Or, if Jane Austen wrote Star Trek…

Hidden in the Federation Archives is this never-before-seen account of Yeoman Rand’s first days on the Enterprise:

Every stardate now brought its regular duties;–Captain Kirk’s orders were to be recorded; some new part of the ship to be discovered; and the Bridge to be attended, where officers spent hours staring at whirling lights and, on occasion, falling out of their chairs.

Yeoman Rand, however, knew no one and, consequently, spoke to no one, and no one spoke to her. The wish of a numerous acquaintance on the ship was uppermost on her mind, and her heart wished it anew after every fresh proof, which every stardate brought, of her knowing nobody at all.

She made her appearance in the Rec Room; and here fortune was more favourable to our heroine. Captain Kirk, the only inhabitant of the ship with whom she had as yet exchanged more than half-a-dozen words, was present; he, with infinite condescension, engaged her in conversation.

The captain seemed to be about four or five and thirty, was of middling height, had a pleasing countenace, a very intelligent and lively eye, and, if not quite handsome, was very near it. He talked with fluency and spirit–and there was an archness and pleasantry in his manner which interested, though it was hardly understood by her–or, if truth be told, by himself.

Forming his features into a set smile, and affectedly softening his voice, he said, with a simpering air, “Have you been long on the Enterprise, Yeoman?”

“About a week, sir,” replied Rand, trying not to laugh.

“Really!” with affected astonishment.

“Why should you be surprized, Captain?”

“Why, indeed!” said he, in his natural tone. “Were you never here before, Yeoman?”

“Never, sir.”

“Indeed! Have you yet honoured the Sick Bay?”

“Yes, sir, I was there last Monday.”

“Have you climbed in a Jeffries tube?”

“Yes, sir, I was in a Jeffries tube on Tuesday.”

“In engineering?”

“Yes, sir, on Wednesday.”

“And are you altogether pleased with the ship?”

“Yes–I like it very well.”

“Now I must give one smirk, and then we may be rational again.”

Rand turned away her head, not knowing whether she might venture to laugh.

“I see what you must think of me,” said he gravely– “I shall make but a poor figure in your log tomorrow.”

“My log!”

“Yes, I know exactly what you will say: Friday, went to the Rec Room; wore my red dress with the three-inch skirt–long black boots–appeared to much advantage, particularly in the gap between the aforesaid items; but was strangely harassed by a queer, half-witted man, who would make me talk with him, and distressed me by noticing my legs.”

“Indeed I shall say no such thing. I had much rather you notice my legs now, on the ship, than wait until we are on a planet, when there are certain to be bizarre blue growths on them.”

And don’t forget — on the first Tuesday of November, we’ll be discussing the Colin Firth/Jennifer Ehle Pride and Prejudice!

Cara King, who would far rather climb in a Jeffries Tube than wear a miniskirt