Captain to Captain
© 2016 Greg Cox
Captain Kirk is surprised to be hailed by the formidable former first officer of the Enterprise, a woman so accomplished she still retains the nickname “Number One”, enroute to a little shore leave. Her stated goal is to visit the Enterprise, where she was once such a commanding presence that her voice is still the model for the shipboard computer’s audio output. Her unstated goal is to remove something from a secret vault on the ship that only the captain and his first officer — and only the captains and first officers before him — know about. She has unfinished business with the device, born of a tragedy incurred while she was a young lieutenant on the Enterprise, and before it’s too late she wants to make whatever amends she can.
Captain to Captain is the first in a trilogy of books by different authors, celebrating Star Trek‘s fiftieth anniversary, and should entice Trekkies immediately with the promise of exploring the mysterious character of Number One. Appearingly only in Trek’s pilot episode, she played the logical and unemotional first officer, alongside a…well, not quite unemotional Mister Spock. According to Gene Roddenberry, he was told by network officials that he must get rid of the woman and the alien, so he ‘married the woman and kept the alien, not being able to do it the other way around’. Of course, the woman wasn’t so hard to get rid of: Majel Roddenberry would return quickly as Nurse Chapel, the voice of the computer in every series but Enterprise, and Lwaxana Troi. But that was later. Number One was the original.