Hi! Thank you so much to the people who a following, favoriting and reviewing the story so far. I love telling my boyfriend about it and we both get so excited. Yay! I love love love it! It makes my day and gives me the inspiration to continue. To the guest reviewer in response to the Romulan question: the Romulans are the cousins to the vulcans. The Romulans are vulcans who during the time of Surak decided the path of suppressing emotions wasn't for them so they left and went to form the Romulan Empire.
This chapter I'm taking a little bit of writer's creativity. The original series stated the Eugenics War and the time of Khan Noonien Singh was in the 1990s from 1992-1996 and according to the memory alpha website was a preemptive reason for the Third World War according to the next generation was 2026-2053. I'm gonna make out that the Eugenics War was a hidden government conspiracy and was only declassified due to the Third World War. I hope this works for you all.
Since the Reliant incident Liz had still been stuck on light duty. She wondered when McCoy was going to relinquish his iron grip and let her try and retain some semblance of normalcy. He'd been checking up on her a little more frequently and almost every morning without fail he just "happened" to arrive in the mess hall at the same time as her and just "happened" to have not had breakfast either. It would have been endearing if she didn't feel like he was evaluating her every response.
She decided to throw him for a loop today. She needed a break and wanted to try something new. She'd been studying the manuals and technical specs wanting to advance her knowledge of 23rd century technology. It had been almost unendurably boring but she was wanting to be more flexible. What would happen if she was out on an away mission and the pilot became incapacitated. Since the disastrous away mission to G-23 she had been making it a point to study everything she could. Although, unlike her adaptability in the medical field she had nothing to really base her furthering education on. She'd sent a request to meet Lieutenant Sulu at the shuttle bay to get a more hands on approach.
She turned the corner and walked through the shuttle bay doors nervous. Her heart fluttering as she saw the magnitude of the shuttle. It was so big. Well, it was obviously not as big as the Enterprise but she'd been expecting it to be smaller. More like one of those old Apollo pods. It was a pretty silver color with sleek lines on the side. The Starfleet emblem proudly displayed next to the serial number of the Enterprise. It looked like they had named the shuttle too. Galileo. It was a nice name bring to mind the whole idea and hope for being out here. Much like the scientist Galileo they were exploring the universe and trying to unlock it's secrets, though, thankfully, they were able to do so without as much interference as he did.
She slowly walked completely around the shuttle noting the larce nacelles on both sides and resisting the urge to climb up and peek into the window like a child knowing that Lt. Sulu would be there soon. She was almost glad she had today off and that she would get to see one of these things. They did look interesting. She bent down to try and see under it wondering about the machinations more when she heard the telltale whoosh of the doors. She smiled in nervous anticipation when she saw Sulu striding over grinning.
"I was wondering when you were gonna ask about these. To be honest, I was hoping it would have been sooner but I know Dr. McCoy tends to keep his people closer to home. I think it's because he doesn't like these things too much himself."
"I was just curious. Mainly, I was hoping for a look around."
She saw him grin even wider and she almost felt her heart was going to jump out of her throat. In the forefront of her mind she couldn't help but remember her own time's failed space missions. The Challenger, in 1986 and Columbia in 2003. It had been frightening and here she was wanting to step into one of these tin cans with a man not much older than her! Maybe she was crazy.
"We can do better than just a look. Since the Reliant was unable to finish their charting of this region of space Commander Spock suggested that we could take the Galileo out to start scanning the area. You know how to work the scanners, right?"
She nodded mutely. She wasn't sure she really liked the idea. The only thing that came to mind was that she was being thrown in he deep end and it was time to sink or swim.
"We'll be taking the Galileo out for the day and while we're scanning I can teach you some of the basics of piloting. We'll head out ahead for about four hours and just head back. Simple."
Yeah. Nothing is ever simple here on the Enterprise.
"Are we going alone?"
"Commander Spock is coming too. He wants to help so it can be more of a learning opportunity for you. Especially since it's technically your day off."
As he finished the doors came open again and Commander Spock strode towards the shuttle only giving a nod to her before pressing a button to open the main doors. Commander Spock took the seat at the back, while Sulu had quickly taken the pilot's chair at the front. He looked in his element. He nodded for her to take the seat next to him and once she sat she felt a little better. She could see both officers really knew what they were doing. Sulu was showing her he preflight checks for the inertial dampeners, the impulse and warp engines, the thrusters, computer, life support and the list went on. He pointed to each display and she quickly memorized each button he was pressing and trying to put the manuals to the practical aspect. It was so different but she understood the process. The preflight check complete all that remained was permission to leave.
"You want to do that?" Sulu turned to her and she quickly shook her head, heat creeping up her neck.
"Shuttle raft Galileo to Enterprise. We are requesting clearance to depart. All checks are clear and we are ready to disembark on your authorization."
"Enterprise to Galileo. You are cleared for launch."
And with that Sulu's hands danced across the controls almost too fast for her to watch. Thankfully, he kept up a running commentary for her benefit. Once they cleared the shuttle bay doors and the Enterprise Sulu's movements slowed. He frowned considering something and his grin reappeared. His dark eyes seemed to light up as he pulled away and then swung around. She couldn't help but gasp in surprise and admiration.
Hanging in open space she saw the Enterprise for the first time. It really was something. She'd seen pictures of it but they were nothing on actually seeing it. It's sleek lines silhouetted against a black backdrop. The stars seemed endless and in the shuttle craft they seemed so much closer than from a view port on the Enterprise. The ship was massive and it only made her realize just how small she really was.
"Thank you Lt. Sulu. It's amazing." Her breath was literally taken away.
"No problem. Just thought I'd show you home properly before we headed out."
She couldn't help but feel excited. It was almost like roughing it by using the shuttle. Even though the technology was top of the line it just felt like it was so much less because they weren't doing this on the ship.
Two hours passed and Liz was starting to feel a little antsy. Though she was far from done learning it just seemed like a long day. The shuttle was small and had very little privacy. She didn't know Sulu very well so the poor guy had been peppered with questions the entire time. She figured from Spock's demeanor that he wouldn't take well to being interrogated.
"So...you do fencing? I've never tried it."
She was running out of ideas on topics. Sulu had even let her plot their return course and she had only needed minimal correction. A beeping from Commander Spock's science station gave her the distraction she desperately needed. She jumped up rushing over.
"Crewman. What do you see on the scanners?"
Damn. She hated feeling dumb. She was struggling to understand the lines and waves. She adjusted the viewing piece and bent low to have a closer look. She could feel the Vulcan watching her and she wanted to get it right.
"It looks like a ship. Small. Definitely old."
She twisted the dial on the side o take a more detailed reading focusing on life signs.
"I'm detecting...possible life signs. There are heartbeats. No respiration but the beats are extremely slow. About 4 beats per minute. Approximately 74 of them all together."
She leaned back. Her eyebrows drawn.
"Yes, Miss Parker?"
"Sir? That ship had English...I mean standard written on it. It said SS Botany Bay."
He moved into her personal space to look for himself.
"Fascinating. I believe it is an old DY-100 class ship. Used during your time. Around the years 1994-1996."
Sulu had pulled them into a dead stop wanting to see for himself.
"I've never seen one. What's it doing out here? They were only used for local travel. Nuclear powered, very slow."
Sulu had apparently impressed Spock because he just leaned back and raised an eyebrow in what was clearly surprise. Her only feeling was confusion.
"I'm sorry, sir, but did you say 1990s? I was alive in the 90s and I never saw a ship like that. Sure we had NASA and shuttles and the moon stuff in the 60s and 70s but that was pretty much it."
Their expressions were almost comical had she not been so frustrated.
"Miss Parker, do you mean to tell me you don't know of the significance of the time frame of 1992-1994?"
Commander Spock moved closer and was looking down at her almost like a parent explaining to a child why the sun rose in the sky. Heat rose in her cheeks in furious indignation. She had been there. Nothing significant really happened. Jerking her head for negative she bit her tongue and waited for an explanation.
"During that time frame your people were involved in what is now known as the Eugenics Wars. A volatile period in your history where a group of scientists had decided to attempt what they believed was an improvement of the human race through selective breeding and genetic enhancement and manipulation. Though the enhanced humans were overthrown and eventually killed it was the basis for your planet's Third World War which was from 2026-2053. It was a devastating period."
She just nodded numbly not really believing what he was saying. She'd never heard of any of this.
"I still don't remember any of this happening. The only time I remember any talk of selective breeding was during World War II when Nazis had some creepy Aryan racial purity belief."
Sulu stepped forward.
"It had been under wraps and hidden by your government. It was many years before the truth came out. The public didn't start to know until the early 2020s. I'm not surprised."
Disbelief flooded through her. In a way, though she had lost everything landing here she was almost glad. She didn't want to think about what would have happened to her had she remained in her own time period.
"Wow. That's...uh...pretty shocking."
That was an understatement. All three of them turned their views to the old ship hovering curious as to what they would find. They saw that it was clearly battle scarred. Pitted all over with meteor craters, burns from solar flares and some panels had come off exposing wires to the vacuum of space. The sight was foreboding to say the least and Liz couldn't explain why but the sight sent chills down her spine. Clearly, she wasn't the only one. Lt. Sulu gave a slight shiver causing his black hair to fall into his eyes.
"Commander? What should we do? Hail them?" Liz hesitated slightly not knowing if she'd like the answer considering Spock's grim depiction of her time period.
"I believe we should attempt to communicate however I think it may be best to advise the Enterprise of our situation since we do not comprise a full away team."
Spock turned to Liz. Even though she knew he was dying to go over and see the ship he didn't show a hint of it. His eyes sparkled with the curiosity but he was all protocol.
"Miss Parker, would you open hailing frequencies and contact the Enterprise requesting assistance?"
She moved to the front of the shuttle and took a seat in the co-pilot's chair. There were so many buttons. She was trying to remember what Lt. Sulu did to contact the Enterprise. Normally, she never had a problem with her memory but out of he corner out of her eye as she was searching for the right buttons. It was almost as if she was drawn to it but it still set her on edge. She tried to focus but the panel in front of her just seemed like a jumbled mess of colors.
She suddenly felt Sulu come up behind her. He leaned over her chair his face close to hers. Compassion in his eyes as if he sensed her difficulty. She didn't understand why she was freezing like this. Maybe it was the knowledge that the Commander had imparted telling her the hidden truths of her times, maybe it was the fact that most likely all of her friends had died in the war following. Yes, they had had died a long time ago but she had been thinking it was due to old age not a war. Or maybe it was he knowledge that this ship was a clue to that hidden past.
"Here, this button opens the channels, this one helps you select the channels and this one starts the hailing code. When they acknowledge the screen will come up immediately. After you select the channels, then you say who you are and who you're trying to contact."
He smoothly sat next to her nodding for her to continue. She smiled her thanks and quickly followed his instructions.
"Shuttle craft Galileo to USS Enterprise. Please respond."
Almost immediately the screen to her right lit up showing the bridge of the Enterprise. Kirk sitting in his chair looking mildly curious seeing her on his screen and McCoy standing next to him looking like he'd swallowed a bottle of tabasco sauce. His face was red and his mouth was open. It was hard to focus on the Captain when McCoy was so distracting.
"Crewman Parker, well this is a surprise. I was expecting Commander Spock. I didn't realize your training session with Lieutenant Sulu extended to a practical session."
She blushed furiously. She had thought that Sulu had received authorization for this little ride. She turned a glare to him before turning back. She opened her mouth to speak but Spock cut her off coming up from behind her silently.
"I apologize Captain. I had believed that my request was thorough in stating that I was to accompany Mr. Sulu and Miss Parker to assist on their mapping of this region."
"You're right Commander. I just didn't register that Crewman Parker was there. So, what can we do for you?"
McCoy was looking at Kirk now almost purple in the face. Liz moved slightly to get out of the view and because the commander was at this point brushing against her. She didn't understand why the doctor was so upset but she had a bad feeling it was because she hadn't told him.
"Our scanners detected an Earth type vessel, it appears to be a class DY-100 dating from the mid 1990s. We are unsure of life signs and are requesting back up to lead an away mission."
"Alright. We'll be there in he looked to the young Bolian who was manning Sulu's station at the helm."
"15 minutes at warp 3, sir."
"That would be acceptable. We will see you soon. Galileo out."
The screen went blank. Sulu turned to Liz a look of sympathy on his face.
"Liz? What did you do to piss McCoy off? I've only seen him this upset at the Captain and that's usually when he does something really stupid."
She flipped her head around so fast it hurt. She gave him a filthy look before replying with a voice much calmer than what she was feeling.
"Mister Sulu, I had assumed that you had informed the appropriate people that I was coming along. He was probably upset when he couldn't find me. He was probably on the bridge trying to locate me for something and then to have me pop up on a screen must have really upset him."
"I left the request next to him. He probably didn't see it."
Spock spoke up from the back where he had started scanning again.
"It is unusual. It was also stated in my report that I would be accompanying both you and Mister Sulu on this trip."
She frowned looking away. Why would Captain Kirk act like he didn't know where she had been.
McCoy spun on his heel to face his friend. He was positively raging. He'd been looking for Liz for two hours and then she was on some damn tin can.
"Captain, I thought you had said you didn't know where she was."
Jim leaned over and casually pulled out two PADDs and looked at hem feigning surprise. It incensed him further.
"Oh. Here are the requests. I must have missed them. You weren't worried. Were you, Bones? She's just a crew member."
He gave McCoy a knowing grin and it took all of his professional training to not strangle him and his two-bit psychology.
"May I remind you that I worry about all crew members on the Enterprise."
Jim actually looked disappointed but he quickly changed tact. Smirking he leaned over.
"Bones, I think your reaction just now was a little more than just caring. Why don't you greet her and ask her how her shuttle flight went. We'll be having a quick briefing an hour after we pick them up."
He sputtered for a moment but quickly turned in a huff and left for the shuttle bay. He didn't hear Uhura's comment to the Captain.
"That was mean. I'm impressed though."
AN: Ok, suggestions? I was tempted to have them go on the craft alone but Spock seems like a by the rules kind of guy and he wouldn't go rushing in without good backup or a good reason. Also, Kirk has probably noticed McCoy hasn't made a move even though he's interested and as new movie fans, everyone knows he doesn't do subtle. I hope it's ok. We're gonna have a little fun in the next chapter or two.