The Perfect Woman

by Cheryl and David Petterson

(Standard Year 2251)

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Sulu sat in the con, gulping a cup of coffee that was too hot for gulping. He was trying to be reasonable. He had thought, when he left Sickbay, that Spock was right behind him. He couldn't very well have stormed back in and demanded the Captain accompany him, could he? Spock had called a few minutes later, giving his First Officer the con, saying he had work to do in his office. Sulu firmly refused to even speculate that perhaps the captain was not in his office, but was still in Sickbay with...

Stop it! Sulu demanded of himself. He's right, anyway. Jith isn't Jilla. She isn't Ruth. Neither of us has a right to claim her. We both have to respect the part of her that's another man's wife. Spock is right.

Then why did he stay in Sickbay?

He was drumming his fingers on the arm of the con when Spock came onto the Bridge. He stood and stepped down to the Helm, muttering, "about time." He reported ship's status, chided himself and turned back to the con to apologize when Scotty stepped out of the turbolift.

"The mind-sifter's a slag heap," Scott reported tersely. "Not even Mrraal can find anything to salvage. It was very thoroughly booby-trapped."

"There is no way to discover what the nature of the sabotage was, then," Spock replied.

"No, sir," Scotty sighed. "Nothin’ that can explain what happened down there." He paused. "Captain, rumors are already flyin'. The damage control crew saw - everything."

"Understood, Mr. Scott. Thank you."

"Captain?" Sulu said. "Just how are we going to explain..."

"I have not, as yet, given it the thought it requires, Mr. Sulu."

For some reason, Spock's calm assertion irritated him. "I had assumed that was the nature of the work you suddenly found to do, sir."

Spock's eyes gazed steadily at him. "Indeed, Commander."

Sulu refused to flinch from the challenge. "Indeed, Captain," he replied, just as steadily. The confrontation lasted only a moment more, then Spock rose from the con.

"A word in private, Mr. Sulu?" he asked.

Sulu felt himself exhale. It had been a question, not an order, and because of it, Sulu found himself able to respond without hostility. "Of course, sir."

Spock gave Scott the con, and Sulu followed him into the turbolift and to the captain's office. Spock did not sit at his desk. Instead he simply turned to Sulu and spoke without preliminary.

"Sulu, there is no reason for this animosity between us."

"Begging the captain's pardon..." Sulu began. Spock held up a hand.

"I am not captain in this," he said. Sulu smiled faintly.

"Good. I disagree that there's no reason. Vulcan bonds are possessive. We both feel it. Under normal circumstances, it's irrational. You have Ruth, I have Jilla. But with Jith... whose is she?"

"She belongs to no one..."

"That's rationality talking," Sulu broke in. "We have to deal with how we feel." He took a deep breath, spreading his fingers, then clenching his hands into fists. "Jith isn't Jilla. I acknowledge that. But she's all of Jilla I've got. I can't give that up, Spock. And I can't help but love her." He again inhaled deeply, and went on. "The fact that she's also Ruth doesn't diminish that feeling. It enhances it."

Sulu stared at Spock's face, waiting for a reaction. So it was that he saw the Vulcan's jaw tighten, the eyebrows lower fractionally.

"I understand such feelings," Spock said at last, "I could have said the same words to you."

Sulu recognized the wave of anger sweeping through him and determinedly forced it aside.

"The fact that she acknowledges us both exacerbates the situation," Spock went on. "She accepts the idea of loving and belonging to us both. I cannot. I do not believe it is within your capacity to do so, either."

Sulu nodded, rubbing his hands over his face. "Spock, we may have to. If Jith stays Jith..."

"I will not," Spock countered. "And I do not expect you would find it easy to share her with a Vulcan."

"And what's so special about Vulcan?" Sulu asked tersely.

"Selar," Spock responded succinctly. Sulu bristled.

"She's bonded to me..."

"Surely you understand that Jilla's marriage gives me a distinct advantage," Spock explained calmly. "Despite your bond, there is The Time, and she did seek me out..."

Sulu found Spock's manner and words infuriating. "I could remind you," he said, his tone scathing, "of Ruth's relationship with me. What we shared was intense, Spock, and very good for us both - and not exactly platonic."

Sulu saw the anger flushing Spock's cheeks and ears a faint green. "Commander, I warn you..." Spock began.

"You said that didn't apply here, Captain," Sulu reminded sharply.

Spock took a deep breath. "Sulu," he said. "I only meant that it might prove as trying for you as it would for me to accept such a relationship. I did not intend any challenge or claim of superiority."

Sulu, too, took a deep breath, calming the raging possessiveness he knew Spock shared. "I know, Spock. I'm sorry. But none of that gets us any closer to dealing with it."

Spock's head shook slightly. "I have no suggestions to offer."

"Maybe if we start by accepting what the other feels, that he has a right to feel it..."

"I do accept..."

"No, I mean - " Sulu paused, swallowing. "I accept that you have a right to be attracted not only to the Ruth part of Jith, but also - " He grit his teeth - "to the part that is Jilla." Another pause. "And you do the same for me."

Spock closed his eyes for a brief moment. "Very well," he replied.

"No, Spock, that's not good enough. You have to say it. Then you can't later deny it."

Spock tilted his head to one side. "I see your point," he conceded. "I accept that you have the right to be attracted to that of Ruth that is within Jith."

"Good," Sulu sighed. "So we're both attracted to each other's wives as well as our own."


"And we're both possessive."


"And she wants us both."


There was silence for a few moments.

"Sulu," Spock said carefully, "we have both avoided the central problem."

"Which is?" Sulu's voice was wary.

"Is Jith permanent? Must we deal with all this? Can a way be found to divide her back into Jilla and Ruth?"

Before Sulu could respond, the comm signaled. "Captain, Sulu, get down here, pronto!" McCoy's urgent voice called. Spock signaled a reply, and Sulu was out the door before he had finished.


McCoy had given Jith more sedation, and tried to get her mind off of what was obviously a bad schism. She was trembling, the readings on the scanner still erratic. McCoy noted that the color of her eyes was sometimes a dark, royal blue - and sometimes a pale, almost ice blue. And that, more than anything else, worried him.

Spock and Sulu came in together, both anxious. There was no need for them to ask him why he had called: the medical scanner was beeping alarmingly.

"She was giving me her history," McCoy told them. "A neat synthesis, all of it, by the way. Until she got to -“ He paused. "Jim's disappearance. There's no way she could reconcile both memories of that year, and I don't like the way her system is responding."

"What can we do, Doctor?" Spock said, then fell abruptly silent as Sulu crossed to Jith, taking her hands. "Mr. Sulu..." he began.

"What Sulu's doin’ is what I had in mind," McCoy interrupted. "Your presence here, together, ought to be able to calm her down."

"Perhaps then Mr. Sulu should be reminded of that plurality."

McCoy bowed slightly toward the Sickbay bed. "Be my guest," he said.

Spock stepped toward the bed, hearing Sulu's warm, supportive, caring voice, his words discreet yet clear.

"It's alright, hon. Calm down, I'm here. It's alright."


Jith felt some of the fearful confusion leave her as Sulu took her hands. The pounding in her head lessened with his voice. A sudden image of firelight and an open sky and headaches and Sulu's soothing voice crossed into her vision, along with his bandaged back - and Spock’s, and the pain in her own from the healing. Sulu's voice helped, always, but she needed more. She needed Spock's touch on her temples, Spock's deep voice in her mind. She held onto Sulu's arms and called in a voice child-like and frightened, "Spock?"


Sulu pulled away but found that Jith clung to him. It was Jilla's voice, Jilla's tone, Jilla's need - so why does she call for Spock? Distinct advantage, that's why. Ruth never needed me. Jilla does, but she's needed Spock, too. Damn it!


Spock felt Jith's call as he heard it. It was urgent, timorous, and he responded immediately.

I am here.

I'm so afraid, Spock!

Rilain, I am here.

He moved to her, gently reaching to soothe her temples. He was aware of but ignored the fact that Sulu didn't move away. It was only when Jith giggled out loud - and sighed in his mind - that he realized he was stroking the side of her head with two fingers parted from the others. He brought his hand quickly down.

"Oops?" Jith said, both curious and teasing.

"Yeah, oops?" Sulu put in, his tone much less light.

"This is not the time or place for..." Spock began.

"Meaning there is a time and place?" Sulu asked tightly.

"Sulu, don't be like this," Jith soothed. "It hardly becomes you."

"Seduction hardly becomes him," Sulu muttered.

"It was unintentional," Spock assured. "Believe me, my friend."

Sulu sighed, relenting. "Yeah, okay." He straightened. "Doctor, what was happening?" he asked.

McCoy shook his head. "I'm not sure," then he glanced at Jith. "Her readings are back to normal - or at least to what they were. We should continue this discussion in my office."

Jith raised an eyebrow, but her eyes - once again bright, sapphire blue - were sparkling. "Shall I promise not to eavesdrop?"

"You'd better," McCoy answered gruffly. "Get some rest."

"I will have to. It takes all my energy to clear my system of the potions you insist on inflicting on me."

"Just so you do it." McCoy patted her hand affectionately, then said, "This way, gentlemen."

As Spock and Sulu turned to follow McCoy, Jith grasped each of their hands in hers and kissed them both. "Cellettyea," she murmured.

They exchanged glances, then answered together.


"And I, you."

She had said 'I love you' in Indiian. But to whom?


"What was happening," McCoy repeated as he, Spock and Sulu took seats in his office. "I'm not sure. As I said, she was telling me about your first year as captain," he nodded to Spock, "and she couldn't make her memories make sense. She got increasingly agitated, and the scanner readings began fluctuating. I can't be certain until it's all analyzed, but it looked like they were swinging between Ruth's normal readings, and Jilla's. And," McCoy paused, leaning closer to them. "Her eyes started changing color. They went from an almost violet blue, to almost grey-blue." He sat back. "And I'd bet my diploma that the color changes correlate with the reading fluctuations."

"She was dissolving," Sulu said quietly.

"Disintegrating, more accurately," Spock put in. "Literally. The integration that is Jith was de-forming."

Sulu was silent for a moment. Then he looked up at McCoy. "But back into Ruth and Jilla - or into nothing?"

"That I simply don't know," McCoy said. "Which is why I called you. If it happens again..."

"What do we do?" Sulu finished for him. "If we let it continue..."

"There's no way of knowing if you'd get your wives back, or lose them both."

Spock's voice broke the silence that followed. "Until the question would cease to have meaning."


It was 0200. Jith had been cooperating, staying in Sickbay, while McCoy and Sanchez ran endless tests, asked endless questions and repeatedly injected her system with sedatives.

If I lie here one more minute I will go quite mad, she told herself. There is nothing wrong with me and Bones knows it.

What about those two bodies? Why can't I remember whatever it is I do to make Bones think I need sedation? Why am I so confused about what Spock did when...

Her head began to pound again and she felt herself panicking. It's Sickbay, being here always makes me uneasy. And Bones knows that, too. Goddess, I feel awful! I've got to get out of here!

She slipped out of bed, listening carefully, watching every shadow. Bones usually didn't guard his patients, but with her... It wouldn't hurt to be cautious. She made a slight adjustment to the monitor controls, insuring that they would continue to give the proper readings for a sleeping Antari/ Indiian/Vulcan patient.

She made it safely into the corridor, then realized someone might report her for wandering around in a Sickbay gown. She hurried into the nearest turbolift. There was no question as to where she would go. It was late and she wanted to sleep in her own bed.


Sulu turned over for about the eightieth time, burying his groan in his pillow. He propped himself up on his elbows and studied the dragon sculpture above the headboard. Damn, the bed felt big! And cold. He missed the warmth of Jilla's body curled against him. He missed the exhaustion of making love to her. Would he ever know it again?

He and Spock had spent most of the evening discussing the problem. They seemed to be at diametrically opposed odds. For Sulu, Jith was both Jilla and Ruth. Spock insisted she was neither. Sulu wanted to at least try to work out some sort of mutually acceptable relationship. Spock refused to consider it. Sulu was terrified by Jith's bouts of disintegration. He couldn't bear risking the part of Jith that was Jilla, even to regain Jilla. The possibility of failure seemed too great a price to pay. Spock asserted that it was the only logical solution, that the risk, while real, was a calculated one and, at any price, better than having to see Ruth in Jith and never have her.

Sulu considered that it was possible his objections came from not really understanding Ruth's keheil abilities. He tried to convince himself that if Spock thought it reasonable that she would be able to successfully dissolve Jith, that he should trust that judgment. But the memory of the cold agony that had engulfed him on the Bridge haunted him; the memory of the searing grief that had taken his sanity when he had thought Jilla dead on Rundella still filled him with dread. It was easy - at least easier - for Spock to take the risk: he'd never tried to go on without Ruth.

With another groan, Sulu pushed those thoughts away. His body rebelled against the celibacy, even while his brain tried to remind it that it had only been fifty-two hours since he'd last made love to Jilla. He considered a cold shower, then decided he was cold enough. He vetoed the idea of a warm bath as being too sensual an experience for his present state. He considered going to Sickbay, and wondered if Spock would have the same idea - and got angry that Jith hadn't called to him when he and Spock had returned to Sickbay during her first disintegration. But maybe she would have if you hadn't gone to her right away, he told himself. Maybe that's why Spock didn't. Proof that she wanted him. Sneaky son of a... He knows I can't stand to see her hurting.

That is unkind, Sulu.

Yeah, and probably true.

No, he's trying to be reasonable, just like you are. You simply have different definitions of reasonable.

I do not wish to deal with constant irritation.

Sulu smiled wistfully. I don't need the aggravation, indeed. If Jilla said it, that's how she'd say it. Jith. If I can't have Jilla....

She's everything good about you, hon, and more. The more being everything good about Ruth. Forgive me, but there've only been two special women in my life and Jith happens to be both of you. And I miss you, and want you so bad...

He turned to get out of bed, deciding that cold or not, he needed to be a little bit colder. The door to his cabin hissed open and quickly closed. Before he could react, a small, warm, slender body gracefully squirmed into his arms.

"Sulu, hold me," Jith pleaded softly.

"Jith?" he asked in startled, but not exactly unpleasant surprise. She snuggled closer, turning so that her back was to his chest.

"I'm cold, my love. Please?"

Swallowing, his heart pounding, Sulu pulled the covers up around her. With sudden guilt, he tried to put the material of the blanket between them. But with a swift movement of her own, Jith pulled the Sickbay gown off over her head and pressed against him. No longer the slightest bit cold, he enfolded her in his arms, her body fitting as well as it always had into the curve of his.

"That better, hon?" he found himself murmuring. Her answer was a satisfied moan, her hands holding onto his encircling arms. He breathed deeply, the fragrance that was Jilla-fresh and Ruth-sweet stirring heady pleasure within him. Her skin felt smooth, very alive next to his and he began to tingle with growing desire. Despite himself, his hands began to move slowly, erotically over her. He traced her body, noting the differences between her and Jilla and between her and Ruth, etching them into his mind. Her proportions were perfect, a thin waist and curving hips and breasts that had all of Jilla's lushness with all of Ruth's firm responsiveness. He found he didn't miss the extra inch or two he was used to, not when the soft flesh was capped with Ruth's enormous nipples. A phrase flashed through his memory; gold-tipped cream, a lustful description of Ruth's breasts. Gold-tipped...

Impulsively, he reached for the light, pulling the blankets from Jith's torso. She stared up at him, startled, blushing. Her breasts were a pale cream topped by an erect point that was not gold, but dusky rose.

"Oh my god," he breathed, and his lips came down around the incredible sweetness. She moaned, her back arching, her hands sliding up his arms to his shoulders and neck. She kissed the top of his head.

"Sulu, I love you," she sighed.

"I love you, Jith," he answered. As he made tender, passionate love to her, he realized it was the truth.


Spock spent the night deep in meditation, trying to sort his emotions and reach some satisfactory course of action. It would be difficult, since he and Sulu disagreed so radically. Yet to him it seemed there was only one choice: allow Jith to disintegrate. If she became again Ruth and Jilla, all would be well. If she simply disappeared, they would both lose - but they would save Jith from their rivalry, from having to choose between them. That would most certainly destroy her. Spock could not reconcile himself to sharing Ruth - or to defiling the bond that existed between Sulu and Jilla. He was Vulcan. Such a thing was unthinkable.

Yet, despite all his efforts at total concentration, Ruth's essence pulled at him. The warmth of her in his mind had not changed; he was almost too aware of her. She seemed to be enticing him without actually calling for him, giving him disturbing flashes of need and desire. At times, the sensation was so great that he actually felt her being writhing sensually in his mind. He tried to block it, and was reminded sharply - without words - of his vow never to shut her from him without telling her. The arousal grew, carrying him into its passionate fantasy, demanding reaction. Her mind tantalized him, drawing him further into erotic depths, claiming his response. Helplessly, he joined the burning hunger, the fierce, distorted reverie, the climbing drive and the shattering release. And though his body endured the discomfort of the unsated arousal, in some strange way, it pleased him. Even within the construct of Jith, Ruth reached out to him, her mind seeking the mental contact that so completed them both. And the experience of the telepathic union without the accompanying physical union was satisfying on a limited level. Spock took pride in the fact that he had touched only Ruth, and had taken none of Jilla's being.


Sickbay was in an uproar. McCoy was berating the attendants who should have checked visually on Jith "at least once the whole blasted night!" He also berated himself for trusting her to stay put. "She is Valjiir," he growled at himself. "Just because the -Jiir half was always cooperative... Hell, where is she?!"

With disgusted reservation, he called the Captain.

"Spock," came the automatic answer. "Doctor, is Jith...?"

"She isn't here, Captain," McCoy replied gruffly. He didn't expect the long silence he got.

"Ruth and Jilla?" Spock's voice asked quietly.

"The same. Spock, I should've kept a closer eye on her, I admit that, but I didn't think she'd go sneakin' off in the..."

"Sneaking off, Doctor?"

"I said she wasn't here, Spock."

"She left Sickbay?"

"As far as I can tell. She rigged the scanner to keep reporting her presence...." McCoy heard the soft sigh of relief, and the other implication of Jith's disappearance from her bed suddenly hit him. "Captain, you mean you thought she had...?"

"Disintegrated, yes. But if she tampered with your medical scanner, that is unlikely."

"Do I start a ship-wide search?"

"Have you tried ship's comm?"

"You mean just call her? What about the crew's reaction to a call for Jith Valjiir?"

"If this continues, they will have to know her."

"A rather abrupt introduction, don't you think?"

"I will make an announcement of explanation."

"That I've got to hear." McCoy shook his head. "No idea of where she might have gone?"

"The only logical place is her quarters, but we do not know what Jith would consider her quarters."

McCoy considered for a moment. "Well, she's obviously not with you. That leaves the cabin Ruth and Jilla shared years ago, or..."

"First Officer's quarters," Spock replied, and McCoy noted the frown in his voice. "I will investigate that possibility, Doctor. Spock out."

"No, Spock, wait...!" McCoy sighed deeply, as the comm went dead. Jith-girl, I hope you can talk your way out of this one.


Spock considered simply calling Sulu's cabin. Yet there was an irrational part of him that needed to see with his own eyes before he would believe she was there. He wondered briefly at this perverse streak of masochism, then dismissed that notion as illogical. It was his faith in Jith - in the part of her that was Ruth - that led him to question the obvious.

He left his quarters, walking the few feet to the door of those next to his. He tried to prepare, to strengthen his defensive shielding, and was again met with Jith's stubborn insistence.

You promised!

Very well. Remember that you required it.


He ignored the mental question, pressing the call button for First Officer's quarters.


Sulu woke at the sound of the door chime and sat up. He reached for the intercom controls. "Yes, what is it?"

"The Captain, Mr. Sulu," came Spock's voice. Sulu glanced next to him. Jith was still curled beneath the blanket....

"Shit!" Sulu exclaimed. The memory of the night's activities flooded him with guilt. And he'd been grousing about Spock's actions....

He quickly shook Jith awake. "Hon, get up."

Jith sighed sleepily. "Morning already, my love?"

Sulu's heart leapt at the soft voice, the beauty of her features, the warmth of her body next to his. His emotions thoroughly jumbled, he managed, "Spock’s at the door, Jith..."

"At the door?" She sat up. "Come, silly!" she called.

Sulu cried out, "NO!" and lunged for the door control, but it slid open on the vocal command. He closed his eyes with a groan as Spock stepped into the cabin.

The silence that followed was more than awkward. At last, Jith said, uncertainly, "Is there a problem, husband?"

"Yes," Spock and Sulu answered together, then stopped together. Jith grinned. "Captain husband," she clarified.

"You were not in Sickbay," Spock answered tonelessly. "McCoy was concerned, as was I. I can see now that there was no need to be. Forgive the interruption."

He turned and Jith climbed out of bed. "Spock?" she questioned. "What's wrong?"

That was too much for Spock’s precarious control. Still weakened by the mental union of the night, her demand that he remain open to her had strained it beyond reason. He pivoted back to face her. The sight of her naked body froze his anger, replacing it with anguish.

"I had assumed your thoughts last night were for me," he said, his voice hoarse and thick. "To be a voyeur is disgusting; an unwilling one doubly so."

"But... they were!" Jith returned in bewilderment.

"You can claim so while you were in his bed?"

"What?!" Sulu broke in.

Jith glanced helplessly between them. "I wanted to include you, Spock. You've both been acting so jealous, I didn't want to fuel it."

"What are you talking about?" Sulu demanded.

"Why then did you leave Sickbay?" Spock went on. "Why did you come here?"

"These are my quarters," Jith answered simply.

"I am in Captain's Quarters," Spock reminded.

Jith's fingers went to her temples. "I... I know that, Spock. I... I live... we used to... and...."

"What the fuck is going on here!" Sulu nearly shouted.

Spock glanced sharply at him. "An appropriate epithet,” he accused. “You made love to her.”

Sulu bit his lip, shifting uneasily beneath the blanket. "Yeah. I didn't plan to, but she wanted.... Spock, I'm sorry..."

Jith whirled to him. "You’re sorry?!" she wailed.

"No, hon, I didn't mean..." He started to get out of the bed, to go to her, then remembered that Spock was not nearly as casual about nudity as Humans were. "Jith - baby, this is more complicated than..."

Jith turned back to Spock. "And my sharing our love-making with you is voyeurism?!"

"Sharing...? What...?" Sulu began.

"She was joined with me," Spock broke in. "Telepathic union. It is the way we make love, Commander; mental stimulation to enhance the body's pleasure. Only this time, it enhanced your pleasure, not mine." Though he spoke to Sulu, his eyes stayed on Jith.

Tears clouded Jith's eyes. "No pleasure, Spock?" she whispered.

"My body needs, my wife," came Spock's stiff reply.

She swallowed. "I can... ease that now, if you'll..."

"You were thinking of him while you made love to me?" Sulu said. He stood up, throwing back the covers, Spock's sense of propriety no longer important. "Thanks. Thanks a lot. I thought it was me you wanted."

"It is!" Jith cried, again turning to Sulu. "I did, I do! Sulu, please..."

"I really thought you came to me, for me. Why didn't you just go to him in the first place?"

"I... I be home..."

"Where is home, Jith?" Spock cut in. "His body, my mind?"

Jith whirled back to Spock. "I love you!"

"Why, Jith??” Sulu demanded. "I know I'm not a telepath, but I do have a brain. Why use me like that?"

Again Jith turned. "I wanted..."

"Why give me only half?" Spock asked. "I need no such condescension."

"WHY ARE YOU TEARING ME APART!" Jith screamed, then suddenly convulsed.

Sulu bolted toward her swiftly collapsing figure. Spock caught her and was gently lowering her to the deck before Sulu reached her. Her eyes, open but unseeing, were flashing rapidly from midnight blue to pale ice.

Sulu choked on a gasp. "Oh, god, no!" he breathed. "Spock, we've got to..." His voice stopped at the indecision evident in the Vulcan's eyes. He earnestly met Spock's gaze. "If we talk to her, reassure her..." the Human began.

"If she stays Jith, we must deal with this," Spock countered.

"I can live with it!"

"I do not know if I can."

"Please, Spock. I can't bear to lose her again." He held his breath for a moment that seemed to take forever; then Spock sighed, nodding. Sulu exhaled, then took Jith's hand.

"It's okay, hon," he said softly. "We're sorry, it's alright."

"Forgive my - possessiveness," Spock added, though Sulu noted his voice was tight. "I missed the warmth of physical contact. You did share, beloved."

Jith's eyes closed, fluttering, then opened. Her smile was faint. "Good morning, husbands," she sighed. "How did we end up on the floor?"

Spock and Sulu exchanged uneasy glances in silence.


The day's work was completed in that silence. There was only the necessary communication between the Captain and the First Officer. Jith spent the day in Sickbay, again undergoing a full battery of tests. Spock had made a terse announcement to the crew, explaining as briefly as possible what had happened, mentioning only Ruth's abilities as keheil as a possible explanation. He and Sulu then proceeded to ignore the questions, concern and wondering remarks that were never quite directed at them.

By the end of First Shift, the attitude on the Bridge had become uncomfortably reminiscent of Spock's first year as Captain; a time referred to by the senior officers as Captain Bastard's Reign. When both the Captain and First Officer left promptly at the end of the watch, the rest of the Bridge crew gave heart-felt sighs of relief.


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