Deborah A. Bailey
2267 "U.S.S. Enterprise. This is Nomad. My mission is non-hostile."
"Require communication. Can you leave your ship?"
"Captain, youre really not going to bring that thing in here?"
"Stop it!" Nyota Uhura bolted up out of a sound sleep and frantically looked around her sleeping area.
Where had those voices come from? Covering her face with her hands, she flopped back down on the bed as she realized she had been dreaming. She was alone, just as shed been last night, and the night before that. Every nightthe dreams, or rather nightmaresoverwhelmed her. The voices in her head overlapped one another someone was yelling something a loud metallic voice sent shivers through her body a flash of light blinded her then she would wake up.
Just two weeks ago, Nomad had come aboard the Enterprise, mistaking Captain Kirk for its creator. Though she couldnt remember exactly what had happened after Nomad had come to the bridge, much of the incident continued to play itself out in nightmares.
Tomorrow. It would all be better tomorrow when she returned to duty. Doctor McCoy, pleased at her rapid recovery, had released her from Sickbay two days ago. Unfortunately, once shed left the secure confines of the medical area, the dreams had begun. Though there was nothing wrong with her physically, emotionally, she was gripped with the fear that she was terribly vulnerable with no way to protect herself. She couldnt even hum a tune without being afraid that the music would summon something terrible to come after her. Uhura grasped the covers and pulled them back over herself. Maybe if she just lay there, she could force sleep to return.
The next morning, Uhura arrived on the bridge a half-hour before the beginning of her shift. Lieutenant Palmer didnt bother to hide her surprise as she approached. "Lieutenant Uhura!"
"How have things been going here?"
"Theyll be a lot better now that youre back." She stood up and patted the chair. "Its all yours."
"You seem a bit too anxious to hand it over." Uhura grinned.
"Im just glad to see you. We were all so worried."
"Im fine now," she replied.
"Good. Well, if youre going to take over here, Im off for breakfast."
"Okay." Uhura swung around to the console and paused for a few seconds to take a deep breath and run her fingertips over the buttons. She was glad to be back.
"Good morning, Lieutenant. Doctor McCoy mentioned that you might be returning today."
Uhura was so busy concentrating on her equipment checks that she hadnt noticed when Commander Spock and some of the other first shift crew exited the lift.
"I was anxious to get back to my normal duties, Mister Spock."
"As long as you are not returning to duty too quickly."
"I dont think I am, sir," she replied, suddenly defensive. Why is everybody so worried about me? Dont they think I can handle myself? She took a deep breath and forced a smile to her lips before continuing. "The doctor wouldnt have let me come back if he didnt think I was okay." Shed taken care to cover up the signs of her lack of sleep. Surely there was nothing visibly different about her this morning.
The Vulcan nodded in agreement. "Very well, Lieutenant. Let me know if you require any assistance." He clasped his hands behind him and continued on to his station.
Shaking her head as if to banish her concerns, Uhura turned her attention to the activity going on around her. Lieutenant Leslie was at the engineering station, pretending to look over his logs while conducting a rather private conversation with one of the yeomen. Hmmm, what was her name again? Uhura had met her before but could not recall her name. No matter, shed find an opportunity to tease Leslie about it later. She glanced over and met Sulus eyes as he grinned at her, nudging Chekov as he did so. Uhura smiled back at both of them then turned her attention to her station. The diagnostic checks were just completing.
She turned towards the sound of the familiar voice. Kirk walked over and patted her shoulder. "The doctor told me to expect you back today. How are you feeling?"
"Just fine, sir."
"Thats good to hear, Uhura. Youve been missed."
"Thank you, Captain," she replied as she swung back around to respond to a beep on her console.
"Nyota, Ill be by to get you for dinner at nineteen hundred hours. No excuses this time! Chapel out."
Uhura deleted the nurses message then continued scanning her backlog of mail. After a hectic day back on the bridge, her quarters were a quiet and comfortable refuge. Though she knew they meant well, it was annoying to have her crewmates constantly asking her if she was all right. Couldnt they see that she was perfectly fine? No, scratch that. Maybe not perfectly fine, not yet. Her eyes drifted over the words of a communications technical document; what was the point of trying to catch up? Words. All of these words had resembled nothing more than strange markings on paper just a week and a half ago, before shed learned to read again. She flicked off the monitor and rubbed her eyes. The reassuring hum of the ships engines resonated throughout the room. It was a sound that had soothed her during the long nights. Uhura leaned back in her chair, letting a long, tired sigh fill the silence as she glanced over at the music unit in the corner. Not once had she even attempted to turn it on since her return from Sickbay.
She was so wrapped up in her thoughts that she didnt immediately notice that someone was pressing the door buzzer. Wiping her sweaty palms against the smooth fabric of her uniform, she straightened up in her chair before answering. "Come."
Christine Chapel briskly walked in. "Its time for dinner."
"I thought you said nineteen hundred."
"I couldnt wait. Im hungry, I havent eaten since breakfast."
"Okay, Im coming." Uhura dredged up a smile to mask the weariness she felt. She really didnt feel like going, but the nurse was so insistent that it was easier to join her than to argue.
"Sounds like you had a good first day back," Chapel remarked as she set down her napkin. Shed been too hungry to talk very much during dinner, but Uhura hadnt seemed to mind the lack of conversation. In fact, shed spent most of the time picking at her meal, her thoughts apparently somewhere else. The nurse could understand the lieutenants reticence after everything shed been through, but she wasnt used to Uhura being so distant.
"It was perfect. Just like when I completed that first communications training module, remember? It all came back to me right away. I knew it, all of it."
"Thats really good to hear, but I still dont think you should push yourself too much. I told you that part-time duty would be better"
"Christine," Uhura changed the subject, "Ive been admiring that bracelet. Where did you get it?" Uhura put down her fork and reached over to finger the delicate Titanium chain that peeked out from under Chapels sleeve.
"Dont you remember? I got it when we were on shore leave a few weeks ago on Alpha Librae Ten you suggested that I buy it " The nurse hesitated as she searched the lieutenants face for some sign of recognition.
Uhura stared blankly for a few seconds, then quickly broke into a forced smile. "Oh, yes...yes, I remember now."
"Do you?" Chapel pressed her. She noticed that Uhuras eyes looked dull and tired, totally devoid of their customary sparkle. It was becoming obvious to her that the lieutenants subdued demeanor was not a true indicator of what was really going on underneath.
"Do I what?" Uhura was evasive.
"Remember that shore leave? What about when we went to that bar and met up with the captain and first officer of the Reliant? Nyota, do you remember?"
"I didnt come here to be examined."
"You are not answering my question."
"Most things have come back to me. I mean, I still have some gaps in my memory other than that Im fine. You and Doctor McCoy examined me. Do you think you made a mistake?"
"No." Chapel averted her eyes. "I dont know, Nyota. You seem like youre not at ease. I just wish I could do something more to help you."
Her voice trailed off as she searched her mind for something else to say to break the awkward silence until, to her relief, the forlorn mood was broken by the arrival of Scott and Sulu. The chief engineer livened up the conversation with bits of gossip from engineering and a few racy stories from his past shore leave adventures. Chapel exchanged amused glances with Uhura when the burly Scotsman reassured them, with a wink, that he would leave out any details unsuitable for ladies to hear.
Finally, after many stories and much laughter, Chapel glanced at the chrono then looked pointedly at Uhura. There were dark lines of fatigue under the lieutenants eyes. "Maybe we should go. Its getting late."
"Id rather listen to the rest of Scottys story," Uhura protested.
"Now, you dont want to overdo it on your first day back, lass. May I walk you to your cabin, Nyota?"
"Yes, please, Scotty. Chris, Ill be okay. Dont leave on my account."
"Its wonderful to have you back," Sulu remarked.
"Thanks. Ill see you on the bridge. Goodnight, Christine."
"See you." The nurse replied as she watched them leave.
"And then we couldnt find our way out of the bar before their dates came back to the table. We found a door and tried to sneak out the backbut the two gentlemen caught us and thats when the fight started." Scott wound up his story as they headed to Uhuras quarters.
"Scotty, what did you expect? The men go to buy drinks, and you and Sulu try to steal their dates." She laughed, though she suspected that the details of his story were probably being embellished quite a bit. When they got to her door, she pressed the lock, and the door swooshed open, allowing them to enter.
Scott guided her to a nearby chair as the lights came on. "Dont push yourself too hard, lass. You need to get your rest," he admonished.
"I will, Scotty. I promise." She closed her eyes and leaned back with a contented sigh.
He picked up a pillow from her bed and placed it behind her.
"You know this isnt necessary. You dont have to pamper me," Uhura murmured as she settled herself.
"Youve been through enough." He replied.
She opened her eyes. "Scotty, I know what you tried to do when Nomad scanned me. You put your life on the line for me." She was aware that he had tried to save her without a thought to his own safety. If Nomad hadnt restored him, he wouldnt be standing here right now.
"Who told you?"
"It doesnt matter. I know you tried to help me."
"I couldnae let that thing hurt you."
"Youre so gentle, Scotty. I guess thats not a quality for a chief engineer to show, is it?"
He smiled at her remark. "Id better go now. Do you want me to ask Doctor McCoy to look in on you?"
"No. Im fine. Thanks for the pillow." She closed her eyes again and was fast asleep.
"Goodnight, lass." Scott quietly left her.
A brilliant flash of light, followed by a jarring metallic voice that droned on and on, invading her mind, intruding on her consciousness as it probed and picked through her brain. It kept demanding answers to its questions.
"What is the meaning?" The metallic burr cut through her again.
What did it want from her? What was it trying to get at? Leave me alone!
"What form of communication?" The voice demanded again.
No, please. Leave me alone. Dont come near me. I dont know what you want. Please!
"For what purpose is singing?" The voice was relentless. It demanded an answer and she had none to give.
"I felt like music." She heard her own voice now.
"What is music? Think about music."
A hard, bright light surrounded her, a sharp pain pierced her mind and then, she fell into the void. Lost in a haze, she struggled back towards consciousness. Bits and pieces of memories flashed in her mind then evaporated like fog. Faces passed in front of her Christine Chapel and Doctor Leonard McCoy helping her Captain Kirk Commander Spock Sulu There were also other faces that she couldnt immediately recall. Prior to Nomads arrival, her life had been in order. Now it seemed to her as though the last few weeks had been compressed into a series of flashbacks, to be visited only in dreams.
Giving up on trying to return to sleep, Uhura got out of bed and paced her quarters. Back and forth, back and forth. Drained, she walked past her desk towards the music unit. Maybe some nice, soft music would help. I could sleep then. Ill just But she couldnt do it. Instead her arm remained extended towards the shiny metallic face without touching it. She turned away and folded her arms across her chest, her fingernails pricking her bare arms. Icy cold fear ran through her body with tremulous fingers, stealing her breath away and accelerating her heart rate. She wanted to find a safe place, where she would be protected and not have to worry about losing any more parts of herself. Shed already lost the most important thing, her desire for music.
"Damn it. Damn it Damn it." She quickly headed back into the sleeping area, pausing in front her vanity to stare into the mirror. Her drawn appearance startled her, and she looked away, running her fingers through her mussed hair. Finally, weariness overtook her, and she dropped back down on the edge of her bed. Seconds later, her body began to shake as she sat alone in the darkened room and cried.
A few more days passed before Uhura reluctantly joined Christine Chapel in the recreation lounge. She wouldve preferred staying in the protective confines of her quarters, but the nurse persuaded her to come and spend the time with her friends. As they walked into the lounge, Uhura noticed, with growing discomfort, that the room seemed more crowded than usual. Her anxieties diminished slightly when several people smiled and acknowledged her as she walked past.
"Nyota, Chris, over here!" a voice called out as they headed over to the replicator to get some refreshments.
Uhura looked over and waved to Montgomery Scott. She and Chapel got their drinks and joined his table.
"Sit here by me, Nyota." The chief engineer motioned to the empty chair next to him. Uhura sat down and then looked across the table at Sulus smiling face.
"Weve been waiting for you," the helmsman said.
"Waiting for me? Im flattered. Why is it so crowded in here tonight?"
"I think there was a rumor that you were going to sing for us," Sulu replied as he winked conspiratorially at the chief engineer.
"No, not tonight. Im not ready." Shed hoped that this wouldnt come up. She wasnt ready to stand in front of a crowd, and she certainly had no desire to sing.
"Dont deprive us of your lovely voice," Scott urged.
Do you remember? Chapels voice echoed back through her mind as she realized that she couldnt recall any of her favorite songs. The very thought of singing was painful. I cant sing. I cant. Not yet.
Nyota, do you remember? No, I cant please! Saliva was thick in her mouth as the sound of heartbeats, one on top of another assaulted her ears. It became hard to swallow as her face grew warm. There was no music, only a discordant roar that threatened to engulf her and bury her underneath its weight.
"So, how about it? Your audience is waiting." Sulu was unable to conceal his anticipation.
"No! I cant do it!" Uhura jumped up out of her chair. She took one deep, shuddering breath, then another and another. Clutching at her chest, she struggled to catch the next breath before the walls closed in on her.
"I cantI cant" She gasped loudly for air.
Montgomery Scott sprang into action, putting his arm around her as Chapel and Sulu hurried from the other side of the table.
Chapel grasped Uhuras arm. "Scotty, help me get her to Sickbay!"
"Sulu, tell them were on our way!" the chief engineer snapped as he and the charge nurse rushed her out of the room.
By the time Doctor McCoy arrived in Sickbay, he found Uhura reclined on one of the monitor beds. Nurses Chapel and Dinardo hovered over her. Chapel looked up at the doctor as he rushed towards them, concern evident on her face.
"Uhura, how are you?" He grasped the communication officers hand as he checked the readings on the monitor.
"I dont know what happened to me. I felt like I was being smothered, and I couldnt breathe," she replied in a raspy voice.
McCoy patted her hand. "Dont worry. Well take care of you. Just rest."
The doctor paused in front of his office when he heard footsteps behind him and turned to see that his head nurse had followed him out of the examination room. Folding his arms across his chest, he prepared himself for a barrage of questions.
"So what do you think?" Chapel asked.
"Sounds like a panic attack, but I want to be sure. Her readings look normal."
"They are. We did another brain scan. The computer says theres nothing physically wrong with her. Maybe Doctor Syed should take another look at her in the morning."
McCoy nodded. "I think we should run the Hogarth neuropsychological battery again. After that, we can see if Uhura has any cognitive deficits that we may have missed."
"Len, I know that shes still having trouble recalling events that happened just before Nomad came on board."
"Well, thats no surprise and fits in with retrograde amnesia. Thank God it was only a case of amnesiaif that damned pile of tin hadnt come on board, none of this wouldve happened."
"Is there anything else we can do?" Chapel asked.
"Lets just do all of the tests again and see what we come up with." He sighed tiredly as he walked into his office. How long will Uhura have to continue paying for Nomads destructive act? He was tired, so very tired of always having to put people back together.
Late into the ships night, Sickbay was darkened and quiet except for the muted beeps of the monitor. Uhura stared out into the semi-darkness, noting how the colored lights from the equipment cast an eerie glow throughout her room. She tried to lay still, knowing that if she got up, the ever-vigilant Nurse Dinardo would be alerted. Uhura already had to apologize to him once when shed tried to slip out of bed. Shed explained that she had to go to the bathroom, and hed walked her there and waited for her until she was finished.
Shed held off the nightmares by not allowing herself to fall into a real sleep. Instead, she remained on the edge of slumber, at a point where she confused reality with dreams. A little less than three weeks ago, before her mind had been touched by Nomad, she had been so competent, so sure of herself. Now she fought to just hold on to what she could remember and not be swallowed up by her irrational fears. Shed seen that fear reflected in Scotts eyes earlier in the recreation lounge. Her public disintegration had left her naked, uncovered for everyone to see how frightened she really was.
Uhura took deep breaths and worked to relax. Maybe if she tried to focus on something else. What about music? Thats what I miss the most. The music was always there to soothe her soul or to bring enjoyment to others. And now, she was too afraid to sing a note. No. I cant let this happen, I wont let it be taken away! Im safe now, damn it! Its over its over its over. Nomads cold search for perfection was ended. It could never harm her again. Trembling, she forced herself to lay back against the bed and close her eyes. Let the dreams come, she was ready for them.
The next morning, Captain Kirk strode into Sickbay and went directly to Doctor McCoys office. "Bones. Whats going on?" He had responded to the chief medical officers early morning summons as soon as hed been informed that Uhura had been readmitted to Sickbay.
"Jim, Im going to recommend that Uhura be taken off active duty for a few days. Shes still having some problems adjusting."
"Shes been fine on the bridge. I havent seen any difficulties."
"I think Im a better judge of what Uhura needs. Ive examined her; I know that shes not fully recovered."
"But you cleared her for duty yourself."
"Yes, I did." the doctor conceded. "Physically, Jim, shes fine. Emotionally, well, thats another story."
"And what are you proposing to do about that?" Kirk asked.
"Were running another battery of tests today. And Doctor Syed is conducting a full examination. Im just a general practitioner; Syeds a specialist in neuropsychology."
"Do we have the facilities on the ship to treat her?" The captain knew he had to ask the question, even though he didnt want to consider that the answer might be no.
"Yes, I think we do. But if the tests turn up anything that we may have missed it may be better for her to go to a facility that specializes in"
"We cant just dump her somewhere," Kirk interrupted him.
"Jim, we have to give her the best chance for a full recovery. Our personal feelings dont matter."
"I know, I know. I just dont want her to think that were abandoning her. Besides, something like that could inadvertently damage her career."
"As far as Im concerned, theres a lot more to her life than being in Starfleet. Well do what we can for her here and hope that she responds favorably. If she doesnt, I will recommend that she be sent to a rehab center."
Kirk nodded, wanting to say something more but realizing reluctantly that McCoy was right. "I understand. Can I go see her?"
"Yes, I just checked on her. Shes awake."
Uhura was sitting up in bed staring absently at a very unappetizing plate of food when Kirk entered her room. She looked up at the sound his footsteps. "Captain!" She was obviously pleased to see him.
"Nyota." Kirk came to the side of her bed. "Doctor McCoy says youre feeling much better this morning."
"I feel fine."
"Are you sure? I want you fully recovered. Theres no need to rush. Your duties will still be there when you get back."
"I know, sir. But Im going crazy just sitting around here! Doctor McCoy wont even let me read any of my technical journals."
"There will be plenty of time for that." Kirk took her hand in his. "Youve worked so very hard to recover, dont you think youve earned the right to take it easy now?"
"Captain, whats going to happen if I cant stop these" She paused as she searched for a word. "Attacks. What will I do? I cant even stand up in front of people and sing without falling apart. Im so frightened."
Frightened. He remembered hearing her use that word before, during the times when they were facing some dire predicament and their backs were up against the wall. Uhura would cut through the tension by giving voice to the fear all of them were feeling, but were reluctant to express. But now, hearing her say that word made him uncomfortable. Maybe because this wasnt a tangible threat. There was no Doomsday machine, no Klingon warship threatening the lives of his crew and the Enterprise; no threat to the Federation or the galaxy. What could he do to help her fight the fears within herself?
"Nyota, you have nothing to be afraid of. Were all here for you." Kirk looked into her lovely brown eyes and watched as the tears welled up.
"Do you understand?" he asked, his voice much softer this time.
"Yes, Captain. I do." She relaxed back against the pillow and closed her eyes as a single tear escaped and trailed down her cheek.
Kirk resisted the urge to reach out and wipe the moisture from her face. "Ill stop by and see you later." He stepped away from the bed and left her alone to rest.
"My tests show nothing physically wrong with Lieutenant Nyota Uhura. There is no cause for alarm, Christine." Chief Psychologist Raj Syed set his compuclipboard down on the conference table and leaned back in his chair.
"What about the results of the cognitive tests and the memory lapses?" Chapel asked.
"There is some memory loss, yes, but its entirely consistent with this kind of brain trauma. The islands of memory have increased substantially since Lieutenant Uhuras first examination, however..." Syed turned to address Doctor McCoy, who sat at his right. "You were aware that that would be the case. We discussed it when I originally diagnosed the lieutenant with retrograde amnesia."
"I know that, Raj. But she was doing so well, I never thought that shed have any trouble returning to duty. If wed known right away what we were dealing with, maybe we couldve done something differently," McCoy replied.
Christine Chapel glared at the two doctors. She was tired of the endless discussions about what could be or could not be wrong. She wanted them to help Uhura, now. Too much time was being wasted while they talked about the lieutenants recovery in theoretical terms. There was no way that she could pretend any dispassionate medical interest in this case.
"When a person returns to their normal routine, many things come to light. While she was in Sickbay under controlled conditions, there was no indication of how she would respond to her everyday routine. I think that the current diagnosis of post traumatic stress is quite accurate and confirmed," Doctor Syed stated.
"So, now that were sure what shes suffering from, what do we do about it?" Chapel asked, not bothering to hide her impatience.
McCoy shot her a glance, but Syed was unruffled. "I believe that the proper therapy would include an examination by a psychologist. In addition, the introduction of relaxation techniques including visualization might be beneficial. There was no brain cell destruction; nothing was lost of a material nature. Memories are not something that we can replace by any form of treatment that I am aware of, Nurse Chapel."
McCoy looked across the table. "Christine, we all have Uhuras best interests in mind. In addition to Doctor Syed, we have two psychologists on staff, though God knows we should have more. Taking people all the way out here in the middle of space and expecting them not to be traumatized"
"When can we start?" the nurse interrupted him.
"There is no reason why we cannot begin right away," the chief psychologist answered.
"In the meantime, I think that Uhura can be released from Sickbay. Shell probably be much more comfortable in her own quarters," McCoy added.
"I agree. Being in familiar surroundings will assist in her recovery. I do recommend, however, that she be kept off active duty for a time."
"For how long?" Chris asked.
"No more than one week. I have no desire to put the lieutenant into isolation. The idea should be to reintroduce her gradually into her routine."
"Good." McCoy stood up, eager to get started. "Chris, you let Uhura know shes all right to go. Raj, lets go over those charts again and get Doctor Noel in here. Lets get her insights into this."
Back in her quarters once again, Uhura settled into bed and paged through an antique songbook she had tucked away. It had been a long time since shed fingered the delicate, yellowing pages. She was just glad that shed happened to see the book buried underneath some of her communications manuals. Perusing it would be much more pleasurable than reading yet another treatise on signal compression.
The door buzzer sounded. Startled, she paused before calling out, "Come."
She heard the door open and then the lean figure of Commander Spock appeared at the entrance to the sleeping area. She noticed that he seemed to be carrying something.
"Lieutenant, I am disturbing you. I will return tomorrow."
"No! Please, dont leave. I was just reading. Come in." She gestured to a chair by the bed.
Spock walked over and stiffly sat down on the edge of the chair. He propped his Vulcan harp onto his lap.
"Mister Spock, why did you bring that?"
"Do you remember the song I first taught you how to play?"
Do you remember? Uhura shook her head to dispel the insistent inner voice. "Im trying to." She frowned, then put the book down beside her. "Play something for me."
"As you wish."
He began to gently strum the harp, producing a sound that seemed more powerful than she wouldve expected out of the fragile-looking instrument. The soft chords were so soothing. She sat back against the pillows and closed her eyes so that she could absorb the delicious sounds without using any other senses. Unfolding before her like a night-blooming desert flower, opening itself after the heat of the day, an image appeared. It was Spock. He was sitting in the recreation lounge, still playing the harp and glancing in her direction. She got up and went over to him. She was singing something what was it? Oh yes, a song to tease the normally stoic Vulcan into the hint of a smile. He played along with her as they continued their musical flirtation to the amusement of the other occupants of the room.
Abruptly, another song flowed from deep within her. A love song. This one was not risqué or teasing, but slow and sensual. Taking a deep breath, she allowed the precious oxygen to fill her lungs and bring the song to her lips. Spocks harp continued to strum gently, his strings weaving themselves between her words and her voice. She yielded to his entreaty and took flight with the lilting melody. From far away, she heard her own voice float up over the euphony of the harp. She felt herself being overwhelmed by the beauty of the music and the peace that settled over her. Afraid that it had been lost forever, now she couldnt contain it. It had to be expressed. The song was hers, and it could never be lost. She gave voice to it and released her fears.
As Spocks fingers stilled the vibrating strings, Uhura wrapped her arms around her chest, exhaling as the coda faded into silence.
"That was beautiful, Uhura," the Vulcan commented, a faint expression of approval on his countenance.
She sighed softly, a smile on her lips. "I thought Id lost my music. I was afraid that Id never find enjoyment in it again."
"Nomad scanned you because it heard you singing. It could not understand what music was. It could never understand your gift, Lieutenant, or the joy you find in it."
"Yes, Spock. There is joy in it. I needed to feel that again. Ive been so afraid."
"It requires courage to face your fears. Only then will you be able to overcome them. It is illogical to pretend that you are not afraid. Whom does it serve?"
Uhura was touched by his candid reply. "Im beginning to realize that now, Spock."
One week later, Uhura prepared to return to the bridge. She was feeling pretty good as she headed to Sickbay for her therapy session. Though there were still the occasional feelings of anxiety, there hadnt been another panic attack.
"Lieutenant, youre early. You can just go right in," McCoy said as Uhura walked into his office.
"How much longer do you think Ill have to continue with the therapy?"
"Ill let you know. In the meantime, if you want to return to active duty, youll have to do as I say."
"Doctor McCoy, why are you such a taskmaster?"
"I just want to be sure this time that youre one hundred percent. Now, run along."
"Okay, Im going." Uhura smiled at the doctor and walked around the corner to the room where she usually had her sessions. As she walked in, she was startled to find Spock standing right inside the door.
"Mister Spock? I didnt expect to see you here."
"Doctor McCoy suggested that I meet with you today. I have been giving him and his psychological staff some advice as to your on-going therapy."
"You gave Doctor McCoy advice? And he took it?"
"Of course he did, Lieutenant. We all have your best interests in mind."
"Yes, I know that you do. So, what will we be doing today?" Uhura sat down.
"I have devised some exercises that are based on meditation techniques used on Vulcan. I believe that if you engage in these, you will be able to reduce the level of stress youve been experiencing, and eliminate the possibility of more attacks."
"Do you really think I can accomplish that?"
"Uhura, I have every confidence you will be successful."
She smiled, genuinely pleased. "Then lets get started."
Uhura sat at her post on the bridge and gingerly took sips from her much too hot coffee. If only she hadnt decided to give herself an extra ten minutes of sleep, she wouldve had time to finish her breakfast. No matter. It was just good to sleep through the night, she couldnt blame herself for wanting to stay in bed.
"Good morning, Lieutenant." The first officer exited the lift and walked up to the communications station.
"Good morning, Mister Spock." She quickly looked up from the results of the diagnostic checks. "Ah, Mister Spock."
"Yes?" He stopped and took a few steps back towards her.
"I realize that I never got to thank you for your help. Not just for helping me with the meditation and the music but all the other times in the past."
"There is no reason to thank me, Lieutenant. I am equipped to provide assistance to you, and I am here to do so."
"Yes, I know, but I wanted to say it anyway."
The first officer acknowledged her with a nod, then clasped his hands behind him. "In that case, you are welcome, Uhura. We are in range for our daily transmission from Starfleet Command. Open hailing frequencies."
"Aye, sir. Starfleet Command, this is U.S.S. Enterprise." She paused for a moment. "Starfleet Command, please acknowledge."
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