Disclaimer: Star Trek is the property of Paramount/Viacom. This story is the property of DebbieB and is copyright by DebbieB. Rated PG. Originally published in Federation Classic #2.


To Boldly Go



Hikaru Sulu tapped gently on the comm padd, pausing a moment before allowing the words to escape his lips. "Captain here."

"Last of ship's complement has beamed on board, sir. Ready and awaiting your order."

"Thank you," he returned softly. "Any trouble?"

"The new CMO was grumbling about the facilities, sir," Rand's smooth voice held a note of amusement. "But nothing serious."

"Excellent. I'll be on the bridge in half an hour." Sulu clipped off the transmission from his end, then crossed the short distance of his cabin to the observation port. Dry dock sparkled just beyond his reach, a fairy world of ships in gleaming brilliance illuminating the darkness of space. He watched, fascinated, as the tiny flitters darted to and fro, people in self-contained jet packs twittering around the giant white beauties like so many sprites. Primping, polishing, making them space-worthy again. And in the middle of all the activity lay the greatest beauty of them all, the Enterprise.

He watched as the repair crews skittered around the grand dame of the fleet, once again patching up the damage to her hull. He could tell where every scratch, every scar on that graceful hull had been acquired. He could tell every story that needed to be told about her. She was his ship. He would always be a part of that crew.

A chime at his cabin door interrupted his reverie. "Come." He straightened as the doors slid open to admit his new chief medical officer. "Well, I'm glad you finally decided to join us."

Doctor Christine Chapel shot him a quick glare, then crossed the short distance into his friendly embrace. "I suppose you thought it was funny calling me back into active duty," she said into the fabric of his uniform as he held her tightly.

"You shouldn't have turned me down."

"A lot of good it did me. How dare you go over my head?" But Chapel's voice lacked any real bitterness; she smiled warmly at him, a look of genuine pleasure in her eyes. "Who do you think you are? Jim Kirk?"

"You were supposed to be here yesterday."

"I was delayed." Chapel looked past him to where the Enterprise loomed in the starry distance. "Nice view."

"She took some damage."

"I know. I spent most of last night convincing Leonard McCoy not to haul Captain Kirk off to a home for the terminally heroic." She placed a hand on the window, a small grin brightening her features. "That man has given me more grey hair..."

Sulu wasn't sure whether the doctor was referring to Kirk or McCoy, but it didn't really matter. He had wanted Chapel here. It was another way of keeping his identity, of bringing a bit of home with him on the huge new ship which was only beginning to feel like his own. To her credit, Doctor Chapel was already falling into the 'curmudgeonly family doctor' role McCoy had played so well on the Enterprise. Somehow, that felt very comforting at this moment. "I'll try to be only half as difficult," he assured her solemnly.

"Ha!" Chapel shifted the small bag she wore slung over her right shoulder and laughed. "You're as bad as all of them. I just hope I can retire before you hero types turn me completely grey." She headed for the door, then paused. "Oh, I almost forgot. Leonard asked me to give you this." She reached into the shoulder bag and pulled out a small, white box, carefully wrapped with glimmering blue ribbon. "Must be some sort of bon voyage gift. Now if you'll excuse me, Captain, I'm going to try and find my way to my cabin. It won't be easy on this woolly mammoth you call a ship."

He smiled as she left the cabin, turning the box in his hands as he walked back to the window. He gazed longingly at the ship before him, not wanting to return to his own bridge. The moment he took that center seat, he would be forever separated from the glories of the past, forced to create his own legend. While he felt certain he could serve competently as captain of the Excelsior, part of him worried that the better part of his career had been left behind on the bridge and in the corridors of the Enterprise. Perhaps, the swashbuckler in him had grown up at last.

Finally, he forced his fingers to unwrap the package. With nimble fingers, he opened the box and removed a small snow dome. Inside of it, a tiny replica of the Enterprise glided in permanent impulse speed towards its own, unknown destination. Sulu smiled broadly as he examined the gift. Every detail was correct, right down to the markings on the nacelles. Attached to the base of the dome was a small white card. Written in bold script were the words, "To Boldly Go Where None Have Gone Before." The card was signed by Captain Kirk and Doctor McCoy. They'd given him a bit of home to carry with him. "Thank you, Captain," he murmured in the direction of the Enterprise. Then, turning on his heels, he placed the snow dome on a shelf, stepped out of his cabin and headed for the bridge. Adventure awaited.