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It's a Small Universe After All

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“Kaitaama? Your name is Kaitaama?” asked the young officer. 

“I don’t recall giving you permission to speak with me.” 

“I don’t recall what I had for breakfast this morning, but that hardly matters. You, you remind me a bit of someone.” 

“Some slave girl, no doubt.” 

“No! Really, sister, we will get out of these ropes a lot more quickly if you treat me better.” 

“Why should that matter? Your job is to cut ropes, not be flattered and cosseted.” 

“No, I suppose not. That’s your job, right Princess?” 

“First Monarch of Krios Prime,” she said, and the implied predicate to that sentence was and don’t you forget it

“Well, call me Jim.” 

“Have you got the ropes cut yet? Jim?” she said his name with contempt. 

“Almost. Why are you on Risa anyway? Don’t tell me that First Monarchs have to take their vacations with us hoi polloi.” 

“If you really must know, this is a diplomatic mission. Hurry up! My wrists hurt and I have to, well, do something else.” 

“See a man about a horse?” 

“A what?” 

“Never mind. Ah, almost there. Hmm, who do you remind me of?” he thought for a moment. Edith Keeler? Nope. Rayna Kopek? Definitely not. Lieutenant Uhura? Not a chance. Oh, yeah, there was one. Bingo! 

“Do you know Troilus?” Jim asked. 

“Troilus? I don’t believe we have diplomatic ties with them,” Kaitaama said, “for all of the years I have been doing this, I don’t recall them.” 

“Just how many years have you been doing this, sister?” 

She didn’t answer right away. The real answer was: over one hundred. But she knew she didn’t look it. “More than make it interesting.” She yawned. “Aren’t you finished yet, Jim? I know that Tripp would’ve been a lot faster.” 

“Some things should be done slowly,” he said softly, “like making love, for example. First Monarchs do make love, don’t they?” 

“Not with commoners like you.” She snapped. “Besides, who knows what sort of foul diseases you may be harboring? You said I reminded you of someone on Troilus. It’s probably a planet full of horrible hags. I bet you’re insulting me, even thinking of it.” 

“No,” he said, “Elaan is a beautiful woman. Perhaps a bit younger than you are, but there is definitely a resemblance, in terms of fire. And passion.” 

“Younger? How insulting! Those ropes! Get them off me immediately!” 

“Or what? Listen, sister, even when we get the ropes off, I’m not so sure of what to do. This cellar seems to be locked and I don’t know about you, but I was conked out when I was brought here. I don’t know the way back, do you?” 

“I, I don’t know,” Kaitaama admitted. 

“Hmm, well, we’ll do our best to work together. And I’m sorry about what I said about your age.”

“It’s, uh, well, it’s not all right but it is accurate. I have seen over a century’s worth of summers.” 

“Ah, here we go! Ropes be gone!” he said, shaking his hands and turning to face her. “Wow. You definitely do not look it at all.” 

“In our species, the women hit about age twenty-five and then we stop aging until we are very old, and are near death.” 

“That’s, uh, rather convenient for the men, I’d say.” He extended his right hand. “I’m Jim Kirk, captain of the starship Enterprise.” 

Enterprise? I remember that name, it was from decades ago.” 

“I wonder if you encountered the crew of the old NX-01,” Jim said. 

“Perhaps. We should figure out how to get back to the main city.”  

“Agreed. And, um, Kaitaama, when we do, uh, are you doing anything later this evening?”

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