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No Time Like the Past

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Jim sat down on the passenger seat of the shuttle craft and started to do up his harness,

“You ready Spock?” he asked, looking over at his first officer in the pilot seat next to him. Spock glanced at Jim before he reached up and flicked an overhead switch,

“Affirmative Captain,” he said as he settled down into his seat and reached for his harness. Jim nodded and flicked a switch on the communications console,

“Galileo to engineering,”

“Scott here,” came the reply,

“We’re ready for launch Scotty,” he said as Spock hit a few buttons causing the dash board to light up,

“Aye Captain,” there was the sound of shuffling from the other end of the line before Scotty came back, “Ok, opening the doors in three…two…one,” Spock pulled a lever and the thrusters burst into life, and the shuttle flew out of the Enterprise.

Jim craned his neck to get a quick look at the Enterprise as they flew away. The light from the nearby star bounced off the ships body causing it to appear like it was glowing. Jim sighed, he would never get used to that beautiful sight, nor would he ever get used to the fact that he was the captain of that ship.

After a few more moments Jim tore himself away from the window and picked his PADD up, it was already loaded with the information on the planet they were going to.

“The Tralurian,” Jim read out loud, “Extremely limited contact with the Federation in the past. There have been no missions to their planet – until now,” Jim grinned. Spock spun around slightly so as to fully face Jim,

“Captain, surely you should have read this before the mission,” he interjected. Jim shrugged,

“I skimmed through it,” he replied, “Anyway it’s going to take us a bit of time to get down to the planet so why not read it now?” Spock turned away from Jim and back to the console in front of him,

“The purpose of the briefing notes is to give you an idea of what awaits you on the planet, so you may prepare beforehand. It is a little late to prepare once you are already on the shuttle,” Jim rolled his eyes,

“Yeah but you’ve read it and prepared right?”

“Affirmative,”

“So really I don’t need to because I have you,” Spock raised his eyebrow at Jim who just smiled back at him,

“You should not rely solely on me,”

“Yeah well, with us things rarely go to plan so even if I do prepare it probably won’t help,”

“Indeed,” Spock said as he flicked two switches and slowly pulled a lever forward. Jim turned back to his PADD and started reading again,

“Little is known about the Tralurian however they claim to have reality altering powers – wait, reality altering‽ What does that mean?” Spock turned to Jim,

“If you’d read the briefing you would know,” he said smugly. Jim sighed,

“Spock!” Spock lips twitched slightly,

“The Tralurian claim to have the ability to give a being the chance to relive a given moment of their life. During their correspondents with Starfleet they have offered to give them the opportunity to attempt to fix their greatest regret,” Spock said, no doubt quoting the report Jim was reading.

“Wow, I wonder if they’ll offer us that opportunity?” Jim mused,

“I’m not sure I would like to relive that moment,” Spock said,

“Even if you could change it?”

“But what if I was unsuccessful?” Jim looked into Spock’s eyes. While the rest of him seemed impassive his eyes were filled with hurt and sadness. There was no doubt in Jim’s mind what Spock’s biggest regret would be.

“I understand that,” he said, “I don’t even know what my biggest regret is. I think, given the option, I’d rather relive a nice moment in my life. The Tralurian can do that to right?” Spock nodded,

“I believe so, however that was not the offer given to Star Fleet, nor is it known whether that offer will be given to us,”

“Yeah you’re right,” Jim agreed, “I’m getting ahead of myself,” he turned back to his PADD however before he could get any further in his reading a shrill alarm filled the cockpit. Spock instantly undid his harness and quickly lent over Jim to reach the screen next to him,

“What’s going on Spock?” Jim asked,

“The engine is not getting enough fuel,” Spock replied as he sat back up and pushed a lever back,

“Do you know why?”

“Negative, there are one hundred and fifty-seven pieces on this shuttle that could cause a fuel shortage if they malfunction.”

“Brilliant,” Spock lent back over the screen and clicked a few buttons, “What are you doing now?”

“Running a diagnostic,” Spock replied as he climbed out of his chair and head towards the back of the ship.

After a second there was a loud beeping sound, so Jim looked over at the screen,

“Oh god,” he gasped, looking at the diagnostics results, “Everything is leaking, fuel, oil and radiator fluid!”

“Press the large blue button to right of the screen,” Spock shout back. Jim did as he was told then he quickly freed himself and hurried to the back of the ship to join Spock.
Spock was lying on his front over a large hatch,

“Can you see anything?” Jim asked. Spock sat up, so Jim could see that the fuel tank was prominently on display however there was a large pool surrounding it.

“I can’t see where it’s leaking from,” Jim said. The pool was obviously expanding but it was not clear where the fuel was coming from,

“The tank doesn’t appear to have any holes in it,” Spock agreed,

“So, we can’t fix it?” Jim said. Spock laid down again to try and get a better look inside the bay,

“It’s as if there is something destabilising the fuel tank, so it appears to take up physical space however the fuel is not thick enough to remain inside,”

“Is that possible?” Jim questioned,

“In theory a device could be created that would achieve such a thing,” Spock said. Jim closed his eyes,

“Can you fix it Spock?” he asked. Spock sat up,

“If I could access the device causing the problem I might be able to disable it, however I cannot see the device and the readings did not indicate that there was a foreign device acting on the ship,”

“What about the radiator and the oil pan? The diagnostic indicated there was also a problem with those,”

“The radiator and the oil pan appear to be in the same condition as the fuel tank,” Spock reported. Jim gulped,

“Without the radiator everything is going to get very hot and sooner or later that’ll cause the oil and fuel to ignite and the shuttle will explode!” Spock nodded,

“I estimate we have no more than three minutes Captain,” he said. Jim jumped to his feet and hurried back to the cockpit. He picked up his communicator and flipped it open.

“Kirk to Enterprise…Come in Enterprise,” he tried,

“It’s no good Captain,” Spock said, “the atmosphere that prevented us from using the transporter is preventing us from contacting the ship.” Jim flopped down into his chair.

“So, this is it,” he sighed, “I’m so sorry Spock,” Spock sat down in his chair,

“There’s no need to apologise Captain,” he said, “This is not your fault,”

“I know,” Jim replied sadly. He glanced down to where his arm hung limply at the side of his chair. Spock’s arm was also hanging there, right next to Jim’s. In a split-second decision Jim reached out and took hold of Spock’s hand and gently squeezed. Spock looked down at their joined hands however before he could say anything there was a loud explosion, and everything went black.