A Doctor’s Tale, Part I

STAR TREK:
A Doctor’s Tale

Part 1.
Endings

Ensign Baker had just graduated from Star Fleet Medical Academy. He
believed that a medical career was a good choice, intellectually stimulated and
lots of prestige. His grandfather was the Chief Medical Officer of the star ship
Arcon, and was extremely famous at the time. Baker always had dreams of
glory and fame, and the position the Star Fleet Medical facility in San
Francisco was a great start of the promising young officer. After three weeks,
he thought he was losing his mind. The screams down the corridor in the
Admiral’s room never seemed to end, nearly driving him insane.

Dr. Leonard McCoy stood beside his bedridden father, Admiral David
McCoy. Since the Admiral’s return from a diplomatic assignment on Rigel III,
he had a throbbing pain in his chest. His pride prevented him from telling
anyone. He thought a Star Fleet officer shouldn’t complain about a little chest
pain, so he suffered silently for over a year. Now he knew the end was near.
David looked at his son’s face. The bleak look hurt him worse than the
disease.
“Dad, I, I don’t know what to do.”
“The treatment, it isn’t working is it?” he managed to ask. The sound
was a raspy croak.
“It’s worse than that, Dad. We figure that you have less than a year to
live. Now all we can do is wait.” The young doctor placed his hand on his
fathers. He could feel the bones through the loose, nearly transparent skin. It
felt like the weak fingers would snap like dry twigs despite McCoy’s gentle
touch.
“No, son. I cannot lie here and wait for death to take me. I am a Star
Fleet Admiral. I’ve piloted ships through Klingon space with a half dozen
battle cruisers on my tail. I’ve fought the Tholian’s in the boarder wars, and
negotiated the first treaties with the Benzites, and Leonard, I will not bring you
and our family anymore shame.”
“Dad.”
“End my life and let me die the way I lived. Like a Star Fleet officer.
Like a man.”
“I.I love you,” said the doctor as he removed the life support
mechanism from the Admiral’s bio-bed. Then he closed his eyes and began to
cry as he ended his father’s life.

In the months since his father’s death, McCoy began to bury himself
with work at his small clinic. McCoy once said that he and his partner, the
Vulcan Dr. Solan, were the last of the “old fashioned family doctors.” Yet he
could not see that his own family was beginning to fall apart.

“Leonard, you have to be home early, I’m cooking plomeek soup
tonight. I

invited Solan over for dinner. He said it was one of his favorites,” said Nancy,
McCoy’s

wife.
“Damn it, Nancy. Why do you always do that?” McCoy asked in a
bitter tone.

“Do what?” She asked genuinely surprised.

“Don’t play dumb with me. You always do that.” The anger and
frustration was

growing thicker in his voice.

“What are you talking about? I just.”

“You know damn well what I’m talking about! Ever since Joanna was
born you’ve treated me like another goddamn child. Always telling me when I
have to be home and who I can spend my free time with. Jesus, why won’t you
let me be a man?” McCoy could see the hurt on his wife’s face, the tears
swelling up in her eyes. He hated that look and hated himself more for putting
it there. “Nancy. I’m sorry. I, I’m sorry. I don’t know what’s come over me,”
he said in remorse.
“It’s okay, Leonard. Have a good day at work.” Nancy tried to smile,
to put up a brave face. It didn’t work.
“Nancy. I love you. You know I do. It’s just that lately I’ve.”
“I know,” she interrupted. McCoy kissed her and his daughter
goodbye, and left

the house for work. Nancy went to their bedroom and began to cry.

Dr. Solan was a Vulcan by birth, but he never fit into their society. As
a boy he
was trained in the school of logic, but he couldn’t for the life of him truly give
in to the

discipline of total control over his emotions. Yet he still attempted to hide the
fact that he

was not in control. It worked on many of the humans that he had associated
himself with now that he was living on Earth. It worked on many, but not all.
To McCoy, most Vulcans were little more than computers in a humanoid body,
he hated their smug superiority and arrogance, but he considered Solan a good
friend.
“What’s the good word, Solan?” McCoy asked.
“Leonard, we got a message from Star Fleet Medical this morning. It is

concerning your father’s illness, which they are now calling McCoy Syndrome.
They’ve

discovered a cure.”

“What?” McCoy asked in shock.

“Now no one else has to suffer the way your father did. I trust this
news is good

to hear,” said Solan possessing what many would consider joy in his deep
Vulcan

voice. He looked into his friend’s eyes and could feel the pain behind them.
He wanted to

say something that would make McCoy feel better. “You did what you had to
do,

Leonard. I would have done the same in your place. Your father was
suffering, and you

did the only logical.”

“Logic? Don’t you go lecturing me on logic you green blooded
abomination.

According to the rest of your backward people, you don’t know the first damn
thing

about logic!” McCoy shouted, throwing an empty beaker across the room. As
it shattered remorse washed over him for the second time that day.
“Leonard.”

Ashamed, McCoy replied, “Look, Solan. I’m sorry, it’s just that you
don’t know

what it’s like to learn that your father died meaninglessly. I searched for a cure
for over a

year. My father was a Star Fleet Admiral, one of the most decorated officers in
the fleet,

but all he could do was lie in bed in so much pain; he could hardly keep from
shitting on

himself. I was the one in charge of finding a cure. I was his only hope, and I
failed! I

shouldn’t have given up. I shouldn’t have pulled the plug. Maybe, maybe if I
worked

harder I could have.”

“Leonard, don’t. Don’t do this to yourself. Just be glad that no one
else has to

suffer the way he did, not anymore,” said Solan as he placed his hand on the
human’s

shoulder. “If you want, I can take care of things here. You should go home
and be with

your family. Let them know that there is a cure for McCoy Syndrome.
Remember, this is

still good news.”

“Yeah, you’re right.”

“By the way, Doctor. I’m looking forward to your wife’s cooking.
Plomeek soup

if I’m not mistaken.”

“Yeah, uh, see you tonight.”

McCoy didn’t take his colleague’s advice to go home.

Outside the bar Orion Terra, Brym’Lok, the Nausicaan bouncer stood.
The seven-foot warrior wasn’t just for show; he would kill anyone he thought
was out of line.
“Hey, Brym’Lok. Murder anyone lately?” McCoy asked.
“I do not like your tone, Hew-mon. One day I teach you manners. Why
Rynoj likes you is mystery.”
“Don’t worry, Lady Killer. One of these day’s I’ll give you the honor
of facing me in battle,” joked the doctor. Brym’Lok contorted his face into an
expression that was as close to a smile as a Nausicaan could make.
“Ladies I do not kill. Just wise ass doctors, Undari.”
“Who’re you calling a coward?”
“Go inside. Rynoj wants talk with you.”
McCoy walked inside the bar. It had been years since he had been
there, but he could see that its reputation as the seediest bar in the sector hadn’t
diminished at all.
“Looking for a good time?” Asked a woman with a Deltan accent that
was a cross between honey and razor blades. McCoy turned to the voice. The
speaker was a woman about five nine, a perfect body that was nearly nude, and
a completely bald head.
“Not interested,” McCoy said as he showed the woman his wedding
ring. “I’m taken.”
“Married, eh? Everyone know men never cheat.” The Deltan woman
then slowly ran her fingers down McCoy’s chest, stopping at his crotch. “If
you change your mind, just ask for Allari.” She walked away with an extra
shake in her hips for emphasis.
McCoy continued into the bar. In the air was a thick cloud of smoke;
from the smell McCoy could tell that it was Risian Opium. In the back corner
was a green skinned Orion slave girl in the lap of a Tellarite. McCoy saw that
he was the sourse of the opium smell by the Bajoran hookah on his table, it’s
tube seemed attached to the Tellarite’s fat hairy face. Inside a cage on the far
side of the bar was a Salay and an Antican fighting. The strength of their
punches would have shattered the skull of a human, but the two of them
seemed to be having the time of their lives, bitter enemies reptile and mammal
warriors locked in battle. On a small stage, a blue skinned Andorian with a
white Mohawk hairstyle between his two antennae was screaming the song
“Seven Years Down,” while the rest of the Andorian band played the loud fast
punk music.
McCoy looked toward the stairs. Walking down them was a young
woman the doctor had met once before when a customer neatly beat her to
death. McCoy didn’t know how old she was, anywhere between fourteen and
forty, in her line of business, age doesn’t matter to the men she encounters, but
he placed her at about sixteen. The woman had short platinum blond hair and
deep blue eyes that seemed to have lost any ounce of joy years earlier. As she
descended the stairs, she had a hypospray pressed to her neck. She injected
herself and placed it back into her purse.
“Hey, Doc,” she said, trying to sound playful. To McCoy it was as sexy
as a night with a Klingon Targ in heat.
“Christine, what was in that hypospray?”
“Just cordrazine with a vertazine chaser.”
“What? Why?” He asked, shocked she could even talk let alone stand.
“I don’t know. It’s just.nothing never mind.” She turned around to
walk away. McCoy placed a hand on her shoulder. She turned back to him.
Her black eye liner was streaked down her cheeks as tears traveled down her
face. “I can’t go on, Doc. It’s not supposed to be like this.”
“What, Christine?”
“Life. My life. I thought that Earth would be better than when I was on
Argelius II. I though anywhere would be better. They convince tourists that
the planet is all about love. They have a funny idea of what love is. You
wouldn’t believe what some of the men there wanted to do. You, you wouldn’t
believe what I did do while I was there.
“Earth is supposed to be paradise. It’s not. I know that now. If the
next john or the next drug doesn’t kill me, the one after that will. I don’t think
I even care anymore.”
“Have you ever thought about going back to school, hell maybe even
medical school?” McCoy asked.
“I can’t get out. I don’t deserve better for the things I’ve done, and
besides, who would take someone like me as a nurse?”
“I would. I’d be damn proud to have you as a nurse.” She could see in
McCoy’s eyes sincerity. At least that’s what it looked like. It had been so long
since she had seen it. But, she thought, what if he means it?
Christine made a small sound in her throat. McCoy couldn’t tell if it
was choking or laughter. “Nurse Chapel. I like the sound of that,” she said
with a smile while her dead eyes seemed to light up a little. She kissed McCoy
on the cheek. “Thank you,” she whispered in his ear as she walked away.
McCoy had seen to many girls like her end up dead in back alley’s or at
best beat up in his clinic in his day to get his hopes up to high, but he prayed
that it would all work out for her.
“Leonard!” Called out a big booming voice. McCoy turned toward it.
“Rynoj! You Denivian Slime Devil, how the hell are ya?” McCoy said
to the former Orion Pirate. Rynoj stood around six feet five inches and
weighed in at over three hundred pounds. A dark green beard that hung down
to his belt covered his oily, sweaty pale green face.
“Let me buy you a drink. Saurian Brandy right?”
“Actually, friend, I’m in the mood for something a little stronger.
Aldebaran Whiskey.” Rynoj told the order to a waiter.
“That’s some harsh stuff. Anything wrong?” Rynoj asked.
“Nothing but my ears. What’s with the music?” McCoy said as he
gestured toward the stage. The band was now doing a cover of the Dropkick
Murphy’s song “Barroom Heroes,” as the waiter returned with the drink.
“You like it? It’s the “Andorian Anarchistz.” They’re playing Earth
music from, I dunno, the 19th or 20th century, you know, classical.”
“If you want classical, it’s got to be Hank Williams the fifth from the
mid 21st century, right before WWIII. Now that’s music.
“Well, all I know is that these Andorian “Punx” are bringing in
customers from all over the sector.”
“Say, Rynoj, did I tell you that Joanna is already going to be starting
school his fall,” McCoy said with pride.
“No! Where does the time go? I remember when you were first telling
me you were going to propose to Nancy and now your baby isn’t a baby
anymore.”
“Hey, no matter how big she gets she’ll always be my baby.” He said
smiling.
“Jesus I feel old,” the Orion said as he stroked his mangy beard.
“Rynoj, my friend, you are old.” They both began to laugh as a group
of tripodial Edosians entered the bar, catching Rynoj’s eye.
“I, uh, I’ll be right back,” he said as he walked toward the Edosians.
Then he said jovially, “Gentlemen, it’s been a long time. Let me take you to a
table and bring you a bottle of our finest Vulcan Port. Those Vulcan’s are
dreadful people but they sure know a thing or two about wine.”
McCoy watched Rynoj with them and ordered another drink.

Meanwhile, across town in the home of Leonard and Nancy McCoy,
Nancy and Solan sat in silence in the dining room. Finally, Nancy found the
silence unbearable.
“Are you sure that Leonard said he was coming home and not staying at
work?”

Nancy asked in a worried voice.

“Yes. I told Dr. McCoy that since it was going to be a slow day, he
should go

home and I would take care of things at the clinic.”

“I am so sorry. Leonard knew that you were coming over for dinner
tonight. He

should have at least called,” said Nancy.

“Mrs. McCoy. I am a Vulcan. I have no feeling that can be hurt.”

“Oh, Solan. I know that inside that ridged Vulcan exterior beats a heart
that is as

passionate as any Andorian poet.”

Embarrassed Solan raised one of his arched eyebrows and said, “Well, I
would not go that far. I am sorry that your husband has caused you so much
grief.”
Nancy looked down as if ashamed. “Leonard has been through a lot,
and I should

be more tolerant, but dammit, Solan, there’s only so much a person can take. I
love

Leonard, but I’m not sure how he thinks about me. Sometimes it’s as if.as if
he hates

me.” She put her head into her hands as if she were about to cry. Solan
reached across the

dinner table and placed is own hand into hers.

Staring deep into her eyes he said, “Mrs. McCoy. Nancy. I understand
that

Leonard has been through a great deal in a relatively short period of time, but a
woman

like you should be treasured, not ignored as he has done to you.” He paused for
a moment

then said, “He doesn’t deserve you.”

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