A/N Not mine, Paramounts.

Far above the small, insignificant, unpopulated world, a dark shadow momentarily blocked out the sun. As it departed, there was a grinding sound, as of falling rocks, and a cloud of dust rose into the air, then, as suddenly as it had occurred, all was still once more.

Within the glass, a small shape lay. A tiny baby, not much more than newborn lay, prostate inside the container. The alien on the other side smiled malignantly, eyes glittering as he beheld it, then all was still, except for the machinery that both kept the child alive, and artificially aged him.

The bay doors opened, admitting a thin, malnourished young boy, no more than six years old. His face was a networking of scars, mainly whip marks, from where he had not moved fast enough for his master, and therefore had to be taught a lesson. His hair was a dark blonde in colour, though it was impossible to really tell, as the true colour was disguised underneath years of dirt and grime. As he slipped towards the cargo waiting to be unloaded, like a good little slave, a small flicker of rebellion flashed, once, in the flat, deadened amber eyes, before it disappeared again.

As the boy waited to be sold, he trembled. The people who had 'raised' him no longer cared to give him life, therefore he was to be sold at the Romulan Slave auction.

'Boy 925, Human, reported as a Reconstituted Child. What am I offered?'

As the bidding petered out, the auctioneer sighed, no-one was interested in a harmless boy, after all. He sold him, without any second thoughts, to the Vulcan with the highest bid. As the boy was led away, he caught a glimpse of the Vulcan's face and sighed. What Ambassador Spock wanted with a slave-boy was beyond his comprehension.

As the boy was pushed into a warm, shaded cave, his cracked, parched lips opened, in order to question his new master. The Vulcan hushed him in a deep, whispering, cultured tone of voice, before placing his hands on the boy's shoulders and gesturing for the lad to sit down. As the boy did so, legs wearily, and eagerly collapsing from under him, the Vulcan offered him a water pouch. Scared, the boy looked up into the Vulcan's face, and the Vulcan barely restrained a gasp of astonishment. The boy had confirmed his darkest fears at a single glance.

'Drink up, Boy, it won't harm you.' He said, still in a lowered voice, looking at the boys mutilated and scarred face.

'But sir,' the boy protested, weakly, 'you can't mean it for me. I can live on that much for days! I've learned how.'

'Child', the Vulcan said, sighing, 'please, do not make me order you to drink it, because I will if I must. It's scarcely an adequate ration for a few hours in this heat. Much less for days, as you have obviously been made to believe.'

The boy sighed, and drank slowly from the carton as though savouring every drop of the life giving liquid within, before handing the three-quarter full pouch back to the Vulcan, who signed, before tucking it back into his robes.

'I believe introductions are in order, child. I am Ambassador Spock, of the United Federation of Planets.'



The boy looked at the Vulcan, shocked, before stammering out his response.

'But, sir. My master said that slavery was illegal there. That it's a crime.' Then he whimpered softly before curling up into a ball, and rocking slowly from side to side, remembering the cruel edge to his masters voice the day he had told the boy of this.

'It is a crime, young one. Slavery isn't allowed in the Federation, much less on Earth, which is where we'll be heading. Slavery itself is an abomination, and should be done away with, as it is not logical in any sense of the word for one being to own another. That is true for all children. Especially true in your case, though I am under strict orders not to reveal the details to you at this time. Child, you are no longer property, you never were legally. You're a federation citizen, and as such, you are free. Fully free. I am not your Master, and you are not my slave.' At that point a flicker of, was that emotion, flitted across his face. 'Regard me as you would a guardian, because, for all intents and purposes, that is precisely what I will be to you.'

The boy regarded Ambassador Spock as though he was a deity, a painful, fawning look in his eyes. 'Sir, if I am, as you say a federation citizen, does that mean that I have a a a a name?' A name was what all slaves ultimately coveted, but were rarely granted. And to have one at ten was, simply unheard of!

Ambassador Spock repressed the urge to go and kill the Romulans, as he looked at him. However, for the boys safety, if nothing else, nothing concrete could be made known about his true identity, even to the boy himself.

'You do have a name, Child, however, my orders were to seek out children, such as yourself, and to relocate you to Earth. Until our arrival, your name, along with those of the others, must remain a closely-guarded secret.' The boy slowly nodded, wondering internally if he had really heard the slight stress the Vulcan Ambassador had placed on the word child.

'Others? There are others, sir?'

'Yes, there are others. And do not call me sir, such a title is illogical.'

The boy sighed, then looked at his feet. He didn't glance up for the rest of the journey through the cave system, until he and the Ambassador were safely in a large cave. Looking around, as the Ambassador said that he could, he could make out the faces of about a dozen more children, mostly of his own age, or similar. The morning after he arrived in the cave, a single shuttle, with all children inside, headed space-wards, bound for Earth, and a new life for them all.

Just how much of a new life the children would enjoy, however was still a mystery.