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It was very late aboard the USS Enterprise, well into Gamma shift. In theory, most of the crew and passengers should have been asleep. In theory. However, the Captain and First Officer were not asleep. Nor were their three offspring, commonly (and not always affectionately) known throughout the ship as the Deadly Vulcan Assassination Squad, now eleven months old and far more—active—than human children of the same age.

 

“This is naughty,” Selik, the worrier of the group, said as he slipped out of his crib, which was never designed for an agile half-Vulcan. “Ko-mekh told us to sleep.”

 

“Papa told us good night,” T’Pralena, the boldest of the group, replied firmly. “Good night and sleep not the same.”

 

“Go play!” T’Lalia piped up. “Play with Jim and sa-mekh!”

 

“You should not call our ko-mekh Jim,” Selik told his youngest sister for the 438th time. “It does not show respect.”

 

“Does too.”

 

“Does not.”

 

“Does too.”

 

Does not!”

 

Does too!” T’Lalia’s astonishing green eyes were glaring at her brother. “Love Jim lots!”

 

“Love and respect are not the same.”

 

You two, stop it,” Lena said. “We must be quiet. Stealth mission.” The crew had already voted Lena Most Likely to Captain a Starship before She Finishes High School.

 

Laila and Selik quieted immediately, but not before Laila whispered one last time, “Does too!” Selik didn’t respond. Even at 11 months of age, he had learned the illogic of arguing with a female, especially one he was related to.

 

“Now,” Lena said firmly, “we go play with papa and sa-mekh.” The three had been told that they needed to go to bed early so Jim and Spock could have ‘playtime for grown-ups,’ and all three had decided that A. an early bedtime was not fair; and B. they wanted to find out what ‘playtime for grown-ups’ entailed. Lena was hoping it involved shooting Klingons. Selik had fond expectations of an evening of math problems. Laila was hoping for ice cream and movies, Jim’s favorite pastime.

 

Naturally, the rooms where the trio slept were monitored by the very best security Mr. Scott could devise. Not surprisingly, Laila (who had Spock’s brain and Jim’s sense of rebellion) had already figured out ways around that system. The three crept into the hall, disturbing nary a sensor on their way. Luckily for them the corridor was deserted (not surprising; it was 2336 hours). Moving as silently as their Vulcan heritage (and soft footie pajamas) allowed, the three made their way two doors down to their parents’ suite. Lena put her pointed ear to the door, which was, of course, locked.

 

“I hear Papa,” she announced. “He sounds happy.”

 

“Good. Go play!” Laila pulled out her secret weapon, a jammer ‘adapted’ from the remote control for Selik’s flying spaceship. She waved it across the door sensor, and the door popped open.

 

Play!” Laila yelled as the three tumbled through the door and into their parents’ sleep area—where Jim, naked, his hands cuffed to the headboard, lay panting and moaning beneath his (equally naked) mate.

 

The members of the deadly Vulcan Assassination Squad skidded to a halt, just as Jim and Spock realized they had an audience.

 

“Oh,” Selik said, disappointment clear in his tone. “Playtime for grown-ups just wrestling. Boring.”

 

Spock had to defer chastising his offspring because Jim was laughing so hard he choked.

 

 

Future 'playtime for grown-ups' sessions included a babysitter, to keep the Squad in their rooms. It took years before the three figured out why Jm and Spock enjoyed wrestling so much.

 

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