TAG

                           
                            

The  deck hatch open, Crane smiles, and motions for Kirk  to
ascend  the  ladder first.  Out in the fresh, salt-sea  air,
feeling  the warm, soft Pacific breeze blowing in his  face,
Jim  takes a deep breath and relaxes his tightened  shoulder
muscles.   The  tired starship commander sighs  contentedly,
then makes way for the weary submarine commander to join him
on the Bridge.  For a few luxurious moments, as they gaze at
the  celestial diadems sparkling in the black night sky, the
two  men say nothing.  The submarine's smooth, gentle  glide
through  the  ocean  is enough to lull Kirk  into  a  waking
dream.   He  closes his eyes and imagines  that  he  is  the
commander  of  Seaview.  After all, he  does  look  good  in
khaki.   And,  he  tells  himself, it  might  have  been--in
another time . . .


CRANE     (contemplating  the  vast  horizon  before   him):
          "Beautiful, isn't it, Jim?"

KIRK:     "Mmm  .  . ."  (Touching the titanium magnificence
          of  the tower surrounding him):  "'All I ask is  a
          tall-ship, and a star to steer her by.'"

CRANE     (staring  at  Kirk):   "John Masefield.   He's  my
          favorite poet."

KIRK      (looking  back  at Crane):  "I know."   (Answering
          Crane's   silent  'How?'):   "Your  biography   is
          required reading at the Academy."

CRANE:    "My biography?!?"

KIRK      (nodding):    "When   I  was   a   Midshipman,   I
          practically majored in 'Lee Crane'."


Kirk  smiles  at  his boyhood hero, the  man  he  now  calls
'friend', and squeezes his shoulder.


KIRK:     "Don't  let  this go to your head, but you're  the
          one  who  made me wanna sign up for this five-year
          mission:  to explore strange new worlds;  to  seek
          out  new  life and new civilizations.  Because  of
          you,  Lee, I've had the courage to boldly go where
          no  man  has  gone before.  Of course,  trying  to
          better  your service record almost got me  and  my
          crew  killed a few hundred times over!   But still
          .  .  .  if  there hadn't been a Captain Crane,  I
          doubt  very much if there ever would have  been  a
          Captain Kirk."


Truly  humbled, Crane is speechless.  Lowering his  head  in
modesty,  he  notices his Naval Academy ring on  the  fourth
finger  of his left hand.  He pulls it off, looks  one  last
time  at the fading 'L.B.C' engraved inside, then holds  out
the jeweled golden band to Kirk.


CRANE:    "Here, Jim."

KIRK      (realizing what Crane is handing over): "Lee . . .
          I can't take that!"

CRANE     (placing the ring in Kirk's palm):  "Yes you  can.
          I  want you to have it.  You know . . . Captain to
          Captain  .  .  .  as  a  memento  of  our  mission
          together."


Kirk  tries  the ring on for size--it will only  go  on  his
pinkie.


KIRK:     "Hey!  It fits!"

CRANE     (smiling):  "Looks good on ya."

KIRK      (still  admiring his new possession):   "Sure  you
          won't miss it?"

CRANE:    "Nah!  There's a hundred more like it in the  prop
          room."   (Cupping his hand to his mouth,  in  case
          anyone  is  listening):  "I give 'em  out  to  the
          neighbors'  kids at Christmas.  Keeps  the  little
          brats from egging my house at Halloween."

KIRK:     "Pretty resourceful, Lee."

CRANE:    "Yeah . . . well . . . I  don't  like  to brag but
          . . . I did make Eagle Scout at ten."

KIRK:     "You  weren't  an altar boy, too, by  any  chance,
          were you?"

CRANE:    "How'd you know?"

KIRK:     "Just  a hunch.  See, I got kicked outa Cub Scouts
          when I was seven."

CRANE:    "What for?"

KIRK:     "Had  a  little accident when I was going  for  my
          first merit badge."

CRANE:    "Oh?"

KIRK:     "Stead-a  makin'  a  fire by  rubbin'  two  sticks
          together, I kinda borrowed my Dad's phaser."

CRANE:    "You cheated!"

KIRK:     "Lee!   Please!  I changed the conditions  of  the
          test, that's all. It worked great, too, except ...
          I sorta burned my Den Mother's house down."

CRANE:    "Holy cow!"

KIRK:     "Hey.   Live an' learn, right?"  (Tugging  on  the
          bottom  of the now completely stretched-out  black
          turtleneck ):  "By the way, thanks for the use  of
          the sweater.  I'll beam it back to you as soon as-
          -"

CRANE:    "Keep  it.  My Mom can make me another one.   With
          the money I give her every month, knitting's about
          all  she can afford to do anyway.  But look, I got
          car payments."

KIRK:     "Yeah,  I know what you mean.  Ever since  my  Dad
          got lost in space, and my big brother George--only
          I   call  him  Sam  (Man,  was  his  wife  ever  a
          screamer!!!)--kicked off, I gotta  be  the  bread-
          winner  for every Kirk this side of Iowa.  And  my
          nephew's a real drain on the old wallet."

CRANE     (his  thumbs hooked in his pockets):  "It's  tough
          being a Captain, isn't it?"

KIRK:     "Yep.  Say, where's the Admiral and Spock?"

CRANE:    "They'll be along."

KIRK:     "Oh,  Lee,  before I forget, I have  an  important
          message for you from Bones."

CRANE:    "What is it?"

KIRK:     "He's  says  you  don't have  radiation  poisoning
          after all."

CRANE:    "You're  kidding!  But that stabbing sensation  in
          my side . . . Doc says--"

KIRK:     "What does Doc know?  The guy doesn't even have  a
          name,  much  less a CAT Scan machine!  Bones  says
          your  spleen is 4-O.  He's run every test  in  the
          book, and he says you're just having hunger pains.
          He  attributes your constant fainting to low-blood
          sugar, and recommends a high-fat, high-cholesterol
          diet, starting tomorrow at breakfast.  Here's  his
          prescription."


Kirk reaches into his pocket and pulls out a small piece  of
paper.  Crane reads it with great interest.


CRANE:    "'Steak, eggs, home fries, and 100% milk', huh?"

KIRK:     "Bones says it does a body good."

CRANE     (smiling):  "Tell McCoy thanks anyway, but I think
          I'll stick to my usual bowl of Special K and glass
          of Tang."

KIRK      (shrugging):  "Suit yourself."


Suddenly appearing in the Conning Tower are Admiral Harriman
Nelson and Commander Spock.


NELSON:   "Well, gentlemen, I suppose it's time we said  our
          farewells.   We  must  continue  on  to  our  next
          assignment, as you must to yours."

SPOCK:    "Negative,  Admiral.  The Enterprise is  scheduled
          for five weeks R&R on Earth."

CRANE:    "You  lucky stiffs!  What are you gonna do on your
          Leave, Jim?  Go find that beach to walk on?"

KIRK:     "No."   (Looking first to Spock, then  Nelson  and
          Crane):   "Spock  and I plan to visit  the  Nelson
          Institute  of  Marine Research in  Santa  Barbara.
          It's  still  in  operation, you  know.   Seaview's
          still docked in the harbor; and she's still listed
          as  an  active, commissioned ship.  Once  a  year,
          they let tourists sign up for a mission.  They get
          to retrace some of your more memorable adventures.
          We intend to be on board for the next voyage."

NELSON    (stunned by what he's just heard):  "Nice to  know
          we won't be forgotten, eh, Lee?"

CRANE     (equally affected):  "Yes, Admiral.  It sure is."


The  four  military men lock eyes for the last  time.   It's
harder to say good-bye than they thought.  Nelson breaks the
ice by putting his hand out to Kirk.


NELSON:   "Captain."

KIRK:     "Admiral  .  .  . it's been an honor sailing  with
          you."

NELSON:   "Same here, Kirk.  You take care of yourself now."

KIRK:     "Aye-aye, sir."

NELSON    (looking  very serious):  "And you'd  better  keep
          this  galaxy  safe  for my great-great-great-great
          grandchildren.  Cause if ya don't," (he says  with
          a  wagging  finger) "I'll come haunt  ya!"   (With
          that, he smiles and winks playfully.)

KIRK      (returning Nelson's smile):  "Will do, Admiral."

NELSON    (ready to offer his hand to the alien in the blue-
          velour top, he suddenly recalls Spock mentioning a
          Vulcan cultural taboo about touching):  "Mr. Spock
          . . . Peace, and long life."

SPOCK     (raising  his  hand in the Vulcan salute):   "Live
          long  and  prosper,  Admiral.   And  you,  Captain
          Crane."

CRANE:    "Thank   you,  Mr.  Spock.   The  same  to   you."
          (Turning to Kirk):  "Well, Jim . . . I guess  this
          is it."

KIRK:     "I guess it is, Lee."

CRANE     (shaking  Kirk's  hand):   "I'll  miss  ya.   Like
          Krueger  said,  you're a pain  in  the  neck,  but
          you're also one heck of a sailor, Captain!"

KIRK      (greatly   moved):   "Coming  from  you,  Captain,
          that's quite a compliment!"  (Reluctant to let  go
          of Crane's hand, he finally does.  Then he reaches
          for his communicator and flips it open):  "Kirk to
          Enterprise."

SCOTT:    "Scott here, sir."

KIRK:     "We're ready to go home now, Scotty."

SCOTT:    "Aye, sir, two to beam up.  Stand by."


Just before the transporter begins to take effect, Captain
James T. Kirk raises his right hand in respectful salute.


KIRK:     "Anchors aweigh, gentlemen!"


Returning  Kirk's  hail, the Naval officers  from  the  20th
century  watch  in amazement as the Starfleet officers  from
the 23rd century sparkle out of sight--but certainly not out
of  mind.  Nelson and Crane stay on the Bridge for a  while,
enjoying  the  air,  letting the breeze ruffle  their  hair.
Presently, Nelson realizes that Crane is very quiet.


NELSON:   "Something on your mind, Lee?"

CRANE:    "I  was  just thinking . . . something  Jim  said.
          'To boldly go where no man has gone before . . .'"

NELSON:   "Dreadful  English, isn't it?  You'd think  they'd
          have  learned  not  to split  infinitives  by  the
          twenty-third century."

CRANE:    "It  does  have  a ring to it, though.   Maybe  we
          should have a slogan like that."

NELSON:   "Did you have something in mind?"

CRANE:    "I'm  not  sure.   There's  something  that  keeps
          running  through my head . . . something  about  a
          hammerhead shark."

NELSON:   "A  hammerhead shark?  What's that got to do  with
          anything?"

CRANE:    "I know, it doesn't make much sense, does it?  But
          it looks neat."

NELSON    (resigned):   "All right, Lee.  You'd better  tell
          me the rest of it."

CRANE:    "Something . . . no, it's going again."

NELSON:   "Out with it!"

CRANE:    "'Beneath  the  surface lies the future!'   That's
          it!  What do you think, Admiral?"

NELSON    (Laughing out loud):  "That's the corniest thing I
          ever heard!  Come on, Lee--let's get  below!   Our
          future  won't  be lying beneath the surface  until
          repairs  are  completed, but we can at  least  get
          underway for home."

                            
                            
 

THE END


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Copyright 1997 Rachel Howe and Alison Passarelli