Author's note: Another piece from a few years back (quite a few years back). The original idea came from a website that had a bunch of "If X Wrote Star Trek" stories. It's more of a fragment than a story, but it's the idea of the thing...


"Say no more," I said, fixing Spock with one of my glares.

"Sir?" he asked, frigidly polite.

"Wormholes, yes. Anomalies of all types, I admit you have a touch like no other. That little problem with the computer, your solution was brilliant and I will be the first to admit it. But I think you have gone a little far when you extend yourself to comment on shore leave planets. When it comes to shore leave, the captain knows best, what?"

It may seem a little harsh, but you have to be firm with these fellows. Spock is the best first officer in the fleet, no questions asked, but there are times when a captain has to prove that he's the captain. If you don't stand up for your opinion when it counts, you'll end up not having an opinion at all. Why I know a captain, nicest chap you'd ever hope to meet, but he's ruled, absolutely ruled by his first officer. But the Kirks have a way with their officers, and I fancied I'd just shown Spock who was who on this starship.

"Is that all sir?"

"That will be all," I said grandly, and watched with satisfaction as he retreated to the science station. Shore leave on Morvaris! The idea.


I was still fuming when the message came through. "Incoming from StarFleet Command," Uhura announced. "Eyes only." I toddled off to receive the transmission. It was my old pal Wicky, and I could see at once he was in trouble. Wicky was never a very cheerful chap, but he looked positively pipped.

"What ho!" said I.

"Jimmy, you've got to help me," he said, without a thought for returning those preliminary...preliminaries that give a chap a chance to get a handle on a conversation. I knew Wicky, and this was not his usual style. Something was up.

"Wicky, you seem a trifle agitated," I said. "I wouldn't venture to say anything about it, but-"

"We've no time for that, Jimmy. You've got to help me."

"So you've said. And I'm sure you know that the Kirks are never ones to stand back and watch when a friend is in need."

"It's Mary," he said. Mary was his finacee, and dear girl, though apt to be a bit of a high stickler at times.

"How is the little woman?" I asked genially. "I haven't seen her in quite some time. Yes, quite some time. Why, if I recall correctly, that little affair at-"

"Jimmy, will you pay attention! This is important. Mary has been kidnapped by the Orcanvians."

I stared. "Wicky old man, are you sure you haven't been doing yourself rather juicily? Perhaps you should stop and take deep breath and think that little statement over just a bit. Orcanvians don't kidnap people." I had a Orcanvian crewmember - one of Spock's, in the science department - and I had never seen this Orcanvian with the slightest desire to kidnap anyone, except in the line of duty of course. What's more, I had also been to Orcanvia a fair number of times, and not once had I been kidnapped or even seen anyone being kidnapped. Nor had I ever even heard of anyone who had been kidnapped by a Orcanvian. It seemed pretty conclusive to me.

"Of course I'm sure. Would I be calling you if I wasn't sure?" I let that one pass, though the temptation to bring up that time he had called me to tell me about his dog being lost, and I had then spent hours looking high and low in search of the mutt, only to find a message when I got back telling me that the dog had been hiding under his bed all the time. Wicky and I go way back, but as he said the last time I brought that particular incident up, after a certain amount of time, it's time to let bygones be bygones.

So instead, I said soothingly, "No, of course not. Why don't you tell me all about it."

"Jimmy, this is serious," he said reproachfully, and went on to recount his tale of woe. It seems that Mary had been walking with him - no, no matter where, would you just listen, Jimmy - and a Orcanvian had come up to her and said something - no, he hadn't heard what, and would you quit interrupting-and after that Mary had looked disturbed. And the next morning she had been gone, and left behind a note that said she was going to Orcanvia and not to worry.

I tried to look at the situation the way Spock would, and one thing struck me immediately. "It doesn't show any striking symptoms of kidnapping to me," I said.

"I haven't gotten to that part yet," he said impatiently. "I got a message, damnedest thing, almost impossible to read, full of questions, you know how those Orcanvians write, but I don't think there is any other possible interpretation."

He read it out to me:

"Mary's going to be fine, and that's the important thing, isn't it? We thought you should know that she's not badly hurt? She's been asking for you, but when she's fully conscious she doesn't seem to want you here. I guess it is dangerous here, but we thought it was really your decision?

I hope you don't think it's rude that this message is short, but I have to get back to her. Oh! If you decide to come, could you bring some gold if you have any? We're running out? I don't know how you feel about our project, but Mary's completely invested in our success? So we thought you'd probably want to know about the gold too? You don't have to bring any if you don't want to, but everything could go wrong without more gold?

Please let us know whichever way you decide?"

I had to agree it sounded as fishy as a tin of sardines. "This is serious," I said. "I will set a course for Orcanvia immediately. Don't worry about a thing, Wicky old thing, I will take care of it. You may rest assured that your problem is in the capable hands of a Kirk." Somehow, he didn't look as reassured as I expected he would.

"Do you still have that first officer of yours?" he asked.