The Kirk Shorts

       This collection of flash fiction is mostly about Tim Kirk, and those he has encountered. Some of these little scenes get included into larger stories. If and or when they do I'll take them out of here.
       Expect little in terms of profound truth or great plots. Some have a point, some don't, all will tell you something if you listen.
       The timing for all of these would be after The Long Patrol.


Down Time The Chase Moving On
Mission Control In the Park


Down Time

       Tim Kirk flipped idly though the latest issue of "Captain's Quarterly". His wife was placing fresh flowers on the dining table. He turned off his PADD.
       **What would you like to do? We have the whole day and no call on us.**
       **Starbase does have some advantages.**
       **How about a holodeck game?**
       Tathilan wrinkled her nose. **I dislike those things.**
       **You do? We use the holodeck all the time.**
       **As setting, as a way to get to places we can't otherwise get to. I don't like the games.**
       **Several reasons. One, it's rather like the puppet master interacting with the puppets. While I don't have millisecond by millisecond control of the holodeck computers, I am aware of what is going on. Two, they're flat.**
       **Tim, you spent most of your life not reading people. You don't expect it.**
       **Yea, and it still catches me out now and again.** He blushed slightly thinking of the Ambassador's wife.
       **I wouldn't have minded.**
       **The Ambassador would have minded, a lot.**
       **Then it is just as well he'll never know what wantonly randy thoughts his wife has.**
       **You were saying about holograms being flat.**
       **Yes. I expect a certain noise level from humanoids, with a few exceptions. Holograms don't have that noise level. They don't feel alive.**
       **So they lack an element of realism you expect.**
       **Exactly. The way you feel about old fashion flat movies.**
       **Anyway to fix it?**
       **Why would we need to?**
       **Maybe telepaths want to play holodeck games too.**
       Tathilan finished fluffing the flowers. **You would need an RI to directly run the holodeck, and be a literal puppet master, an actor behind the hologram masks. They would have to be high psi rated to manage the trick as well.**
       **Would it have a market?**
       **Well it might be the reason Betazed is a lousy market for holodeck games.**
       **What about Vulcans?**
       **Vulcans go to great effort to not read people. Those that don't... I don't think I would like game mastering for them.**
       **Vulcan perverts. Not a concept I would enjoy.**
       **They exist. Vulcans are no more perfect than anyone else.**
       **It's still not a concept I enjoy.**
       **Vulcan, would prefer that we never know about them.**
       **I don't know anyone proud of what they consider their failures. Are there Ane failures?**
       **But you don't like to talk about them.**
       **What do you want to know?**
       **What kind of failures do Ane produce?**
       **The annoying, and the scary.**
       **Annoying and scary.**
       **Usually annoying or scary.**
       **What do I need to look our for in the scary department?**
       **You shouldn't have to. One has not gotten loose in a long long time.**
       **There is always a first time.**
       **Scary, an Ane telepath that does not follow the ethics that Ane practice.**
       **Yes, I would call that scary. What do you do?**
       **In most cases deny them access to the Express, and shun them.**
       Tim arched a brow. "That is serious for an Ane. You don't talk to them?**
       **Any contact.**
       **And in the few cases?**
       **They are burned out.**
       **We don't see many of those. It has been several thousand years since we have seen one.**
       **What about annoying?**
       **Those that will not learn other people manners, and insist on being around other people.**
       **What is left to deal with them?**
       **We generally aid other people in lessoning them. Break someone else's law or custom, pay their price.**
       **That's it?**
       **"That's it" can be severe at times. We try and sit on them and teach them a few manners. But you get a few in every herd.**
       **So no big Ane vices?**
       **Lack of opportunity, or lack of interest in what humanoids regard as vices. Drugs and drink are a bad idea, and you never want to repeat the experience. Sex? That's the national sport. Money? We have to hire outsiders to take care of our financial business. Most of us don't get money.**
       **No vices at all.**
       **Being pushy about stories is the biggest one. Annoying, like I said. Some very few fall into materialism and comfort. These are generally harmless to all but themselves so they are left alone.**
       **So no vices, other than that?**
       **What is a vice? Usually it's a moral rule, some times enforced by law, sometimes by community pressure. We are not a people with a lot of rules. If you don't have a lot of rules against what people want to do, you don't get many rule breakers. Be it harm none, do as you will. It's easy to live by.**
       **No doubt those that like to live by lots of rules would call you wicked as the day is long.**
       **We have had missionaries of every kind trying to save our lost souls. I never lost mine, it's right in the jar I left it in. What about the religion you grew up with?**
       **The Scottish Presbyterian Church lost a lot of rules in the late 21st century. It was an elitist bunch of bull in the first place. If John Calvin didn't invent sitting on sticks, he raised the practice to a high art, holiness through self loathing. The Kirk is more social club than moral rule issuing body today. My parents never stressed the Kirk in any case. We spent so little time at home.**
       **Did you ever study it?**
       **Yes, when I was sixteen I got it into my head that The history of the Kirk was something I needed to know. I never got through Calvin. Compared to him a warp drive manual is a riveting adventure tale. I would recommend it as an excellent sleep aid however.**
       **Yet you wanted to "stand in the Kirk" for marriage.**
       **It's a ritual. We use ritual to mark things as important. In any case your idea of Victoria Falls was lovely. My Mother now considers you a hopeless romantic.**
       **You look good in a kilt. Why don't you wear it more often?**
       **It isn't practical starship dress. I wore it mainly for my Father. He takes the Scottish thing seriously.**
       **I notice you spine straightens when the pipes play as well.**
       **Well... yea. I think it comes with the genes. Wearing kilts is not automatic with that however.**
       **You still cut a dashing figure in a kilt.**
       **We still have the matter of how to spend our day.** Tim finished putting the PADD on the table. The chron indicated a whole 5 seconds had passed. **I don't recommend conversation, that doesn't take any time anymore.**
Down Time -- Garry Stahl, February 2005

        Another aimless noodle. This one could fit at any starbase after "The Long Patrol". Yes, I have tried to read John Calvin. Drier than flash fried sawdust./p>


Back to Navigation
The Chase

      The pirate's corvette swerved around the asteroid. The Kongo's helmsman started to follow.
       "Belay that" Barked Kirk. "Heading 035 mark 0."
       "Aye, Aye. 035 mark 0."
       "Ready phasers."
       Miritath's claws tapped on a tactical panel. "Ready."
       Kirk carefully eased back into his chair. "He should come around oblique to us. Fire when you have a target."
       The Kongo plowed on past the massive body. Suddenly the little ship whipped around the asteroid directly at the Kongo. Alarms sounded.
       "EVASIVE, EVASIVE!" Yelled Kirk. Even as he spoke Lt. Horum was trying to lift the massive starship with his bare hands. The little ship ducked under the Kongo and into free space.
       "Come around, get on his tail." Kirk slammed his fist into the command chair arm.
       The Kongo swung her massive bulk exhibiting a grace no one was in the mood to appreciate at the moment.
       Half way through her evolution Miritath reported. "The target has gone to warp."
       Kirk flopped back in the chair again. "Get after him." He sighed. "Unless than little pest has something very special, that is the first mistake he has made today, and his last."
       The Kongo completed her turn and jumped to warp.

       Kirk checked the tactical plot for the fifth time in as many minutes. The corvette was still there pinned in Kongo's sights, loosing ground, slowly. Kirk turned back to the work on his desk. It wasn't any closer to finished than when he had started forty minutes ago.
       **You could always go back it and fidget on the bridge.**
       **Well yes, there is that.**
       **Then I would be fidgeting in front of everyone. Captain's dignity and all.**
       **That isn't what's eating you.**
       **These, people.**
       **They are people.**
       **I have never understood pirates. Billions of people lead productive and peaceful lives, happy lives even, and never lift a hand against their fellow sophants. Then we have pirates. It doesn't pay well, few if any get rich, as if that was worth anything. Most die violent deaths. Why do they do it?**
       **You are asking the wrong person for answers Tim.**
       **just venting I guess.**
       The intercom chirped. "Kirk Here."
       "Long weapons range in five minutes Captain."
       "I'll be out."

       Kirk sat in the command chair. The Kongo still closing with the pirate corvette.
       Miritath reported. "Long torpedo range, we have a lock."
       "Target and hold. Open hailing frequencies."
       "Hail open Captain."
       "Captain Masters, we have a target lock on you, and the range is closing. I am accepting surrenders today."
       The screen flickered to show the cramped bridge of the corvette. Captain Masters and is crew lolled around. Several were openly drinking at their duty stations. It looked more like a party than a bridge.
       "Well and good oh Captain Kirk. I do not think we are in the offering mood today." Several crew shouted their encouragement. "Try your wares elsewhere."
       "You do not have to die Captain Masters."
       "No, I don't, you could end your pursuit, let us live free men."
       "You could have lived free men, and not done violence on others."
       Masters got into the pickup. "Save your sermons for your sheep Captain. Free men take what they need."
       "I cannot agree with that, not when it is easy to be free, and allow others to be free as well."
       "Aye, and you will shove your peace and plenty down our throats, like it or not."
       "My only demand is that you let others live in peace as they see fit, you have failed to do that."
       "And that is my choice. The wolves have always fed off the sheep."
       "And that is your choice?"
       "It is."
       "And you accept the consequences."
       Masters bowed low. "I always have."
       "Medium range Captain." Reported Miritath.
       "Two torpedoes, take him down, we will close and board."
       The view screen shifted back to the frontal view as the turrets spat a torpedo each. The Nightwolf's warp bubble flared and died. The Kongo rapidly closed the distance.
       Miritath said. "Life boats way Captain."
       Lt Solin reported. "They have secondary containment failure, the whole ship has been flooded with plasma and hard radiation."
       "Medical to alert. Close and get any survivors off."

       Kirk tapped his stylus on the table as his officers reported. Hanson was just finishing up.
       "All the hostages and slaves they jettisoned in the life pods were fine Captain. We didn't find enough of the crew to identify who was who."
       "What condition is the Nightwolf in Felialan?"
       **Junk. They toasted the entire interior.**
       "We'll get the survivors back to Starbase 424. We'll destroy the hull of the Nightwolf. Dismissed."

       Tathilan slipped in beside him on the big recliner. Kirk continued to watch out the windows.
       **Seeking answers.**
       **Finding any?**
The Chase -- Garry Stahl, February 2005

       Captain Masters and his ship are named in tribute to David Masters from the Terok Nor List. David bears the credit, or blame, for getting me my first web page up and running. While he hasn't done any maintenance on my pages since he did the first coding. He did give me the push into making my own pages. Thank you David. <


Back to Navigation  
Moving On

       "12 years. That is all she lasted."
       "Well Kirk, Starfleet wants you in a new ship."
       "She isn't even going out with a new crew?"
       "No. It will be up to fleet disbursement to decide, but I imagine she is headed towards the defense fleet of one of the Federation members. You do have a point, she does have another good 40 years in that hull. Kongo is to be struck from the lists Kirk. Technology has passed her by."
       Fleet Captain James T. Kirk looked out at the gleaming sliver-blue beast pinned in the space dock lights. "And this one?"
       "Blue Dolphin. Build for you and the crew of the Kongo. Dual disodium HE warp core with an 18 light year per day cruising speed."
       "What about the name? A lot goes with a name."
       "It was over 30 years between the 1710 and the 10455. We will not wait so long this time."
       Kirk stared at Admiral Feldar, with his mouth hanging open.
       "Close your mouth Kirk, it is unbecoming of the Captain's dignity 'USS Kongo NCC 101710'. She isn't quite worthy of the 'A', but we wanted something special. The old girl saved a world, too many people forget that. She saved mine." Admiral Feldar gave Kirk a long meaningful look. "Bolia has not, will not forget." He bounced on his toes. "The dock crew starts painting tomorrow. I have the orders cut. When do you want the commissioning ceremonies?"
       "When they finish the registry."

       Kirk looked around the massive rec deck. His officers and many of the crew stood decked out in their number one uniforms. The bright work gleamed new. The new ship smell was thick in the air. He laid the papers on the podium and smoothed them with a gloved hand. They crackled softly. He raised his eyes to the assembled company and read. "Fleet Captain James Timothy Kirk, on this stardate you are requested and required to take command of the USS Kongo, NCC-101710, to finish her fitting out, commission her, and sail in pursuit of what duties you may be assigned. Signed, Admiral Jon Luc Picard, Starfleet Command.
       At that moment bright lights flashed outside the new Kongo as every ship in the dock flashed her running lights to salute the first command of a new sister.
       Every ship but one. Alone and dark the old Kongo was being striped of her bright Starfleet colors. Kirk watched out the windows while officers gathered around to back-slap and speak of the party to come. Tathilan slipped up beside him.
       **She was special, our ship, our ... home.**
       **Life in the fleet, change is the only constant. We can make this one home as well.**
       Kirk smiled at his wife. **Yes, we will make her our home as well.**
       --The Endless Quest Continues!--
Moving On --Garry Stahl, July 2006
       See, I have this game. It is an on line Star Trek thing I play with Jay P. Hailey I noticed that my work on the Kirk stories had dropped to nothing, and I finally pinned it down. I wanted Kirk to have some of the new toys that the STB-600 game had, but I genuinely like the Kongo. So I had to have a new Kongo. Hopefully this will get my Kirk stories moving again.

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Mission Control

       "Llama!" He screamed.
       I dived back into the shelter of the big rock as the animal lofted high into the air and landed with a sickening thud some twenty meters from our location. I pulled my face out of the dirt and found myself centimeters from T'liss.
       "Perhaps you can explain the logic behind throwing farm animals at us? Who in their right mind uses a replicator to make a catapult and dead animals?"
       T'liss quirked that Vulcan eyebrow at me. "I am not assuming he is either sane or logical Lieutenant. However it is effective in keeping us pinned here. Ensign Lantree's injury is proof of concept."
       Pedro crawled over to join us. "It usually takes a few minutes for him to reload. Why don't we get the hell out of here."
       "Where are we going?" I asked. "We have to wait for Simms and Carlos to return."
       "Further from this position would be desirable Lieutenant. Said T'liss. "While replicated, the dead animals will attract scavengers and fester."
       "Yea." Said Pedro. "What she said. And as long as we have a ridge between us and him, Llamas are more effective than phasers."
       "Point. Pedro, give T'liss you tricorder. T'liss, rig the tricorder to show us here, and your own to block scans."
       Yes Sir."
       "Llama!" This one landed only five meters away. It's gut split open and legs at impossible angles.
       Simms and Carlos trotted up and ducked behind the rock. "Lieutenant, we got Lantree in the shuttle and as comfortable as possible. She is trying to get a message out to the Kongo through the interference."
       "Noted. T'liss?"
       "I can report or work Lieutenant."
       "Work then."
       Several minutes more passed while T'liss programed furiously.
       "Llama!" This one landed further out. The irregular nature of the ammunition was making accurate aiming difficult, good for us.
       T'liss looked up from her work. "Ready Lieutenant."
       "OK, go."
       We left Pedro's tricorder as a stand in and booked out from behind the rock. We were 100 meters away when the next llama came flying over.
       T'liss was working with my tricorder as well. "This way Lieutenant. I have his location pinpointed."
       Pedro looked at me. "Why do we want to confront this guy?"
       "Because he is guarding the gate into the asylum that's why. We have to get in there and take control of it, remember?"
       Pedro rolled his eyes heavenward.  "Why do we get all the good assignments."
       "Just lucky I guess." Pedro had a point, it was one Hell of a first command.

Mission Control --Garry Stahl, February 2007

       This was written as an answer to Jay Hailey's story challenge of "Write a story with the first line of "Llama!" he screamed."  The above is the result.  Yes, Kirk isn't in it, but I decided to set it in the Kongo setting.  Why should the Captain get all the "juicy" assignments?

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In the Park

       Tim sat in the park. Sometimes the inside of any place felt too closed in. This was one of those times. He knew it was Tathilan that was responsible for that. She was the cause of the Ane traits that were developing in him. He tried to pay attention to the report on his PADD. The distractions of the park were not making that any easier.  
        In spite of this it took him several minutes to notice the gaggle of boys that had gathered a respectful distance from the bench. Three young men, they couldn't be over ten years old each. Ten seemed an impossible reach into his past, but he could remember being ten like it was yesterday.
        They seemed to be egging each other into a decision. Tim decided to call it himself. The report wasn't getting read in any case.
        "Can I help you fellows?" He addressed them directly.
        For a brief moment it looked like they would run off, then the outspoken one stepped a little forward. "We had a question ... Sir" Remembering his manners just in time.
        "Well, ask." Tim folded the PADD and put it in his jacket.
        There was a bit of elbow nudging. "Are you Fleet Captain James Kirk?"
        Tim smiled. The pips read Fleet Captain, and his name badge said "KIRK" in large standard letters. Who else could he be? "Well fellows, the fact of the matter is, I am."
        The brave one got a bit bolder. "What is it like to be a hero?"
        Tim was taken aback a bit. A forthright question. Bold indeed. "I'm not sure I understand fellows. What makes you think I'm a hero?"
        "The Holovids say you're a hero." Chimed in the second boy.
        "And our Teacher told us all about the Kongo and your missions when you came here." Added the third.
        "So you have to be a hero." Finished the first boy. "What is it like?"
        Kirk mulled the question for a moment., He could see concern growing in their eyes. "Come have a seat." He patted the bench beside him. "I'll try to answer you, as best I can."
        The boys piled onto the bench and settled down.
        "I can't say if feels like anything. Do you know what a Hero is?"
        "I do!" piped up the second lad. "A hero does heroic things!"
        "Well, that might be said. But I'll tell you something. Something very important. A hero never sets out to be a hero. A hero is someone that does what needs to be done, when it needs doing, no matter how hard that might be."
        The third boy screwed up is face. "Like taking out the trash?"
        "Or kissing a girl?" Added the first.
        "Well", said Tim, "I suppose that some thing might be a little more heroic than others. But heroes are all around you. Flying around in a starship might seem larger than life, but it mostly isn't. You spend months between stops, finding things to do. It doesn't feel big and important most of the time. The halls are like any halls, the rooms like any rooms, and that is mostly what you see. They make starships to be as much like home as possible."
        "But you do big things."
        "We can, but not always. What is important are the little things we do. The mundane science, the search and rescue work. Our most important job is being there when people need us. And that boys is what heroes do. They are there when they are needed."
        "It doesn't sound very exciting."
        "Truth, honest truth, it isn't. Starfleet is necessary and vital work. But most of the time it is anything but exciting. And honestly, after having it be exciting, you would rather it was not."
        "You would rather it wasn't exciting?" The question was asked with all the credulousness a ten year old could muster.
        Tim nodded. "Yes, because the exciting times are when people get hurt, when your friends and your family get hurt. And that isn't very exciting at all."
        "People get hurt." The third lad was looking more serious than the other two.
        "Yes, and that is not what I want."
        "My Uncle Julius was on a starship." said the third lad. "One day Mom said his starship was lost, and he wouldn't be coming home. I miss him."
        "Yes. That happens, that is why we don't like exciting things. I have lost many friends over my years in Starfleet. It is one of the hazards of the profession."
        The boy was wide eyed. "But you still do it."
        "We are needed. And that is what I do."
        All three had fallen silent. Tim could hear the new thought turning in their brains. It was time for a lightener. "Who has their school PADD?"
        All three produced their PADDs. The question of why was plain on their faces.
        Tim pulled his PADD out. "Well the Kongo is in port for at least the rest of the week. Being the Captain I do believe I can get your class a tour, if someone has their teacher's address."
        The address was produced in record time. Tim thought a letter out and sent it quickly. "There, invitation sent."
        Wow passed over the lot and the first two ran off to spread the news. The third stayed behind. He still looked deep in thought.
        "What is it son?"
        "Strange things happen deep in space. I've read that."
        "Yes, strange things can happen. I've seen a few."
        "If one of those strange things happens to be my Uncle Julius Mr. Kirk, would you tell him that His nephew Jan misses him?"
        Tim looked deep into the young man's tearful eyes. "I can't say that it ever will, that wouldn't be fair to you Jan. But I promise you this. I will remember."
        "Thank you sir." Jan turned and walked away.
        Tim watched him go for as long as he could see him. Heroes are those that do what needs to be done.

In the Park -- March, 2008

        I didn't know where this was headed when it started pouring out of the keyboard (4 AM of course, when I would rather be in bed.). Kids have questions, and if you saw what to you was a super cool adult in the park what would you do?  

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