My Faith in You Part 3 of 4 K/U, S/U [R] Non-con
Image courtesy of Paramount and Trekcore
Disclaimer: Paramount owns Star Trek. I own only the stories my Muse gives me
Summary: A dark turn in Uhura's life and the lengths Kirk goes to in order to fulfill a promise.
McCoy monitored them from afar during most of the night. Biolab had finally gotten all the toxins identified, and McCoy was none too surprised to find that Christine had stayed and done most of the successful analyses. She was also leading the filtering agent research. One day he would have to talk her into finishing her medical degree, she was wasting her talents here.
Spock had come and gone several times during the night as well. During one visit, he had watched from the observation window, as Kirk and Uhura slept in each other's arms. Even from the bridge, through their mental connection, he had been bombarded by Kirk's whirl of emotions. It had finally settled itself into peaceful resignation and Spock had allowed himself to relax his mental shielding just a little.
The sight of them together was both shocking and not. Kirk's head rested lightly upon Uhura's. She had managed to slip her arms around him and curl herself against his left side and chest. His left arm was still wrapped around her gently, and she had locked her hand into his. Spock was shocked to be a witness to such intimacy, but, through his link with the Captain, he experienced a sereneness the human rarely felt.
McCoy sidled up to Spock at the window and looked on with the Vulcan. At first, the Doctor had worried she would re-injure her ribs, but the monitors showed no signs of distress. If anything, her vitality had grown stronger. She had been steadily calm for nearly three hours now.
For once, McCoy kept silent and Spock was thankful. His control was only just becoming stronger and he thought any provocation from the CMO might destroy what gains he had made. It was not logical, but the sight of his captain holding Uhura helped him reestablish the controls he had so nearly lost. It was as if the comfort Kirk gave to her was being given to him as well. He decided not to dwell on that thought too deeply for the moment. For now, it was enough that it helped him regain control. As he stepped away from the isolation ward, McCoy walked with him.
"Any luck in tracking down that Orion ship, Spock?" McCoy asked quietly.
He knew Kirk had wanted to call the bridge before he went to Uhura's side, but there hadn't been time.
"Not as of yet, Doctor. We are closer, but their ship is nearly as fast as Enterprise and they did get a substantial head start on us."
"I hope we catch up soon. If they do have captives, the sooner we get them away, the better I like it." McCoy intoned half to himself.
What was left unsaid between them was how much he hoped the other women fared better than their Comm Officer had. Spock looked at McCoy with the same unspoken wish.
"If you will excuse me, Doctor, I will go to the Biolab and see if I may be of any assistance to Nurse Chapel."
McCoy watched the Vulcan turn and go. He had already made the same offer and had been dismissed. Christine had told him she could do it faster by herself and wanted him to stay in Sickbay with Uhura. He knew she would probably dismiss Spock as well, but just the fact that he offered would make them both feel better.
Some time early that morning, Christine walked into Sickbay with a filter pack ready to go. She gathered up McCoy and they entered the isolation ward quietly. Kirk's eyes came open immediately, but he didn't move. He watched as they drew near and locked the biofilter onto Uhura's left arm. She stirred and moaned softly, but never woke up. Sheer exhaustion had finally overtaken her and kept her in a deep sleep. McCoy patted Kirk's shoulder and gave him the okay sign. Kirk nodded slightly and closed his eyes once again. He knew all he could do now was wait.
Much later, Kirk awoke to find McCoy at his side. The Doctor looked exhausted, but he had a smile on his face. He reached over and gently administered a hypospray sedative into Uhura's shoulder; as it took effect she sighed and relaxed even more.
Kirk eased himself out of her warm embrace and exited the biobed carefully. He was stiff from being still for so long. He reached back and pulled the blanket back over Uhura's shoulders, smiling to himself that she still clutched his shirt in her right hand. They moved to McCoy's office and met up with Spock, who was already there awaiting the captain's entrance.
"Spock, what's our status?"
"Still on intercept course and gaining. Orion ship is approximately 6.3 hours ahead of us. Long range scans have yet to ascertain whether they have any captives onboard."
"Did Command give you a hard time when you advised them of our pursuit of the Orion vessel?" Kirk had hated to dump that on the Vulcan's shoulders - better to keep Komack's wrath focused solely upon him.
"I believe the Admiral's words were 'hurry up'." Spock remarked in a much milder tone than Kirk knew it to have been delivered originally.
Kirk eyed his First Officer, looking for the flatness he had last witnessed from the Vulcan. Spock eyed him back, just as curious to see how Kirk had fared during his emotional vigil. The Captain broke into a wide grin and Spock arched a brow in acknowledgement that they both had survived relatively intact.
Spock had more than curiosity fueling his need for knowing the emotional status of his captain. He had meditated on Uhura's ongoing terror attacks and how they might counteract her conditioning. McCoy had confessed during the night that, while he could cure her bodily damage, he had great misgivings about treating her mind. Spock had formulated a plan, but it would take the consent of both the Lieutenant and the Captain.
The long distance look that came over Spock told Kirk the Vulcan had gone elsewhere for a moment. He glanced at McCoy, who was nearly asleep in his chair, and waited for Spock to say what was obviously on his mind.
"Captain, Doctor." McCoy immediately came back from the brink of sleep at Spock address.
"Once Doctor McCoy has rested sufficiently and performed the necessary surgeries upon the Lieutenant, I may have a method for treating the terror attacks they have conditioned her to experience."
McCoy shot up out of his chair and advanced on the Vulcan. His greatest fear was that, after all she had been through; he wouldn't be able to cure those. He was sure a Starbase psych unit would be able to overcome them, but once Uhura was transferred there, it practically guaranteed she would never get another shipboard assignment again.
There had to be another solution. The Doctor still remembered Uhura's cries to Jim and his promising she would always be by his side. It had sounded like a reminder of something said before, not an empty promise made in a desperate attempt to keep a dying friend alive. McCoy was determined he would do everything in his power to help Kirk keep that promise. Any idea the Vulcan had, he was ready to listen to it.
"What's your idea Spock?" The Captain and Doctor asked in unison. They both looked slightly exasperated at the Vulcan's deliberate pace.
"If I have the consent of you, the Captain and Lieutenant Uhura, I may be able to create a mindmeld with her to remove the conditioning behavior the Orions have instilled."
"Why do you need my consent, Spock, to meld with Uhura?" Kirk asked, confused by the Vulcan's statement.
"Because, Jim, I will attempt to enter her mind through yours - "
"Now wait a doggoned minute, Spock. Why does Jim need to get involved?" McCoy interjected.
"I don't know that I like this three-way interlinking here. Have you ever tried such a thing before?"
It sounded desperate to McCoy, and he knew just how desperate he was, if he were even contemplating allowing the Captain and First Officer to go into a meld with a damaged mind.
"I personally have not done so, Doctor, but the technique is sound and used by Vulcan healers to treat paranoia and other conditions where the patient exhibits mistrust of the healer." Spock lectured.
"Since the Lieutenant would be provoked into a terror attack if I approach her directly, I will approach her through a mind she feels to be safe - the Captain's."
"Okay, but aren't you forgetting one little point, Spock? You're not a Vulcan Healer trained to do something like this! McCoy interjected with a heavy dose of sarcasm.
"I have studied the medical text explaining the technique and am experienced in melding with Humans, the Captain specifically, which is the more important qualification in this instance." Spock replied in a long-suffering manner.
"Reading isn't the same as doing, Spock, and we all know it. I can't sanction such a risk." McCoy barked back at the First Officer.
"Bones, lets hear Spock out." Kirk shushed the CMO in a tired voice.
The Vulcan turned to look directly at the Captain, his gaze penetrating into the human's.
"Jim, I must warn you that this meld will be very deep. I will have to use your feelings for her to gain her trust and use them to undo the damage done. There will be no secrets between the three of us. Can you allow me access to what I need in order to cure her mind?" The Vulcan asked bluntly.
Jim shot Spock a look of anger twinged with fear. How could he answer that in any way other than 'yes'? But could he really do it? Could he allow Spock into that part of his soul where he kept his feelings for Uhura locked away? Did he share with Spock the conversation between Uhura and he that had ended in a kiss he could still feel upon his lips?
McCoy watched Kirk look into himself for answers to questions only he could ask, and waited with Spock for Jim to decide. In the end, it only took a few seconds for the Captain to square his shoulders and look back at the two of them. McCoy had no doubt as to his response.
"Of course, Spock, if it will help heal Uhura, I will share whatever you need." Kirk replied determinedly. Maybe if he acted the part now, the feeling would follow.
"Doctor, you need to get some rest like Christine and Uhura are doing. You have surgery to perform soon. Spock, I've got to take a shower and eat something before I go to the bridge." Kirk rattled off as he headed towards the door, not waiting for a response.
McCoy looked at Spock and slowly shook his head.
"Spock, are you sure you can pull this off? We can't afford to lose all three of you." McCoy remarked in a tired and dejected voice.
"Doctor, I assure you, if you can heal her body, the Captain and I can heal her mind."
The Vulcan stared at McCoy for a brief moment, trying to instill some confidence into the physician before excusing himself to go to the bridge. McCoy just stood there alone for a moment, staring at the spot where Spock had been.
"Damn it, Spock, don't fail me now. If I allow this to happen and something goes wrong - " He couldn't even finish the statement.
Did he let Spock try it? Spock wasn't a Vulcan healer; one trained to deal with traumatized minds. He was too tired to think straight. He would get the rest his body craved to prepare for Uhura's surgery. He would get her body well before he let himself consider the healing of her mind.
He walked back to the isolation ward to check on its sole occupant, ensuring she still rested comfortably, before he took himself to bed. On his way out, he gave M'Benga report, telling the other Doctor he would return later to perform surgery.
Kirk returned to the Bridge after a nearly twenty-four hour absence. All eyes turned towards him when he entered, hoping he would give a report on their injured officer. He looked over at Spock and realized the Vulcan intended any information to come from the Captain.
Kirk stepped briskly towards the command chair, attempting to radiate confidence. He swiveled in his chair and reviewed who was manning each station. Palmer had become the permanent relief for Uhura on alpha shift. Kyle was over at engineering, doing his best to appear worthy of his rotation to alpha. Chekov and Sulu were at their usual navigation and helm, both very aware of their captain's scrutiny. Spock had his head bowed to the science station viewer, intent upon his scanning.
"May I have your attention for a moment?" Kirk began.
He knew he had to tell them something. Everyone had been very professional in carrying out their duties, but the tension in their posture was very evident. Better to tell them a little of the truth now rather than let them run with rumor and innuendo. There had been a security team with him, other eyes that had seen Uhura lying there in the aftermath of the explosion.
"I know everyone wants an update on Lieutenant Uhura's condition, he began slowly. I can tell you that she is in serious condition and will undergo surgery later today. Her long-term prognosis is very good, but it will be a slow recovery. You will be advised when she can have visitors. All updates will be handled through shift and department reports. I do not want Sickbay bombarded with inquiries or visitors. Thank you."
He smiled at everyone, trying to show them all he thought his Comm Officer would be fine. However, almost everyone realized he had told them very little. No details on how she was injured or what those injuries were. Neither did he explain any reason for such a delay in her surgery. In addition, he offered no explanation as to why he stayed in Sickbay all night. Mainly, he had just given them an acknowledgement that she was still alive.
But they did all get the subtle warning against inquiring too deeply. Spock himself had debriefed the security team that had rescued Uhura. Now, there wasn't a hint of explanation coming out of any of them. In any case, the lack of facts, and even rumors, meant the Captain intended for this incident to remain quiet. Only he knew if it was out of respect for her privacy or something else.
"Status report, Mister Spock." Kirk ordered. He had to turn them back to business.
"Still on intercept course and closing. Enterprise is approximately 4.8 hours out."
"Thank you, Mister Spock. Scotty?" Kirk called down to Engineering.
"I need warp nine for a little while. Can you talk her into it?" The Captain tried to keep it light, offering encouragement to the crew.
"Aye, Sir. I think she feels up to it. As long as it's not too bumpy when we get where we're going."
The Scotsman would push his lady if it meant catching the barbarians who had hurt Uhura.
"No promises, Mister Scott, but I'll do my best. Kirk out."
"Mister Spock, I want all scanners focused on that ship, continuous scans searching for any non-Orion aboard it. Have the cargo transporter tied into the computer so it can beam out anyone it finds. We may only get one chance at this."
The Vulcan nodded slowly. It was a given that the Orions would not allow their ship to be boarded. They would self-destruct before allowing any evidence of their slave trade to be gathered. The only chance any prisoner had was if the Enterprise's computer could lock onto them during that nano-second between shields falling and disintegration.
"Mister Sulu, warp nine."
"Aye, aye sir." The Helmsman nodded over his shoulder and turned his attention back to his board.
Kirk tried not to get up and pace as they closed in on the Orion ship. Going to warp nine had gotten them nearly there in less than half of their original ETA. The Captain had tried to utilize the time by catching up on reports and writing some of his own, but his mind wouldn't stay focused. His nerves were stretched to the limit awaiting their closure on the Orion vessel.
"Captain, I read eight alien life signs in the cargo hold of the Orion ship." Spock announced calmly.
The First Officer turned and looked knowingly at Kirk. They would only have this one chance. The fact that he was able to detect the aliens through the Orion shields meant the new masking technology wasn't as stealthy as once thought. It also meant the Orions probably didn't know Enterprise could scan them. That ignorance might buy them some time.
"Great job, Mister Spock; now let's get ourselves into transporter range before we hail them."
Kirk launched himself out of his chair and began to pace along the front viewscreen.
"Ve vill, be in transporter range in six minutes, Keptin." Chekov volunteered, his own excitement getting the better of him.
"Thank you, Ensign." Kirk stopped and smiled at the young Russian.
He supposed his own impatience was a mirror image of everyone else's. However, only the Captain was allowed to roam the bridge while on duty. Kirk took a moment to visibly compose himself and walk back to the command chair. He had to at least appear calm when he confronted the Orion commander.
"Captain, we're being hailed by the Orion vessel." Palmer announced in a surprised voice.
"On screen, Lieutenant."
Kirk sat back in his chair, all trace of nervousness gone. He presented a relaxed and confident pose as the visual pickup came online.
"Federation vessel, why do you chase my ship?" The burly Orion leader barked at the Enterprise Captain.
"You broke dock from Bengali Station in direct violation of martial law." Kirk replied in a strong voice.
"We do not recognize your martial law. Our business was done so we left to go back to our home world." The Orion leader sneered.
"It is immaterial whether you recognize it or not. We demand that you return to the Station immediately."
Kirk glanced over to Spock, hoping the Vulcan had been able to get past the Orion's screens and lock onto the women. A slight shake of his head told Kirk he had not had any success.
The Orion laughed just a little too loudly, the white's of his eyes in full view as he glared at Kirk.
"We will not go back to Bengali. You have no authority to demand anything from us. We will file a formal claim of harassment against you and your ship."
The Orion commander argued in turn. His ship was too small to go against a Federation Starship, so bureaucracy was his only weapon.
"Fine, then prepare to be boarded. And file away, you won't be the first or last to do so." Kirk shot back.
The Orion answered by cutting his transmission.
Kirk had no intention of sending over boarding parties, but he did intend to slow the Orion vessel down.
"Captain, they are making a run for it." Sulu reported tensely.
"Chekov, target their engines and fire at will; I want them stopped."
"Aye, aye Keptin. Targeting engines of Orion ship. Firing phasers - Now." The Navigator nearly shouted.
"Direct hit, sir! Enemy wessel has slowed to sub light."
"Good targeting. Match course and speed. Keep us behind her - she still has weapons of her own."
Kirk had come out of his chair again and was standing between Chekov and Sulu.
"Don't get too close. Lets not allow them the opportunity to take us out if they choose to self-destruct -" As if he spoke an omen, the viewscreen lit up in a brilliant flare.
"Orion vessel has self-destructed, Captain. Computer has engaged transporter and is attempting to beam aboard the life forms we scanned in their cargo hold." Spock stopped for a moment, concentrating on what the computer was telling him.
"We have eight alien females in cargo transporter room G4. Medical and Security teams are reporting no hostilities and minimal injuries."
Debriefing was a time consuming and tedious job at its best. Debriefing eight nearly hysterical women had been reminiscent of a Rigellian circus festival. It had taken some time to convince each woman of who they were and that she was safe. Several were from deep within the Bractian Confederation and only had a vague notion of what the Federation was. Once the women were convinced they were truly rescued, the outpouring of gratitude was nearly as hard to endure as the hysteria.
Kirk's last communiqué, with Command had ordered them to drop the women off at Starbase 27 enroute to the Neutral Zone. Repatriation would be the responsibility of the beauracrats. It also meant Komack got them back onto their original mission more quickly. For once, Kirk didn't even feel like arguing with the sector Admiral, he had little desire to see Bengali again any time soon. Yet it made him sympathize with their guests all the more, as now each woman would be grilled and cross-examined about her experiences at the hands of the Orions many more times before she was allowed home. It couldn't be helped, such serious charges must be vindicated, but they had already been through so much.
The upside to their questioning on Starbase 27 was that Uhura would not have to testify if she didn't want to do so. Her actual attackers were dead - a point of which Kirk felt neither sympathy nor regret. Eight separate witnesses should provide more than enough evidence to convict the Orions of the more global charge of Slavery, without requiring the Lieutenant to relive her own recent trauma. None of the women were hardly more than teenagers, but each exceptionally beautiful by humanoid standards. Uhura might be older than any of them, but her beauty was unmatched. Unfortunately, in this case, it had made her an unwelcome target. Kirk left the rest of the debriefing in Spock's capable hands. He had heard enough to form his own damning opinion. He took comfort that these women were safe and would be reunited with their families soon.
The Captain made his way to Sickbay in order to check on Uhura. McCoy should be operating on her by now, but the CMO had not given him an update since he had returned to the Bridge that morning. Upon entrance to the Bay, the Duty Nurse confirmed McCoy and Chapel were operating on the Comm Officer. Surgery had been going for over four hours and she expected them to be in there at least two more to repair all of the Lieutenant's injuries. Kirk thanked the Duty Nurse and asked to be called when McCoy was finished.
Part 3 of 4