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I know, I killed all those folks and destroyed that icon and the story isn’t done.  What is up with that?  Seriously, I have always been about “What happens later?” when I am reading or writing a story.  

I’m the kind of guy who had to read all of the appendices to the Lord of the Rings a few times just so I would always know that Frodo was mayor, Sam succeeded him as mayor and eventually took a ship from the havens to follow Frodo and the rest, Merry and Pippin lived to a ripe old age and then headed back to Gondor to spend their last time with Aragorn, and that after Aragorn (and Merry and Pippin) were dead, Legolas and Gimli built themselves a boat and crossed the sea as well.  Yes, I had to know that Glorfindel was the elf lord from whom the Witch King of Angmar fled and who made the prophecy that it was not by the hand of mortal man that he would perish (technically, that last one is a “what happened earlier” thing, but it is another reason to hate Peter Jackson for replacing Glorfindel – who hunts ringwraiths and from whom they flee in terror on multiple occasions – with Arwen in The Fellowship of the Ring)

Anyway, the story is winding down.  Yes, at the age of 16 back in 1991, I did indeed know that a K’tinga class cruiser was a Klingon heavy cruiser.  I corrected an obvious mistake here, replacing “square parsec” with “cubic parsec” (what was I thinking?)  Other than that, my handling of the Star Trek universe has been much kinder and more knowledgeable than J.J. Abrams, who I understand has remade the Wrath of Khan…AGAIN (watch Star Trek Nemesis some time and see if that’s not also TWOK, but that one was Rick Berman’s fault)

Oh well, enough griping about worthless film makers.  Here’s the next segment:

Admiral Heihachiro Nogura didn’t find out about the explosion of the Enterprise until almost a full day afterwards when he received a priority call from the Klingon Captain sent to the neutral zone.  Upon entering the quadrant where they were to meet the Enterprise, the Havvarl, a K’tinga class heavy cruiser, noticed unusually high amounts of radiation.  Upon further scanning, they had discovered a damaged Starfleet log buoy which they had returned to Starfleet Command almost immediately.  Now, Nogura knew the fate of the man whom he most admired.  James T. Kirk and the Starship Enterprise were gone; their final action had left enough residual radiation to prevent safe passage through that cubic parsec for several years.

His next order of business was to inform the families.  He would have his staff contact the majority of the people, but he would talk to Winona Kirk in person.  He had known Jim Kirk’s mom and dad since before George Kirk had mysteriously disappeared on a secret diplomatic mission.  He felt obligated to her as well as to Jim’s nephew, Peter, whose parents had died several years back.  He had hoped never to have to call the Kirk’s small Iowa farm under these conditions, so he decided to inform the Captain’s real family first.

“Ensign, connect me with the chief administrator of the guest quarters at the Vulcan Science Academy.”

“Yes, sir.  Right away, sir,” was the response of the shy, young ensign who had just recently entered Starfleet.

“How may I help you, Admiral?” asked the middle aged Vulcan on the other end of the transmission.  He couldn’t have been much more than a hundred and twenty.

“I’d like to speak to the three officers from the Enterprise who are there for the lecture series,” said Nogura.

“I cannot help you, sir.  Those three officers checked out yesterday and boarded the first shuttle bound for Earth.  They should have arrived by now.”

“I understand.  Farewell.”

“Peace and long life,” said the Vulcan.