Rob MorrisMay 31st 2295
The two sat together, near the large windows on the forward recreation room. Each of them had a padd in hand, a message from an old country doctor who apparently was sending out thank you notes for the condolences offered six months ago when his young wife had been murdered by the Klingons. The message had been sent to friends, family and acquaintances. Uhura had delivered them their copies without a word before departing the rec deck.
In silence, they read the letter, and then they met each others eyes again in silence. Finally, Peter spoke, "So have you written him since?"
Ambassador Spock nodded, seemingly openly disturbed by the missive from the doctor. "A small note, when it all first occurred. Another when you came aboard, in fact, telling him of your eventful transfer here. A promise to write more. But other than those two short stargrams, nothing." Spock gave a very un-Vulcan-like sigh. "He is my friend. This is wholly unlike me."
Kirk looked at his own empty padd. "Ill bet he hasnt even read his stargrams, Ambassador. He may not even be reading them now. This message is little more than what used to be called a form letter."
Spock took his attention off himself, perhaps in a hope that prompting the younger man to write would force his hand, as well. "Have you written him?"
Peter got a distant look, as though he was staring at a face now forever gone. "No. Not even when Teresa died. I couldnt find the words. Besides, circumstances... you know. I wasnt sure hed want to hear from me."
Spock indeed knew of the circumstances. "He has never resented your...protection...of his family, Peter."
"Yes, but that was when she...when they were all still alive. Grief changes people."
Spock raised an eyebrow, as though an incredible falsehood had been stated. "It has not changed him. You who have known him almost as long, though not as well, as I have, should know this. Natiras loss did not destroy or forever alter him."
Peter shook his head. "Lady Natira was targeted by one power-hungry Yonadan rebel leader who the Federation blindly supported. She could easily have lived. I could have been baby-sitting their kids, on breaks from the Academy. But Teresa was targeted by Orion slavers, psychotic Khmyr, her late husbands family, anti-royalists who were a little too friendly with members of the Federation Council."
Spock winced, inwardly. The Federation governments discomfort with having monarchies as members often reached phobia status, and had caused many questionable policies to be implemented. "Your point?"
"My point, sir, is that Teresas passing had the sick feel of the inevitable. She had too many enemies, all too willing to do anything to hurt her. Yet she was kept alive. By her husband. By Jim. By Connor Randolph. By you. By me. Yet Deaths scythe kept coming, like the hands on a clock. Teresa once told me that she had argued voraciously with Doctor McCoy to be ready to raise the boys on his own. She knew, I think. But for all that preparedness, even with that Khmyr revenge nonsense, I think we all expected that somehow Davie and Jimmy would be spared. Naive? Foolish? Yes. But I think that even someone like yourself is still thrown that the Khmyr went that far."
Spock saw his point, now. Despite all logic, the two young boys were believed to be somehow safe, except perhaps as a target of opportunity during a Khmyr raid, such as the one Peter himself turned back. Even if a blood-feud were invoked, Segh vav were known to let children live. But Khmyr, especially those under the thumb of the vile House Durit, lived in a permanent state of blood-feud, with victim and attacker alike, and children were simply additional targets.
"You are saying that while he might have been prepared on some level for Teresas passing, the loss of his sons has compounded his grief on levels that we cannot comprehend. Perhaps you are correct. Perhaps I even knew this, and kept my words back for fear of their inadequacy."
Kirk suddenly started scribbling a storm with his stylus, then stopped just as suddenly. He pushed his padd over to Spock. The ambassador read it, then looked up. "You are certain that this is what you wish to say?"
Peter shrugged. "I could write an epic about my love for them. Maybe someday, I will. But Ive long admired several things about your people, Ambassador. Control and brevity are among them."
While there were yet several things the heir of his thyla was lacking in, there were also times when a shock of pure genius would travel through him, and in those times, Spock knew certain that genetics would out. "May I sign my name to it, as well?"
"I would be honored if you would sign it first, sir."
He did, and they both sat up after Peter tapped the send key, transmitting the letter to the communications queue. It would be sent with the next data package.
"You had best prepare for your workout session. Saavik has yet to forgive that flip. She will be prepared."
A near-predatory smile creased the Humans face.
"Mister Ambassador, Im counting on it."
One romance died in utter agony while the love lives on, thought Spock. Yet what am I observing between these two children? Jim, are we two yet to be brothers in some manner of legal fact? And if that occurs, will Leonards heart be healed enough to join with us in the joy of that time? Illogical as it may seem, I pray that this will be so.
In time, the letter of condolence was received. In time, it was read. In time, it offered a small comfort to a great man who needed every small comfort he could get, as the dark night of his soul continued for many, many long months to come. He even managed to chuckle at the words unspoken by the younger and the older man. In time, the letter was cherished...and not merely by him.
In their loss, we grieve with thee. In their memory, we joy with thee. Always and always, we are ever with thee.
Free counters provided by Andale.
Return to the index of ORION ARCHIVES --
2294-2323 Chekov's Enterprise.
Return to the index of ORION ARCHIVES On-Line Fiction.
Click Here to Return to the Orion Press Website