Yes, finally! Another chapter up. Read the previous chapters here.
Disclaimer: Paramount owns the characters. I own them in my dreams. But all the creative content, plot, original characters, etc. belong to me.
The Prodigal Soul
Author's note: Plak`matya is derived from the Vulcan words plak, meaning blood and matya, meaning feral animal. Vulcans do not claim what Terrans would call a ‘vampire’ in their mythology. Vulcans do not admit to much of a mythology at all.
Summary: Brotherhood, friendship, love and a vampire.
When the blood burns, how prodigal the soul
Lends the tongue vows.
I have shot mine arrow o'er the house,
And hurt my brother.
--William Shakespeare “Hamlet”
Kevin Riley skidded into the transporter room with Motley hot on his heels, their wild race through the ship the cause of a twenty-minute delay of the Starfleet delegation’s beam down to Vulcan. Komack frowned severely and opened his mouth to speak. Nogura glanced at him and his mouth snapped shut.
“Motley, come,” commanded Nogura. Motley leaped unto the transporter dais and delicately placed all four paws on Nogura’s pad, looking up at her with a grin.
“Energize,” said Kirk, also grinning.
The Enterprise picked up the Admirals Nogura and Komack at Star Base 7 two days before and Kirk had given Motley free reign of the ship. The crew took to Motley instantly and he quickly adopted Riley as his puppy playmate. They careened around the corridors chasing balls, each other and sometimes Chekhov. The dog was intensely curious about engineering but stayed away after one stern look from the chief engineer. Nothing McCoy did could lure him into sickbay but second to the mess hall, the bridge was his favorite place to be. He curled his big body next to Spock’s chair and lay quietly for hours, staring up at Spock with adoring eyes and watching the bridge crew go about their business.
“I have no idea what he sees in you, Spock,” said McCoy.
“Dogs are very perceptive creatures, doctor,” Spock said smoothly.
“I’ve known him since he was a puppy and he never liked me that much.”
“I knew it,” said Kirk, grinning into his cup of coffee.
McCoy shifted uncomfortably. “You don’t know anything. And what you think you know has been over for years. Mostly.” McCoy frowned down at Motley. “What I want to know is why the dog was scratching at Uhura’s door last night? If I didn’t know better, I’d think he was looking for you, Spock.”
Jim snorted coffee up his nose. McCoy pounded him on his back.
“You all right there, Jim?”
“I’m fine, Bones. Just—wrong pipe,” he wheezed.
“It is true that I was in Miss Uhura’s quarters last night,” said Spock.
Kirk stared at Spock, openmouthed.
“I knew it,” said McCoy.
“I was teaching a music lesson, doctor.”
McCoy searched Spock’s face with narrowed eyes. “Liar,” he said.
“I beg your pardon?” said Spock. Kirk flushed dark red.
“Lyre, harp, whatever you call it,” said McCoy.
“Ah, yes. Lyre,” said Spock.
Jim tried to hide the relief on his face. “Don’t change the subject, Bones,” he quickly interjected. “Since we picked up the Admirals things have been…interesting.”
“Indeed,” said Spock.
“I have nothing to hide,” McCoy said stiffly. “When I met Nogura, she was out of uniform. Oh, stop it, Jim. You know what I mean. She was still a captain and I wasn’t even in Starfleet yet. Over the years, we sort of kept running into each other. Now, we’re just friends. Mostly.” He ran a finger under his collar. “Emony, however, is another matter.”
“You know Emony Dax?” asked Spock.
“We uh, met when I was in medical school.”
“Bones, I do believe you have a secret history,” said Kirk.
McCoy shrugged and dropped his eyes. He gazed briefly at the two men from beneath his lashes before turning to leave. As he passed Uhura’s station, he dipped his head and murmured something that caused her to flush and to giggle with a hand covering her mouth.
“Perhaps not so secret,” said Spock.
“Maybe not,” said Kirk.
Uhura saw them watching. She smiled sweetly and returned her attention to her console.
When the Enterprise party beamed down to Vulcan, they were met by Stonn and his lieutenants.
“S’haile,” said Stonn, inclining his head.
“Colonel Stonn,” said Spock. He turned to the others. “Admiral Nogura. Komack. Lieutenant Uhura, Captain Kirk and Dr. McCoy. The dog is called Motley.”
Stonn nodded to each politely—even the dog, though he noted Spock’s omission of Komack’s title. “Greetings. And from all of Vulcan, welcome. Your presence honors us”
“We are here to serve,” replied Spock
“They await you in the Great Hall, S’haile,” said Stonn, leading the way. His lieutenants lined up behind him and they proceeded from the courtyard.
Aside from the Admirals, only Uhura acted in any official capacity, tasked during this conference to run interference between the abysmally culturally incompetent Komack and the rest of the delegates. McCoy was on stand-by as the Starfleet medic. Kirk and Spock were there per diplomatic protocol, as honor guard, relegated on this trip to the role of glorified red shirts. Once they dispensed with the formalities, Kirk and Spock were essentially on shore leave. Admiral Nogura listened with growing alarm as they talked quietly about para gliding out on the Forge.
“—the large male raptors will not typically--.”
Nogura stopped and spun around. “No. No, goddamn it.” She leveled a finger at them, eyes flashing. “You two will not engage in any dangerous activities for the duration. Do I make myself clear?”
Spock and Kirk stared at her, astonished. They glanced at their companions. Uhura kept her eyes front. One look at McCoy’s stony expression and they realized no help was forthcoming from him. Stonn and his lieutenants paused a discreet distance ahead. Komack walked past them, completely unaware. They turned back to the Admiral.
“Is. That. Clear?” she repeated through clenched teeth.
“Yes, sir,” they said.
“I’ve got enough to worry about without you two running around in the desert doing your best to get yourselves killed. You--.”
“Admiral—.” said Kirk.
“I do not recall giving you permission to speak, mister.”
Kirk stiffened into attention. “Sir, no sir,” he said.
Nogura gave them each a hard look. “I have half a mind to confine you to the castle and the compound. There’s plenty to keep you occupied here.”
“I assure you that we will not engage in any dangerous activities, Admiral,” said Spock.
“Good.” She resumed walking. After a few feet, she stopped and glared at Spock, stepping into his personal space. “And don’t think you’re getting away with any Vulcan twists on the semantics of what constitutes “dangerous activities”. I don’t care who your father is. I will kick your ass, Mr. Spock.”
“Sir, yes sir,” said Spock, blinking.
“Do you have any idea how much the two of you cost?” she grumbled.
“Three—,” Spock began.
“Spock,” murmured McCoy.
Up ahead, Komack turned and huffed impatiently, already sweating profusely. “Is there a problem?” he asked loudly.
Nogura sighed heavily. They continued on to the Great Hall.
Motley lingered, sniffing around the base of a huge warrior statue carved bas-relief in an alcove of the castle wall. McCoy whistled softly and the dog loped after them. When he reached the humans, Motley looked back and whined softly, deep in his chest.
whispered gently into his doggy consciousness.
In the darkness behind the alcove, minute holes drilled long ago into the thick stone walls filtered the barest pins of dusty light at intervals along a narrow passageway that dead ended, mid-room, inside the walls of the Great Hall. Suvan moved from pin light to pin light, ears flexing to catch the muffled words of the Starfleet party as they walked to the hall. He knelt and lightly placed tapered fingertips against the wall. He cocked his head curiously at McCoy’s whistle. An instant later, Suvan felt
(i am motley!)
as the dog trotted away. Suvan fell back with a gasp, scraping his elbow on the rough wall behind him.
“Greetings, Motley,” chuckled Suvan.
End Chapter 4