DISCLAIMER: The Star Trek characters are the property of Paramount Studios, Inc. The story contents are the creation and property of SterJulie and is copyright (c) 2004 by SterJulie. Rated PG.



Angels of the Epidemic - Film at Eleven

SterJulie



Spock lay quietly in his cabin, still weary, not yet fully recovered from the "Hot Tub Fever." Something danced at the edge of his awareness, something important, but he could not remember what it was.

His mind drifted back to the incident in Sickbay, when Nurse Chapel finally succumbed to the disease that had plagued the crew. He could still see Christine's nude form as she fought with Lieutenant Uhura in her delirium, the red splotches on her body marring the creamy canvas of her skin.

Those images disturbed him and he was grateful that no one other than himself and Uhura witnessed Christine's vulnerability. No one, saw no one...

Spock shot up in bed, nearly leaping clean out of it.

"Security cameras!" he breathed. "Security cameras!" The thought of what Christine did and said being caught by the security cameras -- and available to anyone who wanted to sseee the recording -- made Spock nauseous.

Another sickening thought came to mind.

The security cameras were all over the ship, even in the crew cabins. There was bound to be hours of "entertaining" recordings of the crew caught in delirium. Hours of footage of the sick crewmembers being bathed and treated, just as Spock had cared for Christine.

The security recordings were downloaded weekly to Starfleet Command's Central Intelligence for archiving.

It is time to do some editing, Spock thought.

Spock knew that he couldn't delete the embarrassing recordings legally, but he was certain that he could transfer the incriminating images to another tape and encode it with so many layers of encryption that would be impossible to open. He would almost literally lock them up and throw away the key.

Spock threw water on his face to waken himself and possibly find more energy. It didn't work. Throwing on some clothes, Spock decided that his first stop had to be Sickbay. He hoped that McCoy would be agreeable to his request without asking too many questions.



"A stimulant?" McCoy said in amazement.

"A stimulant," Spock repeated. "I have a very important project that cannot wait."

"You need rest," McCoy argued, crossing his arms. Spock moved closer to the doctor and lowered his voice.

"I need a stimulant, Doctor," he pleaded softly. "I have a time-sensitive project that will benefit the whole crew." The Vulcan's voice lowered even further. "The project is a border-line criminal act." McCoy's eyebrows shot up at that. "I do not wish to incriminate you or any other member of the crew, but, believe me, you will be very grateful when I have competed the task." Spock presented his arm for the injection. "Please?" he added softly.

McCoy was perplexed by Spock's request and curious at the same time. He longed to get more information out of Spock, but the doctor knew that that would just be a waste of time.

"Can I account for this dose of stimulant, Spock," he asked as he pushed the plunger home, "or do I have to cover my tracks, too?"

Spock took a deep breath as he felt the heady rush from the drug already working in his system.

"I cannot ask you do to something illegal, Doctor," he replied, already moving to the door.

Illegal? McCoy thought. What in blazes was Spock going to do?

* * *

Spock had sequestered himself in the main computer complex. He had accessed all of the files from all of the security cameras throughout the ship for the past week. Using the computer's search function, he had weeded out all of the unnecessary files, such as duty areas. No one could be on duty while they were sick, so Spock decided to concentrate on the individual cabins and Sickbay.

Even so, that gave him close to a thousand hours of recordings to weed through. Taking a deep breath, Spock set the display speed to a fast setting and began the search.

* * *

"Oh, no!"

Thirty-seven hours into the search, Spock found the recordings from the corridor outside his own cabin. He paused the playback, threw the image to the wall screen, and reset the speed to normal.

There Spock was, in all his naked Vulcan glory, standing in the corridor outside his open cabin door. He was bouncing on his toes and waving his arms frantically to someone down the corridor.

"Catch him, Chrissy!" he whined in a child-like voice. "Catch him! You're letting him get away! Here, I'Chaya!"

Christine Chapel came into view as she moved into camera range. She took Spock firmly by the arm and steered him into his cabin. It was then that Spock noticed that the camera in the corridor shot into his cabin all the way to the sleeping alcove.

As they passed under one of his cabin's overhead lights, Spock could see the virulent rash that had peppered his skin. It looked as though he was wearing a green bikini and a cropped, sleeveless green turtleneck. Until that moment, Spock had been unaware how bad the rash was on his groin, under his arms, across his chest and up his neck.

"Get back into bed," she ordered wearily. "I'll be right back to take care of you."

"But I'Chaya got away!" Spock heard himself whimper. "Bad boy!"

Christine patted the Vulcan's shoulder as she put him into bed and covered his nakedness with the sheet.

"I'Chaya is making rounds with me, Spock," she comforted. "I'll bring him back in a minute."

* * *

Spock sat, stunned. He had witnessed Christine's delirium first hand. In addition, he had seen recordings of other crewmembers acting out as their fevers topped out. He hadn't realized that he had been afflicted as well.

Spock searched for the tapes made from the cameras in his own cabin. He saw Uhura find him passed out at his desk. He saw Christine and the orderlies strip him and put him to bed. He saw himself spread-eagle on the bed as Christine bathed and anointed him with medication.

Spock fast-forwarded to when his delirium started. It seemed that I'Chaya made several visitations while Spock's fever was so high. But his antics with his imaginary sehlat was nothing compared to how he propositioned Nurse Chapel.

"If you insist in playing servant to me and in touching me in such a provocative manner, we will need to get married."

Spock sat back heavily. He could not believe his ears. Did he just propose to Miss Chapel?

Spock moved forward to another scene. Nurse Chapel was bending over the Vulcan's bed. Spock saw as he turned a smoky gaze to Christine.

"You could hold me," he heard himself say. Christine raised a brow in a nearly Vulcan fashion.

Spock had had enough. He took all of the incriminating scenes he had gleaned from the security tapes and dumped them into a separate file. He devised an encryption code so devious that even he couldn't open, having turned his head and hit letter and number keys at random in the end.

Spock took all of the security tapes and prepared them for the weekly shipment to SFCIA. After hitting 'send,' he dusted his hands symbolically, as if to say, "That's that."

* * *

Sadly, "that" was not "that" as far as the tapes were concerned.

Somehow, in Spock's desire to protect the tapes with an unknown and unknowable password, the Vulcan had ordered the computer to keep a copy of the incriminating file on the hard drive. It was easily available to all. This file was not protected by password, nor assigned any 'Top Secret' rating.

In fact, the security officer who found it gave it a very special rating -- "NC-17, Adult Comedy," before he or she posted it on the ship's entertainment video library. Numerous copies were made for personal use by the crew, so it was impossible to ever know if all copies were destroyed. As soon as one was deleted fro the ship's library, another would appear.

And the title? The tape had been re-edited so that the title came from Spock's own lips in the opening credits:

FALLEN ANGEL

No one ever knew who made the tape, except Spock, of course. He spent long hours off-duty trying to track down and destroy every copy. He even wrote a program that self-deleted the tape whenever it was played on the ship's system. But the fans of "Fallen Angel" were too clever even for the intrepid Mr. Spock. They kept multiple back-up copies on their personal computers.

"Fallen Angel" quickly became more popular than "I Was a Vulcan Love Slave," to Spock's never ending chagrin.

-FIN-

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