Paul Gadzikowski


Prime Contact

Chapter 2

Enterprise log, supplemental, first officer recording: During Captain Pike's first contact mission on the planet of the Klingons, an object impenetrable to our sensors has teleported onto the ship. Mr. Scott informs me that it has yielded passengers whom Mr. Spock is escorting to the bridge.

"And this," said Spock, privately mortified to realize so belatedly that the leader of the self-proclaimed time-travelers had not introduced himself with his full name, "is the Doctor."

"How do you do," said the Doctor, smiling, bowing, and taking Number One's hand. The other three had only informally nodded or waved. Number One appeared to be charmed despite her obvious suspicion of the strangers.

"Doctor who?" she asked.

The Doctor raised his eyebrows. "Now my dear, I haven't heard your name ...?" he said in a friendly tone. Number One told him her name. The Doctor responded in kind. The Doctor's name derived from no language with which Spock was familiar.

"So what brings you to the Enterprise?" Number One asked.

"Our ship," piped up the young woman, Susan, with typical human literalness-as-humor.

"We don't mean to be any trouble." Miss Wright spoke with little apparent hope.

"Captain's signalling, ma'am," interrupted Tyler suddenly.

"Excuse me." Number One turned to the intercom in the arm of the command chair. "Enterprise here."

"This is the captain." Pike sounded tense. "I've met with General Kartasp, their High Council leader, who sent us the subspace message. It's an odd situation down here, though."

"How so, sir?" Number One asked.

"These Klingons - their perceptions, their universe-view seems to be different than ours. I want you to send Spock down to backstop me."

"Perhaps," said the Doctor, stepping around the chair to the intercom before Spock or Number One could stop him, "we could help."

"Who's that?" said Pike. His inflection suggested that, but for Number One listening on the line, he'd have used one of the colorful Earth metaphors in which he occasionally indulged when startled. "Who's on my ship?"

"Tourists," said Number One. Spock admired her conciseness.

"Explorers," insisted the Doctor into the intercom.

"Two humans and two humanoid non-Earthpeople," Number One elucidated, "who claim to be time-travelers."

"If multiple perspectives are what you need," the Doctor continued, "Miss Wright and Mr. Chesterton are from twentieth century Earth, and my granddaughter and I from the future of a world unknown to Earth in your time."

"Captain," objected Number One, "we have no way of knowing who they really are."

"Have they shown any hostility?" Pike asked.

"No," said Number One grudgingly. In fact they were quite civil.

"You can't stop us, you know," said the Doctor. "We're not subject to the discipline of your service, are we, hm? And we're not citizens of whatever government authorizes it. If we wish, we can reboard our ship and take it directly to the planet's surface."

The Doctor's last statement seemed to cause Chesterton and Miss Wright to stifle smiles. Spock concluded that much but not all of what the Doctor said was true. He did not bring any of this to Number One's attention though. First of all, she will have observed it herself. Secondly, Spock was curious what the captain would say.

"Send'em down with Spock and Kim Luk," said Pike. Kim Luk was the largest crewman on the Enterprise's current roster and frequently put on security duty. Obviously Pike wanted to keep an eye on the strangers while nevertheless making use of whatever service they might be genuinely offering. "Right away, Number One; I'm not sure how long a recess I've got."

"Capital! Thank you, captain," said the Doctor, breaking the connection and turning to Number One, taking no note of her speechless annoyance. "Would you arrange transport for us please?"


Transport had turned out to be a "transporter", a teleportation device like the one Barbara had experienced when the TARDIS had landed on Marinus. This one seemed to be slightly less advanced; instead of perceiving an instantaneous transition, she thought she felt a momentary tingling, and thought she saw an accompanying yellow sparkle in her peripheral vision.

Captain Pike struck Barbara as being much like Ian: Friendly but no-nonsense. Commanding but easy-going. Tall, dark and handsome. He had an aide named Yeoman Colt, a young uniformed woman with no rank insignia and a recording device such as Spock carried. The crewman who like Spock "beamed down" with them and who looked like a sumo wrestler also had no rank stripes on his sleeve.

Ian had barely introduced the travelers to Pike and Colt when the Klingons reentered the room. They were humanoids, large, hirsute and swarthy. "So!" said the one in the most intricate costume, to Pike. "Finally you present a proper honor guard."

"Warrior society," whispered the Doctor to Pike as Kartasp's people filed into the room to fill it. Barbara too had noticed that the room's only decorations were bladed weapons with too many dark stains to be ceremonial. She suddenly realized that despite the lack of seating or conference table, this was the meeting room. The Doctor's whisper continued - Barbara catching it only because she was right behind Pike - rushed to be done with before the Klingons settled themselves. "He'll have been surprised that you arrived with so small a retinue. Now he's more impressed with you, but believes he has the upper hand if these are the best soldiers you can muster."

Pike seemed impressed with the Doctor's analysis but hadn't time to comment. He nodded to the Doctor and turned to Kartasp. "General, the Federation is an alliance of many planets who believe that strength comes from unity."

Kartasp nodded. "And whose unity is it?"

Pike was nonplussed by the question. He looked to the Doctor, who answered Kartasp for him. "Unity means all have an equal say."

Kartasp frowned. "Strong peoples must have stong leaders. Strong leaders don't idle waiting for people to follow them."

"The strongest leaders," said Pike, "let the strongest people choose them."

Kartasp was impressed by this thought, though it seemed he didn't quite grasp it, nor did the other Klingons. "Wise words, perhaps," he said to Pike, "but if my strong people are to choose your Federation for its leader, what are the benefits for them?"

"What do you need?" Pike asked.

Clearly none of the Klingons had expected this response. None of them but Kartasp seemed to believe it. "You must forgive our mistrust," said Kartasp. "We have had a bad experience with aliens recently."

Now Barbara and the rest of Pike's party exchanged confused looks. This was new information. "What happened?" the Doctor asked.

"We were on the verge of discovering interplanetary travel ourselves," Kartasp told them. "The aliens must have detected our drive in operation somehow. They came to our planet, and for some reasons of their own destroyed all the technical information and killed all the scientists. This was six years ago, and we have heard nothing of them since."

"That's terrible," said Pike. Spock was quietly relaying the story to the Enterprise, suggesting to Number One that the ship go to yellow alert in case these aliens were anywhere near. "How can we help?"

"You can teach our people how to fly the ship we still have, and how to build more," said Kartasp.

"Captain," said Spock, so quietly that Barbara only heard because she was right behind Pike, "such an intervention into a first-contact planet's internal affairs is unprecedented."

"And is that a good reason not to do it, hm?" the Doctor whispered into Pike's other ear. "You can do a great deal of good for these people."

Pike gave a look each to the Doctor and Spock before giving Kartasp his response. "I don't see why not," he told the Klingon leader. "It wouldn't go against any existing Federation law that I know of."


Email Paul

Chapter 3


Back to Paul's index.