Title: Don't Panic (Part 2)
Codes: TOS, S/Mc, PG-13. Cross over
Author's note: STAR TREK meets "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy."
See part one for disclaimer.
DON'T PANIC---PART 2
"Oh," McCoy moaned. He was lying in bed, cuddled in someone's arms. The arms felt wonderfully warm, the chest he was up against felt even warmer and even more wonderful and as he stirred, the arms pulled him closer. `Mmmmmm,' he thought. `The arms feel so good I may never want to get up again.'
The arms that held him, however, started shaking him. McCoy tentatively opened his eyes. "Mmph," he said, dozily. "Such a bizarre dream."
"Dream?" the voice answered. The voice sounded like Spock's. McCoy finally managed to focus his eyes. It was Spock.
"Oh hey, Spock," McCoy mumbled. "What are you doing here?"
"Yeah here. What are you doing?"
"It appears that I am currently in bed with you," Spock replied.
McCoy snickered. "I knooooowww that. What I mean is: How'd you get here in my quarters?"
"Why do you keep repeating everything I'm saying?"
"Where do you believe you are, Doctor?"
"Well, it`s funny you should ask that," McCoy said. He sat up on an elbow in the darkness, as the arms continued to wrap around him. "I had quite a crazy dream that the Engineering department destroyed my quarters, then it didn't matter because the Klingons destroyed the Enterprise--God, was that ever creepy."
"We are not on the Enterprise."
"Oh..no.." groaned McCoy. "No."
"Oh..yes," said Spock.
"So would you mind, just for my sanity, telling me where in God's name, are we?"
"We are safe," Spock said.
"Oh good," McCoy said. "Where?"
"We are on board the Klingon vessel. In one of the crew quarters."
"Oh," groaned McCoy. "So this is obviously some strange usage of the word `safe' that I wasn't previously aware of."
He felt Spock pull away then get up from the bed and search for the light. Hopefully it wasn't voice activated only or they'd be in trouble. Spock finally found something. He activated it and a low light came on.
"How'd we get here?" McCoy wanted to know.
"We transported here." Spock came back to sit on the edge of the bed.
"I believe that I had already gone over that with you."
"God, I feel woozy."
"The long range transport beam. You have most likely lost some salt and protein, although the Romulan Ale would have cushioned your system."
"Spock, I'll be the judge of that. I'm the doctor around here."
"I brought some peanuts." Spock held out a metallic bag. "Have one."
"I don't want any goddamned peanuts. I want to go home. Let's get back to the Enterprise."
McCoy sat up. "What do you mean? We cannot?"
"We can never go back."
"Spock," McCoy said dryly. "We aren't 5,000 years in the past or anything like that, are we?"
"Just checking." McCoy stood up, shakily at first, then steadied and stared around him. "It's a disaster in here." He frowned at the bits of clothing, unwashed cups, trays, food, socks and smelly alien underwear that lay around the cramped cabin.
"Quite reminiscent of your own quarters, Doctor," Spock replied.
"You be quiet. So the Enterprise is really destroyed? And you mean to tell me that Jim, Scotty, Uhura, Chekov, Sulu, Chapel..the whole crew..all of them are just.. gone? Just like that?"
"As we are the only two survivors, it would follow logically that yes they are all gone."
McCoy smacked his hand to his forehead. "Great. So how did you know that the Enterprise was about to be destroyed? It does seem to me that you had some sort of advanced warning or something."
"I did. Thanks to this." Spock pulled something out a backpack that he'd apparently brought with him.
"This," Spock announced almost proudly as he opened up the electronic book, "is the Hitchhiker's guide to the Galaxy. It tells a hitchhiker--which is what we are, due to the fact that we are hitching a ride on board the Klingon vessel-- everything one needs to know... about everything." He pressed a button, a screen lit up and characters began to flicker across the surface.
McCoy whistled. "Fascinating."
"That's what I'd said." Spock suddenly looked McCoy over. "Do you have a towel with you?"
"Spock, I'm standing here in only my robe and boxer shorts. Does it look like I've got a goddamned towel?"
"Hmmmmm," Spock grimaced in irritation.
"So where'd you get this book?" McCoy asked as he gingerly fingered it.
"On Vulcan. I am doing research for another version. This book, while quite valuable, is horrendously out of date. I am actually employed by the VHS."
"The Vulcan Hitchhiking Society."
"But," McCoy scratched his head. "I thought you were the First Officer/Chief Science Officer of the Enterprise."
"Negative. The captain had erroneously assumed I was when he'd discovered me hitching a ride aboard your starship. Your REAL first officer apparently never showed up for work so I thought it might be fascinating to simply stay awhile and see what happens. I've been serving with you in that capacity for just under five years. 4.725 to be exact."
"And all this time you were just a... fraud?"
"I would not put it precisely in such vulgar terms, but yes you would be essentially correct in that assumption."
"Oh," the doctor said, glumly, then brightened a little. "Well, on the bright side, I like the cover. `Don't panic'. It's the first helpful thing I've heard all day."
"It would also be helpful if we looked up Klingons in the book," Spock said, then typed in a command.
The book said: `Klingons. Here is what you do if you find yourself on a Klingon ship. Forget it. They are one of the most unpleasant species in the galaxy. Not quite evil, but bad tempered, bureaucratic, officious and callous. They wouldn't even lift a finger to save their own grandmothers from the explosion of Praxus VI without orders signed in triplicate, sent in, sent back, photocopied, lost, found, subjected to public tribunal, lost again and finally buried under ice for three months then recycled as firefighters.'
"Oh, Jesus!" McCoy exclaimed.
"There is more," Spock said.
It also said: `Under no circumstances are you to allow a Klingon to read poetry to you.'
"What a strange book," McCoy blinked.
"Indeed," said Spock. "Fun."
"Fun?" McCoy seethed. "Dammit Spock! You might think this is all a joke. But I'm a little upset about the fact that my ship is gone. More than a little. I'm a lot upset!"
"Yes," Spock agreed. "I can understand that."
"Understand that?! Understand that?! Why you green-blooded, heartless bastard--"
"Please Doctor, keep looking at the book."
"I'm not panicking!"
"Yes you are."
"Okay, so I'm panicking. But it seems to me I'm the only one doing something around here."
"Shhhh!" Spock held up his hand. "Listen!"
"The Klingon Commander is speaking over the intercomn."
McCoy listened. "I can't understand what he's saying. It's all in gibberish."
"Then you shall need this fish." Spock suddenly clamped a hand over McCoy's ear.
McCoy felt the sudden sickening sensation of a little fish slithering deep into his aural tract. He gasped in horror, clawed for a few moments at his ear, then stopped and listened:
"DaH 'oH qaSta' Daq chaH jajmey, vetlh ...this is commander Kor speaking. Please, everyone, stop what you're doing and listen to this. It appears we have a couple of hitchhikers aboard. I just want to say this to the hitchhikers. Listen, I want to make it totally clear to you, guys, that you're not welcome aboard. I worked hard to get where I am today, and if she isn't going to marry me, then you aren't going to stay aboard my ship. If SHE wants to be a little whore and date my brother instead then that's fine. Absolutely fine. Because if I have to be unhappy, then I don't see why anybody else should have a jolly good time. Kor out."
"Hmph," said McCoy. "Sounds like a drama queen. No wonder she dumped him."
"Indeed," said Spock.
"Spock, here's a question."
"What is this fish doing in my ear?"
"It is translating the Klingon dialect for you. It is called a 'Babel Fish'. It is in the book. Look it up."
"No, I`ll take your word for it. Spock, Does it really need to be in my ear? I can feel it wriggling. It's a little unnerving, to be perfectly honest."
"Well," said Spock. "It is either a fish," he dug though his backpack and came up with a silver metallic tube, "or you could use this. It is entirely up to you."
McCoy took it from him. "The universal translator."
"Spock, do me a favor and take this fish out of my ear, immediately."
"If you wish. But some species enjoy the sensation."
"I don`t," McCoy insisted. Spock shrugged and took it out of McCoy's ear, as ordered. "Spock aren't you going to take yours out? We do have the translator."
"I prefer the fish," Spock said quietly.
McCoy shook his head in despair. "Did I do something wrong or has the universe always been this weird and I've just been too wrapped up in myself to notice?"
Suddenly there was the sound of footsteps approaching. "Klingon guards," Spock observed.
"Oh no," said McCoy. "What do you think they'll do to us?"
"If we are lucky," Spock replied. "They will transport us out into space."
"And if we're unlucky?"
"If we are unlucky, the Klingon Commmander will read us some of his poetry first."
Klingon poetry is of course the third worst in the universe. The second worst is from the Romulans. All about war and honor and all that, none of it rhymes and it's altogether a boring read. The absolute worst poetry came from Vulcans.
Commander Kor smiled. His hapless prisoners sat strapped into their `Poetry Appreciation Chairs'.
Tiny beads of sweat stood out on Spock's temples as electrodes were strapped to him. For he knew that as Vulcan poetry was indeed the worst in the universe, thanks to Surak no one had ever been subjected to its horrors. But the Klingons had no such restraint.
The electrodes on Spock and McCoy's heads were attached to a battery of equipment: imagery intensifiers, rhythmic modulators, alliterative gesticulators and simile dumpers all designed to heighten the experience of the poem. It was a fate worse than death.
Commander Kor cleared his throat and began to read in perfect Klingon, but as Spock and McCoy possessed universal translators (actually McCoy a translator and Spock a fish) they were exposed to its full horror, in Federation standard. "Come be with me, let your mind float free...*" Kor began.
Spasms rocked Spock's body. He wretched his head back as pain shot through his body. This was far worse than Vulcan poetry.
"...Across the space of our separation, let it join with mine, for an eternal moment..."
"No..." Spock groaned. "Please no! Make it stop!"
The merciless Klingon went on: "Who are better joined? Those who are together. Each thinking of other people, in other places. Or we. Who are in other places," His voice rose to a horrible pitch of impassioned stridency. "Thinking of each other!"
"Noooooo!" screamed Spock. "Nooooooo!" He went limp.
"Now," smiled Kor. He twirled his mustache, evilly. "You have a choice. Either die a painful death, transported out into the vacuum of space to suffocate...or...tell me how good my poem was."
Spock was gasping for breath, he moaned loudly. "No...please...anything but that..."
"I'm a doctor not a poetry critic!" yelled McCoy.
"TELL ME!" The veins in Kor's head were beginning to stand out.
"Alright, Fine. Read me some more," said McCoy.
"Nooo!" groaned Spock.
"We are star met. we are joined. we are blessed. we who have found each other, we are the dream of the ages, we are the hope, the desire, we are love," said Kor. "Well?"
"Aghhhhh!" moaned Spock.
"Actually," McCoy said, happily. "It's not too bad."
"Really?" asked Kor.
"Oh yes," said McCoy. "I kind of like it."
"Please continue," said Kor.
"Well," said McCoy. "I think some of the imagery was really effective. Powerful even. It was beautiful!"
Kor smiled wider. "Really."
"Certainly," said McCoy. "See, I write poetry myself. I've written a couple booklets of verse dedicated to the Great Bird of the Galaxy so I should know what I'm talking about. Right Spock?"
"Ohhhh," Spock continued to moan. His head lolled back. "Nooo!"
"I wish to hear a detailed review," said Kor. "Now. With stars and everything."
"Well," said McCoy. "It...uh...was interesting. It had a sort of rhythm which seemed to counterpoint the uh...uh...humanity--"
"HUMANITY?!" Kor seethed.
"Klingonity," Spock hissed at McCoy.
"Klingonity," McCoy parroted back. "Sorry, Commander Kor. The 'Klingonity' of the poet's compassionate soul which contrives though the medium of the verse structure to subliminate this, transcend that and come to terms with the fundamental dichotomies of the..uh..whatever the poem was about."
"Really? You liked it that much?"
"Oh yeah," said McCoy. "Right Spock?"
"Noooo!" groaned Spock.
"You do understand," said Kor. "That the poem means: `even though I may be a Klingon, deep down, I just want to be loved.'"
"Oh sure, I got that," said McCoy. "Totally."
"How many stars does it get?" Kor asked excitedly.
"Hmmmmm," said McCoy, chewing on his lip. "Three."
"And a half. Three and a half."
McCoy shook his head. "No, nobody gets that, not even me. Right Spock?"
"SILENCE!" said Kor. "Seize them! Transport them out into space."
"Nice goin' Spock," McCoy said out of the side of his mouth.
They were thrown into the transporter beam. And beamed out into space.
END OF PART 2, Stay tuned for Part 3
* from "Come be with Me." by Leonard Nimoy. (Sorry Leonard!)