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Chapter Notes:

Wesley Crusher stranded The Doctor (Voyager) on a remote, lifeless planet. For three years. WHY??

Star Trek Hunter

Episode 20: Survival

Scene 6: Dr. Prometheus


Dr. Prometheus

“You left me here!!! I’ve been here for nearly three years!!” The Doctor was outraged – and at the same time overwhelmed with joy to see Old Man Crusher again. They were standing on a dark, cold rock of a planet dimly lit by a distant star that remained forever in the middle of the sky, providing almost no warmth.

“And yet I’ve only been gone about 15 minutes,” the elderly looking Crusher responded, wiping his massive beard. “I just popped in to my favorite klingon outpost about 40,400 years ago for a raktajino. Best place to bump into myself for an update. Did you do what I told you to do?”

“It took nearly a year for me to learn how to phase – it was torment!” The Doctor’s brow was furrowed like layers of paint on a Van Gogh masterpiece. He seemed little changed by the passage of three years - not his uniform nor his expressions. Just the beginning of a deep change in his eyes.

Old Man Crusher smiled grimly. “Sorry Doc, but you’re in for a whole lot more of that. That is the lesson immortality has to teach you. The universe is boring. And considering what you are learning now – to move freely through spacetime – there is every possibility that you may live to be several times the age of this universe.”

The Doctor rattled on and on, hardly paying attention to what Wesley Crusher was telling him: “No matter where I went, I kept ending up back here. I would jump somewhere – anywhere – and the next jump would always bring me right back here. I would try just staying somewhere – anywhere – then bang! Right back on this barren excuse for a rock! Now I know how Prometheus felt. I was tempted to teach some primitive race of simians how to use fire just so I could deserve being chained to this damn rock!!! I was wondering when the eagle was going to show up to peck out my liver just so I could have some company!”

Crusher was laughing raucously, holding onto his staff.

“This isn’t funny Mr. Crusher! This is a horrible thing to do to a sentient being! Why did you do this to me??”

“Survival training, Doctor,” Crusher replied. “Tell me, do you really care about the future of humanity? Or are you willing to just let my species die out thousands of years before our greatest potential is even possible?”

“I know, I know...” the Doctor said, calming down. “You told me. Gamma Gun Galaxy. The Hulk. The Borg. I do want to help. But how does being chained to a rock for three years help me do that?”

“Think of it as basic training, Doc,” said Crusher. “Tell me what the advantage of this place is.”

“It’s the most boring hellhole in the universe,” the Doctor answered immediately.

“Precisely. There is a grand total of one planet, one star and zero asteroids in this star system. And this star is in the middle of nowhere - it was ejected from its galaxy - that one,” Wesley pointed at a small cloud of stars that were the only other object in the sky - they were only visible certain times of the year - “more than a billion years ago. This is the most boring place I could possibly find. No life, no valuable minerals, very little warmth, almost no atmosphere, no water, nowhere near any shipping lanes. And, serendipitously, that entire galaxy is dead - nothing has ever lived there. Not even bacteria. This is home base.”

“I don’t get it,” said the Doctor.

“This is your escape hatch - our escape hatch, actually. You are now conditioned that if you have a stray thought or if you’re in danger, just click your heels together three times and say, ‘There’s no place like home,’ and bing! Here you are, right where no one will be looking for you. No one but me and our other team members.”

“I don’t actually have to click my heels together, do I?” the Doctor asked, furrowing his brow.

“No, but it would be really entertaining…” Crusher mused. “What was the longest time you could stay in one place and time?”

“Three days, almost,” the Doctor replied. “But on average, about two hours.”

Old Man Crusher stood up straight, raised his eyebrows. “I’m impressed. You learn quickly. Took me nearly a decade to achieve that level of control.” He touched the Doctor’s emitter with the tip of his staff. “Either way, you should now be able to come to this place about this time at will. Emergency home base.”

“So, does this mean I’m… free?” the Doctor asked.

“Not exactly,” Crusher replied. “You can go, but it will be quite some time before you can go wherever you want. Until then, you should regularly return here just to make sure you have it programmed in as an involuntary reflex. Believe me, you will need a safe place to retreat to and there is nowhere in all of space and time that is safer. Once you are able to stay in one place as long as you want to and have gained precision control over your timing - which may take you a few decades - meet me here five minutes from now.”

“Is this the kind of tortured use of verb tenses I can look forward to from now on?” the Doctor asked. “You time travelers should be arrested just for the damage you’re doing to the English language. What makes you think I’m going to show up five minutes from now?”

“You’re welcome to wait around and see,” Crusher answered. “Unless you’re already too bored to be bothered. I told you, the universe is a boring place. But when you come back, there’s something important that needs to be done and it will probably be somewhat interesting.”

“Interesting? Interesting??? We’re talking about bringing the borg back to the Alpha Quadrant! It’s going to be terrifying!!”

“Exactly!” enthused Old Man Crusher. He let his staff lean against his chest and rubbed his hands together and cackled briefly with glee. “See you in five minutes - well.. four minutes, thirty…” 

And with a wink, he vanished.


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