They all knew that eventually space was going to run out. No, not space out there, but inside. The Enterprise was getting smaller. Commander Spock began to notice it during their third year into the voyage. His room was smaller, despite the lack of clutter. The Bridge was smaller because it took seven and a half steps to get to the Captain's chair from Ops when it used to take eight steps. Spock always measured his steps the same way. The corridors were more narrow, even though it was the same amount of people traversing them each day. Spock couldn't explain it. So he set out on an endeavor three years and four months into the Enterprise's five-year mission. This endeavor was to map the entire ship from top to bottom to see if it had gotten any smaller. This quest, by Spock's prediction, would only take eight months to search and re-map every crevice of the vessel without interference. He was going to accomplish his goal because the Enterprise shrinking was simply illogical. Spaceships don't shrink.
Captain James T. Kirk listened to the humming of the Enterprise as she traveled at warp speed through space. Every night before he went to sleep he thought about how far they had come. All of the dangers they had faced was astounding and Jim knew that he had never imagined being the Captain of Starfleet's flagship racing through space. Jim smiled and closed his eyes, resting comfortably on his pillow.
Jim frowned and opened his eyes again. That was odd.
He recognized that sound, it was of an old-fashioned ballpoint pen that humans used until the twenty-first century. His grandfather had a few in his desk that he would show him whenever he visited as a kid.
"I must be hearing something wrong with the engines," Jim muttered to himself. However, he knew that that was impossible because Scotty kept the engines in tip-top shape and there was no way that a mere sound could reach him from engineering to his quarters through sound-proof walls.
Jim frowned even deeper and grabbed his communicator from his bedside table, "Scotty?" he asked after he hit the right channel. He knew that his Chief Engineer was on duty at that present time.
"Is there something wrong in Engineering? I keep hearing a clicking noise that might be coming from the engines."
He could almost hear the frown in Scotty's voice when the Scot answered, "It's quiet down here, but I'll run a diagnostic. Stand by, sir."
He could hear Scotty ordering around the engineering staff and then a few moments later, "Sorry, Captain, everything is running smoothly down here. No anomalies in the diagnostics."
Jim shook his head, even though he knew that Scotty couldn't see him, "Well, check everything you have. Just to be sure. Kirk out."
Jim laid back down and heard the clicking noise again. And again. And again.
Pavel Chekov raced into the botany lab as if he were on fire!
"Hikaru! Hikaru!" he called, searching wildly for his friend. He raced to the back of the large lab that was growing fruits, vegetables, and other plants. Pavel knew that this was his best friend's sanctuary and he probably shouldn't be intruding or interrupting his friend's solace like he was, but this couldn't wait! He had to tell Hikaru now.
"Hikaru!" he skidded to a stop as suddenly Sulu stepped out from the rows of growing vegetables, holding an enormous potted plant. Pavel dug his heels in just in time to avoid smacking into his friend. As a precaution, Sulu raised up the plant out of harm's way.
"Jeez, Pav, watch what you're doing," Hikaru scolded with a scowl.
Oblivious to his friend's irritation, Pavel launched into what would see like the universe's most interesting news by the way Pavel was talking so enthusiastically about it. Everything was coming out in a rush so that all of the words were meshing together.
Pavel blinked at Hikaru's loud voice and annoyed tone. Hikaru never got that attitude with him, not even when he was extremely hyper or extremely drunk.
"Do you mind? I'm trying to work. I have to get this plant in the soil or it's going to die and that's going to be six months work down the drain, so can you please just save it for another time?"
"But it's a very important discovery-"
"LEAVE," Hikaru said in a dangerous tone.
Pavel's eyes widened and hurt crossed his face, "Yes. . .yes, sir."
Without another word, he turned heel and left the botany bay.
She had never been much of a drinker. On the unfortunate day that she had met James T. Kirk for the first time, she had ordered a lot of drinks in celebration of her acceptance to the Academy.
So Nyota Uhura was surprised to become a drinker. It started with the games that the men (and sometimes a few women) would play in the rec halls or on shore leave. They would make bets and play drinking games and anybody who could hold their liquor was invited. In the beginning, she had avoided all of that and spent her time doing more. . .sophisticated things. Then Scotty had talked her into attending one of their celebrations of. . .well, she couldn't remember what it was about now, but it had been a big party.
With Scotty as her escort, Uhura sat at the large table with crewmen from all departments that she knew. Then she had her first shot. . .then the next, and the next. . .the one after that followed by a beer. . .and so on.
Then she was flat-out drunk.
Not lady-like at all.
But then it had became more of a necessity. She needed something to keep her mind off of how little time planetside she had. Uhura needed to have something fuzzy out the details of a mission gone bad where another redshirt crewmember had died.
So she made it a social thing.
Bourbon with McCoy who never complained about drinking a little too much.
Scotch with Scotty who became even more merry after a few glasses.
Budweiser Classic with Kirk, who was extremely surprised to see that she had an interest in drinking with him.
Vodka with Chekov, not the Russian kind because they had learned early on that her visits were cut off very short if they had that type of vodka.
Wine with Sulu, always the more romantic one with taste.
Martinis with Chapel who didn't like to drink much.
Margaritas with Gaila since Gaila was more of the fun-loving type.
Maybe that was her coping mechanism. Maybe she needed a background buzz. Uhura didn't know for sure what it was, but she enjoyed it and it made things a bit better in the moving tin can.
Gaila was always the intelligent, gorgeous, fun-loving one in the Academy. She never refused a challenge to prove any of those things. She always won too.
However, since her posting to the Enterprise, she had settled down more. She had a working routine and a highly technical job. Being the second to the Chief Engineer was no easy task. She used all of her concentration and energy to be the best she could be at her job. That meant hardly any sexing around or overconsumption of alcohol.
So she found a hobby.
And she began a bookclub.
Once a week, she would trade PADDs of books loaded onto the hard drive with various crewmen who were bookworms like her.
That way her brain was stimulated and she wasn't bored in her off duty time.
Besides, there wasn't anywhere to go on a starship.
Pavel counted the number of times his fingers drummed against his console.
13, 14, 15, 16
Pavel counted the number of steps it took a Yeoman to get to her station halfway across the Bridge from the turbolift she had exited from.
Pavel counted how many times Hikaru looked up from his station to glance around the Bridge during their shift.
3, 4, 5
Pavel counted how many times Keptin Kirk spun around in his chair without getting dizzy.
7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Mercy. That was one word that Bones could deny having when it came to James T. Kirk. He couldn't even imagine how many times he had stabbed that man with a hypo or patched up some sort of injury that the man had somehow obtained. It was irritating to see his best friend constantly getting hurt and him having to put up with his bitching and whining every time Bones had the compassion to heal his wounds.
Dammit, he was a doctor, not a grief counselor!
Besides, a little suffering is good for the soul.
So after the 359305th time that Jim came crawling to him for treatment, Bones decided to try a different tactic.
When he came over to Jim with the dreaded hypo, he regarded Jim's cringe out of the corner of his eye. Then he set the hypo down on a tray and held out a pill and a cup of water instead.
"Here," he said gruffly, handing the items over to Jim.
The Captain stared at the pill and then at Bones. This was a painless first.
Without question, Jim swallowed the pill and the water and Bones cracked a smile. Then Jim's face froze in shock mixed with fear and suspicion.
"Why did you give me a pill? What did you do to it?" Jim asked, eying the doctor carefully.
"Nothing," Bones responded sweetly with the same smile.
Then he turned and walked away. Mission success. No bitching, moaning, or groaning from the Captain this time.
It felt good.
Maybe it was that he was getting softer or he had been cooped up on the Enterprise too long, but he kind of liked not having to hurt Jim with the hypospray.
Well, not until he got on his nerves.
Montgomery Scott was a busy man as Chief Engineer of the Enterprise. He had a lot of work to do everyday and not much time for himself. Whenever he had free time, he usually drank Scotch until he was numb and went to sleep. Though he didn't much enjoy the hangovers he had the next day.
He needed another recreational activity to put his mind at ease.
Scotty wandered around the Enterprise after his shift and finally ended up at the gym. He worked out from time to time, but that was it. He had a great metabolism and was in shape from all the work he did so didn't have much reason to be a strict exercise maniac.
Walking into the gym, he spotted a group sitting on the floor on mats. Curiously, he went over and saw Nurse Chapel at the head of the group, apparently their leader.
"Hello, Mr. Scott," Christine called lightly, "Would you like to join us?"
Blushing as the assembled crewmen turned his direction, Scotty looked for an excuse, "I. . .ah. . .I don't have a mat and I dunno what to do, Ms. Chapel."
"I'll teach you as I teach the rest of the group," Christine smiled and gracefully stood up. She went to the stack of mats and pulled out one for him, "Here you go, please join us."
Scotty swallowed and then went to sit on the mat. Yoga wasn't something he had experienced before.
"Okay, so here is the first position," Christine moved her body flexibly and Scotty studied the way that she moved into another position, "Now you all try and I will make sure you have the correct form."
Scotty awkwardly stretched out into the position Christine had just slipped into and then realized something.
That felt good. That felt really good.
Maybe yoga would be a keeper.