McCoy stopped for a second to breathe. The amount of casualties coming in was too big for even him to handle, let alone the team of new and inexperienced novices he had been assigned to train. This would be their test. The real world test that would make them decide wether they wanted to continue on the job, or if they wanted to give up entirely and stay with their feet on solid ground.

There didn't seem to be enough helping hands, enough doctors assisting, or enough stretchers for that matter. McCoy feared that he himself might end up in one of the stretchers nearby.

"Doctor McCoy! Doctor McCoy!" One of the novice boys was trying to get his attention. As soon as he looked at him he asked. "Where should I put this one? We're running out of space!"

McCoy walked the small distance that took them apart and looked at the man lying on the stretcher that the boy had brought in and he saw a familiar face. A face that wasn't supposed to be there in the first place.

"They got to the bridge, sir." The boy said, spotting worry and recognition on the older doctor's face. The yellow shirt and the Asian features of the man's face left no doubt about his identity - the young man on the stretcher was Hikaru Sulu.

It shouldn't be like this, McCoy thought. He was too young. He wasn't by far the youngest member on the ship, but he was too young nonetheless to be wounded in such an attack.

"Sir!" Another voice requiring his attention. Another blood stained yellow shirt entering sickbay. When McCoy looked at the occupant of the second stretcher his blood seemed to freeze inside his veins. It definitely shouldn't be like this. Dry blood covered young Slavic features. Sulu seemed to trigger something in him that he did not know, and the sight of Pavel Chekov, the young and always optimistic kid, laying still on a stretcher made it even worse.

And suddenly his professional side kicked in, not letting his emotional side take too much space. Emotions had to be dealt with later. He quickly found some space for the two boys to be put waiting for a treatment and he looked at both of the bodies with the eyes of a doctor. Pavel Chekov, head wound, broken ribs, broken arm, maybe a leg, nothing else serious. Hikaru Sulu, bruised forehead, broken wrist. He had much less injuries than Chekov though... McCoy didn't really know why.

He grabbed Chekov's right arm. By the way it jumped out of place, McCoy could tell almost immediately that the kid had dislocated his shoulder. He looked at Sulu again. It was almost as if Chekov had stretched himself in front of the young helmsman in a protective maneuver and taken most of the damage. And knowing the brotherly friendship the two of them shared, McCoy could be almost certain that that was in fact what had happened.

He let out a small breath. The boys would be alright, but knowing them as he knew, he was almost sure that Sulu would be mad at the young Russian navigator as soon as he knew what happened. With the thought in his mind, he allowed a small smile to play on his lips

They got to the bridge, sir. The sentence the novice had said earlier played on McCoy's mind and wondered if Jim was alright.