Spock, Amanda and Peter materialized and without the five men, Spock noticed. He put Peter down and glanced quickly around the room and then looked closely at his mother and Peter. Amanda appeared calm and serene as always; Peter looked bewildered and frightened.
Spock put his finger to his lips to indicate silence. He carefully walked around noting every detail of their prison. It was a large room, with white walls, very high ceilings, no door, and three small, very high windows not large enough for an adult to get through or even a small child. He saw a monitoring camera mounted on a corner wall and a communication unit below it. There were two smaller rooms adjoining the large one, an antiquated bathroom and a small room with two beds in it. So, thought Spock, they had not planned for Peter. The large room they were in had a table with four chairs, a side chair, a small old-fashioned wash basin, and a box with what looked like clothing in it. Everything in the rooms was strictly functional and utilitarian.
"We may speak now, mother, but it's clear we will be monitored closely. Are you both all right?"
Amanda nodded and Peter said, "Yes sir, but I'm scared."
"A logical reaction under the circumstances, Peter."
"Spock, what do you think is going on? Why were we brought here?" Amanda asked.
"I can only speculate at this point, mother, but taking into consideration why father is here in San Francisco, I think these men are Orions, and I also believe this has to do with Orion admission to the Federation Council. If my theory is correct, they will try to force father to vote as they wish by holding us hostages for his vote."
"But," Amanda protested, "your father…."
"Mother," Spock interrupted, "under these circumstances we do not know what father will do." He looked at her warningly.
Amanda subsided. Spock was right. It was better not to discuss Sarek or his Council vote decision now. Amanda knew that Sarek's position as Vulcan's Ambassador would permit no negotiations with terrorists, but it was obvious that either these men didn't know it, or they felt that they could still force Sarek to do what they wanted.
With a click, the holo viewer and the comm-unit came on at the same time. Spock saw the five Orions sitting at a table still dressed in black and with their faces still covered.
One of them, the leader, Spock assumed, spoke. "Mr. Spock. We hope you will be comfortable in these surroundings while we wait for the Council vote. You were all brought here for one reason only. We are well aware of the Ambassador's reputation for ruthless logic in all Federation Council voting questions. He scrupulously weighs all facts and evidence before arriving at a decision. We are merely adding to the weight of his logic to tip the scales in our favor on the question of Orion's admission to the Federation Council." It was the same harsh voice Spock had heard at the party. ""If Ambassador Sarek votes against admission, we will release you mmediately after the vote. If he votes for admission, you will all die here. This fact will be communicated to the Ambassador shortly."
"Meanwhile," he continued. "Is there anything you need? We wish your stay to be a comfortable one for the six days you will be with us."
Spock looked around and deliberated quickly. "It is clear that you did not prepare for the child so we will need another bed or a cot. Also, something for the boy to do, a reader perhaps, some games, a chess set. The child will need proper food and drink, fruit juice and milk preferably, and if possible, some exercise at least once daily. There is also a need for more clothing for him."
The Orion leader nodded. "Your requests are reasonable and we will see to them. It is true we did not expect an added guest, so you will find us somewhat unprepared. However, you can be certain that for the six days you are here, you will be well treated. We are warriors, we are not barbarians. If the vote is in our favor, we want the Ambassador to know that we kept our word. It is possible that you do not know this, but the Ancient Orion Warrior code, while harsh is not primitive. Once a warrior gives his word, only death can release him from his vow. We will confer about your requests." As suddenly as it had come on, the screen went dark.
"Well," said Amanda, "that appears to be that, for a little while at least." She glanced down at the little boy. "Peter dear, you must get some sleep; it's very late and way past your bed time. Let's go in the other room and you can lie down on one of the beds." She took the child's hand and led him to the bed that was in the corner of the room.
Peter looked at her, his hazel eyes wide and appealing. Not for worlds would he confess just how frightened he really was, but Amanda looking at the small pale face, understood. She said softly, "don't worry, Peter, I'll stay right here with you until you fall asleep. It's been a very tiring evening and I'm sure I'll sleep too."
Peter lay down without protest and Amanda sat on the edge of the bed still holding his hand. Peter's eyes closed and his breathing deepened into sleep almost immediately. She sat very still until she was sure Peter slept soundly, then she gently disengaged her hand and went back to Spock and sat down by his side at the table.
Spock observed her closely, noting the dark shadows under her eyes. "Mother, you must rest also," he told her. "I will keep watch over you and the boy while you sleep. Father would be most displeased with me if I allowed you to become ill."
Amanda smiled at Spock's description of Sarek's reaction. "What time is it Spock?"
Spock consulted his time sense. "It is 0333 hours. Please mother, sleep now, at least for a few hours. We must rest and stay alert for any eventualities that may arise."
"All right, Spock. I'll sleep for a little while." She went to the other room and stripped off her outer wear. She tossed the lilac dress to the corner of the room with distaste. Even if they got out of this, she would never wear it again. Clad only in her chemise, she lay down. She thought of Sarek and how in spite of all his Vulcan discipline, he would be desperately worried. She knew that this would be bad for him and she hoped Dr. McCoy would check his heart. She reached out to him through the marriage bond they had shared for so many years, and projected reassurance. She hoped it would allay his worry and that he would share that reassurance with Captain Kirk. The captain must be frantic about Peter. Still restless, she closed her eyes and began a Vulcan sleep meditation routine. She hoped it would work and sleep would follow.
Spock sat at the table thinking. There was supposed to be a way out of any box or so Jim always said, and he proposed to find a way out of this one. Tomorrow, no, later today, he corrected himself, he would exam every inch of this box. He allowed his thoughts to dwell on his father and his captain. Both would be frantic with worry. Jim openly so, Sarek logically so. Jim would know that he would take care of Peter to the best of his ability and his father would know that too about Amanda. But Spock remembered many occasions when he had to sit and wait while Jim was on some dangerous mission. No amount of logic or mediation had ever been able to calm his anxiety on those occasions, and he knew that it would be the same for Jim and Sarek now.
Suddenly his Vulcan hearing caught the sound of a faint whimper…Peter. Quietly, so as not to waken his mother, he made his way to the child's bed. Peter whimpered again. Spock sat on the side of the bed and took the little boy's hand in his own warm one. Peter stirred restlessly. "Daddy," he murmured, and held out his arms. "Had a bad dream," he mumbled, his eyes still closed. "Daddy," he murmured again. Spock leaned forward and effortlessly picked him up and sat with him on his lap. Peter snuggled, put his arms around Spock's neck, muttered something unintelligible, and breathed deeply, sound asleep again.
Spock sat very still with the unaccustomed warmth of the little boy in his arms. He gently brushed the unruly hair from the child's forehead and put his fingers to Peter's temple. His mind slipped easily into the child's dream state to remove the nightmare, a confused jumble of black hooded figures, flying creatures, and dark shadows. He projected warmth, protection, and reassurance into Peter's mind, and slipped gently out again. Peter would sleep soundly now, yet Spock felt a strange reluctance to lay him down on the bed again. It was, he thought, a good thing that Leonard McCoy could not see him now. He sat for a few minutes more with the child in his arms, then sighed and put Peter down.
He stood there in the darkness, a tall, slim figure, looking down at the child, when the sudden silvery whine of a transporter sent him to the other room to investigate. A small bed had materialized. Spock picked it up and set it down against the wall closest to his mother. Then he set his body metabolism for first level sleep; he would rest for now. In the morning he would begin to formulate a plan for escape. He closed his eyes and slept.