Intruder in the Labyrinth of the Mind

By Mary Barnes
Series: TOS
Pairing: S/Mc

Rating: PG-13/R for adult themes, medical experiments, angst, hurt/comfort, illness, danger

Disclaimer: Star Trek, its universe, and its characters belong to Paramount/Viacom. This story belongs to me, and I derive no profit from it, only enjoyment.


He awoke with a sudden start.  The sudden movement made his neck muscles spasm; he had fallen asleep in the chair.  Cradled in his arms, his daughter lay still.  Her body was cool, the fever had ended and her expression was peaceful, the pain and agonizing seizures had stopped.  Tears flowed down the face of Dr. Ron Shimar as he gazed at his daughter, Ana, his precious daughter and only child.

Her small body had fought the infection for a long time and he had hoped that the antibiotics and antitoxins would help support her battle.  The disease had won the war.  The infection started in her blood stream then crossed the blood-brain barrier into her brain, where the exotoxin from the bacteria caused swelling and bleeding.  It grieved him to hear her cries from the headaches and to watch the small body twist and distort from the seizures.  He rocked her slowly in his arms and his voice cracked as he sang one her favorite songs.  Then he stiffly rose from the chair and placed her lifeless, limp body back on her bed.  He brushed the dark curls away from her face, and then covered her body with a blanket.  Even though she was dead, he could not bring himself to cover her head.  Ron kissed the soft cheeks and was immediately seized by painful sobs.   The hiss of the pneumatic doors informed him someone had entered the room.  Tears blurred his vision; he could not make out who it was.

“Yes, what do you want?”  He asked sniffling.

“I’m sorry to disturb you, Dr. Shimar.  Is there anything I can do for you?”  He recognized Nurse Marcia Lopez’s soft voice.

He wiped the tears away on his sleeves and looked over at her, “Maybe some coffee?”

“Okay” she replied as she wiped her own tears away.  Then she watched him caress Ana’s face and cover her head with the blanket, she suppressed a sob.

“I’ll bring your coffee in here…” She started to say.

“No, I’ll take my coffee out on my desk.  I know there are patients to see.  Is the morning lab work and test results ready?”  He asked.

“Yes, they are on your computer.  Can I bring you some toast or a doughnut?”

Marcia asked.

As he walked past her, she could see the grief ridden face phase over to an expression of emotionless steel.

“I don’t need a damned thing.”  He replied coldly.



Dr. Shimar spent days reviewing the data of more patients claimed by this infection that had taken Ana.  The emergency room was packed with the colonists of Star Base IV, the hospital beds were full and the morgue held eight bodies, all victims of this pathogen.  From what the lab tests revealed, this tiny rod shaped bacterium had been brought to Star Base IV on a cargo ship.  Two of the twenty five crewmembers were the lone survivors of the supply ship.  They had made a pick up via a rendezvous with another space vessel on their way to Star Base IV.  The contents of the pickup were never made known; the survivors died the next day.  There was nothing recorded on the ship’s logs.  What the cargo was remained a mystery.  Once the infection spread in the community the virulence of the bacteria increased and was resistant to all of the antibiotics they had.

Ron met with the Chief Pathologist and the Medical Examiner and they all arrived at the same theories.  This could be a manufactured bacterium from an alien race, it was a pathogen that has been treated before and had become drug resistant or this was a new disease that could not be stopped by any medications they knew of.  It was time to notify The Federation and Star Fleet Command.  Dr. Shimar’s stomach churned at the thought of dealing with Star Fleet, all of the red tape and it would take weeks before any help would reach this remote Star Base.  Even worse, he would have to deal with Star Base IV’s Commander, Dorina Kranov.

Known for her elaborate life style and ambition, it was also known of her dislike

of Star Fleet Command.  However, to get off of this “colony from hell”, Ron had heard her say, she had to deal with her position at this time.  What aggravated Dorina more were the colonists themselves, all of their problems were extremely annoying to her.

When he made his appointment to inform her of this epidemic, she grilled him intensely about the possibility that he had brought the disease into her office.  Shimar looked around at the opulently decorated office and assured her he did not bring the pathogen with him.  She abruptly waved him out of her office stating that infections like these weeded out the weak and genetically inferior.

Ron reddened at her statement, Ana had not been weak and she was not genetically inferior to this bitch standing in front of him.  He stormed out of Kranov’s office.  Dorina reminded him of his ex-wife who was a Lieutenant in Star Fleet.  Her career was the most important thing in her life; even more important than her daughter.  Ron still had not heard a response from her regarding Ana’s death; no condolences or enquiries for when her funeral would be scheduled.


Ron plunged himself into more research and studied the bacterium further.

The toxin secreted by the bacterium was the destructive part of this infection.

Once the bacteria reached the brain, the toxins were released and caused the devastating sequence of its effects.  He was finally able to isolate this toxin and he injected it into a substance used to empower the body’s immune defenses and contain the infection.  This substance was called Bio-Munasist.  It was developed

by the CMO of the Star Ship Enterprise, Dr. Leonard McCoy.  Bio-Munasist was a concentrated conglomerate of B-cells, T-cells and other immune factors from humanoids.  It was a stable serum when used with a known pathogen would suppress and contain the effects of the infection while allowing the patient to build up their own defenses and provide future antibodies against the disease.  However, specific tests were needed to be made before administering the vaccine.  There were numerous bacteria and viruses that could mutate the effects of the serum and enhance the pathogen’s strength as well as increasing its proliferation.  Since Dr. Shimar was on borrowed time the way it was, he omitted the necessary tests.

Three days later, the patients who received the serum improved dramatically.

After five days of this treatment, the mortality and morbidity of the disease dropped to ten percent from the eighty five percent prior to treatment.

A group of colonists volunteered to receive the serum as a vaccine, none of them came down with the infection.  The serum-vaccine was a success.

There was a celebratory dinner held at Dorina Kranov’s home for Dr. Shimar and his staff.  The galactic medical miracle, or as Dorina put it “the galactic goldmine”, had put Star Base IV back on the map of importance.  Ron argued that the serum needed more time and tests before it could be widely distributed.  Star Fleet and the Federation could assist with this aspect of the process.  Dorina’s hard laugh chilled Ron.

“The Federation and Star Fleet really, darling?”  Dorina said.  “Ron, there are pharmaceutical companies willing to pay millions of credits to make this serum.  I know; I have already contacted some.”  She caressed his face with her soft perfectly manicured hand, “Your daughter would be so proud of you.”

He removed her hand from his face and gave it a hard squeeze.

“It’s because of Ana that I have worked so hard.”  Ron said as he glared at her and she jerked her hand back.


The celebration was short lived.  The patients and volunteers who received the serum-vaccine began to have the same side effects.  At first they had exaggerated emotional outbursts from inappropriate laughter, episodes of crying to extreme rage.  These symptoms were followed by an emotionless, immobile state; similar to a catatonic state.  They could eat, drink, sleep and eliminate waste but only on command.  If not given instruction, these persons would sit, lie down or stand for long periods of time.  If they were standing, they would do so for hours without complaint or signs of exertion.  Dr. Shimar was puzzled by these reactions.  The recipients of the serum in this dormant state maintained all of the necessary protective reflexes such as blinking, coughing or gagging.  All of their brain scans revealed no destruction of the brain tissue, the structures of the brain were normal.  However, the mass spectro-encephalograms revealed changes in the electrical impulses of the brain.  The areas affected were the frontal cortex and limbic center.  The readings were identical to a person who had received a ‘chemical lobotomy’.  Dr. Shimar was devastated; all of his work had failed him.

When he was summoned to Commander Kranov’s office, he feared she was going to curse him out and expel him from Star Base IV.  He had caused the failure of her “galactic gold mine”.  However, upon entering her office he noted that she had a spring in her step and an exaggerated inappropriate smile, suggesting that his concerns were in vain.

“Ron, darling, do sit down.  Can I offer you some coffee or a drink?”  He shook his head and she sat down at her desk facing him.  “Lock doors and seal the room.”  She spoke to the computer and it answered back with the verified commands.

She was fidgeting in her seat, her excitement barely under control.

“What is it?”  Shimar asked.

“Your vaccine and serum, we have a new market for its use.”  Dorina answered.

“Until I can stop these bizarre psychological side effects, there will be no vaccine.”

Ron said crossing his arms, the greed in this woman knew no limits.

“Oh, my dear Ron, there are other uses for this serum.  Let’s say interspace security and defense could use this serum or it could be used to subjugate dangerous prisoners.”  She looked away from Ron and to her computer.  The triscreened computer came on and she spoke to the computer.  “Dr. Shimar, meet Dr. Rhozura.”

Ron looked at the screen then back to Kranov.

“I don’t understand.”  He said.

“You don’t understand what?”  She asked impatiently.

“Well, he’s an Orion.”  Ron said.

A deep laugh came from the screen, “Orions can be doctors, too.”  Rhozura said.

“Let’s discuss your vaccine.  It is brilliant, by the way, truly brilliant.  We have many uses for this serum. The pacifying effects are…”

“Pacifying effects!  It completely blocks all input and output from the frontal cortex.”  Shimar yelled.

“Calm down, Ron, Dr. Rhozura has an equitable exchange for you.”  Dorina leaned over her desk toward Ron.  “He has the ability to return what was your greatest possession, Ana.  He can bring back to life or clone any dearly departed person and return them to you.”  Her eyebrows rose to enhance the opportunity that Dr. Shimar was being offered.

“There have been no successfully functioning clones.”  Ron said in a dubious manner.

“Are you aware of the Vulcan practice of Fal Tor Pan?  Do you know what restoring one’s katra is, Dr. Shimar?”  Rhozura asked haughtily.  “It is the ceremony of returning one’s katra back into the body, even if they had been dead over a month.”

“I have heard something about it; I had assumed that it was a Vulcan myth.”  Ron said.

“Vulcans do not have myths; they only have logic and truths.  I happen to work with a Vulcan physician who also functions as a priestess.  She will gather the ‘soul’ or katra of your daughter and place it in her body.” Rhozura said.

A tide of emotion sprung up in Shimar’s body, it was strengthened by Ron’s sleep deprived mind, emotional turmoil and grief.

He embarrassingly found himself sobbing and saying, “Yes, I’ll do it.  I’ll give you all of the materials I have on the serum/vaccine.”

Dorina stood up and walked over to Ron, offering him a tissue for his face.

“Why don’t you take a little break and get some refreshments.”  She said guiding him into a standing position and assisted him to the door of her office. After locking and resealing the room she faced Rhozura on the screen.

   “That bit about the Vulcans was an incredibly genius move, I half believed it myself.”  She laughed.




It was quiet in the briefing room after the latest news from Star Fleet Command.

The report of an attack on a small correctional facility on Beta Delta II left the

officers of the Enterprise shocked; with one exception, Commander Spock.

A supply ship from Star Base IV had arrived at the small prison with needed supplies.  All of the security protocol had been followed and all of the ship’s crew wore the appropriate uniforms.  When the crew and its commanding officer disembarked the ship and entered into the warden’s office the attack began.  The assault on the warden and guards was swift and brutal and started with one word from the supply ship’s commander.  The crew attacked with such force and violence, it was apparent there were severe injuries afflicted and probably some deaths.  What was the most striking element of the attack was the ship’s crew demeanor.  While their actions were strong and violent, there were no expressions on the faces of the assailants.  They uttered no words or cries and through the heavy fighting and the crew did not appear to be exhausted.  It was incongruous to view the placidity of the faces as their actions caused great injury to the warden and guards.  After subduing the correctional staff, the ship’s crew went through the facility where they released two Orion prisoners, a Telerite and one Klingon.  When the prisoners were free, another one word command was given by the ships commander and his crew stopped their actions and froze in place.  They were left behind by the commander and prisoners.

Three guards had been killed in the attack but the warden and two guards survived.  During the debriefing of the attack, the crew left behind did not talk, eat or sleep nor did they respond to any commands or questions.  The crew was taken to Star Base X for a full medical assessment.

Dr. Tsiu, the CMO on Star Base X, had sent the results of their findings to Dr. McCoy, who was ordered to investigate the situation on Star Base IV.  He was to rendezvous with the USS Lexington and from there go with a medical team to Star Base IV.

“The reports that I received on the supply ship’s crew were puzzling.” McCoy relayed to the members of the staff meeting.  “Every test, with the exception of the spectro-encephalogram was normal.  Dr. Tsiu told me the crew were completely, willfully immobile.  There were no nerve or musculo-skeletal anomalies that accounted for their immobility.  They did not respond to commands as they did for their commander in the correctional facility, they did not respond to any stimuli and they did not seem to be aware of their location.”

“What’s being done for them, Bones?” Captain Jim Kirk asked.

“Now they are on intravenous and liquid feedings.  They have to be assisted with

their bodily functions and hygiene.  They are pretty much in an awake comatose state, if that means any sense.”  McCoy said.

“Doctor, is the cause of this state of being known?”  Commander Spock asked.

“Yes, it is and it’s an ugly cause.  Apparently there was an epidemic on Star Base IV from where the supply ship left.  From the information I have gathered from Dr. Shimar, the Chief of Staff at the base hospital, a bacterium had been brought to Star Base IV on the very same supply ship that arrived on Beta Delta II.  This disease eventually killed all of the crew on that ship and then it spread quickly throughout Star Base IV.  Dr. Shimar lost his five year old daughter to the infection.”  McCoy stopped and let out a long sigh, “Dr. Shimar used Bio-Munasist to treat the patients afflicted with the bacteria. “

“Is this the same Bio-Munasist that you created?”  Spock asked.

“The very same, Spock.  Unfortunately, Dr. Shimar did not follow my strict protocol for using my serum and disastrous effects occurred.”  McCoy said.

“What disastrous effects were those, Bones?”  Kirk asked.

McCoy cleared his throat and looked at the officers seated around the table before replying.

“Bio-Munasist does what our bodies defenses should do when exposed to an infection, only it has added immune compounds from many humanoids.  I have adapted it to be accepted by any humanoid without a reaction against this serum by the recipient, thus causing a greater burden on the person’s immune system.  The serum assists and amplifies the body’s ability to fight any bacteria, virus, fungus   or other pathogen that a person is exposed to.  However, there are bacteria and viruses that can mutate the serum so that the person’s defenses accept the contaminated serum as their own immune defenses.  In the case on Star Base IV, the bacteria had an affinity for the brain, primarily the frontal cortex and the limbic system.  These two centers of the brain I like to define as the dilithium crystals of emotion and the constraints placed on the power by the ship’s engineering section.  The mind has the ability to experience a flood of emotion, the dilithium; but to keep the ship from being blown apart from such an energy release; we have our miracle worker, Mr. Scott to keep the power in check.”  McCoy said as he shot a glance at Scotty.

“When I’ve had me scotch, I can do both.”  Scotty said proudly.  There was a brief release of tension and laughter.

McCoy continued, “After a person receives the serum, there is an increase in the emotional part of the brain, then all function of the frontal cortex and limbic center are changed.  This leaves the individual open to suggestion and unable to function independently.”

“So, Bones, it’s the bacterial toxin in the serum that is causing all of these bizarre side effects.”  Kirk said seriously.  “This would be a powerful weapon in the hands of the wrong people.”

“Absolutely, Jim.  What I don’t understand is why Dr. Shimar allowed the serum to be placed on the interplanetary market, when he knew what the actions of the serum would be.  However, having lost his five tear old daughter to this disease he might be desperate to try anything.  When I talked with him, he seemed distracted and was mumbling something about a promise to bring back his daughter.”  McCoy said, his thoughts briefly flashed to his daughter, Joanna.

“From what Star Fleet intelligence had informed us, the Star Base’s Commander Kranov had some of the dealings behind the selling of the serum.”  Spock said.

“Ah, yes, dear Dorina.”  Kirk said basically to himself.

“Are you acquainted with this Commander, Captain?”   Spock asked, eye brow raised.

“We, um, shared an experience.” Kirk said slightly blushing.  “Although quite attractive, she’s quite a predator.  Let’s say her ladders of success are placed with some questionable alliances.  She can also be unpredictable and ruthless in her pursuits.”

“Why is she allowed to hold such a position with Star Fleet?”  Lt. Uhura asked, her dark eyes flashing with anger over the situation.

“She’s being kept on Star Base IV.”  Kirk answered and there were several “Oh’s”

around the table. “Unfortunately, this situation with the serum had opened an opportunity for profit.  Dr. Shimar’s serum-vaccine was being hailed as a miracle, although he took credit for the serum from Dr. McCoy.  Despite the damaging effects that we heard from Dr. McCoy, there is a great demand for this serum on the black market, particularly with the Orions. ”  Turning his attention back to McCoy, “Bones, what will your first actions be when you arrive on Star Base IV?”

“Well, number one; confiscate all of the serum and dispose of it.  Then I will try to

study this bacterium further.  It appears to have been recently discovered and there are no successful treatments against it.  Once we have the toxins isolated and adapt the Bio-Munasist to neutralize the effects on the body, we can have an effective vaccine against it.  This will be difficult due to the adaptability and mutability of this pathogen.  As far as the poor souls who received the serum are concerned; it appears that the damage is permanent.”

“Sounds like a lot of work, Bones.  How many doctors, nurses and pathologists will you have working with you?”  Kirk asked feeling that sense of danger creeping up the back of his neck. 

“Well, there’s me, Pathologist Germander from the Lexington, two nurses and

two lab technologists.  Of course, I will be working with Dr. Shimar and his staff.”

McCoy answered hesitantly as he saw a familiar expression of Jim’s face.

He glanced over at Spock and saw the same concern reflected there also.  “Come on, Jim, I’ve been in worse situations before.  I’ll be very careful.”  McCoy said trying not to let his temper rise.

 It was four months ago that McCoy was wounded on a medical mission. He was hit by shrapnel from an explosion; the bomb contained a virus that was dangerous to ‘outworlders’.  It took the medical team hours to identify what McCoy had been exposed to and none of their antiviral medications were effective.  By the time he and the medical team were rescued, McCoy was gravely ill.  McCoy spent four days in the intensive care in Sick Bay and it took three weeks for him to recover completely.  After that incident, is when McCoy developed Bio-Munasist. Now this serum was being used as a malignant weapon to destroy the minds and wills of innocent people.

“That’s another matter I need to bring up.”  Kirk said to everyone at the table, “There has been some scuttle-butt picked up by Star Fleet intelligence that it is now known that it was Dr. McCoy who had developed Bio-Munasist and there is a great demand for his serum and for our dear Doctor himself.”

McCoy huffed, “Poppycock!  I can’t imagine why they would want me. What alarms me is the selling of this serum and who is using this serum.  Anyone who receives it will lose all voluntary control of their mind.  This would be a very efficient weapon in the hands of the Klingons.    This serum is extremely dangerous to many races.”

Spock looked at McCoy, his dark brown eyes piercing, “There are other pathogens that could be tried to mutate your serum as well and there is a limited supply of the serum.  This makes your serum an invaluable commodity, Doctor McCoy, as well as yourself.  I would be highly vigilant during your stay on Star Base IV.”

McCoy looked at Spock and then at Kirk with an expression of irritation.

“I think that you both are getting too paranoid…”  McCoy began; Kirk and Spock were really getting on his nerves by their overprotection.

“Vulcans do not experience paranoia, Doctor.  The intelligence received has come from a reliable source and bares consideration.”  Spock said.

Kirk leaned in closer to McCoy, “Bones, I don’t want you going there and getting exposed to another bug, you almost died.  I sure as hell don’t want you going into a situation that could get you kidnapped or killed.  I wish Star Fleet would allow more security teams to accompany you.  They thought it was imperative that you go but did not view this situation as hazardous.  For all we know, Dr. Shimar may be behind some of these strange reactions of the serum and working with an illegal drug market, and you’ll be walking right into his trap.”

McCoy stared at Kirk as if he had grown three heads.

“Jim, those ideas are too bizarre for even you to think of.  Like I said earlier, I have been in much rougher and more dangerous situations before.”  As he finished, McCoy could tell Kirk would not back down from these suspicions. 

“Captain,” Spock said, “I have a solution.  I am not needed on our next assignment and I will accompany Doctor McCoy on his medical assignment.”

“Now wait just a damned minute.”  McCoy started to say.

“As usual, Spock, you always have the best solutions.  I would feel better if you went with Bones.”  Kirk said looking relieved.

Spock had a faint expression of victory that he directed at McCoy and who returned the expression with one of his deep scowls.

“Well, Doctor, it seems that we have a lot of planning to do.  I suggest that we meet at Sickbay to go over the supplies needed.”  Spock stood up from his chair

and headed out the doors of the conference room.

Kirk and McCoy remained alone at the table.  Kirk could tell that McCoy was seething.

“Bones, I don’t want you getting into a situation that I know is above your ability to handle.”  Kirk said looking into his friend’s blue eyes.

“Above my ability to handle?  Jim, I am quite capable to taking care of myself.  The situation is a medical one of which I am well prepared for.’  McCoy said as he gathered his equipment.

Kirk stopped him with his hand on his arm.  “The last situation was medical and look what happened, but I’m not talking about the medical aspects of this mission. I’m talking about the security aspect.  You could be headed into unknown dangers at the hands of these persons who want your serum and or you.  There is little security assigned to this mission.  I think we both know that Spock is the correct choice in this matter, because of his Vulcan strength and his scientific knowledge.”

McCoy sighed and nodded his head.  Kirk was correct in this decision and he had to admit that having Spock along would supply the necessary security and scientific knowledge to make this mission a success.  In fact, McCoy was relieved that Spock would be joining him.



After arguing about what to take to take to Star Base IV, McCoy and Spock finally settled aboard the USS Lexington and headed to Star Base IV.  They were assigned the same guest quarters on this ship and they shared a room together on the Star Base officer’s quarters.  They did not see that much of each other during the first four days that they were there.  McCoy was involved most of the days supervising lab tests, assisting Dr. Shimar with the care of patients and instructing the medical personnel about the bacteria and the serum/vaccine.  By the time he returned to their quarters, Spock was engaged in his nightly meditation.  McCoy had eaten and fallen asleep when Spock returned.

Spock spent his time in their quarters studying the layout of Star Base IV and the nonmedical personnel that they would be in contact with.  He also studied the recent contacts received by Star Base IV.  There were a lot of messages that came to Dorina Kranov from an Orion vessel.   He was able to view the time of the interview of Dr. Shimar with Kranov and the Orion “doctor”.  The content of the meeting was under Kranov’s voice command only.  Spock arranged a meeting with Dr. Shimar.

The doctor was a thin, weary and nervous individual.  When he saw Spock’s face and realized he was a Vulcan, his countenance brightened.

“Oh, Mr. Spock, it is an honor to meet you.  Please have a seat in my office.”

Shimar said as he cleared some paper files out of a chair in his office.  The doctor took his seat at his desk and stared at Spock intently for a few minutes then began to ask questions.

“I have been told that there is a Vulcan ritual that can return a soul to a body or a cloned body, even if the death of the person was more than a month.”

Spock cocked his head to the side, “I am at a loss at understanding to what circumstances you are referring to, Dr. Shimar.”

Ron looked around anxiously then leaned in closer to Spock.  “My daughter died from the infection, I have her body in cryo-storage.  It was explained to me by Dr. Rhozura that a Vulcan priest can place the katra of a person back into their body or a cloned body is this true?” 

Spock sighed at the lack of knowledge that many races had for the Vulcan Culture.

He was facing a desperate man who was grieving the loss of his daughter and was grasping on to anything to bring her back.

“This Dr. Rhozura was he the physician that you and Ms. Kranov had the meeting with?”  Ron nodded, “I regret that you have been misinformed, Doctor.  The katra is the living essence of a Vulcan that has been transferred to the mind of another Vulcan so that all of what that Vulcan knew, achieved and experienced can be saved.  If there is a living body to return the person’s katra to, it would be returned under a Vulcan ceremony.  It is a practice only for Vulcans and is of great importance to our culture and heritage.  Was there a Vulcan present at the time of your daughter’s death?”

Ron sadly shook his head, “No, there wasn’t”

“It is important to be with the person who is dying so that a mind link may be achieved to receive the katra before the person dies.”  Spock informed him.

Dr. Shimar broke down crying.  Spock felt uncomfortable and desired that McCoy was here to deal with the emotional reaction of this grieving father.

“They promised, they promised…” Ron said as he sobbed.

“Who promised what, Dr. Shimar?” a woman’s voice came from the doorway to his office.  Spock observed a tall, thin angular woman dressed inappropriately formal for this time of day; her dark hair was long and well coiffured and as Kirk stated she would be considered very attractive.  Her grey eyes darted about the room then scanned Spock from head to foot quickly.  She abruptly offered her hand then pulled it back and she gave a brief bow.  She must have remembered that Vulcan’s do not shake hands.  “I am Dorina Kranov; I do not believe that we have been introduced.”

Spock inclined his head, “I am Commander Spock of the Star Ship Enterprise.  I am here to assist Dr. Leonard McCoy with his investigation into the epidemic that has occurred here.”

“Oh.”  She said as she stepped closer to Spock.  “Yes, I very much want to meet with Dr. McCoy.  What were you two discussing when I walked in?”

“Dr. Shimar has informed me that he was promised the return of his daughter’s katra to her body or a cloned body by a Doctor Rhozura.  I was explaining to him that the ceremony of returning one’s katra is only between Vulcans.”  Spock answered dryly.

Ron Shimar looked over at Dorina, “You promised, too.  You said it would be an equitable trade for the formula for the vaccine.”

She glared at him.  “Will you excuse me, Commander Spock; I need to discuss some things with Dr. Shimar.  Pease wait out in the waiting room down the hall; this meeting will not be long.”  Dorina said as she flashed a smile at Spock and pointed to where the waiting room was.

Spock went to sit as requested in the waiting room.  While he was there he touched base with Dr. McCoy.  McCoy reported that there were some new cases, not as severe as the earlier cases and the patients were responding to his treatments.  The patients affected by the serum had not changed; they still maintained their ‘catatonic state’.  No medications had worked to help bring them out of their frozen psychological existence. He stated that he would work in the lab until seven pm that night; then meet Spock back at their room.  As Spock ended his conversation, Dorina returned and guided Spock back to Dr. Shimar’s office.  When he entered the office, Dr. Shimar quickly injected him with a syringe in his neck.

Spock reflexively placed his hand over the injection site.

“We have no idea how the bacteria will effect Vulcans.”  Dr. Shimar said glancing over at Dorina.

The injection stung but he felt no immediate effects.  Spock would have Dr. McCoy check him out when they met at their room.

Spock returned to their room at five pm and logged the information he had received.  At six fifteen pm, he felt a wave of tiredness flow through him and he lay on his bed.

A shaking of his shoulder woke him up and he peered in to the concerned face of Dr. McCoy.

“You had me scared there, Spock.  I’ve never known you to take naps. Are you hungry; would you like something to eat?”

Spock sat up slowly; he did feel refreshed from his nap.  He dressed for dinner and they went to the dining room.

“How did your research go, Doctor?” Spock asked as he ate his salad.

“It went fairly well.  My serum seems to be weakening the virulence of the bacteria.  We have set up a standard treatment of medications for anyone admitted that shows symptoms of this disease.” McCoy said between bites of his baked chicken.  “This epidemic is far from over, though.  I wish Star Fleet could locate that supply craft and find whatever thing it was that the first crew picked up.  It would answer a lot of questions.”

“Do you suspect that the bacteria that caused this epidemic could affect Vulcans?”  Spock asked.

“You are a humanoid but your copper based hemoglobin and the greater vascular perfusion of your brain would make it easier for the bacterium to enter into your brain’s structures and tissues.  Why do you ask, Spock?”  McCoy asked.

Spock put down his fork and looked at McCoy. 

“Dr. Shimar felt that Vulcans may be more susceptible to the bacteria and gave me an injection of the vaccine.”

McCoy paled abruptly.  “Oh dammit, Spock, I have to check you out immediately!  Dr. Shimar doesn’t have any of the new serum; he must have injected you with the old contaminated supply.”  McCoy placed credits on the table for both of their dinners and all but dragged Spock back to their room.

The tricorder revealed what McCoy feared, the serum had entered into Spock’s

cerebral blood supply and was saturating his frontal cortex.

“How do you feel, Spock?”  McCoy asked.

“At the moment, Doctor, I have a headache and I am quite tired again.  If you will excuse me, I will retire for the evening.”  Spock quietly meditated for a few minutes and went to sleep.

McCoy watched Spock sleep.  The usually relaxed face was broken time to time with furrowed eyebrows, head jerks and groans.  McCoy reviewed all of his Vulcan physiology data and Spock’s base line spectro-encephalogram. 

It was about two o’clock in the morning when a loud shout from Spock woke McCoy from his sleep.  Groaning and wincing from pain, Spock was sitting up in his bed massaging his temples.  The pain levels that McCoy read on his tricorder

were incredibly high.  The tricorder revealed evidence of frontal cortex swelling and blood vessel engorgement, the reason for all of the pain.  McCoy ran to his medical kit and loaded a syringe with pain medication that would help alleviate the pain.  He went to Spock’s bed and leaned over to give him the injection in his neck.

“No!”  Spock cried out and lunged at McCoy.  He grabbed McCoy by the throat with one hand and yanked the syringe away from the doctor with his other hand.

They both landed hard on the floor and Spock still had his hand around McCoy’s throat.  Spock’s face was distorted with rage and the dark eyes were black

from the dilated pupils.  Fighting for air, McCoy was able to bring his knee up and force it into Spock’s abdomen.  The action worked and Spock released the doctor’s throat.  McCoy was able to roll away from Spock and he grabbed the syringe.  Once he could draw in air, McCoy faced Spock.

“Spock, it’s me, McCoy!  I’m not trying to harm you.”  McCoy wheezed at Spock as the Vulcan had stood up and was still in the grip of anger.

Gradually, Spock’s expression returned to normal and the emotion was successfully quelled.  Then pain flashed across Spock’s face and he sat back down on his bed.

McCoy approached his bed cautiously, “Spock, I have something for the pain.”

Spock’s eyes looked into McCoy’s.

“Forgive me, Doctor, I had perceived your first attempt to give me the syringe as Dr. Shimar delivering the serum earlier.  I hope that I did not harm you?”  Spock said.

“You cut my airway off and scared the hell out of me.”  McCoy replied as he administered the medication into Spock’s arm.  “That should help decrease the pain, Spock.”  McCoy knelt in front of him.  “Spock the pressure is increasing in your brain and the pain is going to get worse.  I want to take you to the hospital where you can be monitored closely.”

“I will try to get myself under control; I already feel the pain dissipating.”  Spock said as he winced from a spasm of pain.  “Please allow me to rest here, Doctor.”

McCoy sighed and stood up, “As you wish, Spock.”  He helped Spock to lie back on the bed and drew the covers up to the Vulcan’s strong shoulders.  After Spock fell asleep, McCoy notified Kirk that Spock had been infected.  Kirk was understandably upset and asked how his First Officer came to be infected.

“I wasn’t with Spock when it happened, Jim.  Spock had gone to talk to Dr. Shimar

about a conversation that he had with Kranov and a Orion doctor named Rhozura. I have checked Star Fleet and civilian directories, there are no Orion doctors by that name listed.  I don’t think that this was an accident, Jim; Shimar had used his old serum to inject Spock.  I’m sorry to report this to you, Jim, but Spock is already suffering from the increased brain pressure.  The pain levels I recorded were off the scale and he became violent when I tried to give him some pain medication.  He thought I was Dr. Shimar trying to give him another dose of the serum.”  McCoy said.

McCoy could feel Kirk’s anguish over the communicator; Spock was a close friend and an incredible officer.  It grieved McCoy to realize that the highly intelligent mind was being affected by the serum’s toxins.  The knowledge that Spock would become catatonic as the other recipients of the serum increased McCoy’s misery. 

“I’m contacting Admiral Mendez, Bones, the situation there is too dangerous.  I wish I was there with Spock; I can’t lose him to something like this.  Oh Bones, if he becomes like those other….”  Kirk paused; McCoy knew was trying to compose himself.  McCoy remembered after Psi-2000 and the virus that affected a lot of the crew.  Jim had told him how painful it was to witness Spock under the influence of the virus.  Jim had mentioned he never wanted to see Spock so vulnerable and at the mercy of his emotions.  “Bones do whatever it takes; don’t let his brain become damaged.  If it comes to that point, may be his father can help.  Bones, be very careful, they may have disabled Spock to get to you.”

“Don’t worry, Jim, I’ll take care of Spock.  That was a good idea about notifying

Ambassador Sarek.  The Vulcan physicians would be a great resource for undoing the effects of this damned toxin.  I’ll keep you updated.”  McCoy said.

“Thanks for notifying me, Bones, and remember to keep yourself out of trouble.

Kirk out.”

McCoy watched Spock until 5:30 am and then went to sleep.  He was awakened several times by Spock’s moaning, but Spock was laying on his bed tossing.  When McCoy awoke at 7:30 am, it was very quiet in the room.  He sprang out of bed and went to check on Spock.  McCoy’s heart sank; Spock was lying still with his eyes open.  His ebony eyes were blank and his facial muscles were slack.  McCoy shook him in an attempt to wake him out of this stupor, there was no response.

“Dammit, Spock, wake up!   I order you to look at me!  Come on, Spock, this is no time to pull one of your stubborn, green-blooded tricks on me!”  McCoy said as he shook Spock harder.  The Vulcan’s body was cool to the touch and limp.

McCoy thought of one last effort to snap Spock out of this trance.  He slapped Spock hard across his face, when no response occurred, he slapped him again.  As he raised his hand to slap Spock the third time, McCoy stopped.  Spock’s face blurred before him by tears that had flooded his eyes.  Instead, he sat down next to Spock and held his face, almost mimicking the Vulcan mind-meld with the position of his fingers.

“Spock, if you can sense me or read my thoughts, wake up!”  McCoy’s fingers dug deeper into Spock’s face, the increasing cold feel of his skin was so alarming.  McCoy roughly wiped away the tears from his eyes and went to get the tricorder.

It was worse that McCoy had suspected there were abnormal readings from the frontal cortex of Spock’s brain and the other brain activities were suppressed.  He caressed Spock’s face and smoothed the silky hair back into place. 

McCoy notified the hospital and made arrangements for Spock to be transferred to the ICU.  Then he notified Sarek, Spock’s father, who would consult with the physicians on Vulcan and relay their advice to McCoy.  After that, he notified Jim.

McCoy escorted the transport team to the hospital and placed Spock on full life support, his body had shut down.  Dr. Shimar came to see Spock and looked like a ghost; he was pale, gaunt and so withdrawn he seemed barely there.  He had traded his soul for his daughter’s and now both were lost.  McCoy grabbed him by the arm and slammed him against the wall.

“Why, Ron, why did you inject Spock?  Give me one God damned reason why you

did this?”  McCoy’s voice cracked and he unsuccessfully tried to stop the tears in his eyes.

Ron looked at him blankly, “I had to, for Anna’s sake.”

“Your daughter is dead, even if Spock was there when she died, he could not have saved her soul.”  McCoy pointed at the Vulcan, “Do you know that you have destroyed one of the greatest minds in Star Fleet!  What you have done is criminal!”

The anguish in Shimar’s face almost broke McCoy, but his anger was too strong.

McCoy released the doctor and Ron shuffled away.  McCoy turned and went back to Spock’s bedside.  The medical staff stared at him as he struggled to get himself under control. 

“Damned stupid fool! “ McCoy said, then addressing the people around him, “I’m sorry for that emotional outburst.  Commander Spock is my friend and the finest First Officer in the fleet.  It’s such a waste….a waste of an incredible mind…and all because some stupid fool didn’t want to take the time to follow a few necessary steps.  Now all of your friends and family will pay for that mistake the rest of their lives.”  He stopped and looked at Spock’s monitor and sighed, no change.  “I’m so sorry, Spock, that I couldn’t help you.  I’m so sorry.”  A sob escaped and he felt the flood of tears flowing down his face.  Embarrassed by his emotionalism and his unprofessional actions, McCoy left Spock’s bedside.

Later that afternoon, McCoy was working in the lab when two of the next shift’s

technicians came into the lab.  They went to their stations and started to process some of the blood from Spock and other patients.  The next thing McCoy knew was a powerful, painful blow to the back of his head and then darkness.




Consciousness came slowly to McCoy; he could feel that he was laying down on a hard surface; the lighting was bright even through his closed eyelids.  His head throbbed in time with his pulse and he felt nauseated.  McCoy tried to move but his arms and legs appeared to be strapped down.  There were some rustling sounds around him, but he did not hear any one talking.    He raised his head and opened his eyes, he was in an isolation room in the hospital and alone.  Straps secured his arms, chest and legs to an exam table; he had been undressed and clothed in patient’s attire.  The restraining straps were not as tight around his right wrist and he was able to free his hand and work on the chest and left wrist restraints.  McCoy worked quickly and was now free of all of the restraints.  Slowly he sat up, and then hopped off of the exam table.  Dizziness overwhelmed him from the blow to his head and he had to wait for the episode to pass.  McCoy felt a large lump on his scalp where he had been hit, but the skin was intact.  He exited the isolation room and entered the anteroom.  There were several large windows in the anteroom facing the hall way, he was careful not to be seen and looked for any personnel standing guard outside.  It appeared to be clear of anyone near his door.  As he opened the door to the hallway, an ear piercing alarm went off.  He closed the door behind him quickly, but the alarm persisted.  McCoy took off running; he did not want to be around when the security staff and hospital personnel responded to the alarm.  As he ran down the hallway, McCoy noted that this was not part of the hospital.  He looked for other exits but there were none.  Desperately, he turned and ran down the other direction in the hall, the slap of his bare feet echoing in the corridor.  There were no exits at this end either.

Where the hell am I?”   He thought.  The intense clang of the alarm was aggravating him. 

Then he heard a hiss and a panel in the wall slid open down the hall.  There were three security guards, a doctor and Dorina Kranov.  They spotted him at once.

“Get him!”  Dorina ordered.

The guards subdued him easily and hauled him back into the isolation room.

McCoy fought hard against being put back on the exam table, his actions brought several hard blows to his face and abdomen.  As he crumbled from the assault, he was lifted up and secured.

Dorina walked to the side of the table by his head and looked at him coldly.

“You’re awake.”  She studied his face and looked down his body.  “So you are the famous Dr. McCoy.  We need to know more about our serum.”

“What you have done to my serum is not its intended purpose.  So you can go to hell, lady!”  McCoy yelled at her.

She looked at one of the guards and simply said, “Punish.”

The guard hit McCoy’s face and abdomen hard, the pain and pressure on his stomach threatened to make him throw up.  He tasted blood in his mouth from a split lip.

“Again, Dr. McCoy, what is it in the serum that causes the malleable persona of the persons injected.”  She said as she walked around the exam table, her nails digging into McCoy’s exposed skin on his lower legs.  “If you will not cooperate, I will inject you with Dr. Shimar’s serum.”

McCoy spat out the blood that was filling his mouth from his cut lip.  “Dr. Shimar’s serum will not have any effect on me; I am protected by the correct vaccine.”

Again she yelled, “Punish!” and the guard complied with her command.  This time McCoy was hit repeatedly in the chest and he felt one of his ribs crack.  The pain was excruciating and he began to lose consciousness.  A blow to the face brought him back around.  A rough hand grabbed him by the hair and yanked his head back; a hypo was injected into his neck by the doctor that had accompanied Dorina.  All pain quickly dissipated and a detached, numb feeling came over McCoy. 

“This will loosen his tongue, Commander.”  The doctor said.

“Now, Dr. McCoy, what is it that makes Shimar’s serum work?”  Dorina hissed in his ear.

“It…is…tha …exotoxin from… tha bacterium…”  McCoy drawled out.  “Tha serum…makes…tha toxin…strongah…”  He fought the effects of whatever drug they had injected him with.

“Did you get that?”  Dorina asked the physician next to her, “Good, now get busy

making more of the serum.  Rhozura wants at least one hundred vials.”

“We don’t have enough of the Bio-Munasist to make it.”  The doctor said.

“Then isolate the toxin from the bacteria, that’s what causes the damage.”

She ordered.  Then she jerked McCoy’s head toward her and looked into his eyes.

“You have been most compliant, Dr. McCoy.  Guards, follow me.”

McCoy was left alone again, secured to the table and still in the grips of the fog and the returning pain.  Blood dripped from his lip, down his cheek and on to the table.  His thoughts turned to Spock, he had failed him.  Spock was unprotected and his valuable mind gone.  Tears flowed from McCoy’s eyes down his cheek and mixed with the blood from his lip.  How could he have let this happen?  He had failed Spock, Sarek and especially Jim.  The sounds of his sobbing echoed in the room.

There was the smallest sensation of self, and then the awareness grew from a small, secured place deep in his brain.  Tentatively, he allowed the outward reach of his senses to assess the environment around him.  As the information returned to his mind, Spock emerged from the deep recesses of his mind and allowed awareness to take control.  He heard the familiar beeps and tones of monitors and felt his lungs fill and exhale by the aid of a respirator.  He was warm and there was no pain.  The last thing he did remember was McCoy’s soft hands on his face and the pleading and sobbing he made for Spock to wake up.  The doctor’s touch was overwhelming due to Spock’s mind defensive shields being weakened and the flood of emotion that McCoy was broadcasting.  Spock knew that McCoy cared for him, in spite of his barbed statements at times.  He was astounded by the deep affection that McCoy had for him.  Those feelings were used as a focal point from which Spock would return.  In the event of brain trauma, severe disease or impending injury, the Vulcan brain had the ability to cocoon itself and go dormant until the time had come to emerge from the protective isolation.  Spock sensed he was in a clinic and on full life support.  The ventilator that he was on sensed the return of his spontaneous respirations and gradually decreased his need for the support.

He sensed someone at his bedside.

“Very good, Commander Spock, it is good to see you recover so rapidly.  I wish all patients could heal as fast as Vulcans.  Take a deep breath…” a voice said and the breathing tube was removed and a mask was placed over his nose and mouth, “Okay, breathe normally…excellent.”

Spock opened his eyes to see a male nurse standing next to him; his name tag was labeled Brian.   “You still need oxygen, so we will leave this mask in place until your blood work shows that you are exchanging air well.”

Spock looked around the room.  There were many patients in beds around him.

 As his awareness increased, he scanned the area for McCoy; he was nowhere to be seen.  He caught Brian by the wrist gently.

“Where is Dr. McCoy?”  Spock asked hoarsely from being on the ventilator.

“I haven’t seen him for over eighteen hours.  The last I saw of him, he was in one of the labs.  He was supposed to be here this morning to review labs and see patients.  No one has seen him and he has not responded to his communications.  We tried his room but no one answers.” Brian stated.

Spock closed his eyes and meditated, summoning his body to full function and alertness.  After an hour, he was able to sit up in bed and drink some tea that the Brian had brought him.  Spock’s vital signs and lab work all verified that he had made an incredible recovery.

At seven pm, Spock was well enough to be discharged to his guest quarters.  When he entered the room, McCoy was not there nor were there any messages from McCoy.  There were messages from Kirk and Sarek.  He notified his father first and informed him of all that had happened; he also sent the information on the serum and bacteria for the Vulcan doctors to review.  Spock assured his father that he was safe and especially to convey this information to his mother.  Sarek would contact Spock with the information when it was given to him.  Then Spock contacted Kirk and learned that the Enterprise was on route to Star Base IV.

“Oh, Spock, you don’t know how relieved I feel to hear from you!  When Bones informed me that your brain had been damaged and that we would lose you…I

had given up hope of ever speaking to you again.  Thank God for the Vulcan brain’s ability to protect itself.”  Kirk said.

“I do not think that tribute to a deity is necessary for a genetic….”  Spock started.

“Enough, Spock.”  Kirk laughed, “Let me speak to Bones.”

“Dr. McCoy is missing, Jim.”  Spock informed Kirk directly.

He could hear a pounding noise in the background, probably Jim hitting his desk.

“I knew it, I knew it!  I knew something like this would happen.  When did you last see Bones?....That’s right you were unconscious.  When was Bones last seen?”

Kirk asked.

“McCoy was last seen at approximately five pm yesterday and it has been over twenty four hours since anyone has heard from him.  The medical staff has been trying to contact him; they are in need of his assistance also.  He has not been by our quarters.”  Spock replied.

“Where was he seen last, Spock?”  Kirk asked.

“He was in one of the labs; one of the nurses informed me.  I do not know which lab. I shall endeavor to find out, Jim.”  Spock said

“Do your investigation in your quarters; I don’t want anything else to happen to you.  We are approximately thirteen hours away and the Lexington is her way also.  The medical team notified Captain Stewart of your illness and McCoy’s disappearance.  He is as upset as I am about what happened to you and the lack of security that was allowed on this mission.  Keep in contact with me, Spock.”

There was a sigh over the communicator, Kirk continued, “I am so glad to hear your voice and to know you are alright.  Did you notify your father?”

“Yes, Jim, immediately before I called you.”  Spock replied.

“So, I’m not as important as your father, Spock?”  Kirk teased, “I’m like a brother to you.”

“You are indeed a brother, Jim, but I have a human mother to consider.  I also sent the information on the serum and bacterium to the doctors on Vulcan.”   Spock informed him.

“Thanks, Spock, let me know as soon as you hear from Bones.”  Kirk requested.

“Affirmative, Jim, Spock out.”

Spock pulled up the layout of the hospital and viewed where the laboratories were located.  He was able to access the monitors in all parts of the hospital and labs.  The microbiology lab footage yielded results, Spock reviewed the last 30 hours of recorded video. McCoy could be seen in the lab viewing some cultures of the bacteria.  Then Spock saw the two lab personnel attack McCoy.  The doctor was hoisted up over the shoulder of one of the techs and carried off.  The next step was to find McCoy.

An urgent call from one of the Lexington’s nurses, “Dr. McCoy?  Dr. McCoy are you there?”

“This is Commander Spock, Dr. McCoy is not here.  Do you require assistance?”  Spock asked.

“Mr. Spock, how are you feeling?”  She asked.

“I am feeling well; I have had no physical difficulties since I arrived at my quarters.

You are attempting to reach Dr. McCoy?” Spock asked.

“Yes, we are very worried that we cannot reach him.  Also, Commander Kranov has confiscated all of our serum.  We tried to stop her, but she had her guards with her.  She did not give a reason why she took the serum, she just took it all.

“We’ve had some more cases brought in and there are patients that Dr. McCoy was supervising.  It’s not like him to wonder off, is it?”  She asked.

“No, it is not in his character at all.”  Spock said, “I believe that he is being held somewhere against his will.  He was attacked last afternoon in the microbiology lab, did any one witness this attack?”

“This is the first that I have heard of this.  I will ask the other staff and find out what happened.  I hope that he isn’t hurt; he’s an excellent doctor and such a hard worker.  His serum and all of his knowledge of this disease has kept this

epidemic under control.”

“What is your name, may I ask?”  Spock inquired.

“I’m Lt. Amy Durham with the Lexington medical team, sir.”  She replied.

“Lt. Durham, please contact me here if you hear anything about the attack yesterday.”  Spock said.

“Affirmative, Mr. Spock.”  Amy said as she signed off.

It was twenty minutes later that Amy notified Spock that one of the hospital’s staff had seen Dr. McCoy being taken by stretcher accompanied by one of the doctors at the hospital to another isolation wing.  Spock thanked her and returned to the diagram of the hospital.  There was another isolation ward located in the ground floor of the hospital.  Access was achieved by a sealed off section by the hospital’s morgue.  Spock was able to obtain a visual of the hallway, but there was only one room.  He then gained access to the camera in the room and there was McCoy.  The doctor appeared to have been beaten; there were bruises and blood on his face.  McCoy was strapped down on an exam table and was asleep or unconscious.  There was no intercom to the room; Spock would not be able to talk with McCoy.

Spock contacted Amy again and asked her to prepare a team to accompany him to get Dr. McCoy.  He met the team in ten minutes and they followed him to the isolation area.  There were two guards posted by the entrance to the hallway, they were easily felled by phasers on stun. 

When they entered the isolation room, Spock quickly went to McCoy’s side.

As he had suspected, McCoy was unconscious.  Lt. Durham read off the readings from the tricorder and started treatment for a concussion compounded by a hypnotic drug overdose, a split lower lip and a fractured rib.  Spock was handed a wet cloth to clean McCoy’s face.  He gently wiped around the doctor’s mouth and along his cheek where blood and pooled.  Slowly, McCoy’s eyes fluttered open and he struggled to get his eyes to focus.  When he looked at Spock the shock was pronounced on his face but it quickly gave way to a grin.   McCoy winced at the pull on his lip but continued to stare at Spock.  He reached out and touched Spock’s arm, then his face.

“Oh my God, Spock, you’re here…you’re okay.”  McCoy said weakly.

“Yes, Doctor, I am well.”  Spock assisted McCoy to a sitting position.  McCoy winced and groaned with the movement, he splinted the left side of his chest with his arm.  Spock supported him on the side of the table as McCoy panted from the pain from the broken rib. 

Lt. Durham scanned his chest, “Your rib is fractured but it has not punctured your lung.  I bet it hurts.”  McCoy shot her a look.  “I’m hesitant to give you anything for the pain; you’ve had a concussion and still have a lot of that drug in your system.”

“That’s okay” McCoy said, and then he paled and swayed, “I’m feeling a bit dizzy…”

Durham and Spock settled him back down into a supine position with is head elevated.

“We need to get him back to the hospital. “ Amy said as a stretcher was brought over to transport McCoy.


McCoy was placed in a hospital room across from the nurse’s station.  A security guard was placed outside the door as well.  Spock stayed with the doctor and slept on the bed next to him.  When McCoy awoke the next morning, Spock was immediately at his side.

“How do you feel, Doctor?”  Spock asked.

“I feel like someone who got hit in the head and has a rib fractured.”  McCoy growled.  “Oh, my head hurts.”  He tried to sit up and hissed at the pain in his left chest.  He allowed Spock to help him sit on the side of the bed and then walk to the bathroom.  Spock waited outside the bathroom allowing McCoy his privacy.

When the doctor exited he stayed close enough to catch him if he fell.

McCoy made it back to his bed and sat on the edge then he motioned for Spock to bring up a chair to sit by him.    McCoy scanned Spock’s face and let out a sigh.

“Spock, I was so scared yesterday, I thought I had lost you.  I have never realized the subtle expressions that you have, not until I saw your face after you had reacted to that serum.  The many times that I have chided you over being emotionless, I hope that I never see you like that again.”  McCoy said as he broke his stare and looked down at his hands.

“As I have told you many times, Doctor, I have emotions but I keep them under control.”  Spock said as McCoy’s head snapped back up, the openness of McCoy’s countenance was closing.  Spock had to say something to McCoy about the affection that he had received from the doctor.  “As I was losing consciousness, I became aware of your feelings, Doctor.”

McCoy’s eyes widened and he looked nervous, “My feelings?”  He repeated.

Spock leaned in closer to McCoy.

“Yes, Doctor, remember I am a touch telepath.”  McCoy looked away from him.  “Please, Doctor, do not look away.”  The blue eyes met his again, “I want to tell you that your feelings saved my life.  The strength of your affection followed my mind’s energy in its retreat from the damaging toxins.  Had those impressions of your thoughts not been there, I may not have been able to emerge from my mind’s sequestered state.”

Spock was surprised to see McCoy’s eyes mist over and there was brightness in his expression that he had not seen before. 

“I guess it would be hard to know how I feel with all of the arguing that we do.”

McCoy said as he blushed.  “I am that way sometimes; I keep my feelings hidden if I don’t know how the other person feels about me.”

“If you were a touch telepath, Doctor, you would perceive that I care very much about you.  It is not my custom to speak what it is that I feel, also.”  Spock said.

“Well, don’t you think that if you want to let me know how you feel it would be better to call me ‘Leonard’ instead of my professional title?”  McCoy asked.

“Indeed, Leonard.  I have not heard anyone address you as such.  I have only heard you called ‘Doctor’ or ‘Bones’.”  Spock replied, eyebrows raised.

McCoy laughed, it was a reassuring sound.  Then his face took on a mock seriousness.

“Spock, you have to answer one thing, though.  You were able to protect your mind by retreating into your brain?  Is this another Vulcan inner eyelid thing?”

McCoy asked.

“No, my inner eyelid protects…..”  Spock’s response was interrupted by a loud commotion in the hallway. 

“Someone help!  You’ve got to help Commander Kranov!”  It was her secretary screaming and running through the hall.  “Someone help her, Dr. Shimar has gone crazy!”  She cried out.

Spock assisted McCoy up and they entered the hallway.  There was a rush of

personnel and Lt. Durham stopped by McCoy.

“We need you to come, are you feeling up to it?”  She asked.  He nodded and grabbed his tricorder.   McCoy and Spock followed behind them.  They came to one of the pharmacy satellite stations and there on the ground was Dorina.  Her suit was crumpled, her hair askew and tangled but it was her expression that caught everyone’s attention.

Her once arrogant features were now blank, the grey eyes were dull, her mouth was open and saliva had pooled from the side of her mouth.  Next to her body was an empty syringe.  McCoy scanned the syringe and said, “It was filled with the serum.  She is still alive if you want to call her present existence that, how ironic.”

“Ironic indeed, Doctor.”  Spock said.

Five feet from her body was a container of vials of the serum, all of the vials had been crushed.

Her secretary was in hysterics.  McCoy sat her down in a chair; he grimaced as he leaned over to talk to her, the broken rib was posing a henderence.

“Listen to me, young lady, and calm down.”  He said firmly.  “You were yelling something about Dr. Shimar, did he do this?  Where is he?”

Between sobs she said, “In his office.”

McCoy straitened and Spock helped to support him.  They walked down the hall to Ron’s office.  The doctor was slumped down in his office chair, holding a hologram frame of his daughter.  McCoy walked over to his side and felt for his pulse then ran the tricorder over the still body.

“He’s dead.  He overdosed on pain medication.  At least he’s at peace; he had lost so much of himself to this disaster.”  McCoy gently removed the hologram frame from the cold hands and placed it on Ron’s desk.  Ana looked a lot like Joana at that age with the dark curls and the wide innocent eyes. 

Spock’s communicator beeped and he answered, “Spock here.”

“Spock, we’ve beamed down into Commander Kranov’s office.”  Kirk said.  “How are you?  Did you find Bones?”

“I am fine and Dr. McCoy is at my side in Dr. Shimar’s office.  You will find the Commander here at the hospital on the third floor.  She has been incapacitated

by the serum, Dr. Shimar injected her.  She had been collecting the serum from the hospital presumably to give to the Orion, Rhozura.”  Spock informed Kirk.

“We’ll head over there.  Let me speak to Bones.”  Kirk requested.

“Hey, Jim.”  McCoy said.

“Bones!  It’s good to hear your voice.  How are you and are you hurt?  You had me worried.  You and Spock are going to give me an ulcer.”  Kirk shouted through the communicator.

“Now you know what I go through all the time with you, Jim.”  McCoy laughed.

“Jim, when you get to the hospital, come up to Dr. Shimar’s office.  It’s suite number 348.  He’s dead, Jim, he overdosed on medication after he injected Kranov.”

Kirk, Scotty, Captain Stewart and Security officers from the Enterprise  and Lexington arrived ten minutes later.  Kirk looked at his two friends with relief.  He looked at McCoy’s bruised face and swollen lip and then drew McCoy into a bear hug.  When McCoy cried out and Spock pulled Kirk back, the captain looked puzzled.

“Sorry, Jim, I’ve got a broken rib.”  McCoy said pale from the pain.  “I’ll fill you in on all of the fun we’ve had.”

“Fun, Doctor?”  Spock said.

“You know what I mean, Spock!”  McCoy replied.

“Okay, you two, stop it.  Why can’t you two stop fighting?”  Kirk asked exasperated.  “You both have been through so much but you still have hash it out with each other!”  Kirk shook his head.

McCoy started laughing, he had to support his side as he laughed harder.

“What are you laughing about, Bones?”  Kirk asked.  He was even more puzzled when McCoy and Spock looked at each other and McCoy winked at Spock.

“It’s nothing, Jim.  We’ve been getting along quite well, no fighting.”  McCoy said.

Kirk eyed him up and down in disbelief then saw the exaggerated innocence on Spock’s face.

“Well, let’s get you both back to the Enterprise.  I know you both are tired.  Bones, you look like hell.”  Kirk said as he stared at McCoy’s lip. 

“Jim, I want to check with the Vulcan doctors to see if they have arrived at any suggestions for treatments for the serum victims.  I’ll be down the hall at the nurses’ station.”  McCoy said as he slowly walked off.

Kirk noted that Spock’s eyes followed McCoy and he had an expression that was concern and there was something else Kirk could not read.

“Spock, come on, tell me the truth.  How did you and Bones get along?”  Kirk asked.

“Jim, I can honestly tell you that Leo… Dr. McCoy took very good care of me and saved my life.”  Spock said, hoping that Kirk would not catch him using McCoy’s first name.

“Spock, were you going to call him Leonard?”  Kirk asked confused.

Spock straitened and looked at Kirk directly.  “I believe that is his first name, Jim.”

Then he walked out of the room and went to find McCoy at the nurses’ station.

A medication used by the Vulcans for victims of severe mind melds and some

brain sweeps once used by Romulans, provided the cure for the serum affected patients.  It reset the neurochemical balance and synapses in their brains.  It would be a slow process but the outlook was encouraging.  Some of the Vulcan

practitioners and doctors were on their way to Star Base IV to be of further assistance.

Both McCoy and Spock were checked out by Dr. M’Benga.  McCoy needed his rib refused and his lip repaired; Spock still had some minimal swelling but would make a complete recovery.

McCoy had settled into his bed that evening at nine pm, when his door buzzer sounded.

“Come.”  He said sitting up in bed.

Spock entered in his quarters; he was wearing his medication robes.  He walked over to McCoy’s bedside.

“I hope that I am not disturbing you, Leonard.”  He asked.

McCoy smiled, “You remembered to call me ‘Leonard’.”  Spock nodded.

“What can I do for you, Spock?”  He asked.

“I came by to thank you again for your thoughts and feelings; you must know how important they were to me at the time and how important they are to me now.”  Spock replied as he stepped closer.

“Like I said, Spock, I have seen what controlled emotions are and what lack of any

thoughts or feelings looks like on your face.  I cannot accuse you of being uncaring

or emotionless again.  I never want to see you in that condition again.”  McCoy said as he looked into Spock’s eyes.  He sat up in bed a little higher, he winced slightly.

“Are you well, Leonard?”  Spock asked.

“Oh yes, the fracture is healed but the muscle is still bruised.  At least I don’t have that swollen lip that cut smarted when I drank juice and my bandy with Jim.”  McCoy said.  He was surprised when Spock’s warm finger traced over his lower lip was the cut had been.  Then there was awkward silence between the two, both uncertain what to do.

Then Spock stood back with a very faint smile on his lips.  “I am glad that you have healed.  It disturbed me last month when you were so ill.  I hope that I do not see you like that again.”  Spock brushed the side of McCoy’s face with his fingers and McCoy received the feelings Spock had for him.  There also was a wave of warmth and peacefulness that emanated from the contact.  McCoy felt himself melting down into his bed and his eyes grew heavy.

“Spock, I’m sorry, I’m so sleepy…I can’t keep my eyes open.”  He said as his body relaxed further.

“It is alright, Leonard, now you know the peace that you gave me.  Sleep well, we will talk tomorrow.”  Spock said his deep voice soft in McCoy’s ears.  He watched the doctor for a while then returned to his quarters.  Spock fell asleep recalling the echo of McCoy’s feelings in his mind.

                                                                The End

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