Two Days Later
"Nurse Chekov, are you okay?" Joanna, who had taken a moment by herself to cry over missing Pavel in what was left of Captain Terrell's ready room, heard a gentle voice ask. "I was looking for you."
Joanna turned and sighed when she saw Gillian's 17 year old daughter, Rebecca, standing there in a Science shirt, pants, and boots with David and Lenny at her sides, "Lieutenant Scott was very busy in Engineering and asked me to bring the boys to you," Rebecca explained softly. "They miss you."
"Oh, thank you, Rebecca," Joanna replied softly. "I…I was just missing Pavel…I apologize."
Rebecca nodded, "No need to be sorry," she replied softly. "Mom's just on the Bridge…"
Nodding, Joanna took David and Lenny's hands, "Were you good for Lieutenant Scott?" she asked in a gentle voice, smiling at David and Lenny. "Mommy's really missed you guys during her work."
"Da, Mama, we've been good," David and Lenny answered in unison. "We missed you!"
When Rebecca led Joanna, David, and Lenny on to the Bridge, Joanna saw Gillian sitting in the command chair with her young son, Gabriel, on her lap while she talked with Joachim, "Joanna, we've just received a response to our distress call," Joachim said, seeing Joanna. "The Enterprise is within hours of us."
"The Enterprise?" Joanna asked in a surprised voice. "I wonder if they were ordered to find Hikaru?"
Joachim sighed, his expression angry, "I can't believe Khan has them!" he snapped, deeply upset. "It's bad enough that Valeris got beaten up by Romulans, but at least she's safe and is resting in quarters."
"Try seeing if our scanners can find any sign of them, Mister Stiles," Gillian, who had known about Joachim's true parentage ever since he came on board, said in a kind voice. "Maybe we can find them."
Swallowing hard, Joachim silently went over to the Science console as Gabriel looked up at Gillian, "Mama, is Mister Pavel coming back?" Gabriel asked, having taken a liking to Pavel and Joanna.
"I hope so, but there's a ship coming to help us very soon and it will probably help us find Mister Pavel, Gabriel," Gillian replied in a gentle voice, gently stroking his blonde hair. "How are you, Joanna?"
Joanna sighed, "As well as can be expected, Captain," she replied softly. "I'm worried about Pavel."
"There is a faint signal, but I can't determine from where," Joachim suddenly spoke up worriedly.
Gillian sighed, "We should prepare for the Enterprise's arrival," she said in a commanding voice as she handed Gabriel to Rebecca and stood up. "Watch your brother, Becky. I need to give out some orders."
"Ambassador Sarek, what an unexpected surprise," Jim commented, having run like a madman to the shuttlebay once Spock had informed him of Sarek's arrival via shuttlecraft. "I apologize for…"
Sarek sighed, "No apology is necessary, Admiral," he replied tonelessly. "I came on a personal matter."
Before Jim could speak, the doors slid open and Arianne came into the shuttlebay and stopped in her tracks at seeing Sarek, "Ambassador Sarek," Arianne spoke in a kind voice. "It is good to see you."
"Spock told me of Zachary's illness, Arianne," Sarek replied tonelessly, approaching her. "Where is he?"
Arianne sighed, "Zachary's in our quarters resting," she replied calmly. "He gets tired very easily."
"Spock, I wish to speak with you after I see to Zachary," Sarek said. "In your quarters, perhaps?"
Spock nodded, "That would be agreeable, Father," he replied calmly. "I will meet you there."
Sarek nodded and silently left the shuttlebay with Arianne, "Arianne was distressed because the New Vulcan High Command would not help her, so I decided to approach my father personally," Spock commented tonelessly, catching Jim's curious look. "No disagreement is worth anyone's life."
"We'll be meeting up with Reliant soon," Jim commented. "Are you going to be able to…?"
Spock sighed, "My father's presence on board the ship will not compromise my ability to do my duty, Admiral," he replied tonelessly. "I will simply meditate in my quarters until I speak with him."
"I would offer to play a game of chess with you while you wait, but I need to prepare Enterprise for when we meet with Reliant," Jim commented in a tired voice. "Not only that, but I need to figure out how on earth we're supposed to go about searching for Sulu without breaking any treaties."
Unknown Planet – Klingon/Romulan Neutral Zone
"Demora…?" Pavel heard a faint voice ask as he worked at a nearby station, making a log of his experiences while Khan searched the station for anything they could use to survive there.
Pavel looked up from the computer just in time to see Hikaru, who was still restrained to the table so he wouldn't tear his bandaged stitches, open his eyes, "Heekaru," he said in a calming voice. "Relax."
"Where…where am I?" Hikaru asked in a faint voice, gazing up at Pavel. "Why…why am I tied up?"
Pavel sighed, "Khan remowed ze slug from your body and you are tied up zo you do not rip ze steetches," he explained calmly. "Ve crash landed on a planet trying to escape ze Romulans."
Hikaru nodded and winced as he felt pain in his abdomen and chest, "You are paneecking," Pavel said, seeing Hikaru's facial expression. "You hawe to breeze easier because you need to sawe strength."
"Am I going to die?" Hikaru asked in a frightened voice. "I don't…I can't remember very myuch."
Pavel nodded, "You had a bad seizure two days ago and zat ees vhy Khan remowed ze slug," he explained in a calming voice. "Ve hawe sent out a deestress seegnal, but no response as of yet."
"I'm feeling sick, tired, and sore," Hikaru spoke weakly. "I can't feel anything below my waist."
Pavel looked concerned and immediately grabbed one of the drip-boxes of fluids that he and Khan had found on their initial search of the outpost, "I can geeve you fluids by dreepline, but Khan said zat your body might not digest food or vater," he replied softly, quickly hooking it to Hikaru's left arm.
"I don't want to die on this cold table, Pavel," Hikaru spoke weakly. "I need to die somewhere soft."
A heavy silence filled the outpost and Pavel froze as he heard Khan's boots walk across the floor, "It is good to see you awake, Lieutenant Sulu," Khan said as he approached the table. "How are you?"
"Why did you save my life, Khan?" Hikaru asked weakly. "You could have left me to die."
Khan scoffed, "Susan Ling was one of my most skilled officers and Demora was everything to her until she died," he explained in a voice of reason. "Starfleet was foolish to punish you for being a father."
Hikaru, however, suddenly became very afraid that Khan was going to kill him and didn't say anything even though he wanted to, "You don't trust me," Khan observed, noting Hikaru's look of fear as he silently untied Hikaru's arms from the posts and lowered them to his sides. "I do not blame you."
Pavel watched in astonishment as Khan untied Hikaru's feet, "I did find a mattress in the outpost and I brought it here," Khan explained calmly. "If you wish, you may rest there instead of on this."
"Please," Hikaru spoke weakly, his energy fading. "I want to die somewhere comfortable."
Khan nodded and he and Pavel carefully moved Hikaru from the table to a mattress on the floor that was in view of the computer. Suddenly, there were loud sounds overhead followed by shouting.
"Stay here," Khan said as he silently took a knife off of his belt. "The Romulans may have returned."
Pavel frowned, "Zey vill kepture you," he replied in a concerned voice. "And zen zey vill keel us."
"I have a better chance of surviving them," Khan replied coldly as he marched out of the outpost.
As the doors were forced shut, Pavel quickly grabbed the box of supplies Khan had gathered and began to look for things he could not only use for sustenance, but also as a weapon to defend both of them.
"Zachary?" Zachary heard his mother's voice ask as he lay in bed, sleeping lightly.
Zachary opened his eyes and was surprised to see Sarek and his mother standing beside his bed, "Ambassador Sarek came from New Vulcan to help you, Zachary," Arianne said in a quiet voice.
"Uncle Spock needs the help more than I do," Zachary replied softly. "He had brain cancer and still takes medicine from time to time to make sure it doesn't come back. I heard him telling Aunt Nyota that."
Shock filled Sarek's face, but he said nothing about it, "A simple mind meld should cure the Pa'nar Syndrome," Sarek explained, gazing at Zachary. "If you allow me access to your mind…"
"I want to feel better, sir," Zachary replied softly. "I want to get back to preparing for the Academy."
Sarek nodded and gently placed his hands on Zachary's face before closing his eyes and remaining quiet for several minutes. Finally, Sarek released Zachary's face and Zachary drifted off looking peaceful.
"Zachary's mind is exhausted from the meld, but he will wake feeling better," Sarek replied tonelessly.
Arianne nodded, "Thank you, Sarek," she said softly. "Did you want to talk while you are here?"
"Perhaps after I am finished talking with Spock?" Sarek asked tonelessly. "I will come to your office."
Arianne nodded and watched as Sarek left the room before turning to watch Zachary sleep.
It did not take Sarek long to find Spock's quarters, but when he pressed the door chime, nobody answered, "Spock?" Sarek asked tonelessly, frowning as the door opened without any command.
When there was still no response, Sarek entered the quarters and saw Spock sitting on a window seat with his eyes closed and his arms folded. A small bottle of pills sat on the nearby coffee table next to a clear mug of liquid that looked as if it had been half drunk. Spock's breathing was even and steady.
"Spock," Sarek said tonelessly, almost frowning when Spock's eyes opened. "What is this?"
Spock sighed, "Medication to stabilize the chemicals in my brain, Father," he replied tonelessly.
"I do not understand," Sarek replied tonelessly. "Your mind has been stable your whole life."
Spock's eyes narrowed, "When the Vulcan High Command forced us to break our parent-child bond, I became ill with brain cancer caused by a chemical reaction," he replied tonelessly. "I underwent surgical and radiation treatment for the cancer. The medication is to keep the chemistry in my brain stable."
Sarek silently walked over to the window seat and sat down, "It is, unfortunately, permanent damage that I must learn to live with, according to the doctors in Starfleet," Spock commented tonelessly.
"Allow me into your mind, Spock," Sarek spoke tonelessly. "Perhaps I can offer you some relief."
Spock silently closed his eyes and bowed his head, allowing Sarek to initiate a meld. Father and son sat there for several moments as Sarek explored Spock's mind to try and reconnect with his son.
The doors slid open and Nyota, who was shepherding Tuvok and Demora back for lunch, froze at the sight of Sarek and Spock. She stood there silently with both children and watched the meld proceed.
"Grandpa Sarek!" Tuvok called out as the meld ended and Spock and Sarek opened their eyes.
Sarek looked slightly comforted as Tuvok ran over to him and instantly hugged him, not caring about Vulcan etiquette, "Tuvok, Demora, please sit at the table and I'll get your lunch," Nyota said calmly.
"Did you have another child since our last meeting?" Sarek asked tonelessly, raising an eyebrow as he watched Demora and Tuvok take spots at the table and Nyota go to the replicator to make lunch.
Nyota shook her head, "Demora belongs to Lieutenant Sulu," she replied in a concerned voice.
"My daddy was kidnapped by bad people," Demora spoke softly, her tone sad. "He's lost in space."
Sarek gazed at Spock, "We are rendezvousing with the damaged U.S.S. Reliant en route to finding Lieutenant Sulu," Spock explained tonelessly. "We are facing the prospect of a dangerous journey."
A loud alarm suddenly filled the room, "Commander Spock, report to the Bridge," a voice ordered.
Swallowing hard, Spock rose and silently left the room, sure that the Reliant was now close by.
Alarms blared throughout the ship, but Valeris ignored them as she made her way to the transporter room to try and escape. She was frightened about the prospect of seeing the Enterprise crew again.
When she got there, however, she was surprised to see Charlie Evans-Scott working frantically at the transporter, "What...what's going on?" she asked in a shaken voice. "Is the Enterprise here?"
"Yes, I am beaming over an away team now," Charlie Evans-Scott replied. "Energizing now."
Valeris shrank back against the wall as Jim, Spock, Arianne, Giotto, Hawkins, Leonard, and several other Security and Medical officers materialized on the pad with supplies, "Valeris?" Jim asked anxiously.
"Acting Captain Taylor is on the Bridge, as is most of the crew who is able to work," Valeris reported.
Jim nodded, confused as to how Valeris got there, "Valeris, could you possibly direct us to the Bridge?" Spock asked tonelessly, intending to speak with Valeris at a more appropriate time. "Please?"
"There are many wounded and dead on the way to the Bridge," Valeris replied nervously.
Spock silently stepped off the pad and walked over to Valeris, "Your assistance would be appreciated, Valeris, my child," he spoke calmly, offering his hand to her. "No harm will come to you."
Nodding, Valeris took Spock's hand and silently led the group down the corridor, not speaking even when several people broke off to tend to the wounded. When the remainder of the group finally reached the Bridge, Leonard and Arianne were nearly knocked off his feet by an anxious David and Lenny, both of whom were anxious and pleased to see that their grandparents were all right.
Joanna, however, remained over by where Gillian was standing with Rebecca, Gabriel, Joachim, Kyle, and the few Bridge officers who were unharmed but exhausted, "Who's Acting Captain?" Jim asked.
"I am Lieutenant Commander Gillian Taylor, Chief Science Officer," Gillian said in a calm voice. "I'm assuming you're Admiral Kirk, so I'll tell you that Captain Terrell was killed…"
Jim frowned, "Where's Commander Chekov?" he asked worriedly. "He's the First Officer, right?"
"Admiral, Commander Chekov was taken from the ship by Khan Noonien Singh to help rescue Lieutenant Sulu from the Romulans," Joanna spoke anxiously. "This happened four days ago."
Joachim cleared his throat, "I did detect a weak distress signal on Reliant's sensors, but the location of the signal is unknown," he spoke in a grave voice. "I honestly wish we had better news for you."
"Spock, you and Valeris work with Joachim to try and find the location of the signal," Jim said in a commanding voice as he stepped forward. "Acting Captain Taylor, under the circumstances, I would recommend that any able crew should beam over to the Enterprise while repair teams from my crew take a look at what can be done for the Reliant. Perhaps the ones with kids should go first."
Gillian gave Jim a look, "I have two: my daughter, Rebecca and my son, Gabriel," she replied sternly, giving Jim a look. "Nurse Chekov, could you please take my children and yours to the Enterprise?"
"Joanna, Rebecca, bring Gabriel, David, and Lenny, and come with me," Arianne said calmly. "I'll take this group over to the Enterprise and I'll come back to help once they're all settled and safe."
Once Arianne, Joanna, and the children had left, Jim looked at Gillian, "Please put us to work, Commander," he said in a kind, but formal voice. "We're here to help wherever we are needed."
"We're grateful for whatever help your crew can offer us, Admiral," Gillian replied calmly.
"The Romulans have vessels orbiting the planet," Khan reported as he pushed through the door that led to the outpost. "They have obviously detected our presence...it was expected."
Before Pavel could reply, the outpost shook and dust fell from the ceiling, followed by loud booming sounds, "Zey are shooteeng blind!" Pavel cried, quickly covering Hikaru with his body.
"Their scanning equipment must not be operating properly," Khan observed in a cold voice, figuring that the Romulans must have returned without reinforcements and were using what they could to find him and the others. "I saw warbirds firing from very high in the sky."
Hikaru trembled and threw up, but he remained awake, "Can you fight, Pavel Chekov?" Khan asked, his gaze studying Pavel intently. "You are at full health, but do you have courage?"
"Someone has to look after Heekaru," Pavel snapped. "He has too much to leeve for!"
Khan raised his eyebrows and looked amused, the smirk fading from his face as he suddenly heard the sounds of a ship landing, "Stay in this building and make NO noise if you value your life and Lieutenant Sulu's life," he snapped. "I will try to lead them away from the building."
Hikaru made to protest, but Pavel clamped a hand over his mouth and watched as Khan gathered minimal supplies, "I have turned on a tricorder with a signal similar to the one that is being sent out to ships and stations and it will lead the Romulans away from here."
"Senk you," Pavel spoke softly, releasing Hikaru's mouth. "Ve are appreceeative..."
Khan nodded and silently swept out of the outpost, leaving the two Starfleet officers alone and without any idea what to do next. Pavel and Hikaru cringed as they heard shouting, phaser fire, and then as they began to fear for their lives, all of the noise outside suddenly faded away.
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