Don't ask. It's an apparent moment of insanity that I still shake my head at when I read it myself.

DISCLAIMER: And I have no claim to the world of Star Trek or Paramount. I find that dealing with the one I have is tough enough to have to listen to them let alone feed them and pay them.

CHAPTER ONE

Doctor Leonard 'Bones' McCoy arrived a minute and sixteen seconds late to the transporter room, and gave both the Captain and Spock a look that defied either of them to make a comment on the matter. When no argument or off hand comment came from either of the men, the trio silently stepped up to the transporter pads and each took their rightful spot.

Striking his usual valorous pose, Kirk shot a quick glance over at Spock, then towards the Doctor, who was still fiddling with his equipment before noticing the Captain's stare.

Taking in a breath that already hinted at being tired, Kirk settled his gold flecked stare back down on Lt. Kyle behind the instrument console. "Energize."

Managing to hide his amused smile, Kyle kept his stare fixed on his instruments as he activated the transporter. Only looking up finally, when the familiar multi-colored glow of particles filled pads as the three officers disappeared from the 'Enterprise'. Resetting his instruments, Kyle shook his head and let the grin finally slip through completely.

On the surface of the tiny green planet thousands of miles below the 'Enterprise', the three men materialized. Instantly Spock had his tricorder out and began taking readings, while the half dozen security crewmembers that had beamed down earlier approached the Captain.

"We've already conducted a preliminary survey of the surrounding area, Captain. Nothing unusual to report so far." Disclosed the senior man among the red clad crew, as he glanced up from his own tricorder to meet Kirk's waiting expression.

"Very good, Ensign Tresger." Kirk commended, squinting as he took a moment to scan their surroundings before deciding if he should believe what the man had said.

The entire area, no matter which direction one chose to look, was green. Several shades of green, from moss-green to forest-green to emerald-green. It was beautifully luscious, but just a bit overwhelming to the senses of anyone who wasn't use to seeing every single day. It was like being trapped in a basket of green Easter grass and not being able to see any sign of the wicker edge.

The had apparently beamed into the middle of what was seasonal livestock grazing area, with the stone fencing that divided up the small pasture into three sections. Beyond that, in which ever direction you chose to look was a tree line that stretched back as far as one could see. Save in the west, where the town of Kilindarbi was located and the wisps of smoke could be seen floating above the tree tops. By the faint whiff of salt in the air, they could also determine they were close to a large body of water as well.

Taking a moment to enjoy the scent of sea air, Kirk glanced over at Spock who had his head bent over his tricorder in his usual all consuming serious nature. The man needed to learn to take a second to take in the splendor of his surroundings. Then again, Kirk thought, if they all took the time to check out what was going on around them whenever they beamed down, there was a better chance of something happening quite harmful to himself. Ah, it was better that his Chief Science Officer truly enjoyed his work instead of sight seeing. In addition, it made his Captain look good in the process, as well as kept him alive.

"Well, Mr. Spock, considering that we really have nothing as in evidence to go on, I suggest we separate and begin to beat the bush, so to speak." Announced Kirk, moving around in a tight circle as he still surveyed his surroundings, pausing when he faced the direction of the town.

Lowering his tricorder, Spock gazed at the Captain wondering if he really expected him to contradict him. They had no idea what they were looking to begin with and less of an idea where to begin to look for it. What choice did they have? He sometimes wondered at the Captain's pattern of thought process.

"At the moment Captain, it would be the most germane action." Replied Spock, as he slipped the tricorder strap over his head for easier movement. "Perhaps it would be best if you, the Doctor, the head of security team, and myself would each take the points, while the remainder of the team spread out among the points."

Raising an eyebrow, Kirk gave the Vulcan a vaguely vexed look. "I sometimes think you read minds as well, Mr. Spock. I was just going to propose that very thought."

McCoy snorted at the remark, keeping his baby blue gaze roaming over the landscape however, as not to meet the even more irate stare of the Captain and questioning one of Spock.

"Yea…Okay Lt. Tresger, here are you orders." Whirling around to face Tresger again, Kirk fixed his authoritative face back on. "You take the southern point, Lieutenant. The rest of your men span out around the points. If anyone finds anything or one unusual, holler out."

The three senior officers stood silently in the middle of the pasture as the watched the six red shirted men scamper across the field hesitating long enough to scramble over the stone fences, before disappearing into the surrounding woods.

"Well, we'll never see them again." Sighed McCoy, also removing his tricorder from around his neck.

"Exactly, what is that supposed to mean?" Kirk demanded, as both he and Spock shifted around in the Doctor's direction again.

Fiddling with the tricorder switches for a second, McCoy fixed an astounded look on the Captain's face. "Are you going to tell me that you haven't noticed every time we set off on one of these mysterious mission's of yours, when we get back to the ship we generally have less than half the landing party we started out with. And I find myself filling out autopsy forms while Spock is correcting your spelling on the condolence messages, for two days afterwards. I can't believe that pointed eared abacus hasn't given you a quote on a percentage of security crew we've lost since you've taken command."

Giving Spock a deliberating glance, Kirk scowled annoyingly at his Chief Medical Officer. "Bones, what exactly has crawled up your hypo today?"

"Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Everything is perfect. I mean, what could possible be wrong?" Snapped McCoy, before turning his attention back to his tricorder. Then quietly groused barely loud enough for the two other men to hear. "What should I have to be worried or upset over? I'm not the one who's getting all the acclaim, or citation's or endorsements. I don't have all the decision's and clamoring groupies harassing me whenever we get a free moment to breathe. So, I guess I have absolutely nothing to be overwrought about, do I?"

Simultaneously, Kirk and Spock raised an eyebrow at the strange outburst then exchanged knowing glances before the Captain cleared his throat and gave the Doctor a prudent look.

"Did you fall and hit your head in sickbay again, Bones? Because I can have Chekov or Sulu beam down in your place if you'd rather go back to your cabin and rest."

"Funny, Jim." McCoy snarled back. "I can handle my assignment just as well as the next man, okay?"

Folding his arm in front of him in a gesture of deep rumination, Kirk eyed the Doctor while actually thinking that Scotty had better get the Haggis crumbs out of his command chair when he got back to the bridge.

"All right then, Spock you head north. Bones you go east and I'll head west." He finally decided while jerking a thumb in the direction of Kilindarbi. "If either of you find anything give a holler."

"Just outta curiosity Jim, what exactly are we supposed to be looking for?" McCoy asked putting a hand out to catch the Captain before he hotfooted for the town. "No one's elaborated on that fact since I heard about this mission. Not even 'Chuckles' here has said a word toward it."

"Doctor, I find your childish reference to myself extremely insultive. If you choose to continue, I will have to again put in a protest about having you assigned to any further away mission's that include myself." Spock calmly said with a surprising snort of indignation.

"Right now Spock, I'd second that motion if I thought it would work, but it doesn't answer my question." Growled the Doctor keeping his piercing blue gaze pinned on the Captain.

"Well, Bones, actually neither one of us is really sure if there is anything seriously wrong." Kirk blurted out after he realized that Spock wasn't going to bail him out. "We just got a message that the inhabitants of the planet were having some minor trouble, but they didn't have any idea themselves of what was causing it, from Headquarters. Admiral Carnlton's daughter married one of the local high monkeys around here and it seemed an idea to keep on the old man's good side."

McCoy's face screwed up instantly after the word trouble was mentioned. "When you say minor trouble Jim, what exactly are meaning? Like minor trouble in a giant underground volcano is on the verge of turn this entire planet into a piece of charcoal with us as little fleck's of ash flying off into space or what?"

Listening to the Doctor's definition, Kirk's own face twisted in disgust. "What do you do Bones, sit in your office all day just thinking up those sick disasters? Like I don't have enough stress in my life trying to compete with this walking PDA all the time. I don't need you making wild assumption's like that to reverse my cholesterol levels."

"Captain, if you and the Doctor continue with your offensive manner I will be forced to return to the ship. Which I point out will leave you here alone with a squad of untried security crewmen." Interrupted the Vulcan, casting a hard meaningful stare from one human to the other.

"All right then, what type of trouble are you talking about then?" Grumbled McCoy, trying to keep the shudder from running down his spine at the thought of his only and best defense being the Captain if they fell into a tight spot.

"Nothing serious Bones. Trust me." Kirk reassured unconvincingly, still giving his First Officer a less than appreciative glare. "Things like the domestic animals running amuck through the town's destroying everything in sight. Someone breaking into several of the more affluent houses over night and tearing them apart after all the liquor in the building has disappeared."

McCoy made a harrumphing noise, as he started turning away. "You don't need me. What you need is a veterinarian who doubles as counselor of AA."

Watching the Doctor head off toward the east, Kirk pursed his lips and cocked his head as he contemplated the Doctor's recent more than normal cantankerous, at times downright bearish attitude.

After a full five seconds of consideration, he shifted enough to look over at Spock, who was also speculatively watching the shrinking frame of McCoy.

"You know Spock, I think that when this mission is over what the Doctor needs to get over his choleric mood is one really over the top, teeth rattling..." Kirk immediately stopped himself when he remembered who he was talking to, but then quickly recovered before the Vulcan had a chance to intercede before they separated. "Game of chess to relax him. Don't you agree Spock?"

TBC

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