Disclaimer: I don't own Star Trek.  How different it would be if I did….

Author's Note: This story takes place before The Mask of Stella.  If you haven't read it, I recommend you do (and review!) but you don't have to in order to understand this story.  This story eventually becomes extremely insane, though it doesn't truly begin being weird until the third or fourth scene.  Bear with me that long, and then it really gets goofy.  Half of you have probably skipped this note anyway, so I'll just stop typing and go on to………

Vulcans and Chicken Noodle Soup Don't Mix

Introduction:

Kirk: [voice-only] Captain's Log, Stardate 6712.4: On the Enterprise, we spend our time seeking out new worlds and new life, boldly going where no man has gone before.  We take risks, because risks are our business.  When man first looked at the stars-

McCoy: [voice-only] You better skip the speech, Jim.  We have to keep on schedule you know.  Consider the time-slot.

Kirk: [mixed-up] Ahem.  Where was I…oh yes.  [continuing]  Because we spend our time exploring the depths of space, we rarely come into orbit around Earth.  When we do, the crewmembers, myself included, like to visit family and friends.  Usually, these are quiet, pleasant, relaxing visits, with little excitement.  Usually.  On this particular trip… [pause] well, we discovered exactly why Vulcans and chicken noodle soup don't mix.

Act I, Scene I

[Kirk, Spock and McCoy are in the transporter room.  Unidentified Crewmember 1 is at the transporter controls.  McCoy is standing next to the controls.  Two battered suitcases are sitting on the transporter.]

Spock: [mildly perplexed; to Kirk] Why exactly do you want me to visit your mother, Captain?

Kirk: Last time we were in orbit around Vulcan you took me to visit your mother, so fair's fair.  And, anyway, you'll like my mother.

McCoy: He's right, Spock.  She's a nice woman.  [to Kirk] I'd come along, Jim, but I've got my own business to take care of.

Kirk: [idly] What business is that?

McCoy: The most important kind.  I have to visit my mother.

[Suddenly, Spock sneezes violently.]

Kirk: Have you still got that cold, Spock?

Spock: That is an illogical question, Captain.  If I did not still have that cold I would not be sneezing.

Kirk: [joking] Well, excuse me for asking an illogical question.

Spock: [seriously] It is quite all right.  Living with humans one becomes accustomed to these…these… [sneezes again]

Kirk: Maybe you ought to give him something for that, Bones.

McCoy: [shrugs] Not much I can do, Jim.  We can travel at warp speed but we can't cure the common cold.

UC1: [to Kirk] Sir, we're prepared for transport.

Kirk: Let's go then.  For once we can beam down without worrying about the risks.  Although, of course, risks are our business.  When man first looked at the stars-

UC1: Uh, Captain, I suggest beaming down.  We do have a long list of people waiting to use the transporters.

Kirk: Ah, yes, of course.

[Kirk and Spock walk over and stand on the transporters.]

McCoy: Say 'hello' to your mother for me, Jim.

Kirk: Will do.

UC1: All set, sir.

Kirk: Energize.

[Kirk, Spock, and the suitcases beam out.]

Act I, Scene II

[Kirk, Spock and the suitcases beam in.  The area is a quaint, rustic, small-town looking type of place.  They are standing on the front lawn of a neat white farmhouse.  A dirt road is behind them.]

Kirk: [taking a deep breath] I grew up in that house.  Haven't been back in over a year.  [looking around]  There's a tree house in that tree over there.  [rueful] Broke more bones falling out of that when I was a kid.  Behind that hill over there Dad made a little pond.  Filled it with fish for me and Sam to catch.  We spent more Saturday afternoons-

Spock: [interrupting] Captain, if you are attempting to initiate a conversation based on sentimentality, I should remind you: I am a Vulcan.

Kirk: Oh, right.  I forgot for a minute.

[Kirk and Spock each pick up one suitcase, and walk up to the front porch. Kirk's mother comes out to meet them.  She hugs Kirk.]

K's Mom: Hello, Jimmy.  I've been expecting you since the Enterprise came into orbit.

Kirk: Hello, Mom.  [gestures to Spock] This is Mr. Spock.  He's my first officer.

K's Mom: [smiles at Spock] Hello.  It's a pleasure to meet you. 

Spock: It is nice to meet you, Mrs. Kirk.

K's Mom: It's funny, I half feel as though I already know you.  I've heard all about you in what few letters Jimmy writes to me.

Kirk: [groans] Mom!  I'm busy.

K's Mom: [rolls her eyes] Of course you are, always rushing off to save the galaxy.  [briskly] Well, I don't know what we're doing standing here on the porch.  Come in, come in.

[Kirk, Spock and K's Mom go inside.]

Act I, Scene III

[Kirk, Spock and K's Mom are in the house.  Kirk and Spock are just coming down the stairs, having left their suitcases upstairs.  They go into the kitchen, where K's Mom is bustling around making tea.  Kirk and Spock sit down at the table.]

K's Mom: So, how are things on the Enterprise?

Kirk: Everything's all right.

Spock: Conditions are norm…norm… [sneezes]

K's Mom: [concerned] My, that sounds like a terrible cold.

Spock: I'm quite all…all… [sneezes]

Kirk: He's had it for over a week now.

K's Mom: [scolding] And you haven't taken anything for it?

Spock: There is no cure for the common cold.

Kirk: We have it on the highest authority.

K's Mom: Nonsense.  I suppose some doctor told you that.  [muttering] No cure for the common cold!  Honestly!  [pours a glass of orange juice and gives it to Spock] You drink that while I make some chicken noodle soup.

Spock: [eyeing orange juice dubiously] What is this mixture?

K's Mom: Orange juice.  It will cure that cold in no time.

Kirk: [grinning] You better drink it.  Just be glad she's not into prune juice anymore.  [shudders] Vile stuff.

[K's Mom glares good-naturedly at Kirk.  Spock tentatively takes a sip, then drinks more.]

Spock: Acceptable.

[K's Mom rolls her eyes, and gives Spock a bowl of chicken noodle soup.]

K's Mom: Now you eat all of that.  If the orange juice doesn't help, there's nothing like chicken noodle soup for a cold.[1] 

Spock: [doubtful] I suppose.  [Spock tries the soup.] Interesting.  I do not believe I have ever eaten this particular assortment of organic compounds in the past.

[K's Mom looks at him quizzically.]

Kirk: [translating] He means he's never had chicken noodle soup before.

K's Mom: I see.

Spock: It is quite palatable.  [continues eating soup]

K's Mom: You're too kind.

[K's Mom gets a glass of orange juice for Kirk and tea for herself.]

K's Mom: [giving Kirk the juice and sitting down] You have some juice too.

Kirk: But I'm not sick.

K's Mom: [firmly] An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  Now drink!

Kirk: [good-naturedly] Yes, ma'am.

K's Mom: So, what's been happening lately out in the depths of deep space?

Kirk: Things have been pretty quiet for a couple weeks now.

K's Mom: [slyly] So you would have had time to, say, write a letter to your mother?

Kirk: [hedging] Aw, Mom…

Spock: [serious] I would estimate that the Captain had time to write approx…approx… [sneezes]

Kirk: [glaring at Spock] Maybe you should have some more soup.

K's Mom: It can't possibly hurt. [pours more soup]

Kirk: [changing subject away from free time] Our last mission, before things, uh, quieted down was a rather interesting one.

K's Mom: Oh?

Spock: You are referring to our encounter with the dragon?

Kirk: That's the one.  You see, this dragon-like creature got on board the ship somehow.  It was rampaging through the corridors, and so on.  Fortunately I happened to be nearby in the Mess Hall.

Spock: The captain spends a great deal of time- [pause; turning to Kirk] There was no need to kick my leg, Captain.  It is a most illogical reaction.

[Kirk turns red, and glares at Spock.]

K's Mom: [amused] About the dragon?

Kirk: Oh, right.  Well, this dragon was storming through the corridors.  I tried standard procedure first, of course.

K's Mom: Which is?

Kirk: [matter of fact] I threw my wine glass at it.

K's Mom: [straight-faced] Oh.

Kirk: Unfortunately it had no effect.  That's when we decided it was time to do something a bit more dangerous.  A bit…risky.  But of course, risks are our business.  When man first looked at the stars… [stops] uh, when man first looked at the stars…

K's Mom: Yes?

Kirk: [embarrassed] Well, uh, I don't remember what comes next.  It's been months since I got past that point.

K's Mom: [trying to maintain straight face] Oh.  So what happened?

Kirk: Well, the dragon eventually left the ship and was down on this planet we were orbiting.  So we followed in a shuttlecraft.  We ended up chasing it through this jungle.  Huge fight; you don't want to hear the details.  Eventually we won, and the dragon lost both his wings.

K's Mom: Dear me.

Kirk: Yeah, so then Bones raised this big fuss about his oath to preserve life of all kinds, so we took the dragon and his wings up to Sickbay and Bones fixed him up.  He's okay now.

K's Mom: Did he go back to rampaging?

Kirk: No, actually.  Because of the near-death experience where he lost his wings he rethought a lot of things about his life.  He eventually changed his name to Methuselah and joined a monastery.

K's Mom: Well, that's a very nice story.  Everything ended beautifully for everyone.

Kirk: [less enthusiastic] Yeah, I suppose.

Spock: The Captain was disappointed because he was hoping to encounter beautiful native girls on the planet and we—

Kirk: [glaring at Spock; hastily pouring soup] More soup, Spock?

Spock: Thank you.

Act I, Scene IV

[Several hours later, about two o'clock in the morning.  The setting is the spare bedroom.  Kirk is asleep in one bed, shirt-less of course.  The other bed is empty, Spock not being present.  The suitcases are sitting by the empty bed.  After a moment or so, Spock's voice is heard from out the window.]

Spock: [dramatic; reciting] O captain!  My captain!

Kirk: [mostly asleep] What?

Spock: [w/out a break] Our fearful trip is done.  The ship has weathered every rack, the prize we sought is won.

Kirk: [sleepy; confused] Prize?

Spock: [w/out a break] The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting, while follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring.

Kirk: [sleepy; agreeable] Daring.

Spock: [w/out a break] But oh, heart, heart, heart!  Oh, the bleeding drops of red!

Kirk: [slightly more awake; confused] Bleeding?

Spock: [w/out a break] Where on the deck my captain lies, fallen cold and dead!

Kirk: [sits up, wide awake; shocked] Fallen cold and what?

Spock: [matter of fact] Dead.  [dramatic; reciting] O captain!  My captain!  Rise up and hear the bells.

Kirk: [confused] What are you… [looks around] Where are you?  Spock?

Spock: [w/out a break] Rise-for you the flag is flung!  For you the bugle trills!

Kirk: What in the galaxy… [gets up and walks to window]

Spock: [w/out a break] For you bouquets and ribboned wreaths!  For you the shores a crowding!

[Scene shifts to outside house, as Kirk sticks his head out the window.  Spock is sitting on the roof, gesturing dramatically as he recites.  Kirk stares at him, speechless.]

Spock: [w/out a break] For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning.  Here, captain, dear father, this arm beneath your head.  It is some dream that on the deck you've fallen cold and dead.

Kirk: [perplexed, but also irritated] Must you keep saying that the captain's dead?

Spock: [w/out a break] My captain does not answer.  His lips are pale and still.

[There is noise from another window.  After a moment the window opens and K's Mom looks out.]

K's Mom: [irritated] What is going on out- [she stares at Spock; to Kirk] What is he doing?!

Spock: [w/out a break] My father does not feel my arm.  He has no pulse or will.

Kirk: Spock…what are you doing?

Spock: [looking down towards Kirk] Reciting poetry.  I should think that would be obvious.  [dramatic] The ship is anchored safe and sound, it's voyage closed and done.

Kirk: [upset] It's two in the morning!

Spock: [calm] I am aware of that.  [dramatic] From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won.

Kirk: [upset] Spock, this…this isn't logical!

Spock: [irritated] Will you stop interrupting?  [even more dramatic than before] Exult oh shores and ring oh bells!  But I with mournful tread walk the deck my captain lies…fallen cold and dead.

Kirk: [flabbergasted] Spock, this…why, Spock, why?

Spock: [calmly] I had an urge to recite.

[Kirk stares at him, speechless.]

K's Mom: You realize of course, that it would be more logical to get some sleep now and recite in the morning.

Spock: [considering] That is a logical statement.

[Spock climbs down from the roof to the window Kirk is in.]

Spock: Excuse me, Captain.

[Kirk, still speechless, moves away from the window.  Spock enters.  Kirk looks out the window again, and stares at the roof were Spock had been sitting.]

Kirk: [dazed] Reciting.  At two in the morning.  Just…because.

K's Mom: You get to sleep too.  Perhaps it will make sense in the morning.

Kirk: [dubious] Maybe.  But I doubt it.

Act I, Scene V

[The following morning: Kirk and K's Mom are in the kitchen, looking worried.  Kirk is sitting at the table, while K's Mom makes coffee.]

Kirk: I still can't understand it.  Reciting poetry, at two in the morning, on a roof!  [shakes head] Spock's never acted this strange.  I mean, we've been in some weird situations, but I don't even know how to react to this.

K's Mom: I'd say he was drunk, but-

Kirk and K's Mom: -Vulcans don't drink.

Kirk: It almost seems like he's sick, but who ever heard of calling a doctor because someone's reciting poetry?

Spock: [from another room, accompanied by running water; singing] O Solo Mio!  [continues, singing the scales]

[Kirk and K's Mom exchange look.]

Kirk: I'll call Bones.

Act I, Scene VI

[In the living room, Kirk is talking into a comm unit in the wall.  On the screen is Nurse Chapel.]

Kirk: Ah, Nurse Chapel.  Is Dr. McCoy in?

Chapel: I'm afraid not, Captain.  He's still planet-side visiting his mother.

Kirk: [disappointed] Oh.  When he gets back-

Chapel: [looking over her shoulder] Oh, Captain, Dr. M'Benga[2] is right here.  Would you like to talk to him?

Kirk: [thinking, to himself] Dr. M'Benga…he's our authority on Vulcans…  [to Chapel] That'd be great.  Let me talk to him.

Chapel: All right, Capt-

K's Mom: [from outside; frightened, urgent] Jimmy!  You better get out here!  Now!

Kirk: [to Chapel; hurried] I'll call back.

Chapel: [confused] What-

Kirk: Kirk out!  [screen goes dark]

[Kirk hurried across the room and heads outside.  Scene shifts to the outside.  Close-up on Kirk and K's Mom.  K's Mom is wringing her hands worriedly.  Kirk stares at something above him, and stops short in shock.  View pulls back.  Spock is standing on the roof of an old tree house.  He strikes a dramatic pose.]

Spock: [dramatic; reciting] To be, or not to be; that is the question;

Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer

The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,

Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,

And by opposing end them.

K's Mom: [unhappily] He's doing it again.

Kirk: I'd better get him down.  [goes over to tree and starts climbing]

Spock: [w/out a break] To die: to sleep:

Kirk: [from depths of tree] Why must you recite things about dying?!

Spock: [w/out a break] No more; and by a sleep to say we end

The heartache and the thousand natural shocks

That flesh is heir to; 'tis a consummation

[Kirk emerges on branches below Spock.]

Kirk: Spock, come down!

Spock: [w/out a break] Devoutly to be wished.  To die; to sleep;

Kirk: We may be on shore leave, but I'm still the Captain and I'm ordering you to come down!

Spock: [w/out a break] To sleep: perchance to dream.

Kirk: Spock!

Spock: [irritated] Now really, Mr. Adams, must you keep interrupting me?

Kirk: [mystified] 'Adams?'

Spock: Well it is you, isn't it, John?

K's Mom: [calling to Kirk] He thinks you're John Adams!

Kirk: [still mystified] Who?

K's Mom: The second president of the United States.  [stern] You were supposed to learn that in the fifth grade.  If I find out you cheated on that test…

Kirk: [embarrassed] Mom!  Not right now! [turns to Spock] Listen, if I'm… John Adams that means I'm president right?

Spock: That is a logical assumption.

Kirk: Therefore, by the power vested in me, I order you to climb down.  Immediately.

Spock: [indignant] Is this, or is this not, a free country?  Doesn't a man have the right to stand on a tree house and recite great literature if he so chooses?

Kirk: No.

Spock: Oh.  Then I'll be right down.

[Spock and Kirk both descend from the tree.  Spock heads towards the house.  He nods to K's Mom as he passes her.]

Spock: Marie Antoinette.  You're looking well.  I trust your head is not bothering you?

K's Mom: [a bit flustered] Uh, no, I'm fine.

[Spock enters the house.  Kirk and his mother watch him.]

Kirk: I think I better contact Dr. M'Benga.  Immediately.

Act I, Scene VII

[Kirk is back in the living room, talking to Dr. M'Benga on the comm unit.  A table draped with a long tablecloth is visible in the background.]

M'Benga: [thoughtful] Reciting poetry, you said?

Kirk: [harried] On a roof.

M'Benga: And he thought you were John Adams?

Kirk: Right.  So what is it?

M'Benga: Well, it sounds a little like…but no, it couldn't be.

Kirk: What?  [Notices the tablecloth is swinging violently] Wait just a minute.

[Kirk goes over to the table and peers under the tablecloth.]

Kirk: [looking under tablecloth] Spock!  What are you doing?

Spock: Shh, Dr. Watson.  I'm searching for clues.

Kirk: Riiight.  You do that.  [goes back to comm unit] Sorry.  What were you saying?

M'Benga: Well, the only thing I can think of is…but surely you didn't.  You couldn't have.

Kirk: Couldn't have what?

M'Benga: Well…you didn't give him any chicken noodle soup did you?

Kirk: [confused] My mom gave him a few bowls; for his cold, you know.

M'Benga: [alarmed] Oh no.  You gave chicken noodle soup to a Vulcan!

Kirk: That's…bad?

M'Benga: Extremely, though it's not very well known.  There's a couple of theories about why the soup affects Vulcans.  The first theory is that it's a matter of the reaction between the potassium chloride, the disodium guanylate, the beta carotene, and the thiamine mononitrate.

Kirk: [taken aback] Oh.  What's the second theory?

M'Benga: That it's the garlic.  Either way, it causes Vulcans to act…irrationally.  Tell me, were there carrots in the soup?

Kirk: Um…yeah, I think so.  Is that bad too?

M'Benga: No, actually, it's good.  The carrots slow the affects of the soup, although they can't entirely negate the results.

Kirk: Oh.  Okay.  So what should we do?  I mean, will this just eventually work out of his system and everything will be fine?

M'Benga: [shakes head] I'm afraid not.  The soup will cause him to continually react more and more strangely.  The eventual result is complete insanity.

Kirk: [concerned] Is there a cure?

M'Benga: Yes, but it has to be administered before a certain point, or it will be too late.  I'll work on replicating some.  I suggest you locate Dr. McCoy.  He may be able to offer assistance as well.

Kirk: Okay, I'll do that.  Thanks for your help.

M'Benga: That's my job.

A short time later:

[Kirk is still talking into the comm unit, this time to Uhura.  Spock, having finished his "investigation," is sitting on the couch, humming along to non-existent music, while smiling dreamily.]

Kirk: Lt. Uhura, could you please patch me through to Dr. McCoy at his mother's house?  I have urgent business with him.

 Uhura: No problem.  It might be a bit tricky, sir, because Dr. McCoy's mother only has an old-fashioned device called a "tell-a-phone," and he didn't bring his communicator.  I'm sure I can connect you though.

Kirk: All right, thanks.

[Scene shifts.  It is McCoy's Mother's living room, which looks rather quaint and old-fashioned; that is, everything looks just slightly beyond present (2002) capabilities.  A futuristic (by today's standards) looking telephone rings.  M's Mom enters and picks it up.]

M's Mom: Hello? [P (pause)] Yes, he's here.  Just a minute.  [calling to other room] Leonard!  It's for you!

McCoy: [from other room] All right, Ma.  Just a minute.

[McCoy enters and takes phone, eying it distastefully.]

McCoy: [muttering] Antiques!  [into phone] Hello?  [P] Oh, hi, Uhura.  What can I do for you?  [P] Jim?  Sure, put him on.  [longer pause] Hello, Jim, what's so urgent?  [P] Spock's got troubles?  What'd ol' Pointy-Ears get into now?  [P] Reciting poetry, huh?  [P; shocked] On a roof?!  [P; even more shocked] Singing?!  Spock?!  [P] Sherlock Holmes, and…and John Adams?  Now…now, wait a minute, Jim.  Are we talking about the same person here?  Pointy ears, green blood, never smiles…  [incredulous] He's smiling now?  [P] Yeah, I'll be right over.

[McCoy hangs up, looking slightly dazed.]

McCoy: [calling to other room as he looks around] Hey, Ma!  What'd I do with my med-bag?  I've got to get over to Jim's mother's place.  Something…came up.

Act I, Scene VIII

[The setting is once again outside Kirk's mother's house.  After a moment, McCoy beams onto the front lawn.  He glances around, the goes up to the front door and knocks.  After another moment the door is opened by a harried-looking Kirk.]

Kirk: [harried] Well it's about time.

McCoy: [pleasant enough] Hello to you too.

Kirk: [shrugs] Come on in.

[They enter the house.  McCoy talks as they walk.]

McCoy: I would've been here a few minutes sooner but I stopped on the Enterprise first.  I wanted to check with M'Benga.  I've got the cure he put together in my bag.  Come to think of it, I'm not sure what it is.  Some kind of serum or other.  I ought to be able to inject it in Spock no problem.

Kirk: That would be great… [sighs] …if we knew where Spock was.

[They enter the kitchen and sit at the table.  K's Mom is there, pouring more glasses of orange juice.]

K's Mom: [tired] Hello, Leonard.

McCoy: Hello, Mrs. Kirk.

K's Mom: Here, have some orange juice.

[K's Mom hands Kirk and McCoy each a glass of orange juice.  McCoy eyes it dubiously.]

McCoy: Uh, thanks.  [turns to Kirk] Now, what's this about Spock being missing?

Kirk: [shrugs helplessly] It happened about an hour ago.  He went through seven renditions of "Yankee Doodle Dandy" and then decided he needed to go out in the backyard and fight the British.  We haven't seen him since.

McCoy: We better go look for him then.

Kirk: I was just about to do that when you knocked on the door.  [stands up] Let's go.

[Kirk and McCoy head for the door.]

K's Mom: I'll hold down the fort here.  Good luck.

Kirk: Thanks, Mom.

McCoy: Thanks for the, uh, orange juice, by the way.

[They exit.]

[Curtain drops on Act I.]

Hope you liked it; please review!  I'll try to get Act II up within the next couple days.  Trust me; it's even stranger.



[1] Spock's a vegetarian, so, technically, he wouldn't be having chicken noodle soup.  Don't ask.  Maybe it's tofu.

[2] Appeared in "A Private Little War," and I assume at least another show or two.