Heart Of Darkness

The Fight in Iowa

A large crowd had gathered at the bar. Most of them were Starfleet cadets and a few other local people among them.

I was sitting at a table with a few others; one is my older brother Karl and a few of his mates from Starfleet and their dates for the night. While they were all chatting away, I was in a world of my own; staring around the room

Everyone around all seemed to be having a good time. Except me, this was my own fault; ever since I lost my parents a few years ago I had become very isolated from everyone. So now most people just left me alone and in a way I preferred my own company.

As I continued to look around the room my eyes landed on another table near the bar. The reason this table stood out was because there was only one guy sitting there all on his own, which was unusual in this place. The guy all of a sudden realised I was looking his way and he started to smile. But with as shy as I was, I quickly darted my eyes away from him and turned back to the people at my table.

I had to admit the guy was very good looking, maybe about my age; 17 or a little older. I was certain that his face was familiar to me so I had to take a second look. Now, the table was empty except for a few empty glasses. I continued looking around the room and hoped he hadn't left yet. I was glad when I found him leaning up against the bar talking to the person next to him.

"Her shots on me," the guy said.

I realised he was talking to the girl on the other side of the person next to him; She was dark skinned and was wearing a cadet uniform like my brothers, except she was wearing a dress.

"Her shots on her. Thanks, but no thanks," the girl responded back.

"Don't you, at least, want to know my name before you completely reject me." The guy was determined not to give up on her.

"I'm fine without it!"

"You are fine without it. It's Jim, Jim Kirk," he told her.

I knew, I had recognised that face; Jim Kirk... My childhood friend or that's what I had thought until he started getting himself into too much trouble and my parents told me I was never to see him again. We then moved to the other side of town and I never did see Jim again - Until now that is.

"If you don't tell me your name. I'm going to have to make one up." I heard Jim say to her. From the sounds of things he hadn't changed and I bet he still gave his mother a hard time and his step-father too.

"It's Uhura," the girl responded.

"Uhura... No way that was the name I was going to make up for you."

It seemed that he had grown up to be a complete flirt and couldn't take no for an answer. I bet he still got himself into a lot of trouble and for two reasons; One it looked like he was alone here and two, he still couldn't take no for an answer. I wondered what others things hadn't changed with Jim Kirk.

"Uhura What?" Jim asked.

"Uhura, just Uhura!"

"They don't have last names in your world." Jim was determined to get an answer.

"Uhura is my last name."

Well, this girl certainly knew how to handle guys like Jim. Maybe Uhura and I could become friends. Then let's see how he would handle the two of us. This certainly made me smile thinking about the look that would be on Jim's face.

"Then they don't have first names..." I watched as Jim moved away from the bar and right over next to Uhura leaning up close to her as if he thought that would work. I wonder how Uhura will deal with this? "So you're a cadet; you're stunning. So what's your focus?" Now Jim was starting to try another tactic.

"Hey, Laura!"

Now that was my brother's voice. I slowly turned to find my brother Karl leaning closer.

"So what could you be smiling at?" Karl asked.

Before I could answer, he turned his head in the direction of the bar and his expression quickly turned hard; He must have realised who Jim was... I suddenly remembered that Jim and Karl never really got on, they were always fighting and I was the one trying to stop them. Karl's face slowly turned back to me.

"How could you smile at him, don't you remember everything he did?" He continued to ask.

"Of course, I do!" What else could I say? I started to remember all the times I had argued with Karl over Jim.

"Then why does he make you smile?"

"For your information, I wasn't smiling at him just his idea of flirting." I hated it when Karl went on like this. I knew the main reason was because he had to take care of me ever since our parents didn't come home one day.

"Oh, whatever," Karl responded while turning back to face the bar and slowly stood up.

I looked up at him with a puzzled look. "You're not going where I think you're going, are you?" I asked him.

Karl took one look at me with that usual hard expression whenever I asked him anything that I already knew the answer to.

He turned to face his Starfleet friends and said, "Looks like the farm boy is up to no good again." It didn't matter if they knew who he was talking about, they still stood up as if they would follow him anywhere.

I quickly looked back over at Jim and Uhura; I was really worried about what Karl would do... Even though, I knew very well what he would do. The one thing he was good at, especially when it came to Jim.

"... A dumb hair Corbie, who only has sex with farm animals." Wow, I didn't expect Uhura to say that. But with the way Jim was acting I didn't blame her.

Karl and his friends come up behind them and I wondered how Jim would handle my brother now?

"Well... Not only," Jim responded.

Uhura laughed at that. Tropical of Jim to say that. Didn't anything ever bother him? It didn't seem that way when we were kids; A bit of a daredevil and he used to do stuff that nearly got him killed... He even dragged me into his crazy stunts too.

"This townie, isn't bothering you, right!" Karl asked Uhura without taking his eyes of Jim.

Jim took that moment to face my brother, but he just gave him one look before turning back to smile at Uhura again; He just didn't seem to care who was standing there. I could see that Jim was drunk and that wasn't from the empty glasses that he left piled up on his table.

"Oh beyond belief. But it's nothing I can't handle," Uhura said to Karl and Jim at the same time.

"You could handle me and that's an invitation!"

If Jim had said that to me, he would find my hand mark imprinted on his cheek by now. But Uhura didn't seem to be paying much attention; she was paying for her drinks instead.

"Hey, you better mind your manners," Karl stated with anger in his voice.

"Hey..." Jim turned around to face my brother with a relaxed look on his face and I knew Karl well enough to know he couldn't stand it when people didn't take him seriously. "Relax cupcake... It was a joke," Jim continued to say.

Karl wouldn't stand for that and I really wasn't sure if my brother could stand there any longer being polite as he was trained to be. I certainly didn't want Karl losing his job from not keeping his anger under control.

"Hey, maybe you can't count. But there are four of us and only one of you," Karl responded back.

I really hoped Jim will take a hint and back off, not because of his sake. But for my brothers; We couldn't afford for him to lose control. Things were bad enough as it was. That's why I was joining Starfleet and I truly wanted to follow in Karl's footsteps.

"Then get some more guys and it'll be an even fight," Jim responded in a light tone before he clapped his hand on the side of Karl's face and then naturally turned back around.

I could see the look on my brother's face; He was going to punch Jim, hard and in one, two, three - Karl's fist made contact with Jim's cheek.

I quickly stood up and looked around hoping no officers were in here. At that next moment, I heard a loud crash which made everyone scream as they started rushing past me. I quickly turned back to see Karl laying flat on the floor with a broken table underneath him.

Karl's friends were fighting with Jim, so I quickly rushed over to my brother and kneeled down beside him to see if I could help... Our mother had been a nurse and she had taught me all I needed to know. "Karl, are you alright?"

My brother turned to look at me as he slowly tried to get up and I could tell he was in a lot of pain from the look on his face. "Don't move..!" I tried to stop him, but I know that would be useless with him; He never gave up easily - No, matter how bad he was. "You may have..."

"Oh, leave me alone!" Karl interrupted as he stood back up again and started leaning against a chair that had been pushed away.

I then saw Jim go flying past Karl, towards Uhura; He was reaching his hands out to try and stop himself from falling and they ended up on Uhura's breasts. Uhura looked shocked and pushed him away which caused him to fall back against Karl, who grabbed him and somehow sent him flying towards me.

I quickly moved out the way as Jim landed on top of another table. But this time, the table didn't break. Karl advanced towards him and started punching him in the face over and over again.

I looked around hoping one of my brothers friends would stop him. But they were just standing there watching him afraid that Karl would hurt them if they tried. I knew my brother might just do that, especially with the mood he was in right now. If I didn't stop him, he might possibly kill Jim. So I quickly rushed over and tried to grab a hold of Karl's arm. "Karl, stop!"

Karl didn't seem to hear or he just ignored me and kept on punching Jim. I started to hear the table breaking which I knew was starting to give way from the forces of my brother's punches.

"Karl, stop. Or you'll kill him!" I tried reasoning with him.

The next minute I heard a very loud whistle, that quickly made me cover both my ears.

When the whistling stopped. I quickly opened my eyes which I didn't realise I had closed and saw a man standing the other side of the table that Jim was lying on with blood all over his face. But at least, Karl had stopped punching him. I realised that the place had gone quiet and I guessed everyone was now staring at this man like I was... He was a Starfleet officer! I could tell that by the uniform he was wearing; a light grey suit.

"Outside... all of you!" The officer ordered.

Nobody was going to argue with a Starfleet officer and the next minute people were rushing by me to get outside. I wanted to do the exact same thing. So I turned back to my brother, who was also staring back at the officer. I knew Karl was trying to get his anger back in check.

"Yes, sir!" Karl all of a sudden responded back.

The officer was staring back at Karl to let him know he wasn't happy and was giving my brother some sort of warning. I just hoped my brother didn't lose his job over this.

All of a sudden, someone was grabbing my arm and I realised that Karl was dragging me away. I wasn't about to stop him; I wanted out of here as soon as possible, but the officer decided to step in front of Karl and stop him in mid-step.

"Wait there." The officer ordered before walking around us.

I wondered what was going to happen, did I have to stay too? I knew the officer hadn't told me to go. So that meant I couldn't leave either. What had my brother gotten me into now?

"You alright son?" The officer asked.

"You can whistle really loud, you know that?" Jim responded back.

I turned around to see the officer help Jim up, who was a little wobble on his feet... No wonder, after the way Karl had knocked the living daylights out of him. I quickly turned back to glare up at my brother, who hadn't taken his eyes off the officer yet. I could tell he was thinking the same thing.

"Get yourself cleaned up," the Officer said.

I turned back around to find Jim making his way back to the bar, but he couldn't seem to walk in a straight line. I bet that wasn't the drink making him do that... He would have sobered up by the time my brother had finished with him. In a way I felt sorry for Jim, he didn't deserve this. But in a way he had it coming; A lot of times, Jim would get my brother all worked up and on purpose. He knew how bad tempered Karl got around him.

The next minute the officer turned back around and stared at me with an intense look and then to my brother and back again; I was really scared now, I certainly didn't like that look and it was directed at the both of us.



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