HOW TO INVADE A TIMELINE
CAPTAIN KIRK'S SMALLVILLE HOME INVADED
A SMALLVILLE/STAR TREK/STARGATE STORY
The man surveyed the home of Jim and Edie Kirk in Smallville.
As far as the man knew he had not been followed.
That Vulcan devil's not here, the man thought. Doesn't seem to be anyway. But who knew when that green-blooded ghoul might show up? The man shuddered at the thought. It was sad to think they had once been friends.
Shouldn't he just barge into Jim's house? Wasn't it that important?
But as far as the man could see, there were only two women in the house. He wasn't sure who the redhead was. (Kind of reminded him of Yeoman Barrows.) But the dark-haired woman looked like Edith Keeler, only older.
What madness was this?
Stardate: unknown in this time
Because it's been a day of unusual events, I only have time for a short entry. Spock, McCoy and I are still here. We are trapped in Earth's past. Because of Clark Kent. Because he saved my Edie. He's changed everything. Not just for us but for millions of people.
In this new timeline, this new world, we have encountered one unexpected visitor: Clark Kent himself. Who know what other unexpected visitors we may have?.
As he paced nervously outside the Kirk house, the man thought he might search this town “Smallville.” What was this universe's Jim Kirk doing in such a place, anyway? He should be with the Enterprise. But Beckett said this was where to find Jim.
Yeah, he could search the town. But no, probably just best to wait here.
As he thought this, the man promptly vanished.
“I had quite a day at school,” Jim Kirk said on the communicator as he walked around inside his garage. “And there have been nightmares.”
“Nightmares, Captain?” Spock said over the communicator.
“Yes, Spock. In one case I was on trial on a planet called Krypton.”
“Last night in another dream I met our friend Clark Kent. Along with Lex Luthor.”
“President of the United States? Most intriguing.” As Spock said this, Kirk could picture the Vulcan's eyebrows shooting up.
“Well, I have met Abraham Lincoln,” Kirk noted.
“Or someone based on your thoughts of him.”
“Yes,” Kirk said. “Anyway, Clark, the president, and I were all split in two. Good half, evil half. Just like with my transporter accident. Only they were exposed to some black rock.” Kirk grinned. “Our evil halves had quite an interesting three-way fight.”
“Indeed?” from Spock. “This could represent conflict over---”
“Captain Kirk!” someone exclaimed in a squeaky voice. “Friend! Friend Kirk!”
Kirk whirled around. It was hard to see with only a distant street light through the window but the invader seemed very large. He was dressed in a large gray coat, and with a touch of gray in his bowl haircut he seemed to be---
“Cyrano Jones,” Kirk said, lowering his communicator slightly.
The man of great girth grinned broadly
“I just wanted to let you know everything will be all right,” Cyrano said with a cordial friendly nod.
Another figure stepped forward. “Hello, Kirk.”
The Romulan features were unmistakable. Kirk reached for his phaser but realized he had on only his gym teacher shorts. The phaser was in his locker at school.
“What are you doing here?” Kirk demanded.
The Romulan commander responded with a bemused smile. “Kirk, you seem alarmed. I would think after being friends so many years you would trust me by now.”
“Captain, what is happening?” Spock asked.
“That's what I'd like to know,” Kirk said.
The Romulan commander put his hands up. “Please, Kirk. I assure you. I am not some deep undercover agent.. Be at ease.”
“Yes, be at ease, Friend Kirk,” Cyrano said with an almost goofy smile. “Perhaps a nice tribble to calm you down?” With happy eyebrows up, Cyrano held out a tiny amorphous creature purring softly.
Before Kirk could respond, both men were gone.
“Spock,” Kirk said. “ I just had an encounter with Cyrano Jones. And the Romulan commander. The one who said in another reality we might have been friends.”
“From what he said and the way he acted, I think he crossed over from such a reality.”
“Fascinating,” Spock murmured. “It is much like when we encountered Clark Kent in the Kawatche caves. So far only you and I have encountered people from alternate timelines and alternate worlds.”
“As far as we know,” Kirk said.
“True, Captain. We cannot ascertain whether others in Smallville have encountered individuals from other worlds and times or what individuals they are likely to encounter.”
“True,” Kirk said. “But right now I need to go inside.”
“Good night, Captain.”
After he put the communicator away, Kirk blinked his tired eyes. Now, he thought. How do I explain what happened today?
“Hello, Jimbo,” Cassie Carver said as Kirk walked through the door.
“Hello, Jim darling.” When Edie Kirk looked up, she started. “Jim, why are you wearing that?”
Normally dressed in his gold shirt with black pants, Kirk instead wore his yellow gym teacher shirt with red shorts. The whistle-on-a-rope was still around his neck
For a moment, Kirk was not sure what to say.
Outside. In the darkness.
The one who was outside the Kirk house earlier.
The one who vanished.
In the distance, a radio played. There was some kind of radio drama on. When the man reappeared, it was accompanied by a kind of “bo-ing” noise with an echo.
The man was gasping and sweating. As he looked around anxiously, he also blinked in confusion.
That's funny, he thought. Could have sworn I was just somewhere else. Just for a moment. But for the life of me I can't remember where. Has he done this? That Vulcan devil. Has he done this? Monster!
Before he could think or question further, the man vanished again.
And again there was the “bo-ing.” And the echo.
“Did something happen?” Edie asked.
“There was....an incident,” Kirk explained.
“Oh?” Cassie said as she examined her papers. “What happened? Bad pile-up at cheerleading practice?”
Edie poked her friend in the side. “Oh, Cass, it's been years since the cheerleading squad turned you down.”
“I know,” Cassie said in a kind of groaning way. “They turned me down and my friend Marcy. I think they just hated my naturally curly red hair.” As Cassie patted her curls, she grinned. “Most of them are serving coffee at the Beanery now.”
Edie approached Kirk. “What happened, dear?”
Kirk put his keys in a coat hanging nearby. “Two guys were climbing ropes. Clarkie and Petey. Clarkie said he could see into the girls' locker room. Petey laughed like a cuckoo bird.”
“Uh-oh,” Cassie said. “I wonder what they were on?”
“Were they on the booze?” Edie asked. “Or maybe something else that made them a bad risk? You should have told them to get out. ”
“Yes, well......” As he shook his head, Kirk sighed. “They both fell off the ropes, landed on the floor.” As the women reacted with alarm and shock, Kirk raised an open palm. “It's all right. They got up like nothing happened. Clarkie said he'd set me on fire with heat rays from his eyes. Petey said he was going to tell everyone my secret. That I was an alien.”
“Are you an alien?” Cassie asked with mock concern and curiosity. Smiling, Kirk shook his head.
“Oh, they sound like a bad risk,” Edie tutted. “But they weren't really hurt?”
“Far from it,” Kirk said as he pulled some black pants over his red shorts. Even his gold gym teacher shirt had a silver U-N symbol which looked exactly like the Starfleet insignia. “Unfortunately, Clarkie was a wrestler. We had to do hand-to-hand combat.” Kirk recalled how the two locked arms and struggled with each other as they moved around the gym.
It was like being back on the Enterprise, Kirk thought.. Back in his old life.
At one point, to get away from Clarkie, Kirk rolled on the ground then rested on one knee. He was too old to do a midair leap in which he kicked his opponent in the chest with both feet while being briefly parallel to the ground. Or what Bones simply called “the Kirk kick.”
“Petey insisted I was actually fighting a lizard man in a toga.” As the two women laughed, Kirk felt glad he didn't have to fight a Gorn in Smallville. (Though who knew? One might show up.) But it would have been nice to have a Metron break up the fight. Had Petey maybe seen one of those toga-clad white-skinned beings?
Krik briefly recalled how as he and Clarkie fought, the marching band practiced nearby. They played some soaring fight music with pounding drums and shrill clarinets and horns.
“Bones is taking care of them,” Kirk said. “They were probably on reefer or L-D-S.”
“You mean L-S-D,” Cassie said.
“What?” Kirk said.
“L-S-D,” Edie said. “It's a new drug. You said L-D-S.”
“Oh,” Kirk said. “I'm a little tired.”
Edie gave Kirk a quick peck on the cheek. “Why don't you relax, dear?”
Kirk nodded as he settled into his spot, his favorite chair.
Edie returned to the kitchen, sat down, and leaned in toward Cassie.
“Ah,” she said in a sly whisper. “The Chair.” Cassie responded with a light dimpled grin.
It was their own private little joke. When the Kirks found “The Chair” at Fordman's Department Store, Jim was very enthusiastic about it, almost as if he'd found his home. Edie regarded “The Chair” as an absolute monstrosity. But Kirk managed to persuade her, just as he had about limiting the power of her peace movement.
The Chair was white, a combination swivel-chair/easy-chair but the armrests were rectangular rather than rounded. All made of hard white plastic.
Although Edie complained when Jim placed “that monstrosity” at the center of their living room, she saw how comfortable and relaxed he was in The Chair, like he really was at home. Although he also got a little commanding in The Chair at times. And what was this phrase he mumbled when he fell asleep in The Chair? “Chekov, you have the con.” What was that? Whatever it was, Edie put it in the sequel to “Let Me Help.”
Although she joked with Cassie about The Chair, Edie gave up on her crusade to remove “that monstrosity.”
“So,” Kirk said from The Chair. “What have you ladies been up to?”
“Well,” Edie said, picking up a piece of paper. “We just heard from our new publisher Stan Liebowski.”
“Everyone just calls him Stan Lee,” Cassie explained cheerfully.
Edie often said Cassie had the voice of Judy Garland while looking like a red-haired Rita Hayworth. Kirk thought again how it was true. “Stan Lee,” he said. “Easy name to remember.”
“There's good news and bad news,” Edie said. “Stan says our new pulp fiction hero will be named Captain U-S-A, not Captain U-N. And he doesn't care what those tin-plated dictators in the U-N think about it.”
Cassie giggled. “I can almost see him, all red-faced, shaking his fist with that big mustache of his and that cigar in his mouth.”
“Just hope it doesn't set his mustache on fire,” Edie laughed.
“Oh, it won't,” Cassie chortled.
“Why not?” Kirk asked from The Chair. .
A grinning Edie looked at him. “He never lights them. No, he just puts them in his mouth.”
“Says it makes him look like a big-shot editor,” Cassie said in a deep sing-song voice.
“Stan is not a creature of bad habits.” Edie held up a piece of paper. “Well, now the bad news, Here Stan writes: 'I like your idea for a series of books about young people who have super powers because of meteor rocks from space. But I feel now is not the right time for Marvel Publishing to do that.'”
“Ah, well,” Edie said as she put the paper down. “Maybe in a few years.” Edie shrugged. “Until then we could write another sequel to 'Let Me Help.' Maybe a whole series!”
“That might not work as a series. Maybe something else.” Cassie tapped her pen against her lips. “What about some kind of story in outer space?”
“Yes, that could be good,” Kirk said with a grin. .
“Yes, a story in space. Where people pursue peace. Real peace. Not the kind forced by the U-N.” Edie looked very disapproving, just as she often had at her 21st Street Mission.
“Oh, but the U-N might not like that,” Cassie said in a teasing voice. “Just like they didn't like 'Let Me Help.'”
“Or 'Let Me Help Again,'” Kirk said.
“'The idea that characters in books and movies are actually real is pure hokum,'” Edie said in a deep stern voice.
“And the world being saved by a factory worker and a scientist with bad manners promotes bad values,'” Cassie mock-sniffed.
“And we can only have kindness and respect through rules and order!” Edie mock-harrumphed.
“And control!” Cassie said sharply.
Kirk was startled when he saw Cassie deliver a salute eerily similar to what he had seen in the Mirror Universe.
Quickly collecting himself, Kirk smiled. “At least the people like your stuff,” he said. “Who cares about the critics? As long as it's popular with the people.”
“Frank Capra would agree,” Cassie said, triumphantly raising her pen.
Off in the distance from a radio came a “bo-ing” sound with an echo.
Outside the Kirk home, the man reappeared, his hands around the neck of another man with pointed ears. The man managed to knock his pointy-eared friend into the garage wall. Mr. Pointed-Ears fell to the ground and stayed there.
“Pure luck,” the man mumbled.
Moving his head sharply, the man looked around with wide eyes.
“Jim?” he said. “You here?”
As he moved toward the window, he vanished. Which coincided with the “bo-ing” sound effect from the distant radio.
Pointy-Ears also vanished. “Bo-ing.”
“Did you hear something?” Edie asked.
As she walked over to the window and peered out, Kirk shrugged. “Probably just the 'Infuriator' out for a walk before he gets on his ham radio.”
“Hmm,” Edie said. After a few more glances, she returned to the kitchen.
Cassie shook her head. “If only the U-N wasn't trying to tell everyone all over the world what to do.”
“Yes,” Edie said absently as she looked over their papers. “And they may not approve of what we write.”
“But like Jimbo says the people like it. The U-N can't stop that.”
“Not yet. But what are we going to write?”
Cassie patted her friend on the shoulder. “Don't worry, Edie. I've got ideas that should last us for decades.”
“Good,” Kirk said with a grin. “That'll be a nice fat divorce settlement.”
Fist on one hip, Edie put on a mock frown. “Now, Jim darling, you be careful.”
“Yes, be careful, Jimbo,” Cassie said. “Or we'll take your chair away.”
As the two women laughed, Kirk held his hands up. “I'll be careful,” he said.
As Kirk smiled, he gazed at Edie. Whenever he looked at her, it was like she was bathed in soft white light while gentle violin music played. Or even lyrical flute music. Or a pleasant combination. .
As Kirk often told his wife, she should be living in luxury, draped in jewels and silver necklaces, the head of some dynasty. “Oh, Jim,” Edie would always say. “All I'd do then is get in fights with other women.” Life in Smallville, she decided, was much better.
There was another thing she often said. “A lie is a terrible way to say hello.” It was a joking reference to when they first met in the mission basement.
And now, as Bones often said, here they were.
But what about the future?
“Cassie, “ Kirk said. “I know we've talked about this before. But are you sure a Clark Kent hasn't cropped up in Smallville?” Outside the Kawatche caves, that is.
As she tapped her pen against her chin, Cassie squinted. “If there was he'd be related to Hiram Kent.”
“And soon-to-be Jessica Kent, from what I hear,” Edie said as she leaned in toward Cassie.
“Oh, Edie.” Cassie playfully poked her friend.
“Clark Kent....hmm.” Squinting some more, Cassie thought some more. “I know some Clarks in Metropolis. Lawyers mostly. Business lawyers. But I don't know any Clark Kent.”
“I see,” Kirk said. It seemed no one else had seen him. “So no Clark Kent has cropped up at all?”
“No, I don't think so.” Cassie put on her best playful grin. “But why, Jimbo? Would you like us to meet, is that it? Then what's he like? Is he dreamy? A big tall dark drink of water maybe?”
“Like someone we know,” Edie said, gently poking Cassie.
As Cassie blushed slightly, Edie walked over to The Chair where Kirk played with the red, blue and yellow buttons that opened doors on the armrests and sides.
Edie patted her husband's hand. “Oh, Jim darling, why are you so concerned about Clark Kent?”
Kirk smiled and shrugged. “He's a mystery.”
“Most people are,” Cassie said absently as she scribbled away.at the kitchen table. “That's what makes them interesting.”
Smiling up at his wife, Kirk squeezed Edie's hand. “Haven't you ever wondered why things like that happen?”
“No,” Edie said quietly as she put her arm around him, placed her head on his shoulder, and gazed off distantly with sparkling dark eyes. “I just accept that they do.”
The phone rang. Kirk picked it up. “This is Captain Kirk.” He listened for a few seconds. “I'll be right there.”
When he hung up, he rose from The Chair. “I have to stop by Sick Bay.” Thanks to “Let Me Help,” people often used that term to refer to a medical center.
“Should Chekov take the con?” Cassie teased..
Though he smiled, Kirk felt pain inside. Sometimes, he thought, life in Smallville was beautiful. Sometimes it was painful. But most of the time, for him, it was both.
“He's tired, Cass,” Edie said gently then kissed him on the cheek. “On your way back, can you buy some milk? Just don't drink it out of the bottle,” she said sternly as she waved a finger.
“Tastes better that way,” Kirk insisted.
“Oh, Jimbo,” Cassie said. “Where did you learn your manners?”
“On a farm,” Kirk said pointedly.
“In Iowa,” Edie said with a light laugh.
Kirk took her gold-ringed hand in both his hands. “Worlds may change, galaxies disintegrate. But a woman,” he said, “always remains a woman.”
Once Kirk was gone, Cassie still had a hand to her heart. “If I married Mister Spock, do you think he'd say things like that?”
Edie made a clucking noise. “My dear Cass, if you married our dear Mister Spock he would probably just say things like---” here Edie chanted in a deep robotic voice “--- 'Tiger, tiger, burning bright.'”
They both laughed.
ENCOUNTER WITH SG-1
Once he was in the garage, Kirk unlocked the toolbox to retrieve his communicator. Ever since he and Spock had encountered Clark Kent in the cave, they had decided to stay in more frequent contact.
Being monitored was not a concern. When Kirk was aboard the Enterprise in the Mirror Universe, the communicators allowed private conversation with Uhura, Bones, and Scotty. It was unlikely the ham radio operator next door, who called himself “the Infuriator,” would be able to tune in to their talk.
“Kirk to Spock,” he said, accompanied by the familiar squelching-chirping noise.
Kirk thought how ironic it was. Who else could it be? McCoy was busy in Sick Bay taking care of Clarkie and Petey.
“What's your news, Spock? What do you have to report?”
“Yes, of course, Captain.” The Vulcan sounded oddly distracted. “As I used the 'kel-no-reem' to enter a state of deep concentration, I recovered some buried memories. We have encountered Clark Kent at other times. Prior to his appearance in the Kawatche caves. Prior to 'that moment.'”
Kirk knew the phrase. “That moment” was when Clark Kent rescued Edie. When everything changed.
“When we were walking together outside the mission discussing what to do about Edie.”
Kirk felt a small jolt inside. Spock continued.
“Clark Kent approached us and said, 'Hey, guys.' When we did not respond and simply walked away, he called out after us. 'Nice cap, big guy. It covers up your ears real good.'”
“Yes, I do remember something like that, vaguely,” Kirk said. “Why would we not remember?”
“There was not much reason to. Clark Kent seemed like just another unfortunate derelict trying to survive the Depression, a barbaric time in Earth's history.”
“And we have been preoccupied,” Kirk said. “Our situation.”
“Indeed. But because of the 'kel-no-reem' I was able to remember even more. We also met Clark Kent when we were on the planet of the Guardian of Forever.”
“After being drawn in by the time ripples,” Kirk said. “And McCoy with the cordrazene.” Realization dawned on his face. “I remember now. A group of people on the planet surface.”
“Yes, Captain. We asked if they had seen Doctor McCoy. They were six individuals. Four wore the uniform of Stargate Command.”
“Stargate Command,” Kirk said. “Historians at Stafleet Academy had just learned about them.”
“Not surprising, Captain. During World War Three much of our historical information was lost. And Stargate Command was a secret government organization. Thus, it is not surprising our historians only recently reconstructed its history.”
In the dim light of his garage, Kirk walked around as he held the communicator. “Was Clark Kent a member of this Stargate Command?”
“Unknown, Captain. The one who appeared to be leader had a name tag that said 'O'Neill.' What I saw in the memory was not completely clear to me. But somewhere on his uniform it said 'colonel.'”
“Colonel Jack O'Neill,” Kirk said. “Spock, I just remembered. He was in that unusual dream I told you about. The trial on Krypton. It just came back to me now.”
Amid some light static, Spock sounded slightly ominous. “That would confirm someone or something is interfering with our minds.”
“Daniel Jackson, Major Samantha Carter, and Teal'c,” Kirk said almost like a little boy who has discovered a new toy. “They were all there. And some other very unusual people.”
“Apparently someone tried to supply you with a clue, a solution to our problem. While someone else interferes in our efforts to make any progress.”
Kirk sounded excited. “Spock, if we could find this S-G-one, or they find us, that could be our solution.”
“Possibly so, Captain. There was one other individual with S-G-one, dressed all in white. They called him Beckett.”
Kirk considered all this. “S-G-one was visiting other worlds back in the late twentieth century, early twenty-first century. What were they doing in our time?”
“I cannot be certain, Captain. But they did not appear to be lost or afraid. By all appearances, they projected confidence. It was as if they knew at any moment they would move on to another time or a new world.”
“Interesting,” Kirk said. “What else do you remember, Spock?”
“Colonel O'Neill warned us to stay away from the Guardian of Forever.”
Kirk grinned. “Good advice, in a way.”
“When Daniel Jackson shook his head at the colonel, O'Neill said, 'Forget I said anything.' That was when Clark Kent arrived. Colonel O'Neill told him who we were, Clark Kent said, 'Hey guys.' Daniel Jackson said he would try to explain. That was when you and I moved on.”
Kirk held the communicator closer, glancing around nervously as he did. It felt strange. It was like he was sneaking around the interior of a Romulan warbird while he was in his own garage.
“But how was it you were able to enter this state of deep concentration so quickly? We talked just a few minutes ago.”
“True, Captain. But as I have practiced over the years, I am able to enter that state more quickly.”
In the dark, Kirk glanced around. “That's another thing, Spock. You've been doing this for years. Why have you only recently retrieved this memory?”
“I believe whoever or whatever has been interfering has been reduced in power..”
“Is that logic, Spock?”
“More like what you would call a 'hunch.'”
“Well, as long as you're having hunches.....” Kirk stopped to look around once again. Living in the past could be stressful. He hoped people never learned his secret.
“What do you think happened, Spock? Why didn't the Guardian of Forever bring us back?” Kirk felt a wave of sadness again, though it had been years. “What about Uhura and Scotty? I think about them every day.”
“As do I, Captain.” A slight pause followed. “I do not have all the answers, of course. We have discussed this many times. It is possible that when Edie did not die, the Guardian of Forever was simply unable to bring us back to our own time.”
“And there was nothing to go back to,” Kirk noted quietly.
“Presumably so, Captain. It is hard to know how this new timeline will play out, whether there will be a Starfleet. And if so, what it would be like.”
Hopefully not like the Empire in the Mirror Universe, Kirk thought somberly. “But what may have happened with the Guardian?” Although they had discussed this many times, Kirk found it helpful when they played the roles of captain and science officer again. It was almost like practice for when things would return to normal.
“It is possible the intervention of Clark Kent caused some type of upset in the balance of the universe. He may even have caused a disruption in the very fabric of space-time. All of this could have prevented Uhura, Mister Scott, and the others from following us. All because of some very powerful forces.”
“Powerful forces,” Kirk muttered. “What might these powerful forces be, Spock?”
“Ones powerful enough at least to manipulate minds and alter timelines, perhaps even manipulate entire universes.”
Kirk thought he heard a noise outside. Probably just some neighbor's radio playing, he told himself.
“It could be, Captain, that multiple universes are in danger.”
“Multiple universes, Spock?”
“As you know from your visit to the Mirror Universe, alternate realities do exist.”
Kirk grinned. “Can't argue with that, Spock. I just hate to think of us being so brutish in another dimension.”
“Yes. Thankfully we chose another path.”
“Yes,” Kirk said. “But at least some things remain the same.” More noise. Kirk ignored it. Probably just people walking along and talking.
“In your own Earth's history Nobel Prize winner Doctor Sheldon Cooper proved the existence of an infinite number of universes.”
“Sheldon Cooper,” Kirk said. “Yes, he was in my dream, too. Along with some others. Very strange.”
“I also had an unusual experience, Captain. The day we visited the Kawatche caves I was in my apartment with the sense I had forgotten something very important.”
“Unusual for you, Spock.”
“Even when I entered the 'kel-no-reem,' I could not recover whatever I had forgotten.. But I shall keep trying.” Spock cleared his throat. “It is possible this timeline is somehow central to a vast array of universes.”
Kirk glanced out the window. “Is that logic, Spock?”
“Only theory, Captain.”
Kirk paused to consider that in such an uncertain universe, there was still one constant.
“I'm just glad you and I have been able to remain such good friends. You could have turned your back on me.”
“As I have stated before, Jim, that would serve no logical purpose. Even if I thought that by shunning you I could somehow coerce you into a certain form of action I would not do so.”
“Because as Mister Shakespeare might say: we must be true to our own selves.” Kirk smiled. Though he and Spock often repeated things over the years, Kirk knew the reason they did so was because it was reassuring.
“I concur, Captain. That is most wise advice.”
From inside his garage, with only some moonlight shining through a window, Kirk grinned. “Yes, you are wise as always, my logical friend.”
“Keep in mind that if powerful forces are at work against many universes, powerful forces to aid those universes will also be at work.”
“You and I among them.” Kirk briefly recalled how he and Spock fought alongside Abraham Lincoln and Surak. Or at least representations of those men. And they fought against forces of evil like Genghis Kahn, Kahless the Unforgettable, Zora, and Colonel Green.
“Very good to know, Spock,” Kirk said with a smile.
Kirk heard what sounded like crashing metal. Probably just the “Infuriator” taking out the trash. Couldn't hurt to check anyway.
“We'll communicate at our usual time next week,” Kirk said.
He put the communicator back in the toolbox and locked it. Maybe Cyrano Jones and the Romulan commander had returned for another visit. Or Clark Kent.
Or someone else.
As Kirk stepped out of his garage, someone grabbed him. A nearby street light offered just enough light for Kirk to make out the wild-eyed look of....
“Bones?” Kirk said.
“He's here!” the man shouted. “That Vulcan devil! He's a monster! He justifies himself.”
Kirk clutched the arms of this apparent maniac. “Bones, what's going on?”
“He's going to change everything. Make it even worse!”
“What are you talking about? What is this?” Kirk demanded as the man clutched his shoulders. “Why aren't you in Sick Bay?”
“Now, now, doctor, you must calm yourself,” said someone with a deep stoic voice.
A figure engulfed in shadow reached out his hand and clutched the area next to the man's right shoulder. With a soft groan, the man collapsed to the pavement.
Kirk stared at the one in shadow. Even in the dark, Kirk could make out the pointed ears.
“Spock?” he said. “How---?”
The Vulcan reached out his hand but Kirk knocked it away. The two men locked arms.
“You will not prevail this time, Jim Kirk,” the Spock-figure rasped.
This couldn't be his Spock, Kirk thought. He was in Metropolis. Unless Spock suddenly had the power of super speed.
Who was this other Spock? Was he from some alternate world? Like the Mirror Universe?
Gripping each other by the forearms, the two wrestled while standing up doing a kind of mad dance on the driveway, groaning and grunting all the while. A distant radio blared triumphant fight music.
Kirk was then distracted as the man lying in his driveway was caught up in a transporter signature. Only it was a strange energy pattern. All black. No white particles.. In the dark, it made it look like the man dissolved and all his molecules drifted up into the night sky.
To be scattered across space, thought a dazed and disoriented Kirk.
In that moment of distraction, Kirk was knocked into the garage wall then caught up in a bright red flash.
Next thing he knew Kirk stood in his driveway blinking his tired eyes.
What was he just thinking?
As he shook his head, Kiek felt like he'd just had some weird flashback to one of the many hand-to-hand-combat fights he had experienced so often on the Enterprise. Not surprising. It was probably just because of his fight with Clarkie earlier.
But everything's fine, he thought as he lightly chuckled. At least as fine as the situation could be.
What a dilemna. Maybe the U-N, and not Germany, ruled the world but if he changed the timeline back he would lose the woman he loved.
With some sadness and regret, Kirk thought, maybe it would have been better to lose her after knowing her only a few days. It would have been less painful that way.
Maybe, if he had a chance to go back in time, he should stop Clark Kent somehow and let Edie die. Just like he tried to do before.
No, he told himself. No use thinking that way. The past was the past. All we can do is look to the future.
So where was he? What was he doing? Ironic questions, he realized.
Earlier Cyrano Jones had told him everything was going to be all right. (When someone from your past suddenly appears in your garage, you remember what he has to say.) That's what he said. Everything was going to be all right.
As he headed for the grocery store, Jim Kirk was doubtful. Life in Smallville, he felt, would not be so peaceful. Whatever was left of that life.
It didn't help that he was living a lie and keeping the truth from the woman he loved.
KIRK SHARES HIS SECRET
After Kirk returned from Quinn's Market with a bottle of milk, he couldn't help thinking about what Spock said once.
A relationship built on lies and deceit was doomed to fail.
In the kitchen, Cassie tapped a pen against her rosy right cheek, blue eyes pointed at the ceiling. Edie wrote in silence.
With his legs crossed, Kirk sat in The Chair wearing his gold shirt and black pants as he nervously tapped his ring finger against an armrest.
Finally, Kirk coughed suggestively.
“Ladies,” he said. “I have something to tell yhu.”
“Oh!” Cassie sat up straight and folded her hands in a posture of mock attention, much as some girls at Smallville High did when “Mister” Kirk spoke. “Go ahead, Jimbo,” she said.
“Yes, go ahead, Jim darling.” Edie continued writing.
“What if,” Kirk began. After a nervous cough, he spoke very slowly and deliberately. “What if I told you I am from what on your calendar is the late twenty-third century. And I've come back in time through a kind of time machine called the Guardian of Forever. And I came back to....correct something. And now I'm stuck here. But I used to work in outer space.”
As the two women stared, Kirk thought how it sounded much better when he rehearsed it in his mind. He might as well have told them he was looking for whales to communicate with a space probe.
“Ah,” Cassie said. “You're from outer space?”
“Is that it?” Edie blinked in confusion. “Are you saying you're from outer space?”
“No,” Kirk said. “I'm from Iowa. I only work in outer space.”
For a moment, the two women gaped. Then they both burst out laughing.
“Oh, Jim darling, you are so precious.” A smiling Edie walked over to The Chair, sat on the armrest and patted Kirk's shoulder all dressed in gold. “I always knew there was something unusual about you, Doctor McCoy and Mister Spock. But nothing that outlandish, of course.”
“Of course,” Kirk said with a somewhat sheepish grin.
Well, he thought. I tried.
Outside the Kirk home, the Spock-figure surveyed the window from across the street.
He would strike again at another time, he decided. It was logical to be prudent. \
While the radio in the distance played swirling-sucking noises, the Spock-figure disappeared in a transporter signature of all black particles.
“Yes, Jimbo, you are an absolute delight.” With a big grin, Cassie gestured with her pen. “And I suppose you traveled back in time to be with the woman you love.” She held a hand to her heart as she gave a mock sigh and lovey-dovey look.
“Ah, yes, of course,” Edie said with a sly knowing smile. “To be with the woman you love.”
“Something like that,” Kirk said with a smile.
“Ah, wait.” Holding up a finger, as if about to give one of her messages like she used to back at the mission, Edie rose and walked back to the kitchen. “What if it's part of a much larger story?”
“Like what?” Cassie asked and began to munch her pen.
“What if three men very much like our Jim, Doctor McCoy and Mister Spock travel around in a giant spaceship--”
“Or starship!” Cassie interjected.
“Yes, a starship. One that harnesses incredible energies,” she said as she gestured to the ceiling. “And they all travel among the stars.”
“Think of all the people they'd meet,” Cassie gushed. “On the starship and on the other planets they'd visit. It'd be like a wagon train in space.” Waving two fists, Cassie squealed with excitement. Just like the girls at Smallville High did.
“Yes, they trek among the stars,” Edie said as she looked up and gestured to an imaginary night sky.
“A trek to the stars.” Cassie giggled. “Oh, Stan will love it.” She waved her pen again. “How about this, too? When we finally do write about young people with powers, what if there's a planet filled with all kinds of radiation? Cosmic rays and gamma rays.”
“An ice planet maybe.” Edie looked intrigued.
“Yes, an ice planet. And meteors from that planet land on Earth somehow. And they give off this weird glowing green radiation. And that gives the young people powers, turning them into mutants. Or...meteor freaks!” Cassie's blue eyes were wide with excitement and joy.
“Say.” Wearing a cool thoughtful look, Edie sat down. “We could also have a group of four young people who travel to other planets. But not by starship. Through tunnels in space.”
Cassie was furiously jotting ideas down. “Like Alice down the rabbit hole. Only these holes in space lead to other worlds. Like Middle Earth. Or Narnia!”
“Four young people.” Edie had one finger on her chin. “One of them could be an alien. Or a robot.”
“Or an alien robot.” Cassie laughed as she wrote.
“Yes.” Edie waved an open palm back and forth as she looked at the ceiling. “He's practically indestructible. Very smart. But also a warrior.”
“Programmed to fight well. Programmed with all kinds of battle tactics and strategies.”
Smiling, her dark eyes shining, Edie nodded. “He doesn't talk much but when he does he gives grand speeches.”
“Yes, yes!” Cassie exclaimed as she turned toward Kirk and The Chair. “Oh, Jimbo. You've given us ideas to last for decades.”
“Maybe a lifetime,” Edie said.
“Glad I could help,” Kirk said with a shrug and a grin.
As he rested his chin on his hand, Kirk consoled himself. Maybe it was just as well. If Edie knew his secret, who knew how she would react?
But as he sat back in his chair that felt so much like home, James T. Kirk knew that all was not well in Smallville.
Despite the town's peaceful exterior, something was very wrong in Smallville.
And maybe far beyond.
THE TIME-TRAVELING SG-1
“That should be our motto.” As Colonel Jack O'Neill stepped through the event horizon of the Stargate, he moved his hand in a sweeping motion. “'The time-traveling S-G-one. Any time. Anywhere.'”
“Jack,” Daniel Jackson said in a low voice. Major Samantha Carter nodded in the direction Daniel was pointing.
“Sam Beckett.” Teal'c's deep voice had a hint of sadness.
The man in white sat on a bench, looking like the statue of “The Thinker.” Only grief-stricken.
“Beckett,” O'Neill said sharply as he marched down the ramp. “Where did you take off to?”
Sam Beckett had huge eyebrows and a prominent nose. He was handsome in a David Schwimmer/Beau Bridges kind of way.
But his face was filled with agony.
“I leaped into some of the guards in the camp,” Beckett mumbled. “I leaped into a lot of guards actually.”
“You didn't,” O'Neill said. “Beckett, tell me you did not do that.”
There was none of the usual defiance from Beckett. He did not even make eye contact. “I learned the schematics of the camp. I learned about....him. His technology.”
The others looked uncomfortable at the mention of. ”him.”
“I freed Doctor McCoy.” At this, Daniel started. “The other Doctor McCoy,” Beckett emphasized. “Obviously.”
“Yeah,” Daniel said softly.
“I used the---'He' had a time transporter. I sent McCoy into the altered timeline.” Beckett looked away. “I sent the other Doctor McCoy into the altered Smallville.”
“To do what exactly?” O'Neill asked gruffly.
“Jack,” Daniel said quietly.
“No, Daniel. That was a complete waste of what he does.”
As O'Neill shook his head, Carter scanned Beckett with a medical tricorder.
Dressed in his jacket from the Galactica, Daniel stood with his arms crossed and an unusually grim expression, even for him. But not unusual considering what he saw that day.
“How bad is it, Sam?” Daniel asked.
As she consulted the readings, Carter had a look that combined concern with quiet authority. “He's going to need six-point-four weeks of Rest before he can leap again.”
O'Neill gave Beckett a look. “Cutting it a little close, don't you think, Beckett? Our deadline is seven-point-five weeks.”
“Sorry,” Beckett whispered. The word was barely audible.
O”Neill shook his head. “And we're kind of busy right now wiping out alternate universes. Trying to make You-Know-Who less powerful. And if we don't undo that whole Smallville/'Kirk-and-Spock mess, that clown becomes almost unstoppable.” He leaned down to talk to Beckett directly. “So why do it, Beckett?”
“Easy, Jack” Daniel said.
“No, Daniel. He wasn't thinking clearly.”
As Beckett shrugged with head bowed, Carter put away her tricorder. “None of us are, sir.”
“The Big Guy's messing with all our minds,” Daniel said.
“And the many universes,” Teal'c said, hands behind his back.
Beckett could barely speak. “After what I saw....” He trailed off.
“What we all saw,” Carter said.
“With Mister Spock in control of it all,” Teal'c said.
“He wasn't 'our' Spock,” Daniel pointed out.
“That's true,” Carter said. “He definitely wasn't like the Spock we know about. More like the Mirror Universe Spock.”
“Only worse,” Beckett said.
“Yes,” Teal'c said. “Most disturbing.”
O'Neill looked less angry. “Look,” he said. “We're all upset about what we saw on Dark Vulcan. But we can't just fall apart. Not with so much at stake.”
Beckett finally made eye contact but it was only a distant teary gaze. “I would have leaped into that 'dark Spock' if I could have found him. But at least I freed Doctor McCoy.” When Daniel grimaced, Beckett looked down again. “The other Doctor McCoy. I freed him. I set him free.”
“Yeah, and for what? What was the point, Beckett?”
“Jack,” Daniel said.
O'Neill waved his hand. “We're going to change it all back eventually anyway. But right now we need you, Beckett.”
As Beckett stared at the ground, Daniel spoke quietly and almost apologetically. “Again, Jack, not thinking clearly. You-Know-Who is still strong enough to weaken a lot of minds.”
“Much like Darkseid, our enemy is not only powerful but deceitful, ” Teal'c said gravely.
Carter consulted a large portable tricorder. “According to this, we're still blocked from traveling through time or even traveling to other worlds. Communication is blocked, all our access to information from the Guardian.”
“For now,” O'Neill said. “Look, Beckett, it's your ability to leap into other people and control them that gives us a tactical advantage.”
“It does make us strong in battle,” Teal'c agreed.
“Or when we're jumping back in time,” Carter said. “It reduces the element of surprise.”
O'Neill thought how even though all this was obvious to them, talking to Beckett like this might help him return to normal.
“Yeah, so we need you to get well, Beckett,” O”Neill said gently as he placed his hand on his arm.. “We need you. Okay, buddy?”
“Sorry,” Beckett whispered.
“The colonel's right, though,” Carter said. As she looked directly at Beckett, her big bright eyes were filled with concern. “You may have set off a chain reaction of events that could make the situation worse. For Kirk and Spock. For all of us.”
“Hope not,” Beckett said with bowed head.
“Or he may have started something to give Kirk and Spock a chance. To give all of us a chance.” As Daniel spoke with steady calm, he wore a steely look. “According to Doctor McCoy--'our' Doctor McCoy, the one in the camp—people on Prime Earth are wearing Starfleet uniforms.”
“Well, that's great, Daniel,” O'Neill said. “I'm glad that's the latest fashion trend down there on Prime Earth.”
Daniel pointed. “Technically, Prime Earth is over there.” O'Neill gave Daniel a look. “Right. My point is, the people on Prime Earth are fighting to get back what they've lost. The other Doctor McCoy may have helped in that.”
“We've got a much bigger situation,” Carter said. “Remember the Joker told us he was gathering an army on the Guardian's planet.”
“Klingons, stormtroopers, Jaffa,” Teal'c said.
“Even beings from our future: the Wraith and something called the Ori,” Daniel said.
“No doubt he plans to invade Earth's past,” Teal'c said.
“Yeah, just what we need,” O'Neill said.
Daniel glanced at Beckett. “Look, guys, what's done is done. All we can do now is help our team member, our friend.”
Daniel nodded toward Carter and Teal'c. The large Jaffa warrior offered a slight bow in response.
“Let us guide you to Rest, Sam Beckett.”
As Teal'c and Carter led him out of the room, Beckett was almost like a blind man, holding out his arms while he stared with blank eyes.
As they left, O'Neill moved to an observation screen with a star pattern. Daniel stood next to him.
“I usually don't act like that,” O'Neill said.
“It's understandable, Jack” Daniel said with crossed arms and a slight nod. “It's a pretty big situation..”
“Understatement, Daniel. World War Two was a pretty big situation. This, Daniel. This is huge.”
As he stared out at the stars, O'Neill looked unusually weary. “Even if we do find Clark, Beckett might not be able to time-jump with us. Or leap.”
The colonel made a face. “Where do the Q and the Ancients get off putting all this on our shoulders anyway? They can hold entire universes in place but they have to move us around like pieces in some big galactic chess game? What's that all about?”
“All we can do is what we can do, Jack.”
“Yeah, I get it,” O'Neill said quietly. “Somehow it will work out. I know.. But the sad truth is: Clark is the only one who can change everything back.”
Standing in front of those stars, O'Neill whispered to whoever might hear. “Come on, Clark. Where are you, buddy?”