DISCLAIMER: The Star Trek characters are the property of Paramount Studios, Inc. The story contents are the creation and property of Cheree Cargill and is copyright (c) 2013 by Cheree Cargill. This story is Rated PG.

A PRIVATE LITTLE WAR: THE LIGHT WITHIN HER

Cheree Cargill

Stardate: 4212.7, Personal Log. First Officer Spock recording.

To say that Admiral Komack was angry was an understatement. His face on the triscreen in the conference room was flushed, his lips white, his breathing heavy. "Are you trying to kill me, Kirk?" he asked with tightly controlled fury.

The Captain swallowed and answered in a conciliatory tone. "Of course not, sir. But the circumstances--"

"The circumstances be damned!!" the Admiral exploded. "Again!! It's you again!! Do I need to recall you and give you a refresher course in General Order Number One??"

The Captain was beginning to perspire ever so slightly, but maintained his calm. "Sir, it was my decision--"

"Do you realize that I have a bleeding ulcer, Kirk?? Do you realize that you are the direct cause of it??"

"Sir, the Klingons--"

"-are the only reasons you're not being court-martialed right now, Kirk!!"

"Sir-"

"Your order to arm the natives is rescinded immediately! You will instruct your engineer to cease making weapons! You are not to return to the planet surface or have any further contact with them! Your new orders are being transmitted and you will break orbit as soon as they are in your computer! Is that clear?"

The Captain was becoming rather tight-lipped himself. "Admiral Komack--"

"IS THAT CLEAR?!"

"Yes, sir. That's clear."

"Good." Komack turned his attention to the other man, besides myself, sitting at the conference table. "Doctor McCoy, we anticipate your report on your findings on Neural. I will be evaluating it to determine if the medicinal compounds you discovered are worth sending a survey team-" He turned his glare back in Kirk's direction. "-one which will not contact the natives! - to make further investigation. How's the arm, by the way?"

"Nearly healed, Admiral," McCoy responded in a neutral tone. "It was just a flesh wound."

"Very good.. Your injury will be noted in your record." He turned to me. "As will yours, Mr. Spock. I am glad that you are fully recovered. That severe of a wound deserves a commendation."

"I do not wish a commendation, Admiral," I replied. I did not add that Captain Kirk and I were running away at the time. It would be in my report, in any case.

"Well, it will be noted, nevertheless. Anything further to add, gentlemen?"

We all indicated there was not. The Admiral seemed to have calmed down a bit, but he turned his gaze on the Captain once more. "You have your orders, Kirk. And this next is off the record - don't fuck up again!" And with that the screen went black.

Kirk rose immediately and turned toward the door, his back stiff. "Dismissed!" he snapped.

McCoy stood up from his chair, his intent clearly to follow. "Jim--"

"I don't want to hear it, Bones!" And the Captain was gone.

The Doctor and I exchanged glances and McCoy sighed. "Well, hell." He stalked out as well. I allowed myself an all-too-human exhalation of breath and left to return to the bridge.

Stardate: 4213.2, Personal Log. First Officer Spock recording.

I meditated and I remembered...

I felt the tendrils of her mind invading mine, soft, subtle and unaware. I was dying at the time, losing my battle to heal myself. The primitive bullet had done too much damage. It had torn the major arteries to my heart and damaged my liver, shredding the tissue in its passage and shattering bone in its explosive exit through my ribs. McCoy had done his best to repair the destruction, but to no avail. He had little experience either with such extensive damage to my kind or with such a weapon. He had turned me over to Dr. M'Benga, believing him capable, and then he had left me to live or die on my own as he accompanied Jim back to the planet.

I sank into kan'sorn and turned my concentration to knitting muscle and tendons and arteries back together, into recreating destroyed organs. It was not enough. I could not do it on my own. I needed the mental forces of a skilled Vulcan Healer, but there were none available. I began to slip away.

And then I felt a faint light in my darkness, felt it rather than saw it. It was like a silvery curl of mist wrapping itself around my soul and pulling me back from the oblivion that surrounded me. The light was she and she was the light. She infused my blood and began to spread like warm honey throughout my body. There was healing in her essence, caring and strength, and I began to breathe again.

Physical contact, skin to skin, and the light soared into a sun. It raced through my bones and tendons, melted tattered tissue and fused it back together, whole. Blood pounded through newly re-grown arteries and veins, and I felt life filling me up again.

And then the sun was gone. She had broken the contact. Somewhere, from far away, almost subliminal, I heard voices, male and female. Then a more directed voice. Male. Call me when it is time. M'Benga. He did no good for me. He had the arrogance of a Vulcan Healer, but not the knowledge or the skill. Only hubris. He did not have the psychic abilities to delve into the deepest layers of the Vulcan mind and join with the katra in order to call forth the restoration of the Ancestors. I would die because of him. I began to sink into the darkness once more.

Light again, but flickering. She was distressed. M'Benga again, interfering with the one who knows. He had made her doubt herself. The flame guttered and I screamed to bring it back to fulfillment. The flame was my only hope!

And then I felt her confidence surge, rebellious. She was a Healer; she knew what needed to be done. She would pour her light and life and love into me, will me back from the precipice, refuse to let me go. It was instinctive in her. It filled her own being like a nova.

She took my hand again and held on, feeding her strength into my weakened, shattered being. She didn't understand why, but knew that it helped. She could feel the subtle surge of my increased heartbeat and rising body temperature. Live, Spock! It was a command. Her mind to my mind, her soul to my soul. Vulcan or Human, it did not matter. We were one, joined as more than lovers, more than Healer and Healed. We were one body, one heart, one regenerating being.

She stayed with me until I was near to the surface, until I pulled a huge draft of air into my rebuilt lungs and sank back down again, still in the healing coma but nearing its end. Only then did she release my hand and place it gently across my belly. She walked away, but I could feel her warmth still glowing within me. She was nearby. I would need her help again soon.

Stardate: 4218.1, Personal Log. First Officer Spock recording.

We have left Neural and are en route to Starbase 6 for R&R and follow up medical treatment for those of us wounded during the mission. Before we left, Dr. McCoy somehow managed to obtain a mahko root and is currently studying its properties. It appears to be nothing more than an inanimate tuber, but he insists that he witnessed it come alive under Nona's hands. I am skeptical but cannot sway him.

The Colorado and Wyoming are on their way to take up patrol throughout this sector to watch for and report any further encroachment by Klingon ships into Federation territory. The Enterprise has a much larger region to monitor and cannot be spared in this area. After our short stopover at the starbase, we will set course for the Gamma 7A system, where anomalous occurrences have been reported. Currently the USS Intrepid is investigating and we will join them. I confess to looking forward to associating with fellow Vulcans after so long a time in Human company. Perhaps they have a Healer on board who will consent to examine me for any lingering damage although I can detect no residual effects. Except ... that there is an energy I feel that I did not feel before. I wish to confirm what I suspect.

I am in the midst of debriefing all crew involved in the recent incident on Neural and filing reports. It is one of the duties of First Officer that I find onerous albeit necessary. I would much rather be at my scientific duties than sending copies of forms to bored clerks in Starfleet Command where they will then be filed away and never consulted again. It seems a pointless task. However, duty is duty and this is one that will not finish itself unless I press onward.

Pulling up the personnel list on my computer screen, I find myself hesitating at the next name there. This reaction is illogical. There is no reason to feel reluctance in speaking with her. In fact, I wish to speak with her. I press the intercom button and say in a neutral tone, "Lieutenant Chapel, please report to Briefing Room 5D."

I flip the com off and wait. She arrives promptly, looking a little ill-at-ease as she often does. She is nervous in my presence. I am aware of the reason but refuse to respond to her Human emotions. At present, business must be done and I follow procedures.

"Please sit down, Miss Chapel," I say, half an invitation, half an order.

"Yes, sir." She slips into a chair on the other side of the conference table and her hands clench together in her lap. Although I cannot see them, I have the impression that her knees are tightly together and her ankles crossed. It is a defensive stance, although I doubt she is aware of it.

I continue my dispassionate tone of voice and expression. "This should not take long, Lieutenant. I have your report on the Medical Department in the recent incident, which I will append to those of Dr. McCoy and Dr. M'Benga. For the record, is your report complete and accurate to the best of your knowledge?"

"Yes, Mr. Spock," she replies. "You will find links to the reports of my nursing staff, as well as the pharmaceutical, pathology, and imaging labs. I do not believe there is anything missing."

"Is there anything further you wish to add to the record?"

"No, sir."

"Very good." I slip the data tab into the computer and tap the upload button. The computer console chatters for a second and the data is integrated. I remove the tab and add it to the stack on the table top.

Then I turn off the computer and bring my gaze up to meet hers, lacing my fingers together on the table before me. My voice softens. "Is there anything else you wish to add, Miss Chapel? Anything off the record?"

She flinches, looking apprehensive. She knows what I mean. For a few seconds, she tries to find her words, then answers, stuttering, "I have nothing to add, sir."

"Nothing?" I persist, peering at her and leaning slightly forward. We must speak of this. "There is nothing to fear, Miss Chapel. This is completely off the record and will not leave this room. It is strictly between you and me."

"I ... I don't know what you mean," she replies, flustered.

"I believe you do." I seek to reassure her. "It is all right, Christine. I am not offended by your actions, but we must discuss what happened."

She has gone beet red, both because I have used her first name and because she knows she stepped over the bounds of professionalism and acted on a personal basis. Tears hover in her eyes and she is trembling. "I'm sorry," she whispers. "I shouldn't have touched you. I ... I know how you ... how Vulcans feel about that. I didn't know what else to do. I didn't know that you knew that I ... that I ... held your hand."

"Twice," I say with a bit of a smile. "Please believe me. I am not angry. In fact, doing so may well have saved my life. I was dying, Christine, and your touch pulled me back. I wish to thank you. If you had not acted on your instincts, it is highly likely that I would not be speaking with you now."

Her face has lost some of its redness and she hastily wipes a tear from her cheek. "I just ... I just did what a good nurse would do."

"Precisely," I answer. "You have a gift, Christine, one that many Vulcan Healers would envy. I was almost gone and you saved me. I would request a commendation for you except--" Her head has jerked up in alarm, the word "no" on her lips. "--that it would be necessary to detail the actions that deserve such a reward, and I do not believe you would benefit from such a public disclosure."

She draws her breath and shakes her head. "No..." she manages to say. "No ... and I don't think you would, either, Spock."

"Indeed." It does not escape my attention that she has addressed me without honorific. "There is enough gossip rampant on this ship as it is regarding the two of us."

She manages a little laugh.

"So, I will merely say that I am most grateful for your actions and will be in your debt as a result."

She gives me a warm smile, her blue eyes twinkling with the extra moisture covering them. "There is no need, Mr. Spock." A hint of mischief plays in her incredibly blue eyes. "One does not thank logic. It is simply my job."

My brows flick upward in surprise. How does she know to use this Vulcan phrase? Did she pick it up from my mind when we were joined? Remarkable! I cannot suppress another smile. We both know that it is much more than just her job. There is a bond between us now, one that has been long building but which now seems to have solidified. There must of necessity be a barrier kept between us while we are assigned to this ship, but later ... when it is time...

But enough has been said now. We understand one another and maintain a long moment looking into each other's eyes, reading things that cannot be said.

I reach over and click the computer back on. "Thank you, Lieutenant," I say in an official voice. "If there is nothing else, you may return to your duties."

"Yes, sir. Thank you, sir." She rises to her feet, tall and slender and glowing now rather than flushed. Smiling, she turns and exits the briefing room.

When the door slides shut, I remain looking at the place where she was. Then I check the next name and key the intercom. "Ensign Brierly, please report to Briefing Room 5D."

THE END