Into the Valley ~ Epilogue (#Uhura)

Previously ~ Honor

Subcommander Netris raised an eyebrow, unsure of what he saw before him. Rumors traveled faster than warp nine in the galaxies, and now was not the time to debate fact from rumor. He wasn’t in the mood.

“You should change your name,” he suggested dryly, leaning back into his desk. Outside his office was nothing but blue soils and black skies. On days like this, he missed the blistering sun. He was probably the only inhabitant of Bolaria IX not charmed by its ghostly beauty. “Our sociologists’ studies show that in the past fortnight, no one on the homeworld carries the name N’Tal.”

The slender, well-built girl raised her own eyebrow. “My name is irrelevant. I am my family’s only known surviving member. All that was my father’s belongs to me now. That, Subcommander, is what is relevant.”

“How did you get off Earth?” he asked, torn between alarm and amusement. “Reports say you are dead. Your body was found. It sent one young man into madness, and plunged the rest of the students into grief.” He tilted his head to the side. “Not what I would expect from a daughter of Romulus.”

“The Headmistress and I contrived to fake my death,” N’Tal replied briskly. The death of her father had aged her drastically. She carried herself with the grim grace of battle-weary commander. “The young man who found me was looking at a holographic corpse. I was already off-world by that time.”

She leaned boldly towards him, both palms on his desk. “A true daughter of Romulus thinks of avenging her family first before ending her own pain.”

Again, Netris’s eyebrow went up. “Your family is dead,” he reminded her coolly. “As much as I honored your father and planned to accomplish great works with him, I have accepted that he is gone. In this business, many die and leave us behind. We too, N’Tal, shall die fighting for this.”

N’Tal’s voice came out colder than the skin of a Trill.

“Then it is our duty to take as many enemies as we can when we go.”


Into the Valley ~ Honor (#Uhura)

Previously ~ The Praetor's Son

A/N ~ This was originally published in two parts, but I now it seems best to leave them as one chapter.

Nyota pondered Amanda’s Grayson’s words as they walked back to her shuttle and headed north to Stellar Valley. And she wasn’t the only one; Amanda’s words at the end of the opera had seemed to make everyone stop and mull over the pink elephant in the room. No one looked at Spock, and he didn’t look at anyone else.

However, the silence wasn’t exactly tense. At least not for Nyota. Though she didn’t look at him, she was distinctly aware of his presence. While he radiated emotional cool, he sat next to her, and she could feel his physical warmth also radiating.

Nyota smiled, amused by the Vulcan contradiction; hot-blooded bodies with coldly rational minds.
Mr. French’s console beeped urgently, and he checked it at once. Immediately, all the blood drained from his face. When he spoke, his voice came out raspy and hoarse.

“Ambassador Mioral has been assassinated on Bolaria IX,” he announced, shaking. “There was an attack on his home in Ch’Tau.”

Amanda and Spock both leapt to their feet,

“Sarek is unharmed,” Mr. French quickly informed them, “but in the last two hours, all of Mioral's relatives on that moon have been tracked down and…terminated,” he finished uncomfortably.

“N’Tal,” Amanda whispered, panicking, “does N’Tal know?”

Into the Valley ~ The Praetor's Son (#Uhura)

Previously ~ Stories, an Outtake

Amanda’s shuttle was no ordinary shuttle.

Nyota blinked at the rich red carpet, and inhaled the scented air. The shuttle was small without being cramped, clearly state-of-the art. The consoles glittered, the ride was completely smooth, and Nyota could imagine how far her mother’s jaw would drop just to get her hands on a shuttle like this.

The aide who piloted the ship and the attendant who co-piloted were both human, but the primary attendant was the Vulcan version of the Headmistress. She was solidly built, tall, with her gray hair cut in the traditional Vulcan style. Her outfit was a severe, drab black gown, and she smelled deeply of incense—her most feminine quality. For a split second Nyota wondered if the woman was Amanda’s attendant or her bodyguard.

“May I introduce my primary aide Mr. French,” Amanda glowed, “and his wonderful co-pilot Miss Paola. And my trusted adviser in all things, Madam T’Laurian. People, this is Miss Nyota Uhura, my son’s…lady friend.” She winked at Nyota.

Nyota’s bowed her head slightly, feeling her face heat. Sitting opposite Spock, she noticed he still refused to look at her. How come in all our time together, she wondered, he never mentioned that he once had a speech impediment?

Her inner evil voice immediately replied, Would you run around telling people about “Thuwak?”