One small device could change the fate of the galaxy.
It was in Bill's hand.
He was looking down at it.
"Are my results satisfactory?" Fred asked.
Bill glanced over in the direction of the Ferengi.
"Better than satisfactory," Bill said, forcing a smile. "It is perfect."
"Captain, may I be assigned to the maintenance repairs?" Fred asked.
"Permission granted." Bill said.
"Thank you, captain." Fred said, then he left.
The bridge was under going significant repairs and the helms station was being operated by a ensign. The navigational chair was operated by a Ensign as well. The starship was going sideways through space. Everyone was treating this as if it were normal. Bill was puzzled by the differences in helmsmen. How difficult could it be to fly a gigantic starship? They did need a skilled helmsmen. He made his way down the corridor attaching the device to his right wrist. The wires came out of the wrist side with a water proof film coming over it then the wires slid beneath the skin painlessly. Bill lightly tapped on the circular part that glowed a light blue against the glass bringing from gray into a gentle blue. Bill had a confident, hopeful smile himself at the device. The smile faded then turned his head away looking in the direction he was going heading past a Ferengi and Klingon.
Bill took a turn to the left through a threshold and arrived to the burn unit.
He came to the glass window where two Ferengi were sitting at the controls monitoring Walter's condition.
Walter was inside the burn unit machine that was a bit like a stasis pod without the walls that prevented the sides from being seen. He was sedated. The memory of Walter's scream had terrified him. He had ordered the Enterprise to leave immediately after power had returned. He had been by Walter's side after the man had fallen to the ground. There was a look of guilt on the captain's face. So this is how Jim feels when a red shirt dies on his watch, Bill thought,I understand him. It wasn't supposed to be this way. It wasn't part of the plan that Walter got hurt. It was unavoidable that someone had to get hurt. Bill had to admit to that.
The skin was healing due to the bio-dermal-regeneration field of the pod.
Bill recalled looking over to see Stonn leaving the bridge then sharing one last glance with him as the ship trembled. The emotionless expression on Stonn's facde. Turning his head away from the Vulcan ordering a random security officer to man the helmsmen station when the power came back. The turbo lift doors closing behind the young Vulcan. Bill had a good idea what he was going to do. Any Vulcan would have done it or a man. Any one who knew how to start the power up once more would do it. Bill should have tried harder and ordered him off the Enterprise. But Walter's character outranked him. It would have been a useless request.
The two Ferengi went off duty to have lunch.
They mentioned it had been two hours.
The skin was being returned to its normal state.
The doors closed then they reopened and then they closed again.
"Bill." It was a familiar voice.
The Beastazoid counselors were using the holodeck, the life support room, and at least one cargo bay.
"Next time I am not risking someone's life for the sake of a plan," Bill said. "Sarek has to go ask the kids for help."
"Not even going to ask why I am here?" De said.
"Sarek took my reply seriously." Bill said.
"Karl is treatin' the remainin' patients. Leave you alone to your devices and this is what I get." De looked over to Bill. "What kind of plan do you have here? Sarek has refused to tell me what exactly it is. He just says I would call it insane, illogical, and irrational and suicidal. I just about would if I knew what the hell you are plannin' to do."
"It is all part of the plan." Bill said.
"What is?" De asked, arms folded.
"The state of the Enterprise and the Farragut." Bill said.
"Farragut. . . why does that sound familiar?" De asked.
"I believe it had to involve a gassy being with extravagant taste in the original series." Bill said.
"Oh. Oh!" De said. "Episode 18 of season 2."
"I like how you remember it." Bill said.
"I remember it because you made jokes about Moby Dick and the White Whale when talkin' about the darn thin'," De said. "You made Leonard laugh at it and make it be a blooper."
"I don't remember that." Bill said.
"It happened," De said. "I was there."
"Memory must be failing me," Bill said. "It will not matter anymore, anyway."
De looked over at Bill in concern.
"Bill, tell me your plan." De said.
"Later." Bill said.
"No," De said. "I must know."
"Would you rather go on a planet named after Skull Island then die in the worst way possible or continue to live ensuring your patients live in Sick Bay 2 by makin' the doors be locked under a secure password?" Bill asked.
"I didn't take the Hippocratic oath." De said.
"Your character did." Bill said.
"Karl can take care of himself," De said. "And the patients. He has played a Judge, a gun slingin' marine, a vampire, and a police officer. For the sake of protectin' others I am very assured he can do it in real life under the right circumstance."
"I believe you don't understand." Bill said.
"I perfectly understand you are suicidal." De said.
"You won't come back if you come down to the planet side. If it goes to plan." Bill said.
"You expect to die on that planet?" De asked, horrified.
"No." Bill said.
"Then what?" De asked.
"De," Bill said. "If you rather go into the belly of the beast for dilithium then be my guest. There is a sixty-eight point forty-three percent that everyone on this mission will die. Me included." De frowned at hearing that. "That is what S'Chick told me."
"No,that is not right!" De said. "You are pretendin' to be Jim and that means, however illogical, that Jim will not die on a away mission. It is in the script! Only the ones in red shirts are supposed to die!"
"Jim died under a bridge." Bill said.
De's eyebrows hunched together.
"That wasn't an away mission, Bill." De said.
"Can you handle treating the injuries of a group of seven including Klingons and one Vulcan with the chance of it putting his Katra into your skull just so the information he knows will not be lost to his people?" Bill asked.
"I can." De said.
"Can you house two consciences and handle them?" Bill asked.
De unfolded his arms stepping forward.
"All right, just tell me who this Vulcan is." De said.
"S'Chick," Bill said. "Though I have a feeling he will not want his katra to be taken into a receptacle. I just get it from his vibe. He wants to be like me. A great captain. As does his brother, S'obi. They remind me of Leonard when he first donned the eyebrows and the pointy ears except they have different faces."
"I met this S'chick when Karl was busy treatin' a lot of other Vulcans," De said. "He does feel like the type who wants to find out if there is a afterlife."
"What would you rather do?" Bill asked, looking over toward De. "Stay or retrieve some dilithium crystals on the chance that you will come back but end up dying?"
De stepped aside.
"If you are thinkin' I would let you go down there alone then you are gravely mistaken," De said. "And it would be out of character for Doctor McCoy to not go down there. He would be insane better yet mad not going down there with the captain."
"We are taking a shuttle," Bill said, turning his head away. "Not a transporter. By the time we are there we will only have life support for the ship and the transporter will not be working."
"How long?" De asked.
"In twelve hours," Bill said. "If this fails and the ship is claimed. . . You have my permission to go through a Stargate, located on the planet surface, and use a gate address that S'obi will be giving to you. You don't want to see what could happen to our civilization if Baron gets her hands on it. It would be like the dinosaurs being wiped out again."
"Bill." De said.
"That's the best I can give you, De," Bill said. "The ship is flying sideways and I am considering telling Karl that in the instance of the starship being claimed that he rig sick bay and allow it to be a quick death. No one should see what happens after they win."
"Bill." De said.
"Yes?" Bill asked.
"You are thinkin' about the well bein' of others," De said. "You are not even thinkin' about yourself."
"Impressed?" Bill asked, eyebrows raise.
"Yes." De said.
Bill smiled, a genuine one lowering his eyebrows.
"My friend, the plan is about me." Bill said.
De appeared to be skeptical.
"You are gloatin'!" De said.
"Wish I were." Bill said.
"I am definitely goin' down there." De said.
"Walter is not going down to the surface." Bill said.
"Let me guess, he will be the one to order the countdown if all else fails?" De said.
"Yes." Bill said.
"And if he fails, it is up to the kid to ensure his patients make it to the next life." De said.
"Yes." Bill said.
"Well, that is very decisive." De said.
"No one wants to be under her reign," Bill said. "It was their idea."
"Haven't you considered what other innocent bystanders would want?" De asked.
"I was on the bystanders side until Walter got hurt." Bill said. "This is for the people we can save. It is a mercy killing, De. If you knew what I knew about her rule you would do the same thing."
"Maybe I would and maybe I would not." De said.
"We can agree to disagree." Bill said.
"Settled." De said.
"When Walter wakes up and I will tell him, myself." Bill said. And before that . . . I have a few calls to make." Bill had a heavy sigh sounding as though he lamented the loss. "Stonn was the most skilled helmsmen on the Enterprise, and the others who could rightfully take his place are on their home planets alive or dead. I have been informed by Ambassador Ryan regarding the ships situation. Sarek is speaking with Counselor Swoy."
"That would be tough to find a helmsmen." De asked.
"We know the best helmsmen." Bill said.
"Bill, George has never flown a starship." De said.
Bill did not seem phased.
"And Nichelle." Bill said.
"What can Nichelle do that someone else can't?" De asked.
"She is very gifted with using technology," Bill said. "And she once was on set for the reboot."
"She is a fast learner." De admitted.
"Agreed." Bill said.
De raised an eyebrow.
"Are you goin' to invite Leonard?" De asked.
"No," Bill said. "Your wife is probably worried about you."
"I called her ten minutes ago after I got out of sick bay." De said.
The two Ferengi officers came back in laughing and in very good moods.
"Excuse me, Bones," Bill said. "I have to make a few calls and stress how significantly important they are."
"Scotty going to love you immensely if he saw the engines." De said.
"Suggestion noted." Bill said, walking out taking his phone from his pant pocket.
The two Ferengi were staring at De.
"Would you like my autograph?" De asked.
The two Ferengi took out various belongings and a pen.
Bill bumped into a woman.
"Oopss!" Bill said. "I am so sorry--"
"I am Lwaxana Troi, daughter of the Fifth House, holder of the Sacred Chalice of Rixx, heir to the Holy Rings of Betazed." Bill recognized that face, that voice, and those pair of eyes. She was in a very flamboyant attire. She cocked up a eyebrow. "Who are you?"
Bill stared at Lwaxana.
"Barret?" Bill asked, it came out as a squeak instead.
Majel Barret died in 2008.
"Your name is not Barret," Lwaxana said. "You don't have the manlyness for it."
Bill had a soft laugh.
"James T. Kirk." Bill said.
"Oh, I am so sorry for bumping into you like that!" Lwaxana apologized.
Bill had a laugh shaking his hand.
"It is no problem," Bill said. "It is my fault. You just remind me of someone I knew . . ." He raised an eyebrow in return. "I did not expect you to be a counselor. You are very unlike that kind of person."
"My daughter is the counselor," Lwaxana said. "I am just here for the boys."
That made Bill think of Marina Sirtis.
"Deanna Troi." Bill said.
"Why yes!" Lwaxana said.
"Do you know of Star Trek: The Next Generation?" Bill asked.
"Why no, I have not," Lwaxana said. "What is that?"
"A document." Bill said.
"I do not pay attention to those documents." Lwaxana said. "It is a bunch of false Romulan assurances if you ask me."
"Is your daughter half human?" Bill asked.
Lwaxana raised her eyebrows in surprise.
"She is half Vulcan," Lwaxana said. "It enhances her telepathic abilities."
"That is unexpected." Bill said.
"You can tell me that," Lwaxana said, with a wink. "Truth is, I am the Ambassador. They always say my last name wrong. I do not wish to see what they are doing to Betazed." She winced her eyes, shuddering, rubbing her shoulders. "Nor do I wish to be executed."
"Then why are you on this ship if you do not wish to be executed?" Bill asked, curious.
"Because it feels safe." Lwaxana said.
"If my friend were here," Bill said. "You would have a lot to discuss." He took out his small phone from his pocket. He had taken it with him after returning to his quarters during the repairs on the bridge. "But I think you are a great reminder of what once was."
Lwaxana's cheeks grew pink.
"Thank you, it comes with the pride." Lwaxana said.
Bill held his hand out.
"It was nice to meet you, Mrs Troi." Bill said.
Lwaxana took Bill's hand and shook it.
"I have been pleased to meet the one who will save us." Lwaxana said.
A sad smile grew on Bill's face then he nodded.
Their hands let go of the other.
Bill went past Lwaxana.
Bill swiped on the screen landing on a list of contacts then he hit a contact and put the phone to his ear.
"Hey Jimmy. . ." Bill began. "I have a quick offer and then you can be beamed back home after, or if, you go through with it."
"JIM, JIM, JIM! I AM ON THE ENTERPRIIIISEEE!" Karl sounded excited. "THIS IS AWESOME! I LOVE MY JOB!"
Chris came into the kitchen using the walls as his guide in the dark apartment. His mind was a little groggy hearing his characters nickname be called out to him. Why was Karl calling so late? He sounded excited when Chris answered the phone. Zach was in bed, fast asleep, with his pet Noah and Skunk. They were spending the night over at Chris's house.
"Okay, good, wait--You are doing reshoots without me?" Chris asked.
Chris overheard Karl's hysterical laughter.
"Not reshoots!" Karl said, inbetween his laughter.
Chris opened the refridgerator door and took out the milk.
"Then why are you on set?" Chris asked.
"You won't believe me but I operated on Vulcans. You see, for some odd reason, DeForest and I share the same DNA so when S'chon beamed him up that meant I was also beamed too! Maybe De and I share a common ancestor or relative."
"Karl." Chris said.
"I am fully qualified to be operatin' on Mr Spock, least I can say." Karl said, proudly.
"Uh huh," Chris asked. "So what about your wife?"
"I told Joanna what's goin' on and why Daddy isn't there to attend her daughter's graduation." Damn, Karl was deep in character.
"You are not that old, kid!" Came DeForest's chiding comment over the phone.
Chris heard the phone make some undecipherable noises that sounded like Karl had been startled by De's sudden appearance. Chris shook his head taking out the spoon and the cereal box. The cereal was on the table. He flipped on the lights. The dark kitchen lightened up into a small kitchen with all the necessities. Chris overheard Karl replying "I forgot that I am not immortal." as he came over to the table.
"You are filming the fourth movie, all ready?" Chris asked, stunned as he put the cereal into the bowl.
"Negative." Karl said.
"Then why are you with De?" Chris asked.
"I am on the Enterprise playin' chess with my Prime Counterpart," Karl said. "And he is winnin'."
"Check mate." De said.
There was a series of groans and moans from over the phone that felt like a lot of people were disappointed. There were grumbling occupying the following sounds afterwards. It became apparent that people were watching the chess game.
"No fair." Karl said.
"I won, fair and square," De said. "I played against Alternate Jim, Alternate Spock, and Alternate Pike. Not to be rude but you just suck at chess."
"I can get better." Karl said.
"I look forward to playin' against you when you are better at it." De said.
"I promise!" Karl said.
"If I am still around by that time." De said.
"You will be around for that, Admiral." Karl said.
"I should have warned you about that." Chris said.
"Poker?" De asked.
"Do we have a holodeck for that?" Karl asked.
"Affirmative, sir." A different female voice said.
"Poker it is." De said.
"I have to go,Jim," Karl said. "I will tell you everythin' after we get back."
"Okay," Chris said. "Take care."
"McCoy out." Karl said.
Chris heard a series of footsteps heading the way of the kitchen. He put the phone on the side of the table well aware who was coming. Two dogs and one insanely adorable man.
The theme music of the X-Files was coming off the mobile phone on the counter beside the bed. George turned over on the bed hearing the familiar melody being chucked from the device. He slapped his hand on the device then turned over and fell back asleep. The melody returned loudly with a vengeance. George got upright then turned over on the bed toward the phone.
George looked down at the screen to see it was a screen shot.
"What is it?" Brad asked.
George rubbed the side of his head.
"Bill texting me the bridge." George said.
"Ah, the man who skipped out on our wedding," Brad said. "He is such a diva."
"I agree." George said, lowering his eyes on the screen.
Bill: Would you like to save the world and prevent the end of civilization as we know it?
George: Who gave you my number?
George: No, I am not going to be part of your mission to save the world. It is . . .
George looked over at the time stamp.
George: 1:48 AM in the morning.
Bill: It is night? Wow, time does fly in space.
George: Tell me what Walter told me is not true.
Bill: Is that a trick question?
He was telling the truth.
But I am getting kind of sea sick with the helmsmen flying the starship sideways.
Be right back.
Have to puke.
George was sitting on the edge of bed looking down at the blue screen with raised gray eyebrows.
George: How can someone fly a starship sideways?
Are you referring to the scene from Galaxy Quest where Laredo scratches the side of the Protector on the starport?
George scrolled up and took a good look at the screenshot. He could see Walter leaning against the station walking to two security officers who were Klingons (and it was evident they were security officers because of the red shirts), the helmsmen station was occupied by a Deltan, and there was a huge space rock headed right their way in the middle of warp that eerily looked like the warp screen from the Reboot series. He could see that was a science station manned by a Ferengi sitting on a stool. No wonder Bill got sick. The Enterprise just dodged a large rock.
George: I will take a shower.
Don't blow the ship up.
Two minutes later when George had gotten into the bathroom there was a reply.
Bill: Nice joke. Beam up in ten minutes?
George would need ten minutes to take a shower. Five to get dress. Fifteen to explain where he is going to be and the grappling unsettling knowledge that aliens are real.
Bill: Pictures needed?
Bill: You got it.
George heard a familiar melody and his vision turned from ordinary to golden. George could feel his atoms were being moved from one place to another, being tossed into a storm hanging on a string, and ultimately coming to a landing in the loud melody of beaming. The color and the sounds had faded. George blinked adjusting his eyes to a familiar scenery. George saw a Vulcan behind the console and a Ferengi.
"Greetings." S'chon said, doing the Vulcan salute.
"Greetings." George saluted back.
S'Chon lowered his hand
"My name is S'chon and this is my acquaintance Fred--"
"We are best friends!" Fred spoke up, hopping onto the top of the transporter console and sat on the edge dangling his feet.
"Negative." S'chon said.
"Yes, we are!" Fred said. "You got me out of that Klingon fight four months ago when a Klingon stole my invention!"
"It was a illogical fight." S'chon said.
"And you helped me tinker with the bio-device including weeding out the glitches." Fred pointed out.
"It was logical to do so," S'chon said. "S'chick is a scientist. I am a mechanic. You approached me."
"No, I didn't, you approached me." Fred said.
"My apologies, Mr Sulu," S'chon said. "My acquaintance is delusional that we are 'best friends'."
"Apology accepted." George said, coming off the transporter pad.
In the transporter room came De appearing to be pleased of himself. He was in a medical uniform that had short sleeves. The uniform itself seemed to be a mix of new and old between the two franchises of Star Trek. Damn, De looked good in it. There was the iconic golden star fleet emblem on the shirt. Fred was in Star Trek: The Next Generation styled uniform that was yellow. All of the Ferengi on the ship were in The Next Generation uniforms.
"Welcome aboard,President." De said.
"I am?" George asked.
In the background Fred was reminding S'chon all the times that the Vulcan had come in to save his ass and helped him.
"You used to be President at one point in Star Fleet history and then you restarted your career because you loved being in Star Fleet," De said. "Remember the lengths we took to fool everyone that you were a man named George Walter?" George shook his head." You must have forgotten bein' out of Star Fleet for so lon' ever since we got Jim out of the Nexus."
S'chon was attempting to not roll his eyes at the list of scenarios. By his facial reaction, it was visible that there were stories behind the notable mentions being made by Fred.
A look of realization spread on George's face.
"I remember," George said. "Where is Captain Kirk?"
S'chon nerve pinched Fred. Fred landed on his side on the console.
"He is taking a sonic shower," De said. "A Deltan recently flew the Enterprise upside down. Jim had to reassign him from helmsmen duties . . ." George followed De to the doors. "By the way they have closely studied how you flew the Enterprise in both realities."
"Does it have the leveler?" George asked.
"From what I could see, it does," De said. "Though, you remember the game you played with me through the multiple playing app?"
"Yes." George said.
"And I crashed my starship." De said.
"Yes." George said.
"The consoles that I saw are a lot like that screen." De said.
"You make it sound easy." George said.
"Their best helmsmen are on their home planets," De said. "And no pressure comin' from me, but take all the time you need to prepare flyin' the old girl. She is forty-five ears old."
"Sounds like she is old." George said.
"Jimmy hasn't come out of engineering in hours," De said. "Bill sent a security officer to engineerin'."
"And?" George asked.
"Jimmy is quite frankly a little head over heels learnin' as much as he can about it. Said somethin' about makin' a novel to the Enterprise engines except bein' more accurate," De said. "And to go buy himself a yacht with the royalities after this is over."
"He is doing research." George said.
"Uh huh," De said. "And you won't believe the medical device they have."
"So who is flying the ship?" George asked.
"A Ferengi." De said.
"Does he sit in the chair or stand on it?" George asked.
"You have to see it for yourself." De said.
Our perspective flew out of the starship as the discussion continued. There we can see numerous scars on the saucer section. She was battered, certainly. Enterprise was breezing through warp showing off her battle scars. The nacelles had scars seen on the glass like screen. The bold text indicating the name of the Enterprise were barely there and her registration number was hanging on. Some of the windows had steel covering the holes. Large cracks seen on the saucer section and the support section between the lower half to the upper half had scorch marks. There were scorch marks along the non-glass like parts of the nacelles.
The perspective returned into the starship behind the turbo lift doors.
The Turbo lift doors opened to the more than alive bridge.
"Amazing, is it not?" De said. "Aliens hijacked television and made the show real."
George looked over toward De.
"What about Nichelle?" George said.
"I talked Bill out of it since Nichelle is filmin' with Saldana and three hundred other people in The Asylum's second parody of Age of Ultron," De said. "You know her busy schedule. Yours is not busy as hers."
"True." George said.
George turned his head away then walked out of the turbo lift. George used the red rail to keep him upright in a standing position. George saw a Ferengi standing on the chair crouched forwards. That crouched Ferengi was Herman. The ship was tilted to the left hand side. Most of the bridge officers were leaning on their left side. Walter was not on the bridge currently likely having some dinner since his stomach was growling. A female Vulcan, T'Priss, was at Walter's station. At the communication's station was a female Deltan named Liz Ser. S'Chick was sitting at the main science station across from the Deltan.
"Former President of The United Federation of Planets on the bridge." De said, following to George's side.
I have waited fifty-years to say that, De thought to himself as attention was drawn to George.
Herman got off the chair.
Our view briefly showed Sarek standing in the observation deck, his hands in both of his ambassador sleeves, and his head lowered. Ryan came to Sarek's side. Then he looked over in the direction of Sarek. Sarek looked over with a apologetic facial expression on his face being followed by shame and guilt. Ryan put one hand on the side of Sarek's shoulder with a facial expression wordlessly replying "It is not your fault." then squeezed the Vulcan's shoulder. Ryan had a pained look in his eyes. Sarek briefly closed his eyes then opened them and turned his head in the direction of the blue passing warp scenery. Ryan let go of Sarek's shoulder.
The scenery returned to the bridge where we see George sit down into the chair and blink at the sheer easy to use screen. Touch screen with options that indicated the warp speed. There was even a option to fall out of warp among the numerous other options. George was right on his guess. This was easy. He adjusted the flight level of the ship, proportionally, with a little math in his head to make it go one hundred eight degree. Deltans were supposed to be more skilled in math than humans. Perhaps not shipwide.
"This was remarkably easy." George said.
"You are lucky you didn't need bicycle bars." De said.