Personal Log 32.72.2
Our mission to deliver supplies and the Federation science survey team went off without a hitch. We returned to Earth orbit approximately 12 hours ago and rendezvoused with the shuttlecraft Columbus. Lieutenant Uhura and Mr. Spock have returned to duty and I must say it looks like the rest agreed with them. Uhura is still humming and Spock is as relaxed as I have ever seen him. Both insisted on returning to the bridge on the next watch and I didn’t hesitate in taking them up on the offer. I have missed both as, not only are they supremely efficient officers, but I am fortunate enough to count them as friends. For the moment, the ship is at ease as we await our next assignment.
“Kirk out.” The captain of the Enterprise continued to think for a moment. It seemed there was something else he needed to say, but for the life of him he couldn’t think what it was. He’d been feeling that way a lot lately. Ever since they had dropped Spock and Uhura off for the conference. Turning in his chair, he glanced at the back of Uhura’s head. She was deep into a refresher course on the communications she had missed while away. Then his eyes swung to Spock. His first officer was sitting in his chair with his hands dangling between his knees, staring.
The Vulcan started. “Sir?”
“No, sir.” Spock pursed his thin lips. “Well, yes, sir.”
“What is it?”
Spock’s near-black eyes fastened on his hazel orbs. “That is the problem, sir, I do not know what it is. I find it quite the lack of certainty…quite unnerving.”
Kirk waved it off. “Happens all the time. “I’ve been feeling that way myself.”
“Not to Vulcans. Sir.”
“Yes, well. You are part human, if you recall, Mr. Spock.”
One black eyebrow stood at attention. “How could I forget when I have so many diligent friends about to remind me?” he replied as he swiveled in his chair and went back to work.
Back less than half a day and he’d insulted him already. “Sorry, Mr. Spock,” he muttered, mostly to himself.
Bored with inaction, Kirk fled his chair and went to stand beside Uhura. She wasn’t distracted – or ticked with him. Her hands were flying. It took Kirk a moment to realize it was not official business, but something else. On the screen before her a series of images shot past at light-speed; mostly black faces, but a few white, and one that even appeared slightly oriental.
“What’s this?” he asked.
“Sorry, sir. I wanted to take a look at the tape my Bibi gave me. There was nothing official pending – ”
“It’s fine. What is this? Family?”
“Bibi is Swahili for grandmother. On my mother’s side. She’s 105.”
“Good for her,” Kirk smiled.
“Yes, sir. She’s the archivist of the family. Her daughter has been helping her to gather all the photographic records from the nineteenth century on. And a few portraits.” She hesitated. “It seems I have a few important ancestors.”
For some reason over the last few days Kirk’s mind had turned to his own lineage. He had asked the computer to run it, and had been surprised to find that he was related to Daniel Boone. Well, surprised was not the right word. He had always known there were trailblazers in his blood. Delighted, perhaps.
“Like the first African American president of the United States.”
Kirk’s eyes rolled back in his head. History had been a favorite of his – military history. His interest in the social sciences didn’t go back quite that far. “Obidiah, was it?”
She laughed. “Obama. Barak Hussein Obama. His administration was responsible for several peace initiatives that eventually led to the creation of a worldwide federation.” She grinned. “And we know where that went with planets. We share a common ancestress.”
“Do you know her name?”
“Oh, yes.” Uhura toggled a switch and a 19th century painting appeared. It was of an elderly black woman, somewhere between 80 and 90 years old. Intelligence shown out of her eyes, and a fierce but quiet determination.
“It was painted by a visiting artist in Kentucky, and ended up in the gallery in Washington D.C. for a time before being moved to the Museum of Kenyan Antiquities in the early 22nd century.”
He leaned in closer. For some crazy reason, the woman looked vaguely familiar. “What was her name?”
“Umbele,” Uhura answered, her voice sounding far away.
“It means ‘the future’.”
- The End -