Captain Kieth Andrews leaned back in the chair in his ready room. Fingering a silver pocket knife, he mused to himself. The knife was the one object he still had from his past, before he found himself catapulted to another time.
The crew of the USS Adriatic, following an anomalous energy reading during a survey near the Romulan Neutral Zone, had found him in a stasis chamber on a planetoid. The crude facility there had successfully preserved him through nearly 400 years. For what purpose no one knows, as most of the other equipment could not claim the same success rate. The computers banks were completely corrupted, a shame since Kieth had no memory of how he had ended up in stasis much less light years from his home. More usefully, there was a container that apparently held the possessions Kieth had at the time of his incarceration. While the locker was well sealed, 400 years still took its toll on the items therein. The only item left intact was the folded up metal knife he now held with dear regard.
Initially it had not been that important to him. The knife had served merely as convenient tool for miscellaneous tasks. Now it remained as the last physical memory of his old life, a tangible reminder. As the years went on, it became easy to forget that he once lived in another era, so different as they are. It was hard at times to believe that such a future sprang from the past he had known. Although everything could be traced back easily through history, one point stemming from the previous one. But in such a ponderous meander that one could scarcely predict what might come next. He never could have known that commanding a starship centuries after his birth would be what his future held. He wondered what else the future held for him that he still could not perceive. The possibilities both exciting and terrifying.
Kieth held the knife out at arms length, catching a glint of light and highlighting the pits and defects on the surface. The familiar tactile sense of the inanimate object brought many fond recollections. He was glad to have something to anchor him to that past, as it is the past that helps guide you through the future and keep things in perspective.
Kieth was reminded of a story, a fiction about a character in a very similar situation. Awakening many years in the future to discover the world had changed so much, with only a single personal item to prove that past really happened. The character pursued that past at the expense of the present, the object being a constant reminder of that past. Eventually the character learned let go of the past and accept the present and future, and disposed of the object. While Kieth mostly agreed with the sentiment of the story's moral, he felt that completely abandoning the past was also folly. The past is there for a reason and needs to be remembered. If items like a pocket knife can help facilitate that, it too should be accepted. He smirks briefly realizing there is probably no longer any trace of that particular story to be found anymore.
Sadly, the standard uniforms design prevented him from carrying it with him. Just as well, he'd probably have lost it by now on some away mission. So with a slight sigh Kieth sets the pocket knife back onto the desk and returns to the report on his display.