Hello lovely people! Since I am in a good mood and it's my birthday tomorrow (Finally, I can answer how old I am with 'sewenteen, sir!')I have decided to post up this chapter of the first actual plot driven story I am working on. I am not giving up on Hellions of the Enterprise, however I will be juggling updates for each.
I own none of the characters in this fic, but I'm fairly sure you all know that already!
Hope you enjoy! :)
It wasn't until the shuttle doors opened with their characteristic hydraulic hiss, that Hikaru Sulu appreciated exactly how cold Russia was. Having spent the entire flight in relative warmth, the sharp crisp air was an unpleasant change.
Gritting his teeth, he swung his bag onto his shoulder and stood up while rubbing his arms vigorously; thank goodness he had the forethought to wear his winter gear while on the shuttle; while it was slightly uncomfortable then, it was a blessing now.
He could see some of his class mates frantically pulling out their winter uniforms, all the while griping about the temperature.
Of course, Sulu was also complaining, but he had the decency to do so silently.
As the brisk wind whistled through the open door, Sulu found it difficult to process that only two days ago, he had been sitting in one of his mandatory lectures, minding his own business and defiantly not paying attention to what the professor was talking about, when he was taken out of class by his piloting instructor.
He could still feel that rush of pride at being told that he was part of a group of select few who were chosen to go to Russia to take an exclusive piloting simulation.
Now that he was here, however, the cold was a much more realistic barrier. Of course he knew that it was going to be cold, it was Russia of course, though back in San Francisco, that knowledge was very much detached and didn't really seem real at the time.
Filing out of the shuttle with the rest of his class mates, he could finally appreciate the scenery.
The landing strip they were on was unremarkable and none too aesthetically pleasing, however, the little town they were going to stay in for the five days they were there for was something different.
It reminded him of one of those little towns featured on Christmas cards or post cards. The houses and shops were small and softly lit, making the crisp white snow turn a warm golden colour. Dark clouds drifted lazily over the sun, blocking out the light and turning day into a mockery of the night.
It was quite a beautiful place really, if it wasn't so damn cold!
Clapping his hands together to try and get the blood circulating again, he doggedly followed his classmates and instructor, concentrating on lifting his booted feet from the deceptively deep snow that blanketed the road and the paths.
As he was contemplating whether or not his toe had fallen off in his sodden socks, he could hear parts of the muttered conversation between the two cadets in front of him.
"Still dangerous around here…attacks still going on….wolves, bears and foxes apparently…someone has seen a sabre-toothed cat too..."
Sulu raised his eyebrows slightly upon hearing this. Apparently some important things had been discussed while on the shuttle, not that he would have heard as he fell asleep pretty quickly.
The town was being attacked? That didn't sound very good.
Wolves, bears and foxes? Did they mean that there was an infestation or something? Animals stealing food and scaring the residents?
A Sabre-toothed cat? Now that was strange, as he knew for a fact that those had gone extinct centuries ago.
Strange. However, now that he was looking, he could see that the few residents of the town who were outside looked wary, wary enough to be classed as paranoid.
He didn't notice that as he was pondering the information he had caught in that hushed conversation, he had fallen behind the group, and that was what saved him in the end.
With a sound like an explosion, a massive black shape barrelled into the town square, smashing though the quaint little stalls and uprooting the small trees planted in the centre, before charging straight through the small group of cadets, flinging them to the side like unwanted ragdolls. Pandemonium began, as people on all sides panicked and began to run, screaming for the buildings.
It looked as though the hulking shape was not alone in its attack however, as smaller, but no less threatening shapes entered the fray.
Sulu was frozen, having been knocked to the ground as the creature charged his classmates.
It was a bear, just like what he had heard. Only there was no way that was a normal bear.
It stood about nine feet tall with a grizzled black pelt that made it simultaneously look twice as big as it actually was, and appear as though it was decaying. Its teeth were so long, it could not shut its muzzle fully and its claws were about three inches long and razor sharp. Intelligent brown eyes surveyed the carnage with an almost human, morbid fascination before it reared onto its hind legs with far more ease than it should have.
The other shapes were becoming clear too.
He saw monstrous wolves bound in on all fours, their limbs looking abnormally long, before they reared up on hind legs in an eerily human stance. Their forepaws, unlike those of the bear, could not be mistaken for anything other than hands.
Huge, furry hands complete with curving inch long talons.
Small, agile foxes darted across the square, much like the wolves did. One second quadruped, then bipedal with remarkable ease. With high pitched yips and obvious human gestures such as pointing, they sought out the fleeing people and revealed them to the larger and more powerful wolves, which would chase them down and bite them with vicious teeth.
However, Sulu noticed, they didn't seem to kill the once they had bitten them. They seemed to be mindful of arteries and vital areas, and as soon as they were sure they had done what they intended, they left their victim, and the others steered clear as well.
A low growl snapped Sulu back into his immediate and dangerous situation.
The creature had apparently noticed that he was there, and in some form of shock. With a bellow that shook the windows around them, the beast charged towards him with that deceptively fast, stiff- legged lope of a bear.
With a wordless cry, and his cold feet forgotten, Sulu fought for traction on the snowy, icy ground as he sprinted away from the living freight train.
He dodged in-between the fleeing residents and their predators, which were clearly aware of his presence but were apparently leaving him for the bear.
At the last possible second, he dived bodily into a small gap between houses. He hit the ground just as the bear hit the gap with a horrible thud. Too big to force its way through to get him, it swiped at him with its club like paw.
Scurrying backwards, he avoided its claws by a few inches. He could still hear the attack from the other side of the alley, so he was trapped.
Giant bear one side, god knows what on the other.
'I really should've packed that collapsible sword,' he mused, as he pushed himself back further as the bear strained forwards.
Thwarted in its hunt, the monstrous animal released another thunderous roar that forced Sulu to clamp his hands over his ears before withdrawing bitterly, glaring at Sulu with its eerily intelligent eyes.
As soon as its shadow left the gap, Sulu sagged against the wall as his legs refused to support him anymore.
In hindsight, maybe he should have stayed awake while on the shuttle, at least then he would know what was going on, because they were obviously not normal animals.
'I can't stay here,' he decided. The bear was too large to get him, but all it needed to do was get one of the wolves or foxes and he was dog meat.
Ha-ha, dark humour.
Leaning as far as he dared towards the opening, he peered out.
There! What looked like a massive, derelict building site just on the outskirts of town! He wondered how he hadn't noticed it before, but then decided, he didn't care.
He had never been so glad to see something that ugly in his entire life!
If he could make it there, he could hide until the attack had stopped, or he could make it harder for them. There were plenty of things to climb there, and there was bound to be something he could use as a makeshift weapon.
Taking a deep breath, he braced himself against the wall.
It was now or never.
He bolted out of his little refuge into a maelstrom of sound. A thunderous bellow behind him nearly made him lose his footing as he jumped. He had just enough of a mind to duck as that heavy paw arched over his head again in a deadly swipe. He ran faster than he ever had before as the bear started its pursuit again.
'Get to the gates, get to the gates, get to the gates,' was the constant mantra in his head.
The bear was hot in pursuit, moving at a speed belittled by its stature, it was closing the gap horrifyingly fast.
By the time Sulu had breached the rusted iron gates of the site, he was ready to drop.
His breath came in harsh pants that fogged the air in front of him, his lungs felt as though they were lined with shards of ice which burned with every breath. His legs threatened to give out at any moment and still the bear closed in.
With a triumphant growl, the beast launched forwards and caught his booted foot with its paw. Sulu was sent crashing to the ground with a pained grunt, rolling slightly with the momentum he had gained.
He ended up on his back, chest frantically dragging in lungfuls of too-cold air that stung his throat and made his eyes water.
As his hunter lumbered up to him, a look of triumph stretching its features, Sulu knew that he was dead.
Surprisingly, he wasn't panicking; he wasn't terrified like he should have been, instead he was filled with annoyance and disappointment. Clearly he was not destined to go to the stars, and he was to die here, cold and alone at the mercy of a giant bloody bear!
If people were to tell this story, he could not let it be said that the mighty Hikaru Sulu died while he pleaded for mercy, so he did the only thing his pride would allow him to do.
Looking the beast right in the eyes as it lowered its head, a toothy grin upon its muzzle; he spat at it and hissed defiantly "Go to hell."
The creature looked slightly surprised at this, before anger took over and it pinned Sulu down by a heavy paw on his shoulder. Sulu fought to stifle his cry as the bear's claws pricked his skin and his shoulder pulsed with the addition of the huge weight.
As the demon lowered its head to finish the job, Sulu resolutely fixed his gaze on the sky, wanting his last sight to be something beautiful and not of his killer.
The sun had once again peeked out from the ominous black clouds, although it was not completely free. Shafts of golden sunlight streamed down from the heavens, transforming piles of cold snow into warm beacons of gold.
'No, this would not be the worst thing in the world to be your last sight.' Sulu decided, as he waited for death to take him.
Then, the most important event in Sulu's whole life occurred.
It started with the low groaning of heavy metal, being forced to move faster than it should. Sulu's eyebrows knitted in confusion and he was dimly aware of the bear lifting its head towards the direction of the sound.
Then, from around the corner of the main control tower, swung one of the huge industrial hooks which was moving in a great arc towards them.
The bear realised too late that the hook was heading straight for it, and by the time it had figured it out and was attempting to move out the way, the heavy metal slammed into its side and knocked it right off its feet with a horrible crunching noise.
Sulu could barely believe it when a small figure leapt off the makeshift weapon just at the least second, hitting the ground clumsily and staggering slightly. They had lost their hood as they jumped and Sulu could now see that it was in fact a small boy, barely a teenager, with a thin face and large blue eyes.
Right, now he had seen everything.
"Go! Get up! Vhat are you vaiting for!" The boy yelled, his voice cracking slightly under a heavy Russian accent. He had turned towards Sulu, who was still lying on the ground in shock as the bear climbed painstakingly to its paws again.
The hook had clearly done some damage, as the bear was clearly favouring its left side and every harsh breath brought new droplets of red to decorate its tan muzzle. Despite, this, it was still quick and before Sulu could blink, it had surged forwards and clubbed the boy with one of its heavy paws.
Thankfully, the child seemed to have noticed and managed to turn slightly, the bear's paw catching him on the side instead of the back, where it could have been fatal. With a slight yelp of pain and surprise, the boy was flung through the air to land a few feet away from Sulu.
That was what got Sulu back onto his feet.
His heart was in his mouth; a child could have just died trying to save him, while all he did was lay there. New strength flooded his limbs as he rushed towards the boy, expecting the worst.
Surprisingly, the boy looked more winded than anything else and was clearly alive. Noticing the bear's pained approach; he scooped the child up and started to run again.
Due to the angle at which they were, Sulu's easiest choice was to carry the kid underneath his arm by looping an arm around his waist. This was easy enough; the child was short and light. However, he didn't seem to like it very much.
The second Sulu tucked him under his arm, the kid made a scandalised sound and wiggled furiously, trying in vain to reach the ground with his feet so he could remove himself from the position. Unfortunately, the way he was being carried and the speed at which they were moving made it practically impossible.
"Quit squirming, "Sulu gasped as he rounded a corner. The bear was moving pitifully slowly now, he was fairly certain that the hook had done some internal damage, however he still wanted to get as far away as possible, there was no knowing how many more of them there were skulking around.
With a frustrated sigh and what sounded like an annoyed growl, the kid did just that, before reaching out awkwardly and pointing down a small channel to the left.
"Zhere. Go down zhere. Ve must lead eet down zhere."
Deciding that the kid had more of a plan then he did, Sulu grunted an affirmative and followed his instructions.
They sped past piles of rusted girders that were loosely chained together and a number of smelly, faded Porto potties.
"Put me down!" The boy gasped, wriggling again. Grunting when a bony elbow jabbed him in the ribs, Sulu released his hold and unceremoniously dropped him. Landing lightly on his feet, the youth leapt towards an old forklift truck that was sitting nearby. He inspected it closely, muttering in Russian as he did before nodding to himself in satisfaction and gesturing to Sulu to join him.
"You haff good reactions, Da?" he asked.
"Good enough, why?" came the wary response.
"Vhen he comes zhrough here, I vill draw him to ze square," Sulu then noticed the large square, crudely painted on the ground in white paint. "You haff to pull zis vhen he ees een eet," he stated matter-of-factly, pointing at a small unremarkable lever on the control panel of the forklift.
Sulu spluttered in disbelief and was about to let the kid know the flaws in his plan, but before he had a chance, a low roar sounded by the entrance to the channel and the kid had already bounded off towards it like an overexcited pup.
"God dammit," Sulu swore, gritting his teeth and gripping the lever in a white knuckled grip. He had no better idea and the kid appeared to have some sort of plan, despite it still being hidden from Sulu's sight.
Instead he focused on the kid, who had reached the entrance and was hopping excitedly from one foot to the other in a way that suggested he had more energy than he knew what to do with. Sulu was surprised when he saw very little fear in the boy's posture; he seemed anxious, but not at all as though there was a distinct possibility he might get mauled by a monstrous bear.
This was likely what calmed Sulu down slightly.
He was obviously not happy with the situation, he shouldn't have to rely on this scrawny little kid for protection; he was in Starfleet for crying out loud! However, he had absolutely no idea what was going on, and apparently the kid did.
He had reached an impasse.
Movement at the entrance nearly made his heart break out of his chest. The child had literally hopped out of the way of a blow that could have easily brained him and was actually taunting the animal, sticking his tongue out and calling out Russian insults in a singsong voice.
It was official, Sulu had entrusted his life to an insane kid.
Enraged, the animal broke into a pained sprint after the boy, who was darting back to Sulu. He was fairly sure that this was the bear's dying run; it was obviously badly wounded and wanted to cause some final damage before it died, which made it even more dangerous.
They could no longer hope that self-preservation instincts could call it off.
The boy was fast; clearly a good runner, but the bear was just as fast, if not faster. They barrelled down the channel, closing in on the square.
Sulu was barely breathing, the tension was so thick.
Finally, the boy rocketed into the outline, closely followed by the animal.
"Now! Pull eet now!" the boy yelled, and Sulu did just that.
The second Sulu pulled that lever, a horrible 'clunk' sounded from overhead. His head snapping up so fast he nearly gave himself whiplash, Sulu watched in amazement as a huge pile of bricks was disconnected from the main supporting wire and began its descent.
Just in time, the boy leapt out of the danger zone and flew past Sulu with his momentum. The bear, however, was not so lucky. With a sound like a smashing pumpkin, the enormous weight landed square on top of the animal, killing it stone dead.
It worked. It actually worked. Sulu could only blink as he stared at the innocent pile of rubble, beneath which leaked a sickening crimson.
He turned his head to congratulate the kid on his ridiculous yet brilliant plan, but was met with nothing.
Everything about the execution had gone perfectly, until the end, where the kid managed to back into the chain, the counterweight of which was, of course, plummeting towards the unforgiving ground. With a yelp that was unheard, covered by the death of the bear as it was, the boy was hoisted up into the air by his leg, where he hung slightly dazed from his run and the sudden change in blood flow.
When Sulu had located the child, he had to fight to keep from laughing. Eventually he managed to school his features into something becoming of a Starfleet representative and called out to the boy, "Are you sure it's dead?"
This was obviously meant to be taken as sarcasm, but the boy either didn't hear it or didn't understand. Twisting his body awkwardly to get a better look, he responded calmly, "Da, I am fairly certain eet ees dead."
Sulu shook his head and chuckled slightly against his will before addressing the boy again. "Hey kid, what's your name?"
The boy in question puffed out his chest and responded as proudly as he could rotating slightly as the wind picked up. "Pavel Andreivich Chekov. Vhat ees yours?"
"Vell Meester Sulu, vould you be kind enough to help me down?"