Lieutenant Commander Smith led the group down the hallway before turning into a secondary hallway. From there, they all squished into a turbolift. The ancient machine was slow, but it managed to reach their destination.
When the pneumatic doors whooshed open, they revealed a vast medical bay. Kirk and McCoy were slightly jarred by the sight. The medical bay was surprisingly up-to-date for the rest of the vessel.
Sleek consoles stood next to neat biobeds, some with patients, most without. The white light gleamed off of every immaculately polished surface, threatening to blind anyone who looked at it for too long.
At the end of the long bay a sizable queue of nurses was huddled around a bed. Kirk could make out one of the two technicians who had been tending to Special Agent Timothy McGee in their number.
"Doc's here." Smith called abruptly, causing the hive to scatter. The technicians handed over their PADDS containing the data from the procedure, nodded a greeting, and left without saying a word.
McCoy shook his head, furrowed his brow and scanned the PADD.
Kirk took the opportunity to look at the man lying on the biobed. He looked old enough, early thirties, late twenties. He was staring with blank eyes at the metallic ceiling. The soft skin around his eyes was slightly enflamed from the crying he'd done a few minutes ago, though now all traces of the tears were gone.
Kirk guessed he had just been washed; the smell of disinfectant and a mild soap wafted off of his skin. He had a smooth face, something the slightly pockmarked Captain found himself thinking jealous thoughts about.
The Agents hair lay smooth and orderly on his head. Kirk guessed the freezing had halted the hair growth, because no one grows that little hair in a period of a hundred and fifty years.
He lay on the biobed uncovered, save his clothes. He wore light grey sweat pants and a rather tight white t-shirt. A sturdy frame was visible under the cloth; he wasn't ripped by any stretch of the imagination, but Kirk could tell that he wouldn't be taken down too easily in a hand-to-hand fight.
Finally Kirk's eyes fell on the man's hands. Since when do guys get manicures? Kirk thought.
Bones pulled his tricorder from his belt and began scanning the Agent from head to toe and back again, checking for any sign of physical malfunction. He made grunting sounds every now and then, finally raising his eyebrow to a height that could easily rival Spock's.
"What's up, Bones?" Kirk asked.
"For a twenty-first century job, this isn't half bad. He'll live, for one thing. He doesn't appear to be suffering from any kind of diseases, not even hypothermia. His muscle tissue has suffered mild deterioration at the muscle core, which can be fixed up easily enough with a few doses of protein and little exercise. His brain patterns are a little slow, but that should pick up as he gains his bearings." He half laughed. "Dammit, I'm almost impressed."
Kirk smiled. Special Agent Todd rolled her eyes and went to sit next to Timothy McGee's head.
"Timothy? Can you hear me?" She asked, her voice soft.
He nodded. "You can call me Tim… I'd prefer – woah." He turned to look at her and his facial expression changed, like he'd seen a ghost. Kirk thought he saw him mouth something, but he wasn't sure. The two agents sat in silence for a moment. Tim's lips moved again, soundless: "Kate?" His eyes were searching her face for an answer.
"Tim, my name is Elizabeth Todd, you can call me Liz, okay?" she said, sympathy pouring from her features.
Tim nodded, still looking incredulous.
"Tim, do you know where you are?" Liz asked, voice still soft.
He swallowed hard. "The future?"
"Yeah, yeah you are." Liz said, looking relieved that he knew. Kirk wondered why she cared so much. She was probably just one of those women who cared about everyone.
Tim looked around the medical bay, still dazed. The future was amazing: everything was bright, although that might just be a side effect of the century and a half encased in a frozen tube. Everything looked so high-tech, so new, and so ready to explored by this outsider. For a moment he forgot about the mission at hand, he forgot about his missing team; his missing friends. For a moment, he was a kid again.
"What year is it?" He asked.
"Twenty-two fifty-nine." Liz responded, grinning at his sudden enthusiastic turn for the better.
"Twenty-two fifty-nine? Woah…" He paused, licking his lips in anticipation. "Am… am I on a space ship?"
"Sort of…" Liz began.
"You're on Starbase Echo-412, son." Captain Yeomans puffed his chest out. "I'm Captain Richard Yeomans. Welcome to the future, Special Agent McGee."
"A starbase?" Tim lay back into his pillow, overwhelmed. "Awesome."
"Uh, yeah, awesome." Kirk said. He leaned over to Bones. "I can't wait to see what he says about the Enterprise."
Bones grunted in agreement.
"Special Agent McGee, I'm Captain James T. Kirk, of the Federation Starship Enterprise. The Enterprise is the ship you'll be working out of." Kirk said reaching down to shake the man's hand. It was a little weak, and judging by the look of this it wasn't going to get much better.
"A starship?" McGee said. All he could do was sigh. This was so amazing. But even though there was so much new around him, the weight of his assignment settled itself back onto his shoulders. "If you got me out of… whatever I was in, does that mean that you've found them?"
"Your team, Agent McGee, has not yet been found." Captain Yeomans said, rather unhelpfully.
"Why is the case still open after all these years?" McGee asked.
"This case is the highest profile case the Navy ever encountered. As soon as the Navy was disbanded it fell on Starfleet's shoulders to execute an investigation when the appropriate circumstances arose." Special Agent Todd cut in.
"I guess those circumstances arose." McGee said.
Todd just nodded.
"What happened? Do you know if they're still alive?" McGee looked like he was trying to be hopeful but it wasn't working.
"We don't know if they're alive." Todd said. "Do you remember the radioactive signatures found at the disappearance sites?"
"Yeah, we'd never seen anything like it before." McGee said, sitting up a little. "Why? Has something else gone missing?"
"Not that we're aware of. But during a mission one of Starfleet's ships came across a patch of space with atmospheric readings containing the same radioactive signature." She said. "We woke you up in the event that this was the break in the case."
"Alright." McGee wasn't quite sure how to process the information. All he knew for sure was: he was in space, he was in the future, and he just might get to see his friends again. "How can we be sure that is really the break in the case?"
"This particular signature's only been seen once before: at the time of the kidnappings." Todd answered.
"We should probably get him to the ship," Kirk broke in. "You know, get him settled and stuff."
"But he hasn't seen the rest of my ship yet!" Captain Yeomans protested. Obviously this guy didn't get nearly as many visitors as he'd like.
"I want to get started on the investigation right away." McGee said with finality.
"Then let's not waste time." Kirk said, eager to get off the ship and back to his own state-of-the-art vessel.
My apologies that this chapter is so short. It's been sitting in my saved files in this state for several months, I've been intending to extend it but I can't find the inspiration to continue the chapter, so I guess a short chapter will do just as well. That, and I feel horrible for not having updated in some time. Again, my heart-felt apologies for not posting (school has been very busy) and for the shortness of this chapter. Enjoy anyway!