“Star Trek Into The Darkness” (2012)
a G.J. Adams pre-imagining
Written 6 months before the release of the motion picture “Star Trek Into Darkness”
Extract from Chapter XIV:
“The Last Generation”
The Enterprise had come to an abrupt halt, in space.
Where was John Harrison’s ship? Was it somewhere else?
The USS Defiant, which Harrison had acquired seconds before entering the black hole, had pierced through first and although the Enterprise had promptly followed, the rival ship was gone. Now the Enterprise was floating aimlessly over an unknown planet in an unknown corner of the universe.
They had gone into the darkness and now there was only darkness.
On the bridge, Captain James T. Kirk sat and pondered.
“Spock, any thoughts?”, Kirk said finally.
“Several, though seeing as it appears we are currently marooned on the other side of the galaxy, it is very likely that none of them will qualify as valid.”, the Vulcan answered.
“Indulge me.”, Kirk said playfully.
“By going through the black hole, space and time could have been affected. If you remember, my older self, in a similar situation, found himself travelling back into time.”
“What are you suggesting, Mr Spock?”
“It is possible that John Harrison, by piercing through the black hole first, landed the Defiant in another space, in another time entirely.”
“Fantastic…”, Kirk said sarcastically.
“I fail to see the positive aspect of this theory.”
“Sarcasm, Spock. Look it up.”
Spock raises an eyebrow and quietly judges Kirk. Meanwhile, Uhura, who had been working on confirming the ship’s current coordinates, intervenes.
“Captain, I believe I’ve found the Defiant.”
Kirk promptly stands up and walks to the elevator, instinctively opening up his communicator.
“Chekov, prepare to beam us onto the Defiant.”
“Aye aye, Kieptain.”, was the thickly accented answer from the communicator.
Uhura stands up and walks up to Kirk, concerned.
“Captain, I wouldn’t beam onto the ship if I were you.”
“And why is that, Uhura?”
“The ship has crashed onto the surface of the planet below. We don’t know how bad of a state it’s in.”
“Then I’ll beam down around the crash, walk in and search the ship.”
Dr McCoy, who had been quietly listening to the conversation from a corner of the room, walks up to Kirk. He looks worried, angry and sweaty.
“Jim, you can’t be serious! For all we know John Harrison was devoured by Glorbs and they’re still hungry!”
“Bones, Harrison is genetically enhanced and virtually undefeatable, I’m sure he’s fine.”, the Captain replied calmly.
“But what about you? You’re about as genetically enhanced as a Romulan boar!”
“I know”, Kirk replied with a smile, “That’s why you’re coming with me.”
“For god sakes Jim, I’m a doctor not a…”
Mr Spock promptly intervenes.
“Captain, may I offer a suggestion?”
“Don’t worry, Mr Spock, you’re coming too.”, Kirk turns to Sulu, “Mr Sulu, you have the conn. If we’re not back in an hour…”
“Warp the Enterprise out of this god forsaken place.”
Kirk, Spock and McCoy proceed into the elevator as a single tear rolls down Uhura’s cheek. And Sulu’s.
In the transporter room, Kirk approaches a nearby red-shirted security officer.
“Jones, is it?”
“You have been equipped with a working phaser?”
“Good, you’re beaming down to the planet surface with us.”
“What’s my mission, Captain?”
“Survival.”, Kirk said simply.
Kirk, Spock, McCoy and Jones get ready to beam down. A worried-looking Chekov prepares to activate the transporter.
“Energise.”, was Kirk’s reply.
“Wery good leck, yentlemen.”
A single tear rolls down Chekov’s cheek.
The crew beam down successfully.
The planet surface is an unfriendly setting to say the least: a sea of sharp blue rocks with harsh, freezing winds and geysers of red ash popping out of the occasional crater. A Starfleet ship is close by, lying half-crashed into the ground and therefore barely recognisable. It looks worn and completely out of use. The crew approach the ship carefully. Kirk sets his phaser on “burn” and burns an entrance into the ship.
“Yes, Mr Spock?”
“Based on the Defiant’s damaged structure, I can hypothesise that it did not crash recently. Quite the opposite, in fact.”
“We must have skipped over a few years when we… entered the black hole.”
“A few years or many.”
“Approximately 40 years, Captain. Also…”
“Whatever ship this is, this isn’t the USS Defiant.”
They all think about that for a moment and finally enter the ship.
Inside, the unlit corridors reeked of old. It was like nothing had passed through them in decades. Spock is scanning for lifeforms.
“Report, Mr Spock.”, asked Kirk.
“I have only found a single lifeform.”
“Harrison…”, the Captain said quietly to himself.
“Perhaps. Whoever he or she is, they are located on the bridge.”
“Damn it, Jim!”, interrupts McCoy, “What if it is John Harrison? He’s indestructible! What can we possibly do?”
“Bones, you forget his position. He has… nothing. He is lost… on an… unknown planet in an unknown time. Why… would he resist arrest? I, for one, believe he’d welcome a ride.”
“I concur.”, Spock confirmed, “Logically, Harrison would have more to gain by accepting our arrest peacefully than by setting up an unmotivated attack.”
“Open your eyes, you green-blooded son of a bitch! Nothing about any of this is logical! He’s not logical. He’s a demon!”, McCoy yelled out mindlessly.
“You’re letting your emotions get the better of you, Doctor. May I suggest you rethink your previous statements.”, Spock warned with the quiet sternness only a Vulcan can express.
“Alright, you two, enough bickering.”, said the Captain, “We’re on a mission here. Focus, for crying out loud!”
McCoy grumbles something inaudible and remains quiet for the rest of the walk towards the bridge. Spock goes back to scanning.
They arrive at the door leading to the bridge. Kirk turns to the rest of the crew.
“Set phasers to “stun” but prepare to switch to “kill” on my orders. Jones, come with me.”
“No, the other Jones. Yes you!”, Kirk replied, sarcastic.
They approach the door after changing the settings on their respective phasers. It “shhhhh’s” open. Inside, is a foul stench like nothing any of them have ever experienced, except Dr McCoy, whose experience conducting autopsies made the smell almost smellable. Around them, the skeletons of what used to be the ship’s crew pepper the bridge. They approach the Captain’s chair, which is turned back the other way.
“Turn that chair around for me.”
Jones gets close to the chair and turns it around. He is suddenly shot by a phaser and dies instantly. Kirk, Spock and McCoy point their phasers at the person responsible: a very old man, aged 80 or 90, bald, thin, British, well-spoken and tired-looking.
“You can lower your phasers, gentlemen, mine is now… powerless. As am I.”, he said.
The old man drops his phaser.
“We will drop nothing. Who are you?”, enquired the Captain.
“Captain, I believe this is the man we are looking for: John Harrison.”, explained Spock.
Kirk turns back to the man dramatically.
“Harrison? Is… is that you?”
“It is I. Captain James Tiberius Kirk, it has been a very, very long time.”
“It certainly appears that way. What happened to you?”
As he answers, Harrison is weak and struggling with every word.
“I have lived a life beyond the one I once possessed. After entering the black hole, I was picked up by a ship. Starfleet. It was the future. Suddenly I was not superior, I was… not stronger and smarter than most. I was a dinosaur. I lived a life at the heart of Starfleet, my expertise allowed me to go up the ranks relatively quickly. I rebuilt myself. They gave me the Enterprise.”
“The Enterprise? They… gave… you… the Enterprise?”, asked a shocked Kirk.
“Not the Enterprise you know. I became the most respected Starfleet Captain since… well, you. But after a particularly feisty battle with the Borg, I was thrown off-course and landed here. Where I remained for decades.”
“Advanced race of leather-wearing intergalactic… oh never mind. They are irrelevant.”
“John Harrison, you are under arrest for your crimes against Starfleet back on Earth and for attempting to manufacture a war between us and the Klingons.”
John Harrison laughs before coughing uncontrollably. Kirk turns to McCoy and nods: knowing exactly what he is thinking. The doctor promptly walks up to Harrison and scans him.
“My god, Jim. He’s dying!”, was the Doctor’s diagnosis, “We’ve got to get Harrison back to the Enterprise at once!”
“Leave me! I am dead already. I have been left buried alive for a reason, to pay for my crimes.”
“That’s for a court to decide, Harrison.”, Kirk defiantly explained.
Harrison starts staring at Kirk with a deadly serious expression on his face, never blinking once throughout the following revelation.
“My name is not John Harrison. That was only a smokescreen to conceal my true identity. Back when I was a heartless killer with nothing to live for, with no code to live by. My… name… is: Jean-Luc Picard. I… am the Captain of the starship Enterprise. The starship you are now, as we speak, currently, at present, right this second, standing in.”
“No, it can’t be…”
“I only ask one thing, before I go where many have gone before me.”
“Tell my wife I love her. She’s in sick bay, growing babies for dinner.”
A cloud of blankness passes over Picard’s eyes and his heart quietly stops, never to beat again. McCoy scans him promptly.
“He’s dead, Jim.”
A single tear rolls down McCoy’s cheek. Kirk turns to Spock.
“Spock, I want you to keep scanning for lifeforms. If you missed Picard’s wife, there’s a chance you might have missed others.”
“Agreed.”, the Vulcan agreed.
“Bones, come with me.”
Spock starts scanning around the bridge as Kirk and McCoy exit towards sick bay. As Spock walks towards the ship’s smashed screen, he steps onto something crunchy. He looks down to find what appears to be some kind of small air-filter for someone’s face.
A single tear rolls down Spock’s cheek.
On the way to sick bay, McCoy starts sweating more than ever.
“What’s troubling you, Bones?”
“Did… did he say his wife was growing babies?”
“I believe so, yes.”
They arrive at sick bay and point their phasers forward, before walking through the door which awkwardly “shhhh’s” open. Again, they are suddenly faced with a horrendous stench as they notice the room is filled to the brim with babies in glass jars. Thousands upon thousands of babies in jars.
“Mrs Picard? This is Captain James Tiberius Kirk, of the starship… well, Enterprise. But not this one, the old one.”
They hear a lower-pitched voice than they were expecting.
“The legendary James Tiberius Kirk?”, was the reply the Captain received.
Just then, a male android walks in from the back of the room. He is naked but only the top half of his body still has human skin graphed onto it. The rest is all metal and wires.
“Welcome, Captain. It is an honor.”, the android said politely.
“Who are you?”
“Data Picard. Formerly Data.”
Data holds up a twitching, drooling half-grown wet baby.
“Care for a bite?”
A single tear rolls down Kirk’s cheek.
G.J. Adams’ “Star Trek Into The Darkness” can be found in most second-hand bookshops, behind several other books. More Star Trek fan-fiction coming soon.
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