No Rest for the Wicked

"Spock, this way," Captain Kirk yelled behind him.

They ran through a deep thicket of bushes trying to outrun the men who were chasing them. Sweat was running down Kirk's face and he was ducking branches as he ran. Mr. Spock kept close to the Captain when the Captain abruptly stopped and bent over from his waist.

"Spock," he huffed, "I have to catch my breath. The air is too thin," he said trying to breath deeper for his lungs. "You go on, I'll catch up."

"Captain, I can wait."

"No, get going, I'll just wait another minute."

Spock hesitated, but did as he said. He ran through more thick bushes. It reminded him of a jungle they had trained in at the academy. He stopped and could hear what he hoped was the Captain catching up. Spock continued to run faster and broke through an opening, but could not stop as a deep gorge appeared before him. He tried sliding to a stop, but fell off the ledge. He spun his body around and grabbed for the edge, but the ground gave way. His right hand made a last attempt and stayed in contact with a small rock . He caught himself and grabbed at the soil with his left hand. He tried to get a foot hold, but the gravel and soil kept breaking away.

"Captain," he called out.

As he scrambled to stay immobile and hang onto the rock, he heard Kirk calling for him.

"Captain, down here, be careful."

When Kirk crawled out of the thicket he glanced around, but didn't see his first officer. "Spock," he called.

Spitting dirt out of his mouth he called, "Jim, down here."

Kirk army crawled and peered over the edge of the gorge, "Oh, my gosh, Spock, hang on." He got as close to the edge as he could and reached down, "Grab on."

Spock looked up and after two attempts they were able to connect their hands. "I've got you, Spock, just hang tight."

The Captain rolled onto his side and tried to pull Spock up with one hand. Spock used his feet to push up from below and Kirk finally was able to grab him with both hands without falling over the side. Kirk sat back and pulled with all his strength. Spock used his free hand to grab the edge of the cliff and kick himself free, where he landed half on and half off of his Captain.

"Ugh, Spock, are you alright," the Captain managed to say.

Spock rolled off of the Captain and caught his breath. He tried to calm his heart rhythm and looked over at the Captain.

"I believe I am sufficiently adequate."

The Captain was trying to catch his breath when he looked at his first officer and said, "Next time, be a little more careful where you run."

"I intend to, sir."

Kirk rolled over and brushed off the dirt. "We have to get out of here."

The two looked around for another path. They couldn't go back the way they came. Kirk crawled to the edge of the cliff and looked down.

"We certainly can't go that way." Below them was a two hundred foot drop down to a fast moving river. Boulders and deep rock formations lined both side of the river. Kirk crawled back and looked up. There was a wall of rocks that led up and to the right.

Spock checked his sensor and he said, "Captain, they are gaining fast."

They both stood and Kirk looked up. "That seems to be our only way out."

Spock looked up and studied the wall to see if they could possible climb it with their bare hands.

Kirk quickly said, "Spock, give me your shirt," he said pulling his own off.

"Sir?"

"Give me your shirt, hurry."

Spock removed his blue tunic and handed it over. Kirk motioned for Spock to follow him.

"You're stronger than me. Roll these up and throw them over the side so they can at least see them. Get them as far down as you can."

Spock gingerly walked near the edge and peered over to get a view. He threw them as hard as he could and they both watched as they floated down and landed on a small patch of boulders. It looked as natural as it could.

"Good job, now come on, let's get up to that flat shelf up there."

The two were used to climbing, but they normally had equipment. As they started they could hear voices of the people who were after them.

Kirk whispered, "Hurry, Spock."

Spock gave Kirk a boost and followed next to him. They climbed as fast as they could and pulled themselves up onto a narrow shelf. They

leaned their bodies as flat against the wall as they could. Thirty feet below them, seven men carrying small hand weapons came through the same brush that they had. They stopped before they fell over the ledge.

Kirk put his finger up to his mouth and Spock knew not to move. The men looked around and one of them looked over the side of the bluff.

He pointed over to the others and they laughed.

After a few moments they left through the brush where they had come from. Kirk looked at Spock and he whispered, "Let's wait another minute." Spock nodded.

They both tried to adjust where they stood without stirring up any rocks to give themselves away. Finally Kirk looked up and around.

He said softly, "Well, Spock, it's another fine predicament I've gotten us into."

"Yes, Captain, these 'predicaments' you call them, seem to follow you around."

Kirk sighed and asked, "Up, or down, Spock?"

Spock looked above their heads and said, "If we could go up, I believe that is our only way of escaping those men."

Kirk nodded and said, "Spock, if I ever tell you it's better to meet new aliens in person before we do a better cultural check, hit me will you?"

"Captain, per regulations that would be a court-martial-able offense."

Kirk grinned into the rock wall and said, "Okay, let's go up."

With some assistance from his first officer, the two made it to the top of the rock wall they were climbing. Once they got to the top, there was a better view of the area, but the pathways were nonexistent. Kirk was breathing heavy and sweat had soaked his black undershirt.

Kirk said, "I sure hope we can reach, Scotty on the ship, now."

He flipped open his communicator and hailed the ship. When they had beamed down an ion storm was washing through the area and communications had ended hours ago. After meeting with the head of the city they were investigating, a group of men decided that they had more to gain if they could capture the Captain and Spock and use them as leverage for weapons from the Enterprise. In the ensuing fight, the Captain and Spock managed to escape and run from the building, they jumped into the back of a passing city vehicle. The planet's inhabitants were advanced to a pre-nuclear era, but they were struggling with maintaining amicable governments. Kirk and Spock had walked into a period of time where none of the governments were getting along.

"Mr. Scott here, Captain. Are you two all right?"

"For now, Scotty. Can you beam us up?"

"Hold your position, Captain," he answered. "Energizing, sir."

Kirk and Spock reappeared on the Enterprise. Captain Kirk took several deep breaths while Dr. McCoy looked on.

"I told you, Jim to let me give you a tri-ox shot before you left, but no, you're the doctor," McCoy said, "and what happened to your shirts?"

McCoy walked up and stared at both of them. Dust covered their black undershirts and their pants were scuffed and torn in places.

McCoy mumbled, "There's more to this story than what I want to know. Come on you two, off to sick bay."

"Bones, it'll have to wait, I have to take care of a few things. I'm too busy right now."

"Aren't we all. Regulations state that after any landing party, all crewmen must report for a brief check up and decontamination. Now get going."

The Captain and Spock followed the doctor to the lift. As they rode, McCoy said, "Are you going to tell me what happened down there?"

Kirk quickly glanced at Spock who in turn raised one eye brow, "Not much, Bones."

"Hogwash."

The two officers followed the doctor into sickbay. They both perched up on a bio-bed.

McCoy looked at Spock's hands. "What did you do, slide down a rock

face?"

McCoy saw the Captain shrug his shoulders and he said, "All right you two. Privacy screen on," he paused and said, "both of you strip down to your shorts. I want to examine you closer."

Knowing it was useless to argue with the doctor any longer the two obeyed his orders.

McCoy cleaned the dirt and stones from both of their hands and knees. New curse words, the Captain hadn't heard before shot out of McCoy's mouth fast and furious. The doctor scanned them and resolved any sore muscles and abrasions that he found.

"You two are going to be the death of me," he grumbled.

"Bones, it was just a misunderstanding down there. We got to see a portion of the city that most people don't get to see," Kirk said with a sly look to his first officer, "and we can be assured that we don't have to return there in the future."

"I knew I should have gone down with you," Bones said.

Mr. Spock answered, "It was not necessary for you to be present, Doctor, the Caltrains had no desire to communicate. In fact your presence may have furthered their annoyance with us."

"Is that so, you green-blooded..."

"Okay, Bones that's enough. Are we free to go now?" Kirk asked smiling.

"Yes, go ahead, but don't come crying back to me later with a headache or a stomachache. I'm off duty."

The two jumped from their beds and finished dressing.

Kirk asked, "Bones, can you grab us a clean uniform shirt?"

"Why, sure, Captain, I would be glad to be your butler," he smirked and walked away.

As they pulled on their new tunics and walked away they could hear Dr. McCoy say, "No rest for the wicked."

Kirk responded, "That's right, Bones, but please do try and rest tonight."

An unknown object hit the closing sick bay door, and Kirk smiled.