There And Back Again: Recollections From My Life in the Fleet

Title: There And Back Again: Recollections From My Life In The Fleet Author: T'Bitch ( Word Count: 2153 Series: TOS Rating: PG Summary: a follow-up to "Simple Logic" because you asked. And because I can. Author's notes: I realize I keep mentioning Shvah (he was in In Medias Res 2, iirc). I promise someday I'll get around to introducing him properly and explain what is going on with him. I know when people read that line they'll say, "What the hell are you trying to pull, T'Bitch?" But here's a hint - he's not really Spock's kid. And by now everyone is saying "What the hell?" because this author's note won't make sense until after you read the story. Ach. Fuhgeddaboutit cheers, T'Bitch *** Excerpt from an interview with T'Nar "Nora" DeFoe, originally broadcast stardate 45020.4 on Galactic Public Radio Interview conducted by Gabriel Brahe (GB). GB: I'm speaking with T'Nar DeFoe, author of the new book "There and Back Again: Recollections From My Life in the Fleet." Now, T'Nar- T'Nar DeFoe: Call me Nora, please. GB: Nora, You were one of the first Vulcans to serve in Star Fleet, weren't you? TD: Yes, although strictly speaking I'm not a full Vulcan. GB: You're part Betazoid, right? TD: Indeed. I suppose you want my CV, don't you. GB: If you don't mind. TD: Ok, briefly...born on Betazed to the Vulcan ambassador and his wife, a Betazoid translator, grew up mostly on Earth, went to medical school and then enlisted in Starfleet...I served as a doctor under CMO Leonard McCoy onboard the USS Enterprise NCC-1701, then I spent several years at the academy working with Doctor McCoy in his lab. He returned to the Enterprise and stayed on when they gave Kirk the 1701A, while I went to Vulcan and worked in the hybrid division of the science academy. I published several works on the philosophical ramifications of hybridization that were not well received on Vulcan but were popular in the rest of the federation. Later, Dr. McCoy and I were responsible for most of the textbooks on Vulcan hybrid health and anatomy, which along with a paper he published on "genetic stagnation" were responsible for launching what is known on Vulcan as the long boom, a period of approximately fifty years when the number of Vulcan hybrids more than tripled. Long story short, wrote another book, hit the bestseller list, and here I am. GB: (laughs) You act very demure about all of it, though some might say you've changed the course of history. TD: When it's your life it doesn't look as impressive as all that. I was just doing what needed to be done, and occasionally I was in the right place at the right time. As for history, who can say for sure. Without my colleges, I certainly wouldn't have accomplished half of what I did. GB: Anyone you care to acknowledge? TD: Well, Dr. Leonard McCoy, of course, a legend of sorts...Shvah Cha'Spock and Dr. Joy BlackOwl, his daughter-in-law and her husband...ah...certainly my parents had something to do with the whole thing, and Ambassador Sarek and the Lady Amanda...all the early pioneers on the social front, really. And Ambassador Spock deserves a lot of credit, though if you asked him he would say otherwise. GB: Ah yes, Ambassador Spock, the man around whom multiple legends revolve...your book does not help to dispel them, by the way. TD: (laughing) I know, I don't want to make it too easy for everyone. GB: But you knew and worked closely with him for many years, correct? TD: Yes, of course. We served together on the Enterprise for many years. GB: Were you present at his fal-tor-pan? TD: Yes. GB: What was it like? TD: Gave me a blinding migraine for three days. I was very cranky and my husband was not at all pleased. GB: Your husband - Ronit, is that correct? - is he also a hybrid? TD: Ronit, yes. He's actually pureblood Vulcan. GB: Has that been difficult, being empathic and married to him? TD: Challenging would be a better word I think. Marriage to any Vulcan has its own distinct challenges, as I'm sure Dr. McCoy would tell you. GB: You are alluding, of course, to the famous ship-board romance between him and Mr. Spock. I noticed in your book you only mentioned it a few times before the...incident that ended with Spock's fal-tor-pan. Why is that? TD: For the most part that was how it was. Nobody knew about it for a long time- GB: Except you? TD: Well...As I said earlier, right-place-right-time. GB: I found that story in the book very favorite story was the one about how the news broke. TD: A lot of people liked that one. Len was very surprised when I told him. GB: Would you mind reading it for us? TD: I suppose I could manage that. (clears throat). "T'Nar?" came the voice from behind me, and I knew who it was without looking. Only one person on the ship called me by my Vulcan name, and he wasn't really someone I was anxious to run into at that moment. Not that I was anxious to run into anyone after seven hours of surgery, part of it being performed on most of the the command crew and my direct superior, the chief medical officer. I turned, trying to keep the fatigue and annoyance out of my face. "Yes?" He blinked, the only sign that he was taken aback by something in the look I was giving him. "You are unwell?" "I am very tired, Spock." "I see." He paused for a moment, then continued. In anyone else I would have disregarded it, but in a Vulcan everything is calculated and it's important to pay attention to little things like that. "I must ask you a question." "By all means." "Have you noticed the crew behaving strangely?" I rubbed my forehead. "Most of the time. That's why I wound up fixing four of the Captain's broken ribs this morning and repairing several of Doctor McCoy's internal hemorages." I fixed him with a stare, using his own pause technique against him. "To say nothing of what I had to do to you. Honestly, what-" "I have already received this lecture from you, and from Dr. McCoy, and from several of the nurses, though I believe the Captain bore the brunt of the medical staff's anger." His tone was more amused than aggravated. "That, however, is not what I was referring to. Over the past few days I have noticed crew members breaking off conversations when I enter a room and more than the usual number of furtive looks across the mess hall." "Humans are sometimes weird about things, Spock. You know that." "Have you...sensed anything amiss?" That was surprising. My empathic talents, small as they are, were a subject Spock preferred to ignore. In his mind I was as Vulcan as he was, and he was more Vulcan than the folks back home. Or something like that. "Not really, but I haven't had time to meditate lately. If you'd like me to keep an eye on the situation, I will, though." "An eye...yes, that would be more than adequate." "I'll keep you apprised. After my nap." I looked at him again. "I suggest you get some rest as well. Good night." The dismissal would have upset my mother no end. My father would have taken it as read and retreated to his library to nap or study. Spock, somewhere in between, recognized the annoyance in my voice but dismissed it, and returned to his quarters. Several hours later I returned to sickbay. The Captain and his chief medical officer were involved in a game of chess using a standard board set on a table between their beds. "You two should be resting." "Come on, Doc," Jim said, batting his eyes at me, "just let us loose already." Doc' was what he called me, just as McCoy was 'Bones'. I was pretty keen on letting them out, because otherwise I'd never get a break, but it's hard to resist the temptation to have a bit of fun at Jim Kirk's expense. I took my time checking his readouts, finally fixing him with a stoney look that would have done Spock proud. "I'm not sure I can let you go yet, Captain. Your electrolyte levels are still dangerously unbalanced. I'm not sure I can trust you not to overexert yourself." "I'll take the next shift off." "Next two duty shifts, then return to partial only." He scowled like a child but couldn't tell from the look on my face whether or not I meant it. Finally he sighed. "Alright. Next two shifts." I nodded. "Go change." He all but jumped off the biobed and shuffled past me to the empty exam room with a uniform replicator. I waited until his back was turned to grin at Leonard. "I wasn't sure that would work." "Incredible, just incredible." He chuckled to himself while I checked his instrument readouts. "So how'm I doin', Doc?" "Well enough, considering. I'm willing to release you if you can find someone to stay with you for a couple hours. The Captain will just find additional discomfort in excessive movement, but I don't want you reinjuring yourself. You know as well as I do that internal contusions can take quite a while to heal." The Captain, now clad in his gold shirt and black trousers, shuffled by us, mouthing good luck' at Bones, and left. A moment later Spock entered and stood by the foot of the bed, at attention and waiting for something...probably my full attention. "Ah, perfect. Mr. Spock, would you mind helping Dr. McCoy back to his quarters and sitting with him for a few hours?" A look passed between them which I pretended not to see. "Wonderful. There's my problems solved. I'll just go finish up the paperwork." I heard Len laughing as I disappeared into my office. *** I had been in the mess hall for nearly an hour composing a letter to Ronit when Spock entered. He ordered a salad and took it to an empty table and sat there, immersed in some article he had loaded on his padd. He was right - the atmosphere in the room had changed. When Spock had first confronted me about the problem I had formed several theories. The most prominent of those revolves around an understanding of Vulcan sexuality that very few people have , so I will endeavor to explain. The adult male Vulcan is a dangerous beast, especially so when unbonded. They don't quite exude pheromones like Deltans do, but they tend to have a certain unconscious affect on others. Even I, as a bonded woman, was not immune to his charms - I found him, and still do, devilishly handsome, if fairly annoying at times. Human women -and men- who are unaware of the magnetism someone like him possesses, can wind up in all sorts of bad situations. Because of this, it is very unusual to have an unbonded Vulcan past the age of the first pon-farr. Several months previously Spock had gone from being bonded to being single, and the crew had noticed the change. None of them could put a finger on what the change was, but they knew it was there. Only Spock and I, and I believe Dr McCoy, knew what was going on. Over the next few months, though no one had known, the two of them had begun a bond. And the crew once again didn't know what it was, but they knew something was up. I heard someone say something behind me that caught my attention and concentrated. "I think it's the lesser professor. She's the right species, at least." The lesser professor was a nickname some of the crew used towards me when they were annoyed with me. Some of them were annoyed all the time. "No, she's married. It's gotta be the Captain." "You're both wrong," said a third voice. "It's gotta be Uhura." It took me only a moment to put two and two together, and less time to tap out a short message to my fellow Vulcan and send it via the ship's wireless network to his padd. I watched the surprised look run across his face in less time than it would take to name it, and then he glanced up and nodded slightly at me in acknowledgement. Problem solved, I thought. A few minutes later Doctor McCoy walked in and ordered a cup of coffee. Half the people in the mess hall, myself included, watched as he carried it over to the table where Spock was seated and put it down next to him. He started to say something that began, "So, Spock, how's the-" and then Spock stood up and kissed him. It wasn't tentative or questioning as many in the room had expected it to be, but confident, the sort of kiss delivered by a man who knew what he was doing and rather enjoyed it. As they broke apart, McCoy muttered something, I think it was, "fascinating." Spock picked up his data padd and walked out calmly, hand in hand with the good doctor. As the doors slid closed in their wake the room burst into applause. GB: Thank you, Nora. For those of you tuning in, Im speaking with Nora DeFoe, and we'll be right back after this brief pause for station identification.