[USS Sirius] "Captain's Prerogative" by Captain Bethany Sharma and Captain James T Kirk

"Captain's Prerogative"

By Captain Bethany Sharma and Captain James T Kirk


"Captain's log, supplemental: Before bringing the Federation negotiation team aboard, I am taking the opportunity to meet up again with an old friend.."


The transporter beam shimmered and two forms materialised on the pad. One wore a red shirt with Lieutenant Commander's stripes on his sleeve. The other man was clad in gold, his trim, muscular form showing a natural confidence in its poise. The two figures solidified and that famous boyish smile was turned on Bethany.

"Permission to come aboard, Captain," James Kirk said.

"Permission granted, Captain," Bethany returned with a smile of her own. "It's good to see you again, Jim," she said, clasping his hand warmly as he stepped off the transporter platform.

"How've you been, Beth?" he asked with affection. "What is it, four years since we last met up on Starbase 11?"

"Six," Bethany corrected. "Ana was thirteen. She was always pestering me to find out when 'Uncle Jim' would be coming back to see her."

There was a stifled laugh from behind Kirk as the man in red covered his mouth.

"Problem, Mr Scott?" Kirk asked archly, trying to muster all his dignity.

"'Scuse me, Cap'n," the Scotsman replied, still trying to hide his mirth. "Just a touch o'the flu I picked up somewhere."

"Right," Kirk said, unconvinced. "My Chief Engineer, Montgomery Scott" he introduced the man to Bethany. "Fortunately for me his technical skills are better developed than his sense of humour."

"Cap'n," the engineer shook Bethany's offered hand. "If you dinnae mind, I'd like t'take a quick look around your engine room."

"Of course, Mr Scott. I'll call and let Commander Tren know you're coming."

"Ah, dinnae trouble yourself over that, Cap'n," he said with a gleam in his eye. "I'm sure the lass'll enjoy the surprise!" With a final nod to his captain, Scotty headed out of the transporter room, drawn unerringly towards the almost subliminal sound of the engines.

Kirk watched the engineer leave. "Well, that's Mr Scott happy for the next few hours," he said. "Why don't you show me around this ship of yours and we can talk old times?"

"Of course," Bethany replied, leading the way out of the transporter room. "And whilst we walk, perhaps you can give me a run-down of what to expect from this negotiation team."

Kirk grimaced slightly. "You know my opinion of most officials, Beth. Space Commissioner Henshaw is arrogant, full of his own importance, and convinced that his needs should take precedence over those of the ship."

"It is an important mission, Jim," Bethany reminded him. "The Korallans are sitting on the biggest pergium deposits in the sector, right next door to the Klingon Empire. If the Klingons get access to those resources, it'll be a massive boost to their colonisation efforts all along uncontrolled space." In the zero-sum game of the current stand-off, any gain for the Klingons was a loss for the Federation.

"I know, I know," Kirk said, raising a hand. "If there's one thing I trust less than Federation officials it's the Klingons. It's just... there's something about Henshaw and his team that doesn't feel right."

"How so?" Bethany pressed.

Kirk shook his head. "Nothing I can put my finger on," he said. "But if there's one thing I've learnt out there in unexplored space, it's that you should trust your hunches. When science and logic bump up against the unknown, your gut instinct is often all you have to go on."

Bethany smiled. Jim had always been a seat-of-his-pants commander. She preferred a more balanced, well thought out approach. On reflection, maybe that was why he was commanding a mission into new space, whilst her own ship was tasked with bringing those new territories into the fold. Different skills for different jobs.

"So, any other advice?" she enquired. "The Sirius will be heading into areas you've spent the last few years charting. Anything out there I should know about that hasn't made it into the official reports?"

Kirk mulled it over for a few moments before replying. "Never trust anything claiming to be a god," he said finally. "If you're held hostage by a computer, just keep talking until it explodes. Keep your sickbay well-stocked and your chief surgeon happy, because there's any number of deadly diseases out there just waiting to wipe out your crew. Most importantly, never, ever, become romantically involved with the natives..."

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