November 8, 1991
1306 W. Illinois
Aurora, IL 60506 USA
START OF TEXT
THE DOCTOR AND THE ENTERPRISE
by Jean Airey
copyright 1982 Jean Airey
The alien sound pierced Kirk's ears. He stopped, alone
in the corridor, trying to pinpoint its origin.
The transporter room.
He turned and ran towards the door as the klaxon alarm
of a Red Alert sounded. Damn! he thought. It seemed that
the Enterprise could not even make the final trip back to
Earth after completing her five-year mission without
complications. First an emergency rescue of a Cultural
Survey and Contact team and the crew of the liner that had
been transporting them, then a freak magnetic storm that had
buffeted the ship unmercifully and taken out the subspace
radio, and now...
As he entered the room, Lt. Kyle was staring at a large
boxlike structure that stood on several of the transporter
pads. It was about eight feet tall with small opaqued
windows at the top, a white light on the roof that was
rotating slowly, and lettering above the windows that said
`POLICE PUBLIC CALL BOX'.
"It just appeared, sir."
"The transporter wasn't activated?"
"No, sir. We were performing signaling tests, but it
was not activated."
The door at the front of the box started to open. Both
Kirk and Kyle had their phasers out as a man emerged.
Over six feet tall, he was wearing a heavy coat over
clothing that reminded Kirk of the earth styles of the
18905. A long scarf was wrapped around his neck, hanging
down in front on both sides to the floor. A floppy hat
partially covered an abundance of brown curly hair. His
blue eyes seemed to focus suddenly on Kirk and Kyle. One
cheek looked bruised, and he swayed slightly.
"Oh bother," he said with a decided British accent,
"this isn't London."
"Just stand there and keep your hands where we can see
them," Kirk said. He did not seem to be a menace, but Kirk
had seen his ship threatened too often to take any chances.
"No need to panic." The man raised his hands slowly and
eyed the phasers as if he recognized them.
The door behind Kirk opened, and two security guards
took positions on the right and left while McCoy and Spock
came over to Kirk.
"Captain?" Spock already had his tricorder going.
"The box materialized in that position - and he -" Kirk
motioned with his head to the stranger who was watching the
proceedings with curiosity, "came out of it. He hasn't made
any hostile moves. Oh, Spock, the transporter wasn't
The stranger eyed the assembly as if he were accustomed
to weighing the odds against him. Kirk did not miss that
look. In spite of the stranger's unimpressive appearance, he
felt uneasy. He could hear the combined tricorders of Spock
and McCoy humming behind him.
"The - box - would seem to be a representation of a
middle twentieth century English Police Call box. However,
there are some anomalies..."
"He's not human, Jim." McCoy interrupted.
"Captain," said Spock, "I am getting some unusual
readings from inside the device."
As Kirk was realizing that the `box' had now become a
`device', the stranger moved quickly towards its door. The
security guards fired instantly, but he still managed to
close the door as he fell, collapsing on the transporter
"Kyle, see if you can get that door open. Spock, is he
Kyle moved up to the door of the device, but the door
would not open. Spock was carefully analyzing his tricorder
readings. "Captain, the pockets of his coat are filled with
a great many objects. I am unable to ascertain if any of
these might be some type of weapon."
"Empty his pockets." Kirk ordered one of the security
"Captain, in view of the quantity of items present, it
might be more expedient to remove the garment." Kirk nodded
and the security guards moved to comply. As the security
guards were removing the coat and jacket, one of them let
the unconscious body slip slightly. Spock caught the head
just before it hit the floor again.
He stiffened suddenly as the contact was made, his head
snapping up and his eyes abruptly glazing. It took a moment
before Kirk realized that somehow, without willing it, Spock
had mind-melded with the alien.
"Spock!" Kirk moved quickly and tore Spock's hands from
their grip, letting the alien's head fall back to the floor.
"Are you all right?"
Spock's eyes remained glazed for a second and then he
responded, "Quite all right, Captain."
"He has - unusual - psychic abilities. Unconscious - I
unwittingly established the mind- meld."
"What did you find out?"
Spock looked at Kirk reproachfully. "Captain, the
mind-meld was made accidently." Kirk realized that Spock
had in some way violated his sense of ethics by entering the
meld, and now Kirk was compounding the situation by asking
"Does he present a danger to the ship?" Surely Spock
could at least answer that.
"No, Captain, he does not." Spock seemed to have
retreated behind the thickest wall of Vulcan reserve.
"Bones, what is he?"
"Nothing I've ever seen or heard of before." McCoy
moved closer to the unconscious body, clad now in a white
shirt, vest, pants, boots, and with the long multicolored
scarf still wrapped around its neck. "He has a double
circulatory system, - not like Spock's, literally two
hearts, one on each side of his chest, some kind of a double
breathing system, body temperature 17 , blood pressure
almost nonexistent. I can't tell you what he is, Jim, but
even his response to the phaser fire was abnormal - he was
still conscious as he fell. As a matter of fact, I believe
he may have sustained some type of head injury." McCoy ran
the medical tricorder over the stranger's head again. "He
did - but it looks like it's an aggravation of a recent
previous injury. And that's unusual - his skull is very
thick, so what could have caused the original injury..."
"How long will he remain unconscious?"
"Jim, I can't say - longer than normal, with a
combination of two phaser stuns and at the very least a
"Doctor," said Spock, "your ability as a prognostician
would seem to leave something to be desired."
Kirk and McCoy looked at the stranger. His eyes were
open, and he was very apparently conscious.
"Gentlemen," he said, eyeing the security guards as
they moved back into their `alert' position. "Don't you
think that some two sided conversation might be more
informative than your one sided version?" He smiled, as if
finding their reactions deeply funny.
Kirk noticed with surprise that the security guards
were relaxing. "Do you feel well enough to talk to us?"
"Yes, of course. I love to talk - if you are willing
to talk and not shoot. I really hate stun guns."
Glancing at McCoy and Spock and receiving an answering
shrug of shoulders and a tilted eyebrow, Kirk turned back to
the stranger and said, "We can talk in one of our briefing
rooms." The stranger got up slowly, accepting McCoy's help.
"Kyle," said Kirk, "come with us. Spock, have you been able
to clear up that subspace communication problem yet?"
"No, Captain, the fault is not in the computer scanning
system. Lt. Uhura and Commander Scott are continuing to
work on it."
"I want to be informed as soon as anything is found out
about what caused it - and I want it fixed."
"Yes sir." Spock turned to relay the order to the
bridge, informing them that the Captain could be reached in
briefing room 4 at the Transporter level.
The security guards moved to either side of the man. He
glanced at them and then over to Kirk. "Do you consider me
"I have seen danger come to my ship in many forms - I
prefer not to take chances." In spite of Spock's statement,
Kirk was not ready to relax his guard. Their eyes locked,
and the stranger smiled in amusement again. Kirk's eyes
narrowed and then, suddenly returning the smile, he motioned
the guards away. "Kyle, keep your phaser ready."
"A compromise - a very judicious choice."
"What is your name?" asked Kirk.
"Oh, I'm the Doctor."
"The Doctor?" said Kirk as the group left the room.
"Doctor who?" asked McCoy.
"That's right," said the Doctor, beaming at McCoy.
McCoy looked baffled.
"Doctor McCoy," said Spock, "I believe that the `name'
was `The Doctor' - and I should assume that it is in the
nature of a title, and can be most appropriately used
without any surname. However, the Doctor apparently is
accustomed to the human desire to attach at least two names
to all sentient beings. If you wish to use a duonomen form
of address, he would not object if you refer to him as
The Doctor had been listening to Spock with an
infectious smile impossibly growing on his face and Kirk
began smiling too. Somehow an individual who could
appreciate Spock at his most precise did not seem to be a
threat to the Enterprise.
They went into the briefing room and sat down. The
Doctor was looking at Spock closely. "You're not human
"I am a Vulcan."
"Vulcan? From a planet called Vulcan?"
An eyebrow raised. "Yes. Do you know of it?"
"From somewhere - I'll think of it."
"Well, Doctor," said Kirk, "you must realize that the
first question that we need answered is, what are you doing
"I don't know." The Doctor grinned as Kirk winced.
"You mean that you did not control the method of your
arrival on this ship?" asked Spock.
"Exactly. I was expecting the TARDIS to return to
London - in June of 1980, and instead she materialized
"Is the TARDIS the device in the Transporter room?"
"Yes. Ever since I've been using her she doesn't always
go where I expect her to - and I can certainly assure you
that I was not expecting to arrive on your ship."
"What planet are you from originally?" asked Kirk,
hoping to get a simple answer that might help solve the
"Spock?" Kirk had never heard of it, but that did not
mean that it did not exist.
"No record of any planet by that name."
The Doctor was studying Spock intently.
Spock looked up from the science computer viewer.
Under his breath, Kirk could hear him mutter "Vaksh, Vogan,
Voord, Vulcan!" He turned to Kirk suddenly.
"What year is this - Earth time - say, since 1980?"
The Doctor looked puzzled. "Captain, it would seem that
we both have something of an enigma on our hands. You have
me, and I have a Vulcan surviving centuries after his race -
and his planet - was utterly destroyed in a massive civil
war." Spock turned and stared at him.
"Parallel Universes," said Kirk.
"You are familiar with the theory?"
"I - we - have experienced the phenomenon before."
"Can you give me the coordinates of your planet?" Spock
The Doctor could. Spock entered them into the computer
and looked at the response with resignation. "That
planetary system was destroyed when its sun became a red
giant 140,000 years ago."
"So my people do not exist in your universe."
"It would seem unlikely. There are very few
intelligent, space travelling races that are completely
unknown, and the Doctor - Doctor McCoy - has no record of
any race of your type. What do you call yourselves?"
Spock's eyebrow raised, but Kirk decided to interrupt
before his first officer's curiosity could be indulged
further. "It would seem that what we need to do is to find
out how to return you to your own universe."
"No, Captain, I think that the first thing we must find
out is whose universe we are in now."
The intercom beeped. "Bridge to Captain Kirk."
"Sulu here, Captain. We've got what appears to be a
large group of ships just within scanner range."
"Is the subspace radio fixed?"
"No sir. We have not been able to obtain any
transmissions on any standard Starfleet frequencies."
"I'll be right up."
Kirk turned to the Doctor who had been listening to the
conversation with a curious mixture of interest and
amusement. "Doctor, would you care to join us? This might
prove to be the answer to your question."
"I'd be delighted."
McCoy scowled. "Jim, I don't think that the Doctor
should be moving around too much until I can tell
"Oh, I'm quite all right - really. I've almost gotten
used to being stunned by something or another." The Doctor
smiled at McCoy.
"I would suggest that, given the circumstances, the
Doctor's presence on the bridge could prove of some
benefit." Spock interjected.
"Very well, then, the Doctor will join us. Kyle, record
your report on this and then you're off duty. I want all
other transporter personnel alerted in case we acquire any
On their way to the bridge, Kirk noticed that the
Doctor took in the usual sights and sounds of the starship
with interest but without amazement. He seemed to note with
somewhat increased interest the presence of two Andorrians -
commenting to Spock - "So you have other alien species in
the crew." Spock did not seem to think that the remark was
worthy of response, but Kirk observed that the Doctor found
Spock's lack of response an apparent cause for thought. His
only other comment came when they got into the turbolift
system and Kirk said "Bridge" causing the turbolift to begin
its usual forward and upward motion.
"Voice controlled?" Kirk nodded. "How convenient."
"We find it so," said Spock.
"A logical approach?" said the Doctor smiling at Spock
and, surprisingly, winking at Kirk. Spock did not respond,
which seemed to afford the Doctor more amusement. Kirk
began to wonder if the Doctor pictured himself as some sort
of intergalactic comedian.
The door opened on the bridge and Kirk moved to the
"How close are those ships?"
"I can pick them up on visual scanning now, sir," said
Sulu, adjusting the controls.
"Put it on the screen - highest magnification."
A swarm of small ships came into view. Globe-like, they
seemed to fill the viewscreen like dozens of small stars.
Kirk heard the Doctor take a deep breath. "Identification?"
Spock was checking the readings at the Science Station.
"Type of ship unknown to our computers, some type of alien
lifeform within - also unknown."
"Captain," said the Doctor, stepping down beside Kirk.
"It's my universe, and I would suggest that you move away
from those ships as rapidly as possible."
All traces of the comedian had left. "Why?" Kirk asked.
"They're Sontaran - freight and shipping vessels from
the look of them and the number, but they usually have some
armed escorts." He glanced around the Bridge, taking in the
assorted personnel, seeming to weigh their experience and
the possible reception of what he was saying. Having
apparently made some kind of a decision, he continued.
"Have you ever met a race whose greatest joy was to
enslave other people? To conquer, kill, torture and maim -
often for the joy it brings them? Who value their own
individual lives as nothing - and the lives of other races
as less than that?" By now the Doctor was speaking with a
seriousness that surprised and impressed Kirk with its
deadly concentration. Indeed, the Doctor seemed to have
lost the concern for his `audience' and was speaking almost
to himself. Kirk glanced around the rest of the Bridge.
All of the crew had been listening intently, their attention
completely on the Doctor. Even Uhura and Scotty had crawled
out from under the communications panel where they had been
working. As the Doctor finished speaking, eyes moved to the
viewing screen where the alien vessels were growing larger.
That the Doctor was sincere Kirk could not question, that in
some situations discretion was the better part of valor he
had never doubted.
"We've run into people like that. Spock - get as much
information as you can from the scanners. Sulu, warp six
1800 out of here. Uhura, Scotty, you can stop working on
that radio. Start scanning for any communications on bands
outside the Starfleet band, they apparently don't use that
high a range here."
The Doctor was smiling again as Kirk finished. "Well,
Captain, you and your crew are certainly both quick and
efficient." He glanced around with approval at the organized
effort going on on the Bridge.
"Doctor," said Kirk, "I think that you and I need to
have a talk."
"But of course- at your convenience." The Doctor leaned
casually against the bridge rail and smiled at Kirk as
though he were in complete control of an ordinary situation.
With a feeling of exasperation, Kirk turned to Spock.
"Have you been . . ." He heard a crash behind him and as he
turned around saw that the Doctor had collapsed and McCoy
was bending over him. "Bones?"
"Cerebrovascular hemorrhage - we'd better get him down
McCoy was calling for the sickbay team when Spock
turned to Kirk.
"Captain, armed vessels from that fleet were attempting
to pursue us. We have outdistanced them. However, long
range scanners indicate similar vessels throughout this
"How long can we maintain evasive action?"
"Difficult to say, Captain. We have no familiarity with
these ships or their capabilities. If this is indeed a
parallel universe, we cannot even determine with certainty
where we could go in relative safety until we can effect our
"In other words, we need the Doctor."
"If he does possess the knowledge he claims, and if he
is willing to assist us - then yes, we need him."
The sickbay team was removing their patient. Kirk
looked at the unconscious form.
"Scotty, you have the con. Keep us clear of any
involvement with anything. Spock and I'll be in sickbay. If
I can get any more information from the Doctor, I'll tell
Down in sickbay, McCoy scowled at the indicators over
the bed where the Doctor lay.
"How bad is it?" asked Kirk, concerned that the only
source of information about this alternate universe would be
"Jim, I don't know what normal is for him - so I can't
tell how badly the hemorrhaging is affecting him - except
that he is unconscious, and I would say that if the injury
is doing that then it's very bad indeed. There seem to be
previously damaged areas in that part of the brain, and
while he also seems to have a remarkable healing ability,
what's happening now is more than his own body mechanism can
handle on its own.
"What are you going to do?"
"I suspect that, even with the damage, given time, he
would recover without my doing anything."
"Bones, we don't have time." McCoy still looked
unconvinced and Kirk continued his argument. "He is the only
clue we have to where we are and possibly how we got here -
and how we can get back in one piece. I need him conscious -
and well - as soon as possible."
"Jim, there's a large blood clot between his skull and
his brain. It covers quite a large area and there is active
bleeding from inside the brain to that area. That clot has
to come out and the bleeding stopped."
"You've treated our crew for that kind of thing
"I've been able to treat them medically. I know what
medications I can use on our people - even Spock - mostly. I
wouldn't dare use any of them on him. 1 have absolutely no
way of determining what the possible side effects would be.
The only possible thing I could do would be to operate and
surgically remove the clot and cauterize the bleeding."
"Then you'll have to do that."
"Without anaesthesia? I've got the same problem with
what we normally use for pain killers. Damn it, Jim, you saw
that even the phasers didn't have the normal effect on him.
If I use a drug, I could kill him. If I don't use one - Jim,
I'm a doctor, not a butcher."
McCoy turned. The Doctor's eyes were open but still
slightly glazed. He looked at McCoy. "What's the problem?"
"Normally I could tell you what would be effective -
but I don't think I'm up to that. I have been trying to get
into a catatonic trance - which would enable you to operate
humanly, but I suspect the area involved. . ."
McCoy nodded. "It would interfere with your ability to
Kirk noticed that the Doctor's speech had become
slightly blurred. It was obviously an effort for him to
talk, and the pain indicator was rising higher with each
"You are proposing a manual procedure." McCoy nodded.
"That would seem to be the the acceptable alternative."
"There is a possibility that you will not be
unconscious during the operation."
"I quite understand that - but from what I saw out
there - we have little time to spare."
McCoy still looked reluctant.
"Come now," he snapped impatiently, "surely you are as
skilled as your own Incan physicians. The operation must be
done. I would suggest that you strap..." He slipped into
"Okay Jim, we'll try it. Only pray that he stays
"I thought the brain had no nerve endings," Kirk said.
"Yours doesn't," McCoy said grimly.
With the restraints in place and the Doctor turned on
one side to expose the operating area, a sterile field was
established and McCoy began the delicate operation. opening
the skull, his opened again. Kirk saw his hands move
against the restraints. Suddenly Spock moved and took them.
The eyes of the two aliens met and something was exchanged
"Sometimes it helps to have someone to hold on to." Did
Kirk really hear that?
Almost an answering smile came as the Doctor's eyes
closed again. But Kirk saw the pressure of the hands
grasping Spock's and knew that the man remained aware of
McCoy suctioning out the area. Only when the laser
cauterizer was used did the hands relax again and full
"That seems to be it. Chapel, were you able to make a
repair patch from those skull fragments?"
McCoy carefully molded the `patch' into place. Only a
small area of bone had been removed and the patch, made from
the patient's own tissue and bone, would rapidly fuse the
open area with as much protection as the original. "Jim, I
think we did it." McCoy looked at the indicators carefully.
"Pain is down, both hearts in sinus rhythm, blood pressure
stable, alpha rhythm flowing. Was he conscious at all?"
"Damn. I still feel like a butcher having to operate
"Not at all, Doctor," came the voice from the bed. "It
was a very well done job and I thank you." The Doctor looked
as though he was going to get up as soon as Chapel finished
removing the restraints.
"You stay right there," barked McCoy.
"But Doctor McCoy," the Doctor said in a hurt/injured
tone, "I feel very well now and there are things..."
"Don't tell me how you feel. You're staying there for
at least another 24 hours- - and if I have to keep the
restraints on you, I will."
The Doctor's gaze and McCoy's clashed. The Doctor
raised himself to a half-sitting position and McCoy moved
forward. Kirk looked at the indicators; they were starting
to move again. Spock stepped between the Doctor and McCoy.
"Doctor, I would suggest that you follow Doctor McCoy's
prescription. I do not think that the time need be wasted.
We can provide you with a tie-in to the library computer
from here. If you are going to help us, you will need to
know quite a bit more about us." McCoy glared at Spock.
"Bones," Kirk said, "you know that he isn't just going
to lie there."
"Very well," McCoy turned back to his patient. "But
you're not to get up."
"Agreed - Bones," and traces of the old smile appeared
as the Doctor lay back. Spock started toward the door.
"Oh, and Spock," Spock turned back and looked at the Doctor
questioningly. "Thank you. I have not often come upon a
gesture made as appropriately and as willingly." Without
waiting for a reply the Doctor turned and smiled at Nurse
Chapel. "Do you have a listing..."
"Nurse Chapel," McCoy interrupted. "I want the biolab
to do a full analysis on him. And Doctor, before you start
playing around with the computer, you tell Chapel all about
your medical history. It you're going to be around here I
want to know how to treat you."
For a moment Kirk thought that Spock was going to make
another remark, but he turned and went out the door.
"Bones," from the grin on the Doctor's face, Kirk
suspected that he was about to say something that would
provoke a reaction from McCoy. "Do you really think it
essential to have all my medical history? I'm 749 years
old, and as charming as Nurse Chapel is, that might take
"If you could restrain yourself to the pertinent facts,
I think that the time will be sufficient. I'm sure that in
749 years you've learned to restrain yourself when it's
Score one for McCoy, thought Kirk.
"And in the next 24 hours, I expect you to rest - or
sleep - or whatever you do - for at least eight," McCoy
The Doctor looked quizzical and McCoy paused.
"Six?" No response. "Four?"
"Four hours should be sufficient. At the end of my
stay here, Captain, I would suggest that you and I and your
chief officers get together."
Kirk had an uneasy feeling that the control of the ship
had been transferred but reminded himself that the Doctor
was only expressing what he himself had already decided.
"As soon as McCoy says you're fit, I'll call the meeting."
Kirk and McCoy walked toward the sickbay door. "What
was that last part to Spock about, Jim?"
"If the Doctor travels around alone - as he would seem
to - he must often find himself fighting on his own in
unpleasant situations. How old did he say he was?"
"Spock should find that. . ."
As Kirk entered the Bridge, Spock got up from the
"We seem to have outdistanced the Sontaran fleet.
However, scanners indicate considerable activity in most of
the space in this area. We have been following a path which
would seem to lead to an area of comparative inactivity.
When the Doctor recovers . . ." He tilted a questioning
"We can expect the Doctor to be available to us in 24
hours. Until then, we will simply have to avoid making any
sort of contact with the ships and people in this universe."
"Captain," said Uhura, "I am now able to receive
transmissions from vessels in the area. We are unable to
translate them coherently, however."
"Very well, Lieutenant. Let me know as soon as possible
when we can tell what they're talking about. I want all
senior officers in briefing room 2 in one hour."
"Yes, sir." Uhura turned back to her communications
Inside the briefing room, Kirk looked around at the
officers already gathered. McCoy was late, and they were
waiting for him.
For five years I've been with this crew through all
sorts of adventures - bizarre and commonplace, he thought.
I've lost 92 crewmen, and for all my command experience,
I'll never accept those deaths as being necessary. This ship
and its crew is my life, and whatever it takes, I'll see
that they get back to their own universe. It's part of my
mission, any responsibility. No glory in doing that, it's
part of the job. And when it's completed? He decided not
to try to guess what Starfleet would do then. Anyway, McCoy
had arrived and they could get working on the current
"Sorry I'm late, Jim," McCoy said as he came in and sat
down at the briefing table. "I finally managed to get my
"Was there much of a problem?"
"Not much more than I'm used to," McCoy looked at Kirk
and Spock accusingly. "Although I must say that you two
don't generally involve Chapel with fantastic tales of wild
adventures, persuade the Medical staff - and all my other
patients to join in a feast at jellybabies.. ."
"Jellybabies?" asked Kirk.
"Some kind of candy about two centimeters long, shaped
like a swaddled infant, and in assorted flavors. He seems
to have an infinite supply and he's got everyone in sickbay
munching on them. In between passing out candy and talking
to Chris, he's been running through the data on the library
computer - at fast speed. I finally had to tell him that I'd
put him in isolation with no computer before he agreed to
"Will he be able to talk to us tomorrow?"
"Yes. Although if he disrupts my sickbay much more, I
might let you have him earlier."
"If I might make a suggestion, Captain," Spock said.
"I think that both Doctor McCoy and I would welcome it,
"When we rescued the passengers and crew of the liner
Crotone, there was a Cultural Survey and Contact team on
board." Kirk nodded. CS&C was a recently created specialized
division in Starfleet. They had their own chain of command,
but while on his ship they were under his command. Since
the rescue, they had been quite helpful in keeping the
Crotone crew and passengers out of his own crew's way. The
addition of some 250 `passengers' stretched the Enterprise's
normal resources to an uncomfortable limit.
"Do you think they can help us, Spock?"
"The Lieutenant who is in charge of the team has an
exemplary record in initial survey expeditions and on this
last expedition has been credited by the other members of
the team with enabling them to be retrieved by the Crotone
after their Captain was killed. Since we have a member of a
new culture on board, it would seem logical to assign her to
"What's her background, Spock?" McCoy asked.
"She has a PhD in Xenobiology and is also a certified
"Well, I'd certainly be glad to have her assigned to
him." McCoy said. "What's her name?"
"Stephans, Lt. Dorcy Stephans," Kirk answered. "As
soon as we're through here, I'll notify her of her new
McCoy nodded with relief. "The sooner the better."
"Now, if we could come to the main concern of this
meeting? Scotty, what is the current damage report?"
"We had some minor problems immediately after that
storm, mostly caused by the vibration. They've all been
checked and cleared. But there seems to be something going
off balance in the matter-antimatter mix when we're at warp
speed. As long as we stay at warp speed, I can't try to
clear it up."
"You want to go to impulse power?"
"Spock, is there any sign of an enemy vessel in
"Negative, Captain. We are presently in an area of
space which shows no signs of any lifeform activity."
"Very well, Scotty, cut back to impulse power, but
remember that we could have to cut in warp drive on short
"Aye. We'll leave an emergency cutin - but we still
won't be able to tolerate high warp speed until we find the
"Captain," Spock said, "we also have another problem
with the computer control to engineering life support."
"I thought that was all in a separate system with full
emergency backup? Wasn't that what we just had installed?"
"We now have an independent primary control and a
secondary control which is a complete duplicate of the
first. We also have a tertiary system which can provide up
to two hours of full support. During the storm, the PROMs
on the primary control were erased. It will take 35 hours
to reprogram and reinstall them on the primary system."
"Then we're running on the secondary system with the
tertiary as the backup."
"Exactly. However, if something happens to the
secondary system, and the tertiary system exceeds its life
span, a failsafe back to the main computer will start a
half-hour countdown to destruct the ship."
"Now whose bright idea was that?" McCoy asked.
"It's supposed to force an organized abandonment of the
ship's crew to the nearest M- type planet - with a rescue
robot beacon detached, and no chance of the ship falling
into the `wrong hands'." Kirk smiled at McCoy. "Starfleet
is apparently discouraging heroics."
"But Jim, we don't even have enough spacesuits or
evacuation equipment for everyone now - with the people from
the Crotone on board." McCoy said in concern.
"And there are no M-type planets within transporter
range," Spock added.
"And what good would a robot beacon do us here?" McCoy
"Gentlemen, aren't we looking at the worst possible
circumstances?" Kirk said. "In 35 hours we'll have the
primary system back up, by then Scotty will have us underway
at full warp power, and in only 24 hours the Doctor will be
able to at least guide us around this universe in safety.
We should have ample time to figure out how to get back to
our own universe. All we have to do is to stay out of
trouble for a very short while."
"Aye, Captain," Scotty said, "it would be a mighty
strange set of circumstances that would get us into trouble
again that quick." He stopped and thought for a moment.
"But Captain, do you really think that we can trust the
"What do you think?"
"Well, he's an alien. His travelling device is of a
type we've never heard of. We dinna know anything about him
- but he seemed to assume that we'd both be on the same side
against a bunch of people like the Sontarans. He seems to
have had considerable experience in dealin' with humans -
but we dinna know how he got it."
"What makes you assume that he has had such extensive
contact with humans?" Spock asked.
"Well, Mr. Spock, it might not be your kind of logic,
but it seems to me that anyone who can accept the fact that
the natural reaction of a security guard would be to shoot
has got to have been around humans for quite a while."
Kirk looked at Spock who nodded in agreement. He knew
better than to ask Spock outright how far he felt the Doctor
should be trusted. But he knew enough of his first
officer. . . "We've given him complete access to the library
computer. In spite of his disruption of sickbay, he seems
to be as concerned with our situation as we are."
Scott nodded. "It canna be denied that we'll need all
the help we can get to get back to our own universe in one
"And if we're going to do that, Mr. Scott, we'd better
get to work on what we know we have to do. Meeting
As the group got up to leave, Spock walked over to
Kirk. "Incidently, Captain, I could not help but notice
that at times the Doctor seems to have a very charismatic
effect on humans."
"I had noticed that too - but I don't think that it's
going to become a problem." Spock turned to leave. "Oh
Spock, did you hear how old he is?"
Spock turned back, an eyebrow raised. "Indeed, Captain,
and have you determined what his total life span would be?"
"No, but. .
"I would venture to say that he is still quite young
according to his present age measured against the normal
longevity of his race."
Kirk stared at Spock's departing back and shook his
head in amazement. If Spock was right, and the Doctor was
still `young', perhaps that explained the seemingly
inappropriate bursts of humor. Maybe all Time Lords went
through this stage before stabilizing into serious adults.
At least he did not seem to demonstrate the childlike
cruelty that Trelaine had. Somehow Kirk felt that his
reasoning might not be completely correct, but it was a
comforting thought. All he needed on the ship at this time
was a comedian, and an alien one at that.
In the briefing room the next day, Kirk, Spock, Scott
and Lt. Dorcy Stephans waited for Dr. McCoy to arrive with
the Doctor. McCoy had reported that Lt. Stephans and the
Doctor were working quite well together and that there had
been no further major disruptions in sickbay.
"Kirk to bridge."
"If you pick up any significant transmissions while we
are here, alert me and patch them through."
The door opened and the Doctor and McCoy entered. Kirk
noticed that the Doctor had reacquired his overcoat, jacket,
and floppy hat. Well, he thought, with such a low body
temperature, the Doctor might well feel cold in the earth
normal environment of the Enterprise.
"Good morning, everyone," said the Doctor blithely,
taking the seat at the table opposite Kirk. Kirk noticed as
he sat down that it was as if the `head' of the table had
suddenly shifted. Well, Spock had warned him. Whatever the
Doctor had, it was there, it was `natural', and it affected
humans - Vulcans too? He wondered.
"Good morning, Doctor. I don't think you've been
introduced to Lt. Commander Montgomery Scott."
"Chief Engineer," the Doctor responded, rising and
offering his hand to Scott. Somewhat surprised, Scotty
responded in kind. "And Lt. Stephans and I have been having
some fascinating conversations." The Doctor smiled. The
Lieutenant smiled. "And of course I am already acquainted
with Mr. Spock and you, Captain." The Doctor glanced over at
the Captain quizzically. "Well, Captain, could you fill me
in on our present status?"
McCoy snorted. Kirk gathered that the Doctor had not
been idle during his confinement in sickbay, even after the
disruption had stopped. He probably knew the situation as
well as anyone else.
"We have been able to successfully avoid all contact
with any alien vessels. This is our present position." The
computer viewers glowed, indicating the Enterprise and the
present star position. "In our universe, this was part of
the area controlled by the Klingon Empire."
"So you don't have much information on it?"
"Very little. Are you familiar with it?"
"Yes, I've been around here before. In this time - in
this universe - the Sontarans are trying to conquer this
area from the Rutans."
"Our long range scanners indicate considerable vessel
"Doctor," asked Kirk, "What would happen if we met up
with a Sontaran fleet?"
"It would depend on how many of them there were. With
your offensive and defensive weapons you could probably
escape an attack of, say, 20-40 of their ships. More and
they could destroy you." He cocked his head at Kirk.
"20-40?" queried Spock.
"I can't give you a more precise number." The Doctor
smiled at Spock. "There are a significant number of random
"How large are their fleets?" asked Scotty.
"It depends on what they're attacking. A massive
effort and they think nothing of sending out 400."
Spock looked skeptical.
"They don't care how many may be destroyed," the Doctor
went on, "they only want to win."
"Don't they value their own pilots and crews?" asked
"Oh no, you see, they're clones."
"Yes. They reproduce by cloning. So any individual life
means nothing to them, and they don't think much of races
who do respect individual life - especially humans."
Stephans was frowning. "But cloning would. . . "
"You must allow for the environmental factors,
Lieutenant," interrupted the Doctor, leaning forward on the
table. "So many are raised to be leaders, others to follow
orders and die."
"Doctor," Kirk said, trying to return the attention of
the conversation to the topic he felt to be of primary
concern. "You must realize that our primary interest at the
moment is to return to our own universe without any
entanglement in yours."
"I can certainly sympathize with that." The Doctor
leaned back in his chair and put his feet on the table. "If
our positions were reversed, I should certainly feel the
same way." He grinned.
"And a further consequence of this interest is that we
do not want to do anything that might alter the course of
events in this universe."
"Ah yes, I have come across that desire to be detached
observers before. Your Prime Directive, I believe you call
it." The group nodded. "That might not be so simple." He sat
up straight again. "The Sontarans' scanners have a slightly
longer range than yours, and if you have been detected, they
will not choose to merely observe you. And Captain, I can
also tell you this, you cannot allow your ship to fall into
"Possible effect?" asked Spock.
"With the knowledge they could gain from the
engineering and weaponry of your vessel, you would enable
them to conquer the galaxy quite easily." He leaned back
again and glanced around the table as if weighing the
quality of the people he saw.
"I see," said Kirk.
The Doctor sat suddenly upright. "As a matter of fact,
you might check the activity in the area surrounding your
ship - at the very edge of your scanner range."
"Spock," snapped Kirk.
"360 degree scanner - alien vessels at the edge of the
third sector now."
"Captain," it was Sulu. "We have vessels closing in on
us from the third sector. Uhura has not been able to
complete translation of their transmissions."
"Red Alert, Mr. Sulu. I'm on my way. Well, Doctor, if
you're right, it looks as though we'll be fighting our way
out of this one." Kirk turned to leave.
"If you take a heading of 185 degrees, Captain, you
should be able to get into a relatively safe area," shouted
The Doctor as Kirk passed through the door.
On the bridge Kirk found his crew alert and ready for
battle. The glow of the red alert light gave an eerie
highlight to the area.
"Mr. Scott, do we have warp speed?"
"I can give you up to warp 2, sir, but beyond that
there is still an unstable factor in the matter anti-matter
"How fast are the Sontaran vessels, Mr. Spock?"
"Presently travelling at warp I, Captain."
"Increase to warp 2, Mr. Sulu."
"The Sontarans can reach the equivalent of your warp 3,
Captain." Kirk looked around and saw that the Doctor had
seated himself on one of the bridge steps. Wonderful, he
thought, 0w I have a back-seat driver.*
"Sontarans increasing to warp 2 also, Captain." Spock
studied his science console viewer closely. "Now at warp 2.5
and gaining on us."
"Mr. Sulu, make a 180 degree turn and slow to warp
The Enterprise turned smoothly and as she headed back
toward the small globe-like ships, they scattered in front
of her, eventually forming a circular pattern around her.
"Impulse power now, Mr. Sulu. How many of them are
"Well, we'll let them look us over. So far they
haven't done anything that is overtly hostile - let's return
"Captain, the Sontarans are not going to decide that a
vessel of this size can be ignored. If you fire now, you
could catch most of them by surprise." The Doctor looked
quite serious. "Unless, of course, you enjoy playing
Kirk ignored the statement. "Chekov, arm the photon
torpedoes, wide range. Sulu, set the phases for a maximum
sweep. You are not to fire except on my direct order."
For several moments, it looked as though the stalemate
would be indefinitely maintained. Then simultaneous bursts
of fire emerged from all the Sontaran vessels. "Photon
missiles have been fired at us, Captain. Time to impact, 12
seconds." Spock said.
"Sulu, Chekov, fire - NOW!"
Between the wide sweep of the torpedoes and the
following burst of the phasers, most of the enemy's missiles
were destroyed before they reached their target. A number
did get through, however, and Kirk could hear the damage
reports coming in.
"Now, Chekov, I want a series of photon torpedoes with
a narrow burst directly at those ships. Sulu, set the
phasers on tracking and pick up any stragglers that the
The battle strategy seemed to be working effectively as
thirty-five of the small vessels fell to the coordinated
offense. Some of the others, however, began moving rapidly
directly toward the Enterprise. They seemed to be making no
effort to fire their weapons. Their swift zig-zag motions
enabled them to evade any direct hits.
"They're going to smash their ships into your shields,
Captain. That will put all of their weaponry and their
ships' reactors into a direct explosion on your main defense
shields." The Doctor said.
"Kamikaze?" Kirk said in amazement.
"That's what you call it - they call it fighting for
the glory of the glorious Sontaran Empire."
"Scotty, full power to the shields! Sulu, try reaching
them before they reach us. Chekov, keep the ones still on
the perimeter under full torpedo attack."
A sudden violent rocking warned Kirk that the kamikaze
technique was proving effective. "Damage reports, Mr.
"That last hit was in the main power link between
Engineering and secondary computer control. Exact level of
damage cannot be determined. .." Another blast rocked the
ship, but Sulu and Chekov simultaneously fired their weapons
and let out a yell of exaltation.
"All enemy ships destroyed, Keptin."
"Very good, gentlemen. Heading 185 degrees, Mr. Sulu.
Battle stations, yellow alert status. Damage reports,
"Sickbay reports thirty wounded - two dead."
"Life support systems damaged further in that last
attack, Captain." Scotty was regarding his display panels
"Less than 60% life support capability left."
"Captain," Spock turned from the Science console, "The
computer area has also received extensive damage to the
secondary life support control memory system. With the
direct damage to life support itself, we have about two
hours of life support left on the tertiary system."
Silence engulfed the bridge.