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. It may take me a while to get to replying to comments and updating because I'm in the middle of moving and don't have internet at home right now.

Kirk watched, feeling a little helpless as Nyota Uhura clung to her unconscious mother’s hand.

“So this is your mother, huh?” he said nervously. Of all the scenarios they had covered in the Academy what to do if your Communications Officer’s mother was being chased by Romulans was not one of them.

Uhura only nodded as she anxiously watched Bones finish his scans.

“She’s dehydrated,” Bones said. “And she has a bad concussion, but I think she’ll be fine.”

Again Uhura nodded her eyes never leaving her mother’s face.

“So when will. . . uh, Mrs. Uhura wake up?” Kirk asked.

“Professor,” Lieutenant Uhura corrected. “Professor M’Umbha Uhura.” For the first time she looked away from her mother’s face towards Kirk. “And she’s not a thief. I don’t know what the Romulans are talking about, but she wouldn’t have stolen anything. She’s a scientist. A legitimate scientist.”

“Of course she is,” Kirk tried to calm down the Lieutenant. “But you have to understand, she’s also in the middle of an intergalactic incident. I have to investigate.”

“It would be better not to wake her now Jim,” McCoy said.

“Sure,” Kirk said, trying to navigate between duty and friendship. “Spock said he found something anyway, so maybe that will tell us something? We’ll hold off on waking her until we have to.”

Just then Spock entered the sickbay. In his hands he carried what appeared to be some sort of tall pyramid like object about half a meter high and covered with a cloth. It was the way Spock carried it that drew Kirk’s attention. He would have almost called it reverent, as if whatever Spock was carrying might disintegrate at any moment.

“Spock,” Kirk asked. “Any idea where that shuttle’s been?”

“Not yet Captain,” Spock answered. “The ship’s navigational logs have been purposely erased. However, the sensor data is all still there. I have already sent that data to the Enterprise’s computers. We should know shortly where the Howard Carter came from.”

“Good,” Kirk nodded. That would give them a good indication of whether or not Uhura’s mother had taken anything from the Romulans. “That’s the artifact?” he asked.

“It is Captain,” Spock said solemnly. “And it is not Romulan. I can attest to that fact.”

“You’re sure?” Kirk asked. “Does everyone but me have an archeology degree all of a sudden?”

“Unnecessary, Captain,” Spock said carefully setting the relic down. “Any Vulcan would recognize it.” Spock pulled the cloth off the artifact.

Kirk had expected it to be fancy, gold maybe. Instead it looked like it might have been made of clay. It was as he had first thought a simple pyramid, with some symbols carved on the sides.

“I’ll bite,” McCoy said. “What the hell is it?”

Just then Nyota looked away from her mother towards Spock. She gasped and stood up, letting go of her mother’s hand for the first time since she’d found her in sickbay.

“It can’t be,” she breathed. “I mean, it’s not possible. I thought there was only one?”

“And yet here it is,” Spock said enigmatically.

“Okay,” Kirk interrupted their adoration of the strange pyramid. “Can we get back to the part where we tell the Captain what’s going on?”

“It’s the Kir’Shara,” Lt. Uhura said. “Or a kir’shara, I guess.”

“And that would be. . .” Kirk tried to keep them moving along.

“The second most valuable artifact on Vulcan,” Spock explained. “The only complete copy of the Testament of Surak.”

“So you’re saying that’s the Vulcan Bible?” McCoy asked.

“Yes,” Lt. Uhura said at the same moment that Spock said, “No.”

They looked at each other in annoyance.

Before they could begin arguing semantics, Kirk stepped in. “Wait, there’s only one copy?” he asked.

“There was believed to be only one copy,” Spock corrected. “And it was on Vulcan at the time of its destruction. Although many passages have been translated and survive in the computer banks, sadly the work of translation had not been finished.”

Uhura snorted at that. “Please,” she said disbelievingly. “You really think the Vulcan High Council has been actively translating the Kir’Shara for the last hundred years and all they have to show for it is thirty pages or so?”

“What are you implying, Lieutenant?” Spock asked.

“I’m not implying anything,” she said a little too calmly. “I’m just saying in the last hundred years countless scholars have all asked to look at the Kir’Shara and have all been turned down. And it’s a matter of fact that none of the original texts have been released, only translations.”

Under other circumstances Kirk might have been amused watching a fight between Spock and Uhura, even if it was over something as dry as translations. But there was still a chance that a Romulan warship was hovering just out of sight somewhere.

Kirk had no choice but to interrupt. “Can we maybe focus on why the Romulans would care about a fancy book on Vulcan logic?”

“Because whoever has the Kir’Shara can control Vulcan,” Lt. Uhura said.

“Although the Kir’Shara is immensely valuable to my people,” Spock disagreed. “I believe you are exaggerating Lieutenant.”

“Am I?” she asked. “When the Kir’Shara was discovered a hundred years ago, T’Pau used it to overthrow the Vulcan government.”

“You are technically correct,” Spock admitted. “However, the government at the time was corrupt and violent.”

“And also very powerful,” Uhura finished. “They attacked the United Earth Embassy on Vulcan and framed T’Pau for it. But all she had to do was wave around the Kir’Shara and say, ‘we’re not following the true teachings of Surak’ and the rest of the planet fell in behind her.”

Spock was about to argue, when Kirk interrupted. Their argument had once again moved away from useful information. “This is supposed to be a record of Surak’s teachings from his time right?” His two officers both nodded, although they still looked ready to resume their argument. “And it was during Surak’s life that the people who became the Romulans left Vulcan right?”

“Approximately,” Spock said. “The Time of Awakening was very violent and many records were lost. However, there is record of ‘those who marched beneath the raptor’s wings,’ leaving Vulcan around that time when it became apparent that the Vulcans who followed Surak’s teachings were gaining control of the planet.”

“So it’s possible,” Kirk said carefully. “That one of those. . . pre-Romulans could have had a kir’shara, and might have taken it to Romulus.”

“It is possible,” Spock agreed. “In fact I can think of no other way a kir’shara could have survived undiscovered until this point.”

“No, it’s not,” Uhura said stubbornly. “Because if that is an artifact from Romulus, then my mother would have had to have stolen it, and my mother’s not a thief.”

“Excuse me if I’m missing something,” McCoy broke in. “But that looks like a hunk of clay to me. I don’t see how it’s a book.”

“The Kir’Shara is locked and must be opened, Doctor,” Spock explained. “It will take some time to study, but I think that I might be able to determine what the code is.”

“Hold on,” Uhura said as she sat down in front of the sickbay’s computer panel. “Computer, search archives for any logs by Captain Jonathan Archer, USS Enterprise which reference the Kir’shara.”

Kirk moved behind her to see what she was doing. “You seem to know an awful lot about this, Lieutenant.”

“My thesis,” she said absently as she began to scan the log information. “It was on how colonization affects phonetic shifts, focusing on Vulcan and Romulan as examples. I tried to get my hands on as much ancient Vulcan from the Time of Awakening as I could so that I could run my comparisons against the original language.”

“So you were one of those ‘hundreds of scholars’ who couldn’t get access to the Kir’shara?” Kirk asked.

“Uh, yeah,” she admitted. “Here we go, I knew I remembered seeing it in Archer’s logs.”

She moved over to the clay obelisk they had all been worrying over. She pressed a sequence of symbols and suddenly the entire artifact glowed green. A holographic projection appeared above it. The faces of different Vulcans appeared one after another with a long series of text below each face. The images shifted at a rapid rate, and Kirk couldn’t imagine how anyone could read it. However the eyes of both Spock and Uhura were intent on it.

“So Surak’s testament is a photo album?” McCoy asked.

“It seems we were hasty in our assumptions, Doctor,” Spock said.

“It’s some sort of biographical listing,” Uhura said. “Most of it goes by too quick to read, but look, some of the text stays the same.” Kirk looked and he realized that in fact some of the strange text wasn’t changing, as if they were headings for categories. Lt. Uhura translated that part of the text. “Name, birthdate, occupation, stuff like that.”

“What does that mean, Lieutenant?” Kirk asked. “Why would the Romulans want a list of Vulcan names and data? And why would someone put it in an ancient artifact?”

“I don’t know, Captain,” she admitted. “But I do know why my mom wanted it. These dates, I think they’re from the ancient Vulcan calendar. This much information about people who lived two thousand years ago. . . my mom would love that.”
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July 2009


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