Star Fleet Academy pilot story
Copyright (C) 2000
Kirk is ten and is living with his family on a farm in the Midwest. Farms are a bit more automated in his time.
Intelligent machinery is sent out to till, plant and harvest. The world has evolved beyond its need to destroy itself. Warp
Drive Technology has been part of human life for generations. Matter/antimatter reactors have provided the world with an endless
supply of safe non-polluting energy.
At the age of 12 Kirk's desire to reach beyond his earthly bounds is exhibited on a visit to the city. He stows
away on a supply shuttle to a space dock and manages to spend the day exploring before being discovered and returned to his
frantic parents. This small taste of space travel was all it took to convince him that his true calling lie, not in the soil
of earth but in the vastness of the galaxy and its many worlds.
Star Fleet becomes an obsession with him and nothing can sway him from it. With his secondary schooling completed
he faces a fork in the road. One way leads him to his family's business thus assuring his future. The other way leads him
to his dreams and a future no one could predict.
The problem is Star Fleet only considers the top one percent of all candidate applications based on academic
achievement and senior officer sponsorship. And of that one percent, only about ten percent will make it through the screening
process and begin their four-year training period at the academy. The only other way in is through federation congressional
appointment. With so many applications streaming into Star Fleet from Earth and other worlds, this method is seldom employed
and is mostly used to satisfy certain political agendas.
Kirk's academic achievements more than qualify him for consideration but he decides the odds of obtaining his
goal through the traditional methods are stacked against him. Kirk's family realizes nothing can be said or done to sway him
from the path he has set for himself.
Kirk pleads his case before the local Federation Magistrate but is informed that no interviews or appointments
are being submitted from his district. He keeps returning in hopes of at least getting an interview.
On his next visit the Administrative Assistant leaves her workstation with out logging out. He's desperate and
takes her seat. One of the menu selections is STARFLEET CADET INTERVIEW PROCESS. He selects it. This brings up the CANDIDATE
INFORMATION SCREEN. He fills it out. He keeps looking back for her to return. The next screen wants preliminary interview
responses and an overall rating. He completes this. The final screen wants only
one thing. Recommended or Not Recommended. He selects Recommended, logs off the menu selection and gets away from the workstation
just as the Administrative Assistant returns to inform him the Magistrate has left for the day. He puts up a brief protest
but finally accepts the situation and leaves.
Kirk informs his family of his good luck getting an interview from Magistrate. A few days later to his surprise
a packet arrives with flight instructions to STARFLEET ACADEMY for the final selection process. His luck is holding.
Kirk arrives at Starfleet Academy on a shuttle filled with other Candidates. He meets his future partners in
crime. Out of the sixty candidates that arrive Kirk and six others make the cut. Those seven form the nucleus of the many
adventures to follow. His luck is still holding.
The first event is the New Cadet Orientation Mission. This is basically a show and tell for the Academy Administrators.
It is supposed to last for four days. One of the Flight Officers is a Vulcan named Spock (Mr. Spock to the cadets). He has
no connection to the Academy other than having drawn duty on this flight.
Kirk has never had the opportunity to get up close and personal with a Vulcan. Kirk enters the Mess Deck for
the evening meal that first day. Spock is sitting by himself with a drink and some technical reading material. Kirk hesitates
and then invites himself to sit down. Spock is displeased with this invasion and shows it by excusing himself and leaving.
Kirk continues with his meal.
Early the next morning Kirks quarters are invaded by ship’s security and he is taken before the Captain.
His luck has apparently run out.
His less than scrupulous method of joining Star Fleet has been discovered. After a reprimand he is taken to
a holding area of the ship for the remainder of the mission. The next day disaster strikes.
Kirk's holding cell is located on deck three, two decks above the engineering section of the ship. The remaining
six cadets are being given a tour of the engineering section. The bulk of flight crew, including some of the flight officers,
are taking an evening meal on deck four. The ship is moving at sub-light speed. Spock and three crewmembers are manning the
A coupling fails and a plasma conduit vacates to the atmosphere on deck four. The balance of the crew dies instantly.
The ships ventilation system sounds an alarm and first isolates all decks with bio readings. Deck two has no bio readings
and quickly becomes contaminated to the point that it would be dangerous to any living being. The two contaminated decks have
been sealed off leaving the cadets and instructors, and Kirk trapped in their respective parts of the ship.
The remaining flight crew and Kirk have no bio-suites available to them. The ones trapped in engineering have
bio-suites but no access to the outside of the ship. If they break the seal on deck three and four to escape, Kirk and the
others will die. To make things worse the conduit rupture has caused an unstable condition to form in the warp core and the
force of the rupture has damaged other systems. Power to the impulse engine is cut off. It's only a matter of time before
the core goes critical. Even if the core is jettisoned the ship can't get clear of the blast.
The closest help is a day away. This ship has less than an hour to live.
This is a small ship. The only access to the shuttle bay is through deck three. There is only one shuttle. It
won't handle the remaining crew. The transporter is also adjacent to the shuttle bay.
Spock has come to the only logical way out of this situation. He contacts Kirk and explains what has to be done.
Kirk can get to the shuttle. Site to site transports are not possible yet so the core can't be transported into
space. The only thing that will save the ship and the remaining crew is for the core to be jettisoned and the shuttle to launch,
grab it with a tractor beam, and tow the core away at maximum impulse. This should create enough distance between the ship
and the blast to avoid the energy wave that is going to travel several hundred thousand kilometers in all directions. Just
before the core blows the shuttle will have to release it and go to warp to avoid the blast.
The only thing wrong with the plan is Kirk is a new cadet and has never flown a shuttle of any kind let alone
handled the maneuvers required to make this work. Kirk resigns himself to what has to happen and makes for the shuttle. Time
is running out.
Kirk gets to the shuttle and then has to rely on Spock to talk him through everything. With some effort on both
their parts the shuttle is launched. The core is jettisoned. Spock talks him through the use of the tractor beam. The shuttle
departs at maximum impulse towing the warp core.
Spock now has to instruct Kirk in the use of the warp engine on the shuttle. One of the events to be witnessed
by the new cadets was the first field test of warp drive on a small shuttle. These small warp drive engines are basically
new and untested for the most part. Kirk has some choice words for Spock when he finds out it may not work. With only fifteen
minutes left there is no time for speculation. It will work or it won't. Kirk demonstrates a level of coolness found in seasoned
Star Ship Captains. Spock is impressed.
With five minutes required for the engine to come on line, coordinates to be programmed and the dampening field
to form there is no time to second-guess. On Spock's mark the core is released,
the warp drive is brought on line, programmed and with nothing but empty space in front of him, Kirk lights it up. Everything
happens at once the shuttle streaks to warp one and the core detonates.
The energy is overtaking the training ship but as the fringe of the energy wave hits it dissipates with only
minor damage to the ship. By the time the rescue vessel arrives the shuttle has returned and is standing off. The remaining
crew is transported off and the shuttlecraft is recovered. The damaged training ship is taken in tow and everyone returns
to the Academy.
Kirk is brought before the governing body of the Academy. Because of his heroic act without concern for his
own safety and Spock's sponsorship, charges against him are dropped and he is accepted into Star Fleet.
This will not be the last time his nerve will get him out of dire circumstances. But most of that is history
yet to be written.