Star Trek: The Lost Missions: “GoldiSpock and the Three Bears” (Part 5)
by Christopher Jones
Last time on Star Trek: The Lost Missions
After failing to find their way using a toy compass, Spock, Uhura, and Chekov found a trail of bread crumbs leading off into the forest and decided to follow it. Back on the Enterprise Scotty and Sulu continued to search for the cause of the sensor and communications failures with little success. Meanwhile, Kirk and McCoy set out in search of Spock but became lost. While working out their next course of action they were approached by three figures emerging from the forest.
And now the continuation…
The late afternoon sun glared down on the forest and made it difficult for Kirk and McCoy to see more than just the silhouettes of the three figures coming towards them. But silhouettes were all they needed to realize that the figures were not Spock, Uhura, and Chekov. Two of them were much bigger than the Enterprise crew members. The third was much smaller.
As the distance between them lessened, disappointment turned to surprise when the lifting shadows revealed three bears.
The two groups looked at each other and there was a moment of awkward silence. Then the silence was broken.
“I’m Captain James T. Kirk of the Starship Enterprise. Please identify yourselves.”
“My name is Papa Bear,” said the largest of the three newcomers in a husky voice.
“And this is my wife, Mama Bear, and our son, Baby Bear.”
“On behalf of the United Federation of Planets,” said Kirk, “it is an honor to meet you.”
The three bears nodded.
“We’re sorry to trespass on your planet,” he added, “but we thought that this world was uninhabited.”
“At one time it was,” said Papa Bear. “But a few years ago a human with an overactive imagination crashed here. Somehow all of his thoughts came to life…” Papa Bear paused to think about how best to explain the reason for his existence. “… and he had some strange fixation on ancient Earth fairy tales and children’s stories.”
McCoy looked up at the sky and shook his head in disbelief. “Angels and ministers of grace defend us,” he mumbled.
“Hamlet, Act I Scene 4,” announced Mama Bear.
“What?” said Kirk.
“He also had a thing for Shakespeare,” answered Mama Bear.
“Oh,” quipped Kirk in surprise, “so this all explains a few things. But I’ve also got three missing officers, one dead ensign, and a bunch of equipment that isn’t working. I don’t recall any fairy tales involving that.”
“We are aware of the other three officers,” responded Papa Bear. “In fact, when we heard your voices while walking through the forest we thought that you were them.”
“How did you know about them?”
“A little bird told us.”
McCoy rolled his eyes and looked at Kirk with an expression of disbelief. “This is getting too strange,” he said. “We have to wrap this up, get back to the ship and be on our way.”
“I agree,” said Kirk. Then he looked back at Papa Bear.
“We must find our shipmates,” he said to the Bears with a sense of urgency. “We have important medical supplies on our ship that must be delivered to Ixtari Prime before they spoil. Will you help us?”
The Bears huddled together like a football team planning the game-winning drive in their showdown with the Packers. Several minutes passed.
Finally they broke the huddle.
“My family wanted to eat you,” Papa Bear explained. “But we’ve decided to help you instead since it was your planet’s culture that gave birth to us in the first place. You know what they say, ‘Don’t bite the hand that feeds you.’”
“That’s very kind of you,” said Kirk.
“We have a small cottage not far from here with communications equipment that was recovered from the Earth ship that crashed here. The equipment is still functional. We shall all return there and attempt to contact your ship and locate your missing officers.”
With a plan now in place, the Bears, Kirk, and McCoy all headed off into the forest in the direction of the cottage, stopping only briefly to eat a few ants that were scurrying up a tree.
The trail of bread crumbs stretched on for some time. The sun began to set and the wind picked up. The dancing leaves high above created deep shadows below that gave the whole forest an uneasy spookiness.
After about fifteen minutes the bread crumbs ended at the front door of a small cottage. The door was already cracked.
Spock carefully nudged the door open and peeked inside.
“The structure seems to be deserted,” he said to the others, “but it appears to have been visited recently.”
He pushed the door open all the way and it creaked on its hinges. Beyond the doorway lay a small room containing a large wooden table with three chairs. One chair had a small black booster seat in it. The walls of the room were adorned with photos of three bears. They were family shots taken at various locations — in the forest, near a waterfall, amidst the wreckage of a spacecraft.
Spacecraft wreckage? thought Spock. That’s a strange place for a Kodak moment. Despite the odd locale, the photos were very attractive. At least at one time they were. Now they were in broken frames, hanging awkwardly on the wall, glass shattered.
“Vat happened to this place?” asked Chekov. “It looks like a tornado hit.”
Spock and Uhura took notice of the destruction around the room. “It looks like someone recently finished dinner,” said Uhura, pointing at the table.
On the table were three bowls filled with a thick, whitish, soupy substance. Also on the table were two heavy metal tankards lying on their sides, a red liquid spilling from them onto the table.
“Clearly someone has been here recently,” said Spock.
They all walked over to the first and largest bowl.
“What is this thick substance?” he asked.
Chekov dipped his finger in the bowl but jerked it out quickly and let out a yelp. “This one is too hot, sir.”
“As would be indicated by the large amount of steam rising from it, Mr. Chekov. Perhaps you should try that one over there,” said Spock, indicating the middle-sized bowl.
Chekov walked over and dipped his index finger in. He scooped up some of the substance and put it into his mouth. “Porridge, sir,” he told Spock. “‘Twas invented by a little old lady from Leningrad. But this one is too cold.”
Spock chose to ignore the latest addition to Mr. Chekov’s alternate history in which everything in the universe was invented by Russians. Instead, he went over to the smallest bowl and sampled the porridge.
“Mr. Chekov, Lieutenant Uhura,” he called to the others, “I do believe that you will find this one to be just right.”
All three officers tried the porridge and found that it was delicious. Soon they had eaten it all. Afterwards they went into an adjoining room and found the remains of a coffee table, a china cabinet, and several other pieces of now unidentifiable furniture. Also in the room were three wooden rocking chairs of varying sizes. On the chair backs were draped beautiful handmade quilts that featured a checkered pattern of red, black, and deep green. For some odd reason the chairs were undamaged. Uhura went over to the largest one and sat down. She slid all the way to the back as she was swallowed by the enormous rocker.
“This one is too big,” she informed Spock and Chekov.
Chekov tried the middle-sized chair but found that it was also uncomfortable. “Zis one is also too big,” he said.
Spock examined the smallest chair and then sat down. A loud cracking noise filled the room and wood fragments were sent flying as Spock smashed right through the chair and onto the floor.
“This one is too small,” he said, quickly regaining his composure. “But if we were smaller I believe that it would be just right.”
They all stood and looked at each other. So far the cottage had failed to reveal any clues as to how it got on this lifeless planet, or why it had been ransacked. They all said as much and discussed a few ideas. Then Uhura yawned.
“I’m feeling very sleepy, Mr. Spock,” she said with a wavering voice. “Why don’t we see if there are any beds in this place.”
“Very well. I believe there was a staircase in the main room. Perhaps their are beds upstairs.”
The three officers reentered the first room, found a small staircase leading to the second floor, and ascended it. As they were on their way up they heard a noise coming from around the corner. At the top of the stairs they found another room and two bread crumbs on the floor. Alongside the breadcrumbs lay a heavy metal tankard. It was tipped over on its side and a red liquid ran from it, puddled near the top of the staircase, and slowly dripped onto the steps below.
Inside the room were three beds — one large, one middle-sized, and one small. Debris covered the floor and the window was flung open, the glass shattered on the floor. Despite the recent upheaval that the room had seen, all was now quiet and still. The noise they had heard a moment earlier had ceased.
Uhura brushed some ceiling plaster off the largest bed and climbed onto it, thinking it would be the most luxurious. Instead she found that it was not to her liking. “This one is too hard,” she announced.
Chekov jumped onto the middle-sized bed and suddenly disappeared. A moment later he resurfaced and told the others that it was too soft.
“Perhaps we should try this one,” said Spock, pointing to the third bed. It was the smallest of the three but rather spacious nonetheless.
He sat down on it. After a moment he raised one eyebrow. “This one is just right,” he said. Uhura and Chekov joined him.
“I’m also feeling very drowsy,” Chekov told the others.
“As am I,” added Spock. “I do not understand why as I am Vulcan and do not require much sleep.”
The eyelids of all three grew heavier and within five minutes they were all sound asleep.
to be continued…
Will the Bears really help Kirk and McCoy, or are they planning a surprise dinner engagement? Will Spock, Uhura, and Chekov awake from their nap bright-eyed and bushy-tailed? Who vandalized the cottage? And what are Scotty and Sulu up to? 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: