Origins, Chapter 1

 

 

 

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 One

Approximately 220 years later:

The Vulcan science vessel Surak was heading home after five years of exploration. True to their curious nature, the ship’s crew decided to take an uncharted route home, providing a mission of maximum efficiency and results.

T’Vek sat in her chair in the rear of the bridge, surveying the officers there with her. She had heard that the captains on the Starfleet ships considered themselves proud of their crews. As a Vulcan, T’Vek would never admit to such a human emotion as pride, though she did consider her people exceptional.

Presently, they were approaching a cometary fragment. Usually, if a comet breaks up, the fragments remain in the system’s oort cloud until they form a new comet or their altered orbit brings them into a planet’s gravitational well. This particular fragment, however, appeared to have gone rogue. It had been drifting through open space for quite some time. T’Vek wanted to make sure it didn’t pass through any inhabited systems, and was prepared to destroy it if there was any threat.

A flashing light in T’Vek’s peripheral vision caught her attention, and she turned toward the source. As she did so, her “science” officer (they were, in fact, all science officers… this Vulcan just happened to have the job of monitoring the sensors) turned toward the viewer. “There is something metallic inside this fragment. From our sensor readings, it appears to be….” He looked up, then gazed back into the scanner, as though to double-check his findings. “Captain, there is a vessel inside the fragment.”

T’Vek’s eyebrow rose. “A vessel? Are you certain?”

“Yes, captain. And more intriguing is that we are reading a lifesign from within the vessel. It is faint, but it exists.”

T’Vek stood to approach the science station. “An unpowered vessel housing a life form?” She looked toward the screen. “Curious,” she concluded, with just the exact amount of dramatics needed for the situation. “Does it pose a danger to us?”

“Negative. Radiation is within normal levels. The vessel has primitive thrust capabilities and pulse laser cannons. It is small, perhaps only made for one person.”

T’Vek nodded. “And yet we have the mystery of this life form. Is it small enough for our cargo bay?”

The science officer nodded. “We may have to carve some of the ice away, but it will fit.”

She turned once again toward the screen, going over every logical course of action in her mind. Only when she reached a decision did she speak again. “Very well. Helm, use our phasers to remove as much ice from the exterior as possible without damaging the craft itself. Then activate the tractor beam and bring it aboard. We shall try to ascertain what we can from this vessel.” The helm complied, and soon threads of light lanced out, slicing bits of cometary ice away. When what remained was the rough shape of the derelict, a faint shadow of light connected themselves with the it, drawing it towards their ship.

~ * ~

The first thing Apollo saw when he opened his eyes was the ceiling of some room. He assumed that he was in a hospital, because upon glancing from side to side he could see beds all along the walls, but this was no hospital like he had ever seen before. He tried to rise and found he met with resistance. He looked down at himself and saw that he was strapped down. Had whoever rescued Apollo deemed him a threat? Unfortunately, no one was present for him to protest his treatment.

As though in response to his thought, the door at the far end of the room slid open with a shoosh (shoosh?, he thought), and someone came through. He stood over him with what looked to be some sort of scanning device, but it, like the hospital, was like nothing he had ever seen. The person took the readings and turned to face someone else who just entered. It was then that Apollo noticed the pointed, upswept ears. He thought the two people were talking, but he couldn’t understand anything of what they were saying, and he was fluent in every major language on Earth. He tried to get their attention by using first one dialect, then another. He even tried to combine a couple of them, though it came out really horrible. Finally, he got frustrated and did what he should have done in the first place. “Hey!” he yelled, “What does a guy have to do to get attention around here?”

The two aliens turned toward Apollo and did something totally unexpected to him. “Are you delirious?”

It wasn’t so much the question that caught him off guard, but rather the fact that he could understand them. Therefore, all he could reply with was, “Huh?”

The strange man mused the situation. “Perhaps you’ve sustained some form of brain damage. You sounded as though you were cycling though the various Terran languages. Can you understand me?”

It finally occurred to Apollo’s brain to send a message to his gaping jaw to utter some words. “You speak English?”

They looked at each other. “Of course,” the other one said matter-of-factly. “But the accurate term is ‘Federation Standard’.”

“Say what?” Apollo said, trying not to sound too stupid, though failing miserably.

The other two moved away from him and spoke among themselves. After a few minutes, one of them returned to him and said, “Do you not realize you are not from this region of space?”

Apollo could only shake his head, an idle thought going through his head, that sounded a lot like “You’re not from around here, are you.”

He decided to explain his patient’s situation to him. “I am Selek… a healer, as you have probably deduced. My assistant is T’Less. From the information we have gathered about you, you are a Terran male, approximately 26 of your years of age. You seem to be in excellent physical condition, which indicates that you maintained an adequate regimen of exercise and that your body was well preserved. All your senses seem to work normally….”

Something clicked in Apollo’s head, clearing the fog in his mind. What a minute, what did he just say? “Whoa, whoa, back up a minute. What did you just tell me?”

“I said your senses seem to be…”

“No, before that.”

“I said you were well preserved.”

Apollo hesitated. “Well preserved,” he repeated.

“Yes.” Selek said stoically. Apollo’s eyes took on a glazed look. The two physicians looked at each other in a way that confirmed it all. It was a look of realizing how much their patient truly didn’t know. At a nod from Selek, T’Less released the straps from Apollo, then she left the room. Once she did that, Apollo carefully tested himself, sitting up slowly, then he swung his legs over the edge of the bed and rubbed his wrists to get circulation back into his hands, all this while being observed by Selek. Apollo hopped off the bed; he staggered a little, and Selek stepped toward him. But he waved the doctor off and managed to stand on his own. Once Selek was satisfied that Apollo was steady enough, he gestured toward an open doorway, and Apollo slowly followed him through.

He had entered a small office. There was a desk and two chairs, with what appeared to be a computer built into a corner of the desk. What looked to the pilot to be floppy disks of various colors were neatly stacked to one side of the computer. With another gesture from Selek, Apollo took the seat in front of the desk, while the doctor sat down behind the desk. He then sat there, staring through steepled fingers at Apollo, who was feeling a bit uncomfortable about now. After what seemed like hours, Selek sat up. “You must understand that I have never experienced such a situation as this. It is difficult to find the words to explain it.”

Apollo got a little irritated. “Look,” he said, “I’ve never been one to enjoy people beating around the bush with me. Just get down to the nitty-gritty.”

An eyebrow shot up on Selek’s head. “‘Beating around the bush’? ‘Nitty… gritty’? I do not understand.”

He sure looks genuinely confused, Apollo thought, so he took a deep breath. “Beating around the bush… you know, when people are afraid of telling me something that I may not like or understand, so they stretch the truth a bit, or they leave out a minor detail or two to make it sound better. The best way you can get on my good side is to give me straight answers and leave how I interpret it up to me.”

Selek sat back, his other eyebrow joining the one that previously entered his hairline. “Fascinating. What a remarkably open outlook for a Terran to have. Very well… I would certainly wish to start out… ‘on your good side.'” He leaned in closer, as if getting ready to tell a secret. “First of all, let me say that it was always my intention to tell the truth, since it is against a Vulcan’s principles to lie. I am merely trying to deduce the proper method of informing you of your situation with a minimal amount of stress on your part.”

“A Vulcan.”

“Yes. That is what you Terrans call our race. When we first discovered your race, we found that you couldn’t pronounce our name. So after some discussion we found that your term, ‘Vulcan,’ seemed the most appropriate.” He paused to allow Apollo to register the tidbit of information before getting back on track. “You were found adrift inside a cometary fragment. All systems on your vessel were shut down and you were in a form of stasis. The substances within the fragment apparently worked as a cryogenic catalyst. At first we were concerned as to how we would revive you. This ship hasn’t had much contact with humans or Starfleet, so your physiology provided us with a minor puzzle. However, once we were certain you were indeed human, we were able to logically deduce your proper vital statistics so we could revive you without causing any harm. Any damage caused by your stasis has been easily repaired.”

The doctor had paused to let all this set into Apollo’s brain. He gave the physician a nod. “Okay… so where does this ‘well-preserved’ part come in? How long have I been in this stasis condition?”

“You must understand, your ship seemed primitive compared to Earth ships we’ve seen. We took the liberty of analyzing it. According to our preliminary results, you had been in stasis for over 200 years.”

Had it been possible for Apollo’s jaw to drop to the floor, it would have done so. As it was, it simply hung loose as a chill made its way up his spine. Apollo stood up and started pacing around the office. When he decided that he didn’t have enough room, he walked out into the main area and paced there. Selek simply followed him. Apollo finally stopped and faced the harbinger of this news. “So what you’re saying is that I’m over 200 years old.”

“Possibly. What was the year you last recall?”

“That’s easy. August of 2047. I’d been looking forward to this test flight.”

Selek replied in the blink of an eye. “You were in stasis for exactly 221.43 years,” he replied.

Apollo didn’t know what to say, so he chuckled. “That’s strange, I don’t feel a day over 200.” He got an odd look from Selek. “That’s a joke. You know, humor?”

Selek thought for a moment, then it registered. “Ah, that is humor. Forgive me, I hadn’t experienced much of that, either.”

“I can tell,” Apollo replied dryly. “You said you’re a Vulcan.”

“That is correct,” Selek said.

“O-kay,” he prompted. “Could you perhaps tell me a little more about yourselves?”

“Certainly,” he said. “We come from a star that Terrans have labeled 40 Eridani. We were once primitive and savage, like you were in your past. However, through the teachings of Surak, whom you could compare to your Moses, we learned to control, if not eliminate, our emotions. Once that was accomplished, peace settled over my people. Late in your 21st century – shortly after you disappeared, in fact – we discovered that your species had discovered faster-than-light travel, and contacted you with the hopes of establishing a relationship.”

I’ll be damned, Apollo thought, that crazy nut, Cochrane, that I read about wasn’t really so crazy after all.

“At first,” Selek continued, “your people exercised grave caution, but fortunately, our two worlds managed to unite. Together with other worlds, we formed the United Federation of Planets.” He broke off. “Forgive me. This experience has me very intrigued. In addition to leaving out important details that were crucial in the Federation’s development, I have also neglected to inform the captain that you are awake.” Selek walked over to a box on the wall and pressed a button. “Sickbay to Bridge.”

T’Vek,” was the only response.

“The Terran is awake. Other than being disoriented, he appears to have been unaffected by his time in stasis.”

Very well, I shall come to speak with him.” The statement sounded like a dismissal.

Apollo decided to butt in. “Excuse me, Captain T’Vek, this is Captain Apollo A. Racer. If you don’t mind, I’d appreciate going to you. I have a feeling that it would be appropriate.”

The intercom was silent. Selek took the opportunity to be inquisitive. “Forgive me. ‘Captain’?”

Apollo shrugged sheepishly. “Well, I was a Captain, in the United Earth Forces. But from what I understand, I guess that organization probably no longer exists.”

“You are correct. You have remarkable insight, for a Terran.”

“You mean we’ve gotten dumber over the years? Oh, what did I come back to?” Apollo noted the puzzled expression as a reply and wiped the grin off his face. “Sorry. Another joke. I have a habit of making them when I’m nervous.”

Selek thought about it. “Ah… I see,” was all he said.

Captain Racer,” said the voice on the intercom, “have Selek escort you to the Bridge.” The intercom went silent again. Apollo thought that it almost sounded as if T’Vek was condescending, as though she thought that it wasn’t important who he said he was.

Selek took that as his cue. He stepped toward the door, and it slid open again. “This way,” he said. Apollo followed him out as the door closed behind him.

As they walked through the corridor, Apollo gawked at his surroundings; it was natural, of course, as he had never been aboard a ship from the future. He also noticed that Selek refrained from talking with him any further; in fact, it almost seemed to him that the Vulcan no longer wanted to be seen with him, and he couldn’t understand why.

They reached a set of double doors at the end of the corridor. They opened, revealing what looked like an elevator. Once they got in, the doors closed, but they didn’t go anywhere. “Hey, where are the buttons on this car? I’m assuming this bridge of yours is on a different floor.”

Selek looked at Apollo for a few moments; then, satisfied that he made his charge a little uncomfortable, he spoke. “Yes, the bridge is seven levels up. There are no buttons because the turbolifts are voice activated. You are no doubt wondering then why we haven’t moved yet.”

“Well, yeah, that would have been my next question,” Apollo said sarcastically.

“I am starting to wonder if it would be appropriate for the captain to speak to you.”

“What!?”

“Throughout our entire walk, you appeared as though you have never been on a ship before.”

“Well, I certainly haven’t been on a ship this big…”

“And your actions are that of a child.”

Apollo’s look could have burned through Selek as well as the turbolift wall. “What do you mean, a child? Are you calling me immature? Hey, look, I didn’t ask for the situation I’m in right now! How the hell can I help it if I was a damn popsicle for over 200 years!?”

“That was 221…”

“I don’t give a damn how many years it was! I’m here now, I’m out of place, and everything’s new to me! The least you could do is give me the courtesy of being astounded by my surroundings! Cripes, what did you expect? I would come out of suspended animation, look around, and say ‘Oh, yes. I understand. It’s perfectly reasonable for me to run into a comet, then wake up in the distant future. It’s all so clear to me now.’ I’m sorry, but we ‘Terrans’ are kind of like that. When we’re suddenly thrown into a totally strange environment, we’re going to be overly curious.” When he finished, Apollo crossed his arms and glared intensely at Selek, as if daring him to have a rebuttal.

He half-expected the Vulcan to do just that. He had experiences where he worked up heads of steam over being wronged, only to have his opponent calmly throw a wet blanket on his temper and undercut his momentum.

He found that he was surprised by Selek’s reply. “My apologies. I was ignoring the circumstances by which you have come to us. You are correct that we should have assumed that since you have journeyed this far into the future, you would not have such technology. Therefore, your reaction would be logical. And… it is said that Vulcans have also been known to be… ‘overly curious’ at times.” He paused, giving Apollo sufficient time to cool down. “Bridge,” he stated.

“Huh?” Apollo said, and the turbolift started moving.

“Bridge. That is the key word that gives the turbolift computer our destination, and it responds by taking us there.”

“Oh,” Apollo said. He felt a little awkward about losing his temper, and vowed that he would maintain a tighter rein on his emotions. After all, if an entire race could do it, why not a simple human?

By the time the lift stopped and the doors opened, Apollo seemed to Selek like a completely different person. There looked to be no trace of the human that had such an emotional outburst before. Selek snapped out of his introspect when the doors opened. Apollo was amazed at the sight of the Bridge, but he tried to keep his astonishment hidden. The chair in the center of the Bridge swiveled around, revealing a rather attractive woman. Apollo decided to clamp down on those thoughts, too.

Selek hesitated a moment. To his relief, Apollo maintained this new demeanor on the bridge. “Captain, this is Apollo Racer.”

T’Vek stood up. Great, she would have to be a babe, Apollo thought. Settle down now. No sense blowing this because of hormones. He had his hand halfway up when she raised hers, palm forward and fingers split in the middle. “Greetings, Captain.”

“Greetings to you, too, Captain,” Apollo said. He brought his hand back down, absently wiping it off on his hip. “This is a very impressive ship you have here.”

T’Vek lifted an eyebrow. “In actuality, this ship is not mine. It belongs to our government.” Remembering that this was a human that she was talking to, she appended, “But thank you.” She sensed that he had apparently noted her hesitation. “Forgive me, but my travels rarely bring me in contact with humans.”

“I understand,” Apollo responded. “My travels didn’t exactly prepare me to contact Vulcans, either.”

Her other eyebrow disappeared under her hair, so he took that as a request to explain. “That was a little joke. Where I come from, we didn’t meet any aliens yet, let alone Vulcans.” Suddenly, he realized that he might possibly have offended her. “But… I guess I’m the alien at the moment.”

“Quite,” was her reply. She started circling the bridge, slowly taking him into perspective. “Do you realize the position you are in, Captain?” she asked.

Apollo gulped. I knew I shouldn’t have said what I did, he chided himself. “Look, I’m sorry about that crack about aliens. I didn’t mean to offend…”

T’Vek stopped her pacing. “I did not take offense to your statement. I was referring to the fact that you are a person from the past. A 21st century Terran who has survived into the 23rd century. I dare say such an experience is rather unique.”

“Well, yes, I suppose it is.” Apollo seemed rather puzzled. “Where is this all going?”

T’Vek’s pacing brought her in front of Apollo. “I have received word from Starfleet Command on Earth.” She paused to ensure he understood what she was saying. He didn’t. “That is the equivalent to the United Earth Forces of your time. They informed me that the choice is yours. You may decide to go back to Earth, and reassimilate yourself into society.” He had thought that going back to Earth was his only choice, until she continued, “Or, if you choose, you may return to Vulcan with us. Our facilities are more than adequate to bring you… ‘up-to-date’, as you humans say, to your present surroundings. They are certainly superior to Earth’s facilities.”

If you do say so yourself, Apollo thought, God, what an ego.

“There is also another thing. Perhaps it was caused as a result of your time in stasis. The elements in the source of your suspended animation also had an additional benefit, according to the medical report. You appear to possess a neurochemical in your brain that we’ve identified with certain telepathic species in the past. Our Science Academy on Vulcan would be very useful in exploring this trait, should you choose to go that route.”

Apollo, for some reason, had a difficult time keeping his attention on what she was saying. “Huh? Yeah, I’ve… had occasion to have a… premonition or two… in the past.” Suddenly the floor seemed a bit uncertain to him. Am I a bit feverish or has it always been this hot in here, he asked himself. With that thought, he started swaying. How come the room’s starting to spin?

Selek was there to steady him before he even realized that the doctor had moved. “Forgive me, Captain. In light of this discovery, I neglected to remember that humans are susceptible to our environment. The air here for him is too thin and the temperature too high.”

Apollo nodded weakly. “I wondered… why I was having… a little trouble breathing. This choice you hit me with… isn’t helping any, either. I need… time… to think about it.”

T’Vek nodded. “Understood. I believe that we were all somewhat remiss from our courtesies. As I said, the uniqueness of your situation has caught us off guard. Forgive our oversight.”

The human smiled. “No… offense taken. I know this may… seem strange… since I just woke up… from the longest catnap in history, but I think I need to rest.” On that note, Apollo passed out; Selek caught him before he hit the floor.

“Arrange some quarters for our guest; with the proper environmental adjustments.” T’Vek said, nodding to Selek. He carried Apollo toward the turbolift. “Selek,” she added. When he turned around, she continued, “Inform me when he wakes. I would be interested to speak to him again.” Selek nodded and entered the turbolift with his unconscious patient.

 

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