From: [email protected] (jean)
Subject: The Doctor And The Enterprise Pt4
Message-ID: <[email protected]>
Date: 8 Nov 91 17:24:56 GMT
Organization: AT&T Bell Laboratories
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START OF TEXT
THE DOCTOR AND THE ENTERPRISE
by Jean Airey
copyright 1982 Jean Airey
The group came to a circular stone structure. A brief
noise and an opening appeared in one side and they went in.
The opening closed. Some kind of a forcefield, he thought.
He crept cautiously up to the sides. Solid rock, but the
structure stopped about nine feet up. Where there’s a wall,
there’s a way, Kirk thought and realized that the fog was
pressing on his mind again. No, he thought, not yet, and
pushed it back. These Daleks did not have feet or legs or
real arms, so they might not be prepared for someone
attacking from the top of the wall. He found hand and
footholds in the rough rock and got to the top. He realized
that he had carried the yo-yo in his mouth. Like a weapon,
he thought. Could it become one?
Lying down flat on the top, he looked down inside. The
Doctor was standing in the middle of the structure. A
strange light surrounded him.
“Why have you come here?” asked one of the Daleks and
the light around the Doctor changed color. The Doctor did
not respond and the light flickered again. It seemed to be
tightening on him. Another force field, Kirk thought.
“I was just looking around. What are you doing here?”
The Doctor lifted his head and smiled at the nearest Dalek.
At least he was conscious, and if he was conscious,
then if the forcefield could be removed. . . . Kirk moved
slowly along the wall looking for some type of control panel
inside the complex.
“I do not believe you. You will tell the truth.”
“No. He may have information we need.” The light
changed color again and Kirk heard the Doctor gasp. If he
didn’t act quickly, the Doctor would not be able to get out.
Kirk spotted what looked like a control panel – switches,
buttons, and flashing lights. He crawled so that he was
directly above it. Now – one leap down. He glanced over at
the Doctor to catch a definite glance that said `no’.
“Do you still like blue?” said the Doctor to the Dalek
who was questioning him.
“That is not an answer.” The light changed again.
Blue? There was one panel glowing that color. Kirk
looked at the Doctor and then realized that he still had the
yo-yo in his hand. He lifted it. Heavy – maybe not just a
normal yo-yo then. And on a string. Kirk smiled at it.
Method in the Doctor’s madness. He tied one end of the
string to his finger and sent the weight down toward the
panel. Missed. He pulled it back up and tried again.
“You will tell us what we wish to know.”
“Difficult without breathing.”
Kirk felt the weight rebound as the yo-yo hit the panel
and broke it. The power over the complex died and Kirk saw
the Doctor run for the opening. He slid off the wall as the
Doctor ran around to meet him. The Doctor pulled him down
behind another rock. “Stay here. They’ll be looking for us
to be running.”
They remained hidden until dusk came, saying nothing.
The Doctor motioned and Kirk followed him up further into
the mountains. A small cave seemed to be an acceptable
stopping place and the Doctor motioned Kirk inside. Kirk
collapsed on one side and looked at the Doctor who was
leaning against the other wall.
“Doctor,” said Kirk, “Don’t you know any nice people?”
The Doctor turned to Kirk. “Where did you learn to ride
like that in one day?”
Kirk looked at him, suddenly at a loss. Oh no, he
thought, he’s off on a tangent. the blue eyes looking into
his were quite serious.
“I think that El Donna did something to me before we
“I think so. I feet better and I did know how to handle
that horse. I can’t think of any other way for that to have
“That last bit of riding probably saved your life. And
Kirk waited patiently. The Doctor seemed to be in
another world but now he could accept this as part of the
way the alien mind worked. They were alone in a wilderness
with no weapons or communication devices, pursued by Daleks.
Anything the Doctor could think of would help.
“Do have any psychic abilities?” the Doctor asked.
“No. I’ve always tested negative.”
“Tests aren’t always the whole answer.”
“What are you thinking of doing?”
“There is one possibility.” The Doctor stopped and
looked down at his hands. Kirk realized that one of them
had been burned by the Dalek’s weapon.
“If there is any possibility, I’m willing to try it.
What do you want me to do?”
The Doctor studied Kirk carefully as he said, “El Donna
is the most powerful psychic on this planet. You have
recently been in telepathic contact with her. For her to do
what she did, she obviously felt some attraction to you.” He
Kirk waited and when the Doctor did not continue said,
“The problem is that I’m not a telepath, so I can’t reach
“You’re not a telepath.”
“Can’t you reach her?”
“I haven’t had the contact I need to establish a link.
I know of her – I don’t know her.” The Doctor seemed to be
studying the side of the rock.
“Doctor, if you will tell me what you want me to do, I
will do it.” The Doctor looked at Kirk and smiled.
“What I want you to do is to try to reach El Donna
mentally. I will tap into your mind, enable your signal –
boost it, and then talk to her through your mind.”
“You want me to be a link between the two of you?”
“A signal and a link. It will not be easy.”
Kirk looked at the Doctor intently. Ne was still
“Okay, let’s try. What do I do?”
“Picture her in your mind. As clearly and accurately as
you can. When the picture is sharp, call her name.”
Kirk nodded and leaned back against the wall and closed
his eyes. He felt one of the Doctor’s hands resting lightly
on his head. Odd, he thought, he could easily accept the
idea of telepathy through touch, but over a distance..
It can be done. The Doctor’s thought in his mind was
as unique as his voice. Not like Spock at all.
Mind-touch is a matchlessmuteness means of
identification. Think of El Donna. Obediently, Kirk tried
to remember her. The dark eyes, the smile, the tilt of her
head, the mass of dark green hair, the image swirled in his
mind but he could not seem to stabilize it. He realized
that he was breathing more rapidly and the Doctor’s hand
dropped away. He opened his eyes and looked at the Doctor.
The Doctor was looking at the opposite wall of the cave. He
seemed almost discouraged. /Damn,/ Kirk thought, /we can’t
give up now./
“Try again?” he said lightly.
“Do you feel up to it? This may turn out to be
physically painful to you, and in your present condition…”
“I’ll make it.”
He closed his eyes again and felt the Doctor’s hand come
back on his head. He summoned the image again. It came,
moving, refusing to become firm. He felt weak. No wonder
Spock was leery of using the mind-meld if it was as tiring
as this. Come on, he thought, when have you ever had
trouble remembering a pretty face?
/Something is missing./ The Doctor thought.
/Missing?/ Kirk tried not to look at the image but to
think about the woman he had just left.
/The crystal./ He thought at the Doctor.
/Of course, the crystal is part of her./ Kirk grabbed
the floating image and placed the dilithium crystal at her
neck. Immediately the image became sharp and clear. As if
she was in his mind, looking at him. He felt the Doctor’s
mind move in his.
/NOW! – call her!/
/El Donna. .. El Donna!/ Without warning, another mind
touched his. He felt his body double over in spasm and the
Doctor’s other hand catch and cradle his head.
/Captain? Why are you calling me?/ The spasm seemed to
ease slightly as he felt her mind settle into his.
/The Doctor needs to talk to you./
/The Doctor? Your liegelord?/
/Yes. Here…/ Kirk felt the Doctor’s mind
move forward and meet El Donna’s. Now he could sit back and
let these two handle it.
/The invaders – the Daleks – are still here. A rear
guard, in the mountains./
/So, the machines have not gone./
/They have killed our escort. We must join now to destroy
/Before myself and others of the greatest power
joined with the machine lovers – those whom you call the
Techies. Now the others of the Power who joined with me are
gone. Our powers are diminished. Our weapons cannot equal
theirs. What can we do??/
/It is possible that an avalanche could be triggered
on their camp. Do you have enough of the Power left to do that?/
/I would need the assistance of others. They will have to
come from afar. It will take time./
Kirk felt himself being stirred from his bystander
/Doctor./ He could sense that his body was objecting to the
effort it was taking to enter the conversation.
/You are not alone in this./
/What do you mean?/
/There is the Enterprise./ The Doctor did not respond.
/Had you forgotten?/
/What about your Prime Directive?/
/To hell with the Prime Directive!/
He could feel the Doctor’s laughter and it somehow
made the pain in his body ease.
/Captain, I think I like you./
/Can we reach her?/
/Who is this Enterprise?/ El Donna questioned sharply.
/It is his ship./
/Strange,to love a machine so./
Kirk realized that if they did not act quickly his body
would collapse from the effects of the linking.
/Can we reach Spock?/
/Image him for me, Captain, and I shall reach
him./ El Donna’s mental voice was brisk and quite matter-of-
Kirk again tried to summon a mental image. This time,
Spock. His muscles were quivering as if he had been running
/With this image I can help./ The Doctor’s mind swept into
The image he had been striving for sharpened, became
/Captain, I can drop you from the link now./
/No Doctor. This time he was the one laughing. If you
want the Enterprise to fire her phasers on this planet,
I have to give the order.
/If it costs you your life?/
/If it does – then it does./ He felt his muscles
contract tightly, almost in spasm.
/Captain. .. as you wish it./
One part of his mind seemed to feel the Doctor holding him,
the other brought the image of Spock into focus again.
/El Donna./ The Doctor called. /The image – can you reach
And Spock was there.
/Captain – Jim?!/ Spock’s mind seemed reassuringly familiar.
/Spock. Full phasers …/ El Donna’s mind was there, linked
with the Doctor’s and coordinates appeared in his mind.
/Captain – the Prime Directive?/
/Spock/ No good to give Spock the answer that had so
readily satisfied the Doctor. /The Daleks, the ones who
invaded this planet before – still here – are the violators./
He felt his body spasm violently again and knew that the
three minds in his felt it too.
/Jim! Doctor, get him out of this!/
/My decision, Spock. You have your orders./
And the world slid away.
He came to to find himself lying on the floor of the
cave wrapped in Doctor’s coat. The Doctor was standing at
the entrance looking out.
“Doctor?” He tried to lift his head.
The Doctor moved back and made him lie down.
“Don’t try to move. You won’t have the strength. Don’t
even try to talk. Spock will never forgive me if I don’t
get you back safely.”
Kirk took a deep breath. The Doctor was right. He didn’t
have any strength left.
“You missed the fireworks. That’s the easiest time I’ve
ever had with Daleks.”
Odd, Kirk thought, he would have thought that the Doctor
would be exuberant, but he seemed strangely subdued. He was
taking a metal object out of his pocket – the sonic
screwdriver Scotty had been trying to analyze.
“I’m setting this to a signal your transporter will be
able to home in on. We should be having company soon.” He
smiled at Kirk as a small section of the screwdriver seemed
to extend. “At least you won’t have to ride a horse back.”
There was the familiar shimmer of the transporter beam
and Spock and McCoy were there. McCoy moved quickly over to
Kirk, the medical tricorder going. From the look on his face
Kirk knew that the results were not good.
“Is this from that damned mind-meld of yours?” McCoy
said, turning to the Doctor who was undeniably looking
guilty. Kirk caught Spock’s eye.
“Doctor McCoy, the decision to attempt the telepathic
contact was the Captain’s.”
“He couldn’t have known it would have this effect!”
“Bones,” Kirk felt that he had to stop the argument.
What was done was done. “It was my choice.” He had to stop
to take another deep breath. “Check the Doctor.”
McCoy looked at him for a minute and then swung the
tricorder over toward the Doctor. Kirk nearly laughed as he
saw the burned hand disappear into a coat pocket.
“I’m fine,” said the Doctor defiantly.
“Like hell you are. You’ve got second degree burns on
your right hand, three broken ribs and what amounts to a
“I feel fine.” The Doctor smiled at McCoy.
“Ha! At least this time I can treat you properly. And
that’s what I’m going to do!”
“Doctor McCoy,” Spock interrupted, “I would suggest that
we return to the hospital with your patients.” Kirk closed
his eyes again as he saw the Vulcan bending down to pick him
up. In spite of the gentleness of the touch, he was
unconscious again in seconds.
His next memories were nightmares. Strange but familiar
faces hovering over him shouting, “Hang on, Captain, hang
on, Jim, hang on. Hang on.” Damn it, he was hanging on! He
sensed a presence that was not shouting. He opened his eyes
to see Spock standing by his bed.
“Thanks” he said.
“You’re not shouting.”
“What did he say?” Another presence – he turned his head
– the Doctor. He looked around the room. Still on the
planet, well, that was where all the medical people were.
“He said something about shouting.” Spock seemed
“Shouting?” Kirk closed his eyes again.
“No one’s been shouting in here.” Spock said.
“Maybe not. Your medical indicators are showing an
improvement now. Lt. Stephans! Come in here!”
The shouting started again. Worry, concern, fear echoing
in his mind. “What’s happened, what’s wrong?”
“See there! Now, Lieutenant, get out of here.”
The shouting stopped.
“Spock, with the changes in the DNA patterns. . .”
“Why we’re losing all the children. . .”
He opened his eyes again to see Spock and the Doctor
staring at each other. The Doctor smiled and Spock nodded.
They turned to leave the room and the Doctor turned back.
“Don’t worry, Captain, there won’t be anymore shouting.”
And there wasn’t. From his accidental remark the two had
been able to link the effect of the infection to the use of
uncontrolled psychic abilities – a relationship that had
McCoy muttering for days.
When McCoy was satisfied that the raging viral
infection had finally been routed, Kirk was pronounced well
enough to be beamed back to the ship and the treatment of
the medical crew still on board. Watching the medical team
making preparations to transport him up, he rejoiced in
being able to think clearly again even though lifting a hand
was exhausting. Then he had a thought. “Bones.” At least
speaking wasn’t so bad. McCoy came over and stood by the
“Jim, don’t try to talk. It’ll be quite a while before
you get your strength back.”
“It’s okay. I want to talk to Spock.”
McCoy looked at him with relief. “Well, I suppose you’ll
cause more trouble if I don’t let you see him. You can have
one minute.” He went out the door and came back with Spock.
“One minute, that’s all.”
“Of course, Doctor.” Spock said and looked quizzically
down at Kirk.
“Spock, I do not want the Doctor to leave until I get to
talk to him.” Kirk looked up at Spock intently.
“I think he might try to slip away without – saying
goodbye. I have to talk to him before he goes.”
Spock smiled slightly and Kirk was relieved to see that
some of the influence of the Doctor’s mind-melding was still
at work. At least he wasn’t going to get a lecture on the
illogic of wanting to say goodbye.
“Captain, Mr. Scott has not yet completed the design for
the extra dilithium crystals. Even with the Doctor’s help it
will take at least two days. I am quite certain that the
Doctor will not leave until the engineering is completed.”
“Very good, Spock. Just have him see me before he goes.”
“I will see to it, Captain.”
Kirk smiled as his first officer turned and left. McCoy
was right. Spock was easier with himself than he ever had
been. Still, after the Doctor left, and they returned to
their universe and the effect of the meld had worn off –
could there be a whiplash effect to this? He thought about
it as the medical team transferred him to the stretcher and
the transporter brought them up to the Enterprise. He would
have to talk to McCoy about it. If Spock suddenly took it
into that Vulcan head of his that behaving as he had been
was aberrational, Spock could wind up throwing away
everything he had finally started to put together. Kirk
wondered if there were any nut cults on Vulcan – probably
not. Still, with Spock’s tour of duty coming to an end, he
would be quite free to leave Starfleet. Well, whatever
Spock decided, he’d back him. At any rate, he thought, as
they transferred him to the bed in Sickbay, he wasn’t going
to be physically fit to command a starship for some time.
And his hair was falling out. He felt a hypospray against
his arm and as he fell asleep thought of the Doctor blithely
saying “Changes.” ++++++++++
The next day Kirk awoke from a catnap to see McCoy
standing by the bed.
“Good morning.” McCoy said.
“Is that what it is? I’ve lost track.”
“It’s not surprising.”
“Was it that bad?”
“We nearly lost you.”
Kirk looked at McCoy and smiled. After a moment McCoy
smiled back. “I’m getting too old for these close calls.”
McCoy paused for a moment. “I’m also getting too old to get
used to another Spock.”
“What do you mean by that?”
“Did anything – unusual – happen on that little trip you
took with the Doctor?”
“Nothing you don’t know about. I’ve listened to the
Doctor’s report and it’s quite accurate. Why?”
McCoy shook his head. “I can’t tell you anything
specific, but I’m positive that something happened that
wasn’t reported.” The events of the last days on Lightunder
were unexpectedly replaying in his mind.
After getting Kirk settled, McCoy had found that his
other patient had disappeared. He was not really surprised.
The Doctor had demonstrated that he had as strong an
aversion for being confined for treatment as Kirk and Spock.
He finally tracked him down in one of the TARDIS’
laboratories. He and Spock were studying the results of the
most recent gram isolation tests.
– “Doctor,” McCoy said, “if you can tear yourself away
for about two hours, I can treat you and send you back to
“I’ve got more important things to do,” the Doctor
snapped irritably. Spock looked at the Doctor with surprise.
“Doctor, it is illogical for you to assume that you can
work with normal efficiency while you are in pain.”
“Pain? Don’t be ridiculous – my body heals very rapidly
and lying around won’t speed things up at all.”
McCoy looked at the readings on his medical tricorder
and was about to respond to the Doctor’s statement when
Spock stood up and walked over to the Doctor. “While Dr.
McCoy’s medical treatment is quite primitive, I do not think
that he will simply have you recline in a passive state and
wait for your own healing process to function. Now are you
going to accompany him?”
“Spock, I’m fine. I don’t need any medical treatment.
I’ve got work to do.” The Doctor turned back to the
electronic projection he had been studying.
Spock glanced at McCoy. In response to the uplifted
eyebrow McCoy just shook his head. He disliked reluctant
patients, but there was no denying what his medical
instrumentation was telling him. `Primitive’ it might be
according to Vulcan or Time Lord standards, but he had seen
the Doctor’s normal readings and what was indicated now was
far from anything resembling those.
With one fluid motion, Spock administered the Vulcan
neck pinch and caught the Doctor as he fell.
“Very efficient, Spock. Let’s get him into the medical
One of the rooms in the TARDIS had been converted into
an emergency treatment area. The portable equipment from the
Enterprise which had been installed there enabled McCoy to
treat almost any emergency. It only took a few minutes to
remove the Doctor’s outer coats and his shirt and get him on
the treatment table. McCoy was thankful that the Doctor
remained unconscious. In the mood he was in, he would have
been loudly protesting the whole time. As much as McCoy
disliked reluctant patients, he disliked noisy reluctant
patients even more. By the time the Doctor was conscious,
had completed his analysis of the damaged area involving the
Doctor’s rib cage and was calibrating the Bertod Ray
Attenuator that would enable a rapid mending.
“The Platysternidae is a slow moving creature.” The
Doctor said. His blue eyes focused accusingly on Spock. “You
did something to me.”
“It is quite illogical for you to attempt to work in a
physical condition that is below normal.” Spock replied
quite calmly. The Doctor looked ready to dispute Spock’s
statement when McCoy intervened. “Now, Doctor, there’s no
sense in getting angry at Spock.”
“Angry? I never get angry.” The Doctor said, clipping
the ends of his words in a brusque, precise manner. “Even
when people interfere with what I want to do, I don’t get
“Well then, you’re doing the best imitation of a man
about to get very angry that I’ve ever seen.” McCoy turned
the attenuator on. “If Spock hadn’t dropped you, I would
have.” The Doctor looked at McCoy in surprise. “I can lay
my hands on at least ten things now that’ll put you to sleep
like a baby and when, in my medical opinion, Doctor, you
need to be treated in order to remain a viable part of this
team, I will not hesitate to use them. You may be the
Doctor, Doctor, but I have the full medical responsibility
for this team and I will not evade that responsibility by
allowing any member to go off on some masochistic ego trip
and ignore his body’s own natural warning signs! Now since
your body is so much better than a human body, it may not
even take two hours to heal under the Berthod ray – but you
are going to stay here until Nurse Chapel confirms that your
ribs and lung have healed. Now let me see that hand.”
The Doctor had listened to McCoy with an awed
fascination and promptly held his hand out. “Bones,” he
said, a wicked grin unexpectedly lighting up his face, “When
you were in Medical School, what sort of a grade did you get
in `bedside manner’?”
McCoy heard a noise behind him and, turning, saw that
Spock was leaving the room. Chris Chapel seemed to be
intensely studying the lower panel of the Attenuator. He ran
the medical tricorder over the Doctor’s burned hand.
“Y’know, I never heard that `bedside manner’ was related to
medical skill.” He looked at the Doctor. “That’s a nasty
“The Daleks do not have a reputation for being nice.”
The Doctor looked tired.
“This won’t hurt, but your hand may be a little stiff
until it heals.” McCoy sprayed the burned area and put the
Doctor’s hand down. He glanced at the bruised area on the
Doctor’s side and noted with pleasure that the discoloration
had already begun to face. “Now I know you’re going to get
edgy just lying there, so I’m going to give you a sedative
that will keep you quiet for about an hour. By the time you
wake up, you’ll be back to normal.”
The Doctor did not protest as McCoy administered the
hypospray. “Bones, I wish. .
“You know,” from the Doctor’s voice, McCoy could tell
that the medication was taking effect. “No one gets too old
to learn a new way of being stupid.” McCoy looked at the now
sleeping figure in puzzlement. He had no idea what
occasioned that remark, and he knew that any attempts to
pursue it would be rebuffed.
During the next several days, McCoy became convinced
that the Doctor was determined to demonstrate his
superiority over the human members of the team. He worked
without sleep, running test after test, trying to find a
clue to the control of the deadly elusive virus. The only
sign of fatigue that McCoy could pinpoint was that his
joking remarks were devolving into the lowest level of
Each day saw Kirk’s condition worsen.
When the Doctor and Spock happened on the causal
relationship between the effect of the virus and the
uncontrolled use of psychic abilities, McCoy was convinced
that they were now in complete control of the situation.
The Doctor’s natural exuberance returned as patient after
patient was successfully treated.
McCoy could not enter the room where Kirk lay isolated,
but he was waiting outside while the Doctor and Spock
administered the treatment. After a longer time than any of
tee other patients had required to respond, the Doctor
emerged alone. His face was deadly serious. He looked at
McCoy and said, “He’s not responding.”
“Not at all?”
“Not worse – but not at all better.”
“Even if he doesn’t get worst, he can’t.
“Three hours – maybe four.” The fatigue that McCoy had
been expecting was suddenly there in his voice.
“Come on, Doctor, I think we’d better sit down.”
The Doctor did not protest as McCoy led him into a
nearby vacated room. Once inside, however, another frantic
burst of energy caused him to pace back and forth in the
narrow space between the bed and the wall.
“It should have worked. Every test, every calculation –
every other patient proved it.” He stopped and turned to
McCoy. “He’s an unusual man – your Captain.” He glared at
McCoy as if daring him to dispute the statement.
“He is.” McCoy stated calmly. There didn’t seem to be
any sense in both of them getting upset. “He’ll be the first
Starship Commander to complete a five-year mission with ship
and crew virtually intact.”
“The first?” The Doctor looked surprised. “Why?”
“Because he knows when to go by the book – and when to
throw it out.”
“And we’re going to lose him here.” He turned to the
door- and McCoy was not surprised to see Spock come in.
Spock was carrying one the Enterprise’s recording tablets
and the skin on his face was tight against the bone. The
Doctor reached out and took the tablet from Spock’s hand. He
looked at the notes and with a suddenness that made McCoy
jump, flung the tablet to the floor. He looked at it laying
there and then looked at Spock.
“I know,” he said, as if in response to an unspoken
comment. “It doesn’t change anything. But then again,” he
smiled wryly, “What’s the point of being grown up if you
can’t be childish?”
“Jim?” McCoy whispered.
“Still alive. But the treatment is definitely
ineffective.” Spock’s voice was level as always, but McCoy
recognized that it was not because of a lack of feeling.
“Now what?” McCoy asked.
“Try something else.” The Doctor bent to pick up the
tablet. “There’s always something else.”
“For what?” McCoy looked over to see Lt. Stephans
standing in the door behind Spock. “I don’t mean to
interrupt, but it sounded as though someone was throwing
“The Captain seems to be immune to the only treatment we
have.” The Doctor said bluntly. “Don’t want to throw
“If it would help, I would. However, I don’t think I
could be of much more help than that here.”
Spock and the Doctor exchanged swift glances. “Explain,”
“My field is Xenobiology – the Captain’s human. . .”
Spock’s eyes lit up and the Doctor shouted “That’s it!”
With a leap he was shaking her hand and patting her
exuberantly on the back. “Good girl,” he said, beaming at
“Doctor,” McCoy said, “knowing why Jim doesn’t respond
to the treatment doesn’t help us find a treatment he will
“Logically. . .” Spock said.
“Oh pooh,” interrupted the Doctor. “Logic is the science
of going wrong with confidence. We’ve got the same disease,
curable in individuals of the same species and intractable
in an individual of another species. All we have to find is
the denominator of difference.”
“Exactly.” Spock said. The Doctor looked at him and
laughed. McCoy and Stephans smiled at each other.
“Now then,” the Doctor said, “We have our best research
sources right here.” With one swift movement he had McCoy
and Stephans seated next to each other on the bed and
perched himself backwards on a chair opposite them. He
glanced at Spock and Spock pulled up a chair and sat down
too. McCoy looked at them. One was sitting in a proper and
correct fashion, leaning forward slightly with interest.
The other was sprawled over and around the wrong side of the
chair. Like two sides of a coin, he thought and glanced at
Lt. Stephans, wondering if the same thought had occurred to
her. He couldn’t tell if it had. She was looking straight
at the Doctor. Even her shoulder length copper colored hair
was completely still.
“Now then,” said the Doctor, “What do we know about this
“Its effectiveness is directly linked to the use of
psychic abilities.” McCoy answered.
“The uncontrolled use of psychic abilities.” Spock
“Exactly,” commented Lt. Stephans. “An individual with
no active psychic ability – or a superior control – only
contracts a mild case and recovers rapidly.”
“We haven’t had many of those!” McCoy said.
“That’s strange,” said the Lieutenant, “I don’t recall
that the Captain was ever identified as even marginally
“He isn’t – or he wasn’t,” McCoy said. “Now, the problem
seems to be that what ability he does have is literally
feeding the virus.”
“But most of the adult Lightunder people we’ve seen have
managed to pull through. The major problem has been with the
children – both in catching the virus and combating it.”
said the Doctor.
“Not just `children’, Doctor,” Lt. Stephans continued.
“Specifically, the break occurs exactly with the completion
McCoy looked at her in surprise. He hadn’t realized that
she had had the time to do any research into the basic
biological cycles on Lightunder.
“Quite right, Dorcy. Now, can you detail the
differences during this time between Lightunderans and
humans?” asked the Doctor.
The Lieutenant nodded and abruptly stared into a corner
of the room. McCoy looked at her in increasing astonishment.
“Doctor McCoy,” Spock said dryly, “I believe we are
about to see an example of Cultural Survey and Contact’s new
eidetic memory control training.”
“Difference during pubertal transition – Lightunder and
Terra.” The Lieutenant’s voice had flattened somewhat but
there was obviously a human control over the generation of
the data. The Doctor beamed at her with pleasure. “Onset
of puberty the Lightunder humanoid causes a flux in the
production of an adrenaline-like hormonal substance. As
production ebbs, the individual’s psychic abilities, when
present, overcome the natural balance and cause dizziness,
spacial disorientation, hallucinations, and, in extreme
cases, death. As the flux stabilizes to the adult level, the
individual gradually acquires a somewhat variant control
over the now active psychic abilities.” She blinked and
looked at the Doctor expectantly. “Does that sound helpful?”
“What’s the chemical formula for this substance?” McCoy
“CN3H2O2 bonded in a tri-nitrous base of BCzC4.”
McCoy felt his heart sink. He shook his head. “Any
mixture like that would kill Captain as surely as the virus
is.” The four of them sat in silence. McCoy felt a sudden
empathy for the Doctor’s desire to throw things.
“But it’s still a question of control.” Spock said,
leaning forward in his chair. “If the psychic abilities the
captain has could be controlled in some other way.
“Of course!” McCoy said. “If one of you could duplicate
the chemical effect in a chemical fashion…” Spock and the
Doctor looked at each other. “Can you do it?” He knew the
answer from the look on the Doctor’s face.
“No,” Spock said.
The Doctor shook his head. “I seem to be good at
starting things, but stopping that takes tremendous power
under superb control.” His voice was bleak.
“Isn’t there someone on this planet who could?” The
Lieutenant asked in a level voice.
The Doctor’s face brightened. “El Donna!” he said
“Of course,” Spock said. “She could do it – but will
The Doctor hesitated for a moment. “Yes, I think she
will. She took a liking to your Captain. I expect most
people do.” His voice had the same edge of defiance McCoy
had heard before. This time the Lieutenant picked it up and
glanced questioningly at McCoy. McCoy shrugged his own
“Can she be reached quickly? Our time is increasingly
limited.” Spock looked at the Doctor.
“I think I can get her attention – with your help.”
Spock nodded and the Doctor got up.
“If you two are going to link up again, Doctor, you’d
better lie down.” McCoy said.
“Oh, well, if you think so.”
“I think so, Doctor,” said Spock.
The Doctor laid down on the bed. Spock sat on one side
and placed his hands in position on the Doctor’s head. The
Doctor smiled at Spock and closed his eyes. McCoy took a
deep breath as he walked around to the foot of the bed and
watched them establish their mental communication. It might
be `natural’ to them, but it seemed to set his teeth on
edge. It was something beyond his control, and it made him
nervous. He opened his medical tricorder and, hearing a hum
behind him, realized that the Lieutenant had started hers.
“Monitoring the Doctor,” she said.
McCoy turned his tricorder on Spock and winced as he
watched the medical graphic display.
“They’re both on the edge of exhaustive collapse.” The
The readings on McCoy’s tricorder went suddenly askew
and he recognized the pattern he had seen before when the
two had melded.
“They’re in the meld now,” he said. “I didn’t hear Spock
“He doesn’t need to any more with the Doctor. If they
were together much more, this kind of thing would be
routine. Both hearts stabilizing rates.”
“Blood pressure normal. Alpha and Gamma waves peaking.”
Spock took his hands away from the Doctor’s head and
turned to McCoy. “She’s on her way.”
McCoy looked at the Doctor. He was lying very still and
his eyes were still closed.
“She and her escort will be teleporting here. The Doctor
is acting as a location beam.”
There was a multicolored burst of light near the bed
and, with a slight popping noise, a woman and two men
appeared. The Lieutenant quickly shut off her tricorder and
McCoy followed suit. Damn! but she was lovely, McCoy
thought. Petite, with a slim lithe figure, great dark eyes,
a mass of curly dark green hair set off by a floor length
flowing yellow gown, and a glow that gave her a regal
presence. The Doctor got up from the bed.
“El Donna,” he said respectfully.
One of the armed men with her stepped forward. McCoy
recognized him – Raul d’Colm’n.
“We have come at your request, Time Lord, to handle that
which you cannot,” Raul said.
“Raul, you will speak no more of this. I have already
spoken with the Doctor on it.” A faint but decisive hint of
command in El Donna’s beautifully modulated voice brooked no
hint of defiance. Raul stepped back.
“Your pardon.” He bowed to the Doctor.
The Doctor brushed the apology aside. “The Captain is in
here.” He started toward door. “Some of our medical
machines are also in the room.”
Raul started to speak but El Donna interrupted. “He is
not ours. The machines will not interfere.”
“Spock,” said McCoy, “Would it be possible for me to be
Before Spock could answer, El Donna turned and looked up
at Mccoy. The Crystal at her throat was glowing dimly. “You
are his friend and his physician. You may be with us. And
you?” She looked at the Lieutenant.
“El Donna, I would have no reason to be there save
“An admirable trait, but not to be indulged on this
occasion.” The two women smiled at each other and the
selected group left the room.
They entered Kirk’s room and El Donna stepped close to
the bed. McCoy looked at his friend and then up at the
medical indicators for reassurance. The body in the bed was
emaciated, the hair thinning, no visible sign of life. Yet
the medical indicators showed that Kirk was still alive.
The Doctor walked around to the other side of the bed,
glanced down at Kirk and then looked at El Donna. She did
not look at the medical indicators; her gaze was fixed on
Kirk. McCoy swallowed convulsively and realized that Spock
was standing next to him. The tension in the room was
El Donna stretched her hands out over the bed, palms
down. McCoy could see a pulsing glow from the dilithium
crystal at her neck. A phosphorescent swirling fog seemed to
appear between her hands and Kirk’s body. She moved her
hands and the glow followed them, spiraling in a tumbling
pattern between her hands and Kirk’s head. For a moment the
flow seemed to hesitate and Raul raised his hand to his
head, the crystal on his wrist glowing. The flow stabilized
then, moving in a pulsing rhythm toward Kirk and then,
abruptly, flowing back. Three times it pulsed between the
two. McCoy noticed that the eerie glow seemed to be growing
brighter. Then its movement from Kirk to El Donna’s hands
slowed. McCoy had a feeling that this time it was pulling
something with it. It suddenly broke free and dissipated its
brilliance around the room.
Kirk’s body heaved with a convulsive spasm. McCoy
started for the bed, but the Doctor was closer and the
Doctor was the one who held the body as the spasm subsided.
McCoy looked at the medical monitors. Their message was
clear; Kirk was now winning the battle. The antidote had
taken effect. He felt a hand grab his arm. It was Spock.
“He’s made it, Spock.” McCoy whispered.
The Doctor, still holding Kirk, looked at McCoy and
“Bravo!” he said with a smile to El Donna as he lay Kirk
down again and stood up.
With a start, McCoy realized that El Donna’s eyes were
full of tears.
“That is a terrible thing that I have done for you, Time
Lord. Had you summoned me earlier, I could have left the
power with him. Now he is totally bereft.”
“El Donna,” said Spock, “the Captain will not miss what
he never knew he had – and you have saved his life.”
“For my people, Mr. Spock, what he has lost is more than
life. It may come back in time, but it is still a death and
“He is alive.” The Doctor said.
“That is because of your choice, not his. You stand as
his liegelord and you must answer to him for it. You speak
of change, Time Lord, and urge such change on us – but will
you be prepared for the change that you must face?” Without
waiting for a reply, El Donna stepped back between her two
escorts and, with a hissing noise, they disappeared.
As they disappeared, McCoy heard the Doctor take a deep
breath and Spock moved quickly over to the bed and looked
down at Kirk.
“Pompous, puffed-up psychics!” said the Doctor. “Always
having the last word. What does she know.
“Doctor,” said Spock. “I thank you.”
“You’re not everyone, Spock.”
“She is not the Captain,” Spock replied.
“Neither is she speaking for me or any of the others on
the Enterprise.” McCoy said. He didn’t like the look on the
Doctor’s face. He had a sudden hunch that if the Doctor
could have left in his TARDIS at that moment he would. “That
the Captain is alive now – and that we’re all going to be
able to return to our own universe is because of you.”
“Because of me?” The Doctor said in surprise. “Oh
nonsense anyone could have. well, almost anyone. . .” McCoy
shook his head, smiling.
“If you two don’t have anything better to do, I’d like
to get on with taking care of my patient.”
“Doctor,” said Spock, “I believe that Mr. Scott has
encountered some difficulty in the design for the use of
those additional dilithium crystals.” Spock turned and
walked toward the door. After hesitating a moment, the
Doctor joined him. “We also need to begin the disengagement
of the computer link between.
McCoy watched them leave and resisted the impulse to
tell them both to get some rest. He took out his tricorder
and began to analyze Kirk’s condition.
“I can see that that’s an experience you don’t want
repeated, Bones.” Kirk said. “But what makes you say that
the Doctor is like Spock?”
“Well, I know he was hurt by what El Donna said. And I’m
equally as sure that something else happened to him on the
trip with you.” Kirk shook his head in puzzlement. “I don’t
think that he quite accepted what I said,” McCoy continued,
“but since then I haven’t been able to get to him to try and
convince him that I really mean it.”
“Why not?” Kirk was perplexed. The Doctor had always
seemed to be quite accessible.
“Y’know how Spock uses that `I am a Vulcan’ bit when he
wants to shut you out?” Kirk nodded. “Well, I may be
completely out of line, but I’d be willing to bet that the
Doctor uses that clown act of his in the same way. You can’t
really touch him with a ten foot pole.”
“So you’re frustrated.”
“Well, I keep reminding myself that he’s not a member of
our crew, and he’s apparently quite capable of taking care
of himself, but…”
“He’s a friend.” McCoy nodded in agreement. “And you
don’t like to see your friends hurt.” Kirk was beginning to
feel tired again.
“You’d better get some more sleep.” McCoy said. “One
other thing, though, what did El Donna mean by the Doctor
having to face a change?”
“I don’t know Bones – it sounds as though she is seeing
something that the Doctor is going to have difficulty
dealing with.” Kirk recalled the Doctor going off with Raul
after the duel. “I suspect that he’s been trying to get
their culture to accept the changes the war has made them
face – and I don’t think she approves of that.”
The next day McCoy announced that the Doctor had come to
see him before leaving.
“Spock said you wanted to see me, Captain,” announced
the Doctor as he swept into the room and sprawled into the
chair next to Kirk’s bed. In spite of the words, Kirk sensed
that some of the surging exuberance was repressed. He looked
carefully at the man in the bulky clothes slouched in the
chair. The Doctor seemed to be studying his shoes.
“Doctor.” The head came up and the blue eyes stared at
him warily. The look was familiar. “Doctor,” he said,
shaking his head and laughing, “you are a fraud!” The
Doctor’s eyes widened in astonishment. “For all your
carrying on, you don’t like emotional scenes any more than
Spock does. You’re embarrassed!”
“I am never embarrassed.” replied the Doctor haughtily.
“Of course not.” Kirk smiled. “Then you’re not going to
object if I apologize to you.”
“I misjudged you and I do most sincerely regret that.”
“Oh that,” the Doctor got up and walked over to the
monitor by the other bed. Still facing away from Kirk, he
said, “It’s very difficult to judge people properly all the
“I nearly died because of it.”
“Captain,” the Doctor seemed to square his shoulders and
turned around. “If I had not stimulated your latent
telepathic abilities, the virus would not have been able to
gain the hold that it did.”
“Doctor, McCoy has already been through that with me. I
would remind you that I would have died at the end of Raul’s
sword had not been for you.” The Doctor’s eyes studied Kirk
carefully and Kirk went on, “And Doctor, you never made me
do anything. And what I did by choice, I would do again.”
The Doctor seemed to be considering Kirk’s words. Kirk
wondered how many humans the Doctor had outlived.
“Well,” said the Doctor, “It might have been his knife.”
He smiled luminously at Kirk.
“You’re incorrigible.” Kirk laughed.
“That’s what all my teachers said.”
Spock and McCoy came into the room.
“Doctor,” Spock said, “We will be warping out of here in
“Is there anything we can do for you before you go?”
“For me? Oh no, the TARDIS is quite self-sustaining.” He
settled his hat to the back of his head.
“I don’t suppose we’ll meet again.” McCoy interjected.
“Doctor McCoy, there is a 61.725 percent probability
that the Doctor will arrive at some time in our universe.”
Kirk looked at Spock in amazement and then at the
Doctor. The Doctor seemed to accept the statement. “Spock –
Spock and the Doctor exchanged glances and Spock
continued. “In entering and leaving the Doctor’s universe,
we will have created a weakness between this universe and
our own. The Doctor’s TARDIS utilizes the same principle as
our warp drive. It is this particular use of power that
enables transfer between universes. The Doctor’s control of
the TARDIS is not reliable.”
“I like it the way it is,” interrupted the Doctor
“Indeed. You would not permit Mr. Scott to work on it.
As long as it is in its present condition, there is a 61.7..
“All right, Spock,” Kirk said. “Doctor, do you agree
with Mr. Spock’s conclusion?”
“I won’t dispute it, Captain.”
“Then I think that there is something that I can to for
“Article 110, Captain?” asked Spock. Kirk smiled. His
first officer was certainly reading his mind today. He
looked at McCoy.
“Jim – you’ve never used that before.”
“I never had any reason to, Bones. Don’t you think that
it would be an appropriate -gift?”
“Perfect.” McCoy smiled as smugly as if he had had the
idea himself. The Doctor looked uneasy and Kirk wondered how
many times in his adventures he had ever been thanked by
anyone he helped.
“Computer,” Kirk said.
“This is Captain James T. Kirk – acknowledge.”
“Prepare to implement Command Decision under Article
“The individual known as the Doctor is to be considered
a citizen in full standing of the Federation and is to hold
the honorary rank of Commander in Starfleet. Standard
identification patterns as follow.” Kirk nodded at McCoy who
took one of the computer input cartridges from his files and
entered it in the slot. The computer hummed as it digested
“Acknowledged. Article 110 Command Decision
The Doctor was looking at Kirk in amazement.
“Now, Doctor, this obligates to nothing – but if you
should run up against some other muleheaded Starship
Captain, or a government bureaucrat, you can make them call
up this record. Not only will it identify you, but it will
provide you with some authority. If it is ever called up,
the record of what you have done for us will be there too.”
“Captain, I. . .” Kirk realized that the voluble Doctor
was at a loss for words. He abruptly shrugged his shoulders
and shook his head and looked at the three men who were
watching him. “Thank you.” He stepped forward and offered
his hand to Kirk who took it without hesitation. The warmth
of the handshake said more to Kirk than the Doctor could
have possibly expressed in words. “Thank you,” he said
again and glanced around at all of them.
“Doctor,” said Spock, “you have ten minutes before you
have to leave.”
The Doctor stepped back and settled his hat at a rakish
angle on his head. He smiled brightly. “Since you people
place such a high priority on saying goodbye, I’m going to
go and say goodbye to Lt. Stephans. I’ll see you down at the
TARDIS in five minutes.”
Kirk watched the tall figure leave the room with regret.
“Spock, if the Doctor does land in our Universe, what
are the chances – no, on second thought, don’t tell me.”
“Jim,” said McCoy, “You don’t need Spock to figure out
that if we ever run into the Doctor again either we’ll be in
some kind of trouble, or he’ll be in some kind of trouble,
but either way, we’ll all wind up in trouble!”
“Doctor McCoy,” said Spock, “If you are implying that
the Doctor has a knack for landing in the middle of
unpleasant situations.. . you are quite correct in your
assumption.” A slight smile curved one corner of Spock’s
mouth. McCoy laughed.
“Damn it, Spock, I wish we’d run into the Doctor five
Spock cocked a quizzical eyebrow at McCoy.
“Gentlemen,” Kirk said, “if you want to see the TARDIS
off, I would suggest that you be on your way.”
Kirk watched the two leave and lay back in the bed
staring up at the ceiling. It had all started five years
ago, and now this time had come and there was the unknown
future still ahead.
An alien sound seemed to echo through the halls and he
knew that the Enterprise was going home.
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