This is going to kill our romance.
Module BI-06T: First Contact
This module will discuss the very likely event that “you” will make contact with an alien species for the first time in human existence. Don’t think so? Think all first contacts are made by seasoned starship captains and Earth ambassadors? No, dear naïve one, many are not. In fact, many are the result of haphazard explorations of clumsy individuals touring new worlds, often deemed uninhabited. Then, surprise (!), from nowhere a native appears and, sometimes, tries to off you.
Okay, now that your possible demise has been established as a result of these foliage sight-seeing trips, I have your attention.
Of the numerous unofficial and unintentional first encounters, let’s start with a carefree encounter in the Omicron Delta Region. You couldn’t want for a greener Earth-like planet. Jade forests, colorful vistas, spectacular mountain views. But what was waiting for the Enterprise crew on this supposedly uninhabited planet turned out to be dangerous. Very dangerous.
Dr. Leonard McCoy knew something was amiss when a large white rabbit hurried past him proclaiming that it was late. Late? Having lost it in the deep green foliage, he asked those knowledgeable of the environment if there was any life on the planet. Knowledgeable folks insisted there wasn’t any.
Reassurances had barely been issued when a preadolescent female stopped Dr. McCoy, asking if he’d seen a large white rabbit. McCoy was now determined to find that wabbit to stop the giggling of the Enterprise crew. However, the laughter soon ceased when the rest of the sight-seers started seeing things, too. Some more pleasant than others.
Yet, none more pleasing than Dr. McCoy’s. Who briefly forgot about his rabbit and was also seeing love with those puppy-dog eyes of his. Once again, he was mooning over yet another woman he was never going to get. His ardor left him vulnerable when he tried to protect his love from an aggressive and randy knight who was attracted to the long flowing gown she wore. The Black Knight, he was called, predictably, took offense to McCoy’s meddling and mortally bested him in a jousting match.
Hey, what is this, you ask? Alice in Wonderland meets King Arthur? Almost. Apparently, the inhabitants of this planet used mechanical devices to read the thoughts of their guests and gave them whatever they wanted. Never occurred to them, let alone the machines, that their human visitors didn’t really want what they were thinking about. (Except for Dr. McCoy, of course.)
When the crew were all at their wit’s end because bad things kept interfering with good times, a white-haired elderly gentleman appeared to calm their temper tantrums. What’s wrong, he asked. You don’t like our toys? Kirk finally explained the illogical nature of humans to the smiling Vulcan-like caretaker of Disneyland. We don’t want to die!
The caretaker told them if they controlled their thoughts, the artificial lifeforms and artifacts provided for their happy-land pleasure wouldn’t kill them, and they may even enjoy themselves. But Kirk was still mourning the death of Dr. McCoy. Then, miraculously, McCoy reappeared unharmed from the lance that thoroughly pierced his abdomen. Somehow, the aliens “repaired” him in a subterranean factory where they practiced reconstitution arts and made everything on the planet from scratch.
Stunned into technological greed, Kirk wanted to know more about them. But nothing doing. They were willing to share their park, their planet and their life-sized synthetic toys. But advanced personal knowledge of them was off-limits, humans weren’t ready yet. (How bad could it be? Were they carnivores who ate their guests once they were fat and happy? Hmmm, maybe, I shouldn’t jest.)
Luckily, for Kirk and crew a more forthcoming alien grabbed their starship in the palm of his hand when they stumbled upon Pollux IV. He identified himself as Apollo, the mythological Greek god, and said he’d been waiting for them. He would provide all of their needs, too, if they fell on their knees and worshipped him. But nix on the technology that allowed him to swat starships in mid-orbit like pesky mosquitos.
After being rebuffed by the smiling logical-one, Kirk was in no mood to play with a moody immortal with a well-founded sense of grandeur. He stopped the megalomaniac from his plans to mate with yet another senseless member of the crew dressed in a gown of ancient splendor. Apollo, lightning bolts in hand, decided to punish this mere mortal who dared to stop him from ending eons of celibacy. But his godlike awesomeness was lost on Kirk, though the rest of his crew was properly impressed.
Spock came to the rescue when he punched a hole in Apollo’s force field and destroyed his magic generator. This and the loss of his marital hopes deprived Apollo of his will to live and he extinguished himself much like the suicidal gods who went before him. Only his would-be bride mourned him.
From then on, Kirk and crew seldom caught a break. In fact, the Enterprise had the most unintended first contacts of any starship in human history before Voyager’s lost-in-space act. After enduring incorporeal entities, weedy intergalactic insects, blood-sucking clouds and other new life-scum, there was no end in sight.
Then the slave hunters, the Providers, reached 11,630 light years to snatch them from space and plop them down on the planet Triskelion. Kirk and crew were expected to mate (again! What’s with these aliens?) and fight for the amusement of their masters (not, necessarily, in that order). Kirk, again, had had enough. He proceeded to throttle his mate (well, at least knocked her out), and she, subsequently, tried to kill him. Just like a real couple.
The Enterprise crew went from being entertained to being the entertainment in less time than it took for their glass-headed masters to bet a few quatloos. Fortunately, Kirk’s gambling instincts came to the fore, and he bet on his life to the joy of the wager-happy immortals. Foolishly, they took the bet and lost all their slaves to a being who was just a spigot of their long and boring life-span.
Voyager’s first contacts in the Delta quadrant were tame, in comparison. (Yes, I’m kidding.) There were the Vidiians who tried to steal their body parts, species 8472 that wanted to annihilate them and all of the inhabitants of non-fluidic space, nomadic aliens who wanted their ship, and other various and sundry intergalactic critters. They even went to hell once. But after careful scrutiny, it seems there’s a strong correlation between first contact and the mating instinct. Q, for example, upon meeting Captain Kathryn Janeway for the first time, offered her reproductive rights to the first Q ever to be born into The Q Continuum. Even wrapping her romantically in a mid-19th century North American dress, popular during the Civil War period. It wasn’t a gown, but it was close enough.
Nevertheless, the overall lesson here is to be prepared for inadvertent first contact with aliens who may reside unseen on seemingly uninhabited planets. They can snare you with rabbits, snatch your ship from mid-orbit or beam you or other comelier personnel to their home planet for a little master/slave foreplay. Often, presenting dangers capable of inflicting great harm upon your libido. But don’t fret. Once discovered, these inappropriate interactions followed by unwanted sexual advances usually work themselves out because of the intestinal fortitude of seasoned and experienced starship captains. Who are well able to thwart the lascivious desires of the impudent and brazen lifeforms who take no pains to conceal them.
Sturgeon, Theodore. “Shore Leave.” Star Trek. National Broadcasting Company. 29 December 1966. Television. Retrieved: http://memory-alpha.wikia.com/wiki/Shore_Leave_(episode)
Ralston, Gilbert. “Who Mourns For Adonais?” Star Trek. National Broadcasting Company. 22 September 1967. Television. Retrieved: http://memory-alpha.wikia.com/wiki/Who_Mourns_for_Adonais%3F_(episode)
Armen, Margaret. “The Gamesters of Triskelion.” Star Trek. National Broadcasting Company. 5 January 1968. Television. Retrieved http://memory-alpha.wikia.com/wiki/The_Gamesters_of_Triskelion_(episode)