2265

Refugee Ship - Space

"…ETA to New Vulcan, 7.2 days," a toneless voice echoed over the barely functioning intercom unit.

While many of the half-Romulan, half-Vulcan refugees murmured quietly amongst themselves and remained in their seats, eager to start new lives on a safe planet after the Klingons had forcibly annexed their old world within Romulan Space, two young girls were standing at the port side window.

Since the creation of the Romulan-Klingon Alliance, life had become difficult for those half-human, half-Vulcan residents who had been living wherever they could since the destruction of Vulcan.

Such planets had been taken over by the Klingon Defense Force since the alliance had been forged and the inhabitants had been forcibly removed to live on shuttles in space. One such ship was carrying at least a hundred refugees and was on course for New Vulcan in the hopes of being welcome there.

Half-Vulcans and Vulcans mingled among each other, treating each other with the upmost respect and courtesy because of their similar circumstances. Children made the best of their situation by playing together in groups while exhausted and wounded parents meditated and talked with each other.

One woman, however, stood apart from the others and spent most of her time gazing out the window into the endless space while she held a small half-Vulcan girl in her arms that was covered in a ragged dress. A small half-Vulcan child with dark hair in a similar dress stood near the woman silently.

"Mother, Saavik must not sleep much longer," the girl spoke in a concerned voice. "I am tired as well."

The woman silently sat on a bench just below the window and gently shook the girl in her arms awake, biting her lip expectantly as the girl opened her eyes, "Saavik, you must have something to eat," she said in a soothing voice as she reached into her pocket and pulled out some bread. "Valeris, take some."

"Mother, there will not be enough for both you and us," Valeris replied tonelessly. "You will starve."

Sadness filled the eyes of the woman, "Many are already at the point of starvation, but we must do what we can with what we have," she replied tonelessly as she handed the bread to the girls. "Eat."

"I am uneasy being in unclaimed space," Saavik spoke in a quiet voice as she nibbled at the bread given to her by her mother. "Anyone could come here and try to hurt us if they wanted to, you know."

Valeris scowled as she nibbled her bread, "T'Kia, how are your children faring?" an elderly voice asked.

T'Kia looked up just in time to see T'Meni, an old friend of hers who had been living amongst them since before the alliance was formed, come towards her with a baby in her arms, "Tuvok is finally quiet," T'Meni commented in a strangely emotional voice. "This trip has been difficult on my control…"

"I understand, old friend," T'Kia replied tonelessly. "Saavik and Valeris are also uneasy about it."

An alarm suddenly sounded, "We are being approached by a Romulan warbird," a toneless voice reported. "Please report to the escape pods immediately and prepare for evacuation."

"T'Meni, take Tuvok and the girls with you," T'Kia spoke in a faint voice. "I cannot come."

Valeris frowned as she stood up, "Mother, you must!" she shouted in a voice of utter fear.

Without warning, a blast rocked through the ship and both smoke and fire filled the dilapidated ship as the many refugees began to make their ways to the pods as quickly as they could. Frightened, Valeris grabbed Saavik's hand and dragged her in the direction of the pods, having lost sight of T'Meni.

"Go in the pod, Saavik," Valeris ordered in an anxious voice. "I will go back for our mother."

Saavik didn't move, however, and the ship suddenly rocked violently, "GO!" Valeris yelled.

Shaking with fear she didn't know she was capable of having, Saavik moved into the pod and was alarmed when the corridor suddenly exploded, "VALERIS!" she screamed, fighting the urge to vomit as she pressed the hatch button so that she wouldn't become injured. "Oh, Valeris, no…"

As the pod launched into space, Saavik sank against the hatch and closed her eyes in utter defeat for only a moment before remembering that there was a communications terminal on board each of the pods. Quickly composing herself, she moved over to the terminal and began composing a message.


Radiation Therapy Center – Moscow, Russia, Earth – 1000 H

The corridor was quiet as Leonard stepped out of the small cubicle with a gown, scrub pants, a flimsy housecoat, and thin slippers covering his body. A key to a locker holding his clothes, shoes, and other personal items was clenched in his left fist while his stylus of required paperwork was in his right.

Letting out a tired sigh, Leonard sat down on a row of chairs just outside the cubicle and began to silently fill out the paperwork that he had been given upon checking into the facility for his appointment that morning. He was both relieved and nervous at being alone, but he hadn't told anyone the exact day of his appointment, not even Arianne. It was only written on a calendar in his private study at home.

Leonard was so deep in concentration filling out the form that he didn't hear footsteps approach him and he didn't notice someone sit down next to him, "I believe the form will ask for an emergency contact should complications happen during the procedure," a toneless voice suddenly spoke.

Frowning, Leonard looked up from the stylus and was surprised to see Spock sitting beside him in a dark pantsuit and boots, "I was sent here to ensure that you would have adequate supervision after the procedure," Spock stated tonelessly. "Arianne was of the impression that the procedure would be performed while you were under general anesthesia and you would need supervision for the next…"

"I forgot about that," Leonard replied softly. "I told Arianne about the procedure, but not when it was."

Spock nodded, "Indeed," he replied tonelessly. "Captain Kirk was also made aware of the date of your procedure and apologizes for not coming himself, but travelling a great distance across the world is beyond his financial capacity at this time. He did however, recommend that I travel here in his place."

"Did Jim or Arianne tell anyone why I went on a trip?" Leonard asked in a nervous voice.

Spock slowly shook his head and Leonard let out a sigh of relief as he turned his attention back to filling out the form to the best of his ability, "I'll let the kids know after I'm in the clear," Leonard replied.

"I have procured a rental vehicle and lodging for the evening since Arianne indicated that this was merely a day procedure, but you will not be cleared for shuttle travel until tomorrow," Spock stated tonelessly as Leonard finished up the chart. "President Pike also sends his well wishes for you."

Leonard nodded and sighed as he heard squeaking shoes approach, "Leonard McCoy?" a sweet voice suddenly spoke. "I'm Jeanette Picard and I've been assigned to get you prepped for today,"

Looking up, Leonard was relieved to see that the nurse, who was clad in pink scrubs and sneakers, was about the same age as his mother and had light blonde hair that was short and curly, "Yeah, all right," he replied, swallowing hard as he stood up and handed the chart to her. "This is Commander Spock…"

"Oh, excellent, Doctor Bashir was concerned that you wouldn't have post-surgery supervision," Nurse Picard spoke in a relieved tone as she tucked the chart under her arm. "If you'll follow me, please."

Leonard silently followed Nurse Picard into a curtained area where a prepped gurney waited, "Don't I have to drink that stuff first so that any remaining radiation or any damage will be visible during the radi-scope?" he asked as he lay down on the gurney and looked up at the ceiling. "Last time…"

"It's been a few years and considering you nearly threw up when you had to drink the Illuminate, Doctor Bashir thought it wiser to inject it into your bloodstream after you were unconscious," Nurse Picard replied in an amused voice, giving him an encouraging smile. "Commander Spock, will you be…?"

Leonard was surprised, but gratified, to see Spock at his bedside, "My stuff's in a locker and here's the key," he spoke gruffly, offering the key to Spock. "You should be comfortable in the waiting area…"

"Doctor, fear is a normal reaction under these circumstances," Spock spoke tonelessly. "However, it is also not logical that you should assume something will be amiss until after the procedure is done."

Leonard sighed, but nodded, "Unless you require accompaniment into the procedure, I will take up residence in the waiting area," Spock stated, raising an eyebrow as Leonard shook his head. "Very well."

As Spock silently left the curtained area, Leonard closed his eyes to try and relax his anxious mind.


Main Floor - Golden Gate Apartments – San Francisco, California – 2200 H

A man wearing a hooded trenchcoat approached the building and smirked, realizing that this was it.

After months of research into who had been visiting the facility where his blood was stored and used to help those on the brink of death, the man had found where one of the visitors lived. A shuttle was parked down the street and could easily be taken for a delivery vehicle, so there were no concerns.

Taking great care to be quiet, the man slipped into the building and silently moved through the common area, exercise area, and laundry facilities before hearing a humming sound coming from down a hallway.

Quickly ensuring that his weapon was fully charged, the man silently moved down the hallway and paused outside a door, silently watching as his target sat at a table beside a young Vulcan boy with PADDs scattered all over the table. Grinning maliciously, the man silently entered the library.

"Mister Chekov, it's been a long time," the man said, smirking at Pavel's look of horror.

Eyes wide, Pavel stood and shielded Lorian, "I never forget a face," the man spoke craftily.

"Ensign Chekov, who is this individual?" Lorian asked as he gazed up at the unknown man.

Pavel trembled, "Thees man keeled my fazzer," he replied anxiously. "Go upstairs now."

"Nobody's going anywhere," the man replied as he unholstered his weapon and aimed it at both Pavel and Lorian before setting it to stun. "Mister Chekov, perhaps you will come with me willingly?"

Desperate to protect Lorian, Pavel growled and lunged at the man, but was quickly caught in a rough headlock. Lorian took the opportunity to get up, but the man quickly shot him twice in the leg, sending the half-Vulcan teenager to the floor in a heap. The man then shot Pavel, quickly stunning him.

"Who are you that you would stun Ensign Chekov and cause harm to myself?" Lorian asked tonelessly, gritting his teeth as he struggled with the pain in his injured leg. "He has done nothing to you."

The figure chuckled softly, "Be grateful, Vulcan child, that I have spared you," he replied in a cold, calculating voice as he aimed his weapon at the light and fired. "My name is Khan Noonien Singh."

Lorian cringed as the lights exploded, showering sparks down on him and creating an instant fire.

As the fire grew, Khan holstered his weapon and picked Pavel's limp form up as if Pavel were merely a life-sized rag doll, "Remember your lessons well, Vulcan child," he hissed before fleeing the library.

Shaking madly, Lorian quickly took a communicator out of his pocket, "Father?" he spoke into it.


"Father?"

Jim's eyes popped open and his hand immediately went to the communicator that he kept on the bedside along with his glasses and a glass of water, "Lorian?" he asked in a groggy voice.

"Father, I am in need of help," Lorian's pain-filled, hoarse voice replied. "I am in the library."

Alarmed at what could have happened, Jim shot out of bed and hurried into the smaller bedroom where George was asleep in his bed, "George, wake up," he said in an anxious voice, cringing as pain from old injuries suddenly shot up his thin body. "George, Lorian's in the library and he needs my help."

Suddenly, the fire alarm began to beep and flash, nearly deafening and blinding Jim and the slowly waking George, "All residents please proceed to evacuation points," an automated voice spoke. "The appropriate rescue services have been notified and are en route to the building. This is not a drill."

Swearing loudly, Jim pulled George out of bed and held the boy close as he ran to the door, barely managing to grab his key card, ID card, and communicator on the way out. He made his way through the small crowd of people and nearly ran into Hikaru as he headed towards the emergency stairwell.

"Jim, what…?" Hikaru asked in a shocked voice, gaping at Jim as he handed George over to him.

Jim panted, "Lorian's in the library and I think he's hurt," he replied in an anxious voice. "Take George and my communicator, get outside, and call Pike," he replied in an anxious voice, shoving the communicator into Hikaru's hand. "George, listen to Uncle Hikaru, okay? Daddy's gotta get Lorian."

Before Hikaru could reply, Jim tore off through the crowd towards the stairwell that would take him right next to the library, "Daddy!" George shouted, seeing Jim disappear into the crowd. "Daddy!"

"Come on, George," Hikaru said in an anxious voice as he continued towards the emergency stairwell.


McCoy Household

The sound of fire engines woke Arianne from a restful sleep and she hurried over to the window just in time to see two rescue vehicles speed down the street past her house and in the direction of the Golden Gate Apartments. Thoughts of Jim, Pavel, and Hikaru somehow being hurt suddenly crossed her mind.

Swallowing hard, Arianne moved over to the communicator just as the doorbell rang. Deeply unnerved as to who would come calling at such a late hour, she silently moved over to the door and peered through the keyhole. Strangely enough, nothing was there; yet, she felt extremely uneasy.

"Mommy?"

Arianne turned and saw Zachary standing behind her with a worried expression on his face, "Mommy, I heard something outside of my window," Zachary said in a quiet voice. "Someone was talking to me."

"Talking to you?" Arianne asked in a concerned voice as she walked over to Zachary. "Really?"

Zachary nodded and hugged Arianne's legs, "They said that they knew I was at a hospital and that I'm special," he replied in a scared voice. "Mommy, I'm really scared. I don't like being special."

Deeply unnerved, Arianne picked Zachary up, carried him over to the couch near the staircase, and sat down with him on her lap. Zachary whimpered and began to cry loudly into his mother's shoulder.


Starfleet Presidential Mansion

A loud beeping filled the room and woke both Chris and Kathryn from sleep, but only Kathryn got up from the semi-elevated bed to answer the vid-phone, leaving Chris laying underneath the sheets.

"This is First Lady Pike," Kathryn spoke in a quiet voice as she realized the video wouldn't activate.

There was a cough, "This is Lieutenant Sulu," an anxious, hoarse voice replied. "Where's Chris?"

Frowning, Chris elevated the bed and quickly pressed a few buttons so that his lift came over to the bed and slid his frame out from underneath the covers, revealing his Starfleet-issue pajamas. He programmed the lift to move him closer to Kathryn and the communications terminal.

"Sulu, what's happened?" Chris asked in a concerned voice. "Why do you sound so winded?"

Hikaru's voice gasped, "Good, they got him out," he said in a relieved voice. "Sir, someone broke into the building, shot Lorian, and set the library on fire. I'm just trying to find Pavel; hang on a sec…"

The line suddenly went dead and Kathryn's eyes widened in horror as Chris ended the communication and then dialed his aides, "This is President Christopher Pike speaking and I am requesting a Security shuttle be ready to go to the Golden Gate Apartments in thirty minutes," he spoke in a commanding voice, all thoughts of sleep forgotten. "I want a full report of what's going on down there."

"I'll get you your uniform, Chris," Kathryn stated in an anxious voice. "They'll need you at Starfleet Headquarters."

Grateful for such an understanding wife, Chris nodded and quietly dialed the number for Starfleet Headquarters.


Radiation Therapy Center – Moscow, Russia, Earth – 1200 H

Spock raised an eyebrow as he came down the corridor into the Recovery area and saw Leonard lying unconscious on a gurney that was equipped with an attached monitor with a gown and blanket covering his body while a dripline was in his left hand, "It's all right, Commander," a calming, accented voice said.

"Has Doctor McCoy shown any signs of regaining consciousness?" Spock asked in a toneless voice.

There was silence and a young man with dark, cropped hair and tan skin came into view wearing boots and a surgical suit, "I'm Doctor Tali Bashir," he said in a calm voice. "You must be Commander Spock."

"I am," Spock replied as his gaze drifted to Leonard. "How long until Doctor McCoy wakes?"

Dr. Bashir smiled, "Leonard woke up briefly about half an hour ago, but wasn't very coherent," he explained in an official voice. "There were no complications during the radi-scan and the Illuminate shouldn't produce any side effects, but he'll probably spend the day in and out of sleep."

"I have procured a hovercar and a hotel room for when Doctor McCoy is ready to be released so that he may rest without interruption until he is ready to return to San Francisco," Spock explained tonelessly.

Dr. Bashir nodded and Leonard suddenly groaned, but didn't open his eyes, "I'm gonna be sick," Leonard moaned in a groggy voice as he began to cough and his eyelids fluttered. "I need something…"

"Easy now, Leonard," Dr. Bashir replied in a calming voice as he walked over to Leonard's bedside, quickly elevated the bed, and stuck an old fashioned bedpan under Leonard's chin. "Go ahead…"

Leonard promptly vomited clear fluid into the bedpan and sighed sleepily, "That helped," he replied groggily, immediately sinking into the bed right before he drifted back to sleep. "Thanks…"

"Get some rest, Leonard," Dr. Bashir replied calmly. "Commander Spock, do you have a moment?"

Spock nodded and followed Dr. Bashir several yards away from the gurney, "Once Leonard was in Recovery, I took the liberty of putting together a list of aftercare instructions," Dr. Bashir explained as he reached into his pocket, pulled out a PADD, and offered it to Spock. "Make sure he walks around a bit, but not unsupervised until the anesthetic is out of his system. He also should eat two light meals."

"Understood," Spock replied, taking the PADD. "When will the doctor know the results?"

Dr. Bashir sighed, "A couple of days if there's nothing to indicate any problems," he replied softly.

Spock nodded and silently turned to watch Leonard sleep as Dr. Bashir walked off down the corridor.


Mimas Preservatory Facility – Mimas, Saturn

"What do you mean Khan escaped your facility?!" Jeris's voice roared angrily. "That is impossible!"

Dr. Sonak, who had suffered a minor injury when Khan had broken free of his 'hospital room', grabbed the console to steady himself, "Khan is a strong individual," he replied in a toneless voice. "He…"

"I wash my hands of this, Sonak," Jeris snapped angrily. "I want you to take care of handling this."

The screen went black and Sonak wasted no time in gathering what he could and hurrying to the nearest shuttle in the small port that was attached to the facility. If Khan could run, he could also flee for his life.

Powering up the shuttle and opening the doors took no time at all and as the shuttle lifted off and began to cruise through space, Sonak quickly sent a message to Admiral Marcus that explained the current situation; it was, after all, Marcus who had founded the station so to study Andrei Chekov's discoveries.

"You will not find me, Khan," Sonak stated in a toneless voice as he quickly plotted a course that would take him to the area of space where the Alpha Centauri colony and the planet Deneva, both formidable Starfleet outposts that had the ability to withstand Khan if he ever came that far, were located.

Hopefully, Sonak silently reasoned, Khan would have no reason to go any further than the Sol System.


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