They took Scotty away.

Captain Kirk had been told before that he was controlling, a tyrant, too immersed in his ship and crew. He never listened to that. He was a starship captain, in charge of the lives of four-hundred and twenty men and women—he had to be a little obsessed with his job.

He was in charge of the lives of his crew, and they wanted to take one away.

It was like the energy of all the people aboard formed a mass that Kirk could feel in his heart, as part of his ship. And it was being ruptured, pulled apart like clay not yet dried. Every particle of his being rebelled against it. His ship and crew needed to be protected.

And Scotty was his friend.

But legally, there was nothing he could do.

Scotty was being convicted of murder. Kirk watched, wondering if he was being held back – because he wasn't moving, but he had the distinct feeling he was trying to – as the Argelians took Scotty away.

Scotty wasn't fighting. Kirk wasn't fighting. Everything was going about its legal course.

The penalty for murder on this planet…

Death by slow torture.

Scotty's eyes were brown and scared, his eyebrows knitted over them as he stared back at his captain. He hadn't broken eye contact since Jaris decided that the investigation was going in circles, that there was no proof for anything but Scotty's guilt, that the computer wasn't trustworthy. Meanwhile, Hengist had nodded almost gleefully – horrible, morbid little man – but Montgomery Scott had only looked at Captain Kirk with despair in his gaze.

There was nothing any of them could do if Jaris convicted him, and Scott knew it. He knew that Jim had to abandon him.

So he didn't struggle when they took him by the arms and led him away. And the crew was supposed to let him go.

They were taking away a part of Captain Kirk's life and his crew. And as he stood in the council room, arms at his sides, McCoy and Spock behind him, he knew he wasn't okay with that. Not by a long shot.

The door was open now, and Scotty was walking backwards through it, but Jaris and Hengist weren't facing inside. They had their eyes outward, out of the room. Scotty was still staring at his crewmates—his mates.

And right before the door slid closed again, Scotty seemed to regain his ability to talk. He just said one word. "Captin'," he grunted out, and then a hiss like the release of pressure sounded.

The door closed, and the captain was alone with McCoy and Spock.

"Scotty," he whispered in reply, though the man couldn't hear him.

He spun around, the palms of his hands rubbing together in front of him as he delivered his next order. "McCoy, Spock," he snapped, feeling the anguish fall from his face as a new hardness took over. "We have perhaps an hour to prove Scotty's innocence and have him returned to the Enterprise."

McCoy and Spock stared at each other for a second, as they always did whenever their captain surprised them. (Though Spock would never admit it; he would simply raise an eyebrow if asked about being "surprised".)

"Jim," McCoy insisted, "that's impossible!"

"Well, then," Kirk responded, his mouth twitching. "We're just the crew to make it possible, aren't we?"

Spock nodded so deeply it was almost a bow, but Kirk was disturbed to see that he had a sparkle of understanding and almost… pity in his eyes.

A man desperately trying anything to save his friend.

That he was.

"Indeed, Captain," Spock replied.

"Then let's get started, gentlemen," Kirk said, and clenched his fists.


A/N: I love Star Trek because whenever I write the characters, they have such distinctive voices that I can hear them speaking. You know, as great as the show is, it's episodes like this that remind me why I think it can be a bit sexist…

I think I may add one more chapter? Two? I don't know when you can expect it, sorry… Let me know what you think? Is it awful? Should I just leave as is?