Star Trek MCXLVII -- Lost in Self-Referral Space
"Well, Spock," McCoy drawled in an amicable tone, "how shall we open this adventure?"
Spock, who was seated across from McCoy at a table in the antechamber to sickbay sardonically replied, "You could, Doctor, make some remark about how my hereditary affiliation with humans taints my otherwise flawless Vulcan logic and include an irrelevant statement about my pointed ears."
McCoy was ready to do just that but Spock continued, "But first let me point out that you've made several assumptions which I, being a Vulcan, would never make. One, you assume that we are embarking on an adventure, and that is implied by your saying that it needs opening. If one were to call this mission an adventure, then surely it "opened" two and one half years ago when we left orbit at space dock.
"Second, if we are starting an adventure, how can you be certain that it would be we who are starting it? If anything, the Captain keeping watch over the bridge would be the logical place to start. Can you picture, Doctor, the scene opening with Captain Kirk sitting in his command chair. Jim is alert, and although the ship is functioning normally at present, he knows it could be plunged into alert status at any second." Spock swiveled in his chair slightly and stared at McCoy emotionlessly waiting for his reply.
The lab reports that McCoy and Spock had been working on were in front of them. McCoy, while listening, was tapping the point of his pencil absently on his report. Abruptly he let the pencil fall forward between his thumb and forefinger to make a 'clack' sound. "Yes, I will admit that might be a "logical" place to start because the Captain is the main character. But since most adventures do, don't you think it might be a little more interesting if it opened with us? We are, after all, the two main sub-characters after Kirk. You never see them opening with Uhura, or Checkov, or, g-d forbid, Chapel?!"
Spock steepled his forefingers in front of his face as if in deep contemplation and replied, "Yeeeesss....Doctor, you may have a point."
"And another thing," McCoy continued impatiently, "we've been out in deep space far too long without shore leave. We were due in a month ago. The crew is under great stress and fatigue. Morale is low and you can guess how the Captain feels. Don't you realize that these are the perfect circumstances for something to happen? The symptoms add up and it's almost becoming a cliche!"
"No." Spock said in a tone which meant a barrage of flawless Vulcan logic was coming to refute McCoy's observation. "I must differ with your diagnosis. On a mission such as ours, these factors have become routine, not cliche. The extent of our journey should have made you realize this long ago. In fact, it was only two weeks ago that you were complaining about this same subject."
"And it was just at that time that we ran into those reptile men on Sigmadeltatrianguli VII who claimed that the Enterprise and its crew were a deadly threat to the survival of their civilization." McCoy interjected triumphantly
"And now, when we're even more strung out, don't random factors indicate that an event will arise to further test our endurance and worthiness of being Federation officers aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise? After all, Spock, we can only take so much. We're only human..."
"Unfortunately for YOU Doctor....", There was a loud whistle and Spock was cut off as Mr. Sulu's voice pierced the air over the intercom.
"Mr. Spock, you are requested by the Captain to come to the bridge as your presence there is most urgently needed." Sulu said.
Spock punched the com button, "I will be there momentarily Ensign." Spock headed for the door. "We'll finish the lab reports and our discussion later Doctor.
"AHA! Not so fast Mr. Spock....", McCoy shouted as he punched the intercom button. "Sulu, is it a planet?"
Sulu replied, "Long range scanners indicate a large body approximately point five parsecs to our upper left...er...I mean 53 point oh four mark 72 degrees."
"See Spock," McCoy said voice rising with glee, "A planet usually means... Spock?" McCoy looked up but Spock had already left. "Mr. Sulu, can you tell me what the body is believed to be?"
Sulu replied, "So far we have established that it is a binary system with a K-type red giant with an orbiting white dwarf companion star. It is quite possible that the system will novae in a matter of days. The Captain speculates that if there are any inhabited planets, we may have to pull a rescue mission.
"You are familiar with that scenario?" Sulu asked.
"Indeed I am," McCoy replied.
Sulu continued, "Mr. Spock is now stating that, assuming there is an inhabited planet with low technological capabilities, it may take awhile to convince the obstinate natives that they are in danger.
"Or it might be a case of us trying not to break the prime directive even though the natives are already convinced that we are Gods of some sort."
Copyright 1997 David Weinstein, Viacom, Paramount. Distribute at will.
Long and Prosperous Lives. :)
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