When McCoy was brought kicking and screaming out of his shell, the first memory he recalled was being told by his daughter that she got married. And it hit him: he missed everything. Except for the birth of his grandchild. And it made him cry, damn it. His recovery from there came with phobias. Many, many, many more phobias. He over came them in the end. However, his rescue. That was a entire different scenario. It was important that he remember it. A bridge between horror to society was made there. McCoy remembered fleeing on his two feet. He had spit out the sour ear into the biohazard dispenser. He was running on the balls of his toes. He relied on his hearing and his five other senses. McCoy found a tight space between several cargo boxes and squared himself down out of vision. He moved a box over his head with cargo. McCoy had a small hole inbetween the cargo to see the outside. He waited and waited, cautiously. He was damn fortunate to have gone through the forcefield to the cell.
He heard hard, heavy footsteps heading his way. He saw the long, skinny legs of the Romulans. They were speaking in Romulan. McCoy heard his heart beating against his chest. His instinct was to attack if they approached his hiding place. There was a name in his mind repeating over and over, "Joanna." He didn't know who Joanna was. Or what she looked liked. Something about the name made him want to do anything for it. He could feel the metal of the cargo boxes pressing against his skin. His thin, small frame fit in the space. He watched the men walk back and forth. If he only knew what they were talking about perhaps he wouldn't be as terrified.
"Come on," The first Romulan said. "I have a granddaughter to take her to her dance recital next week!"
"Not like you gave a shit about dance recitals." The second Romulan said.
"She is a dancer." The first Romulan said. "And participating in Ballet."
"Dancers have no use in our society." The third Romulan said. "She could be shacking up with Orions for all I care."
"Just remove me from the must attend list." The first Romulan said.
"No." The second Romulan said. "You promised me, damn it!"
"I wasn't the one who had a fling with a Vulcan and get demoted because of it." The first Romulan said,
"It was internal affairs," The second Romulan said. "And she--, I mean,he wasn't a Vulcan!"
"What?" The first Romulan said.
"They just changed their gender," The second Romulan said. "And he was a human born with a birth defect. Born with pointy ears." The forth Romulan had one hand on the side of their phaser set on their belt. "And quite in the middle of changing their gender. He requested me to call me 'they' which was odd because usually if you are in the middle of changing your gender and dead set on it, don't you call them by the gender they want to be? m Humans are fascinating."
"No," The first Romulan said. "They are inferior, squishy pink irresponsible beings! And they are so stupid!"
"With all due respect,sir," The third Romulan said. "They made Macgyver: The Original Series. A rather revered show for humans and a horror show for the Vulcans."
"True." The first Romulan said.
"And Galaxy Quest: The Original Series." The third Romulan added.
"And the Galaxy Quest movies." The second Romulan said. "I really liked Lazarus and Peter's marriage. Tawny and Peter, however, their friendship was put into the background." He came over to the cargo barrels. "Poor Lardo, though, getting paralyzed like that in the 21st century. Poor Chen, he was so guilty of leaving him behind." She leaned her elbow against the cargo barrel. "Anyway, what makes you think they are stupid?"
"Good god," The third Romulan said. "You really haven't learned."
"The humans destroyed a entire Romulan Colony three years ago--"
"No, that was a non-corporeal entity."
"Then they destroyed the best of the starship we have for the sake of scienc--"
"Actually, that was a warp core incident."
"Then they ended up killing a Romulan Commander!"
"Killing an entire Klingon family, wiping them out, without wiping the real target! They then went to eliminate a rare Romulan culture. They paid a blind eye to one of their own! Edison, Captain of the USS Franklin,on a planet that was right within their reach. They sent out a help signal and no one bothered to lift a finger. They left one of their own starships to go into a bloody death trap! They didn't lift a finger when we had a sudden plague in our civilization that threatened our existence! They only repeated what we told them then left. We had to abduct several of their medical professionals to get their help! They released a deadly chemical on Romulus when one of our researchers asked for grade two grain when working with agriculture. They are idiot's. And pathetic. They sent us a threatening bio-contagion one time TO OUR PLANET. They abducted a whole crew of the Romulan Empire and ran unheard of experiments involving music. Notably THE MAGIC SCHOOL BUS and STEVEN UNIVERSE AND COLD BLOOD! ON REPEAT. I WAS THERE. FOR ONE HUNDRED THIRTY-THREE DAYS. NOW TELL ME THEY ARE NOT THE KIND AND PEACEFUL CIVILIZATION YOU EVER KNEW!"
The cargo barrel was knocked back off the cargo pile. And McCoy leaped out pinning down the first Romulan to the ground. McCoy grabbed the phaser out of the belt, that was set on stun, then fired at the two men. The fourth Romulan fired at McCoy's shoulder. McCoy's finger pulled on the trigger aimed straight at the head. The stunned Romulan, who gaped, collapsed to the floor. The first Romulan began coming to. The first Romulan could see the man disappearing in the darkness. He flipped out the communicator from his belt. He hadn't expected to see this man. They had the base on alert for the escaped Centerpide member.
"--To Baron," The first Romulan said. "We have been encountered by the human."
"Baron here." Baron said. "Do you have him?"
The first Romulan looked around hearing the groans of his fellow comrades.
"No,sir," The first Romulan said. "He. . ." He looked down to find the phaser was missing. "He stunned us."
"FIND HIM!" Baron screamed.
"My apologies," Verance said, into the communicator. "Baron is leaving, and, she wants to bring her favorite toy as a example to a Homosapien Neurological Pain Study conference." There was a female shout. "He will be sent after you and the others get him."
"We can try." The first Romulan said.
"Yes, you will," Verance said. "Qapla!"
The first Romulan closed the lid then put the item into his pocket. Verance was well known to issue the Klingon farewell, some Klingon Proverbs such as "Mike Pence had a book of Old Russian Proverbs", and Klingon greetings. Some said he was raised by a group of rogue Klingons. Some said he was discovered in a transporter on Qo'Nos and grew up among the Klingon children then returned to Cardassia by a Klingon Captain. The first Romulan went over to shake awake his comerades. Our scene showed several Romulans looking about the base. The camera panned up to reveal on one of the beams there were McCoy. McCoy climbed short trees back in Georgia. He had a fear of heights at a young age. It wasn't a phobia but a natural fear. He preferred not to mountain climb. That was just too damn high. But being perched against a beaming with this view over the soldiers. There was a memory. A vague memory that rested in his mind. A plan, well thought out plan,and reasonable. And suddenly, he thought of a dark cloaked man who resembled a bat perched on the edge of a building at night. Batman? It then became obvious. If he could have laughed then he would have. He was perched that way for one hour and thirty-three minutes. McCoy couldn't be exactly sure if it was that long but it felt that long. He landed onto the ground, with a cat like grace,landing on his feet with hands on the floor. He looked both ways. He had to go back to the hall of hell. The hall that held others like him. Numbers worked against armies.
He saw two Romulans at the doorway of the hallway of hell.
"THERE HE IS." They shouted in Romulan.
McCoy clicked the phaser at the Romulans. That failed to work. McCoy looked up toward his soon-to-be-hellsmen. He dropped the phaser ducking their shots. It became apparent this well thought out plan wasn't going to work any time soon. McCoy ran. He took a turn to the left hand part of the corner. He climbed up toward the support beam with some help from the comn terminal and circuit box. His fingernails dug into the pipe. He made his way down the hall via the side of the ceiling until he came to the turbolift. A flicker of recognition flashed on his face. The slightest of all humanity. He leaped into the turbo lift then lifted a leveler. He pressed himself against the side of the wall panting feeling comfortable and relieved. He slid down to the floor trembling. The colors in here seemed to be comforting for some reason. Had he been in here before? Been in somewhere that had a exactly the same kind of designed turbo lift? McCoy closed his eyes, letting the feeling of relief wash down,until the doors softly opened and his eyes opened at the same time. He saw this level was the same as the previous one. He walked forward, defensively,on the balls of his toes. He looked both ways. He remembered the last time he was taken to a different level. It was a slightly wider room with a glass wall between the captives and the evil behind it. Baron had dumped a Andorian into his way, starved, and blank with their antennas cut off. The pain in their eyes. He could remember looking back at them in sympathy. A dagger was thrown into the room. The Andorian took out a weapon. And McCoy, he knew then, that he had no choice. Yet, he refused to fight. Confusing the Andorian, who was in a tattered uniform, as he stepped back. The hall to that room was ominous and more frightened, sad alien beings like him. He only survived that scenario as the Andorian took its life rather than kill him after standing in that room with the doctor for five minutes.
This hall,however, had several passages. It was silent. Very silent. Unusually silent. He took a turn to the right where he came to a dead end. He heard footsteps heading his way. He looked both ways to find there wasn't a way out of it. A no win scenario. A Kobyashi Maru. But he could fight. McCoy turned to see several Romulans with phasers. He growled at the Romulans with his back to the wall. His scarred face glared back at them. His eyebrow furrowed together. His eyes were reading,"Come at me, you bastards!" and if he had raised his fists up speaking those words, it would have been matching.
The Cardassian Commander had gone to know McCoy, specifically, as the stubborn specimen. He had been assigned there as a lieutenant commander five years ago. McCoy, then, was a sane and competent man insisting they will be regretting this later and star fleet will find them. And as the days had waned,plead that he and several other crewmembers be released to be attended to by a medical officer and informed them he would forget about this and lie his ass off about where they have been. They didn't need to be in another war, McCoy had said. The Cardassian Commander watched McCoy degrade in a manner that made the Cardassian feel ashamed of himself. He would have made an honorable physician in the Cardassian empire. But the thing was, every torture method just didn't work. He could have died, each and every single time. And he lived. It was like trying to kill a cockroach. Baron was wildly impressed and wanted more of his specimen, specifically of his family. It disgusted the Cardassian Commander.
"Come,Physician," The Cardassian Commander said, approaching the human "I do not wish to harm you."
"J.. . Joanna." McCoy's voice came from what was once a man.
The Cardassian Commander paused, putting a hand on the phaser being held by his lieutenant commander, considering. The Cardassian Commander had heard of McCoy's daughter greatly from the human in his first year. And over the years he had stopped all together talking about her. But the Cardassian Commander talked about Joanna. Asking questions about what she was like, and if she shared the same grumpy attitude. McCoy wasn't sure, he debated against himself over whether she was grumpy or not. It pleased the Cardassian Commander. In fact, he could remember the human talking about looking forward to various milestones in her life sadly, most of them McCoy wouldn't be there for. The Cardassian Commander suspected the only thing keeping McCoy alive was his daughter.
"Joanna." The Cardassian Commander nodded his head, his hand out reached.
"Joanna." McCoy repeated, taking the Cardassian Commander's hand.
The Cardassian Commander heard a phaser blast and quickly stepped in the way, his instincts taking over him to protect those he cared for. It was a basic instinct for him. He had been the kind of Cardassian who protected. His skin absorbed the impact of the phaser blast. Then it sunk deeper, and deeper through his skin. It took seconds for a large indentation to be made into the back of the Cardassian Commander piercing through to his chest. He fell into the arms of the human. His life flashed before his eyes. How he made the erroneous mistake of joining security corps. How he did not leave and go to Star Fleet regarding the issue because there was a contract. If he did not continue then his service will be terminated and so will his bloodline. It was a effective contract. And here he was dying before the man.
"Joanna." The Cardassian Commander said it in a tone that easily said, "I am sorry."
McCoy let go of the lifeless Cardassian Commander to the floor.
There were phaser blasts that missed him and instead hit the wall leaving burn marks behind. Two Romulans grabbed the doctor by the shoulder. One shouted, "We got 'em!" His eyes flared at the touch of a finger on his backside. McCoy turned around and bit off the fingers of the Romulan's whose hands were on his backside. Then there was a scream that alarmed the large group. There was shouting In the chaos that ensured, McCoy made a gateaway to the other hall. Behind him we can see two bloody fingers on the floor. McCoy made it into the engineering room. He could see several buttons on the side of the machine. A glass center on a gray rounded machine that held the dilithium crystals within. This kind of base was likely a starship. But where? Thinking about his environment brought up strange questions. Was he. . . On a planet? Inside a facility underground? For some reason the idea was considered a laugh. Something along the lines of having seen a engineering deck on a starship was understood. He saw a closet, or what looked like a 21st century one, near to the entrance of the lower half of engineering. The doors opened before McCoy. He saw a space to hide under in the secondary section along the paneling. McCoy made his way into the room then went into the hiding space.
Verance came into engineering.
"Come out, come out, come out," Verance chanted. "Wherever you are." There were two security officers flanking his side dressed in bright attire with thin movable armor on top. "We know where your daughter is."
McCoy growled hearing it through the closed doors footsteps headed toward the doors.
"Stay at the door," Verance said. "And I will ring him in."
"He bit off one of our own's fingers." The second Cardassian said.
"They were Romulans. They likely touched his sensitive area," Verance said. "I have told them many times not to do that." He sounded very annoyed. "It is their own fault that happened."
He saw the gray themed scenery turn a shade of red. The doors opened to reveal the long muscular legs of the Cardassian. He wore dark pants that ended at his large, huge boots that had spikes at the edges. The red color in the room highlighted the legs showing the shade used for the pants were green. A color that McCoy liked. McCoy's arms were wrapped around his leg. His back pressed against the wall. His palms had scars that were healing. His fingers were somewhat covered in dirt. His nails were long, very sharp. He could feel the goosebumps go down his skin. His heart beating against this chest. He could hear his heartbeat echo in hi ears over and over. He was terrified. Verance walked around the room, opening a lid to a machine then sigh in annoyance. The cupboards were slammed loudly. McCoy flinched He heard the doors woosh open. He saw a pair of footsteps stalk after Verance.
"I am busy." Verance said. "Ah--" He smirked. "There he is."
McCoy started to see him kneel down to his level. The pair of boots had stopped right behind him. But Verance abruptly stopped. Verance flipped over his attack with a loud yelp. McCoy closed his eyes listening to the growls, grunts, the sounds of bodies being smacked against the wall. It sounded a lot like rough sex except it wasn't. When was the last time he had rough sex? He didn't remember. There was the sound of glass being shattered. There were sounds of pipes being bent. Then there was a loud thud and groan. He heard footsteps headed his way. He was going to get out of here. Joanna. That name repeated on his mind. When McCoy opened his eyes, he experienced fear at the sight of the Klingon. He did not feel safe seeing the crest of the Klingon's forehead. His baby blue eyes stared at the Klingon.
"Take my hand if you want to live." Koloth said, his dark hand reached out for McCoy.
McCoy's baby blue eyes looked up toward Koloth.
The words were not lost upon the doctor.
Trusting, confident eyes looked back at him.
McCoy took the Klingon's hand.
"Were you aware that a movie was made regarding the USS Centerpide's disaster?" Green asked.
McCoy glared back at him.
"What?" McCoy said.
"It was made two years ago. You were in it, but. ." McCoy didn't hear the rest. All he heard in his mind was the last scene of hell. He did not how Koloth found him but he had. McCoy could remember the Romulan security finding him before that. . was terrifying. It was sad that his first memory of Joanna in uniform was attached to so many, terrifying dark memories. "Admiral McCoy."
"How did they portray me?" McCoy asked, his eyebrows twitching.
"Well . . ." Green said. "Like you were before your recovery. The movie focused on a love story," He leaned back. "It stuck true to what happened, mostly, according to the eyewitness accounts. Besides doing time skipping without acknowleding the stardate. And it was slapped with a rated R label."
"What was the main love story?" Spock asked, as McCoy's face was turning red.
"Baron and Verance," Green said. "Rumor went that Baron attended the priemere and enjoyed it."
"That is a shame." Spock acknowledged.
"Shame is that no one lifted a finger in that event," Green said. "The movie won an oscar last year." His eyes looked over toward the human who had resumed eating. "The movie had a dedication to the crew of the Centerpide. There was a controlversie that you were not interviewed directly regarding the events. They relied off history and the remains of the event much like the movie Pompeii. Demon's Run has been turned into a tourist attraction after remaining classified one hundred years."
"They told me it was destroyed." McCoy said.
"It was lost while being towed shortly after the rescue of the Centerpide crew," Green said. McCoy's eyebrows raised. Spock resumed eating with his fork. "It was slated to be destroyed when a ion storm occurred. The base was lost in the storm and drifted out into the rocky belt. It was rediscovered in 2364 by the USS Enterprise D." McCoy grumbled lowering his eyebrows muttering something about, "Of course she was the one to rediscover my personal hell." Apparently McCoy was not quite over Star Fleet not being honest with him.
"It is a dark and stark reminder of how inspecting asteroids is a rather sound idea than not inspecting them." Green said. "Children under the age of nineteen are not allowed to attend due to the graphic and horrendous material. All species are allowed. It is best that we learn from our mistakes in order to not make them again. That is why the asteroid was not destroyed. Star Fleet was sued by those who were aware of it and the case was settled in 2371."
"I can't believe I wasn't part of that lawsuit." McCoy took a sip from the sweet tea that had been handed to him by Spock.
"You were." Green said. McCoy spat out what he was drinking. "You were there. "