her own is accompanied by a rather large eight-wheeled conveyance.

KIRK

Glares at Spock

They’re called ‘dune buggies’ Spock. You should know that. That’s standard reading at the Academy. How many are there?

SPOCK

Forgive my lack of knowledge of other-universely terminology, Jim. There are four of the largest type on the surface and seven hundred and ninety-two of the smaller pattern. Apparently.

KIRK

Surprised

That many? No fucking way! Oops! Pardon my Catuallan! Recalibrate your scanners Mr Spock.

SPOCK

Done, Captain. Same results obtained.

KIRK

Good. Good. Continue Mr Spock.

SPOCK

That’s about it. Without the ability to read their data tapes I cannot further analyse the colony.

KIRK

Glares at Spock annoyed

So?

SPOCK

So, Captain, I suggest we endeavour to return to our own time and place before we are detected and somehow, though I cannot imagine how even in my wildest dreams, our mere presence here in orbit affects the future of our universe.

KIRK

Smirks at Spock

Now Spockly my friend, you never fail to amaze me. Doesn’t your high and mighty logic tell you that nothing we can do here will affect our universe? It is my belief that…..we can do whatever the hell we want. I could go back to Earth and have sex with my great-great-great-great-great grandmother and it would have no effect on our…..timeline. Er place. Er, whatever!

SPOCK

I cannot imagine why you would want to do such a thing, Jim. Perhaps the Doctor can shed some light on this?

KIRK

Well Bones. You’ve been unusually respectful to all and silent so far. Are you well?

BONES

McCoy moves from the background to Kirk’s side opposite Yeoman Janice

Damn-well, Jimmy-boy. But I’m just a plain ol’ United Federation of Planets ship’s doctor, not one of them eastern city-born, liberal college-educated shrinks with a shingle up his or her ass. I agree with you; we can do whatever the hell we want. Let’s go for it, Jim. Woo-hoo! Let’s partay! Granny here we come.

Bones pumps his fist in the air. Yeoman Janice frowns, backs up a step and looks away

SPOCK

Captain, I do not really wish to pee on your parade but while you and the Doctor may be correct in your assumptions, I believe we should exercise caution in approaching the humans below. The risks are considerable. I would go myself, but with some degree of reservation, for unfortunately my ears are a dead giveaway that I’m not from around here. And if I may continue further, there is an element of danger. Who knows what novel diseases these people may be infected with? There was that time in Episode…..

Chekhov

Shouts from across the room

I do!

KIRK

Glares at him in annoyance

Shut-up, Ensign or I’ll have you shipped back to Leningrad in a vodka bottle. The important parts, anyway.

Chekhov

Yes, Kepten. I have been told by a woman recently, Kepten that I should be incorrect occasionally.

KIRK

Well pick a better time and place. Today is not that day. Be correct now, Chekhov. Go on, Spock.

SPOCK

It may be worth the not inconsequential risks. I suppose, who knows what we might learn in the name of science?

KIRK

Smirks at Spock

You do. Aren’t you the Ships’ Science Officer, Spock?

SPOCK

Yes. A very good point, Captain and well taken, I might, no I will add. I should be listened to. My logical ideas presented clearly and simply and slowly to you should always guide our actions in potentially dangerous circumstances such as this.

KIRK

Continues to smirk at Spock

Well so much for you, Mr Big Head. You know, it actually makes your ears look normal when you puff up like that.

Bones does his best to look amused at Spock’s situation.

Well said, Jim-boy.

SPOCK

Could you explain my dear Captain, why you allow Doctor McCoy to repeatedly refer to you in such irregular and uncomplimentary terms while on the Bridge in the presence of others and yet you chasten me for the slightest linguistic slip-up? It is illogical, to say the least.

KIRK

Studies his fingernails, looks about for Yeoman Janice and then as Spock finishes, turns and faces him

I’d rather not go into that now in front of the Bridge Crew if you don’t mind, Spock. I shouldn’t do anything that undermines their faith in and respect for…..their Captain.

A loud chorus of guffaws echoes around the Bridge

KIRK

So Mister Science Officer. What do you recommend?

SPOCK

Would it not be prudent to send one of the crew who specialises in alien lifeforms? Lieutenant Number One, I suggest.

KIRK

Glares at him, obviously piqued

Who? Umm. Is she still here? Umm.

Stares into the distance

Just one person? Not much chance for drama there.

SPOCK

Then perhaps an Away Team, a General Survey Party led by yourself and with four other ship’s officers with irreplaceable skill and knowledge essential to the operation of the Enterprise should be assembled and beam down to the planet in the vicinity of the solitary individual in Tempe Terra? Oh yes, the addition of experts in planetology, biology, human-alien relations would seem to be in order. They should be accompanied by a sizable Security Team, too. It is, potentially, dangerous.

KIRK

Smirks at Spock.

I need a recommendation Spock! Not a vague warning.

SPOCK

To risk the Command Team, especially the Captain in a potentially meaningless and potentially dangerous mission seems risky; potentially foolish. Totally ridiculous, in fact. It is best that we proceed surreptitiously; subterfuge is required of course. So, given the uncertainties Captain, I suggest costumes be worn by the Away Team members. Shall I commence to assemble the team?

KIRK

Yes, I’ll go. I need to stretch my legs anyway, so I’ll go down by myself and meet the locals. Er, I mean avoid contact with all intelligent life on the planet surface.

SPOCK

An excellent idea, Captain.

KIRK

Whatever.

KIRK

Smirks at Scotty

Besides. Who knows who I might meet? Nudge, nudge, wink-wink, eh Scotty?

SCOTTY

Aye Captain, you grand ol’ lecher, you!

KIRK

In the display of over-acting he usually reserves for more serious situations, Kirk dramatically declares:

However, I need….to….pee! So Spock, Mr Scott. I’ll see you both in the Material Laser Room in a few minutes.

SCOTTY

Uh, Captain?

KIRK

Yes, Mr Scott?

SCOTTY

Captain, we have nay called it that since Season 1 Episode 4.

KIRK

Glares at Scotty in annoyance

What is it called now? Well? Speak up, man!

SCOTTY

It’s called the Transporter.

KIRK

Ok. You don’t have to shout. Have it your way. Both of you meet me in the Transporter Room. Spock, bring a space suit and some sort of costume that will allow me to blend in. And make sure the shirt comes off easily. You never know, eh?

SPOCK

Yes, Captain. You never know.

KIRK

Kirk looks at Bones and Mr Scott, smirks, then goes deadpan

Spock? That one off by themselves.....is it a male or....a female?

SPOCK

Impossible to say from this distance, Jim.

KIRK

Smirks again

Umm. That’s Captain, if you don’t mind. If it’s not too much trouble?

SPOCK

Impossible to say from this distance, Captain.

KIRK

Thank you, Mr Spock.

SPOCK

Mutters under his breath

Asshole.

KIRK

Pardon me, Mr Spock?

SPOCK

Space holes, Captain. Space is full of holes, Captain. I can see several not too far from our current location.

KIRK

Glares at Spock in annoyance

Umm. Yes, it is. I guess. We should steer around them, whenever possible.

SPOCK

I do, Captain. I do.

KIRK

I’ll see you in the Material Transporter Laser Room, er whatever.

Act 1, Scene 3 – In the Transporter Room

KIRK Voice Over

Captain’s Log Supplemental – I am proceeding down to the surface of this strange and forlorn planet alone, for reasons that make no sense, yet…..I feel…..I must. Oh well.

KIRK

Spock, I asked you for a costume, not a Halloween get-up.

SPOCK

But Captain, if you are detected it is better that the other does not see you in human form.

KIRK

This is a ‘Gorn’ costume isn’t it?

SPOCK

Yes.

KIRK

I thought I recognised it. I have….an instinctive revulsion to……reptiles. I must fight to….remember that I am….an intelligent being, a highly advanced individual……the Captain…..of….a Starship. Yet the other…. on the planet below may….be……a dangerously clever…..opponent.

SPOCK

Whatever. Captain.

KIRK

OK. So the plan is you transport me into one of those….TriPods on the hangar deck, the ones with the queen sized bed, a flush toilet and…. a TV and then…..down to the surface near…. the human. If I’m caught out I’ll….pretend…. to be an alien…..exploring Mars. Makes perfect sense to me. I bet that kind of thing happens here every day.

SPOCK

Yes, possibly. A plan, Captain. Not a good one, but a plan, none-the-less.

KIRK

Does his patented half-face smirk, smile and shoulder shrug in succession thing

What could possibly go wrong?

SPOCK

Nothing sir, of course. But perhaps as a precaution you should take a Phaser set to ‘Confuse’. Just in case.

KIRK

OK. If you insist. I’m ready. Let’s do this.

Moments pass….over-acting, Kirk dramatically declares

Wait. I have to pee. Again.

SPOCK

By your command.

KIRK

Leaves through an open door and returns a moment later, struggling to zip up his pants

Ah, that feels better. By the way there is a coolant leak in the hall. Scotty? Take care of it personally, will you.

SCOTTY

Sighs resignedly

Again? Aye Captain.

KIRK

Smirks

Let’s do this.

SPOCK

If you’ll put on the costume and space suit…

KIRK

Spock! This suit…..This glass bubble thing….It looks like something….something from an old, Earth B-movie. Don’t we have something a bit, say, snazzier? A little more….campy? Something with more…..CF?

SPOCK

No Captain. As you recall, we never go anywhere where you need anything more than a flimsy plastic mask and maybe, under the worst of all conditions, a pair of brightly coloured coveralls. Mars is the toughest and most inhospitable place you have ever been to.

KIRK

Grins broadly

You’re kidding? Really? Ha’h! I should have known that. I usually just say 'set suit to 72' and forget about it. Is it worse than that Super 8 on Sierra Tango Driponus? Of course, but you know I can’t remember a lot of the missions from before we ate those ‘shrooms on that so-called Paradise Planet. Remember that? You were right out of it, man. You had this look on your face like when you had just jumped that green wench on Omicron Delta.…

SPOCK

Yes Captain. I remember.

KIRK

Puts on the costume and the suit

SPOCK

Gestures towards the Transporter

Now, if you’ll just step over here….

KIRK

I know where the Transporter thingy is Mr Spock!

SPOCK

Yes sir. But that is the coffee machine.

KIRK

So I feel like I need a coffee. Who knows if they’ll have coffee down there?

Leans on the counter, pours himself a cup, sips from it, straightens up, walks over and takes his place on the transporter pad, forgetting his cup

SPOCK

Fascinating. Maybe that’s why you need to pee so often.

KIRK

I hope so. But Janice was telling me I should get Bones to check it out.

SPOCK

Energizing.

KIRK

I may to have her moved off the ship…..

The usual noise that 23rd century high tech stuff makes emanates from the high tech stuff and drowns out Kirk’s last words to Spock. Kirk disappears.

SPOCK

Puts his head down on the control panel and shudders

Mother. Moth-er!

Act 1, Scene 4 – Surface of Mars –Tempe Terra

Kirk Voice Over

Captain’s Log Supplemental - I am proceeding down to the surface of this strange and forlorn planet for reasons that make no sense, yet I feel….I must. Wait. Didn’t I just say this? Who writes this crap anyway? If I were in charge.…

Sound fades out

The TriPod materialises in a rock and boulder strewn ravine, the surface shaded from the sun by its extreme depth and steep sides. Nothing happens for a few seconds, then with a whoosh audible for some reason even in the almost non-existent air a triangular hatch slides aside. The door is ridiculously small and the triangular shape does not help. Kirk’s legs swing into view, followed by his awkwardly bent body. The large bubble helmet smacks the top of the hatch frame with an audible thump. Kirk drops to the ground on his knees, momentarily-stunned. He cringes for a few moments, holding his helmet with both hands. He brings his personal communicator to his face and it clangs against the glass helmet. Obviously annoyed he jams it into the belt at the back of his suit. It falls to the ground, un-noticed by him

KIRK

Stupid communicator. Stupid suit! Kirk to Enterprise. Kirk to Enterprise. Enterprise, come in. This is the Captain. Pick up the goddam communicator Uhura, for God’s sake.

SPOCK

This is the Enterprise, Captain. Spock here.

KIRK

An annoyed Kirk stares dramatically into the distance as he speaks

Spock, fire….whoever made……these…….ridiculous… pod...things and while you’re at it, fire whoever made this ridiculous costume.

SPOCK

Yes Captain, by your command. But I feel it my duty to inform you that Star Fleet commissioned the design of these pods and has ordered two thousand-four hundred and three from Bombardier on Ceti Alpha Five. Or was it Six? I always get those confused. Anyway sir, they appear to be here to stay. As for the costume, it was bought at the Wal-Mart on Star Base 102 last October.

KIRK

Well we should take it back and get our money refunded. There is no fly in the pants. And I have to…

SPOCK

Interrupts

You have to pee. Sir, really, if I may make a recommendation? Perhaps you should consume less alcohol, tea and coffee before embarking upon away missions? There are limits to suit technology and time is often of the….

KIRK

Thank you Mr Spock for that suggestion. I’ll take it under consideration. Beginning search for intelligent life. Or whatever. Kirk out.

Kirk looks around at the rugged surface before him. He takes a few steps and stumbles, catching himself before he falls. The inability to see where he is placing his feet because of the oversized helmet and the Gorn mask makes travel down the ravine difficult and is compounded by the irregular terrain. He curses often, colourfully and loudly

SPOCK

Voice comes from out of nowhere

Captain. Spock here. Everyone on the Bridge can hear what you are saying. Perhaps you should turn off your mike, or the radio?

KIRK

I said Kirk out. Isn’t that enough?

SPOCK

No sir. You have to turn off the mike or the radio.

KIRK

Annoyed

Oh. OK. Kirk out. Now where the hell is the….

Stops talking. He unfastens the sample collector from his waist belt and examines it. He flashes it about like a sabre, making swishing noises as he does so. Paying way too little attention to his footing while rounding a turn, he stumbles and glances up momentarily. He catches a flash of something out of place, something beige, about thirty meters ahead. At first he thinks it is only a trick of light, but incredibly, it is a person. A very ordinary looking human is wearing a really cool skin-tight pressure suit with a face hugging helmet. He has never seen this type of suit anywhere. It is like something out of one of those sci-fi Tri-D movies.

The other is poking at the ground with a stick. No, that is wrong; it is a cup on the end of a rod; a sample collector like the one Kirk is carrying. He is sideways to Kirk and has apparently not yet seen him. Or possibly he is in full-science mode and is ignoring him on purpose. With little choice, Kirk continues down the ravine towards the other. He stops and acts as nonchalant as he is able, looking at the ground and poking it with his sample stick, trying to be cool.

The Other

Sees Kirk and stops dead in his tracks. After what seems an eternity The Other raises an arm, bent at the elbow, with empty palm facing Kirk in what Kirk recognises as the universal ‘threatening destruction gesture’.

KIRK

Unsure of how to proceed, Kirk tosses the sample rod away, stiffens his body and crosses his arms in the universal ‘sign of peaceful intent’. He calls out, “Klatu barada nikto.” Then he draws his Phaser and fires a single burst at the other, who drops slowly and limply to the ground.

KIRK

Hollers

Shit! Now what am I going to do? Kirk to Enterprise. Kirk…..to Enterprise. Come in…..Enterprise.

There is no response

Ponders out loud in his most dramatic voice

Perhaps he is using….some form of force field…..to block…..my…….transmissions. Or worse, perhaps….he has….seized control of my…..mind and is forcing me….to see…..what…..he…..wants…..me to see. Visions!

Clutches his helmet in both hands

Oh…..God!

Screams frantically,

Kirk to Enterprise. Kirk to Enterprise. Come in Spock. Come in anyone. I need a Security Team. I am in grave danger.

On the Enterprise, Spock, Uhura, the Doctor, Mr Scott and others of the Bridge Crew are listening to Kirk. Some are holding their sides to suppress their laughter. They do not answer Kirk

On Mars, time passes. The other remains still. More time passes

Kirk sits on the rocky surface staring at the other and ponders his options

KIRK - Voice over

Perhaps I should return to the pod and contact the Enterprise with the pod communicator and have them transport me up, leaving him to explain the encounter in any terms he chooses and to endure whatever ridicule this sort of experience produces in his universe. Or….maybe I should kill him while I still can, before his powers grow too great for me to contend with. Or….I could abandon my mission and care for this poor victim of my perhaps overly hasty and violent act. Or….perhaps I could join these colonists and at the appropriate time confess to them that I am a time traveller from another universe and beg they permit me to stay. Over time, hopefully a short time, I will be embraced as a superior intellect and will assume leadership of the colony and find a mate…..or two.

KIRK

To do…..or not……to do; that…is the question. But is that really…..a question? I mean, that’s the confusing part. Oh why didn’t they teach Shakespeare at the Academy? Oh why? Now that’s a question. No doubt about it, ‘cause it’s got a question mark after it. But what the hell is that period over a comma thing? Oh well.

SPOCK

Captain, Spock here. Are you all right? Are you hurt? You seem to be in pain.

KIRK

Suddenly composed, answers

No, why do you ask? Everything’s fine down here. Really great. Fantastic, in fact. How are you? I’ve made contact with one of the humans. He is resting. I think I’ll take him up to the pod and show him around when he wakes up. Kirk out.

SPOCK

Captain, that may not be wise….

KIRK

Finally getting the hang of the suit radio he cuts Spock off

Jerk!

He variously drags and carries the other up the ravine, greatly hampered by the Gorn costume and the bulky suit. Exhausted, he stops twenty meters or so from the TriPod. He examines the other while they are both prone on the rocky slope. The very cool environmental suit encloses a very senior human male. No name tag is seen though, which irks Kirk. From what he can see of the other without benefit of a Tricorder, the hallmarks are nicely styled grey hair, nice teeth and an overall fine physical condition. The other begins to stir. Panicking, Kirk shoots him again with the Phaser.

KIRK

What to do; what to do? Hey! That’s a lot easier than that ‘to do or not to do’ crap.

Ponders his situation

KIRK – Voice Over

If I am indeed stranded on this alien and hostile planet, I will be at the resident’s mercy and old people like this dude are never going to accept a young fellow like me as their leader. Never. My only recourse is to erase all memories in this guy of this encounter and get the hell out of here. Yep. That the answer to the ‘to do’ thing.

KIRK

Chins the radio

Spock. Get down here will you. I need you to clear this dude’s memories. You know? I need you to do that Vulcan mind thing you can do, like that time you erased those memories in Nurse Chaple after that very awkward New Year’s party? You remember? We were so drunk she took her.…

SPOCK

Captain. Everyone can hear you up here.

KIRK

Ha, Spock. You fell for it. I can’t believe you fell for it. The oldest trick in the book and you fell for it. Get your ass down here on the double before this guy wakes up again.

SPOCK

On my way, Captain.

In a few minutes Spock materializes beside Kirk in a suit similar to the ‘Other’s – a form fitting garment with a compact helmet

Kirk

Annoyed commences to rag on Spock

So you got yourself a set of cool rags and sent me out in this, this ridiculous outfit…

SPOCK

Cuts him off

Jim. If you don’t mind? I’m kind of busy just now. I have a job to do and I’d like to do it.

KIRK

Sure. Sure. It’s just that I look like a fool and you look sooo cool. That doesn’t seem right to me.

SPOCK

It is the Vulcan Way. Always, Captain, always, look cool. Don’t waste your time and energy fighting it.

KIRK

What the hell are you talking about you stuck-up, green blooded, supercilious…

SPOCK

Why thank you, Jim.

SPOCK

Turns to the other to roll him onto his back

Give me a hand, will you?

Sets about putting things right. However, before he can do his Vulcan Mind Thing, the other begins to stir. He uses the Vulcan Nerve Pinch to knock him out.

KIRK

You have to teach me that, Spock. I usually just sneak up behind them and hit them over the back of the head with the butt of my Phaser. Damn hard on Phasers. I can't tell you how many Pha….

Spock interrupts

SPOCK

No, Captain. As I have informed you on at least a dozen occasions, I cannot. I am afraid you, as do all other humans, lack some of the essential attributes necessary to master the Big Squeeze, as it is called on Vulcan. At the very least you must be Vulcan. The human nervous system lacks the electrical energy required to cause the effect.

KIRK

As your Commanding Officer Spock, I order you to teach me that.

SPOCK

Groans audibly, twice

Okay. I give up. It’s really simple. How about after supper tonight?

KIRK

Yeah, sure.

SPOCK

No seriously Captain. It is quite simple. I can teach it to you in about five minutes. It is really easy.

KIRK

Yeah. OK. Keep it to yourself, Spock!

SPOCK

Aarrgh!

Exasperated he takes The Other’s helmet in his hands and squeezes until The Other’s eyes bulge out of their sockets

SPOCK

Screams in rage at Kirk and shouts

I am done with this!

KIRK

Wow Spocky, that was really impressive. So, now he thinks he met up with one of them smaller dune buggies, right?

SPOCK

Fighting to control himself Spock collapses onto his back, arms and legs flailing in the air

Yes!!! Maybe!! No! I hope so.

KIRK

Good. Good. No one would ever question that they had seen one of them things, eh Spock?

SPOCK

Lies still, panting breathlessly

They are called B-types, Captain. They are quite plentiful and yes, they are quite probably often encountered on the surface by human travellers. I mean it’s a small planet isn’t it? How could you miss them?

KIRK

Unless, and I hope I’m wrong, he is, what is it? What are people who…..see…….things? Borgs?......Empaths?.......Trumpets?

SPOCK

No. I believe the expression you are seeking Captain is ‘fantasy prone’. That is a very unlikely trait in a scientist, sir. Hopefully very, very unlikely. It is illogical.

KIRK

That’s a big fer sure.

SPOCK

Pulls himself together.

Jim, he is low on oxygen. About thirty minutes reserve is all that is remaining. To ensure his survival we must replenish his supply. And if we are to truly ensure his survival and repay him for the indignities he has just suffered at your hands he must be returned to his ‘dune buggy’ as you refer to it, immediately. Then, I suggest, we give him a shot to wake him and leave as soon as we are able.

KIRK

Shrugs his shoulders so dramatically that the motion is obvious, even in the Gorn costume and under the old-style suit

Yeah. Sure. Let’s do that, Spock.

Stares into the ever-present-in-his-mind camera

But no. We…..will…..leave…..him….here. In this place. And no, I’m not giving him any oxygen, either. Too…..expensive. You know that Spock. You know the price of oxygen is out of sight in this quadrant. Er, whatever.

SPOCK

Fine sir. Fine. Your perspicacity and generosity are notorious throughout the Galaxy. There. It is done.

KIRK

Really? Already? I thought it’d take a lot longer. I thought you had to hold his head with your fingers just so and stare into his face for like, an hour.

He tries to position his fingers but is prevented by the awkward Gorn hands inside bulky suit gloves. He looks at Spock, Gorn wall-eyed

SPOCK

No. That is just for dramatic effect. Captain, we must hurry. We have not much time before he awakes.

KIRK

Well, after you, Mr Spock.

Gestures dramatically in the direction of the TriPod

The Captain is always the last to leave. Right?

SPOCK

Actually Captain, we will beam up at precisely the same moment.

KIRK

So like, whatever!

Spock leads the way to the TriPod and enters

Kirk follows, stumbling in Spock’s tracks and climbs in with difficulty. As the hatch closes, it seems to Kirk that for a brief moment the other regained consciousness and looked straight into his eyes. He gives him the upright middle digit, easy to do with a Gorn’s three fingered hand; the universal sign of ‘goodbye’

In a moment Scotty has them back on the Enterprise


Act 2, Scene 1

Kirk - Voice Over

Captain’s Log Supplemental – I have returned from my mission on the planet Mars of this parallel universe, exhausted and embarrassed, a little sweaty, but none the worse for wear. However, if I don’t get out of here within the next three hours I will face a death sentence at Mr Spock’s hands. No wait. Let me think. What episode, er, mission is this? Oh yeah.

BONES

Well Jimmy-boy, looks like you dodged another one.

KIRK

Yes, Bones. It was pretty rough, but I got us through it.

Softly, under his breath adds

But will you look over very casually at Spock and tell me….. . Casually….I said!

Looks at his fingernails, shakes his hands and blows on them

Does he have a goatee?

BONES

Picks up on Kirk’s odd behaviour

What? Are you nuts, Jimmerino? Spock only has a beard in a few episodes and this isn't one of them. Are you all right Jim? You seem distracted.

KIRK

Missions. They’re called missions. Oh look! A chipped nail! God, I hate when that happens.

BONES

In full voice for all to hear

Yes! Oh my God! You need to come down to Sick Bay immediately, Jimmly. A drink of Romulan ale will fix you right up.

KIRK

Romulan ale. Why Bones, that’s illegal!

BONES

Well Captain, I’m a doctor, not a bartender!

KIRK

Oh, I can hold out for a few minutes more, Bones……Spock?

SPOCK and BONES

Yes, Captain.

KIRK

I was just wondering how that solitary dude would explain the whole thing to his people. Probably he would be written off as a nut case and forced to stay out on his own to avoid infecting the others with his delusions. I mean if he had too. Of course he doesn’t have to since you cleared his head of all memories of his encounter with me. Right?

SPOCK

Yes, Captain. I am certain that no problems remain that cannot be solved with science and logic. Science will triumph.

KIRK

Um, good. That, that Vulcan mind trick? It’s real, right? That’s, that’s not just some parlour stunt you use….to impress….the ladies, is it?

SPOCK

No Captain. It is not something I use to impress the ladies.

KIRK

You wouldn’t lie to me would you?

SPOCK

Captain. As you well know, Vulcans are incapable of lying.

KIRK

Of course…..so you feel you must keep saying. Because otherwise we may have altered the future of that Universe in way we cannot imagine. Potentially, I suppose my just having been there could result in its complete destruction. Or worse. And it could affect ours. You know. Create a spin-off.

SPOCK

No need to fear, Jim. And by the way, it is called an alternate universe.

KIRK

That’s Captain, Spock.

SPOCK

Looks away to his instruments, a smirk on his face

Ahem, no need to fear Captain, hmmm, asshole.

KIRK

What’s that Spock?

SPOCK

Nothing, Captain.

KIRK

Spock, I think we should further investigate this planet. You and I and Bones should beam down to the largest of the habitations and probe the locals.

SPOCK

How apropos is your selection of words.

KIRK

I dunno. Investigate? Better?

SPOCK

Much better. But Captain. Your encounter with that single solitary individual was, to say the least, very risky both to you and to his society. It was, if I may elaborate, a breach of the Prime Directive.

KIRK

Rules were meant to be broken, Spock.

SPOCK

Ahem, Captain. Really?

KIRK

Moving on….

SPOCK

Moving on, as there are very few of them, they will almost certainly all know each other. I mean how could they not all know each other? You'd have to be a loner, potentially a nut case not to know everyone in such a small group. How do you propose we remain incognito? You would be in the Gorn costume, I suppose?

KIRK

Don't be ridiculous Spock. I will wear a hat and period clothing. You would wear the same and a tuque to cover your ears. As for Bones, he is a southern doctor, comfortable in all social situations and can blend in with ease. We'd move around as much as we can, not staying anywhere long enough to arouse suspicion. Or interest.

SPOCK

Sounds good to me.

KIRK

Great. Let's get to it. As soon as I go....

SPOCK

I know Captain. As soon as you relieve yourself.

KIRK

Yeah, that too. Scotty, take over. Spock! Bones! To the Transformer Room!

Act 2, Scene 2 - In the Transporter Room

Spock has a plastic laundry basket full of clothing and some shoe boxes. Kirk and Bones look them over. Kirk puts on a Tee shirt with Pink Floyd’s ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ album cover on the front and a blue ball cap. It is labelled ‘We the Mars’ and adorned with a Gorn paw. The Doctor puts on a Tee shirt with the words ‘Lynyrd Skynyrd’ over a Confederate flag.

KIRK

These items of clothing Spock…..are you sure they’ll aid us in fitting in?

SPOCK

Computer analysis of the mode of dress and fashion of this period on the Earth of our Universe has been extrapolated to be approximately the same in this Universe.

KIRK

But this hat. It is unseemly for a Captain of a Starship to wear such a thing.

BONES

Yeah Spock.

BONES

Looks down at the logo on his shirt and traces the letters

And who the hell are the Ly nerd Sky nerds, anyway?

SPOCK

Ignores Bones. He turns Kirk’s cap around placing the bill at the back

KIRK

Oh yeah, that’s better. Much better, Spock.

KIRK

Puts on the pants. They are saggy, baggy and show his regulation bright yellow underwear

Nice fit.

BONES

Is not amused

Spock. You must be joking. These are ridiculous.

SPOCK

Doctor, I am merely the conveyance for the recommendations of the ship’s computer.

BONES

Well, what are you wearing?

SPOCK

I have selected some things from a few decades post your apparel. Aaah, just to be safe.

He pulls out Big Bang Theory’s Sheldon Cooper’s Theory of Robot Evolution Tee shirt, a pair of khaki cargo pants and a dark blue whoopee-style tuque

He pulls off his uniform shirt and drops his uniform trousers. He is wearing no underwear

Kirk whistles

SPOCK

Puts on the Tee shirt and pants, pulls the tuque down over his ears

Satisfied, Doctor?

BONES

Ahem, yes. Provoked, to say the least.

BONES

Dresses

KIRK

Holding up a pair bright orange Hi-tops

About these shoes, Spock. Are they not more suited…..to…to the sporting field?

SPOCK

Perhaps, Captain but I believe it is more a question of style than suitability for walking, etcetera. They are, after all, what the ship’s computer suggests. And she should know.

KIRK

Oh well. What could possibly go wrong? Let’s get down there. Have you selected a location?

SPOCK

Yes, Captain. An in-depth survey has found an area in the largest of the underground habitations that appears to be away from occupied areas and is currently devoid of humans.

KIRK

That’ll do Spock. That’ll do. To the machine!

Kirk and the others take their places on the Transporter. The usual noise emanates, the figures blur and fade

Act 3, Scene 1 – In the Tube

As planned, they materialise in a dark area away from the main hall. Lights can be seen off to their left. They have materialised in a shallow pond of water and are standing knee deep. Kirk has a pissed off expression that is well-deserved

KIRK

Curses in a whisper

Damn you Spock! You could have selected a more convenient place.

BONES

Yes! God Jim, I hope this isn’t the sewage lagoon.

SPOCK

Relax gentlemen. It could hardly be more practical. From the sandy beach, the discarded drink containers, the Cabana and lawn chairs, I deduce this to be a recreational area. It is probably quite safe. We should not be observed here and at least we did not materialise inside a rock.

KIRK

Puzzled

Cabana?

SPOCK

Yes, Jim. Beaches have them.

KIRK

They do?

SPOCK

Raisa?

KIRK

Not ringing any bells here.

SPOCK

The planet Raisa. The pleasure planet?

KIRK

What a ridiculous name for a planet. Isn’t it officially Omicron Delta Marriott Upsilon Auriga Pentathlon?

BONES

Jim-boy, we really must change your meds.

KIRK

Say what?

They look around in a half-crouch, Phasers drawn. Assured of their safety they wade ashore led by Kirk who says nothing until they reach the Cabana

KIRK

Looks down at his shoes covered with sand

Well Spock we may be safe but I’ve just ruined a two hundred dollar pair of shoes!

SPOCK

The replicator can make more. Should I have them sent down?

KIRK

Yes, please do. They’re really squishy.

SPOCK

Yes, Captain.

KIRK

And don’t forget clean socks.

There is no one around save them

Kirk sits down on a lawn chair and takes his shoes off, draining the water from them

Spock speaks into his communicator and in a few minutes three shoe boxes materialise before them

They exchange their wet ones for dry

Kirk throws his soggy pair into the pond

Bones does likewise

Spock scowls at them and places his in one of the boxes and slides it under a nearby chair

Phaser at the ready, Spock opens the door of the Cabana, peers in and looks around

SPOCK

The Cabana is currently vacant. I suggest we take up position in here to assess the situation.

The three of them enter and take a seat on the benches. There are typical beach posters on the wall, a natty rug and beach towels on hooks. Also there is a computer terminal and a large screen

Spock pecks away at it tentatively while the others look around. He soon is typing like a pro

KIRK

Well Spock. What have you managed to learn?

SPOCK

Typing. A lost art. That Alt-Shift-Ctrl maneuver is completely illogical. Ahem. This is a science colony established by a multi-nation effort in the year 2040. It is now October 31 2045. Or maybe it’s October 62. Regardless, there have been many prior missions, but none were successful in establishing a permanent colony. Research is being conducted in fusion, genetics and semantics.

KIRK

Ha’h. Fusion! Good luck with that!

SPOCK

Actually Captain, affordable practical generation of power by fusion is estimated to be a mere ten years off in our own Universe. Perhaps this Universe knows something ours does not.

KIRK

Sure. Sure they do. What else have you found out?

SPOCK

Their mission was one-way. No return.

KIRK

That seems wise. After a week on the surface of this place everyone would get in a ship and head back. What a dump.

SPOCK

Yes, Captain.

KIRK

Never mind that tekky stuff, what else?

SPOCK

Turns to face Kirk

I have found the equivalent of the local newspaper. There is everything one could want to know about this place in something called the ‘Social Section’. Hmmm. There is a reception tonight in the so-called, ‘Grand Hall’. A ‘party’, I believe it is called. It is going on as we speak. It is a costume party. It is a golden opportunity to meet people with a much reduced chance of being revealed as aliens.

BONES

Speak for yourself you misshapen Vulcan alien piece of….

KIRK

Interrupts Bones

Oh my God. A costume party? Spock, I love them. Get busy and order us up something to wear. I want to be a Klingon. You Bones? A Gorn? Spock. Quick. Be quick about it.

BONES

I wanted to be the Archangel Gabriel but no, I have to be….

The door opens.

Outside is an orange faced, yellow haired man, dressed in a cowboy shirt, chaps, with a ten gallon hat and two ancient six-shooters strapped to his waist

Before they can react he speaks

COWBOY

Hey, why you guys hiding out here? The party is about to get serious. You wanna be there for contest, ‘cause I’m the judge. I don’t see no winners here though. Talk about alienating people. Hey that’s funny. Write that down. Let’s go.

Without waiting for a reply he turns away and heads towards the lit area

They clamber out onto the beach. They see others gathering in the ‘Grand Hall’

KIRK

Well that was offensive. Let’s go gentlemen. We don’t want to keep the ladies waiting.

Act 3 Scene 2 – Outside the Cabana

SPOCK

Captain, I suggest we go separately to avoid the appearance of collaboration.

KIRK

OK. Keep your Phaser and communicator out of sight, too I guess. We should meet back here in one hour. That should be sufficient to learn all there is to know about these people.

Spock and Bones

Answer simultaneously

Yes Captain.

KIRK

Spock. You go first.

Spock heads towards the crowd followed by Bones and then Kirk

The area is an open space with tables and chairs arranged around a stage in front of an enormous window that overlooks a crater floor. No one pays the least attention to them and at a loss, they are soon together again, standing on the edge of the crowd. The party is well underway. Several mechanisms with six wheels and shaped like up-right beer kegs with thin necks and a round canister on top with multiple eyes and a slit mouth are on the stage (AI Entities). One is playing loud music over a stereo system; the other is clapping his (or her) six hands above his (or her) head and singing along in a so far fruitless effort to generate enthusiasm. The music is Radiohead’s OK Computer and is of course, totally unknown to them. Despite the festive mood most of the people are in groups of three or four discussing something technical or their health or the state of the management

They are approached by an AI similar to those on the stage bearing a tray of drinks and snacks

It stops in front of them; the canister tilts up and the eyes look to Spock.

In a human-type voice it speaks to him

AI ENTITY

How may I be of service? Would you care for a drink, sir?

SPOCK

Bends down to answer

What is it?

AI ENTITY

An excellent Shiraz, sir. Apparently grown in the MHM. I am told it is wonderful.

SPOCK

No thank you.

BONES and KIRK

Take a glass from the tray, take a sip, then down the entire glass

They say simultaneously

Excellent!

and grab another

AI ENTITY

An appetizer perhaps, sir?

SPOCK

What is it?

AI ENTITY

Koi, I am told. I am told it is wonderful, too.

SPOCK

No, thank you.

Kirk and Bones

Each takes a sample and gulps it down. Kirk gushes and he and Bones fill their hands

Koi you say. Excellent!

SPOCK

May I ask what manner of creature you are?

AI Entity

Stiffens, head drawn back, about as offended as an AI can be and can show

I am an E-type, designation E177. How may I be of service? And you are?

SPOCK

My name is of no importance.

AI Entity

Of course, sir. No importance whatsoever.

The AI ENTITY moves away, obviously miffed at the encounter

BONES

A paranoid android, if I ever saw one. I’d be climbing up the walls if I had to interact with them types every day. I much prefer Christine. You?

SPOCK

No comment, Doctor.

KIRK

Looks away across the room and mumbles

A female. A lone female. Lucky! And she’s an Orion. Green!

He moves in the direction of a woman standing alone, costumed as an Orion female

Gentlemen. Party-on. That’s an order.

SPOCK

Watches Kirk go

Fascinating. An anomaly, I am sure. And I believe the Captain is due for a letdown. This cannot go well.

BONES

Turns to Spock

No surprises there, Spock. But tell me, how is it that you have the ability to offend any creature sentient or otherwise, or any robot in any universe or any social situation?

SPOCK

I have been instructed by the best of them, Doctor. Thank you for your own not-too-insignificant-contribution to my education.

Alone again they scan the crowd. Bones chases down another E-type and gets another glass of wine and some more fish

BONES

Crispy. Deep fried. Appies it calls them. It’s short for appetizer.

SPOCK

How apt.

Looks around at the crowd

This group is quite diverse. I hear Punjabi, Hindi, Mandarin, Russian, Farsi, French, some English and even American. I believe that all of the main ethnicities of Earth are represented here.

BONES

Why Spock, it’s just like the Enterprise. We have Andorians on some trips. Nobody likes them though. And Orions, too. I like them. Jim certainly likes them. Some of them, anyway.

SPOCK

And then there’s Chekov.

BONES

Yes. Chekov. Challenging.

SPOCK

Stares across the room, fixated at something Bones cannot see but the taller Spock obviously can

Fascinating.

BONES

Struggles to see what has held Spock’s attention. He rises up on his tiptoes

What is it? Better yet, who is it?

SPOCK

I repeat, fascinating.

BONES

I heard you the first time you rabbit-eared hobgoblin. What do you see?

SPOCK

Doctor, I see three persons in Starfleet uniforms. From this distance they appear to be a Vulcan and two Earth-type humans. How illogical.

BONES

Damn you Spock. Where are they? Are you joking with me?

SPOCK

How likely is that, Doctor?

BONES

Oh yeah. Where are they?

SPOCK

Gestures in the direction of a large group near the stage. He moves as nonchalantly as Spock can move towards them.

Bones follows, taking another glass and a handful of appies as he passes an AI. Finally he sees the people Spock has seen

BONES

Oh my God.

SPOCK

Yes Doctor, your God is no doubt involved in this.

On the fringe of the group, with backs towards them are three persons, in Starfleet uniform

As they watch the cowboy they met at the Cabana mounts the stage and grabs the mike from the outstretched hand of the DJ AI

COWBOY

Howdy ya’ll. Welcome to the 5th annual Halloween Dance and Wine Tasting Party. It’s appies now, wine all night. Don’t worry. I’m used to whining. Hah! Hah! Hah!

A modest chuckle runs through the crowd who obviously know this fellow well. He goes on

BONES

Odd the way he waves his arms about as he speaks.

SPOCK

And that shirt!

BONES

Huh-uh’gly!

Eventually Spock and Bones ignore him and turn their attention back to the Starfleet persons

Oh my God, Spock. It’s us.

SPOCK

A close facsimile Doctor. My hair is a bit too short and is greying at the temples. The ears are a fine effort but lack the lift and elegance of my own. Nonetheless a fair attempt. You, I must report, are a bit more portly than your doppelganger. The Captain’s, however, is a bang on match.

BONES

Jim-boy doesn’t have a pot belly, Spock. And the hair is all wrong. And as for his arms, well his arms are much more muscular. And the Jiminator’s buttocks are much more firm. That’s a sad attempt at parody, I’d say.

SPOCK

To each his own Doctor. However, the greater mystery is, if we are from another universe and this is approximately the year 2045, how can we be here? Who are these people? I am confused and very slightly disturbed by this. This cannot be.

BONES

Well we’re not here Spock. I mean they’re not us. This is a costume party for God’s sake! There’s a perfectly logical explanation for all this. I’m sure.

SPOCK

I am aware of the nature of this event. But if they are not us, then they are in costume as us. How can that be? I must speak with them.

BONES

Spock! No! The Prime Directive!

SPOCK

The hell with the Prime Directive, Doctor.

Bones grabs Spock’s shoulder to restrain him, but Spock turns back and uses the ‘Big Squeeze’ on Bones who collapses to the floor

Spock eases him down and leaves him collapsed on his side

He shrugs his shoulders at several persons who see it happen

He makes a drinking motion

Glug Glug. He’s usually like this by this time of night. He’ll be all right. Just leave him be.

The others nod sagely and turn back to their conversations

SPOCK

Moves over to the Starfleet costumed persons and presents himself to them

Nice costumes. Where did you get the idea from? Or should I say, who the hell are you?

Kirk - costumed one

Answers in a voice slurred by alcohol

Captain James Tiberius Kirk of the Starship Enterprise. This Doctor Lenny McCoy and this is my Science Officer something, something Spock. And who the hell are you?

SPOCK

Baffled for a moment but having done his homework, replies in his best ‘ebonics’

Why I dat kid from the rappa school, dawg. You dig it? Name of fitty-cents. You cool with dat, mon?

Kirk - costumed one

Nice costume, but confusing dialogue. I mean who are you, really? Don’t you recognise me?

The Kirk wannabe lifts up his toupee to show a bald pate

Kirk - costumed one

It’s me, Jones.

BONES - costumed one

Lifts his toupee

It’s me, Frank. Frank Pinkney.

The Vulcan

Remains in character but does offer his name, a single

Moore. Just Moore.

SPOCK

Of course I recognize you. How could I not? It is illogical. But who does your eyebrows, Moore? I want to meet them. Ahem, well I gonna let youse guy guess all da nigh’ lung, mon. I gonna win dat contessa and take home the, correction, I mean dat, booty prize.

The Vulcan

Well done my good man. You have my vote. Let us get you a drink.

They turn away to seek out the drink AI. When they turn around, Spock is gone

ALL

You know, they shouldn’t let anyone dress like that. That was offensive. Yes. Absolutely. Engineers! They never grow up. Yes, we do. Stop it. No, you stop it.

SPOCK

Has moved deeper into the crowd. He sees Kirk, the real Kirk, talking to the Orion woman. She is giggling

KIRK

Has his arm draped around her shoulders and is whispering in her ear

Yes. Yes, it’s true. And in my universe men and women are equal and can pick and choose their sexual partners any time, any place and anyone.

Suddenly, from nowhere, a shortish man dressed as the Incredible Hulk appears (just a poorly made up Gorn to Kirk), spins him around and kicks him squarely in his Starfleet regulation gonads

He falls to the floor, moaning and clutching his groin

The Hulk

Yells at Kirk

Get your filthy hands off her you damned dirty ape!

Grabs her arm and pulls her away

WOMAN

Oh Ross. Grow up. It’s just a party!

The Hulk

I know. But I just always hated that guy.

WOMAN

Who? I don’t even recognise him. He’s just a Rapper to me. Isn’t it Dimitri?

The Hulk

Yes, but he’s dressed as that guy from Star Trek when he did another show. That TJ Hooker guy? It was awful.

They laugh and fall into each other’s arms

The Hulk

Let’s go home.

WOMAN

OK. But you better call Dimitri in the morning and apologize.

The Hulk

You think he’ll remember?

They leave Kirk squirming in pain on the floor

He is helped up from the floor by Spock

KIRK

Oh God, I wish these pants had an air bag. You know, I think I’ve had enough of this god-forsaken planet Spock. Let’s find Bones and get the hell out of here.

SPOCK

I think I know where we can find him.

Bones has been taken away by by-standers and is sitting by the stage, slumped over, awake but groggy

The Cowboy, very drunk, is with him

When Spock and Kirk approach Bones gets up. He starts to fall over and is caught by the Cowboy and Spock

COWBOY

Pokes Kirk in the chest and launches into a drunken speech

I just wanna say. I just wanna say, that you guys are fantastic. With the research in what you do. What is it you do? Great stuff. We are going to have huge results. So keep it up. Remember why we’re here – to get rich people stuff. I mean to enrich our lives. Ha, ha, ha. Huge lives. I gotta pee. Nice tee shirt by the way. Gotta love that band. ‘Thunder’….. ‘Thunder’….. Ha’h.

Fist pumps aplenty. Moves away, slapping people on the back, groping women and men alike, moving through the crowd. Most avoid him

SPOCK

Definitely of used car salesman quality.

KIRK

Really? I dunno, Spocky. I sensed a distinctive something…..something…..in that man…a leadership quality... .He's a great leader, I’m sure.

SPOCK

Really Captain? When he sobers up, possibly. Or grows up?

Together they pick up Bones and carry him to the edge of the dark area

KIRK

How are you, Bones?

BONES

I’ve definitely got the subterranean homesick alien blues, Jim. Talk about a hangover. By the way Spock, I owe you one. Don’t turn your back on me. Expect a hard one, when you least expect it. It’s what the Karma Police do. You never see it coming.

SPOCK

Understood Doctor. I cannot blame you for what I did. Nor for what you are planning on doing. It is….completely logical.

BONES

Jim, you wouldn’t believe what Spock did to me. Just when….

KIRK

Waves his hand dismissively

I don’t want to know what goes on between you….two. It’s entirely none of my business.

BONES

Well then. So are you staying, Jim. I mean, you said you….

KIRK

Do you know that woman….I was…..speaking to? See was quite taken with….me. I felt a….a connection.

BONES

I think you wanted a connection, Jim-boy.

KIRK

Yes….no….maybe…. but I’m definitely not staying. I wouldn’t fit in. She was quite forth-coming with details about this place. She told me…. the average age here is…..seventy-four. She said almost everyone here has had numerous implants and surgeries to look…..and feel…younger. Evidently they are working on a genetic reset switch. Officially very hush-hush but it’s actually common knowledge. It would enable them to….regress to younger age and freeze aging at…whatever time they…..wanted. I…could use that.

SPOCK

Hmmm Captain. That is illogical to say the least. One is what one is. One becomes what one must become, even aged.

BONES

Suddenly back to his normal self

There you go again Spock, with your high and mighty Vulcan ethics. Judge, judge, judge. It’s all you do. What could possibly go wrong with it? We should do that. In our universe. We should do that age reversal thing. God knows we’ve done that getting old and back to young thing before. It was on…..

KIRK

Distracted, cuts Bones off

Yes, Spock. What could possibly go wrong? Surely you don’t think…..they have come all this way to….. risk their lives in something that may…..not….work? Dedicated scientists of the highest ethics……all working to better all…. of humankind? You know the kind?

SPOCK

Yes, Captain. What could possibly go wrong besides everything. If I were here I would flee to the furthest corners of the planet to avoid these people and their research.

KIRK

Spock? You are one in a million.

SPOCK

Really Captain? There are that many out there like me? H’eh. The universe may be safe after all.

BONES

Why Spock, is that an ego I see sneaking up on you?

SPOCK

Turns around abruptly

Where?

Exit music plays

Act 3, Scene 3 – The Cabana

Kirk Voice Over

We have met the inhabitants of this planet. They are a violent society, obsessed with themselves and their work. I see no percentage in staying here. I just don’t…fit…in!

They arrive at the Cabana and go in

Spock takes a seat at the terminal and begins typing something

The Doctor slumps down in a chair

Kirk studies the posters, fingers the towels

KIRK

So what did we learn?

BONES

Well Jim, I’m pretty sure this is not our Universe.

KIRK

Yep. Agreed. Spock?

SPOCK

While you were off attempting to charm the pants off that woman Jim, Bones and I found to our complete surprise, that we have counterparts in this Universe and in this time and place. Including your woman friend, who is of, or was should I say, no is, inexplicably, an ‘Orion’ personage. Go figure. Three of the locals were in fact dressed in Star Fleet uniforms and costumed to resemble specifically at least, we three. They even employed our names. And while they were not us and the Starfleet uniforms were not genuine, the fact that we even exist in any form in this Universe means we have had or have, some form of reality here. Or perhaps they have invented time travel and have ventured forward into our time and universe and examined our society. I cannot imagine how else this could have occurred.

KIRK

An entertaining thought, Spock. Makes perfect sense to me.

SPOCK

Finishes his typing

What?

KIRK

What you just said about time travel and stuff like that. Was there a Yeoman Janice around? I might reconsider staying.

BONES

Janice at seventy-four?

KIRK

Hmmm. Yes. No….no.

SPOCK

James T Kirk at 84, Captain? Beauty has no age limit. Besides, if the age regression technique works as planned……

Suddenly the door opens

There is the Cowboy

COWBOY

Shouts

C’mon you guys. Let’s get back to the party! We’ve still got the costume judging and the chug-a-lug contest and the diving board competition. C’mon. Let’s go. That’s an order.

KIRK

I am in command here. These are my men. Off with you, silly person!

COWBOY

I’m the boss in these parts, pardner and I say you are going back. Now get a move on.

KIRK

Bones?

BONES

Sure Jim.

Bones and Kirk lead the Cowboy to the water’s edge

Spock balks but follows

They wrestle the Cowboy to the ground and taking an arm and a leg, toss him into the water

He comes up coughing and spewing water

COWBOY

God! It’s like a sewer.

He shakes his fist at Spock, then

Very funny guys. Aiken, I know it’s you under all that makeup. You’re behind this. You get the hell out of here and don’t bother to come back! And as for you guys, whoever the hell you are, you better pray I don’t find out cause I’ll…..I

KIRK

Well gentlemen, let’s do as the man says and get the hell out of here. Spock?

Oblivious to the presence of the now staring Cowboy, they transport up to the Enterprise

Act 3, Scene 4 – Bridge of the Enterprise. The usual gang are sitting about, noises, etc.

Kirk Voice over

We are preparing to warp out of here to get back to our own Universe. A kinder…..gentler universe I am sure, in which a man and a woman can….talk….without being set upon by angry, jealous….thugs. How we are going to do this though, I haven’t the foggiest notion. Scotty and Spock will figure it out. They always do. They’ve done it before….. something about matter and anti-matter or…..doesn’t matter. It’s just some magic formula they have devised. I forget in which episode. Er, mission.

Spock and Bones flank Kirk in the Command chair. Yeoman Janice is in her customary position

KIRK

Well gentlemen, any thoughts on what just occurred? Spock?

SPOCK

Extremely illogical Captain that we three would be in this time, in this Universe. I am deeply puzzled by the whole thing.

KIRK

Bones?

BONES

Well I think, Jimmy-boy, that we three are just too great in spirit, our personalities are just too big to be limited to one universe. In fact, we probably exist in every universe there is.

KIRK

Spock? Any comment on Bones’ comment?

SPOCK

Completely illogical Doctor, particularly since you did not consider the Orion woman, but I am at a loss to explain it myself. Hodgkin’s Law cannot explain this one. Nor can Occam’s Razor.

KIRK

Nor KISS.

SPOCK

Aye, Captain. Although I can find no evidence that your favorite band even exists in this Universe, never mind that it has in some way contributed to the philosophical development of this particular civilization.

KIRK

Sad. Very sad. Well Bones. I for one don’t find your explanation too hard to believe. Our stories are certainly engaging, exciting and principled. Although some are better than others.

Glances back at Yeoman Janice, smiles. She returns his smile and winks broadly.

He turns away

Warp speed helmsman, whatever your name is.

SULU

Lieutenant Sulu, sir. Shouldn’t we wait for Mr Scott to advise us about the engines, sir?

KIRK

Me’h. Carry out my orders, Mr Sulu! Warp speed. Now.

SULU

Oy vey! Aye Captain.

KIRK

By the way, Spock. I haven’t forgotten your promise to teach me that Vulcan neck pinch.

SPOCK

Stares into one of his high tech scanners and smiles

Not yet you haven’t.

KIRK

What’s that Spock?

SPOCK

Nothing, Captain.

The ship whines, rumbles and is tossed sideways, back and forth throwing the crew about

KIRK

Spock? Have you seen my….Communicator? My Phaser? Hopefully I didn’t drop them on that godforsaken planet.

SPOCK

Spock, who has left something of his own on the Cabana computer, puts his head down on his console

Whispers

Mommee!

The Enterprise lurches left and right, up and down and finally, with the squeal of rubber tires on pavement, disappears into the great wide open.


End Credits Roll (as in Multiverse 987589029D)

Kirk – played by Willie Shatner

Spock – George Lucas

Bones – Christopher Pike

Uhuru – Beyoncé Knowles

Yeoman Janice – Carrie Fisher

Scotty – Mark Hamill

Sulu – Jack Chan

Chekhov – Harry Ford

Cowboy – Donny Trump

AI Entity- Drink and Appie Server – Peter Griffin, Everyone