Captain’s log, Star Date 30620.1. Reporting, Captain James Tiberius Kirk, in command of the Star Ship Enterprise, somewhere on the far side of the Milky Way. The situation is an odd one for Star Fleet, what my smart ass Science Officer Spock likes to call “an anomaly,” the uptight Vulcan douche bag. He couldn’t get laid in a Venusian pleasure palace with a fistful of Star Fleet Credits. But I digress, and the situation at hand is perplexing. The Enterprise has encountered the exact twin of Planet Earth, my own home planet, right down to the Great Wall of China, a stinky New Jersey and a boring Canada. It is uncanny.
There have been rumors, myths and legends of Earth’s doppelganger stretching back into the mists of human antiquity, universally dismissed as superstitious speculation and bad science. And yet… there it is before our eyes, our scanners having mapped every square inch of this planet, and reconnaissance teams from the Enterprise led by myself and other senior officers have visited and seen for ourselves. The only difference is that on this “Twin” Earth it is still the early 21st Century, some 310 years ago by our reckoning.
It was a time before warp drive was developed and humanity ventured into deep space and started hanging out with alien races, fighting the ugly ones and trying to bang the beautiful aliens, over a century before the United Federation of Planets was founded. Our history books inform us that it was a traumatic time for Earth, a time of strife, uncertainty and transition. If this is indeed a mirror image of Earth, this is a golden opportunity to fill in history’s blanks, yet in keeping with the Federation’s policy of non-interference with non-space faring planets, our studies had to be undertaken in secret.
Towards that end, we then beamed many teams to the surface of the Twin Earth to collect as much data as possible. At first we found it to be identical in every way to the Real Earth of that fascinating historical period, but soon found that the following people and occurrences on Twin Earth could never have happened on Real Earth, circa 2009:
The most famous person on the Twin Earth was someone called “Vince the Sham Wow Guy.” We weren’t there long enough to analyze his policies or assess his potential impact on their history, but apparently he was a powerful person of global authority in the area of commerce.
There were people around who believed Twin Earth was only approximately 6,000 years old, when our sensors confirmed it was the same age as Real Earth, around 4.5 billion years old. We’re fairly certain this could not have happened on Real Earth during this relatively sophisticated era.
On Twin Earth, the internet was fairly new just like the same period on Real Earth, but they had a feature called Twitter where some people sent one another very short messages detailing every mundane moment of their day. We don’t know if this was some extreme religious cult, but found it disturbing.
Twin Earth also had some very odd home entertainment, having televisions just like Real Earth but watching something called “Reality Shows” where stupid people yelled at each other for half an hour, or plotted betrayal. Spock speculated this may have had something to do with Twitter.
We discovered that The Twin United States was involved in a 6-year war with the nation of Twin Iraq only because the previous president invaded it by mistake (!), confusing it with a nation that actually had attacked the Twin United States. Not only that, the war had been easily won years earlier when Twin U.S. troops wiped out the Twin Iraqi army and hung their leader, but for some reason no one told the troops they could go home. If I hadn’t seen this with my own eyes I would have never believed it, even in the light of some of Twin Earth’s other peculiarities.
For example, on Twin Earth at that time in history, members of different political parties refused to listen to any ideas put forward by their rivals, no matter how good an idea it might be. That impeded progress enormously, something that would never happen on Real Earth.
On Twin Earth, the nations of the Western Hemisphere forgot how to manufacture consumer goods and electronic devices, assigning that activity almost exclusively to Twin China, a nation they didn’t like all that much. Odd indeed, and I may have to concede the “anomaly” designation to Spock after all, that prissy know-it-all. Mr. Sulu was kind of upset that discover that Twin Japan only made cars, sushi and something called karaoke machines, which as far as we could ascertain, are devices used in a mild form of public torture, another inscrutable Twin Earth practice.
The S.S. Enterprise Medical Officer, Dr. Bones McCoy, was fascinated with the primitive medical techniques of Twin Earth, especially something called “chemotherapy” where cancer patients were poisoned nearly to death over long periods of time, betting they would kill the cancer before they killed the patient, with doctors (and their hapless patients) losing that wager in the majority of cases. He also noticed that many citizens of Twin Earth’s wealthiest nation, Twin U.S.A., actively campaigned to deny medical care to millions of their fellow citizens. McCoy’s theory is that they wished to protect them from the chemotherapy that was decimating their own ranks, a humanitarian gesture that makes sense. But that may not be the case, since McCoy told me emphatically: “Jim, I’m a doctor, not a whacky theory guy!”
Our Chief Engineer Mr. Scott was sorely disappointed that Twin Earth was resisting the transition from their dwindling reserves of fossil fuels to more modern energy-producing methods, with giant energy companies bribing politicians to suppress new technologies in spite of severe shortages and extreme pollution. Hard to believe human beings could do that to one another. He was even more disappointed that single malt scotch, Twin Scotland’s namesake whisky, was being consumed mainly by trendy yuppies who thought it was some sort of expensive wine to be sipped and commented upon rather than enjoyed. Star Fleet military police had to rescue Scotty on a couple of occasions when he started throwing punches at “Scotch tasting” parties after showing them how scotch was meant to be imbibed, jeopardizing the secrecy of our mission.
The first lady of the Twin United States, Michelle Obama, the wife of the first black Twin American President Barack Obama, is a dead ringer for our Chief Communications Officer, the lovely and alluring Lieutenant Uhura (Ahem! Yeah, I hit that!). History books inform us that this is the exact same as on Real Earth, and Lieutenant Uhura was mobbed on a reconnaissance mission in New York City and adroitly handled a potentially explosive situation by ordering her party to act like Secret Service agents and signing hundreds of autographs as Michelle Obama, then expertly covered her track with a shopping spree on Fifth Avenue. Star Fleet is still giving me grief over the expense account for that ordeal and insisting that Uhura stop wearing the stiletto heels while on duty, over my strong objections.
All in all, this has been a fascinating discovery for the Star Ship Enterprise, even if Old Pointy Ears Spock keeps insisting that Twin Earth is really an exact mirror of Real Earth in 2009. I for one find that hard to swallow, figuring there’s no way my ancestors would place more votes for hammy and semi-talented singers on “American Idol” than they did in their political elections or give a half dozen TV shows to a bloated ego in human form like Donald Trump. As Spock would say: “This is highly illogical, Captain.” (God, I hate that smarmy bastard!)
Be that as it many, Star Fleet has decided to send a clandestine science mission to Twin Earth to further unravel its mysteries and perhaps shed some light on Real Earth’s history. The Enterprise, meanwhile, has been ordered to resume our 5 year mission to go where no man has gone before, maybe run into some more anomalies and fight some more ugly aliens. But just between me and the Captain’s log, I plan to keep a sharp eye out for Twin Vulcan, see how that dickweed Spock likes airing out his planet’s dirty laundry. Kirk out.