We’re still in the Middle Build of Shawn Coyne’s Story Grid. Obstacles continue.
According to Christopher Vogler, in the Hero’s Journey, after one has slogged past obstacle after obstacle to get to one’s goal, one reaches the Approach to the Inmost Cave, the preparation for the dark place where all hope is lost (before hope can be found.)
Ask any combat vet: dark, it is.
As soon as the lights go out, a loud click is heard, and the low, generator lights come on.
But no one in the Transporter Room moves.
Sergeant First Class (SFC) Chekhov Sr. stands with his camera dangling to his side, making no attempt to look at the file cabinet.
“Oh, no,” Joe says.
“Yes,” Scott says, looking up at him. “No turning back now.”
“Sir,” SFC Sulu Sr. says, turning toward Scott. “It’s…it’s no good. The worst has happened. There’s no place to go. There’s nothing to do. All the training, it…it doesn’t matter any more, Sir.”
Joe begins to back away from the guardrail. “Oh, shit. No, no…”
SFC Uhura Sr. begins yelling into her headphones, “Push more adrenaline! Adjust the heart rate, the breathing! There’s got to be…”
Jane looks at Joe. “What’s the matter, what’s…”
“No more, Uhura,” Mr. Scott yells. “No more. It’s too late.”
Joe drops to his knees. “Oh, God, not again, no, no…”
Jane yells down, “What the hell is going on? What…”
Scott snaps his fingers.
Jane suddenly sees a figure rushing out of the darkness, down at the back of the Transporter Room. It’s a soldier, a sergeant, a medic like herself. He runs directly up to the guardrail and looks up at Joe, who is still on his knees.
“Get back, soldier!” he shouts at Joe. “There’s nothing you can do. Get back!”
Joe grabs his head and screams, “Top!”
And then disappears.
Before Jane can say anything, another figure rushes out of the back of the Transporter Room, this time toward her. It’s another soldier, a nurse. She too runs up to the guardrail, just below Jane.
“There nothing you can do, Jane!” she shouts. “He’s gone. There’s nothing you can do!”
Jane opens her mouth to speak, looks directly at Scott—and then freezes.
“Yes, Jane,” he says. “No turning back now.”
Scott turns to look at his soldiers, still motionless.
“You know what to do,” he tells them.
Without a word, all assembled in the Transporter Room back up, forming an open path into the darkness at the back of the Transporter Room.
Jane’s eyes follow the path back. At its end, at the back of the Transporter Room, stands a figure.
“Attention!” shouts First Sergeant (1SG) Spock Sr.
Slowly the figure steps forward, into the dim lights, until he is clearly visible to Jane.
It is Leonard McCoy. Command Sergeant Major (CSM) Leonard McCoy. Looking right at her. Smiling.
McCoy turns toward Mr. Scott. “Thank you, sir,” he said. “I’ll take it from here.”
Looking toward the other soldiers, McCoy merely says, “At ease, folks. The old man’s got it.”
He then looks back at Jane. Still smiling.
Jane was not.
“Hey, Janie,” McCoy finally says. “Long time no see, girl. Fancy meeting you here.”