Disclaimer:  Star Trek is the property of Paramount/Viacom.  This story is the property of SterJulie and is copyright (c) 2005 by SterJulie.  Rated PG.

 

AFTER THE CREDITS: The Deadly Years

Ster Julie

 

There has been an unexpected delay in my treatment.  I am resting on the floor of the isolation chamber as I await Doctor McCoy's return.  I look around the bare room and see that, indeed, "all the breakables" have been removed.  The chamber is lined in pads, floor ceiling and wall-to-wall.  Somehow, I am disturbed by the sight of the padding.  Just how difficult is this treatment?  How berserk do they expect me to become?  I find myself trembling, gasping for air.

 

I am appalled at my lack of control.  Indeed, I recognize that since my illness I have become more and more emotionally fragile, which disturbs me further.

 

I wrap my arms around myself, but not because I am cold.  The good doctor has seen fit to raise the temperature to a comfortable 120 degrees for me.  I am feeling terribly alone and vulnerable.  I have only my own arms for consolation and my tortured thoughts for company as McCoy prepares my injection.

 

There is an old Earth saying that one's life flashes before one's eyes as death approaches.  What an interesting way for my human ancestry to assert itself now.  I think of all of the missed opportunities in my life, the separations that have been so painful.

 

I think first of my father Sarek and all of our years of silence.  I do not regret my decision to join Starfleet.  It was my best destiny.  But I must confess regret at the resulting silence between my father and me.  In my arrogance, I had considered it his loss that we did not have a closer relationship.  Now I see that the loss has been mine, and that this animosity between the two of us has been especially painful for my dear mother.

 

My thoughts drift to my brother Sybok from whom I have been separated even longer.  How I long to see his face once more, to speak to the one who knows my heart, my katra, better than I know myself!  Sybok always had the right word and an encouraging look for me.  As I anticipate what promises to be an agonizing treatment, I long for just one word, one look from my long lost brother.

 

I find myself growing ever impatient.  Is the doctor ever going to return?  I shift my position on the floor, drawing my knees up and resting my head on them.  My arms go around my legs and I soon find that I am beginning to weep, to sob softly.  I do not know why.  I give a half-hearted attempt to control, to analyze the reason for this abysmal behavior, when suddenly I feel a hand on my shoulder.

 

"Hey, Spock," McCoy says gently.  "Are you alright?"

 

"I thought you had forgotten about me," I charge.

 

"I didn't forget you," he replies.

 

"Well, w-when will my treatment begin?" I stammer.  McCoy smiles gently at me.

 

"It's all over," he answers.  I am dumbfounded!

 

"But you never injected me," I state.  McCoy points overhead.

 

"I used the ventilation systems to introduce it into your system more gradually," he replies.  "You had less severe side-effects."  I give him a skeptical glance.  "Look at your hands if you don't believe me."

 

I unclench my hands from around my legs and study them.  The wrinkles and age spots are gone.  My hands move with much less stiffness.

 

I feel McCoy pass his own handkerchief over my cheeks.

 

"It seems that your only reaction was a loss of emotionally control," the doctor continues.  "It should pass soon."  I take the doctor's cloth and wipe my eyes and nose.

 

"You could have told me," I accuse.  "The anticipation was horrendous."

 

"I apologize," McCoy declares.  "When I went back to get the hypo, I had a sudden inspiration regarding using the ventilation system.  I wanted to spare you what Jim, Scotty and I went through."

 

I find myself able to take deep, calming breaths finally.  McCoy is right.  My emotional state was a direct result of the drug.  I am feeling more and more myself.  I get to my feet and find that I have to help McCoy up as well.

 

"Are you certain you gave yourself enough of the drug?" I tease.

 

McCoy merely "Harrumphs" in response.

 

* * *

 

On returning to my cabin, I find a copy of the communiqué the captain has received from Starfleet.  We are to shuttle the delegates to the conference on Babel.  I scan to see the roster of dignitaries, and as I anticipated, I find my parents listed.

 

"A'Tha!" I breathe.  "Are you giving me an opportunity to reconcile with Sarek?"

 

As difficult as it is, I have to put aside my own agenda and begin coordinating this upcoming event.  It will take much diplomacy, finesse, and above all time to succeed in this mission.

 

Only after all the preparations are made will I be able to consider my meeting with Sarek.

 

-FIN-