Disclaimer: Star Trek and characters are Paramount's property, I have written this story for entertainment purposes only and no money whatsoever has exchanged hands. No copyright infringement is intended. Any original characters, situations, and story are the property of the author. Copyright 2005 by SterJulie. Rated PG.

 

After the Credits Dagger of the Mind

SterJulie

 

Personal log, Stardate 2727.8.

 

I knew something was wrong. Spock had been, well, edgy, ever since he whole Tantalus thing. I knew if I pushed Spock, he'd clam up, walk away, and stew until he exploded.

 

At first, I thought that the mind meld with the insane Van Gelder did something to his finely tuned balance in control. Then, I took a good look into Spock's eyes -- when he'd let me -- and saw that they were a bit haunted. I knew he needed to work this out. I gave him a week to come to me for counseling before I went looking for him.

 

When Spock finally came to me, I was shocked at what he said.

 

Spock thinks he killed Tristan Adams.

 

When Spock went into the colony's power control room, he found the electricity has been turned off. So he turned it on. And so Dr. Adams was caught in the beam of the neural neutralizer, set at maximum. With no one to enter suggestions through the machine and into his mind, Dr. Adams died, alone, drained, empty.

 

I thought I had seen something in Spock's face when we found Adams' body, but with everything that was happening down there, I didn't remember it until now.

 

"Can you imagine the mind...emptied by that thing?" one of us had said (I don't remember which). "Without even a tormentor for company."

 

Spock is confident that our people would have eventually stopped Adams, and that the doctor had died needlessly.

 

I asked Spock how he handled the guilt when he had to kill another person in battle. He assured me that, although it goes against Vulcan tenets to indiscriminately take a life, battle casualties are inevitable. This death did not fall under that category, in his eyes.

 

I told him that Dr. Adams' death was an accident, payback, a cruel twist of fate, even a bit of bad karma brought about by his own actions.

 

Spock and I argued about blame and guilt. He called my beliefs vindictive, and I kept asserting that an accident is just an accident. I told him that beating himself up over Adams' death just wasn't logical. If anyone were to blame, it would be Adams for creating that chamber of horrors in the first place.

 

I don't truly know if I had any impact on Spock. Perhaps I did, because he walked out of my office with his head held higher than when he entered it. I certainly hope so. Undeniably, Dr. Adams died a horrible death. But, Spock doesn't need to carry that guilt, especially since, to be honest, Adams got what was coming to him.

 

End recording.

 

END