The nightmare showed its ugly face, again. It is the one where he could see the Enterprise being shot down. Spock is sitting in the captain's chair. By his actions, it seems like he is giving out orders. He can barely make out what Spock is saying because of the explosions happening outside the ship. "Keep…stable…maintain…steady flight pattern." He watches as Spock takes off his seat restraints and heads towards the hall in a hurry; disappearing around the corner. Then he hears a large laser beam sound coming from the front of the ship's commanding room. He walks to the large window. He looks out to see a massive beam of orange and red light. In an instance there is a blinding light and then, nothing. It was the last thing Kirk saw before he woke up.
The next morning, he gets dressed and heads over to the Starfleet academy. Walking through the doors to the medical examination room, he takes a seat in the waiting room. He takes a deep breath that he didn't realize he was holding. He feels exhausted since he didn't get much sleep last night. Damn those dreams. The training Spock suggested better work. After a few months, he hopes the dreams will stop. Though that may seem unlikely, at least he hopes it eases this unsettling feeling in the pit of his stomach. Probably shouldn't have skipped breakfast.
Kirk turns his attention to the man in a white long sleeve standing at the door's threshold. The Chief Medical Officer of his crew. His friend.
"Hey, Bones. Ready for that exam. Make it quick, though."
McCoy eyes his friend. "You can't rush these things."
"Come on, Bones. Just wave your hand around with that thingy, and bam! I'm clear."
"Right. It's good to see you're taking your medical examinations seriously." McCoy replies with an eye roll.
"What do you mean? I take everything seriously." He retorts with a mocking shock expression.
"Ha! Well, right this way, Mr. Serious." McCoy leads Kirk to the examination room.
"Take a seat, there." Leonard waves his hand towards the exam table in the middle of the room.
"I received the request forms from Master Enre. You decided to start sword training. I hear the cadets are very pleased with this new course training." He said with a smile. There is that word, again, 'pleased.' Not a typical choice of word to describe a training class.
"So why this training? Getting rusty, are we?" His thoughts are interrupted by McCoy's sly remark.
"Reason?" He seemed lost in his thoughts trying to find a way to explain his reason. He couldn't find the right words. "Spock suggested it."
The doctor stares at him for a moment then smiles. "Of course. So you are getting rusty."
Kirk attempts a laugh, but he is not feeling it today. Last night's dream is still in his mind.
McCoy did the basic routine in examining him. He took some blood, checked his heart rate, temperature, stamina, and a few other tests.
After a while, McCoy spoke. "You are good to go."
Kirk gets up to leave.
"Oh, and Captain," McCoy places his hand on Kirk's shoulder, "Whatever is on your mind, you will get through it. I know you will." He drops his hand. Kirk turns to face him.
He will get through this. He exits the medical office clinging to the words of his friend.
He arrived at the top floor of the academy. Exiting the elevator, he notices several students lined in rows - military style - with their hands behind their back. They are not dressed in the usual cadet uniform, but in a khaki fitted fleece training pants and a long sleeve to match. He sighs. Great. He feels overly dressed in his yellow captain uniform, and he can already tell this was going to be a rough day.
A ding is heard announcing someone's arrival. Kirk is the only one to react to this sound. He turns around to see the three masters he met yesterday coming out of the elevator he just came through. Kirk nodded his head as a greeting, which only Master Eren acknowledged in return. He watches as the other two masters walk in front of the class. Kirk can't help but notice how agile their movements are. Enre joins them, standing in the middle between the two.
"Greetings. Today's lesson will involve sword fighting with wooden swords."
As Eren spoke, Kirk moved in position next to a long hair, tall young man that looked to be around his early twenties.
Master Malik opens a box to retrieve the weapons the class will be using.
"As you can see," Eren gestures towards Malik, practice weapon in hand, "these wooden swords are not your typical practice weapons used here in the academy. These are a lot longer and thinner to match the weight of this weapon here."
He takes out a metal hilt from his belt and a blue beam immediately appears. Eren walks around so everyone has a view of his weapon.
Kirk, stunned, can't keep his eyes off the green beam. He has never seen a weapon like that before.
"Malik, Ragnhailt, and I will observe your combat skills and study your sword formation. Pair up, and then you may begin."
Immediately, everyone was paired up and were given a wooded longsword, leaving a few stragglers. Kirk looks around, then his eyes are met by the eyes of a young woman. Her hair is up with only a few strands of lose hair. Instead of the long sleeve shirt that every cadet is wearing, here, she has on a short sleeve with bands wrapped around her arms. She definitely stands out.
"Partners?" He asks.
She nods and goes to grab two swords from the box. She returns, tossing one to Kirk.
"Thanks. You got a name?"
"Rey." His sparring partner responds. "Yours?"
"Kirk." They both face each other and give a low bow.
Rey is the first to strike causing Kirk to hastily defend himself. She is quick and smooth. He is surprised by the assertion of her movements. She seems so… gentle.
As they continue to dart towards each other, mainly Rey, Kirk decides to use a defensive tactic - pushing Rey's sword against her with his hope in catching her off balance. Of course it only worked for a moment until she pushed off him, spinning to his left side and kick sweeping him to the ground.
He lands on his face. Did she just trip me? He is appalled, but more amused than anything. He gets to his feet. No more playing nice. He thought.
He focuses on offensive tactic keeping the right amount of distance in case she decides to sweep him off his feet, again; and he means that literally. She has a smug look on her face. She is clearly entertained by his choice of tactic.
At every strike, she blocks him. Damn, she's swift.
They keep at it for some time. Kirk is so enthralled by Rey's fighting strategy that he forgets they aren't alone.
Finally, Kirk is able to lock an attack above her, forcibly arching her back with his sword, but she only remains calm; relaxing her muscles. She has her eyes closed and he notices her steady breathing. Her eyes open slowly; and suddenly, she shoves him with a strength he didn't expect she would have. After two hours, how is she not tired?
Now he is on the defensive, blocking her every move. He forgets about his foot work and ends up losing some balance, which then she is able to spin with her wooden sword and strike his face - hard enough to knock him to the ground.
Once he is on the ground, his back to the mat, she attempts to bring her sword down on him. He rolls out of the way, quickly, and bring himself to his feet, sword in hand facing her. That look in her eye. He seen it before. She is radiating, but he couldn't quite pin it down from what exactly.
"That's enough for now." They hear the master call out as he walks to the center of the training ground. Rey drops her sword at once and stands at attention facing the masters. The rest of the students did the same. Slowly, Kirk follows suit.
"Class dismissed." Enre gives the class a bow and the students bow in return. He leaves to his office, while the other two masters collect the wooden swords.
Rey is already handing her sword. Kirk runs up next to her. He hands his sword and follows alongside her.
"Great job today." From where he is walking, he can't tell if she is being sarcastic or not. She practically wiped her feet on him.
They walk towards the elevator doors where a few classmates are waiting. Finally, being able to look at her as they stood, he notices a genuine smile on her face. She continues, "I've been studying for some time now, but even then, you've got a good head on your shoulders when it comes to knight combat."
"What do you mean?" Kirk asks, curiously. She's, what, in her late teens? Yet, she speaks as if she has many more years in her belt.
Smiling she says, "I mean, you think on your feet. Most beginners in this sort of training would continue dogging or blocking attacks, not attempt to look within to find an opening to switch positions. Plus, you got me to work harder." She lets out a giggle at her last statement. The elevator doors open.
The last of the students all jumble in the elevator leaving only room for one. Rey takes the last spot leaving a few more students behind, including Kirk.
"See you in class tomorrow." She waves as the doors are closing.
He nods in return. "Yeah. Be ready. No more open shots for you." He teases earning a smirk from Rey.
The doors shut. They should consider having more than one way out, Kirk mentally suggests. His legs feel as if they are made of jelly. It has been one long day. The lack of sleep is beginning to take a hold of him. He should probably get some rest soon. He is going to need it if the training continues like this. Is it worth it? He knows it is. As the days' pass, he will grow stronger, and with the distraction in hand (plus getting his butt beat by Rey), he will no longer have to worry about those terrible dreams.
As Kirk continues his thought process, the elevator doors open to let him and the last several students inside. Once in, he notices the same long hair young man from the beginning of class. He now has a better view. The young man has a unique look to him. Much too serious, though. Was he ever that serious at his age? Kirk mentally recalls the time he stole his step-father's car for the second time - it being freshly painted from the shop. The first time he was merely eight years old, and he totaled it over a cliff after being chased by a patrol officer. Chuckling to himself, the young man next to him eyes him, weirdly.
Aware of this, Kirk glances at him realizing he must be laughing to himself too loudly. "Sorry about that. Just remembering something." The doors open to the bottom floor and the young man exits right away without saying a word. Yeah, that kid needs to lighten up.