Cracked Time on the Edge of Forever
Rosalinda StMatthew


They'd arrived at the science station too late.

The entire place was waterlogged, dripping in stale water from the old-style fire protection system, and the acrid stench of smoke hung in the air. The only working lights in the main room came from the two-man landing party's equipment. Spock sighed and stepped gingerly through the water. The young lieutenant behind him splashed more wildly, exclaiming at a bunch of absolutely nothing. Spock tuned him out, mentally at first, and then mechanically, by shutting off the communicator in his environmental suit. He pointed to a door that was jammed open just enough for someone to get through, then he pointed at the lieutenant and at the floor. The young man was nodding furiously, and Spock could just see his mouth moving behind the frosted glass of his faceplate, but he had no idea what the young man could possibly have been on about. He turned his back on the lieutenant and squeezed himself through the doors.

More water. Spock resisted the urge to roll his eyes and sloshed through the mess, firmly telling himself he was not irritated. All attempts to squash his annoyingly human nature were forgotten when something hooked his foot as he tried to bring it up behind him. He flailed for a moment, and went face down into the water. He was grateful for the environmental suit, not only because he was uncertain of the presence of toxins in the station's ventilation system, but he also was not in the mood for a mouthful of stale fire sprinkler water. Still, the experience was... unpleasant, and he was glad the lieutenant was still in the outer room. No doubt the young man would have made the erroneous assumption that Spock was embarrassed about having tripped, and tried to soothe him unnecessarily. Instead, Spock was able to get to his feet with minimal fuss, and, having first verified that the lieutenant hadn't heard the splashing and come running to the rescue, resumed his survey of the room.

There was an arm in the water.

Spock's eyebrows shot up. He didn't even try to pretend to not be surprised. The thing he'd tripped over in the water had been an arm, and it was still attached to the young woman who'd been its owner. She was face down in the water, her long orange and blue hair fanning out around her head like a halo.

Spock suppressed a shudder and stepped gingerly over the drowned girl, to make his way over to the library cooks. In addition to being soaked, some of the paneling had been ripped from their housings, exposing a long line of old circuitry. He doubted any of the information was salvageable, even once given time to dry. There was no logic in attempting to recover the equipment. Instead, he turned his attention to the whereabouts of the station's personnel, though he had a hypothesis about that. He crossed the room more carefully, grimacing slightly as he approached the center of the burn that triggered the sprinkler system. In its center sat the charred remains of a humanoid, burnt to a cinder. There was nothing left on the mass to identify its gender, species, nothing.

Okay, yeah, Spock was good.

He sloshed back towards the narrowly opened door in time to see the over eager lieutenant scritching creepily at his left hand. Spock was half tempted to ask the young man if he was experiencing some sort of allergic reaction to being ignored, but he had the suspicion that would simply encourage the lieutenant to start babbling about things no one cared about, and Spock would have no one to blame but himself for such a turn of events. Instead, he reactivated his suit's communicator and, very purposefully not looking at the lieutenant, said "Two to beam up."


"Receiving a class two communication from the Intrepid, sir." Lieutenant Uhura swung around in her seat and peered at the back of the captain's head. She couldn't tell if he was even awake. "Your eyes only, sir," she said, surpressing a sigh. No response. "Captain." Still nothing. "Captain Kirk." Still nothing. "HEY ASSHOLE!"

James Kirk slowly turned around in his chair, one eyebrow up, a stupid little half smile on his stupid little face. "You called?" He was playing it cool, but his cheeks were bright red and his eyes were shining merrily, practically dancing in their sockets. He'd been ignoring her on purpose, and now she looked positively insane in front of their fellow officers. Had there been someone important on the bridge, she might have cringed with embarrassment at her outburst, but there wasn't. Well, unless you counted Captain Kirk himself, which Uhura most certainly did not. Besides, he wasn't the malicious sort who'd needle an unwanted officer into insubordination and write them up. He was the overly playful sort who found everything hilarious - especially if he could tug some long suffering girl's pigtails in the process. She'd just been the fool to fall for his shenanigans - again.

She didn't bother with apologies. "Class two comm. Intrepid. Your eyes."

"Yeah, you said that..." Jim cocked his head. "I'm a little confused here - isn't the Intrepid a science vessel?"

Uhura closed her eyes and counted to ten in German, High Desert Vulcan, the pidgin dialect used in the Tellarite equatorial jungles, and Pig Latin, just to be sure. She took a deep breath. Opened her eyes. Kirk was still sitting there, with that fucking innocent inquisitive look on his stupid face. "I don't know, sir," she ground out. "I just sit here and answer the phone."

Kirk smirked. "Sure you do! Check on that for me, please?"

Why the hell should she... nevermind, just follow stupid, stupid, pointless, stupid orders. "Do you want me to send the comm to your quarters, or did you want to take it in your ready room?"

"First I want to know why a science vessel would bother me instead of Spock."

Uhura put her head in her hands. "Jim. That might be in the communication."

"Probably." He picked imaginary lint off his pants leg, crossed his scrawny little chicken legs and patted his thighs cheerfully. "Find anything out?"

"DO YOU SEE ME FINDING ANYTHING OUT, CAPTAIN?!"

"You know, I don't! Weird!"

"Oh for-" Uhura turned back to her station and began mashing controls until she found what she was looking for. "Yes," she said through clenched teeth. "It's a science vessel. Can I deliver this message now?"

Kirk leaned back in his seat and stroked his chin. "Why would they-"

"HOW ABOUT-" She stopped herself and forced herself to calmness. "Would you like me to preview the message for you, sir?"

Kirk seemed to mull this over for a while, before grinning that infuriating, rakish grin at her. "Nah," he said, getting to his feet. "I'll take it in my ready room - and you have the conn. Don't do anything I wouldn't do!" He practically skipped out of his damn seat. Jerk.

Uhura returned to her board and dared hope Kirk would stay out of her hair for a good hour at least. The door swished open again, and her heart sank. No such luck. He returned to his chair and adjusted those ridiculously scrawny legs again before turning towards her. "Call the landing party back," he said. He sounded unusually distracted. Playtime was apparently over.

She checked in with the transporter room. "They're already back, and on their way to Medical." When the captain looked at her sharply, she shook her head. "No injuries - apparently, Commander Spock mentioned standard decon proceedure...?"

Kirk frowned, but he didn't press her. "I see. In that case, have Mr. Spock join us at his earliest convenience." Rather than wait for her acknowledgment, he began issuing rapid fire orders - they were leaving the destroyed science station and headed for parts as yet unknown to her, and they were headed in an apparent hurry.


Spock was not one for eyerolling, but if he were, he'd have been looking at his own brain stem during the mandatory medical evaluation. It wasn't McCoy's ridiculous insistence (upon forcing Spock through a series of tests that were optimized for Terran physiology) that brought on this unusual impatience, but Lieutenant Tormolen's apparently neverending whining about absolutely nothing throughout their entire exam. At least now Spock had a basic understanding of the slang term baww, and why it was vital that no one under Captain Kirk's command be allowed to do such a thing ever in life ever, as the Captain would say.

Doctor Ramirez and Nurse Riordan were attempting to soothe the lieutenant's overstimulated nerves, but all their attempts at calm were being rebuffed with increasing force – at increasing volume. Spock tried to turn his thoughts inward in order to focus on the last of McCoy's asinine instructions, but Tormolen's bitching seemed to be pitched specifically to ping Spock's no-bullshit-allowed alarm. Without meaning to, Spock swept McCoy to one side (nearly smashing the hapless doctor into a bulkhead in the process) and charged manically toward the other occupied biobed. A flash of green filled his vision, and then Tormolen was a snoring heap slung over the bed, a distinct finger-shaped bruise staining the crook of his neck. Oops, Spock thought. All activity in Medbay had ground to a stop, and all eyes (save, of course, those of the sleeping lieutenant's) were on Spock. It occurred to him he should say something, attempt to explain himself in some way. He cleared his throat. "Oops."

Wait. That... wasn't... it... at all... Spock watched stupidly as Riordan and Ramirez struggled to turn the unconscious man onto the bed properly. It occurred to him after they were done and wiping the excessive sweat off their foreheads that he should have simply picked the idiot up and settled him correctly on the bed himself, rather than forcing the much weaker humans to do so. But it was part of the general job description for any Starfleet medic, be they officer or enlisted personnel, to be able to maneuver dead weight up to and including 200 kilos without the assistance of an antigrav unit, and Spock thought that the presence of a Human-Vulcan hybrid would qualify as an antigrav unit of sorts, and Tormolen certainly wasn't a whole 200 kilos, especially with all the hot air he'd been blowing just a moment ago and what is this wet wetness upon the palms of my hands WHAT IS THIS?

McCoy was back, waving that stupid whirligig wand in front of his face so it buzzed like a paralyzed mosquito. Spock tried to evade McCoy's examination with as little movement as possible, but apparently he was ducking and weaving like an Elasian streetfighter, because McCoy grabbed his head with both hands. "STAND STILL, DAMMIT!"

Startled, Spock jerked back from McCoy's touch and glared at the doctor. "Have you gone quite mad?"

McCoy sputtered, red-faced, before he finally threw his hands in the air and started flapping his arms like a drunk pterodactyl. "OUT!"

Spock meant to respond with I beg your pardon, but what came out was "Wha-huh?"

"YOU HEARD ME!" McCoy actually grabbed Spock by the elbow and tried to turn him towards the nearest exit. "GET OUT! GET THE HELL OUTTA MY SICKBAY!"

A flash of anger surged through Spock, followed almost immediately by an equally powerful surge of fear (what is happening to my control?!), but he swallowed them both down and forced himself to approach the situation logically. "As per regulation-"

McCoy cut him off with a final tug on his elbow, one violent enough to actually force a few stumbling steps from Spock. "YOU'RE CLEARED!"

"But-"

"JUST GO! GIT! AND WHAT THE HELL ARE THE REST OF YOU JACKWAGONS STARING AT?!" The medical bay instantly exploded with very concentrated, very intent, very not-staring-at-their-raving-supervisor business. Spock decided he had some very concentrated, very intent, very not-staring-at-the-raving-CMO business of his own, and departed with haste.


Captain’s Log, Supplemental: This is turning out to be quite the day. First a failed rescue mission at the science station PSI2000, and now reports of a major disturbance in a previously unexplored sector. Apparently, the USS Intrepid was caught in what their captain describes as a "ripple in space", but she couldn't clarify what that was supposed to mean. All she would say was her ship was being torn to pieces, and she wasn't sure how far she was from the epicenter of the "spacequakes", another term she coined.

Jim ended the recording and surveyed his domain with a critical eye. The crew had been listening to his amended log entry, as he'd expected them to, but there were no comments on their mission. Everyone had their noses to the grindstone – they must have felt the shift in his mood. He hadn't meant to alarm them, as they'd all been having such a nice, relaxed day (even with the apparent lack of updates on the recorded distress call from PSI2000), but Captain Richardson's inability to articulate their situation, and her dogged insistence on remaining in place to take readings even while being pulled apart at the seams was giving Jim the hell of a headache. The sooner he got the smaller science vessel out of the danger zone, the better. "ETA to the Intrepid, Mr. Sulu?"

"Six minutes, sir." No sooner were the words out of the helmsman's mouth than the ship was suddenly rocked by a massive, unseen force. People were thrown from their seats, and those who hadn't been seated found themselves halfway across the bridge. Uhura could be heard swearing in several languages as she cleared the board of angry queries about what was going on upstairs.

"Damage report," Jim snapped. If the rest of the crew was startled, his nerves were completely shot to hell. "And where the hell is my science officer?"

The turbolift doors opened as Jim was barking orders. "Damn, I'm right here, sir." The ship was rocked again, and everyone went flying, including a sweat slicked Commander Spock, who yelped with all the dignity of a squealing human girl child. "What was that?" he cried.

Jim turned and looked at Uhura, as if she could possibly have the answers to any-damn-thing that was happening. When it became clear that no answer was forthcoming, he turned back to Spock, who still sat on the floor, scrubbing his hands on his pants legs. "You're the science officer," Jim growled. "You tell us!"

"Okay, okay, damn!" Spock got to his feet with far more fuss than was strictly necessary, and made his way over to his station. Jim tried to remain patient while Spock fiddled with the equipment, but when another wave buffeted the ship, Jim was ready to explode. To his surprise, Spock held up a single finger, without even bothering to look up. "Just wait, sir."

Jim blinked a couple times, but snapped his mouth shut - not so much because he intended to do as he was told (by a subordinate, no less!), but because he kinda didn't know what the hell else to do.

"Intrepid is hailing us, sir," Uhura said softly.

"On screen, Lieutenant."

"WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE!" A wild-eyed woman appeared on the screen. Her hands were gripping the back of the command chair, while her feet floated lazily just behind her head. Her long, red curls bounced and twisted lazily around her head, filling the outer edges of the viewscreen with a fuzzy red haze.

Jim bit the inside of his cheek so hard he could taste blood, but it kept him from jumping out of his seat and screaming in terror. Score one, Captain Kirk.

Instead, he shifted in his seat and tried for nonchalance. "Take it easy, Captain Truman. We're nearly-"

"EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!" Truman interrupted Jim's attempt at placation with a high-pitched squeal whose sound was not terribly dissimilar to a high-powered dog whistle. Instrument panels were sparking behind her, and more cries of dismay could be heard from Intrepid's bridge. A young man floated between Truman and the viewscreen feed. His surprised face loomed large in the viewscreen as he slooooooooooooooooooooowly moved across the screen.

"ETA, one minute," Sulu volunteered.

Spock jerked back from his own scanning equipment. "What the hell is - oh." Spock grumbled under his breath and began pushing buttons on his console. "Next time, Lieutenant, could you tell me you're feeding me communications from other starships? Thank you."

"What the hell crawled up your ass and died?" Uhura hissed.

"We're still on, children," Jim sing-songed quietly through a fake grin. Still grinning, he addressed the wild-eyed woman on the viewscreen. "Captain Truman, is your ship stable enough for the tractor beam?"

It was Intrepid, rather than Truman, which answered Jim - her bridge flickered off the viewscreen, to be replaced by the image of an exploding ship. Bits of shrapnel went everywhere. A huge piece of hull came hurtling towards Enterprise, and the ship lurched on impact.

"Uh, we've arrived," Sulu said.

Jim just put his head in his hands.


Nurse Redondo wasn't usually so forceful about her feelings, but the ship was under some kind of secret attack, Tormolen was currently strapped down in Observation Room Two because after trying to slice his throat open, and the CMO was actually making good on his threats to beat the hell out of anyone who dared set foot in his office for the rest of the mission. Clearly, Armageddon was upon them, and had apparently followed them all the way from Fontana, California to the vacuum of space. They were going to die horrible deaths, all of them, and be forced to live out their greatest fears for all eternity – which was ironic, because she'd been such a good and pious devotee. To spend eternity having never fornicated with anyone – the indignity was too much to bear. It was also the biggest logic fail ever, but whatever; she was a Pentecost, not a Vulcan, dammit. And she wanted to get laid.

Unfortunately, Lieutenant Leslie had been quite comfortable to remain a heathen (a beautiful, kind, loving heathen, but a heathen nonetheless), and had resisted her efforts to get him to join her weekly prayer sessions, citing a preference for private meditation over group worship. That made him completely unsuitable for a lasting union in the eyes of her religious companions, but it did nothing to diminish her foolish sinful desires. Oh, sure, Crewman Huffman was a good, kind Episcopalian boy who might be convinced to abandon the error of his ways and finally see that the true church was the Pentecostal Holiniess of Truth and Light (duh, everyone knew that) and he did have nice eyes, but he just didn't get her in the ovaries quite like Leslie.

Unf, Mister Leslie.

"Okay. Miss Redondo. Seriously. You're a nurse. You really should be aware of how ridiculously painful that grip is."

Redondo frowned and pulled her hand away from Leslie's sensitive manhood with a sigh. "But I don't wanna die a virgin," she said.

"And I totally understand that, but, again, you're a nurse. That is not how sex works, and you know it." He adjusted his uniform slacks and breathed hard through his nostrils, as if to center himself. "At least, I hope you do," he muttered.

"Aw, come ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooon," Redondo said, before shoving Leslie against the bulkhead and dropping to her knees. "Seriously, end times are here-" A hard knock to the ship sent Leslie sailing over Redondo's head, while she flopped backwards, wrenching her knees in the process. "See? End times!" She flopped around until her feet were no longer trapped underneath her and she could scoot over to where Leslie sat, rubbing his head. "Forget our religious incompatibility! We need to get it on while there's still a chance!" She clambered into his lap and placed her wet, open mouth on his, hoping for a good, sexy, body warming kiss.

"MMMMMPHHHHHHHHHHHHH!" He didn't exactly toss her off, but she did sorta kinda bounce when she found herself on her back yet again. "Look, Redondo, you're a nice person and all, but I kinda prefer to be the only person to maintain direct contact with my tonsils, you know?" He wiped his mouth on his sleeve, and looked at the back of his hand like it had grown a head. "And what the hell have you guys been doing in sickbay?! There's like... grease all over my uniform now!" He tried scrubbing the back of his hand on the bulkhead behind him. "It won't come off!"

Redondo just shrugged and leapt for Leslie again. "Whatever. Not dyin' a virgin." She licked the side of his face, from jawline to hairline before panting heavily in his ear. "Just sayin'."


Spock shoved away from his scanner, thoroughly confused by the readings. "Chekov. Imma need you to verify these readings, because this is some crazy-ass shit..." He snapped his mouth shut – that wasn't exactly the manner in which he'd intended to voice his request. He looked down at the palms of his visibly shaking hands. They were actually beginning to drip sweat. "Ew."

"Readings are confirmed, sir," Chekov said, though it was spoken without his typical exuberance and ridiculous over-eagerness.

The Captain sighed loudly and announced right behind Spock's head, "Is anybody going to tell me what these 'crazy-ass' readings are? Or do I just get to guess?"

"Basically, shit is fucked up."

There was a loooooong pause before the Captain spoke up again. "Uh... so... would you care to elaborate, Mr. Spock? I'm not familiar with that particular scientific... jargon."

"Chekov, answer him, please. He don't like the way I talk." Spock ground his teeth together – he had no control left over his own tongue! The thought that his diction was degenerating into something not terribly dissimilar to the awkward language he'd heard in the mirror universe was more than a little distressing. He cringed and turned to the Captain. "Permission to return to Sickbay? I don't know what the hell is going on, but I am trippin'!" He blinked, once again surprised by his unexpected choice of words.

The Captain was watching him warily. "Sure, Spock, in a minute. But I want this explanation first, and I'd like you present for it."

Spock rolled his eyes, and then waved a hand at Chekov. The sooner he explained things to the Captain, the sooner Spock could go meditate this shit out – and now even his internal dialogue was fucked up. Yay.

Chekov hesitated for just a moment before launching into an explanation so technical, even Spock had to think about what the hell the kid was saying. He let Chekov go on for nearly five minutes before he snapped. "Look, it's broken, okay? Space is broken. We need to go. That's what the readings say. Can we go now? Can I go now?"

"I'm still waiting for someone to explain how it's broken – preferably with a little more specificity than you seem capable of offering, but definitely less than the ensign's."

It was at that moment that the deck doors opened up, and Lieutenant Leslie came storming onto the bridge, shirt torn and sweat soaked, eyes wild. He looked as if he'd been running through the outlands to find the Kholinar masters. He was screeching one word over and over again at the top of his lungs: "RAPE!"

"Okay, what is in the coffee today?" The Captain sounded as if he were at the edge of his patience.

One of the nurses that had been working with Tormolen exploded onto the bridge next. She was just as wild-eyed, and her ridiculously high piled bouffant had fallen over, so she looked like a fuzzy Tower of Pisa. She lunged at Leslie, hands outstretched like claws. "YOU WILL DEFLOWER ME THIS VERY INSTANT, ARNIE!"

"MY NAME IS NOT FUCKING ARNIE!"

"SEX!"

"RAPE!"

"THE FUCK?" The words were out of Spock's mouth before he realized he'd spoken them. He cleared his throat, tried to force himself to assume an air of one worthy of his position on the Federation flagship. "Y'all gotta go." He just shook his head at himself, resigned to his epic fail.

The security officer on duty seemed to understand Spock's words well enough, though. She stepped forward, phaser drawn, to grab the nurse by the elbow. The moment their skin touched, the security officer seemed to 'click' – there was a visible shift in her manner, a shift so obvious it nearly took Spock's breath away. This is sooooo not good...

An entire 20 seconds passed before it occurred to Spock that maaaaaaaaybe he should mention this little shift to Captain Kirk, on, you know, the off-chance it had something to do with the bizarre courting ritual taking place on the bridge. Much, much later he would console himself with the knowledge that speaking up would have done nothing to alter the immediate events on the bridge, but for the time being, he was horrified to witness the further results of his ever increasingly epic fail.

Rather than apprehend the love-struck nurse, the security officer turned her attention to Lieutenant Uhura, who didn't look exactly dissimilar to a cornered sehlat. The officer reached for Uhura's head, but before she could make contact, she was rewarded with a swift mule-kick in the knees. "Don't touch my hair, bitch!"

Unfortunately, the security officer was still clutching her phaser, and squeezed off a reflexive shot when Uhura's feet connected with her kneecaps. The weapon was set to a low-level stun, which, unfortunately, meant a ball of distorted energy that bounced off the non-organic surfaces of the bridge. Everyone started shrieking and running around in terror from the (actually fairly harmless) energy ball. Everyone except, of course, Spock, who was well aware of the effects of such a low-level stun. The worst that could possibly happen was –


McCoy flopped down in his chair and observed his handiwork. It hadn't been easy, but he'd managed to pile every object in his office that wasn't physically bolted to the ship in front of his office doors. That way, when Scotty and some goons from Security arrived to cut through his medical overriding lock, they'd get a nice little surprise. Wouldn't do much else to protect him, since he'd effectively cornered in Sickbay, but, hey, whatever.

He leaned forward and peeled off his lab coat and uniform shirt, both of which were soaked through with sweat. He wrung the shirt out with his hands and grimaced as sweat dripped from the cloth and puddled on the desk. He tried mopping his brow with the soggy material, but even after squeezing out enough sweat to drink, the shirt was completely saturated. "Yuck." He tossed the offending garment over the desk and tried to think cool thoughts.

He had half a mind to call Scotty himself and demand to know what in hell was going on with the coolant system, and why did it feel like an August night in Athens when he knew good and well they were still trapped on this overgrown flying tuna-can, but then the crew would have confirmation of his location (okay, well, more confirmation than the word of his CLEARLY DEMENTED orderlies that watched him hide himself away), and then he could be dragged out into the open, where the wild-eyed nutjobs were waiting to get him. Nuh-uh, no way. He wasn't leaving his office until whatever the hell was wrong with all those numbskulls worked itself out. Nope. Not him. McCoy was staying right the hell where he was. He wasn't comin' out for no damn body, no way, no how. They could just forget it. Wasn't hap-

"Bridge to Medical, Bridge to Medical!" Uhura's voice was even more strident than usual, cutting through McCoy's thoughts like a phaser through butter. "Medical emergency, please send-" Something crashed in the background. "I told you, keep your damn hands out of-" Another crash, and then the line went dead.

McCoy sat and stared at the communication panel, waiting for the communications officer to return with clarifying orders. Several seconds passed, but there was no further information forthcoming. Not good. Now, he either was going to have to risk revealing himself to the bridge, which contained Jim, the idiot savant in charge of this space-borne tin-bucket, which of course meant getting exposed to whatever shenanigans were out there, or this medical emergency was going to have to go untreated, which could be anything from completely insignificant to completely deadly to all hands and this giant warp-capable soda can was not going to be his final resting place, so somebody had better get up to the bridge to handle whatever needed handling and also maybe get the damn humidity taken care of because sweet buttercakes on a golden pogo stick, HOT.

But who could go? Not him, because, you know, not coming out of the office. Besides, there was plenty of staff on hand, and someone else out there had to have heard that cry for help. Not that hearing the call necessarily meant they were actually going to get up off their asses and take care of business. Hell, they were probably out there throwing a party, and trying to roast that Tormolen kid. Stupid kid. Stupid kids. All of them, and the stupid admirals who sent a bunch of kindergarten ragamuffins out into the middle of space are just as damn stupid, dammit. Stupid. And he could count on one hand the people he could trust to not disclose his location and actually order onto the bridge in a situation like this one. One hand. Half of them died before they even started the mission. Of the ones who'd lived, well, they were part of the enemy camp now, the fools who had no idea what insanity was unfolding in the Sickbay. Except...

He lunged for the communications panel. "McCoy to Chapel." Nothing. "Miss Chapel." Still nothing. "Nurse Chapel, do you read me?"

Silence.

Well. Maybe they were all ready for the loony bin. "Christine? You out there?"

The communication panel remained perfectly silent – not even the sound of static to break up the communication.

"Okay," he said, moving around the desk to attack his perfectly piled barricade. "Okay. If you want something done right, I guess you just gotta do it yourself."


Sulu had his hands full with trying to keep the ship in wide orbit around the little asteroid at the center of this insanity. He saw Mr. Spock fall out of the corner of his eye, and winced as Chekov leapt into action to grab the wayward security woman, but he had to keep careful hold of the helm. The ship wasn't exactly breaking up, per se, but it was proving to be stressful to the hull to hold her in the area with all this broken up space, as Spock had apparently called it. He wanted to ask Kirk if it was alright to turn tail and head back home, since the Intrepid was clearly no longer in any kind of danger (may she and her idiot captain and poor, poor innocent crew rest in peace), but he didn't dare take his eye off the board for even a second.

He heard doors swish open, and hoped like hell it was someone from Medical with a super heavy-sedative for the three crewmembers running amok on the bridge. "What in great tarnation is goin on around here?!" Mmm, not only was it someone from Medical, but the CMO himself. Good, maybe things would settle down –

"Bones, where the hell is your shirt?"

Sulu closed his eyes. We're all gonna die.

One of the pockets of dead space chose that moment to buffet the ship, and sent everyone flying from their seats again. There was lots of swearing and screaming and squeaking and bellowing, and then everyone managed to pull themselves into something resembling an upright position, except Uhura and the security guard (who were clearly embroiled in a fight to the death over the comms officer's ponytail), Captain Kirk (who was scooting fitfully away from McCoy and his scary grabby hands), and, of course, Mr. Spock.

The ship rocked again, everyone fell again, the intraship board lit up with demands to keep the ship still kthx again, and Sulu decided he'd had enough of this bullshit. He set a course for Earth, Starfleet's orders be damned.

"What are you doing?" Sulu jumped in his seat and turned around to see a massively wild-eyed Doctor McCoy. "What are you doing?! He's gonna kill us all! HOLY SHIT!" McCoy turned around and ran off the bridge, still screaming about murder and insanity at the top of his lungs.

"Wait, Bones! Dammit!" He turned to Sulu, eyes flashing. "Okay, so what did you do?"

"I was just gonna plot a course back to-"

"Captain!" Ensign Johnson piped up from her board at engineering. "I'm showing activity in Transporter Room One!"

"Activity, what kind of activity?"

Chekov stumbled back to his seat, panting wildly and dripping with sweat. "Scans show... someone has transported to the planet surface, sir." He leaned back in his chair and began to fan himself with both hands, before babbling in what Sulu assumed was Russian.

Behind him, the captain swore effusively, his words fading away as he disappearing through the Deck One doors.


No one was in Transporter Room One. Jim checked the coordinates on the transporter – it had been used recently, and had placed a humanoid, most likely Terran, on the rocky surface of the planetoid in the middle of the ship rocking disturbances. Fuck my life... Jim called security to the transporter room. "Bring biohazard suits – we don't know the nature of this planet just yet."

He only had a few minutes to wait for the team to join him, during which he was tossed from one end of the transporter room to the other with extreme force. By the time he'd managed to find a chair to cling to, the security force was falling all over themselves, tumbling into the room like corn flakes from a cardboard box. They spilled over into the operating area and slid past his chair, grabbing and tugging at him along the way, until he too wound up in their dogpile. "I appreciate your promptness, but next time you can just walk, guys."

"Sorry, sir. Your biosuit, sir." Lieutenant Freeman thrust his arm straight up through the tangle of officers and dangled a skin-tight suit right over Jim's head.

"Greaaat..." Jim crawled into a corner to peel out of his uniform, while the security detail rearranged themselves into something that more vaguely resembled Starfleet Officers than a group of seasick toddlers. Once he was suited up, Jim reentered the last used coordinates, and directed the detail onto the pad. "I have absolutely no idea what the hell McCoy is on, but be warned, he's exhibiting signs of irrationality and paranoia."

"So he's acting like half the ship," Freeman said with a shrug.

"What?"

"You haven't heard?" Yeoman Thompson piped up, big blue eyes like saucers. "Somebody used hydraulic fluid to paint 'Love Mankind' all over the bulkhead outside the brig, sir."

Jim glared at the small woman as if she'd done it, but she just stared right back, blinking innocently. The ship rocked again, sending the detail to the back of the transporter pad, head over heels. Jim smacked his suit's faceplate against the transporter control's protective shield and slid down onto the control board itself. "If we don't get the hell off this ship, we're gonna get turned into chunky salsa," he growled. "In position?"

"For the moment, anyway," Freeman said.

"Good enough. Prepare to energize." Jim set the transporter for a two-second delay and dashed to the pad, just in time to go sailing again. He was caught in the transporter beam, and landed with a thud on top of Thompson. Several other security officers slammed hard into the dusty, arid soil, and sent a plume of dust into the atmosphere. "Ew," Jim said.

"Sir. Kinda heavy." Jim could barely see Thompson's face behind the transparent aluminum, what with all the starlight glint off its surface like a phaser burst, but her voice certainly sounded strained enough.

"Sorry," he grunted. He rolled off the yeoman, and kept rolling until he was stopped by what looked like a broken and weathered Roman-Greco style column. Surprised by the striking similarity to Earth architecture, Jim took his first real look around.

The place was a dump.

There were broken columns everywhere, half disintegrated walls, giant boulders, and dusty dirt as far as the eye could see. Gross.

"No sign of McCoy," Freeman called.

"We just got here, dude," Lieutenant Saul said. "Think we should, I dunno, maybe look?"

"Enough," Jim snapped. "Spread out, leave no rock uncovered." He got to his feet and began to hike towards a large outcropping of sharp looking boulders, some ways away from the ruins. Before long, he was separated from the rest of the landing party, headed out to a no man's land that was surrounded by a high wall of broken rocks and dry brush.

He passed a huge rock that blocked his view and came upon a structure in a small clearing. It looked... kinda like a messed up doughnut. "The fuck is that?"

"A question." Jim jumped back, startled by the sudden disembodied voice. The doughnut began to glow a soft, lavender light that pulsed in time with the disembodied words. "Since before your sun burned hot in space and before your race was born, I have awaited a question."

"THE FUCK IS THAT? WHAT? Where is that voice coming from? Is that you? What the hell are you? What?"

"I am the Guardian of Forever."

Jim blinked. "That's... not a real thing. What is that even supposed to mean? What are you, like a machine? Or is something alive in there?"

"I am both and neither."

"Again, not helpful."

"I am my own beginning, my own ending."

Jim looked the doughnut up and down before turning his back on it in disgust. "I don't have time for this bullshit."

"I answer as simply as your level of understanding makes possible."

Jim stopped in his tracks, and slowly turned around to look at the doughnut. He opened his mouth to blast the thing with a scathing retort, but he thought better of it – he'd already wasted too much time being drawn in by its passive aggressive assholishness. He needed to focus on finding Bones, and getting the hell out of the... broken space or whatever it is that Spock never finished explaining.

"Murderers!" Jim whipped his head around in time to see a group of security officers tackling a half-naked man in the dust. "Assassins!" Jim winced at the way his men manhandled McCoy, but he didn't interfere. This is what he brought them to the surface for. Satisfied that something was going according to plan on this crazy-ass day, Jim contacted Enterprise to call for a beam-out.

Ah, but he'd spoken too soon – Bones broke free and was headed straight for Jim, making those same crazy-ass grabby hands he'd been making on the bridge. "Dude, what is your problem?"

McCoy slid to a stop and looked Jim up and down, as if seeing him for the first time. "You - you're one of them!" He grabbed a handful of dust and threw it at Jim – and panted while the dust just kinda hung around him in a cloud, and stuck to his sweat-soaked skin. "Killer! You killed the dirt! DIRT!! Murderous murderer!"

"Uh..." Jim backed away slowly.

"I won't let you get me! I won't!" Bones looked behind him just in time to see Thompson raise her phaser's sights on him. "NEVER!" He shoved Jim as hard as he could and took off to the left. Jim stumbled and landed on his ass, just inside the doughnut hole – and was surprised to feel cold air blowing on his back. He turned and looked behind him, but rather than the rest of the desert landscape, he could see what looked like a very old laboratory. He spun around to look at the planet, where his feet were still planted, and could just make out the security detail scrambling after Bones, though much of his vision was obscured by a thick white mist. Eh, they got it. Jim turned and looked back at the lab, where a pair of men and a woman, all dressed in long white coats, were standing and staring right at him. "Oh. Uh. Hi."

"Aw hell no," the taller, darker skinned man said. "See, I don't know what the hell you put in the coffee this morning, Bradley, but this shit right here? So not cool."

"Uh, no, I'm not a hallucination," Jim said, getting to his feet. The scene disappeared in the mist, and all Jim could see through the doughnut hole was the rest of the planet (and Bones wrestling with a girl in the dirt). "No, wait! Come back!"

The mist began swirling in the center of the hole again. "Behold."

The lab reappeared in the very center of the mist, where the woman and the other man appeared to be inspecting their side of the doughnut hole. They jumped back when the mists began to clear. "There!" The woman thrust a shaking finger at Jim. "He's back!"

"It's back," came the voice of the first man who'd spoken, though he was nowhere to be seen. "Not he. And also, no it isn't, you just keep drinkin' the damn coffee."

"Are... are you real?" The woman peered at Jim through the mist, her still outthrust hand beginning to relax, as if she wanted to reach through the cloud and touch Jim.

Well. How could he deny a woman the pleasure of his charms? Seriously, now.

He reached forward and clasped her hand gently. It was warm and dry. Solid. Real - as real as his own. He smiled at her, stroked the back of her hand with his thumb. It was nice, holding her hand. Jim wondered what her kisses were like, if she was seeing anyone, if he (or she) was hot and maybe interested in a three-

Jim jerked forward with a yelp. Pain ripped quickly through his arm as he was yanked further into the doughnut hole by the woman's sudden iron grip. He bumped and scraped his shins as he fell and was dragged into the old lab. More hands grabbed him under his arms and hauled him further into the room, until he was dumped rather unceremoniously on his face (or, rather, his biosuit's faceplate) on the hard linoleum. He tried to be grateful that he was wearing a helmet to protect his nose from impact, but the rest of his body was registering pain in so many other places that the thought seemed trite.

"Still think it was the coffee, Lamar?" Jim could hear the woman panting heavily over him, and it sounded rather distinctively like she'd just won the hell of a bet.

"Doesn't seem like the coffee to me," came an unfamiliar voice, hovering somewhere near Jim's left ear. He slowly rolled his helmeted head on the floor to see the other man peering at him with little beady brown eyes. He looked like an insect. "But if it is, we should really be marketing it somewhere – it'd blow the pharmaceutical companies out of the water, not to mention the cartels..."

"Think I can have some of that coffee?" Jim croaked. "A hallucinogenic sounds really awesome right about now, man."

"What are you?" That was Lamar's voice, still disembodied for the time being. "What are you, and what the hell do you want?"

"Oh, dial down the macho, Lamar, he's flat on his face. Helmet. Whatever." The woman groaned in frustration. "You know what I mean, he's not going anywhere."

"But what if that hole opens up again, Natalie? What if that thing's... I dunno, hive or whatever, come after it?"

"I dunno," the beady-eyed man said. "He looks kinda human to me..."

"Yeah, and you think it's gonna be neat when Mr. Hammond opens up this freakshow park to the public, Bradley. Get your stupid ass up off the damn floor and check the temp in the incubation room, quit rolling around in La-La Land."

Jim maneuvered himself onto the arm that hadn't been yanked out of its socket, and gestured weakly with the hand that had. "Um, excuse me..."

"Shit, it moved!" Jim caught movement in the corner of his eye, and was therefore only mildly shocked to be smacked in the helmet with some kind of twentieth century-esque office equipment. Jim rolled on his back to shield himself with his hands, though he didn't know what that was going to do for him if someone decided to toss a desk at his head. The dark man – Lamar – was grabbing a large boxy piece of equipment that looked like one of Bones' torture devices, and swung it high over his head, with the apparent intention of hurling it at Jim's head. "Hold him down, hold him down!"

"Lamar, have you gone completely insane? Put the printer down!" Jim glanced up to see the woman standing over him protectively... but then he realized that what she was really doing was trying to wrest the boxy thing from Lamar's hands. That was fine, too – he used the distraction to check the room, looking for the mist-filled doughnut hole.

What he found were two metal walls that faced each other, a glass and plaster partition that boxed in the room on one side, and opposite the glass wall, what appeared to be a cliff-face. The rocky, natural wall was where the doughnut should have been. Where it should have been, and most certainly wasn't.

"I did it again." Jim sighed and scooted back, away from the warring pair. He yanked his helmet off and set it aside absently, not bothering to stop it when it rolled away from his side. The pair in the white coats paused in their struggle over the box to look back at Jim – she with cautious curiosity, he with disgusted skepticism. "Son of a bitch, I did this shit again!"

"Did what again?" Natalie approached slowly, cradling the heavy box in her arms, crouching low to look him in the eye.

"Got myself stuck in an alternate universe full of barbaric technology."

"Uh....huh." Natalie blinked for a couple of seconds before trying a different tack. "Do you have a name?"

Jim smiled his usual lady-killer smile and nodded. "I do. It's Jim Kirk, and what I've done is gotten myself stuck in another universe again."

At this, Natalie looked back at Lamar, who rolled his eyes in a complete circle and threw his hands in the air. Natalie turned back to Jim with a little smile on her face. "I see, Jim Kirk." She set the block of office equipment to one side and clasped her hands together, steepling her fingers. "And... how do you know you're in another universe?"

"Because I was on an unchartered planet looking at a giant doughnut sculpture, and then I saw you, and now I'm here and the sculpture is gone?"

Natalie's eyebrows went up, and she glanced behind her again. Lamar just shook his head and growled, "No, that's your stray puppy, you clean up its shit." Jim couldn't help but guffaw at that - the guy was like Bones, Spock and Uhura all rolled into one. It was kinda awesome.

Natalie waved away Lamar's grumblings and stood up, offering to help Jim to his feet. "Ignore Lamar, he's always grumpy before lunch." She gripped Jim's hand a little tighter, for just a moment, before releasing him. "I'm Natalie Cooper. The grouch behind me is Lamar Henderson, and the guy Lamar ran off was Bradley Hall."

Jim nodded at Lamar, but rather than acknowledging the introduction, he felt the man's distrustful glare bore a hole through his sternum. Rather than accept the man's silent challenge, he decided to turn his attention to the rocky wall.

Jim's refusal to get into a macho match didn't stop Lamar from voicing his complaints, though. "And this is a classified area, and we aren't supposed to have people in here, so thanks for telling him all our names, Natalie."

"Quit your bitching," Natalie snapped. "He's already heard our names, and besides, I seriously doubt this is something one of Mr. Hammond's rivals could have possibly engineered."

Lamar snorted. "Need I remind you of the impossible shit we're doing right now? Why wouldn't Harkness or Newton be able to send a spy that way?"

"Lamar, we're in an underground laboratory, in almost the center of Mount Massive-"

Jim sporfled and turned away from the solid wall of rock. "Mount what?"

It was Natalie's turn to roll her eyes. "Annnd here we go."

"No, seriously. Mount Massive? That sounds more like what my girlfriend has to do at night than what you'd call a mountain!"

"One, we've heard them all before and they weren't funny the first time, and two, ten bucks says you don't have a girlfriend."

"That's a strange assumption," he said.

"Not really – if you had a girlfriend you wouldn't be macking chicks through a hole made of solid wall and how did you do that, anyway?"

Jim's smile faltered. "I... don't know. I don't think I did."

Lamar snorted loudly. "What, did the 'doughnut' do it?"

"Maybe." Jim ran his hand over the wall once more, but there was no give anywhere, no mist, no booming disembodied voice. "It said 'Behold,' and then I could see this room again."

Lamar and Natalie exchanged a look. "I don't understand," Natalie said. "What said 'behold'?"

"The doughnut thing!"

Lamar folded his arms. "The one on another planet."

"Yes..." This shouldn't have been a difficult concept to understand. What the hell could be so confusing?

"And just how, Jim – Jim, right? – Jim, did you get on this other planet? If you don't mind my asking." Lamar's tone didn't exactly sound like he gave a shit if Jim did mind, which, honestly, he kinda did.

"How do you think? On a ship."

Yet another look was exchanged, this one even more dubious than the first. Natalie narrowed her eyes and folded her arms. "A... ship. What -what do you mean a ship, what, like a UFO?"

"Like a starship. Geez, you act like you've never heard of warp flight before!" They just stared at him, and he finally made the connection between the old equipment in the room and the people's likely understanding of warp theory. "Right, right, different universe, archaic tech. I forgot."

Before Natalie or Lamar could do more than blink in further confusion, Bradley burst into the room, panting loudly, looking wild eyed and red faced. "WE. ARE GOING. TO DIE!"

Lamar pursed his lips and glared at the beady eyed man. "Mmhm, what'd you do now, Bradley?"

"I didn't do anything! But while the two of you are in here chatting it up with..." He paused and looked Jim up and down in thinly disguised exasperation. "...Klaatu Nikto Whatever, the wiring on Incubator A37 is going haywire!"

Lamar snorted, but Natalie waved him silent. "What do you mean, haywire, Brad?"

"I mean the safeties are all shot to hell, the temp has risen to just past optimal range and the EKGs are showing a massive amount of activity. It's either gonna burst into flame, or the eggs are gonna hatch, but either way, the damn incubator is gonna explode!"

"Shit," Natalie hissed. She hustled out of the room, with the two men hot on her heels. Jim hesitated, uncertain of whether or not he should try to keep up with them. The thought of being trapped in an explosion in an underground laboratory was distressing, but so was the idea of not being able to get back to the room where the stupid doughnut had dropped him. He turned to the jagged wall of rock – wall of mountainside – and stared at it, as if he could will the misty doughnut hole back into existence. But the wall remained solid rock, as if it had never opened up and dumped him on the floor. And if this purported explosion was going to be as catastrophic as Bradley was making it sound, then the only way to safety was through the door to the rest of the lab.

Jim took two steps towards the door, when a deafening crash shook the entire room. "Shit!" He stumbled the rest of the way to the door and burst through it, narrowly missing getting brained by a toppling shelf full of glass vials. He leaned against the shut door for a second to try to catch his breath, and was nearly bowled over by a herd of panicked men in white coats. Jim flattened himself against the door and watched the pack scatter, ducking in and out of various doors up and down the hallway, most of them screaming bloody murder.

Every time Jim tried to push himself away from the door, about a zillion more scientists would explode from various doors and run around like a bunch of headless chickens before disappearing down the hall. He tried a couple of times to ask about Natalie and Co., but the closest thing he could get to an answer was a series of nonsensical exclamations that, when strung together, sounded sort of like "Oh my fucking God fucking dinosaurs, Jesus Chris, WHAT THE FUCK??"

Dinosaurs?

A high pitched, dual toned shriek pierced Jim's left eardrum. Natalie and Bradley came tearing down the hall, whizzing past Jim without so much as a blink. A moment later, Lamar came thundering down, hollering at the top of his lings, "Jesus Christ it's a dinosaur, get out of the fucking building!!"

Dinosaurs??

Another crash from Jim's left, followed by a sound that he'd only heard on Delta Vega. His heart stuttered to a stop, and the hairs on the back of his neck all stood on end. He forced himself to turn towards the ear-shattering shriek, and came face to face with a steamy, gaping maw, lined with about eleventy-gazillion sharp teeth.

DINOSAUR.

It screamed again, blowing hot, foul air in Jim's face.

"Oh. Okay." He didn't need a second warning. Jim scrambled away from the door and followed the mass of fleeing scientists. He ran blindly after the white coats, twisting and turning with the group until they burst out of the side of a mountain.

People were scrambling onto petroleum powered vehicles, pulling each other down, trampling any and everything in their paths. Those who were left behind were gathering rocks and branches and hurling things at each other as well as the other dinosaur.

Wait. There was another dinosaur.

Another dinosaur... and Bradley, on one knee, with his back to certain death. Jim tried to shout a warning, but all the fumes from the vehicles collected in his throat like a ball of iodized dilithium. He choked on the burn and watched in horror as the creature's giant maw smacked open to claim its victim.

Jim scrabbled over the rocky brush and leapt. He slammed into Bradley with all the force of James Tiberius Kirk (which is more than a Constitution class starship powered by Vulcan rage).

He realized his tactical error before he hit the ground. The dinosaur couldn't see around its own mouth, and was perfectly content to snap on thin air – or, as chance would have it, Jim Kirk.

The fact that someone was screaming "No Jim!" as he bowled Bradley over was probably another good clue.

The dinosaur suddenly twirled and fell over on its side. Behind it stood Uhura, glaring balefully at the figure crouched over the reptile's neck. "Oh, because THAT'S gonna fix the timeline," she cried.

"What, I was supposed to let Jim, get eated by a prehistoric gecko??" Spock sprang to his feet and lunged over Jim as if he expected to be able to take flight. "BONZAAAIIIIIIIIII!"

Jim watched in horror as Spock sailed overhead and grabbed the first (second?) dinosaur by the neck.

There was a sickening crack and Spock and foe went down like a two ton anvil. Uhura shrieked and grabbed at Jim, clinging to him with a disgustingly sweaty body. Jim was torn between rushing to his first officer's aid and peeling the lieutenant off his face (though he had to admit that getting his face soaked in Nyota's boob sweat did have a certain sense of memory appeal).

"Ow." Spock was still face down on top of the beast and his voice was muffled in its shoulder. "I think I stubbed my toe."

Uhura shoved Jim away with disgust. "Get your stupid ass up, Spock." She reached out and grabbed him by the back of the shirt. They looked like a pissed off mama cat and an oversized kitten. "Dumbass."

"So I was supposed to let Jim die, that's what you're saying, right?"

"You weren't supposed to kill the dinosaurs!"

"I didn't kill them both! Besides, we were already too late, Nyota."

"you don't know that! It might have killed Jim and Bradley!"

Jim got to his feet and stepped between the two, hands up for silence. "Whoa, whoa whoa. Too late for what, how do you know Bradley's name and SERIOUSLY, UHURA?!? FOR REALS??"

"What, it's not like you were ever gonna get home again, and nowthanks to Trigger Finger McGee here, neither are we!"

"HEY! CAPTAIN HERE! EXPLANATIONS ORDERED!!"

They both jumped, but neither made any attempt to clarify a damn thing.

"WAITING!!"

"You fucked up the future, sir." Uhura held her hand up for silence when Jim began to protest. "That guy, Bradley Hall? Supposed to get mauled to death in 1994, in a crazy accident involving a theme park. But he somehow magically lives, makes a killing selling the secrets to grow... dinosaurs... whatever. ANYWAY, they eventually get... smart. Apparently, this Hall guy changes the whole flavor of the mutations that are central to the Eugenics War. Instead of super villains, we wind up with Planet of the Apes, but with Dinosaurs. And real. Like Terminator. But with dinosaurs. And r-:

"Damn, girl, he gets it!"

"Well, I'must making sure!"

"Uh, guys?" Jim grabbed both his people by the wrists and began to edge away from the stirring dinosaur just behind them. "Maybe we should-"

"Oooh, maybe it'll go for Bradley!" Uhura grinned wildly, eyes flashing. "Maybe we can still get back home!"

Spock clicked his tongue. "How the hell would the damn dinosaur know which idiot scientist to eat, Nyota? What, should we show it a picture?"

Jim blinked. "Why not?"

"Be...cause we don't have one?" Spock glanced at Uhura, but she just rolled her eyes at them both.

"Put your hands on its head, and do the mind thingy!"

Spock scowled. "How do you know about mind-melds?!?"

The creature snorted loudly and began trying to rock itself upright. "Does that really matter, dude??" Jim yanked on Uhura's arm again. "Can't you just... I don't know, suggest that it goes for Bradley? Or, to you know, at least not eat us??"

"Please, Spock," Uhura said. "Figure out something. I still haven't finished reading Fifty Shades yet." When both men stared at her, she yanked away from Jim's grip. "What? It's a classic!"

The dinosaur roared and nearly made it to its feet. Faced with certain death, Spock apparently decided Jim's idea was worth a shot. He climbed onto the animal's back and struggled to get his hands on its face. The creature bucked and screamed for several moments and for a terrifying second, Jim was afraid he'd condemned them all to certain death.

Suddenly, the dinosaur was calm. Spock nodded curtly, and then they were gone, disappeared in a puff of mountain dust.

Jim looked at Uhura. "Now what?"

"How would I know? Mr. Statistical just took off on a damn raptor, and I'm stuck here with you!"

Jim, rolled his eyes and began trudging after the trail of dust. Fat lot of help his trusty crew was turning out to be...


Okay, so he wasn't exactly expecting to go riding off into the sunset on the back of a sabertoothed iguana, but he was, and he didn't have reins or spurs, or anything else to control the beast. All Spock could do was hold onto the back of the thing and hope like fuck that it wasn't taking him to a dino-bbq. Not that dinosaurs had fire, or long enough arms to take advantage of its rudimentary opposable thumbs.

The dinosaur seemed to be following its own path through the mountain pass. It turned and twisted along the fairly open space on its own – if it was following a path, Spock couldn't figure out for the life of him what it was.

Suddenly, it reared up and shrieked. In the distance, Spock could make out a group of people making a mass exodus through the pass. The dinosaur veered right, and made a beeline for the man responsible for turning Earth into a Paleolithic reboot.

The people began to scatter in panic, but the dinosaur stayed right on Hall's ass. When they were close enough, the dinosaur reared back and clobbered Hall hard enough to send the man bouncing along the earth. He landed several meters away, limp and broken. A woman screamed and cried dramatically, while a darker man screamed and pointed at Spock. Spock just rolled his eyes while the dinosaur made a beeline for the still figure on the ground. Another blow to the head, and the world turned to fog.

The dinosaur jumped into the fog, and landed on the broken time planet in front of the mostly intact security detail. "'Sup, y'all?" Everyone began screaming bloody murder. Spock heard the sound of more feet pounding into the dirt behind him, followed immediately by the dismayed cries of Captain Kirk and Miss Uhura.

"All is as it was before," the Guardian boomed.

The screaming and shaking and crying stopped almost instantaneously as everyone stared at the object (and Spock) in clear disbelief. Finally, it was Doctor McCoy who voiced what everyone was probably thinking. "BULLSHIT!"

Fin

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