|CHEESE! - A Star Trek Story|
|Written by Dee TS|
White hot, exquisite, consuming agony ripped into him. Every nerve fibre of his body enflamed, wrenched and contorted. Blood surged to his brain. Noise loud, pulsating, drumming in his ears. Kirk gasped a lungful of stagnant air. Expelled it in a sudden involuntary scream as his body arched against the torture. A spasmodic reaction. He had no control, no will. Only pain. Eyes squeezed shut as he fought to bury it. To force it down. Control. Had to gain control of his senses.
An explosion of colour behind his eyes. White, blood red, and blackened images swirled in a chaotic maelstrom. Somewhere close by muffled voices penetrated the dizzying, nauseating spiral of torment. One deep voice, like gravel over sandpaper, forged itself through. Persuasive. Demanding attention. Kirk clenched his teeth. Don’t listen. Must not listen. Say nothing.
Questions repeating. The drumming grew louder.
“Nothing to say!” Jaws snapped shut. The pain reached a blinding crescendo. Kirk sucked in stale air. Held it in his burning lungs. Don’t breathe. Don’t think. Hold on. Just a matter of time before unconsciousness would descend and claim him. Protect him in oblivion. The voice bellowed again…
“For god’s sake, Jim. Wake up!”
McCoy grabbed at Kirk’s perspiration slicked shoulders and shook them desperately, but it only seemed to intensify the captain’s resolve not to yield to the torment. “Go to the devil!”
“Please allow me, Doctor,” Spock intervened. McCoy let Kirk’s arching body slip back on the bunk, and watched as the Vulcan leant over it. Spock placed his hands delicately on the sides of Kirk’s head as it tossed against the pillow. The action seemed to quieten him. Long fingers positioned themselves on Kirk’s temples and found the synaptic pathways. “Your mind to mine..”
“What in he’en’s name is gaein’ on, McCoy?” An anxious Montgomery Scott demanded. “Ye ca’en hear the commotion halfway doon the hall.”
“Not now, Scotty,” McCoy replied in a harsh whisper, looking on with growing impatience at the strange Vulcan ritual taking place before them. Kirk and Spock, locked together in mind-meld.
“Och! It’s nae more than mumbo-jumbo. It’ll do nae good.”
“It’s saved our lives a few times,” McCoy reminded the engineer.
“Aye, it has I suppose,” Scott conceded. “But what’s happened to the Captain?” Suddenly, Kirk cried out again, a single desperate plea, “SPOCK!!”
Spock let his hands drop from Kirk’s face and stepped back from the bunk, teetering on his heels momentarily. McCoy caught and supported him until he recovered from what surely had been an ordeal. Kirk was finally resting.
“Are you alright, Spock?”
“Yes, Doctor. Though I fear the Captain will require your dubious medical remedies shortly.”
“What‘s that supposed to mean?”
The low groan which escaped Kirk was heartfelt as he raised himself up on 2 his elbows and rubbed sleep from glazed eyes. The sharp, sickening pain just beneath his sternum caught him unawares and he sat bolt upright gritting his teeth. McCoy produced his medi-scanner, and as it warbled over the Captain, several pairs of anxious eyes looked on, awaiting explanation for his state of apparent un-health.
“Aww, geeze!” Kirk moaned, rubbing his chest and gut. “What’s going on?”
“Aside from a serious bout of acid reflux indigestion,” McCoy diagnosed, “you have just experienced a bad dream.”
“A bad dream?” Scott echoed, “Is that all it was..?”
Kirk shot him a chilled look. “Just what are you all doing in my quarters at this time of night?”
“We came to your aide, Captain. You were in some considerable distress,” Spock replied.
“Distress? I don’t understand.”
“What he means, Jim, is that you were hollering ‘Mother’, so the whole ship would hear,” McCoy explained. “You had a nightmare, is all.”
“I don’t remember…” Kirk said worriedly. “I don’t remember a damned thing.”
The Vulcan nodded slowly, a subtle look of satisfaction crossing his face.
“It is as well you do not,” Spock told his friend. “A most unpleasant scenario. One manifested from a deep subconscious fear all serving officers share.”
“Ohh. And what is that Spock?” McCoy queried, sceptical of the Vulcan’s ability to analyse the human psyche, and showing wide eyed disappointment when Spock rose to the obvious challenge.
“Capture and interrogation by enemy forces. In the captain’s case, a memory of an episode some months ago on Organia.”
“But Jim was never interrogated, at least not violently. You, however, were subjected to that mind-sifter thing. If my memory serves..”
“Correct, Doctor. Never the less, the Captain was threatened with the possibility, and given a period of time to reflect on the consequences. During those hours his imagination created the scenario, which has manifested in his dream tonight.”
“You’re saying that he actually was experiencing an interrogation?”
“Yes, Doctor. Your attempts to arouse him from sleep only reinforced his belief that you were his tormentor.”
“Subconsciously, Spock,” McCoy reminded him.
“Actually, it was quite real for him,” the Vulcan said matter-of-factly. “The pain he experienced was genuine..”
Kirk groaned, “You don’t say,” he moaned, clutching at his gut, and drawing looks of sympathy from his three friends.
“Och, give the lad a shot o’ something, McCoy. Can’t you see he’s in agony?”
McCoy fumbled in his medi-pouch producing a spray hypo and a small vial of pinkish liquid. He loaded the hypo and plunged it into Kirk’s upper arm.
“Di-Omeprazole. You’ll be fine in a few minutes,” he told the paling Kirk.
“All this hoo-ha over a nightmare.” Scott grumbled, “I should be in ma bed..”
“Agreed,” Spock concurred.
“What I’d like to know, Spock, is what brought it on - the nightmare? Jim has experienced bad dreams before, but nothing like this doozy,” mused McCoy.
“Late dining, and a poor choice of dessert, Doctor,” Spock replied. “CHEESE”