After Captain North got his food and sat down Kirk continued. "Any idea what happened to them? Colony ships going out later found no trace of them."
"None, whatsoever," Captain North answered. "Once they left the confines of Earth I lost contact with them. But somehow I do not believe they came to any harm. They may have gone far beyond any system in this galaxy. After all, their ships were totally self contained, and they were fully capable of building others. Their technology was more advanced than any of the age. The Romulans or The Klingons would've been no danger to them. There is nothing in this galaxy that would've been a danger to them. They may be out there right now, watching us, but like you, believing in a non interference doctrine, believing that advanced races should not interfere with developing ones. Look what our presence almost did to Earth, how close the human race did to extinction!"
"Not everyone believes those stories," Kirk sighed, "but I have a feeling they were all too true."
A metallic object about three feet long and a foot through entered the rec room. It seemed to be solid, had no visible sensors, or propulsion systems. It rotated slowly. Kirk could tell this because there was one small protrusion on the top and he could see it make a full revolution. Then it came over to Captain North. "You are what I seek!" came a rather pleasant voice. "Exchange data?"
"Certainly!" Captain North answered. He put his hand on the object and began to mutter "We are one. We are one body, we are one mind, we are one soul. We are one. What I know you know. What you know I know. We are one body, one mind, one soul." He repeated this several times, then the object moved away.
"Most interesting!" it remarked. "How I wish I could exchange data with this one!"
Kirk knew it meant him. "Far too dangerous!" Captain North answered. "Though I will admit I am tempted to have Durga bond with him. But it would be far too dangerous. He is already beyond where he should be."
"Affirmative!" the object answered. "On a soulular level, equal to yourself. When you go into the future I will meet with the others and give them what I have learned. They send their greetings, and their joy that your people have survived."
The object moved off. "What was that?" Kirk asked.
"Probe," North answered, "belonging to a race that is so old that my people called them ghosts. Again, they believe in total non interference."
Kirk shook his head. "Well, I'd better get on the bridge," he sighed. "It was joking, right, about our souls being equal?"
"Hardly!" Captain North answered, rising and taking Kirk's tray, "Hardly!"
He headed off with Kirk watching him go in bewilderment. He got on the bridge and North's counterpart was already there, going from station to station, checking every little thing. Chekov was going through his pockets looking for something when she came over, picked up the food tray that was on top of his panel, and handed him a data card. "Oh! Thank you!" Chekov snapped, put the data card in the slot, and began to work on calculations. Kirk went over.
"Mr. Chekov," he remarked, "food is not supposed to be consumed while at the duty station. Beverages are allowed but only permitted in the cup holder on the side of the chair. Nothing is allowed on the top of the instrument panels."
Before Chekov could answer Durga spoke. "My apologies, captain! The food tray was mine. I was unaware of this regulation. I was keeping Mr. Chekov so busy he probably did not realize. If any discipline is required it should fall on me."
"Oh!" Kirk answered, "Very well. Mr. Chekov, try to be more diligent in the future about regulations. I can understand the distraction."
"Thank you, captain!" Chekov answered.
Kirk took his chair. "Your husband," he remarked to Durga, "mentioned something about wishing you could bond with me. What did he mean?"
Durga smiled. "When we are intimate," she answered, "we become one with our partners. We share everything they have ever known, and they share everything we have ever known. It might not be remembered on a conscious level, but if was to happen with you and me you would get all my technical knowledge. It might be surpressed in your subconscious but it would be there. Your people would not be ready for it. It could very well destroy them. So unfortunately nothing like that could occur."
"Whoa!" Kirk moaned. "I see your point! Unfortunate, indeed!" He returned Durga's smile.
"We are ready for the time run, captain!" Spock announced.
Commander Jehovah entered the bridge. Durga bowed and left.
They looped around the sun and again Kirk realized he hated time travel. But finally they released ambassador Spock. Immediately two Klingon war birds appeared and escorted him off.
"Well!" Jehovah remarked, "I can already sense that things are going back the way they should be."
"Captain!" Sulu snapped, "Something coming out of time warp a short distance away. It's engines are giving off Romulan signatures."
"Battlestations!" Kirk snapped.
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