icemink: (Spock)
[personal profile] icemink
Title: The Middle Way
Author: icemink
Pairing: Spock/Uhura
Rating: NC-17. . . eventually
Warnings: Just for plot
Summary: When Professor M'Umbha Uhura discovers the ruins of an ancient colony, she finds herself in trouble with the Romulans and only her daughter Nyota can translate what it all means.
Disclaimer: Does anyone really think this is how I make my living or that I own these? Cause no I don't.
A/N: This is a sequel to Someday, and the Rest of Your Life.

Previous chapters can be found here.

Long range sensors were beginning to give the Enterprise a picture of what she was flying into. The Howard Carter was a long range shuttle capable of carrying a few people between star systems, but not with much comfort. The ship was being chased by a Romulan military vessel. There was no way for the Howard Carter to outrun the Romulans and they had only minimal shields. And yet it was evident that the Romulan had fired and missed more than once.

“Why don’t they destroy it?” Kirk asked.

Spock explained. “They are most likely trying to scare the ship into surrender so they may capture it. I have been studying the shuttles flight plan, and it appears to be following Standard Evasion Plan Alpha, which suggests that it is on auto-pilot. The Romulans most likely don’t realize they have already incapacitated the ship’s crew.”

“Anything from that ship, Uhura?” Kirk asked.

“Negative, Captain,” she answered. “Just the automated distress signal over and over.”

“All right,” Kirk said. “Then let’s try talking to the Romulans. Lieutenant, hail them. Let’s remind them that they are on the wrong side of the neutral zone and in violation of our treaty.” Kirk turned to Spock. “Would using all three dialects of Romulan be overkill?”

“On the contrary, Captain,” Spock said. “There has been almost no contact with the Romulan Empire for over a hundred years. We know very little about them. However, it may be to our advantage to imply that we know more than we actually do.”

“You heard the man, Lieutenant,” Kirk said.

Uhura didn’t answer but he could hear her begin to speak a lot of . . . something. For the next few minutes there was nothing to do but wait. They would be in range soon, and then. . . Kirk didn’t know. He didn’t want to start a war, but if the Romulans were attacking civilian ships and they had already violated Federation territory. . .

“Captain, I have the Romulan ship,” Uhura said.

“On screen,” he ordered.

Kirk was surprised at what he saw. He had expected another tattooed half-crazy Nero. The man whose face appeared on the screen could easily have been Spock’s cousin. His posture was military, his expression blank. Only the uniform was alien.

“This is Captain James T. Kirk of the starship Enterprise. You are-”

The Romulan Captain interrupted. “This matter is none of your concern.”

“You’re in Federation space, chasing a Federation ship, so it is my concern.” Kirk replied.

“The ship we are chasing contains a thief who has stolen a priceless Romulan artifact,” the Romulan said. “Unless it is the policy of the Federation to aid and abet thieves, it is none of your concern.”

“The Federation does not tolerate theft,” Kirk answered. “However, I can’t let you attack one of our people. If there is indeed a Romulan artifact on that ship, I promise it will be returned to the Romulan Empire and the thief will face the consequences.”

“Why should we believe you?” the Romulan asked.

“Need I remind you,” Kirk said. “You’re the one who has violated the Neutral Zone. That could be interpreted as an act of war. I’m willing to forgive that, but I can’t let you have that ship.” The Romulan Captain was silent for a moment, and Kirk decided it was time to push his bluff a bit further. “If you didn’t catch it before, this is the Enterprise. Me and my crew destroyed a Romulan vessel that was capable of destroying entire planets a few months ago. What can your ship do?”

The other captain raised his chin slightly and regarded Kirk. Then the screen went blank as the Romulans cut off communication.

“Ready phaser banks,” Kirk said bracing for an attack.

“Captain!” Sulu shouted. “It’s gone. The Romulan ship, it’s just gone.”

Spock move quickly to confirm the Lieutenant’s findings. “Fascinating, I heard rumors of a cloaking device. . .”

Kirk swallowed, wondering if that meant they were about to be attacked out of nowhere, or if his bluff had worked and the Romulans were retreating?

“What about the Howard Carter?” Kirk asked instead.

“Still continuing on course,” Sulu said. “I think Spock’s right. It’s on autopilot.”

“All right,” Kirk nodded while he thought through his options. “Spock, I want you and McCoy to transport over to that vessel. We’ll need to bring it on board if we’re going to find out if there are any artifacts stolen or otherwise.”

“Captain,” Uhura began to stand. “I know a bit about archeology, I might-”

“No, Lieutenant,” Kirk cut her off, although he was smiling. “The last time I sent you on a rescue mission, I had to carry you out of there like a sack of potatoes, and then testify in a trial.”

She shot him an angry look but sat back down.

“Captain,” Spock said. “In order to bring the shuttle aboard, you will have to lower the shields.”

“And be vulnerable to the Romulans,” Kirk finished. “I know, Spock. But I don’t see much choice. Do you?”

Spock shook his head and exited the bridge. The next several minutes were full of tension as every member of the bridge anxiously scanned for any sign that the Romulans were still out there waiting to attack.

After what seemed an eternity the signal came though, “Enterprise, this is Spock, come in.”

“Enterprise here,” Kirk answered. “What’s your status, Spock?”

“As I suspected, the ship was on auto-pilot,” Spock responded. “I am putting her on manual control now. There is one passenger. A terran woman. She is unconscious and the Doctor is attempting to stabilize her condition.”

“Any sign of this artifact?” Kirk asked.

“Not at the moment,” Spock replied. “However, I do not think it will take long to search the shuttle.”

“Let’s get the shuttle onboard, that way we can search at our leisure,” Kirk ordered.

The next few moments were tense as the shuttle was maneuvered into position at the edge of the Enterprise’s shield envelope. As Kirk gave the order the shields were dropped, the tractor beam captured the shuttle, and the shuttle was pulled onboard. It wasn’t until the shuttle had fully cleared the landing bay doors that the Enterprise could bring up her shields. It was a tense sixty seconds during which the Romulans could do horrible damage to the ship.

If they were still out there.

As the shields were raised, the bridge crew began to breathe again. Kirk considered, if the Romulans hadn’t attacked when the Enterprise was most vulnerable, it was likely they weren’t going to. That meant he could leave the bridge and try to figure out what exactly his ship had stumbled into.

“I’m going to sick bay to check on our new passenger,” he announced. “Mr. Sulu, let’s keep her on yellow alert until we’re sure the Romulans are gone. And if you hear so much as a Romulan sneeze, I want to know immediately, understood?”

“Aye, Sir,” Sulu responded.

Kirk then turned to his communications officer. “Lieutenant Uhura, you said you know something about archeology. Do you think that you can tell if our mystery relic is Romulan or not?”

“I don’t know, Sir,” she said, less sure of herself now. “If there’s any writing I should be able to tell,” she concluded.

“All right, you’re with me,” he nodded.

They stepped into the turbo lift together. “So was this part of your linguistic studies?” Kirk asked, partly curious, and partly trying to evaluate exactly how much he could rely on her opinion in this matter.

Most starships actually had science officers in a variety of specialties, including archeology. However the Enterprise’s crew was made up of the cadets that had been available to man her when Nero had attacked Vulcan. Kirk loved his crew, but they weren’t as well balanced as a typical crew might have been.

“Not exactly, Sir,” Uhura replied formally. “My mother is an archeologist. I spent a lot of time helping her as a child. It was always handy to have someone who spoke the local language.”

“So it was your mom who trained you to be a super linguist?” Kirk asked relaxing into the conversation. It wasn’t easy to get Uhura to talk about herself, he was going to take the opportunity if it presented itself.

“Not on purpose,” she told him. “We just moved from one alien world to another. When I was really little my nannies were almost always locals so I just sort of started picking up their languages. It wasn’t until I was ten or so that my mom thought to use me as a translator.”

The turbo-lift doors opened and they started down the passageway.

“Sounds like a fun childhood,” he told her.

“It had its moments,” she said smiling. “To be honest though, it was nice when I went to live with my dad back in Nairobi. It was nice having the same friends for all of high school.”

Before Kirk could ask her anymore questions they arrived at sickbay. They could see Bones bending over someone. Presumably the woman pulled from the Howard Carter because instead of a Starfleet uniform, she was wearing tan boots that rose to her knee, with similarly earth colored pants tucked into them.

He and Uhura moved around Bones to get a better look when Uhura exclaimed, “Mom!” and ran to the woman.

Kirk hurried to get a better look, and he could certainly see the resemblance in the unconscious woman’s face.

Just then the intercom buzzed. “Captain,” Spock’s voice came over the com system. “I believe I’ve found the artifact and-”

“Spock,” Kirk interrupted as he watched Uhura clutch her mother’s limp hand. “I think you should come up to sickbay.”
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July 2009


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