MYSTERY SOLVED, PART 2
Jeanne E. McGrew
As McCoy groaned himself gradually awake on the biobed where Spock had
placed him, Kirk muttered defensively, How was I to know that the
investigation method matched the crime?
Hm, Spock replied sardonically.
Spock! Kirk had a sudden thought. Mightnt it also provide the remedy?
Spock regarded him askance. It was the Vulcan version of you-can
No, really! Kirk insisted. Go back in and reassure him, comfort him!
Repair the damage!
There is little actual physical damage, Jim. He is mainly suffering from
Then comfort him! Kirk said again. Before he wakes up fully!
Too late, mumbled a grouchy but intimidated voice. Spock, please! Not
Do not be concerned Doctor. I have no intention of adding further to your
Bones, I dont see why this upset you so much! Kirk complained.
McCoy answered peevishly, Jim, do you even know what youre talking about?
Kirk refused to take the bait, and answered moderately, Spocks told me
some. So the bearded Spock mind probed you, so what?
It hurts! McCoy barked.
And its frightening!
And its the most helpless, vulnerable feeling Ive ever known!
That stopped Kirk. If there was ever a feeling that Kirk would not wish to
experience, that was it. His comprehension was written all over his face.
McCoy nodded triumphantly.
On a different track, Spock said reluctantly, Doctor, as much as I deplore
admitting it, the captain may be right about the cure.
McCoy stared at him in horror.
I am serious. What can rip can also soothe. What can hurt can also heal. It
can be a balm to your mind.
Kirk murmured amusedly, What can bomb can also balm.
Spock actually glared at him; McCoy didnt do much less.
As Kirk looked contrite, Spock went on, And I will not restrain you by the
arm this time, or by any other means. It will be painless and unforced. It
will be a medical treatment. He knew that the doctor would appreciate the
term. not a mind rape. The term was clearly distasteful to him.
McCoy cringed at its usage. Kirk looked surprised and amused by what he
considered its colorful, childish melodrama.
All right, McCoy consented shakily.
As Spock hesitantly approached him, McCoy watched the spread fingers as if a
house-sized tarantula were coming at him.
Kirk shook his head in bemusement. Hed been mind melded before, and it
simply wasnt that bad. Disconcerting, yes; terrifying, no. Uncomfortable,
yes; painful, no. Either McCoy was an incredible wuss , or the bearded
Spock employed a radically different technique from that which Kirk had
experienced. He made up his mind to ask Spock later.
Gradually, ever-so-slowly, as this Spock gently probed, the creases in McCoy
s face smoothed, revealing that his mind was soothed. Finally, after what
seemed like hours, Spock carefully withdrew, leaving a consoled McCoy
Back in the turbolift, Kirk asked his question.
The techniques vary profoundly, Spock explained. In analogy, would you
rather take a shower, or be drowned in the ocean? Would you rather listen to
pleasant music, or be deafened by an overpowering roar? Would you rather be
caressed, or bludgeoned?
Kirk was staring at him, aghast. But when he found his voice, he said, So
you bathed McCoy, serenaded him, and made love to him.
Spock stared at him for long minutes, with an increasingly intense gaze.
Kirk grew deeply uncomfortable, wondering if this time, his teasing of his
alien friend had gone too far. The fleeting thought even occurred to him
that his Vulcan first officer would potentially be capable of demonstrating
to him the apparently vivid difference between a gentle mind meld and an
ungentle mind probe. He had never before been so nearly uncomfortable with
his trusted first officer, and was actually relieved when the turbolift
released him onto his chosen deck.
Now alone with his own thoughts, Spock reversed turbolift direction to
return to the sickbay. Hed decided to wait patiently until McCoy should
awake, and then to follow Kirks not-quite-suggestion , literally.