DISCLAIMER: The Star Trek characters are the property of Paramount Studios, Inc. The story contents are the creation and property of Karen A. Bates and is reprinted from Nuages One, published by Checkmate Press, April 1983. Checkmate Press is the property of Karen A. Bates. This story is Rated PG-13.


Karen A. Bates-Crouch

Spock sat in the solitude of his quarters in his ornate chair, fingers steepled in meditation. The hour was late, but that had no bearing or influence on the thoughts racing through his mind.

Sargon and Thalassa were gone ... somewhere ... into oblivion perhaps, leaving only the memory of their presence behind and Henoch was destroyed, permanently. Time had passed so swiftly since the initial encounter with the noncorporeal entities on Arret, sweeping him inexorably along, yet leaving him to drift endlessly in a stationary time passage in its wake.

Kirk and Mulhall had returned to their duties immediately, seemingly unchanged and untouched by the experience. Why could he not do the same? Had their lives been so finite, so filled, that nothing could alter their perceptions? The nebulous disembodiment of being contained within the spheres had been enlightening to the Vulcan in ways inconceivable to the humans.

To become sheer mental energy, conscious of the outside world because of innate telepathic abilities, to focus inward on the many things that had required such intense concentration, he'd been unable to accomplish this before. The freedom from outward restrictions of body and societal boundaries imposed at every turn, was now realized. It had been a powerful temptation to remain where he was and let Henoch retain the body he coveted so much. Henoch did not realize he was free to do so and felt the need to kill Kirk and Sargon to attain his goal.

He had "observed" the wonderment Henoch experienced when awakened in a surrogate body that was superior to all those around it. His body ... Spock frowned at the memories dredged up by the thought of the other man inhabiting his body. Black shadows cast upon the wall by the glowing flame pot shifted in twisting patterns, harmless yet menacing. Would those shadows tell what they had seen? Would they speak of the unspeakable? Sargon had ruthlessly wrenched Spock from the receptacle and placed his consciousness inside of Christine. Christine had been unaware of the transference because of the protective shielding that allowed Spock to use her sensory inputs as his own, but guarding his presence from Henoch who was still controlling her through a hypnosis screen of his own.

* * *

The lab where Christine had sequestered herself was empty; privacy was the one thing she truly craved in this isolated haven of humanity. There was still a half hour until the next injection time. She shook her head at the odd nagging feelings that always came when she thought of the coded containers given her by Henoch. It also bothered her to have blank spots in her usually flawless memory. After this mess was over, she would have to ask McCoy for a checkup and trace the cause.

Spock knew Henoch had entered the lab before Christine was aware of his presence. Before she could speak or move, he was beside her, the barrier erected by Sargon carefully buffering Spock from the groping tendrils of Henoch's mind. Christine moved as an automaton, following his every order as he guided her down the corridor to a cabin coded for the First Officer.

The door whispered shut behind them, the locking mechanism was activated automatically as usual. Henoch dialed the lights to dim as he led Christine over to the desk console, laying the hairpins, plucked from her hair, upon its polished surface. Unsatisfied by her lack of response, he retraced the pathways into her mind and altered the hold to mirror his own responses.

Christine? There was no reply, but Spock continued to try and reach her, failing in the attempt. Spock could see through her eyes, hear with her ears, feel the same sensations as she felt, but could not initiate any actions of his own or reach her consciousness.

He could see his own face, yet it was not quite like looking into a mirror for the image was not a reflection. The expression on the face was smiling, but the eyes held a coolness that ran ever so deep. His hands were running over Christine's body, gentle yet demanding in their touch.

No, this isn't happening, it can't be real, he told himself over and over. The face came closer as Henoch pressed his lips against Christine's. After leaving her lips, they traced a line down her throat, sending small shivers through her body. Stop. I will not feel this. I am a Vulcan and therefore impervious.

Equation after mathematical equation passed through his empirical mind in his quest for a diversion from that which he could not control. Was it not enough that Henoch was using HIS body for such base desires? Did it have to be Christine that was to be his unwilling recipient in this game he was playing?

Long fingers loosened her uniform at the hidden seamline and eased it to the floor. His own shirt followed immediately. She could do nothing to stop the passions rising within her caused by Henoch's control of her. Spock could sense the confusion inside her needing resolution, but had to stand by helplessly as the shadows formed and dissipated at will. The man holding her so closely became Roger, so well known and remembered, but lost forever. The features then dissolved into the faceless entity of her many dreams and fantasies. All track of time was lost as the sensations of his lovemaking pulled her along. Gradually the image cleared and the satanic lines of Spock's face came into view directly above her own. Wordlessly she rose from the bed, freed from the entrapment of his body, and went immediately to the shower. It was time for the next injection.

* * *

Spock's hands clenched with buried rage as he recalled the smile on Henoch's (his own face) as he'd reclined against the wall watching Christine's movements as she prepared to leave.

Did she remember the events of the afternoon as they'd really happened, or was there just a foggy haze of false images left behind by Henoch's hypnosis? Was she aware of how basely she'd been used by the man with whom she thought herself in love? Would the fact that it was Henoch and not Spock make it better, or worse?

What of his own feelings and reactions? There had been no control on his part, he'd been swept along with her. The sensations and pains and pleasures had been mutual. He couldn't even remember at which point he'd stopped being spectator and become participant.

Could he have been wrong all these years to deny himself the many facets of a relationship with a woman? Yet, to exclude such things from his life was just another aspect of the path he'd chosen those many years ago. Should he place this experience with the other ones so carefully tucked away and ignored in the back of his mind, or ... or what? How do you admit to someone you were there while a man inhabiting your body used hers for his own pleasure, without her permission?

Perhaps it would be better to simply act as if nothing had ever happened, to continue their nonexistent relationship of nurse and First Officer, pretending each other was unconscious of the game they played year after year. As long as she remained unaware of the events, there was no reason to change the status quo. There need be no confrontation, no admittance of things that should never have been, no ... anything.

Spock roused himself from the wanderings his mind was taking at the sound of his door buzzer.

"Come." It must be Jim coming by on his late night rounds to discuss things.

"Spock." It was Christine's voice. She was here, with him. "I want to talk to you."