Heart Of Darkness

Riverside Shipyard

Early the next morning Karl and I arrived at ‘Riverside Shipyard’ where they were building a new spaceship and where the shuttle for San Francisco was departing.

It sure had been an amazing sight as we first approached the place; With the whole place lit up and the sight of the starship being built. Even if it was incomplete, it had still been a spectacular sight.

As we approached the shuttle, I swear every worker had their eye on me. Why, Oh why did my cadet uniform have to be so short. Did I really have to wear this at all times? I noticed that a few other girls were wearing the exact same top and mini-skirt as me. But for some reason, it didn’t seem to bother them. “Do I really have to wear this?” I heard myself moan aloud.

“Oh, stop moaning! You knew all along what you would be wearing,” my brother answered.

“Easy for you to say. You don’t have half the guys in here eyeing you up.” I moaned back while trying to push the mini-skirt down a few more inches.

“You’re so full of yourself!”

As we both approached the shutter and made our way around to the entrance. I remembered Jim and wondered what he would be doing right now. Wait, where did that thought come from? It wouldn’t make any difference now, I won’t see him again, anyway. “Captain Pike asked Jim to join Starfleet,” I told my brother as last night came back to me.

Karl all of sudden started laughing and I bet could guess what he was thinking; exactly the same as I was.

“That would mean staying grounded in one place which that farm boy would find hard to do,” Karl stated.

“I was quite surprised myself.”

“Enough about that lazy sod. I don’t want to hear his name mentioned again. He’s dead to me! And the way he is going, he soon will be.” Karl continued to say in an angry tone.

I couldn’t believe my own brother had just said that. I turned to stare at him with a shocked look on my face.

“Don’t give me that look. You know actually what I’m saying,” Karl said as if he could read my mind.

“Oh, I know what you’re saying, I just can’t believe you’re actually saying it.”

“It’s the truth and you know it!”

Just then I bumped against something and for a second was confused on what that was. Until I opened my eyes which I didn’t realise I had closed and looked down at a pair of black shoes and grey trousers. Wait a minute, I knew what that meant; I had bumped into a StarfleetOfficer. I quickly jumped back, wondering who the person could be?

“Captain Pike!” My brother’s tone quickly turned serious.

I really felt embarrassed; this wasn’t the first trip up that CaptainPike had seen me do. “Sorry, Sir!” I apologised.

“Very clumsy, aren’t we Cadet Curtis?”

“Yes sir, It seems that I am.” I watched as Captain Pike nodded at me and then to Karl. Before he turned around and started to make his way to the front of the shuttle.

“You just get worse; You fell into Jim’s arms and now Pike’s arms. Who is going to be next?” My brother asked before making his way into the shuttle.

I just stood there watching him. Karl was right; I really did need to work on my two left feet if I ever wanted to succeed at Starfleet.

I slowly made way up the steps to the shuttle. When I was about halfway up, I could make out a distant engine noise. A different sound to the rest of the noise around here. I turned and looked around until I could make out a motorbike, which was heading straight towards the shuttle. Who could it be?

As the person got closer, I started to realise who it was. I quickly closed my eyes, not quite believe my own eyesight.

“Hey,nice ride!” A heard someone say. Which made me open my eyes. I saw one of the workmen approach the bike.

The guy who stepped off the bike was dressed in civilised clothes. The very same ones he was wearing last night. I didn’t think I would ever see him again and now he was approaching the very same shuttle.

I watched as he threw the keys at the worker without a care in the world. “It’s yours!” Jim said as he walked past with that usually cheeky grin on his face.

Captain Pike was standing to the side of the steps where I was standing. Jim took one look at him and said “4 years... I’ll do it in 3!” Before he started climbing the steps towards me.

I wondered for a moment what Jim was on about, then I remembered whatCaptain Pike had said to him about becoming an office and as cocky as Jim was challenged him back with 3 years instead of 4.

As Jim started walking up towards me, I realised what this all meant; He was joining Starfleet as well. Maybe I hadn’t seen the last of Jim Kirk, after all. Great, just what I needed.

“We meet again Miss Curtis... It must be fate!” Jim added with that lustful look on his face. He trailed his eyes all the way down my legs and back up again where his eyebrows had shot u wide. “Or Should I call you Sexy-Legs? Yes, it suits you!”

I suddenly started feeling self-conscious again; trying my best to lower my skirt a bit more. I knew, I had to speak my mind now beforeJim got any ideas about me... There was no way I was going to fail at this because of him. “Just make sure you stay away from me.”

Jim stopped a few steps down from me until he was eye level. “The question is... Can you stay away from me?”

I placed both my hands on my hips and stared back at him. “I’m serious!” I really needed to make Jim understand this.

“Why would you want to stay away from me in the first place?”

“I don’t want to be hurt by you again,” I added back.

“Have I wronged you in another life? If so, I apologise.” Jim certainly didn’t look sorry. He slowly made his way around me, but with his eye’s still focused on me. He finally stood there in the shuttle doorway and placed a hand on my shoulder, grinning back at me. “Now that is out the way. Why don’t we continue where we left off last night.”

I knew Jim wasn’t taking any of this seriously and he must think I’m playing hard to get. I knew then that I would never get through to him; life was just one big game to him, So I just decided I wasn’t going to waste my breath anymore.

Just then, I realised Jim was leaning closer to me and I knew he was going to try and kiss me again. I quickly took a couple of steps backwards,being careful not to trip down the stairs.

“You sure don’t know what you’re missing,” Jim added as I moved away from him.

“I know very well what I’ll be missing... Heartache!”

“Well, it’s your lost!” Jim stated before turning around and heading into the shuttle as if he couldn’t care less.

I waited a few seconds then followed on after him and knew I would just have to keep away from him. As much as I could anyway. I might be lucky and never have to work with him. Starfleet was big enough and had plenty of Starships.

When I did finally step into the shuttle I looked around to see where my brother was sitting, when I noticed Jim had turned back around and was staring at me.

“You haven’t forgotten our challenge, have you?” He asked.

I stared back at Jim with a mean look on my face. I had to make sure Jim realised there was no challenge that I had agreed to.

“You can faint at my feet again any time you like.” Jim continued to say.

Before I could answer him back, Jim took that moment to turn back the way he had been going and slammed his head against a low beam which made him flinch back in pain. I couldn’t help laughing, “Serves you right!” I added as an afterthought.

Jim slowly turned back to face me and his mouth slowly turned into another smile. I just knew he was about to come out with another sarcastic remark. “I could certainly amuse you in other ways too.”

“Let me make this clear to you.” I took a deep breath, trying to calm myself down. “I’m. not. interested!” I spoke very slowly.

“You just wait... I’ll win this challenge.” Jim said as he turned back round and slowly ducked his head under the low beam that clearly said ‘Low Clearance’. “Before you know it, you will be crazy about me.” Jim continued to say as he started making is way down one of the rows.

More likely Crazy at you’I mumbled to myself before I continued looking around for my brother. I would never get involved with Jim, even if he was the last man on earth or space.

“At ease Gentlemen!” I suddenly heard Jim say, making me turn back around and find him saluting to Karl and his mates before he continued walking past them. That look on my brother’s face would scare anyone away; If looks could kill, Jim would certainly be dead by now.

I slowly made my way over to Karl, getting myself ready to step in again, if I had to. That look soon relaxed a little once Jim was out of his line of vision. I could see an empty seat next to Karl, knowing he had saved me a seat.

“Where the hell did you get to?” Karl asked in an angry tone.

I knew it wasn’t directed at me; Karl was angry at seeing Jim and realised that meant he was joining Starfleet. I slowly sat down and started buckling myself in. “I’m just as shocked as you are,” I responded.

“All he will do is cause more trouble... He won’t last 5 minutes!” Karl added before he turned back to his mates.

Karl was properly right, but one thing I knew about Jim was that he wouldn’t give in too easily; Captain Pike was right about him not believe in no-win scenarios.

“I never did get that first name.” I heard Jim say as if he was sitting right next to me. I realised that he was actually sitting behind, with his back to me. He was looking across at the dark skinned girl, that Jim had been flirting with at the bar last night. But for some reason, she didn’t answer him. If Uhura and I could become friends and I got to know her name first, I knew that would wiund Jim up no end.

“You’re doing it again.” Karl suddenly announced.

I turned back to face my brother wondering what the hell he was going on about this time.

“You’re smiling at him again!”

I slowly shook my head. Karl would never understand, so there was no point explaining to him.

All of a sudden a couple of loud voices made me turn my head to see a lady officer trying to drag a man from another room which to me looked like the bathroom.

“You need a doctor!” This officer was saying.

“I told you, I don’t need a doctor. I am a doctor!” The man stated in an annoyed tone.

“You need to get back to your seat.”

“I had one in the bathroom...”

“You need to get back...”

“...with no window.”

“...to your seat now.”

I noticed that everyone had gone quiet and was watching as the man argued back with this officer. I had to admit it was quite amusing to listen to; it’s not very often someone argued with an officer. Who continued to drag the man around to the row behind me, where Jim was sitting.

“I suffer from aviophobia, which means fear of dying in...”

“...Sir, for your own safety...”

“...Something that flies.”

“...sit down, or I’ll make you sit down.”

I was certainly taking note; watch out for this officer, she surely means business. I didn’t want to get into her bad books. The officer was now glaring back at the man with a certain look that said don’t push me as you won’t like the outcome.

“Fine!“The man finally said as he took the empty seat next to Jim.

“Thank you!” The office stated before walking away with a calm look on her face.

I could tell from that look alone that she loved being in charge and being able to boss people around. I hoped, I didn’t have to work with her.

Just at that moment, an announcement came over the whole shuttle that pulled me out of my own thoughts.

“This is captain Pike, we have been cleared for take-off!”

“I may throw up on you.” The man next to Jim suddenly shot out a warning.

I quickly turned my head, hoping he wasn’t talking to me. I realised he was talking to Jim, who had that look on his face as if to say ‘is this man for real?’ Or was it what I was thinking. If this guy was afraid of flying what was he doing on this shuttle?

“I think these things are pretty safe.” Jim gently added as if he was afraid that the man would follow through with his words.

“Don’t Panda to me kid, one tiny crack in the hull and our blood boil’s in 13 seconds...”

God, I truly couldn’t believe this guy. Yes, I knew all the things that could happen, but I certainly didn’t need to be reminded of them and I could see that Jim was thinking the same. I bet, he wished he could move seats.

I slowly turned back around and just hoped he wouldn’t go on like this the whole trip.

“...See if you’re so relaxed when your eyeballs bleed. Space is diseased and dangerous after darkness and silence!” The man continued to go on.

“Well, I hate to break this to you. But Starfleet operates in space.”

’Thank you for that Jim. Let’s just hope that will shut him up.

“Yeah, well I’ve got nowhere else to go. The ex-wife took the whole damn planet in the divorce, or I’ve got left his my bones.”

For some reason I was starting to like this guy, he was really quite amusing, in a certain kind of way and it sounded like Jim did as well as I started to hear them introduce themselves.

“Jim Kirk!”

“McCoy. Leonard McCoy!”

Well, well... it sounded like Jim had made a friend. I turned around in my seat, to see Jim and Leonard drinking from a flask which I assumed would contain alcohol.

As this happened I felt the shuttle lift off the ground and I slowly turned back around and my brother took that moment to whisper in my ear.

“They are both as annoying as each other; they will make quite a pair!”

I just decided to ignore my brother and look out the side window that showed us headed towards the sky.

Starfleet, here I come!

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