21 hours and 33 minutes ago
Montgomery Scott was irritated this morning. He could not solve one formula for improving the Enterprise in any way, the replicator gave him cocoa instead of ale, and after the shift the captain again disappeared in an unknown direction. And who else could he pour out his soul about this elusive formula, without which he could not get the ninth warp of speed? In theory, of course, Mr. Spock remained as a scientific officer, but with him Scotty preferred not to break the chain of command. It was incomprehensible, he thought with surprise, that this cold Vulcan had become a friend of Captain Kirk, the most cheerful and charming man in the galaxy. And by the way, where is the captain himself now? Earlier, after the shift, he could go to Dr. McCoy or play another chess game with the commander, but in the last month he was replaced. Even in the gymnasium is rare; but before that he went there almost every day. The Engineer was walking down the hallway, lost in this thought, when Spock almost bumped into him. Montgomery froze in surprise, for he caught confusion on the Vulcan’s always impassive face. Or did it seem to him? But he did not give him time to think. “Mr. Scott, you must immediately send me to these coordinates,” he said abruptly, and put a piece of notepad in his hand. Then he turned and walked towards the conveyor. The astonished engineer automatically followed him, peering at the numbers on the sheet and asking himself: why did the commander use this long-forgotten method of transmission when there is a padd? And did not name the place where he was going? Suspicion flashed across Scott and he stopped. “Captain Kirk didn’t give me that order. Until his orders, I have no right to fulfill your demands. Montgomery, out of habit, reported in a military manner, as he always did when he was confused. Three years in the war made themselves felt. Intuition rarely deceived him, and now the engineer felt that something was wrong here. He looked at Spock, who stood like a statue in front of him. “I’m replacing the captain at the moment,” the commander said dryly. – He was suspended from service for a while for medical reasons. Mr. Scott, this is an order. The situation became clear, but the engineer could not shake off vague suspicions. His instinct told him that things were not so simple. “Mr. Spock, I need confirmation from the captain himself,” he said boldly, and headed for the ship’s general communications intercom. But the commander blocked his path. – Do you refuse to obey the order? For a minute, Scotty even thought that in front of him was not the usual Spock, but his sinister double from a parallel world. What confusion there was – his features were as if carved out of stone. It feels like you’re talking to a rock, the engineer thought in confusion. And he answered reluctantly: – An order is an order, Commander. They walked the way to the conveyor in silence. As Spock stepped onto the platform, Scotty began to enter coordinates into the system. He had a rare memory, but they turned out to be completely unfamiliar to him – he had never met such. A real puzzle. Scotty had already raised his hand for the final operation when Spock called out to him, “Mr. Scott.” The engineer looked up at him in displeasure. He hated it when something on the Enterprise remained a secret to him. Scotty treated the starship as a dreamer treats the lady of his heart – he adored it to the point of self-forgetfulness, to endless nights when he pored over formulas and drawings, knowing neither sleep nor rest. The only rival in his love for the Enterprise was Kirk himself, but Scotty took it calmly. And now these incomprehensible coordinates. Was the senior officer going to another galaxy? He was distracted from all these thoughts by the sight of Spock, who was not at all like himself – pain was clearly visible on his face. Even if a whole Klingon flotilla had come at once, the engineer wouldn’t have been so shocked. In amazement, his fingers slid down reflexively, and the beams of the transporter swept over the commander. – Take care of the captain. He … Continued Scotty did not hear – the commander had already disappeared. He leaned back in his chair, wiping the cold sweat from his forehead. “Damn it, am I out of my mind? Scott muttered. The only thing he had noticed on Spock’s face before was mild surprise, sometimes curiosity. And even then rarely: even these emotions slipped only when he looked at Captain Kirk. Here the engineer jumped up: – What an idiot I am! We urgently need to find the captain and report everything to him. But where could he be? “If anyone knows this, it’s only Dr. McCoy,” the engineer reasoned to himself. He pressed the intercom button, calling for the med bay. At first he heard muffled curses, then the doctor grumbled: “I’m busy, I’m not for anyone for the next two hours. If someone is going to the next world, let him wait. When will it end! Scotty listened patiently to this monologue, but decided to interrupt him: – I urgently need Captain Kirk. The commander departed in an unknown direction. For a few seconds the other end was tensely silent. Then McCoy sighed with a sort of doom and replied, “So I knew I would never have peace with these two. Jim can’t answer you yet. Come to the infirmary. And passed out.