McCoy was different but still, otherwise, the same old grumpy good country doctor. McCoy was sitting in the backseat with his right sleeve completely torn off. Bill changed the station as it were blaring, "Baby, oh baby," in a high pitch voice. The channel landed on "SHARKNADO!" being circulated. Spock was staring at the radio in curiosity. McCoy's back was leaned against the seat while his arms were folded.
"What kind of son' is that?" McCoy said.
"Pop music." Spock said.
"Pop music?" McCoy asked.
"Pop music is popular music and makes it sound catchy," Spock said. "If you attended the parties held on the Enterprise you would be well aware of numerous them." Spock looked over his shoulder toward McCoy. "Which, logically, you have."
"The only thin' I am well aware about music is music." McCoy said.
"Spock," Bill said. "When we get to Wally World, I would like you to drive my air-car."
"Wally World?" McCoy repeated. "You can't bust through the atmosphere with a air-car! That is suicidal!"
"Wally-world is called Wall-Mart," Spock said. "It is what humans in the 21st century refer to Wall-Mart."
"Because you can spend hours in it and not even know," Bill said. "It is like you are in another world. That's why we nicknamed it Wally World."
"21st. . . century?" McCoy said.
"It is 2016," Spock said. "August 5th."
"A friday," Bill said. "Supposed to be the most relaxing day of the week."
"I time traveled into the past?" McCoy said. "But. . . How is that possible?"
"We don't know." Bill said.
"We are in the same boat." Spock said.
"That is the first time in twenty-eight years you used a metaphor properly." McCoy said.
"I use metaphors in the proper way they should be; at least the ones I am aware of." Spock replied. "And of course, Bill, I will ensure your air-car is by the doors."
"We will be back out in fifteen minutes," Bill said. "Well. . . It has been awhile since I came to Wall-Mart myself." Bill looked back at the memory. "I ordered from it these days. Then again I can get myself reacquainted to it."
McCoy looked over his shoulder to see a passing car lacking a roof with a unusual black and gray wolf creature sitting in the passenger seat alongside a man who seemed to be shady. It was one of the most unusual dogs he had seen. Then again, he never seen a dog like that. There were not any known dog breeds on Earth that he was aware of. The top half of the fur was black and the lower half was a lighter gray. The dog had its jaw open with its tongue dangling out. It appeared to be happy. McCoy's eyes widened watching it go past him.
"What kind of dog has lon' black hair and gray short fur?" McCoy asked.
"A collie." Spock and Bill said.
"Wrong." McCoy said. "It is a weird lookin' dog."
"Floppy ears?" Bill said.
"A big head with a small pair of eyes?" Spock continued.
"And a furry tail that is curled against the backside?" Bill asked.
"Negative!" McCoy said. "I have seen this kind of thin' before but I cannot remember. Somethin' about Pocket monsters."
"Oh," Bill said. "Anything that is fictional is becoming real. . . Such as fictional aliens and creatures." He turned his attention to the mirror dangling from the ceiling showing the grumpy doctor. "By the way, would you prefer if I called you Bones?"
"Negative." McCoy said.
"Instead of Leonard?" Spock inquired.
"You two are only allowed to call me McCoy." McCoy said.
"That is acceptable." Bill said. "You can call me Bill. I prefer being called Bill. Will doesn't feel right."
"Indeed." Spock agreed.
Bill took a turn into the parking lot of Wall-mart. McCoy had begrudgingly agreed to get new attire on the condition that he didn't have to do it with Bill. Bill had no arguments with the man regarding that. The air-car came to a stop alongside the sidewalk to Wall-Mart. Apparently it had been programmed to stop alongside sidewalks or in parking spaces or inside buildings that had enclosed spaces. It was interesting to Bill. How did they test out the vehicle when it first came out in the world of Star Trek? There had to be safety concerns or maybe, just maybe, death by air-car was incredibly rare. Which was quite logical. Bill unbuckled himself then opened the driver side door. He took a step aside lifting the driver seat up using a button to the side right by the door. Bill walked around the air car where Spock had shut the passenger side door. McCoy got out from the backseat lacking his jacket. He had a blue shirt on lacking a right sleeve. Bill noticed that McCoy's entire shoulder was made of medal of some kind connected to the arm. Damn, what kind of universe did McCoy come from?
"Mr Spock,you have the bridge." Bill said.
"Driver seat, Bill." Spock said, as Bill came around the Air-Car.
"Oh," Bill said, his hand grazing the engine hood with his head raised and turned in the direction of Spock. "Right, yes, that."
"Sure you are not Jim?" McCoy asked, a little leery.
Somethin's never change, McCoy thought following after Bill.
"Pretty sure!" Bill gleefully replied.
"How come you talk like him then?" McCoy asked.
"I portray him," Bill said. "Because he is my character. I knew the men who portrayed the two of you quite well." McCoy's eyebrows raised up. "Both of them dead. De died eleven years ago. . .Leonard died last year. . . " His voice trailed off as they went through the sliding doors into Wall-Mart. "For Star Trek: The Original Series movies."
"So is that how you knew about Joanna?" McCoy asked.
"It was De's headcanon that he had a daughter who would later serve Star Fleet and be on the Enterprises namesake," Bill said, smiling fondly at the memory. "Yes, of course, that is how I know. Asides to the Trekkers. . . I can easily overhear them talking with De and catch up with some of what they were asking him. You know, you and De inspired people to become doctors."
"Hm, I am not surprised," McCoy said. "I just hope they didn't become half machine while at it."
Bill took out a cart.
"When did humans get half machine parts in your universe?" Bill asked, sliding the cart toward the doors leading to the secondary sliding doors.
"After the Eugenic wars." McCoy said. "They were made to help us survive what we had done to ourselves. Genetic damage, really. You see . . . I can not live without my machine half." They strolled into the cold at first building. "A scientist and a doctor went quite ahead of their time by introducin' cybernetics. You call them nanotechnology." Bill's jaw dropped as realization dawned on to him. The Borg were the only race that had nanotechnology. McCoy was half Borg. "We call them cybernetics." They hadn't discovered the Borg yet. That would be a heartbreaking and deadly realization. From what Bill had overheard, of course, during comic-cons and conventions. "Our bodies were not able to sustain . . well. . what the radiation had done."
Bill was visibly horrified. How would he tell McCoy what the culprit was? Bill was briefly biting his lip then he stopped with head turned toward the younger man. McCoy had seen worse. And McCoy will see the worse of the worse after this is over. Perhaps telling the doctor can wait. Perhaps Bill cannot tell him at any given moment. Perhaps McCoy will find out eventually if they do come across the Borg. Bill could see the various gadgets attached to McCoy's shoulder that seemed unusual. The black curly spring connecting the arm to the shoulder where it lay in the middle acting as the elbow. The medical professional symbol bronzed on his shoulder. By the inside, Bill pitied him. One day McCoy's mind would become part of a hive if his brain was half a organic brain. But they could always use the hive against the queen, after all, the hive had been used against the Borg many times. McCoy's universe could come out of this victoriously against the Klingons and the Borgs. So it felt appropriate to Bill to continue the conversation without making a comment on the nanotechnology.
Did they ever do check ups on themselves?
"Are you telling me that nuclear bombs were made?" Bill asked.
"Nuclear missiles." McCoy said.
"Oh my god." Bill said.
"We don't know where they got the cybernetics but there is a strong theory lingerin' around that someone got their hands on future technology and brought it to Doctor Mallad Stormson and Sara Jeanie. They tested it on themselves. That is when everythin' changed from then on. I like to hope that there is a alternate universe where nuclear missiles were not used." McCoy explained, as they headed down the pathway. He had taken out a small unusual particular device with his free left organic hand that was small, rounded, and had a blue center. "Now," McCoy put one hand on Bill's back. "If you excuse me," His attitude shifted to a polite one toward the actor. "I must find appropriate clothes."
"Check the pricetag," Bill said, as the two went their separate ways. "Because I am paying!"
McCoy's right hand morphed into a flat screen and he looked down toward it. The tracker was doing exactly what it had been programmed and designed to do. McCoy had the feeling this was the kind of guy that can easily be lost. He barely knew Bill but a feeling inside his gut to put a tracker on him. Just so McCoy can find him again then take the tracker off his backside. McCoy envied the man for being completely organic. There could be a future one day where cybernetics is replaced completely by organic body make up. One day Klingons wouldn't be so hard on humanity for being half machine. He assumed they all had Technophobia much like Starfleet did believe. It was standard procedure to stay out of Klingon's way and if they did, present themselves accordingly as explorers and that they came in peace. It had taken a hundred years for Vulcans to get over their arrogant asses and accept humanity's crutch. Romulans had a long way to go accepting humanity wasn't a collective hive of minds that was assimilating species to become a stronger force and take them over. The Romulans were unreasonably paranoid.
McCoy checked the size of a blue shirt then put it over his arm. He got five other pairs of shirts that appeared to be casual and suitable for walking around in. Two of them had blue and white lines on a black shirt making the sign of a ambulance. One white shirt that had short sleeves. He picked several other casual shirts. McCoy browsed the sections of pants. He checked the sizes of the pants. He found eight pants that fit his size and took them. They were various shades of blue. He held his hand up to reveal the tracker screen that showed a map of the entire store.
Bill was the white dot on the middle of the screen that was glowing. McCoy was the red glowing dot that flickered off the screen briefly. McCoy had small versions of harddrive chips kept within the palm of his right hand. McCoy had a normal brain like most humans because if he had a dashboard that would make him a machine which he was not but there were some components of his brain that were composed of nanotechnology. Hard-drive chips were adopted in for medical professionals in Star Fleet in the event of a catastrophe and they had to go to the nearest colony. It was logical, McCoy supposed, to use the healer as the leader then just as a guide. But it appeared that he would not be in need of the chips in a reality where none of the concerns were warranted.
McCoy's screen tracker returned to its natural hand shaped format upon seeing Bill browsing a series of mats. McCoy gently snatched the tracker off the man's backside holding in the other hand a package of boxers and socks. McCoy carefully laid the material into the crate noticing two boxes of incense. McCoy held his hand upwards, tapped on the palm of his hand which retracted to reveal the two sets of chips. He took the two out of his palm then twisted them into they were pieces of scrapmetal. Bill was humming to himself a theme tune that McCoy was unfamiliar to. It sounded catchy. And unique. Bill picked out the mat with a pleased expression on his face.
"Hey McCoy," Bill said. "How does this look for your space husband?"
McCoy froze where he stood staring at Bill. The sentence "How does this look for your space husband?" echoed in his mind. Shock, anger, and then resentment followed through all in that order for the half-machine. His fingers started to curl up against the palm of his left hand. The palm of his right hand retracted over the hole. McCoy's face was turning a shade of red. McCoy's eyebrows hunched together.
"THEY MADE A MOVIE OUT OF OUR DAMN WEDDIN'?" McCoy roared.
"Noooo." Bill said. "20th century Earth was too homophobic to do it. It's in the fandom that you are married to Jim and Spock."
"I am only married to Spock." McCoy said.
"What?" Bill asked.
"Legally." McCoy said.
A smile spread on Bill's face.
"So the Earth way." Bill said.
"Yes." McCoy said.
"I can't believe Star Fleet accept polygamy, which is mind blowing, because sometimes that ends up into cults." Bill said.
"Oh, we have rules for that." McCoy said.
"Uh huh." Bill said.
"It is very reasonable. Not over a hundred Earth spouses because that would be absurd to have a compound big enough to sustain a entire civilization." Bill nodded along to what McCoy had to say as they went down the aisle. "Or an entire town."
"Quite logical." Bill said.
"Indeed," McCoy said. "We are fine with human polygamy just not when it gets out of control."
"That is the most reasonable stance I heard about Polygamy in ages," Bill said. "I suppose it is probably the same in Spock's mirror universe." McCoy looked over in the direction of the actor. "It is the most logical assumption since Star Fleet would retain some of the characteristics that define it in both universes but with a different mission."
". . . How can you infer that just with a rapport?" McCoy asked.
"Because it is logical." Bill said, as the cart came to abrupt stop.
Bill and McCoy looked up.
"My apologies," Came the tall furry red being with a stubby arm and long legs. The two men looked up to see the towering being. Bill did not appear to be phased but McCoy was dumbstruck. "But where is the basketball uniform section of Wall-Mart?"
"Three aisles down, turn left, take a turn to the right, go straight, then turn left, and you are there." Bill said.
"Thank you, Mr Shatner." The tall being said.
"You are welcome." Bill said, as the alien strolled right past him.
"I never seen this kind of alien in my career." McCoy said.
"He probably came from a cartoon." Bill said, waving a index finger in the air.
"Cartoon. . ." McCoy said.
"Animation!" Bill said.
McCoy raised an arched eyebrow.
"What is animation?" McCoy asked.
"You never watched TV?" Bill asked.
"I have no idea what you are talkin' about." McCoy said.
"Right, you are explorers first and entertainment is on the bottom of the list." Bill said.
"Affirmative. If we put entertainment on the top of the list we would have been left at stagnation. Medical science would have been left at years in the making and care for ones health would have remained the same. I don't know about you but working in the medieval ages would have been barbaric for me!" McCoy said. "And it disgusts me how medical treatment for people was like." He shook his head. "I still can't believe people have to drill into ones head to find out problems the human body is havin'."
That reminded Bill of the one time De was delivering his lines for the scene featuring Walter Koenig. He could remember being surrounded by people. The door closed with a fake prop doorknob that had a melted design to it. De referred to the device, off set, that was later placed on Walter's forehead 'Internal body repair system'. They were dressed in scrubs in that scene. De would have been happy to meet McCoy. If De were still around. And he would have asked what the names of several medical equipment for the sake of knowing it. They didn't really name it in the script but merely as a medical tool.
"McCoy, my friend, our technology here was fueled by entertainment." Bill said, one arm around McCoy's shoulder.
McCoy lifted Bill's hand off his shoulder glaring at the older man's direction.
"We just met." McCoy said.
Bill's fingers wrapped around the handle to the cart.
"Have any kids with the two men?" Bill asked.
"Negative," McCoy said. "But Joanna had kids and so did Jim's brother's sons."
Bill had a small smile at the doctor's direction then turned his head away in the direction he was walking.
"I can just imagine." Bill said.
He could picture the three taking on the role of weird uncles. Despite being half machine they were likely the very picture of the triumvirate. Bill could picture Spock advising Jim on whether or not to build a treehouse for Jim's grand-nephews. Then Spock and McCoy working together to build the treehouse advising Jim not build it since he fell out of the tree last time because last time he fell out of the tree. Probably landed on a bush if he was lucky enough as he was usually. McCoy applying a band aid to the grandnephew's knee that had a scrape. Jim baking cookies for the grandnephew. Spock informing the grandnephew that it was illogical to put themselves in harms way (which was his way of lecturing the child and showing that he cared). McCoy ensuring the grand-nephews got to bed. Jim reading them to sleep, turning the lights off, and going to bed. Being the same way to McCoy's grandchildren. Going on trips, telling them stories of their days on the Enterprise, returning to the Enterprise, going to a museum if possible after their retirement, being grandparents, and uncles to name a few.
"Has Jim ever told you that the Alpha Crew felt like family to him?" Bill asked, once they were down the aisle heading toward the cashier register manned by a Silurian woman. She had scales, a lizard like appearance, and a pair of soft colored eyes. She lacked a tail, however, but she did have long fingernails. She slide the product on the scanner then put them into bags.
McCoy turned his head toward Bill.
"Not at all." McCoy said.
"He does." Bill said.
"Since you know your character so well," McCoy said. "Give me a good picture of what he views us as family members."
"Uhura is the nice aunt he never had. Scotty is the uncle who says he can't do something and then it turns out he can. A drinker at that." Bill had a short hearty laugh. "Sulu is the taller brother who is into plants and sword-fighting. Chekov is the little brother who praises his home country and sticks up for his friends. Chapel is the mother who tends to the others injuries. You are like the best friend he can never replace. The first one in fact. A dear and close one at that. His priest, his listener, his ear. And Spock, he is, like family." There was a deliberate pause. "Closer, even, his second best friend. Well, actually more than that. I can't describe it but the love he has for the two of you is massive. He cares about everyone dearly. And he would risk his life to save that."
There was a pause between them.
"At least that is not different." McCoy said. "He saves our afts more times than I can count and always go back for us."
"Hopefully there is a Joanna running around this planet," Bill said. "At least one of us will have a happy reunion."
The last part came out bitterly earning at first a concerned expression from the doctor that faded. Everyone has lost somebody today. And McCoy could not feel the bond he once shared with Captain Spock and Captain Kirk. It was like they never existed. It was troubling, the doctor had thought turning his head away, remembering the ones he was married to. Yet the bond did not exist. He could not communicate with them. He could not feel pain from the lack of one, either, because it could only be broken when the other had died. But here was standing alongside a man who had a uncanny resemblance to James T. Kirk except his hair was different. A Vulcan who acted a lot like his Spock but was old and gray. They were pure organic. And McCoy was not.
Bill had emptied the cart with the products on the siding surface.
"McCoy," Bill said. "McCoy."
McCoy shook his head from the train of thought.
"Yes?" McCoy said.
"Get your hand off the pants," Bill said. "You need it scanned."
McCoy looked down toward the pair of pants that were stuck in his grip.
"Oh," McCoy said. "Forgot I was holding it."
Bill looked at McCoy with much amusement and puzzlement as the doctor then put the folded pants on the moving pile. Bill added what was apparently fruit to the cart and some candy. Did he not know that Vulcans can get drunk by chocolate? McCoy frowned, noticing that there were some twizzlers, two bottles of a brand called 'sprite',a group of bananas, a bag of apples, and what was apparently junkfood. If Spock got his hand on it they could get the worst possible scenario. Perhaps Bill was well a aware of it. He was acting as though he knew everything.
"Why did you get junk food?" McCoy asked.
"I overheard the announcement where Star Fleet is." Bill said, handing the junk food onto the counter.
"Oh, where?" McCoy asked.
"New York State." Bill said.
"NEW YORK STATE?" McCoy's voice had risen up. "THAT'S A WEEK AWAY! You need to get through the state toll to get there!"
"Exactly." Bill said. "Two timezones."
"What about two time zones?" McCoy asked, his eyebrows twitching and a scowl on his face.
"Time will get confusing." Bill said.
"It all ready is." McCoy said.
"There one timezone for the business states and the country states," Bill said. "That is all you really need to know."
Bill took out his card then slid it through the slider. He said, "William Shatner" signing his own name using the touch pen on the screen. He hooked it back into the side of the screen. Bill pushed forward the cart. He went to work putting the groceries into the cart once more. McCoy helped with putting the bags into the cart. He looked over to see a young man with a unusual creature beside him that had green hair, red horns poking from its head, and seemed to be wearing a dress. The young man wore a pair of square glasses and had spiky black hair with a green shirt and black shorts. The man was towing forward a cart that had a backpack, medical related boxes,and other related items namely being a few books.
The pair strolled away in the direction they had came from.
"Is your vision still 2020 by any chance?" McCoy asked.
"Vision still fine." Bill said. "Hearing?" Bill had a sigh of relief. "I can get my hearing fixed with any technology that Star Fleet may have brought with them."
"With any luck we can probably replicate eyes," McCoy said. "Clonin' was banned two centuries ago but since been lifted for the sake of medical science." Bill looked over appearing to be interested. "Clonin' is a thin' that we are gettin' ourselves reacquainted to. Two centuries of not bein' able to clone for the sake of healin' took a toll on us. We have testin' bein' done on separate colony planets. They are body parts not complete human bodies."
Bill turned his head away.
"That is a pile of bull shit." Bill said.
"No, it isn't." McCoy said.
"In order to replicate kidneys you got to have a human body. You can't replicate a kidney without a human body!" Bill said. "You can clone a finger, a hand, a toe, a leg, a arm, a foot, a elbow, knee, head, eyes, and ears. But not a kidney, not a heart, not a stomach, not a pancreas, a brain, and a lung. Those are internal organs that keep someone alive, McCoy. Have you really not considered that part about cloning for medical science?"
McCoy contemplated that as they went through the two sets of doors.
"Well . . ." McCoy said, as they waited outside. "We will find a way around that."
"That's why we have organ donors," Bill said. "Perfectly legal."
"Organ Donors?" McCoy said. "We don't need organ donors."
"Let me guess: because the cybernetics." Bill said.
"It only helped us live not advance our technology," McCoy said. "Let us get that clear between us."
"Then how did they manage to make it harmless?" Bill asked.
"This is custom made, Bill," McCoy said, gesturing to his metal arm. "Added features were installed once we were able to control the technology and invent new ones. And what do you mean by harmless? It has always been a tool to help us live. A necessity adapted. And we had the help of Vulcans advance our medical technology."
"Ah," Bill said. "I see now."
The air-car parked alongside the sidewalk covered in feathers.
"I can explain." Spock said, getting out of the air-car with a innocent expression on his face.
"I feel like I don't want to know." Bill said.