The Enterprise and the Doctor

by denise3 [Reviews - 12]

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  • Teen
  • None
  • Action/Adventure, Alternate Universe, Crossover, Mystery, Series

Author's Notes:
At last we're there. Kirk, Spock and McCoy, together with the Doctor and a few local police officers, try to stop the mercenaries.

Episode II: Investigation

Chapter 9: Time's Up

Davison stood close to the open communicator on the side shelf with Doctor McCoy, listening as Doctor Smith talked with Captain Kirk and Kenall through it. He heard steps and turned his head to watch as Spock, the Vulcan in their party, finally returned to the study room and connected his tricorder to the terminal feeding the tabletop holographic projector. The Vulcan still looked as stoic as before, but except for a brief glance from Doctor McCoy, the others didn't react to his presence. He hoped the tension he felt earlier between the three of them wouldn't reappear. They couldn't afford it without risking their mission.

"Captain," Smith was saying, "if they suspect Officer Rich is not the delivery boy, we will miss our chance of stopping them."

"Doctor," Kenall replied through the comm, "Rich is of the correct age group, and he's worked undercover before. Among the students, even. And we still need the information."

But Doctor Smith had seen Spock approaching and called him. "Mr. Spock, we need you. Can you confirm how many people are there in the ground floor of the mercenaries' house?"

"I estimate there are at least two in the front room, with possibly a third in the middle room," the Vulcan said. "But I have been unable to exclude the possibility of a fourth mercenary."

"You see, Doctor, we have to do it," said Kirk. "We can also use the opportunity as a distraction to approach the house."

"Nah, they would expect something like that. But," and then his face opened in a huge grin, "you are right, Captain Kirk, it's a brilliant idea! We can use this distraction! Just, please, Rich, be careful!"

"I will, Doctor Smith, don't worry," they heard the young officer saying.

"And Captain, you and Joan, please wait around the entrance to the back alley until I give you the go ahead."

"Very well, Doctor. Kenall will keep you updated, we're leaving now."

Smith closed the communicator and turned towards the central table with the holographic projector. He looked around, searching for something, and Davison passed him the remote control. "Thanks, Davison! Now, let's integrate Mr. Spock's scans," he said, while working the controls.

"I assume the plans have changed again," said Spock.

It was McCoy who replied, "They asked for pizza, Spock!"

"Pizza? I'm afraid I don't recognize the word. Is it some kind of food?"

"Oooh, pizza!" exclaimed Smith, "A brilliant dish, originally from China, brought to the Italian peninsula by Marco Polo, enriched with cheese and tomato and then subjected to many variations and refinements as it spread throughout Earth. Somehow it fell into relative obscurity by the time Starfleet was formed, but students always love it. The mercenaries called for three boxes of pizza from Antonio's, I've eaten there once, it's fantastic. Not the nearest restaurant however, someone must have given them tips about where good food can be found. The officers intercepted the delivery bike before it got close, and your Captain had the idea of taking advantage of the opportunity. Quite a happy coincidence."

"Quite. But now we're one man short," the Vulcan commented, and Davison had to agree with him. He and Kenall were the only ones with any previous combat experience in the whole police force, but they'd been training their small special reaction team for a while. Joan was the best among the trainees, but he'd have liked to have Rich with them as well. The two other available officers were too inexperienced to be used in the assault, and had been allocated with sniper equipment to watch the house from a distance. All the other human trainees were down with the flu, and their only non-human officer was away on vacation. New Sapienza was a young human colony, the great majority of the colony non-academic residents were human, and the police force reflected this demographic.

"Don't worry, Spock, we'll make do," the Doctor continued. "See, these are the cameras in the back of the house. The mercenaries are well equipped and very thorough, but we can turn it to our advantage. They may be just a little too assured of their own preparedness. When Rich arrives, they'll be mostly focused on the front door, but they'll probably do a visual check of the backyard and alley at the first opportunity, so your captain will have to wait. I'll use the opportunity to replace the code for the rear cameras, but I can't simply put the cameras in a loop, they'd be checking for something like that. Instead, I'll upload a program to actively mask our approach later and then erase itself. They wouldn't expect that."

Davison had to ask, "I've never heard of such a program, where did you get it?"

"Ah, the idea is centuries old. True, optical sensor technology today makes it very hard to modify a video feed without leaving an obvious trace, but I'm brilliant, and my sonic screwdriver has enough capacity to make it work. At least while we're within range." Davison shook his head, amused, while Smith threw his strange tool upwards and caught it again, a wide grin in his face. Since even the Vulcan seemed willing to accept Doctor Smith's strange claims, he wasn't going to be the exception.

They spent the next few minutes examining the updated schematics for the neighboring house until Kenall called to alert that Rich was about to arrive at the next door's porch. Doctor Smith jumped from his position and left to the back of the house, with Spock following him. Davison trailed them both, curious, but he and Spock had to wait just inside the rear door while Smith knelt silently next to the fence, out of sight from the cameras in the mercenaries house. For a few moments they just watched while Smith fiddled with his silver tool, clearly waiting for something, until he suddenly propped the tool up and activated it, its blue light just clearing the top of the fence, followed by a soft buzzing sound. Five seconds later he was back inside, grinning widely.

"All done! They won't do another visual check any time soon. Let's call Kirk and Jean!" A couple of minutes later Davison went to open the rear gate so the last members of their "team" could come in, carrying the necessary weapons and equipment, with Smith again activating his tool to, in his words, "mask their arrival".

They went back to the study room, where Doctor Smith and Spock took turns to briefly update Kirk and Joan on the results of their scans. Davison noticed that this time Doctor McCoy seemed to be paying close attention to what was being said, when he'd seemed a bit distracted during their earlier planning.

Kirk examined the hologram of the neighboring house. "They seem very well equipped. Are those redundant multiband transmitters?"

"Yes, but that's to be expected," Doctor Smith said. "They're not simply terrorists, they're trained professionals with very high, justified self-confidence. That's why our plan will work. They've scanned us once we arrived, no doubt checking our equipment to see if we were carrying weapons. They used low emissions active scans, hard but not impossible to detect, but easy to confound if you know what you're doing. I've adjusted this biomodulator," he said, showing a small device with a blinking green light he'd probably appropriated from the police equipment, "so even if they try to scan us again they'll miss you and the phasers you brought us. But they probably won't. They've been here for many days and they're ready to wait a couple more. They haven't seen anything too unusual yet. They're most likely relaxing right now, while enjoying that pizza. They'd only start to worry once they realize their missing comrade has missed yet another scheduled check-in. That's why we have to hurry, we don't know when that would be."

"Scotty has confirmed there must be just one bomb in the house," Kirk added, "but we still don't know where it is."

"Wait!" McCoy exclaimed. "Wait, Jim, just wait. A bomb? I don't remember anything about a bomb in the house."

"That's because you weren't listening earlier, Bones." Kirk didn't know if he had the patience to argue with him right now.

"These guys aren't suicidal but they are ready to die if that helps them achieve their purpose," added the Doctor, with a pleading note in his voice. "There's no other way, Doctor McCoy." Kirk eyed him. Why would Doctor Smith bother with the good doctor's opinion?

"I can't believe it! Why don't we just blow up the house?" McCoy was incensed, all of a sudden. "They can't go ahead with their plan if they're dead!"

"That's not like you, Bones. You don't often advocate for the death of others."

"It's not often when you're considering blundering into a hive of mercenaries ready to blow themselves up!"

"We do this every so often," Kirk replied. "And you're seldom this protective. But," Kirk added with a hard edge, "Doctor Smith is right. Scotty has scanned the research compound and found traces of up to twenty explosive devices. Just a quarter of them would be enough to blow the whole dome up. They're still not active, but that also means we can't pinpoint them, not without using full power on the scans. So we can't beam the bombs away."

"And you wouldn't have time, Captain, Doctor McCoy, even if you could use the transporters," the Doctor explained. "It'd take too long to get a fix on all the devices, even if they were activated and the scans were at full power, long enough that the mercenary watching over them, and you can rest assured there's at least one, would have the chance of detonating them manually. Our only chance is to use the master control to disable them remotely. The irony is that there wouldn't be a master control if these guys weren't professionals. But it's right here," and he showed a blue blinking cube in the hologram, "and it seems to be of a type I'm familiar with."

Kirk looked at his First Officer, who was just standing there, strangely silent. Spock seemed to be following the argument but showed no indication of speaking right now. So Kirk asked, "How certain are you of being able to use it, Doctor Smith?"

"Well, certain enough, I think," but he didn't look all that certain right now. "There shouldn't be a problem. And we have no better options."

"I can't believe it!" exclaimed McCoy. "You haven't thought this through, have you? I expected better of you!"

"Trust me, Doctor McCoy, I'm doing my best to avoid anyone dying today," Smith said, glancing at Kirk and Spock.

"Just a moment, Doctors," Kirk said, trying to add some perspective to this discussion, "how's that jammer of yours going, Doctor Smith?"

At that, Smith brightened a bit. "Yes, the jammer is fine! It'll work," he said, pointing to the heavily modified communicator module, "at least for long enough. It'll prevent the broadcast of the activation signal, both to the bomb next door and to the others in the research compound, even with those redundant transmitters. Busy as they'll be fighting us, they won't have a chance to counteract it." Then he sobered a bit. "But we must stop them from reaching the master control console. That's crucial."

Before McCoy could protest yet again, as he seemed about to, Kirk intervened. "That's why we have Plan B. On my command, or if Scotty detects an explosion on our coordinates, he'll begin beaming away the people inside the research dome, the closest ones first. Hopefully the mercenary guarding the devices will be among the first ones beamed out, but even if he isn't, we'll have enough time to beam most of the people away, at least the ones most at risk, before the bombs finish the activation cycle and have a chance of exploding."

"Oh, brilliant! You have a master switch for the transporter blocking signal!" exclaimed Smith.

"All Starfleet ships have it, just in case. For emergency use only. It's quicker than trying to convince some bureaucrat to deactivate the blockers. Civilian blockers have become somewhat common nowadays and transporting through them, while possible, is risky."

"But that won't ensure everyone'll be safe," Smith complained. "Besides, it'd still leave the research compound at risk of being vaporized, with all the research done there."

"I'm sorry, Doctor Smith, but our priority is minimizing the loss of life."

"That's good, very good" Smith agreed. He was grinning, clearly happy with the alternative Kirk had just given him. That's when Kirk felt his chance had come.

"And that's why you're not going to lead the assault."

"What? But I need to go first-"

"You won't carry a phaser, so you're more of a liability in the initial assault."

"I've adjusted my phaser to neutralize their suicide devices. We need to capture them alive!" Doctor Smith had stepped closer to Kirk, as if trying to intimidate him, but Kirk wasn't fazed by his posturing.

"Correct me if I'm wrong, but even if your modified phaser works as advertised, they'd still be left standing and ready to shoot you dead." Smith grumbled, but couldn't contradict him. "I'd rather have you staying behind, but you're right, if we're to have a shot at that master control, it's better that you're there. But until then, you're going to stay back." The two of them stood there for a few moments, facing each other, staring into each other's eyes. Kirk was wondering if he'd have to up the stakes, but at that moment the other backed down.

"You're a good man, Captain Kirk. All right, you have the lead," Doctor Smith said, glancing towards McCoy, who shrugged, as Kirk observed the pair of them and wondered what they'd talked about earlier that day. Then Smith faced him again, grinning, and said, "The stories about you are true, Captain. I'm honoured to work alongside you."

"I'm happy to hear that," Kirk said, half-amused himself. "Bones, you're going to stick to Doctor Smith and prevent him from killing himself. The two of you will compose the rear. Me and Spock will take the lead, followed by Officers Davison and Joan. All phasers set to heavy stun, we don't know their species and they may not be knocked down by a regular stun blast."

It was then that Kenall finally called in to report that Officer Rich had returned safely to the checkpoint, and that according to him there were only two mercenaries in the ground level. Rich had talked to one of the mercenaries at the door while the other waited, next to the staircase. A third one had descended the stairs, scanned the pizza boxes and then taken two of them with him to the upper floor.

"The two guys downstairs seem to be Olliden," Doctor Smith informed them after hearing Rich's description, "they're tough, but not the smartest ones. Perhaps they were hired to serve as guards. The other is probably of the same species as the one who attacked us in the plaza. I don't know their kind," he said, slightly frustrated.

"Olliden, are they part of the Wamarraki as well?" asked Kirk.

"Well, they are part of the Omora Confederacy," Doctor Smith explained, "and the Wamarraki accept members from any of the species in the Confederacy. But these two may also be freelancers. The others, though, are too well trained and equipped for that." Kirk had to agree. From what he had seen, he was inclined to believe they were a special forces team, or some government-backed group. He seriously hoped he was mistaken, because it could mean war.

The men hadn't appeared overly suspicious, but Rich had heard what sounded like the local news channel, and they'd asked him if he'd seen the police blocks. They didn't have long before the mercenaries became worried about their missing member. So the six of them moved to the back door and, once Doctor Smith gave the go ahead, rushed through the next house's backyard. Kirk and Spock got ready and Smith used his multitool to unlock the back door.

Opening the door silently, they sneaked in. Kirk and Spock each pointed their phasers to one of the men, who were distracted watching the news, and shot them at the same time. Dazed, the two guards tried to stand and fire back, but the Starfleet officers shot them again. At the same moment, Doctor Smith, who had apparently escaped McCoy's vigilance, rushed to their side and shot his own modified phaser at the two guards. Kirk turned angrily at him, but the Doctor smiled and signaled, showing the two Olliden unconscious but clearly alive and breathing. If they had suicide devices, they'd hopefully been disabled. Kirk signaled to McCoy to check on them while Joan and Davison positioned themselves at the foot of the stairwell, out of view from the upper floor. Gesturing to the two Doctors to stay back, Kirk and Spock again took the lead, climbing the stairs slowly. Their entrance had apparently so far escaped notice from the other mercenaries, the hushed sound of the modified phasers being too quiet to be heard over the background noise of the news program. Kirk hoped Doctor Smith's claims of having disabled the surveillance equipment weren't exaggerated.

At that moment their luck ran out. One of the mercenaries in the upper floor had been walking towards the stairs, noticed them climbing and raised the alarm. A perfect shot from Spock silenced him, but it was too late. They rushed up, and only the fact that the others had still been eating their pizzas saved them from being shot as they left the stairs. Joan placed herself at the top of stairs and Davison behind a corner, the two covering Spock and Kirk who had rushed headlong into the large rear room where the mercenaries had assembled their equipment. There were three other mercenaries upstairs, two of them on chairs around a low table to the left end of the room while a third had been sitting at a console. This one was the next to be stunned by Kirk, falling to the ground. But the two others had already armed themselves with disruptors and began firing back at them. The first mercenary shot by Spock was killed by one of the first blasts and exploded in a cloud of debris, the explosion knocking down Joan and injuring Davison, who'd been too close to them. Then Doctor Smith jumped over Joan's prone body and shot his phaser at the other stunned mercenary before joining Kirk behind a large box near the center of the room.

"I told you to stay back!" murmured Kirk through gritted teeth. The Doctor didn't reply, he only gestured towards the alien console propped up against the rear wall, beyond the shelves and desks where more recognizable equipment were arrayed. In his hand the bulky jammer was flashing an array of yellow and orange lights, but the red ones were still off. Kirk nodded and signaled to Spock who was carefully watching their surroundings, phaser at the ready. The shooting had stopped, and Kirk could see McCoy had helped a dazed but apparently uninjured Joan out of the stairs. He was now kneeling next to Davison, who was holding his bleeding left arm, pain visible in his face. The other two mercenaries couldn't be seen, they've apparently taken cover behind a stack of boxes on the other end.

Kirk was about to call for their surrender when one of the mercenaries rolled off from behind the boxes, spraying the room with a flurry of underpowered but still dangerous and very noisy blasts. He ducked back behind his cover, and noticed that the Doctor had propped his jammer against the box and was crawling toward the other downed guy. Kirk understood, the guy was in an exposed position and the others would try to shoot him as they did to the other one.

Then the last mercenary began walking towards them, wearing a strange device as if it was a suit and adjusting his weapon. Spock didn't wait before firing at him, despite the other's covering shots, and Kirk did the same, but their phaser shots bounced off, never hitting him. 'A personal shield,' he thought, that was too much. Then he was forced to duck back down by an array of shots fired in his direction. The situation was bad, and he turned, looking for Spock, hoping to coordinate their fire in an attempt to overwhelm the shield. But the Vulcan had joined the Doctor in dragging the unconscious mercenary away from the line of fire. Just in time, as a huge blast blew up the console where he had been.

Kirk was aware that he was now the closest one to the shielded mercenary, and in a few seconds he'd be exposed. The disruptor shots from the other mercenary continued to pepper around his cover, and even if he tried to use his phaser, he wouldn't be able to fire more than a couple of times before being hit. With two of his team already down, it would be then next to impossible to stop the mercenaries. Next to him was the jammer. If it was destroyed, they would be able to arm the devices remotely, and the research compound would be condemned. They hadn't reached the remote console yet. The situation had turned from difficult but hopeful to desperate, and he couldn't wait any longer.

Kirk opened his communicator and pressed the distress button, hoping Scotty would have enough time to follow their plan and save the others. He dropped it and readied himself, adjusting his phaser. Their only hope lay in stopping the shielded mercenary. He peered around his cover, waiting for the right moment, but before he could move, a blur came from his left and the shielded guy was on the floor. Phaser shots fired from behind him and the other disruptor silenced for the moment. He raised from his cover, and there was Joan, sprawled over the now stunned guy on the floor, holding her phaser against his torso and shooting again. The shield was throwing sparks, but the guy still had the energy to turn his own disruptor against Joan. Kirk screamed for her to go back, and fired his phaser, managing to knock the weapon from the mercenary's hand, at the same time that another phaser shot hit his torso and finished disabling the shield. It must have been the Doctor's modified phaser, because the guy was still awake and trying to move. Joan scrambled back, and Kirk shot again, finally killing him. But before she could distance herself, Joan was thrown back, as the body on the ground exploded, hit by another full power disruptor shot.

There was no time to check on her, as Kirk saw the last mercenary coming toward them, a weapon in each hand and another shield around him. His right hand disruptor continued spewing an apparently interminable stream of low-powered shots, which he was concentrating on someone to Kirk's right. A brief glimpse confirmed that Spock was there, replying with his own phaser while he tried to cover himself and the Doctor with what seemed to be an elliptical wooden tabletop. The Doctor was creeping back toward the remote control console for the explosives, and Spock was holding the tabletop as a shield. But two of the shots hit his exposed hand and arm, and the Vulcan was forced to drop his phaser. Kirk was already firing at the mercenary, hoping his own phaser, together with McCoy's and Davison's who were also concentrating their fire on the guy's shield, would be enough to overpower it. But the mercenary was now turning his repeating weapon toward him, and he dived back behind cover, just before another huge blast hit his box, blowing it up.

Little remained of the box, but it had been large enough to save his life. Only slightly dazed, Kirk grabbed the jammer, which he observed had begun to flash red, and rushed behind a smaller box to his right, before resuming firing. The mercenary was laying suppressive fire against the corner behind which McCoy and Davison were hiding, now unable to reply without being hit. It was only his own phaser against the guy's shield, and Kirk feared it wouldn't be enough. The mercenary was now close enough that Kirk could hear the whine on his left-hand disruptor approaching a peak, and it was now pointing toward where Spock and the Doctor were huddling around the remote control console. If that was destroyed, there would be no way to prevent the explosives from being armed. Kirk prepared himself to jump in front of the weapon when he finally heard the noise he was expecting.

Behind the surprised mercenary, two crouching figures started to appear, firing as soon as they were fully materialized. The mercenary tried to shift his right-handed disruptor toward them while keeping the other pointing toward Spock and the Doctor, but his shield was apparently very heavy and he staggered a bit, unbalanced. In the instant his fire turned away from them, though, McCoy and Davison rejoined Kirk in shooting against him, and then the first phaser shots from the security team were enough to completely deplete the guy's shield, and it sparked and fizzed out. Severely wounded, the mercenary fell to the ground, while Kirk gestured to the two redshirts to keep their distance, fearing another explosion.

Spock quickly approached, holding another phaser in his uninjured hand, and fired twice at the fallen mercenary. Kirk looked at the phaser and recognized the one the Doctor had modified to disable the suicide devices. Relieved, he finally rested against the wall, watching as McCoy directed the beamed-down medical team to check over the prisoners while he himself went to examine Spock, who was directing a team of technicians. Joan had been already beamed out. Davison had already been patched up but insisted to stay and help. And Doctor Smith, well, he was still at the remote control console, looking somewhat distraught.

Concerned, Kirk approached the Doctor. "Doctor Smith, report please."

"Ah, Captain Kirk, sorry, still running here. Just a moment," he said, while typing rapidly and then picking up his multitool to buzz at a point in the console.

"I thought we've stopped them from sending the activation signal. Haven't we?"

"It seems they had set up a dead man switch, so if they're dead the console automatically sends an activation signal." Kirk was instantly worried. "No, it's okay, so far. I've used the contingency protocols to interrupt the activation countdown, it was a bit of rush, but now I have to stay here, to interrupt it again after the timed reset. Every 3 minutes and 27 seconds. And it changes the code every time, so I have to recalculate, and it's not becoming easier, so if your Commander Scott would hurry and beam out the bombs in the research compound, it might be best."

"But they're not all dead, we've captured two of them."

"The last one was the commander, and she's most certainly dying or already dead. Her signal has been interrupted." She? They had all looked identical, but it was an alien humanoid species, it's not like Kirk would have been expected to recognize their genders. How did Doctor Smith manage it, though? Well, it could wait.

"Kirk to Enterprise, Mr Scott, report," he called using his communicator.

"Scott here. We've evacuated everyone within a radius of 100 meters around the main buildings of the compound, but we are still scanning for the explosive devices."

"Captain, let me talk to him," said Smith. "Mr Scott, hello, here's the Doctor, I'd like to sync with your scanners, so we can work together to pinpoint the bombs. The console hasn't been configured with a map interface, but I've already determined there should be one device at the northeasternmost outer pillar of building C, and another somewhere around the southern entrance to block 2. If you focus your scanners there you should be able to transport them out."

"Good to know, Doctor. Yes, we've detected them, beaming them into space now. We've readied a neutralizing array so they shouldn't activate any more, we'll leave them there to be disabled later."

"Very good, thanks Scotty! Now I'll send you some reference points..." Kirk stopped listening and left his communicator with the Doctor. It was clear he and Scotty would be very busy for a while, and Kirk would only distract them if he tried to help. He trusted them, yes, even Doctor Smith, to do that job. Not that he had many alternatives. Meanwhile, his own job was far from done. He left Smith to his task and went to check on Spock.