“Thank you all for coming,” Kirk began, rising from his seat and facing the U-shaped table with his arms clasped behind his back.
Sulu, Spock, Scotty, Uhura, and McCoy were all present, awaiting the announcement that the captain had deemed to be of great importance, summoning them all to a meeting area at the center of Starfleet. The doctor presumed it had something to do with safety regulations; after all, that was the chief concern on everyone’s mind since the mutiny two weeks ago.
Apparently, there was a subversive unit within Starfleet that was seeking to take command of both the academy, as well as the program. The tensions between Starfleet and the Klingons had grown in intensity and violence over time, and apparently many of the members had determined it was best to take a different course of action than one of peace.
Of course, this had all been started by Marcus, the first to establish a plot to begin war with the alien race, and resulted in many lives lost on Starfleet’s end instead of the enemy’s. Personally, McCoy had qualms about being in space considering all of the tension, but they were only two years into their five-year mission, and had only come back to earth for the purpose of getting new recruits to replace the ones that had died as a result of the rebellion aboard the Enterprise.
He picked up a remote and pointed it at the screen hanging upon the wall. When it turned on, a man showed up on the screen. The camera was in close frame, which meant he was probably sitting at a laptop.
He smiled and said, “Hello everyone, my name is Adam Phillips. I apologize for not being able to come in person, but presently I’m in London on business. Captain Kirk, I am ready if you would like to proceed.”
Kirk nodded at him before returning his gaze to his audience and beginning, “As you know, we have had some issues with security. For now, it appears as though the mutinous members of Starfleet have retreated from their plot to overthrow me as captain of the Enterprise, but we do not expect it to last for long. The ongoing investigation will eventually produce results, but in the meantime, the board of directors and myself decided we ought to take evasive action.”
Spock leaned forward and asked, “To what sort of evasive action do you refer, captain?”
Kirk swallowed thickly and replied, “Well, since at present we cannot fully trust any of the members of Starfleet aside from each other, we came to the decision to bring in outside help. We are the six most important members of the crew. The captain, the first officer, the pilot, the translator, the engineer, and the chief medical officer. As was demonstrated before, anyone attempting to seize control of the Enterprise will target us first. So, we are each going to be assigned with specially trained body guards.”
“Body guards?” Asked Uhura, arching an eyebrow, “Won’t that be a little conspicuous?”
The captain looked at the screen, and said, “Mr. Phillips?”
The suited man answered Uhura’s question, “On the contrary lieutenant, these people were selected specifically because they are inconspicuous. They will blend in with the rest of the crew, they look and seem completely ordinary, but all of them are extremely well trained.”
“Trained in what, exactly?” Asked McCoy suspiciously.
Adam shifted his gaze to the doctor and said, “Combat, fighting, weapons, etcetera. They are master assassins.”
A silence fell over the group, and McCoy exchanged a concerned glance with Montgomery.
“You hired assassins?” Uhura asked Kirk incredulously.
“Isn’t that a little dangerous, captain?” Scotty added.
Kirk held up his hands in an appeasing manner and replied, “Guys, relax, they haven’t been hired to kill anybody. They are under strict orders to avoid the use of deadly force at all costs. I picked them because they are the best.”
“Have no fear,” Adam interjected, capturing their attention again, “They will protect you with their lives, you will be safe in their hands.”
“Plus,” Jim added, “There is no chance they will be working with the rebels, because none of them have ever been enrolled in Starfleet.”
Spock cocked his head to the side slightly, arching an eyebrow and said, “I have to say, captain, I am impressed at the logic behind your decision. Outside help might be the best that we can enlist at a time like this.”
“I disagree,” McCoy stated predictably, “Hiring killers and then asking them not to kill sounds like a recipe for disaster. Besides, I don’t think I like the idea of having some seven-foot pro-wrestling reject hovering over me at all hours of the day for the sake of my safety.”
Adam chuckled slightly, his voice filling the room from the speaker and stated, “Doctor, you have no need to worry about that. None of you do. Your bodyguards are, as I stated, inconspicuous. Nobody will suspect them, and they have all been added as staff to your respective departments.”
“Can we at least meet them first?” Asked Montgomery earnestly.
Kirk nodded and replied, “Of course.”
He picked up the telephone receiver and dialed a short extension. When the person on the other end picked up, he stated, “Send them in.”
After a pause, the door on the other side of the room opened, and they all swiveled in their chairs expectantly to catch a glimpse of their respective bodyguards. Seven people filed into the room, followed by three Starfleet security guards. All but the man at the head of the group were dressed in black bodysuits, making them look like elite spies from a comic book. Perhaps that was part of the appeal of their attire.
It was two women and four men, and McCoy was surprised to observe that at least Adam had not been lying; none of you looked remotely threatening.
The man on the far left who came to a stop at the front of the table before the screen looked like an Abercrombie & Fitch model. He had pale skin, jet black hair that was cropped close to his head, and piercing blue eyes. The one beside him was no less attractive than the first and a few inches shorter, being of a very lanky build. His skin was patterned with freckles and his eyes suggested he was of Alaskan descent.
The girl in the center had mocha-colored skin and dark brown eyes, her shoulder-length hair composed of wiry curls and her face oval-shaped; McCoy noticed that she was rather tall, 5’10 at least by his estimate. The third male in the group was the tallest, probably around 6 foot, and had blonde hair and golden skin, another cover boy like the first. The other girl present, you, were rather pretty. As pretty as the other female of the bunch, though reasonably shorter in stature. The last one was dark skinned as well, with a haughty face and almond-shaped eyes, his built stocky and wide-set.
You stood there at attention, waiting for somebody to prompt you, and the suited fellow came to the side of the first man in the line, the one with the striking eyes.
“Gentlemen, my name is Christopher,” He stated, shooting them a friendly smile that highlighted the crow’s feet around his eyes, “I am the handler of this unit, and I selected each of these individuals specifically to suit your needs. Allow me to introduce them. Now, this is Alpha, who will be in charge of watching over the captain,” he said, touching the shoulder of the one beside him, “Beta is with Lieutenant Uhura.”
Beta was evidently the blonde man, because he looked directly at Nyota and nodded.
“Delta is with Mr. Spock,” he continued, and the dark-skinned man met the Vulcan’s gaze, nodding as well.
“Echo is with Dr. McCoy,” he added, and you looked to Leonard and smiled slightly. He didn’t return the polite expression.
“Omega is with Mr. Sulu,” The other girl eyed the pilot with interest.
“And Theta will be with Mr. Scott,” the guy that McCoy had assumed was Alaskan tilted his head down slightly, as if he was bowing.
For a moment, everyone was silent, and thus Leonard took it upon himself to ask the obvious question that may not have occurred to the others.
“If they have never been in Starfleet, how are they supposed to blend in with our staff? Does she even have medical experience?” He inquired, gesturing to you.
You appeared unaffected by his words, though you did tilt your head to the side slightly, as if mildly intrigued by him. Your gaze made him uncomfortable, but he did his best to ignore you, focusing instead upon Christopher.
Christopher clasped his hands behind his back and stated, “A notable concern, but fear not, doctor. Part of their selection for you included assurance that they would blend into your respective departments. Echo has had training that will allow her to make a suitable nurse in the medical bay.”
Leonard said nothing more, waiting for somebody else to interject, but they all seemed strangely at ease with the idea. Either that, or they were too concerned about upsetting their potential bodyguards to make additional inquiries. Regardless, a brief period of silence passed, before Adam cleared his throat, gathering their attention to the screen.
“Now, if there are no additional questions, I will sign off. Christopher, I presume you have prepared a demonstration?”
He looked at the screen over his shoulder and said, “Affirmative, sir.”
“Splendid, good day everyone, Captain Kirk.” He pressed a button on his computer and the screen went blank.
The suited member of the party smiled again and said, “Captain Kirk, with your permission I will invite your crew members to come to the observation room we have prepared.”
Jim nodded, and Christopher added, “If you will all follow me.”
He passed the table and exited the room, and you and your fellows followed him in a single file line, like ducklings following their mother. McCoy and the others stood up and did the same, joining his path. Jim fell into step with Leonard, who looked over at him with an expression of supreme discontent, his feelings conflicted.
On one hand, he understood that Kirk was just doing what he thought was necessary. On the other, when he glanced forward and observed the back of your head, he felt uncomfortable with the idea of having a killer in his midst, especially one that didn’t look the part.
“I know you’re not happy about this,” Jim murmured to him in a low voice, so that the others wouldn’t hear.
“Not happy is an understatement,” McCoy hissed, his eyes widening the way they always did when he was having a spell of Kirk-induced mania, “You’ve planted a trained killer in the med bay, that’s about as comforting as the town crack addict running loose with a blowtorch.”
Kirk sighed and reminded him, “What did I say about the metaphors, Bones?”
Leonard rolled his eyes and gave no further reply. There was not much point in arguing when Jim had already made the decision. They strolled down the hallway in the wake of the guards until they reached a room. The doors opened automatically when Christopher arrived at them, and the rest of the party followed. When they were all inside, the doors slid shut.
The room was mostly vacant, save for some seats and a white table, and most interestingly, a wall-to-wall window that exposed another room. This one that they could see into was far larger a space, and there was a mat upon the floor, as well as an additional door that led into the adjacent facility.
Your group, along with the three Starfleet bodyguards walked in through the open entrance, and Christopher came up at the rear. For a moment it looked as though he might follow you, but he didn’t. Instead, he pressed a button upon the wall that allowed it to slide shut, effectively placing you all behind the window.
The bodyguards lined up side-to-side, and the red shirts stood off to the left.
“They’re all so…” Sulu began.
“…cute.” Uhura finished after he paused.
“Dr. McCoy’s guard looks like she should be on the Disney channel, and Sulu’s is a bloody supermodel.” Montgomery remarked.
Christopher smiled and exhaled through his nostrils before saying, “That’s the point. Echo, in specific, specializes in taking down large assailants. As Dr. McCoy is the tallest member of your party, if someone were to try and attack him, they would probably have to be around his height. Omega is known for her speed, and as Mr. Sulu is trained in fencing, they would most definitely send a highly skilled operative to attack him.”
You were good at taking down bigger people, eh? Leonard would believe that when he saw it. Perhaps that was why there was a demonstration taking place, so that your strength could be proven.
“Let’s begin.” Christopher approached the wall and spoke into a microphone that probably could be heard within the room. This was proven when he said, “We will commence with the demonstration. Echo, you can go first.”
You stepped forward, and the suited man shot Leonard a smirk. Clearly he had deduced his doubtfulness. You turned to the right, and one of the Starfleet guards stepped forward. You faced one another, and you dropped your hands to your sides, clenching your fists and then relaxing your fingers again. He was at least a head taller than you.
The guard was the first to move, and you seemed to deduce what he was planning before he even attempted to execute it. You sprinted forward, closing the distance, and stepped on his slightly bent knee, which propelled you upwards. You placed one hand on his right shoulder and swung yourself up, rotating with the use of his upper body and wrapping your legs around his neck.
You spun yourself around his shoulders with the agility of a gymnast and kicked him in the back of the head with your calves, making him bend forward slightly in surprise. He brought his arms up to seize your ankles and drag you off of him, but just as he grabbed you, you essentially sat on his shoulders in a side-saddle position, gripped the back of his hair, and forced him downwards completely.
Just as he was falling, you flipped sideways and landed with one knee bent, the other extended to your side as you slammed his front into the mat beneath you.
The Starfleet members simultaneously cringed, all except for Kirk who had evidently observed this before.
Christopher glanced at them with a satisfied expression on his face, and you raised your chin to look at them, breathing heavily.
McCoy observed you with wide eyes and a slightly open mouth. You had taken him down within the span of a few seconds. Apparently they needed to better train their security guards.
“Mother of God,” Montgomery stated, looking as awestruck as McCoy felt.
“Not so cute now, is she?” Asked Christopher, grinning.
You rose to your feet and looked down at the Starfleet cadet, who was apparently still conscious, because he shook his head and got up on his elbows. You held out your hand for him to take, and he shot you a glower, but accepted the help, seizing your outstretched limb. When he had successfully come to a stand, he released you and dizzily returned to his post on the other side, rubbing his forehead where there was a red mark that had resulted from the impact.
You backed into line again and clasped your hands behind you, staring forward. McCoy noticed in this moment that your concentrated expression had faded into what looked to be your typical visage. You seemed to have a look of perpetual polite interest on your face, as if you were always a little bewildered by things. Perhaps you were, or that was just part of your charm. Either way, Leonard felt a creeping sense of sickness in his stomach, along with a sort of stunned reverence.
“Delta,” said Christopher into the microphone, “You’re next.”
He went down the line until each of you had a turn with the security staff, and by the time you were done with them they looked successfully wounded both physically and in pride. All of them were bigger than you either in height or in girth, yet each of you had completely outmatched them in hand to hand combat. McCoy wondered what you were like with a weapon in your hands, and then realized that he didn’t really want to know.
By the end, during which they had all emitted enough sharp intakes of breath to live them successfully winded, Christopher turned to them, smiled, and asked, “Any questions?”