A Brief Encounter

Because I have nothing better to do than to write subversive stories with more unhappy endings.  This is a TOS story that’s been floating around in my head for the last two days…

Author’s note: This is a very, very rough draft of a story that just popped into my head.  I have absolutely NO INTENTION of editing it or making it fit for fan fic consumption.  There will be misspelled words and hideous plotting errors, but I wanted to put it down on paper for I did think the premise rather interesting.  I got the idea after watching the TOS episode Amok Time (my absolute favorite of TOS)  I was wondering what mischief I can get up to between the Amok Time episode and the episode called, Mirror, Mirror.  It presented an interesting challenge.  This is the first of two (or perhaps three parts)  Don’t expect any regularity.  It’s very crappy… a few of you might enjoy it, most of you will not.

—–

It was not his imagination; the bridge had grown silent the moment he and Kirk stepped out of the turbolift.

Unaffected, Spock moved directly to the science station.  Pressing a few buttons, he brought up the scientific status report he had been working on before his illness.

“Mr. Chekov lay in a course for the Pollux system. Mr. Sulu, prepare to initiate warp three, if you please,” said Kirk.

The helmsman and the navigator gave their ayes.

“Captain,” said the communications chief, “I have a message from Vulcan Space Central; they say that they have a delivery to make before we leave orbit.”

“Very well, Lieutenant; inform Mr. Kyle in the transporter room.  As soon as we have it; let’s get the hell out of here.”  The faster they got away from the planet Vulcan the better.  The thought of T’Pau finding out that he wasn’t really dead filled him with a certain level of apprehension.  He was happy that he wasn’t lying on some cold slab in the ship’s morgue, but neither did he wish to stick around to see the leader of the Vulcan council’s reaction.  Tired, he dragged his hand across his forehead; the fight with Spock coupled with being “dead” had left him sluggish and drained.  Satisfied that the crew had things well in hand, he stood, intending to lie down for a while.  “I’ll be in my quarters if I’m needed.  You have the bridge, Mr. Spock.”

After the turbo lift doors whooshed to a close, you could have heard a pin drop.  Chekov glanced at Sulu, Sulu glanced at Scotty, Scotty glanced at Uhura and Uhura glanced at Spock.  Spock knew exactly what was on all of their minds but was not compelled to answer.  He merely remained in his chair and monitored the activities around the bridge from afar.

Uhura’s board beeped.  Placing her eyepiece back in, she spoke to Lieutenant Kyle.  “Mr. Kyle confirms that the delivery has been beamed aboard, Mr. Spock.”

“Very well, Lieutenant; proceed to the Pollux system, Mr. Sulu.”

Aye, sir.”

“Mr. Spock, Mr. Kyle wishes to know if you would like the delivery in your quarters or in the storage room on the crew deck.”

“My delivery?” he asked, swiveling his seat around to face her while raising an eyebrow.

“Yes, sir; he says that it is a fairly large shipping container.”

“Inform Mr. Kyle that the storage compartment on deck five is sufficient.”

“Aye, sir.”

“Sir,” said Sulu, ready to confirm their course, speed and destination, “Estimated time for arrival in the Pollux system, forty-eight hours.”

“Thank you, Mr. Sulu.”  He turned once more to Lieutenant Uhura.  “Did Lieutenant Kyle say who the delivery was from?”

“No sir; shall I find out?”

“Negative, it can wait.”

For the next few hours the bridge hummed along at it’s usual pace.  After the beta shift arrived, Kirk was not far behind.  To Spock’s eyes, he hardly looked any better but he knew that the Captain would not let his fatigue stop him from performing his duty.

“Report, Mr. Spock.”

“All systems and crew functioning within normal parameters, sir.”

“Good,” replied Kirk, “You are relieved, Mr. Spock; have a good night.”

Spock had wished to converse with the Captain further about that mornings incident; however, it was pretty plain to him that the Captain had come to the bridge after his shift to avoid just such a conversation.  Spock hesitated, but Kirk merely waved him out the door.  “I’ll see you in the morning.”

“Very well, Captain.”

—–

Christine and Uhura sat together in the officer’s mess.  Deep in contemplation, Christine picked at her dinner.

“You might as well get it off your chest,” said Uhura.

“I know; I just feel so—”

“Blindsided?  Girlfriend, been there, done that, wrote the instruction manual.  That is why you don’t see me running after these men around here for that very reason.  They all have secrets that I simply do not have the time or inclination to sort out.  I have my Starfleet issued blanket to keep me warm.”

“But engaged; I never saw that coming in a million years.”

“I know; Mr. Spock married; I never saw that one either; Mrs Spock is very beautiful, though.”

“I’m not actually certain that he is married.  When the Captain and the doctor beamed back up to the ship, I got the distinct impression that the Captain’s supposed heat exhaustion was a ruse for something else.  I don’t know all the particulars, but I don’t think that an actual marriage took place.”

“And knowing Mr. Spock as we do, we will never know.  The guy isn’t exactly the talkative sort.”  Uhura then laughed.  “Just look at us both, gossiping like a couple of high school girls.  What do you say to turning our minds to something better?  Do you still want to see the play tonight in the ships theater?”

“I don’t think so; I’m not really in the mood for a comedy tonight and the thought of a romantic comedy is turning my stomach.”  She pushed her plate away.  “And I’m not in the mood for blue protein nibs, either.  What I wouldn’t do for some of my mother’s fried chicken, mashed potatoes and buttermilk biscuits right now, smothered in gravy.”

“I know what you mean; I have been dreaming about real peach cobbler with actual ice cream on top for days now.  I can not believe I have been aboard this vessel for so long without something good to eat; it will be two years next Monday and with three to go.”

Christine placed her elbows on the table and rested her chin on the top of her hands.  “I guess I could put in another shift in the sick bay; Doctor McCoy is a little backed up in the lab after being down on the planet all morning.”

“So, you’re sure about the play?”

“I’m sure; you have a good time.  See you tomorrow.”

After Christine left, Uhura retrieved a second cup of coffee from the food dispenser and settled back in her chair to peruse her book.  She still had an hour or so before the play started and didn’t feel like returning to her quarters.

“May I join you, Lieutenant?”

Uhura looked up at the familiar voice and blinked.  Spock had never joined her before.  She glanced around the officer’s mess.  She had not noticed that other than herself and Spock, it was empty.

“Please do.”  She held out her hand to indicate the chair that Christine had just vacated.

She watched as Spock carefully spread his napkin on his lap.  He then rotated his plate.  Apparently he had not used up all of his meal rations like the humans all did at the start of the month for he had actual food on his plate.  She eyed the roasted potatoes and braised carrots, hungrily.

“You’re really not going to do that to me, are you?”

“Do what,” he asked looking up.

“You are reminding me that I’m a greedy human for using up my meal rations so quickly; Christine and I were just talking about real food before you came in.”

“You are welcome to share my dinner.”

She laughed.  “I wouldn’t dream of it.  Besides, I was only teasing.”

He raised both eyebrows before tucking into his food and she returned to her data tablet to read her book.

“Might I inquire as to your reading material?”

“I’m reading Cold Comfort Farm.  Have you ever heard of it?”

“I read it long ago as an experiment on human comical writing.  I found it… perplexing.”

“Well, it’s my favorite book; I just got to the part with the wedding.”  As soon as she said it, she wished it unsaid.  “I mean, I am nearing the end.”  Uhura set aside the tablet and took a deep sip from her coffee cup, only to flinch when she burned her tongue.

“I note your anxiety.  You are displaying the human characteristic of discomfort and embarrassment.  I assure you that it is unnecessary.”

“I didn’t mean—that is to say—I wasn’t—.”  She looked away; she was only making it worse.

“I can only assume that your uneasiness stems from this mornings activities.”

“I want to assure you that I wasn’t prying.  Your personal business is, after all your personal business.”

“And yet, you can not deny that the entire ship is curious about the events that transpired.”

Uhura glanced up at the clock.  “Wow, would you look at the time; I don’t want to be late for tonight’s play.”  She made to stand but Spock’s voice stopped her cold.

“The play does not begin for another hour and fifteen minutes; I would appreciate if for that interval you would remain here with me.  I would like the opportunity to explain myself and my situation.”

“To me?  Why on Earth do you want to tell it to me?”

“As communication’s chief it is your duty to relay news about the ship.  My intention was to explain about myself and about T’Pring in the hopes that you would—”

“Would what?  Gossip!”

“Gossip refers to a salacious act; that was not my intention.  The human expression of “putting the word out” is more suitable in the situation.  I detect a certain level of discomfort when I enter the room which I can only attribute to curiosity.  If my crewmates where to know that I am no longer bonded to T’Pring and that I am as it were a single man, we can all be as we once were.”

“Wait a minute, so you’re saying that your wife has, what, divorced you?”

“In the Vulcan way, yes.”

His casual manner shocked her.

“And you have no… regrets.”

“Regret is a human emotion.  Let us just say that I have nothing to lament. T’Pring and I hardly knew each other and even now she is bound to another.”

“My, my; you Vulcan’s certainly do work fast.”

“So you will aid me in this.”

“Wouldn’t it be easier just to make some sort of general announcement over the comm system.  You could say something like, ‘look everybody, I know what you’re all thinking but it’s not true.  I’m back on the market, ladies!”

He tilted his headed at her attempted jest.

“Ok, I was only making a little joke.”

“Yes, very little.  I had deduced long ago that you were a teasing woman.  I have endeavored to ignore it.”

“And you say you want my help, yet you keep making comments like that; you’re not exacting going about it the right way if you do, in fact, need my help.

“What do you suggest I do to pass along my information?”

“Actions speak louder than words, Mr. Spock.  It’s wouldn’t hurt if you were just a little more open.  Make more of an effort to get out of your cabin; mingle; ask a female out to the observation deck or down to a planet on shore leave once in a while.  Soon, everyone will see for themselves that you’re not exactly acting like a married man; they’ll figure it out on their own.”

“And when do you believe I should start this undertaking.”

“There is no time like the present.”  She stood once more.  “Now, if you will excuse me, Mr. Spock, I want to get back to my quarters to change before the play.”

He stood.  “Do you go to the play on your own this evening?”

“Well, yes; Christine was to come with me but she had work to do.”

“Might I accompany you, then?”

Uhura laughed.  “Oh, no you don’t, buster; you won’t be dragging me in the middle of this and having the crew thinking that I am some sort of a home wrecker.  You’ll have to pick someone else to help get you out of this mess.”

—–

The next morning was Lieutenant’s Palmer’s duty shift and Uhura had the day off.  Coincidently, it was Spock’s day off, too.  He was walking down the corridor just as Uhura was exciting the officer’s mess.

“Good Morning, Miss Uhura.  I trust you had an interesting evening.”

“A very good evening,” she said, matching his steps.  “Scotty made a great Leonato in the play last night; you should have come.”

“Correct me if I’m wrong, but did you not rebuff my attempts to accompany you?”

“You are a free individual; I never said that you couldn’t come to the play, I said that you couldn’t come with me.  You take everything so literally.”

“I am a Vulcan.”

“And don’t I know it.  So,” she sighed, taking note of his unusual casual attire, “Where are you off to on your day off?”

“To the storage facility to ascertain the nature of my delivery; where are you headed?”

“The same; I want to get some warmer clothing out of storage; the Pollux system has a few planets on the cold side and I want to be prepared.”

They walked the final few yards in silence, with Spock turning to his right and Uhura turned to her left when they entered the room.

“Lights,” commanded Spock upon entrance and the area lit up.  “The container in his personal storage bay was about two meter’s square.  It bore the markings of his family’s house on the side.  He assumed that it must be from his parents, or rather, from his mother.

Keying in the family combination to release the lid, he removed the top and peered down inside.  The contents stopped him cold.  And that was how she found him standing perfectly still like a silent sentinel; her coat draped over one arm.

“You seem… not quite yourself.  What is it, Mr. Spock?”

He looked up and caught her eye.  “Wedding gifts.”

—–

It was a strange sensation, he thought, to hear a woman’s laughter filling his quarters.

“Oh my, what on Earth is this?”  She held out a gaudy royal blue robe studded with golden rivets and tassels.

“It is called a pelal; a robe intended for my wedding night.”

“Your mother got you this?”

“No, my mother’s taste leans to the more conservative; that, no doubt is from one of my aunts.”

Uhura read the tag.  “It says, “V’Yar.”

“My father’s aunt.”

Uhura laughed again and Spock looked at her with disapproval.  “Ok, I’ll stop laughing but you have to admit, it is rather ugly.  So this goes into the “keep” pile, I take it.”

He raised his eyebrow yet again.

“See, there, you admit it; you think it’s ugly, too.”  She held up the pelal again and addressed the garment.  “Sorry Auntie V’Yar, but it is the “discard” pile for you.”

Spock spoke from inside the container, “I did not call any of my aunts, Auntie.”

“I’m sure you didn’t,” she mumbled under her breathe.”

He, of course heard her, and glanced up but said nothing.

“This is pretty fun, Mr. Spock.  I like the Vulcan notion of keeping the wedding gifts; it seems all so civilized.”

“I take it, then, that this is not the Earth custom.”

“Oh no; it is very bad form to keep wedding gifts when there has been no wedding… no matter how much one his tempted.”

She held up a nude statuette of a Vulcan male and made a face.  “What is this?  And please don’t tell me that it’s some sort of Vulcan fertility symbol.”

“You are close.  It is Surak.  His nakeness symbolizes his commitment to his tasks; that nothing, even though his clothes were burned from his body, would prevent him from his duty.  There should be a pair.”

Uhura opened a matching box.  “Found it!”  She regarded the female figure with long white hair.  “She’s lovely; who is she?”

“She is Selaya, the pure; she symbolizes the commitment that a female has to the male who was chosen for her.”

“So, she was Surak’s mate?”

“No, Seleya was a Katric who took her own life to free herself from Shule, Surak’s brother.  Shule coveted Seleya for himself and he imprisoned her in the caves of the Katrics.  The Katric’s were a race of Vulcan’s of the north who had great telepathic abilities.  Surak, although he loved his brother, he loved Seleya more.  And Surak, even though he was no warrior like his brother, went to great lengths to free her, but never could.  During this time, Shule, in a fit of madness, bent Seleya to his will, he… took her for himself.  Her body bruised and broken, she threw herself into the fires of the mountain.  If she could not be free to have Surak, she would have no other.  Surak tried to rescue here from the flames.”

“That’s  a…”

“Please do not say that it is a beautiful love story.”

“I wasn’t actually; I was going to say that it’s kind of twisted.”

Spock’s mouth quirked.

“The Vulcan’s of the past were rather cruel and violent; Surak enlightened us.”

“All because of Seleya.”

“All because of Seleya.”

They stared at each other in companionable silence for a moment before Spock spoke.

“Your help this morning has been invaluable, Miss Uhura.  I believe I can sort through the rest of these wedding gifts on my own.”

“No; let me help you finish.  How else are you going to determine what needs to be done with Uncle Skov’s—” looking at the tag, she held up another gaudy Vulcan artifact; it was a heavily gilded and chunky sort of chalice.

“That is the Cup of Enlightenment.”

“No, don’t tell me, this is a cup for you and your mate to drink from on your wedding night.”

“How did you guess,” he asked with the beginnings of a small smile.”

“I am beginning to detect a theme.”

To be continued…

—–

Author’s footnote: I only started to write this story because I am “stuck” on Full Circle.  I was working on Heart’s Guardian this weekend and had to change a scene.  Since HGn is connected to FC, I had to make the necessary changes to that story.  Unfortunately, I can’t figure out how to make it work., hence the ‘getting stuck’ part.  My apologies, but that is the risk one takes when one reads my stories.  I know, I suck! 😦

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11 thoughts on “A Brief Encounter

  1. This is what you call a ‘very very rough’ draft?
    [jealous sigh]

    And, TOS it may be, but I can’t help but read it visualising the XI actors instead. Habit. Sorry!

    Looking forward to the next part!

    • Yes, rough. Didn’t you notice all the misspelled words? I love lazy writing! 🙂 BTW: Gues what’s on my iPod as I write this reply. Yes, it is about the 100th time I’ve viewed in the last week. I just got to the part where Nero tells his crew to “Fire everything!” and then the Enterprise just magically appears to save the day. I always want to jump up out of my seat when that happens. Can’t geek out like that at work.

  2. This is GREAT! I am really enjoying it. We all know you are very busy but more would be great. I loved the “very little” joke ref and Cold Comfort Farm, a favourite of mine also! Will there eventually be something nasty in the wood shed?

    • Thanks! I knew a real Trekker would notice the “Little Joke” reference from “Trouble With Tribbles” – I love that episode, too! Sorry, no woodsheds!

  3. I agree with Kirsty. If this is a ‘very very rough draft’ then seat me in the extremely jealous section too. I loved it, but I love all your stories and writing.

    Many laugh out loud moments, especially when Uhura tells Spock that she’s not going ANYWHERE with him and giving the crew the idea that she’s a home wrecker, LOL!!

    And the Cold Comfort Farm reference just warms the cockles of my heart. I love that book (the movie too!).

    More please!!!

    • Thanks for your nice words, P. But I know when something sucks; no flow, no stage direction, no character development, etc. But then, Trekkers don’t really have to think about character development; we already know how these people should act.

      BTW: I have the entire Surak/Seleya backstory in my mind. I’m actually considering writng a real ST novel based on them. Hmmm?

    • Nikki, I hope you know that this is how SPAT got started. It started as a random post that I said I didn’t care about and wasn’t going to edit… then, 21 chapters later…

      I actually prefer writing Spock Prime. Emo-Quinto-Spock’s voice is so much harder to find. Then again, I have only just met him; I’ve known the original Spock character a lot longer. His voice permeates everything in these stories I write.

      I left you a little present above this post. I hope you enjoy it. Thanks for reading and the kind words.

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