A special presentation of Home

Enterprise: Secret Santa

by Zeke

(with a tip of the striped green hat to bleachlists)

Archer: Thanks for coming, everybody! I really appreciate you all taking the time to participate in this.

T'Pol: You ordered us.

T'Pol: It was an order.

T'Pol: You issued it in writing.

Archer: Well, yes, but you did obey it. There would've been consequences, but you still could have refused.

T'Pol: I tried to leave. You locked the ship.

Tucker: This could go on fer a while.

Tucker: Can we please just get down to business? I really don't like leavin' Kelby in charge of Engineering.

Archer: Yeah, I'm not sure what to make of that guy either. He's got sort of a lean and hungry look.

Archer: Okay, let's --

Mayweather: Question, sir.

Archer: Yes?

Mayweather: ...Wow. Uh, I wasn't really expecting you to listen.

Mayweather: Now I have to remember what I was going to ask. Gimme a minute.

Sato: I think I may know.

Sato: Captain, does this Secret Santa thing not seem problematic to you?

Archer: Problematic?

Sato: Nonsecular. It has religious roots.

Sato: That could offend people.

Archer: Hoshi, have I ever struck you as someone who worries about offending people?

Tucker: He doesn't even worry about offendin' aliens who can kill us.

Archer: ...

Tucker: Hey, don't get me wrong, I approve!

Tucker: In fact, if I were cap'n, we'd offend people even more.

Tucker: Especially Kelby.

Tucker: An' maybe Phlox.

Phlox: Hey.

Sato: Look, it's not people in general I'm worried about. It's one in particular.

Sato: Gene Roddenberry's ghost.

Sato: You do remember what happened the last time we offended him, right? That time we devoted a two-parter to explaining Klingon foreheads when he had always insisted they didn't need explaining?

Sato: Remember what he subjected us to for that?

Archer: It wasn't that bad.

Sato: It was "Bound"! Yes, it was that bad!

T'Pol: (I am not pleased with the amount of fourth-wall-breaking taking place here.)

Tucker: (Comes with the format. I think they call this kinda thing an "omake".)

Archer: Okay, fine.

Archer: Mr. Roddenberry? Are you listening?

Archer: "Bread and Circuses". Last scene.

Archer: There. Unless he's one serious hypocrite, we're safe now.

Sato: I still think we should go with an alien equivalent. Secret Fraxmorp or something.

Phlox: You know nothing of Fraxmorp, outsider!

Sato: S-sorry!

Archer: If that's all, let's --

Reed: Wait, I think I know what Travis was really going to ask.

Reed: Aren't we supposed to put the presents all together in a pile?

Archer: No, we'll just take turns.

Reed: What? Then we'll know who our Secret Santas are!

Archer: Why wouldn't we?

Reed: Secret!

Reed: It's right there in the name!

Archer: The secret part is beforehand.

Archer: You don't know who your Santa is going to be until the last moment. It's a surprise.

Archer: And afterwards, you know who to thank.

Reed: But that's not how it works!

Sato: Sure it is.

Sato: That's how I've played it, anyway.

Tucker: Not me. Mebbe it's one of those regional-variation things.

Archer: Well, this version is better.

Archer: What's the point of a secret that never gets revealed?

Archer: Isn't the person who gave it to you a big part of how you feel about a gift?

Reed: That's what I'm afraid of!

Archer: Well, don't be. We're all friends here.

Mayweather: Oh, hey.

Mayweather: I remember my question now.

Archer: Yes?

Mayweather: Why are a whole bunch of villains here?

(He gestures at the characters on the other side of the room.)

Evil Future Guy: So judgmental.

Silik: Isn't a villain just a friend you haven't met?

Mayweather: No!

Silik: A friend you haven't befriended, then.

Dolim: Suppress your terror, human!

Dolim: We mean you no harm!

Mayweather: Could you possibly have said that in a more harm-meaning way?

Dolim: I did not ask to be born with only one tone of voice!

Degra: Some of us aren't delighted with the company either, you know.

Degra: (glares at Dolim)

Dolim: What?

Degra: But this is a non-canon meeting on peaceful terms.

Soval: It isn't about your side or our side.

Shran: It's just about your side not having enough characters on it.

Archer: That's basically it, Travis. Volume.

Archer: Though of course if this meeting should happen to foster some good feelings between enemies...

T'Pol: (sigh)

Archer: Perhaps leading to a mutual reduction of hostility and the growth of understanding...

T'Pol: (whacks forehead)

Archer: Then we might, just maybe, be able to build towards a peaceful alliance of --





Tucker: T'Pol?

T'Pol: Yes?

Tucker: You have definitely sacrificed your fourth-wall-complainin' rights.

T'Pol: It was worth it.

Archer: If there are no further objections...

Daniels: I'm uneasy with Admiral Forrest being here for timeline reasons.

Daniels: Ensign Sato did mention the Klingon Augment inci--

Archer: If there are no further objections that matter, we'll start.

Forrest: Wait, I want to know what that was abou--


Archer: I'll go first. Chef, this is for you.

Chef: (nods appreciatively)

Chef: (opens it)

Chef: (stares)

Tucker: Is that a highlighter?

Archer: Yep. Chef, you know the rumour that when we finally see you, you'll be played by William Shatner?

Archer: I figure you'll want this to mark your lines in the script.

Archer: You know, make sure nobody has more than you.

Sato: Shatner really does that?

Archer: Used to, at least.

Reed: But that was when he was the series lead, not a guest star.

Reed: Who would write an episode where Chef had the most lines?

Chef: (slightly annoyed look)

Archer: Okay, but he'll still want more lines than... I dunno, Phlox.

Phlox: (slightly annoyed l--)

Phlox: Wait, I talk.

Phlox: Hey!

Archer: Anyway, I'm the captain. I don't have a lot of shopping time.

Archer: It was this or a beard trimmer.

Chef: (eyeroll)

Tucker: Or maybe some kitchenware?

Archer: ...Ah.

Tucker: And the man has hobbies!

Tucker: He rides horses, he plays the trombone...

T'Pol: (You're being ambiguous on purpose, aren't you?)

Tucker: After four years, you should know this stuff!

Archer: Point taken, Trip. But what's it to you?

Tucker: Well, I like the guy.

Tucker: And I really like the idea of him surpassin' Phlox.

Phlox: Hey! Again!

Chef: (nods to Trip)

Archer: I have a feeling dessert will be pecan pie for the foreseeable future.

Archer: Oh well. Chef, you're up.

Chef: (brings present to Porthos)

Porthos: Ruff!

Chef: (opens it for him)

Porthos: Ruff!

(It's cheese.)

Porthos: Ruff! RUFF!

(Porthos digs in)

Chef: (pets him)

T'Pol: Next time let's tell the random number generator not to do that.

Archer: Oh, come on, it was cute.

Archer: Now, Porthos is T'Pol's Secret Santa.

T'Pol: (sigh)

Archer: So of course I had to pick the gift for him.

T'Pol: (deeper sigh)

Archer: It's on his collar.

Archer: Porthos, go see T'Pol.

Porthos: Ruff!

(He scoots over to her. She inspects the collar.)

T'Pol: Ah.

T'Pol: An IDIC pin.

T'Pol: How original.

Archer: "Original" is the word, yes.

Archer: See, it's made of steel.

Archer: And on Earth, when you want good steel, you go to Pennsylvania.

T'Pol: This is from --?

Archer: Yep.

Archer: Carbon Creek.

T'Pol: ...Thank you, sir.

T'Pol: This is... thoughtful.

(She turns it over to see how to put it on.)

T'Pol: ...

Archer: Velcro, yes.

T'Pol: There is such a thing as too thoughtful.

(T'Pol walks over to Dolim)

Dolim: Aha!

Dolim: My Secret Lizard Santa is revealed!

Reed: Your version of Santa is Lizard Santa?

Degra: No.

Degra: He's just a smartass.

T'Pol: Mr. Dolim, I am given to understand that you enjoy eating rodents.

Dolim: Indeed!

Dolim: They are delicious!

Dolim: And a good source of Lizard Vitamin D!

Degra: (whacks forehead)

T'Pol: Then my present was well-chosen.

Dolim: Excellent!

(He opens the present. It's a book.)


T'Pol: It is also upside down.

T'Pol: Turn it over.

(He does.)

Dolim: "Surak's Dietary Teachings: Why Eating Meat is Illogical, You Barbarian."

T'Pol: I hope you will find it enlightening.

Dolim: ...

Dolim: As a matter of fact, I can already feel my palate expanding.

Dolim: RAAAAR!

(Dolim eats the book.)

T'Pol: How was it?

Dolim: MEATY!

(Dolim brings his present over to Forrest.)

Dolim: Greetings, Admiral.

Dolim: ...

Dolim: Wake up!

Forrest: -- Hmm?

Forrest: Oh, sorry. You took a long time to eat that book.

Dolim: There was a lot to chew on.

Dolim: Take this!

Dolim: Open it!

Dolim: Be pleased!

(Forrest opens the gift.)

Forrest: Ah, Star Wars DVDs.

Dolim: Look closer!

Forrest: ...

Forrest: Um.

Dolim: Yes! This is the recent remake produced by my insectoid brethren!

Dolim: I do not claim to understand the other Xindi species' interest in this franchise...

Dolim: But it seemed like something a human would find intriguing!

Forrest: Hmm. Yes, very much so.

Forrest: Though I imagine Ambassador Soval will disagree...

Soval: Why?

Forrest: Don't you remember the Broadway musical about the life of Surak?

Forrest: You called it cultural appropriation.

Forrest: They had to shut it down when you publically denounced it.

Forrest: And also threatened a missile strike.

Soval: It's only cultural appropriation when you do it.

Forrest: Ah.

Forrest: Well, anyway, thank you, Dolim.

Dolim: You are quite welcome.

Dolim: I hope you are able to play Region 39 DVDs!

Forrest: (Um...)

Tucker: (I'll hack your machine, sir.)

Forrest: Well, Ambassador, here's one for you.

Soval: (scoff) It's the least you can do.

(He opens it.)

Soval: A book?

Soval: I'm not hungry.

Dolim: ...I will react to that when I decide whether it's an insult.

Forrest: This is The Laws of Thought by George Boole.

Forrest: He was one of our foremost logicians on Earth.

Forrest: It's a first edition. Quite hard to find.

(Soval holds the book at arm's length.)

Forrest: Yes, it's real.

Forrest: I've told you before, and now you can't deny it.

Forrest: We have logic on Earth.

Soval: LIES!

(Soval, after recovering, brings a present to Travis.)

Mayweather: Thanks, Ambassador!

Mayweather: It's...

Mayweather: Um, money.

Soval: I will be perfectly honest, Ensign.

Soval: I know almost nothing about you.

Soval: Apparently this is the Earth gift-giving custom in that situation.

Mayweather: ...

Mayweather: Y'know, I'm okay with this.

Mayweather: Could've been a sweater.

(Mayweather brings a present to Degra.)

Mayweather: Sir, I know you've been having some trouble coping with your guilt.

Mayweather: You know, for all those people you killed.

Mayweather: So I got you this.

Degra: Um, thank you.

(Degra opens it. It's a thick book.)

Degra: "A Million Random Digits with 100,000 Normal Deviates"?

Mayweather: It's kind of an artifact.

Mayweather: Before we had computers on Earth, one way to get random numbers was by using a book like this.

Mayweather: They print a new edition every so often for historical interest.

Degra: I'm not sure I see --

Mayweather: Well, open it. See these digits?

Mayweather: There are twenty-five hundred on each page.

Mayweather: Four hundred pages in all.

Mayweather: See, it's kind of hard to picture numbers as big as a million. This should help.

Mayweather: Just imagine each digit as a unique, individual person.

Degra: ...

Mayweather: Oh, and then get six more copies of the book.

Degra: ...

Mayweather: What? I didn't say I wanted you to feel better.

Archer: Since, um... since Degra has gone home, I guess we'll skip his turn.

Dolim: Unnecessary!

Dolim: He left his present behind. It is for Commander Shran.

Dolim: I helped him choose it.

(He brings the gift to Shran.)

Shran: Hmm, a present from a Xindi? This should be quite interesting.

Shran: ...

Shran: A DVD set, eh?

Shran: Of...

Shran: Oh.

Dolim: Yes.

(Dolim leans over in Shran's face.)

Dolim: We found out about "The Man From U.N.C.L.E."

(Still a bit shaken, Shran comes over to the Evil Future Guy.)

Shran: Now, we've never interacted, but Captain Archer told me about you when I drew your number.

Shran: Apparently you're from the future?

Evil Future Guy: Yes.

Shran: And your goal is to change the past to your advantage.

Shran: So far this seems to involve undermining Earth and the Vulcans...

Shran: Usually by taking third parties and providing them with far-future technology and genetic enhancements.

Shran: Frankly, sir, you are insidious.

Evil Future Guy: So I'm told.

Shran: I refuse to give you anything you could harm the timeline with.

Shran: And considering your resourcefulness, my options are so limited that the best I could think of was this coaster from my ship.

Shran: Set a drink down on it. Or don't.

Shran: Merry Christmas, you monster.

Evil Future Guy: ...This is personalized. It has your number on it.

Shran: (Shh. We'll talk.)

Evil Future Guy: Mr. Daniels!

Daniels: Oh, are you my Secret Santa?

Evil Future Guy: Indeed!

Evil Future Guy: Would you mind coming over here? I'm not exactly mobile.

(He does.)

Evil Future Guy: I hardly need to tell you that in this temporal cold war, information is everything.

Evil Future Guy: Therefore, I have decided to answer one --

Daniels: Who are you?

Evil Future Guy: -- question, unless you interrupt me, in which case the offer is null and void.

Daniels: ...

Daniels: Is that really what you were going to say?

Evil Future Guy: Silik? Show him.

(Silik hands Daniels a note.)

Daniels: "Yes."

Daniels: ...

Daniels: I hate you.

(Daniels comes over to Hoshi. She backs away slightly.)

Daniels: Something wrong?

Sato: You spent months pretending to be an ordinary crewman.

Sato: We were friends. We played Boggle once.

Sato: You can't expect me to be comfortable with you now that I know it was all a lie.

Sato: In fact, you know what, don't bother with --

(Daniels holds up a data module.)

Daniels: This is 4000 hours of audio recordings.

Daniels: It's from the future.

Daniels: My home century. The 29th.

Sato: ...What kind of recordings?

Daniels: Alien speech.

Daniels: Specifically, the speech of aliens that your Starfleet has never met.

Sato: ...

Sato: Are you seeing anyone?

(Hoshi brings her present to Silik.)

Silik: Just so you know, I'm not seeing anyone.

Sato: Oh, did the boss remove your eyes again?

Silik: Touche! See, we have fun.

(He takes the present and opens it.)

Silik: ...

Silik: Spot remover.

Silik: Hilarious.

Sato: See, we have fun.

(Silik carries a large rectangular package to Reed.)

Silik: Mr. Reed, I've always had a certain fondness for you.

Reed: Oh really? Why's that?

Silik: In a complex, confusing world, you are admirably straightforward.

Silik: You like weapons, and that's all there is to it.

Reed: I'm also interested in particle phy--

Silik: This is no time to change the equation, Lieutenant.

Silik: I assure you you'll like where this is going.

(He hands Reed the package.)

Silik: Now before you open it, I want to remind Mr. Daniels of the agreement we all made when we came here.

Silik: Many of us are enemies. But for the duration of this party, there is a ceasefire.

Daniels: I know.

Silik: Good. So don't forget to keep those temporal-agent instincts strictly controlled when Mr. Reed opens his package.

Daniels: ...I don't like the sound of this.

Reed: I do!

(Reed unwraps the present. His eyes go wide.)

Silik: Over the years, my faction has collected many weapons from future temporal agents.

Silik: This is one from the 24th century -- an evolution of the phase pistols you use now.

Silik: I believe it's called a compression phaser rifle.

Reed: (speechless with joy)

Silik: Now it's a safe bet that Mr. Daniels will --


Silik: -- take it back. But he can't act until after the party.

Silik: Better get a good look now!

Silik: And if you happen to notice something you can't safely replicate and destroy your ship in the attempt, welllll...

Silik: Mistakes will be made.


Silik: Not at all, Mr. Reed.

Silik: Do enjoy yourself.

(Reed can't be torn away from his new toy, so Travis delivers his present, which is for...)

Phlox: Thank you, Ensign.

Phlox: A gift from Mr. Reed!

Phlox: Now what sort of thing might he have chosen for me?

(Reed suddenly notices what's going on. He drops the rifle.)

Reed: Doctor...

Reed: Um...

Phlox: Could it be some medical equipment?

Phlox: A weapon he thinks I might find interesting?

Phlox: A good book, perhaps?

(He lifts the box as if to sha--)

Reed: Don't shake it!

Phlox: Sound advice.

Phlox: No, I don't think it's anything so conventional.

Phlox: And in fact, the more I think about Mr. Reed's concern earlier...

Phlox: That is, when he found out the gift-giving would not be anonymous...

Phlox: The more I think that this gift is best left a mystery.

Phlox: Thank you, Mr. Reed, but I shall decline. Hm-hm.

(Reed breathes a tremendous sigh of relief.)

Phlox: Ah! I left my gift in Sickbay. Excuse me for a moment.

(He leaves.)

Archer: You know, Malcolm, I've been thinking about that concern of yours too.

Archer: It seems like crime would be one reason to prefer anonymity.

Reed: Would it be a crime, sir?

Reed: Would it?

Tucker: Huh. I knew I felt that way, but --

Reed: Oh, we all do. How could we not?

Reed: You're just particularly vocal.

Tucker: So what was in the box?

Reed: Antimatter.


Tucker: Nothing but --

Reed: Just a big box of antimatter.


Tucker: Malcolm, I have never liked you better than I do right now.

(Phlox returns. Only then does Trip do the math in his head.)

Tucker: Oh hell, this is for me, isn't it?

Phlox: Why, Commander, you sound nervous!

Phlox: There's no need to be so high-strung.

(He brings the present over. It's a birdcage with a cover on it.)

Tucker: Uh oh.

Phlox: Mr. Tucker, I've noticed many things about you over the years...

Phlox: One of them is that you always enjoy spending time with Porthos.

Tucker: Well, sure.

Tucker: He's a good fella.

Porthos: Ruff!

Phlox: Pets, of course, are known for their comforting effect on humans.

Phlox: And you have been under tremendous stress for some time now.

Phlox: I think it would do you a world of good to have a pet of your own.

Phlox: So I created one!

Tucker: ...

Tucker: ...

Tucker: You CREATED one?

Phlox: It's an entirely new species!

Phlox: The fruit of many hours of cross-breeding, gene splicing, and tortu... rous labour.

Phlox: Behold!

(He pulls the cover off.)

New life form: Fweep!

Tucker: ...

Tucker: This...

Tucker: What...

Tucker: Huh?

Phlox: Quite something, isn't it?

Archer: (squinting) Is it dangerous?

Phlox: I'm afraid not.

Phlox: Mostly all it does is sit in your hand and say "fweep."

New life form: Fweep!

Phlox: Yes, like that.

Tucker: Phlox...

Tucker: ...

Tucker: I literally don't know what to say.

Tucker: At all. On any level.

Tucker: I do not have even the vaguest beginning of a response.

Tucker: I just... I give up.

Tucker: You win.


T'Pol: For someone who doesn't know what to say, you're talking a lot.

(Once Trip has recovered a bit, he brings a box over to Archer.)

Tucker: Gotcha a bunch of things, Cap'n.

Tucker: Been pretty busy with repairs, though. So I was kinda rushed.

Archer: I understand, Trip. Don't worry about it.

(He takes the box.)

Archer: Let's see...

Archer: A... bag of jelly beans.

Tucker: For those little between-meal cravings!

Archer: An umbrella.

Tucker: Heard there's a storm comin'.

Archer: A pencil.

Archer: ...With the eraser removed.

Tucker: Couldn't spare that, sorry.

Archer: A polo shirt.

Archer: It's... pink and green.

Archer: And also soaking wet.

Tucker: Get it?

Tucker: Water polo?

Tucker: Eh? Eh?

Archer: ...

Tucker: You can also keep the box!

Archer: ...

Archer: Trip, rushed is one thing...

Archer: But did you literally just grab a few things from your quarters on the way here?

Tucker: Caught me, Cap'n!

Tucker: Mea culpa.

Tucker: Oh, I know, want a fweep creature?

Archer: No thanks.

Tucker: Okay then.

Tucker: Oops! Just remembered.

Tucker: There's one other thing.

(From behind his back, he produces a framed photo.)

Archer: Ah.

Archer: This is...

Archer: A picture of Earth?

Tucker: I took it myself, out the window.

Tucker: Take a look at the timestamp.

Archer: ...March 4, 2154.

(He thinks for a minute -- and suddenly realizes what Trip's getting at.)

Tucker: It shouldn't have been there, Cap'n.

Tucker: The weapon was ready a month before.

Tucker: They had an empire. We had one ship.

Tucker: By all rights, we shoulda lost easy.

Tucker: But you pulled it off.

Tucker: You were ready to die doin' it. Almost did.

(There's a little something in Archer's eye.)

Archer: It was a team effort, Trip.

Archer: Everybody in this room made it happen.

Archer: ...Uh, except Dolim.

Dolim: I believe I cancel out one of you.

Tucker: Teams have leaders, Cap'n.

Tucker: You get down on yourself sometimes, just like anybody, so I want you to keep that.

Tucker: No matter what happens -- how bad things get --

Tucker: You remember you did the impossible.

(Archer gets up and hugs Trip.)

Tucker: Merry Christmas, Cap'n.

Archer: Merry Christmas, Trip.

(Everyone smiles. Except Dolim. And --)

Shran: Um, hello? Distracted the Xindi? Made your victory possible?

Shran: And no hug for me?

Shran: Bah.

Shran: Humbug.


Got a comment on "Enterprise: Secret Santa"? Contact the author, Zeke.

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This story was originally published on January 19, 2016.

DISCLAIMER: The Trek characters belong to Paramount. The fweep creature belongs to Aizen Sousuke Bleach Lists Girl AIZEN SOUSUKE DAMMIT I JUST LET THE GIRL THINK IT WAS HER

All material © 2016, Zeke.