Art Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan
My life as a part of the crew has begun to feel, for lack of a better word, episodic. The past few days have truly shown me my place here. The crew has been my family for the past year and a half, so this feels like a black hole in my heart to admit this, but I would like to resign. I have been pondering this topic ever since the incident in the washing room and I feel like this is the best conclusion. Contained inside this file is my reasoning, scrutinise it if you must but please respect my wishes. If you need me, I will know.
Art Trek: The Wrath of Khan: [Compiled by Leonard Quinto]
The situation wasn’t dire at the time. The pad in Mr. Boimler’s room was speaking to the students that passed by. It was using the information that was implanted on their card and when they swiped it and offended them based on the info it found. (That’s what Simon DoHan had thought.) I approached the crew and was warmly greeted by Chris. I found this surprising when it had first started because I supported his ejection some months ago.
“Have you tried punching it?” I asked.
“You’re joking, right?” Simon said.
“He isn’t.” Sister Nicholes backed me up.
“What are the odds?” Chris asked.
“75-25. Failure favoring.” I offered.
“Alright then.” Chris said as he punched the pad.
The glass didn’t budge, instead it sent a shock through Chris.
“Simon, is it supposed to do that?” Sister Nicholes asked.
“In short, no. In long, the pad could be diverting part of its battery power into the ‘exhaust’ if we will.” He explained.
“Can we solve this problem before class?” Chris asked.
“That is why this is a problem.” Simon answered.
“Dang it.” Chris muttered, “I really wish the rest of the crew were still here.”
We stopped for a moment, a cry for the entire crew was one that had to be respected. Roy Dep had decided to leave after he had found a group of people that he felt he had a deeper connection with, Simon still hangs out with him but the gaps between them continue to grow. John Takei had to move back to his old school because his grades had begun to slip and Bruce had started to ‘feel the toll of being the president’, so he ceased communications with us.
“Back to it, then?” Simon offered as a crowd had started to form around us.
“Yes.” I said.
I was going to try and find a potential fix when someone got in my way. They were about our general height with a freakishly pale-tan complexion, their raven black hair was slicked back, making points as if it were warning us to stay away. Their shoulders were relaxed, almost as if they knew they were in complete control.
“Can I help you?” They asked.
“Yes, I am here in order to fix a problem that happens to be right in front of you.” I informed them.
“Is that so?” They asked, tapping on the pad, ignoring the berate of shocks.
“Well then, have at it.”
They moved aside and offered the pad to me. I looked at it in amazement, whoever this was had not only ignored the pain that this pad had given off but they also restored the fire wall.
“What the–” Chris pushed out.
I was sure that there had to be more going on. I tapped on the settings button and pulled up the status. The only thing on the page was a grim omen of what was to come, and what was already here. [“K”] had arrived.
I knew that the hacker had to be the man who solved the problem; it was pretty cliche to be honest. I was telling Chris about his potential threat but he was having none of it.
“What if he was just proving his worth?” He combated.
“Or what if he was showing us that he could damage the school?” I pointed out.
“Listen, my gut is telling me to trust this guy.”
“Wasn’t your gut the same thing that told you that an Uncrustable could be crusted and then you burnt yourself?” I pointed out, “What excuse did you tell Bones again?”
“I told him that I would maul you if you spoke about it.”
We decided to continue this foolish argument later, but that never came to pass. Bruce wheeled himself up to us, his yellow suit draped over his unusable legs.
“Leonard, Chris,” he greeted us, “I need you two to come with me.”
This was highly unusual. After Bruce broke his legs and the surgeon got butter gloves he stopped talking to everyone entirely. Harvey made foolish attempts to talk with him but Bruce refused to listen.
We walked into the principal’s office, sitting across from him was the kid from earlier and someone else.
“Gentlemen, meet Benedict BanMontal and Madie Betsh, who arrived earlier today.”
“That is one commanding name Mr. BanMontal.” Bruce commented.
“I get that a lot. Please, just call me Ben.” Ben replied.
“Ms. Betsh, we are so glad you could make it today.” Chris complemented.
“Why, thank you.” She chirped.
“Please, make them feel at home.” The principal said before we left for the impromptu tour.
[SOME TIME LATER (DEFINITELY AFTER LUNCH)]
We had just finished circling the buildings inner perimeter and we were now standing by the entrance to the dormitory halls/stairwell.
“Well, that appears to be everything.” Bruce commented. “Good job with the tour, Leonard.”
“Thank you si- Bruce.” I corrected myself.
“Hey, Chris!” Madie spoke up. “Mind showing me around some more? I think Ben had some questions for Leonard and Bruce.”
Once they finished walking away, Ben grabbed my shoulder and pulled me in close.
“Hey, want to know something?” He asked with an edge to his words.
“Sure, if it will put some space between us.”
“If you get in my way, I will crush you.” The malice in his tone gushed out.
The Kelvin Archive
Death threats usually tend to peak one’s interest into another. I was plugged deep into my computer; I don’t usually try to dig through a person’s background because it’s a basic breach of privacy, but this was a bit of a special occasion.
It turned out that Benedict had come from some distance away, a little town in Virginia named Wise. He came because of a recommendation and his grades totally supported that action. He was a master at everything the world had to offer. But for some odd reason the town of Wise stood out to me, like something important was there. I was about to start a search for their school to find what it could be when the bell for Breakfast rang. Had I really stayed up all night?
I got dressed and pushed myself out of the door. My suspicions about my look were soon confirmed by Sister Nicholes.
“You look like a car wreck.” She told me.
“Thanks for the positivity.” I retorted.
“You would think that a bowl cut would be impervious to whatever happened to you but-.” She stopped suddenly; along with everyone else.
I turned around to see what they were so shocked by. On the model of the solar system that was in a constant turn, Jupiter was missing. In its place was a second herald, [“H”], plastered on a banner. I saw Ben walk past the banner, seemingly oblivious, and towards the lunch room. I decided to get a headstart on the line and follow him.
[SOME TIME LATER (AGAIN)]
I was sitting next to Chris and Madie, who seemed to be getting along very well.
“Chris, I’m telling you that he is up to something.” I told him.
“Dude. Drop the matter. He is clean, I’m telling you.” He told me, not caring to look away from Madie.
“I have to do everything myself, don’t I?” I muttered as I got up.
I knew Chris probably wouldn’t care about what happened next. I sat across from Ben and an open case, inside of it were three USB drives. I snatched one and started to mess with it.
“Ok, very funny.” Ben said. “Give it back.”
“I’m good, thank you very much.” I tossed it up.
“A shame. I was starting to like this suit.” He peeled the red blazer off and slapped me.
I will be honest, his hand was warmer than expected. I rubbed a finger under my nose and pulled it away, blood was draped across it.
“Whoa, man!” Simon yelled at Ben from the lunch line.
“Leonard!” Sister Nicholes came running up to me.
“I told you; now I’m ordering you.” Chris hissed as he helped me up. “Bones!”
“Dude! For the final time! My name is Carl DeForest.” Bones yelled.
He eventually decided to help me up and to my first class. Today was menial, like every other day, but things finally started to speed up when I got back to my room.
Classes usually end in the afternoon, that way kids can get more sleep, go on a date or in my case, poke around a stolen USB drive.
Once I plugged it in, its contents popped up on my screen; 31 neatly organised files. File 1-10 were about how a true villain should properly go about acting and doing general villany. Files 11-16 were about this school’s infrastructure and its students, previous threats and defensive measures against future invasions. All of the remaining files were the really important ones. Each one except the last two were targeted at certain members of the crew (past and present) and how Ben would go about destroying them, mine was highlighted in red. File 30 was on the topic of Jupiter and all of the chemicals in the washing room- and the potentially destructive things that they could do to a person, I did a once over of that one and printed it out. File 31, on the other hand, was also highlighted in red, its topic was on how the entire team could be collapsed if someone knew what was in Wise. I did a double take- I was the only one on the team who knew where Ben was truly from. Would he use the files on everyone just because I knew the truth?
I rubbed my face and got back to work, but something garnered my attention; my camera was on. I looked through my tabs to see if I had any camera-using programs on. I had to check even though I knew who it was.
“Benedict,” I said aloud, “I know it’s you and I know you come from Wise. You can’t hide everything forever. But don’t drag the crew into this, you wuss. If you want a fight, you got one.”
It was after I finished threatening a computer that my door started to pound.
I yanked on the handle, ready to fight the source of the pounding.
“Leonard! Don’t do it!” Chris begged.
“Do what?” I asked, now intrigued.
“You know. The thing.” Simon interjected, he had a bad habit of doing that.
“C’mon, Leonard. Me and Bones will take you back to the nurses office and you can talk to her. She won’t tell anyone.” Sister Nicholes said as she grabbed my arm.
“It’s for your own good.” Bones decided to coo at me.
I didn’t want to make them anymore worried so I decided to go with them. We exited the dormitory halls, the veil of night had covered Boston in an ominous glow. Standing in the middle of the atrium was Harvey and Madie along with Benedict. I stopped dead in my tracks.
“Man. I don’t want to drag you, but I will if you give me no option” Bones said to me. Simon now taking on Sister Nicholes spot.
Ben started to walk up to me, it was a somber jaunt but I could tell that he was trying to contain himself.
“I told them about your plan.” He said.
“My plan?” I asked.
“Dude, now is not the time to play dumb. We all know.” Chris whispered to me.
“The one you told me, about taking over the school and then leaving nothing behind.” He said.
Any idiot could connect the dots. He was blaming me for something I would never do. I was nearing my limit with this excuse of a person.
“You of all people should know that it’s not cool to take what’s not yours.” Ben whispered to me.
I looked to Simon and then to Bones. I was really going to regret this. I yanked my arms up and then back down again, losing them instantly. I pivoted on my heel and bluntly smacked Chris’s nose, he stumbled backwards and tripped on his shoelaces. Madie and Sister Nicholes tried to block me with their bodies but I made quick work of them.
“There you are!” Ben yelled into the near-hollow atrium.
I ran up to him and pulled his blazer down to his elbows, he was temporarily captured. His turtle-neck was folded around his neck but after a simple pull it was over his face. I grabbed a tuft of his hair and pulled him to the floor.
“Leonard! This is not student-like behavior!” Harvey bellowed.
I didn’t care to listen. I slid Ben in front of the door to the stairs; he soon got up and fully pulled off his blazer. His turtleneck was hastily fixed.
“Come on, you dumb oaf! Bring it! Bring it all!” He screamed out, fueling the already burning fire.
I couldn’t help but reply to his challenge, I charged him and foolishly fell in his trap. He swung the door open and I tumbled down the steps, crashing into the back wall. I saw Ben at the top of the stairs. I clambered up and faced him.
“Move.” He ordered, then jumped the steps.
His shoes took the blunt of the land but the rest had traveled to his already swinging knuckle. It made near brutal contact with my cheek. I cradled my face and looked down towards the washroom, I knew what I had to do.
“Who are you truly, Ben?”
“What do you mean?” He asked.
“K. H.,” I told him, “I know that there are more.”
“I’m surprised that you didn’t connect the dots, Spock.”
“You know my puppet, so what?” I told him.
“You’ll find out one day. You just need to be wise.”
He placed his foot on my back and forced me down the steps. We soon ended up in the washroom. Sitting on the table was the missing planet, Jupiter, and two scrolls. I grabbed the scrolls and swung them at Ben. He dodged my weak attempt to do something.
“Before you try again I would recommend you look at what they have to offer.” He said.
I rolled out the scrolls, on them were the last two omens, “A” and “N”.
“Thats right.” Ben said, taking out his puppet. “I will admit it’s not the best, but it certainly gets the point across.”
“And what’s the point?”
“You can’t win. Because I am not afraid of losing all in order to accomplish my goal, that being the fall of this school.”
“We don’t have the time for that.”
“I suppose so.” I tossed the scrolls into the washer along with Jupiter.
“Do you even have a pla-, oh? Looks like your friends are here.” He pointed to the ajar door.
They were about to rush in when I slammed it closed, their only way ‘in’ was a small glass square. I got a quick look at their confused faces.
“Round two?” Ben asked.
“Sure.” I answered eagerly.
As soon as I responded he made a B-line for my neck, his hand going for my throat. I had to keep him at bay for this to work, so I did the only logical thing. A nerve pinch. He must have known this was coming because he soon became more energised about choking me. Despite his play to try and incapacitate me I made contact with his shoulder and within a short second he was out. I looked down at the squirming body of Benedict BanMontal.
“Hey, I got a question. What was Madies purpose in all of this?” I asked.
“Her purpose? She served no purpose.” He said from the ground, trying to get up.
I leaned against the washing machine so I could catch my breath.
“Then why bring her into this?” I started to scratch my back against the metal, the pounding on the door had died down.
“I didn’t, she just happened to distract Chri-” Ben stopped suddenly, noticing something I hadn’t.
“Go on.” I encouraged.
He chose not to, instead he just pointed at the washing machine, the banging started to pick up again. I turned around to assess what the apparent problem was. Apparently while I was leaning on the washing machine I had started it. The chamber that once held Jupiter was now full of chemicals and water. I looked at the locking mechanism to make sure it was in place; everything was except for one little thing, the deadbolt was missing.
Those were the last things I remember saying before the door was blown open and the room was flooded.
Will You Take My Hand?
This feeling was strange. I was pressed up against the cabinet that held clean dishes, I had no choice but to look at Ben succumb to the ever growing pool of suds, the foam expanding to cover him entirely. I turned to face the door; my friends were still trying to pry the door open so they could help us. The only face I could clearly make out was Chris.
“Save. Him.” He mouthed out.
I hastily nodded and dove down into the dark.
It felt like I was being suppressed; almost as if something important was pulled from me and I was left to make sense of the world for what it truly was. I started to make my blind travel to Ben’s body. My fingers clamored wildly in a futile attempt to find any piece of him and soon enough I did. I pulled up his body and slammed it onto the table.
“Ben. Ben!” I yelled at him.
“Let me sleep, Ron.” He mumbled.
I stepped away from Ben and wadded towards the door. I watched Simon’s last ditch efforts to force the door open. Bones was on the phone with what I assumed to be the local fire station, police or Hospital. (possibly all three) I looked at Madie who stared at me in an interested but horrified sort of way. Sister Nicholes pushed Simon out of the way and took control over the glass square.
“Why? Why did you do this?” She weakly asked in between tears.
“The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. Ben,” I paused, I didn’t want to scare the crew, my family, more than I already had. “Ben knew he could take over the school. He somehow knew that we were weak after the last invasion and so he chose to strike. This is how I stopped him.”
“You could have just told us. You could have just told us!” She yelled at me.
“I can’t afford to see any of you get hurt.” I said, the water at my knees. “I need you, all of you, to leave the washroom. I am going to open the door and I don’t want any of you to get hurt by the torrent.”
I couldn’t hear her but judging by everyone’s expression she got the message across. I looked on at their ascending feet, my eyes led me to the top of the steps, and to Chris. He walked down and placed his hand on the glass.
“You need to leave.” I told him.
“Yeah, I know.” he admitted, “Emergency services are here. I explained the situation to them.”
“And?” I asked.
“They plan on taking Ben,” he stopped as if he wanted me to savor something, “and you.”
“That’s all?” I shakily murmured.
“They just want to keep you out of the spotlight, sorry if I alarmed you.”
I chuckled, it wasn’t a joke in any form of the word, but for some reason I thought it was funny.
“You ok?” Chris asked.
“Yeah I’m fine. Just relieved is all, like something massive was just taken off my chest.”
“Good, good.” He turned around and started to walk away.
“Oh! Chris, real quick.”
He turned around.
“I have been- and always shall be your friend.” I spoke without thinking.
He looked like he was going to say something but couldn’t quite but his words together. Once he was gone I clicked the handle and forced the door open.
“My Fair Lady”
The next few weeks were an absolute nightmare. After I had stepped out into the atrium and the medics (plus Bones) were done with their evaluation of my overall health I had been pulled aside by the principal. The general gist of his message was that I would have an option of where I could stay until the whole situation cooled down. I chose to stay at Sister Nicholes’s Convent. Harvey told me that he would be stopping by in order to keep me up to date on my lessons but that promise never really came to pass because he kept on berating me on how I could be a better Spock and some app called “BrainBusters2Lite”. Chris also came by to visit a few times, once he showed me a video in which I was proclaimed a hero for saving the life of Benedict BonMontal. It was after that moment that I finally made up my mind to resign and make this ‘casefile’ if you will. So Chris, do you accept?
Chris: Believe it or not but I made one of these once.
Chris: Yep. But that’s not why we are here.
Madie: Why are we here?
Madie *with a puppet now*: It’s Carol.
Chris: It’s also 6:00 am on a monday, can we get a rain check on the puppets right now?
Madie: Back to the topic at hand, then…
Leonard: Agreed. So, do you accept?
Chris: I really want to say no and I think you know that. But if this is what you want, then I accept your ‘resignation’ if you will.
Leonard: Thank you, Chris.
Chris: Yeah. Before you go elsewhere, I just want to let you know that there is this field trip coming up. I don’t know where we are going but I just want to let you know that I wouldn’t say no if you asked to be my partner.
Leonard: Consider it noted, friend.
Chris: Live long and prosper.
Leonard: *chuckling* Live long and prosper.
By Chris Attner
School, the final frontier. These are the voyages of Leonard Quinto and his continuing mission: to explore strange new ideas, to seek out old friends, new rooms and to boldly go where no man has gone before.