Chapter 1 - Alive
The cave in which she had taken refuge was freezing. It reminded her a lot of the cave on Delta Vega where she met up with Ambassador Spock, except there were no crab-like monster-things trying to eat her. That was a day she was unlikely ever to forget, it was engraved in her memory forever: the day Vulcan died. She shivered and it wasn't from the cold.
Their orders were to perform a detailed surface scan of the planet Sigma 5 and determine if it was viable for mining. An earlier orbital survey from the Farragut showed a wealth of minerals including dilithium, platinum, gold and pergium. The only way to do the survey was to get down on the surface with tricorders because the electromagnetic fields around the planet were rather unstable.
Spock was right that she shouldn't have come down here. But of course, stubborn, mule head that she happens to be, she had to ignore his protests. Jennifer Tamala Kirk knew she was reckless, but she didn't think her interest in geology was going to get her killed! How could she have been so stupid as to get separated from the rest of the away team? All she did was start looking at the boulder formation, paying attention to the readings on her tricorder and she noticed a few flakes of snow. However, seconds later when she looked up it wasn't just a few flakes it was a god damn blizzard. Barely able to see her hand in front of her face as she made her way towards where the rocks were hoping to find something like this cave. It was dumb luck she found it using feel alone because she couldn't see a thing. Damn storm seemed to come on in an instant.
"Mr. Perry, what do you mean 'it just happened'?" Mr. Spock was in the captains chair and Lt. Perry was at the science station.
"I mean exactly what I said Mr. Spock. Everything was normal, then there was a magnetic anomaly right over where the away team is. It simply formed there. It's not big over the area it covers but it is intense. It's what we'd call a blizzard back home." Perry responds.
"Continue monitoring. Inform me immediately if there is any change. Lt. Uhura can you raise the away team?" Spock turns to the communications station.
"Negative Sir, I am trying each person individually. Especially Captain Kirk." Uhura replies
Spock turns to the twin stations in the center "Mr. Sulu, put us in geosynchronous orbit of the site." Sulu nods.
The turbo lift doors open and doctor McCoy steps onto the bridge, his scowl unusually intense. "What the hell happened?"
Spock turns to him, eyebrow raised, "There is currently a magnetic anomaly causing a storm with heavy snow and wind at the site where the away team is located."
"Christ, a blizzard." mutters McCoy
"That is what I said doctor."
"Just what we need, a wise ass Vulcan."
"Singing in the rain, hich" Jen is doing a little dance step and with the hich she gives a little kick. She continues singing the song like Alex from A Clockwork Orange. While she's doing it she thinks about how sick it is but that's one movie that kind of sticks in your head. Of Kubricks films she liked the early ones the best, especially Dr. Strangelove. She has to wonder if the storm will break before she runs out of energy to keep herself from freezing to death.
Next Jen decides to sing songs from Wizard of Oz. There was a remake in 2242 Jen really loved. She sang the songs from that one. Not the 20th century version, although she'd seen it. The way they were able to make it in the 23rd century, using different species was truly amazing.
Normally she would never sing. If anyone ever asked she would say no. But she can hear that she is in tune with the song, at least considering where she started it. Jen did take some piano lessons when she was young, and then again as a teenager. So she generally had a good ear.
Dancing came naturally to Jennifer. As did anything mildly athletic. So she danced as she sang to keep herself warm. Not too much, don't want to sweat but these thermal shirts are meant to wick it away from the body.
Too bad dancing lead to so many fights. Jen was an attractive woman. Tall, athletic build, long legs, blond hair and striking blue eyes. But she didn't go dancing to get males to hang fawn on her. She went dancing because it felt good to move. Why guys just couldn't keep their hands to themselves she couldn't imagine. She could sense what they wanted and it made her skin crawl. No man was allowed to touch her like that. Not after Frank and Tarsus. That topic pissed her off enough that she needed to really do some moving. It was time to take off the parka and do some kickboxing. There was just about enough room for a decent workout.
After cooling down she donned the parka again drinking some more of her water, noticing there wasn't much left. The only food she had were those stupid cardboard like protein bar. It would take more water than she had left just to eat it. She let out a laugh. Since when had the military ever made an attempt to make rations edible.
"God, it's been hours" she walks back towards the entrance. It's blocked. Must be one hell of a storm. Well good to know the entrance is blocked, now she has to be concerned with the air in the space. Just great. Time to sit down. She's kept warm by moving around. But you use a lot of oxygen that way. That oversized parka would come in handy now. Jen moved into an alcove and put the lamp right outside. It didn't give off much heat, but it was something. Next she put her hood up over head, pulled her arms inside and as she sat down brought the parka under her seat. All she had to do was stay awake.
"Acting Captains log. It has been 15 hours 26 minutes since the electromagnetic storm stranded Captain Kirk, Ensign McNamara, Lt. Griffon, Chief Giotto…"
"Mizter Spock!" interrupts an exuberant Chekhov.
"Ze storm eez clearing. Eet eez almost gone sir."
"Mr. Scott can you lock onto any of the away team?" Spock is walking towards the turbo lift as he speaks.
"Nothin Mr. Spock" replies the engineer.
"Doctor McCoy, meet me with a medical team in the transporter room. Security team 2 to the transporter room. Keep in mind there was just heavy snowfall on the surface." Everyone on the bridge watches as Spock disappears into the lift. All their hearts go with him in his efforts to find the away team, but they are especially worried about their captain.
They beam down onto an open spot and are surprised to find that it is mostly very shallow snow. Spock is immediately buried in his tricorder readings. "Life sign readings from the direction of those boulders." He points in the proper direction. They go in the direction of the strongest signal and quickly find a large cave with everyone from the away team but Captain Kirk.
Giotto explains "the captain had walked a couple of feet away from the rest of the team. I was watching around, noticed a few snow flakes, as I turned to call the captain it was a blizzard. My voice was stolen from my throat by the wind. It came out of nowhere. I couldn't see my hand in front of my face. Luckily everyone else was nearby and we had just found this cave, so we all headed inside."
The away team members are beamed back to the ship so the search for the captain can continue unhindered by their life signs. "One life sign detected, weak. This direction." Spock again has his nose buried in the tricorder and began walking along the wall of boulders. Around a corner he comes to what appears to be a big drift blown up against the rocks. "Behind here. We must dig."
The security team broke out their military issue portable shovels and began to dig, Spock & McCoy right beside them. After 52.3 minutes digging Spock can begin to smell the human on the other side of the barrier. He digs harder and quickly breaks through. After enlarging the hold enough so he can fit through he slides his thin frame inside. "Continue digging and enlarge this opening. We are going to need to remove the captain as soon as possible. Doctor, your medical tricorder please. I will scan the captain and bring it back."
Although there is very little light Spock can tell that ahead is the dying light of an emergency issue lamp. He follows it to find the captain sleeping. The medical scan shows her heartbeat and respiration has slowed and her core body temperature is dangerously low. She is hypothermic. They need to get her back to the ship.
As he heads back towards the opening of the cave McCoy meets him. "Damn hobgoblin, where have ya been? Let me see those scans." He grabs the medical tricorder from Spock. If he could've seen better he would have notices Spocks right eyebrow was up.
"Doctor I simply walked back and scanned the captain."
"Yeah, well we've gotta get her outta here NOW! She's dangerously hypothermic."
McCoy is obviously anxious but Spock cannot resist a comment about getting overemotional.
"Indeed. Doctor getting all emotional is not helping the captain. Let us do what we need to." With that he turns towards the back of the cave and the location of Captain Kirk.
Christine Chapel had everything ready for the captain when they brought her in. McCoy might be CMO, but Christine was the one behind the scenes who made sure everything clicked smoothly into place. Nurses always have had the most thankless job. She made sure that Jennifer had her bed ready in her private suite in sickbay. For this particular visit the captain needed her bed to be heated properly and a supply of blankets which could be easily heated. If McCoy ever noticed that these things were done perfectly all the time he never said anything. Such was the life of Christine Chapel. The sole highlight of her life was whenever Mr. Spock found a reason to visit their abode. He was so handsome sometimes she had a hard time catching her breath around him.
As soon as they arrived McCoy started yelling orders. "Spock, get your hobgoglin ass up to the bridge, do your job and run the ship. That way you can leave us alone so we can do our work on and save the captain!… Chapel, deMot, now!" Each sentence got progressively louder until all Spock could here was the ringing in his ears.
McCoy assisted by Chapel and deMot stripped Kirk to her underpants and put a muscle shirt over her head once it was determined that she had no frostbite on any part of her torso. Her hands had been inside her coat and protected by her body heat so they were ok. It was her feet that really worried McCoy. He took one boot while Chapel took the other and they cut them off. Her toes were white but not black. Nothing that couldn't be fixed without a tissue regenerator. The luck that followed Jennifer Kirk hasn't run out. McCoy breathes a sigh of relief.
"Well ladies, let's get her in a warm bed and monitor her." For that moment McCoy is simply happy that his friend and captain looks like she is going to live.
Brightness assaulted her eyes when she opened them, or tried to open them. They were very stuck together like she had been sleeping for a long time. She tried to raise her hand to rub them and found it caught.
"'Bout time you decided to join us missy" drawled the familiar voice of her best friend and doctor. She felt a damp cloth being wiped across her eyes. "Try to open them now darlin' let me see those baby blues."
Jen opened her right eye a crack, the lights were low enough that they didn't hurt so she opened the left one as well. "Mmmft…" she tried to lick her lips but her mouth felt pasted shut and dry like it was full of dust. McCoy held up a cup with a straw to her lips. She drank a bit, wet her lips and managed "How long?" in a very hoarse whisper.
"Three days since we lost contact with you and the away team." He holds up a hand to forestall the question he can see in her eyes. "They're all fine. They were in a cave about 10 meters from yours."
Jen lets out a breath she didn't even realize she was holding and relaxed.
Bones looks her in the eye, "You are one very lucky women. No damage I couldn't fix. You'll need to stay for another day while the skin on your feet continues to regenerate." He sighs and fixes her with a classic McCoy glare "you took years off my life with that latest stunt. I have no idea what I'm gonna do with you Kirk! You're some kind of magnet for things that want to hurt or kill you. I don't know why we ever let you off this ship!"
Jen smiles and takes her friends hand. She gives it a squeeze. "Bones, I love you. You're the best, you know that don't you? I couldn't do this without a friend like you."
Bones pulls back his hand and snorts. "Darlin', you need a whole medical team at your beck and call 24 hours a day 7 days a week and you know it. If your not getting hurt from something or shot at by unfriendlies you wind up coming into contact with something you're allergic to and going into anaphylactic shock."
"You know damn well that isn't what I meant Bones. You're my best friend, my confidant. You know more about me than anyone else. You're the one who puked on my shoes on that shuttle ride from Riverside, the rest is history." At that they both started to laugh until Jen started to cough, a nasty deep cough that had Bones reaching for his tricorder.
"Damn women, looks like your stay here just got a little longer than we thought. You're going to have to stay here until those lungs clear up. I don't like the sound of that."
"Doesn't feel so nice either" she grouches back as McCoy quickly presses a hypo in her neck. "Ow", she slaps the spot "give a girl some warning will ya?"
McCoy gives her a wicked grin "Never if I can get away with it. You are such an infant when it comes to getting hypos." With that he gives her another shot which she sees coming this time and grimaces. "Exactly what I mean darlin, you are such a baby."
As if to prove his point she sticks her tongue out at him. "Go scratch your balls Bonesy" she feels the familiar lethargy of a sedative. "You fucking creep. I jus woke up and you….." Her sentence trails off as she falls asleep.
"I did indeed. You need sleep. When you wake up you'll feel better. But now you need to sleep." He gently pats her head and makes sure she is covered before leaving the room and dimming the lights.