A/N: This is my first foray into Star Trek. Having been inspired by the end of Star Trek: Into Darkness, I've decided to kick off my entry into the fandom with a little "reboot" of my own. Thanks to ThatSassyCaptain and Di the Creator for their feedback and for offering some ideas. Live Long and Prosper.
Disclaimer: I am not the owner of Star Trek or its characters-that honor goes to Paramount, CBS, and the minds behind this timeless series' creation-most notably Mr. Gene Roddenberry, Norman Spinrad and (in recent years) J.J. Abrams.
Star Trek: Doomsday
"Captain's log, stardate 2261.92. The Enterprise is finally on her way out past the majority of Starfleet's subspace arrays. So far, it's been quiet, and to be honest, after that fiasco at Khitomer, I'm one of those who's glad for some quiet. We're currently maintaining a course for the Kandari sector. Commander Scott and Lieutenant Commander Marcus have informed me that the components added to the Enterprise from the wrecked Dreadnought-class prototype are operating perfectly. (Personal note on that, I owe Scotty a sandwich next time I'm in Engineering, and I owe Carol dinner at some point) Systems aside, we're holding steady at Warp 8.9. Guess that degree in Starship Design I earned back in Russia came in—"
"—handy. Hm, looks like I'm needed. Kirk out." Laser-blue eyes lost their distant gleam and sharpened. The lanky slouch of Jim "I'm-too-sexy-for-this-shirt" Kirk—Starfleet's poster boy/man-child—morphed into the straight-backed, in-command posture of Captain James T. Kirk, thank you very much. "Yes, Lieutenant?" he asked, swiveling his chair to face the comms station.
Uhura was brief while she kept track of signals at the communications station. "Sir, I'm receiving a hail from Starfleet. Priority One. I'm going to have to filter out the interference."
Oh, great. Jim managed to keep his frustrated groan confined to the inside of his own head. He wanted to let it out aloud, because god damn it all, he was sick and tired of the Admiralty dragging him off in seven directions at once. "Well, so much for a quiet trip out," he muttered under his breath. He raised his voice to address the bridge. "On screen. Mr. Sulu, bring us down to Warp seven-point-five." The droning ambient whine of the Enterprise's engines deepened slightly as Sulu eased the Enterprise's speed.
The bridge's view screen flickered for a rather sluggish moment while Uhura worked to filter out subspace interference while Jim sat in his chair and sulked and did his best to look miffed. Damn. What do the old farts want with me now? he wondered grumpily. Another suicide mission or a milk run? Better not be that old bastard Cartwright. Spock's raised eyebrow (which bespoke his typical level-headed Vulcan disapproval) told Jim he'd said that last bit out loud. "Captain, such blatant insubordination against Starfleet's Admiralty would be unwise."
Whoops. "Aw, come on, Spock. Cartwright is so starched and by-the-book he probably drinks pulp instead of coffee!"
"An illogical assumption. I have observed the Admiral and have yet to see the man consume—"
The transmission clearing up broke up their short clash. When Jim saw the deeply lined face of Fleet Admiral Jonathan Archer onscreen, he allowed himself to relax just a bit. Phew. At least it's not Cartwright. Jim liked Archer well enough.
"Captain Kirk?" Archer's voice had roughened with age since his days captaining the prototype NX-01 Enterprise. His hollow-cheeked face was now deeply lined and his hair was snow-white.
"Admiral Archer. I'm surprised," Kirk replied, adding a smile, trying to keep back his usual wiseass grin. "I thought Starfleet didn't do social calls. Is there trouble, or do you guys seriously miss us already? You look younger than last time, by the way; been time traveling again?"
Jon Archer rolled his eyes, but it was with an easygoing smile that he answered Kirk. "I wish I could. Believe me, Jimmy, if I were thirty years younger and actually retired, I'd be out there with Erica flying off into the black. As far as I know, Earth is fine. I wouldn't be surprised if the Klingons try and bargain for peace with you and your crazy crew out of the picture for five years."
Jim gaped. "What? And leave us out of the fun?" He folded his arms and pretended to sulk. Sulu almost laughed. Ensign Naomi Troi, Chekov's relief at the navigational controls, smothered a giggle, and Jim smiled. His brief mock-childish pout eased the slight confusion on the bridge a little bit further, 'which is good,' Jim thought as he gathered his wits. It was very good, actually, because whatever was coming their way was probably the spacefaring version of an EF-5 tornado. Jim could see right past the old Admiral's casual façade. The grim glint in Archer's eyes was the one that always, always spelled the sort of trouble Enterprise had to deal with on an almost weekly basis.
Sure enough, when Archer opened his mouth the news wasn't good. "Actually, I have some information for you and your crew, Jim. Approximately 36 hours ago, the USS Constellation was dispatched from Earth to investigate a fragmented distress call from an Andorian trade outpost in System L-370." Archer's forehead furrowed in thought as he consulted something offscreen. "You're friends with the ship's current commanding officer, Commodore Matt Decker, am I right?"
Jim nodded, though he kept it neutral. "Decker? We were Academy classmates, although more, uh, close acquaintances than fully friends, sir."
"I see. Well, Decker took the Constellation out and arrived in L-370 successfully at 0500 two days ago to render aid. He reported back some abnormal long-range scans. At 2249 hours yesterday, we lost all contact."
The bridge electrified and Jim felt a cold spot settle deep in his stomach. "The Constellation's gone missing?" Sulu exclaimed.
Archer's mouth thinned. "Correct, Lieutenant Sulu. Captain, I'd like you to report to your ready room. There's something I need to discuss."
"Aye, sir. Uhura, patch him through." She nodded a reply and Archer's face dissolved in digitized static, revealing the racing tunnel of ambient energy created by the Enterprise's warp field. "Mr. Sulu?"
"Drop us out of warp. We may need to regroup. Spock, you have the conn."
His friend nodded. "Affirmative, captain." Jim ignored the stars reforming and left.
Once Jim had settled in at his desk, he put Archer up on his private viewing screen. Archer's shoulders gleamed with the five rank pips of Fleet Admiral as the old man regarded him carefully. "Captain Kirk, before I go any further I want to impress on you how serious this matter is. What I'm about to tell you is classified—" "Yes sir," "—but frankly, you need to know."
Jim frowned. "About what, sir?"
"We've discovered something deeply unsettling. The Constellation's only part of the reason why I want the Enterprise to divert." Archer pursed his lips. "Several of our deep-space probes in the Kandari region have discovered a trail of planetary systems that've been systematically wiped out, all except for their stars. The most recent findings came from the deepest part of the Kandari Sector, and they were having trouble transmitting."
"How come? Those things shouldn't have much trouble transmitting."
"We believe it's due to subspace interference from…something. None of us know what." Archer's face showed every one of his advanced 146 years as worry crossed his features.
Jim sucked a breath through his teeth and hissed, "Wait a minute, L-370, that's—"
"—right in your path. I know." The old Admiral paused. "Look, Jim, the Enterprise is the best damn ship in Starfleet right now. And no, that's not just for your ego's benefit, Captain," he snapped goodnaturedly, catching Jim's ego inflating. "She's faster than anything her size, and I'll just bet Lieutenant Marcus has been doing wonders for your phaser arrays."
"She has, sir. We're all glad to have her."
"All right. Now, I want you and your crew to scout the system for anything unusual. Get the Constellation out of System L-370 as quick as you can, if you find her, understand? Get in there, find that ship, scan the region and get any survivors out ASAP. Whatever this phenomenon is, do NOT underestimate it, is that clear?"
Jim nodded. "Yes, Admiral."
Archer smiled. "Chris would've been proud of you, Captain. I'll send you the data and let you brief your crew at your own discretion. Archer out." The screen reverted back to the Starfleet emblem. Jim sat stock still for several moments before he managed to relax back into his chair. The very mention of Pike made his eyes sting and he hastily dashed the welling tears away because damn it, he was James Tiberius Kirk, not some bawling baby. But…proud? It was no small compliment coming from Jon Archer. He had history, he had guts, and he and Jim both respected each other. Jim sighed. Boy, he was glad Archer was back at the top of Starfleet. The Federation needed his wisdom.
But nevertheless, Kirk wondered, and worried. What the hell had happened to the Constellation?
There was only one way to find out. He strode out of the ready room and headed for the bridge. When he arrived back at the bridge, Spock was already waiting for him at the turbolift doors with one pointed eyebrow arched in a wordless query.
"Mr. Spock!" Jim patted his first officer's shoulder. "What've the latest?"
"Long range scans of System L-370 have been inconclusive so far, Captain," Spock replied in level tones. He led Jim to his station and accessed the logs. "Subspace interference is preventing further analysis. So far, I am finding it difficult to isolate the source."
Jim bit his lip. "Maybe it's just a pulsar, or residual radiation from a supernova."
He and Spock traded a glance that immediately put the limp excuse into its grave. "Unlikely. I have not detected any traces of stellar radiation consistent with such phenomenae."
"I was afraid of that," Jim muttered. He strode over to the command chair and commed Engineering. "Captain Kirk to Engineering. Mr. Scott?"
"Can we boost long range sensors, try and pierce some of this subspace interference?"
Down in engineering, Scotty winced as he paced around the warp core, checking various displays and making sure the ship's rookie engineers didn't blow up anything important. "Och, I dunno about tha', Captain. She's been running hot all week. Any higher power levels in those conduits is askin' for a gourmet course of Enterprise en Flambé! We can reroute some power from the replicators f'r now, but only fer—" He stopped in his tracks in frustration when he spotted his Roylan assistant Keenser seated on top of one of the plasma manifold coolant conduits—at least ten meters off the ground. "Oi!" he bellowed. "Keenser! R'ye daft?! Get doo'n!"
Jim gave a snort at his Chief Engineer's antics. "Well, let's try to avoid having that. Keep working on it. Kirk out."
Leaving Scotty to whatever-it-was down in engineering, Jim went back over to Spock. The Vulcan was still busy over at his station. "I presume the Admiral briefed you on additional circumstances regarding the Constellation's disappearance," Spock remarked without turning around.
Jim's grin faded slightly and he squinted at his first officer in fake suspicion. "Heeeyyy, for a moment I almost thought you read my mind."
At this, Spock looked up. The barest upward quirk of his lips indicated he'd understood the humor. "Hardly, Captain. I merely utilized the factual evidence available to reach the most logical conclusion."
Jim rolled his eyes. "You're a real ball of fun, you know that, right?"
Up went the eyebrow again. "Vulcans are not spheroid life-forms, Jim," Spock replied, ever the logical Vulcan. Behind them, Sulu utterly failed to stifle a snort of laughter. "It is also illogical to assume an inanimate object will consist of an emotional experience; in fact, it is physically impossible."
"Relaaax!" Jim cajoled, aware of his crew's growing grins and fighting not to smile himself. "It's another figure of speech." He folded his arms. "You need a Terran phrase book for Christmas."
The eyebrow went up another notch. "And simply add to my growing overabundance of such literature?" was the reply.
"Hey, it pays to stay informed!" Jim patted his friend's shoulder again. "Just keep trying to get readings. We may need to signal Starfleet."
"Captain? That may not be—uhhm—p-possible." Uhura spoke up, but she had to stifle a yawn. As Jim approached, he realized she looked tired; extremely so, if those dark circles under her eyes were any indication.
"Lieutenant," he said, lowering his voice, "before I ask about that, how long has it been since you've slept?"
Uhura blinked, and a rueful grin crossed Jim's lips when she blushed. "About 36 hours, captain. Maybe more."
Jim nodded. He and Uhura—hell, the entire crew of the Enterprise—had gone longer without sleep before, but Jim wasn't going to tempt fate this time. "Okay, Fill me in. After that, turn in till tomorrow. That's an order. It'd be a shame if you bruised that pretty face by nodding off."
"Yes, sir." Uhura turned back to her station, though not before shooting him a halfhearted glare. "Right now I'm barely able to filter enough of the subspace interference out to get a clear transmission." She winced and put a hand to her earpiece—probably due to a burst of static in her ear. "Captain, if we go much closer to the area, we'll be unable to get a signal through to Starfleet."
"Then we'll have to go it alone," Jim concluded quickly, gnawing at his lip while his mind flew at Warp 10. "We have got to find that ship." He seated himself in the captain's chair. "Mr. Sulu, full impulse. Ms. Troi, lay in a course for System L-370."
"Aye sir." Enterprise's bank of impulse engines flared and the great ship spun on a dime under Sulu's experienced hands.
"Ready for warp on your command, Captain."
A thrill went down Jim's spine as he watched the stars warp and stretch before his eyes. This was one of the best parts of being captain; going off into the unknown. It was what he lived for—the adventure of discovering new things in the depths of space, of seeking out new life and new civilizations. Boldly going where no one has gone before rang through his mind as the rising whine of the warp coils began to shake the very fabric of space. The Enterprise seemed to tense, eager to break into warp speed. And within the next split-second—FWAM! They were gone in a flash. Enterprise disappeared, leaving two faint trails of plasma in its wake.