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Story Notes:

A note from CatalenaMara:  “Broken Images” is considered one of the all-time classics in K/S fandom.  It is posted here with the permission of Beverly Sutherland, who passed away in 2014 before her work could be posted.

 

Many thanks to Barbara Storey and “Anonymous” who obtained Beverly’s permission to post her novel online.

 

Many thanks to Aconitum Napellus for all the work she did to make posting Beverly’s novel possible.

 

I would also like to thank the following people who each helped with various aspects of this project:  Linda B., Dovya Blacque, Morgan Dawn and Virginia Sky.

 

 

 

AUTHOR’S PREFACE

 

This novel has been in preparation for over four years. I outlined it before the release of Star Trek: The Motion Picture. That outline changed very little in the course of the writing, and for the purposes of this story, neither Star Trek feature film exists. I did, however, adopt the term T’hy’la from Gene Roddenberry’s novelization of ST:TMP.

 

In the matter of times and ranks in the Confederation universe: obviously there are different designations of rank, and there is a different system of measuring time. I made a conscious decision not to invent these alternate terms, since I find them a burden to keep track of in my own reading, and in this case, those devices do not affect the story.

 

There are always people to thank. First of all, Vicky and Barbara, my editors, who took one third of a novel and its outline and bullied, cajoled, and supported me until I had produced the last word of the epilogue. Without them, Broken Images would still be in large measure an unruly collection of ideas running around in my head. Then there is a boss who deferred his own work so that I could have exclusive use of the word processor for two weeks. That we have made our publication date is due entirely to his generosity.

 

The artists who have brought the scenes I wrote to life belong in a category all their own. They are all busy people, and yet they found the time to produce that one extra bit of effort. Ann C. , with family and farm to oversee, who did two more drawings than she bargained for originally. Merle D., who in the midst of producing her own novel, found time to do a cover and interior illos for mine – as well as turning my terrible sketches of Confederation uniforms into usable drawings for all the other artists to work from. Connie F., who not only understood exactly what I meant by “broken images,” but who asked us if she could do an extra panel for the last chapter. (We didn’t mind at all, Connie.) Signe L., who made room in a busy professional schedule for one more fan project. And last, but not least, Caro H., who draws the most beautiful borders to order, when the only description you give her is “Make them look Vulcan.”

 

I asked Vicky to write a poem. She did. It’s perfect. And then Irene, friend for more years than either of us care to count precisely, wrote one tying together all my themes. To both of you, for adding your special art to mine, thereby enhancing it, my deepest appreciation.

 

Proof readers are the unsung heroines of the galaxy. Irene stayed up until midnight the night before grades were due to finish the epilogue. Amy came from California expecting tours of local scenery and spent most of the time helping me put italics into the word-processed final copy. I claim any typos remaining.

 

So here you have the product of two years of writing and two years of writer’s block. Please enjoy.

 

Beverly

The ion storm dominating the bridge viewscreen only seemed to be growing larger, of course; actually it was coming closer. First Officer Spock examined the computer-generated image with suspicion. Storms in the area of the planet Halka were nearly always vicious and unpredictable. They were also frequent. Furthermore, the large deposits of dilithium on this pacifist world attracted the energy of any storm.

 

Three years ago, the Enterprise had visited Halka on behalf of the Federation Council, their mission to persuade the Halkan Council to allow dilithium mining on their planet. Upon beaming back to the ship during just such a storm as now filled the viewscreen, Captain Kirk, Dr. McCoy, Cmdr. Scott, and Lt. Uhura had found themselves in a savage mirror universe, while their counterparts from that universe had arrived on the Enterprise.

 

Since each group had materialized in appropriate uniforms, Captain Kirk managed, with some difficulty, to deceive the crew of the ISS Enterprise long enough to rig the transporter and escape. The four who appeared on the USS Enterprise, however, had been unable to adapt their violent behavior to the unexpected situation, and Spock had ordered them thrown – quite literally – into the brig, before they penetrated the ship any further than the transporter room. There they stayed until Spock had determined how to send them back where they belonged, and in the process retrieve his captain and the other officers. Analysis of sensor data recorded at the time indicated a strong possibility that the powerful storm, interacting with Halka’s dilithium deposits, had caused the transposition.

 

Spock recalled Kirk describing a fringed gold lamé bolero that he had worn in the Empire universe, as they had since referred to it. All in all a fascinating experience. Spock had been pleased to hear that his own counterpart was at least a man of integrity, though he experienced some difficulty visualizing a bearded version of himself.

 

Although the Halkans had refused mining rights, fearing their crystals would be used as components of weaponry, Kirk had now returned there on a similar mission. Federation scientists, Spock included, believed that unless the dilithium deposits were mined, or at least broken up and redistributed in smaller clusters over the entire surface of the planet, unstable conditions surrounding Halka would continue and grow more severe. Indeed, an infinite number of alternate universes were thought to coexist. During any storm, therefore, a door between this universe and some other could open – with results Spock considered unfortunate, no matter how interesting.

 

Transporting at the exact moment of an energy surge now seemed the time of greatest vulnerability; but Halka was a comparatively young planet, still geologically active. Conditions could only worsen until anyone on or near the planet would be in danger of falling victim to an inter-universe exchange.

 

Spock’s private theory, which he fully expected to see proved within his lifetime, was that the natural crystals had become supercharged, and now functioned as energy conductors much like the crystals in a starship. On a vastly larger scale, however.

 

While mentally reviewing the situation, Spock had been keeping track of the storm. It almost looks consciously malevolent, he thought, and immediately chastised himself for the illogic of ascribing such sentient motivations to a natural phenomenon.

 

Spock frowned and looked over his shoulder at Chekov. As science officer, Spock would have elected to remain at his own console. As second in command, he belonged in the center seat while Kirk was absent from the ship. I am as much divided by the exigencies of the chain of command as I am by my dual heritage. Now I must be patient and show trust in my subordinates. But why is he taking so long to make his report?

 

Spock returned to his study of the storm on the screen. It has either picked up speed, which would signify increased energy, or it is indeed expanding. He glanced at Chekov again. I cannot take over the sensors from him, but perhaps if I walk casually around the bridge, pausing at each console, he will ask for my advice when I reach the science station. That is what Jim would do.

 

Deliberately, Spock rose from the command chair and moved forward to glance quickly over Sulu’s shoulder at the helm settings. They were, as he expected, impeccably precise.

 

Sulu looked questioningly at him.

 

“Carry on, Lieutenant.”

 

The helmsman began a smile, but seemed to reconsider.

 

I inhibit him, Spock thought. Yet Jim insists Sulu has more fondness for me than for any other officer on the ship, including Jim himself.

 

The engineering displays came next on his route. Scott had assigned a new technician here under the watchful eye of Lt. O’Neil. Mindful of the approaching storm, Spock took his time, but saw only indications of flawlessly maintained equipment – the norm on the Enterprise, thanks to Mr. Scott. Someday I must find a suitable may to demonstrate my appreciation for his talent and efficiency.

 

Spock knew his captain would simply walk up to Scott, clap him on the back in that peculiar manner expressive of camaraderie among Human males, and say, “You’re doing a damn fine job, Scotty,” or, “You really earned your pay today, Engineer.”

 

Such emotional exhibitions did not lie within Spock’s social vocabulary, and he had no wish to enlarge it to such an extent. Perhaps a gift. I do not approve the unbridled consumption of alcohol, but he often mentions the special bottle of Scotch whiskey he sacrificed to the cause of victory over the Kelvans.

 

Uhura also smiled at him, but openly as Sulu had not, when he paused at the communications console. She accepts me as I am, and refuses to modify her own Human instincts because of me. Like Jim. He nodded to acknowledge her smile and moved on.

 

Chekov, his face buried in the viewer, continued to be engrossed by his sensors. It required 28.5 seconds for him to notice Spock standing beside him. “Eet is picking up energy from somevhere, Meestair Spock, but I cannot figure out vhy. I vould walue your opinion, sair.”

 

Spock had long since grown used to the young Russian’s accent which, among other oddities, reversed the sounds of v’s and w’s. Indeed, he thought, assuming the seat Chekov had vacated, he can be most tactful – when he is not discussing his native region on Earth or females of his acquaintance.

 

After studying the sensor data in direct feed for a time, Spock made some range adjustments and narrowed the penetration angle, then bent to the viewer again. As I suspected. He leaned back. “Look now, Ensign.”

 

Chekov bent over until the blue light from the sensor display bathed his face. “It’s not one storm, but two!”

 

“Precisely. One behind the other, and obscured by it so long as the sensors were tuned to wide-angle focus on the center of the lead disturbance. The reciprocal exchange of ionized particles between the two storms accounts for the increase in energy and speed.” Spock stood. “Continue observations, Mr. Chekov.”

 

“Aye, sir.”

 

Spock settled himself in the center seat once more. The double storm would be dangerously near in l5.8 minutes, assuming its rate of approach continued to accelerate by present increments. His captain should be warned. On the other hand, Kirk might be at a critical point in the negotiations, and he was due to check in at 747l.385, only twelve minutes away. Spock waited. As a precaution, he sent Mr. Scott to the transporter room. Then he waited again – through the twelve minutes, a thirteenth, and the beginning of a fourteenth.

 

“Contact in 2.5 minutes, Mr. Spock,” Chekov said.

 

Spock turned his head to the left. “Lt. Uhura, please attempt to raise Captain Kirk.”

 

“Captain Kirk is calling us, sir.”

 

Spock heard a faint click when, without being told, Uhura transferred the call to the command chair speaker. He depressed a button on the arm of the chair. “Spock here, Captain.”

 

“Ready to beam me up, Spock?”

 

“Sir, an intense ion storm will intersect our orbit in 2.l minutes. I do not advise using the transporter.”

 

There was a sharp crackle of static. “I’m aware of the storm, Spock. But what are the odds of my getting caught in the exchange phenomenon a second time? Not great, I’ll bet.”

 

“I do not have sufficient data to calculate them, sir. That does not, however, preclude its happening whenever a transporter is activated during a storm – despite your Human proverb concerning the non-repetitive nature of lightning strikes.”

 

Kirk chuckled. “You know me too well, Spock. I was just going to quote it.” He lowered his voice. “Look, you know how difficult these negotiations are. You spent a full day explaining the science to them in words of one syllable. Now, I think I’ve finally got all the Council members convinced of our humanitarian motives except two. I need to get out of here and let the majority work on the hold-outs.”

 

“Surely there is some place on Halka to – ”

 

“They most pointedly have not offered me a place to stay, Spock. Maybe the doubters want to see if another exchange will happen when I beam up.”

 

“Jim....”

 

“A joke, Spock. A joke.” Kirk’s voice changed again, attaining the hard edge that meant all discussion was to be terminated. “Energize please, Mr. Spock, so I can get my ship out of the way of that storm.”

 

Spock sighed. “Right away, Captain.” He activated ship’s intercom.

 

“Mr. Scott, lock on to Captain Kirk’s signal and beam him up immediately.”

 

“Now? I dinna – ”

 

“Now, Mr. Scott. Energize.”

 

“Energizing, Mr. Spock,” Scott said with a sigh.

 

With the shields lowered for beaming, a surge of energy struck the ship and spent itself in the circuitry, interfering briefly with artificial gravity so that the Enterprise seemed to lurch violently. Spock’s finger was on the intercom button again when Scott’s voice sounded urgently from the speaker. “Dr. McCoy to the transporter room. Spock, get doon here, mon. Fast!”

 

Spock was already in the turbolift before he heard more than his name. “Transporter Room One, full emergency speed,” he snapped to the lift computer, then felt a sensation of weightlessness as the pod dropped seven levels in as many seconds. The abrupt switch to horizontal movement threw even Spock against the wall of the lift, but he righted himself easily. He was out before the doors fully opened, running the fifteen meters to the transporter room. It had been less than thirty seconds since he left the command chair.

 

Kirk – or a man who was his twin – knelt on the platform clutching his head. McCoy hovered over him with a scanner.

 

The man raised his head when Spock entered, and some of the agony left his face. He stretched out one hand toward the Vulcan. “Spock. Spock, please! Put it back!”

 

Spock hurried forward, hesitated, then touched that desperately reaching hand. An instant later he jumped back, his own mind ringing with the Human’s pain. He grabbed McCoy and pulled the resisting physician away from the gallery, at the same time shouting, “Reverse all settings and energize!”

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