slyprentice: (Most illogical)
[personal profile] slyprentice
Title: A Change of Stars
Author: Prentice aka [personal profile] slyprentice
Rating: PG-13, for language. Gen
Pairing: K/S pre-slash/friendship
Status: WIP
Spoilers: Star Trek XI, Star Wars
Warning: Crossover madness. Wookies. Corellian Brandy. Jim as an idealistic young cadet padawan.
Summary: Based on a prompt by [ profile] yami_no_kabi. Written for the [ profile] st_xi_kink meme, found here.
Word Count: 2,010 for this part [6,593 in total]
Disclaimer: Neither of these will ever be mine and if they were then James T. Kirk would surely say, at least once, ‘have you ever made it with a wookie?’ because that’s the kind of person I am.
A/N: I'll be honest and say that I'm not entirely happy with this part. I've rewritten it five times and finally decided enough was enough. Also, I'll say up front that I haven't read the novelization of Star Trek XI and therefore don't know how closely my characterization of Galia lines up with the book. Keep that in mind. :)

Feedback is always welcome, as well as those pointing out any flubs I might have missed before posting.

Previous Parts:
[Part 1]
[Part 2]
[Part 3]
[Part 4]
[Part 5]


[Part 6]

Galia was an Orion female, green-skinned and beautiful, with fiery red curls that made her distinctive, even among her own species, and liquid eyes that stared up at him sadly. Touching her hand, fingers brushing against the burned edges of her uniform dress cuff, Jim eased himself into the chair across from her, stomach clenching. He had never enjoyed these moments after a battle or crisis, when so many people – good people, some of who had never before seen the ravages of destruction – were faced with their own mortality and those of their fellow colleagues and friends. It reminded him of another time, a time better left forgotten, when he was forced to witness the avarice and all consuming chaos of a world gone so wrong.

Pulling his chair closer, hand still reached out in that gentle clasp, Jim drew in his will around him, offering what little comfort he could in his calmness. It was difficult to do and not entirely welcome, though the Jedi’s vaunted equanimity had served him well in the past. Even so, it felt wrong somehow, criminal almost, in the face of such destruction.

“I’m sorry to have to ask you to do this,” he said eventually; thumb rubbing a soothing pattern over hers. “I was going to ask Ensign Lant but she didn’t seem…equal…to the task. I hope you’ll forgive me.”

Galia shook her head, tangled curls sliding over her shoulder. “No,” she replied, fingers twitching in his grasp. “There’s nothing to forgive. I’ll help as much as I can. It’s – it’s the least I can do.”

Nodding, Jim squeezed her hand in what he hoped was a comforting manner. Despite his gruffness, his master was far more suited to these kinds of discussions, the inherent compassion in being a Jedi seemingly doubled in a man so apt at being a Healer. It was too bad Bones was buried in medbay, trying to put together some organized chaos into the madness that had overrun it.

Taking a deep fortifying breath, Jim pulled in the Force around them, layering it like a blanket so that they would not be disturbed. Not that they would, he was sure. Once the initial passing of the chaos had ensued, the cruisers bridge crew had ordered that all passengers, non-injuried and non-essential, were to go back to their quarters until further notice, with the promise that the Federation had already been contacted. Naturally, his master and he had been considered essential, as so many people seemed to calm at the sight of Jedi, believing that everything would be well if they were involved. It was a heady and frightening realization for Jim.

Shifting in his seat, eyes flickering over the remains of her uniform, he pressed on. “I need you to tell me what happened on the Farragut. As much as you remember.”

For a long reflective moment, she said nothing, mouth opening and closing, throat working as she struggled to articulate what she had seen. It was painful to watch and made Jim wish, almost desperately, that he had some of his master’s innate empathy towards the injured and the sick. It would have made things easier.

“It happened quickly,” Galia rasped at length, voice raw and smoky. “So quickly. We were just – everything was just so normal and routine; nothing out of the ordinary. We didn’t even have a warning before… before…” A hard shudder went through her body, a crimson colored sleeve sliding down her shoulder, ripped at the seams and dirtied with dark smudges. “There wasn’t even time for a red alert. One minute we were all at our stations and the next…”

“The next..?” Jim prodded, feeling afloat in the face of her grief. It had never been easy for him, force-sensitive or not, to deal with other’s emotions and he couldn’t help but feel a bully for pressuring her. “It’s all right if you can’t continue. I won’t make you.”

Shaking her head, the Orion sniffed, seeming to draw on a reserve of strength inside of her self. “I don’t know what happened next, exactly. There was an explosion and – I don’t know – I must have gotten thrown or hit by something because the next thing I knew I was being dragged away by Ensign Remington. She –“ her lips quivered, pressing together hard before she continued.“She didn’t make it.”

Lips thinning in understanding, Jim stroked his fingers across hers, the soft reassurance drawing a mew of distress from her throat. The sound was obviously unbidden and unwelcome, if the way she hunched forward was any indication, looking small and fragile in her shredded uniform. The gesture made him think of a child playing dress-up, swallowed up someone else’s clothes, someone else’s world. Stroking her fingers again, he could feel them tremble beneath his own.

Another quiet minute passed, the drone of the engines a quiet encouragement. He wouldn’t press her, wouldn’t force answers out of her if she couldn’t do it. He needed answers though, ones that he wouldn’t get from anyone else – there was no one else he could go to, really. Not unless he wanted to wait for the shock to wear off.

When finally she met his eyes again, something that wasn’t quite tears glittered in them, making them look distant and aching. She cleared her throat, breath hitching. “She saved my life, Padawan Kirk, and I didn’t even get to say ‘thank you’. That – that doesn’t seem fair.”

Expression pinching without warning, a sob seemed to tear from her throat, hoarse and choking, and digging into Jim’s gut until it was almost a tangible wound. Lifting a hand, he ran his fingers over her hair, the soft spring of curls tangled and sooty. He could imagine her before this, beautiful and exotic, happily working on some computer simulation or other, completely unaware that in a few minutes time her contented bubble would be shattered by dark chaos. By a dark being, who was Force-sensitive but not Jedi, who was willing to use it as a tool for destruction and chaos and their own personal gain – whatever that may be – and not care for the lives of others.

The very idea of that was mind-boggling to him. As an initiate and a padawan, he had learned and come to embrace the tenets that all Jedi adhered to, wishing nothing more than to help maintain the Balance of the Force and help those who couldn’t help themselves. To know that someone attuned to the currents of the Force would wish to disrupt the balance, to act as a cancer – always taking but never giving – made his skin itch with horrible foreboding.

He had never been one to believe in predestination – no matter what certain Knights may preach – and had scoffed at the notion many times during crèche classes. No one controlled James T. Kirk’s destiny or fate or doom or whatever the hell you wanted to call it, thank you very much. He was his own man, human and fallible, and though he was a padawan-in-training, he did not believe that even the Force itself could dictate what lay in store for him unless he allowed it to. But even so, with the Farragut’s shattered hull floating like so much space debris around them, Jim felt as though he were stepping onto a path that had been set in motion decades ago in the Living Force, perhaps even from the moment that he was born. The thought made him grimace, fingers smoothing even faster over Galia’s hair.

“We were going on shore leave soon,” she murmured abruptly, hand sliding from underneath his as she wrapped her arms around her middle, regulation boots scuffing the ground beneath them. “An M-Class planet, just a few parsecs away. Gamma Solarii VI, it…it’s supposed to be…” her breath hitched again. “It’s supposed to be beautiful.”

Hand hovering over tousled curls, Jim froze, a muscle in his jaw twitching. “The Farragut was supposed to take shore leave? On Gamma Solarii VI?”

‘Of all places’, he didn’t say because, really, it didn’t seem appropriate. Fingers curling and pulling away, he let his hand drop to his lap. The stirring of unease, already eddying in his muscles, seemed to coil and wait. This really could not be freaking happening. It just…couldn’t be.

Galia nodded, arms tightening around her midsection. “Yes. There’s a star base near there. We were going to resupply and then dock while we took a week’s shore leave on the planet. They’re so close to one another, it just – it was the right choice – the right place to go. We all thought so.”

Cursing silently, Jim manfully resisted the urge to jump to his feet and pace. It wouldn’t do to allow others to see a Jedi, even a Jedi padawan, agitated and cursing like a Klingon with a hangover. Folding his hands back beneath his robes, the burn of hot restlessness stole across his psyche.

It was too much to believe this coincidence – hell, he didn’t believe in coincidences. Not with that damnable presence hanging in the Force, reeking of that unknown darkness. Shaking his head, Jim allowed his eyes to drift, taking in the smallish room he had commandeered for this particular conversation. Christ, this was turning into a mess; he could feel it in his bones. Shifting in his seat, he stared unseeing at the chronometer on the console near the wall, the screen blank save for the time and the vessel’s cruiser designation.

Had it only been less than a day ago that he had first approached Master Pike with the single minded determination for another mission glittering in his eyes? It didn’t feel like it. Not by a long shoot. Bones was going to kill him.

As if on cue or some vindictive twist of fate, he felt the brush of his master’s mind, the distinctive ‘flavor’ of the man’s thoughts and emotions seeping into his consciousness. It was like a grumpy bear pawing at the barn door to his mind. Wincing, Jim poked back, feeling the flare of irritation and impatience blossom before his friend’s voice sounded inside his skull, warning him that he was on his way. Oh yeah, he was definitely dead.

“I’m sorry,” Galia’s voice broke in, seemingly oblivious to his momentary inattention. Blinking, Jim swiveled his gaze back, watching as she slowly straightened, arms unwinding from her middle to brush back her curls, straighten the torn remains of uniform. “You didn’t come to me for this.” She gave him a tremulous smile; a small echo of the one he was sure could stun him into stupidity if she ever aimed its full wattage at him. “But I’m afraid I don’t remember much more than that. Is – is there anything else you want to know? I heard you mention something about transport before, can – is there anything else?”

Nodding slowly, Jim set aside the ball of unease growing inside him. He would deal with it when his master got here, hopefully before being bludgeoned by a hypospray. “Yes. My master and I need to get to that star base, the one your ship was going to dock at? With the cruiser being so overloaded and so many casualties aboard, they’re planning to divert the ship to the closest Federation allied planet in this quadrant.”

Galia nodded, some of her composure seeming to leak back in starts and stops as she worked to tidy herself. “I’ll see what I can do for you. I’ve a friend in Starfleet communications. She’ll be able to see if anything is available.”

Smiling kindly, Jim stood, the heft of his lightsaber slapping against his thigh. It was a comforting and familiar weight, one that he felt naked without. “Thank you, Galia. Any help would be welcome and appreciated.”

Nodding again, she stood herself. “I’ll see to it now. Nyota – she’ll – she’ll have probably heard the news by now.” With that, she moved to the door, movements sluggish but graceful. Jim watched her go, smile fading from his face.

TBC in Part 7