Banshee

The woman screeched again. Dark hair wild as she paced the chamber, muttering over and over. McCoy turned up the volume to hear what she was saying.

Her voice, normally so precise, was erratic as she repeated, "Keep him away. Keep him away. Keep him away."

McCoy shook his head. Such a waste. She had never been the same since the violence she suffered at Spock's hands, the mental trauma.

The woman stopped to look up at something only she saw. "Don't hurt me." She cringed and batted at imaginary hands that reached for her face. "Get away from me!" She ran to the wall, crashing into the pads, falling to the soft floor. She clawed at the wall, trying to tear the padding away, desperate to get away from the specter that haunted her.

McCoy turned at the sound of a door opening, nodded grimly at Kirk. The doctor turned back to the window.

Kirk asked, "No change?" They both jumped as another scream rang out. Kirk's expression went hard at the sight of the woman. Hatred seemed to be his only emotion.

McCoy noticed his expression. "She didn't deserve this, Jim."

"She killed Spock."

"Only after what he did to her."

"She knew what she was doing. She did it willingly. She took a risk and it didn't pay off."

"He traumatized her."

"He wasn't himself."

"Neither was she, Jim."

Again the woman screamed. She rushed the viewing panel. Pounded on it with her fists. "Keep him away from me! Keep him away."

McCoy studied her again. She had taken on far more than she was ready for, and Spock had extracted a terrible price for it. He knew that what she had done was wrong but she didn't deserve to suffer like this. Nobody did.

"She'll rot in here," Kirk vowed. "She killed Spock and she will pay."

"She is paying, Jim. Look at her. She'll never use that fine mind again. She'll never make a joke or anticipate an order. The woman we knew is gone. What's left is nothing more than a shell. A totally insane shell doomed to live the violation she suffered and the retribution she exacted over and over again."

The woman suddenly calmed. She turned grimly to the spectre. "You hurt me. You hurt me so bad. You'll never do that again." She pulled out an imaginary phaser. Her laughter rang out as her ghostly nemesis fell. Then she screamed in misery. "Spock! No, Spock no! Don't die. I love you. Don't die."

She crumpled in a ball stroking imaginary hair. "I just wanted to love you," she moaned. I just wanted to do what I thought you wanted. I would have given you anything. Why did you have to hurt me? Why did you have to hurt me?" She lay shaking on the floor, weeping and calling out his name.

Then she was still.

McCoy looked at Jim. "It just starts all over. I've been here two hours. I've seen this play out a dozen times."

Sure enough the woman stood and wailed over and over again. Then she muttered repeatedly, " Keep him away."

"Haven't we seen enough, Bones?" Kirk turned and walked out of the room.

McCoy gave the woman one last look. He knew she was terminally insane and likely to stay that way.

"Goodbye Christine," he whispered as he turned and walked away.

FIN