"Chekov! Where the devil have you been?"
As he'd suspected, there had been search parties. The one that found them only a few minutes after they stepped across the bridge had an armed Enterprise security officer and Doctor McCoy as two of its members in addition to a man and woman from the enclave science personnel. "That is a fairly long story, Doctor. But first I have a patient for you."
"And I didn't bring anything for you. Set her down and start talking but make it as short as possible. Gently, man, she's not a sack of onions. There's a Klingon warship in orbit, you know. Never mind, I'd rather talk to her, anyway." McCoy had has medical scanner out before Chekov managed to lower Jennari to the ground, scanning quickly. "That's a lovely fracture in your left thigh. I would say there are two broken fingers on your right hand as well. Plenty of bruises and contusions, and I'm reading just a little bit of internal abdominal bleeding. Not serious yet, but it would have been a problem by tomorrow. What happened? Fall off a mountain?"
Jennari looked up at Chekov and he read a great deal of confusion in the large eyes, flavoured, perhaps, with a trace of panic. Funny how it had gotten so much easier to read emotions there in the past day or so. Smiling, he shook his head a little and turned his gaze back to the doctor. "She was a guest of the Klingons overnight, camped a few kilometres from here. They were as hospitable as usual and had questions they wished for her to answer." Another reason for guilt. Most of those questions had probably been about him.
His face softening immediately, McCoy kept scanning, looking for any medical issues that might have hidden from him on the first pass. "I'm very sorry, young lady." He shook his head and put the scanner away, motioning for the security officer to come closer. "Unroll that grav stretcher please, ensign. Klingons on the surface as well as in orbit. Jim is not going to be happy." Clearly, the doctor had no idea the dagger Jennari held was Klingon, and neither had he noticed the disruptor on Chekov's belt. McCoy looked up at him. "And you are going to have a lot of reports to file, Lieutenant, at least once the Enterprise chases the Klingon ship away. Let's get all of you back to what they call a medical facility here."
Wondering what the possibility was of being granted political asylum to avoid a week's worth of reports and forms, Chekov helped Ensign Tomarov shift Jennari onto the stretcher then activated it so she rose in the air to about waist level. This accomplished, he allowed himself to be gently pushed away from either end of the device so less exhausted people could ensure she made it to treatment in one piece.
Elorra stepped close enough to Chekov to speak quietly almost in his ear. "He seems abrasive for a physician."
As opposed to a Pentosian ranger, Chekov thought, but did not say out loud. "Da. It is part of his charm."
She held one of the spears out to him as they walked. "Take this."
For several steps, he merely looked at the weapon, noting again how beautiful and straight it seemed to be and wondering again if it, like so much else on Pentos, had been grown instead of made. "I cannot. It was a great comfort in our trial and I hope I did not misuse it, but the weapon should more properly go to his family, I think."
"Irin's weapon should, and so it will. This one is mine."
"I—" He almost stumbled. "I don't have the words. I'm barely conscious of the honour you do me, Ranger."
She shook her head, and he wondered if he saw another smile trying to escape. "You don't need words, Chekov. Accept the gift in the spirit of friendship and memory." She pushed it a little closer to him. "And my name is Elorra."
His stomach trembling, Chekov opened his hand to accept the gift. The wood was warm and comfortable in his hand.
YOU ARE READING
Between a Rock and a KlingonScience Fiction
Stuck on a primitive planet with a troop of Klingons between him and the Federation enclave, Chekov has to enlist the help of the native sentient species to stay in one piece and find his way back to the Enterprise. "Between a Rock and a Klingon" is...