When the paramedics called in, saying that they would be bringing in a code M38, Dr. M'Benga really wished he wasn't on duty that night. He hated code M38's. While rare, they were the biggest hassle of any ER, right next hazardous waste spills and infectious outbreaks.

Code M38, in general, stands for "A person of high interest and/or who's identity is either questioned and should remain classified under strict protocol until further orders".

Protocol was to be followed to the T, and the part that made M38's so annoying. Only the bare minimum number of staff members were allowed to see the patient, both during transfer and in the hospital. Generally that included the two paramedics, one nurse and one doctor. Those who have seen the patient were immediately put under automatic orders to not discuss the identity or condition of the patient to anyone else. After immediate medial treatment was given, the next chain-in-command was to be called and notified of the situation.

All of this was done in scarcely an hour, and this left M'Benga a little time to breath and think about the whole mess. His "questionable identity" patient had only a concussion, some bruised ribs and a few cuts and bruises, but nothing serious or life threatening. He was sedated and would be asleep for a good while longer.

It was the "questionable identity" part that M'Benga was having serious doubts about. What else was he suppose to think, when long-dead hero Captain James. T. Kirk rolls into his ER, looking alive as ever, even if he was unconscious with a concussion. M'Benga had served on the Enterprise during the Captain's brief command during the incident with Nero and a brief tour afterwards (M'Benga transferred out scarcely a month later, unable to deal with the dangers of space and loosing so many friends in the loss of the other six ships). Though he didn't know the man that well, he had spoken with him a few brief times, and seen him on several occasions in Sickbay, while getting treated for injuries by CMO McCoy. Suffice to say, M'Benga had a pretty good idea what the man looked like. But to see him alive, after hearing the details of his death, was enough to make his head spin. He didn't want to get his hopes up, and believe that Captain Kirk really was alive, only to be disappointed to find out this was yet another imposter.

It wasn't until another hour later when a Commander finally showed up. M'Benga didn't recognize him, and really didn't have any desire to know the man, seeing how the Commander was tight lipped and posture ram-rod straight. He looked like the type that gave out charges and disciplines if you so much stepped the wrong way around him.

"Well, where is he?" The Commander barked, having idled for all but 10 seconds and apparently put-off that M'Benga hadn't moved yet.

"Right this way sir. We put him in a room in the back." M'Benga motioned, allowing the Commander to lead, even though he didn't know where he was going.

"For your sake I certainly hope protocol was followed to the highest of discipline. These imposter types do no good beyond causing chaos and discord. We don't need false news spreading like wild-fires through the media." The Commander snapped as he stepped quickly through the hospital hallways. M'Benga was actually grateful he was behind the Commander, so he could freely roll his eyes. He wished he could say something in reply, seeing how the Commander seemed to have already made up his mind that the patient was an imposter, but didn't.

"Right here sir." M'Benga motioned towards one of the back rooms. The door hissed open, and the Commander stepped inside. M'Benga waited outside, knowing he'd be called if needed.

He was surprised when the door hissed open scarcely a second later, and the Commander burst outside, red faced and furious.

"What's the meaning of this!? Where is he!?"

M'Benga peered inside, only to find the room empty of its occupant. Only the rumpled bed sheets gave any indication that someone had been there.


It was dark outside, but not quite the late hour when Admiral Pike found himself walking down the street, rubbing his temples in irritation. His day, more like his whole week, had been filled with long tedious board meetings filled with all the political crap Pike hated. People said he was good at it, bending the bureaucracy to his will. But that didn't mean he liked it.

It wasn't uncommon for him to find himself missing the days when he was up in the stars, flying through the universes and seeing sights unknown. But his injuries prevent those days from ever returning. Through long tedious physical therapy sessions, he was able to fully walk without any sort of support, but that was just about as good as he was going to get. The permanent stiffness in his lower spine prevented him from doing anything more then a short light jog. Pike should be grateful he just wasn't in that damn chair anymore.

Walking without any hurry, Pike made his way to one of his favorite bars that was near the Academy campus. It was Friday, mid terms were over, the quarterly board meetings were done with, and Pike needed a drink.

Before even rounding the corner, he could hear the tell-tale sounds of the rowdy pub. Pike scowled at the thought of a huge crowd in the one bar he decided to go. He should've known, considering mid-terms were over, and this was one of the closest bars near campus. But from the sounds coming from behind the classic wooden doors, it was more then just a rowdy crowd. It was a full-blown bar fight. Great.

Pike actually hesitated for a moment, hovering just outside the pub. He considered if he should step in and clear the place of the cadets before the barkeeper called the local authorities, if they hadn't already.

Pike sighed, knowing he couldn't just walk away and ignore it. These kids weren't actually half-bad, compared to other years, and he didn't really blame them for wanted to vent a little of that pent up anxiety. He remember his Academy years and the stress-relief activities after tests. Looking out for them wasn't a bad thing, and Pike hadn't cleared a bar in a very long time.

Pushing the door open wide, he took a brief moment to survey the scene. Which was just as he expected. A sea of bodies punching and yelling, with glasses being broken left and right. Pike caught site of the bartender on the other side, who was screaming at no one and everyone, with one hand already on the phone.

Grumbling to himself, Pike thought he was getting to old for this. Taking in a deep breath, Pike let loose his trademark whistle, high and loud, effectively silencing the entire bar. Pike smirked inwardly. He hadn't lost his touch quite yet.

"Out. Now." Was all he said. Just like that, the red-clad cadets, and even some regular citizens cleared the bar in a rather orderly fashion. One of the last to leave, a graduate if Pike remembered correctly, was clutching a man by the front of his shirt, holding him up and looking just about ready to drop-kick him. The graduate met Pike's glare, and scowled, throwing the man down onto a table, before stomping out of the bar. Pike made a mental note of the graduate, and decided to write up about this incident in the graduate's personal record. Just for smite.

The man who had been thrown on the table, now sprawled on his back and bleeding everywhere, rolled his head down, looking at Pike from an upside-down position.

"Ya know, you can still whistle really loud." The man slurred as his split lip and busted nose bled into his mouth and down his face. He flashed Pike a cocky grin, teeth stained red and one eyes closed and starting to swell. But the face was unmistakable.

"Goddammit." Was all Pike could say in response, thinking he was definitely getting to old for this.

so yet another past-midnight writing spree. Better then my previous records, as it's only 3:30am, but this chapter is considerably smaller.

This chapter was going to be much longer, but the next bit has a ton of dialogue that I'm having trouble writing, so I figured I'd split it and give you atleast something to gnaw on. Again, this ENTIRE bit was recently redone, for additional plot. Pike was originally going to meet Kirk right there in the hospital, but I'm giving myself a pat on the back for working in this clever little addition.

Don't ask me about the stupid M38 code thing. I just randomy made that up for some reason :P

I could say more, complain how I don't really like how this chapter came out, but I'll just leave it as is for now.

Just wanted to quickly say THANK YOU OMG OMG OMG for all the AMAZING reviews I've been getting!! It really makes my day whenever I get one!!! It's because of all of you who review who inspire me to write this and make the stort the way it is. A ton of the plot has already been influenced just by your feedback, so keep it up if you like it!!!