In response to an Andorian Week on the Star Trek Logs site, I decided to do a short story on a teenaged Talla. Talla is a canon character, the daughter of Shran and Jhamel.
In keeping with canon, I decided that the pirates from the abysmal These Are the Voyages episode would be back, and they would again be looking for the Teneebian amethyst. Further, Talla would be a half-breed, and her pea green-colored skin would give that away immediately. Shran, in canon, often referred to Jonathan Archer as a ‘pink skin’. I extrapolated this to mean that Andorian society would be accepting of this kind of casual racial prejudice. Therefore, Talla is persecuted by her classmates, for the color of her skin. In order to try to tell them off, she claims that they still have the amethyst. This gets Shran back into trouble.
Forced back into hiding, Shran bids farewell to his family and seeks refuge on Malcolm‘s ship, the USS Bluebird.
And then Malcolm, along with his crew, including Ethan Shapiro, comes up with a plan to get rid of the pirates, once and for all. Inadvertently, his solution also presents a solution for Shran, Talla, and Jhamel, and the problem of their mixed marriage fitting in, in Andorian society.
The chef (originally named Paul Mayer – in later fan fiction, he’s named William Slocum) starts preparations for dinner like he would any other day, by deciding that he’ll make roast chicken. This is before Lili O’Day is hired and after time traveler Richard Daniels departs, so his main helper is Preston Jennings. The Xindi War has not yet started, so he has a multitude of assistants.
When he can’t find his assistants anywhere, and he needs a lemon, so he contacts the ship’s first Botanist, Naomi Curtis (Shelby Pike, like Lili, is brought in after the start of the Xindi War). She doesn’t know what’s going on, either, as her own helpers are nowhere to be found. She heads to the kitchen. When the door slides open it’s obvious that the hallways are freezing. And they smell vaguely of rotten eggs.
Without giving away spoilers, the story does prefigure goings on in later stories such as The Mess and Reversal. One thing I do like about the story is that, although it’s really an alien of the week one-off, it does introduce Slocum pretty well, and it also provides the reader with some context about how things were before the Xindi. E. g. the Enterprise was loaded with unnecessary personnel. Replacing Naomi with the more skilled and versatile Shelby makes sense, as does moving Jennings to Navigation and replacing him and anyone else working for Will, with Lili.
As an older story, I can see the holes in the plot and would have emphasized the cooking a lot less.
1 (6 pound) chicken
1 bunch of celery
1 small bag of baby carrots or 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into half lengthwise
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Paprika to taste
1 lemon, halved
1/2 head garlic
1 medium white onion, quartered, plus 1 onion, sliced in rounds
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Rinse the chicken with cool water, inside and out. Lay the sliced onion, the carrot and celery on the bottom of a roasting pan. Season the bird all over with paprika, salt and pepper. Stuff the cavity with the lemon, garlic and the quartered onion. Place the chicken, breast-side up, in the roasting pan. Roast for 20 minutes.
Turn down the heat to 350 degrees F. and cook for 20 minutes per pound. For a 6 pound chicken, that’s 2 hours.
The chicken is done when an instant-read thermometer reads 165 degrees F when inserted into the thickest part of the thigh (the legs of the chicken should wiggle easily from the sockets too.) Remove the chicken to a platter and let stand for 10 minutes, so the juices settle back into the meat before carving.