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Fantasy Fiction Science Fiction

Martha raced down the lengthy deserted corridor that stretched along the Relaxation floor of the Starship Enterprise. Usually reserved, she would timidly shuffle along, keeping her eyes glued to the floor to avoid any potential eye contact or smiles. As a Yeoman on the Enterprise, she was initially assigned administrative duties in the Canteen and Restaurant. However, seeking alleviation from the solitude of her cabin, she had taken on volunteer shifts in the Lounge Bar and the Karaoke Room in the evenings. 

At 26 years old, a slim blonde, Martha possessed beauty that her shy disposition didn't fully showcase. She avoided flirtations and close friendships, keeping to herself despite the ship’s 450 personnel. Martha found solace in the service side of the entertainment section, where the apparent ease with which others enjoyed themselves contrasted with her struggles. Karaoke, in particular, terrified her. She marvelled at how people, lacking pitch or tune, fearlessly took the stage, impervious to boos or shouts, revelling in the joy of the moment.

Martha was astounded one night when First Officer Spock entered the Lounge.  Spock, a half-human, half-Vulcan, was the epitome of cold and distance and was renowned for his logical and reserved demeanour. On rare occasions, Captain Kirk had been known to come to the Lounge, drink with crew members, and stand up and cheer when someone had finished their rendition - but F/Officer Spock’s presence was a real rarity.

As Martha approached Spock to take his bar order, she was stunned when he looked her in the eye, grinned broadly, and greeted her by name. Her knees almost gave way with surprise. How on earth would he know her name? She cautiously responded, “Quite well, First Officer Spock. Thanks for asking. What can I get you from the bar?’

To her further astonishment, Spock leaned forward and asked if he had upset her. She had only ever seen F/Officer Spock at a distance and had never spoken to him before. Bewildered, Martha could not fathom how Spock knew her or imagined that he could have caused any offence.

Spock shrugged his shoulders at her non-response and asked: ’Can you mix another delicious drink - the same as you made yesterday? An ‘Enterprise Moonlight’ cocktail?’ said the strangely friendly Spock.

Martha scuttled away towards the bar. Why on earth did he think she had made him a drink yesterday? She’d never met Spock before; he was the only senior officer who had never set foot in the Lounge.  

She urgently sought Sheila. Martha whispered: ‘Do you like Spock?’

“Like him? I really fancy him”, said Sheila.

“Great, he’s sitting over there and has ordered an Enterprise Moonlight cocktail. Will you arrange it for him?”

“Yes, I will! Thanks, Martha. Fancy the elusive Spock being in the Lounge. This might be the only chance I will ever get to meet him.”  

**********

Martha moved into the shadows behind the bar, hidden from the over-friendly Spock and asked Colin, the Manager, if she should get replacement supplies from the ‘basement’ to bring to the bar. Colin, the Manager, impressed by her thoughtfulness, gladly provided a list, promising to assist in getting the drinks upstairs. As Martha approached the basement, she overheard a conversation about an "Enterprise Moonlight" for Spock. Looking over, Martha caught a glimpse of a slim, blonde woman behind the bar who offered to mix Spock’s drink. Martha descended into the temperature-controlled basement. 

A short while later, Martha heard loud whistles and cheers from the audience as someone ascended the karaoke stage. In the basement, the sounds coming from the Lounge became muffled. She could hear a woman singing a loud popular song, and when it reached the chorus, more voices joined in, mainly male voices. She could hear muffled shouting and cheering as the woman had come to the end of her song.  

Martha collected all the required supplies and wheeled them on the trolley towards the exit door. She climbed the stairs and found Colin, the bar manager, about to descend. When he saw her, he jumped, and a shocked expression on his face appeared.

“Oooh, Colin, did I make you jump?” 

“Martha, how did you manage to get to the basement without me seeing you?”

Still looking confused, Colin said, “Martha, your performance on stage was fantastic. I never knew you had it in you.”

“What performance?” her heart began to beat loudly, and her head began to spin.

“Just now. OK, I have another question for you. Do you intend to continue working in the bar? Will Spock be OK with you working here?”

Martha cringed. Colin must have heard Spock knew her name and got the wrong end of the stick entirely. Everything was becoming crazy.  

“Are you telling me that someone who looked a lot like me got up and sang when I was in the basement collecting the supplies, and everyone loved her singing?” Martha asked.

Colin nodded.

Sheila, who had served Spock’s cocktail, came marching over, looking annoyed.  ‘Why didn’t you tell me that you and Spock were an item? I felt such a fool trying to flirt with him whilst serving him the drink you’d mixed. I didn’t know it was a special drink only you could make. He couldn’t shut up about you.” 

"Sheila, I don’t know Spock …” stammered Martha.

“Oh yeah? When you jumped on the stage and started belting out that number, Spock nearly knocked his cocktail off my tray as he jumped up, yelling and clapping. Tell your man he has the worst singing voice ever, and trying to join in singing with you was just hysterically funny".

‘Sheila, who got on the stage and started singing?’ implored Martha.

“It was you, Martha ...... at least I thought it was you - and so did Colin - and Spock.”

‘Colin, Sheila, I think we need to talk privately.’ 

Colin agreed and beckoned her to his private office just off the Lounge.

**********

The conversation revealed that Colin and Sheila couldn’t believe Martha wasn’t hanging around with Spock and singing and dancing on the stage - a smiling, prettier version, but Martha nonetheless.

"Well, I believe an evil entity, a bringer of bad luck, a doppelganger, has replaced me. I am terrified. Worse, the replica has gone off with F/Officer Spock, one of our senior officers, who is also acting bizarrely”, wept Martha.

The three of them sat staring at each other in shocked silence. Martha felt vaguely sick, and Colin kept opening his mouth to say something and then closing it abruptly. 

“Why would a doppelganger choose to be a Martha replica, the quietest woman on the Enterprise, and why is Spock behaving like he has fallen in love with Martha? Spock is such a cold, logical man - not someone openly interested in girls in a bar”, said Sheila.

Martha said: “Well, I think whoever ‘they’ are, chose me as their victim precisely because I am quiet and don’t mix much. Apart from you two, who else really knows me?  If an evil doppelganger replaced me - who would notice? Same for Spock. His status is such that if he starts to act differently, who would challenge him? Only Captain Kirk - but he wasn’t there. We must urgently report our worries to the Senior Crew - who shall we choose? clearly not Spock.”

************

“Let’s get Engineer Scott involved and tell him what’s happened. I overheard someone in the bar say there was trouble in the Transporter Room - wonder if our doppelganger is the problem?’ said Colin.  

“Well, if anyone can work out illegal entrances on the Enterprise via the Transporter Room, Engineer Scott is your man. I guess that’s how the other Martha arrived”, said Sheila.

*****************

Martha, Colin, and Sheila recounted the strange incidents with Engineer Scott in the engine room. Captain Kirk and Dr. McCoy had been alerted and had already begun initiating personnel tests on all staff on the SS Enterprise. The Doctor positively confirmed Martha, Colin and Sheila’s identities, and shortly afterwards, the existence of an imposter on Enterprise was established.

"How did the doppelganger get in Scotty?" asked Kirk.

‘Well, Captain, we had that strange attack from the Borg the other day, and then suddenly everything went quiet. While we were concentrating on repelling the Borg, I guess they managed to access the doppelganger through the Transporter Room, which must have been left unguarded for a few minutes.

“So we have Borg problems? Where did the last sighting of the ‘double’ take place?” 

“She had her arms around Spock and was guiding him out of the bar,” said Colin.

“If this weren’t so serious, I’d laugh. I can’t imagine Spock canoodling with a woman he found in a bar,” said the Doctor.

*************

A large team of security guards, phaser guns to the ready, gathered silently outside Spock’s quarters. A reading on the Tricorder sensor confirmed there were two entities in Spock’s quarters; one was Spock, but the other entity did not compute with any known staff member on the Enterprise and, therefore, was assumed to be alien. From behind Spock’s door, low female giggling and indistinct chatting could be heard. Captain Kirk and the Doctor arrived outside Spock’s door.

Knocking loudly on the door, Kirk said, “Spock, it’s Kirk. Sorry to disturb you on your night off, but I need to see you urgently.” 

The door opened, and Spock, with ruffled hair and lipstick marks on his face, stepped out of his cabin, looking confused. The security guards pushed past and grabbed the girl, who was seeking an escape from Spock’s living quarters. 

“Handcuff her!” commanded Kirk.

The Doctor examining the confused Spock said, “Jim, Spock has been drugged.”

“Jim! What’s going on?” said Spock, his voice slurring somewhat and looking wholly disorientated.

“Spock, have you been drinking?” Kirk demanded.

“Well, yes, I have Jim. Martha can mix a mean Enterprise Moonlight. It’s delicious, and although I usually never drink, Martha’s skills with the cocktail shaker are just too inviting to refuse”, said Spock, giving the Captain an idiotic grin. The Captain gawped in astonishment at Spock. 

“Yep, completely off his head; wonder what drug she’s being pumping him full of?” said the Doctor.

“Spock, the woman in your room is not Martha - it is a doppelganger sent from the Borg. Starfleet believes the Borg hoped to make a doppelganger of you but initially failed, as your green Vulcan blood seemed to affect the final image of the replica. We think ‘Martha’ had to extend her stay to give the Borg longer to study you and work out how to take control of the Enterprise”, said Kirk. 

“We will arrange to send her back to the Borg with a clear indication of what we will do if they ever send another doppelganger to the Enterprise”, said Kirk, looking directly at the Martha counterpart, who had the good grace to hang her head in defeat. 

‘To the brig gentlemen’, said Kirk to the security guards who took the handcuffed Martha firmly by the arms and marched her to the brig.

“You were lucky, Spock. The report we received from Starfleet confirms she’s an evil, lethal doppelganger. The Borg have been working a long time on perfecting her. I have to say, Spock, I have been amazed that you were so easily seduced”, said Kirk.

“And me, Captain. This has never happened to me before,” said the unusually flummoxed Spock. 

‘Jim, it’s fairly obvious those dreadful spiked drinks the girl was handing out affected even Spock. We’ll get the research labs to check them out. Goodness knows what would have happened if the wrong Martha had served the Engine Room with their break-time refreshments.”, said the Doctor.

 “Captain, when will you conduct the war conference with the Borg? Let me know when I can transport that doppelganger off this ship, as I want her removed immediately.”, said Scotty.

“I have the same thoughts, Scotty. I’ll get Communications Officer Uhuru to schedule a conference call between myself and the Borg as soon as possible.”

Kirk, turning to Spock, asked him to tell them about his experiences whilst under the influence of the spiked drinks.  Spock replied, "I have little to say about it, Captain, except that for the first time in my life, I experienced a strange inner feeling. I wondered if it was this thing you humans call emotion. I thought I had found love.”

“Sickbay, I think, Spock”, said the Doctor, laughing and shaking his head.

November 25, 2023 02:51

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12 comments

Graham Kinross
22:43 Dec 05, 2023

Interesting choice. Why Star Trek? So that most people would already know the characters?

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Stevie Burges
03:30 Dec 06, 2023

I chose Startrek because of Reedsy! They sent me a free course on writing, and one of their tips was to look at Startrek and work out the character dynamics of Kirk, Spock, etc. I wasn't a Startrek fan, but I started looking at a few episodes and thought what great short stories - so when the Doppelganger prompt came up, I thought this would make a Startrek story. So blame Reedsy!

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Graham Kinross
03:44 Dec 07, 2023

They are archetypal characters for sure, Spock is wise and stoic, Kirk is passionate and at times impulsive.

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David Lund
10:02 Dec 01, 2023

A good story, but I must say, this hurt my Star Trek a bit :) Kirk never saw the Borg, they only came into light in the Picard era. The story was quite funny, and very out of character for dear Spock! A believable doppelganger episode! I enjoyed the mention of a problem in the transporter room! It was an easy read. I enjoyed it.

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Stevie Burges
12:03 Dec 01, 2023

My sincere apologies about the Borg. You unveiled my secret - not a Trekkie!! Thank you so much for your comments - much appreciated.

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Michał Przywara
21:32 Nov 30, 2023

Heh, I was not expecting Star Trek today :) The idea of Spock trawling bars is indeed funny, though probably not for him, nor for poor Martha. “I overheard someone in the bar say there was trouble in the Transporter Room” - isn't there always? :) I could see the idea of a doppelganger making it onboard being an actual episode (ignoring DS9 and the founders). We seem to lose Martha at the end though - but on the other hand, she seems comfortable out of the limelight, so maybe that's a happy ending for her. Thanks for sharing!

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Stevie Burges
23:49 Nov 30, 2023

Always good critiquing from you - yes where did Martha go. The only charitable way of thinking about Martha is that her shyness overcame her - but the truth was the writer removed the sentence that thanked her for her part in the anti-Borg plot feeling it was unnecessary!

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Danie Holland
11:09 Nov 30, 2023

I'll preface this by saying I have never watched any sci fi related star trek or any of those so I'm sure there are references here that go over my head. That being said, very well written story. I sympathize with our female lead who is usually shy and quiet getting her identity stolen from a wild version of herself. The reactions were very believable. So sad that cold and reserved Spock found love only for it to be someone who is an enemy sent to destroy! Maybe he can try again with the real Martha? Thank you for the story!

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Stevie Burges
23:52 Nov 30, 2023

Great critiquing - thank you so much. I only started watching Startrek recently - so no expert but thought a doppelganger was exactly the kind of thing that happened on the Enterprise. Many thanks for reading and critiquing.

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Michelle Oliver
10:30 Nov 27, 2023

Oh dear, I can just imagine Mr Spock being quite confused by his behaviour under the influence of some shady love potion. Haha. I love a Star Trek story, boldly going where no man… or Vulcan… has gone before.

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Stevie Burges
01:13 Dec 01, 2023

Michelle thank you so much for reading my story. Readsy sent me a free writing course and one of its tips was to watch Startrek and study the character dynamics between Spock and Kirk etc. That is the only reason I 'got into' Startrek - blame Readsy. Thank you so much for your comments and for all your wonderful stories.

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Mary Bendickson
18:36 Nov 26, 2023

Behind the scenes look at the Enterprize. Smart idea using characters we are all familiar with.

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