It was night, and Selleck sat on a bench in the garden of the Vulcan Embassy on Earth, contemplating his life. He was exceedingly dissatisfied with it. His father, aside from being an ambassador, was a quantum physicist, and his parents expected him to attend the Vulcan Science Academy and become a quantum physicist. He did not want to become a quantum physicist. Given the choice, he would not decline all study of the subject, as a knowledge of quantum physics could be quite useful, but to pursue quantum physics for its own sake did not interest him. He gazed up at the stars. The stars did interest him. In fact, they were fascinating. He recalled another night, several months ago. He had been sitting in the same spot, looking up at the very same stars, but on that night, he had not been alone.
The Starfleet officer had had a late appointment at the embassy. He had been early for it and had been told that he could wait in the garden if he wished. He leaned against a column, thumbs hooked through his belt loops, and gazed up at the stars.
“I think looking at the stars must be one of those things that’s universal, or nearly so. Seems like almost everybody is fascinated by the stars.”
Even now, Selleck was unsure whether the officer had been addressing him, or simply speaking aloud to himself, but he had answered.
“As a matter of fact, I do find the stars quite fascinating.”
“Ever wonder what all’s out there?”
“I do know that there is quite a lot ‘out there’, as you say, but I have not seen very much of it, although I would be interested in seeing more.”
“So why don’t you? You might start with seeing San Francisco. It’s a fascinating city. I could even show you around myself.”
“That would be interesting, but I do not think I would be allowed to. Leaving the compound is highly disapproved of, if not actually forbidden.”
“If no one ever broke the rules, warp drive might never have been invented. If you ever change your mind, my offer still stands.”
He handed Selleck a card.
“Here’s my address. Think about it.”
Now Selleck took the card out of his pocket and read it in the moonlight.
No. 71 Pike Place, Penthouse B
“If no one ever broke the rules, warp drive might never have been invented…. Think about it.”
Selleck made his decision. No one saw him as he slipped quickly through the gate and disappeared into the night.
He walked to the seashore and spent the night looking at the stars and listening to the breakers. He remained there for some hours after the sun had risen, until he judged it an appropriate time of the morning for visiting someone at their home. Once he had decided that he would not be calling too early, he proceeded directly to No. 71 Pike Place and climbed the stairs to Penthouse B.