Disclaimer: Star Trek and characters are Paramount's property, I have written this story for entertainment purposes only and no money whatsoever has exchanged hands.  No copyright infringement is intended.  Any original characters, situations, and story are the property of the author.  Copyright 2005 by SterJulie.  Rated G.


The Field Trip Disaster



        The fight had begun the day Spock fell out of that tree, but it continued through the following days.  It simmered and festered between Jimmy and Lenny over Spock.  Oh, there were no knockdown, drag-out fights.  No punches were thrown.  No names were called.  The fighting was much subtler.  When Lenny was paper monitor, he did not give Jimmy a piece of paper.  When Jimmy picked up the crayons, he left Lenny's behind on the table.


            Mr. R didn't notice.


            Spock did.  He thought about it a lot.  Spock wanted to ask his mother or father about the problem, but he was afraid that they would take him out of daycare and away from all his new friends.  No, Spock decided to puzzle this one out for himself.


            The long-awaited day came for the field trip to the caverns.  The children had studied about their formation and were very excited about the trip.  Now, the handbook said that there had to be adult supervision for the children in a ratio of one to ten.  Since there were only seven children, Mr. R thought he and his aide could handle the group alone.


            First mistake.


            There was a tussle on the bus to see who would sit by Spock.  Three boys tried to crowd into one bench until Mr. R settled them onto three separate seats.  The stern warning he gave them was silently endured, then ignored.  Behind the adult's backs, dark looks and stuck-out tongues passed between Jimmy and Lenny the whole trip.  Spock was bewildered.  He knew they could all be friends, but how?


            There was a ruckus as the children arrived at the caverns at last.  Mr. R's first action for the day was to take all of the children to the restroom.  Dorothy, the aide, took the girls and Baby Pavel to the ladies' room while Mr. R saw to the other boys' needs.  He placed Jimmy and Lenny at either end of the line of urinals, just in case.  There was peace until Jimmy "accidentally" tossed his used paper towel at Lenny instead of into the receptacle.  Mr. R intercepted Lenny's paper towel mid-flight and scolded both boys again as Spock looked on, eyes wide and very sad.


            As pre-arranged, both groups met up at the elevator.  As they were boarding one of the cars for the trip down, Chrissy realized that she left something in the restroom and ran off to get it.  Nyota ran after her so she wouldn't go alone.  Dorothy started after both girls, Baby Pavel on her hip.  Mr. R ordered the boys, "Do not move!  Do not touch any buttons!" and stepped out only far enough to retrieve Baby Pavel.


            Mistake number two.


            Of course Lenny took that moment to push Jimmy against the wall.


            "That's for throwing that towel at me!" Lenny bellowed.


            Jimmy gave him a mighty shove.


            "Well, that's for stealing Spockie away from me!" he hollered back.


            Lenny lunged at Jimmy.  Spock lunged at them both.


            "Stop it!" he cried, "just stop it! We can all be friends."


            "Never!" the two boys shouted as they lunged for each other again.


            In all the tussling, poor little Hikaru was bumped and he stumbled against the control panel.


            Suddenly, the doors began to close.


            "Stop!" Mr. R called out.


            Five pair of frightened eyes peered out the doors as they closed and the car started moving down.


            Hikaru began to cry.


            Jimmy, Lenny, and Spock all froze.


            Monty went to the control panel, pried it open and began to examine the buttons.  There was a big red one with an X on it.


            "This or nuthin,'" he muttered as he pushed it.


            The high-speed lift came to a screeching halt, causing all the boys to topple like a bunch of drunks.  This only made Hikaru cry harder.  The rest of the boys scrambled to their feet and began to push all of the buttons.  This only caused confusion to the lift's computerized controls, and as a consequence, the lift car jammed itself sideways in the tight shaft.


            It really wasn't so bad, until the lights flickered out in the car.  Then all five little boys felt like crying.


            Low level emergency lighting came on, giving the interior of the car an eerie glow.  Next, a speaker panel buzzed to life.


            "Children?" came an adult voice.


            The five little boys jumped in fright at the strange sound.


            "Boys?" Mr. R called.


            "Y-yes s-sir," they stammered.


            "Is everyone all right?" he asked.


            "Y-yes s-sir," they repeated.


            "Good," Mr. R replied.  "Now, listen to me.  The maintenance crew is going to have you out of there in just a few minutes.  It's important that you do not push any more buttons.  It's also important that you sit very quietly.  Try not to talk."


            "Or we'll run out of ox'gen, huh, Mr. R!" Lenny replied proudly.


            "Well, that won't happen for some time, Lenny," Mr. R responded, "so you needn't worry about the air supply."


            "He said not to talk, Lenny!" Jimmy muttered.


            "Shut up!" Lenny yelled.


            "You shut up!" Jimmy hollered back.


            "Boys!  BOYS!" Mr. R thundered over the loudspeakers.


            "Yes, sir?" the boys replied in unison.


            "The Quiet Game begins now!" he barked.  "The next one that speaks has privileges revoked for two days!"


            Five wide pair of astonished eyes looked at the little speaker in the lift car.  Mr. R almost never raised his voice to them.


            Spock looked from Jimmy to Lenny and back.  Lenny was looking at his knees as he sat on the floor.  He didn't want to get into any more trouble.  As it was, his granddad would whoop him good for what had already occurred.


            Jimmy sat sullenly, his elbows on his knees, his head resting on his fists.  Jimmy had promised his dad that he would be good while Lt. Cdr. Kirk was away.  Jimmy felt especially bad that he had let his dad down again.


            Monty had finally gotten Hikaru to stop crying and was sitting with his arm around the little boy.  He kept eying the buttons and wires on the control panel.  He was itching to try to get the lift car to start moving again.


            Spock stopped studying his warring friends and began to inspect the lift car from his place on the floor.  They had already been instructed not to touch anything on the control panel, so that was out.  Spock knew he was stronger than the other boys, even the older boys Lenny and Monty, but he didn't think he was strong enough to pry open the lift doors.  And what good would that do when the rock face was only a few centimeters from the door?


            Spock continued to look around the car.  Suddenly, he spotted a square outline in the ceiling.  It was too small for an adult to traverse, but a child could easily pass through the opening.


            Only thing was it was too high to reach.


            Spock tried to estimate the height of the cab, but found it difficult from his vantage point on the car floor.


            So he stood up carefully.


            The other boys gasped.  Jimmy stared at Spock, then flashed a glance at the floor, saying very clearly with his eyes, "Sit down!"


            Spock gestured to the other boys that they should form a living chain.  He pointed two fingers down, then placed two fingers from his other hand on the back of his other hand.  He repeated the gesture, each time moving his hands higher and higher.  Then he pointed out their order.  He would be first because he was the strongest.  Monty would come next, then Lenny, Jimmy and finally Hikaru.


            Spock was worried the maneuver would hurt him.  He was the strongest, but he had never had four boys stand on his shoulders all at once before.  However, he was sure that the workers would not be able to enter the car because of the small hatch.


            Spock also worried that the oxygen level was getting low.  The arguing earlier and the subsequent panting after the fight used it up quickly.


            Spock clapped his hands together once and centered himself.  Jimmy and Hikaru recognized the move and imitated it.  Their sensei had taught it to them in their karate classes.  Monty and Lenny thought the others were praying so they clasped their hands and bowed their little heads.


            Spock got into a shoulder-wide position, bent his knees slightly, and tapped Monty to climb onto his shoulders.  Once there, Lenny climbed awkwardly up onto Monty's shoulders.  Jimmy scampered up the human ladder like he did the Reading Tree back at Daycare.


            Hikaru hesitated.  Spock squatted carefully (he had never lifted so much weight before!) and Monty reached a hand down.  Hikaru took the proffered hand and shimmied up the other boys.  He raised his hands but he could not touch the ceiling panel.


            Spock straightened carefully.  Monty took his example and did the same, as did Lenny.  Jimmy took little Hikaru by the waist to lift him further.


            Hikaru was ticklish and began to squirm!


            The whole tower of boys nearly toppled over!


            Monty and Lenny put out their hands to steady everyone.  Jimmy tried to lift Hikaru again.  This time the boy raised his hands high and burst through the panel.


            "Hello!" he smiled to one of the rescuers.


            After the shock of seeing one of the boys pop out of the jammed lift car had passed, the worker took Hikaru from Jimmy's grasp and passed him to the next worker.  The first rescuer then leaned back down and pulled Jimmy through the hatch.  Lenny reached as high as he could and was extracted.  Monty carefully stood on Spock's shoulders and was taken out next.


            After all that weight was released from his little shoulders, Spock collapsed onto the floor of the lift car.  The rescuer started barking out orders, but Spock had simply needed to catch his breath.  After a few moments of rest, Spock got to his feet and jumped as high as he could into the air.  The rescuer caught his wrist and pulled the Vulcan boy to safety.


            The other four boys clapped happily from their new perch on the hover panel that floated above the lift car.  Spock climbed aboard and the other boys all smiled and patted him on the back.


            The rescuers were flabbergasted that not one of the children spoke a word as they floated up the shaft, finally coming to the conclusion that they were mute.


            Mr. R met them at the door of the disabled lift.


            "Quiet game is over, boys," he said softly.


            "Spockie saved us!" Hikaru announced.


            "Aye," Monty chimed in.  "He's verra strong."


            "Spockie, are you okay?" Lenny asked, rubbing his friend's back.  He found Jimmy's hand there already and cast a wary glance at the other boy.


            Jimmy for his part only had eyes from Spock.


            "Spockie?" Jimmy asked.  "Did you get hurt?"


            Spock tried to shrug, then winced.  He nodded.


            "A little," Spock admitted.


            Lenny continued to rub Spock's back.  Jimmy came to the front and began to rub Spock's shoulders.


            "You did real good, Spockie," Jimmy said softly.


            "Yeah," Lenny concurred.  "You saved us."


            "No," Spock commented.  "I only got us to work togedder.  Working togedder saved us." He looked at his two friends.  "Jimmy, Lenny," Spock began, "I don't wanna be friends with just one of you at a time.  Can't we all be friends all a time?"


            Jimmy looked at Lenny.  Lenny eyed Jimmy.  As if on cue, the two boys smiled together.


            Mr. R gathered the whole group of boys into one big bear hug so they wouldn't see the tears of relief in his eyes.  He then led them over to the rest of the group.


            "Now, is this the end of the fighting?" he asked.  Seven heads bobbed solemnly.  Even Baby Pavel nodded, imitating the others.  "Let me show you something," Mr. R continued as he pulled out the data disks that contained each child's permission slip and medical release form in case of emergency.  Mr. R balanced each disk until they stood on end and all in a row.


            "Remember how all this started today?" he asked the group.


            Jimmy ducked his head and peeked at Lenny.


            "I wanted Spockie to sit by me, and so did Lenny," he answered.


            Lenny piped up, "Yeah, and when no one could sit by Spockie, I got mad at Jimmy."


            "What happened next?" Mr. R prompted.


            "I ran away from the group," Chrissy admitted sadly.


            "And I ran after her!" Nyota added.


            "Then what happened when I went to get the baby from Miss Dorothy?" asked Mr. R.


            "I pushed Jimmy for throwing that ucky paper towel at me earlier," Lenny disclosed.


            "Then I pushed him back," Jimmy confessed, "and that made Hik bump the button on the elelator."


            "Then the doors closed," Spock contributed.


            "An' then ah opened the control box and pushed buttons ..." Monty began.


            "Hey, we all pushed buttons!" Lenny added.


            "Then the car got stuck," Hikaru stated, "an' it was real scary."


            Mr. R pointed to the row of colored disks.  "This green disk will represent the fight on the bus," he began.  "This blue disk will be the fight in the bathroom.  The pink disk will be Chrissy running away fro the group.  The red disk is the fight on the lift that caused Hikaru to bump against the button.  And finally this yellow disk will be Monty pushing buttons he didn't have permission to touch.  Watch what happens."  Mr. R tapped the first disk, which tumbled into the next, which toppled the second, and so on until all the disks were down.  "What happened?" he asked.


            "They falled down!" the group shouted.


            "That's right," Mr. R commended.  "Now, what would have happened if I hadn't touched the first disk?"


            "They wouldna falled down," Monty announced.


            "Very good," Mr. R praised.


            Lenny started to cry.


            "What's wrong, Lenny?" Spock asked.


            "It is all my fault!" he wailed.


            "Why do you say that?" Mr. R questioned.


            "If I hadn't stolen Jimmy's friend," he sniffed, "Jimmy wouldn't be mad at me.  We wouldn't have had the fights.  Hikaru wouldn't have bumped into that button." Lenny stopped to gulp some air as he sobbed, "We'd be in the caverns now!"


            "If I hadn't been so jealous," Jimmy sobbed, "Spockie wouldn't have been hurt."


            Soon there was a chorus of cries.  Mr. R shook his head at the motley group of weeping moppets.  They had all had enough of the domino effect, so he decided to change tactics.


            "Tell me about the rescue," he prompted.


            "Well," Spock sniffed, "I saw a little door over our heads, but it was too small for the big people to get to us.  So I told the boys to get on my shoulders and open the door."


            "Yeah, Spockie's real strong!" Jimmy revealed.


            "Yeah," Lenny concurred, "but I think he got hurt again."


            Spock straightened stiffly.  "I'm okay," he announced.


            Mr. R caressed Spock's head.  "We'll have you checked out before we leave," he informed Spock gently.


            Mr. R addressed the group again.  "You saw that one small incident led to a near disaster," he began as he repositioned the discs and knocked them over easily.  "When you all joined forces, like this cord ties all of these together, you were very strong and could work together." Then Mr. R did a curious thing.  He untied the cord that bound the disks into one unit, shuffled them around a bit and re- tied the bundle.  "It doesn't matter who is closer to whom in the group.  Together the group is just as strong."


            The three instigators of the ruckus looked at each other shyly.  Spock took Jimmy's hand in his.


            "Bestest friends?" Spock asked shyly.


            Jimmy squeezed Spock's hand.  "In all the galaxy."


            Spock took Lenny's hand in his free hand.  "Bestest friends?" Spock asked again.


            "Forever an'ever," Lenny swore.


            Jimmy turned to Lenny and extended his hand.  "Friends?" Jimmy asked.


            "You betcha britches," Lenny drawled in a passing imitation of his granpappy.


            Jimmy smiled a lopsided grin, Spock raised an eyebrow, and Lenny laughed happily.  The other children rushed into a group hug.


            "The lift is operational now," one of the workers informed Mr. R.  "There is time for one last tour of the caverns."


            Eight pair of wide hopeful eyes pleaded silently with their director.  Mr. R checked his chrono and nodded.


            "Yay!" the children chorused.


            And so it was that the eight children of the Federation Daycare Center, led by their director, Mr. Roddenberry, and assisted by his aide, Ms. Fontana, and linked together as one unit by their joined hands and their friendship, explored the caverns on a fieldtrip that was not such a disaster after all.