Out of his shell

What if they never served on the same ship and never became the legendary crew Star Fleet regarded? What if they all met at a nursing home? What if it Spock was in a shell of his own? Much like Jim would be. And all it took was McCoy to be there to tow them both out as much as he will regret it. Inspired by Jim Carrey's second parody of Star Trek in living color.

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Charvanek bowed her head then turned away from the nurse then headed toward the doors with Pring by her. They had gone past McCoy who rolled his eyes when Nurse Gilbert entered the room appearing to be visibly nervous and afraid. McCoy looked over toward the young man's direction shooting a unfriendly glare. It became apparent that he was not in a good mood to speak with the young man. Our scene followed Charvanek and Pring through the doors. Pring saw a few Klingons were in the Exercise Ward building muscle despite having the problem of not having to use their strength on. Understandably, there was a solution to it. It could not be done around the head nurses though. Sulu was,oddly enough, in the group speaking with a Klingon regarding something a unusual creature. Humans were puzzling. The Klingon was lifting up weights that the man couldn't possibly lift.

The pair took a turn into the pool section. The doors closed behind them. Pavel, Scotty, and three other men were in a hot tub enjoying it. They were laughing. There was a rack alongside the hot tub with towels ranging in size. Uhura was sitting in a old fashioned lawn chair reading a novel. Alongside Uhura sat a gray haired older woman with light blue eyes who seemed to have aged very well. The gray haired, white woman was in a swimming suit that wasn't revealing but it made do. Many people grieved for loss in their own way. It would be surprising for a person from the 21st person to find a group of people laughing hours after the loss of someone very close to them. It would be puzzling and disrespectful as well. Humans laughing after a terrible loss, Charvanek thought, they are as unpredictable as Leland described them. She had attended the funeral under disguise. It was a rather troublesome but difficult ordeal to attend it without anyone being aware. It was the least she could do for a human who saved her life. She should have expected the part about her cloaking device being taken by Commander Thelin and Captain James T. Kirk. Charvanek and Pring's elbows disconnected.

"They installed a unisex changing room four years after the buildings construction," Pring said. "The first residents of this facility were uncomfortable changing in the same room with other species of the same gender. The other gender provided variety and there were no further reports of discomfort afterwards."

"Were it the males?" Charvanek said.

"On the contrary, it was the females." Pring said.

Charvanek laughed as they headed toward the unisex changing room.

"That is a very profound story." Charvanek said.

"Significant as it was adopted afterwards for many nursing homes. They did not have these unisex restrooms as no one had complained about it." Chekov looked over in the direction of the two raising his eyebrows. "It became apparent that most of the residents had grown sick of the same sight every day."

"It took two hundred years for unisex changing to be adapted in nursing homes?" Charvanek inquired.

"Yes, Charvanek." Pring said.

'That is unexpected," Charvanek said. "The humans were known to be the most progressive species in my time."

"They are not always right," Pring said. "And sometimes they are wrong. They hate to admit being wrong."

"So do men." Charvanek said.

"They have more difficult time admitting to that." Pring said.

"I believe this is where we . . . high five?" Charvanek said, as they entered the changing room.

"A fist bump would be acceptable." Pring said.

"What is a fist bump?" Charvanek said.

"This." Pring's fingers rolled up into a fist then reached it out.

Charvanek raised her slanted, but thin grayed eyebrow.

"Is that a sign of agreement?" Charvanek asked.

"As in fact, it does, including the Ferengi use it." Pring said.

"Interesting." Charvanek rolled her hand into a fist then bumped Pring's fist. Then she lowered her hand to the side. "I will change."

Charvanek went behind one of the lockers. Our scene transitioned to out of the changing room. Pring walked toward the pool, no longer in her domestic attire, but in appropriate swimming wear. She had a swimming raft being a tube. She did not swim during her youth. When her hair was darker and her skin was smooth as iron. She slid the tube over her body right to her waist. She never learned to swim so this would be a first. Calmly, Pring slowly went down the stairs into the pool. The warm water moved around her feet. She slowly walked down the stair case until her feet were floating above the floor the she leaned forward paddling herself toward the center of the deep pool. She propelled herself forwards. The water reached up to her waist. She decided to wait for the Romulan, who she assumed, had not swam that often in her youth as well. She didn't seem like the type who would swim. On the way to the indoor pool, Pring had been able to notice the physical characteristics of a terrified swimmer. Terrified eyes, beads of sweat coming down their skin, and walking slower than usual. In the short time Pring had known the Romulan, she had a set speed. She had left a flotation device on the bench before leaving the changing room. Pring contemplated how to teach Charvanek to swim. She had never swam before without a flotation device in the in-door pool section. There were two big splashes from behind Pring. The water moved around the Vulcan.

"Why hello there lovely, what is your name?" Uhura asked.

Pring looked over to see two old woman, grinning from ear to ear, staring right at her. The gray afro was dripping wet and her earrings were jingling from side to side. Her companion, however, didn't share the same problem. The gray hair was seemingly stuck around her head and on her forehead. They appeared to be attractive woman in their sixties. Uhura had one arm wrapped around the shoulder of Chapel. It took a moment for Pring to recognize Christine Chapel from the holopicture on display in sick bay. She could see one of the black cats, likely Grimm, sitting on a chair curled up in a ball. She had seen these cats all over the nursing home. They had wide, long pointy ears that were Vulcan like in nature.

"Formally, it is T'Pring," Pring said. "Everyone calls me Pring."

"That is a gorgeous name." Uhura said. "I never heard of anything like it before."

"Quite a pretty name." Christine said.

"Thank you," Pring said. "I was given the name Pring by my mother."

"Your mother must be a proud Vulcan." Uhura said.

"That she was," Pring said, fondly. "And very helpful when it came to raising children."

"Your children must have been cute," Uhura said. "Running around with their pointy ears and fatty fingers chasing after their. . ."

"Sehlats." Christine continued.

"And pretending to be Sehlats." Uhura said.

Pring appeared to be amused.

"On the contrary," Pring said. "They did not chase their Sehlats. They 'roleplayed' as fictional characters from your homeworld. Movies, even, their favorite one to reenact was The Lion King. The original version."

The two women giggled.

"You probably got sick of hearing 'Long live the king'." Christine said, all heartedly.

"I did fall ill after they had seen the movie." Pring said.

"Oh my," Uhura put one hand on her chest. "That sounds so cute."

"Christine Chapel," Christine said. "And this is my new friend, Nyota Uhura, you know of her from the Slader Seven."

"A well known crew that went under the regulations of Star Fleet," Pring said. "I am quite aware of the exposed missions."

"Captain Abdella was quite the woman." Uhura said. "She was one of the first Muslim Captains to take command of a starship a bit illegally." She had a fond look on her face. "We use to paint each others fingernails when we were off duty."

"Interesting," Pring said. "I heard she wore a jijab."

"That she did." Uhura said.

Pring looked over to see Charvanek coming toward the pool appearing to be uneasy. She waved at the Romulan with her free hand. The had that wasn't grasped along the edge of the flotation device. Charvanek could hear her heart beat against her chest while heading toward the pool. She could loudly hear her heart She was inexperienced. She had not bothered to learn to swim, sure Charvanek had spent time in hot tubs and old fashioned tubs that allowed her body to relax under the heat soaking it in. down the stairs into the pool. Charvanek could still remember how panicked she was the first time around when she accidentally fell into a tub. That was fifty-three years ago. She could remember going to the local clinic on the planet she was temporarily on with her family. But there was no chance that she would slip and fall in a pool. Unlike Vulcans, Romulans acted on reason. Which was murky at best with paranoia. Pring slowly formed a smile toward the oncoming Romulan.

"Come on, you cutey, don't be afraid." Christine said. "There is nothing to be afraid of."

"Sugah, she meant getting tired of the phrase." Uhura said, with a small laugh.

"It did grow tiresome." Pring said. "The children were in the care of their grandparents until I recuperated from the sudden illness. The grandparents did share them for a week, I do recall arriving to find my parents and my betrothed's parents having tea while playing monopoly. The children were fast asleep on the couch."

"Oh my," Uhura put one hand on her chest. "That sounds so cute."

"Christine Chapel," Christine said. "And this is my new friend, Nyota Uhura, you know of her from the Slader Seven."

"A well known crew that went under the regulations of Star Fleet," Pring said. "I am quite aware of the exposed missions."

"Captain Abdella was quite the woman." Uhura said. "She was one of the first Muslim Captains to take command of a starship a bit illegally." She had a fond look on her face. "We use to paint each others fingernails when we were off duty."

"Interesting," Pring said. "I heard she wore a hijab."

"That Abdella did." Uhura said, proudly.

"What color was it?"  Pring asked.

"Yellow." Uhura said.

Pring looked over to see Charvanek coming toward the pool appearing to be uneasy. She waved at the Romulan with her free hand. The had that wasn't grasped along the edge of the flotation device. Charvanek could hear her heart beat against her chest while heading toward the pool. She could loudly hear her heart. She was inexperienced. She had not bothered to learn to swim, sure Charvanek had spent time in hot tubs and old fashioned tubs that allowed her body to relax under the heat soaking it in. down the stairs into the pool. Charvanek could still remember how panicked she was the first time around when she accidentally fell into a tub. That was fifty-three years ago. She could remember going to the local clinic on the planet she was temporarily on with her family. But there was no chance that she would slip and fall in a pool. Unlike Vulcans, Romulans acted on reason. Which was murky at best with paranoia. Pring slowly formed a smile in the oncoming Romulan.

"Come on, you cutey, don't be afraid." Christine said. "There is nothing to be afraid of."

"I agree with Miss Chapel," Pring said. "It will be all right."

"There is no sharks in here." Uhura said.

"Who said anything about sharks?" Charvanek asked.

"Well. . ." The two human women shared glances with one another.

"There is a movie called Jaws that stirrs fear in humans regarding water and sharks," Pring explained. "There is no such thing as a Sharknado so your fears are unwarranted," Charvanek stood at the top of the stairs. "And you will not drown long as you are in this flotation device that of a duckling."

"You do not need to ask what a Sharknado is," Christine said. "Miss. . ."

"Charvanek." Charvanek said, softly.

"Because that would terrify you of everything," Uhura said. "Come here, Charvanek."

Charvanek slowly came toward the pool with her other arm keeping the flotation device up. Her hair was no longer braided up but it still had the outlined shape of being braided when in fact it was not braided at all. Uhura unralved her arm from the shoulder of Christine then made her way toward the staircase. Uhura reached her hand out toward the Romulan. Charvanek, warily, took the woman's hand. A smile spread on the face of the dark woman. Uhura pulled Charvanek into the pool with a splash. The Romulan flipped the flotation over including herself out of the water appearing to be stunned as Christine and Uhura were laughing. She could see that the Vulcan, strangely enough,appeared to be amused. Charvanek's flotation device was a Ducklett. Seeing the two woman laugh lead the Romulan to laughing. Scotty looked over from the hot tub to see they were enjoying themselves.

"Is that a Romulan?" Scotty said.

"Yep." The three other men said.

The three men in the long, circular but wide hot tub all ranged in age. Two of them used to be the best medical professionals in the quadrant. They had prosthetic which were currently laid on a table nearby. They were former admirals who had retired long before McCoy did, they were Dyson Bison and Lucus Laek. The other man was a once prominent engineer figure. There were many points in time Scotty could have been assigned to the Enterprise such as in 2250, but instead, was assigned to the USS Amber. It was a smaller classed ship that had one nacelle and a engineering deck that had the engineer on on his toes. Laek and Scotty served on the same starship for a little over five years. Then he was assigned to Star Base 1, where he met Hannah Snatcher and knew her for half a decade. Scotty parted with them on good terms. had attended the anniversary ceremony for the Enterprise A's crew with what friends and family that had still remained. Leak had met Snatcher during Scotty's absence and attended the first Enterprise A crew ceremony. Spock wasn't there, Jim though was not in the best condition and was more of a shallow shell of himself back then. He did not speak to anyone afterwards. Peter Kirk thought his son should come and comfort his father. David argued it was wrong to do that and to let him sort out his own misery after leaving his very single but pregnant mother without calling to check up on her for years afterwards. Peter denounced David as a Kirk because of that then demanded that if he visit his father, that David should apologize for being out of touch for so long. David refused. And they never spoke again. Peter was the only one who got through him, and managed to write the eulogy after letting the man talk about his crew. Peter sat and listened, without asking questions until the captain went quiet. David and Peter had a argument prior to the ceremony. The eulogy went down as the most inspirational, tearjerking, heartwarming, and golden one in history. It was a mandatory eulogy to study in essay writing because it lasted for three hours and thirty-three minutes. The next time Leak heard of the captain, Jim was an artist. That lasted for a good sixteen years.

"I thought due tae the new treaty with Romulus it would take longer for tae integration." Scotty commented.

"It is." Leak said. "She probably has a relative who is a good friend of someone high up. I mean, it would take awhile to get two or three Romulans in this building who can be comfortable with what the planet does to them."

"She looks happy." Scotty said.

"Hopefully, the next admission is not a Klingon," Leak said. "I do like them. . .They . . ."

"They break yer heart like its glass when it comes tae retainin' their honor." Scotty said.

"Yes." Laek said.

"They always mean well." Dison said. "They don't consider how their human friends feel about it."

"I still believe that they timed it." Scotty said. "Perfectly tae Jim's death."

"Huh?" Dison and Laek said.

"There is no way they would do that." Leak said.

"Ye see," Scotty said. "Koloth was Jim's guardian. If Jim had fallen intae a unresponsive state on the edge of death then Koloth would have the power tae end his life or continue it. Bones recently told me that after Jim's death that Koloth did regain his respect in his eyes."

Dison raised his eyebrows.

"If Koloth had done, what you were implying, then wouldn't the doctors be aware of it?" Dison asked.

"I asked Koren, Jim's roommate, and she told me that he theoretically told her that he didn't want it known that he theoretically wanted a Klingon tae kill him," Scotty said. "If everyone knew and believed it. Wouldn't that seem like it was a low act of desperation?"

"It would have." Laek said. "Snatcher would have been on his ass for that."

"Maybe she is all over his ass, wherever he is, regarding his decision." Dison said, twirling his finger. "Knowing her . . ."

"She probably is." Scotty said.

"Agreed." Dison said. "Snatcher was the kind of woman who, well, didn't take shit. And she respected her patient's confidentiality."

"I always respected her because of that." Scotty said.

"She could have been an admiral." Dison said.

"She did participate in helping in the rehab of several Centerpide crew members," Laek said. "Fortunately she didn't get the McCoy assignment. I heard he was a tough nut to crack." Scotty raised his left eyebrow. "Didn't you know? Bones was part of the USS Centerpide's crew." Scotty looked over in the direction of the women who were splashing at one another having fun. "I only knew of it because of the Betazoid counselor Trevor Zroin . . . Hey Adam Channer, are you okay?"

Channer was staring at the ceiling with a loopy smile with a long drawn out relieved sigh.

"He is fine." Dison said. "He doesn't talk that often."

"I wonder why Bones never told us that." Scotty said. "He told us that he had been assigned to USS Enterpree."

"Don't ask." Laek said. "I had a friend who refused to tell me about it. She used to be the alpha shift navigator of the Centerpride. Oh, the horrors." He shuddered. "The accounts of the survivors alone tell not to ask."

"Not a good idea to ask." Dison said.

"A hundred years. . ." Scotty said. "He has been alive for that lon'. . . surely, he must have healed."

"I think he has." Dison said. "But the pain is just easier to live with."

Channer looked over toward the three other men.

"So what about Snatcher?" Channer asked. "Sorry, I just got caught up with a daydream of Florida's beach before it sunk."

"It has been underwater for three hundred years," Scotty said. "You didn't time travel back then. . ."

"Yes, I did," Channer said. "I used the formula that the Enterprise crew used. I wanted to visit Miami back when it was emerged." He got a few stunned stares from them. "I didn't really have it logged because I got a passenger ship to do it. The captain was too happy to do it."

"Most passenger ships wouldn't dae that." Scotty acknowledged. "The swin' around the sun is nae safe."

"The bell speaks, finally." Dison said, sounding amused.

"It was safe." Channer said.

"Was?" Dison and Laek asked.

"Just can't swing a 24th century Freighter around the sun." Channer said, shaking his hand dismissively. "Can't handle the increasing warp speed. You could swing a 23rd century Freighter around the sun and get some cargo bays damaged but that is all. Including the loss of gravity for one hour and thirty-three minutes. Lights wouldn't be working until the back up generator is kicked on. It is not that terrible."

"It sounds terrible, Adam." Scotty said.

"Lucus, why do you call me by my full name rather than my last name?" Channer asked.

"Because I know too many Adams." Laek said. "Like how my parent chose laek over the last name lake."

"Why haven't you changed your name to lake?" Dison asked.

"Do you really like givin' everyone tongue twisters?" Scotty asked.

"Not that I enjoy it," Laek said. "It is the only thing I have left of my parents. If I could change my last name to Lake before they went, I would have done so, they left way before their time." Laek sighed. "It's just me. Besides to my deceased three sisters and deceased children. Got a few grandchildren out there."

"How many do you have?" Dison asked, as Channer was right back to enjoying the hot tub.

"Thirteen, possible ten, I lost count." Laek said.

"Lucky bastard." Dison said. "I had one grandchild last I heard!"

"Better luck in the next life." Laek said.

"Better luck my ass." Dison said.

"Excuse me, men," Scotty said. "I have to take a piss."

The three men scooted away from Scotty giving him enough room to climb out. The hot, warm but cool water against his skin had stopped. Scotty's skin felt like it was thrown into the cold and exposed to the rigid temperatures. At least, this is the effects of the hot tub. Normally, swimming in a pool didn't give this same effect. It made the skin feel like it was freezing. The water jetting out of the hot tub was a pleasent experience. There was steam radiating off the large hot tub. Scotty whistled heading toward the unisex restroom. His joints ached in pain, however that didn't stand out toward Scotty as it did toward others. Preferably, he ignored it. He came into the unisex bathroom then came over to a stall installed to the side of the wall. Scotty lowered the zipper and began to relieve himself. Scotty whistled, lightly tapping his foot on the floor. His mind darted to Brockley's Ford that had engine problems and it didn't seem like it had another will live to live. He had to tell the poor man that the old engine couldn't pull another mile. He and the other engineers were taking  a break from trying to put together the engine after it had been brought in that morning. It was pretty bad. Somehow Brockley slammed his ford into a tree on the way home last night and was recuperating at the nearby hospital. His 21st century vehicle didn't stand a chance against the tree. Scotty heard a woman's humming from behind him that sounded a lot like the theme tune to Mary Poppins 'Spoonfull of sugar' circa 1964. Scotty heard the door behind him close.

"Hello." Came Charvanek's voice.

"Oh, ye must be the Romulan." Scotty said.

"Please, call me Charvanek," Charvanek said. "Not Romulan."

"Okay, lassie." Scotty said, then he zipped up the zipper. The urinal ran as he shifted toward the closed metal door. "Is it okay if I call ye Lassie?"

"That is suitable." Charvanek said.

"Good tae hear." Scotty said, as he went over to the sink. "Though, have you heard of Ny Syndrome?"

"Yes," Charvanek said. "I had a fellow comrade who was striken by it recently."

"Ah, I am sorry for that." Scotty said,

"Over a hundred of your years ago," Charvanek said. "He was speaking in Andorian. I told him not to take command when he had been so ill lately, and, that of his families concern. He didn't listen to me. Nor to his mate, or to his children, all he was focused on was a mission. It was a simple mission that got himself killed. All they had to hear was 'Jolan tru' with a contact and the correspondence would be launched. But he spoke in Andorian. The captain of the ship caught wind. And his ship was destroyed savagely by Klingons. Before Qo'Nos's moon was shattered in half."

"Well," Scotty said. "That is sad."

"It was called the language illness," Charvanek said. "And it was a silent killer."

"Tae bad we can nae find a cure." Scotty said.

"What were you going to lead into?" Charvanek asked, curiously.

"It's named after Nyota Uhura." Scotty said.

"Oooh." Charvanek said. "No wonder the federation took a interest in it recently."

"And if she speaks Romulan mid-sentence from English, do us a favor and tell her," Scotty said, lettin the soap swirl into his large hands. "Or else she will be speakin' Romulan with someone else and they don't understand Romulan. We don't have universal translators here because most of us here preferr using English." He put his hands into the sink here the water jetted out. "I dae nae want tae see her hurt."

"Emotionally?" Charvanek said.

"Yes." Scotty said, as he rubbed his hands hearing the toliet flush.

"I would not preferr to see her hurt," Charvanek came out of the stall then went over to the other sink with the soap. "It would be unreasonable to not inform her," The soap curled into her small, wrinkled hands. "I have a interest in this, as well, that Ny Syndrome be cured."

The water jetted out into her hands.

"You know someone with it." Scotty stated.

"In honor of a promise that I made," Charvanek said. "I prefer not to say."

"Was it some-one close?" Scotty asked.

"Yes." Charvanek said. "It was. . ." She was rubbing her hands together letting the soap spread on her skin. "A difficult time." She briefly closed her eyes in a pained manner. "For a Romulan, watching him . . . become a shell of what once was a proud and charismatic man. . . it was devestating. He closed off. He stopped speaking with me. And he refused help. I had other duties to attend to. This was after my friends death. He went too soon."

"I am not a doctor, but it sounds like this could be genetic." Scotty said.

"They were brothers." Charvanek said.

"Good guess on my part." Scotty said, with a laugh yanking his hand from under the faucet. He came over to the hand dryer.

"But I was around him longer than the other Romulan male. It took years for him to fall the way he did." Charvanek said. "Day by day. He was my personal body guard when I had been framed for treason against the Romulan Government. And then my second officer. And eventually, my husband."

Scotty looked over.

"That Romulan must have been lucky." Scotty said.

"On the contrary, his life was not as bright as mine." Charvanek said.

"I mean, the way you say you were with him day by day indicates you were a faithful companion of him." Scotty said. "Until the day you couldn't walk with him any further. I can only guess you would have followed him to the great beyond if you were psi-positive."

"True." Charvanek said.

"How did he die?" Scotty asked.

Charvanek put her hands under the second hand dryer.

"It was . . ." Charvanek said. She cleared her throat. "One day he stopped breathing. It was like he forgot how to breath." Charvanek had a difficult sigh. "He had fallen after speaking in gibberish. I found out he had a hidden brain tumor that had grown critical abnormal mass. We couldn't have known even with our strongest medical tools or healers." She looked over toward the engineer. "You are fortunate that your friend is still alive for as long as she is."

"Please. . ." Scotty said. "Don't tell her."

"I cannot fathom the idea of telling her." Charvanek said. "In fact, I envy her."

"Because she wants the help?" Scotty said.

"Yes." Charvanek said.

"Call me Scotty." Scotty said, then he left the unisex restroom.

Charvanek glanced over in the direction of Pring who had her arms folded.

"Montgomery Scott," Pring said. "Don't be surprised how unlike the reports he is, he is a teddy bear at heart."

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