Star Trek: The Lost Missions: “GoldiSpock and the Three Bears” (Part 7)
by Christopher Jones
Missed the beginning of the story? Start with Part 1.
Last time on Star Trek: The Lost Missions
Scotty finally made some progress repairing the Enterprise’s faltering systems. Locating a mysterious device on the planet that was jamming their transmissions, he and Sulu prepared to journey to the surface by shuttle to disable it. Meanwhile, Kirk and McCoy arrived at the cottage accompanied by the Bears. Inside they found that the place had been ransacked. When Spock, Uhura, and Chekov were found napping on Baby Bear’s bed, they became the prime suspects as well as the main course on the Bears’ dinner menu.
And now the conclusion…
A strong wind blew through the forest, shaking the trees and causing some birds to fly away to safer perches as a small ship slowly descended from the sky.
The ride down to the planet’s surface was smooth and uneventful. Whatever was jamming the ships transmissions, it seemed to have no effect on the shuttle’s journey.
The disturbance in the forest continued for several minutes and then suddenly ceased as the shuttle Galileo gently touched down and her engines cut off.
Inside, Scotty and Sulu acted as if they were planning the next great crusade. Well, Sulu did. Scotty was just trying to figure which way to walk to get to the device and to make sure he had the right tools in his bag.
They exited the shuttle and headed into the forest in search of the device. The landing was spot-on and they found it laying in a small clearing a few hundred feet from the shuttle. What is it with small clearings on this planet, anyway? thought the narrator.
“Look, sir,” said Sulu, pointing. “I believe that’s it over there.”
“I believe you’re right, laddie,” responded Scotty.
“The design looks very familiar, but I can’t quite put my finger on it.”
“Looks familiar to me, too,” agreed Scotty. “I’ve seen something like it before when we were assisting negotiations on Lentari III, near the Neutral Zone.”
“Wasn’t that the planet whose possession was disputed by the Klingons?” asked Sulu.
“Could there be any connection?”
“I don’t see how,” said Scotty, “Lentari III is a long way from here.”
After thinking about a possible connection for a few more moments without progress, they finally gave up. More important business awaited them.
“We’d better disable this thing and contact the Captain,” said Scotty.
Sulu agreed and they attempted to disable the device. But with no working phasers, it wasn’t as easy as simply blasting it.
After a few unsuccessful attempts using some very small screwdrivers, they finally shut it down by means of a large hammer.
“When all else fails, whack it,” announced Scotty as he dusted off his hands. “Works every time.”
Satisfied that the job was done, Sulu pulled out his communicator and was about to contact Kirk when he noticed three sets of footprints leading away from the clearing. The footprints were big, leaving deep markings on the dusty ground. The shape wasn’t that of a bear’s foot, but rather a humanoid’s.
“Look, sir,” he said in an astonished voice, almost a shout, “there are footprints over there heading off into the forest. And they’re definitely not made by an animal. Someone has been here recently.” He paused for a moment and then added, “When did we start having equipment problems?”
“About five minutes after the landing party beamed down,” answered Scotty.
“So someone must have placed and activated this device within the past three hours,” speculated Sulu.
“Someone doesn’t want us here,” added Scotty. “Let’s follow those footprints and find out just where they lead.”
Chekov was the last of the Starfleet officers to reach the bottom of the staircase. Coming off the last step, he placed his heavy black boot on the floor and let out a sigh. It was at that moment that a tiny rapping was heard at the front door. Mama Bear told everyone to stay put, walked over to the door, and spoke through it.
“Yes?” she said.
“Is this my grandmother’s house?” asked a thin, high-pitched voice.
“What?” asked Mama Bear, unsure if she had heard correctly.
“I said, ‘Is this my grandmother’s house?’” repeated the thin voice.
Mama Bear opened the door and saw no one. Then she looked down and found a short little girl wearing a red hooded jacket. In the girl’s hand was a light brown straw basket containing a loaf of bread.
Spock noticed the bread immediately. He walked over to Mama Bear, disobeying her orders.
“Pardon me, little girl,” he said in the same tone that he would use when talking to the captain. “I could not help noticing that you have some bread. For what reason do you carry this item?”
The girl looked at him, puzzled.
Mama Bear glared at him. “I told you to stay put. I may just have to eat you right now.”
“Calm yourself, Mama,” he replied. “We found our way to your cottage by following a trail of bread crumbs. I believe that this little girl came here while you were away, destroyed your home, and then left the trail so that she could find her way back in case she needed to return.”
“And why would she return to the scene of her crime?” asked Mama Bear.
“This I do not know. Most illogical. However, an ancestor of mine maintained that if you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”
Little Red Riding Hood followed the conversation with a frightened look on her face, like an innocent person who is being sentenced to death row.
“I didn’t hurt your home,” she said quickly. “I’ve just been looking for my grandmother’s house. A big bad wolf was chasing me so I took a shortcut. But I became lost and your cottage is the first one I’ve seen in hours. It looks just like my grandmother’s.”
Mama Bear wasn’t sure what to make of the little girl’s story, so she threw her into the living room along with the others and locked them all up.
Sulu and Scotty followed the footsteps about 150 meters into the forest until they came across another clearing. In the middle of the clearing was a small plastic container that looked like a bear. Inside was honey.
“Look, Mr. Scott,” said Sulu with excitement, “there’s a honey bear! I used to have those when I was a boy back on Earth. I have some crackers in the shuttle. Why don’t we take this back with us and we can have a snack.”
“I am a wee bit hungry, laddie,” replied Scotty. “Sounds like a good idea to me.”
They walked over to the bottle and Sulu leaned over to pick it up.
As he wrapped his hand around the little bear’s waist, a net came flying up out of the ground and left them both dangling in the air.
This event surprised both men greatly, but not as much as what they saw when they looked out from their prison. Across the way, about 10 meters from their position, were three more men caught in another net.
Kirk paced back and forth across the trash-laden living room as he tried to devise a plan of escape. They had already tried the door knob, but it wouldn’t turn. There were no windows in this room, so climbing out wasn’t an option. Digging a tunnel through the floor and outside to freedom crossed his mind, but for that they’d need a shovel, and he’d left his on the ship. He was just about to give up when…
“Captain, our tricorders are once again functioning,” announced Spock.
“Great!” yelled Kirk in a subdued yet forceful tone, his mind already churning with this new information. “Scan the cottage.”
Kirk waited a few short moments. “Well, what have you got?”
“Fascinating,” replied Spock. “There appear to be two additional life forms on the second floor.”
“Are you certain they’re not the bears?”
“Affirmative. All three bears are now on the first floor, just beyond this door.”
“We have to get out of here and inform them that someone is hiding in their cottage. Any ideas.”
“Well, since the tricorder is working,” offered Uhura, “the phaser probably is, too.”
“Good thinking, Lieutenant.”
They all stepped back. Spock lifted his phaser and aimed it at the door. A red beam leapt out from the weapon and struck the knob, which began to glow bright red from the heat. Suddenly there was a loud crackle and smoke began to float up into the air.
The door popped open.
Out rushed the Starfleet officers followed by Little Red Riding Hood, who was skipping and whistling in excitement over her newfound freedom.
“Papa Bear,” called out Kirk, “there’s something you should know about your cottage.”
“Something other than the fact that it will play host to a delicious dinner of you tonight?”
“Yes,” shot back Kirk. “There is someone hiding upstairs. Our equipment has started working again and we picked up their life signs on our tricorders.”
“How convenient,” said Mama Bear, doing her best Church Lady impression.
“This is no time for variety show skits,” said McCoy in annoyance, “someone could be dying up there. For God’s sake, bear, let me help.”
Papa Bear finally agreed to have a look and everyone ascended the staircase. Little Red found it difficult to skip on the stairs, so she resigned to walking.
When they reached the top of the stairs and looked into the room, they heard rustling sounds coming from the closet. Papa Bear walked to the door. It was locked. He turned the latch and flung open the door.
Inside were two children — one boy and one girl. Finally they had found the real perpetrators, and Kirk and company would no longer be eaten. The jury was still out on Little Red, who would soon have to head back into the forest to avoid the wolf and find her grandmother’s house.
Papa Bear told Mama Bear to go prepare the oven. Then he examined the two shaking children. In their hands were some small loafs of bread from which pieces were missing.
“Here’s the real source of those bread crumbs,” he told Spock.
“Indeed,” replied the Vulcan.
Kirk approached the closet, looked at the children, and began to question them.
“What are your names?”
There was a moment of terrifying hesitation.
“I’m Hansel,” said the little boy in a scared and timid voice. “And this is Gretel.”
“What the hell are you doing hiding in this closet?” asked McCoy.
“And why did you ransack this house?” added Kirk.
“We didn’t do anything to this cottage,” responded Hansel. His voice shook so badly that, if you could have attached a hand mixer to his vocal cords, you could have made a fresh fruit smoothie.
Gretel was a little less frightened and jumped into the interrogation. In a more level voice she explained, “We received an invitation to a party that was to be held at this cottage. We thought it would be fun, but since we aren’t familiar with this part of the forest we left a trail of bread crumbs so we wouldn’t become lost. When we arrived, we found three huge men inside screaming, eating and drinking, and destroying things. They brought us up here and locked us in the closet.”
“So you didn’t break anything?” asked Uhura in a gentle voice. The children shook their heads ‘No.’
“Then if they didn’t do it, who did?” asked Chekov.
Kirk decided that they should try contacting the Enterprise. They could have Sulu run some sensor sweeps of the planet to look for other humanoid life signs. He flicked open his communicator.
“Kirk to Enterprise.”
Nurse Chapel responded. “Yes, Captain.”
“Nurse Chapel?” replied Kirk. “What are you doing on the bridge?”
“Mr. Sulu left me in command while he went down to the planet.”
“Why did he come down to the planet? He was supposed to be taking care of my ship.”
“Something about a jamming device. Mr. Scott is with him.”
“Understood. Thank you, Nurse. Kirk out.”
Kirk looked at the others and they discussed the situation. They decided to go downstairs and have some tea with the Bears, then contact Sulu and Scotty. After they were all back together they would unravel the mystery of who had destroyed the cottage and who was placing jamming devices on the planet.
As they sat down at the table, Mama Bear was already filling the cups.
Tea-time was interrupted by a knock at the front door. Papa Bear stood up, walked across the room, and answered it. Standing in the doorway was a fourth bear. He wore a ranger’s cap, a khaki shirt, and khaki shorts. With him were five men.
“I found these men trespassing in the forest,” he told Papa Bear. “The two in the pajamas here told me that they had found some kind of device that was jamming communications signals. I had no idea what they meant, so I decided to bring them to you since you have that equipment recovered from the crashed ship.”
Kirk stepped forward and looked at the tallest of the three new men.
“My dear Captain Kolath,” he said, “what the hell are you doing here?”
The Klingon captain looked at him with a glare and then spoke.
“We have just completed a long and victorious battle with an old derelict space probe. We passed by this planet and decided to take a little R&R.”
“You mean you decided to have a party,” corrected McCoy.
The Klingon just sneered.
“Did you destroy these poor bears’ cottage?” continued McCoy.
One of the other Klingons unsheathed his dagger, but Kolath signaled him to put it away.
“It seemed like the best place for a celebration.”
“And that red stuff over there on the table,” said Uhura, pointing across the room, “is that blood wine?”
“It is,” responded Kolath proudly. “Would you like a cup?”
All the Klingons began to laugh as Uhura backed away with a look of disgust on her face.
“And what about the jamming device?” asked Scotty.
“That was just a joke. Kelgard does some strange things when he has too much blood wine,” responded Kolath, looking over at his first officer.
“Kolath,” said Kirk in a challenging voice, “you realize that you are in Federation space.”
“I hadn’t noticed,” lied Kolath.
“You are in violation of treaty and you have destroyed property. I’d hate to have to haul you back to the nearest starbase in our brig.”
The cheer went out of the Klingons’ eyes and they decided that it was better to let this one go.
“I give you 15 minutes to be on your way.”
With this the three warriors bowed, turned, and hurriedly left the cottage.
Back on the bridge of the Enterprise, everyone gathered ‘round the captain’s chair for a joke and the moral of the story. This was everyone’s favorite part of the mission, and they just wished that they could skip the being-eaten-by-a-bear part and just jump straight to this.
“I still don’t understand why the Bears wanted to eat you, Spock,” said McCoy. “That green blood of yours must taste awful.”
“Their desire to eat me was no doubt due to their impeccable taste.”
Kirk chuckled and looked around at his shipmates.
“If we’ve learned anything here,” he said, “it’s that bears are dangerous animals when angry. We should all be careful when roaming aimlessly in the forest.”
“Parents should watch their children at all times,” said Uhura.
“And if you see a honey container,” added Sulu. “Don’t pick it up.”
The sound of laughter filled the bridge as the Enterprise left orbit and shot off into the deep blackness.
Read the entire GoldiSpock and the Three Bears saga. Use the links below to jump to each installment: