Chapter Two

The group began to file on to the small, silver grey ship; designed not to carry a crew, but passengers and a pilot. Nyota's insulating silvered boots made a strange muted click on the steps, and she sighed. She jammed the little switch on the side upwards, to try and retract the metal snow spikes up into the sole, with no luck. She gave up, and winced as the annoying sound went right through her head.
She reached the top of the stairs, and turned into the seating room; a narrow, long chamber with twelve seats set out in pairs. She was the last one on the ship, so with a quick glance behind her she pushed down the button to shut the heavy door. As she walked towards the seats, her boots clacked, irritating her. They had all been given practically new equipment for the training trip. Emphasis on the practically. Whatever the person whose feet has occupied the boots before her had done to them, she couldn't find a way to fix them.
The boots were designed to keep heat in, important for cold weather, and also had retractable studs for gripping snow. Well, almost retractable. In her rucksack slung over one shoulder, she carried her standard issue insulated, silvered gloves, hat and coat (All light weight and packed in vacuum bags for minimal storage space). They also has issued water bottles, whistles for seeking attention, dry soap/shampoo and a small, handheld phaser. The phaser was set to stun the wildlife living on the cold moon, which Terrans and other humanoids had placed here in an effort to stop them from being extinct a while ago, due to pollution and global warming.
The reason they were not issued with electric communicators was that, although available, communicators that worked efficiently in extreme weather were rather expensive. They were told that they were to go without- it would also help replicate the conditions they would be in if they were stranded in a cold environment while on a mission.

Nyota pushed the strap of her bag up her shoulder, stopping it from falling off, and saw that the seat she was planning to take, next to Kirk, was taken. She groaned. She had decided that she was going to partner up with Kirk for the week, just before the shuttle arrived. But she hasn't told him, assuming that she wouldn't need to
"Hey, Uhura?"
Kirk called to get her attention.
"Olive here was a latecomer, I said she could be my partner. That's cool with you, yeah?"
Inside, Nyota cursed herself. Her logic for choosing him over her instructor was that, as much as she disliked him, she couldn't deny that he was amusing sometimes.
She mumbled her assent while her eyes scanned the rows for the empty seat that would be hers. She found it- right at the front of the room. Perched on the seat next to it, straight backed and straight faced was the tall, pale, dark-haired Vulcan. She sighed, ever so slightly as she moved towards it and sat down.
" Is everything adequate, Cadet Uhura? I noticed that as you sat down, you exhaled louder that usual. I have observed that among humans, this is treated as an expression of discontent. Am I correct?"
A smooth voice came from beside her, and she turned around to make eye contact with him. It took her two seconds to process the question, she was hung on the wonderful sound his unaccented standard made in her ears. She considered lying, and then remembered that he was a Vulcan, which meant it wouldn't be wise. Damn those Vulcans and their supersonic hearing, she thought.
"Yes, you are correct, Commander. My friend, who I was going to parter with, decided last minute to go on the hot weather trip running at the same time as this one, and I am afraid that this trip will not be as enjoyable without her."

"I presume that you will still find this trip educational without her, so not all is lost"

She was almost certain that she heard a hint of dry sarcasm in his tones, but decided that she must be making things up. Vulcans don't make jokes. She decided to ask the commander a question that had been niggling at the edge of her mind for a few days now.

"Excuse me for asking, Commander Spock, but I was under the impression that Vulcans do not like cold weather. Why did you choose to go on this trip, not the hot weather survival trip?" She asked Spock, curiosity in her voice. After he expressed concern for her well being, she decided, he didn't seem that daunting anymore.
"I have never experienced such cold weather before- it is only logical that I receive the necessary training before I serve on The Enterprise" He stated matter-of-factly. Nyota was surprised. Did that mean he had never seen snow before? She wondered, shocked.
"Have you never experienced snow or ice before, then, Commander Spock?" She asked him. All teacher-to-student conversations were quite formal, but she struggled to stay quite as formal as Spock seemed to be speaking. She decided that, as they were going to be spending a week together, she may as well learn how to get on with him.
They made small talk for the rest of the trip, Spock only humouring her as he knew that humans thought of long periods of silence as awkward, and he had no intention of making the Cadet feel uncomfortable.

As the door hissed open, revealing a world of blinding light, a gust of cold air swept into the craft, raising good natured shouts of complaint.
"I would suggest donning your coat now, Cadet." Spock stated, already pulling his long arms through his. The coats were coloured bright green, to stand out against both the snow and the sky.
Nyota looked up at his face when she heard him speak, and noticed how the green colour accented his features. She had never really studied his face before, and while he was busy putting on his jacket and gloves, she took the opportunity.
His strong nose and cupid-bowed lips looked quite human, she noticed, and suprisingly, so did his brown eyes, currently narrowed against the glare of the snow. However, his diagonal shaped brows, sculpted cheekbones and, of course, his pointed ears were distinctly Vulcan. He had a very handsome face, she noticed, surprised that she didn't realise this before.
"Cadet Uhura?" Spock repeated, interrupting her thought train.
"Ahh..." She said as she tried to recall what he had advised her to do. "Oh yes, good idea Commander Spock"
"It's only logical" he stated as she unzipped her bag, clearly not taking the remark she had made as the mild compliment it was intended as. She pulled the black fabric over her head, and pushed her arms into the sleeves. She immediately felt more comfortable- it was surprising how much difference the thinly padded coat could make. Her gloves- matching the coat in colour- quickly proceeded the coat, followed by a pair of white earmuffs she had thought to pack for herself.
As Spock made his way to the door, she walked behind him, quickly followed by the rest of the Cadets. Her boots clacked down the stairs as she walked, and she head Spock's crunch on the snow, for the first time in his life.