(NOTE: This is a short story written over the past two days, 1/25 - 1/26/19. Probably very little of this is new material. My goal was to capture the flavor and spirit of the original 1960s tv series, including some of the now-politically-incorrect word-choices, in as short a time as possible.)
The Last Honorable Vulcan
Space…the final frontier?
Or is it really…the mind?
Captain James T. Kirk swiveled his command seat aboard the bridge of the U.S.S. Enterprise to scan the chronometer holographically projected directly above the primary viewscreen, and cupping his chin while placing a thoughtful elbow atop the arm of his chair, he marveled.
Incredulous, he shook his head.
Time really does fly.
His five-year mission to explore strange new worlds had led to the discovery of new life and new civilizations by following a very bold plan proposed by some of Starfleet’s finest and deepest minds, tactical and strategic geniuses from all corners of The United Federation of Planets, masters of their fields of study who had plotted a general course for the Enterprise into the unknown, always basing and updating their estimates upon the best available astro-cartographic data, but the unseen dangers from these remote frontiers so very far from Federation space had been frought with peril for her crew, and in spite of the tragic cost in casualties, Kirk felt pride.
Best crew in the fleet.
Standing at a bridge station to Kirk’s right, First Officer Mr. Spock hunched over a library scanner as he turned a dial to increase resolution upon the latest results of an experimental space probe he had devised, designed, and constructed with the able help of Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott.
As his sharply inquisitive eyes absorbed the data, Spock’s mind churned with possibilities.
Revolving his command chair a quarter of a turn, Kirk interrupted his officer’s diligent focus by raising a question.
“Spock, do you know what today is?”
The half-human, half-Vulcan, who also served as ship’s Science Officer, stood at attention and turned to face his captain, a strangely unusual and eminently competent human who Spock had grown not only to respect, but also to trust with his life, and without looking at the viewscreen chronometer, he stated the answer correctly.
“Today is Stardate 2308.1, Captain.”
Kirk turned a smile.
He always says it as ‘zero’ instead of ‘oh.’
Stepping down from his station, Spock joined Kirk next to the command chair and inquired matter-of-factly.
“Though I suspect by the nature of your question…”
He raised a brow.
“…that this date holds some significance?”
Kirk lifted his chin.
“Today, Mr. Spock…”
“…marks the midpoint of our five-year mission.”
Performing the math in a mental flash, Spock tilted his head.
“Your calculations are correct.”
Kirk revolved his chair to face the viewscreen and stare over the curved horizon of Caduceus Five, gazing past their current orbit into the vast uncharted depths of outer space, and that dizzying feeling of standing right at the very edge of a precipice plunged his speculations into the future.
“I suppose when this is all over…”
Even though ship’s rations were the very best in the entire fleet and enhanced by countless new advances in the culinary sciences using many of the strange herbs, plants, chemical compounds, and alien materials that their voyages had discovered, catalogued, and utilized, Kirk longed for some home cooking.
“…they’ll throw us a party…”
With just a hint of the impish, he half-chuckled as he waved a casual hand.
“…and shower us with honors.”
Spock directed his attention toward the viewscreen.
“Perhaps on Earth.”
Remembering the sounds and sights of his native home, and imagining how much different it might one day feel to step foot once again upon Vulcan soil after so many years away, Spock elaborated indifferently.
“However, upon Vulcan…”
Turning back to the captain, he shook his head from side to side.
“…there will be no such celebrations…”
Distastefully, he almost curled up his nose.
“Honor, as a concept…”
He almost shrugged.
“…is most illogical.”
Kirk peered closer.
Spock stood straighter.
“Honor is an emotional response stimulated by value judgements.”
Openly, he lifted both brows.
“Concepts of good versus evil find resolution through truth, and truth can only be discerned…”
Simply, he stated.
Although he already knew his First Officer’s devotion to his culture, and fully aware of the challenges of debating a Vulcan and actually winning an argument, Kirk nonetheless decided to play devil’s advocate.
“Logic, you say?”
“Logic leads to truth, and truth leads to harmony within the universe.”
Kirk feigned astonishment.
“Why, Mister Spock…”
“…I didn’t know you were a philosopher.”
“These are basic concepts we teach on Vulcan…”
Oblivious to the implied insult, he continued innocently.
Smelling rhetorical blood, Kirk circled back like a prosecutor building a case.
“So, you’re telling me that on Vulcan…”
His pitch rose in a staccato…
“…when we get back from making history…”
“…out here among the stars…”
…that turned into…
“…that no one on Vulcan…”
“Performance of one’s duty is standard.”
Clasping his hands behind has back, he nodded once.
“No celebration is required.”
“But surely, Mr. Spock, the concept of right versus wrong must hold some sway over Vulcans?”
“Otherwise, there would be chaos.”
Tilting to the other side, he explained.
“There was a time, long ago on Vulcan, when we were as devoted to this concept of honor as today’s Romulans.”
Ominously, Kirk pointed.
With a gently prescient nod, Spock proceeded.
“However, when we realized the ultimate futility of wars based upon mercantile conflicts that only profited religious zealots and politicians who understood exactly how to craft public opinion by manipulating our sense of honor, we turned toward logic.”
Kirk leaned on his elbow and cupped his chin pensively.
“And logic leads to truth.”
Spock nodded in agreement.
“…leads to peace.”
Behind them, two turbo-lift doors swished open to reveal a frowning Chief Medical Officer Leonard McCoy, who stepped toward the captain’s chair with a grunt.
“Jim, those medical supplies check out all right.”
Kirk glanced down.
“What happened to your hand?”
McCoy rubbed at a fresh dermal patch over his right thumb.
“One of those three-legged viper-kittens took a bite.”
He shook his head.
“…almost as bad as transporters.”
“Thank you, doctor.”
Pausing, he tilted.
He flashed a bat’leth of a smile.
“…Mr. Spock here says he has no honor.”
Shocked, offering a rare respite from his usual acerbic wit, and stifling the dry banter that he normally saved for his Vulcan colleague, Dr. McCoy admonished his captain.
He blinked at the Vulcan.
“Why, Mr. Spock is one of the most honorable men I know.”
Spock crossed his hands behind his back again.
Rising slightly, he lifted an offended brow.
“Do not insult me.”
Hiding his reaction, Kirk turned toward his helmsman.
“…take us out of orbit….”
“…ahead warp factor five.”
Where no man has gone before…