The Doctor and The Enterprise (Part 3)

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Subject: The Doctor And The Enterprise Pt3
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Date: 8 Nov 91 17:01:29 GMT
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November 8, 1991
Jean Airey
1306 W. Illinois
Aurora, IL 60506 USA
START OF TEXT
__________________________________________________________________
PART 3
THE DOCTOR AND THE ENTERPRISE
by Jean Airey
copyright 1982 Jean Airey
Kirk was concerned about his crew’s morale. They had, after
all, been overdue for R&R before starting the return trip to
Earth, and had had a succession of emergencies in a rather
short time.
He spent the evening walking around the ship, visiting
areas where the crew was stationed and gathered.
In the gym Sulu was practicing what appeared to be a
new and difficult series of fencing moves. “Improving your
technique, Mr. Sulu?”
“Yes sir. The Doctor showed me some offensive moves
that I’d never heard of before. The problem is to try to
master them.”
“The Doctor?”
“Yes sir, he said he learned them from a Captain in
Cleopatra’s army.”
Kirk watched as Sulu went back to his practicing. He
knew his history well enough to know that at the time of
Cleopatra the swords used were not the epee Sulu used. But
Sulu seemed to find the whole thing credible, so Kirk
decided not to try to argue about it.
Passing through the Engineering section, Kirk saw that
Scotty seemed to be involved in analyzing a silver object
about 13 centimeters long and 3 centimeters in diameter. He
knew that Scotty had been working on the designs which would
implement the extra dilithium crystals and he walked over to
see what was going on. The silver object `Has something he
had never seen before.
“Something new, Scotty?”
“Aye, Captain. It’s a Sonic Screwdriver, and it’s a
beautiful wee bairn.”
“A Sonic Screwdriver?” The term sounded more like an
exotic bar concoction than something that would fascinate
his Chief Engineer.
“Aye, it’s the Doctor’s.”
“The Doctor’s?”
“I’ve been trying to persuade him to let me look at
that TARDIS of his, but he doesna seem to want to let me do
that.”
“So how did you get this – Sonic Screwdriver?”
“`Yell, he says that if I can duplicate it, then I can
look at the TARDIS.”
“Can you?” Kirk was confident that nothing mechanical
was beyond Scotty’s skills.
“Not yet. Oh, it’s a bonnie wee bairn. So far I’ve
found thirty uses for it, but I canna yet make another one.”
“Did the Doctor make it?”
“Well, he designed it.”
“Well, Scotty, if you keep at it, you’ll find the
secret.”
“Secret! Nae, Captain, this is pure engineering genius.
And an honor it is to be working on it.”
Kirk walked out shaking his head. The Doctor certainly
seemed to have found the way to keep Scotty away from the
TARDIS.
One of the Rec rooms had been turned into what Lt. Kyle
explained to Kirk as the site of the Starfleet Yo-Yo
Championships.
“Where did all the yo-yos come from, Lieutenant?”
“Oh, the Doctor gave them to us.”
“Did he set up the rules for this – competition?”
“Set them up? No sir. He told us what the rules were –
back on Earth.”
“Will he be participating?”
“No sir. He said he’d already won his championship in
1923.”
Kirk watched an Andorian ensign attempt a `walk the
doggie.’
“All the Andorians are very good at this, sir. They
seem to have a knack for it.”
“That would certainly be helpful.”
“If you’ll excuse me, sir, my turn is coming up.”
“Of course.”
On his way to Rec room 4 Kirk mulled over what he had
seem. His crew was alert, happy, and there certainly seemed
to be no cause for alarm. He decided he would see if Spock
would join him for a game of chess. Certainly they could
both use the break.
In Rec room 4 Spock was already playing chess – with
the Doctor.
Kirk walked over and looked at the board. It was
obviously near the end of the game and as Kirk neared them
the Doctor made a move.
“Check and mate, I believe.”
Spock studied the board. “You have learned the game
well.”
“It’s much more challenging than the one dimensional
version I’m used to. I’ll have to teach it to K-9 when I
get him fixed.”
“K-9?” Kirk asked.
“My dog.”
“Your dog? – plays chess?” Kirk looked at Spock in
hopes of some amplification of the strange statement.
“Actually, K-9 is a highly sophisticated robot.” Spock
said, resetting the pieces on the boards. Kirk relaxed, at
least his first officer was back to normal.
“However,” Spock went on, “he is really a very good
dog.”
The Doctor had looked slightly disappointed at Spock’s
mundane explanation and now smiled across the Board at him.
Kirk was shocked to see his first officer smile back.
“Spock” – Spock turned to look at him, his face
expressionless again. “Um – would you say that the Doctor
plays as illogically as humans?”
“Captain,” one Vulcan eyebrow raised, “the Doctor’s
mind works in a unique fashion. I would not compare the
processes.”
“Would you care to play the next game, Captain?” asked
the Doctor, starting to get up from his chair.
“No, no.” Kirk motioned him back down. “Mr. Spock and I
play quite often.” Of course, as their mission was ending,
he and Spock. . . Well, he thought, at least the Doctor was
out of mischief. He went back to his cabin determined to
have a talk with McCoy the next day.
+++++++++
“Bones, are you sure Spock is all right?”
“Jim, he’s fine. He just had me give him a complete
physical.”
“He asked for one?”
“Jim, it was the – logical – thing to do. He wanted to
be sure that there were no after effects from that mind-meld
experiment. Made me give the Doctor one too. Not that I
needed to add any more of those strange readings to my
records.”
“Don’t you find that – unusual?”
“Before this whole thing happened – yes. Now – well, I
don’t know what you’re worried about, but Spock is healthier
– in body and mind than I’ve ever seen him. What are you so
worried about?”
“Bones, I don’t know. I just have this strange feeling
that something is wrong – with the Enterprise – and that the
Doctor is somehow related to it.”
“Well he certainly has done nothing but help us since
we got in this mess. The crew likes him, I like him and
Spock likes him. You’re the only one having problems dealing
with him. Jim…”
“Dr. McCoy, Lieutenant Caffrey is fibrillating again.”
Chapel called from inside on of the sickbay areas.
“Damn – Jim, I want to talk to you about this after I
take care of my patient.”
Kirk started glumly at the door as McCoy left. He could
not believe that he was the one out of step. Every feeling
that he’d learned to rely on told him that something was
wrong.
“Captain Kirk.” It was Sulu on the intercom from the
Bridge.
“Kirk here.”
“Coming into the Lightunder system.”
“I’m on my way up.”
++++++++++++
Orbiting the planet the next day, the selected landing
party met in one of the briefing rooms.
Lt. Stephans had been working with the Doctor gathering
information about the planet through a linkup of the TARDIS
and the Enterprise sensors. “Luckily the Techies – the
technologists – and the Norms are still speaking to one
another,” she said. “We don’t want to get involved in a
civil war. Only one bomb has fallen on a populated area –
the first one. It destroyed the Norm city of Metebe and left
strong radioactive aftereffects. The population in the area
is suffering from radiation exposure. The Norms were able to
deflect the second bomb as it was falling, but burnt out –
lost – five of their best telekenetics to do it. The area it
landed in was unpopulated, but we will need to do a clean up
of the radiation. The bombs are too distant for the Norms
to move them further out, or keep them up, and the Techies
don’t have a clear enough understanding of how the internal
mechanism works to enable the Norms to defuse one as it
comes down. They are in a desperate situation and they know
it. However, they are very proud and will resent any
intrusion even though it is intended to be helpful.”
“Full diplomacy, then, Lieutenant,” said Kirk. He
noticed that McCoy was staring at him but he had been too
caught up in the plans for the planetary contact – including
a possible use of the Doctor’s TARDIS as the `hospital base’
to get back to talk to him. It would have to wait.
“Diplomacy in spades, Captain, if we hope to accomplish
anything.”
“Doctor, if you’re ready?”
The Doctor had his feet up on the table and his hat
over his head. Kirk was convinced he had been sleeping.
“What – oh yes – are we ready?”
“We will be beaming down into the meeting room of the
capital city of the Techies. The leaders of both sides
should be there.” Spock said.
++++++++++++
As the group materialized, Kirk could see the surprise
of the men and women in the room. He hoped that this
display of superior technology would give them a bargaining
advantage. He looked around at the people. Even from their
clothing he could distinguish between the two groups. The
Techies were wearing military type one piece suits, and the
Norms were wearing leather and fur garments and all carried
swords.
“We have come in peace.” Kirk said, spreading his hands
to show the absence of weapons. “We would offer our
assistance. . .”
“We do not wish the assistance of aliens!” shouted one
of the Norms, a short but powerfully built man. Mutters from
the others in the room indicated that they agreed. Kirk was
starting to frame another sentence when the Doctor abruptly
stepped forward. He calmly surveyed the group and said “I
am the Doctor, a Time Lord of Gallifrey. We have determined
that without our intervention your planet will be destroyed
in 16 months. We have decided that we will intervene to
save you – for a price.”
Kirk thought that the arrogance in his tone was
unmistakable.
The man who had refused Kirk stared at the Doctor. His
green hair seemed to bristle. “A Time Lord. We have heard of
you.” A small polished dilithium crystal that he wore on the
inside of his left wrist began to glow as he lifted his
hand. When his hand was level with his eyes the crystal
suddenly flashed. Kirk felt what seemed to be a momentary
pressure on his mind and heard Spock take a sudden deep
breath. The Doctor seemed amused.
“So. It is true. What is your price and who are these
people with you who are not Time Lords?”
“Our price is six large energy crystals – the size you
do not use because you cannot control them.” The scorn in
the Doctor’s voice hung in the air. “These people have been
chosen to assist me.”
“What do you offer us?”
“Medical help for those of your people suffering from
the effects of the first explosion. And we will remove the
remaining devices from your skies.”
“Will you treat our people in our own land – without
bringing in large machines?”
“We will land our own dwelling place where you specify.
The machines we use will be no more to you than a black box
that makes noises. What machines we have in our dwelling
place will be of no concern to you.”
“Will you teach us so that we may avoid something like
this happening again?” one of the Techies asked.
The Doctor looked at him as if he was some kind of
lower species of insect. “We will teach you enough to better
defend yourselves.” The Doctor looked at the group. “Do
accept our offer?”
“We must discuss.. .” murmured the Techie.
“What is there to discuss!” said the Norm. “This is a
Time Lord and he speaks the truth. Must we discuss if we
wish to live or die?”
There was no dissenting voice from the group as they
looked ruefully at each other. The Norm turned back to the
Doctor.
“Very well, Time Lord. We will agree to your bargain.
But those of you who come on our land must agree to abide by
our customs.”
“Agreed.” said the Doctor. “Where do you wish us to
place the medical treatment center?”
“We have established a place of healing in Besteco.”
“Then we will land there. After we remove the devices
orbiting your planet, we will send people to meet with you.”
The Doctor nodded at the Techies.
One of the Techies stepped forward. He was tall, with
blond hair and a beard. “I am Lif d’Lewis, head of my
people. We will be glad to learn all that you are willing to
teach us.”
The Doctor nodded an acknowledgement of the Techie’s
statement. Kirk could not help thinking that if they had to
deal only with this man and his people instead of the feisty
Norm who had taken over, the whole thing could have been
handled better.
“Captain, if you will call for the beam-up.” The Doctor
turned back to the Norm. “Alert your people at Besteco. We
will be there in one hour.” He turned and nodded at Kirk,
obviously concluding the conversation. Kirk opened his
communicator. He felt as though he was an Ensign again.
“Kirk to Enterprise, beam up landing party.”
As the transporter beam picked up the landing party,
Kirk felt a sudden surge of anger. What right did the Doctor
have to step in like that! He could feel the emotion
pulsing through him as the group materialized on the
Enterprise. As he turned to the Doctor, prepared to express
his anger, Spock stepped forward and said “An excellent job,
Doctor. I believe you accomplished everything we desired.”
“Even what you offered the Techies is well within the
limits of the Prime Directive. How did you know that was the
way to approach them?” Lt. Stephans asked. The Doctor looked
slightly surprised.
“It was the – logical – thing to do.” He smiled at
Spock, shaking his head slightly.
Kirk felt as if a bucket of ice water had been dumped
on him. Spock and the Lieutenant were right. What they had
wanted done was done – so why did it matter WHO had done it?
Suppressing an uneasy feeling of having been in the wrong,
he turned to McCoy. “Bones, are you and your medical team
ready?”
“As ready as we can be, Jim. It’s a good thing that
we’d already expected that we’d have to use the Doctor’s
TARDIS as our base. We’ve installed some of our medical
computers and laboratory equipment. The Doctor and Mr.
Spock have also arranged to implement a direct link between
the TARDIS’ computer system and our science computer.”
“You’re satisfied with the arrangements, then?”
“They’re better than most I’ve had to work with under
the Prime Directive on a primitive planet.”
“Bones,” said the Doctor. “If you will have your
medical team at the TARDIS in – say – fifteen minutes? Lt.
Stephans and I want to review some of the customs of the
local people. Dorcy has a feeling that certain aspects of
the local culture were not emphasized strongly enough in the
standard briefing tape she made earlier. The Norms are very
set in certain ways, and we cannot afford to offend them.”
“We’ll be there.”
“Captain, if you are planning on coming down to the
planet, you should hear this.” The Doctor said.
“I’ll have to get it later, Doctor. At the moment we
need to get this ship ready to dispose of these orbital
bombs.”
The Doctor looked at Kirk and, with a slight smile,
nodded. “Of course, Captain.”
+++++++++
Beaming down the TARDIS was a learning experience for
Lt. Kyle under Spock’s tuition. Apparently something of the
unique nature of the TARDIS had to be calculated for during
transportation and Kirk was thankful that the beam-down with
his crew aboard was successful.
He looked at the now empty transporter pads and turned
to Spock.
“Why didn’t the Doctor take the TARDIS down on its own,
Spock? Wouldn’t it have been simpler?”
“With the TARDIS in its present condition, there is
always the chance that it might not land where it was
directed.”
“You mean that the Doctor can’t control it.”
“His level of control of the TARDIS suits him, Captain.
In this situation, I preferred that we handle the
transportation.”
“Spock, there are some things that I simply do not
understand.”
“Indeed, Captain?” Kirk saw his first officer looking
at him expectantly.
“Not now, Spock, we’ve got some bombs to get rid of.”
“But of course, Captain.”
++++++++++
The removal and defusing of the orbiting bombs was time
consuming but relatively simple for the Enterprise crew.
The defused bombs were dumped into a sun of a nearby
uninhabited planetary system. Kirk was pleased to see that
his crew was handling the situation in their usual efficient
fashion. Apparently with the disruptive influence of the
Doctor removed, things were going to return to normal.
Within a week the Enterprise had returned and was orbiting
Lightunder again.
Scotty, a team of Enterprise engineers, and selected
members of the CS&C group beamed down to meet with Lyf
d’Lewis. Another group was assigned to `clean up’ the
unpopulated area of the second explosion. Kirk decided to go
down with Spock to see how the medical group was getting
along.
In the transporter room, Spock placed a small black box
on the transporter console.
“Lieutenant Kyle, initiate signaling sequence
21CQ305260.” Spock said.
“Yes sir.”
“What’s that all about, Spock?” Kirk asked as they
walked toward the transporter pads.
“Without the adjustment and amplification that box
provides for our signals, we would not be able to beam down
inside the TARDIS. The Doctor has specifically requested
that landing party at Besteco beam down directly into the
TARDIS and await further contact.”
“Are you saying that without that device, we wouldn’t
be able to transport into the TARDIS?”
“The TARDIS has unique defensive capabilities.”
Kirk sighed. He was back in the strange world of the
Doctor’s again. They materialized inside the TARDIS control
room just as the Doctor was coming in through the outside
door.
“Oh, Spock,” he said, “I’m glad you’re here. Come on
down to the workshop. I want to look at something.”
Spock and the Doctor started through one of the other
doors when the Doctor stuck his head back through the door.
“Captain – don’t leave the TARDIS until you check with
Lt. Stephans.” Then he disappeared again.
Kirk waited for some time, his impatience growing.
Other members of the medical team came hurriedly through the
TARDIS control room, apparently to and from the area where
the Doctor and Spock were. They barely acknowledged his
presence. Lt. Stephans did not appear.
His patience finally exhausted, he decided that it
would not hurt to go and look for the Lieutenant or,
preferably, McCoy. They probably just wanted to reemphasize
some of the local customs. He had already seen the briefing
tape twice, and had been taking care of himself on alien
planets several years longer than the Lieutenant, but if
they wanted to make some special point, he’d find them and
let them make it.
As he stepped out of the TARDIS, he noticed the
`hospital’ seemed to be a converted large stone building.
The TARDIS had actually been located in a room in the
building.
The other rooms he saw as he walked down the hall were
filled with patients. The medical personnel, both his own
people and some from the native population seemed to be
constantly busy. He could not see McCoy or Stephans
anywhere.
At length his wanderings took him to the front door of
the building. The sunlight and open air outside looked
inviting after the closed-in aura of the hospital. He even
seemed to be experiencing a slightly nauseous feeling from
the strange pungency. All hospitals smell, he thought, and
decided to step outside and look around.
Leaning on the beast-shaped stone structure at the foot
of the hospital steps, he looked out at what seemed to be a
town square. There were shops on three sides and the normal
activity of people going in and out with and without
parcels. Horses – or a very close facsimile of the earth
animal, except for the cloven hooves and horn – and
carriages were tied up by the stores.
He took a deep breath of the planet’s air. It tasted
good.
He noticed a girl – a young woman – standing by one of
the shops, apparently waiting for someone. He looked at her
intensely.
Her hair was a dark green, so dark as to be almost
black. The slight breeze blowing against the lightweight
rose fabric of her ankle length gown outlined a figure of
delightful proportions.
She suddenly looked up at him, revealing dark black
eyes formerly masked by thick and curly downcast eyelashes.
Her skin was fair, highlighted by a natural rose shading on
her cheeks and lips which Kirk could tell owed nothing to
artifice. She met his gaze for an instant and then cast her
eyes down again momentarily. He was not surprised when,
after a brief moment, the open and provocative gaze met his
again.
How lovely she was – and would be on any planet he had
ever visited. The rose of her cheeks seemed to deepen and a
faint smile appeared on her lips and the black eyes seemed
sparkle. He could not speak to her, he remembered that from
the briefing tape, but he continued to smile into those
brilliant eyes and it seemed that his smile was echoed back
to him. It had been a long time for him, and his thoughts
became more specific. Her body and his, meeting,
blending . . . A horrified look appeared in the lovely
eyes and she turned and ran into the shop. Well, you
can’t win them all, he thought wistfully.
He felt slightly dizzy and was turning to go back into
the hospital when he saw Spock, McCoy and the Doctor coming
out.
“Jim,” said McCoy, “Have you seen Lt. Stephans?”
“Not yet, Bones.” He replied, smiling.
Spock and McCoy exchanged glances of – irritation? Why
should seeing Lt. Stephans such an important matter?
“Blithering idiot,” said the Doctor. “You’d better get
back inside and let us look at you.”
Kirk bristled. What right did the Doctor have to give
such an order and, anyway, they could just as well look at
him out here.
There was a commotion across the street. The four on
the hospital steps turned.
Three men were approaching rapidly. Kirk saw the girl
he had been looking at being bundled into a carriage with
some other women.
The men paused, face to face now with the Doctor and
the Enterprise crew. Kirk recognized one as the Norm who
had been present at the meeting in the Techie capital.
The Norm looked at the Doctor. “You said that your
people would abide by our customs.”
“I did.”
“This man,” he motioned to Kirk, “has violated one of
our women.”
The Doctor seemed to take a deep breath. Spock and
McCoy simultaneously exclaimed “Captain!” and “Jim!”
Kirk looked at them and, with a shock, realized that
they seemed to be accepting the justification of the charge.
“Bones, Spock – I just got here!” He felt a wave of
dizziness sweep over him.
“Time is relative, Captain,” said the Doctor. He turned
to the man who had stated the charge. “You are Raul
d’Colm’n, head of the clan d’Colm’n, and you are making this
charge.”
“On behalf of my kinswoman, Namona d’Colm’n, I am.”
“The one charged has the right of defense by
challenge.”
“With swords and knives.” d’Colm’n looked scornfully at
the Doctor.
“Will your clan accept the challenge of defense?”
“We will – and the best of our warriors will face this
pervert personally.”
“Where will the challenge be?”
“In the hall of the d’Colm’n. We will take the accused
there now.”
“I am leigelord to the accused. I shall go with him.”
“It is your right. But only you as liegelord may do
so. And you must leave all of your alien machines behind.
We have extra horses; we will leave now. The challenge will
be on the morrow.”
Kirk found himself clinging to the sculpture. The
dizziness seemed to be getting worse. Was this a dream?
The three d’Colm’n went back across the square. Kirk
heard the sound of a tricorder behind him. He turned and
saw McCoy and Spock looking at something on the screen of
McCoy’s tricorder. They both looked grim. The Doctor was
coming out of the door carrying a sword and knife in a
curious double scabbard and a leather jacket. He started for
Kirk when McCoy stopped him.
Odd, the three seemed to be blurring – had he been
drinking? They were talking. He heard the words but didn’t
want to bother trying to make sense out of them. The stone
sculpture felt cool and comfortable.
“How serious is the challenge?”
“Very. Don’t worry about it, I’ll take care of it.
He’ll be back to you in two days.”
Now that was the Doctor talking – he’d take care of it!
He thought he could handle anything. Well, James Kirk could
handle this, and his ship, and his crew, and his friends.
He’d show them – handle this situation the way he had all
the others there had been and everything would be fine.
The blurring seemed to be getting worse and he could
barely recognize McCoy’s shape coming toward him with a
hypospray. He felt the hypospray going in, but nothing
seemed to happen. The Doctor was putting a leather jacket on
him. He tried to shrug it off. He wasn’t cold; it was too
hot on this damn planet. Spock’s face suddenly came into
focus and he realized that the Vulcan was pulling the jacket
back on him.
“Jim?”
Was that Spock? He hadn’t called him Jim in a long
time. He tried to listen.
“Jim – you must do what the Doctor says. Do you
understand?”
Kirk nodded. He felt Spock removing his phaser and
communicator. Of course, even Spock wanted the Doctor to be
in charge.
“Doctor, there is a problem.”
The Doctor had been getting some medical supplies from
McCoy and was stuffing them in his pockets.
“Problem, Spock?” Kirk felt the blue eyes focus on him.
He turned away from the penetrating look. “If he doesn’t
cooperate, we will both be lost.”
Spock turned back to Kirk who had now decided that he
wouldn’t look at any of them. The dizziness seemed to be
passing, but the feeling of estrangement continued. He felt
the Vulcan’s hands grasping his head, turning it so they
were face to face, the hands shifting into the mind-meld
position.
“No, Spock!” Had he said that, or just thought it? The
Vulcan’s eyes, now close to his, seemed to soften, but he
felt Spock’s mind enter his.
You must return to Us alive. You must do what the Doctor
tells you to do. has turned all of you away from me. He
is an enemy. is not an enemy. He is our friend. has
fooled all of you. He has not fooled me. Jim! You must
not think that. Now, look back on what has happened. Review
all of it. Is our friendship so fragile that you can no
longer trust me? I trust you. Then trust the Doctor
also. If you do not, we will never meet again. Your
word?
\My word.\ An alien touch – mind? – entered. \They are
returning.\
Spock broke off the meld. “He is in your
hands, Doctor.”
The Doctor nodded.
The dizziness had gone now, and Kirk was able to get on
the horse without help. As they rode off, the Doctor rode
next to Kirk and they were both surrounded by armed men.
Raul led the group through rough paths and rocky
trails. Kirk was spending most of his time trying to stay on
the horse. He was thankful when they arrived at their
destination.
A castle-like structure, heavily fortified, stood on
top of one of the smaller mountains. He noticed banners
flying from the turrets which matched the banners that
several members of the party were carrying. A white sheep
on a yellow and blue striped background with a bell inside a
double ring in one corner seemed to be the emblem displayed.
“Why a sheep?” He could not resist asking the Doctor as
they got off their horses in the courtyard of the castle.
The Doctor glanced at him. “You don’t know the sheep
on Lightunder. It is quite an appropriate emblem for this
clan.”
The armed men escorted them to a large chamber. They
left and Raul stood facing the Doctor. Kirk’s knees felt
oddly weak again and he sat down in one of the high-backed
chairs.
The little man looked up at the Doctor and said “While
you are not of our people, we will give you the guesting
appropriate to the challenge.”
“You honor us,” said the Doctor.
Raul looked over at Kirk. “Is your man not well?”
“It has been a long trip and he has drunk too heavily.”
Raul seemed to be weighing the Doctor’s words. Kirk
debated protesting that he had not been drinking at all but
the effort seemed too much.
“That is no excuse.” Raul made the statement
definitive.
“It was not given as one.”
Raul nodded as though the answer satisfied him.
“Food will be sent. The challenge will be fought at
cock’s crow on the morrow. You will be summoned.”
“Who will be fighting for the d’Colm’n?”
“I shall be.”
“As is my right, I shall fight for my liegeman.”
“As you wish. I would not have thought him worth it.”
Raul turned and left the room. Kirk suddenly realized
that he limped. Then the significance of the last remarks
sank in and the lethargy was swept away.
“What do you mean, you’re fighting for me? I can fight
for myself!”
“Captain,” the Doctor came over and forced Kirk back
into the chair. He leaned over one arm. “How skilled are
you at fighting with sword and knife?”
“I’ve used those weapons.”
“Against the most skilled man on a planet which uses
those weapons?”
“Him?”
“Captain – you must not judge by appearances. For all
his size and his injured leg, he is the best that this
planet has produced. You could not win against him.”
The dizziness seemed to be returning. Kirk shook his
head, trying to clear it. “Can you?”
“Yes – most likely. It is our only chance. How do you
feel?”
The words seemed to come out of a distance. Spock had
said `trust him’.
“Weak and dizzy. What’s going on?”
The Doctor began rummaging in the pockets of his coat
and pulled out one of McCoy’s hyposprays. Kirk heard it hiss
against his arm.
“That should help. I’ll wake you when the food comes.”
Kirk awoke to find himself supported by the Doctor’s
arm. He was lying in one of the beds. The Doctor was
spooning some kind of broth into his mouth. He started to
pull away but then relaxed.
“Well, I’m glad to see that Spock got through to you.”
The broth seemed to be finished and the Doctor offered Kirk
a chunk of some type of whole grain bread and propped him up
in the bed. “Eat as much of it as you can. You need the
energy.” The Doctor sat back in a chair and took out a bag
of jellybabies.
“Doctor – what the hell is wrong with me?”
“You didn’t see Lt. Stephans before you left the
TARDIS, did you?”
“No. I…”
“You didn’t really think that it was necessary. Well,
because you didn’t see her, you didn’t receive the immunity
injection you humans require for the current virus mutation
that’s floating around. So now you’ve caught the disease.”
“Then the shots I’ve been getting are part of the
cure.”
“The shots aid in relieving the symptoms, but we have
not yet found the cure. The mortality rate is 97%”.
Kirk suddenly lost his appetite. The Doctor reached
out and took the remaining bread out of his hand.
“You know, Captain, there are times when it pays to
listen to someone you don’t like.”
“Doctor, I . . .”
“Don’t try to excuse it, Captain. I can understand what
happened, and I should have recognized it earlier. You’re
about to wind up your mission in a blaze of glory, when you
get sidetracked into this.” The Doctor made a vaguely
circular motion with his hand.
“I certainly wasn’t prepared for anyone like you.”
The Doctor chuckled. “But surely, Captain, you must
realize that one of the things I did, inadvertently, was to
trigger some of the fears you have about what will happen
when you do complete your mission.”
“Changes.”
“Yes – changes.” the Doctor said cheerfully,
“separation and loneliness. And you are so bound to your
ship that the separation. . .” He became oddly pensive. “I
think that you had better tell me what happened in the
square that got us into this.”
Kirk related the events as he recalled them, noticing
that the dizziness and the fog seemed to be approaching
again. As he finished his story he felt the hypospray
against his arm.
The hissing sound of another hypospray awoke him in the
morning.
“Doctor McCoy will not be thrilled with what I’m doing,
but you’ve got to stay on your feet during the next several
hours. Here, drink this.” The Doctor held out a small vial
of liquid. Without hesitating, Kirk drank it. The effect
was immediate; a feeling of normalcy returned. He got out
of the bed and saw that the Doctor was strapping on the
double scabbard. He was wearing only the spotless, flowing
white shirt, tweed pants, and boots. The rest of his clothes
were laid in a neat pile. “Can you carry those?”
“Yes.”
The Doctor pulled the sword from the scabbard and
looked at it. It was a curious shape. One edge curved
slightly while the other was straight. Both edges were
honed to a fine sharpness. The strange blend of direct and
curved line met in an elongated point.
“That’s an unusual sword.” Kirk commented.
“It’s designed for great efficiency. Because of the
curved edge, you gain an impetus to your blow if you decide
to swing at your enemy – but the point still allows for the
thrust.” His voice seemed quite academic. “Do you see these
grooves?” He indicated two channels in each side of the
weapon. “If you should sink your weapon into your enemy to
that depth and then quickly remove it, a suction is created
– which causes an even greater loss of blood than in the
flat sided weapon.”
With a sudden intuition, Kirk said, “You don’t like
weapons, do you?”
“Aren’t all men supposed to enjoy the fight?”
“You don’t even travel armed – you were completely
defenseless when you came out of the TARDIS.”
“It has been my experience that if you go about armed,
more people are apt to attack you than otherwise. You humans
seem to feel an absolute compulsion to have some weapon or
another on you.”
“I think that for us it is a form of security – that we
expect more attacks than welcomes. To leave all weapons
behind – consistently – would be a step beyond our
understanding ourselves.”
“I didn’t think that you were a philosopher.”
“Not a philosopher, but as a Starship Captain I have to
have some understanding of any crew – and most of them are
human, like me.” Kirk smiled wryly.
The Doctor looked at Kirk with puzzlement and Kirk
wondered what he had said that had surprised the Doctor in
some fashion.
A knock sounded at the door.
“Our escorts.” said the Doctor.
They were led down into a large circular hall. The
seating around the sides, sloped so that all could have a
good view, and the entrances from the front and back,
reminded Kirk unpleasantly of the ancient Roman gladiatorial
contests.
The Doctor and Kirk stepped unto the floor, their
escorts falling back. The Doctor motioned to Kirk. “Stand
back away from the combat area and do not interfere –
whatever happens. If I am killed, they will be required to
let you go.”
“Then you are not certain about winning.”
“Of course I an,” said the Doctor huffily. “The
probability that I can defeat Raul is at least – 90%.” He
seemed to think for a minute and then said with what seemed
to Kirk to be an incorrigible honesty, “Well, 70% anyway.”
He started out for the center of the room and then turned
back to Kirk, smiling. “At least it’s 100% better than
yours!”
As Kirk watched the Doctor turn and walk into the
center, he realized that he was nearly laughing. All his
fears and distrust of the Doctor seemed to have vanished.
The Doctor was what he was and that was worthy of all the
trust that Spock and McCoy had placed in him, and that now
Kirk would place in him too. If he had been the better
swordsman, the Doctor would have made him fight his own
battle. As it was, the Doctor would fight for him.
Raul emerged form the other door. He was dressed in
full swordsman’s outfit – leather, silver, the sword and the
knife. The two men accompanying him stepped to one side and
Raul, his green hair blazing, walked to the center.
A gong sounded and both men drew their weapons.
The fight began slowly, both men circling, taking
cautious feints at each other, looking for weaknesses.
When the action finally began, Kirk had a few uneasy
moments as the Doctor seemed to be outclassed as he faced
the skill of a man trained to live and die with the bladed
weapons. Then he noticed that the Doctor was consistently
moving more rapidly than Raul, forcing Raul to turn on his
injured leg. And while Raul was making frequent thrusts and
passes at the Doctor, the Doctor rarely had to block them –
he seemed to be moving one step ahead of his opponent. The,
unexpectedly, the Doctor went on the offense, driving Raul
around the floor. Within seconds, the Doctor gained the
advantage. Kirk saw Raul fall, disarmed, with the Doctor’s
sword at his throat.
“Your life is forfeit to me and mine, Raul, and the
innocence of my man is proved by your own laws.”
“Then kill me quickly, in honor.”
“In honor, I shall not do that. I would establish the
truth of the matter – for all we have proved here is that I
am a better swordsman than you. I will give you leave to
probe the mind of my leigeman for the truth – if you will
agree to verify it by putting your cousin Namona under the
truthspell.”
“This is not in accordance with our ways.”
“Is death then more important to you than truth?”
The Doctor’s sword remained steadily at his exposed
throat.
“I will grant you what you ask.”
A murmur rose up around the hall.
Raul glared at the Doctor. The Doctor moved his sword
to one side and Raul stood.
“Quiet. It will be as I have said. Call forth your
man.” Raul turned. “Summon Namona and El Donna.”
“Jim,” the Doctor motioned Kirk to the center of the
floor. He unbuckled the scabbard and let the weapons fall
to the floor. Kirk moved quickly.
As he handed the Doctor his coats, he whispered “What’s
going to happen?”
“We’ll let them find out what really happened.” The
Doctor shrugged into his longer outer coat, wrapped his
scarf around his throat, and settled his hat on his head.
“Raul will mind-probe you. Just concentrate on what
happened. He isn’t interested in anything else.”
Namona, dressed all in white, eyes cast down, entered
from the other side. With her was another woman, slighter,
darker, with a dilithium crystal worn in the hollow of her
neck.
The two women joined the men in the center of the hall.
“El Donna,” said Raul, “Place Namona under the
truthspell.”
“As you wish, Paul.” The words were submissive but Kirk
felt that had she so wished a refusal could as easily have
been granted. She turned to Namona. “Child, look at me.”
Namona’s eyes raised and as they met the other’s the crystal
at El Donna’s throat pulsed with energy. Namona stood, eyes
fixed on space. El Donna turned back to Raul. “It is done.”
Paul faced Kirk. Kirk looked down into the dark eyes
and was suddenly thankful that the Doctor had been the one
fighting this man.
The mind contact was sudden and sharp, quite unlike the
feeling Kirk had ever had with Spock. This was a knife
burning in his mind. For a moment Kirk tried to resist.
Then, remembering what the Doctor had said, he concentrated
instead on the happening in the square.
The contact broke off. Kirk felt weakened and was
thankful that the Doctor had moved over and taken his arm.
Paul turned to the wide-eyed girl. “So, then, is this
how it was?”
Kirk felt that he could almost see the exchange between
the two minds.
“Yes, it is as he remembers.”
Raul’s hand flew forward and Namona reeled under the
blow.
Kirk started toward Paul, but the Doctor restrained
him.
“Fool!” Raul turned to El Donna. “See that she is
returned to the nursery for another year until she is
prepared to live with adults.”
“As you wish.” El Donna motioned and two women came and
removed the now sobbing girl.
Paul faced the Doctor and ceremoniously bowed. “All
honor to you and your liegeman. My home is yours.”
“Honor to you for being willing to make a change.” The
Doctor replied, bowing in return. He stood for a moment,
looking at Raul questioningly. “If you can accept change,
then I would talk to you for a moment before we leave.”
“Very well.” Raul called toward the door. “Pad!” A
young man stepped forward from the group on the far side.
“See that horses and an escort are provided for our guests.
El Donna, while the liegelord and I speak, will you
accompany the liegeman to the horses?” El Donna nodded her
head in agreement. Paul turned back to the Doctor. “No
doubt your liegeman will wish to check that everything is in
order.”
“No doubt,” replied the Doctor wryly, glancing at Kirk.
The Doctor and Raul walked off together. Kirk noticed
that while his legs still seemed to be stable, the fog had
returned, edging his thoughts.
“Captain?” It was El Donna. “Will you please come with
me? We can await Raul and the Doctor outside.”
She turned and led the way through the building. As
they reached the entrance, Kirk was thankful to see that
there were some stone benches in front. The horses and
escort were net yet there.
“May we sit while we’re waiting?” Kirk asked.
El Donna nodded. He was thankful that she did not seem
disposed to chatter, yet he wanted to ask some questions.
“You have questions, Captain?”
“Yes. If it would not be offensive. I do not understand
all of your ways.”
“I think that you understand very few of our ways, but
you may ask your questions.”
With an effort, Kirk tried to concentrate on the main
point. The fog seemed to clear for a minute; he noticed
that the crystal at El Donna’s neck was glowing. “Why did
Raul hit Namona?” God, he though, that was blunt.
“A blunt question is preferable if it enables the
appropriate answer. Raul hit Namona for two reasons. First,
it is customary among our women – especially those with high
powers -not to look at any man other than one’s own family
until after marriage. You seem shocked, Captain, but I can
tell you that her bold glances of themselves would have been
sufficient to require punishment. As it was, her worst
crime was in claiming forced violation after she read your
response to her given invitation.”
“You’re saying she read my mind? What I was thinking
about her?” Kirk felt a sudden sinking feeling- his
thoughts? – a mental rape – and they said she was guilty?
“But I did. . .”
“Captain.” The lithe figure turned to him and dark eyes
gazed sympathetically but with some hint of amusement into
his. “Have you ever physically raped a woman?”
“No.” *Never had to,* he thought and felt himself flush
as he saw by the answering gleam in her eyes that she had
caught that additional thought.
“Our custom of not looking at strange men is for our
own protection. There are some whose thoughts would be
without doubt – rape. Your thoughts, on the other hand – oh
yes, Raul read them, so have we all – were flattering,
stimulating, and exciting, for any woman who was the direct
object of them. You are embarrassed. There is no need to
be. We all have our passions and desires, and yours for
Namona was not in any way perverted or debased. Her
reaction, on the other hand, showed that she does not yet
deserve to be called woman, but is still a child, and will
now be treated so. What she did could have caused at least
one needless death, had it not been for your liegelord. Can
you understand this?”
It was strange but – “Yes. Although I must say that I
will be thankful to leave this planet. I don’t like the
feeling that my mind is open to everyone.”
“Not to everyone. That would be dishonorable, and
exhausting for the true telepath. I have just been scanning
your surface thoughts because it seemed that it would
facilitate our conversation.”
There was a clatter of hooves, and Kirk saw that the
horses were being brought round. He wondered if he was going
to be able to make it back. He felt the fog disappear and a
soft strength enter his body. He turned to the woman beside
him. Her eyes were closed and the jewel at her throat was
pulsing. The dark eyes opened and looked into his. “You will
make it back – and to your home.” A gentle smile seemed to
caress him. “I must go now. Raul and the Doctor are coming.”
Kirk eyed the horses without enthusiasm. While he was
feeling better, he was not a horseman. Somehow the thought
of subjecting his still sore muscles to another trip on the
beast was not appealing. Beside him he heard El Donna sigh.
“This much too, then, Captain.” He looked back down at her
to see the crystal pulsing again.
“What?”
“It is a small thing, Captain. A gift from me to you.
That you may have some not-so- unpleasant memories of this
planet.” The Doctor and Raul were coming out of the door.
She turned and left.
“Coming, Captain?” said the Doctor as he moved past
Kirk and mounted.
Kirk followed, getting on the horse behind the
Doctor’s. As he mounted, he realized that somehow his body
seemed to know how to ride and handle the animal. Things fit
– the double reins, the saddle and stirrups – he was a part
of the animal. Kirk looked over to the doorway where El
Donna was standing. An enigmatic smile was on her lips as
the group rode away.
Riding through the hills he thought about her. The
Doctor had pulled slightly ahead and was talking to the
leader of their escorts, the young man Paul had called Pad.
Why was the armed escort needed, Kirk wondered. There
had been no trouble on the way up and the countryside
certainly seemed peaceful. Now, at mid-morning, there was
not even the need for the leather jacket he had worn on the
ride up.
A brilliant flash of light and shouting broke his
thoughts. Phasers? The leading members of the party and
their mounts had gone down. The Doctor was reining his
horse sharply around. Without hesitation, Kirk followed.
“Pad,” the Doctor called, “Get out of here!”
“We do not retreat!” Kirk saw that the remaining party
were pulling out their swords, preparing to attack.
Swords against phasers? Kirk kicked his horse into a
gallop and headed down the trail after the Doctor. The light
flared again and the Doctor looked back. He shook his head
and led the way off the trail into a rocky pass.
“Let the horses go. They’ll be good decoys.” The Doctor
dismounted and gave his horse a slap on the rump, sending it
on its way. Kirk quickly followed suit. As his horse
galloped away, he followed the Doctor up the side of the
mountain and joined him, crouching behind a large rock.
“What was that all about?”
“Daleks,” said the Doctor grimly.
“Who are Daleks?”
“The ones who invaded this planet before. Apparently
they left a small group behind to keep the pressure on as
the bombs came down.” The Doctor cautiously stood up and
looked of the top of the rock. Kirk stayed down, watching
him.
“You are the Doctor.” A metallic artificial voice
echoed from the rocks. The Doctor stood completely still,
motioning Kirk to stay down.
“Exterminate the Doctor!”
“No. I wish to question him first.”
At least two of them out there, Kirk thought. Probably
more. There was an utterly vicious tone in the voices. The
Doctor was moving around to the front of the rock. No time
for plans or signals. Did the Doctor expect him to follow
and attempt a rescue or leave?
“Put that down,” said the metallic voices and a brief
flair of light flickered among the rocks.
“It’s only a toy,” said the Doctor plaintively.
“You will come with us. You will keep your hands in
sight. Now.”
“Well, there’s no need to shove.”
Kirk heard noises as the group moved away. He peered
cautiously around one corner of the rock. He could see the
Doctor and four strange dome shaped metal creatures about
five feet high moving down the path. He waited until they
went around a bend and started to follow.
As he came out, he saw a mark on one of the rocks and,
looking down, saw a yo-yo on the ground. He picked it up. A
child’s toy, but the Doctor had risked something to leave
it. If the Doctor had done that, then there might be a
purpose for it.
He continued to trail the Doctor and his captors. Some
type of a robot – but with an independent mind, he thought.
Certainly an eminently practical design, not at all
anthropomorphic. The weaponry they used seemed to be
built-in as one of the projections from the center of the
bulletlike body. The other projection was probably a `hand’,
although it bore no resemblance to anything humanoid. A
third projection near the rounded top rotated as if the
creature used it as an eye. He could not tell how they were
moving. The base of the body was so close to the ground that
nothing could be seen. No wheels in this terrain – maybe
some type of an air suspension system? However they had come
about, their creation was inspired and, with the attitude
they seemed to have, diabolical.
The group came to a circular stone structure.

Continued in Part 4

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