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I'm tired of being responsible for 203 lives, and... I'm tired of deciding which mission is too risky and which isn't, and who's going on the landing party and who doesn't. And who lives... and who dies. Oh, I've had it, Phil.
~ Pike on the rigors of Starship command.

Christopher Richard McKinnies Prescott Pike was a human male who was introduced in the first Star Trek pilot The Cage.

History

Early life

Born in Mojave, California in the early 23rd century Pike's father was a teacher who taught both science and comparative religion. Pike entered Starfleet Academy after being recruited by Alexander Marcus - this was prior to the creation of the alternate reality in 2233 where the life of Christopher Pike from that reality diverged from the original Pike's life. Upon entering the academy he met future Captain Philippa Georgiou, who could drink Pike and their fellow cadets under the table but understood and followed every Starfleet regulation two weeks in.

Pike received high marks in just about every class he took at the academy, with the exception of astrophysics, which he had failed.

Following graduation Pike received his commission as an officer. His first assignment following graduation was as a test pilot. Rising through the ranks Pike served as first officer of the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701) under Captain Robert April.

Captain of the Enterprise

Christopher Pike in late 2257

Pike was promoted to Captain and assumed command of the Enterprise in 2250 after April decided to step down as Captain. Pike would command the Enterprise for the next 13 years through two five year missions.

Pike's crew consisted of people he brought with him, along with others who had been part of Captain April's crew. These included the executive officer Number One and a young Vulcan named Spock. Later, Montgomery Scott joined the crew of the Enterprise as an assistant engineer during Pike's tenure as CO, and eventually became the chief of engineering.

In 2254 Pike was kidnapped by the Talosians when the Enterprise was lured to Talos IV by a falsified distress signal. The Talosians hoped that Pike would be able to start a human colony with Vina - a human woman whose ship crashed on their planet a number of years ago. They additionally hoped that Pike would be able to help them save their race. After the Talosians realized just how much humans hated captivity they released Pike and the other Enterprise crew from captivity. Vina stayed on Talos IV because the nature of her injuries meant she was dependent on the Talosians.

Following his return to the Enterprise Pike arranged to have Talos IV quarantined. Starfleet felt the threat the Talosians represented was so great that they later banned travel to the planet under General Order 7, with violations punishable by death. By 2267 it was the only death penalty left in the Federation.

By 2256 Pike was one of the most highly decorated Captains in Starfleet history, along with Philippa Georgiou, Matthew Decker, Robert April, and Jonathan Archer.

At the beginning of the Federation-Klingon War of 2256-57, Pike and the Enterprise were on a five year mission of exploration. Enterprise was ordered to continue her five year mission, remaining on reserve as a last resort should the Federation lose the fight against the Klingons. Being away from the Federation while so many of their fellow Federation citizens - both Starfleet and civilian - were having to fight for their very survival took a toll on Pike and his crew.

Temporary Captain of the Discovery

Shortly after the end of the war in 2257, Federation sensors detected five red bursts throughout the galaxy. While enroute to investigate one of the red bursts the Enterprise experienced a ship wide systems failure, and Pike sent out a priority one distress call, to which the USS Discovery responded.

Pike's vision of himself confined to a wheelchair.

Pike took temporary command of Discovery to investigate the red bursts further. He remained in temporary command of Discovery when it was determined that Enterprise was far more damaged than initially thought. Upon learning that the holographic communications system had caused cascading primary systems failures, Pike ordered Number One to have engineering remove the systems, stating that they would use viewscreens for communications going forwards.

When Discovery was finally able to capture the Red Angel, they learned that the angel was in fact Michael Burnham's mother Gabrielle. During a conversation with Pike Gabrielle hinted at his future.

Gabrielle and the suit were soon pulled back in to the future. After a signal appeared above the Klingon world Boreth, Pike traveled to the monastery there to retrieve a time crystal. When he touched one of the time crystals Pike learned that he would someday have an accident which would lead to him being confined to a wheel chair. Despite the warning from the Klingon monk Tevanik that if he took the crystal he would not be able to escape his fate, Pike accepted his future and took the crystal back to Discovery.

Return to the Enterprise

Upon learning that the only way to stop Control from gaining the data from the sphere was to destroy Discovery Pike and Saru activated the ship's self-destruct before evacuating with the rest of the crew to Discovery where he took command of a fully repaired Enterprise before Control's fleet arrived to take the data.

Determined not to allow its own destruction, the sphere data merged with Discovery and aborted the self-destruct program. When the Enterprise tried to destroy the ship with photon torpedoes Discovery raised her shields. Realizing they couldn't destroy Discovery Pike led a skeleton crew back on board Discovery and took it to where a new signal had just appeared over Xahea.

The ruler of Xahea agreed to help Discovery charge the time crystal Pike earlier obtained. Burnham decided the only way to keep Control from obtaining the sphere data was to send the ship into the far future, something she and a group of volunteers decided to do using the time crystal. Respecting their choice Pike transferred back to the Enterprise, taking command for the coming battle against Control.

Despite heavy damage to both ships, the mission to prevent Control from killing all sentient life in the galaxy and send the Discovery in to the future was successful. At the conclusion of the mission to keep Control program from killing all sentient life in the galaxy, Enterprise was heavily damaged and returned to Earth for repairs. Pike, Spock, Number One, and Ash Tyler all reported to Starfleet that Discovery and her crew were destroyed during the battle. Pike retained command of the Enterprise and after four months of repairs Enterprise set out to continue her mission of exploration.

Some time around 2265 Pike accepted a promotion to Fleet Captain. He stepped down as CO of the Enterprise and turned command over to a young James T. Kirk. Pike was pleased that Spock was going to remain aboard to be a steadying influence to the young Captain.

Later life

A seriously injured Fleet Captain Pike in 2267.

In 2267 Pike was seriously injured in an accident involving the baffle plate on board an old J-class training ship. In engineering at the time, Pike could have easily escaped from the compartment but worked to ensure as many people as possible got out of engineering before the ship's isolation doors lowered. Pike was burned in an explosion and was trapped in engineering when the isolation door came down. Because of this he was exposed to high doses of delta radiation. The radiation left him locked inside a crippled body and he was only able to communicate through lights on his wheel chair.

Learning of his situation the Talosians decided to invite Pike back to live out his days with them. Working with Spock - who risked the death penalty - they were able to bring Pike back to Talos IV. Starfleet decided not to take action against Spock and temporarily suspended General Order 7 for that occasion.

Pike spent the rest of his life on Talos IV as Vina's spouse. Thanks to the Talosian ability to create convincing illusions, Pike lived out those years as a healthy and active adult male. Under the illusion he and Vina aged normally. He and Vina helped the Talosians repair the damage to their homeworld, rebuild their cities, and move above ground again.

Using Talosian medical technology Vina and Pike were able to conceive a son, which they named Phillip. In 2290 the Federation sent Spock back to Talos IV with a proposal to use an experimental procedure to place Pike's brain inside a cloned body, allowing him to leave Talos. Phillip objected to the idea, fearing his father would leave forever, and attacked Spock. Pike decided to reject Starfleet's proposal and remained on Talos IV with his wife and son. By then Pike had a full beard, which Spock found striking compared to how he looked following his accident.

In the early 24th century Vina died and Pike died soon after. By then he was over 100 years old. Following their deaths the Talosians reached out again to Spock. Spock was able to slip away from a diplomatic mission to visit Talos IV. Instead of a barren, war torn world he found a thriving and healthy planet in its place. Landing on Talos IV the Talosians played Pike's last message to Spock asking him to return some of his ashes to Earth, and to relay the request of the Talosians to join the Federation.

Pike on Talos IV in 2290.

The Federation honored Pike by naming the Christopher Pike Medal of Valor after him. The medal was one of the highest decorations the Federation could give to members of Starfleet. Among the more notable recipients of the medal was DS9 commanding officer Captain Benjamin Sisko and Captain Solok of the USS T'Kumbra.

Quotes

Eve as in all ships doctors are dirty old men.
~ Pike answering Dr. Boyce's inquiry
It's funny. Just about 24 hours ago, I was telling the ship's doctor how much I wanted something else - not... very different from what we have here. An escape from reality, a life with no frustrations; no responsibilities. And now that I have it, I understand the Doctor's answer....Because you either live life - bruises, skinned knees and all - or you turn your back on it and start dying. The Doctor's gonna be happy about one part, at least; he said I needed a rest.
~ Pike on the need to live life.
Do not covet thy neighbor's starship, Commander.
~ Pike to Commander Nham after she expresses her crush on Discovery.
We are always in a fight for the future, Mr. Tyler
~ Pike to Section 31 Liaison Officer Tyler
"You're a Starfleet captain. You believe in service, sacrifice, compassion... and love. No. I'm not going to abandon the things that made me what I am because of a future... that contains an ending I hadn't foreseen for myself. No. Give it to me.
~ Pike, touching a time crystal and learning of his fate.
Hit it.
~ Pike, ordering Enterprise to go to warp.

Trivia

  • The young, uninjured Christopher Pike was portrayed by Jeffrey Hunter. Hunter declined to return for the second Star Trek pilot, feeling that his future was in movies, not television. Pike was then written out of the series in favor of James T. Kirk. The McKinnies in Pike's name comes from Hunter's birth name, Henry McKinnies.
  • The seriously injured Pike featured in The Menagerie was portrayed by Sean Kenney. As a way of saying thank you for enduring the uncomfortable conditions associated with playing Pike, Gene Roddenbery brought Kenney back as Lieutenant DePaul in the episodes Arena and A Taste of Armageddon.
  • Pike is portrayed in the second season of Star Trek: Discovery by Anson Mount.[1]. Mount later confirmed that he would not be returning as Pike in season three and that his agreement was to portray Pike for one season only. However in May, 2020 CBS announced that Mount would be reprising his role of Pike for a new Star Trek series set on the Enterprise in the years before James T. Kirk took command of the ship. [2]
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