NOBODY’S CHILD: The Saga of Doctor Leonard McCoy and Family-Chapter Twelve

NOBODY’S CHILD
by Pat McCoy

CHAPTER TWELVE – To Boldly Go

Pat is unable to control her tears as she boards her ship bound for Q’onos. The crew-members discreetly keep their distance as she heads straight to her guest quarters and closes the door. She sends her thoughts to her husband, “Please stay safe, my husband, my love!” She senses him send back a kiss to her. Her ship heads away from the docking port and she walks over to the window, hoping to catch a glimpse of the ship that is ferrying her beloved husband, her Great-grandfather, and her favorite Uncle, all precious cargo to her, on their mission. With all the ships coming and going, she is uncertain which one it is. Finally losing sight of the space-dock and ships, she walks over to her bed and lays down, wishing her husband was with her. “This is going to be a LONG, L-O-N-G mission”, she says out loud, “and lonely too.” Leonard, Spock, and Sam board their ship and get settled into their individual guest quarters. Sam attempts to meditate when his wife’s thoughts reach him, “Please stay safe, my husband, my love!” Sam sends back a kiss to his wife. He realizes that, in spite of his lifelong Vulcan training, nothing can substitute while he misses his wife. He recalls when his first wife, T’Ling, died, the gaping hole that was left behind for so long was agonizing. He never expected it to heal until he met Pat, with all of her human quirks and foibles. Now that each of them have been sent on a mission, per Star Fleet orders, his logic dictates what he must do and yet … he sighs and attempts to return to his meditation when he hears the door chime. “Come!” The door slides open and Spock enters his quarters. Sam immediately gets to his feet as a sign of respect and Spock waves him back down.

“May I join you in meditating, Samok-kam?”, the Elder Vulcan asks. “Of course, Uncle.”, Sam replies, then hesitates. “I also need to confide in a father figure. My own father is long gone and yet, at times, I wish he were here to … assist my understanding when life becomes unpredictable. Here I am, old enough to be considered an Elder, and I still feel like a callow youth, at loose ends, without my wife at my side. It is illogical!” Spock sits down beside him. “Samok-kam, it is not logical, but it is often true. I am certain that many people looked upon my parents and could not understand the logic of why my father, a Vulcan, married my mother, a human. It took me many years to understand that in addition to my father’s logic, and his strict following of Surak’s teachings, he deeply loved my mother until the day she died. He even found the ability to love again … another human woman … and married Perrin, my stepmother. They remained devoted to each other until my father’s death from Bendii Syndrome. I am almost certain that Patricia-kam is as distressed as you are due to this enforced separation while we attend to Star Fleet’s orders.” “And she is alone with her distress while all of her loved ones are here on this ship.”, Sam replies, “I send her my thoughts, through our meld, and I can sense her emotions. She is struggling. I’ve been reading up about Asperger’s Syndrome and I’m beginning to understand how that adds to her difficulties.” Spock nods. “She is also aware, and has been for years, regarding the complications imposed by Asperger’s Syndrome. She knows what she must do in spite of those difficulties. We can encourage her to meditate with us through the meld.” “I can try.”, Sam says. He brushes Pat’s thoughts with his, letting her know that both he and Spock are there for her. He senses a wave of gratitude from his wife as she calms down and begins her meditation.

Pat arrives on Q’onos and finds Worf waiting for her. “Q’Pla, Worf! How is everything for you, lately?” “Chancellor Martok keeps me busy, either with official duties or going Targ hunting.”, the Klingon ambassador replies, “And you?” Pat blushes. “Well …” Worf grins. “In spite of being human, training Klingons, I see that married life agrees with you!” Pat smiles slightly and shrugs. “What can I say?” Worf’s expression grows serious. “And I can see that this is your first time being separated from your mate due to Star Fleet orders.” Pat feels as if she’s going to cry again. “Is it that obvious?” “There is no shame in missing your mate. I am aware that what occurred with me and Jadzia has led to the policy affecting you now.”, Worf says gently. Pat attempts to act nonchalantly but fails. “You’re right, Worf.”, she sighs, “This IS my first time due to Star Fleet orders. It’s hard as hell and, at the same time, this was something that I put in place.” Worf looks at her quizzically as they start walking. “I do not understand. You are a newly-wed and yet you precipitated a Star Fleet mandated separation?” Pat nods. “It concerns my Right of Vengeance and a potential Blood Oath.” Worf stops short in astonishment. “What?!” “Perhaps it would be best to hold my explanation until we reach Martok’s office.”, Pat comments, “I’m sure the Chancellor is going to ask the same questions as you and I prefer that I do not repeat myself. I hope you understand.” “Very well!”, Worf replies. They walk on until they reach the Chancellor’s Office Building and enter. Martok warmly greets Pat and ushers her into his office. “How is my favorite warrior doing since her wedding?”, the Chancellor asks, “I trust that your new husband is treating you well?” “He treats me so well that I miss him terribly now.”, Pat manages to say while holding back new tears. “As you might be aware, I am here on Admiral Akaar’s orders while my husband is on a different mission.” Before Martok can say another word, Pat continues her explanation. “I was telling Worf, on the way over here, that I precipitated this Star Fleet mandated separation due to the possibilities of my Right of Vengeance and a Blood Oath.” Martok looks somber. “That is a gravely serious situation, McCoy! Please explain.” Pat tells both Martok and Worf about the circumstances of her father’s death, her husband’s analysis of evidence that indicates that her father was murdered, and how her Great-grandfather and Ambassador Spock are assisting her husband in this investigation. “As you can see”, Pat says in conclusion, “because I am so close, emotionally, to this situation, I could accidentally impede if not jeopardize the investigation. If my husband is able to prove that my father was murdered, instead of being killed in an accident, his killers need to be brought to justice. The case must be airtight or else the defense lawyer wins, the killers go free, and could never be tried again for my father’s death.” “Through Star Fleet methods rather than Klingon justice.”, Martok adds sourly.

“I know you don’t agree with my approach, and I respect that, my dear adopted father.”, she says to Martok, “For now, the first thing that must be done is for the evidence to be investigated to determine exactly WHAT happened when my father died. Until those questions are answered …” Martok nods. “I understand, my daughter. If it is determined that your father was murdered and his killers are identified, then what?” Pat gives him a blank look. “To be honest, I don’t know. I know what my Star Fleet training tells me. Worf has experienced the consequences when he violated Star Fleet regulations at the time he fought and killed Duras. By Klingon law, Worf had the Right of Vengeance because Duras had murdered K’Ehleyr, his mate, and mother of his son, Alexander. Captain Picard was NOT happy about Worf’s action because, bottom line, Worf was still a Star Fleet officer and was bound by Star Fleet’s Code of Conduct … as am I!” “I may not agree with Star Fleet’s position, McCoy … I respect what you need to do and how it must be done.” “Thank you, my esteemed adopted father.” “However, as you are MY adopted daughter”, Martok declares, “I could claim the Right of Vengeance on your behalf! The House of Martok can make a Blood Oath to avenge your father’s murder. Can Star Fleet stop the Chancellor of the Klingon High Council from doing that?” Pat sighs. “If you invade other worlds to hunt down my father’s killers … it can cause diplomatic problems, if not another interplanetary war. I don’t want to become another Helen of Troy or anything similar to that!” Martok and Worf give her a confused look. “Who?” Pat shakes her head and gives both of them a sad smile. “Looks like I have to give you both a history lesson regarding the Trojan Wars on ancient Earth. To put it simply, I don’t want any interstellar wars starting up because of ME! Understand?!” Martok nods reluctantly. “Understood! But it would have been GLORIOUS!” Pat shakes her head again and changes the subject. “Okay, now that I have THAT out of the way, I understand you have new warriors who need training!” Martok, Worf, and Pat start planning what kind of training needs to be done with these “green” recruits.

The ship carrying Spock, Leonard, and Sam dock at their first destination. The three of them get settled into their lodgings and begin discussing investigative strategies. “According to Pat’s genealogical experiences”, the old doctor tells them, “one would normally start at the last documented fact, such as a burial, and work backward through marriages and births. However, in this case, I hope to be able to track where my daughter, Joanna went, and follow the path her son, George Dudley William, Junior, took. I’d like to know how he managed to get hooked up to that …” Spock interrupts him. “Leonard, if we focus on the task at hand, and not permit emotions to get in the way, we will find the answers you seek.” Leonard starts to make a snarky retort and quickly remembers how inappropriate it would be given the circumstances. He growls instead. “Gramps”, Sam responds, “I understand why you dislike the woman your Grandson married. If I were human, I would hate her, too, for what she did to my wife and my brother-in-law. For now, hatred will not help.” The old man sighs. “You’re both right! Maybe I should have stayed behind since my emotions are getting the better of me!” Spock shakes his head. “I disagree, Leonard. We need your insight regarding where to look and understanding what we are looking at. Since Patricia-kam cannot participate in this investigation, for obvious reasons, you are the most logical substitute.” The old doctor looks at both Vulcans. “Even if I start sounding off as an illogical, emotional human?” Spock gives him a slight smile. “Especially if you are sounding off! Otherwise, you would not be Doctor Leonard McCoy! Now that we are here, can you tell us what we need to look for?” The old doctor gestures, “This is the last known place where my daughter, Joanna, resided. I’m hoping to find out where she went from here. Her son, my grandson, was still a small boy while she lived here.” “Given that you have the dates for when she lived here, with her child”, Sam comments, “the library might have directories that would list her address, or addresses. If she planned to move off-planet, she would need to file an intention to emigrate and name the planet she was moving to, especially with a child, would she not? In that case, there should be a passenger list, with their names, somewhere.” Spock shakes his head. “Not necessarily, especially if she was moving from one Federation world to another. In that case, we would need to find her last known address on this planet, the last known date she lived here, and search for what ships left here around that time. That could involve searching passenger lists of hundreds of ships … just to find two names.” Sam bows his head. “I should have realized that. I beg forgiveness for my faulty logic. I tend to think about how the system used to be with various other worlds.” “That system is still in place with non- Federation worlds.”, Spock replies, “We need to consider that possibility as well.” Leonard becomes impatient. “Then why are we still sitting here, jawing away? Let’s get to the nearest library and start searching directories!”

After several hours, searching various directories of various cities, Leonard spots the last known address of his daughter. He notes the time-frame of when she lived there and gives the information to his Great-grandson-in-law. From there, Sam starts searching passenger lists of ships that left the planet at that time, cross-referencing ports of departure and intended ports of arrival. Spock helps both of them by accessing privileged databases that his position as Ambassador allows him to look at and is able to pinpoint the next planet’s docking port that Joanna traveled to. This process is repeated at each planet until they discover that Joanna has died from natural causes at an advanced age. They travel to the final planet where Joanna had lived and died. Leonard visits her burial site, then inquires about having her remains moved to Earth to be buried in the family plot. From there, Spock takes point, tracking the path that Joanna’s son took, from leaving home, to joining Spock’s staff until he met Kalinda Yuri. This path leads them to Deneva. Upon arriving on Deneva, the investigative team splits up. Leonard goes to the Vital Records Office, Sam contacts the local authorities, and Spock goes to the Embassy to access databases. Each of them turn up additional evidence that Kalinda Yuri was never what she said she was. First off, she was never an orphan and had never been raised in a group home on Deneva or anywhere else. DNA records, that had been submitted years after the marriage between her and George Dudley William McCoy, Jr. points to her parents, who had traveled from Earth to a variety of planets as part of a group of scientists. Kalinda had a record of frequently running away from home until she reached her age of majority. By then, her parents had given up and let her go. According to the records they find, it appears that Kalinda had no further contact with her parents after that. Spock follows the DNA trail, from Kalinda Yuri, through her father, John, to his mother, Amanda Kalomi, daughter of Leila Kalomi, daughter of Nina and Yuri Kalomi of Hawaii, on Earth. Leila’s daughter, Amanda, was born approximately nine months after Stardate 3417.3. Subsequent research confirmed, to Spock, that this was the same Doctor Leila Kalomi, the botanist, that he encountered on Omicron Ceti III. Spock sits there, stunned. Leila had named their daughter after his mother. When he pulled up Amanda Kalomi’s image, she strongly resembled her mother’s human traits with slightly upswept eyebrows. His daughter had his eyes. Her blonde hair covered her ears so he had no way of knowing for certain if she had inherited that trait as well. Uncertain what to do next, he copied the information onto his PADD and left the facility, heading back to their lodgings. Leonard was waiting for him.

“I found some interesting information, Spock, that I think Sam can work with in his investigation.”, the old doctor greets him. “What did you find?” Spock quietly hands over his PADD to his friend, who starts to read through it. He notes Leonard’s facial expression change, indicating he is reading about Amanda Kalomi. After several seconds of silence, the old doctor looks at his old comrade. “Pat surmised this might have happened. What was your reaction in having her hypothesis confirmed and seeing a picture of your daughter for the first time?” Spock pulls out a chair and sits down. “Logically, this should have been expected. Illogically, now I understand Patricia-kam’s descriptions of emotions being ‘jumbled up’. It begs the questions, is my daughter still alive and, if so, does she know about me? If she does not know about me, I am … uncertain … what is the proper thing to do.” Leonard gazes at his old friend with empathy. “Normally, I would be ragging on you about your feelings … or lack thereof. In this situation, that would be insensitive of me given this discovery of a child you never knew existed until you saw Pat’s DNA test results.” Sam enters the room at that moment. “It appears you have found some of the answers you seek.”, Sam comments. “Yes, we have.”, the old doctor answers. He hands over the information he gathered from the Vital Records Office and the PADD from Spock. Sam looks over the data and nods, keeping his facial expressions neutral. “This confirms the evidence that I found as well as confirms Pat’s hypothesis. I empathize with you, Uncle. This must be difficult for you. Before we go further with that discussion, I have an additional piece of this puzzle that you need to know. While she was married, Kalinda had a lover, who was on the police force at the time of George Dudley William Junior’s death. He was put in charge of the investigation at the time your Grandson was killed. There are indicators that he tampered with the evidence in an attempt to make it appear as if the death was an accident. To add to this, he had relatives in authority who colluded with him in falsifying the information on the death certificate. The authorities are anxious to bring these fugitives back to Deneva for trial.” Leonard scowls at this. “Foxes were put in charge of the hen-house, eh? As Pat might state, it appears we are dealing with a ‘dirty cop’, as well as other vermin, in this situation.” Sam nods. “Precisely.” The old doctor looks over at Spock. “What are your thoughts, Spock?” “Logic dictates that we continue to follow this trail to either confirm or rule out that these particular individuals were responsible for your Grandson’s death”, the Elder Vulcan replies, “or if they are simply guilty of evidence tampering, if Kalinda was the one responsible.” Leonard gives him an intense look. “What about your daughter?” Spock steeples his fingers. “Obtaining justice for your Grandson has higher priority than my desire to locate my daughter. We must proceed to find these … individuals.” The old doctor turns to Sam. “Any idea where these … persons of interest … went to?” “Yes.”, Sam replies, “We must prepare to leave immediately. Time is not on our side!”

The team of three continue to track those who were involved with the death of George Dudley William McCoy, Jr. and the subsequent cover-up only to find themselves one step behind. “I am concerned about finding these individuals, given their ages.”, Sam comments, “They are no longer young … and neither are we. We may be forced to consider an unpopular decision.” “Personally, I don’t want them to, literally, get away with murder.”, the old man retorts, “But at what point do we make a decision about continuing this pursuit?” “Leonard”, Spock interjects, “what was that old Earth saying you often quoted to Patricia-kam, while she was growing up … ‘we shall cross that bridge when we come to it’? If we make a decision to call off this mission, then we must be prepared to give an explanation to her.” “Knowing my wife”, Sam comments, “she would NOT be happy if she does not agree with our decision and I doubt she would readily accept it. She would find a way to pick up where we left off. If she ever sees the evidence that we have, I can almost guarantee that she would demand the Klingon Right of Vengeance … Star Fleet Code of Conduct or not!” Leonard nods in agreement. “Then I vote that we continue as long as we physically can.” “I must agree.”, answers Sam. He looks over the data and stops short. “Gentlemen, we may have a complication after all.”, as he looks up at his colleagues, “According to this latest information, these individuals are heading to … Q’onos!”

Pat is resting in her guest quarters, on Q’onos, after a hard day’s work training the newest recruits in a paint-ball battle. She feels satisfaction at a job well done but is also feeling all the aches and pains associated with aging. She gets up to make herself a cup of tea and hears all of her joints snap, crackle, and pop once more as she walks. “Maybe I’m getting too old for this!”, she groans. She sits back down with her cup of tea, inhaling its fragrance, when she hears stomping and scuffling outside. She sighs, sets down her tea cup, gets up and goes outside to check what the noise is about. She finds two young warriors attempting to challenge each other about being the first one to her door. “MEV-YAP!”, she shouts at both of them. One stops and the other attempts to continue the fight. Pat steps between them and punches the offender to the ground. “When I tell you to STOP, I MEAN STOP! What is the meaning of this?!” Both youngsters look at her sheepishly while she glares at them. “Would someone care to explain what THIS brawl was about?!” The youngster, still standing, timidly raises his hand and Pat turns to glare at him. “What?!” “We saw some aliens, possibly human, nearby.”, the young Klingon explains, “At least, they look human to us. They do not appear to be diplomats and we have never known Q’onos to be a ‘tourist trap’, as you have described it.” “And why would this interest me?”, Pat snaps. The other young Klingon gets to his feet and explains, “They appear to be older than you … old enough to be your elders. Their behaviors seemed strange to us. Didn’t you instruct us to report anything suspicious to you?” Pat calms down a little and nods. “You are correct. I did give you that instruction. Take this opportunity to keep them under surveillance, as you have practiced, and report everything that you observe to me. Do not, I repeat, do not confront them. Do not interact with them. Just practice your surveillance techniques as you have been taught and keep me informed. Now get off my lawn!” The two youngsters scramble away and Pat goes back inside her guest quarters, shaking her head, and snickering. “Kids!”

The two Klingon youngsters resume their surveillance positions as they watch the individuals who aroused their suspicions. In the meantime, Pat has informed Martok and Worf of the assignment she has given these two youngsters and suggested that other “green” recruits join the practice exercise on a shift basis. Both warriors agree and assign shifts with instructions that the trainees are to report everything they observe to Pat through documentation and debriefing. Several days go by without anything noteworthy occurring until one of the youngsters approaches her and is clearly excited. Pat quirks an eyebrow at his emotional outburst. “Something has you worked up! What has occurred?” “These aliens that we have been watching … we have noticed that additional aliens seem to be following them.” This intrigues Pat. “Report! Tell me what you have observed and don’t leave anything out!” “There are three additional aliens that have recently arrived; two Vulcans, one old, one younger, and an elderly human. One of the Vulcans, the younger, appears to be close to your age. I recognized the elderly Vulcan, from news-feeds. He had been abducted and rescued not too long ago. It is Ambassador Spock!” Pat is stunned and immediately realizes what this means. She attempts to stay calm. “Good job!”, she tells the Klingon youngster, “I commend you on your diligence! Q’Pla! You may return to duty and continue your surveillance!” The youngster bows his head in respect and leaves. Pat immediately hurries to Martok’s office and finds Worf there as well. “Good, you’re both here!” Pat begins, “Gentlemen, we have a problem!” Pat brings them up to date about the recent arrival of Ambassador Spock, Doctor Leonard McCoy, and Vulcan Investigator Samok … her husband, Sam. “Gentlemen”, she continues, “if my instincts are correct, this means that the persons involved with my father’s death have come to Q’onos! It appears that I will have to face one of my biggest challenges … follow Star Fleet’s Code of Conduct or demand my Right of Vengeance if these individuals are proven to be responsible for the death of my father! Worf, can you advise me?” Worf pauses before facing her. “Only you can decide what is best for you, Captain McCoy! In some ways, our situations are similar, but there is one major difference. My duel was with another Klingon involving Klingon honor as well as avenging the deaths at Khitomer and K’Ehleyr. If you violate Star Fleet’s Code, you may gain satisfaction, but at what cost?” “That is exactly the dilemma I’m wrestling with.”, Pat nods as she paces the room. “I need to think some more. I’ll get back to you with my answer as soon as I have it.” She heads out the door, walking aimlessly, but being watchful at the same time. She realizes that it has been awhile since she had any nourishment, so she stops at an eatery to see what is available for her. To her relief, they also offer other cuisines that are compatible with her digestive system and she orders Plomeek Soup. She quickly finishes it, disposes of her tray, and starts to head back out the door when she accidentally collides with an elderly human. He mutters an apology and quickly walks on, out of sight.

As soon as he turns a corner, she realizes he has dropped a package that has broken open, spilling its contents. She gathers it up and starts to stuff the contents back inside the package when she stops short. One of the items is an image of a younger man, smiling, with his arms around a young woman … the same woman who had abandoned her! The man in the image is a total stranger. The date on the back of the image indicates it was taken shortly before her father was killed. She notices there are other images as well, including a grisly murder scene, which makes her stomach clench. The inscription on the back reads: “To Kalinda, my love! Now you are mine! Your husband is no longer an impediment between us!” Suddenly, Pat starts to understand some of what had occurred and begins to shake uncontrollably. This … witch … had been cheating on her father! For how long, after Pat was born, she could only speculate. This same witch had also been a party to her father’s death before she sold her to the child slavers! She starts to see red and realizes her rage is getting the better of her. She reminds herself of the old Klingon saying that “Revenge is a dish best served cold”. She heads back to Martok’s office clutching the broken package. She finds Martok and Worf conferring about the recruits’ training when she walks in and tosses the package onto the table. “What are your thoughts on THIS?!”, as she gestures toward the item. They look at its contents, and the images, then look back at her puzzled. She gestures angrily at the images. “That p’tak, in those images, is the same one who sold me while I was still very young! My father was KILLED around the time those images were made! She, who gave birth to me, either KNEW or PARTICIPATED!” Martok nods sympathetically. “She is now dead.” Then he stops and looks at her quizzically as he points to the package. “How did you come by this?” Pat describes how she accidentally collided with an elderly stranger, who had dropped it. “It begs the question”, she continues, “why did he have it on his person … unless it was his from the beginning?” “It appears we need to inquire further.”, Worf speculates. Pat starts to pace the room again. “Martok, now that we know that Uncle Spock is here, on Q’onos, can you summon him to your office to discuss diplomatic issues?” Martok nods and calls out to his aide, who rushes into the office. There is a brief discussion in Klingon and the aide hurries out. Martok turns back to Pat. “We will see what turns up.”

Ambassador Spock arrives at the Chancellor’s office and is ushered in by the aide. “Spock! Q’Pla!”, Martok says in greeting, “You are looking well! We did not have much opportunity to socialize at Pat’s wedding. How have you been?” “I am well.”, Spock replies, “I received a message that you need to discuss diplomatic issues?” Martok nods. “Yes! I have encountered information that may lead to potential … problems.” Spock quirks an eyebrow. “What information have you found?” At that moment, Pat strides into the room and tosses the package back on the table. “THIS!”, as she angrily gestures toward it. Spock can see that she is enraged. He picks up the package, examines its contents, and stops short when he sees the image of the murder scene. “Look on the back!”, she growls, “See the inscription?” Spock briefly closes his eyes after reading it. “Patricia-kam”, he quietly replies, “I had hoped that you would never see anything like this!” Pat begins pacing angrily back and forth. “Well, now I have! There’s an old saying about ‘closing the barn door after the horses have gotten out’, which I think applies here!” Martok steps between them and turns to the Elder Vulcan. “Spock, it appears that the individuals you and your companions are seeking are in my jurisdiction. Klingon law will take precedence given the Prime Directive. The Federation cannot interfere with the Klingon government nor impede sovereign Klingon Law!” “Which Klingon laws have these suspects broken?”, Spock asks. Martok gestures toward the package on the table. “This evidence indicates that they murdered Pat’s father and are fugitives from justice! She is also MY adopted daughter! By Klingon Law, she has the Right of Vengeance!” “Has the Klingon High Council convicted these fugitives?”, Spock asks. Pat storms over to her Uncle, in fury, and confronts him. “Are you DEFENDING my father’s KILLERS?!”, she shouts. “No, Patricia-kam”, Spock calmly replies, “I am not. These fugitives need to be captured and extradited back to where the crime was committed to stand trial.” Pat is shaking uncontrollably. “And what about my Right of Vengeance?! I have the right to force them to look me in the face before they DIE!” Spock nods at her calmly. “That is your right, Patricia-kam, under Klingon Law. Have you forgotten that you hold the rank of Captain and are also governed by Star Fleet’s Code of Conduct?” Pat explodes in rage. “Dammit, Spock! I am PAINFULLY AWARE of THAT!” She clenches her fists and stomps over to a nearby window. “Spock”, Martok interjects, “you and your companions may proceed in attempting to capture these fugitives for extradition. Be aware that if any member of my House finds them first, while they are on Q’onos, they will surely die! In the name of my ADOPTED DAUGHTER, Doctor and Captain Pat McCoy, I will claim the Right of Vengeance on her behalf and the Federation cannot stop me from enforcing Klingon Law on Q’onos!” Spock nods and calmly accedes. “I may not necessarily agree but I understand.” He turns toward Pat, who is still standing at the window, silently staring out, fists still clenched. “Patricia-kam, I will inform your Great-grandfather and your husband of this latest development.” “Please do!”, she retorts as she continues to stare out the window. Spock nods to both Martok and Worf, then takes his leave.

Spock returns to the lodgings where Leonard and Sam are waiting. The old doctor looks up. “Well? What did Chancellor Martok want?” Spock sighs heavily. “Pat now knows some of the evidence we have. She accidentally encountered one of our persons of interest and he dropped a package that broke open. He had an image of the death scene, with an inscription on the back, plus additional images documenting his affair with her birth-mother. You can probably guess what her reaction was when she saw it.” “How damning was the evidence?”, Sam asks. “It was sufficient for Patricia-kam to infer what had occurred between her birth-parent and this other individual.”, Spock replies, “The inscription on the back of the image of the death scene stated: ‘To Kalinda, my love! Now you are mine! Your husband is no longer an impediment between us!’ There were other images of her mother and this individual together.” Gramps lets loose with some obscenities.

Spock gestures toward him to remain calm. “Leonard, I empathize. This is not a good development. As long as these individuals are on Q’onos, they face certain death!” Sam is confused at this statement. “I do not understand. The killing took place on a planet unrelated to Q’onos and the victim was not a Klingon. Why would they face a death sentence here?” “Because, son”, Leonard interjects, “my Great-granddaughter is also an adopted daughter of the Noble House of Martok. By Klingon Law, she can claim the Right of Vengeance while she is here. Even if she chooses to follow Star Fleet’s Code of Conduct, Martok can still make that claim on her behalf and since he is the Chancellor of the Klingon High Council, he can have that Right of Vengeance enforced as long as our suspects remain on this planet!” Sam gets up. “I need to communicate with my wife. Maybe she can convince Martok to rescind his order.” Spock shakes his head. “Samok-kam, at this moment, she is so full of rage that she is not listening to logic. I have seen her ‘raise hell’ before regarding lesser issues. This time …” “Emotionally, I agree with her.”, Leonard comments, “When I first saw those images connected to my Grandson’s death, I wanted to get my hands around the throats of those responsible. Pat can never forget what that … witch … did to her. She will live with that trauma for the rest of her life! Now that she knows what that monster also did to her father … The witch is dead and rotting in her grave, but as long as the remaining guilty ones live and roam freely on Q’onos …” “Then it is imperative that we reach them first!”, Sam completes his sentence. Spock nods, “Agreed!”

Martok has had copies of the images cropped to show only the face of the fugitive that Pat encountered. It is also age-enhanced to indicate what he presently looks like. This age-enhanced image is shared with the warriors affiliated with the House of Martok and they begin the hunt with the instructions that, if and when caught, the fugitive, and his accomplices, are to be brought before the Klingon High Council … alive. Pat is also given a copy of the age-enhanced image. Everywhere she travels within the Imperial City, she is constantly on the lookout for those responsible for her father’s death. Sam is torn between locating the fugitives and locating his wife’s whereabouts within the city. He attempts to brush her thoughts with his and encounters blind rage and hatred instead, shutting him out. This alarms him. Both Spock and Leonard are aware that they cannot afford to lose time attempting to locate and reason with Pat, now that the warriors of the House of Martok are also involved in the pursuit of the fugitives.

While walking down one of the side streets, the Klingon communicator, that had been issued to Pat sounds off and she activates it. “Nuq?” One of the warriors reports that the fugitive and his accomplices have been captured and are being brought before the Klingon High Council. “Maj!”, she responds and puts the communicator away. She calms herself and sends her thoughts to her husband. “K’Diwa, if you wish to see these monsters alive, come to the Klingon High Council … immediately. I will be looking them in the face very shortly before they are executed!” Sam receives these thoughts and turns to Spock and Leonard. “We must head to the Klingon High Council … now! The fugitives are in custody!” The three head over to the Chancellor’s office building. Pat enters Martok’s office, dressed for battle in full Klingon armor. “Where are they? Where are the monsters involved with my father’s death?” “Be patient, my adopted daughter.”, Martok replies, “We must give the Klingon High Council time to convene.” Pat begins to pace restlessly. “I want them to look me in the eye!” “And they will”, Martok assures her, “when the members of the Council get here!” Pat continues to pace restlessly, like a panther, as she awaits the Council members. In short order, the Council members arrive, along with Spock, Leonard, and Sam. Sam sees his wife for the first time since she left for Q’onos and he barely recognizes her in her full battle armor, wearing the insignia of the House of Martok. He turns to his Great-grandfather-in-law and Spock, not knowing what to do or say under these circumstances. Spock reminds him, “One thing at a time.” Once all the Council members have been assembled, the prisoners are brought in, looking stunned and confused, not understanding why the Klingons have captured them. Pat approaches them and glares at their faces while they stare back at her without comprehension. “Who ARE you and why are we here?”, one of the old men asks. “I do not expect any of you to recognize me.”, she snarls in response. She steps closer to the one who had been her mother’s lover. “I doubt you even noticed me, years ago, while you were Qongdaqdaq with … the one who gave birth to me!” He looks back at her, totally confused. “I do not know what you are talking about!” Pat’s lip curls in disgust. “Really?” She walks over to the table, picks up a handful of images, and walks back over to the elderly prisoner. She hands over the one showing him with her mother. “Do you deny that is YOU, from years ago?” The man looks at the image then blushes. “How did you get this?” “Irrelevant!”, she snaps back, “That IS you, in that image, with HER!” The prisoner looks at the image, then at Pat. Suddenly, the color drains from his face. “You’re Kalinda’s daughter!” Pat spits at the mention of the name of she who gave birth. “She was NO mother to me! Giving birth does not automatically make her a mother. Even dogs treat their young better than she EVER did!” She hands over the next image, of the death scene, with the inscription on the back. “You seemed to know a great deal about the victim in this image. Based on the inscription, you were celebrating his death!” The prisoner appears ready to pass out when confronted with this information. Pat turns her back on him and stomps away. At that moment, Spock stands up to gain attention. “If I may be permitted to speak?”

Martok acknowledges his presence and gives him permission to take the floor. Spock approaches the elderly prisoner. “We are aware of Doctor Pat McCoy’s side of the story. Do you wish to tell your side of what occurred that brings us here?” The prisoner looks over at Pat, who is glaring back at him with open hatred, looks around the room at everyone assembled, back at Spock and sighs, “Very well. It appears that, at this point, I have nothing left to lose. I had been in love with Kalinda, many years ago. I thought she returned that love. Then she met the man she chose to marry … George. When she learned that he was the Grandson of the famous Doctor Leonard McCoy, and that George’s mother was deceased, Kalinda became convinced that George’s grandfather was extremely rich and that the Grandson, being the sole heir, was set to inherit a lot of money, should anything happen to the old man. She wanted to get her hands on any possible inheritance and, in her view, the only way she could legally do that was by marrying George. She was quite skillful at seduction and George fell for her. He married her and had two children in short order … a boy first, then a girl. The son had no health problems but, the girl was born with multiple birth defects and was premature. Kalinda hated that infant on sight and attempted to find ways for the child to die from ‘natural causes’. She wasn’t counting on the baby being a fighter and a survivor.” There are murmurs among the Klingons who gaze at Pat with admiration and approval. She continues to stand stiffly, at attention, while the prisoner continues his story. He picks up where he left off, “When Kalinda realized that her Grandfather-in-law was NOT rich and that Federation citizens, especially Star Fleet officers, do not participate in that form of monetary exchange, she knew that she would get no financial gain from being married to George. His prestigious name was insufficient for her ego and delusions of grandeur. She attempted to initiate divorce proceedings, demanding total custody of her son, without any visitation rights, while completely ignoring that the younger child existed. At that point, she rekindled her relationship with me. Her husband contested the divorce, as he was still madly in love with her, and contested the custody arrangements regarding both children. Once she understood that her husband was not going to blindly obey her orders and do what she demanded by quietly going away, she realized that she needed to find another way to remove her unwanted obstacles. I was a police detective at the time and knew how to manipulate evidence when needed. She persuaded me to kill her husband, telling me that once he was out of the way, then I could marry her. With the help of my companion, I happily dispatched her husband, then arranged to make the death scene look like an accident. I didn’t realize, until after the deed was done, that not only was she watching the killing, with glee … she was forcing both her children to watch their father die!” The Klingons express outrage at this and Pat’s facial expression hardens even further. Leonard is appalled while both Spock and Sam manage to hide the horror they feel. The prisoner continues his narrative, “My brother, who is here as well, was the official coroner. I persuaded him to record the ‘accident’ on George’s death certificate and I closed the case. With her husband now gone, I thought my path was open for me to marry Kalinda, except that I had no interest in being a stepfather to her two children … especially the younger child. She was a defective burden who refused to die, no matter how many times Kalinda and I both abused her.” The Klingons in the room start howling for blood! The prisoner flinches but continues, “During the required investigation into George’s death, she put on an award-winning performance of being the grieving widow wondering how she was going to make her way with two young children … or bury her late husband. As soon as the case was officially closed, we left the planet together and arranged to sell the daughter, to slavers, on a non-Federation world. We were certain that the little girl would soon die from the repeated abuse from her new owners. However, Kalinda refused to dispose of her son as I wanted. For years, I kept attempting to persuade her to get rid of her son and to marry me … to no avail. This went on for years. I wanted to leave her but could not. I kept going back to her, hoping that this next time would be different. What was the final straw for me was the day I entered her home, to try one more time to persuade her to get rid of her son and marry me …”, he pauses, looking ill, “… only to find her in an inappropriate relationship with her own teenaged son, treating him as if HE were her husband! She raged at me for DARING to show up and threatened that if I reported her, SHE would report me for MURDER! I left without looking back! That was the last time I had any contact with Kalinda Yuri.”

Spock looks over at Pat, who looks ill at hearing this new information. He then looks over at Leonard and Sam. They are both looking horrified. Spock manages to show calmness in spite of what he has just heard. He knew Patricia-kam’s childhood had been destroyed but he had no idea, until now, how bad things really had been! Pat steps forward toward the prisoner, glaring at him with hatred and rage. “As is my right, I claim the Right of Vengeance! Arm yourself as I challenge you to a duel to the death! Either you die, or I will die trying to avenge my father, myself … and my late brother!” She picks up a Bath’leth from a nearby warrior and awaits the prisoner’s response. Sam sends one thought to his wife, “NO!” The prisoner quietly looks back at her. “I will not fight you. Because of me, you lived through hell! I deserve whatever justice you choose to mete out. If you wish, I will kneel so that you can kill me easier. I only ask that you spare my companions so that they can be tried on our planet’s court of law as accessories to murder.” With that, he kneels down in front of her to await his fate. For several seconds, Pat stands in front of him, tightly gripping the Bath’leth. The tension in the room is so thick that it could be sliced with a d’k’tahg. Finally, she breaks the silence, “No. I will not lower myself to your level and murder an unarmed man who refuses to fight nor will I lower myself to the same level as the witch who gave birth to me. Since you are a fugitive from justice, I am turning custody of you, along with your accomplices, over to Chief Investigator Samok of Vulcan, who will escort you back to your home planet for trial. May God have mercy on your soul!” She hands the Bath’leth back to the nearby warrior, turns on her heel and stomps out of the room. Spock, Leonard and Sam breathe a collective sigh of relief. Martok stands and walks over to the kneeling prisoner. “You are fortunate that your former victim showed you mercy.”, Martok tells him through clenched teeth, “If it were up to me, I would have you executed on this spot! My adopted daughter has made her decision and I will abide by it.” He looks over at Sam. “Take custody of your prisoners and remove them from Q’onos! If any of them set foot in my jurisdiction again, they will die!” Sam nods as he steps forward to the kneeling prisoner and helps him to his feet. Spock and Leonard lead the other accomplices out of the room and place all three prisoners in a holding cell while transportation arrangements are made to return them to their home- world. Once the prisoners are locked up, Sam leaves the facility to go search for his wife.

He is able to track her back to her lodgings and finds her in the bathroom … being sick to her stomach. He sits on the bed and quietly waits. When Pat is finally able to finish, she splashes cold water on her face and slumps over the sink. Sam speaks up, “How are you now feeling, my wife?” “Drained is a mild understatement!”, she replies. “Do you need assistance?”, he asks. “Yes.”, she responds with a muffled voice. Sam gets up and helps his wife over to the bed. She lays down on her side, staring blankly at the wall. He is unsure what to do given that she is still wearing the full battle armor of a Klingon warrior so he decides to lay quietly, by her side, and permit her to take the lead. After a long period of silence, he speaks up, “Regardless of what we have witnessed, I still love you, my wife, my K’Diwa. Never forget that!” “You attempted to send your thoughts to me earlier and I shut you out.”, she replies, “Can you forgive me for doing that?” “I saw your emotions … your rage … your hatred toward those who hurt you.”, Sam tells her, “I cannot fault you for that! I needed to permit you to find your path. To do otherwise would have been illogical.” “I love you, my husband. I may not always act like it when my emotions get out of control … especially my anger.” “Watching you, today, before the Klingon High Council …”, Sam comments, “you looked beautiful, magnificent and you conducted yourself as an Honorable Warrior, with both the Star Fleet Code of Conduct and the Klingon Code of Honor. I had faith in you, all along, that you would find your path! With Asperger’s Syndrome, your meltdown could have been much worse. I am proud of you, my wife!” Pat rolls over to face him. “What is next, my husband?” “Now, we await transportation to take these three prisoners back to their home-world to stand trial. We have the recordings from what took place before the Klingon High Council to add to our evidence … the package you found, his confession before a room full of witnesses. Even if his Defense Counsel manages to get him off on a technicality, HE will have to live with his guilt until he takes his last breath. He clearly feels remorse for what he has done and is sickened by the fact that he had been taken in, manipulated, and used by … her. Now I understand why your brother, James Yuri, was behaving psychotically. She used him too until he was a broken man. She, who gave birth to both you and your brother, was”, he pauses while searching for the right word, “… immoral. All she cared about was herself and she used everyone around her as objects for her own self- gratification. What she did is beyond my ability to comprehend!”

“Now that I have calmed down, my husband, I can think like a psychologist. Based on the descriptions of her behaviors, plus what I had personally experienced at her hands, there is a name that would describe all of that. Part of my medical training included Abnormal Psychology. I would diagnose … her … as having Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Those with the disorder believe that the entire universe MUST revolve around THEM and that they are ENTITLED to whatever they want, the instant they want it. In their delusional world, no one is allowed to say ‘No’ to their demands … ever! In their minds, they own and rule everyone absolutely … that whoever they see automatically becomes their SLAVE, their PROPERTY, their … TOOL to be USED! They demand total unquestioned control and demand blind, unquestioning obedience to their every word! History is full of despots who behaved in similar ways. What causes Narcissistic Personality Disorder is still unknown. It is untreatable because those who have it believe they are perfect and that all others need to be forced to revolve around them, their desires, their demands, their orders. Their sole focus is self- gratification. They are a psychologist’s worst nightmare!” “It appears that I will need to study xeno-psychology in order to get a better understanding of the behaviors I encounter in my line of work.”, Sam comments. “It couldn’t hurt, K’Diwa.”, Pat replies, “In fact, there is a branch of psychology that dove-tails with law enforcement … forensic psychology. You could look into that.” “Excellent suggestion, K’Diwa!”, he responds then pauses. “Do you feel like getting up?” “It’s time that I need to get up.”, Pat agrees. “There are still loose ends that I have to attend to … including a call to Admiral Akaar to bring him up to date on the latest occurrences. I’ve been keeping a personal log that I need to transmit to him.” Sam nods in agreement and he helps his wife to her feet. Pat debates whether or not to change out of the Klingon armor to her Star Fleet regulation uniform and decides against it. She waits until her husband has left to rejoin her Uncle and her Great-grandfather before she goes over to the nearby comm-link to contact the Admiral. This conversation will need to be done in private as she expects quite a bit of fallout from what took place before the Klingon High Council. She programs the comm-link and Admiral Akaar’s image appears onscreen. “Doctor McCoy.”, he says in greeting, looks at her battle armor, then at her face. “It appears as if you have just been through a war!”

“Do I look that bad?”, she asks. “I can see it in your face … your eyes.”, the Admiral responds, “I’ve seen that combat fatigue many times during my lifetime. Do you feel as if you have won your battle?” Pat pauses to think, then nods. “Yes. Come to think of it, I do feel as if I’ve won a personal battle, if not a personal war. Which leads me to this communication, sir. When you ordered me to Q’onos, the purpose was to keep me out of the way while my husband investigated my father’s murder.” The Admiral quirks an eyebrow. “Murder? As opposed to calling it a ‘homicide’ or an ‘accidental death’, as it was stated on your father’s death certificate?” Pat hesitates, then sighs. “The evidence we have now clearly indicates it WAS a pre-meditated murder, instigated by … she who gave birth to me.” The Admiral gives her a sympathetic look. “I’m sorry to hear that. Given that you were supposed to be kept busy training recruits on Q’onos, how did you come to learn this?” “Because the investigation, and the perpetrators involved with my father’s death, came to ME … on Q’onos!”, Pat answers, “I literally collided with my father’s killer as I was exiting a restaurant and, as a result of that mishap, he dropped his parcel that contained damning evidence. I have the details recorded in my personal logs and I’ll be transmitting those along with the images of the evidence that I encountered. You will see what I mean.” She transmits everything to the Admiral, who looks it over as it is received and he nods. “I see.”, the Admiral comments, “The Chancellor got involved as well?” Pat nods. “Yes, sir, given that I am his adopted daughter and the perpetrators came into his jurisdiction.” “Which leads me to my next questions, McCoy.”, the Admiral says sternly, “Are they still alive or have they been executed according to Klingon Law? If they are dead, did you, personally, have a hand in their execution given your Klingon Right of Vengeance?” “They are alive and in custody.”, Pat manages to calmly reply, “My husband is currently in the process of making arrangements to have them extradited back to their home-world for trial.” The Admiral sits back in his chair, letting go of the tension. “I have your personal logs, along with the images, that you sent me.” He pauses, “Is there anything else you wish to tell me, that is not included in that transmission?” Pat hesitates. “Yes, sir, there is. I must confess that when I came across the evidence that my father had been murdered, and came to know who were responsible for his death, I wanted to execute the killers myself. That goes against my Star Fleet Medical Code of Ethics and Star Fleet’s Code of Conduct. If that is a court martial offense, I’m ready to accept my lumps.” She looks down at her hands and begins to fidget and stim. “Doctor, look at me.”, the Admiral orders. She looks up.

“Wanting to kill your enemy and actually carrying out the act are two different things.”, Akaar explains, “On my home-world, Capella IV, I would have gone through with it because it is my right, and obligation, as High Te-er of the Ten Tribes to uphold Capellan Law. Given what I know about this situation, you have every right to feel what you felt. The fact that you did not act on your violent intent speaks volumes about your character.” He pauses. “If we court-martialed everyone who felt the desire to kill, outside of war, we wouldn’t have anyone left in Star Fleet … including me!” Pat looks at him confused. “I understand that Worf was given consequences for killing Duras.” The Admiral nods, “That is correct but Worf battled Duras, a fellow Klingon, in a duel that was invoked through Klingon Law. Duras could have killed him, just as easily, and I would have lost a valuable officer. Officially, I couldn’t agree with Worf, but, personally, I understood the reasons. The difference here is that Worf killed his personal enemy, who was intent on killing him … you did not and your enemy was willing to permit you to execute him without a fight. From where I stand, I see no grounds for a court-martial. You may return to duty and wrap up your work on Q’onos … then report back to your post at the Infirmary. Your husband will be waiting for you when you arrive. In my opinion, newly-weds should not be separated too long. Akaar out!” His image fades from the screen. Pat can only sit there and think.

Martok and Worf are sad to see that it is time for Pat to leave their home-world. She had been in constant contact with her husband regarding the outcome of the case of her father’s murder. The former coroner had been tried, found guilty, and sentenced to prison, as was the other co-conspirator. Given their ages, it was, essentially, a life sentence. The main one, the former lover of … the monster … pleaded guilty to pre-meditated murder, along with evidence tampering, child sexual abuse, along with child-selling, and was sentenced to life without parole. Sam informs her that he was on his way home to their Star Fleet issued quarters. She informs him that she can’t wait to see him again. As she finishes packing, she hears scuffling at the door of her lodgings and goes to investigate. It’s the two youngsters that had been caught fighting there previously. Both of them are grinning sheepishly, almost shyly, at her. “And what can I do for you two, before I head home to my husband?”, she asks them. They look at each other, then back at her before one of them speaks up. “We have been trying to decide what to give you as a going away gift, but cannot figure out what you would like.” Pat leans against the doorway of her lodgings and crosses her arms. “Let’s see … I could use something for the house. Have either of you gone on your first hunt yet?” They both shake their heads “no”. “I see.”, she continues, “What I could use, for my household, is a fur blanket large enough to cover a Emperor-size bed. Would that be possible?” “We will see what we can do.”, one of the youngsters responds, “Safe journey as you return home! Q’Pla!” “Q’Pla!”, she replies as the two youngsters take their leave and Pat returns to her packing. When she approaches the shuttlecraft, that would take her to the waiting star-ship, she finds Worf and Martok waiting for her.

“Q’Pla, my adopted father! Q’Pla, Worf, my friend! Come to see me off?” “What’s wrong with seeing my adopted daughter one last time before she leaves to reunite with her new husband?”, Martok asks. “We will see each other again during future missions on Q’onos.”, Pat answers, “I’m sure of that!” “I’m also planning future training missions off-planet.”, adds Worf, “I expect to see you there!” Pat grins. “Wouldn’t miss it!” Her grin turns mischievous. “Besides, it’s fun to see their expressions when I give them a surprise or two!” The three of them roar with laughter, then she manages to catch her breath. “I don’t plan to stay away too long, my comrades, but for now, I need to see my husband. Sleeping alone in a cold bed is NO fun!” Martok grins. “The Lady Sirella and I heartily agree with you on THAT! Stay well! We look forward to seeing you again!” “And I look forward to our next training mission.”, Worf adds, “Maybe, someday, I could convince you to join us on a Targ hunt!” “Thanks, Worf.”, Pat answers, “I also look forward to the next training mission. As for Targ hunting … I need to think about that. I have never liked the thought of killing an animal for sport.” “You could capture it and tame it for a pet!”, Worf suggests. Pat looks thoughtful. “I’ll consider that possibility after I discuss it with my husband.” “Fair enough!”, the Klingon ambassador replies, “They bid their farewells and Pat boards the shuttlecraft. It takes off and docks with the waiting star-ship. The trip back to her Infirmary post is routine and she counts down the time until she can see her husband’s face again. When she disembarks at her station, she heads straight to her quarters and finds Sam, inside, waiting for her. Given everything that had transpired on Q’onos, she is uncertain how she should approach her husband. He makes that decision for her by wrapping her in a tight embrace and kissing her passionately and she returns his passionate kiss. When they come up for air, Sam leans his forehead against hers. “I missed you, my wife!” “You’re not upset with me for my actions on Q’onos?”, she asks. “What I stated on Q’onos is still true today, my wife, and I will continue to repeat it for as long as necessary.” He scoops her up in his arms. “I’m ready for bed! Aren’t you?” She grins at him with delight.

It was difficult, at first, to get back into the Infirmary’s familiar routine after all of the excitement on Q’onos. Eventually, Pat is able to readjust to her former routine. Coming back to her quarters one day, she finds her husband holding a large parcel and giving her a curious look. “What?”, she inquires. “This arrived, from Q’onos, a little while ago and it’s addressed to you as ‘The Old Warrior McCoy’.”, Sam tells her as he gestures toward the parcel. Pat starts to laugh, “OLD?! I have a sneaking hunch one of those silly young’uns I have been training is behind this!” Sam gives her a slight smile. “I thought I should wait until you got home to open it.” Pat nods at her husband and takes the parcel. She looks it over for the name or names of whoever sent it, finds the Klingon script, then looks at her husband. “I was right! It’s from the young’uns I’ve been training. Two of them stopped by my lodgings, while I was packing, and asked what I wanted for a ‘going away’ gift. I told them that I needed an Emperor-sized blanket. I didn’t think they would go through with it.” “How would they be able to create one?”, he asks. “You may not agree, my husband, but the Klingon way is to go hunting and convert the furs into blankets, clothing, etc. None of the animal goes to waste. They often use the blankets and other items while out on missions. It’s their way of life. I couldn’t turn those two young’uns away or turn down their gift offer. That would have been an insult they didn’t deserve.” Sam shakes his head. “I’m not certain I’m ready to see what they sent us, my wife.” “I’m curious what they did.”, she answers, “The two young’uns who offered the gift had not yet gone on their first hunt … their form of Kahs Wan. They learn warrior skills first, with my assistance, then go on a quest … this hunt. If they succeed in bringing down their prey, then they must convert its pelt into something useful. If you recall, some of my ancient ancestors were Native Americans. This is how they also survived in the wilderness during the ancient of days. It’s good to keep the primitive skills in practice because you never know when you might need them!” She opens the parcel and pulls out a purple fur blanket that is large enough to cover their bed. It is beautifully made and she holds it next to her face to feel its softness. “My husband, you may not agree with what they did, and/or how they did it. I have to commend them. They did a magnificent job with this! To create this was labor intensive!” “I’ll take your word for it.”, he replies, as he touches the fur. “I will need to meet these young’uns and personally thank them.” “The next time I’m scheduled to conduct another training mission, you’ll have to come with me.”, she promises, “I guarantee, it will be an eye-opening experience for you! I’ll need to contact Martok, as soon as possible, to convey my thanks, to these young’uns, for their thoughtful gift!” She takes the fur into the bedroom and spreads it over the bed. “This will keep us both warm no matter how cool the room temperatures get!” She looks at her husband with a gleam in her eye, “Want to test my theory?” Sam grins as he walks toward his wife.

Leonard has been home in his Georgia residence, resting, ever since he, Spock, and Sam returned from escorting their prisoners back to their home-world and the subsequent trials. The remains of his daughter, Joanna, had been brought home to Earth and re-interred in the McCoy Family plot, alongside that of her son, George. He is sitting quietly, looking out the window, when he sees Spock approach the door and he gets up to greet his old friend. “Any new developments lately?”, the old doctor asks. “As a matter of fact, yes.”, Spock replies, “I have been successful in locating my daughter, Amanda Kalomi. She is coming to Vulcan, to meet me. I would like for you, Patricia-kam, and Samok-kam to be there as you are family as well.” “I would be honored.”, the old doctor grins.

Sam and Pat are snuggling underneath the new fur blanket they received as a gift from Q’onos. “Did you know,” Pat comments, “that in ancient times, there used to be a custom known as ‘bundling’? It was a human courtship ritual that was usually done only during the winter months.” Sam quirks an eyebrow. “I find the way that humans evolved, and the customs that developed, fascinating. I would like to learn more.” “Some of those books, on my shelf, focus on Terran anthropology.”, Pat replies as she nods toward the shelves. “You can borrow them after you finish reading Sherlock Holmes.” While they continue to snuggle, they hear the comm-link chime with an incoming message and Pat sighs in exasperation. “I guess I better get up and go answer that. A doctor’s work is never done! Hold my place and keep it warm! I’ll be back!” She gets up and grabs a dressing gown as she heads over to the comm-link. She calls back over her shoulder with an impish grin. “Maybe I should dispense with the dressing gown and give them a hint of what they were interrupting!” Sam bursts out laughing. “Don’t you DARE! It could be the Admiral!” Pat grins at him as she puts on the garment. She sits down at the comm-link, activates it and Spock’s image appears. “Uncle Spock!” “Forgive me for intruding during your … private time, Patricia-kam.”, Spock says in greeting. Sam has gotten up, gotten dressed, and joins his wife at the comm-link. “Greetings, Uncle.” “Again, my apologies for interrupting you.”, Spock repeats. “You have news?”, Pat asks, “Happy news, I hope?” Spock gives her slight smile. “Yes. I am calling to invite you both to Vulcan. I am hosting … what was it you called it, Patricia-kam? A family reunion.” Pat is delighted. “I would LOVE to! Sam, think of it! A family reunion! You found her, Uncle!?” Spock’s eyes are dancing. “Yes, and she is coming to Vulcan to meet me and learn of her ancestral planet. I believe that she would be pleased to meet one of her descendants … plus our other family members.” “Uncle, I’m there!”, Pat exclaims, “With bells on!” Spock tilts his head. “It would be interesting to see how you would outfit a spacecraft with bells.” “I could find a way, Uncle!”, Pat laughs. “I have no doubt that you will.”, the Elder Vulcan answers with a twinkle in his eyes. “I will see you when you arrive. Spock out.” His image fades from the screen as Sam looks at his wife quizzically. “With bells on? What does that phrase mean, my wife?” “In the ancient of days, on Earth,”, Pat answers, “before the horseless carriage was invented, most of travel was done with horses. When anyone wanted to arrive in style, in those days, the horses would be decked out with the fanciest harnesses, which were often decorated with bells.” “Intriguing!”, Sam replies, “Then we should plan on arriving … with bells on!” Pat starts laughing. “Today, it’s just a figure of speech, K’Diwa … but it’s fun to say it anyway!” Sam smiles at his wife, then scoops her up in his arms. “Let’s get back to this ancient custom of … bundling … my wife!” They head back to bed.

Pat contacts Admiral Akaar to submit the request for both her, and her husband, to visit his home-world of Vulcan. When the Admiral learns of the family reunion with Ambassador Spock’s long-lost daughter, he approves the request. She is in the midst of planning, and packing, for their trip when Sam enters the room. “How about we make this our second honeymoon?”, he suggests, “We can explore those caves where I played as a child.” Pat grins at him. “And we can do our own playing around within one of them! Be sure to bring that fur blanket! We’re going to need it to give us something soft to play on!” “You are insatiable, my wife!”, Sam says teasingly as he kisses her. “Hey, K’Diwa”, she whispers back, “you are an EXCELLENT lover! I can’t get enough of you!” He grins at his wife as they resume packing. He pauses and brings out a parcel. “K’Diwa, remember that conversation we had about the phrase, ‘with bells on’?” She looks at him quizzically. “Yes?” He hands her the parcel, she looks inside and starts laughing. “PERFECT!”

Spock is waiting at the shuttlecraft landing port. At his side is an elderly woman. She is comfortably dressed for the Vulcan climate with a shawl draped loosely over her head to protect her hair from the dust and wind. The shuttlecraft lands nearby and the hatch opens, revealing Sam. Spock gives him the Vulcan salute. “Live long and prosper, Samok-kam.” Sam returns the salute, “Peace and long life, Spock-kam.” Sam steps out of the shuttlecraft door, turns, and holds out his hand. “I would like to present my wife, Patricia Amanda, who celebrates her diverse ancestry today.” Pat steps out of the shuttlecraft, wearing a Native American Bell Dress and Spock is unable to keep a straight face, momentarily flashing a grin. He struggles to regain his composure with dancing eyes while Pat grins back at him. “Told you I’d be here with bells on!” The elderly woman, standing beside Spock, begins laughing with delight. When Spock is able to regain his voice, he indicates the woman by his side, “Samok-kam, Patricia-kam, I wish to introduce you to Amanda Kalomi … my daughter.” Pat approaches her. “May I be permitted to hug you?” “Of course, my child!”, the elderly lady responds, “My mother often hugged me, may she rest in peace.” The two women hug each other, then Amanda looks at Pat, holding her face in her hands. “From what my father tells me, you are my Great-granddaughter. Please accept my sincere apologies for the actions of my granddaughter. She was not raised to behave in such a manner!” Pat kisses her cheek. “Gramma, you have nothing to apologize for. No one can control another … not completely. She was responsible for her own actions. Just for today, we have each other … as a family.” She looks around. “Where’s Gramps?” “He’s back at my home … cooking. He insisted that we must have a proper feast to celebrate.” “That’s Gramps!”, Pat laughs, “Continuing the McCoy tradition!” They head over to Spock’s vehicle.

Back at the house, Leonard is busy stirring and tasting. Pat enters the kitchen and breathes deep, savoring the aromas. “Gramps, that smells DELICIOUS!” The old doctor turns around and is startled to see the Bell Dress that she is wearing. Before he can say a word, she interjects, “I told Uncle Spock I would be here with bells on, and I meant it!” Gramps throws back his head and roars with laughter.

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