AOH :: GEIGER03.TXT|
"Q and A" 3 of 16
Captain's Log - Stardate 8051.2
The Enterprise has just completed a mission
taking her dangerously deep into Klingon space.
Due to the delicacy of the mission, the details
must remain classified. Commendations to all crew
members, especially Commanders Sulu, Chekov, and
Scott, Captain Spock, and Doctor McCoy for bravery
in the face of life-threatening danger during a
beam-down mission. These commendations will be
forwarded to Starfleet Command upon our arrival at
Starbase 43 for debriefing.
"Captain, nearing the edge of Federation
space," reported Commander Sulu.
"Mister Chekov, any pursuers?"
"No, Keptin. Sensors detect no wessels
following us out of Klingon space," reported the
"Kirk to Engineering. Scotty, are you
there?" asked Kirk, depressing the intraship
communications switch on the arm of his command
"Aye, I'm here," replied the burly Scotsman.
In the background, Kirk could hear the deep,
rhythmic pulsations of the Warp engines.
"What shape are the engines in, Scotty?
Did they sustain much damage? They did take a
lot of punishment."
"Don't ye worry, sir. Between you and the
Klingons, they've been takin' quite a poundin'
lately, but they're a lot tougher than I make out.
They'll work at their usual 110%, just like always."
"That's good to hear, Mr. Scott. Kirk out.
Anyone have anything to report?" Kirk asked the
Bridge Crew. When no one answered, he said
"I'll be down in Sickbay if you need me. You have
the Bridge, Spock."
Kirk entered the Turbolift as Spock left
his Science Station and sat in the center seat.
"Sickbay," Kirk said as the Turbolift doors
closed behind him. The Turbolift moved both
horizontally and vertically in order to reach
Sickbay. At one point, his Turbolift car had to
pause for a few seconds in order to avoid a
collision with another car.
When he finally left the Turbolift, he
walked slowly to Sickbay. As the doors slid open,
he heard Doctor Leonard "Bones" McCoy say
"Dammit! Every time things calm down and I try to
get my equipment operating properly, Jim goes and
tries to get us killed!"
"Problems, Doctor?" Kirk asked.
"Hell yes, Jim! We're none of us getting
any younger, of course we won't get any older if
you don't calm down! You're not a Captain any more.
Go back to your job with Starfleet Intelligence.
As your doctor and your friend, I'm telling you
"Bones, calm down. What's this all
"I'm sorry, Jim. It's just that I lost
five patients, all of them fresh out of the
"Bones, it's not your fault. They were in
pretty rough shape to begin with. They never
should have tried to complete the mission on their
own. We were too busy to notice their departure.
Next thing I knew, they were in a crossfire between
us and the Klingons. We were lucky to beam them
aboard just before the shuttlecraft exploded.
They were pretty far gone when they were brought
back. Don't blame yourself," said Kirk
"I just can't believe that, Jim. I'm a
doctor. I should have been able to save them."
"Bones, listen to yourself. You've never
been like this before. Remember, like you would
say, you're a doctor, not a miracle worker. Have
a drink to calm down. My job is harder. I have
to tell their families why their sons and daughters
aren't coming home."
"Jim, a drink won't change anything. And
you think your job's tough? I have to live with
the fact that they might have been saved if I
could have begun treating them 30 seconds sooner.
If you don't mind, Jim, I'd like to work through
this by myself."
"Of course, Bones. I'll be in my
"Jim, before you go -- I'm sorry I snapped
at you. It wasn't really anyone's fault. I just
need time to convince myself of that fact."
"I understand, Bones," said Kirk, who left
Sickbay feeling very depressed. He entered the
Turbolift at the end of the corridor and said,
The Turbolift went up and over from G deck
to E deck. As Kirk entered his quarters, the ship
shook violently. Kirk ran to the communications
panel on the wall and anxiously asked, "Kirk to
Bridge. Spock, what's going on?"
"My apologies, Captain, but our navigational
deflector was damaged. A small meteor came too
close to ensure that we would miss it. I ordered
Commander Chekov to destroy it with a photon
torpedo as it was too close to use the phasers.
Fortunately, the shields came up in time to absorb
the majority of the blast. No damage to the
Enterprise occurred," reported the Vulcan First
Officer in his typically emotionless voice.
"Be careful, Spock. McCoy's on the
warpath. Any more incidents like this and he's
liable to lead a mutiny and force us all to walk
the plank," Kirk said, laughter in his voice.
"Captain, could you please explain your
last remark. I do not think such a revolution
would be successful and I see no significance in
Doctor McCoy's forcing us to walk along narrow
pieces of wood," Spock said in a tone approaching
"Never mind, Spock, never mind. Kirk
out," said Jim, closing the channel.
"I've got to find a way to make him loosen
up. A project I'll give Bones when he's feeling
up to it," he thought to himself.
Kirk took off his red uniform shirt and
slung it over a chair. He sat down on his bed,
rubbing both hands over his eyes. Jim Kirk
realized that he was more tired than he had
thought. He lay down and after awhile fell into
a troubled sleep, haunted by the faces of the
five dead cadets. He felt guilty over their loss,
too. For an hour he tossed and turned then settled
down into a peaceful slumber.
"Bridge to Captain Kirk. Bridge to Captain
Kirk." Uhura's voice woke him from a deep sleep.
"Kirk here," he answered groggily. "What
is it, Uhura?"
"Sorry to wake you, Captain, but I have a
message for you from Starfleet Command."
Kirk walked over to his personal viewscreen
and was welcomed by the words "Starfleet Command -
Highest Priority" superimposed over the United
Federation of Planets insignia.
"Computer, this is Kirk, Admiral James T."
"Voice pattern match. Prepare for retina
scan," said the female voice of the ship's computer.
A circle of white light lit up Kirk's right eye.
After a few seconds the computer said "Identity
The computer terminal's viewscreen changed
to show Admiral Nogura, supreme head of Starfleet.
"Admiral Kirk, I have some good news for you.
Please sit down, as this may come as a shock to you.
"Firstly, the Enterprise is to return to
Earth immediately, where she will repaired and
become a training vessel for Academy cadets.
"Secondly, you will be reinstated as head
of Starfleet Intelligence with the same powers and
responsibilities you had before the V'GER incident.
"Thirdly, inform Commander Pavel Chekov
that he has been assigned to the Reliant, where he
will be the Science/First Officer.
"Lastly, the rest of your Bridge staff will
become instructors at the Academy because of their
wealth of experiences under your command.
"Please inform your crew. Congratulations,
Admiral. Nogura out."
The viewscreen went blank, but Kirk sat
there. He stared, disbelieving, at the viewscreen.
Kirk was unable to accept the reality of Nogura's
orders, even though they came from a man second
only to God as far as most people were concerned.
It was thirty minutes later that he
arrived on the Bridge. Spock vacated the command
chair and reported "All systems running normally."
"Thank you, Spock," Kirk said flatly as he
sat down heavily in the center seat.
"Is something troubling you, Captain?"
"That obvious is it? I had hoped to tell
you this later, but as long as you're all here...
That message was from Admiral Nogura. This will
be our last mission together."
Everyone on the Bridge was startled and
showed it. Most by gasping, but Spock very
eloquently raised an eyebrow sharply.
"Let me explain. I am resuming my post
as head of Starfleet Intelligence. The rest of
you, including Mr. Scott and Dr.McCoy will be
instructors at Starfleet Academy. The Enterprise
herself will be used as a training ship for
Starfleet cadets," explained Kirk.
Kirk rose from his chair and walked
around in front of Chekov's control station.
"Congratulations, Pavel. You are the new science
officer and second-in-command on the Reliant.
You'll be serving under Captain Terrell."
"You mean it, Keptin?"
"Yes, Chekov, I mean it." Returning to
his command chair, he said, "These orders take
effect immediately upon our return to Earth.
Uhura, please inform Scotty. I'll talk to the
good doctor myself."
Everyone waited until the end of the duty
shift to congratulate each other. Once off-duty,
Kirk went down to Sickbay to talk to McCoy. As he
walked through the doors, Kirk called, "Bones,
it's Jim. Where are you?"
"I'm in my office, Jim. Come on in."
Jim stood in the threshold and asked "Is
it okay to come in or do I need to call Security
for a bodyguard?"
"Everything's fine. Sit down and have a
As McCoy poured himself a glass of blue
Romulan ale, illegal in the Federation, Kirk said,
"You certainly sound better, Bones."
"All it took was a look through my records,
"I don't follow you."
"I saw the list of all the people I'd
saved while on the Enterprise. The list was so
long, I lost count. Then I looked at the list of
people who died under my care. It didn't even fill
up one screen on the computer. I must be doing
something right, Jim."
"I'm glad you have high spirits. You'll
need them once I've told you our new orders."
And Kirk told him.
McCoy was outraged. "They can't do that,
Jim. You're the best damn captain in Starfleet.
Reinstating your command of the Enterprise was the
best thing they ever did."
"But you said--"
"I know what I said, but I didn't really
mean it. I was 'letting my human emotions get the
best of me.'" He said the last sentence in a
toneless voice, one eyebrow raised. This brought
a smile to Kirk's face.
"I hope you're going to fight this, Jim.
I'll make a recommendation in my Medical Log if
you think it'll help. I can say that a desk job
would be detrimental to your physical and mental
"Thanks, Bones, but there's no way to
fight Nogura and win. He IS Starfleet, after
"I guess you're right, Jim. I don't
like it, that's all."
"You're still mad at him for forcing you
out of retirement." By now, Kirk had finished
his drink so he bid McCoy good night and went back
to his quarters. He cleaned up his breakfast
dishes and ate dinner. When he was done, he
worked on some of the paperwork involved with
commanding a starship. Funny, he thought, that in
this day and age of computer tablets, it's still
called paperwork, even though no paper is involved.
Kirk worked for a couple of hours, until
his vision started to blur. He noticed that he
was only about half done.
"Maybe Bones was right," he said to
himself. "Maybe I am getting old. Used to be,
I could get through a pile of paperwork this size
in one night. Oh well, there's always tomorrow."
He rose slowly and began getting ready for
bed. Then he sat on the edge of his bed and
thought about his experiences aboard the Enterprise.
Countless battles with the Klingons and Romulans.
The discovery of Khan after centuries adrift in
space. First peaceful contact with the Horta and
the Fifth Empire. Redjac. The salt vampire.
Harcourt Fenton Mudd. The Gorn. Tribbles. V'Ger.
He'd had a full career, boldly going
where no man had gone before, but it was all over
He called up to the Bridge but nothing had
changed, so he went to bed. For the second night,
his sleep was troubled, this time by a nightmare.
Admiral Nogura was laughing at him. Then he
dissipated and coalesced into Redjac and enveloped
Kirk in a bright red mist. Kirk collapsed to the
ground and Redjac became a single tribble which
fell on his chest and began reproducing. Soon he
was buried under an infinite number of tribbles,
their ever increasing weight pushing him deeper
into the ground, suffocating.
Kirk awoke in a cold sweat to find himself
tangled tightly in his blankets. He unwrapped
himself and went over to his mirror. He looked
terrible, his face pale and covered in sweat. He
knew immediately that retirement from the command
of a starship would not agree with him.
Kirk went back and lay down, staring at the
ceiling above his bed. Other than his vast
experience, he could see no reason that he should
remain in command of the Enterprise. Besides,
Nogura would say that that experience was why he
should head Starfleet Intelligence. Eventually
he fell into a half-sleep.
The red alert klaxon brought him abruptly
awake. He hurriedly dressed and ran for the
Turbolift. He burst onto the Bridge and Spock
immediately filled him in.
"Captain, Starfleet has picked up an
intruder well within Federation space, headed
for Klingon territory. Starships of the
Enterprise and Reliant classes are giving chase.
We, also, have been ordered to intercept. Our
course is laid in and we are awaiting your command
to initiate pursuit," reported the Vulcan.
"By all means. Mister Sulu, maximum warp.
Make any necessary course changes to intercept the
"Aye, sir. Accelerating to Warp 12,"
"Kirk to Engineering. Scotty, can the
engines maintain Warp 12 for any length of time?"
"Scott here. Yes, sir. The engines will
be able to take it."
"Thanks, Scotty. Kirk out."
For hours the Enterprise gave chase, Uhura
relaying sensor readings from the other pursuit
ships to Sulu, who made the appropriate course
changes. Finally Uhura reported, "Captain, the
other ships report that they have lost track of
"Do not be alarmed, Captain," spoke up
Spock. "The intruder is now within our sensor
range. The vessel has slowed to a stop.
Scanning. There are over 1,000 lifesigns aboard,
predominately human, but many Vulcans.
"What is it, Spock?"
"There is at least one Klingon aboard."
"Not Klingons again. We just got through
dealing with the Klingons. Scan their energy
levels and weapons systems."
"Jim, their power levels are so high that
they don't register on my scanners. As for
weapons systems, they outgun us nearly thirty to
one. In addition, their ship is of a design
similar to ours, but eight times our mass. A
confrontation would not be advisable."
"Thank you, Spock. Recommendation noted.
Mister Sulu, bring us out of Warp when we're in
visual range. Mister Chekov, as soon as we drop
out of Warp put out shields and deflectors at
"Aye, sir," both helmsman and weapons
officer acknowledged in unison.
As the Enterprise dropped out of Warp,
the stars on the viewscreen shortened from streaks
to pinpoints of light. In the center of the
viewscreen sat an alien vessel that bore an uncanny
resemblance to the Enterprise. It looked as if
someone had taken Kirk's ship, enlarged it to
four times the height and twice the length and
then squished the saucer, engeneering section, and
engine nacelles flat.
"Commander Uhura, open hailing frequencies,
"Frequencies open, Captain."
"This is Admiral James T. Kirk commanding
the United Starship Enterprise. Intruder, please
identify yourself within five minutes or we will
open fire with all weapons."
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