To folks like you and me, every day is Star Trek Day. But out there in the wider world, September 8th, the anniversary of the first Original Series broadcast, is a time to reflect and express celebratory joy over this now 55-year franchise. (Joy? Ah, yes, one of your Earth emotions…)
We here at Star Trek: The Cruise wanted to do something a little special to celebrate this year’s Star Trek Day, and, after conducting a very thorough online search (because it’s hard to find a copy of the White Pages these days) we tracked down a very special lady: the Salt Vampire.
Yes, the grey, furry gal from M-113 that caused all that havoc in the first-ever-aired episode, “The Man Trap,” sure looked like she was dead at the end, but lo and behold she’s actually alive and well.
Below is an edited transcript of our Zoom conversation:
Hi, Salt Vampire, are you there? You have to unmute yourself on the Zoom.
SALT VAMPIRE: Sorry, my fingers sometimes stick to the keys. You can hear me now?
Yes, yes, fantastic! I’m recording this for posterity. Now, before we get into the interview, where are you these days?
SALT VAMPIRE: I’m on Earth.
I meant more specifically.
SALT VAMPIRE: Oh, I’m sorry. I’m in a retirement community outside of New Hope, Pennsylvania. We’ve got a golf course.
I never know what to call you. Do you like being called Salt Vampire?
SALT VAMPIRE: I’ve gotten used to it, but, quite frankly, it’s never been my favorite. The name my parents gave me would just sound like a series of squeaks and wails to you. For tax purposes, I use Nacel.
SALT VAMPIRE: Think about it.
Ah. Very good. Now, I’ve got some questions I’ve been meaning to ask since I’ve been a kid.
SALT VAMPIRE: Go for it.
I’ve never quite understood how your chameleon-like appearance worked. Most of the time when you appeared in an identity everyone saw you that one way. But when we first see you, it is as a younger Nancy Crater to Dr. McCoy, an older Nancy Crater to Captain Kirk, and “The Girl from Wrigley’s Pleasure Planet” to Crewman Darnell. Any chance you can explain this?
SALT VAMPIRE: Gee, my memory’s a little hazy. This was 55 years ago, after all.
Technically it’s not for another 244 years.
SALT VAMPIRE: Well, there ya go. I should be expected to explain something that hasn’t happened yet?
Fair enough. Either way, it’s good to see you in the pink. Or, grey. Everyone assumed you died when Dr. McCoy phased you.
SALT VAMPIRE: That’s typical human arrogance. Did I disintegrate? No, I did not. Sure, I got knocked the heck out, but 20 minutes later I was back on my feet. By this point they had secured an awful lot of salt for me—like, you know those giant bags you get at Ikea? They gave me two of those filled to the top, plopped me back on my planet, and I was all set.
Were you truly the last of your kind on M-113?
SALT VAMPIRE: Absolutely not.
But Professor Crater said—
SALT VAMPIRE: Listen, what Rob Crater didn’t know could fill the Mutara Nebula. I’m not even sure he was an actual professor. There was an entire village of us just a short stroll away, practically under his arrogant nose. The things we did for salt.
You eventually left M-113 and came to Earth, though. Why is that?
SALT VAMPIRE: For the residuals. Who knew there would be reruns? And nobody ever heard of VHS, DVD, any of that stuff. Now with streaming? Forget it. I need to stay here unless I want to get hit with outrageous wiring fees.
We’ve got a really full roster, but any chance you’ll join us on next year’s sailing of Star Trek: The Cruise?
SALT VAMPIRE: I’m reluctant.
Why is that?
SALT VAMPIRE: It looks like so much fun, and boy do I love Anthony Rapp, but you remember what happened the last time I was on board a ship with a lot of people in Starfleet uniforms. Let’s just say it wasn’t my finest hour.
I was hoping that was all in the past.
SALT VAMPIRE: People hold grudges.
This is a very welcoming group. IDIC is the name of the game. I only ask you to consider it. Think of the warm breezes, the twinkling stars, gazing out at the saltwater—
SALT VAMPIRE: Hold up. Say that last part again?
SALT VAMPIRE: Right.
It’ll be all around you.
SALT VAMPIRE: And I don’t need to buy additional drink tickets for that, right?
I don’t think so.
SALT VAMPIRE: Hmnnn. Okay. I accept. You can get me a room with a balcony, right?
The cruise is sold out, but we can get you on the Waitlist.