68. Camouflage68. Camouflage
Jim groaned and blinked his eyes open to see two concerned faces looking down at him. Closing his eyes against his throbbing head he swallowed hard. "So…I'm guessing that they spotted us?"
McCoy hauled his friend up, checking the back of his head. "How did you guess? Hold still."
"Are you both alright?"
Spock watched as they stood. "I awoke ten-point-seven minutes ago, Doctor McCoy awoke five-point-three minutes later. I estimate that we have all been unconscious for two-point-fifteen hours."
"Estimate?" Jim rubbed at his head gingerly.
"Yes, I regret that I cannot be more precise."
The Captain's mouth twitched. "I'm sure you'll do better in the future."
McCoy rolled his eyes.
Jim looked around the cave, frowning. "Where are we?"
"I think this is where they throw their prisoners to die." McCoy muttered.
Fighting a small smile, Jim leaned against the wall. "Where's Eriks and Mallory?"
"…They got them before we even cleared the trees."
67. Lie67. Lie
Untruths are pretty much a give-in when dealing with humans. They are fallible and prone to making mistakes after all. Now, on the USS Enterprise there is a lie in particular that nearly everyone on board is a part of.
Uhura, Scotty, Chekov and Sulu watched from across the room as Spock and McCoy argued. As the three men entered the lunch-room, Jim looked worn out from his position between them and made a run for it as soon as he spotted the grinning crew-mates. He slumped next to Scotty and rolled his eyes. "I thought I'd have to physically restrain them."
"Dare I ask?"
Jim sighed and accepted the drink his friend offered. "I'm not sure even they know what they're arguing about."
Sulu looked up from the datapad he and Chekov were looking over. "Do you think we should tell them we know?"
Jim smiled. "What? Tell them that we know they love each other and the fighting is fake? Where's the fun in that?"
Uhura raised and eyebrow. "So we let them lie to us and themselves?"
66. Secret66. Secret
Jim slumped against the wall and took a few deep breaths as he cleared his head. What was he thinking?
You want to get the man who killed your friends and possibly hundreds of other people you cared about.
I don't know he is Kodos.
You know that these people were there when Tom was killed. He said that man was Kodos and then he died; who else could he be?
I need proof!
They're dying! Your friends are dying and that monster may be in your grasp. You can end this!
Jim felt cold. It had been so easy to hide behind the 'need-to-know' that hid the identities of witnesses. So no one onboard knew that he was a Tarsus IV surviver other than the other than Kevin. Jim swallowed hard, I should tell Kev...
Not yet, he'll only be upset. Tell Spock and Bones, they can help.
Jim began walking down the corridor, shaking his head. He couldn't possibly tell them, he couldn't possibly deal with that look of pity that always followed that admission.
65. Pollution65. Pollution
McCoy peered around the doorway and sighed at the listless figure on the the bed. Steeling himself, the doctor walked over and sat next to the huddled figure. Leaning back, he looked his friend over. "You alright?"
"No." The young captain uncurled and sat up, rubbing at his eyes tiredly. "But I will be."
They sat there in silence for a long while before McCoy spoke again. "I think we ought to be grateful that men can't go traversing around time on their own yet. The last thing we want to do is pollute the time stream and no man is ready for that burden yet."
Jim smiled weakly and sighed. "Right."
For another long moment they went back to silence before McCoy interjected with: "What on earth was Spock wearing on his head back there? Was that really the best you two could come up with? Man looked like a lumberjack..."
McCoy still hated time-travel but at least Jim was laughing again.
64. Pipe64. Pipe
"Wake up! Dammit, Sulu... Come on Hikaru, open your eyes!"
Scotty looked up nervously and swore to himself as the water continued to gush through the opening far too above him. Shifting the unconscious pilot in his arms, Scotty pulled out his communicator and spat out water as he flipped it open. "Scott to Enterprise. Do ye read me, Enterprise? I have wounded here, I repeat, I have-"
A sudden gush of salty sea water knocked him off his feet and the communicator flew from his hand. For a moment the engineer was lost amidst the swirling and chilling waves and any sense of direction he'd had went out the window. Then his head breached the surface of the churning waters and he had one moment to take a shuddering breath before the terrified thought of 'Hikaru!' sent him diving back into the fray. His eyes stung from the water but he pressed on, searching desperately through the darkness.
He saw the flash of gold seconds before he ran out of air and pushed forward with a Herc
63. Kiss63. Kiss
Affection was not a concept that was highly revered on Vulcan. In fact, it was slightly out of the realm of understanding for Spock. After a year or so of working with his crew-mates he began to see the advantages and repercussions.
Growing up, he hadn't been exposed to much physical affection or comfort. It was simply illogical. However when he had been small his mother had rubbed his arm, hugged him, and even kissed him on the cheek. Never in public but when they were alone she indulged in these human motherly desires; although they stopped to an extent after Spock had turned 10. Still, she managed the odd brief touches.
Jim was the kind of man who seemed to thrive on touch. A very tactile person who clapped people on the shoulder and hugged and laughed and smiled. And kissed.
On Vulcan, kissing was illogical; although a brief touch of two fingers together was an acceptable gesture between a couple. Jim, however, had no qualms about showing large amounts of aff
62. Ripe62. Ripe
Jim looked up from his drink and watched his friends absentmindedly. McCoy was in the middle of a rant about… Well, neither of them was sure of what anymore. The man lounged on the grass, leaning back on his elbows and waving his hand to enhance his point, mindless of the deep red fruit in it. Chuckling quietly, Jim picked up his own treat and bit into it before squeaking rather childishly, as the fruit seemed to explode in his mouth; the sweet juice dribbling down his chin as he wiped at it irritably. Spock raised his eyebrow as he looked up from his own fruit, which he was cutting methodically. The Vulcan reached around and picked up a piece of cloth, which Jim accepted with a sheepish little smile.
"Hard to know which ones are the right firmness." McCoy grinned as he watched the younger man roll onto his side; getting off his stomach and sitting up.
"I like the ripe ones." Jim countered. "What fun is it, if you don't get a little messy?"
"You're a Captain, try