LEGAL DISCLAIMER: Other people own Star Trek. I'm just goofing around in the toy box. This idea, in its beginning form, came from Ree'sha. She is not to blame for what I ultimately do with the story. Any original characters and situations belong to me ... for what that's worth.

 

Chronicle

by DebbieB

I'm not sure where to start. Spock could probably tell me the stardate. Dates are so subjective here, anyway. Each time another jerk decides to take over the place, he or she (chew on that one, you chauvinist bastards!) changes the entire calendar. Today is day sixty-two Year One of Shavahl. Tomorrow might usher in the glorious two week Year of T'Viyah, for all I know.

I could pretend this is a letter. Dear Future Vulcans. Nope, can't go there. Right now, if I tried to seriously use the words "dear" and "Vulcans" in a sentence, I'd choke on my own spit and die on the spot. Nope, that's out.

The logical thing (ugh, can't believe I wrote that) would be to write a straight, documented chronicle of how we got here, and how things got so convoluted in such a short period of time. But, hey, folks -- I'm a human. I'm a Scorpio. I think in connections, associations, three-dimensionally as opposed to a straight line. I'll try to stick to the program, but I'm not making any guarantees.

By the time you've analyzed the paper and ink (yes, paper and ink!) this document is written with, you will have determined the document to be about one thousand years old. That's assuming the document survives to my time, that is, the time where I belong. The time where my friends and family are, where I have unpaid bills piling up, where I have a real life instead of this anachronistic role playing game into which I've been rudely thrust.

If our plan works, whoever finds this epic tale will have that metaphorical stick of Vulcan logic so far up their ass they can't walk straight. If it doesn't, well, I hope you are enjoying your archaeological dig through the ruins of this planet, whoever you are.

This is insane. I'm a doctor, not a writer. (Bless you, Leonard, whenever you are.) The most literary thing I've done in the last ten years was a research paper on tissue sampling methodology in multiple-species toxicology. Not exactly best seller material. But I'm determined to get my side of the story out. No, determined is too soft a word. I'm on a mission from god, to quote Elwood Blues. (If you read this and The Blues Brothers never made it to the big screen in the 20th century, just let my spirit rest. I don't want to know.)

You see, I'm angry. I'm afraid. I'm homesick, even though I'd probably be hung as a witch ten seconds after stepping foot in the dung-filled rushes they're currently using on my home world. And I'm probably going to die on this hot, dry planet without ever seeing my beloved Pacific Ocean again. Without ever eating another plate of steaming prawns in butter and garlic. Without ever being able to tell the friends I love how much I cared about them.

I'm not happy with this. So get ready, you Vulcans of the Future. This is the real story. This is the true story. This is the subjective, unadulterated, ugly picture of your past. I hope you choke on it.

Christine Chapel, PhD, RN, MD

* * *

I'm feeling better now. I just reread the section I wrote. I'm half-tempted to rewrite it in a tone that's not so blunt. But paper and ink are quite rare, and only my status as Spock's chattel allows me such luxuries. I could ask Spock for space on our one remaining tricorder, but part of me doesn't want him to know I'm keeping this record. He's keeping an official log, for what it's worth. I understand his concerns, and on one level I agree with them. Regardless of the harshness of our situation, we are still Starfleet officers and, as such, are bound by the Prime Directive. The fact that the developing culture we're trying not to interfere with is pre-Reform Vulcan only makes it a little harder. Okay, a lot harder.

I've thought long and hard about how to tell this story. A dry recounting of the main events just doesn't sit right with me. A third person narrative might lend credence to the idea that this is a work of fiction. It's not. Every fact, figure, date, and name can be verified. Look in the records. Look no further than Starfleet Personnel. I'm there. Spock's there.

Carbon-date the paper, if you will. It's authentic. I'm writing this in English. Not Vulcan, which I'm slowly learning. Not Federation Standard. English. The language of my home. The language I spoke growing up. (My father insisted both my sister and I learn, even though Standard was taught in school.) I write in English for a simple reason. Well, two simple reasons. One, I'm being a bitch. I want you to have to work for this. Find a translator, if you must. Writing in Vulcan or Standard would make it too easy for you, and your planet certainly hasn't made it easy for me. Payback is hell, isn't it, fellows? Secondly, English is more expressive than Standard. I think in English. I dream in English. And I need that intensity, that pull which goes back for generations in my blood, to truly communicate what has happened.

So English it is, folks.

As for the style of this chronicle. I'm tempted to do the whole damned thing in haiku and just let you figure out the specifics. But frankly, I only have a few minutes a day to jot down my thoughts, so I'll just stick to the story. I can't tell you what's going on in Spock's head. We haven't gotten quite that far, yet, although the bond is strengthening. Yeah, we're bonded. Another fun aspect of your Vulcan physiology, along with dry skin and anal sphincters that can create diamonds from a block of coal in a matter of minutes.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. (I warned you.) I suppose I should start at the beginning. My story began on the Enterprise. Where else do any of these stories begin, right? I had spent five years as a nurse aboard the ship during its first mission under Captain James T. Kirk. I attained my MD a year after that mission, and served as CMO of the Enterprise for a total of ten minutes before the V'ger Incident changed all our plans.

When this story began, I was serving on a ground mission with Spock and a security officer named Thompson. Or Lane. I can't remember. He was a red shirt. Even though they didn't wear red shirts anymore, it was sort of just written all over him. Red shirt. You know where this is going, don't you? Or have we changed the time stream so much that all of this is going right over your heads?

Sorry. I'm digressing again. Spock and Thompson/Lane/whatever and I were on this planet taking samples. You know the kind of mission I'm talking about. The kind that is crucially important, but nobody is going to send anyone with any clout to do it, so they send the second bananas and some poor security guy? Well, Spock and I were making the best of it. We had gotten to the point in our friendship where we did shut down completely in each other's presence. Not a small accomplishment, I might add. For more information, check out the Enterprise records regarding planet Psi 2000. You'll get a snoot full, I promise.

Where was I? Oh, yeah, samples. I could go into a long detailed explanation of what happened on that planet, but that's not the story I'm telling. I'm telling what happened after the planet, so I'll just condense this part. The planet happened to be part of a group of planets claimed by a free-floating omniscient brat named Trelane. I'd never had the pleasure of meeting this guy, but I'd heard all about him from my fellow crewmates who got him put in what they'd thought was a permanent time out several years earlier.

Apparently, Trelane had snowed his parents and couldn't resist the opportunity to get back at Mr. Spock (and me, by association). He made a big show of torturing Thompson/Lane/whatever, then sent him back to the ship.

I guess he was being kind. He made sure he knew the red shirt was alive before he meted out his punishment on us. Armed with only our tricorders, two days supply of water, and a medikit, Spock and I found ourselves in the middle of the Vulcan desert.

The pre-Reform Vulcan desert, if I may clarify.

There are many ways to travel through time, most experimental and most dangerous. Spock has done it on more than one occasion. So there is a remote possibility that someone will find this document, risk a slingshot time jump around Vulcan, and rescue us before any of this happens.

But I'm not betting my pen and ink on that. Besides, just thinking about the time paradox gives me a headache. To all intents and purposes, we're stuck here. We're going to die here.

I'm getting depressed again. And my candle is getting low. I'll end here for now, and tell about our first days on Vulcan tomorrow night.

Christine Chapel, PhD, RN, MD

* * *

It has been six days since I last wrote. As suspected, the Year of T'Viyah has begun. Her forces swept into our village mere hours after I signed my name to the last entry. Any hopes of a bloodless transition of power were quickly dashed. At final count, twenty-three villagers were dead, seven of them children less than fifteen years old.

It's times like these when my differences tend to be overlooked in favor of my abilities as a healer. That alone, and the fact that I knew more about Vulcan physiology than almost anyone on the planet, kept me from being killed outright during those first days. I'm still looked at with scorn at best, hatred at worst. No one will touch me because of Spock. However, if anything happens to him, my days are numbered.

T'Viyah, if anything, appears more ruthless and bloodthirsty than her predecessor. Fortunately, we are a simple village with little or no strategic or economic value. We were just in the way. As long as we pay our tribute and keep our heads down, we should be okay. As usual, Spock insisted I keep a low profile for the first weeks of the regime. Let them get used to me. Let the see that I'm no danger to anyone.

I stayed in our hovel for the better part of the crisis. I treated the wounded as best I could, only venturing into the group house for meals and head count. I keep my eyes down. I don't remove my hood. I never let them see my hair or skin.

I hate this. But it is the safest way. Eminently logical. But I was planning to write about our first days on Vulcan. So that is what I'll do.

We found ourselves in the desert, as I said, with just the barest of necessities. Not even a change of underwear. Spock almost immediately recognized the landscape as the wilderness preserve less than five kilometers from his home town of ShiKahr. But when we scanned the horizon, no ShiKahr. No nothing, actually. We widened the radius of the scan, finding pockets of life readings to the north and east of us. At best, a three day walk.

How we made it through that first day, I'll never know. I'm not an unhealthy person. I maintain a high level of fitness, and consider myself capable of surviving in the wilderness. But I'm not exaggerating when I say that that first day was the single worst day of my entire life. Never have I experienced such heat. The sun was blinding, and within hours my skin was burned. I was lucky enough to have sun block ointment in my medikit, or sun stroke or eventual skin cancer would have been a real danger. But nothing in that medikit could do anything about the thirst, or the fatigue, or the fear.

By the second day, I was having hallucinations. I'm not proud to admit this, but Spock carried me for a good part of the journey. I didn't want him to. I begged him not to. I offered my life for his, the old "I'm slowing you down, go on without me" routine. But he wouldn't let me die there. If anyone should read this who knew Spock, or his family, please make sure they know that. Please make sure for me, will you?

I'm sorry. I forget sometimes the purpose of these writings. It's not some secret diary where a sixteen year old girl can pour out her heart and keep it locked in the top drawer of her dresser.

The first days. Like I said, it didn't look too good for us. We were still over a day's journey from the nearest settlement, and though we rationed the water Trelane gave us, there was no way we could make it last long enough for entire journey.

It was just after sunrise on the third day when Spock sighted the dust clouds. Life. Horses, or some sort of beasts of burden. Spock surmised that they would reach us no later than midday.

We were rescued.

We should have taken our chances with the desert. I have to end now. T'Viyah has instated a strict curfew for the town, and Spock is making his worried, "is she ever going to blow out that candle" noises on the other side of the curtain. More when I am able.

Christine Chapel, PhD, RN, MD

* * *

T'Viyah noticed me today. Or, more accurately, she noticed Spock, and me as an afterthought. It's no big secret that we stand out in Shivhal. The constant sun bleaching has lightened my hair to a golden color -- when I think of all that time I spent dyeing it! With my pink skin, blue eyes, and honey-colored hair, I hardly blend in with all these Vulcans.

But it's Spock who actually has more of a reputation. He's known as the Vulcan who won't fight. His use of the nerve pinch (which apparently has not been invented ... so much for not interfering with the development of the culture) has become a major news story. T'Viyah was very interested in finding out about that nerve pinch. My skin crawls at the mere thought.

Oh, and that reminds me. The third, and probably most important reason I'm writing this chronicle in English is that, other than Spock, I'm the only person on the planet who can read it. With the constant shift in power, it would be too dangerous to write these memoirs in a language that could be interpreted and used against us.

So back to our rescue from the desert. As I mentioned before, I was pretty much down for the count when we saw the first signs of movement in the distance. The sun block had helped some, but I was still roasted. The dehydration, hunger, and exhaustion weren't doing any favors for my constitution, either.

One thing that surprised me, in retrospect, was Spock's reaction to the dust cloud. Neither of us realized at the point exactly how far back in time Trelane had thrown us. Since ShiKahr is over 800 years old, we estimated the year by sheer virtue of its not being there.

When we saw the riders coming, my first reaction was to wave them over, to call out with what little strength I had left and hope to whatever deity was listening that they'd find us before I dropped dead.

Spock was a little more sensible, thank goodness. He immediately broke open my medikit and ordered me to lift up my tunic. I didn't understand why until he pulled out the gauze and adhesive tape. Quickly, he secured the smaller medical tricorder to my waist, along with a scanner and several packets of medical supplies. Then, lifting his own tunic, he had me secure the other tricorder and remaining medipaks to his abdomen. We then covered the contraband with our tunics and, god help us, put our bulky uniform jackets back on.

I thought I would die. Actually, I hoped I would die. All I wanted to do was lie down on the sand and sleep and never wake up. I didn't care about the heat. I was beyond caring.

Soon enough, the riders approached us. They looked like something out of a Kurasawa film. Burly, hateful men with leathery skin and filthy coats. They wore turbans that covered all but their eyes, and those eyes were the scariest things I'd ever seen in my entire life.

I suppose I was the person who kept us from being killed on the spot. These men had never seen a human before, much less a human female with sun-bleached hair and burned skin just starting to blister. There was a lot of loud, harsh discussion in what I assumed was ancient Vulcan. Spock seemed to understand most of what they were saying, but I was too tired and too afraid to ask for a translation.

At one point, though, he moved very suddenly to my side, making a protective gesture. I can only imagine what they had suggested, but Spock didn't seem apt to let them carry through their plans.

Instead, we were unceremoniously dumped across the backs of their pack animals and carried off to their village.

Oh. Spock is returning with our evening meal. I will end here. I came too close to curfew last night, and with T'Viyah's newfound interest in Spock and me, I'd just as soon not push my luck.

Christine Chapel, PhD, RN, MD

* * *

T'Zhara is dead. I know that means nothing to you. But to me, T'Zhara's death means the loss of my only ally here in Shivhal. I'm trying to write quickly, fighting tears as I race time until curfew cuts me short.

T'Zhara. My friend. My teacher. The only one who looked at me and saw Christine, not some fair-skinned, round-eared freak of nature. T'Zhara of the laughing brown eyes and labyrinth wrinkles on her hands.

They brought me to her when Sandoch's goons dragged us here from the desert. She was a kindred, more fascinated by my differences than appalled. I may have started out as an overgrown lab rat to her, but it kept me alive long enough to get through to her.

I was half dead. Spock had been taken before Sandoch, ostensibly to plead our case with the clan. I faded in and out as she examined me. I have vague memories of the trappings of healing, the herbs and the tinctures and the piercing eyes and probing hands.

I don't know what Spock said to them. He wouldn't talk about it, and I haven't pressed. But somehow, he convinced them that we were not a threat. He also managed to convince them that we were more useful alive than naked and dead in the desert, which apparently was one of our options.

T'Zhara watched me, allowing Spock access to me during the times I flickered into coherence. He assured me it would be okay. His manner, my response, the marginal closeness we almost had, it registered somewhere in T'Zhara. She spoke no English or Standard, and I only knew tourist Vulcan. But we communicated.

There was a boy who stayed in the medicine house. He couldn't have been more than seven or eight years old. His hair glistened despite the dust and matting. He walked with a limp, and obviously had problems breathing. I stared at him through the slits of my eyes as he carefully filled the jars of healing herbs for T'Zhara.

Before long, I was sitting for a few minutes at a time. Shirav, the boy, soon lost his shyness around me. He had never seen a human woman before, and he examined me almost as thoroughly as the old woman. I didn't mind. As he examined me, I examined him.

I asked Spock to find out about the boy. He'd been dropped as an infant during a clan raid. His mother, who'd been killed in the incident, had fallen to an invader's blade, sending the boy hurtling into a nearby ravine. He'd never been right since.

About two days after we arrived, T'Zhara left me alone for a moment with the boy. I don't know what came over me. To this day, I don't know why I did what I did. But I motioned to Shirav to come nearer. He did, and I began to run my hands over his tiny back. Even without scanners, I could feel the dislocation of the joints in his neck and upper back. Also, there were several ribs out of place, which were most likely responsible for the shortness of breath.

I massaged his neck gently, noting where he winced and shied away.

"Do you trust me?" I asked in my halting Vulcan.

He nodded.

"I can make it hurt less." His eyes widened. "Lie down on your stomach," I ordered in my most kindly nurse voice. He did. Slowly, I began the osteopathic manipulations. Nothing major at first, just enough to ease the pressure on the joints. He gasped several times as his joints cracked loudly, but he remained calm. "Very good, Shirav," I murmured. Before long, I'd eased the ribs back into place. "Can you breathe?" I asked. His eyes shot open as he drew his first real lung full of air in years.

I was beginning to work on the hips when T'Zhara came in. She saw me manipulating the boy's legs and began screaming at me in frantic, rapid-fire Vulcan. By the time Spock arrived, she'd pushed me away and was examining the boy as Spock rushed to my side.

"What happened?" he asked in Standard.

"I was just ... "

T'Zhara interrupted my explanation, addressing Spock excitedly.

Spock translated. "She wants to know what you did to the boy."

"I just did some simple osteopathic manipulations. He was in such pain."

Spock's eyes were furious as he interpreted my explanation for T'Zhara. When their conversation finally ended, Spock said icily, "Apparently, you have 'cured' the boy."

Oh, gods. I felt the full impact of his words. Two days in pre-reform Vulcan, and already I'd broken the Prime Directive. I didn't know what to say.

Spock didn't talk to me that night.

I must go. Curfew.

Christine Chapel, PhD, RN, MD

* * *

It's been several days since I've written. I'd like to say that it was the real world keeping me away from these pages, but the truth is, I haven't had the heart to write. I look at the pages, the blotted ink and inexperienced script, and it makes me want to cry. It's been just short of a year since Trelane sent us hurtling backwards through time. Some days, I handle it better than others. Some days, I have faith in our friends on the Enterprise to figure out a way to rescue us. Then there are days like today. Days when just the effort of standing and breathing and moving a few steps seems to drain the very soul from me.

I dreamed of the ocean last night. It was magnificent, black and silver in the moonlight. I always swam at night. Couldn't stand crowds. Could bear the little sandy-bottomed kids screaming for their parents to acknowledge their prehistoric sand castles.

But at night, oh at night, that was a different story. The moon over the Pacific would hover over me, my own personal spotlight. Sometimes I wore a suit, but mostly I swam in skin ... just me and the water, thank you.

The blob of ink just above this sentence started out to say how much I missed the water. That was before I started crying again. The mere thought of floating, weightless, in my beloved ocean rips a hole in my chest where my heart used to be.

I want to go home. Oh, gods, I want to go home. I hate this place. I hate the heat, and the sand, and the relentless feuding and shifting of power.

I want to read a good novel while sipping cocoa on the sofa. I want to laugh at the kidvids I watched when I was seven. I want to laugh until my stomach hurts and I can't see for the tears. I want to dance, slow and sexy, with a complete stranger on a crowded dance floor. I want to eat chocolate, and argue 21st century pop culture until three in the morning. I want to have sex -- real sex, with a man who's not ashamed to admit he likes it. With a man who doesn't care what anybody thinks, except me.

I want to scream and laugh and cry. I want to have multiple orgasms.

I want to go home.

Damn. Christine Chapel, PhD, RN, MD

* * *

I never thought I'd find myself apologizing to a stack of papers, but here I am. What an idiot I am. What a fool. I pour out my heart on a piece of paper that may or may not survive the rest of the week, thinking that somehow it will survive a thousand years.

Spock was a little better today. He has had a difficult time since T'Zhara left, but not for the same reasons as I have. His refusal to eat meat ... still.. makes it hard for him in this time. T'Zhara's knowledge of the terrain helped greatly in locating enough plant life to keep him alive.

I never said how T'Zhara died. She was killed, of course, in a raid. Helping the wounded on both sides. Following an example I set for her almost a year ago.

She was killed by T'Viyah, in cold blood, right in front of everyone. "Traitor," the warlord bitch had said. Even I knew what she meant by that single, vicious word.

If I had had a weapon, I'd have killed T'Viyah myself at that moment. But I just cowered, keeping my head low as I had been taught. T'Viyah had even gone so far as to pull me to my knees from my triage position over a dying local girl and lay her sword across my jugular. Spock had moved quickly to my side. He watched her warily, never breaking eye contact. It was a battle of wills, and only the last rally of Shrondek's remaining troops broke the stalemate. Quickly enough, I was released and T'Viyah led her warriors against the last remaining invaders.

The victory celebration that night had been subdued. T'Viyah, concerned that sympathizers from the other side might seek to press their advantage during the aftermath, camped her troops just outside the town. As usual, the mourning was brief and hurried. I'd crawled into our sleeping area long after dark, finally getting the last of the dead and wounded out of the streets.

Spock was waiting for me. I know he wanted to be supportive. We've grown fairly close. He has comforted me on many occasions. That night, he let me curl up against him and cry. He kissed me. He even whispered my name.

But the strain it caused him was obvious to me. Spock was not born of this time. Here, couples fight and love and court with a freedom I'd never have expected from Vulcans. But this is before the Reform, before the years of cultural brainwashing that created the taboo against exhibiting emotions.

So, there in the darkness of our dwelling, Spock could make love to me. He could hold me and offer simple words of encouragement. But out in the world, he could not bring himself to that point.

I think he's embarrassed. I suppose, if I'd suddenly been thrown back into the Dark Ages on Earth, I'd be embarrassed too. It's hard coming face to face with your own history. It's hard realizing that all you believed of yourself, of your civilization, is only a thin veneer covering the brutal truth.

I am chattel. I belong to Spock, in the eyes of the village, of the clan. This keeps me alive. I have my scribbles. I have Shirav. I have my dreams of the ocean.

What does Spock have?

Christine Chapel, PhD, RN, MD

* * *

I realized today while gathering herbs that these entries must be very confusing to the reader. (We have to gather the medicinal plants quickly, in the tiny window of opportunity that follows the valley's short monsoon season. Shirav helps me, of course, but he is still quiet and shy after years of being an invalid.)

As I was doing horrible things to my back, it occurred to me to give you sort of a time-line so that you could keep track of our progress.

I won't give you dates, as they are irrelevant here. I'll just put things in order.

Spock and I were transported by Trelane to pre-Reform Vulcan

We were rescued by Sandoch's men as they raced through the desert to tell of Shavahl's imminent attack on the village of Shivhal. (I know -- similar names. It can get confusing.)

We are held prisoner during the attack on the village. Spock buries our supplies for safekeeping.

Shavahl is defeated by Sandoch, but not killed. Spock is challenged by Sandoch, and wins the right for us to stay in the village.

I cure Shirav, and become the apprentice to T'Zhara.

Spock saves Sandoch's daughter from attack by a wild boar. He is made a member of the clan.

Spock claims me as his chattel in order to protect me from banishment after it is discovered I have red blood.

Sandoch is defeated by Shavahl.

Shavahl is bitten by a venomous spider during a scouting party. Spock and I manage to keep him alive by devising a make-shift anti venom.

Shavahl orders us banished because we saw him incapacitated.

T'Viyah defeats Shavahl before he can carry through his punishment.

T'Zhara is killed by T'Viyah for alleged treason during a raid on the village.

T'Viyah offers Spock a position in her tribe in return for teaching her the nerve pinch. Spock refuses. T'Viyah orders him banished. Again.

T'Viyah rescinds her order. Spock resumes his position of neutrality, helping with manual labor in return for the relative safety of village life.

Christine Chapel skips a period.

There you have it. My life until now.

Christine Chapel, PhD, RN, MD

***

I did the old Charity Hospital cheater test this morning. I measured the fundal height of little George/Georgette (don't ask; it's another argument for another entry) and it was about a finger above my belly button. Twenty-one weeks.

That's when it hit me how long it's been since I wrote in this journal. I must say that there's an enormous gap between learning about pregnancy and actually experiencing it. Physically, I've been a walking roll call of cliche pregnancy symptoms, from morning sickness to soreness to bizarre food cravings. (At this moment, I'd actually consider selling a body part for a cone of mint chocolate chip ice cream. Or sardines. Or both.) I even experienced a bit of spotting early on, but the tricorder ruled out any of the more nefarious causes.

I was prepared for the physical manifestations of pregnancy. But the mental and emotional symptoms threw me for a loop. My mood swings have been the stuff of which legends are made. I cycle more frequently than a Tour de France finalist.

But the dreams are the worst. I've never been one of those people who remembers her dreams. That's either a sign of emotional stability or complete mental shutdown, depending on which psychiatric doctrine you champion.

But before I even missed my first period, I was beginning to dream. Typical first trimester dreams, childhood, old lovers, showing up for an exam without even knowing I'd enrolled in the class. Dreams of vulnerability, unresolved issues, fear, and change.

But last night, my dream shook me out of my sleep. I woke up shaking, crying, and turning to Spock for comfort. I dreamed of the mountains. I couldn't tell whether it was northern California, near my home, or Vulcan. All I knew was that I was about twenty-five months pregnant and ready to bust. I was climbing through the mountains and there were storm clouds gathering overhead.

I found a cave to hide in, but I had trouble fitting through the tiny opening. I looked down as it started to storm. A small cluster of wildflowers were blowing in the gusting wind. They were inundated by enormous puddles of water, but the flowers themselves were wilted.

I managed to get into the cave just as the downpour began. It was cold and wet inside, but an improvement over the storm. I found a dry spot, and began gathering myself together. It was dark in the cave, but for some reason I had no problem seeing clearly. The inside walls of the cave were covered in prints, like the rooms of a nursery. Tiny bears and rocking horses danced against the molding rocks, a surreal image that started me shaking.

I looked down, and saw my baby laying there. He was naked, shivering, wet, but not crying. He stared right into me, and I immediately knew that we would be together forever. I tried to pick him up, but he kept slipping out of my hands. When he fell, he would just smile and reach out to me again.

I began to get scared. I couldn't hold my son. He kept slipping out of my fingers. Oh, god. What kind of mother lets her son fall on the cold, wet rocks?

I heard a noise behind me. A lone she-wolf had come into the cave to escape the storm. She looked at me and the baby. I knew what she planned. In a flash of fur and teeth, she was past me, my son gripped carefully in her mouth. She wasn't hurting him, just carrying him by the scruff of the neck. I began to scream "bring him back" over and over again. But she just stared at me for a long moment as she prepared to leave. I knew I had no business having this baby. I had no right to this child. I had no right to call myself a mother.

As the she-wolf began to leave, I scrambled to my feet, running after them, screaming. I kept slipping on the rocks, but I didn't stop running. I chased her further into the caves, through tiny openings I never imagined I could navigate. Each time I got close, I lost them.

Finally, I found myself in a smaller version of the cave I'd first entered. The she-wolf was perched on a ledge on the other side of a narrow, but deep gorge. I knew I had to jump. It was the only chance I had to save my son. I had to jump. I didn't make it. I could see the look of condemnation in the eyes of both my son and the she-wolf as I plummeted to my death.

I awoke in a cold sweat. Spock held me, asked me about the dream. But I couldn't say anything. I couldn't tell him what I saw.

Because it felt like a premonition.

Christine Chapel, PhD, RN, MD

* * *

T'Viyah is history. Literally. Five days ago, the forces of Shandek swept through the town, unexpected, and took over the place in a matter of hours.

I hate to admit it, even to myself, but I wish I'd been there to see the bitch fall. How terrible have I become? I'm a doctor. I'm a compassionate human being. But, while I don't relish the thought of adjusting to yet another regime, I am glad to have T'Viyah out of the picture.

Frankly, if it hadn't been for Spock, she probably would have killed me immediately. To her, as with so many others of these Vulcans, Spock presents an enigma. Despite the barbarism, the mental prowess is still there. They may bloodthirsty monsters, but they're smart bloodthirsty monsters.

Spock evidences so many things to them -- power, control, strength, intellect. And he does it without having to raise a hand in anger. It's hard for him, I know, not to reach out to these people, to teach them. I see it every day. I see the control he's exhibiting. He's a remarkable man.

Far too remarkable, I'm sure T'Viyah assumed, to share a bed with a red-blooded freak of nature like me. Maybe it's the hormones, but I know she had a thing for Spock. Lust was pretty apparent in her dealings with him. Lust for his body. Lust for his mind. Lust for his control.

I recognized the symptoms.

So T'Viyah is gone, taking with her a multitude of problems.

And Shandek is here, bringing with him an even bigger problem.

A lieutenant named Surak.

Christine Chapel, PhD, RN, MD

* * *

I'm worried about Spock. In the weeks since Shandek arrived, he has become more withdrawn. I know the reason for his withdrawal, but there's nothing I can do about it.

Spock is afraid. I have never seen him in such a quandary. Surak, the Surak of this world, is not the man Spock knows. He is hard, fierce, and no closer to leading a peaceful uprising than he is to sprouting wings and flying to Earth. By sight, Surak's age is fairly close to the historical accounts of when he began his "Journey of Revelation," as Spock called it.

Spock and I have recovered as much historical data from the remaining tricorder as possible, but these are preliterate times. Histories are passed down by word of mouth, and will not be recorded (except for my little diary) for another three hundred years or so.

We don't know what led to Surak's change of heart. We don't know anything besides legend and myth and philosophy.

And this Surak has noticed that Spock seems to have a growing following among the community. That makes Spock a threat, to both Surak and Shandek. The warrior knows that it's safest to keep one's enemies close, to learn what you can about them.

So how does Spock keep from interacting with Surak, and possibly altering history?

I feel for him. I wish there was something I could do. But I am carrying my own burden now, and I don't have a clue how to help him.

Christine Chapel, PhD, RN, MD

* * *

It's happened. Dear Mother of the Earth, it's happened.

I shouldn't be writing this. I should rip this entire mess to shreds and burn it all to ashes.

What have we done? What have we done?

He didn't mean to do it. If anybody ever reads this, please know that this was unintentional. He was merely trying to protect Shivhal.

Surak is clever. He's smart as hell. He knew Spock was avoiding him. He knew Spock was hiding something more than his pregnant pale-skinned chattel. He used Shivhal to lure him out of hiding.

And it worked. Trumped up charges, possible execution. Spock would not let Shivhal be killed. He wouldn't allow an innocent person to die, especially one who was his wi ... my only ally besides him.

He walked right into the trap. The conditioning was too great. He used the nerve pinch, and he used it right in front of Surak. At that moment, there was no longer any question of Spock avoiding Surak.

He was summoned to Surak's lodgings. He's still there.

What are we doing here? What have we done? How can I bring a child into this environment? A child who may look nothing like the others, who may further pollute the time stream?

I have to do something. I have to find a way to make this right.

Christine Chapel, PhD, RN, MD

* * *

It's okay. At least, for now. Surak didn't have Spock killed. Or banished. Or even punished.

He just wanted to talk to him. He was intrigued. He wanted to learn.

Spock is asleep now. It's been a rough day for both of us. Only I can't sleep. I feel like I've been pregnant for seven years or so. I can't help thinking that maybe Surak as a friend is more dangerous than an enemy. Spock didn't say much as we ate our simple evening meal. We both know it's gone too far. We've influenced the course of history. Now all we can hope to do is make the best of it.

Dear Lady, protect us all if we screw it up some more.

Christine Chapel, PhD, RN, MD

* * *

Stardate. Approximately 17345.9. Or perhaps .8?

It is irrelevant. All is irrelevant.

I finish these memoirs for a multitude of reasons. To honor she who was my t'hy'la. To confess my transgressions. And if my acts of retribution fail, then to at least provide proof of what might have been were it not for my impropriety.

I am Spock of Vulcan. Former officer in Starfleet. Last active duty: First Officer of the Enterprise.

I am guilty of violating General Order Number One, also known as the Prime Directive.

As a result of my crime, Dr. Christine Chapel, also of Starfleet, is dead. She was killed in a raid on our village only days after giving birth to our son, Steffin. She was attempting to administer emergency care to Surak, who fell attempting to put into practice the theories of non-violence which I taught him.

The logic was correct. The time was not.

In my haste, in my arrogance, I lost the two beings who meant anything to me in this place.

I look to Steffin, lost and fragile in this unforgiving world. He appears to all as merely another Vulcan infant. I look to him for a memory of Christine, for some sense of forgiveness for what I have wrought upon her. But all I see is a Vulcan infant.

A true Vulcan. I will see to that myself. We will go from here, from this place of madness. There is a small valley several kilometers from here. I used to go there in my youth. Now, I will take her son there. He will remain Steffin only in my mind. To all others, he will become Surak. And he will lead our people to sanity.

As for myself. I will no longer bear the name Spock. He is gone, another lost soul in history. I will take no mate. My only purpose is the rearing of her son. My only goal is retribution.

I will neither live long, nor prosper. But my son will have the tools to see that others do.

 

The End