Title: Nether Worlds

Author: Anne E. Batterby

Saavik's thoughts on Hellguard and Khan after Spock's death.

Note: This story was found on the ElanPress web site; posted with all respects to the author.

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SaavikI am more alone now than ever I was on Hellguard where each day I fought to survive. I did not know then there was another way to live.

Nightmares from those days have returned. Under your wing (an illogical but strangely fitting metaphor) I learned, and grew, left Hellguard behind me, or so I thought, and dreamed new dreams of honorable ambition and cleaner pride.

Chaos resumes now in the dark, new terror added. Day-shifts, McCoy scolds and pries. I cannot tell him I fear to sleep, to see the hate-filled face that gloats there over the bloody bodies piled in scenes of long ago Hellguard and leers in triumph over the still form of one who changed my life twice.

The face is Khan's.

His birth was a curse on those who caused it, as was mine. His hell was Ceti Alpha VI, mine was Hellguard. He escaped by treachery. You rescued me. His pride destroyed him, mine enabled me to survive, still helps to hide the fears, the raging hatred that may be our closest tie, Khan's and mine.

His pride died with him. That day he took from me the only acceptable target for this fury this unacceptable but inescapable legacy of your death, Spock. I will not lash out at the humans who shed short-lived tears and forget. I will not.

But in dreams I shed the blood of strangers straining, fighting, to get at Khan.