Chapter Notes: Intimate Encounter...by Robert Scorpio
A soft breeze greeted Robert Craddock as he walked along a dirt path. The tiny trail was between two large fields that had flowers scattered across them. Craddock knew the place very well. As he made his way along the path, a butterfly flew past him, and he laughed as a feeling of melancholy came over his mind.
He watched as the lone butterfly disappeared into the field of flowers. He took a deep breath in, through his nose, and was rewarded with the sweet scent of grass and flowers, and felt at peace. But his mind was confused. He knew he should have been with the Vulcan, Spock, inside the shuttle-craft, acting as a lure to lead the approaching Romulan threat away from the Enterprise and the minefield. But now; now he was back at this place. And sure enough, as he walked further down the path, he made his way past a row of trees, and then through a clearing where a simple but modest home stood; his home, or more to the point, their home.
Robert’s parents had passed away years ago and they had left their son, Robert, and his beloved with Elizabeth, their home. It had been where Robert had been raised as a child. It was located in the back country of a small Nebraskan town called Blue Springs, which as many such towns, dotted the landscape. In the 23rd century, many people on Earth had returned to a more rural rustic setting. And while Nebraska no longer existed as a “state”, some of the small towns, like Blue Springs, did; and proudly so.
But due to the demands of being a freighter captain, and with his wife by his side, they rarely ever had a chance to get back to Earth to enjoy the old home. But they had managed to do so, just five months before her untimely death aboard the Draco. Her death had been meaningless after a run in with a new race that they had never encountered before. The new attackers were nothing more than ruthless space pirates, and while trying to take the Draco as a prize, Elizabeth was killed during the attack. Craddock grimaced and pushed the memory out of his mind just as a wisp of the breeze caressed his face. He closed his eyes and smiled, because he instantly knew he was no longer alone.
“I knew you would come here,” a voice said from behind where Robert was standing by the clearing of trees.
Robert knew the voice all to well; and why wouldn’t he? The voice belonged to that of his wife. He turned to face his wife, knowing full well that Elizabeth had died four years earlier on the bridge of the Draco; right before his eyes.
“You again,” Craddock said to the image of his wife.
“No, not exactly,” Elizabeth said, as she came over and planted her lips on his.
At first he felt repulsed. But as her lips became warmer, and as he breathed in the scent of her hair, which he knew so well, he went with it and instinctively kissed her deeply, letting his hand make their way up her back, pressing her closer to him. It had been far too long since he held a woman. He had never been with another woman since her death and the longing that all men have had been bottled up inside. But now, here she was. And even though he knew it wasn’t really his Elizabeth, he didn’t care. He lowered her down to the grass, their lips never parting, and then…they made love…as they had done in the exact same spot the last time they had come home.
Sometime later, Robert opened his eyes, and was pleased to find that it hadn’t been a dream. Elizabeth was still there next to him, on the grass, staring up at the sky.
“Why have you returned as my wife?” Robert asked. “It must be because I have failed you; the coil of spirits must have destroyed the Figurine and the amulet.”
“No, we haven’t yet destroyed them,” Elizabeth’s voice said, as she moved over on her side so as to face to face with Robert.
Robert didn’t like the meaning of her words, and then he stood up, putting on his clothes as he did.
“You’ve come to tempt me,” Robert said to yet this different version of his wife.
Elizabeth stood as well, not bothering to clothe her self as she did.
“My kind does not,” she searched for the word, “enjoy such physical pleasures. But as you and I were sharing intimacy, I could tell it had been too long since you had last done so. Your desire was strong.”
“She was my wife,” Craddock said, his voice revealing his shame, “What would you expect?”
“You have been without intimacy, in this manner, for a long time. You have no reason to feel shame. Now; imagine if that existence without companionship had lasted for fifty thousand years? That is how long we have been imprisoned in the bowels of that retched world. Now we are free; and all we want is to exist again.” She came over to him, and reaching out, took his hand into hers again. “My kind may not love in the way you do; but we do love.”
Craddock looked into her eyes. He understood the point of her words.
“Unfortunately,” Craddock said, finally, with genuine compassion in his voice, “if your power is controlled by others, it could bring destruction to many worlds. In fact, that is why you were released from your prison on Mehjah'Loh. A being, much like my self, wishes to control your power, and use it in such away.”
“We would not allow it,” Elizabeth said.
“The last time my wife’s image appeared to me,” Craddock said, “another non-corporeal being was in her place and warned me of your violent ways. Do you deny your past?”
“No,” Elizabeth said, “but we have changed. We are the last of our kind, and only wish to exist peacefully. By chance; did this other being who took the form of your wife tell you that she, your wife, is still alive but just beyond the reach of your reality?”
“What do you mean?” Craddock asked, as hope began to feel his heard.
“Her presence has always been with you, Robert,” Elizabeth said. “And when you came into possession of the figurine, her essence was brought back to a plane of existence where some wait.”
“Why are you telling me this?” Robert asked, as he fought back the urge to cry.
“Did you also know that she was with child?” Elizabeth asked. “That child was brought into existence the last time you were here.”
Robert shook his head quickly.He didn't know the fact that Elizabeth had been pregnant when she died. He didn't believe the being.
“No! You’re just telling me this nonsense so that I will give the figurine to the Romulan so that he will have both the figurine and the amulet. Once that happens, either he will control your power, or, you will possess his actions, and control the power. In either case, I will not let you manipulate me into unleashing your evil.”
“No,” Elizabeth pleaded. “The amulet is where your wife’s essence exists, as well as those of Mehjah'Loh whose blood contains our essence as well. Other out worlders exist there as well due to their own beliefs (the Klingons).Yes…let the Romulan bring both objects together. Once he has, we will move into the figurine, and then we, the coil of spirits will possess the amulet and free all those who exist within its realm, including your wife and child.”
“And what will you do once you have freed them?” Craddock asked.
“We will destroy those who imprisoned us, and then we will forever leave this realm. Why involve yourself in a war that doesn’t concern you?” Elizabeth asked. “Darling,” Elizabeth said in a tender voice, “Don’t forsake this chance for the two of us,” she placed his hand on her abdomen, “the three of us to be together.”
Craddock tried to find an answer. The being was right; he had no stake in a war between these strange beings. Elizabeth pressed her lips against his again.
“Robert,” Elizabeth said, softly, “the coil of spirits have more than a will to live…they have a need to love.”
Meanwhile, on the shuttle, Robert Craddock was staring blankly out into space. Spock knew that Craddock was in some sort of telepathic contact with either the being that appeared to him as his wife, or, quite possibly the other beings known as the coil of spirits. Spock knew that time was of the essence, as he saw the Warbird moving closer to the Enterprise.
Spock placed his fingers tips upon Robert Craddock’s head, and then the Vulcan said the familiar words.
“…our minds…are one….”