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Story Notes:

Not sure of any warnings yet, but will be updated as the story progresses and any particular trigger to be included in chapter notes.

Set just after Into Darkness (in Abrams' alternate universe)

K/S, S/U, slight Sulu/Chekov

Several days ago, the colony on the sweltering planet of Tau Ceti IV stopped all communications. (Set 27 years before the Tau Ceti IV of the other universe's Wrath of Khan)

With human crew unable to cope with the heat, Kirk sends down two more capable crew members to investigate - Spock, and to Spock's horror a young communications lieutenant who is half betaziod, an empath capable of reading his otherwise carefully guarded emotions.

Author's Chapter Notes:



Uhura stepped from the turbolift and out onto the main bridge. People milled around and the display showed the ellipse of the Earth, hanging, unsupported, in the vast expanse of space. She said a silent farewell to her home planet and moved towards her station.


Spock brushed past her on the way to his seat, and she caught him by the arm to stay him. He turned to face her wordlessly, and returned her kiss with a calculated movement. He didn't fully understand the link between their love and this particular activity, and it always seemed to her that it required a great deal of effort for him to perform it, especially in such an open place, but the kiss was nonetheless a real one, with real affection behind it. Her hand rested on the blue fabric that covered his shoulder for a beat longer, before she released him and they both took up their places.


It pleased her no end that he was willing to kiss her with people to watch, awkward and mechanical as always, but an admission to all who saw that he did feel and he did love her, despite a lifetime of burying emotion beneath logic. It wasn't a cold logic, she knew; he was compassionate even at his most analytical, but it was not the warm emotion of a human.


She checked the communications displays, all normal, and turned her attention to Kirk.


“All right everybody,” he announced. “We are making our way to Tau Ceti IV, it's a class H planet with a large mining colony, and all communications with them were lost two days ago. It's probably just storm or something and they'll be back up in no time but we're going to check it out before it becomes a situation.”


He pressed a button, and the officers in the room went back to their tasks, assured that his next sentence was not for them. “Scotty, are were ready to go?”


Uhura relayed their departure to Earth, and within minutes they were at departing the solar system at full impulse. When they were far enough from any objects to switch to warp six for cruising and her services were no longer required, she stood and relieved herself from her post, abandoning her lover to his conversation with their captain to make her way to her own cabin. She intended to take the shower she'd missed that morning, but wished she'd bathed in real water before coming aboard for months of sonic showers and flannel washes.



“It's not that young a colony,” Jim mused, “It must be old enough to have secure communication links, what is it, 40 years old?”


“Fifty three,” Spock corrected his captain.


“Damn, that's even older than you.”

Spock bristled internally, and could tell that Jim knew it even though he carefully kept his face empty of emotion. “I am twenty nine. I am only three years older than you, Captain.” he reminded him. Jim only smiled.


“That would make you almost thirty by my count.” He said stubbornly.


“Twenty nine is almost thirty,” Spock replied, as though the human was unaware of this piece of information.


Jim chuckled, and continued with what he had been saying. “Yeah, well either way that's more than old enough to set up a system that a storm shouldn't damage. There are almost 7,000 people on that planet. I wonder what happened.”


“An ionic storm could perhaps block their signal,” he supposed. “But it would have to be a severe storm in order to prevent them from launching a shuttle to send a distress signal from above the atmosphere.”


“Well,” the captain said, “We've got another 11 days of this left, I'd rest up if I were you – I was thinking of sending you down as part of the landing party, I think you might be the only one who can stand the heat!”


Spock nodded, and stood up. “Then if you please, I would go and eat something.”


“Of course,” Jim said as he left, turning back to the display to watch the tiny points of light edge their past; smiling at the thought of his younger self, fancying himself a captain sailing his great ship through the ocean of stars.

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