54. Surprise54. Surprise"One of the greatest discoveries a man makes, one of his great surprises, is to find he can do what he was afraid he couldn't do." -Henry FordMcCoy sat at his desk and stared blankly at his hands, thinking over everything that had happened over the last twenty-four hours. He took a swig of his drink and leaned back, rubbing at his eyes and trying to still the tremble in his arms. The doctor had to make a choice between exhaustion and nightmares and quite frankly neither was very appealing. A sound from outside his office made him start. He'd told his people to get some rest and cleared out the Medbay so the last thing he'd expected was-He let out a long sigh as he eyed his intruder and shook his head. Spock looked at McCoy with his usual blank stare from across the examination table before turning his eyes back to the second intruder. Jim was slumped over on the surface, as though he'd fallen asleep while waiting for..."I believe he came here after ending
53. Bubble53. BubbleSpock had never really understood the Terran phrase, 'to burst someone's bubble' until he met Jim Kirk. The very first time he turned down an offer of chess, the younger man had shrugged it off, but not before Spock saw some of light go out of his eyes, his shoulders slump and a sad twitch of his mouth. It had been eerily like a bubble popping, as though a very bright light had suddenly gone out.Admittedly, this was a look Spock wished to avoid as much as possible.
52. Turf52. Turf"How are they?"McCoy looked up at the concerned looking pilot and had to admit that he was feeling just as worried. He ran his scanner over his patients again, soothing Chekov as the young man struggled slightly. The young navigator and his captain were laid out next to one another, both men mostly dead to the world. Although Chekov's injury was somewhat worse, McCoy had heavily sedated the captain, who had tried to get up one time too many.Sulu peered around the corner nervously. "Here's hoping they got our message."McCoy snorted as he checked his friends' bandages. "With our luck we'll-"There was the bright blinding lights and disruptions of a teleporter and then they were in the transporter room. "-be here for a while." McCoy blinked. "Well damn... That was-" He caught sight of a somewhat flustered Vulcan hurrying over. "Oh, that explains a lot."Between themselves and several other officers, they managed to get the two injured men to the MedBay and onto a couple
51. Cricket51. Cricket"Am I to understand..."Spock's voice was slower than usual, with a certain amount of disbelief that usually accompanied a strange new being or a conversation with McCoy. "That the writers wished to highlight the importance of understanding the consequences of one's actions through the idea of a conscience." The Vulcan's eyes narrowed. "And they believed that the most effective way to do so would be through a whistling insect?"The doctor raised his glass over the sounds of Jim and Sulu doubled over in laughter as Chekov and Uhura hushed them. "You've said it before, Spock. Humans are illogical people."Spock spared the screen in front of him with another scathing look. "...Indeed."
50. Splinter50. SplinterPavel Chekov could still remember when he was a boy and his mother dropped a glass bowl onto the hard floor of their kitchen. The bowl had shattered, shards of crystal skidding across the marble surface. To a six year old it had been terrifying to watch the ancient and sturdy bowl almost explode and in a second become nothing. That idea, of something breaking so quickly, so totally had been earth shattering for the boy.Then, years and years later, he saw it all over again. He never would have guessed that the Five Year mission would end this way. Becoming a ship's navigator at twenty-two had been insane. Working with legends has been unimaginable. And for three years he'd watched one of the most fascinating and strange bond form, not just between three incredible men, but the whole crew. Not to sound like a child, but Pavel had learned to adore his captain and in time to love his commander and other officers as well. They were the unbreakable team; Kirk, Spock and
49. Dice49. DiceSpock rolled the two cubes in his hand, frowning in concentration as he analyzed the markings on each of the six sides. "Fascinating, even in a culture as different from earth as this, beings still have the need for such devices of chance."McCoy grinned. "Everyone loves a good game of chance. Nothing like the thrill of a little uncertainty.""It seems an illogical and dangerous habit for one of your position.""Well I think I can indulge on occasion, seeing as how I've got you to balance things out.""Indeed."
48. Cold48. ColdSpock heard the whispers long before any of the ensigns finally addressed him. The woman was tiny, with large nervous eyes and messy hair; her overall appearance showed long nights of hard, endless work and stress. Stammering, she handed over a data pad."S-sir, this is the completed data for trials A through D b-but... E and F need to be redone. There was some contamination with the samples..."Spock's eyes narrowed. "I expressly said that the samples would need special care. This will set back our research by three-point-seventeen days time..." The Vulcan was already calculating the extra work that would need to be done to get the project back on track."We're so sorry." The ensign whimpered. "I know that you told us to use the containers at all times but-""It would have been the correct procedure as I stated at the beginning of the experimentation process. In the future, please, endever to follow my instructions."As he walked off he could hear the young woman's fri
47. Autumn47. Autumn"I love when the trees change color." McCoy sat on his friend's bed, lounging back with a glass of ale and a grin on his face. "Cool air, cloudy skies, all in all it's a pretty nice time of the year.""If feels too…drab for me." Jim smiled down at him and sipped his own drink. "But to each their own. Sorry you had to leave?"Hauling himself up, the good doctor shrugged. "I suppose. Wasn't planning on traveling around in one of these blasted things but I figured this way I could keep an eye on you."The young captain bit back a giggle. "Glad to have you on board."The country doctor's eyes softened. "I hear it's been a rough start.""You heard right." Jim's eyes seemed to darken and shut off. "I never thought I'd be burying a friend so soon. I know it's always a risk but…""It's a part of life Jim." McCoy quickly moved to his side, throwing a friendly arm around his shoulder. "I know Gary and I never got along but I was sad to hear about what happened.""
46. Grove46. Grove"I can still appreciate it, doctor.""Like hell you can.""You make an error in assuming that my-"Jim tuned out his friends and smiled up at the blue sky, shrugging off his jacket absentmindedly. The Starfleet captain was more relaxed than he had been in months and the grounds of the latest castle they'd visited were lovely. Lush green trees flecked with deep red fruits and golden-green vines towered over them in orderly lines; seated on soft, thick grass. Leaves danced on the cool evening breeze as the three men walked through the fruit grove.Spock and McCoy had trailed off as they realized that Jim had wandered ahead with a dreamy look. The doctor sighed and raised his voice."Dammit Jim, put on your jacket. It's too chilly for that.""I'm fine Bones." The young man tossed it to Spock, who frowned at him but accepted the extra layer. "They had places like this in Iowa. Always loved picking fruit in the summer.""It is truly a lovely location.""I still say that som