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Just a Little Change (Small to Say the Least)

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Once upon a time, stardate 2261.33, on a far off planet, an away team appeared, hailing from the USS Enterprise. They happened upon a shining castle, well cared for by an elderly denizen. As they explored the castle, each was moved in their own way by the beauty, kindness, and wealth of knowledge they were shown. They were given fine meals and warm beds. Every night they were entertained with stories and every day they were escorted and given every consideration. Every member of the away part was enchanted by the warm hospitality. Every member, except one.

That night they were to leave, their benefactor beseeched him to name what he wanted most, no matter how big or small, and she would see he would have it before they departed.

Unmoved by her offer, the officer declined. Their benefactor warned him if he did not attempt to understand and obtain his true desires, he would be doomed to a desolate life without meaning. He dismissed her request again.

It seemed as if the castle itself heaved a tremendous sigh and the officer became dizzy, falling to the ground and lost all sense of time. When he awoke, he found himself much changed, and his crewmates even more so. He tried to apologize, but it was too late, for she had seen that his heart had the capacity for love but had been turned to stone and his mind was brilliant yet robotic.

If he could learn to recognize his Human side and understand his one true desire and have his desire returned before the warp core depleted, then the anomaly would correct itself. If not, he and the crew were doomed forever.

As the months passed, the crew fought despair but began to lose hope, for what Vulcan could ever be taught desire?