NOTE from the PHOENIX: I have hijacked the character Saavik from the movies and Im slowly making her my own (why not, its a reboot world after all), so I am making up her background. Forgive me if Ive made some Romulan mistakes...Ive only ever seen TOS and therefore I dont have any up to date info on Romulans. So just cope. Thanks!
Blurry eye and sporting a five oclock shadow McCoy headed down towards medical. After the rescue mission he had been exhausted, and the five hours of sleep he had gotten hadnt done much to change the situation. When his alarm had gone off this morning he had seriously considered just rolling over and going back to sleep. However he knew that both Saavik and Spock would be waiting for him and he wasnt about to suffer the Vulcans in their quiet arrogance about his human sleeping habits.
When he arrived at the medical lab he was surprised to find that Spock was not there. Saavik was standing in front of one of the computer panels on the far wall. She navigated the touch screen with practice ease and was reading through the pages she had brought up with incredible speed.
Saavik had been supplied with a plain black male uniform. Bones wondered if she had flat out refused to wear the short dress that the female crew of the Enterprise wore. In McCoys opinion the modest uniform added to her look of pure self confidence, something he didnt see very often in anyone let alone a woman. She wore no make-up, and clearly felt no need to flaunt her undeniable curves. Her intellect meant more to her than her physical body, however it simply gave her a more natural beauty.
Good morning, Maam. Bones greeted formally.
Dr. McCoy, Saavik turned around and nodded slightly I was just reviewing your charts on Commander Spock and the care he has received from you over the years. You have an impressive knowledge of proper Vulcan medical care.
For a human? Bones supplied.
Really? McCoy smiled. Im sure you will find that Mr. Spock would disagree.
He should not. Saavik turned and brought up several files. I have found three separate occurrences where Spock would not have survived without your care. Any mistake on your part during these medical crisis would have undoubtedly lead to his death. On all three occasions you made choices that would have been fatal to humans, but were exactly what your patient required. As a Vulcan myself I would not hesitate to submit to your care in an emergency.
Thank you...I think. Are you a medical doctor?
I am a biochemical engineer specializing in organic chemistry and pharmaceuticals.
I was unaware that Vulcans used pharmaceuticals.
Normally we do not, however that does not temper our scientific curiosity in the matter. Often the chemicals we produce are not intended for Vulcan use.
Right, I believe that Trilium dicloxicillin is a Vulcan made drug. Its good stuff, the only thing I know that works when a patient has both a penicillin and a neopenicillin allergy. I know a lot of lives that would have been lost without it.
Thank you, Doctor, that formula took me nearly ten years to complete.
You discovered Trilium dicloxicillin?
I learned about that drug in med school...how old are you?
You dont look a day over twenty-five.
I am subject to heterosis.
Heterosis...you mean hybrid vigor?
Exactly. Romulans and Vulcans descended from the same base ancestors, but evolved for millions of years apart. Bringing the blood lines back together allows for the strongest traits of both to be expressed while hiding the recessive faults that are inherent in any set population. It has been estimated that I will live three to four hundred years.
Spock doesnt have this same advantage.
No. He has outbreeding depression, human blood is not compatible with Vulcan blood the way that Romulan is.
I see. Bones thought about this for a moment. Why doesnt the Vulcan race introduce some more Romulan blood to help with the population crisis.
It was an option that was considered.
Why wasnt it put into action?
Because the Romulans said no. Saavik replied simply.
Ah, right...of course.
My own father was put to death for what he had done. Not for being a rapist, but for giving the Vulcans access to Romulan genes. Although in the past few decades Romulan/Vulcan relations have improved to the point of a quiet mutual distrust there is still a great deal of friction between us.
Do the Romulans know you exist?
They do. I am only safe because they do not have access to me. If I was to wander into Romulan territory I would be put to death without trial on grounds of treasonous theft.
Theft? Your DNA?
They do not consider it mine.
Bones was brought up short by this answer. He had never considered that anyone could consider a persons very DNA to be property. It hailed so far back to the days where slavery was still in practice. Bones glanced around and noticed that everyone in the medical bay kept glancing over at them. He suddenly remembered that human/Romulan relations were not exactly friendly and feared that Saavik would be subject to more prejudice than Spock when he first arrived. It didnt help that she was not of the Academy. Bones turned on his staff in irritation.
What the devil are you all staring at? Bones demanded.
You are still wearing your Vulcan ears, Doctor. Saavik replied. I believe they find it amusing, they have been whispering derogatory comments since your arrival.
What? Bones reached up and touched his ears. Oh for crying out loud. I was so exhausted last night I didnt even think about it, and of course it will be weeks before my eyebrows grow back in right.
You do make a convincing Vulcan, Doctor.
So Ive been told. Bones grumbled and then rounded on his staff again. One more out of place remark about myself or Saavik and I will have you all demoted to assistant phlebotomist!
Yes, Doctor. The scattering of nurses and doctors muttered and made themselves busy elsewhere.
Instantly distracted from the conversation they had been having Bones pinched the tip of his right ear and tried to pull the prosthetic off. Wincing in pain he pulled harder at the stubborn piece of synthetic flesh. It took him a moment to realize that in order to get the pointed tip off he was going to have to rip his own skin off with it. Releasing his ear he narrowed his eyes in suspicion. Stalking over to the intercom he hailed the bridge.
Jim, did you get your ear points off?
Yup, ...although I suspect youll be stuck with them for at least a week.
I couldnt help myself. Kirk confessed. I had Cindy use a more permanent glue with you. I cant believe it took you this long to notice.
Was this really the time or the place for a practical joke, Jim? Bones asked unamused.
Think of it as penance for all those years of making fun of Spocks ears. Kirk chuckled. Besides, even Spock said they fit you well.
Youd better watch your back, Jim, Bones growled dangerously youll end up in my medical bay at my mercy sooner or later. Knowing your track record it will be sooner rather than later.
You have no sense of humor, Bones.
Id rather have no sense of humor than a sick one.
Dont you have work you should be doing? Kirk asked mockingly.
I hate you.
You should have left me on Earth when you had the chance.
Dont think it doesnt cross my mind at least once a day.
In all seriousness, Bones, get to work on figuring out what is going on here...you cant let a fellow Vulcan die. Meanwhile Im charting us a course back to Starbase 17, maybe there is some more clues there from when the Vulcan attacked.
The intercom gave a slight click as Kirk shut the channel. Looking murderous Bones walked back over to the lab desk. Saavik watched him with a passive expression, while everyone else went back to their own jobs trying to hide their smiles.
He really is insane, Bones muttered bitterly as he uselessly tugged on his ear again the fact that he manages to run a Starship boggles my mind.
Do you find being associated with a Vulcan insulting? Saavik asked honestly.
What? No. Its not that...its just...um...well...its a long story.
We certainly do not have time for that.
McCoy was grateful that he didnt have to explain the awkward friendship he and Spock shared, particularly when the half Vulcan in question arrived at the medical lab. Dressed once again in his uniform he suddenly did not look nearly as ill. He held his posture perfectly with his hands clasped gently behind his back as was his habit. However when he stepped closer McCoy could see a fine bead of sweat at his temple.
Doctor, Saavik. Spock greeted each in turn. I apologize for being late.
Its alright, Spock. How are you feeling?
Are you truly interested in a catalogue of my symptoms? I will warn you that it is extensive.
How about just the highlights? Bones suggested.
I am rapidly losing weight from a combination of lack of appetite and a nausea that prevents me from retaining anything that I do manage to eat. Although I find the Enterprise to be too cold for my physiology I find myself continuing to sweat. If I am not careful or if I am not stopped I will repeat a pointless motion for hours. In light of what I have observed from both yourself and the Captain the rest of my symptoms seem to mimic that of what you describe as a hang over.
Spock, Saavik said I believe those all to be side effects of the Vulandin, not the primary disorder.
My symptoms do shift when I am without the Vulandin. Spock nodded.
What are those symptoms like? Bones asked.
Vertigo, fainting, unexplained bleeding, agitation, feelings of extreme violence, anger, sadness, distrust, homicidal as well as suicidal thoughts. Overlaying all of this is an auditory hallucination of voices.
Some of that sounds like a form of schizophrenia. Do you suffer any of that when youre on the Vulandin?
Then it must be working. McCoy mused.
Indeed. Spock agreed.
Yes, Saavik said however, Vulandin is also toxic to Vulcans.
So he has to chose between dying from the disease or dying from the cure? Bones asked.
It is not a cure, it is only a treatment of symptoms. Saavik replied having taken him litteraly.
I have chosen the slow physical death over the more painful emotional one. Spock informed. I will continue with the Vulandin until another option presents itself.
Saavik, did you create Vulandin? McCoy asked.
How does it work?
Its primary function is to act as a dopamine binder, however it also acts on several other hormones and chemicals within the limbic system.
The limbic system controls memory in humans.
It has some of the same functions in Vulcans. Saavik agreed. It is also thought to possibly be the site of control during mind meld.
Wait...Vulcans dont know how mind melding works?
We do not fully understand it.
Doctor, Spock broke in Vulcan telepathy works on a level beyond the physical and into the realm of the metaphysical.
I see. Okay, lets lay out exactly what everyone knows about this disorder. Bones instructed. Saavik?
It is not contagious, it does not appear to have a pathogenic origin. It affects males in their prime and corresponds to the onset of pon farr. In the beginning stages the symptoms are similar but continue to cascade and escalate.
There are no female cases? Bones asked.
Do...uh...if you dont mind me asking do female Vulcans go through pon farr?
Yes. However, it is different for us. Saavik confirmed. One aspect of male pon farr that is particularly strong in young males is the need to return to Vulcan itself.
But now there isnt even a Vulcan to try and return to. Bones pointed out.
Could that have something to do with this? Bones asked.
It is a theory that has been dismissed. Saavik answered.
There is a known case of a Vulcan surviving pon farr away from the Vulcan homeworld. Saavik said.
Who was it?
My father. Spock replied. He was unavoidably delayed during one of his many trips to Earth and was unable to return to Vulcan, my mother assisted him and afterward he felt it only logical to marry her. Or at least that is the story I was originally told.
You have reason to doubt it?
Those looking for a way to discredit my father say that there is a discrepancy in my fathers age and that he should have been a year away from pon farr when I was conceived.
Meaning? Bones asked for clarification.
Meaning that I was the result of a want rather than a need.
You mean love?
Yes, Doctor, love.
That would have been scandalous for your father and his status on Vulcan, no doubt. Bones noted. Do you think he would have tried to hide it?
If it is true, then yes, however I can also believe his story.
Still we are left with no proof that a Vulcan male has survived pon farr off of Vulcan. Bones pointed out.
Logical. Saavik and Spock agreed at the same time.
Does anyone truly understand pon farr?
Is there any way to survive pon farr without mating?
Yes. Spock nodded. On Vulcan several weeks of deep meditation or participation in a fight to the death known as kal-if-fee will end pon farr.
Has anyone tried the meditation trick for this current problem?
I did not have time to attempt it, I opted to take a mate instead.
We have tried that on Natala and found that it increases the speed at which the Sickness progresses. Saavik confirmed.
This isnt helping. Bones sighed. Spock, with your permission I would like to run a full battery of tests, body scans, complete blood and hormone work up, everything. At least attempt to get a handle on what is happening physically.
Very well, Doctor.
The next six hours were devoted to running Spock through every diagnostic that McCoy could think of. Including detailed imagine scans of his brain in an attempt to find the answer. Half way through Uhura showed up and stayed at his side. As the day progressed Spocks condition worsened until he was having trouble staying awake. They had placed as many nutrients directly into his blood as they could, but it couldnt replace actually eating.
Okay, Spock, Bones sighed thats enough. Uhura keep and eye on him, call me for any reason.
And see if you can get him to eat something.
I am not hungry, Doctor. Spock protested.
I didnt ask if you were hungry.
Spock thought about this for a second and nodded. Uhura helped him down off the exam table and the pair left. Saavik was already standing at the computer panel sifting through the mountain of data that they had collected. McCoy stepped up next to her.
Is any of this new information to you?
A great deal of it is, Doctor. Saavik nodded. The facilities on Natala do not have as advanced imagining equipment.
That surprises me.
We have never needed it in the past.
Saavik never took her eyes away from the quickly flashing screens. McCoy could practically see her mind working as she absorbed the information. He tapped on the computer and started to go through the information himself at a slower pace. Hours later he was ready to claw his own eyes out.
None of this makes sense. All of the effects that we are detecting seem to be more a reaction to Vulandin than anything else.
Agreed. Saavik nodded.
The main thing that worries me is the increased size of the ventricles in his brain, but for all I know thats normal for a Vulcan. Ive never taken this close a look at one. Bones admitted. I wish I had another Vulcan to compare him to.
You have me. Feel free to do whatever you want with me.
Even though he knew what she had meant by the words the phrasing still caught Bones off guard. He glanced over at her with a touch of a grin. To his surprise Saavik smiled slightly as well. Bones raised one of his now slanted eyebrows automatically which caused Saavik to look at him in concern. The flash of compassion in her eyes was another look he wasnt used to from a Vulcan.
Amazing. Bones said to himself.
Is there something wrong, Doctor?
No, its just that I wouldnt have guessed that a half Romulan Vulcan would smile so much more than a half human one.
Yeah, you know when the corners of your mouth turn up. Bones chuckled. It is usually used to convey the emotion of happiness or amusement.
I have been smiling?
Yes, you havent noticed? Bones asked.
No. I was raised on Vulcan and smiling is not a Vulcan trait.
Tell me about it. McCoy rolled his eyes. However, it is contagious, perhaps you just needed a little time with humans to bring it out. It is a good quality to have.
You enjoy my smile?
Bones smiled brightly to prove he meant what hed said. Saavik furrowed her brow as she attempted to mimic his expression. It was not as natural looking as it had been a few minutes ago, but it still added to her beauty. McCoy chuckled at her attempt, but his expression turned to one of concern as a single tear slipped down Saaviks face.
Without thinking McCoy reached out and brushed the tear off. Saavik gasped sharply and jerked away from his touch. Bones drew his hand back as well, having experienced what had felt like a slightly electrical shock. Saavik stared at Bones with an unreadable expression. McCoy gasped in surprise as her cheeks suddenly turned an intense emerald and she averted her gaze to the floor.
Saavik? Are you okay?
Yes, Doctor. I am sorry, it has been a taxing day, I am very tired. If you will excuse me?
Yes, of course, bu...
Thank you, good day. Saavik said sharply.
Still keeping her eyes on the floor Saavik turned away and left the medical bay calmly. Once in the hallway she quickened her pace. Several of the crew glared at her as she passed by, but she paid no attention to them. By the time she made it to the safety of her temporary quarters she was breathing heavily.
After taking a moment to catch her breath she walked into the wash room. She looked around anxiously, afraid someone might be watching her. Assured that she was alone Saavik stared at her reflection. Her cheeks were still flushed with green blood. Saavik raised her hand up to inspect it and found that it was trembling uncontrollably.
No...no. This can not happen, not now. Please, not now...