Dedicated to GreenAwesomeness :)

Disclaimer: I don't own Firefly or Star Trek.

When Spock was beamed back to the Enterprise, Kirk noticed he seemed a little tense. Granted, a few days before, Kirk had been convinced his Spock-reading skills had developed to the point where they could discuss situations by exchanging glances, but that had ended with Spock suggesting Bones check out Kirk's newly developed tic. Still, it looked like the Vulcan's jaw was actually clenched. Kirk watched him with an eyebrow raised for a few seconds before asking to talk to him in private.

"I take it your trip to New Vulcan wasn't the dream vacation you were hoping for."

"It was uneventful, for the most part, yes."

If there was one thing Spock couldn't do, it was hide something he knew he shouldn't.

"Do I need to pull rank, or are you going to tell me what you did?"

"Captain, I believe that for your protection it would be prudent-"

"Tell me. That's an order."

He paused, probably relieved somewhere in that suppressed human half of his mind. "During the last few hours of my stay, I visited with the New Vulcan Science Academy. I opted to tour the facility alone, and while it is approaching what it once was, there is one aspect that...unsettles me."

"What's that?"

"Their work with decalithium has begun to produce red matter."

Kirk now understood why Spock's tension was actually visible.

"The older one of you-Spock Senior-shouldn't he have told them not to?"

"I'm convinced it was meant to remain a secret."

"So how'd you find it? You were sneaking around?"

"Touring the facility. Alone."

"Whatever. It's not that big of a deal. We'll ask them to stop producing it and destroy the what they have. If they don't cooperate, we-"

"I have it."

There was a pause while Kirk wondered what that meant. Then it hit him. " stole it?"

"Due to the secretive nature of the project, I felt that the developers may have been planning to use it and because I couldn't determine when that would be, the logical thing to do-"

"They'll be furious! Well, not-you know what I-where is it?"

Spock held out a closed fist.

"No way."

"They had only managed to create a small amount."

"You're insane. It could've exploded mid-transport! You could be dying from decalithium poisoning right now! Hell, I could be dying from decalithium poisoning right now!"

"I would have considered those risks had they been properties of this particular substance."

"Don't get sassy with me, Spock. Put it...somewhere. Safe. Not here. And what are you planning on doing with it?"

"The next time we were in the vicinity of a supernova, I would have asked Mr. Scott to launch this into its core. Meanwhile, taking this will buy time for the Federation to investigate the reasoning behind developing red matter-especially when Vulcan cannot afford to be lost again."

The Captain sighed. "I understand why you did this, Spock, but we have to let the high council know what's going on."

"This could be their doing. As the situation currently stands, we would be better off allowing the Federation to handle the decalithium lab."

The argument lasted for the better part of an hour, but when it came to arguments, Spock tended to excel.

"Captain, the supernova of BEL-X5 is within range," Sulu announced.

"Scotty, you got that?"

Montgomery Scott's voice buzzed back at him from the engine room. "Ready, Captain, but are you sure about this?"

"Haven't got much of a choice, Scotty."

Spock remained silent. The crew pitied his predicament, but none were particularly skilled in comforting a Vulcan. At least they had removed the risk of destroying New Vulcan, or any other world, for the time being. The Federation had been alerted, but now that the knowledge was available there was no telling who would use it. Uhura rested her hand on his arm. "It's okay. We're getting rid of it." Spock just nodded.

"Deploying the pod now. Thirty seconds before we're close enough to the reaction to get sucked into the black hole."

"That's thirty more seconds than we need. Deploy."

The crew waited for the all clear. Instead, "Um, Captain?"

"No. No way this is going wrong. What is it?"

Chekov whirled around in his chair. "Vee are moving too fast. Ze distance calculations ver based on ze ship of ze other Spock. Ze mass of ze Enterprise is much greater."

"Sulu, get us out of-"

"Zoe and Jayne are on their way back," Mal informed River. "No rush. They said it was a clean job, but I still want Serenity ready to go."

River did not answer. Her blank stare and cocked head reminded Mal of the days before her sanity had been restored. "No. Something's wrong."

He knew he shouldn't have trusted a nutjob with a spaceship.

"River, we ain't got time for you to lose it again."

"I'm not losing it, Mal. Something's wrong with the air."

Why did this always happen to him? "With the air."


"Captain, we need the cargo bay doors open. There's some kinda storm happenin' out here." Zoe had appeared on the video transmitter. In the background, Jayne was aiming both of his guns at the sky and cursing colorfully. "Ain't like no storm I ever seen before."

Figures. Mal let Kaylee know to let them in. "Guess you were right, River. Anything else you got about this bad air?"

"We shouldn't fly until it's over."

"Genius. Call Zoe to the bridge. You two figure out how much time we got to wait out that storm." He turned walked out.

"I want to see the storm, too," River called after him.

Mal passed Zoe on the way down. "I wouldn't go out there, Captain. Looks a mite dangerous."

"We've done a lot of dangerous things before, Zoe."

"Yeah, but you can't shoot at this one. Jayne tried. Quite a few times."

"Still gonna check it out. Gotta see if it's plannin' on clearin' up anytime soon."

The rest of the crew was already there, squinting and trying to look at it from different angles. "That's sure some angry lightnin'," observed Kaylee. "Looks kinda red." So did the rest of the storm. The rust-clouds were extremely localized-the entire clump could have been seen from a porthole window. Lightning struck at least once every second, but none of the jolts of electricity were long enough to reach the ground. They merely snaked a little ways out of the clouds and then disappeared. It truly was like nothing they had ever seen. Too bad for them.

"Show's over. Everyone get inside. Don't need no locals trackin' Jayne and Zoe back to-"

That's when the gigantic spaceship appeared out of the clouds and came hurtling at them.