"ETA is five minutes." Spock's high and tired voice cut through the dank stillness of stagnant air.
Sarek nodded. "Acknowledged."
At this point he was using one arm to support his daughter as she limped along: while she could reach their destination unaided, it was vital that she be in proper condition to operate the compressor. It was a two person job, as while the compressor contained it's own power supply in order to teleport itself, constant adjustments needed to be made to account for the planet's shifting energy field, which required all of one person's attention.
For the other person's part, the compressor was a crude form of technology, lacking the delicate technology of starship transporters. It was not corresponding with another transporter on board, and, thus, required precise input of where to transport.
Thus, one person needed to put in coordinates for transport relative to the compressor's location, while the other person gave the proper energy and power measurements necessary to account for energy interference.
As they approached the crystals, Sarek released Spock so she could begin setting up the compressor in the middle of the rounded cavern. Sarek began retrieving the crystals. They had brought mining phasors with them, which could be set to disintegrate everything around a particular entered material. In this case, dilithium crystals.
Once the crystals were arranged by their sides, the two began calibrations. The first thing necessary was to decide on a time to beam up. This would control where the Enterprise would be, and, thus, where to beam up to. This was Spock's job. Sarek would be accounting for the energy field.
"ETA is 2 minutes."
Spock's fingers danced over metal controls. If the planet had a circumference of 52,453 miles an the Enterprise was maintaining an orbit of six miles with a variation of half a mile unless…
Sarek waited for Spock to make headway before beginning to take readings of the planetary disruptions and begin compensating for them. This was, in actuality, the more difficult job, as the standards were constantly changing, as opposed to the definiteness of Spock's goal. Normally, their positions would be reversed, but Spock was barely in a condition to perform advanced rocket science in her head, and was thus forced into her current position.
Sarek kept up his series of computations while keeping a watchful eye on his daughter. Her skin was wax and her eyes melting ice, glassy and unfocused. Still, there was a determination in them that let Sarek know that she would see her duty performed no matter what, and that they would both be delivered to the Enterprise as long as she continued to draw breath.
A high pitched screeching noise rent the air as the compressor compressed the time and space continuum, sucking all the moisture out of the air as it did so. The two were landed in the engine room of the Enterprise. Spock collapsed and green fluid slicked the floor.
Sarek rushed to an intercom.
"Well, Ms Spock, you have managed to, once again, get in trouble, bleed on the floor, bleed all over my medbay, and live to tell the tale. I am now firmly convinced that if you ever had an encounter with an angry puppy you would end up here. Try to stay out of trouble next time! Go to the planet: do science. That was your mission. And you managed to-"
"Bones, Bones! I'm sure our beleaguered passenger doesn't need this as a wake up call!" Jim smiled reassuringly at Ms Spock. "Welcome back. And, we have good news."
"Yep." Came a higher, though similar sounding voice. Captain Jane T Kirk enthused, arms crossed over her chest and a smile holding to her face. "We've got company."
Ms Spock raised an eyebrow. "What a coincidence."
"Not at all." Spock informed her from his place at Jim's side. "Your Enterprise seems to take similar attitude to ours concerning missing captains and first officers."
"They are here?"
"Here, and some have beamed over." Jim grinned. "Mr Spock will be quite eager to have some assistance against Mrs Bones."
"Nobody calls her that!" McCoy reprimanded grumpily. "And for good reason. It sounds stupid."
Ms Spock immediately began sitting up. "Shall we leave immediately, Captain?"
"I do believe so, my dear Ms Spock." Jane offered a hand, and Spock pulled herself out of the bed.
"It's been a pleasure, me, Mr Spock and Mr Bones." Jane offered cheerfully. "All the same, this is where we must bid you adieu. It's been an adventure: much like in our own world we spent most of the time captured or in medbay, and we got boarded. I think our universes are very much alike."
"Well, me and Ms Spock, we've had an enchanting time being captured and boarded alongside you. Come back later, if you can. We'll leave the backdoor open." Jim grinned, and the two women walked out of medbay.
Christine was interrupted from her work by the ambassador Sarek, whose presence immediately announced the need for undivided attention.
"Ambassador. Dr McCoy isn't here right now, but I can help if you need anything, or I could call him…"
"No need, nurse. My inquiry is simple. The interuniversal travelers have been properly restored to their dimension, correct?"
"Yes, sir, that's correct."
"Good. What was the condition of Ms Spock when she departed? She was vitaly injured the last time I saw her."
"She was fully functional and making a complete recovery."
Sarek turned around to see Spock standing in the doorway. Spock raised an eyebrow.
"If you two don't mind, I think I should go run some tests in the botany lab." Christine excused herself, glancing over her shoulder at the estranged father and son as she left.
Neither Spock nor Sarek moved.
"I am surprised you felt it necessary to make such an inquiry."
"Why should I not?"
"It is not vital information in relation to yourself."
Sarek's eyes narrowed as his thoughts turned. "And why should it not be? In a sense, I am bonded to her. In a sense, I am responsible for her."
"I see no reason that you should be responsible for her."
"Do you not?" Sarek fought to keep his lips from pursing. Could Spock not make this simple? And yet… Sarek was the father and elder in the situation. This was his responsibility. He could not rely on Spock to bridge gaps Sarek had created.
"Spock. There has never been a formal rift between us. I do not suppose we needed a formal rift. However, while I still do not completely approve of your choice to enlist in Starfleet, do not assume that I feel shame at you. Do not assume that I feel you any sort of disgrace. Do not assume that I do not yet think of you as my son."
"Captain. Thinking, I assume?"
"Correct as always, Ms Spock."
"Is something the matter concerning our counterparts…?"
"No, no. Nothing of the kind. Just wondering… if so much stayed the same when so much was different… how much free will do we really have? How much is determined by the universe at large and what can or should we do about it?"
"Perhaps, captain, we are simply strong willed individuals who do not let things keep us from our goals."
"You know what? Maybe that's it. Come on. It's time to go where no woman has gone before."