Hobie is an intelligent boy, with an IQ in the 140s, who never quite seems to fully fit in. He feels like he belongs not in the real, awful, backward world, but in a better time and place--in particular, the future depicted on Star Trek: The Original Series. When he was young, in a fever, he called out for Dr. McCoy, and an intern named McCoy humored him. Afterward, he felt that he really belonged in that future, that we was like an observer in the past, not part of his world.
Hobie joins the Air Force, in order to join the astronaut training program, but then a war breaks out and he is shipped off to fight it. Finally, feverish with some unknown and apparently untreatable illness (possibly a biological weapon), he stumbles into an aircraft, and when he comes to he's far out over the ocean, low on fuel. As the fuel runs dry, he points the nose of the plane at Sirius, shouts "Beam us up, Scotty!"... and finds himself aboard an alien spaceship.
Not the Enterprise, but--he declares--home, for him.
|James Tiptree, Jr.