Old Medals for New Heroes Reversing the Loss of a Civilization
Anybody ever seen those old reels of superheros from the 20th century that were just ordinary people living and working a day-to-day life until there was an emergency that required them to show their true form?
They don't exist, but my five children are sure that they do and that we are even better, because on one good day over two artifacts on the frontier, they saw their parents quick-change to save the day, and another superhero just appear and disappear before that.
The above picture resembles the military medals given as decorations through the century, just rediscovered after centuries … old, faded, a blanched shadow of its former self, but yet intricate in its workmanship, and clearly the honor of a high officer.
My wife is a full fleet admiral, and was handed the task of understanding this particular artifact because it pertained to a civilization that most supposed was extinct – but the legends said that the last admirals to survive had made these items disguised as decorations … they were really transceivers, and if ever brought together would restore the survivors to this plain of existence.
This was considered outlandish because of the passage of time and the scattering of the artifacts, but possible, and no less than the highest ranking science officer in the fleet was handed the task determining if somehow, an entire civilization needed to be rescued.
This work had quietly gone on for 15 years, during which time we had become acquainted with Dr. Shaaka iMaru, the galaxy's greatest specialist on a civilization that also was not dead: the Uppaaimar, whose technology also exceeded average human and humanoid ability by light-years.
Dr. iMaru revealed himself to us as a survivor of the tragedy that had caused the Uppaaimar to have to leave their home world in due time – he was a living, breathing, walking, talking Uppaaimarn crown prince, heir of the ancient iMaru wise men that had since become the Ninth Majestical House.
Every now and again, this humble man – working as an archaeologist, humbly reintroducing his civilization to the galaxy, would weigh in on issues that my wife was facing, given that he was in a position to know.
Sometimes, this wasn't well planned out, though – and while my wife was on leave and visiting me with our five children on Ventana 5, such an event happened.
Vlarian Triefield was a full fleet admiral when I met her, salary topped out, bonuses ever increasing for solving the fleet's biggest problems, book sales and investments already pouring out money, walking around looking like 35 because she is half-African American, one quarter-Vulcan, at 55 years old. I met her at a swank party I wasn't even supposed to be in … and she walked around in Golden Gate Park with me for hours and hours afterwards, talking and laughing with me like she was a woman my mid-twenties age who knew nothing of the high life and was most at home in nature.
This is all to say that the woman who became Mrs. V.T. Kirk in my home was not a materialist, not puffed up, and not vain – she was a young-minded scientist with the curiosity and wonder of a child still preserved in her. She knew about every fine auction happening everywhere she ever went, but not so much that she was interested most of the time in spending my money, her money, and our money on any of the items.
One of the things I love about V.T. the most is what I noticed the first day … she loves walking around and exploring with me, and by this time we had five other people – Marcia, Valerie, Marcus Valerian, Laura Telluria, and baby Laurence Tyler Kirk – who loved to do the same. When they arrived, my suffering from homesickness on Ventana 5 was over – the only thing was that my apartment was a bit small, so out we went to find the perfect GalaxiNB for two months.
“And if we don't find it today, Dad, that's still cool,” eight-year-old Mark V. said, “because I like being close enough to hear you snoring and just having you there.”
“Yeah!” five-year-old Laura Telluria said. “It's good to be home anywhere that you are, Dad!”
Marcia, who was 14, sighed and said, “I hope we find something today, Mom,” while 11-year-old Valerie just rolled her eyes. Baby Laurence just did what he was doing, happily drooling all over me and happy that he was not being encouraged to walk because I was carrying him.
In front of us, a vision of majesty appeared – Dr. iMaru had apparently had to come swiftly, and had not had time to change into his regular Alpha Quadrant clothes. So, there he was – six-feet-five, crowned with burgundy hair setting off his black-violet skin and violet eyes, in a robe of blue to his feet, a crown of gold upon his head, his scepter of rule in his hand.
“You are here and the lives of a billion souls depend on you, Captain and Madame Admiral Kirk – the two medals for sale at this auction must not be sold across the galaxy and put into a private collection!”
He handed my wife the brochure, and she instantly recognized the picture of the open page as a less-faded match to the medal she had been studying.
“All three have been discovered – I've been working on this for 15 years! How –? Never mind, there's no time.”
We caught the smile of the prince as he disappeared before too many people had any kind of sense that he was there – he had smoothly backed up in front of us and we had kept walking, and kept walking like nothing had ever happened.
Mark V. understood, of course.
“Of course,” he said. “When the professionals fail, the other superheros call on the Kirks. Of course.”
“Of course – we are the Kirks!” Laura Telluria said while her eldest sister Marcia just shook her head.
“Shall I take the younger Kirks with myself back to the apartment?” she said.
“No time,” my wife said. “Huddle up.”
We all did, and my wife called on her admiralty privileges – personal transporting – right back to my apartment.
“Now, that was cool!” Valerie said. “We ought to get around like that more often!”
My wife went into the kitchen and made sandwiches while I ran and quick-changed into my best suit, and then she beamed out and beamed back in one of her most shockingly glamorous outfits.
“We gotta go save a billion people,” I said. “Lock the door, Marcia. Here's my secretary's number, and here's security for the building – you need help, you call security first, then my secretary. We'll be back as soon as we can.”
V.T. turned on the playlist of Cousin J.T's reality show, and our oldest four children obediently settled in with their sandwiches and salad (while Laurence still slept snuggled up next to his eldest sister) as V.T. and I beamed out to right outside the ritziest auction house on Ventana 5, halfway across the planet from my business outpost.
“So this is going to be hectic,” V.T. said. “I have the use of the entire admiralty expense account, but a whole bunch of admirals aren't going to be getting their quadrant-wide golf trips this weekend. Lots 403 and 404 – odd numbers in one room, even in another.”
“I got that from the brochure – we gotta split up and win in both auctions,” I said.
“Exactly. I don't care how much it is, Mark – we have to get them both.”
“Vlarian, I walked off with you, so you know I can get anything else we need.”
She laughed, and off we went to get checked in.
“Name?” the security officer said, and then turned green when my wife showed her insignia.
“If you know what is good for you,” she purred, “you'll just let us in and not say a word, because everybody here but you is about to be caught up, but it doesn't have to be you.”
“Yes, ma'am, Admiral Triefield.”
“Give me your communication device.”
He handed it to her, and she disabled it.
“Put it back on, and await my instructions.”
“I see you've got a bit of a reputation, Admiral,” I said.
“Well, you know, if you blow up ten worlds for running contraband, you get that,” she said.
“Lot no. 401 ...” came drifting from the odd-number room.
“We're here just in time,” she said. “See you later.”
I went into the even-number room, and that was good, because by the time Lot 404 came up, my brain was malfunctioning … the amount of money these people were spending was STUPIDLY big. But, the quality was there, and I gasped like everyone else when an almost perfectly preserved version of that medal was brought out, in living color.
Then, the bidding began … by comparison, it started tamely because the jewelry and art lovers were less interested in a military token... but after a while, competition just kicked in. I let that happen, and then waited until the last two bidders had worn themselves out. While that was going in, my wife came in and temporarily paused the auction – she is just that lovely – and sat down by me. People assumed she wanted it, so up my hand went at the very end, and I outbid everyone else.
“Well, they're not wrong,” I murmured as everyone just stared at her. “You are the reason for me to pretend I ever will have that much.”
“And when we get a room to ourselves, I'll make sure you feel like you have it,” she said with a smile.
“Heck, the fact that I get to walk through here with you on my arm while these rich men can't believe it is enough for me.”
However, the fun was over for everybody else when we went to claim our stuff – my wife beamed out and back in dressed in her full admiral regalia.
“You've got one chance to tell me where you all got those two medals,” she said, “before I have you all taken into custody for many more than just these two counts of contraband.”
The auction organizers sang like canaries. Meanwhile, the admiral took custody of the two medals, and we were out in an hour.
I beamed back to my apartment where my children were still watching our cousin's adventures, and my wife joined me shortly afterward, the original medal she had been working on for 15 years in a case.
Light came from all three cases as soon as they came near to each other, and after she scanned them, she quickly found a place to sit down.
“Dr. iMaru was right,” she said. “These things are 240 years old, and still working... the more faded ones are weaker, but the one in the best shape is compensating.”
“Does this mean we will soon see you on the news, Mom?” Mark V. said.
“Me and about a billion others, if it is not too late – the Gynthemimn civilization may have survived the attack at genocide on it,” she said.
“And to think we wouldn't have been able to have a chance to save them had our younger Kirks not so cooperative and obedient,” I said, and they rushed me.
“Of course – we're the Kirks!” Marcia said. “We do what we have to do!”
“We're all superheros!” Mark V. said.
“Nope – they didn't show up for 240 years,” Valerie said. “We're Kirks. That's even better!”
“Yeah!” Laura Telluria said.
My wife received a communication: the Avalon was in transporter range, so she waved and beamed out.
Six hours later, Mark V. came and nearly pulled my arm out of his socket.
“Mom's doing it, Dad – she's doing it!”
Sure enough, the three transceivers, working together, communicated with the supercomputer deep within the Gynthemimn crust, and all at once, one billion people who were sitting in that computer as transporter signals were beamed back to the surface of their healed, renewed world to start life all over again.
“Look at all the families just like us!” Valerie said. “We helped to save all these families just like us!”
I went on and found us a big house on GalaxiNB to rent for the rest of my wife's leave time – the fleet owed her another week for that one in which she had to come back into service – so we could prepare a celebration for her return.
Cousin J.T, a rear admiral by this time, called.
“Look, Mark,” he said, “I know you and V.T. have saved an entire civilization, but do you have any idea what it is like to be the lower-ranking Admiral Kirk when the higher-ranking one has broken the admiralty expense account for the weekend?”
“No, J.T., I don't, but we didn't actually have to spend the fleet's money – she just confiscated the contraband.”
“Mark, do you realize nobody checked to see before coming to talk with me? See, you think admirals are smart, but that's because you are married to Vlarian Triefield Kirk and you know me.”
“You really need to get away from the admiralty, don't you, J.T.?”
“They have just finished updating my beloved flagship,” he said. “I just gotta see if they will at least let me do the test drive. I don't know how your wife can stand having been an admiral for 21 years, and when you find out, please bottle it up and send it over to me.”
V.T., using her position in near-Earth command, used her influence to get J.T. what he desired most – but that is a whole two-hour documentary's worth of a story, because as ever, J.T.'s knack for discovering new life and saving Earth had to come into play.
“Of course, Dad,” Mark V. said about it. “We're all Kirks. It is what it is.”
One SHOCKING pure fractal made in Apophysis 2.09 -- the mathematics of a medal -- in progressively brighter palettes to bring the form and beauty of the medal out!