Author: iam_spock aka sylar
Word count: 1127
A strong gust blew sand and grit into Spock’s face. The Vulcan turned his back to the storm, tugging the thick gray scarf he had looped around his neck up over his nose and mouth. His eyes had their own protection thanks to his Vulcan genetics, but he did not enjoy the feel of dirt in his mouth or up his nose.
“That way?” Jim shouted over the storm.
“Are you sure, Spock?” McCoy as always questioned. Spock used to think he was doubting him, but he’d learned that he was seeking reassurance and doubted their technology.
“The life readings are from there.” He pointed at the ruined buildings nestled between a group of large rock formations. His tricorder chirped as if to agree with Spock’s pronouncement. “They are Vulcan.” The readings concerned Spock a great deal. The planet was supposedly abandoned by his people and the Romulans who had taken control of it. There was nothing of value here, but when Enterprise detected life—Vulcan life—they had to investigate.
A short time later, bundled and fighting the howling wind, Kirk and Spock kept McCoy between them and slightly behind to protect him should anything aggressive pounce at them from the shelter of the buildings. Spock heard a noise and signaled Jim to let him know that he would investigate and rushed through a shattered doorway. He knew that the others would come after him. No matter what, whether he wanted them to or not.
“Come out,” he said when he saw a small child with pointed ears dart away from the corner of his eye. Spock repeated himself in Vulcan and Romulan. “I will not harm you. I have come to take you home. My name is Spock.”
The child attempted to slip past Spock, but before it could escape it ran into Kirk and McCoy who had come through the door behind him. It backed away, lips drawn back from teeth in a feral grin. Dirty hair hung in knots around its face, and its clothing was little better than rags. “No! No! No!”
“Well I don’t speak the language, but I’m pretty sure she doesn’t like you, Spock,” McCoy felt the need to point out. “We’re not going to hurt you, sweetheart.”
Outside the wind increased, and the walls of the shelter rattled. The child’s temper and fear was escalating with the storm. Spock crept closer, while the others kept her from leaving. She turned to snarl at the Vulcan as he reached for her, sinking her teeth into his arm until she broke the skin. He hissed but did not jerk away, instead lifting her into his arms where she kicked and struggled, no doubt leaving bruises wherever her heels landed.
“Let’s take her up to Enterprise,” Jim said, opening his communicator. “We can come back to the others when the storm moves on. And if the rest are this friendly, we’ll need to locate them one at a time!”
“Agreed,” Spock said as he caught her elbow in the jaw. “Please have Mr. Scot beam us up.”
Spock stood by the biobed while the child was stripped of her filthy garments after being sedated. He was still covered in sand and bleeding from her attack, but he did not want to leave her side in case she woke up. Logic dictated that she would be less afraid of him than of the humans and others in Medbay. Although considering her reaction to him on the surface, there was a chance that he might be wrong. “How is she?”
“Malnourished,” McCoy told him. He was also dusty, but he had stripped off his protective gear when they’d gotten to his domain on the ship. “But other than that, she’s all right. She’s not only Vulcan, Spock. One of her parents was Romulan.”
“That is to be expected,” Spock said as he reached out to brush her dirty hair from one ear. “One parent from the Vulcan science team that was left on the planet and one from the Romulans. I will remain here until she wakes up.”
“That might be awhile,” the doctor said, offering Spock a small smile. “I’ll get you a chair, and I’ll let Jim know that you’re here.”
“Thank you.” Spock knew that he could not leave the child to wake up alone. She needed him.
First Officer’s Log: It has been a week since we rescued the first orphan child from Hellguard. An additional seven children were found in the ruins of the three Vulcan science stations that had been abandoned on the planet. There were no adults alive on the planet. We found five swallow, rock covered graves containing Vulcan remains. I am running genetic scans on the remains and the children to find out if they have relatives among the survivors on New Vulcan.
Two of the children are pure-blood Vulcans. The rest had one Romulan parent. I do not know if they will be accepted into the Vulcan population. Romulan genetics are nearly identical to Vulcan. Their forefathers are the same after all, and it may be that my people are more accepting of that difference than they are my human DNA.
The female child that we found first is named Saavik. Dr. McCoy estimates her age at six years. She and the other children have a cobbled language of Vulcan and Romulan words, and I have been able to communicate with her in a fashion. She does not trust adults, which is a natural reaction, but she seems to be accepting my presence.
The older children are easier to communicate with, and they seem less wary of humans. But Saavik has garnered the majority of my attention.
“Saavik, good morning,” Spock said as he sat down across from her at a circular table in the break room that had been converted into an area for the children on their journey to New Vulcan. The child put a protective arm around the food in front of her to keep him from taking it from her. It was typical response in those who had spent a great deal of time at the brink of starvation.
“How do you know?” She asked, her dark eyes glancing between Spock and the blackness of space outside reinforced window. “Could be night.”
“Logical,” he agreed. “A starship operates on a system of time that is separate from the planets that we visit. We use a twenty-four hour clock because our time is based on Earth’s day which comprised of 86,400 seconds. That is not an exactly formula however, because Earth’s orbit is not circular and the planet’s rotation causes a fluctuation in measuring time depending on the time of year. An Earth year is 365.2422 days long.”