"Captain's Log. Stardate 2823.5 The Enterprise has finished its survey of 13 Gamma Pisces. Nothing unusual to report, though there are some dilithium deposits on the moon of the fourth planet that will prove useful. We're now underway at Warp 6 to Kappa Pisces to scan that system. Ship operating normally."
Kirk turned off the recorder and signed a PADD that Yeoman Chang handed him for the duty roster. He nodded at her and got out of his chair and walked over to Spock. "Rather uneventful week, huh, Spock?" His Vulcan science officer raised an eyebrow. "I'm not sure what you mean, Captain. We detected several new deposits of dilithium, plus a Class 2 gravitic anomaly at 13 Gamma Pisces" Kirk grinned. "Yes, very exciting." He turned back to look at the Main Viewscreen, endless star-streaks flashed by.
Suddenly, a beep at Spock's console caught Kirk's attention. Spock immediately looked into his scanner. "Detecting a vessel at 1.3 parsecs, under minimal warp speed." "Identification?" Kirk asked. "Scanning, sir." A moment passed. "Smallish, no more than 15 meters across, saucer-shaped. Primitive fusion power system. I am detecting no subspace radio identifying signals."
Kirk turned to the Navigation station of the bridge. "Mr. Chekov, plot an intercept course to that ship." "Aye, Kep'tin" replied the young Russian. Kirk turned back to Spock, "Any cargo vessels out this far?" Spock looked up for a moment and checked a read-out. "None listed on the Starfleet Civilian Registry, sir." He looked over at the Captain. "Sir, I might mention, we are only 2.15 parsecs from the Romulan Neutral Zone?" Kirk nodded. He turned to Sulu at Helm/Tactical. "Sulu, General Quarters…fire up the shields!" Immediately, the status light on the wall of the Bridge changed to yellow.
The Enterprise continued towards the small vessel. At less than 30 million kilometers, it slowed and the vessel became visible on the long-range sensors. Both Kirk and Spock stared at it on the viewscreen. It was a saucer-shaped craft, looking for all like two bowls inverted on each other. A large window was in the front, scanner dome on top, and a circular and rotating fusion drive underneath. There were no visible markings on the vessel.
"Spock, analysis?" The Vulcan looked back at his scanner. "Definitely an Earth-vessel of some kind, sir. I am detecting alloys used by your home-world for nearly two centuries. Power supply is fusion, apparently powering a primitive subspace displacement field, the precursor to Zephram Cochrane's warp drive." He looked up suddenly. "Sir, if memory served, I believe a vessel of this description was launched from Earth in the late 20th Century….designated the 'Jupiter-Two'?" Kirk turned quickly and excitedly back to the viewscreen. "The 'Jupiter-Two'?" Several other crewmembers looked up as well, wide-eyed , mouths dropping. Kirk, just to remind himself, asked for full data from his Science Officer. Spock pulled up the file on the computer.
"The 'Jupiter-Two' was launched on October 16, 1997, Old Style, as Earth's first interstellar colonization mission, " he began, "The crew was comprised of the Robinson family…Dr. John Robinson, his wife Maureen, and three children. The pilot was Major Donald West of the United States Air Force. Telemetry was lost almost immediately upon launch. The mission had been delayed for many years due to the Eugenics Wars, and after its loss, NASA was forced to align with other countries to continue its space program. The review board concluded that the primitive space warp drive Dr. Robinson had incorporated into the ship had caused its destruction. Due to that report, no further warp driven ships were constructed until Zephram Cochrane proved they were reliable in the mid-21st Century."
Uhura spoke up as Spock ended. "Sir! We are being hailed. Old style radio broadcast, the old Alpha Control frequencies." Kirk nodded "On speaker." The audio crackled "Alien vessel, this is the Jupiter-Two, Professor John Robinson speaking. We are a peaceful colonization vessel and would ask for your intentions and identification"
Kirk shot a puzzled look at Spock. "Spock?" The Vulcan once again turned to his computer console, pressing several buttons. "Historical date-base confirms, sir. Voice identification is John Robinson, leader of the expedition. Cross-matched to old Alpha Control briefing broadcasts and audio tapes." Kirk was incredulous. "But he'd have to be over 300 years old?" Spock looked up from the console. "Three hundred and twelve, actually, sir, given a birth-date of 1955 and…" Kirk waved him off.
"Uhura, open channel" The Communications Officer pressed a button. "Channel open, sir." "Jupiter-Two, this is the Starship Enterprise, Captain James T. Kirk commanding. We are an…Earth vessel as well and assure you we mean you no harm." Silence for a few minutes. Then a response, "Captain Kirk, we are unfamiliar with any Earth vessel of your size and capacity." Kirk smiled, "Yes, sir. That's a little difficult to explain. Would you mind reducing velocity and if we came over to your vessel?" Several more moments passed. "Of course, Captain. Our docking port is on the forward-right side of our main window." Kirk smiled again, "That won't be necessary, Professor, just please standby on your main deck for a few minutes."
Kirk turned to Sulu, "Stand down from General Quarters" He looked to Spock. "We have an invitation, Mr. Spock." He nodded "Yes, sir. And both a monumental historical opportunity and a mystery." Kirk turned to Uhura, "Have Doctor McCoy and Mr. Scott join us in the Transporter Room". He looked back to Sulu. "Mr. Sulu, you have the conn."
As McCoy entered the Transporter Room, he asked puzzled. "Jim, what's this about us finding the 'Jupiter-Two'?" Kirk nodded. "And the crew is still alive and un-aged?" Spock interrupted. "As far as we know, Doctor. However the means by which that occurred is still a mystery." Kirk walked to the Transporter Pad. "Bones, soon as we get over, I want you to run a full medical scan. Spock's instruments show them to be human, but I want to make sure." McCoy nodded. Scotty entered. "Join the party, Mr. Scott" Kirk asked. "Aye, "the Scotsman eagerly answered, "To get a chance to look at the prototype Phase One Spatial Displacement Drive. She was a beauty, if a bit old-fashioned." As the landing party all assembled, Kirk turned to Lt. Kyle. "Energize."
As the transporter beam faded, Kirk, Spock, McCoy, and Engineer Scott got their first look at the inside of the Jupiter-Two. The ship itself was primitive to their standards, but all knew that for the late-1990s, it was the most advanced spacecraft built to date. Both in its incorporation of an early "warp drive" and a fusion reactor, but artificial gravity and an advanced suspended animation system as well. All based on designs by its creator and leader, John Robinson.
Standing before the crew of the Enterprise, were the members of the Robinson party, plus an older man in his fifties that Kirk didn't recognize from the momentary glance at the photo of the Jupiter's crew he saw on Spock's display. First was Robinson, tall, muscular, dark-headed in his early forties. Like Kirk, the archetypical "space hero" type. Beside him to his left was obviously his wife, an attractive redhead with a matronly smile. To her left were two young women. One was in her early twenties, blonde, quite appealing. The other a teenager and brunette.
On the other side of Robinson was a man in his early thirties, Kirk guessed it was Don West, the pilot for the mission. A young redheaded boy stood near him, reminding Kirk of his nephew Peter. Two odd figures were towards the back. As noted, a man in his fifties, receding hairline, hawkish face, and with a look of anxiety. The other figure was even more peculiar… a robot. With a plastic bubbled head, cylindrical body, tracks for "legs", and pincers on the end of extendable arms. Status lights flashed on it and an obvious sensor array rotated within the bubble head. The entire group was in a bit of a shock, obviously from the means of Kirk and his party's arrival.
John Robinson spoke first. "How did you do that?" Jim Kirk smiled. "Matter-energy teleporter. It's nothing harmful, I assure you." Kirk stepped forward to shake hands. "Professor Robinson? James T. Kirk of the USS Enterprise" Robinson wavered for only a moment and then shook Kirk's hand and smiled. "Captain." Kirk turned to his party; "This is my Science Officer, Mr. Spock" Spock slightly nodded to Robinson. "My Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Leonard McCoy" Bones smiled and then smiled to the group. Unobtrusively, he opened his medical tricorder and took the hand scanner in hand, starting his scan of the Jupiter-Two occupants. Kirk continued, "And my Chief Engineer, Montgomery Scott". Scotty smiled as well and bluntly said "Canna wait to get a look at that engine of yours, Dr. Robinson. I've read all about it in my history journals!"
Robinson and the other looked even more confused. "History journals?" he asked. Kirk off-put, cleared his throat. "Yes, sir. 'fraid that's going to take a little explaining, too." Robinson pressed the point, "Captain Kirk, I've never seen any Earth vessel like yours. It's huge. You said 'USS' Enterprise….American?" Kirk shook his head slightly, "Uh, no, sir…it's the 'United Federation of Planets'." Robinson was more confused, as were the others.
"Professor," Kirk began, "What is the current date and year?" The scientist turned his head slightly "March 7th, 2000, of course." Kirk looked over at Spock, who raised his eyebrow again. Then back at Robinson. "No, sir, I'm afraid not. By your reckoning this is February ….2267 AD." Robinson and his family and crew looked aghast. Donald West spoke first "That's impossible. Our data recorders show we've only been in space for just less than three years!" Spock stepped forward, "Might I examine those recorders, Major West?" West led him over to the control console of the ship.
Kirk continued, "I'm afraid it's true. Your mission was launched in 1997….that was almost three hundred years ago. Our vessel is so advanced to you for that very reason."
Robinson turned to his wife. "Maureen?" She nodded "I think they're telling the truth, John." The older man in the back stepped forward, indignant, "Impossible!" he stated firmly, "This is some trick by aliens." Robinson looked to the robot, "Robot, further analysis?" The automaton's artificial voice came from a speaker behind a flashing red light. "Scanning data indicate the arrivals are human, except for the one called Spock. No data on his species." The young redheaded boy stepped towards his father. "Dad? Is it true? Are we three hundred years in the future?" Robinson smiled slightly "I don't know, son. Maybe."
Kirk saw a moment to continue to win their trust. "Mr. Spock is a Vulcan, from a planet in the 40 Eridani system." He smiled. "We on Earth formed an alliance with them, along with several other species in the 22nd Century, which became our present Federation. Starfleet, the unit we belong to, is its defensive and exploratory arm." The Robinsons seemed slightly more at ease. Meanwhile, Spock and West had finished their work at the computer console.
"Captain, I believe I have the answer," Spock began. He turned to Robinson. "Professor Robinson, you encountered a drop-off in power some weeks ago to your spatial displacement drive, did you not?" The Jupiter-Two commander nodded. "And you repaired it only two days ago…while you were still underway on that drive?" Again, Robinson and West too nodded. "As I surmised," Spock continued, "Due to that power drop-off, the vessel remained at near-relativistic speed for some time, but within Einsteinian space, not subspace . Due to the time dilation effect, the Jupiter-Two and its crew would have not aged, while the external Universe would have, by a factor 1339.116. Thus losing almost three centuries in time."
Maureen Robinson turned to her husband. "John, is such a thing possible?" "Yes, dear, the physics would support that." They all resumed their stunned status. Kirk took the chance to step forward to Robinson. "Sir, your mission was one of the premiere events in human spaceflight. It inspired others to go out into the solar system and men like Zephram Cochrane to continue your work on space warps and develop the engines which now power my ship and gave humanity the stars." Robinson nodded appreciatively. Then he looked up. "Cochrane? Any relation to Irwin Cochrane of the University of Montana." Kirk looked over to Spock. "Affirmative. Irwin Cochrane was the paternal grandfather of Zephram Cochrane."
Robinson smiled. "Irwin was a student at my graduate seminar on space-time physics."
Spock walked over to the indignant middle-aged man who had spoken up before. "Our records do not indicate you being a member of the crew of the Jupiter-Two?" The man seemed embarrassed and a guilty look went over his face. "I, uh, I'm…" Robinson stepped forward. "Dr. Zachery Smith…our..uh…physician. He was a ….late arrival onboard." Everyone, including Kirk's party, seemed to understand that the story was a bit strained.
Scotty stepped for the central navigation system. A domed enclosure resting on a raised platform, with a small model of the ship inside. "Mark 2 Navigation system, innit?" Don West stepped beside him, "Yes, shorted out after our take-off" He shot an angry glance at Smith, who quickly looked away. Scotty noticed it, but continued to discuss the system with the pilot.
Spock meanwhile was engaging Professor Robinson on the Robot. "An interesting cybernetic device. Your design?" Robinson nodded. The Robot spoke up for itself. "I am a B-9 Environmental Control robot." "Indeed, " replied Spock taken aback, "And your processing capacity?" "15.34 quads per second." The Vulcan nodded, "Quite impressive given the primitive micro-chip technology." The automaton raised its bubble head and turned to Spock, "Primitive?" it said in a huff. The Vulcan was astonished to see an actual emotional state of indignity from the machine. "Fascinating."
As his crew spread out, Kirk stepped aside for a moment to talk to McCoy. "Bones? What do you think?" The physician nodded. "They're humans, Jim. 100%." "What about their psychological status?" McCoy nodded slightly. "Perty good, I'd say, given they've just found out everything and everybody they knew is gone. It may come from already being lost in space for three years…well, three to them." Kirk nodded and went back over to John Robinson.
"Professor," he started, gesturing to the others, "I don't believe we've been introduced." Robinson smiled. "Of course. This is my wife, Maureen." "Ma'am", Kirk smiled. Robinson turned. "My daughters, Judy" He indicated the blonde. Kirk shook hands. "And Penny" Kirk shook hands with the teenager. The boy stepped up and Robinson put his arm around him. "And this, is Will." The youngster looked about twelve, thirteen. He stuck out his hand, "Pleased to meet you, Captain Kirk." Jim Kirk smiled broadly, shaking the boy's hand firmly. "Pleased to meet you too, Will Robinson."
"Captain?" Maureen asked, "Can I get something to drink for you and your men?" Kirk nodded, "That's very hospitable of you, Mrs. Robinson." She motioned to the girls and they took the lift down to the lower deck. Will Robinson stuck to Kirk's side. "Captain Kirk, sir, how fast will the Enterprise go?" Kirk admitted that he liked this kid already. "Warp 8 typically, that's about four hundred times the speed of light." "Gee whiz!" John Robinson was equally impressed. "Such speeds have never even been theorized…uh…in our time." "I'd sure like to see the Enterprise, Dad," Will said to his father. Robinson was about to speak, when Kirk injected. "Actually Professor, we'd love to have you and your family and crew come over to the ship for a reception." Robinson nodded. Kirk continued, "Also…to discuss your future."