Fan fiction is new work based upon existing characters or shows and typically written by enthusiastic fans of varying skills.
Star Trek was a television science fiction series first broadcast 50 years ago. It still inspires artists in diverse genre for several reasons. The show’s creators occasionally addressed contemporary social issues in unique ways. Science was taken seriously by the writers. The series depicted a future when humanity, however flawed, progressed and joined with other races to explore the universe.
The below short story is inspired by the characters in the first series pilot, “The Cage.” Captain Christopher Pike was commander of the space ship ENTERPRISE. As depicted by Jeffrey Hunter, Pike was quiet, thoughtful, and burdened by his leadership responsibilities. His second officer, Number One, was a mysterious woman of considerable self-control and discipline. The Science Officer, Mr. Spock, was a Vulcan (with one human parent) who had not yet been given the the emotionless facade seen in the later episodes. The ship’s physician, Dr. Boyce, was an older worldly man who tended to speak bluntly.
Only Spock carried over to the Star Trek show as broadcast, although “The Cage” was eventually used to create a two-part episode “The Menagerie.” These characters remain intriguing to Star Trek fans who are contributing to an effort to depict them once more in Star Trek: Captain Pike.
Pike focused his binoculars on the nighttime celebrations brightening the valley below. The reptilian tribe slowly swayed and twirled in unison about a great fire, each motion accompanied by throat bellows or loud jaw snaps that echoed up the ridge.
“I think we’ve landed during a festival,” Pike whispered, more to himself than to the other Away Team members on the hillside.
“A Winter Solstice celebration I believe, Captain,” Spock replied. “Every planet with a tilted axis hosts primal celebrations as seasons change. Fires represent the sun’s warmth and light. Even on Vulcan our ancestors participated in such crude revelry.”
“You should give crude revelry a try, Mr. Spock,” Pike teased his young officer. Number One loudly cleared her throat. She knew the Half-Vulcan was all too aware he was neither fully one thing or another, and quietly mentored him in his struggles to balance his passionate human and analytic Vulcan sides.
Boyce prepped the Away Team’s vaccination kit. “Yes, there sure are some wild parties out there. Did I ever tell you about the tattoo I got during Spring Equinox on Orion? Can’t really show it; it’s in an indelicate spot as it were. You’ll find similar tattoos in the computer banks if you research what were called ‘tramp stamps’ in early-21st century. . ..”
Pike cut him off. “That’s enough, Doctor.” But even Number One couldn’t entirely suppress a laugh. Boyce was a great ship physician, not least because his wayward youth enriched him with tales about what you should never do. “Keep your bacchanalia story for another time. Let’s concentrate on saving this species.”
“Oh, don’t worry, Captain. I can’t recall a thing about the festivities. They were THAT good.”
Spock looked at Pike. “Captain, are we violating the Prime Directive by helping these creatures?”
Number One interjected, “The Prime Directive was violated when that Federation research ship broke up in the atmosphere, Mr. Spock. The ship’s Saurian crew carried a disease that could wipe out this planet’s emerging sentient species. The dispersal model showed the disease vector settled into this region. If we inoculate just this region’s tribe we can prevent a fatal pandemic. It’s a Federation disease, so we’re obligated to provide a cure.”
Boyce started rolling his vaccine injector carrying bag. “I’m ready, Captain. Uh, they might be somewhat inebriated — more malleable — right now, if you’d like us to crash their party right now.”
Pike thought a moment. “No, Doctor. Let them recall a happy night rather than one with aliens leaping out and jabbing them with needles. We’ll go in early tomorrow while they’re sleeping it off. In the meantime, get some rest.”
Boyce and Number One were quickly asleep. A blessing, Pike thought, granted to souls at peace with themselves. Pike observed the festivals unwind below, the reptilians dancing ever more slowly, some nodding off near the warm central bonfire.
Spock seemed lost in thought as he studied the starry heavens that encompassed and embraced them.
“It’s Winter Solstice, Captain. The days to follow are sure to be more sunny. A prediction consistent with both Vulcan logic and human sentiment.” Spock dropped his head slightly, embarrassed by his own smile.
What Pike knew of their next mission made him doubt Spock’s optimistic forecast.
“To sunny days ahead, Mr. Spock.”
They settled down together to await the dawn.