"He Came Alone"

He was walking pleasantly down the street with a fellow student named Charlie. Duncan smiled for the friends he made every day on the world he had not left in his entire life.

"And that's why, I feel, in times of war, the President's orders should remain suggestions," Duncan spoke. They were outside of the youth center of their local community when a Nausicaan appeared off in the distance.

"Is it possible you have such respect for life that you would sacrifice it for anything?" Charlie responded with admiration for his new friend. Duncan's friends tended to be a little bit older than him.

Charlie pointed to say, "Look. It's a Nausicaan."

Duncan and Charlie stayed on alert. The Nausicaan would challenge Duncan to a fight. He began, "My species is from a distant world. Meet me outside of this youth center, tomorrow, or you have no honor."

The alien spat as he walked away. Duncan Swan thought this a good reason to enter the Academy after graduation. He was so poor that he had to mend his shoe that morning with thumbtacks.

The next day, he was walking down the same street, at the same time. Alone, he forgot all about the challenge that was made. He was more worried for his damaged shoe.

By the youth center, a group of Nausicaans waved him over. Already impressed that he chose to come at all, it was implied that he should have brought others.

"Oh, I forgot," Duncan responded walking over in the same clothes as the day before.

Realizing the human might have some fight, the leader of the group made himself known. He was the same who made the challenge in the first place. Each in the group was larger than he was.

"How do we do this?" the young boy, Duncan, inquired of them.

It was good that he respected his elders, "Step over this line and the fight begins, human."

He did. It got him punched in the head. The alien forced a reverse headlock. Duncan ran backwards until his foe hit a dumpster. Luckily, he was still in the reverse headlock. He told him, "Stop the fighting. Please?"

The Nausicaan stopped moving. Duncan was more worried that someone might see the bottom of his shoe than anything else. When he stopped moving, the fight was over.

"Can I go now?" he politely asked the Nausicaans. Duncan Swan fought with honor. He would not remember the fight for many years. Later, his counselor told him that he was right to not bring friends.

After the counselor made record of these facts, she informed Starfleet of that record. Sara Baker was a student about to graduate from the Academy. She was also a fan of history. She wanted to meet him.

In being asked for her choice of assignment, Sara replied, "I have to meet this guy. He may be the sole reason for the diplomatic tension between us and the Nausicaans. And it has only grown."

"You are only twenty-one years old," her teacher informed her.

Folding her arms, she asked, "Don't I have enough school credits to be posted on a Galaxy-class starship?"

"Yes," he replied, "I just didn't want to lose my best student quite yet. But, if it means that much to you, have your fun. No one says you can't go to the Academy twice. Where are you headed now?"

In a shuttlecraft, Ensign Baker gazed upon a photo, "I am already on my way to the Prime Maxim. Could you tell the dockmaster this shuttle is not stolen? Thanks."

Her hand gracefully operated the controls as she entered warp for Deep Space Eight. On the Galaxy-class starship, the two started off as friends. She found him six months into therapy and convinced him it was not a good idea.

In the holodeck, Duncan and Sara took vows. Its only witness was the retired USS Republic. Resting on the lunar surface inside a crater under a dome, it was the last of the Constitution-class from the five-year mission.

The End