DISCLAIMER: The Star Trek characters are the property of Paramount Studios, Inc. The story contents are the creation and property of Kella and is copyright (c) 2000 by Kella.
"Shh. Nurse, you must remain quiet."
"Why? She should know we're coming anyway..."
"Got 'im!" Christine rubbed the sore area that the now-deceased mosquito had caused. "I'll never understand how Southern Californians survived the summer every year. These bugs are determined to kill me!" She peered at her Vulcan companion in mild jealousy. "How come they're not eating YOU alive?"
"My blood is primarily comprised of copper. The insects, which have evolved to process iron-based blood types, would no doubt die after attempting to suck my blood."
"It is a comfort," Spock agreed calmly. "Ah. There she is," he interrupted, pointing across the street at a young woman, no more than 19 or 20, crossing the front yard of the home they had been watching for the past hour and a half.
The girl had the harried look of a part-time college student, as well as the stressed demeanor of a freelance web designer and consultant, neither of which seemed to be doing to well currently. Head down, arms full of papers and a couple of pens, she proceeded to rush across the grass ... only to be stopped by a shrill yelling voice from the entrance to the house.
"Kelsey! Get your ass back here!"
"What?!" the girl yelled back, not bothering to turn around. Christine noticed several of the neighbors shaking their heads; apparently this kind of scene was a common occurrence.
"Where the hell do you think you're going?" The shrill voice continued to grate against Spock's sensitive hearing, and he caught a glimpse of a rather large woman standing ominously in the doorway.
"Who's that?" Christine whispered to him.
"No doubt our subject's mother. Research DID indicate that she had an extremely high level of stress in her household during her formative years." Spock felt a twinge of what could only be described as sympathy for the young woman.
"I'm going to SCHOOL, Ma," the girl was yelling back. "Can't you leave me alone for ONE bloody MINUTE? I'm not a baby, I can get along quite fine without you bitching at me EVERY second of the DAY!" With that, she took off at a dead bolt before her mother could get out another word.
"Quickly," Spock urged. "We must follow her."
"Right," Chapel agreed, and together, in their 21st century summer wear, they jogged after her.
When they caught up to her, she was in a park around the corner from her house. She was sitting on a bench with her back to them, and there were muffled sounds of crying. On the bench next to her, Christine was sure she saw a sketch of her and Spock. The sketch was a cover for a bound story; the title read, in big bold letters, "Renewal".
Spock's hand grazing her arm got her attention and she noticed that the girl was looking right at them.
"About time you showed up..." she mumbled, picking up her paper and one of the pens.