There was a bright flash of light on the bridge of the great starship. When the leap finished, Sam saw people scurrying around while a loud siren whined and a woman's voice repeated the words, "Red Alert" over and over again. A man's voice said, over the siren, "Admiral, we have just experienced an attack of sub-quantum particles, in a beam aimed directly at you. They were accompanied by tachyon and Z-particles which, if you may recall, are characteristic of time-shift. The tachyon's red shift appeared to be characteristic of travel forewords in time. The danger has passed and it should be safe to secure from Red Alert, but I feel that Dr. McCoy should perform an examination of you to be sure." Sam looked toward the voice to see a man with a yellowish-green tint to his skin and...POINTED ears! "Are you all right, Admiral?" the strange man asked, looking directly at Sam.
"Spock, are you sure it's not some crazy weapon Khan's invented?" The man who had spoken had a gravely voice and a slight Southern accent. The strange, pointed-ear man said, "Your examination should show that, Doctor. However, it is an illogical conclusion."
"Jim, let's go get that exam over with, before Spock starts goin' on about particles that are too small to see with a microscope." He laid a hand on Sam's shoulder and said, "Come on, Jim."
As they walked to the back of the small room, the strange pointed-ear man-Spock said, "Admiral, are you not forgetting something?" Sam replied, "Uh, no, I don't think so." The man with the Southern accent looked at him strangely and said, "Jim, I'm going to take you off of duty for a few hours. I think it's best. Spock, you' take over. Come on, Jim. Let's go to my office and talk over a nice, cold Mint Julep." Sam muttered, "Oh, boy" to himself as they stepped into a closet.
"Sickbay," the man said aloud, "Jim, are you feeling all right, or was there more to Spock's crazy particle beam than he thought? Is it possible that he's wrong about something for once in his logical life?"
"No, I'm perfectly fine," was Sam's quick reply. Suddenly he saw a bright flash of light and Al was there. He walked through the man's arm, which was still outstretched with his hand on Sam's shoulder, and Al stood in front of Sam. Without thinking, Sam blurted out, "I wish you'd stop doing that!!" The man looked at him strangely, raised his left eyebrow and said, "Stop doing what, Jim?" Sam quickly replied, "Uh, nothing..." Al interjected, "Bones" and Sam repeated, "Bones. I was a little...preoccupied." The man cocked his eyebrow even higher and his reply sounded a bit skeptical, "Sure, Jim." The doors opened then, into a hallway. The closet must have been an elevator! "Come on, Jim, exam first, then I'll walk you to your quarters and tuck you in, but only if you're a good little boy and don't try to pull rank to get out of this exam." Sam followed him and so did Al. They walked into a small room that adjoined several others. "Here, lie down, Jim," the man said as he pointed to a strange-looking cot. Sam laid down on the cot and suddenly a thumping sound began and colored lights appeared on a panel above his head. The man looked at the panel with a great deal of scrutiny before he spoke, "Everything looks hunky dory, Jim. You want a brandy or a Mint Julep before you go to your solitude?" Sam wondered what a Mint Julep was as he replied, "No, thanks. I just want to be alone."
"OK with me, Jim. Let's go." was the man's reply. They went to the closet again and this time the man said to the air, "Deck Five, Officer's Section" The man left him standing in front of a blue door, leaving him with the words, "If you need me, I'll be in sickbay Jim. Let me know when you're ready for duty so I can pull you off of my medical hit list." Sam walked up to the door, and when he got within six inches of it, it opened. He walked through and saw a chair and a bed. He sat down on the bed and looked at Al, who was standing in front of him and said, "So, where, when, and who am I?" Al poked and slapped the device in his hand, and after it squealed a few times, he replied, "You're a...James Tiberius Kirk, who holds the rank of Admiral in something called Starfleet-some sort of military, I guess. You're aboard a...USS Enterprise- the starship you're in temporary command of at the moment. You commanded it for five years but then got promoted. The ship is owned by some organization called the...United Federation of Planets. The year is 2285. You're in the future, Sam." Sam jumped up and looked in a mirror to see a handsome face, lined by years of worry, then he turned to Al and screamed, "Future! That's impossible!!" Al looked at him and replied, "Sorry, Sam. That's what Ziggy says. Furthermore, Ziggy can't figure out how you got here or why-yet. I'm going to go to the waiting room and question this James T. Kirk. Stay tight, so I can find out what you're supposed to be doing."
Al punched the device again and in a flash of light, was gone. Sam laid down and closed his eyes. A few moments later, a beep was heard-the doorbell? he guessed. "Come in!" The Southerner walked in, carrying two glasses with celery sticks in them. He said, "Beware of Romulans bearing gifts," then he set the glasses on the desk and continued, "One cold, Georgia-style Mint Julep." He handed one glass to Sam. "Doctor's orders. Drink up, Jim!"
While they were drinking, Al reappeared. After a moment's hesitation, he said, "Your mission is a mere training cruise. You were aboard as an inspector, inspecting a class of cadets, commanded by your former First Officer, Captain Spock. He's the guy with the pointed ears. The man with you right now is Chief Surgeon Dr. Leonard McCoy-also your best friend. He calls you Jim and you call him Bones-short for Sawbones, which is an old nickname for surgeons. The mission as of right now, is to find out what happened at Regula One space station-commanded by your former girlfriend, Dr. Carol Marcus and your son?...Dr. David Marcus. In a few hours, James Kirk is probably going to hesitate to take the ship into battle when they run into a Khan Noonien Singh who has taken over another starship-the USS Reliant. Khan wants vengeance on Kirk for marooning him and his followers on Ceti Alpha V eighteen years ago, where his wife and several followers were later killed by a native predator. He's already attacked your ship once-there were great casualties, including the Chief Engineer's young nephew, Peter Preston. Since there are so many cadets aboard, Kirk will most likely retreat to get help from Earth, but meanwhile, Ziggy thinks that Khan will take over the United Federation of Planets. Ziggy says you're here to stop that. And now, I have a date. Bye, Sam!"
Al disappeared and McCoy said, "Jim? Jim! Are you listening to me?" Sam replied, "Sorry, Bones, just thinking." McCoy looked at him, raised that eyebrow again, and said, "You mean, if we should go into battle, if necessary, with this 'boatload of children'-to quote you earlier?" Sam started at the doctor's amazing perception, "You must be psychic, Bones, that's exactly what I was thinking." McCoy smiled and drawled, "I've been taking lessons from Spock." Sam replied, "Then, he taught you well" and immediately regretted it because then McCoy began to look at him strangely. "Jim, come with me." He said it with such authority Sam did as he said-even though Sam guessed that he could have pulled rank-whatever that was. As they walked back to the closet and McCoy said to the air, once again, "Sickbay," Sam began to worry. Then McCoy said, "Jim, when was your last psyche test?" Sam almost panicked. "I don't recall, Bones. Why?" McCoy raised his eyebrow so high it almost disappeared under his hair. "Then it must be too long, or is your memory going out to lunch with your eyesight? Well, we're going to do a psyche test-and a Steinman analysis. I think that particle beam of Spock's affected your brain." Sam really panicked then and replied, "Nope, it didn't Bones. Deck Five, Officer's Section!"
McCoy heard that, grabbed Sam's arm and yelled, " Medical emergency! Override last destination! New destination-Sickbay!" The closet began to move! It felt like they were speeding downward, then sideways. McCoy, as soon as the closet stopped and the doors opened, hauled Sam out and dragged him to sickbay with amazing strength Sam wouldn't have thought McCoy had-since he was so thin and weak-looking. They went to a different room this time and McCoy threw him on another strange cot and put...straps!...over his arms, legs, and waist. "You can't do this, doctor!!!!" McCoy glared at him, "Oh, yes I can, Jim. 'Starfleet Order 104, Section C- the Chief Medical Officer may relieve a commander of duty if he or she is mentally or physically unfit for duty.' I'm taking you off of duty." He then walked to a thing in the wall by the door that looked like a speaker, pressed a button on it and talked into it, "McCoy to bridge." The pointed-ear man-Captain Spock, replied through the speaker, "Spock here, Doctor. Is the Admiral fit for duty yet?" McCoy's reply sounded somewhat ragged, "No, Spock, He's not. That's why I'm calling you. He's acting crazy and he was about to run away when I suggested a psyche test and a Steinman Analysis. He's acting weird, Spock."
He heard Spock say to another person, "Mr. Saavik, you have the bridge. Mr. Sulu- maintain present course, but slow to Warp 1. I shall be in Sickbay." McCoy yelled into the speaker, "Spock! You're NOT doing the Vulcan Mind-Meld! In his condition, you might end up just like him!" Spock replied, coolly, calmly, "Doctor, we will discuss it when I arrive in Sickbay, not over the intercom." Sam heard a soft click that apparently meant the connection had been cut because then McCoy yelled, "Christine! Get me a glass of Romulan Ale!" Sam wondered what Romulan Ale was and hoped it was a kind of tranquilizer because McCoy certainly needed it!
A few minutes later Spock walked in. By that time, McCoy had his "Romulan Ale"-a blue liquid which was apparently an alcoholic drink. He ran at Spock and yelled, "I'M NOT LETTING YOU MIND MELD WITH HIM, SPOCK! YOU'LL TURN CRAZY LIKE HIM!" Sam tried to sit up, couldn't, and shouted, "I'm not crazy McCoy! I'm just under a lot of stress!" Spock looked at him and the drunken McCoy-that Ale must be pretty strong stuff, and said, "Doctor, you are drunk and are in an impaired state. I will take care of the psyche test and the Steinman Analysis. You will lie down and sleep off the effects of the alcohol you have consumed. Precisely what have you drunk?" He didn't get an answer because by that point McCoy was fast asleep and snoring loudly. "He had a pretty big glass of Romulan Ale, Spock" Spock placed McCoy on another cot, strapped him in quite reluctantly, and turned to Sam. "Romulan Ale? A large amount?" Sam looked at him and said, "Yes-the glass is on his desk. He asked Doctor Chapel for it immediately after you said you were coming here." "I see," was his reply, "His temper flared and then he imbibed a large amount of alcohol. Where is Doctor Chapel?" By that point, he had unstrapped Sam and Sam pointed to a doorway, "She went through there after bringing the Ale. She looked frightened." Just then, Doctor Chapel walked in. "Oh, Captain Spock. Where's Doctor McCoy?" "He is sleeping on that cot," Spock pointed, "And he has imbibed a large amount of Romulan Ale while in an unbalanced emotional state." Doctor Chapel sighed, "I know. I heard that loud snore of his and I brought some Dexterenin for him." She held up a strange-looking contraption, then walked over and pressed it to McCoy's shoulder. It hissed-maybe a form of hypodermic needle that didn't puncture the skin? The woman then clicked a switch on the side of the panel above the bed. She and Spock looked at it, then Chapel said, "He looks fine now. He just needs to sleep it off. And he'll do that for sure." Spock asked, "Oh, really?" Doctor Chapel smiled and said, "I slipped in a sedative to keep him asleep and a little something to stop the noise-it should start working soon." Almost as if on cue, McCoy became silent. Spock turned to Doctor Chapel and said, "Please, Doctor Chapel, may we have a little privacy?" She said, "Why don't you go in the Doctor's office, I'd like to keep an eye on him." "Very well, we shall do so. Thank you Miss Chapel," was the cool reply. "Come, Admiral."
When they entered the office, Spock placed his fingers on Sam's face and began intoning, "My mind to your mind, my thoughts to your thoughts." Suddenly, he was in Sam's mind! He 'looked' at Sam's knowledge of the Quantum Leap project, at Sam's memories, and everything else. He...thought?...to Sam, 'I understand completely. I assure you my full cooperation and complete secrecy.' He then removed his hands from Sam's face and the mental link was broken. He went to the rear wall and flipped a switch on a device and said, "Nothing said now will be recorded or heard by anyone else. Do you want some information?" They talked, Spock telling Sam about the bridge crew, their previous encounter with Khan Noonien Singh, and even Carol & David Marcus and Project Genesis. By the time Spock finished, the Bridge was calling for both of them. Spock told Doctor Chapel that Sam was fit for duty and the Steinman Analysis & Psyche Test were deemed unnecessary because of the mind meld, then he and Sam returned to the Bridge.
When they reached the bridge, Sam sat in the Conn-the command chair, and asked, "Status, Mr. Sulu?" The handsome, dark-haired, Asian man sitting in front of Sam turned around and said, "We have reached space station Regula One, sir. Entering Standard Orbit." Sam nodded and Sulu turned back to his console. Sam turned in his chair and looked at Spock, who was sitting at his console toward the back of the circular room-the Bridge, Spock called it. "Spock, sensor readings of Regula One?" Spock turned from his console and said, "Sensor readings show no life forms aboard Regula One, Admiral. Station power is minimal." Sam got worried and said, "That's odd." He hit a button on the chair arm, prayed it was the right one, and spoke into it, "Scotty, do we have enough power to send a landing party over to the station?" A thick Scottish brogue was heard over the speaker, "Aye, Admiral. We can send over one landing party but that's aboot it. We're verra low on power, ye know." "I know, Scotty. We'll be beaming down in, oh, ten minutes. Kirk out." Sam hit the button again, grateful that it was the right one, and turned to Spock. "Spock, you have the bridge." Sam hit another button and said, this time more confident, "Sickbay, can you spare someone for a landing party?" He heard, oh no!, McCoy's voice over the speaker. "I can spare me. When do we beam down?" He heard a bit of coldness in McCoy's tone and he thought he heard a small shudder when McCoy mentioned beaming down, but he could have been mistaken. Spock stood up and said, "I shall see you off at the Transporter." Sam smiled and begun to leave, but was stopped by the Vulcan woman who sat next to Sulu-Mr. Saavik. She stood up and said, "Begging the Admiral's pardon, General Order 15, 'No flag officer shall beam into a hazardous are without armed escort.'" Sam grinned at her, "There's no such regulation!" She just looked at him and raised an eyebrow like McCoy and Spock were so fond of doing, so Sam continued, "All right, all right you're in the party. Mr. Spock, the ship is yours, once we leave, that is. Spock raised an eyebrow once more and answered, "Very well, Admiral." They walked to the turbolift and Spock said, "Transporter Room." When they reached the Transporter Room, McCoy was waiting for them wearing a maroon jacket. He handed one to Sam and Saavik took one from a nearby panel. They put them on and stepped on to the circles on the large platform. Spock said, "Jim, be careful." In a voice that rung with contempt, McCoy replied, "WE will!" Sam, as they dematerialized, thought to himself, 'McCoy and Spock really must be eternal enemies.'
They materialized in a dark hallway intersection. Saavik took out a device and it beeped. She looked up and reported, "Indeterminate life signs." They split up, but after a few moments, he heard a shout, "AH! JIM!" Sam followed the sound of his voice and found him with a dead body hanging next to McCoy's head. No wonder he'd shouted! Sam began to help him un-hang the bodies-they must have been the station's personnel. McCoy looked up at Sam from the lower level and called up, "Well, rigor hasn't set in...this couldn't have happened too long ago, Jim." Sam caught himself mentally reciting, 'Rigor Mortis-the rigidity of the muscles and joints from the accumulation of acids and coagulation of protoplasm'. He stopped himself there, as he heard Saavik call, "Admiral, over here." He walked over to her, and she pointed to a large box, "In here." Sam looked at the box with some scrutiny, then made a fist and smashed the control panel. He stole a brief glance at McCoy and Saavik. Saavik seemed surprised and perplexed, but McCoy was smirking, as if it was normal. A door opened on the right-hand side of the box. Two men fell out, one with dark skin and a mustache, the other with Russian features. Both were wearing uniforms like Saavik, McCoy's and his own. Sam murmured, "Oh my God." The Russian spoke first, "Oh, sir, it vas Khan," he certainly was Russian-he had a very distinct and very thick accent. "Ve found him on Ceti Alpha VI...he put creatures in our bodies to control our minds." McCoy looked concerned as he scrutinized them, "It's OK. You're all right now." The Russian continued, "Made us say lies, do things. But ve beat him. He thought he controlled us but he did not. The Keptin vas strong." Sam heard a 'whoomp!' and glanced to his side to see Al. Al told him, "The Russian is a Pavel Chekov, who used to be your Navigator, then switched over to Security Chief and is now First Officer and Science Officer of the USS Reliant. The other man is Captain Clark Terrell of the Reliant." Terrell picked up the description as Al finished, "He couldn't find it. Even the data banks were empty." Sam thought about that- Genesis! Khan was after Genesis! Oh Boy! Then he got control of himself and told the others, "Let's make a thorough search of the place." They did and found the Transporter still on. He said so and McCoy breathed, "Because no one was left to turn it off!" They examined the co- ordinates set and Saavik remarked, "This is not logical. These co-ordinates are deep inside Regula, a planetoid we know to be lifeless." Sam thought about it and looked at Al, who had, amazingly been silent all this time. He murmured, " When Stage Two was to be completed, it was to be underground. It was to be underground." Saavik inquired, "Stage Two of what?" Sam then opened his communicator to call Spock, "Captain Spock, damage report?"
"If we were to go 'by the book' as Mr. Saavik, hours would seem like days." Sam smiled-a code, "I read you, Captain, let's have it."
"We will not have auxiliary power for 2 days. Main power will not be back on line for 6 days. 'By the book, Admiral'" Sam smiled again, and Al seemed confused. Sam decided to give Spock some orders, "If you don't hear from us in one hour, leave Regula and proceed to Starfleet Headquarters. Contact them as soon as you're out of jamming range." A woman's voice cut in-Lieutenant Uhura, he guessed, "We won't leave without you, sir!" Sam thought about this a moment, "If we haven't called you by then, there won't BE anyone to leave behind! Kirk out." He walked over to the transporter platform, "Bones?" He waved McCoy onto the platform. McCoy asked, "Go? Where are we going?"
"We're going wherever they went." McCoy looked...frightened?...and shuddered, "What if they went nowhere?" Sam smiled, "Then this will be your big chance to get away from it all." McCoy looked ready to blow, and so did Al. Al disappeared and Sam asked Terrell and Chekov, "Well, gentlemen, you can stay here or--" Terrell replied, "If it's all the same to you Admiral, I'd like to come with." Sam, McCoy, Chekov, and Terrell stepped onto the platform and Saavik tapped commands into the panel and joined them. Sam felt the tingle of de- materialization and saw himself in a cave-like room. Suddenly they were attacked! Sam was never a great fighter but he managed to hold off his attacker. Then the attack stopped when a young blonde woman walked in and told them to stop. Sam asked, "Where is Dr. Marcus?" The young, well-built man who had been attacking Sam replied, "I am." Sam started in surprise, since he had gathered that Dr. Carol Marcus was a woman. The blonde woman walked over to Sam and said, "Jim? This is Dr. David Marcus." Sam thought, 'That explains it.' David Marcus looked over at the blonde woman and said, "Mother, they've come to take Genesis!" Sam smiled and decided now was the time to explain.
"I never authorized anyone to take Genesis from you, Doctor. A man named Khan Noonien Singh has taken over the starship Reliant and he's trying to take Genesis. We came to try and protect Genesis." David gave him an angry look, "Then why did HE," and he pointed at Chekov, "help them?" Sam was about to explain when Chekov broke in, "Khan vas controlling me. He made me say lies to you. I did NOT help him." David, however, did not appear to believe him. At that point Terrell spoke into his wrist communicator, "You have been listening, Khan?" Khan's heavily accented voice came in reply, "Yes. You have done well. Now, you must kill them." Terrell replied shakily, "You have the coordinates to beam up Genesis." Terrell then held out a phaser and by the blinking lights McCoy apparently could tell that it was set to kill, as he announced, "Jim, that phaser is set to kill!" Terrell told them, "I...do *not* want to...kill you." and after a few minutes of wavering he slowly turned the front of the phaser towards himself and fired. He dissolved into thin air with a blood-curdling scream. Chekov then let out an equally loud scream and fell on the floor. A squid-like thing crawled out of his ear and McCoy looked at it, horrified, then pulled out his medical kit and began to examine him. Sam pulled out his phaser and set it to a high setting, just like how Spock had taught him to do, and fired at the creature. It melted, and it was all Sam could do to keep from getting visibly sick. Nothing he'd seen in Medical School could have prepared him for *that*. Sam then decided that revenge was in order and he took Chekov's communicator. McCoy looked up when he did so and asked, "What are you going to do, Jim?" Sam replied, "Diplomacy, Bones," and turned on the communicator.
"KHAN!!!! You thought you won but you haven't. You tried to kill me but like a poor marks-man you keep missing the target! If you want me, you'll have to come get me!" With that, a device that looked like a photon torpedo and some sort of computer disappeared in blue sparkles. Khan told Sam, "Kirk, I don't need to kill you. I'm going to do to you what you did to me, leave you for all eternity stranded in the center of a dead planet. Buried alive...buried alive." "KHAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" No use, the frequency was closed.
McCoy got Chekov situated on a makeshift bed of coats and left him to sleep. Saavik took out her communicator and spoke into it, "Saavik to Enterprise, Saavik to Enterprise." McCoy told her, "It's no use. If Spock followed orders, they're long gone by now. What I'm worried about now is how are we going to eat?" The blonde woman, whom Sam assumed was Dr. Carol Marcus, told him, "There's enough food in the Genesis cave to last a lifetime." McCoy looked puzzled, and voiced it-as he seemed accustomed to doing, "I thought this was the Genesis cave." Carol looked up at the ceiling, "This? It took the Starfleet Corps of Engineers ten months working in space suits to dig this tunnel. What we did in there, we did in a day!" McCoy looked awed. "David, why don't you show the Doctor and Lieutenant the Genesis cave." The three of them left and Carol looked at Sam.
"Well, you did what I asked, you stayed out of his life." "Why?" Carol appeared sad, "I wanted him in my world, not in your world of Starships and Starfleet. Come on." She picked up her light spring-weather jacket, put it on, and took his hand. She led him into a beautiful cave, with a waterfall, fruit trees, grass, and beautiful foliage. McCoy walked over to him and said, "Jim! This is incredible! Have you ever seen the like?" Carol looked over Sam's shoulder and asked, "Can I cook, or can't I?" They all sat down and began to munch on fruit. Saavik walked up to Sam and began, "Sir, may I ask you a question?"
"What's on your mind Lieutenant?" She replied, "The Kobayashi Maru sir." Sam remembered the background Spock had given him. "Are you asking me if we're playing out that scenario now?" Saavik looked perplexed-or as perplexed as one can without showing emotion, "On the test sir, what did you do?" McCoy spoke up at that point, saving Sam embarrassment. "Lieutenant, you are looking at the only cadet to ever beat the no-win scenario." Sam subconsciously noted that he pronounced the 'a' in 'scenario' like a short 'a' rather than a short 'e'. Saavik looked at him in a Vulcan sort of awe and asked, "How did you do it sir?" Sam suddenly remembered Spock's brief mention of it. "I reprogrammed the simulator. Made it possible to win. Got a commendation for original thinking." She looked shocked-in an unemotional way, "You cheated sir. You've never faced death." Sam smiled and flipped open his communicator, "It's been two hours-are you ready?"
Spock's voice came through, "Right on schedule, Admiral." Sam looked up at Saavik- who was in her own kind of shock, and told her as he took a last bite of his peach, "I don't like to loose." When they reached the ship Saavik asked about the message earlier explaining repair times. Sam told her, "Saavik, you of all people go by the book." Spock continued the explanation at this point, "Regulation 46A, 'If transmissions are being monitored during battle, no uncoded messages on an open channel'" She looked at Spock, "You lied." Spock replied to her accusation with, "I did not. I merely exaggerated." Sam continued his explanation, "Hours instead of days. Now we have minutes instead of hours." They arrived on the bridge in a few minutes, after climbing through what seemed like miles of tunnels that Spock called "Jefferies Tubes". Sam sat in the center seat calmly, as if he'd been doing it for years instead of a day, and asked, "Report. What's our position in relation to the Reliant?" Spock replied calmly, sounding unconcerned, "Tactical on screen." Sam looked at the picture with some alarm as he noticed what seemed to be a interstellar cat-and-mouse game. He asked Spock, "What are our options?" Spock replied, "There is the Mutara Nebula, fifteen light minutes away. Tactical and shields will be inoperable, however." Sam smiled. That was just perfect. "Doesn't matter. At least we'll be even. Saavik, set a course for the Nebula." Saavik replied calmly, "Aye sir." and imputed the command into her console. Sam waited until she was through and then told Sulu, "Take us out. Maximum speed."
While they moved slowly towards the Nebula, Sam sat and worried. He didn't know anything about this, just enough to give some simple commands. He wondered why he hadn't leaped yet. As if reading his mind from centuries in the past, Al appeared. He hit his hand link, which squealed and said, "The guy in the waiting room is worrying about something called a Warp Drive. He says it's probably down and Khan will kill them. He was moaning, 'Spock, don't try and fix the drive. You'll kill yourself'. Dr. Beeks is trying to calm him down now." Sam pondered this. Sam seemed to feel worried, deep down inside. He wondered if there was some sort of connection between Kirk and Spock-perhaps from that mind-reading thing Spock had done earlier. Al then added, "Ziggy thinks that there is an 89% probability that Spock *should* go fix this 'Warp Drive', to save the ship." Sam was shocked and tried to keep from showing it. He knew that here, on the "Bridge", he couldn't talk with Al, or else he'd be committed. Al must have figured that out, because he voiced what Sam couldn't. "This is probably why you haven't leaped yet." Then suddenly, Khan took some pot-shots at the Enterprise. Sam snapped back to the battle and yelled, "Return fire!" Sulu frantically punched buttons on his console and so did Chekov, who had come to the Bridge earlier and was manning the weapons console. After a few moments Chekov exclaimed, "Direct hit!" Spock followed that up by remarking, "Their port nacelle has been sheared off. They can no longer achieve warp without service at a spacedock."
"Wonderful. Now we're doing better. Chekov, try and disable their weapons systems." Chekov nodded, "Aye, sair." Spock then announced, "I am picking up an energy wave of unknown configuration, emanating from the Reliant." Although Spock didn't know what it was, Dr. Marcus apparently did. "It's the Genesis torpedo. It's on a buildup to detonation." Sam didn't like the sound of that. "How long have we got?" Marcus looked resigned as he replied, "We encoded it for three minutes." Sam swore softly, and then hit a button on his console. "Scotty, we need Warp Drive in two minutes or we're all dead." No reply came. "Scotty!"
Unbeknownst to anyone on the Bridge, Spock got up out of his seat and walked to the turbolift. He went down to Engineering, and found McCoy tending to the engineers. As Spock walked over to the Dilithium Chamber, McCoy blocked his path, shouting, "You're NOT going in there!" Spock replied, "Perhaps not, Doctor. What is Mr. Scott's condition?" McCoy's face was lined with worry, "Well, I don't know that he--" Spock grabbed McCoy's shoulder, saying, "Sorry, Doctor. I have no time for logic." He pulled off Scott's gloves and then pressed a hand to McCoy's face, murmuring, "Remember." Then, he put on the gloves and walked into a glass- walled room. Pulling the top off a pedestal in the center of the room, he reached into the blinding light emanating from the pillar, and pulled out a beautiful quartz-like crystal. He walked to the side of the room, set down the crystal and took out a new one. He placed the new one in the pillar and replaced the top. Having done so, he walked to the corner of the room and collapsed.
A man at the side of the Bridge turned to Sam and announced, "Sir, we have Warp Drive!" "Thank you, Scotty. Go, Sulu!" They raced away from the Reliant, the massive explosion following them. Then he heard McCoy's voice over the intercom. "Jim, I think you'd better come down here. Better come quick." As Sam raced to the turbolift door, he noticed Spock was missing. "Oh, no!" When he got to Engineering, he saw Spock behind the glass doors. "Spock!" Sam ran to save him, but McCoy and Scott held him back. "Jim, he's dead already." "No!!" Spock stood up, adjusted his shirt, and walked over to Sam. Beside him, Al commented, "He's about to die and he's worried about keeping his uniform neat and tidy." "Don't grieve, Admiral. It was logical. The needs of the many outweigh..." Sam finished, "...the needs of the few." Spock nodded, "Or the one." He held his hand up to the plate of glass, fingers spread in a 'V' fashion. "Live long and prosper!" He sat down, back to the glass, as he took his last breath.
Sam felt the tingle of quantum disruption begin. As he began his leap, he said a silent, fond, farewell to his friend and comrade. "I'll miss you Spock. May you find happiness in Heaven, or wherever your race believes that the souls of your dead go. Good-bye, my friend." Where would his next leap take him, he wondered.
Back aboard the Enterprise, James T. Kirk reflected on what had happened while he was trapped in another man's body. He sat in his quarters, close to tears. His best friend, Spock, had died, and Jim hadn't been there for him. "Spock, wherever you are, I love you, and I'll miss you forever and ever." He got up and left his quarters to deliver the eulogy at Spock's funeral.
Last updated 18 JUN 98
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