"Tell me about your amnesia," McCoy said.
"Aye, me amnesia. Weel, it was interestin' at first. A couple laddies found me in a park and sent medics t' take care of me. They tell me I woke up i' the ambulance—that's an emergency vehicle belongin' to a hospital, ye know—woke up in the ambulance, addressed you, Dr. McCoy, said my name…but I dinna remember it. I remember being in the hospital, but I had t' take their word that my name was Montgomery Scott. And everythin' seemed so strange, ye know, because I wasn't used t' this century, but I couldna remember why it was so strange. Philip here came up wi' th' idea that I might be from the future. Anyway, th' doctors said I'd start rememberin' things eventually. Since I had nowhere to go, Tom and Melissa took me in, and I've gradually recovered my memory in talkin' to them and th' bairns." Shirley, still clinging to him, had fallen asleep in his arms, and he said, "Excuse me, and I'll put this one t' bed."
Kirk, Spock, and McCoy all gazed after him as he left the room. Melissa grinned.
"You didn't know he liked children?"
"We've never had an opportunity to see him around children," Kirk answered. "He's generally holed up in Engineering, and when we get shore leave, he spends his time reading technical manuals."
"He had no technical manuals here," Tom said. "So he built an airplane with Philip and taught Morganna about how planes work."
Just as Scotty was entering the room again, Kirk suddenly stared at Philip. "Wait a minute! Philip Church? Are you Philip Kyle Church?"
The boy nodded, his eyes wondering.
"Well, I'll be… Spock, I'm surprised you didn't catch that!"
"I did, Captain. I simply did not wish to draw attention to the fact."
Scotty smacked himself on the forehead as he sat down. "Of course! Why dinna I realize it?"
Who had not heard of Philip Church, whose work in physics on the concepts of relativity and space-time had led to Zephram Cochrane's breakthrough in the concept of warp-drive? His name ranked with Galileo, Newton, Einstein, Hawking, and Cochrane as Earth's physics greats. The difference between him and the others was that he had no great genius for the work; he had simply declared a belief in the possibility of faster-than-light-speed travel and had worked unswervingly until he had discovered what he wanted to know. He had conceived the theory, and Cochrane put it to use. Many people declared that he knew it was possible because of some kind of intervention; some said divine, others that aliens had told him… His own writings from his personal journal that had been published after his death, mentioned many times what a certain "Scott" had told him; it was believed that Scott was an unknown colleague.
Scotty sank into a chair. "It was supposed to be," he said, awed. "Captain, I did it! What people claimed is true, and I did it!"
"I would extrapolate the same scientific conclusion," Spock said, as unmoved as ever.
Tom, Melissa, and Philip were staring at them, wondering what in the world they were talking about.
"Philip," Kirk said gently, "we can't tell you what we're talking about now. Let me give you some advice. Whatever you're planning to do now, do it. Don't worry about what Scotty's told you about the Prime Directive or anything; just do it, and when you've done it, you'll understand what we're talking about. It's about time for us to leave. But a word of caution to you all; do not tell anyone about us or anything you've learned from us. You could change the future and endanger us. But I'm choosing to leave you with the knowledge of what you've learned, for reasons of my own and for history's sake. Some day you'll understand, believe me."
When they were outside, ready to beam up, Morganna burst into tears. "I don't want Scotty to go!"
"Ah, lassie." He knelt down and put his arms around her. "I dinna want t' leave ye, either, but I mun. I belong up there wi' my ship, just as you belong here, wi' your family. Give me a kiss now, and dinna make it too hard on yoursel'." Childish lips touched his cheek, and then Philip shyly hugged him, tears brimming in his eyes. Melissa was wiping away tears of her own as she hugged him, and Tom could only shake his hand firmly. "Thank you," Scotty said. "Thank you everythin'." He looked at them mutely, then stepped back and disappeared in the transporter effect.