Cora stood off to the side as Kirk and Khan, now out of their suits, gathered around a small box that Kirk had brought with him, the man taking out a set of phasers, four of them, handing them to Scotty, Khan, himself and Wallace, knowing that Cora would refuse to touch one. She just...she was still in shock from what Kirk had told her, that Spock was apparently experiencing Pon Farr. Well, he hadn't really TOLD her that but, she DID have a brain, she could read between the lines. Why else would he bring it up and refer to Spock so much if the Vulcan wasn't experiencing it right now? And it...shocked her. From what she knew of Pon Farr, she, as an Empathic, should have been able to feel what was happening, what was changing inside him. Though she suspected that it was to be expected, she HAD felt him trying to block his emotions from her and hide them. He'd done an exceptional job and, she supposed, not knowing it was Pon Farr at the time she hadn't made the connection when she DID feel something odd off him.
She let out a breath, Pon Farr. The mating cycle of the Vulcans where, once every seven years, they felt the urge to, well, mate. She knew about it, she knew quite a bit about it, why it happened, how it happened, what needed to happen to end it, and what could happen if not dealt with in time. She hadn't been completely open with Spock about one rather small thing.
She'd been in contact with his future self.
Only periodically, from time to time, just wanting to check in and see how he was doing and how New Vulcan was thriving. Just because he wasn't HER Spock didn't mean she didn't care for him in some way. He was a future Spock and those were Spock's people he was helping to take care of and what was important to him was important to her. So she managed to contract him a few times and they'd talk. She found she could actually speak to him about a few things easier than she could Spock, mostly because he seemed to, with age, be more open and expressive than the current Spock. He didn't seem as embarrassed or uncomfortable when she'd ask him a question or two that she KNEW would make her Spock flustered.
One topic had been Pon Farr, which had been brought up when he had appeared during one conversation rather weary and explained that a Pon Farr had turned rather deadly recently and they'd lost a Vulcan because of it. With their people being so few, it hurt them all to know if even one member of the species died. She had been confused and asked what the Pon Farr was and he'd been very delicate in explaining it to her, but she understood. She knew about it, she knew what it was, and now that she knew Spock was experiencing it and trying to keep it from her...she was confused.
Why keep something like THAT from her?
She supposed she'd have to talk to him about it, see his reasoning and logic behind it...or prove to him that his 'logic' wasn't quite so logical as she knew that Pon Farr often led the Vulcans to lose their rational and logical thought. In HIS mind his reason might appear to make sense, but to her...she couldn't think of a single reason why he'd keep it from her. Or why he was resisting it, of all the possible outcomes she'd rather the one that involved her as his mate come into play than the others, especially because...
"It's locked to stun," Kirk spoke, cutting off her thoughts as she looked over.
"Theirs won't be," Khan reminded him.
"Try not to get shot," Kirk glared, before giving them a nod to head out after Khan.
"Commander," Uhura called on the Bridge of the Enterprise, looking over at Spock who was sitting rigidly in the chair, scarcely moving, appearing not even to breathe or blink he was so intently focused on the sight of the Vengeance, "I have that transmission as requested."
"On the screen, please," Spock ordered.
They watched as…an older version of what looked like Spock appeared, "Mr. Spock," the older Vulcan greeted.
Spock surprised them all with his own greeting, "Mr. Spock."
"They're going to have full power, and we're walking," Scotty muttered as they headed through the halls, following Khan, the man knowing the ship better than them.
"Turbolifts are easily trapped and Marcus would have us in a cage," Khan turned to a small control pane, checking something quickly, "This path runs adjacent to the engine room. They know they won't be able use their weapons here without destabilizing the warp core which gives us the advantage."
"Where did you find this guy?"
"It's a long story," Kirk sighed.
"Um…Montgomery Scott," Cora began, feeling that Scotty deserved to know, "Khan has also been known as John Harrison."
"Harrison!?" Scotty turned to the captain.
"Not now Scotty," he huffed, walking off.
"Do not worry Montgomery Scott," Cora whispered, "He will not harm you or the others," she glanced at Wallace and Kirk as they followed the man, ahead of the two of them.
Scotty sighed, "One day, Lassie, I will get you to call me Scotty."
Cora just smiled, everyone on the ship said the same when she used their full names...only Chekov had succeeded, and he wasn't telling anyone how. He was curious to see who would work out how he'd done it and how long it would take.
"I will be brief," Spock spoke to his older self, "In your travels, did you ever encounter a man named Khan?"
Spock Prime was quiet a long moment, "As you know, I have made a vow never to give information that could potentially alter your destiny. Your path is yours to walk. And yours alone. That being said...Khan Noonien Singh is the most dangerous adversary the Enterprise ever faced. He is brilliant, ruthless, and he will not hesitate to kill every single one of you."
"Did you defeat him?"
"At great cost," Spock Prime sighed, "Yes."
Spock Prime was silent, "Spock…where is Cora?"
Spock stiffened, "She is trapped onboard another ship, with Khan. Which explains my need to know how to stop him should the Captain fail."
Spock Prime nodded, eyeing his younger self intently, seeing the minutest of signs of exactly where his younger self was in his timeline, what he was experiencing. The curled fists, the slight trembling, his need for backup should the captain fail, the look in his eyes...it could only be one thing. Spock would NOT have breached the laws of time travel to ask him such questions if it was not of the utmost important and illogical reason, Cora.
"I don't mean to tempt fate here, but where is everybody?" Scotty whispered.
"The ship is designed to flown by minimal crew, one if necessary," Khan remarked.
"One?!" Scotty gaped.
"Back!" Cora shouted, pulling them back a moment before a man leapt out in front of them to attack, having sensed them coming.
Khan, however, took care of the attacker rather easily, but that did nothing to stop the other men from following the sounds of the attack and taking a chance on the crew as well. Scotty and Kirk tried to hold them off, but Wallace fired on one or two with her phaser.
"Cora!" Kirk called.
Cora ran forward and shoved one of the attackers away from Kirk so that he and the other men were in front of her with Kirk and Scotty behind, throwing out her hands to direct her abilities ahead of her, one of the few ways she could slightly direct her abilities, all the men just sort of falling over, sleeping.
"Are they…" Wallace eyed one of the fallen men, Cora had done something similar before but she hadn't seen how she'd done it as she had fallen asleep as well.
"Asleep," Cora reassured her.
"It's just so hard to find good help these days, isn't it?" Kirk joked.
"Um…Captain," Scotty called, "Where's Khan?"
They all looked ahead to see Khan was nowhere to be seen.
"Cora?" Kirk turned to her.
"This way," she led him off, following the sense she got of Khan, the anger and the…blackness she felt off him.
Spock was silent a moment after the call to his future self ended, before turning to Uhura, "Lieutenant, I need you to assemble all senior medical and engineering staff in the weapons' bay."
Uhura frowned at that request, but nodded, "Alright."
"Dr. McCoy," he got up and walked over to McCoy, "You inadvertently activated a torpedo, could you replicate the process?"
"Why the hell would I want to do that?" McCoy frowned.
"Can you or can you not?" Spock demanded, a hard note in his voice that told McCoy that would be the LAST time he repeated the question.
"Damn it man, I'm a doctor not a torpedo technician!"
"The fact that you are a doctor is precisely why I need you to listen very carefully."
"Very good," Khan remarked as Cora led them right to Khan, standing further in a room, checking the security controls of it, making sure that they were invisible as they came up to the Bridge, "This way," he turned to lead them off again.
Kirk watched him go before grabbing Scotty's arm, "The minute we get to the Bridge, drop him."
"What, stun him?" Scotty frowned, "I think he's helping us."
"We are helping HIM," Cora confirmed Kirk's suspicions as she heard them speaking.
Kirk nodded, "That's an order Mr. Scott."
Scotty nodded and they headed out after Khan and Wallace, following the two through the halls, to a turbolift, able to hear men speaking in the room just beyond it, the Bridge, "Retarget the Enterprise, now," Marcus was saying.
They ran in, firing their phasers at the different men and women working in the Bridge, Cora behind them to make sure none of them were attacked from behind and, soon enough, all the men were knocked out, stunned, save for Marcus himself, sitting in the captain's chair.
Kirk moved in front of him, holding the phaser at him, Wallace and Cora on either side of the man with Scotty behind the chair, Khan behind HIM. He looked up, giving Scotty a nod and the man fired, striking Khan, knocking him down, "Make sure he stays down," he ordered and Scotty nodded and stepped past Cora, down to where Khan had fallen, aiming his phaser at the man, "Cora, help him," Kirk glanced at her, knowing she would sense, before even Scotty could notice, if Khan was starting to wake.
"Yes, Captain Kirk," she moved to join him.
"Admiral Marcus," Kirk turned back to the man, "You are under arrest."
"You're not actually going to do this, are you?" Marcus glared at him.
"Admiral get out of the chair."
"You better stop and think about what are you're doing, Kirk," Marcus warned, "You better think about what you did on Kronos. You made an incursion onto an enemy planet. You killed a Klingon patrol. Even if you got away without trace, war is coming! And who's going to lead us? You?!" he scoffed, "If I'm not in charge, our entire way of life is decimated. So, you want me off this the ship, you better kill me."
Kirk shook his head at the man, seeing Wallace's eyes filling with tears to hear her father, the man who raised her, so…crazed and war-driven, to realize that this had been his plan the entire time, to create war, using Khan to do it, that the man had been telling them the truth about that at least, "I'm not going to kill you, sir. But I could stun your ass and drag you out of that chair. But, I'd rather not do that in front of your daughter," he glanced at her, "Are you alright?"
"Yes, Captain," Wallace nodded, touched that he was concerned for her.
"I am sorry Carol Wallace," Cora called, seeing the woman growing so upset, feeling sorry for her to see her father in such a light, feeling sorry that Khan had been truthful…
And that was all it took, one single look away from Khan, for him to have his chance. He leapt to his feet with a roar, knocking Scotty out with a fierce punch, backhanding Cora to the ground before he leapt at Kirk, attacking him, shoving him away and into the wall, as he ran after Marcus, the man trying to escape.
Wallace ran into her father's path, blocking Khan, "Wait, listen!"
But Khan shoved her to the ground, slamming his boot down on her leg, making her scream as he broke it, making Cora wince, feeling as though her own leg had been broken as well. The crew struggled to get up, to stop him, as he reached Marcus, grabbing the man's head, squeezing as hard as he could, Cora started to whimper off to the side, clutching her head in pain…
"You should have let me sleep!" Khan hissed at the man, Wallace screaming as he crushed Marcus's head with his bare hands.
"No!" Kirk shouted, lunging at the man, but Khan spun around and punched him across the face, kneeing him in the stomach and dropping him to the ground beside Wallace as she sobbed, trying not to look at her father's body.
Khan sneered down at the weakened Kirk before seeing flash of red hair and stalked over towards Cora…
"Where is the Captain, Mr. Sulu?" Spock called as he stood in the middle of the Bridge.
"Our sensor array are down, sir," Sulu replied, "I can't find him."
The viewscreen flickered on as Khan appeared, Spock freezing at the sight of him holding Cora by the back of the neck, a phaser held at the back of her head, "I'm going to make this very simple for you..." Khan began.
"Cora!" Spock cried, his eyes narrowing, his voice taking on a snarling note as he shouted, "Let her GO Khan!"
Khan just shook his head and tsked, grabbing a fistful of Cora's hair and yanking her head back, causing her to cry out in pain, "Let's try this, you interrupt me, I hurt her?" Khan smirked as Spock remained silent, oh he knew Cora would be a better bargaining chip than the man's dear Captain, especially considering the Vulcan was half-human and clearly experiencing Pon Farr, all the signs were there, which meant the man would be more inclined to make rather...illogical...decisions, "Now…the conditions…your mate and crew for my crew."
Spock's jaw tightened, "You betrayed us."
"Oh you are smart, Mr. Spock," he mocked.
"Spock," Cora gasped, "Don't..."
But Khan slammed his knee into her back, making her scream in pain and fall to her own knees, before winding his arm around her neck and yanking her to her feet once more, tears in her eyes as she struggled to get out of his hold, in too much pain to think of attacking.
"Stop it!" Spock shouted.
"Mr. Spock, give me my crew," Khan threatened, moving his phaser back to Cora's head, to the side of it this time.
"And what will you do when you get them?"
"Continue the work we were doing before we were banished."
"Which, as I understand, involves the mass genocide of any being you find to be less than superior."
"Shall I destroy you, Mr. Spock? Oh…" he smiled, "No…I won't destroy YOU…" he shoved Cora forward, slamming the butt of his phaser into the back of her neck, sending her to the ground as he kicked her in the stomach.
"Khan!" Spock spat, shaking at seeing his mate being beaten and knowing that he wasn't there to protect her. He could see Kirk struggling to get up in the background, but it wasn't enough, Cora was being HURT! "Enough!"
"Give me what I want," Khan demanded, aiming his phaser at Cora, the girl still visible on the viewscreen, on the ground, curling up on her side, in pain, whimpering.
"We have no transporter capabilities," Spock told him, already able to see a bruise forming on her face, clearly she'd been hit before Khan had started on this message...he was starting to see red.
"Fortunately, mine are perfectly functional. Drop your shields."
"No…" Cora tried to speak as she pushed herself onto her hands and knees, attempting to get up.
But Khan merely backhanded her once more, splitting her lip, sending her to the ground.
"Let's play this out logically, Mr. Spock," Khan continued, starting to crouch down behind Cora but staring out at Spock, smirking as he saw the man getting tenser, shaking, seeming more murderous and closer to giving in, "Firstly, I will take enormous pleasure in not just killing your beloved mate, but in ensuring she suffers a worse pain than even the Mas'heirs were capable of," he smirked as she whimpered at that thought, reaching out to grab her throat, yanking her to sit up, "How do you think your resolve will fair?" he wondered, grabbing Cora's left arm and twisting it behind her, painfully, all of them able to hear a sickening pop as he half-tore it from its socket.
Cora hunched forward, in pain, drawing her knees up, trying to will the pain away.
"If your resolve holds," Khan continued, seeing Spock shaking in anger, knowing that was EXACTLY what he needed, the Vulcan so angry that he made the mistake of doing what he demanded, "I will have no choice, but to kill you and your entire crew as well."
"If you destroy our ship, you will also destroy your own people," Spock reminded him, trying to seem like they had the upper hand, trying to keep himself from giving in or making a mistake that would lead to Cora's death.
"Your crew requires oxygen to survive, mine does not. Does your mate Spock?" he wondered, putting his arm around Cora's neck again and hauling her to her feet, applying pressure as he tried to choke her, "I will target your life support systems located Behind the arc cell. And, after every single person onboard your ship suffocates, I will walk over your cold corpses to recover my people!" he shoved Cora to the ground as she gasped for breath, coughing, "Now..." he aimed his phaser at her one more time, "Shall we begin?" he looked up to see Spock's eyes on Cora, "Or shall we drag this out…" he kicked her in the stomach, "A little," and again, "Longer…" and once more.
Cora hit the ground hard, shaking, on her stomach, panting, hardly able to breathe in…so much pain. A pain that was all too familiar to her, a pain that she hadn't expected to ever feel again…
It was like the Mas'heirs only...surprisingly...less painful.
She could hear the others as she closed her eyes, trying to push the pain away. She could hear Kirk shouting for her, Wallace crying, Spock shouting at Khan, the man laughing…
"Or shall I move onto your captain now?" Khan was asking, "Or your crew?"
She squeezed her eyes shut, her hands curling into fists…feeling…something…rising in her.
"Lower Shields," Spock ordered.
No! No, he couldn't…
Khan ran to one of the controls, seeing the torpedoes transported in, "I see, all the 72 torpedoes are still in their tubes. If they are not mine, Commander I will know it."
"Vulcans do not lie," she could hear Spock, his voice hard, angry, he was losing control, he was making mistakes…and she knew it was because of her, he and the rest of the crew would suffer because of her...because she could sense that Khan was NOT going to let them go, "The torpedoes are yours."
"Congratulations, Mr. Spock," Khan stepped away from the controls once more, moving before the viewscreen, "For making quite the illogical decision," he grinned, "I wonder why that happened," he hummed, "Either way, now that I have the torpedoes, I have no need for you or your crew…" he ran to a control, "Locking phasers," he laughed, "And to think, you have opened yourself to attack over a weak, worthless slave…"
Cora shook her head, no…no this couldn't happen…she couldn't let it happen, she couldn't let them be hurt because of her...
And then…she heard Spock's voice, a memory of what he'd once said to her in the past…
'This is not causing harm. This is…defense, this is rescue, this is…about strength. This is about you being stronger than the Mas'heirs Cora, being stronger than anyone who would wish to harm you out of a sheer desire for control and power. You ARE stronger than them. If you can face this enemy, you can face them.'
She swallowed hard, her eyes opening, "No!" she shouted, throwing out her good arm and Khan tensed, his back arching as he fell to his knees, "You are wrong," she pushed herself to her feet, looking at the man with a hard look in her eyes, "And I will NOT let you harm my family," she told him, taking a step towards him, only to stumble, her leg hurting in a phantom pain of Wallace's, but Kirk caught her, "I am not worthless, I am not a slave, and I am certainly not weak!"
Kirk watched in awe as Khan fell to the ground, his back still arched, his veins protruding in his neck, his eyes starting to roll into the back of his head and he realized…
Cora was attacking him back.
"Cora stop," he ordered her, knowing that this was going against everything she believed in to stop the man from hurting the crew, her family, "Cora!" and Cora dropped her hand and fell to the side, right into Kirk's arms, spent, "Scotty!" he shouted, "Get the transport working," he ordered, lifting Cora into his arms.
Scotty leapt to his feet, having started coming around, and ran to the controls, "Got it!"
The crew watched as the lights of the transporter wrapped around the four of them and they disappeared, Spock running out of the Bridge. Sulu looked back as Spock ran out, "Shields at 6 percent!" he shouted over the comms. to whichever captain was supposed to be in charge at the moment as the ship was fired on, Khan having recovered from Cora's attack with the girl not there to continue it, "Prepare for immediate proximity detonation!"
"What's he talking about?" Spock heard Scotty saying as he drew nearer to the transport room, "What detonation?"
"The torpedoes," Kirk called, "He armed the damn torpedoes."
"Cora!" Spock ran over to them, seeing the men coming around the corner, Cora in Kirk's arms, shaking, as Scotty helped Wallace walk, "Give her to me," he nearly growled at Kirk, who immediately handed her over, "Cora…" he spoke more gently, gazing down at her, feeling his heart both race at having her so near and slow at seeing her alive and back with him.
Cora blinked her eyes open to see Spock, "Hello," she whispered, her voice hoarse with pain.
He let his head fall, resting his forehead to hers, as he closed his eyes, connecting his mind to hers in a brief moment, needing to know she was alright.
Cora reached out to touch his face, "It is just a bit of pain," she offered him a smile, "I have lived through far worse," she managed a laugh as well, "Khan continues to underestimate me."
Spock nodded, turning to carry her to the med-bay, the Pon Farr stilled for only a moment as relief flooded him instead of adrenaline, he needed to be quick, get her help while he could still think of that and not that she was in his arms. Kirk and Scotty followed with Wallace, barely stumbling as the ship shook, the sound of explosions going off in the other ship.
"Bones!" Kirk yelled as they ran into the med-bay, "Bones!"
"Nurse!" McCoy called as a nurse and Uhura took Wallace from them, "Lay her here," McCoy moved to Spock, leading him to a small medical bed to place Cora down, "Damn it, what the hell did he do to her?"
"Underestimated her," Kirk remarked, smiling proudly at her, recalling how she had fought back...it was...amazing. Because if SHE could fight back, an 11th child, one who had been beaten and conditioned more than average for her people, then there was hope that the rest of her people could one day fight back as well. All it took was a spark to start a fire.
"Good to see you, Jim," McCoy greeted.
Kirk looked at him, "You helped Spock detonate those torpedoes?"
"Damn right I did."
"He killed Khan's crew."
"No…" Cora murmured, "They are…" she winced, trying to shift and point, only to grab her arm as she recalled it was in a great deal of pain at the moment...and rather useless, "Here…"
McCoy nodded, "Spock's cold, but he not that cold…" even with the Pon Farr, which was something, it seemed his fear for Cora had helped a bit of logical thought break through, "I've got Khan's crew," he led Kirk to the side, to another hall of the med-bay where all 72 crew members were resting, still froze in their tubes, "72 human popsicles, safe and sound in their cryo-tubes."
"Son of a bitch…" Kirk muttered.
"Um, Captain?" Scotty cut in, "If you and Commander Spock are here…who's captain on the Bridge?"
The two men looked at each other, "Mr. Spock…" Kirk began.
Spock looked at Cora, "Go," she whispered, squeezing the hand that was holding hers, "He left you in charge."
Spock swallowed hard but nodded, rushing out of the room, to stay around her any longer, knowing that she was in pain, knowing Khan did it…he could feel his anger rising, he needed a distraction...
Cora watched him go a long moment…before her world went black…
A jolt woke Cora what felt like only moments later, to see the med-bay was in a state of panic. From what she could gather from all the shouting, the ship had lost power, the warp core had something to do with it, and they were falling towards Earth. Everything was a mess, half the room was destroyed, half the ship more like it, as more and more people were injured…she could feel THAT, all over the ship people were hurt, people were dying. She groaned…when suddenly it started to stabilize, the ship starting to calm in its shaking…
She winced, looking around, feeling…a pain, a terrible, horrible pain, someone was suffering so terribly...
She flinched at it, feeling tears in her eyes, recognizing what it was, who it was. She pushed herself out of the medical bed, looking around to see no one seemed to notice her standing there, all too focused on getting things right. She turned and stumbled forward, taking a moment to gather her strength before she pushed herself on.
That pain…it was Kirk…
"Cora!" she heard someone yell as she managed to struggle her way to Engineering. She was feeling…better, stronger. Now that she was back with the crew, away from Khan, and had a moment to rest…she knew what was her own pain and what was the pain of the others. Her back was sore, her stomach hurt as did her head, but McCoy had managed to relocate her shoulder when she'd been unconscious and, all in all, she was doing ok. That was one thing to be said for Empathics, they had adapted to be remarkably quick healers given all the Mas'heirs put them through.
She looked over to see Spock running towards her, "What are you doing here?" he demanded.
She just looked at him, in tears, "James T. Kirk is in pain."
He frowned, looking around for the man, knowing it must be a terrible pain for Cora to be in tears for it, only to see Scotty standing before a door, staring at it. He walked over cautiously with Cora following, staring in horror at what lay beyond, "Open it."
"The decontamination process is not complete," Scotty shook his head, "You'll flood the whole compartment. The door is locked, sir."
Cora shook her head, "No…" she breathed, moving to the door and kneeling before it, seeing Kirk lying within, closing a tunnel door, locked in a chamber that was flooding with radiation. It was clear now why they were stable, what Kirk had done, something to get the warp core back online and working once more.
"James T. Kirk," Cora frowned, feeling tears pool more in her eyes as she felt his pain, the pain he was trying to hide, a pain he was trying not to feel, as he smiled up at her.
"Still with the…James T. Kirk, eh?" he let out a pained laugh, "Cora...just once, before I..." he groaned, "Just...call me Jim, please...just once."
Cora nodded, "Ok...Jim."
Spock moved to kneel beside her, staring at Kirk in horror as the man looked up at him, "How's our ship?"
"Out of danger," Spock replied, his throat tightening with emotion he was struggling to control with the Pon Farr reacting to his mate being upset and the upsetting situation his...friend...was in.
"Good," he nodded, "How's my girl?" he looked at Cora, "Like my sister Spock," he added, seeing Spock glare at him automatically before he could control it.
"I am…" she shook her head, she didn't know the word for it.
"You saved the crew," Spock told him.
"You used what he wanted against him," Kirk murmured, "That's a nice move."
"It is what you would have done."
"And this…" he winced, "This is what you would have done. It was only logical," he panted, looking up at them, "Help me to understand, Spock…how do you choose not to feel it?"
"I do not know," Spock whispered, struggling, starting to shake both at the weakness he saw in Kirk's eyes and how much more his mate was being upset by all of it, "Right now I am failing."
Kirk nodded, "Fail some more," he nodded at Cora, "Fail with her. She's…one of the reasons I couldn't let you die...why I went back for you. Because you're my friend, and she's my sister," he rolled his eyes to Cora, "Cora…" he wheezed, "I…don't want to ask…"
"Ask," she cut in, "I will do it...Jim."
He smiled at her for using his name, "I…I'm scared," he admitted, "Please…" he blinked, tears in his eyes, "Don't let it hurt."
She nodded, knowing he was thinking of Pike and what she'd done for him as well, before lifting a hand to rest on the window. Kirk closed his eyes, drifting off, his last moments peaceful and free of pain…
Cora let out a sob, bowing her head as she felt it, as she felt him die, felt the life leave him in a single breath, unable to block it, unable to help herself. It hurt. Kirk had always taken care of her, become like a brother to her, family was one of the most important things to an Empathic…and she had lost a member of it…
Spock stared at his fallen friend, before he reached out and placed a hand on Cora's back, she was projecting slightly, her pain, sharing it with those immediately around her. He closed his eyes, taking a breath, feeling himself shaking…his mate was in pain, his friend was dead, his mate was in pain, his crew was injured, and his mate was in pain…all because of Khan. Cora was suffering because of this, she had been trapped in an explosion and firefight, placed in the middle of a Klingon battle, dragged through an emotional onslaught, kidnapped, beaten, and now this…all because of Khan.
He opened his eyes, feeling the anger, no...feeling murder rising in him, "Khaaaaaan!" he screamed, before shoving himself to his feet and storming out of engineering, Scotty running to Cora's side to comfort her as Spock went on a clear rampage…
Spock ran onto the Bridge in time to see the Vengeance crashing to Earth, landing in the middle of a city, undoubtedly killing thousands more, but that wasn't on his mind, what was on his mind was the one person who had likely NOT been killed in the crash, "Search the enemy ship for signs of life!" he snapped the order.
"Sir, there's no way anyone survived…" Sulu began.
"He could," Spock cut in.
Sulu frowned, hearing a dangerous note in his voice, "Yes, sir…" he brought up footage of the crash…all of them watching, stunned as Khan appeared, jumping out of the ship to the ground, "Whoa, he just jumped 30 meters!"
"Can we beam him up?" Spock demanded, sounding almost as if he were snarling or barely controlling himself.
"There's too much damage," Chekov, who had returned to his position upon the arrival of Scotty, called, "I have no in coming signal. But it may be possible to beam you down, sir."
Spock didn't even hesitate, just turned to run out.
Uhura frowned, seeing him go, seeing something wrong, and ran out, "Where's Cora?" she asked, Sulu she hadn't seen the girl in the med-bay when things had calmed, but thought she'd gone with Spock, if she wasn't there or here…
"Engineering," Sulu tracked her.
Uhura nodded and ran out of the room.
"Standby for coordinates," Spock called to the transport controller as he stalked onto the pad.
"Yes sir," the man nodded.
"Enter 3517*2518," Chekov called a moment later.
Spock pulled out a phaser as the beam sent him down to Earth. He spotted Khan in the crowd and took off after him…
Uhura led Cora into the Bridge, having reached the girl in Engineering to see them…taking Kirk's body away for the med-bay, the man having died of radiation poisoning. She needed to get her to the Bridge, because she was sure something was wrong with Spock and that something was going t happen, something bad.
And sure enough, she was right. They could see the footage on the viewscreen of Spock and Khan, on top of a local shuttle, fighting, both of them viciously attacking the other, not seeming about to stop till one killed the other…
"McCoy to Bridge!" McCoy's voice came over the comms., "I can't reach Spock. I need Khan alive, you get that son of a bitch back onboard right now! I think he can save Kirk."
"Can we beam them up to the ship?" Sulu turned to Chekov.
"They keep moving," the boy shook his head, "I can't get a lock on either of them."
"Can you beam someone down?" Uhura asked.
"Send me," Cora offered.
"No," Sulu shook his head, "Cora if we send you down there Khan will kill you to get to Spock..."
"And Spock will kill him," Cora argued.
"He won't…will he?" Chekov asked.
"He's in the middle of Pon Farr," she told them, knowing they wouldn't know what it was but her tone implying it was something dangerous, "Please, he WILL kill Khan, I'm the only one he'll listen to as his mate!"
"Go," Uhura urged.
Cora nodded, rushing out of the room to the transport…
On Earth, Cora appeared on the transport unit behind Khan and Spock, the two men still fighting. She ran over and put her hand on Khan's back, Khan tensing, feeling the pain enter him. He turned, grabbing her wrist as he fought against it, but that was all she needed, physical contact to keep it going. Khan stepped towards her as she stepped back, struggling to get her to stop, trying to push past it enough to attack her…when he was smacked in the back of the head by Spock, the man bashing him with a metal beam, over and over before he grabbed the man's arm and broke it over his shoulder.
"Spock!" Cora cried, stumbling back as Khan let her go.
But Spock slammed Khan onto the shuttle and began to punch him over and over across the face.
"Spock stop!" she pleaded, but he didn't…he really was going to kill the man!
So she did the only think she could think of...she threw herself forward, lunging at Spock, tackling him back as she pressed her mouth to his, sending him as much calm as she could through the kiss, which wasn't much given the Pon Farr had reached critical levels, he was beyond stopping for too long.
"Please," she whispered, pulling away, her teal eyes begging him to listen, "He can save the captain," she told him, rolling off him and touching Khan, sending the man to sleep just as he struggled to get up again, "Beam us up!" she called…and they disappeared in a flash of light.
Spock sat up, finding himself sitting on the transport pad, Khan passed out before him, as McCoy ran in with Uhura and two other crew members to grab the man.
"Come on," Cora said, reaching out to take Spock's hand, half-dragging him to his feet and pulling him to the door, a surprising feat for someone as small as her, "We need to go."
"Where are you going?" McCoy shouted, "I need to examine you both!"
"We are going to have sex!" Cora yelled back, "Examine us later!"
McCoy just dropped Khan flat at that, the man's head thumping on the floor as McCoy stared at the door, "Did she just say…" before he shook his head, frantic, "I heard nothing!"
Uhura...just started laughing.
"Cora stop!" Spock finally managed to pull himself together, to break through the fog that had surrounded his mind from the moment Cora had kissed him on the transport unit. He blinked, realizing she'd managed to pull him all the way to their room despite the debris in the halls, and he couldn't let this happen.
"Spock..." she cut in, "I know."
He swallowed hard, knowing that Kirk had likely told her about the Pon Farr, "I cannot let you..."
"You are not my master," Cora interrupted again as he stared at her, "I am sorry if you feel the Pon Farr has taken your choice from you as to when this should happen, but I will not allow you to take that decision from me as well. You do not get to decide what I do," she let out a breath, shaking her head, "Spock...why are you trying to stop this?" she took a step closer to him, a step he didn't move back from, a step he didn't seem able to move back from.
"Your people..." he began, feeling his voice grow softer as he stared into her eyes, "Touch and...unions such as this...are sacred to them..."
"And it should have happened MONTHS ago," she added, making him blink, staring in shock, "My people, when we find the one for us," she reached up to touch his face, smiling as he automatically (and probably a good deal quicker than normal) leaned into her touch, his eyes drifting closed "We do not wait very long," she whispered, "I was waiting for YOU Spock," he looked at her and she gave a soft laugh, "You think you are the only one who...feels that?"
He gasped, feeling his body start to shake as emotions poured into him, NOT a good thing given the Pon Farr and the nature of such feelings. He could feel it, he knew she was doing what he had once asked her to do, projecting her feelings to him, allowing HIM to feel what she was feeling. And he truly could feel it, feel a burning in her almost as strongly as in him, a...desire for him. He could feel her comfort, her contentment, he could feel her acceptance and...her longing for this to happen. He felt the breath leave him as Cora moved close and pressed her lips to his.
He couldn't do it, not anymore, not after that. Because now he knew, he could feel it himself, that the Pon Farr wasn't driving her to this, he wasn't pushing her, and his ultimate fate should it not happen wasn't even a consideration. This was something she was ready for, had been waiting for, and every excuse he had had in mind for why this shouldn't happen...had been dashed. This was just...what Cora wanted. This was what his mate wanted to happen...
He couldn't refuse her, not now.
He wound his arms around her, pulling her closer as he kissed her back with a ferocity that startled a small portion of his mind, the small part that still clung to logic and rational thought, a small part that was currently being shoved into a corner and buried behind a thick door. No, this was not a time for rational thought, this...this was a time to do as Cora would, and just...feel. And now, with Cora in his arms, pressed against him, wanting him as much as he did her...
He wanted more.
He turned, blindly reaching out for the door to their room, not taking his arms or lips away from her as they stumbled through, into the dark space beyond, the door sliding shut behind them...
Two weeks later…
"He is waking up," Kirk heard Cora speak softly as he slowly blinked his eyes open, to see he was in a stark white room, McCoy, all in white, leaning over him.
"Oh don't be so melodramatic," the man said, "You were barely dead. That transfusion really took its toll. You were out cold for two weeks."
"Transfusion?" Kirk frowned.
"Your cells were heavily irradiated. We had no choice."
"Once we caught him, I synthesized a serum from his super-blood. Tell me, are you feeling homicidal? Power-mad? Despotic?"
"No more than usual. How'd you catch him?"
"I didn't," he nodded to the side, stepping away to reveal Spock and Cora standing there, Spock as stiff and straight as ever but with Cora standing close to him, her hands clasped before her as she looked up at Spock, letting him know it was more Spock's doing than someone else's.
"You saved my life?" he smiled at Spock.
"Cora and I had something to do with it too you know," McCoy remarked.
"You saved my life, Captain," Spock stepped up with Cora, Kirk eyeing how in sync they were moving, how...comfortable Spock seemed to be with Cora, more than he could recall the man ever being, "And the lives of many oth..."
"Stop," Kirk cut in, "Just…thank you."
"You are welcome, Jim."
Kirk glanced at Cora, who was smiling, beaming really, standing closer to Spock...who was FAR more relaxed (even standing as straight as he was) than he remembered the man being last time, "Someone seems happy."
"Don't…" McCoy began warningly.
"Yes," Cora answered, smiling up at Spock again as the man actually smiled back at her, "We had sex."
Kirk blinked a few times before looking at McCoy, "How much morphine did you give me?"
McCoy laughed, "I wish I'd given you that much."
Kirk shook his head, "I really don't want to know," he remarked before glancing at Spock, "You're ok now?"
"Yes," the Vulcan nodded, "As Cora said, we…"
"I really DON'T need to know!" Kirk cut in, trying to cover his ears.
"Finished our mating," Spock smirked.
Kirk shook his head, but really…he was just happy they were alright again, that Cora was healed and Spock wasn't dying.
"There will always be those who mean to do us harm, to stop them we risk awakening the same evil within ourselves. Our first instinct is to seek revenge, when those we love are taken from us. But that's not who we are. We are here today to rechristen the USS Enterprise. And to honor those who lost their lives, nearly one year ago. When Christopher Pike first gave me his ship, he had me recite the captain's oath. Words I didn't appreciate at the time. Now I see them as a call for us to remember who we once were, and who we must be again. And those words...Space, the final frontier. These are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise. Her five years mission, to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilization...to boldly go where no one has gone before."
"Captain on ze Bridge!" Chekov called as Kirk entered the Bridge, smiling as he saw Sulu sitting on the captain's chair.
"It's hard to get out of it once you've had a taste," he laughed as Sulu got up, "Isn't that right, Mr. Sulu?"
"Captain does have a nice ring to it," Sulu remarked, "The chair is all yours, sir."
"Mr. Scott, how's our core?"
"Purring like a kitten, Captain," Scotty called over the comm., "She's ready for a long journey."
"Excellent," he grinned, slapping McCoy on the arm as he passed him, "Come on, Bones, it's gonna be fun!"
"Five years in space, God help me," McCoy muttered.
"Dr. Marcus," he walked over to the blonde as she stood by one of the controls, "I'm glad you could be part of the family."
Wallace turned to him, "It's nice to have a family."
"Spock, Cora," he greeted as well, the two at Spock's post, unable to help but laugh when he saw Cora had the Tribble in her arms, petting it gently.
"Captain," Spock nodded.
"Jame…" Cora began.
"Cora," Kirk cut in.
She smiled, "Jim."
He winked at her, "Where should we go?" he asked them.
"As a mission of this duration has never been attempted..." Spock remarked, "I defer to your good judgment, Captain."
Kirk grinned, nodding as he moved to sit in his chair, looking around at the crew. He glanced at Uhura, nodding at her as she smiled back at him, before he called, "Mr. Sulu, take us out!"
"Aye, Captain," Sulu nodded, the ship taking off into their next adventure.
To be continued…in…The Body vs. the Soul!
A/N: Two things...first...lol, 'we are going to have sex!' For some reason, I could only imagine Cora just blurting that out, no idea why. Second, I can't believe it's over! O.O I'm so sad :'( But still sort of happy that it's completed and that there WILL be another story to come in the series :) This series will be put on hold till the next movie comes out and then will pick up again :) After that I have an original sort of 'finishing' story that should tie up the entire Archives series, but we'll have to wait till the next movie for it ;) If there is no next movie (though I've heard there is) then once it's confirmed, I'd continue with the last story in its place ;)
I just want to say thank you all :) All of you who read/favorited/followed/reviewed/enjoyed this story/series :) I'm really glad that you've all liked it so far and I hope that you'll enjoy any future stories to come both in this series and my Kirk/OC (coming out 2014). I'm truly touched that you like it and I just wanted to say thanks :) You guys are one of the reasons I write and I love you all :')
For anyone who's interested, check tomorrow for a Loki/OC story ;)
Some notes on reviews...(I'll answer any that might pop up for this chapter at the start of the next installment of the Archives ;))...
The Khan/OC might happen, but it would probably be only 1 story, and probably won't be up (if I do it) till after the Kirk/OC. But I'll definitely announce near the end of that one if I'll be doing one for Khan ;)
The Loki/OC story will be up bright and early (for me anyway, 6:45 am EST) tomorrow ;)
I hope you liked the Tribble, Cora's definitely keeping it :)
I hope you enjoyed the little bit of butt whooping Cora gave Khan ;)
Yup, I did the USS Vengeance falling to Earth (even if it was a passing remark), but Spock totally HAD to beat Khan, I sort of felt like, even seeing Kirk dying, Spock's reaction was a bit extreme...but the Pon Farr explained that ;)
Lol, yup, the story's over today! :( I'm glad you're excited for the future stories :)
Little bit more here about her thoughts mating to him ;) I agree, that'll be a theme for the next story, them communicating in words :) It's like, he can read her mind but thinking isn't the same as feeling (like Kirk said) and she can feel him but that doesn't mean she knows what he's thinking :) I hope you liked Cora's reaction and decision about the Pon Farr and the mating ;)
Thank YOU for reading every day :) And thanks! I love you too :)