Summary: A story taking place during ST:IV that follows the cut lines regarding why Saavik stayed on Vulcan.


Rating: PG

INFIRMITY
by Michelle L. Carter
Originally published in the Clipper Trade Ship #55
Copyright 1987

It was the hardest thing she had ever done -- watching them leave without her -- watching him leave. But the pain--

She tried to double over again, but the restraining straps converted the motion into an abdomen-bunching curl. Her head snapped up and, in spite of herself, she groaned. The spasm passed and she allowed her head to fall back with a thump.

My body is no longer my own, she thought muzzily.

And caught herself.

She started to saw her wrists back and forth against the straps to help her focus her thoughts. And with each jagged, shearing motion, her thoughts sharpened until she could once again summon ire, and then resentment, followed by indignation, outrage, and, yes, finally -- hatred.

He did this -- and left me...

Without so much as a shrug or touch, although the feel of him was heavy and twisting within her now, burrowing and demanding; and like a double-exposed negative, suddenly she could no longer separate her experiences -- the memory of then, from the reality of now -- holding his contorted face in the lurching darkness, crooning away the worst of the pain, meshing their nervous systems, folding him to herself slowly, like an invitation, until suddenly it had changed in mid-caress, becoming brutally impersonal--

She screamed, an ugly, involuntary sound torn from her throat. Sweat snapped from the ends of her hair as she thrashed her head from side to side. There was a susurration of concern from beyond her field of vision, and then the plastic coolness of another retraining strap slithered across her forehead.

Even this means of expression is denied me, she thought in despair, the
adrenalin-buzz beginning to fade with her ebbing strength... Even this... no way now... to focus, to project, to shield--

Saavikam, the thought poked through her weakened barriers like a pencil through cellophane. Accept this: you are no more a victim now, then you were on Genesis...

And he was there (and sitting at a console in the command chamber of the Bird of Prey), his thought-presence like two large, long-fingered hands coolly pressed against her burning face, the tips threaded in her hair, the palms riding her jawline.

It was too much.

You used me and left me like this! she railed against the presence. She felt the fingers tighten (and saw his closed eyelids wince).

No. We used each other-- in the name of life...

But you left me--!

There was no alternative. You would have been a liability to the mission...

You betrayed me, deserted me...

There would have been danger for you...

Liar! You abandoned me...


I am with you now.

Another lie...

The fingers curled around her sweat-sticky face tenderly.

I am with you...

The lights in the white-on-white room dimmed.

You did this to me!

The room filled with the murmurous sound of waves breaking against a beach.

Help me!

I am here...


And in the background she heard the generalized sounds of concern become specific: "The Genesis wave acceleration is causing the fetus to grow to the point of cephalopelvic disproportion -- and emergency C-section may be indicated..."

SPOCK!

She felt the spectral hands move down her body to her laboring belly.

"However, though precipitous, the mechanism of labor appears normal..."

NO!!

The incorporeal hands began to massage, to guide, to coax the fetus along, while his thought-voice murmured to her, synchronizing with the lapping wave sounds in the background, changing the quality of her labor. She felt herself take a mental step backwards from the experience. And the battle was on.

Your ambivalence is understandable...

You understand nothing! I made a choice -- you made none. It was safe,
expedient-- but this, I can't!


Illogical-- it is you who now has no choice-- this thing will be done... relent...

"The fetus is engaged in the birth canal..."

I will not-- I have choice...

When I took you from Hellguard, I had a choice… on Genesis in my 'absence', you had a choice... but choice has no more bearing in the present situation than it does in the rotation of a planet... if you were not in extremis, you would see this... again, I say -- relent... submit to the logic of inevitability...

There is no logic in this!

"Crowning is commencing..."

There is logic of cause and effect... the logic of biological continuity...

But there will be no continuity -- I will end, my life as I have known it will end -- because of an experiment -- I will die!

You will not. You will participate in the experiment because you are the only one who can-- simple logic. And you will have the childhood you lost...

"...lifting the chin and rotating the shoulder forward..."

Suddenly, her body seemed to take on a motive power independent of her will, and with one final hydraulic push, it was done, and the release was complete. Like her decision, the logic of it finally snapping into focus.

"..we have a male with an APGAR of ten..."

Spock's mind withdrew from the contact then like a hand trailing across her face, the fingers momentarily tilting her chin, a final touch, and then they were gone.

"...Genesis wave influence seems to have ceased with birth... transfer Sel, son of Saavik and Spock to the incubator..."

Tiredly, Saavik watched as the transfer of the small form was completed, noting how its perfect upswept eyebrows seemed screwed together in outrage, its miniature elfin ears poked defiantly through an amazing mop of jet hair, the corners of its mouth were pulled down in displeasure (but no cry, not now, perhaps never).

She nodded in silent approval: He will learn to make his own place in the world.

And I will return to Starfleet, she thought, her anger beginning to build again. Hear me, Spock?

And faintly, like an intimate whisper in the dark, the answer came to her.

I await you...

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