Star Trek: Perchance To Dream
(© Robert Denham)
Jim Kirk moaned in his sleep; he snorted
and jerked, coming suddenly to misty wakefulness. He sighed, slightly
disgusted, and slumped back against the pillows, now wide awake.
"What is it?" came a slurred, sleepy voice
from the other side of the bed. "…wait…don’t tell me: it’s the dream again. Are
you okay?" A reaching hand fumbled clumsily against his chest, and he chuckled.
"Yes," Kirk answered, but that was only
half-true. This was getting scary, as were the dreams. They were growing not
just in frequency, but also in intensity.
He’d been having them for over a month,
now. "…sorry. But never mind, honey, just go back to sleep." He checked the
glowing digital clock on the nightstand; 4:35 AM. "I’m on duty in about two
hours, anyway. I’ll just go in early. It wouldn’t hurt the night shift for me
to show up unannounced, for a change."
Kirk threw aside the blankets, got up and
groped his way in the dark to the bathroom. He showered and donned his uniform,
and in a little over thirty minutes was out the door into the thin light of a
late-spring dawn, on his way to the station. Before leaving, he stopped and
checked on the kids, Jimmy Jr., 9, and his older sister, Rebecca, 11. He gave
each of them a light kiss on the forehead, whispering, "love you", and pulled
their blankets up. As he walked down the dim hallway to the door, his shadowy
reflection was mirrored in the glass of his several framed degrees and
certificates, and his graduation certificate from the Academy, arranged on the
Police Captain James T. Kirk, 36, had been
a member of the Riverside, Iowa police force for just under fifteen years. He
was considered something of a wunderkind, having risen through the ranks with
On the way in, he stopped at Bannerman’s
Hometown Bakery, having to wait a few minutes until they opened, and got three
dozen fresh donuts, still warm. While he waited, he perused the news vidlinks;
more food riots in Omaha; sixty-three dead; hundreds injured. Millions in
property damages. They’d been waiting in line for hours in the chilly rain; the
government cargo train had simply run out of food. He was actually surprised
that such a negative story had made it into the news, at all; things like that
were usually kept quiet in the official, World Government newsbytes.
Of course, such widespread destruction
would be hard to conceal and the posted article had, typically for such
stories, contained the words "malcontents" and "rabble rousers". He’d heard
rumors that there had been equally-destructive riots in other parts of the
Unified World, but rumors were all they were. Such news from other parts of the
world was routinely squelched; everyone knew that. It occurred to him that it
was odd that Bannerman’s never seemed to lack for much. The baker either knew,
or was greasing, someone. Maybe both. Common practice in the world, today; such
was the way of things.
Having read this blurb, rioting by hungry
people, Kirk glanced with rueful guilt at the warm, fresh donuts, but slid them
onto the passenger seat of his patrol hovercar, and drove on.
Montgomery Scott paused in his work--a
complete overhaul of the freighter’s hyperdrive motivator sublight
systems--sagged with fatigue, and yawned. This was usually a two-man job, at
least, but nothing he couldn’t handle alone. He was tired, though, and that was
strange; he loved this type of thing, and usually took to it with gusto.
However, those damned dreams were taking
their toll. He’d been having them for more than a month, and they were coming
almost every other night, now, and sometimes even when he napped. He was losing
sleep regularly. Odd dreams, they were; people he’d never met, places he’d
never been, but it all seemed so…familiar, somehow. He shook his head; back to
work. The chief would be along in a bit to check his progress. They had a
scheduled pickup in five days on Titan, and the captain wanted everything
running smoothly because this was a new client; a government-connected client.
The whole crew had been repairing, painting, scrubbing and polishing for a
Putting on such airs was a waste of time,
Scott considered; the ship was a freighter; it had been in good shape, and
after the client was shown around and the contract was signed, things would go
back to normal, anyway. Therefore, what did it matter what the ship looked
like, so long as it got the job done? Their record showed they always did, and
in good time. But, that was that.
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