Enterprise log, supplemental: With the revelation that Lt. Saavik is half Time Lord, the Doctor has volunteered to take her in the TARDIS to discover her true past.
Internal sensors were still down, but Kirk had Security locate the TARDIS - in a corridor where crew quarters were going unused - and was there when the Doctor and Saavik arrived from Sickbay. Saavik at least had changed into civilian clothing of the target time. As had Kirk, before leaving the conn with Sulu.
"Admiral?" asked Saavik. Funny how her manner was more Vulcan after she'd regenerated into a partially Gallifreyan body. On the other hand, Spock had been half human, and "more Vulcan than the Vulcans", too.
"Unwritten Enterprise standing order one," said Kirk. "The captain shall not send crew on any mission he isn't prepared to accept himself."
"Regulation 23-B, paragraph four," Saavik started, predictably attempting to rebut that Kirk couldn't be off the Enterprise while it was escorting the Klingon ambassador to his rendezvous with the Forrester. At least she didn't contest his usage of captain.
"The Doctor can have us both back to the Enterprise five minutes ago," Kirk interrupted.
Saavik was convinced, or at least resigned in the manner of junior officers throughout space and time; but the Doctor said, "That's not as easy as it sounds, you know. I really think it would be best, Admiral, if you didn't -"
"I promise I'll behave, Doctor," said Kirk, mildly giving him both barrels, "just as you've always behaved on all the landing parties I've allowed you to join."
"Oh very well," said the Doctor with forced good grace. As the three boarded the TARDIS Kirk wondered whether the Doctor always reacted like this to prospective traveling companions. He noticed that Nyssa didn't seem to have been invited for this trip.
Nyssa wandered down the corridors of the starship. She'd been left to her own devices after the Vulcan woman had been diagnosed a regenerating half-Gallifreyan and taken to Sickbay. Captain Sulu had offered her a tour of the ship when politely expelling her from the bridge, and she had taken him at his word, though she assumed he hadn't meant unescorted. The Doctor was rubbing off on her.
She turned a corner and found a Klingon woman coming the other way. "Hello."
The Klingon assessed her instantly, undoubtedly deducing that Nyssa wasn't a crewmember. "Greetings."
"I'm a stranger here myself," Nyssa admitted, smiling. "Nyssa, of Traken."
"Valkris." She was rapidly losing the tension that she had evinced when Nyssa surprised her. Nyssa couldn't think of any reason for her to be tense. The Klingons and the Federation were obviously long, close allies, as demonstrated by the friendly conversation Nyssa'd overheard between Kirk and Captain Koloth. Their language had been as flowery as that used in Council, home on Traken. Valkris must have broken away from a tour, as Nyssa had in essence done. "I fear I have become lost."
Nyssa nodded. "It's a big ship. And it's very empty, only about half-crewed - it's being used as a training vessel. I found the information on one of the public terminals."
"Did you?" Valkris said, cocking her head to one side. Nyssa regarded her back. Valkris wasn't dressed nearly as ornately as Koloth or Karamag. In fact her outfit looked quite utilitarian, black and skintight and with no accesory but a belt pouch and a sheathed ornamental dagger. "You understand the Federation computers?"
"They're very straightforward." Nyssa looked at doors of the nearby rooms; one was a briefing room. "Here, I'll show you."
Valkris' hand had been straying toward her belt but now it pulled back. "You will? ... What is it you humans say? Thank you."
"I'm not human. I'm traveling through, with a friend." Nyssa led the way into the briefing room, to the terminal for the library computer. "Here - it's voice-activated. Computer, show our location."
"Working." A schematic labeled "Deck 11" appeared on the screen, with a flashing light marking one of the briefing rooms. "See?"
"How instructive," said Valkris, fascinated. "May one ask it anything?"
Nyssa shrugged. "You can ask. I don't know what it shall or shan't answer."
"Computer," said Valkris, "search all banks for data on a project called Genesis."
There was a sound of processing during a pause, while Nyssa wondered what this Genesis project was about. "Only one file," answered the computer.
"In all data banks?"
"The only unclassified file with a match for 'Genesis project' is Admiral Kirk's most recent report to Starfleet."
"Thank you," said Valkris to Nyssa again. "You have been of great assistance. Don't let me delay you any longer."
Nyssa thought it odd to be dismissed so, even so politely, but didn't take it personally. "You're very welcome." As she left she heard Valkris request the computer to read the file out, and heard it start in Kirk's voice: "To fully understand the events on which I report ..."
"I know a lot more about Vulcan mating habits than most non-Vulcans," said Kirk, hoping to forestall any unnecessary embarrassment on Saavik's part, "but I don't know anything about Time Lords'."
"There aren't any," said the Doctor, watching the central column in the TARDIS's free-standing control console rise and fall during the time machine's flight. "We propagate our race in the laboratory. Part of the millenia-long cultural indoctrination of detachment and non-interventionism is that we're supposed to stay detached from, and not interfere with, each other."
"Were you conceived in the laboratory?" Saavik asked.
"I?" said the Doctor, perusing his instruments. Now Kirk was beginning to suspect he was deliberately avoiding their eyes. "Yes." The central column settled down, and a chime sounded. "We've arrived." Avoiding the subject or not, he flipped the door lever and led the Starfleet officers out of the TARDIS.
It was night. It looked to Kirk like just about any other pre-fab scientific outpost in the Federation, except that some trimmings and notices pointed up the twenty year difference (Kirk allowed himself just for a moment to be stunned at how casually the Doctor traveled time); and that, since Vulcans lived here, it was neater than most.
"If we want to get into the outpost medical records before anyone wakes up," said the Doctor, as he spoke leading the way toward the largest of the pre-fab buildings, "we have about half an hour."
"Until dawn?" Kirk asked.
"No, until the Romulans attack."
"What?" That brought Kirk to a momentary stop. Saavik stopped with him, but the Doctor continued on. Kirk decided that if what the Doctor said was true it was better discussed on the move. "What did you do that for?"
"The less time we spend here, the less chance of history-derailing accidents," said the Doctor.
"You could have given us a little more time," Kirk grumbled.
"We need merely to collect the genetic and biographical data on those assigned here, sir," said Saavik. "Presumably my Vulcan parent is among them. Perhaps my Gallifreyan parent as well." It was possible; even a nominally Vulcan Federation outpost had some people from other planets as personnel. That begged the question of what a Time Lord might have been doing here, but no more than it did the question of what one was doing in Saavik's genes in the first place.
"And what then?" said Kirk.
"Why, then we'll know," said the Doctor. They reached the big building, which was labeled the outpost's administration center, and entered.
"That's all?" said Kirk. "We'll just let them die?"
"Admiral!" The Doctor came to a T-section off the building lobby. While he cast about peering down one hall and then the other, Saavik located a directory and led them to the right. "You know the dangers of meddling with history."
"What history? Their history ends in twenty minutes, there's nothing to meddle with. It can't hurt anything to bring them forward." Engrossed in his argument Kirk nearly walked into the closed door of the medical records office when it didn't slide open automatically. Saavik turned the knob and swung it open.
"You can't know that. I'm a Time Lord and I don't know that. Why not just rescue the whole outpost while you're at it?"
"Who are you to decide who lives and who dies?"
"I'm a starship captain. It's my job to decide who lives." Kirk meant to end the sentence there; but truth made him finish, "And who dies."
"Gentlemen," Saavik broke in. They both turned to her and she handed them each a tricorder. "I shall require your assistance if I am to gather all the data we want from this outdated equipment in the limited time we have."
"It's not outdated now," mumbled the Doctor. But he and Kirk took her point and the three of them set to work; all three tricorders interfacing with the office's computer, and each other so that Saavik's could correlate the data against McCoy's readings from Sickbay.
Some moments later Kirk chuckled.
"What's funny?" the Doctor asked.
"I just thought," said Kirk. "Usually you're the one who wants to charge in and save the world, and I'm holding back on principle."
The Doctor's new personality wasn't very good at hiding amusement. "Yes. Well, I'm quite serious. There are some things even a Time Lord hesitates to involve himself in."
Kirk snorted. "A Time Lord is already involved."
The three tricorders emitted a simultaneous chirp. "Downloading complete," said Saavik. "Initiating analysis."
"There are temptations to time travel," the Doctor continued. "But there are too many variables to be certain of any outcome. These temptations mustn't be indulged - because once you start ..."
"When have you been tempted?" Kirk asked.
The Doctor didn't answer right away. "About two hundred years from now. About three days ago. You remember Adric."
"Yes, I do. I'm sorry." Adric had been a boy about Nyssa's age traveling with the Doctor's party; a mathematical genius, all adolescent sharp edges. "You want rescue them all, don't you?"
"Every single one."
"You need not be tempted here on my account," said Saavik.
Kirk and the Doctor looked over at her. She turned her tricorder screen to face them.
"Genetic crossmatching shows that neither I nor my parents are among the outpost personnel," she said.
END OF CHAPTER 3
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