Streets Are Filled With --
picking up what people have left behind
Star Trek XI: To The Enterprise: of Warp Barriers, Captains, and Other Scary Things (Chekov, &c.) 
3rd-Jun-2009 10:24 pm
For [info] - livejournal.combessemerprocess's prompt: Star Trek Reboot, The Crew, what tradition does Star Fleet have for crew members crossing the warp speed barrier for the first time? How does this get celebrated on the Enterprise?

To The Enterprise: of Warp Barriers, Captains, and Other Scary Things

Fandom: Star Trek 2009
Rating: PG
Characters: Chekov, Scotty, Kirk, Spock
Summary: Mr. Spock's eyes flick towards the blatantly huge and complicated (and exciting) and blatantly huge mathematical and engineering schematics on the console screen. Chekov can practically see the cogs in Mr. Spock's mind whirr - he is very, very fast at telemetry, which means there is probably no getting around the fact that what they have here is a plan to break the current warp speed record into many small pieces. Pavel wonders if that is the only thing that will be broken.

2734 words and lots of fail!invented!maths. 8D



Getting assigned to a command is nothing like living through your years at the Academy. Back on solid ground, you follow a routine as old as the Federation itself: you go to classes, do a bit of research, find an area to specialise in, make a few friends, pass a few exams, take a few trips into localised space and - if you're lucky or good enough - spend part of a semester on a deep-space mission. Sometimes there are textbooks and, when things are slow, the archives to look through for the old Millennium Problems and so it is not so bad at all.

The traditions down there are reliable. You do not talk about Dr. Methoussan's hair. Or about Admiral Twrong's tentacles. If you want to pass Instructor Chang's Advanced Xenolinguistics lecture series, you make very sure that you become really good friends with the librarians. You buy people drinks on your birthday, not the other way around, but they'll buy you two rounds the day before you go in for your round of physio every year. Or they buy you a lot of chocolate if you are not yet old enough to drink. It all balances out, somehow.

Ensign Chekov took a few years to learn Standard before he came to the Academy, and then he spent a few more months being very confused about the system, but eventually it all smoothed out and because he is very good at maths in the few months before everything exploded he did not even need to talk to his professors, which was excellent, very excellent.

'Wellm then how did you get by, laddie?' Mr. Scott waves a flask of not-very-strong alcohol at him.

Chekov shrugs, sheepishly. 'The wiewscreen,' he admits. 'I wuld vrite the equations, and then the graphs, and Mr. Scott I think you understand how -' Chekov motions, snapping his fingers. 'How you do not need Standard wen talking about subspace temporal loops in warp continuum!' He remembers how he used to leave little notes on the Department board and sometimes when Chevok walked past there the next day he would hear the sounds of people weeping quietly or arguing.

'Aye, aye.' Scotty nods sagely. 'I've got your meaning.' He sighs and drums his fingers on the table. 'I wish everyone else shared that opinion, though. Not very friendly, some instructors, and sometimes not very good at physics, either.' He scowls.

Chekov likes Mr. Scott very much, because even though his drinks are not very good, Mr. Scott has a lot of drink and does not have the same illogical prejudice that the other crew members have about giving an underaged Russian some of their stash, and Mr. Scott also is as very good at maths while at the same time not being as scary as Commander Spock. Chekov thinks he could get used to the Enterprise and doing this all year round in far space - just him and his console and all this space to extrapolate.

'You been on many missions, Chekov?' Scotty asks.

'The Enterprise is the first command I have been assigned to, Mr. Scott.' Chekov points at his Ensign insignia.

'Right,' Scotty nods. He props his boots up on the table that they're sharing, and leans back in his chair. 'Well, lemme tell you one thing: it gets a wee bit boring after a while.'

Chekov looks out of the depolarised viewports that line the side of the mess lounge - the stars wink back at him, inviting. 'Boring?' he says, sceptical.

'Mmhmm.' Scotty closes his eyes. 'Just you wait.'



'Ensign Chekov, the scans for the area, please.'

'Nothing ahead, Mr. Spock,' Chekov reports, tapping his fingers across the navigation console. 'Nothing anywhere for the next twenty parsecs, sir.' He pauses, biting his lip. 'I am thinking we are not anywhere near anything, no?'

'No,' Mr. Spock says, turning to look at him, very calm. 'It would seem like we are not, Mr. Chekov.'

'We've been going through this corridor for four days,' the Captain says from his chair, bored. There is a moment where everyone just stares at the stars going past, the same view that they've been looking at for what feels like forever, and then he slaps his palms down and says, 'I'm gonna go talk to Scotty.'

Chekov sees Mr. Spock open his mouth, ready to object, but then the Captain beams at him and says, 'First Officer, you have the bridge,' and Mr. Spock's eyebrows move a little bit and by then the Captain is in the turbolift and gone.

The bridge is deathly silent when the turbolift hisses shut.

Mr. Spock clears his throat. 'Mr. Sulu, Mr. Chekov,' he intones, and Chekov feels his spine try to straighten itself in a fit of biological self-preservation. 'How long more before we clear the Farmonion Corridor and re-enter established Federation space?'

Sulu and Chekov glance, as one, at the centre console, which reads out in neat, bright lettering EIGHT DAYS TWELVE HOURS AND THIRTY SIX MINUTES. Sulu looks at Chekov. Chekov looks back at him, desperate and pleading. Sulu raises an eyebrow, which is the universal expression that says I am the senior officer here so it's YOUR responsibility to tell the Vulcan exactly what he already logically knows but does not want to hear.

'Going at current speed we have eight days twelwe hours and thirty six minutes until we reach our destination sir,' Chekov says very quickly.

Mr. Spock does not sigh, but then again Mr. Spock does not do a lot of things but that does not make him any less terrifying that he is.

'Captain to the Bridge,' the Captain's voice rings cheerily out into the horrific, soundless gulf. 'Chekov, I want you down here in Engineering.'

'Yes sir!' Chekov chirps in relief, and Sulu shoots him a dirty look but he does not care, Engineering is beautiful and far away from the bridge and therefore far away from Mr. Spock and therefore likely to lower the probability of him being condemned to gamma watch for the rest of his seventeen year old life. 'With your permission, sir?' he asks Mr. Spock, and the moment Mr. Spock nods Chekov is out of there and speeding down the decks.



'Yes Captain Kirk, I am here, Captain Kirk!' Chekov announces himself, skidding into main Engineering. 'You called?'

The captain is bent over the warp drive core with Mr. Scott, looking alive for the first time in a while. For most of the last week, the Captain either sat in the chair through most of the shifts yawning until Mr. Spock got angry, or patrolled the different decks looking for something to do. That made Mr. Spock angry as well, now that Pavel thinks about it – after a while the crew got so paranoid of the Captain conducting a random spot check that they started to work overtime, and then Dr. McCoy threatened to give the Captain a sleep aid "before the rest of this damn ship comes looking for me because of insomnia, you twit". That argument had been very loud and on the bridge and he remembers trying very hard not to laugh, because while it was funny Chekov thinks that he does not want to spend the rest of his career mopping floors on the lower decks.

'Our Russian whizz kid arrives,' the Captain looks up, a really wide smile on his face. Chekov feels a sudden moment of doubt – he has very good self-preservation instincts most of the time, and they are telling him that that is the same smile that the Captain had just before he blew up the Romulan ship and almost had them all sucked into a black hole. But there is no running away; the Captain claps him on the shoulder an practically drags his face right up next to the warp core, and for a moment Chekov is distracted because it is such a beautiful warp core.

'New and precious like a baby,' Mr. Scott comments, seeing the expression on his face. 'I tuned her up myself before he got out of dock, now she works so smooth you could break warp 6 without her even shuddering.'

Chekov reaches out a hand to touch the side of the core. Oh, it's warm, and hums with a just detectable frequency. Mr. Scott is right – and there is nothing more amazing than the latest piece of Federation technology singing beneath your palms. Chekov has not yet really been in love (he was too busy trying to work through Euler and Riemann while he was in the Academy, and they were very interesting!! And also very time-consuming), but he thinks that this feeling probably comes close. 'Ah,' he says, stupidly, grinning. 'Um.'

Mr. Scott laughs. 'Get the stars out of your eyes, Ensign. You and she will be very good friends in the future, if you treat her right.'

'I hope so, sir,' Chekov says, dreamily. He's trained in Navigation, but Chekov thinks that the whole fields of study of Astrophysics and Mathematics and Telemetry and Awesome are simply all part of one greater, Federation family.

'You were saying we could break warp 6 without a sweat, Scotty?' the Captain asks, nonchalantly. Chekov doesn't really hear him, being too busy staring at the readout on the power conversion panel.

'Aye,' Mr. Scott is saying.

'How about warp 8?'

Chekov looks up. Warp 8? Regulations usually keep ships below warp 7 unless there is a severe emergency --

Mr. Scott is grinning, too. 'Shouldn't be a problem.'

The Captain cocks his head. '8.5?'

'This ship's new enough and we're in clean enough space that if you were wanting to go that fast, well, yes,' Mr. Scott says, starting to look a bit dubious.

Chekov looks up in time to see the Captain laugh. 'How about 9.5, Scotty?'

'Captain!' Chekov feels the sudden and overwhelming need to hold the core close to protect her. It. Yes.

'What?' the Captain asks, patting the reactor as though it is an old friend (some part of Chekov screams that the Captain probably didn't even major in Warp Technology! Was this right?!). 'We've got nothing to do for the next god knows how long, this corridor is so empty that a meteor field would be a welcome distraction, and you've got the biggest brains and the fastest engine anywhere in this sector, and I bet you're as bored as I am. Am I wrong?'

'W-ell,' Mr. Scott says.

'Great.' the Captain pounces. 'Make some magic with the schematics. I've got to go back up before the pointy eared one comes after me, but I'll see you guys in my ready room at dinner, okay? Bye!' And he's gone.

'Um,' Chekov says, staring at Mr. Scott with his eyes very, very wide. 'I - Warp 9.5?'

'You know, I really like this ship.' Mr. Scott rubs his hands together. 'It's really exciting.'



'Eef if I am right, Mr. Scott, then maybe if we change course to this point and mark then we awoid the Nardassian Field and it is free space, Mr. Scott, free space for -' Chekov taps frantically at the console, his stylus moving in a blur '- about 12.4 light years and --'

'-- and we'll have nothing to obstruct the way, I get it, aye, no incidental brushes with wee star systems scattered hereabouts.' Scotty nods, chewing contemplatively on a sandwich. He waves the bacon-and-lettuce at a region of space. 'So if we ease into warp 8 there, how long do we have to break the barrier and come back down without throwing the inertial dampeners halfway to hell?'

More frantic stabbing. 'Forty minutes, Mr. Scott, with some buffer for --'

The Captain holds up his hands. 'Okay, guys, nice technobabble. Very enlightening. Can you do it?'

Chekov shoots Mr. Scott a look. Scotty inhales the rest of his sandwich and wipes his mouth with a ragged old handkerchief. Burping once, he says, 'Aye, Captain. We can do it. Plus we might be moving fast enough that I can try out this little experiment of mine, so…'

'Okay then,' the Captain says. 'You know the drill, Scotty.'

Mr. Scott radios Engineering. 'Laddies!' he says. 'You remember the new procedure - so that's sub-routine 8 and reroute power from the shield grids to mains, punch it in and put a time delay on it. Of about -' he cocks his head at the Captain, who holds up his fingers in a little v-sign, like he's one of Pavel's strange classmates who take those funny pictures -- 'Two minutes, boys. I'll be down in a bit! '

The door to the Captain's ready room chooses that moment to glide open with dramatic, well-oiled silence. Mr. Spock comes in and Chekov can already feel the blood in his fingers drain down and away to safer arteries. Captain Kirk, being very brave, is smiling. 'Mr. Spock, how nice of you to join us.'

Mr. Spock's eyes flick towards the blatantly huge and complicated (and exciting) and blatantly huge mathematical and engineering schematics on the console screen. Chekov can practically see the cogs in Mr. Spock's mind whirr - he is very, very fast at telemetry, which means there is probably no getting around the fact that what they have here is a plan to break the current warp speed record into many small pieces. Pavel wonders if that is the only thing that will be broken. Mr. Spock's eyes narrow. 'Captain,' he says. 'I would inquire if this is an example of yet another human prank on your part, but over time I have come to suspect that you take the whole of life to be a practical joke, so I will skip my usual questions and instead say just one thing.'

Captain Kirk's mouth is twitching; Chekov wonders if it is because his cells know fear even if his mind doesn't. 'And what is that, Mr. Spock?'

Mr. Spock tilts his head. 'No.'

'I'm afraid I'm going to have to disagree with your call,' the Captain objects, languorously. 'This mission is necessary, Mr. Spock.'

The eyebrow! Chekov thinks through a haze of panic as Mr. Spock says, 'This mission, Captain?'

The Captain gestures grandly at Mr. Scott. 'Tell Mr. Spock that I'm right, Scotty.'

'Oh, aye, sir,' Mr. Scott beams. 'It's a rescue mission we're doing here. Very important.'

'A what?' Chekov squeaks at the same time that Mr. Spock says, 'Excuse me?'

'We're working by the book this time, Mr. Spock.' The Captain is radiating offensive levels of innocence. 'Regulation says that we should never leave any Starfleet officer behind - or any member of the Federation, if it comes to that.'

'And whom are we saving, precisely?'

The Captain glances at the chronometer on the wall. 'Ooh,' he says. 'Two minutes.'

Mr. Scott moves subtly towards a wall, murmuring into his communicator. 'Transporter room, on my mark, be ready now -'

And then the whole world lurches forward.



From the transporter deck, there comes a sound.

'Bark!'



'It was the inertial dampeners at the end of the day,' Mr. Scott says. 'Tricky things.' Another sandwich, this one four layers big and courtesy of a very reverent kitchen crew.

They're in the general mess lounge, and it is packed, and it feels like they could be back at the Academy again before everything went wrong - everyone is here, as many of the crew as they could fit and they are all listening to him! 'And then Mr. Spock, well, he was not sitting down or holding on to anything, so,' Chekov babbles into the vodka that some very generous member of Engineering gave him earlier. 'Mr. Spock just fell into the Captain's lap!'

'And we hit 9.899 without the slingshot effect,' Mr. Scott adds, above the sound of the entire room struggling to decide whether it is worth the risk to laugh. 'Which is something we can explain. We can't really talk about what happened after Mr. Spock fell into the Captain's lap.'

'But,' Chekov adds brightly. 'All is well that ends well, right, Mr. Scott?'

'Aye,' the engineer agrees. 'To the Enterprise, Mr. Chekov!' he lifts his drink in toast, and Pavel grins as Admiral Archer's prized beagle hops, with Vulcan dignity, onto Mr. Scott's lap and licks Mr. Scott on the cheek.
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