Disclaimer: Star Trek does not belong to me. No profit is made, just having some fun.

Chapter 1

20 May 2262

Starfleet Headquarters, San Francisco. 10:35 am.

"Commander," came the voice from the doorway, "Commander Spock." Slowly, Spock turned to regard the visitor. The man sported Starfleet's science blue and a short red beard. His balding head was sprinkled with white.

"Doctor," Spock acknowledged, inclining his head. He wanted to add, you are two point three minutes late, but that would have been petty. It would have proved that the man's tardiness had irritated him. Irritation was illogical.

"I apologize for running a bit late," the man said, despite Spock's lack of comment. He gestured towards the room. "Do you mind if I come in?"

"Not at all," Spock replied. He kept his hands in his lap as the doctor moved past the doorway and sank into a chair at the other end of the desk. The man cleared his throat.

"As I am sure you are . . . aware, Commander," he began a bit awkwardly, "Starfleet Command has requested that I interview you about what happened in the weeks between the time the authorities and Starfleet lost track of you and Captain Kirk, and when you were found.

"Understood," Spock said. He kept his face neutral. "However Doctor, what I have to tell you is no different from what I told the admiralty once I had," he hesitated, "become lucid."

"Yes, I remember," the man muttered, reaching into his old fashioned briefcase for a PADD, "You said you were unable to recall—"

"Doctor," Spock interrupted. "I am unable to recall anything regarding the intervening time between when the Captain and I departed for shoreleave, and when I awoke in Starfleet Medical."

"Yes, I see," the man said again. He bit the inside of his lip, a nervous gesture that did not escape Spock's notice. "So there's nothing, then."

"Nothing," Spock echoed. He raised an eyebrow. "No offense meant Doctor, but I do not see the logic in Starfleet's request that you interview me. In matters such as these, if the admiralty has not obtained the answers they seek, it is their practice to question their remaining witnesses themselves."

"Yes, but Commander, they've already asked you about it," the doctor said, letting out a weak smile.

"Irrelevant," Spock said. "Starfleet command would have no qualms about questioning me a second time. They know I must answer their queries to the best of my ability."

Something flickered in the doctor's eyes. He shifted his feet. "I guess they're just trying a new approach this time."

"Curious," Spock observed.

The man was obviously uncomfortable by now, a bit of sweat prickling at his forehead, his fingers tugging at his collar in a manner eerily reminiscent of Dr. McCoy. "Not nearly as curious as your lack of memory regarding this incident, Commander," he said. "You're absolutely positive you can't recall anything? Anything at all?"

"Apologies, Doctor, but I cannot."

Spock could tell that his interviewer was working hard to contain his discomfort, as well as his disappointment, as he squared his shoulders. "That is most unfortunate, Commander."

"Indeed," Spock said.

"We have people on the ground and in the air looking of course," the doctor continued. "However, given our lack of success in finding either of you two before your lucky appearance, it seems doubtful that we will locate your abductors any time in the near future. We were hoping . . ." he trailed off for a moment, then shook his head. "We were hoping that your firsthand account might give us some sort of clue."

"I understand," Spock said. "If my memory does chance to return, believe me Doctor, I will make the information known."


"They think you're crazy."

Spock raised an eyebrow. "You believe Starfleet command doubts my mental faculties?"

McCoy grunted, shoving a pile of PADDs over to the side of the desk in a vague attempt at neatness. It did not make much of a difference in the overall aestheticism, Spock noted. The entire place was still most unkempt.

"Doctor Valdez did not give me reason to assume that Starfleet thought such a thing," Spock said. He eyed McCoy, whose head was almost completely immersed in one of the desk drawers he was rooting through.

"They're not going to come right out and say it, Spock," came McCoy's voice. "You don't just go out and tell a crazy man he's crazy."

Spock pondered that for a moment, "Perhaps if a human was informed of his apparent insanity, it might cause an adverse – and likely violent - emotional reaction," he allowed.

"Yeah, and you're a Vulcan and you should be able to handle it – I know Spock. I swear, the whole universe knows you're a Vulcan."

"Unlikely," Spock said, "As there is a very low probability of any sentient beings outside our galaxy being aware of the Federation, much less its founding members. A small section of one galaxy does not equal the universe, Doctor. And of course," he continued, "It would be necessary to multiply that probability by the probability that a single person might know of me personally—"

"For god's sake do you always have to be so goddamn literal about everything?" McCoy rolled his eyes. "They sent Starfleet's best psychiatrist to question you. According to Command at least, you've lost your goddamn marbles."

Spock's eyebrows creased. "I find a flaw in your logic doctor," he announced finally.


Spock shook his head, "I have never owned any marbles."

The silence thickened.

McCoy stared at him. "That's the worst attempt at a joke I've ever heard in my life."

Spock's shoulders slumped imperceptibly. "Perhaps," he said, "it is the timing rather than our . . . than my attempt at your human humor, that is poor."

McCoy blinked at him for a moment, then looked away. "Maybe," he said. "Spock, are you—"

"Doctor," Spock said, "I am beginning to find myself fatigued. Perhaps we may continue this discussion at another time?"

"Bullshit," McCoy said.

"It is not," Spock said, a little more forcefully.

McCoy gave him a hard look, 'Yeah right, Spock. I didn't want to mention it right off your interview, but you look like hell. Are you sure you're all right? Maybe you should still be back at the hospital."

"The colloquialism 'all right,' has many definitions, Doctor," Spock said.

"Damn it Spock, you know what I mean," McCoy said. He shoved his desk drawer closed. Spock watched as he stood. He looked for a moment like he was about to put a hand on Spock shoulder, but then thought better of it and instead tucked his hands in his pockets. When he spoke, his voice was gentler than before. "Are you all right?"

There was silence. Eventually, Spock opened his mouth. "The colloquialism 'all right,' has many definitions," he said again. "However," he looked down, and then back up at McCoy, "I find that I do not fulfill any one of them."

"Oh Spock," McCoy said. He covered his eyes with his hand as he sat back down in his chair. "Jesus."

"Really doctor, antiquated religious figures from Earth's past have no place in this conversation."

"Fucking . . . would you stop it?" McCoy said. "Just . . . stop."


"Look Spock, I studied psychiatry too, you know. Pretending to act normal isn't going to make things normal."

"And I must repeat, Doctor, that I find myself fatigued. Given the situation, I believe it is your own orders that I must follow." He turned to go, back ramrod straight. "I shall retire to meditate."

"Sure, Spock," McCoy sighed. "Go get some rest."

Vulcans did not dream. They had too much control for that. If necessary, with concentration and much training, they could experience lucid dreams and walk the world unfettered even by the laws of physics, safe in the contours of their own minds –sleeping, and yet aware.

Spock knew this, but he still could not classify what he was experiencing as anything else but a dream.

He wandered without control over his own body, peering through a world that seemed to be covered in a light layer of fog. Jim, the Captain, was there. Spock knew he was there. His legs brought him over to a wall constructed of thick, unyielding stone. The smallest bit of light caught the twinkle of muscovite and darker, round garnets.

"Jim," he said. "Captain." His voice did not echo much. He was outside, then. Logical, if there was fog.

"Where are you?" he said. "Captain, it is time to return to the ship."

There was a plant growing next to the wall. Spock knelt to look at it. Two opposite leaves, serrated, pairs spiraling around the stem. The flowers were small and pink, dozens of them clustered at the top, forming a stalk.

Spock frowned. Without knowing why, he stretched his hand forward to grasp one of the leaves, tearing it from the stem. He popped it in his mouth and chewed.

Spock opened his eyes. He appeared to have fallen asleep during his meditation. Internally, he frowned. He had not slept during a meditation since early childhood. He reached for the communicator.

"Spock to McCoy."

"Spock, why the hell are you awake?"

"Dr. McCoy, you must inform Starfleet command that they should concentrate their search in temperate zones, between twenty three and sixty degrees latitude for both north and south."

"What? Why?"

"Because that, Doctor, is where mint flourishes best."

There was silence at the other end of the communicator. Finally, McCoy's voice crackled through. "Are you telling me that you remembered something?"

Spock closed his eyes. "Not . . . a memory. More of an impression as I slept."

"I thought you were going to meditate."

"I did meditate. I also slept."

McCoy snorted. "Ha, I bet you fell asleep."

"The mint, Doctor," Spock said, impatience beginning to mark itself in his voice.

"No need to get ornery Commander, I'm pretty damn good at multitasking. The communication's already been sent out. Want to tell me more about this dream of yours?"

"Vulcans do not dream," Spock said. "I . . ." he trailed off.

"What?" McCoy asked.

"I find," Spock shook his head, "I find that the impression is already beginning to fade," he confessed. "I cannot," there was a brief pause, and then he continued. "I still cannot . . . remember. I am forgetting again this is," he breathed, "most illogical. I don't think I am capable of informing you about anything more than my earlier statement about the mint."

McCoy wondered what Spock's voice would have sounded like without that Vulcan control.

"Listen, Spock," he said, reigning in his irritation at being woken in the middle of the first vague attempt at sleep in the past few weeks. "Maybe this is a sign of your returning memory. Maybe it's just going to manifest itself this way for a while. Why don't you meditate some more – or sleep on it, although god forbid that you ever actually sleep like a normal person – and, if you have more dreams – sorry, impressions — write them down before they fade."

"You are suggesting that I keep a," Spock struggled for a moment with the colloquialism, "a dream journal, are you not?"

"Sure," McCoy's voice had adopted a wheedling quality to it. "Then later you can analyze the different, ah, impression entries for patterns. Links. Something that might jog your memory back. It's the best we can do before we can get another Vulcan healer to have a look at you at any rate."

Spock thought for a moment. "I had omitted that possible angle in my considerations," he admitted. "I shall think about it."

Spock's back was cold, wedged uncomfortably against the hard stone of the room. The floor was just as bad, but his front was warm, his arms wrapped around the captain, personal space sacrificed for the lean possibility of rest against the bitter chill.

"I promise not to tell anyone about the spooning," Jim's voice mumbled. "I'll just let them assume that we were manly about the whole thing and didn't freeze to death because we kept warm by doing jumping jacks and pushups every ten minutes and never slept."

"That would quickly become tiresome," Spock replied after a moment. "Perhaps Tai Chi, or something else of a less aerobic nature?"

Jim snorted and shifted a little. Spock loosened his arms to allow the movement, and Jim settled again soon enough.

"You ever do Tai Chi?"

Spock nodded reflexively, even as he realized that the Captain could not see the movement behind him. "Upon my enrollment in Starfleet, I was required to take several physical education courses," Spock said. "Due to my . . . greater strength and dislike of touch, I chose to spend a semester practicing Tai Chi, rather than participate in a contact sport."

"You're touching me," Jim pointed out.

"I am endeavoring to prevent hypothermia," Spock replied.


A moment of quiet.

"You could have done swim team," Jim suggested blandly.

Spock chose not to dignify that with an answer.

"Hey, you know how they divide events up by gender? Like, men's two hundred meter backstroke, women's one hundred butterfly and all? Do they divvy it up by species too? Like, Individual Medley, Deltans only so clear the pool, or Vulcan fifty meter breast stroke, or—"

"No," Spock said flatly.


"There are no Vulcans on the Starfleet Academy swim team."

Jim gave a humph. "Well, clearly that's because you abandoned them to go practice your Tai Chi."

Spock raised an eyebrow, "As soon as we return, I shall endeavor to convey my sincere apologies to the Starfleet Academy swim team for costing them the chance of certain victory in the nonexistent, Vulcan fifty meter breast stroke event."

"I'll hold you to it," Jim said solemnly.

"Naturally, Captain."

"Seriously though," Jim said, "I could use a Jacuzzi. Or a nice hot bath. Or a shower."

"Yes," Spock agreed.

Jim elbowed him in the ribs. "You don't exactly smell like a bed of roses either, Mr. Spock."

"Captain, if I were ever to cross paths with a Vulcan giving off the scent of Terran flora, my first course of action would be to contact Starfleet Command and inform them of a potential spy in our midst. Vulcans most certainly never smell of roses."

"Yeah, I noticed," Jim drawled. He shifted again. "You're actually quite comfortable for a pillow though," he said. "I'd have thought you'd be bonier."

"I am gratified you think so," Spock said. He loosened his hold in resignation as the Captain squirmed again. "I am sorry to say that as a blanket you leave much to be desired. I have never encountered one so mobile before."

Jim let out a slightly guilty laugh. "Well, guess I win out on this one then." He rested his head back against Spock. "If anyone asks though," he said, pausing for a second to yawn, "I'm the Captain, so I was the big spoon."

Spock's eyes snapped open, and even as his hand reached out and fumbled for the PADD on his desk, his mouth was forming words already beginning to be lost in the whispers of a dream,

"Illogical Jim, I am taller."


"Do you remember if they ever told you why they kidnapped two Starfleet officers?"

Spock closed his eyes. "I-"

". . . Disgusting, unnatural, abomination . . ."

"They were not interested in Starfleet officers."

"You believe the entire episode was just one unfortunate coincidence?"

"You know Spock, you know. I think, maybe, they don't like us very much. Just, this feeling I get. Call it intuition or some shit but—"

"Captain, you are bleeding."

"Yeah, I noticed. You know what's funny, Spock? That I just realized?"

"Captain, please. You need to lie down."

"People always use the phrase 'coppery tang' when referring to blood right? Human blood. Right? But ha, you're the one with the copper-based green blood – ours is iron based! Isn't that interesting?"

"No, I do not believe that it was a coincidence."

Dr. Valdez tilted his head a little. "No?"

"No," Spock said. "I cannot recall much, but I can say with a 96.3% certainty that it was specifically the captain and I that they were after."

Filthy, unnatural, disgusting.

Dr. Valdez typed something into the small computer he held on his lap. "That's a pretty high percentage, considering. Do you know or, can you remember why you believe that so strongly?"

Spock hesitated. "They knew who we were."

Dr. Valdez eyed him for a moment, and then leaned forward. "Commander, a great deal of people – especially here on Earth – know who you and Captain Kirk are. Your faces are quite famous."

"Yes," Spock said. "I am aware."

"Then you believe they kidnapped you two with the specific intent to capture Captain James Kirk and Commander Spock? Did they want security codes? Intelligence? You never mentioned any of this before."

"I do not believe," Spock's eyes shifted a little, "I do not believe that they were after Starfleet intelligence."

Dr. Valdez let out a slow breath through his teeth. He ran a hand over his head. "What did they want, then?"

Spock stared at the wall past Valdez's shoulder. "They knew who we were," he repeated. "And they knew who we were – to each other."

"Your teamwork is as legendary as your faces."


Dr. Valdez looked up from his typing. "No?"

"Our teamwork was not what they were interested in." Spock knows this. He isn't quite sure how, or why he knows, but it is fact. Likely, he is compromised.

"Then what were they interested in, Commander?" Valdez said, his face a mask of the kind of patience reserved for the very young or the very insane.

Spock is not insane. He is just . . . compromised.

"I cannot remember."