Captain of Her Heart

by W. Brad Danbrook

Disclaimers: The usual...


The Starship Enterprise moves stealthily through space. On the Bridge we find Captain Kirk, First officer Spock, Sulu, Urura and others. Captain Kirk sits resolutely in his command chair looking out into space. He addresses his first officer.

"Spock, I don't think we've charted this solar system. Is that correct?"

"You are correct…it is the Agamemnon system. We are entering unfamiliar territory. It should prove interesting."

"Oh really Spock, why do you say that?"

"I've been picking up some odd readings on the scanner. I have been feeding them into the computer, but the results are as yet inconclusive."

"Inconclusive? I don't like the sound of that, Spock. Are you sure there's no other information?"

"Only that we are traveling through an electro-magnetic gravity field of enormous strength."

"Let's get our readings and get out. I don't want my ship or my crew in any unnecessary danger." Captain Kirk sits in his chair with Spock standing by his side. The Enterprise continues at warp-two through space. Sulu, sitting in the navigation seat, suddenly speaks, "Captain, planet dead ahead…it… shouldn't be there…it's not registering on any of my instruments."

"I see it Sulu…Spock…anything?"

"As Sulu stated, we see it, and yet it does not register."

"Are all instruments functioning properly…could this be… some sort of illusion?"

"If it is an illusion, we are all suffering from the same hallucination. This is not logical."

"I want answers-not speculation!" Captain Kirk's expression was one of aggravation. All assembled on the bridge stare at the perplexing blue-green planet ahead. At that moment, the engines shut down, as all power seemingly drains forcibly from the ship. Captain Kirk whirls around in confusion, "Spock what happened?"

"Unknown at this time. We have experienced a complete drain on our energy reserves. We have only auxiliary power." Chief medical officer Leonard McCoy bursts onto the bridge. "Jim, what in the blazes is going on?"

"Your guess is as good as mine at this point, doctor."

"Well, I'm supposed to be operating an Ensign Williams today. How do you expect me to operate in conditions like this? I need power to run my instruments. The operation is extremely delicate"

"Bones, take it easy. I understand. You'll just have to reschedule the surgery."

"Jim, if I don't operate on that man within the next two days…he'll die!" Captain Kirk looks up at the intense doctor with genuine concern. "Bones, if we still have no power two days from now, Ensign Williams will not be the only casualty onboard. I however, do not intend for that to happen. Spock, Bones, meet me in the transporter room. Standard landing party Spock…and officer Rogers…" As he finishes issuing the orders, Kirk bolts up from his command chair and makes for the doors. McCoy looks at the impassionate Vulcan for any indications of emotion. "Damn it, Spock…aren't you the least bit worried about this?" His tone belied a well-established lack of patience. "My relative emotional display will have little bearing on the issue. Now, my good doctor, I suggest you prepare for the trip to the planet." Having made the remark, he turns away from McCoy towards the doors. After a moment of consternation, the doctor follows him. In the elevator, Kirk hits the communication device with some force. He speaks with great alacrity. "Scotty, where are you?" The thick Scottish brogue responds with a sense of annoyance. "Captain, I don't what to tell you. We're just about drained…I've never seen anything like it."

"All right Scotty…keep on working on it. Try to find the cause of the power drain. Do we still have enough power to beam down a landing party to the surface?"

"To the surface of what? There's nothing down there, I tell you."

"Scotty, there's no time to argue. Meet me down at the transporter right away." Scotty replies with a weary resignation, "Aye aye Captain." The landing party is assembled and ready to transport. Scotty offers one last objection. "Captain, we've got enough power to get you all down there…but we may not have enough to get you back up."

"I realize that Scotty…but if we don't find whatever, or whomever it is that is causing this drain…it may not matter." McCoy looks at Captain Kirk with a look of deep concern. "Jim, are you sure you know what you're doing? We could be materialized into empty space!"

"I'm well aware of the dangers involved Doctor…unfortunately, we seem to have little choice in the matter. Scotty, commence beaming down."

A party of six beams down to the planet's surface. It consists of Captain Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Sulu, Ensign Homer Thompson and historical officer Dorothy Rogers. Kirk quickly scanned the horizon and spoke to Spock. "Spock, readings?"

"Earth-like atmosphere, well within established limits. I am picking up an unusually powerful electro-magnetic field…in that direction." Spock points to an area directly behind them. Sulu speaks up immediately. "Captain, I'm picking up life signs…four…coming from the same direction…two are human…but the other two…unknown." The landing party follows Captain Kirk's lead. He turns to officer Rogers. "Officer Rogers, it's Dorothy right?"

"Yes, Captain. It is." Her curvaceous figure is tightly constrained beneath her red uniform. She wears her long dark hair in a thick braid. She is the youngest officer onboard the Enterprise. "Captain, if you don't mind me asking, why was my presence required on this party?" Captain Kirk looks at her with a bemused assurance. "Well, officer Rogers, normally I don't explain my orders…" The young lady was perturbed and responded-"Oh, I'm sorry Captain…I didn't mean to…" Kirk stops her in mid-sentence with a wave of his hand and a chuckle. "I know what you meant…as a matter of fact, I noticed, while reviewing the crew's records, that you had never had any field duty. You seem to spend a great deal of time studying, but there is more to being a Starfleet officer than books." Kirk smiles good-naturedly at the confused looking woman. "Yes Sir, I suppose that is true. It's not that I have deliberately avoided these missions, it's just that I've never been asked to go."

As the party makes there way across the flat, featureless terrain, they notice an odd sound, which seems to emanate from directly ahead of them. It is immediately noticed by all present. "Captain, do you hear that?"

"Yes, Sulu, I do. Spock, what do you make of that?"

"It certainly sounds like a human cry or wail of some sort, beyond that, it is difficult to say…" McCoy is next to offer an opinion. "Jim, it sounds like somebody in trouble, being attacked." Officer Rogers intones with her own ideas. "Captain, I would have to verify this, but that wail does bear a remarkable resemblance to an ancient Earth cry…from Greece."

"Ancient Greece? How is that possible?" Captain Kirk halts the progress of the party to consider their next move. "Spock, any more readings?"

"Yes Captain, I am picking up what seems to be an extremely large structure of rectilinear design. It is directly ahead of us…in the direction of the electro-magnetic disturbance." McCoy looks angrily at the time. He takes out his communicator. "Scotty, this is McCoy, get me Nurse Chapel. Nurse Chapel, is there any change in Ensign William's state?"

"No doctor, no change."

"Very well. Contact me if there is any deterioration in his condition."

"Yes, doctor." McCoy turns to Captain Kirk. His eyes are intense with emotion. "Jim, I have to operate within the next two days, otherwise that man will die."

"Yes, I'm well aware of the situation doctor." He turns away from McCoy to flip open his own communicator. "Scotty, what's the situation up there?"

"I don't know how long we're going to be able to hold out with only impulse power. The warp-drive is completely shut down. I've never seen anything like it. It's like something is draining away our power…but what…or who?" Kirk looks into the distance as he replies- "I don't have any answers for you Scotty, but I think we're going to find out very soon."

Inside a massive granite temple there are four individuals. The interior of the sumptuous palace is decked in unimaginably ornate decorations. Rich tapestries hang from the walls. Golden life-size figures adorn the long hallway on either side. A central table is laden with every sort of delectable food. Roasted pig, turkey, beef, as well as a multitude of fruits and vegetables adorn its golden tablecloth. An enourmous, majestic statue is hewn from solid granite. It towers over the surroundings, measuring one hundred feet at its highest point. A bejeweled altar stands directly at the feet of the massive structure. An imposing white bearded figure sits at a dazzling throne. A dark and heavily muscled, leather-clad man sits brooding at another throne. Before them stand two women. One has long dark hair and stands menacingly-arms akimbo. The woman beside her is younger, with short blond hair and an intense look of consternation upon her attractive features. She raises her arms in disgust as she speaks, "Ares, why have you brought us here?" The figure to which the question is addressed seems amused by the puzzled state of his inquisitor. "Why Gabrielle, it's been so long…is that all you have to say…no, Hey Ares, nice to see you, you're looking good?" His remark is garnished with a confident chuckle. The tall, black leather-wearing woman beside Gabrielle now speaks. Her words are slow and measured. "Listen Ares, cut the crap. Where are you, and why are we here? Last thing I remember was…dying. I notice you didn't show up to offer your usual helping hand." The God of War- Ares, replies by vanishing from his throne in a flash of light, and reappearing directly in the face of Xena, the Warrior Princess. For a brief moment something other than enmity animates both their faces…a gaze of recollection of past passion and lost opportunity. Xena reaches for her sword, as the seated figure regarding the proceedings intones in an imperious voice, "Enough! I have grown so tired of your games, your petty squabbles. It is no longer a time to fight Xena, it is a time to listen. Are you not curious as to how you, and Gabrielle came to be here?" Xena looks up at the Supreme God Zeus and scowls with derision. Her words are chopped and angry. "Listen, all I know is…one moment I'm in the Elysian fields, minding my own business…waiting for Gabrielle, some day… next second I'm outside this Temple… I see Ares and I assume the worst. I lunged at his head, and he disappeared in here. Now I want to know…where are we?" Zeus looks down at the fierce woman and responds with a serene voice, "My dear Xena, are you not going to at the very least, thank me for reuniting you with your intrepid partner, Gabrielle? I must admit that hearing that war cry of yours was truly music to my ears."

"I don't need any favours from you, or any other God for that matter. When it mattered most…they've always let me down. Anyway, nobody can separate Gabrielle and me…not even the Gods…even when I was in the Elysian Fields; I knew we would be together again. So you still haven't answered my question, Where are we?" Ares, standing arms crossed and smiling brightly responds to the query, "Do you mind if I field this one Dad? First…Xena, I still don't get the thing with you and Gabrielle…anyway…okay…I guess a better question would be… when are we." Gabrielle looks up at her long-time nemesis with barely concealed disgust. "Ares, what do you mean? The last thing I remember was traveling alone. After Xena died, I wandered through the North for a long time. I lived with the Celtic tribes and was planning to stay there. Then suddenly, I'm standing outside a temple in Greece."

"All right, first of all, we're not in Greece any more ladies…nowhere near it, as a matter of fact." Xena grabs Ares by the collar and demands an answer. "Listen, Ares, if we're not in Greece, where are we… in Thebes…Egypt… where?"

"Hey…take it easy, I just had this outfit cleaned…ladies you are now standing in a Temple on the planet Asherah, in the Agamemnon Star-system…oh yeah, and it's now the year 2250-or thereabouts" Both Xena and Gabrielle stare in utter disbelief. Xena can barely eke out a response to the shattering declaration. "Gabrielle…we're not even on Earth anymore." As Xena shakes her head in shock, Ares voice resounds in a bellowing laugh. Xena and Gabrielle stand staring into each other's eyes in confusion.


Captain Kirk stops suddenly outside the monumental granite structure. "Spock, did you hear that? It sounded like somebody laughing…"

"Yes, I did hear it. It sounded like it was coming from inside this building."

"Spock, have you ever seen anything like this? It looks like the Temple of Apollo…but it can't be him. That was light-years away, and Apollo was destroyed." At this point, officer Rogers spoke up, "Captain, if I may, this Temple is clearly of the style particular to ancient Hellenic Greece, but on a much grander scale. It looks as though it's three hundred feet high." Spock pointed his tricorder towards the temple. "Three hundred and seven feet, to be exact, an accurate estimation, officer Rogers." Captain Kirk grew annoyed with the petty chat. "I don't care if it's higher than the Tower of Babel, I want to know why it's here…on a planet…that shouldn't even be here. Follow me…we're going in. Sulu, you flank to the left, Spock and Bones, you flank to the right. Move." The landing party splits up in three. Captain Kirk and officer Rogers move towards the Temple. "Officer Rogers, it looks as though you are going to have an opportunity to study an ancient site first hand. Your expertise may come in handy. Stay close. We have no idea what we're facing." The young woman grabbed the arm of the Captain. Her voice trembled with fear. "Captain, I'm scared." He responded by looking directly into her eyes as he grabbed her shoulders. "Officer Rogers, this is what belonging to Starfleet is all about. Don't worry, you'll be fine."

Xena crosses her arms upon her swirled copper breastplate. She stares fixedly at Zeus. "Zeus. I have no quarrel with you…other than the fact you tried to murder my daughter. Why are we here? That's all I want to know. I have a feeling this is your doing, it's too grand and showy, even for Ares." Ares looks at Xena with lighthearted glee. "Ahhh…Gee, Xena, that almost sounded like an insult…careful…you know I could send you back to Earth…you know, to that time you…lost your head!" His laughter was mocking and mean. Gabrielle sprang instantly to her beloved friends aide. "Ares, I never expect much from you…because I know what sort of an evil person you are…but how, after all that you and Xena have shared, how could you have just let her die…such a horrible death?" Ares walked heavily towards the young warrior bard. His face was contorted with emotion," Let me tell you something Gabrielle"…his voice almost choking with intensity, "nobody suffered more than me to watch that…but I was utterly powerless. You still don't understand we Olympians. Sure we're omniscient, all-powerful and immortal, but at a price. We require devotion in the same way that you require bread and water. Worship is our food. Oh sure, after the Twilight, I survived…barely, but not in the state you see before you. I was a mere shadow of what I once was. Believe me, Gabrielle, if I had had the power to change Xena's fate, I would have done so." Gabrielle was left unimpressed by the God of War's explanation. "That's a great speech Ares. Do you expect me to feel sorry for you or something? Forgive me if I don't seem moved."

Zeus regards the proceedings with a detached arrogance. He bellows with a booming stentorian voice, "Enough of your petty bickering. You wish to know why you are here? Fine. I will tell you. Xena, Gabrielle, it is true that the Twilight of the Gods did mean the end of our reign on your planet. Yet this did not change the fact that we are immortal. You see, we are not originally from your Earth. Essentially, we were banished. This, the planet you are now on, is our original home." Xena stared up at Zeus with disbelief. "Okay…even if that's true, and I'm not convinced it is, why are Gabrielle and me here?"

"I have granted you your mortal life again. I brought you back together with your beloved friend. In return, you will do me a small favour. My powers are immense, but not without limit. Let me explain. At the time of the Twilight, the pantheon of Gods was dispersed throughout the galaxy. I know where some of them now reside, but not all. You see Xena; we Gods require the presence of other Gods to exist. We cannot persist in isolation. It was fortuitous that Ares, my son was dispersed to this planet with me. It allowed me to slowly rebuild my strength." Xena and Gabrielle looked on with interest. This time it was Gabrielle's voice that was heard. "Listen, I'm not saying that I'm not happy to be with Xena again. I am. All I know is, that if the Gods are involved, there are always strings attached somehow." Zeus sat and smiled as Ares began to speak. "All right ladies…here is the small favour which Dad and me do require of you…nothing much really, just a Starship." Xena looked at Ares confusedly, "what in Tartarus is a Starship?"

"Oh that's right…you wouldn't exactly know what that is, would you? Well, let's just say that it's just what we need to get the old family back together. Think of it as a reunion machine! Oh yeah…one other thing. You're going to help us steal it."

The landing party moved to the entrance of the imposing temple. Captain Kirk motioned to officer Rogers. "What do you make of this? It looks like some ancient Greek temple."

"Yes Captain that would be my conclusion. It is not unlike the Parthenon, but also somewhat unique. How could this seemingly Greek architecture exist out here?" Captain Kirk smiled at the woman. "I think we're about to find out. Spock, I'm going in these front doors. You take Sulu and Thompson and circle around back. Try to find another entrance." Spock listened with a concerned expression, "Are you sure it wise that we separate? Perhaps we might all…" He was stopped in mid-sentence by the Captain, "Spock, I appreciate your concern, but you have your orders. Hopefully I'll see you inside. Keep me informed. This way!" Captain Kirk led officer Rogers and McCoy to the massive steel doors. They were at least twenty feet high. "I hope that whomever it was that created these doors, didn't require them to be this big. Would you agree McCoy?"

"Amen to that. I don't like this at all."

Captain Kirk grabbed onto a magnificent door handle. Its solid gold shape was in the form of a bull's head. Slowly, by pulling with all his weight, he was able to open the door. Cautiously Kirk, McCoy and Rogers crept into a long hallway. Adorned with gilded mirrors and stunning artwork, it led to an enourmous chamber at the end. The party heard low voices in the other room. Kirk spoke in a whisper to the others, "It would seem that our hosts have exquisite taste, don't you agree McCoy?"

"Exquisite yes, but it all seems wrong, somehow." Officer Rogers intoned, "Yes Captain, he's right. It's as if everything is confused…mixed together. The architecture is Hellenic Greece, but look at those paintings-Italian Renaissance. That chandelier above us looks to be twentieth century Earth." The party moved stealthily from one statue to the next. As they moved closer, the voices grew louder. Captain Kirk flipped open his communicator to check on Spock's progress. "Spock, anything?"

"Negative. No signs of life forms, other than the ones directly ahead of you…still no indication of any other entrance."

"All right Spock, we are proceeding forward."

As Ares finishes speaking, Zeus suddenly rises from his throne and raises his arms. "Silence! We are no longer alone. Someone is coming. I can see them now. They are from the Starship no doubt." Ares looks up at his father and smiles. "Hey, a party! I hope you two ladies brought your dancing shoes." Xena and Gabrielle swing around quickly. They see three people walking towards them. Xena turns to Zeus. "Who are they…more people you've brought back for your little scheme?"

"No Xena, I can assure you that they are very much alive and from this time. That is why I lured them here. Anyway, find out for yourself. Go ahead, talk to them." Captain Kirk walks toward the Warrior Princess. He stops three feet from her. He looks at the assembled gathering and addresses them all. "I am Captain James T. Kirk of the U.S.S Enterprise. We come in peace. Who's in charge here?" Both Xena and Gabrielle stare at the oddly dressed trio. Ares disappears and rematerializes in a flash of light before Captain Kirk. "Ooooh…a Captain…very impressive. And who is this lovely creature?" Ares moves towards officer Rogers attempting to kiss her hand. McCoy reaches for his phasar to prevent the exchange. Ares laughs, "Relax Doctor, can't a guy be polite? Or is politeness no longer in fashion in this century?" Captain Kirk grabs the War God's hand and looks at him fiercely in the eye. "I want some answers! Who are you? What have you done to my ship? What do you want with us?" Ares stares down the Captain with matched intensity. "Listen…Cap…don't grab my arm…ever again. You don't want to make me mad, I can assure you. Now, as for introductions…fair enough. I am Ares, God of War, over there is Dad, otherwise known as "Zeus, Supreme God…let's see, here is Xena Warrior Princess, and that is her loyal sidekick Gabrielle." Officer Rogers moves to Captain Kirk's side, "Captain, I don't understand, all these people existed in ancient mythology, nothing more." Ares looks at the attractive woman and explains, "Oh, I can assure you that I am as real as the nose on your lovely face. This is no illusion. We Gods were real…but we belonged to a reality that humanity forgot. In time, we were merely considered to be fictional." Officer Rogers looked quizzically up at the heavily muscled frame of Ares. "You're saying that all our Earth legends are true?"

"Well, not all of them. There were some embellishments…you know, poetic license." Captain Kirk looked at Ares, "You expect us to believe that all of this is real, that you're real. Okay, I of course recall an Ares and a Zeus in my studies at the Academy…but no Xena or…who was it…Galadrial?" Xena walked over to the Captain and extended her arm. She stood several inches above the Captain. She smiled brightly as her eyes sparkled with life. "Pleased to meet you. I'm Xena and this is Gabrielle." Captain Kirk met the Warriors deep look. He motioned towards Gabrielle. "So, let me get this straight. You are a God, and she is your sidekick?" Gabrielle's eyes flash with aggravation. "I'm not her sidekick, for crying out loud…I'm her partner…her friend." Xena smiles at the Captain again as she explains, "Listen, we are just as confused as you are. Last thing I remember, I was dead…and now, here I am!" Zeus stands with his arms folded as he regards the proceedings. He bellows in a resounding voice, "I grow tired of these introductions. I have brought you here Captain, to perform a duty for me…nothing more. I require only your fealty." Captain Kirk storms up to the mighty God with a menacing glare. He raises his arm in accusation, "You tricked us into coming here. I don't know who or what you are, but I don't intend to waste any more time on you. I demand that you restore my ships power, and we will leave as we came…in peace!" Ares laughs loudly at Captain Kirk's display, "Oooooo…what are you going to do? Blast me with your ray gun? I'm so not scared." Zeus just then motions forward into the air. A large spinning vortex of energy appears before the assembled party. Its whirling force begins to draw Xena, Gabrielle and the landing party into its centre. Unable to resist its power, they are all consumed by the portal. As the last of them disappears, Ares looks quizzically at his father. "Uh, gee Pop, I don't recall that part of the plan. Are they dead?"

"No, I simply sent them somewhere else. I believe that the brash Starship Captain requires a lesson in discipline and power. Perhaps Xena will be capable of explaining to the dear Captain of our awesome powers." Ares smiles at his father and nods in appreciation of the strategy, "Well, she is an extremely persuasive woman, I can personally attest to that."

End of Part I

Continued in Part 2.

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