Star Trek: We Traverse Afar

Star Trek

We Traverse Afar

By Dirk Wickenden

I wish to apologise if any of this appears blasphemous to believers, it is not intended as such, as I am Christian myself but just to present a literal Star Trek nativity story. It might bring people to God, who before have avoided the subject or not known much about scripture.  The story is set in between The Final Frontier and The Undiscovered Country.

Captain’s Log, stardate – unknown. After seeing Sulu off on his first mission as Captain of the USS Excelsior, the Enterprise has encountered a peculiar star, which is not part of a star system, it is hanging in space, without any orbiting planets or dwarf planets.  We were caught in its gravitational pull and according to ship’s chronometers, flung back into the past and many light years off course.  The constellations are different and Spock and the science department are taking readings to determine an exact date and location.  Additionally, our warp drive was damaged and we are operating under impulse power only.

* * *

‘Science officer, report’ Captain James Kirk ordered from his chair in the briefing room.

‘We have established that we are in the asteroid belt between Mars and Saturn, in our own solar system’.

‘But – but that’s a thousand light years off course!’ Dr Leonard McCoy exclaimed.

‘Indeed, Dr. McCoy. We shall make an astronavigator of you yet’ replied Spock.

‘Is that some kind of joke, Spock?’

‘Vulcans do not joke’ the science officer replied with a customary raised eyebrow.

‘I wouldnae say that’ laughed chief engineer Montgomery Scott.

‘Gentleman – the task at hand?’ reminded Kirk impatiently.

‘As I was saying before the good doctor rudely interrupted me, we are between Mars and Saturn and analysing the path of the constellations, we estimate it is in the final century of Old Earth calendar B. C. E.’

‘I prefer it called B. C.!’ McCoy grumbled.

‘Before… that is the furthest we’ve ever been back in time’ mused Kirk, ‘what was happening on Earth at this time?’

‘It was a time of great turmoil.  Persecutions by the Roman Empire against many of the citizens’ Spock reported.

‘It was also around the time the citizens heard that someone came to save them from the Romans’ Scotty piped up.

‘Yes, that’s right… his name was – ah’ stumbled Kirk.

‘Yeshua, in ancient Hebrew; translated it means ‘Jesus’.  He was the Christ child, said to be the God of the prophet Abraham, come to Earth as a Human’ Spock said.

‘Spock, how do you know so much about it?’ asked Kirk.

‘In order to study Earth culture more, I researched your myths and legends, particularly in light of Sybok’s recent quest’ Spock replied.  The crew had recently encountered an alien masquerading as God on a planet said to be Sha Ka Ree, its Vulcan name.  After the conclusion of the hijacking of the Enterprise by Spock’s half-brother Sybok, who presumably perished when combatting the alien, those who directly encountered the alien had come to look inward at their own selves, perhaps prompted by Sybok’s releasing them of pain in each of their pasts.  Except for Kirk, who believed pain is what drove people through their lives, being an essential part of the human condition.  It appeared to be a spiritual awakening, so perhaps the loss of Sybok, however misguided he may have been, had done some good after all.

‘Many myths have their basis in reality’ Scott said.

‘Indeed they do, Mr Scott’ came the reply.

‘So what do we do now, gentleman?’ Kirk brought things back on track, ‘Spock, what about travelling to the planet of the Guardian?’

‘It would take a while to pinpoint the system, given that we are so far back in time’ Spock replied.  Plus one cannot take a whole vessel through – though in our own time, studies had begun as to how to expand the Guardian’s portal’.

‘Science department, get to work on it immediately.  Scotty, how are the engine repairs coming along?’

‘The intermix chamber needs recalibrating and the control subsystems have to be rerouted through Jeffries tube 54A, then we’re all set’ Scotty reported.

‘Proceed, gentleman’ and they all exited the briefing room.

* * *

On the bridge, it was alpha shift and Kirk was nursing a cup of coffee that his yeoman had brought to him, along with the latest ship’s systems data to sign.

‘Captain, I am reading an unusual signal on a wide bandwidth’ communications officer Uhura called and Kirk swung around in his chair.

‘What is it?’ Kirk ordered.

‘It’s almost like the waves given off by supernova but it is more uniform, not random’ Uhura replied.  Kirk rose from the centre seat and leaned on the railing behind Spock’s science station.

‘Spock?’

‘It is most unusual, Uhura’s analogy is apt’.

‘Can you locate the source?’

‘The star we encountered in our own time is here – it is a most extraordinary thing, Captain’.

‘Feed it to the main viewscreen, please’ Kirk ordered.  The view of the asteroid field was replaced by a bright star, glowing and glittering, which did appear to be doing so in a steady pattern.

‘Somehow, it appears to be transiting across the system and is approaching Earth’ Spock reported.

‘But a star cannot move, Spock’.

‘Nevertheless, it is composed of star matter and is indeed moving’.

‘Can we match its trajectory and velocity?’

‘It is moving at the equivalent of impulse, so that is not an issue, Captain’.

‘Match it!’ Kirk’s curiosity taking over.

‘Captain, it appears to be on a course to Earth’ Spock informed Kirk.

‘How long til we reach Earth orbit?’

‘Fifteen minutes point five-six seconds’ the Vulcan informed accurately.  Indeed, that length of time later, they found the star, if that is what it was, in a geosynchronous orbit.

‘Spock – could it be a spacecraft?’

‘Negative, Captain – it is what it is – a star.  A star that moves under its own velocity.  It is against the laws of nature.  I am at a loss to explain it’.

‘Not everything can be explained by science, Spock’, said McCoy ‘sometimes we have to take things at face value’.  Since Sybok had – albeit contested by Kirk – helped McCoy by getting him to confront his pain over the euthanasia of his father, he had become more attuned to a spiritual side of himself, as his Protestant grandparents had been but he had not explored it himself, since becoming a Starfleet officer.

‘Captain, look!’ exclaimed Chekov.  On the viewscreen, a Klingon bird of prey shimmered into view.

‘How did they get back here too?’ Chekov said.

‘Captain, we’re being hailed’ Uhura said, holding her hand to the Feinberger device in her ear.

‘Onscreen!’ Kirk ordered and onto the viewscreen came the visage of a Klingon.

‘This is Captain Kerod of the IKS Stovokor, please state your intentions’ the glowering Klingon said.

‘I was about to ask you the same thing, Captain’ Kirk responded.

‘We have been transported here by this weapon of yours!’ shouted Kerod.

‘Weapon?  Oh, you mean the – ahem – star’ Kirk said.

‘Explain!’

‘We were investigating the same star and were caught in its gravitational pull’.

‘As were we… you say it is not of your doing?’ the Klingon enquired.

‘No, Kerod.  We should pool our resources, try to ascertain what is going on.  Maybe it is a natural phenomenon, rather than an outside agency’.

‘I concur’ Kerod said, begrudgingly and that is how the two opposing starship crews came together, to find a way home.  But was it all as it seemed to be?  Nevertheless, Scotty got the Enterprise’s warp drive back in operation but the same could not be said of the bird of prey.  They decided they’d have to tractor the vessel, as they journeyed to the planet of the Guardian of Forever.

* * *

‘Captain Kerod, we have an opportunity here, to alter the course of human history.  According to the records we viewed, this is an important time for them.  One who will have repercussions through their future history will be born this very night.  If we – ‘ Commander Krelen tailed off, he didn’t need to finish, as Kerod grinned.

‘We will make you Captain of your own vessel for this, Krelen!  Take a contingent to Earth’s surface and do this thing!’

* * *

‘Captain, there is transporter activity from the Stovokor– they have beamed down to the city known as Bethlehem, according to the historical Earth maps’ Uhura said.

‘Bethlehem?  What are they up to?  Spock, with me and Uhura, get McCoy to join us in the transporter room!’ Kirk and Spock went to the turbolift.

* * *

‘Hold it!  Lower your weapons!’ Kirk pointed his phaser at the Klingon landing party.  But Krelen went to fire and Kirk stunned him.  The two other Klingons with him dropped their weapons.  They were transported to the Enterprise, for securing in the brig.

‘Who’s there?’ shouted a man from inside the edifice, as some men garbed in simple sheepskin and rough-hewn robes emerged, beatific looks on their faces and they returned towards a flock of sheep up in the hills, nodding to the three Starfleet officers as they walked past.

The trio entered the small stable which was honed out of a rock face.

‘Who are you?’ a bearded man asked.  His hands bore the marks of heavy graft and he stepped in front of a young woman lying in a corner, cradling a baby in her arms.  The trio didn’t look like Romans but their similar attire suggested they were either a military or religious unit.  One led, the next taller and the third shorter but all garbed in strange clothes of a claret colour with black trousers and striping down the sides.

‘We come from a far off place – a star guided our journey here’ the obvious leader said.

‘Jim – this is – these people are – ’ one man whispered.

‘Yes, doctor, I think you are correct’ the taller man said.  This prompted fear in the man and woman’s eyes, as he had strange misshapen ears.

‘But that’s a myth!’ the man who had been called doctor said.

‘Most myths, as our chief engineer recently said, have their basis in truth’ replied the taller man.  ‘Indeed, Yeshua was a cornerstone of your civilisation, as Surak was to Vulcan – both were real, not mythical’.

‘You are a doctor?’ the woman said.

‘Yes – yes, I am’ and he walked toward her, looking shocked but automatically taking a black box held by a strap at his shoulder.

‘What is that?’ the bearded man asked.

‘I am just checking on the mother’s and baby’s health’ the doctor explained as he used his tricorder.

‘You can do that without touching?’ the woman said.

‘Yes but I also like to check physically if I may’ and he briefly examined the woman and then in turn the baby, a smile cracking his stern features.  The infant smiled up at him and the doctor felt a warmness consume him, it was comforting, it felt right.

‘Jim,’ whispered Spock, ‘biblio-historical documents report that three ‘wise men’ or ‘kings’, betrothed three gifts to this infant.  In order to maintain history…’ Kirk nodded and flipped open his communicator.

‘Scotty, we need something from the replicators or ship’s stores, namely a small amount of gold – ah, Spock, what were the other two?’ asked Kirk, his memory faltering.

‘Frankincense and myrrh, sir’ and shortly after, these were transported down, outside the stable.  They duly presented the three gifts to the mother and child.  They then took their leave.

* * *

Back aboard the Enterprise, they ensured the bird of prey was secured for the journey to the Guardian planet and Scotty had taken all bar the Klingon vessel’s life support systems offline, making it act like a flying prison for the crew’s misdemeanours.  They needed the additional power provided by the enemy vessel, to maintain the tractor beam for the long journey.

‘Captain Kirk, look!’ exclaimed Uhura, nodding to the viewscreen. The star had grown even brighter and was pulsating.  As they watched, the bird of prey shimmered.

‘How did they cloak?  Their systems are still down’ Chekov said.

‘I don’t believe they cloaked, Commander’ Spock said.  I believe we are –‘ and the Vulcan was cut short as the Enterprise and her crew seemed to fade away…

* * *

… and appeared again, with the star twinkling ahead of them.

‘I can confirm we are back where – and when – we were, before the star transported us to Old Earth’ Spock said, his features bathed in a blue light from the viewer at his science console.

‘So is this star under an intelligence?’ Kirk asked Spock but McCoy answered.

I’ll say’, the doctor interrupted.  You said God was in the human heart, Jim, after the fun with Sybok.  But maybe God is here – and everywhere.  God is the intelligence behind the star’.

‘If so, then it is all true.  It has repercussions for everyone across all time, Spock’ mulled Kirk.

‘Indeed, it means that a supreme being created everything.  We Vulcans and for example, the Klingons have a number of Gods in our prehistories but the Vulcans have come to believe they are all myths.  But the evidence suggests we all come from the same one God, in reality.’

‘If I recall, there were many religions on Earth in earlier times, Spock’.

‘Yes, Jim and it led to a desperate time, combined with the Eugenics Wars’ Spock said, referring to the rise of Khan Noonien Singh, before his escape in a DY-100 ship, which they discovered three hundred years later in deep space, with Khan and his followers cryogenically suspended inside.

‘So it is due to those differing religions that there was so much war on Earth’ Chekov said.

‘That’s rather generic, Pavel,’ Uhura piped up, ‘faith in a higher power is what saved so many, during those desperate times’.  Uhura, like Spock, had of late been studying different peoples’ beliefs.

‘Will we meet Him, one day?’ Kirk mused.

‘Maybe the journey begins with the infant we saw today’ McCoy answered.

‘We’re overdue at Starfleet HQ, let’s get under way.  Ahead, warp factor five’ Kirk ordered and the ship entered the firmament of warp space.

The End

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