22

A/N: I don't own Star Trek, but I own Lucas Kirk, the captain's son, Joanna Kirk, Lucas's wife and Dr. McCoy's daughter. Spock Jr. (SJ), Spock's son and his wife Dr. Anna. They're all one big happy family…most of the time.

All Systems Go

"Good morning, Dad," Lucas said, mindful of the three hour time change.

"Yes, it is, Lucas. How are you?" Jim Kirk answered.

"I know it's early there, but I had to share some good news with you. I passed all of my licensing for medical pilot and inter-planetary transportation."

Kirk smiled at his son over the telecom, "I never doubted you'd pass everything. If you can fly a starship you can fly an interplanetary emergency craft. Well done, son, I'm proud of you."

"Thanks, Dad."

"How's, Joanna doing?"

"She's very busy setting up the clinic. She's hired a nurse and secretary. You should see the clinic, it's like a miniature sick bay. She and Dr. McCoy have done a great job designing it. Which brings me to another reason I called you. Dad, when can you come and visit? It's been almost six months since we've seen each other."

"Well, I'd like to, but Starfleet has me running all over. I'm teaching a class now, and trying to set up simulators for all of the midshipmen."

There was a short pause as Lucas looked at his father, "How's Mr. Spock?"

His father looked down and said, "He left last week to go to Vulcan."

"How long will he be gone?"

"I'm not sure."

"Dad, are you happy?"

"I'm busy, that's for sure…"

Lucas interrupted, "But, Dad, are you happy?"

Jim Kirk gave him one of his smiles and said, "It's all an adjustment, Lucas, give me a few more months."

Lucas nodded, he knew being given a land job and not being out in deep space was a huge adjustment for his father, Captain James T. Kirk.

Lucas asked, "Have you heard anything about the USS Constitution?"

"You want to know if SJ and Ana are okay?"

"Yes, sir."

"I haven't heard anything so that's good news." He leaned toward the screen and crossed his hands on his desk, "Lucas, you all have different talents and you can't live anyone else's life. SJ will return someday, don't worry too much."

They both knew the dangers of exploring deep space, but now they were both on the other side wondering about loved ones and not being able to contact them.

"If you hear anything, can you let me know?"

"I will. I better get going, I have a meeting in forty-five minutes. Congratulations and tell Joanna I love her, and tell her father to get back here. I will look at my schedule and see when I can stop in and see you. Besides, I know a good pilot who could pick me up if he had too."

"Yes, sir, just name the time. Bye, Dad. Lucas out."

Lucas sat at his desk feeling despondent about his friends still out in space. SJ and Ana were on the Constitution, and Mick and Mary were assigned to the USS Endurance. It would be another two and a half years before he saw them.

He stepped away from his telecom and glanced out the window from his office. He looked out and saw the construction workers finishing up the final improvements to their home and to the four cabins he had built on their land.

The east side of Michigan had turned out to be the perfect location for their home and business. They had found a huge plot of land with a two story, four bedroom home. If they walked down the path from their home they were about seventy yards from the shore of Lake Huron. Everyday the personality of the lake changed. Lucas and Joanna were always surprised when they stood on their beach. Some days the lake was calm, other days it was choppy with white caps, but the blue of the water was mesmerizing and they knew how blessed they were to have found this property. Lucas sent a prayer of thank you to heaven to his step-mother, Miriam for leaving them her fortune. They kept their promise to do "some good" with the money they had inherited.

Lucas had a large hanger built that would house up to four emergency air crafts and their personal aircars. It had been a busy six months. He had purchased his first emergency air craft and it was due to be flown in by the next day. He drained his coffee and grabbed his PADD. They were having a celebratory dinner for his father-in-law that night and Joanna had left a "honey do" list for him. Dr. McCoy was flying back to Starfleet the next day to begin his teaching rounds at the academy. Lucas and Jo would miss having him around.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

"Dad, I've got to leave a little early today to stop at the market and head home. No meal out of the replicator for you tonight."

Dr. McCoy laughed and said, "Oh it's not too bad, but I do enjoy a home cooked meal."

"What would you like for dinner?"

"A few weeks ago you made that pork chop dinner with potatoes in a mushroom gravy. That sounds good to me. Maybe a little sweet cornbread on the side and some squash."

Joanna laughed and said, "Boy, you must have been thinking about this for awhile."

He laughed and said, "It's one of my favorite meals your mother use to make."

Joanna looked down and nodded her head. Her parents had divorced many years ago and she was sure none of them had fully recovered from the unspoken pain of separation. She smiled and looked over her office.

"Dinner is at 1800 hours, so don't be late."

"See you later, Jo."

Joanna left her office and gave final instructions to her secretary, Mora, and went to her land car. She went to the local market and drove home to finish preparing their meal. Many things were on her mind with the clinic opening last month and how much help her father had given her. He also helped her hire a nurse, Donna Pike, he knew from Starfleet who had lots of experience and was a kind soul. Memories of Nurse Christine Chapel who was married for a short time to Mr. Spock before she was killed in an aircar accident came to mind. Mr. Spock had not been the same since she died and even the Captain was unable to reach him in his moodiness. So many changes had occurred in the last few months with everyone trying to adjust life on Earth. She and Lucas spent many a quiet moment praying for all of their friends and family.

After shopping she drove the final miles to their home. "Their home" was such a comforting term she loved to say it out loud. She and Lucas had opened a clinic and a shuttle business to transport people from isolated areas who needed medical help and Lucas was licensed to transport interplanetary patients or family members to and from Earth. She had been very busy the past month and working with her father again made her happy.

She pulled into the yard and grabbed her groceries.

"Hi, Divot, how's my good boy?" she reached down and pet the middle aged collie mix. "Did you have to come all the way out from under your tree, just to greet me? What a good boy."

She patted his head and he slowly wagged his aging tail. When she walked away he returned to the shade of his tree.

The house was spotless and the kitchen smelled clean and fresh. Lucas had done a good job with the list of chores she left. He had left a note on the table for her.

"Went down to the beach. Love, Lucas," she read out loud.

She glanced at the clock and changed out of her scrubs and quickly ran down to the beach. She looked to the left and he was walking down the beach with his hands in his pockets, letting the water wash up on his feet. She stood watching him for a few minutes. He still made her heart flutter and when his baby blue eyes looked deep into hers, there was nothing she could deny him.

He finally looked up and saw her standing a few feet from him. "A sight for sore eyes," he said. He held out his arms and she hugged him.

They stood like that for a few minutes and she knew he was troubled. She waited until he would speak, but she reached for his hand and looked up at him.

He avoided her eyes and looked out to the lake, it quietly lapped up onto their feet, short wave after short wave. The late August heat had finally warmed up the water and it was perfect for swimming.

He looked down at her and softly kissed her. "Your home early."

"What's wrong, Lucas?"

"I talked with Dad a few hours ago and Mr. Spock left for Vulcan last week and he doesn't know when he'll be back. I think he misses him." He took her hand and they walked down the beach.

"Does your Dad seem unhappy?"

"It's hard to tell, you know him, he just puts on a good face. It will be good for him that your Dad will be returning to campus tomorrow."

"Yes, but I'll miss him."

"I know, Jo, but you'll be so busy you won't have time to think about it too much. How was the clinic today?"

"Not too, busy. We did a few school physicals and inoculations. The Campbell family with the eight kids, they all came in. Their mother was so happy when I told her there would be no cost. Can you imagine trying to feed and clothe a family of eight kids?"

Lucas said, "Well, we could try and find out," he smiled.

"Eight kids, are you kidding? And just who will carry each of those children for 9 months?"

"Well, I know a real pretty girl who would make the best mom in the world."

She smacked him on the arm and said, "You better not have a girl friend on the side, because that's not me," she teased him.

They walked back to their home and Lucas helped Jo to prepare some of the food for dinner.

A couple of hours later, Dr. McCoy came in humming, "Georgia on my Mind". He took out his PADD from his case and flopped down on the couch.

"Hey, Dad, dinner will be ready soon," Jo called from the kitchen.

"All right, just let me wash my front paws and I'll be in," he answered. He opened his email and saw a message from Spock. He quickly opened the message and mumbled, "Oh, no, what is he trying to do?" He closed down his PADD and washed and went into the kitchen.

The three sat down and talked about all of their future plans. Dr. McCoy complimented his daughter on the meal. "The best I've had since the last time you made this," he chuckled.

"Dad, I know you've got some last minute packing to do, don't feel you have to sit here all night," Jo said.

"I think I'll take one last walk on the beach and then come back. Great meal, Jo."

He left and the two cleared the dishes and put them in the dish dispenser. They sat together in the living room in front of the huge stone fireplace. They caught up with each other and then spent sometime doing work they had each brought home.

When Dr. McCoy returned he joined them in the living room. They chatted for a short time and then he left to pack up his belongings.

Jo leaned against Lucas and tried not to weep, "I'm going to miss him so much."

Lucas squeezed her and answered, "We're only an hour flight or a moment on the transporter away."

She shook her head and said, "I'm going to turn in and say good bye to Dad now, I can't tomorrow. Good night, Lucas."

She kissed him and went upstairs to knock on her Dad's door.

"Come in."

Jo leaned in on the door and said, "I want to say good bye now, before I blubber all over you."

McCoy smiled and held his daughter in his arms, "I'm not that far away."

"I know, it's just that we work so well together. Dad, please come back anytime."

"I will, Darlin'. Good night and no more tears."

"Yes, sir, I'll try. Good night." The door closed softly and McCoy wiped a tear from his eye.

He finished packing up his few belongings before he sat at the desk and reviewed the message from Spock. "Dr. McCoy, I have returned to Vulcan to help my Father as his assistant. Please convey to your family my appreciation for being part of my life, you have my greatest gratitude. Support Jim anyway you can. Spock."

"Damn, pointy-eared hobgoblin, what does he mean he's returned to Vulcan? Is he never coming back? Bullshit," he mumbled to himself.

He knew Spock had lost his desire to be on a starship, but he had thought he was happy at the Academy, teaching and seeing Jim everyday. Loosing Christine had left him moody and silent. Something had happened and he was going to find out.

He set up the telecom and waited for Jim to answer his call. It was

1600 hours there and he knew he should have been in his office. He left a message for him to call, but as he closed his eyes at bedtime there had not been a return call.

Joanna had left early for the clinic. She detested goodbyes and she knew she'd see her father before long. It would be a busy day and she was glad she had no spare time to think about missing him.

Lucas drove his father-in-law to the transportation center. He helped him with his luggage and they walked inside to the main desk. The flight was leaving in fifteen minutes.

"This is goodbye, Lucas. You tell that daughter I'll talk to her tonight."

"Father, thank you for all of the help you've given us this six months. You made it go much smoother than if it was just us two trying to organize it. I'm going to miss you."

Lucas pulled his father-in-law in for a hug and they patted each other's back.

"Tell, Dad, we want him to come for Christmas and you two. If Mr. Spock is back, he's invited, too."

"I'm not sure about, Spock, but I'll drag your father here myself if I have to. Thanks for letting me bunk here for awhile. Take care of that girl."

"No, worries, Father, I'll keep an eye on her."

McCoy nodded as he picked up his luggage and walked down the hallway to his terminal. Lucas went to his aircar and returned home to await delivery of the EAC, his emergency air craft.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

McCoy landed within the hour and he secured transportation to the Academy. He lugged his two cases and abruptly walked into Kirk's office.

Kirk looked up at the sound of the door swishing open. "Bones, good to see you," he said standing.

"I hope so, maybe you can explain what happened with Spock?"

"Good to see you, too, Jim," Kirk said out loud, "have a seat, Bones?"

He set his bags on the floor and pulled up a chair. Kirk sat at his desk and looking down. He rubbed his hands together."

"Jim, what happened? He seemed contented to be teaching, don't tell me his move to Vulcan is a permanent move?"

"I'm not sure, Bones, we didn't part in the best of ways."

"What'd you do, Jim?" Bones questioned.

"He'd been so private lately and I kept after him to get out of the labs and classrooms and at least have dinner or play some chess with me.

I went to his office one day and we had it out. He said I was pulling rank and the conversation got a little heated," he paused, "I don't know, Bones, all I know is he said 'he'd take care of it', whatever that meant. But later that week, I heard he resigned his teaching job and his commission. I went looking for him, but he had already cleared out. I got a message from him thanking me for my friendship and to be a friend to you, that he was returning to Vulcan to assist his father."

Bones sat in silence.

"I didn't think I'd been that hard on him, Bones. I've tried contacting him, but I've not received any reply." He stood and walked to his office window. "He must have been very hurt."

"No, Jim, I think this all has to do with missing Christine and SJ being gone, too."

"He was doing so much better near the end of our last mission, what set him back, Bones?"

"Jim, grief comes to every person in a different way. Besides he's half Vulcan, and his way of grieving is different than ours."

"This is a little drastic, don't you think? I had thought he'd come to terms with her death before. I hope I…" he stopped.

"Don't blame yourself, Jim, it's hard to tell what goes on inside that hob-goblins head half of the time. Let's give him some time and space and then try to reach him, even if we have to go to Vulcan and pull him away, ourselves. I can't imagine he'll find as much happiness there."

Kirk turned to face his friend, "Welcome back, Bones."

"Thanks, Jim, and it's good to be back, too. I've got to check in to my apartment and see what my schedule is. Let's have dinner later."

"Can't, I have a meeting with the Admiral, tomorrow, though?"

"Sure."

A month went by with no reply from Spock, He had totally cut off his friends. Dr. McCoy had even sent a message to Lady Amanda. She had promised to deliver the message, but no reply came.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

"Lucas," Joanna called from the kitchen, "you have a message on the sub-space radio."

She could hear his feet running down the stairs to run into his office. The door slammed and there was silence. She kept her fingers crossed, she hoped he had received a request for a flight. He had only one flight logged in since they opened their business and she knew he was getting impatient.

She continued to set the table for breakfast and waited for him to return.

"Yahoo!" she heard from the hallway.

Lucas ran around the corner and slid into the kitchen in his stocking feet. "I've got a job, Jo. I have to transport a family member to the

USS Constitution! Can you believe it, I may get to see SJ and Anna for a short time."

"Oh, Lucas, I wish I could go, but we're too busy for me to leave now."

"I know, I wish you could come too."

"When do you leave and how far out will you be?"

"I have to prepare now and leave as soon as I can. I have to pick up the family member on Starbase 12 and meet the Constitution in quadrant 14, near the Antares system. It will only take a few hours to get there, but I'm not sure how long I'll have to stay. I'll try and get a message to you from the Starbase."

"This is exciting, Lucas, be sure and tell SJ and Ana how much we miss them, and we want them to come visit us when they can. I so wish I could go."

Lucas hugged her and said, "They'll be mad I didn't bring you along. You're sure you can't come?"

"No, we're booked all week. You better go and get your flight information logged and get out of here. Be careful and be safe."

He held her hands in his and they said a quick prayer for his safe return. They quickly ate and said their good byes. Joanna left for the clinic and Lucas fed Digit and prepared to leave Earth. After fifteen minutes of communications to Earth Central Space Control, he lifted off and reached warp speed 2 as he left orbit of Earth.

He tested the ships response as he did weekly to maintain the operation of the ship and logged in his flight plan. He knew he was grinning from ear to ear, but it felt great to be up in the heavens.

"Captain Lucas Kirk of the EAC St. Jude calling Starbase 12, come in."

A short pause and a voice responded, "This is Starbase 12 EAC St. Jude, we read you. What is you ETA?"

"Approximately two hours." Lucas responded.

"Contact control when you arrive and a dock will be assigned, Captain."

"Acknowledged, Kirk out."

The voice returned and asked, "Sir, this isn't Captain James Kirk, is it?"

"No as I said, this is Captain Lucas Kirk of the EAC St. Jude."

"Sorry, sir, we'll be waiting for you."

"Kirk, out."

He was slightly annoyed at being mistaken for his father, but it was something he had endured through most of his Starfleet career. It is easy to overlook the first name, even though he wasn't a captain in Starfleet, he was the captain of his own ship.

He put on the auto-pilot and retreated to the restroom. He returned shortly with coffee in hand and brought up the map of the quadrant. He had passed through this area several times in his career and he admired God's artistic design of the universe.

The St. Jude arrived within the two hour estimation. "Captain Lucas Kirk to Control Central."

"Welcome Captain Kirk, prepare to dock in bay 9."

"Thank you, bay 9." As Kirk docked his craft, he grabbed his flight plan PADD, and disembarked. He walked to the office and signed in.

"Captain, your passenger is on his way. Have a seat."

Lucas nodded and sat waiting. A moment later he felt a presence next to him and looked up. He stood abruptly and said, "Commander Spock, how are you? Are you my passenger?"

Spock stood straight and tall in his Vulcan robes. He looked every bit the Vulcan ambassador. "Yes, Mr. Kirk, I am your passenger. Are we ready to embark?"

"Yes, Commander, I'm ready."

"Captain, if I may, I am no longer in Starfleet, you may address me as Mr. Spock."

"Yes, sir, this way, sir."

Lucas tried to not let his pride for his ship show, and he knew Mr. Spock would find that quite human.

"Welcome aboard, sir, you can take the co-pilots seat or relax in my small galley."

Spock leaned in at the door way and looked around. "Very nice, Mr. Kirk. I wish to do some work back here for awhile. Here are the coordinates for the USS Constitution. They are awaiting us in orbit."

"Commander, I mean, Mr. Spock, may I ask if I will have time to visit SJ and Ana while we are there?"

"It is Spock whom I am coming to see. He was severely injured and I was asked to come."

"He's injured? I didn't know, how is he? What happened?"

"One of the solar panels weakened and let loose, which caused a leak in the outer hull. He was walking in the area when it burst open, three crewmen were sucked out, but he was slammed into a support beam and was lodged there. He was lucky."

"I'm sorry, Mr. Spock," he answered.

"You shouldn't be sorry, you had nothing to do with it," Spock said.

"No, sir, I didn't but, well anyway, we'll leave orbit in two minutes. Please buckle up, sir and we'll be off."

Spock nodded and formally sat in his seat.

Lucas did pre-flight checks and said, "Command Central, this is EAC St. Jude requesting permission to undock."

"Permission granted, Captain, Safe flight."

"Thank you, sir. Kirk out."

Spock looked up with one raised eye brow and continued to read his PADD information.

Lucas pulled away from the Starbase and went into warp 2 once he set his navigation readings in. He put his ship on auto-pilot and waited in silence for his ex-Commander to step forward. Knowing Mr. Spock, it could be a long three hour ride in silence to Antares. He said some prayers for his best friend SJ. He knew his injuries had to have been serious if they called Mr. Spock from Vulcan to come see his son. He had a lot of questions, but knew not to bother Mr. Spock.

After an hour Lucas got up to stretch his legs. He made himself some coffee in the replicator.

"Mr. Spock, can I get you a beverage?"

"I will get it, Mr. Kirk, thank you."

"Yes, sir." He sat down and looked at the star sky. He knew Ana must have been worried about SJ, she had not wanted to sign up for another mission in deep space, but SJ talked her into it, and now he was injured.

Lucas heard Mr. Spock using the replicator. He stopped near the co-pilot seat and said, "Permission to take the co-pilot's seat?"

"Of course, sir," Lucas answered.

Lucas sipped his coffee and waited for Mr. Spock to speak.

"He has multiple injuries. Broken ribs, shoulder, right arm and internal bleeding. He is still unconscious. Ana wanted me there, so I felt I owed her that much."

Lucas squinted and said, "You owed her, sir?"

"Well, I know she needed some support and I was the closest relative to their location."

"Are you sure you're not doing this for SJ? He is your son, sir." he said angrily.

Spock glanced over at him, "It is all relative, I suppose."

'My father said, you left Starfleet and went back to Vulcan."

"Yes, that is correct. I am assisting my father."

"If I may be very bold, sir, were you not happy at the Academy?"

"That is a private question, young Kirk, but I will say, I felt called to other things."

"How was my father when you left?"

"He seemed well," he answered. He looked out the side port window and added, "We will always be friends, Lucas. Do not be worried."

"Yes, sir, if you say so." Lucas responded. He got very busy with last minute computations.

"Captain Lucas Kirk of the EAC St. Jude, calling the USS Constitution, over."

"Captain, this is the USS Constitution, what is your ETA?"

"I will arrive in five minutes, sir."

"We have you on scanner, we will open the bay door as you arrive."

"Thank you, sir, Kirk out."

The starship USS Constitution came into view and Lucas felt a little homesick for the Enterprise. He glanced over at Mr. Spock who had no reaction on his face.

Within minutes he landed on the flight deck and began shut down procedures.

He opened his side door to let out Mr. Spock, and glanced his way.

"Mr. Kirk, you may come to sick bay with me if you would like."

Lucas smiled and said, "Yes, sir, thank you."

"Not necessary to thank me."

"Yes, sir."

A color guard stood in a formal line as they disembarked.

"Ambassador Spock, I am Captain John Silvers, welcome aboard the USS Constitution."

"Thank you, Captain. This is pilot, Captain Lucas Kirk. May we go to sick bay?"

"Follow me, I'll take you there." They turned to follow the captain and he filled Mr. Spock in on any latest information on his son.

"I am sorry for the accident, Ambassador, we had several shields that were defective. It is being taken care of, as we speak. You must be proud of your son, he is an excellent Science Officer."

"He is as expected, Captain, but thank you, all the same."

When they walked into sick bay, Lucas stayed out in the hall way. The ship was designed much like the Enterprise, but was newer and larger. The sick bay area was much like the refitted Enterprise before her decommission. Lucas felt a mix of longing and relief that he wasn't out in deep space anymore. He wasn't an explorer like his father, he was a pilot. Eight years in deep space was enough when he felt God was calling him to a different career.

"Lucas," Ana whispered.

He turned to her voice, "Ana, how are you, how's SJ?"

She wrapped her arms around her friends neck. "He's okay. He finally is coming out of his coma. He's confused, but talking with Father."

"How are you, Ana?"

"It's been difficult, I won't lie to you. Captain Silvers, is not Captain Kirk, but we're surviving."

Lucas kept looking at her and he wasn't convinced she was telling the whole story. "How's your CMO?"

"Dr. M'Benga runs a tight department, but he is open to new ideas. He's not Dr. McCoy, but no one is," she whispered.

Lucas laughed, "Can I see, SJ?"

"Yes, I think he'd be really glad to see you, if he's awake."

Lucas quietly walked in and watched as Mr. Spock stood next to SJ. He kept glancing at the diagnostic screen, but turned when he heard them approach.

"Lucas, you may visit. I shall return shortly."

"Yes, sir."

Ana looked at her father-in-law and shook her head.

"SJ, what are ya doin' laying around for?" Lucas teased.

SJ struggled to open his eyes. Lucas reached for his hand and he felt the familiar tingle. During their friendship, SJ formed the mind-meld several times and he had missed his best friend.

"Come on, SJ, open your eyes."

"Lucas, how did you get here, what are you doing here?"

Ana said, "SJ, he brought your Father here to see you. Remember, he's piloting emergency air crafts now."

SJ closed his eyes for a moment, and then said, "I hardly remember what happened. Why are you here?"

Ana said, "There was an explosion on the ship and you were injured. You need to sleep, SJ, we'll talk later."

SJ fell back asleep and Lucas sat and held his hand for a few minutes.

Ana walked him out, "How long can you stay, Lucas?"

"I'm not sure, it depends on Mr. Spock. Joanna wanted to come, but she's swamped in the clinic this week. We both want you two to come anytime you're in the neighborhood," he joked.

"She's sent me holo-pictures of the clinic and your home and it looks so nice, Lucas. Are you guys happy there?"

"Yes, we are. Can you take a break for coffee or lunch?"

"Mr. Kirk," Spock called from behind him.

"Yes, sir?"

"A word, please."

Lucas turned to Ana and said, "Later?"

She nodded as he left.