On the replicator appeared a bowl of plomeek soup along with a spoon and a Vulcanian plant leaf on a tray. On the tray was a small block of cheese, garlic, and pickles. There was also a napkin on the tray along that had a spoon alongside it. Spock turned away from the replicator only to find himself occupied with McCoy by his side bright as ever. He couldn't tell if there were bags under his eyes any more. He was just driving on energy. And he looked grouchy as he did before going to take a shower.
"Hey ya'all!" McCoy said. "This is former Ambassador Spock," McCoy wrapped a free hand around Spock's shoulder. "He is new here. What makes it better is that he is my new roommate!" McCoy squeezed the Vulcan's shoulder. "Give him a decent warm welcome."
Spock was greeted with "Hello Mister Spock" in unison from so many people in the wide room.
"There saved you the embarrassment." McCoy said, letting go of the Vulcan's shoulder then walked away.
Spock came over to a suitable seating area. Which appeared, to Spock, the only logical place to sit. At a table with little to no one. Spock used the spoon to slice the cheese into various slices and did the same for the pickle. Spock sprinkled the cheese into the Plomeek soup. He took a stab at the pickle then put it into his mouth and started to chew. He slowly stirred the plomeek soup with his spoon. McCoy looked over to see the Vulcan was sulking at the empty table. His back was hunched, his elbow was on the table, and he had the drifting look in his eyes.
I am going to hate myself for this, McCoy thought, but I know the signs.
McCoy came over with his acquired tray of eggs, bacon, and toast.
"Hey, Spock!" McCoy slid himself beside the Vulcan.
Spock dropped his spoon into the plomeek soup.
"What is it, doctor?" Spock asked, picking up the spoon.
"I know one when I see one," McCoy said, pointing at Spock. "I know why you are really here."
"Humor me." Spock said.
"I have seen that look for the past five years only more depressed and treatin' life like everythin' is background noise." McCoy said. Spock stared at the doctor quite blankly. "You're a sad, lonely Vulcan."
Spock raised his eyebrow.
"Really, doctor?" Spock asked.
"Yes," McCoy said. "Because I never met that man face to face, nor really knew him, but he is over there in the 'depressed' group!" He pointed over his shoulder toward the direction where Spock could see that same man from the same chair facing the patio eating away at a much healthier food even though he seemed to be disliking it. "And he hardly ever talks. He never speaks while eatin'. You would think I got through that background noise. Tried. Failed."
"Who is he?" Spock asked, lowering the spoon after taking a sip.
McCoy stared at the Vulcan, his jaw almost went slack at the question.
"Repeat that." McCoy said.
"Who is he?" Spock asked.
McCoy looked over then back to Spock.
"He is really that unrecognizable . . ." McCoy said. Spock had a 'go on' look about his face. McCoy sighed. "That man was James T. Kirk." Spock's hand started trembling as he lifted the spoon up to his mouth. "Saved Star Fleet's butt many times." Spock took a sip from the spoon. "You could probably argue humanity as well was saved. Goin' back in time. Changin' history, or so he claimed on his file." McCoy poked his fork at his salad. "He stopped bein' that heroic captain sometime after the Enterprise A was destroyed. It destroyed him. Losin' everyone he knew. But that doesn't mean he shouldn't stop livin'."
"And former captain Koloth?" Spock asked.
"He is here to be the one kills Kirk: life support wise." McCoy said. "Koloth prefers to be the one who kills the captain over that augment Khan." Spock saw Koloth and Khan trading glares with one another. Marla was inbetween them with a old Andorian by her side. "Captain Kirk was well known for comin' to Koloth's rescue numerous times that were return in kind by Koloth."
"And Khan's story?" Spock asked.
"Kirk left him and his seventy-three followers on a hospital planet to begin a colony," McCoy said. "Star Fleet finally recognized their colony about fifty-three years ago. Maybe it was sixty-three, been too lon' since it happened."
"It sounds like quite the affair." Spock said.
McCoy gestured over a group.
"I would like you to meet your new friends, Mr Spock." McCoy said. "My friends are your friends."
In a flash appeared four people sitting in chairs at the table with trays of their own. It was like they had been beamed onto the spot instead of speeding their way there. One of them was a old Asian man with gray hair,the second man had a scar on the left side of his cheek with prominent bushy eyebrows, the third man had a mustache with dark hair that had been graying, and there was Uhura smiling from ear to ear. McCoy gestured over toward the group.
"This is former Admiral Hikaru Sulu." McCoy said.
"Pleased to meet you, Mr Spock." Sulu said, with a nod.
"This is former Admiral of Security Pavel Chekov." McCoy said.
"Mr Tuwok used to tell me many stories about you." Chekov said.
"Tuvok claimed you had a dirty mouth when it came to jokes." Sulu said.
"He does." McCoy said, gleefully.
"Tuvok. . ." Spock said. "I do not know who you are talking about."
"Dementia." McCoy said, as he earned a concerned look from Chekov.
"Rear Admiral who is overseeing the Discowery's new crew to be selected?" Chekov said. Spock tilted his head. "The one trapped in the delta quadrant for sewen years aboard the Woyager?" Spock straightened his head. "The Wulcan who got to become Rear Admiral faster than anyone in history? The one who attended your granddaughter's wedding?" There was no reply from Spock. "It must be bad."
"At least you were able to get old lookin' like you were thirty for a hundred years." McCoy said.
"My hair began turning gray twenty years ago." Spock said.
"Which makes my point." McCoy said
"How old are you, doctor?" Spock asked.
"One hundred sixty." McCoy said.
"You look forty." Spock said.
"And you?" McCoy asked.
"One hundred fifty-eight." Spock said.
"We are the same age." Nyota said, taking a bite out of her bacon.
"One hundred sixty-one." Sulu said.
"One hundred forty-two!" Chekov said.
"I stopped countin' after I hit seventy-one." Scotty said.
Spock raised an eyebrow.
"And how is not occurred to you that the doctor does not look his age?" Spock asked.
"Many times." Scotty said. "The great bird of the galaxy blessed him."
"Blessed by Georgia's fields." McCoy said.
"We have green thumbs." Chekov said, holding both of this thumbs up. Spock did not see the man's thumbs were green. But perhaps he was being figurative. Leland was a man who used figure of speech when it came to meddling with genos, skeletons, mother nature's plans for the human body, and everything in general that related to science and medical care.
"And this is former Admiral Montgomery Scott." McCoy resumed.
"Aye. Scotty." Scotty said.
"He prefers to be called Scotty." McCoy said. "He was stuck inside a transporter for what? Twenty-three years?"
"Seventy-five." Scotty said.
"And it doesn't stop him from drinkin'." McCoy said, as Scotty poured a glass of scotch.
Spock saw one of the nurses heading their way.
"I believe that is illegal in a nursing home." Spock said.
Scotty smiled, ducking the bottle under the table where it vanished out of his sight. McCoy twiddled his thumbs together.
"Mr Scott," Nurse Rand said. "Where is the bottle of scotch you refuse to hand over?"
"I have no scotch on me,lassie." Scotty said, with a shrug.
Nurse Rand looked down. Her brown hair curled around her shoulders in a braid. She was the descendant of Commander Janice Rand once, mistakeningly, assigned to the Enterprise in 2366 then reassigned to a Vulcan vessel that was studying what would be called a 'miracle cure for the blind' that eventually turned out fruitless until the next task came in hand. Replicating eyes via cloning. Janice Rand climbed the ranks afterwards from a experience with the then commander George Wallace. And became a doctor aboard the Enterprise briefly for a couple years before it limply returned from a battle with the Romulans and ended up getting destroyed afterwards. Commander Rand died on a transport vessel to visit her son and newly born third grandchild in 2300.
Nurse Rand was named after that very Rand.
Nurse Janice Rand, that's her name.
Rand looked toward the Vulcan.
"Where is the scotch?" Rand requested.
"Under the table." Spock said.
Rand looked under the table.
"I don't see it." Rand said.
Spock raised his eyebrows as McCoy, Scotty, Chekov, Sulu, and Uhura were beaming from ear to ear. Spock lowered his eyebrow looking at McCoy with a curious expression in his eyes. The nurse sighed placing a pill on the table in defeat. Spock looked over toward the nurse. It appeared that this was a common occurrence. Spock took another sip from the plomeek soup that tasted delicious to his tongue.
"Scotty," Rand said. "You must take the pill after you finish breakfast."
"Why do I need the pill again?" Scotty asked.
"It repairs the damage you are doing to your liver." Rand said. "I don't want you to die earlier than you are supposed by not taking it."
"But it's bitter." Scotty complained.
"If you don't take it then who is going to be there when they finally install those sonic showers?" Uhura asked. "Who is going to teach Nurse Brockley how to fix the engine of a Ford? Who is going to tell me that I am speaking in another language again other than in English as always?"
"And vhose going to remind Leonard about not being a grouch with the wisiting children?" Chekov added.
"I do not act like a grouch." McCoy said.
"On the contrary, you do." Sulu said.
"Remember the time the betazoid child came in?" Uhura reminded McCoy.
"She creeped me out!" McCoy said. "I don't like someone movin' around in my head without my permission."
"Fine," Scotty said. "I will take the pill."
"She apologized afterwards." Uhura said.
"Only after seein' why I don't want people in my head." McCoy huffed.
"Thank you all." Rand said, then she left the group be.
"And you met Nyota all ready," McCoy resumed. "She is. . . or at least was. . . part of the Legendary Seven from USS Slater."
"Slader." Uhura corrected the doctor.
Spock swallowed what he had put into his mouth.
"That USS Slader?" Spock said. "The one that went through various measures to retrieve Star Fleet officers?"
"Affirmative," Uhura said, with a nod. "By the time we got to the doctor . . ." She took a sip of her drink. "I rather not talk about that." She lowered the drink to the table gently. "The Klingons handed them over and insisted that it be never spoken of again."
"Klingons do not take prisoners," McCoy said. "But for Klingons like Koloth, they make generous exceptions."
Scotty took a drink from his glass.
"At least wodka doesn't kill my liwer." Chekov said.
"You are not a kid anymore, Pasha," Scotty said. "Men drink scotch."
Spock raised his eyebrow seeing the contents of the see through cup displayed milk rather than what was standard for Vodka. Non-Synthehol had long been around for the better part of three centuries. Synthehol was still being served in Star Fleet, surprisingly, despite how people of all species preferred non-Synthehol. Root Beer was once a source of liquid that addicted people into it despite the risks it carried into potentially killing its consumers. But since then that threat has been eliminated. Root Beer is most commonly compared as the 'kiddy version of Synthehol'. Spock hadn't been aware that there was a feud between Vodka drinkers and Scotch drinkers. It puzzled Spock as to why Chekov referred to it as Vodka. Because it was not.
"I rather not drink." Chekov commented then taking a drink from his cup as Hikaru, Uhura,and McCoy were eating.
"Because scotch was not made in Russia?" Scotty asked.
"It was made in Scotland." Chekov said.
"Wait, it was?" Scotty asked, thrown off-gaurd.
Chekov appeared to be pleased of himself.
"Why of course," Cheov said. "Why do you think Scotch is named Scotch?"
Scotty considered it for a moment.
"Because it's scotch." Scotty said.
Spock's eyebrow had lowered as he resumed eating. But he was more focused on approaching the sad looking former captain once an admiral. More specifically how to approach the man. McCoy had implied saying "Hello." would be ignored. So a mind meld would the be easiest way of making a greeting. Captain Kirk had saved the world with the whales. It was wide known. It was even more known that Gillian Taylor, who Spock came across at Starbase 1, was from the past. Taylor's reaction was a slight scream then a stumble back covering her mouth. His crew were by then getting their bearrings before returning to patrol in the next twenty-four hours. Gillian apologized to the Vulcan then asked what he was, politely, explaining she never seen a person like Spock before but maybe on the TV most definitely in the fictional shows. His face was uncanny. It was logical that he had a ancestor or counterpart in the past who worked as an actor.
"You are honestly considerin' goin' over to the man and attempt speakin' with him," McCoy said. "Tell me you are not. It's a lost cause."
Spock lowered the spoon.
"I am a touch telepathic which means I can conduct a mind meld." Spock said, his head turned toward McCoy.
"Without his permission?" McCoy said.
"He is not paying attention to life and I doubt that he will notice." Spock said. "Not a lost cause."
"So you are thinking you can get him out of his shell?" Uhura said.
"Out of his shell would be the appropriate term." Spock said.
"Personally," Uhura said. "I think that is a good thing."
"I agree." Sulu said, with a nod.
"I looked forward to actually meet Captain Kirk when I was a young woman," Uhura said. "To think I had it on my bucket list to serve under him." She sadly shook her head. "Well. . ." She sadly sighed. "We are not getting any younger and nor is the captain. If no one tries to help then he might as well die alone. It is why we are all here in the first place. Not to die alone, after all."
It hit home for each and every one of them.
"You are all going to die before me," Scotty acknowledged. "I will be livin' till the day the Constitution class is back in style." He was sulking. "All I ever wanted was tae serve on a Constitution class starship. I had been given my new assignment. To be the Chief Engineer Officer of the USS Enterprise. But nae, I happened tae accidentally transwarp myself thirty-four years from Federation space by accident then was assigned on a colony workin' on creating a new engineerin' for a new starship! Then twenty-seven years later get stuck into a transporter. Damn transwarp. Wish I never worked on it for so lon'."
Uhura put one hand on Scotty's shoulder.
"I am pretty sure Harden will be around in the next hundred years." Uhura said.
"You vill not be alone,Scotty," Chekov said. "Not as long as you are here."
"How did you get back, Mister Scott?" Spock asked.
"Helpin' out and exterminatin' these big ugly beetle bein's that lay eggs inside their prey," Scotty cringed. "I made a lot of friends alon' the way. Promised them adventure and all that Star Fleet could give. Which they did. They enjoyed Star Fleet after our arrival. The Enterprise A was already destroyed by then. Needless to say. . ." He looked down toward his hands old, large wrinkled hands. "They all died while I was . . ." Scotty almost choked on his words. "Gone."
"I grieve with thee." Spock said.
Scotty looked at the Vulcan with gratitude.
"At one point or another in our lives we would have been on the Enterprise if not for reassignments," McCoy said. "For example," McCoy gestured over toward Sulu and Chekov. "Our favorite old married couple (who deny they are a couple) were up originally as Navigator and Helmsmen respectively of the USS Enterprise. But. . ." Uhura took her hand off Scotty's shoulder. "They were assigned to two different starships. One of which crash landed on a planet with exotic and unique plants, befriended said sapient organisms, and helped the remainin' crew adapt while the distress call was sent. But it was so weak that it took longer for someone to find them.
"Five years." Sulu said. "They were beautiful plants." He looked off dreamily to the distance with the side of his face cupped. "And memorable."
"And it was thanks to the USS Enterprise that they were found upon her voyage home." McCoy finished.
"I served on a Russian wessel," Chekov said. "The Romanov. I ewentually serwed on the Reliant as Lieutenant as chief security officer."
"Considerably, this man was lucky to have walked on the Enterprise for ten minutes then be beamed back to the Romanov after discoverin' an error was made with his assignment." McCoy said. "We are like the 'Could have beens' officers of the Enterprise."
"One big secret club." Uhura said.
"The thin' is, you dae nae talk about it." Scotty said.
"No one talks about it." Sulu added.
"Fascinating," Spock said, intrigued lowering the spoon down. "The entire crew who could have been assigned to the Enterprise five year mission is at one location." McCoy raised an eyebrow. "I served under the command of Christopher Pike for eleven years until I was reassigned to the USS Endeavor upon his promotion. I was a Lieutenant Commander, science officer, back then." McCoy tilted his head. "Does it occur to you that is it odd we were diverted from our original five year assignment?"
"Nae." Scotty said.
"Commorodore King insisted it was a mess up." Uhura said
"Padd work misplaced." Chekov said.
"Ship name mistaken." McCoy grumbled, straightening his head taking a bite of his bacon.
"Technicality." Sulu said.
"And we still grouped up." Uhura said, after chewing what was left of her eggs. "We became very historic driven people despite not serving on the Enterprise." Spock was rubbing his chin contemplating how odd that was. "What was it like being on the Enterprise for eleven years?"
Spock lowered his hand down.
"Eventful." Spock said. "You could expect chaos to unfold within the week. A distress signal to be received. Being thrown across the room under the attack of a unknown force that was neither Romulan or Klingon."
"Ah," Scotty said. "So it was like bein' in the wild west?"
"Of course." Spock said.
Scotty was grinning looking into the distance with his pancake being half eaten away covered in syrup and there was toast. Scotty's drink was half full. He had napkins on the tray folded neatly with a fork right beside the tray. Slowly an idea began to form in his mind. Spock answered the questions about the missions he went on with Captain Pike, Number One,and Doctor Boyce. It made Spock feel nostalgia: fondness for the past. Talking about it felt good for him. In fact, Spock could clearly remember keeping his end of the promise for The Talosians by using USS Endeavor to bring Pike there. It severely strained the non-professional relationship Spock shared with Captain Lewis.
It took exactly one year, two months, thirteen days, eight hours, and sixty minutes to heal the relationship with the captain. Doctor Leland, however, was outright furious at Spock for keeping that back from his friend. Leland shouted fluent Russian when Spock approached him. It took Spock longer to reconcile with the doctor exactly thirty-five years. Which was also another reason why Leland likely made sure they never served on the same ship after their first starship assignment together was over. The day where they walked away from Spock, back when he had greater control,Spock believed he had undoubtedly lost two potential life long colleagues. Drifting away further from the Vulcan. It took him five hours, thirty-three minutes, and four seconds to get rid of this emotion via meditation. Spock wondered if history would repeat itself if he attempted to bring forth his hand in friendship toward another human. Well, screw it. It was worth the risk. Spock no longer had promises to keep.
Scotty took his pill after finishing his glass of Scotch.
"Where is your bottle of Scotch?" Spock asked.
"In his ass." McCoy said, taking a drink of his apple juice.
Uhura and the two older men had a laugh except for Scotty.
"Would you like some?" Scotty said.
"Affirmative." Spock said, sliding forth his empty glass. "I would need a 'shot' if I am going to be doing what I believe I will be doing."
Scotty smiled, with Chekov looking over for Nurse Rand.
"She is busy with Charlie Evans." Chekov said, turning his head back toward the group. "Quick. Before she turns her attention back toward us!"