THE CALLING, PART 2: Chapter 1
A Work Of Star Trek Fan Fiction By Richard Paolinelli
© 2020 RICHARD PAOLINELLI . ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. NO COPYING OR ANY OTHER REPRODUCTION OF THIS STORY IS PERMITTED WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION. This is a work of fan fiction based in the universe of Star Trek, created by Gene Roddenberry. It is not intended to be sold, to be used to aid in any sale and is not to be copied or used in any other way by any other party.
“Damnit, Jim,” McCoy groused as he fiddled with the collar of his dress uniform. “I’m a doctor not a contortionist!”
“Look at it this way, Bones,” Kirk replied to the familiar complaint. “You won’t have to be in it for too long this time.”
McCoy tugged at his tunic as he, Kirk and Spock made their way toward the transporter room. Try as he might, his uniform looked rumpled. Neither Kirk nor Spock suffered as much as a thread out of place on their uniforms.
“It is unusual to welcome a new officer aboard ship in full dress, Captain,” Spock noted.
“I’ve never heard of it either,” Kirk admitted as the doors to the transporter room swooshed open. “But Admiral Cartwright insisted on it. I admit, if such an exception is to be made, this would be the officer to do it for.”
“Bari Forelni. There’s a name that has become synonymous the Federation and Starfleet.”
“Indeed, Doctor. His contributions to the founding of both organizations are most impressive.”
“His record as a Captain is even more so,” Kirk added. “When Starfleet announced they were building a new ship with an all-Etalyian crew he resigned as Etalya’s Ambassador to the Federation and enrolled in the Academy. He’s one of six candidates to be that ship’s first Captain.
“All six have graduated from the Academy and have experience as commanders in the field and all will be serving on starships as part of their final testing before Starfleet picks the new Captain. Admiral Cartwright said Commander Forelni requested to serve his tour on the Enterprise.”
“Yes it is, Spock, and a little intimidating,” Kirk admitted.
A beep from the transporter console interrupted their conversation.
“Ready for transport, Cap’n,” Scotty, also in full dress complete with a proper Scottish kilt, reported.
“Bring him aboard, Scotty.”
Scotty’s deft hands moved the levers and a human form coalesced on the pad. When the process ended a tall, olive-skinned man who appeared roughly the same age as Kirk stood on the pad. He wore a regular duty uniform and his tunic was red, not command gold. His dark eyes quickly swept the room and lingered on the dress uniforms for a moment. A slight smile tugged at the corners of those eyes.
“Commander Bari Forelni reporting for duty, sir. Permission to come aboard?”
“Permission granted,” Kirk stepped forward and extended his hand. “And welcome aboard Commander.”
Forelni stepped down with more grace than someone who’d lived over a century and a half had a right to possess and clasped his new Captain’s hand.
“A pleasure to be aboard, sir. I was quite pleased to hear that you had accepted my posting here.”
“Admiral Cartwright didn’t seem to be giving me an option to refuse, Commander,” Kirk replied.
“Yes, so I noticed. My apologies gentlemen for having to wear those torture chambers on my account. I had asked the Admiral not to go to any extra-ordinary lengths on my behalf. I hope to be just another member of the crew while I am here.”
“That might be somewhat hard to accomplish, Commander, given your record.”
“Hmmm, I knew I should have tarnished my record more in my misspent youth,” Forelni quipped. “Now I have suffer the terrible consequences of being a living legend. Alas.”
Kirk smiled, feeling much less intimidated now that he’d met the man behind the legend in person.
“Allow me to introduce our First Officer, Mister Spock.”
“Live long and prosper, Commander,” Forelni intoned in Vulcan, smoothly fashioning the Vulcan salute and drawing a slightly uplifted eyebrow in response.
“Prosperity and long life,” Spock answered in kind. “My compliments, Commander, your Vulcan is flawless.”
“Thank you,” Forelni replied, switching back to standard. “It has been some time since I’ve been able to use it. I believe I was speaking with your father at that time. How is Ambassador Sarek and the Lady Amanda?”
“Both well at last communication, thank you for asking.”
“I must say, Commander, you are somewhat taller since our last meeting.”
“I do not recall having met you before, Commander.”
“Well, to be fair, you were roughly two feet long and wrapped in a blanket in your mother’s arms at the time, I would be surprised if even a Vulcan could remember that far back with clarity.”
“Indeed,” Spock allowed.
“And out Chief Medical Officer, Leonard McCoy,” Kirk moved along in the introductions.
“Doctor, a pleasure,” Forelni replied. “I assume I’ll be visiting you soon for a medical exam?”
“The sooner the better, Commander.”
“Let me get unpacked and I’ll drop in tomorrow.”
“And this is our Chief Engineer, Montgomery Scott.”
“Mr. Scott. A most smooth transport. My compliments.”
“Thank ye, sir.”
“Yeoman Brand will show you to your quarters. We’re having a mixer at 1900 where you can meet the rest of the command crew and officers,” Kirk said. “Commander, before you go…”
“I am puzzled as to why you requested to be posted on the Enterprise and as Chief of Security?”
“As for the first part, I appreciate the rapport between a ship’s Captain and his First Officer. I will only be posted here for six months. I had no desire to be a disruption to that rapport.
“As for the second,” Forelni continued. “In studying your reports to Starfleet Command, I got the impression that you were becoming sorely tempted to launch my predecessor out a photon torpedo tube. I have something of an aptitude for Security. I’d like to see what I can do to bring that department back up to a more acceptable standard while I’m here.”
“Commander,” Kirk said after a moment. “If you can pull that off, and Starfleet Command doesn’t give you command of that new ship, I’ll retire and you can have the Enterprise.”
“Well, let’s not let it get to that point, sir,” Forelni replied allowing the smile to reach his mouth this time. “Enterprise without James T. Kirk, wouldn’t be the Enterprise.”