An intruder with a malodorous appetite has a strange effect on the crew. Can Kirk and Spock save the Enterprise? Hilarity ensues. Oneshot, complete, no pairings. First fanfic, enjoy!
Captain Kirk turned off the terminal in his office and pondered his new orders from Starfleet Command. It was an easy diplomatic assignment, but he didn't like the Enterprise being used as a police wagon. He understood the serious underlying nature of the mission, a prisoner transfer from Star Base Three to the Rigelian authorities. On account of the extradition treaty between the Federation and Rigel IV, the Enterprise was being called in to settle the matter quickly. Still, it didn't sit well with him.
Kirk stepped from the main turbolift onto the bridge. On the view screen was a green gas giant, its swirling bands of gases reminding him of Jupiter, except for the color. Its murky greenish hue made this planet look more ominous. Mr. Spock peered into the scanner at his station while Kirk settled into his chair.
Spock shut off the scanner and turned around. "Our survey is complete."
"Just in time," Kirk said. "Mr. Sulu, set course for Star Base Three." Sulu pushed buttons, and the ship obediently turned and went to warp.
Seconds later, a voice sounded from the captain's comm panel. "Sir, we have an emergency situation at Turbolift Two, Deck Twelve."
"I'll be right there. Kirk out." He turned to Spock. "You're with me."
Kirk and Spock darted for the turbolift. They exited on Deck Twelve and ran toward Turbolift Two, arriving after turning a few corners. Dr. McCoy knelt next to the body of the red-shirted crewman, feeling for a pulse. As the two approached, the doctor looked up. "He's dead, Jim."
Kirk sank down against the wall and put his head in his hands. He always felt a personal responsibility for the lives of his crew. "Do you know what killed him?" he asked.
Kirk heard a distinct rumbling from Spock's stomach as he got up and toggled the nearest comm panel. "Mr. Scott, I want a level one diagnostic on all air filters and scrubbers on Deck Twelve."
"Aye, Captain!" Scotty replied.
"This is damn peculiar." McCoy shook his head. "I'll have to perform a complete autopsy in order to find the exact culprit."
"Do it. And report to me as soon as you can," Kirk said.
"I'm afraid," Spock said, "that I am the culprit."
Kirk and McCoy froze, their glances darting toward Spock. The Vulcan's gut growled again in the awkward silence.
Kirk moved toward Spock. "Explain."
"I exited this turbolift just as Crewman Smith entered."
Kirk and McCoy looked at each other and raised their eyebrows quizzically.
"So what?" Kirk said. "I leave the turbolift all the time just as another enters."
"Me too," McCoy added.
"I had five extremely flatulent episodes in the turbolift approximately a half hour ago while I was on my way to the bridge. They were quite large, and intense."
"And you think that's what killed him?" Kirk turned toward the doctor. "Bones, is that possible?"
"Well…one human can't asphyxiate another like that. Nor can it be deadly when it's Vulcan to Vulcan." He went back to the turbolift and scanned the air with his tricorder. "But who knows what can happen when a human is trapped in a small enclosed space with Vulcan farts all around."
Kirk paced back and forth. "I want those answers."
McCoy stared at his tricorder. "These readings are off the charts! I've never heard of Vulcans releasing so much gas."
They warily edged closer to Spock. Kirk asked, "Is there a reason why you're releasing such an overabundance of gas?"
"I must assume it is because I've been having cravings for enchiladas, burritos, and tacos. And satisfying those cravings," Spock said.
McCoy's eyes widened at first. Then his gaze narrowed and he glared at Spock. "My God, man! You intentionally introduced enchilada sauce and Monterey Jack cheese into a Vulcan colon!"
"It is impossible to eat a proper enchilada without those ingredients," Spock said.
"You green-blooded, inhuman –"
"Bones, that's enough," Kirk said. He looked at Spock curiously. "Vulcans don't eat meat."
"Since it is replicated food, Captain, it's not actually meat," Spock said. "I can only tell you that the cravings are overwhelming." The gurgling from his stomach echoed again in the quiet corridor. Kirk and McCoy jumped back. Their hands covered their mouths and pinched their noses.
Spock stood up, straight and tense. His eyes clenched shut. "I'm holding it in, Captain."
"Mr. Spock, you're confined to quarters until these gas episodes pass. For all our sakes." Kirk went back to the comm panel. "Mr. Scott, increase power to all air filtration systems in Mr. Spock's quarters. Kirk out." He turned to McCoy. "I'll meet you in Sick Bay after lunch…and I expect answers."
Hmm, I've had those cravings as well, Kirk thought. He called Lt. Uhura. "Lieutenant, I want a report on all data concerning the food replicators for the past three days. Kirk out."
Kirk entered the mess hall, where the aromas of a Mexican restaurant wafted through the room. Most of the crew were voraciously chowing down on enchiladas, burritos, tacos, and bowls of chili. He ordered an assorted taco platter from the replicator, picked up his tray and looked for a seat. As he passed by one table, he overheard two crewmen.
"Another burrito? That's your fourth one today," one said.
"I just can't seem to get enough of these things," his companion answered.
Before he could sit down to his meal, Uhura called for the captain over the comm system. "Replicator requests were seventy percent Mexican. Another twenty percent was for bratwurst, sauerkraut and assorted bean soups."
Something is affecting the crew and myself. Better stop it now. "Lock out all of those foods from the replicators."
"Aye, Captain," Uhura said before signing off.
After lunch, Kirk went to Sick Bay to get some answers from Dr. McCoy. He found the doctor hard at work, along with Nurse Chapel staring lovingly at a taco. "Glad I got this baby before you locked out those foods, Captain," she said.
The doctor looked up from his computer. "Jim, I've found a few interesting facts."
Kirk glanced at the corpse of the crewman. "Do you think Spock killed him?"
Kirk's expression became grim. "You mean I'll have to formally charge Spock with murder?"
"According to Starfleet medical data on the flatulence of sentient species, a Vulcan farts once per week on average. The emissions contain a trace element of ammonium sulfide, but it's not enough to cause any harm."
"Well, that would mean Spock was blameless," Kirk said.
"No. Because he ate a huge quantity of non-Vulcan food, he released massive amounts of gas that was fifty percent ammonium sulfide."
Kirk felt small beads of sweat accumulating on his forehead. "Bones, flag that information as Top Secret."
McCoy looked at him with a puzzled expression. "Why? It's just about gastric accidents."
Kirk paced. "Think about the similarity between Vulcan and Romulan physiology. Now imagine a legion of Romulans being fed bratwurst and sauerkraut for months."
The Doctor stood, his brow furrowed. "My God! Each one of them would turn into a deadly bio-weapon. Phasers, photon torpedoes, shields, cloaking devices, we know how to handle those. But now, look out! Here come the farting Romulans!"
Nurse Chapel gagged on her taco.
"It's almost too horrible to think about." Kirk wiped the sweat from his brow. "You've solved the mystery of one death, but we still don't understand the cravings that have taken over the crew."
"Cravings…if they were induced by an outside force, then that would let Spock off the hook." McCoy smiled.
"I hope you're right. Also, run a computer model on Klingon physiology. I'm curious about what would happen if a Klingon ate too much chili con carne."
The Red Alert alarm echoed through Sick Bay.
Kirk ran to the nearest comm panel. "Security, what's the meaning of the Red Alert?"
"It means that all personnel must go to their posts because of an emergency situation. It's signified by an annoying alarm sound with flashing red lights."
Kirk pinched the bridge of his nose. "I mean, why have you activated the Red Alert system?"
"Oh, well, that's different. There's an intruder alert in Engineering," the disembodied voice answered.
Kirk pressed more buttons. "Scotty, are you there?"
"Cap'n! Ya gotta come down here and see this thing fer yasself," Scotty said.
"We're on our way. Kirk out."
Kirk and McCoy hurried out and met Mr. Scott in Engineering. They halted at the sight of a sphere of luminescent green gas floating peacefully around the bay. Kirk sniffed the air. "Do you smell that?"
"How could we na smell that?" Scotty answered.
McCoy's face distorted with disgust. He scrunched his nose and said, "It's like rotten eggs, stuffed into a dirty sweat sock from a marathon runner with athlete's foot. Then placed in a glass jar and left out in the sun for a week."
Kirk nodded. "Exactly as I would describe it."
The main doors of Engineering hissed open. Spock entered and headed toward the group. He stopped and raised an eyebrow at the sight of the intruder. "Fascinating." He activated his tricorder and scanned the ball of gas.
"I thought I confined you to quarters, Mister," Kirk said.
"I have completely purged the gases safely into the ship's waste disposal system. But the more I farted, the more intense my food cravings became. I believe there may be a link between them," Spock said.
Kirk pointed toward the ball of gas.
Suddenly, a Braphphphphphpht rang out in the bay. Everyone jumped away from Spock.
"It wasn't me," Spock said.
Kirk darted a glance at the doctor.
McCoy shrugged. "Well, don't look at me, either."
Scotty pointed toward the gaseous sphere. "I think it came from our friend o'er there."
Spock stepped toward the entity, his gaze firmly fixed on his tricorder. "The creature's chemical structure matches that of the green gas giant planet we recently left."
Kirk called Sulu from a comm panel. "Mr. Sulu, set course back to that planet. Best possible speed."
"A one-eighty yaw…oh my," Sulu said.
More sounds emanated from the strange intruder: braphpht flpflfpflp brzrzrz.
Spock looked up from the tricorder and turned toward Kirk. "I believe it's trying to communicate."
McCoy's expression went grim. "Communication is a sure sign of sentient life."
"Then we don't dare kill it or take any hostile action," Kirk said. "We've come out here to seek out new life. No matter what it smells like."
Spock showed the tricorder reading to the captain. "It's life, Jim, but not as we know it."
Kirk paced for a moment and then turned to Spock. "Do you remember when we found Zefram Cochrane on that planet with his companion? You modified a universal translator so we could talk to that creature."
Spock nodded and retrieved a universal translator from one of the storage bins. He and Scotty tinkered with it.
Kirk mused, "The million dollar question. What do you do with a giant telepathic fart?"
"Well that's easy," Scotty interjected. "Let the Enterprise blow it out 'er giant bum. The shuttle bay doors should do da trick."
"No, obviously it can survive in space. We should return this creature to its home," Kirk said. Expecting Spock to concur, he looked at his friend.
Spock's face looked strained from concentration. "The cravings are becoming more intense, Captain. They have been growing stronger since I entered Engineering."
"Our cravings aren't as strong as yours. It must be that Vulcan physiology," McCoy observed.
"You seem to enjoy pointing that out all the time," Spock said.
"Brz brz ffft feed please hungry braphphpt," came from the translator.
Feed, please, hungry, Kirk thought. "I think I understand." His gaze shifted toward the green ball. "First we locked out the gassy foods from the replicators, then it came out of hiding, and now it's inducing more intense cravings."
"Drop the chicken salad sandwich and eat more beans," the creature said through the translator.
"Bones, can you block its telepathic suggestions?"
"Damn it, Jim! I'm a doctor, not a flatulent mind-reader!"
Kirk returned to the comm panel. "Uhura, unlock the replicators. Let everyone eat whatever they want." He set the system for ship-wide broadcast. "Attention, all personnel! All males, proceed immediately to the mess hall and eat your fill. Ladies, please remain at your posts. Men, after you've eaten, line the corridor between Engineering and Transporter Room Five. And no farting. Hold it in until ordered otherwise! Kirk out."
"An excellent plan, Captain," Spock said. He walked over to the nearest control panel and programmed the main doors to stay open.
McCoy shook his head. "This is going to be the strangest bread crumb trail in history."
Kirk watched the doctor's eyes shift and his brow furrow. "Got an idea, Bones?"
"Yes. Have Nurse Chapel and Uhura visit the mess hall as well. And then order them to Transporter Room Five."
Before long, a few crewmen stood in the hall, looking satisfied but puzzled. As more and more showed up, many began showing distinct signs of needing a bathroom.
Spock strode out into the hallway and addressed them. "Gentlemen, we must lure this creature to the transporter room with your flatulence. Once it is gone, your eating patterns should return to normal."
"Commence firing!" Kirk ordered.
At the first sounds of gastric release, the green ball darted into the corridor. Mmmm, came from the translator.
"It's working!" Kirk said. "It's making yummy sounds."
As the crewmen continued farting, the gas creature moved down the corridor toward the transporter room. The crewmen smiled with an air of contentment and relief.
McCoy approached Kirk and Spock and gave them injections in their necks with his hypospray. "This will block your olfactory senses for a while." The doctor gave himself a shot as well.
Kirk, Spock, and McCoy followed the creature through the corridor. Kirk could still hear the crewmen farting, but the olfactory inhibitor was thankfully working well.
The door to the transporter room was open. Nurse Chapel and Lieutenant Uhura were waiting on the pad. Kirk looked at Bones inquisitively.
"It's a known medical fact that women's flatulence contains more sulfur. Therefore, it has a more pronounced pungent quality," McCoy said.
"Good thinking, Bones."
Nurse Chapel stared at the doctor. "I can't believe you're going to make us do this."
McCoy flashed an impish grin. "Doctor's orders."
"Fire when ready, ladies," Kirk said.
The women turned slightly, and released their gas. Their mini-skirts fluttered from the strong anal breeze. The green sphere was on the transporter pad before they were done. Mr. Scott activated the transporter and beamed the creature back to the planet.
Uhura stormed off the transporter pad and glared at the doctor. "I'll never forget this."
"Neither will we," Kirk retorted.
"There's no reason to get upset over a simple biological function," Spock told Uhura. "You don't have an emotional experience over breathing or eating in front of others."
"I don't think you should ever mention eating, breathing, and farts in the same sentence," McCoy said.
Spock raised an eyebrow. "You just did."
Uhura stomped past Kirk and McCoy. "I'll be on the bridge."
Kirk smiled at the others. "Well, gentlemen, once again we've used our ingenuity to save the Enterprise and her crew. I think I'll recommend to Starfleet that they name that planet Flatula Seven in future charts."