You have entered restricted air space
A disembodied voice filled the cockpit, cutting through the roar of the engines and the rattling of the ship walls. It sounded female, though came out more as a computers interpretation of a human woman rather than the real thing. It did however manage to sound both completely emotionless and disapproving all at once, an odd and disconcerting juxtaposition.
You are in restricted air space
The voice came again, louder and with more force making the audio distort slightly over the ‘restricted’.
You are in restric-
“Urgh I get it,” James Kirk groaned, frustration clear in his voice. Leaning forward he began to putter around the controls looking for a disabling button or at least a mute. He rummaged for a few seconds before sitting back into his seat. The fake leather creaked in protest as he settled back into a somewhat comfortable position, resigning himself to being chastised and irritated in his final minutes of freedom. Not that this was really the best place to spend that freedom in. When he’d imagined his death, he’d pictured those who he loved around him rather than a battered cargo ship.
The ship itself might have been pretty in the good old days before the invention of transporters when space travel was embarking on small sturdy crafts that could only travel a few planets over but now it was old and decrepit.
Modified to do heavy lifting on the star ship dock just above Earth’s atmosphere, the ship which Jim had affectionately named the Piece of Shit had little room for anything; standing, walking and stretching were out of the question for anyone under 5 foot meaning that Jim had spent the best part of 2 hours hunched over before he’d even reached the restricted air space of his destination. The interior was made up of room the length and width of a single bed that only just had enough space for a console and a single chair that took up most of it. It was squat, ugly and not the dream ship that Jim had fantasised when he was younger.
As a child he’d imagined himself returning to Earth a hero who had defeated Nero, the prodigal son who’d returned from 20 years of imprisonment. His dreams hadn’t included him sputtering along through restricted air space hoping he wasn’t shot out of the sky in a metal box that was more suited to heavy lifting then dangerous missions. But if there was one thing he’d learnt in his life time it was that beggars can’t be choosers, no matter how shit the ship was.
You are in restricted air space. Please state your registration codes
There was a pause as the automated voice expected him to answer. When he didn’t state his codes after a few seconds there was a series of soft clicks followed by.
“This is Starfleet Academy and I am Commander Roberts,” the voice was deep and commanding and had a slight hint of an accent. Non-native as he was Jim couldn’t place it. “Please state why you are in restricted space otherwise we will use forces.” Jim weighed up him options, finish his mission and be killed by that man or stay silent and be killed by this man. Sighing he picked the former, figuring he could at least live for a few more hours.
“My name is James Tiberius Kirk and I need to speak to Lieutenant Commander Pike,” he tried to keep his voice steady hoping that no one would have noticed he hadn’t spoken in weeks.
“That’s impossible,” was Roberts curt reply. “James T Kirk is deceased, killed 20 years ago on the day the Kelvin was destroyed,” there was a firm finality in his tone that made Jim want to sigh.
“I can’t explain now. I will only talk to Lieutenant Commander Pike,” desperation began to colour his tone as he began to fray at the edges. There was a pause on Roberts end and Jim assumed they were discussing whether to let him land. He could officially see the academy now through the small dirty widows above the console.
The sweeping mental and long concrete courtyard where oddly beautiful to Jim, like he was coming home. The Academy was covered in red dots that milled around, as he came closer he realised that these must be students going about their daily lessons. As he neared they began to stop and point at the shuttle flying towards them. When he was within 50 meters of landing in the middle of the courtyard Roberts made
himself known once more.
“You may land Mr Kirk,” Jim resisted the urge to yell in triumph. “Do not attempt to bring any weaponry and do not resist, our phasers are set to kill,” he paused to let that sink in leaving no doubt in Jim’s mind that he was serious. “Our men will take you to see Captain Pike,” there was another series of soft clicks and then silence. He let out a sigh of relief happy that he’d been able to get through.
Looking down at himself he hoped he presented himself as non-threatening. He was dressed in cargo boots, black jeans and a plain black t-shirt, over his chair hung a beat leather jacket he’d stolen from a space port days ago that he was a little in love with. Unfortunately, he couldn’t hide all of his threatening features from Starfleet. They were bound to notice the two tattoos on his face that travelled from his forehead, around his eyes and down his cheeks to his jawline. Two symmetrical patterns of lines and curves that read ‘stolen destiny’ to those who knew how to read them and Romulan to those who didn’t. The black stood out against the golden hull of his skin and made the blue of his eyes seems to pop out, but every time Jim saw his reflection he felt nothing but disgust for his own face, his stolen destiny.
They were also bound to notice the collar that was wrapped tightly around his neck. A metal monstrosity that was poised to kill him as soon as he came back into range of that place. Removing it would result in death as would trying to deactivate it so it just hummed ominously from around his neck, his own personal noose. He’d thought about covering it with a scarf and hoping no one noticed but he intended to be as transparent with Starfleet as he could, so he decided to leave it, they were bound to find out either way.
Humming to himself to push back the nerves, he set the ship down on one of Academy’s front lawns before releasing the door and crouching low to exit the ship. The morning sun flooded in leaving him blinking as he grabbed his jacket and began shuffling out of the ship with an air of excitement. When he stepped out on to the grass he almost cried. It was midmorning and a light summer breeze brushed past him, ruffling his clothes. There was a bright sun that warmed his skin and there were noises so many noises. Not the hum and roar of a ship’s engines or the beating club music and machinery racket of a space port. But birds and water and people, students milling about and talking about their day. He looked to the side and gasped at the water, he’d never seen so much water in one place. This was his home planet, this is what the air on his planet was like. There was no smell of fuel or the acidic taste that you got walking around the ship with it’s recycled air, no this air was pure and beautiful and smelled of grass and what he assumed were flowers. He could have stood there forever savouring the feel of his home planet but alas he was being watched.
A few feet away four officers stood holding their phasers high and pointed at his chest, looking at him impassively. A number of students walked past slowly whispering among themselves about what was happening. The officer on the far right stepped forward. He was short and well built with a buzz cut and small beady eyes that looked at him with a calculating gaze, measuring whether Jim was going to bolt. After a moment he spoke, and Jim instantly knew who he was looking at.
“Keep your hands up and behind your head,” Commander Roberts motioned towards his head with his phaser and Jim complied. Roberts nodded happy and began to lead the way into the academy. Two of the officers followed behind Jim while the other followed Roberts who was setting a brisk pace through the courtyard and up a set of stairs. Jim tried to stay stoic and calm, but he was so excited, and he couldn’t stop looking from side to side in complete awe.
As they entered the Academy building more officers joined their parade until his guard was at least 12 strong all very ready to murder him if he did anything. He wished for the hundredth time that he didn’t have his tattoos as they kept on looking at them with suspicion. The officers came to a stop at a large set of double doors which Roberts who was still in the lead opened slowly. They moved forward until they were in an empty auditorium. At the front of the room there was a raised desk where an older man sat. The guard fanned out and someone pushed Jim forward until he was only a few feet away from the desk. The man was working on a piece of paper and had yet to look up but did when Roberts cleared his throat.
Much to Jim’s surprise, the man gasped and dropped his pen with an expression that suggested he was seeing a ghost.
And it seemed that he was.