Jim Kirk sat in the captain's chair of the Enterprise. He was reading a report about the next planet they would be visiting on their five year mission. However, they would be stopping off at Yorktown for shore leave first. They had been in space almost three years and he wanted to stop at a Federation controlled planet…or space station. Yorktown was definitely not a planet, but the most advanced space station in the whole Federation. He had never actually been there, but he had certainly heard plenty about it and seen it. They would be there in approximately two weeks.
"Captain," Hikaru Sulu said. "There's something…strange…I've never seen these readings before."
Jim stood up and walked over to the helm. "What is it?"
"I don't know."
They looked at the view screen, and could see what looked like a white, swirling cloud at first, but then it seemed to change into a fold. Spock arrived to look at the phenomenon as well. "Peculiar," he said.
"Does that mean you've never seen anything like this either?" Jim asked.
"Captain," Pavel Chekov said from the navigation station. "There is a strong gravity well…"
Just as he said that, the ship shuddered. "Captain, we're caught in the gravity!" Sulu said.
"Can you break free?" Jim asked.
"No. It's too strong. We're being pulled in!"
Jim flipped on the intercom. "Mister Scott, can you give us more power?" he asked.
Scotty heard Jim's voice echoing in the Engineering department. "No, Captain!" he said. "She's at full power!"
Jim swallowed hard as he wondered where exactly they were going, and what would happen when they got there. Would they be crushed in the gravity?
The ship was accelerating toward the phenomenon. "We're gaining speed, Captain," Sulu said. "Looks like we're in for a wild ride."
Just then, Bones came onto the Bridge. He stared out the view screen. "What is that?" he asked.
"We don't know," Jim said. "But I think we're about to find out."
Bones and Spock stood on each side of Jim as they were pulled into the white, swirling phenomenon. It was definitely a rough ride, and they were all on the floor by the time it was over. Jim shook his head as he looked up at the ceiling of the Bridge. He suddenly remembered what happened and tried to jump to his feet, but his head did not agree with that. He felt incredibly dizzy and almost fell backward again but he managed to stay on his feet, but fell to his knees by the time he got over to the helm where Sulu was slumped in his chair, and lying over on the console.
"Sulu!" Jim said and shook his shoulder. "Sulu! Come on, wake up!"
Sulu grimaced as he started to wake up. He opened his eyes and had the same problem Jim had with dizziness. "What happened?" he asked.
"I don't know." Jim leaned on the console a moment trying to overcome the dizziness and nausea that was starting to accompany it. "Can you tell where we are?"
Sulu closed his eyes a moment and then pressed buttons on the console. "Captain…" He shook his head slightly. "This can't be right." He rubbed his eyes. "What's wrong with my head?"
"I don't know," Jim said. "What do the readings say?"
"Sir, we're…not even in our own galaxy anymore."
Jim scowled at that, still fighting the nausea. "What do you mean?"
"I don't know, but we're not in our own galaxy. It's…this is far away from where we were with that…thing."
"I don't know, Sir. Very far."
"I have to get Bones up."
Jim crawled over to Bones who was still lying unconscious. "Bones!" Jim shook him. "Bones, wake up!" Jim rubbed his own eyes as he felt like the room was spinning. "Bones!" He also shook Spock. "Spock, wake up!"
Bones started to move. "Come on, Bones," Jim said.
"Leave me alone," Bones replied, feeling like he was dreaming.
"Bones, you have to wake up." Jim was on his hands and knees, and he sank to the floor, hoping his head would stop spinning. "Bones."
Bones finally opened his eyes. He was bombarded by dizziness as well. "Jim, what…" He noticed that Jim was lying on the floor on his stomach. "Jim?" Bones sat up and almost fell sideways. His stomach definitely protested that! He felt its contents trying to come up his throat, but he swallowed it back down. He thought he should be an expert at resisting puking by now. He definitely had a queasy stomach. How could he help anyone like this?
Spock started to move next. He had never experienced dizziness such as this before. He noticed that Doctor McCoy was trying to get up. "Doctor, what is happening?" he asked.
"I don't know," Bones said. He touched Jim's neck. "I guess he's having the same problem we are." He held his head with his hands. "Spock, I can't take this."
"We must help the crew, Doctor," Spock said as he tried to get up himself. "I've never experienced this sensation."
"Lucky you. I don't think I can stand up."
"Then we will crawl. We must get a medical tricorder so that we can find out what is causing this."
"Where are we?"
"I do not know. Right now, we must help the crew."
Bones followed Spock as he crawled to the turbo lift. "Spock, how can we stand moving in this thing?" Bones asked as he sat up in the back of the lift.
"We will do what we must," Spock said. He pressed the button for the medical bay.
Bones almost wanted to whimper as they started moving. He closed his eyes and sat against the back of the lift so that he would at least feel like something was holding him up.
Spock was holding onto the side of the lift himself, and he was greatly relieved when it stopped. The door opened and they crawled out, and made it to the medical bay. Bones pulled himself up to the medical equipment counter and managed to get the tricorder. He sat there a moment as Spock sat down beside him. "I don't know if I can read it," Bones said.
"Concentrate, Doctor," Spock replied. "You must."
Bones nodded. He scanned Spock with the tricorder and looked at the reading. "This doesn't make any sense," he said.
"What is it?" Spock asked.
Bone managed to get a hypospray and snapped a tube of medicine into it. He dialed up the right amount and gave it to Spock. Then he gave himself some. They both slumped against the cabinets as they were sitting in the floor, and felt like the ship finally stopped spinning. Bones then got over to the waste disposal and threw up until he felt like he would throw up his insides.
Spock stood up and tried to compose himself. "We must help the captain and the others," he said.
Bones leaned on the counter trying to get his stomach to realize that they were no longer spinning. "I know," he replied. "We went through that…thing. What was that?"
"I believe we have experienced a rift."
Bones grabbed the hypospray and tricorder and hurried back to the turbo lift, and Spock was with him. They went back to the Bridge, where they found Jim halfway to the turbo lift. Bones knelt beside him. "Take it easy," he said and scanned Jim. "This should help." He gave him the hypospray.
Jim relaxed and almost wanted to just go to sleep. "What happened?" he asked.
"I was hoping you knew. For some reason, the gravity well isn't the same, and it's affecting our equilibrium."
Jim nodded as he sat up. "Sulu said we're not in our own galaxy anymore," he said.
"How can that be?" Spock asked.
"I don't know, but it is. Bones, help the rest of the crew."
"Yeah, I'm getting on it."
Bones gave Sulu a hypospray, and he was soon sitting up wondering if the readings were correct. Jim came over to him. "What do we do?" Jim asked.
Sulu shook his head. "We're lost, Captain," he said.
Jim stood up and looked at the view screen. He could see a lot of stars. "Can we use warp?" he asked. "Are you detecting any planets?"
"Yes, Captain. There are several on the long range scanners."
"They definitely have space travel. Warp trails everywhere…but they're different."
Spock was listening as well. "What do you suggest, Captain?" he asked.
Jim shook his head. "I don't know," he said. "Should we just go to a planet? Find out where we are?"
"How would we do that?"
"Walk in and ask?" Jim looked at Spock. "We're not even in our own galaxy anymore."
"But it appears that we are in the presence of space-faring people."
"Yeah. At least we don't have to worry about that."
Sulu brought up a schematic of what the computer had downloaded. "It seems they have a map, Sir," he said. "They have a network of information. I have a full map of this galaxy."
"On screen," Jim said.
They looked at the map, and Bones walked up beside them to look as well. "A vast number of planets, Captain," Chekov said as he was now up. "We seem to be closest to this one." He brought the planet up on the view screen. "It has two suns, but it is inhabited. It's a desert world."
"Two suns?" Jim asked. "How can they live on a world like that?"
"Since we are explorers, I suppose we could go down and see," Spock replied.
"Go down there?" Bones asked. "How do you know what kind of people live on a world like that?"
"Bones, we've been to strange worlds before," Jim reminded him.
"Yeah, and we always end up being chased by murder-crazed madmen who want to spill our blood all over the ground too."
"Take us to that planet, Mister Sulu. What is it called?"
"Tatooine?" Sulu shrugged slightly. "Tatooine."
As they neared the planet, they could see ships leaving the planet and going down to it as well. "Do they have security around the planet?" Jim asked.
"Nothing that I can see, Captain," Sulu replied. "Looks like everyone can come and go as they please. Amazing."
"Maybe they're not worried about attacks."
"Who attacks a desert world?" Bones asked. "They must not have anything worth taking."
"What do they wear down there?"
"Maybe they all wear bikinis."
"I would imagine that they would wear loose-fitting clothing," Spock said.
"The atmosphere is basically like ours," Chekov pointed out. "Maybe slightly more oxygen, but that will not be a problem."
Jim just stood there a moment looking at the sand-colored planet in the view screen. He figured it was probably all sand. "I suggest we wear something that keeps sand out," Bones declared. "Can you imagine? We'll have sand in places that it shouldn't even be able to get into."
"I guess we should try to look as inconspicuous as possible," Jim said.
"You? Inconspicuous? That'll be the day."
"Well, I'll try to be inconspicuous."
As they prepared to go down to the planet, Sulu and Chekov studied more about it, and sent the information to Jim. He got into an outfit that Bones had gotten from the supplies deck, where costumes could be produced by machines, almost like printers. All they had to do was enter the sizes and the type of clothing they needed, even shoes.
Jim had never seen clothing quite like what he had now. A loose tunic with a sash that tied around the waist, and trousers, plus boots that would definitely keep sand out as they had no seams. His tunic was light blue. He was just glad it was not gold like ALL of his Starfleet uniform shirts. The pants were gray as well as the boots. He read the information that he had about the planet. It seemed that there was a vast number of different species on this planet. He supposed Spock would not have to worry about his ears, which he was glad of.
As Jim was on his way to the transporter room, he met up with Spock in the corridor, and he was also dressed in similar clothing as Jim, only his tunic was beige, and the pants and boots were brown. "Captain, I have a suggestion," Spock said.
"Go ahead," Jim replied.
"It is obvious that this civilization does not have transporter capabilities. Perhaps we should take a shuttle down to the surface."
Jim stopped and thought about that. "They seem to be technologically advanced…maybe even more than we are. How could they not have transporters?"
"As you know, we are in another galaxy. Perhaps this gravity well and atmosphere are not suitable for transporter activity."
"So you're saying that our transporters may not work anyway."
"And they might find it weird if someone appeared in a swirl of light?"
"That is possible."
"Alright. Have them get us a shuttle ready."
Spock nodded and headed for the shuttle bay. Bones came into the corridor next. He was also wearing the same type of clothing, but he was also wearing a poncho-like drape over his tunic, which was reddish in color, and the poncho was brown, as were the trousers and boots. "I don't think they have much color choice on this planet," he said.
"I just hope we can find someone to help us," Jim replied. "The rift is gone."
"We could be stuck here, Jim. What kind of medical treatments do they have here?"
"Maybe we'll find all that out. By the way, we're going in a shuttle. They don't even have transporter capabilities."
"With all that technology?"
"Yeah. Weird, right?"
"They must have a hard time changing from one ship to another in space."
"I guess they have docking tubes or something."
"What if we can't find anyone to help us here?"
"I guess we move on to another planet."
Jim and Bones went on to the shuttle bay where Spock was waiting. "The shuttle is ready, Captain," he said.
"Well, let's get going then," Jim replied. "Who are we supposed to contact to land down there? Do we just land wherever we find a free spot?"
"I am not certain."
"There must be some sort of order to all this."
They went into the shuttle and Jim sat down in the pilot's seat. "We're ready for launch, Mister Sulu," he said over the intercom.
"Stand by, Captain," Sulu replied.
Soon, they were outside the ship and they could see the planet clearer now. "I've never seen anything like this," Bones said. "Look at all those ships? Does everyone have their own ship?"
"Maybe they do," Jim replied.
"I'd hate to know I was stuck on this planet with no way off."
"Relax, will ya?"
"Relax. How do I do that? We're headed for a really unknown planet, in a galaxy we've never even been to, don't even know the name of it, and you're telling me to relax?"
"Bones. We can't just sit in the ship and do nothing."
They descended into the atmosphere of the planet and could definitely see that it was nothing but sand dunes and small places of abode. "I guess we should go to that town there," Jim said. "Mos Eisley Spaceport? If it's a spaceport, how do they have no one telling you where to land?"
"Maybe there are no regulations on this planet," Bones replied.
"Maybe there's not, which means we better be careful."
Once they were down on the outside of the town, Jim strapped on a blaster. Bones and Spock did the same thing. "Why do I get the feeling we're going into the most dangerous situation we've ever been in?" Bones asked.
"Let's just try to have a little optimism," Jim said.
"Any time we are on a strange world, we can expect danger," Spock put in. "I believe that would be doubled in this situation since we are also in a strange galaxy."
Jim opened the boarding ramp and was surprised at the wave of heat that came through the opening. They stood and looked out into the brightness for a moment, wondering if they really wanted to go out there. "Maybe we should have shades or something," Bones declared. He went back into the shuttle and grabbed three pairs of shaded goggles from the storage compartment.
They put the shades on. "I have to say that's better," Jim said. "You think everyone around here wears something like this?"
"Let's hope," Bones replied.
They walked out into the bright sunlight and Spock locked the ship. They could definitely tell there were two suns. "How does anyone live on this sand ball?" Bones asked. "This is as bad as the Sahara."
"Or worse," Jim replied. "This is the whole planet."
"Why would anyone be living on this?"
"That's a good question."
They walked on and could see that there was a lot of activity in the "town", if one would call it a town. It was made up of stone buildings that looked like they had seen plenty of wear and tear from the sand blowing around, and they had been worn smooth over time.
As they walked on into the town, there were beings of all sorts going about their business, and animals as well. "It is safe to say that there is no prejudice about different species," Spock said.
"That's one good thing," Jim replied.
They walked on and just as they were passing by an alleyway, they almost ran into a giant, fur covered being, who was all of 8 feet tall. Jim looked up at him in amazement and a little bit of horror, as the being roared at him. "Excuse me," Jim said quickly. "I wasn't watching where I was going."
The being roared a bit quieter and seemed to say something, but then he walked on. Jim just stood there a moment. "I think I just saw my life flash before my eyes," he said.
"What was that?" Bones asked.
"I don't know, but I don't want to meet up with it in a dark alley."
"Captain, the being may simply be a different species which would have no hostility toward us if it knew us," Spock said."
"Right. Let's get going."
They walked on and Jim took a deep breath. As he looked around them, he had a horrible feeling of hopelessness. How could they expect to find help here? He did not want Spock and Bones to know how afraid he was. What if they could never find a way out of this galaxy and back to their own?
Jim stopped and leaned back against the wall of one of the buildings as he was starting to feel a little dizzy. "Jim, are you alright?" Bones asked. He grabbed his medical kit and did a scan. He looked at Jim. "Hey. You can't get all panicky on us."
"I'm not panicking," Jim said.
"Yes you are. You're the captain. You have to hold it together. I'll do the panicking."
Jim took the goggles off and rubbed his eyes. "Captain, we must not give up hope," Spock said.
Jim wanted to say that he was not giving up hope, but he did not know what to do. He felt like there was a large weight on his shoulders. He was responsible for his crew…and they were lost in a strange galaxy.
Bones took out a hypospray. "This'll help you calm down," he said.
Jim grabbed his wrist. "No! You don't know what it's like to be the captain of a ship full of people. I can't just take something to make my anxieties go away. We're lost, Bones!"
"You can't function like this, and think straight."
"Sure you are."
Jim took a deep breath and blew it out as he looked down the sandy street they were on. "There has to be something here."
They could hear strange music playing somewhere, so they thought maybe that was in a bar or something. "I guess we should find that place," Jim said. "Maybe we can find some information in there."
"Or trouble," Bones replied as he was putting his hypospray away. He thought Jim should have let him give him something, but he would not force it…unless it got worse. He was not sure he had ever seen Jim like that, with so much anxiety.
Spock remained calm, but he was not sure what actions they should take either. However, if they were stuck in this galaxy, he would simply adapt.