The Doctor and The Enterprise (Part 2)

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Subject: The Doctor and The Enterprise Pt2
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Date: 8 Nov 91 16:59:29 GMT
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November 8, 1991
Jean Airey
1306 W. Illinois
Aurora, IL 60506 USA
START OF TEXT
__________________________________________________________________
PART 2
THE DOCTOR AND THE ENTERPRISE
by Jean Airey
copyright 1982 Jean Airey

“How long will it take to repair?” Kirk asked. the
Spock and Scott-exchanged glances, then Spock spoke. “On the
life support system itself, the engineering portion, about
three hours, on the secondary computer memory system, about
five hours.
Kirk looked over at the Doctor who was still perched on
the bridge steps. “Doctor, can you get out of here in your
TARDIS?”
“I could but. ..” The Doctor gave Kirk a quizzical
look.
“If we cannot complete our repairs in two hours and get
the secondary system back up, this ship will begin a self-
destruct sequence. So I would suggest that you be prepared
to leave.”
“That is one alternative, Captain, but there might be
another.” The Doctor said calmly. “Tell me, Mr. Scott,
Commander Spock, how many people would you need to complete
repairs on your systems?”
Scotty thought for a moment. “About five for the life
support engineering.”
“And the Computer system?” The Doctor turned to Spock.
“Myself and one other. The working area is small, and
most of the time would be involved in testing.”
“Well then, Captain,” the Doctor stepped down to stand
next to Kirk’s chair and lean on the arm. “If you only had a
crew of, say 8 – in three areas - I assume someone would
have to control the bridge – and you could shut down all
other areas completely – how long would your life support
last?”
Kirk nearly made a remark about pointless questions,
but there was something in the Doctor’s tone of voice -
“Scotty?”
“10 hours.”
“So that’s your answer.” The Doctor exclaimed
gleefully, turning around.
“Doctor.” Kirk tapped him on his shoulder and waited
until he was facing him again. “We have a crew of 430 – and
250 additional passengers. We do not have enough space suits
for everyone.”
“But my TARDIS is on board.” At Kirk’s blank look he
hastily continued. “Put 422 of your crew – and your
passengers – inside her, and the rest should be able to
pilot your ship and make the necessary repairs.”
Kirk took a deep breath before speaking. “Doctor, are
you trying to tell me that that box of yours can hold over
600 people?”
“She’s quite a bit bigger on the inside than it would
seem from the outside. She’ll hold your people – and she has
her own life support.”
“Captain,” Spock had been doing some calculations.
“The time to evacuate to the TARDIS would require full life
support for the major part of the time. Estimating that
against the repair time shows that we will have total oxygen
depletion one hour before repairs could be completed.”
“Spock – you require less oxygen than a human.” The
Doctor stated.
“Spock nodded.
“Aye, three of them.”
“And I can manage quite comfortably with less life
support than you presently provide.” The Doctor turned to
Kirk. “And you do have enough space suits for the humans
involved?”
Spock turned back to the computer. The Doctor smiled at
Kirk.
“Spock?”
“The Doctor’s calculations are correct, Captain. The
time margin would be sufficient.” He looked at the Doctor.
“You would be assisting me?”
“I am somewhat familiar with computer systems.”
Kirk turned to Uhura. There seemed to be no doubt that
the command decision had been mad’ and he was simply to
enforce it. “Order all crew and passengers except Mr.
Scott’s engineers to follow evacuation order 5 – using
Transporter Room 2.” He turned back to the Doctor. “Doctor,
if you will open your TARDIS, we will proceed.”
When they arrived at the TARDIS, they found McCoy
waiting.
“You will be taking your injured in first?” The Doctor
asked.
“Yes,” McCoy looked skeptically at the box. “If you’re
sure there’s room.”
“Oh yes, quite enough.” The Doctor opened the door and
led Kirk and McCoy into what seemed to be a very modern
control room. Kirk looked around with amazement. The room
was well over twice the size of the box they had entered and
several doors indicated even more rooms beyond.
“Now, Dr. McCoy, if you go through that door and turn
right and then right again, there is an area which you will
find suitable for caring for your people while we fix your
ship.”
He turned back to Kirk and Spock who were looking at
the large six-sided control panel in the center of the room.
“Fascinating,” said Spock, circling the device. “I
should like to discuss its principles and functions with you
sometime, Doctor.”
“Well, the TARDIS usually does what I want her to.”
Kirk had a feeling that Spock was not going to be able to
satisfy his curiosity about this device very easily. “Why
don’t you start on the computer repairs, and I’ll join you
shortly.”
“A logical suggestion.” Spock turned and left.
“Curious little devil, isn’t he,” commented the Doctor
to Kirk. He apparently accepted Kirk’s silence as agreement
as he went on. “Now, Captain, I assume that there will be
some time to evacuate those of us left after you begin your
self-destruct sequence?”
“There should be.”
“In case there isn’t – who of your crew members could
quickly learn some of these” – he motioned toward the button
and lever studded panels. “To remove the TARDIS and the
passengers in it to safety?”
Kirk smiled. The Doctor knew that he would be the one
remaining on the bridge until the last minute. “Lieutenant
Sulu.”
“Your helmsman – very good. If you would get him down
here.”
Kirk opened his communicator. “Sulu, come down to the
transporter room.”
“Yes sir.”
McCoy appeared at the door looking stunned. “Amazing -
there’s a whole city in here!”
“Not quite, Bones, but it will serve your needs. I
would suggest that you begin your evacuation.” The Doctor
stepped over to the control panels and began setting some of
the controls. Kirk and McCoy exchanged glances. It was clear
from the Doctor’s manner that he was accustomed to people
being amazed at his ship – and was delighted in that
amazement.
The evacuation began in an orderly fashion. After the
injured had been moved in the of the crew started to come.
Lt. Stephans was the first inside and the Doctor turned away
from the controls.
“Oh, Dorcy - if you would lead the rest of this group
down the stairs, turn left, right, and left and right, there
is an area that you all should find satisfactory. Please
help yourselves to the food supplies, you may have a long
wait.”
Lt. Stephens look at Kirk who nodded. “Very well
Doctor.”
When Lt. Sulu came in the Doctor was standing back from
the controls apparently satisfied with what he had done.
“Lieutenant Sulu.” The Doctor motioned Sulu over to
stand next to him. “I have preset the controls so that you
can use these.” He motioned to an array of buttons and a
single lever in one of the control panel sections. “If you
should have to remove the TARDIS from here, just push these
buttons, and then this lever. Understood?”
“Yes sir.”
“I have programmed the TARDIS to land on a small
Earth-type planet. You should be able to handle yourselves
there.”
“Sulu,” Kirk said.
“Yes sir.”
“If we do not make it back you are to follow the
Doctor’s orders explicitly. Keep your communicator handy and
I will inform you if you are to leave.”
“Yes sir. Good luck, Captain.”
“Thank you Lieutenant.”
Kirk watched as the crew continued to file past and
down the stairs. He could hear laughter coming from the
lower level.
“Well, Doctor, I suggest that we get to work.”
“My sentiments exactly.”
++++++++++
On the Bridge, seated in the helmsman’s position,
wearing the new X-E life support suit, Kirk had the feeling
that he was piloting a ghost ship. Behind him he could hear
Uhura moving around as she’ systematically shut down life
support as areas of the ship were vacated.
“All areas evacuated, sir. Life Support shut down
except in engineering, computer memory control and on the
Bridge.”
“Have you picked up any transmissions?”
“No sir.”
“Very well. Go down to the TARDIS, Lieutenant. After
you leave I’ll shut off life support here.”
With Uhura gone, the `ghost ship’ feeling became even
more oppressive. In an effort to dispel it, he called Scotty
to check on how the repairs were going. Scotty informed him
that his crew was progressing `as well as might be expected’
and from the tone of his voice, Kirk knew that any further
interruptions would not be welcomed.
He had heard nothing from Spock and the Doctor.
Neither one would be inclined to report until something
decisive had happened, and, even more so than Scotty, would
resent `unnecessary interruptions’. Kirk decided that he
could just open the communication link to the Computer
Memory area. If he couldn’t be there, at least he could
hear what was going on.
“Are you ready to retest this bank again?”
Spock’s voice, as calm as if this were routine
maintenance check.
“Quite ready.”
“Running the diagnostic program now. It should
complete a successful pass in five minutes.”
“Or fail in less.”
“Exactly.” Spock paused for a moment. “Doctor, why did
you leave your people to go to Earth?”
“What makes you think I did that?”
“While you were unconscious in the Transporter room, I
inadvertently entered into a mind meld with you. That
information was there.”
“You’re a touch-telepath?”
“Yes. I must apologize…”
“Oh nonsense, don’t bother. I’ve had my mind invaded by
nastier beings. Why did I choose Earth? Well, I like Earth
people – compared to most of the other races I’ve met.”
“They are a most emotional race.”
“Do you think so? They’re certainly not as emotional
or as illogical as some I’ve met. They’re a bloody nuisance
at times and quite indomitable – they can also cause more
trouble than almost any other race if you let them get
started. Of course, things may be different in your
universe, but what I like about the people from Earth is
that by and large they care.”
“Is caring such an important thing to you?”
“Yes, when it means that the people can reach outside
themselves to care for others -and especially for others not
of their own species – that’s extremely rare. And, somewhat
surprisingly, Earth people can quite astonish you and do
just that.”
“And what of your own people?”
“They stopped caring about anything a long time ago -
so I left.”
“Did your people agree with your leaving?”
Kirk suddenly had the feeling that he was listening to
a bi-level conversation. Was Spock trying to interrogate the
Doctor – or the Doctor, Spock?
“Oh no. I - borrowed – the TARDIS and then they caught
me and exiled me on Earth. Until they needed me.”
“Needed you?”
“Well, they were determined not to interfere – but when
you know what is going to happen, interference is sometimes
needed. So I helped them out.”
“And now?”
“Well, I could go back to Gallifrey, settle down, take
my place on the Council, even teach in the Academy – but I’m
not ready for that. There still seems to be so much more to
learn. Whatever a professor might say, you don’t learn -
especially about yourself – in the Ivory Tower.” The Doctor
paused. “What about you?”
“Me?” Kirk could almost see the uplifted eyebrow.
“Yes, you. You know, one of the reasons I left was
because of Vulcan. When the Time Lords did not interfere, I
felt that a very valuable people had been lost – needlessly.
I am very glad to see that my supposition was correct.
Although I should not base my decision on you alone. You’re
half human.”
“I am Vulcan.”
“You mean that you’ve chosen the Vulcan way over the
Human way when you had to – I know that much about you at
least - apparently the mind meld worked two ways. Why
weren’t you allowed to become the best of both worlds -
instead of having to choose one over the other?”
“It is not possible to be both Vulcan and Human.”
“Has anyone ever tried before? I suspect that you may
be . . . is that board supposed to be smoking?”
Spock muttered something that Kirk couldn’t catch.
“Powering down. There must be more trouble here than our
first analysis showed.”
“If the person who did your last maintenance servicing
had used the right servo-fuse, that power surge wouldn’t
have affected this area at all.”
“It is unfortunately a common human characteristic to
use the most expedient way and avoid the difficulty of the
required way.”
“Surely a characteristic not limited to humans.”
A pause. “Agreed.”
“That board looks pretty bad. Do you have another
replacement?”
“We have no more spare memory storage modules of this
type.”
“Spare parts, then?”
“There is a bench testing system over there and spare
parts are available. The new memory bubble domes will also
have to be reprogrammed.”
“I’ll start on it now.”
Kirk turned off the intercom link and analyzed the
conversation carefully. While not an expert in the hardware
maintenance of the Enterprise’s computer system, he did have
enough basic knowledge to realize what had happened. During
their last scheduled maintenance, someone had used the wrong
servofuse in the secondary life support memory control. The
`new’ fuse was unable to prevent a power surge from coming
through and damaging what had at first appeared to be the
three boards that Spock had identified. The Enterprise
carried a number of spare boards for the computer system,
but not an infinite supply.
Apparently additional damage done by the power surge
had resulted in what would be a longer repair time than
Spock had originally estimated. He looked at the
chronometer. Half an hour left before tee tertiary system
would begin the self-destruct sequence.
The intercom sounded.
“Kirk here.”
“Repairs completed in engineering, Captain. Waiting for
computer control.”
“Very good, Mr. Scott. Computer Control is not yet
repaired. Can you handle things down there when it is?”
“Aye, Captain.”
“Then send the rest of your people to the TARDIS.
They’ll have to wear X-E suits until they get there. Kirk to
Spock.”
“Spock here, Captain.”
“Scotty reports engineering repairs completed. What is
your estimated time for repair of the computer system?”
“Previously undetermined damage to the backplane area
has necessitated rebuilding one of the spare memory boards
that was damaged. I am about to replace the backplane now.
Repairs should be completed in fifteen minutes.”
Fourteen minutes later Spock’s voice came over the
intercom. “Diagnostic test on computer systems successfully
completed, Captain. Bringing up memory systems to
engineering.”
“Mr. Scott, Mr. Spock is bringing up your computer
memory system.”
“Well, if he is, Captain, there’s nae anything on the
asynchronous signal interface monitor.”
“Spock, did you hear that?”
“Affirmative, Captain. There appears to be an
additional problem. We are investigating.”
Kirk could hear the sound of someone whistling in the
background as Spock was speaking. He wondered what the hell
the Doctor could find to whistle about.
“Spock,” the Doctor said, “Look at this.”
“The drivers on the fiber optic bus cable?”
“Looks like they were hit in the power surge too.
What’s your replacement procedure for them?”
“Difficult. We have to run a new bus cable over to
engineering through the inside conduits of the ship.”
“You don’t use a cable connector?”
“Not with this cable. The bus bars get hung too
easily.”
“But you do have a spare bus cable?”
“Yes.”
“Then let’s get going.”
“Spock,” Kirk broke in, “in 12 minutes the tertiary
system will default to the main computer and initiate the
self-destruct.”
“And we cannot bypass the main system to halt the
self-destruct after that point, Captain. The Doctor will
attempt to connect the cable from here to engineering. I
will remain here to bring up the computer system if the
connection is completed in time.”
“Very well, Mr. Spock. Doctor, you realize the risk you
are taking?”
“He has already left, Captain. I can assure you that
he is well aware of the risk involved.”
The minutes crawled by. Five minutes left. Kirk had a
sudden vision of living out his life on one earth-type
planet, with no way to return home, and the Enterprise
destroyed. It would be as though all he had struggled for
during the last five years had counted for nothing.
Four minutes.
“Captain, the Doctor’s coming through now, I’ve got the
cable.”
Two minutes.
“Cable attached, Mr. Spock.”
“Bringing up your computer control, Mr. Scott.”
One minute.
“Secondary support system is activated, Captain.
Tertiary is cut off.”
Kirk looked at the chronometer. There had been thirty
seconds left. He opened his communicator. “Sulu, as soon
as all life support is back to normal, you will evacuate the
TARDIS.”
“Yes sir!”
In the background he could hear what seemed to be party
noises – laughing, singing. Well, whatever the crew was
doing at least they had not had to wait alone through the
agony of the last hours. And one of Spock’s and Scotty’s
first projects when they were out of this mess was going to
be to find some way to bypass that tertiary system self-
destruct. He’d be the one to decide what heroics were
suitable to his ship.
++++++++++
As the Enterprise wandered among alien stars, most of
the crew were involved in repairing the damage from the
storm and the subsequent battle. But all their duties were
routine compared to the assignment of the Science and
Engineering officers – find the way for the Enterprise to
return home.
Both Spock and the Doctor were on this team, and its
first efforts were devoted to analyzing the physics of the
Enterprise’s entering the alternate universe. After this had
been discovered, the team could decide what needed to be
done to reverse the effect.
Neither Spock nor the Doctor needed as much sleep as
the humans on the team. Spock, of course, spent his time in
additional work and research, but the Doctor did not seem to
be so inclined.
Kirk had offered the Doctor his choice of a room on the
Enterprise or staying on his TARDIS. The Doctor had chosen
the Enterprise. He had pointed out that he would be in
closer touch with the happenings by being closer to the
Enterprise communication system - and anyway – he’d never
been on a ship like the Enterprise before.
Kirk was beginning to wonder if he was really taking
the work he was supposed to be doing seriously – if he took
anything seriously. He seemed to `work’ with the scientific
team for only ten to fifteen minutes at a time. When Kirk
sat in on the sessions he noticed that most of the Doctor’s
time was spent in looking at the- results that the
Enterprise team had generated, staring into space for a few
minutes, and then making some minor change in one of the
currently generated equations, and leaving the room. While
the team did not seem to be upset with this `working style’,
Kirk was beginning to seriously wonder just what the Doctor
was contributing.
He would be walking down one of the Enterprise
corridors and spot the Doctor doing tricks with a yo-yo in
one of the branching halls – usually with a crew member
watching. He had also managed to find out from someone how
to program the food computers to produce what seemed to be
his major source of sustenance -the ubiquitous jellybabies.
Unfortunately, his programming had resulted in everyone else
who ordered something getting at least one jellybaby too.
Kirk suspected the programming was deliberate. He stared at
the small red shape next to his fruit salad, looked at the
other crew members who seemed to be happily eating theirs,
and decided that he had better discuss the situation with
McCoy.
“Jim, I’ve still got 23 seriously injured people to
take care of – and I can’t say that anything in the Doctor’s
behavior has bothered me in my job.”
“I just have this feeling that he may be helping
himself more than us.”
“Have you talked to Spock about it?”
“Spock is busy.”
“Look, if there was a problem with the Doctor and the
help he’s supposed to be giving the team, then Spock would
have said something. You may think that he isn’t doing
anything, but Spock may find that what he is doing is
exactly what the team needs. And I can tell you this, from
the tests that we’ve been able to run on him and from Lt.
Stephans’ reports, his mind is at least the equal of
Spock’s, if not better. Have you read any of the
Lieutenant’s reports?”
“No. Not yet.”
“Well, instead of worrying about what he is or isn’t
doing, why don’t you read them? You’re expecting him to act
as though he was human, and believe me, he is not.”
“Excuse me, Captain.”
It was Uhura.
“Yes, Lieutenant?”
“Sir, the crew was wondering if we could have a party
for the Doctor?”
“A party?”
“Yes sir. We would like to thank him – all of us – for
helping us with the life support problem – and letting us
use his TARDIS and…”
“Lieutenant Uhura, the Doctor is supposed to be trying
to find out how we can get this ship back to our own
universe. I hardly think that a party would be in any way
appropriate.”
“Come on, Jim,” McCoy said. “Considering what the crew
has gone through, and the Lieutenant’s expressions of their
feelings, why don’t you let her check with Spock and the
Doctor. If they have time, it might be a good idea.”
Uhura was looking at Kirk expectantly. He shot an
annoyed glance at McCoy. “Very well, Lieutenant. If Mr.
Spock says that he can spare the Doctor and if the Doctor
accepts, you may have your party.”
“Thank you, sir.”
The party started off in an orderly fashion. The Doctor
turned up for the occasion in a black velvet coat, solid
white scarf, and top hat. Kirk assumed this was his
concession to formality.
While appropriate beverages and food were in ample
supply, everyone, including the Doctor, seemed to be on
their best behavior. Kirk was somewhat surprised to see
Spock join the party, but also relieved. The presence of his
first officer usually kept an Enterprise party from turning
into a raucous affair.
Spock had brought his Vulcan lyre with him, and Kirk
was not surprised to see that he and Uhura were going to
perform. What surprised him was the performance. Uhura had
found an old Earth song - never popular - called “My Friend
the Doctor”. With somewhat revised wording, it had the
Doctor laughing in one minute and the rest of the crew with
him in two.
From that point on, the beverage consumption increased
considerably.
Kirk left half-way through the evening. The Doctor had
borrowed Spock’s lyre, with Spock’s approval, Kirk noticed.
Urged on by Lt. Kyle, he proceeded to teach the crew some
early English drinking songs. Kirk heard that the evening
wound up with a spontaneous limerick contest.
++++++++++
Kirk made a point of turning up in the briefing room
that the Scientific team was using early the next morning.
To his surprise, the whole team was there, and working, and,
a few moments later, the Doctor walked in. He seemed to be
unusually somber.
“I am afraid that you people are going to have to get
out of this universe.”
Spock turned and looked at the Doctor with raised
eyebrows. “Indeed?”
“Look here, Doctor, this team has been working on that
problem for nearly a week now,” Kirk said angrily. “What
makes you say that . . .”
“I believe that the operative words in the Doctor’s
statement are `have to’,” Spock interrupted. Kirk looked at
him and then at the Doctor in surprise. “What have you
discovered?” Spock continued.
“I ran some studies last night, in the TARDIS, and
unless you’re out of here in three weeks, there are going to
be serious disturbances on the Space-Time continuum which
will have the gravest consequences for several of the races
native to this universe and which will result in your
ultimate destruction.”
Kirk looked at Spock. His Science Officer accepted the
Doctor’s statement. Well, at least it might get the Doctor
working on the problem with more dedication than he had
previously exhibited.
Spock turned to the computer and displayed an equation.
“I believe that this is the effect that has brought us
here.”
The Doctor studied it. “Yes, that would do it.”
“So the question is, then, to reverse it.” said Scotty.
The team studied the figures. Kirk noticed that the
Doctor seemed to be falling asleep. Then he suddenly sat
up. “Of course!” He changed some of the figures in the
equation.
“That would seem to be the desired effect.” Spock said.
“And we’ve got just enough dilithium to do it.” said
Scotty.
Kirk breathed a sigh of relief. At last there seemed to
be a way out of the trap. And if he had to thank the Doctor
for it, he would.
“Wait a minute,” the Doctor said, staring intently at
the display. “There’s something wrong.”
“I can see no error.” said Spock.
“You’re not a Time Lord,” said the Doctor, still
frowning at the display. “No, you can’t use that, but I
can’t…” He got up abruptly and paced around the table.
“The Matrix!”
“The Matrix?” Spock asked.
“Yes, the Time Lord Matrix - the summary of all Time
Lord experiences – the answer’s there.”
“Can you obtain it?” Spock inquired.
The Doctor stood still for a moment, his head flung
back. Then sweat broke out on his face and he stumbled back
into a chair.
“Doctor,” Spock said, “are you all right?”
“Yes – and no.” The Doctor looked around the table and
managed a faint smile. “I have been exposed to the Matrix,
but it was contaminated, and I – I do not have full access
to all the knowledge that is there.”
Spock raised one eyebrow.
“Can you explain that more completely, Doctor?” Kirk
asked.
The Doctor hesitated, then, shrugging his shoulders and
exchanging a brief glance with Spock began speaking. “When
I became a – renegade - that portion of my mind was made
inaccessible to me. By the Time Lord Council. Since then . .
. there are times when I seem to be able to access part of
it, but not consistently – and not now.”
“Spock?” Kirk knew that mind blocks of this kind were
more likely to be familiar to the Vulcan than to anyone else
on the ship. Spock’s eyes met Kirk’s and then he turned to
the Doctor, who was now staring at the computer display in
obvious frustration.
“Doctor,” The Doctor turned to look at Spock. “You
state that there is a block on certain portions of your
memory.”
The Doctor nodded. “It was their right to place it on
me – their means of punishment.”
“Does the need for the block still remain?”
The Doctor looked surprised and suddenly thoughtful.
“No – no, there is no more reason for it. No one thought
about it, until now.”
“Can the block be removed, then?”
“Are you a Time Lord, Spock? Is there another Time
Lord on this vessel?” The Doctor got up and paced to the
other side of the room. He turned back and stared at Spock.
“Can you reach into my mind and remove it? Oh, I know that
you are a touch telepath, but can you destroy what Time
Lords of the First Rank - with infinitely more experience -
made?” He sat down again and this time his smile carried no
humor.
“Doctor,” said Spock, templing his hands. You are a
Time Lord. Do you believe that the block should be
removed?”
There was a pause. The Doctor looked at Spock,
obviously puzzled.
“Or do you still accept it as part of your punishment?
Would your fellow Time Lords – now – consider it necessary?”
“Necessary? No, I don’t think they even remember it.
And until now, I really haven’t needed it.” He looked at the
computer display again with annoyance.
“As you have observed, Doctor, I am only a touch
telepath. However, Vulcans have some ability in these
matters - if you can cooperate fully with me.”
“You think you can remove it?”
“Not by myself, but with your support. Without your
full cooperation, your own psychic abilities could interfere
and negate our purpose.”
“Then it also carries some danger for you.” The Doctor
looked directly at Spock.
“There is that possibility. The melding of one mind to
another - especially between different species of varying
psychic abilities – to remove or change something in one of
the minds – can be hazardous. Either or both of our minds
could be lost. There is therefore a risk for you too.”
“Not a causal encounter, then.” The Doctor said, and
Kirk thought that he almost seemed to be laughing”.
“No.” said Spock, maintaining the tension. “Is it your
wish to make the attempt?”
The Doctor thought for a moment, then turned to Kirk.
“Captain, is what Spock is proposing as dangerous to him as
I think?”
“It could well be. Spock has never used the mind-meld
casually.” Kirk felt frustrated. The Doctor was acting as
though he could understand everything about his first
officer, and in this area Kirk knew that his knowledge was
incomplete.
“If it were possible for you to remain in this universe
without harm – or if the time we had to work in were longer,
I might suggest a delay. As it is.. what must be done?”
“I would suggest that we go to Dr. McCoy and utilize
the isolation area of Sickbay.”
McCoy was not pleased at the idea of the attempt, but
set up the isolation area as Spock requested, a single bed
and a chair alongside it and full medical monitoring. He
looked at the room grimly.
“Jim, you realize that we could lose both of them.”
“They’ve already discussed that possibility. Our major
concern at the moment has to be to find a way to return the
Enterprise to our own universe. Even the Doctor admits
that.”
“Even the Doctor? Jim, I think that ..
Lieutenant Stephans walked into the room and McCoy did
not finish his statement. Kirk decided not to ask him to -
if it was important, McCoy would find some time to talk to
him about it. The Lieutenant eyed the isolation area with
as much distaste as McCoy. Kirk studied her for a moment.
Of all the crow members, she had spent the most time with
the Doctor since he had arrived. He was curious about her
reaction.
“Lieutenant, you seem to share Dr. McCoy’s misgivings
about this experiment.”
She looked up at him in amazement. “Captain, you do
realize that of the two we are much more likely to lose Mr.
Spock if the experiment fails?”
Kirk studied her. While all her records indicated a
level-headed practical approach on her field missions, her
reports on the Doctor had a slight tinge of gullibility.
Obviously the alien Doctor had had as much effect on her as
on the other crew members. “What makes you say that?”
“Because of the Vulcan regard for the mind-meld, Mr.
Spock has had the least experience in effecting a strong
mind probe. That is an ability that develops with practice.
The Doctor, on the other hand, has not only exercised his
ability to create and maintain a strong probe, he has also
experienced and resisted mind probes from other alien
species.”
“And how do you know that?”
“Because I have been studying, talking to, and
observing him ever since you made that my assignment. Oh, he
doesn’t brag about it, Captain, but obtaining such
information is my field. Believe me, his experiences are
not conducive to permitting an alien probe into the depths
of his mind. I doubt that he would even easily tolerate
such a probe from his own species.”
“With Spock then, what could happen?”
“It all depends on the Doctor. If he truly trusts
Spock - not just consciously, but unconsciously, enough to
allow the probe to reach its intended goals, then they will
succeed. If he does not – or cannot – the defense mechanism
of his mind could snap shut and destroy Spock’s mind.” She
started to add something else but stopped when Spock entered
the room.
“Is the Doctor here?” Spock asked.
“Not yet,” McCoy answered. “The room is ready. Spock,
are you certain that this is necessary? Lieutenant Stephans
believes that it is quite dangerous.”
Spock hesitated for a moment. “Doctor McCoy, it is
quite necessary.” He had withdrawn into his most Vulcan
image. Kirk looked at him. Could the danger the Lieutenant
had suggested be real? He started to say something to Spock,
when the Vulcan turned and went into the isolation room. He
sat down in the chair, hands templed, withdrawn.
“You can’t stop it now, Jim.” McCoy said. “It’s between
them.”
The Doctor came in. He had discarded his coat, scarf,
and hat and was once again wearing a cossack-like white
shirt, tweed trousers, and boots.
“Is everything ready?” he said cheerfully.
McCoy nodded grimly toward the room and the silent
Spock within. “If you two are determined to proceed.”
The Doctor smiled at McCoy and started to enter the
room when Lt. Stephans stopped him. “Doctor.” He looked down
at her in surprise. “Remember you must give up the control
to Spock.” Their eyes met briefly and he nodded and went
into the room.
Kirk felt a sudden chill of fear, realizing that more
than the life of his first officer, of his friend, lay in
the hands of this alien whom he did not trust.
McCoy closed the door and turned on the intercom
system. The medical monitors were on. He looked at Kirk
again, shaking his head this time – “You can’t stop it now,
Jim.”
The Doctor stopped just inside the door and looked at
Spock. Without disturbing him, he lay down on the bed,
closed his eyes for a moment and then said “Mr. Spock, if
you’re ready?”
Spock’s eyes opened slowly and he looked at the Doctor.
The Doctor smiled and closed his eyes. Spock untempled his
hands and then spread them on the Doctor’s face.
“My mind to your mind. . .” came the familiar words.
The Doctor’s body stiffened momentarily. Spock’s grip
tightened.
“The Doctor has to drop his own telepathic blocks,” Lt.
Stephans whispered.
Sweat broke out on the Doctor’s fact and Spock’s eyes
closed tightly. The Doctor’s body relaxed.
“My mind to your mind. ..” Spock’s body seemed to
encircle the Doctor’s although he did not move. There was
silence from the room. Kirk was waiting for the outpouring
of words he was used to hearing during one of Spock’s mind
melds. But nothing seemed to happen. He looked down at Lt.
Stephans.
“What’s going on?”
“They are both natural telepaths, Captain. This is
quite unlike what you have seen before.”
Perspiration gleamed on Spock’s brow. The Doctor’s body
alternately tensed and relaxed.
Suddenly the eyes of the two opened and met. Kirk
could almost see some kind of exchange take place.
“They are in close contact now, ” said Lt. Stephans.
“There is only the barrier to be broken.”
The eyes of the two closed again. From his own
experience Kirk remembered the feeling of another mind in
his, and he was not telepathic. What would it be like if
that mind was attacking yours? And if you had a real
ability to defend yourself — for the first time he realized
the danger Spock was willingly encountering was formidable.
Everything dependent on the ability of another to relinquish
control, the whole dependent on the tightest of disciplines
of the minds involved.
Discipline - and the Doctor?
“Heart rates increasing, Jim,” said McCoy.
The Doctor’s head began to move restlessly in Spock’s
grip. A scream emerged from the Doctor’s mouth but it was
Spock’s voice that sounded.
“No, it must remain, it is the penalty. / The penalty
no longer exists: the penalty has been paid.” Spock’s voice
now in the familiar mono-duologue. “The punishment must be
complete. / The punishment is no longer required. You have
earned the right to be free. / I am the President. The
Matrix is mine. The Matrix is invaded. The -Master. Death
to all Time Lords. My people. There is danger. I cannot
release the Matrix. I must drive out the enemy!”
“Heart rates still increasing. I don’t know how much
longer they can take it.”
The Doctor’s eyes opened and stared blindly at the
ceiling. Spock’s voice continued, monologue this time.
“Layer by layer, opening..
Another `voice’ – this time exploding in Kirk’s mind.
“Broadcast telepathy,” said Lt. Stephans, wincing.
“Spock has opened some new ability the Doctor has.”
“*The enemy has gone, the way is open.*”
Spock’s hands broke contact. Grabbing the Doctor’s
shoulders, he caught the Doctor eyes with his own. “You must
proceed. I will not probe your knowledge.”
*”I must have your support, or the barrier will not be
fully broken.”*
Spock paused and then resumed contact. The Doctor’s
eyes closed again.
*”So. . in this way, slowly. . . “* The Doctor’s head
jerked fitfully in Spock’s grasp. *”You are there, the path
is open. I enter.*”
A stillness descended on the room.
“Heart rates going down.”
The Doctor was sweating again; Spock seemed to be in a
passive trance and Kirk was reminded of the first,
involuntary contact Spock had made with the Doctor.
“Readings back to normal, Jim.”
“If they can break the bond now…” said Lt. Stephans.
Both sets of alien eyes opened and met again. Spock’s
head jerked back. The texture of the mental voice changed.
*”Yes, so you have joined with us.”*
“No.” Spock’s hands moved to break the meld but the
Doctor’s hands quickly held them in place. “I am my own. I
am Vulcan.”
*”You are still that. But you are more. It has been
earned.”*
Spock’s eyes closed. The Doctor’s hands reached up to
Spock’s face assuming the Vulcan contact points. *”Accept.”*
Spock seemed to nod in the Doctor’s grasp. Spock’s
hands fell away from the Doctor, then the Doctor’s from him.
The Doctor came to a half sitting position. Spock’s head
was still bent, his eyes closed.
“Spock!” cried Kirk, heading for the door. McCoy and
Stephans stopped him.
“Jim,” McCoy said. “You’ve got to let the Doctor finish
now.”
The Doctor took hold of Spock’s hands which were lying
limply on the bed. “Spock,” the Doctor called, then louder,
and Kirk could almost feel a mental calling with the verbal,
“Spock.” Spock’s eyes opened. There was a depth to them that
Kirk had rarely seen before.
“What have you given me?”
“Something more than you had before, but nothing you
had not earned, were not entitled to, or more than you can
handle. Why not ask what you have given me?”
Spock’s eyes met the Doctor’s. The Doctor smiled.
“Spock, I am whole again. I think that you can realize what
that means. I know you - now - and I know what you risked.
I risked no more than I have risked before, and for no more
reason. Accept my gift, my friend, and look on it as
repayment for what my people failed to do in this world for
your people.” Spock looked intently at the Doctor and
nodded.
The Doctor turned to the window. “Captain, I believe
that I have the solution to the problem.”
McCoy opened the door.
Spock got up slowly. Kirk went to him. “Spock, are you
all right?”
“I believe so, Captain. It was a most unusual
experience.”
“Spock,” called the Doctor, “come on, we’ve got to get
this thing solved.”
“Coming.”
The two left the room. Kirk and Stephans followed.
McCoy decided that he was going review the medical records
of the happening again.
“Lieutenant,” said Kirk, walking behind Spock and the
Doctor as they headed toward the briefing room, “What has
Spock got now that he didn’t have before?”
“It’s difficult to say, Captain. Certainly some
expanded knowledge or awareness normally unique to Time
Lords. Perhaps an increase in his own telepathic abilities,
perhaps some of the Doctor’s sense of humor.”
“Lieutenant, I do not find that particularly amusing.”
“No sir, but don’t you think it would be interesting?’
“No.”
“Well, sir, you should be aware that it is not uncommon
after such a melding for the participants to take on each
other’s characteristics - for a time.”
The Lieutenant nodded her head at the two ahead of
them. Kirk saw that Spock was accepting one of the Doctor’s
jellybabies.
“Well, Lieutenant, if it gets us out of this universe
and back into our own, I can tolerate anything.”
“I do hope that your tolerance is up to what might
happen, Captain.”
++++++++++
Back in the briefing room, both the Doctor and Spock
resurveyed the computer display. After a few minutes, the
Doctor started smiling. Leaning on the table, he turned and
looked at Spock.
“Do you see it?”
Still looking puzzled, Spock indicated an area of the
equation. “There?”
“Exactly.”
It seemed to Kirk that Spock was smiling back at the
Doctor, but no change was visible except the disappearance
of puzzlement. He glanced at Lt. Stephans and she nodded. So
he was not the only one to have noticed something!
The Doctor started entering some new figures into the
computer and the display changed. “You could probably work
it out, but you can see where using that formula would have
been disastrous to you.”
“Indeed.” Spock nodded.
“What was the matter?” Kirk asked.
The Doctor looked at Spock and gestured as if giving
him the center stage.
“The Time Factor, Captain.”
“Time Factor?”
“Yes, in transferring between universes there is always
an inherent Time Factor. Had we tried to return to our
universe using the original formula, we would have arrived
in the correct universe, but 300 years before the time we
disappeared.” Spock turned to the Doctor, one eyebrow
cocked.
“A somewhat simplified explanation, but correct. With
this change, you should return within five minutes of the
time you left and you will not need to return to the
Sontaran area.”
Scotty had been eyeing the changed equation and
suddenly spoke. “Captain, I canna say that this willna do
the trick, but we dinna hae the power for it.”
Spock and the Doctor surveyed the equation. Spock
nodded. “Mr. Scott is correct, Captain. The new formula
calls for at least one third again as much power as our
present dilithium will give us.”
“Could we reverse the polarity?” the Doctor asked.
“Doctor, ye canna be serious,” exclaimed Scotty.
“I do not think that will work – this time.” Kirk could
have sworn that Spock was trying to keep from laughing.
“Well, well, never a solution but another problem,”
said the Doctor. “What will you need to solve this one?”
Scott had apparently been doing some calculating too
and he answered immediately. “At least six more dilithium
crystals. I can juryrig a system so that they could give us
the power when we need it, but we’ve got to have the
dilithium.”
Kirk noticed, without a great deal of surprise, that
everyone in the room turned to the Doctor. Well, after all,
this was his universe, and he seemed to like playing the
deus ex-machina and pulling the Enterprise out of
difficulty.
“Well, Doctor, where can we get the dilithium?”
“There is a planet in this area which has a supply of
dilithium crystals.”
“Can we buy – or trade – with them to get the
crystals?”
“I don’t know.” the Doctor sat forward pensively,
templing his hands in front of his face. Kirk felt a slight
shock at this Spock-like gesture. He glanced over at Spock
and felt his shock compound as he saw that Spock was leaning
back in his chair looking ready to put his feet up on the
table.
He felt Lt. Stephans touch him gently on the arm and
heard her whisper “Tolerance, Captain.”
The Doctor untempled his hands and stood up.
“This planet is highly unusual, even for this universe.
Apparently a humanoid race started to settle it about a
thousand years ago. It should have been a normal settlement
- everyone working together in the early years, wars and
other problems coming along later – you know the patterns.”
Kirk saw Lt. Stephans nodding – apparently what the
Doctor was saying was something familiar to CS&C.
“Instead a split occurred very early. Some of the
colonists were determined to maintain a high level of
technology in spite of almost impossible difficulties, and
others wanted to live the basic `back to nature’ life that
seemed to fit the planet.”
“So we have to deal with one group or the other?” Kirk
asked.
“More than that. There were certain aspects about the
planet which caused an abnormal development of what you call
PSI powers in some of the people – on both sides. The `back
to nature’ group accepted these and encouraged them. The
technologists ignored and repressed them. The two groups
have now developed two totally opposite ways of dealing with
any type of problem.
“I don’t see that that makes a difference.” Kirk felt
that the Doctor was seeing problems where there weren’t any.
“It wouldn’t – if it hadn’t been for the invasion.”
“Invasion?”
“Yes – an utterly ruthless race recently tried to
conquer the planet and both sides ultimately joined together
to defeat the invaders.”
“Then we only have one side to deal with.”
“Well, when the would-be conquerors left, they wanted
to take revenge on the planet and the people that had
withstood them – to prove that ultimately they could win.
You know the type.”
Kirk saw Spock nod out of the corner of his eye and,
glancing over at him, saw that his feet were up on the table
now. He was about to say something when a kick on the shins
diverted him. He glared at Lt. Stephans who was staring
innocently at the Doctor.
“At any rate, Captain,” the Doctor went on. Kirk was
certain that he had missed none of the byplay. “The
invaders placed several fission type bombs around the planet
in such a fashion that at irregular periods for the next
five years the orbits will decay and a bomb will come down.”
“And if they simply explode the bomb, they’ll create a
ring of radiation around the planet that will eventually
destroy them.” Scotty said.
“Exactly.”
“Sounds like we might be able to help.” Kirk said.
“We can certainly remove the bombs from their orbits
and dispose of them somewhere else safely.” said Scotty.
“Would that be sufficient for a trade for dilithium?”
Kirk asked.
“Possible.” The Doctor seemed to be studying his hands
again. “Does your Prime Directive prevent you from helping
other people?”
“No. Just from interfering with the natural
development of an indigenous culture.” responded Lt.
Stephans.
“Well, on this planet, the dilithium crystals are mined
and controlled by the back to nature group – the Norms, as
they call themselves. They can use the dilithium to expand
and amplify their psychic abilities. And it was one of their
cities that was hit by the first bomb that fell.” The Doctor
looked at Kirk expectantly.
“Are you suggesting that we supply medical aid?”
“Yes. Can you agree to that?”
Kirk responded without hesitation, “Yes.”
“Very well, then, let’s get to the planet and do some
horse trading. The coordinates. . .” The Doctor punched up
some figures on the computer display. “What,” said Spock
sitting upright again, “is the name of this planet?”
“Lightunder,” said the Doctor. He started out the door
and stopped. “One more thing, you know I told you that some
of the people had psychic abilities?”
“Yes.” Kirk failed to see why the Doctor was
reemphasizing a point.
“Well, apparently the ability is tied to a recessive
gene, because you can usually recognize a psychic by their
physical appearance too.”
“How?” Lt. Stephans asked. Kirk supposed that such an
item might be of interest to a xenobiologist.
“By the color of their hair.” The Doctor started out
the door.
The Lieutenant looked puzzled for a minute and then
shouted “What color is it?”
The Doctor’s head reappeared around the corner. His
grin reminded Kirk of the Cheshire cat in the old story.
“Green.” He said and disappeared.
++++++++++
Continued in Part 3

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