Title: Severe Thunderstorm Warning
Contact: saavaant @ yahoo . com
Rating: [Mild Content]
Summary: What in the universe inspired Spock, Saavik and the kids to travel *there*?
Disclaimer: Paramount/Viacom owns 'em. I don't, and I can't profit monetarily from writing about them.
Note: Set in the same storyline as "Mark of Hellguard," but earlier, before the birth of Penda (Saavik's youngest child).
Second Note: Inspired by the Storm Challenge. The Severe Thunderstorm Warning is pretty much the same one I've heard and seen a gazillion times every spring, growing up in MN... even the "T'Storm" part.
"There appears to be a storm coming in," said Saavik, gazing at the distant desert.
A truly distant desert indeed, since she and her family were, of all places, in Minnesota, and what Saavik was gazing at longingly was a picture of their home town.
"I see you have been listening to the announcements," said Spock.
"There is nothing like travel," was the groaned reply, "to make one realize the attributes of one's home." Saavik shifted the weight of her belly on the mattress, bringing her unborn daughter into a more comfortable position. The latter, thus pacified, diminished the protests she had been making with her remarkably strong legs and feet, and Saavik sighed in relief.
"This is a Severe Thunderstorm Warning," announced the holoscreen yet again. "During a Severe Thunderstorm, remain indoors and away from water. Turn off all electrical appliances."
"Said the electrical appliance," grumbled Sidic.
"Considering that you begged and pleaded to come here on our vacation," T'Khidai snapped at her brother, "you do not seem nearly as content as one would expect."
"I wanted to come to Minnesota because it was the Land of Ten Thousand Lakes!" Sidic retorted. "I wanted to see what someplace looked like with so much water. Nobody *told* me that we would have to spend the whole time stuck in this tiny little cabin because ninety per cent of the water would be falling from the sky, complete with lights and sound effects." He shuddered as another flash of lightning and clap of thunder transformed the heavens almost simultaneously. "And that we wouldn't even be able to watch neat old war documentaries like 'Breaking the Enigma,' because every five minutes a Severe Thunderstorm Warning would cover up half the screen."
"Well, now you know," said T'Khidai, burrowing deep into her beanbag chair and quilted comforter.
The announcement repeated itself twice, taking its time, while the scientists in the documentary were reduced to a background, with a chart of data about thunderstorms blocking everything below their waists, the volume of their voices lowered almost under the hearing threshold as they bent over the screen of their antique computer.
"T'Storm," said James.
"What?" said Sidic, rolling his eyes.
"T'Storm. On the chart, on the holovid. There is not enough room for them to show the word 'Thunderstorm,' so they write 'T'Storm.' They could have written 'T-Storm,' with a hyphen, but they wrote 'T'Storm,' with an apostrophe."
"Fascinating," said Sidic, his voice curdling with sarcasm.
"Excuse me a moment," said Saavik, laboriously getting up and leaving the room.
The Thunderstorm Warning faded, and the documentary returned, now fully visible and audible. Sidic voiced his relief with a small grunt.
"You have your show back, at least," T'Khidai reminded him. "You should be happy."
"The warning will be back in five minutes," said Sidic. "It always is."
They sat in silence for another few moments.
"Could we leave?" said James suddenly. "Could we go to Arizona instead?"
"That would require going outside," Spock pointed out, "driving all the way to the transport station, paying a fee equal to what we paid to beam here, and finding a place of lodging in Arizona that would house us on short notice."
"It would not be too difficult," Sidic opined, "to be worth it."
Saavik returned from the other room. "The facilities in this residence are acceptable," she admitted, "although I do not see why it should be necessary to have flowers painted on a toilet lid."
Spock raised an eyebrow that expressed as much as a grimace.
"There, look, I told you," muttered Sidic, pointing at the holovid. "It's back." And indeed a window of text had appeared, covering the program once again.
"You do not have to gloat," said T'Khidai. "Although it is preferable to sulking."
James, however, leaned forward, scrutinizing the vidscreen. "This is not the Severe Thunderstorm Warning," he exclaimed. "It does not say 'T'Storm'! It says, 'You have a message from...'"
"'Bantu,' Spock finished.
"What kind of a name is that?" Sidic grumbled.
"It is a screenname," said Spock, finding the controller. With a few clicks, another window appeared on the screen, this one covering the entire view of the documentary.
"Hey!" protested his son, but the protest died away as a familiar face materialized in that new window on the monitor.
"Greetings, Ms. Uhura," said Spock. "I trust you are well?"
The former communications officer's mouth twisted wryly. "It's your health I'm concerned about," she replied, eyes twinkling. "When I heard that your little crew had taken off to *Minnesota,* I just thought I'd better check in on you to make sure you were there of your own free will."
Spock raised an amused brow. "I assure you that we were not coerced here by any outside party."
"You sure?" Uhura folded her arms and looked pointedly at the three youngsters at Spock's sides. "What about temporary insanity? Were any of you under the influence of that, maybe, when you chose your vacation destination?"
And the look on Sidic's face gave everything away.
Uhura laughed delightedly. "I knew it! Friends, if you don't want to admit to having made a mistake, that's fine with me, but I've got enough communication skills to see what's right in front of me."
Then, abruptly, her voice lowered and her gaze became more earnest, though still twinkling. "And I may not be communications officer of the Enterprise any more, but I've still got plenty of strings to pull where Starfleet is concerned. Now I happen to be communicating with a starship that's on a milk run in your vicinity, a starship that's got enough transporter power to move anything from any point on the planet's surface to any other point on it. Waiting in line at the transport station might be a bit too much for you. But if you just say the word, my friends up there won't consider it the slightest bother to make sure that, twenty minutes from now, you're in... shall we say Arizona?"
Only the briefest of glances among the members of the family were necessary. "Consider us," announced Spock, "to have said the word. We will be ready in ten minutes."
"And Nyota," said Saavik, "*thank* you."
"Any time, dears. Have fun."
The children were already leaping from their seats, running to pack their bags. Spock and Saavik rose and stood for a moment by the screen, almost-smiling at each other.
"T'Storm," mused Saavik. "What do you think of that, as a name for our next child?"
The communication had not yet closed, and the screen almost flickered with the force of their rescuer's laughter.
"My dear Saavik, you've been in Minnesota too long," said Nyota Penda Uhura.
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