In the 1980s, I wrote three Star Trek novels that were then published by a small publisher called Ruff & Ready Press. For two of the three, I created several original Vulcan characters as crewmen of the starship Enterprise. My premise was that the entire former science department of the ship had been killed off in a tragic accident, and that Starfleet wisely decided to replace it with the best scientists in the Federation: Vulcans. I went on to write numerous stories using my invented characters.

            One of my new Vulcans, in particular, was more sensitive, inquisitive, and open-minded than most: Spencek. He actually married a human crewwoman, Lisa Hollister, who started out by being the most uneasy around the new Vulcans, but who gradually allowed her own great sensitivity to bridge the gap, and learned to accept these aliens better than most of the other humans among the crew, who saw Vulcan aloofness as an unbreachable barrier against genuine friendship between the two species.

            Here then, without further ado, is one of those stories.


“Stay away from me!!” McCoy bellowed as he backed slowly across the room. Spencek, Spornak, and Spivak, who were fanned out in an equidistant pattern, came at him just as slowly.

“Confound it, you three sadistic…!!” McCoy broke off as the door from the corridor, behind the three Vulcans, shooshed open.

Spock entered and took in the scene. “Is there some problem, gentlemen?”

“Not at all,” Spencek explained smoothly. “We are experimenting with human responses. We have found this particular human to be extremely emotional even by human standards; therefore we are observing his reactions to certain stimuli.”

“Indeed. What stimuli, specifically?”

Spornak elaborated, “We made an off-hand reference to the nerve-pinch technique, and then we began to slowly approach him, while observing his resulting behavior. As you can see, he is irrationally panicked.”

Spivak concluded, “I am under the impression that he genuinely fears for his safety.”

“How very astute!” McCoy snapped sarcastically. “Spock! Call them off, please!”

Spock replied, “Doctor, I am not even certain that their plan entails carrying out the procedure when they reach you. You are reacting as if they had made a definite threat. Further, you are surely aware that the method is harmless.”

During Spock’s statement, McCoy had glanced behind himself at the wall against which he would soon have been trapped, had it not been for the conveniently-placed door into the next lab.

“Aha!” McCoy exalted. “When they reach me, huh? You mean if they reach me! I’m about to make my great escape!”

As the human backed toward it, the door slid aside, but not in response to McCoy’s approach, rather to that of the individual entering from the other side. Startled, McCoy again looked over his shoulder to determine the identity of the intruder. Sarek, Spock’s visiting father.

“Oh shit!” McCoy exclaimed in dismay, and then screamed.

Sarek, revolted by the doctor’s profanity, and then alarmed at his apparent hysteria, deemed the human out of control in a potentially dangerous manner, and nerve-pinched him. McCoy shrieked and collapsed.

The other four Vulcans looked at the crumpled, still McCoy, and then at each other.

Spencek observed mildly, “I believe that this is what humans call irony. If we were humans, we would probably laugh.”


<Return to the Star Trek Original Series page>