The Silent Wolf
"She was seen in Lieutenant Boma's quarters."
"For how long?"
"She stayed approximately five minutes."
"Five minutes? Are you certain?"
"Yes, my lord. She replaced her knife in her boot as she left."
"Another female left a moment after she entered, my lord."
"Continue with your duties."
"Yes, my lord."
Soft footsteps retreated, and the sounds were replaced by another pair approaching.
"My lord, my scanner has indicated that Chief of Security Sulu has attempted to override her door again."
A low growl:
"I will deal with it myself; continue monitoring."
"Yes, my lord."
Those footsteps retreated as well, and silence ensued.
A few moments later, soft, creamy, green-tinted hands caressed his shoulders: "How can I be of service, my lord?"
He didn't address her; his thoughts were on the information his spies had gathered: "I have a class 7 computer science rating; she has a class 6 rating. She has done well using her computer security to defend herself." His mind still considered the new information as the pair of hands continued to caress his shoulders. "She has defended herself again from Sulu's advances, unaware that if he had touched her, I would have had him killed without a thought. Then there is Boma. I have known of their copulation for some time. He has been careless with his liaisons, but she continued to see him. Why settle for a male without scruples? Terrans often indulge in open sexual relationships without commitments."
Another thought came to him: "She has advanced herself. The question now is, did she sleep with Kirk?" His jealousy had no end; his anger continued to grow. "I need to settle the issue of Boma and any male that has... touched her, including Kirk." .He gently removed the pair of hands:
"Continue with your duties."
"Yes, my lord," the owner of the hands answered in a very disappointed voice.
Her footsteps retreated to another room in his quarters. There she sat miserably.
"Still not forgiven, T'Pring?"
She looked up at the much older male Vulcan healer.
"It seems not, Healer Shath. What will become of me if he does not mate?"
"Your betrayal has caused a rift. Your choice to copulate with his former classmate was not wise."
"What must I do to prove that I have changed? I was selected by the Vulcan High Council, and I now see that their choice was logical."
"You must use restraint and wait to see his intentions."
"How can I? He has eyes for... another, a weakling of a female."
Shath listened to her response and wondered aloud: "A Terran?"
"Yes. There are times I want to challenge her for my lord to show him I am more worthy than that soft flower," T'Pring snarled.
"I will investigate your assertion, T'Pring."
Shath started toward Spock's office and then stopped. He turned his head slightly: "If what you say is true, I suggest that you stay clear of the Terran. It is not wise to cross the S'haile, despite your claim."
He left T'Pring to her thoughts.
Sometime later in the conference room, Kirk, with his security team, and Spock, with his, met to discuss the next mission. Scotty and McCoy sat at the conference table. Uhura was at the table too, but sat far away from them all with her Padd ready to record the information for the mission.
Spock sat at the computer station and typed in the name of the next civilization to be conquered. The information the advance intelligence team had gathered appeared on the monitor:
"This is the planet, Omicron Ceti VII. A survey ship found the civilization hidden within deep caverns, apparently to evade our detection. The Empire wants to know why they decided to hide and what can they offer us. Little is known about their culture. According to my scanners, they have rich deposits of dilithium crystals and beryllium, which will be vital to the Empire's new expansion plan."
"Interesting. If you've detected dilithium, we have to find the deposits, and the people will know where. Scotty, any signs of weaponry or technology?"
"No space travel, Captain. It's easy pickin's. We have the technological advantage."
Kirk turned to McCoy: "What kind of people are they, Bones?"
"The best kind: sweet, nice, and easily manipulated," McCoy said, smiling. "Once I scan a few bodies, I can give you something to work with. I can create something that will take all our troubles away if they resist."
Kirk chuckled at the idea: "I like that, Bones. I hate wasting precious energy. How about you, Lieutenant Commander?"
Everyone turned toward Uhura. She looked up and reported unemotionally:
"The universal translator is not calibrated for their language; I'm waiting for the Empire to update the specs. I could rig something for you to take for the meantime."
Kirk gave her a leering smile: "And miss the opportunity to take you along, Uhura? No. You're coming with us. I need both you and Spock. You both have an uncanny sense of your surroundings, and Uhura can detect and interpret facial expressions and body language. You're both better at spotting a fake by the sound of people's voices than the translator is."
"It's best I remain on the ship, Captain, to... keep some of our acquaintances in check."
"Quite right, Spock. You'll mind the store while we're away."
Scotty leaned over and glared at Uhura: "Did ya f$ck the captain for that title, woman?"
Nyota quickly grabbed one of her knives and flicked it across the table. It landed an inch from his right hand.
"I just answered you," Nyota said. She got up without blinking and retrieved her knife. "Question me again, and I'll take more than just your hand," she said on her way out of the conference room.
The men laughed at him for challenging Uhura and getting more than he bargained for.
All the crew members left, except Spock and his team. Stonn secured the door. Semek scanned the room for bugs.
"Clear my, lord."
Spock sat at his station with his forefingers pressed together, contemplating the scene he had just witnessed. She had not slept with the Captain. "In that case, there must have been a bargain. Kirk is planning something without me. I must be on guard now." There were no new orders from the Empire that he was aware of, but Kirk had been more greedy than usual lately. Spock hoped that these new developments would not pit Kirk against him; it would ruin their perfect arrangement.
"Your orders, my lord?" Semek asked.
"Is anyone available to observe the Captain?"
"Stonn and Falor are at your disposal, Lord."
"Stonn, you are assigned to observe the Captain from a distance until further notice. Do not be seen."
Stonn stepped forward: "I will not fail."
"Be sure of that-proceed with caution."
Stonn bowed and left.
"Inform T'Pring that she is required to replace Stonn as a guard. Remind her of her responsibilities to her lord."
"Have they been seen together?"
"I do not trust them, Semek. If anything should befall me..."
"Yes, S'haile. I will report to your father."
Semek and Spock left the conference room together. Spock now needed to determine how best to protect Lt. Commander Uhura. He knew that Mr. Scott would not take her insolence and threats well. He might have to pay a Terran to watch her back, but who? The ship's computers had been unreliable; he constantly had to debug them because of Sulu. Spock was also aware that the programming was spying for the Empire.
The two Vulcans walked down the corridor, saluting as they went. Spock needed a plan, but he also needed to deal with threats from multiple directions. Kirk had boosted himself up to number one on the ship, but perhaps he had plans to ascend higher within the Empire. "What are you up to, Kirk? The last time you tried a radical deal, you ended up promoted and were rewarded with bonus credits for your ingenuity with the Halkans." Spock took the turbolift to the bridge and went to work at his station with Semek by his side, assisting him.
Semek and Healer Shath were the most loyal of his crew. He had personally selected them to provide important information and perform vital tasks, but mostly to provide protection. Both were willing to die for him.
T'Pring, the wench, had been sent as a spy in a betrothal arranged by the Vulcan Council. She had ulterior motives, not the least of them her strong attraction to Stonn, his one-time classmate from the Vulcan Academy. Spock had no intention of bonding with the female; that would be a fatal mistake. Stonn was an enemy of the Vulcan High Command, of which Spock's father Sarek was a prominent member; Stonn's family would profit if Spock failed. The two of them were scheming to bring him down. Spock could not kill them-not yet-not until the game had played out. So many players; so many enemies.
When Nyota was not on the bridge, Spock would speak freely to Semek in Vulcan code. Spock would not be surprised if Uhura could break the code already; she would discover its meaning in time. Nothing was worth the risk. So secure seclusion was his best strategy for the moment.
About a half-hour later, Spock had finished his reports and sent duplicates to the Empire, Kirk, and himself. He was preparing to leave the bridge when he noticed a course deviation and stepped down to Navigation. He quickly scanned the helm and the plotted course; he knew immediately that something was off. Spock signaled Semek with a snap of his fingers and drew his own phaser, pointing it at the navigator:
"Mr. Stone, we are off course. State your reason for this."
"We are on our planned course, Mr. Spock!"
Spock stared at him with hooded eyes and growled: "You just contradicted a senior officer and told a falsehood, after disobeying the Captain's orders and taking the ship off course."
Before the next words could leave Stone's mouth, an agonizer was pressed against his chest. He fell to the floor screaming. Spock continued to press the instrument until the man lost consciousness. Spock stood and looked at the helmsmen, who was sweating and twitching his lips while Semek held his phaser on him to protect his commander.
"Lt. Palmer, notify Captain Kirk of an attempted mutiny on the bridge."
Spock stepped slowly toward the helmsmen and stared him down: "Security Officer Sulu will be disappointed in your performance. You were aware of this deviation and said nothing. I will give him the pleasure of... correcting your actions."
Helmsman Finney wiped his brow and stammered loudly as the rest of the bridge watched: "I-I didn't know what was happening, Sir!"
Kirk arrived on the bridge scowling, with veins popping out of his neck: "What the f$ck is going on?!" he demanded to know. He rushed down the steps to stare at Spock hovering over the helmsmen.
"We have deviated from our course, Captain. Did you change your orders?"
"Hell no! I didn't authorize any change. Where is the ship heading?"
"I was in the process of discovering that; do you wish to complete the interrogation, Captain?"
Kirk lunged at the man and grabbed him by the neck, wanting to kill him on the spot but knowing he needed information from him. He screamed: "Who do you work for?!"
Spock stepped back and stood next to Semek, who still was holding his phaser.
"TELL ME, OR I'LL MAKE YOU REGRET IT!
Kirk looked feral. He threw the man on the floor and kicked him in the gut. The Captain looked around him: "Get Uhura and Scotty up here now! And get Security to take this trash to the agony booths! I want to know where they were taking MY SHIP!"
Kirk straightened his tunic and pushed back his hair: "What's going on, Spock?"
Spock spoke quietly with his arms clasped behind him: "I was in the process of completing my reports when I noticed the course change."
"Do you know where they were heading?"
"The plotter was programmed to head toward sector 5; I can determine the precise location."
Spock went to his station and input the course information he had seen at the helm. He checked his hood sensor and calculated the location:
"Captain, there is nothing out there but space; there are no planets, space stations, or asteroids of any kind."
"A rendezvous then?"
"It is possible."
Uhura and Scotty arrived on the bridge, followed by Sulu and Security. Kirk scowled at Sulu and snarled:
"Well, Security Chief, a couple of your men tried to run off with MY SHIP!"
"Stone and Finney"
Sulu shot back: "They aren't my men; they aren't part of my team! I have nothing to do with their mutiny!"
Kirk's saw red and steam practically came out of his ears: "Then go and find out why they tried to steal MY SHIP!"
Sulu scurried off the bridge with his team carrying the two men.
Kirk had pulled himself together and straightened his tunic. He glared at Uhura: "Find out how they communicated; someone out there is trying to get us!"
While still staring at the captain, Nyota snapped her fingers, and Palmer gave up her earpiece. Nyota went to work.
Then Kirk glared at Mr. Scott: "Double-check those engines; they may have sabotaged them. They went to great lengths to steal this ship; if either of you finds the culprits, I want to know immediately!"
Kirk stormed off the bridge with his guards trailing behind.
Nyota sat at her station, thinking about the events that had just occurred. Trying to take over the ship was a bad idea. The only thing left was leverage.