Tara Levyson looked around Admiral LaSaille's gracious home while the
Admiral himself delved back into the private areas of the house.
Aleilan, the little Ane that followed him everywhere lay to one side
of the study and chewed without comment.
had joined the Admiral while he was on leave at his home in the El
Nanth system. As his new Aide she was to accompany him back to
shelf of books attracted her. They looked a little on the careworn
side, and were made of real paper. Levyson studied the titles on the
Admiral returned as she was peering at the books.
something you want to read Tara?"
well, maybe. I don't know that I would want to touch them."
quirked a smile. "Books are for reading."
never seen paper books outside a museum Sir. How old are
"Late 20th century, some early
you have them on an open shelf?"
"I had the lot acid
stabilized back in '29. The process was a revolution at the time and
saved a hell of a lot of books."
"Where did you get
them?" Her fingers ran down the ancient spines, just short of
"Bookstores. Walk in select
your title from
the copies on the shelf, pay at the counter. That bunch is very
"How so sir?"
"I had packed my
favorites and moved them to Purple House before my apartment was
"Bombed?! Who would do such a
Tara. Colonel Green."
"Green was the 21st century.
Wait, when you said '29 did you mean 2029?"
I meant 2029." The deer in the headlights look was evident on
her face. Jerry indicated a chair. "Have a seat."
sat. A badger brought her a drink. "I have heard you where old,
but that old?"
"Don't be too shocked, the
Galaxy is a
strange place. We were discussing books."
"I took a
minor in literature in the Academy. Heinlein I know has a sizable
body of work. E. E. Smith I have never seen. And I have never seen
anything but the two books by Anne McCaffery?"
is one of my favorite authors. She was a sparking woman with a great
sense of humor."
"You met her?"
He got up and took The White Dragon down from the shelf. "Take a
Levyson handled the antique
gingerly. She opened the
cover and read. "'To Jerry LaSaille, Anne McCaffery.' She signed
it for you?"
"Yes. These shelves hold my
editions, my signed books. The books I love. They are all that
survives of a much larger collection."
"Sir, half these
books are not even in the catalog?"
White Dragon, Renegades of Pern, and more. They are not
Aleilan by this point had
stopped chewing and tuned
in as well. Jerry looked at the book in his hand. "You mean that
one of my all time favorites has never gotten into the
"No Sir. I don't know why. But
I would say a
good half of your collection here is lost books."
looked at the bookshelf slightly stunned. "I never even
considered it. They were so popular I thought all of them would
surely survive. Do you have your tricoder."
"Then let's rectify that lack
right now." Jerry handed down the
books while Levyson scanned them. "Once
we get this done I'll have the lot replicated so I can enjoy them
wherever I am."
pretty expensive Admiral. Wouldn't a reader be enough?"
like my books Tara. The weight of a goo...."
house comm beeped for attention. Aleilan moved into range of the
pickup. **Jerry, trouble.**
put down the book. As he digested the meaning of the trouble. **Hook
in we need to get back now.** "Mr. Levyson, the household staff
will have to finish, we are needed at the Starbase, now."
gently massaged his temples. At long last he raised his head. Around
the operations control room for Starbase 220 you could hear a pin
drop. Admiral Ti'Kora twitched and puffed his feathers.
your ships, save yourselves. This is our final message...."
it off." LaSaille lurched from his chair and headed for the
"Sir?" Levyson's face was
lined with anguish.
"What are we to do?"
LaSaille stopped and looked
"What do you suggest Commander? We are 74 light years from
"I... I don't know sir." She
sank into her
LaSaille walked over
to her and rested his hand on her
shoulder. "Tara, I want to do something. But I'm as much at a
loss as you are. We are too far out, and no better equipped. If Earth
can't handle it, what can we do? We don't have a super ship hidden
in the back of the station."
"I feel so utterly
"As do I. Don't count the old
Lady down yet
Tara. Earth has survived before. And as much as the thought is not a
comfort now, Earth is not the Federation. We are still here. Humanity
She looked up though tear
stained eyes. "What
are you going to do?"
"I know the location of a very
fine bottle of bourbon Tara. I'm going to get a stiff drink, and
remember Earth as I knew her."
took Jerry three tries to get the Savannah's door open, and he hadn't
even reached that bourbon yet. He finally got to the wardroom door.
Clarke and Aleilan were waiting for him.
"How did you know I would come
"Where else would you go when
you feel like
**And don't ask how we know
you feel like
Jerry grabbed her neck and
buried his face in it. He
stayed there a long time. At last he came up for air and pulled
himself together. "So, how's your Mother?"
is fine, she heard the report and was worried about you. She was
afraid you would do something stupid, like get drunk. You're a lousy
"I don't get much practice."
The shadow of
a smile crossed his lips. "You didn't hide my bourbon did
"No, it's in the rack where it
that's happy bourbon. I don't think I'll drink that now. Where is the
Black Jack? Nasty stuff, perfect for a pity party."
in the rack too."
Jerry searched the overhead
for a moment
and came down with the required bottle and glasses. "Want?"
You should have one too."
"You're right." Jerry
poured the glasses and put the bottle back.
Clarke looked the
whiskey over and took a thoughtful sip. "Earth is in it deep
"Yea, happens every couple of
no Kirk to help this time."
"Where is he?"
having his own pity party. It's all top secret, I shouldn't even
think about it without a tinfoil hat on."
"So, why did
you come down here."
Jerry smiled sadly. "It's my
little piece of Earth." He softly caressed the bulkhead. "Built
of Earth, by Humans. There are bits of the past in this hull. Bits of
"I thought Savanna was home?"
took a sip. "So did I. I guess Earth still means something to
me. Why else do I keep that old farm?"
Clarke leaned in.
"You are not going to start singing My Old Kentucky Home."
half a drink is not nearly drunk enough for that."
which all present are grateful.**
get the headache too.**
He kissed her nose. **I
"Dad, let's go home."
his glass. "All right. Let's go home."
joined his Father on the veranda. The distant storms back lit by the
fading sun. "So Kirk pulled another rabbit from his hat."
swirled the juice in his glass. "Yep. The gods favor that one.
Earth is saved, and the hero triumphs."
no. Better him than me. It's been a long time since I wanted to be
a hero. The job is too dangerous and the side benefits are too
"I head back to
Earth. My leave is over at the end of the week in any case. I'll
grab Commander Levyson in the morning and we can head back by
"Mom worries about you."
Clarke a look, it was a curious change of subject. "She can
always join me on Earth, I've said as much to her directly."
not what she wants."
"She knew I was in Starfleet
she begged me to marry her."
"Yea. I know. It sucks
being caught in the middle."
"Clarke, you are your own
man. It's time you left the nest."
"Who will take care
"No one here goes without what
they need. Your presence is a want."
"It's hard to say no."
is the nature of life Son. The good things are seldom easy."
think about it."
"Well, I'm turning in for the
night. I need to be up bright and
early to get back to Earth, and see what
is left of things."
came, Jerry slept well enough. He spent a half hour giving Aleilan a
good scritch. **Now, can you handle Cmd. Levyson and myself?**
heavily does she pack?**
most Starfleet, a single duffel. Uniforms can be had anywhere. I
don't think she has gold bars packed in it.**
hit the scales at the station just to make sure. A mistake can be
can also recruit another body.**
can handle it, as long as she doesn't have a full set of luggage.**
let's get some breakfast and hit the road. I am taking the shuttle
back to the station. I don't want you making two long ranged jumps
in a day.**
**Okay. Then we need to get
piloted the shuttle with practiced ease. "Affirmative Builder's
Station, shuttle 34 on the beam five by five."
that." Replied station control.
love that Astronaut talk.** Aleilan had her head stuck in the
ruffled her mane. **Yes I do. Oh, we left your badger.**
have the one at Bellicolone.**
it won't be a problem. Good thing, with the badger we would need a
of the reasons I spread them around.**
will have been in the closet for three weeks. I'll give it a quick
Station control broke back in.
"Shuttle 34 you are on landing
approach, enjoy your stay at Starbase 220."
that, shuttle 34 out." Jerry quickly and efficiently ran the
shutdown procedure after the the shuttle was down. He grabbed his
duffel, turned the shuttle over to the hanger personnel, and cleared
the hanger. Once out of the hanger working area he got his
LaSaille, patch me to Commander Levyson."
LaSaille. Were are you now?"
in my quarters Admiral, clearing out."
remain there Aleilan and I will met you. LaSaille out."
a lifter.** Aleilan was in the back of the cargo car.
**Good.** Jerry tossed his
duffel in and took it into the
section of the massive station..
leaving the lifter at the major cross way a short walk took them to
Levyson's apartment. Jerry rang the call.
entered. "Good morning Tara."
Sir. OK, I have everything ready. How are we doing this?"
are teleporting. Athena?"
me a mass reading for Commander Levyson and her duffel."
550 3 kilograms."
looked at LaSaille curiously. "What was that for?"
"Safety. Aleilan can lift
twice her mass. She weights in at 166
kilograms. I and my gear mass 113. I have to be sure you didn't have
jewels or something in you gear."
happens if you are over the mass limit?"
on how over the mass limit it can kill. It isn't a hard
"Oh. Are we good
113 and 86 are less than 336, we are good to go." **Ready
get a good hard grip on your duffel. And grab Aleilan's horn like we
did to get to Builder Station yesterday."
stepped up and matched her actions.
open you eyes."
stuffed ear feeling again." Levyson wracked her jaw around.
differential. I've never gotten use to it." LaSaille was
matching her actions.
looked around at the plastered walls and elegant wood work. "Where
spent another moment getting his ears to pop. "Bellicolone, my
home in Kentucky. Aleilan has a badger to pick up, and I want to
check on the farm. After what Earth just went through I am worried
about my horses."
dark skinned man came out of a door into the foyer. "Mr Jerold,
I thought I heard an arrival."
arrival?" Levyson was looking around.
explained. "The teleport displaces air, it is noisy in a
didn't hear anything?"
in the teleport never do. Jacob, I need a report on the condition of
you will come in the office Mr Jerrold I can do that for you."
turned to Leveyson. "Tara." He indicated an open door
behind them. "If you want to wait in the parlor I'll rejoin you
shortly." With that he entered the office with Jacob Martin.
took a seat in front of the desk. "Jacob, how bad is it?"
resumed the seat he left when he heard them arrive. "Well, all
considered we can't complain. We have some roof damage to the Big
Barn. Nothing we can't fix. We didn't loose any horses. None of
the housing was damaged and no one was injured."
relaxed back into his chair. "Yea, the farm got off easy.
Outside of the Big Barn what more needs repaired?"
lost some fencing in the western pastures Mr Jerold. The low ground
took some mighty flooding. Them old posts just bubbled up right out
of the ground. Was all washed clean away."
what needs fixing. I'll not tell you your job. I am grateful we lost
no people or stock."
indeed Mr. Jerold. Claiborne lost half their barns to flood."
winced at the news. He knew how that would hurt him. "See what
assistance we can get Claiborne, or any farm that was hard hit."
Mr. Jerold. Miss Lilly will be glad to have you back."
wagged his eyebrows. "I hope I still pass muster. Miss Lilly is
not an easy master."
Mr. Jerold, you be the one that owns this farm."
tell that to Miss Lilly."
"I happen to like living Mr.
Jerold, happens I do."
Jerry clapped him on the
they rose. "Keep it up Jacob and you'll have me drawling like I
never left the place."
"Well Mr Jerold, the tourists,
they do expect it, and they don't teach this on Deneva."
laughed. "I better see to my bag, and Aleilan's badger. Call me
if anything unusual comes up."
both left the office. Jacob back out to the farm and Jerry into the
main house. He crossed to the parlor he had indicated to Cmd.
parlor was an eclectic mix of styles from the 19th century to the
21st. Levyson was looking at an ancient screen perched on a
"It's not responding Sir. Who
do we call for
"For that? No one as far as I
that's a 21st century plasma screen high definition television. It
was on the fritz back in 2050. I don't think it works at all
Shouldn't it be in a
"I'd call one if it worked. I
was too busy to
replace it then, and it has become a bit of a fixture. I suppose I
could have the old guts pulled out and modern comm gear
"Sir, that's a priceless
the whole house is a 'priceless artifact'. That chair you're sitting
on is from the 1860s." She jumped up, carefully. "Sit down.
Everything in this house is an antique, including the house."
can you live here?"
"It's the family estate. You
as well ask the Windsors how they can live in Windsor castle. The
house was first built in 1833."
it was largely destroyed in 1971 by a tornado. I had it rebuilt. We
recovered a good deal of the furniture. Haunting antique shops or
modern work replaced the rest."
"How do you replace
such an old house?"
"With improvements. Central
and air conditioning, insulation and hidden double pane glass if I
recall. We kept the look antebellum, but modernized throughout. I
have it gone over every 50 years and improved as required. Why do
you think this house is standing solid when younger buildings have
not? The parlor is something of a family museum. That musket over
the fireplace for example, it was used by Paul LaSaille as a member
of the Union army in the American Civil War. Other kids in school
were taught history. I had it on the wall. Farm records go back
unbroken to the original deed in 1833."
lived in city apartments. I thought this kind of thing was
"It is history. The only
reason the estate
has lasted is some careful work by myself and people I trusted. It
also involved a bit of shooting in Green's War."
do you do with it?"
"Raise horses. The farm
a walking horse stud. Since the 20th century we have expanded into
breed preservation. You will find the Bellicolone Stud on the list of
biological preservation sites. You need a lot of open land to breed
and raise horses. Bellicolone is one of less than a dozen farms that
still operate. Let's take a walk."
Jerry suited actions to
words and headed out the front of the house. Aleilan looked up from
her grazing as he came out and wandered over to join them. Jerry
noted a crew in the willow grove picking up fallen branches with a
lifter. It looked like one of the trees hadn't survived. "Tara,
I intend to live here as long as possible. Duty might take me away,
but while stationed on Earth I live in my own home."
expected of an Admiral's aide Sir?"
"Mostly it's a nine
to five job. I can't expect Starfleet Command to alter its operations
for little old me, so it is late to bed and late to rise, by local
"Am I expected to be on call?"
to the degree you need to sleep under the same roof I do if that is
what you're thinking."
"Yes sir, that had crossed my
"Keep your independence. We
will see enough of
each other during duty hours that we don't need to be bumping into
each other on the way to the bathroom in the middle of the
Levyson looked relieved. "I've
heard some tales
"Of Admirals that wanted aides
waiting hand and
"I've heard them too, but
I've never run into those Admirals. There are demanding men and women
in the service, and I am one of them, but not that demanding."
As they spoke a horse wandered
over to the fence. Jerry gave it
a fond pat. Levyson looked askance at the horse.
"I can't really say. I've
never been this
close to one."
"We'll save the horse lessons
"This is all so different. The
the sounds and smells. I never dreamed that a world like this could
even exist as a child in Jerusalem."
"The rural life is
a fragment of a bygone era. The world this farm represents was dying
at the time that the Stud was at it most prosperous, the late 20th
century. My investments in other endeavors support the Stud. It
loses money every year, even with the endowment of the BPS. If it
hadn't been for the Ansisi looking after my affairs I would have lost
the farm between 2063 and 2210."
"You were gone over a
hundred and fifty years?"
"Yes, it's one of the reasons
I regard Landing City as much home as I do Bellicolone."
can't wrap my head around that Admiral. I can't conceive of someone
being that old."
"Most people cannot. Don't
it. Live in the here and now. Speaking of which, we should get back
to Frisco. No doubt the whole place is upside down."
get my bag. Are we teleporting?"
I won't ask Aleilan to do that twice in a day. We'll use the
returned to the hall leaving Aleilan to graze.
looked back. "What about Aleilan?"
smiled. "She'll join me if she wants to. We are not joined at
the hip. Let me get my duffel upstairs and see that her badger is
good to go."
will save me the trip back down."
grabbed her duffel and followed him upstairs. Jerry dumped his bag
in his bedroom and went to the closet. The badger was patiently
waiting were it was left.
**Activate.** He thought at
jerked into motion, and looked up at him. **Working.**
left it to run the program and started putting things away. Tara
watched the bot.
it doing anything?"
running a level one diagnosis. It has a telepathic interface so the
Ane can deal with them. It will take voice commands, but the default
is telepathic." He got the last of his socks packed and hauled
his PADD out of the duffel.
is functioning nominally.** Replied the Badger.
station in the foyer.**
little bot walked out, closed the closet door and left the room,
again closing the door behind it.
will stand in the foyer and follow her around the house . If she
needs something picked up or done, it does it."
sophisticated are they?"
enough. They don't have feelings or much personality. Forget
conversation. About the level of the average household agent, but in
a self mobile body. That's everything. Let's get back to work."
grimaced. "I'm not looking forward to this."
smiled. "You are getting tossed into the lion's den. Commander
Baker is not scheduled to leave for another two weeks, so you will
have someone to help you transition. If things are as bad as I think
I may need both of you." He took his communicator out. "Starfleet
is Admiral LaSaille, I need transport for two to Starfleet
am sorry Admiral, transporter repeaters are still out of commission."
LaSaille out. Well, that sucks."
do we do?"
see if someone can give us a 'port."
didn't want Aleilan...."
is never the only Ane on the farm. Let me call around. Here." LaSaille
indicated a couple of wing back chairs. Have a seat, this
could take a second."
sat as did the Admiral. He got that blank look he had when
communicating with telepathy. She sat back and waited.
**Hello. Who is on the farm
voices answered his.
need a lift to Starfleet Command for two. Anyone up to that.**
came to the front. **I can do it Jerry.**
up to my bedroom then?**
hit inside the hall. I don't want to mess with the stairs.**
dull WHUMPH! Thudded against the bedroom door. Jerry snapped to and
got up to get the door. Levyson sat startled.
came through the door. LaSaille tuned to Levyson. Well, grab you
that was the teleport. Same procedure. Close your eyes, and grab a
horn." **Starfleet Headquarters, my office would be best. Do
you need a sight picture?**
answered. **Got it from Aleilan.**
Alert, Intruder Alert." Blared
alert, code instant." Grumbled LaSaille. "You think I
could get that thing to figure it out." He looked around.
people were staring at them. Most of them workmen replacing the big
picture window. The office itself was a mess, it was clear the
majority of the damage had been cleared out, but he could feel the
carpet sodden under his boots and his desk didn't look functional.
Among the people in the room and the only one not staring was
Commander Baker trying to get the desk back up and running.
morning Sir." He didn't even look up from the work.
is working around here Chris."
little but the people." He turned to the staring workforce. "Carry on,
you've never seen a teleport before?"
got busy with the window again.
Baker, meet Cmd Levyson. She will be taking your place in two
came around the desk to shake hands. "Welcome to Starfleet
Headquarters. I wish I was handing the place over to you in better
I might ask,
why are you leaving?"
got a command, science ship the USS Karkamoss.
is still in one piece."
looked over the desk. "Truthfully losing Chris is a blow. But
I'm not going to hold him up. Chris,
is the intercom working?"
in here. The one on my desk functions."
bad is it?"
desk? It got a good soaking. We had an centimeter of water in here
last night. Crews have been cleaning since the clouds cleared out."
core is working. A lot of the terminals are in this shape."
Carry on, I'll use your desk to get an Ensign. We do still have
Ensigns, don't we?"
are in short supply. With so much down everybody wants one."
do my best. Tara, come with me and don't set that down in here."
right." She lifted the duffel she was about to set on the floor
and squished after the Admiral.
outer office was not in quite the disarray of the inner one. Two
engineers had a trunk open on the floor. LaSaille looked over their
the desk running."
"Yessir. That much is working."
touched the intercom. "Personnel."
took a long moment before the call was finally answered. "Personnel
Office, Lt. Derveck."
this is Admiral LaSaille. I need someone in my office to escort
Commander Levyson to her new quarters."
moment sir, let me make sure the BOQ is functioning." Said
moment passed. "Yes Admiral. We have quarters available that
are not flooded. I'll send someone right up to you."
looked at LaSaille quizzically. "You don't want me to get to
once you get settled in. The way things look it will be late and
you'll get to your quarters with nothing ready. At least learn were
you are laying your head and set
you toothbrush on the sink."
you wish sir."
door swished open framing an Ensign wearing a harried look. "Ensign
Marks reporting Sir."
Marks, see Commander Levyson to her quarters please."
Sir. Sir, if you will follow me. The route is rather round ab...."
The door closed on his last comment.
Baker came into the outer office. "I think it's dead. I can't
get any response from it."
we need a new one up here quick. Pull rank. We have to get the
office back up and running like it should. We have ships to find and
a few to rescue."
popped in with a whoosh. "Intruder
alert, code instant." spoke LaSaille and Baker as one. Jerry
shook his head. Once we get everything working I have got to teach
the computer what a teleport means.
luck Sir. We haven't been able to as of yet."
**Yep. I got the how bad.
Anything I can do?**
now, I don't think so. If you two girls will stay out of the way for
and Calilan did a bit of rubbing and settled into the far corner to
door opened again to reveal a crew with a vacuum and tank. LaSaille
pointed over his shoulder. "Main office." They continued
without a word.
looked up from his searching. "I found a desk. It should be
here within the hour."
you have to pull rank?"
who for when it comes up again. Now, where are Kirk and company
but we have some complications."
have plenty of those. Why are these special?"
is with them."
sat down. "Now my head hurts."
they have a civilian with them."
the other shoe."
the 20th century."
my head really hurts. Spock, alive, and a civilian from the 20th
would be the case sir."
is never dull. I don't suppose they are in Security as well?"
sir, neither is charged with anything."
where Spock is, and the civilian as well." He levered himself
from the chair. "I am heading down to Security." **Aleilan?**
observe from here.**
Security block wasn't in the mess that his office was, but they did
not go in for large picture windows either. The security officers
came to attention as he entered, then checked is ID and clearance.
here to see Admiral Kirk."
7 sir. I'll take you back."
room. Bring him there."
waited while Kirk was fetched. Kirk came in wearing a security
jumper. His face was carefully neutral. Someone had seen he had a
hair brush at least. LaSaille had expected a man haggard and worn,
but Kirk looked surprisingly well for the ordeal that he and his crew
had recently undergone.
Kirk. You have caused me a great deal of complication."
LaSaille, I'm sorry about the complication."
you been debriefed yet?"
rubbed the bridge of his nose. "Then I shouldn't ask you too
sir, I wouldn't be able to answer."
ought to slug you into next week."
it would make you feel better."
wouldn't. I want to ask why."
I can tell you yet. I can say I think the reason is obvious."
obvious. It seem it worked out better than you hoped."
wry grin flashed briefly across his face. "Much, much better."
can't promise anything until I get the debriefing reports. I ought
to throw the book at the lot of you."
sir, you should. I did wrong and I admit it."
came up short, it was a dangerous admission before the debriefings.
"You plan to plead guilty?"
nodded. "Kirk you have my respect, if not my approval."
LaSaille, you have always impressed me as a man whose respect was
door opened and a Vulcan in a black robe entered. "I am
Advocate Sorok. I have been asked to represent Admiral Kirk. It
would be unfortunate if the debriefing had started already Admiral
this is a personal visit. Are you the only advocate?"
Admiral LaSaille. My colleagues are seeing to the others as we
we can get this debriefing underway. I'll see to getting things
moving. Oh and Jim, good luck, I mean it." LaSaille left Kirk
with the advocate. He stopped at the security desk. "Why isn't
Kirk in uniform?"
they came in off the bay soaked to the skin. We were not given
orders about uniforms."
giving them now. Every officer is to have a proper uniform. Is that
plush office of the Earth President. Even here in Geneva the ravages
of the Whale Probe weather could be seen. Mohammad Saad rose from
behind his desk to shake his hand. "Admiral, good of you to
come. I realize my request comes at an awkward time, but it is
something that cannot wait."
believe sir I can guess what you desire."
me be explicit anyway. It was the vote of Earth Alliance Council to
request that Admiral Kirk and his crew be pardoned of any charges
they might face, be it Starfleet regulation or Federation law."
can understand your desires in this matter Mr. President. I may not
be in a position to act on them in all cases. It is also unusual to
ask for a pardon for charges that have not been decided."
is however precedent, if you go back far enough in history. If it
wasn't for Kirk and his people we would not be speaking on these
matters at all. We believe that a clear case can be made that
greater good was done than any harm that might have been caused."
will not question the good, sir. But the law is the law. There are
unrelated issues at question. These questions must be dealt with."
is a funny thing Admiral. If Kirk had not gone off on this mission
of his, against orders, he would not have been in a position to do
anything. He would have been stuck on Earth with the rest of us."
is indeed amusing as you say Mr. President. I will promise that we
will give this...circumstance...the positive actions of Admiral Kirk,
and the requests of Earth Dome all the consideration they are due. I
cannot speak for the Federation Council, or my staff however. I
cannot promise the future."
take what I can get Admiral. Do keep in mind that Earth Dome
requests this in the strongest possible language."
are presenting this to the Federation Council as well?"
Saad waved the papers on his desk. "Personally, as soon as we
are done here."
Nogura gave a short bow. "Then
I will not impede your errand Mr
President. I too have urgent business."
LaSaille entered the Starfleet CIC. Here again the ravages were
still being repaired. Several starships were in the screens being
communicated with. The Probe was being tracked, at a distance. LaSaille
went to the situation board.
what is her condition?"
have power restored Sir. They are not yet underway, but are not in
danger of losing life support."
anyone else in danger at this moment?"
sir. All units are reporting at least partially operational."
units are resuming normal patrols as ordered."
tapped the console for a few minutes absorbing the situation reports.
"Well done. Keep me informed of any changes. I'll be around."
felt at least semi normal back in uniform. His fellow "conspirators"
sat around a common table enjoying lunch. Not much was being said. Not
much really needed to be said. Their Vulcan advocates ate at a
Admiral." Chekhov broke the silence. " Are ve going to get
wagged his eyebrows. "You'll know as soon as I do Pavel. I'm
not going to turn it down."
stabbed his lunch again. "I would be nice to get out of this
the world and go to jail." Drawled McCoy. "No good deed
goes unpunished, you should know that Hiraku."
grunted. "At least, we did what we set to do lads. Did it and
more. Aye, but the cost was high."
fiddled with her fork. "Scotty, I think we did as well as could
lass, but it hurts noon the less."
one advocate who was not at lunch entered the chamber. He spoke
briefly with his fellows. The head of the team came over to the
beings, your desires have been agreed with. Ta'kal has brought word
that your parole request has been granted. It is however required
that you continue to attend debriefings."
Chirped Kirk. "You can't have everything."
shuffled the data around his screen again. Rearranging it wasn't
getting the work done. There still was plenty to do in repairing
Starfleet Headquarters, but that wasn't his department. His
department had come off lightly. Little of the fleet strength was at
or near Earth. For all the local devastation Starfleet was mostly
unharmed. The main issues before him was the loss of Enterprise,
and the same matters that plagued his department before he went on
leave. Too many places for too few ships and people. Enterprise
was being dealt with. The latter, would be slightly improved if he
still had Enterprise.
start stressing out on that again.**
girl. Do what you can and don't worry too much about what you can't
do. Well at least Enterprise is an moot issue. I
regret the lack of assignment for a ship that has been destroyed.**
would be preaching to the choir. Heck, very close to arguing with
myself to go over it with you again. Enterprise is
we can't get her back.**
you would love to open a can of whup ass on a few politicos.**
all the good it would do, yes, I would. Finagle take them all. Meet
me at Chisto's Cafe for lunch. I need out of this office.**
on the front lawn, we can walk together.**
was late afternoon by the time Admiral James Kirk walked into his
office at Star Fleet Academy. The place looked...alien...like it
didn't belong to him--or he to it. At least his office was in the
lee of the storm and didn't suffer any damage.
was not that long ago that he left here to save a friend's soul. And
he found that returning was uncomfortable. Not that it really
mattered. Chances were he was done in Starfleet, cashiered from the
service in disgrace. He might as well clean his office out now.
took a moment to get a box from the fabricator. He started taking
down the objects his office was decorated with and to place them in
the box. He stopped with a 19th century chronometer in his hands. When
did he get so much stuff? Was it only a few years ago he could
throw everything that mattered to him in a duffel bag and move? Now
he had...stuff. And in the end, it had him. Bones
was right. He
had become part of the collection. He sat at his desk and placed
the antique instrument down gently. He noted it had wound down in
his absence. A metaphor for where he stood?
felt a sudden clarity of moment. A clean wave of feeling that washed
his soul of the heaviness. He was done here. No mater what happened
at the trial, he would not be flying a desk again. And that thought
was at this moment the happiest he had ever had. He would not be
chained to that desk.
touched the call button. "Carol?"
I need to find an antique dealer. Do you think you could help me
see what I can find Jim."
that please. I need to finish packing."
a lighter heart Kirk packed the items, this time to be done with
them. He was getting back down to a single duffel, even if it was to
carry to prison.
settled gently around the house. Jerry sat on the porch with a cold
glass of tea in one hand and his favorite Ane under the other. The
night sounds drifted around them.
**It's been a while.**
ruffled her mane. **Yes, but it feels comfortable now. I think I've
gotten the old ghosts to rest.**
about Kirk and company?**
know more tomorrow.**
didn't see Scotty.**
signed. **I couldn't. After Kirk said they hadn't been debriefed
yet. I didn't think I could trust myself to say the safe things.**
have friends in Vulcan places.**
would see to that. Spock on the other hand, this is unexpected.**
say the least. I suspect things have not begun to get interesting.**
Jerry tapped the arm of his chair.
don't feel enthused about it.**
is seldom as wonderful as advertised. Well time to turn in. I'll
hopefully know more tomorrow.**
had a surprise, well an expected surprise waiting for him when he
came into the office. Capitan Spock and a young woman he didn't know
were waiting. He was surprised to see Spock in uniform. The two
stood as he entered the office.
good to see you, and..."
stepped forward. "Miss Gillian Taylor Sir, Cetacean
specialist. Miss Taylor, Vice Admiral Jerold LaSaille, Chief of
do you do." Jerry put on his best smile and gave her his hand.
you sir." She didn't seem quite as enthusiastic. but shook his
hand none the less.
indicated the inner office. "Come in please, we'll see how well
the crews have repaired things. Ah Chris, Tara, how are the
round starts to day sir. The reports are on your desk." Answered Chris.
ushered Spock and Miss Taylor into his office. He was relieved to
find that almost everything was in place. Some of the more fragile
decorations had not been replaced as of yet, but the carpet didn't
squish under foot and his desk was functional.
Spock, I am surprised to find you in uniform."
duties have not abated Admiral. I do not wish them to do so. I will
resume where I left off."
that is your choice I see no reason it should not be so." LaSaille
pulled the relevant report up on his desk. "I see the
Vulcan doctors have passed you as fit physically and mentally. Your
commission has not been reactived yet. I'll do so now. Done. Welcome
Taylor looked confused. "I thought he
smiled. "Miss Taylor, people have been mistakenly declared
'dead' before. Mechanisms exist to rectify those mistakes. They can
be used even if the death was not mistaken, but the individual got
better. Captain Spock's case will doubtless have the medical and
physics people tittering for years. Not my problem. Spock is fit,
he wishes to continue, I make is so. Your case on the other
hand...People from out of time are less common."
was placed with the refugee office."
appropriate place I think. Are you well, are you getting what you
I think, everything is so confusing. I'm worried about the whales."
again turned to his computer. "They are hanging around off San
Francisco bay. I see my friends have been requested to speak to
Miss Taylor. A telepathic species. They will be able to communicate
quite lucidly. The whales are in good hands. And have oceans full
of fish. I see by the preliminary report you jumped the transporter. Do
not ever do that again."
Kirk explained, it's very dangerous."
you're lucky Scotty is one of the best transporter operators there
is. I won't re-lecture you."
broke in. "Admiral. Miss Taylor and myself should be debriefed
as well. While no charges stand against us, we are witnesses and
participants in the events which unfolded."
Taylor jumped in. "Yea, about that. Why are Admiral Kirk and
the others being held? Didn't they just save the world?"
believe...yes...Kirk and company have been given bail. There are
other issues of which you are not aware Miss Taylor. I trust that
all issues will work out in the end. However all actions must be
weighed, the negative as well as the positive. As the inquiry
progresses you will learn more. Mr. Spock, have you taken it upon
yourself to shepherd Miss Taylor?"
am the one person she knows, if only slightly Admiral. I understand
that Humans are comforted by a familiar face. There is the matter as
well of no one truly familiar with her age."
latter would be myself Mr. Spock. I'm a sort of creature out of time
was unaware Admiral that you are displaced in time."
not, I have endured. I was born in the mid twentieth century."
as Mr. Flint?"
don't know the reference, but you have me curious."
log entries starting Stardate 5843.7. I will allow you to draw your
look it up. Meanwhile we have to deal with the here and now. I am
equipped to handle aspects of your adaption Miss Taylor. Do not
hesitate to call me."
do I find a phone?"
yes, telephone technology is in the past. We do however have
replacements." LaSaille pressed the call.
Levyson, I need a communicator in my office, civilian model."
have replace telephones as you understand them. Both in fixed and
mobile units it is a wireless technology working at super luminal
speed. Necessary for real time conversation around the solar system
and even to interstellar distances."
Levyson entered with the required communicator. "Tara, place
Miss Taylor on my cleared list. Any call from her is to be sent to
me at once."
placed the communicator open on his desk and did a few things. He
then handed the communicator to Gillian. "You will by default
get the local office, San Fransisco in this case. Ask for who you
want by name. You will be routed through. As you accumulate
contacts you don't need to go through the local office. You open
your communicator, speak the name of your contact and you will be put
through. Ask for Jerold Ryan LaSaille and you will be put through to
me at once. Mr. Spock?"
communicator is open to her as well."
frowned. "Why Mr. Spock, but people call you Spock without the
is my given name Miss Taylor. Vulcan family names are notoriously
difficult to pronounce to anyone not raised in the language. It is
an accommodation I have become agreeable with."
"Oh. About the whales.
Humpbacks are a social species. They don't
anyone else. That won't be good for them or the calf. What can be
minute Miss Taylor. I'll inquire." **Aleilan? Do we have any
answered at once. **Yes we do. We did get to the Humpbacks before
the species was wiped out. A continuation will be possible. There
are analogs as well that would thrive here. The preservers moved
more than Humans, as we are evidence.**
tuned back to Gillian. "The good news is the Ane did get their
tales. The tales and legends of the humpback survive them. I have
also been informed that humpbacks do exist on other worlds. We can
seek colonists for a pristine ocean."
did you just do?"
Miss Taylor. I 'talked' to my bond mate. She told me what is known
and what is being done. Due to your efforts and with the aid of
others the humpback culture and population will be restored."
everyone in Starfleet?"
laughed. "No, but I can see where that impression comes from. Most
people are not in Starfleet. However San Fransisco, for better
or for worse has become a Fleet town. Starfleet headquarters is
here, so we kind of take the place over."
hardly recognize anything. The bridge is about all that is left."
that by dint of a great effort."
are you from? If I can ask."
Kentucky. I grew up on a horse farm just to the Northeast of town."
looked skeptical. "You don't sound southern."
chil' Get me a glass o' sweet tea and the riaght company anh y'all
could never tell Ah left. Seriously, I've spent more time away then
I have there, but the drawl does sneak back in when I least expect
it. A need to sound professional has taken the honey out of my
yes, I know Scotty well. We went to school together. I think he
works on it in front of the mirror at night. His accent has lessened
over the years. When I first met him it was so thick you could
barely understand him. Frankly it gave him hell in the Academy."
raised an eyebrow. "Admiral, I was unaware that you and Mr.
Scott were in the same class."
class, Same cadet team. Circumstance has prevented us from serving
together." LaSaille's call lit up. "LaSaille here,"
have advocates here to interview Captain Spock and Miss Taylor."
was starting to look worried. "Are they going to be,
LaSaille made a dismissive motion. "You will have one advocate
there that will look out for your interests. If you need a break,
food, anything say so. It's an interview, not an interrogation. They
will seek to tease the facts out of the matter. You can have a
witness as well if you choose."
trained in eidetic recall and observation. I'll ask Aleilan to
attend if you wish. She is a truthteller and they serve the same
does that help?"
witness or truthteller, if they are in the position of advocate they
will stop leading questions. We are after facts, not a certain set
of constructed 'facts'. They are a brake on an interview going bad."
would like to meet Aleilan."
"Okay." Jerry waited for it.
Aleilan popped in.
" "Cancel Alert, code
instant." He turned to Spock. "Mr. Spock, your skill
with computers is legendary. Is there any way to stop the system
from taking an Ane teleport as a reason for an alert?"
can investigate the matter if you wish Admiral."
Miss Taylor was trying to find her jaw. She only had eyes for
Aleilan. "You're, beautiful."
thank you Gillan.**
was, wow. Are you an Ane?"
Gillan. I am an Ane.**
touch of your voice is, I don't know how to describe it but it's
will do for now. Why don't we talk.**
watched Aleilan lead Miss Taylor off. "Mr Spock, I take it you
do not need special help."
sir, I am quite capable of declaring what I am aware of."
leave you to that then. I need to dig into the records so far."
consulted the chrono. He had been working on these debriefing
reports far too long. His neck ached and he was hungry. The door to
his office swished open. It was Chris with Aleilan and a tray. He
didn't even look at the contents, he knew it would be what he wanted.
Aleilan saw to that.
"Chris." He said around a
bite. "Send in what Fleet business needs
attention. I'll take care of that then I'm heading home."
aye sir. Any more debriefings?"
I'll be dreaming about the bloody things. I don't want you and Cmd.
Levyson working yourselves stupid either. We'll all be fresher for a
polished off the small sandwich in a few quick bites. **That wasn't
nearly enough. Did Miss Lily make something wonderful?**
the keeper when you get home.**
let me dig into this quickly.** He stopped and looked at the list on
the desk. **Did you read it?**
always lets me read it.**
that will cost lives if I don't deal with it now?**
go home. My eyes are crossing.** He got up from the desk and snaked
an arm around Aleilan. They were back in their bedroom. With
efficient motions he stripped his uniform and walked straight into
the shower. He turned it on hot and hard, letting the beads of water
beat the stress out of his body. The dry field striped the water off
him as he got out of the shower. He grabbed his robe off the back of
the door and took the back stairs down to the kitchen.
lights came up at half power when he walked in. It suited so he left
it. Aleilan pushed the door open. She preferred the broader front
stairs, even if it was the long way around. Jerry took the food out
of the keeper. Yea, it was smoked pork chops and green beans, pork
gravy, mashed potatoes and finished with the best biscuits in the
world. He sat down and dug in.
had plenty. I've taken time to eat.**
I sense a bit of chiding there?**
tell me. You're working like the whole thing was your fault.**
wonder, not if it was my fault, but why am I doing this? Starfleet
used to be fun. Going places and exploring. Now I fly a desk and
talk all day. I read endless reports and tell people to do the
obvious things. I don't need to fly a desk. I could walk away
tomorrow. Why am I doing it?**
feel a need, or you wouldn't be here.**
like to take a more hands on role in the farm.**
you? You haven't since you got back to Earth.**
been busy, with Starfleet. It's over with Mya.**
has been over for nearly twenty years Jerry, even if Mya doesn't want
to admit it.**
that first leave we had on the Kongo. She didn't even spend any time
with me, never mind sleeping with me. Elizabeth did that. It's been
over for a long time.**
business is on my mind.**
you going to divorce her?**
don't see any reason to. I have what I want. If she wants to parade
me around like an absent trophy, it doesn't take a genius to see who
lives with me. If she wants a formal separation, she can do it. I'm
standing on Ane law.**
**Exactly. She has the same
rights to the money as anyone else
does. If it
amuses her to call it 'mine', let her.**
is an adult and must make his own calls. I'll not make him choose
between his Mother and myself. I'm here. I still have the trial. Not
that there will be much of one.**
think Kirk will follow through?**
sure of it.**
Dome asked for clemency in the strongest terms. I will be very
surprised if they don't get it. World saving hero and all.**
the whole situation is politics. Politics shelved the Enterprise
into a school ship, politics got her decommissioned. Politics
prevented them from picking up Spock's body. Wrong-headed politics
at that. People that fail to realize that Vulcan mysticism is not
voodoo. It all adds up to a failure in the political offices. Those
people however are not on trial.**
much. It's the good thing to do I think. Cartwright and Wesley will
not see it that way however.**
Wesley is known for his by the book stance.**
Cartwright...I don't know, something about that man bothers me. He
is senior to you.**
never made a man right.** Jerry placed his dishes into the cleaner,
and got a glass of tea from the fridge. **Let's get back to our
room. I want to relax a little and hit the sack. It's been a long
day. Meet you upstairs.**
headed back up the way he had come and saw Aleilan's hindquarters
vanish into their room as he rounded into the hall. She climbed
stairs quicker than she descended. He entered and closed the door
behind him. The robe went back over its hook and he sank into his
favorite chair to drink his tea and watch out the window. Aleilan
was making herself a nest on the bed.
drained the tea and joined her in his quarter of the bed. He quickly
fell asleep with his hand wrapped into her mane.
fog lay thick across the bay. The inside of the Captain's club was
warm and cozy. A few of his colleagues ate quietly at their own
tables. In its own discrete corner Howard Nelson's hat rested on
Richard Barnard's hat rack. Jerry raised his tea in silent toast.
Good men both.
Joe the club Steward came
around to check the
condition of the Admiral's teacup. Jerry nodded in
Joe. What is the good word?"
Joe nodded in return. "The
Coast Guard salvage ship arrived last night. Word is they are going
to pull the Klingon Scout off the bottom today."
will be worth looking into."
"The Enterprise trial is
"That I knew about. I have to
be there. Kirk
did blow one of my ships up."
"Do you have an opinion
"If I did Joe, I couldn't tell
"Well I need to be off.
Admiral Nogura wants
everyone there at 0900. That is one man you don't keep waiting."
Robert Wesley was holding forth. "Kirk has once again proved his
ability to roll though the worst pile of crap and come up smelling
like a rose. I don't like the idea of Geneva interfering in Starfleet
business. I know he saved the Earth...again. But he broke just about
every regulation in the book doing it, and likely some regulations we
haven't even made yet."
do you suggest Bob," asked LaSaille, "a return to
"Kirk has been a loose cannon
days as an active Captain, and worse as an Admiral. What kind of
example does this show the rest of the service?"
that certain men should be left in the jobs they do best."
broke in. "So Admiral LaSaille, what do you think of Geneva's
"We are the handmaiden of the
Wesley leaned in. "So you
should get off scott free?"
"No, I don't, but shall we
weight the factors? Of all the ships that could have responded, all
of them ships better equipped and manned. Kirk and his handful of
renegades, in a seized rust bucket of a Klingon ship, acted, found
the answer, and delivered. What did he destroy? A ship that you had
planned to scrap...for political reasons. What did he gain? Only the
lives of an entire planet. Why? He failed to do as he was
Wesley rapped the table as he
spoke. "We cannot
allow the disobedience to orders to be condoned by a lack of
"Fine, demote him. Put him
back into line
Cartwright frowned. "You call
"That is exactly what it is.
Drop him to
Captain with appropriate loss of seniority and position on the
Captain's list. He'll never make Admiral again."
looked thoughtful. "And if he resigns rather than take a
reduction in rank?"
"Punishment self inflicted. We
don't have James T. Kirk to kick around any more."
frowned. "I don't know. Kirk has done outrageous things
before. But this is the most outrageous yet. Never before has
disobeyed a direct order."
LaSaille leaned his elbows on
table. He looked Nogura right in the eye. "Never in your haste
to do the right thing, forget to do the good thing."
locked eyes with LaSaille. After a brief moment he nodded briskly.
"This meaning is adjourned. I will deliver my recommendations
to the President this afternoon."
various admirals shuffled out of the staff room. Robert Wesley was
still expounding his view to who ever would listen. Cartwright shot
LaSaille a look and left quickly. Nogura leaned over to LaSaille as
he was about to leave. "Stay, please." LaSaille lagged
behind until they were the only two in the staff room.
wanted something Admiral?"
"Yes. I am retiring next
month. I wanted you to know this."
assume you will be making a general announcement, why tell me first?"
I need you to know. One way or the other James Kirk will not be
among this number. You are the man I trust to carry the spirit of
"Me? I'm not the most senior Admiral present."
know this. I have seen that your heart wanders. You are on the edge
of resigning yourself. No one can gainsay you this Jerold. You have
served above and beyond expectations. However, Starfleet needs you."
Cartwright has friends in the council, and is senior. But I do not
trust his heart. His baser emotions rule it."
he hides it poorly."
need you to remain the soul of Starfleet. To be the voice of ethical
voice crying in the wilderness I think. My sort seems out of fashion
can only ask this. You have remained this long. It must be for a
sat at the conference table. "Ive been asking myself that very
question. I'm looking at the amount of politics that has recently
guided decisions in this body, and I find my gut tightening. The
desk is starting to look like a shackle. I have a starship at El
Nanth. One that is mine to direct as I please. Why don't I do that? I
wonder if my time would be better spent among my horses. Do you
I have not had the pleasure."
wonderful to have a good horse under you, to be in tight
communication with the animal to the point the slightest clue is
acted on at once. I don't do enough of it.
can only ask Jerold."
consider your request Heihachiro-Sama. We have
together. Our paths have intertwined frequently. We have each been
the teacher and student of the other." Jerry stood and bowed in
the formal Japanese way. "It has been an honor to serve with
still dribbled off the Bird or Prey as it lay impotent on the shore
of Alameda. Jerry smiled at the crude name applied to the side of
the vessel. "HMS Bounty" indeed. The rear cargo hatches were
wide open. How the whales got out no doubt. Starfleet engineers
were currently going over the exterior with tricorders. Jerry
climbed the ladder placed against the stern. More people where
working inside. One was scanning the large area enclosed with
have you found?"
methacrylate, Admiral. You don't see it much
it doesn't get much use."
did they get it?"
would say locally. It was easily available in the 20th century."
took local materials?"
record Lieutenant. Conclusions come later."
moved deeper into the ship. The odd tilt to the deck and Klingon
design didn't help the off kilter feeling. Several people where
working on the engineering area. The presumed cloaking device was
getting a good scan. A senior Lieutenant approached him.
"Admiral. There is a lot of
Vulcan material here. Patched in and
replacement from the look of it."
nodded. "It makes sense. Note everything." With that he
turned back toward the rear hatch. He arrived to find a burly
Klingon with escort looking up at him.
do you want!/" Scowled LaSaille. Might as well take the
Klingon Ambassador took a step back. He wasn't use to Humans using
Klingon manners, or Klingon language. "/I want my ship!/"
slid down the ladder and turned to face the Klingon. "/I was
unaware it was your personal property Ambassador./"
misconstruing my meaning will not alter the fact this ship is
never said it was not. The question is 'who did the stealing?'./"
LaSaille held up his hand to forestall any argument. "/Yelling
at me will not change anything. It is not mine to decide./"
Ambassador let his unstarted diatribe against Kirk die into a grunt.
"/"I suppose the Federation Council is to decide./"
would be a reasonable assumption./"
are do nothings! They will claim that it was other parties that
stole the ship and not Kirk!/"
am not a politician. Arguing with me is like spitting into the
will inspect the vessel./"
Ambassador loaded a fresh salvo of indignation. "What do you
vessel has been heavily modified, has fought a battle from which all
damage was not repaired, and...and it has taken a complete soaking in
Terran sea water. Not something for which it was designed I would
wager. I would be derelict in my duty to allow you access until it
what would water matter?/"
cue a loud bang came out of the open hatch followed by Human cursing,
quite colorful LaSaille noted. "/Well, what ever that was for
starters. Terran sea water is loaded with electrolytes. Shorts,
corrosion, failures. Have patience Ambassador. Let Starfleet sort
"/Harump. I am not fooled by
your cozy concern for my welfare! But
not a battle I choose for today./" With that he stalked off in
a swirl of robes.
sighed. One more complication.
LaSaille sat down at the bar next to the heavy set man. "Ginger
ale" was his reply to the bartender's unspoken query.
fellow spun around in his seat. "Jerry! Are ye still drinkin'
that pisswater?" He shoved a hand out to Jerry.
gladly took it and pulled him into a quick back slapping session. It
had been several years since they had met. "Scotty, you tried
to make a drinker out of me in the Academy. It didn't take then."
gave him an eye. "I would have thought all the years as a
Captain would cure ye of it."
too late for that old pal."
he added, putting his elbows back on the bar and taking up his
scotch. "Ye keena blame a man fer tryin'."
copied his posture, wrapping a hand around the iced ginger ale. "Try
you did, but the cast was long set before that. I'm more concerned
about you than me."
voice dropped. "Scotty, you stuck your foot in it good this
nodded. "Aye, I did, but eyes wide open."
to a friend I can understand. But you stirred a real hornet's nest."
knew that when I did it Jerry. Spock was worth it."
will not get an argument from me."
ye know him then?"
by reputation. The few times he has been through my office. I
understand friendship however, and how fleeting it can be, and how
painful that can hurt."
"Aye." Scotty's voice caught
for a moment. "And what did ye do
I in my position could do Scotty. I would have let you have the
ship. The politicians however had their say."
did ye decommission her Jerry?"
burned in Jerry's voice. "I didn't. That too was a political
football. I can't afford to throw away usable ships Scotty. Kongo
is still plugging away and she never got the upgrade. It has nothing
to do with my fondness for her. She is needed. Enterprise
was needed. It was politics Scotty. I'm sorry, I had the repair
facilities ready for when you came in. I was told no."
"Aye. But done is done. Breaks
my heart, but the breakers will not
her. What aboot us?"
is in the hands of the Federation Council. We, the admirals, had our
say. I do have a few questions if I might."
I want an honest opinion. Will that ship work
"Nay. Tis a crock o' bull. All
mist and glamor. I dina want to ta
with it Jerry. The why is I hae read the papers. I dida think the
math is soond. I've hae me hands on the hardware and now I know it. Tis
nothin' but a worm hole generator. Mark me words, it will kill
the first and last crew to sail on it."
marked. I'll promise you this Scotty. It will never sail in the
condition it is in now. Give me a few clues for the auditors. I'll
shut this thing down but good."
I kin do that for ye. If nae better come o' this, on that at least I
ken rest easy. Are ye gonna be there tomorrow?"
'To the gallows-foot -- and after'
Scotty. Side by side on graduation day. I'll stand beside you come
trial was quick and results expected. What Geneva had asked for, and
what they had discussed at the staff meeting. No doubt a ship would
be...Jerry stopped in his tracks. The idea was that strong. He
could get rid of three problems in one move, and strike a blow
against the politicians that were the true authors of the whole damn
mess. He pulled out is communicator.
a moment his answer came through. "Admiral Nogura."
LaSaille. I just had an idea and it's going to take some arm
twisting, but I think we can solve a number of problems in one move."
office, at your convenience."
Nogura looked at LaSaille like he was a wise madman. "Change
has been a hanger queen since she was commissioned. Two attempts at
space trials and both failed. We know that spacers are a
superstitious lot. No matter how much they claim that reason guides
their every move. Ti-Ho
has become a jinxed ship. No Captain wants her. A name means a
is a name with more power than most. We put the perpetual hanger
queen into the hands of the best engineering staff in Starfleet. We
give Kirk a command worthy of his skills, and we spit in the face of
the politicians that wanted Enterprise
think that for you, the last is as important as the first two. Nogura
looked at LaSaille and butter wouldn't melt in his mouth.
it is. I have been chafing against this whole shelve the Enterprise
and you shelve Kirk and all he stands for thought process. I resent
it. I'm a Capitan of that generation. I am not a dinosaur thank you
do not think the time for people like James Kirk is past?"
I do not. Heihachiro,
you know how old I am."
time for men of direct action has been declared over again and again.
It has been said by generation after generation that they don't need
people like James T. Kirk anymore they are an embarrassment to
civilized people. And again and again, when they have their backs to
the wall it is some 'cowboy' with a good head on his shoulders and a
firm grounding in right and wrong that saves their civilized asses,
just like this time. I cannot help but notice that these 'civilized'
people are also the ones that deal in circumstantial ethics. It is
less the direct action that bothers them, as the ethical example that
applies the direct action. It is their own shame at the better
example that drives them.
can understand this. I agree as well. Your reasons, all of them,
are sound. Pro Kirk sentiments are high. We must strike while the
iron is hot and this will not be difficult to push through. Cut the
necessary orders, now. I will sooth the necessary political egos."
glad my job is my job. I don't like politicians."
waggled his eyebrows sporting an uncharacteristic cat that ate the
canary grin. "I know."
construction chief looked at the orders in his hands. A smile slowly
spread across his face.
you deck apes, we have an assignment.
broke out throughout the crew.
are to change, each and every bit of signage on that ship. That's
right change. From the commissioning plaque to the registry on the
hull. New signage is to read thus. USS
stunned silence hit the crew, followed almost at once by a babble of
all but broke the door down.
Kirk and Capitan Spock came into the Admiral's office. LaSaille was
behind his desk.
Capitan good to see you again."
smiled a bit ruefully. "It's good to be back."
suppose you are here looking for an assignment?"
I have some good news. There is a ship in need of a commander. She
needs some tender loving care. The kind I think you and your crew
can give." LaSaille handed Kirk a PADD with the docking
assignment on it."
looked at. "No name?"
matter is one of the matters Captain. I'm sure you can deal with
sir." He looked at LaSaille, the lack of a name was an unusual
Captain. Good luck with your new command."
the Voyage -- Garry Stahl, May 2009
started five years ago, but it was the most recent short short in the
series that tied it together into one story. What was Jerry
LaSaille doing during the events of Star Trek IV: The Voyage
Well now you know.
of the short shorts got woven into this over all tale of what was
happening off screen. The object being to tell the tale and not
steal the thunder of Kirk & Company.
have the afterwords of the five tales incorporated below. Rest
assured those of you with an archivist bent I have not discarded the
tales as originally written.
-- he one point of truth. That hardback copy of The
White Dragon exists. The only difference is it's signed to me. Jerry
being a blatant self insertion character, he has my taste in books. November 2004
-- As I was writing this little piece to explain what Jerry was
doing during the principle events of Star Trek 4, Clarke LaSaille
popped into my head. "Well, Aleilan will be waiting in the
ship," followed by "and so will his son." I love it
when that happens. Thus were born Clarke LaSaille and his unseen
difficult Mother. Jerry is Human, and no monk. Wives and children do
happen from time to time. November 2004
Old Kentucky Home --
A bit of
character fluff. After every disaster comes
the clean-up. As we were so brutally reminded with the Tsunami of
2004. How many died in the Whale Probe caused weather? We are never
told. But nature is mighty, and we are small.
This is also a
chance to see some of Jerry's Earth home, Bellicolone. Take paradise
as seen by a horse add one antebellum mansion as per Gone With the
Wind, and you have the place. Kentucky horse country is pretty
indeed. My thanks go to the Lexington Hosts of Breyerfest, which has
been my main look at the area. I am impressed. November
-- Yes, LaSaille is an Admiral, and senior one at that time. It only
makes sense he would have a say, or at least a word in the matter of
There are a number of references to other stories in this
one. What you get with a single author is continuity. November 2004
Drinks -- In a yet to be finished story I have
LaSaille and Montgomery Scott in the same class at the Academy. While
assignments and circumstances never let them serve together they
remained friends. This would happen shortly after Deliberations.
Runyard Kipling's The
wrong, and his
right's your right,
In season or out of season.
Stand up and
back it in all men's sight --
With that for your only reason!
hundred and ninety-nine can't bide
The shame or mocking or
But the Thousandth Man will stand by your side
gallows-foot -- and after!
reference to the USS Ti-Ho was from Mr.
Scott's Guide to the Enterprise. It
suits me as there was not enough time to build a new ship from
Fair Witness is something from Robert Heinlein's Stranger
in a Strange Land.
Since I use bits of Heinlein (and other authors) in filling out the
non Starfleet corners of my universe I included this element, one I
am fond of. The Fair Witness has also come up in the STB-600 game. Ane
Truthtellers perform a similar function of observing and
reporting exactly what is seen and heard. However, the function is
mainly for outsiders, non Ane living on Ane worlds. I indicate that
Vulcan Advocates do much the same and all three are interchangeable
in law. Most Fair Witnesses are Humans by the way.
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Trek: The Stories
The above is a work of fiction. All
characters are fictional, any resemblance to persons living or dead is
© Garry Stahl: May 2009. All
rights reserved, re-print only with permission.
Star Trek © Paramount Pictures.