In the alternate timeline caused by Nero and his Narada crew's incursion, McCoy apparently enlisted in Starfleet around the same time as Kirk; he shows up on the shuttle for new recruits in 2355, the same day Kirk does. A bit older than the other cadets, McCoy was already a doctor and also a bit of a techno-hypochondriac. He claimed to suffer from “aviophobia"—the fear of dying in something that flies. One suspects he won’t be any fonder of the transporter, once he has to use one. Even so, McCoy is the reason for Nero's eventual defeat and the saving of Earth from his orbital mining drill: the young doctor, newly graduated from Starfleet Academy and assigned to Pike's Enterprise in 2258, was quick-witted and daring enough to create a medical ruse to get Kirk aboard despite an academic probation.
Spock, in command during Pike's absence, likewise named McCoy as Enterprise chief medical officer after CMO Dr. Puri was killed on Deck 6 amid the damage from the Narada's very first torpedo hit.
In an echo of the Prime universe, McCoy once aboard almost immediately begins a running but respecteful "feud" with Spock—colored in part by Kirk's initial conflict with the Vulcan over Kirk's unauthroized alteration of the Kobayashi Maru training simulator.
McCoy claimed to have signed up for Starfleet because his ex-wife “took the whole damn planet in the divorce.” All he has left are his "bones"—which, Kirk decides, is the perfect nickname for him. This implies that Kirk comes to this loving tag for his friend from a different source than his Prime counterpart, who tapped the Old American tradition of using "Bones" for "Sawbones," the service doctor's nickname dating back to U.S. Civil War army surgeons. Their 19th century technology level forced the crude sawing off at the joint of any shattered limbs of soldiers wounded in battle.
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