Avenger: Chapter 12

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Uhura had heard rumors of the concern that had run through the family when Marakil and Sojar had not returned from their wedding trip on the day planned. She knew Capt. Kirk had taken a shuttle to the Defiance to talk to Mr. Spock. A short time later, while she was talking to Lady Amanda, Spock had contacted his mother. Amanda hurried off to Joalla-Ki for a long, private talk. Less than two hours later, Marakil and Sojar returned to the house, as calmly as if they had merely been out riding for a few hours.

Watching them together, Uhura wondered how their marriage could be kept secret to protect the negotiations. Sojar maintained his usual calm, solemn demeanor, but his constant attentions to Marakil, all the small, subtle things he did, showed more than a lovelorn expression how much she meant to him. Marakil glowed with happiness. When they resumed their duties in the Council meetings, they succeeded in hiding any indication of their changed relationship. Uhura didn't like that. It wasn't fair to them. No one should be forced to hide how they felt, especially newlyweds. But at least they were married.

A week later, the first presentable report of Fal'a'mort came through, and Spock read it to the Council, stripped of much of its technical jargon, translated by Marakil. Using special techniques and machinery developed in the Federation for worlds razed by war or nuclear or industrial accident, Fal'a'mort could indeed be terraformed and returned to healthy life. Humans could walk the surface of the planet without protective gear within three years of the process starting.

McCoy was present, as a healer and close friend of a Speaker's family, and some of the reactions to the report puzzled him. Confusion from some who did not understand everything Spock said, and relief when the positive result of the study was made clear. He expected those. The most interesting responses came when Spock read off the various methods the Federation offered to help with the reclamation of the planet. He saw shame. Interest. Hope. And a strange joy when the people learned that planets in the Federation had needed the exact same techniques being offered to the people of Canris.

Why, he wondered, was it a cause for joy to find people had been foolish with their natural resources, nearly destroying their worlds? Kirk and Meyer were there, representing the crewmembers who had compiled the report. They seemed to be as mystified as McCoy. He anticipated one long brainstorming session once this meeting was over.


Spock paused at the door of the play courtyard to watch the children. The cadets from the Defiance had beamed down with their assorted skimmers and were playing with as much freedom and intentness as Marakil's nieces and nephews. Most officers in Starfleet, when they became parents, requested station positions, or planetside duties, so their children could experience as stable a home life as possible. The families on the Defiance seemed to be raising their children with few ill effects, considering their sometimes strenuous, sometimes dangerous environment.

As M'kar had requested the children be allowed down, she divided her time between assisting Uhura at the musician's hall and watching over her proteges. Spock had to search a moment to find the lieutenant. She wore a Canrisian tunic and knee-length trousers in shades of green and brown that helped her blend with the grass and shadows. Her long hair hung loose down her back, again striking Spock with the similarity between her and Marakil. It made sense now.

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