TESTAMENT: A STAR TREK FAN-FICTION SAGA – CHAPTER 8
By M. C. Pehrson
Word Count: 58,880 (total)
Rating: PG-13 for disturbing imagery reminiscent of Jesus’ Crucifixion
Summary: When a Christ-like Savior comes to the planet Vulcan, Spock and his uncle Sparn must decide how to react, and how these unfolding events might affect Spock’s complex and often troubled family life.
A torrid gale roared across the desert, scouring Sparn and his nephew as they trudged toward the encampment where Yanash was last seen.
“It may be,” Sparn confessed from the depths of his hood, “that I have been guilty of presumption. Yanash called you here because of your mother. He said nothing to me about your son.”
Beside him, Spock struggled on in silence. The wind was so strong. Perhaps he had not even heard.
Sparn raised his voice. “Circumstances have aligned against us! First, the Council’s ruling and Sarek’s refusal to intervene! Now these sandstorms are making it impossible to communicate with Yanash! I do not like the look of this, Spock! It is getting darker! The wind is still rising! If we do not find the encampment soon….!”
Something grasped his arm. He turned and found that Spock’s hooded figure had stopped. Through squinted eyes he watched his nephew consult a sensor device, saw how the sand made the readings break up.
“Are we lost?” Sparn asked him.
“This way!” Spock shouted, and turned directly into the teeth of the S’tradeh Veh storm.
They both knew what had to be done. Spock hunched against the shredding gale and started to move. Sparn gripped the waist strap of Spock’s robe and followed in the relative shelter of his nephew’s body. Three times they switched position. It was becoming more and more difficult to breathe. Repeatedly the wind drove them to their knees. Razor-like particles of sand sliced through their clothes and drew blood from every inch of exposed skin.
Nearing exhaustion, Sparn dropped to the ground gasping for a breath of fresh air. Sand grated in his throat. Spock sank down behind him, coughing.
Is this how they would end? Choked and blinded, their flesh peeled away, their bones sucked dry by the desert heat?
Sparn’s mind refused to accept it. “Yanash,” he gasped. Then with the last of his strength, “Yanash! Yanash, save us!”
Though he was deep in his hood, eyes closed tight, somehow a light reached him. He looked up. A figure was moving toward them, unhooded, walking easily in the storm. Sparn’s heart leaped inside him and he stammered, “Spock—look—it is him!”
Yanash stopped before them and raised a hand, as if to restrain the wind.
“Quiet!” he commanded.
And immediately the storm ceased.
Spock thought, Impossible! Incomprehensible! In defiance of all physical law! Yet with his own eyes he had seen it—eyes that should have been scoured to instant blindness by the grinding action of the sand. Now, in the ensuing stillness, time seemed to slow.
Filthy and bleeding, he struggled to his feet beside Sparn. Sand sifted from his shredded clothing, yet the young man who stood before him was unmarked by the storm.
Yanash’s kind blue eyes were serene and his voice pleasingly melodic as he said, “You are safe now.”
Spock swallowed against the grit in his throat. “My son is…” he began, but a fit of coughing seized him.
Sparn quickly explained. “Teacher, Spock’s son is very ill. Because of a High Council ruling, the boy must remain aboard ship, in orbit.”
Yanash turned his attention back on Spock. “What do you want me to do?”
Spock did not waste a moment to consult logic. “Please sir, if it is at all possible—heal him.”
Yanash’s eyes warmed even more as he smiled and said, “Take me to him.”
Spock was already drawing out the communicator. Now that the storm had dissipated, the ship came in clearly.
“Liberty here,” spoke the pilot.
“Yanash will see James,” Spock reported. “Three to beam up, on my signal.”
There was a long, frustrating silence.
“Do you read me?” Spock asked.
A sigh filtered through the communicator. The pilot spoke haltingly. “Sir, I’m afraid…it’s too late. Your son’s…gone.”
Spock tightened his hold on the communicator. “…Gone?”
“Dead, sir. I’m sorry.”
Spock’s mind reeled. His arm dropped to his side. All the hope that had sustained him drained to emptiness, and he turned from the others.
As if from a great distance he heard Yanash say again, “Take me to him.”
Spock did not react. Sparn pried the communicator from his hand and gave the command. Spock found himself beamed aboard Liberty. Sparn guided him and Yanash to the bed where James’ body glowed under a stasis field.
Spock heard the sound of his wife weeping, felt the sting of her grief mingling with his own, but he could not tear his eyes from the sight of his lifeless son.
Yanash bent over the body. “Turn off the field,” he said.
When no one moved, Yanash worked the control himself. Then he reached down and gently touched James’ hand. Softly, as if rousing the boy from a nap, he said, “Wake up, child.”
The dead eyelids seemed to twitch. Color flowed into the gray little face. Sensors jumped crazily on the readout panel above the bed.
“Oh my God,” Lauren said. Tears forgotten, she rushed over and grasped the pulse point on James’ wrist.
Utterly astonished, Spock watched James opened his eyes, smile, and sit up. It was so far beyond all reason that his mind struggled to process the impossible images.
Yanash turned to the adults and cautioned, “Tell no one what I have done.”
Spock cleared his throat. “These are no Vulcan powers. Who are you?”
The gentle eyes of Yanash found him. “Don’t you already know who I am?”
“No,” Spock insisted. Abruptly leaving, he escaped to his cabin where he showered and put on fresh clothes. He was reclining on the bed when Lauren came in, eyes shining with joy, a protoplaser in one hand.
She sat down beside him and said, “I wondered where you went. You must be worn out.” The protoplaser hummed as she happily set to work on the skin blasted raw by the sandstorm. “Jamie’s stuffing himself with food. He’s cured, Spock, completely free of disease for the first time in his life! That man brought him back from the dead, thanks to you.”
Spock shook his head. “I did nothing.”
“Lie still,” Lauren ordered. The plaser began to sooth an area along his jaw. “What do you mean, you did nothing? You and your uncle risked your lives down there.”
Spock thought about Yanash awakening the dead with a simple gesture, a mere word. A young life restored, a S’tradeh Veh quieted. But now there was a new storm raging—a storm of apprehension sweeping Spock’s mind. He found himself in full agreement with his father’s grave concern and the heavy-handed measures of the venerable High Council. Ever larger crowds of people were flocking to observe the wonders of Yanash and hear his revolutionary teachings. Were 2000 years of Vulcan reason coming to an end?
Quietly he admitted, “I fear for this world.”
Lauren’s hand went still and her eyes widened. “Because of Yanash?”
“The man is dangerous. He is no Vulcan—not as we define it—yet multitudes blindly follow him, setting aside the wisdom of generations, turning from their own culture.”
“Spock. He just gave our son back to us. It’s a miracle.”
He could not share her simplistic view. “The term ‘miracle’ is simply a synonym for the total absence of explanation. Science must invoke only natural causes and reference only natural law when formulating explanations.”
“But isn’t that denying a whole range of explanation? James was just raised from the dead by a religious leader, and you can still say there’s no God?”
“Lauren, I remind you that no scientific theory can compel belief in a religious tenet. Theories that look implausible today might look more plausible tomorrow in the light of new discoveries.” And he asked, “Where is Yanash now?”
She sighed. “Back on the surface with Sparn.”
Sitting up, he said, “Then I must join them. But first there is something I have to do.”
As Spock’s son James had been born a citizen of Vulcan, there was no great difficulty beaming him down to Space Central to have his condition re-evaluated. The healers in charge of medical clearance scanned the boy three times and conferred for nearly an hour before approving his release into the population.
Together with his son, Spock returned to ShiKahr. James had never seen the land of his Vulcan forebears. Exalting in his new-found health, he skipped and jumped and bounced beside Spock as they passed through the warm, lamp-lit streets. Spock watched the boy and pondered. It was difficult to believe that someone so full of life had been dead only hours ago.
When they arrived at Ambassador Sarek’s home, James quieted and reached for his father’s hand. An attendant welcomed them and led the way to the master bedroom, as if Spock did not know it well. There on her pillows Amanda lay waiting, thin and pallid in the light of a bedside lamp.
“Gramma!” cried James. He rushed over to the bed, climbed on, and kissed her with a human exuberance that belied his Vulcanoid appearance.
“James, you look wonderful!” Amanda said, eyes sparkling. She turned to Spock. “Sarek said you were searching for Yanash. He did this, didn’t he?”
“Yes,” Spock admitted.
Amanda’s smile broadened as she studied her grandson. “It’s a miracle.”
There was that word again. The scientist in Spock—and the Vulcan—inwardly flinched. Judging by his mother’s manner, she was fast becoming a devotee of the renegade. Levelly he said, “I want Father to see James. I would like his opinion on the matter.”
Her smile faded. “When I told your father that James was healed, that you were bringing him, he made it a point to be elsewhere. Believe me, it’s just as well. I’ve never seen him so…” She stopped and her expression grew pained. “He’s deeply troubled.”
Spock felt a twisting in his heart. If in fact she was dying, it should be in peace, not torn by family discord. A saying of Yanash rose, unbidden, from the store of memories Spock had shared in Sparn’s mind. “This life is one of trials. You must never value peace above truth. Listen, my coming will drive a wedge between father and son, mother and daughter. My name will be the downfall of many a clan, but those who remain faithful to the truth will be rewarded.”
Faithful to the truth. As a scientist, Spock’s entire life had been devoted to the truth. Clan Talek-sen-deen must not fall. With a feeling of urgency, he lifted his son from the bed and set him on his feet.
“James,” he told the boy, “I need to speak privately to your grandmother. Ask the attendant to take you into the garden. There are blossoms there that glow in the dark.”
James left and closed the door behind him.
Spock turned to the fragile figure on the bed. “Mother…since boyhood I have sought the truth in all things. I feel that I must learn more about this Yanash, so for now I intend to join his followers…as an investigator only. Tell Sarek that I share his concerns and will keep him apprised of my findings.”
Amanda’s eyes filled with tears. She held out her hand to him and he grasped it, papery thin skin and bones.
“I’m so glad you’re staying on Vulcan,” she said softly, and squeezed his fingers. “Keep an open mind. Yanash is not like your brother Sybok, you’ll see. Everything he does is good. I’d be out there myself, if I were stronger. God be with you. Go…”
God be with you. She knew he did not believe in a deity, yet once before she had said that to him—at age 19, when in defiance of his father’s wishes, he left for Starfleet Academy. Now, bending low, Spock touched his mother’s cheek and for the first time since earliest childhood found the strength to defy Vulcan custom and tell her, “I love you.”