Greetings fellow Trekkies! Now for another installment of Spock's Farewell! This one is actually the best, in my opinion. Now for our two familiar TOS faces!
Chapter Six: The USS Reagan
Nurse Christine Chapel stood on the bridge of the USS Reagan, observing the crew. She had tried working down at sickbay, but things there were surprisingly more boring than they were on the bridge. Boring was proving to be a bad idea. Being bored meant that not only was she on a ship orbiting planet Genesis, but her mind was fixated on the planet below.
More specifically, the incidents with Khan on Genesis and the Enterprise.
Marla McGivers had been her friend. She had never made good decisions when it came to men: All of Marla's boyfriends had been abusive losers, and Khan was the worst of them all.
He had manipulated her into betraying her friends and her captain, and it was only when Khan Noonien Singh was going to kill the crew one by one that she came to her senses and sabotaged his plan. But the damage was done: She could face court martial or beam down to Ceti Alpha V with Khan and his band of neanderthals. Of course, she chose him.
Then, a year later, the Enterprise visited Ceti Alpha V to check up on them. It was too late. Marla was dead, along with half of Khan's group. All because the Klingons had attacked a starship passing by the planet. The ship had exploded just as it was exiting the atmosphere, and the chemicals and smoke were too much for the small planet.
The explosion ruined the planet's atmosphere and killed Marla, leaving Khan with nothing but a simmering desire for revenge. From then on, he was determined to kill Captain Kirk, whom he blamed for everything that had happened.
Khan later tried to take over the Enterprise but was left behind on the planet once again. However, the Enterprise crew had no idea that he had managed to repair the small ship that they had sent him in when he was initially stranded. Using his small ship, he pursued the Enterprise, whose next stop was unfortunately Genesis headquarters.
Through some murder and eavesdropping, Khan discovered what the Genesis project was and stole the still untested project in hopes of using it as a weapon.
There was a long game of cat and mouse before the Genesis device was finally detonated on a formerly lifeless planet. In the battle that followed, Commander Spock was killed, but not before he saved the Enterprise.
Spock was the fiancee of Christine's best friend, Nyota Uhura. Christine hated seeing her friend go through all that pain; it was a pain she knew all too well.
Now she, Lieutenant Kevin Riley, and a few other Enterprise crew members were aboard the USS Reagan overseeing the study of planet Genesis. She was remembering that Kevin Riley was one of the most irritating people she knew.
"Iiiii'll be coming home agaaaaaiiiiiin Kathleeeeen..." he sang softly, entering the bridge.
"Kevin!" Christine whispered. "Shut up!"
Kevin rolled his eyes and stopped in front of her. He didn't like being stuck on the Reagan any more than she did, and he hated Admiral O'Reilly for forcing them on board. At least he was letting himself have some fun: Until the Enterprise was back in commission, they were stuck here with these uptight old geezers who called themselves Commanders.
For some reason, Admiral O'Reilly had had it out for Kirk since he graduated. Then when Kirk became captain of the Enterprise, his resentment expanded to the entire crew. Kevin sometimes joked that it was because O'Reilly was jealous of Kevin's much cooler last name, but that theory was quickly debunked.
"Whatever, Chrissy," Riley said nonchalantly.
"Don't call me Chrissy!"
"Jimmy calls you Chrissy."
"Why do you think I hate the nickname? And since when is his name 'Jimmy'?"
The crew of the Reagan rolled their eyes. The Reagan's crew was on the older side, and they didn't exactly appreciate getting stuck with a bunch of young, impulsive whippersnappers from the Enterprise. It was like listening to an entire crew of Leonard McCoys, only much less fun.
"Captain Frederick, the bio-readings indicate a life form on Genesis." the science officer called. The Genesis device expert was next to him in a second.
"Impossible!" he muttered.
"Not according to our instruments, sir."
"Captain, maybe we should go check it out," said a voice from behind the captain. Frederick looked around for a moment.
"Who said that?" he wondered aloud. A redshirted security officer tapped the captains shoulder lightly.
"Um, me sir," he said meekly. "I've been standing here the whole time."
"Ah. Sorry about that," the captain blustered. "I never really notice the security officers."
"I get that a lot."
Christine studied the scene and thought for a moment. The lieutenant was right.
"Captain, Lieutenant Ramsey has a point. If there's something down there, we should go down and see what it is." The captain scrutinized the young nurse for a moment.
"I suppose you have a point, Nurse Chapel. We'll send an Away Team," he said, looking around the bridge. "Lieutenant Ramsey, since you suggested this, you'll go. Nurse Chapel, they'll need a medical officer in case of injury. Mr. Brunswick, you're the expert on this Genesis device, so they'll need your, well, expertise. And Lieutenant Riley, you just irritate me, so you're going, too."
Captain Fredrick wasn't exactly the most professional captain in the fleet. This was why he had never been promoted to admiral.
The snow was blinding. The air was so cold it would have made a penguin long for the warm nights of Antarctica. The four bundled up team members could hardly see one another through the thick, ever-moving sheet of white billowing around them. They saw the faint outline of mountains in the distance, all of them marvelling that the Genesis Device was able to create all this in a matter of hours.
"W-well..." Kevin said through chattering teeth. "Th-this p-p-p-planet should have v-v-very good ice-ce-ce-ce c-c-c-cream."
Christine sighed. "Ramsey!" she hollered over the wind. "Can you point us in the direction of the life form?"
Ramsey peered down at his tricorder, attempting to get a better view of the readouts. "Not far from here, Nurse!" he called back. "Looks like it's only about six-hundred yards to the west!"
"You mean the transporter was actually working right?" the blond woman exclaimed.
"Why is that surprising?" yelled Brunswick. Kevin shrugged his shoulders.
"We're from the Enterprise," he called to the scientist. "We aren't accustomed to the transporter not malfunctioning!"
The shivering group proceeded west of their location, searching for signs of life. The snow swirled around them, stinging their faces and wetting their clothes. The freezing cold of the wind even cut through their Starfleet issue parkas.
Suddenly, Kevin tripped over something: it was a long black box, large enough for an average sized humanoid to fit inside...that the three Enterprise crew members instantly recognised as Spock's casket.
The silence was heavy. It was not the contented silence of friends, and it was not an awkward silence among gossips. This silence was weighed down with the searing pain of a reopened wound that had never been fully healed.
"What the..." Ramsey looked at his tricorder. "It says the life form is right here. But how...?"
On an impulse, Kevin unlocked the casket and opened it up.
They didn't know what they were expecting to see: Spock's body or Spock alive and well, maybe. But this? This was not what they expected to see.
Inside, the casket was empty, save for a few maggot-like creatures.
In an instant, Brunswick grabbed the tricorder from poor Ramsey and began scanning the insides of the casket.
"Microbes," he said finally, "under-developed organisms." The scientist said, staring at the tricorder readings. He frowned, looking nervously at his surroundings. He chose his next words with care. "The planet is aging rapidly," he said. "Too rapidly."
Kevin normally would have thrown in a clever quip, but the scientist's words confused him. Plus, he was still in awe at what he was seeing. Rather, he was in awe of what he wasn't seeing.
Kevin's forehead krinkled in concentration. If Spock wasn't in his casket, then where was he? And wherever he was...
Kevin's eyes widened in alarm as he picked up a pair of Starfleet issue trousers out of the casket.
"Oh my God!" the lieutenant cried. "Spock's walking around naked!"
:D I just had to end it on that note. It was pretty depressing for most of the chapter. Heck, for most of the story! For those of you who don't know, Lieutenant Kevin Riley was in two episodes of the original series; "The Naked Time", and "The Conscience of the King". He was hilarious in "The Naked Time", and I thought we needed a comic relief character. Anyways, night night guys! It's now 2:00 AM!