Star Trek: The Original Series: Unspoken Truth

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9781451656978: Star Trek: The Original Series: Unspoken Truth

A social experiment was conceived. Its goal was to breed the best, the brightest, the most malleable and most loyal soldiers to ever serve. To this end, the Romulan Empire used its own children, blinded by the belief that anything that would bring glory to the praetor was justified. And when the winds of politics changed, these children were abandoned, left to die on a world so horrifying that it was dubbed—by those who dared to cling to life—Hellguard.

One wild child, Saavik, was rescued by Spock. He took the half-Vulcan, half-Romulan child home to his parents, knowing that if anyone could reach and rescue Saavik, it was them.

Now a Starfleet officer, Saavik has striven to honor her mentor and her Vulcan heritage. But recent events have shaken her. Left behind on Vulcan while the rest of the Enterprise crew goes to face court-martial for stealing and destroying their ship, the young science officer is adrift when two men from her past confront her. Tolek, another Hellguard survivor, tells Saavik that the survivors are being killed one-by-one and only they can discover who and why. The other, a Romulan who claims to be her father, swears it is the Vulcans who are eliminating the Hellguard survivors because they are an embarrassment to all of Vulcan, but that she has the power to stop it, by bringing down the Vulcan ambassador, Sarek.

Not knowing where to turn, not knowing whom to trust, Saavik must find her own answers, and discover who she truly is.

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About the Author:

Margaret Wander Bonanno is the bestselling author of Star Trek: Burning Dreams; Star Trek The Lost Era: Catalyst of Sorrows, Star Trek: Dwellers in the Crucible and Star Trek: Strangers from the Sky, as well as two science fiction trilogies, The Others and Preternatural. Born in Brooklyn, New York, she now lives on the Left Coast.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

One


Captain’s Personal Log, Science Vessel Chaffee, Galina Mironova in command. Twenty-eight days ago, we made orbit around Vulcan with the intention of restocking and getting our final orders for what was to have been a simple mission—a month or so of cataloging rocks and trees on an out-of-the-way world in the Deema system. That was before a spacefaring Probe looking for whales came marauding through the quadrant on its way to Earth and effectively grounded all nonessential missions until we got sorted out. Better late than never, we are finally cleared for departure, but now I’m short a science officer. Or perhaps not. Today I interview one Lieutenant Saavik, whose reputation precedes her.

If I were impressed with surfaces, I’d hire her on the spot, but I was a scientist long before I was a command officer, and consequently I’ve a tendency to treat each mission like a chemistry experiment. The proper mix of reactants is essential. We’re a small vessel with a handful of crew, little more than an extended family, and everyone has to get along. Sibling rivalry is to be frowned upon, but a little friendly competition can yield the best results.

· · ·

Mironova stopped writing her personal log in her head and pretended to study Saavik’s service jacket on her desk screen, though she’d committed the important parts to memory before the young Vulcan officer had arrived.

Stop being clever or you’ll trip over your own metaphors! she cautioned herself. Bottom line, you want someone sober, sane, and unshakable to balance your lead civilian scientist’s peccadilloes, and here she is sitting across the desk from you. Get on with it!

“Ordinarily, Lieutenant, I’d refuse your request,” Mironova said. “What happened on Genesis had to have been traumatic, yet you’ve taken no leave time in which to process those events, despite Command’s rather strong suggestion that you do so.”

“There were extenuating circumstances, Captain,” Saavik pointed out.

Mironova looked up sharply, expecting sarcasm but finding only Vulcan logic.

“Yes, bloody Probe! Half the quadrant’s busy cleaning up after the damned thing, which leaves me without a science officer. And since you’re not only one of the best candidates for the job, you’re here instead of halfway across the quadrant participating in the cleanup, and Starfleet has debriefed you and deemed you fit, I’m strongly tempted.”

Even as Mironova studied the Vulcan, Saavik was studying her. Mironova hailed from the Iadara Colony, as her crisply accented Standard suggested. The colony’s proximity to Cardassian space had rendered its inhabitants tough, resourceful, and not easily rattled. Slim and slightly smaller than average height, Mironova gave the impression of being taller than she was. Her silver hair was cut to military precision, her tone and manner were no-nonsense, and her gray-green eyes could be penetrating, but the occasional twinkle suggested she was not averse to a bit of fun when the occasion warranted.

She’d met Saavik in the Chaffee’s transporter room in person, rather than having a junior officer escort her to the ready room, then had to order her to be seated in the single chair on the other side of the desk. Saavik sat, but at attention, her posture ramrod straight and inches from the back of the chair, resisting the urge to compare Captain Mironova’s taste in decor with the late Captain Esteban’s.

Chaffee was an Oberth-class vessel, a sister ship to the U.S.S. Grissom. Perhaps, Saavik thought, it had been unwise to request an assignment on a sister ship so soon after the loss of Grissom and her crew.

Mironova might have been thinking the same thing. She found the look in the young Vulcan’s eyes unsettling.

“You seem in an awful hurry to get out of Dodge,” Mironova suggested, keeping her tone light.

“It is my understanding, Captain, that Chaffee is cleared for departure in three days’ time—”

“—and you’re so eager to go off cataloging rocks and leaves on a dull little planet in a newly charted sector that even the fact that your crewmates from Enterprise and the entire planet Earth along with them nearly perished hasn’t slowed you down.”

“With all due respect, Captain, I have been stationed on Vulcan for almost four months, assisting Captain Scott with the refit of the Klingon vessel Bounty—

“‘Bounty’?” Mironova frowned.

“I believe Doctor McCoy was being ironic.”

“Yes, he would be, wouldn’t he?” Mironova said wryly. “But, to the point, Command granted you extended personal leave once Bounty left Vulcan, leave that you did not take. Forgive me if I keep harping on that, but the Probe’s been talked to, Lieutenant, everything’s back in its proper place, yet here you are requesting reassignment when you ought to be lying on a beach somewhere instead.

“Screen off,” the captain said crisply, her chin in her hands, elbows on the desktop, as she searched her would-be science officer’s face for something that wasn’t in the record.

“So here’s everybody else breathing a sigh of relief and remembering to stop and smell the roses, and then there’s you. Running toward or running from, Lieutenant?”

Que sera, sera,” Amanda had said as they stood together at the foot of Mount Seleya and watched the Bounty bank and turn and disappear just to the left of 40 Eridani, as if swallowed by its corona, an omen Saavik’s Romulan forebears might have found portentous. Saavik herself had dismissed such a superstitious notion for what it was by running through her mind the equations that made it possible for a vessel designed to look like a living thing to propel itself into space with far less effort than the bird it strove to emulate. Amanda’s words had disrupted her reverie.

“I do not understand, Mother,” Saavik said.

“‘Whatever will be, will be.’”

The human had turned away from the vista of the valley floor, striding purposefully up the path to the waiting aircar that would return them to ShiKahr, eager to get out of the sun before it rose much further in the sky. Saavik considered taking her elbow to assist her on the incline, but Amanda was still light on her feet despite her age and the thin atmosphere and needed no assistance.

“You’re understandably concerned about the trial,” Amanda said as the air car lifted off in a spray of red Vulcan dust, and she set the autopilot to the correct altitude and direction. “But there’s no point in fretting about it. What can either of us do? Certainly not feel guilty for not accompanying them.”

The crew had stood up for her. Saavik thought there must be some way she could reciprocate.

“She’s a Vulcan!” was Doctor McCoy’s argument to the powers that be as soon as his head cleared from the fal-tor-pan and before someone decided to ship her off on enforced leave or transfer her to another ship. “Work is therapeutic for them. Besides,” he’d added, giving Scotty a mental poke in the ribs, “Mister Scott tells me he needs her expertise.”

“Aye!” Scotty had piped up. “That Klingon ship’s guidance system is a rats’ nest. The lass would be instrumental in the refit. Don’t know how I’d manage without her, frankly,” he’d finished lamely, never a good liar but earning points for sincerity.

“She might also be able to help us reintegrate Spock’s katra,” McCoy had thrown in as a last desperate ploy, and even Starfleet Command couldn’t argue with that.

Yet after granting her permission to help with the refit, Command had balked at her request to accompany Kirk and his crew back to Earth. Saavik was not implicated in the theft of Enterprise, it was argued; her testimony about the events on Genesis was all that was needed, and she had a promising career ahead of her that ought not be overshadowed by any association with Starfleet’s chronic miscreants.

Still, as Bounty was preparing for departure, she had all but abandoned her years of Vulcan discipline in a moment of sheer Romulan impulsiveness when Admiral Kirk took her by the shoulders and said, “Saavik, this is good-bye.”

She wanted to plead with him, Let me go with you, Admiral! I have seen Spock wandering the highlands—confused, bewildered, lost. Like you, Admiral, I owe him my life, and like you I cannot bear to see him this way. I know it’s against regulations, but at this point, does that matter? Let me help!

Instead, she had clenched her jaw, wrenched her control into place, and replied as calmly as she could, “Yes, Admiral,” and, as much to distract herself as him, told him how bravely his son had died. Let him learn about the protomatter from others; he would not hear it from her.

Was it possible to contain so many unspoken truths and roiling emotions and still walk upright? She had turned on her heel, crisply, professionally, prepared to make a dignified exit, walk away without looking back, and suddenly he was there.

What else was there to say but, “Good day, Captain Spock. May your journey be free of incident”?

If she’d had a human heart to break, the puzzlement on his face (Have we met before? Do I know you?) would have broken it. But she was nothing human, and no one, not even her mentor—especially not her mentor, though the being before her might be only a shell of what he once was—would ever see her shame.

Yes, she had wanted to go with them. Yes, it troubled her profoundly that she could not. And now that they were on their way, Amanda was reading her mind, something she had been able to do, even with her limited telesper skills, since Saavik was a child ...

Oh, you precious thing! Amanda had thought at the first sight of the little bundle of arms and legs with her mop of unruly curls and eyes that had seen what no child should ever see. It was all she could do to keep from gathering her into her arms and holding her close.

Instead, her hands clasped nonthreateningly in front of her, the human had inclined her head and allowed herself the smallest of smiles, before saying very softly, “Vulcan honors us with your presence, Saavik. Welcome.”

Spock had spoken to his mother weekly during the extended leave in which he’d attempted to foster his foundling himself. The other Hellguard refugees had been relegated to a facility in the far reaches of one of Vulcan’s polar regions, far from mainstream sensibilities, their arrival unannounced except to those whose kinship had been established, and who might choose to claim their own. Most would not.

Saavik’s refusal to submit to an antigen test to determine her ancestry (having attained more than seven years of age—the first stage of adulthood by Vulcan standards—she was permitted to make that decision for herself) meant that if Spock had not claimed her, she would have remained at the facility until her education was complete and a suitable occupation found for her. Not a tragedy, considering where she’d come from, but Spock had had other plans for her.

The time he had been able to spend with her had been sufficient to replace her hypervigilance with something resembling control. They had worked together to transform the pidgin RomuloVulcan she’d spat at him at first with the rudiments of conversational Vulcan, though she still often tangled her syntaxes. He had taught her to read and to study—easier, given her insatiable curiosity, than teaching her to wear shoes and not gulp her food. But when his leave time was up and he had to return to duty, Spock had known where to turn for assistance.

All things considered, he had managed remarkably well, Amanda saw. The child was clean and well fed, though the ravages of the starvation years were still evident in her coltish appearance—small for her age, all arms and legs, ribs visibly rising and falling, a little too fast, beneath the practical clothing. (Starfleet issue? It was completely unadorned. That would be remedied shortly.) She wore shoes, though clearly unhappily; Amanda could see the small toes curling and uncurling restlessly inside them, as if she couldn’t wait to cast them off.

Her chestnut ringlets had been cropped to a practical few inches in length all around, forming a soft aura around an elfin face which, as Saavik was studying her own feet when Amanda first spoke to her, seemed from this angle to be little more than cheekbones and a sharp little chin.

It was hard to find a Vulcan child who wasn’t aesthetically pleasing. But this one would stand out even among this most beautiful of species.

All of this flashed through Amanda’s mind in the breath or two between her words and Saavik’s answer.

“Hon-or is mine,” the child said carefully, as if she had rehearsed it for the entire journey here. Her voice was husky—naturally so, or was that fear? For a moment longer Saavik studied her imprisoned toes. Then her chin came up, and her overlarge eyes met the human’s, unblinking. “Lady A-man-da.”

From that day forward, the bond was forged.

“I know you wanted to go to Earth to show your support. So did I,” Amanda said now, more than a decade later, as the air car rose and set course automatically, turning in a slow arc until Mount Seleya vanished from view, only its desultory plume of smoke rising languidly above the surrounding mountains. At this speed, they would be at the outskirts of ShiKahr in a little more than two hours. “But the trial is closed to all but essential personnel, and we’d only be in the way.” When the girl said nothing, she added, “I’m listening,”

Saavik thought of how to frame the words.

“The trial seems ... unjust,” she began carefully, but then the words tumbled out of her. “It is true that Admiral Kirk violated Starfleet regulations, and for that he should—objectively—be punished. Yet the outcome of this ... illegal action was a dual good. It prevented the Klingons from potentially using Genesis as a weapon, and it restored Spock to life.”

“Moral choices are black and white only in theory, Saavik,” Amanda suggested.

“So I have observed.”

The car skimmed on in silence for a time, above modern cities and ancient ruins. Saavik considered her future.

Starfleet had not reassigned her. Instead Command had reiterated its suggestion, little short of an order, that she take extended leave, including either counseling or a course of meditation with the Vulcan savants, which, in view of her heritage, was considered an acceptable alternative.

But the last thing she wanted, after what had transpired on Genesis, was anyone else’s mind—human or Vulcan—poking about in hers. She had temporized, asked if she could wait until the trial was over to make a decision, and in light of the unusual circumstances, Command had acceded.

What would happen to her once the Federation Council reached its verdict was as uncertain as that verdict itself.

“They’ll be all right,” Amanda said.

Saavik frowned. She did not necessarily share her foster mother’s confidence in either the future or the wisdom of the Federation Council. Spock would no doubt have said som...

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Book Description SIMON SCHUSTER, United States, 2011. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. A social experiment was conceived. Its goal was to breed the best, the brightest, the most malleable and most loyal soldiers to ever serve. To this end, the Romulan Empire used its own children, blinded by the belief that anything that would bring glory to the praetor was justified. And when the winds of politics changed, these children were abandoned, left to die on a world so horrifying that it was dubbed-by those who dared to cling to life-Hellguard. One wild child, Saavik, was rescued by Spock. He took the half-Vulcan, half-Romulan child home to his parents, knowing that if anyone could reach and rescue Saavik, it was them. Now a Starfleet officer, Saavik has striven to honor her mentor and her Vulcan heritage. But recent events have shaken her. Left behind on Vulcan while the rest of the Enterprise crew goes to face court-martial for stealing and destroying their ship, the young science officer is adrift when two men from her past confront her. Tolek, another Hellguard survivor, tells Saavik that the survivors are being killed one-by-one and only they can discover who and why. The other, a Romulan who claims to be her father, swears it is the Vulcans who are eliminating the Hellguard survivors because they are an embarrassment to all of Vulcan, but that she has the power to stop it, by bringing down the Vulcan ambassador, Sarek. Not knowing where to turn, not knowing whom to trust, Saavik must find her own answers, and discover who she truly is. Bookseller Inventory # AAV9781451656978

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