Star Trek: The Lost Missions: “GoldiSpock and the Three Bears” (Part 4)
by Christopher Jones
Last time on Star Trek: The Lost Missions
The whereabouts of the Enterprise were finally ascertained, right where it should have been — in orbit. While Sulu proudly reminded everyone that he is George Takei, Scotty attempted to pinpoint the cause of the communications failure. Meanwhile, on the planet’s surface, Kirk and McCoy found out that “eyeballing it” probably isn’t the best way to make medicines and killed a bear. Spock and company continued to wait offstage for the needle to stop spinning.
And now the continuation…
The needle didn’t stop. They waited patiently for more than half an hour, but the needle didn’t stop.
Spock broke the silence. “It would seem,” he observed, “that this spinning wheel just got to go ‘round. Have you experienced previous difficulties with this instrument, Lieutenant Uhura?”
“It’s the strangest thing, Mr. Spock,” said Uhura. “It’s never done this before.”
“It must be the planet’s magnetic field causing fluctuations,” responded Spock.
Ensign Chekov was pacing a few feet away, keeping silent but growing impatient. Finally he became too restless and broke in to the conversation.
“Vat do we do now, sir?” he asked, his Russian accent cutting through.
“We must find another method of locating the cottage, Ensign.”
“And how do we do that?” asked Uhura.
“I’m not sure,” said Spock, “but the next logical step would be to think of something.”
“Vat would we do without you,” replied Chekov sarcastically, eyes rolling heavenward.
James T. Kirk had seen a lot of men die during his Starfleet career, but never a bear. The sight of the huge brown hulk lying crumpled in the clearing was somehow surreal to him. How had a bear set such a trap, and why? These were questions that would now go unanswered. If Spock were here, he’d ask him to attempt a mind meld. But somehow he didn’t much think it would work, seeing as how the bear was dead and all. And besides, Spock wasn’t here. He’d just have to go on wondering why it came to this, why a bear had to die.
“Snap out of it, Jim,” said McCoy.
“I said ‘Snap out of it.’ You’ve been standing there dazed for more than a minute.”
“Sorry, I just can’t believe… I mean… the green stuff usually works,” responded Kirk as he slowly came back in to the moment.
“Every bear’s gotta die sometime,” said McCoy. “I guess this was his. Besides, doesn’t his fur look a little reddish to you?”
“Enough about the bear,” said Kirk abruptly. “We have to continue with our mission.”
“That’s a good question. Why did we beam down here, anyway?”
“Something about a cottage, wasn’t it,” offered McCoy.
“Right,” answered Kirk in a confused voice, “a cottage. What about it?”
“Beats the hell out of me.”
“Maybe Spock knows. If only we knew where he was,” said Kirk.
“Without functioning communicators we can’t contact him,” said McCoy, stating the obvious. “Maybe we should go back the way we came and then head down the trail they took.”
“Good thinking, Bones. Let’s get out of here.”
Kirk and McCoy left the clearing and didn’t look back. In the center of the clearing lay the first bear they’d seen today—but not the last.
The engine room of the Enterprise was busier than a Wal-Mart on the day after Thanksgiving. Men and women in red shirts—secretly thanking the divine being that they weren’t part of the landing party—scurried from console to console trying to isolate the cause of the communications and sensor failures.
An hour and a half had passed since Scotty promised Sulu an answer within two hours, and he was no closer to finding the problem than he was when he started. Sometimes eight hours really means eight hours. His reputation as a miracle worker could be in danger.
“I just can’t seem to find anything wrong with the bloody thing,” he told Sulu over the ship’s internal comm system. “So far every component checks out.”
“Maybe it’s being cause by some sort of emission from the planet,” suggested Sulu.
“That’s as good a guess as any,” replied Scotty. “Have the science officer scan the planet for any unusual activity.”
“He’s on the planet’s surface.”
“Not Spock, you moron!” said Scotty incredulously. “Have the backup officer do it.”
Scotty turned off the communicator and shook his head. He’s gonna be a captain one day, is he? Right, he thought to himself. And if my grandmother had wheels she’d be a wagon.
“After carefully taking all factors into consideration,” announced Spock, “I believe that I have formulated the best possible plan. What we shall do is disassemble one communicator and…”
“Vat is that on the ground over there,” cut in Chekov.
“Where?” asked Spock.
“Over there,” he said, pointing to a barely visible spot about 30 feet from where the three were standing.
They all followed Chekov’s finger and tried to find what he had.
“I see it,” said Uhura. “It looks like some kind of food.”
“Yes,” agreed Spock, “it appears to be a bread crumb.”
“I guess this planet isn’t as lifeless as we thought,” said Chekov.
“It would seem that way, Mr. Chekov.”
The three began to walk toward the crumb. The trail was rather narrow, so wherever it turned even slightly visibility was at a minimum. As they moved closer to the bread crumb, they found that it had a companion.
“Look, Mr. Spock,” said Uhura, “there’s another one.”
“And another,” added Spock.
“There’s a whole trail of them, sir,” said Chekov, excitement entering his voice like a little boy who has just found his Christmas presents while rummaging though the top of his parents’ closet. “Maybe we should follow it.”
“My thinking precisely,” replied Spock.
The bird perched high in the tree still seemed confused as the three figures receded into the dense growth of the forest. After a moment’s thought, it flew away.
The single yellow sun of Gamma Ursa cut its way across the afternoon sky as the hands of the clock counted off the 22 hours of a day on Gamma Ursa IV. At the same time, Kirk and McCoy cut their way back across the forest in the direction where they thought they would meet up with Spock, Uhura, and Chekov.
It had been at least 30 minutes since they had passed the clearing where the entire group had first arrived, but still there was no sign of the others. Finally they came to a stop under an unusually tall tree, its leaves rustling in the breeze.
“I think we’re lost, Jim,” said McCoy between heavy breaths. The long hike had begun to tire him.
“I think so, too,” agreed Kirk. “We should rest here for a few minutes before moving on.”
“Moving on to where?”
“I haven’t figured that out yet,” Kirk calmly answered, “but I’m working on it.”
The two men sat down on a long, thick log and Kirk began formulating his next course of action. McCoy started rummaging noisily through his med kit.
“Could you just relax, Bones?” asked Kirk rhetorically. “I’m trying to think.”
McCoy responded in a huff, never looking up from his kit. “How’s a man supposed to relax at a time like this. I mean, here we are, lost in the middle of a forest with no way of getting back to the ship,” he rambled, “to say nothing of finding Spock, and you want me to relax?”
There was a brief pause. Kirk was about to speak when McCoy began ranting once again, still rummaging through his med kit.”We have to find a solution and find it soon. The sun will be setting before long and…”
“Look, Bones,” said Kirk as three figures emerged from the forest, walking toward them, “I believe we just found our solution.”
to be continued…
Where will the trail of bread crumbs lead? Will Scotty salvage his reputation as a miracle worker? Where did the bird that had been watching Spock, Uhura, and Chekhov go when it flew away? All of these questions and more will be answered in the next installment of “GoldiSpock and the Three Bears.”
Read the entire GoldiSpock and the Three Bears saga. Use the links below to jump to each installment: