“So, just to be clear, as Starfleet Historian, my job is to preserve Federation historical events as accurately as possible,” Lieutenant Redshirt said. “So, Captain Kirk, you and the crew of the Enterprise were headed back to Earth, correct?”
“We were actually in a Klingon Bird of Prey – it’s a long story – but yes it was my crew,” Kirk said. “We encountered the enormous cylindrical probe that was systematically destroying the Earth.”
“That is a conclusion,” Mr. Spock said. “And an inaccurate one.”
“Are you outta your Vulcan mind?” Dr. McCoy said angrily. “That thing was wreaking havoc on a global scale. It was destroying the planet!”
“The probe was merely trying to communicate,” Mr. Spock said. “It had no way of knowing its communications not only could not be understood by the humans who presumed to be in charge, but were actually harmful.”
“In fact, the reason the probe’s communication efforts were unsuccessful were that they were not meant for humans at all, is that correct, Captain?” Lieutenant Redshirt asked.
“Yes. Mr. Spock deduced that the probe’s sounds were the songs of humpback whales which in our time had been hunted to extinction,” Kirk said. “So we made the rather desperate decision to go back in time 300 years and bring some back.”
“You make it sound like it was a walk in the park, Jim,” Dr. McCoy said. “First off, we didn’t even know if time travel would work and then there was the pollution, the noise, the barbaric medical procedures, Chekov getting hurt, it was a real cluster . . . ”
“Bones!” Kirk said. “While I have parts of our adventure I’d like to see in the final report – like Mr. Spock never pinching some arrogant punk on a bus – those kinds of details are not what the Lieutenant is looking for right now, correct?
“Correct, Captain. I really just need the basic outline of what happened on the mission and I can get details later, “Lieutenant Redshirt said.
“Well, we acquired two humpback whales named George and Gracie,” Kirk said. “After constructing a makeshift aquarium using transparent aluminum, we then hightailed it back to the 23rd century, “
“And then?” Lieutenant Redshirt said, arching his eyebrows.
“And then we crashed into San Francisco Bay, George and Gracie did their whale song thing and we lived happily ever after,” Kirk said.
“Captain, I am an historian and it is my job to not only listen to what people tell me, but to do research. When I examined the Starfleet computer log, I detected key data was missing after you brought the whales back and before the probe left,” Lieutenant Redshirt said. “Some information evidently was erased. Captain, no one is in trouble here – you saved the Earth! I just want the truth.”
“I guess there’s no sense denying it now,” Kirk said. “You’re right Lieutenant, I instructed Major Willis at Starfleet to delete some data. Not because of wrongdoing, but . . . well . . . pride.”
“What happened, Captain?”” Lieutenant Redshirt asked.
“The whales talked to the probe and discovered it wanted something. They didn’t understand what it was so Spock did a Vulcan mind meld with Gracie and discovered that the probe wanted a . . . a . . . Twinkie.”
“A Twinkie? You mean that snack cake that was discontinued in 2012?” Lieutenant Redshirt asked.
“Yes, so we tried to make one using the food replicators but were unsuccessful as . . . well, it is not actually food,” Kirk said. “But ultimately we were successful in obtaining a Twinkie and beaming it to the probe who ate it and left.”
“But, how? Did you make another trip to the past to get one?” Lieutenant Redshirt asked.
“No, there was no need,” Mr. Spock said “”Dr. McCoy had kept what he described as a . . . stash . . . of them and had one left.”
“But they would have been 300 years old!” Lieutenant Redshirt said.
“Preservatives,” Dr. McCoy said. “They were passed down to me from my great-great-great grandfather. It was my tradition to deep-fry one and eat it New Year’s Day. They were delicious. “
“How could you eat those, Bones?”” Kirk asked with disgust.
“Dammit, Jim! I’m a doctor not a nutritionist!” Bones said.
Reach Fairfield writer Tony Wade at firstname.lastname@example.org.