Trek and characters are
Lou Ellen Gooding
After General Korrd
forced Captain Klaa to agree to meet with the
Captain Kirk ordered the crew to prepare to welcome the Klingons and organize a reception. Spock observed the arrangements from his work station on the bridge but did not join in the discussion. His thoughts were on the death of his brother, Sybok. He had admired his brother when he was young, tried to forget him when he left Vulcan and recently dared to hope he could reconcile with him. But now, he would never have the chance.
Jim Kirk noticed Spock's unusual quiet demeanor. McCoy had joined them on the bridge and he noticed as well. The three of them needed to clean up and McCoy insisted on checking them over for any injuries, so Kirk left Chekov in charge of the bridge and led the way to the turbolift. They rode in silence for a few seconds when Spock broke the quiet by saying, "I must have time to grieve for my brother. If I may have leave to spend time in my quarters, it should not interfere with my duties or my attending the reception tomorrow."
"Of course Spock, take all the time you need." Jim understood what Spock needed, time to grieve on his own in the quiet of his quarters. Vulcans crave time alone to mourn in private. Jim remembered the sad time when Lady Amanda had died. Both he and Bones had joined Spock on his journey home to grieve for his Mother. They had been treated as family and were allowed to stay at the ancestral home during the customary twelve hours of mourning. Spock and Sarek had retired to their favorite meditation areas in the home while Bones and Jim kept vigil in the common room. They each took a chair and dozed or talked quietly as they waited for Sarek and Spock to emerge. Jim wondered if Vulcans grieved alone to prevent anyone seeing a break in their self-control and to give them time to reestablish their Vulcan control.
When Spock and Sarek emerged, their composure was intact. Sarek broke the silence, "We must show ourselves to our kinsmen and neighbors." Sarek led the procession out the front door. Jim and Bones were overwhelmed by what they saw. Every available space was covered with people seated on the ground in their best robes. As Jim looked, he could see not only the adults but the very old and the very young. Spock spoke softly and let them know, "The custom of the Vulcan people is to attend to the family in this way. We will lead the clan and our neighbors to the crypt from here."
Sarek and Spock walked through the mass of people as they made an opening for them. Jim and Bones followed behind them. Bones whispered to Jim, "This is the most impressive funeral procession I have ever witnessed." As they walked by, the Vulcans stood up and followed them. Bones wanted to look behind and see how long the line was, but he kept his face as emotionless as he could and his eyes straight ahead. They walked nearly a mile to the family crypt where Amanda was already interred. With Vulcans, a ceremony for the Katra would have followed but that wouldn't happen with Amanda.
The crypt had doors facing east and west and Amanda's coffin was on a pedestal in the center of the very large room. Jim and Bones had been instructed to stand on each side of the coffin with their hands on the lid. Sarek and Spock stood on opposite ends of the coffin with their hands in the same position and their eyes closed. After a minute had passed, Sarek, Spock, Jim and Bones lined up beside the coffin and a procession of kinsmen and neighbors came by with each saying, "I grieve with thee!" It took some time for the people to proceed through the crypt and out the other door. The next day a memorial service was held for Amanda which her many non-Vulcan friends and colleagues attended.
Spock, Kirk and McCoy exited the turbo lift in silence and entered the sickbay. McCoy checked Spock out first and treated the burn and bruise on his right chest. "Okay Jim, your turn next."
Jim took his place on the biobed which Spock had just vacated. Spock pulled his jacket back on and headed for the door. Jim called after him, "Spock if you need anything let us know."
"Thank you, Jim." Spock left sickbay as Uhura entered.
Bones and Jim watched him go and Bones broke the silence, "Do you remember Lady Amanda's funeral? Since Spock does not have his family or neighbors here, we need to help him as they would."
"My thought exactly," Jim stated as Bones finished spraying a dressing on his chest. "I'll change and meet you in front of Spock's quarters." Jim sat up and pulled on his shirt.
"You mean dress uniform, don't you?" Bones had always hated Starfleet's dress uniform and still did. "Dress uniform!" Bones groaned. "I'll meet you there after I change and call Scotty. I'll let him know what's going on."
Nyota had stopped by sickbay to obtain relief from a headache and overheard enough of the conversation to be curious. After leaving sickbay, she checked on Scotty's location and headed to his office.
Jim took a quick shower and pulled on his dress uniform. He had a seat behind his desk and pressed the intercom to connect him with his Chief Engineer, Montgomery Scott. "Scotty?"
Scotty's face popped up on the screen, "Aye Captain, what can I do for you?"
"I need you to take command for the next few hours." Jim gave Scotty a brief explanation of the Vulcans need for meditation after the death of a family member. "It is the duty of a Vulcan's kinsmen and friends to attend them during their mourning period. Bones and I will wait outside his quarters until he is finished."
"Aye Captain, I can do that for you. I'm sorry for Mr. Spock's loss. I'll take care of the ship for you." Scotty turned to see Nyota at the door way as he switched off the intercom. "Ah, lassie, come in. What can I do for you?"
"What is going on with Mr. Spock, the captain and Dr. McCoy? I heard bits and pieces when I was in sickbay."
Scotty didn't consider the information he was given as confidential so he gave Uhura the same details he had been given. As they wished to show their respect for Mr. Spock as well, they decided to pass the information on to the crew. As with most ships, the grapevine went into overdrive and everyone knew about the plan to pay honor to Mr. Spock's loss within minutes.
Jim and Bones arrive in front of Mr. Spock's quarters at almost the same time. They took a seat on the floor and waited. Within moments, Uhura joined them and then Sulu. The crew also turned out in their dress uniforms and waited patiently. After a half hour the corridor was packed with as many of the crew as could sit on the floor. They kept their vigil through the night. At times, crew members had to take duty but they were soon replaced by others.
Jim was impressed and pleased at the crew's willingness to perform this ritual for Spock. He chided himself for not informing the crew himself. He should have realized how much they cared for Spock. He knew he would need to thank Nyota for passing the word on as this definitely looked like her intervention.
After twelve hours, the doors to Spock's quarters opened. As he stepped out, he was momentarily shaken by the sight of crew members seated on every available space in the corridor as far as he could see. Spock quickly recovered his composure and bowed slightly to the captain and the doctor.
Jim and Bones stood and faced Spock. Jim approached him and bowed slightly and stated, "I grieve with thee, Spock." Bones followed him and stated the same ritual phrase. Jim and Bones stood on each side of Spock and the crew followed suit by approaching Mr. Spock and imitating the captain and the doctor with the same phrase.
Once the crew had left, only Spock, Kirk and McCoy stood in the corridor. Mr. Spock turned to his friends, "I thank you for the honor you give me of mourning with me. I am prepared to return to duty."
"You're welcome. Let's prepare for our Klingon guests." Jim smiled at the incongruity of that statement.
"Good lord, I never thought I would hear you say the words Klingon and guests in the same sentence." Bones shook his head as they headed down the corridor to check on the arrangements to beam over the Klingons.