The dry wind of this desert waste planet stings my cheeks. All around is the sound of phasers and the cries of the Klingons as they fall into the dirt, but I do not hear them. The world for me is silent, like a film left to play on mute. Beams of red, blue, and green fly past me, but none come closer than a meter. This is a precision I have never seen or heard of. Something is protecting me from the enemy fire,.. maybe there is a god after all.
I feel someone pull me to cover behind a boulder. It's Uhura. Her face is a mask of fear and agony as she grasps the bloody gash in her leg. My mind does not register that she needs to get medical attention; in fact I do not seem to think at all. Suddenly the fighting stops, and with a rush of sound a man in black steps towards me. This is the monster we have chased to another galaxy, but he does not look like our prey or anyone else's. He is very much the hunter.
The man walks over the cooling bodies of the soldiers, his heavy boots crushing bone. His heavy black coat billows behind him like a pair of wings. He is pristine, white flesh free of sweat or sign of injury. I think he is an angel. A cruel twisted one who had fallen from god.
John Harrison-Khan, looks at me with piercing blue eyes and I feel my heart stop under his scrutiny.
I am hitting him, again and again and he just…takes it. His face still completely still,
Captain James T. Kirk of the USS Enterprise shot up, rapidly surveying the room for the threat. His breathing slows as he realizes that it was just a dream, Khan is gone. The Federation froze the murderous bastard in a cryo-tube and put him someplace where he will never get out.
Everyone was safe.
The captain slowly fell back into his chair, suddenly very aware of the uncomfortable silence that had fallen over the bridge. His crew was staring at him with various looks of confusion and worry.
The bright light that filled the room cast his handsome face into dark shadows. Jim's normally shining blue eyes were ringed with dark circles, and he did not hold himself as straight and tall as before. There was no doubt that this was not the same man who had ignored the prime directive just to save his friend.
It was no secret that the Khan incident had shaken the captain. Everyone in Starfleet knew how much Jim had sacrificed to keep the Enterprise in the air. He was a hero back on earth, but he didn't feel like a hero. His mentor was dead as were about half of his crew just because he had wanted to get even. No one said it, but he knew that their blood was just as much on his hands as it was Khan's and the Admiral's.
It was a dark bit of irony that the one who had cost him so much was the only reason that their savior was alive. Khan's blood coursed through his veins, mixing with his. It was like he had been contaminated, he was unclean…tainted.
But are you really James? Maybe you are simply…better…smarter. You are a survivor; you saved all of these people from terrible deaths and-
He forced a smile, trying to push the voice to the back of his mind. Jim hoped this would be enough to convince them that it was nothing, but while most of the bridge returned to work a few continued to watch him with curiosity. The last thing he wanted was to lose his command because anyone though he was emotionally unstable. What no one seemed to understand was that there was no life for him on Earth. His mother had died a year earlier, leaving him no place to go even if he wanted to. Jim had no wife, girlfriend, boyfriend…His family was all gathered in this room and he would never leave them.
"Sorry Chekov. What were you saying?" He asked trying to make it light and unconcerned. But, Jim did not see the knowing looks Uhura and Spock were exchanging.
The young Russians voice faltered slightly as he spoke. "Nothing, Keptin. I just wanted to tell you that we have set course for Ares X-66 and if my calculations are correct….we should be arriving in about two days Sir." Pavel turned quickly back to the controls, long pale fingers tapping away. "Great. Keep up the good work gentlemen," Jim said quickly, before rising and heading towards the elevator. He could feel their eyes boring into his back as he retreated.
He let out a long breath as he heard the doors close behind him, thankful that none of them had attempted to follow him. He didn't think he could bare to face them like this. Weak, came the voice.
Jim walked through the sterile hallways of his ship and did not stop until he finally reached the door to his cabin. The room was large compared to many of the other living quarters on the ship. It was furnished with nothing but a large white bed and a single chair, which sat facing the large window. The bed had not been slept in for days and the small alcove beside it was covered in empty coffee cups.
Once inside he sat down, gazing silently out into the black. He thought of getting up to pour a drink but thought better of it. Jesus, he was turning into a proper saint! No sex, no alcohol, soon he would be following Starfleet regulation to the letter like Spock…No, that wasn't the problem.
The problem was that he couldn't sleep.
"Tell me James, why can't you sleep?" came a deep dark purr from behind him. The voice washed over him like a wave of relief. It sounds so familiar and yet he cannot place it. He should wonder how they managed to enter his room, how they knew the access codes…but.
"I don't know…I just can't. It's like-"he cut of abruptly, turning to look for the man who had spoken. Lounging on his neatly made bed was Khan.
Jim jumped up, quickly grabbing for his weapon.
"How are you here? You can't be here-I saw them lock you away!" He was screaming, hands shaking furiously. Khan slowly rose, each movement elegant and measured. He advanced until he was standing inches away from Jim's face. The captain shivered as the other leaned in until he could feel cold breath against his neck.
"Oh, I am not out yet. Actually, I am right here…" he took one cold hand and ran it down the captain's chest, stopping over his heart.
Khan inhaled deeply and then he disappeared, leaving Jim alone in his room, weapon aimed at empty air.