Disclaimers, standard set. I don't own any of that which is Star Trek, but I am fond of it anyway. It's a multi-generational cultural phenomenon. I don't profit, but surely CBS, the current owner, does from those who keep it alive though their love and involvement.

This is a very contrived tale and I don't apologize for the fact. It's just an FYI. No original characters. Google Memory Beta for more information.

And finally :

Aussi, je ne parle pas français. Je parle Google Translate. Si mon français est mauvais, je m'en excuse, et à l'avance. Laissez-moi savoir et je vais le corriger.

-00()00-

She was 16 and in honors prep classes for her university studies when she first heard the name Roger Korby. She spent the next term, the one before her seventeenth birthday, reading a technical book he'd co-written with a colleague, Aaron Brown.

Over the following year, she plastered printed images of the young scientist, the locations of his medical archeological researches, his professional résumé, and abstracts of his articles all over her walls and mirror in much the same manner that her age contemporaries had been plastering images of sports and entertainment figures for generations. Her friends had crushes on actors; she was in love with a scientist.

Christine Chapel lay in her bed drowsing in the hot New Orleans spring. Her dark hair matted in loose ringlets around the edge of her face. Small rivulets of sweat worked their way gently down her neck, pooling around and between her breasts. She moved her breasts slightly and tucked her cotton sleep shirt between them to catch the moisture.

Her mother, Lauren, wanted Christine to come with her to the French Quarter Festival, a centuries old New Orleans tradition, but this morning Christine was thinking of something else. She'd pulled a plasti-sheet flyer from the board at school and taped it to the upright on the foot of the right-hand side of her antique four-poster canopy bed. Roger Korby would be speaking at the biomed center in Baton Rouge tomorrow afternoon, only 130 kilometers away.

Christine fixed her gaze on the image of the renowned Doctor Korby that graced her purloined flyer and sighed, feeling a sharp urge spike through her body. She pulled the lightweight, but opaque royal blue curtains around her bed, and let her hand drift across her taut, fat nipples as she murmured, "Roger . . ."

Neither Lauren nor Patterson Chapel understood their younger daughter's fascination with the man. Christine's older sister, an up and coming Star Fleet officer in the command track, was much more like what they'd expected as a teen-aged girl. She'd cycled through actors, athletes, musicians and one Star Fleet poster boy named Chris Pike, but not with the single-minded obsession that Christine followed the antics of her favorite medical archaeologist.

The girls looked alike, with their dark hair and ice blue eyes, despite the nearly ten-year difference in their ages. Both were brilliant in their own ways, but very different passions motivated them. Exploration and discovery, action and adventure, drove their number one daughter to a life on a starship. Much the same way, exploration and discovery were a part of the younger, but for her the thirst for scientific knowledge and the knowledgeable would be her steppingstones to the world.

Christine's behavior, otherwise, was exemplary. The girl studied, learned, and understood; her academic prowess undeniable. She took ballet classes and put the same effort in to learning the arts as she did in her schoolwork, though she'd never be ballerina. Like her older sister, Christine inherited too many of their mother's hips and curves.

Her parents had just expected something else from the girl after surviving the teen years of their elder daughter.

The discussion about the day's activities began, in earnest, again, at breakfast. Christine slid thick brown pieces of pain perdu on her plate next to her scrambled eggs, and topped them with a large spoonful of pureed strawberries.

Christine ate.

Lauren sighed. "The big French Quarter Festival only comes once a year, Chrissy. It would be so much fun to go together." She paused. "Do you want some sweet tea?" she offered her daughter.

"Please. Thank you, Maman." Her mother poured her a tall glass of the transparent caramel-colored liquid.

"The festival, Christine? We could dress up in fancy clothes and have a wonderful time, cherie."

"Maman," Christine's soft accent, the one she worked hard to get rid of, came out. "I may never get to see Roger Korby speak ever again. I have to go!"

"Oh, mon jeune scientifique," her mother exclaimed. "Pa-tair-sohn," Lauren turned to her husband, who had focused on his food, avoiding the conversation that had happened every morning since Christine had brought home the flyer. "What shall we do with this, cette fille rebelle qui est le nôtre? So fascinated with this man."

Her mother spoke perfect, unaccented Standard when she chose. At home, she defaulted to the not-very-Cajun French that Christine thought unprofessional and not suitable for a young scientist-to-be. Christine tried hard to eliminate it from her own speech. She was spectacularly unsuccessful.

"Let her go see her scientist, Lauren," Patterson Chapel said, then ate another bite of his pain. "There will be more festivals, mon chou, but only one Roger Korby . . . Medical Archeologist," he added dramatically as he reached into his pocket and pulled out the keys to his speeder.

"Drive carefully, young woman," Doctor Patterson Chapel said, speaking in the manner of fathers everywhere as he handed Christine the card key. "I just had it detailed and you are my favorite daughter living at home."

Christine leaned over the edge of the breakfast table and kissed his rough cheek. "Absolutely, Daddy," she smiled and snatched the keys from his hand.

"And refuel it this time, Chrissy. You're eighteen. You should remember. Last time you borrowed it, you left me high and dry."

"Papá! Je ne vais pas oublier, "she replied. Maybe it wasn't professional, but it always worked for her mother. "Je suis votre fille chérie qui vous aime beaucoup. "

"Oui. Et Je t'aimeaussi. Just remember to refuel the speeder! "

"Oui, Papá!"

Once the breakfast dishes were cleaned, she gathered up her book, her bag, and her ticket to the lecture. Christine gave herself a good three hours for the trip there. She'd have time to get something to eat and find a great place to park before the lecture. The actual journey from New Orleans to Baton Rouge, at just shorts of 130 kilometers from where she lived to the Bioresearch Center, would take no more than an hour, even at the lazy Louisiana speeds favored by many.

-00()00-

The route to Baton Rouge had changed dramatically over the 300 or so years since the road was first paved and named I-10. The road was pretty much empty. Christine saw few speeders moving in either direction in the damp verdant swamp. Little over half-way to Baton Rouge, she'd crossed over the new Maurepas-Blind River Bridge, rebuilt about fifteen years prior to replace the old, aging and unsafe construct over the dense, green Maurepas Swamp.

About a hundred meters ahead of her, past the end of the bridge, a flash caught Christine's attention; just quick something that looked . . .wrong. She settled her vehicle to the side of the roadway, well out of the traffic lanes, and moved forward towards what she'd seen.

She'd caught, as she was driving, a glint of metal buried in the jumble of dark wax myrtles. Nearly the same shade of green as the myrtle and the dense vegetation below them, she shouldn't have noticed the hidden speeder. Only as she got closer and was able to identify it as a vehicle did she realize she only saw it because of mirror bright silver of one exposed fender guard.

Christine kicked into a dead run, her shoes slipping in the thick, muddy grasses. New breaks in the wood said the accident was fresh. The lack of footprints and other disturbances told her that she was first on the scene. Had the vehicle's emergency transponder failed? She listened for emergency sirens and heard nothing.

Ignoring the scratching, snagging branches, she slid the foot or so down the muddy embankment to the driver's side of the speeder. Even in just the few minutes, she been there, she could see the vehicle's slow progress into the dark, cold water.

Christine prayed that she remembered the first aid courses she'd taken over the summer. She grabbed the first aid kit and Papá's extra medical bag from the trunk of the speeder. She pulled the emergency comm from her father's medical bag and hit the alert button, before tossing both to the side, well away from the danger. She shivered as the slimy, green-tinged mud invaded her shoes, her pants and tried to creep into her skin.

She could just see inside the slightly open passenger's side door. A man with hair so black it nearly seemed blue slumped forward against the dash. She saw the source of the mud's green tinge. She wasn't slipping against algae. The man wasn't a man. He wasn't a human. A gash in the alien's arm slowly bubbled green blood matching the beat of his heart.

The other one, the driver, roused slightly. "You need to get out," she shouted at him. "The speeder is sliding into the water."

The tall, thin, sandy-haired man struggled against the seat restraints. Christine leaned over his dark companion and pressed the release. He shook himself free and stumbled up the slight embankment.

"Are you okay?" Christine called back to him. She pressed her hands tightly against the open wound on the alien's arm trying to stop the bleeding.

"Oui!" he replied, his accent quickly telling her he wasn't from New Orleans. "My friend?"

"I don't know. I'm not a doctor," she explained, trying to keep her voice level. "Can you get my first aid kit? I left it on the ground up there." She readjusted her hands. "Somewhere."

Moments later the kit appeared along with the sandy-haired man.

"There should be some bandages and tape in there. Can you get them out for me? I need to stop the bleeding and we need to get him out before the speeder sinks and he drowns."

For emphasis, as if it were listening to her, the dark green vehicle shuddered and slid just a little farther down in the water. She screamed, but just a little bit.

"It's a fancy first aid kit for a teen-aged girl," he said as he handed Christine the wrapped bandaging materials.

"It's not mine. Mon Papá est un médecin, a doctor" Grabbing the thick gauze sponges offered by the driver, she ripped them from their guaranteed-sterile-unless-opened packaging and wrapped them around the alien's arm. She pulled off long strips of tape and secured them tightly to help staunch the bleeding.

She turned to the man. "Are you able to help me? He's really heavier than I thought he'd be."

Together, they pulled the passenger from the vehicle and up to the embankment. As she pulled out an emergency blanket for her patient, she turned to the sound of a gentle plop and bubble. The speeder took its last slide into the swamp. The screams of approaching siren soon replaced the bubbling.

The sandy –haired man, he said his name was Armand St. John, helped her get the alien on the emergency blanket. Christine prayed that they were not doing more damage to his body than the accident already had. She checked the bandage on his arm. A messy job of it, she thought. He'd end up with a scar he'd need to have removed. With the real medical people almost there, she squatted next to him and wiped the dirt from his face.

His dark hair, only slightly tousled, fell back into place around his head. With his gentle, upswept eyebrows, long, dark lashes, and regular, almost human, features, he was the most beautiful man Christine had ever seen in person.

She glanced up at St. John.

"My friend, Spock, is a Vulcan," he explained, sensing her curiosity.

"Oh!" She'd never seen a Vulcan before. While it was hot, the heavy wet air of the Mississippi delta was not a big draw for the desert planet natives.

She didn't protest when the EMTs pulled her away from him and shoved her into the portable sonic unit to clean away the mud and blood.

Once free of the sonic unit, she talked with the Vulcan's friend, St. John. He and the Vulcan were on break from Star Fleet academy. Armand had friends and family in New Orleans and had persuaded Spock to come with him. They talked about New Orleans as the tow vehicle came and pulled his speeder from the swamp.

"Can I give you a lift? I'm heading into Baton Rouge for the day." She knew the moment the words came from her mouth, her parents would not have approved, but shared adversity forms bonds.

"I would be grateful if you could drop me off at the hospital where they are taking Spock."

-00()00-

Christine left her passenger off at the hospital's emergency entrance and raced over to the hall where Korby was speaking. She had a comm address for St. John, so she could check on them later, but somehow, she knew she'd never call and would never see the beautiful alien or his friend again. At the rate she was going, she thought, she'd miss Roger Korby, too. Arriving at the avenue outside the hall, Christine slid the speeder into the first available space anywhere near the hall, grabbed her things and headed off at a full run to the PBRC lecture hall.

She reached the hall, book in hand, heart thumping, and her blood roaring in her ears. She stopped for just moments, bent to recover her breath, then raised up just in time to see Roger Korby walking out from the hall. With one last mad dash, she almost made it before he disappeared into his speeder. She didn't get to talk to him, to share thoughts and minds.

She did get a good look at him, and much to her surprise, he was old, maybe almost thirty, with a quietly mobile and intelligent face. He looked . . . ordinary. It had never occurred to her that he might not still be the brilliant 22-year-old that graced the back of her precious printed and bound book. She almost believed he would . . . glow. In the dark, at least.

Christine shoved her book back into her bag. She'd seen his pictures. She had dozens of them, but he looked so small and ordinary in real life. She thought about the beautiful alien man who would have died, had she not stopped and helped him and his friend. He was probably ordinary too, on his world, like her father, like her mother, and like she was, here on Earth.

Christine chides herself softly. If she hadn't have stopped. No, no, no. What she'd done for the man in the wrecked speeder was worth more than any autograph could possibly be. She'd saved one life and probably two. Maybe she'd never have a meeting of the minds with Roger Korby, but what was important she finally understood was the work. The science was what mattered to her, the research, the opportunity to save lives. She'd never forget the incredible thrill of pulling the Vulcan to safety.

She glanced at her chrono as she watched Korby's speeder move away. She had time for a nice crawfish salad, or maybe an oyster po'boy dressed a beignet, sweet tea, and a wander through the historic Louisiana Museum of Science. And she really should, at the very least, check on her 'patients.'

When she got home, she carefully pulled down her wall of Korby, sorting the research information from her star struck image of the man.

Christine never did tell Roger the story of how they almost met the first time. Or Spock, about the first time that they did.

-fin-

-isobel