All the usual disclaimers, I own nothing and make no money from this.

Okay, so the outline for this has been floating around for awhile and I finally decided to write some chapters…as with all my fics, this is not exclusively canon. It's just easier for me to get creative if I go with the whole AU thing. Also, I'll try to stay in character, but you may find I do go OCC at times.

This takes place a couple of years before the demise of Vulcan and I will probably not go there unless I do epilog. And as always, this is a Spock/ Uhura fic. Is there any other? ;o)

On a personal note, I've been searching for a beta and have been unsuccessful. If anyone out there has any leads, could you please private message me? I've been doing all my own editing but I feel like I could use another perspective…I tend to over explain…

Finally, onto the story…

Stardate 2556

Nyota Uhura was generally not an excitable girl. She took most things as they came to her, in their stride. When she was 16, she had graduated with honors and made her way to Nairobi University without a backward glance, her expectations met. Her mother labeled her 'my brilliant pragmatist' and the young girl accepted the title with a bit of pride. When she was courted by Star Fleet Academy her junior year, she was flattered but kept any kind of excitement tapped down and explored all her options before accepting a full scholarship. Her first year at Star Fleet was her first time so far from her family, but this was part of her long term plan and was pleased she didn't have to search it out. It was handed to her to do with what she would. As was expected by all, including herself, she excelled.

So to say her roommate was shocked by Nyota Uhura's present state of exhilaration was an understatement. It wasn't that Nyota wasn't fun, the girl did know how to kick it. They would go out dancing twice a month – Nyota refused to party anymore than that as it 'might detract from my studies' – and the girl from Nairobi partied as much as the next student letting off steam and dancing until the clubs closed. But when she woke up the next morning, she was Cadet Uhura with the highest grade point average in her class…again.

But tonight, the girl from the United States of Africa was so excited she could barely contain herself. All the 2nd years were going on their first off-world training mission and Commander Spock had drawn her name. She was thrilled almost beyond words and actually showed it. Not only was he her favorite instructor, he was the one person that made her heart leap the moment she saw him or heard his voice. From the first day she had entered his class, she was his even if he would never know this illogical fact. She rolled over onto her stomach and sighed.

"Jeez, Ny, could you keep it down? I know you can't wait until your up in your own little shuttle of love with Commander Hot and Spicy, but you have to get some sleep." The Orion tossed a pillow at her friend.

"Sorry, Gai, I'm just so…excited. And I thought you'd be ecstatic that I was showing some enthusiasm for something other than Professor Spock." She chuckled. "I realize I'm the biggest geek in the world, but just be a little patient. And I promise, no more sighing."

"I am ecstatic, and excuse me for point this out, but Professor Spock is your date for our little excursion. But I'll be more ecstatic in the morning, so sleep Ny, or you are gonna embarrass yourself tomorrow." Gai chided.

"As always…well, as sometimes is the case, you're right." She rolled over onto her side and hugged Gai's pillow to her chest and squeezed her eyes shut.

Spock and Nyota's shuttle was the last to be released so she waited with her fellow cadets as each one in her unit flew off with their senior instructor.

She and Spock were assigned a small M-class planet that had yet to be colonized and they were to create a topographical map of a central mountain range and take sensor readings of any volcanic output.

The USS Intrepid was the first star ship Nyota had ever been on and she was wearing her wonder on her sleeve. Captain Pike had taken charge of the vessel for this outing and she adored Captain Pike.

"Ny, come on, girl. As least pretend you're a professional." Gai whispered to her best friend.

"I know, sorry, Gai." She quickly shook herself and sat up straight taking in a deep breath. "But isn't this so fabulous? We're on a star ship, Gaila, this is where we're going to be in a couple of years."

Gai giggled. "Boy, when you fall out of stoic mode you do it with a vengeance. And I know. Can you believe it?" She whispered.

"Yes. And we're going to be the best, Gai. We'll both be on the Enterprise because we're the best."

"You're right, Ny. We are the best!" The Orion agreed and jumped as her name was called. "Oh, I'm up. See you in six hours!"

Nyota sat next to Commander Spock as he slowly piloted their shuttle out of the bay. "Cadet, please inform command we are leaving space dock."

"Yes, sir." Nyota placed her earpiece in. "Intrepid, shuttle Endeavor leaving space dock."

"Shuttle Endeavor, cleared for flight." A faceless voice replied. Nyota bit her lip and looked over at Spock.

"Cleared for flight, sir."

"Thank you, cadet." Spock took them out into space and Nyota shuddered in anticipation.

It should have been a routine exercise. They were to land on the planet at the pre-determined site. Take their readings, plot the topography and within six hours be on their way back to the Intrepid. What no one was aware of was the space anomaly that was a mere 50 kilometers off the star ship's starboard bow.

"Sir?" Nyota noticed a wobble to their right. "Is it my imagination…?"

He followed her eyes and saw what she was referring to. "No, Cadet. That is not your imagination." Spock quickly attempted to adjust their heading but found they were caught in a gravitational pull. He sent out a distress call to the Intrepid.

"Intrepid, shuttle Endeavor is being pulled into…" The bridge crew onboard the Intrepid saw the shuttle being pulled towards a wobble in the space in front of the view screen. Before anyone could blink, the shuttle disappeared.