"Wishing for a thing doesn't make it so." Captain Picard, Samaritan Snare
They didn't even know who the Pakleds were, which made the situation all the more useless, pointless.
The bridge was tense. Kirk was staring at the view screen intensely --- after all, he'd been the one to send over their chief engineer, science officer, and helmsmen, without Security Officers, because the systems that were conveniently broken on the other ship was navigation and science controls. All in all, it hadn't been his best move.
Checkov sat anxiously at his station, gaping at the picture of his best friend, held at gunpoint by the slow-witted beings.
The captain of the Pakled ship turned to its crewmen. "We hold them here, we make money?" The crew nodded, heads and mouths and tongues rolling with delight at the plan. The captain turned to Kirk, still holding Scotty, Sulu, and Spock with his phaser. "You give us stuff, okay? And then we won't have to kill them."
"Killing is messy." Another Pakled offered helpfully. "So you give us stuff, yeah?"
"No." The word was whispered, helpless, because Kirk couldn't give technology to these people, who weren't a Federation recognized race and, at the rate they were going, probably would never be. And though he was fairly good at negotiations, in this instance his brain felt fried. Does not compute, he kept thinking. He needed his number one.
"Your actions are illogical." Spock said, his voice carrying over the speaker, and Checkov could hear Kirk's muffled groan of protest. "I advise you to revise your strategy if it is within your mental capacity."
The captain of the Pakleds whose name, Checkov would remember only later, was Mondor, turned to face Spock. "You speak smart." His face was screwed up in concentration, as if processing Spock's words was a challenge to him. "I don't like big words." He nodded, and Spock was brought down with three fires from sub-standard phasers.
"Hey!" Sulu shouted from the Pakled ship, moving from his frozen position to kneel beside his commanding officer. Spock was bleeding, scratched where the phaser fire had entered him. Primitive weapons Checkov thought.
"Don't move!" Mondor whined, sounding like a child whose pet was misbehaving. "Just stop moving!" He shot Sulu in the side, and now it was Scotty's turn to protest.
But Kirk seemed to have gathered his wits about him. "Mr. Scott, hold your position!" Even as he issued the order he turned away from the screen, towards Uhura and Bones, brought to the bridge at the sounds of negotiations he was sure the young captain couldn't handle.
Only Checkov was left to stare at the display. He watched as Scotty reluctantly moved back into his position, back against the smooth wall of the Pakled ship, eyeing his enemies warily, shooting glances at his companions, unconscious on the floor. "Oh, Hikaru…"
It had been an odd mission from the start, with the Pakled ship had calling in distress. Kirk, in his easy, young way, instantly summed up the unfamiliar race. "They're simple – like children. Harmless." The captain had looked over at Spock, staring, unsure, at the screen. "Oh, lighten up ol' boy. Tell you what. You lead the rescue mission. Maybe you'll get a few damsels."
Spock hesitated. "Captain, I believe that their simple-mindedness is a ruse. I do not trust these…Pakleds."
"Of course you don't. Take Scotty and the kid --" Meaning Checkov, who really didn't mind Kirk calling him a kid, though he thought it was funny since Kirk was the third-youngest Senior Officer, right behind Checkov and Sulu, "—and go help them. Be a Good Samaritan, or is that against Vulcan nature?"
Spock acquiesced in the end – he couldn't refuse the captain, no one could while he was in a stubborn mood, especially if he thought he was helping someone. But Sulu had objected to taking Checkov. "Let me go instead. It's their helm station that's broken. I'm the helmsman."
"Hikaru." Checkov murmured under his breath. He hadn't been embarrassed at being called kid in front of the whole bridge crew, but he was embarrassed that Sulu seemed to think he couldn't care for himself against such a helpless species.
Kirk thought for a moment, then nodded, "Go on, Sulu. Checkov, you take over his station."
As Sulu got up, he touched Checkov's arm. "Don't worry about me, Pasha. I'll be fine. What's the worst that can happen?"
Apparently, a lot. Kirk, behind Checkov, was kicking himself, mostly for not following the advice of his first officer. Spock was rarely wrong, and his intuition was always infuriatingly spot-on. Forcing the thought of Spock, bleeding, defenseless, out of his mind, he turned to the two in front of him. "Options?"
"Star Fleet will never let us give them technology, Jim, no matter how important our officers are." Bones stated the obvious, frustrated at their lack of ready options.
"We can't just let them die." Uhura snapped, and Checkov's grip on the arm of his chair – Sulu's chair – tightened.
"Obviously." Kirk replied curtly, his eyes fixed on the vision of Spock, bleeding emerald onto the grimy floor of the Pakled ship. "When we get them out of there, Bones…" They need medical attention. Spock needs medical attention. But he couldn't say that out loud. Academy Rule #6: Never reveal weakness to an enemy.
"Yeah, Jim, of course." The doctor shook his head, thinking. "There has to be a way out of this."
Checkov couldn't stand it any longer. The seventeen-year-old "kid" stood up from his station, finally ripping his eyes away from the vision of his best friend. "Keptin?" He questioned, and instantly he had the attention of three of the three most powerful people on the ship, never mind that they were scarcely older than he. Checkov winged a prayer to his God, hoping that this plan would work. For Hikaru. "I hawe a plan."
He outlined the details of the subterfuge, all relying on the fact that Spock would be conscious and catch on, that Scotty would play along, that Sulu wouldn't do something reckless enough to get shot.
Bones smiled at the plan. "They just have to lower their shields, right kid? Then you can beam them out?"
"Ja, sir. Et will be simple fwom zere."
Kirk smiled, looking more hopeful and confident by the second. "Great plan, kid – Checkov." The smile flitted an inch higher on his face. "Get down to engineering. We'll need you the second the shields are lowered."
Oh. He hadn't even thought that he wouldn't be on the bridge. But HIkaru… "Ja, keptin." He took one last look at Sulu, now groaning – alive, at least – before fleeing the room.
"He won't forgive you if you butcher this, Jim." Bones warned, and Kirk nodded gravely. Talking to the screen, Kirk asked Scotty if he could get Spock to his feet. "We'll need him awake for this part."
To his credit, Scotty muttered curses, aimed at Kirk, as he gently prodded Spock into an upright position. "Steady on, lad. Don't bother me none that you lean so. Ack!" This last part was issued as a fountain of green poured from Spock's injured side onto Scotty's hands.
"Captain…" The Vulcan's voice was thready, barely a whisper. He cleared his throat, seemed to muster any energy he had. "Captain?" Stronger now.
Would an injured Spock be able to spot the plan through Kirk's outright lies? He hoped so, and mentally thanked Checkov again. "Spock, Scotty, Sulu…" The Asian had just climbed to his feet, swaying like a drunkard, red blooming on his ribs. "We can't give the Pakleds Federation technology."
"Of course." Spock murmured, his eyes leaving Kirk's for a moment. Damnit! Jim thought. Look at me! He wished more than anything for Spock to be thinking quickly, clearly, or they'd never get out of this alive.
"And we can't risk any of you telling Federation secrets." Every word was a pain, but they were issued so simply from Kirk's mouth. Such easy lies. Hopefully, they'd achieve their goal.
"We have to blow up the Pakled ship, Spock." Was that a spark of recognition? Finally. Spock didn't actually believe, even for a second, that Kirk would leave them high and dry, did he? They'd have to address that later.
"That is only logical." Spock paused for a second, swayed on the spot, gently pushed himself away from Scotty until he was standing on his own power. "It is also only logical for us to defend ourselves. Even against you."
Victory! "We'll have to use our purple ion canons." No such thing, of course, and he barely suppressed a smile at the ludicrous name, invented on the spot, but the Pakleds had no reason to know that. Kirk watched his First – his best friend – anxiously, hoping he'd catch on, hoping he'd be able to disable the necessary systems.
"Mr. Scott." And now Spock's voice was infinitely more stable. "Please…up the shield generators. As a precaution. Mr. Sulu, man the helm." A short smile from Scott, a more reluctant one from Sulu. Sulu had the most dangerous job, one that required Checkov to have split-second reflexes. Kirk crossed his fingers, winged a prayer to a God he didn't believe in.
The Pakleds were watching the officers intently, appearing dumbly pleased with the unexpected mutiny. Unsurprisingly, they didn't move to help. Kirk wondered if they knew how even half of their systems worked, if they could take them apart, put them back together, or if they just knew which buttons to press to make the machine "go".
Kirk waited until Scotty had done his tinkering, until the readings on the screens confirmed that there were no more shields on the Pakled ship. "Now!"
Everything happened at once. The Enterprise fired purple gas – excess propulsion material, but it could look like a weapon if you were a child, or child-like. Spock, who had collapsed, seizing, and Scotty were beamed away from the ship. Sulu began to punch in coordinates – far away from the Enterprise was his only guess – the plan was almost done.
And it would have been perfect. Beautiful subterfuge, really, if Sulu hadn't been hit by no less than six phasers at once. Apparently, the Pakleds weren't that dumb.
The Pakled ship took off the next second, leaving the bridge crew gaping at the screen. Kirk hit his comm badge so forcefully it almost knocked the tiny device off. "Mr. Checkov --" No kid this time, no nonsense. Were his men okay? "Is everyone safe?"
"Hikaru --" And Checkov's voice was so sad. "Hikaru!" It took a moment, after the suddenness of the ship's departure, for Kirk to remember his helmsmen's first name, and his blood went cold.
"Did you get them all --" He heard Bones' voice over the intercom, ordering Checkov out of the way, asking for another med team. Static, then nothing.
During encounter with the Pakleds, Spock, Sulu, and Scotty were stranded on the enemy's ship after beaming aboard to help with routine repairs. Checkov's plan, which ultimately saved the three valuable crew men, got Scotty out of there completely unharmed.
Spock was later found in med bay, where Bones was furiously trying to replicate Vulcan blood, ranting all the while, "It's always his blood! I have all the human blood I need but as soon as that green-blooded hobgoblin gets hurt…" Everyone in the med bay ignored his teasing rants, watched as he gently replaced bandages, checked the heart beat. "Damn this trance! I can't get a single reading! Get out of here, Jim!"
For Kirk was underfoot constantly, hovering around his First's bed. Late, on the first night after the daring rescue, nine hours into Spock's healing trance, Kirk was found at the Vulcan's side, gripping his hand tightly. "Damnit, Spock, did you really think I'd leave you behind? Damnit…"
But he wasn't crying. Captains didn't cry.
On the other side of the med bay, shaking even hours later, Checkov could not be consoled by anyone, not even Uhura, who was always so kind to him, not even the doctor he admired. "Hikaru…" Always that pleading tone, eyes darting, searching for his friend, his best friend. "Hikaru…"
Kirk heard, and closed his eyes, because how could he tell an eighteen-year-old kid that his friend was cold to the touch, that even though Bones had done everything in his power, his vitals were so weak he probably wouldn't even last the night? How could he tell him that, if Spock was awake, alert, he'd whisper in Kirk's ear that dreadful number that Kirk had calculated in the hours he'd been waiting.
Two thousand four hundred nineteen to one against Sulu surviving.
Right after it'd happened, when Jim had rushed down to the med bay, it was him, the captain, hauling the surprisingly strong Russian off the prone body of his friend. "Hey, hey." He'd held the boy close, not caring that he was still struggling, "You did good, kid. You got him back, right?"
And the worst part came at night, after the surgery, when Bones had walked out of the OR to a shell-shocked Checkov and a wary Kirk, who had kicked everyone out by scowling just right. "We'll just have to wait and see."
Like so many times before, Checkov wandered behind the curtain, about to lay himself down in the bed next to his friend, holding onto Sulu, because suddenly best friends forever was just not long enough. But as he went to lower himself down, shaking, crying, Bones gently pushed him back. "Not tonight, kid. Not tonight."
And the night dragged by…
Eleven o' clock, and Sulu stopped breathing. Checkov's cries brought Bones running, and he brought him back from the brink in five minutes. "Brain damage," he was muttering as he walked away. "Goddamn it al."
At one am, it was Spock who needed to be rescued. He went stiff as a board, then sagged and seemed to forget to tell his heart to pump. "Bones! Leo, get over here!" Kirk hadn't called McCoy Leo since they were roommates and the elder promised to inject him with every available hypo if he said the name one more time.
Three, and Sulu was still alive, Checkov dozing nearby. And the even breathing stopped, hitched, went flat. Instantly on his feet, the whisper of doctor on his lips died when he saw Sulu open his eyes.
"Hey Pasha." Hikaru Sulu murmured, his voice raspy and sore, his body bruised and bloody with still-gaping holes, even after extensive surgery. But the ghost of a smile touched his lips, just for an instant, before his eyes began to roll with pain. "Pasha…"
"Ja, Hikaru? I'm here." Ignoring the doctor's orders, he grabbed his friend's hand, too afraid of hurting the hurt boy to climb into bed as he normally would. "I'll always be here." And that was a promise.
Just five chapters. It ended with the year, which was appropriate.
of the first part was taken from a TNG episode "Samaritan Snare" where the crew finds the Pakleds and they send Geordi over. Same situation, different characters, not as dire. , there was a lot of Kirk and Spock, because they're cute (though not as cute as little Pasha!). We were thinking about a story centered around the captain and number one…
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