A/N – My first venture into Star Trek. A little one-shot exploring Commander (soon to be Captain) Kirk.

Disclaimer – I don't own Star Trek, any of the canon characters, settings or situations. No money was made in the writing of this fic.


Her name was Enterprise, and Kirk coveted her on sight.

She was a beautiful, sleek silver lady, the embodiment of endless dreams and possibilities, and the sight of her woke the restless hunger, the driving ambition that had seen him rise so swiftly through Starfleet's ranks. She was everything he'd ever wanted, since he'd first dreamed of the stars.

"Beautiful, isn't she, Commander?" A quiet, amused voice interrupted his reverie.

He turned to see Admiral Nogura, his narrowed black eyes watching Kirk with amusement.

"Yes, sir, she is," he answered, impassive, though he knew Nogura must have already seen the raw hunger written all over his face. Kirk had never made any secret of his ultimate ambition, but it never paid to be so easily read.

She's in space dock for extensive refitting," Nogura continued. "The Federation Council are talking about a five-year mission."

Kirk couldn't disguise the sudden flare of interest. "They've been talking of five-year missions for decades, sir," he replied. "Nothing ever comes of it."

"This time they're serious. The PR people are pushing the 'dream of stars', and the media are eating it up. Public interest in Starfleet has never been so high." Nogura allowed himself a mirthless smile. "And so Chris Pike receives a long overdue promotion to Fleet Captain, and the Admiralty find ourselves in need of a young, photogenic captain to spearhead the drive."

"Do you know of any such promising officers, Commander Kirk?"

Kirk glanced out the transparent aluminium view screen towards the Enterprise. He could almost hear the subliminal hum of her engines; feel the energy thrumming in his bones. He was barely thirty, he told himself. No one rose so high so quickly.

Nogura took pity on him. "Kirk. You're the best poker player I know, but in this matter you're damned transparent. There were a number of candidates mentioned, but yours was the one name that kept coming up. Wesley, Chenoweth, Garrett; they all spoke of you as the finest young leader they'd seen in decades."

Kirk stared at him, dazed. "Sir?"

"It's not yet been formalised, but in three months, Enterprise will be the first starship sent out on Starfleet's five-year mission program. And you, Captain Kirk, will be in the centre seat."

Kirk had enough presence of mind not to break into a delighted grin. "Yes, sir!" he replied formally, his eyes glowing.

The smile Nogura bestowed on him was almost benevolent. "The formal announcement will be made at a press conference tomorrow morning," he said. "You will have three months to make what arrangements you see fit – and you'll need every minute of them, because soon enough you'll be at the centre of a media circus. I hope you're every bit as charming and charismatic as your reputation makes you out to be."

Kirk paid no heed to this last admonition. He would do whatever he had to, in order to gain the ultimate prize. His attention was all on the stars outside the view screen; on the great silver lady hanging before him, his now to take into unexplored space. An almost pleasurable thrill ran down his spine, the old feeling of awe and wonder that he had never lost.

The culmination of all his dreams and ambitions.