Commander Spock and Lt. Uhura are married, and the Enterprise is on a slow run to Vulcan. What could go wrong?
Categories: Primetime Television Characters:
Nyota Uhura (Television)
June 04 2020 Updated:
September 19 2021
1. Chapter 1-Saana's Hope by Uhura the 9th
2. Chapter 2-Amanda's Hope by Uhura the 9th
3. Chapter 3-The Honor of T'Pau by Uhura the 9th
4. Chapter 4-The Battle for Spock—T'Pau's Way by Uhura the 9th
5. Chapter 5-Meeting the First Time by Uhura the 9th
6. Chapter 6-The Meeting of Great Minds by Uhura the 9th
7. Chapter 7-Back in the Saddle by Uhura the 9th
8. Chapter 8- The Good Ship Enterprise by Uhura the 9th
9. Chapter 9-Confronting the Truth by Uhura the 9th
10. Chapter 10-It's a start by Uhura the 9th
11. Chapter 11-The Message by Uhura the 9th
12. Chapter 12-The Time the Circus Came to Town by Uhura the 9th
13. Chapter 13-It's All Political by Uhura the 9th
14. Chapter 14-Life Gets Interesting by Uhura the 9th
15. Chapter 15-Life gets Interesting-part 2 by Uhura the 9th
16. Chapter 16-Can We Talk? by Uhura the 9th
17. Chapter 17- On the Enterprise—Off Course by Uhura the 9th
18. Chapter 18-Welcome to Vulcan Professor Uhura by Uhura the 9th
Chapter 1-Saana's Hope by Uhura the 9th
Summary: Spock and Nyota were on their way to Vulcan to meet his clan and verify their bond. Little unsettling things were happening to Nyota because of their Vulcan mating bond; she has found that she is sensitive to touch and sound. The crew are both shocked and glad upon learning that Commander Spock and Lt. Uhura are married. Spock has found that another club has been established because they see him as some sort of Prince Charming in a romance story. Spock wasn't used to being the center of attention, especially from women. They would bat their eyes and make comments like, "How romantic" or "He's so attentive-like a prince" or "He's a Prince Charming". Spock found it very uncomfortable to know that his movements were being observed by the female crew. While Uhura was taking it all in, the female crew would question her about being married to a prince. Or ask what title she would have: princess, Lady Uhura, or her majesty? Uhura would just laugh and explain that Vulcan titles should not be compared to the Terran titles, that they represented only positions in the family unit.
I want to to delve into the Uhura and S'chn T'gai families and give background on their thoughts about Spock and Nyota's marriage. Lets start there, with Saana from "The Battle for Spock," part II: chapter 25, where Nyota tells her mother that she is married to a Vulcan, the elusive Commander Spock.
Tears rolled down her weary cheeks: There is nothing like knowing your child is happy. Saana sat proud; she had just finished her conversation with Nyota and Charlene. She took a deep sigh. Her only daughter-her only child-was married, married to a Vulcan, of all things!
I don't know much about Vulcan culture. I haven't even seen many Vulcans, as a matter of fact, she thought to herself.
Saana continued to ponder. She had only seen Vulcans on vids or the documentaries from the libaries. She was aware that they are quiet, polite people, but she thought they had intimadating looks, with their arched eyebrows and pointed years. People have said they don't laugh or smile or express emotions of any kind. But somehow her Nyota married one, so there must be some form of understanding. Saana knew that nothing is easy in life and relationship are difficult to maintain, especially in a marriage. Saana hoped that her daughter would grow to understand that marriage is built on trust, understanding, and, most of all, patience. Saana and Kayode were childhood sweethearts; their love grew from their friendship. Kayode was a handsome man from her hometown in South Africa, and they went through many trials and adventures as a married couple. Nyota, their 'Star', was an added blessing. Saana was now older and alone, but she looked much younger than she was. Her hair was streaked with silver and framed her glowing face. Nyota had inherited her curvy figure and smooth complexion, which, even at her age, caught the eyes of men, who tried to court her. But Saana turned them all down; no man could ever replace Kayode Uhura.
Saana reflected on Nyota, tracing in her mind her only child's path from birth to childhood and finally to adulthood. Nothing came easy for her Star: from her struggles with being an only child to being bullied for most of her preteen and teenage years, to the deaths of her father and uncle at almost the same time, it was a difficult path and it took a toll on their mother-daughter relationship.
"Baba, I don't understand. Why are they teasing me? What did I do wrong?"
"Little Star, because you shine so bright, they want to take the shine from you. You must be strong, Little Star. You are smart. You are important." Saana saw Kayode in her mind, holding Nyota as she cried into his shoulder. Those were hurtful times for Nyota. She excelled in her studies, performing beyond her years, and the other children had punished her for it.
Nyota was multi-talented; her intelligence and her mathematical apitude were the object of jealousy among her peers, but her singing would bring her peace when the bullying became too much. She would dance for her father to express her anger or happiness. Then she learned to play an assortment of musical instruments to keep her light shining. Saana considered that Nyota had had to fight for her place in this universe; her baby was strong.
Saana was happy too for her adopted daughter, Charlene, who seemed to have found someone to share her life with. Saana was happy that those two were stationed on the same ship and even happier that they were best friends. Nyota didn't have many friends growing up, but Charlene was there for Nyota through thick and thin. Saana thought back to when Nyota brought Charlene home to visit-before they both were deployed-Saana had made a special dinner to celebrate their graduation from Starfleet Academy and to have one last chance to hold her baby in her arms before she left on the Enterprise. Saana didn't know how long she would be gone, but the memory of their time together made Nyota's absence easier to bear.
Tears streamed down Sanna's face as she remembered how she almost lost her Star. It was after the death of her husband, when Nyota was 12 years old. He worked in Starfleet as a master sergeant. It was a routine inspection of the space dock at Deep Space Station that rotated around the moon that went wrong; over 30 men and women were killed that day. Her husband, Kayode, was one of them. They told her it was an accident. She remembered holding Nyota's hand at the memorial ceremony. Master Sergeant Kayode Uhura-the love of her life-was gone forever.
The tragedy only deepened three months later when her brother, Zurberi Buhari, also in Starfleet, died on Neptune when he was exposed to the atomsphere during a routine excursion. It was too much to bear; she blamed Starfleet for taking her family and vowed that hell would freeze over before they would get another member of her family.
On Nyota's fifteenth birthday, another storm was brewing. Saana remembered it like it was yesterday. Nyota stood in front of her, nervous and afraid, wringing her hands.
"Momma, I want to join Starfleet Academy."
The words sent terror and anger vibrating throughout Saana's body. She balled her hands into tight fists. "NO!"
"Why Momma? Commander Carson says that I'm good at-"
"NO! You're too young, and I am dead set against it! Now go to your room!"
Nyota ran to her room and curled up on her bed, wracked with sobs. From that day on, the tension between the two of them grew. Nyota was polite and respectful for the next three years; she maintained her grades and all her activities. The subject was never brought up again. I thought I had dodged the bullet, but I was wrong, very wrong.
Just like it happened yesterday, I still she her face, the way we fought, but the things I said. The things that hurt. An orientation officer notified Saana on that dreadful day, that Nyota had been accepted into the Starfleet Academy Communications Program. She read the message on her Padd in disbelief and shock. Then the reality hit her: Nyota is of legal age; I can no longer stop her from going. But she decided to try anyway-with all her might and every manipulative tool at her her disposal.
"I forbid you to go into Starfleet!" Saana snapped.
"But I've been accepted, and I want to go. I want to travel the stars, to see the universe!"
"If you go, you will no longer be my daughter! You will be dead to me!"
"Don't say that, Momma! That's not fair! Please don't make me choose!" Nyota was crying; her heart was breaking.
"Then don't leave!"
Nyota took a deep breath, she had planned this day for years, she wanted her mother to be proud. She couldn't fight it any more, she needed to follow her heart, the stars. Nyota looked at her mother with her tear stained face.
Nyota gathered up her duffle bag with a tear-stained face and looked at her mother for the last time before she left for Starfleet.
"I have to do this. If I don't, I'll always regret it. There's something out there calling me. I HAVE to go!" The stars and the universe were calling Nyota, she couldn't back. NOT NOW.
After Nyota left, and didn't look back, Saana fell to her knees and wailed.
At first, both the pain and the anger were tremendous. Starfleet had taken another family member from her life. She thought she would never get over it. But Nyota never gave up on her. She regularly messaged Saana to let her know how things were going at the Academy. She never stopped reaching out. And over time, Saana's deep love for her daughter and her need to be a part of her life won out over her fear and anger. It would be three long years before Saana would speak or acknowledge her daughter, pride does mean things to people, even to the ones you love. Saana was hurt, she thought Nyota did it out of spite, a way to get back when she told her ‘no' when she was fifteen. Saana would be laying her bed wondering if her daughter was alive or dead, or safe. She would cry herself to sleep because of the hurt between them.
Saana still worried about her daughter sometimes, but now Nyota had told her that she'd married Commander Spock. A smile started to form on Saana's face. Usually, Nyota would tell her about her boyfriends and how they worked out or how they failed. Several years ago, Nyota had almost married the man with the shifty eyes. He had asked Saana's permission to marry her. Saana told him that if he was good to her and loved her, he could have her blessing. But it was not to be. He betrayed Nyota and Saana with lies. But this time-seeing Nyota with Charlene and how happy they both were-she knew they were building trust again. Saana saw the genuine love in Nyota's eyes. She has given her heart to the Vulcan. He must be some man to be worthy of Nyota's heart. She has so much to give.
A beep came from the vid console where they just has spoken. It was a message from Nyota. Just as she had promised, she had sent pictures. Saana downloaded the file and opened it to view them.
The first picture was of Spock and Nyota standing together with their first two fingers touching each others. He was in a long formal robe with strange writing down the left side. His eyes were pirecing, sharp like an eagle. His head was slightly turned toward Nyota, which gave the apprearance that had eyes only for her. Nyota was a vision in a beautiful wedding dress. It almost looked like a traditional African dress-it was a full strapless gown with gold, green, and white embroidery woven into the bodice. A headress of gold beads sat snugly on her head. It was beautiful. Saana smiled at the image; her daughter looked like a queen.
She noticed images in the background that appeared to show the Serengeti landscape, as well as otherworldly landscapes she had never seen before. She surmised that these must be Vulcan landscapes, with red sand and sculptured cliffs. The next slide was of the wedding party standing in a semi-circle: Captain Kirk, Lt. Sulu, Charlene, Dr. McCoy, and Lt. Commander Scott, in his traditional Scottish kilt, with Nyota and Spock standing in the middle. It was a beautiful wedding party. Charlene was wearing a knee-length green dress that complemented Nyota's gown. Even she looked different from the last time Saana had seen her, right before Nyota and Charlene had left to join the Enterprise crew. Two strong, beautiful women, on an adventure of their life.
Saana knew everyone in the pictures because Nyota would often talk and share stories about them and about some of their adventures in exploration. They way Nyota would tell the stories made it seem as if Saana was there with them. The bond between mother and daughter was renewed and strengthened. The third slide was of Spock and Nyota both seated, strumming Vulcan lyres. They play music together, how nice! Saana noticed how they positioned their seats facing each other. Her heart soared: Nyota wanted to let her know that she and Spock had a love of music in common. It gave her peace to know in her heart that Nyota was all right, even though she was far away from home. More tears came down as she keenly felt the absence of her husband, Nyota's father, at this milestone in their daughter's life. Saana lined up all three photos and looked at them together, carefully scrutinizing Spock. She noticed his eyes, how they looked soft and never left Nyota. Saana was amazed. There is more to Vulcans than I knew.
Sadness hit Saana's heart and she took a deep breath. She was happy that Nyota had found someone to share her life with-that was good. The sad part was wondering when she would ever see them, if they would ever return to Earth so she could meet her son-in-law. It could be years. Nyota was on a five-year mission on an exploration ship. But then Saana realized she would probably meet the commander during one of their every-other-week chats, and her spirits lifted.
Saana and Kayode once had a house full of life, a loving husband, and darling child. With him and Nyota gone, she had settled into a small condo that was close to the university, where she worked as a historian-anthropologist. Saana didn't mind being alone, they became friends, and the little place she has, would have to do for now. Saana wiped her face, took a deep breath. She got up and made some tea in order to relax and reflect on her daughter's marriage. As Saana raised the cup to her mouth, a thought struck her and she sat motionless, with the cup in midair: I need to find more information on Vulcans and their customs, in case I ever meet my son-in-law, Spock.
The most important thing Saana thought as she smiled down at her tea; ‘Nyota has found her place in the universe and the one.' As Saana looked from sipping her tea, another pleasant thought passed through her mind: "Grandchildren!"
Chapter 2-Amanda's Hope by Uhura the 9th
Summary: Now it's S'chn T'gai Amanda Grayson's turn to express her feelings. I have read many stories and versions of her and Sarek's meetings and found them so refreshing and wonderfully written. In the original series, it was implied that Spock was the first Vulcan-human, but I have seen in Star Trek Enterprise series that Vulcans and humans were intimate before Ambassador Sarek relationship with Amanda. Also, I have read that Spock was an engineered-hybrid. But I love my original series; no other recent series has come close to Gene Roddenberry's original idea.
So my version of Amanda and Sarek is more inclined toward the episode "Journey to Babel," my favorite. I liked this version of Amanda: she is funny, sweet and loves her man.
Our story takes place after Spock has introduced Nyota to his parents in "The Battle for Spock, part 2," chapter 28. This will set the scene for Spock to return to Vulcan with his bride.
Sarek had left the office to attend a meeting in another room with a representative of the Vulcan Council. Amanda sat quietly in Sarek's office, looking at the closed com-link and thinking about her son and his wife. A smile broke across her face as she thought about what had happened less than five minutes ago. Amanda had just met her new daughter-in-law, Nyota, which means 'Star' in Swahili. But, most of all, she had noticed her son's happiness-Spock was content for the first time in his life. During the conversation, Amanda had watched Spock's eyes and the way he looked at his wife. She had seen that same glow in Sarek's eyes when she married him many years ago. Yes, Amanda could discern the character of a Vulcan in their eyes (the eyes don't lie) they tell it all. Amanda remembers as she looked into the eyes of her son, her only son, she could clearly see that Spock was in love with the woman. A mother can tell. The way Spock introduced Nyota-his back straight, chest out, and demeanor calm-spoke volumes to her perceptive eyes, showing that he was proud of his choice.
Amanda shook her head and thought to herself, Boy, Vulcans are something else; they experience emotions so close to those of humans, but express them so differently; Sarek and Spock are so much alike, but yet so different.
Amanda felt an uncoiling of a knot in her stomach that she had lived with for so long she no longer recognized it was there-until it relaxed. For the first time since he was born she was able to rest at ease, knowing that her son had found a partner for life. Amanda reflected on the brief conversation with Nyota, who was friendly, confident, compassionate, and intelligent. Her beauty really stood out, and that Nyota spoke so many languages fluently and had worked for the diplomatic corps spoke volumes about her intelligence. She could see that Nyota was not the type of woman who indulged in casual relationships. She would have been an amazing catch even for a human; Amanda marveled that Spock, her adorably dorky son, had been able to win Nyota's hand. Amanda's happiness and excited thoughts projected through her bond with Sarek, and he responded:
You are content with the match, my wife?
Yes, Adun, very pleased [smiling to herself].
Amanda remembered how Spock and Nyota had looked on the com-link, the way Spock positioned himself next to his wife. That Vulcan protective stance was on display, demonstrating his love for her. Amanda sighed deeply, as though she had been holding her breath for thirty-six years. It's a mother relief to know that her child is living a productive and healthy life. But with Vulcans, a healthy life for a male requires a wife to bond with. Thinking about this brought back how Sarek and she had made it so far in their marriage; she shuddered, thinking about all the trials and tribulations that went with it. Amanda hadn't wanted Spock to have to deal with all of that, but his mixed heritage came with a price. It had always been a dagger in Amanda's heart that Spock was an outcast in both societies.
Amanda reflected on Spock's previous relationships (the ones she knew about). Since Spock's birth, Amanda had struggled to understand Vulcan customs and traditions; her mistake was that she examined them from the perspective of Terran customs. In her world, Spock should have been able choose who he wanted to marry. Until she met Sarek, she hadn't known about the mating rituals of Vulcans, which were forced upon them because of the mental and physical stresses-and danger of death-both sexes endure at the age of sexual maturity. Vulcans were very careful to keep this part of their biology and culture under wraps to avoid the exposure of uncontrolled emotions that would rip off the tight lid of their logic because it would humiliate them and expose their vulnerability.
Spock was half human, so many Vulcan people didn't consider him to be a true Vulcan and were reluctant to allow him to take part in their traditions. But the healers had revealed to Sarek and Amanda shortly after Spock's birth that his Vulcan genes were generally dominant and his body would grow and develop as any Vulcan male's, meaning he would eventually undergo the pon farr and require a mate. Therefore, they advised that Spock should have a bondmate for his Time. Amanda fought her mother's instinct to protect him against exposure to Vulcan prejudice, but after considering what the healers had said, she realized that to keep her son safe, he had to have a bondmate. Which presented another problem: what Vulcan female would want to marry her half human son? She entrusted Sarek with negotiating a bride for Spock, even though she had studied the traditions under the tutelage of T'Pau. Amanda got along well with her, despite T'Pau's questioning Sarek's reasons for marrying her. Amanda had held her ground against T'Pau in their many debates, eventually earning T'Pau's respect, which had not been easy, Amanda thought. She's a tough old bird. Sarek and T'Pau found a match for Spock. Amanda remembered the look on Spock's face when he was informed of the upcoming betrothal ceremony; she had felt his despair and confusion. He knew how his peers felt about him being half Vulcan, and he wondered what female would be willing to attach herself to him. Amanda's seven-year-old son was about to be bonded, betrothed, to a girl he did not know.
"Mother, must I?"
Amanda looked up at Sarek and saw his face; he urged her through their bond to confirm the truth.
"Yes, my son. Do you remember your studies about the mating process and the reasons for bonding?"
Spock slowly turned toward his father; Sarek urged Spock through the family bond to be logical.
Later on that night, Spock had run away with his pet sehlat for three days. He returned on his betrothal day and met his future bride. T'Pau performed the ceremony, and a healer confirmed that the bond was sound. Spock spent little time with T'Pring; he tried to touch her through the bond and found resistance. She either didn't understand Spock's nature or that fact he was of mixed heritage caused confusion with her. When Amanda met T'Pring's parents, everything was explained. It was merely a political move for them; an alliance with the S'chn T'gai clan meant power and position, and they were willing to sacrifice a daughter to obtain them. Looking into their eyes, (the eyes don't lie) Amanda could see the resentment. It hurt her to know that Spock would suffer slights and prejudice from them in the future. Her future daughter-in-law was a pawn in Vulcan society. Amanda thought about the Terran history of such dealings between royal families, making strange bedfellows and alliances. Now these two children were pledged to marry each other in the future. She was thankful that her son was safe-for now. For Spock to survive, Amanda could only hope that the pair would find a way to mesh. When Amanda sat with little T'Pring, the girl sat as stiff as a board and said next to nothing; she didn't want to look at Amanda. Amanda expressed her thoughts to Sarek:
"The child fails to acknowledge me; what is wrong with her?"
"The child will adjust in time, Amanda; it is a new situation for her to experience a marriage bond."
"Sure; it couldn't have anything to do to with the fact that I'm human?"
"That is an illogical assumption; the child is aware of her responsibilities."
Amanda's sarcasm revealed how upset she was that the child showed prejudice against her. If that is true, then she has it against Spock as well. Not a comforting feeling.
Spock's suffered from bullying, prejudice, and assumptions about his intellectual abilities and emotional control every day at school. Each day, Spock's emotional control grew stronger. The healers were amazed to find that he had a psi rating in the 90th percentile for full Vulcans. His tremendous aptitude for math and science soon became apparent, challenging both his schoolmates'. His teachers' assumptions about the limits of a hybrid's mind and telepathy has becoming a threat in the eyes of some. They were unaware of Spock's capability and growth, but Amanda knew, he shared his thoughts about them.
As Spock grew, Amanda noticed that he became more reserved, less talkative, but would respond every now and then through the family bond when requested. He barely mentioned T'Pring or his engagement to her. Spock occasionally felt her resistance toward him and only acknowledged her when arrangements were made to keep the bond intact. Amanda would feel the stress rise in the familial bond because Spock became irritated when T'Pring was around. Sarek would remind Spock of his responsibilities to the girl and that fulfilling them was important for his survival as a male Vulcan. Sarek had tried to portray Vulcan culture and sexuality in a positive way, but Spock would only listen politely and kept his thoughts to himself.
Then the S'chn T'gai family dealt with the unthinkable, the thing that would drive the family apart. Spock reached the age of accountability; he now had to choose his path for the future. Against all odds, he had performed to an outstanding level in all academic areas. The Vulcan Science Council invited Spock to follow in his father's footsteps and continue his studies at the Vulcan Science Academy, which was considered a great Spock shocked both the Academy and his own father when he announced that he had been accepted into Starfleet Academy and he intended to leave Vulcan to pursue his studies there. It was the beginning of the end of their father-son relationship:
"Spock, your choice of career is illogical; Starfleet practices are contrary to Vulcan beliefs."
Spock stood taller; he had now outgrown most of his peers.
"Starfleet Academy has a science division that is adequate to continue my academics."
"Spock, it is expected of you as a member of the S'chn T'gai clan to continue your studies at the Vulcan Science Academy; Starfleet will not provide the training to maintain your beliefs in the Way of Surak."
"My acceptance is final; the decision is final; I will attend to my departure."
With that, the family split. Spock went to Starfleet, and Sarek refused to accept or acknowledge Spock's choice. The family bond shrunk to the point where Amanda could hardly feel it; it felt almost as if a part of her had been amputated. Spock had somehow shut it down to nearly nonexistent.
As a mother, it was hard for Amanda to see her only child leave, not knowing when he would return; her heart was heavy. Amanda knew Sarek's heart was heavy as well; he didn't have to say anything; she felt it through their bond.
Sarek has lost two sons; what does a father do? Amanda thought to herself.
Amanda continued to reflect on the past events of Spock's life. Spock had been through so much, but his relationship with his father had worsened. Amanda was caught in the middle of their bickering about Spock's career choice; Sarek would often make a snarky remark, and Spock would cut off the communication. There were times Spock would call Amanda on the com-link to let her know of his welfare, and she would notice that Spock would not mention his father or T'Pring in their brief conversations.
As the years passed, the news that Spock had been assigned to the Enterprise, as well as details of his scientific investigations, started to become widely known. Awards, achievements, medals of all sorts started pouring in from Starfleet and other Federation planets to the family compound on behalf of Spock. Everywhere Sarek and Amanda would go for diplomatic meetings, Spock's name was mentioned and his achievements and scientific theories were praised. Amanda smiled to herself: I'm so proud of you, my son. She would project her pride through her bond with Sarek, but Sarek did not express any sentiment or acknowledge his son's achievements.
Several years later, Sarek did respond to Amanda through their bond about Spock: Spock's duties are required in his position. It was the most he had ever said about Spock and Starfleet. But Sarek's reflections about his son were very rare; he still felt that Spock should fulfill his responsibilities by attending the Vulcan Science Academy. That was one thing about Sarek, he refused to see Spock as total human, but as Vulcan son and treated him as such like a father would. Amanda smiled about that, it touched her that Sarek really tried.
Then back on Vulcan, Amanda started hearing rumors. It was her opinion that Vulcans gossip worse than humans, but they base their comments on facts and they don't exaggerate. T'Pring had grown up into a lovely Vulcan woman; males from other provinces had come to seek her audience, and she entertained them publicly. She acted as if she were single, and many males had requested Koon-ut so'lik (marriage proposal). But once they were informed of her pending marriage to Spock, many declined, infuriating T'Pring; she needed a challenger to break the marriage. Amanda couldn't take it anymore and confronted Sarek:
"Adun, it bothers me that T'Pring is entertaining male suitors, knowing that she is betrothed to Spock. This is unacceptable behavior!"
"T'Pring has been aware of her responsibilities and contract from the beginning; she will honor those commitments, Aduna."
"Sarek, please! Is there any way to break this?"
"Our ancient marital laws may be cruel; T'Pring will honor her family and Spock."
Amanda thought that conversation went nowhere; she became worried about Spock, who was not present on Vulcan to fight the suitors or defend his betrothal. Amanda did the next best thing a mother could do: she confronted the woman.
Amanda remembered the day; it was a day of disrespect and anger when she met T'Pring after all those years. She confronted her about her display of disrespect toward her koon'ul[betrothal]. T'Pring looked down at Amanda the human with distaste, stating that she would not marry Spock the legend and that this was her right. Amanda wished she could have slapped her or taken a sword and run her through. T'Pring had no intention of marrying her son, and that hurt. Amanda looked into the woman's eyes (the eyes don't lie) and saw hatred; T'Pring actually hated her son.
As the years moved on, the rumors persisted and concern for Spock's life put stress on Amanda. She went to T'Pau about it; she too had heard statements about T'Pring seeking a challenger in order to rid herself of Spock. T'Pau looked at the woman who had married her son and was now seeking advice on behalf of her grandson. T'Pau wondered why the woman had not immersed herself in the marital laws before now.
"Amanda, thee have known about this for some time; plans are in place. The kali-i-farr has been proposed. The woman is within her rights to challenge the marriage at the appointed time. Regardless, one male in the challenge must die, and the victor will win the woman. It is done."
Amanda sat heavy-hearted, remembering those events. Tears formed in her eyes. She had worried so much over Spock, hoping that just one time he would get a break in life. Amanda hated that part of Vulcan culture, knowing her son could be killed by a rival Vulcan if T'Pring chose the challenge. Cold-hearted bi**h! she had thought to herself, drowning her fear in anger. At the time it had seemed so far off, the idea that he would find happiness.
Amanda remembered the com-link. She and Sarek had been on a diplomatic mission on behalf of the Federation when she heard that the ship that Spock was assigned had been diverted to Vulcan, and he was preparing for his wedding. Her thoughts and emotions overwhelmed her bond with Sarek, so her husband rushed to her in concern. She informed him that Spock was on Vulcan getting married. They rushed back to Vulcan, hoping to be present for the ceremony. They hadn't been far away, just two days at warp 5. But by the time they returned to Vulcan, Spock and the Enterprise had already warped out, missing them by 12 hours. Amanda had looked at Sarek, voicing her greatest fear through their bond: Is our son dead? Amanda had rushed to Spock's old bedroom, afraid to hear the outcome of the kal-i-fee. As she looked around his room, filled with awards and medals, the fear overwhelmed her and she collapsed on the floor.
Sarek sought out his mother to learn the outcome of his son's wedding and found that T'Pring had gone through with the challenge. His mother's comments comforted Sarek, letting him know that his son was alive and had returned to the ship.
"The woman T'Pring has succeeded in dissolving the marriage between her and thy son. The champion she selected was most fascinating and unorthodox, Sarek. Thee woman T'Pring chose a Terran friend of Spock's."
Sarek's eyebrow rose: "Fascinating."
"Indeed, the Terran succumbed to the wounds made by Spock." T'Pau looked at her son. "I granted Spock his divorce; I grieve with thee for the loss of his friend and Spock."
When Sarek returned to find his wife on the floor, he lifted her and placed her on their bed. He opened their bond to find fear, despair, anger, and a feeling of great loss for her son. He held his human wife, whom he had cherished all these years. Later, Sarek relayed the story from T'Pau of the challenge and its outcome. Amanda had expressed anger toward Sarek, embarrassment that T'Pring had stood Spock up at the altar, and disappointment that her son was alone again. It took a couple of months to forgive Sarek, and herself too, because she had agreed to it as well. She attempted several times to contact the ship to check on his well-being; he eventually sent a message saying that he was well.
As Amanda remembered the whole event, she said out loud, "Nothing like your fiancée leaving you at the altar, but to have one of his friends fight for a woman who didn't even want him and get killed over it? It's just too much." Amanda shook her head. Being a Vulcan is tough!
Then, about a year later, Sarek was assigned to the Babel conference. Amanda was excited about getting to see Spock on his ship. Sarek was not thrilled; he stood his ground and held an unchanged attitude about Spock's decision to join Starfleet. When they finally saw Spock, Sarek and he were more distant than ever; Spock probably thought Sarek blamed him for his failed Kai-i-farr. She watched Sarek give Spock such a cold shoulder that even his captain noticed and tried to help. Then Sarek's heart attack put fear into Amanda. Through their bond, she felt her husband's pain, and her body suffered too; Sarek had been trying to keep his illness from her for some time. Amanda had been so focused on Spock that she had forgotten her Adun; that grieved her. She loved Sarek with her whole heart; they both suffered for long. When she was alone, Amanda cried bitterly over Sarek, thinking of all the things they had endured and trying to push away thoughts of life without her Ashayam. The core of her whole life could be gone if Spock wouldn't step forward.
Spock sensed his father's pain and briefly opened the family bond; it grieved him as well, but he had responsibilities as a Vulcan and an officer.*
Tears ran down Amanda's face, for what she had done to her son, demanding that he save her man, his father from death. She couldn't conceive of life without Sarek. The heart attack brought new closeness to the family she and Sarek had created. Somehow her Vulcan son Spock had saved the family, and for the first time in 18 years, father and son were talking. Amanda did notice how attentive the nurse was to Spock during his recovery, but Spock didn't pay her any mind. The trip to Babel was a success in Amanda's eyes because her husband and son had finally repaired their schism.
When Spock had hinted that he was in a relationship with a crew member, she had thought the nurse was the one he was attracted to. Now to see that Spock was finally married and to see the happiness in his eyes (the eyes don't lie) brought peace to Amanda's heart, mind, and soul. Spock was safe for the first time in his life; she was so proud of her son, and her husband.
A chime came from the com-link; it was Nyota. Amanda quickly downloaded the images; they opened in front of her, and what she saw took her breath away. Tears started flowing harder down her face and a deep cry projected from her heart; Sarek felt the disturbance in their bond and responded quickly. He found her crying uncontrollably at the desk where they had sat just moments ago.
"Amanda, you are in grave distress," he said, kneeling to hold his wife by her shoulders. "Aduna, your distress has affected me; please explain."
Amanda reached for him and continued crying on his shoulder. Sarek looked down at the com-link and saw the image of Spock with his wife after their wedding; he noticed that Spock was wearing his IDIC symbol on his formal robe, and he even saw it on Nyota's gown. Her gown complemented the color of Spock's robe. They were touching their fingers in the ozh'esta, revealing their intimacy. Sarek had to admit to himself that his son looked pleased.
"Sarek! He looks so happy! I know that's not the right word, but look at them-they look content! That's the word!"
As Amanda tried to explain through her tears, Sarek opened a drawer to pull out a cloth to wipe his wife's face. Amanda touched Sarek's arm and looked at him.
"Adun, please help our son come home, not only to us but to Vulcan as well." She tried to breathe, but tears of joy kept flowing. "He's been through so much. I'll try not to be so emotional."
"Amanda, you are a Terran; emotions are part of you."
Amanda reached over and touched the screen to reveal another picture of the whole wedding party, including Captain Kirk and Dr. McCoy. Seeing Spock surrounded by his friends caused her to smile with joy. My son has friends! She looked at the image of Spock looking down at his wife with tenderness. It brought back memories of her courtship with Sarek, they way he had looked at her said it all. Words could not describe what he felt for her. Amanda projected her former feelings through their bond, and Sarek responded, placing his two fingers against hers, sharing in her joy.
Amanda reached out and touched the screen again to reveal Spock and Nyota strumming their ka'athyras. Sarek's brow lifted:
"Fascinating! She is able to play this instrument; it would be quite interesting to hear Ms. Nyota perform."
Amanda smiled, seeing something different. She saw love, and she knew Sarek was proud of his son, even if he would never say it. Amanda got his attention:
"Sarek, we must give them a reception; they deserve something from us."
He looked down at her: "I agree. I'll see to the arrangements and send the pictures to T'Pau."
"Yes, she would like to see her grandson married."
"Have you recovered from your event, my wife, so I can attend to your request?"
"Yes, Sarek, darling. I'm much better now; thank you."
Sarek stood up and left to start making arrangements, while Amanda continued to stare at the last picture of Spock and Nyota playing their lyres. She had waited so long for this moment, and now it had finally happened. Her smile widened and a giggle erupted from her:
Through their bond, Sarek answered; "Indeed!"
A/N: *Star Trek TOS: Journey to Babel: the scene where Sarek collapsed on the floor, take a good look at Spock's reaction (the eyes don't lie).
Chapter 3-The Honor of T'Pau by Uhura the 9th
Beta Reader: Jsilver2000
The next morning during breakfast, Sarek and Amanda were sipping tea and eating the last of their breakfast. Spock's marriage had not only brought contentment to Amanda, it had rekindled her emotional and physical attraction to Sarek. It has been too long for both of them; the process of mending their family continued. Sarek and Amanda shared intimate thoughts through their bond; a mischievous smile came across her face and was answered by a twitch from Sarek. The interchange brought back fond memories of their courtship and their bonding ceremony long ago. Amanda reminisced about how men had been attracted to her and how Sarek-without ever losing his Vulcan composure-had efficiently run off his competition. Sarek's brow arched as he turned his smoldering eyes on his wife while they shared their thoughts at the table.
Amanda gave a deep sigh of contentment:
"Thank you, Sarek, for making the arrangements for the reception."
"They are still in the preliminary stages; I will present my suggestions to T'Pau and continue from there."
"I wonder if she received the holo-vids of Spock's wedding?"
"I sent the vids yesterday per your request; I am meeting with T'Pau today to discuss the reception."
Amanda reached over and touched Sarek's hand, enjoying the feel of his warmth. She smiled at him again.
"I hope she is pleased that her grandson is bonded now and out of danger."
"Spock was not in danger, Amanda. He has 4.879 years before his Time."
Amanda rolled her eyes and said, "I meant that he wouldn't be challenged for his bride."
"Ah, yes. It is preferable that he avoid combat; however, if he were ever forced to take part in a challenge against a Vulcan, I expect he would be successful due to his many years of training in Suus Mahna, as well as his Starfleet combat training."
"Sarek, do you think Starfleet will release Spock and Nyota from their duties to attend their reception?"
"I will make their superiors understand that their presence is required on Vulcan."
Sarek stood up to start his day. He extended two fingers toward Amanda, who reciprocated the gesture with a smile. Sarek's private little paradise was to see Amanda smile only for him. Sarek left to petition for his son's reception. First, he must present it to his mother, the matriarch of the S'chn T'gai clan. T'Pau's support would be critical in securing the Vulcan society's acceptance of Spock and Nyota's bonding.
The Honor of T'Pau
Meanwhile, T'Pau was sitting in front of her com-link viewing a Terran wedding vid. She saw her grandson performing the ozh'esta with a Terran female while they were surrounded by other Starfleet officers. She saw her grandson wearing the formal robe of the S'chn T'gai clan, along with his IDIC medallion. Her sharp eyes picked out the subtle IDIC pattern in the woman's dress. T'Pau's brow rose as she viewed the images. But when she saw the female playing the Vulcan Ka'athyra, even the indomitable T'Pau was impressed: Indeed! Terrans are so unpredictable. This one is fascinating!
T'Pau remembered when Sarek had presented Amanda at their wedding ceremony. It was unorthodox at the time. There had been speculation that the DNA of humans was not compatible with Vulcan blood (copper-based vs. iron-based), so it was thought that there would be no children. And Vulcan prejudice led many clan members to believe that Amanda would be a bundle of sloppy emotions, an embarrassment to the extended family. These notions did not sit well with many of the clan. But the main concern was whether the woman would survive Sarek's Time. Human physiology was vastly different from that of Vulcans. The much denser body structure and overwhelming strength were concerns. T'Pau had been astonished that not only had the woman Amanda survived Sarek's Time, but she also performed commendably during the ceremony amidst Sarek's clan members.
Sarek had never replied to the question of why he had chosen Amanda Grayson, a Terran female. There was no logical reason. T'Pau's brow lifted. Clearly a physical attraction must have developed; the female was different from Vulcan females. From a Vulcan perspective, Amanda's eyes, hair color, and skin color were exotic. Perhaps that was the reason Sarek had been attracted to her and pursued her, as T'Pau sat and thought to herself her rationization; Terrans are obnoxious creatures, but they are unique in some ways:
First, Terrans are multicolored; there is a wide range of colors and tones to human skin. Vulcans are monotone, with slight variations depending on which region of the planet they are from.
Second, Terrans have multiple hair lengths, textures, and colors, from bald to hair short enough to stand straight up, to waist-length; from curly or wavy to straight; and from white to yellow-blonde, red-orange tinted, black, and brown some other colors thatTerrans achieve by artificial means. The combinations seem endless. Vulcans generally have straight black or gray hair, and many males wear a simple bowl cut to honor the great Surak. Sarek is the only one in the S'chn T'gai clan with a slight curl to his hair, and he stands out.
Third, Terrans have various eye colors: brown, dark brown, golden brown, green, and blue, whereas Vulcan eyes are dark brown to brown. The blue eyes are the most intriguing; they reflect the sea or seem to provide a window into the person's inner thoughts.
T'Pau had slowly gained respect for Terrans; she had not had much respect for them in the beginning, during the development of the Federation. She had observed that greed and ambition were the primary drives of Terrans; this observation caused her to distance herself from involvement in the formation of the Federation of Planets. They needed her support; she grudgingly gave only as much as was required. She did not want Vulcans to mingle with Terrans, yet her son did the very thing she was concerned about. She accepted it: Kaiidth. Yes, Amanda Grayson had impressed and intrigued her when she endured Sarek's Time and produced an heir. She had also endured many Vulcans' coolness toward her, advocated (illogically, of course) for Spock before his Kal-i-farr, with the ires of T'Pring's indiscretions. The female Amanda had been a steadfast mate to Sarek and a supportive and patient mother to Spock for all these years; for that, T'Pau had reassessed Sarek's choice of bondmate.
T'Pau had become interested in Terran behaviors, finding them more tolerable than in the past. She glanced at the wedding photo containing Kirk and McCoy, Spock's Starfleet friends, and her brow went up. Interesting, was her thought. Kirk and McCoy had supported Spock admirably during his Kal-i-fee. The doctor had saved both her grandson and his captain from death during the traditional marriage ceremony. T'Pau found the knowledge that Spock's friend had survived the Kal-i-fee to be fascinating. She admired the means the healer had used to break the blood fever and save Kirk. When she had first discovered that Kirk was still alive, she had thought the doctor's interference in the matter to be unorthodox for a healer. But that was not the only time the doctor had saved her grandson, not to mention that he had also saved Sarek when he fell ill during the Babel conference. Now, she realized that, if anything, she owed the healer respect.
T'Pau looked at the vid again to examine the female who had become bonded to Spock. She did not look like a typical human female. She appeared to have strong, yet gentle, features. Perhaps her Starfleet training had given her character. T'Pau would soon see whether this female had tenacity equal to Amanda's. If so, she too would be an acceptable addition to the S'chn T'gai clan. More so than the female T'Pring, who had brought dishonor to the clan, publicly entertaining other suitors and showing them affection. This was unorthodox and unethical. T'Pring's behavior had been unacceptable; that she had dared to force a Terran to take part in the challenge was her folly. It was unheard of and could have resulted in ripping open the veil of secrecy over Vulcan mating customs if the Terran had won or had actually died. Regardless, if T'Pring had viewed Spock as less than Vulcan, than she was as much a fool as Stonn, the male she had chosen to replace Spock. It had pleased her to divorce Spock from the unworthy female. It had been only the second time in her life that T'Pau had openly showed displeasure in someone's conduct. T'Pring was at the top of a very short list.
T'Pau again examined the female, wondering if she was prepared to endure Spock's Time. The woman did not appear timid, and her body appeared to be strong enough to bear a Vulcan child. T'Pau would examine the bond as well as the physical condition of the woman. T'Pau was pleased that her grandson had found someone to bond with, and she would conduct the necessary procedures to determine whether the woman was worthy of her grandson. Even though her grandson was not fully Vulcan, T'Pau neither despised nor rejected the boy. Spock had expressed many emotions as a young child, unable to rein in his explosive emotions as other children his age did. His course through life was made much more difficult by the rejection of his people. His training in the Way of Surak was his salvation. Although he got started a little more slowly than most Vulcan children, by the time he reached secondary school, Spock had outperformed all his Vulcan peers and was challenging his instructors. Many who had preconceived notions of the limits of his Terran heritage were astonished by his scholarly performance. They had believed that a Vulcan-Terran hybrid would be physically and mentally inferior. But Spock's mind was magnificent. He not only scored in the 98th percentile on his intelligence assessments; his psi score ranked nearly as high. Somehow, his combination of Vulcan and Terran genes had produced enhanced telepathic powers. T'Pau had touched his consciousness during his betrothal ceremony at age seven, and somehow he had managed to control his thoughts. The healers were astonished to learn of his mental development and the strength of his telepathy; they wanted to study him in more detail and to subject him to invasive testing. Sarek and Amanda had politely (although Amanda had been livid) declined their invitation, for which T'Pau was grateful. She would have had to step in otherwise. Her grandson needed acceptance and teaching, not poking and prodding.
Spock became his own Vulcan, his own person. He broke with tradition by not following his forefathers to study at the Vulcan Science Academy; instead, he left Vulcan to attend Starfleet Academy among emotional Terrans and went on to become a Starfleet officer. Unorthodox. Even Sarek-he had married a Terran female against Vulcan traditions (unorthodox again). There was something about the two Vulcan men in this clan; they were direct descendants of Surak, but T'Pau had no logical reason for their rebelliousness. Both of them had paid a price for their failure to observe tradition, and this was the time to bring all their power and that of their allies to bear in order to secure their positions in the S'chn T'gai clan and Vulcan society.
Some time later, Sarek came to T'Pau's estate to discuss the reception.
Sarek stepped into T'Pau's office, where she was leaning on her cane, searching her library for one of the ancient books. Sarek helped her retrieve the book from the shelf and placed it on her desk. She bowed her head in thanks and sat, looking up at Sarek expectantly.
"Dif-tor heh smusma, Sa-fu" [Live long and prosper, Son].
"Sochya eh dif, Ko-mekh" [Peace and long life, Mother].
"Have you received the wedding pictures of Spock and his bride?"
"I have viewed them."
"Spock has communicated that he and his bride have performed the bonding ceremony, as well as the Terran wedding ritual, to ensure that their marriage is legally documented in both the Vulcan and the Terran records, in case anything should befall them before their return to Vulcan to authenticate the bond.
"Indeed, he put his position in Starfleet at risk by him placing such an action, but he as insured his bondmate her place in the clan. Spock's actions to protect his bride are commendable."
"Tell me of the female bonded to my grandson, Sarek."
"From our com-link conversation, the female appears to be acceptable. Her aptitude for mathematics and science is impressive, but her greatest talent lies in linguistics. She has mastered at least two dialects of Vulcansu, which is remarkable for a Terran."
"What is the name of the child?"
"It is from a Terran language called Swahili; her name is Nyota Uhura, and she was raised in the United States of Africa."
T'Pau had noted the female's skin tones, another Terran marvel. Her skin was smooth and dark, with a glow to it. Spock must find it aesthetically pleasing, she thought. He used to immerse himself in nature as a child, and his wife's skin tones evoke the dark hills of the country surrounding the family estate.
"Nyota has also mastered other xeno-languages and served in the diplomatic corps when she was still at the Academy. Her assistance with intergalactic translations was vital during the Babel Conference."
"The child also plays the Ka'athyra." T'Pau clicked on the monitor to show the image of Spock and his wife holding their instruments.
"Correct. She is an avid musician. She stated that she acquired the instrument as a teenager."
"Fascinating. Is the child aware that Spock will undergo the pon farr?"
"Yes, Ko-mekh. Spock explained to her what the pon farr entails, and she has bonded with him in full knowledge of what is to come."
T'Pau raised an eyebrow in approval.
"What is thy concern, Sa-fu?"
"Spock has indicated that the bond is developing a strength that he had not experienced during his betrothal to T'Pring. Spock opened the familial bond and I was able to observe that it is strong."
"With your permission, I will touch thy mind, Sarek, to ascertain this."
Sarek knelt before his mother to present his face for the meld; she touched his psi points and entered his thoughts. She released Sarek after a minute;
"Spock's ability has grown since he was a child. Thee are correct to reveal this to me; it is imperative that Spock return to Vulcan to have the bond authenticated, and a Healer for his wife so no danger in the marriage bond, would not affect her physically."
"My aduna recommends a reception to receive Spock and his wife and to celebrate all his accomplishments for our people."
T'Pau looked at her son, thinking, Spock has endured more than any Vulcan since the time of Surak.
"I agree with thy wife. Such formal recognition by the pillars of Vulcan society will eradicate the insult our clan suffered during Spock's Kal-i-farr. Spock has been shunned for far too long. I will make it so before the Vulcan High Council."
"Will they honor such a request?"
"Sarek, they WILL honor our clan. It is our right!" T'Pau replied, thumping her cane hard on the floor. She was determined that Spock and the S'chn T'gai clan would get the respect they deserve.
"Spock is an heir of Surak. His name will be respected and thine as well. It is DONE!"
"Dif-tor heh smusma, Ko-mekh" [Live long and prosper, Mother]
"Sochya eh dif, Sa-fu" [Peace and long life, Son].
Sarek left to go to his office to write the proposal for a reception in honor of Spock and his bride. His plan included all the delegates that he had worked with and forged relationships with throughout the decades. Sarek had connections with many allies who would support the reception proposal; the Vulcan High Council couldn't refuse. Once the proposal was complete, his mother would present it. T'Pau had taken part in Council matters on many occasions with significant outcomes. She would make her case for why the counsel should put expenditure toward the reception.
After Sarek left, T'Pau called for her assistant T'Lara, an intern lawyer, to help her prepare her argument before the council. T'Lara was a ward of the clan whose studies of the ancient laws before and after Surak made her a valuable asset.
"Your services are needed to research our clan; retrieve the ancient books of the lawgivers."
"Yes, Mistress. Can you specify?"
"I will give you clarity; our clan needs to prepare for the Prince of Vulcan, the heir to our people, Vulcan will receive and respect who we are child, go now."
T'Lara bowed her head in respect, picks up a Padd and left to carry out her mission at Shi'Kahr's historical library.
T'Pau had a lot to do, but not much time. She would flex her political muscle for the well-being of her clan and her grandson. She would prepare her arguments for the Vulcan High Council's formal recognition of Spock's accomplishments and his marriage-as well as her accusations against the S'oleh-nau clan's T'Pring, for her choice of challenger. T'Pau had not forgotten T'Pring's insolence at the Kal-i-farr or kal-i-fee. T'Pau had waited patiently, biding her time, for just the right moment. And this was it. The matriarch of the other clan would pay a price for T'Pring's exposure of Vulcan mating customs to outworlders and her indifference to Spock's fate. The S'chn T'gai clan would not be undermined again.
A/N: I love T'Pau, when I first saw her in the TOS, she was powerful, no joke. Kirk was so intimidated that he took the challenge at Spock's wedding to keep face (not too bright). But her character stands out, and I have read many stories, from antagonistic points of view to supportive ones. I love me some T'Pau. Her abrasive nature reminds me of my grandmother and Judge Judy! All hail the little women!
Also, I thought about Spock's telepathic abilities; they were revealed in three episodes:
A Taste of Armageddon
By Any Other Name
The Omega Glory
Those episodes showed Spock using his power without touching the subject. His mind reached out to them,and demonstrating Spock's capabilities with his telepathy, even Kirk make him use in situations. These are the only times I've seen Spock use them. The episodes didn't mention whether all Vulcans have this power, but the touch telepathy of Vulcans is well known. Spock plays down his powers in most cases.
Chapter 4-The Battle for Spock—T'Pau's Way by Uhura the 9th
Beta Reader: Jsilver2000
Summary: T'Pau is bound and determined to bring Spock home to ceremonially validate his bond with Nyota and present her to Vulcan society as his wife. T'Pau and Sarek have also decided to flex the power of the S'chn T'gai clan to coerce the Vulcan High Command into hosting a reception on Altairs VI in Spock's honor.
The Battle for Spock-T'Pau's Way
A week later, Solen of the S'oleh-nau clan-the father of T'Pring-received an electronic message stating that even though he had accepted Stonn as his son-in-law, irregularities had occurred during their courtship, rendering the legality of their marriage in question. As he read the message, Solen's eyebrows lifted toward his bangs. Padd in hand, he went directly to the matriarch of his clan and presented the message.
T'Lan was sitting in her garden by a pool when her nephew presented himself with as much concern as would be tolerated by the matriarch.
"T'Lan, we are summoned to the Vulcan High Command to answer to charges relating to T'Pring's indiscretion."
T'Lan had known this day would come-the day to answer the to S'chn T'gai clan for T'Pring's actions during the Kal-i-farr. It caused her great concern. She had known T'Pau for many decades; they had both served as matriarchs to their clans with the shared goal of preserving their people. It was T'Lan who had approved the match 28 years ago; it should have strengthened the clan's position with the High Command. But the silly child hadn't followed protocol and instead used the opportunity to challenge Spock's right to her. Now T'Lan must present her case and defend T'Pring-and more importantly-the clan's position in Vulcan society.
"Indeed, what does the charge consist of?"
Solen stood before his aunt and said, "The High Command is requesting an explanation of T'Pring's choice."
"It is within her right to choose a champion in the Kal-i-fee; no law was broken."
"I am aware of her rights, T'Lan. But they insist on your presence."
T'Lan looked at her nephew: "Your lack of knowledge hinders your understanding; I will go to them."
"The Kal-i-farr has never been documented or laid out in detail for outworlders, especially not the Kal-i-fee! Your daughter T'Pring chose unwisely when she selected the Terran, who had no desire for the Kal-i-farr. He was not considered a champion-and other challengers, at least one, were available. The Terran was unprepared, unskilled, and unaware of the implications of our traditions. With her choice, T'Pring exposed Vulcans' most private traditions to outworlders and risked the life of a highly placed Terran. The consequences could have been severe, resulting in a great loss of status for our people and our culture, not to mention damaging or even destroying our relationship with the Federation. T'Pau could ask for compensation if laws were broken at that time."
Solen stood rigid as comprehension dawned: "Are you implying T'Pau could annul the marriage between Stonn and T'Pring?"
"It is possible for Spockah to reclaim what he has lost, Solen."
"Go request an audience with Sarek and T'Pau; perhaps we can come to an understanding before the Vulcan High Command intervenes."
Solen left to send a message to the S'chn T'gai matriarch T'Pau.
A few hours later, at T'Pau's compound, Solen and T'Lan met with T'Pau and Sarek. They were all in T'Pau's library when T'Lara served tea.
The two elder women seated themselves; Sarek and Solen stood near their respective matriarchs' chairs. T'Pau-for a Vulcan-was in a good mood, though not to say jovial. The women raised their hands in greeting.
"Dif-tor heh smusma, T'Lan."
"Sochya eh dif, T'Pau. How can I be of service to you?"
T'Pau's eyebrow twitched in answer to T'Lan's question, but she cut to the chase.
"We had an agreement, T'Lan, which I honored; I pledged my grandson to your grandniece."
"I am aware of the contract; it was honored."
"I was there when the Kal-i-fee was issued; that was in her right."
"Agreed; it was her right to challenge."
"What have you to say of her choice?"
"The child's choice was also in her right."
"We are here to dispute her choice. Our laws are binding; our laws are to protect the victor and the challenger."
T'Lan wanted to squirm in her seat, but she sat still, preserving her dignity and ready to defend against T'Pau's challenge.
"T'Pring was within her right to choose her champion."
"Indeed; that's the law. The visitors were friends of Spock-their role was to observe his participation in the Kal-i-farr, not to take part in our beliefs or traditions without knowledge. The human was unaware of many aspects of this."
"Yet the human took the challenge, T'Pau. What need is there to discuss this now?"
"As I have said before, T'Lan, the human was unaware of many aspects of the Kal-i-farr. If the human had full knowledge of what the Kal-i-fee entailed, his choice would have been different."
"The woman makes the choice of champion; the law states this."
"Does the law also cover one's conduct prior to the Kal-i-farr, T'Lan? It was observed and commented on that the woman T'Pring searched for a champion, despite her pledge to Spock. What of these reports that the woman had suitors address you, T'Lan, to ask for Koon-ut-so'lik. The contract was disrupted when her conduct continued through the years before the Kal-i-farr."
T'Lan searched her mind for a rebuttal but had trouble avoiding the truth: T'Pring's conduct before the marriage had been an error. T'Pau had her boxed in.
"It was well within her right to seek another worthy bondmate, if Spock was not here to attend to her needs."
"Spock is to blame for T'Pring's conduct?" T'Pau's voice strained almost into a growl. "Did you describe Stonn as a worthy bondmate, T'Lan?"
"Sarek's choice of mate defied our traditions and invited an outworlder to know of our ways."
"So Sarek is the reason for T'Pring's indiscretions?"
"Your grandson has made a name for himself. He's part of Starfleet, not of our world, our people. He does not partake of things that are Vulcan."
T'Pau did not suffer insults to her clan lightly, even from an old colleague. T'Lan's insinuation that Sarek had tarnished the S'chn T'gai clan and that this was a factor in T'Pring's actions was an insult not to be borne. In her efforts to clear her grandniece, T'Lan had chosen her words poorly, adding fuel to the fire instead.
"This justifies T' Pring's conduct to break the contract and sever the bond? I see you continue to make unfounded and unwarranted statements. I have spoken to the Vulcan High Command and stated my case in regard to Spock's Kal-i-farr. They agreed that T'Pring's insolence and behavior brought outsiders into a sacred ritual, exposing our way of life to judgment and ridicule. It seems from this conversation that we have NOT come to terms with T'Pring's actions. I have asked for compensation; it was granted to me, T'Lan. In the absence of compensation, I will declare naul-tor [a feud] against the S'oleh-nau clan."
The two males bodies had stiffened at T'Pau's statement. A feud among the clans was exceedingly rare in modern times; it had been centuries since the last one. Sarek suspected his mother was bluffing.
"Now I will confer with my son Sarek about what recompense from your clan might be considered appropriate. We will notify you when we have decided. The High Command awaits your presence, T'Lan and Solen. Now I have other matters to attend to."
"Feuds among our people have been condemned for centuries, T'Pau."
"The laws still apply and have not changed, even since the 'Awakening' T'Lan. It is my right, and it will be done-in the absence of compensation."
T'Pau stood up with her cane and looked at T'Lan, realizing that the other had made a grave mistake. T'Lan reluctantly raised her hand in the ta'al.
"We will consider any offer you make, T'Pau."
"Dif-tor heh smusma, T'Lan."
"Sochya eh dif.
T'Pau returned her salute; with that, T'Lan and Solen left with heavy hearts. The clan would have to pay for what T'Pring had brought down upon them.
T'Pau turned to her son: "Now on to the matter of the reception on Altair VI. Sarek, we need to appeal to the Vulcan High Command to provide all funding, aid, and services for Spock and his bride."
The President of the United Federation of Planets has granted us permission for the reception to be held there, it is an acceptable area to accommodate invited guests."
"Sarek your service as Ambassador to the Federation has shown favor, it has placed value in this quest."
Sarek looked at his mother: "Indeed."
Sarek is aware that Vulcan High Command will accept the location versus Vulcan itself. Only selected outworlders were permitted on the planet, without strict protocols. Altairs VI is the perfect forum to display such events.
Two days later, Sarek stood before the Vulcan High Command; their decision would determine whether the reception on Altairs VI would be funded. The Vulcan High Command consisted of an administrator and commissioners who determined how to handle issues that would affect the whole planet. Sarek had presented himself to speak on his and T'Pau's proposal to have Spock recognized for all his achievements and to acknowledge his marriage. Three female and four male commissioners heard Sarek's case. Sarek greeted the commissioners.
"Dif-tor heh smusma, Commissioners of Vulcan."
"Sochya eh dif, S'chn T'gai Sarek. How can we serve you?"
"I hereby notify you that my son Spock has bonded; our clan proposes that the Vulcan High Command hold a reception on Altairs VI to celebrate his achievements and ceremonially validate his bond with his mate."
"Your clan is within its rights to choose to acknowledge Spock's marital status," T'Ara said. "But Spock is in the service of Starfleet Command; there are protocols to follow in order to secure his return to Vulcan."
"We have no jurisdiction over Starfleet Command; Spock must seek release from them," Suter commented.
"A request from the Vulcan High Command to Starfleet will expedite Spock's return, Sarek asserted; "His mission is scheduled to continue for another 3.567 years. It is customary for the marital bond to be authenticated soon after the bonding."
"Has Spock bonded with a Vulcan female?" Sudoc asked.
"Spock has bonded with a Terran female from his ship."
"Interesting," T'Ara observed, slowly glancing at the other commissioners in turn.
"Are there health concerns?" Solor asked.
"Any form of bonding or mind meld invites health concerns, Sarek replied. "It is wise to have the matriarch and a healer verify the connection."
The seven commissioners looked at one another and nodded in agreement.
"We will speak to Starfleet on your behalf and request Spock's release to return to Vulcan on medical grounds," T'Ara said.
"However, we fail to understand the request for a ceremonial celebration of Spock's achievements on Altairs VI? If you wish to hold such a celebration, that will fall on your clan, Sarek," Sudoc said.
"Agreed, Spock's bonding is a private matter, outworlders are not often permitted to attend our Kal-i-farr. The celebration of his bonding align with his achievement is what Schn"Tgai clan is requesting on Altairs VI.
The commissioners slowly bowed their heads and glared at each other.
Sudoc stared at Sarek: "We acknowledge that Commander Spock's bonding to a Terran needs verification, but our decision to provide financial support to the reception is not valid."
Sudoc looking at Suter
"Our decision is final."
"We have a meeting with T'Pau 15.458 minutes from now on another matter," Suter said. With that, the commissioners raised their hands in the ta'al.
"Dif-tor heh smusma, S'chn T'gai Sarek."
"Sochya eh dif, Commissioners."
Sarek bowed his head in respect and left, feeling pleased. The meeting with the Vulcan High Command had gone well; he had predicted that the commissioners would turn down the reception. Now his mother would go to work on them to get them to finance the reception. Sarek looked forward to reporting to his beloved Amanda that she would see Spock soon.
The Commissioners and T'Pau exchanged the usual greetings and seated themselves in a conference room with a high ceiling and tinted windows. T'Lara took up her place behind her matriarch with a Padd in her hand.
"Was the compensation from the S'oleh-nau clan acceptable, T'Pau?" T'Ara asked.
"Indeed. T'Lan had difficulty processing the information, but clarity came soon enough."
"Explain your presence," Sudoc snapped.
T'Pau's eagle-sharp eyes raked Sudoc, but she battled back the impulse to pounce on him for his disrespect. Patience.
"I offer salutations on your decision to expedite my grandson's return to Vulcan to authenticate his bond," T'Pau said.
"A marital bond to another Terran," Sudoc sneered.
"Sarek requested that the Vulcan High Command hold a reception to honor Spock for his accomplishments," Solor commented.
"Spock is Vulcan. His achievements do honor to Vulcan and should be acknowledged by this body, which represents all of Vulcan," T'Pau argued, raising a brow. "I am hearing disregard of the accomplishments of my offspring. Therefore, I will remind the Commissioners of our Vulcan history."
As a body, the commissioners each arched an eyebrow.
"S'chn T'gai Sarek, formerly Ambassador to Earth, was once bonded to a Vulcan female," T'Pau said. "I will remind you that the woman chose not to continue the marriage, leaving Sarek to suffer the pon farr without a mate. During his diplomatic duties on Earth, he chose to bond with a female Terran. I validated the marriage bond; the woman endured his pon farr and gave birth to the next heir to the clan. Sarek continues to represent the Vulcan people on Earth and other Federation planets, with all aware that he has bonded with the Terran. Sarek's exemplary work is recognized by Starfleet Command, which has asked several times for his assistance in defusing volatile interplanetary situations. Sarek has earned the respect of all those he has encountered but has asked for nothing. As for his bonded wife, she has made great contributions to linguistics, including being part of the team that created and continues to refine the universal translator. Her facility with languages has been of immense assistance to Sarek in diplomatic negotiations, and her Terran personality has been a great asset as well, helping him to better understand and relate to other species."
"We are aware of the regard that Starfleet and the Federation of Planets hold for Sarek; it is the reason he was assigned to those positions. It is his duty to represent Vulcan in those areas," T'Dess said.
"Then we are all in agreement that Sarek's duties are performed for the benefit of all Vulcans," T'Pau said, cutting her off. "Now we will focus on Commander Spock."
"S'chn T'gai Spock does not participate in any form of diplomacy; his position is not comparable to his father's," Sudoc said dismissively.
"That is where you err, Sudoc, T'Pau said. "Spock is equal to and as vital as his father in matters of diplomacy."
"Spock is a commander in Starfleet, which is a military organization," Sudoc replied.
T'Pau again heard Sudoc's insolent tone. She slowly took a breath. Patience.
"The records show that since his birth Spock has achieved the highest academic marks and outperformed many of his classmates and instructors as well."
"Yet he refused to attend the Vulcan Science Academy," Solor interjected.
"You treated him with disrespect of his heritage and abilities," T'Pau replied. "It was his right to seek academic challenges elsewhere, in a setting where students from many species were integrated."
"Spock could have enhanced his capacities greatly at the Academy; Starfleet's Science Division is a poor substitute," Sudoc declared.
"Did we not have the hubris to think that Vulcans were more capable than Terrans? Did we not all feel the death cries of the 432 Vulcans on the Intrepid? Did we not all grieve that great loss? Do some not still do so?" T'Pau demanded, turning her sharp gaze on T'Dess, who had lost a grandson on the Intrepid. "It was a single Vulcan and 430 Terrans who found the Intrepid and discovered their fate. Was it not Spock who took the creature's genetic material-the same genetic material that at this moment our Science Division and the Academy use for synthesizing prototype serums? Spock and his commanding officers have also settled interplanetary disputes and been vital in restoring order in several interplanetary incidents. I fail to see the logic of your implications that Spock would have made greater contributions if he were not in Starfleet, Solor and Sudoc."
The Commissioners sat quietly, absorbing T'Pau's statements.
"What you request is quite elaborate and unnecessary, T'Pau," T'Dess remarked.
T'Pau had heard of enough of their excuses; it was time to pull out the big guns. She turned to T'Lara and reached for her Padd.
"I have no choice but to notify the president of the Federation of your decision. I believe he would like to know why the Vulcan High Command refuses to acknowledge Sarek and Spock. Or the fact that Vulcan has more at stake in the Federation's economy than many of its planets. Our annual income surplus can support the next three generations of Vulcans. This is so because of Sarek and Spock, two heirs of Surak, the Father of our fundamental principles."
Three of the Commissioners rose to their feet, their eyebrows arched. It was as much as they would allow themselves to express their shock.
"T'Pau, we recognize that your son and grandson are descendants of Surak, the architect of Vulcan's Great Awakening. Is it necessary to extort the commission?!" Solor demanded to know.
"I did not extort; I clearly explained my reasons for the request," T'Pau said. You and Sudoc failed to comprehend these reasons. I simply clarified my clan's position for you."
The seven Commissioners slowly looked around at each other. It was true that since the formation of the Federation of Planets, Vulcan had gained mining rights, established settlements, and forged lucrative trade agreements-due in great part to the diplomatic efforts of Sarek, as well as Spock.
" Your request is granted," T'Ara said.
"I am honored that the Commission has seen the value of my proposal, which includes all financial responsibility for accommodating guests and related matters."
"We will fulfill your requirements and arrange the reception."
T'Pau returned the Padd to T'Lara and slowly stood up with her cane. She bowed her head in gratitude.
"Dif-tor heh smusma, Commissioners of Vulcan."
"Sochya eh dif, S'chn T'gai T'Pau."
T'Pau and T'Lara walked out of the conference room, leaving behind seven solemn Commissioners.
"Are we so prejudiced that we failed to see the logic?" T'Dess asked.
The rest bowed their heads, silently acknowledging that they had been disrespectful, allowing prejudice to cloud their logic. Sarek and Spock of the S'chn T'gai clan had greatly expanded Vulcans' knowledge of and presence in the universe. The two had become respected among all races except their own.
"I will contact Starfleet Command to request that Commander Spock and his mate be released from duty to return to Vulcan for their bonding ceremony and the reception," T'Ara said.
"I will contact the Ministry of Economics to have assets released for the S'chn T'gai reception, Suter responded.
Chapter 5-Meeting the First Time by Uhura the 9th
Beta Reader: JSilver2000
Summary: T'Pau went into battle for Spock to bring him home to have his bond with Nyota ceremonially confirmed and to have a reception on Altair VI provided by all of Vulcan (after a just a smidgen of blackmail).
Over the next couple of days, the word that Spock had bonded with a Terran female spread throughout the provinces of Vulcan. The other new event was the new title that Sarek and Spock acquired; "S'haile" and the respect behind it. And the fact the new respect being shown because of it. Amanda was beside herself; she couldn't believe how quickly and easily things fell into place. Sarek shared the results of his plan to have Spock's reception on Altair VI and the fact that T'Pau had convinced the Council to finance the event. In Amanda's mind, it was long overdue. Vulcan should celebrate what Spock, as well as Sarek, had done for the people of Vulcan. It would turn out to be a family event, but between the festivities, Amanda had a new relationship to establish.
"Yes, T'Amanda? How can I be of service?"
"Please find the location and com-link of the Uhuras of the United States of Africa."
Sevel's eyebrow rose. "It is an interesting name."
"It is the surname of Spock's wife; her family dwells there. I need to speak with them about the upcoming reception."
"As you wish, T'Amanda."
"Oh, Sevel! How are your wife and child?"
"They are well; the child continues to develop normally."
"Thank you, Sevel. That will be all; your service honors us."
With that, Sevel bowed his head and went to seek information on the Uhuras.
A couple of hours later; back on Earth, in a small condominium in the United States of Africa, a handsome woman was completing her university work, grading student's work, adding information to her research and sipping tea. Her com-link lit up. She quickly observed two things:
First, it was private line. Second, it was from Vulcan. She couldn't remember any family or friends currently on Vulcan; the Enterprise is somewhere out in deep space probably in some unknown galaxy; so she wondered who could be calling.
Saana pressed the button for the incoming com-link connection. A woman appeared on the screen. She had salt and pepper hair, but her tanned face gave her a youthful look. Her eyes were bluish-gray; she had wrinkles at the corners because she was smiling, and pale pink lipstick. She had been a beauty in her youth, Saana could tell. Saana wondered who she was, and the two of them stared at each other for a moment.
"Hello. Are you Saana Uhura?"
"Yes, I am Saana Uhura."
"My name is Amanda Grayson."
Saana looked puzzled; she tilted her head ever so slightly, wracking her memory for the face on the screen.
"Your name sounds familiar. How can I help you?"
"Well, your daughter is married to my son!" Amanda said whimsically.
Saana again looked puzzled, in response to that statement "What? I don't understand? My daughter is married, but she is married to a Vulcan."
"I know, my son!" Amanda's smile widened as she watched shock spread over Saana's face. Saana covered her mouth with both hands while she tried to process the woman's statement.
"Commander Spock is YOUR SON?"
Amanda started to laugh. "I get that a lot. I gave birth to him, so according to natural law, he's mine."
Saana saw her reaction and started to giggle too. "Please forgive my manners; it's nice to meet you."
Amanda gave a small laugh from the recognition; "The same to you; I thought it was time I sought you out."
"I'm glad you did! Have you seen the holo-vids of their wedding?"
"Oh yes; they are a lovely couple, in my opinion."
"Your son looks so handsome in his formal robe."
"Thank you. Your daughter is quite beautiful in her wedding dress!" Amanda could see where Nyota got her looks and self-assurance from. Saana looked like an older version of Nyota and was still an attractive woman.
"Thank you! I'm so happy that Nyota found someone to love her; I can see it in their eyes!"
"Oh, you noticed that too? Only a mother could tell that about their children."
Amanda sighed with relief. This woman is approachable and easy to talk to.
"Nyota's dress is different. Is it traditional?"
"Some of the patterns in the dress are traditional designs, but it looks so elegant. I wonder where she got it?"
"All I know is that it's a relief that my only son is married." 'Not technically my only son, but that's another story, there is another.'
"Really, he's your only son? Nyota is my only daughter too. I always feared she would be alone in this world and universe."
"I felt the same way about Spock. Saana we have something in common, and I am pleased about that."
"Does Nyota know that you are calling me?"
"Neither of them knows that I have reached out to you, but I felt that I should, now that we are family."
"I guess they are both busy; at least they are together."
Saana gave Amanda a suspicious look. If her son is a Vulcan, she must be married to one. I'm not aware of any Vulcan-human marriages, except for one a long time ago. Saana's eyes opened wide and she covered her mouth again as she realized whom she was speaking with:
"Oh my, you're THAT Amanda Grayson! You are married to a Vulcan ambassador!"
Amanda started to giggle: "Yes, I'm THAT woman!"
"It was on all the media circuits that your courtship and marriage was the love story of the century!"
"Really? It didn't seem so at the time. Well, thank you. I fell in love with a fantastic man. But I wanted to talk to you and get to know you, since you will be part of the family."
"Oh yes, but are you on Vulcan?"
"I am. I have lived here since I've been married. I had my period of adjustments, like any marriage will have. But coming to Vulcan was my greatest challenge with culture and traditions, and one thing you'll notice that it is hotter and dryer here, but I somehow call it home."
"The weather sounds like Africa, I think we are friends already!" Saana was so excited, her mind racing about what's life like on Vulcan and the history with their people.
"Yes. But I need to talk to you about something."
"Sure! How can I help you, Amanda?"
"Well, you know both our children are in Starfleet on a five-year mission."
"Yes. That's the part that's bothers me. I won't meet my son-in-law for at least a couple of years."
"That's the same issue with Spock coming home to Vulcan with my new daughter-in-law. But there are some things happening here that could bring both Spock and Nyota to Vulcan; they are in the preliminary stages right now."
"What! That would be great! When do you think?"
"That's the problem; it might take weeks or months, but either way, I am making arrangements for you, Saana, to come to Vulcan to see them both!"
Saana's mouth dropped open, and tears filled her eyes. Just the thought of seeing her daughter and Spock made her heart leap with joy. Kayode would have been so happy to meet Spock, that he is a man of science.
"But... How are you going to do that? They are exploring the universe somewhere unknown?"
Amanda gave a sly smile. "Don't worry; plans are falling into place. And don't worry about your trip, either; it will be all expense paid."
"I can't let you do that."
"Trust me, marriage to an ambassador has it's privileges," Amanda said, giggling.
"WOW! This is amazing! I've been off Earth. I mean, I've been to the moon for a holiday, but that's nothing compared to going to Vulcan! Thank you, Amanda!"
"You're family now, and it's not a problem. Now I want to give fair warning."
Amanda's demeanor changed and her face took on a grave look.
"You need to be aware that people can be cruel; prejudice is alive and may wreak havoc with our plans. Some people will be biased about their marriage."
"Why? What's going on?" Saana asked with rising concern.
"Just think about when I married Ambassador Sarek. Do you remember how some people reacted? Well, they might react the same way to Spock and Nyota's marriage. The media circuits has a way of twisting and insinuating things that are not there and blowing things out of proportion. Earth really don't know how Vulcan people are, and they are very private race. Trust me it's for a reason. But I want you to be prepared for the media circus; the reporters were everywhere and bothered almost everyone in my family. It was ridiculous!"
"First, don't talk about your daughter to anyone you don't trust or know well. With family and coworkers, some can be helpful, but others might be prejudiced against such a marriage. If you must talk to the media, say something like 'No comment'.
"Second, they will try to manipulate you to reveal things about Nyota; they will scour your job, home, neighbors, family, and even the academies she attended. This happened with Sarek and me; it was very stressful, and it hurt my feelings when I learned how some people viewed us. I was young then, but now I have a voice and I can use it."
Saana drew a concerned look; "You think I will run into the same thing; I mean, will it get bad as you say?"
"I hope not, I really do, but if anything awful happens, promise me to contact Sarek or me on Vulcan via the San Francisco Embassy; they will help you."
Saana's countenance was now marked by worry; she thought about the bullying Nyota had endured her whole life and how she might have to face it again.
"OK, I think I can handle it; I hope."
"Saana, our children will need us to be strong for them. Some people won't like that they are married. Trust me; I am here for you."
"Thank you for the warning, Amanda!"
"Now that I've told you that, I feel relieved. You will be hearing from me soon about the preparations for the wedding reception. A Vulcan aide will come to help you with the transportation and documents. Remember, Vulcans are blunt and to the point; it's their nature."
"I haven't met a Vulcan personally. I have seen them on the media. They look intimidating."
"Yes, they give that appearance, but I think they are the most interesting race of people. They have the same family values as Terrans but adhere to an extremely strict code on displaying emotions."
"There's not much on them in our libraries; I don't want to offend them."
"You won't. You'll get used to them, and they are very helpful."
Amanda took a long look at Saana and saw a strong, independent woman who would do anything to protect her child. She was already looking forward to the possibilities of having a friend from Earth and talking shop.
"Thank you again, Amanda, for the warning and sound advice!"
"Not a problem! Welcome to the family!"
"Do Vulcans have last names?"
"Yes, it's S'chn T'gai."
Saana tried to pronounce it and it came out choppy.
Amanda chuckled. "Well, that's close enough, but keep practicing it. I can send you some typical Vulcan phrases for tourists to get you started with the language."
"Thank you; that would be nice."
"Saana, I have to go, but it's been wonderful chatting with you."
"You too, Amanda! Good afternoon!"
"Good evening! See you soon!"
The com-link closed; Saana leaned back in her chair and reflected on the conversation they'd just had.
Saana sighed deeply. She was grateful to have met Amanda Grayson, who had stood up against a lot bias during her courtship with the Ambassador. Saana remembered Amanda's whirlwind romance, which had played out for the world to see. Some thought they brainwashed her or put her into some form of trance to get her to marry the Ambassador. From what she remembered, Sarek seemed very protective of her. She remembered that Vulcans age more slowly than Terrans. From the cultural and physical aspects, some people thought the two races weren't compatible. At the time, it hadn't mattered to her. Saana and her husband were in college then. Saana wondered whether Spock and Nyota would face the same nosiness and bias that Amanda and Sarek had. She hoped not. 'It wouldn't be fair. Nyota has been through so much!' Saana wondered who she could talk to about it. She decided to tell the Uhura side of the family. 'They are more practical and reasonable. Kayode's family members are mostly educated professionals; they accepted me with open arms during our courtship. Telling them that their favorite great niece and cousin is married to a scientist will thrill them.' Saana smiled about that. Then she thought about her side of the family. The Buharis are a different story. They are a little more old-fashioned and biased. They cling to some of the outdated traditions. They never liked the Uhuras because they were educated; they considered them uppity. Her own family members were stiff-necked and rude about anything that was not related to the old-world traditions. They didn't accept Kayode at first, especially her Great Aunt Chandis, who was tough as they come. She would criticize Kayode for every little thing he did or didn't do, simply because he was educated. Saana wondered if this close-mindedness would affect Nyota's husband. Could he deal with such a crazy family? Would he find the Uhuras and Buharis offensive? Maybe I should hold back from telling them-for now.
Saana took a deep breath, and wondered what the Vulcan family unit was like. Amanda said they were like Terrans and believed in families. "I don't think Vulcans are like my family! My family is nuts!" Saana said, laughing.
She went into her small kitchen and got some Earl Grey tea from the replicator. She sat down and sipped from her cup, wondering what the ceremony would be like. She had no idea what a Vulcan wedding was like. She had no idea, but she could have asked Amanda while they were speaking. Saana sighed, thinking about the missed opportunity. Then her com-link pinged. She retrieved the message, and it was from Amanda. She opened the message to see a list of phrases in a different language, with a note at the top:
-"Here are some simple greetings you can practice. They will help you when you come to Vulcan. Once again, it was nice meeting you.
-Your friend, S'chn T'gai Grayson Amanda"
Saana's face broke into a smile. She was eager to learn them and test them out before she left. She typed back: "Thank you, Amanda."
"Well, I'd better start learning now." She touched the first phrase, and the module's voice became active.
"'Dif-tor heh smusma" [Live long and prosper] is a standard Vulcan greeting similar to 'Hello' for Terrans."
Saana practiced the phrase and the module graded her performance-that brought a smile to her face.
"I'm going to like Vulcan!"
Amanda sighed with relief. Saana Uhura is a nice, interesting woman. She did read her bio-life knowing she was married and currently a widow. She didn't want to bring that up. She hopes that Saana will become a friend, confidant to her. Amanda did miss having a female friend to trust. Most females that she had encountered desired Sarek and she had to use all her diplomatic skills to fight them off. Amanda was feeling optimistic that she, her husband, and the great T'Pau would be able to pull off both the ceremony and the reception-if everything fell into place. She called Sevel on the intercom, and a minute later he entered her office with his Padd.
"How can I be of service, T'Amanda?"
"I would like an emergency standby trip for Saana Uhura from Earth to Vulcan. Once the reception has been cleared by the Vulcan High Command, please proceed with her transportation."
"It would be necessary for the passenger to leave from the embassy, and I would have to have her documentation prepared to avoid complications."
"Yes, Sevel. That would be perfect. Your service honors us." Amanda tilted her head politely.
"I am here to serve; I will proceed with your request." Sevel bowed his head and left with the information in his Padd.
Amanda went to the kitchen to get some Plomeek tea from the replicator. As she thought about her son, Spock, a smile formed on her face. He's finally getting a break in life. Amanda sat at the table and continued to reflect on the progress of the reception plans and the results of the S'oleh-nau accusation. She couldn't believe that T'Pring's family had agreed to the compensation for the Kal-i-farr. When Sarek had told her the news, she could hardly contain her reaction. Amanda had been awestruck by Sarek's account of T'Pau's wrangling of the Council. She had wanted to shout with joy-all because of T'Pau! That woman is something else! T'Pau needs to continue in her position in the Vulcan High Command. She has a way of making people see things her way.
Now she and Sarek would review the invitation list for Spock's reception. First on the list was the S'oleh-nau clan. A sly, long over due satisfied smile appeared on Amanda's face.
Chapter 6-The Meeting of Great Minds by Uhura the 9th
Summary: T'Ara didn't want to tangle with T'Pau again; she made it clear that Vulcan would honor Spock's marriage and his achievements. She had finally agreed that Spock had enhanced Vulcans' reputation and influence in multiple ways. Each civilization thinks it is the best in the universe, T'Pau reminded the Commissioners.
Fleet Admiral Nimitz-is an imaginary charcter in my Star Trek World.
T'Ara sent a visual message to Admiral Ian Fitzgerald at Starfleet Command. He was at his desk coordinating fleet movements with his aides when his comm unit beeped. Seeing that the message was from Vulcan, he wondered what the Vulcans wanted this time.
"Greetings, Admiral Fitzgerald," T'Ara said. "On behalf of the Vulcan High Command and the Vulcan people, I salute you. Live long and prosper. We have a request of great importance concerning Commander Spock, who serves on the USS Enterprise. It is of the utmost importance that he and his bride return to Vulcan to complete the wedding ceremony, which is required by our tradition. This ceremony is an important part of our culture and must respected by Starfleet regardless of our differences. As well, on behalf of all of Vulcans, S'haile-Prince Spock will be recognized for his services to his people and the Federation as a whole. The Vulcan High Command will be satisfied with no less than Commander Spock's immediate return to Vulcan participate in these ceremonies. We thank you for your prompt attention to such an abrupt request. We will provide more information upon Commander Spock's return. Your service honors us."
T'Ara gave the salute and faded from the monitor.
Fitzgerald's eyebrows rose and his mouth fell open. He couldn't believe what Vulcan was requesting. He turned to his computer and searched for the Enterprise's current orders. He tapped in the secret code in order to access the file and read their mission. The ship was patrolling the Neutral Zone. "Damn!" :he thought, running his hands through his hair. "I can't pull a ship away from patrol for one guy to get married! What in the HELL is going on?"
Fitzgerald looked at his aide Simmons and snapped, "Contact Admirals Nagumo, Komack, Quinn, and Upton right away. I want them on a conference call within the hour."
Simmons began typing Fitzgerald's order into his Padd and trying to reach the admirals' aides.
Fitzgerald hated dealing with any diplomat, but Vulcans were the worst.Commander Spock seldom takes leave, except for that strange one a couple of years ago. To this day, no one knows exactly what it was about. Except that he was supposed to get married then; isn't he already married? Fitzgerald tried to call up the file on the incident and found that it was sealed and inaccessible to him, which made him wonder if it was some form of secret mission. Maybe for Starfleet Intelligence? "Simmons!"
"Get me Commodore Raja from Starfleet Intelligence as well."
About an hour later, Fitzgerald was sitting at a conference table surrounded by eight large monitors, five of which showed images of his guests.
"Gentlemen, thank you for joining me at such short notice."
"Is there a serious situation, Ian?" Admiral James Komack asked.
"How can we help you?" Admiral Akito Nagumo asked.
"I received a message from Vulcan requesting that Commander Spock return to his home planet for some ceremonies," Ian explained.
"Isn't the Enterprise on a mission?" Admiral Trenton Upton asked.
"Yes, the Enterprise is patrolling the Neutral Zone. Several years ago, the Enterprise was pulled from a mission to Altair VI and rerouted to Vulcan,"  Fitzgerald said.
"Yes, I gave the order for the Enterprise to travel to Vulcan at that time, and Kirk diverted his ship there, Komack said. They stated it was a medical emergency, but Kirk went to Vulcan against my orders." Komack had been fuming at the time, thinking Kirk was going against orders, at the time it was an important mission. He had been just about ready to kick both Kirk and Spock out of Starfleet.
"Do you think that incident is connected to this one?" Quinn asked.
"I don't know, but we have figure out what the Vulcans want and why they want me to pull a starship from its mission to go back to Vulcan," Fitzgerald said. He turned to Commodore Gotam Raja.
"Raja, I invited you to this meeting to give us the background to this situation. Do you have a clue what is going on Vulcan?"
"Admirals, remember that Vulcan is one of the founding members the United Federation of Planets, Commodore Raja said; his voice was soft, but each word was precisely enunciated. "I can only say that Vulcan has strong connections to the Federation. Ambassador Sarek has made alliances with many of its members and is highly respected. He was a key asset at the Babel conference and many other diplomatic missions. Not once has he has used his position for personal or political gain. Our knowledge of Vulcan in general is limited; the Vulcan people are almost considered a closed society. You know only what they want you to know. They are a highly intelligent people and are not to be second-guessed."
"The question is, admirals, do we want to pull the Enterprise off its mission?" Quinn asked, looking puzzled.
Upton looked at the other admirals and saw the mixed messages on their faces. "But we need a solid reason to make that decision; they say it's ceremonial! Is that a good reason to take a starship off patrol?"
"I don't know; it depends on how we look at it," Nagumo said. "Ian, can you play the original message?"
Fitzgerald punched a button on the com unit and played the recorded message; T'Ara appeared before them.
"Greetings, Admiral Fitzgerald," T'Ara said. "On behalf of the Vulcan High Command and the Vulcan people, I salute you. Live long and prosper. We have a request of great importance concerning Commander Spock, who serves on the USS Enterprise. It is of the utmost importance that he and his bride return to Vulcan to complete the wedding ceremony, which is required by our ceremony is an important part of our culture and must respected by Starfleet regardless of our differences. As well, on behalf of all of Vulcans, S'haile-Prince Spock will be recognized for his services to his people ..."
"Did she say 'Prince'?" Komack asked.
"Did she mention a bride? She indicated that Spock's bride is on the Enterprise!" Quinn remarked. "There's nothing in Commander Spock's file about being some sort of royalty, is there?"
Fitzgerald asked the computer to bring up Spock's file and project it split screen in front of them. They saw that he was the son of Ambassador Sarek and Amanda Grayson. Fitzgerald quickly flipped through Spock's records and awards from Starfleet Academy, as well as those from his time in Starfleet, including commendations from his former commanders, his rise through the ranks, and his many achievements in science and exploration. But there was nothing on his immediate family background except his birth.
"I don't get it? We have everything the man has done since he left Vulcan, but nothing on his people's history!" Upton said.
"I know there is some connection to T'Pau," Komack added. "She's the one who orchestrated the Vulcan High Command's appeal to Starfleet for us to pardon the whole incident and record it as a leave of absence in Commander Spock's records."
"Gentlemen, if that's the case, there is a possibility that T'Pau is involved in this request as well. If so, gentlemen, I highly recommend granting it." Raja stated.
Quinn looked at Raja and demanded: "Clarify that, Commodore!"
"We all know that T'Pau and her husband at the time were among the founders of the United Federation of Planets, even though she turned down a position on the Federation Council for herself. She still holds considerable influence among the peoples of the Federation. Raja chuckled: "It's like saying no to your mother. She doesn't have to say anything or pull rank to get the results she's looking for."
"That doesn't make any sense!" Upton exclaimed.
"Sure it does," Raja replied. "My sources say that T'Pau is about the last person in the galaxy you want to run afoul of; she is the most highly respected Vulcan on her planet. No one on Vulcan wants to tangle with her either."
"Should we pull the Enterprise off her mission to return to Vulcan?" Fitzgerald asked.
The admirals were quiet for a moment; they knew if they made the wrong decision, they would be risking early retirement.
Nagumo saw the lost looks on their faces: "I think the fleet admiral should have the final say; this concerns the Federation. A screw-up here could affect all sorts of policies and relationships. It is a serious decision to take a Constitution class starship from its mission for one person to go home. This would an easy decision if this were a crisis involving an attack or relations with another planet or even a natural disaster! But to take someone home? I believe we have more important situations to deal with. The Enterprise should continue its mission and offer the Vulcans other alternatives."
"I'm worried about the fallout if we DON'T send the Enterprise to Vulcan," Fitzgerald snapped, looking grim. He needed to make the final decision. Maybe it would best to involve the Fleet admiral; the man can be so intimidating. He punched the intercom for his aide.
"Contact Admiral Nimitz right away! Tell him it's an emergency!"
Quinn was looking through Spock's file and commented, "I note that Commander Spock has never taken any form of shore leave, just three stays on Vulcan of three days each over twenty years of service. How does the man do it?"
"The man is an enigma," Upton said. "He keeps to himself and does a DAMN good job! It's just strange that he is requested to return to Vulcan during a critical mission."
"Gentlemen, I remind you that taking a cruiser out of commission for any length of time is critical," Komack said. "I think we need more information from the Vulcans about why this is so important."
The com unit lit up, and Fitzgerald answered it.
"Simmons here, sir. I have Admiral Nimitz available now."
"Put him on, Simmons."
Fleet Admiral Nimitz appeared on a monitor next to the lower-ranking admirals. His face was taut. He was a man who had seen battle and conflict.
"Good afternoon, Admiral Nimitz."
Chester Nimitz saw all his admirals on his viewer, meaning something was up. He wondered if something had happened at the Neutral Zone. The Romulans had been a pain in his butt recently; they had a knack for making his life miserable.
"Gentlemen, how can I be of service?"
Fitzgerald cleared his throat. This is not going to be easy; Nimitz is not a man to play with.
"I received a priority message from Vulcan; the Vulcan High Command is requesting that Commander Spock return to his planet for a wedding ceremony. The Enterprise is currently patrolling the outer edge of the Neutral Zone."
"We need a decision on whether the Enterprise should be pulled from patrol, Sir." At that moment, Fitzgerald sent the recording to Nimitz. The fleet admiral reviewed the message and turned back to the men.
"Gentlemen, I don't see a problem," Nimitz said. "Have Commander Spock returned to Vulcan."
"With all due respect, Admiral, a personal event is not a valid reason to pull a vital resource such as the Enterprise from its mission," Nagumo stated flatly.
"Gentlemen, you are not looking at the long-range aspects of this; refusing the Vulcan High Command's request will cause intergalactic friction, which we don't need at this moment." Nimitz said sternly.
"I am not aware of any friction among the Federation," Upton said.
Nimitz took a deep breath, showing his disappointment of his senior officers. Public relations had a high priority in both Starfleet and the Federation, and it was important for the two organizations to support each other's missions.
"Gentlemen, you may have your opinions about Vulcan and how they do things there. But I'm telling you that the Vulcans have been our strongest ally in all the campaign we have been in. Correct me if I'm wrong, Commodore Raja, but isn't Vulcan the primary contributor to the Interplanetary Treasury?"
"You are correct, Admiral."
"Ever since the Intrepid Incident,  the Vulcans have contributed their technology to our military and science divisions in Starfleet," Nimitz said. "The Enterprise was the ship that found the cause of the destruction of the Intrepid, and Spock risked his life to determine how to destroy the creature. Do you know what he did? You have my permission to review his report on the amoeba creature that wiped out the Gamma 7A system. This thing was in the process of reproduction; it had already consumed dozens of solar systems. That man saved most or all of the Federation from destruction; he and the Enterprise saved billions of lives. His father, Ambassador Sarek, has been the prime peacemaker in the majority of interplanetary disputes for the past 50 years. Since the Intrepid incident, the Vulcans have been downright supportive of Starfleet. Their technology has vastly improved our security systems. They have had more open communications with the Federation of Planets and are the first to send aid to any planet in need. That incident somehow triggered the Vulcans to become more open-minded about Starfleet. Whatever their reasons, I want that open dialogue to continue-Raja, didn't you explain that to them?"
"Sir, I advised them to grant the Vulcans their request."
"Gentlemen, if Spock or Vulcan wants to set up a picnic on Jupiter, on an asteroid, or on Alpha Centauri, then GIVE IT TO THEM!" Nimitz shouted.
The five men sat quietly, melting in their chairs from Nimitz's blowback.
"This man of science, who never took a day off, is the first Vulcan in Starfleet to accomplish the things he has done. Always refusing promotion, no personal ambitions, no ego to bruise. If Vulcan wants him to go home, send him home. Damn it! The man needs it. Who did he marry?"
Fitzgerald wiped his brow; he didn't know: "I will find out, Admiral."
Chester shook his head in disappointment. "Listen, one of you is going to replace me one day; you need to take a wide view of the ever-expanding Federation. Many new Federation citizens will join the fleet as part of our outreach endeavors. Give anything and everything that the Vulcans request. Nimitz out."
The five other men watched Chester Nimitz fade from their monitors and exchanged worried looks.
Fitzgerald paged Simmons.
"Check the records; find out who Spock married."
"I will represent Starfleet in any discussions with Vulcan about this. I've dealt with them before in a situation like this with Commander Spock. I will need more information about this ceremony before I call the Enterprise to Vulcan. I will need to speak to T'Ara about what they need." Komack said somberly.
He realized that Nimitz had been making sense when talking about working with the Vulcans. They had become more agreeable about working with Starfleet. He also felt a little guilty about how Commander Spock had been treated during his Academy days. Komack had heard of some incidents that stemmed from prejudice; if Starfleet were to continue its expansion, that needed to be put to rest.
Upton, Nagumo, and Quinn sat silently, thinking about what Nimitz had said. They were military men, accustomed to exploration and the occasional conflicts that came with it. But they had not considered that the Federation of Planets was expanding and incorporating new planets and citizens from scores of species. New species were being found each day, requiring First Contact protocols designed to uphold the Prime Directive. Protecting these new planets and species would require an enormous amount of resources and cooperation from the founding members of the Federation.
Meanwhile, Nimitz sat in his chair, nursing a headache after listening to his senior admirals. He couldn't believe they had almost caused an intergalactic incident by offending the Vulcans. Terrans have this idea that they should be running the Federation and Starfleet. But every planet, every culture MUST have a seat at the table. Commander Spock is a prime example of how the cooperation of Vulcan benefits the entire Federation.
Two days later, a message from Vulcan describing the reception planned for Commander Spock's return was sent to Admiral Fitzgerald:
"Greetings, Admiral Fitzgerald," T'Ara said.
"Vulcan is grateful for your consent to allow Commander Spock and his bride, who is also an officer, to return to his home planet for their marriage ceremony and wedding reception. Vulcan has established a pavilion on Altair VI as the site of the reception. This is an invitation-only event. Invitations will be extended to high-ranking personnel in Starfleet and the Federation. We will require notification of acceptance by stardate 2269.2. The reception will proceed on stardate 2269.8; the Enterprise should arrive at Vulcan on stardate 2269.2. Time on Vulcan is allotted to prepare for the event. Once again, all of Vulcan extend their gratitude for your decision to support our endeavor.
"Live long and prosper. T'Ara out."
A few moments later, Nimitz contacted Fitzgerald:
"Hello, Ian. How are you progressing on the Vulcan issue?"
"Well, Chester, Upton is in the process of diverting the Potemkin to replace the Enterprise on patrol," Fitzgerald said. "The Potemkin is almost done with its mission. Komack is trying to chase down a marriage license for Commander Spock. And Vulcan just announced that the wedding reception is about four weeks away and that the Enterprise has about three weeks to get Spock and his bride there."
"That's progress," Nimitz said. "I just received an invitation to attend the reception, and multiple members of the Federation have also been invited. With that in mind, we will have the Enterprise drop the couple off at Vulcan and then ferry delegates and dignitaries to the reception on Altair VI."
"Wow! It will be some reception!" Fitzgerald said. "Is the president invited?"
"Yes, he was the first," Nimitz said. "Do you now understand why this was permitted, Ian?"
"Yes, Chester," Fitzgerald responded. "I see it now."
"The Vulcan High Command has also requested that the Enterprise remain in orbit around Vulcan after the reception to have parts of the ship refitted."
"Excuse me, sir? Is it wise to keep the Enterprise out of commission so long?"
"I am aware of your concerns, Ian. This came from T'Pau herself, She says it's a wedding gift," Chester said, chuckling.
"Yes, sir," Fitzgerald replied, muffling a sigh.
Fitzgerald transferred the message and information to Admiral Komack, who was in the process of breaking radio silence to contact the Enterprise. They're going to take their time coming back. It is just ridiculous to remove the Enterprise from duty! He told his aide to send the Enterprise a priority one message.
 Meanwhile on the Enterprise:
Uhura adjusted her earpiece to better hear the alarming message. She turned to the captain:
"Captain Kirk, I have a priority one message from Starfleet."
Kirk jumped from his chair and walked up the steps to Uhura's station.
"What does it say?"
"Your eyes only, Captain. Priority one, sir."
"Send it to the Ready Room."
Kirk leaves to the Ready Room, where he coms Uhura to transfer the message.
"OK, Lieutenant Uhura, pipe it in."
Admiral Komack's image appeared on the monitor.
Kirk was looking at an unhappy man. Something is up. I hope it's not a secret mission, or worse, an undercover secret mission. The last one almost provoked my crew to mutiny!
"We are aware that the Enterprise is on patrol, but we had to break transmission silence."
"It must be urgent then, sir."
"Starfleet Command requires some clarification and status report on a situation, Kirk."
Komack continued to look annoyed.
"Recently, Vulcan and the Federation have been giving us flack about one of your officers, well, actually two. Starfleet Command wants verification."
"Yes, Admiral, which officers and what do you want to know about them?"
"First, the Vulcan High Command claims that Commander Spock is married? Starfleet has no such record."
Kirk was shocked, but tried to keep his composure. He adjusted his tunic before answering the man.
"Yes, Admiral Komack. Commander Spock is married. The marriage has been registered with Starfleet."
Komack gave a sigh of relief and his face relaxed a bit.
"That explains some of the things that are happening here. Kirk, the Vulcans are requesting that Commander Spock and his spouse return to his home planet for some form of ceremony. At first, we were unaware that the Commander had married. Vulcan claims that he has. Starfleet Command is honoring their request. Kirk, your orders are to transport Commander Spock and his wife to Vulcan for a ceremony. Then the Enterprise is to report to Starfleet Command to ferry dignitaries to Altair VI for a reception. The Enterprise is now a representative of the United Federation of Planets and Starfleet, and it will be at the disposal of Vulcan until after the ceremony is completed."
Kirk couldn't believe what he was hearing. The Enterprise is being pulled from patrol.
"Excuse me, Admiral. Could another transport ship rendezvous with the Enterprise and take Commander Spock to Vulcan?"
"Negative, this supersedes your current mission, Kirk. Since the Intrepid incident, Vulcan has become more open in their relationship with and in regard to sharing their technology with Starfleet. An improved relationship has been established, and we at Starfleet would like to continue it."
Kirk stood there, processing the information. He suddenly realized that there might be more to this request.
"Admiral Komack, Mr. Spock has been in Starfleet for over twenty years. Won't he find it strange to be dismissed from duty?"
"Kirk, Vulcan practically demanded that Starfleet bring Mr. Spock back to his home planet. Apparently, your science officer is some sort of royalty. His father, Ambassador Sarek, is considered a lord or something, I think Sa-halia or hail? As it was presented to us, Mr. Spock is a prince, and the Vulcans want to celebrate his marriage."
"A PRINCE!? SPOCK!"
Kirk's eyebrows did their best impression of Spock's as he realized there was more to his Vulcan friend then he knew.
"His family has strong connections to the Federation, especially to the president. The ceremony will take some time to arrange, so the Enterprise will have three weeks to arrive at Vulcan. Kirk, I want this to go smoothly. Make sure Commander Spock and his wife arrive safely."
Kirk let out a deep sigh, but was not entirely displeased that the ship was being pulled from the Neutral Zone.
"Yes, sir. I'll get him there."
"By the way, who did Commander Spock marry?"
"Our communications officer, Lieutenant Uhura."
It was Komack's turn for his brows to rise in surprise.
"Really? Lieutenant Uhura-our code breaker for the Klingon and Romulan languages?"
"Yes, sir. She's the one."
Komack knew of Uhura's record and her beauty. Many men were found her attractive, and now she had left broken hearts everywhere. Komack was surprised by the match.
"I've heard of her and her exemplary work for Central Intelligence," he said. "You have your orders, Kirk; see you in three weeks. Komack out."
Komack was amazed that Commander Spock had married the code breaker Uhura. He sent coded messages to the other admirals to let them know that the Enterprise had been contacted and was en route to Vulcan.
This is going to be an interesting reception, Komack thought. He was proud to have a man like Commander Spock in the service, despite the last encounter with Kirk diverted against his orders.
Star trek TOS:
"The Immunity Syndrome"
"The Enterprise Incident"
Note: direct dialogue in this story is from "The Battle for Spock," part 2, chapter 34.
Chapter 7-Back in the Saddle by Uhura the 9th
Battle for Spock, Part 3, Chapter 7
Dr. Saana Uhura
Summary: Now we are up to date: (based on the last chapter) Spock and Uhura are on a slow (3-week) journey to Vulcan. But things are happening during those 3 weeks. But things are happening during those 3 weeks. The 3 weeks are broken down into different scenes that will entwine to later chapters. Now we have two happy mothers, Amanda and Saana, expressing their excitement about their children's marriage. All of Vulcan is aware that S'haile Sarek and Spock are descendants of the great Surak and will finally be recognized for their service to Vulcan and the Federation, and Spock's bonding to Nyota will be celebrated as well. T'Pau has gotten satisfaction from the S'oleh-nau clan for T'Pring's behavior during the Kal-i-fee incident. Saana is in a peaceful place right now, unaware of what is to come.
First Week: Part 1-Back in the Saddle
The day after her lengthy talk with Amanda Grayson, Saana busied herself around her house. She did her chores, humming happily as she went. She downloaded the three holo-vids of Nyota and Spock, placed them in seamless frames, and hung them up around her condo. She downloaded them again to her PADD so she could take them to work on Monday. A big smile formed on her face at the thought of seeing her daughter married and happy. She had high hopes for a successful marriage.
Saana thought about her marriage to Kayode, the way they fell in love as teenagers about to go to college. Then Starfleet offered an opportunity for people to utilize their skills, and Kayode took it. They were prosperous for a while; they had a beautiful wedding that both families attended. The sad part was that her side of the family had never liked the Uhuras. The Buharis considered the Uhuras to be upper class and were arrogant. Saana generally respected her family, but not when it came to Kay; he was her whole world. Saana and Kayode became a successful couple and proud parents. Every now and then her side of the family would shun them by not inviting them to family gatherings. But that made no impact on the love between the three of them; they created their own party. Saana's brother Zurberi was the only one who refused to be part of the family's hatred and openly embraced Kayode. Kay would hold her and declare that Saana was his one and only and that they were the perfect family. A tear formed and slid down Saana's face as her memories flashed by.
"There's no one like him. He treated me like a queen-his one and only."
Kay had often told her to be strong in bad situations; his death had been the very worst situation. "Kayode, I miss you so much." His side of the family, the Uhuras, had encouraged Saana to move on with her life. They thanked her for loving their son and blessing them with an intelligent granddaughter. Although they had given their blessing to move on, Saana respected and honored the Uhuras; she still felt a strong tie to them. "They have insight," she thought, taking a deep breath and dusting a portrait of Kayode.
After Saana completed her chores, she took a shower and got dressed to go into town for some shopping. She was in such a good mood, she decided to treat herself to some shopping. "I deserve a new dress and shoes; as a matter of fact, I think I'll treat myself to lunch too!," she said to herself. Her daughter's news had brought this new mood on, and she wanted to celebrate. She stepped out of her house into the bright sunshine; she put on her shades and hat and took a stroll into Grahamstown. A rare cool breeze passed over her, like a whisper, giving Saana peace. She didn't know where it came from, but it touched her heart and soul.
As she was walking, she was greeted by her neighbors, and she waved back at them with a smile on her face. When she reached town, more people greeted her, but one man her age was particularly glad to see her. Reuben was a handsome man with salt-and-pepper hair, chocolate mocha skin, and a winning smile. He came out of the barbershop to intercept her:
"Good afternoon, Saana! How are you on this fine day?"
"Well, Reuben! How are you?"
"I'm doing well now-now that I've spotted you," Reuben said, giving her his most winning
Saana didn't know how to take Reuben. She had known him for years. He had often tried to ask her out, but Saana had never been interested. But today, being in such a good mood, she wanted to share her joy with someone. Saana gave Reuben a warm smile after his statement.
"You say that to everybody; you have a business to run."
"How is your daughter, the one in Starfleet?"
"I'm so happy for Nyota! She has just gotten married to one of the officers on her ship!"
"Wow! Congratulations-this is cause for a celebration! Please, let me treat you to lunch!"
Saana thought about it for a moment. "What harm could come of it? Reuben is a nice, handsome man, and I'm feeling kind of attractive today. Maybe someone to share my happiness wouldn't be a bad idea.
"Okay, Reuben! I would like that-but only if we share the bill."
Reuben's eyes lit up; he had never expected Saana to say yes. He'd been asking her out for years. His mouth became dry, and he was slow to respond. He'd been dreaming about Saana since the day she moved into the neighborhood.
"I can close my shop now, and we can go!"
"It won't be a long lunch, Reuben. I have some shopping to do."
"Sure, wait here or come in while I clean up and close the shop!"
Reuben led Saana into his shop, Reuben was one of those people who liked the old-fashioned ways. His shop was very clean, with advanced equipment for face shaving, but he still used the time-honored tools of his trade to cut hair by hand. He enjoyed interacting with his clients while trimming and shaping their hair, and they appreciated his human touch. Reuben quickly picked up a few towels. He took off his apron and folded it before placing it on a shelf. Then he slipped
into the bathroom to check his face and hair and to wash his hands. Reuben was about the same age as Saana-in his mid-50s-which was still considered young in the twenty-third century. But Reuben had a deep crush on Saana. In his opinion, this lunch date was a blessing in disguise. He dried his hands and went to take his dream date out to lunch. They smiled at each other.
"I'm ready, Saana. Any place special you want to go?"
"Just the deli down the block. It's just a friendly lunch, Reuben."
As they started walking, they continued to talk:
"I know. I just didn't think you would say yes."
"Why not? Aren't you my friend? I've known you for years."
As they were walking, Reuben put his hands in his pocket, like a teenager trying to talk to a girl for the first time. He hoped he wasn't striking out.
"Sure! We're friends, and we look out for each other."
They walked into the deli and sat in a booth. Menus appeared the moment they sat down. They both ordered a sandwich and drink; exactly one minute later, their lunches came out of the replicator. Reuben tried to insert his credit, but Saana stopped him.
"I will not have any of that, Reuben; you promised!"
"Yeah, but this a celebration of your daughter's marriage. Please let me do this."
Saana looked at him quizzically and conceded.
"Okay, but only if you promise that I can treat you next time."
They sat there, enjoying their lunch and talking about small things: Reuben's business and the goings-on in the lives of his kids-three full-grown adults who worked off-planet. Reuben is a grandfather; he had lost his wife years back. The barbershop kept him busy, but when he had noticed Saana Uhura a few years back, he had instantly become attracted to her. Now he hoped the friendship would grow into a relationship. Reuben felt like the bear in the honey pot; he was thrilled that the woman of his dreams was having lunch with him. He desired to move this friendship a little further along.
"Saana, um-are-are you seeing anyone-like dating?"
Saana froze with her sandwich in mid-air when she heard his question. She looked at Reuben quizzically and wondered where this was leading.
"I haven't dated anyone or even thought about it since Kayode's death."
She was content with her current life. Nyota, her only concern-and the only legacy of her beloved Kayode-was now married.
They continued eating and making small talk about current events. Saana was hoping that Reuben wouldn't mention dating again. But before they left, he reached across the table and took hold of one of her hands, holding it gently.
"Saana, I've been admiring you for some time, and I hope we can continue our friendship. But if you don't mind, I'd like to call on you from time to time."
Saana felt the warmth of his hands and sincerity and gentleness of his voice. She hadn't thought much about her loneliness-until now. She gave Reuben a warm smile. Saana knew she wasn't ready; no one could ever replace the true love of her life.
"I don't know, Reuben."
"Just say you will think about it. I think you are a wonderful and beautiful woman. Our children have moved on, and we are free to have a meaningful relationship."
"He is right about that," she thought.
"Let me think about it. This is new to me, and I don't want to hurt your feelings."
"If nothing else, can we at least continue being friends and maybe have more lunches together?" Reuben asked.
"That would be nice; we could start there." Saana said, giving him a warm smile.
"I'd better go and finish my shopping," Saana said, getting up and putting her sunglasses and hat back on.
"I want to thank you for our lunch," she said. "And remember-I'm paying next time."
"Saana, the pleasure was all mine. Thank you for accepting."
Reuben took one of her hands, held it to his lips, and kissed her knuckles. He looked into her eyes and gave her another of his winning smiles.
"Until then, Saana."
Saana felt flushed. She walked around the corner to continue with her shopping. As she entered the dress store, she thought "Maybe it's time I DO live a little."
On Monday, Saana returned to the South African University of Rhodes, where she had worked for the past twenty-five years. She was a leading authority in the field of anthropology and was currently doing research on one of the lost tribes of Igbo. Saana would take her graduate students as assistants on some of her research trips so they could gain experience and write their theses on their findings. Saana was not some dainty woman who needed to be pampered; she was ready and willing to get dirty, climb into caves, and fall into the occasional mud hole. She could pull her own weight. Her classes were always full of eager students wanting to learn how to excavate sites and preserve artifacts.
On this day, Saana wore a sleeveless yellow sheath dress that contrasted with her mocha skin. Her coworkers noticed that she seemed to have a new outlook on life. She greeted her peers and students as she strolled down the hall with a bag full of PADDs to work on. One of her colleagues, Dr. Nelson Banks, a younger man with a growing family, greeted her:
"Good morning, Saana! How was your weekend?"
"Actually it was really nice. I had lunch out and did a little shopping."
Banks was stopped in his tracks by her response: "Whoa, that's different for you! What brought that on?"
"My daughter, Nyota, got married a couple of weeks ago."
"Well, congratulations are in order! That is a good reason to celebrate! Did you do any work over the weekend?"
"Oh yeah. I finished those reports and started working on another research project."
"Oh, Saana, you are so committed! I don't know how you do it," Nelson said, chuckling at her.
"I've always liked my job. How are your wife and kids, Nelson?"
"My two boys are going up so fast-they make me feel old!"
They both laughed.
As Saana and Nelson walked down the hall, he asked, "Do you have class today?"
"Yes, I have two classes to teach today; and you?"
"Yes, I have a couple as well. Look at the time-I'm running late! I'll see you later, Saana."
"You too, Nelson, . Have a good day!"
That was the most Saana had shared with anybody at her job. She always had kept to herself, but Nyota's marriage had sparked new life in her and the start of new beginnings. Saana went to her office, sat down at her desk, set up her PADDs, and leaned back in her chair. She was happier than she'd been in quite a while as she looked forward to the day she would meet her new extended family. Saana pulled out a vid-photo of Nyota and Spock, placed it on her desk like a trophy, and stared at it with a smile. Then Saana glanced at the image of her husband and traced a finger around the frame:
"You would be proud, Kayode! Your baby is married now. Can you believe she's married to a Vulcan? That's a whole new species. I wish I could have been part of the wedding and given her away for you. Plans are coming together for me to meet him and his family. Our baby is safe now; I hope I did a good job, Kayode."
A tear ran down her cheek as Saana sniffled.
Her week was smooth sailing. Her job was sometimes tedious, but she generally enjoyed the work and found it rewarding. By Wednesday, Saana was tired but content. She was sitting at her desk at work, finishing up one of the projects on her PADD, when she received a com-link from Reuben. She clicked to receive him.
"Hello, Reuben. How are you?"
"I'm fine, Saana. I'm just checking with you to see how your work is going."
"I'm in the process of calling it a day; I'm going home to find something to eat."
"If you're not too tired, I would like to take you to a small bistro where they cook Italian food."
Saana thought about it for a moment, wondering whether to take the next step with Reuben.
"Maybe I should give dating a try. Just once."
"Okay. I think I would like that."
"Remember, I'm treating because I asked you first!" Reuben said, chuckling.
"How about 7 p.m.?"
"What's the name of the place, so I can meet you there in case I'm late."
Saana was not ready for him to show up at her door; they were just friends. Even though she'd known him for some time, dating was something she hadn't done since her teenage years.
"It's called Grazie Restaurant; it's on Bamboo Street in town."
"Sounds good. Now let me go, so I can be there on time. Thank you for inviting me."
Reuben smiled widely, showing his handsome face.
"Thank you for accepting; see you soon, Saana."
Saana packed up her things and left her office to go home to bathe and change. Getting ready to go out was new to getting back into the dating game. She quickly styled her hair. She didn't mind the silver streaks that shined in her hair. She had a youthful face and a full hourglass figure that a less modest woman might have shown off with clothes that hugged her body. Saana chose a loose-fitting turquoise jumpsuit and accented it with a silver charm bracelet. When she was ready, she took the shuttle to downtown Grahamstown. The restaurant was just a short walk away. When she arrived, Reuben was waiting outside for her. When he saw Saana approach, his mouth watered and his eyes widened. "She is so beautiful."
"Reuben, why are you staring at me?"
"Saana if you don't know-have you looked in the mirror lately?"
Saana gave a quizzical look, thinking something was wrong with her appearance. "Is-is there something on my face?" she asked, raising a hand to her cheek.
Reuben flashed her a huge smile: "Saana, I don't know how long it's been since someone told you, but you are a very beautiful woman."
Saana's cheeks flushed and she giggled. "Reuben, you are not serious!"
"I'm afraid so. Let's go eat; they are waiting to seat us."
He escorted Saana into the restaurant. It was a small, quaint restaurant with an old Italian theme. Artificial salami and cheese, along with grapevines, hung from the walls and ceiling. Wine racks were placed throughout the room. A musician strolled through the place playing a violin. And the restaurant used actual people as waiters and cooks. Inhaling a heavenly aroma, Saana could tell that real ingredients, instead of synthesizers, were used to make the food. But best of all, the atmosphere was warm and receiving; it gave off a romantic vibe, as Reuben had planned.
"This is a nice place, Reuben! It has a warm feeling to it."
"I used to come here when I had time. I've spent my spare time visiting my children the past couple of years."
"Wow! It's nice that you have the time to visit your children."
Saana felt a little sad, thinking of how she couldn't just visit Nyota whenever she had the urge. Her daughter was usually in deep space, who knew where.
"Nyota visits me here about every three years or so. I really miss her."
"Of course you do; every parent does, no matter how old their kids get to be."
Saana looked up into Reuben's eyes and acknowledged his comment. He understood how she felt about her daughter.
"I totally agree with you."
"Maybe one day, if Nyota returns to Earth, and my children come to visit, we could have a cookout or something."
"That sounds really nice."
Saana wondered if she was reading more into it than was there. When you start meeting family members. you're announcing some form of relationship. Am I ready for that now? Is this too soon?"
The waiter came with their food, and they dug in, finding it delicious. They sipped wine, talking about their personal lives and events around the world and the universe. Saana saw a nice businessman before her and welcomed the friendship. "Reuben's not like those hard corporate types who would do anything for a profit. He's a kind and sensible man."
After dessert and coffee, they walked to a nearby park and strolled around, enjoying the warm evening. Reuben was emboldened and reached for her hand to hold; Saana didn't resist. His hand felt warm; it was a strange sensation for Saana after all these years-the touch of another man's hand on her skin. It was new to her, and she briefly wondered if she had betrayed Kayode. She let him hold her hand for a few more minutes and then gently released his. Saana turned to Reuben:
"I want to thank you for dinner and a lovely conversation. But this is all new to me; it's always been Kayode since I was a teenager."
"I understand," Reuben said. "I know you and your husband shared a life together, and I respect you for that. If you wish, I will take it very slowly-just-I would like to continue to see you as friends, until you want to-make it more."
Saana looked into his eyes and saw the warmth in them, but she needed to be honest: "Thank you, Reuben. I think it's best that we take it slow."
During the following week, she received a message and the gift of a tropical plant from Reuben, who thanked her for a nice lunch and dinner and expressed the hope of seeing her again the coming weekend. After closing the com-link, Saana smiled and began to wonder if anything could come of their budding relationship. She chuckled at the plant and thought, "He IS trying really hard, isn't he?"
Chapter 8- The Good Ship Enterprise by Uhura the 9th
Summary: Saana has just started to live life again, meeting and having lunch with an acquaintance in town. She's been living in the shadows too long; since her daughter's marriage, Saana has stepped into the light. Now we turn to other scenes on the Enterprise.
Back to Vulcan-Week 1: part 2-The Good Ship Enterprise
Meanwhile on the Enterprise:
The Enterprise continued her slow journey to Vulcan. The crew is ecstatic about the news that Commander Spock and Lieutenant Uhura had married. But Spock and Uhura are continued to perform their duties as they did before they were married.
"Docking procedures completed for the cargo ship Zama, Sir";Nyota said, taking her earpiece out to relay the message.
"Have the landing bay crew start their process of unloading Lieutenant. Notify me when it is are completed." Kirk ordered from his swivel chair.
"Yes sir," she said, placing the earpiece back in her ear and giving instructions to the crew.
" Mr. Sulu, maintain distance and hold her steady"
Spock stepped down to the command chair and handed the captain the cargo supply list for him to sign.
"Thanks Spock, anything important about the supplies we should know?" Kirk asked, reviewing the list and signing off.
"No Captain. It's just the standard food supplies, repair equipment, and personnel supplies."
"Please continue, Mr. Spock," Kirk said giving him back the signed PADD.
"Captain, Dr. McCoy has requested that you see him when you are available."
"Why didn't he page me?"
"Unknown Captain-Dr. McCoy's request was about a private matter."
Kirk looked up at Spock with a smirk: "Thanks, Mr. Spock. Carry on."
After the shipment has been cleared, Spock headed to the lower decks like a man on a mission. He displayed his famous stoic look as he walked. He entered the quartermaster's room and :he chief officer greeted him.
"Good afternoon Commander Spock, how can I help you?"
"Several packages were sent here for clearance and I am here to retrieve them."
"Yes, I just cleared them sir, I get them for you."
All personal packages required clearance from security and the quartermaster for safety. Spock was the one who made sure they were checked during docking with the Zama. He had waited for the delivery. Another gift for his beloved. The chief returned with packages and gave them to Spock.
"There you go, Sir, good day."
"Thank you, Chief. Carry on."
Spock wasn't versed in small talk or sediment that would lead to more conversation. He avoided at all costs. He enjoyed only certain conversations that have meaning for him. Humans entertain themselves in these brief conversations. Spock took three large boxes to his quarters.
A little while later, Kirk wandered down to sickbay to meet McCoy in his office.
"I heard you wanted to see me 'Bones."
"I did. I'm glad your here, but you're not going like what I'm going to tell you."
Kirk be gave him a serious face, McCoy got up and secured the door. He turned and folded his arms across his chest, giving Jim a stern look.
"Listen, Christine is not taking Spock and Uhura's marriage well. She's edgy-nervous one minute and then snapping, snarling, and yelling the next. The other nurses are complaining about her behavior, and they all trying to switch their schedule to avoid her. And I'm telling you again: Christine is a damn good head nurse."
"What do you want me to do? I mean- do you want to reprimand her to get over it?"
"Jim this is serious! She's not eating and she is definitely showing signs of depression. I don't want to pull her from her duties; she says staying in her quarters makes it worse."
"Bones, how can I help you? I'm not a medical doctor?"
McCoy took a deep breath. He didn't want to do it, but he didn't have a choice: "I'm notifying you that I am ordering her to receive psychiatric treatment for her depression until further notice, after the evaluation then we will determine if Christine needs more treatment to a facility to help her."
McCoy had to do it, he was taking a risk, knowing how Christine going to react. He didn't want to hurt her more than she already had been. She was the only nurse who put up with his grumpiness and more importantly, the only one who could put him in his place. "If she continues to medical school, she'll make a great doctor. But right now her mental and physical health was my primary concerns. If only Christine could let her feelings for Spock go."
"Okay, Bones. Write the report and send it to me. Who do you recommend for a psychiatrist?"
"I'll give her to Dr. Robinson; she's good. I will inform Christine in person. I don't want this in her files."
"What will you put instead?"
McCoy gave Jim a quizzical look, and then a slow smile: "Don't you worry-I'll take care of that so she doesn't feel like a patient."
"Thanks Bones, I think she'll appreciate that. Like I said, I don't want to lose good personnel. Is there anything else?"
"That about covers it. I'll give you an update if anything changes."
Jim flashed Bones a conspiratorial smile; "You know we have dinner with Mr. and Mrs. Spock sometime next week?"
"I know. It should quite interesting how those two get along." McCoy scratched his head; "It's amazing; I swear Spock is smiling lately."
They both laughed, that breaks the tension over Chapel. Bones give Jim a quizzical look.
"What else Bones? You giving me that look!" Kirk folds his arms across his chest, waiting for his friend to reply.
"First of all-DAMN IT! How did Spock get Christine all messed up in the first place. He's just a Vulcan!"
"Bones you are blind? He's a man first-then green-blooded. Women find him as attractive as any other man. Maybe they curious how he-operates in the bedroom."
McCoy turns away from him, picked up a file disk, and huffs: " SPOCK? If you say so-Jim. Never seen a case this bad of a broken heart."
Kirk placed his hand on Bones' shoulder, and looked him in the eye. "Yes, you have. I've seen worse my friend and - so have YOU!"
With that Kirk left.
Leonard McCoy has his reasons for looking out for Nurse Chapel, he planned on helping her the best he could, with the authority he could use. He had tried to warn her multiple of times of her affection towards Spock, and it fell on deaf ears. Now the woman was paying for it. Yeah, he knows the stabbing pain of a broken heart, he'd been there and was still suffering from the after math. During his bitter divorce, he had tried to drink himself to death. But it was his precious daughter Joanna brought him back from the brink of that dark abyss. After that, Joanna-and Starfleet-were all he had left.
Meanwhile, a couple was taking leisurely stroll through the corridors of the ship, wearing their casual clothes. Nyota wore a form fitting purple top with matching plazzo pants that flowed as she walked. While Spock wore a grayish thigh-length tunic and loose pants. Not too many people have seen Spock out of uniform before, so the couple caught the attention of the crewmen as they passed. Spock walked with his hands clasped behind his back, basking in Nyota's presence. This was new to Spock. He head was turned slightly towards his wife, who was pleased to have a moment together. Nyota had told him that she wanted the crew to see them together so they would understand that they were compatible. When some of the crew addressed him as "Prince Spock," he sighed and attempted to correct them. Spock did not find it humorous and was not sure of the sentiment behind it. Nyota smiled and explained that they were just showing respect and said that it would grow on him. Spock did not voice his doubts on that subject.
Spock watched as Nyota greet fellow crewmen, he would incline his head in acknowledgment and endure their greetings. The couple ended up at the recreation room, where they became engaged. The room was dim-lit, and a few people walking around chatting. Spock and Nyota went to the observation portal and looked out into space as the stars passed by them. Spock could hear the low humming of the engines below them and calculate how fast they were going. But at this moment, with his bondmate beside him, his thoughts were focused only on her.
Nyota was deeply touched, this was the place where her life had changed forever. This was the man who had her heart and soul in his hands. She expressed her thoughts and emotions through their bond-it felt as if a ball of warmth, safety, and contentment had engulfed the two of them. Spock was touched by her sentiment, her feelings about this place of commitment. He knew this place would always have significance for them. They watched the stars pass by during their shared moment. He held up his two fingers an invititation; Nyota glanced up with a tear in her eye and placed her fingers against his order to perform the ozh'esta. The love passed through their marital bond like a calm river flow. Spock struggled to breathe; he had never felt such- such love. He continued marvel over this relationship with Nyota as she smiled at his revelation.
After a while, the loving couple returned to their quarters to rest before their next shift. Spock turned toward Nyota, who gazed at her husband expectantly.
"The Captain has requested again for us to dine with him and the rest of our wedding party."
"I think that's a good idea. Did he say when?"
"I presume within the next couple of days; I will inform him of your response."
"Do you want to go?"
"Nyota, Captain Kirk, and Dr. McCoy's intentions are to imply how I conduct myself in our marriage."
"What do you mean?"
Spock cleared his throat: "They would like clarity on our sexual relations."
Nyota laughed and thought about those two really like to tease her man; she remembers events on the bridge where Spock was the prime target to Kirk and McCoy's never ending to get an emotional rise out of him. She suspected that there is some form of jealousy: 'I'll fix those two.'
"Spock don't worry. If they inquire about our personal life or our sex life, I will be ready to answer."
Spock didn't know how to respond to that. He wondered what could she say to halt his friends' inquiry.
Nyota reached up and caressed his pointed ears, and a low growl emanated from him. He lifts her up and pulled her against himself, pressing their bodies together firmly. Spock buried his head in the crevasse of her neck and spoke as if in pain,;
"Nyota du katau si' wuh yon svi' nash-veh." ["Nyota you bring out the fire in me"].
Nyota was experiencing the same feeling as she lifted her head to give him better access to her neck while raking her hands through his dark hair. She thought about all those years wishing, hoping to be with him.
"nash-veh nuh'" ["Me too!"]
"Dungau etek fator tor wuh mashulayek?" ["Shall we proceed to the showers?"]
Nyota laughed, then start to pepper his face with kisses;
"Rai, tor ashaya tor nash-veh" ["no, make love to me"]
"U' du istaya" ["As you wish"]
He carried her to their bedroom where they proceeded with their loving making. Spock's touch drove Nyota into a frenzy. There is nothing like making love with a Vulcan.
A couple of days later, after duty, Spock and Nyota were in the recreation room, where he was teaching her to master three-dimensional chess. She understood the foundations, but he was helping to raise the game to another level. Spock didn't mind this type of leisure. Nyota had explained that people would feel more comfortable seeing them together in this setting and would be less intrusive. He did sense the crew was becoming more comfortable with his presence than before.
A young couple approaches them at their table.
"Good evening Ms. Uhura and Mr. Spock- I mean your highness"
Spock and Nyota looked up to see Yeoman Tina Lawton and Ensign Matt Henry holding hands.
"Greetings," Spock said. "Please refrain from addressing me as 'your highness'."
"But everyone says you're a prince Commander."
Nyota smiled; "It's OK; he's getting used to it."
Spock found conversing with crew members for any length of time to be wearying; in his past visits to the rec room, he had usually been in the company of Kirk and/or McCoy, both of whom willingly picked up the conversational slack for him.
"How is everything?" Nyota asked the couple.
The petite young blonde smiled widely:
"Everything is fine; as a matter of fact, things are great!" Tina looked at Matt, who was also beaming, and then turned to Nyota: "I want to thank you for introducing me to Matt-he's wonderful!"
The young man blushed: "Naw, I owe it all to Ms. Uhura and our movie night! That was the best thing that ever happened to me. Ms. Uhura, you made me popular!"
Uhura laughed and remembering that event at which Boma had made a fool of himself. In Spock's opinion, it had been no laughing matter; it was when he had almost lost control of himself due to Boma's actions.
"Oh no, Matt- that was all you! All I did was introduce you to Tina, and then you two did the rest."
"You two make a wonderful-looking couple," :Tina said.
"They sure do, and we owe them a lot!" Matt added. "We'll be going now Mr. and Mrs. Spock, we both going to see another Indiana Jones movie--alone." :Matt said, giving Tina a winning smile. Tina blushed and squeezed his hand.
Nyota laughed and Spock arched an eyebrow.
"Have a good time, you two."Nyota said, waving goodbye.
After the couple had left, Nyota turned to her husband and said; "Isn't that cute?"
"I have no reference point to respond to the word 'cute', Nyota."
"They said Mr. and Mrs. Spock."
Nyota stared at her man, thinking, he is so funny. She extended her two fingers and spoke in Vulcansu so others wouldn't hear them; "Ashayam, the word refers to moments of adorable sweetness like this. And you're so cute when you talk like that."
She giggled as their fingers touched and shared the warmth. Spock can only project back his of acceptance.
Later on that evening, Nyota took the opportunity to study the history of Vulcan. She had taken courses in her academy days, but she was studying a direct source from the Historical Library of Vulcan that was mostly written in old Vulcansu. Nyota skimmed the outline of cultural history and the political system, but her main purpose was to find the ancestral wedding riturals as they were before Surak's time. It was quite interesting to see Vulcan's violent history during the era when the people allowed their emotions to rule them. Nyota could almost compare the Vulcans of antiquity to contemporary Romulans. During one of their missions, she encountered her first Romulan and realized how similar they were to Vulcans.  Spock had stated that the Romulan race is a distant relative of the Vulcan race and that Romulans are highly aggressive. Nyota wanted to know everything about Vulcan in case she ever happened to meet her new archenemy, T'Pring, who had formerly been betrothed to Spock. Vulcans are known for their extensive knowledge of any subject that interested them, so she needed to prepare too. A smile formed on her face as she thought about the upcoming events. In about two weeks, she would be on Vulcan, and she hoped to cross paths with T'Pring.
On top of studying, Nyota and Spock had stepped up their Sus-Manah training to a daily routine, which was strengthening her already-muscular body. Spock was even teaching her to use the 'to'tsu'k'hy' [nerve pinch], but he had to modify the grip for Nyota, because she didn't have Vulcan strength. However, the modified version would still give her an advantage. He noticed her determination to master the new skill and was proud of how Nyota rose to the challenge of the rigorous lessons. He tried to limit the numbers of bruises on her body, but she would not have his gentleness and demand full contact.
"Spock, how can I defend myself or others if I don't know how it feels when I am hit? I still have to fight the enemy in any condition."
Spock overrode his instinct of being a protective husband and let his wife endure the painful blows of hand-to-hand combat. He understood that exploration invites unwarranted confrontations. He realized that he and his wife could be formidable team, using their bond and their training to apply coordinated tactics in combat situations.
A couple of days later; McCoy made preparations for clinical support for Christine. She had continued to act depression on duty. Once McCoy had spoken with Dr. LaToya Robinson, he would address Christine on the subject. Timing is everything. After his shift, McCoy grabbed his PADD and medical tricorder wand and headed to Nurse Chapel's quarters. He rung her chimer, and waited for her to answer; it seemed as if it two minutes before she opened the door. She has lost weight, her face looked haggard from lack of sleep.'This has gone on too long', McCoy thought.
Christine looked surprised to see him: "Dr. McCoy! How can I help you?"
"I need to talk to you Christine. It's both professional and personal. May I come in?"
She sighed deeply. She knew what it was about. She hadn't tried to hide; she tried to fight it. But she was not doing well; the conversation about Spock and Nyota was daily gauntlet in sickbay and in the mess hall, it was everywhere she went. The couple was everyone's favorite topic.
"Sure come in."
She stepped aside to let the doctor in, and he walked into a dimly lit room. It was clear that Christine had lost her light in herself and her job. McCoy wantdc to help her. Christine directed him to a seat, and they both sat.
"Thank you for taking the time to talk to me Christine, what I'm about to say is not easy for me."
He looked into her once-sparkling blue eyes, which now sad and tired. Christine sat up, looking worried, her hands pressed down on top of her thighs.
"Did I do something wrong?"
"No, but I am forced to place you on medical leave."
The tears started dripping down her face: "I was-I was expecting this. I-can't help it. I've tried-I've tried so hard."
At that moment, McCoy pulled out his mini tricorder and scanned her: her heart rate was high, her blood pressure high; and she was somewhat dehydrated, high-but not critically. She showed all the signs of depression. He got up, went to the replicator, and got her something to drink and handed to her.
"Drink this, your dehydrated-you need to drink more fluids."
"Thank you, Doctor. I'll try to take better care of myself."
McCoy sat back down. He took a deep breath and started his mission:
"I had to go to the Captain. You are ordered for psychiatric help, starting next week." McCoy put his instruments down on the table, leaned over, and grabbed her hands; he looked her in the eye.
"Christine it's not the end of the world. We all experience this kind of pain. Even me! I don't want to see a good woman waste away. you're a good woman Christine!"
Christine couldn't believe her ears; this grumpy, stubborn man revealing himself. She had always known there was a soft-hearted man behind that hard shell. But why now?
"You have a lot to offer to the medical field." McCoy continued. "I hope once this is over, you will consider completing your medical degree. You have the ability to be chief surgeon, one day. Maybe you'll even replace me."
With that statement, McCoy got a small smirk from her. Christine looked at him and smiled, he had made her feel a little better.
"Right now, you need to take care of yourself and recover from this-this situation. Because I need my head nurse back! Who is going to keep all those other nurses from screwing up!" McCoy demanded, waving his hands at her and looking around her quarters.
"How long am I on medical leave?"
"As long as it takes"
"Who is going to replace me?"
"Replace you? Are you crazy? No one can replace you! Nurse Running Deer will take over duties temporarily, until you recover."
McCoy grabbed her hands again to support he; she really needed it. Christine needed a friend, in the midst of the celebration of Spock and Uhura.
Christine took a deep breath. She knew McCoy was right; she had to stop wallowing in this depression. "Thank you McCoy. I'll do it! I know you tried to warn me about Spock, but I couldn't accept it."
"That's my girl, I want you to start seeing Dr. Robinson next week, or sooner if you want. I notified her about you. You'll like her."
"How-How is-Spock and Nyota?" Christine asked, glancing at McCoy, and giving him a suspicious look.
McCoy was taken back at the unexpected question. He leaned back into his chair, wondering if he's should answer a partial truth or a whole lie. He takes a deep breath:
"Are you sure you want to know?"
"I've been trying to process this, Doctor-"
"Please call me Lennie."he said.
She gave him a small chuckle and squeezed his hand. "It's OK-I'll be good."
"Then for honesty's sake, they are doing well."
Tears formed in her eyes, but she took a deep breath and managed to hold them at bay.
"When I recover, Lennie, I want to wish them the best."
"Now that's my girl! Christine you have a big heart. It'll take time and I will be with you every step of the way."
"When do I start?"
"You can start any time"
"Then I'll start tomorrow. I want to get over this Lennie."
"Good! I don't think I can take any more of this!" McCoy said, stands up to leave. "I'll check on you and Dr. Robinson from time to time. Now take care of yourself and get something to eat."
"Okay Lennie," Christine said with a small smile. McCoy answered with a wider smile and left.
Christine lay down on her bed, hugged her pillow as the tears fell again in her lonely room.'I have to get over this before I go crazy or they really put me in a penal colony.' She turned over and tried to sleep without dreaming about Spock.
A/N: The Battle for Spock part 2:chapter 11 & 12
TOS: The Balance of Terror
Chapter 9-Confronting the Truth by Uhura the 9th
Summary: The plans to celebrate Spock and Sarek's accomplishments, as well as to ceremonially validate Spock and Nyota's bond, are well under way. T'Pring is not happy to be included, but Amanda is quite pleased with how everything is going. McCoy had to place Christine Chapel on medical leave to deal with her deep feelings toward Spock.
Meanwhile, back on Vulcan during the first week:
Amanda Grayson was in a good mood; she couldn't believe what T'Pau had done; her face was lit up with joy. Amanda had so much respect for T'Pau and the leverage she'd wielded to rectify the damage that had been done to her family over the decades. Amanda noticed right away when she appeared in public with Sarek that people spoke to them and showed respect for the work Sarek and Spock had done. The positive change in the Vulcan people's demeanor was a welcome sight. Amanda felt as if life was changing for the better, not only for herself, but for her husband and Spock. She even noticed people addressing Sarek as S'haile [Lord] and making complimentary comments about Spock's service in Starfleet. Amanda's heart jumped with joy; knowing that Sarek was proud of Spock strengthened her love for her husband.
Amanda looked at her Padd and saw the the guest list and their responses. The response was overwhelming: 75% of the invitees had already accepted the invitation to attend Spock's reception, and the list was growing. The fact the President of the Federation was number one on the invite set the pace. The friendliest delegates followed; they respected Sarek's position and his contribution to the Federation. Now they were showing their respect by attending something important to Vulcan and to Sarek. The marriage reception for their son. Then something caught her eye, which widened in disbelief. She went to the intercom and paged Sevel to her office.
"How may I serve you, Lady Amanda?"
"Sevel, I want to thank you for taking over the invitations. Your service honors us." Sevel bowed his head in acknowledgment.
"But I have noticed that the S'oleh-nau clan were invited; who authorized that?"
"Lady Amanda, it was a direct request from Lady T'Pau."
Amanda took a deep breath; she couldn't argue with that, and she wasn't going to make a scene about it either. But in her heart, she didn't want to see that b*tch. After all the time that had passed, Amanda was still possessed by a strong urge to slap the insolent look off T'Pring's face. She would never forget how T'Pring flaunted herself in front of Vulcan with her suitors. Then the challenge on their kali-i-farr. But T'Pau had gone up against the Vulcan High Command to coerce them into officially recognizing Spock's and Sarek's accomplishments and funding the reception.
"Thank you, Sevel. How are the arrangements going so far?"
"Lady Amanda, the accommodations for all honored guests are being prepared. A specially designed suite is being constructed to accommodate the S'chn T'gai clan, including Dr. Uhura from Earth. I am in the process of assessing musicians from Earth, Andoria, Ardana, and other Federation Planets who have volunteered to perform for S'haile Spock. I am currently arranging the performance roster for the day of the ceremony."
"Also, the interior arrangements are 68.9% complete. A variety of delicacies are also being arranged to suit each guest's palate."
"This is great, Sevel. Are we behind in anything that needs clearance or purchase?"
"Not at this time, Lady Amanda. Vulcan Central personnel have been assigned as security at checkpoints to avoid interference from uninvited guests such as Terran social media."
"I wonder if we need more time for anything?"
"Lady Amanda, I estimate that the ceremony preparations will be completed 11.275 days."
Amanda looked at Sevel, thinking, Vulcans and their precision-it just kills me. "Wow, that's great. That means the Altair VI plans are ahead of schedule."
"Precisely. Excuse me, Lady Amanda. I need to continue with my work. Is there anything else I can do to be of service?"
Amanda chuckled. "No, Sevel, that's all."
Sevel looked at Amanda in confusion. He didn't understand human humor and had never gotten used to the sound that of laughter. He left to continue with his work.
Amanda continued with her linguistics project; the Federation always asked for her input in enhancing and applying the universal translator. Her mind drifted back to the thought that T'Pring was coming to the reception and then jumped to Spock's wife, Nyota. How will Nyota feel when Spock's former fiancée shows up? That doesn't look good from any standpoint. Amanda shoved her concerns to the back of her mind, pleased that the wedding reception would be ready on time; she clasped her hands together. Now I just need my son and his wife here.
Meanwhile at the S'oleh-nau clan estate:
T'Pring and Stonn sat in their matriarch's library. When they had received the news that T'Lan had summoned them, they were surprised (for Vulcans).
Solen and T'Lan walked in and the couple stood to show respect. They exchanged greetings and then they all sat in a semi-circle.
"I have required your presence to inform you that the S'chn T'gai clan has requested compensation for T'Pring's behavior during Commander Spock's kali-i-farr,"  T'Lan said clearly and sternly.
T'Pring's brow arched while Stonn stared ahead, focusing on controlling his emotions.
"Solen and I spoke to T'Pau about her accusation that the laws of the kali-i-farr were violated. She stated that T'Pring's choice in the kali-i-fee was unacceptable and violated our traditions as Vulcans."
T'Pring stiffened and asked, "How can this be, T'Lan? It was my right to choose a champion."
"Yes, it was your right to choose a champion, but was Captain Kirk your only option?"
T'Lan eyed her carefully, then slowly glanced toward Stonn. T'Lan had never understood why T'Pring chose the outworlder; it was an illogical choice. Then there was Stonn-kaiidth [what is, is].
"Commander Spock has become a legend among our people; I chose not to be a part of that."
"You chose not to be bonded to a half-human Vulcan; you demonstrated your anger toward Spock by choosing the human as your champion, despite the fact that Stonn was both available and your intended. Then there is the additional accusation that you encouraged other suitors to invoke koon-ut-so'lik [propose marriage], which I had to decline and inform them of your marriage."
"The question is moot, T'Lan; T'Pring and I are bonded," Stonn said.
T'Lan looked at Stonn in disappointment, first, because he had not fought for the woman, which was part of the Vulcan tradition. And second, he went ahead with bonding to T'Pring despite her poor behavior. No chivalry on his part. Stonn showed signs of weakness. But while Spock was experiencing the plak tow [blood fever], he had shown strength, despite the loss of logic due to his condition. The comparison of the two males' behavior was an embarrassment to the clan. T'Lan had performed the kali-i-farr to avoid more accusations.
"It may be so from your perspective, Stonn, but not from T'Pau's; she used the laws regarding our marriage customs and presented her case to the Vulcan High Command; she received a favorable judgment. Now we are at the mercy of the S'chn T'gai clan in regard to compensation."
"It was suggested that your marriage be dissolved because of T'Pring's choice of an outworlder as her champion. Kirk had no prior knowledge of our customs and thus could not make a rational choice during the kali-i-fee," Solen said.
T'Pring stood, steepling her fingers in an attempt to control her fear and anger in reaction to her father's statement.
"I do not desire to be bonded to THAT-THAT Vulcan." T'Pring paused, rethought her words and she was wise in her choice of words.
"We have been bonded and mating for 2.67 years, T'Lan. If that is the only choice, then I will challenge Spock for T'Pring," Stonn asserted.
"You should have challenged him during the wedding!" T'Lan snarled.
"I attempted to, but I was hindered."
"You, being the male and head of the household for your future bride, should have intervened."
Stonn was about to counter T'Lan's statement, but her eyes became hooded and dark. T'Lan held up her hand; the conversation was leading nowhere.
"It is done; we will pay the compensation for this indiscretion. We as a clan will be in servitude to the S'chn T'gai clan for a generation. We are to attend the reception ceremony for Commander Spock and his human bride three weeks hence. We are required to acknowledge and give respect for Commander Spock's accomplishments to Vulcan and the United Federation of Planets, as well as to his bride."
T'Lan looked at all three solemn faces; there was nothing that she could do. "What I have done was done for the clan as a whole. It would invite a naul-tor [feud] if we were to refuse. Such is T'Pau's right."
T'Lan left her descendants to continue conversing. She had said enough; she had done enough. Two children in her clan had failed; now they all must pay. "Kaiidth."
Solen watched his matriarch walk out of the room. A lot had been said about Commander Spock during the council meeting. Solen had seen satisfaction on Sarek's face when the Council had agreed that his clan had failed to honor the contract.
Solen turned to his daughter: "Ko-fu [daughter], was marrying Spock so offensive as to warrant a kali-i-fee?"
T'Pring turned away; she would never admit to a living soul how much she hated Spock. Or the fact that she was extremely jealous of him because of his intelligence. His accomplishments in science had surpassed those of any scientist at the Vulcan Science Academy. She was also envious that his mixed culture, which had once been seen as a sign of weakness, had now become an important part of his legend.
"I had no desire for him as a child; he had no control of his emotions."
"That was when he was child, but 2.67 years ago he presented himself as a man," Solen argued.
"Are you supporting Spock as a man in my presence, Solen?" Stonn snapped. He was now keenly feeling the pain of his failure to stand up as a warrior to defend his desired mate.
"I am questioning T'Pring's allowing her opinion as a child to dictate her decision as a woman."
"Sa-mekh [Father], I had no choice in the matter as a child; you and the matriarch chose him."
"Yes, you are correct, but other options could have been chosen to avoid the current situation, chief among them you honoring our agreement with the S'chn T'gai clan."
"I have no desire to attend this reception."
"You and Stonn have no choice; our clan will face serious consequences if we do not comply with T'Pau and the Vulcan High Command; further sanctions against the clan will be implemented. That, my daughter, I will not permit," Solen said sternly.
"As long as we agree to their terms, you and Stonn will be permitted to remain married."
"But Spock is already married!" Stonn interjected.
"Yes, but your marriage might not be recognized under Vulcan law."
"My wife and I will attend the reception."
T'Pring turned to Stonn in disagreement and arched her brow. Then she bowed her head and left her husband and father in disgust.
T'Pring returned to her home, where she sat on a lounge chair and reflected on her childhood betrothal to Spock.
Yes, despite being bonded to him for more than 20 years, S'chn T'gai Spock was still an enigma to T'Pring, as well as to many Vulcans. That fact that his father, Sarek, had bonded to a human made the insult worse. She remembered the rumors of his tainted blood and lack of control of his emotions, which deepened her resistance to being bonded to him. But the contract had been agreed to; she had no choice. She honored her family with the brief ceremony. T'Pring had observed Sarek's bondmate, the way she looked, her mannerisms, which were different from anything she had seen. She had seen other aliens only in vids that were part of her studies; only a few Vulcans were permitted to leave their homes or planet as children. But now, with the expansion of technology and travel, some Vulcan families had moved to space stations and colonies on other planets. But Spock did not try to reach out to her, nor did she try to reach out to him. They had arranged to communicate occasionally with each other when they first were bonded, but the arrangement didn't last long; neither one had anything they wished to relate to the other. T'Pring had had to deal with ostracization by her schoolmates, and even some adults, who frowned upon the fact that she was bonded to the human/Vulcan. She was ignored by her peers; T'Pring hated Spock for that. She despised him because she had overheard people say that any offspring with Spock would taint the family bloodline and she would be the cause of it.
Nothing had prepared her for the announcement that he would be attending the Federation Starfleet Academy; that was the final nail in the coffin that was their relationship. In her opinion, Spock-despite his high academic achievements-had failed to perform his duties as her betrothed. It had been expected that Spock would attend the Vulcan Science Academy, which would have given her more clarity on his intentions. When he refused, his decision affected her more than himself. It was unheard of to reject such a prestigious position, but Spock had. And the fact that he did not consult her about such a momentous choice made her feel insignificant in the relationship-that and that alone would have induced her choose another mate. It has been noted that T'Pring, as a Vulcan woman, was considered a most desirable, well-educated, and sought-after woman. The fact Spock did not-after all these years-engage in any form of communication about his decision was a slap in the face. Their bond was almost non-existent, as if Spock had no desire to know her at all. But the knowledge that other males desired her soothed her feelings of rejection by Spock.
When reports of Spock's achievements in Starfleet became common in Vulcan newscasts, it became clear that he felt no duty to inform her of anything, including health, accomplishments in Starfleet, dangers, or even any report of his well-being. But Vulcans would comment to her on his accomplishments and congratulate her on such a bondmate. Spock's continued to ignore her, and her ire increased as the years went by. When she reached 28 cycles and no pon farr occurred, she wondered if Spock would ever reach sexual maturity and enter his Time. That was a concern for her, a big one, that the marriage would never be consummated. The average male reached sexual maturity at cycle 21-28, but Spock had not. T'Pring did not desire to wait for another cycle before having a child. She wondered whether Spock had somehow mastered his Time and whether he had any desire at all to honor the contract. T'Pring had to look out for herself and chose to engage another consort to stand for her. After all these years, Spock's rejection still haunted her; she had been determined to see that he had rejected her for the last time. Her plan had backfired, and now he was coming back to torment her again; if she did not show him the proper respect, it would cost her her marriage to Stonn, and few other males would have any interest in her after that. She deeply felt the insult that he had chosen to marry a Terran woman over her. In her mind, the S'chn T'gai clan had become more tainted, not by her, but by Spock's own doing. What if she had married him? She would now be a Vulcan lady of high social status and far more respectable.
T'Pring had heard rumors since her wedding about the outcome of their kal-i-farr, rumors that a non-Vulcan had been chosen as champion. She had thought victory was in her grasp when Captain Kirk fell in the battle. She had been determined to show Spock how much he had hurt her; for a brief moment she had tasted victory, knowing that Kirk was not only Spock's commanding officer but also his friend. Then she had found out she had been tricked by Spock-the captain did not die! Now his family had control over hers. It was humiliating! He had won-again!
Later that evening at the S'chn T'gai compound, Sarek of Vulcan had endured a long day. Between the embassy, the Vulcan High Command, and the Science Academy all requiring his presence, he had been run ragged. He felt relieved to have reached his home, where he could meditate and relax for the next few days, as finally all their plans for Spock's reception had been set in motion. When he entered his home, it was always silent, which his preference. But a strong aroma caught his attention, and he proceeded toward the dining area. When he entered the room, there was an array of candles positioned around the room to give off a warm glow. Sarek's eyebrow rose. Interesting, he thought. He observed the arrangement and concluded it was what Terrans called a 'romantic setting'. Sarek, with his keen eyes and nose, saw and smelled all of his favorite dishes and wondered why his wife has chosen this night to plan such an event. Then he heard humming coming from the kitchen and Amanda appeared with a hot dish in her hands. She wore a transparent floral print pashmina tunic; underneath was a solid slip-type sheath. It complimented her figure. Amanda looked up to see her husband standing near the table and gave him a big smile.
"Sarek, you′re home; you are just in time for end meal."
She placed the dish on the table, allowing Sarek to get a better view of her apparel. The material enhanced her body form and from their bond he observed: My wife's body temperature has risen 1.23 degrees, her heart rate has increased to 93 beats per minute. Pheromone and hormone production has increased by 7.67 percent. My wife is in the process of preparing for copulation. Sarek was pleased with this, the he saw her face was radiant causing him to respond:
"Aduna, I will join you and prepare for end meal."
He left the dining area and went to the master bedroom, where he showered and changed into loose-fitting lounging clothes. When he returned to the dining area, his wife had just placed the drinking goblets on the table, along with a bottle of Vulcan ale placed next to his seat.
He noticed the tone of her voice was soft and... quite appealing. It brought memories of their courtship. He smirked and saw that Amanda had noticed and responded with hooded eyes.
"What is the purpose of presenting end meal with such care?"
"I wanted to say thank you for everything that you are doing for Spock."
"Spock is our son; gratitude is not necessary."
"As your aduna, it is my duty to show gratitude when my husband does a noble thing to satisfy his wife."
Sarek noticed that her scent had become more tantalizing; it had been some time since their last sexual union. 'I will entertain my wife for this event.'
He went to the table and pulled out a chair for her to sit. He offered his fingers in the ozh'esta [finger embrace], and Amanda responded in kind. A tingling sensation danced on Amanda's hand and moved up her arm to the rest of her body, and she gasped. Sarek sat and began to serve his wife from the dishes placed in front of him. Amanda poured ale into each of the goblets.
"Sarek, there is a saying on my planet that the males of my species implement during the lifetime of their marriage."
"What statement is this, my wife?"
Amanda looked at him as she passed him his drink with a smile, "Happy wife, happy life, and believe me, I'm a very happy wife at this moment."
Sarek acknowledged her look and started to anticipate the events that would soon occur in their bedroom.
"Aduna, we should conclude our evening meal quickly in order to allow me time to show you my gratitude," Amanda purred.
Sarek was not slow to take in her message. Amanda was excited, and they ate as little as possible. That's my man.
As they ate, Sarek had trouble concentrating on his meal; his wife's pheromones were sending their own message, loud and clear. He thought about how to move to the next phase of their lovemaking, and he remembered that a certain touch on her neck stimulated her into moaning sounds that signified satisfaction with the sexual engagement. He could no longer endure the scent and tension that she was projecting. He slowly got up and stood behind his wife, lifting her hair from around her neck. He leaned down and pressed his lips against the sensitive spot on her neck; as if on cue, his wife let out a small moan and whispered,
Amanda stood and turned into his embrace, and their foreheads touched. While his fingers caressed the erogenous zone on her neck, Sarek swiftly picked her up and carried her to their bedroom. By this time, Sarek himself was eager to engage in copulation with his wife, feeling quite stimulated: I will spend the next 2.257 days with my wife to claim this gratitude.
Amanda was in seventh heaven as Sarek carried her to their bedroom, her arms wrapped around his broad shoulders. Nothing about Sarek's body had changed; he still had the same chiseled chest and long, muscular legs. He had displayed the same sexual stamina since they married, except for a slight improvement after his operation. Her hand raked through his two-tone gray and black hair, ruffling it as she peppered him with kisses. My adonis; there's nothing like a Vulcan man as a husband. Amanda heard a low rumble from his chest, and she rested her head on his shoulder and smiled.
The next morning, Sarek was early to rise; he slowly and quietly lifted himself out of their bed. He stretched his long arms and legs and looked down at his faithful mate sleeping peacefully with a slight smile on her face. Then a soft moan came from her, the sound that had become a stimulant to him, and his desire was renewed. Amanda was his, and his alone. He liked watching her face, which revealed her immense satisfaction with their joining. He went to refresh himself in the large bathroom and then dressed and went downstairs to meditate. During his meditation, his thoughts turned to his son and his journey back to Vulcan to have his marriage ceremonially validated. Now his son would experience the gauntlet of being married to a human, but his knowledge of human culture was far greater than his father's. Spock had lived among humans for over 20 years; his perspective of them could enlighten Vulcans about many aspects of human culture. Nyota had become fluent in languages that few humans could master, including two Vulcan dialects-Fascinating!-This merge between them would resolve many doubts about human-Vulcan compatibility. But the main reason for Sarek′s deep meditation to finally put to rest his resentment of Spock and the family′s Vulcan Science Academy versus Starfleet Academy saga. Was it pride that sowed the seed of separation between us? Was the expectation greater than required? Spock has used his abilities to enhance his capacities in many areas. I might have erred.
After his meditation, Sarek sent a notice to his staff that he and Amanda would not be in and not to contact them unless an extreme emergency were to occur. He also sent a notice to the house staff and Sevel, releasing them to spend time with their families. He went upstairs to check on his wife and found her still sleeping in a dream-like state and emitting soft moans. Sarek opened their bond slightly and found her delighting in the events of the preceding night. A smirk formed on his face; he found it quite satisfactory that his wife still found pleasure in this. Sarek left to clean the kitchen and dispose of their uncompleted end meal and then prepare breakfast for her. Sarek had enjoyed her display of 'gratitude' and decided he would continue to celebrate this gratitude with his wife. A small smirk formed on his face.
Star Trek TOS:
 Amok Time
The Journey to Babel.
Chapter 10-It's a start by Uhura the 9th
Summary: Spock and Nyota continued to bask in the joy their marriage had brought. Nyota continued to research Vulcan history, looking for loopholes to apply in her plan to deal with T'Pring. Nyota is determined to do something about what she did against all her logic and reasons. [To understand Uhura's reasons go back to; "The Battle for Spock part 2; chapter 8"]
Week 2: Enterprise POV: It's a Start
Christine had started her therapy with Dr. Robinson to deal with her depression over Spock's marriage. She sat quietly in front of the woman who held the power to return her to duty. Christine wanted to go back to work; it was her life dream. But then again, so was Commander Spock.
"Can you tell me when you started to like the Commander?"
Christine spoke softly, "I can't put a date on it, but I guess the first day I was assigned to the Enterprise. Commander Spock is different."
"Because he's a Vulcan?"
"No, because he's like no other man; he has no ego to bruise."
"What attracted you to him?"
"Would you believe his ears?" Christine asked, chuckling softly.
"His ears? What's so special about his ears?": Latoya giving Christine a curious look.
Christine continued to chuckle, breaking, if only for a moment, the despair that had engulfed her since she heard of Spock and Nyota's marriage.
"It's just one of those physical differences that I liked about him."
Christine leaned forward:
"Dr. Robinson, everyone has a certain type or quality they like in a person. Mr. Spock is known for his pointed ears; I find them attractive. But then I found out that I'm not the only one who finds his ears attractive."
"Please call me Latoya. Christine, I want you to be informal with me so that you can feel comfortable enough to express your feelings. And what do you mean you're NOT the only one?"
"It turns out that other women on the ship secretly find the Commander attractive as well, and they have also been pining over him. That made me feel like a fool."
"You shouldn't feel like a fool just because other women find the same man attractive. Tell me more about the Commander."
Christine gave Latoya a sorrowful look: "I thought-I used to think-that we had a connection. I thought I understood him better than anyone. If you've ever been left out or left behind-you get this feeling of loneliness. People would make fun of Spock or attack his character without really knowing him. People judged him on his outward appearance, but I witnessed and observed his caring qualities. He's really close to the Captain and Dr. McCoy, and he would sometimes let down his barriers or show a certain amount of human expression. He doesn't do that often; he very reserved-almost shy. I like that in a man. There were certain times, like when he was sick with his physiological fever. For the first time, Spock expressed anger, hurt, and loneliness, all at the same time. People wanted to put him away, but I wanted to help him any way that I could. I couldn't stand to see him suffer, and it's not the only time I've seen him suffer. I felt a connection with the way he reached out to know me to fill his loneliness."
Christine's eyes filled with tears, which started to run down her face:
"That's why I love him so much, and it's so hard to deal with the fact that he is married to one of my friends."
Latoya gave her a tissue and let her cry.
"I'm so tired of crying-so tired of hurting."
"That's why I'm here-to help you stop hurting, Christine."
"I know, but I still love that Vulcan man."
"I want to thank you for sharing this; I know it was hard. With such loss in a situation like this, we can only move forward. Christine, I want to help you move forward from this pain."
LaToya reached out and held Christine's hands to support her.
"We are going to do this together; you are not alone in this. Do you believe that?"
Christine nodded her head yes.
"So let's start with the road of discovery, which leads to recovery."
Later that evening, a dinner was in progress; it was a reunion of the wedding party: Sulu and Charlene were now officially dating, so McCoy, Kirk, Scotty, and Eve were entertaining themselves by teasing the two for dating. Uhura and Spock observed the friendly banter while holding their fingers in the ozh'esta.
McCoy smiled slyly at Sulu and asked, "So, Masters, has Sulu finally shown you his sword collection?"
A round of snickering ensued; everyone knew it was a game changer. Charlene looked shyly at Sulu.
"Yes, he did!" she said. "And he gave me a lot details about them."
The group burst out laughing.
Scotty held up his goblet toward them: "What a brave lass to endure the tedious sword collection monologue."
This generated even more laughter.
Sulu laughed sheepishly, "Ha, ha, ha."
"What surprised me is that Masters and Brody won the bet," Kirk said, waggling his eyebrows at Charlene.
Nyota looked curiously at Charlene: "What bet?"
Charlene and Eve exchanged embarrassed glances while the men snickered.
"Well Ny-Dr. McCoy made this bet that Mr. Spock-would-um-return early from his honeymoon."
Kirk looked mischievously at his friend: "It was the men against the women."
"And I thought I knew Spock-I thought it was a sure thing," McCoy added.
Nyota gave the group her own mischievous look and said seductively, "Too bad, gentlemen, that you lost that bet, but I can assure you those extra 24 hours were not wasted on talking about logic."
Spock hid his reaction behind his water glass, and Nyota picked up wine glass to sip and observe the group's reactions.
Three forks dropped onto their plates, a glass was knocked over on the table, and gasps were heard, followed by comments:
"Spock is the man!"
"That's what we get for playing!"
"Never underestimate a Vulcan!"
Charlene and Eve broke out in laughter: "Never estimate the power of love," Eve said. The two women tipped their glasses together in victory.
The wedding party laughed at the couple, while Spock and Nyota performed the finger embrace.
"The fact is that he's getting all the attention, now that he's a prince," Kirk complained good-naturedly.
"I'm not a prince, Jim."
"According to Starfleet you are!" Kirk replied as all the Terrans joined together in laughter.
Sulu broached another topic: "I keep hearing this strange story about Nyota."
"What story is that? We all know the lass can sing like an angel," Scotty replied.
Sulu continued: "Well, that's true, but I've heard that she's been in fights over Mr. Spock."
The men chuckled while the three women froze, their eyes widening. Nyota broke the connection with Spock's fingers and placed her hands in her lap.
"She fought over Spock's ears on that planet sometime back," Kirk interjected.
"Yeah; Charlene told me some parts of that story, but the crew keeps mentioning another confrontation on the ship," Sulu said.
This caught McCoy's interest; he leaned toward Sulu and said, "Tell us whatcha heard!"
"Well, the rumor goes that Nyota kicked some female crewmen's a$$es for approaching Mr. Spock, and there was also something about a women's club for him only."
The room became silent, with curious looks going back and forth between Nyota and Charlene.
Even Kirk wanted to know more: "Keep going, Sulu; I'm really interested in this information."
"It's really weird; there is this club that any woman who likes Mr. Spock can join to share their admiration of him. The strangest thing is that-you won't believe it-is that Nurse Chapel was the leader."
"Nurse Chapel?" the men chorused.
The men, including Spock, looked at the women curiously; Nyota, feeling their stares, took a deep breath:
"Yes, it's true. Mr. Spock has his own secret admirers club."
Spock's eyebrows rose in astonishment. "Interesting."
McCoy was shocked. Christine was so obsessed with Spock that she and his other admirers had formed their own club. His mind had a hard time grasping the concept; he thought he knew Christine-his rock-steady head nurse. He would have expected that she would have control over her affection for Spock. He felt slight disappointment and sadness that it had gone this far.
"Mr. Spock has his own harem?" Scotty wondered aloud. "Like where the ladies entertain ya all the time? That's a man's dream."
"Well I'll be damned! Our pointed-eared Vulcan has lady admirers on the ship, as well that purple lady on that planet?" McCoy demanded, glaring at Spock.
Scotty took a sip of his drink: "I never took Mr. Spock for a lady-killer."
Charlene continued with the facts: "Gentlemen, the members of this club would follow Mr. Spock around the ship and tell their favorite fantasy all day long! I don't think I've ever been in the mess hall without his name being brought up."
"Yeah, then they would hound me about Spock, asking me about his personal business or asking me directly like how I liked working next to him. I'm so glad my man is not like most men, so it doesn't feed his ego!" Nyota folded her arms, looking distressed.
Kirk started laughing again: "I like it-Mr. Spock, our neighborhood Casanova-I never would have guessed!"
Spock was not pleased; Nyota had told him a few months ago that the women crew members found him attractive, and he was aware of Nurse Chapel's declared intentions. But, in his opinion, a society of admirers was unorthodox and unnecessary; the only attention that he desired was from his wife:
"I do not understand why the female crew would engage in such an activity; it's completely illogical. I'm am at a loss."
The party chuckled at Spock's response.
Eve tried to explain: "Mr. Spock, it's just that some women have different taste in what they are looking for in relationships. Some women are attracted to the quiet type of man, as opposed to loud, flashy men, who usually get the most attention."
"It's true, Mr. Spock. Many women take a more subtle approach to relationships, so the club members were scoping you out," Charlene added.
Eve saw the jealousy on faces of the men just realizing that Mr. Spock had stolen their thunder: "Oh, don't worry, gentlemen; Captain Kirk is still the main object of the female crew members' affections. Charlene and I just won this huge bet."
All the men except Spock turned toward Eve and chimed: "What?"
Charlene giggled: "It was the biggest credit jackpot I've ever won!"
Eve explained the betting: "You see, the bets were on Nyota and the Captain to hook up because-well, the Captain is known for his charisma, and Nyota is known for her beauty. Being the most popular made them the most obvious potential couple; that was the bettors' mistake. So when Mr. Spock came out of nowhere and married Nyota, Charlene and I cashed in!"
They both reached over and high-fived each other.
"Yeah, if this keeps up, Eve and I will be millionaires!"
Eve added with a smile: "But we owe it to all to Mr. Spock for marrying Nyota!"
McCoy's mouth dropped open: "I'll be damned again!"
Sulu looked at his new girlfriend and smiled: "I think it's cool that my girl knows how to bet; I think she'll do well at my next poker game."
More laughs went around.
Then McCoy had an epiphany about the club of admirers: "Excuse me, Eve and Charlene, by any chance were Abigail Franklin and Janet Sullivan in Mr. Spock's secret club?"
Nyota stiffened, holding her breath; now was the moment of truth "DAMN!"
Eve and Charlene looked curiously at the Captain and each other but kept silent.
"Well, ladies, there's nothing I can do anyway; their files are closed, and there's no investigation. So, therefore, what we say here, stays here," McCoy said.
Charlene looked inquiringly at Nyota, silently asking, "Should we?" Nyota nodded, giving her permission to tell. She didn't have a choice; she wanted it done and over with anyway. Hiding stuff from Spock was not a good way to begin a marriage. Plus the fact that the injury cases were closed gave Nyota leverage.
Charlene continued: "Yes, Dr. McCoy, they are, and they threatened Nyota over her dating Mr. Spock."
Kirk turned his chair toward her in shock, "What?"
The other men also had shocked looks on their faces.
Charlene jumped out of her seat to tell the story: "Oh, you should have seen Nyota. They would talk junk, threaten, and challenged her about Mr. Spock. Nyota tried to be ladylike and talk to them about respect, but nooo, they took it to another level. They told Nyota they would beat her down, but my girl kicked a$$! She used moves on them that I've never seen, and then their pride was hurt and they swore they wouldn't tell a soul as they limped to Sickbay. Then the message got out to not mess with Nyota or her man. Nyota is awesome!" Charlene declared as she pumped her fist in the air.
Everyone had an amazed look on their face, including Spock.
Kirk shook his head: "I've never would have believed that about you, Uhura."
"Captain, I did try to negotiate with them first, but the accusations were just too much, and I was disrespected. She turned to Spock to justify her actions: "Spock, darling, I know it doesn't seem logical for your point of view, but human females sometimes have to stake their claim to make it clear that-as you say in Vulcan terms-their "property" is no longer available. Our relationship was secret by your request. I attempted to honor it, and believe me it was a struggle. I hope you understand my reasons."
Spock did understand her reasons; he felt the same way when he would hear the male crew converse about Nyota's sexual appeal. He remembered having to deal with Lt. Boma claiming that Nyota was his woman.  The struggle to deal with Boma's declaration had been overwhelming: could he have taken physical action? He had to consider the consequences. Yes-according to his Vulcan instincts and Vulcan law, he had every right. But Vulcan law did not apply on a Federation starship.
"Yes, I understand the circumstances of your actions and that you were attempting to honor my request to keep our relationship secret. I was unaware of the situation that you were placed in, requiring you to resort to such actions on my behalf. For that, my wife, I ask forgiveness; I did not mean to jeopardize your position as an officer and the woman that you are."
Spock offered Nyota his fingers, and she in return touched his in return. She found only respect and admiration for her actions. Then his consciousness touched Nyota in a sexual way, causing her eyes to widen and a warm smile of anticipation to emerge on her face.
Nyota hadn't expected that kind of reaction to all the fights she'd been through. It was a relief that she didn't have to hide anymore. She hadn't liked keeping those secrets from Spock. She responded to her loving Vulcan with love and gratitude for how he viewed her situation.
Eve looked at Charlene as she sat back down and they both took in the tender moment between Spock and Nyota:
"I don't know, Charlene, but that is the most romantic thing I've ever heard," Eve said, placing her hands over her heart.
Charlene sighed deeply: "Yeah, Mr. Spock is in a class all by himself."
Scotty couldn't believe what he just heard. He was shocked to see the women looking googly-eyed at Mr. Spock like some kind of Adonis. "He just agreed that he approved of his wife kicking someone's a$$?"
Sulu and McCoy chimed in in unison: "Yeah, he did!"
Kirk sat there smirking, highly amused that Spock had taken his spot as ship's Casanova and that Uhura had beaten up two or maybe more crewwomen over him. "DAMN! That is sexy!" He turned to Uhura, raising his eyebrow:
"Ms. Uhura, or Mrs. Spock, I hope that will be the last time I hear of incidents like this?"
Uhura sat up straight: "Oh yes, Captain! The women got my message to leave my man alone!"
Nyota took a deep breath and sighed:
"Well, I'm glad it's out in the open. I didn't know whether the Captain would approve of my actions. I was worried; that's for sure!"
The group chuckled.
Scotty chimed in with: "All that means, Ms. Uhura, is that when it comes to your Mr. Spock, you're a force to reckon with; no other lassie would want to contend with ya, fa sure!"
McCoy laughed and added, "I think we need to take Nyota on more beamdown missions when there are other females involved. I think our missions would get done faster."
Kirk sat back and took in all that was said. He remembered what Charlene had said on Nyota and Spock's wedding night: that people would interfere in their marriage. It had already happened with Boma, the female crew members, and even Nurse Chapel. Kirk turned to the couple to find out more:
"Spock, what happens when you get Vulcan?"
"Our marriage will be authenticated by my clan's matriarch; it is analogous to a health check. It will ensure that Nyota and I have a secure bond."
"That's interesting. So Nyota will always be able to read your mind?" Kirk asked.
"No, Captain. It is hard to explain; we sort of merge as one."
"Wow-that is so different," Eve said.
"Will there be another wedding service?" Scotty asked.
Spock answered: "I am unaware of another wedding ceremony on Vulcan."
McCoy was still a bit nervous about going back to Vulcan. "You mean that you won't encounter any other suitors like the last time?" he asked.
Spock raised one of his brows while answering McCoy: "I believe this ceremony will not have distractions or incidents."
Nyota felt through their bond that Spock was feeling uncomfortable about discussion of the Vulcan ceremony that Kirk and McCoy had participated in. So she decided to end the conversation and the evening.
"I want to thank everyone for a wonderful dinner and great conversation!"
Nyota extended her fingers toward Spock, letting him know she was ready to retire to their quarters. But she secretly had a hidden agenda, just for her man, for when they returned to their quarters. "I believe we should take a nice relaxing shower; don't you think?"
"Gentlemen, ladies, my wife and I will retire now. Thank you for the evening meal."
Spock and Nyota stood with their fingers engaged, bowed toward the group, and left with anticipation.
After Spock and Uhura left, Scotty had a question; "Do ya know why they were always touching their fingers?"
Kirk answered Scotty's question: "It's their form of touching that they only allow in public."
Charlene added; "Nyota told me also, that it's a form of kissing too!"
"I think it's so romantic." Eve chimed.
"It wasn't so romantic what I saw on his home planet, that's a whole new situation." McCoy added.
Kirk added factually; "Well Spock's parents did it a lot when they were here on the ship."
"I wonder if they'll decided to have kids?" inquired Eve.
McCoy rolled his eyes up: "Oh God"
Everyone snickered at the thought.
Later during the week, another meeting took place.
"Tell me about your friendship with Lieutenant Nyota Uhura."
Christine took a deep breath; she had to address the elephant in the room. The one person who had betrayed her trust over Spock-the one woman she had envied for so long-was now the center of conversation.
"Do we have to talk about her-now?"
"It would help-but if you are not ready-we can discuss her another time. But remember, her name will come up again."
Christine chuckled and started to talk to Latoya sarcastically:
"Nyota Uhura-the perfect one-the beautiful one! Every man desires her. I see men fight over her-discuss her like she's some prima donna. Oh? I forgot-she's now a princess married to SPOCK! No woman can compare to her-she took the only man I've ever loved. I can't forgive her-I don't know how. I trusted her with my secret love for Spock, and she went behind my back and seduced him, catching him in her web. It's been that way since the Academy. I watched her use men, play with their hearts, and burn them like they were paper. She could have any man in the world-the UNIVERSE, but somehow ended up with the most desirable man on this ship. She always get her way-always so lucky-that b*tch!"
Christine was breathing heavily; her fists were balled up on her lap and her eyes were filled with rage.
"Do you know how long I've been trying to get Spock's attention-just to have a decent conversation with him? I had to beat off other women to stop them from even mentioning his name in disrespect. Spock deserves respect. I wonder sometimes why he doesn't have his own ship because he so intelligent-he's that good."
"Do you really believe that Uhura stole Spock from you?"
Did you ever try to confront her about your feelings for the man?"
Christine took another deep breath:
"It was after Mr. Spock was hurt on this past mission. Dr. McCoy released him from Sickbay. I wanted to do a welfare check on his wounds; he saved most of the landing party. He would do such selfless acts. On my way to his quarters, I encountered Nyota at his door, and she snapped at me for doing my job and closed the door in my face. After that, we had a meeting and Nyota informed me that she was involved with Spock, but she did not tell me that they were already married. MARRIED!"
Christine became so frustrated that she stood up and started pacing, her anger getting the best of her.
"Breathe, Christine-short breaths."
Latoya looked at Christine with deep concern-the poor woman had deep bitterness toward Uhura.
"Christine, I want to thank you for sharing such an intense and painful part of your life. I know this wasn't easy, but I think it is important to find the cause of your situation."
Christine glared at Dr. Robinson:
"I know the cause of my situation! She knew I liked him-we would have conversations about our love interests. Spock is not the type of man you approach and ask out; his shyness makes him so sexy and irresistible."
"Was Uhura always like this toward you, Christine?"
Christine took another deep breath and replied with a trembling voice:
"No, she was a good friend. We shared a room together back at the Academy with Charlene. We would hang out in clubs, go on vacations together, talk all the time about the future for almost two years. We had fun-we were like the Three Musketeers."
Christine sat down again and bowed her head; the tears started to build:
"I can't say when the jealousy started, but I know I liked this guy during my internship.  I thought we hit it off. But once he met Nyota, he kind of dropped me. Charlene called me out over my feelings about Spock and Nyota; she knows about my jealousy of Nyota and she suggested we should have talked it out."
"Why didn't you?"
"By that time, I was aware that Spock and Nyota were married; my heart was broken and hurt. I just wasn't ready to believe it. I was holding out hope that he-he- would notice me."
"Christine, I want to say that you were very brave to stay and face this. Down the road, depending on you, would you feel comfortable talking to Nyota about your feelings?"
Christine shook her head adamantly: "NO! I couldn't face her or THEM! My heart couldn't bear it. Nothing like watching your heart ripped wide open again."
Latoya reached over and grabbed both of Christine's hands to give her support. "I'm here with you. Whenever you feel you can handle this, I'll be there with you. OK?"
McCoy and Robinson had a biweekly review of Christine and her progress:
"How is she doing, Latoya?" McCoy asked, sitting down at his desk and handing her a cup of coffee.
Latoya blew on the hot coffee before sipping it: "Wow, Lennie! This case is deep! Christine has convinced herself she's in love with Mr. Spock."
"I hope you can help her-she's the best head nurse in the Fleet, if you ask me."
"I'll try, Lennie. You keep giving me these hard cases."
"You referring to Boma?"
"Yeah. I can't believe his love interest is Uhura too! Almost a triangle effect-it's weird."
"Uhura is not only smart; she's one of the few women who can pull her weight on the bridge-an all-around woman. The majority of the men are attracted to her. Some are bold, while others admire her from afar. Although she's very beautiful, she's not my type."
"She is one incredible officer."
"How is he doing, by the way? I would like to close his case and give the Captain his report."
"He's making progress; he's a stubborn man though-he mostly suffers from a bruised ego," Robinson said. "But Boma's fascination with her almost destroyed who he is-he didn't see her rejection but quite the opposite. Lennie, he is making progress."
"That's good to hear. I don't think Boma knew Spock's involved with Uhura at time, and I don't want to see the man ruin his career-he's really good in his field."
"Or the fact that Commander Spock is married to Uhura."
"Spock is the best first officer in Starfleet and the best science officer as well-that Vulcan does his job perfectly!"
"Jealous there, Lennie?"
McCoy smirked: "The man who's saved my life umpteen times is my friend and always will be."
"Commander Spock and Nyota Uhura, an unusual match."
"Who can stop love in space-this ship is a Petri dish for its effects."
McCoy sighed deeply and looked at Latoya: "I found out some interesting news when I had dinner with the famous couple."
"What news is that?"
"According to the rumor mill, there was club created by Mr. Spock's admirers, and Christine was their leader."
Latoya was taken aback by the information:
"Really, then that fits right in with Captain Kirk's club as well. You men are ridiculous with the fascination about yourselves."
"Uhura has her own club mind you! Men have claimed her as their girlfriend, fiancée, or spouse! Uhura has a hold on most of the men; she's still breaking their hearts, even more now that she's married."
They both laughed.
"By the way, Lennie, have you dealt with your secret love interest?"
"No. It's a lame duck for now."
"Can you give me a hint?"
McCoy looked slyly at Latoya: "Not worth mentioning now-who knows? Things might look up in the future."
The Battle for Spock part 1:Chapters 4 & 5
The Battle for Spock part 1: chapter 1 
The Battle for Spock part 2: Chapter 11 & 12 
The Battle for Spock Part 2: Chapters 16 & 17
The Battle for Spock Part 2: Chapter 31 
The Battle for Spock Part 2: Chapter 32
The Battle for Spock Part 2: Chapter 33
Chapter 11-The Message by Uhura the 9th
Two Vulcan aides were updating T'Amanda on the wedding reception on Altair VI. The majority of the work was done; they were just finalizing the details of the table seatings and the itinerary. The reception was a one-day event, but it was billed as the gala of the century. The wedding of Ambassador Sarek and Lady Amanda's only child was to be celebrated, and the ambassador and Commander Spock were to be honored for their service to Vulcan and the Federation. The President of the Federation, Demetrio, was ecstatic about it. He hadn't known the two people were related.
Beta Reader: Jsilver2000
Week 2: On Vulcan-The Message
Earth: San Francisco; Headquarters of Federation of Planets:
President Demetrio had heard of Commander Spock's achievements and accomplishments. When he received his invitation to the reception, he com-linked Sarek to give him his congratulations.
"Greetings, Ambassador Sarek."
"Greetings, President Demetrio. How can I serve you?"
"Ambassador Sarek, you amaze me again! First, I was unaware you had a son in Starfleet, and second, I was astonished to learn that he is Commander Spock of the Enterprise. I am aware that he and Captain Kirk have been instrumental in resolving many of the Federation's conflicts."
"President Demetrio, Vulcans are not known for announcing family connections. But we do honor family values as a race."
"How is your wife, Amanda?"
"She is currently addressing the reception issues and confirming guest acceptances."
"How is that going? Do you need any assistance, Sarek?"
"Not at the moment, President Demetrio. All aspects of this event have been delegated."
"Sarek, you have no idea of the importance of your son's wedding reception. It will symbolize unity among the Federation races and strengthen the alliances that are key to this organization."
Sarek lifted an eyebrow.
"President Demetrio, we are not celebrating their marriage to reinforce alliances; my son has married a female of his choice. To demonstrate our acceptance of the match and as part of our tradition, my wife has chosen to express her elation with the union."
Demetrio chuckled at Sarek's response.
"Oh, I see-my apologies, Sarek."
"Apologies are not necessary. I merely explained to clarify our intentions with this event."
"Well, whatever your reasons, I believe it will turn into something incredible for all planetary unions."
Sarek decided to change the topic, he found it illogical to discuss his family.
"President Demetrio, I have completed the proposals for the upcoming meetings between the planetary delegations of Eminiar VII and Vendikar."
"Thank you, Ambassador Sarek. This is a delicate situation between two related civilizations. I want both you and Ambassador Fox to review the proposals and present them to both delegations. I refuse to let those two planets become part of the Federation unless those concessions are implemented. And thank you for supporting Ambassador Fox while he has been recovering from his illness."
"I agree. Hostilities between them must cease if they desire to continue as living species and as civilizations."
"Thank you again, Ambassador Sarek. I will see you at the appointed date. I again offer my congratulation on Commander Spock's wedding."
"Live long and prosper, Mr. President."
Sarek bowed his head and signed off. Sarek was now free to focus on Vulcan's issue that would be revealed once Spock and Nyota arrive in the following week. Sarek could not dispute that his son had accomplished a lot in the name of his planet and that he was widely recognized for his position in Starfleet-or the fact that his son's status in the eyes of the Vulcan people had risen greatly. Sarek was aware that opinions of Spock had shifted considerably since he had joined Starfleet and that Spock was no longer considered a novelty but a true Vulcan. Sarek's concern now was in regard to Spock's telepathic powers. He had first noticed them when he opened the family bond and observed their strength. This was later confirmed by the healers who examined Spock before he started school. Even Sybok's telepathic powers-though considerable-were not as strong as Spock's. Which linage did they develop from? Sarek wondered.
Federation of Planets Headquarters: Office of President Demetrios:
Carlos Rivera had been an aide to the president for four years. He enjoyed the hectic life. He was constantly observing different civilizations and learning much that could advance his career. President Demetrios had treated him with respect, and Carlos found his position rewarding. He came in to the president's office with a Padd and presented it to the president, standing next to his desk.
"Mr. President, I have your agenda ready for review."
Demetrios took the Padd and scanned it quickly.
"Carlos, I have to make some changes to my schedule. Vulcan has invited me and other dignitaries to a wedding reception on Altair VI on this date, and I will be there. This was a personal invitation from Vulcan, and I do not want to disappoint them. They have been our strongest ally throughout the history of the Federation. I need you to make the arrangements."
Demetrios typed in the invitation code, and the date and place were displayed on the Padd. Then he handed it back to Carlos.
"Please make arrangements around this schedule."
"Yes, Mr. President. Right away."
Carlos started to leave.
"Carlos, make sure Starfleet Command has my itinerary as well."
"Thank you, Carlos."
Demetrios leaned back in his chair and reflected on what Sarek had said. Sarek had failed to see that the wedding reception for his son would have great influence on the Federation. It reflected on Sarek's work as well; these two strong-minded, incredible men were at the center of the Federation's civilization. This marriage would have an important impact on all cultures within the Federation and would truly represent unity and diversity. This is perfect.
Meanwhile on Vulcan:
Stonn stood six-foot-two, with broad shoulders. At this moment he didn't feel like a Vulcan warrior; his emotions and thoughts were uneasy. Since his marriage to T'Pring, he had been ready to stand guard against any male's challenge for his wife. He had desired her way before she was betrothed to Spock as a child. The Kal-i-farr ceremony had diminished his clan's standing, as well as dealing a blow to his ego. The fact that T'Pring had chosen the human over him had placed him in an unfavorable light in the view of other Vulcans. He had heard the whispers questioning the validity of the challenge and his valor. They had haunted him since their bonding-he was prepared to fight for T'Pring by her request and for her honor. He found T'Pring a compatible match; he appreciated her intelligence and beauty. He was aware of her accomplishments in her research of Vulcan biology. She was an excellent choice for a wife; they had desired each other against the odds of her bonding/child marriage to Spock.
Many had stated that Spock was a poor match for T'Pring due to his human heritage. Many had predicted that Spock would be unable to master his emotions and develop to his full potential as a Vulcan. Some had questioned his intelligence, but only when he was very young; he had quickly shown that his was a mind to be reckoned with. And now, at this very moment, Spock was being highly praised for his achievements, and a special wedding reception was being arranged to celebrate his bonding to a Terran. This puzzled Stonn: that the early attitudes of Vulcans toward Spock-resentment and disdain-had now changed to acceptance and pride. Even his peers had taken a different view of his bondmate and marriage. Had a Vulcan male gone to great lengths to secure a female for bonding or the reverse? Indeed, T'Pring had gone to great lengths (flouting Vulcan customs) to bond to him in order to avoid marriage to Spock.
Stonn had always wondered whether, if the challenge had stood, he could have bested Spock. If the plak tow had run deep in him, then would Spock and he have been equals in the match? He would never know; the opportunity was never presented to him-it was taken from him by his wife. Would Spock have had the upper hand if they had fought? With Spock's greater experience in combat, would he have overpowered him and taken his life? Had T'Pring feared that outcome? Was that why she chose the human? Fear is something a Vulcan dare not admit; he needed to inquire about her decision.
Stonn approached his wife in their office, where she was reading her Padd. She looked up toward her husband, extended two fingers, and touched her husband's.
"T'Pring, we must talk," Stonn said, taking a seat next to her. "My wife, it is imperative that we attend the wedding reception. You have expressed through our bond your reluctance."
"I do not wish to attend. I find the whole event of this wedding reception offensive and illogical."
"Commander Spock has achieved much for the greater good of all Vulcans."
T'Pring glared at her husband. "You agree with the Vulcan High Command?"
"It does not matter; it is required that we attend as a clan."
T'Pring held her head up and addressed her husband: "I do not understand why this subject needed attention, Stonn."
"I am requesting clarification, T'Pring, as your bondmate."
T'Pring looked down and folded her hands in her lap.
"Spock-Spock and I never agreed to our childhood bond. He was always distant in our relationship. I made the choice to have it challenged on our kal'i'farr."
"But that is acceptable during those times. Children are distant at first and then confirm their bond during the kal'i'farr."
"Must this be discussed now, after we have been bonded since our ceremony?" T'Pring asked, trying again to deflect her husband's questions.
"Yes, I require clarification on your choice-I have delayed the question since our bonding, T'Pring. Before the kal'i'farr, we planned in detail our challenge to Spock-that I would be the chosen one. Why did you change the plan?" Many times Stonn had sought this answer, but he had not dared to probe her thoughts, out of respect.
"I saw an alternative that would best suit the kal'i'fee."
"I do not understand. Why would you desire to see the Terran captain killed by Spock?" :Stonn asked with an arched brow.
"My change of plans was flawless; it served its purpose. You became the victor-my bondmate."
T'Pring held her head up high, proud of her accomplishment and looked directly into Stonn's eyes.
"Affirmative, I am your bondmate-but why did you choose the Terran captain when you were aware I was the best qualified for the challenge?"
T'Pring had no words to explain her decision; she knew the answer and refused to comply with her husband's request. Her intense prejudice toward Spock's heritage was no longer socially acceptable among Vulcans, so she had buried it deep within her mind so that not even Stonn would ever become aware of it.
"Stonn, the decision I made was a logical one. I explained this to Spock when he requested my reasons for the kal'i'fee. I will express again what transpired with Spock. I had informed him that I wanted you as my consort. If Spock had won, he would have left me here with his name and property while he continued his legend among our people and the universe. As I explained to you before our courtship, I had no desire to be bonded to such a male, and I decided to become your consort in his absence. When I chose the Terran captain, my intent was to upset the balance of the situation. If the Terran had been the victor, he would have had no desire for a Vulcan wife, and he too would have freed me from Spock's bond and the kal'i'farr. Therefore, you, Stonn, would be the only suitor left and would have become my bondmate."
"Your change of plans has placed me in a problematic position, T'Pring. I have become your bondmate, but not through victory in the kal'i'fee."
"Spock, himself, informed me that my plan was logically flawless." T'Pring stood up, becoming upset over the questioning of her decision. She approached her husband, placing her hand on his shoulder, trying to redirect his inquiry.
"My adun-we are together now. What happened before does not matter-I have chosen you as my mate above all others."
Stonn stood up and pressed his fingers against his wife's, their emotions passed through the connection. Stonn would accept her answer, for now, knowing there was more to the situation. Was she trying to protect him, but failing to consider how her decision reflected on him and his standing as a Vulcan male?
"One day, adun, I would like to announce the conception of our first child-this will bring great honor to our clan and to you." T'Pring looked into his eyes, trying to redirect his concerns away from his performance as a Vulcan male.
T'Pring blocked her thoughts from her husband; she had to calm him. She did not want him to know her real reason for their marriage; she had to control her emotions.
Federation of Planet Headquarters: A few days later;
Carlos Rivera placed his Padd on his desk and continued to work on other priorities. Kim Kelly, a local entertainment reporter came by to check on upcoming high-profile events. She was well known for getting exclusive interviews with entertainment celebrities. For Kim to keep her status among her peers, she needed something big. She had known Carlos for some time and considered him a good friend; she was hoping to get a good story from an old friend.
Kim flopped down on one of the nearby chair: "Hey ya, Carlos, gotta bone to throw me?"
"Nothing really-just ending my day; how about you?" Carlos gave Kim a big smile.
"Just the same ol' celebrities trying to steal each other's thunder."
Carlos laughed: "Is it that boring out there?"
"Well, here on Earth, it's quiet-I'm stuck. But out there in space is the real news. But other planets don't gossip the way we do-they are so sophisticated."
Carlos skimmed through his work and wondered if Ambassador Sarek's party was newsworthy. He read the invitation carefully. It did say private and closed to the public. Usually, the President would state that to him before he ventured into disclosure territory.
"Well, I don't know if it's anything, but the president is invited to a wedding reception on Altair VI."
That got Kim's attention: "Whose wedding reception? And why all the way out there?"
"It's Ambassador Sarek's son's wedding reception."
"The Ambassador Sarek who was once the ambassador to Earth?"
"Yep-his son got married recently, and the reception will be on Altair VI."
"I didn't know he had a son." That got Kim's attention and sat up.
"Yes, I think he is in Starfleet."
Kim took out her Padd and looked up Ambassador Sarek and family. She read the brief biography of the man. Then Kim continued to read who the ambassador had married and her mouth dropped open.
"You gotta be kidding me!"
Carlos looked at her quizzically and asked, "What? What did you find?"
"Ambassador Sarek is married to Amanda Grayson! WOW!"
Kim searched the archives for news articles about their marriage. "This is great news-wow! They made headlines with their marriage about forty years ago."
"I didn't know he was married to a Terran."
"That's because we're stuck on Earth, Carlos-boring!"
Kim turned to Carlos: "When is this reception?"
Carlos searched his Padd: "According to the invitation, it's about two weeks away."
Kim jumped up and kissed Carlos on the cheek: "Carlos, you just saved my job! This is big news!"
"Ambassador Sarek and Amanda Grayson were the couple that engaged in the first interracial marriage between a Vulcan and a Terran, and it was a HUGE to-do back then. Some people were for the marriage because they thought it was romantic, and some people were against it because of Vulcans' demeanor-they didn't think a Vulcan could love another person. And back then, many people felt Vulcans couldn't be trusted-it was a huge scandal, and they accused him of brainwashing her. People back then were full of all kinds of prejudice and stuff."
"Wow-I wonder why I haven't heard about it?"
"Well, it's been almost forty years; you and I weren't even born yet. What is his son's name and who did he marry?"
Carlos tapped his Padd for information. "His son is Commander Spock and he married Nyota Uhura."
Kim typed both names into her Padd: "Rats-they're both in Starfleet; that gives me limited sources. But thank you, Carlos! This is big news! I'm going to get the exclusive on this story."
Kim packed her Padd and left to find her boss.
A half-hour later, Kim sat in her boss's office.
"I want to have the exclusive rights to this story-it's going to be big!"
"I remember this story-it WAS big. I was just out of college when their engagement was announced. Amanda Grayson was a catch! I've heard back then that a lot of men had tried to date her. She did do some work for the diplomatic corps, specializing in linguistics. Kelly, this news will put WEN (World Entertainment News) back on top! How much information can you get?"
"I need to call in some favors-the couple is in Starfleet, and they are limited to giving background on their officers."
"Great! Get the information ready in thirty minutes and be prepared to broadcast live with the news before the other networks find out."
"I'm on it, boss!" Kim jumped from her chair to get ready to anchor the breaking news of the galaxy.
Sometime later, WEN broadcast the following announcement:
"Good evening. This is Kim Kelly of World Entertainment News. I have an exciting announcement from the United Federation of Planets. If you remember, about forty years ago, a Vulcan ambassador who was once stationed here on Earth, Ambassador Sarek, was best known for his diplomacy in settling interplanetary disputes for the Federation. Then out of the blue he up and married a schoolteacher and expert xeno-linguist by the name of Amanda Grayson, who at the time was Earth's most eligible bachelorette and was working for the Federation's diplomatic corps. No one knew that they were dating; they hadn't even been seen together as a couple. When the story broke, Ms. Grayson was whisked away to Vulcan and never heard from again. Many said it was the most romantic love story of the century; others were concerned about the cloud of mystery. Here are some archival photos of Ambassador Sarek and Ms. Grayson's courtship. Many had doubted their relationship would last, but their marriage has stood the test of time.
"It has been reported that Amanda Grayson attended most of the diplomatic engagements her husband was assigned to as part of the linguistics team. Well, a few years later, Ms. Grayson gave birth to a son, who somehow ended up at Starfleet Academy and currently serves on a starship in space. Well, ladies and gentlemen, Ambassador Sarek and Amanda Grayson as a couple have endured scandal and criticism, and did not just survive, but actually thrived! They have now announced the marriage of their son. That's right-this famous couple had a son who grew up to become Commander Spock of the starship Enterprise. And somewhere out in space, Commander Spock has married a Terran woman himself. Oh, my-there seems to be a tradition in this family for Vulcan men to take a liking to Terran women. The family is planning a wedding reception on Altair VI, and only the who's whos of the Federation are invited. That's right! It's exclusive; only the elite are invited, including the president of the Federation and many high-ranking dignitaries. Who did Commander Spock marry? That's part of the mystery-she hails from the United States of Africa-a Nyota Uhura. She too is a member of Starfleet. I believe another love story is in the making, everyone! Commander Spock and Nyota Uhura-wherever you are-congratulations! This is Kim Kelly from WEN saying goodnight!"
The other news media quickly picked up the exciting news, rehashing Sarek and Amanda's love story as a backdrop to their son's marriage. People were amazed that another Vulcan had married another Terran woman, and speculation started to stir. People wanted to know who Spock and Nyota were. Starfleet didn't have much to release on the couple, only the facts of their graduation from the Academy and fields of research, along with the bare bones of their official service records. So the media plastered their Academy pictures across the galaxy as part of the news blitz. The news quickly traveled across the globe. People wanted to know more about the mystery couple. Others sought to be invited to the wedding reception, messaging the Vulcan embassy on each continent and only finding frustration. It was truly a who's who guest list, and few people qualified.
Kim Kelly was desperate; she had broken the story, but now she needed to get to Altair VI for the exclusive event.
Kim visited Carlos again, hoping to get an extra ticket or access to the planet. The media circus bombarded Starfleet Academy and Command for information about the married couple. The story was broadcast across the Alpha quadrant. Kim was hoping her relationship with Carlos would help her get to the event of the century:
"Carlos, please! I'm begging you! How can I get there?"
"I'm sorry, but Vulcan has the master guest list; only they can authorize your ticket!"
"I can't believe it! The love story of a lifetime, and I can't get there!" Kim stamped her foot hard in disappointment.
Kim turned to Carlos and looked him straight in the eye: "What about you? Are you going with the president?"
"No, not even me. I can't help you, Kim."
Kim took a deep breath and pouted: "I've tried to get an appointment with someone at the Vulcan embassy-nada. This could boost my career."
"What about Starfleet? Have you tried them?"
"Yeah-it's the same thing. I've got to find a way to get to Altair VI!"
"Sorry, I can't help you. So what happens next?"
"I'm going to the United States of Africa to find Nyota Uhura's family. Her file says she has a mother living in Grahamstown and working as a professor."
"Well, maybe it will be better to have an interview with her mother."
"Hmm, maybe if I play my cards right, she'll like me and take me along!"
"Good luck with that," Carlos said sarcastically.
"But it's worth a try!" Kim grabbed her Padd and headed out the door toward her last opportunity to find her way to Altair VI. "See ya, Carlos! Wish me luck!"
Carlos watched Kim walk out the door, shaking his head and wondering what all the fuss was about.
Meanwhile, at the Vulcan Embassy:
Multiple media outlets were camped outside the embassy compound, trying to get a comment about Ambassador Sarek's son's wedding reception. Guards were posted at the gates to keep unwanted guests from bombarding the embassy aides with questions.
T'Zora, one of the aides in the embassy, walked down the hall, carrying a Padd in her hand. She tapped lightly on the door to gain entrance to meet with Ambassador Sern. T'Zora stood in the presence of the ambassador and two other aides; she gave a slight bow and the standard greeting to the three men.
"Ambassador Sern, excuse the interruption. The Terran media are requesting comments from you on S'haile Spock's wedding reception. They are-quite persistent."
"Terran media can be irritating with their requests for information that we as Vulcans consider to be private." Sern turned to his other aides: "We are waiting for instructions from the Vulcan High Command about this situation."
Semek commented on the situation: "I do not understand the Terrans' fascination with the details of someone else's family or personal life."
"I agree; it is most illogical," Stinek added.
Sern stated: "Commander Spock's recent bond to a Terran is an interesting event on Earth that Terrans find fascinating. Also, he is being recognized by Vulcan society for his accomplishments. If the reports are correct, Commander Spock was instrumental in determining the cause of the tragic loss of the Intrepid and destroying the creature before it could cause more harm."
"Yes, I agree. It was a great loss that we all felt," T'Zora said.
"Many continue to mourn those lost in the event; those losses extended to the Vulcan High Command," Semek added.
Ambassador Sern turned and addressed T'Zora: "It is in our best interests that you indicate to the media that at this time the Vulcan Embassy has no comment on the matter. We will continue to monitor the Terran media on the subject until we hear from the Vulcan High Command."
"Yes, Ambassador. I will convey the message."
T'Zora bowed and gave the departing salute before leaving to confront the media. As she walked out of the office, she decided that, rather than responding live to reporters' questions, she would prepare a formal vid to explain the embassy's stance on the matter, thereby avoiding any confrontation with irrational humans. It was her desire to one day meet the legendary Commander Spock. She had briefly met Ambassador Sarek two years ago when she was on her way to Earth. T'Zora decided to boost the image of the S'chn T'gai clan to improve understanding and raise the status of Vulcan culture-and to combat the misinformation that was often presented by Earth media. She began composing a statement that would explain and clarify her people's customs and the need for privacy in Vulcan culture.
Star Trek, the Original Series, "A Taste of Armageddon."
Chapter 12-The Time the Circus Came to Town by Uhura the 9th
Beta Reader: Jsilver2000
Stonn was trying to soothe his bruised ego with a discussion with T'Pring, which she refuses to elaborate her reasons on the Kal-i-farr. While back on Earth; Kim Kelly has decided to make Sarek and Amanda news worthy over Spock's wedding, with dramatic results. Now Saana had been celebrating her new outlook on life and had slowly begun dating an acquaintance in town. Over the weekend, she was planning to go on a casual date with Reuben, who was ecstatic about the fact that Saana was taking an interest in him. Not one of his associates could believe it. Reuben was his shop, holding court:
"You have been so happy lately, Reuben. What is making you smile?" Tau asked, noticing that Reuben had been secretive and happy for about two weeks.
His customer Gatura had noticed as well and wondered what was keeping his old friend occupied. He chimed in, chuckling: "Yes, this is true! Where have you been lately? You missed the soccer match and the card game too."
Reuben smiled and continued to cut Gatura's hair. Gatura glanced at Tau because Reuben wasn't paying any attention to their banter.
A sly smile spread across Tau's face: "Aw! If it's not his children, then it must be-a-WOMAN!"
That statement broke the spell Reuben was under: "What?" he asked, looking up from his work.
"It is a woman?" Gatura had seen Reuben react in the mirror and leaned forward and turned his head toward his barber.
Tau saw the shocked look on his face: "Who is she, Reuben? You must tell us!"
Reuben stared at his close friends: "You are correct that a woman is taking up my time. But I am reluctant to reveal who she is yet."
Tau looked disappointed and snapped, "Why? Is she married, and you're ashamed?"
"We are in the talking stages, and I am trying to make her feel comfortable because she's very timid."
"This is good for you, Reuben-having a lady friend," Gatura said, smiling and chuckling.
"Yes, I agree! Tau said. Your happiness shows in your face!"
"She must be some woman if you will not even mention her name," Gatura added.
"She is!" Reuben said, with a faraway look in his eyes as he spoke. "She is worth the wait. We've only gone out a couple of times, but I must say she is the most beautiful woman I have met in a long time."
His two friends gave each other the eye, noticing Reuben's smile and sincerity: "Then we must meet her soon," Gatura declared.
Reuben continued cutting Gatura's hair as he watched the world news monitor mounted on his wall. Then he noticed the feed about a person in their town.
Gatura pointed at the monitor: "Hey, they are saying that there is a celebrity living here in our town!"
The three men looked up at the monitor and saw the news story discussing the University of Rhodes. Reuben requested that the volume be increased:
"Hello, people of Grahamstown. I'm Kim Kelly with World Entertainment News. It appears that the mother of the famous couple resides in Grahamstown and works at the University of Rhodes! She is Dr. Saana Uhura, the mother of Nyota Uhura."
An image of Saana appeared on the screen.
Reuben dropped his tools and stared at the monitor in shock.
Gatura and Tau whistled at the same time: "What a looker!"
"She lives here with us?" Tau asked.
Reuben started to feel jealous and commented with pride: "Gentlemen, I would like to introduce you to you my girl, Saana. This is the woman that I've been seeing."
Gatura shook his head in disbelief: "No way!"
"What do you mean 'NO WAY'?" Reuben demanded.
Gatura and Tau simultaneously understood that Reuben was not kidding around and quickly changed their tune:
"We-We're sorry! It's just that she looks so sophisticated," Tau said, trying to calm the situation.
"You guys have to leave NOW!" Reuben roared.
Gatura jumped out of his seat and pulled his apron off: "What's the rush?"
"Yeah?" Tau added.
"I've got to get to the university and save my woman; they probably ambushed her there."
Reuben had pulled on his jacket while he was talking to his friends. The two men rushed out of the shop, and Reuben locked up and ran toward home to get his hovercar. On his way, he pulled out his com-link phone and tried to reach Saana.
Meanwhile, at the University of Rhodes, Saana was in class lecturing her 75 students when two security guards approached her, one from each side, distracting her and the students.
"Can I help you, gentlemen?"
The first guard cleared his throat: "Excuse us, Professor Uhura; we need to speak with you in private."
"Of course; I'll need to dismiss my class first."
"Please go ahead; it's quite urgent," the second guard said.
Saana turned toward her students, gave them their next assignment, and dismissed them. When everyone had left, she looked at the two guards, thinking something had happened to her Nyota. She took a deep breath: "Okay, how can I help you?"
The first guard spoke: "There is a crowd of journalists outside the gate requesting to speak with you about your daughter."
Saana gasped, covering her mouth and fighting back tears: "Has something happened to her?"
"No, professor-they just want to interview you about your daughter."
Saana stepped back, looking puzzled: "Why?"
"Have you been tracking the news? Apparently, your daughter and her husband are celebrities, and the people at the gate are news reporters."
The second guard interjected: "Yes, they want to interview you about your daughter; it's a big crowd. Do you wish to talk to them?"
Saana shook her head: "NO!"
"Then we are instructed to take you to the Chancellor's office for your safety."
"Yes. They are getting a little pushy because we won't let them in, and they tried to bum-rush the gate, the first guard replied. "Follow us please, Professor Uhura."
Saana gathered her things from the podium and followed the guards to the Chancellor's office. As she walked, she hoped that she wouldn't be in trouble for causing such a ruckus on campus. The guards reached the main office and knocked on Chancellor Edwards' double doors.
"Sir, Professor Uhura is here."
"Please have her come in."
The guards stepped aside to let Saana in. She walked slowly, with only her clenched hands betraying her nervousness. But she stood firm and ready for anything before the Chancellor. Edwards came to his feet and offered her a chair, giving her a gentle smile.
Saana took a seat in front of his long sleek desk with built-in monitors. Edwards leaned against his desk with his arms folded across his chest, looking down at Saana.
"Saana, were you aware that there are at least 50 reporters trying to find you?"
"No, sir! Not until the security guards informed me."
"I wasn't aware that your daughter was in Starfleet or even married."
"I found out almost a month ago that she got married. I'm really proud of her."
"But currently we have a problem. It seems that your daughter is married to a Vulcan-and not just any Vulcan-but to Ambassador Sarek's son."
"Yes, sir. I haven't met the family yet-well not personally-but my daughter did tell me she was married."
"I just want you to know that I support any decision you make about the media; they can be sharks."
"Thank you, sir! That means a lot to me."
"I can give you time off if you wish to deal with the media. I also can have a substitute take over your classes."
Saana looked up at Chancellor Edwards: "I believe I can do my work, sir."
"It's not the work-it's stress and pressure that you are up against, Saana."
At that moment, her com-link phone rang, and Reuben's face appeared. "Please excuse me for a moment, sir," Saana said, before answering it:
"Saana! Are you all right? I saw your picture on the media feed."
"Yes, I'm okay," she said. "I'm in a meeting now. May I call you later?"
"I'm outside the university-there are people out here trying to get in. I wanted to make sure that you're safe!"
"Yes, I'm safe. I'm sitting in the Chancellor's office right now-please go home. I'll be okay. I'll try to call you later."
"Are you sure? I can wait?"
"Mr. Reuben, when it is safe for her to leave, Security will escort Saana home. At the moment, we are waiting for the police to control the media. We don't know how long this will take."
"Who is this?" Reuben asked suspiciously.
"I'm Chancellor Edwards of the University of Rhodes. This situation is new to all of us, but we will make sure Professor Uhura gets home safely."
"Okay," Reuben said. "Is that all right with you, Saana?"
"Yes, for now. Thank you for calling me," Saana replied, ending the call. She looked back at Edwards, who raised an eyebrow.
"Nice friend!" Edwards said. "He seemed deeply concerned about you."
"Yes, he is," Saana replied. "So what do I do in the meantime, Chancellor?"
"You can go back to your office and work, or pick up something in the cafeteria to eat until we get the media crowd down to size. I will contact you when it is safe to be escorted home."
Saana stood up and sighed, straightening her skirt: "Thank you, sir, for helping me."
"You are highly respected among our faculty, Saana. Your research and teaching speak for themselves. The university will always support you. Have a good day."
Saana left and headed to her office. As she was walking, she could hear the media shouting questions in the distance. She entered her office and snapped on her vid-comlink. There she found the pictures of Nyota and Spock. There were older ones, including Nyota's Starfleet Academy graduation picture. Saana shook her head, "Nyota never liked her graduation photo.'"She heard comments on Vulcan and Terran relationships, some good and some bad. Hearing media personalities who knew none of the people involved talk about Spock and Nyota's relationship was painful. Then they started rehashing the 40-year-old controversy over Ambassador Sarek's marriage to Amanda: 'The idea that Sarek would brainwash someone to love him is insane!' Saana thought, clicking off the vid-comlink and returning her attention to her research.
Hours later-when the coast was clear-the security guards knocked on her door: "Good evening, Professor Uhura. Are you ready to be escorted home?"
"Yes, I am-let me get my things."
"The Chancellor has requested that we take you home every day to avoid the media, until the excitement quiets down," the guard said. "He said it was for your safety."
"Did he say for how long?"
Saana gathered her things and followed the guards to the back of the building, where a hovercar was waiting. It had no markings on it; she sat in the back seat and looked out the window. As they passed over the crowd of journalists and got to the point where it thinned out, she sighed in relief. Saana sat back and leaned against the headrest, wondering how long she would be able to keep this up. She needed to think of a way to keep this notoriety from affecting her job. She was glad that Edwards was understanding, but she knew he had a university to run and could not afford an ongoing distraction. As they drove up to her condo, she hoped her neighbors wouldn't react to her sudden fame. Saana was glad no one was around. The two guards escorted her to her door.
"Thank you, gentlemen," Saana said sincerely.
"We are glad to be of service, Professor Uhura," one of them said before they left.
Saana entered her condo tired and hungry. She took a shower and started looking for something to eat. She opened her com-link and saw endless emails and messages about Nyota, all wanting to know more about the marriage. Then the com-link buzzed with an incoming message from Reuben, which she answered:
"Saana, are you okay-did you make it home safely?"
"Yes, I did. Security escorted me home."
"Would you like me to come over?"
"No, Reuben. I'm really tired tonight. Today was taxing, and I have to get ready for classes tomorrow. But thank you so much for your kindness."
"Not a problem; I wish I could do more."
"The media frenzy should die down in a couple of days."
"When can I see you again?"
"I don't know-maybe this weekend if things with the media calm down. I'll feel uncomfortable if they are following us around."
"I agree. I'll let you rest. Goodnight, Saana."
"Goodnight to you too, Reuben."
Saana ended the call, finished her last bit of work for her classes, and headed to bed. "I hope tomorrow is a better day."
The next day and the day after that did not get better.
Saana had just gotten dressed and was gathering the things she needed to take to the university that day when she heard voices outside her condo. She peeked out the curtains, only to find a mob of reporters at her door. Saana quickly stepped away from the window:
"Thanks to my neighbors, I'm found out!"
Saana grabbed her book bag and lunch and headed out the back door, successfully eluding the reporters. She took her regular transport to the university amidst the stares of the other commuters, who recognized her from the media blitz. She took a five-minute walk toward the university, but as she got closer, she saw the media mob in the distance. She decided to head to the side entrance, where Security was stationed, but she was recognized and a pursuit ensued. Saana moved as quickly as dignity would allow, but she could hear the reporters gaining on her as they shouted their questions:
"Ms. Uhura, why are you hiding?"
"Are you ashamed of your daughter?"
"We want your side of the story!"
"We want to know how Nyota feels!"
"Can you comment on their marriage?"
"Did you go to the wedding?"
"Why is it a secret?"
The guards came out to support her and let her in; then they blocked the reporters. But she heard one clearly say:
"Ms. Uhura, a moment of your time? We want the scoop!"
Saana stood in the lobby trying to catch her breath. She wanted to thank the guards, but they were busy holding back the media. Saana went to her office to set up for her class and found Nelson Banks sitting on her couch.
"Good morning, Saana."
Saana nearly jumped out of her skin: "Nelson! You scared me!"
"Sorry about that. I was just checking in on you. I see the media has made you jumpy."
"They have, and I resent it!"
"You are all over on every network in the world!"
"Sure," Nelson said. He got up and clicked on the monitor and Saana's picture flashed across the screen.
"Ladies and gentlemen, we are here at Dr. Uhura's workplace, trying to get a glimpse of the mother of Nyota Uhura. Who is this mystery woman?"
Nelson turned to her: "I know your daughter went to Starfleet Academy; they tried to ask ME about her! But I didn't give them a thing."
"Do you need me to teach any of your classes?"
"I think I can handle it-thanks!"
"Not a problem! Call me if you need anything. I have to admit, though, you put our university on the map!" Then he left with a smile.
When Saana went to teach her class, she noticed an increase in the number of students. Some of them she never seen before. She started her lecture, as usual, but then five students whom she did not recognize raised their hands.
"If this has to do with the topic of today's lecture, you may ask your questions; if not, please refrain from asking me personal questions at this time."
The hands went quickly down.
When she said that, about 12 students rushed up to her, asking questions. Saana refused to answer; she packed up her things and headed to her office, ignoring the requests. She plopped into her chair and tried to eat her lunch, but then her com-link phone beeped. She checked it and saw her Great Aunt Chandis' image, so she answered.
"Hi, Auntie, nothing!" she snapped. "How did this happen? Your and your daughter's faces are all over the world and beyond!"
"Auntie Chandis, Nyota was married out in space; she's happy and I'm happy for her."
"How can you be? She married an alien! We know nothing about him or his people! Why didn't you tell us that Nyota was married?"
"Auntie, please stop shouting!"
"First you married one of those uppity Uhuras, and now your only child is married to an alien! The family will never live this down!"
Saana started to cry: "Auntie Chandis, how dare you talk to me like that?!"
"This your fault, Saana! Your parents are turning over in their graves!"
With that, Saana snapped the phone-com closed, grabbed a tissue, and wiped her face. For the first time in a long time, Saana felt alone. She sat on the floor and allowed herself a good cry.
"Kayode, I miss you so much! I wish you were here to help me through this situation!"
After a while, she got up and prepared for her next class; when it was over, she was escorted home again by the security guards. Again, a crowd waited for her at her door. But this time the guard informed her:
"Professor Uhura, we were instructed to pick you up at 8 am for the rest of the week. These orders are straight from the Chancellor-he regards your safety as a priority."
"I will be ready tomorrow at that time. Thank you and have a nice evening."
She locked the door and slid down to the floor in exhaustion. The media frenzy was getting to her, but it was not personal and did not hurt like the comments from her great aunt, which were like a knife to the heart. She considered her family-she had always known her family, including her parents, hadn't liked the Uhuras. "But still." Saana got up and sat at her desk, snapping on the holo-vid of Spock and Nyota: "I hope they're not having a difficult time because of their race or heritage. They deserve love like anybody else."
Saana sat there staring at the holo-vids and reflected on what Amanda had said about how things got distorted when she married Sarek.
"She did say that the media was a circus; she didn't lie!"
She remembered what Amanda had said about fighting for the children-at that moment, Saana decided to fight for hers:
"I may have lost my natural family, but I'm gaining a new one that doesn't judge. I will fight this head-on if need be. I am not afraid!" Saana slammed her fist on the desk to punctuate the thought. She turned on some upbeat music, cooked something to eat, and then got ready for bed and prepared for a brand new day.
The next day, the guards were ready. They parted the media and the crowd from town as they escorted Saana to their hovercar. She could hear the barrage of questions and comments about Spock and Nyota's marriage. She wanted to tell them off so bad! "'No comment', Amanda said." She pursed her lips watched the road ahead.
Before she got out of the hovercar, one of the guards told her that the Chancellor wanted to see her in his office. She headed there first, thinking that he had had enough of her and the media camping out at the university and disrupting the learning environment. When she was escorted to the Chancellor's office, she found herself standing between two tall men dressed in long gray robes. She looked up at one and stared into two deep brown and very sharp eyes. She took in his arched eyebrows and pointed ears, realizing that the two must be Vulcans. They looked young and both had stoic faces.
"Professor Uhura-Saana, these men are from the Vulcan Embassy in San Francisco. Saana, gentlemen, please take a seat."
One of the Vulcans turned to greet Saana, raising his hand in the traditional Vulcan salute: "Live long and prosper. I am Semek, an aide to Ambassador Sern," he said with a slight bow of his head.
"I am Stinek, also an aide to Ambassador Sern," the other said, inclining his head and performing the salute as well. "We have been sent on behalf of Vulcan."
Chairs were moved and they sat in a semi-circle around the Chancellor's desk. Edwards exchanged a worried look with Saana and glanced at the two visitors. He sighed deeply and filled Saana in on the situation:
"Saana, yesterday at about 8 pm, Vulcan released a statement about Commander Spock and your daughter, Nyota. The media misinterpreted that statement, in which they referred to Commander Spock as a-a prince. The media ran with it, and it's way out of control."
"S'chn T'gai Spock is a s'haile among his people." Stinek explained.
"A 'leader' would be the proper term in your language," Semek added.
Edwards looked at the two Vulcans and then back to Saana: "They came here with proper identification and orders to take you to safety."
Saana became alarmed: "But why?"
Semek turned to Saana: "We had been advised that you would be attending the wedding reception once the date was set. It has been brought to our attention that the date has been determined, and your presence on Vulcan is required to participate in that activity."
"I have to leave Earth now?"
"What about my daughter and Commander Spock? They are both on a starship somewhere in space-are they coming home?"
"We do not have information at this time on their itinerary or arrival date, Professor Uhura. Everything is, as you say, 'on standby'," Semek explained as best he could in Terran terms.
"But I don't have my traveling documents; well, they're not fully complete."
"We are instructed to provide and present any documents necessary for your travels. They will be available upon your arrival at the Vulcan Embassy."
"What about my work?"
Edwards gave her a reaffirming look and smiled: "Please don't worry about your classes or your research. They will be here when you return. I can put you on a paid sabbatical, being that your trip will be somewhat of a cultural exchange. Don't stress about this, Saana. You are going to see your daughter and son-in-law. What you don't need is the media circus outside these walls."
"They made so many mean and misinformed comments about them."
"Yeah, that is how it often goes with the media-I did see some media personalities playing it like a romance story. And it is, Saana-so be happy and enjoy your trip."
"You're right, sir. I will. Thank you, sir."
"Good! Then it's settled. Go home and pack. Semek and Stinek will accompany you for your safety. I hope you have a safe and wonderful trip, Saana. You deserve this! Godspeed to Nyota and her husband."
Chancellor Edwards stood up and shook her hand. The two aides took their leave of the Chancellor, performing the Vulcan salute:
"Live long and prosper."
Saana gathered some of her things from her office while the Vulcans stood guard. Her colleague Nelson Banks came by:
"Saana, you're leaving?"
"Yes, Nelson. I'm going to the Vulcan Embassy and then to Vulcan to be with my daughter."
"That's wonderful! I'll miss you, but have a safe trip." He went over and hugged her.
The two Vulcans simultaneously raised an eyebrow at the unusual (among Vulcans) display of physical affection.
They left the university from the far side of the campus to avoid the media and took a hovercar to her place, only to find the neighbors and more media milling around. When the Vulcans exited the car, a quietness passed through the crowd. Then Saana stepped out. The men made a path to her door, but reporter who was not easily intimidated broke the silence:
"Ms. Uhura, what is your stand on mixed marriage with aliens?"
That broke the spell, and the other reporters started to shout questions too:
"How does your daughter feel about being married to a prince?"
"Ms. Uhura, are the Vulcans kidnapping you?"
"Why did you let your daughter marry a Vulcan?"
Saana stood at the top of her steps and glared at the crowd. She wanted to say something to stop them from disrespecting Nyota and Spock.
"NO COMMENT!" she said sternly.
She turned and entered her house, followed by the Vulcans. She locked the door and took a deep breath. She looked up at the two quiet men and wondered what they thought.
"I will go and pack my things. Would you like some tea, gentlemen?"
The two men looked at each other and nodded in agreement. Stinek said, "Affirmative, Professor Uhura. I will take a post at the front door, and Semek will position himself at the rear door."
Saana went into the kitchen and started the process of making tea. She went to her desk and started gathering things she might need during the trip.
"Semek, Stinek, have either of you met Commander Spock?"
The two men quietly approached her: "We have not officially met Commander Spock in person."
Saana played the vid-photo of Spock and Nyota playing their lyres for the Vulcans to see. The men stared at the image of their fellow Vulcan and his Terran bride. They were surprised that the Terran could play the ka'athyra.
"Nyota learned to play in her early adolescence; she told me it was very hard. But she was determined to learn."
"Yes, it is one of the instruments that has been completely mastered only by the grandmaster, which, in this case, is Ambassador Sarek," Stinek commented.
Saana smiled at that, to think that Nyota could be so good at playing an instrument that was difficult even for Vulcans. She took one more look at the vid-photos and downloaded them into her Padd, which she would take with her.
Saana gave the men their tea and then began packing clothes for her long journey. When she was ready, Saana looked around her home for the last time, not knowing how long she would be gone. Nor did she know how things would stand after the reception. She gave one last smile and told the Vulcans that she was ready.
They escorted her through the crowd again back to the hovercar and sped off to the air shuttle terminal. Saana's flight was smooth and quiet. She gazed through her window, looking at the landscape beneath her. She had never been to San Francisco before. She landed there in the evening; the city landscape was beautiful and a little cooler than Grahamstown had been. They took the hovercar to the Embassy, where she was greeted by a woman aide also dressed in a gray robe:
"Live long and prosper, Professor Uhura. I am T'Zora. I will be assisting you with all your needs."
Saana returned the greeting and thanked them in Vulcansu:
"Your service honors me."
The three Vulcans were surprised, each raising an eyebrow. Saana saw their faces and wondered if she had said it incorrectly.
"Did I say it wrong?"
"No, Professor. Your pronunciation was precise," Stinek said.
"I was in the process of learning Vulcan before the media began to stalk me," she said, quite satisfied to learn that she had said the Vulcan thank-you properly.
"We do have learning modules that will allow you to continue with your education in Vulcansu," T'Zora said.
"That would be nice."
"Now I will escort you to your suite, Professor." T'Zora led Saana to an elevator. Semek and Stinek followed with her luggage.
T'Zora opened the double doors to a suite that was as large as her whole condo.
T'Zora turned to Saana: "We hope you find these accommodations acceptable, Professor Uhura."
"I do. Thank you!"
"In approximately thirty minutes we will have end meal. You are invited to join us, or you may take your meal here in private if you wish."
"I would like to have end meal with you."
"I will return in twenty-nine minutes to escort you."
The three Vulcans left Saana to explore the suite. The furnishings were comfortable and modern. She found the bathroom and got ready for dinner-her first with Vulcans! She was excited and grateful to Amanda for suggesting that she learn some of the Vulcan language. Now she could only think about seeing Nyota and Spock-the feeling of anticipation was killing her, but then a smile formed on her face as she realized, "It won't be long now!"
Chapter 13-It's All Political by Uhura the 9th
Beta Reader: Jsilver2000
Summary: In the preceding chapter, Saana had a rough time with the media circus depiction of her daughter's marriage to a Vulcan. The Vulcans came and rescued her and now she is living at their Embassy.
Now we get to see events from Amanda's point of view.
Week 3: It's All Political
On Vulcan-Meanwhile, at the S'chn T'gai compound (Amanda's point of view):
The wedding reception preparations had been completed: place settings, music, and security arranged in precise Vulcan fashion. That put a smile on Amanda's face, knowing that all was ready for her son and his bride's arrival on Vulcan. She had even had a peaceful conversation with T'Pau; what a blessing! What really astonished Amanda was the amount of respect the people of Vulcan were showing to the whole clan. This was new to her. "After forty years, it's darned well about time!"
Sevel announced himself and approached T'Amanda, offering her a Padd with some disturbing news from Earth:
"T'Amanda, I have a media post from Earth that you might find interesting. It is being broadcast around the planet."
Amanda took the Padd and viewed the post. A reporter named Kim Kelly announced Spock's marriage and then brought up the backstory of her and Sarek's marriage; Amanda was not pleased. She remembered how social media had depicted her marriage and the prejudice of the Terran media toward Sarek. All the anger and frustration came back to her in an instant. Amanda started tapping her Padd, thinking about Saana and knowing what would to happen to that poor woman.
"Sevel, please present this to Ambassador Sarek and check on the progress of Saana Uhura's documents."
"Yes, right away," Sevel said, leaving to fulfill her request.
Amanda stood up and started pacing, her heart going out to Saana. She knew all too well that people could be cruel. She remembered when the news of Sarek's marriage proposal hit. At the time, she had worried that she would have a mental breakdown from the stress of how the media treated her. "Be strong Saana! I will support you."
Amanda hoped Saana remembered everything she had told her.
Sevel found Sarek at the Vulcan Science Academy and gave him the report from Earth. Sarek quickly read the media report on his son and his bride.
"Sevel, what is the status of Professor Uhura's travel documents?"
"They are in the process of being validated by the Ministry of Transportation. They are verifying her credentials on Earth."
Sarek reflected on his courtship with Amanda and how Terran emotions often are the result of making assumptions without clarification.
"Continue to monitor the status of her documents and have the Minister of Transportation expedite their processing due to the events on Earth, Sarek said. "I will contact Ambassador Sern and ask him to help hasten approval of Professor Uhura's credentials on Earth; you may continue Sevel."
Sevel bowed: "I am here to serve."
"Your service honors us," Sarek said, bowing in return. Sevel left. Sarek used his com-link to page Ambassador Sern, instead reaching one of his aides. T'Zora the daughter to Shath the family healer, appeared on his monitor. She gave the standard greeting and Sarek returned it.
"Greetings, S'haile Sarek. It is an honor to see you. How can I be of service?"
"Greetings, T'Zora. I seek an audience with Ambassador Sern."
"I will inform him of your presence, S'haile Sarek. One moment."
Ambassador Sern appeared on Sarek's monitor:
"Greetings, S'haile Sarek. How can I serve you?"
"Greetings, Ambassador Sern. I have been informed that the Terran media has announced Commander Spock's bonding."
"Affirmative, S'haile. The Terran media has surrounded the Embassy, demanding a statement. I have taken the liberty to confirm Commander Spock's status. The media is currently focused on a female Terran named Saana Uhura."
"The Terran female is the mother of Spock's bride," Sarek said. "Professor Uhura is preparing to visit Vulcan and will attend the wedding reception on Altair VI in the near future. Ambassador, I request that the Embassy aid her in securing her credentials and travel documents and see to her safety until she reaches Vulcan."
"Consider it done, S'haile. It will honor us to provide the documents necessary for her transport. We will accommodate her here at the Embassy until her transport is ready."
Ambassador Sern stood and beckoned to two of his aides, who joined him in the image on Sarek's com-link. "S'haile, may I present my aides Semek and Stinek. I will dispatch them to bring Professor Uhura to the Embassy and see to her safety."
"At this moment, the Ministry of Transportation is gathering information on Professor Uhura's credentials," Sarek said. "There seems to be some hindrance."
"My aides will investigate the issue, S'haile, and assist the Minister."
Sarek bowed his head: "Your service honors me. Peace and long life, Ambassador Sern."
"We are here to serve, S'haile. I will keep you informed as to Professor Uhura's progress. Live long and prosper."
Sarek faded from the monitor, and Sern faced his aides:
"You are to secure the safety of Professor Uhura and bring her here. Provide any assistance that is needed. I will give you both full diplomatic passes to override any Terran laws or regulations that might be an obstacle, and I will notify all Terran agencies of your clearance."
Stinek and Semek bowed their heads and left for the United States of Africa.
Ambassador Sern tapped his com-link to page T'Zora.
"How can I be of assistance, Ambassador?"
"S'haile Sarek informed me that Professor Uhura's credentials need to be expedited."
"I will investigate and render any required assistance, Ambassador."
"Your service honors all of Vulcan," Sern said, inclining his head.
T'Zora returned the bow and faded from his monitor. Sern sat at his desk and pressed his index fingers together, pondering the impact of the union of S'haile Spock and his wife.
Later on that night, Sarek returned home to his wife and was met with a surprise:
Sitting in their lounge, sipping tea, were his mother and wife. It was a rare occasion that those two were in the same room. Sarek raised his eyebrow at the thought of their conversation. "Their relationship has always been so tense."
"Ko-mekh, your presence honors us," Sarek said, bowing to his mother. He then approached his wife and they touched fingers in the ozh'sta.
Amanda asked her husband to join them for tea, but he held up his hand to decline.
"Sarek, I was updating T'Pau on the situation on Earth and the wedding reception on Altair VI."
Sarek stood next to his wife, with his hands folded into his robe.
"I have spoken to Ambassador Sern; he will secure the safety of Professor Uhura at the embassy in San Francisco. Once her credentials and travel documents are cleared, transport will be provided for her to Vulcan. We should hear of their progress soon."
Amanda's thoughts went immediately to Saana: "I hope she's okay-I know how the Terran news media can be ridiculous."
T'Pau raised a brow and took a sip from her cup: "Terran behavior has not disappointed me; they continue to expand my thoughts."
Amanda didn't know how to take that statement and gave a T'Pau a slight sideways glance.
T'Pau turned her attention to Sarek: "Sarek, what have you heard of Spock and his bride?"
Sarek sighed inwardly and sat next to Amanda, indicating he would have tea after all. "T'Ara has sent a communique to Starfleet Command to request Spock's presence on Vulcan. We are waiting for their reply."
"Do you think there will be a problem releasing them?" Amanda asked, handing him a cup of tea.
"I do not believe there will be any hindrance to their journey to Vulcan, my wife." Sarek turned to his mother and bowed his head: "The request for Spock's return and the wedding reception should be approved."
"Sarek, there is some concern about Spock's bond with the female. If he has instituted it correctly, only a check by a healer is necessary until his pon farr, assuming the healer has no concern about the health or strength of the bond. But we need to consider Spock's telepathic powers, which indeed have shown growth since his youth. There are those who would seek knowledge of Spock's abilities. To prevent that-and to prevent interference in his marriage on Vulcan-I will perform the kal'i'farr. Although the Terran marriage is binding and should be recognized by all Federation worlds, it is paramount to ensure that Spock and his bride seek me out first-before all others-upon their arrival."
Sarek bowed his head in agreement: "I will converse with Spock and inform him of his appointment with you, Ko-mekh."
Amanda was quiet, taking in all that T'Pau had said. Now that Spock had established his place on Vulcan, another scenario had developed. She placed her cup on the table:
"How serious is this, T'Pau?"
T'Pau's old eyes focused on Amanda:
"T'Amanda, you have done well with Spock, but his telepathic abilities have grown considerably, drawing the unwanted attention of the Genetics Division of the Vulcan Academy of Science. Since his capabilities have come to their attention, they have speculated about how two different species of DNA have merged to produce such an heir. They are also curious about whether Spock's seed carries those telepathic abilities. Therefore, it is imperative that Spock and his bride seek me out first upon arrival to avoid interference in their bonding. Once I determine the health of their bond, a secret ceremony must be initiated immediately to avoid others knowing of Spock's potential."
Amanda stood, wringing her hands: "Let me get this straight-first they shun us, and now they admire us? Because of Spock's telepathic abilities?"
"It is the fact that Spock's abilities have surpassed those of most other Vulcanians, which they find-incomprehensible. They want his seed in order to study the full range of possibilities. His bond with his Terran bride will prevent any form of interference, unless he gives his permission, which I strongly doubt, due to his treatment as a child. If Spock were to fall into the wrong hands before the kal'i'farr is performed, they could invoke one of our laws to force Spock to submit to observation. The kal'i'farr will guarantee his commitment to the Terran female-no one will challenge it. They would have to overcome me." T'Pau's stern visage and words made it clear that she would never yield.
"You mean they could attempt to substitute a Vulcan female for Nyota?"
"If the bond is not authenticated, they could do so, but I will ensure that it will be. This is why I will measure the strength of their bond. If it is as I suspect, it is one of the strongest in Vulcan history. But do not fear, T'Amanda. There are those in the Vulcan High Command that will not permit such interference. Many have grown fond of Spock since the Intrepid incident since it was he discovered their demise. This has given him and the clan great leverage. But most unfortunate that it continues to be a great loss to their family members, their katras lost through eternity." T'Pau said earnestly and with determination. She WOULD safeguard her grandson!
Sarek saw his wife's concern and sensed her distress; he extended two fingers:
"My wife, attend."
Amanda turned to her husband; he touched his fingers to hers to calm her.
T'Pau continued: "Once the kal'i'farr and wedding reception have concluded, Spock and Nyota will return to their duties in space; there will be no further challenge to his choice of bride or his telepathic abilities."
Amanda added: "Vulcanians are committed to their duty; Spock and Nyota will be safe."
T'Pau raised her brow and stated to the couple; "It was wise of Spock to have chosen Starfleet as a career to avoid examination of his telepathic abilities,"
While Amanda managed to convert a deep giggle into a less offensive hiccup instead. Sarek continued to keep his stoic face, despite knowing full well that he had characterized Spock's choice as hasty and illogical at the time.
T'Pau looked at the couple as they sat together; it was strange to see them interact as a real Vulcan couple. Amanda did display some emotional outbursts, but nothing that would cause resentment or concern. After all these years of being bonded to a Terran, her son was complete. No such thing had ever before occurred, and many had doubted it ever would, including herself.
"Sarek, it would be interesting to see how Spock's offspring grow and develop; they might have enhanced telepathic abilities as well. If such an event would have occurred than they would be considered a new species."
Sarek arched a brow:
"Correct, Ko-mekh. It is probable that any offspring would inherit telepathic abilities, whether average or advanced."
T'Pau stood up and grabbed her cane: "We shall soon see, I hope to see the results. I will depart now. Live long and prosper."
Sarek and Amanda stood and bowed their heads: "Peace and long life."
They escorted T'Pau to the door, where her aide T'Lara waited to drive her home to her compound.
After the door closed behind T'Pau, Amanda turned to Sarek: "Should I be concerned?"
"No, my wife."
"We just got over the debacle of the kal'i'farr with T'Pring, and now this? Could the Vulcan High Command force Spock to participate in research into his telepathic abilities?"
"As a citizen of Vulcan, it would be considered an honor to be of service for the greater good of science. They would place that obligation upon Spock. But as you heard, T'Pau will not permit it-and neither will I."
"What about Sybok? Does he have those abilities too? He is also your son; is it in your DNA, Sarek?"
"When I was tested, my telepathic abilities were measured as average among Vulcanians. Sybok's, however, were considered strong, but he had discipline concerns in regard to managing his potential."
"Then I don't understand?"
"They believed that Spock's telepathic abilities should have been stunted due to his Terran DNA; that this is not the case is a mystery to them. Therefore, they are motivated to discover why his telepathic abilities even exist."
Amanda didn't know whether to feel insulted or complimented. She was used to Vulcans' dry humor and direct comments. The fact Vulcan scientists thought her DNA was inferior should have angered her. But instead, finding that Spock had extraordinary telepathic abilities fascinated them made her happy. For that, she smiled at Sarek.
Sarek's com-link blinked to indicate an incoming message in his office. Opening the link, he saw Ambassador Sern giving the ta'al:
"Greetings, Ambassador Sern."
"I have information on Professor Uhura. My aides have returned with her, and she is currently resting in one of our suites. We have extended to her all courtesies and the use of our facilities here. There is still concern about her credentials in regard to the length of her stay on Vulcan. It seems the Interplanetary Department of Transportation needs verification."
Sarek raised a brow. He was not aware of any restrictions or requirements regarding how long a citizen could be off-planet. He surmised that the extra scrutiny came because it was Nyota's mother, and the announcement of Spock and Nyota's marriage had reached the department.
"Please inform the department that Professor Uhura's visit to Vulcan is for the standard three months."
"I will give them that information."
"Elaborate on the state of the Terran media."
"They are persistent, rude, and very loud, S'haile. My office com-link is continually bombarded with calls from them. I find it-very unusual and quite irritating."
"I experienced such events as well when I was stationed there."
"Only meditation and the study of Surak's words has enabled me to endure the situation."
"I also was forced to perform lengthy meditations while on Earth. Your service honors the S'chn T'gai clan. I will let you return to your duties."
"It is an honor to serve you, S'haile."
Sarek watched as Sern faded from the monitor. He was concerned that the Terran Interplanetary Department of Transportation would delay Professor Uhura's transport documents. He decided he would wait two standard days and then contact the director of that department for assistance.
The next day, Amanda woke up and continued her business of checking off RSVPs from dignitaries on other Federation planets. She smiled, thinking about how Vulcan High Command was on board with acknowledging Spock and his marriage. Then she received a message from Sarek that Starfleet had approved Spock and Nyota's leave, and that the Enterprise was already en route to Vulcan. Amanda did a victory dance in her office and shouted with glee. She quickly notified T'Pau of the couple's impending arrival. Now she needed to let Saana know of the good news. Since she was already at the Vulcan Embassy, her departure would be much easier. Amanda looked down at her Padd as it beeped to indicate more RSVPs. She needed to confirm them first before the call.
Amanda finalized the confirmed list on her Padd and transferred it to Sevel. Amanda checked her chronometer for San Francisco time and settled at her desk to call Saana. Because of tight security, she had to go through the Embassy channel. She was greeted by T'Zora, who raised her hand in the ta'al. She looked at the young Vulcan woman, who Amanda remembers as a little girl, grown now.
"It is an honor to speak with you, T'Amanda; how can I serve you?"
"Greetings, T'Zora it is good to see you again. How are the accommodations for Professor Uhura?"
"Professor Uhura arrived at the Vulcan Embassy at 2100 hours yesterday. We invited her to take end meal with us, and she did. She is currently working on her Vulcansu learning module."
"That's nice to know. How is her progress?"
"She has completed 35.67 percent of the basic Vulcansu learning module and is making moderate progress. There are some letter-sound mispronunciations, but her progress is acceptable."
"That is good. When she arrives on Vulcan, she will be able to understand simple greetings and instructions. Thank you for providing the learning modules."
"It is of no consequence."
"How are the news media behaving?"
"They continue to inquire about the status and location of S'haile Spock and his wife. They continue to refer to them as Prince Spock and Princess Nyota, respectively. I believe someone misinterpreted the title after I included it in the media release."
"OH! So that's how it started?!"
T'Zora was trying to read Amanda's facial expressions and became concerned:
"Have I erred, T'Amanda?"
"No, you have not. I am grateful that the Embassy tried to intercede to resolve the situation."
"Do have any further requests, T'Amanda? How can I be of service?"
Amanda kept forgetting that Vulcanians are not social people unless they have a purpose. She sighed deeply and then smiled:
"I would like to speak with Professor Uhura."
"I will inform her of your presence, T'Amanda."
T'Zora tapped her com-link Padd to page Professor Uhura. A beep acknowledged that her page had been received.
"I will transfer you to her com-link, T'Amanda."
"Your service honors us, T'Zora."
"I am here to serve," T'Zora said before transferring her call to Professor Uhura.
Meanwhile, at Starfleet Command, Admiral Nimitz received a com-link page from Federation President Demetrio:
"Good morning, Admiral Nimitz."
"Mr. President, what can I do for you?"
Demetrio raised his brow: "Have you received and accepted the invitation to Altair VI?"
"Yes, I have; the Enterprise is scheduled to escort me there."
"Mind if I join you, Admiral?"
"Not at all. I know Captain Kirk would be honored, Mr. President."
Demetrio smiled with pleasure:
"I see the news of Commander Spock's marriage is all the rage on Earth."
"The media is eating it up. They are calling it a romance between the Prince of Vulcan and an Earth girl. It's kind of wild."
"Admiral, I think you might have a problem. It appears that Nyota Uhura has a mother on Earth and the media has run her off from her job. I have information that she is currently staying at the Vulcan Embassy in San Francisco."
Chester sat bolt upright, wondering how the media got hold of the story about Lt. Uhura's mother. He had sealed Lt. Uhura's files because the majority of them were classified, except for her Academy records.
"I was unaware that was going on. I didn't think about her extended family." Chester typed into his Padd and found the records for Uhura's parents: "Father deceased: Was a member of Starfleet; Master Sargent killed in the line of duty; ruled accident. Mother: anthropologist/professor at the University of Rhodes in the United States of Africa." Chester looked up at Demetrio: "Thanks, I'll get someone on it right away. I wonder why I wasn't informed she was being harassed by the media?"
"It was all over the media! They were demanding that she take a stance on their marriage. It seems they gave her a rough time. The Vulcans swooped in and took her to their embassy."
Chester rubbed his hands over his face in failure: "I don't follow Earth media. I did receive the Vulcan statement a couple of days ago. Thanks! I'll check on Professor Uhura."
"Not a problem, Chester. I just wanted to let you know. Also, it seems her travel documents are somehow delayed at the Interplanetary Department of Transportation. Something about her credentials is concerning them. Could you investigate the delay?"
"Of course. I'll check on that personally!"
"Then I'll see you in a couple of weeks, Chester. Have a good day!"
Chester watched Demetrios fade from his monitor, and then he grimaced with disgust. He hit his com-link button:
"Walters, get me Lieutenant Commanders Dent and Xiu on the double!"
As Walters went to find the commanders, Chester looked more closely at Uhura's file, and yet more closely at Master Sargent Kayode Uhura's profile. He read about the accident at the space dock that left Saana Uhura a widow. He then saw that another of Saana Uhura's family members-a brother-had also perished in an accident. A family shattered. Saana Uhura's profile appeared, showing her educational background in human history and anthropology. The woman worked had worked hard as a single mother to raise her daughter and to complete her impressive education. Things changed when he saw Saana's ID picture; his heart skipped a beat. She was a beautiful and mature woman; he read the file carefully to check that she had not remarried. "A handsome woman like this is not taken?" At that moment a deep longing hit Chester; it had been decades since his divorce due to his job in Starfleet. His children had grown up and were living their own lives. He stared at Saana in a dream-like state, very much taken with her doe-like brown eyes. Her chocolate brown skin looked ageless. Chester estimated that she was about 50 years old, younger than him by about 10 years. He allowed himself a quick fantasy about developing a meaningful relationship with her despite his hectic schedule. Chester's mind dwelled on the happy daydream until his intercom beeped;
"Walters here, Sir. I have the two commanders that you requested."
"Send them in, please."
The two men entered and stood at attention at Nimitz's desk.
"At ease, Commanders. I have a mission for you. I'm authorizing you to visit the Vulcan Embassy to see whether Professor Saana Uhura needs our services. Apparently, the news media are giving her a hard time. Her daughter, Lieutenant Uhura, is currently serving on the Enterprise. Have you heard that she is now married?"
They both answered, "Yes, Admiral."
"Your job is to render any service that she needs, and that extends to even having her stay here at Starfleet Command, if necessary, to get the media off her back. Her husband was in Starfleet and gave his life in the line of duty. Now, on behalf of Starfleet Command, we will extend our hospitality to her. Do you understand?"
"The news media went too far, forcing her to leave her own home. The Vulcans beat us to her. She is currently at the Vulcan Embassy in San Francisco, but if she wishes us to assist in any way, we will be honored to help her. Dismissed!"
The two men left and headed to the Vulcan Embassy. Chester was hoping to meet this intriguing woman-the mother of his master code breaker. But he was worried about her safety and her stress levels; he sat back, thinking that things couldn't get any worse.
A/N: Admiral Chester Nimitz is mentioned in "Starfleet Academy Reunion-Uhura".
In certain episodes of Star Trek TOS ["A Taste of Armageddon" (season 1; episode 24), "By Any Other Name" (season 2; episode 22), "The Omega Glory" (season 1; episode 23)], "the Devil in the Dark": Spock showed telepathic powers that were beyond the abilities of average Vulcans and that rivaled or surpassed those of adepts (Vulcans with extraordinary telepathic powers who have been highly trained in their use). Reports of his abilities may have reached some Vulcans who might be more interested in exploiting him (and his progeny) than in allowing him to lead his own life.
Chapter 14-Life Gets Interesting by Uhura the 9th
Summary:Sarek and Amanda are concerned that some Vulcan scientists might have an unethical interest in Spock's telepathic abilities, but T'Pau has guaranteed that no one will interfere with him or his wife. The news media harassed Saana in Grahamstown, forcing her to take refuge at the Vulcan Embassy in San Francisco. Things are starting to get interesting.Beta Reader: Jsilver2000
Week 3: Saana-Life Gets Interesting
Saana couldn't believe the respect with which the Vulcans had treated her since she arrived at the Embassy. She felt like royalty in a palace. She sat quietly, reciting her Vulcansu; she had completed a good part of the first module and had mastered many of the basic phrases. She had also practiced her pronunciation and conversational skills with Semek and Stinek, who gently corrected her and helped her with the fine distinctions in meaning between similar words. One thing she noticed about the Embassy was that it was very quiet and warm, providing a tranquil ambiance. She got a com-link signal from one of the aides:
"Excuse the interruption, Professor Uhura. I have S'chn T'gai Amanda Grayson requesting to speak with you."
Saana listened closely to how the aide pronounced Amanda's title and name and found it interesting.
"Thank you, T'Zora. Please connect us."
"I am here to serve."
Amanda appeared on her monitor and smiled.
"Good morning, Amanda!"
"Hello there, yourself! How has your stay at the Embassy been so far?"
Saana looked at Amanda and sighed deeply: "This week has been like a free-fall shuttle ride! Amanda, it's been awful, and you were truly right about the news media! But I have been able to relax since I got here. The Vulcans have been nothing but kind and respectful."
Amanda lost her cheery look, turning somber as she commiserated with her friend: "I'm sorry you have to go through this. It's not easy. One minute you're admired, and then the next you're infamous!"
"Wow! I can't believe that all this is happening just because two people got married."
"It's not easy. As a child or an adult, we never put Spock in the spotlight. As a matter of fact, Sarek and Spock hate attention of any kind."
"Have you heard from our children yet?"
"Yes, Starfleet approved their leave, and as we speak they are both en route to Vulcan!"
Saana clutched her chest in excitement and sighed with relief. Tears formed in her eyes; finally, she would meet Spock. "Starfleet,"Saana thought sarcastically. "Now that one mountain is climbed, the next one is right in front of me."
"Amanda, I'm so excited to meet your son and visit Vulcan! I don't know how to thank you!"
"We are family now, Saana, and we support and help each other."
Saana sighed: "Amanda, is there anything I can do about the news media?"
Amanda sat and turned her mind back to her run-ins with the media. She had tried giving a few interviews, only to have them exploited and her words misconstrued by most of the news syndicates.
"Back then, I did have a connection with one reporter who was fair. But I know he passed on; I don't know anyone in the media these days."
Saana wanted to make a simple statement to clarify her thoughts about Spock and Nyota's marriage.
Amanda could see that Saana's mind was racing and she had a determined look on her face. Curiosity got the best of her and she said, "Why do you ask?"
"I want to make a positive statement about our children."
"That would be nice. It would relieve some of the pressure from the news media and shut down some of their speculations."
"I have the beginnings of a plan. It will take some time to put it together, but I think it will defuse the situation somewhat."
"Okay. I'll trust you. I hope it works. How is your Vulcansu coming along?"
"Well, I'm working on it. According to Stinek, I need to improve my pronunciation."
Amanda laughed: "It is a hard language-I found it challenging when I was younger."
"I don't care; I like a challenge. I'll keep at it or bust!"
Both women laughed at that.
"I will let you go, Saana. Keep practicing. Stay at the Embassy as long as you want-well, at least until you can no longer handle the media. Starfleet did a good job responding to our request and allowing Spock and Nyota to come to Vulcan so soon!" Amanda said excitedly.
"Oh, brother! Starfleet," Saana said sarcastically.
"What's up with that?"
"Starfleet took my Nyota into space, and now I barely see her!" Saana snapped.
Amanda was a little confused, but she heard the tone of resentment in Saana's voice: "Okay, Saana. I will keep in touch and will let you know if anything changes. It's just a matter of time before things get better."
Saana held up her hand and tried to spread her fingers in the ta'al without success:
"Dif-tor heh smusma [Live long and prosper.], Amanda."
"WOW, that was perfect!"
Amanda held up her fingers in the ta'al: "Sochya eh dif [Peace and long life]."
Saana interpreted: "That means peace and long life."
Amanda smiled: "Also correct. I can hardly wait for your visit. Have a wonderful day, Saana!"
Both women faded from their com-link with a smile. Saana was right proud of herself. She was learning something new.
Then her com-link beeped again and she answered:
"SAANA! Are you all right? I was so worried about you!"
Saana saw how concerned and worried Reuben looked. She hadn't meant to forget about him; she had been quite busy.
"Reuben! I am so happy to hear from you!"
Reuben smiled. He was glad to finally reach her after seeing how the media had treated her and driven her from her job.
"Are you all right? I saw those Vulcans take you away. Are you in trouble?"
"No, they were helping me."
"Yes. I'm at the Vulcan Embassy in San Francisco, living in their building for now."
"SAN FRANCISCO?! In the United States of America?" Reuben realized that he was far from her; it intensified the feeling that he really missed her.
"Yes. I'm sorry that I worried you."
"I don't understand-why the Vulcan Embassy?"
"My daughter is married to a Vulcan. Didn't you see the news?"
"Yes, I did, but why are you there?"
Saana took a deep breath; she had heard the concern in his voice: "The media harassed me so bad that it affected my job and I didn't feel safe in my own home. So the Vulcans offered to shelter me from the news media. Believe me, the media got on my nerves with all the mean things they said about my daughter and her husband!"
Reuben looked sorrowful: "I miss you, Saana. When are you coming back?"
"I don't know?"
"Do you want me to come there to support you?"
Saana was taken back by the thought of Reuben coming to be with her; it made her cheeks warm. She didn't know how to take it. She realized that he was definitely attracted to her, on a more-than-friends level.
"I don't know about that either. I will inform you if anything changes. This about my daughter, Reuben. I need to know that she is safe. I hate the fact that the world-maybe the galaxy-has judged them, and that upsets me."
Just then someone buzzed her door.
"Reuben, I will contact you in the coming days and give you updates; okay?"
"All right, Saana. I just want you to know that I care about you. Be safe!"
Saana was touched by the statement and smiled warmly: "Thank you. I will contact you soon."
Reuben disconnected from Saana with a heavy heart. He felt like it might be the last time he would ever see her. He hadn't gotten the chance to express his true feelings. "Saana is a very beautiful woman," he thought. He was unsettled by the thought that immediately followed: that males from other species might be attracted to her. He wished he'd had more time to make a commitment with Saana before this situation erupted. "I will miss you, Saana, my heart."
Saana gave the computer the command open the door, and Semek entered with Stinek, both wearing the long robe-like coats. She wondered if they ever got hot in their clothes; they were the two coolest looking men.
"Pardon, Professor Uhura. Two Starfleet representatives are requesting your presence," Semek said.
"Really? I wonder what they want?"
"They are waiting for you in one of the guest offices. We will escort you if you wish."
Saana had lost her good mood: "Starfleet." Not her favorite institution.
"Let's go see what they want."
Saana followed the two Vulcans down the elevator to one of the offices on the main floor. There she saw two Starfleet officers standing at attention; Saana was not impressed.
The two men turned to greet her:
"Good afternoon, Professor Uhura. I am Lieutenant Commander Dent, and this is Lieutenant Commander Xui from Starfleet Command."
Saana gave them a quick once-over, more of a glare. She turned to Stinek and Semek, who were leaving the office to give them privacy:
"Stinek and Semek, please stay!"
Both Vulcans returned and stood behind Professor Uhura. The two young men stood taller and somehow managed to look intense, despite the stoic looks on their faces and holding their hands behind their backs.
"Yes, gentlemen. You wanted to see me?"
Dent spoke up:
"Professor Uhura, on behalf of Starfleet Command, we offer you congratulations on your daughter Lieutenant Nyota Uhura's wedding to Commander Spock of Vulcan. We are here to render any services that you might need."
Saana looked at the two Starfleet men and folded her arms across her chest. She had been at the Embassy for one day, and before that she had been living and working in a hostile environment created by the media. Her face, and those of Spock and Nyota, had been plastered across the planet. Only the Vulcans came to find out how she was doing.
"Starfleet, humpf," she said, only barely resisting the urge to roll her eyes. Saana put a hand on her hip and started tapping her foot.
"Aren't you a little late?"
The two commanders looked at each other, wondering what she was talking about.
"Excuse me, Professor?" Dent asked.
"The news media have been hounding me for almost three days. They showed up at my job, my home. They would have cost me my job if the chancellor hadn't been sympathetic. But thanks to the Vulcans, I'm safe here."
The two men looked at each other again and then back at her:
"Admiral Nimitz extends an invitation on behalf of Starfleet Command to accommodate you in a secure area and provide protection, Professor," Xui stated.
She didn't know this Admiral Nimitz or care to, and so she gave a snarky answer:
"Thanks, but no thanks. Ambassador Sarek of Vulcan has provided lodging and security for me. So, gentlemen, why don't you thank Osu Semek and Osu Stinek for taking care of me?"
Saana glanced behind her and looked up at the two Vulcans and then she slowly turned toward the Starfleet Commanders, waiting for their response.
The two Commanders looked at each other; they were embarrassed and dumbfounded by the situation. Commander Xui looked toward the two tall Vulcans:
"Thank you, gentlemen, for your services in safeguarding Professor Uhura."
Semek spoke without changing his facial expression: "Thanks is not necessary; we are here to serve Professor Uhura."
The two officers became really nervous and felt out of place. Dent bowed slightly toward Professor Uhura:
"Our apologies, Professor Uhura, for any misunderstanding. Have a good day, madam."
The two men could not leave the office quickly enough. Neither of the two Vulcan aides was exactly sure what had occurred; they were not well versed in Terran sarcasm. They did manage to understand that Professor Uhura was upset with the Starfleet officers for some unknown reason, but that was not their concern-only her safety. Saana took a deep breath before turning to the two aides with a smile:
"Ish-veh dvin dor-tor nash-veh [Your service honors me]."
Stinek bowed his head and responded, "It is an honor to serve you, Professor Uhura. Your Vulcansu has improved since your stay here."
The two aides led her back to her suite.
"I have been practicing, plus your conversing with me has made it easier."
"We will continue to engage in conversation to enhance your Vulcansu skills if you wish," Semek said.
"I would like that very much."
Saana liked the Vulcans; they had grown on her. She admired their quiet demeanor and their ability to analyze things in practical ways. She enjoyed the dinners (end-meals) she had with Ambassador Sern and his aides. The conversations were always factual and to the point but still interesting. Many times she had to turn her head to stop herself from laughing out loud about their interactions. But they treated her with the utmost respect, and they helped her practice her Vulcansu, appreciating her willingness to learn.
When she lay down to sleep, Saana thought about Nyota and Spock, wondering when she would be able to meet with them. It has been a while since Nyota's last shore leave on Earth. Amanda was confident that Saana would make it to Vulcan in time for the festivities, and Saana was developing a deep feeling she would too. "Why the fuss about all my travel documents?" she wondered. She had a suspicion that things were in the works to expedite her documents. Then her mind drifted to the way Reuben had said goodbye. "Do I like him? Am I ready for a relationship? So many things are happening so fast; would Nyota like him if I date him?" Saana fell into a restless sleep.
Earlier in the day, at Starfleet Command, after the two commanders met with Professor Uhura:
Admiral Chester Nimitz got the report from his two officers. They were ruffled by Saana Uhura's statements. This didn't sit well with him after what Federation President Demetrios had said. He was incensed that the family of stellar Starfleet officers had been treated as second-class citizens. "This won't look good for the Fleet, the Federation, or Vulcan if Starfleet neglected the families of its personnel on my watch." He smoothed down his mixed black and platinum hair. A public relations initiative across the board was a must. He wished people would put away their differences and work together for the common good. The media hounding the woman at her job and home was not doing anyone any good. Then he was invited to their wedding reception and had not shown respect to or even checked on the mother of the bride? Chester sighed deeply, thinking about the debacle with Professor Uhura at the Vulcan Embassy. Both of his officers had reported that she was standoffish and had snapped at them for reasons they didn't know. He needed to do something-fast before things between Starfleet and Professor Uhura got worse. He snapped his intercom:
"Clear my schedule from mid-morning through the afternoon."
"You do have a chief of staff meeting at 1600 hours tomorrow."
"Clear it just in case I'm not back in time."
"Yes, sir. I will notify the personnel right away."
"Walters, after I leave tomorrow, you can take the rest of the day off."
Walters got excited: "Thank you, sir!"
Chester closed his intercom and leaned back in his chair, wondering what this woman was like. A little feisty it seemed. This piqued his interest in Saana Uhura even more. "It will be quite interesting to have lunch with her."
The next day, Saana started her day with the Vulcans, even though they normally started their day much earlier than she. She sat staring at Nyota's wedding vid, admiring the gown and the wedding party. She had an idea of how to present them to the world, but she needed their permission. Somehow she needed a com-link to the Enterprise. The Vulcans could do that for her. She took a walk around the garden and then ate her breakfast. Then Saana continued with her language lessons, where she found it hard to pronounce some of the words because there were no vowels, only consonants. She felt like she was spitting out words; the computer continued to correct her, to her frustration. She decided to take a break and drink some tea. On her way down to the breakfast area, Saana received a page from Semek;
"Professor Uhura, you have a guest."
"Really? Another guest?"
"Yes, Professor. What are your instructions?"
"I'm on my way now. Who is it?"
"Admiral Nimitz from Starfleet Command. Do you wish to see him?"
"Oh, they sent the big guns to deal with me," she thought. "Sure. Can we use the same receiving area, Semek?"
"Yes. Do you need me to remain?"
"Naw. I think I can handle one admiral."
Saana thought about what to say to the big brass as she walked down the corridor.
Semek inclined his head and opened the door to the receiving area, taking a position outside the door. When Saana entered the room she was ready to pounce on the man, but to her surprise, she held her breath. A tall, broad-shouldered man with gray/platinum hair and grayish-blue eyes stood before her. Her heart skipped a beat. It was those eyes-she couldn't talk, only stare. He was wearing a gold uniform that fit him well, he looked handsome for a man his age.
Chester heard the door open and turned to see Saana Uhura enter. She walked like a cultured woman. For a woman her age, she had the most sensuous figure. "Why is she not taken or remarried?" he wondered. At that moment, Chester's mouth went dry. He moistened his lips; he felt like a teenager asking for his first date. With his arms crossed behind his back he introduced himself:
"Good mornin', Professor Uhura. Thank you for taking the time to see me. I am Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz, and it's an honor to meet you."
He gave her a slight smile; he didn't want to mess up like the messengers he had sent yesterday.
There was a slight pause before Saana could respond; she kept looking into his eyes:
"Ad-mir-al. Nice to meet you."
Chester approached her with a warm smile, taking one of her hands and looking into her eyes.
"My deepest apologies for the inconvenience to you because of this media circus. Starfleet Command was unaware of its impact on you and your job. The media have misconstrued some of the information they've got their hands on. We've been working like crazy to plug the holes in our system that let them access Commander Spock's and Lieutenant Uhura's Academy files."
Saana was lost in his eyes and the warmth of his hands.
"We only found out recently that you were staying here with the Vulcans. I personally sent the commanders to render any services that we might have overlooked. We have a great relationship with the Vulcan diplomatic corps, and we wanted to extend that courtesy."
"It goes deeper than that; maybe I was hasty coming to the Embassy," Saana said with a slight smile.
Chester took it all in and stepped closer to her:
"Are you doing anything for lunch? It's almost lunch time. I would be honored if you would join me. I would like to discuss how your daughter's work has impacted Starfleet and the Academy."
"What about the circus outside?"
"I have a special place where we won't be disturbed or interrupted," he replied, holding out his arm to her. "Shall we?"
Saana looked up into those stormy gray eyes. "There's something about him," she thought. Saana felt drawn to him. She wrapped her arm around his and they left.
After asking Semek for directions, they went to the Embassy's transporter room and were beamed back to Starfleet Command headquarters, to one of their restaurants, a nice place where there few people, and soft music was playing in the background.
Saana looked around the cozy place: "What is this place?"
"It's the officer's lounge at Starfleet Command headquarters. See? No media; just a restaurant with a bar. I come here sometimes when I work late."
They sat down. A waitress appeared and gave them thin menu Padds. Chester didn't want to blow this; he was really attracted to Saana and he was grateful that she had accepted his invitation. This gave him a better opportunity to talk and get to know her. He was hoping for more if she would allow it.
"I didn't know your husband, but according to his records he was a fine officer."
"Yes, Kayode was a fine man. I was happily married to him. Things had changed after his death; it was a shock to me, and still to this day STARFLEET has never found the cause!" Saana said, becoming emotional.
Chester caught the tension in her voice. That was when he realized that she blamed Starfleet for her loss."That was strong, I need to change the topic if I want to know her in a more meaningful way."
"Saana, I see you are still dealing with your loss, and I respect your sorrow. I've lost crew members during my career; anyone who has been in a command position for as along as I have has lost crew members. But you never get used to it. And I cannot imagine the grief of losing a spouse."
Saana took a deep breath. She was touched by Nimitz's sincerity. She gave him credit and smiled at him for his effort. "Thank you for your kind words, Admiral. I do appreciate them. But perhaps we should discuss a lighter topic."
"Then tell me about your work at the University of Rhodes-how did you choose that career?"
"I teach anthropology there, which I enjoy. I am currently working on a research paper on ancient hominids whose remains have been found at Olduvai Gorge. Although the site has been excavated since the mid-20th Century, there is still more to be found. I have been interested in the ancient origins of humankind and the ebb and flow of cultures throughout history since I was a girl."
"Really? I'm impressed that you have accomplished so much for such a young woman."
Saana looked at Chester and saw a twinkle in his grayish/blue eyes; it threw her off:
"You do see the gray streaks in my hair, Admiral? And you are aware that I have a married daughter in Starfleet?"
Chester chuckled at her remark, revealing a winning smile.
Saana was taken back by it and took a deep breath.
"Please call me Chess or Chester."
They ordered their lunch and discussed their careers. Saana learned that Chester had been divorced for some years and had two grown sons working in different parts of the Alpha quadrant. They talked into the late afternoon.
"Look at the time! Saana said. "I need to study my Vulcansu and practice with my tutors."
"Learning Vulcan because of your new son-in-law?"
"Yes. If my plans fall in line, I'll be visiting Vulcan for their wedding reception."
"Oh yes, I see," Chester said knowingly. He was aware of the plans and he had investigated the delay in processing her credentials. "Things should be resolved in less than a day, he thought. Politics!"
As Chester escorted Saana back to the Embassy compound, his heart was drawn to her and he wanted to see her again:
"Saana, may I ask you to join me for lunch tomorrow-same time, different place?"
Saana looked up at him and smiled: "I don't see why not; I had a good time with you, Chess. Thank you."
Chester lifted one of her hands and kissed her knuckles, showing his feelings. Saana gasped and felt her face flush.
"Until tomorrow, Saana! Have a wonderful evening."
Chester left Saana feeling confused, her heart torn. She felt like she had betrayed Kayode. She entered the Embassy and was greeted by Semek.
"Good afternoon, Semek."
"Good afternoon, Professor Uhura. Would like to be served mid-meal?"
"I had a long lunch, Semek. No thank you."
"As you wish. If you require more sustenance, the service facility is at your disposal. One of the staff can provide a meal for you. Also, Professor Uhura, we have adjusted our com-link to reach the USS Enterprise at your convenience."
Semek handed her a thin Padd with the codes.
"WOW-that's wonderful! I think I'll call them now."
Saana wanted to hug the young Vulcan, but she remembered reading that Vulcans are very sensitive to touch and that touching them without permission is a violation of Vulcan etiquette. She quickly placed her hands at her sides.
"Your service honors me."
"I am here to serve. Good evening, Professor Uhura." Semek said, returning to his station.
Saana was so excited as she quickly returned to her suite with the Padd in her hand. She looked down at the codes. "Now I can reach them without the signal being lost!" She smiled at the thought that she would be speaking with her daughter very soon.
Chapter 15-Life gets Interesting-part 2 by Uhura the 9th
Beta Reader: Jsilver2000
Summary: Saana was staying at the Vulcan Embassy, where she continued to learn Vulcansu. She still carried bitterness against Starfleet and had rebuffed the first two Starfleet officers who had come to offer their services. But Saana's feelings were in flux after she had lunch with Admiral Chester Nimitz. Saana was about to meet her son-in-law for the first time.
Week 3: Earth Life Gets Interesting-continuation
Saana quickly walked from the elevator to her suite, went to the com-link on her desk, and typed in her code. She was so excited to finally reach Nyota for the first time since she told her that she was married. She sat at the computer waiting for the channel to connect. Saana's excitement soared as she remembered seeing her daughter, accompanied by her best friend, Charlene, telling her about the wedding. Then the com-link connected, and Saana got quite a surprise: the first live view of her son-in-law, Spock. Saana admired his arched eyebrows, pointed ears, and thoughtful expression. He didn't smile, yet he somehow managed to express a quiet, but welcoming, demeanor.
"Greetings, Professor Uhura," Spock said, raising his hand in the ta'al.
Raising her own hand, Saana took a deep breath and concentrated on her greeting: "Dif-tor heh smusma [Live long and prosper].
Spock raised a brow, both astonished and touched by the effort that she had made to achieve her perfect pronunciation; he bowed his head in acknowledgment and returned the greeting in Vulcansu: "Sochya eh dif [Peace and long life]."
Spock was surprised at how much his Nyota resembled her mother-the same smooth coffee-colored skin and wide, dark brown eyes. The resemblance was uncanny; Saana was a beautiful version of his Nyota; the only difference was the gray shading of her hair.
Saana continued to speak in Vulcansu: "It is an honor to meet you, Commander Spock."
"The honor is mine, Professor Uhura. Please, you may call me Spock. Also, I wish to ask for your forgiveness for not informing you of my intent to ask for your daughter's hand. I know that in the Bantu cultures, it is customary to ask for parental consent to marriage." Spock felt he and Nyota had done the right thing, but he was concerned that having a secret wedding would appear disrespectful.
"Spock, it is perfectly understandable. Nyota explained it to me a couple of months ago when she told me you were married secretly. I'm happy that you are looking out for her now and making her feel safe. I am blessed that you two found each other. So I thank you!"
"How can I be of service?"
"Is Nyota with you?"
Spock switched to Standard: "One moment please." He got up to find Nyota who was working on one of her journals; a moment later, he returned to the monitor with her and she sat in front of the monitor while he stood behind her. Nyota gave her mother a dazzling smile:
"Mama! This is a surprise! How are you?"
Spock started to feel uncomfortable; he had heard Nyota address her mother with a Terran endearment. He expressed his concern through their bond: "I am uncomfortable addressing your mother with that title, my wife.'"
"Please call her Mother Uhura-you are part of my family."
Spock considered it and found it acceptable.
Saana scowled for a moment and then replied: "I'm doing better now, but earlier this week that was a loaded question!"
"Professor Uhura, I have noticed that you are on a Vulcan embassy frequency," Spock observed.
"You are right, Spock. I am living at the Vulcan Embassy in San Francisco, thanks to our Earth media, which have been hounding me for information about you two! If it weren't for Spock's parents, I would've been run over by the mob of reporters."
"Mama, that's terrible to hear! I'm so sorry."
Saana took a quick breath and smiled widely: "But now I am almost ready to leave on a transport to Vulcan to see you both! The Embassy brought me here to make my transport easier, but mostly to help me avoid the harassment I've been receiving. Now I'm just waiting for clearance. I'm so excited, I've never been to Vulcan!"
Spock and Nyota looked at each other. Saana smiled at Spock's raised eyebrow.
"Do you know that we are on our way to Vulcan too?" Nyota asked.
Spock saw the excitement in Saana's face and realized that his parents had made arrangements for all of them to rendezvous before the reception. They were only days from arrival. Things had progressed faster than he had thought.
"Professor Uhura, you've been in contact with my parents?" "Mother Uhura, Spock!" Nyota corrected him through their bond.
"Well, yes; mostly your mother. What a wonderful woman your mother is! I consider her my friend. She's primarily responsible for arranging for me to travel to Vulcan, and I assume for my accommodations here at the Vulcan Embassy! I have been treated with respect here, and the ambassador's aides, Stinek and Semek, have been helping me practice my Vulcansu. But enough about me! Please tell me how you two are doing!"
"Well, the crew is treating us differently now because they've found out Spock is a prince."
"I am not a prince."
Nyota glanced up at her husband with a smile: "According to Starfleet you are!"
"The social media is saying that here as well-that you are some sort of prince-S'haile is the term they're using," Saana added.
Spock rolled his eyes and sighed:
"The term simply refers to my status within my clan."
Both women just smiled.
"Captain Kirk also let me take command of the Enterprise under Spock's guidance, and I did really well."
"WOW, that huge ship?" Saana asked, gasping and clasping her hands together: "I'm so proud of you!"
"Nyota performed as well as any starship officer," Spock added.
"You two look so nice together-and cute!" Saana said, giggling.
Nyota laughed and looked up at Spock just in time to see him roll his eyes again.
Saana continued to smile at the two of them: "How is married life so far?"
Nyota glanced up at Spock again, batting her eyes; one of his brows rose.
"He's a wonderful man, and we don't let married life keep us from carrying out our duties."
"I can see that! At least I don't have to wait to get to Vulcan to see Spock; it is so great to meet you, Spock! I wondered after your announcement if I would ever see the two of you. I know that exploration takes you far away from home, and that kind of worried me. But I am thrilled that I'll get to see you sometime next week!" Saana said happily.
Nyota noticed that her mother was very talkative and seemed to have a glow about her, something that she had not seen in a long time.
"Mama, you-you look different," Nyota said, hoping Saana would give her the reason for her more positive outlook.
Saana felt her face flush: "It's as if she can read my mind." A moment later, Saana realized that two men had just popped into her head.
"I do?" she asked, stalling for time.
"Yes, you look-you look happy."
"Oh, I'm just enjoying my stay here at the embassy and waiting for the documents to clear so I can travel to Vulcan. But I do need a favor from the two of you; this is the reason I contacted you."
"How can we help you?" Spock asked.
Saana looked at Spock and smiled: "Spock, your mother shared with me how the media reacted to your parents' courtship and how they gave them a hard time. I just can't believe what they are doing to the two of you."
"My parents told me that some unpleasant incidents transpired."
"Nyota, they found one of your old Academy pictures and plastered it all over the world."
"Oh no! Not that old thing!" Nyota exclaimed, shaking her head.
"Yep! And they asked me intrusive questions about your relationship; they were mean and nosy! I was wondering whether you would give your permission to use one of the holo-pics from your wedding so I can include it with a truthful account of your relationship and wedding that I am writing to set the record straight and respond to the disrespect the media have shown you."
Nyota felt sad that prejudice was still an issue among species. Humanity's entrance into space had put somewhat of a damper on it on Earth, but some people still disapproved of interspecies relationships. "But when you are in space, people of all species need to depend on each other in life-and-death situations, regardless of whether they like you or not. Clinging to prejudice is a luxury that spacefaring people didn't have," Nyota thought. Hearing that people on Earth-her own planet-were making racist remarks about who she had married was upsetting and disappointing. Nyota projected her thoughts to Spock. "Kaiidth" [what is, is] was all he could think.
"Of course, Mama, if it would help our case."
"Thank you both! There's nothing more powerful than the pen! I will give them a piece of my mind!" Saana said determinedly. "I won't keep you, since I'll be seeing you soon. Then you can give me all the details of your wedding!"
Spock spoke solemnly: "The honor will be ours, Mother Uhura." Through their bond, he could sense Nyota's pleasure at hearing this.
"Yes, it seems this reception has turned into a big celebration!" Nyota added.
"Yes, they are making sure that Spock and I get back to Vulcan in time."
"Sounds like a plan! I am really excited!"
Spock tugged on their bond, meaning it was time to go.
"Mama, we have to leave, but I want to thank you for writing the article on our behalf."
"It's no problem. Take care, you two! See you next week. God Bless!" Saana faded from the monitor.
"Thank you for addressing my mother that way, Ashayam [Beloved]. It was perfect," Nyota said, extending two fingers toward him. Spock reciprocated the gesture.
Saana went to work on her computer, searching for a media outlet that would present her family properly; after a thorough search, she found one that she thought was trustworthy and appropriate. She wrote a long article about interspecies diversity and prejudice, making the point that the loneliness and dangers of space don't discriminate on the basis of the color of skin or blood. She wrote a well-researched article, giving the details of Earth's history as examples to drive her points. She was at it for hours, until she found just the right approach and tone. Saana downloaded Spock and Nyota's wedding vid, which showcased the diversity of the crew. Then she sent a com-link to the online magazine focusing on weddings and submitted the article to their editor. Not long after that, she received a response to her article from a woman named Michelle Combs, owner of the media site, thanking her for the exclusive article on Commander Spock and Lieutenant Uhura's wedding.
Then Saana decided to com-link Reuben. His automated recording appeared and asked the caller to leave a message.
"Hello, Reuben. I'm returning your call., I am at the Vulcan Embassy and am still doing well. Once my documents are in order, I will be leaving Earth to travel to Vulcan to see my daughter and her new husband. I want to thank you for a great time these last couple of weeks. I don't know when I will return. I will try to reach you when I arrive at Vulcan. God Bless! See you soon. Saana."
Saana sighed with accomplishment after she ending the message to Reuben. Then she got ready for bed. Later that night, as she lay there trying to sleep, two handsome male figures invaded her thoughts. One of them would be having lunch with her the next day.
The next day, Saana woke up in such a wonderful mood that she hummed all the way down to breakfast. She broke into song when she greeted T'Zora, Stinek, and Semek, eliciting three identical sets of raised eyebrows; they were unable to process such a greeting.
"Professor Uhura, are you well?" Semek asked.
"We do have a healer on the premises if you have need of her services," T'Zora added.
For a moment, Saana stared at the three of them in confusion; then she realized why they were concerned:
"Oh, I'm sorry! I am quite well, and I don't need a-a healer," she said chuckling. "It is just that I am in such a good mood that I can't help humming with happiness."
The three Vulcans exchanged glances, trying to process her exuberance. They continued to observe her strange behavior as unobtrusively as possible while they gathered the makings of their morning meal. Saana continued to hum as she chose a fruit salad, an herbal tea favored by the Vulcans, and a bread of some sort before taking a seat at the table.
Stinek addressed her: "Professor Uhura, the Interplanetary Department of Transportation contacted the Embassy this morning; all your documents have been processed, and arrangements have been made for you to board a transport to Vulcan later this evening."
Saana's face lit up and she broke into a wide smile: "That is great news! I will start packing right after the morning meal!"
"That is not necessary; one of the aides will provide that service. You are now a member of S'haile Sarek's extended family and will be treated as such," Semek said, bowing his head in respect.
Being treated as royalty was new to Saana:
"OK. I do have a lunch meeting later, so I want to return and change clothes."
"As you wish; we can delay the packing," Semek said.
"Sounds like a plan! Plus I would like to get in another lesson in Vulcansu before I leave for lunch and Earth."
"It will honor us to continue to enhance your knowledge of Vulcansu, Professor Uhura," Stinek said, still sneaking glances at Saana's glowing face.
The next couple of hours were a haze. Saana tried to concentrate on the language, but anticipation of her lunch date with Chess had her heart racing-something that she hadn't felt since Kayode. "Oh no? What's wrong with me?" she wondered, thinking about Chester's leading-man good looks and those steel-gray then there was Reuben: Sometimes the image of his high cheekbones and dazzling smile would unexpectedly intrude upon her thoughts. She felt pulled in two directions-toward two very different men. Her mind couldn't figure it out. She was distracted by these thoughts.
"Professor Uhura? It seems your mind is elsewhere; this concludes our language lesson. You have progressed admirably since your arrival. Your time on Vulcan will expand your conversation skills," Stinek commented.
"I'm so sorry, Stinek. You are correct that my mind was occupied," Saana said, looking embarrassed.
"It is of no consequence. Perhaps you are ready for mid-meal?"
"Yes, I must be. Admiral Nimitz will be arriving soon, so I'd better go change." Saana stood up: "Thank you again. Your service honors me, Stinek."
Stinek bowed his head: "The honor is mine, Professor. I will announce Admiral Nimitz's arrival."
"That would be wonderful. Thank you again."
Saana left to get ready for her lunch date.
Chester had had a restless night. His mind kept wandering to the 5-foot-5-inch chocolate mocha woman he had met the day before. Her face held a sort of beauty he had never before seen in a woman. Being in her presence made him feel like a man who had come upon an oasis in a dry desert while nearly dying of thirst. Her eyes sparkled, her smile was winning, but when he touched her hands, it filled a hole in the depths of his soul.
His attraction to her was so intense he forgot the basic mechanics of dating a woman. He settled into his morning routine and cleared his afternoon schedule of appointments and meetings. His aide, Walters, looked at him as if he had grown two heads or something. Until the day before, he hadn't canceled anything in decades. He made Walters drop everything to make sure that Saana's documents were in order and that she was cleared for travel to Vulcan. "The bureaucrats at the Interplanetary Department of Transportation are the hold-up," he thought. Chester knew he didn't have much time with Saana, as she was leaving that night. He changed his clothes in preparation for his lunch date. He desired a low-key, yet intimate spot for lunch. He had everything planned, and his aides and security set it all up.
Now Chester stood in front of the Vulcan Embassy waiting for clearance to enter. He saw Saana in the distance, and his heart beat faster. "Why does she make me feel like an adolescent? I feel silly, but I can't let her go without letting her know how I feel!"
"Good afternoon, Saana."
"Good afternoon, Chess. You look handsome in your civilian clothes!" Saana looked him up and down in his casual clothes, which accented his muscular chest and slim waist. "The man is a walking model!"
Chester gave her a winning smile and chuckled: "That's a first! I don't think I've been described that way in a long time. Since we're giving out compliments, you look stunning yourself."
"Thanks, Chess! So where are we having lunch?"
"I decided to take you to a special place that I hope you will like."
She looked up and smiled at him: "I'm ready."
Chester extended his arm, and she wrapped hers around his; he escorted her to his hover car. They made small talk as he drove her to their destination; she was surprised that they ended up at a park.
"Where is this?"
"This is Golden Gate Park. I hope you like picnics?"
"Yes, I do!"
Chester helped her out of the car and opened the compartment to grab two baskets and a couple of blankets.
"Oh, let me help you. I'm a camper at heart because of my field," Saana said, reaching for one of the baskets. "Wow, what's in here? Did you pack enough for a starship crew?"
"I didn't know what you like, so I kind of packed a little of everything."
Saana stopped in her tracks and stared at him; it was a thoughtful gesture, and he was earning points for charm.
He led her down a path to a shaded area under a tree and started setting up. When Saana opened up one of the baskets, there was an assortment of sandwiches, fruits, and salads. Chester opened the other basket to reveal plates, cutlery, fabricated glasses, and drinks.
Saana was touched that he went all out to prepare the picnic. Without a doubt, Chester Nimitz was attracted to her: "Oh my, this is wonderful! This is so nice, Chess! Thank you."
"I seldom take time for myself to really enjoy the beautiful things of life," Chester said, staring at her and hoping that she would understand his meaning.
They served each other and continued with small talk about their jobs and accomplishments. Chester talked freely about his two sons, both living on established colonies. Neither one had pursued a career in Starfleet. Saana discussed her studies at the university and how she led her mini-expeditions for students to learn how to conduct research and write a thesis. They spent hours sharing childhood experiences and discussing how Chess decided to pursue a career in Starfleet: The 'stars' had called to him. This struck a chord with Saana, causing her thoughts to turn dark and her smiling face to morph into a frown.
"Saana, did I say something wrong?" Chess asked, looking at her with concern, knowing he had said something that disturbed her.
Saana held her head down in deep thought: "It's just that I miss my daughter, Nyota. As you are well aware, she's in Starfleet. But I didn't want her to join because Starfleet takes people so far away from their families," she said. "And sometimes doesn't bring them back," she thought, but she wasn't ready yet to discuss her personal losses with Chester. "I just-just find it hard sometimes. But the good news is that I will be seeing her and Commander Spock soon-I believe it will be next week, now that I have all my documents in order to finally leave."
Saana looked up at Chess and smiled.
He smiled back: "I understand; it's been some time since I've seen my sons. Do you know that I'm a grandfather? My second son, Matt, has a four-year-old boy."
"Wow! That's wonderful! I hope you take some time off to go visit them."
"I will do that now-because of you. Thank you. Saana, I have something to give you."
Chess went into his pocket, pulled out a yellow disk, and held it out toward Saana. She looked at the disk and then looked up at him with curiosity.
Chester took a deep breath:
"I hope this gives you peace about your husband; it's the final report of his accident. It turns out that he was a hero; he saved about a dozen people. I will have the official record updated to reflect his actions."
Tears came down as she took the disk. Her Kay was a hero; he had died saving others. He was so selfless; he would do something like that; he cared so much about people. Chess handed her a napkin, and she wiped away her tears.
"Thank you for-for doing this. He was such a wonderful, caring husband, friend, and father. Thank you for telling me that he-didn't die in vain."
Chess took her hand to comfort her: "I know you must feel that you were cheated out of your time with him. I would like to have met a man like him."
Saana smiled at him. His words both comforted her and tugged at her heart. I'm not ready for a relationship. She tried to shut that door. She reached into her pocket and felt the disk. Chester had given her resolution, closure of her longstanding wounds related to Kay's death. But now she was troubled over something else-her past treatment of Nyota.
"I have to go, Chess. I'm leaving for Vulcan tonight, and I have to get ready."
They packed up and headed back to the hovercar. They rode quietly back to the Embassy. Chester knew she was deep in thought over her husband, and he wouldn't touch that area until Saana was ready. He gave her quick glances as he drove. He walked her to the side entrance to the Embassy, and they stood looking at each other. Saana couldn't help staring into those steel-gray eyes.
"Thank you so much, Chess! You made my visit to America memorable."
"The honor is mine, Saana. I hope to see you again."
"I hope so; I would like that very much. Thank you again for the disk on my husband. It means a great deal to me."
Chester reached for her hand and held it gently, smiling at her. Somehow this woman had touched his life; it was the best two days he had had in a long time.
"Who knows what the future holds, Saana?" Chester asked, raising her hand and kissing her knuckles.
"Have a safe journey to Vulcan; you will enjoy it."
He turned to leave with a great big grin on his face, knowing he would see her sooner than she thought. "The surprise will be worth it."
Saana quickly went in through the private entrance and headed to her suite. The aide had packed most of her things, but she double-checked that everything was in order. She took another shower. She was anxious about leaving Earth to go into deep space for her next adventure. She was ready when Semek knocked.
"Good evening, Professor Uhura. Your transport is ready for departure." He walked toward her luggage to grab it.
"I'm ready, Semek. I want to thank you for helping me with my Vulcansu. I hope I won't make too many mistakes."
"There are those who will correct any errors with any sounds or meanings, Professor."
Semek guided Saana to the Embassy transport office and gave the attendant her documents on a disk. The attendant swiped the disk and gave it back to Semek. He handed it to Saana:
"Please present this when you reach Vulcan; another aide will guide you through the disembarking and customs process at Vulcan Space Central."
Another Vulcan escorted her to the transport. Semek watched as the door closed and the transport lifted off the pad. The transport moved through the atmosphere to the space dock in orbit. From there, a Vulcan cruiser would take her to Vulcan.
Meanwhile, a man was banging on the Vulcan Embassy door. T'Zora approached the man: "How can I assist you?"
"Uhm, my name is Reuben Achebe. I'm looking for Professor Saana Uhura."
T'Zora folded her hands in front of her and asked:
"Are you an acquaintance of Professor Uhura?"
"Yes, yes I am. Is she here?"
"Professor Uhura is no longer at the Embassy. She is at the space dock and will be proceeding directly to Vulcan."
Reuben's face dropped. He couldn't believe it! He had traveled so far to see her and be with her. He felt that he had failed to support her during her crisis. He looked at the young Vulcan woman and said sadly:
T'Zora bowed her head and closed the door.
Reuben turned to leave. He was late-too late-to say good-bye or tell her how he felt. He had waited too long for his decision to come to her. When he got Saana's message he had raced as fast as he could to get to the Embassy, only to find out that he had just missed her. He walked to a nearby park and sat with his head down, wondering whether he had missed his last opportunity to have a relationship with her.
"I wish I had had more time with you, Saana. I will miss you."
He looked up into the sky full of stars, hoping to see her ship zoom across the horizon. She was off to Vulcan to see her daughter; he wondered whether she would stay with her or come back to Grahamstown.
A Vulcan aide settled Saana into a private compartment. She looked out the portal to see Earth, "the big blue marble." She pulled out the disk Chester had given her, inserted it into her Padd, and started to read the report on Kay. It was an accident. She sighed deeply, and reality hit her: She had wanted to blame someone for her loss. Then she started listening to the survivors' testimonies about how Kay had touched their lives by saving them and how they honored him. That made her feel worse about herself: she had been selfish about Starfleet; she needed to let go of the resentment she had held onto for all these years. With the loss of Kay and her brother, and Starfleet taking Nyota far into the depths of space, she had built up intense resentment of Starfleet, which she now saw was unfair. Unfair to Starfleet, and most of all, unfair to Nyota. She had to try to let it go and consider it as a part of life.
Then the ship went into warp and the stars zipped past her.
"Oh, Kay! I'm so sorry for being angry at Starfleet. I know you're still helping me to understand. I will try to, Kay."
A/N:  Vulcan Space Central was named in the episode "Amok Time."
Chapter 16-Can We Talk? by Uhura the 9th
Week 3:On the Enterprise-Can we talk?
Summary: Professor Saana Uhura was on her way to Vulcan with a growing interest in the Vulcan people and culture. Her Vulcansu skills had improved as a result of her conversation practice with the aides at the Vulcan Embassy. Then there was her new attraction to Admiral Nimitz and his to her, but she still had fleeting thoughts about Reuben when she least expected them. And she was still trying to work through her conflicting feelings about Starfleet. Meanwhile, on the Enterprise...
Lt. Samuel Boma had seen Nyota sitting in the mess hall drinking tea; in the past, she would usually drink coffee. "Is it because she's married to Spock?" he wondered. He was hesitant at first, but he had to know-he had to know how Spock had gotten the best of him. He also wanted to know what she saw in the Vulcan. Sam would see them from afar as they walked the corridors or sometimes sat conversing in the mess hall. He would always see Nyota talking with the crew, but very seldom did he see Spock engaged with anybody but the Captain or Dr. McCoy, and they usually discussed matters concerning the ship. "I still can't believe they are married!" Sam thought. He couldn't see how they were compatible or how Nyota could be attracted to Spock's appearance.
For some reason, Mr. Spock felt like an arch enemy to him; he thought of him as a know-it-all Vulcan-a robot, without emotions. His only mission with Mr. Spock led to Boma challenging Spock's humanity. Boma had snapped under pressure then; Scotty and McCoy let him know that he almost went on report for his conduct toward the Commander. But the thought or idea that Commander Spock could have any interest in a woman astonished him. Boma couldn't understand how the Vulcan had gotten the elusive Nyota into his arms. "Does he have emotions? How did he maneuver her into becoming attracted to him?"
It took the last of his pride to approach her. As he walked over to Nyota, he took a moment to admire her beauty: her smooth brown skin, full lips, and shapely body that he longed for and would never have. He was aware of her intelligence and had recently learned of her fighting skills-that she had taken down several women for challenging her-challenging her over Mr. Spock! "I wish I'd seen that!" Boma couldn't understand how women on the ship could even be attracted to the Vulcan-it was a mystery to him. "Yeah, the man is tall, and there are rumors that he is almost three times as strong as a human." But Spock never flaunted his strength. "What do women see him?" he wondered. One day when he became brave enough to ask one of those women about their attraction to the Vulcan, he might find out.
Nyota saw Boma approaching her and mentally prepared for an onslaught of questions from him. Like most women, she found him handsome; it was natural. But she wanted more, more than he could offer, and set her standards beyond the normal. She had been accused of dating outside her species, but she didn't care about other people's opinion on the matter, because she was happily in love with a Vulcan. "Guilty as charged! And loving every minute of it!"
Nyota turned her attention back to Sam, who reminded her so much of Amaré in behavior, demeanor, and appearance that she tried avoiding Sam much as possible. Nyota had dated Amaré because of how he had pursued her: he had demonstrated attributes she initially liked but soon grew tired of. Boma was similar, not only to Amaré, but to many other men she had encountered in her life. She had dealt with Boma's flirtatious behavior and direct comments, which turned her off. People had paired them often based on their appearance alone. "Why do people do that? Why did I do that?' But she would never forget his conduct on movie night, NEVER! She gave Sam a small smile when he stopped at her table.
"May I join you, Lieutenant Uhura?"
"Sure, Lieutenant Boma."
Sam slid into the seat across from her with his coffee and gave her his winning smile, exposing the dimples in his cheeks, one of his most attractive features.
"Uhura, first: congratulations on your marriage to Mr. Spock."
"Thank you, Boma! That is kind of you."
"I didn't know that you were seeing the Commander; I think I would have behaved differently if I had."
"Mr. Spock is a very private person, and he wanted to keep our relationship discreet due to our positions."
"That makes sense. Were you involved with him when I made a fool of myself at the movie?"
"I'm afraid so, Boma. We were engaged at that time."
Sam sighed and did a face-palm in embarrassment.
"I didn't know then, and I was really interested in you, Uhura. I had tried for a long time to get you to come on a date with me."
"I know, Boma. But it was bad timing; my heart was elsewhere, and I was committed. I was aware of other men flirting or trying to ask me out. But I never gave them any indication that I was interested, and it was the same with you. I didn't like the fact that you would threaten someone; it's beneath you. I mean, I knew Matt had a crush on me. When I told him I wasn't interested, he accepted that; he moved on and found someone else. Sam, I want you to move on and find someone else-let this go, for your own sake. Please."
"Well, you don't have to worry about me anymore. I've been in therapy per the Captain's order. I am here now trying-I guess-to have closure with you, Nyota."
Nyota sucked in her breath upon hearing his confession: "I think the Captain was merciful in regard to your behavior; you could've ruined your career, Boma. I hope you do find closure with this situation; you're an intelligent man."
Spock saw them from a distance, and pricked up his ears to listen to their conversation. For the first time in his life, he didn't feel threatened by this male sitting with his wife; in fact, Spock felt more confident in himself-and their relationship-than ever before. Spock trusted her, believed in her-"She is MINE-heart and soul!" He understood that Boma needed closure; he would allow him that. It would be the last time. He quietly turned and continued with his duties.
The next morning, Spock decided to have breakfast in the mess hall. He wanted to be seen with his wife more often; he had observed that the crew seeing them together would reinforce the idea that they were bonded, and crew members were more careful to respect and acknowledge their marriage. He found it refreshing, and it gave him peace of mind. Even Kirk started attending the morning breakfast club, and once in a while McCoy, who acted as if he really needed his coffee, would come in grumbling about lack of sleep or refer to himself as "not a morning person." Spock became more at ease socializing with the people with whom he was familiar. When Nyota was at his side, Spock found himself rubbing consciousnesses with her, and she would respond. A sense of belonging flooded his being, and he felt at peace.
At certain times of the night, Spock would go into deep meditation as the Enterprise made its approach to Vulcan. His concern about their bonding continued to grow. He did not want his telepathic abilities to be exposed or exploited. T'Pau had sensed his powerful telepathic abilities when he was a child, and he had been careful about revealing them since then. He had grown weary of the special load he had been carrying for the past couple of years. Spock had to endure the weight regardless of the cost. He touched his psi points to focus his control and took a deep breath to build his resilience and concentration. After some time, he stood up from his lotus position and walked to their sleeping alcove, where he saw her sleeping form-the woman who had fought for him and who would endure his Time in several years.
"My Nyota, you have strength; I admire you for that, K'diwa [beloved]."
He thought about Nyota's battle with the Eleusian female who attempted to claim him as a potential mate without his consent  and the fights Nyota had with two crew women-of which he had been quite interested to learn. "They claimed to want to court me in hopes of matrimony-I had no personal relationship with either of them whatsoever.  I did not realize that Nyota had to defend her position as my mate; any Vulcan male would find that quite desirable in a mate. I may have to fend off any potential rivals when we reach Vulcan. It would be most unfortunate to have a challenge during our stay there."
Spock removed his clothes, folded them, and quietly slipped between the covers. He adjusted his body heat so that he could gently pull her body next to his without making her uncomfortable. A soft moan came from her, and Nyota's body automatically moved against his warmth. "I will have to mark Nyota again before we reach Vulcan, a deeper bite," Spock thought, as he drifted off into a light sleep. "A visible one."
The next day, Christine continued with her therapy:
"Christine, tell me about Roger," Dr. Latoya Robinson coaxed.
"Roger? What about Roger?"
"Roger," Christine thought: "My biggest disappointment and the most embarrassing thing in my life. Only Captain Kirk knows what really happened on Exo III. Just the thought brings back the ongoing mess of my love life." 
"You were engaged to marry him, right?"
"Yes, we were engaged. I was in love with him. He was older, handsome, and charming. I admired his career; he had achieved a major breakthrough in his field. He was highly respected. I enjoyed his company; he was a wonderful man. Our engagement was what every woman dreams about; we had plans for the future together."
"Were you torn over your feelings of love for two men?"
Christine looked at Latoya in shock; she felt as if she had been caught in a trap and exposed.
"You did tell me that you were attracted to Mr. Spock when you transferred to the Enterprise."
Christine's hands started to shake as reality hit her. She had been in love with two men at the same time. She hadn't realized it. Had she loved Spock more than Roger? She had loved them but lost both of them. She lost Roger when he left on the mission to THAT PLANET. She had spent five miserable years waiting for him, hoping and wondering. She had believed that he would wait for her as well.
"Yes, I-I guess I was attracted to Mr. Spock as well-sort of. But I never betrayed Roger; I've never slept with another man since Roger."
"What was your relationship with Roger like?"
"Roger-my Roger-was a brilliant man; he doted on me. I thought he could see through my exterior right into my soul. I knew he was older than me, but I saw him as-he was a real man. In the beginning, I thought I wasn't good enough for him, but we got past that, and our love grew. Roger had a zest for life and me, and he had a vision of the future for us. He made me feel wanted and desirable-like I was the only woman in the room. Not too many women can have that feeling, but I did."
"I guess-until you mentioned that I had two loves-I guess I hadn't completely processed the reality that Roger is gone. I didn't realize that those five years without him had taken a toll on me and our relationship. I hadn't heard a single word from him since he left on his expedition-not one. You know, your mind starts to wonder-to wonder about the what-ifs." Christine looked up at Latoya and the tears began to fall: "I didn't deal with the after-effects of what happened on that planet; I put it all in that place where people put stuff that they don't want to deal with."
Christine didn't know exactly when or how her love for Roger went cold. She had been so excited to see him. "FIVE long, lonely years!" But when she saw him, she immediately knew that something had changed, and the way that Andrea looked at Roger and the fact that she was the only female on the planet did not escape her notice. "No sex for five years on a lonely planet? Was he faithful?" Doubt settled in as the mission continued. Christine desperately wanted to believe Roger was still the man she loved. Andrea didn't make it any easier; she was jealous of Christine and made it known. Christine was jealous of Andrea's appearance: her thin, sexy body, her revealing uniform-left nothing to the imagination. Then Andrea spoke to Roger like a woman in heat and what made matters worse how she threw her sexuality to Kirk. It burned Christine. She tried hard to hold on to the love that they shared six years ago, even when Roger and the others tried to kill Captain Kirk and then duplicated him. The realization came too late; Christine's heart went cold for Roger. It was a huge shock to see that everything had been an illusion. Roger-what was left of him-was a shell of a man. His desire to live for eternity had warped the true essence of the man she knew.
When Christine was assigned to the Enterprise, she still had high hopes for a future with Roger-she hoped that one day she would get to see Roger on one of their missions. There was hope in being in love. But during the two years before the Exo III mission, Christine found herself increasingly attracted to Spock. She fell for him like a ton of bricks. Maybe ten tons. Who could fail to notice Mr. Spock? He had always stood out: his demeanor, his quiet competence, his intelligence, and even the way he walked. Then there was his appearance: He was tall, with dark hair, and a face that was all angles. The knowledge that he was a touch telepath intrigued her. There was something irresistible about Spock: the upswept eyebrows, the deep voice, and those sexy pointed ears made her heart beat faster when he was around. Just reading his medical charts got her hot! Spock was a hybrid, a one-of-a-kind man, and she felt a kinship with him because of his obvious loneliness. It melted Christine's heart and mind.
But she saw Spock almost every day; they would collaborate on medical issues, either those of the crew or those of people on Federation planets or space stations that the Enterprise was bringing aid to. There was no area on the ship that Spock didn't know about. The man could do anything and everything. What woman wouldn't be attracted to that? But Spock was untouchable; no matter how direct or non-direct she was during conversations with him, he didn't show interest. That was their relationship: distant, just like her relationship with Roger. But then the Enterprise was assigned to visit the planet where her fiancé had last been heard from. Her heart beat faster: "Was he the same man? Did he still love her?" She stood on the bridge in anticipation, and her love life with Roger ran through her mind. Nyota was there trying to hail him. Christine's faith and hope pushed through: "I'll get my man back; we can live and have a life together, as he promised." Then the worst happened.
"I guess when I saw this other woman with Roger and realized they both weren't even human, it solidified my feeling for Spock., I decided then that he was the man of my heart. I just wasn't aware of some complex things about Mr. Spock."
"What are those?"
"One was that he was married. Not once did he ever mention a ceremony or the woman! I showed up on the bridge and found that he had a wife. I felt my heart break right then and there! I remembered how he stared at her on the monitor: T'Pring.  I felt stupid for pining over him, cooking, and making sure certain foods palatable to Vulcans were supplied to the ship. Then-come to find out-it was only a form of Vulcan engagement, and he was still single. I thought I had a second chance at love, a second chance with Spock. For the next two years, I tried to converse with him; I would bring him food and dress for him to notice me."
"Christine, I want to thank you for sharing those details; it gives me a better understanding of your thought processes. You were in love with two strong men at the same time; there's no shame in that. But you need closure for the relationship with your fiancé; there was definitely transference of desire and attraction for Roger to Commander Spock."
"I realize that, now that you've made me think it through. Thank you, Latoya."
"We have made some progress, but we are not out of the woods yet."
Christine sighed deeply, knowing what LaToya was going to say: "I know, this is just the beginning."
For the first time in months, Christine had hope for herself.
Captain Kirk made it mandatory for the crew to increase their fitness levels while the ship was on its milk run. They had already been on shore leave and had explored parts of non-hostile solar systems with uninhabited planets. The ship had been patrolling the Neutral Zone when the Enterprise was directed to take Spock to Vulcan. Kirk realized that the crew had too much time on their hands now. He had ordered them to perform drills and simulations to occupy their time. He had the best crew in the fleet, and he didn't want them to lose their sharpness. The medical staff was to track the crew's fitness activities, such as workouts and hand-to-hand combat, and run competitions with incentives. That was working, keeping his crew in tip-top shape.
This particular shift, Nyota, Charlene, and Eve went to the crowded gym to get in their required hours. Three women stretched out first in their workout clothes.
Eve looked around and saw men flexing their muscles and women either biking or running track on Peloton equipment.
"Wow, it's crowded during this shift!" Eve commented.
"Yeah, the Captain increased everyone's required fitness hours," Char said.
"Some of the men look not so bad," Eve commented, giving Char and Nyota a significant look.
Char and Nyota looked at Eve:
"Are you shopping, Eve?" Nyota asked.
"Oh yeah! You two found somebody; why not me?" Eve responded, giving them a winning smile.
They all laughed:
"Let's go jogging on the Peloton machines," Nyota said.
As they walked toward the endless line of equipment, they found three open machines in a row and started jogging while watching the monitor rate their speed and body functions. About 30 minutes into their run, two female crew approached them.
"Good evening, Uhura, Masters, and Brody." Janet said.
They slowed their machines to a walking pace so they could speak with the newcomers. Nyota had already confronted both of these women twice, but after her recent discussion with Spock, she wanted to avoid any form of confrontation. She had promised her husband and the Captain there would be no more fights. She would use her diplomatic skills, even if it killed her.
"Hi ladies! How are you?" Uhura asked.
"We are good. I just want to say congratulations on your marriage Uhura," Janet responded.
Nyota was shocked, and for a moment she didn't know what to say. She stole a glance at Charlene, who was also taken aback at Janet's overture.
"Thank you," Nyota said.
Charlene looked at the two women suspiciously and added: "That was nice to say; what brought on this change of heart?"
Abigail looked at all three women said, "We didn't really know that you were dating Mr. Spock or even engaged? But I-I mean, we had no right to judge you or disrespect you."
"Computer, stop walk," Nyota said, looking at the two women in shock again.
"I-that was nice to say, and thank you again. The reason I didn't reveal my engagement was that Commander Spock is a very private person," Nyota said somberly.
"We just wanted to clear the air about any bad feelings, Ms. Uhura," Janet said. "Enjoy your workout, ladies." Both women waved good-bye. Abby turned, smiled, and said: "We will miss his workouts."
Eve came up to Charlene and Nyota and gave them each a towel, while Nyota just stared at the women walking away. It was difficult to believe that they had apologized, but Nyota had to respect them for it.
Eve wiped her arms with the towel and asked, "What did she mean about missing Commander Spock's workouts?"
"I caught them watching Spock working out late one night; they were hidden in a dark corner and I caught them ogling my man."
"Really?!" Eve asked, giggling.
"Yeah; she almost beat the crap out of them," Charlene said.
"Why does Commander Spock work out by himself?" Eve asked.
Nyota remembered when she had asked that same question herself. It had started 17 years ago under the command of Captain Pike. Spock, being the first Vulcan to attend the Academy and join Starfleet, downplayed his physical abilities. He told her it took total mind control to hold back his full strength. Terrans knew Vulcans had greater physical strength, but few had ever seen the extremes of Vulcan strength in action. One day when he was off duty, Spock found himself alone in the gym, doing his stretches and Suus Mahna [Vulcan martial arts] routines. A little while later, he was lifting weights and bench-pressing over 500 pounds when he became aware that he was being observed by some male crew members. He saw the disbelieving looks on their faces and then had to fend off their intrusive inquiries into his abilities.
Spock was embarrassed that he had become the center of attention; he felt as if he were being targeted like he was as a child on Vulcan. Being singled out for his differences was a constant with him in both cultures. It was after that incident that Spock made his request to have private workouts, which was granted. No personnel were allowed to enter the gym during those times when Spock was exercising, with the exception of Captain Kirk and, infrequently, Dr. McCoy. At least that was the case before he invited Nyota to train with him in order to improve her combat skills.
"His exercise routine is designed for him because of his Vulcan heritage, and it calls for quiet solitude."
"That makes sense; people should respect that," Eve said.
"Come, ladies! We need to log our exercise time. Let's do some sparring!" Charlene said.
"Sure, but we better watch out for Nyota; I've heard she's got some moves that will knock you out! Eve said, laughing.
The three women walked over the mats and prepared for hand-to-hand combat.
"How is Christine doing this week, Latoya?" McCoy asked.
"She came up against some extreme reality about her past relationships, Lennie. But she had some revelations about herself."
"I heard some interesting news when I had dinner with the Captain," McCoy said. "It turns out that Commander Spock had a group of secret admirers-female admirers. They would bombard Uhura with questions, diggin' for information about his work on the bridge or her lessons with him on the ka'athyra [Vulcan lyre]."
LaToya raised her brows: "Really? I knew Uhura had the men drooling for her attention, but Mr. Spock?"
"Yeah, our neighborhood Vulcan is a lady-killer; it seems most of the women on this ship are attracted to him," McCoy said, chuckling.
"I know Commander Spock is the best science officer in the fleet; his performance is outstanding."
"Yeah, I know, the man is near perfect! Only I know-well his wife knows now-how Spock works."
"Well, it's good to know that Commander Spock drew the attentions of more than one woman; it makes it easier to understand Christine's feelings."
"Not only that-Christine was the leader of this club! That's the shocker for me."
"Wow, that is news! Why did she put herself in that position?"
"I don't know. It was the talk of the ship, and it seems that she was stalking him, and using her medical position to do it."
Latoya thought to herself, "From what I learned today about Christine's relationships and what Lennie just said, there was definitely transference of emotions."
"Well, Lennie, I am making progress. We have had some breakthroughs. I did have to tackle her resentment against Uhura. Christine explained that they were friends at the Academy."
"Good to hear, Latoya! I see that Christine is eating now and getting some color back in her face."
"One step at a time; one step at a time. It's only been a couple of weeks."
"How long do you estimate she will need to continue treatment?"
"Let's see how she handles it when Mr. and Mrs. Spock are off the ship. I want to observe her reaction."
"We're due to arrive at Vulcan sometime next week."
"Then there will be the wedding reception for them! That's a lot for a heartbroken woman to take."
McCoy thought for a moment about his ex-wife: How would he react if she remarried? Would make it make matters worse if his daughter started calling the new guy "father"? "I don't think I could handle that!" McCoy thought, taking a deep breath. He started to worry about the possibility that Christine would never recover from her obsession with Spock. The possibility of her transferring to another ship starting to look real again.
"What do you recommend, Latoya?"
"Lennie, it's still too early to tell. There has been some progress, but her recovery will happen at her own pace."
"Give me something to tell the Captain."
"Certainly. I understand that the Captain hates losing good personnel, but remind him that recovering from trauma takes time."
"I'll tell him-and thanks! How was MY coffee this time?"
Latoya laughed: "Lennie, you should have been a chef!"
McCoy laughed with her: "Ha-ha! I'll put your statement in my report. Thanks!"
"Of course! Remember, Christine is still fragile. She has trust issues, and I want to help her."
McCoy left their meeting a little disappointed to find that Christine would not recover from her loss quickly. "She isn't the only one with trust issues."
 Star Trek TOS: "The Galileo Seven."
 Amaré Del La Cruz is featured in "Repercussions," in which he kidnapped Nyota.
 "Movie Night on the Enterprise" is featured in "The Battle for Spock part 2," chapters 11 & 12
 "The Battle for Spock part 1," chapters 2-5.
 "The Battle for Spock part 2," chapters 16 & 17.
Star Trek TOS: "What Are Little Girls Made of?"
 Star Trek TOS: "Amok Time."
Chapter 17- On the Enterprise—Off Course by Uhura the 9th
Beta Reader: Jsilver2000
Summary: Boma made peace with Uhura, accepted that she was married to Commander Spock, and attempted to move on. Even Janet and Abby apologized to Uhura for their behavior toward Spock and her. Christine realized during her session with Dr. Robertson that she needed closure for her relationship with Roger Korby and had to accept his death  before she could deal with her complex feelings about Spock.
Week 3: On the Enterprise-Off Course
During the late afternoon change of shift on the bridge, Uhura addressed her relief officer, Lt. Elizabeth Palmer:
"Palmer, these are the latest reports on the anomaly that I have received. This signal is interesting; continue tracking it."
"Yes, Chief. Are we expecting any Starfleet messages?"
"No. We are on a milk run; nothing important should be coming in from Starfleet until we reach the vicinity of Vulcan. Run a diagnostic on the linguistic banks; they are scheduled for a check."
"Aye, Chief Uhura. I will also catalog those reports."
"Have a good night, Palmer."
While Uhura was instructing Lt. Elizabeth Palmer, Spock was also giving instructions to his replacement, Lt. Michael DeSalle, acting commander and assistant science officer. The relief crew continued to take over stations all over the bridge. Then Spock and Nyota left together for their quarters. This was a new convenience that Spock appreciated. They commenced with their shower love-making. Nyota loved watching the water pour down his lean, muscular body; she also enjoyed lathering him up and slowly washing him. His eyes were always locked on hers; they opened their bond wide and let their emotions flow. This joining was more than just intercourse; mating during a meld allowed them to share their most intimate feelings. After their love shower, they changed into their loungewear, and Nyota cuddled up next to Spock as the two read the day's reports while caressing each other's fingers.
During the night the red alert went off, waking the entire ship. Spock and Nyota shot up from their sleep and quickly dressed; she dashed to their dresser and pulled out two standard T-shirts, and threw one to Spock as he was pulling on his pants and boots. Nyota slipped on her lounge pants with her T-shirt and attempted to take out her hair wraps. They rushed out the door straight to the turbolift, joining the rest of the crew, who were also scrambling to their stations. The alert continued to ring out as the turbolift rose, full of crew members trying to reach their destination. Spock overrode the turbolift controls to bypass the lower decks and go straight to the bridge. When the turbolift doors opened, Kirk, also in a T-shirt, was in his command chair; the rest of the alpha shift bridge crew had replaced their gamma shift counterparts as well. DeSalle was standing next to Kirk, reporting status. Spock joined the conversation.
"We are heading to the planetoid at warp five, Captain," DeSalle said.
Kirk turned to the helmsman: "Sulu, what's our ETA?"
"Captain, at this speed we will reach the planetoid in 5 hours and 35 minutes."
Kirk swiveled to the next station: "Engineering?"
Charlene gave him her status report:
"The engines are aligned and performing nominally, sir."
Kirk returned his attention to the shift commander:
"Thanks, DeSalle. Your decision was correct."
DeSalle went back to his station, and Kirk addressed Lt. Palmer:
"Lieutenant, have all departments check in and then let Lieutenant Uhura take over... Belay that order! Lieutenant Uhura, stand by."
Kirk looked at Spock:
"Spock, it's a distress call from a planetoid. The colony of New Jersey is an observation station. They've detected a disruption of the planetoid's inner core, and the thing is in the process of breaking up as we speak. DeSalle indicated that two more starships are on their way to help with the rescue mission. Direct all senior officers to the briefing room for strategy planning and coordination with the other ships. Have them ready in ten minutes."
"Yes, Captain," Spock said. He relieved DeSalle and went to work on the Captain's request.
"Captain, all departments have reported ready," Lt. Palmer said. She gave her Padd to Uhura, who reviewed her report and put her earpiece in to listen to the original distress call. Uhura noticed a distorted sound in the background while listening to the message.
"Captain, Commander Spock!"
Both men turned toward her.
"The signal that Lieutenant Palmer received is distorted. I believe there is an intense magnetic force disrupting our communications."
Spock put his earpiece in and bent over his sensor hood, gathering information about the makeup of the planetoid's core.
"Captain, the planetoid's inner core is producing a magnetic field that is disrupting not only our communications, but also our sensor readings."
"Lieutenant Palmer, what other ships have responded that they will be joining the rescue mission?" Kirk asked.
"The Excalibur and the Potemkin, sir."
"Send a message to warn them that the magnetic core will disrupt their communications and sensor readings as they approach the planetoid."
"On it, sir!"
A yeoman bearing uniform shirts without insignia entered the bridge and distributed one to each underdressed crew member. Kirk took a shirt as he headed toward the turbolift with Spock, Sulu, and Uhura. They put on their shirts as the turbolift took them to Deck 5, where the briefing room was located.
"Uhura, I want you and your team to find a way to filter out that distortion; we will need ship-to-ship communications," Kirk said.
They entered the briefing room, where the other seniors officers were waiting. Each took a seat. Uhura connected her Padd to the three-way monitor. Spock sat near the computer station, calculating facts and figures in his head while accessing the data on the colony. He displayed an image of the New Jersey Colony taken from space on the screen.
"The New Jersey Colony was established 37.8 years ago as a survey facility. The facility has an estimated 2,500 personnel, not including the workers' family members. The colony is constructed on mostly solid rock, with underground tunnels for storage. The data from my scanners indicate that something has disrupted the planetoid's inner core, which is generating a strong magnetic field and disrupting the planetoid's rotation. There has also been an increase in several types of radiation. Based on my information, destruction is imminent."
"Thanks, Spock," Kirk said. He addressed the team as a whole: "There you have it; this is a rescue mission. There is a possibility that the colonists have been exposed to deleterious levels of radiation."
Scotty interjected: "Captain, if what Mr. Spock reported is true, then there is a possibility that the transporters could be inoperative or unsafe for beaming the colonists up, especially with the radiation field increasing as we speak."
"Mr. Scott is correct, Captain. Such intense radiation can affect the operation of the mechanism," Spock said.
"We could use the shuttlecraft," Kirk suggested.
"Yes, but they don't have nearly enough capacity to accommodate everyone down there," Scotty said looking down at his Padd's calculations.
"The average capacity of each shuttlecraft on the Enterprise is twelve passengers" Spock said.
"Aye, but we could install jump seats and reset the others to increase the count," Scotty suggested.
"If that is the case, Mr. Scott, you need to reconfigure the weight distribution, and calculate thrust capability and fuel consumption for lift-off and reaching orbit."
"Spock and Scotty, get to work on those calculations and start equipping each shuttlecraft to those specs." Kirk ordered. "Scotty, can we increase speed to warp seven?"
"Aye, sir-and a wee bit more; my bairns can take it!"
"Uhura, once Spock has those figures, send them to the Excalibur and the Potemkin."
Kirk directed a question toward the medical department: "Dr. McCoy, any suggestions?"
"Yes, Captain. According to the reports I'm receiving, we will need to have medical team members on those shuttlecraft to administer counteragents against the radiation. If there is any exposure, the people will need treatment immediately. I don't know how many people we will be able to transport to the ship; but I will need to set up a triage system and secondary Sickbay stations throughout the ship to accommodate the potentially high numbers of injured."
"McCoy, assign doctors and nurses to each shuttlecraft, along with any medicines that will be needed. Then select those areas around the ship that can be converted to medical use."
Kirk turned to Uhura again with more orders: "Uhura, order the quartermasters to construct and/or find living space for the colonists."
"Sulu, adjust our speed to warp seven," Kirk said. "Spock, how much time will that shave off our ETA?"
"We should reach the planetoid in three point eight five hours, Captain."
"Any other concerns?" he asked. "If not, let's get to work. We have less than four hours. Take any crew members you need off regular duties to get the job done. Dismissed."
Kirk and the other officers left, but Spock and Scotty stayed behind in the briefing room, performing calculations and making adjustments to their figures for refitting the shuttlecraft to accommodate more passengers and for determining the fuel needed to handle the additional weight. Once they configured the specs, they assigned crew members to work on each shuttlecraft. Time was of the essence. At the same time, Spock was using his long-distance scanners to monitor the steady deterioration of the planetoid and the accompanying increase of radiation and relaying the data to McCoy's medical staff.
Meanwhile, in the hangar deck, each technician had a drill or another instrument, and was taking apart panels and installing jump seats or adjusting engine capacity. Everyone was working in assembly-line style, carrying away pieces of the shuttles. Time was running out to evacuate as many people as possible.
When McCoy arrived back at Sickbay from the briefing room, he saw the back of a woman with long blond hair.
"Excuse me, do you need assistance?" he asked.
The woman turned around and their eyes met. She was in a standard T-shirt and fatigue pants:
"Dr. McCoy, I've been waiting for my orders."
McCoy gave her quizzical look: "What are you doing here, Chris?"
"I'm not totally dismissed from duty, am I?"
"No, but Nurse Sharon Running Deer is assisting me."
"I am ready and able to perform my duty; you know I won't stand by at a time like this. You need me!"
"Well, I'm not turning you down. You can help Running Deer. Let's get the staff assembled so I don't have to repeat myself."
They walked into the main lobby of Sickbay, where the majority of the senior staff were assembled. There were others attending the meeting through the monitors spread out through the ship. McCoy updated the medical staff with the latest information from the Science division:
"We are on a medical evacuation mission; many of you have read the brief on the situation. The planetoid is breaking up and releasing toxic radiation. This particular type of radiation has side effects and could lead to internal damage to the organs. The Science division is in the process of mass production of a combined treatment  (potassium iodide, Prussian blue, and diethylenetriamine pentaacetic acid) for radiation exposure. We will take the most serious cases first once they reach the ship, based on the information from the team on each shuttlecraft. Those who are assigned to the landing parties, be sure to input the degree of the burn or inflammation of the internal organs. Make sure you are aware of the different forms of radiation and be prepared to leave on the assigned shuttle. We don't have much time. Get your protective gear and read the latest brief. Two-person teams and shuttlecraft assignments will be posted in about an hour. You are dismissed."
McCoy turned to Running Deer and Chapel:
"Nurses, make sure a medical kit specialized for treatment of radiation is installed in each shuttlecraft; report any needed equipment or supplies. Check the dosages in each kit. Dismissed."
Running Deer and Chapel each grabbed a Padd and headed for the supply storage locker. McCoy went into his office and checked his computer to assign medical staff members to a shuttle or to help set up secondary Sickbay stations around the ship. They would need supplies and medical equipment; he was up against time limitations. He knew Kirk would want updates on his department's progress. He quickly assigned his personnel and sent the assignments to the medical staff. He then consolidated the information into a brief report and relayed it to the Captain and Spock. McCoy pulled up the schematics of the Enterprise and started marking locations for secondary Sickbay stations and relayed the information to Running Deer and Chapel. He was getting continual feedback and updates from his staff and adjusting his plan as he went.
On the bridge:
Uhura and Palmer had taken apart some of the panels of the Communications station; each was working with a Padd and a tricorder as they observed the increasing static in their system as the Enterprise drew closer to its destination. They worked feverishly and kept sending messages about their status and findings to the other starships. Uhura and Palmer bypassed circuits, rerouted frequencies, and soldered circuit boards.
Sulu reported at intervals:
"Captain, the Potemkin's ETA is one hour and fourteen minutes."
Kirk leaned from his chair toward the helm and saw the Enterprise's ETA: "We are two hours and 30 minutes away. We need to increase our speed. Go to warp eight, Sulu!"
Kirk turned to the two officers at work under the Communications console:
"Uhura, are the other two ships aware of the radiation and the transporter issues?"
"Yes, Captain. They confirmed they have also refitted their shuttlecraft."
Uhura sat up and looked at him:
"Captain, we have arranged the sensor array and bypassed circuits to boost our signal to override 82% of the interference. We have a clear signal."
"Good job, Uhura!"
Spock stepped down from his station over to Kirk and handed him a Padd.
"Captain, Mr. Scott and his team have refitted fifty-eight point thirty-three percent of the shuttlecraft. Dr. McCoy has assigned a medical team of two to each shuttle and is in the process of setting up secondary Sickbay stations throughout the ship. The quartermasters have cleared and rearranged areas throughout the ship as living quarters. The New Jersey Colony has reported fissures developing at a rapid pace, as well as quakes."
"DAMN! We need to get there sooner! Sulu, signal Engineering and increase our speed to warp nine."
Kirk's intercom buzzed. It was Mr. Scott calling from Engineering:
"Captain, the engines canna take the stress of this speed for long!"
"Mr. Sulu, what is our ETA at warp nine?" Kirk asked.
"One hour, twenty-eight minutes, Captain," Sulu responded.
"Did you hear that, Scotty? Can you hold the engines together for that long?" Kirk asked.
"Aye, Captain. I'll do me best!" Mr. Scott said.
Kirk turned to Spock: "Spock, have you assigned pilots to the shuttlecraft?"
"I've begun, Captain, but we need at least two more qualified pilots to assist."
Sulu turned around to face the Captain: "I'll go, Captain. I volunteer, sir."
"I volunteer too, sir."
Kirk, Spock, and Sulu all turned toward the voice. Spock's brow rose, and Kirk caught the movement from the corner of his eye. He shot a glare toward Spock, thinking, "This is a RESCUE MISSION; Uhura is a competent pilot, and we have no room for a conflict of interest."
Nyota saw three surprised faces. She knew what Spock was feeling; he was projecting it through their bond. She closed their bond to suppress Spock's overprotectiveness and ignored the other officers' surprise. "I am qualified to pilot a shuttlecraft, even a starship. I was born for this!" : she thought to herself.
"I am certified to fly almost any ship in the fleet, sir."
Still the stares.
"The Communications station is in working order and in good hands, Captain," Uhura said, nodding toward Lt. Palmer. "Mr. Spock just stated that you are short on pilots."
"Um, okay-you're in," Kirk said.
The three men turned back toward the viewscreen. Nyota knew that Spock was concerned just like before, she opened their bond again. Spock stood silently and spoke to his wife through the bond:
"I do not wish you to go."
"Spock don't-you know that I am qualified to fly a shuttle!"
"I have calculated..."
"Darling, this is a rescue mission! Don't try to hold me back when I can save others."
Spock didn't argue with her, because he knew what she had said was true. Yet he looked toward the Captain in hopes that he would change his orders. After a moment, he realized that Kirk had settled on the logical decision and would not change his orders:
"Captain, I will assist the Shuttle Bay crew with the refitting of the shuttlecrafts."
"Of course, Spock. Just report back to the bridge before the ship returns to sublight speed."
Spock headed for the hangar deck; his mind drifted to the fact that his wife was going on the rescue mission against his judgment. Spock was logically aware that Nyota was suitable for the job. But he could not stay on the bridge; knowing of the danger in which she was placing herself automatically put him in defensive spouse mode. He had accepted that the decision had been made; the logical thing to do now was to make sure that the shuttles were properly refitted to ensure the highest chance of a safe and successful mission. "I do not desire harm to my wife-my heart!" He needed to make peace with her participation in the mission; he had 1 hour 25.3 minutes to calm his thoughts.
Nyota was aware that her husband was struggling with the emotions brought on by her decision, but they had both signed on to the Enterprise to explore space and offer assistance wherever needed. She knew that this would probably not be the only or last time such a situation would interfere with their relationship. Nyota turned back to her console and helped Lt. Palmer finish adjusting the sensor array so that it would be stable when the Enterprise returned to sublight speed. She needed to talk to Spock to make him understand her point of view. Nyota handed Palmer her earpiece and walked to the Captain's chair. She stood quietly and waited for him to notice her; he turned to look into her eyes:
"Captain Kirk, I need to speak to him."
Kirk knew exactly who she meant and why; he just nodded his head to release her. Nyota took the turbolift to the hangar deck.
Spock, Scotty, and DeSalle inspected the work in progress and made a few adjustments; not all the shuttlecraft would be ready when they arrived at the colony, but the first batch would be able to leave at a moment's notice while the others were still being worked on. The crew was working like a well-oiled machine, with some running around delivering parts and equipment and others installing and adjusting them. Then the medical supplies started to arrive; the medical staff reported to Spock and he started checking off the supplies.
Dr. McCoy saw the shuttle pilot assignments and began assigning his medical personnel to the shuttlecraft; then an idea struck him: "Maybe, just maybe, we can come to an understanding." McCoy went back into the assignment list and swapped assignments so that two people would crew a certain shuttle.
When Nyota entered the Shuttle Bay, people were running around with supplies and equipment. She couldn't see Spock anywhere in the sea of crew members; she opened their bond and asked him to come to her. After a minute, Spock emerged from one of the shuttles and swiftly walked toward her. "This communication bond is so handy!" she thought. Then she saw his intense eyes and realized how upset he was, although the rest of the crew was oblivious to his emotional state. Spock stopped in front of his wife with his Padd in hand; he looked down at her and responded:
Nyota responded within their bond:
"Sweetheart, please don't be upset. It is important to me that you accept my decision."
"I cannot help how I feel-I want to protect you. You are my heart, Nyota! Kaiidth [what is, is]. I have no choice in this matter. I am aware you are eminently qualified for this mission. Logic dictates that you should pilot one of the shuttles. I have to apply logic foremost when I serve this ship, including when it concerns you. But Vulcan instincts are difficult to override. I am working on controlling my emotions."
Nyota was relieved to know that he had accepted the situation intellectually, if not emotionally. She often felt the same way when he would go on landing party missions. Spock and Nyota's presence in the midst of the hubbub in the Shuttle Bay didn't go unnoticed; people saw them staring at each other in silence but did not know they were communicating. Nyota held up two fingers and Spock responded, saying:
"Ashayam, with all my heart, please be careful! You have been assigned to a shuttlecraft that I have personally inspected."
"Thank you, sweetheart!"
They broke the touch and Nyota went to her assigned shuttlecraft to check the systems herself. Sulu showed up to find Charlene and check in as well. She came off one of the shuttlecraft, saw 'Karu, and ran to him.
"'Karu, are you ready?"
He held her shoulders and smiled: "Yeah, and don't you worry-I do this all the time. They don't call me 'flyboy' for nothing!"
"Well, flyboy, you had better come back in one piece, because the way they describe that planetoid is no joke!"
"Whoa, Char! It's just a pickup; it shouldn't take long!"
Char took a deep breath: "Look 'Karu, we just started this relationship, but I have deep feelings for you."
Sulu looked into her eyes and saw the concern: "I have deep feelings for you, too."
He gave her a deep hug and kissed the top of her head: "I have to get my shuttlecraft ready."
"I personally adjusted the specs on your shuttlecraft, so come back safely and we can talk."
"I sure will, honey!"
Sulu went to his shuttlecraft. Charlene watched him board his craft with two medical staff. She took a deep breath and went back to work.
Spock approached DeSalle:
The man turned toward his commander, and Spock handed him the master Padd. "You are in charge of the hangar deck. Give intermittent updates to the Captain. I am needed on the bridge."
"Aye, Mr. Spock."
Spock headed to the turbolift, fighting to regain his equilibrium about his job and his wife.
The Enterprise was five minutes out, and the crew were still running around in preparation for the mission. Nurse Chapel was assigned to the Galileo with Uhura. Nyota turned around in the cockpit to see the tall blond woman coming aboard. She didn't know how to read Christine at first. "I'm the Communications officer-I can talk to her," she told herself.
"Welcome aboard, Nurse Chapel."
Christine's face went blank. Seeing her one-time friend after her marriage to Spock still stung.
"Hello, Lieutenant. All the medical equipment is aboard and ready. Nurse Brian Carroll is already prepped."
"Good. As soon as the bridge signals us, we're off."
Nyota turned back around to the helm and observed the nominal levels of fuel. "That went smoothly; I hope we can get over our differences."
Kirk hit the shipwide intercom:
"This is the Captain speaking. We are currently on a rescue mission to the New Jersey Colony. The situation is critical; the planetoid is breaking up at this moment, and there is a risk of exposure to several forms of radiation. We are an effective crew. We have trained for a situation like this. Follow all safety procedures, and all hands on deck. That's all."
Chekov notified the Captain: "One minute to planetoid."
Palmer informed the Captain: "Captain Kirk, I have the Potemkin and Excalibur online. They are reporting that they have launched their first wave of shuttlecrafts. They are reporting turbulence in the planetoid's atmosphere."
"Relay that information to the pilots."
Kirk snapped his armchair intercom to the hangar deck:
"Lieutenant DeSalle, are the shuttlecraft ready?"
"Yes, sir. A few shuttlecraft are still undergoing refitting, but the first eight shuttlecrafts are ready for departure. The other shuttlecraft will be ready to launch before the first wave returns."
"Keep me posted; await further orders."
Spock stepped down from his station to stand next to Kirk with his Padd.
Kirk looked at Spock:
"Captain, each starship has properly equipped their shuttlecraft; therefore, I estimate it would take two point twenty-five trips for each shuttle, depending on speed of the shuttle and weight. I estimate the time for full the full rescue mission at five hours and twenty-one minutes and the time to complete planetoid breakup at six hours and twelve minutes."
"Cutting that close."
"The planetoid's inner core continues to expel high levels of radiation, and the rate of deterioration of its magnetic field is increasing, causing disruption of our sensors, as well as the orbit of the planetoid itself. These may interfere with the rescue mission; the ripple effects will require the pilots to adjust their navigation consoles to modify their descent to and ascent from the colony."
Kirk turned to Palmer: "Lieutenant, make sure all shuttlecraft pilots are aware of the decaying orbit and magnetic field and that they adjust their instruments to counter them."
The Enterprise came out of warp speed into waves of turbulence from the planetoid. In the distance, the Potemkin and Excalibur were orbiting above the colony; a stream of shuttlecraft were descending toward the colony.
Chekov reported: "Captain, ve are hitting turbulence from the planetoid; ve are feeling the effects of it."
"Keep her steady, Chekov, and monitor the gravitational pull!"
Kirk snapped his intercom control to the hangar deck: "Launch shuttlecrafts!"
"Page Mr. Scott, Lieutenant," he said.
"Scott here, Captain."
"Scotty, how are the transporter repairs coming? I want them as an emergency backup."
"I have Lieutenants Kyle and Brent working on them as we speak, sir."
"Great job! Continue as you were."
Kirk looked at the planetoid. The New Jersey Colony was clearly visible in the distance. He hoped that they had arrived in time, not only to save the colony, but to save themselves if the thing decided to explode. "I hope Spock and his science team are right about the timing," Kirk thought as he watched the shuttles descend toward the planetoid. Kirk slowly swiveled his chair around, seeing each crew member working diligently to complete the tasks required of them. He looked at the Engineering station and saw Masters monitoring each of the Enterprise shuttles. Each member of the crew was important to him; each of them had value. His accountability for their lives weighed heavily on him as the mission went forward.
Chapter 18-Welcome to Vulcan Professor Uhura by Uhura the 9th
Summary: Saana arrived at Vulcan, and life continued to change for her. Admiral Nimitz was attracted to Saana, and they have had two dates! Reuben missed his opportunity to say goodbye to Saana and now was wondering if she would ever come back to Earth. The media wars for the scoop on the Uhura and S'chn T'gai families continued to play out.
About a day and half later, Saana peered down at a very red-orange planet. She could see a continent-sized cloud swirling at one of the poles and wondered if it was some form of storm. The planet was bright; she glanced up to see two suns burning and shaded her eyes. "This is Vulcan-wow! It's huge and bright red." A beep came from her Padd, and she answered the page. It was about the article she had sent to a wedding channel several days ago. There was a comment:
Dear Professor Saana Uhura:
On behalf of Forever Love Weddings we congratulate you on the wedding of your daughter to Commander Spock of Starfleet. Thank you for considering our channel to represent the true meaning of love and marriage. For centuries, our company has represented diversity, not only within Terran cultures but also including other cultures throughout the Alpha Quadrant. It is most unfortunate that prejudice is still an issue within the Terran and some other cultures as well. Our company sees only the love of beings dedicated to each other. We have honored your request and published the article you sent. The vid alone speaks well of the couple and their joining, symbolizing diversity throughout Starfleet and the Federation and giving us hope for our all our peoples. When the vid was posted galaxy-wide, the overwhelming sentiment changed to happiness about the unification of the two and curiosity about their romance and their marriage. News media throughout the galaxy have requested information from us and permission to rebroadcast the vid. We have declined to provide any further personal information. We at Forever Love Weddings respect your privacy. I do have one request: Please let me know who designed Ms. Uhura's wedding dress. It was part traditional and part modern. We would like to provide contact information for Ms. Uhura's designer for our fans and future brides. At this very moment there are many requests for the designer to fulfill future orders. Here is the posted article and vid of the wedding of the century. We hope we have honored your request. Please do not hesitate to respond and make any adjustments. We send best wishes for you and for your daughter's marriage.
Saana smiled with satisfaction after reading the comments from the editor. "Finally! Satisfaction for those disapproving skeptics!" She included her mean old Great Aunt Chandis, who had blasted her. "I will never forgive or forget that! That's my daughter; no one insults her or me for no damned reason!'" Saana closed her eyes trying to calm herself. Things were better now, and she decided to block those negative thoughts.
Then two Vulcan aides approached her.
"Excuse me, Professor Uhura, my name is T' Sri. On behalf of Vulcan, welcome. I am here to assist you with your adjustment and transportation down to the planet. She turned to the Vulcan man behind her:
"The Healer Adu must assess your health and address any needs."
T'Sri stepped aside, and the healer came forth. He pulled out his scanner and ran it over Saana. It instantly reported her health levels.
"According to Terran standards, you are performing at optimal levels for a female of your age and weight. I will inject you with tri-ox compound to compensate for our planet's lower oxygen levels. It may also help somewhat with your adjustment to Vulcan's gravity, which is 1.4 Gs."
The healer went into his medical pouch and pulled out a hypospray, Saana looked at the syringe and took a deep breath. Shots were not her favorite thing.
He administered the shot:
"This is a temporary injection and will take effect in 5.30 minutes. You may feel dizzy, and your vision may be affected, but your body functions will adjust quickly. I have notified the chief healer of the S'chn T'gai clan; he will install a transponder in your arm so that he can monitor your health for the duration of your stay. Professor Uhura, it has been an honor to serve you and the house of S'chn T'gai."
The healer bowed his head and left with his bag.
Saana was taken aback by his statement: "Spock's family really must be some sort of royalty." She has never been treated with such respect.
"Professor Uhura, we will be docking soon. I have already started the clearance process with Vulcan Space Central  and notified Ambassador Sarek and Lady Amanda of your arrival. I am honored to serve you, Professor Uhura, and the House of S'chn T'gai." T'Sri bowed and left.
Saana sat there trying to register what had just happened. "WOW! This surreal!'" she thought. Saana leaned back in her chair and waited for the next step in her adventure. While she waited, her thoughts wandered back to the two interesting men in her life. She wondered how they would fit in with her busy schedule:
Reuben was not only handsome but showed kindness and had become close to her, something she had not had or permitted in a long time. He was a hard-working man. It touched her heart that he had taken the time to entertain her and had even followed her across Earth. The simple things he did for her made her smile.
Then... there was Chester-they way he would look at her, like a wolf hunting for his prey. "Those eyes of his!" Saana remembered how they sparkled and seemed to pierce her mind. He was tall with a strong, chiseled jaw; his hair was silver with dark streaks. Thinking of Chess prompted a soft moan.
Two days earlier, after Saana had left Earth:
Michelle Combs was sitting at her desk, looking over the latest wedding fashions and wondering how she would address the declining viewership of the Forever Love Weddings website. "People don't take weddings seriously anymore. We're considered last of the dinosaurs," she thought, wondering if her business would survive another five years. Her com-link beeped, and Michelle saw it was a communique from someone named Professor Uhura.
"That name sounds familiar; do you recognize it?" Michelle asked her assistant, Everett Taylor, who was sitting across from her.
"What name?" Everett asked, looking up from his screen.
"A Doctor Saana Uhura?" She turned her screen toward him so he could see.
Everett leaned forward to look at the name and jumped out of his seat.
"Uhura? Girl, don't you know who that is?" Everett asked.
"I'm afraid I don't."
"Her daughter is all over World Entertainment News (WEN); she's the one who married a Vulcan!"
Michelle gasped and stared at the beeping com-link: "She sent me a message; I wonder why?"
"Quick! Open it, girl!"
Michelle clicked on the message, and a picture of Saana appeared: "Greetings! I am Saana Uhura. I have a request that is kind of old school. But my desire is to correct misinformation on behalf of my daughter and her husband. I hope you can do me the honor of posting my statement. If you do this, I will give you exclusive rights to use the information I have provided. I hope you can help not only me but my new family-in-law; they are not here to defend themselves. I hope this information will silence the skeptics and critics who have been having a field day at my family's expense. I thank you in advance for your assistance in this endeavor. Please contact me on this private com-link for an exclusive interview with Commander Spock and my daughter, Nyota. I ask only that you protect their dignity. If you agree, please let me know, and I'll give you permission on behalf of the married couple to use one of their wedding vids.
Thank you on behalf of the S'chn T'gai clan, as well as the Uhura family.
Michelle and Everett looked at each other and their mouths dropped open in shock. Everett started jumping up and down, and Michelle started screaming. The story of a lifetime had just fallen into their laps. She ran around the desk and grabbed Everett by his shoulders and then they started dancing. Michelle pressed a hand to her chest; she was breathing heavily:
"I can't believe it! She-she saved us!"
Everett waved a hand in the air: "Think of the credits, the status-we'll put the competition on their knees!"
"Let's read her article," Michelle said, going back to her desk.
"Skip that-I want to see the vid!"
Michelle projected the vid on the large monitor on the wall and was taken aback by what she saw. The two of them were mesmerized by the view of the Enterprise crew.
"Oh my! She is gorgeous, a sexy thang, isn't she-that Nyota?"
"Oh yeah! And the man in the gold uniform is kind of cute," Michelle said, referring to Kirk.
"Wow! Look at the Vulcan-whooh! He looks likes a predator," Everett said, fanning himself. "That robe is to die for-look at the exquisite embroidered Vulcan script! It appears to have been done by hand-it must have taken days. It's subtle, but I wonder what it says? And that dress Nyota is wearing looks like an original!"
Everett zoomed in on the wedding dress: "Oh my! That dress is fine-and it fits her perfectly, as if it was custom-made for her. I'm jealous of her designer!"
While Everett was critiquing the outfits of the crew, Michelle read the article, which brought her to tears. She looked up at Everett; "Rett, you need to read this."
He took the time to read the article and sighed:
"Girl, that is deep! You need to give this piece justice by anchoring it to the top of our page and using all our resources to point viewers to it. This is missing from the world!"
"You're right! Let's grab 'em by the balls!"
"OUCH, girl! Take it easy!" Everett said, laughing.
"Okay, I'll introduce the couple and do mini-bios of both while you focus on their wardrobes. Dig in and find out who that mystery designer is, as well as the man in the traditional Scottish kilt. Cover all the angles about the combination of Earth traditions with those of the Vulcan culture," Michelle said, waving her hand in the air to indicate the myriad prospects.
"OK, Mich! Let's get to work on the most fashionable wedding of the century!"
The two attended to their tasks, using all their resources to research the couple, their families, and their clothing and accessories.
A few hours later, Michelle premiered the only public vid of the newly married couple. But first she read aloud the commentary that Saana had written on how the media had treated the couple and their families. Saana belittled the media for their handling of the whole situation and stoking prejudice by rehashing the poor first impression the Vulcans had made a couple of centuries back as well as the racist coverage of Sarek and Amanda's courtship. Then she played the vid of the married couple while her and Everett's commentaries focused on the twin themes of unity and diversity.
Then Everett took over, discussing the history of the Scottish kilt and the African motifs worked into Nyota's designer dress. The gold-beaded headdress was a work of art that complemented the meticulously executed design of Spock's more subtle robe. Together they demonstrated unity and diversity among the stars.
Everett ended his fashion statement: "I give my compliments to whoever designed Ms. Uhura's wedding dress! It was made with finesse and was a perfect fit for her hourglass body. KUDOS!! Hook a brother up and contact us at Forever Love Weddings. Congrats on your marriage!!"
The combination of their reports shifted the tone of the conversation about the wedding to that of the "Wedding of the Century." High-status people who had heard of the upcoming reception on Altair VI began scrambling to see if they could obtain a last-minute invitation, and those who had spoken disparagingly of the wedding were overcome with shame. An outpouring of good wishes for the couple from all corners of the Federation washed away the memory of the recent weeks of unsympathetic coverage.
Everyone wanted to know how Forever Love Weddings had gotten access to the wedding vid. No one wanted to know more than Kim Kelly, who paid a visit to the company. Everett escorted her into Michelle's office, giving Kim stink-eye the whole time.
"Michelle, darling! How are you?"
"Kim Kelly! To what do I owe this honor?" Michelle asked, giving her suspicious look.
"Mich, I can't believe you stole my thunder! I thought I had the whole scoop on the Uhuras."
"I didn't steal anything, Kim, girl. Come on!"
Kim folded her arms across her chest: "Then how did you get the scoop of the century?"
Michelle took a deep breath:
"All I can tell you is that when the news broke of the nuptials-Kim, you have to admit-it got out of hand. Then when all the negative stuff about both families started being broadcast, that was the last straw. According to Professor Uhura, the harassment did her in; she felt disrespected."
Kim waved a hand in the air dismissively: "We all know that's just a casualty of the news media."
"Yeah, for you; what Everett and I saw was a woman being stalked at her job and home. And what made it worse is that you were the leader of the pack!"
"Michelle, I didn't mean for it get out of hand; the other news media took it to the deep end."
"That's true, but you could've done more to intervene. The poor woman was mobbed so badly that she took refuge at the Vulcan Embassy."
Kim took a deep breath: "Yeah, you're right about that. I didn't get to interview her at all, and then you beat everyone to the punch. I want to know how and why?"
"Are you kidding, Kim? We focus on weddings and fashion; we are not cutthroats willing to crush anyone for a story. We are into love and happily ever after," Michelle said sweetly. "So how do you like the vid of the wedding?"
"Much better than those old vids we found-it made them look like a storybook couple. But seriously, Michelle, how did you come by it?"
"I don't how she found me, Kim, but a couple of hours ago she sent a com-link to me directly, along with an article stating how WEN had caused her grief."
Kim started thinking furiously: "Maybe I can use their resources to get my own exclusive."
"Do you think I could use your com-link to reach Saana Uhura for more information?"
Michelle looked at Kim, shaking her head and folding her arms across her chest:
"I'm sorry, Kim. Saana will continue give me more information about the married couple and exclusive reports from the wedding reception on Altair VI. That's the agreement I had to make, so I can't help you."
Kim's mouth dropped open in disbelief: "You mean she will share information about the wedding reception only with you?"
"Yep. We at Forever Loving Weddings will honor her request; that's the deal, Kim."
"Are you invited to the reception?"
"Oh no-I might get a live vid if we play our cards right and don't break her agreement. So I'm not risking it."
"LIVE VID!" Are you serious?! You gotta let me work with you!"
"NO WAY, GIRL!" Michelle said, shaking her head.
"I've been trying for weeks to get an invitation to Altair VI" Kim snarled, giving Michelle a vicious look.
Michelle shrugged her shoulders: "I'm honoring my client's request."
"I guess I'll go back to the Vulcan Embassy and try again to get an interview."
"You don't know, do you?"
"Professor Uhura left for Vulcan sometime today; she's on her way to Vulcan as we speak!"
"NOOOOOOOOOO! My story of the century left Earth?"
Kim huffed loudly and stormed out of Michelle's office mad as a hornet.
Everett came in after the very angry Kim Kelly left Michelle's office:
"I've never seen that woman so mad-I guess she didn't like your answer."
"No, Rhett, she didn't. Kim is quite mad at us. If we play our cards right, our company will get exclusive rights to cover the reception and be back on top again."
"I hear you, girl! I hope this marriage brings romance back to this world-and better yet-to the universe!"
It was half an hour later when the dizziness from the hypospray wore off. T'Sri returned to Saana's cabin:
"Professor Uhura, Vulcan Space Central has processed your credentials, and Ambassador Sarek and his wife are ready to receive you."
"Thank you, T'Sri. The view of your planet is magnificent!"
"I am here to serve. Vulcan is a unique planet. May your stay here be pleasant. Please follow me," T'Sri said, before leading Saana through the ship's corridors to the transporter pad.
Meanwhile Sarek and Amanda were at Vulcan Space Central awaiting Saana's arrival. Sarek looked at his Padd and saw the clearance notice for Professor Saana Uhura:
"Professor Uhura has been cleared to arrive; she will appear momentarily."
"I can't believe she's here! I hope she will enjoy her stay on Vulcan." Amanda spoke excitedly.
"I expect that you will entertain Professor Uhura during her visit," Sarek said, tilting his head toward his wife.
Three Vulcans from the Vulcan High Command Department of Transportation and Immigration approached the couple and gave the proper greeting.
"Vulcan Space Central has given clearance for Dr. Uhura; we are here to welcome her formally."
Amanda looked from them to Sarek: "That's different!" she opined through their marital bond.
"Yes. They are curious about the diversity of skin color among Terrans."
Amanda's eyes widened, and she glared at the two men and one woman.
"Aduna, Vulcans are aware of the genetic variations among their own species, but Terrans possess an array of differences that many Vulcans have never yet encountered in person."
Amanda returned her gaze to the transporter port and saw Saana materializing before them. Beside her were two aides with her luggage; they stepped down from the platform toward Sarek.
Saana recognized the couple right away and clasped her hands together to keep from jumping up and down. She remembered that Vulcans were somber people with little facial expression or body language. Saana was escorted to them and noticed three Vulcans standing beside the ambassador. They were wearing long, gray robes and appeared to be in their late 80s. But Saana suspected that they were much older, given the difference in average life spans between Terrans and Vulcans. She stopped in front of Amanda and Sarek, held up her hand to perform the ta'al with difficulty and focused on the pronunciation:;
"Dif-tor heh smusma" [Live long and prosper].
Amanda and all the Vulcans gave the standard response, "Sochya eh dif" [Peace and long life], with a small bow.
The Vulcans Saana did not know exchanged glances with raised eyebrows, obviously surprised (for Vulcans) that she had spoken with proper pronunciation.
The eldest, Suter, addressed Saana in Standard: "Professor Uhura, on behalf of all of Vulcan, welcome."
Saana responded in Vulcansu: "Thank you for your generosity in allowing me to stay at your Embassy on Earth and to visit your beautiful world."
The three elder Vulcans were impressed with the clarity and precision of her Vulcansu.
The female commissioner, T'Dess, observed Saana's demeanor and pronunciation, and gave the Terran credit for learning the language:
"Profesor Uhura, you honor us with your presence. We are pleased that your daughter is bonded to a s'haile of the S'chn T'gai clan."
Amanda stood wide eyed, shocked that three of the commissioners from Vulcan High Command had come to greet Saana and had spoken to her with such high regard. Sarek gently touched her fingers to give her support.
Then the third commissioner, Avarak, spoke up: "If you have need of our service during your stay, Ambassador Sarek will act as liaison."
"Your greeting and service honor me," Saana responded.
Suter spoke again: "May I ask how you learned Vulcansu? Your diction is correct, and your phrasing has clarity."
"I was honored to be assisted in my learning by your aides on Earth and the modules that I trained on for the past several weeks."
Suter's brow rose: "Impressive; not many can accomplish such a feat in so little time."
Sarek turned to the commissioners: "Professor Uhura's daughter has a distinguished record in xeno-linguistics; according to Starfleet personnel files, she has become proficient in more than 75 languages or dialects, many of them alien to Earth."
"Lieutenant Uhura has much in common with your bondmate, Sarek. Lady Amanda continues to contribute to the linguistic banks of the Federation of Planets," T'Dess noted.
Amanda stared at the three Vulcans, still shocked by their praise. Never in her years on Vulcan had she heard such compliments. "I'm feeling a bit queasy from the overwhelming comments. I wonder what brought this on?"' she thought to herself. She decided that she had had enough of the fanfare:
"Professor Uhura, you must be tired from your journey. Please accompany my husband and I to our estate so that you can rest before end meal."
"Quite true, my Aduna. We will attend to her comfort, and she will partake in end meal with us," Sarek agreed.
Saana remembered that "end meal" meant dinner. She turned to the three commissioners and performed the ta'al:
"Sochya eh dif, commissioners of Vulcan."
The commissioners returned the salute and left Ambassador Sarek and his wife to their guest. As Sarek led the ladies and the aides to a hovercar, Amanda turned to Saana: "Oh my, Saana! That was wonderful! They are intrigued with you."
"Yes. They rarely appear to visitors to Vulcan. They nearly always send an aide in their place."
Saana didn't know what to think. She walked out of the building into the thin, hot air. The increase in gravity hit her immediately, and she almost lost her balance.
Amanda grabbed her arm, saying, "It will take a little while to adjust to the atmosphere and the gravity."
Sarek took note of her near-fall: "Did receive your tri-ox compound?"
"Yes. The healer on the ship said he notified your family healer of the injection."
"Good. That will help your body adjust to the differences. I will notify the chief healer of the S'chn T'gai clan of your presence in our home."
"I'm so glad you're here, Saana!" Amanda said, finally breaking out into a smile when they reached the car.
They loaded into the vehicle and headed out to the clan's estate. During the drive, Saana took note of the buildings they passed. Although the architecture was quite different from what she was familiar with, the buildings were gorgeous and impressive. She saw people walking around in long robes, but it strangely quiet for such a large city.
"This is beautiful; it's different."
Sarek explained: "Our capital, ShiKahr, is the home of our primary facilities for higher education and our political system."
The drive took about half an hour. On the outskirts of the city, there were fewer buildings or houses. Soon there was just desert vegetation, and Vulcan's two suns dominated the horizon.
"I never saw two suns like those," Saana said, attempting to block the glare with her hand.
"The Vulcan people have evolved to adapt to the sun's intensity."
"I have to wear special contact lenses for my eyes, I will order you a pair so you will be able withstand the glare," Amanda said.
Saana took in the view as best she could; then she saw a dwelling that looked like castle or mansion. It was huge and appeared to have been partially built into a cliff. She took it all in. "Sarek's family must be like the Rockefellers or Rothschilds on Earth," Saana thought.
As they entered the house, Sevel, steward of the estate, approached them: "Welcome, Professor Uhura. May your stay be a peaceful one," he said with a slight bow.
"Sevel, can one of the servants prepare tea for Professor Uhura? She has had a long journey."
"As you request, T'Amanda," Sevel said before bowing and leaving.
Sarek came and stood next to his wife: "Professor Uhura, we have prepared a room for you in which to rest; we will honored if you join us for end meal at 1800 hours."
Saana replied in Vulcansu: "I would honored, Ambassador Sarek."
" ‘Sarek' will suffice."
"Then you must call me ‘Saana'."
Sarek raised a brow and looked to his wife for permission.
"Of course; we are family now, Sarek," Amanda said graciously.
"Until then, Saana," Sarek said with slight bow of his head before leaving the room.
"What was that all about?" Saana asked.
"Sarek didn't want to offend you by addressing you by your first name. Among Vulcans, it's considered intimate, Amanda said. "I have to teach you more of the Vulcan social norms. They are very different from those of Earth."
"It's okay; I am a professor of anthropology, and it's all about culture!"
Amanda wrapped her arm around Saana's and led her toward her suite: "It's good that you have an open mind; it will come in handy when dealing with the local Vulcans. They can be a challenge. You have no idea how wonderful it is to have another Terran female to chit-chat and share womanly things with. Vulcan women don't do girl time as we do."
"Well, I've been out of action for some time. I know Nyota and her best friend Charlene would often have ‘girls night out' before she was married. I wonder if they still do?"
"I hope so. Vulcan women don't socialize as Terran women do. So here's your room."
Amanda stopped in front of a double door that swung open to reveal a large suite.
"Oh my! Vulcans do like things spacious! This is nice."
Amanda closed the doors, and the women sat on a loveseat and began chatting about current events. Outside the suite, standing nearby, Sarek quietly listened to the hum of conversation between his wife and Professor Uhura. The sounds rose and fell, frequently punctuated by giggling, a sound he would never become used to. It disturbed his sensitive ears, and he raised a hand to cover one of them. Sarek would never understand the human need to talk excessively, which he referred to as "non-constructive conversation" and Amanda called "small talk." She had tried to explain to him that is was a form of social bonding, but he had difficulty with the concept. The people of Vulcan generally eschewed that type of communication; they were concerned with the facts, no more and no less.
Sarek suddenly realized that his home would be filled with this type of chatter for the duration of the run-up to the celebration and beyond. He was aware that Terran females tended to engage in this type of conversation more than males. He also understood that his wife needed this for her well-being. But the thought remained that his home would be noisier than usual; even with the door to the suite closed, the sound filtered through it and filled the space where he was standing. He realized that it would interrupt the tranquility that he sought each day when he came home from the Academy or the Vulcan High Command. Sarek sighed quietly and resolved to increase his meditation time by 15.5 percent to accommodate the disruption of his household. He stood there for a few more minutes, noticing an increase in his wife's contentment through their bond. Thinking of the saying his wife had used several nights previous, "Happy wife, happy life," he was satisfied with the situation.
Sarek continued down the hall to his study, wondering about what the two Terran females would do as the days proceeded. Sarek wondered how long Professor Uhura would be staying. He continued into his study and realized that he had found the temporary sanctuary he would need until the noise of female conversation subsided. He com-linked the S'chn T'gai healer Shath to confirm the appointment for Professor Uhura's transponder implant.
A/N:  Vulcan Space Central is mentioned in "Amok Time."
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters and settings are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. No money is being made from this work. No copyright infringement is intended.