Title: Spaceman's Lullaby
Pairings and Characters: Spock/McCoy, McCoy/OFC, Spock/OFC, various OC's, Kirk, Sulu, M'Benga
Summary: Mr. Spock and Dr. McCoy are taken prisoner where they undergo terrible medical experiments and torture by the captors. McCoy is forcibly impregnated. The two escape by jumping through a portal which dumps them back in time (in 1941) in the seaside town of Long Beach. While they wait for the enterprise to rescue them, they must adapt to the early twentieth century. The move into a cheap rooming house, survive on menial jobs, try not to change history, all the while dealing with the impending World War II, McCoy's pregnancy and their developing attraction for one another. Time is running out. Their only hope is that the Enterprise can rescue them before McCoy gives birth.
Kinks: mpreg, hurt/comfort, time travel, romance
warnings: mpreg, forced orgasm/molestation, minor character death (not Spock, McCoy or baby), horror themes, triggery scenes, swearing throughout, psychological torture, implied physical torture, blood, graphic C-Section, 1941 style racism and homophobia. Some het kissing. Contains NON EXPLICIT slash.
He could forget nothing; vivified were visions & past desires of bloodletting; memories were all too vivid; too close to whittling away reality.
They materialized approximately twenty centimeters too high. McCoy hit the ground first with Spock landing squarely on top of him. "Ow. Get off me, you're heavy."
"Oh…" Spock whispered as he looked around, dazed for a moment. He rolled off McCoy and quickly scrambled to his feet.
They appeared to now be on a planet, outdoors, in a location quite different and several degrees warmer to where they'd originated. No more alien abductors. No more medical torture facility. No more sea of white.
Spock's gaze dropped to McCoy, still coiled into himself on the ground. "Doctor, can you stand?"
"Huh?" The man was wide eyed, seemingly disoriented.
"Oh...alright...yeah." Spock wound an arm around his waist, helping him up. "Goddammit." McCoy winced and groaned with the effort. "Are you alright, Spock?"
"I am well enough."
McCoy grabbed at Spock's hand. "You're bleeding."
Spock pulled his offending digit away. "Dr. McCoy, I implore you to study our surroundings."
They stood on the perimeter of some sort of municipal field packed with what appeared to be families of humans or humanoids of all ages. A group of those curious figures had been watching them but now moved a fair distance away. A huge wooden sign said: 'Bixby Park'. Cheerful sounds from what sounded like a live brass band played in the were gathered on the grass, eating food from picnic baskets, playing ball games, the atmosphere appearing very jovial.
The cloudy blue sky overhead seemed to be darkening, most likely late afternoon or early evening. Damp, thick fog rolled in. Tall, flexible palm trees swayed in the wind. Spock found himself shivering, trying to minimize it, acutely aware that they were still clad in only flimsy white medical gowns from the medical facility and nothing else. The grass poked and the soil underneath it squished under their bare feet.
"Toto, something tells me we're not in Kansas anymore," McCoy quipped.
"Fascinating. We must be in the vicinity of a large body of water. I hear waves crashing."
McCoy seemed to perk up at this point. "Oxygen, nitrogen, CO2 combinations feel about right. Having any trouble breathing, Spock?"
"Earth?" McCoy wondered. "Of the past?"
Spock shook his head. "We cannot be on Earth. It is most likely some type of simulation. The medical facility was too far away for travel to Earth to be possible."
"Where ever we are, how'd we even get here?"
Spock eyed the man curiously. "I escaped through a portal."
"Nice goin'. Well, we've made a wrong turn, now we need to get back."
They searched for any irregularity in the air, anything to suggest an opening they could return through. "See anything, Spock?"
"I do not."
"Maybe we're better off, here, for the moment."
As they surveyed the scene in front of them, wandering around, attempting to get their bearings, more locals stopped and stared, pointed while snickering and hurtling cat-calls. Mostly young men clad in ancient military or military style uniforms. Older men sauntered by wearing suits, white shirts, ties, wool trousers and hats, they said nothing but also ogled, mouths agape.
"What the hell you starin' at?" McCoy shouted at the onlookers.
"Doctor." Spock touched him on the arm. "This way."
They eventually stumbled over to the nearby intersection of two-laned, asphalt paved streets, the signs proclaiming them: 'Cherry' and 'Broadway Avenues', the soft grass underfoot suddenly shifting to a hard, uncomfortable gravel.
A policeman began to follow them, the man clearly attempting to be casual but alerted to the fact the strangers were unusual. Spock nudged McCoy again and they moved along with the throng of humanoids carrying beach chairs.
"Maybe we should ask directions?" McCoy asked. "In any town like this, it's almost a cliche, there's gotta be some type of homeless or rescue mission around someplace." They halted when they reached 'Ocean Avenue.' "Now which way?"
A pair of comely young females with interesting hairstyles, clad in grey wool dresses carrying handbags to match, walked close by. The women wore high heels, panty hose or stockings with the seams running down the backs of their legs. One was blonde, the other brunette with shoulder length hair. "Excuse me, Miss…" McCoy called to the brunette, beckoning them over. The women looked from McCoy to Spock, shrieked, then ran away, high heels clacking.
"Well, that didn't work," McCoy grumbled. "Damned pointy ears."
A middle aged gentleman, dark hair salted with grey, aged perhaps sixty, stood at the corner waiting for the light to change. "Well, look at you two." The man let out a vulgar wolf whistle as he noticed the dried brown blood on McCoy's gown, then down at their bare legs and feet. "Just escape from 'Harimann Jones'?"
"'Harimann Jones'?" Spock asked.
"The hospital," the man said. "Right behind us."
"Something like that," McCoy replied.
The man indicated Spock's ears. "Or the freak show?"
"Sir, by any chance do you know where we can get a hot meal and a bed or some clothing?" Spock asked.
"You guys in the service?"
"We might be." McCoy threw Spock a sideways glance.
"Try the 'Y'. They love sailors."
"Or the Seaman's mission. First and Lime." The man inched away from them as soon as the light changed.
"Now, just wait a minute," McCoy hissed. The man stopped short. "Just how do we get to this Seaman's Mission?"
"You don't know where First and Lime is?"
"We wouldn't be asking you if we did."
"Alright, alright. No need to get testy. Ship just dock or something?"
"Go down 'Ocean', that way, past 'Alamitos'," the man pointed out, "you'll hit 'Lime'. Go one block east, then you'll hit 'First'. Fifteen minute walk from here, give or take." He looked at Spock again. "The freak show's further down, at 'The Pike'." He burst out in laughter.
McCoy rolled his eyes. "Here's another serious question. What's today's date?"
"Sunday," the man said.
"The date," McCoy reiterated, more insistently.
"Listen, fellas…" The man cleared his throat, his eyes shifted back and forth. "I gotta go. See ya around." He scampered off across the street without waiting for the light to turn red. A black, early twentieth century ground car slammed on it's brakes, nearly hitting him honking it's horn.
"oh, god... somebody help me!"
Ocean Avenue-a major thoroughfare lined on one side by high rise buildings and the other by grassy knolls dotted with the ever present swaying palm trees, rose above a intermittently visible coastline with its cream colored sandy beach and bright blue water.
"This whole place reeks of combustion engines, heavy flowery perfume and tobacco smoke from tobacco pipes or cigars and cigarettes." McCoy wrinkled up his nose as they walked. "I remember my great-grandfather used to smoke a pipe, the only one in the neighborhood who did, the odor reminds me of him. The automobiles are running on gasoline. My Mustang used to run on that old fuel."
"Mustang? A horse?" Spock asked.
"No, no. My old Earth ground car I had in med-school. It was an antique, made in 1971. Wonder what year we're in."
"This is not Earth."
They stopped at the intersection with 'Alamitos Boulevard', in front of a large, multi-storied gothic looking structure called the 'Via Rivera'. The found a newspaper dispenser at the entrance of the structure. Spock read out the engraving on the metal: "'Long Beach Independent Newspaper. Fifteen cents'."
"Well, I know there's a city called 'Long Beach' on Earth. However, are we in California, Florida or New York? Got fifteen cents on ya, Spock?"
"I possess precisely as much money as you do, Doctor."
"Anybody looking?" McCoy popped open the dispenser and pulled out a newspaper. He read the text for a few moments with Spock looking over his shoulder. "Sunday, October 12, 1941?" He turned to Spock, his eyes as wide as saucers. "Well...Their news stories seem authentic enough." He read aloud some of the headline story: "'Nazi powers invade Russia.' I'm no history scholar, but this seems…seems about right, Doesn't it? Long Beach, California, at the beginning of World War Two?" McCoy folded up the newspaper, handing it to Spock. "Hang onto this."
"We have not paid for-"
'…dear god, no, no, no!'
Further along, now on 'Linden Avenue', Spock spotted a brown fedora lying abandoned on the sidewalk. It appeared new enough. Perhaps it had recently fallen off of someone's head. He bent down to retrieve it.
"What the hell are you doing?" McCoy demanded.
Spock brushed off a light layer of dust and placed it gingerly upon his own head. It proved a little too large but it provided an added advantage of sinking down lower than it should, taking attention away from his ear tips. "I am endeavoring to make use of this discarded head covering."
"Are you insane? I can't believe you just did that! Imagine the colony of lice infested in that thing. If we're really on Earth in 1941, how am I going to get rid of them? You'll be itching for-God. And," McCoy added, dryly, "when you bent over just now, in that medical gown of yours, you mooned the whole side of that street. Is hiding your ears worth all of that? You look ridiculous."
Spock ignored that. "Come, Doctor. The mission building cannot be much further along, if the gentleman was to be believed."
'...help me...please...help me…!'
They managed to become quite lost and were again forced to ask directions from skittish residents, the eyes gravitating as if pulled by a magnet towards their unfortunate attire and the dried blood.
They got the information they required then backtracked until finally they reached their intended destination.
"Goddamned inadequate street signs! How the hell were we supposed to know we'd passed 'Lime'?"
'i'm you're wicked uncle ernie...'
They reached the Seaman's Mission, a huge red brick building teeming with hundreds of young men dressed in blue, white or green uniforms or civilian attire. Many were hunkered around a large wooden object with knobs and a speaker on the front of it, listening to a crackly 'news'-like broadcast. Obviously a radio. Others lounged around reading newspapers, playing cards or conversing.
The mission seemed reluctant to assist them. Never the less the newcomers were welcomed inside, if not with some underlying suspicion.
They joined a short line for charity clothing. To obtain the articles one was made to dig in a large box for articles that might fit them. Somehow this act seemed humiliating, but there was no other way. They found two sets of trousers that might fit, two pairs of black leather shoes with holes in the soles, mismatched dark socks also with holes in the toes, yellowing white undershirts and shorts, two button up white shirts, two wool ties and jackets. All of it was very worn and smelled of 'mothballs' as Spock had heard a nearby man refer to it.
An attendant then handed over two towels and pointed. "Shower room is that way."
"'No single showering. Four men at a time only. Eight minutes maximum'," said the sign posted on the wall. Other men stood outside the door, laughing and joking as they waited their turn. Spock and McCoy fell in behind them.
After a wait of about twenty minutes they entered the small shower room, with two others accompanying them, shutting the door.
A wave of fear prickled in Spock's mind and he halted before disrobing. He glanced at the two other nude men already silently engaged in washing their bodies.
water...water...everywhere...raining upon him...cannot breathe...cannot breathe...
"'S'matter, Spock? Not gonna take a shower?" McCoy whispered. "You need to clean yourself up."
"I shall perform my ablutions in the restroom sink."
"Modest? I don't know why you would be at a time like this."
The doctor was of course correct, this sudden reluctance of his to shower was completely irrational, but being in the vicinity of a running spray of water now felt completely unnerving.
"Come on, Spock, it's just water. Time's a wasting," McCoy called at him, gently.
"Alright, suit yourself."
McCoy himself proved particularly shy after removing his medical gown, turning his back to Spock and the two other men.
Spock slipped off his own and immediately dived into the proffered clothing. He pointedly ignored McCoy's labored sigh under the water stream: "Feels good, Spock. It's warm."
The doctor dried himself off, quickly sliding into the leftover clothing while Spock scooped up the discarded medical gowns. At least they now might fit in to this society. He placed the previously obtained hat upon his head and they headed out.
On the way to the men's toilets, Spock noticed McCoy asking the towel attendant for a few basic first aid supplies. The man handed McCoy some white tape and gauze.
They carried on into the large bathroom facility, also filled to bursting with other men. They found a sink with a tiny mirror, pushing through the throng to get in front of it. Spock pulled his shirt and undershirt off, studying himself in the reflection. His neck and shoulder were covered in contusions. He could not remember how he'd gotten them.
McCoy noticed, met his eyes but said nothing. He reached over and bandaged up Spock's hand. McCoy then removed his own shirts. Ugly red slashes ran across his thoracic region. Spock raised an eyebrow at the sight.
"Minor injury. I'll be fine," McCoy told him.
They dressed then trudged with the other men to the kitchen where the cook pushed over two bowls of watery potato soup, bread and coffee. They found a table that had two adjoining seats available. Neither of them touched the coffee and they merely picked at the soup and bread.
McCoy soon excused himself to use the toilet.
Spock busied himself with the remainder of the day's paper at the table while waiting for him:
"The Germans have claimed new successes on both the central and southern fronts last night while Russian army officials admitted the gravity of the situation around Vyasma and Bryansk. A special communique from the headquarters of Adolf Hitler asserted that the bulk of the Ninth and 18th Soviet armies had been crushed in fighting in the south near the Sea of Azov. The communiqué said 64,325 Russian prisoners and quantities of war material had been captured in the final stage of the battle. Soviet prisoners taken in the south since September 26 were numbered at 106,000." (1)
After a wait of approximately ten minutes, McCoy finally emerged. He asked the attendant for a glass of water and gulped it down.
"Attention," a loud speaker called out, silencing the din. "Tonight we are filled to capacity. No more beds are available. If you have not already been assigned a bed, we shall not be able to accommodate you."
"Now what do we do?" McCoy asked.
An extremely young sailor standing along side of McCoy replied: "You new here?"
"Yeah. We're a little lost."
"Know the feeling, Buddy. It's okay, Pops, this is a great town. You have some choices, either go back to your ship-"
"Not possible," Spock told the man.
"Or a hotel."
"No money," McCoy said.
"Or there's the park or the beach. I'd pick the beach if I was you. A little nicer. Don't forget to steal a blanket on your way out."
'oh look! father gibbs is bringing some of my flowers to you. he looks just like george, doesn't he? oh mother gibbs, i never realized before how troubled and how...how in the dark live persons are. look at him. i loved him so. from morning till night, that's all they are...troubled...'
They dropped down on the sand near the Pine Avenue and Rainbow Piers, huddling up underneath the solitary blanket. The waves of the Pacific crashed on shore every few moments. The air possessed that unique salty ocean scent.
They lay back, starring up at the inky night sky dotted with stars.
"Sure is windy," McCoy said.
"The star constellations look exactly right. Luna is in the correct position. Full moon tonight. Waves are breaking just like they should."
"This cannot be Earth."
"Why couldn't it be?"
"We were far too many light years from Earth."
"Just because you refuse to believe it, doesn't make it impossible. Look, there's Venus. Tell me that's not really Venus."
Spock sighed. "It cannot be."
"There's Ursa Minor. In the correct spot."
"I see it."
"There's Ursa Major, Cygnus. Look there's Arturus, and there's the Altair system. And there's Virgo, near Saturn, right where it should be for this area of Earth during this time of year."
"Those two men in the shower with us. They looked definitely human. Nothing odd about them. Well, as much as I could observe without gettin' myself beat up."
"And there's kids here, Spock. Everywhere, children, babies, teenagers."
"So there are."
"If this is fake, they'd have to fake all the kids, too. How often have you seen faked Earth Humanoid cultures that included children? They usually forget that little detail. The kids."
McCoy did have a point. "I am not precisely certain of our true location," Spock said. "This may well be Earth."
"Okay, now we're getting somewhere. You're the mission commander, what are we doing here? Do we stay close, so Jim can find us, or move as far away from that portal so the captors don't?"
Spock considered this for a moment. "I suggest we stay close to the entry point. We should not be here for a long interval."
"Assuming we really are on Earth, in the year 1941, how's Jim going to locate us?"
"I do not know. Most likely he has just become aware we are missing. He will undoubtably be searching the surrounding systems."
"Yeah…but in contemporary time. He won't find us anywhere. He can't be certain precisely where and when to look!"
"I know Jim, he'll find a way."
"That he will."
"Jesus Christ." McCoy rubbed his face with his hands. "We're a goddamned needle in a haystack!"
"If we have truly landed Earth of the past, we must avoid changing history at all costs. Otherwise there will be no Jim Kirk, no Enterprise, no Starfleet and we shall become trapped here. People will die and children born who should not have been."
"Just from little old us, huh?" McCoy hesitated, then said: "Spock, why would our captors even have a portal trained on this point in Earth history? Why Earth for that matter?"
"Any answer I can give would purely be speculation. They have not continued to pursue us."
"That we know of," McCoy said. "They got everything of ours: Shuttle, tri-corders, equipment, phasers, communicators."
"That they did."
"I can't remember. What happened? You rescued me, then dove into a portal?"
"I can't…I can't remember. The last thing I remember was..." McCoy shook his head, closing his eyes for a moment, swallowing.
"You were barely conscious."
"Yes. Well, whereever we are, survival is the first order of business. We'll need to find jobs so we can buy food and clothing. We need a place to stay. It sure does remind me of Earth of the past, from what I've seen in images. Maybe it can't be Earth-God, I hope it isn't-but it's damn near perfect a copy."
"We have traveled to Earth of the past before."
"And this place doesn't remind you of old Earth?"
"There are many differences, however we have presumably landed ten years later."
"Yeah. You and Jim had to come rescue me in 1930's New York. Keep me from saving poor Edith Keeler."
"Her death was necessary to avoid changing history."
"So you keep reminding me."
They fell silent for a few moments.
McCoy groaned as he rose to his feet. "I wish we could make a campfire."
"Where are you going?"
"To relieve myself in the Pacific Ocean, Mr. Spock. You stay here, unless you want to wade in freezing sea water." McCoy removed his shoes and socks and bent over to roll up his wool trousers. "Tide's out."
"I can see that."
"Good for you." McCoy stomped off towards the dark water. He stood at the edge, far enough away, so that Spock could only see the back of him. He finally returned with wet feet covered in sand. He collapsed down heavily next to Spock, crawling underneath the blanket. He shivered violently for a few moments until Spock inched closer to him.
They'd had to share body warmth on other emergency occasions planet-side before so McCoy did not utter any verbal protest. However the doctor had never had been the first one to offer, rather he always followed Spock's lead and moved closer, till they were in close proximity but barely touching.
"Look at that thing, over there," McCoy pointed out. An amusement park, a short distance away, with what appeared to be a huge wooden contraption built over the water. Delighted shrieking from patrons could be heard. "It's beautiful all lit up like that. They don't make them like they used to. I've only seen them in old museum photographs."
"Roller coasters," Spock supplied.
"You know what they're called?"
"I have a passing interest in the physics and mechanics of roller coasters."
"I would suggest you ride it to satisfy your curiosity, Mr. Spock, but it doesn't appear to be very safe, now does it?"
"It does not."
"I wouldn't be able to keep Jim away from that rickety thing."
"There's 40 Eridani." McCoy pointed up, a smug look on his face.
"Why so it appears."
"Still don't fully believe we are on Earth, do you."
"I do not."
"Well, fine. Suit yourself."
At the distant foghorn, McCoy sighed and closed his eyes. Under the moonlight, the inherent exhaustion was readily apparent on the man's face. His awkward movements and oddly deflated demeanor of late seemed incongruent to his usual state. Obviously he suffered from blood loss or perhaps had retained some painful internal damage from his injuries or psychological damage from their abduction.
Spock was about query him when there came the sound of loud snoring. He felt the man creep even closer to him in slumber, seeking out body warmth even more. He had to admit he welcomed this closer contact as the temperature quickly dropped lower on the beach.
Even after the ordeal at the medical facility that had held them captive, Spock refrained from anything other than keeping awake. It could not be safe to sleep out in the open, at this time, especially with the doctor's deep exhausted nap, even if the beach appeared deserted. He let himself fall into a light mediative trance however, easy enough to do while watching the waves break.
'….no please n—!' the scream cuts off. the resulting silence therein, chilling.
he recognizes the sound of that voice. mccoy.
the chief medical officer had long ago proved himself to be strong, emotional and stubborn in ordinary times. the man had also proved himself capable of being as stoic as a vulcan in dire situations. he never has been one to beg, even for his life.
the fact that he does so now, is... heartbreaking.
he fights against the restraints that hold him down. it is of no use.
they had anticipated his strength.
curiosity finally overtakes him. he glances down at himself. he is nude. interesting. his enterprise issued blue tunic, black shirt, trousers and boots are nowhere in sight. he lays prone on a medical cot. hooked up to monitors. not unlike the sickbay of the enterprise.
however, this is no uss enterprise.
blinding white. walls, floor, illumination. icy cold. the scent clinical. no blankets or covering. the light grows brighter and brighter. he cannot shield his eyes, closing them does not block out the brightness. it is painful.
what do they want with him and McCoy? he does not know.
all he does know is that he is completely helpless and vulnerable-
A throat cleared. Spock opened his eyes at the sound.
Sol, or whatever sun was truly up, shone brightly in the sky. He must have dozed off sometime during the night. His head felt bare. He reached around for the fedora and discovered it missing. He looked up, noticed a policeman standing above them, arms folded, the upside down red face scowling.
He nudged McCoy, who snorted awake. They scrambled to their feet.
"It is against the law to sleep on the beach overnight," the officer informed them.
"We weren't sleeping," McCoy croaked, rubbing his eyes. "Just watching the sunrise."
"Uh huh," the cop replied. "With your eyes closed?"
"Our apologies officer," Spock said. "We lost track of time."
"Doing what? You two were cuddled up like a couple of cats."
McCoy coughed. "It was cold."
The cop stared a hole through Spock, of course. "What do you call those things?"
"I call them ears."
"Are you trying to be funny?"
"I should arrest you two for vagrancy. Or for buggery."
"Buggery? What?" McCoy snapped. "What are you talking about?"
"Homosexual activity on the beach."
"Because we were cuddling in the cold?" McCoy asked. "Oh, Christ."
"Knock off the swearing and move along, you two. Get some hair cuts while you're at it. Especially you, sir. Long hair like that. Not in my town. 'Iowa by the sea', you know. We're respectable folks around here."
"Iowa? This ain't Iowa. Alright, alright, alright." McCoy put his hands up and they stumbled off, endeavoring to put a large distance between themselves and the beat cop.
"I suggest, Dr. McCoy, that you speak to the uniformed authorities of this place with bit more respect, they can and will arrest us if they so desire."
McCoy sighed. "Buggery."
'how troubled the living are...the dead are much nicer, don't you agree?'
Back at the Seaman's Mission they stood searching the meager job listings posted with simple straight pins on a large, light brown cork board.
"I suppose working as a surgeon is out, or physician," McCoy said, his mouth moving into a grimace. "Or university teaching or research fellow."
"We obviously should avoid any highly skilled technical, scientific, military or medical specialties," Spock replied. "To avoid any tampering with history, if we are truly on Earth."
"So that leaves office work, factory work, service industries or menial labor. Wonderful. All they have listed is hospital orderlies, anyway. That sounds alright, doesn't it?"
Spock had been able to retrieve another hat from the front desk attendant. This time it was a Navy man's blue knitted beanie that did a better job at hiding his ear tips. The hat made him itch. Perhaps he was allergic to the wool yarn. He scratched his head surreptitiously once or twice till he found McCoy studying him with narrowed eyes. From then he resolved to resist the urge.
Unfortunately, by the time they had arrived at the mission, 8:00 am, the kitchen was already closed for breakfast. The mission attendant announced on the loudspeaker that the facility was still over capacity for beds.
Spock did not welcome sleeping on the freezing beach once again.
Luckily, McCoy had noticed an advertisement for the YMCA. The 'Young Men's Christian Association' offered beds on a nightly or weekly basis. Located on the corner of Pine Avenue and Sixth Street. Cots for men were at twenty cents a night. However, since they both were what McCoy termed: 'flat broke', even twenty cents felt like a princely sum.
Many types of welfare appeared to be clearly nonexistent in this time. It was imperative for them to hustle for some type of work if they were to have a bed for tonight.
"I'll just be a minute," McCoy called over. Spock nodded and waited for him in front of the men's toilets.
After half an hour, the doctor finally emerged, looking very pale, his face damp, his light blue eyes hooded, bloodshot, red rimmed. The man usually kept his hair combed tidily across his face but the wet bangs now hung down into his eyes, a drastic change from his normal appearance. "Goddamned sand gets into everything."
"Are you quite alright, Doctor?"
"I'm fine, Spock. Just need a glass of water."
'what have you done to it? how can it breathe, eat, speak...what have you done to it, you... MANIACS!'
The mission attendant handed a small scrap of paper to McCoy: "Here's a list of hospitals seeking orderlies. Telephone first. Here's the number and some change." An assortment of coins landed into Spock's hand.
"HA9-3456?" McCoy read a listing aloud with a puzzled frown. "What's that, a phone number?"
"There's a booth located just outside."
"How the hell do you open the door to this thing?" McCoy wondered as they both stood staring at the glass enclosed phone booth.
"Unknown." Spock slowly walked around it. "Fascinating. There is no clear way of entry. No release mechanism."
"Thought you'd been to 1930's New York."
"I did not have an opportunity to utilize a telephone in that era."
"There's gotta be a goddamned way to get in. This is ridiculous. You're the Chief Science Officer aboard the Enterprise, can't you figure it out?"
"And you are the Chief Medical Officer, a gifted, renowned physician with an M.D. and two phD's," Spock retorted.
"'Bout time you finally admitted that," McCoy snapped. Spock rolled his eyes.
A man walked up. "Are you using this?"
"No, you go on ahead," McCoy told him. They watched the man push one side of the booth to open it, then held an earpiece up to his ear while conversing through a speaker in the main body of the device.
"Oh, well, of course!" McCoy said, watching him with a smile. "That's easy enough."
They waited politely for the man to finish his call and walk away. McCoy pushed open the door and they both crowded in, shutting it behind them. "It's a little too cosy for two, isn't it."
McCoy sighed, picked up the phone receiver and held it to his ear. "Sounds like it's humming. Now what?"
McCoy studied the rotary dial, then the numbers on the piece of paper. "I'm assuming these correspond in some sort of way. Oh, wait…I hear ringing."
A woman's voice answered: "Pacific Bell Telephone. What number please?"
"Oh," McCoy said. "Hello…I need uh…HE2-5098?" He shrugged at Spock.
"I would be happy to connect you, Sir. Please deposit five cents."
"Five cents? Hey…Spock, give me five cents!"
"Five cents?" Spock raised an eyebrow.
"It's the bigger coin…oh no, not that one…that's twenty five cents, no that's ten cents…I think-"
"Sir, do you intend to make a call?"
"Yes…hang on a moment. Spock hurry up with that goddamned five cents!"
"A moment, Doctor. I am endeavoring to locate the appropriate coinage."
"Sir, I must disconnect you if you do not put in a nickel."
"Nickel? I thought you said five cents?"
"I'm afraid I must disconnect if you are not going to make a call."
"Goodbye." There was a buzzing and the woman was gone.
"Dammit!" McCoy slammed down the receiver. "Forget it. More trouble than it's worth. We'll just have to visit these places in person. Probably better that way, anyway." He stopped and gulped.
"Sure is...sure is claustrophobic in here. Almost like a coffin..." His eyes grew wide.
Spock caught the man's arm, leading him out of the booth.
'you're gonna miss me when your gone, daddy...'
They had a map but no additional coinage for the local bus service. They simply walked the approximate mile to Seaside Hospital on Junipero and Broadway, then the next block over to Cherry Avenue for the Harriman Jones Clinic, close to where they'd first arrived. While in the vicinity, they investigated for the telltale sign of the portal. Still nothing. They looped back to downtown walking over to St. Mary's Hospital on 10th Street and American Avenue.
Each hospital they applied to for a job, any job at all, took one look at them and inexplicably turned them away. It had been easier to find a job in 1930's depression New York.
"They're beginning to give me a complex," McCoy complained.
They returned to the vicinity of Ocean and Pine Avenues by 4:00pm as told by the gongs of the main clock overhead. Perhaps there would be more 'help wanted' signs in this area, densely populated with shops and restaurants.
As they walked down Pine, over the 'Red Car' tram tracks in the street, McCoy suddenly faltered and nearly collapsed.
Spock whipped out an arm to catch him before he hit the pavement.
McCoy waved off any help. "Just a little dizzy." Spock released him and they went further along till the doctor stopped them in front of a pawn shop. "Here." He yanked on his pinky finger, finally pulling off his gold ring with some effort. He handed over the object to Spock. "This might tide us over for awhile."
Spock hesitated as he turned it over in his fingers. The ring featured a tiny blue stone set in the center, something he had never previously noticed. McCoy had never removed this article of jewelry before nor had he ever mentioned why he wore it.
McCoy simply shrugged. "Hurry up. I'm starving."
blood...blood...everywhere...on the walls...sticky...coating the floor... the warm liquid splatters onto his face, the pungent odor of iron...
Armed with the seven dollars and fifty cents they received for the ring, they located a diner called the 'Chat n' Nibble' on Ocean Avenue, situated across from what appeared to be an old fashioned cinema called the 'Fox'. The humble eating establishment proved both inexpensive, clean and rather deserted at the moment. In one of the booths featuring shiny metallic tables and red vinyl seating, Spock ate a salad while McCoy worked his way through the 'Penny Special': a T-Bone steak, a baked potato and side of vegetables.
With his meal, McCoy gulped down a tall glass of water. He lifted a hand to signal the waitress for another when Spock pushed his towards the man. "Thanks."
"Is the water safe to drink?"
"I don't know and right now I don't care. Probably loaded with chemicals and paramecium and tapeworm and the like. We will have to be seriously de-conned back aboard the Enterprise. Wonder where this water comes from?"
"The Pacific Ocean, I would surmise."
"No, no, no. They wouldn't have the technology to desalinate like that. There's probably a lake someplace. Maybe an underground reservoir. Hope the filtration is any good." McCoy took another large swig. "Tastes okay."
Spock eyed the liquid warily.
"Doesn't even have ice in it," McCoy said, sounding rather disgusted. "Warm water. Tasty. Maybe they don't know how to make ice."
"Would they not? The creation of water ice is an extremely simple process."
"Yes, but they have to have the mechanism to be able to freeze the water. Maybe they don't have freezers. Though I hope they have some type of adequate cooling devices for the food, refrigeration, or at least they cook on high enough temps, or we're developing food poisoning, real quick. They're still-" McCoy scrunched his face again. "Still using fossil fuels. Coal. Oil. You smell that?"
"Drink your water Spock, it's probably safe for Vulcans."
"I can forgo for longer periods than a Human."
"Vulcans can't go without forever."
"I am well aware."
The amused glint in the blue eyes turned concerned. "Why are you suddenly afraid of water, Spock? Never used to be."
"I am not afraid. I simply do not relish consuming tepid drinking water."
McCoy nodded and chuckled. "Spoiled rotten."
Spock pulled the pawn ticket out of his pocket, passing it over to McCoy to change the subject. "Do not lose this. We have until January 20th to claim back your ring."
"Think we'll be here that long?" McCoy snickered but his eyes were downcast. "It's either pawn the ring or resort to mugging old ladies or becoming a couple of filthy street beggars till Jim manages to find us. I guess we could always go work for the mob. Seems to be a bunch of illegal gambling dens around here looking for men to work in them. Know how to play cards, Spock?"
"Perhaps tomorrow we shall be more successful in our job search." Spock opened up the newspaper. He noticed black ink rubbing off onto his hands and wiped them on his lap. "Here is an advertisement: 'Men needed for roughnecking' on Signal Hill. What is that?"
"Roughnecking…" McCoy thought for a moment, then snapped his fingers. "Drilling for oil."
"Should we apply?"
"For oil drilling? Ever seen a documentary about rough necking?"
"Forget it. I can't do that. Maybe you can. But not me."
"It is a job. They require many men."
"We'll find something else." McCoy pulled the other part of the newspaper away, reading it, furrowing his brow. "Why do they have to make the print so goddamned small?"
"What are you looking for, Dr. McCoy?"
"I just thought of something. I saw it in an old movie, once. The personal ads- people used to use them to find someone. Put an ad in, maybe Jim will spot it. Three hundred years later."
"Perhaps. However, the odds are stacked against us."
McCoy smiled grimly. "Don't be such a pessimist, Mr. Spock. The glass," he held it to his lips, draining it, "is half full."
'the park…sometimes you can hear...screaming...'
At precisely 7pm they turned up at the YMCA. McCoy hit the bell to summon the front desk attendant. "Hello?" he called out when no one immediately came forth.
Finally a man who seemed extremely annoyed to be assisting them approached the desk. "May I help you?"
McCoy rolled his eyes, apparently swallowing down a caustic remark. "Any room at the inn?"
The attendant handed Spock a card and a pen. "Fill this out, please."
Spock attempted to use the pen but only scratched it unsuccessfully on the paper. No ink would come forth. "This pen does not operate."
The attendant pushed over the inkwell with a rather unnecessary amount of force.
McCoy delicately retrieved the pen from Spock's grasp. "Here, like this." He dipped the pen in, then attempted to write with it. Still no luck. "Now, how in the hell do you use this thing?"
The attendant ripped the pen out of McCoy's hand, dipping it further into the inkwell, then demonstrated on a piece of scrap paper. "You two gentlemen just land here from Mars or something?"
"One would think you'd at least have a goddamned ballpoint, in this day and age."
"They're expensive," the man growled back at McCoy. "Sign your name here, please." He pointed at the location on the paper, then handed them pillows and blankets and directed them to the second floor.
"Why's everybody in such a goddamned foul mood?" McCoy complained as they trudged up the stairs.
'...do you like to love?'
"Not the most comfortable looking beds in the universe." McCoy pulled off his jacket and tie, laying both down to claim his cot, a rickety, green canvas and metal construct. "But at this point, I'd fall fast asleep on a stone plinth."
Spock sat down on the cot directly across from McCoy's. "Indeed."
McCoy sighed, unbuttoning his shirt, removing it along with the socks and shoes, finally standing in the undershirt and trousers. "I think I'm going to take a long, hot-whatever the hell they have in this dump-bath or shower. See you in a little while, Spock." He headed off in the direction of the bath and toilet area.
Spock held up the newspaper up but the print seemed to blur. Unusual for him, however he had been awake for one standard week. He closed his eyes to rest them for a few moments.
At the dull thud he reopened them.
fascinating. the room has now grown to massive proportions. the ceiling's height several kilometers in the distance. the walls just as far apart. he marvels at this development for a moment-this cannot be, yet it is quite vivid and real.
he hops down off of the cot, falling-unavoidable panic at how far he falls. down. down. down.
he lands hard with a thump. the shockwaves go through his feet to his legs. he manages to avoid sinking to his knees.
he inches his way out into the never ending corridor. white. kilometers and kilometers of pure, gleaming, blinding tiled floor.
he is now before a door, with a gold nob. he touches it. it swings out for him. he must enter.
the room is inhabited entirely by unnatural, almost comical women. an odd emblem is sewn onto their attire, two overlapping triangles. the women are approximately three kilometers high or more, he cannot be precise at this time. they are white from head to toe. hair, clothing, body. they are wearing what appear to be macabre 'tragedy masques' ,the faces frozen in a grotesque, anguished frown.
a loud roar. perhaps a large crowd. sounds as such. he cannot see them. high above him. he glances up. he sees them now.
the crowd seems most disappointed. they do not express the emotion visibly as such but he feels it, almost down to his katra. the waves roll off of them and hit him, almost knocking him over. they boo. at him. his heart aches. he does not wish to displease them so. but he has.
the white tragedy mask grow huge, sinister black eyes. they weep inky black tears. he tries to catch their tears but it runs through his fingers. down to the white floor, spoiling everything.
the crowd point at him accusingly. 'the fault lies with you and you alone,' they shriek in unison.
'i am sorry,' he tries to explain.
a scream. the sound is horrific, reverberating in his mind.
a man in agony.
Spock gasped and blinked his eyes open.
The newspaper had fallen onto the floor beneath him. He stared down at his hands covered in ink.
He looked up, checking the wall clock. Over two hours had passed and the doctor had not yet returned.
He discovered McCoy still in the bathroom down the hall, wrapped only in a towel, hunched over the toilet, shivering and vomiting.
Spock came up behind him kneeling down, rubbing McCoy's bare back until the man's nausea appeared to abate. He pulled McCoy up, wetting a wash cloth under the faucet and wiping the man's face.
"Thanks." The man's voice was a barely audible, shaky whisper.
Spock flushed the toilet and sat the doctor down on the seat. He collected the clothing piled on a chair next to the tub. When he came back to McCoy, the man's head dipped between his legs, he noted the sopping wet brown hair. Spock grabbed another towel from the pile and reached over to dry his head.
"What are you, my mother?" McCoy yanked the towel away.
"You are ill."
McCoy proceeded to towel off his own hair. "I'm the doctor around here! I'm fine."
Spock nodded, washed his hands in the sink, drying them on a suspect hand towel, then vacated the bathroom to give the man his privacy.
A short while later McCoy returned to their room and lay down heavily on his cot. "Goodnight, Spock."
"i am sorry. truly i am...please forgive me..."
The next morning they were up early as per the rules of the "Y" (as the locals referred to the establishment). McCoy had had to be shaken awake. He obviously needed at least a few days confined bed rest and medical care. However the "Y" forbade anyone to remain in bed past breakfast and did not have an onsite infirmary.
McCoy pushed his barely touched meal over to Spock.
After the breakfast hour, Spock brushed his teeth in the sink. McCoy, even more pale and haggard, suddenly vomited again in the bathroom toilet. "Doctor?"
The man leaned over the sink, rinsing out his mouth, then wiping it with a towel. "Salmonella or E-coli or Cantobacter, surely. I knew my stomach wouldn't be able to handle their damned food."
"You do not have food poisoning."
"Why thank you, 'Doctor' Spock. Listen, until you can show me a medical certificate, I'd appreciate it if you knocked off with the goddamned prognoses. We'll be certain to catch everything off these people. At least they have the sense to cover their damned mouths when they cough." McCoy suddenly grabbed at his abdomen. "Unh."
"You are in severe pain."
"I said, I'm fine! Only some abdominal distention. Gonna probably develop diarrhea in the next five minutes so I was you I'd vacate the vicinity."
"Too much information, Doctor," Spock replied, curtly.
he's watching a theatrical play...the scene keeps shifting... hard to keep focus, keep track...all he knows is that the players...they're all wearing white...completely clad in white...they're wearing masks...the features frozen in a permanent frown: they look like... theatrical tragedy masks...he's okay with the comedy masks, but the tragedy ones, they're terrifying...
'daddy?' he feels a tug at his coat.
'yes, sweetheart...i'm here...daddy's here...'
'you're not gonna see me grow up are you. not gonna see me at all.'
'of course i am, sweetheart, i'll always be here, always...'
the spotlight's on him, there's applause... and he realizes too late, with growing terror... he's part of the play...
The next morning, McCoy stood studying his face in the "Y"'s communal bathroom mirror. Along with the bags that were continually present under the his eyes were new heavy dark circles. "Guess what's wearing off, Spock?"
"Beard repressor." Spock rubbed a hand along the soft scruff peppering his own face.
"We're gonna have to start shaving every day." McCoy pouted like a child, as if this was the only important obstacle in this time they had to overcome. "I hate shaving every day."
"It is unavoidable at this point."
"I hope these people have invented the safety razor. Ever try using a straight blade? And that's not all that's wearing off," McCoy said. "I take Retinax Five for my eyesight."
"How bad is your normal vision?"
"20/300. I have age related macular degeneration. Do these people even know what that is?"
'dear god…help me…'
"May I help you?" At the 'Independent' newspaper office on 7th and Pine, the elderly gentleman at the desk glared at them.
"Yes," McCoy replied. "How much to put a personal ad in the paper?"
"Ten cents a word, running a week. Fill this out please." The man slid over a form with a pen and ink well.
"Don't have a ballpoint either, huh?"
"Do what, now?" The man replied.
McCoy shook his head. "Never mind."
Spock took the paper and the pen.
"Oh, you go on right ahead, Commander," McCoy snapped.
Spock nodded and wrote the inscription: 'Jim, we are currently located here in Long Beach, California in the year 1941. We are doing well, but please endeavor to locate us in the quickest amount of time. Sincerely, Mister Spock and Doctor McCoy.'
McCoy took the paper away from him. "Spock. This costs ten cents a word."
"So...this little essay you wrote is gonna set us back three dollars."
"A day, Spock. Three dollars a day. You get me?"
"Oh, it'll be more than that. You forgot the punctuation and the spaces," the man told them.
"You charge for those, too?"
McCoy muttered an obscenity under his breath. He yanked the pen out of Spock's grasp, dipped it into the ink well again. He crossed out a vast majority of the text and wrote in some alterations. "There. 'Attn:JTKSpockMcCoyEarthLongBeach1 941Hurry'." McCoy handed it back to the man. "Alright."
The man rolled his eyes. "Dollar fifty a day."
"We'll run it once a week for now, can we do that?" McCoy asked.
The man sighed. "Sure."
"At least until we can find some goddamned work in this town," McCoy said out of the side of his mouth.
'i cut it out...'
They found themselves no better off the next week as they spent the days still searching for employment. The area appeared to be in an economic slump or recession.
"It usually is before a war, Spock," McCoy told him.
Between having to purchase a few pairs of socks and underwear between them, a few meager toiletries like toothbrushes and toothpaste, deodorant, razors, razorblades and shaving soap, bus fare for each across the city and staying nights at the YMCA (the meals were included at least), the money from pawning McCoy's ring would not last long.
That morning they received notice from the front desk attendant. Tomorrow they would need to look for a longer term transient apartment.
"Maybe we could do some work around here. We'll do anything. Odd jobs," McCoy offered. "You know…in exchange for room and board."
"Sorry," the attendant replied. "We've got plenty of men for work around here. There's some rooming houses at the Pike, or you could try some of the working men's hotels. There's the 'Greenleaf' or the 'Dolly Varden' Hotel. Bath in every room." The man handed Spock a listing on a piece of paper.
They glanced at each other.
"Looks like we're sleeping in the park tomorrow night," McCoy grumbled.
'don't do this to me...'
Sitting on the 'Y's cot that evening, reading the day's paper, Spock had been certain he had been surreptitiously scratching his head when McCoy pounced on him. "Son of a bitch."
"I beg your pardon?"
"You have head lice," McCoy hissed, keeping his voice quiet, as if not at all certain if the affliction would get them kicked out before morning. "Unbelievable."
"Vulcans do not contract head lice, Doctor."
"The hell they don't." McCoy pulled Spock's head down to investigate, scrunching up his face with squinting. "Sure 'nough. You fucking bastard." McCoy pushed him away and buried his head in his hands, worry and desperation manifesting itself in his voice. "We don't have the money to purchase anything to treat you. What the hell are we gonna do now?"
"Surely there is a free clinic in town?"
"Are you insane?! You can't go anyplace. They'll find out you're not human. They find out you got them pointy Vulcan ears and green blood and that's it for you. Remember that," McCoy whispered, gesticulating forcefully, dragging a hand across his own neck, with accompanying drastic sound effect. "These people have never met anybody like you."
"I meant, Doctor, that a free clinic might be willing to simply dispense the meds without benefit of medical exam."
"Don't count on it. I sure as hell wouldn't without examining the patient. I'll have to figure out what these people use to eradicate the bastards. Something that's safe. Don't scratch your head."
"I am able ignore the symptoms."
"The hell you can." McCoy thought for a moment. "Head lice isn't a vector carrier at least…however…let me see your clothes." He waited for Spock to pull off his jacket, then inspected the inner seams. "Nothing there. Take your trousers off." Spock hesitated a beat, but removed them. McCoy flipped them inside out. "Oh, no."
"A different species, infests the clothes. Making me itch just looking at 'em. Carries typhus, it's probably in the goddamned linens of this place. I'm gonna wind up contracting them, too. Dammit! Well, I shouldn't be so surprised, I mean I knew there was fleas in this dive. Look at these bites!" McCoy held up his arm.
"We cannot do anything about it at the moment, Doctor. There is no need for melodramatics."
"I wasn't being melodramatic, dammit, simply pragmatic! Don't scratch so much, you'll give yourself sores."
"I was not scratching."
McCoy lay down on his cot and yanked the blanket up to his waist. "I love it when you're honest with your kindly old family physician." He suddenly scratched at himself. "Now you're making me itch. Goddammit." He sat up, threw the blanket off and pulled his own clothing off to inspect them. "Nothing there. Okay, so far just you. But don't you dare snuggle with me, you bastard."
"Vulcans do not snuggle."
"So... the little lice love green blood. Fleas ignore you, but the lice love you."
Spock lay back on his pillow, arms behind his head. "Evidently."
"Well, there's no accounting for taste-don't scratch."
"I was not."
'leonard...please forgive me...'
"Excuse me." Spock felt a tug on his jacket as he checked the jobs board again while waiting for McCoy to emerge from yet another lengthy visit to the restroom. An older man stood behind him. "Looking for a job?"
"Well, you're in luck. I'm hiring an orderly at the 'Harimann Jones' Clinic. Making beds, sweeping floors, moving patients. That sort of thing. Y'interested?"
"Indeed, I am, Sir. Is there a perhaps a position open for another? I have a friend who also requires a-"
"No, just one man. And you're the man for the job. You look like a hard worker. I'm sure they won't mind if you're a Jap."
"Never mind." The man clasped Spock on the shoulder, handing him a card. "Report tomorrow 6am sharp."
Even with his new orderly position, Spock would not receive his weeks wages until Friday.
The week felt like the longest Spock had ever experienced in his life. Illogical, but nevertheless true. They were now reduced to sleeping nights with the other homeless men in nearby Lincoln park on Pacific Avenue. In the shadow of the red bricked municipal library designed and built by Dale Carnegie, they bunked down on a green wooden bench-which meant McCoy sleeping and Spock sitting next to him, keeping a watch out for policemen or anyone else who might wish to harm them.
Making the remainder of their food money stretch till nearly the end of the week, they made do with a few groceries from the nearby farmer's market in the park or bowls of soup and bread from the Woolworth's counter. On wednesday they went for the evening meal: Soup, bread and coffee at the Seaman's mission. Spock offered his portion of food to McCoy, who refused it, insisting Spock eat his own share, but appeared ravenous nonetheless.
The doctor grew increasingly peaked and weak by the day. Spock had kept insisting the man find a safe place on the beach or in the park to rest, or at least lounge at the seaman's mission during the days but he knew McCoy did not. Instead the man continued his own frantic search for a job.
Meanwhile, Spock now swept corridors, cleaned hospital rooms and mopped up bloody floors after surgeries.
After meeting up with McCoy in the park each evening, Spock removed his green orderly scrubs, donning his beat up civilian attire. He washed the uniform every other day in the park's restroom sink, amidst other homeless men urinating, cleaning clothes or bathing. He then hung them on the back of the bench overnight, watching carefully to see that they were not stolen. His scrubs were never fully dry the next morning, always damp at 5am, extremely cold and uncomfortable to don, but there was no avoiding it.
"Don't scratch your head," McCoy whispered to him on the bench, huddled up very close on a particularly chilly evening.
"I am not scratching."
"Spock, it would be easy for you to steal some lice remedy from your place of employment."
"I will not commit theft. I will wait until I receive my wages."
"No, you can't wait. They see you scratching too much and you're gonna be out of a job."
"I am fine."
"Stop insisting you're fine. We both know you're not."
"Doctor. I suggest you sleep."
McCoy snuffled. "Too cold."
Spock drew nearer, pulled the doctor's head into his lap and circled his arms around him. "Is that better?"
"Thought Vulcans don't snuggle," McCoy muttered. "Your gonna give me your fucking lice."
Spock sighed, released him and moved a fair distance apart.
"Get back here, you pointy eared bastard."
"I thought I had lice, Dr. McCoy?"
"Oh, now you admit you have lice."
Spock scratched his head and sighed.
"Dammit, Get back here."
Thursday morning, at precisely 5am, Spock gently shifted the doctor off his lap.
McCoy moaned and shouted in his sleep: "No, no, don't, leave him alone! I won't let you!"
"Doctor," Spock whispered. "Shhh. It is now time for you to wake up."
"Don't hurt me."
"No one is hurting you. Wake up."
McCoy opened his bloodshot eyes. "Huh?"
"You were having a nightmare and I must leave for my shift at the hospital."
"Alright." McCoy closed his eyes once again. "Just need to rest for a few moments."
Spock dearly wished that he could let the man remain here on the bench and sleep till late morning, but in the dark, in Lincoln Park, with plenty of seedy men about-doing so appeared much too dangerous.
"You're gonna lose that hand, if you don't fucking remove it, right now."
'get off me…get OFF ME!'
The hand slithered away from his hair.
McCoy shuddered, still feeling the petting. "Goddamned creeps...don't fall asleep...don't fall asleep..."
McCoy stood, yawning into his fist, in Thrifty's Drug Store. He squinted at the wares on display, while some type of ghastly music played over the loudspeaker. "Douche? Feminine douche by Dupont Laboratories?" he muttered to himself. "You gotta be kidding me. Look at the chemicals in this crap. That'll disintegrate the ol' delicate membranes, so they can what? Smell like flowers?" He shook his head and moved on, past the 'Lifebouy Soap', muttering about the: "Lye in the goddamned soap, are they nuts?"
He finally moved on to an area that corresponded to what he was looking for, selecting a small tin from the selection available. He considered himself extremely lucky that they weren't stored behind the counter, where a matronly older woman stood watching.
"Contains 10 % DDT," he read. "Destroys parasites such as fleas, lice, ants, bedbugs, cockroaches, flies, etc. Harmless to humans and warm blooded animals. Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroeth ane? Harmless? What is this, the dark ages?"
"May I help you, sir?" the woman asked, now standing directly behind him.
He turned and smiled and laid on the southern charm, flashing his eyes, hoping that he didn't have noticeable body odor. "Nah, just having a look-see, if that's mighty fine with you, Ma'am," he drawled out.
She blushed and brought her hand up to her hair. "Oh, well that's fine. Just let me know if you need some assistance." She walked off to assist another customer.
He placed the offending ingredient back on the shelf and picked up another one. "Choroxehelgiatle hydroximate." He thought about it for a moment. "Well, at least it ain't DDT."
He stuffed the small glass bottle into the inside pocket of his coat and walked out.
"Never thought I'd be de-lousing your goddamned Vulcan hair, in a park restroom sink on Earth, circa 1941."
"Make haste, Dr. McCoy. This is not the most comfortable situation I have ever been in."
"I know, I know. The odor is horrendous. Come back here, I'm not finished with you, yet."
a clown…white... all in white…white wig…white costume…white clowny shoes…and a painted red smile...
Spock finally received his pay packet for his first week of work. They 'celebrated' Friday evening by having dinner at the 'Chat n' Nibble'. Salads for both of them this time as McCoy claimed the penny steak was the source of his constant discomfort.
"First order of business." McCoy pulled out a newspaper and flipped it to the want ads. "Finding us a home."
"Home?" Spock looked up, mildly surprised.
"I meant, a place to stay until Jim finds us. I know we're not going to be here forever. You'll forgive me for wanting to get off the hard park bench in the freezing cold night after night in the meantime." McCoy perused the list of apartments, running a finger down the text. "I have no idea if these places are too expensive or not. Seem ridiculously cheap to me."
"It is all relative."
"Said the genus with the pointy ears. I just hope it's not infested with vermin. Here's one: 'The Sovereign Apartments'."
"You boys having any desert? We've got some fresh baked peach pie," the waitress cooed at them.
Spock shook his head. "No thank you, just the bill-"
"Yeah, that's sounds wonderful," McCoy broke in. "I'll have a slice."
"You want whipped cream on top? Or ice cream?"
"Ice cream." McCoy flashed his eyes at the woman. "And a vanilla malt, I 'spose."
"Well, alright, then." She turned around and sauntered off. McCoy watched her, tracking her every move. "She's from the South." Spock cleared his throat. The doctor snapped his head around. "What?"
"Oh please. I can have a slice of pie if I want-even it is on your dime. We are celebrating."
"And a malt."
"Don't tell me you're a damned cheapskate."
The 'Sovereign Apartments', a high rise building on the corner of Chestnut Place and Windsor Avenue, was located almost adjacent to 'The Pike', a popular and crowded amusement area very similar in appearance to New York's Coney Island. The ground floor of the building housed a tattoo studio called: 'Grimm's" which was overrun with servicemen whiling away the cool Saturday morning.
McCoy chucked at the sight. "Should we get tattoos?"
"Permanently marking the skin is not logical."
"You're no fun at all, are you."
Inside the apartment lobby, they rang the bell at the attendant's desk.
The attendant took a key from the back wall and lead the way to the rear of the building. "It's on the tenth floor. Nice unit, lots of swell character. Cozy."
"Great," McCoy replied. "That means it's smaller than my quarters."
"This way, please." They halted before the elevator. "I'm afraid the lift is out of order. We'll have to take the stairs."
"To the tenth floor?!" McCoy sputtered. "How long before it's fixed?"
"Not long. Should be the end of the week. Staircase is that way."
On the fifth floor landing, McCoy had to pause to catch his breath. "Jesus. I'm pretty damned fit, but this is gonna be a pain in the ass." Spock had to agree.
The furnished unit itself proved extremely shabby, with peeling paint, a broken window pane in the living room, crumbling fixtures and flooring. However, it had the benefit of being reasonable in price and featured an en-suite bathroom and a kitchen with a stove, a dinner table seating two and a small, white, beat-up cooling device. The living area cum bedroom proved to be tiny, only room enough for and containing a couch and double bed. In such cramped quarters they would be figuratively living on top of each other, but they had no other choice. There was no heating or air conditioning to speak of but it was far better than any place they'd slept in thus far.
"You fetch the block of ice and your allotment of kerosene from the basement," the landlord instructed them. "We have ice delivered daily and the kerosene for the stove delivered weekly. That's also included in the rent."
"I know what kerosene is but what is the block of ice for?" McCoy asked.
The man threw McCoy a quizzical look. "The ice-box, right there. What's the matter? Haven't you ever seen an ice-box before? Where are you from, Mars?" The landlord suddenly burst into hysterical laughter with McCoy hesitantly joining in.
They quickly checked the bed for any signs of bedbugs and the apartment itself for rats, mice or any other such vermin. Finding none at this point they were quite satisfied to make this abode temporarily home. "We'll take it! Right Spock?"
"You boys in the Navy?" the landlord suddenly asked.
"Why?" McCoy asked. "Does it matter?"
"Yes. We don't like Navy in this building. Too much trouble. No kids, no servicemen, no Japs, no queers. Ain't in the Navy, are ya?"
"No, definately not," McCoy replied.
They paid the landlord the first week's rent he asked for and the man happily went on his way, handing them two sets of keys upon his exit.
McCoy held up his skeleton style key. "One in every closet."
Spock raised an eyebrow. "I beg your pardon?"
The doctor shook his head then moved around the apartment making more inspections. "Spock, look at this." He flipped the light switch on and off. "Incandescent bulbs. Museum quality."
"Ah, yes, I remember these from 1930's New York." Spock studied the bulb, as enchanted as the doctor, watching it gradually light up then turn off with McCoy's repeated movements. "As I recall this device generates a significant amount of heat."
"Not enough to keep us warm in this drafty cell, but yeah, have to make sure we turn these off when we leave each day." McCoy moved over to the kitchen, stopping in front of the stove. "Can you cook?"
"Thought Vulcans were well learned in everything."
"Well, great, how we supposed to eat then? Sandwiches every night? Restaurants? Take out?" McCoy turned on a knob experimentally and waited. "Nothing's happening."
Spock sniffed the air. "Something is happening. An odor resembling sulphur. Gas. The odor is artificially added. Apparently, one must light this by hand."
"Oh right. I should have known. No fancy digital ignitors in this day and age." McCoy quickly returned the knob to the 'off' position, also sniffing the air. "This is like going camping." He looked into the sink. "No garbage disposal. This is really roughing it. We'll need matches to light the stove."
Together they investigated all the cabinets in the kitchen. "Nothing," Spock declared.
"Well, add it to the shopping list," McCoy said with profound disgust. "Along with the five hundred and seventy eight other items we need."
"Five hundred and seventy eight? Doctor, I believe you are-"
McCoy held up a hand. "Maybe you could warm yourself up in the mornings with the oven. Turn the gas on, light it with a match. Just open a window first, or you'll asphyxiate the both of us."
The sound of music emminated from what appeared to be the adjacent apartment. "Walls are thin, too," McCoy complained. He immediately headed over to the bare bed. With a grunt he collapsed onto the mattress, face down at first, then turning himself over. They would of course have to purchase bed coverings as soon as possible. "I'm pooped. Goodnight."
"Goodnight, Doctor." Suddenly the noise next door grew louder. The singing became plainly audible:
"He was a famous trumpet man from out Chicago way,
he had a boogie style that no one else could play
he was the top man of his craft,
but then his number came up and he was gone with the draft,
he's in the army now, a blowin' revilie,
he's the boogie woogie bugle boy of Company B...'
McCoy groaned at that. "'Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy'? I can see that's gonna be a problem. And you're fetching the block of ice every morning."
he's a contestant in a game show...white everywhere, entirely devoid of color...there's lights, there's television cameras pointed at him from every direction, blinding white lights...they're so blinding...there's applause all surrounding him...god he must have done something right... all those years of college and med school and studying and hard work and residency have paid off and he gave the right answer.
'yes! i agree!'
'that's the right answer!'
'thank you!' he replies. 'what have i won?'
'just wait to see what prize we have planned for you!'
'i can't wait,' he says.
On Saturday afternoon, they were finally able to replace their lousy, holy, smelly clothing with newer items found on the sale rack in the men's section at 'Buffum's' Department Store.
They halted in front of a huge display of wing tipped, black and white shoes, advertised as the height of fashion. "These look nice," McCoy noted, squinting. He selected his size from the stack of boxes. "I think this says size eleven, doesn't it?"
McCoy sat down, pulled off his old shoe and dove a foot in. His eyes rolled up in ecstasy. "Oh my God."
"Comfortable?" Spock asked the man with wry amusement.
"Hmm, are they ever. Can't wait to replace these ill-fitting, nasty things." He kicked with distain at the abandoned right shoe from the charity box with his left foot. "These even beat the Enterprise's uniform boots any day. Should make these standard issue. Get yourself a pair of these, Spock, you won't regret it."
"The shoes are made of leather," Spock protested.
The blatant excitement in McCoy's eyes immediately extinguished. "Oh right. Well, I don't know if we can get a hold of any shoes that aren't made from animal hide in this time, can we? Maybe something made from nylon or rubber?"
"I do not know."
McCoy removed the shoes from his feet and set them back into the box. "Ma'am," he called over to the clerk. "No, thank you."
"You do not want the shoes?" Spock asked him.
"Nope. Let's keep looking."
"They are reasonably priced and comfortable."
"They are indeed, Mr. Spock. But-"
"Then get them."
"I'm not gonna get them. I can find something else!"
"Sir, do you want the shoes?" the woman clerk asked.
"He does," Spock answered. "And I shall take a pair as well."
"Spock," McCoy still protested out of the side of his mouth. "We don't have to."
"They're very attractive," the woman replied.
Spock exchanged a glance with the doctor. "That they are."
On American Avenue, they crossed over tram tracks, halting in time to let the 'Red Car' bound to Los Angeles hustle past. They stopped in front of Dooley's hardware store. "This is it. Dooleys." McCoy said, holding up his list. "Matches. And the nine hundred other items we need. In here."
"We do not require nine hundred-"
"Get us a basket, Spock."
Spock grimaced and did so. He followed the doctor around the store as the man tossed various items into it such as more incandescant bulbs. "Please watch our monetary funds, they are dwindling."
"I'm watching it, I'm watching it. These things are necessities!"
Suddenly the doctor froze, terror flooding his features.
"Doctor," Spock whispered. "What is it?"
"Clamp..." McCoy stammered. "A clamp..."
"A goddamned clamp! Sitting right there?" He pointed at an object sitting on a shelf. "Don't you know what a fucking clamp is?!"
'i'm your wicked uncle ernie; i'm glad you won't see or hear me, as i fiddle about, fiddle about, your captain left you here for me, and i'm doing what i bleedin' well want to, fiddling about, fiddling about, fiddling about...down with your bedclothes, up with your nightshirt...'
the medical clamp forces it's way into his body cavity, holding open the incision.
"Owww!" McCoy grabbed at his abdomen and staggered. Spock caught his arm, holding onto the man firmly. "Spock..." he whispered, "I'm gonna vomit...gonna..."
"Pardon me, Sir," Spock called over to the clerk, "Is there a toilet in the vicinity?"
The man pointed. "Over there."
On Sunday morning, McCoy found the first mouse. As neither he nor Spock was willing to kill the tiny, terrified Earth rodent they simply placed the grey furred creature into a box-McCoy's shoe box- and carried it outside, releasing it out into the open.
When they trudged back upstairs, their nosy next door neighbor called out. "Why didn't'ya kill it? Just gonna go infest another building."
"How'd you know we had a mouse?"
"I could hear youse yelling and swearing. Here." The man tossed over to McCoy a canister. "You spray with this, you'll never see one again for a long while. Roaches, too!"
"No thanks." McCoy threw it back and they went into their own unit.
"Was your hands thoroughly," McCoy informed Spock, completely unnesacarily. "That all they got in 1941 to kill anything is DDT?"
"Doctor, it would behoove you to lower your voice, from now on."
"You were the one screaming bloody murder: 'Ooh a mouse, a mouse, get it, Dr. McCoy!'"
"That is entirely untrue."
"Well, alright. But you still made me capture it."
McCoy breathed hard as he finally reached the basement laundry facility, clutching the pile of dirty laundry. Traversing these ten flights both up and downstairs was getting old real quick.
He turned the doorknob, finding it unlocked and entered. He hoped the laundry area was well lit and and in decent shape.
Of course, it was not.
"Oh, Christ." He ventured inside into complete pitch blackness. What was that smell? Mildew. God he hated that smell. Panic swelled up in his chest and his hair stood up on end as he felt along the wall for a light switch. Nothing. Maybe a chain from the ceiling? He found it on an adjacent wall, dearly hoping his fingers hadn't casually brushed against a cockroach or rat.
"Oh my God." In the dim light, the basement resembled your stereotypical torture chamber, such as what you might find in any halfway decent horror film. Decrepit. Cinderblocks for walls. Bare cement floors. A rat or two scurrying in the corner. Silverfish galore. Huge centipedes scattering around. Who knows what else lurked in the huge shadows. A huge boxlike machine was against the wall, which he assumed contained the ice-blocks.
...and an area filled with gas canisters.
His gaze fell on what rested on top of the nearby table.
Green gas masks. The sight reminded him of...It looked just like-
he's crawling along the increasingly claustrophobia inducing passageway. the heavy stench of mold chokes him.
the masked figure…goddamn they all look like they're wearing those old style gas masks-those chilling W.W II style ones, only all in white-pursues him. is that a chuckle?
yes. he agrees with the sadist, it's hopeless.
he will be caught again. he leaves a trail of blood as he slithers along...so he's quite easy to track...
His breath increased with every passing moment.
He turned around and walked out of the room.
He stomped up the staircase, hyperventilating.
In the landing between the first and second floors he leaned over and vomited.
McCoy turned down Cedar Street and halted when he hit Pike Lane. "Oh, perfect. A laundry."
He opened the door and went in. An older Asian woman and a small boy about eight years old stood behind the counter. "Hello," McCoy said to the old woman. She didn't reply.
The little boy said: "May we help you?"
"Yes, please, I need these clothes back by tomorrow, is that alright? And I since I'm here, I need a repair to the collar."
As the boy spoke to the older woman, McCoy recognized the language. The older woman replied to the little boy and he translated for McCoy: "Grandmother says that would be fine."
"Wakarimasu," McCoy told the old woman. [I understand.]
Her head snapped towards him in surprise. "Nihongo o hanashimasu ka?" she asked. [You speak our language?]
He smiled. "Ee." [Yes, sort of.]
"hey, doc," sulu said. "wanna help me with these plants? gets lonely down here in Botany all by myself."
"only if you tell me how to say: 'botany' in japanese."
"oh. what about: 'hello, how are you'?"
"konnichiwa ogenki desu ka, doc."
"Doko de nihongo o manabimashita?" the old woman asked. [Where did you learn Japanese?]
"Tomodachi kara," McCoy said simply. [A friend taught me] "Arigatou, obaasama." He gave her a respectful bow. [Thank you, Mama]
She bowed in return.
He went out the door, then turned around to look at the name on the shop front: 'Sulu's Laundry.'
"What is this?" Spock picked up the ticket from the table.
"There's no need to snap at me."
"I did not snap, Dr. McCoy. I merely enquired." He waved the ticket.
"I pick the clothes up tomorrow."
"Laundry service? This is expensive. We have a laundry facility in the basement."
"Have you seen the basement? I'm not going down there again." McCoy licked his lips and gulped. "I can't...I can't go down there. It reminds me of that place. Of THEM. The dryer...is a goddammed medieval torture device!"
"Your trepidation is illogical. I hardly think that a laundry dryer would be-"
"You go down to that torture chamber and wash clothes! It's awful. I'm not going back there!"
Spock finally nodded. "Sulu's Laundry?"
"Yeah. Cedar and Pike Lane."
"The Sulu family is from San Francisco."
"Yeah. That's what he told me, too. I wonder. Is this his ancestors living here, or a different family?"
"Mr. Sulu never mentioned any family members living elsewhere in California."
McCoy shrugged. "Probably just coincidence, the name."
'hey doc...' the lieutenant whispers. 'wanna help me with those plants?'
'no...no...no...i don't want to help you...where's spock...where's spock?"
'right here...leonard...i am right here...'
he feels complete in the tight embrace...'where were you...i missed you...where...god i'm all bloody, where's all the blood coming from? my god i'm bleeding out! for fuck's sake i'm dying, help me!'
'shhhh...it is alright...'
Their apartment got horrendously cold and damp most nights, even with the repaired window (fixed by Spock) being as they were but a short distance from the ocean.
For sleeping, Spock wore thermal underwear under thick pajamas that they'd also found on sale at Buffum's. McCoy had bought lighter cotton sleepwear, but often seemed to be wearing what was meant to be Spock's other heavy pair. Spock had given up reminding the man who they belonged to. They would start out every night on opposite sides of the double bed-Spock falling asleep to the doctor's sighs and snores-but invariably, he would awaken each morning to find the doctor right up against him. Neither one would mention it when Spock arose at the early alarm.
Often in the mornings, while Spock got ready for work, McCoy would be completely consumed with nausea. Spock had quit enquiring after awhile as McCoy would snap: "it's nothing" or give an excuse: "I have influenza...most likely."
"Then bed rest would be in order."
"Leave me alone. I'm fine."
The doctor's haggard physical appearance spoke otherwise.
he's completely nude, dragged bodily along a white hallway to an area partitioned with a white curtain. behind the curtain is a huge bathtub. he is made to kneel in the tub. there's voices in his head, or is it a legitimate sound...he can't decide which...and the silence is deafening...
water rains down upon him...a hand is on him, touching him...every part of his body...
'i wash you in preparation for your anointing. i wash your head in hopes that your mind and intellect is clear and active, your ears that you may hear our commands and abide by them, your eyes that you may see clearly, your lips that they may never speak ill against us, your back that it may bear the burdens we place upon you, your vitals that it may perform as we may instruct it, your loins,' the hand slides along his penis, 'that it may not... your womb that it may be fruitful, your feet, so that they may not run...'
'yes...if you reveal this to anyone or decline what we have asked you to do for us' the voice says, 'would you suffer your own life to be taken?'
Monday morning at 4am, Spock mixed shaving cream in a small bowl. With a brush he spread the white mixture across his face, dropping in a new blade into the safety razor and tightening it down. He ran the razor from his neck to his jaw line, past his chin.
McCoy walked into the tiny bathroom wearing only a towel around his waist. All modesty between them had apparently now been thrown out the proverbial window. The man leaned against the sink, almost too casually, studying the peeling linoleum. "I'll mop in here today."
Spock made a small noise in acknowledgement, concentrating on his task.
McCoy slid his big toe along a large crack in the floor. "Spock. I'm going to need you to borrow a few things from the hospital."
"Fine. Steal! Whatever you need to do. Just get ahold of 'em. I need you to get ahold of a spyrogmaniter. It checks blood pressure. I need you to get hold of an immature female rabbit. If they don't have one, get a young frog or a mouse or a rat. Make sure it's young and female. The hospital will probably have some in the lab or maybe you could find one at a pet store. Get me a hypodermic needle and a pair of latex gloves-actually get a box of them or as many as you can. I need a glass beaker. I need an eyedropper. I something to sedate with. A small quantity. Whatever they're using. I need a suture needle and cat gut thread or nylon. Whatever they got. I need a scalpel and surgical scissors. I need a large test tube. Also, get me a stethoscope and if they have it in this day and age a doppler monitor and a mercury thermometer. And…maybe a blood glucose monitor, and something to prick the finger with—if they have that. And a bathroom scale. Buy one from the department store, if they have 'em. Not going to be the most accurate thing in the world but it's better than nothing."
Spock continued shaving. "Doppler?"
"I am aware of what the ancient device emits, Doctor." The man had valid reasons to want the items, possibly wishing of course to have them on hand as a physician… Spock decided to use this as an excuse to enquire further. "I will supply these items if you tell me precisely why you want them."
"Do I have to explain everything to you?" McCoy stomped off towards the kitchen.
After long moments, he returned.
"Alright. Spock," McCoy said, looking down at his feet. "Listen to me. I want those items because..." He sighed. "I'm pregnant."
Spock promptly sliced his chin, grunting at the pain.
McCoy looked up at the noise. "Oh, shit."
Spock huffed in audible frustration and dropped the razor into the sink water. McCoy quickly grabbed a washcloth and dabbed at the blood. "I suppose this is the Vulcan equivalent of hitting the ceiling. Sorry. You really did a number on your face. Nice job. Sit down." He pushed Spock to sit on the toilet seat, wiped more blood, holding the towel against Spock's chin in an attempt to stem the flow. "Hold that there."
Spock watched as McCoy grabbed a handful of toilet paper, pulled the washcloth away and pressed the wad to the cut. "Toilet paper is expensive," he said.
"I know that! There's something in toilet paper that stems bleeding." McCoy continued fussing. "I don't have a styptic pencil so this has to suffice."
Spock grabbed onto McCoy's wrist, holding it. "This is no time for joking."
"Spock, I wish I was."
"You believe that you are pregnant?"
McCoy shook off Spock's hand, continued what he was doing and did not reply.
McCoy sat down heavily on the edge of the bathtub. He rubbed a protective hand along his bare abdomen. "I'm 90 percent certain."
Spock blew out a puff of air in an entirely uncharasteric move. "We have a problem."
"Understatement of the century, Mr. Spock."
"Our captors did this to you," Spock said gently.
McCoy got up and walked into the kitchen. "You're gonna be late for work," he called back, his voice cracking ever so slightly.
Spock nodded in the man's wake. He picked up the brush, smeared more cream on his face and resumed shaving.
"Goddammit! What is that smell?" McCoy scrunched up his nose. Seemed like a combination of cooking odors...uhhhh...liver and onions... and cigars. It made him nauseous. Soon there came the loud sound of: 'Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy'. Jesus Christ.
He dove into the bathroom and puked then stormed over to the adjacent apartment unit and knocked on the door.
The man opened it: "Yeah?" Of course he was chomping on a cigar.
"Would you mind," (McCoy counted it off on his fingers): "Keeping the noise level down, not fixing liver for lunch and keep the smoking to a minimum? I do have to share a wall with you. You're making my living area uninhabitable."
The man blew smoke into his face and slammed the door.
"Goddamned apartment dwellers! Fuck all of you!" McCoy seethed as he stomped back down the hall.
As was now becoming the norm, the doctor had dinner waiting when Spock came 'home' from work. Tonight it was a vegetable casserole with potatoes.
Spock set down on the nightstand a cage containing a six week old white female rabbit. Also a test tube, the hypodermic, the eyedropper and the glass beaker, the suture needle, cat gut suture thread, a scalpel and surgical scissors. "This was all I could obtain at this point," he called out. "The other items are currently located in a locked glass case."
"Even a stethoscope? I find that hard to believe. It's not like it's a controlled substance."
"I believe they were having trouble with theft."
"That looks like a pet store rabbit."
"Oh. Well. Come here and eat your supper."
Spock sat down at the kitchen table and in the ensuing silence consumed much of his serving of casserole. Apparently he was hungrier than first thought. McCoy doled out to him another serving when he had finished.
Throughout the meal, however, McCoy seemed especially withdrawn, sullen. "Did you have a nice day at work?" he asked, tightly.
Spock cleared his throat and stood up. "I shall wash the dishes."
"Don't injure yourself."
In the bathroom, Spock stood by as McCoy held up the glass beaker, inspecting it. "Even though I'm a male, any blastocysts in my body will be giving off the telltale hCG pregnancy hormone. In the early twentieth century, they used to inject a woman's urine into an animal such as a rabbit or a frog, then dissect it to study its ovaries which would then enlarge and show follicular maturation after injection of the hormone laden urine." McCoy undid his trousers, pulled them down and hesitated before lowering his underwear. "You're gonna watch me…?"
"May I have some privacy please? I know this little bioassay is terribly fascinating but I have to urinate in this here beaker and I'll develop performance anxiety if somebody's staring at my dick."
"Ah. Forgive me." Spock turned around, walked out and left the doctor to it.
Approximately five minutes later, McCoy came out, holding up the filled beaker. "Get the rabbit out of the cage."
Spock did so, holding the creature, petting it while McCoy readied the hypodermic.
"Turn her over." McCoy injected the urine into the rabbit's abdomen. "Alright, sweetheart, time to do your stuff."
Spock raised an eyebrow.
"Now we wait a couple days," McCoy told him. "Put her back into the cage. Give her a little carrot or some lettuce to munch on."
Amid the sounds of the Pike amusement area outside their apartment window-which always appeared to be louder late at night-McCoy relayed to Spock, in bed: "I remember I watched as they cut me open and inserted the uterus and ovaries. They administered a drug to make certain my body would not reject it. I don't know what it was. All I know is that they used hypodermic needles. How unsanitary. They created an egg from my own DNA. Then they inseminated that egg with a semen sample. Not my own-at least I don't believe so-probably theirs. They shot a hormone accelerator: estrogen and progesterone into my system. They then implanted the zygote into the womb, tested me to make sure I was carrying a viable pregnancy, then they closed me up."
As McCoy ran a finger down the now faint scar on his lower abdomen, his voice was matter of fact, as if he was merely writing a medical journal. "Just. Like. That."
"You saw everything?" Spock asked. "You were not unconscious?"
"They'd administered anesthesia, but it wasn't strong enough. So I was paralyzed but awake. I could see and feel it all. It was…agonizing... I passed out soon after, though. Loss of blood."
Spock nodded solemnly. "Your screams. I felt them."
"Screams? I couldn't scream. Not at all." McCoy took a deep shuddering breath. "I don't know if I was more terrified or fascinated. I have no idea how we're going to get it out of me."
"They did not create a birth canal in your body?"
"No. Nothing like that. No opening. I still have a penis and testes. I remember begging them..." McCoy's voice cracked. "I remember..." He grimaced.
"Are you alright?"
McCoy swallowed. "Yeah. I remember begging them not to cut off my sexual organs. They didn't. Maybe they should have given me a vagina...but I don't know if they would have..." He stopped again and cleared his throat. "As I said, I still have a penis and testes. However the heavy male influx of testosterone has been disabled. I can't get erections. So it in effect it is... castration. I am not certain if that is permanent or not."
"Why would they do this?"
"Your guess is as good as mine, Spock. Did they ever speak to you? Tell you what they wanted? Who they were? Did you ever get an inkling?"
"Some type of male fertility experiments? Maybe a lab rat for them. Maybe simple torture. Why? Did they want to kill me or us? They might just succeed in causing my death, taking an innocent life along with me. And since we are in 1941 with no decent medical care, no decent drugs, no tri-corder to check on the baby's progress…. I have no idea if this child is still viable or going to make it to term or not."
"Doctor, you cannot carry this child to term. Not now."
"Spock, are you…are you actually suggesting that I terminate this?"
"Of course not, but you cannot possibly be successful in delivering a healthy child."
"Well, there's no way around it. Nothing we can do. I'm like a ticking time bomb. But, I damn well have to try to carry this fetus to term. That's for sure."
"The birth," Spock began.
"Will require a Cesarian Section, but who the hell's gonna perform it, me?"
"A hospital?!" McCoy laughed, bitterly. "What on a freak like me? In this day and age? Spock. Human male pregnancy is rare even in our time. I'm going to be fifty years old soon. The only other cases involving human male pregnancies were on men in their twenties. I mean, the prognosis would be much improved were we on the Enterprise."
"It is most imperative that the captain locates us."
"I love how you continually state the goddamned obvious! Well, Commander, if you have any big ideas on how we can hasten our rescue, now's the time!"
"Not at present."
McCoy turned over, yanking the covers up to his neck. "Goodnight," he snapped.
'spock, what is that?'
his hands ghost over the controls of the shuttle. 'i am not picking the vessel up on my sensors, however it is apparent you and i both see it with our own eyes. it most likely a phantom, quite common in uninhabited sectors of deep space.'
'should we hail them to make certain? i don't recognize the craft, do you?'
he pushed a control. 'shuttlecraft gallileo to unknown vessel, please identify yourself.' there was no response.
'are they scanning us?'
'maybe it is a phantom. at any rate, we're gonna be late to the medical conference. let's get out of here.'
'agreed.' his hands flutter once again over the controls to undertake a course change. the phantom craft moves rapidly to block them. 'phantom or not, dr. mccoy, they do not wish us to leave.'
Spock had been concentrating on performing the menial task of sweeping the dingy white tile floor at the hospital, when his supervisor, or 'boss' as they called it, brushed past him.
"Excuse me," Spock said.
"Go fuck yourself. Goddamned Jap," the man replied.
"You heard me. Jap."
"What is a 'Jap'?"
"Listen, Herb," the man called out, laughing. "Idiot doesn't even know what a Jap is. It's a Japanese, you idiot."
"'Ah. A Japanese person? You are terribly mistaken, I am not Japanese," Spock informed him.
"Coulda fooled me, with your yellow skin. Go on back home, leave the jobs for honest American men." The man sauntered off with his friend, still grumbling.
In the man's wake, Spock went over to the locked cabinet, leaned over to listen to the combination lock click. Somehow thievery became much easier, much more satisfying to accomplish, after that barrage of insults.
Kneeling down in the bathroom, McCoy paused and drew his elbow over his sweaty forehead. He leaned over and rinsed out the filthy rag into the bucket filled with soapy water. "Greenblooded son of a bitch. Having himself a great time working at the hospital. Meanwhile, I'm stuck here cleaning a fucking toilet."
And again, through the wall, was the goddawful sound of: 'Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy'."
"Today you're cleaning all the toilets," the supervisor said.
"Every toilet in the building?" Spock asked.
"You got a problem with that, Jap?"
"Negative. And I am not Japanese."
The supervisor thrust the cleaning materials, the mop and bucket at Spock. "Sure you're not. First one's in there. Full of vomit. Enjoy it, Jap."
Spock reached the first bathroom, caught the odor and recoiled in disgust. He closed his eyes a moment, then he entered.
carrying the doctor, closer and closer to escape, suddenly the man screams at him...'put me down, put me down, please i'm gonna be sick...put me down...'
in spite of himself, he lowers the man to the floor 'hurry,' he pleads. the man vomits, it sprays everywhere...the odor hits him...nauseating him...
When Spock arrived at the apartment, McCoy seemed satisfied with the items he had been able to procure. "Good. This will be fine." McCoy whistled at the equipment. "Look at this stuff!"
"No doppler, I am afraid."
"It's okay, it was wishful thinking. Stethoscope will work, for my purposes. Alright, Mr. Spock? You ready to help me operate on a rabbit?"
"Certainly." Spock went over to wash his hands.
McCoy collected the suture needle and scalpel. "As soon as i'm done sterilizing this equipment, we'll begin." He sterilized the scalpel, the needle and the scissors. "Take her out of her cage." Spock handed the rabbit over to McCoy, who held it up to it's face and kissed it. "Spock you didn't get me anything to sedate her with."
"Nothing was available. I can deliver a nerve pinch to the creature to render it unconscious."
"Good. In the old days, they used to just kill 'em. We don't need to do that." He handed the creature over and snapped the gloves on. "Pinch away."
Spock laid the unconscious rabbit on her back on the kitchen table. McCoy made an incision with the scalpel then gently drew out one ovary. "It's enlarged, just like it should be."
"Does that confirm your diagnosis?"
"Up to 99.99 percent certain. The rabbit test has a 2 percent failure rate but this is a success. A rodent's ovaries don't increase in size like this at this fast a rate on their own. However, I didn't bother with studying the baseline. I'm assuming the ovaries were normal to begin with."
"Ah. I accept your findings even with the neglect of obtaining baseline readings."
"Why, thank you, Mr. Spock." McCoy performed some more some more cuts to the internal organs of the animal. "She's now sterile." He laid the ovaries and the womb next to the creature. He sewed up the internal organs, then the incision. He tied the catgut into a knot and cut it off. "Alright. Put the girl back in her cage to recuperate."
Spock did so then assisted McCoy with clean up.
Afterwards, McCoy slipped on the earpieces of the stethoscope. He reached over under Spock's shirt and slid the bare metal disk onto Spock's side, over his heart.
Spock winced at the cold metal touching his skin. McCoy appeared delighted to have gotten a physical reaction, then listened intently. "Been a long time since i've listened to a heart through one of these. Shame it's a Vulcan one, but beggars can't be choosy."
"That is to monitor yourself, not I. Please remove it."
McCoy chuckled and did as asked. "I should be able to hear the baby's heart when the time comes."
On to the next part...