DISCLAIMER: The Star Trek characters are the property of Paramount Studios, Inc. The story contents are the creation and property of Penny Jones and is copyright (c) 1999 by Penny Jones. This story is Rated NC-17 for sexual situations.



Hot and Cold

Penny Jones



Christine turned around and glanced at the other people in the room. She still wasn't sure how Nyota had talked everyone into coming down let alone in costume. But here they were on Satir 5 in what was suppose to be the most haunted house in the universe. She was a bit skeptical as were most of the crew. However, all of them wanted the chance to see the place up close. From the looks of things, over half the crew had arrived. All had hidden behind a mask; they would unmask at midnight although she assumed that like all the others their identities would be revealed long before then. One word was enough to let you know who most of them were.

She had chosen to go as the midnight pirate, who supposedly still roamed these very halls. Legend spoke often of the woman and her untimely and horrible death along with the lover she had left behind. However, Christine wanted to learn the truth behind the legend. Most of all she wanted to know if the stories of what the woman looked like were real. Few had seen her but those that did spoke of an eternal beauty that had been horribly scarred and left to fend for herself when she was but 15.

Christine slowly made her way to the hall and up to the first floor. Here is where most people saw her, as she would rush down the hall to the stairs at the far end. Most of the doors were unlocked and everyone was allowed to enter them. However, the few that were locked were to remain that way. Not by decree but because it was rumored that the ghosts themselves kept them locked. The scientist part of her scoffed at the idea, while the other romantic side hoped that just a tad of the story was real.

She knew that transporter use was strictly forbidden within one mile of Midnight Manor. It was the colonists' way of ensuring that off limit rooms were kept that way and the ghosts were allowed some moments of privacy. Her fingers traced the design almost transparent from age along the wall. She let her mind slip back through time, trying to image the woman who had stolen out into the night trying to save her people from the warlord. A time when your true identity was best left to only those whom you could trust.

She shivered slightly as she passed the first door on her right. It was almost as if someone had left the fan blowing in that area. Quickly, she looked up only to find the ceiling above her. No fans were in site throughout the entire floor. For a minute she thought she saw a light shining under the door, but it winked out, as she looked straight at it. Shaking her head, she turned around as Nyota's laughter preceded her up the stairs. As she moved forward she once again glanced at the now darkened door.

Uhura led the entourage up the stairs and smiled slightly at the person waiting for them. Others had come as the Midnight Pirate but this one seemed to have the upper hand. Her eyes met the laughing blue of her friend and she quickly linked arms with her. She should have known that Christine would be as thorough in choosing her costume as she was in everything else she did. Sometimes she wondered if they woman wasn't part Vulcan. Shaking her head she turned to the group following her.

Her voice was soft and musical as she began to spin the tale of the beautiful pirate and that fateful night.

"Long ago when the future of Satir 5 was as still uncertain, a woman came into the night to exact revenge for the peasants who neither had the skills or the money but who willingly swarmed to protect and help the midnight pirate on her nightly raids. Her ship sailed the air attacking those of Warlord Tansin. Her attacks were so successful that Tansin had put a 500-denura reward for anyone who knew the identity of the mysterious maiden. Two years later and still no one had come forward with the truth. So Tansin sent in several spies, one of which stole the maiden's heart. However it was late at night when he slipped from his lover's embrace and went to meet Tansin's men. Together they set the trap that would destroy the maiden. Only Senit had fallen in love with the midnight pirate and had in the end betrayed Tansin."

Uhura looked around the hall, her eyes falling on each member of the bridge crew before coming to rest on Spock. "Tansin's men were captured while trying to capture the lovely vision that Senit called Tesina. Neither one knew of the other spies, one of which went to Tansin and in return for the identity of the fair pirate, he received her lands. Only he would never live long enough to collect it. On the night of the full moon, a night that falls into sync with our own All Hallows Eve, Tansin caught the lovers returning from the river."

Spock let his eyebrow rise slowly to his brow as Uhura put her arm through the Captain's and took a few steps forward. "They were brought to her manor where Tansin exacted his revenge. It is said he beat Senit until the man was barely conscious, then made him watch as the turned their satanic ritual on the Midnight Pirate." No one spoke a word as she stopped in front of the last door to the right. Slowly she turned to face the Enterprise crew. "To this day, no one knows what the midnight pirate looked like, only that her golden hair could rival the sun in the sky and she was as fair as her lover was dark. Their bodies have never been found and it is said they wander these halls looking for each other and until their bodies lie side by side they will never rest in peace."

Christine smiled then turned to the door on their right, her hand resting on the door. She knew how Ny loved enchanting the crew with her voice and words. Still Christine knew that there was some validation to her story. Only thing was she planned on learning a little more than that. They had acquired the place for the weekend and she planned to spend a day in the town center talking to some of the town people. Somewhere there had to be someone who knew more of the tale.

Christine sighed as a cold breeze blew down the corridor. Silence fell over the group as they turned toward the breeze. The corridor was empty.

Christine spun around as a cold hand touched her shoulder. A frown hidden behind her mask marred her usually beautiful face. Slowly she turned back around and met cool brown eyes. She gasped as the eyes slowly disappeared to be replaced by warm brown ones.

Uhura smiled at her and pulled her off to the side. "Chris are you all right?"

Christine smiled and then nodded. Sighing, she shook her head. "No, I thought I felt something touched my shoulder but there wasn't anyone there. Then, when I turned back around I saw the most incredibly brown eyes."

Shaking her head, she glanced around. The crowd of people was slowly thinning as each found something new to examine in this place. Leaning back against the last door in the hallway, she sighed as the few who remained began to surround them.

Christine yelped as the door behind her gave way and then slammed shut as she fell on her backside. With a curse she stood and grabbed the door handle. Try as she might, the door would not open. After several tries, Christine hit the door with the palm of her hand and turned to survey the room.

The soft glow of a globe light cast small shadows against the walls. Cobwebs hung from the ceiling and draped across the furnishings. Chris frowned and grabbed the mask from her face. The room looked as if it hadn't been touched in years, yet she knew all the open rooms were cleaned daily.

She mentally ticked off the open rooms on the first floor. In her mind's eye, she knew this was not one of the rooms on the list for visitors. Slowly she made her way around the room searching for anything that might help her to escape. She soon found herself back at the door.

She raised her knuckles and rapped gently on the door. "Nyota, can you hear me?"

There was no answer. Christine shook her head and started the search again when a loud knock sounded on the door. She rushed over and knocked back. "Can anyone hear me?"

Two quick raps could be heard in the now silent room. "Well, I can't hear you." The sound of her own breathing was the only thing that met her ears. Sighing, she leaned her head upon the door. "Listen I'm going to try and find another way out of here. The door won't open. So, if I don't answer right away, don't worry."

Even as the words left her mouth she felt a chill. Spinning around, she felt shivers run down her cheek and arm almost as if someone had run a finger down her cheek. Christine moved away from the door and whatever was there. She gasped as something cold seemed to envelope her. Christine saw the room begin to swim just before everything went black.

* * *

Uhura gasped as Christine disappeared beside and the door to the room slammed shut. She grabbed the handle and twisted. Nothing happened. "Chris," she yelled, turning to look at the six men around her when there was no answer. Kirk moved beside her and pounded on the door. Still there was no answer. He turned back to look at the others.

"Uhura, contact the Satirians and let them know what has happened. I want a key to this room brought as quickly as possible. Chekov, get a tricorder from the ship and let's find out what's behind here. Sulu, get me all the information you can find on this place. Scotty, see if you can find another way to get us through that door in case the Satirians don't agree to help."

Everyone turned to go except Spock who stepped closer to the door. He cocked his head to the side and held up his hand for quiet. A few seconds later, he hit the door hard in two quick successions. Carefully, he turned to the Captain. "She is unharmed at this time and can hear me knocking. I would like a reading on these doors. It seems they have the ability to block out most sounds." He knocked again then turned back to face the others. His eyes met Uhura's. "If memory serves me correctly, this room is the bedchambers of the Midnight Pirate herself. Am I correct Lieutenant?"

Uhura nodded and then looked at the heavy wooden door that looked just like all the rest. Only this one as rumor had it had remained sealed by unknown sources since the death of the lady herself. Suddenly a light appeared on the floor under the door. She stepped forward only to be violently pushed across the hall. Shaking her head, she leaned forward as McCoy knelt beside her. "Hey, Doc. What the hell hit me?"

McCoy shook his head, casting his eyes down the hallway as a wispy form disappeared around the corner. "Jim, did you see that woman that just turned the corner?"

Kirk and Spock turned on their heels and sped to end of the hall. They turned the corner and stumbled over the first step. Kirk cursed softly as he picked himself up. He scanned the stairway, but all he saw was a thin layer of fog covering the landing up above. Spock placed a restraining hand on his arm. "Captain, the woman would have been unable to reach the landing before we turned the corner. I suggest that we return to Dr. McCoy's location and wait for the others to return."

Kirk let his eyes again scan the area before returning to the others. They only had to wait a few minutes until the others returned. Spock took the time to contact the Satirians. They were very disturbed about the recent turn of events and would be arriving shortly.

Spock collected the tricorder and began scanning the area. He noticed some abnormal readings in the room where Christine was and similar ones further down the hall. Cautiously he moved down the hall. Light peered out from under the door of the first room at the top of the landing. Checking the information stored in the tricorder, he noticed that this room too had never been open. A cool breeze stirred his hair and he glanced down the stairs. The front door was still closed and there was no indication that it had been opened recently.

With brow furrowed he turned back to his investigation. Spock watched in amazement as the sealed door slowly swung open. He walked to the entrance and quickly scanned the room. "Fascinating," he replied as he felt something on the middle of his back. With no warning, he was propelled forward into the room. He spun around in time to see the door slam closed behind him.

Quickly he glanced down at the tricorder and then back to the door. A chill seemed to penetrate deep in his toes and slowly spread upwards and with it came total darkness.

* * *

Jim heard Spock's barely audible words as he moved toward him. Then he stopped in total shock as his First Officer and friend was violently shoved forward. He arrived at the door in time for it to slam shut in his face. "Spock," he yelled, throwing himself at the door. There was no answer. After several failed attempts to get the door open, he swung back around to his fellow officers. "Alright, I've had it with this place." He glanced at McCoy who was helping Uhura to her feet. "How's she doing Bones?"

Bones shook his head as he released her. "She's fine. A little shook up, but no serious injuries."

"Good, cause we have a lot work to do. Bones, you and Uhura get everyone out of this building but the six of us and whatever Satirians that want to stay. Scotty, contact the Enterprise, have them scan this area and let us know what the find. Sulu, Chekov, you're with me. We are going to find out what happened to our people and hopefully we can do it without losing anyone else."

It took an hour for Bones and Uhura to get everyone in the main ballroom. However, once there they paired up and headed for the doors. Three Satirians strode through the door. They nodded at the crew before proceeding up the stairs. A yell from the front doors brought everyone to a stand still. "Hey, Doc, is this some kind of joke?" Lieutenant Riley asked as Bones and Uhura reached the front door.

"Riley, this is no joke. You need to leave here now." McCoy waited patiently as Riley raised a brow and spun toward him.

"Well, I would, Doc, only the door won't open."

McCoy rushed past him as Kirk came flying down the stairs. He yanked on the door only to find that it wouldn't budge. A few minutes later four of the biggest crewmembers leaned against the door panting. Kelsy moved forward and brushed her whiskers back with a wet paw. "It's no use, Captain. Whatever is in this house doesn't want us to leave."

Kirk nodded and turned back to the Satirian delegates. "I need to know everything you folks know about this house and the people who supposable haunt it. Two of my officers have disappeared and now we can't even leave." The four Satirians looked at each other. The small man on the end nodded but the other three shook their heads. The one in yellow turned to him. "I am Tansin. These are my advisors, Tomar, Gilden, and Herta. We are not at liberty to tell you anything more than what is in the literature. However, we do give you permission to use your transporters to remove all of your crew. We will, of course, return the fee your lovely lady gave us for the use of the night." He ducked his head in a bow and turned toward the door. It failed to open even for him. "This cannot be possible. I cannot waste my time in this pitiful place." Squaring his shoulders, he turned to Kirk. "If you would be so kind as to have your ship transport me outside as well."

Kirk shook his head. "Sorry, but the transporter won't work. It seems that whatever has my two crewmembers also has the ability to block our transporters."

Tansin hurumped and stomped out of the room. Tomar and Gilden followed. Herta glanced at them then turned to Kirk. "I will tell you all that I know. It is said that I am a descendant of the midnight pirate's brother. Many a tale has been told over the years but I know that not all are correct. The stuff in the literature is only partically correct." He glanced around at the others then back to the Captain. "Perhaps we can talk in the den. If you and a few others will follow me, I will tell you a most horrible tale of revenge and death."

* * *

Christine moaned softly then touched the side of her head. She rolled over and propped herself up on her elbow. Carefully she did a check of her body. After assuring herself that only her head hurt, she slowly rose from the floor. Once standing she reached out a hand to steady herself. Leaning heavily on the four poster bed, she took careful stock of the room. Her brow furrowed as she noticed a slight discoloration in the far corner of the room. Gradually she made her way across the room. Twice she had to stop as a wave of dizziness washed over her.

She stretched out her hand and met nothing but air. Biting her lip, she glanced around again; her eyes landed on the small globe light sitting next the bed. The one closest to her wasn't working so she slowly made her way to the other one. Taking a deep breath, she stepped into the darkness beyond. Looking around she realized she was in a passage that seemed to run along the inside of the house.

Christine glanced down both tunnels wondering just which one she should take. Suddenly a light appeared off to her left. She hung her head and then headed toward the light. Something behind her lifted her hair off her neck and whispered softly. "Meleya!" She shivered and spun around, only to find the path behind her clothed in darkness. Shaking she turned back toward the light. "Okay, Christine, get a hold of yourself. You know that there is no such thing as ghosts." *Yeah, right,* a small voice in her mind replied. *That's stupid, Chris. There are too many unexplained things in this universe for you not to believe that there just might be something that acts like what we consider to be ghosts.*

Shaking her head, she tuned a corner and stepped down to steps before continuing. Seems like whatever had put her in that room wanted something from her. Otherwise, why take her in the first place? "Probably because you just happened to lean against the door that they hadn't shut all the way." Smiling she again turned left. "Now they got you talking to yourself as well." A few minutes later, she saw a light off to her left. Carefully she stepped into the room. The dust was just as thick here. However, the room decor acknowledged that this room at least belonged to a man. One that was long gone.

Yet something didn't feel right. Cautiously she stepped further into the room. Light from the globe cast long shadows across the floor only to stop at a large lump in the floor by the door. Immediately she recognized the shape as that of a person. Her fear put aside, she raced to its side. Quickly she checked for any irregularities. Finding none, she turned him over. A gasp slipped from her lips as she removed the mask.

Shaking, she lifted his head and felt for any lumps. Finding none she laid him back down. "Spock, Spock, can you hear me?"

Christine shook her head. There was nothing wrong with him but she couldn't wake him. Standing she searched the room for any clue as to what had happened. Something off to her right caught her eye. She spun around and screamed. Quickly she slapped her hand over her mouth and staggered back a step. Realizing that by doing that she was leaving Spock unprotected, she moved forward and braced herself.

The creature in front of her had no mouth or ears, the former having been sewn shut while the later had from the looks of it been torn off. When it did not move, she knelt by Spock's side. Keeping one eye on the creature, she carefully felt again for a pulse. It was steady but faint. As she moved his hand, the tricorder he had been holding clattered to the floor. Quickly she grabbed it up and pointed it at the creature, only to find the area empty. Sighing she bent her head forward and took a deep breath. Resetting the tricorder, she quickly scanned Spock. The readings indicated that he was currently in a healing trance and would hopefully be coming around in a little while.

Glancing around she decided that she should make him a tad more comfortable. Her legs trembled as she made her way to the bed. She hurriedly removed the pillows and blankets. The readings had indicated that Spock's body temperature was steadily dropping. She shivered as she remembered waking up a little bit ago and how cold she had been. Whatever had knocked them out must have altered both their temperatures and that might cause problems for someone who always kept his quarters 20-degrees hotter than the rest of the ship. After making him comfortable, she began searching the room. When she opened the third drawer on the dresser, she heard what sounded like papers rustling. Sliding the drawer closed she brought the globe up and glanced behind the dresser.

It took all her strength to move the dresser the few inches necessary to retrieve the papers there. The small packet was sticky on one side but opened easily enough. Having nothing else to do, she sat down to read. A half-hour later she heard a low moan. Moving quickly she knelt at Spock's side. "Spock can you hear me?"

"Need help," was his husky reply. Christine bit her lip, took a deep breath and swung with all her might. The contact was solid and her hand stung from the impact. Spock didn't budge. She repeated the process several times before her hand jerked to a stand still inches from his face. "That will suffice, Miss Chapel."

Christine arranged the floor length skirt to cover her legs as she watched him sit up and look around. "How were you able to leave the other room?"

She shrugged her shoulders. "I don't know. When I came to, there was a secret door standing wide open in the corner. The lights led me to this room. However, the secret door for this room is still open."

Spock nodded and came to his knees. Christine grabbed his arm to steady him. "I forgot to tell you that dizziness is a side effect from whatever they knocked us out with. It goes away in a few minutes. Why don't you just sit there while I tell you of some things I found in here?"

* * *

Herta sighed and walked to the window, silently he watched as the purplish glow of the full moons slowly spread across the rolling hills of Satir. For the second time in less than an hour he wondered if he was doing the right thing. "Every ten years two people disappear on this night, never to be seen again." Rubbing a hand over weary eyes, he turned to face the others. "I have tried to get the government to quit having these parties here but they won't listen to me. Tansin thinks I am overreacting. However, he does not have to live with the guilt."

Kirk came within inches of the small man's face. His hazel eyes bore into the bright orange ones. "You let my people come here knowing that two of them would not leave this place tonight. What kind of society are you? Where a person's life means nothing to you."

Herta leaned his head back and closed his eyes. "Not a very civilized one." He opened his eyes and glared at Kirk. "We didn't think any of your people would disappear. The last time we have had Terrans here, they were fine. Never have one of your people disappeared before. In fact these disappearances are nothing like the others."

Kirk raised a brow in almost perfect imitation of his first officer. "Just what are you saying here?"

Herta raised his hand and brushed his elegant blue hair away from his tiny face.

Kirk looked up at the ceiling and rubbed tired eyes. He couldn't believe what Herta had told them. Then again he had known men throughout history that had done worse. Still it shocked him to know that now human kind was still capable of such horrors.

A terror-filled scream ripped through the room. Kirk was on his feet and halfway through the door before Herta's words stopped him. "You won't find the woman, Captain."

Kirk turned and snapped at the man. "Just what do you know about what is happening?"

Herta sighed and shook his head. "That scream is one that is heard every year. It is the beginning of the end. The Midnight Pirate will die again tonight just as she has for the last three hundred years. Her screams are heard throughout the hills. There is no place to hide from them." His voice lowered to almost a whisper. "Soon the night will be filled with the screams of all the others who have died on this night throughout the years."

Kirk walked up to him and grabbed the multi-colored robe in front of his chest. "My people will not be added to the list."

Herta smiled sadly. "That is what they all say." He shook his head and turned back to the window. "I will tell you this much more, Captain. Never before have the doors to the mistress's chambers opened. They have been sealed for more than three hundred years. The men that were in her room the night she died ran screaming from her chambers shortly after her death, the doors slamming shut behind them."

Kirk continued pacing the room as the young man finished talking. "Then perhaps, Herta, this disappearance is not like all the rest. Tell me, is Tansin related in any way to the ruler that killed the Midnight Pirate?"

Herta glanced around the room. His eyes reluctant to meet Kirks. "Yes, Tansin is his great grandson. None but their family has ever sat upon the throne. Some of us wonder if the ghosts are not waiting to exact revenge, but, if that were true, why kill innocent people. That is the only thing about all this that doesn't seem to fit. The Midnight Pirate never believed in hurting innocent people."

"Either that or everything you were ever told about her is a lie," Bones replied as he sat watching his captain pace.

Herta shook his head. "No, I refuse to believe that. My great grandfather told me many stories of such a generous woman. There must be a reason for all of this." Kirk nodded then strode to the door as another scream rent the air.

* * *

Christine shivered as once again the awful scream rent the air. Turning she looked at Spock. "So what do you think, Mister Spock? If everything that these people believe really did happen back then, then maybe we just need to find out where their bodies are in order to leave here."

Spock glanced up from studying the crude writing. "Just because there is evidence of their existence does not mean that history actually took place due to it or because of it.

Slowly Spock got to his feet and offered Christine a hand. She gratefully accepted it as they turned toward the secret door. "I understand that, Spock, but the likelihood that we were put here for a reason does validate some of the information."

Spock raised his brow and nodded. "You are quite right. Since they brought us here, maybe it is time we learned about why we are here."

Silently they slipped into the darkened halls of the secret passage.

* * *

Herta turned toward the door and followed Kirk into the outer room. "Captain, your people may stand a chance at survival. In the past, those that go missing don't disappear until the screams start and never have they disappeared inside the manor."

Kirk stopped so suddenly that Bones and Uhura almost ran him over. His eyes were fixed on a lone figure standing at the top of the landing. Her blonde hair seemed to shine brighter then the sun. It hid her face from view but the glow that surrounded her body was brighter still. Just as suddenly she was gone, leaving nothing but a wisp of fog trailing down the stairs.

The others kept up with him as he took the stairs two at a time. He stopped short at the top and glared at the now open doors. Slowly he made his way to the first one. The cobwebs were thick and sticky as they made their way into the room. On the floor were two sets of footprints leading to the back wall where they disappeared behind the wall.

His sigh was not lost on the others as he turned toward them. "At least we know they are alright."

Uhura nodded and reached down to pick up a few discarded pieces of paper. Her breath caught in her throat as she read the first passage. Quickly she scanned the next page then grabbed Bones' arm. "Listen to this, Doc. I think it belonged to the Midnight Pirate:

"Tonight they came and took my love from me. They don't know about the secret halls that allow me to move unrestricted through the house. I could leave now but I would not be able to live with myself. He who is my heart has risked much to be with me. I know they made him watch as Tansin and his men used me for their pleasures. A part of me wishes to end this torture that screams inside of me. However, there is that other part that hopes that the child I carry will be born tonight before I leave this world. I hear them coming and so I must go.

"The fist contraction is upon me. I am hoping to find Nannis. Only she can find a home for the man child I carry. He is and always will be my gift to this world. I only wish that he will someday return to this house to claim what is rightfully his. Until that time all that come..."

Uhura lowered the letters. "That is all of it. Do you think her child lived?"

Herta walked up behind her. "No one inside these walls beside Tansin and his men survived that night. This Nannis that she mentioned was found in the kitchen, pinned to the cabinets with her cooking forks until she bled to death. Minu, Tansins' head of security carved his name across her chest while her screams matched those of her lady." Uhura shivered and moved closer to her friends.

* * *

Spock held the globe higher trying to make out the exit in the dimming light. They had followed the passage to this intersection but the globe's dying light was making it difficult to make much progress. He would be fine with his eyes already adjusting to the dimness. It was Christine that he worried about. She would find it hard to keep up with him in the dark. However, that would be moot soon enough. Right now he was more concerned about which direction they should take.

Christine's voice was quiet as she moved up behind him. "Why don't you just put out the light and let them lead us?"

Spock raised a brow but realized something had gotten them to this point. It took only a second for the globe's light to cease once he had set it down in front of him. A few seconds later a orange glow lit up the hall to their left. Christine could just make out the stairway. She shivered slightly. No one had been to the third floor since Tesina and Senit had died and tonight she and Spock would do just that.

She wondered if Tesina herself were not leading them. Then she shook her head. The creature she had seen in the room with Spock had been a male. Sighing, she took a step and came up even with Spock as he stood at the bottom of the steps.

Christine stifled a scream as she glanced up to the top of the stairway.

Spock took a cautious step forward. The creature standing before them with tattered clothes and long blonde hair was covered in blood. As Spock neared her, she glanced up at him. Christine gasped and Spock took a step back before straightening his shoulders and taking the next step. The face was marked with long jagged scars running the length of her face and down her throat. However it was the eyes that took a while to get use to.

There were none.

The puffy outline was an indication of the horror this woman had gone through before her death. Christine's heart went out to her. If Tansin had done what everyone said, then her last hours of life were a living hell. Slowly she made her way past the apparition on shaky legs.

Once past she turned around to see a smile flit across the woman's face. Not for the first time did Christine wonder what the woman had looked like before that fateful night. The woman nodded and pointed toward the door at the top of the stairs before disappearing again.

When she turned around, her eyes met those of the commanders. "It would seem, Doctor, that your instincts were correct as usual. They do indeed require our help. The question is help to do what?"

Spock reached out and opened the door. It gave way with a loud squeak. The passage that they entered was pitch dark as the door closed behind them. Spock reached behind him and grasped Christine's hand. "It would be prudent for you to remain in contact with me. My eyes will allow me to find the way."

"Just where are we going, Spock?"

"That remains to be seen, Doctor."

Slowly they made their way through the twisting passageways, Spock keeping them from running into the walls but only barely. No lights braved the cold dark silence of the halls. Dirt and dust mixed and created a musky smell. More than once Christine sneezed as the dust they swirled up in their passing made its way to her nose. Twenty minutes later she squinted as light made its way into their internal world of darkness. Spock slowed allowing his eyes to adjust before entering the room.

* * *

Kirk bounded down the hallway to the next room. It was as empty as the first. "Okay, hopefully the two are together. Let's just hope they are alright."

Uhura walked down the hall and turned the corner. Slowly she sat down at the bottom of the step. A tear rolled unnoticed down her cheek. "Ah, Chris, I'm sorry for getting you in this." She jumped as a cold hand touched her shoulder. Turning she saw a wisp of smoke disappear at the landing then watched in utter shock as the door slid open by some unseen hand. Without taking her eyes off the now open door, she yelled. "Captain, Doc, come quick! The door!"

Kirk reached out a hand to steady her as he slammed into her coming around the corner. It took them a few seconds to reach the top of the landing. A cool breeze met them at the top. A few seconds later, with a light held firmly in Kirk's hand, the crew of the Enterprise stepped foot into a part of the manor that no human eyes had seen for over three hundred years.

Silently they made their way down the hall, checking each room as they went. A chilly wind went through them as another scream rent the air. Sharing a glance they set off in search of the screams that increased in volume and frequency. Each member of the crew felt the weight of the place as increasingly apparitions filled the halls, each locked into a place they came to visit, only to never leave.

An eerie silence hung heavily in the air as they made their way down to the next set of stairs. Kirk was surprised to find that both the door leading up and down were both open and a light shone through both. Motioning to the rest, they split into two groups. Kirk, Bones, and Uhura headed up, while Scotty, Sulu and Chekov went down.

Kirk's group climbed the stairs then slowly made their way down the long hall. A light from the last room on the right lighting their way. They entered to find a crib in the corner and baby clothes littering the floor. On the far wall hung a mural that reached from the ceiling to the floor and wall to wall. Painted in several poses were pictures of a young woman with long blonde hair and laughing blue eyes. Standing or sitting next to her was a young man with dark blue eyes and light brown hair. Some showed the couple laughing and some serious. Each showed the woman in various stages of pregnancy. The last picture showed them smiling down at a small infant held in the young man's embrace. Along the other walls were pictures of the young child as she grew. But nowhere was there a picture of what she would look like as an adult.

Kirk stepped closer to the wall and held up the light he was still holding. Uhura gasped behind him.

The young girl bore a strong resemblance to Christine. The only thing different was the small ridge across the bridge of her nose and the thin red lips.

Kirk glanced around the room and moved back into the hall. "Do either of you know what happened to Mr. Herta?" Both shrugged their shoulders and moved to join him.

"Sorry, Jim. He never followed us up the stairs."

Kirk nodded and moved toward the stairs. "Well, we've seen everything here that they want us too. Maybe we should join the others."

* * *

Scotty moved as quickly as possible down the narrow passage. He sighed quietly as he continued the downward path, wondering not for the first time tonight if they would make it out of here alive. For the second time in as many seconds another scream rent the air.

Chekov swore softly as he again banged his head on a low overhang. His accent was growing more distinct the longer it took them to get to the bottom. "Just vhere does this thing go?"

Sulu held up the light and pointed it down. "Well, from the looks of things, this will take us all the way down to the basement."

"And just how far is that?"

Sulu shrugged his shoulders and walked down the next flight. "I guess we'll find that out when we get there."

It took them twenty minutes to get to the bottom and an ill wind blew through the place as they stepped down to the last platform. A loud almost inhuman screen rent the air, sending chills racing up and down their spines. Slowly they made their way down the rock strewn passage. Off to the right was a door and further down was another one off to the left. Tentatively they approached the first door. All three jumped back in horror.

There behind the door was something that turned their stomach -- skeletons held in place by different bonds. One was hanging from a bar in the corner missing an arm and a leg, while others lay in different positions scattered throughout the room. One lay in the corner with legs shackled to a giant ball while the hands were shackled to the wall. The body had been torn apart as the weight of the ball pulled it away from the wall until it ripped in two.

All of them stepped back out of the room with a shaky breath and turned at the sound of voices coming to them from the stairwell. Quickly they ducked into the shadows and waited for the voices to let them know where they were.

* * *

Christine shivered as they walked into what was clearly the attic of the old manor. She stepped closer to Spock as they weaved their way around the piles of boxes. Spock seemed to know just where he wanted to go. Still she wished that something would tell them what was expected of them. She collided with Spock as he came to a sudden stop.

Peering over his shoulder she saw that which had brought him to a complete halt. There lying against the far wall was the skeletal remains of what Christine assumed was a young woman. Her clothes hung limply from the bones. The material was a deep green satin material that was overtly large for the small bones. Christine wiped a tear from her face as she knelt by the body and lifted the material. "It looks like she had the baby before coming here. I wonder if the child survived?" She fingered the gold and diamond necklace that hung from the woman's limp fingers.

"Only the child and its adopted parents would know. If he made it that far. It is said that Nannis was found in the kitchen. There was no child with her."

Christine stood and turned to him. "That doesn't mean she didn't get that child out of here." She wiped another tear away and moved toward the small window above the swaying crib. "Who's to say that Nannis wasn't returning to be with her mistress after delivering the child. As you can see, there is no sign of a child here."

Spock cocked his head and moved to stand behind her. "Doc.... Christine, there is no proof either way. Who is to say? Maybe the child did survive. Either way they have lived on in history."

Christine hung her head and wrapped her arms around herself. "They needed us to bring them together, Spock." She spun around nearly collapsing into the crib when she bumped into him. His hand grabbed her elbow to steady her. Her tear stained face looked up at him. "Why us, Spock? Why couldn't they have gotten someone else? Why did they wait three hundred years?"

Spock looked out the window behind her as her emotions rolled over him from his contact with her arm yet he refused to let go. "I do not know the answers. However, since they have chosen us, they must have had a reason."

Christine shook slightly as she tried to regain control of her raging emotions. She gasped as Spock pulled her against him as he continued to stare out into the night. It took a few minutes for her to relax into his embrace and let herself come to terms with her raging emotions. She knew how hard it must be for him to do this and she wanted to make sure he didn't have to endure it any longer than necessary.

Her eyes closed and she took several deep breaths but, once she had pulled herself together, she noticed that he had not released her. Sighing she started to push back only to feel his arms tighten around her as his other hand began to caress her back. Glancing up she realized that although he held her, his thoughts seemed to be miles away.

Christine pushed against his chest and shivered slightly as his hand slid across her back and along her ribs, before he stepped back. His eyes met hers. "Are you ready to leave?"

Christine nodded then pointed to Tesina. "What about her?"

He turned and glanced at the bones laying there. "It is not their bodies that we need to unite but their souls. I believe they will follow us until they are reunited. They must come to terms with their deaths, that is the only way they will find true peace."

Christine nodded and stepped around him to pick up the necklace that she had noticed earlier. Quickly she slipped it on and turned to meet Spock's eyes. As bright blue met deep brown, she felt her world suddenly shift as his hand reached out and gently traced her lips. Clearing his throat he stepped back. Turning to leave she barely caught his whispered comment. "I do believe I am looking forward to that lesson you promised me years ago."

Christine blanched as she moved to catch up with Spock. Her brows furrowed in thought as they headed down the stairs. At the bottom of the stairs they turned to the passageway that moments before was blocked by a closed door. Now it stood open, a silent invitation to the couple standing on its threshold. Spock raised a brow then glanced quickly at his associate. "Shall we proceed, Doctor?"

At her nod he turned and headed down the passage. As they went he noticed the decrease in lighting. He stopped and waited for her to catch up. Then placing her hand in his, he took a step and descended the stairs. Twenty minutes later found them at the end of the tunnel.

A warm night wind blew softly through her hair as they stepped out onto an open path. The stars above winked down at them. The necklace felt cold against her flushed skin. "Where are we, Spock?"

"All signs indicate that we have emerged 3.5 kilometers from the house and only ten meters from the lake. I suggest we head back and inform the Captain that we are safe."

Christine nodded and turned around and headed toward the light from the house. She had only taken a few steps when Spock's hand reached out and pulled her toward him. The breath was knocked from her as she slammed into his body. His arm tightened around her pressing her close. Placing a finger on her lips, he cocked his head to listen. She wrinkled her brow but remained silent. Soon she too heard what he did as voices reached out to them in the darkness.

Christine didn't know how long they remained that way but she felt him tighten his grip and then release her. She turned to find themselves surrounded by armed Satairians. Spock introduced himself then raised a slight brow as they pushed him to the ground. A small man walked forward as the others moved aside to let him pass. His eyes glanced at Spock then raked over Christine.

Without warning his hand snaked out and the back of his hand connected with her cheek knocking her to the ground. "What an interesting development. Your Captain is in the manor looking for you and the two of you are here enjoying the night air."

He moved around till he was standing behind Spock. "Tell me, Commander, have you figured it all out yet?" Smiling he leaned forward and whispered in his ear. "Because of her, Commander, I lived in exile. She condemned me and all her followers to a life of living hell. Even now three hundred years in the future, she haunts this world. Her memory and what she achieved keeps Tansin and his followers from giving us the freedom we so richly deserve. Because of her, I am nothing but dirt. To this day we search for her son and his children."

Spock jumped to his feet and was quickly forced back as Christine yelped in pain. He pulled her backward by her hair. "Do you know that the description of her matches you to a tee? Though your face is unscarred by time and weather. With your coming the people began to whisper of a chance to regain our glory. Little do they know that you are nothing but a female decoy. A hope to draw out those who stand against me. For I will rule over all of Satairians as my family would have if Tesina had not refused to live peacefully. Do you know how I hated telling offworlders of her glory?" He spit in her face as he pulled her to her feet. "You destroyed everything that should have been mine. I live in a hovel and bow at the feet of a wanton shinutz. But tonight I will redeem myself by giving him the two of you."

Christine bit her lip as Herta hurled her toward the house. She glanced behind her to find them tying Spock to a pole and then hoisting him up as they fell into line behind her. Silently they made their way toward the house. When they were almost there, Herta moved to the front of the line. It was at that point that Christine decided to escape. She swung at the first guard and swirled around to the next before the first one hit the ground. She got no more than fifteen feet away when a tall Satirian in a yellow robe grabbed her. She kicked out with her feet and swung with her fists only to find then yanked back and tied behind her. She struggled to get away but, after a few minutes of struggling, she fell limply against him

He laughed as he flung her aside. "You have done well, Herta. Take them inside. Make sure no one sees you. Tonight will be like it was when this all began."

Tansin walked over to where Spock dangled from a pole. "My great-grandfather had a portrait done of the beautiful Captain Midnight prior to her death. It hangs in my personnel room. I have been waiting to finally have someone worthy enough to try it out." Turning, he headed to the hidden door by the bushes. "Tell me, Mr. Spock, how did you two get from up there to down here? All the passages save this one are closed."

Spock raised a brow and glanced at the others. "It would seem, Tansin, that we had help from the Midnight Pirate herself and her lover."

Spock watched as his words had the desired effect amongst the men. All knew the tale. One man whispered to the man next to him loud enough for Spock to make out the words. "Legend says she will choose a time and a place to exact her revenge on those that wronged her. I do not want to be here when it all starts." Spock noted his leavetaking, wondering how many others would follow suit.

He found out too late that it wouldn't matter. They carried them into a dark tunnel and through a wooden door. Some of the decor was from ancient times while quite a bit was modern. Still in the corner sat a skeleton of extreme age, if the decay of the bones was any indication. They untied him from the pole. Spock sprang into action only to stop at Tansin next words. "Behave, Vulcan, or I kill her now."

He turned to find Christine standing next to the tall man with a phaser aimed at her stomach. For a brief moment Spock thought of continuing the fight, but knew that to continue would be useless. If he gave in now there was always a chance they would escape.

Tansin nodded to his men and smiled gleefully as the Vulcan was shackled next to Senit's body. He tested the bonds, looking up as Herta's chuckle greeted his ears. "The bonds were guaranteed to withstand a Hitua. That is our biggest animal on Satir. If you can get loose, then you have earned your freedom."

Tansin whirled around and lifted Herta off the ground. "I decide what happens here and don't you forget it." Herta nodded and bowed his head. For now he would let Tansin have his way. However, soon enough his people would make sure that Tansin never again sat in a place of power.

Both men watched as Christine was released and then tied so that she dangled from the ceiling. One of the guards smiled and ran a hand along her thigh. She lashed out with her foot and connected with the poor man's jaw, sending him spinning across the room. Tansin's laughter followed suit as the man landed on his rear at Spock's feet. "Bitch," he whispered as he climbed to his knees, only to wake a few minutes later sprawled on his back staring into Tansin's face.

"Jinsu, Vulcans have excellent hearing. You should watch what you say when within their reach." The man shook his head as Tansin's smile disappeared from view. The man climbed to his feet and then slowly made his way out of the room, leaving Tansin, Herta, and two others along to take care of the prisoners.

* * *

Scotty listened closely to the voices than smiled to himself as he slipped out of hiding. It only took a few minutes to meet the Kirk and the others and they made their way down the stairs. The reunion was quick and to the point as they slowly made their way to the last door. Scotty quickly filled him in on what they had found. Kirk then let the others know what they had found in the upper halls.

When they reached the last door, they opened it and entered another passage. Kirk rolled his eyes. "This place has more hidden rooms then the galaxy has stars." Turning to the others he pointed to the turn up ahead. "We need to be prepared for anything. These corridors can go anywhere."

When the reached the T in the hall, they stood staring undecided. Suddenly off to their right they saw a lone man standing at the end beckoning them forward. Glancing at each other they shrugged their shoulders and headed toward the man, only to have him disappear before they got there. Kirk shook his head but continued. Something in this place was trying to help them and he intended to use anything that would lead him to his friend and coworker.

When they turned the last corner, a man stood and turned toward them. He licked his lips and moved toward them. "Herta sent me to show you the way if you would follow me." The man turned back the way he had come. Kirk moved to follow but was halted by Bones' hand on his arm.

"Jim, I think we should follow this other guy here." Jim turned to find the ghost motioning them to follow him again. Quickly he looked toward the man who stood in front of them. "Please, sir. If you don't hurry, your friends will be lost forever."

Kirk glared at the young man then turned to follow the apparition. The other man yelled at the top of his lungs and was soon quieted when Chekov stunned him with his phaser.

Sulu shook his head and moved to catch up with the others. "Seems like Herta has been playing both ends against the middle."

"Yes and we almost went the wrong way," Uhura replied as she turned to glance at the spot they had just walked past. The apparition was gone but somehow she felt its pain as if he was again reliving it.

* * *

Tansin moved toward Christine as he nodded, the other two men grabbed her legs. She held back a scream as he grabbed the front of her shirt and ripped it open. "You are just like her. Grandfather said she didn't scream until he sliced into her pretty face. Are you just like her, my dear?"

When she didn't answer, he turned to Spock. "Tell me, Spock, will you enjoy watching?" His smile grew as his eyes met those of his captive. "Oh, how thoughtless of me. Vulcans are very private people, aren't they?" His steps were light as he moved closer to Spock. "Senit there screamed almost as much as she did while grandfather had his fun. Will you scream, too?"

His laughter reverberated along the walls as he moved back to Christine's side. "Oh, my pretty little vixen, you are going to give me hours of enjoyment. I think I know now why my family has been enthralled with yours."

His hand lightly caressed her stomach and moved up to caress her breast. She sucked in a breath and tried to move away from his hand only to be shoved forward by the men holding her. Her eyes briefly met Spock's before she glanced back to the floor. She bit her lip as Tansin hands roamed freely over her body.

Christine felt a cold hand caress her cheek and opened her eyes to see the mouthless man standing next to Spock. His hand swept toward the door.

As his hand moved, a breeze blew quickly through the room causing the chains along the wall to begin to rattle. Suddenly a wail began inside the room. The lone voice was soon joined by many others. All too soon the temperature in the room began to drop drastically. Tansin jerked his hand away from Christine and turned toward the hidden door. His mouth fell open as the door opened and a wisp of fog slowly rolled into the room.

Herta moved around behind Christine and picked up a small yellow bottle. Grinning, he moved toward her. Opening the bottle he allowed a small drop land on Christine's wrist. His grin spread as she gasped as it slowly made its way down her arm. Quickly he donned fur gloves and moved closer to her. In exquisite pleasure he let a finger follow the trail of the liquid. This is the part he liked best, the chance to see these women squirm.

Yellow eyes squinted up at her as his eyes met hers. "By the time we are done, you will be begging me not to stop." Laughter filled the room as he cast a glance at the Vulcan who was still sitting in the exact same position as when they had started. "Your Vulcan doesn't seem to care what happens." Crooked green teeth stood out as Herta smiled up at her. "I can't wait to see what he does when you start yelling. When we get done with you, no man alive will want anything to do with you."

Christine shivered as his hand began to run over the now cool oil. In slow circular motions he began to rub in the oils. The heat that started to flow down her arm shocked her into some semblance of order to her chaotic mind. Her eyes filled with terror as she realized what the bottle must contain. She prayed that for once she would be wrong. Not for the first time did she wish she had worn standard issue underwear.

She watched in horror as he held the bottle up. Her eyes widened as he held it above her head. With a gentle hand he lifted her head. The liquid was once again cool on her flushed skin as it made it's way down and over the bridge of her nose. His gloved hand began to make small circles on her forehead. The heat that shot through her was so intense, she had to bite her lip to keep the groan forming from escaping.

Herta took his time distributing the liquid over her body. Her black bra with red lace across the top held her rounded breasts tightly, causing them to almost overflow their boundaries. The matching panties barely covered the rich mound beneath it. Herta licked his lips and leaned closer. Leaning forward he breathed lightly on the exposed portions as he spread the cool liquid over her shoulders. The liquid slid slowly downward and then met the soft fur of his glove as he began to smooth it gently into her skin.

Christine closed her eyes and inhaled sharply as heat once again set her body on fire. At first it was just a mild sensation of a lover's caress but each time he added the liquid her fever flew higher. Biting her lip she tried to hold back the groan but failed. As the noise filled the now quiet room, her eyes flew open and she took a quick glance at Spock. Blue clashed with brown, one filled with shame and the other with understanding.

Spock's words met her ears as the fire on her chest spread to her stomach as Herta added more fuel to the burning flames that lapped at her inner core. "Close your mind to your surroundings and listen to my voice. There is no one else around. Envision yourself somewhere else."

His words were cut off by a quick slap across the face. "If you don't shut up, we will make sure you never talk again."

Her heartbeat quickened as his voice did what no one else's ever could. It called to her soul. Heat flared anew as Herta continued his caress. Flames shot through her as the liquid seeped into her pores. Her gasp was quickly followed by a light chuckle from Tansin. "Ah, Herta, you were right. This one looks like ice with those blues eyes but underneath there is much fire. Don't stop now. I wish to see her beg."

His hand moved down to the bulge that was growing larger with each small caress. Slowly he opened his trousers and let his hand begin a journey that he only traveled once a year. Many a times he wished to do this more often but to have his women disappear would draw too much suspicion on himself. So he settled on punishing only the offworlders. It was the one time when he could indulge himself in this forbidden pleasure.

Many a night he had fucked the brains out of his women picturing them hanging there forever in his control. Sometimes he wished he could use the Tullia on them. However, the drug was dangerous and highly addictive. The drug had been outlawed over a century before but there were a few who still knew the secret of its making. He himself had outlawed it to keep his women free from its horrendous effects.

He scraped his nails along the underside of his erect penis causing it to harden until its veins stood out. Slowly he moved his hand up and down its ridged length.

Christine's eyes were still glued to Spock's. She wanted nothing more that to crawl inside herself, to look away from him. She found that she couldn't. Some part of her needed the strength that he was offering her. Tears rolled down her cheeks as Herta massaged the oil into the soles of her feet. The fire that had started in her wrist was spreading like a wildfire that has found new brush. It flared to life as Spock's lips moved in slow motion. His words a cool breeze to her molten soul. "Let your mind go. Do not fight the sensations that you are feeling. It will be easier on you in the end."

She understood, though ever fiber in her body screamed for her to fight. She concentrated on her breathing as she let the fire slowly run its course. Once she excepted what was going to happen the blaze began to burn out of control.

The heat began to spread up her legs with every beat of her heart. She closed her eyes and let her thoughts go where they may. Suddenly Spock's face filled her mind's eyes. Shaking her head, she tried to dismiss that picture. It would only increase the fire that was already a burning inferno. She felt the blood boiling in her veins racing to a point where both would meet at the junction of her most secret place. The sweat rolled down between her breast as her body arched, aching with the need for fulfillment.

She felt cool air caress her breast as her bra joined her underwear on the floor. She knew they were wet with her need. As the fur glove moved to massage between her legs, the fire again flared anew. She bit her lip and tasted her own blood as she tried to keep the cry in her voice from escaping. Her body bucked in protest as much as in need. She heard the moan from Tansin as he continued to pleasure himself.

A crack of skin hitting skin was quickly followed by a husky voice. "Hey, Vulcan, you best keep your eyes on the show. Wouldn't want you to miss the best part."

The fire inside began to build as Herta increased the caress. She could feel it like a heat wave rolling over her body one small cell at a time.

Herta knew he shouldn't but she had lasted longer than any of the other women and a part of him yearned to join her in the pleasure that would soon follow. Though a part of him knew that Tansin would indeed punish him for it later. He let his glove hand fall to his side as he quickly stepped away. She groaned in frustration as her body cooled. The fire didn't die. Only a hunger griped her soul and she yearned to be fulfilled. He knew the cycle, knew how the drug caused the natural desires to increase. Just once he wanted to know how it felt.

In two quick strides he was standing next to Spock. Slowly he reached out with his gloved hand and gentle traced his upswept brows. He smiled as he reached down and tore the shirt down the front exposing his rippling chest. He licked his lips as his hands moved over every muscle. He smiled as the Vulcan tried to pull away. He knew it would be useless for him to fight. Soon the fire would consume this ice monster too.

He felt him shiver and knew that soon he would feel the fire that now consumed the woman hanging nearby. He glanced quickly over to his lord and smiled at the sight that greeted his eyes.

Tansin sat on the lone chair, his hand running over his taut nipples as his other hand caressed himself. His eyes were glued on Spock as the Vulcan's breathing increased slightly. A soft groan joined the howl of pain that filled the room. Tansin jerked his hand and squeezed as again the spirits began to voice their outrage.

Herta loved the power that filled him to see so many with the fire burning through their veins. He reached up and wiped a drop of sweat off his forehead. Shock filled his very being as he stared at the gloved hand that just moments ago had so carelessly rubbed against his skin. The fire spread quickly through his veins much quicker than any of the people in the room. Realizing what he had done, he reached over and laid his hand alongside Tansin's cheek.

His eyes were full of glee as he watched this man who had caused so much grief scream as the fire roared through his already blazing body. His howl of pain quickly joined those of his victims. His eyes bulged out as pain pierced his heart.

Glaring at the man who would be the death of him, Tansin grabbed the arm of the closest man and ripped the knife from his grip. Turning he imbedded it to the hilt between Herta's only two ribs connecting with at least one vital organ. A nasty sneer crossed his face as again pain ripped through his heart. Moments later he lay eyes wide open, at last coming face to face with all the victims of the past.

Herta gasped as the knife found a home. He stared in utter disbelief. Turning as he fell, he placed a key in the Vulcan's hand. "Let it all end here."

They were the last words he would ever say. Spock took advantage of the guards' temporary stunned silence to release his shackles. In less than a minute he had immobilized both men. Spock grabbed his shirt from the floor then released the chain holding Christine up. As she descended, he stepped forward to keep her from hitting the floor. She slid down his body, her arms going around his neck. She pulled them forward and giggled as the handcuffs stopped her from completing the action.

Spock tried to lift her arms over his head and shivered at her words. "Would you like your next lesson now?"

Before he could answer she pressed her body close to his and brought her lips up to meet his. The touch was feather light as her lips brushed tentatively over his. Fire flared through her as she smiled and crushed her lips to his. Her tongue moved lightly over his lips waiting for them to open. When nothing happened, she pulled back and with desire-filled eyes met his warm brown ones.

"Christine, we must get out of here before the others come too."

She sighed loudly as he lifted her arms then removed the cuffs. A few minutes later found her enclosed in his shirt, shaking fingers trying to keep it closed. Spock slowly made his way across the room to Senit's still form. Kneeling he gently removed the necklace that still hung around his neck. It was the perfect match to the one Christine wore.

Voices outside caused him to quickly return to her side and move to the other side of the door. It opened to reveal a welcome surprise.

Kirk glanced around the room then let his eyes rest on the two people who were a true joy to see, though he did not miss one iota of detail. In a quick glance he could pretty much figure out what had happened

"Spock." He left it at that, knowing that he would learn everything when they were back on the Enterprise.

It only took a second for everyone to give small words of hello. However, McCoy eyed them both cautiously when Chris pulled away from his hug. He noticed how warm her skin was through Spock's shirt. So he turned his attention to her flushed cheeks. "Just what is going on here?"

Spock turned to the doctor than carefully picked up the small yellow bottle. "I would suggest you test this quickly and find a cure. I do not know how long the effects will last. It would seem that it effects different species in different ways. Be careful not to get it on your skin. Also I would suggest that no one touch Christine or myself until you know what it is."

It only took Bones ten minutes to find the answers he was looking for. The drug was well known in the Federation black market. It had taken almost twenty years to find a cure. He knew the rule about transporters but took a chance anyway. A few minutes later he stood back and adjusted the dosage for his favorite Vulcan. "I still want to see both of you in sickbay the minute we get back."

Spock nodded then turned toward the Captain. "Jim, we have one more thing that we need to do before we leave. If you would like to join us outside, it would seem that we need to lay some ghosts to rest."

McCoy's eyebrow almost came through the top of his hair as he stared in open mouth wonder at him. "You can bet I'm not going to miss this for anything." Shaking his head he turned to follow them out as Uhura and Christine lingered behind for a few minutes. "Spock actually believing in ghosts?"

Spock spun around to comment then thought better of it. He stopped at the exit and waited for the women to catch up. He and Christine stepped out in the predawn light and headed for the lake. Spock led the way to a small graveyard near a weeping tree. Everyone spread out until Sulu found what they were looking for. Kneeling in front of the two graves they quickly dug a hole in the middle of the graves.

Christine removed the necklace with shaky hands. It twinkled merrily in the early morning light. A tear rolled down her face. "May you finally find the peace in each others arms, that which was missing in life be yours now in death." The necklace slid over her fingers to entwine with the one Spock had just deposited.

Spock stood and offered her a hand. Together they closed their eyes for a moment of silence. When they opened them, a soft blue glow surrounded them. A young man with laughing brown eyes held out a shaky hand. All eyes turned to the woman who reached out and accepted his. Her laughing blue eyes and shining blonde hair greeted them. Her smile seemed to add fuel to the sun rising over the horizon. They nodded their heads and disappeared in the blink of an eye.

No one knew if it was the long harrowing night or if they had truly seen the lovers from a time gone by, though it would be a long time before anyone would forget this night.



THE END

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