Title: Half-Breed part 1
Word Count: 3,978 in this part (8,145 total)
Disclaimer: I own nothing! I can't even believe I wrote something else for this fandom...
Summary: The mission was routine. Jim hoped it was routine. Hoping it would run smoothly and it actually running smoothly were two totally different things, though.
A/N: ...Don't ask how, but I managed to turn out over 8K words of away team mishap. Yeah...
The mission was routine: go to a class K planet to check on the terraforming project. Well, Jim was hoping it was going to be routine. After all, he hadn’t had that many missions under his belt. Most of the time, StarFleet sent the Enterprise on dull assignments since the whole Battle of Vulcan ordeal, making sure the Vulcan colonists were well situated on their new planet, patrolling systems, all that jazz. It was nothing too taxing or life threatening.
So, Jim was hoping this mission would run smoothly when he walked into the transporter room, nodding to Spock who was already there, arms placed almost loosely behind his back. Hoping it would run smoothly and it actually running smoothly were two totally different things, though.
“Captain.” Spock acknowledged, the slightest of nods made. He waited for Jim to check on the final procedures before following him onto the pad.
“Ready, sir?” Scotty asked, hand hovering over the controls.
“Not yet.” This surprised Spock somewhat, and before he could voice his inquiry, Lt. Sulu walked through the transporter doors, readied for an away mission.
Spock’s eyebrow rose in that typical fashion that Jim has learned to tolerate. “Captain, you have not made it known that this particular mission required the need for an away team comprised of three persons as, if I recall correctly, you claimed this mission rather simple to carry out.” Sulu tried not to let a smile grace his lips. Jim, on the other hand, felt no need to hide his grin.
“Call it a gut feeling, Mr. Spock.” After making sure Sulu was ready for beaming, Jim turned to Scotty, “Energize.” Scotty nodded and the familiar feeling of disappearing raked through the three men. In a moment, they were standing on foreign soil, staring out at a semi-barren land.
Spock took out his tricorder, analyzing the planet. Sulu walked around a bit, testing out the gravity and oxygen level himself. Jim simply peered ahead, taking in the planet. It looked like an African grassland, except a little bit more sand. He could make out settlements a couple miles away.
“Captain,” Spock called Jim out of his musings, “oxygen levels are sufficient and with another two and three fourths years, this planet will have an atmosphere like that of Earth. However,” and Jim just knew there would be something that wouldn’t sit right with the Vulcan, “there is a faint unknown element in the air.” Jim looked at his First, somewhat amused at the subtle irritation on his face.
“It feels fine,” Sulu spoke up, stretching his arms, “maybe a little heavy on the gravity side, but nothing really noticeable.” He walked over to where the settlements were. “How do you think the locals are doing?”
“Well, Mr. Sulu, only one way to find out.” Jim grinned at the man, chuckling when Sulu rolled his eyes. They walked toward the settlement, Jim center with Spock and Sulu on his flanks. They had a good ways to go, and Jim made a mental note to have a few words with Scotty about beaming distances.
About two thirds of the way there, they came upon an elderly woman sitting in a chair in front of a small hut. She was wrapped in blankets despite the warm weather, and she worn a grin that went to both of her ears. Her eyes were either shut or narrowed so much that they appeared so. Jim was reminded of a toad when he looked at her.
Sulu cast a glance at Jim, raising an eyebrow, wondering if they should speak to her. Jim gave a small shrug. Instead of actually speaking to her, Jim just smiled and nodded in greeting. Spock and Sulu followed suit. The woman didn’t respond, just sat there grinning. Jim tried to hold down a shudder.
“Only trouble ahead for you, half-breed.” The woman called sweetly after they passed her a little. The group stopped and turned to her, Jim at a loss.
“Ma’am?” Jim asked politely, glancing at his crewmen warily. Sulu looked annoyed, which was saying something. The man may not have liked Spock that much, but he definitely didn’t like it when others bad mouthed him. Or any member of the crew. And calling someone a half-breed was definitely bad mouthing.
“I was talking to your half-breed.” The woman spoke lazily, that grin still in place. Jim minutely raised his hand to stop Sulu from speaking or reacting in any way. He glanced at Spock to see if her words had any affect on him. Of course, Jim found nothing but a blank stare. “His world ends down there.”
“Excuse me, ma’am? That’s a little...” Jim tried to find a word to describe the situation. He was worried Sulu might actually lose his cool, which would of course upset Spock even more than the word he was being called.
“Your heart will stop, half-breed.” The woman stated, completely ignoring Jim, that damn grin still in place. “Beware that place, or your heart will pay the price.”
Jim looked at Spock, trying to see how his First felt. The best Jim could see the small ounce of confusion as that Vulcan eyebrow rose in its place.
“Thank you for your... warning,” Spock spoke after a beat, “however, I am afraid I have a duty to fulfill. Excuse me, if you will.” Spock finished evenly, giving a small nod in closure. He then looked at Jim for permission to continue on with the mission. Seeing as Sulu was very close to fuming at the woman’s continued use of the “H” word, Jim nodded to her as well and walked on, making Spock and Sulu follow.
“Take heed, half-breed.” The woman called sweetly after them. “Your heart will stop beating.”
“Say it one more time...” Sulu muttered, and Jim had to smile. That’s why he liked Sulu. “What is it with old people, anyway?” He asked, mostly to Jim since he knew Spock wouldn’t really respond.
“While it is considered derogatory by most cultures, the term "half-breed" is somewhat applicable.” Spock surprised them both by commenting on the matter. Sulu mumbled something about common decency.
“Spock, truth aside, you shouldn’t let anyone call you that.” Jim said softly. “It’s okay to defend oneself against prejudice.” He placed a compassionate hand on his First’s shoulder and gave a small squeeze. “You’re more than that.”
Spock didn’t say anything, his lips pressing into a thin line, but he didn’t shrug off Jim’s hand either. Jim smiled when he released the Vulcan. Little by little, Spock was getting used to touch. Well, Jim’s touch, really, since he still tensed the tiniest bit when someone other than Jim or Uhura came in contact with him, but it was still progress.
“Captain, what do you make of that?” Sulu asked, bringing Jim’s musings back to the task at hand. The Captain and his First looked to where Sulu was pointing. There were a bunch of small huts encircled around an obelisk of some sort. It certainly didn’t look like any terraforming mechanism Jim had ever seen. In fact, it didn’t look like it had much use for anything, really.
“Care to take a guess, Spock?” Jim asked as he peered at the settlements surrounding the obelisk. They certainly seemed pretty basic. Something didn’t feel right with them...
“Guessing is not in my nature, Captain.” Spock replied, making Jim smile. Figures he’d say something like that. Jim shook his head in amusement.
“Do you think it was here before, and they build the town around it, or the other way around?” Sulu pondered aloud, his hand shielding his eyes from the sun. Spock seemed to carefully weigh the odds. Jim could almost hear the gears in his head turning.
“From this location, it is difficult to determine of what material the obelisk is composed. Observing the object from a closer proximity would be far more beneficial.” Spock stated, looking to Jim when he was done. “Would you not agree, Captain?”
“Of course, Mr. Spock.” Jim cheerily replied, winking at Sulu. The lieutenant rolled his eyes, though he let a small grin grace his lips. “Come on, then.” Jim walked forward, the other two flanking him yet again.
As they entered the town, Jim noticed Sulu looking around warily, and that off feeling settled itself into Jim’s mind again. He glanced around the huts, and saw nothing. No sign of life anywhere. The huts looked as though they haven’t been lived in for months. The old woman’s warning suddenly entered Jim’s train of thought. Jim stopped and turned to Spock, who stopped as well, his eyebrow rising.
“Something stinks.” Sulu said quietly, his hand hanging near his blade, walking up to Jim. “There’s no one here.” He looked at Jim with narrowed eyes. Jim was about to respond when something clanged with the ground. The group turned to the noise.
A hut or two away stood a little girl, no more than ten, a surprised expression on her face, a little hand in front of her open mouth. Jim noticed right away that the girl’s gaze was fixed on his Vulcan First. He moved in front of Spock, and spoke gently to her.
“Hello there, little one,” Jim started, smiling softly when the girl snapped out of her trance, “can you tell me where your parents are?” The girl blinked at them, slowly bending to pick up the pale she had dropped. “We’re from StarFleet.” Jim stated, hoping the girl knew what that meant. It seemed to ring a bell as her eyes lit up a bit.
“Papa and Mama are working,” the girl said quietly, fiddling with her pale, “but I could take you to our home.” She peered at them, before smiling shyly. “You could wait for them there. Is that okay?”
Jim glanced at his comrades, looking for any objections. When he found none, he turned back to the girl and smiled. “Sure. Thank you.” The little girl smiled and waved them over to follow her, which they did.
She led them to a hut that was one of the closer ones to the obelisk. Jim noticed Spock as he seemed to take interest in this. She opened the door for them, and welcomed them in. “Would you like anything to drink?” She asked once they were all in the hut. The three shook their heads.
“Where are the other colonists?” Sulu asked as he looked around the hut. It wasn’t much, but it was bigger on the inside than it looked on the outside. The little girl blinked again, and Jim made to sure to stand between her and Spock.
“They all work in the fields. Us kids stay inside cause it can get really hot this time of day.” The girl answered as she placed her pale near the door. She peered up at them with big, shining eyes. “Are you really from space? And is he an alien?” She asked in excitement as she pointed to Spock.
Sulu tried not to laugh as Spock blinked at the little girl. Jim smiled. “Yes, to both questions. What’s your name, little one?” Jim asked, feeling easier than he did outside the hut.
“Kayley.” She beamed at them as she bowed her head in greeting. “Wanna see the Tower?” She asked eagerly, pointing in the direction of the obelisk. Spock seemed to perk up.
“Yes, I would wish to observe it.” He spoke in an even voice, and Jim saw Kayley’s eyes widen in awe of his First. “Would you escort me?” Spock asked, and if he didn’t know any better, Jim would say Spock was trying to entertain the girl.
“Yeah, sure! Come with me.” Kayley nodded excitedly, practically running out the door. She was almost bouncing as she held the door open for Spock.
“I shall return briefly, Captain.” Spock stated to Jim, nodding to Sulu before turning to follow Kayley. Jim smiled as Kayley bounced a little more with each step Spock took.
Your heart will stop beating.
Jim blinked as the woman’s warning rang achingly loud in his head. “Spock,” Jim called quietly, causing Spock to turn to the Captain, “Something doesn’t sit right.” Jim didn’t know how to explain it, so he said lamely, “I don’t really want you going outside.”
Spock cocked his head to the side slightly. “I see no evidence for such an unreasonable request. You know as well as I, Captain, that the mission requires gathering sufficient data to report back to StarFleet, and the most efficient way to go about doing so is to examine the obelisk and determine of what it is composed.” Spock stared at him with that eyebrow in its place, and Jim could do nothing but nod in agreement.
After returning the nod, Spock stepped out, leaving behind a wary Jim and an irritated Sulu. “Him and his knowledge.” Sulu grumbled. “You think Vulcans use it as a form of foreplay?” He smirked, the thought of it ridiculous.
Jim tried to smile, but something strange lingered in the air, and it made Jim uneasy. He glanced at Sulu, and he rose an eyebrow at him, wondering if his lieutenant felt it too. The helmsman was about to speak when he suddenly got out his phaser, prompting Jim to do the same almost immediately.
But it was too late. The locals had already threw gas bombs into the hut, causing the two to bring their arms to their face as a shield. Jim looked wildly about the room, one arm blocking his face as best he could without covering too much of his eyesight and the other held out in front of him, phaser set to stun.
“Lower yer weapons, spacefolk.” A gruff voice called out. “We don’t want no fight.”
“Should have thought of that before you provoked us.” Jim replied sarcastically. He looked around swiftly, trying to see any form of moment. Sulu moved closer to him, covering his back. “Show yourselves.” Jim commanded lightly. He wasn’t in a mood to fight with angry villagers.
“Promise you won’t shoot us.” was the demand. Jim heard Sulu snort. Were they really dealing with this right now?
“Fine, just show yourselves. And get rid of this damn smoke.” Jim added as an afterthought, irritated. Yikes, don’t lose your cool now, Jim Boy. Jim scolded himself. It was going to be hard, though, as the guy reminded Jim of the idiots back home.
But the smoke cleared a little anyway, revealing a big brute wrapped in some sort of toga-like garb. He was definitely mean looking, sporting an ugly mug, a scar that ran down the right side of his face, and a distrusting sneer.
The man stepped a foot past the door, his hands at his side, a spear held in his right. Jim lowered his arm slightly, still unsure of what to make of the character. “What do you want?” Jim asked, his trigger finger ready.
“I should be asking you the same question.” The man snapped. “What the hell are spacefolk like you doing here?” Jim narrowed his eyes as he noticed several other men waiting outside, all with the same look on their faces as the one in the hut.
“I’m Captain James T. Kirk of the starship Enterprise. We’re here on mission from StarFleet to report how the terraforming is going.” Jim recited, the formality of being Captain sinking into place. “I see no reason why we’re met with such hostility.” And he really didn’t.
The man huffed. “Every one of you spacefolk says the same damn thing. Then you wind up taking what little we have. We ain’t believing that crap no more.”
Well that’s... not good. Jim mentally cussed. He felt Sulu gazing at him, wondering what their next move will be. Jim really wanted to avoid a fight, but he wanted to let the villagers know who they were dealing with.
“Listen,” Jim spoke slowly, “I promise you we are the real deal, and we just wanted to check to see how life is coming along here.” He didn’t know what he could do to convince the man. “Don’t make us do anything you’d regret.” Jim added, the authoritative tone ringing out clear.
For a moment, the man looked like he was going to give into the that voice. However, it was only a moment. The man spat, a smirk forming on his lips. “You ain’t gonna do nothing, spaceman. Wouldn’t want yer friend hurt more than he is, now, would ya?”
Alarm bells went off as Jim’s eyes widened. Spock. The brute grinned as he motioned to his men. Jim watched in horror as Spock was dragged into the hut by the rope tied around his neck, his hands bound behind his back and a dark green gash across his head. The man kicked Spock down to the ground, forcing him to kneel. Oh no...
The man thrust his spear to Spock’s neck. “Drop yer weapons and kick ’em away from you.” The man commanded, a wicked grin on his lips, his hand gripping the spear tighter. The man all but jabbed the spear into Spock’s neck, just hard enough to cut the skin and allow green droplets to squeeze their way through. Jim sucked in his breath. Releasing it slowly, Jim lowered his arm, dropping his phaser and kicking it some ways away. Sulu reluctantly followed suit. Jim noticed how he kept his blade on him and hidden, though, as Sulu stood behind him.
“Ways I see it,” The man, apparently the damn leader of the villagers, spoke as he grabbed a fistful of Spock’s hair and yanked his head upward, showing off the gash and blood on his head, “we keep this alien so no more spacefolk come to our planet.” When he finished talking, the leader released his hold on Spock, letting his head fall forward, a small groan escaping from the Vulcan’s lips.
His world ends down there.
Oh God. Jim thought quickly, trying to up with a way to prevent the outcome he knew would happen. “How would that even work?” Keep him talking, Jim, just keep him talking. Sulu better be thinking of a plan, so help me.
The man grinned, falling for it. “Simple, we place alien man here atop the Tower as a ʻdo not enter’ sign to any travelers.” He said, grin still in place. “We’re doing just fine here on our own. We don’t need no help from anyone.” The others chuckled darkly as the one hold the rope pulled back a little, causing Spock to wince slightly in pain.
Jim moved a fraction of an inch forward. Sulu subtly grabbed Jim’s shirt. Help him, damnit, do something! His mind screamed at him. Jim swallowed, racking his brain for a way out.
His heart will pay the price.
Jim stared at Spock’s form, kneeling on the floor. His eyes followed the drops of green blood that trickled down Spock’s face. Spock looked up at him, his face blank, but his eyes were ablaze. He was telling Jim to leave him, to take Sulu back to the Enterprise and forget about him.
“That’ll never work.” Jim found himself saying. The chuckling stopped, and the leader glared at him. Come on stupid, take the bait. Jim felt Sulu tighten his hold on his shirt.
“Oh yeah? Why not?” The leader demanded, sounding a little pissed. “Once people see what we’re gonna do to this alien piece of crap, no one’s gonna wanna come near us.” He finished his speech by hitting Spock hard upside the head. Spock let out a groan as he fell forward, the villagers laughing in delight.
“No one would care.” The words were flowing out of his mouth, and Jim couldn’t stop them. “He’s just some half-breed.” Jim felt Sulu’s grip on his shirt lessen considerably. Spock looked up the floor, his eyes clouded.
The villagers looked at each other, unsure of what to do. “So?” The leader asked, trying not to let the confusion show on his ugly face. “What’s yer point?”
“My point is,” Jim took a deep breath, “half-breeds are worthless in any one who’s in their right mind’s eyes. Having his corpse atop your tower wouldn’t faze anyone.” Jim avoided Spock’s stare. Sulu’s hand retreated from Jim’s frame altogether. “You need someone important if you want to keep others out.” Jim finished, looking the leader straight in the eyes.
“And just who do you suppose that would be?” The leader asked, regarding Jim suspiciously. The others looked at him as well, curious.
“Quite simple, gentlemen. Me.” Jim replied nonchalantly. He heard Sulu inhale sharply behind him.
“Captain…” Spock spoke, his voice rough. Jim ignored his First.
“Think about it, people, I’m Captain James T. Kirk, the best damn officer in StarFleet. If I’m your warning sign, no one – not even StarFleet – would dare bother you again.” Jim spoke in a seductive tone, the one he used when he wanted to get his way. “I’m way better than that sorry excuse of a crewman half-breed lying there.” Jim sneered at his First. Spock just stared at his Captain.
The leader brought a hand to scratch his head. He looked back and forth between the two men, seeming to weigh the options. Come on, you stupid brute. Jim was growing impatient by the second.
“How I know yer ship won’t come for you, you being all important and things?” He finally asked, somewhat surprising Jim with intelligence of the question. Jim looked at Spock briefly before answering.
“I order my crewmen not to, of course.” Jim spoke easily. “They can’t disobey an order from me.” Jim looked at the man, trying to win his favor. “I’m that good of an officer.” He cooed, grinning the part.
The leader looked at his men, all of whom nodded eagerly. He turned back to Jim with a grin. “You got yerself a deal, spaceman.” He cut the rope with his spear. He then pointed it at Jim. “Tell them and send them away.”
Jim nodded. He turned to Sulu. “Go get him, First Officer Sulu.” Jim stressed the title, hoping Sulu would understand. Sulu narrowed his eyes as he complied. Jim watched as Sulu knelt down to help the Vulcan up, Spock’s hands still tied behind him.
Gingerly, Spock rose to his feet, and Jim could see how uncomfortable he was with Sulu’s help and, more so, his touch. Jim walked over to them and placed his hands gently on both their shoulders.
“Spock, follow your First Officer back to the ship where you’re to steer her away from here. Captain.” Jim uttered the word so only Spock’s Vulcan ears could pick it up. “Go on, now, and be gone.” Jim spoke louder, moving away from them but not before giving Spock’s shoulder a gentle squeeze.
The leader brought Jim outside the hut into the center of a large crowd. Looking around the circle, Jim noticed Kayley standing behind a woman, tears streaming down her face, her right cheek bright red. When she noticed that he spotted her, she ducked away.
“We got ourselves a sacrifice!” The leader yelled, and the crowd burst into cheers.
Jim turned back to the hut and saw Sulu emerge with Spock in tow. He watched them leave the hut, Sulu casting a glance back before he hurriedly led Spock away from the God forsaken town. Then they were gone.
Jim was brought back to his present danger by the spear pointed at his face. “We gonna have fun with you.” The leader sneered, a crazy look in his eyes.
Whatever, Jim thought, peering past the spear to the point where his crew vanished, as long as it’s not them.