Disclaimer. I don't own Star Trek.

WARNING. ...Torture. Genocide...Also, language. It's a dark chapter. The fic will get lighter eventually, but for the next couple chapters, it's a way dark piece of fiction. If this is going to bother you, please don't read it.

*This is incomplete. It's not officially on hiatus, But It's been a while since I updated. It's dark and difficult to write, if that is going to bother you, please do not read it*

Pike is on the recovery team sent to Tarsus IV. He finds an orphan Jim Kirk locked in a cell, and eventually adopts him. There will be fluff...later.

Much later.


Lieutenant Christopher Pike turned to the side and vomited into the grass. He could not believe his senses. He did not want to believe his senses.

He wished he could turn his senses off. His nose, especially. The air was thick with the scent of blood. It choked him, overwhelmed him. It gagged again. Worse though, than the sweet, metallic scent of blood was the faint undercurrent of burnt meat.

Charred flesh.

He heaved again.

God, when did man lose his reason?

Pike vomited until there was nothing left his stomach. Then he continued dry heaving until his muscles could not spasm any more.

He spat and wiped his mouth on his sleeve. Nothing in command school had ever prepared him for this.

The small cluster of officers and crewmen he'd brought down with him were faring no better. The ones who hadn't yet puked their guts out were looking decidedly green.

Pike doubted that any of them would ever forget the name of this planet.

Tarsus IV.

Pike would see it in his dreams until the day he died.

Thus far, they had found no survivors of the massacre.

Starfleet had not responded soon enough.

This colony had apparently had some sort of blight on its crops. Eight thousand colonists and no food. That was all that Starfleet knew when it responded.

Apparently the planet's leader had thought that desperate times called for desperate measures.

Pike had his detail fan out to continue the search. "We'll check the governor's palace next."

"Yes, sir."

The square was a mess, making even the most stalwart officers squeamish about where they stepped.

Pike squared his shoulders and stepped more firmly into his role. Sometimes command was more about acting than anything else. Well, he could act. And he would. He schooled his features into an emotionless mask that would have done a Vulcan proud.

He would be the stern lieutenant to which they were all accustomed. Grim, hard, and unaffected. He could do this.

He walked forward briskly, determinedly not looking down, nor altering his steps to walk around or to step over anything.

Pike took a deep breath and barked, "Fan out." His men acknowledged the command wordlessly, taking flanking positions and dispersing admirably. They also seemed to take solace from his stoic resignation.

Pike nodded. He was strong enough to be the bulwark that anchored them. They took their cues from him, and instantly appeared both more composed and more alert. He led them slowly across the square, trying to ignore the red brown stains that scarred the flagstones.

Pike was careful at the palace entrance. The doors and stairs would make an excellent place for the governor's troops to ambush the Starfleet personal. Yet he needn't have worried, the foyer was empty.

There was no sound of running feet, no shouting of orders, no disrupter or phaser fire. It was eerily quiet. The stillness struck Pike more than anything.

After the scene outside, Pike had expected chaos.

He wanted chaos. Chaos he could deal handle.

But this terrible, terrifying stillness….

It was hell.

There was nothing he could do.

No way to help.

They were too late.

Pike cursed himself.

The red shirted men flanked out, scouring the lower floors.

"Sir," one of his men shouted. Pike was running toward the man before he even acknowledged the shout. The crewman pointed at the door that led to the lower floors.

It was locked and bolted.

Anything that Kodos wanted kept locked, Pike wanted to see.

"Open it."

The crewman hesitated, looking for something to open it with.

Pike pulled out his phaser impatiently, changed the setting and pointed it at the door.

He fired.

The door glowed red and then dissolved.

Pike wasn't playing anymore.

The stairs descended to a depth which surprised even Pike, the air growing noticeably more damp and cold with every passing step.

What was the bastard keeping down here?

The stairway ended at a narrow hallway. The area was dank, the lighting scarce. Pike moved his hand in the signal for voiceless command. Little light and little air. It felt like a trap.

He did not want anyone speaking aloud, and calling attention to themselves.

Two of the men worked forward slowly, and Pike had the presence of mind to curse whatever Admiralty jackass thought red was an appropriate color for delicate maneuvering and scouting work.

If he lost any of his men to this madman, then someone was going to pay.

Pike ground his teeth to together in an attempt to keep his expression neutral. He was allowing his anger to get the better of him. He took a deep breath and settled himself, taking the time to observe his surroundings.

This was clearly the colony's jail.

Lieutenant Pike was loath to find out what had gone on in here.

His two scouts were back. "Clear, sir. No guards."

Pike nodded, keeping his phaser out.

"See about possible survivors."

The detail nodded. They fanned out, copying Pike's rather unique solution to opening the cell doors.

"Lieutenant! Here, sir." There was something wrong with Johnson's voice. Pike could hear the revulsion in it. And the fear. Pike ran.

The security man still had his phaser up at chest level, and he was staring wide-eyed at something in the cell.

Pike pushed him out of the way.

There was no window in the cell. The only light spilled in from the hallway. It took Pike's eyes a second before they adjusted to the gloom.

He had never seen anything like it.

Even the scene outside had not prepared him for this.

The cell was a mass of filth, as though it had not been cleaned. There was a cot in the corner, and laying on the cot—

God, was that a child?

It had to be.

It would be more honest to call it a small skeleton, covered with skin.

But when Pike saw the hair, he knew it was a child.

The shirtless boy was chained to the wall, his back showing evidence of recent whipping.

The boy had not looked up at their arrival. His attention was focused solely on one object in the room: the one object that could have made this travesty any horrible than it was.

Lying on a plate just out of the boy's reach, was a loaf of bread.

Kinda heavy...sorry.

Yeah...so its not my normal, but it popped into my head and I went with it...should I continue?

Let me know what you think.