If you like Pride and Prejudice and Star Trek, as I do, this is a story I did combining the two. This story can also be found in the Wicked Wordsmiths’s anthology book, “Stories From the Stacks,” which can be found on Amazon.
“Did you get it?”
“Yes, well, sort of.”
“What do you mean — sort of?” We are on suspension as it is. If we don’t pass this exam, we’ll be thrown out of the library program.”
“I got what counts. At least I got the gist of it.”
Kalal grabbed the book from Bulan’s hand. “This won’t do. It’s not all here.”
“Some strange creature with a ribbed forehead was in hot pursuit,” Bulan exclaimed as he waved his hands in the air. “He ripped it from my hand, all the while shouting, “It is a good day to die!” What was I to do? This was all I could salvage.”
“I should have beamed to the location with you,” Cand said exasperated.
“I don’t think that would have been a good idea,” Bulan said sarcastically. “Everyone started out friendly enough. A cordial gent with pointy ears, dressed in blue, greeted me. He made some sort of hand gesture and said live long and prosper. I did my best to emulate it, but lacking in digits, I couldn’t quite get it right. I smiled in my embarrassment showing my best four fangs. He just kept a straight face.”
“Was he angry?” Kalal asked, hoping they hadn’t caused an interplanetary incident.
“I don’t think so. I gleaned no emotion from him whatsoever,” Bulan said, trying to reassure him.
“Well, as long as we didn’t start any kind of incident. Burns wouldn’t be none too pleased. So what happened next?” Kalal asked.
“That planet is strange. Are you sure we got the coordinates right?” Bulan interrupted, looking over at Cand.
“I’m sure I was close,” Cand said.
“Close! Close won’t cut it with Burns,” Bulan said.
“Well, I did the best I could with what time we had left. Whose idea was it to stop off at Risa?”
“That planet does have some wicked attributes,” Kalal said with a toothy grin. Both Bulan and Kalal fumbled awkwardly, their tails wagging behind them, as they looked at Cand with sheepish guilt.
“Well, back to the business at hand. We have at least got something. And, Bulan, you are absolutely sure this is the planet’s most authoritative literature?” Cand asked.
“As sure as you were close to the coordinates you gave us.”
Cand threw imaginary darts from her third eye while rolling the other two.
“There was someone named Uhura in charge of all of the planet’s communications. She was reading it between rolls and cuts,” Bulan said, defending himself and dismissing her feminine rebuttal.
“What are rolls and cuts?” Kalal asked.
“I don’t know as I didn’t stick around long enough to find out. That is about the time the gruesome creature with the ridged forehead started chasing me and threatening me with death. He had some weird contraption with jagged blades in his hand.
“Well, you survived. Did you at least get the name of the planet?” Cand asked. “That will most definitely be on the oral examination.”
“Hollywood,” Bulan nodded with an air of authority.
“Are you sure?” Kalal asked.
“Of course I’m sure. It was in big bold letters, on a hillside, where all could see.”
“Well, we don’t have long. I have the ship set on autopilot. We must start studying what we have of this literature,” Cand said.
“I have already read it – in the decontamination chamber,” Bulan said.
Both Kalal and Cand flipped through the pages, committing them to memory. They both looked up at the same time.
“The Wickham rules,” they said in unison.
“My conjecture also,” Bulan agreed.
“We will act it out, in preparation for our quiz with Burns. I will be the Wickham,” Kalal said.
“I suppose I must play the villain,” said Bulan.
“It’s only fitting since you only brought us part of a book,” Cand said.
The rehearsals went on until their ship’s computer announced entry into the Romo atmosphere. Kalal took over the controls, bringing the vessel into an uneventful docking. They all stiffened in their demeanor, as Cand set the beam-out coordinates for the library’s archives where Burns would be awaiting their return.
Kalal held the book forward in his three digits toward the professor. “Sir, we offer the most brilliant piece of literature from the planet Hollywood to the library’s archives.”
“It’s in fragments. What is your explanation for this?” Professor Burns said, aghast.
“Sir, I can explain,” Bulan said, looking to the others for support.
They all looked at each other as Bulan elaborated with wild arm gestures, hoping that Professor Burns would buy their story. “I just only made it off world as the planet was erupting into war. I was chased by a most ferocious creature, which was threatening me with death. And, it’s no wonder. The good of the planet have been sorely persecuted. This George Wickham fellow was greatly shunned and frowned upon by the villain Darcy.”
“Yes, sir. They regarded fortune as everything,” Cand blurted in. “Elizabeth was after it. Yet, she found the Darcy to be utterly contemptible, although he had it. It was all a world of pride and prejudice. You can plainly see why they were on the brink of destruction.”
“Yes, they started out well enough, loving the good guy, Wickham, but quickly turned against him,” Kalal said, adding his part to the mix.
The three space travelers, Kalal, Bulan and Cand, stood frozen with their digits crossed behind their backs.
Professor Burns, after a deep breath shouted, “Long live the Wickham! Passing grades for all of you.”