Jim Kirk stood looking out the window in his extensive office at Starfleet Headquarters. He had been an admiral for two years now and had even taught some classes at Starfleet Academy. He had been surprised when he was asked to do that, but the classes had been about space exploration. He did not claim to be an expert on the subject, but he supposed maybe he knew more than the average admiral. He had had plenty of feedback because he was one of the most casually dressed admirals in Starfleet when he was in the office. He did not like wearing that uniform every day. Sometimes he wore his uniforms he had worn on the ship which now had his Admiral's insignia on them. He had definitely enjoyed the time he had spent with Carol and Alex during the two years, and he had stayed in touch with Bones, who was living on Pacifica now as a doctor. Spock had taken command of the Enterprise which was under Jim's direction, so he was always talking to Spock, or Uhura. Spock had attempted to get Bones to be the ship's doctor again, but he had informed him that he had done his time in the darkness and silence, and had no desire to do any more time there.

Jim and Carol had not gone to Pacifica yet, but they were planning to soon. Bones had been asking him to come there since he moved there. Jim had seen Bones change a great deal since he moved to Pacifica. He actually seemed happy part of the time. He definitely smiled and laughed more and was not near as sarcastic. However, he had not given up all his sarcasm. He could always think of something bad that could happen when Jim told him about things that happened at the Academy. With all those different species there from all those different planets, I'm surprised there hasn't already been some sort of outbreak. Jim almost laughed as he remembered Bones saying that.

Jim had to admit, he felt bored at times staying there all the time. He was happy with his life, but he missed the adventure of being out in space not knowing what would happen next. How could he miss all that danger? He could remember all the times that he did not know if he would come out alive or not. Still, he did miss it. He did not let Carol know that. She liked the life they had now without worrying about strange planets and hostile species who wanted to kill them.

Just then, Jim's intercom whistled. He went over to his desk. "Yes?" he said.

Ajah, his secretary, said, "You have a call from Kronos, Sir."

"Send it through."

Ajah pressed the button that sent the transmission to Jim's com system. Ajah had become Jim's secretary after they left the Enterprise. He was from Nervala Four where Jim and the crew had discovered that Ajah and some others had been victims of an inhuman experiment, and their DNA had been crossed with that of a Capellan Power Cat. Ajah still had the ability to manipulate electricity, but he was a very solemn person, and had created many holo-novels for ships and other holodecks.

Jim activated his com system and Chancellor Gorkon appeared on the screen. "Chancellor," Jim said. "It's good to see you."

"It is good to see you as well, Admiral Kirk," Gorkon replied. "I wish that I contacted you sometime when there is not trouble, but it seems there is hardly ever a time when there is none."

"Transitions to peace and a different way of life are never easy."

"You are right."

"What's going on?"

"The rogue Klingon factions have attacked the capital city again. I regret to inform you that Lolak has been killed."

Jim frowned. Lolak had rescued him when he was captured by the rogue Klingons. He had always called Jim Young Captain and Young Admiral. "I'm sorry to hear that," he said.

"He died with honor, trying to protect me. Korax was also wounded, but he will survive."

"Is everything okay now?"

"It is not. I fear they will attack again, but we will fight. There are many more of us than of them."

Jim had a feeling that this transmission was not just to tell him that they would fight. "Do you need help?" he asked, wondering if Gorkon was too prideful to ask.

Gorkon stood up straighter. "They refuse to negotiate with us," he said. "They feel that the Klingon way of life is being threatened by this peace treaty with the Federation."

"Can't they see by now that it's not?"

"They are unreasonable. You have been an Ambassador for us. Would you take on that task once again?"

Jim tried not to let his shock at that question show. He could imagine Carol's reaction if he said he was going to Klingon space to negotiate with hostile Klingons. "Uh, well, I would like to help, Chancellor, but…"

"You would have great honor among the Klingons if you negotiate this treaty."

Jim had thought he already had great honor among the Klingons since he did not have to worry about them kidnapping him anymore. "I have to talk to the head of Starfleet," he said. "I can't just go without approval."

"Yes. I would speak to your leader if it will help."

Jim wanted to say that he would have to talk to his wife too, but he knew how Klingons felt about that. "I'll get back to you, Sir."

Gorkon did his usual salute with a fist across the chest. Jim ended the transmission and blew out a breath. How would he explain this to Carol? How would he even explain it to Admiral Winston? Well, he did not think it would be very difficult to get Admiral Winston to agree. He seemed to only tolerate him around there anyway. He did not think the Admiral liked him very much.

Jim pressed his intercom button. "Ajah, could you come in here?" he asked.

"Be right there, Sir," Ajah replied.

Ajah soon came in the door. He still had his glowing eyes which were a leftover part of his DNA being mixed with a Power Cat. However, everyone had grown used to seeing him, even if he was sitting at his desk creating an electricity display with his fingers. He wore a Starfleet uniform now though as he walked into Jim's office and stood at attention. "Admiral."

"At ease," Jim said. "Have a seat."

Ajah sat down. He had brought a notepad with him. "Did you need something?" he asked.

"That transmission from Chancellor Gorkon…he wants me to be their Ambassador and negotiate with the rogue Klingons."

Ajah frowned at that. "Are you going to do it?" he asked.

Jim blew out a breath. "I don't know, but Gorkon has a lot of confidence in me, and he doesn't seem to think that I would say no. How can I say no? It could help them finally stop all these battles."

"It would be very dangerous."

Jim nodded. "No doubt about that. I think the most dangerous thing for me would be telling Carol about it."

Ajah snickered at that but wiped the smirk off his face as Jim scowled at him. "I don't think this is funny," Jim said.

"Neither do I, Sir," Ajah replied.

Jim thought that sounded a bit sarcastic. "I don't even know if Admiral Winston will approve of this anyway."

Ajah knew everything that went on in the office. He thought Admiral Winston would probably be glad that Jim left for a while. Although he was not in space, he had created quite a stir around this office as well. Jim was not the typical admiral, but he could be just a stern.

"You're awfully quiet," Jim said. "You think he'll jump at the chance to get me out of here?"

"No sir," Ajah replied.

"You're a terrible liar."

"Thank you."

"You admit you're lying?"

"Yes."

"You are no help."

"Would it not be better if the Klingons had peace in their space?" Ajah asked.

"Sure, it would."

"And if you could help bring that about, would it not be worth it?"

"I'm sure it would, but I don't know that I could, and I'd be in a lot of danger trying."

"I will go and be your bodyguard. I am sure Helek would be happy to go as well."

Jim would not doubt that. They had been bodyguards for him more than once. There were always hostile beings around. He was sure Solan would be happy to go as well. Solan had been working in transport and delivery with his ship as well as other transport ships. Jim did not think he was very happy with that, but he had developed a relationship with Priscilla, and that job gave him the time to stay with her. Helek worked in maintenance. He had the same abilities with electricity that Ajah had, and he loved working with power conduits.

"I'll talk to Admiral Winston after I talk to Carol," Jim said. "I'll talk to her tonight though, not over a transmission."

"Admiral, if I may say so…I believe that this would be a noble mission, and I also believe it is an honor that the Klingons would request that you help them."

Jim nodded. "Yeah. You're dismissed, Ajah. Just let me know if there are anymore calls."

"Yes sir."

Ajah went back out to his desk. He had worked with Korax plenty of times and had grown to have great respect for him. He knew what it was like to try and fit into a culture where one was different. It had taken a long time for people to stop staring at him because of his glowing yellow eyes, but he supposed they had to realize he was not dangerous.

Jim wanted to talk to Admiral Winston now, but he would not talk to him until he spoke to Carol. She was always angrier that he did not talk about things to her before he volunteered. However, he would call Spock and have him keep the Enterprise on stand-by, because he intended to take this trip on that ship. He sent a transmission to the Enterprise which was out at Jupiter Station delivering supplies.

Spock was sitting in the captain's chair aboard the Enterprise approving the supplies that they were delivering. "Captain, we have a transmission from Earth," Uhura said. "It's from Admiral Kirk."

"On screen," Spock replied. He looked at the viewscreen as Jim appeared there. Spock was not surprised to see that Jim was not in uniform but was wearing what he "felt" like wearing. "Admiral."

"Afternoon, Spock," Jim said. "How's the mission going?"

"Very smoothly. Is there a problem?"

"Oh, no, there's no problem. I just want you to keep the Enterprise on stand-by after this mission. You may have to take me somewhere."

"You will be aboard the Enterprise?"

"Yes. I may be going on a diplomatic mission."

"To where, may I ask?"

"Kronos."

Everyone on the Bridge was surprised by that as they all looked at the viewscreen. "May I ask what the purpose is?" Spock asked.

"Well…I'll fill you in more later," Jim said. "Just be ready. I want you back to Earth once you're done with that delivery."

"Yes, Admiral."

"Kirk out."

Jim ended the transmission. He was sure no one wanted to get into anymore conflicts with the Klingons, and he did not either, but he would have to do whatever Admiral Winston decided.

As Jim left the office, it was getting dark outside. He thought he might just walk home. He had a lot of thinking to do and he hoped Chancellor Gorkon did not contact Admiral Winston before he had a chance to tell him about the request himself. He could not deny that he was anticipating this mission and might even be a little anxious. It had been a struggle for him to become the captain of that ship after all. Now, he was an admiral, a husband, a father, and he liked that…but he missed that ship.

Jim walked into the apartment that he shared with Carol and Alex. "Honey, I'm home," he said, as he usually did.

Carol came to the bedroom door. "Welcome home, Admiral," she replied.

Jim smiled. "So, how has your day been?"

"Like usual. I've looked over parts for weapons, and new technology until I hope I never see another. What about your day?"

Jim was silent a moment as he took his jacket off. Carol waited for him to answer. "Something interesting happen today?" she asked.

"You might say that," Jim said.

"Oh, and you want to talk about it? Is it something about a mission?"

"Yeah."

"Well, I have us something prepared for a nice dinner, so why don't we go to the dining room and you can tell me about it?"

Jim nodded. "Where's Alex?"

"Sleeping."

"Okay."

Jim followed her to the dining room and they sat down at the table that was already fixed. "So, shall we talk now or after we eat?" Carol asked.

"I think I just want to talk now," Jim replied.

"Okay. But why don't we eat at the same time? I'm starved."

Jim smiled. "Okay." He looked at his plate but was not sure he was very hungry at the moment. "Chancellor Gorkon contacted me today."

Carol stopped what she was doing. "The Klingon chancellor?"

"Yes. There was an attack on the capital city. Lolak was killed."

Carol's surprised and sadness at that was apparent. She was not sure what to say. She knew Lolak had risked his life to help Jim. "What did he want you to do?"

"He wants me to be their ambassador to the rogue Klingons."

Carol almost stood up. "What?! Are you serious?"

"Now, Carol…"

"You're actually considering doing that? Do you have any idea how dangerous that would be? You're a husband and a father now, Jim. You can't just go running off on these dangerous missions!"

Jim was propping on his hand waiting for her to stop. "I haven't even discussed it with Admiral Winston yet," he said.

"But you're going to!"

"I have to. It's an official request, Carol. I can't just ignore it."

Carol blew out a breath. "I realize that, but you'll go if he wants you to," she said.

"You know better than that. If he orders me to go, I'll have to. I can't just say, no I'm not going. I wanted to talk to you first."

Carol was silent a moment. "So you talked to me before you talked to the admiral?"

"Yeah. But I have to tell him, if Gorkon hasn't told him already."

"You know he'll want you to go."

"It's possible. I'm not exactly an expert at negotiating."

"But Gorkon has great respect for you. He would not want anyone else."

"You're probably right. I'm sure he's going to have them come to a neutral place. I won't be going to their planet."

"Right. And you'll have bodyguards with you."

"Yeah. Ajah and Helek, and probably Solan too."

"The usual. Jim, I don't want to be unreasonable, but I don't want you in danger."

"I know that, but maybe I can help them."

"Or maybe you could be captured again."

"Let's try to have a little optimism."

"Oh, Jim. I'm not sure I can."

"I'll be going on the Enterprise. It's the most advanced ship in the fleet. Spock will be with me too."

"What about Doctor McCoy?"

"I haven't asked him yet. But there's a doctor on the ship."

"I won't be with you this time."

"I know, but I'll stay in touch."

"I don't want you to go, but I won't argue with you if Admiral Winston tells you to go."

"Thank you."

"But I won't like it."

Jim chuckled at that. "That's okay."

"And after you get back, we're going on our vacation."

"Right."

Carol folded her arms. "Jim Kirk, I think you're sassing me."

"Me? I would never."

Carol hated the idea that he would go into Klingon space, but she was sure that's what he would do…