Six months after the events of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Doctor Christine Chapel and Spock must save the life of an ailing Audrid Dax, her true nature as a Trill having remained a mystery until now. But after an unknown vessel attacks their shuttle, a risky game of cat-and-mouse may be the only way to save all their lives.
I pitched this as a Spock and McCoy story, but editor Margaret Clark smartly said, Weve got lots of those, how about spinning it into a Chapel and Spock story? I loved incorporating Chapels character arc from the insecure nurse of The Original Series to the self-assured doctor and officer of the movies, and how that informed her relationship with Spock. And Spock is still processing his revelation about emotion from his mind-meld with Vger, which was transforming him into the at-peace-with-himself Spock we see in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. You can hear me discuss it on the Captains Table podcast. The excerpt below is the opening of the story.
The More Things Change
Doctor Christine Chapel folded down a jump seat from the port bulkhead of the shuttlecraft Copernicus and dropped into it while mumbling a few choice curses shed picked up from Leonard McCoy over the years. The famously gruff chief medical officer of the Enterprise had been her mentor in many ways—both good and bad. Chapels so-called patient, sitting up on the bed on the other side of the cabin, said, My hearing is unaffected by my condition, you know. Chapel didnt know exactly what role Commissioner Audrid Dax had in the Trill government, but it was important enough that she represented Trill in high-level Federation meetings, and she clearly had a lot of pull. With a sigh, Chapel looked over at her patient. Dax was in her early middle age, looking quite fit and trim. Beautiful, really, with long dark hair and a friendly face showing only a few laugh lines. Chapel hoped she looked that good ten or fifteen years down the road. All of which belied the necessity of this assignment. Dax smiled back at her, somehow charming and smug at the same time, as if she knew everything that Chapel didnt. Which is exactly the problem, thought Chapel. This whole mission is a mystery. . . .
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