Stardate 6124.7--Just after lunch . . .

While  star-mapping a previously unexplored  region  of  the
Milky Way galaxy, the USS Enterprise unwittingly enters  the
gravitational  field of a black star.   Unable  to  maneuver
away from the celestial hole of no return, the Enterprise is
pulled inexorably, not-to-mention-swiftly, toward the star's
deadly event horizon. Before Captain Kirk can wolf down  the
last  white crumbs of feta cheese from his extra large Greek
salad, the Enterprise vanishes.

Sometime later . . . .

SPOCK     (picking himself off the deck):  "Captain?"

KIRK      (picking  out stray pieces of wilted lettuce  from
          his back teeth):  "Anybody have a toothpick?"

SPOCK     (from  his seat at the Science Officer's station):

KIRK      (startled, he swivels toward Spock):  "Whaat!"

SPOCK:    "Just  thought  you'd like to know,  the  ship  is
          damaged beyond repair."

KIRK:     "Ah, come on.  You know Scotty can fix anything."

SPOCK:    "Not this time, Jim."

KIRK:     "All  right, what's the problem?"  (Trying to fish
          out a particularly annoying piece of cucumber seed
          stuck  between his two front teeth):   "And  gimme
          the short version, please."

SPOCK:    "Very  well.   In a nutshell, the  warp  drive  is
          kaput,  impulse engines are flooded, and dilithium
          crystals  are  burned  beyond  recognition.   Life
          support is temporarily operating on battery power.
          However,  that  will not last long,  as  we  never
          returned  to  Sears  for our five-hundred-trillion
          mile  check-up.   Pity, since  we  had  a  coupon.
          Other than that, Captain, things are peachy."

KIRK      (still  fighting that stubborn  seed):   "Man!   I
          need some floss.  Where's my yeoman?"

SPOCK:    "Sir, have you heard a word I said?"

KIRK:     "Keep  your shirt on, Spock.  I was just about  to
          call a meeting in the Briefing Room."  (Using  the
          end  of  his  stylus  to  dislodge  the  offending
          particle--to no avail):  "But first, I gotta  brush
          my teeth."

A few minutes hence . . .

His  pearly whites sparkling, and finally free of  cucumber,
Kirk  heads  for  the Briefing Room to hear Spock's  report.
And  is  it  a  doozy! Apparently, the Enterprise  has  been
thrown  not only through space, but through time.  For  some
strange  reason,  the  ship is locked in  synchronous  orbit
around  planet  Earth, approximately  100  miles  above  the
Hawaiian   Islands.  (Spock's  only  explanation  for   this
unlikely  turn of events is that it must be in the  script.)
The century is the 20th; the year, 1975; the month, May; the
day,  Tuesday.  Gerald Ford is in the White House, The Brady
Bunch  has  been canceled, and in the world  of  pop  music,
Disco is just beginning to rear its ugly head.  Historically
interesting as these facts may be, Spock says, none  of  the
information is of any practical use.  Kirk bangs his fist on
the table and demands a plan of action.

SPOCK:    "Sir,  our only hope is to find a nuclear reactor,
          steal  its . . . I mean . . . borrow some  of  its
          fissionable materials, and use them to  bring  our
          burned  out dilithium crystals back to life again.
          However,  I am afraid we have a limited amount  of
          time  in  which to accomplish this task.   Reserve
          power  levels are dropping rapidly.   Soon,  there
          won't be enough juice left to run a toaster on."

KIRK      (panicky at the thought):  "How long, Scotty?"

SCOTTY:   "No  more'n  . . . eight hours.  After  that,  the
          oxygen'll  run  out, an' we'll all die  o'  carbon
          monoxide poisoning."

CHEKOV:   "Sair?"

KIRK:     "Chekov?"

CHEKOV:   "Sensors  peeked  up  a  nuclear  wessel  steaming
          toward Hawaii only five meeneets ago."

KIRK:     "Of  course.   The  United States  Navy's  Pacific

SPOCK:    "Negative,   Captain.   I  have  been   monitoring
          military channels.  The Pacific Fleet is currently
          on maneuvers in the Atlantic."

KIRK:     "With the Atlantic Fleet?"

SPOCK:    "No,  sir.  The Atlantic Fleet in on maneuvers  in
          the Mediterranean."

KIRK:     "Really?    And   where,   pray   tell,   is   the
          Mediterranean Fleet?"

SPOCK:    "Indian   Ocean."   (Shrugging  and   explaining):
          "Apparently, one of the Joint Chiefs concocted the
          idea  while  watching his grandchildren  at  play.
          The  Pentagon  hopes 'Operation:  Hopscotch'  will
          rattle the Russians, or at the very least, confuse
          Congress.   In  either case, the  strategy  leaves
          only  one  vessel in this part of the  world  with
          nuclear capabilities."

KIRK:     "And that vessel is?"

SPOCK:    "The SSRN Seaview."

KIRK:     "Not the Seaview!  Not Harriman Nelson's Seaview!"

SPOCK:    "The very same, Captain."

KIRK:     "Holy  Toledo!  That man is one of my heroes!   He
          saved the planet more times than we did!"

SPOCK:    "Yes, he possessed a most brilliant mind."

KIRK:     "And he was one hell of an actor, Mr. Spock."

SPOCK:    "Agreed, Captain."

Both  men  have studied the famous "Nelson Journals",  which
were published upon the Admiral's retirement in 1990.  Spock
praises  the  nautical  narrative, and  finds  it  not  only
extremely    informative,    refreshingly    concise,    and
appropriately pithy, but a constant source of inspiration as
      Not  wishing to be out done in showing admiration  for
Nelson,  Kirk gets up, meanders around the room, hunches  up
his  shoulders,  throws  out his hands,  and  begins  waxing
eloquent  on  the  legendary Admiral's legendary  accomplish
ments.  (He does not seem to hear the snores emanating  from
his  subordinates.)  However, Kirk declares, as much  as  he
digs  the  Ad, it was Nelson's protege and best  buddy,  Lee
Crane,  who inspired him to go into the service.  And  while
consciously  modeling  himself  after  the  affable,   well-
mannered,  super-efficient, ain't scared a  nothin!  Captain
Crane, Kirk wonders, not for the first time, why such a good-
looking guy never seemed to get the girl . . .
      A half hour later, when Dr. McCoy finally wakes up, he
wonders,  at  the top of his lungs, why in  blazes  Jim  and
Spock are still flappin' their jaws instead of trying to get
the ship fixed!
      Spock  suggests risking contact with Nelson and Crane.
Those  men  repelled more than their fair share of  invading
aliens,   giant   manta-rays,  dinosaurs,  and   looney-tune
scientists.  If anyone can help the Enterprise out  of  this
jam, it's HN and LC.
      Kirk  concurs,  and orders Uhura  to  open  a  hailing
      Within  five  minutes, Kirk and Spock find  themselves
sitting in Admiral Harriman Nelson's private quarters aboard
the  Seaview.  Twenty minutes after that, when Spock's  ears
haven't  come off after repeated pulling, Nelson  and  Crane
are  thoroughly  convinced  the story  they  have  heard  is
genuine.  Nelson places his ship at Kirk's disposal.  Scott,
Chekov  and  Riley  are ordered to beam down  to  begin  the
delicate and dangerous job of siphoning off a few quarts  of
radioactive fuel from Seaview's nuclear pile.  With all  the
enlisted  men  hard at work, this leaves the  four  officers
with little to do . . .


Act 1

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Copyright 1997 Rachel Howe and Alison Passarelli