Author's note: I know it says Rand left during the first season, but I've always believed that she stayed for the 5 year mission and you just couldn't see her. Grace Lee Whitney was such a wonderful woman, and I think Jancie Rand deserves more justice than apearing in 8 episodes and making cameos in 4 of the movies. And Chekov's dialogue is not a spell error, It's to highlight his accent.

"Alright Mr. Sulu, warp factor one!" Captain Kirk instructed his pilot Sulu, who muttered a response. He flicked a switch and pressed many buttons on his control panel.

"Warp factor one reached sir. We are now into range of Karo t'saro" He responded. Kirk then projected an image of the planet they were supposed to transport a landing party on, Karo t'saro, onto the main view screen. It was a planet that had many features earthalso had; it was the same size, had one moon, and the surface was similar. The only differences were that the planet was inhabited by a different species called the Anisall, and that the planet's atmosphere was composed of different properties than earths.

Lieutenant Nyota Uhura was mesmerized by the sight, andshe couldn't wait to see what the planet's surface looked like. Being a communications officer, she was in the landing party along with the Captain, Commander Spock, Dr. McCoy, and some security officers. As soon as the ship came into orbit, she would get on the transporter and beam down onto Karo t'saro. All she had to do now was wait for her substitute to come and take over the communications station for her.

"Are you ready to go on the mission, Lieutenant?" Commander Spock suddenly asked her. He had been standing at her side for a while now, and Uhurahad not noticed him. A deep flush crept over her as his utterly handsome voice ran through her ears like music. She couldn't help having a certain attraction to the Vulcan. She loved every bit of him; from his perfectly pointed ears right down to his 10 shoe-sized feet. His Vulcan side, his human side, everything about him was special. Uhuracouldn't remember the last time she felt this way when around someone, so this was sort of a new experience for her. Especially when this certain someone was Vulcan.

"I'm almost ready, Commander. I just have to wait for Lieutenant Lewis to come and take over for me. Then I'll be ready."

"Ms Lewis has exactly 8.4 minuets to get to her post. Judging from her service record, she most likely will not be late." He then went back to his sciences station to give Kirk the necessary readings he needed about the planet. Although he was half Vulcan and kept his emotions well-hidden under a deep layer of self control, he couldn't help but feel slightly nervous. Recent studies of the records of the planet showed that not many Starfleet ships had successfully transported landing parties onto the planet. Karo t'saro was not part of the federation, and the records of the planet were very vague. Spock had also heard something about the planet that was distubing to most people. There were some ships that had been ordered to go to Karo t'saro that never came back. Starfleettried to cover up any reports of such things, but Spock once met another Vulcan crew member that had returned from one of the missing ships. He told him that at some point while trying to get into orbit around the planet, the human members of his crew all disappeared leaving him and two other non-human crew members on board. Spock had come to Kirk about this, but he shrugged him off saying that there was no scientific record of this and that if Starfleet had thought it important that they would not have sent the Enterprise to Karo t'saro. Spock could not disagree with Kirk's statement, but he still felt a little uneasy as he stared into his computer and read out the data to his captain.

"Karo t'sarois a M-class planet with a mostly nitrogen-oxygen-takaloniteatmosphere, save for the last layer of the atmosphere, which is nitrogen-oxygen. There is also an added unknown chemical element in the second layer of the atmosphere. The planet-"

"Can you identify this unkown element?" Kirk interrupted.

"No sir. Our sensors read this element, but it is not in the database."

"Thank you, Mr. Spock. Steady orbit around the planet, Mr. Sulu." Sulu did as the captain told him to do and pressed the coordinates into his station. He then flicked a swich andthe Enterprise begin to enter the planet's atmosphere. Just as the ship entered the second layer of Karo t'saro's atmosphere, it suddenly began to shake rather violently. Uhura'schair spun around and her leg hit the side of her station, causing her to fall on the floor. Fortunately, she was able to steady herself by grabbing onto a nearby railing.

"What the hell's happening?" Yelled Kirk. He swiveled in his chair, grabbing onto the arms and digging his feet into the floor. The other crew on the bridge fell out of their chairs and were tossed about the ship.

"Ve don't know Keptain! All ze monitors are going off like crazy!" Screamed Ensign Pavel Chekov, who was frantically pressing various buttons at his station in hopes that it would stabilize the ship. Unfortunately, the ship's shaking got even worse.

Finally Spock realized what was happening and jumped on Uhura, tackling her to the ground. When she fell, her head hit the groundso hard that it caused her to black out for a moment. When she regained consciousness, Spock was still on top of her, his arms wrapped around her in a protective bear hug.

"What are you doing!" Uhura flustered, her face turning red again. Spock's face was just inches away from hers, adding to the awkwardness of the situation.

"I am protecting you..." Spock replied. He was also well aware of how awkward the situation was, andhe could feel that his face was getting warmer by the second. He unwrapped his arms from Uhura's perfectly shaped body and helped her off the floor.

Remembering that she was part of the landing party, Uhuratold Spock that she would deal with him later and quickly exited the bridge and into the turbolift. When she got off the lift and walked through the halls, she noticed that they were strangely empty.

"I must have hit my head too hard on the floor. I'm beginning to hallucinate."She thought to herself. Uhura then rounded an corner and entered the transporter room.

Unfortunately, it was empty too. Mr. Scott wasn't at his station, ready to transport the landing party to Karo t'saro. The landing party wasn't there either.

"What on earth is going on here?" She yelled out loud. As soon as she finished speaking, Spock entered the room.

"Miss Uhura, I can explain-"

"You better, Mister! Where is everyone!"

"Everyone who was aboard the Enterprise before it started to shake is now on Karo t'saro, except for you and I." Uhura'sbrowfurrowed, as she wasn't quite sure what Spock meant. But her eyes suddenly widened in shock as he nodded to reassure her that her was telling the truth.

"I... This is so sudden... I don't know what to..." She muttered in surprise.

"Come with me." Spock then led Uhura away from the transporter room and back to the bridge. He sat down in the captain's chair and brought up an image on the main view screen.

"I don't see anything..." Uhura told him, squinting her eyes in hopes that she would see something in the hazy image.

"We are currently in a layer of Karo t'saro's dense Atmosphere. As illogical as it may seem, the layer that we just passed through is made up of a strange chemical element that apparently when flown through, transports any humans and other certain life forms on their ship onto the planet where they are most likely captured. It acts as a defence system so that no inferior ship lands on the planet and tries to steal any samples of the planet or otherwise harming it."

"Then why am I still here?"

"Because when I jumped on you, I 'shielded' you from the effects of the atmosphere. I am Vulcan, one of the species it does not transport, so I am safe form the atmosphere."

"So if you knew what would happen, then why did we proceed with the mission?"

"What I heard about the atmosphere was a rumour. I alerted the captain about it, but he told me that it was just a rumour and that we had to follow Starfleet's orders no matter what the risk."

"So, can we get out of this if we had to?"

"Get out of what? Please explain." Uhura let out a long sigh. Being a Vulcan who relied only on logic, Spock could get quite difficult sometimes.

"I mean, if we couldn't find the crew, then could we fly the Enterprise out of Karo t'saro's atmosphere?"

"We are not that far into its atmosphere; I put the Enterprise on auto and put it into orbit status. We are only in the third layer of Karo t'saro's eight layer atmosphere. If we needed too, we could fly out safely."

"The second layer is the one that has those 'illogical' properties, correct? So if we transported through it again, wouldn't the same thing happen again?"

"I am not sure. There is insufficient data. There are not many records of people successfully landing or transporting beings on the planet."

"Oh. Well, I'll try to contact-"

"That will not work. Karo t'sarodoes not have the advanced technology that we do. In order to contact us, the crew would have to find a sustainable energy source, such as dilithium crystals and wire their communicators to it."

"So, I guess we just have to wait for someone to call, then. This sounds so strange, but I have to believe you. I'm sure the crew will find something to power their communicators and contact us."

"As the Captain is no longer on the ship, I am in command. I am allowing you to go back to your quarters now. I expect you to report for duty at 0700 hours tomorrow, but your shift will only last for five hours instead of twelve as there is no logical need for you on the bridge unless someone contacts us." Uhuraagreed with him, as she could always use some fun time and less work time. She thanked Spock and bid him farewell, heading to her quarters.

It had been a week since that fateful experience with Karo t'saro'satmosphere, and Uhura was starting to feel lonely. On a usual day on the enterprise, she had many options as what to do on her breaks. She usually went to the rec. room andeither talked with her gal pals Christine Chapel and Janice Rand, played cards withsomeone, or played a roundof 3D chess with another crew member. She also sometimes sang songs to crew members taking their break in the rec. room, like that one time when she and Spock did a duet together. He played his harp while she sang a taunting song about him.

When she wasn't in the rec. room she was usually in the mess hall, cooking up exotic foods that sometimes even she had never heard of. When she took the dish out of the oven, there were always many people gathered around her, wanting a taste of her creation. She would always chat with them while they chewed on her dish. And if she wasn't cooking, she sometimes went to the Enterprise's gym to keep herself in shape. She enjoyed running on the treadmills and on the track, as in her youth she was quite the runner and used to run the hundred-meter dash in record time. And if she wasn't in the gym, she was in her quarters either reading her Vuhlcansu-tal manual, Reviewing languages and procedures, or reading various novels that she had downloaded onto her PADD. Janice had recently given her copies of some 22nd century romance/adventure novels, and Uhura foundthem quite interesting. She was currently sitting on her favorite gold-coloured chair with lion-headed arms, reading a book titled The way to Spalanta's heart by Jennifer Phoenix. It was about two fugitives that escaped from prison and were now running away from the police. It was set in an imaginary world on an imaginary planet, which made it more exciting. The older of the fugitives, Spalanta, was strong and wise, but could be a little cold sometimes. She was charged for murder, and sentenced to life. The other fugitive, a man named Uhloul, was not as strong as his partner, but was equally as wise. He was charged with stealing, and was sentenced to 20 years. He had a crush on Spalanta, and he tried everything he could to impress her. It was a very fun story. Uhura was on the 13th chapter, and things were starting to heat up between the two characters. There was also a sequel, but she didn't have it. Neither did Janice for some reason. She would have to download it herself when she finished this one. Suddenly a buzzing sound came from her door, which could only have came from Spock.

"Oh! Just a moment Mr. Spock!" She placed her PADD on the chair and opened the door for Spock, blushing all the while.

Spock noticed that Uhura was wearing a loose-fitting gold shirt and matching gold pants with embroidering at the ends. It was a more casual attire then of her red uniform, but she looked beautiful all the same. He had never been in her quarters, and he also noted the many fascinating artifacts she had in her room. She had a Zebra-print beadspread, a golden chair with lion-like accents, many figures depicting ancient-African people, and a wall panel with a golden African gazelle mask. He was curious to inquire about these artifacts and what they meant, but he knew he could not stay long. He came here solely for one purpose, and that was to ask her to a game of chess. He had seen her play it before many times but had not been able to go andask her to play withhim before. It seemed that now with the crew gone, it would seem less obviousthat he enjoyed spending time with her.

"Am I interruptinganything important, Miss Uhura?" He asked her.

"No! Not at all!" Uhura crossed her arms over her chest to conceal her breasts, as she was not wearing a bra and her clothes were very revealing.

"I have observed that humans get 'lonely' when being alone for extended periods of time, so I have offered to play a few rounds of 3-D chess with you before you must rest."

"That would be nice."

"I expect you at my quarters in 5 minutes." With that, Spock left Uhura's quarters and went to his own.

Vuhlcansu-tal- Study of Vulcans/Vulcanology