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Past, Present, Parallel

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75 years [ago]

“The star is expected to supernova earlier than previously theorized, in approximately five hours, we will be able to collect the first readings.” The woman finished her recording and stood up; she glanced backwards,  feeling the familiar flicker in her mind as her husband approached. She wasn’t quite smiling--she was much too reserved for that, but her face held the gentle quiet look that she kept for him. “Are the children asleep?”

 “The last one fell asleep six minutes ago” her husband said, unlike her his face held the hint of a smile.

 “The star is very close to collapsing, I moved the ship to a distance beyond its blast radius. We should be able to collect preliminary readings before they awake.”

The man looked at her. His face did have a small smile now;. “Sometimes you are entirely too focused, Talar”. Rather than take offense at his words, she looked at him and said “Sinar, surely you are as curious to see what effect the simultaneous collapse of a dual star system  will have on the surrounding subspace as I am.” 

“While I am curious, I do not believe anybody could be more interested than you,” Sinar said, moving to the seat next to her and beginning to monitor the readings.

They sat like that for several minutes in companionable silence, each intent on their own work. Abruptly, Talar turned toward him. “I’m picking up readings that indicate a vessel, but there doesn’t appear to be a vessel”

Her husband leaned toward her console and glanced at the figures. Then he entered something at his own station.

“The readings are—" the rest of his words were cut off as they both saw a ship on the view screen seemingly appear out of nowhere. “Fascinating” Sinar said as his fingers raced across his console.

The ship hailed them; the Vulcans opened a channel. All that appeared was a message demanding that they lower there shields and prepared to be boarded, or they would be boarded forcibly. The two Vulcans quickly assessed the situation: the ship in front of them was of an unknown origin, the scans of the ship indicated that they had more than enough fire power to destroy the Vulcan’s small science vessel, and by the nature of there message it was obvious their intentions weren’t good. Vulcan’s science ship on the other hand, had a fair amount of shielding that allowed it to stand up to a myriad of space anomalies, but the weapon capability of the ship was almost negligible compared to the unknown vessel’s weapons, the only thing that both ships possessed at an equal level was speed. The Vulcans decided to flee. Sinar’s fingers skimmed over the console, as he plotted a course near to where the two stars were about to go nova. The sensors readings for both ships would be distorted by the energy output from the stars, and they would have a better chance of getting lost in the nebula that was near the stars.

.the unknown vessel fired on them, almost like it it’s crew knew the Vulcans plan “shields at 80%” Talar said holding onto her console to avoid being thrown out of her seat, as the ship rocked again.

2 minutes later there shields were, gone. The unknown vessel stopped firing; its presence loomed on the view screen like a bird that had sighted its prey. A siren rang out, Talar glanced at the screen. There was a hull breach, near the living quarters. Talar and Sinar both moved across the decks at a run as they left the small bridge. They still had time to get the children and escape in a shuttle. If the ship was pirates they would quite possibly leave the shuttle alone and focus on looting the ship, though they would find little to satisfy themselves.

They found their children in the corridor outside the quarters, in the distance they could hear the hiss as atmosphere escaped before it stopped abruptly, and the ship automatically sealed the area off,  their small son held the hand of his sister, both toddlers faces showed the fear that they were to young to have learned how to control. “We have to evacuate, the—“the rest of Talar’s words were cut out by the whine of a transporter beam, shapes materialized before them. Both Vulcans stared at the shapes that had coalesced before them. There were 4 people standing around them weapons pointed at them. The people looked like Vulcans their faces were the same faint green, their ears came to points. The only thing marring the image was the look of cruel delight on the face of one of the newcomers who stood before them.

The newly arrived man glanced at a woman standing behind him “take the children”. The woman moved forward and snatched the children roughly; She dragged them along as she walked away. Talar lunged forward as her daughter started to cry and found herself held back by her husband. “Quiet, Talar” Sinar said softly to her. He turned to look at the man, a clear look of anger on his face “what do you want with us?”

The man looked at him “with you nothing, it is your kids we want, we have plans for them”

“You will not do anything to them” Sinar said his voice rising angrily. Talar’s control finally broke and tears escaped her eyes.

“Do not worry they will be taken care of, If I was you. I would worry about myself” The man said smiling lazily at them. He glanced behind him. The children were out of sight. He gestured to the people standing behind the vulcans, and before Sinar or his wife could move, they had been grabbed and pulled away from each other; they were forced down to their knees. A man came up in the distance, he also looked like a Vulcan, he glanced at them, then at the man who was the leader and said “it’s done; I activated the self-destruct the timer was set for a 5-minute count down.”

 “It’s time to leave” the man said as he raised his weapon. 

“Who are you, why are you doing this? No true Vulcan would do this. “ Sinar asked as he struggled to get to his feet.

The man looked at him, and smiled. “ I grow tired of this pointless disourse, but since I woild hate for you to die with thinking ill of your noble race..I’m not Vulcan," with that last comment the man raised his weapon and fired. Sinar fell to the deck his eyes wide, staring, lifeless.  Talar screamed both at the sight of her dead husband and the pain she felt. It was like her body had been ripped in two. Her mind was seared with agony. She knew why now many Vulcans died when the person they were bonded to died. She was barely aware of her surroundings and was only aware that she was dying when she felt a pain, and felt herself fall to the deck, the last thing she saw before her eyes closed and her body released its life was the man’s cruel face. She knew what he was now, a Ro--. The thought ended as she gasped and her eyes closed

XXXX XXXX

2 months after the Narada incident.

 “ This is one of the greatest opportunities that the empire will ever see” The sub commander said looking at the council arrayed before him, “ are we really going to sit around like cowardly old fools and let this chance go to waste” the man said slamming his fist down on the table. The commander regarded his irate subordinate with a cool countenance

“Karaj, just because we do not jump on every opportunity, like an animal in heat it doesn’t mean that we are cowardly old fools” the man said his voice silky as he watched his subordinate’s face colour at the insult. “Fierceness, boldness are all to be valued but oftentimes subtlety, information, and cautiousness all have there place in war.”

The commander noticed that most of the council was uneasy at his words, the fierceness of their Romulan heritage making them cry out for blood. The commander could see that most of them were on Karaj’s side, and he felt a twinge of fury that he couldn’t kill the sub-commander outright. The sub-commanders family was too highly placed; they had the Praetor’s ear and were one of the favourites, well, as much as anybody could be a favourite of the labile ruler. Smoothing his face so that none of his emotions showed, while still fingering the knife at his belt, The commander sought to bring them over to his side with something that he did best, talking. The commander wasn’t that highly placed in the empire thru his military skill or the few scant connections that he had managed to cultivate before entering the military. Instead his status was directly related to his ability to turn people to his point of view through his carefully placed insinuations and skilful parlance. And as many who came against him in the past years had found out, a carefully placed word could mean all the difference between life and death.

Enjoying the challenge of turning the council to his ideas, the commander began to detail his plan, all the while carefully seeding little remainders of Karaj’s failed schemes and plans throughout. By the time he finished the council was seriously considering the commander’s proposition and Karaj’s face had gone a notable shade of green, his eyes filled with fury. The commander sat back with satisfaction, as the council debated among themselves concerning the feasibility of his plan, a smug hint of a smile crossed the commander’s face as he watched Karaj’s face. Let that be a lesson to the sub- commander, you could not go up against Commander Radak and win. Commander Radak turned away from his seething subordinate, as one of the council turned back to him, “ your plan out of all, that we have heard today, is one of the least  forward and impressive” the old women said her face her face impassive. Radak felt a flash of irritation at the council .were they really such old fools that they went for the most superficially impressive plans, and lacked the appreciation for subtlety and deceit?

“But” the woman continued “the Romulan Empire did not become great thru brashness and blind impulsivity, we know the value of careful preparation and subtle manoeuvres”

The commander inwardly was amused with the women’s words. Romulans were one of the most impulsive races in the galaxy and that was one of the reasons that the federation and even the almost but not quite  equally impulsive Klingons were greater then them in terms of power.

“ The council has voted and with the Praetor’s approval Commander Radak’s plan shall be implemented”  in his mind Commander Radak breathed a sigh of relief, finally he would have a chance for greatness, finally the Romulan empire could become the force it was meant to be. The Romulans would use all of the things that there Vulcan brothers had foregone, in pursuit of their misguided logic, to undermine one of the very institutions that Vulcans had helped build. The council woman’s next words echoed his sentiments so perfectly that Radak almost wondered whether she was one of the Vulcan transplants and had used telepathy. 

“The federation shall fall, and all of the galaxy shall kneel at our feet.”

XXXX XXXX

1 month later

“T’Kas, you, your brother and all the children like you were raised for a purpose” The man said. Looking at his daughter who stood before him, her waist length black hair neatly crowned on her head, the tunic she wore accentuating her pale greenish skin, her eyes that were so much like her mother’s.

“Yes, Father” girl said somewhat sullenly.

“It is normal to question some things, but you must not allow your questions to let you be led astray” he said firmly

“Do you know the story of how we came here?” the man asked his daughter.

The girl nodded.

“I will tell you again anyway, our ancestors left their home planet because they were not allowed to have freedom and were treated as outcasts for their ideals” The man continued his gaze fixed on his daughter “our ancestors believed that we were meant to be the greatest civilization in the galaxy that others should bow down before us and so they left to start a new civilization one that would allow us to expand to our full potential, and not make us weak slaves to reason.”

“we found this planet, and settled but in a few days we were nearly destroyed when the anomaly came and we were transported light-years across the galaxy, we thought that all was lost, but the empire that came was beneficent they helped us and we found out that we were brothers, and while they helped us we were able to help them, we found out that there goals were ours, and together we formulated a plan for conquest”

The man continued “and so you T’Kas and all your generation is the product of this plan, and you will usher in a time of greatness that shall last an eternity for our people.”

T’Kas looked at her father his face was filled with elation at the thought of his words coming to pass; his speech had almost made her feel that he was right. He was a charismatic speaker.  She could see how he had become the head regent of the planet.

“But father didn’t they kill some of our ancestors that didn’t agree with them, when they rescued us, isn’t there some evil in these actions”

“T’Kas your mother was one of them, was she evil? You are half of them, are you evil?” The man looked at his daughter, his face frowned “T’Kas you must rid yourself of doubts this plan is for the best of all of us and the rest of the galaxy, we must take our rightful place as rulers”

Chapter Text

Present

“You’re being emotional”

Uhura angrily threw the dress down, glaring at Spock with all the ferociousness of a woman scorned.

“I’m being emotional!”

“I was merely saying that your body is not proportionate to your dress uniform anymore and that perhaps you should requisition another one” Spock said thoroughly bewildered why Uhura was acting the way she was.

“So you’re saying I’m fat” Uhura said angrily

“You’re not behaving logically, “Fat” is a subjective term, I was only implying that it would be more aesthetically pleasing if you requisitioned a larger-“Spock tried to say

“I don’t even know why I asked you” Uhura said breaking into tears.

“Uhura, I didn’t mean” Spock began moving toward her, startled by her abrupt mood change.

“You know what ,I’m late, I’m supposed to be helping lieutenant Musgrave, choose the food for her reception” she said her voice breaking,  tears streaming down her face and without another word she keyed the door open and left.

Spock stared after her wondering what was going on, Uhura had become increasingly emotional as of late and this just one of several increasingly frequent events where Uhura took something that he said out of context. Spock looked at the door which had shut behind her and considered going after her to apologize, but in the mood she was in she’d probably take offense at that. He sighed and decided to wait and until later, when she had calmed down somewhat.

Uhura met Musgrave in one of the Rec decks.  The Lieutenant was surrounded, by platters of food and as she approached Lieutenant Musgrave glanced up quickly  and  said “There you are”  she was about to turn back around when she took note of  her friend’s tear streaked face and asked “what happened?” Uhura told her and as she finished the lieutenant made a sympathetic sound before, saying “I don’t think he intended to insult you” she picked up a piece of cheese from one of the platters and popped it in her mouth; she chewed thoughtfully before, making a note on the clip board beside her. “You have to keep in mind what he considered fact, you considered insulting” Musgrave said

“At the moment it just seemed like he didn’t care, like he was deliberately insulting me” Uhura said dabbing her eyes with a tissue from the box that Musgrave had given Uhura, during her tearful retelling of the argument.

“Nyota, you and Spock are two different people there’s bound to be misunderstandings” Musgrave said soothingly “you’re blowing this out of proportion, I’m sure he didn’t mean to be insulting and you have gained a little weight.”

Uhura sighed and said “I guess you’re right, maybe I have been blowing things out of proportion.”

“Exactly” Musgrave said nodding as she sampled a piece of bluish-orange fruit.

“I’ve just have been feeling a little off lately” Uhura continued, picking up a piece of food from one of the platters and taking a bite without really paying attention to what she was eating.

“Well, when was your last physical?” Musgrave pulled the top off a dish of purple-black vegetables, allowing a strange sour odour to waft into the air.

“A few weeks ago “Uhura said glancing down at the slimy looking vegetables, the smell from the dish making her feel slightly sick and dizzy,

“ maybe you’re coming down with something” Musgrave picked up one of the vegetable slices and popped it in her mouth “ would you mind tasting one of these,  Havarii likes them but I don’t know if I want them on the menu.”

Uhura obligingly took a small bite of the purplish vegetable and chewed for a moment, before an odd look crossed her face and she pushed her chair back, with a muffled “I’m sorry” she nearly ran to the rec room bathroom, one hand clamped tightly over her mouth.

Musgrave, watched Uhura leave puzzled, then carefully reached down and picked up another slice of the vegetables and as she chewed thoughtfully said to no one in particular “hmm, I didn’t think they were that bad”

Chapter Text

“Hey, Chekov wait up”

Chekov looked behind him and saw Ensign Leah Kelly, come up next to him, her curly brown hair bouncing behind her in a ponytail, her face lit up in a cheerful smile.

“Have you been avoiding me Pavel?” she said teasingly.

“I’ve just have been busy, vorking” he said.

“You cancelled yesterday, we were supposed to catch a Holovid,” Kelly said

“Something came up,” Chekov said glancing at her

“Well, I was thinking you want to go to the Rec Hall tonight, there’s supposed to be a concert, it’s Brunit, H’drak, and some others from the science department, but shouldn’t be to bad right?” she said.

“I don’t vant to go to a concert” Chekov said not looking at her.

“Well, how ‘bout a holovid?” Kelly said not picking up on his tone.

“Not tonight” he said glancing at her, wishing she would go away.

“I know what you’d like--“Kelly began exuberantly, her enthusiasm not dampened in the slightest by his repeated rejections of her ideas.

“You vant to know vhat, I’d really like” Chekov said angrily as he stopped walking and turned to face Ensign Kelly, his hands clenched into fists. “I’d like if you left me alone”

“Are you okay? What’s wrong?” she said her smile fading, her face worried, bewildered and hurt at his words, her eyes looking at his tired appearance.

“You’re vhat’s vrong” he shouted furiously, clenching and unclenching his fists. He restrained himself with great difficulty.  He wanted to hit her. “You’re annoying! You’re pushy! You talk all the time! You can’t leave anybody alone, can’t you chust go avay?”

“Fine, if that’s what you want I’m gone” She said her words angry, but her eyes tearing up, as she turned on heel and almost ran back down the hall.

Chekov stared after her as his anger suddenly faded leaving a cold, empty feeling behind, he thought of going after her and apologizing. What was wrong with him?  He felt ashamed of his actions. Kelly was just being nice, he had met her a few months ago, other than him she was one of the youngest crewmembers, she wasn’t exactly his girlfriend, but they had lots of fun together and she didn’t deserve to be treated like that.  He slammed his fist into the wall, taking his anger out on the hard metal and was rewarded with a sharp throbbing sensation in his knuckles.

 “The cute young couple having some problems?” a sneering voice said behind him

Chekov spun around, recognizing Lieutenant Roth’s voice. The lieutenant was accompanied by one of his cronies, a Lieutenant   Penali; both crewmembers had taken to harassing Chekov whenever possible. Like several other crewmembers, they were angry that he had a bridge position and was much younger than any of them, and unlike some crew they were a lot more vocal about it.  Chekov angrily yelled a profanity-laced outburst at the two crew members, they waited until he was finished looking amusedly at his angry face and laughing, before they started.

“What’s the problem Chekov, Kelly finally decided to drop you for an actual adult?” Penali snickered.

“I’m totally available if, she finally decided to find somebody that can actually speak their W’s and V’s vithout-“Lieutenant Roth began derisively, laughing as he poked Chekov in the chest. Penali snickered in appreciation.

They were used to Chekov walking away from there jibes, or maybe saying something back. Lieutenant Roth never saw it coming. Chekov’s blow landed solidly on the bridge of Roth’s nose, causing a sharp crack to sound. “What the-" Penali said quickly looking back and forth between Roth and Chekov with disbelief.

“You shouldn’t have done that” Roth said thickly dabbing at his bleeding nose with a sleeve, he nodded at Penali. Penali reached forward and before Chekov could do anything had grabbed Chekov’s arms and pinned them to his sides. “I’m going to enjoy this” Roth said smiling a cruel smile, before he slammed his fist into Chekov’s stomach. Penali held Chekov up as Roth slammed a blow into Chekov’s face.

Chapter Text

Joanna’s going to be in a piano recital and we got her a puppy, she’s been begging for one for weeks now ever since, one of her friends got one. He’s a cute, little cocker spaniel mix, and just the funniest little thing. The two of them tumbling around together is a sight to behold, but you can tell they really love each other…

The rest of the message continued on in a similar fashion for several pages detailing what his daughter had been up to for the past several weeks. , his sister was definitely thorough. It was like in her message she sought to leave nothing out, the writing was so clear he could picture every facet.

Of what he was missing out on.

He looked down at the letter missing his daughter he hadn’t seen her in a few months and the last time he had seen her she had been taller, older. She was growing up.

She was growing up without him.

The pain he felt at that thought cut through him like a scalpel. He wondered was there a point where she wouldn’t even think of him anymore, where he would be a distant figure that she saw every once in a while, but that really didn’t have an impact on her. She still called him daddy and was always eager to see him. But at some point as she grew up would that change. Would she think he had abandoned her? Had he? He sent messages and even old fashioned letters as frequently as he could, they video messaged whenever possible, and he visited her whenever he had time off but was that enough. He missed his daughter, but he was torn, as much as he disliked gallivanting across the galaxy, in what amounted to a scrap of metal and plastic, he knew that if he left Starfleet and went back to Earth, he would fall back into his old habits. And when he was on Earth he hadn’t been there for Joanna anyway. He had been headed for a sure path to his own destruction.

It was probably better for Joanna to live with his sister and her husband, they would take care of her and give her a good life, she deserved a stable home, and she needed one. She didn’t need the pain or trouble that would come from living with him if he went back to Earth. When he was back in his old environment, he was an alcoholic and not a particularly nice one. When he drank, he knew that his personality changed for the worse and Joanna had caught the brunt of it several times. One of the worst memories of when he had taken his anger out on Joanna came back to him

Someone one was shaking him; he opened his eyes, squinting at the light that poured into the room.  He blinked several times willing the blurry image to coalesce into a recognizable form. He finally made out the shape of his daughter standing there, her hair tousled , a tattered stuffed dog clutched under one arm, her blue pyjamas rumpled, sucking on a finger. She looked at him as he opened his eyes, her face intent “bweakfast Daddy?” she said uncertainly. McCoy felt a flash of irritation at being awakened what time was it?  He glanced at the screen on the wall 7 in the morning, why the hell did little kids wake up early?

“Bweakfast?, I’m hungry” she asked again,

“Fine let’s go” he said not too kindly. Grumbling to himself, he pulled himself off the couch where he had passed out the night before, his head spun dizzily for a moment as he stood up, he had a headache that made him feel like his head was in a vise. His mouth felt like it was filled with cotton, as the dizziness passed he made his way to the kitchen, he could here Joanna’s small unslippered feet following him. He walked into the kitchen and grabbed some eggs from the refrigerator he snatched a bowl off the counter and began scrambling them. Joanna had climbed up on a stool and was watching him. She sucked her finger for a moment, then said, “Mommy used a whisk.” He glanced at Joanna and said irritably “Well, I’m not Mommy!” He turned around to open the refrigerator and gave a sharp cry, as he stepped his foot on something that sent an excruciating pain through his foot. He knelt down to pick it up; it was one of Joanna’s toys. He swore loudly. “Are you okay daddy?”   Joanna asked from behind him. The girl’s voice irritated him further. He was thoroughly angry with being woken up this early and the whole situation.

He turned around furiously, his foot throbbing painful, his headache even worse if that was possible. “What the hell is wrong with you? He threw the bowl of eggs down, yellow splatters flying across the small kitchen to adorn the walls and surfaces. He reached across and snatched the toy dog from her, and threw it in the disposal. “you don’t need any God damn toys if you can’t take care of them” How many times have I told you to pick your sh— up?” He said throwing the toy he had picked up off the floor on the counter where it shattered into several pieces. Joanna looked at him her face startled, and then she started to cry. McCoy looked down at the little girl and the physical pain he felt receded and was replaced by a deeper kind as he looked at the little girl and thought , what have I done?

He moved toward her, to pick her up but she backed up, tears still streaming down her face, sobs rending the air. He stopped moving as she backed into a corner and came to an abrupt stop, she had nowhere else left to go. He looked at her; the little girl’s face was afraid… afraid of him. “Please… Joanna I’m sorry” he knelt down to her level, only half-an arm’s length away.”I’m not mad at you okay, I just hurt my foot and I got angry and yelled” That wasn’t the entire truth his mind said he would have never acted like this if he was sober. He pushed the thought down.”I shouldn’t have yelled at you, I’m sorry” he waited there for a few moments looking at her, he wanted to move toward her, hold her pick her up, but he knew that if he did, she would bolt and he would frighten her more. And could you blame her, he had just acted like some drunk lunatic yelling at a little girl for basically no reason. She looked at him uncertain, fear still showing in her eyes, tears streaming down her face. He felt tears forming in his own eyes as he looked at his daughter. Hesitantly she came towards him, he reached and enfolded her in his arms, he buried her head in his shoulder, soaking his t-shirt with her tears. He stroked her hair and rubbed her back trying to soothe the little girl as he repeated over and over “I’m sorry Joanna, I’m sorry” He couldn’t believe what he had done. He hated hearing her cry.

But he hated that he was the one who had made her cry more.

He clicked the message off as he remembered that time. The guilt he still felt over that incidence rose up in him, reminding him why he had given Joanna to his sister. He shut off the computer and stood up, his break was over. He walked out his office still angry with himself.

What was she doing? He looked at the nurse watching as she recalibrated the machine without shutting it down first. How many times had he told her about that?  He moved toward her, angrily and began yelling at her. At the end of his tirade the nurse looked up, her face quite close to tears, the entire sickbay was staring at him, he turned his back on her and went to the new diagnostic module they had received yesterday and began calibrating it.  He was not in a good mood.

XXXX XXXX

A few hours later Dr. McCoy was setting the new diagnostic module for the next patient when he heard the door hiss shut behind him. He turned around expecting to see the Edoan, that was his next patient and instead was surprised to see Chekov, standing there looking like he had been jumped on by a pack of dogs. Chekov had a black eye, numerous bruises on his face, a broken nose and a wrist that was obviously broken by the angle he was holding it at.

Dr. McCoy gasped at the sight of him and hurried around collecting medical supplies before coming to the head of the diagnostic bed which Chekov had sat on. The doctor ran a handheld diagnostic scanner over the young ensign while asking “what happened” Chekov who was normally happier (or at least acted like he was) than anybody on the ship, looked like he could kill somebody.

Chekov clenched his jaw tightly before replying “eet is nothing Doctor McCoy, I tripped and fell down a Jeffries tube” he paused for a moment then said as if he had repeated this or had it told to him a lot of times “I am wery clumsy”. Doctor McCoy looked down at the results of his scan, and then back at Chekov doubtfully, the ensign was avoiding his gaze.

“Chekov you didn’t get a broken nose, fractured wrist, broken ribs, and  a black eye from falling down a Jeffries tube. For god sakes, Jeffries tubes have force field barriers” Dr. McCoy continued irritated “What really happened? And don’t tell me next you tripped over your shoelaces”

Chekov stubbornly repeated “Doctor McCoy, I fell down a Jeffries tube, the force field vas not active”

1 hour later McCoy watched Chekov leave sickbay and sighed. Chekov had spent the last hour denying that his injuries were anything short of an accident, indeed he had even given Doctor McCoy the exact location of the Jeffries tube that he had fell down, Dr. McCoy had called engineering and found that a technician was repairing the force field malfunction, but despite all the evidence, Doctor McCoy still didn’t believe Chekov’s story. His gut was telling him that something wasn’t right. It wasn’t just the injuries that gave Dr. McCoy pause; it was the total appearance of the ensign. Chekov, looked like had had been run through a wringer, he had dark circles under his eyes, that hinted at little sleep, and the rumour mill had been that the ensign had been unusually touchy even for an adolescent male. After finding no visceral trauma and running a diagnostic on the ensign (using his new model) he had and had cleared him to leave.

McCoy had briefly considered calling security to find out what had happened, but what was he going to say? That he thought Chekov was lying even though every bit of his story checked out and it was unlikely that any crewmembers would admit to having a fight anyway. Even if he did find out there had been an altercation Chekov and the other guilty parties would have that entered on their official records. Dr. McCoy shook his head, it probably wouldn’t do to get involved in this case, and it was probably over a girl or something anyway.

Later after McCoy had finished the crew physicals he had scheduled for that day he examined the in depth images that he had taken that day using his new module. He was still amazed at the way the new module allowed previous injuries from many years past to show as clear as day. McCoy scrolled through the images, stopping to take notes if he noticed an abnormality. He was nearly finished when, he stopped at one crewmembers full body image, there were injuries noted everywhere. McCoy sat up straighter and rubbed his eyes. How had he missed this? He glanced at the top of the screen, and noted with shock that the name was Pavel Andreivich Chekov.

How did Chekov have this much damage?  McCoy noted that the newest injury appeared to be about five years ago, but the ensign had injuries ranging from the time he was two and up. He called up a copy of the ensign’s previous scans, some of the injuries had shown up in previous scans, and Dr. McCoy remembered that Chekov had been in an air skimmer accident when he was 8.   Dr. McCoy had seen the marks still on his body from that accident, which the physicians in Russia hadn’t been able to heal without scarring, but some of these injuries didn’t appear in any of the previous scans. The doctor briefly considered that perhaps the new module was malfunctioning, but how was that possible? As far as he could tell the other crewmember’s scans had been correct. Dr. McCoy stood up and hurried out his office to the diagnostic module and began running a diagnostic on the machine, but all the systems checks came back in perfect working order. Dr. McCoy stood back and looked at it with a distasteful eye, this was what he got, as soon as he started liking the smallest piece of technology it stabbed you in the back.

Dr. McCoy considered asking Spock or somebody else to check out the machine , but something in his gut told him that the image he had seen was real, which could only mean one thing Pavel Chekov had some sort of disease. And judging from the ensign’s haggard appearance he looked like he was having a relapse. Dr. McCoy could think of half a dozen that left your bones that messed up, (Chekov had at least 10 different fractures a lot of them either before or after before the air skimmer accident.)

McCoy sat back in his chair bleary eyed from running over Chekov’s medical record surprisingly there was very little of it, he seemed extremely healthy on paper, but now having read it over several times it made very little sense, according to his medical records almost  every year he had suffered several injuries mostly fractures , but also lacerations. McCoy remembered Chekov’s earlier comment about how he was clumsy; perhaps the ensign had suffered an undiagnosed neuromuscular disease and was now suffering a relapse. McCoy wondered why the doctor’s at the academy hadn’t picked up that something was wrong. Then McCoy snorted at his own foolishness, that showed how tired he was, the doctors at the academy were mediocre at best, many incompetent at worst. Well, he mentally amended the thought, they could fix injuries, run tests, but most of them didn’t have what a doctor really needed: intuition. And Dr. McCoy’s intuition was telling him that something was definitely wrong.

Chapter Text

Beep! The sound of the door buzzer to his office jolted McCoy straight out of a sound sleep. What the- he thought glancing dimly at the chronometer on the wall, it was late who was calling. He pulled a piece of paper off the side of his face from where it had stuck (Spock was always referring to the illogical waste). He jumped as the door buzzer rang again and sighed only one person, sans his nurses would do that if it wasn’t a medical emergency.

“Come in, Jim”, McCoy sighed wearily as the door slid open revealing James T. Kirk, who promptly walked into the room.

“Sure, have a seat” McCoy said sarcastically as Jim sat down without waiting for invitation. “Don’t mind that I haven’t had a wink of sleep and I’ve been staying up all night trying to figure out an image from that new diagnostic machine”

McCoy was surprised when Jim instead of replying with a quip of his own stared talking about something completely unrelated, well not exactly unrelated but Jim didn’t know that.

“Bones” Jim said looking at him seriously. “I need to know what’s going on with my main navigator” Jim saw Bones expression and said impatiently “Chekov,… the 17 year old”

“Jim, I know who the main navigator is what I don’t know is what you mean by what’s going on” Bones said somewhat irritatedly  “what is he showing weird symptoms? acting differently?”

“weird symptoms no” Jim said “ acting differently yes” he continued “ Spock informed me that for the pass two months, his efficiency scores have been falling, slowly but steadily, this started about 2 weeks after the Narada incident . it wouldn’t really be that significant , since his score is considerably higher than most of the bridge crew, but it’s like his temper has been extremely frayed, hell until recently I wouldn’t have even known the kid had one”. Jim shifted in his seat and ran a hand through his hair “ 4 days ago I was in one of the Rec halls , getting something  to eat and he was talking to the synthesizers and you know with that accent he’s got he was having quite a bit of trouble, anyway one of the engineering techs who was standing behind him laughed, Chekov turned around and if you can imagine he looked like he would have punched that tech right then and there if Spock hadn’t called him to the bridge at that moment” Jim paused, then continued “ it was weird… he just put his tray down  , smiled and walked away like nothing was wrong.”

“Well, Jim he’s an adolescent he’s prone to mood swings” Bones said evasively he wasn’t ready to share his diagnosis with Jim, not until he confronted Chekov, and he couldn’t really share anything anyway since he didn’t have a definitive diagnosis, just a hunch. “I swear sometimes I don’t know why they let 17 year-olds on a starship” Bones continued “this place is a serious institution, not high school”

Jim shook his head “Bones I don’t think this is something that can be explained away with adolescent angst, something is bothering him, today on the bridge I came on and he and Uhura were talking and I heard her ask him something about his accent “ she said something like “ I’ve been meaning to ask you what part of Russia are you from, it not exactly like your typical Russian accent, I can’t place it” or something like that, then for no reason he blew up in her face started saying something really angrily in Russian , then stormed off the bridge, he wasn’t on duty or I would have called him back, I don’t know what he said but he said something really bad because Uhura shaken up and she seemed preoccupied the rest of the day”

“ bones, I can’t have a kid with adolescent angst or whatever throwing of my bridge crew” Jim said “what if does this during a battle at a crucial moment , then were all dead, I was wondering if you knew what was going on, Uhura told me some of what he said  ‘ he said it’s not my fault, everything’s not my f--in fault’ he obviously can handle the normal pressure that comes with serving aboard a ship, but this is something else entirely, if he keeps up like this I’ll have to inform Starfleet .You now what that means.”

Bones knew. Starfleet would probably have him removed from the ship a black mark would go in his records. His career could very well be ruined. “Jim I’ll do my best and let you knows when I find out something” Bones said privately planning on confronting Chekov.

Jim nodded, then stood up and stretched glancing at the time, and with a “goodnight Bones” left, the door hissed shut behind him. Bones sighed he had his work cut out for him, it was hard enough treating adults without trying to get into a seventeen year-old’s head.

***

Silkar walked through the compound watching as the people hurried around making the preparations for the journey that would be undertaking in a few days, He noticed that most of them were glancing at him and then noticing his gaze quickly glancing away with frightened looks. Silkar looked at them and wondered what they were thinking.  Smiling to himself, he opened his mind to the disparate thoughts swirling around, breaking through the light shielding they had to penetrate their consciousnesses.

He felt some of the females admiration and desire  for  him, and he  pushed himself at the outskirts of their minds revelling in their fantasies, he brushed over the fear the most of them had coursing through them at the thought of him, feeling pleasure with the power he had. In several minds he felt hatred and anger towards him, he pushed his way into those minds enjoying the pain he caused, he was careful to go just to the edge of their consciousness, just enough for them to know he was watching and to feel the brittle resistance that some of the stronger minds offered, before he crushed it, he penetrated their consciousnesses just enough to give them a taste of the searing agony that he could inflict if he chose,  then he withdrew. They had a part in the plan to fulfil, so he couldn’t offer them much more punishment…yet.

As he came back to himself, Silkar looked around taking pleasure in the fear in their eyes, the power was intoxicating they were his to do what he wanted to, and nobody was powerful enough to stop him. He cleared his face as his sister T’Kas came into the room, he knew that she disapproved of the “talents” he used, he knew she followed some of their grandfather’s weak ideals .She refused to totally accept that they were the rightful rulers, Silkar could tell, that while she would do nothing to stop there plan, she was not fully committed. Silkar felt fury that the old man had managed to contaminate her with his poisonous thoughts before he had been killed. He couldn't imagine how they could both have Solkar as there father. T'kas was so much unalike him. T’Kas just didn’t understand.

They had power, so they should use it.

Chapter Text

He was eight again, The boy’s arms encircled his little brother Pitir and his even younger sister Irina. They were hidden in the back of the closet but he could still hear the shouting and breaking glass, the boy heard his mother’s soft voice rising trying to calm his father down. Then the harsh drunken voice of his father shouting, he wanted to go out to protect his mother, but she had told him to take Irina and Pitir and go to the closet. Irina sniffled quietly, tears and snot running down her face and soaking into the boy’s shirt, Pitir was quiet his small hand clutched his brother’s arm tightly and the boy felt it tighten convulsively as the noise got louder and closer. He heard his father ask his mother  ”where are the kids, you don’t hide my own kids from me!” His mother said something to soft to hear and his father shouted an obscenity, the yelling started again in earnest, his father’s shouts laced liberally with invectives. His mother screamed and he couldn’t take it, he knew what he had to do.

“Pitir, Irina stay here” he murmured disentangling them from him, standing up and , moving towards the door. he paused his hand on the door knob, he looked back into the gloom of the dark closet and said “don’t come out until I or Ma come to get you”

 somewhere from the dark he heard his brother’s whispered Reply of “da”. Then he stepped out.  His father’s back was to him, so he didn’t see him at first, he moved away from the closet so his father wouldn’t know where he had come from. His mother who was standing in front of his father, moved to avoid a piece of glass that his father threw and saw Chekov standing there, her eyes widened as she silently pleaded with him to go back and hide. He could see a bruise forming on her face where his father had struck her and numerous cuts and bruises on her arms where she had tried to fend off his drunken blows. His father turned around to see who she was looking at and saw him standing there. “There you are” his father said slurring the words “where’s Irina and Pitir”.

 “Outside in the barn” he lied to his father.

“Outside in the barn” his father repeated his face darkening with drunken anger. “You are the oldest damn it, you don’t leave them outside by themselves”.

“I-I-I” the boy stuttered “was just feeding the cows and they wanted to watch so-“The boy’s words were cut off as a string of swearwords issued forth from his father

“you need to learn some responsibility you little sh--”His father moved toward him, his hand raised, his mother rushed forward and grabbed the arm to try to hold him back, his father jerked his arm free sending his mother backwards. His mother picked herself up of the floor, a thin stream of blood trickled down the side of her face where glass ha cut her.

“Andrei, No he’s only eight!.”

His father turned to look at his mother a look of rage clearly evident on his face. “When I was eight I did more than him, I took care of things!” His father turned back to him “You need to learn things the hard way.” His father struck the boy across the jaw he felt something crack, the boy tasted blood in his mouth, his mother screamed his name, then he was falling and everything went dark.

XXXX XXXX

Chekov sat up straight a strangled scream coming from his lips, his bed sheets were soaked with cold sweat and twisted around him, he had been having nightmares every time he slept for weeks, he couldn’t even remember the last time he had slept well. He was thankful that his roommate wasn’t here to witness this. He had avoided sleeping whenever the other ensign was around, when after one night he had awakened both of them with his screams, some nights he claimed that he wasn’t tired and others he was with a girl. When in reality he had sat awake in a deserted corner of one of the Rec decks trying to stay awake to keep the nightmares from coming and the rush of memories that followed after, until he was too tired and succumbed to sleep. The dream was the last memory he had of his mother before she died. Nightmares of the day his mother had died alternated with memories of the failed attempt to transport Spock’s mother from Vulcan and the other times that people had died because of him.  The guilt gripped him tightly like a vise; memories rising up continually to recriminate him with the consequences of his failures.

He gripped the sheets tightly his knuckles white, trying to avoid remembering as image after image erupted in his mind, and bile filled his mouth. He barely succeeded in untangling himself from the damp sheets and making it to the toilet, before he was sick. Afterwards, he leaned back resting against the shower stall and let the cold metal soak into him, as the memories played themselves over in his head and his stomach dry heaved briefly, causing his mouth to fill with a bitter taste. He had thought about going to sickbay to get something to help, but that would have meant explaining why he needed it in the first place and he had no desire to relive any of this. He slowly picked himself up as his stomach settled, and walked on rubbery legs to the sink he turned on the cold water letting it run over his fingers, he looked in the mirror his face was gaunt, dark circles encircled his eyes, his eyes were rimmed red with tiredness, bruises still remained from his fight earlier. He was falling apart, ever since the Narada incident, something had been awakened in him that he thought he had put behind him. He splashed the cold water on his face trying to clear his mind of the guilt and shame that filled him.

XXXX XXXX

He was sitting on the edge of his bed; He looked at the bottle, running his fingertips around the rim and down the label. One of the engineering crew had given two bottles to him as a joke a few weeks ago, claiming all Russians liked Vodka even though he had told him he didn’t drink. Instead of throwing the bottles away he had kept them, tucked away in the back of the cabinets near his bed.  For the past few nights he had pulled one out, contemplating drinking it until he was no longer plagued by the memories that haunted him and collapsed into a dreamless oblivion. While one part saw it as his escape the other, the other saw it as a prison that he wanted nothing to do with it. He wouldn’t become like his father. His hands trembled as he put it down but instead of throwing it into the disposal chute he found himself tucking it back in his hiding place. He looked at the chronometer on the wall and saw that in a few hours it would be time for his bridge shift, he was incredibly tired and wanted nothing more than to sleep, but dreaded what would happen if he did. Instead he pulled himself up and started putting the cabin to rights before his roommate came back from his shift. The sour stench of guilt and shame still permeated the air.

 

Chapter Text

15 years ago

The people that were gathered in the small room were mostly young. The older Vulcans refused to listen to his “blasphemous” teachings but he was tolerated because he was respected as one of the oldest Vulcans in the colony and because who his son was. The old man had always been interested in the old Vulcan ways more than other of the other colonists. On T’karis Surak’s teaching were regarded as weak, but Sulak, as the old man was called, believed that Surak’s teachings of logicalness and thinking over blind violence had given Vulcans the stability they needed to keep from destroying themselves. It still distressed Sulak to see how crime was present in the colony and the lack of control that the younger generations had. The group assembled before him was a prime example. Even though a significant portion of the colonists weren’t entirely Vulcan, it still was no excuse for the paltry control they exhibited. The older man turned his focus outward, looking at the crowd arrayed before him.

The noise level rose and fell, laughter broke out, and even small scuffles as the Vulcan youngsters tussled with each other. As he looked, he noticed the number of people in his group had fallen. He knew that his son Solkar had been telling the other Vulcans not to attend the group, and that his father’s teachings represented everything that the colonists were trying to leave in the past. Still, Solkar hadn’t entirely denounced the group because his two children T’Kas and Silkar attended the sessions. Sulak knew his grandson only came because his twin sister insisted on coming. Silkar disagreed with his grandfather’s talk of meditation and logic, but he had taken a startling interest in the techniques for mental skills that was somewhat disquieting. In addition to Silkar’s interest, to Sulak’s dismay he had detected a disturbing habit in his young grandson. The boy showed no respect for the sanctity of another’s mind; he thought that everybody should give him whatever he wanted, and he delighted in causing pain and showing power over others.  Despite numerous conversations with his son, Solkar refused to see anything wrong with his son’s behaviour. And privately Sulak was sure he encouraged it.

Sulak looked at the small figure of his grandson seated cross-legged., His black hair had fallen forward and his brow was furrowed with concentration. A few places away a boy was whispering to another child throwing glances at Silkar he did so, he said something to the other boy and then they both laughed. Solkar inwardly frowned at the two boys’ lack of control. However, he knew the children were only displaying an attitude to Silkar that was held by many of the colonists. Silkar was widely regarded as odd and though there were few people who would admit it: many feared the young boy.

Sulak saw his grandson’s face changing, an intense expression grew. Silkar turned and stared at the two boys. They didn’t notice his gaze and continued talking and laughing. Silkar glared at them, and then abruptly closed his eyes. One of the boys stopped talking, his face furrowed in pain, and then he screamed. His friend stared at him in shock. Silkar opened his eyes and gave a small smile at the sight of the boy screaming. The boy stopped screaming, green blood trickled from his nose. He looked around wildly, then he stiffened and fell over his body twitching and jerking, like he was having a seizure.

Sulak quickly moved toward the seizing boy, glancing at his grandson as he did so. Silkar showed no remorse and looked cruelly delighted with the results. Sulak kneeled next to the boy and pushed back the crowd of Vulcans that had gathered. They didn’t realize what had happened but Sulak did. Sulak touched the boy’s temple establishing a link; carefully he began repairing the damage Silkar had done. When he withdrew, the boy was still unconscious but lay quietly now. Sulak stood up aware of the crowd of people staring at him, ignoring their looks he gave orders for two people to take the boy to the infirmary.

As he turned away he saw, Silkar and his granddaughter, T’Kas, standing there. He could see by the way she looked at her brother that she knew what he had done. Silkar looked unapologetic and defiant.

Sulak continued the group as originally planned, but afterwards he caught his grandson alone. He admonished the boy severely for what he had done. Silkar stood there sullenly, then after an angry outburst walked away. Later a rumour spread throughout the colony that Sulak had mentally attacked the boy. Sulak knew who was responsible: his own grandson. It didn’t matter whether the rumour was the invention of a vengeful 10-year old who didn’t want to be reprimanded for his actions, it still was believed. Or at least many used it as an excuse to stop Sulak’s teachings. Solkar forbade his father to have anymore groups

Sulak defied his son’s orders and continued teaching in secret the few that still wanted to learn. He was gratified to see that his granddaughter T’Kas still remained in the group. Over the next few months he taught as much as he could , trying to instil in the young vulcans the ideals and philosophy he hadn’t been able to give his own children. He knew that his time was limited sooner or later he would be found out.

It was hard to remember his early life it had been so long ago, but he remembered being a few years old and taken from his parents, he knew that they had most likely been killed. But he wouldn’t allow them to have died in vain; even the prospect of his own death didn’t stop him from trying to save some of these young Vulcans from the principles that they had been embroiled in since birth. And with that goal in mind he hatched the plan that led to his downfall.

XXXX XXXX

Sulak was coming back from sending a message. He walked quickly down the hall hearing the distressed note in a young girl’s voice. He found Silkar standing next to a young Vulcan girl, clumsily trying to force her to mindmeld with him. He pulled his grandson away, shaking the boy as he did so, and the girl had gratefully ran away. Silkar jerked away from his grandfather’s grasp, and stared up with hatred at the man. Sulak began berating his grandson, “You are deviant, your behaviour is lower than any I have ever had the displeasure of seeing, the things you do are sick and evil, you do things no Vulcan would do”

His grandson snarled at him “I’m not a Vulcan!” then he turned and ran away.

An hour later the old man had returned to his quarters, he was seriously distressed by his grandson’s behaviour. This was why he was risking everything with his plan, he couldn’t risk anyone else becoming like Silkar. Sulak slowed changed into his meditation clothes ,then settled down on the stone his used for that purpose. He closed his eyes and was just beginning to enter the first stages of mediation, when the door sounded. He opened his eyes and said “enter”. To his surprise his grandson was standing there, instead of anger the boy expression was calm and strangely emotionless. Sulak inclined his head and greeted his grandson with the Vulcan greeting. Surprisingly the young boy returned the traditional greeting.

Silkar spoke “I have come to talk to you”

Sulak waited for the boy to continue and when he did his voice was even “You say I’m deviant, you dislike my power.” The boy straightened up as he talked “you say I’m not Vulcan.” He spat the last word like a curse. He stared at his grandfather, something darkly present in his young eyes “and I’m not!”

Sulak spoke this time “Silkar you may only be half-Vulcan, but you are Vulcan you must embrace this part of your heritage and discard the negative practices encouraged by others.”

Silkar spoke “you mean my mother’s people? I’m not a traitor like you. I don’t seek to be a pacifist snivelling coward either. I will rule and the weak will fall.” He stepped closer to his grandfather until he was less than two arm’s length away. He said “I know what you’ve been doing”.

Sulak felt a small a flicker of apprehension, but said “What are you talking about?”

Silkar stared “I’m not stupid. I know you’ve been trying to contact the federation, through one of the empires’ traitors.”Silkar continued “You say I’m deviant, you think I’m a pervert. You say what I do is wrong. You’re the one who is wrong. You’re a traitor a traitor to your own people. It’s you that’s deviant.”

Sulak knew there was no use denying what he had been doing Silkar obviously knew. Watching the young boy carefully he began to explain what he had been doing. He finished with “I’ve been contacting someone for the good of us all. This colony is wrong and my actions whether they are wrong or not do not change the wrongness of yours”.

Silkar said angrily “I am not wrong! You are.”

Sulak shook his head “Silkar you have strayed far from the right path but there is still time, accept that you have been doing wrong and change.”

Silkar was trembling with rage at his grandfather’s words; suddenly he pulled out a disruptor and levelled it at Sulak. Silkar yelled “Take that back, I’m not wrong, Say I’m not wrong! Say it!”

Sulak stood up cautiously and shook his head refusing to acquiesce to his grandson’s request.

“Tell me! I’m not those things you called me. Tell me!” The disruptor trembled, the boy’s voice shook, tears ran down his face. “Say it” he yelled again.

Sulak spoke quietly “All those things I said about you were true, one can’t deny the truth. Silkar you can change, but you have to want to”

Silkar screamed at him “There’s nothing wrong with me. I don’t have to change, and I want you to admit that!;

“No” Silkar said simply.

Silkar stood there breathing heavily, staring at his grandfather. Then the disruptor went off; a beam of energy lanced out hitting Sulak in the chest. The older Vulcan looked surprised ,then crumpled to the ground. Silkar dropped the disruptor unable to believe what he had done; he stared with horror at the inert figure. “Grandfather” he said quietly, before he could move towards the old man, the doors opened and his father and several guards entered.

Solkar touched his son on the shoulder and said “He was a traitor and you got him to confess, you did your duty”

Silkar didn’t care about his father’s words; he stared at his grandfather watching as the guards moved his body and the head lolled limply. He asked “Is he dead?”

Solkar frowned at his son’s question but said “he’s not, merely injured.” Silkar looked away unable to watch as his grandfather was taken away and asked “What are you going to do with him?”

Solkar looked down at his son and Silkar saw a shred of remorse before it was covered by an icy expression. Solkar looked away and said “Silkar you know the penalty for treachery”

Silkar knew and it was enacted a few days later.

Silkar was setting up a game of 3-D chess, he had begged T’Kas to play. She was an awful player and in truth he made no effort to make her better. Often he liked to play against somebody that wasn’t challenging; the pleasure of utterly crushing an opponent was thrilling. He needed something to take his mind of what had been going on. He knew his Grandfather’s execution would be soon he just didn’t know when. He had gone that day to try to apologize to the old man, but Sulak had refused to speak ton him. In desperation Silkar had tried to force his way into the old man’s mind, trying to let him know he was sorry, and surprisingly he had let him in. Silkar had felt Sulak say “you have never experienced the consequences of your actions; you must do so to learn.” Silkar had tried to draw some meaning from the old man’s words but he couldn’t understand what he had meant. As he had withdrew from Sulak’s mind he had felt stuck for a moment, then suddenly he pulled free.

Silkar had set up half the pieces when he felt it start. Silkar had always been more sensitive, than others and could sense things from much farther away. He knew without a doubt what was happening as a pain lanced through his body driving him to the floor. the chess pieces tumbled down around him. Screams started, his grandfathers’ screams. Silkar put his hands over his ears and huddled on the floor trying to blot out the sound, but he couldn’t because it was in his mind. He tried to close off his mind as he realized what was happening, but the thoughts and emotions easily cut through. A scream was heard again, this time it was in his mind and it was his own. As the pain intensified, Silkar hit his head repeatedly against the wall until blood ran into his eyes, he gripped his arms tightly his fingers biting into them, and he rocked back and forth. It was almost half-an hour before the sensations ceased abruptly. Silkar sat up; green blood was running down his face, his fingernails had pieces of his own flesh under them.

He knew why the feelings had ceased.

Silkar glanced upwards as he heard a sound. T’Kas was standing over him She said “Silkar?” She stared at his ruined appearance. Then he felt a gentle probe in his mind. His mind which was already raw and weakened with what he had experienced offered little resistance. Silkar saw her expression change to horror as she realized through his jumbled thoughts what had happened. Silkar stretched a bloody hand out to her pleading “T’Kas.”

She backed away from him horrified with what she had discovered in her his mind, then turned and ran not looking back.

Chapter Text

Dr. McCoy’s glanced around the mess hall, his eyes searching for the ensign in the rush of crew eager to eat breakfast before their shifts started. He spotted him at a table tucked in the corner of the room alone, a mug of something in one hand while the other held a fork that picked half-heartedly at a plate of food. Dr. McCoy grabbed his own tray of food and wound his way through the early-morning crowd towards the ensign’s table. He placed his own heavily laden tray down on the table with a jolt, startling Chekov. “Mind if I sit here?”

Before the ensign could give his consent doctor McCoy had pulled out the chair and sat. Chekov eyed him warily, watching to see what the Doctor was planning. Dr. McCoy innocently sprinkled salt on his eggs and took a sip of coffee before speaking, “So, Chekov how is everything going?” Chekov who had obviously suspected something more intrusive was startled. “Um-fine” he mumbled, before taking a large gulp of whatever was in his mug, Dr. McCoy saw him make a face before swallowing and smelled the sharp pleasant aroma of coffee.  What was the ensign doing drinking coffee? He hated the stuff. McCoy thought.

 McCoy watched as Chekov took a bite of food and slowly chewed. The kid looked even worse than yesterday, his face was more tired than ever. Chekov stifled a yawn, and then scrubbed his eyes with the back of his hand. McCoy wondered what would be the best way to broach the subject of the ensign coming in for a check-up; he was saved from figuring out the answer, when Chekov looked up from his plate and said “vhat do you really vant vith me?”

 The doctor was about to falsely claim that he had simply wanted to talk to the ensign when Chekov cut him off, “You didn’t come sit here chust to talk to me”.

 McCoy rather than insult both their intelligence decided to go with the truth, “I think you have something wrong with you and I think you know what that is.”

 McCoy watched as the boy’s face turned pale. The fork he was holding in his hand dropped to the table with a clatter. Dr. McCoy pressed on, sure that he was on the right track, “I’d like you to come to sickbay so we can talk about it, you have about an hour before you have to report to the bridge”.

 Chekov opened his mouth to protest and Dr. McCoy leaned forward and softly said “Chekov, It’s going to come out anyway, please don’t make me have to order you”. Chekov looked at McCoy and nodded a look of dread present on his face.

XXXX XXXX

Chekov sat on the diagnostic bed watching as Dr. McCoy set the dials and recalibrated the monitors, and thought about what Dr. McCoy had said a few minutes earlier after they had arrived in sickbay. The Doctor was firmly convinced the Chekov had some sort of illness. Chekov had thought that the doctor knew about his past, they each were wrong, Chekov was tempted to laugh from the sheer absurdity of the whole situation, but resisted as the Doctor would probably have taken that for a sign of hysteria related to his impending “diagnosis”. The doctor would probably not even realize the reason for all the numerous injuries he had, no doctor ever had. They didn’t bother to ask the right questions, not that he would have answered them anyway.  The doctor finished setting the dials and said “I’m going to start the scan as soon as this is finished recalibrating, then I’ll run a few more tests and hopefully we should have an answer before the end of –.“ The rest of the doctor’s words were cut off as a voice rang out.

“Dr. McCoy, it’s engineering somebody managed to nearly amputate their leg, with a torch, they’re sending them up, and the captain wants to speak to you “.

“Damn it, Christine tell him I’m with a patient” McCoy said irritated.

“I already did sir, he still wants to talk to you” Christine said

Dr. McCoy looked at the monitors which were still cycling through figures and glanced at Chekov who was perched on the side of the bed “I’ll be right back” he said before walking off.

5-minutes later Dr. McCoy came back, grumbling about kid captains. The doctor told Chekov to lie back then commenced the scan and physical.

55 minutes later Dr. McCoy watched Chekov leave sickbay, he couldn’t understand what had just happened, the ensign had checked out perfectly healthy. The scan had came back negative for  all of the injuries that McCoy had noted the previous day, a second scan that McCoy had run refusing to believe the machine’s results had come back the same way. Blood tests, chem panels, it all had come back fairly normal, the only abnormality was that the ensign had high levels of stress hormones, and several of his vitamin levels were near the low end, but altogether he was fairly healthy. McCoy couldn’t understand how this could be. He had been so convinced that he was on the right track. Chekov had given the same excuses for his numerous old injuries as was listed in his medical records, various farm accidents,  and childhood injuries, but McCoy still believed that something was wrong with the ensign, and he would damn well find out what it was.

Chapter Text

Captain Kirk unsuccessfully tried to avoid a yawn, as he resisted the urge to get up and walk around the bridge for what would be the fifth time in the past hour.  The ship had been patrolling several light-years away from the Romulan neutral zone for almost a week and so far they had found nothing. According to Starfleet nothing was exactly what they were supposed to find, but then again Starfleet was never very forthcoming with information. The rumour mill of the fleet however said that they suspected Romulan involvement in a series of ship disappearances and spatial anomalies that had been noted recently. But so far the outcome of the Enterprise’s exploration coincided more with Starfleet’s view of things then the fleet rumour mill.

“Captain I’m picking up a signal of some sort” Uhura frowned and  listened intently to her earpiece.

Kirk immediately straightened from his slouched posture, eager to finally have some excitement after the day’s long patrol.

“I can’t pinpoint the origin it seems to be coming from a sector of space where there’s no object” She said as she ran her fingers glided across her board, watching frequencies and translating

“There is an unknown spatial anomaly developing two light-minutes ahead of us” Spock said his eyes glued to his console.

“On view screen” Kirk said

The view screen blanked out from the regular view of stars to reveal a coruscating bluish-green mass washing across space.

“Several unstable subspace readings and incongruities are developing in the surrounding space” Spock continued “captain the phenomenon is accelerating outwards.”

“Mr. Sulu take us away warp 3” Kirk said

“Aye, captain” Sulu, keyed the order into his console and then twisted around as the ship refused to respond. “Warp drive isn’t responding, impulse isn’t working either”

“Keptain eet’s surrounding-“ Ensign Chekov’s voice was cut off as the ship rocked with enough force to throw more than one crewmember from their seat. On the view screen the centre of the anomaly seemed to bulge outward. The lights dimmed and flickered then cut out all together as the ship rocked again. Several cries of pain could be heard throughout the bridge; the emergency lights flickered on, red lights blinking on and off in the familiar sequence of a red alert as Kirk picked himself off the floor from where he had been thrown.

Kirk jabbed his hand on the console to his chair keying open a channel to engineering. He gripped his chair more tightly as the shipped rocked again, struggling to stay in his seat.

“Scotty what’s going on down there?” Kirk said hearing what sounded like explosions, and shouts in the background.

“ Uh- This is ensign--- Kinitz--- Captain..” panted and out of breath voice between gasps ,” Mr. Scott is trying to stop the -”

“ I’ll take that now lad” Scotty’s voice cut in breathlessly “captain the engines are down all of them—I dinna know how long it’ll be before I can get them on line again” The ship rocked again and the intercom cut out as the lights dimmed . Kirk released the comm button, not bothering to call engineering again.

“Captain I believe we are inside the anomaly. Readings are indicating that several objects are occupying the surrounding space , we are unable to send any transmissions outward beyond a approximately four light-years” Spock replied without turning around from his station.

“Are they ships?” Kirk asked they were close to the neutral zone, who knew what technology the Romulans had developed with Nero’s help.

“The sensors indicate planetary system” Spock, said even his Vulcan voice showing a slight hint of bewilderment.  “The anomaly is stabilizing” he reported as the ship’s motion started to lessen. He pressed something on his console and the viewscreen lit up to show a planet.

“A planet wide distress call is coming through” Uhura’s voice rang out. “They’re identifying themselves as the T’karis Colony.”

“I wasn’t aware that any colony had been established this close to the neutral zone “ Kirk said.

” There weren’t any colonies established this far out” Spock turned away from his console and said “The T’karis colony was the name of a group of Vulcan’s that left Vulcan almost 195 years ago” 

“Open a channel, Uhura “ Kirk ordered.

“This is Captain James T. Kirk of the USS Enterprise, a federation star ship, state the nature of your emergency” Kirk stood up.

“They’re sending over a visual captain” Uhura said

“On view screen” he said

The image of a planet was replaced with the crackly image of a grim faced middle aged Vulcan. His face was covered in grime and green blood trickled down his face from a gash on his forehead; in the background people were hurrying back and forth carrying wounded people.

“Captain Kirk, I am Solkar , head regent of T’karis we are in dire need of aid. Our people have lived on this planet for almost two centuries trapped inside of a spatial anomaly which prevented us from communicating with the outside world or leaving space” The man coughed then continued. “The planet we are on is experiencing severe gravitational disturbances due to the dimensional shift and our scientists estimate that within three days it will no longer be able to support life, it is estimated that we have approximately 1.3 days before the rift recloses displacing this planet back into exile and dooming us all to death. We ask for your help in assisting us with evacuation.”

Kirk glanced back at his science officer for confirmation of the Vulcan’s words

“Computer projections extrapolate the planet’s inhabitants have approximately 2.12 standard days before the planet is unsuitable for life” Spock said glancing up from his science console.

 “Our ship has was damaged when we were caught in the dimensional rift but we will assist with the evacuation as much as possible” Kirk said

Chapter Text

The senior and bridge officers were in the ready room, discussing the evacuation of T’karis. Scotty was only giving the conversation half-his attention, as he monitored the progress on the engine repair on a data pad.

“ My preliminary readings of the anomaly indicate that it is a  piece of universe that is similar , but isolated and it experiences a periodic expansion and contraction approximately every 195.67 years, temporarily allowing it to interact with our universe ” Spock pressed a button and causing the holographic image in the middle of the table to change configuration  and continued speaking. ” I would postulate that  the anomaly pulls whatever is near it when it contracts into its gravitational field causing the object to occupy a congruent trajectory. The Enterprise  was near the anomaly at an inopportune time .”

“Could you speak god-damned English for the rest of us who lack the stiffness necessary to understand your Vulcan technical gibberish” McCoy said irritated, glaring at the Vulcan science officer.

Uhura stared angrily at the doctor and was about to open her mouth when somebody said. “Mr. Spock means that the anomaly is a pocket uniwerse that pulled the planet along vhen eet expanded into our uniwerse temporarily and eet pulled us into eet also.”

“Precisely, Mr. Chekov, simply put” Spock said

McCoy rolled his eyes and muttered under his breath sarcastically “well, why didn’t you just simply say that at first.”

Spock ignored the doctor’s comments and continued “according to the sensors the planet T’karis is under severe gravitational stress, and will experience such an increase in gravitational stress that it will be unable to support life within approximately two days. Currently the planet is only marginally M-class.”

“The information they transmitted indicates that have around 1343 people on the planet. A small number of Vulcans factoring in population growth and the original number of Vulcans that left” Spock continued “However, we can’t possibly evacuate them all using the Enterprise. The logical plan would be to let them—“

“What the hell is wrong with you, you cold green-blooded bastard” McCoy said interrupting “you’re saying that we should leave the rest of your own race behind to d—“

Kirk, gave the doctor a sharp glare, and cut him off before he could say any more incendiary comments, noting the furious look Uhura was giving the doctor. “ Nobody’s suggesting that we leave them on the planet. According to the information they transmitted to Uhura, they have around 5 ships that were used to bring the original colonists to the planet. With our help they should be able to get a few of these operational.”

“I’m beaming down a group of crewmembers to help them out,” he continued.

“There’s a wee problem with that Captain and I’ve got some lads working on it” Scotty said glancing up from his data pad to join in the conversation. “but I canna make the transporters work correctly there’s too much activity by that anomaly. If I risk beaming anybody, they might be scrambled. Ye’ll have to use shuttles” he finished almost apologetically.

“The communications are also going to be a problem, we can’t get a consistent signal to the planet or them to us” Uhura added

“Similarly, Sensor readings of are  vague due to the interference of the anomaly. Our shuttle’s and the ships on the planet especially will have difficulty navigating, however it is possible that we may be able to devise a method of counteracting some of the interference.,” Spock said

“So we’re going into this mission severely crippled” Kirk summarized, not liking his options.

“Since we’re only going to be able to send a limited number of crew. Uhura we’re going to need you, so the communications have the best chance of getting through. Spock, you, Chekov, and some of the science crew can work on making the sensor arrays on the ships down there work so they can navigate. Dr. McCoy and a few of his staff can help stabilize the colonists and if Scotty can spare a few engineering crew they can help repair the ships.”  Kirk said reaching a decision.

The officers assembled nodded, and then as the meeting adjourned, they started off to their assigned duties to prepare for the mission. Kirk stopped Dr. McCoy before he could leave, and waited until everybody had left the room. “What was that a few minutes ago Bones?” Kirk said looking at his friend.

 “That was me trying to show that emotionless green, robot that being a soulless “logical” perfectionist, is a bunch of bullsh--“

Kirk cut him off before he could continue “what do you have against Spock?”

McCoy began angrily “I’ve got nothing against Spock; I’ve got a problem with his entire lying, cheating, rac-“McCoy broke off abruptly aware that he was saying too much.

“You don’t like Vulcans” Kirk summarized cutting to the heart of the matter. “and you don’t want to be down there on that planet taking care of them.”

“I have no problem taking care of anybody” McCoy said heatedly “I don’t like self-righteo-“

“I’m friends with both you and Spock I’m can’t to allow you to keep saying these things about Spock or Vulcans in my presence. ” Kirk said firmly cutting off the doctor’s newest rant of insults.

McCoy looked at Kirk, his face angry. “You don’t understand what—“

“I understand that your behaviour undermines ship authority and morale and Starfleet has a clear policy on Xenophobia” Kirk could see the words weren’t having an effect on McCoy so he continued. “Bones you’ve been there for me more times than I can count. Even when I didn’t deserve it, but Spock is my friend also. And even if he won’t admit it having somebody criticizing him and belittling him for everything he does, for some goddamn reason even I can’t figure out bothers him and more than that it bothers me.” McCoy was uncomfortable, he shifted his weight and looked away from Kirk.

“You don’t know Vulcans like I do. They are a bunch of heartless bastards, that will—“ McCoy began

Kirk cut him off “You don’t know them. I’ve known several Vulcans before Spock, one saved my life and --.” Kirk broke off thinking of the child in question and the circumstances of the event. McCoy watched as a litany of emotion crossed Kirk’s face.

 In a deadly serious voice the young captain continued. “Doctor, if you can’t keep your views to yourself. I will report you.”  Kirk added in response to the somewhat defiant look on McCoy’s face. “Understood?”

“Perfectly captain” McCoy said stiffly, and then he turned and walked out the room.

Kirk looked at McCoy’s retreating back as the doors to the ready room slid shut behind him. Why did McCoy hate Vulcans so much?  McCoy tended to wear his heart on his sleeve and Vulcans were a lot more reserved.  The two opposites presented by the doctor’s emotions and Vulcans emotionless behaviour created an opportunity for conflict, but not with the vehemence the McCoy showed. Kirk hoped that McCoy could get over whatever it was or at least avoid public displays of his hatred, or Kirk would be forced to do something he really didn’t want to do.  He would have to choose Spock or McCoy and either way he would lose an excellent officer and a friend. Kirk knocked his head against the wall and thought.

At times like these he wished he wasn’t the Captain.

Chapter Text

Uhura and Spock walked to the shuttle bay. Uhura was still furious at what McCoy had said. Spock glanced at her out of the corner of his eye as his felt through a ripple of fury run through her; he was surprised to feel it with such force. Even though they were not bonded mentally like many Vulcan couples were. The many mind melds they had shared had caused a link of sorts to form. Even so, he usually wasn’t able to sense more than the tiniest brush of sensations without opening his mind or physically touching her. He turned as he felt the emotion against more forceful this time. “Nyota” He began knowing what was bothering her. “What Dr. McCoy said while inaccurate and narrow-minded did not bother me—“

Nyota stopped, and turned to him “It may not have bothered you Spock, but it bothered me.”

She continued her face extremely angry, “that racist a—hole is one of the very reason why we can’t tell anybody that we’re married.”

Spock watched at her, privately thinking that Uhura comments while correct on one front were not encompassing the full scope of the problem. They had been married a few months ago, right before she graduated, and they had both agreed to not tell anybody. Their families didn’t even know. The reasons for the nondisclosure were several.

 Firstly , Uhura was several ranks below him.  Even with the promotion she had received there was a marked difference in their ranks and if somebody had found out Spock would have very likely been accused of favouritism ,especially in light of his changing Uhura’s assignment from a different ship to the Enterprise. The backlash would have damaged both their careers and could have led to a court-martial if authorities really pushed for it.

Secondly, even though Starfleet had a policy against Xenophobia there were many people that disapproved of fraternizing between humans and aliens. It didn’t matter that Spock was half human. If people found out they were married ,Dr. McCoy’s routine insults would look like child’s play compared to what some others would say and do. 

Even now when people just thought they were together, whispers and stares followed them. The Narada incident hadn’t done them any favours either, many people thought that Romulans and Vulcans were to close for comfort. Spock had heard more than one crew member express that the Planet Vulcan had deserved to be destroyed since the Romulans were a clear indicator that those “kind” of people were a ticking time bomb in the heart of the federation.

“Nyota, Dr. McCoy is only one—“ Spock began

She interrupted angrily “I know that you can look at everything logically but Dr. McCoy has no excuse for his behaviour.  He shouldn’t be allowed to continue with his sarcastic racist comments every few minutes …”

Spock let her vent and waited until she quieted somewhat, before he said “Uhura you should not let his remarks bother you.  He--“

“Spock, I can’t just let what he said go! So don’t ask me to” She said frowning indignantly up at him. Her face was furrowed with anger.

Spock glanced down at her; she was quite pretty, even when she was furious. Another wave of her anger rushed through him like a fiery tide, the sensation spreading throughout his body. The passion she was putting into her rant seared through them stirring up his own feelings, but they weren’t of anger.

 As she opened her mouth to say something else, Spock pulled her against him and kissed her. He felt her surprise for a moment tickle the back of his mind, and then she kissed him back.  He twined his fingers in her hair and let one hand stray to her temples. Carefully he probed her mind and she opened, allowing their consciousnesses to mingle. The awareness of where they were faded away for both of them.  Spock pulled away after several minutes and looked back down at her. She raised an eyebrow at him and said slightly out of breath “and if I ask you if you did that to shut me up, you’re going to say no? Right?”

He gave no answer, a slightly amused look was on his face that only she knew him well enough to detect.  She looked up at him still out of breath and hissed “You Hypocrite! you were telling me we shouldn’t show ‘displays of affection ’in public because somebody might see.” Spock still didn’t answer.  She sighed and said “well your distraction worked, at the moment McCoy doesn’t seem worth discussing”

“Precisely what I was trying to establish” Spock said “Now I suggest we get to the shuttle bay before somebody realizes we’re not there and comes looking for us, or before another you need another... distraction”

She looked at him for a moment then gave a small smile and slipped her hand into his and they continued on.

Chapter Text

The crew for the away team that would assist in the evacuation was in the hangar deck preparing the equipment they needed.  Ensign Kelly was near one of the shuttles checking and triple checking that she had all the things, they would need. It was a worrying feeling to know that the transporter wouldn’t work, so that if anything happened there couldn’t be a quick beam up to safety or help couldn’t be beamed down. Kelly thought back to a time at Starfleet academy.

It was after a particularly gruelling series of tests that she and her friends had decided to go to one of the fairs they were having in San Francisco that summer. After they had tried nearly every ride, her friends in a fit of silliness had coaxed her into going with them to a fortune teller.  The fortune teller was a small-red eyed alien woman, who had white tufts of hair, and long-yellow clawed fingers.

The woman had told the fortune of Kelly’s two friends first. One would get married and never graduate from the academy; another would be promoted extremely quickly. The two cadet’s had laughed as their fortune’s were told, then it had been Kelly’s turn. Kelly held her hand out for the woman to read, as the alien ran a clawed finger down Kelly’s palm, the alien shuddered and pulled her hands away. “Are you sure you want to know your fate” the woman asked her face grave. Kelly’s two friends laughed and one of them said” of course she does”. Kelly wasn’t sure that she wanted to know, but she felt she had to know or she would always be wondering. She nodded for the woman to continue. The alien picked up her hand again, and her eyes focused solely on Kelly told her fortune

You shall graduate and find the one you love,

And on a faraway planet, you both shall die,

You in his arms,

Kelly’s two friends were shocked.

“Why would you say that?

“That’s awful, come on Leah let’s leave”

The two girls scowled at the fortune teller as they tugged Kelly away.

Kelly followed them out and laughed with them afterwards, she told herself it was stupid. But the woman’s words had come true one of her friends was married now and had a child. In the second year she had dropped out of Starfleet and now worked on a cargo freighter near one of the Martian colonies.  The other friend was already a lieutenant. The woman’s predictions had come true. For Kelly she hoped that the last part of the woman’s predictions wouldn’t come true because the first part already had. And every time she went on an away mission she wondered would it be her last.

Stop thinking like that she chided herself everything will be fine. She took a deep breath to steady herself and went back to her equipment check. She had just finished checking her list for the 4th time when a voice interrupted.

“Hey, Kelly”

She looked up irritably recognizing Lieutenant Roth’s voice.

he smiled at her, leaning against the shuttle, lazily, as he said  “ So their sending you down, huh?” He continued ignoring or maybe not recognizing her annoyed look “That’s nice I’ll be going down to” (Lieutenant Roth was security with a computer rating) “Somebody’s got to keep your pretty little self safe” he said reaching out to pat her on the head.

“Drop dead Roth!” she said ducking underneath his hand and pushing it out the way.

“Ooh, not a nice way to talk, I’m wounded”

“I mean it Roth get the hell out my way and go somewhere” she said

“Getting a little mad aren’t we, you and ensign Checkers still having problems” he said not moving. “He still wery mad at you” He added in a mocking stage whisper.

“His name is Chekov, and you know what? it’s none of your business, okay, now leave me alone” She said angrily practically snarling at him.

“Feisty aren’t you, just what I like in my women” Roth continued unperturbed

“I’m not your woman you idiot! Now why don’t you go talk some of your lame lines with a girl who has nothing on her upper decks and maybe you’ll actually get somebody who falls for it.”

Roth turned a deep red at her words, he looked angry now.

“What’s that dumb a-- Russian got that I don’t huh?”

“Don’t talk about him like that”

“No, Kelly I want to know. Why do you want to be with that idiot who can’t even talk right and just barely got out of diapers? When you could be with me?” He said furiously “what’s he got Kelly, Huh?”

“How about this , he’s not a stupid oaf , that can’t take no for an answer, he cares more about me than how I look nude, and I love him okay, I love him.”

Roth looked at her his face twisted in an angry scowl

“You know he’s nothing right? He’s nothing and anybody with him is nothing also.” And with those words Roth stalked off.

Kelly looked after him thinking of what she had just said. She had just admitted to that oaf that she loved Chekov. He probably hadn’t heard what she said and was to focused on the insults pertaining to himself, and although the words had been angry and impulsive they were  true. She loved Chekov. She wasn’t even sure exactly why, there was something about him that was sincere, and nice. He wasn’t like the other males she had seen throughout the academy and Starfleet, always trying to show off or impress her so they could add her to their score card. And as much as she liked to think that she was prepared for anything and could handle herself, Chekov added that one extra note of security.  she always felt when she was with him she was safe. I love him, the words had surprised her when she said them but they were true.

“Leah...Leah?” Kelly looked behind her and realized that somebody had called her name and more than once too. It was Chekov; she had forgotten that he was assigned to this mission also.

She saw him look at the angry look on her face, and then he looked at Lieutenant Roth, then back at her.

“He vas bothering you?”

“No, it’s fine” she began

Chekov hadn’t even waited for her to answer his question; he had already moved toward Roth a dark expression on his face. Kelly reached out and caught his arm, she grabbed it firmly. “Chekov its fine, I’m serious just – just let it go okay” She looked at him and could see he still wanted to go after Roth.

“Please Pavel”

He sighed “Okay I vill for you”

They stood there for a moment each looking at the other somewhat uncomfortably, unsure what to say next. Chekov broke the silence.

“Leah, I’m sorry for how I’ve been treating you lately”

“It’s okay. Pavel it’s fine, I’m-”

“No, eet’s not” he said shaking his head “Lately, I’ve been really—“ he broke off biting his lip, then continued “anyvay, vhat I’m saying is I shouldn’t be taking out stuff  on you, I don’t vant to be like my fa---“ he broke off again and glanced away then said quietly. “I don’t vant to be like that; I don’t vant to be that person”

“Pavel, it’s okay, I understand you’ve been kind of stressed lately and I am somewhat pushy and annoying” She had been determined to remain mad at him , but the guilty expression on his face washed away her anger.

“You’re not pushy and annoying” he said vehemently he paused, then asked ,his brow furrowed “so you’re not still mad at me?”

Kelly almost laughed at his forlorn expression. “Chekov, I was mad at your for a few hours, it’s been days now, I’m not still mad at you, I could never stay mad at you”

“Vell, in that case, ve could go for a holovid vhen ve get back” he said hopefully, his face brightening slightly.

“Is that a date Chekov?” she replied teasingly

He nodded.

“Then in that case, I’ll be there, you’re in charge of the snacks” she grinned. Chekov smiled back at her.
“Now come on and help me get this equipment loaded before we get in trouble.” She grabbed some packs, he picked up a few and they walked off together.

Chapter Text

The crew finished packing in a half an hour and boarded their assigned shuttles. Kelly along with Spock, Chekov,  Uhura, Havarii,a young female ensign named O’Connor and an engineering lieutenant Smith were all in one shuttle.

They had been in flight for almost half an hour. Under normal circumstances the journey to the planet would have only taken a few minutes at most, but the anomaly tended to distort  sensor readings making navigation incredibly hard , forcing the shuttle’s pilot to go at only a fraction of  normal speed. Also, the Enterprise couldn’t move any closer to the planet due to the anomaly’s effect.

Kelly was just finishing the last words to a letter to her father. The letter was hard to write as all the letters had been over the past few years, especially the ones she sent never expecting a reply. After her mother had died, her father had fallen into a long depression, for years she had to take care of everything. She had no choice but to grow up fast.

Almost four and a half years ago, she had come in one night and announced that she was applying for Starfleet Academy. The announcement had woken her father out of the blank daze he spent most of his time in and he had spent the better part of two days trying to dissuade her from leaving. After seeing her mind wouldn’t be changed, he had coldly announced that if she left she was to never speak to him again. Kelly had been firm in her decision and had left that night. Shortly thereafter she was accepted into the academy. She had tried writing her father but had for years never received a reply. She didn’t entirely blame her father.  She knew that he had been heart broken when her mother Clara had died and was afraid of losing her too. After the Narada incident he had sent her a frantic e-message begging for forgiveness. Kelly had reread it repeatedly over the course of a day before she finally replied. Her and her father’s relationship still wasn’t mended and probably never would be but it was a start.

Kelly heard a soft murmur off to her side and looked at Chekov he had fallen asleep. She thought about waking him. They wouldn’t arrive at the planet for several minutes more, but he really wasn’t supposed to be asleep in-flight. He wouldn’t have been prepared if something happened and would probably get in trouble if anybody saw him.  She couldn’t bring herself to wake him, His face was quiet and calm, and he looked almost peaceful. And it was dim in the cabin interior, he wasn’t very noticeable. She would let him sleep a little longer than she would wake him up.

She looked out the window at the anomaly which twisted and turned outside the window. It was the colour of an aurora borealis; The waves of light and energy were incredibly beautiful and potentially deadly. She thought remembering how the anomaly had hauled a small planetary system and the Enterprise along with it.

She turned as she felt someone scratch her hand, it was Chekov. She gasped sharply as he gripped her hand tightly the fingernails biting into her. He held it so tightly she feared he might break it. His face was tense, he moved restlessly, and then quieted for a moment. He said something that sounded like “Liska!” then he started moving again, this time he twitched and jerked. Abruptly he let go of her hand and now he was talking aloud. The words quiet but audible “Don’t I can” He strained against his harness, “Let me go!” he said louder. Kelly reached over and gently shook his shoulder “Chekov?” she said. She knew if she didn’t wake him soon, the entire shuttle would know whatever or whoever he was dreaming about.  She shook his shoulder harder this time and said “Chekov?”

Spock was coming up the aisle towards them. Kelly ,finally managed to wake Chekov up. His hand came up to grip her arm in an iron tight grip. He stared at her blankly for a moment, then let go noticing the back of her hand which has small scratches trickling blood. “Did I do that?” he said quietly.

Kelly turned her hands over so the cuts weren’t visible and have opened her mouth to lie when, her denial was cut off by “Mr. Chekov, you’re supposed to be awake we will reach the atmosphere of T’karis in about four minutes, with planet fall approximately 7.8 minutes later .“  Spock continued “If you are asleep you will not be adequately prepared.”

“It’s my fault sir, I didn’t wake him and—“  Kelly began.

Spock glanced at her and said “it’s not your responsibility to wake Mr. Chekov, his sleep patterns are his own affair, he should be able to keep himself awake”  He turned back to Chekov and said “do you understand Mr. Chekov?”

Chekov looked chastened and guilty as he said “aye, sir.”

Spock nodded curtly and turned away.

Kelly watched him go, feeling very irritated. It wasn’t that he had singled them out. Spock used his cold logical manner on everyone especially: "impressionable” junior subordinates, but he still irritated her to death. She turned back to Chekov, rubbing the cuts on her hand as they stung painfully.

“I’m sorry I didn’t wake you” Kelly said quietly

“Eet’s not you job, Mr. Spock’s right” Chekov said glancing at her.

“Are you okay Chekov, It look like you were having a really—" Kelly trailed off as his face turned red and she saw a mixture of intense anger and embarrassment flash across.

“I’m fine ,okay. I don’t vant to talk about eet” he turned away from her and stared out the window. She left him alone she recognized the mood from the other times she had awoken him. He would awaken furious, whether at her or somebody else she didn’t know.  She only knew that it was best to leave him alone.

 She wasn’t afraid of him. He had never laid a hand on her and the few times he had actually yelled at her he had apologized profusely afterwards. But she had seen him many times, his jaw tight, his fist clenching and unclenching as he restrained himself.  She would say something and he would walk away or hit the wall so hard sometimes his hand would have spilt skin and be bleeding. She stayed out of his way when he was like that, not for her own sake but for his. She knew a lot of his past and she knew that to him if he ever laid a hand on her he would have become what he worst feared. Kelly knew that if that happened Chekov wouldn’t forgive himself.

Chapter Text

Minutes later the crew disembarked from the shuttles and looked around. They had taken three shuttles and had only brought as many crewmembers as could be taken up in a single trip by the shuttles. It was a small crew for the task they had before them.  A contingent of Vulcans was waiting inside the hangar deck of one of the main compounds to greet them. Spock recognized Solkar, the head of the T’karis colony. He was flanked by a young man and woman that bore a resemblance to him.

Spock raised his hand in the traditional Vulcan greeting, parting his finger in the familiar V-shape and he wondered would the man return it. After, Solkar had stated they were the T’karis colony; Spock had searched the computer banks for information on the colony. The computer had given an approximate date for when the colony had left Vulcan and had listed that the Colony ships they had left on had lost contact with Vulcan after a few months then was never heard from again.  The computer didn’t have the full story.

What the computer hadn’t mentioned was the T’karis colony was a group of individuals that most Vulcans knew of but never spoke of to outsiders. The future residents of the T’karis colony had left Vulcan after engaging in debauchery, wanton violence and refusing to follow Surak’s logic. They had intended to travel to different planets build an army and build an empire in which they were the rulers and the other races of the galaxy subjugates. Spock was mildly disturbed to see the Vulcans arrayed before him, looked just like Vulcans that he had seen on his home world. They appeared to proper to logical to have come from such irrational and violent forebears.

The man raised his hands in the salute Spock had offered, intoning the traditional Vulcan greeting, but as he did so Spock saw a slight hint of some emotion dart across the man’s face so quickly Spock was almost unsure he had saw it.

Solkar introduced the Vulcans behind him, as his head engineer, one of the colony’s doctor and various other departments. The woman and man standing next to him were his son, Silkar and his daughter, T’Kas, a scientist and doctor, respectively. The woman was beautiful, her raven-black hair was crowned around her head in two silky braids, her skin was a pale-green, and the gray tunic she wore clung appealingly. Spock stared at her for several moments, she was quite beautiful. As if she was aware she caught his gaze, and her eyes held his intently for a moment, like she was trying to give him a message. Then she looked away her face blank.  Spock was somewhat disquieted by the interaction, he looked at the Silkar.  Silkar was  a stark contrast to T’Kas, his face had a dark look about him, the impassive look that he wore seemed to hide a darker countenance, as Spock looked at him the man caught his eye and what could have only been a expression of malice flitted across the man’s face, then was quickly covered.

The man turned away, and Spock focused on what the middle-aged Vulcan was saying putting the slightly uneasy feeling he had out of his mind.

XXXX XXXX

“The ships were placed underground when we knew that the anomaly would return, to avoid as much damage as possible, even then with the shielding we were able to devise our computer systems were severely damaged and the engines are only barely reparable in time to evacuate” Solkar said as he led the crew down a series of circuitous passages.

Silkar, Spock, Chekov Uhura and several engineering and science crewmembers walked down a corridor. As they walked through the colony they could see evidence of the damage the anomaly had wrought. Chunks of the building had fell down half-blocking corridors, Vulcans carried wounded members to the infirmary, and others hurried back and forth preparing for the evacuation. The anomaly effects could still be felt, every few minutes, the ground under their feet would shake causing more than one crewmember to stumble and the lights would dim.  They travelled several hundred feet the passage way gradually sloping downward. The place was like a maze, the passages took twists and turns that would have confused a bloodhound.  They turned one last corner and the corridor opened onto a walkway. The walkway lined an enormous cavern that housed several ships.  The ships loomed largely above the crew, Spock could see they were the original colony ships the colonists must have came in. They were built in a style that was over 200 years old and most of the original components were still there.

Vulcans scurried over the hull and the quiet but urgent voices of the repair crews filled the air, mingled with the sound of falling rubble and tools being operated.

“This is one of three hangars…” Solkar explained as he led them around the ships. He continued explaining that each hangar was in a separate part of the compound and housed a part of the fleet. There were 5 colony ship’s total. Spock mentally admired the man’s logic by dividing the ships up. If a hangar was damaged they would still retain some of their fleet, but working on the ships the way they were situated would require dividing the crew. Logically, that was the only way they could complete the job, but something about the thought made Spock feel uneasy summoning his control he pushed down the feeling.

Solkar continued showing them the other hangars, and then Spock gave the crew their assignments. Spock, Uhura, and several other crewmembers were in one group.

The Enterprise crew had dispersed throughout the ship each going to their assigned duties. Havarii was in the engine room of the colony ship along with Lieutenant Smith. O’Connor, Chekov, and Kelly were busy checking the life support systems. Various members of the colony were dispersed throughout the ship making repairs of their own as they all tried to get the ships ready for departure in the short time left.  The only people on the bridge of the ship were Spock, Uhura and Silkar. 

Uhura was busily working on a comm. console trying to link the communication equipment from the enterprise to the console in an effort to boost the signal and achieve a reliable channel.  Silkar watched her.

Once Solkar had given them a tour of the ship, he told his son to come along. After a brief conversation, Silkar had broken away from his father and Spock heard the words “I want to monitor things here”. Solkar had nodded but, Spock didn’t miss the look of disquiet that had crossed the older Vulcan’s face. Silkar came back saying the initial repairs would go better if they had somebody that was very familiar with the ship’s system, he claimed that few of the other Vulcans knew more about the ships then he had.

As he walked he told them his grandfather had been one of the main engineers responsible in making the over a hundred year old ship, modern enough for another journey through deep space. Silkar ended with the words “he always thought like a visionary” But instead of pride as he talked about his grandfather, Spock noted a hint of disdain in the younger Vulcans words. 

Now Spock watched Silkar closely, unbeknownst to him. Uhura was too focused on re-wiring the comm.-console to notice the attention she was getting. Half-her body was twisted under the panel, as she fixed the circuitry.

Silkar watched the lieutenant’s movements with a fascination that Spock found unpleasant to behold. Spock glared at the man. Silkar, almost as if he felt Spock gaze upon him, turned around and briefly looked at Spock, before returning to his work, his back to Uhura. The man’s face had been expressionless, but Spock illogically, irrationally, felt there was something indefinable unpleasant about the man.

Uhura inched out from beneath the panel and tugged her uniform down, brushing dust down off herself. Spock watched as she sat down at a console and began to work. Silkar continued working, he gave no indication that minutes ago he had been staring at Uhura. Spock still had the feeling that Silkar was up to something and whatever it was, it wasn’t good.

Chapter Text

Dr. McCoy and the other medical staff had arrived in the infirmary. The staff immediately moved to help. McCoy saw T’Kas and the other Vulcans began directing the crew to various patients. McCoy didn’t move he just stood there, trying to summon the energy to help a people he utterly despised. Against his better judgement, he was drawn towards a whimpering baby. The child was clearly Vulcan, and the mother was also. She had the same stiff reserve, her face betrayed not the slightest hint of concern. As McCoy passed a scanner over the small child he thought angrily that for all the concern she was caring she might as well have just held the small infant out at arms length and said “fix it”. McCoy looked the baby over carefully and analyzed the results of his scan, then came to a conclusion. The little baby had a cold of some sort, not something that would harm the child, but definitely something that was irritating.

McCoy pulled out the right drug and gave the baby a hypospray. It quieted, then looked sleepy, and gurgled contently at him. As he pulled his hand away the baby reached a small hand upward and grasped his finger tightly in one of its small fists. Against his will McCoy felt something that was dangerously close to damaging his hardened exterior. He suppressed the feeling and pulled his finger away from the infant. He explained harshly what was wrong with the baby to the impassive mother, and then went onto anther patient, this time a young girl with a scalp laceration.

McCoy worked on the Vulcans for hours treating, and curing them, all the while doing his best to avoid thinking about what he was doing. As he worked, he started noticing something odd. A large percentage of the Vulcans in this colony had bloody types or tissue antibodies that were rarely found in the normal Vulcan population. The rest of the Enterprise medical staff hadn’t noticed it, probably because their knowledge of Vulcan physiology wasn’t as extensive as his own. But he was almost an expert on the subject. After his wife’s deceitful betrayal, in between long hours spent intoxicated he had studied Vulcans obsessively. Know your enemy had been his motto.

He found the results strange, but one words suggested itself to him--inbreeding. He thought that’s exactly what these filthy aliens have probably been doing all these years. He set aside samples of his findings in a corner of the lab near an unused machine intending to come back later and store them away. He didn’t really know what he’d do with them exactly, perhaps use them in a research article or perform some experiments on them. As he walked away from dropping off another sample, an older Vulcan walked by and noticing the tubes, disks, data cubes, and tricorders littering the corner said “Why do you have all this?”

 McCoy shrugged looking at the woman with irritation. Who was she that she thought he had to answer her. The woman stared at him demanding an answer, and grudgingly he said “I was going to take a few samples back to my ship, your people have some rare blood types and such.” The woman nodded and said “What are you planning to do with the samples?”

He was extremely irritated now, but managed to remain civil with great difficulty. “I was going to study them, maybe write a paper or run some experiments.” The woman nodded, and then moved away. McCoy glared at her back, before moving on also.

He had been working for only a few minutes, when he heard what sounded like a small explosion from then other side of the infirmary. He finished what he was doing and went to see what had caused the noise. He found a Vulcan woman standing next the machine which he had placed his samples near. The machine had apparently exploded, destroying his work. The woman looked up as he approached and said “My regrets Doctor, I neglected to tell you that this machine is in need of repair, it appears your tricorder may have set it off in some way. My apologies for the destruction of your samples.”

McCoy turned on heel and walked away not bothering to answer. Her manner didn’t fool him one bit. He knew that Vulcan woman had probably destroyed his work, to foil him. Now, that she was about to be rescued she probably planned to steal his idea and present the resulting project at the next federation research council. He stormed through the infirmary, furious. This was just like deceitful, Vulcans, always taking what was other people’s.

Chapter Text

Spock looked up from where he was writing a report on a data pad as he heard a voice say "Commander Spock, Commander Spock" He glanced at the person who had spoken it was Lieutenant Smith.

The short engineer was highly agitated. He spoke quickly, obviously affronted "They told me to get out the engine room, I was in there and I opened this panel, and there were all kinds of things in there that didn't make any sense. They saw me there and told me to get away. I told them what I was doing and they told me to leave the engine room!"

Lieutenant Smith finally paused for breath.

Spock raised an eyebrow and said "They told you to leave?"

"Yes, Commander Spock, you'd think they'd be grateful that—"

Spock raised a hand forestalling any further comments and got up. He glanced around the bridge and saw Uhura was still there, along with Ensign O'Connor. Silkar had disappeared. Spock paused for a moment wondering should he leave the two women alone here by themselves, then shook off the illogical feeling. There was nothing there that could hurt them.

Spock wasn't surprised the engineer had managed to get himself kicked out the engine room. Smith had an attitude that seemed to generally inference that everybody was inferior to himself and knowing Smith he had probably put up quite a fuss when the Vulcans had told him to get away from that panel. Still, Spock knew he had to go investigate the man's comment if only so he wouldn't have to listen to the irate engineer complain for hours.

They walked towards the engine room, Smith chattered the whole way, hurrying to keep up with Spock's long strides.

When they arrived at the engine room Spock found everything as it should have been, the Vulcans and Enterprise crew worked side-by-side. As Spock walked in Smith said "that's who told me to leave! Him!" he pointed a finger at a man and Spock saw that it was Silkar he was pointing at. Silkar walked towards them his face expressionless. Silkar walked up to them, Spock explained what Smith had told him. Silkar looked at him and said "Commander Spock, Lieutenant Smith was near a critical piece of circuitry, also there was the possibility of harmful radiation from the panel he was near. We had no wish for your engineer to come to harm. I believe my words were to leave and go to the infirmary for a medical scan."

Smith sputtered indignantly and said "that's not what you said! You told me to leave."

Silkar said "My apologies if you misunderstood me."

Smith said "I didn't misunderstand you. I heard what you said."

Silkar stared at Smith then said "are you saying I'm lying?"

"That's exactly what I'm saying—" Smith said crossly

Silkar turned away from Smith and spoke to Spock. "Your crew man was in danger of coming to harm through his actions and we removed him from the vicinity. He was not told to leave. Offence was not intended. We merely did not wish him to be injured, that would be most unfortunate"

Silkar stared at Spock holding his gaze.

Spock turned to Smith and said "His words do have logic lieutenant, they know this ship better than we do. It would be advisable for you to report to the infirmary for a diagnostic scan."

Smith said begrudgingly "Aye sir" He was still glowering angrily at Silkar. After a last look Smith turned around and walked away. Spock began to walk away, Silkar followed saying "are you going to the bridge" Spock nodded curtly.

Silkar asked "Is Uhura there?"

Spock turned to look at him not answering the question. Silkar continued, "I wanted to tell her that I changed some of the comm. circuitry"

Spock's face was stony, but he gave a half-nod.

He and Silkar continued to the bridge in silence, when they got there Silkar gave Uhura the message then left. But Spock didn't like the way he had stared at her as he had talked. No matter how Spock tried he couldn't shake off the feeling that there was something not right with Silkar. Almost an hour later Spock was called away to another hangar deck, he didn't want to leave Uhura here, but reasoned she would be okay, logically there was no reason to worry. She wasn't alone, Havarii was also on the bridge, and he would only be gone a few minutes. He walked over to where Uhura was, she looked tired. They had been working for hours, it was nearly the middle of the night ship's time. "Uhura" He said quietly not wanting to attract the attention of Havarii. She glanced at him , he spoke "I'm going to one of the other ship's I'll be back in a few minutes. Be-" He stopped feeling illogical, but then said it anyway "be careful"

Uhura gave a tired smile and said "Be careful? Spock , what am I going to do? Cut my finger on the console while I'm typing or trip on a step while you're gone?"

Spock said "Uhura, I'm serious. Be careful around Silkar, there's just—something odd"

Uhura looked at him soberly and said "Okay Spock, I will."

Spock nodded then walked away. Uhura continued working. She felt more alert feeling; the entire conversation had been so unlike Spock it was startling. Spock talked in absolutes and objective data, not subjective impression. Havarii walked by telling her he was going to check a circuit in a nearby room, and then he left. Uhura was alone now. She turned back around as she heard footsteps on the bridge, Silkar was behind her. He glanced around and said "Is Spock around?" Uhura equivocated, thinking of what Spock had said "he just stepped out for a moment."

Silkar nodded, but he appeared to see through her words. He sat down in a chair that was disturbingly close to her and said "you're very aesthetically pleasing"

Uhura was silent and ignored his comment wishing Spock or somebody would come back.

"So, Spock. Are you and him together?" Silkar asked

Uhura turned to him startled and said "That's none of your business"

Silkar was unperturbed and said "My pardons if you found the comment intrusive, he just seems very protective of you"

Uhura felt very uncomfortable, she wondered if she got up would Silkar follow.

Silkar continued "You're not like the other humans you're more ordered, more logical, I see why Spock likes you"

Uhura didn't know whether his comments were clumsy attempts to flirt with her or not, but they were unwelcome and downright creepy. She stood up, and was about to walk away when the door opened and Spock entered. He looked between Uhura who looked angry and Silkar who was sitting there calmly. Silkar spoke "Uhura and I were just having a conversation".

Spock's face was cold. Silkar stood up and walked past Spock and off the bridge. Spock watched him go then turned to Uhura.

"What was he doing, Nyota. And where is Havarii?"

"Havarii left to go look at something" Uhura noted Spock's face which was clearly angry if you knew how to read it and continued "and Silkar was talking, he wanted to know whether you and I were together" She left out his other comments.

Spock moved closer to her and said "I don't like him coming around you" A muscle twitched in his face. Seeing his anger Uhura reached out and grabbed his hand "I'll be careful Spock, there's something about him that's... odd "

XXXX XXXX

As Silkar walked down the passage he recognized one of the Enterprise crew as Havarii. He stopped the human and started talking to him, complimenting the man's work. After a few moments he slipped into the conversation "So is Spock a Vulcan?" Havarii looked startled by the statement but answered "Well yes, not completely though he's half-Vulcan, half-human But can't you tell that from looking at him that he's Vulcan ?"

Silkar said "one should never assume anything."

Havarii shrugged and said "Okay I guess, but why do you ask?"

Silkar replied "I was just curious" then he walked away, leaving Havarii staring after him puzzled.

XXXX XXXX

The Enterprise crew continued working almost continually, barely taking the time to sleep or eat. They were all aware of the time limit imposed on them by the anomaly .But that wasn't the only reason for their haste, they also desired to leave the planet as soon as possible. There was an undercurrent of dislike running throughout most of the crew, human and non-humans , against the inhabitants of the colony. Spock overheard many crewmembers' comments to each other when they thought he couldn't hear.

"—Vulcans or Romulans, they look the same to me. And I don't trust any of them—"

"These damn point ears tried to destroy the federation and now we're bringing some more in-"

"-The captain is blinded to what Vulcans really are because he's friends with one—"

Spock ignored the comments, there was no point even bothering to report them. More crew would take there place. The sentiment against Vulcans and Romulans had intensified ever since the first incident with Nero years ago and the Narada incident with Nero's destruction of Vulcan and attempt to destroy the federation had only cemented in the minds of many the evils of both races.

It wasn't only the crew that had expressed these sentiments. One of the higher-ups in Starfleet had been quoted by a reporter as saying "It's a good thing that Vulcan was destroyed, the cyst of evil that was sitting in the heart of the federation was removed. And the remaining Vulcans should be rounded up to prevent that malignant cancer from returning to destroy us all ". The official had later retracted his statement and issued a formal apology stating his words had been taken out of context, but Spock knew that his statement reflected the views of many. A lot of the federation didn't bother to make the distinction between Vulcans and Romulans. After what had happened there was too much pain and grief; to them both races were the same: evil.

The colony's inhabitants were helpful and pleasant, but none of the crew trusted them. The children that played in the corridors were treated with as much distrust as the adults. Food that was offered was declined and there was a general air of suspicion. Spock had his own misgivings about the Vulcans in the colony, and a part of him wondered was it a by-product of being around the other crew and unconsciously picking up their sentiments, or a real feeling based on something he subconsciously detected.

He had no way to be sure which, so he tried to push away the illogical thought and focus on his tasks.

XXXX XXXX

"Damn all these Vulcans and their crazy physiology" Dr. McCoy muttered as he pulled a gloved hand from the chest cavity he was working in and gestured to his assistant for a surgical laser. The young nurse held out the tool, which he snatched from her. She busied herself with arranging the surgical supplies on the tray and studiously ignoring the doctor's comments. He had been going on like this for almost an hour.

As he finished the repair and sealed the chest up, he gave the patient over to the nurse's care and peeled of his bloody green gloves, and tossed then away disgustedly. It was still unnerving to see blood that was another colour other than red. Not to mention all the different sights and smells that came with a body that wasn't human. A few races had insides and bodily fluids that were downright putrid. In medical school when they had xenobiological surgery, it was common for many students to "fill their mask"- the term used for becoming sick in surgery. In school he had been a lot better than most, and once he graduated, most aliens' insides hadn't bothered him at all. But for some reason today, the smell of the Vulcan's insides was almost unbearable. And it wasn't only the smell that bothered him; it was the fact that he had spent half the day trying to save the lives of god-dammed Vulcans. And to make matters worse, it was hard to even tell exactly where they were hurt because they didn't have the decency to even complain of pain or moan like a normal being.

"It's those damn Vulcan's self-righteous, to good-for-everybody-else mentality that's there own downfall.—" He stopped as he became aware of a woman standing next to him. He glared down at her irritably; it was…, what was her name. T'Pas …T'Las… T'Kas, there he finally found it. The woman was staring at him with that impassive gaze that made Vulcans so annoying, and McCoy realized that he had been speaking aloud. Great, with just his luck, she'd get off this god forsaken planet and report him to Starfleet for xenophobia. For a moment he thought back to his conversation with Jim earlier on that subject, had he been serious?, he sure as hell had looked serious when he said it.

The woman spoke surprising him with her words."It is quite difficult to treat a patient when they don't provide any non-verbal or verbal cues as to the nature of their distress"

McCoy was startled, first because she had apparently heard a lot more than he thought she had. Second because she was agreeing with him, even if she was talking in that annoyingly logical voice her entire race had.

"Hmm, so you're saying that all this logicalness is pretty stupid if you die of a ruptured Vessel, because you're to perfect to moan in pain"

"I didn't say that" the woman replied. McCoy could have almost sworn that he saw the ghost of an amused smile on her face. As he looked down at her he realized she was quite pretty, She had a heart shaped faced. Her thick black hair was done in a plain style that McCoy found quite attractive. Her eyes were coal-black and almond shaped. She was very pretty. For a Vulcan. He amended his mind, shutting down his line of thinking as he came to his senses and realized who he was thinking about. The next moment any charitable thoughts he had towards her disappeared as she spoke again.

"I was merely stating that cues to problems are helpful with diagnosis"

He snorted irritably. was she mocking him ? That was what he got, as soon as he thought he had found a Vulcan that didn't have their head stuck up their rear, he was proven wrong. Well, what did he expect; he knew they were a bunch of two-faced bastards.

He walked away from her, without another comment, muttering darkly under his breath and went off to find another patient. The next patient was a young man with an open fracture; Despite his Vulcan reserve you could tell he was in pain. McCoy pulled on a pair of gloves and examined the leg. it would have to be reset before the tissue and bone could be healed. Even with pain medication it would be quite painful.

Was he a bad doctor if some part of him would enjoy it?

XXXX XXXX

Spock walked down the corridor back to the hangar deck that housed the colony ships; he had just finished downloading information from the main computer banks. He turned a corner his mind preoccupied with the entire task he had to complete and walked right into someone. He looked down and saw the top of a head, black hair neatly crowning it

"Pardon" he began stepping aside to allow the person to pass.

"Spock?" A female voice issued forth as the person tilted her head up. It was T'Kas he had walked into. She had a medical bag slung over one shoulder, her eyes were looking at him intently, and her delicate features were solemn.

She spoke again "I was down in the Hangar Decks treating one of the workers for a burn" she glanced around at the moment the corridor was deserted. "I have something to talk to you about" she paused biting her lip in a very un-Vulcan display of worry.

Inwardly he felt apprehension at her reaction; this was yet another display of emotion by yet another person in the colony. It was like most of the Vulcans here had the emotional control of a small Vulcan child or they were all playing at a bad imitation of Vulcan control. Even allowing for the philosophy of the T'karis colony's original founders, the lack of control exhibited by their ancestors was disturbing.

A technician came down the corridor carrying an armful of data tablets, and wires. The man glanced at them for a long moment before continuing on his way.

T'Kas waited until the man had disappeared down the corridor, out of earshot before continuing then said in a low voice "Can we go somewhere , a little more private." T'Kas glanced behind herself furtively checking for people even though the corridor was empty.

Spock nodded his assent at her request and followed her as she started to move. She led him down the corridor and opened a small door. He followed her in and the door clicked shut behind him. He heard T'Kas move then a light blinked on. Spock looked around the room they were in. It was very small, there was hardly room for both him and T'Kas as it was they stood barely half an arms-length apart. The walls of the room were covered with shelves, wires and ship circuits were neatly stacked, bulging against the webbing that held them in place against the shudders that threatened to send them hurtling to the ground.

Spock stared at T'Kas. She was beautiful. Her entire appearance appealed to him. He was disturbed to feel his body reacting in such a way to her close proximity that he usually only experienced with Uhura. He tried to push down the feelings that were rising in his mind and was only partially successful. Since he had left Vulcan at an early age, he had very little contact with females of his own race that were of a similar age. He found himself thinking of how a Vulcan female differed from a human female. T'Kas was very aesthetically pleasing in a way that few humans were. Except, Uhura, he amended.

"Spock, my—"the rest of T'kas's words were broken off as the lights dimmed and the ground heaved.

T'Kas fell forward landing against Spock, and he reflexively wrapped an arm around the young woman to hold her upright as the ground shook again threatening to throw them both off their feet. The wires and ship's components that lined the shelves strained against the protective webbing. The shaking gradually ceased and the lights grew slowly back to their former intensity. Spock looked down at T'Kas again, she was still up against his chest, through the thin cloth separating their bodies he could feel the heat from her body. He had forgotten how pleasantly warm other Vulcans were with their higher core temperature, than the cool skin of humans. T'Kas stared up at him; he could feel her warm breath on his face. She looked a moment longer than turned away as his gaze burned into her eyes.

She began pulling herself away "I should—"she began. The door opened, startling them both; there was a sharp intake of air. Both Vulcans turned towards the door.

Uhura stood framed in the doorway; her eyes took in the scene. Spock was keenly aware of how he and T'Kas must look. T'Kas pulled away from him straightening her tunic, and said "I'll talk to you later" to Spock. She then turned, and walked past Uhura out the door, Uhura coldly watched her leave, and then turned back to Spock fury clearly evident in her eyes.

Spock spoke "Nyota, T'Kas and I were merely having—"

Uhura cut his words off "Were merely having what? I walk into here to get some supplies and I find her in your arms and you say you were merely having something?"

"Nyota, you're not thinking logically, I—"

"How do you expect me to be logical, when I find you with her in this tiny supply closet?"

"If you keep cutting me off, how can I explain—"

"Spock I don't care what you want to explain. There's no way you can explain this ! I've seen the way you looked at her when we arrived, and now I find her with you in here. I—" she broke off tears suddenly sprang to her eyes and it was like her anger disappeared.

"What's wrong?" Spock began moving towards her. He was exceedingly alarmed by the sudden change in emotions.

"Nothing, I just—I just need some time by myself okay?" She said swiping tears away with her hands even though as she cleared those more appeared to replace them almost immediately.

"Nyota" Spock said again unsure what to do

"I just need- some time alone okay -I'm going to evacuate- with the other shuttle- I just need to think." Every few words was interspersed with a sob. As finished talking she began crying uncontrollably, tears streaking down her face. She turned and fled.

Spock stared after her, very little of what had just happened made sense to him.

Chapter Text

Lieutenant Smith walked down the hall, his head buried in the data tablet he was reading. He stopped and waited for the door in front of him to open only vaguely glancing at it with his peripheral vision as he stepped inside. He glanced around puzzled. This wasn't the main computer banks. He was about to leave when, he heard footsteps approaching. Smith looked past a console to find to Vulcan males walking towards him. He decided that he'd leave after they were gone. The last time he had been in here one of the computer technicians had told him off for accessing some information claiming that the information was sacred and meant for Vulcans only to see.

The two Vulcans stopped walking and activated something on one of the main computer screens. Smith could make out what looked like ship diagrams, but he couldn't tell from this far of what.

The younger man broke the silence "This Starfleet crew is stupid and easily fooled. They are helping us repair the very ships they will be taking a part in their own destruction."

Smith's eyebrows went up into his receding hair line.

"Silkar, you are too naïve I believe they may suspect something, they are not entirely imbecilic. Several of them have made comments about us and the colony." The older man said

"Father, does it matter whether they suspect or not? Most of them haven't seen a Vulcan before, besides Spock, and I hear that he's half human, and with that woman Lieutenant Uhura." Silkar continued "They don't really know any Vulcans to compare us with, and any differences in behaviour they do detect may be construed as cultural differences caused by isolation and time."

"Still, my son, we must be careful. If one of them becomes too suspicious they must be eliminated. If not the plan could be ruined or at least have to be seriously altered" The older voice replied.

"Father, even Uhura with her...stimulating...mind, hasn't discovered who we are." Silkar said.

Smith saw the older man frown at his son slightly. Solkar hadn't missed his son's tone when he spoke of Uhura. He spoke "And you my son must control yourself so that she doesn't. You are taking an unhealthy liking to the communications officer."

"Father, you must admit she is intriguing, even the edges of her mind has such depth that I long to experience her fully." Silkar continued his voice almost rapturous "Any human that could remotely appeal to a Vulcan, must have something that other minds lack and she is aesthetically pleasing in a human way."

Solkar was still disturbed by his son's comments. it wasn't that he disapproved of Silkar's invasions into other people's minds, or the way he was discussing Uhura. Solkar was worried his son, who could be obsessive at times about things he wanted , was becoming fixated on Uhura. He cautioned him "Silkar, do not lose sight of what this plan requires in an attempt to fulfil your own desires." The older man continued lecturing in a disapproving tone. "You must leave the woman alone. If anything was to befall her, I suspect Spock would search however long needed and find out what happened. We must be focused if we are to accomplish our goal."

His tone changed as he beheld his son's angry face " Silkar I don't disapprove of you using your talents, indeed when we get into the federation, you and the other transplants with the power of your minds will play a crucial role in our success. But there is a time and place for that."

"Yes, Father" Silkar said somewhat sullenly.

The older man continued in a more conversational tone. "Patience, soon the galaxy shall be ours, and the fascinating thing is they are contributing in their own demise. They will be the ones bringing the individuals who will destroy the federation, into the heart of it."

As they continued talking they started to walk away. Smith was terrified he couldn't believe what he had seen and heard. He gulped, waves of fear emanating from him. The younger Vulcan paused as they passed where Smith was hidden. He glanced around and said "did you feel that?'

The older man had also stopped now and was glancing at his son curiously "feel what, you know my sense is not as good as yours and I thought the anomaly was interfering with your ability also."

"It was, but this was so strong..."Silkar trailed off, then stiffened slightly "There it is again."

Smith leaned backward against the console his breathing harsh and panting, the footsteps approached. Smith knew he had a choice, to run and possibly live or stay and die. And a choice like that was no choice; he ran. Catching sight of him one of the Vulcans shouted out. Smith felt weapon fire pass close to his temple, then he dove through a side door. He fumbled behind him somehow activating a lock, but he knew it wouldn't hold for long. He had only a minute or two to put as much distance as possible between himself and the two Vulcans.

Smith ran through random passageways, and doors, losing track of where he was going but he didn't care as long as he was moving as far away from them as possible. Think he told himself as he desperately sucked in air feeling his ribs ache with the exertion. The answer came in a flash, Spock! Spock would know what to do. . Smith ploughed through a door knocking a girl down, he wound up tangled with her. Kelly pushed him off and said "Smith?"

Smith struggled to catch his breath, as he hurriedly pulled himself to his feet not offering Kelly a hand. He stared at the girl. She couldn't help him, and it wouldn't do any good to tell her what was going on , it would only put her in more danger than they all were already in.

"Is there something I can help you with, you look flustered" Ensign Kelly said noting his appearance.

"You—can't help—me—with anything" he gasped, the words gruffer than he had intended

"Uh, Okay." Kelly said.

"Where's Spock?" Smith asked

The girl thought a moment. Where was he? When she had left he had mentioned something about the control room. Was he there?

"I think he's in the main control room, but—"Kelly began, before she had finished speaking he had already set off .

"But he might still be with us, he might not have left yet." She called out to Lieutenant Smith's retreating back. He didn't pause of make any sign like he had heard her.

Kelly stared after Smith. Whatever he was agitated about was probably some miniscule detail that had left him practically drowned in worry. Smith only a few weeks ago had called together the crew and sent out a posting claiming there was a serious and dangerous design flaw in the ship. When people had read the attached almost 15 screen incredibly detailed and technical report he had included it had turned out that a few of the charging ports on the ship had a 0.0000000003 energy arc when in contact with fluids. Basically it had boiled down to that if you used one of them and for some reason poured the equivalent of a bucket of water on the charging station you might feel the equivalent of a static shock. The way Smith had been making a fuss , somebody that didn't know him would have thought the warp core containment field was decaying in a few seconds. Kelly sighed at the thought of Smith. That was him always worrying about nothing.

XXXX XXXX

Spock was preoccupied. He automatically entered the necessary codes for the programming he was doing, but his mind wasn't concentrating on the task. His fingers moved on autopilot, he was busy thinking about Uhura. He couldn't figure out what was going on with her. It was true he and T'kas had been in a compromising situation and perhaps he had been taking a little too much interest in the Vulcan woman, but Uhura's response had been exceedingly abnormal. She was usually calm even if something bothered her. She could be passionate and fervent but her typical moods were nothing like the erratic emotions she seemed to be experiencing; it was like anything could set her off. He couldn't figure out if it was something he had done or not. It was like something was wrong with her. But what?

Spock paused and looked down as he realized he had finished the section he was typing, without analyzing a single line. He scanned the data, checking for errors while mentally chastising himself for his lack of concentration. The information was correct. He entered and it then glanced around at the other crew.

Chekov was assembling some last circuitry for the navigation console, helped by Kelly. Havarii was checking something on his data pad and Ensign O'Connor was busily entering analysts of the anomaly into the computer system. The only person missing was Lieutenant Smith. Where was he? Spock thought back and vaguely remembered Ensign Kelly mentioning that the lieutenant had wanted to tell Spock something? Using his time sense he estimated that it had been 1.365 hours ago approximately. Lieutenant Smith had left right after he had returned to correlate some of his data with the shuttle's flight data, but he should have been back by now. The shuttles were scheduled to leave in few hours and Smith was supposed to be helping finish the last tasks that needed completion before departure.

Spock turned around and selected the least busy person "ensign Kelly?"

The girl looked up from where she was laughing with Chekov and said "Commander Spock?"

"When did you last see lieutenant smith?"

Kelly came towards a few steps towards him; her face frowned as she thought "When did I last see him? Oh god... It was at least an hour and a half ago" She bit her lip and said "Oh, I think I accidentally told him you were at the wrong place. If so he probably went looking for you in the main control room,."

Spock knew that Lieutenant Smith while an excellent engineer and an extremely competent individual, had an unwelcome tendency to be absent minded and worry obsessively. The small somewhat chubby man was forever wringing his hands and saying "do you think this is right?"

Spock asked Ensign Kelly "Do you have any idea why Lieutenant Smith is not back yet?"

"No, not really , except he did mention that he thought he could rewire the communications console so , it was more efficient, he had to pass by the hangar deck to leave so he could be there."

Spock nodded at the ensign's words her guess was as good a hypothesis as any. He nodded "very well, Ensign Kelly find Lieutenant Smith and have him report here."

"Aye sir" She said starting off. As she passed Chekov on her way out he glanced up setting his tools down "You are going somevhere?"

"Commander Spock asked me to find Lieutenant Smith. I really should since it probably my fault he's still gone; I accidentally told him Commander Spock was in the control room."

Chekov looked at her his face worried. "I'll come vith you"

He started to stand up ,Kelly pressed him back down. "Chekov you're supposed to be assembling these circuits not following me around" She said exasperatedly at his protectiveness.

She eased up a little seeing his expression as he said "I just don't vant anything to happen to you, there's something odd about these people."

"I'll be fine you worry too much; I'll be back before you know it."

Chekov nodded, still looking like he wanted to go with her, but he picked up his tools as he watched Kelly disappear into one of the passageways.

XXXX XXXX

Lieutenant Smith hurried down the halls wishing that he wasn't so meticulous. His worrying had brought him into trouble on several occasions but this time was the worst. If only he hadn't gone back to triple check that -. The thought was unfinished he couldn't even remember now what had been so important. All he knew was that if he had avoided his obsessive –compulsive desire for perfection he wouldn't be running for his life down these dark tunnels.

After meeting Kelly, he had gone to the main control room, but Spock hadn't been there. He had ran desperately throughout the maze-like corridors of the compound trying to find some other crew. Less than an hour after seeing Kelly he was caught, cornered by several Vulcans with disruptors in an abandoned storage room. Silkar was in the lead, he gave a gesture and the guards left the room. Smith was intensely scared. He tried to summon some courage. he knew he was going to die, but he didn't want this man to know he was afraid. But as he felt something slide into his mind, cold and sharp, he knew that it didn't matter what he showed. This man already knew everything; there was nothing he would be able to hide.

XXXX XXXX

Ensign Kelly walked down the corridor , a few spaces back she had found a stylus , exactly like the one Lieutenant Smith was fond of carrying. The stylus was in the general direction, of where he was last seen and so she had set off down there. As she walked she thought about Lieutenant Smith. The man was brilliant but extremely introverted, he also had a superiority complex like none other, which was one of the reasons she reflected ruefully, that she was searching for him now. If he had just told her whatever needed to be told instead of insisting that he speak to Spock directly, she would be back with everyone else instead of wandering around these creepy tunnels.

She slowed down and was about to turn the corner when she heard another voice. "leave us" said a man's voice.

Kelly ducked back around the corner as a door opened and two Vulcans came out, their faces were stiff and cold. Ensign Kelly inwardly shivered at the sight. She wasn't sure what but there was something odd about these colonists that gave her the creeps. It was like they were being too Vulcan and putting on a show. In any case she had no desire to see them. She glanced around for a place to hide as she heard the Vulcans nearing her and noticed a small door set into the wall.

She reached out, pulled it open, and slipped in just in time to avoid being seen. She pulled the door shut behind her, as the Vulcans rounded the corner. She held her breath, when the Vulcans passed by her hiding space. For some reason she knew she didn't want them to find her. Instead of leaving however, they settled against the wall each on one side of the corridor. There was no way that she could leave her hiding space, now, without being seen. She thought for a moment about walking out the door and claiming she had gotten lost, but the cold expressionless faces of the Vulcans and the way they blocked off the corridor made her feel as though that would be a very bad idea. She moved further back from the door and pulled her tricorder out using the light from the device to see her surroundings. What she had mistaken for a room was actually a small passageway; it extended in two directions darkness swallowing up both ends. In the distance she could hear the faint murmur of voices and from the little she could make out she thought one of them was Smith's.

She moved down the dark pathway towards his voice and the corridor grew brighter as she came to a door. There was a small view hole and through it she could see Smith standing there his face turned talking to somebody out of sight. She was about to open the door , when he turned half-way and she saw a clear look of fear on his face.

"Whatever you're going to do to me, you'll be caught, I've already told. They know about you" Smith said his voice frantic. He backed away from something and Kelly saw what it was as a Vulcan came into view; it was Silkar.

She gasped as she saw the cruel smile darkening his face. He glanced toward the door and she ducked out of sight. She crouched in the darkness praying she hadn't been seen. Kelly waited several moments before cautiously pulling herself up. The Vulcan was an arm's reach from smith. "You haven't told anyone, and I can make sure you didn't before you die. Don't worry when you die it'll be seen as an accident, a horrible accident."

Smith was clearly terrified. His voice shook as he said "you'll never get away with this."

Silkar smiled "I already have" before Smith could move Silkar's hand had shot out and grabbed the man by the front of his uniform. The Vulcan pulled the man towards him and with his other hand sought Smith's temples. Then Silkar's and Smith's faces blanked as contact was made. They were motionless for several seconds, before smith began to moan, his faced pained. The cries transformed into screams, then bloodcurdling yells of agony. His face was twisted in an excruciating mask of pain.

Kelly watched sickened at the sight, each of Smith's screams cutting through her like a knife. Silkar's face was transformed with pleasure. Abruptly Silkar opened his eyes, and Smith stopped screaming. Smith's mouth moved for a moment like he was trying to say something, then he slumped in the Vulcan's grip his head lolling to the side , his eyes wide, terrified, staring,… lifeless.

Kelly stuffed a fist in her mouth to block off her scream of horror as Silkar let the dead man fall to the ground, but a whimper escaped her. Silkar turned to the door and before she could duck out of sight he spotted her.

Kelly didn't wait for him to move, she ran. She could hear the door opening behind her and shouts. Her feet thudded down the dark pathway and she ran down a staircase nearly tripping and tumbling down , but she didn't stop. if Silkar got her he would kill her, and death at his hands after what she had seen him do to Smith, was the worst thing possible. She had to find the others and warn them. She didn't know exactly what had just happened, but she knew one thing. Whatever or whoever these people weren't- they couldn't- it wasn't even possible that they were Vulcans or that they meant any good.

XXXX XXXX

McCoy looked up as he heard footsteps approaching. He was packing away some of the medical supplies he had finished using, when the time came to evacuate he wanted to be ready. There was no chance of him being left on this godforsaken planet crawling with Vulcans for any longer than necessary.

Uhura walked over to him. Her eyes were red and she looked like she had been crying. She asked "Where's lieutenant stager?"

McCoy shrugged, how anybody expected him to keep track of where everybody was in this labyrinth of passages, he didn't know.

"Well, if you see her, tell her, I'm evacuating on the triton" Uhura said beginning to turn away.

"I thought you were evacuating on the devlin with Spock?" McCoy said stowing away some diagnostic equipment.

"I am—I mean, I was, I just need to—"she broke off tears coming to her eyes.

McCoy straightened up and looked at her knowingly. "All that logicalness finally getting to you too?" Uhura didn't answer, as she brushed tears away with her sleeve.

"I'm going to give you some advice; you can't have a relationship with an emotionless person. They'll act like they care about you at first. You'll care about them, but eventually they'll show their true face and you'll lose everything. " McCoy said his voice distant, eyes his staring out past her.

Uhura looked at McCoy "Spock's not like that, he just—"

"He's just what?" McCoy said glaring at Uhura "For god sakes he's already got you making excuses for him! Uhura you can't love somebody if they can't love you back. You're better off if you just leave him."

Uhura looked at McCoy, her face angry and confused, "you're wrong, I don't know why you hate Spock and Vulcans but you're wrong!" Then she turned around and started to walk away.

"I'm not wrong, I'm right. You just don't see it yet" McCoy called after her, he could see her pause for an infinitesimal moment before she continued walking away.

McCoy stared after her. He was right. He was sure of that. Spock had the same emotionless, logical, cold manner of Jocelyn. It mattered not to him that Spock's manner was because of his race's philosophy and his upbringing and Jocelyn's had been because that was how she was. The outcome would be the same. Whether he intended to or not Spock would hurt Uhura, the same way Jocelyn had hurt him. McCoy's words may have seemed harsh, but he felt they needed to be said. He was trying to save Uhura from the pain and sadness that he felt every day.

XXXX XXXX

Chekov glanced behind him as he stowed equipment in the shuttle. There was only one other group of people set to go up, other them. They had to evacuate now, the anomaly left a very narrow window for when takeoff would be possible without conditions making navigation almost not viable. The only person they were waiting for was Smith. He glanced around again. Where was Kelly? She had left to get Lieutenant Smith from wherever he had wandered off to and she should've been back by now. Unless the lieutenant had gotten himself lost and she was still trying to find him and knowing Smith that was a definite possibility. Chekov was just about to ask Spock could he go look for her, when Kelly burst into the room. her face was flushed her,breath came in pants. "Smith's dead- we—have to—get—out of here! " She gasped.

Spock, Ensign O'Connor, and Havarii turned towards her. "Kelly vhat are you saying?" Chekov asked startled.

"He killed him- he's dead, Silkar just—he saw me -he's coming we have to leave" a note of horrified urgency in her voice.

Everybody could se that ensign Kelly was obviously shocked by what she had saw. "Please—we have to go—she broke off fighting to control herself. She was clearly terrified.

She had started to speak again, when the door opened behind her, a group of Vulcans stood there, Silkar was at the head, "I think you'd better re-think that". He said as Spock's hand moved towards his phaser. Silkar gestured at the guards and they moved forward encircling the crew. Chekov moved in front of Kelly. "I would presume you've figured out some of what's going on by now Spock" Silkar said looking at Spock.

"You're not a Vulcan" Spoke said calmly.

"Well not, full Vulcan and I'll let you in on the rest of secret since, you're not going to live to tell anybody. " Silkar said enjoying his power "We may not be fully Romulan, but we are Romulan in spirit, and you're looking at what will in a very few months be ruling the galaxy. The federation will be destroyed and all the races shall be subject to our will. And this colony is the advance force; we're the group that will make the entire conquest possible"

With a gesture from Silkar the guards grabbed the crew forcing them to follow as the group moved off. They walked through the colony, taking back ways and corridors to avoid any possibility of the few crew members from the enterprise that were still present seeing them. When they reached their destination, a series of cell blocks, the guards searched them removing anything that could be used to escape, and then they were locked away. Guards were posted outside and the door was reinforced with a force field, they're would be no chance of escape Silkar promised them. Then he left after telling them he would be back to question when the shuttles left.

XXXX XXXX

Silkar came back sooner than expected. The crew looked up as light flooded into the dark cell, Silkar stood in the cell's doorway he was flanked by by two guards all three Vulcans carried disruptors.

"The shuttles will be getting ready to leave in a short while. They'll be suspicious if your shuttle doesn't depart with the rest. " Silkar continued "So I need one of you to tell the others that the Devlin will be staying behind for a while. I don't care what excuse you make, just be convincing."

The entire time he had been talking Silkar, had been staring directly at Spock. Spock looked back at Silkar calmly. "I will not tell the crew anything." He glanced at the disruptor that was levelled at his head "and if you threaten to kill me that will just highlight your illogical behaviour, as if I am dead I cannot contact the crew as you wish, and therefore you cannot effectively threaten to kill me because you would not be able to carry out your threat without thwarting your own aims."

Silkar stared at him, utterly amused "spoken like a true Vulcan." He gave a small smile. " but who said something about you telling anybody anything... Indeed I think it better if the message comes from somebody else that way its less of a chance for you to sneak any little hidden messages in" Silkar turned away from Spock and gestured with his disruptor at Chekov. "He'll do the talking."

The young Russian looked up from where he was seated next to Ensign Kelly attempting to console her and said forcefully "vhat makes you think, I vill do anything you say?"

"Because I'll kill her if you don't" Silkar said simply, turning his disruptor and pressing it to Kelly's head.

"Don't do it Chekov" Kelly said her voice steady, even if her face was afraid.

Chekov looked at her hesitating. Silkar changed the setting on the disruptor.

"you had better do as I say" Silkar said looking straight at Chekov, his eyes boring into the ensign's ." This disruptor was on kill before. Now the setting is lower , but this level will also kill, However at a very slow rate. Do you know how?"

Chekov remained quiet, he had turned to stare at Kelly. He didn't see Silkar's face but he could feel his words.

"The cells inside her head will disintegrate slowly, every minute, every second will be agony, this room will be filled with her screams, she will beg you to die, and eventually she will. And the entire time you will know this was your fault."

Kelly whimpered at his words as the disruptor pressed more tightly into her head, digging into her temple. Chekov stared at Kelly his gaze haunted. The only sounds that breached the silence were Kelly's ragged breaths.

"Go ahead Mr. Chekov" Spock said quietly. Whether he said it because he knew that Silkar was serious and would kill Kelly and felt there was little to be gained by holding out or he did it to take the pressure of the ensign's shoulder because he thought Chekov was going to give in anyway, he wasn't sure.

"See, even Spock see's the wisdom in complying with my wishes I suggest you do as he says. Or we'll all have the pleasure of listening to her as she dies an agonizing death."

"I vill do eet" Chekov said abruptly, tearing his eyes away from Kelly

Silkar smiled and held one of the communicators that had been taken away from them out.

Chekov opened a channel.

"Lieutenant Roth here" said a bored voice from the other end of the line.

"This is Ensign Chekov, Mr. Spock vanted me to tell you that the Devlin will be leaving about 30 minutes after everyone else"

"And vhy is that, Ensign Checkers?" Roth said enjoying himself

Chekov thought fast "Mr. Spock vants to collect data on the anomaly's effect on planetary departure. Can you relay the changes to the other shuttles?"

"Sure thing, by the vay ensign Checkers, tell your girlfriend Kelly, I said hi and that I'll be waiting for her when she gets back if she decides to leave your dumb a—"Roth laughed then clicked off.

Silkar lowered his weapon and took the communicator back. "Now that we've got that settled, I'll leave you until the shuttles depart, then I'll be back and we can have a little conversation" with that last comment Silkar and the guards left the room.

Kelly was shocked, her face was extremely pale, she looked like she was fighting back tears. Chekov placed an arm around her.

They all sat there for several moments in silence before Ensign O'Connor broke the quiet. "I hate! Roth. Even if you had tried to put a message in that communication that a—hole wouldn't have caught it because he was to busy insulting you."

Spock said "Indeed that was extremely unprofessional on the lieutenant's part, when we get back to the ship, he'll have to be reprimanded"

Kelly sniffed back tears and looked across at Spock "you think we'll really get out of here Commander Spock?"

"I believe we will Ensign." Spock said his face as calm and reserved as ever. He felt the other crew relax at his words. Spock had no desire to have hysterical humans on his hands and he had discovered that oddly they sometimes preferred a lie to the truth. It was believed throughout the federation that Vulcans didn't lie. Spock wondered whether he had just gone against that common belief. Because as it was he saw no way that they were getting off this planet alive.

Chapter Text

Chekov and Kelly sat next to each other in a corner, talking in low voices. Spock was contemplating ways to escape and winding up at the same conclusion each time, they were trapped. Havarii paced the length of the cell turning when he got to the end and repeating his steps. O'Connor watched him irritably as he turned for the 100th time, then she said angrily "will you stop that, it's hard enough waiting for that psychopath to come back and do god knows what, without watching you walk a hole into the floor while we wait."

Havarii stopped pacing and turned to O'Connor and said "will you shut the hell up and stop your whining, I—"

He fell quiet, as they all heard a muffled sound. It sounded like a phaser being fired then a loud thump. They stood up unsure of what was happening. They had gathered together, when the door opened allowing light to spill into the dark cell. A woman appeared, behind her they could see other figures.

"Come we don't have much time" The woman said gesturing for them to move, as she gestured her face came into the light allowing them to clearly see her.

"T'Kas?" Spock said recognizing her, and feeling faintly surprised.

"Yes, Spock, I couldn't go along with this plan. It's entirely wrong, my grandfather would have agreed as much" She gestured for them to leave again as none of the crew had moved. "You have to get out Silkar will kill you if you stay. I can't get you to your shuttle there's to many guards near there, but I know a hiding place few people know of."

"You're Silkar's sister. Why should we trust you?" O'Connor said defiantly not moving, as she crossed her arms.

"Because you don't have any other choice" T'Kas replied reasonably.

Spock moved forward stepping out the cell door. He glanced around. Three other people were with T'kas, 2 Vulcan males and a Vulcan woman. Lying on the ground were three unconscious Vulcan guards. The other Enterprise crew members left the cell. Havarii and Chekov quickly checked the unconscious Vulcans for weapons and started passing them out to the rest of the crew. Spock noticed out the corner of his eye that Chekov took a worn looking knife from, one of the guards and tucked it into a pocket, then stood up a grim look on his face. Spock remembered seeing the same knife when Silkar had the guards take their weapons the knife wasn't Starfleet issue, but regulations were the least of Spock's worries right now.

T'Kas told one of the males and the woman to watch the cell and stun anybody that came to check so they would have long enough to get away. Then she and the other male which she introduced as Sunil set off, leading the group down a circuitous route through the various underground pathways. They had been walking for barely two minutes, when three Vulcans stepped in front of them. The Vulcans were surprised, but reacted astonishingly fast raising there disruptors. Instead of firing they instead said "drop your weapons and we'll take you back without harm"

They were the smaller group in numbers but apparently felt they were in control. Havarii snarled "you point-ears have a lot of nerve, you're the ones outnumbered. "

Before anybody else could speak, they all heard a yell in Russian and a torrent of swearing. Spock noticed three more Vulcans had come up behind them and grabbed the two youngest members of the party. One was holding a struggling Chekov, the other had Kelly. The one holding Chekov gave up attempting to restrain him, as the boy elbowed him in the ribs and in one motion the Vulcan standing opposite fired on the young navigator. Without another word Chekov collapsed.

Kelly screamed and struggled against the one holding her. Havarii raised his weapon and tried to fire. Nothing happened. The first Vulcan who had spoken, said coolly "not working right? Those weapons were made to be disabled in the event that they fell into the wrong hands, a useful mechanism in the case of an uprising" As he said the last comment he glanced at T'Kas , and told her "A lot of us always thought you weren't on our side. You're weak, and now you'll die for your weakness."

He gestured for them to drop their weapons. T'kas and Sunil dropped there weapons, but the Enterprise crew was more reluctant. The Vulcan holding Kelly pulled a weapon out aimed it at her, "Hand them over."

Spock and the others began to set there weapons down. Nobody was paying attention to where Chekov lay. Havarii who was the closet to the Vulcan man holding a weapon on them , gave Spock a signal that the Vulcan recognized from academy training. O'Connor saw the sign also, both her and Spock waited, watching Havarii carefully. When Havarii moved Spock and O'Connor were ready. When Havarii quickly rushed the nearest man , Spock moved toward the other. The Vulcans had apparently anticipated the attack, O'connor was quickly knocked aside. When Spock moved in to neck pinch his opponent the man twisted aside.

Havarii was grappling with his own Vulcan without much success, the alien's superior strength would soon overcome the strength the human had gained from anger. It had been seconds and any moment Spock expected to feel a disruptor blast at his back. The Vulcan hissed as Spock tried to choke him, "Kill them R'nak" . Spock heard the sound of a disruptor firing twice but the searing heat he expected to feel didn't come instead Spock felt a warmth pass perilously close to him then Spock's opponent fell backward, half his side was burned away.

Spock straightened up and twisted around. T'kas and Sunil had each neatly dispatched a Vulcan, but Havarii was still grappling with his attacker. Spock moved toward the two figures intending to render the remaining Vulcan unconscious with a nerve pinch. A figure beat him to it Spock had one second to be shocked as he watched Chekov neatly come behind the Vulcan that was trying to strangle Havarii. Before the man could react Chekov had grabbed the man's head and tilted it backward, without hesitation in one fluid movement he took the knife and sliced the Vulcan across the throat. Green blood flowed out and the Vulcan fell to his knees then his eyes glazed over.

Chekov wiped the knife off on the man's clothes, slipped the weapon back into his pocket and dropped the disruptor he had in his hands. Then he went to Kelly who was trembling. "Shh- it's okay" they heard him murmuring to her tenderly. He gave no indication that moments earlier he had killed three people, as he stroked Kelly's hair. The other Enterprise crew was still staring at Chekov. Even Spock was surprised, and if he wasn't a Vulcan the cold look in the Chekov's eyes as he had killed the Vulcan would have shocked him to the core.

They didn't have much time to be stunned the sound of fighting had alerted others, and voice yelled out "they've escaped" from behind them they could hear footsteps rapidly approaching. T'kas , Sunil set off at a run the others following closely behind. They made it several feet before a phaser blast sizzled out catching Kelly in the arm, she gasped and stumbled. O'Connor pushed her out the way and continued past not stopping to help the fallen girl. Havarii reached out and caught Kelly's arm before Chekov could reach her and pushed Kelly into the alcove which the Vulcans and O'Connor had disappeared into. The others squeezed in after them. They could hear footsteps from both ends of the corridor now and disruptor blast scorched its way down the hall at irregular intervals pining them down.

"We're going to die" O'Connor wailed her face twisted with fear as she stared at the blood welling from the wound in Kelly's arm. "we're going to die" she repeated her voice whiny.

"Vill you shut up?" Chekov snarled, looking up from where he was bandaging Kelly's arm.

Behind them T'Kas and Sunil crouched by a seemingly plain stretch of rock. They conversed in low tones running their fingers over the panel searching for something.

"We're going to die. We have to leave before they get close. If they catch us they'll kill us!" O'Connor said hysterically

"Calm down" Havarii said glancing back at her as he watched the corridor and tried to keep the Vulcans from advancing any closer. T'Kas and Sunil had found what they were looking for, they had exposed a panel revealing a keypad. T'Kas fingers raced across the keypad, rapidly typing in a sequence.

"We're going—to die—if we stay- here' O'Connor said hyperventilating and before anybody could stop her. She bolted forward past Havarii leaving the relative protection of the alcove.

"O'Connor don't!" Kelly shouted

O'Connor didn't stop. She made it several feet down the corridor before a phaser blast dropped her. Whether she was dead or not, they couldn't tell, but her prone form didn't move.

Kelly moved to go after her and Havarii and Chekov stopped her. "You can't go out there it's suicide" Havarii said.

"We can't just leave her!" Kelly replied

"Ensign, she's probably already dead judging by the strength of phaser blast they are using" as he spoke another blast ripped down the corridor landing on an outcropping of stone. The stone crumbled falling to the ground in blackened pieces."The death of more of us in an attempt to recover her corpse would be illogical" Spock said.

Havarii glanced backward at Spock's words and gave Spock a malicious glare that nobody noticed because T'kas had just finished keying a the sequence, and a small piece of rock pushed inwards from below the keypad she was typing on revealing a tunnel. It was just small enough to walk through if you bent over almost double.

"Come one" T'Kas said gesturing for them to follow her. They walked into the dark tunnel the only light provided by, a small emergency light that T'Kas held. Sunil brought up the rear of the group, closing the door behind him.

They walked for several minutes in the cramped tunnel, before it ended in another door which T'Kas pushed open. They followed her out and found themselves, back in the corridor. Without a word they set off again. The path she took was winding. They travelled for several more minutes before T'Kas stopped at another seemingly random and repeated the same process they had earlier. This time the rock revealed a tunnel so small that they had to crawl or their hands and knees to get through. They had gone only a short distance, when the tunnel dropped off , into a large cavern. The cavern was lined with stone ledges. Stalactites and stalagmites festooned the surfaces and the cave dimly lit by two emergency lights that were propped on one ledge. In one corner a pile of containers was lined against the wall.

"What is this place?" Kelly said looking around, and shivering in the cool air.

"This is the cavern where my grandfather, used to teach me and some of the other colonists the true Vulcan ways. Nobody but me and a few others know of this place" T'Kas said looking around the cavern. She continued "There's food, water, blankets and other supplies stored here. This room is actually quite close to the main passageway, but if you are quiet , nobody should be able to find you. We'll try to find you a way out in a few hours, once it's safer."

Spock said "thank you"

T'Kas looked at him the ghost of a smile on her face and said "one does not thank logic." Then her and Sunil made the familiar V-shape with their fingers and said "live long and prosper" Spock replied in a similar manner, then the 2 Vulcans disappeared back down the tunnel.

XXXX XXXX

Silkar was furious his rage was so clearly evident that the other vulcans near him stayed as far away as possible particularly the three Vulcans who had been guarding the cell when the Enterprise crew had escaped. "Do you have any idea where they could have gone?" The three dazed men shook their heads, Silkar paced back and forth "so for all we know they could be half-way back to their ship right now and our plan will be ruined all because you couldn't do your jobs. You should be killed" He turned his disruptor on the guards.

One of the Vulcans said boldly, not looking afraid at all "if you weren't Solkar's son you would be killed. You have endangered our plan many times. You have no control. That communications officer is a prime-" The man stopped speaking as he was hit viciously across the face with a disruptor butt.

"Defiance, I like that. " Silkar said looking coolly at the man as green blood streamed down his face and from his mouth.

The man spat at Silkar's feet, "just kill me, I know you're going to do it anyway"

Silkar gave a small smile and said "as you wish" He took his fingers and pressed them to the man's temple then he took the disruptor and placed it in the man's hands, he held the fingers until they clutched them on their own. The guard was still conscious as he stared at Silkar his eyes wide. Then he began to scream, after a minute he stopped.

Silkar said "I'll let you do the honours'." The man's hand slowly began to rise against his will; his arms trembled with the effort as he struggled to control his own body. The disruptor rose until it was level with his head. The man's fingers were still wrapped around the trigger, Silkar hands were at the man's temple. With one final grunt the man lost complete control at that moment his fingers pressed the firing switch. The shot went through leaving half his head blown off. The body swayed for a moment then collapsed. Silkar turned away, he looked down at his clothes which were splattered with gore . He turned to the last guards who were staring at him in horror "you" Silkar said "get me a fresh tunic and pants" . The guards hastened to obey, they realized how close they had been to dying.

Silkar turned to the rest of them and said "one of you find Uhura and tell T'son to meet me in my quarters. " Then he walked away.

XXXX XXXX

Silkar outlined his plans as he changed his clothes. "Do you understand what you must do?"He said as he pulled his over shirt off and tossed it to the floor. T'son understood and agreed with the plan completely. It also just so happened to be exactly what she wanted .She didn't like how Silkar, who she was betrothed to, had taken to Uhura. His obsession with her was extremely irritating.,. What did that weak, ugly human have in comparison with her?

Since Uhura had arrived he had followed her around surreptitiously. He had been fixated on her, to the point where he refused to mind meld several times, and had all but pushed T'son away. Still, she didn't blame him it was her responsibility as his betrothed to keep his interest and that was what she would do once she had eliminated the competition. She would bring Uhura to her demise and then she and Silkar would be left in peace. He would be hers entirely again.

She didn't say any of this instead she said "I understand completely and as you know am willing to do anything that will ensure our success," as she said the words she slid out the chair she was sitting in and came towards him. She laid her head on his shoulders and let her hands trail down his chest to his fingers . She pulled them up towards her temple and then gently placed hers on his temple. She sent the first brushes of contact, he responded and they both opened allowing their thoughts and minds to mingle on a level known to few species...

XXXX XXXX

She thought back to that now as she walked up to the human woman. She felt disgust with this creature for even presuming to be her equal. She was careful however to let none of it show on her face as she said "Spock sent me to tell you he wishes to speak with you"

Uhura turned to her and said "really? Tell him he did enough talking already!" She spat the words out, her eyes flashing.

"He said he would like to apologize." T'Son said

she watched the human woman angry resolve start to crumble and continued "he said that he was wrong to be with T'Kas like that but he didn't intend to hurt you and they were only talking" Silkar had briefed her on what had happened, after one of his spies had alerted him. T'Son and Silkar both knew what T'Kas had been trying to do: alert Spock to their plan. But to the human woman it had apparently appeared to be something else entirely.

T'Son added the last piece "He said he didn't want you to leave without knowing that. He said he didn't know when he would see you again" The words which had been so carefully rehearsed brought the desired effect.

Uhura looked teary-eyed as she said "where is he?"

T'Son told her and offered to show the way, after telling Dr. McCoy she'd be gone for a few moments Uhura left with the Vulcan woman leaving the Enterprise crew to finish packing the shuttles. T'Son revelled inside at her success. You weak human. You think you're going to that half-breed mongrel. You're actually going to your own death.

As soon as they had gone far enough that the crew was left behind, T'Son turned on the communications offficer pulling out a disruptor. Uhura was amazingly quick as she realized she had been tricked she lashed out hitting the other woman, and put up a good fight, but T'Son's fury and superior strength soon crushed any resistance. T'Son picked up her disruptor and licked the blood of that trickled down from her spilt lip. She held the disruptor steadily on Uhura. "Just give me a reason." She told the woman.

"We mustn't kill her yet" a voice said from behind her, she turned around recognising Silkar.

"What I thought you said we were going to kill her?"

Silkar shook his head looking amused "I told you what you wanted T'Son. To kill her now would be stupid" he reached out and grabbed the disruptor. "I knew you wouldn't like if you knew what I really had planned."

"And what do you have planned!" T'Son spat realizing she had been tricked

"She will..." he gestured for his guards to pull Uhura up and continued moving forward till he was standing in front of the human woman. He was totally ignoring T'Son now. "be used as bait, but first I'll question her" he reached out a hand and stroked the side of Uhura's face, his hand trailed down her neck and over her chest. She jerked away from his touch. He laughed and told his guards to take her to the cells. He would have to find away to avoid arousing suspicion about Uhura's disappearance, and he had the perfect plan.

XXXX XXXX

Ensign O'Connor crouched in the cell terrified. Her head still felt groggy from being stunned. She had only woken up an hour or two ago and had very little idea of exactly how much time had elapsed. Any minute they would come and kill her. She waited for what seemed like hours before the door opened and she gave an involuntary whimper. Light spilled into the room and a Vulcan came in. He wasn't Silkar but his face had the same cruel gaze. She nearly fainted as she tried to stand up on her wobbly legs. The man reached out and grabbed her "you're wanted "before she could say anything he half-dragged her from the cell to a small room. She trembled with fear as she recognized the person there.

His face was angry. He looked at her, "what do you want with me?" O'Connor found the strength to ask.

Silkar looked at her for a moment his eyes staring into hers " I have a job for you to do."

"And when I say no, and tell you to go to hell what are you going to do" O'Connor said her words much stronger than her feelings

Silkar smiled at her comment and said" You won't say no, if you did I would kill you in such a painful way that each second would seem like days of agony; you would be begging to die" As he finished speaking he reached out across the table and touched her temples. O'Connor felt a staggering sensation of pain that coursed through her mind obliterating all thought, that seemed to last for hours before the feeling, vanished leaving her gasping for breath.

Slkar said "that was just a taste, I think you'll be a little more cooperative now, or do you need another" he reached towards her.

O'Connor jerked backwards, and said her voice hoarse "what do you want me to do?"

Silkar smiled and began to outline his plan, as she listened horror closed in . If she did as he wanted, she would be betraying her friends if she didn't they would be killed, there was no alternative. She found herself agreeing to the plan; inwardly she was sickened with herself.

XXXX XXXX

"I don't understand, Uhura was supposed to evacuate on this shuttle "McCoy said confusedly.

O'Connor forced herself to smile "Well Mr. Spock sent me to tell you about the change in plans."

"I still don't understand why Uhura's leaving on the devlin" McCoy said his brow furrowing

O'Connor fidgeted nervously aware of the Vulcan standing behind her pretending to work at a panel, in his hand concealed was a phaser; he was one of several vulcans dotted around the room. Silkar had made it quite clear if she couldn't get the crew to leave without Uhura then they would have to be killed.

"Doctor, Spock thought it better if she evacuated with us since we'll be on the planet a little longer than everyone else, so when can have the best chance of getting communications through while we're here. "Seeing that he wasn't fully satisfied with her explanation, she continued speaking lowering her voice like she was telling him some of the gossip that Uhura and Spock had spiralling around about them. When in reality she was telling him a small part of a rumour she had heard earlier and the rest was a story she had invented on the spot.

"I think they had an argument and they made up because, Uhura came to say she was evacuating with us and Spock sent me to tell you of the change in plans." She said praying he would take her word and leave without asking to talk to Spock.

"Hmm, they made up. Well that just goes to show, some people can't take sound advice and have to be burned to learn a lesson." McCoy muttered to himself

O'Connor watched him nervously hoping he had accepted her story, and wondering what McCoy was talking about.

"Well, if he wants his girlfriend evacuating on his shuttle then, who am I to care.I'm just the doctor who nobody ever tells anything until at the end." McCoy said fuming, he glanced back at O'Connor and said "don't let me keep you ensign. We've only got a few minutes before we take off."

"Aye, sir" O'Connor said breathing a sigh of relief as McCoy turned away and simultaneously feeling guilty. She had saved McCoy and the crew from an untimely death, but she knew that Silkar had a reason for wanting them to think that Uhura was evacuating elsewhere. He probably didn't want anybody asking questions, because he had her, and if he did whatever he was planning wouldn't be good.

She walked away the Vulcan unobtrusively walked behind her. She could feel the hidden phaser trained on her. She forced herself to be silent as she passed more crew members in the corridor. She longed to say something, to ask for a help or to make some signal. But anything she did would be seen by the Vulcan and he would kill her and whoever she tried to ask. As they branched off into another corridor the people thinned out until it was deserted .The Vulcan moved closer until he had her arm his fingers biting painfully in her. They walked for a few minutes before they arrived at the door of a room, he keyed it open and pushed her inside then followed her in closing the door behind him. Silkar was there, watching her fingers arched. The guard who had came in behind her said "she did as you asked."

"Excellent, I was sure we would have no problems after we reached an understanding."

"What are you going to do with Uhura?"

"Spock and the rest of them have hidden themselves away somewhere I can't allow them to escape and possible alert others to our plan, and we can't find them, Uhura's bait. "

"What? I don't understand they won't even know you have her! There—"

Silkar broke in cutting her off "The rest of them won't know but Spock will feel that I have her. He will come, and after I have him, I will extract the hiding place of the others and kill them all"

"You can't-"O'Connor said realizing fully what she had done

"I can and if I was you I would worry more about yourself. you've outlived your usefulness." O'Connor felt a cold fear settle in her stomach, as Silkar gestured she saw the guard raise his weapon and fire. She felt a searing pain travel thru her chest, she twisted and fell to the ground her legs folding and she tried to gasp a breath that wouldn't come. Then a wave of darkness swallowed her.

XXXX XXXX

Kirk paced back and forth, not even trying to restrain himself. Where were they? The away team had been gone for almost a day and a half and in that time only three communications had been able to get through the anomaly's interference to be picked up by the ship. The last communication an hour ago had been a garbled transmission and from the little that had been understandable it seemed to indicate that the crew had finished helping repair the ships and were coming back to the Enterprise.

What worried Kirk was that for the past ½ hour they had also been receiving distorted transmissions from the planet's surface, outside of standard Starfleet frequencies. The messages couldn't be deciphered because the interference had so damaged the low grade signal that the transmission had degenerated into an indecipherable mass of random sounds and words.

The communications officers who were working on translating the messages had only gotten from the messages what they believed were the words… was kidnapped... Romulans are… stranded… killed. But due to the degradation of the messages they had only a 35% chance of those being the correct words. Still Kirk felt something was wrong.

"Captain, the are shuttles coming back" Kirk glanced at the lieutenant hunched over his console. "There's only – three of them" the young man said glancing back at the captain.

"Three of them?" Kirk said coming to stand behind the lieutenant at the science console. "are you sure?"

"It looks like there's only three captain" the lieutenant said his fingers running across his console as he checked the sensor readings.

Kirk turned toward the ensign on communications and said "open a channel to one of the shuttles" the young woman complied instantly.

A distorted crackly image of a young man filled the viewscreen. "Lieutenant Roth , here Captain"

"Mr. Roth our sensors are indicating that only three shuttles are with you. Where is the Devilin?"

"I wouldn't know sir" the image blanked for a moment before coming back "when we left the planet , the Devlin said that they would be leaving the surface a little later than us to collect data from when the shuttles departed, but they should have left behind us and be pretty close right now." The image crackled an audio disappeared for a moment then Roth continued "We couldn't detect any of the other shuttles , until we got further away from the anomaly sir. So we didn't find it that odd that we couldn't detect the Devlin"

"Thank you Lieutenant Roth" Kirk said.

Roth replied "aye Sir" Then Kirk indicated for Ensign Lara, the young woman at the communication console to cut the transmission and open a channel to the other shuttles. Similar inquires indicated that nobody knew what had happened to the Devlin after the had taken off, but nobody had thought this odd, because all the shuttles had lost contact and sensor detection of each questions confirmed that Spock, Uhura, Chekov and several other crew members were missing.

Within the next five minutes the three shuttles docked, and the interference of the anomaly had experienced enough of a lull that a channel to the surface of the planet could be opened. Ensign Lara was opening the channel when McCoy burst out of the turbolift, Kirk glanced at the doctor.

"The Devlin's missing? " McCoy asked. Before Kirk could reply a distorted image of a young Vulcan woman. appeared on the view screen

"Is this the Enterprise?" the woman inquired

The communications ensign looked back at Kirk and apologetically said "Captain this transmission just cut into our channel; it's blocking our signal from reaching the planet"

Kirk nodded at the ensign and turned toward the viewscreen. "This is Captain Kirk of the U.S. S Enterprise who is—"

"Captain Kirk there's no time for pleasantries." The woman said agitatedly cutting him off. "Your crew is in danger, one of them at least has been killed. Silkar has Uhura, and the others are hidden. We are—"

"Wait T'Kas what are you talking about?" McCoy said recognizing the woman.

Kirk looked back at the doctor thoroughly aggravated. He was going to have a conversation with Bones after this was all over about interrupting official transmissions.

"Dr. McCoy" The woman said glancing at the doctor and continuing "this colony is not what is seems. We are not Vulcans, at least not in philosophy or training. The Ro—"

The transmission cut out, the screen going entirely blank. The ensign at communications said "Its gone Captain. I can't get it back. Someone on the planet is blocking us from receiving the transmission." Ensign Lara said .

Kirk turned to McCoy

"You know that woman?"

"That's T'Kas. She's a doctor and that Vulcan Solkar's daughter; she has a twin brother Silkar, the one who has Uhura."

"So you think she's telling the truth?"

"What she said made sense. Right before we left, one of the ensign's who was supposed to evacuate on the Devlin came to me saying that Uhura, who was evacuating with us , had decided to evacuate on the Devlin" McCoy continued "I did find that a little odd , but it seems that her and Spock have been having some disagreements lately, apparently the logical bullsh-, that Vulcan bastard likes to put down gets to h—"

Kirk cut the doctor off with a glare and pointedly cleared his throat, aware of the crew listening in.

McCoy only looked slightly chastened and continued. "Yes , well anyway, now that I think about it , I didn't actually see anyone from the Devlin after that. And I'm willing to bet nobody else did either. Maybe, somebody kidnapped Uhura , and made O'Connor tell me that she was evacuating with the Devlin so nobody would be suspicious. The ensign did seem a little more nervous than usual"

Kirk had opened his mouth to reply, when Ensign Lara said "Captain the colony is sending a transmission now"

"On view screen" Kirk said. The screen changed to show two Vulcans. One was Solkar and the other was a younger Vulcan who looked similar.

"Captain Kirk, you just tried to contact us earlier and your transmission was blocked by another signal." The elder male continued "I'd like to apologize for my daughter; she's somewhat disturbed. Her and a few of the other colonists are reluctant to leave this planet, even though it is the only way we will survive."

Kirk studied the man's face. It was impassive and showed no signs of deceit, but the raw desperation of the Vulcan woman had held more sincerity Solkar's words. Kirk spoke "we're looking for a missing shuttle, the Devlin, and she informed us that one of our crew was killed"

This time the younger Vulcan spoke "on that fact my sister was telling the truth. One of your people, a lieutenant Smith was killed in a cave in right before the Devlin departed, and we did detect an explosion shortly after the Devlin left. we're searching for survivors and will bring any we find with us when we evacuate."

Kirk stared at them. There was something wrong, and he could feel it."We'd like to send a party down to search for survivors ourselves" Kirk said

"Captain, that's not a good idea, it would be more logical for you to keep your crew on your ship-" As the Solkar spoke Kirk heard McCoy say under his breath "here we go again."

"We plan to evacuate within a few hours." Silkar paused, his dark eyes looking intently at them "If somebody else came down here, they might not make it back up."

Kirk studied the man, his words had sounded like a thinly veiled threat. Keeping his voice calm Kirk said firmly "I'd still like to send some crew down to search for our missing people"

"As you wish , Captain Kirk. We will be available to give you any assistance you may require" said Solkar. He continued "if you'll excuse us, we have to return to our evacuation preparations."

"Live long and prosper" Solkar said holding up his hands in the familiar Vulcan salute.

Kirk replied in similar fashion, and then indicated for the transmission to cut out.

"That's Bulls-" McCoy began angrily as soon as the transmission ended. 'They're a bunch of damn liars—"

Kirk was already moving towards the turbolift as he cut off McCoy's newest rant "Ensign Lara, tell security to meet me in the shuttle bay. He turned to Sulu "Mr. Sulu you have the Conn."

"Wait Jim you're going?" McCoy said

Kirk turned to look back at the doctor "I've stayed on this damn bridge, enough. One crewmember is dead and possibly more. I'm not sending another group of crew down without going myself, something's going on down there and I'm going to find out what it is!"

"But, Jim you're the captain. Is it really best if you go down and get yourself killed!"

"Damn it Bones, this mission is shot to hell anyway, half the bridge crew is down on that planet dead for all we know. According to that Vulcan, Uhura's being held hostage. I'm going down there!"

McCoy subsided, as he realized Kirk's mind was made up and nothing was going to change it.

"Well I'm going too" McCoy said gruffly after a moment.

"Bones, you need to stay—" Kirk began

"I'm going there's probably several people injured and you didn't say you were taking any medical personnel. So I'm coming" McCoy continued noting the look on Kirk's face "you can write me up for insubordination when we get back."

Kirk and McCoy stared at each other for a long moment before Kirk said "I might just do that," he continued "Okay get, your gear and meet us in the shuttle bay in 5 minutes"

Kirk turned away from his friend and to Sulu who had moved to the captain's chair. "If we're not back by the time the planet starts breaking up. I want you to leave and send a message to Starfleet. And if anything tries to get off this planet and we're not back…. Destroy it." Then Kirk stepped onto the turbo lift along with McCoy and the doors slid shut.

XXXX XXXX

It was dark, cold. He shivered, causing a sharp jolt of pain to travel down his leg. Where was he? Why did he hurt so much? He opened his mouth to speak and stopped as he pain shot through his face travelling up from the line of his jaw. He tasted blood in his mouth. He groped out with a hand and his fingers brushed something, cold and soft. It felt like a hand, the fingers dangling limply.

He faded back into darkness.

He awoke, with a cough. It was hot, uncomfortably hot. He smelled smoke, the acrid smell making his eyes water. Where was he? He could see jagged piece of metal, plastic and fabric surrounding him; he was in an air skimmer. He looked around and saw the cause of the smoke, a fire burned to his left hungrily consuming fabric and plastic, and causing's gouts of smoke to fill the interior of the vehicle. He desperately searched for an opening, the thick smoke making it almost impossible to see. His lungs burned with the hot smoke, then he felt a gust of cold air move across his face momentarily and he realized that directly ahead of him was a window. The glass in it had been shattered leaving shards still clinging to the window frame.

He tried to crawl to the window and was stopped as a sharp pain shot through his leg; he tried to move it and realized it was caught wedged between a seat and something else. He jerked trying to free his leg as the interior of the vehicle filled with more and more smoke. He reached back blindly his hands trying to free his leg, his hands pushed against something it was stiff, cold; inwardly he shuddered when he touched it. Then with one last jerk his leg was free, a cry tore free as pain unlike any he had felt before rippled through him, and his vision dimmed momentarily. He took a breath his ribs protesting sharply at the movement, and then crawled forward, slowly…painfully, towards the open window, and tumbled through glass shards cutting his face and arms, he landed face down in snow. He tried to stand and fell back as his leg refused to hold him, in the moonlight he could see that it was covered in blood, the cloth of his pants torn in places and sticking to his legs in others. He edged forwards away from the uncomfortable heat of the burning vehicle and as he crawled, tried to remember what had happened. It came back to him in brief flashes then, a flood.

His mother. She was in the air skimmer .

He staggered back to the air skimmer half crawling, half walking ignoring the agony in his leg. flames and smoke rose from the air skimmer, lighting the night. He knew now what he had brushed past when he was crawling out it was a person. He reached the air skimmer and could see a hand lying through a window on the drivers side, he grabbed her arm trying to pull her out, but she was wedged tightly her body pinned beneath the crushed metal of the air skimmer, he thought he felt her fingers grip his momentarily as he struggled to move her . He didn't know how long he spent trying to pull her out, the heat from the car growing more intense by the second, his eyes watering, the smoke causing him to choke. Then, arms encircled him, pulling him back; he fought them trying to get back to the air skimmer. The arms pulled him back, saying words he couldn't understand. When he was several feet away there was a roar, then the flames lept higher illuminating the night sky and the entire air skimmer was consumed ,Flames burned everything, a wordless scream came from him; he collapsed to his knees, somebody's hand restraining him from going back to the vehicle. He had no idea how long he kneeled there in the cold snow, watching as the vehicle burned, as the medics tried fruitlessly to get close enough to the flames to free the person trapped inside… as the harsh odour of burning flesh grew stronger by the second.

"Pavel...Pavel...Pavel?"

Chekov awoke to somebody shaking him, he realized he was screaming, but a hand was clamped over his mouth muffling the noise.

"Pavel, wake up" a voice said softly from the gloom.

Chekov squinted and could just make out ensign' Kelly's face in the dim glow provided by the emergency lights. As awareness came to him he stopped screaming. Kelly removed her hand from his mouth, her face worried, and he sat up.

"You were having a nightmare or something, you started moving around then you started screaming"

He sat there breathing heavily, his entire body trembling, he was covered in a cold sweat, his stomach twisted and turned with the aftermath of his nightmare. Kelly sat next to him; he wished she would go away

He closed his eyes, fighting to avoid the images that plagued him. And another memory rushed back.

He had awakened in a hospital room; the beeping of monitors surrounded him, dimly he could hear voices out in the corridor outside his room. He listened and could just make out what they said.

"Is he still asleep?"

"He was when I last checked"

"Good...For his sake I hope he sleeps a long time, I certainly don't want to be the one to tell him"

"Tell him what?"

"You didn't hear? ….He's that boy from the air skimmer accident, his mother, sister and brother were all killed, he's the only one that survived"

The rest of the conversation was unheard all that he heard over and over in his mind was: the only one that survived. He was alone.

"Pavel are you okay?" ensign Kelly's voice brought him back to reality.

Chekov nodded. He took several deep breaths, he could feel himself trembling. Kelly placed an arm around him. His stomach turned uncomfortably again. He placed a hand over his mouth as he retched, hoping he wouldn't throw up on Ensign Kelly. He gulped down the acid that had come up, trying to forget. Please just go away.

"Do you want some water?" she said looking at him concernedly.

He shook his head not trusting himself to speak.

She moved the light closer staring at his pale face; his hair was damp with sweat, the light flashed in his eyes painfully bright. The orange-white glow reminded him of flames.

Flames- Fragments of memories flashed through his mind. Flames…leaping up burning everything…everyone …. The odour of burning flesh filling the air…

He turned away from Kelly at just the right moment, and he threw up.

I'm okay" he mumbled embarrassed, as she pressed a cold wet cloth to the back of his neck. He wished she would just go away; it was embarrassing enough without her here.

They sat there together for several minutes before she broke the silence. "How did they die?"

"Who?" He asked, a cold pit forming in him, as he realized who she was asking about.

"Your family"

"How do you know about that? He said not looking at her.

"You talk in your sleep Pavel…." Kelly said quietly. "You talk a lot"

He probably didn't realize it, but lately he tended to fall asleep all of a sudden. The time on the shuttle had been just one of many. Several times they had been watching a holovid or even sitting on the observation deck and she had turned to say something and found him fast asleep. At first she had been offended and annoyed, and had awoken him, and he had apologized profusely. But as it happened more often she realized , that it wasn't because she was boring or he was ignoring her, he was just tired. He wasn't sleeping much, his face was fatigued and his mood had changed somewhat. After the first few times she hadn't bothered to wake him up, she would let him sleep. She would sit next to him for sometimes an hour or more, his head nodded off on her shoulder, his face peaceful, eventually he would start talking. Soon after moans and whimpers would start, a few times he even started crying in his sleep. She had usually managed to awaken him before he began screaming and most of the time he hadn't realized he had been asleep for more than a few minutes.

"Oh" Chekov said avoiding her gaze. "It was an air skimmer accident, I was eight" he said his voice muffled. She reached out and grasped his cold, sweaty hand in her's. They sat like that for several minutes; Kelly pretended she didn't see him surreptitiously wipe his eyes on his sleeve.

"Eet's stupid I should be over eet, eet vas years ago" he said after several moments of silence almost like he was convincing himself.

There was a silent pause for a moment, then Kelly spoke, something about his confession had brought the events of the past few hours into sharp focus it felt like death was looming over her. "My mom died when I was eleven" Kelly said "it was cancer, one of the few they don't have a cure for-"

She paused her voice breaking, then continued, "She was dying . My father left the room and he me leave. He said we would leave the hospital for ony a little while , but we didn't come back for hours , by that time she was dead." Kelly looked at him "she was alone Pavel, I don't want to die alone"

"Nobody is going to die "Chekov said looking at her intensely disturbed by the conversation. "Ve are all going to get avay from here."

"You don't understand, when that disruptor was pointed at my head I thought I was going to die- and a year ago somebody told me -, and then today when that phaser blast hit me I—and then that man had me and you killed him -"she said her voice rising higher with each word.

"Leah" he said using her first name. He grasped her hands in his., she looked up at him her eyes shining with tears "You're going to be fine ve all vill". He tried not to think about how he had killed the Vulcans.

She was silent for several minutes before she said tearfully" Pavel, How can you be so sure"

"Because I von't let anything happen to you" He said brushing the tears off her face, with his fingertips. His words were the most sincere he had ever spoke. He would do anything for wouldn't let anything happen to her, because she was the only thing he had left. If she died, he would to.

Kelly, gave a small smile through a wall of fresh tears "my mom always said that one day I would find somebody, she would've liked you" Kelly said as tears ran down her cheeks in rivulets, Chekov draped an arm around her , and pulled her closer, she cried quietly for several minutes before, he felt her start to relax. She sighed sleepily; her head resting against his chest, the last thing she murmured before she fell asleep was "I love you Pavel".

Chekov said nothing, he had heard her quiet words, but was unsure what to say. It had been years since anybody had said that to him. He didn't want to say it back. He didn't want to love her. He didn't want to care.

He already did….and it scared him.

XXXX XXXX

Uhura could feel Silkar's gaze on her, his eyes ran over her. A small smile played on his lips, his dark eyes glinted maliciously.

"I'm willing to bet that while Spock has an allegiance to Starfleet, he has more of an allegiance to you" the man said enjoying the fear on her face. "I may not be able to find him but when he senses this he will come to me"

Uhura pulled back trembling, as the man advanced on her, signalling the guards to take off her restraints, he waited until they had finished then dismissed the guards.

They were alone now but rather than feeling that she had a better chance of escape, she felt more trapped.

"Now it's just the two of us" he said

"What are you going to do?" Uhura said her voice breaking

"Nothing that you and Spock haven't already experienced" was Silkar's reply.

Uhura started to back away, before she could take more than a few steps, he had grabbed her roughly dragging her back , as he did so Uhura became aware that all the time Spock had touched her, held her, caressed her, he had been holding back a large part of his strength, so as not to hurt her. Silkar had no such qualms. He grabbed her hands in one of his and with the other he sought her temples. Uhura struggled wildly, but his strength was too much and slowly, inexorably his fingers reached their destination.

As his fingers touched her temples, Uhura felt a presence. It was like an itch at the corner of her mind, and then the cell started to fade away; the room slowly grew blurry. Silkar penetrated her mind, cutting his way through the flimsy barriers she tried to erect. She gasped in pain, as he forced his way in, enjoying her distress.

The link they had was a sick a parody of the links her and Spock had shared. Whereas Spock had been gentle, cautious, slowly acclimating her to the link, allowing her mind toopen on its own before going further and the tendrils of their mind twining together. Silkar did none of these things. He forced his way in going deeper and deeper, gouging at her mind as he went, the agony he caused giving him pleasure. Then he was in, she could feel his mind running through her memories, glimpses flashed through her consciousness as he looked through them.

-Her graduation from the academy-

-The Narada incident-

-Times with Spock-

As he finished with her memories, she could feel him turn his attention to her. She recoiled in hatred and disgust as she felt his malevolent conscious run over her. She could feel the equivalent of a mental smile starting in his mind.

"Why so scared? The real fun hasn't even begun"

With that he went deeper into her mind, then she would have ever thought level of the link was so great that every facet of her being, mind, and body was at his control.

Enjoying the agony he caused and the power he had, He began to form an image, a thought, Uhura tried to pull away her entire mind filled with horror, but her consciousness was firmly bound in his.

Silkar deepened the image and the line between what was thought and what was reality began to blur. The projection became more real. No this can't be true. The image became more real until it wasn't an image it was reality, her reality. This can't be true. But it felt real. As Silkar ran his hands along her and his hot breath brushed across her face and neck, and she felt his intent, her mind screamed "Spock!"

XXXX XXXX

Chekov and Kelly were fast asleep, their arms wrapped around each other, and a blanket draped across their shoulders. Havarii paced nervously back and forth, but other than the quiet sound of breathing and Havarii's soft tread, it was silent. Spock like Havarii couldn't sleep, unlike humans he could go without sleep for several days, with only one or two sessions of meditation in between. He had also found that mediation was in a lot of cases more relaxing and restorative than several hours of sleep.

Spock settled down on one of the rock ledges that lined the room .He closed his eyes and calmed himself, allowing his mind to sink inward as he examined the events of the last few hours. Gradually, his breathing slowed, and his scattered thoughts coalesced into an order; he began to feel peaceful.

Abruptly, he gasped as a pain shot through him, a torrent of emotions followed immediately after, flooding his mind with, anger, fear, horror. Uhura? he thought as he felt the familiarity of the consciousness. Flashes of what she saw flickered through his mind, stone walls, Silkar's face. Spock opened his mind slightly and felt another consciousnesses, it was filled with a sick malicious intent. He closed his mind off before he could be sensed. Another flood of emotions swept trough his mind threatening to overwhelm him with their intensity. He felt almost physically ill at the emotions he felt. They came in wave after wave, increasing in frequency and intensity. He could feel that Uhura was in trouble and that Silkar had her. He gasped again as the force of her distress coursed through him stronger and this time he heard her voice scream in his mind. "Spock!".

He didn't know he had collapsed to the ground, until he heard "Commander Spock?" and opened his eyes to find Havarii standing over him. The lieutenant gazed down at him with worried eyes "are you okay? You were just sitting there then you slumped over."

Spock sat up still out of breath from the flood of emotions he had felt. "Uhura" he gasped.

"Uhura?" Havarii repeated puzzled "what about her? She's on the ship—"

"Uhura's here"

"What are you talking about? How would you know anyway?"

"She's here I know" Spock fell silent. He fought to maintain control, as another wave of emotion flowed through the link he and Uhura shared. Spock unsteadily pulled himself up.

"I'm leaving."

"Mr. Spock you can't leave here . You vill be seen" Chekov said looking alarmed, both he and Kelly had woken up and come over to where Spock and Havarii were talking.

Another wave of emotion surged through Spock's mind, He heard Uhura yell his name again.

"How can Uhura be here?" Kelly asked.

"She's here" Spock said fighting to keep his voice steady, as the emotions became almost unbearable. His mind was blocked off, but through the link that had been formed from the many times their minds had linked, he felt her emotions even if he couldn't see or know exactly what was going on.

"Silkar has her. " Spock said.

"Silkar-?" Kelly gasped.

Behind them they heard a movement. They turned around and saw Sunil. He said "you must leave here now. There is a shuttle you can get to and you can go back to your ship, but if you stay here much longer you will be captured. T'kas sent a message and they know about us . They are looking for her, if they catch her they'll torture her for your location."

"I'm not leaving" Spock said.

"What?" Sunil asked confused.

"Commander Spock says Uhura's here and Silkar has her" Kelly said

For a moment Sunil looked at Spock confusedly, then as he watched Spock's face he noticed the subtle changes in his expression as the flood of emotions poured into his mind. . Sunil's face straightened with understanding. "You can feel her"

Sunil continue "Before I left they had said Silkar was about to interrogate someone, I knew that it wasn't T'Kas , But I thought they had caught one of us. When I last saw Silkar I should have known from the expression on his face that it wasn't one of us. We wouldn't allow ourselves to be taken alive and if we were we wouldn't provide him much sport." Sunil paused then said "He has her."

Spock moved towards the tunnel which lead from the cave, "I'm going" . Now his mind was almost entirely clouded, he had trouble concentrating on anything but Uhura.

"Take the rest of them to the shuttle and I'll—" Spock said as he moved.

"Mr. Spock ve are coming vith you" Chekov's voice said from behind him

"While I appreciate the offer ensign, I cannot allow it" he paused his control faltering and all but gone as the feelings intensified to a level that threatened to engulf his mind completely. He struggled to regain enough to say steadily "I look Vulcan like they do, if I wear similar clothes I can blend in, you would be noticed almost immediately."

Chekov fell silent, quieted by the logic of Spock's words.

Spock continued "when you get to the shuttle leave, don't wait for me to come."

"Mr. Spock—" Chekov began.

"Commander I really—" Havarii started.

"We're not—" Kelly replied.

Spock cut them off turning around to look at the three humans. His voice had an edge of iron, that brooked no argument and he said "That's an order."

He waited for a few seconds before they said "aye sir."

Spock turned away, he knew that going after Uhura was suicide and quite possibly what Silkar wanted, but he couldn't leave her. However, he didn't want the rest of the crew waiting for him or Uhura to come back, because he knew it was likely neither of them would be coming.

Sunil came over to Spock and opened a container. He reached in pulling out an outfit similar to the one the other Vulcans wore. "Here" he said passing the garment to Spock. "Do you know the way to the cell's from here?"

Spock nodded, tugging off his uniform and pulling on the proffered clothes. Sunil passed him a phaser. Then gave Spock the Vulcan greeting before stepping away, Spock returned it, he turned away and began crawling into the dark tunnel. All control was gone now. He moved as fast as he could fuelled by the emotions which filled his mind and yet weren't his own and by his own anger which blazed brightly beneath it all. He would kill Silkar when he found him for what he was doing to Uhura, of that he promised himself.