On Star Trek: The Original Series

Exaggerate with Extreme Prejudice

By Robert A. Metzger

Who is the most critically important member of the Star Trek crew?

While the answer should be obvious, you’d be amazed at just how many people come up with the wrong answer, many naming Kirk or Spock without giving the question any real thought. To really answer this question, it needs to be personalized a bit–you have to put your own skin on the line.

Let me rephrase.

Imagine you are a member of a Federation negotiating team being sent to Rigel XII to hammer out the details of a dilithium trade pact with the local miners. You are not the head of the team, but a technical advisor, knowledgeable in dilithium crystal defects and able to point the way to the mines with the very best crystals. The mission is high priority, so the Enterprise has been shanghaied by the Powers-That-Be to transport you and the rest of the team to Rigel XII, the ship’s high-warp capabilities making it the only vessel in the quadrant capable of getting you there in time. The question should now be put to you–if only a single member of the core Enterprise team could accompany you on what should be a boring transport mission, just who would you most want to see along for the ride?

Now it’s personal.

Would you pick Captain Kirk? It should take less than a moment’s reflection to realize that he would be the last member of the crew you’d want along. All you want to do is  …

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