Paradise Recovered: Spock's Requiem

*Note: The characters of Garn Govanna (T'Lar) and the two Zyran commandos are of my own creation. All other major characters are the property of Paramount Pictures. The plot of this story belongs, for the most part, to me; however, certain elements have been borrowed from Paramount. If you require more information in regards as to which elements of this story are original, please e-mail me at

Forward: This story takes place after Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country and during the beginning of the Star Trek: The Next Generation television series. It also relies heavily upon events of Star Trek III: The Search for Spock. The title refers to the TOS episode "This Side of Paradise", in which Spock falls in love, but must give up the only happiness he has ever experienced for his duty to Starfleet. This is my ode to Spock, the greatest Star Trek character ever, and my attempt at giving his character some peace.

"Logic is the beginning of Wisdom, not the end." - Spock, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country

Commander Saavik stepped within the doors of her quarters, listened to the pleasant *click* as the slid shut behind her. She immediately strode to the climate control panel and adjusted it, muttering faintly, "The temperature of this ship is intolerable!"

It had not taken her long to re-adjust to the conditions of her home planet during her short stay on Vulcan. Life on a star-ship now seemed somehow unusually foreign. When originally applying to Starfleet for re- assignment, she had hoped for a position in the diplomatic corps. But then Captain Sulu's First/Science officer had been killed in a plasma explosion, and Admiral Kirk had personally requested/recommended Saavik.

The red-haired Vulcan perched lightly on the edge of her bed. She removed her boots and then the red officer's jacket, which she folded neatly and laid over the back of a nearby chair. She then turned and slipped neatly beneath the covers.

"Computer, dim lights."

In the still and relative dark of her quarters, Saavik rolled over and extended a hand from beneath the covers to stroke the strings of the harp that stood within reach of her bed. Ambassador Spock's harp. The commander's mind lingered a moment. Spock.

"Computer, lights out." Saavik snuggled her nose into her pillow and fell straight away to sleep.

She knelt on the rocky ground of Genesis, the tremors of the unstable planet shooting through her own body. She could hear the roar of the tumultuous earth, the snapping and shifting of rock. But the hellfire and brimstone of Genesis took second stage in Saavik's mind to the dark-haired young Vulcan seated before her. His glistening black eyes stared back into hers, deep and imploring, wide with fear.

Alone and afraid, without even the knowledge of his native tongue by which to be assured, he huddled on the ground, deep in the throws of Pon farr, whimpering with agony. Saavik felt in her heart a deep, searing pain that cut to the core of her being and eventually consumed her. She reached out and touched the young Vulcan on the hand.

"It is called, 'Pon farr'." She felt the warmth and the fire of Vulcan skin on skin. The heat of the flames that were burning him alive rolled off of his body in waves as she took him in her arms, stroking his cheek and kissing his brow. She would not let him burn to death on Genesis. For he was her captain, and at the very least, it was her duty to risk all for the safety of a superior officer.

Those dark eyes looked up at her with some relief at the magic of her touch and nothing less than pure awe.

"Spock." she whispered hoarsely as their arms entwined again.

Within the shifting images of her dreams, Saavik glimpsed he familiar Vulcan, now older and clad in his ambassadorial robes, and becoming gradually encircled by a dark cloud of shadow. A deep sense of foreboding grew within Saavik's gut.

Mihra Goldstien strode down the corridors of Deck 5, making her final rounds before retiring for the night. She was a member of the housekeeping staff that vigilantly patrolled the officers' quarters. Mihra was personally responsible for Commander Saavik's living space. Not that there was ever anything for her to tidy up. Saavik kept her quarters maddeningly neat. 'That's a Vulcan for you', thought Mihra, finally satisfied with the order of her section of Deck 5. At that moment, there emitted from the Commander's quarters a blood-curdling cry. Mihra's palm thumped instantaneously against the newly issued Starfleet emblem communicator pinned over her left breast.

"Security to Deck 5, Commander Saavik's quarters!" It was moments like this Mihra wished she carried a phaser. She flew to the Vulcan's door, her closed fist landing solidly against the alloy panel.

"Commander! Commander, do you require assistance?" In lieu of a reply, Mihra threw herself against the door without a second thought and forced the seal with a hurriedly tapped-in security code. The lock relinquished, and Mihra tumbled into the Vulcan's quarters.

Commander Saavik snapped up into a sitting position, then feverishly laid a hand against her head.

"Commander, are you alright?" exclaimed Mihra. Saavik nodded rather weakly.

"Yes crewman, thank you".

"Do you require assistance?" Saavik shook her head. At that moment, the security team arrived in the doorway that Mihra had managed to leave jammed open from the force of her entry. 'Fickle sliding doors', she thought annoyedly.

"False alarm", explained Mihra, "Sorry, Todd."

"No problem," said the tall, sandy-haired leader of the security team," we'll take a quick look around just to be sure."

"That won't be necessary", interjected Saavik.

"Standard procedure, Commander," insisted the young man. The Vulcan acquiesced. 'Strange', thought Mihra, stepping out, 'do Vulcans have nightmares?'

Captain Sulu pulled Saavik aside the next morning.

"You seem under stress lately, Commander. I'm recommending you take some shore leave when we dock at headquarters next week."

"I assure you, sir, it does not warrant the degree of concern you assign my condition," replied Saavik stoically.

"I'm afraid you'll have to forgive me for taking a strong interest in the welfare of my first officer, even if she is a Vulcan," said Captain Sulu easily. "Listen, Saavik, we've known one another a long time. You're not the type to fold under pressure. Are you certain there's nothing you should be sharing with me? Or perhaps another crew member."

"Please, captain, I would be the first to step down if I thought my performance aboard this starship were being affected." Sulu waved his hand to stop her.

"I haven't doubted your fitness for duty for a moment, Commander. All the same, I'd like you to make a short stop in sick-bay; just a routine check-over." Reluctantly, the Vulcan consented.

"Oh, and Saavik", said Sulu as she turned to go," since you're alright, I'm sure you won't mind staying on for our next mission to escort Ambassador Spock to the conference on Romulus". Saavik stared a moment.

"We shall all be honored", she said at last, and then departed for sickbay.

"Well, from what my scans show, you're healthy as a horse", said CMO Cunningham to Saavik as he finished his scans.

"A simile", said the First Office in Vulcan fashion, "meaning that you find me to be in good health. In actuality, the equine species of Earth are no less susceptible to physical ailments than their humanoid counterparts".

"Quite right", replied the doctor. He bid Saavik good day and proceeded to report his findings to the Captain.

Saavik sat stock still in her chair to the right of Captain Sulu as the helmsman piloted them into space-dock. Admiral Kirks' image appeared on screen and invited the officers of the Excelsior to dinner, but Saavik neither saw nor heard; her mind was elsewhere.

The Captain and First Officer disembarked, made their rounds exchanging pleasantries. Saavik then returned to the ship, made sure all was secure and in order, checked in with the head engineer. She went to her quarters and dressed for dinner and met Sulu and the other officers in the banquet hall specified by Admiral Kirk.

Kirk himself sat at the head of the long and elegantly decked table, with Sulu at the foot. Saavik was placed centrally on one side, with Spock exactly opposite her. His weathered features and piercing dark eyes were those of the gentle and inspiring albeit task-masterly captain under whom Saavik had spent almost all of her formative education and received her first assignment. It was with a deep pain in the seat of her stomach that she recalled their easy relationship, ever so informal, despite their mutual Vulcan fetish for protocol. The relationship of Captain and First Officer, leader and pupil, mentor and disciple.

Also present was retired CMO Leonard H. McCoy. The crass old doctor was almost certainly a guest of Admiral Kirk and was seated on the latter's right.

"Ambassador Spock and I have spent this past week of his stay at headquarters recalling some of our memories from past exploits", commented Kirk conversationally.

"Yes", said Spock, clearing his throat, "The Admiral and I spent quite a good while reminiscing about what I believe is referred to in the vernacular as 'the good ol' days'. Quite an illogical use of time." He nodded to Saavik, who acknowledged the specially directed comment with a softening of her features.

"We sure had a lot of good times, didn't we?" said Kirk almost solemnly.

"Oh sure", said McCoy, "If you enjoy near-death experiences and floating around hundreds of light-years from home being chased and shot at. And that's on a lucky day."

"Doctor, I must regret to inform you that your capacity for disguising your true emotions from your companions by means of flamboyant over-dramatization has not improved", said Spock. "You can't fool us, Bones".

"You know, I keep telling myself that I ought to be happy to see you again", said the doctor, "but I find that I keep having to repress this urge to belt you in the mouth."

"I was mistaken", said Spock, turning to Jim with raised eyebrows, "he has developed some semblance of restraint." Kirk only laughed.

"So, Commander," he asked of Saavik, "how was your stay on Vulcan?"

"My short retirement from duty arose more from necessity than from mere leisurely indulgence", said the Commander, doing her best under the circumstances, "but it was quite pleasant, thank you".

Saavik, like Spock, had spent enough time in Starfleet to become "human-wise", and had mastered that most tongue-in-cheek of art forms: Vulcan humor. Kirk smiled.

The rest of the evening passed pleasantly, the former officers of the Enterprise exchanging old stories of every sort. At last, though the party was reluctant to part, Saavik, Spock and Sulu rose and retired for the evening to the Excelsior, leaving Admiral Kirk and Dr. McCoy.

Saavik led the Ambassador along the many corridors to his temporary quarters next to hers, which had been graciously vacated by the Excelsior's com officer. Sulu had bid them goodnight almost the moment they stepped onboard, and the two Vulcans were left alone.

"I was informed of Lieutenant Valeris", said Saavik as she strode beside the long-legged Ambassador, his Vulcan robes swishing pleasantly with the time of his measured gait. "I wished to offer my condolences." Spock nodded his appreciation and, though almost imperceptibly, swallowed hard. "I met her my year of graduation", continued Saavik, "I was helping to administer the entrance exam the year she tested. I was most shocked when I received the news". Saavik could see from Spock's wooden countenance that he was still smarting over this latest outrage. She caught herself wishing desperately that she had some way of comforting him. She supposed this would always be something of a sore point with the intensely diplomatic Vulcan ambassador.

Upon stepping inside his quarters aboard the Excelsior, Spock found that Saavik had arranged to have them furnished to his comfort with exactitude. She had even loaned him the use of the harp he had left to her. Spock breathed a deep breath of contentment as he settled in beside the bed and stroked the fine strings with infinite dexterity and gentleness.

In her own quarter, Saavik stepped out of her Starfleet uniform and donned her Vulcan meditation robes. Holding a long slender taper, she lit a series of candles located throughout the room in meaningful positions. The sweet, pungent fragrances of incense wafted through the air. Saavik then proceeded to the center of the room as the computer dimmed the lights and settled cross-legged on a silken mat. Assuming a meditative pose, she closed her eyes, breathing in the potent aroma, and allowed the mental energies to flow.

The tangled bundle of emotions that sat deep in her heart lifted, loosened, the long ends like tendrils unfurling and drifting on the winds of her subconscious. She felt the tide of feeling come flooding to the surface, washing through her gut with a nauseous lurch, causing her muscles to prickle and tingle, and finally breaking on her skin as beads of cold sweat.

In the pit of her heart, a deep, torturous, maddening ache swelled. It pitched, reeled, plunged, and then she felt her heart break, as surely as though cleft with a Klingon bA'tl'Eth. Saavik's lips parted; the whole of her slender frame shuddered. And then, from the deepest recess of her being, surged a warmth and heat, as though emanating from some inner furnace. The last tinglings of passion were thrust from her fingertips by the rapturous warmth. Fear and pain pierced through her body, but they were no match for the warmth of pure, unfettered devotion.

The music of Spock's harp washed across her consciousness, bathing her in a golden warmth that she cherished to her core. The fury of her passions tamed, Saavik rose, cloaked in peace, and broke the meditative trance.

"Computer, lights up". Deftly, she blew the flame from the candles, and stepped out her door. Immediately faced with Ambassador Spock's, she brushed the com panel with her hand, but before any word could pass between them, the door slid open and Saavik was admitted.

Spock's quarters were equally dim, and he too had lighted the candles Saavik had left for him. She looked to where the Ambassador sat at the instrument, his long robes carefully arrayed about him. His eyes only flicked imperceptibly toward the bed to indicate that she may sit. Saavik stepped forward, her heart leaping as she heard the door click tightly shut behind her, and she was completely enveloped in the aura of Spock's quarters. She strode across the room and perched on the edge of the mattress.

Saavik watched with pleasure as her Vulcan mentor plucked the final notes of the song.

"That was most.." Her mouth formed the word, beautiful, "pleasant."

"I am glad you found it enjoyable", replied the Ambassador, rising and coming to sit at the end of the bed opposite Saavik. His keen eyes studied her.

"Ambassador, I must speak with you", Saavik fairly blurted out. She half expected him to raise his eyebrows or prompt her with a pointed 'continue', but her fellow Vulcan only stared patiently back at her. "You should know, on Genesis, we were." Saavik's hands twisted over one another in her lap. There was no easy way of saying it. She swallowed hard. "We were.together".

"I know", said Spock hoarsely. Saavik stared.

"You----?" But how could you? Your mind was." She trailed off as the ambassador raised a hand to lend explanation.

"When I began my retraining on Vulcan", said Spock, "I was instructed only in logic and Vulcan philosophy. Many of the past lessons I had learned, the understanding I had attained seemed.lost. Oddly enough, it was a sensation I found.distressing. But with time, I found that those experiences were not lost, but were locked within my subconscious mind. Slowly, I began to learn how to access them."

"Then you have experienced the dreams as well?" said Saavik, her sharp brown eyes gazing solemnly into the Ambassador's. Spock nodded.

"The sacrifice", he said painedly, "must have been enormous".

"I would go it again", affirmed Saavik intensely, in a heartbeat. "For you I would give my mind, my life, my heart, my soul. There is no price to high, no place too far." Spock did the most graceful thing he could have in silently accepting Saavik's devotion. He did no tell her it was illogical, did not brush it aside by proclaiming himself unworthy. He granted her, by the softening of his countenance, pure, true, glorious acceptance. Saavik was mortally grateful.

"You have changed much in your years, Saavik", said Spock with what might have resembled sentimentality, "Always in your early years you held yourself so proud; Saavik the Warrior. I now sense in you such great compassion. It rolls from you like heat from the Vulcan soil, warm and constant, even after dark has fallen". Saavik looked down, as though ashamed.

"Do you suppose that is was Valeris' compassion that led her to failure?" Spock became very stern.

"I would that Lieutenant Valeris possessed half as much compassion as you do, Saavik. It was her compassion that would have saved her". Saavik nodded.

"It is a most curious thing", she began. "All my life I have striven for one goal: to attain supreme logic, to know what it truly is to be Vulcan. And now, in the fulfillment of my life, I find that it is not these things which matter most to me.

"I was born on Romulus", disclosed Saavik. "My mother was Romulan. All my life I felt I was fighting to overcome that; to be accepted". She looked up, eyes glittering, and wiped some of the real tears from her cheeks. "I never thought I would have a chance if anyone knew I was half-Romulan. I lied to the High Command, to you. I have failed you.". She buried her face in her hands. Spock extended his arm and grasped her slender chin between his thumb and forefinger. He gently lifted her face so as to look into her eyes.

"You have never failed me", he told her from the bottom of his heart. Saavik was sent into another series of racking sobs. How it pained him to see her weep so. He took her softly by the shoulders and drew her close to him; her tears became silent again. Gently, he extended his mind to hers. Neither of them would go through the rigors of a full mind-meld. They would simply share a telepathic connection, able to send and receive thoughts at will, unfettered by the shackles of words. Hereby they might experience one another's meanings, not broken down, translated into awkward, incomplete symbols, but full thoughts.

Immediately he felt her passion come flooding over him, her deep love, her fearless devotion. She, on the other hand, delved deep into the past world of his pain, a part of him she seemed oddly to be able to access without him sending it to her. She wallowed in each successive turmoil of his life, his torment as a child, the feud with his father, the denial of love, his fear and strife within the rages of Pan farr on Genesis, the loss of Valeris.

Gradually, Spock attempted to lift her from the black pit of his personal turmoils with his mind.

'It does not do to dwell on things past', he told her, 'We must acknowledge them, and move on'. Saavik transmitted her understanding. For a moment, their minds were still, Spock delving deeply to the solidarity of his accumulated wisdom to bring an aura of peace over them, and initiate, if possible, the healing of their spirits.

'Don't go to Romulus alone', exclaimed Saavik suddenly, 'My heart forebodes against it.'

'It is solely my responsibility', began Spock.

'Please, allow me to come along', pleaded Saavik, 'Please let me help.let me help.'

Spock straightened softly, released them both from the demi-mind-meld. Raising a hand, he ran his knuckles tenderly along the line of her jaw.

"Saavik." Their gazes remained ever steadily locked. "Go", said the Ambassador at last, "go back to Vulcan. Write; teach them of compassion. Show them the way. Logic which stagnates is self-defying. Help them to understand the progression, the re-incarnation of logic as a dynamic and dualistic philosophy. Do not allow our people to become an obstruction to wisdom in the new age." Saavik nodded. She reached out and melancholy returned his touch.

"Aye, T'hyla". Spock smiled painfully.

"You have not called me that in many years".

"Not since before I entered Starfleet", affirmed Saavik.

* * * * * * *

Captain Picard stood on the bridge of the Enterprise, staring into the blanket of stars projected on the main viewer. His crew had almost finished mapping the Telluri system, and he would be glad to be underway again.

"Captain", said Lieutenant Commander Data suddenly, "ship's sensors have just detected another starship in this vicinity."

"On screen", ordered Picard almost before Data could finish relaying the coordinates. The image appeared instantaneously.

"Mr. Data, that ship is well within the extent of our sensors", said Picard, "why didn't we see it coming earlier?"

"Unknown, sir", replied Data, "the sensors are properly calibrated and appear to be functioning normally."

"Run a level 3 diagnostic just to be sure", instructed the Captain. He paused a moment. "I do not recognize this type of vessel. Can you identify it, Mr. Data?"

"I have entered a search of the computer's database." answered the android, tapping away at his keypad, ".no matches were found." The ship's closest similarities are to that of the Vulcan Fleet, but they are not significant enough as to categorize the vessel by".

"Mr. La Forge?" said Picard. "You got me on this one", said Geordi from his station beside Data's, "but I can tell you this: her worp core's gonna go critical in about.three minutes".

"Captain", said Data," I have detected bio signs, indicating one individual. It appears to be.Vulcan".

"Vulcan?" said Picard, mystified. "There are no Vulcan ships in this sector".

"It would appear that there is now", said Data.

"Two point five minutes to loss of containment", said La Forge.

"Lieutenant Yar, open hailing frequencies", commanded Captain Picard. There was a tense moment as the lieutenant tapped away at her console.

"No response, sir".

"Alright, then, just send this, in Vulcan and in English", said the Captain. "Unidentified spacecraft, this is Captain Jean Luc Picard of the Federation Starship USS Enterprise. Please acknowledge". Dead air. "Please acknowledge". The same. "Our sensors have determined that your worp-core will go critical in two point five--"

"One point seven five", interrupted Geordi.

"-less than two minutes. We strongly suggest that you eject your worp core". No response. No shift in sensor readings

"Lieutenant, can you establish a lock?"

"Locked in and ready to transport", affirmed Yar.

"Transport on my mark..".

"Thirty seconds.twenty-seven, twenty-six, twenty-five."

"Now, Lieutenant Yar---Energize!"

"Ten, nine, eight, seven, six."

At that moment the main view screen lit up like the Fourth of July. The awesome force of an uncontained dilithium chain reaction shook the Enterprise to her core, and sliced through the black of space with a great, luminous fireball that showered a trillion dazzling sparks.

"Lieutenant Yar?" said Picard.

"Transporter room, this is Yar, report.transporter room, report ."

"This is O'Brien", came the Irishman's voice at last, "We go'er, sir". Picard breathed a sigh of relief.

"Lieutenant Yar, assemble a security team and meet me in the transporter room. Number One-"

"Captain, that most likely will not be necessary", said Data, "as Vulcans are known for their tendency to refrain from hostile actions".

"Mr. Data", said Picard, "until we know exactly who, or what, we are dealing with, and their full intentions, I shall take every measure to ensure the safety of this ship and crew".

"Understood, sir", replied Data good-naturedly, "Oh, sir, may I come along as well?" Picard considered.

"Very well, Mr. Data, I suppose that is permissible", answered Picard. He was rewarded with one of Data's pleased adroidean looks. "Mr. La Forge, you have the bridge. Please inform Counselor Troi to meet us as well".

"Aye, aye, sir".

The looks on the faces of the transporter room staff were nothing short of amazement. Before them on the transporter pad had materialized the most beautiful and awesome-looking creature many of them had ever seen. She was neither old, nor young, nor even middle-aged. She seemed to be both ancient and ageless at once. She possessed long, golden-white hair that flowed back over her shoulders and curled towards the ends. Her eyes were of a soft, dazzling blue so pale they almost seemed white. She wore a robe of shimmering silver-white that pooled about her feet on the transporter pad, and beneath that garments of deep azure. Her broad, wise face was fair of complexion and seemed to emanate a soft, golden light that shone from her being. Upon her appearance, O'Brien and the others felt their heart rates slow, their breathing settle, and a general sense of peace and calm flood the transporter room.

"Greetings", said the visitor in soft, musical tones, holding up a splay- fingered hand, "live long, and prosper".

"Welcome aboard the Enterprise", said O'Brien. Just then, Picard appeared through the door of the transporter room with a security team and half his officers in tow. By this time, CMO Beverly Crusher had caught up with them and came forward at once to examine the beam-ee.

"Good day, Captain Picard", said the ship's new guest, stepping down and submitting to the doctor's scans.

"Have we met?" asked the Captain, eyeing her suspiciously. She smiled. "You announced yourself over the com frequency. I regret I was unable to respond. As you can see, I was rather occupied", she said with a chuckle. "I am Marshall Garn Govanna". She extended a hand, wrist arched, and shook firmly with Picard.

"Well, you'll be glad to know you are in perfect health", announced Crusher, stepping back.

"Thank you, doctor", replied the marshal. Beverly crusher managed to pull the Captain a little to the side.

"She's Vulcan, alright", said the doctor, consulting her instruments, "but I can see why Data had some reservations".

"Oh?" asked Picard.

"There's something about the patterns that's just.different", said Crusher shaking her head, "I don't know. Everything just seems a little---skewed".

"Skewed?" said Picard, scowling. In response the doctor simply threw up her hands. Picard turned back to study Garn. Her pricked ears and arched silvery eyebrows were indeed those of a Vulcan. But he had to admit, there was certainly something different about her.

"Captain", said the marshal, "would you do me the honor of introducing us?"

"Yes, forgive me", said Picard at once, "this is Doctor Beverly Crusher; my first officer, Commander William Riker; Counselor Deanna Troi; Lieutenant Tasha Yar; and Lieutenant Commander Data".

"Oh, yes, the android", said Garn cordially, "you are the first, aren't you?"

"That is correct", replied Data.

"I am honored", said the Vulcan.

"Likewise", answered Data. The marshal then turned and removed her silver robe and took off a gun-belt impressive enough to suit Lieutenant Worf, which she gently presented to Lieutenant Yar.

"I trust you shall keep that safe for me", said Garn. Yar scanned the Vulcan for signs of other weapons. Finally satisfied, they were about to move off when the marshal paused, stooped, and removed a wicked-looking dagger from her boot.

"My apologies, Captain", she said, turning the weapon over to Yar.

"Are you quite certain that is everything?" demanded Picard. Garn nodded.

"I must remind you, Captain", said Tasha, "Vulcans are known to be quite capable of killing with their bare hands." Garn turned to Picard.

"Shall I proceed to the brig, or do you find confinement to quarters sufficient?" she asked.

"I think confinement to quarters will do", said the captain. "Lieutenant Yar, prepare a security detail to accompany the marshal, and post a guard."

"Aye, sir."

Garn sat within the open doorway of her quarters, outside of which two armed guards were posted. She played away at a little silver flute, a sweet, high-pitched tune that rambled throughout the cabin and adjoining corridor and seemed to be having a sedative effect on the guards.

"Gentlemen", said the Vulcan, putting aside her instrument, "I believe you were instructed to remain on high alert." The guards stiffened, somewhat embarrassed at having to be reminded of their duties by their charge. Garn would not judge, them; she knew of the seeming trinket's extraordinary abilities. At that moment, the ship's floor tipped and jolted, her hull giving a violent lurch.

Jean Luc Picard stood on the bridge, jaw set, staring into the black and stars of the main viewer at the alien vessel, which again his crew had failed to identify.

"Shields holding at seventy percent integrity", said Lieutenant Worf intensely from where he crouched over his console, as though ready to spring into attack, "shall we return fire?"

"Captain!" interrupted Yar, "incoming transmission, audio and visual."

"Patch me through, Lieutenant."

"Aye, sir!" Promptly, the figure of a long, sinewy, vaguely humanoid alien with dappled green skin appeared on the screen.

"Where is she?" it hissed impatiently.

"I beg your pardon?" said Picard.

"Don't play games with me, captain, if that is who you are", snarled the alien, "the Vulcan you beamed aboard. We traced her signature. If you do not give her to us, we shall blow your vessel to smithereens."

"Your threats shall not motivate us to cooperate with you", began Picard.

"Fie!" screeched the alien, slamming down his fist on his console and cutting off communications. The ship on-screen rounded on the Enterprise.

"Captain!" exclaimed Worf, "they are charging weapons. They are firing!"

"Return fire at will, Mr. Worf." The Enterprise's phaser blasts were cut off before they even reached the alien vessel.

"What the-" exclaimed Geordi, still trying to analyze the bizarre ship's systems.

"Captain", said Data, ever-placidly, "I estimate that the ship can withstand exactly seven point three four more minutes of fire at this intensity before shields will collapse and hull integrity will reach critical."

"Thank you, Mr. Data. Security, have brought to the main bridge at once", boomed Picard through his com panel.

"Aye, sir."

It was moments later when the bridge doors slid open and in stepped Garn Govanna, accompanied by her two security guards. She glanced across at Picard, who was now sitting, fully engrossed in the battle as the alien ship carried out her attempt to blow the Enterprise out of the sky.

"They are charging. firing", reported Mr. Worf. The Enterprise shuddered under the impact. "Captain", said the Klingon, mystified, "hull integrity. increasing."

"Lieutenant Yar, open a hailing frequency", said Garn, standing tall and straight at the back of the bridge with her hands clasped before her. Captain Picard nodded to his Chief Security Officer.

"Hailing frequency open." The Vulcan strode without changing her posture to the front and center of the bridge, facing up at the screen where the image of the threatening alien immediately appeared.

"Greetings, Ch'*cluck*", said Garn.

"Curse you, Garn Govanna", snarled the alien commander. He peered around the Vulcan to look at Picard. "Relinquish her at once!"

"Perhaps you should give me to them", said Garn, also turning to the human captain. "They may not be so happy to see me when I materialize on their bridge."

"No, Ch'*cluck*", said Picard, "that will not be possible."

"Then prepare to be destroyed!"

"An empty threat, Ch'*cluck*", said Garn sharply, "you know you can do no harm to this ship so long as I am aboard it." The alien bared his teeth.

"Fie!" he growled, then, "'tis no matter. We have business of our own to attend to."

"On Romulus?" demanded Garn knowingly.

"Very clever", replied Ch'*cluck* with a nasty smile. "You'll never catch us now, in that bucket of rust."

"A premature assumption", said Garn, her eyebrows lifting ever so slightly. Ch'*cluck* slammed his fist down on the com panel once more.

"Captain", said Data, "the alien vessel is departing our vicinity at worp seven."

"Shall we give chase?" asked Worf eagerly.

"No, Mr. Worf", said Picard. "At the moment, I want some answers, and I want them now. Marshal Govanna, meet me in the briefing room at once."

Captain Picard, Garn, and the officers of the Enterprise were gathered around the long table in the briefing room.

"Well, Marshal, do you want to tell us who your friends are?" asked Commander Riker.

"In good time, Commander", replied Garn, "and, incidentally, they are not my friends." She was perfectly serious. Riker lifted in his seat.

"Just a moment, Number One", said Picard, raising a hand to stop him. The first officer settled back into his chair. "Now, Marshal, just who exactly are you?"

"I am Marshal Garn Govanna", answered the Vulcan, "employed by the Vulcan High Command, to, as you say, protect the peace. As your doctor confirmed, I am a native of the planet Vulcan, though not that with which you are familiar. My own home lies much farther down this time line. in the forty- third century, to be exact." There was a moment of stunned silence as Garn waited for the impact of her news to sink in.

"Wait a minute", said Riker, "you're telling us that you're from the forty- third century?"

"That is correct, Commander."

"And those creeps that attacked our ship?"

"'Those creeps'", said the Vulcan, "are from the planet Zyr, and are here under the most treacherous of circumstances."

"Den dey are altso from te forty-tird century as well?" asked Counselor Troi. Garn nodded.

"And they followed you here?" said Riker skeptically.

"I followed them", was Garn's short-clipped reply. "Captain, it is not my wish to involve you or your crew in this matter at all. Had my engines not failed. But, things are as they are, and I must reveal to you some of my objectives if I am to be released from suspicion.

"The Vulcans of the future are quite different from those you have encountered, I shall trust."

"I must admit", said the captain, "there is a difference in you that my staff and I have found altogether intriguing."

"In your era", Garn continued to explain, "the majority of Vulcans are followers of Surak, believers in uncompromising logic. Understand me well; my contemporaries have not by any means laid aside their faith in logic. But logic itself prompts us to be more than logical. The Vulcan race stagnates. Had our ancestors not adapted, if the Vulcans of this era do not adapt, or race would have and will wither and come to waste. The Vulcan people of this age yearns so desperately for a savior as did the Vulcans of old who were delivered by Surak."

"Then the 'savior', as you call him", said Picard, "He is located here, in our portion of this timeline?"

"Yes", affirmed Garn. "His influence has inspired the next evolution in Vulcan ideology. In the future, our people have developed abilities beyond the wildest imaginings of our ancestors. Oh, it has taken time. Bt all of these capabilities are directly traceable to the influence of one man."

"The incident on the bridge", said Picard, "when you transformed the destructive energy of the photon blast-"

"-into constructive energy. Yes." The captain stared a moment at his Vulcan guest. "It is an outward manifestation of our inherent telepathic abilities, and our powers of self-healing, with which you are familiar. Needless to say, this makes us much more resilient against our enemies. Even in the forty-third century, there are few species who have developed such a technique.

"We are currently fighting a, well. you would call it a 'war', with the Zyrans. The Zyrans are temporal leapers, that is, they possess capabilities of time travel. Two Zyran commandos, the senior of which is called Ch'*cluck*, have entered your time in an attempt to assassinate the Vulcan originally responsible for the evolution in thought that makes our abilities possible. I have been sent to stop them." Picard considered a long moment.

"And the name of this revolutionary?" he asked at last. "He is called 'Spock'."

"Ambassador Spock?" said the captain, dumbfounded. Garn nodded her assent.

"The very same."

* * * * * * *

Saavik's very blood seemed to pulse with melancholy as she escorted her former mentor down the long hallways to the transporter room. Oh the outside she was her same, resolute self. But within she swam with emotions she could not put down, a sense of foreboding, mixed with resentment for Starfleet and their never-ending list of orders the men who had already carried the Federation through two decades of its weakest moments, resentment for the world that knew not how to give a hero his due. She dare not run an eye over the tall, sleek man striding next to her, but she felt his warm presence in her heart, and sensed his aura where the outer valences mingled with her own. Resentment was a dangerous and demeaning emotion. She would not tolerate it in herself.

Saavik drearily hear the doors of the transporter room slide open and then click shut behind them. Captain Sulu was already waiting, standing to the right of the transporter chief.

"Farewell, Ambassador", said the Captain in his placid, jovial voice, "I wish we got to see more of you out here."

"As do I", replied Spock, seeming almost as melancholy as Saavik.

"Peace and long life, Ambassador", echoed the first officer, her eyes shining on him.

"Live long and prosper", replied the other from atop the transporter pad, displaying the traditional hand sign. The chief slid the controls steadily forward, and the image of the Vulcan ambassador wavered and the disappeared. Saavik's stomach gave a violent leap.

"Watch that signal!" she snapped, dashing to the control panel.

"Everything's fine, Commander", said the transporter chief in mystification, "he's arrived safe and sound." They received a moderately friendly confirmation and farewell from the greeting party of the Romulan Consulate.

"What's the matter, Saavik?" said Sulu, concerned.

"Nothing", replied the first officer, shaking her head. Sulu and Saavik departed the transporter room for the bridge.

"Captain", she said as the two stood in the turbo lift, "I would like to submit my resignation from Starfleet." "Saavik", said Sulu compassionately, "you're on the active duty roster for another four years. Your contract doesn't expire until then." Saavik nodded her ascension to the captain's statement of what she had known all along. "We've got shore leave come up on Rigel IV. I insist you go down. Get some fresh air."

"I doubt it will be of aid", replied Saavik mildly. Sulu lent a mirthless smile of understanding.

* * * * * * *

"'Garn Govanna'", said Picard to the marshal, "that's a rather unusual name for a Vulcan." Garn sat down the cup of tea the captain had invited her to his quarters for.

"You will find that linguistics change somewhat in two thousand years", she replied, watching the man seated at the opposite end of the expansive oblong table. "Even on Vulcan." Picard's quick mind caught the candid joke. "My Vulcan name, in actuality, is T'Lar. The heads of the Vulcan Defense Committee are Romulan, and it is they who call me 'Garn Govanna', which is of course derived from their language. I had rather become accustomed to going by it." Picard nodded as he swallowed his last sip of Earl Grey.

"And have you any family?" he asked.

"My parents live on Vulcan", replied Garn, "And you?" Picard smiled almost wistfully.

"I've a brother in France. He keeps a vineyard."

"You miss Earth, don't you?" said Garn. "You've many happy memories there."

"Now you're beginning to sound like my counselor", said Picard. To his surprise, the Vulcan laughed. It was a high, beautiful, silvery sound, like the ringing of bells.

"That is not altogether surprising."

"Tell me", said the captain, becoming sober again, "what would you have me do about this situation?"

"You cannot notify your command. Starfleet Headquarters", answered Garn contemplatively. "The will be skeptical. It will take too long to receive clearance. But- I cannot remain here. I must have a ship."

"I cannot possibly arrange that without direct confirmation from Starfleet", said Picard sincerely.

"I understand you situation well, Captain", said the marshal, still thinking intensely. "And yet. if the Zyrans are not stopped, Vulcan history may be altered indefinitely. Indeed, the history of the universe." Picard ran a thumb along his chin.

"I must meet with my chefs of staff", answered the captain at last. Garn nodded her understanding. The two rose and exchanged a parting bow.

Lieutenants Worf and La Forge, Dr. Crusher, and Commander Rider were arguing heatedly amongst themselves when Picard rejoined them. An eventual silence descended on the room as Picard took his seat.

"Well, it would seem", said the captain, "that all our decisions now depend on how much trust we are willing to put in this Garn Govanna. Mr. La Forge, you analyzed her ship; is it possible we are dealing with someone from the forty-third century?"

"I don't know why not", said La Forge, throwing up his hands, "E was reading some energy signatures from that ship like I've never seen before. There was definitely some advanced technology there. I don't know of anything else like that in our time. But is it forty-third century? I don't know."

"Lieutenant Worf?" asked Picard.

"She is an admirable warrior", replied the Klingon, "She should have been allowed to remain with her ship."

"But she is here with us now, Mr. Worf", said Picard, "And my question was whether or not you believe her trustworthy."

"She is a Vulcan", replied Worf simply.

"Counselor?" continued Picard.

"I believe her", said Troi. "She is telling the truth. And I feel she is worthy of our trust.

"She is not like all the other Vulcans I have met. Most Vulcans", the counselor explained, "repress their emotions, keeping them tightly wound up inside. This can even lead to some symptoms of denial in many cases. Of course, they manage, quiet famously, and there are certain advantages to their approach. But it is not necessarily the optimal situation from the standpoint of total psychological well-being. or happiness. But Garn exhibits none of these aspects of Vulcan nature. Her emotions are will- controlled, yes, but without any of the usual oppressions. Her emotional and feeling patterns are perfectly ordered and directed; all the energies are focused and kept in balance.

"She is extremely telepathic. The messages I received from her were so complete; they seemed to possess such dimensionality- color, sound, tactile perception-full, complete thoughts. I've never experienced anything like that, even amongst fellow Betazoids." Troi suddenly smirked.

"Is there something funny, Counselor?" asked Picard, predictably stern.

"No", said Troi, waving her hands, "its nothing; I'm sorry. It's just a joke that Garn told me. I'm afraid I can't repeat it."

"Do you mean to tell me", said Picard incredulously, "that this person carried on a conversation with you, telepathically, all the while talking with the rest of us?" Troi nodded.

"A Vulcan with a sense of humor!" said Worf with a heavy sigh and a roll of his eyes.

"Captain, if I may interject", said Lt. Commander Data.

"Please do, Mr. Data", said Picard wearily.

"If the marshal is correct, the federation is responsible for the ambassador's safety. It is our duty as a Federation starship to investigate this claim. I recommend that we outfit Marshal Govanna with a shuttlecraft altered to her specifications. I volunteer to accompany the marshal to oversee her operations and provide a more detailed assessment of the circumstances. Historically, such approached have been quite successful, beginning with the Miranda III incident in-"

"Thank you, Mr. Data", Picard cut in in the nick of time, "unless there are any objections, I believe you suggestion is to be our best option." He scanned the table keenly. "Very well. Make it so."

"I find your proposal most acceptable", answered Garn warmly when the captain had finished explaining Data's plan to her. Meanwhile, two sectors away.

* * * * * * *

Saavik stood straight as a board in her quarters, dressed I full Starfleet uniform. She stared resolutely into space.

"First Officer's log, supplemental."

It was well into the ship's artificial night. All the crew was asleep. The stealthy spacecraft maintained her orbit 'round Rigel IV automatically. Tomorrow they would all be beaming down for shore leave, Saavik uncharacteristically among them. She completed her packing s she spoke.

"What I am about to do is a court martial offense. Let this log stand testament to the fact that I do so by means of my own free will, and in no way is Captain Sulu, nor any member of this crew, to be held responsible for my next actions. Nor Ambassador Spock."

Saavik straightened, pondering a moment. It was against regulations for a Starfleet officer to leave the planet on which shore leave had been assigned. It was against regulations for a Starfleet officer to travel on an unauthorized inter-stellar flight. It was against regulations for a Starfleet officer to abandon her post without captain's orders, refusing all communication. But Saavik no longer considered herself first and only a Starfleet Officer.

It did not take her long traveling among the less savory social establishments of Rigel IV to find an illegal smuggler bound for Earth who would accept her payment, no questions asked. She quickly stowed her things amongst the barrels of dilithium and crates of Romulan ale, as well as other contraband, and then settled herself in. They were gone before night fell on Rigel IV.

* * * * * * *

"Now, your ship's reactor core was powered by dilithium, right?" said La Forge as he stood within the shuttlecraft alongside Garn and Data.

"Yes", said the Vulcan, "but I will need to make some adjustments to the molecular structure of the crystals. Is there a containment field I can use nearby?"

"Ah, yes", answered Geordi, "you can use the one in Main Engineering. Data and I'll show you the way."

"Thank you."

La Forge and Data watched intently as Garn stood within the containment field, handling the container of dilithium the foremost had removed from the shuttle's reactor core just moments ago. La Forge looked on with shock as the Vulcan removed the seal and lid of the container and actually reached her unprotected hand inside.

"No! Don't touch that!" he cried, leaping forward. But before anything could be done. The marshal had laid her fingertips against the crystals themselves. She closed her eyes, and through his visor Geordi witnessed the bizarre arcs of energy that seemed to cascade around and through her body between herself and the crystals. Garn then re-sealed the container and stepped out of the containment field. She presented Geordi with the perfectly contained crystals, which he ran a quick scan on.

"Yep", said the engineer with grim mystification, "their molecular structures' been altered alright. Now come on; we better get you to sickbay." He was not happy with the compromising actions of their guest.

"That will not be necessary, Lieutenant", said the Vulcan. Data whipped out his ever-ready tri-corder and examined the marshal's outstretched hands.

"Cellular metabolism and replication unaffected. tissues and blood cells functioning normally. radiation levels well within accepted parameters", rattled the android, "Lieutenant, the marshal seems to have suffered no adverse effects."

"Alright", said La Forge almost suspiciously, "but if you start feeling anything out of the ordinary (whatever that is!) I want you to head straight down to see Dr. Crusher."

"Mr. La Forge, you have my word", said Garn.

"Marshal, I am curious", interjected Data, "how is it that an organic life form such as yourself could sustain such a procedure?"

"Ahhh", sighed Garn, "Mr. Data, give me you hand." The android offered it up unquestioningly. The Vulcan clasped hands with him as one would in order to commence an arm-wresting match, but for quite a different purpose. She closed her eyes and concentrated her energies. Data's eyes shot back and forth blankly as they did when he was analyzing vast amounts of information. Garn relaxed, released her grip and opened her eyes. Data's odd little smirk spread across his face.

"I understand", he exclaimed in androidean glee, "it makes no sense, but I understand." He continued to smirk and ponder over this new discovery as the trio strode back to the shuttlecraft. La Forge just shook his head.

* * * * * * *

Saavik fairly held her breath as she entered the stolen security codes and passed into the civilian quarters, clenching her phaser. The clock on the doctor's nightstand read 2:17 a.m. She crossed to the window, pulled back the curtains, and looked out. Not a soul about. She released the curtain, which fell back over the window, and turned to run her gaze over the man who lay sleeping, entombed in his mass of rumpled sheets. She crossed to the beside and touched him on the shoulder.

"Doctor, wake up."

McCoy rolled over, groping in the dark for the light switch.

"Saavik?" he said incredulously, squinting in the dim light, "is that you?"

"Come", answered the Vulcan stoically, "we haven't much time." McCoy found the light at last. His sharp blue eyes caught immediately on the phaser in Saavik's hand.

"Just what the devil is the meaning of this?" he demanded with a growl.

"I will explain further when circumstances permit", replied Saavik, "Now, will you come along peaceably, or nee I employ the use of force?"

The doctor stood blinking on the deck of the hi-jacked three-man craft, the green and yellow lights of the control panel illuminating his pale face with an eerie artificial glow and casting the dark circles under his eyes into even deeper shadow. So much for a peaceful retirement.

Saavik flicked all the various levers and punched all the various buttons and piloted them out of space-dock, out of orbit, out of the solar system and out into the cold reaches of space. Once she had a course successfully plotted and laid in, she swiveled in her chair to face the dozing doctor.

"Oh, yes", said McCoy, snapping to, "like, just why in the hell we are out here?!" Saavik drew a breath, feeling impatient with the doctor's over- dramatization.

"Spock is in danger", she replied flatly. McCoy blinked.

"And you need me to help save him?" For lack of a better explanation, Saavik nodded. "Oh, well now it all just makes perfect sense", replied McCoy sarcastically. "Tell me, if Spock is in danger, don't you think Starfleet would be doing something about it?"

"They are unaware", answered Saavik.

"I see. So if you alone have some sort of information about the safety of a Federation ambassador", continued the doctor, "Why don't you share it with Starfleet officials?!"

"They would have difficulty finding validity in me claim", said Saavik. The doctor continued to stare. At last, Saavik confided, "I am operating on the basis of a 'hunch'."

"A hunch?" McCoy couldn't believe his ears. Saavik nodded once again. "Yes, that would be a little difficult to verify. A hunch", he mused, "that justifies illegal behavior. There's got to be something illogical about that.

"No, Doctor", corrected Saavik, "the entire premise is illogical."

"Oh, thank you", said the doctor, "I wouldn't want to make that mistake again." Saavik bowed her head and returned to her control panel, leaving the disgruntled doctor to sit in the corner grumbling indiscernibly.

* * * * * * *

"I'm going after them", declared Admiral James Tiberius Kirk resolutely.

"Kirk, are you out of your mind?" exclaimed Admiral Davies, jogging to catch up from behind.

"Those are my two best friends", said Kirk steely, "and I'll be damned if I'm going to sit here waiting on some sub-space communiqué to tell me what the hell's going on out there."

* * * * * * *

"Marshal Govanna", said Picard, breaking in on where the aforementioned sat conversing with Crusher, Troi, Riker, and Data, "There has been a change of plans. It appears you'll no longer need the shuttlecraft to track you quarry to Romulus. You'll be going there with us. Number One-" Commander Riker rose and followed the captain out.

"A small inter-stellar craft was stolen from Starfleet headquarters last night", explained Picard once the two were alone in his ready-room, "by the first officer of the Excelsior, Commander Saavik."

"Commander Saavik?" said Riker, frowning, "She's a Vulcan, isn't she?"

"Yes", said Picard, "a Vulcan trained, no less, by none other than Ambassador Spock himself."

"She's not the one that betrayed Starfleet during the admission of the Klingons to the Federation?" said Riker.

"No", answered Picard, "that was a Lieutenant Valeris, who is till serving a life sentence."

"Then Saavik's record is clean?" asked Riker, already sure of the answer.

"More than clean", said Picard with a lift of his eyebrows, "she has received several commendations, most notably for the rescue of Ambassador Spock from the Genesis planet, back when he was first officer of the Enterprise."

"That's right", said Riker, remembering, "it was just her and Kirk's boy down on the planet, wasn't it? So either Saavik's gone completely mad-"

"Which I highly doubt", inserted Picard.

"-or she's trying to save Spock from something again?"

"And remember, Will", added Picard, "even Spock himself disobeyed Starfleet regulations on the behalf of his former captain, Christopher Pike." Riker nodded.

"So we've got two people, both Vulcans, who strongly believe that Ambassador Spock is in some sort of danger."

"Either way", said Picard, "we've got toe investigate, and the Enterprise has been assigned. We are to rendezvous with Admiral Kirk in two days."

"Admiral Kirk?" said Riker.

"Yes", explained Picard, "it seems that we also have a hostage situation. Saavik has captured Dr. Leonard McCoy."

"The former surgeon of the Enterprise", puzzled Riker.

"Precisely", answered Picard. The two pondered a moment.

"Captain, I keep thinking", said Riker, "that there's more to these Vulcans than we've ever given them credit for."

"So do I, Will", said the captain, "so do I."

* * * * * * *

"Would you mind explaining just what part of this mission it is that requires my presence?" asked McCoy, rolling over in his bed makeshift bed at the rear of the bridge. Saavik had been unwilling to let him out of her sight, and sat almost broodingly over the control panel.

"All this, somehow or another, connects back to the Genesis planet", explained Saavik, "but I was not able to contact Spock's conscious at that time. You possessed all his cognitive faculties. You are the missing link; you present the other half of the picture. I can see more clearly when you are present. I noticed it at dinner that night."

"Well, I'm glad to be of service", retorted McCoy.

"It is only logical that you should be", returned Saavik. "In any case, you make an excellent hostage." McCoy rolled over and tried to go to sleep.

* * * * * * *

Garn stood on the holodeck, instructing the teams of young Starfleet security officers. Using Lieutenants Yar and Worf and guinea pigs, she demonstrated the devastating effects of the forty-third century phaser.

"I have set my weapon on a very light stun force", said the Vulcan, "Lieutenant Yar, please use Lieutenant Worf as you shield." Yar Pulled the hulking Klingon in front of her as instructed; Garn took aim and fired. Both toppled to the ground, regaining consciousness moments later. The marshal strode smartly over and helped them up.

"Had there been a third person behind them", she continued to explain, "he or she would have been affected as well, though to a lesser extent. The Zyrans will not use their stun settings; they will shoot to kill. Of the races you have encountered thus far, they are most like the Andorians, highly suspicious, quick to fire, slow to trust. But they lack the moral ramifications of the Klingons for the Andorians. Other than themselves, they place value only on their immediate family. All other lives have no meaning for them. Unfortunately, under the circumstances, we will not be able to bend this to our advantage." She finished, thanked the officers, and dismissed her audience.

"Captain Picard", said Riker, contacting the captain in his ready room, "we have established contact with Admiral Kirk's ship. We are preparing to beam the admiral aboard."

"Very good Number One. Carry on", replied Picard, "I shall be there momentarily." He closed the channel, straightened his uniform, and strode out down the hallway to the transporter room.

"Admiral Kirk, welcome aboard."

"Nice to see you, Jean Luc", said the admiral, "I wish it were under better circumstances. Now, what can you tell me?"

"For that I'd better turn you over to our guest from the future", said Picard, "Marshal Garn Govanna, Admiral James T. Kirk." Garn looked positively grave standing by in her Vulcan robes.

"Pleased to meet you, Admiral", she said, extending her hand.

"Likewise", answered Kirk. Picard led them to the briefing room, where everything could be discussed in greater detail.

* * * * * * *

Saavik rolled out of the chair where she had momentarily dozed off and hit the floor of the spacecraft with a loud 'thump'. She sat up, panting hard. McCoy, wake at once, reached over and flipped on his light.

"They are not on Romulus anymore", breathed the Vulcan.

* * * * * * *

"Aren't you nervous?" asked Deanna Troi of Garn with something of concern in her face. The two had become fast friends during the marshal's short stay aboard the Enterprise. But then, there seemed to be no one with whom Garn could not get along.

"Yes and no", answered the Vulcan.

"Specify", said Lt. Commander Data, turning his head to look at her keenly. Garn smiled.

"Well, on the one hand, I am from the future, all this is behind me. It has already happened. I know the outcome. And I know we were successful."

"If you knew you would succeed", said Riker, puzzled, "then why did you come back in the first place?"

"To not come back I would have changed my intentions. And that would have altered history", answered Garn. "You see, time is not a line, as you perceive it, moving in one direction only. It is like a circle, but more than a circle, like a sphere, but more than a sphere. It moves both outward and inward upon itself." She drew a long breath, trying to determine how she could explain this to twenty-fourth century minds.

"This is not the first time the Zyrans have attempted to alter history", explained the marshal. "You have heard of the events involving this ship's former crew, have you not?"

"We are familiar with the history of the Enterprise", said Data.

"Then you know of the one called Khan", continued Garn, "who chased you Admiral Kirk across the galaxy, and whose actions led to the death of Spock. It was the Zyrans who blew up Setae Alpha VI, which led to the re- discovery of Khan. They could look down the timeline and see the influence of their actions, the death, and rebirth, of Spock, our honored ancestor. They knew that, left alone on Genesis, he would die again, and the small inconvenience of his resurrection be for not. But what they could not see were the intentions of a Vulcan called Saavik, and the human friends of Spock. You see, intentions are the great variables of the universe, and the forces that shape all.

"I can stand back and survey the labyrinth; I can see all ends. But I am not merely a spectator; I am part of the living world. And if I cannot find the courage to live within the maze, then I will see the destruction of everything I stand for. And just because I can see the end does not mean that I can see the means by which it will be achieved." A chill seemed to settle on the Bridge, which was normally in Garn's presence a most comfortable environment.

* * * * * * *

The winds of Torgn III whipped the blowing dirt up into a thin, dusty veil, then whisked I aside to reveal Saavik riding tall on a single-horned horse, Dr. McCoy following in like fashion. They had had to leave the star ship in orbit; it was too large to bring near the surface of the Romulan moon.

They made camp that night within the mouth of a rocky gorge through which a clear-water creek ran. Saavik went to fetch a cup of water after the two had eaten. Kneeling over the stream, she caught sight of her reflection in its unusually glassy surface. Romulus hung large and luminous in the sky above her, looking like a Terran moon in the reflection. Saavik stared into those deep eyes that lay atop the dark waters until they became Spock's, and she could make out every feature of his face, as clear as though he stood before her. Two silent silver tears rolled down her cheeks.

"Saavik?" said McCoy with a note of concern in his voice, putting aside the dishes he had been cleaning. The weathered old doctor came to stand beside the Vulcan crouched over the stream, laying his had tenderly upon her shoulder. "You haven't slept in two days", he reminded her, "come on and trust me, why don't you, and get some sleep? I promise I'll keep watch." Saavik nodded.

* * * * * * *

"Romulan Consulate, this is Captain Jean Luc Picard of the Federation starship USS Enterprise." Admiral Kirk stood right beside him, gazing at the view screen where a somewhat small, rather shaken-looking Romulan ambassador appeared. "What is the status of Ambassador Spock? We need to speak with him."

"A- Ambassador Spock is not here", stuttered the Romulan, "he was abducted by the crew of an unidentified vessel."

"Damn!" declared Riker and Kirk in unison. Garn Govanna wasted no time.

"Mr. Data- shuttlecraft!" she commanded, running for the turbo-lift, the android on her heels.

"Are you certain they are on the moon?" asked Data, piloting the shuttlecraft in close to the surface of Torgn III. Garn started to nod, then-

"There!" she exclaimed, pointing to two dots approaching on the main viewer.

"Two bio signs", said Data, "one Vulcan, and one human."

"Saavik", breathed Garn.

* * * * * * *

Saavik heard the roar of the shuttlecraft and looked up into the sky. It was too late to run.

"I am establishing a lock", said Data, punching buttons.

"Mr. Data." growled Garn, holding tightly to the controls as they careened dangerously toward the surface.

"I have them!"


"Greetings, Saavik", said Garn, displaying the V-shaped sign.

"Who are you?" began the other Vulcan, then, "No. you are Garn Govanna." The latter smiled thinly.

"It will take a moment or two", she said, "but the understanding will come through. I'm afraid you'll have to explain to the good doctor there." She swiveled back 'round to the controls.

It was not long before a low, rather dilapidated structure loom on the main viewer.

"That's it!" said Saavik for Garn. The marshal pulled off the most haphazard shuttle landing of her career, and the four rescuers leapt from the battered craft. Saavik and McCoy went 'round one side of the building complex, Garn 'round the other, and she sent Data about the back way.

Cautiously, Garn pried open a rusty-handled door on the side of the building and stepped through into utter darkness. She had not gone five paces when a sickening 'crack!' sounded at the back of her skull and she dropped like a rock, into oblivion.

Garn awoke, her head throbbing, her shoulders aching from sleeping in an unnatural position. Next to her sat a tall, slender, dark-haired Vulcan male. She recognized his face at once.

"Ambassador Spock", she said, her voice hoarse. She tried to make the appropriate sign and realized that her hands were tied.

"Fitting, isn't it", said Ch'*cluck*, stepping out of the shadows, "that you should witness the destruction of your entire culture, Garn Govanna?"

"Surely, Ch'*cluck*, you must realize", said Spock, "that a culture is much bigger than one man."

"Silence!" snapped Ch'*cluck*, "Soon, we shall hear no more of your philosophy- for good!"

At that moment, Ch'*cluck*'s accomplice appeared leading Data at phaser- point.

"I found this one prowling around outside", her growled.

"Leave him with the others", ordered Ch'*cluck*, "And go make sure there are no more of them." He glowered at Garn. Meanwhile, the latter had slipped a tiny knife from the sleeve of her robes and had managed to cut her hands free.

Saavik crouched behind a rocky prominence at the corner of the building. She watched intently as the Zyran henchman emerged to make his rounds. She waited until he was just far enough away, and then signaled to McCoy and the two mad a mad dash for the opening. It was moments before the Zyran outside realized what was going on.

The two of them tore down the center of the building to the back room where the hostages were being held, springing in on Ch'*cluck* and nearly giving him a heart attack.

Data, Spock, and Garn leapt to their feet. Instinctively, Ch'*cluck* swung the phaser on Spock. In a fraction of a heartbeat, Saavik had leapt across the room, flinging her body over that of the ambassador. Her arms clung round his neck, and she caught a glimpse of his dark eyes staring down into hers. Time seemed to stand still as she heard Garn's words flow across the room, echoing inside her head:

"You can do it, Saavik you can transform the phaser blast. Concentrate! Concentrate your feeling." All of a sudden, time shot back to normal pace with a terrifying rush. The green light of the phaser blast lit out and rent Saavik's body, and she was knocked immediately unconscious as her body succumbed to shock. But something happened as the energy left her, its awesome force carrying it through her body and into Spock's. The ferocity of the charge was somehow changed, softened, dissipated, inexorably altered. Saavik had succeeded in transforming the terrible might of the phaser into a benevolent force before it entered the body of her beloved mentor. As Spock caught the sinking Saavik in his powerful arms, Data and Garn Leapt into action.

Data dropped Ch'*cluck* with a blow to the back of the head and chucked his phaser to Garn, who J'ts, the other Zyran, dashing down the length of the building toward them head on. J'ts leveled his phaser, but Garn was the quicker draw. In a moment's time, the Zyran simply ceased to exist. Garn turned off and cast aside the phaser as everyone (except for the immobilized Ch'*cluck*) moved toward Spock and Saavik.

"My God Spock, is that you?" gasped McCoy. For the tall Vulcan sitting before him looked twenty years younger to the day. Data consulted his tri- corder.

"Cellular degeneration has been reversed", reported the android, "by approximately twenty years, three days, fourteen minutes."

"So he's actually younger?" said McCoy, glancing at Garn.

"Physically", said the Vulcan marshal, "yes."

"Well that would put him at about Saavik's age", continued the doctor, still amazed.

"Fascinating as I am sure this all is", said Spock, almost angrily, "I believe there is someone here, Doctor, who requires your attention far more than I."

"Of course", said McCoy, snapping to. Spock rose, cradling Saavik in his arms, and the others led him to the shuttlecraft, Garn dragging Ch'*cluck* behind her. Data fired up the shuttle and piloted it back to the Enterprise, where Spock, McCoy, and their injured Vulcan comrade were beamed directly to sickbay. Meanwhile, Data Escorted Garn and her prisoner to the brig, where they locked the Zyran up and all but threw away the key.

James Kirk rushed to sickbay as soon as word came in of the return of his errant friends.

"My God- Saavik", he exclaimed as Crusher and McCoy laid the former commander out on one of the operating tables.

"Doctor, I wish you would take over this situation", began Crusher, "your superior knowledge-"

"Superior knowledge my foot!" cried McCoy, "why, what with all these new- fangled devices, it'd be a miracle if I didn't kill her outright.

"Then I will assist you", said the red-haired doctor, "but it's going to take my knowledge and your experience if we are going to save her." McCoy conceded at last.

"Doctor, if she dies." said Spock, who was seated at Saavik's bedside, one of her hands resting between his own, as he stared gravely back across the table into McCoy's blue eyes. The doctor felt all his past torments of the Vulcan welling up in the back of his mind to haunt him, and a wave of guilt washed over him.

"I know, Spock", said McCoy, perhaps finally understanding the man sitting before him, "I know."

Spock turned his dark eyes back on Saavik. Kirk came to stand beside him, running his hand tenderly over the slender, prominent features of her face as Crusher slid the sterile operating field down around the wounded region.

"We have orders from Starfleet Command to take her back in custody", said Picard, standing in his ready-room surrounded by Garn, Crusher, and Kirk, "There's to be a hearing to decide if there will be a court martial."

"Sure, that's if she makes it back to Earth", replied Crusher sourly, "Didn't you tell them anything about what she did, Jean Luc?!"

"I am certain we will all have our chance to testify at the hearing, Doctor, never fear", chided Picard, "In the meanwhile. Marshal Govanna, isn't there anything you can do?"

"There is nothing I can do", replied Garn grimly, "it is her fight, from here on out."

Spock was at Saavik's side when she awoke. No words passed between them, but the look in his eyes was enough to set her heart to beating again.

"Why did you not return to Vulcan as I instructed?" asked Spock when at last they were speaking again.

"How could I write of compassion", answered she, "if I had not lived it for myself?"

Garn Govanna stepped within the brig, drew her phaser, and took aim. In the blink of an eye, Ch'*cluck* was vaporized. The ship's alert system went off like a guard dog. Picard, standing just outside, reached over and shut it off.

"Regrettable", said Garn solemnly, stepping out of the brig and holstering her phaser, "It is not the Vulcan way."

Data, Picard, and Troi escorted her to the shuttlecraft, which was waiting for her departure.

"I greatly appreciate the donation of your shuttle-craft, Captain", said Garn. She had explained the danger of going backward (or, in this case, forward) in time only to find oneself floating in dead space, and Data had naturally suggested the shuttle.

"Consider it a necessary expense", replied the captain.

"I shall take her straight to the museum in Goettingen", vowed Garn, "The will be thrilled to have her." They all said their farewells and watched as the marshal climbed inside the shuttlecraft and, in a flash of light, was gone.

"Captain", said La Forge, meeting Picard in Ten Forward a few hours later, "the marshal-?"

"She's gone, Geordi. Is there something I can to for you?" asked the captain.

"Ah, I was afraid of that", replied the engineer. He held up a satchel. "She left this." Upon emptying the bag of its contents, the two officers found little of interest other than a book, which Picard held up, reading the title aloud:

"Let Me Help, by Saavik of Vulcan."

"Then it was Saavik who had. will. publish the philosophies all along", murmured La Forge.

"And it was Saavik who was the Zyrans' true Nemesis, the one person they had always counted out." Picard smiled. "Garn must have known all along. She did a marvelous job of protecting her."


"By allowing her to live out her own life", said Picard. Rummaging through the stack of left-behind articles, they also found a holographic letter addressed to Spock.

Viewing it in his quarters that night, the ambassador heard these words:

"Sacrifice is a necessary element of the advancement of any culture. In the days before Surak, our ancestors sacrificed their physical lives in order that they may know their souls, paving the way for the logic that would one day save them.

"In your time, Vulcans sacrificed their spiritual lives for the sake of the logic that will formulate the total picture, in which my people are so fortunate to revel. We have not forgotten the price you have paid, yourself not least of all. And so, in return, and with many thanks, may I offer this:

"You, and Saavik, like all great thinkers, have been born out of time. And now, as I leave you, I see this imbalance corrected. The rest of the world may still be out of step with you, but you have you own time now. Do not let it pass you by. Peace and long life."

"Live long, and prosper", whispered Spock.

* * * * * * * Through the accounts of the esteemed members involved, Saavik's sentence was reduced from a full court martial to exclusion from Starfleet and a six- month prison sentence.

* * * *SIX MONTHS LATER* * * *

Taking her first steps of freedom, Saavik looked out down the hallway that adjoined the office of the Starfleet Command Penitentiary. Through the crowd of people bustling to-and-fro on mundane errands, she spied a tall, dark-haired former Vulcan ambassador.

Spock stood stock still in the middle of the crowd as she flew down the hall to greet him, robes and longer-than-regulation-length hair streaming out behind her.

"You came", she whispered, flinging her arms about his neck as their bodies softly collided. For a moment, all she could do was hold him. Then she stepped back, eyes shining, and looked up into his. "Spock, parted from me and never parted. Never and always touching and touched. I love you."

"Saavik", said he in turn, "parted from me and never parted. Never and always touching and touched. I love you more than life, more than honor, more than prestige." They turned together in silent unison and walked away hand-in-hand.

** "Home is the hunter, home from the hills; and the sailor home from the sea" --Henry Wordsworth Longfellow