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Black Heart

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It had been a week since the first official take off of the Starship Enterprise, under the leadership of an already well known Captain, James T. Kirk. The new Captain had earned his leadership, and his crew were proud to be working under his orders. The launch itself had gone off with a great start, the gigantic space shuttle shaped and shined until it looked brand new again, it’s roaring engines brought back to life after a battering against the Romulan ship.

Kirk was in the zone instantly. Giving direct orders to his loyal crew, changing course when needed, travelling through the most beautiful parts of space, and making his father proud while doing it was the greatest feeling in the entire universe. He felt at home, like his life finally had a meaning, like he was finally doing something that was worth the long wait.

It felt like years ago since he’d entered the academy, so called studying until early hours of the morning and taking tests that he whizzed through without a flinch, also known as wasting a pretty long time of his life. Three years to be exact, three memorable years he’d been there. Sure, the academy had its upside, bars, girls, boys, technology, more bars, even more girls, possibly even more boys, Jim found those points to be extra important in the curriculum.

It all went smoothly until the smartass; know it all, pointy eared Spock had to intervene with his test that he technically didn’t cheat in. Well, he technically did since he changed the system entirely, but he’d never admit that to the Vulcan. Then some annoying, angry guys from another planet had to be all extreme and take out revenge on the planet Vulcan and almost, but not quite, wipe out Earth.

Luckily Captain James T. Kirk was a smartass himself. Hell, he may have the looks of an arrogant human being and the urge to pick a fight on every damn man that drives him over the edge, and not to forget the constant need to get into someone’s pants, but James T. Kirk was just as intelligent as his new found friend Spock. Well, almost, he didn’t have the genetically engineered brain of a Vulcan.

Said captain was currently sitting in his high chair with a red apple in his hand, whistling away as he swung around with his legs in the air that made him look more like a child than a man giving out orders. “Time to warp!” he shouted, taking a bite of his apple.

“Ai captain.” Sulu smiled at his captain’s childish behaviour as he spun around on the chair, the Asian pilot worked his fingers on the many buttons in front of him and pushed the silver leaver forward.

The ship made an immense, thunderous rumble as the engines shook, and the numerous machines of the colossal transport grew in speed. Within seconds, as Sulu pushed down a red button, the ship let out a clamorous bang and sped off into the glittering darkness of space. The Enterprise flew through the darkness of space, leaving a trail of glittering dust as it grew in speed.

“Status, Chekov?” Kirk asked the young Russian engineer, as he finally sat still in his chair and leaned forward.

Pavel Chekov moved his fingers across the lit up keyboard, pushing and prodding buttons faster than anyone could even attempt. “Sixty seconds until approach, Captain.” Chekov answered in his thick Russian accent.

“Good stuff.” Kirk crunched down on his apple and hoisted himself up animatedly. “I want you to raise the ship above the clouds, make sure we’re not seen by any life form on that planet, and slow down the engines as we approach our destination. Starfleet informed me of the alien’s good sight.”

“Yes, sir.” Sulu answered, gliding his fingers across the computerized screen.

Kirk grinned, feeling a rush of pride towards his crew already, knowing they’d get the enterprise to their target safe and sound. He watched as Spock and Lieutenant Thomas flicked through switches and communicated well through the procedures of landing, as Uhura picked up the signals of life on their designated planet, as Sulu’s eyes traced the darkness of space through the screen waiting patiently yet intensely to hit the switch at the right time.

Then he came upon the youngest member of Starfleet to ever set foot upon the Enterprise. His eyes followed Pavel Chekov’s every move as his hands glided across the screen with ease, like he automatically knew which button to press, his bright knowledgeable eyes examining the ships every move as it flew through space. Kirk knew he could trust the kid with his life to guide them to safety; to him he was a pure genius, sure he’d thought differently when he’d first met the Russian whiz kid, but that soon changed as he got to know him.

When he was seventeen he got into trouble for stealing his neighbour’s ducks from the barn, and accidentally setting their stacks of hay on fire, which resulted in him having to clean out every room in the house and mowing the lawn for the next six months. But Chekov, he could somehow see the whiz kid sitting at a desk in University at the age of fifteen, scribbling confusing codes and equations of Physics into his notebook.

“Ten seconds until approach, Captain.” Chekov said, thrusting a lever forward slowly as a speck of blue dust came into view through the front screen.

Kirk’s attention was averted to the window as he took a few small steps forward, keeping his eyes on the large screen of glass that looked out into the star studded blanket of pure darkness. There, in front of them, was a glowing sphere in the middle of space, the colour of blue and white like a beautiful clear sky.

As the ship grew nearer to the azure planet it became larger in size, almost the exact same size as Earth, its sheet of blue covering the globe shining magnificently against the dark shade of space. The blue shine of the globe blended into bright colours of green and white, moving together, as if a painted canvas was brought to life.

“Five seconds…” Kirk heard Chekov state as they got closer. “…four, three, two…”

Quicker than lightning the ship hurtled through the galaxy, its engines roaring into life. Within seconds, as Chekov counted down to one they had arrived, coming to a sudden halt above the humungous planet as the engines died down descending into a quiet humming sound. The colour of blue came from the darkening sky, the green from the tip of fur trees, and the white from the greying clouds that rose toward them.

The gigantic vessel slowly soared down through the atmosphere of the planet; downward it fell through a sheet of cloud and fog until getting caught in a cascade of lightly falling snow, the wind gently tracing its icy fingers alongside the ship. Beautiful snowflakes danced in the sapphire sky, diving gracefully to the blanket of white below.

 “Wow.” Uhura stood from her chair, her eyes shining at the beautiful sight in front of them.

Kirk smirked at his crew as each member stared at the winter wonderland below; their expressions of complete awe and delight like they’d never seen snow before. It was like looking into a snow globe, a stunning view of pure, white snow, beautiful mountains covered to the tips and trees fluttering in the breeze.

The captain couldn’t help chuckle quietly, placing a hand on Sulu’s shoulder to get his attention he ordered, “Take us down quietly Sulu, three miles out from the village.”

“Yes Captain.” Sulu obliged, his hand covering the silver lever to his left. “Approaching the village in two minutes, four miles until landing.”

“Good.” Kirk squeezed his shoulder gently, and strolled to his seat sitting down not so elegantly. “Chekov, tell the crew we’ll be arriving at our destination in two minutes and remind them of important procedures, I also want you to alert the members of the landing crew to gather in the transportation room.”

“Yes, Sir.” Chekov nodded, spinning his chair around to face the front and clicking a few buttons here and there. “Enter authorization code 9, 5, victor, victor 2.” He said into the speaker on the board.

The computer made a short beep and spoke in a robotic voice. “Authorization declined.”

“Ah!” Chekov growled in annoyance, rubbing a hand down his face. “Not again.” He complained, getting pretty fed up at the computers lack of ability to understand a Russian accent when it hears one. “Enter authorization code 9, 5, victor, victor 2.”

The computer beeped once again. “Authorization accepted.” Chekov almost leaped in the air for joy, but decided it wouldn’t be a good idea.

“May I have your attention please,” Chekov spoke into the machine, his voice reverberating off the speakers around the enterprise. “In less than two minutes we will be approaching the village of our destination. The Captain would like to remind you that while we are on the planet Tiriâ no one is to leave the ship except for those that are members of the landing party, all missiles must be ready for attack and engines must not be switched off encase of emergency.”

 

Chekov took a breath and continued. “Members of the landing party must be ready and gather at the transportation room before arriving. Thank you for your time.”

 

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Leonard McCoy was never one for going on adventures. In fact, he despised them. Getting all dressed up in stupid clothes fit for the occurrence, taking as much precaution as possible just encase an ugly monster decides to attack, and making sure that you have every damned thing that you need for the trip or otherwise the whole thing would end up being pointless.

Yes, Leonard McCoy really did hate adventures. And this one was in the snow. On a snow covered planet, where there was no such thing as the sun, or t-shirts, or possibly even decent food because god knows where they get that from when all there is are mountains and trees and a few large lakes frozen over.

McCoy grunted as he zipped up the thick jacket he shoved on over his uniform, tugging at the sleeves before pulling on some gloves. Sighing deeply, and wishing he didn’t have to step off the nice, warm ship that had a bed and food, the Doctor picked up his bag of medical appliances and left his room. The ship had landed already, but he was sure Kirk wouldn’t mind him being a few minutes late.

As usual the enterprise was bustling with people walking up and down the corridor, some even running maybe in a hurry to catch an early dinner, not even bothered about the fact that they were on a dangerous planet. McCoy’s stomach decided to growl at the thought, he hadn’t eaten since early this morning being dragged and pushed towards patients who were so clumsy that they were either tripping over loose leads in the engineering room or getting their fingers jammed in the door.

McCoy entered the elevator down the hall, pushing the button for the transportation room the doors wisped shut and he was on the move. It only took merely two seconds before he’d reached the third floor, the doors opening just as fast as they’d closed, revealing a long, white hall that curved to the left.

The doctor stepped out of the lift and strolled down the corridor, his mood not getting any happier at the thought of going out into the damn snow and freezing cold weather. Passing a few doors to his right McCoy came to the end of the hall, a glass door was located around the bend to which he went through into the transportation room.

Inside Scotty was yapping away in his strong Scottish accent to three other crew members who were also wearing the thick enterprise jackets, they must be the rest of the landing party, judging by their huge grins and loud laughter Scotty was impressing them with his so called funny jokes. He’d never seen the men before, but they were all clad in jackets with a red stripe on each shoulder, which meant they were there for security.

McCoy rolled his eyes as Scotty let out a booming yell to give a bit of emphasis on the sound of a ship blowing up, seemed to do the trick for all the officers were laughing like a bunch of madmen. Scotty seemed to have that effect on people, his accent along with his enthusiasm just made people want to laugh until they were crying; McCoy couldn’t see the fun side of course.

“Bones!”

McCoy growled in annoyance as he felt a hand slap him hard on the shoulder, Jim’s new found way of greeting the older man, instead of being an old fashioned guy like most and just simply saying hello. Even Spock had found it quite bothersome.

The Captain strutted through the transportation room like he owned the place; technically he did, but McCoy rolled his eyes none the less. As Jim helped Scotty and the others set things up and check the bags for essentials, Sulu came strolling in through the glass doors, wrapped up in one of the bulky jackets. It meant that he was joining the landing party, and it didn’t surprise McCoy one bit that he was chosen, Kirk had developed a slight soft spot for the helmsman since the incident with the Romulans.

“Morning Doctor.” Sulu greeted way too cheerfully to be normal at that time in the morning.

“Morning.” McCoy answered gruffly. “You’re coming down this time?”

McCoy raised a questioning brow as Sulu suddenly began fiddling with the hem of his sleeve, a slight blush creeping its way onto his cheeks. “Uh… Yeah.”

McCoy decided to leave it at that. So he didn’t question, and Sulu didn’t say another word, instead he walked over to the three crew members who were checking off lists and being paranoid about things they’d forgotten or might need after all. The Japanese man helped them out, making sure he too hadn’t forgotten the essentials.

McCoy sure as hell didn’t need to do that, and he sure as hell couldn’t be bothered to waste time with a long list of to dos. All the doctor needed was his emergency medical kit, a library pad that could tell him information about things he’d find on the planet, and a small flask of hot southern comfort. He watched as the entire crew members, including Jim for Pete’s sake, double checked their bags and made sure their phasers were working and their weapons were easy to access in case of emergency.

McCoy grunted impatiently, the man just wanted to get out into the snow and get to the God damn village, have a nice chat, and get their asses back onto the ship before they get kidnapped, attacked or maybe even slaughtered.

“Good Morning, Doctor.”

McCoy was brought back to reality by a voice to his right, a young voice, with a thick Russian accent. He couldn’t believe he was hearing it, but that accent could only belong to one person on the ship. Which had better not mean what he thinks it means?

“What are you doing here kid?” McCoy asked the youngest member of Starfleet, who was also dressed snugly in a thick uniform coat, which sort of gave the answer away.

“I’m joining the landing party, Sir.” Chekov answered with an excited smile. “I’d really like to help.”

McCoy stared, the excitement evident in the boy’s eyes and wide grin. “That’s nice kid, but you do realise why we’re going to this village?”

Chekov’s smile disappeared instantly like he’d been hit in the face. “Yes Sir! Of course I do.”

“And,” McCoy continued. “You do realise how dangerous it could get down there?”

Chekov nodded slowly. “I do Sir.”

McCoy really wanted to push the kid through those glass doors and tell him to go sit his pretty backside back on the bridge, and let the grownups do all the hard work, but instead he ignored the Russian beside him and trudged towards the Captain. Jim was happily discussing protocol with the Scottish engineer, until the Doctor interrupted, the eyebrows raised and lips pursed.

 “Why the hell is the Russian kid coming?” McCoy asked his friend in a lowered but irritated tone.

Jim looked over to where Chekov was now chatting with his friend Sulu, his smile bright and beaming like they weren’t just about to go on a dangerous mission. The Captain grinned, and shrugged his shoulders, not knowing exactly what the problem was but maybe it was just McCoy being a grumpy old fart. Scotty seemed to be amused too.

“He wanted to help,” Was the Captain’s answer, as he slung his rucksack over his shoulder. “Why not? Spock’s got to stay aboard the Enterprise, so we got another spot which Chekov was happy to fill in.”

McCoy wanted to slap some sense into the stupid Captain’s head. “He’s seventeen, Jim!”

Jim stared at McCoy with his wide blue eyes. The man looked pissed, really pissed, like Jim was committing a huge crime that would put him behind bars for centuries let alone years, and it made Jim laugh uncontrollably, which in turn made Scotty giggle to himself.

McCoy sighed heavily; trust Jim to take something so serious like a God damn joke. Everyone in the room looked at them curiously; their eyes watching their Captain double over in laughter, holding onto McCoy for support before he falls flat on his face.

“He’s seventeen?” Jim got out between laughs. “You serious? Do you know who that kid is?”

“I hope he does.” Scotty grinned. “He’s known him for long enough.”

“Pavel Chekov,” McCoy answered, glaring at the engineer, wanting so bad to zip Jim’s mouth shut with super, super glue. “The youngest member of Starfleet!”

“So?” Jim quirked an eyebrow, a smirk sneakily spreading across his face. “Are you worried Leonard McCoy?”

“No!” McCoy growled between gritted teeth. “I’m just telling you, that it’s a God damn dangerous place to be taking such a young member of your crew. If anything happens to him…”

“But it won’t.” Jim grinned, patting the Doctor on the shoulder roughly. “Chill out man, if you’re so worried then I assign you as his babysitter.”

Captain Kirk ignored any other protest and angry outburst from the other man as he turned on the spot and hopped onto the beaming pad. “Come on people, let’s get a move on.”

The three members of the landing team followed their captain to the back of the transporting surface, Chekov joining and Sulu stepping up beside Kirk. Scotty took his usual place behind the glass, ready to beam the crew down to the surface. McCoy took up the last pad and stood still on top of it, waiting to get beamed down onto the cold planet where he really didn’t want to be.

“Energize.”

McCoy heard Kirk say those words clearly and he rapidly felt a tug on his whole body, dragging him down and out into open air. The transportation room vanished in front of his eyes, and in its place there was a blanket of snow under their feet, covering a mountain behind them where they stood and fifteen foot trees blowing in the wind in places.

The snowflakes fell gently to the ground and landing softly by their boots, disappearing into the cover of snow, it was like the planet itself was alive, where the weather woke up the trees and made the mountains beautiful and the wind made them dance.

McCoy listened, and he heard. The slight rustling of the leaves as the wind curled around the branches, the small sound of droplets of snow slipping off of tree trunks onto the ground and the chilling air whispering in his ears as it slithered past him. Snowflakes flew around the air, being pushed by the wind, swirling and twirling in spirals and circles.

This place, this land, this planet was absolutely beautiful. Everything about the view around the crew was so clear and natural, a natural beauty of Mother Nature in all her wonder. Maybe, just maybe stepping foot on this planet wasn’t going to be such a bad thing after all.