Chris is holding a gun in his hand and Thor suddenly appears behind him weaving his mighty hammer.
“Who are you? How did you enter the ship?” Chris asks taking a step forward to the intruder. Thor remains behind, his face transformed as a warrior’s mask.
“Captain Pine, what a delightful surprise!” the man says mockingly and Thor takes a step into the room, his blue eyes now a shape of menacingly gray.
“Answer the Captain!”
I can hear the man chuckle bitterly and my entire body shakes with fear. I’m still tied up and I feel completely helpless. I look from Thor to Chris, trying to make eye contact with them but they are fiercely staring at the intruder.
“Tell me, Captain, where is the Ring you stole?” The man asks Chris whose entire expression changes to one of puzzlement.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about” Chris answers eyeing the man from head to toe and I know him well enough to notice the sudden shadow in his blue eyes.
“Come on Captain, I know you’re keeping it somewhere.”
Chris frowns and there’s a strange hesitation in his posture. The weak light from the corridor shines into the room and it reflects on Chris’s middle finger. He’s wearing a ring I’ve noticed before but never talked about it. Since I remember meeting him he has been carrying that ring with him, as if it were some talisman. Then, in my mind, everything begins to make sense.
“Let her go free. She’s just a victim in this entire plot.” Thor says and points his hammer in my direction.
The man simply ignores Thor and straightens his back still looking at Chris. His knuckles are white from holding his sword and I can feel his tension while waiting or for an attack or for an answer.
“Free her!” Thor yields and I can notice a change in the man’s posture. His head snaps to Thor and he’s clearly taken aback by Thor’s roar. He raises his sword in his direction but then turns toward me, sword at the ready.
I can see Chris and Thor inhale while I look at the man with my heart beating as a drum. The man approaches my chair and smiles wickedly at me before cutting down the rope. I look at my free arms and then look up to see the man’s sad eyes change before he turns.
I stand straight away and close the distance between me and Chris, placing myself between him and Thor. I feel safer in between them, with Chris’s gun pointed at the intruder and Thor’s hammer resting and waiting at his side.
I turn to see the man and what I see makes my heart stop for a few seconds. His face is filled with wrinkles I didn’t notice before and he looks tired. His eyes are resting on Chris and an unspoken message was exchanged between them.
“You remember me, don’t you boy?” The man asks raising an eyebrow. “That day on Earth will be endlessly carved on your mind.”
“The day you’ve killed my entire crew, leaving no-one alive? I will always curse you for that, Edromir, for taking my friends life as easily as you did!”Chris answers and I feel my mouth hand open and my blood run cold.
“I was trying to protect my people, my men!” Edromir screams desperately.
“So was I!”
“Where is the Ring, Chris?” Edromir asks frantically pointing his shaking sword at him. “We can go back in time and save all those people we lost!”
I look at Thor who’s staring at both men with a confused yet unsurprised expression. Chris hesitates and I feel his entire body shake.
“Chris?!” I call but all I receive is his silence.
“Going back won’t save them and you very well know it.” Chris finally answers Edromir, his voice strained with compassion and tenderness yet there’s an edge to it I can’t understand. “It wouldn’t be them anymore, not the people we once knew and cherished. They would be… changed!”
“We could try…”
“We can’t! The Ring is somewhere safe; its power cannot be unleashed anymore. It would only bring destruction and pain as it did once in the past.” Chris lowers his gun and sighs. “Don’t you remember the devastation it brought down on Earth all those centuries ago? Do you really want to set free suck supremacy over people just to save one life?”
“That life was my son’s!” Screams Edromir, his face red with rage and sorrow as tears drip from his eyes. I shrink back in my place, too scared to even breathe. “I don’t care about other peoples’ life as long as my son lives.”
“I can’t let you do that. I can’t let you risk the lives of billions of people because of your son’s soul.”
Edromir growls and punches the wall. Chris places a protective arm around my shoulder. I want to look up at his face but I know what I’m going to see there: sadness and dark blue eyes. We begin to step back slowly while Edromir’s cries rise.
When we reach the threshold of the room, Edromir turns to us freezing us in place and his expression is of pure fury. He snarls and then storms in our direction, his sword raised high above his head.
I scream in horror as I shrink in Chris’s arms and hide my face from Edromir’s attack, waiting for the final blow.
Then I feel a warm light illuminate the room and the sound of thunder striking down. A stream of hot air caresses me and I can heard the sound of something metallic hit the wall and the sound of metal against metal.
“Go! Take her out of here! Quick!” I hear Thor scream over the sound of metal.
A snarl of anger freezes my entire body and I’m soon carried out of the room where the echo of struggle continues. I can only distinguish Thor’s battle cries Edromir screaming Chris’s name.
I’m being carried along the corridor and I can feel Chris’s arms tight around my tiny body and a sob suddenly escapes my lips. Then we stop and he looks down on me, his hand carefully taking the hair of my face.
“Are you alight? Are you hurt?” He asks me worryingly and I look up at him only to shake my head. “Hold on to me!”
I hold his shirt tight in my fists and shut my eyes close. I can still feel the tears sting my eyes but I try to breathe in and out and control my panic.
Chris takes a deep breath and I feel my body being lifted and pushed around, the sounds muffle and then a swirl of cold air hit my face. My entire body feels as if it’s going to be cut in two and I shriek in panic or in pain. It’s hard to tell when your body goes numb.
I feel Chris’s arms tighten even more around my body and we’re falling and falling. I’m too scared to open to my eyes.
Then, just like that, we stop and my body jerks forward. I groan and sob burying my face on Chris’s shirt and hold on to him even tighter. But then I feel a gentle breeze caress my skin and Chris’s arms relax a bit.
He careful helps me stand on my feet, my eyes still closed and my head swirls around almost knocking me down. My ears pound as if I’m on a mountain.
“You can open your eyes now, you’re safe.” Chris says tenderly and I almost sigh in relief.
I first open one eye, then the other. The first thing I focus on is Chris smiling faintly at me and my cheeks warm. Then I look around, noticing that we are high above the ground on the top of something.
“Where are we?”
“On Earth. Most precisely in Paris.”
“Paris?” I ask raising an eyebrow at him.
“Well, we’re actually on top of the Eiffel Tower.” He says shyly and I must look confuse because he raises his hands innocently in front of him. “Thor’s idea… He said it was the best place for us to beam down.”
“Right! Eiffel Tower, Paris, Earth, France! After being kidnapped nothing better than being on a high place” I comment looking at the city of Paris expanding itself towards the horizon. It’s night and the lights are like small flickering stars.
A thunder breaks the perfectly clear sky and I look up at the constellations hidden by the electrical lights from Paris bellow us. The sky looks immense, endless and I sigh.
Thor appears in front of us, landing with heavy steps on the platform of the tower and I steady myself on Chris’s arms.
“Did I ever tell you I’m scared of heights?” I ask them with horror growing within me while I try to ignore my sickness and dizziness. Chris chuckles lightly but then looks at Thor with a gloomy face.
“I knocked him unconscious and locked him up.” Thor says gravely. “Who was him?”
“It’s a very long story. One day I’ll tell you.” Chris says shrugging his shoulder but his blue eyes are narrow from his distant memories.
“Whenever you’re ready” Thor comments understandingly and soon enough begins waving his hammer. “Hey, Ner, you look slightly sick.”
“Well, I am slightly sick!” I answer him feeling my stomach spin. “I suffer from vertigo!”
Thor’s laugh is amused and I see Chris grin at my discontent face. I hold the railing with all my might, my own knuckles turning white. Then a gently breeze softly whispers in my ear and all the dizziness disappears and all I feel is a wave of fascination as I look at Paris.
Here, at the top of the Eiffel Tower I realise how lucky I am for having Chris and Thor by my side, saving me as a damsel in distress. I feel safe, protected and grateful.
But there is something more, something far more important that could go beyond time and space and I look back at Chris who is now having an animated conversation with Thor and my heart begins thumping hard.
“I should get going! I don’t know if the crew is capable enough of taking care of our prisoner.”Thor announces straightening his backs and placing a hand on Chris’s shoulder. “As soon as you’re ready, you know where to find me.”“Thanks for the help buddy!”
“Yah, thanks for everything Thor.” I thank him smiling as warmly as I could, approaching the two men with hesitant feet. “Thanks for blowing that door and for rescuing me.”
“Hey, you’re welcome. It’s always a pleasure to save a damsel in distress” He winks and I feel blushing with shyness. “But I’ll be needing my cape back, if you don’t mind.”
I look at my back completely absent-minded and I notice I’m still wearing his red and warm cape. I barely felt it during the attack.
“Oh, sorry!” I carefully take it off my shoulders and feel the cold night air hit my body. I shiver as I hand it to him hesitantly.
“Now I’m off. Asgard won’t be waiting for me eternally and I still have loads to do.” He says placing the cape on his shoulders. It transforms him immediately; here’s Thor, the God of Thunder “Goodbye my dear friends and enjoy the view.”
He waves at us and jumps in the air, taking flight as he stretches his arm and reaches for the skies. I’m completely absorbed in his flying techniques when I feel a hand on my shoulder, taking me by surprise.
“Now can we go down?” I ask with a sudden wooziness and I hold onto Chris to steady myself.
Chris laughs pleasantly and his arms cover my body, pressing me to him. I feel like I’m about to burst with happiness and nervousness. His hands caress my hair while I bury my face on his chest, hiding my satisfying smile as I begin to tremble with excitement which I pretend has to do with my fright of heights.
Then, very gentle and very cautiously, he makes me look up at him and stare deep into my brown eyes. I feel like I’m being examined but I don’t mind at all, it feels right and good. He leans forward, his gaze never leaving mine and my brain immediately sends a warning to my entire body. I feel his nose touch mine and I freeze, our lips getting closer by the second.
Just when I think that all those amazing sensations will finally turn reality, I feel like I’m being pushed away and falling through darkness. I wake up abruptly, my body still falling until I realise where I am. Where I, unfortunately, am.
There’s no Paris or Eiffel Tower. There’s no gentle breeze or night sky. There’s no Chris leaning towards me.
I’m in my bedroom, the bedclothes covering my body as I see the bright light of morning coming through my window and illuminate my bedroom.
Then all those memories I had of the Enterprise, of Chris, of Thor and even the Narada attacking us disappear, vanish just like a dream.
It had all been a dream. And what a pleasant, real and amazing adventure it has been.