Origins, Chapter 8

 

 

 

Author: Apollo Racer
Title: Origins
Email: fltadmracer@hotmail.com
Characters: New Crew/Star Trek: TOS/Star Trek TOS: Animated Series.
Rating: PG-13
Summary: In a bizarre twist of fate, a young man from the 21st century is trapped
in a frozen coffin as he drifts along the tides of time to be awakened 200 years
later.

Chapter Eight

Apollo, Sam, and Skip met in Admiral Komack’s office later that evening. Apollo looked over at his friend. “Hey, Skip… you all right?”

“Yeah, sure. I was just a little shaken, that’s all,” Skip replied. Apollo didn’t believe Skip’s false bravado for a second, though. He had a pale, waxy complexion; he also looked as though he spent the last few hours in a sauna.

Dr. Bennings walked into the room. “Ah. I see you’re all here.” Apollo and Sam looked at each other and couldn’t help but smirk at the doctor’s quirk.

Skip looked at his friends. “What’s so funny?”

Apollo shook his head and waved. “Never mind. We’ll tell you later. Doctor, what’s the word?”

Bennings just smiled. “Don’t let him fool you. He’s had quite a shock. It isn’t every day you come face-to-face with a plasma fire, and come out in one piece. I’ve seen worse case victims of such a thing, and just their appearance scares me. I just don’t understand how you could’ve gotten up there in time to save them.”

Apollo took the question quite literally. “I had to… uh… use an alternative route.” Before Bennings could question him more, Apollo passed the attention off to Sam. “What about you? You still doing okay?”

Sam nodded, though a little shaky. “Yeah. Yeah, I’m okay. I’m just worried about Karen, that’s all.”

“Karen is doing fine,” Bennings said assuredly. “I just have her resting overnight. It’s just for observation purposes.”

Sam showed her approval with a slight smile as Admiral Komack walked in. He did not look amused. He slowly walked around the small group assembled in his office and quietly sat at his desk. He allowed the silence to carry on for a couple of moments before saying anything. “I believe you all know why you’re here.” He was speaking to everybody, but he was looking directly at Apollo. “I suppose you’ve also guessed that the little stunt performed earlier today gave the media a field day.”

“Well it’s nice to know that some things haven’t changed in 200 years,” Apollo said.

Komack ignored that comment, though it gave him somewhere to start venting his frustrations.

“Racer, what in God’s name did you do today!? We’ve gotten reports that sighted someone – and I’m assuming it was you – running across San Francisco Bay! This person sped his way through the city, practically flew through the Academy gates, and, before anyone even realized that something was wrong, broke into the burning science lab by running up the side of the building and entering through the door of the balcony! When the crowd saw you, you had Taylor’s roommate over your shoulder and your friend basically stuffed under your other arm. Then, to beat all, you jumped three stories to safety without so much as a scratch.” Komack had to take a breath before continuing. “Do you think you could tell me just how the hell you did that? Would this have anything to do with those… those adjustments you made to yourself.”

Bennings was startled. “You made further adjustments to your limbs? By yourself?”

Apollo shrugged. “I had to; something just didn’t feel right, and I couldn’t get rid of the feeling until I worked on my limbs. They seem all right now, though.”

“I’ll say they are, if they allow you to do what you just did,” Komack said, practically leaping out of his chair to stalk through the room. “The reports also mention that no one else knew about the fire. And you weren’t even on the Academy grounds. How could you, of all people, know what went on. According to Cadet Goodman here,” he indicated Skip, “it was a simple lab experiment that backfired.” He glared at Skip. “I’ll get into policies that concern performing unauthorized experiments and abuse of lab resources later. I expect there’ll be a few demerits in yours and Cadet Douglas’ records. Now…” he returned his attention to the oldest cadet. “I want to know how in the hell a cadet who wasn’t even on campus at the time of the accident was to discover the danger almost before it happened.”

Apollo knew Komack wanted him to tell him outright… he wouldn’t give him the pleasure. Let him try and figure it out from the clues, Apollo figured. “Well… sir. You said that you’ve gone over my file before. Wouldn’t there be something there to tip you off? Anything that might’ve raised some flags with you?”

“That’s the question I wanted you to answer, Cadet! And when I ask a question, I expect it…” he trailed off, going over the file again in his mind. Certain factors stuck out, and he pointed at the cadet. “Wait a minute. Now that you’ve oh-so-subtlely mentioned it, your file mentioned a higher than normal psi factor. Are you saying that it’s not as latent as we thought?”

Having gone for so long without the need to reveal his secret, Apollo was reluctant to do so now. Instead, he looked at Sam, who picked up the cue. “Doctor Bennings, do you remember when I was your patient, when I had that nasty fall?” The doctor nodded, and she glanced from him to the admiral, to Apollo, and back. “Well… Apollo… kind of knew about the incident beforehand.” The doctor, for his part, was astounded by the information.

Komack narrowed his eyes at Apollo. “All right. Now’s the time to come clean. I figured that you’ve been hiding something about yourself for some time. Would you mind telling me now just what was so damned secretive?”

The cadet took a deep breath. Boy, he never missed a beat all this time. Well, I guess now’s a better time than any to tell him. He opened up. “Well, sir, apparently, the same unexpected incident that helped me survive into your century also gave me a gift I call Foresight. At completely random times, my mind picks up a perfectly clear image of an incident that is about to happen. Timing seems random… it could relate to an event that might happen five minutes in the future, or five years in the future. I can’t control it, but if I can recognize it for what it is in time, then maybe I could do something about it, or at least help as best I can.”

Surprise was clearly evident on the officer’s face. “The reason I made an effort to keep this secret,” Apollo continued, “is because I didn’t want scientists crawling all over me, taking tests and generally hampering with my training. I joined Starfleet because I wanted to give something of myself to this time period, to fit back in with society; not to be crowded by and hoarded over by a bunch of geeks in lab coats.” Sam glared at him, taking offense because she was studying to become one of those geeks in lab coats. Apollo didn’t register her, being too focused into plead his case. “I just hope that nothing has changed about that. I still want to serve in Starfleet, but I can’t if I’m going to be kept under a microscope. Sir… I don’t want to be seen as a freak. I hope you can understand that.”

Komack couldn’t say a word. He simply walked back to his desk and slumped into the chair. “Well, I guess I just don’t see any choice in the matter.” He let those words hang in the air, allowing the people in front of him to think what they wanted. Sam’s eyes widened with disbelief; her obvious thoughts were that the admiral couldn’t keep this secret. Skip glared at him; he looked like he wanted to leap over the table and strangle Komack. Bennings looked as if he were happy; he was likely thinking he could get a paper or two out of this. Apollo was the hardest to read; it was as if he slipped a mask over his face; no emotion showed whatsoever. “I want you four to know right here, right now…. None of this, absolutely none of this, is to be mentioned outside of this room.” The doctor looked crestfallen… no paper would come of this for him. “Racer, if you have any more of these… these ‘feelings’, or visions, you are to let either me or Dr. Bennings know about them as soon as possible, is that clear?”

“Crystal, sir,” Apollo replied sharply.

“Good. Now I think we could all use some sleep, and I could use a stiff drink. Get out of my office.”

As they stood to leave, Skip spoke up. “Ummm… Admiral? Sir? If all these is to be kept secret, does this mean we won’t get demerits for our records?”

Out!!

~ * ~

The group left Headquarters in silence. They headed back toward the infirmary, where Dr. Bennings broke the solitude. “You know, Apollo, I’d like to schedule a follow-up appointment with you, find out exactly what you did to yourself. It could be important.”

Apollo smirked. “Doctor, I’d be happy to show you, but you must trust me. Regarding the adjustments I made, an engineer would understand them more than you would.” Bennings had no response to that. When they entered the infirmary, Bennings separated from the three cadets, heading toward his office, muttering personal mental notes to himself.

They reached Karen’s room; she was asleep. Skip walked over to her bedside and gently took her hand. As Sam and Apollo waited by the door, she leaned toward him and whispered, “You know, we all seem to be getting very familiar with the infirmary during our term here. All that’s left is to have something happen to Skip.”

“Shh,” Apollo said in her ear, “you know what they say. Careful what you ask for; you may get it.”

“Mmm. Does that go for everything?” She smiled warmly.

“Maybe.” Apollo read her obviously subtle sign by sending a playful puff of air into her ear.

Across the room, Skip got up and headed toward them. “Let’s go,” he said.

“How is she?” Apollo asked, easily switching his attention from Sam to his friend.

“Well, if you two weren’t whispering sweet nothings into each other’s ears,” Sam blushed, while the corners of Apollo’s mouth simply turned up a little bit, “you’d have noticed that she woke up. It was only for a few minutes, but she said she’s okay, and she can’t wait until she gets out of here. Frankly, I agree. I’ve already seen far too much of this place.” The other two smiled knowingly at each other. “What?” Skip asked, feeling like he’d been left out of a joke; or worse, been the butt of one. “What!?” It was hard for him to show his desperation in a hoarse half-whisper.

“Nothing, my friend,” Apollo replied. “We simply share your sentiment. Come on.” They walked out of the infirmary. “I’m going to walk Sam home. Are you going to be all right, Skip?” he said, once they were outside.

“Yeah, yeah. Go on, you two lovebirds. I’ll see you tomorrow.” Skip turned and walked away.

Apollo started to head towards Sam’s dorm, but she didn’t move. “What’s wrong, Sam?” he inquired.

Sam crossed her arms and hugged herself, as though she felt cold. “I don’t know. I just don’t feel like going back there, not tonight. I… I just don’t want to be alone tonight.”

Apollo grunted in agreement. “Okay. Well, is there any other friends you could stay with?”

“Maybe, but they probably have roommates too; you know as well as I do that those rooms are barely big enough for two people, let alone three.”

“It would just be for one night. Karen should be released in the morning.” Apollo looked at her for a moment. “There’s something else, isn’t there.”

Sam was silent at first, then she reluctantly nodded. “I can’t get over the feeling that something’s trying to split us up somehow. I mean, first there was my fall, then your crash, now this. All the accidents were serious, yet we’ve all survived them.”

Apollo gazed at the stars, adding it all up. “I think you’re looking at things from the wrong perspective. I don’t think these incidents were meant to split us up; rather, they were meant to bring us together.” He saw the puzzlement in her eyes. “If not for your fall, I would never have met you. If not for my crash, we may not have discovered how deeply we feel for each other. The same would apply between Skip and Karen now. The fact that Skip hasn’t been injured yet makes us hope that the pattern ends here; that he’s the lucky one in our group to escape tragedy. I know I certainly wouldn’t want to lose him as a friend, and I’m sure you feel the same way. I do know one thing. For all the unfortunate circumstances that we’ve had to endure, in a way I’m glad we’ve experienced them, because it’s brought us closer together.”

Sam was so deeply moved that Apollo could see a tear glisten in the corner of her eye. Through her emotion, she managed to speak, “You know…” she began, her voice catching in her throat, “you are the most long-winded son of a bitch I know.” With that, she wrapped her arms around him and held him close.

Apollo was shocked at first – he never expected that answer – but he recovered quickly. “Okay, your dorm is out. What shall we do?” he said, pulling away. “I, for one, am not tired. This day still has me going.”

“I’m not sleepy either.” She shrugged.

Apollo raised his eyebrow and smiled. “Well… the moon is exceptionally bright tonight. And the night is still young. That restaurant should still be open… what say we finish our interrupted date?” He spoke in a British accent, and offered her his arm.

“Why, that’s a mah-velous idea, dahling. I’d be delighted.” Accepting the arm, she snuggled close as they strolled through the grounds under the moonlight.

~ * ~

He was sitting in dim light. The floor violently rocked under him, but he managed to keep his seat. He was shouting something, but it was severely muted. Everything seemed to be moving in slow motion. The view on the screen ahead of him showed a dizzying panorama as stars danced crazily. The screen grew and moved closer until it engulfed Apollo. Then, from below, a huge flaming phoenix rose in front of him, spitting fire at him. As it turned its fiery, baleful gaze on him, he felt this unspeakable, overwhelming urge to kill it, but he didn’t know why. He jumped out of his chair and pointed at the bird, yelling silently at it. The phoenix took offense and rose its head, crying out in an ear-piercing shriek. Another gout of flame erupted from its beak towards him. There were explosions… the floor rocked again and he fell. Darkness engulfed him…

~ * ~

Apollo woke up with a start. He was drenched in sweat and his breathing was rapid. He looked at his surroundings: he was in a strange room; he was naked in bed, and Sam was lying next to him in the same state of undress; a rather rumpled coverlet lay draped over them, conforming closely to the contours of their bodies. As the dream consigned itself to his subconscious, he regained his bearings. After they completed their belated dinner date, he and Sam had walked until the moon had set. Then they went off-campus to a hotel Sam told him about. She said it was a good place – her parents had once stayed there when they were visiting – so they rented a room. They made love that night. Any misgivings or concerns Sam had about Apollo’s artificial limbs were allayed during their time on the beach, although his feats that day had garnered some reservations… as well as a little teasing… “I hope you haven’t gotten faster in every aspect.” They had fallen asleep in each other’s arms after their tryst.

Sam stirred at Apollo’s abrupt rise into a sitting position. “What is it?” She said this while half-asleep, her face muffling her voice in the pillow. When she received no answer, she turned and sat up. “Hey… are you okay?” she repeated.

He looked into her eyes, seeing the concern nestled there. “It… it’s nothing. I… just had a bad dream.”

“Oh, is that all?” she said, grabbing him around the neck and wrestling him back down. She cuddled close to him and stroked his hair. “I don’t suppose you’d care to tell me about it.”

He thought for a moment, staring at the ceiling. “Sure, as soon as I figure out what it was… what it meant.” Having calmed down, he suddenly felt very tired. “Right now, all I need is a little rest.”

“Mmmmm… I second the motion,” she whispered into his ear. She instantly returned to sleep. Apollo stayed awake for a little longer. He felt it comforting to feel her curled up against him, one leg draped over him, feeling her breath on the side of his neck. Focusing on those sensations, Apollo grew very relaxed, allowing sleep to regain its hold over him.

 

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