Origins, Chapter 20

 

 

 

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 Twenty

The Valiant approached the planet Fremma III at the end of the week. As they entered orbit, Apollo had M\’Ress hail them. \”This is Captain Racer of the starship Valiant. Do you read us?\”

The planet\’s arc was replaced by the image of a haggard humanoid. She was rather thin, with gray skin, an elongated face, and pupilless black eyes. Her hair was up in a bun, but it appeared that a few strands had gone astray. \”Go away! We don\’t need any more of your kind here. We\’ve already lodged a complaint with the Federation about you.\”

\”Wait a minute. I don\’t understand. Have you been attacked?\”

The person looked angrily at Apollo. \”No, it was worse. We were violated. A group of your men came down; claimed they requested shore leave. Then without so much as a by-your-leave, they went through our capital like a bunch of barbarians, causing civil unrest, several fights. They even raped one of our tavern maids. We tried to stop them, but they threatened that if any action were taken against them, they\’d destroy us.\”

Sam heard a sickening creak from Apollo\’s direction. He had a hold of an arm of his chair during the Fremman\’s entire tirade. She could obviously see the damage he was causing to it. She quietly moved to his side and put a hand on his shoulder. \”Captain,\” she said quietly, \”Apollo?\”

He turned to her, and she lifted his hand from the chair, showing him how he\’d twisted and crushed the metal underneath. He looked in her eyes, saw understanding and support, and grinned sheepishly. \”Oops.\” He returned his attention to the screen. \”If I may be allowed to beam down, perhaps I can…\”

\”No! No! I will not have a repeat of the incidents!\”

\”Please… I understand what you have just gone through. I promise you, it would only be myself and three of my most trusted officers, and we would be unarmed. No one else. You can even have us under guard if you wish.\”

She thought about it for a moment. \”Very well. We will give you the coordinates. It will be only you and your three officers, and you will all come down unarmed. We will be waiting.\” She cut the communication.

Apollo stood immediately. \”Thelem, you and Sam. M\’Ress, have Commander Williams take the conn, and summon Dr. Sorel to the transporter room.\” The three of them entered the lift and the doors closed on them.

~ * ~

His suggestions were taken to heart. When they beamed down, they were met by the person who talked to Apollo, along with six guards, all of whom trained their weapons on them. Under this guard, Apollo requested that they be led to whoever was injured. Still skeptical, but confident since the guards were there, the leader, who finally introduced herself as Minister Brekken of the Crea colony, led the landing party to the nearest hospital.

As soon as Sorel saw the people injured in the fights with the Firestone crew, he went to work. After a quick scan, he reported. \”Captain, these people were shot with phasers set for heavy stun. It has had some detrimental effects on their nervous systems.\”

\”Can you help them?\”

\”Yes, sir, I can.\” He reached for his medikit and his guards shoved their weapons toward him. Sorel held out his hands. \”Captain, may I? I cannot treat these people under such intense scrutiny. They will only interfere with my efforts.\”

Apollo sighed and turned to Brekken. \”Minister, I give you my word that my doctor is only going to help your people. If you know anything about healers, you know that they\’ve taken an oath to save lives rather than take them.\”

Brekken thought about it. Apollo found that she mulled over basically everything he said. Finally, she looked up. \”You have wisdom in your words. Guards, let him through.\”

The guards stepped away and Sorel went to work. \”This should not take long, sir,\” he said.

Apollo gestured to the hallway. \”Minister, may I have a word with you?\” The four of them, the minister, Apollo, and the two Fremmans guarding him, headed out the door. \”Minister, I fully understand what you must have been through. But let me assure you that where the men you dealt with before wanted only to harm, we want only to help. These men are fugitives, renegades. We are searching for them, but in the process, we are… cleaning up the messes they leave behind, and it pains me because our reputation is being sullied. I speak on behalf of the Federation when I say that we wouldn\’t want you to judge our entire Starfleet by the actions of a few men. Please believe me that we\’ll do everything in our power to make reparations for what happened.\”

Sorel came out of the ward. \”I have repaired the damage to their nervous systems. If I may be allowed to see the rape victim.\”

Apollo looked at Brekken. She seemed to finally allow his words to sink in. \”This way.\”

They returned to the ward. Brekken dismissed the guards, to Sam\’s and Thelem\’s surprise, and they headed deeper into the ward. She opened an inner door, and they looked in on a slight figure laying in the room\’s only bed. Sam gasped. \”She looks no older than about fourteen!\”

Brekken nodded. \”Her fourteenth summer is approaching. I would like her to see her fifteenth. You see…\” her voice faltered and she paled, \”she is my daughter. Now you know my reasons for doubting you.\”

Apollo clenched his fists. \”I assure you, we\’ll do what we can. Sorel.\”

\”Right away, Captain.\” He rushed to the bedside. After a moment, he said, \”The girl has suffered a severe trauma. I am afraid I can\’t do anything for her here.\”

Again Apollo turned to Brekken for help. \”Minister, our ship has the resources possible to help your daughter. If you\’ll only allow me, I can…\”

\”Save it, Captain. For the moment, you\’ve convinced me that you are trustworthy. If your healer claims she is beyond our help here, then I will allow you to help my daughter. I shall send my husband with her.\” A man stepped forward and nodded.

Apollo smiled and gestured to Sorel, who took out his communicator. \”Dr. Sorel to Valiant. Three to beam up. Have a medical team waiting in the transporter room. Energize.\” The doctor, the patient and her father disappeared.

Apollo smiled at the woman. \”I assure you, Minister Brekken, she is in the best of hands.\” He clapped his hands and turned to the rest of his party. \”Well people, shall we get to work?\”

~ * ~

It took four days to repair the damage caused by the Firestone\’s crew. The captain threw himself into the work as much as his crew. Any reservations the minister had about them rapidly dissolved when she realized their intentions were genuine. She and her husband alternated times aboard the ship at their daughter\’s side.

The captain had been helping an engineering team erect a wall to one of the houses. His jacket and turtleneck lay folded-up off to the side. Brekken was planetside and just about to ask the captain about how they were doing when his clothing started to beep. He grinned sheepishly to the minister, wiped his brow off on the sleeve of his t-shirt and retrieved his communicator from the clothes. \”Racer here.\”

\”Sorel, Captain,\” the doctor replied. \”You and the minister should be pleased to know that her daughter is expected to make a full recovery. My apologies for the length of time it took, but I wished to be sure of her prognosis before contacting you.\”

Apollo looked to a grinning Brekkan before smiling himself and saying, \”That\’s wonderful news, Doctor.\”

\”We have had instances before when women were taken in such a barbaric manner. We were not equipped to deal with the damage to the person\’s feelings and the disruption of her social interaction. More often than not, such cases ended tragically, as the woman could not live with her shame.\”

More often than not, such cases ended tragically.\” Brekkan bowed her head, saddened. When she looked up at the captain again, tears trailed down her cheeks. \”I did not wish to see my daughter suffer the same fate as those other women. She has too much to live for.\”

Apollo smiled back at her. \”And your daughter will live. The doctor merely helped her along the road to recovery. You and your people will need to comfort her and help her deal with her ordeal. But it can be done.\”

He looked to his first officer. She shrugged and smiled. \”We have been pushing ourselves rather hard. A little R and R would be welcome.\”

Apollo nodded. \”Doctor, inform the rest of the crew that shore leave will be granted. However, there\’s still a bit of work left to do here. We\’ll continue having teams rotate out in helping these people rebuild their homes. Racer out.\” He put his communicator away and turned to Sam. \”See that everyone on the surface knows about the shore leave, too.\” She nodded and headed off.

The people of Fremma were pleasantly surprised by differences between the two ships\’ crews. They found the Firestone\’s crew brash, cruel and barbaric… by contrast, the crew of the Valiant were civilized, professional, kind, and very helpful. They understood what these people must have suffered and were doing what they could to alleviate any fears the people might have suffered. It made Apollo proud to see his people so willing to undo the fears that were wrought by Stevens\’ minions.

The day before they were to depart, he was out in a field, taking in the green pastures and the bright flowers. He heard footsteps rustling behind him. \”Cordova once looked like this,\” he called out.

\”You can\’t be everywhere,\” was the reply. Apollo turned to see Sam strolling up to him. \”Besides, why think of Cordova when you\’re here amidst all this? We know what it looked like, and we know what happened to it. Why mar the beauty that is here with the horrors that we\’ve seen?\”

Apollo refused to give up his mood without a fight. \”Because he\’s still out there. He could be turning another planet to ruins while we\’re here… he could be out there ruining other people\’s lives… he has to be stopped.\”

Sam had enough of the conversation. \”Then why don\’t you get on your communicator, call the ship, cancel shore leave, and go chasing after him again.\” Her firm stance and the fire in her eyes told Apollo she wasn\’t going to back down.

He gave up the fight, and his shoulders slumped to physically register it. \”You\’re right… I can\’t do that to the crew. I\’m responsible for their morale as well as their physical health. They\’ve earned this respite, and I can\’t take it away from them.\”

She took his arm and held it in both hands. \”Then accept the present. I know you… you\’ll catch up to him. Once you make up your mind, nothing escapes you. Be concerned later.\” She let a smile creep onto her face. \”For right now, do as your crew is doing. Enjoy yourself. You deserve it as much as they do.\”

He took her by the shoulders. \”I have been beating myself over the head with this, haven\’t I.\”

Sam reached up and caressed his cheek. \”You try and make everyone\’s problems your own. A noble attitude, but you need to learn to take everything in its own time.\” She brought her other hand up and cupped his face. \”And please remember that you\’re not alone in this… you don\’t need to shoulder the burdens all by yourself.\”

Something changed right in front of Sam. His eyes lost the hard edge to their light and once again took on a soft glow. She thought it amazing that at one moment, she could get a headache from that glare, and the next, she could be caressed by their warmth. He drew her in for a hug, picking her up off the ground. \”I really needed to hear that. Thank you, Sam. You have no idea how much you mean to me.\”

She wrapped her arms around the back of his neck. \”Maybe, but I do know that I love you very much, even if there are times you can be very thick headed.\”

\”I know, I know. I shouldn\’t allow myself to get that way. I love you, too.\” He studied her face for a moment, then made a decision. He held her close. \”I think… it\’s time I shared something with you.\”

She was instantly intrigued. \”Oh?\”

He nodded. \”Before we reunited on the Valiant, I found a way I could release some tension, especially while I was planetside.\”

She nodded. \”I know. You have those Vulcan techniques of yours. I have to admit, this does look like a good spot for…\”

\”No, no… even better than that. What would you think if I told you…\” He leaned in close to her and whispered, \”I can fly.\”

She gazed intensely in his eyes, their faces mere inches apart. His face betrayed no emotion, though he seemed to be waiting to see what she said. Then she slowly smiled. \”Yeah, right. Get out of here.\”

The corners of his mouth turned up to match her grin. \”No, seriously, I can.\”

She started chuckling. \”You\’re being silly.\”

\”You don\’t believe me.\”

\”No, I don\’t believe you.\”

\”We\’re doing it now.\”

\”Stop it.\”

\”You still don\’t believe me.\”

\”No, I don\’t. Now cut it out.\”

\”Look down.\”

\”Will you stop joking? I don\’t…\”

\”Go on. Look down.\” She rolled her eyes and decided to humor him. She looked down.

They were five feet off the ground and slowly gaining altitude.

Sam\’s face suddenly went white. She pulled close to Apollo and hung on for dear life. \”Oh my God. What are you doing?\”

\”I\’m flying.\”

\”OhGodohGodohGod.\” She buried her face in his chest and froze.

Apollo grinned at her reaction. But then he got serious. He stopped his ascent; they hung a mere fifteen feet off the ground. \”Sam, look at me.\”

Sam somehow shook her head violently back and forth while keeping it in his chest. \”Nononononono…\” She whimpered. \”This isn\’t possible…\”

\”Sam, look at me. That\’s an order, Commander.\” She didn\’t budge. He grasped her chin and as he forced her head up he hissed, \”Look at me!\” He looked in her eyes. Her pupils were tiny as pinpoints. My God, she\’s afraid of heights. Then he mentally hit himself in the head. Of course. After what happened to her back at the Academy, it\’s no wonder. He spoke calmly and slowly. \”Sam, you are going to be all right. You are not going to fall. I am not going to drop you. Do you understand me?\” She absently nodded. It was almost as if she was mesmerized by his stare. He noticed this. \”Sam, don\’t. Snap out of it. I\’m not going to allow any harm to come of you. Okay?\”

\”Uh huh.\” She finally found her voice, and she relaxed her grip. He held her with both arms so she could shift to a more comfortable position.

Once she realized she wasn\’t going to fall, she laughed nervously. \”I can\’t believe it. You really are flying.\”

He nodded, giving her his warm smile. \”I told you I could. Like I said, when I feel too burdened, I do this. Comes in handy, too. This is how I got around the cliff to the miners on Cordova so quickly.\” He smiled, watching her face as items clicked into place in her mind. \”Do you think you can handle a little movement?\”

She looked at her feet, at how far off the ground they were. Then she looked at him, as if to measure his words. She slowly nodded.

Apollo grinned. \”Then hold on.\” She gave a little yip as he started moving across the ground, but then she took great interest in his actions. She looked up at his face. He did seem perfectly content to use this way of travel. More so, he was equally pleased to be able to share the experience with someone that he cared a great deal for. She decided to take stock of the situation. Here she was, flying with a man that she loved deeply. Granted, they were flying without a ship, but if she overlooked that fact, she was fine. An awfully prominent thing to overlook.

She suddenly realized he was talking to her. \”Excuse me?\” she asked.

He repeated himself. \”I said, when I would fly, and the sky was overcast, I would rise above the clouds, where the weather was more suitable.\” She wondered why he said that until she looked past him and noticed that it had grown cloudy. He slowly rose up into the cover. She tensed a little as she realized they were going higher, but then she smiled as she felt the water vapor brush past her. Then, suddenly, they were through the clouds, looking at the brightly shining sun. Any arguments in her head disappeared as the view filled her with awe.

Apollo saw the expression on her face and decided on a little maneuverability. He swooped down below the clouds causing her to yelp with his sudden movement, and skimmed a mere ten feet off the ground. She gasped as they dropped, but she was getting used to the fact of not having anything under her feet. In fact, she was actually starting to enjoy herself. She was amazed at how Apollo was able to keep himself in the air. \”How can you possibly do this?\”

He smiled. \”I\’m not exactly sure. When I first discovered I could do this, I started doing some research. At first I thought I was generating my own graviton field, much like a shuttle\’s antigrav field. But there\’s no way I can be certain. All I know is I can do it.\”

\”You mean there\’s no way you can do any tests?\”

\”Sorel can\’t find anything in his medical scans, other than my altered biology.\”

They were silent for a while, enjoying the moment. A flock of indigenous avians soared by them, swerving to give the couple a wide berth. She grinned. \”Can you go faster than this?\”

He chuckled. \”So you want a little speed, eh? Are you sure, seeing as how you reacted at first?\”

\”I trust you.\” Those three words held more meaning than he could have ever thought.

Apollo nodded. \”I think I can accommodate you. Hang on.\”

She turned around in his arms so she could see where they were going. This wasn\’t an easy task while hanging upside down, but she managed. Apollo wouldn\’t tell her, but the moment he lifted off, his forcefield surrounded her. She couldn\’t fall even if she wanted to, but it felt nice with her holding onto him. He\’d let her know later… right now he was going to enjoy this. Once she nodded that she was secure, Apollo took off. He flew low over treetops and towns, the sights passing by in a blur.

Thelem was walking with M\’Ress in one village when they noticed that villagers were pointing low in the sky, staring. They followed their attention until a figure streaked overhead. They almost thought they could hear someone go, \”Wahoo!\” Before they could track it, it was gone.

M\’Ress stood agape in the direction the streak headed. \”What in blazes was that?\”

Thelem merely crossed his arms and shook his head at the sight. Smiling, he muttered, \”Show off.\”

Sam had shouted when they went over the village. \”I saw some of our crew down there.\” She looked up at her lover, who merely smiled and concentrated on the task at hand. She couldn\’t help but have a grin plastered on her face… she felt as exhilarated as a child on her first shuttle flight.

Finally, Apollo headed back to their original spot in the field. The sun was setting as they landed, bathing the clouds in a pink glow. He set her down and faced her. \”Are you okay?\”

\”Okay?\” Sam laughed. \”I feel wonderful! Thank you… now I understand what you meant before.\” Her smile disappeared temporarily. \”You must have known I had a fear of heights.\”

\”I surmised as much.\”

\”I got rid of it up there with you.\”

\”Glad to be of service.\”

\”You truly can lose yourself up there.\”

\”Only when I\’m with you.\”

\”I\’ll bet you say that to all the girls.\”

Apollo thought a moment. \”No,\” he said, quite sincerely. \”Actually, this was the first time I\’ve ever flown with someone.\”

His tone broke through her headiness. She gazed into his eyes, realizing what he was saying.

He confirmed her thoughts. \”And quite frankly, I don\’t think I could do that with anyone else. Not feeling as I did up there.\”

She figured that the scenery and the set-up line couldn\’t be better. She drew close and kissed him. As she did, she could feel them hover just off the ground. She broke the embrace to see how far… they were only a few inches up. She looked at his face.

\”This is how I have always felt every time we were together. I was just never able to show it. Until now.\” They held each other tight and watched together as the stars came out.

~ * ~

The next morning, Thelem was coordinating the beamup of crew members who were still planetside. He was standing with Minister Brekken when Apollo and Sam were walking into town, arm-in-arm. \”Good morning, Captain, Commander. We were just getting ready to leave. I would think that it would be slightly embarrassing if we were to leave without our commanding officer.\” He cocked his head. \”We tried to contact you since last night. Is your communicator malfunctioning?\”

Apollo looked at Sam. She shrugged. \”I don\’t think so. Wait a minute.\” he replied. He patted his chest, then checked around his waist. He mocked a startled expression. \”You know, I must have left it in my other uniform. How thoughtless of me.\” Sam covered her mouth with her hand to hide her smile.

Thelem sighed. \”Yes. I believe you have a phrase you\’re fond of using. \’Tell me another one.\’\”

Apollo gave him a broad grin. \”We\’ll leave within the hour. Minister Brekken, I want to thank you for your hospitality. I hope my people weren\’t too much trouble.\”

Brekken smiled warmly. \”On the contrary, your people have been extraordinarily respectful. I\’m afraid I must apologize for doubting the integrity of your Starfleet. I speak on behalf of my people when I say that anytime you wish to return, you are welcome here.\”

\”Thank you again, Minister. Well, Thelem, is everything under control?\”

He checked his padd. \”We are the only ones left here. We can beam up at your discretion.\”

\”Well then, if you would do the honors, I mean, since I\’m so forgetful and all?\” He smirked and Sam giggled.

Thelem gave his captain another sly look, but pulled out his communicator. He signaled the ship and they disappeared in columns of light.

 

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