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Story Data

Posted February 19, 2007

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Series: Temporal Malfunctions

Title: Inexact Science

Author: Jedi Buttercup

Disclaimer: The words are mine; the worlds are not. I claim nothing but the plot.

Rating: PG-13.

Summary: B:tVS, Star Trek. Buffy had been walking around in a James T. Kirk suit for more than a week now. 600 words.

Spoilers: General B:tVS and Star Trek: TOS

Notes: Warning for trek-science babble!

"Tell me you have good news," Buffy begged the Enterprise's chief engineer as he and Doctor McCoy joined her and the captain in the officer's mess. She'd been walking around in a James T. Kirk suit for more than a week now, and as-- enlightening-- as it had been to get in touch with her masculine side, she was more than ready to have her own body back.

"We think we've traced the malfunction that caused the problem with the transporters," Commander Scott said with a grave nod. "It isna one we've seen before; it'll be simple enough to recreate, but I'm afraid I canna guarantee the outcome."

"I need answers, not questions, Scotty," the captain demanded. He was wearing what Buffy thought of as her Slayer General expression; looking at it from the outside, she could almost understand why the Scoobies had been so irritated with her that last year in Sunnydale.

Doctor McCoy glanced at Commander Scott, then grimaced apologetically at the captain. "Well, we already know the situation isn't the same as what you've faced before," he said cautiously. "The transfer isn't wearing off on its own, and physical contact hasn't reversed the effects."

And how. Wrestling with the captain in imitation of his fight with that madwoman, Janice Lester, had been a weird experience for Buffy; in some ways, it had been like the body-swapped fight with Faith all over again, but with the added complication that she had had to be wary of her own body's strength. Captain Kirk was in exceptional shape for a human male (boy, was he ever), but he was still no match for mystically enhanced muscles. He hadn't said anything about it to her yet, but she'd noticed him deliberately holding back in their mock battles, and knew he'd have big questions when this was over.

She wasn't sure yet what she was going to tell him-- although she might not have to, if her physical memories were seeping into his consciousness the way his were into hers. She'd awakened several times from pulse-pounding nightmares whose events were recognizable from the stories McCoy had told her, and that afternoon she'd known Kirk was going to castle his chessmen before he'd even reached for the pieces. Regardless of what he'd picked up from her in return, though, her days of coasting through the future in anonymity were obviously over.

Actually, she was kind of looking forward to it. No more pretending to be what she wasn't.

Commander Scott gave an unhappy sigh. "We've examined the transporter's logs, and there was an unexplained surge in the pattern buffer during transport. The matter rematerialization sequences were not affected, but the phase transition coils had problems differentiating the energy being carried by your nervous systems." He shook his head. "We're lucky you were the only ones affected. We can recreate it, but 'tis an inexact science; there's a chance it may make the problem worse, not better."

McCoy shook his head, a grim expression on his face. "You know, this is exactly why I don't appreciate having my atoms scattered through space by that thing."

Buffy shuddered. Nervous system energy? In other words-- souls? What was worse than exchanging them? Blending them? The idea made her borrowed skin crawl. And yet-- given the dreams, and everything-- if they didn't do something, wouldn't that kind of happen anyway? She glanced over at Kirk, meeting his intent hazel gaze with her own, and waited for his decision.

The captain nodded slowly, then turned to his chief engineer. "Your reservations are noted, Scotty. Beam us apart."


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