Alright! Here is Chapter 1. Please tell me what you think so far!

Chapter 1

He awakens with a start.

Automatically, his Starfleet training instantly kicks in and he doesn't move, listening for whatever woke him. In the small room, he hears someone passing loudly in the corridor outside his cell. The sound must have pulled him out of his sleep. Breathing in and out slowly, Jim Kirk willed his tensed muscles to relax. Nothing had changed. He was still here.

The past few weeks and months had become blur to him now, meaningless time spent locked in a cell in some backwater jail planet. Jim Kirk knew that a desperate fight had gone on outside those walls for his freedom, but in his small little world he had been helpless to assist or even know what the world was saying. Time had ticked by for him. It was like a heartbeat losing precious life every second, slower and slower and …slower. It seemed like time was going by so slowly that the clock would stop any second, and life would cease to exist. Jim squared his shoulders and tried to squash the feeling of helplessness. He may be defeated to the world, but he would never be defeated in mind or spirit. Never.

A rough cough jolted him from his line of thought. Kirk's head snapped up in time to see a pale convict being escorted by a somber looking guard. The man was dressed in the traditional bright striped prison garb that every other convict on the planet wore. His jumpsuit seemed to swallow up his entire body and what poked out looked like the skeleton of a dead man. His skin was a sickly yellow color, his face of jutting bones, and he wheezed with every step he took. The convict looked hardly able to stand as the guard harshly shoved him past Kirk's cell. The poor man stumbled forward and Kirk vaguely wondered how the man was still standing on his own fragile legs. Kirk's eyes followed them as they passed on by, willing the man to keep on going. Soon, they had passed on by and all that was left of them was their echoing foot steps as they got farther away. Once again, Kirk was left to himself counting each second that passed, and wondering how the Enterprise was faring.

Silence reined on the bridge on the Enterprise. This silence was not the usual, comfortable silence interrupted by soft murmurings from Uhura and quiet discussions from other bridge crew members. This silence was tense and solemn, with air stretched like a tight rubber band ready to spring loose at any moment. There was none of the usual bickering or hushed laughter, instead the faces of the crew were grave and seemed like they were carved out of the hardest stone. At the center of this cold and rigid atmosphere was one being who sat stiff, straight, and appeared completely and utterly emotionless. This being though, was not as he appeared, for on the inside he was a whirl wind of thoughts and emotions, mainly of one James T Kirk.

The past months had been like one huge horrific nightmare for Spock. He had done everything in his power to prove Jim's innocence, but the proof just wasn't out there. He knew that Jim was innocent but the court needed proof, proof that he had not been able to acquire. Ever since that day when the ambassador from Tellun Eight was found murdered in his bed, the hilt of a knife protruding out of his abdomen, and Jim's finger prints clearly visible on the hilt…

Spock's grip tightened on the arms of the Captain's chair.

"Mr. Chekov ... estimated arrival time to orbit of Ulemic X?" he inquired.

"Arrival in approximately fifteen point two hours, Sir," Chekov's answer was swift and direct but held none of the youthful enthusiasm that usually bounced in his Russian accent. In its place was a subdued voice that seemed to have aged many years in the past months.

Spock sat back with a small, inaudible sigh and nodded his head.

"Thank you, Mister Chekov. Continue arrival procedures."

"Aye, Keptain." Chekov replied but Spock did not hear him, for he had moved onto other, more essential business.

As Spock gazed at his pad with the latest reports and documents for him to sign, he could not help but wonder if it was all worth it. The loss of the Enterprise's captain was of great consequence to its efficiency. The moral of the crew was down to sixty-four point three- five percent and there were two hundred and thirty-four requests for transfers. The only reason he was still here on the Enterprise at all, was because Jim had asked him to. Spock had been prepared to leave Starfleet, but Jim had begged him to stay and take command of the Enterprise. Reluctantly, Spock had done so. He could not bear to give his friend more anguish than he was already enduring.

Spock contemplated the logic of staying with the Enterprise. Certainly that is what Jim had wanted him to do, but he had to question its necessity. After all, the only reason McCoy, Sulu, Chekov, Scotty, and Uhura had stayed on the ship was because Kirk had asked them to as well. None of them wished to serve on the Enterprise unless one particular man was commanding and that man was Captain Kirk. How long could the crew last like this? Spock was ready to leave, leave Starfleet, leave the Enterprise; he wanted to depart from it all. It did not appeal to him to stay if Jim Kirk was not by his side.

Once more Spock lifted him head and stared out the view screen. Outwardly, to the crew, he was the picture of complete calm. Inwardly, he fought a battle of demons waiting to devour his very consciousness.

Jim. Jim, where are you now?

Jim Kirk was in hell. At least that's what it felt like to the ex-Starfleet captain as he carted yet another tray of medical equipment through the prison's makeshift sickbay. It had been five days since the outbreak of sickness throughout the prison planet's compound, five days since Kirk's newfound life was once again flipped upside-down.

As soon as the illness was discovered, the sick people were quarantined, but more and more people kept flowing into the sickbay that the doctors were soon overwhelmed. To make matters worse, Doctor Jessica Williams discovered that the sickness might be a branch of the Xavis Disease for which there was no known cure. The prison planet went on red alert and whole sections of the planet were quarantined. A SOS distress signal was sent out, but it would take weeks for help to arrive since the prison planet was so far way from any Federation planet. The sickbay was soon overrun with more people than it could handle and makeshift rooms were set up. Kirk was one of the many convicts to be drafted to help care for the sick. It was there that he learned of the seriousness of the outbreak. The Xavis Disease is an easily spread disease since it travels through the air and can contaminate ten people in a matter of minutes. Kirk shuddered to think of what might happen if it escaped into the Federation…or beyond.

He lingered just beyond the next door, squinting to make out a man slumbering fitfully on one of the makeshift cots. The young man was clearly suffering from a fever, for he was dripping with sweat despite seeming to be shivering. A pail sat next to the bed, likely a precaution in case his condition turned his stomach mutinous. He murmured incoherently, but was otherwise eerily still.

Jim quietly closed the door and paid a visit to the other patients on his list. As he expected, they were all in the condition as the first. They were feverish, sweaty, fatigued, and suffering from severe nausea. Jessica's supposition that this was the Xavis Disease, seemed to be grimly confirmed. As each day went on, more convicts went from serious to critical and Kirk found himself fighting for the lives of men he never knew along with the doctors. For the moment, Kirk could believe that things were as they once were. He, James Kirk, was working for the good of the many. Once again, he was making a difference.

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