Truth and Consequences
Dr. T'Priu stared at Kirk and McCoy. She leaned towards Sarek and informed him in Vulcan, "I do not believe that it is wise to include these humans in the failings of New Vulcan. Our flaws have to be perfected by our own hands."
Ambassador Spock replied, "There is a young lady in trouble and she is a Starfleet officer. If harm comes to her while in this place, it is possible that we can be held responsible as founders of the new planet. These humans will be able to assist us if such accusations are born." Spock looked at the woman with a bemused expression. They got along, as Vulcans generally tended to attempt to do, but they often disagreed. She regarded him as a failure, from what he could observe from her, not because of any lack of skill, but because of his emotions. Years before, when she had to help Nyota out of a terrible condition, which Spock accidentally caused, the woman had treated him with disdain for his melding with a human, and she seemed to hold more disdain for him for having married the human during Vulcan's struggle.
Kirk glared at the two of them, having a feeling that he did not like whatever this interaction was, then leaned towards Spock and asked, "What are they saying?"
Spock paraphrased, "She does not trust you. He does."
Dr. T'Priu unlocked the institution door with her key, then pressed a button, which caused the door to open. However, there was a security gate up and it was locked. T'Priu announced, "Doctor T'Priu -" (the last name did not even sound speakable to Kirk and McCoy.
The computerized system said, "Doctor T'Priu, please verify identity with unlock code." She entered a code into a keypad on the wall by the gate, and the gate opened.
Kirk threw both of his hands out in front of himself repeatedly as he asked, "What the hell would they do if a fire broke out?"
His emotions were some of the wildest that she had been exposed to. The man often spoke spontaneously in an impassioned tone and with irrational movements and gestures, but this was someone that two of the founding fathers of New Vulcan had invited into Vulcan affairs, so she tried to keep her condescension to a minimum, as she informed him, "Captain Kirk, this is not how the building is locked each day. This is an emergency lock down system. This is to be used in the event that extremely dangerous patients escape and there is danger of them leaving the building. Your human doctor activated the system as a means to keep us out. I should reactivate it when we are inside, to ensure that the monster does not escape."
Spock glanced at her and told her, "It is quite tasteless and judgmental to refer to any child in such a way, whether or not he has a past of a barbaric nature. Please refrain from name calling."
Kirk looked from Spock to the woman doctor, who did not react at all to his words, but simply asked, "Will you have me to reactivate the alarm, or not?"
Sarek stated, "Please do, Doctor."
"Computer, reactivate emergency lock down," Dr. T'Priu stated. She looked at Sarek and said, "I am going to go into the security room to replay the footage of the time frame that they have been in here. I will give you their current location over the intercom, very shortly." Sarek bowed slightly to her and she briskly headed away.
Sarek and Ambassador Spock led the way down the hallway leading to Styik's chamber. Captain Kirk, Dr. McCoy, and Spock watched the rear as they all traveled. On the way to the room, Spock suddenly stopped walking and went off to the side of the hallway. Kirk watched as Spock kneeled next to a smashed communicator, picked it up, and held it a bit too tightly. Kirk saw the purple, red, and silver butterfly that Lt. Uhura had put on her communicator after losing a drinking game to Chekov in the mess hall.
Spock shut his eyes and forced himself to remain calm, but seeing this communicator was a physical sign of the danger that she could be in. All he had up to this point was speculation. Now, she was not only with two very dangerous creatures, but she had no way to contact help. Had she attempted to call for help and was caught doing so? Had they hurt her? He took a deep breath and Kirk stood next to him. His eyes opened to see the captain with a sincere look on his face.
"We'll find her, Spock." Kirk said, with certainty.
Spock rose to his feet and replied, "I do not deny it."
"And she will be OK," Kirk added. Spock merely continued walking, still holding the busted communicator in his hand.
Styik's room was locked, but it was also empty. Sarek looked at Spock, who suggested, "Mrs. Uhura's room." Kirk and McCoy both startled at the statement. Why would Mrs. Uhura have a room in this place? She and Mwinyi lived in a large house on Sarek's property. Perhaps he had meant Mrs. Uhura's office, as she did work at the place too, but it was not likely that Spock would make a mistake in speech, even at an emotional time. Kirk simply decided to just follow.
This time, Spock led the way, as Sarek and the others were not familiar with the location of this particular room. When they reached the room, the door was open and Mwinyi was seated across from his wife and they were laughing together. Both of them were dressed in formal attire, as they probably would be heading to the ceremony shortly. Kirk looked around the cell, noticing all of the African decorations and realized that this really was Mrs. Uhura's room. The thought startled him, but he did not make mention of it. "Dr. Uhura." Spock stated, but upon looking at the man's face and thinking about the missing Lieutenant, Kirk reacted.
"You sonofabitch!" Kirk blurted and rushed towards the man, grabbed him by the collar ( which caused Ashaki to scream) and slammed him against the wall. "Where is she?"
"Captain," Spock stated. Kirk let go of Dr. Uhura and Spock approached him to say, "Dr. Uhura. Do you remember earlier, when you took Nyota and ran away from me with her?"
Dr. Uhura glared at Kirk for a moment, talking himself down from beating the piss out of the little punk, as he explained to his son in law, "Spock, I am just enjoying time with my wife, while she is well. We have the ceremony to go to and Sybok allowed me to spend some time with her, first. Nyota is in Styik's room talking to him. It is fine. He is not going to hurt her."
"Styik's room is empty. Neither Lt. Uhura nor this Styik kid is in it!" McCoy snapped. Now Mwinyi looked confused.
Spock had thrown Dr. McCoy a look. The humans really were obstructing progress. He knew that they meant well; these were his friends and they were almost as concerned about Nyota as he was, but he needed no obstruction, emotional or otherwise. Spock asked, "Will you allow me to venture, or will you force me to venture against your will?" Mwinyi sighed and shut his eyes for Spock to meld with him. Ashaki crept towards the door, but Ambassador Spock noticed her and cut her off. She startled at him, then smiled. His gaze often softened on her when she smiled. That was the time that she most reminded him of Nyota, particularly the one of his own reality.
Spock broke his contact with Dr. Uhura. "None of them seem to know anything that we do not already know." He quickly left the room, frustrated, and hurried down the hallway.
"Spock?" Sarek called. Spock was beginning to worry him. Spock seemed as though soon, he might begin to unravel. His wife was missing and he had no clue as to where she might be. His worry was beginning to show and would probably manifest itself even stronger, momentarily.
Spock kept walking, ignoring his father's call, until he came to an intercom and pressed the button, "Dr. T'Priu, report." He waited for a moment, then said, "Dr. T'Priu, are you available?"
When the woman still did not respond, he darted down the hallway with Kirk and McCoy behind him, towards the security room. T'Priu was seated in the chair with her head back and a blank look on her face. Dr. McCoy scanned her. He looked at the captain and said, "She's dead, Jim."
Spock studied the area for a moment, making observations of the scene. He stated, "The security room has been sabotaged. One of them forced her to erase all recorded material of the times we would have needed to see which direction that they went. She is not dead, just momentarily incapacitated. She apparently was trying very forcefully to combat whomever was entering her mind. Your scanner would read her as dead, because it is not familiar with the state of Vulcan unconsciousness that she is in." McCoy hated the fact that Vulcan shared so little of its information with the rest of the medical world. It made things far more difficult... but this was not the time to point it out. Spock used the security computer, touching the screen several times then said, "Computer, locate patient Styik."
"Patient Styik is not in the building," The computer responded.
Sarek appeared in the doorway and said, "There is no way that they could have gotten out of this building. There is an err in the computer system."
"I do not have time to try to figure it out, Father." Spock stated, annoyance clear in his tone, and headed for the door again.
Upon reaching the front gate, which was locked, due to the emergency lock down, he turned to face his father. Dr. T'Priu was unavailable, and therefore could not deactivate the extensive system. "Where is Dr. Uhura?" Spock asked Dr. Uhura and Ashaki were standing in front of Ambassador Spock.
Kirk asked Spock, "When you searched him earlier, what did you find out? Maybe he knows something that he doesn't even know that he knows."
"Or Sybok made him forget what he does know." Spock added another possible complication, then also stated, "One thing is certain, they are not too far away, if they had the opportunity to assail Dr. T'Priu before leaving; however, the computer states that the patient is not inside of the building."
Kirk thought about the Vulcan doctor being read as dead by Bones' scanner from a mental battle with another Vulcan, then the thought of Sybok making another doctor forget information and he commented, "I hate the things that I am finding out that you Vulcans can do with your minds. Is there any way for you to go in again? Maybe you missed something. You are getting pretty emotional, well... sort of."
Spock placed his hands behind his back, looked at the older version of himself and said, "Ambassador, the captain believes that perhaps in my emotional state that I may have missed something during the meld. Do you think that you could reexamine?"
The Ambassador wanted to tell Spock that he was just as emotional, if not more, just better at hiding it with all of his many years of conditioning. However, he knew that he was determined enough and concerned enough, about their missing woman, and held the necessary experience it would take to successfully meld with Nyota's father. He went towards the doctor for the meld and Ashaki began to creep away, as she had done earlier when a meld was being began. Even when she returned to her right mind, the woman kept a fear of melding and hated seeing it performed, especially considering that this was her husband.
Spock suddenly turned around and looked at Ashaki. She startled when he did so. He had just come to a realization. Besides the unconscious Dr. T'Priu, "You were the last to see them." He said.
The woman laughed, nervously, looking closely at Ambassador Spock meld with Mwinyi, and asked, "What do you mean, Spock?"
"Sybok would have mended you right before leaving, to make certain that you would be mended long enough for the ceremony." Spock said.
Kirk looked at him, now unable to hold his tongue about Mrs. Uhura and asked, "What does that mean? Mended?" He eyed over the woman to check for any hints of some type of injury.
Ashaki laughed again and asked, in the most disgusted and bitter tone that Spock ever thought that he would hear flee from her mouth, "Yes, what does that mean, Spock? Have you told your friends about what you did? How the group of you attacked a little boy and I got myself caught in the middle and driven mad? How I need high concentrations of Vulcan telepathy to bring me back to myself and it only lasts for so long before I am back to a realm of dementia? That you never told my daughter that her mother was locked up in a crazy house and you were partially to blame..." Spock grabbed her by her head and she screamed. He did not wish to hurt her, but he needed to meld with her. He wanted to know if she knew anything that she did not realize that she knew. The woman was more afraid of the act than she was physically hurt or uncomfortable, She screamed as though Spock was killing her from the fear alone.
Mwinyi heard her and rushed to her aid, but Kirk reflexively stopped him, while asking Spock, "What are you doing to her?" Kirk did not think that Spock would hurt the woman without warrant or reason, and decided that Spock must have knew what he was doing to be doing whatever it was that he was doing to Mrs. Uhura, but Kirk still wanted to know what he was accessory to at the moment. Spock searched as deeply as he could. Sarek watched in horror. Spock was getting to the point where desperation was becoming very real to him. Sarek knew that he should intervene on behalf of the woman, but he was almost as desperate as his son to find Nyota. Mwinyi yelled, "No, you'll undo her mending going in there, stop it!"
The Ambassador Spock placed his hands over Spock's and gently pulled them away from the woman. They seemed to share a brief mental exchange as the woman fell to the floor, breathing deeply. Kirk released his grip on Mwinyi and the man rushed to his wife. Ambassador Spock turned Spock to face him and said, "He had further information. An exit that we were not aware of, in his office." He placed his hand on Spock's head to show him the place and said, "It is the only logical way that they could have escaped. It goes underground."
Spock immediately ran towards the office and Kirk and McCoy chased after him. McCoy complained, "I sure wish that he would tell us which way he is going when he does this!"
The three of them entered into the office and Spock glanced around it. He only looked around a few times before going to a spot directly in the corner, where there was a collection of Uhura family photos. Spock searched the wall until he found the button and that portion of the wall opened as a doorway.
When they entered the doorway, there was a tunnel which went down into the ground via ladders. The tunnel was wide enough to have five ladders going down to the surface below. The Vulcans had not concerned themselves too much with the functioning nor the building of this institution, as it had not been a favorable decision to have it. T'Priu was probably the only Vulcan who even knew about this exit. They jumped from the ladders and began to run through a wide tunnel, for a bit of a distance.
Kirk suggested, "Can you use your mind to call out to her?"
"I have tried. Either one or both of them is shielding her mind from me, or she is unconscious." Spock replied.
Dr McCoy stated, "She sure as hell better not be dead."
Kirk threw him a look as they approached a fork, "She isn't!" He snapped passionately. "We just need to find her and we're close. Which way do we go?"
"There are three paths, we should separate." McCoy advised.
Spock quickly objected, "If we separate and one of us should encounter them, I fear that either of you would be too heavily outnumbered by Sybok and the boy."
Captain Kirk shrugged his shoulders. They needed to find their missing friend, so he said, "Keep your phasers ready. I am going this middle path, Bones, you take that one, and Spock, the other."
Spock sighed at Captain Kirk's disregard for his sound advice, then stated, "Yes, Captain."
The three of them went three different ways down the underground tunnels. McCoy was only a bit nervous. He certainly did not want to be outnumbered by a Vulcan that the other Vulcans seemed to fear and Spock's brother too, but Lt. Uhura had to be found and returned to safety, if possible. Jim was so optimistic. McCoy suddenly wished that he himself could have a better outlook on the situation, but with each step he took, he tried to prepare himself for the worse, so that if it occurred, he would not be as hurt.
Captain Kirk quickly went down the path that he had chosen. If he found those Vulcans and Lt. Uhura was hurt, he would kill them. She had just found out that she would be having a baby, and if anyone had hurt her after the fact, they would be destroyed, both of them. He was not concerned about the Federation's rules at this point, nor New Vulcan's discretion. If Uhura or the baby were hurt, that Sybok, and the kid as well, would be too.
Spock touched the walls to try to get a feel for her. He worried that his path was the wrong one. After traveling it a bit, he rushed back to the beginning and went down the same one that Kirk had gone down. If he ran into Kirk, he would simply tell him that the first path did not feel right. Kirk should accept that answer, especially coming from him. He saw Kirk, and he called out to him, "Captain." Kirk turned around and stared at him in disbelief.
"Spock, what the hell..." Kirk began.
"Dr. McCoy is going down the path that they used. If he finds them..." They both ran back to the beginning to go the way that Kirk had sent Bones. Kirk fumed now... it was possible that both Uhura and Bones were in danger. Who could know how far down the tunnel the doctor had gotten? Kirk attempted to contact McCoy on the communicator, which was not working from where they were. Instead, he resorted to calling his name as he and Spock ran to catch up with him. If the others heard him, so be it, they would just have to run harder to catch them.
Sarek, Ambassador Spock, Dr. Uhura, and Mrs. Uhura all entered the Embassy together. One of the Vulcans met with them upon their entrance and asked, "Is everything well, Ambassadors? Some claim to have seen Vulcans attacking federation personnel outside."
Sarek asked, "Have many made such claims?"
"No, Ambassador, only a few. I informed them that it must have been the secondary Vulcans attempting at some type of perplex rouse."
"The situation has been handled." Sarek stated.
The Vulcan bowed curtly and dismissed himself from the party. Sarek looked at Dr. Uhura and said, "We must gather with the elders at the academy. I trust that neither of you will make any type of scene. If her mending wears off...
"I will gracefully excuse us and return her to the institution." Dr. Uhura said.
Sarek and Ambassador Spock left the couple and Ashaki looked at her husband and began to talk, "Mwinyi, I want to tell you something."
"Yes, Ashaki, anything." He said, nodding politely to others in the building.
She touched his hand and said, "I want you to stop having me mended."
"That is..." He could not find a word hurtful enough to describe the effect that even the thought of entertaining her suggestion meant for him.
Ashaki explained, or tried to, "Each time that I am mended, when I remember how it came to be this way, it brings me so much pain, but Sybok erases that pain and makes me think that I am so happy, that I can hardly see a time when I was not. Now, Sybok has taken our daughter. Until I realized this, I did not realize that I still feel pain. He made me feel that I was happy and healthy, but when I heard that he had Nyota and that she was in danger, his effect wore off. I am not happy, and thinking about the condition that I am in, and you, trapped into the situation with me... it makes me so..." She began to cry and leaned onto her husband to do so. "When I return to that state, Mwinyi, just leave me in it. I don't remember what it is like, so there probably is no pain in it."
"There is pain for me, Ashaki. To see you in that way. You stare at walls for hours. You rarely speak, and when you do, the statements make no sense. How am I to leave you in such a condition?" His voice was desperate, despite the fact that he knew what he was saying would be argued against.
"I am asking you to, Mwinyi. I am asking you to move on." Now he pulled away from her and stared at her face. She added, "I do not want you to be a slave to my sickness any longer."
"The moments that Sybok gives us are the best moments of my life. If those are taken away, Ashaki..." Mwinyi would not easily give it up, and it broke Ashaki's heart further.
Her eyes were the softest that he had ever seen them. It truly felt as though this would be the last time that she ever looked upon him lovingly as she said, "We had a long life together, Mwinyi. We have two strapping sons and a beautiful daughter, all with successful careers. We did well with them. We loved each other for many years and worked through all of our plight along the way, but I am afraid that there is no more fight within me to work through anything else. Without him here to create that blanket around my mind, making me think that I am happy, I realize how tragic this is for both of us, to keep bringing me back to you, only for moments, then you having to put me away again when the mending wears off."
"I love you enough to endure it." Mwinyi insisted.
Ashaki smiled and shook her head at his words, informing him, "I love you too much to wish for you to do it. If they do not find Sybok, you will have no way of doing this again, anyway. And if they do find him, I beg you, never bring me back. Just let me stay wherever it is my mind goes when this wears off. It is best for you, and what is best for you is what would truly make me happy, Mwinyi."
With tears in his eyes, he pulled his wife back into his arms and the two of them cried. It would be difficult to say goodbye to his wife, but he would do as she wished. He feared that it would be soon, too soon. Their relationship ending was not one that he had considered very thoroughly, but now, it was the only thing that would be on his mind, probably for the rest of his days.
Ambassador Spock and Sarek met with the other elders, and all of the events reported to them were quickly dismissed. They were concerned about Styik being released from his home in the institution, but they predicted that now both the child and Sybok would be leaving the planet, and this was viewed as a major advantage for New Vulcan. Many of the other secondary Vulcans had small children or husbands, wives, something else that would keep them there, despite Sybok's absence and the number of them who would leave without him, they would just have to do without. As far as the "Federation officer in question", she would be viewed as a hostage of Sybok, not New Vulcan, and therefore would not present a problem to their reputation or their advancement.
Ambassador Spock winced in agitation that the elders' assessment of Lt. Uhura. They realized that she was the wife of a Vulcan, the daughter in law of Sarek, related to founding fathers of their new home, and yet, their detachment made it possible for them to dismiss her disappearance and the possible danger that she was in. The Ambassador said, "If something should happen to the Lieutenant, it would reflect poorly on our choice of allies, as we brought Sybok to this planet."
"You brought Sybok to this planet, against our wisest advice, Ambassador Spock." One of the other elders said to him.
"And since that time, more children and women have been provided by his sect than by your own." Ambassador Spock pointed out. "My decision was logical for the task which was placed before us, to repopulate the Vulcan race. When children began being born and wives began being obtained, no one felt that Sybok's leaving would be in our best interest."
"We have spoken, Ambassador Spock, as to our view of the situation. Sarek will agree with us that to remain neutral in a nasty situation between Starfleet and a rogue barbarian is our wisest choice of action. We have very little time before the ceremony begins and the New Vulcan Science Academy opens. We can not chase after some human at a time like this." The elder explained in a cold, calculating tone.
"We do need to retain the boy." Sarek stated. They had taken a great deal of action to make certain that no one else was exposed to the child's dangerous ways, and to free him now might bring just as much trouble to them as it would others away from the planet.
The elder looked at Sarek, almost reacting in shock at the suggestion, then said, "Sybok's taking of the boy is one of the best things that could have happened to this planet. Retaining the child was wise when when needed to keep his existence discreet from those assisting us. With Sybok's actions against this Federation officer, if he is caught, the child most likely will be returned to the institution. If he is not caught, the child will most likely be considered a product of his barbaric raising and will be his problem,."
"And Nyota's." Ambassador Spock added, masking his anger. Sarek looked at him. The man was far too old to be his own son, but he was, and Sarek knew exactly how his son felt about the woman in danger.
The elder thought for a moment, then said, "If you are referring to the federation officer, Ambassador Spock, then my best response to you is that this woman got herself in the midst of Vulcan affairs, as did her mother not too long ago, and she has to live with whatever consequences accompany her decision."
Ambassador Spock said, "But, she is most likely under Sybok's control..." Sarek placed a hand on Ambassador Spock's shoulder and they looked at each other for a moment. The elders were not going to listen to this. They had spoken. Ambassador Spock walked away from the room. Sarek gave the traditional Vulcan salute to the elders and followed him out. Ambassador Spock stood outside of the building, watching all of the other aliens gather around outside of it as Sarek approached him. "Father, Sarek, I am deeply grieved by her disappearance." He did not have to tell him as much. Sarek was well aware, and even expected it. The fact that the alternate Spock had actually referred to him as "Father" made it so much more evident to Sarek how hurt he was.
"I know, Spock." Sarek stated. "I am grieved as well. I simply hide it better than you as you hide it better than Spock. I realized that both of us were being stronger for his benefit. He is currently not around." Ambassador Spock looked at Sarek, with visible tears in his eyes, but they would not fall.
"She is not gone yet. I refuse to cry. It would be as though I have accepted that she has been taken away from us." He turned to face the distant crowds again. "That was the thought that I received from Spock when I touched him to give him the location of the exit in Dr. Uhura's office. Taken away from us."
Sarek tilted his head and said, "Perhaps he meant the family, her friends, loved ones, all of those who care about her..."
"No, he meant us, he and I." Ambassador Spock seemed certain. Sarek was not going to argue it.
Styik had been pressing his hand against the wall of the tunnel, along the way. He watched as his small print formed with each touch. Nyota's husband was incredibly smart, even for a Vulcan. He would notice the prints. He would know that this is the path to choose. It may take him a little while to realize. Styik thought that he might have to delay this journey a bit. He walked as slowly as he could without being obvious. Sybok reached for his hand, but he resisted the touch.
Sybok informed the child, "You need to walk more swiftly." Styik grabbed Nyota's hand and she said to Sybok, "Leave him alone. We'll get out just fine. Only my family knows about this exit, and you, for all your mind meddling."
"Someone else could meddle, as you so affectionately put it, with your father's mind. If Spock or any of the others find us, they are taking Styik right back to his cell, if not an even worse one. If that is what you wish for, then continue to allow him to walk in his pace. As Federation personnel, it may not be in your best interest to be caught trying to free the boy from a mental institution."
Styik squeezed her hand and told her, "They would never believe that you did this on your own. Even if they did, your husband would not allow you to be punished. He would testify against Sybok and his abilities. He would fight for you."
She smiled, squeezed his hand back, and said, "Try to speed up, OK?"
Sybok walked ahead of the two of them, turning around ever so often to see where they were. He noticed Styik touching the wall and said, "Keep your hands away from the wall, Styik. You will leave a trail for them." Styik joined both of his hands to the one hand which he held from Nyota. She looked at the child and lifted an eyebrow curiously. She did not know what was going to happen, but she knew that Styik had something up his sleeve. She somehow felt comfortable with it – or at least more comfortable than she felt with the idea of leaving with Sybok, which she was still trying to figure out a way of getting out of without sending Styik back to imprisonment in an institution.
Nyota helped Styik out of the tunnel, from the ladder which led back to the above surface, as Sybok had helped her. They were at what appeared to be a hangar deck. She looked at the shuttle area, wondering how long it had taken them to reach it. They seemed to be traveling underground for quite a time. Now, they were out in the open and she wished that she had a communicator. No matter what was going on, she would never allow Spock to have to wonder about her safety or assume that she was gone forever. Styik held her hand and she heard, in her mind, "I have a secret." She looked at the boy, then at Sybok, but Sybok simply smiled at her. Styik also told her, "He can not hear us. I have him blocked out. Just be sure that he does not touch you, or he will see that I have a secret." Now, Styik smiled at her.
"What is this secret?" She wondered. Styik responded merely by laughing silently. Sybok looked at him, then at Nyota. They were exchanging information, but Sybok did not think to interfere.
The closer that Styik became with Nyota, the better. It would make her easier for Sybok to keep control over her, once they were away from Spock. Styik could create a strong bond, and when Sybok entered her mind, he could utilize the connection both to have a stronger hold on Nyota, and to establish some level of control over Styik. He smiled at the two of them and led them to a small shuttle.
Then, his smile faded and he said, "I can feel Spock approaching. We need to get out of here as soon as possible. They will never let the boy go." Nyota looked behind them to see if she could see anyone else coming, but Sybok grabbed her arm to place her into the shuttle. When he did, he suddenly looked at Styik and Styik dropped his hold of Nyota's hand. "It's too late, Child. I have seen it." Sybok said. Styik looked up at Nyota with terrified eyes. Then, she watched the two of them glare at each other. This did not look like it would be good.
Nyota wandered back a bit, trying to get herself out of harm's way, in case harm would soon come. Sybok lifted a hand towards Styik and the child groaned. Nyota took off running, to try to get something to help the boy, for she knew that her own strength would not be sufficient, but Sybok called out, "Nyota, stop!" Reluctantly, she did so. She found that it hurt her head to try to resist, but her heart would not let her give in so willingly. "Come to me." He stated. She slowly turned around to see him and fought the urge to walk over to him, despite the sharp pains in her head. Styik saw the discomfort in her face. Only she mattered now, she and her child. The boy rushed over to Sybok and placed his hands on him. Sybok screamed in pain and Nyota felt Sybok's hold on her break.
"Run, Friend!" Styik said. She ran until she heard Styik screaming. She turned to see Sybok touching the boy's head and she searched around for an object. She ultimately elected a tool that must have been left out from some type of shuttle repairs. She rushed over to the fight and swung at Sybok's head, but he easily caught her weapon, took it from her, threw it away, and caught her wrist. She screamed in pain as he transferred Styik's hatred and pain into her body.
"NO!" Styik yelled, trying to calm himself down. Nyota fell to her knees, with Sybok's grip still on her wrist. Suddenly, her pain stopped. She stared at Styik, who seemed completely calm, now. Tears were falling from his face, but his face was calm. Sybok unhanded Nyota and picked Styik up.
"What just happened?" She asked from her position on the ground on her knees. Sybok secured Styik in a seat in the shuttle and explained, "He was using his hate against me, until of course, he realized that I was sending it into you. He had to force himself to become better at controlling himself. He learned it on the spot, using love, of all things. Thank you." Sybok helped her up from the ground and lifted her to place her into the shuttle.
"Uhura!" They heard Kirk's voice call.
Nyota looked in the distance to see her friends, Kirk and McCoy, and her husband, running towards them. Her heart leaped in her chest as she saw him. No matter what she had learned, and no matter what would happen next, she had never been so happy to see Spock. That was saying a lot, considering how happy she generally was to see him.
"Spock!" Nyota yelled and tried to jump from the shuttle, but Sybok pushed her into it and began to climb in, himself. Spock felt himself become consumed with the heat at the sight of seeing his wife shoved and he ran even harder to catch up with them. A few moments longer, and they would be faced with chasing the shuttle, which he would absolutely do if he had to.
Nyota kicked Sybok in the face when she fell to the floor of the shuttle. He slapped her foot away and attempted to shut the shuttle door. As he did, Styik pulled out a phaser and shot him with it. Sybok groaned, fell from the shuttle, and hit the ground. Nyota looked at Styik with wide eyes. The boy said, "I told you that I had a secret. I found a weapon in Dr. Uhura's office, before we left."
She took him into her embrace and he laid on her chest with his arms around her. "I thought that you wanted us together." She said.
"You were supposed to think that, so that Sybok would help me to get free. He needed incentive. I have no plans of having Sybok as a father. He has already proven a failure in this regard. I'm sorry that I was not honest with you, but I promise never to deceive you again." Nyota laughed and squeezed the boy tightly.
Spock reached the shuttle and saw Nyota and Styik in the embrace. Nyota's eyes crossed over her husband and she lingered upon his face at the mixed emotions that he could not shield from her, though the most prevalent on his face was relief. He climbed onto the shuttle and looked at the boy, then at Nyota. She reached out for Spock, with one hand, without letting go of Styik. Spock met her arm and hugged her, placing his forehead against the side of her face as she wrapped her arm around him. He watched Styik hold Nyota. The boy latched on tightly to Nyota with his eyes closed.
"Don't bring him back there." Nyota whispered. Spock lifted an eyebrow at her and she turned to face him, not breaking their contact, forehead to forehead, they began to have a mental conversation that Styik chose to remain out of, for the moment.
Captain Kirk and Dr. McCoy lifted the stunned Sybok from the ground. Spock glanced at him and told Kirk, "Have him beamed into a cell with a forcefield."
"Yes, captain," Kirk answered with enthusiastic sarcasm. He smiled at Uhura and said, "I told you that we'd find her, AND I told you that she would be OK."
"I must suggest that you follow my advice before Sybok awakens." Spock said.
"We are getting back on board. You two better join up with us very soon. Lt. Uhura needs to be examined to make certain that she is alright." Spock nodded his head at the order, then watched as Kirk, McCoy and Sybok beamed away. He looked at Nyota.
She stroked his face, lovingly and said, "Please, don't make him go back."
"I have to. There is no other place for him." Spock stated.
"You have no place in the universe." The thought appeared in Spock's mind, but he knew that Styik had given it to him. It was said about Spock when he was younger. Spock looked at the child and said, "Stop that."
Nyota said, "Spock, if I thought for one moment that I would ask something of you, something important to me, that you would deny me, I would not be here. I know how much you love me, and how happy you wish to make me. I would never be happy again if you send him back to that place."
Spock looked at Styik, "We can not keep this child, Nyota. Federation regulations..."
"The regulations would allow you to adopt me, because of the genocide. I am listed as a Vulcan orphan and any Vulcan adoption is permitted under the circumstances that one of the adopting parents is Vulcan." Styik stated.
Spock stared at him, "That information is incorrect. The law itself is so, but you are not classified as an orphan. Sybok is your legal guardian."
Styik answered, "I believe that Sybok's actions today omit that legal binding. He is going to be arrested and charged by the Federation. His role as guardian will soon be revoked."
Spock's forehead remained on Nyota's as he attempted to figure out this situation. He did not trust this boy, but at the same time, he could sense that the child was being genuine. Styik handed Spock the phaser he used on Sybok and Spock put the weapon away. It was more than just turning over some evidence, it was a sign of trust. He would trust in Nyota enough to hand her husband a weapon that he could have used to try to gain freedom. Their fingers brushed each other's and Styik allowed Spock to receive a bit of the emotion that the moment was causing him.
"You actually want me to adopt you?" Spock asked, now in thought.
"I do not want to go back to the institution, and I want to be with my friend." Was Styik's response. "The elders would take delight in my leaving this place. I will not hurt Nyota, nor will I hurt your child."
"You did not intend to hurt Ashaki, and it was done." Spock countered. He had not wanted to point this out, but it was something to be considered. The child could have an emotional outburst and bring danger to those around him, quite easily.
Styik sat up and looked at Nyota, "I knew that he would not accept me, not even for your love." He told her with his emerald eyes dampened with hurtful tears.
Nyota sat, prepared to threaten Spock, to assure him that if he sent the boy back to the institution that she would make a huge public deal about all that had befallen him while in the care of the elders on New Vulcan and that she would bring all of this before the Federation, and any other group of species that her mouth would allow her to communicate with, but seeing Spock's face, she could tell that he wanted peace about the issue. It was not his intention to have her back and to have problems come back with her. He needed convincing that this would be the best decision for him and for her. Nyota told Styik, "That's not true. Just show him how much you love me too." She thought.
Styik lifted a finger towards Spock and his shaky hand remained elevated, with Spock staring at it, unable to bring himself to touch the boy, despite the fact that he was touching Nyota without any complication. Nyota grabbed Spock's hand and pressed his finger against Styik's. Spock's forehead was rested on Nyota's forehead. Styik's head was rested on her chest. She had an arm around each of them. They all shut their eyes, and the fingertip touch between the two males became their two hands intertwined.
From the moment that Nyota first addressed Styik, the child had been drawn to her. When he realized who she was, it was not his intention to harm her, as he felt a sense of responsibility for what had become of her mother, but he knew Sybok, and he knew that if she was to meet Sybok, then Sybok would definitely exercise the opportunity to mentally assess such a fascinating creature. After all, this woman managed to undo the logic of one of the most straight laced Vulcans that Sybok knew personally and cause him to not only show emotion towards her, but to build a large portion of his life around that emotion.
Styik's quick assessment of the woman gave him the idea to share with her a portion of a possible future – one which could have occurred, if many other actions were taken place to ensure it, but one that he knew would motivate Sybok into doing what it took to get him out of his current situation. He needed someone as a bridge between himself and Sybok for it to work. Nyota was so perfect. He could not have asked for a more perfect situation. As Sybok met her, he immediately became intrigued, not only with her dreams about him, not only with the intense emotion Spock felt for her, but with the fact that intense emotions had been referred from Styik to her.
Styik had connected with someone. Styik had connected with someone in such a way, that if he could have them both at his exposure, he could gain a connection with the child. He could use this woman to establish the most powerful connection that he would ever have with another Vulcan. Styik, however had different plans. He hated Spock. He would not have tried to be in a situation with Spock, however, upon further journey into his connection with Nyota, the child had realized that if anyone would accept him on behalf of the woman, it would be her husband. If anyone loved her enough to fight for her, no matter what the cause or cost, it would be Spock. While he felt that Spock blamed him for Ashaki's condition, he knew that if he wanted to keep Nyota in his life in any fashion, he would need Spock...
Kirk transported back to the scene and stood in complete confusion, watching this strange event. What on Earth, or on New Vulcan were they doing? He folded his arms across his chest and decided to wait. The moment seemed a bit too personal to intrude upon.
After a while, Spock dropped the contact from Styik's hand and looked into Nyota's eyes. He said to her, "It is my intention to bring you happiness."
She looked back into his eyes with a worried look and asked, "But?"
Spock gathered Styik into his arms and lifted him from his seat and told her, "That was the end of the statement." Now, she smiled brightly. Spock looked at the child, still confused, but knowing that there was no way that he could return him to the institution, not without invoking serious wrath from his wife. He had no intention of disappointing her, and he believe in every emotion that the child transferred to him about her. Spock said to Styik, "I believe that you should know that I never blamed you for Ashaki's accident. I was the one who allowed her to escape my hold..."
"You blame yourself?" Styik asked in a soft voice. Spock nodded.
Styik touched his cheek and sent him the message, "Nyota forgives both of us."
Spock looked at his wife and she grabbed his hand as she stepped off of the shuttle. Spock walked over to Kirk, with Styik in one arm and his other hand holding Nyota's hand. Kirk looked at Styik and asked Spock, "Where are you going with him?"
"Back to the ship." Nyota said in a voice that dared Kirk to question it any further. Kirk was not one to back down from a dare, and his expression showed her that he was about to continue, therefore she said, "Spock and I are adopting him." Now, Kirk looked completely shocked at Spock. Spock was showing no emotion, until he looked at Nyota and nearly smiled. He squeezed her hand and looked at Kirk again.
Kirk laughed and said, "Whipped. You are so whipped." Kirk turned away from the family and opened his communicator to have the group beamed aboard the ship. Spock lifted an eyebrow at him, having heard this statement several times in the past three years and being inclined towards believing in it, especially now, he merely kissed the back of Nyota's hand and prepared to beam his new, slightly larger family on board to safety. He would have to come back down and play diplomat with the elders and secure everything needed to make this work out, but at the moment, he was so grateful to have his wife back that he could not have cared much more if she tried to bring the entire institution full back with her.
Even with Sybok in custody, Spock did not feel comfortable with him on the same ship with Nyota. Captain Kirk and Dr. McCoy had already went back down to the surface of the planet to be certain that their orders to have Starfleet represented by members of the Starship Enterprise at the opening ceremony of the New Vulcan Science Academy. Nyota had been checked out and released from medical bay in perfect condition, and now she laid in her bed with Styik and Chekov in the room to see to her needs, and two security guards posted outside of the door.
They decided that Spock would retrieve anything that the child needed when he came back to the ship, as he had to return to the surface. Nyota wanted to go back with him but he insisted that she should lay down for the rest of the day and promised her that she would be allowed to beam back down to spend time with the family, the next night, if the situation with Sybok had not made the planet too chaotic. Nyota laid in the bed, with her head elevated as Spock kissed her on the forehead. "I will return tomorrow and retrieve you if it is safe. I know that both my family and your parents would want to wish you farewell before we are off on our journey again." She nodded. "Lay down. Gain a sufficient amount of sleep... hopefully you do not have any dreams including anyone else but me."
"And Styik." She said. He looked at the boy, trying to learn the principles of 3D chess from Chekov.
Spock nodded once at her and said, "And Styik." He left Chekov in the room to be certain that nothing happened to his family while he was off of the ship. He went to the door to leave and Styik caught up with him and grabbed his hand.
He turned suddenly, to look at the boy and the boy merely sent him a message: "Thank you."