Art Trek: [Collected From the Journals of Chris Attner]
To Be Boldly Expelled
I have been around the world without even trying. California? Done it. Virginia? Done it. Chicago? Just did it. Well, it wasn’t really my fault this time, the school closed down and their neighbors never gave me an invite to return. So I was left adrift in the cosmos, until my mom and the nutcase that currently ‘loved’ her found a place in Boston, Massachusetts. I guess this is where it all starts.
We pulled to the side of the road. My mom shakely got out of the car and looked at me.
“Please?” She begged.
“Only to make you happy.” I said as I got out.
We walked up the marble steps to the Roddenberry Center of Learning. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t impressed. It was the shape of a frisbey and about as large as an entire residential block. Its atrium was hollow except for a model of the solar system, the planets were suspended from the glass ceiling, rotating on a series of wires and gears.
“How did I get in?” I asked.
“The principal is a friend of mine.” my mom said, her eyes brimming with content.
“Would you be the new student?” A teacher asked us.
“Yes? How could you tell?”
“You’re not in a school uniform.” she said, pointing to my leather jacket.
I looked around to see other kids pointing at me and snickering. Apparently the middle class was something that these people brought in for show and tell. I blushed a little but I held my head high.
“The principal wants to meet you now.” she said as she started to walk away.
I looked at my mom but she was already gone. I quickly turned around and ran off to follow the teacher.
The Principal’s Time
After a good minute of me following her we finally reached a set of wooden doors. She pounded on them, the sound echoing out of the building. The doors swung open and inside an old man was surrounded by a few kids in bright red, blue and yellow suits holding up paper squares.
“We just recovered from a massive invasion.” some kid with a really thick russian accent said while wiggling his finger.
“Sir it would be most logical if we-” Some kid with a terrible bowl cut and a crisp blue suit tried to say before he was cut off.
“Thank you Leonard and Anton but I have more pressing matters than the student body election,” He said, escorting them out. “You must be new here!”
As they were walking out I noticed that all of them had tiny paper squares that they tucked into their suit pockets
“Yes sir, he is.” The teacher said.
“Let him tell me.” He told the teacher.
“I… understood.” She said begrudgingly.
I turned to look at him. He was pulling out a yellow suit jacket from a closet.
“No, you seem pretty comfortable in that.” he said, looking at my leather jacket. “But protocol is protocol.”
He tossed me the jacket along with a pair of slacks and a button undershirt.
“The changing room is to the left.”
Once I got back a backpack was sitting on his desk with a note pinned on it.
“Your first class is logistics. Don’t be late, Chris. They should take you in if you put the pin on.”
I pinned the pin to my suit. The bell rang out and I ran, after all, I didn’t want to be late to my first class.
This Side of P.E.
The school’s student attendance system was a bit weird. Each student has a card, on each of the teachers door is a pad where you swipe the card, if you are in that class the door will open but if you aren’t then the pad will direct you to the correct class. I had been corrected about 10 times now and I was finally on the right path. I was adjusting my jacket when I finally got the door right.
“And the record goes to Chris! With a record score of fifteen minutes!” The teacher, Mr. Boimler, announced. “Please, take a seat.”
I wasn’t very embarrassed but I would prefer to keep my surprise introductions to a low. I was seated in between the kid from earlier, Leonard, and a nun. I had no problems with this even though it sounded like the beginning of a very good joke. The class was menial and boring, but I managed to follow along. Most of the other kids around me sat and chatted amongst each other, I felt like an imposter. The bell finally rang out for classes to switch.
I was walking to my next class, or at least that’s where I hoped I was going. The hall around me was full of energy from kids chatting to their friends. It was all very lively except for the space directly behind me.
“Make it quick.” I said as I pivoted on my heel.
“Make what quick?” The nun asked.
“I believe that it’s sarcasm, Zoe.” Leonard said.
“Please,” she said, “It’s Sister Nichols.”
He nodded. I looked at everyone else behind Leonard and Sister Nichols; there was this scrawny Philipino kid who was fiddling with his yellow suit like his life depended on it, behind him was a kid in a similar yellow suit with a Russian flag pinned on the outfit, he looked like a starved delegate. From between the tiny crowd ahead of me a taller, leaner kid walked out.
“Hello,” he said, “you must be new here?”
“Yes. I am.”
“Well, on behalf of my crew-” he was interrupted by the Russian kid.
“Sir, it is customary to see if he would like a space on our team.” He said through his thick accent while pointing to the button I had forgotten was still on my blazer.
“Thank you, Anton.” He said, “My name is Bruce Mount, it’s a pleasure to meet…”
I realized that he was waiting for me to say my name.
“Oh, I’m Chris. Chris Attner.”
“Well, Chris, it’s lunch. You mind if I pay?” He asked.
“Not at all.”
The Lunch Trap
We were sitting on the steps outside of school, Bruce was looking out at the sidewalk where some kids were throwing off their jackets and putting on their regular clothes and tattered, brown and silver bandoliers.
“How’s the sandwich?” He asked as I took a bite.
“Not half bad.” I said.
“Hmm, that’s new.” He responded.
“Is the fo-” I was interrupted by a banana peel.
“Hey!” Bruce yelled.
“What do you want, Pike?” One of the kids yelled up to us.
“Pike?” I murmured, I looked up at him to see a paper thing poking out of his breast pocket.
“Lloyd, he isn’t a part of my crew!” he yelled down. “Let’s just keep it political.”
“Ok then, Bruce. You’re going to lose the election.”
“Is that so?”
Lloyd looked down at his phone. “Simon failed you.”
“Sulu! Chekov!” He yelled to them, and suddenly two of the people from his ‘crew’ ran down and started to beat down on the kids who were out of uniform.
“What is going on?” I asked, worried.
“Just watch.” He said as he watched his friends beat down on innocent students.
“Stop it!” I screamed at them; they hesitated for a second.
“Watch it, Chris.” Bruce hissed at me.
I stood in horror, watching innocent people get beat for no reason.
Night in Boston
I am sitting in the principal’s office right now trying to contact my parents. Primarily because I had no clue that this was a boarding school.
[Stu]: *Disgruntled shuffling* yes?
[Stu]: (Hangs up)
“So… what did your parents say?” The principal asked.
“Give them a minute. They have bad connection problems.” I responded.
[Marina]: Hey sweetie, it’s me. How’s school going?
[Chris]: That’s what i’m here to talk about.
[Marina]: Oh! I forgot to tell you-
[Chris]: Mom, it’s fine, just-
[Stu *from the background*]: Get off the [REDACTED] phone!
[Marina]: I will drop off some stuff this weekend o- (Hangs up)
“Better?” The principal asked.
“Yeah, a little.” I said, trying to hide my fear.
I walked out to the hall and sunk to the floor. My mother had been in that crummy relationship since Virginia, I knew what was happening to her right now. I let out a gut wrenching scream that echoed around the campus until it found me again, still as frightening the first time I heard it. I stuck my head into the yellow suit and sat there for a while until I felt a tap at my shoulder. I looked up to see Sister Nichols and Anton.
“Are you ok?” Sister Nichols asked.
I nodded solemnly.
“No, you’re not.” The kid said as he grabbed my hand and hoisted me to my feet. “We need to go see Bones.”
“I’m a Student, not a Doctor”
We sombered into the nurses office. It was a pretty cold place, the walls were lined with white tiling and the walls were armed with sound proof panels.
“Bones!” Sister Nichols said to a kid in a blue suit who was flirting with the school’s only nurse.
His shoulders slumped.
“I am never dancing with a skeleton again.” he said as he turned around to look at me. I must have looked worse than I felt because he ran over to us.
“Sister Zoe Nichols and Anton Koenig – tell me where you found him.” He said as he took my hand and slung it over his shoulders.
Anton took over, explaining in detail the scream.
“Sounds like-” He was interrupted by the nurse.
“I will take it from here.” She said, pulling me away to a cot.
Once I was settled in and Sister Nichols and Anton along with Bones (against his will) were forced to leave. She looked like she was saying something but I could only focus on going to sleep. I looked into her lips and faded away.
I ‘woke up’ on a stage, I was dressed in the original series uniform from 1966. The shimmering golden patch on my shirt was the only thing I could focus on. I looked up to see a golden body begin to form in front of me. Once it stopped glowing I looked down at a middle schooler. His eyes sagged to form little triangles behind his ridiculous square frames, his head looked a little too big for his neck but he managed to hold it up.
“Who are you looking at punk?” he sneered.
It was then that I was shaken awake.
I woke up to the insidious face of Leonard Quinto.
“Good morning.” I said to him.
“There is nothing good about this.” He said in a dull monotone.
I sat up and looked at everyone else. Sister Nichols was to my left talking with Anton. Leonard was behind me, his nasally breathing coating my neck in goosebumps. Bruce could be heard talking to Bones about what was wrong with me. The other kid from before was also here.
“What’s your name?” I asked him.
“Captain Bruce has ordered me to refrain from telling you.” He told me.
Bruce then walked into where we were.
“We will give you a minute to get ready.” he said, gesturing to the Hello Kitty pajamas that had appeared on me overnight.
Once they left, Bones walked back in with my jacket and slacks.
“You know that they are going to eject you right?”
“Eject?” I asked.
“It’s like suspension except you become homeless for a while.”
“Ok, but why?”
“You managed to wake up the entire school.”
“Is that all?”
“Just about, yeah.”
It’s safe to say that I had nothing else to say.
“I presume Bones told you what’s about to happen?” Bruce asked.
“Something like that.”
“Thoughts and prayers.” Leonard commented.
“Hey Leonard, come here. It’s real quick.”
“Yes?” He walked up to me.
“Buzz right off.” I said, decking his jaw.
“Leave.” He said, rubbing his jaw.
“Will do.” I said, walking away.
The Roddenberry Center of Learning was across the street from the Old State House near Faneuil Hall, Union Oyster house and the City Hall. The station to get home was a couple of miles ahead so I would need to be super determined to get there. But I wasn’t, I was very hungry.
I was walking down the street. My stomach was guiding me like a compass to Faneuil Hall, the pizza smell wafting through the garbage on the side of the street. I had 20$ to my name. I would be spending it wisely. I entered the hall, the arched roof soared above my head. The vendors to my left and right all looked so good but I was dead-set on pizza. I waded through the crowds of tourists and homeless people to my target. There was a line, it sorta went without saying but that line quickly disappeared the second my stomach decided to show how much it cared about food.
“Two cheese.” I ordered.
“On the house.” He said as he slid me the slices.
I walked out of the closest exit and headed over to a chair. I was so close when I lost my balance. The slice was sliding closer to the edge and I had to save it. I jerked my hand back but it was too late. The glorious piece of za’ flipped in the air and hit the sidewalk with a sickening ‘splat’. I slumped to the sidewalk and stared at it in defeat. This day could not get any worse.
“Let me help you.” Someone said over my shoulder.
They sat down next to me, far enough away to let me know I was safe but close enough to know that they were open to some chatting.
“Here, I’m not that hungry.” They said, handing me a half of their sandwich.
I took it and looked at them. He was a senior in college, his shoulders looked tense and tired of being scared. His eyes darted around behind his thick glasses. He turned to look at me, his eyes looked strangely familiar. They were droopy, making triangles, his head looked smaller compared to his body but it was him. The middle schooler from my dream, but all grown up.
“You never saw me.” He said as he got up and walked away.
The pizza was pretty good, all things considered. I didn’t eat the sandwich because I didn’t really trust it, the entire interaction with the dude really threw me off. I was sitting on a bench in the Green Way across from a 7-eleven near the aquarium trying to get a signal so I could call my parents, no dice.
I looked up and into the 7-eleven. I saw a dirty red blazer get tossed up along with a stray powdered doughnut. I creeped inside the store, I looked at the register and the guy looked at me with a sort-of ‘you new here?’ look. I creeped over to the commotion and looked at what was happening.
“On Behalf of Mr. Lloyd and his campaign, you are hereby relieved of duty.” He held up a crooked piece of metal, was he going to kill him?
“You don’t want to do that,” He said in a thick Scottish accent, “I have the entire crew behind me! Bruce and all.”
I was about to let them do their thing and all when I saw a small person in a big red blazer. I’m not saying he was 5 foot whatever, I’m saying he was small, like, nice way to say something else, like tiny… oh, yikes, I said it. He looked up at me and nodded.
I knelt down. “Are we just going to let him…”
He just looked at me.
“Cool. Well, you just lay here and I’ll rescue your pal.”
I stood straight up and looked at them.
“Hey guys!” They turned and looked at me. “You should really try the pasta.”
I tossed boxes of pasta over the aisle and threw them off their balance. The Scot approached me.
“What are you doing? I had that under control!”
“No, you didn’t.” I said as I pulled him over the isle.
We all got to the floor, he looked over to the other person and got offended.
“We had this plan! Frame them, record everything, and give it to Bruce! It would ruin Lloyd’s plan for president and I find you laying on the floor?!”
“Hey, you two mind shutting up until we run away?”
“No, I choose to stay and fight my battl-” He started.
“We’re not done!” the guy with the crooked piece of metal said.
“On second thought, that sounds like a really good plan.”
[SOME RUNNING LATER]
We lost them a few blocks back but we didn’t risk it.
“Where are we?” I asked.
“Hill.” He said.
His friend followed behind him as he climbed up the nearest set of stairs that lead to Bowdoin station.
“I think we did pretty good.” He said.
His friend nodded and offered his hand for a high five.
“No. High fives are for when you help out. You get a participation award, but he,” He pointed to me, “He gets a high five. By the way, what’s your name?”
“Oh, I’m Chris.”
“Well, Chris. I’m Simon DoHan, and the small but silent gentleman to my side is Roy Dep. We go to the Roddenberry Center of Learning, Engineers of Bruce Mount’s political plan.”
“Really?! Well, in that case, I want nothing to do with you or Roy here.” I said as I walked away.
“It was Leonard, wasn’t it?” He asked, almost as though he was just stating it, from the stairs.
“What do you mean?”
“Leonard pushed us out of the school as well. We were too eager, I think we scared him.” Roy nodded along with Simon’s explanation.
“Go on.” I said as I walked up to them.
“Ok, but first, we need to get somewhere safe.” He said as he started to walk off.
We approached the Boston Museum of Science at around 9:45 pm. Simon knew a way through the parking garage that led to the supermassive Tesla coil that he claimed could sing. We left after a few minutes of admiring it. We entered the actual museum at the far end, avoiding guards as we ventured to Simon and Roy’s sleeping area. It was called the Mugar Omni Theater. Supposedly, its sound system could blow out your eardrums if it was at the right pitch and you would have no clue, I now really wanted to rickroll the world.
“It’s awesome, the chairs have t-” He bumped into a wall. Or, that’s what we thought he was.
He was about seven feet tall, his arms looked like healthy anaconda’s and his neck, good lord, his neck was massive.
“Oh, thank the maker I finally found you three!” We heard from behind us.
I turned around and looked at the mysterious stranger, dressed in janitors clothes. I had seen him before, once in my dreams and a second time at Faneuil Hall.
“I’m so sorry. We thought you were with us!” I stuttered out, completely aware of the monster behind me.
“No, I was checking the map so I could lead you to the-” He started to snap his fingers.
“Mugar Omni theater!” Simon finished, getting the message.
“Go on then,” The goliath said, “and watch them, Cunningham. Or the boss will revoke your internship.”
“Cunningham?” I whispered to him.
“I will explain it all, just not here.” He said, guiding us to the theater.
We were sitting on the top balcony waiting for Cunningham to get back with sandwiches that he had promised us.
“Do you trust him?” Simon asked me.
“Not at all.” I told him, Roy started to mess with his oversized sleeve.
Cunningham came back in with sandwiches and Gatorade from the cafeteria.
“Ok, so where is the explanation you promised us, Cunningham?” I asked immediately.
“Well, for starters, that’s not my name,” He began, “My name is Harvey, and I am here to help you out.”
“I have been on your trail for some time, your scream woke me up. I followed you from that school, I gave you that sandwich and I just saved you from Sobolov.”
“Wait you followed him?” Simon stole the words from my mouth.
“I regret it but it was necessary. I have been around the block long enough to know your fate.”
“And what’s that?” I asked.
“You’re a hero.” Harvey told me.
“Darn straight.” Simon mumbled, Roy nodded along.
I sat there, I didn’t deserve to be called a hero.
“What school do you guys go to again?” He asked Simon.
“Oh, we go to the Roddenberry Center of Learning.” He said.
“Mhm, not the one down the road?” Harvey asked.
“Nah, that one just has a different mythology to it.”
“Understood, well; it’s sort of funny. I once went to a school that shared that name. It was strange for me, what with all the Uss Enter-fries and the Borg rubix cubes. I learned something, though, and I’m sure you will too.” He picked up a sheet of paper off the floor and started to fold it up. He held it up and it was one of the squares that Leonard, Anton and Bruce had. “It would be better in color-”
He was cut off by Simon. “Here!” He passed him a pack of colored pens.
After a couple more minutes of scribbling Harvey held up the square. It had sandy blond hair and a dark yellow shirt with a weird diamond on it.
“Kirk.” Harvey said as he handed it to me.
“Chris, do you know what this means?” Simon asked me.
“Not a clue.”
“You- you’re a leader!” He said, sounding super happy.
I looked at Harvey who had put a sock that had some cardboard and paper on it.
“Is that?” Simon asked.
“Ambassador Sock.” Harvey said
“Live long and prosper.” Ambassador Sock said as Harvey wiggled him around a little bit.
I put Kirk on my finger. I want to tell you that the wind gathered around me and that everything changed, but to be honest, it felt a little stupid.
“Live long and prosper.” Kirk returned.
Harvey left, but I could tell that this wouldn’t be the last time we would meet.
The Final Frontier
We woke up at six on the dot, the cold bitter air shook us awake. We had all voted on not talking while we leave this time. We were walking on the side of the road talking about our plan to come back.
“So, you’re telling me that it’s election day. Today.” I asked.
“Yes.” Simon said.
“And you didn’t think to tell me…”
“Because this is when we would expose what’s-his-face?”
“We-, I just didn’t think that it was important.”
I looked at him. Roy punched him in the leg.
“Oww.” he complained.
“When does the voting start?” I asked.
“It should start after the first period and that starts…” he looked at his wrist. “I don’t own a watch.”
I pulled out my phone and looked at it only to find out that it was dead.
“Hill.” I told both of them.
We started to run to the nearest high thing, a grassy lump by the wall that crashed with the river. We never ended up making it to the hill because we got cut off by a blue golf cart with “Jellyfish” plastered to the side. The drivers hood sank over his eyes, but that didn’t last long. Harvey flicked his hood off.
“Get in.” He told us.
Simon was in the back, screaming and clutching Roy, who was content with waving at cars that were behind us. I sat in the front with Harvey, who had Ambassador Sock in his pocket flapping in the wind. I was ‘sitting’ on the chair. Truth be told, I didn’t exactly trust the Jellyfish because everything was shaking and I swear that on every bump we hit, the motor jumped just a little.
“So, what’s your plan?” Harvey asked.
“Plan?” I responded.
“You’re telling me that you plan on infiltrating your student government and you don’t have a plan?” he yelled as he cut into the bike lane.
“Well, supposedly Roy has recorded an interaction between one of Lloyd’s goons and Simon.”
“Ok, so that’s pretty good, all things considered.”
He lurched to a stop. We were here.
Leonard and the kid who refused to tell me his name rushed up to us. I didn’t care that my yellow suit was dirty, I just cared about doing the right thing.
“Simon and Roy?” Leonard asked, dumbfounded.
“Hey.” Simon said as we started to ascend the steps.
“Simon,” Nameless said, “don’t move.”
I turned to say something witty, only to be face-to-face with Leonard.
“Too close, man.” I got out before Nameless poked Simon in the gut with a ruler.
“Dude. Not cool.” Simon said as he pressed down on where he was struck.
“Silence.” He reared his stick back so he could hit Simon.
“Simo-” I stopped talking because of Leonard’s attempt at choking me out.
“You don’t want to do that.” Someone with a thick Scottish accent said.
We all looked at Roy. He was holding his phone over his head.
“On behalf of Mr. Lloyd,” the recording played again.
“Are we going-” The recording asked.
“We are.” I said.
I looked at Nameless and Leonard.
“We need your help. I fear that Bruce might be in trouble.” I continued.
“Then what are we waiting for?” Leonard asked.
The auditorium doors were closed, but once we put our shoulders into it, it became no problem. I will say this, it was pretty cool to bust into a packed assembly, weird without a doubt, but cool.
“And our newest president is- Chris?” The principal said.
Lloyd and Bruce looked at us and then to Simon and Leonard.
“Make it quick.” Leonard said to all of us.
I got a gut feeling and turned around. Standing in the middle of the hollow atrium was Harvey, he nodded to me.
“We have an audience. Let’s not waste it.” I told Simon and Roy as I started walking down the steps.
I thought we looked pretty cool. Almost like Batman making an appearance in front of all of Gotham.
“Please hurry it up.” Bruce and Lloyd said in unison.
I didn’t know we were slow walking so I decided to speed it up.
“Um, hi.” I said.
I felt Roy digging around below me so I just let him do his thing.
“As you are about to see we have incriminating evidence against presidential candidate Lloyd. We feel that he has rigged the votes in his favor so that he wins this election.” I said into the microphone.
“Preposterous!” Lloyd yelled out.
“No it’s not.” I heard behind me.
Sister Nichols totally stole my thunder. She walked in holding the 7-Eleven goon by his neck.
“I caught him switching votes out so that Lloyd could win.” She said.
We all looked at him, but he was holding his head high.
“Video proof, please.” He said and started to cackle.
Me, Simon and Roy looked at each other and joined in. Well, not Roy, he just had the biggest smile on.
With one click the video started on all screens in the room.
“On Behalf of Mr. Lloyd and his campaign you are hereby relieved of duty.” the vote swapper held up the crooked piece of metal.
“You don’t want to do that,” Simon said with his thick Scottish accent. “I have the entire crew behind me! Bruce and all.”
I entered the frame and looked at Roy, the camera shook a little.
I knelt down. “Are we just going to let him…” the video cut off.
We looked at Lloyd one last time but he was gone.
“Um. The winner was originally going to be Lloyd but it’s definitely not now.” The principal said. “Bruce, do you take this honor until the end of your term?”
He stood up and looked at me. I held up Kirk.
“I do.” He said.
The auditorium cheered.
[SOME PAPERWORK LATER]
I was standing on the edge of the steps overlooking Boston. The cities shimmering buildings melded perfectly with the rich history, I was proud to be here. Bruce approached me from behind.
“What you did was very risky.” He said.
I looked at him, planted on his finger was a square.
“Pike, I don’t know exactly why I chose him. It just felt right.” He said.
I put Kirk on my finger.
“We are all capable of choosing our own destiny.” Kirk said.
“You sound like Spock.” Bruce said.
“Please don’t steal my thunder.” Leonard said from behind us, holding up a paper Spock.
We turned around and looked at the crew. Anton was holding up Chekov, next to him Bones was holding up an ‘origami’ Leonard McCoy (aka “Bones”) Sister Nichols had a newspaper Uhura planted on her thumb and Simon shamelessly held Scotty with pride. Next to him nameless was absently creasing Sulu together and then unfolding him just to repeat the process.
“The name is John. John Takei.” Nameless said as he shook my hand.
I heard running but I didn’t think much of it. That feeling was only there for a couple of seconds before Lloyd re-appeared.
“And I’m vengeance!” He yelled as he kicked Bruce. Sending him flying down the steps.
We all watched in slow motion as the newly elected president crashed into the sidewalk. The crunch of his legs breaking echoed out into the quiet streets of Boston.
“You-” Leonard began. He never finished his sentence.
He arched his hand and grabbed Lloyd’s shoulder, vice gripping into his flesh. Lloyd was strong for the first second but once his pressure point was pinched he was gone, reduced to a child writhing in pain.
“What was that?” Sister Nichols asked.
“I- I lost control.” He planted his face into his hands. “I nerve pinched him.”
Bones, Anton, Simon and John were already carrying Bruce up the steps and to the nurse’s office. She would have her hands full.
I turned to look at Harvey, he looked fairly calm in the face of all of this.
“We. will.” Lloyd gurgled out “Cling-on.”
I picked him up by his shirt and poked his bad shoulder one more time.
“We need to kill the pain, stat!” Bones yelled out.
“What the? Oh my.” The nurse said as we brought Bruce in.
He looked pretty bad, his strained face was getting pailer by the second.
“Place him on the cot in the back.” The Nurse commanded. “DeForest I need you to sedate Bruce and try to keep him calm. Everyone else – OUT!”
This all felt so wrong, i couldn’t just leave him sitting like this.
“Did you not hear me, Chris?” The nurse asked.
“Chris?” Bruce mumbled.
“Yeah, he’s here.” I could hear Bones say. “What? Ok, yeah, sure.”
Bones walked out to us with some shocking news.
“Bruce wants to see you, Chris. Something about ‘The Conn’?”
The nurse looked at me.
“Go. But when the ambulance gets here you leave.” She told me.
I nodded and walked back to Bruce. His legs were covered in a grey blanket, I assumed that it was weighted. There was a small red dot on his arm from where Bones gave him pain-killers. He looked pretty groggy.
“Bruce, it’s me, Chris.” I said to him.
“Chris? Oh, it’s so good to know that you’re here with us.” He spittled out.
“You said something about a Conn?” I told him.
“Yeah. I need you to do me a favor.”
He grabbed my hand and forced the Pike puppet into it.
“Promise to keep them out of harm’s way. Please tell me that you can do that.”
I looked down at the puppet.
It was after that promise that the EMT’s came in and carted Bruce off to the hospital. Bones came to me first.
“What did he say, man?”I just held up the Pike puppet.
“Oh, oh.” It must have clicked for him.
We walked out of the nurse’s office and into the hallway where everyone was waiting.
“May I present to you all Captain Chris Attner. Leader of the crew.” Bones gestured to me.
I was still focused on the puppet.
There was a lot of commotion when Bones made that announcement but only one voice stood out to me, Harveys.
“Called it.” He said, with Ambassador Sock on his hand.
I put Kirk on.
“It appears that way.” Kirk wiggled.
“This is highly illogical,” Leonard’s Spock said, “How are there two Spocks?”
“We have a lot to talk about, me and you.” Ambassador Sock said to Spock. “But now we must listen. Kirk, all eyes are on you.”
It suddenly got very quiet.
“My first move as acting captain is-,” Kirk said “to do what is right. No more ejections, no more injustice. Just, exploration.”
There were a lot of nods from the crowd. This was the plan and it was my duty to enact it, or, as Kirk would say, ‘engage’.
[ONE WEEK LATER]
Bruce’s return was uneventful. Me and Leonard had both volunteered to help him out. We wheeled him up to the principal’s office. The doors swung open and out walked Harvey in a dark brown/ grey suit. We exchanged looks of amusement and ‘this-isn’t-right’.
“Good morning gentlemen.” He greeted us.
“Good morning Harvey.” Me and Leonard said.
“It’s Mr. Cunningham now.” He said “I still am attending college, but I will be helping out around here when I can.”
“Hey, Leonard, go ahead and take Bruce inside,” I told him. “Give me a minute.”
He nodded and wheeled Bruce off.
“Yes?” Harvey asked.
“I never got to thank you for helping me out at the museum.” I rubbed the back of my head.
“No it’s not. Without you there, me, Simon and Roy would be in prison right now.” I told him.
“Well then.” He raised his hand and parted his fingers into groups of two, the Vulcan salute. “Live long and prosper.”
I copied the gesture. “Live long and prosper.”
The rest of the meeting zoomed by. The whole gist was that Bruce would continue to be the president and I would captain the crew, making sure they stayed out of trouble and did the morally correct thing. I couldn’t fully pay attention to what they were saying, I could only focus on what had happened between me and Mr. Cunningham. I would live long and prosper and so would the rest of my crew, we had to. It had become our mission.
By Harvey Cunningham
School, the final frontier. These are the voyages of Chris Attner and his continuing mission: to explore strange new hallways, to seek out new people, old schools and to boldly go where no man has gone before.