A Bit of Fiction - always with a grain of truth.

It was Greg's first day as a cadet at Starfleet Academy. Actually, to be correct, he wasn't actually at the academy, but it was supposed to be his first day of classes.

However, instead of being warm and snug in his dorm room, he was cold, alone, and waking up under the hoverslide at a playground many miles from where he should be. Normally he would activate his communicator and be automatically beamed back to school, but it was taken from him. As was everything except the ragged clothes on his back.

He peeked out from under the hoverslide. He didn't need to be there for protection from the elements, the weather service kept the temperature optimal at all times of day, and it wasn't scheduled to rain for many days. But somehow it just didn't seem normal to sleep without a roof over his head.

He tucked his head back under the slide. It was still dark. Here on stardate 1254 probably about point 3, judging by the position of the stars here in San Francisco, he didn't have to worry about other people or animals like others might have had to 400 years ago. Now all he had to worry about was proving who he was and getting back to the academy before they gave his spot away.

As he lay in the dark, he replayed the events in his mind that led him here. It was his brother. His younger, but much physically stronger, brother.

Les had applied to Starfleet at about the same time Greg had gotten his acceptance communication, about a year ago. Convinced that brawn was just as accepted as brains, he was confident he'd be accepted, though his high school grades were very poor. Greg was poised to graduate with honors and though he knew the PT program would be rough on his thin frame, he knew he could get through.

Greg was never close with his brother. In fact, if it weren't for the names of their parents matching in their birth records one would never know they were brothers. Growing up in one of the ancient small towns that remained scattered among the vasts stretches of farmland in middle North America, they were bored and often fought. And they fought with their parents, begging them to move, leave their antique house behind and live in the city. But they were old fashioned, still growing their own food and making their own clothes. There were rumors that some scientist somewhere was on the verge of perfecting what he called a "replicator", a device that could produce any food or clothing you wanted from pure energy. Why their parents insisted on doing it themselves when at any minute you might be able to create stuff out of thin air, they'd never figure it out.

It was probably this ancient rural lifestyle that was the direct cause of Greg's current homelessness. Bordem finally led to mischief, then brutality. It was yesterday, 15 hours before the shuttle was due to pick him up to take him to San Francisco. He and his brother were riding their glider bikes over the near-harvest-ready hills where they lived. Someone had told them this area was once known as "Iowa", but all Greg cared about it was that he was leaving it.

He and Les were racing, one of those very few moments in life where they seemed to be getting along. What happened next, he couldn't say, but Greg saw Les drop back and then he was hit from behind. Hard. Really hard. The safety systems on the glider bike failed and he hit the ground Hard. Really hard. He was pretty sure his arm was broken, maybe his leg too. Les circled around, laughing. He stopped, got off his bike, and walked over to Greg laying spead eagle in the corn. Still laughing, Les bent down and punched him. Hard.

When he came to, Greg found himself in San Francisco. Stiff and sore, he massaged his muscles as he rose from the ground, his first thought was "oh, good, nothing broken after all. Then he recognized the Golden Gate in the distance. He thought, "Great! I'm here". But as he shook the clouds from his mind he realized that while he might be in the right part of the world, he was very far from where he should be. Worse, he was wearing the ancient cotton clothes his father liked to wear and had no communicator, no identification, nothing.

That was yesterday morning. With no transportation, no ID, and worse, no food, he needed to get to a police station. Police, what an ancient term. The blue uniformed, gun carrying heros of the ancient cities no longer existed. The robots of today were nothing more than glorified butlers assisting tourists. But, in an emergency, they could use a tricorder and prove who he was and get him to where he needed to be.

End part 1.