I do not own Star Trek, only original character who will be glaringly obvious. Thank you for taking the time to read, hope you enjoy. Without further adieu...
Just so you know mental breakdowns have their merits. Of course they are embarrassing no matter what, and for weeks, perhaps months, after they happen people walk on eggshells around you--which can be annoying once you're finally ready to be treated like a fully functioning adult once more. But the whole getting sent home for a certain period of time with strict instructions to chill...yes those are the merits I'm talking about. The excuse to kick back with a carton of ice cream--pick your poison of flavor--and watch re-runs of your favorite T.V. show...yes those are the merits.
Of course after the tenth episode and an empty half-gallon, I began to remember the events of the previous day. Have you ever been so embarrassed or shamed that when you remember the moment you physically wince at the memory? Well let's just say I'm near twitching I'm wincing so painfully.
I looked up to find HIM, the embodiment of all my girlish fantasies and the once love of my life. It takes great will power to not drool at the sight of him in my doorway dressed impeccably in his dark gray suit and blue oxford. I narrowed my eyes for a moment then mentally sighed. I bought him that tie clip. I suppose SHE either hadn't noticed, didn't know, or perhaps he was holding onto it for sentimental reasons. I refrained from sighing though I desperately wanted to as I waved him forward.
He shifted uncomfortably and I couldn't blame him. It had only been two months since the break/horrid betrayal.
"Patricia wanted me to give you this." He quickly dropped a cream colored envelop on my desk. "She would have brought herself but she-"
I nodded, "You don't need to give excuses for her James." I eyed the envelop then looked up at him. "What's in the envelop?"
"Um," He tugged at his coat sleeves, a habit I'd once lectured him on, "its an invitation."
"Our engagement party." HER voice rang through the room like a death bell and I felt the overwhelming need to hurl.
"Your what?" I don't know how I managed to choke out my words without puking but somehow I managed.
She sashayed in, her short black pencil skirt somehow showing more than it covered and her plunging neckline blouse hugging her basically perfect body. She was everything I wasn't. Tall, slim, quite well-rounded in just the perfect spots, lightly tanned, perfectly straight teeth, perfectly straight brown hair, perfectly shaped heart face. She was every young man's wet dream. I understood, in an odd defeated way, why James would have fallen for her. I, however, still couldn't understand, if she'd befriended me in the beginning because she had designs on James all along or because she felt pity for me.
She smiled as she came up beside James, sliding her arm through his. He looked quite uncomfortable though I noticed that he didn't try to move away. She was showing her possession over him, I knew that, she knew that, and even a dim-wit in the female wiles department like James knew it.
"James and I are engaged Brenna." She held up her hand and I saw THE ring.
My eyes flew to his and even though I didn't want them to fall I felt tears brim in my eyes. He'd offered that same ring to me once. It had been his grandmother's. His mother had given to him to give to me. Then she'd become my friend, his friend as well. Then he'd asked for the ring back to refit it. Then he'd gone on long weekend meetings. Then she warned me that he was seeing another woman, all the while gloating over my distress as she placed malicious clues throughout my life. Was she the devil? Perhaps. I now didn't know for sure but it certainly appeared that way.
"I just wanted to invite you as a gesture of 'no hard feelings.'" She smiled as she squeezed his arm and I watched as an uneasy smile spread across his lips.
I tasted bile in my mouth.
"So," she spoke in a voice too high for the occasion, "that's that. James we should go now. I'm sure Brenna has lots of important things to do." She should know, I had her old job and she had the promotion I should have gotten.
I sat still for maybe two minutes after they left. Then I finally opened the envelop and slid out the thick card. It had a picture of the smiling couple. The evil friend and the ex-lover. My vision blurred.
I remember, somewhat, tearing up the envelop. However, I didn't stop there. Before I knew it I was throwing stuff off my desk, across the room, tears pouring from my eyes. According to some of my co-workers I was screaming, but I don't know if I did or not. I ended up hyperventilating then passing out in my office. I was given all the juicy details via my brother at the hospital a few hours later. My boss, bless him, figured I needed to spend my stocked up sick leave and issued me about two week's worth of down time. He of course suggested I see someone about stuff.
However, instead of "seeing someone" I'd opted for some ice cream and Star Trek re-runs. However, I now finished one marathon and it required movement to plug-in another DVD and my ice cream carton was empty. Damn.
"You are absolutely pathetic Brenna." I looked up to see my brother hovering at the doorway. "How long have you been sitting there watching Star Trek reruns?"
I smiled, chocolate ice cream at the edges of my mouth, "All afternoon. I'm not planning on stopping until my mind is a mass of goo and the pain is gone just like this half gallon of chocolate ice cream." I lifted up the carton and waved it around. "I of course added some chocolate chips, browning mix, raspberries, and chocolate syrup."
My brother lunged forward and picked it up, looking at its empty remains in astonishment. "Did you eat the whole thing in one go?" He asked, his eyebrows disappearing beneath his somewhat shaggy hair.
I nodded, "I think I had a good enough reason to put my body in sugar shock."
He shook his head and dropped the carton back onto the coffee table. He plopped down on the couch beside me and quietly watched the DVD icon bounce around on the idle screen.
"You know I'd be totally happy to just insert myself into the story lines from time to time just to mess with them. It'd beat my mind-gratingly fun job and the other issues in my life that I have to deal with.
"What would you do?" I noticed that he skipped my last comment.
I stretched my arms over my head as I spoke, "Oh I'd probably ruffle Spock's hair, molest Kirk so he knew what the girls' felt like, and share a drink with Bones."
"That's just because Spock is OCD, like you, Kirk is a chauvinist, and Bones reminds you of our Uncle Tommy." He chuckled. "You know maybe you should write some sort of fan fiction or something just to live out your fantasies."
I tipped my head to the side, "Not a bad idea. But knowing my luck I'd end up writing something everyone hated and bitched about because of my 'Mary-sue' or some crap like that. Nah, I'm happy just keeping it in my head."
He shifted and I looked over to see him frown. "You going to her party?"
"That would be a fuck no." He winced at my words as I scrunched up my face in an offended scowl. "I know I'm being irrational about this but I think I earned the right to sulk in ice cream and Star Trek when my supposed friend steals my fiancé." I stand, stretching fully. "No, I'll just buy another carton of ice cream and vegetate while I watch the next session of Star Trek episodes."
"And after that?"
I shrugged, "I'll figure it out when it comes."
My brother shook his head with a frown, "How about a compromise?"
"What sort of compromise?"
"Get a pint of ice cream."
I laughed, the first time that day, and he smiled. He always knew how to cheer me up, even when I was wallowing in my comfort foods: ice cream and Star Trek. He stood and gave me one of his bear hugs before moving off towards the computer room. He wasn't normally very affectionate so I appreciated the bear hugs whenever I sporadically got them. I stood and went to the DVD player to switch out the discs.
I snorted when I noticed how many DVD's I'd already gone through. More than half the episodes I couldn't remember watching though I already knew them by heart. I wasn't obsessed with Star Trek, or ice cream for that matter, but it did make me feel all warm and fuzzy when I needed to feel that way. Things were so simple in Star Trek. Well, complicatedly simple. There were good guys, bad guys, and good guys had to beat bad guys and protect mankind while at the same time going boldly where no man had gone before. Sounded like the perfect world for me, at least right now. As I pulled out one disc and replaced another I growled at the memories of my previous day.
Despite the most recent events overall I led a simple, uncomplicated life. I had one brother, no parents—anymore at least—and a steady job. I had no social life, too busy, and spent my free time reading and hanging with what friends I did have. I was a typical early college graduate, striving to find a purpose and place but getting caught in the stagnation of everyday work life.
"Bet Kirk never felt stagnant." I grumbled to myself as I plugged in the next disc.
The lights suddenly flickered then went out. My brother yelled something about a circuit breaker and went to investigate. I just stood there waiting, not wanting to move around in the dark. The lights flickered again and I sighed in relief. I reached forward and punched the power button to the TV. Nothing happened. I growled as I went around to the back of the TV and poked around with some of the wires, hoping to find something obviously wrong. The lights flickered again and suddenly a spark erupted from one of the wires and I jumped back, electricity shooting through my body. I leaned forward and ripped at the wire—not the smartest thing I know—then falling back again when a bright flash of white enveloped me.
I felt the horrible sensation of falling through nothing and I grasped at the air, trying to find something, anything, to hold on to. I couldn't breathe and I couldn't see through the blinding white. I wanted to scream, to thrash, but I could do nothing but fall. Then, just as suddenly as it began, it ended and I was on solid ground again.
I couldn't see or hear anything at first but then odd sounds came to me. Chirps and beeps, whirs and clicks, followed by voices. Voices? Who was in my house besides my brother and me? Then my eyes started working, slowly. I saw grey and white modules, flashing lights, colorful dials. Then my body could move again. I winced at the stiffness I felt. I struggled to roll over and stand. The world spun for the first few moments as I stood but then as everything started to clear I almost fell over again, this time in shock.
"Red alert! Battle stations! Prepare for impact!"
I froze at the words and at the sight before me. I must've gotten a really good shock because there was no way I was standing on the bridge of the Enterprise with everyone rushing to battle stations while the alarm and red lights whirred in the background. Or perhaps I really had a mental breakdown and now had lost touch with reality. I smirked at the thought. Of all the fantasies for me to lose myself in…why couldn't I have at least chosen a fantasy that was peaceful?
I turned to find Spock at my side, eyeing me curiously. Kirk turned around and immediately raised his eyebrows. But before anyone could say anything the ship lurched and I fell against Spock. For a fantasy reality he was surprisingly solid. And sheesh was he hot; I mean physically. I never really thought about how Vulcans really did have a higher body temperature. However, with his hands gripping my shoulders and forcing me back away from him, it was quite apparent to me that not only was he hot—again temperature wise—but also this was a surprisingly real fantasy. When the ship finally stopped moving I managed to untangle myself from the man who shouldn't exist and stepped back. Kirk stood with his scowling gaze on me.
"Damage report Mr. Chekov."
"Forward shields are at 80% and holding Keptain."
Kirk nodded then stepped closer, eyeing me in curiosity. "How did you get on my ship?" He turned his head and asked over his shoulder, "Are the internal sensors working?"
I watched Chekov poke a few buttons before nodding, "Aye Keptain."
Kirk studied me and I winced. Even if this was a starkly real feeling fantasy it really did suck that I looked like I did. You'd think for a fantasy my mind would've altered my appearance, but it hadn't. I still had chocolate ice cream around my mouth and probably on my chin and nose—I wear my food more than I eat it sometimes. I wore baggy flannel pajama pants—two sizes too big—and an oversized t-shirt that fell off one shoulder to reveal one strap of my sports bra. My mousy brown hair probably resembled Medusa's snakes as the medium cropped mass poked every which way about my head.
I'm not ugly, but I'm not stunningly beautiful. I'm average female height, of average weight—I walk for exercise when I have the free time—pale blue eyes, a pixie nose that was the bane of my existence, full lips that I hated, above a slightly pointed chin with a "devil's cleft" in it. When I actually put on make-up and got all gussied up I could look pretty, but right now I looked like dog chow. No wonder James left me for HER.
"Who are you and how did you get on my ship?" Kirk was very close now and I winced at the gruffness of his voice.
"Captain!" Kirk turned to face Sulu. "They're firing again!"
"Evasive maneuvers." He ground out. "Get us out of here Mr. Sulu."
"Aye, aye captain."
"Brace for impact!" Chekov squawked.
This time instead of falling into Spock I rammed into the back of Kirk, and he was not nearly as solid as Spock had been. He ended up falling over his own chair while I tumbled onto the floor beside the chair. The world continued to spin and shake for a few seconds until I felt strong arms hoisting me to my feet.
"Again, who are you?" Kirk kept hold of me, his grip firm but not quite painful, yet. "Are you apart of those people?"
He pointed to the rather odd looking ship facing us through the view screen. I could only blink in response. Was there even a point in replying to a non-existent person?
"Perhaps we should conduct this inquiry in a better environment." Spock was suddenly at Kirk's side. "And at a better time."
I sighed in relief when Kirk nodded. He ordered me to the brig. Spock of course asked if maybe McCoy should examine me first. Kirk reluctantly agreed and I was quickly escorted into the turbolift. The ship shook again while we were in the turbolift and for a moment I was afraid I'd be stuck with two redshirts—I really didn't want to be around them, these were the guys that always got killed after all. Thankfully we didn't get stuck.
As we walked through the corridor towards the medical bay I was again struck at how real this fantasy felt.
"Is that her?" McCoy asked once we arrived.
"Yes sir. She hasn't said anything nor has she tried to get away." One of the redshirts said as he handed me over to McCoy. "She's been quietly compliant so far."
McCoy nodded, "Yes, they usually save their dangerous antics for me." He led me to one of the beds and had me lie down, my vitals immediately being picked up by the monitors. He in turn picked up a scanner and went to work scanning me. "Don't suppose you have a name?"
I answered despite my earlier ponderings, "Its Brenna, Brenna Jones."
McCoy's gaze narrowed, "Why didn't you speak up on the bridge?"
"I was in shock actually."
That seemed to pique McCoy's interest and he looked directly at me, "Shock from what?"
"You'd be in shock if you were at home minding your own business then suddenly you're electrocuted and transported onto a spaceship that isn't supposed to exist." I opted for the truth since again this was just a fantasy and it didn't matter.
"What do you mean by 'not exist'?"
For a fantasy created character he seemed awfully dead-on in his questioning and reactions. I eyed him slowly then reached out and poked him. He merely watched my movements before he ventured forward a bit.
"What did you mean?"
For the first time I felt a little uneasy about my earlier confession. "Maybe we should wait until Kirk and Spock aren't trying to save the ship from destruction before I go into that."
McCoy again looked surprised, "How do you know the captain's name? And Spock's too?"
I gulped and said the first thing to come to mind, "Someone mentioned it?"
McCoy didn't look convinced and I didn't blame him; I'd always been a horrible liar.
"We'll wait for the captain." McCoy finished his scans moments later and looked to the redshirts. "She's healthy enough for the brig."
I sighed and hopped off the bed. I didn't realize you had to be healthy to be in a brig. What great humor the doctor had. On the way to the brig I occupied myself with curiously observing everyone and everything. It looked different in the flesh. Duh! But seriously, the 3-D perspective was quite…exhilarating. Though being shoved into a room with an invisible force field keeping me in wasn't so exhilarating. For a fleeting moment, and I mean fleeting, I couldn't help but wonder if perhaps this fantasy was in fact reality. But then common sense came back and I chuckled at my own silliness.
I sat on the bench for a few silent moments, contemplating my situation, and my sanity—which I seriously felt that I'd lost. After a while the red lights turned off and the ceased shuddering beneath me. I sighed and dropped my head. Usually in dreams and fantasy the observer had the ability to manipulate it to their liking and time had no coherent meaning. So far in this fantasy time was the same as always and nothing I did seemed to alter the fact that I was sitting in the brig in my pajamas. The longer I sat there staring at the humming force field the more I questioned my sanity. Then, I was seized with an idea. Maybe if electricity "brought" me here then maybe electricity would "take" me back. I wasn't looking forward to it but it had to be done, for the sake of curiosity. I stood and rolled my neck. One second, pause…two second, pause…three second…go!
"Bloody hell!" I yelped as I bounced off the force field and fell back on the floor in pain.
I curled in the fetal position and wished away the pain that radiated through my body. So that wasn't one of my brightest ideas. The pain also brought with it the reality of my situation. There was no way a fantasy could be so real as to induce that sort of pain, this much detailed 3-d experience, nor the interactions I'd had with the crew so far. I moaned as I closed my eyes. What the hell happened to me?
"What in the blazes happened?" perhaps McCoy was psychic because he repeated my own thought.
I saw Spock and Kirk standing near the entrance. "Well I had an idea and I followed through with it."
McCoy sighed as he helped me sit up, "What in Saint Lucia's name did you do?"
"I figured that if electricity brought me here then maybe it'd take me back," Spock raised an eyebrow and Kirk continued to frown so I looked to McCoy's more gentle and curious features. "So I ran into the force field."
"The force field is not made of electricity." Leave it to Spock to state something like that now, with me still writhing in pain.
I frowned, "Well it's a shame you weren't here earlier to point that out to me."
Kirk raised his hands, "What's this take about electricity bringing and taking you anywhere?" He moved forward and pointedly studied me. "Who are you and where did you come from?"
"I could make a very obvious statement but now is not the time for the obvious is it?" I allowed McCoy to help me sit back on the bench as he again scanned me.
I sighed and sat down on the bench, suddenly needing the support, "Not only are you not going to believe me but you're going to want to drop me off at the nearest psychiatric facility. I don't think I'd try to stop you actually because for me this should not be happening."
"What are you implying?" Spock has his hands clasped behind his back, a sure sign that he was perplexed about something.
I took a deep breath and slowly let it out, "Okay here it goes. I'm Brenna Jones, born August 23, 1982, daughter to Shelly and Mark Jones, both deceased, younger sister to Jonathon Jones, born January 8, 1980. I live, or lived, with my brother in Georgetown, Virginia in the United States of America, where I work, or worked, as a public relations manager for a humane educational agency. I was watching television in the year 2008 when the power went out and I got electrocuted. When I came to I was on the bridge of this ship with no knowledge of how I got here."
The trio stared at me in varying degrees of confusion and silence. Only Spock seemed unperturbed by my announcement, and that was only because he had better control at masking his emotions.
"So you're trying to tell me that you are from the 21st century and have no knowledge of how you ended up on my ship?" Kirk looked skeptical and I couldn't blame him, it did sound pretty far out, and it was.
I nodded, "I actually have more but I think the information will either seal my fate as an inmate of a psychiatric facility or it might make the three of you seriously contemplate your own existence." I had been pondering whether or not I should tell them about their "fictional" status and finally figured what the hell—I wasn't really here anyway!
"What information might that be?" Spock stoically asked, though again I could see his curiosity.
I took a deep breath. This was going to be fun.
"In my time, or maybe in my plane of existence, all of you are fictional characters in a long running science fiction series created by a man of the name Gene Roddenberry." McCoy snorted and I turned to him. "That's how I know that you're Doctor Leonard McCoy from Georgia with an ex-wife Jocyln and daughter named Joanna. You have great compassion for your patients however you are always haunted by an incident with your father, that I will not elaborate on." He winced, as did I. "You are Commander Spock, half human half Vulcan with an ambassador father Sarek and human mother named Amanda. You also have a half-brother whom you have lost contact with over the years. You always struggle with maintaining your Vulcan side in the face of all these humans." He raised his eyebrows but said nothing so I moved on. "You are Captain James Tiberius Kirk of the starship Enterprise. Your father inspired you to join Starfleet and though you have a rather maverick way of doing things you have always performed admirably. However you have romanced many, many women but have never married because you are married to your career and nothing can come between you and the love you hold for your ship." I sighed, "I could go on all day about the Klingons, Andorians, Denobulans, Romulans, Bajorans, Cardassians, sheesh the list of races goes on and on. I could give you information on any one of your bridge crew and at least one engineer." A smile formed on my lips. "Other than being an omnipotent being with an impish streak, or perhaps a very, very good stalker, there is little other explanation for my having all that information."
They were silent. McCoy looked horrified and intrigued at the same time, Kirk looked furious, and Spock was Spock. I sighed and rubbed the bridge of my nose.
"I could give you the destruct sequence code for this ship, I could give you descriptive details of past missions you have been on, and if I found out the date and current mission I could tell you how it ends up." I leaned forward and rested my elbows on my knees. "Use your computer. Research me and my history and research Gene Roddenberry. See if at least that much is true. Though I don't know if it'll even show up on your computers since they're just 'made up' anyway."
Spock nodded after a pause, "That is a logical plan, captain."
"Yes," Kirk uncrossed his arms, "Get on it Spock. In the mean time, Bones, would you mind escorting Miss Jones to the guest quarters where she can get more comfortable?"
I didn't move, "Why are you suddenly letting me out of here? Not that I'm going to complain about the change of scenery, or comfort, but why are you moving me to a place where if I was lying I could potentially harm the ship or crew?"
Kirk smiled and took my elbow to help me stand, "Exactly. If you are a threat you will reveal your true colors in time, if not then my hospitality will not have been wasted."
I chuckled and allowed him and McCoy to lead me from the brig. Sneaky bastard, Kirk was always such a sneaky bastard.
"We'll meet for dinner in my quarters tonight," Kirk let go of me once we were in the corridor, "Until then Miss Jones." He nodded to me then turned and walked off.
"Sneaky little bastard isn't he?" I looked over to McCoy with a half smile. "Leaving me with you."
McCoy looked confused, "Whatever do you mean?"
"You're the crash, blunt, passionate, emotional one that has the ability to bond with others and has good intuition about traps." He looked a little perturbed by my observation and I knew it was because he knew I was right. "I could make some money with this situation. Say I'm a fortune teller or something." I laughed a little hysterically and I saw McCoy look a little worried for a moment. "Don't worry, if my story checks out, then I'm not insane. Though just the fact that I'm here makes me think that perhaps maybe I am." Oh now my head hurt.
"Well finding out I'm just a fictional character in some cracker jack's mind isn't exactly settling to my nerves either."
I grimaced, "I'm sorry."
McCoy was silent for a few moments as we walked, obviously contemplating my words. He still hadn't spoken when we reached one of the quest quarters. Once we entered and the door closed he turned to me.
"Can you tell me how it all ends?" He looked very concerned and again I didn't blame him.
"It doesn't. This story turns into another and then another and it keeps going just like real life. People are born and die; they grow old and make mistakes. People fall in love, have their hearts broken; battles are fought and won. It's just like life. That's how it ends, like life ends."
That seemed to placate him enough for his shoulders to relax and for him to smile slightly, "I bet you know how my story ends." I blanched and he smiled. "I don't want to know. Some things should be left unsaid." I nodded; boy did I understand that the hard way. "Now you'll find some things to wear in those drawers there and the bathroom is through that door." He frowned. "Do you know how to work a sonic shower?"
I laughed, "Honey the only thing sonic in my century was a fast food joint and the sonic boom."
McCoy shared a smile and quickly went about showing me how to work the various gadgets and gizmos. He chuckled at my clumsy attempts but didn't out rightly laugh, bless him.
"I'll stop by to escort you to dinner tonight. Until then I suppose you can amuse yourself with the computer and catching up on any history you haven't memorized or been privy to." He went to the door. "Just don't leave. Jim's posted guards out here and I'm sure he'd appreciate it if you didn't try to wander about the ship."
I nodded, "I'll be too busy exploring history."
He smiled then was gone, leaving me to myself and my weakening sanity. Too help soothe myself I headed for the shower, letting it work its magic on my body.
"This has got to be the most insanely real hallucinations I've ever experienced." I spoke to myself as I lay on the bed some time later and stared around me at the contents of the room.
Everything looked real, in the sense of Star Trek universe real, and legitimate. There was no way my brother could've gotten together with his friends and hired actors to play a joke on me—and he certainly didn't have the money to ever try something like that. No, I was either really here or I was really unconscious and dreaming up a storm.
However, no matter what was going on, I knew that I had to keep my sanity together. I'd always been known for being tenacious and adaptable. My father often described me as a cat; I always landed on my feet no matter what height I fell from. I didn't always agree, and even now I don't sometimes, but I do have a knack for accepting changes easily and working with them, making them work for me as well. Well, most changes. Having my fiancé stolen from me…that was a bit more difficult to accept.
Hell, if I was really on the Enterprise, and this was really real for me now, then I'd live it up. Do everything I'd always wanted to do when watching the movies and episodes. I'd finally be able to debate with Spock, maybe sneak a hair ruffle or two. I'd be able to smack Kirk any time he was a butt, or even purr in his ear any time he was sweet. I'd be able to debate and joke with McCoy, drink with Scotty, giggle with Chekov and his accent, and flirt with Sulu—I'd always had a thing for that sexy Asian!
Just thinking about the list of things was starting to cheer me up—helping me get the courage I needed to get on that dang blasted computer and find out what happened to what was left of my life back in the 21st century and my family and friends. Perhaps this was just what I needed to help get over James and Patricia. Perhaps my insanity had a purpose after all.