Chapter 11

Spock could hear voices and sense beings moving around him, but it took great difficulty to ascertain who was nearby. He fully comprehended that he was restrained onto a slab of stone, for he could not move his arms or legs. Unexpectedly, he felt a hand on his leg caressing his thigh, trailing slowly across his genitalia, his abdomen and finally his chest.

Valeris. Spock could detect incredible lust and anger through her touch, then her hand powerfully gripped him by the chin. "There is no need to trifle with me, Spock; I know you are awake," she purred, leaning over him.

Spock opened his eyes and his voice was dry and raspy. He felt as if sand still covered his mouth and throat. His usual velvety voice was harsh, as he said, "I have no desire to interact with you in any manner, trivial or otherwise. Being in your presence again is enough to make me regret ever knowing your name." He observed her pupils were dilated and he respiration rate was high. "I see you bear some trace of your time in prison," he continued, staring at the scar. "It aids as a warning to your lack of moral fortitude or honor."

"Oh, Spock," she whispered, allowing her long inky hair to trail across his face, "Don't be a poor loser. Are you still holding a grudge over the Khitomer Conference because I made fools of you and—what was his name-James Tiberius Kirk, lately of….nowhere? I am so sorry that you have to play alone now," she taunted.

Spock's voice was hard as titanium, "What do you want, Valeris? There is a high probability that I would be dead if you did not need something." He was going to force her to voice her need. Instead, she moved like an Earth panther and spoke to someone out of Spock's line of sight, "Bring her."

His face was absolutely expressionless, but his stomach was filled with trepidation. It was highly probable that he knew who she meant. Christine was shoved into the side of stone on which he lay, barely into of his line of vision Valeris gripped Christine by the back of the neck and forced her head forward so he could see her better.

Christine's face was as impassive as his own, though bruised and swollen, yet her eyes were impenetrable. "I will allow you two five minutes as I decide your fate." The look on her face was disturbing as if she wanted to smile and annihilate them all simultaneously. She turned and walked back towards her ship, motioning for her two of murderous minions to follow.

"Christine," his dry throat croaked out her name. "How badly are you hurt?"

With no change in her countenance, she replied drily, "I doubt I'll die from these injuries."

"Christine, take my hand." She stood still, considering him, as if her purpose for being had abruptly been snuffed out.

"Christine, please take my hand," Spock entreated.

Her long fingers finally reached out for his; her hand was cold, not cool, icy. The moment their flesh touched, Christine's knees started to buckle. She leaned against the stone and gripped his hand fiercely with hers. Steadying herself, she leaned over him and held his face with her free hand. "My, God," she cried. "My, God! Where have you been? Do you know-?"

"I have been a fool, Christine. I tried to bury my grief caused by Jim's death, and, I refused to fully embrace my commitment to you."

Christine couldn't answer, but tears streamed down her face. She rubbed his cheek with her hand, as if trying to convince herself he was really here in front of her. She rested her forehead on his and whispered, "Valeris is going to kill us both unless you bond with her. She is going to kill me regardless. Save your own life. Do this for me. I can't watch you die, too."

Spock's hand began to crush hers. In a low, furious voice he said, "Do you believe I would do such a vile thing to save my life. I would die a thousand deaths before I would mount that hyalit hul'a. How little do you think of me?"

"You're hurting me," Christine rose and tried to jerk her hand away but couldn't free herself from him.

"Please stop," he said, this time softer, releasing the strength in his grip on her hand as he suppressed his anger. "I must ask you. Do we have a child?"

Stunned, she stared at him. "No," she stammered. "No. Not anymore." Through her touch he felt great anguish and loss, but also anger at him. "She died."

Spock absorbed the news, and his eyes became soft. "Do you still want me," he asked, fearful of her answer. He knew through her touch that she still loved him deeply.

"I don't know anymore. I don't want you to die; I know that." She closed her eyes and shuddered.

"Will you meld with me when we are freed, be my bondmate?"

She tried to jerk her hand away in frustrated fury, "This is a hellva time to ask! Why? Tell me, why! I haven't seen you in years. You didn't even come back when I needed you—when our child needed you the most." Her blue eyes blazed. "Leonard used everyone and everything he could when it would have mattered most to find you." She was suddenly breathless, wrestling with her love and rage. "And what in hell makes you think we're going to escape? What an optimist you've become."

"I love you and I ask your forgiveness for my selfishness," Spock said softly, tenderly, in the face of her anger.

Christine closed her eyes, realizing the futility of their situation. Could they have peace between them before death? She moved toward his face, and before Spock could say anything else, Valeris reappeared, and clutched in her hand was a large ceremonial looking dagger.

Christine backed up, refusing to release Spock's hand.

Valeris placed the point of the dagger in the soft, pale hollow of Christine's throat. "Spock, Spock, Spock. You are a fool. Whatever do you see in this...human woman? Oh, of course-your mother!" Valeris twisted her mouth in triumphant gratification. "What will you do, Spock, to keep me from cutting this woman into a limbless torso? What a torture, a prison, to be encased in such a body. Or," she moved behind Christine, reaching up, "If I placed the knife here," indicating the upper part of Christine's cervical spine. "That too could be a prison, or perhaps if I cut out her eyes?" The Vulcan woman's eyes were gleaming, dark, and mad with possessiveness and lust. "I could be merciful, Spock, and slit her throat quickly so that she doesn't suffer. Much."

"Should I give her to Tak and allow you to watch," she smiled at the idea. Taking Christine by the hair, she shoved the doctor towards the Klingon, still standing a few feet back. Tak is particularly fond of human females, but he says they are too delicate. She could last a few days. But I've seen human women after Tak's taken his pleasure. I'd estimate 24 hours, maximum."

Moving to the other side of Spock, Valeris looked down his length, eventually into his face, "But I wouldn't bet the planet on it, but how long would you last watching them? What will it take to have you willingly bond with me and possibly father my children, not mongrels who are not strong enough to survive," she said, glancing over her shoulder at Christine.

Valeris had just made her most deadly mistake.

Christine broke free of the Klingon's reach, distracted as he was by his leader's performance, and she was filled with maternal loss and pain—and fury. She dropped her shoulder and hit the shorter, smaller Vulcan woman in the chest with every ounce of power she had, using her size and momentum to knock Valeris to the ground several feet from where she had originally stood. Christine lost all hearing and reason. Grabbing up a softball size reddish stone from the ground, Christine smashed it into the Vulcan woman's head. All her rage, her hurt, her loss was encapsulated into that strike, yet in her mind all she saw was her dying four week old baby. A mongrel! Christine shattered Valeris' head into pieces. "You bitch," she screamed.

Somewhere she heard phaser fire, but, in her mental state, nothing registered. She pounded Valeris' head, again, again, and again, until green blood soaked into the red sands turning them an odd hue. Christine continued to hammer the separated pieces of skull and couldn't feel the flecks of blood and gruesome spatter on her face, arms, and hands. Until Spock engulfed her his arms from behind and spoke in her ear did she finally cease. He eased the stone from Christine's gore covered hands and dropped it, allowing it to roll against what was left of Valeris' battered body.

Kevin Riley came running up behind them, phaser rifle in hand. He froze, staring in shock at the carnage before him. "Captain Riley, we need a medical team as well as security."

Riley could not reconcile the compassionate woman he knew with the bloodbath before him. He didn't move as an irrational thought shot through his mind: a medical team isn't going to help THAT!

"Mr. Riley," Spock's voice commanded. "Yes, sir." Riley said, as his walk turned to a run.

Spock picked Christine up in his arms and moved away from the corpse. T'Lar, who had remained in the background, until Riley had taken out the traitors, moved toward them. "Here," she indicated the slab where Spock had been secured. He lay her down, her eyes were closed and her hands were knotted into grisly fists.

"Christine. I am here," Spock kept repeating this mantra to her, even as he took a wet cloth and pan filled with water brought by T'Lar. Tenderly, he wiped the green blood and brain matter off her face and pulled the gruesome bits from her hair. Spock didn't even notice when T'Lar returned with a blanket to cover her lower half. He continued to clean the ghastly remnants off her. Spock was unsure of how much time had passed when he felt T'lar touch his arm.

"She needs more than a doctor, Spock. She needs you to help her be whole again. This time do not abandon an ashayam who you know to be true and honest," the old Vulcan said. Finished, T'Lar walked away to see to the welfare of her students.

Riley returned. "Help is on the way, sir." He swallowed at the sight and turned away. "I'm sorry; she is one of the toughest people I know. This is…." Riley couldn't finish, so he started in another direction, "The rebels are all dead, except for the Romulan woman, but she may not survive."

Riley walked over to the altar and touched Christine's hair lightly. "I'm so sorry, CC," he said, and walked away to wait for planetary authorities to arrive. He turned back one last time when he reached the opening. Captain Spock was wrapping Dr. Chapel in a blanket, and for a Vulcan, Riley thought he had the most sorrowful face he had ever seen.