Disclaimer: Star Trek is the property of Paramount/Viacom. This story is the property of SterJulie and is copyright (c) 2005 by SterJulie. Rated PG13.
Part 1 -- Take a nap!
"I don't WANNA take a nap!"
Amanda tried again to coax young Spock into the little bed provided for him by the embassy staff.
"Babydoll," she began.
"I NOT a baby!" the child insisted. "Spock BIG boy!"
Amanda took a deep breath to keep from raising her voice.
"Spock," she began more firmly, "it is your bed time."
"Nuh-uh!" Spock said, undaunted. "It's still light out."
Amanda was beginning to lose her temper. It had been a long trip. Everyone's sleep cycles had been disturbed, so it was important to keep as normal a schedule as possible, especially for a very young, very precocious and very grumpy three year old. Amanda put a bit of steel into her voice and tried again.
"My son, you will get into bed and you will go to sleep." Spock looked up at her with big, puppy dog eyes.
"But we just got here," he whimpered. "There's so much to see!"
"It will still be there in the morning," Amanda replied, caressing her son's head.
"But it's morning now!" Spock pointed out. Amanda sighed.
"You take a long nap now, and we'll go out this afternoon," she said, smiling, thinking that would satisfy her very inquisitive little boy. Oh how wrong she was!
"Don't WANNA take a nap!" Spock said, stamping his little foot.
That did it. Amanda pulled back the covers, picked up her son and placed him firmly in the bed, sandals and all.
"You will stay there, young man, and go to sleep," she said sternly, pulling off her son's footwear. "You promised that you would be a good boy on this trip. Good boys do not argue with their mothers. They do what they are told. Now," she finished, turning off the lights, "go to sleep."
As Amanda left the darkened room, she heard her young son whimper, "Spock GOOD boy!"
It broke her heart.
Part 2 -- Abduction
There were two of them, darkness upon darkness. One stood by the door and the other by Spock's bed. Strong arms scooped the boy up as he slept, bedclothes and all, and held the child so firmly to his captor's chest that Spock could not cry out. He felt the heady dissolution of the transporter effect.
A strong acrid, metallic scent filled his nostrils and he nearly gagged. He was tossed into a dark, dank corner like so many rags as the captors barked orders to some others.
Spock felt his stomach lurch and knew two things: 1) They had beamed him onto a spaceship and 2) they had just jumped to a high speed.
Actually, three things. Spock was alone, and his family didn't even know that he was gone or where he was.
"OW!" Spock screamed as several hairs were yanked from his head. The boy screamed again as a large knife swooped upon him and cut off part of his tunic. Spock wrapped his blanket tightly around him and curled himself into a corner. He rubbed his sore scalp as he kept a wary eye on his captors.
The man with the knife wrapped the strands of Spock's hair in the bit of fabric and sealed them in an envelope. "Beam this right to Sarek," he told the woman assisting him. "Tell him to expect a ransom note."
"Sa-Sa," Spock breathed, hot tears welling up, "Mama." Spock remembered how he spoke back to his mother before he fell asleep. His sleepy, three year-old brain saw his captivity as punishment for sassing his mother. Tears trickled down his round cheeks.
Spock felt fear welling up inside him. He took a deep breath and squelched it, dashing the tears from his face. Fear would do nothing for him but interfere with him getting away. The more logical thing for him to do would be to learn as much as he could about his captors and see what he would have to do to escape.
But what he really wanted to do is cry.
Part 3 -- A Mother's Instinct
An uneasy feeling came over Amanda. She rose from her place in the gazebo and moved back toward the house.
"My wife?" Sarek queried.
"I have to check on Spock," she answered, not breaking her stride.
"The nanny would notify us if something was wrong," Sarek replied. Amanda's steps became swifter as she began to race for the house.
"Nanny should have wakened Spock by now," she said as she raced to the house. "Something is wrong, I know it!"
Amanda's heart sank as she espied Nanny sitting unnaturally still in the chair leading to Spock's bedroom. The governess' leg sported a plastic tube with a bright orange tassel. Amanda dashed to Spock's bedside as Sarek moved to the communications console. He had scarcely opened a channel when Amanda screamed.
Sarek raced to Amanda's side. He saw the bed, empty of sheets and blankets, and most importantly, his small son. Sarek rushed back to the comm unit and said, in a deceptively calm voice, "My son has been abducted and his caregiver attacked. Please send aid immediately."
Sarek turned and was met by a furious wife.
"You said this place was secure!" Amanda screamed as she pummeled her husband with her small fists. Sarek caught his wife's hands easily and drew her into his powerful arms. "They took my baby!" she sobbed. "I want Spock back! I want him back!" Sarek tightened his grip on Amanda.
//So do I, my wife,// he thought. //So do I.//
Sarek looked over to where the nanny still sat, breathing shallowly. His eyes fell to the tube protruding from her leg. /Blow darts,/ he thought. /No wonder the automated system did not alert us./
Later, as Sarek was speaking with the planetary authorities, the ransom note was delivered. The ambassador had to catch his wife as she passed out at the sight of a lock of Spock's baby fine hair wrapped in a piece of his tunic. Sarek shook with the effort to control his anger, his worry, his despair.
"Whatever their demands are, whatever they request, we will grant it," he grated.
Part 4 -- Ransom
Spock opened his eyes. He had fallen asleep finally. He was still wrapped in his blanket, and one eye was still uncovered to as to watch his captors. As he looked out of the small opening in the fabric, Spock espied a pair of legs standing before him. He sat up and pressed himself farther into the corner. A woman squatted down in front of him.
"Hi," she said pleasantly. Spock automatically replied as he was taught.
"Greetings." Spock kept a wary eye on the woman.
"My name is Tae," she continued. "What is your name?"
"I am called Spock," he answered. Tae offered up a bowl to him.
"I thought you might be hungry," she said, showing him the bowl's contents. There were nuts, dried fruit, and small cracker-like things. She shook the bowl, enticing the little boy with the aroma. She grabbed a small bit and tossed it into her own mouth.
Spock watched her chew and heard his own stomach rumble in response. He snaked a tiny hand out from his warm cocoon and snared a bit of the space mix for himself. Bringing his arm back inside the blanket, he sniffed at the food, then tasted it carefully. It was crunchy and soft, sweet and salty -- a combination he found acceptable. "Thank you," he said around his mouthful.
Tae placed the bowl on the floor by him and watched as the boy dragged it under his blanket. As she turned to leave, she heard his muffled, "C'n I have some water, please?" Tae brought Spock a small bottle of water and placed it near him. Again, his little hand emerged from under the blanket and drew the bottle to himself. Tae listened to him munch and slurp for a moment before shaking her head and moving away.
"So?" a gruff voice called out to Tae.
"So… what, Booey?" she replied. The abductor caught her roughly by the arm.
"Did we get him?" he growled. "Did we get the ambassador's boy?" Tae nodded.
"Yeah, you got him," she replied. "Says his name is Spock."
"Yesss!" Booey celebrated. "We're gonna be rich!" he crowed. "We've got us our own money pit!"
"Communications from the ambassador, Boss!" another of the kidnappers called from the stern. "He says, 'Name your terms.'"
Booey leapt into the air, greedy eyes shining in glee.
"He also says that he wants to see that his boy is unharmed," the comm officer continued. Booey's face fell into a mask of anger.
"Fine!" he spat. "Tae, make our little guest look pretty. The price just doubled."
The captors used Spock to taunt his father. Tae uncovered the boy from his blanket nest and combed his hair and smoothed out his clothes as best she could. Then they paraded him before the communications screen and demanded ransom from Sarek.
* * *
Amanda paced like a caged lematya as she waited for word from Sarek. He had deemed it too dangerous for her to go to the drop off point for the ransom. Sarek should had been back by now with Spock...
Amanda jumped as the door to their suite burst open. Sarek's gaze was so forbidding, Amanda was afraid to ask why he was alone.
Sarek stalked over to the comm unit and replayed the interchange between himself and his son's abductors.
"I went to the drop-off site, I followed all the directions!" he fumed. "Where is our son?"
* * *
After the ransom was paid, Booey developed his sick plan further. He sent another ransom note, then another. They always moved Spock farther away instead of delivering him to the agreed location.
Spock found this increasingly unbearable. If they didn't return him to his family soon, he would call out every scrap of information he had gathered on these ... fools. It wasn't polite, or logical to call them names, but it made this insanity a little more bearable.
Part 5 -- Skywalking
Spock's opportunity for escape came sooner than he was prepared for. He had only heard scraps of dialogue between the one manning communications and the base where they were hiding.
"Get up, boy," Booey said, kicking Spock. Fortunately, the bedclothes in which they had first concealed Spock and in which he had nested himself, protected him from anything more than a bruise. Spock walked obediently to where he was told and stood gazing at his father's image on the screen, Booey standing directly behind. Suddenly, Spock threw his head back sharply into the captor's groin.
"Vega Four!" he called out as the man doubled over. "Underground hangar!" The others yanked him away from the speakers and threw him back into the corner. Booey wrapped a belt around his fist and came at him menacingly. Spock didn't cry out at the first blow, but the second and the third were increasingly harder. It shamed him, but he couldn't help it. He screamed, and he knew his father had heard.
Tae finally succeeded in pulling the attacker off the boy.
"He's no use to us dead!" she screamed.
"We'll all be dead soon," Booey said, launching one last, savage kick at Spock's backside. The boy shrieked. "Power up!" Booey barked. "Get us out of here!"
* * *
Vega Four's shuttle patrol caught sight of Booey's ship as it dashed haphazardly out of the underground hangar. The three shuttles quickly surrounded the fleeing ship and wrapped it in a mesh of tractor beams.
As Booey screamed orders to his crew, Tae sneaked over to where Spock was cowering. She tied a bulky device to the boy and led him to the hatch.
"You'll have much better chances outside, kid," she said over the roar of engines straining against the tractor beams.
"Outside?" Spock squeaked fearfully. Tae threw a switch on the device Spock now sported.
"Yeah, outside," she repeated. She gave Spock a kiss on the forehead, blew the hatch and tossed the boy out of the ship.
Part 6 -- Angels Watching Over Me
Vega Four's security cameras were trained on the action over the spaceport. The crowd below gasped in horror as the ship evading the shuttle patrol suddenly burst into flames. As one, the crowd followed the trail of debris into the nearby lake.
One of the officers on the ground followed the path of another, much smaller object. It seemed to float as it descended to the surface. As the bundle drew nearer, the officer could make out the arms and legs of a small being. He raced to catch whoever it was.
Spock wondered if he had died and had become like the creatures in one of his mother's books. He was flying, or at least floating. He could never do that at home, or in any other place. There was a sudden brightness behind him, but he could not turn to see. He saw the periwinkle blue expanse above him and wondered if this was Sha Ka' Ree. Turning his head side to side, Spock wondered why Sha Ka' Ree had such mundane looking buildings.
"Oof!" Spock exhaled as strong arms caught him. He looked into the helmeted face of the man who held him in his arms. Why would anyone need a helmet on Sha Ka' Ree? Spock wondered as he passed out.
* * *
The diplomatic shuttle had taken off for nearby Vega Four as soon as Spock had blurted his location. Sarek looked over at his wife as she suddenly collapsed against the shuttle seat. An odd smile crossed her features.
"They caught him!" she murmured in wonder.
"Ambassador," came a voice from the control center.
"This is Sarek," he replied.
"Ambassador, Vega Four security reports that the ship on which your child was being held has exploded over the spaceport." Sarek collapsed back into his chair, his heart thudding coldly in his side.
"He thought he was an angel," Amanda continued in a wispy voice. Sarek turned troubled eyes toward his wife, thinking her mad with grief. Amanda caught his gaze and brushed his cheek gently with two fingers.
"Oh, Sarek," she crooned, "don't worry. Our son is fine. Someone caught him. He was falling, and someone caught him."
"How do you know this?" Sarek whispered.
"I, I just know," Amanda stammered. "A mother always knows!"
Part 7 -- In My Father's Arms
Sarek paced the length of the ship and back. This "short hop" to Vega Four was taxing his patience. No one dared to point out the illogical waste of energy in such a fruitless act.
Soon enough, Sarek and Amanda found themselves in Vega Four's best hospital, which was no match for even the small sickbay on the diplomatic shuttle. The doctors there had sealed his wounds and treated his bruises, but Spock had still not awakened.
"How did he survive the explosion?" Sarek asked.
"As far as we can tell," one the of the security officers reported, "someone tied an anti-gravity unit to your son and threw him out the hatch before the ship's engines overloaded." Sarek's mouth dropped open.
"They threw him out the hatch?" he repeated. The officer nodded.
"Good thing they did, sir. It was his only chance." Amanda came up and wrapped her arms around her husband. Sarek seemed to be stunned. "Someone on board knew they were goners and they wanted your son to survive. He floated planetside like a feather."
Sarek was in shock. His only son survived death by the merest of seconds, and at the hand off a stranger.
"A'Tha," Sarek muttered. "A'Tha watched out for the boy." Amanda hugged Sarek closer, then released him quickly before he could chastise her for the public display.
Sarek walked over to Spock's bedside. He noticed the bruises his son sported on each eye, the cast on his little leg, the cumbersome bandage around his hips.
Sarek gingerly picked up his son, cradling Spock in his arms as an infant.
"We will take him home, now," Sarek stated, brooking no argument.
"Thank you so much for your help," Amanda added, "for saving our son."
Sarek walked back to the transport site, vowing to never let his son out of his sight again, to keep him safe on Vulcan where he belonged. Space was far too dangerous a place for his family.
Part 8 -- Mama Knows Best
"I don't WANNA wear a didee!" Spock fumed, stamping his foot and folding his arms across his chest. "I'm a BIG boy!"
"Spock," Amanda soothed, "I know you are a big boy now. This isn't really a diaper…"
"Yes, it IS!" Spock corrected. Amanda sighed.
"Yes, son," she replied as she forced herself to be calm, "this is a diaper…"
"Don't WANNA didee!"
"…but it is substituting as a bandage right now."
"A bandage?" Spock asked as he rubbed his sore buttock where the kidnapper's boot had broken skin. "For my owie?" Amanda smiled sadly.
"Yes, Babydoll," she replied, caressing his cheek gently, "for your owie."
Spock reluctantly -- but obediently -- stepped into the proffered diaper/trainning pants. Amanda pulled them up, observing her son's pouty lip and the fat tears that threatened to spill.
"I sorry I was bad," he whispered. Amanda was puzzled.
"When were you bad?" she asked gently. Spock lowered his head.
"At the em'assy," he replied, "when you made me go to bed early and the bad men took me away." Amanda was more confused than ever.
"I don't understand, Spock," she responded. "Why do you think you were bad?" Spock sniffed and dragged a chubby hand across his face.
"I talked back to you, Mommy," he bawled. "You wanted me to take a nap, but I didn't wanna."
"You were grumpy because you were so tired, Baby." Amanda thought a while as Spock ran the back of a pudgy hand across his face again. "You thought the kidnappers took you because you were naughty?" Spock nodded and actually boo-hooed as he cried. "Oh, Baby," she crooned into his fragrant hair, "it wasn't your fault that they took you away. They were just greedy bastar-- they were just greedy people. They wanted money and power." Spock pulled his head back and looked wide-eyed at his mother.
"You gave money to get me back?"
"Yes, my love," she replied gently. "We gave them money, several times." Spock gasped.
"Lots of money?" he wondered.
"Yes, darling, lots and lots of money." Amanda tousled her son's hair. "You were well worth it. I'll tell you all about it when we get home."
Part 9 -- Father and Son Dialogue
Sarek woke to the sound of quiet whimpering. He peered over the edge of the bed to where his young son lay curled in a tight ball on the cabin deck, his chubby hands crammed into his mouth.
"Sa-fu," he crooned. "What troubles thee?"
Spock didn't reply. He tried to hide by snuggling down deeper into his makeshift pallet. Sarek reached down and tousled the little boy's hair.
"Sa-fu," he repeated. A mere squeak emanated from the bundle of covers. "Mmm?"
Sarek reached down and gently scooped the child up and into his arms.
"For what are you apologizing?" Sarek asked.
"I wet," Spock whined. Sarek found that fact confirmed by the warm wetness soaking through his own nightclothes.
"The medications didn't allow you to wake up in time to relieve yourself, my son."
"It was an accident."
"But I BIG boy, Sa-sa," Spock cried.
"It's alright. Come, and I will help you get changed."
"I sorry, Sa-sa."
"For what are you now apologizing?"
"The cause is more that sufficient."
"It's all right."
"My legs hurt."
"I will carry you."
"I tried not to cry."
"We've already been over this."
"No, Sa-sa. When the bad man hurt me."
"He hurt you because he wanted me to hear you scream."
Spock thought a while, then his bottom lip jutted out in a sad pout as fat tears filled his eyes.
"You mean, if I had been bad earlier and cried sooner, he wouldn't have hit me so many times?" Sarek nodded. "But I wanted to be a GOOD boy!" Spock wailed.
"You ARE a good boy, Sa-fu!" Sarek rubbed his son's back as the little boy sobbed. "You are my very good boy."
"Can I sleep wif you?" Sarek looked at the small bed he shared with his wife on board the diplomatic shuttle.
Part 10 -- Mind Over Matter
"A mindmeld? No!" Amanda whispered fiercely. "I forbid it! Spock is much too young." Sarek covered Spock's head with one hand. It had taken much effort and a dose of sedative to get Spock to sleep.
"Amanda, my wife," Sarek reasoned quietly, "Spock still suffers from night terrors. The healers can help him to recover more quickly."
"Has anyone just talked to Spock?" Amanda fumed. "There are other ways, less intrusive ways, and you know it."
"Perhaps, my wife," Sarek conceded, "but are they as complete or efficient?"
"Efficient!" Amanda hissed. "The end justifies the means, is that it? It doesn't matter if the mindmeld further traumatizes our son, along as it's efficient!"
Their argument was interrupted by a plaintive wail.
"S-s-s-s-s," Sarek whispered to Spock. "It's all right, Sa-fu. Go back to sleep." Spock squirmed in his father's arms until he had his arms locked around Sarek's neck.
"I heard yelling," Spock whimpered.
"No one was yelling," Amanda soothed as she rubbed her son's back.
"No, on the ship," he explained.
"When was that son?" Sarek asked gently, pulling Spock around to sit n his lap.
"At the end, when the ship was shaking, shaking real heard," Spock said in a tiny voice. "After Booey beat me." Sarek's arms tightened fractionally around his son. /Animal!/ his mind chided. /You beat a child, MY child!/
"There was lots of yelling," Spock continued, "and then Tae tied something on me."
"Tae was the lady that was nice to you," Amanda interrupted.
"Yeah," Spock agreed. "Tae was nice at first. She gave me food and water. She combed my hair and washed my face before I saw you on the vid screen." The boy's voice grew higher in pitch as he gulped for air. "But then she tied this thing on me and she THREW ME OUT!"
"Oh, Baby," Amanda soothed. "I know it was scary, but if Tae hadn't thrown you off the ship, you would have died with everyone else on board."
"Everyone else died?" Spock squeaked. Amanda nodded. "Even Tae?"
"Even Tae," Sarek confirmed. Spock was quiet a long while before he continued his story.
"Tae threw me outside the ship and we were WAY high up and I fell and fell and fell. I thought I had died and becomed an angel." Sarek and Amanda exchanged glances at that -- Sarek's puzzled and Amanda's amused. "The sky was so pretty overhead. I thought I was in Sha Ka ' Ree. I fell so slowly, down and down until somebody catched me." Spock snuggled into his father's arms. "Then I fell asleep and when I woke up, I hurt all over." Spock put two fingers into his mouth and began to suck them quietly. "Sa-Sa?" he said around the fingers. Sarek pulled them out gently.
"Let's go home."