Origins, Chapter 2

 

 

 

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 Two

Curse this Vulcan heat, Apollo swore to himself, not for the first time that day. Four years on this world and it still gets to me. What he neglected to remind himself, however, was the fact that it was now in the middle of their summer, and that even the most frigid of Vulcan manners would have thawed out under 40 Eridani’s heat. During the milder climates (still uncomfortable under human standards), he heard many an offworlder mutter behind his back about green blood coursing through his veins. Apollo always knew that he adapted to different climates with relative ease, so he had to smile at his colleagues’ comments.

He was walking across a courtyard on his way to the Vulcan Science Academy. Science was one of his strong points, so it was small wonder that his advancement in his class had earned him the respect of his peers and the approval of his instructors. The courses were still quite difficult – Captain T’Vek made no boast that their facility was superior; it was plain fact – but then again, Apollo loved a challenge. Approaching the classroom where the last of his studies for the day would be carried out, he was mildly surprised to see his instructor and sponsor waiting for him outside the room. “Sarek,” Apollo stated, in fluent Vulcan and with his hand held up in the formal greeting.

“Greetings, Apollo,” Sarek replied, returning the gesture. He then gestured down the corridor. “I would speak with you.” He started walking down the hall, Apollo lengthening his stride to catch up.

Once beside his teacher, Apollo attempted to convey his thoughts. “If there is a problem with my studies…”

Sarek shook his head. “Your studies are impressive, as they had been since shortly after your arrival. In fact, your control over your mental abilities are excellent. The matter of which I speak is more important.” He paused. “Apollo, you have been here for four Standard years, is this not correct?” Apollo merely nodded, unsure as to where this was leading. Sarek noticed his expression and continued. “I feel that your studies at the Academy can no longer advance with any significance here.”

Apollo couldn’t believe what he heard. “That isn’t possible, T’Kahr. I still have so much to learn here,” he said, his control wavering.

Sarek gave Apollo a sidelong glance, but overlooked his outburst. “Yes, I must agree. You still have much to learn.” He stopped and turned to face his pupil. “However, I feel that you should be given an opportunity to learn more from the planet of your origin.” Sarek paused, letting the information sink in. “I am leaving Vulcan for Earth in 5.73 Standard days, to resume my duties as ambassador there. I would consider it an honor if you would accompany me.”

Apollo stood there, almost dumbstruck. “With all due respect, T’Kahr, I believe the honor would fall upon me.” He dropped some of his formality. “I have been a bit homesick, haven’t I?”

Sarek gave him a slight tilt of his head, the Vulcan equivalent of a shrug. “Your restlessness has been… communicated,” he said matter-of-factly.

Apollo smiled, knowing that within the last six months, he had difficulty trying to hide the fact that he was thinking more and more about what Earth was like. All too quickly, though, his thoughts turned dim, and the smile faded. “Except that Earth really isn’t home for me any longer, is it. No matter how much I’ve learned here, I’ll still be out-of-place when I set foot there.”

“You will adapt to it, as you have adapted to Vulcan. Besides, there is an old Vulcan proverb. ‘The task left unattended today will only need to be attended to on the next day.”

Apollo looked suspiciously at him. “That sounds an awful lot like a saying I had once heard from my time. ‘Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today’.”

Sarek’s eyebrows raised. “Did I not just say that?”

Apollo grinned. If Sarek weren’t Vulcan, he’d have punched him in the arm. Instead he merely said, “Very well. I’ll go with you to Earth. It should be quite interesting to see how much the place has changed without me.”

~ * ~

The trip from Vulcan to Earth was uneventful… after all, Vulcans weren’t known for their small talk. There were times Apollo asked Sarek what the instructor’s ambassadorial duties would entail. Sarek was vague, yet he still managed to satisfy Apollo’s curiosity. When the human wasn’t badgering people for information, he found himself a viewport to stare outside. Watching the illusion of stars streaking past the ship at warp speed, he couldn’t help but be amazed at how he managed to make it this far into space. If only Dad could see me now… he thought with a twinge of sadness. I’m sure he’d be proud of me for what I’ve accomplished in these four short years. But I do wish he could have seen it. One of the things Apollo had tried to do was access any records the Vulcans might have had about Earth’s past. Unfortunately, they didn’t have many around the time of Zephram Cochrane’s flight, and virtually nothing that took place before that time. It was one of the few things he looked forward to upon arriving on Earth.

When they reached Earth, Apollo had some expectations of how it would have improved. After all, he mused, they wouldn’t have been able to become a founding member of this Federation if they hadn’t advanced from where they were when I last set foot on this planet. He frowned to himself. That’s another thing. I have to stop thinking of this place as an alien world. Like it or not, I’m in this century for the duration, and I still came from here.

“You must forgive me. I had forgotten that you have not been here since before even I was born.”

Apollo cleared his head of mist. “Excuse me?” he asked Sarek, for it was obvious that he hadn’t heard what his mentor had said.

Sarek nodded. “I had noticed the look of wonderment on your face and mentioned that you truly must have missed your world, but I neglected to recall that, technically, your homeworld is over 200 years in the past. I suspect that this place is as alien to you as any other place.”

Apollo gravely considered what Sarek had just told him. “Indeed, you are correct, T’Kahr. I am a stranger here.” He sighed. “A stranger in a familiar land.”

If Sarek were human, he would have smiled; instead, he had the look that Apollo had recognized as bemusement. “Ah, but therein lies the challenge. You must put behind you what you knew of your world. It will hamper your efforts to get to know this one better.”

“Wise words as always, T’Kahr. I will attempt to live by them.” By now, the crowd at the spaceport had thinned out a bit, enough for them to travel through. “Shall we?” Apollo said, gesturing to the doors on the other side of the room.

“Indeed. We do not wish to keep Starfleet waiting.” On the way to San Francisco, where Starfleet was headquartered, they had discussed several options to continue Apollo’s education. Apollo felt that Starfleet Academy held the best opportunity for him to catch up on what he missed over the past 200 years.

Without further hesitation, now that Sarek’s entourage had reunited, they headed out the doors.

~ * ~

The first stop was the Vulcan embassy. There Sarek’s aides had efficiently stashed their possessions in their appropriate locations. While they arranged everything for Sarek, he and Apollo headed over to Starfleet Command.

Apollo had to note, ironically, that Starfleet’s Command complex sat on the very site of the United Earth Space Command center. He even recognized a couple of the buildings; of course, some of those buildings were currently the sites of museums, now. Aside from recognition, apprehension was also in the front of Apollo’s mind. It’s so huge, he thought, and so busy. He suddenly remembered his actions on the Surak those four years ago, and kept his astonishment well concealed.

They entered the vast complex and stepped into the nearest turbolift. Silence accompanied them on the ride up to the flag officers’ levels. When they entered the fleet admiral’s reception area, a young lieutenant in a command gold tunic stood up. Seeing and recognizing the Vulcan, he wasn’t sure whether or not to salute or do something Vulcan, so he just stood there. “Well trained, isn’t he?” Apollo muttered.

Sarek dismissed his protege’s remark with a raised eyebrow and spoke to the officer. “Lieutenant, is Admiral Komack in? He has been expecting us.”

The lieutenant, finally able to do something, blurted out, “Yes, yes sir, Ambassador, I’ll let him know you’re here.” He pressed the intercom button on his desk, “Admiral, Ambassador Sarek and his aide to see you, sir.” Apollo’s mouth quirked upward at being labelled an aide.

“Send them in,” replied a voice on the intercom. Sarek gestured to Apollo, and they both entered the inner office.

Admiral Komack stood up from behind his desk as they entered. He gave Sarek the formal split-fingered salute. “Greetings, Ambassador. It’s an honor to meet with you again.”

Sarek mirrored the salute and nodded. “The honor is mutual, Admiral.”

Komack then looked at Apollo. “So, this must be the man you talked with me about.” He offered his hand to Apollo, who, after a moment’s hesitation, shook it. “I’m Admiral Philip Komack.”

“Apollo Racer,” he simply replied.

Komack gestured to the seats in front of the desk. Sarek and Apollo took them, and Komack sat at the same time. “Apollo, from what I understand, you took a nice little trip.”

Apollo, having spent four years on Vulcan, learned their ability to raise an eyebrow at an obvious and/or confusing remark. He used this talent now. “The trip to Earth was pretty much uneventful.”

Komack closed his eyes and counted to five, slowly. “I meant that I understand that you’ve had an experience in time travel.”

Apollo’s face lit up with comprehension. “Ah, you mean how the Vulcans found me. No, I never actually traveled through time. I was simply in a state of suspended animation until I was revived.” Sarek understood that Apollo wasn’t simply trying to emulate a Vulcan attitude; he was using humor, though there was truth in what he said. The admiral didn’t know this, and Sarek felt a little amusement in figuring out the joke, thus participating in it, since Apollo knew that he wouldn’t tell Komack.

This time Komack counted to ten. “I… see.” he said, as politely as possible. “And that makes you how old?”

“Approximately 247.13 Standard years,” Apollo replied.

Komack sighed. He’s been with those Vulcans for too long, he thought. He then smiled. “Funny, you don’t look a day over 200.” Apollo merely looked at Sarek and smirked, recalling that he had said precisely that to Selek on the Surak. He let Komack continue. “I also understand that you have discussed with Sarek about joining Starfleet.”

Okay, Apollo thought, this is where I get serious. “Yes, sir. I’ve realized that after studying on Vulcan, I would be much better off completing my education on Earth. After all, this is originally where I’m from. Besides, even… back in my time… I felt that my place was out there among the stars. I had really hoped to get back there some day.”

“I completely understand that. Tell me, when you were first discovered, why didn’t you come back to Earth in the first place?” the admiral asked, quite innocently.

Apollo contemplated telling him about what he could do. To be sure, he looked at Sarek, but got a look from his mentor discouraging him from mentioning what he had on his mind. He then did something he had been practicing; something that took Sarek completely by surprise. :Why can I not tell him, T’Kahr?:

Sarek took the shock in stride, and showed no outward sign of his startlement. :The admiral does not know,: he responded, :and I do not wish him to know.:

The entire exchange took only a couple of seconds. At the time, Apollo looked to Komack as if he was trying to properly word his response, which he was. “I… really don’t know. I guess at the time, I was still a bit disoriented, aside from a little shocked, at what had happened to me. The Vulcans brought themselves across to me as an intelligent people who knew what was going on in the world… pardon me, galaxy. I figured it would be… logical… to learn what I could from them. After all, they did save my life. I would have felt at odds if I told them to just drop me off at Earth and tell them ‘So long, guys. Thanks for the ride home.'”

Komack sat back in his chair, contemplating the answer. “You know, I wish I could say that I probably would have done the same thing. Unfortunately, I don’t think either I or anyone else has been in your situation. I do know one thing; I’m quite sure that our scientists and historians would love to get their hands on you, to compare your personal experiences of that time period with the data they have about it, that is if you don’t mind. And I think that somewhere between their prodding and poking we can fit Academy training into the equation. How does that sound?”

Now it was Apollo’s turn to contemplate the admiral’s words. It sounded very intriguing. He didn’t care much for the prodding end of the deal, but he was sure that he could work his way through that. “I don’t see much of a problem with it. I do have one question, though, and I don’t mean to nit-pick for an advantage over everyone else. But back in the United Earth Forces, I held the rank of Captain. I don’t suppose that it would have any bearing over my current status, would it?”

“That’s a good question. I’ll have to check on that.” The reply smacked of diplomatic-speak for “not a chance in hell,” but he knew the admiral wouldn’t say that. At least, not in front of Sarek. “But for now,” Komack stood up, implying the end of their meeting, so the others stood as well, “I welcome you both back to Earth.” He reached out, shook Apollo’s hand again, then straightened and gave the Vulcan salute again. “Good luck, Apollo. Peace and long life, Ambassador.”

Sarek said, “Live long and prosper, Admiral,” and they exited the office.

Once outside, Apollo turned to Sarek. “Why did you not want me to let Admiral Komack know about my mental abilities?”

“Why did you not tell me that you were telepathic?”

“I asked you first,” Apollo said, a little defiant. When he realized that tactic wouldn’t cause Sarek to budge, he grimaced. “I didn’t want to tell you about something I wasn’t sure I could do until I knew that I could do it right.”

Sarek raised an eyebrow. “When did you find out that you could project successfully?”

Apollo grinned sheepishly. “Back in Komack’s office.”

Sarek sighed. Four years on Vulcan and he still has the remarkable talent to be elegantly illogical. He then answered the question he had been asked. “I did not wish you to tell the admiral about your abilities because it would give the scientists that much more to analyze. It is enough that they will be taking your time to ask questions about your background, about your time. If they knew about your abilities, you would not have any time for the Academy. They will still discover that you have a high psi factor, but I do not think they will be able to tell that your talents are more than potential.”

“I cannot lie to them about what I can do.”

“This is true, but you can discourage them from asking the proper questions that would force you to reveal what you can do. Besides, your talents do affect you on a personal level. If they realize that, they will not probe further.”

Apollo mulled that thought around in his head a little. “You’re right. They can’t find out anything I don’t want them to.”

“Precisely. Now come. I have much work to do to prepare for tomorrow’s appointments. I would be privileged if you could help me in the preparation.”

“The honor is mine, T’Kahr.

Sarek stopped and faced Apollo. “I believe that title is no longer appropriate. You have surpassed what I can teach you. Aside from the Academy, from here on out, you are your own T’Kahr.

Apollo nodded in agreement as they headed for the embassy.

 

Post a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.