Part 1 of the Series
The day he came, the other children were convinced that there couldn't possibly be a little boy under all the layers of thick padding – the outermost layer being a thick, padded overcoat, concealing multiple layers of woollen undergarments and topped off with a big, fluffy hat jammed down tight on his head. When his mother, a smiling lady with a lot of blonde hair piled high on her head, finally unwrapped him, the kids at the Starfleet Daycare Centre were surprised by the little alien that emerged: a skinny, greenish-coloured boy with pointed ears!
Several children gasped and Monty almost dropped the model spaceship he was playing with; he had never seen an alien before – well not this close. Lenny giggled. He thought the pointed ears looked funny, almost like the ears on a rabbit. Or, perhaps, more like the ears the elves had in the picture book he got last Christmas.
Mr Roddenberry, who ran the Centre, spoke to the boy's mother for a time, then introduced him to the other children. He had a kind of funny name – Spock – but Mr Roddenberry, or Mr R. as he was called by the children, said that names were different on Vulcan, where Spock was from.
A boy at the back raised his hand to ask a question.
"Yes, Hikaru," said Mr Roddenberry patiently.
The little boy directed his attention to Spock, who had, so far, stood silent and expressionless next to Mr Roddenberry. "How come you've got so many clothes on? It's not that cold. My mom said I wouldn't need my coat today."
Before Spock could answer, Jimmy spoke up. "Vulcan is a hot planet," he said knowledgeably. "It has lots of deserts and sand, and the sky is red. People on Vulcan think Earth is too cold. They have to wear lots of clothes to stay warm."
Spock blinked as if surprised and flicked his eyes towards Jimmy for a moment, before returning to his previous statue-like state.
"That's right, Jimmy," said Mr Roddenberry. "Spock has only been here a short time and where he comes from is much hotter than here." Always trying to encourage the children's curiosity, while also hoping to get Spock to interact with the others, Mr Roddenberry asked whether anyone else had any questions they would like to ask the new boy.
Chrissie Chapel thrust her hand in the air enthusiastically.
"Do you like to play with dolls?" She grinned at Spock, obviously eager to have a new playmate for the 'hospital' she had set up with Lenny.
The little Vulcan boy blushed green all the way to his ear tips and shook his head once, silently.
Chrissie looked disappointed and pouted a little.
"Perhaps someone would like to show Spock around," said Mr Roddenberry, hoping to get things back to normal.
"I will, Mr R.," Jimmy replied happily, a big, friendly smile on his face. Mr Roddenberry smiled back; Jimmy was good at making friends and Spock's mother had said that her little boy found it difficult to fit in with other children.
Before he knew it, Spock's hand was encased in a small, sweaty, human one, and he was being gently pulled away from the main group of children.
"I'm Jimmy," the human boy said unnecessarily. Spock had remembered Mr Roddenberry calling him that.
Jimmy led Spock around the room, showing him where all the different toys and activities were placed. Jimmy pointed out which items were his favourite at each stop and Spock was surprised to find that Jimmy liked some of the things that he did. They continued until they had walked almost right around the Centre, with Jimmy pointing out the bathroom, nap room, and a place for Spock to put his lunch box.
Finally, they stopped in front of a large cupboard stuffed full of colourful boxes and bags.
"This is where the games are. I like to play Spaceship Invasion, but some of the pieces are lost, so you have to make your own." Jimmy pulled out several of the bright packages, describing the games and which ones were fun to play. Lastly, he removed a red and black box from near the bottom of the cupboard. "This is the chess set," he said a little sadly. "But nobody here knows how to play 'cept me." He started to put the box back.
"I know how to play chess," Spock said shyly, starting to blush.
"Really?" Jimmy brightened. His daddy had taught him to play and he didn't think that anyone, other than big kids and grown-ups, knew how.
"Yes," said Spock. A tiny smile curved his lips. His cheeks were bright green.
"Cool!" Jimmy looked at Spock. "Do you want to play sometime?"
Spock was amazed. No one on Vulcan had ever asked him to play before. Maybe kids on Earth were different. He nodded. "Okay."
"Cool!" Jimmy repeated, grinning.
Spock smiled back.
Just then, they heard a small whimpering noise coming from the next room. Jimmy automatically looked for Mr R., but he was busy trying to stop Lenny and Chrissie from 'operating' on Nyota's teddy bear, and hadn't heard the soft sound from the other end of the Centre. Jimmy and Spock ran to investigate and found baby Pavel, sitting in his highchair, crying softly. His pudgy little hands reached up towards a nearby shelf, his eyes gazing intently on something perched way up on the top. Spock and Jimmy looked up to see a plastic-handled spoon sitting up there, out of reach.
"Oh no," said Jimmy. "That's Pav's special spoon."
Baby Pavel opened his mouth to let out a long wail, showing his entire set of four teeth.
Spock and Jimmy ran back to see if they could get an adult to help, but Mr Roddenberry and the other grown-up lady were very busy trying to sort out what had now become a full-blown riot. Lenny, Chrissie and Nyota were all yelling and pushing and shoving at each other, and the other kids had joined in just for the fun of it.
The two boys returned to the baby, who was trying to compete with the noise from the other room.
"Okay," said Jimmy determinedly. "It's just us."
Spock looked up at the spoon, then at the crying baby, and back at Jimmy. "Why can’t we just give him another spoon?"
Jimmy stared at him. "Pav always has that spoon. It's his special Russian one. He gets really upset if he drops it or something." He looked thoughtful for a moment. "Hey, d'ya think you could get it if you climbed on my back?"
Spock didn't think so, but he agreed to try. Jimmy got down on his hands and knees, like a horse, and Spock carefully clambered up on top. He stretched his arm up as far as he could reach, but his hand was still a long way from Pavel's spoon.
"I can't get it," said Spock.
Jimmy rubbed his back. "Maybe we could find something long to reach up there," he said after a bit.
They looked all over the place, but couldn't find anything suitable. Baby Pavel's cries were starting to hurt Spock's ears.
Spock eyed the spoon once more and had an idea. "Can you get me a ball?"
Jimmy nodded and ran off, returning shortly with a small, colourfully striped, bouncy ball.
"Whatcha gonna do?" he asked, confused.
Spock pointed at the spoon. "See how the spoon's sticking over the edge a little? I'm going to throw the ball up so that it lands on the spoon."
"Okay," said Jimmy, still a bit baffled. He didn't see how Spock could make the ball hit the spoon exactly.
Spock concentrated for a few seconds, working out how far he had to throw the ball. Jimmy watched eagerly as Spock lifted his hand and released the ball.
The ball went up, up... landing right on the handle of the spoon and flipping it off the shelf so that it somersaulted over and over in the air. It spun several times before landing right in... Pavel's bowl.
"Wow!" exclaimed Jimmy. Baby Pavel squealed, at first in surprise and then in glee, as he celebrated the return of his spoon. "How did you do that?" asked Jimmy.
"My daddy taught me," said Spock. "It's called physics. My daddy's a scientist," he said a little proudly.
"That's cool. Are you gonna be a scientist, too?"
"That's good, 'cause I'm gonna need a scientist when I have my own spaceship." Jimmy smiled at Spock.
Suddenly, Pavel plopped his spoon down in his bowl and splattered his mashed fruit all over his face.
Jimmy and Spock giggled.
"Hey, let's go and play chess," said Jimmy, grabbing Spock's hand again and leading him back to the games. "We're gonna be good friends."
Spock couldn't wait to tell his mom.
Disclaimer: The Star Trek characters are owned by Paramount; story content belongs to Mrs Spock.
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