Title: The Keepers

Copyright: If you recognize it - not mine, but if you don't then it's mine!!!

Within the Federation the event of First Contact with a world that just achieved warped drive was momentous. Everything was discussed and agonized over before any action was made. They were always the one instigating the event so when the Federation was on the receiving end of a first contact they did not know exactly how to react.

The unknown alien ship entered Federation space with little pomp and circumstance until it was noticed by a Starfleet outpost. Attempts were made to contact the ship but the ship did not respond back. Starfleet stated that the ship could be dangerous and should at least be stopped until the Federation could discover the purpose of the ship. Several starships were sent out to stop the alien ship but when the starships came close the engines and weaponry shut down. It was like they were - to use an old Terran colloquialism - dead in the water. It wasn't until the alien ship was well out of range that the engines came back on.

One ship was able to capture an image of the alien ship and sent it to the Federation before its engines shut down. The ship was elegantly crafted looking like a sea creature with a mother-of-pearl sheen and color to its hull. The starship was also able to transmit that the alien ship was headed for Earth based on the trajectory.

The President, seeing that nothing could be done to intercept the ship, thought it best to wait until the ship arrived to discover to purpose of the ship. It was another day until the mother-of-pearl ship arrived at Earth and it transmitted a message to the President. In the message there was a time and place for a meeting sight. The pilot of the alien ship requested that the President would come alone and promised that no harm would come to him. The President decided it was best not to get the bad side of the visitor as seeing that the weapons of the Federation had no effect on him; the so the President agreed to the meeting.

At the time of the meeting no one was allowed within ten miles of the landing sight, as instructed and the President was nervous. He became even more nervous when the alien ship came into sight; it was even more awe-inspiring then the image from the starship. The mother-of-pearl hull glimmered more brightly in the sunlight. The President was temporarily struck dumb by the time the ship landed and the hull opened allowing the occupant to exit.

The creature that stepped out looked like a young human male that was no more than twenty-five standard years. He had dark hair that looked black except when the sunlight reflected off of it revealing brown and fair skin. His manner of dress was reminiscent of Earth's late Victorian Era with a long dark grey frock coat with pants the same color; the vest was black with a matching cravat over a white shirt; overall very well dressed in human attire.

The young man smiled at the President as he walked over to him; standing before the President he gave him a polite bow.

"It is a pleasure to meet you Mr. President." The alien said not in Federation Standard but perfect Earth English. "And I do apologize if my actions in coming here today caused any hysteria."

"Who are you?" The President asked unable to say anything else.

"Oh, forgive me – I am Ambassador Christopher Engel for the Keepers." He explained. "They have sent me here for negotiations."

"Negotiations for what?" The President felt like a child asking questions. He knew he did not follow protocol when he did not welcome the strange visitor to Earth and the Federation.

"An alliance" Ambassador Engel explained. "Between the United Federation of Planets and the Keepers."

"Who are the Keepers?" That was the second time he heard the word 'Keepers' and if he was going to negotiate with a new species he wanted to know about them. "And what do they keep?"

Ambassador Engel smiled, "They are the Keepers of almost anything and everything you can imagine and then some."

"But why us Jim?" McCoy asked as he rummaged through the medical supplies. It was time to so inventory on the Enterprise. He hated doing inventory but it was a necessary evil that had to be done.

"I asked the Admiralty the same thing Bones," Kirk explained.


"It was requested that they send a starship, of their choice, with ambassadors that the Keepers picked to represent the Federation." Kirk sighed as he explained

"So of course the Admiralty picks the Enterprise." McCoy shook his head. "We're explorers Jim, not ambassadors."

"I know Bones," Kirk responded getting out of the Doctor's way as he went to another area of the supply closet. "Just think of this as an adventure." He added on hopefully but was shot down by a glare from McCoy.

"Who are the Ambassadors they've picked?" McCoy asked making a note on his PADD.

"I don't know" Kirk confessed. "I was just told not to worry and to pick them up from Starbase 43."

"Aren't you a wealth of information?" McCoy said sarcastically making another note. "When do we reach the starbase?"

"In about a day and a half." Kirk stated again getting out of McCoy's way as they exited the supply closet.

"In exactly 1.2 days." Spock said when he entered Sickbay. He heard the Doctor's last question as he entered. "Captain here is the inventory from the Science Department."

"Thank you Mr. Spock," Kirk took the PADD from Spock and quickly glanced over it.

"Captain, may I ask why we are picking up my parents from Starbase 43?" Spock suddenly asked causing both the Doctor and the Captain to look at him surprised.

"Well that answers your question Bones." Kirk said taking in the revelation.

"Captain?" Spock queried.

"You've about the whole Keepers thing, right?" Bones asked before Kirk could.

"I understand that a month ago a mysterious ship entered Federation space instigating a First Contact from a group referring to themselves as 'The Keepers'." Spock said without missing a beat. "Why?"

"We've been picked to represent the Federation," Kirk explained. "And your father was picked by these 'Keepers' as the Ambassador to come and negotiate with them."

"Odd that they would only pick one Ambassador to represent an organization as diverse as the Federation." Spock commented.

"I take it then Ambassador Sarek knows as much about this business as we do?" McCoy asked.

"Even less," Spock explained. "Sarek was simply told to go to Starbase 43 with my mother to be taken by the Enterprise to negotiations of some sort."

"This whole affair is strange." McCoy said as he signed off the inventory list before handing the list to Kirk.

"I agree, but from what I understand the Keepers are in a position to be a little extrinsic." Kirk said glancing at McCoy's list. "When I was talking to the Admiralty they kept stressing to use caution and try our best not to insult them."

"Bridge to Captain Kirk, please come in." Uhura's voice came over the intercom system. Kirk put down what he had in his hand before answering Uhura.

"Kirk here," Kirk said.

"Captain we are being approached and hailed by a Keepers' ship. They request to speak with you sir." Uhura explained.

"I'm on my way; Kirk out." Kirk quickly left the Sickbay with Spock closely following behind.

McCoy just sighed when he realized that the Captain had left the inventory lists behind. Shaking his head, he grabbed them and followed after the officers.

"The Keepers' ship is flying parallel to us sir." Sulu reported as soon as Kirk and Spock stepped onto the Bridge.

"On screen." Kirk ordered.

"Aye sir." Chekov responded bring the image up.

Everyone on the Bridge gaped at what they saw. Even with the reports given to them and the one image that was available to them was nothing in comparison to the real thing. The elegance of the ship out shown any ship that Kirk had seen, even, he hated to admit it, the Enterprise. He was so taken in by what he saw, as was everyone else that he forgot that he was standing near the turbo lift until McCoy bumped into him.

"What a ship." Was all that McCoy said when he saw the screen.

While everyone was gaping at the Keepers' ship Spock took his place at his station and began some basic scans. He suddenly felt very nervous but he did not want any of his shipmates to see so he did a standard routine when meeting a new ship until he could be use of his emotional control.

"We're being hailed sir." Uhura said suddenly, breaking everyone's temporary trance of staring.

Kirk nodded and Uhura brought it through; "This is Captain James Kirk of –"

"Of the Enterprise, yes I know." A man's voice came through. "And I am Captain Andres de la Luz of the Keepers' Light. I do apologize for intercepting you like this but it was the only way to reach you in time."

"In time for what?" Kirk asked.

"I think it best we speak in person Captain." Another voice came through - Kirk could tell that the voice sounded worried but was trying to hide that fact.

"To whom am I speaking to now?" Kirk asked glancing over to McCoy who had a equally as confused look on his face as the Captain himself.

"I am Ambassador Engel; may I transport over?" His request was asked so simply as child would ask for a small favor that Kirk could not find a reason to say no.

"When can you be ready?" Kirk asked.

"We are sending you the coordinates now Captain." De la Cruz said. "Thank you. De la Cruz out."

"Kirk to Scott," Kirk called over the comm.

"Scott here,"

"Scotty meet me in Transporter Room three." Kirk explained.

"Right away sir." The Scotsman said ending the transmission.

"Spock come with me." Kirk said heading to the turbo lift. Spock followed the Captain. Once inside the lift Kirk looked at his First Officer: "What do you think Spock?"

"I think it will be a most interesting meeting." Spock said his calm face not revealing his nervousness to his Captain.

Authoress Note: This is the story in that 'A Moment Before Amok Time' is related to. Please review!!! Reviews are a great motivation to get me to write!! Thanks!