The Rebirth of Christopher Pike
X-Over Star Trek(TOS)/Highlander. Character death.
Christopher Pike, Vina, Daniel Millside (OC)
Captain Pike’s life expectancy goes up, while that of the Talosians goes down.
Do I really have to? I mean everyone knows already, don’t they? Doesn’t matter, you have to. Why? Because we’ll sue you for all the money you’ve got. Oh, well, here goes, the characters, settings and concepts of this story are not mine, they belong to Paramount and Rysher and Panzer/Davis Productions.
I read Strange New Worlds part III about half a year back, the first idea of this story arrived in my brain back then. A few months ago BBC aired The Cage, yes, The Cage, since I’d never seen it, I watched it, and the idea returned to my brain. They continued on with the first season and then, two weeks ago, they aired ‘The Menagerie part one’. Watching that made it impossible to get the story out of my head other than write it down, so here it is. Once your finished reading it, tell me how you liked it.
The Rebirth of Christopher Pike
Back to Stories
by 3D Master (email@example.com)
Fleet Captain Christopher Pike ran through the flowing, green hills. Flowers were everywhere. He was young, virile and strong. Spring was such a nice time of year; that’s why it was spring every time of the year. He was holding the hand of a beautiful blonde woman, as she ran alongside him. They stopped beneath a picturesque apple tree. They looked in each other’s eyes deeply before kissing passionately.
Suddenly the image of the beautiful woman flickered for a moment, like a bad communications reception. Instead of the beautiful blonde there was the hideously deformed image of an older woman who once barely survived a crash. His young, virile body was instead almost completely destroyed and locked inside a special medical wheelchair, which left only his head free. All the freedom he had a minute ago was gone, leaving only his thoughts and a completely unresponsive body. Luckily, it lasted barely a second and he was back in the heavenly garden. The garden didn’t last very long, however. A few seconds later the illusion started fading again, this time longer. When it came back, it wasn’t right; it was somehow paler, less real. Then, again, the illusion faded.
“Hey, Chris!” he heard. The chair responded to his commands - they were fed to it by a hard wire connection to his brain - and slowly turned to face where the voice came from. There was a man there, behind the see-through wall. Pike didn’t exactly know what it was, but it was definitely a lot stronger than glass. The man was as unfamiliar to Pike as the substance the wall was made of. He was about one meter and seventy centimeters tall, had thick strong muscles and a luxuriant bundle of blond hair that flowed down to his shoulders. Pike had seen enough of the man’s face - even if he had seen it for only a brief second before the man turned back to his work - to know that this was the type of guy that could make women swoon by just looking at them. The sword he was holding in his left hand, which was also holding a palmtop computer that was hooked to a small wall mounted console by a wire, made him look like a medieval knight straight out of women’s erotic fantasies.
“Don’t worry, boy. I’ll have you out of there in a jiffy,” the man said as he punched in a few buttons. Vina, the hideously deformed woman, came to stand next to him, putting a hand on his wheelchair in an attempt to get some comfort.
*No! I don’t want to go,* Pike screamed in his mind. Nothing happened – except a yellow signal lamp blinking twice - his mouth couldn’t open, and he wasn’t telepathic.
“There!” the strange man exclaimed as the transparent wall opened. The man packed his computer back into his clothes and walked, sword still in hand, into Pike’s cage.
The illusion returned once the man was in there with him. He looked at Vina for a few seconds, then said, without so much as a grain of pity or regret in his voice, “Sorry.” A split second later his sword was impaled in her heart. She didn’t even have time to scream; only a few gurgles left her mouth.
“No! You killed her!” Pike screamed.
“Trust me, I did her favor. Being burned alive, right after being buried alive when, this whole subterranean installation crumbles to dust, is a lot worse than being impaled,” the man said.
“What?!” Pike exclaimed.
“Oh, yeah. The pathetic fools who live here can’t remember how their technology works, thus neglecting it, including their impact deflection system; a comet is coming down here. Its outer edge will crash about three thousand kilometers from here in about ten minutes,” the strange man answered him.
“What kind of comet?” Pike asked, stricken with concern.
“Oh, just a type 3 plasma comet; diameter about twenty thousand kilometers. It’ll all but rip this planet apart,” the man answered, seemingly unconcerned.
“I take it you’ve got a way of this pile of rock?” Pike asked.
“Of course,” the man answered once more. The jovial tone was still in his voice.
“Then why not take her with us?” Pike asked, pain in his voice as he looked at her, as best as he could.
“She didn’t leave this place the first time, I don’t think she would have enjoyed being out there in the real world looking like that, do you? Especially since she’s been a beautiful, young woman in here all her life,” the man stated.
“I . . . Why are you not affected by their illusions?” Pike thought to ask, as he noticed the man was not looking at ‘him’, but down at his real body, locked inside the wheelchair.
“Tsh, these little tricks of theirs? I knew a guy who could do that a thousand years ago, and he taught me how to defend against them. It’s rather easy once you know how. I allowed the illusion of your speech through though, for communication purposes,” the guy said again, still as unconcerned as ever.
Pike was starting to worry. This guy seemed to be completely insane. “And what makes you think I want to go with someone who seems to me to be a nutcase? Besides I don’t want to leave period. Why don’t you just let me die?” Pike asked, completely unbelieving the situation. Who would ever have thought this was going to happen? It was getting uncomfortably hot too, and no Talosian seemed to be coming to render assistance. Perhaps there was at least something to his comet statement.
“I can’t,” the guy grinned.
“Why not?” Pike asked.
“You can’t die. Neither can I, by the way. Now are you going to follow me, or do I have push that bloody wheelchair out of this place?” the man said, and started walking out as he saw the wheelchair moving forward.
“You’re completely insane, you know that do you?” Pike’s illusionary self asked as he walked next to the complete weirdo.
“Perhaps,” the guy answered, “but you better hope not, because if I’m not you’ll live forever.”
“Living forever like this is something I really am looking forward to,” Pike answered sarcastically.
“Oh, no. Not like that. You’ll walk around as easy as me. You won’t have scratch on ya . . . You probably will be bald for a couple of months as your hair grows back, but other than that, nothing at all,” the seeming lunatic answered, grinning.
“You leave him alone,” a Talosian ordered, as he stepped out of a side corridor. Pike watched in astonishment as the strange man didn’t even bother to acknowledge the Talosian’s -- who he still thought as superior beings -- presence, other than to grab the Talosian by the neck and slamming him, head first into a wall. The Talosian’s oversized brain splattered all over that very same wall.
“You killed him,” Pike managed to stammer, astonished, before his illusionary self disappeared.
“I’m doing them a favor, remember? Bloody, dim-witted wankers. I can’t believe they’re still interested in you and me. You would think that with their impending destruction, and me already killing several of them, that they’d concentrate on something else, like avoiding the hell-fire and brimstone by finding a way of this wretched planet,” the strange one told Pike. He waited a few seconds and looked at Pike when no answer was forth coming. The little yellow light on his chair blinked twice as it moved along side the ever-increasing strange man. “Well,” he said, grinning, “I take it back. They’re not all as stupid as they look. It seems he was the only left keeping up your illusion to the bitter end. The rest /are/ pre-occupied with their upcoming extinction.”
Pike’s chair light blinked once. Pike was getting hotter and hotter as he listened to the jabbering of the man who seemed to Pike to be getting nuttier by the second. Sweat was now freely poring from his body; even with the chair’s automatic waste disposal system it was getting uncomfortable. The level of light also seemed to be getting brighter by the second. At least the nutcase was showing some humanity by sweating as profoundly as Pike, although he didn’t seem to acknowledge that fact other than an occasional wipe across his forehead to keep the sweat out of his eyes. Finally they seemed to have reached their destination. The light was extremely bright, and Pike felt like he was in an oven. It was so brilliant, that Pike had difficulty making out the ruined remains of an elevator shaft.
“Well, here we are,” the strange man said as he removed some rope from his coat and proceeded to tie it to the wheelchair. Then he started climbing up the shaft. After about half a minute, Pike wasn’t entirely sure, he felt the chair move. Pike couldn’t believe it - the guy was actually enjoying pulling up him and his chair in this oppressing heat. As the chair moved up and the glare became even brighter, bright enough to force Pike to close his eyes, he heard the weird man whistling ‘Father Jacob’.
Another half a minute later and the chair was clunked down on the rocky landscape. Pike opened his eyes for a moment to look. The only thing he saw was a blurred image; all the colors were faded and everywhere he looked in the sky was bright white. Making out the comet was impossible since he had no way to shield his eyes, not even his hands.
“Beautiful sight, isn’t it,” the man - who in Pike’s view had just become a complete and total lunatic - said with complete enjoyment in his voice. Pike risked a look at him, and saw him staring straight into the comet. Even with the hand he had up to shield his eyes, he should be blind by now. Pike closed his eyes quickly again.
Pike started blinking his light, he hoped it was still visible, and that the psycho could still see. After a few seconds the man looked down to Pike and saw the blinking light.
“Quite right,” he said, then opened his communicator and spoke. “Computer, two to beam up. Energize.”
They disappeared in a yellow sparkling light.
Pike opened his eyes and was relieved he could still see. Since his eyes were one of the few things that still worked, he had every right to be. What he saw, was a bridge that had to belong to a small private freighter - a good one too. It was probably loaded with enough weapons to defend itself against almost all enemies and shields to match. The bridge breathed an air of newness that wasn’t quite new. A young ship, but not brand spanking new. He watched as the man stepped off the two-man transporter pad, which was apparently mounted in the back of the bridge, on which Pike too stood, or rather sat.
He moved his chair forward and heard the man say, “Computer, move us off to a safe distance.” Then the man explained to him, “I’m thinking when that comet hits, it’s going to cause an explosion that’s bigger than the planet. The plume will probably be high enough to scorch the planet’s moon’s crust. I don’t want to be around here when that happens; it would most certainly destroy this ship in the process. That probably wouldn’t kill us, but spending the next few millennia floating around in deep space until someone picks us up, isn’t entirely my idea of fun.” The man stood up and showed Pike his sword. The image on the view screen changed into a fiery inferno as the comet impacted with the planet, then it moved to the view of stars in black space as the ship started moving. The man pushed a button and the screens switched to aft view. He looked at the massive shockwaves for a second, grinned, and than looked back to Pike. “Well... now it’s time for you to die,” he said, pleasantly.
Pike looked up at him panic stricken. “Oh, did I forget to mention that? In order for your Immortality to be triggered, you need to die first,” the man explained with a grin.
*You’re nuttier than a fruit cake. You know that, don’t you?* Pike thought. Not surprisingly, the man did not react to Pike’s thoughts and proceeded with prying open the wheelchair. He pulled Pike out and threw him to the floor. Pike looked up at the man in fear; he had his sword directly above Pike’s hart.
“See you in a few hours,” the man grinned and plunged the sword down.
*So this is how it ends,* Pike thought, just before the sword pierced his heart and nothingness claimed him.
The man grinned and pulled his sword back out; then he dragged the dead body through the dull greenish-grey interior of the ship until he got to the cargo bay. It was empty, but still partially dirty. Service robots were busy cleaning it. He grabbed a plastic canister, opened it, and proceeded to pour the contents over Pike’s body. He pulled out his phaser, aimed it and fired once. The gasoline, that had only just been inside the canister, ignited immediately and proceeded to consume Pike’s body.
After a few minutes the fire died out, and the man pulled the charred remains back to the bridge. The man clasped and rubbed his hands together and hollered to himself, “Well, a nice shower, some clean clothes, and I’m ready to go.”
With a gasp Pike sat bolt up right. His lungs burned as they forced in air again, his head throbbed and he looked around, confused. He saw the familiar sight of stars streaking by at warp speed, and his gaze finally settled on the - now a lot less crazy - man, sitting in his captain’s seat. His feet were propped up on the ship’s console comfortably and he was idly toying with a computer PADD in his hands.
“Welcome back to the land of the living, Christopher Pike. Welcome to the world of Immortality,” he said without looking back, a grin present in his voice. “Oh, I think you want to put on some clothes first. Take the right door off the bridge, take the first right, the door on your left leads to your quarters, and your new clothes.”
Pike looked down and noticed he was naked and more importantly he noticed that there was not a mark on him. He lifted up his arms and looked at them. His jaw dropped. He couldn’t believe it; it was as if he was reborn. He moved his hands up to his head. After remembering something the other man had said, he realized that yep, he was bald.
“I’ll answer your questions when your dressed,” the man stated.
“Of course,” Pike answered and rushed out the door.
Not two minutes later he was back and placed himself in the seat next to the strange man. He was about to ask, but was interrupted by the other man reaching out his hand. “First, the name’s Daniel Millside. It ain’t my original name, but I don’t want you screwing up by saying my true name out loud in public. Especially since I’m somewhat famous and a bit of a legend. I don’t want nosy people starting to put things together, and come up with some intriguing theories.”
“A legend? How old are you?” Pike asked, confused, but still clear enough to know that asking who he really was would be futile.
“Let’s just say that I died my First Death about fifteen hundred years ago . . . in Spain. If you can figure it out, fine. But I’m Daniel at all times, even when we’re alone, got it?” Daniel said.
“Fifteen hundred?” Pike said in astonishment, then, “So . . .”
“How come you’re not dead?” Daniel finished for him, turning his head and giving him a big grin.
“Yeah,” Pike answered.
“Well, Chris, you were born immortal. So was I and so were a lot of other people. We seem mortal in every way, until we die the first time. After that, we no longer age, all wounds heal rapidly, and nothing short of decapitation can kill us,” Daniel explained, patiently.
“That explains the sword,” Pike said, cautiously.
“Yeah, and I’ll be teaching you swordsmanship,” Daniel said.
“Why?” Pike asked.
“Because others, like us, will be coming for you to take your head. You see, when one of us dies - really dies - in the presence of another Immortal, all the power and knowledge of that Immortal, including that of all the Immortals the vanquished Immortal has killed, will be transferred to the victor in a violent display of electric activity we call the Quickening,” Daniel explained.
“You are not kidding, are you? There’s more, right?” Pike said, frowning in concentration, thinking about how things were going to be.
“There’s more,” Daniel stated. “There are legends among us. It is said, that in the end, when there are only a few of us left, we would all feel the urge to travel to a far away land and do battle. The last of us gets the Prize. Whatever the Prize is nobody knows. Some say, it’s enough power to rule the Universe, some say it’s mortality, then there are those who believe the prize will be whatever you desire the most.”
“I think my head’s about to explode,” Pike answered in a grave voice.
“There’s still more. First, you can not have children, at least not in a natural way. Genetic engineering, artificial insemination, DNA fertilization and things of that sort may give outcome. I think a few of us managed to get children in that way,” Daniel said, stayed silent for a split second, then continued. “Now, that I’ve handled the big issues; there are the big rules. Rule number one: we do not fight on Holy Ground. It doesn’t matter whose Holy Ground, as long as it’s Holy Ground. Burial sites, temples, churches, consecrated ground of any religion will do, except the religions where all ground is Holy Ground of course. With these it’s only the more special Holy Ground that counts. This is tradition, our greatest tradition, there are a few legends of horrible things happening to Immortals who killed on Holy Ground out of their own free will and the others . . . well, they didn’t survive two months.
“Rule number two: we only fight one on one, or two on two, etc. Equal numbers only.
“Rule number three: we only fight with hand to hand weapons. No bows, no phasers, no guns -- only knives, swords, axes and the like.
“And the final rule: There can be only one,” Daniel finished.
“Aah, the Prize,” Pike stated.
“Exactly, any more questions?” Daniel asked.
“Yes, where are we going?” Pike asked, still not entirely sure what to make of this.
“Orion,” Daniel answered.
“Yes, Orion. I wanted to see if the stories of Orion women are true. Plus, it’s a nice out of the way place to teach someone about sword fighting without getting all kinds of awkward questions. I thought we could do some cargo runs once in a while. You know, see the sights of the galaxy while we’re busy. And once your training is finished, you can choose: stay with me a while longer, or go on your own merry way,” Daniel said, grinning like a madman. He tossed the PADD on the ship’s console and placed his hands behind his head.
Pike thought for a while, and decided that things were finally looking up. Living forever, seeing the Universe, enjoying whatever life had to offer, starting with . . . “You know, I’ve already met Orion women, but I haven’t actually /met/ Orion women,” he said, the first grin in the real world in two years plastered on his face.
Daniel grinned at him and said, “You know, Chris. I think I’m going to enjoy having you as a student.”