Star Trek – Videotape Memories.
Disclaimer – I do not own Star Trek or Star Trek: The Next Generation – they belong to Gene Roddenberry, Majel Barrett and Paramount Pictures. This is just for fun!
A/N- Cross over Star Trek story starring Lt. Reginald Barclay.
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It was between shifts and the Rec Room was in a constant flux of people. At the moment there were only a few tables occupied with off duty personnel eating quietly or laughing animatedly with friends and colleagues. In a far corner away from the constant use of replicators, Lieutenant Commander's Uhura and Sulu sat with Security Chief Chekov, enjoying a rare get-together meal. It wasn't very often they could get their shifts to coincide with the ever elusive Security Chief and they had finally managed to drag him away from his duty's for at least half an hour.
"You work too hard, Pavel," admonished Uhura, gently.
"Working with Mr. Spock should have taught you how to delegate and rely on your staff," commented Sulu, also worried about his friend.
"I delegate," protested Chekov, indignantly. "I trust all of my division. I just like to keep active."
Both Uhura's and Sulu's paternal looks went unnoticed by the Russian, as his undivided attention was focused on the small brown tribble that had inched towards his plate, cooing and purring seductively. He gently tried to shoo it away when it became obvious it wanted to eat his dinner.
"Uhura, I thought you had trained this thing not to beg," he complained, though it was apparent he didn't really mind.
"It's a tribble not a thing," corrected Uhura, leaning over to retrieve her pet. "Besides, it seems attracted to the smell of stewed cabbage."
"Well, someone has to be," quipped Sulu, turning up his nose at the plate next to him.
"There's nothing wrong with my meal," denied Chekov, proving it by eating another mouthful.
"Excuse me, Sirs?"
The three officer's looked up to find Ensign Robert Barclay nervously standing by their table, ever-present handheld vidcam clutched firmly in his hands. Though he had only transferred onto The Enterprise three months ago, the shy and nervous engineer had made himself a familiar figure by filming life on board with his camera.
"Hi, Barclay," greeted Sulu. "Still filming?"
"Yes, Sir," nodded Barclay, bobbing restlessly on his heels, pausing the tape. Encouraged by Uhura's friendly smile and Sulu's interest, he continued, "Life on board The Enterprise is fascinating. I wondered if you'd just say 'hi' on tape for prosperity. Y'know, for the folks back home?"
"Sure," enthused Sulu.
"We'd love to," agreed Uhura.
Chekov looked less enthusiastic but allowed Sulu to tug him further towards his friends so he too could be in the picture. Barclay's face lit up in a delighted grin and quickly reactivated the vidcam.
"Anytime you're ready, Sirs."
"Hello," announced Uhura and Sulu, in chorus. After a sharp nudge in the ribs, Chekov added a delayed, "Hello."
"Barclay, when you look back at this tape in years to come we hope it finds you in good health and happiness," continued Uhura, sincerely.
"And maybe even a Chief Engineer on your own starship," added Sulu, mischievously.
"In whatever you do," added Chekov. "We wish you all the best."
"Thank you so much," thanked Barclay, ecstatically, still taping them.
A soft whoosh of the doors opening behind him indicated more people entering the Rec Room.
"Filming again, Ensign Barclay?" came a familiar authorative voice from behind him. "If I didn't know any better, I'd say that vidcam was permanently welded to your hand."
"Captain . . . S-sir," stuttered Barclay, surprised, camera still held at eye-level.
Captain James T Kirk and Commander Spock stood behind Barclay. Kirk watched the ensign in amusement. His video antics hadn't gone unnoticed by himself but on seeing how it encouraged the young man to interact with the rest of the crew, Kirk didn't mind.
"At ease, Ensign," smiled Kirk, nodding acknowledgements to Uhura, Sulu and Chekov. "Mr. Scott informs me you're settling in well in engineering. High praise indeed. Any problems with settling in?"
"N-no, Sir," stuttered out Barclay.
"Good," replied Kirk. He was about to say something else when he was distracted by the actions of his First Officer. "Spock? Is there something wrong with that tribble?"
All eyes turned to the Vulcan science officer. He had moved towards the officer's table and had begun to absent-mindedly pet the tribble that had wriggled free from Uhura's grasp and now sat munching happily on Chekov's plate.
Spock raised an eyebrow showing his surprise at being caught and kept his features somber as he quickly stepped away from the tribble.
As his shipmates tried to restrain their amusement, Dr McCoy's voice was heard over the intercom.
"Doctor McCoy to Ensign Barclay. Ensign Barclay please report to Sickbay."
Kirk nodded that he could be dismissed and Barclay left to visit Sickbay.
Lieutenant Reginald Barclay paused the tape and sat staring at the frozen screen in the near darkness of his quarters. His Grandfather's memorial service had been yesterday and later that night Councilor Deanna Troi had brought round a storage box full of data tapes that had been left to him through his Grandfather's Will. Though Barclay had heard his own Father talk of stories based on videotapes filmed by his Grandfather on the legendary USS Enterprise, Barclay had never seen the tapes himself. It was assumed that the videotapes had been lost in transit as his Grandfather had moved from ships to starbases to ships again.
Staring at the frozen image of the legendary Commander Spock stroking a tribble in such a human gesture, was too much for Barclay to take in. Captain Kirk, Commander Spock, Doctor McCoy and Commander Scott had been the heroes of Barclay's childhood and his inspiration in following his Father's and Grandfather's footsteps into the engineering world.
Curiosity overwhelmed his wandering memories and he leaned forwards to unfreeze the picture. The sound of muffled laughter filled the cabin causing an involuntary smile to blossom on Barclay's face. The first smile since he had heard the news of his Grandfather's death one week before.
The screen flickered again and the view changed to that of his Grandfather's point-of-view as he walked down a corridor and entered The Enterprise's Sickbay.
"Barclay, come on in," a Southern drawl filled the silence before the craggy gentle features of the infamous Doctor Leonard McCoy filled the screen. "Son, what have I told you about walking around and looking through that contraption at the same time? One of these days you'll walk into a bulkhead and give yourself a concussion."
"Yes, Doctor," responded Barclay's Grandfather from out of shot, meekly.
McCoy's scowl melted into a fatherly smile. He gestured towards the screen, almost convincing Barclay that it was him the Doctor was talking to and not his relative.
"Give me the vidcam, Barclay, and you can go straight through for your physical. Nurse Chapel's waiting for you."
The camera wobbled as it was passed to the Doctor and, after a brief shot of his Grandfather's back as he walked away, the camera lens was turned to face McCoy's face again.
"Barclay, when you watch this tape I hope it teaches you more than just what it's like to work and live on board The Enterprise. Listen to what everyone has said to you or about you and realize that you are a valued member of the crew. Hopefully, it will help you realize that you can stop being nervous around everyone and gain some confidence in yourself."
Barclay sat further forwards in his chair as he realized his own nervous erratic state around his crewmates mirrored that of his Grandfather's. His attention was drawn back to the screen as McCoy started to speak again.
"Oh, and Barclay? If by some extraordinary reason these tapes are still around in the future and your kids or grandkids are watching this . . . tell them to enjoy life with as many people around them as possible. Not to live it behind a camera or in a fantasy world."
McCoy's eyes twinkled sapphire in amusement before the screen fizzled to black.