Outside the consequences of their captain currently running about the ship as a four-year-old toddler, the Security portion of Ops had very little to do during down time such as this eight-week stellar cartography stint. They could only hold so many rescue simulations and safety drills per week, and while most of them were trained in Engineering basics there was no need for them there other than basic maintenance during slow times like this. As a result, Giotto believed he could forgive a certain amount of slacking and fellowshipping during the everyday light duties in which his men participated.
That didn’t mean he was going to excuse six of his people crowding around a monitor in Security Control, probably watching some inappropriate vid they downloaded off the galactic nets. He cleared his throat pointedly from the doorway.
Matthew Turner’s head jerked around, but instead of looking guilty the young man grinned and motioned his superior over. “We got an alert of unauthorized access to a ventilation shaft on Deck Six, sir,” he explained, indicating the flashing light on the right-hand monitor. “And so we took a look in case our little captain was running amok again.”
Giotto nodded, relieved that they were being more cautious; Spock had all but threatened to have his head, in an entirely Vulcan way of course, if a repeat of the catwalk incident in Engineering occurred in his lifetime.
“And this is what we found,” Turner chuckled, indicating the screen the group was gathered around, grinning. “Rewind that tape a bit, Marta.”
The redhead giggled and pressed the appropriate buttons to rewind the security tape. Giotto peered over his people’s shoulders to watch what appeared to be surveillance footage of Sickbay.
His eyebrows rose incredulously. “I know McCoy doesn’t always get along with Acting Captain Spock, but this is a bit off the beaten track, isn’t it?”
The scene showed an operating room in Sickbay complete with…McCoy’s collection of antique surgical instruments? It looked suspiciously like one of the little-used recovery rooms rather than an operating theater, and Giotto noted the complete lack of a sterile field; something was more than a little off.
The main clue to support that hypothesis was the fact that their Acting Captain was lying on the operating table, in medical restraints. Loose though they appeared, it was nonetheless a little worrying, and the fact that their CMO entered at that moment, snapping a latex glove on with a creepy-sounding thwack made them all jump. McCoy was scary enough without the mad scientist act, Giotto mused.
“Anyone else find that a little disturbing?”
Turner grinned. “It gets better. Turn up the volume, Marta.”
The lieutenant flicked the knob with a manicured nail, smiling. “You know we have to save this and show it to the captain when he grows back up, Chief.”
“I’ll be the judge of that,” Giotto grunted, watching the screen with some bewilderment.
The raised volume picked up the low tones of their CMO as he leaned over the calm figure. “You sure you wanna go through with this? It’s not necessary, you know; he’ll get over this playacting phase soon enough. Not sure we should be encouraging violence in a child anyway, superhero or not.”
Spock looked more amused than disquieted by the physician’s disturbingly eerie grin. “You may proceed, Doctor; most likely you have only seconds in which to, as you say, set the stage.”
“…the heck is going on?”
“Shhh!” Turner hushed his superior absently, grinning as the scene unfolded.
The grin on the doctor’s face changed to something slightly more evil than he had worn previously, enough that even the hardened Security force gave a collective shiver and noted Commander Spock’s bravery.
“Wellllll,” the doctor drawled loudly, lazily picking up a glittering antique scalpel (Giotto saw with relief that it was too blunt to even cut butter) and examining it with care. “You’d save yourself a lot of grief if you’d just tell me what I want to know, Commander.”
Spock raised an eyebrow. Their CMO glared at him in exasperation, nudging him pointedly with one elbow.
“Ah.” The Vulcan raised his voice, uncharacteristically loud. “I believe the phrase is, ‘you will get nothing out of me, Doctor’? Your methods of persuasion do not work on the Vulcan mind.”
“What is he playing at?” Giotto asked, staring.
Turner dissolved into a fit of giggles that would have put a schoolgirl to shame. “Just watch,” he wheezed, snorting into his red sleeve to muffle the sound.
McCoy snapped the latex glove again, and a shudder ran down the Security Chief’s spine at the wicked smile which twisted the usually-kindly features. “You may change your mind when I’m through with you, Commander,” the physician said loudly, and with considerable menace, hefting an old-fashioned drill in one hand and testing the whirring blade lightly against his gloved palm.
Giotto was just preparing to demand an explanation when a crash drew his attention back to the monitor. A small sneaker literally kicked the loose ventilator cover (how did that come unscrewed? Someone in Maintenance was so dead) off, whereupon it went sailing fifteen feet across the room to crash against the durasteel flooring. The next instant a small whirling bundle of yellow and white plummeted out of the shaft opening onto the floor.
“Fweeze, Doctor Darkness!” a high-pitched voice hollered, and the Security team dissolved into helpless laughter. Four-year-old James Tiberius Kirk, clad in bright yellow pajamas and a matching gold cape, was crouched in a dramatic pose on the Sickbay floor, a toy laser pistol pointed in both small hands at the figure of their Chief Medical Officer.
“Exactly how did he get that vent cover off its hinges and the forcefields down from Sickbay to whatever Jefferies tube he started from?” Giotto asked dryly.
“Plausible deniability, Chief,” Marta giggled, covering her mouth with one hand.
McCoy yelped something suitably theatrical and dropped the drill, hands over his head. “Captain Sunshine!” he gasped dramatically. “How did you find me?”
The tiny captain stood with one hand fisted on his hip, the other pointing the toy laser gun at his nemesis. “I planted a transp…trans…a tracking thingie on Commander Spock, you evil villain! Led me right to you!”
“Why you sneaky green-blooded hobgoblin,” McCoy growled, reaching for the nearest object (which Giotto was relieved to see was nothing more dangerous [and sharp-edged] than a med-scanner).
“Don’ you move, Doctor!”
“Why, I’m just a-gonna take these restraints off your sidekick here, Captain,” the physician said with oily smoothness.
“I would not trust him, Captain Sunshine,” Spock interjected helpfully.
“I don’ trust you, Doctor!” the child shrilled immediately, brandishing the toy gun like a sword. No one commented that his aim was headed for the nearby bandage cupboard rather than his villain’s torso.
“Why, Captain, aren’t the good guys supposed to trust people?” the doctor asked carefully, hand still reaching for the scanner.
The toddler paused, brows drawn, obviously mystified. That was all McCoy needed; he snatched up the scanner and aimed it at the prone Acting Captain’s skull.
“Drop the gun, Captain, or I blow up the bomb planted underneath your sidekick’s pillow!” he shouted in overdramatic triumph, smiling evilly at the now dismayed child.
Giotto gaped. “Isn’t that a bit violent for a kid that age?”
“Nowadays?” Turner snorted. “I was playing worse on vid-games at three. Besides, this dialogue's taken straight out of a holotoon someone let him watch while he was being babysat in Engineering yesterday.”
“Mr. Spock looks more perturbed about being called a ‘sidekick’ than about the prospect of his head being blown off,” Ensign Li snickered.
“Well, you’re talking about the guy whose brain got stolen by aliens last year; how bad can this seem by comparison?”
“Shhhh, listen,” Turner grinned, tapping the screen.
“I said drop it, Captain!” McCoy warned, brandishing the scanner menacingly toward the Vulcan’s skull.
The child wavered, shifting his weight to the other foot and biting nervously at his lower lip.
McCoy kicked the bio-bed meaningfully. Spock blinked. “Ah. Help me, Captain Sunshine,” he intoned without expression, sending the eavesdropping Security force into fresh howls of laughter. “You must do something before the evil doctor can carry out his dastardly plan.”
Their CMO’s look of disgusted amusement and his genuine eyeroll sent them off again a moment later.
“An AI would sound more sincere saying ‘does not compute, please wait,’” Turner gasped, holding his stomach. “Do you think McCoy wrote him out the script to memorize?”
Their little boy wonder looked torn for a moment, and then he grinned lopsidedly, whipping out a communicator from somewhere in his pajama pants – was that a sort of utility belt the child had strapped on?
“Now Scotty!” he bellowed into the instrument (wrong side up, but no one was about to correct him).
“Roger that, Captain,” came the Scot’s good-natured voice, and a moment later the Sickbay lights all went out at once.
They heard a suitably dramatic yell from the villain of the afternoon, and when the lights came back on five seconds later Spock had magically escaped his restraints and was in the process of disarming the ‘bomb’ hidden under his pillow.
Their superhero was currently leaping about and yelling bloody murder, whaling the tar out of his nemesis with a foam club of some kind.
“Ow! No pinching, Jim!” the doctor yelped at one point, flicking the toddler on the nose in rebuke.
The child smirked and stomped on his foot before whipping out a pair of Security stasis cuffs and attempting unsuccessfully to lock them on the physician’s wrists.
“There’s regulations against removing Security property from the storage lockers, you know,” Giotto observed to no one in particular.
He was ignored completely, and didn’t really mind.
“Oh, I don’t think so, Captain,” McCoy said with a predatory grin, slowly creeping after the child, who had danced out of reach, wide-eyed. “Do you know what Doctor Darkness does with little rays of sunshine when he catches them?”
“Nooooo!” the child shrieked, trying to hide behind the nearest bio-bed. “Spock help me!”
“I am otherwise engaged in disarming this explosive, Captain; the entire building will be in structural danger if I do not do so,” the Vulcan replied with innocent equanimity.
“I use my secret tickle-weapon on them!” the doctor shouted in triumph, pouncing. He snatched the little one around the waist and mercilessly tickled him until the child shrieked with laughter, half-heartedly beating on his shoulder with small fists.
“S-stop!” the toddler hiccupped between giggles. “’S not p-playing fair!”
“Oh, but it is!” the doctor said, grinning. “You’re a superhero, aren’t you? All superheroes have weaknesses. And all evil villains know exactly what those weaknesses are!”
“Yes, Captain. Are you in need of assistance?”
Jim shrieked under another attack of pouncing fingers. “Get ‘im, Spock!”
McCoy glanced up just in time to see a Vulcan hand descending.
Turner gawped. “Was that a real nerve pinch?”
“No, wrong position on the neck,” Giotto replied, grinning. “Nerve cluster’s farther down.”
Their pint-sized superhero stared at the limp form sprawled theatrically on the floor. “’S he okay?” he asked worriedly.
“He is no longer a threat to anyone,” Spock agreed, looking far more satisfied than any Vulcan should at the opportunity he’d just had.
The toddler warily shuffled closer, peering down at the physician’s slack features. “Should I make ‘im better, Spock?” he asked, poking the doctor with one cautious finger.
“I do believe curing him of his innate evil would be preferable to imprisoning him for its consequences, do you not agree?” the Vulcan agreed sagely.
Jim blinked owlishly up at him, uncomprehending.
Spock sighed. “Yes, hug him and ‘make it better,’ Captain.”
“I think I just died from adorable overdose,” Marta sighed, smiling at the screen. Turner snorted, earning him a tolerant cuff upside the head.
Christine Chapel chose that moment to enter the room, staring with dismay at the chaos which seemed had erupted in the fifteen minutes since she’d taken a lunch break.
Jim abandoned his intended villain and scooted gracefully across the floor, cape fluttering suitably dramatically behind him as he skidded to a stop before the new arrival. “Hi, I’m Cap’n Sunshine,” he said with an innocent smile.
“Are you now?” the nurse looked down and grinned, seeing the indignant look on McCoy’s face as he sat up, scowling at being thrown over in favor of female attention. “And doesn’t the handsome hero always get the kiss from the pretty girl at the end of every episode?”
“Yup!” the toddler beamed shyly, one finger in his mouth.
She smiled and, crouching down in front of the little one, planted a kiss on his cheek.
Jim turned a bright red and promptly hid behind Spock’s legs.
Giotto grinned at his people, who were sitting back and smiling fondly at the end of the tape. Tapping the screen, he brought up a record-and-edit box. Yes, they were definitely saving that vid for when the captain was himself again. If nothing else, it was his solemn duty to ensure it never found its way to the public intra-net for blackmail purposes.
And if he received a well-disguised-and-diverted request from both Medical and Sciences for a copy of the tape, he never told a soul; after all, Security meant discretion.