Author's Notes: In Chapter 23, Uhura learns more about Lance Rohn and a possible connection to her father. Before leaving for Paris, the East African visits Spock's office to see the Vulcan. Later, Spock is not pleased when he learns Sevat has accompanied Uhura to the six-day conference.

Office in the Hoshi Sato Communications Building

In the office she shared with Sevat, Uhura sat at a table with Cadet Lance Rohn.

Uhura commented, "Lance, your articulation has markedly improved since we last met. Your dedication to learning the language is quite evident."

"Thank you, Ms. Uhura." Lance smiled, appreciating the praise. "However, I've worked with you long enough to know you usually follow a compliment with a criticism."

"I don't call it criticism." Uhura retorted. "I like to refer to these comments as ways to improve."

"I always look forward to it just the same." Lance replied, as he readied his iTablet to take notes. "What should I work on?"

"During our conversation, you continued to use words that are synonyms in the Federation language, but have no such corresponding synonyms in Vulcan. Such an error would quickly by identified by any Vulcan, known for precision in word choice. I thought I had previously shared this remark with you."

"Yes, you had." Lance admitted. "However, my Vulcan speech still sounds so childish. When I speak the language, I want it to sound more sophisticated."

"Lance, have you ever heard the saying, You've got to crawl before you can walk?"

Lance nodded, "Yes . . . yes . . . I know I just started learning the language this semester. So, you're telling me that I should be more patient with my language studies."

"More than that." She told him. "Cadet, is it your aim to be good enough or one of the best?

"I want to be one of the best, Ms. Uhura."

"Then, you need to place your focus on accuracy, instead of the speed in which you learn a language."

Lance sat back in his chair, as if considering her statement. Then, he asked, "Ms. Uhura, when did you first know you wanted to be a linguist?"

Uhura took a moment to think before answering, "I don't know for sure. My father told me I showed the capacity of mimicking dialects, even as a toddler. Then, later, I started learning different languages as a hobby. Before I knew it, this pastime grew into a passion."

"Do you still have reservations against the adoption of the Federation language as the lingua franca?"

The East African paused, taken aback by his question. "Lance, why did you ask that question of me?"

"Didn't you once call the Federation language . . . an abomination to Terran cultures? Didn't you also say that . . . "He paused to remember her words. ". . . language is one of the defining characteristics of humanity . . . The suppression of one's language amounts to an eradication of one's culture, history, traditions, customs and identity."

Uhura looked at him warily, "Yes . . . those were my words in a paper I published as a sophomore at Harvard."

"Do you still share those beliefs?"

"I was younger then." She responded. "Looking back on the article now, I probably overstated my contention. But, yes, I strongly believe in the preservation of native languages. I think we, as Terrans, have gone too far in the adoption of the Federation language to the detriment of our own tongues."

"I knew it." Lance exclaimed happily. "I knew you still felt that way."

"Cadet, how did you come across that article?" She asked.

"I did a journal search on your writings." He told her. "After all, you are my mentor."

"But that was one of my first scholarly articles and it was published on an obscure online site. I don't even list it any longer on my resume."

"I hope you don't think I'm trying to suck up . . . er . . . I mean, to win your favor." He told her. "I thought if I read your papers and got to know you better, then I could be more like you."

"Uhura remarked, "While one may argue the usefulness of reading my novice published articles, I do question the necessity of learning the identity of my father."

"Your father, Ms. Uhura?"

"Lance, two weeks ago you made an off-handed comment that you would not expect anything less from the daughter of Kafil Uhura. Since then other matters had preoccupied me, so I did not speak of it. However, our current conversation brings it back to the forefront. What do you know of my father?"

"I know he is not the only published author in your family." He answered. "I have read many of his articles."

"My father is quite prolific, Lance." She remarked. "Which articles do you speak of?"

"I found his views on the miscegenation of human and alien races to be quite interesting. Don't you think so, Ms. Uhura?"

"Officials of United Earth have seen fit to expunge these articles from online and print sources. My father's writings on this subject would be most difficult to acquire."

"But not impossible." Lance responded, as he began to place his belongings in his bag. "I am sure you are aware it is nearly impossible to totally remove an item from the Internet once it has been posted."

Lance slung his bag over his shoulder, as he rose from his seat.

"I better be on my way to the Capt. Shabazz's survivor training module." The younger Cadet stated. "If you're late, he makes you run 100 laps."

"Yes . . . yes. However, I remember with our class he meted our that punishment to the last arrival, whether or not you were late." Uhura stood up to face him. "You are excused, Lance, but we're not finished with our discussion."

"If you say so, ma'am." He answered. "But I guess it will have to wait for a while, since you will be leaving for that Xenolingusitic Conference, tomorrow. So, I'll see you a week from Monday. Good luck with your presentation, Ms. Uhura."

The East African offered no rejoinder as the Cadet left the office.

5:46 PM, Campus Quad

"Mr. Spock."

The Vulcan turned back to face the source of the familiar voice.

"I'm glad I got a chance to see you." Capt. Christopher Pike told him, as he caught up to the long striding Vulcan.

"I was not aware I was the object of your search, Captain." Spock responded. "My communicator has not been activated by anyone today for the last four hours, 11 minutes."

"What I have to ask I wanted to do so in person. I thought I would find you in your office, but I caught your Assistant as he was leaving . . . Cadet Goldberg, I believe is his name."

"That is correct, sir."

"Goldberg told me you experienced quite a lengthy sub-discipline meeting and had went for a walk before you were to head to the quantum physics lab."

"My Assistant informed you well, sir." Spock commented. "Next to meditation, I find walking to be an effective method in refocusing one's efforts to the desired task at hand."

"Why stay around campus when you can take advantage of an opportunity for a more restful break that will surely bring you more than temporary relief?"

"Captain, if this discussion is once again headed toward asking if I would like to partake on an excursion with you and Jack to Europe, the answer is still the same. I have work to do here on campus."

"I don't know why you don't try to be more open-minded about this prospect, Spock." Pike contented. "You know, at this time of year, Europe has fewer tourists making it much easier to get around and see the sights."

"Captain, there is a reason why Europe has fewer tourists at this time. Cold and rainy conditions do not make it a very attractive destination for a Vulcan."

"It is unlikely you will escape the rain staying here in San Francisco. November is one of the region's rainiest months."

"I am quite aware of the seasonal climate, sir. However, despite the rain, on average the temperature is 20-25 degrees warmer in the San Francisco Bay area than it is in Europe at this time of year." Spock remarked.

"I only plan to do three days of sightseeing with Jack, before he goes to spend some time with his mother in Seville. While he's with her, I don't plan on spending much time outdoors."

"Keiko, sir?"

Pike shook his head. "Keiko hasn't wanted anything to do with me, since she felt you slighted her friend while we were vacationing in St. Maarten."1

"Before the beginning of the semester, I had the rather dubious pleasure of seeing Keiko's friend serving as a starship attendant on a flight I took from Washington, D.C. to San Francisco." Spock remarked. "At that time, she appeared quite eager to resume our sexual activities."2

Pike commented, "I don't recall you saying anything about this incident."

"There was nothing of worth to report." Spock replied. "I am not interested in that woman in the least. Who is it that you have found to garner your attention?"

"On Wednesday, I'm meeting Marta Lyubov in St. Petersburg."

"Ms. Lyubov? Is she not the attorney who works for the United Earth's General Counsel Office?"

"One in the same." Pike answered, smiling. "You approve?"

"With this one, you will at least have an opportunity for worthwhile conversation." Spock replied. "Her assets are more than what is visible to the eye."

"Spock, I'm glad you feel that way, because she has a friend."

"I am sure having companionship is valued by Ms. Lyubov, but it makes no difference to me."

"Don't dismiss her too soon." Pike told him. "I understand she has several degrees in computer science and edits one of the foremost journals in her field. And, from what Marta told me, she seems quite interested in meeting you. Her name is Dr. Amber Fields."

"Amber Fields, sir?" Spock said incredulously.

" Yes . . . Amber Fields. Spock reiterated. "If you'll take a look at this image of her that Marta forwarded to me, I believe the interest in meeting each other may become mutual."

The Captain slowed his pace as he reached in his jacket pocket to take out his communicator. He then told his Vulcan friend, "Hold up there, Spock, so I can show you her picture."

Spock stopped his progress and turned back to Pike. "Captain, this action is completely unnecessary."

"Come on, Spock." Pike tried to encourage him as he turned his communicator screen toward Spock. "I've never known you not to appreciate the sight of a beautiful woman."

"Captain, I cannot refute your statement." Spock retorted. "Yet, I have found that desire to have dissipated."

"Dissipated?" Pike asked. "Spock, what's happened to you?"

The Vulcan looked to his friend, knowing he could not admit his continued love for her . . . his Nyota. The Captain would never understand why he would risk so much for the affection of a "lowly" Cadet. How could Spock explain this feeling when there were no words that could adequately express what she meant to him.

1:12 PM, Spock's Office

Dressed in civilian clothes, Uhura entered the office to find Cadet Goldberg focused on his computer console. He barely turned his head to identify her, before saying with indifference, "Oh, it's you."

"Yes, it's me Goldberg." She replied. "Is Mr. Spock, here?"

"I thought you came to see me." He retorted sarcastically.

Uhura rolled her eyes and told him sternly, "Answer my question, Goldberg."

"He's in the conference room in a sub-discipline meeting with a couple of other professors from the astrophysics department." Turning his head her way, he continued. "So, that means he doesn't have time for . . . "

"Hey!" Goldberg suddenly exclaimed as he became aware of her attire. "What are you dressed for? Are you heading off for semester break already? I thought we had to wait until after 5 PM to take off."

"Stop your whining, Goldberg." She told him. "I've gotten special permission to leave earlier since I'm going to a Xenolinguistic Conference."

"OK – so, then why do you need to speak with Mr. Spock?" He asked. "I heard you're not even his Course Assistant anymore for that Romulan language course he's teaching for your department."

"Tell me, Goldberg." She retorted. "When did I ever have to explain myself to you?"

"As Mr. Spock's Office Assistant, it is my job to keep away those who would waste his valuable time."

"Do you know what plans Mr. Spock has during break?"

"Of course, I do. He's staying around campus."

"He's staying here to do what?"

"I don't know exactly. But, if it has to do with Mr. Spock you know it's something big and important."

Uhura shook her head. "Goldberg, do you have any more detailed information than that?"

"Why do you want to know?"

Uhura looked to him knowing she could not tell him the truth. On a whim, the East African decided she would ask Spock if he wanted to meet her for a few days while she was in Paris. It was a matter she had not discussed with Dr. McCoy for fear he would try to talk her out of it. While the doctor never tried to discourage the clandestine affair, he wanted her to move much more slowly than she in moving forward with the relationship.

"Come on, Uhura." Goldberg prompted her. "Why are you so anxious to know Mr. Spock's business?"

She stood mute before him, irritating her fellow Cadet.

"Look Uhura, if you can't tell me why you're here, you can just turn around and walk right back out that door."

Unbeknownst to Goldberg, Uhura noted a light flashing on his console. When she began to smile, he asked, "So, what do have to grin about?"

"Cadet Goldberg." Spock sharply called to him.

Goldberg jumped out of his seat and stood stiffly at attention. "Yes, sir."

Seeing Uhura, the Vulcan's tone softened slightly as he continued to address his Assistant. "Were you not aware I required your attention?"

Goldberg quickly glanced at his computer console and now recognized what had humored the East African. "I apologize, sir." He told Spock. "Cadet Uhura distracted me from my work."

"Why did you not inform me of her arrival?" The Vulcan asked.

"You were involved in a meeting, sir." Goldberg replied. "And, Cadet Uhura did not even have an appointment. I know how strict you are about that, Mr. Spock."

"Yes, that is true." Spock responded, causing Goldberg to feel momentarily vindicated. "However, I thought it also possible for my Assistant to be capable of multi-tasking when necessary."

Goldberg swallowed, then asked. "Shall I escort Cadet Uhura out of the office, sir?"

"No, Cadet. I believe I am capable of dealing with Ms. Uhura." Spock replied. "However, you should now turn yourself to the assignment for which I had sought your assistance. The meeting with my department colleagues has lasted longer than anyone expected and they find themselves in need of coffee. We're taking a ten minute break while sufficient cups of this beverage are secured."

"Is the replicator in the conference room not working, sir?"

Spock turned his head at an angle, before stating, "Cadet Goldberg, is it really necessary for me to answer that question?"

Goldberg hurried and grabbed his iTablet from his station. "Yes, sir . . . I mean, of course not, sir. I'll go right in and will take their order." The Cadet nearly tripped over himself as he spun around and headed into the small conference room.

Spock then turned his focus to Uhura. They stood three feet apart, acutely aware they could not discard their masks of professionalism.

Uhura spoke in a low tone. "Dr. McCoy told me, he spoke with you."

"Yes." Spock answered. "I had sought a more detailed report on your progress and was informed you will be leaving campus during the semester break to attend a conference in your field."

"That's right." She said. "I'll be delivering a paper based on my preliminary research for my dissertation topic."

"I was surprised your nursemaid would not be accompanying you."

Uhura brought her hand to her mouth to suppress a laugh. "Dr. McCoy is going to spend time with his daughter, who I believe is near the age of Capt. Pike's son. Despite his own plans, he has given me strict instructions and said he is going to check in on me at regular intervals. So, it will certainly be like having him there. I promised him I would not deviate from his prescribed regime."

"Yes, I trust that will be the case."

"And, what are your plans over the semester break, sir?"

Spock looked to Uhura, as he considered how to answer her question. When McCoy informed him of her upcoming trip, the Vulcan mentioned it might be an opportune time to spend with the East African. However, the doctor cautioned him against such a idea.

"Give her more time, Spock." McCoy advised. "You want her to fully recover, don't you?"

"Of course, I do." Spock answered. "I want to do nothing that would impede her well-being."

"Mr. Spock." Uhura's voice called him back to the present. "Do you have any plans?"

"I have a rather promising quantum physics experiment to run." He told her. "With nearly all but essential staff away, I am anxious to work unencumbered by the usual distractions one would find at the Academy."

Uhura cast her eyes down, as if disappointed by his answer. It was a disappointment borne out of a still festering insecurity about her place in his life. She then asked him, "Does spending your break this way make you happy, sir?"

"That emotion is irrelevant in this context, Ms. Uhura. My aim is not to achieve a state of happiness with my work."

"Then, what is the driving force behind your labor, Mr. Spock?"

"The process of scientific discovery is, indeed, my passion." He remarked. "It has been so, since I was a very young child."

"Is it your only passion, Mr. Spock?"

Just then, Goldberg came out of the conference room with iTablet in hand. "I've got everyone's order, sir. I'll be on my way to get the coffee."

"Thank you for that detail, Cadet Goldberg." Spock replied.

"You're welcome, Mr. Spock." Cadet Goldberg answered, oblivious to the hint of sarcasm in the Vulcan's tone of voice.

Seeing that Goldberg had closed the conference room door as he exited, Spock felt more at liberty to express himself without being seen or overheard by his colleagues. He turned back to the East African and asked, "Ms. Uhura, why did you come here?"

"Why did I come here?" She echoed.

The Vulcan stepped closer to her. "After all, your appearance seems to be rather capricious. As my Assistant so dutifully noted, you did not have an appointment."

Uhura took a breath, as she could feel his heat while he now stood only a few inches away. Standing her ground, she gazed up into the Vulcan's smoky dark eyes and said quietly, "Wish me luck."

"Wish you luck?" He repeated. "Ms. Uhura, have we not previously engaged in a conversation about the pointless human ritual of wishing each other luck?"3

"Oh, yes." She told him. "That memory came back to me during my last session with Dr. McCoy. I don't know if you recall all of the details, but it did not end well."

"I do recall." Spock reaffirmed.

She then said in a soft, sultry voice, only discernible by the Vulcan. "So, I'm here to give you one . . . more . . . chance . . . to do the right thing."

The Vulcan looked upon her upturned, sensual face . . .undeniably aroused by her challenge. He dipped his head down so his lips lingered by her right ear as if waiting to whisper in her ear . . . the sexual tension building with every passing second.

"What are you waiting for?" She asked him with a playful plea in her voice. "Say it, Spock . . . just say it."

The outer door suddenly slid open with Goldberg bounding inside. Uhura quickly faked a swoon as a cover for her close juxtaposition to Spock. As if on cue, the Vulcan caught her in his arms and sat her in a chair.

"What happened to Uhura?" Goldberg asked Spock as he came beside her.

"I'm all right." The East African feigned a weak voice. "I guess I was just overcome by . . . "

Spock gave Uhura a curious look.

She continued, "I was just overcome by . . . "

"Yes, Ms. Uhura." The Vulcan said, taking enjoyment from her mental block. "Please inform us of the cause of your supposed fainting spell."

Uhura said to herself, Spock, you're really not helping.

"Should I get her a cup of water, Mr. Spock?" Goldberg inquired.

"I do not think that will be necessary, Cadet. However, were you not to retrieve coffee for my colleagues? It appears you have returned here empty handed."

"That's right, sir."

"Cadet Goldberg, I did not require a confirmation of my observation." The Vulcan replied. "I expected you to provide an explanation for having failed to complete your assigned task."

"Sir, I came back when I remembered I had not asked if you wanted any coffee."

"Cadet Goldberg, have you ever known me to ask you to retrieve that beverage for my own intact?"

"No, sir."

"Have you ever witnessed me with a cup of coffee in my hand?"

"No, sir."

"Have I ever seemed in any way interested in that brew?"

"No, sir."

"Then, please tell me what possibly led you to believe that today I might succumb."

"I really wasn't sure, sir. That's why I came back." Goldberg told him. "You know what they say, Better safe than sorry."

Spock at Goldberg as if the Cadet were speaking a language the Vulcan could not understand.

"All right, Goldberg." Uhura said as she rose up and turned to Spock. "I think we better let Mr. Spock get back to his meeting. I'm sure 10 minutes must have come and gone by now."

"47 seconds still remain." Spock offered.

"It's not enough, sir." She answered soberly. "It never seems to be enough."

"What is that supposed to mean?" Goldberg asked.

Uhura disregarded Goldberg's question as she continued to speak to Spock. "Don't worry, sir. I'll make sure he stays on track to get the coffee."

"I already know where to get the coffee." Goldberg remarked. "I just needed to know if Mr. Spock wanted any."

"Well, since that mystery has now been solved." Uhura turned the Cadet toward the door. "Let's be on our way. I don't want to miss my 3:30 PM flight."

As Uhura began to walk out of the office with Goldberg, she turned her head back to say, "Have a productive break, sir."

Spock watched the pair disappear behind the sliding door. And, he said in a voice he could only hear, "Good luck, Nyota."

5:52 PM, Campus Quad

"After I meet Marta in St. Petersburg, we had planned on joining Amber in Paris, where she's attending some sort of academic conference." Pike informed Spock. "I don't even think you with your Vulcan blood that you could resist the romanticism of The City of Lights."

"Captain, Paris was originally known as The City of Light - singular, not The City of Lights – was so named in recognition as a center of education and ideas during Earth's 18th century Age of Enlightenment."

Undaunted, the Captain continued his argument. "Spock, is there not a romantic bone in that Vulcan body of yours? I can't believe you don't want to take just a few days to have a little fun. I'm sure you've heard of the Terran saying, All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy."

"Tell me, Captain, just what type of experience should I expect in Paris?" Spock quipped. "In just a span of 22 seconds, you have changed its identity from a city of romance to an amusement park."

Exasperated, Pike threw up his hands. "All right . . . all right, you win. However, if you happen to change your mind, you know how to reach me."

"Captain, please tell Jack I look forward to continuing our music studies upon his return."

Pike nodded and watched as his friend walked away from him. The Captain told himself, He's hiding something, but what?

As Spock strode toward the quantum physics lab, his communicator signaled his attention.

"Spock here." He answered.

"Spock, it's McCoy." He informed him.

"Yes, doctor. What can I do for you?"

"It's probably nothing. But, I attempted to reach Uhura through her communicator before her flight took off and there was no response. I tried again a bit later, but there still was no answer. I probably am being overly concerned, but I know she was expecting my call."

"I spoke with Nyota earlier this afternoon and she did state she anticipated your calls." Spock responded. "However, she may have encountered unexpected complications that led her to be occupied with another matter when you initially called her. Later, she may have set her communicator to vibrate to engage in what I believe humans call a nap. Do these events not appear likely, Dr. McCoy?"

"Yes, of course, but I'd feel better if I heard that from the horse's mouth."

"Doctor, what does a horse have to do with this issue?"

McCoy took a breath to suppress his initial thought, before saying, "Look, Spock, I actually called to find out if you had the number for Mr. Sevat."

"Yes, I possess that information and will forward to you momentarily." Spock replied. "However, what would Sevat have to do with your aim to locate Nyota?"

"Didn't she tell you?" McCoy said. "I only agreed to Uhura taking this trip because I learned Mr. Sevat was to accompany her."

"Sevat . . . with Nyota?"

"Yes, I told you she was leaving to attend some kind of Xenolinquistic Conference for six days."

"Doctor, you made no mention of . . . Sevat."

"I didn't think it was necessary. After all, I understand he is one of Uhura's supervisors and an academic advisor. She must trust him."

Spock took a few moments to try to suppress his growing ire, before asking. "Where is this conference taking place?"

"I don't have the exact name of the hotel hosting the conference, but it is in Paris."


"Spock?" McCoy called to him. "Spock?" The doctor then looked at his communicator and saw Spock had ended the call. He then said to himself, I wonder what happened to him?

11:22 AM, Lobby of the Paris Marriott Rive Gauche Hotel & Conference Center

Uhura and Sevat stood in the check-in line waiting their turn. The East African covered her mouth as she yawned.

"I'm so sorry, Sevat." She apologized, as she unzipped her jacket in an attempt to refresh herself. "I slept a bit during the flight, but I'm still so tired."

"It is understandable, since it is still only 2:22 AM in San Francisco." He commented, seemingly well rested in contrast. "Physiologically, humans cannot adapt quickly to time changes. Consideration of your species' inferior ability to adjust to such deviations underlies the reason why I made travel arrangements that brought you to Paris a day before the conference actually began."

"I appreciate your foresight." She told him, well aware of the slight that went along with it. "With my presentation scheduled for Monday morning, it will probably take a couple of days for me to feel like myself, again."

Uhura looked to Sevat, who still had on his hat, gloves, scarf, and a fully buttoned coat. She asked, "Sevat, aren't you a bit warm? After all, we are inside, now."

"It will require a while longer for me to become acclimated to these cooler temperatures."

"Don't worry, Sevat." Uhura teased. "I take no glee in mocking those incapable of making those adaptations as quickly as humans."

Sevat gave the East African a long look, which she returned with a mischievous smile.

She remarked. "However, Sevat, I must say . . . you wear it well."

"You mean the scarf you presented to me as a gift?"4 He said, as he unconsciously grazed it with the fingers of his right hand. "Yes, I do concur with your discerning comment."

"I especially like the way the honey color of the scarf compliments your own skin tones."

"I am not so concerned with its aesthetic value, as I am with its function."

"Does it suit its purpose?" She asked.

The Vulcan hesitated with his answer.

He could not tell her . . .

Sevat could not tell her that each time he wore the scarf . . .

He thought of her . . .

As he wrapped it snuggly about her neck . . .

He imagined it to be her touch . . .

So soft . . .

So warm . . .

So gentle . . .

So sweet . . .

No . . .

He could not tell her how her gift . . .

Was so cherished . . .

"Sevat." Uhura called to him. "Now, don't keep me hanging like this. I at least want to know if the scarf keeps you warm."

He replied, "It is, indeed, an article which fits its utility."

And, then . . . a humming sound came from Sevat's coat pocket.

Uhura asked, "Do you still have your communicator on vibrate? I've heard it go off several times already."

"I'm sure it is nothing important."

"What if it's an emergency?"

He retorted, "I find that circumstance to be quite improbable. I am sure it is of little consequence. I'll check my messages while in my room."

The vibration sound stopped.

Uhura remarked, "That reminds me, I need to see if I can pick up a temporary communicator later today. I still can't believe I lost mine. As a communications major, I almost feel naked without it."

"A communicator is a distraction you do not need at the moment." He advised. "You should concentrate on preparing for your presentation."

"But it's so strange." She told him. "I was sure I placed it right here in my bag. It's an Academy-issue and I'll be docked an entire month of my stipend if I don't find it."

"This is no time to overreact." He commented. "Items of that size are easily misplaced."

"I know I was expecting at least one phone call from someone from the Academy. And, probably another from one of my best friends who said she might come for a visit this week if her schedule permits."

"Nyota, a communicator is not the only way to contact someone." He remarked. "You could send messages via the Internet."

"Of course." Uhura nodded. "But, for me, it's not quite the same as hearing someone else's voice."

"Next." The hotel clerk called to them. As they walked toward the counter, Sevat discretely checked his communicator and saw two calls to him placed by Dr. McCoy, as well as, a dozen more from Spock. Sevat wondered how much time he would have to be alone with Uhura before his rival would inevitably arrive. He estimated, 13 . . . perhaps, 14 hours?

"Your names?" The clerk asked.

"There should be one room under the name of Nyota Uhura." She replied.

"And the other reservation should be under the name of Sevat." The Vulcan added. "Arrangements should have been made for our rooms to be charged to the Starfleet account."

"Yes, sir." The clerk answered. "Everything is in order. Ms. Uhura, if you will sign, here."

Uhura signed the electronic register.

"And, Mr. Sevat, you should sign this one."

Sevat complied.

The East African hand quickly covered her mouth once more as she began to yawn. "I'm sorry." She told the clerk. "I suppose I'm still tired after that long flight."

"You two are among the lucky ones." The clerk remarked.

"Why do you say that?" Uhura asked.

"Didn't you hear? The impending air traffic controllers strike in Europe looks like it is going to be a reality." He informed them. "Unless grievances are resolved soon, most travelers to our city will have to first fly to a city like Cairo, Tunis, Algiers, Jerusalem, or Istanbul. Then, they would need to wait until they are able to book passage overland or by sea to reach their European destination. Due to the number of passengers involved, it is estimated this will add 2-3 days to everyone's travel."

"That's terrible." Uhura commented. "Don't you think so, Sevat?"

How strange. The East African thought as she turned to the Vulcan. If I didn't know better, it almost seems as if he is smiling as if it really is his lucky day!

Author's Note: In Chapter 24, as Spock tries to reach Paris, Uhura and Sevat spend time together in the City of Light.

I will try to post the next chapter within 7 days.

Your comments are always welcome.

1 This episode is dramatized in Chapter 27 of my story, Needs.

2 See Chapters 1-3 of my story, Touch, if you need to refresh your memory of the events.

3 See Chapter 6 of my story, Operation: No Return. Uhura asked Spock to wish her well before taking her comprehensive exams. He told her it was needless to do so if she had adequately prepared for them.

4 See Chapter 4 of my story, Touch.