~Been on a long hiatus…just couldn't find the muse. So, I was inspired by an old Star Trek episode. Kinda the same but still different. Hopefully my dry spell is over…but I'll take it one story at a time. Hope you enjoy!
~Basic plot taken from TOS episode, 'All Our Yesterdays', original airdate: Mar 14, 1969. Some dialog taken from the episode
~Originally, the episode went back and forth between Spock and McCoy in an ice age and the captain in the 17th century. In this fic, we will focus on Spock, Uhura and McCoy (Uhura wasn't on the away team in this epi), and we won't visit Kirk in his time line. Also, Zarabeth doesn't figure hugely in this fic…just a warning in case deviations offend.
Other revisions from original story, instead of 3 1/2 hours until the planet is destroyed, I've given them 13 ½ and the sun is going super-nova instead of nova…semantics, I know, but I don't want to offend anyone here who know the whole story.
Also, descriptions of the library and such are embellished a bit…artist license?
~ Atavachron: time portal device
~ Pablo Neruda poems: italicized
~ Taluhk nash-veh k'dular: I cherish thee
We have calculated that Beta Niobe will go super-nova in approximately 13 ½ hours. It's only satellite, Sarpeidon, is a Class M planet, which at last report was inhabited by a civilized humanoid species. Now our instruments show that no intelligent life forms remain.
Spock, McCoy, Uhura and I will compromise the away team that will beam down to access the situation and try to determine what has happened to the population.
Spock has voiced his opinion that I remain on the bridge, and I have officially noted his reservations. However, as I'm the captain, I'm going.
Nyota looked over at Spock and smiled. "You know the captain's going. No amount of common sense will change his mine."
"I am aware of this, Nyota. However, it is on record that that I advised against Kirk accompanying the away team. His…actions are not that of a Star Fleet captain." He stiffly replied.
"That's why you're here, Spock. And everyday I'm thankful you are." She suddenly turned an intense gaze to her lover. "You know that, right? I'm so thankful you decided to stay with the Enterprise…" Spock turned to her and pulled her into his embrace.
"I chose to remain with you. The elder Spock advised me to do what felt right. Leaving you did not feel right." Spock pushed back to look down at her. "Nyota, I must admit apprehension at my inability to exhibit the…emotions, feelings, you may eventually require…"
Nyota chucked and rubbed her lips against his neck. "Baby, Spock, I love you…I have always loved you, just the way you are."
"My Vulcan demeanor my some day not be enough for you. You may ultimately desire a mate that has the ability to reveal his sentiments." His voice had softened and Nyota sighed.
She ran her fingers over his face. "K'diwa, Spock… 'I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. I love you simply, without problems or pride: I love you in this way because I do not know any other way of loving but this, in which there is no I or you, so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand, so intimate that when I fall asleep your eyes close'."
"Pablo Neruda?" Spock dipped his head into her neck. "Do you truly feel this way?"
"Umm hmm, and right now Pablo speaks for me when it comes to you, my love."
"Thank you, T'hai'la." He whispered. "Taluhk nash-veh k'dular."
"And I, you, baby." She assured him. "Forever."
"Sir." Spock checked his tricorder as he spoke to Captain Kirk. "It is still my opinion that you remain on deck. The doctor, Lt. Uhura and I can take all the readings needed, determine what has happened with population and be back within the allotted time."
"I hear ya, Mister Spock, but as I'm the captain I get to choose the away team and I choose me." Kirk laughed. "Oh, come on, Spock, lighten up. This is a routine mission, we go, get a few facts, scope out the land and we're back. Easy as pie."
"Sir, nothing ever seems to be easy as pie when you're involved." Uhura stated with a sigh.
"She's right, Jim. You appear to be a magnet for Murphy's Law." McCoy sniped. "I for one would really like a 'routine mission'."
"Hey, how about a little respect? I am the captain, after all." He frowned. "And it's not that bad. Let's go so we can get back. Our coffee won't even get cold."
The captain hopped up on the transport pad and waited for his crew. Spock nodded and took his place, followed by Uhura and McCoy.
"Okay, then. Are we ready? Did everyone use the bathroom?" Kirk grinned and motioned to Scotty. "Beam us down, Mister Scott."
They appeared at the base of a large structure, in front of a staircase leading up to a pair of wide doors at the face of the building. Spock took readings and looked over at the captain. "The power source we detected is enclosed in this edifice, Captain."
"Any signs of survivors?" Kirk looked around at the deserted city.
Spock shook his head. "No signs of sentient life forms."
"How can a planet full of people just disappear?" McCoy asked, shaking his head.
"If they knew their sun was going super-nova who knows how they would react? Perhaps it could be as bad as mass suicide." Uhura theorized.
"As reports deny the Sarpedions had any space flight capability, your hypothesis is valid." Spock looked over at Nyota. They had reached the top of the stairs and entered the building, making their way down a long hallway that led to a huge double door that opened to a room filled with books, boxes of discs and an alcove that contained an empty archway. "This appears to be an archive or library of some kind."
"Well, then we're certainly in the right place to find out what happened." Kirk breezed past the group and made his way over to the shelves.
"Good god, man, be a little cautious. If not for your sake, than at least for ours." McCoy released a heavy breath.
Nyota smiled and rolled her eyes. "The captain is many things, Doctor, but cautious isn't one of them." She turned to Spock. "I'll start searching for any records that might tell us of the population."
"Noted, Lt. Uhura." Spock allowed his eyes to linger on her face a moment longer than necessary.
All turned as an older man quickly approached them. "May I help you? I'm the librarian. May I be of assistance?"
Kirk looked over at Spock. "I thought everyone was gone?"
"As did I, Captain." The Vulcan turned to the librarian. "Forgive me, Sir. I must have miscalculated. Our readings indicated that there were no life forms on this planet."
"I'm the only one left. We were warned of the coming destruction long ago and our population followed instructions and are now safe. You had better do the same…"
The captain moved forward. "Mister?" He waited for a name.
"Atoz, Mister Atoz. I confess I am a bit surprised to see you. I had believed everyone had long since gone. But the surprise is a pleasant one. After all, a library serves no purpose unless someone is using it. Where is it you wish to go?"
"Go? Everyone is gone? Where did they go?" Kirk asked.
"It depended on the individual, of course. If you wish to trace a specific person, I'm sorry, but that information is confidential."
"No, no particular person." McCoy spoke up. "Just in general, where did they all go?"
"Ah, you find it difficult to choose, is that it? Yes, a wide range of alternatives is a mixed blessing. But perhaps I can help. Would you step this way, please?" He motioned towards a carbon copy of himself. "My replica will be able to aid you in your choice."
Nyota stood next to Spock. "A clone?"
"The readings indicate a mechanical automaton." He replied.
"Interesting." She smiled.
"Will you be traveling with one of the males?" Mister Atoz smiled at Nyota.
She shook her head. "I don't think we'll be traveling anywhere, Mister Atoz. We merely wish to help in any way we can. We can take you to a place of safety, up to our ship."
"Oh, no thank you. I plan to join my wife and family when the time comes. Now, don't be concerned about me. You all must think of yourselves. Make your choice and escape before it's too late."
McCoy had retrieved one of the discs he had removed from a file and was perusing an artic wasteland. "Can't imagine anyone picked this one." He chuckled.
"It would appear that the population escaped into a different…time frame, Captain." Spock moved to stand next to McCoy and Nyota.
"Seems so. Guess our help wasn't needed after all." Kirk turned to his crew.
Atoz approached them. "Make your selection, but remember, you're very late."
"We'll choose as quickly as we can. How long till nova, Mister Spock?"
"Twelve hours and seven minutes, Captain."
"You sir, I think you'll find something of interest over here. If these don't, I can bring you another file." Kirk inserted a disc as Atoz walked off to find more files.
Nyota came to stand by Spock. "I really think we should leave, Spock. There's nothing we can do, the population took care of themselves and we have all the data we need. I feel…we should go."
"I agree with your assessment, Lt., however pulling the captain away from that machine may prove problematic."
"I so wish he had stayed on the Enterprise." She whispered.
"Sir, Madame, have you made your selection?" Atoz's replica asked.
"Exactly what is it that we are expected to select?" Spock asked as Nyota hid her discomfort.
"I was sure I was clear. The period in which you are interested." He led them both to a machine that showed moving pictures of landscapes, time periods.
"This is a fascinating nomenclature. How does it work? May I…" Spock reached towards the machine, but Atoz stopped the Vulcan.
"Oh no, sir. I must ask you not to touch the controlling mechanism. Return and make your selection. When you have chosen I will prepare you before you go through the atavachron."
"Thank you, Mister Atoz." Nyota stiffly smiled at the older man. Once he was out of sight, she turned to Spock. "We have to get out of here, Spock. Please."
Suddenly, a woman screamed from behind the archway that was positioned in the middle of the library. Kirk turned to his crew.
"Spock! Bones! With me." Kirk ran to the opening and disappeared.
"Wait!" Mister Atoz yelled out. "I haven't prepared you."
A shocked McCoy, Spock and Uhura ran to aid their captain.
"You must be prepared!" Mister Atoz was insistent as he followed the trio. Without a second to consider the consequences, all three remaining crew members disappeared through the doorway, as well.