The Last One

by Satin Ragdoll

Jim walked into Bone's office, just for a drink with his CMO, when he saw something that stopped him cold. There, in a cage against the wall, was a little, round, white furball.

He glared at the doctor, who was looking a little shamefaced. Not a lot, just a little. The Captain got the half-roaring tone to his voice when he was really starting to get irritated, "Boooones! I thought I said to get all those things off my ship! When I said all, I meant all!" He was just so tired of the whole tribble business.

Bones tried to mollify him, smiling and talking calmly, "Relax, Jim. It's just one, and I'm not feeding it. I'm keeping it in it's cage, so it won't run amok and start breeding everywhere."

Jim glared at him again, and McCoy knew he was going to have to explain this one before he lost his head over the matter. His voice dropped down a little, "Listen, Jim. We owe a lot to the little furballs. I know Baris was a pompous, self-important jerk, but I don't think you really grasped the seriousness of the situation, Captain. That quadrotriticale was going to be planted! The virus Darvin infected it with would have gone all through Sherman's Planet's crops! Can you imagine how many men, women and children would have died, Jim? My God! They would have weakened and wasted away, starving with full bellies, never knowing what was happening to them."

Kirk was a little calmer, but still slightly agitated, "I know that, Bones. I was there, remember? As I recall, I was the one buried to my armpits in tribbles!"

McCoy got a little snappish, "Then you should recall that those tribble deaths are what exposed Darvin's murderous intents! They didn't mean to, they were just doing what tribbles do, but they gave their lives and saved who knows how many innocent people! So, I'm keeping one, to honor them, thank you very much!"

His voice softened, "Especially considering we don't know what the Klingons are going to do to them. I shudder to think of it."

Kirk looked a little shocked, "You don't really think they'd hurt them, do you? That's against interplanetary law!"

McCoy shook his head, "I know Klingons are supposed to be honorable, but these are tribbles we're talking about, here. You saw how much they hate them. I've heard that Klingons eat one animal, alive! I believe they call it 'gagh.' You think they're going to treat screeching furballs any better?"

He looked down at the floor, "Plus, I kind of like it. Chapel and the other nurses like it, too. They dote on it, and have even named the little sucker."

Jim relented. Happier nurses made for a happier sick-bay. Well, at least, a less unpleasant one. "Okay! Okay! But just one, you hear? And if it gets pregnant, all bets are off!"

Bones grinned and bounced on his toes, "Besides, it'll drive Spock nuts!"

Kirk grinned back, "Bones, sometimes you are too machiavellian for your own good!"

McCoy just laughed, "C'mon and have a drink! I'll even let you pet Snowball."