Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Who Goes There? Epilog

An epilogue to Who Goes There, the re-envisioning of Star Trek: Whom God's Destroy starring Steve Ihnat as Garth of Izar, supported by William Shatner as Captain Kirk, Leonard Nimoy as Mr. Spock, and James Doohan as Scotty.


Part One

“Captain’s log, stardate 1206.72. It’s been seven days since the Enterprise was attacked without warning or provocation and almost destroyed by an unknown alien craft, which we succeeded in destroying in turn, thanks to the sacrifice of Fleet Captain Garth of Izar.

It took Lt. Commander Montgomery Scott and his crews three days of non-stop work to get the engines back on line… first the subspace and now the warp engines, and we are continued en route to the last reported position of the USS Red Admiral – the first ship to be attacked by these unknown aliens. At our present rate of speed, we expect to be at their coordinates in 48 more hours.

Meanwhile, Doctor McCoy and his medical crew have been working around the clock to aid the dozens upon dozens of crewmembers injured during the attack. Repair crews have also been working around the clock to ensure atmospherics and livability are maintained. I cannot emphasize enough how proud I am of my crew.”

Jim Kirk pressed the button to end his recording of his captain’s log. Then he leaned back in his command chair and took a deep breath, which he exhaled out slowly.

It had been a long seven days. Knowing his ship was in good hands with his officers and their repair crews, he’d had to spend much of his time communicating with Star Fleet Command and discussing what had occurred from every angle. Was the Federation about to be invaded by these aliens with their incredibly powerful ships? Three more starships were on their way, and would be expanding out into the unknown to see what could be seen…but they would not arrive for at least another four or five days.

Meanwhile, the Red Admiral was still out there. It may have been vaporized, or it may be a hulk of a ship, with a few desperate survivors remaining, hoping against hope that rescue would come.

The first thing he’d had to decide was, should the Enterprise still try a rescue attempt, or should it return to a space station as quickly as possible for repair or refit? He’d had to wait for Scotty’s recommendations before he’d made his decision, and after three hours of examining the engines Scotty had confirmed that, although they were badly damaged, they could be repaired sufficiently enough that they would be in no danger of breaking down again, if the Enterprise wanted to continue on its present course.

Kirk had discussed the matter with his bridge crew, and in particular Mr. Spock, and they’d all concurred. If another alien ship were to enter Federation space, bent on destruction, its speed was such that it could overtake them if they headed back to a space station. So why not risk meeting such a ship, and continuing onward for a possible rescue of the Red Admiral’s crew?

After that conference, Scotty had returned to the engine room. Kirk had tried to draw him aside as he’d left the conference room, to discuss Scotty’s feelings regarding his failure to rescue Garth of Izar from the alien ship, but Scotty had shrugged him off. “I’ve got engines to rrrrepair, Captain.”

Scotty had spent three straight days – seventy two hours – working with his crews on repairing the engines, stopping for only a few minutes at a time to relieve himself, shower, and shave. He’d contacted the bridge only twice, to say the subspace engines were back on line, and then finally that the warp engines were ready to go. And that he, and his crew, were going to go to sleep for a thousand years.

For the last four days, Scotty hadn’t stopped by the bridge, hadn’t communicated with him at all. Knowing Scotty as he did, Kirk figured he spent every waking moment in the engine room, except for a few odd catnaps.

Well, this silence was going to have to end.

“Spock, you have the con,” he said, standing up. “I’m going to go have a chat with Scotty.”

“Yes, sir,” said Spock.

Kirk entered the engine room and glanced around. Crewmen were seated at their consoles, eyes on the various flickering lights. A few, dressed in overalls, had panels open and were delving inside…but in a non-panicked, business as usual type of way. But he didn’t see Scotty.

He stopped by Scotty’s station, currently occupied by Lieutenant Gerhardt. “Gerhardt, where’s Scotty?”

“Captain.” Gerhardt said in his soft German accent. “Commander Scott’s shift ended two hours ago. He has left, and will be returning at 0600.”

Six hours from now? Scotty was actually taking an eight hour break? “Oh,” said Kirk. “Good.”

Gerhardt nodded sharply. “Yes, sir. As you know Commander Scott has been here practically every moment since the battle. He has not taken a complete rest period since that time, I know. A couple hours here. A couple hours there. This will be his first complete eight hour rest period.”

Kirk nodded. “Good. Carry on, Gerhardt.”

Kirk felt a little easier in his mind as he left Engineering. If Scotty thought it was safe to leave engineering for eight hours, then it was safe for him to leave engineering for eight hours. Those engines were like his babies…

Nevertheless, he wanted to have a word with him. Kirk knew Scotty. He’d been sent to that transporter specifically to rescue Garth, and he hadn’t been able to do it. He probably felt that he’d let Kirk down, he’d definitely feel he’d let Garth down…that must be why he was avoiding speaking to him.

Part Two

Scotty looked at the face in the mirror. He was tired…so tired…yet nothing of that tiredness showed up in the face, or in the expression. Should it? he wondered briefly. No…he preferred a face to be pristine…

Strangely enough, it had been an enjoyable seven days. It was always enjoyable, using one’s skills to the utmost to solve problems that would have defeated lesser men. The first three days had been extremely intense…he hadn’t had time to pay attention to anything, just direct people to do their jobs and do his own…hours and hours on hands and knees swapping out panels, building from scratch, programming…

He hadn’t played the role of Montgomery Scott then, of course, only the face and the voice…he’d heard of Scotty of the Enterprise, the best engineer on board a starship, so they said…he had not tried to duplicate Scotty’s flair, but he had skills himself and he had used them.

Scotty’s cheek puckered faintly in a sideways grin. Scott had lost his reputation of always finishing repairs hours and hours ahead of his estimated projections, but the repairs had been made and engines that by rights shouldn’t be working at all were working quite nicely. Thanks to him, and thanks to Scott’s crew, whom he had trained well…

One of whom among them had been Katya Landau.

She had been good…very good, working with skill, precision and confidence. Like all the others, she had put in double shifts. He had worked with her on one of those shifts, and enjoyed it. But she had seemed rather sad. He wondered why…by then the entire ship had known that Garth of Izar had been aboard, and that he’d beamed over to the alien ship to rescue the Enterprise, and had died in the attempt… was that what she was sad about?

But he had heard her and her crew talking, and the Boss had been injured in the aftermath of the battle, while helping to rescue people trapped in badly damaged areas of the ship…perhaps that’s what she was sad about.

He had thought about approaching her as Gus Keller, but then had decided against it…even if the Boss had not revealed to her who her friend Gus had really been (for he was sure she would have visited him in sickbay, or at least communicated with him), she would have been smart enough to put two and two together…

A pity…

But perhaps if he approached her as someone else…

The door buzzed. Garth/Scotty had set it to announce the name of anyone seeking to gain access. James T. Kirk, announced the computer.

Garth’s eyes, in Scotty’s face, widened, then narrowed. This could be delicious.

“Enter,” he called. The computer read his voice, unlocked the door, and it slid open. Kirk walked in.

“Scotty,” said Kirk. “I thought I was going to interrupt you in the middle of a good night’s sleep, yet here you are, wide awake.”

Scotty/Garth smiled. “I’m winding down.” Indeed, as Garth well knew, Scotty did like to wind down with a couple of glasses of scotch every now and again. Real scotch, not the kind of thing the ship’s computer synthesized.

Garth walked over to a wall unit and withdrew a heavy, cut glass decanter, half full of a golden liquid. “Are you off-duty, Captain?” he asked, pouring himself a very small drink.

“For a couple of hours,” Kirk said. “Make it a very small one, Scotty.”

Garth splashed just the slightest of drops into the shot glass…a single finger’s worth, and handed it to Kirk.

Kirk tossed it back quickly. He watched with a bit of surprise as Scotty merely sipped at his own drink. That wasn’t like him.

“Scotty, I’m glad to see you’re holding up well. I stopped in at Engineering. Everything’s working like clockwork.”

Scotty shrugged. “I’ve got a good crew.”

“Yes… dammit Scotty, here’s the truth. I wanted to talk to you about what happened seven days ago.”

“What happened seven days ago?” Scotty asked shortly.

“I told you to go to the transporter room. I told you to beam Garth of Izar back here. You weren’t able to do so. I know you, Scotty. That…well, you think it was a failure, but it wasn’t. If you couldn’t do it, nobody could. You know that.”

Scotty moved his neck with a rather serpentine motion that seemed vaguely familiar to Kirk. He’d never seen Scotty do it …but he’d seen somebody…

“I appreciate your concern, Captain. But there’s nothing for you to worry about. I don’t deny I was a bit upset at the time…but as you say…nobody else could have saved him, either.”

“Well, okay, Scotty.”

Kirk looked at the chief engineer, whom he’d known for a long time. Scotty took another sip of his drink. And that was something Scotty never did. Scotty knocked back his drinks like a man.

Kirk went very, very still.

In the heat of that battle, he’d sent Scotty to the transporter room alone. The technician who normally manned the room had probably been out, fighting fires or helping people get through smoking corridors, or something.

Scotty had been in the transporter room alone…and he’d succeeded in beaming Garth of Izar back to the ship.

Kirk sighed and stood up. “Okay, Scotty, well, I won’t keep you from your rack.” He extended his hand, holding out his whiskey glass. “Thanks for the drink.”

Garth/Scotty reached out to take it. Kirk dropped the glass and surged forward, grabbing Garth’s hand and twisting his arm behind his back as he forced him to his knees. “Where’s Scotty?” he demanded.

Scotty began to laugh. Then, he rose back to his feet, inexorably, for all that Kirk had half his weight on the man’s back, trying to hold him down. Garth/Scotty drove his legs like pistons, forcing Kirk backward, ramming his back into the wall. Kirk’s grip loosened on Garth’s arm and Garth ripped it away. He turned into the center of the room, facing Kirk, grinning.

“What have you done with Scotty?” demanded Kirk. “Where is he?”

“He’s here,” said Garth, carelessly.

“He’s still alive?”

“For the moment.”

“Listen to me, Garth,” Kirk said urgently.

Garth drew himself up to his full height. “I’ve told you before. You will address me by my proper title.”

“I’m sorry,” said Kirk. “I should have said, Captain Garth.”

“Lord Garth!”

“No, sir” Kirk said intensely. “Captain Garth. Starship fleet captain. That’s an honorable title.”

“And I was the greatest of them all wasn’t I?” said Garth.

“Yes you were,” said Kirk, very softly. “Yes. But you’re a sick man now, sir.”

“I have never been more healthy.”

“No. No. Think. Think back to what you were, before the accident that sent you to Antos IV. Try.”

Scotty’s features flickered. “I can’t remember,” said Garth. It’s almost as if I died, and was reborn.”

“Well, I can remember. You were the finest student at the academy. You were the finest starship captain. You were the prototype, the model, for the rest of us.”

“Yes, I do remember that,” said Garth, equally softly. “It was a great responsibility, and one I was proud to bear.”

“You bore it well,” said Kirk, eagerly. “And the disease, that changed you, it’s not your fault. And the terrible things you did since then, you’re not truly responsible…”

Garth’s eyes widened. “I don’t want to hear any more,” he said softly. “You’re weak, and you’re trying to drain me of my strength.”

“No, I’m not. I want you to find what you once had. I want you to go back to the greatness that you’ve lost, Captain Garth.”

Greatness that he’d lost?

“I am Lord Garth,” he barked, angrily. “No man can stand against me, least of all you.”

Kirk knew he’d made a mistake. He should have kept on about Garth’s former accomplishments, without bringing his insanity into it.

“That’s true,” he said softly. “That’s true. Scotty couldn’t…but he did save your life, didn’t he?”

“Yes, he did.”

“Please, tell me where he is.”

Garth jerked his head towards the sleeping quarters. “He’s in there.”

“And he’s still alive?”

“I told you, yes. After all, he did save my life.”

“I’d like to see him.”

Garth grinned. He strode over to the wall and activated the door that led to Scotty’s sleeping quarters. Kirk followed him. There, on the bed, was Scotty. Stretched out, legs and wrists bound together with security restraints. His face was waxen, his chest barely moved up and down.

Kirk turned and hit Garth in the mouth. It was totally unplanned, but seeing Scotty helpless….

Garth staggered back a few steps, shocked.

Kirk lunged forward, bringing his hands down on Garth’s shoulders. Garth returned the hold on Kirk’s shoulders – classic Greco-Roman wrestling starting position. The two men strained their strength to the utmost…unmoving…

Part Three

Katya and the rest of her crew watched as Ensign Tyler closed the panel on the polarity flux capacitor, and switched it on. All eyes were on the gauges as the power level climbed upward…. 60%, 65%, 70%, 71%, 72%.....69%....65%.

“No, no, no!” shouted Tyler, and pounded a fist against the panel.

“It’s no use,” said Ensign Lucas, in a defeated tone.

“Belay that,” snapped Lieutenant Minns, who was in charge of the repair detail. “Each time we fail we learn more about what’s wrong. Let’s just analyze this…”

“Lieutenant, I think we need to ask Commander Scott for help,” said Katya Landau.

“Belay that, Landau,” Minns replied grimly. “Scotty’s finally gone to his rack for some much needed shuteye, and I’m not going to bother him for 8 hours. We can fix this, and we will.”

Katya gritted her teeth, but did not argue further. As the rest of the crew huddled together, she stepped backward, and backward, and then turned and headed for Commander Scott’s quarters. Each repair they made to the capacitor had only reduced its effectiveness…they were doing something wrong and if they didn’t stop doing it, they’d suck its energy down to nothing. They had to have help, and she was going to ask Scotty for it.

Part Four

The alert bell to Scotty’s quarter’s buzzed softly. “Sargeant Landau.” The computer voice informed them.

Things had progressed. Kirk had managed to slip Garth’s grip off his shoulder…and then things hand gone wrong from there. They both exchanged body blows, and clinched and rolled back and forth, but Kirk was losing the battle. Garth was thirty years older than he, but he was incredibly strong, stronger than Spock. Their reaction time and reflexes were about equal, and that was the only thing that was saving him.

He was hurting Garth, he knew it. For one thing, Garth no longer wore Scotty’s face, but his own. Not the horribly scarred face that was his true appearance, but the handsome, older Garth…it must be the easiest face for him to assume and hold onto while he fought.

When he heard the buzzer, Kirk grabbed Garth’s shoulders, absorbed a punch to the belly, twisted to the right, and allowed Garth to twist him back to the left. His back hit the wall just where the entry panel was, and the door to the corridor slid open.

A woman dressed in engineering red stood framed in the doorway.

Incredibly, instead of registering what was occurring inside the room, turning and running for help, she stepped in, and the door slid shut behind her.

She looked from him to Garth, and her eyes widened a bit.

Kirk swung back to face Garth, and paused…for Garth was staring at the woman in surprise.

“Gus, I’m so glad to see you,” said Katya with pleasure.

“Katya.” Garth’s voice dropped an octave as he stepped away from Kirk, lowering his hands to his sides. He moved his head in a bit of a serpentine motion, easing his neck, as he shifted into a different persona. “This is a somewhat inopportune moment.”

“I’m sorry to interrupt, Gus, but I need help.”

Garth gestured at Kirk. “I’m in the middle of something, Katya.”

“I’m sure Captain Kirk won’t mind.”

Kirk had backed up to lean against a wall. He could feel his ribs shifting…a couple of them must be broken. He knew he’d had to have done some damage to Garth, but the man was so insane he seemed to be impervious to physical pain. He was standing straight as an arrow. He also seemed transfixed. Whatever was happening, Kirk figured he’d better let it run its course. Give him a chance to get his breath back, at any rate. “I don’t mind,” he put in, in a non-threatening way. Meanwhile, his eyes darted here and there, looking for a weapon.

Garth glanced between the two of them, once, twice. Kirk expected him to a fling a hand in his direction and say, “You do realize Kirk and I have been fighting to the death here, don’t you?” but he didn’t. Instead, he drew himself up and said with dignity. “Very well, Katya. You need help?”

Kirk’s eyes fell on the cut glass decanter. The nice, heavy, cut glass decanter.

Katya Landau was not a fool, and she was not without knowledge. The Boss had been injured during the aftermath of the battle with the alien ship (rushing in to severely damaged sections of the ships and helping to bring out the survivors…he’d pulled a mal-functioning door open with his bare hands and held it open while three men had managed to squeeze through, before it snapped shut and broke his arm before he could get completely out of the way). She had visited him in sickbay when she could grab a moment, and although he had not gone into complete detail, he had told her that Gus Keller had been Garth of Izar.

The man standing in front of her, looking at her politely, bleeding from his lip and from both hands, was Garth of Izar.

“An hour or so ago, the polarity flux capacitors in the starboard nacelle went SOL, she said. I’m part of the team that Minns chose to fix it.”

“Minns, yes,” said Gus. “I remember he was put in charge of the starboard nacelle.”

Katya nodded. Had Garth been Commander Scott, as well? How else could he know that?

“And we can’t do it.” Katya went on rapidly. “At first we could get the power back up to 75…80 percent tops, but then…it just went down again, each time worse than before. I’m afraid that if we keep on the way we’re going, we’re going to drain the capacitors completely. We really need your help.”

“Of course. I’ll be glad to. Just give me five minutes to take care of this…this…”

“No, Gus, please. We really need you now.” She moved toward the door. “Please come.”

Garth took a couple of steps toward her, and the door, and Kirk’s heart rose. She’s actually done it, he thought.

But Garth stopped abruptly. He threw back his head and laughed. Damn, thought Kirk. So close.

“Gus, please…” said Katya.

“Stop calling me that,” barked Garth. “I am Garth of Izar.”

Katya turned to face him. “No, no you’re not.” She said calmly. “Garth of Izar died seven days ago! He sacrificed his life to save the entire crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise. Didn’t he, Captain Kirk?”

“Yes, he did,” said Kirk, softly. “He died a hero. No more than what I would have expected of him, though.”

Garth stared at her. A whole range of expressions ran over his face, his eyes widened, then narrowed, his eyebrows rose up and down, his lips worked. But he was speechless.

Katya pointed at him. “You are Gus Keller. And we’re going to lose the starboard nacelle totally unless you come and help me now.”

“I am Lord...”

“Garth of Izar is dead,” repeated Katya, persuasively. “You’re Gus Keller. You’re the Lord of the Universe, and you can be whoever you want to be. Let Garth die. Let him rest in the peace he deserves, with the accolades he deserves.”

Half of Kirk, at this moment, wanted to attack Garth with the decanter. But his instincts held him back. If his attack failed, Gus Keller would be lost forever…and so, really, would be Garth of Izar. But Landau seemed to have touched a chord in him…

“Scotty won’t be conscious for a while, Gus,” Kirk said softly. “If we’re not going to lose that nacelle, you’ve got to do something. The whole crew is counting on you, again. So are the survivors of the Red Admiral, if any.”

“And…and…and I won’t let them down,” said Gus. “Quickly, Katya.”

The door slid shut behind the two of them.

Immediately, Kirk hit the communicator in his insignia. “Kirk to McCoy. Please come to Scotty’s quarters, Doctor. Bring your black bag.”

Bones didn’t waste time on questions. “On my way, Jim,” he said. Of course, he wouldn’t be bringing a black bag but rather his tricorder, but he’d gotten the implication that someone needed help.

Kirk tried to take a deep breath, and stopped. Pain. Ribs, definitely broken. He took a shallow breath instead.

He tapped his insignia again. “Kirk to Spock.”

“Spock here, Captain.”

“Spock. I need you to come to Scotty’s quarters immediately. Bring a security detail.”

Once McCoy had arrived and was dealing with Scotty, he, Spock and the detail would go to the starboard nacelle, and wait for Garth to finish the repairs. Then, they’d nab him.

No…no…that would be the wrong move....Landau had him convinced, somehow, that he was this Gus Keller…and there was hope for Gus Keller…as there was no hope for Garth of Izar…

Kirk took another shallow breath, then tapped his insignia again.

“Kirk to Spock. Belay that last order. Come as you are.”

“Very good, Captain.”


The U.S.S. Enterprise succeeded in finding the wreck of the USS Red Admiral, and managed to rescue fifteen survivors. Fifteen, from a crew of four hundred. Nevertheless, it was something.

Scotty recovered quickly from his drugged slip, and he, Kirk, Spock and Doctor McCoy agreed that while Garth of Izar must die, Gus Keller must live.

The four starships that answered the Enterprise’s distress call swept the area and remained on station there for several months, but no trace of any more of the strange alien craft were ever found.

After rescuing the survivors, the Enterprise headed for Starbase 1934, for repair and refit.

Once there, Sergeant Katya Landau and Scientist Gus Keller transferred to a civilian research ship, the Praetorious, where they served on detached duty, and integrated quite happily with the crew of scientists who were delighted to have the imprimatur of the Federation for their voyage.

After three months, the Enterprise, ship-shape and Bristol fashion, left Starbase 1934 and resumed her five year mission to seek out new life, new civilizations, and to boldly go where no one had gone before.

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