TESTAMENT: A STAR TREK FAN-FICTION SAGA – CHAPTER 10
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.
The fever struck suddenly in the night. Sparn awakened on the floor of the tent, breathless and confused. He felt smothered by the blanket covering him and tossed it aside. The sense of panic grew.
Spock! Where was Spock?
Peering into the darkness, he found Spock lying nearby, sound asleep. The panic began to subside. After so many hostile years, he now felt only a great fondness for his nephew. It was so good to see Spock resting that he was reluctant to disturb him. And, if the truth be known, he was ashamed.
He waited an hour, shivering with fever chills in the dark. Then at last he rose, touched Spock on the shoulder, and spoke his name very softly so as not to disturb the other men sleeping in the tent. Spock woke instantly.
“Come,” Sparn whispered.
Spock responded without question. They slipped on their sand boots and stepped outside. T’Khut had risen in full phase, casting her orange glow over the night. Even before Sparn could bring himself to speak, his appearance betrayed him.
“You look ill,” Spock said with concern.
Sparn’s embarrassment intensified. Sighing, he shook his head. “No, Spock. Not ill. But few men of my age…” His voice trailed off. He could see by Spock’s expression that he understood and was dealing with some embarrassment of his own.
At last Spock said, “This…presents somewhat of a problem. Does it not?”
An understatement. T’Prinka was gone. Even if she agreed to accommodate him, it would not be the gentle reunion Sparn wished for them. Pon farr was savage in its demands. Hopefully he said, “Perhaps it will subside.”
“That is a possibility,” Spock agreed. Then he added, “Perhaps Yanash can be of some assistance…”
Sparn did not want to be seen by anyone in his present state. He felt betrayed by his body—dirty and degraded. “No, Spock. Not yet. For now, if you will just watch over me?”
At dawn the other men awakened and left the tent. By mid-morning, Sparn was pacing the cramped area like a nervous animal. He did not know how much longer he could resist the burning of his Vulcan blood. He no longer had the strength of youth. What would happen when his control gave way?
Humiliated, he turned to the corner where his nephew was faithfully keeping vigil and said, “Get Yanash.”
Spock left at once. Alone, Sparn forced himself to lie down, but the demands of his body soon had him thrashing from side to side. Madness lurked in the corners of his mind. He closed his eyes tightly against it.
There was sound, movement. A gentle touch on his arm roused him. Yanash crouched at his side.
Desperate, Sparn reached out with trembling hands. “Master—help me!”
Yanash glanced up at Spock, who was standing close beside them. “Bring water.”
Spock filled a cup from a container inside the tent and handed it to Yanash.
Holding the cup with both hands, Yanash raised his eyes upward and said, “Father, you are the Source of all good things. In your mercy bless this cup and bring relief to he who drinks it. Release Sparn from the bondage of his blood.”
Yanash held the cup to Sparn’s lips, and he drank. With each swallow he could feel the fire inside him cooling. Then the cup was empty, the flames quenched. Astounded, Sparn sat up…and found himself surrounded by the inner circle of disciples. The men stared, open-mouthed, as if disbelieving the evidence of their own eyes.
Sparn did not presume to understand what had been done to him; he knew only that he believed. Casting aside all dignity, he bowed low at Yanash’s feet and begged, “Shiav, give us this water always.”
Yanash’s eyes moved from one disciple to another as he said, “I am the living water. Anyone who drinks of me will have life that is eternal. And the water that I give for you is my own blood.”
Silence descended over the tent.
Spock was the first to speak. “Fascinating. A very similar statement is found in the Christian scriptures held sacred by many humans.”
Yanash looked steadily at him, but did not say anything.
Spock cocked his head. “Sir, when you say you ‘give your blood’, do you mean that…literally?”
Yanash said, “I will go the way that has been appointed to me.”
Sparn saw his own confusion and dismay reflected on the faces of the other disciples.
Sorel turned abruptly to Spock. “I know the scriptures of which you speak. Such a thing cannot happen here. There is no death penalty on Vulcan. Even if Yanash were to be arrested…”
“Arrested!” another scoffed. “Impossible. Yanash has not violated any law. Vulcan is a civilized world….”
Sparn rose. “A world whose leaders are growing uneasy. Historically, when those in power feel threatened…”
“Feel?” Repeated Sorel. “Sparn, we are not humans here. Vulcan is ruled by reason, by logic…”
“It is good to hear you speak of logic,” Spock interjected wryly. “I thought perhaps you had forgotten how.”
The discussion continued for some time before Sparn realized that Yanash was no longer among them.
Spock had settled upon the main weakness in Yanash’s organization—clearly, it was his closest followers, those whom he had begun to call his “Chosen Ones”. Almost without exception they were a young, inexperienced group, given to argument and confusion.
“Strike the shepherd and the sheep will scatter.” With a sense of irony Spock transmitted the Biblical quote to his father before joining the others.
Since Sparn’s healing, the ministry of Yanash had entered a new phase. Each night he gathered his select few for some moments of extra instruction. Together with his uncle, Spock was among those who always showed up to listen. It troubled Spock that T’Naisa Brandt also came to the tent each night—so much so, that he finally took up the matter with Yanash.
It was quite late, and everyone else had left when Spock approached the Teacher. “Sir,” he said, “why do you allow T’Naisa Brandt in here with the others?”
Yanash responded sadly. “Your heart is still closed to her, but I tell you, there will come a time when you welcome T’Naisa with outstretched arms. As for now, it should not matter to you whether or not I allow her near. I include you. Is that not enough?”
Spock gave no reply. Yanash seemed to know everything. Although Spock moved freely among the disciples, he was an outsider and more—he was an informer. If Yanash knew, why did he permit him to remain?
Spock was turning to leave when Yanash touched him on the shoulder. Instinctively Spock stiffened his barriers against the Teacher’s alluring mental energy and drew away.
“Speak your mind,” Yanash urged. “This is not only about T’Naisa, is it?”
As Spock faced the enigmatic young Vulcan, his anger flared anew. “Why ask? Do you not already know the answer? You even told Sparn that my mother was about to die. I realize that I am going to sound ungrateful. After all, you restored my son to life and you relieved my uncle during his Time. Yet in my mother’s case you did nothing.”
The blue eyes held only a gentle reproach. “Nothing, Spock? Did I not send Sparn to forewarn you? Set aside your resentment and put your mind at ease. She is with God.”
Spock could scarcely contain his frustration. “’With God’? What precisely does that mean?”
“Do you not yet know?” Yanash said in response. Nothing more.
The following night, they gathered yet again.
“Yanash,” said Sorel, “you speak of love, but Surak seems to tell us that logic is greater.”
“What is logic without love?” Yanash replied. “Logic gives rise to reason, but love gives rise to compassion. And reason without compassion is dead.” His eyes briefly settled on Spock, then moved on. “There is one among you who learned this lesson among the stars. Simple feeling. Without it, our lives are barren.”
Spock knew that Yanash meant him, and perhaps T’Naisa did, too. Spock glanced her way; their eyes briefly met before she turned aside, blushing. It made him wonder if she might still be infatuated with him. The thought was disconcerting but short-lived as his attention returned to the conversation.
Yanash was speaking to Sorel. “…and since you have been with me from the beginning, leadership will fall to you when I am gone.”
“Gone?” Sorel’s cry of dismay was repeated throughout the group. “Yanash, surely you are not going to leave us!”
Solemnly Yanash said, “I have very little time left.”
Now the questions came so rapidly that they overlapped. “What do you mean? Are you going somewhere? When will you come back? Can we go with you?”
Spock looked on, intently awaiting the “Master’s” response.
Yanash called for silence and addressed them all. “Do not be afraid. I tell you now plainly, so that when it happens, your courage will not fail. Listen to me; soon I will be arrested. Many of you will also be arrested, but no harm will come to you.”
Suddenly everyone was on their feet, talking, protesting.
Once more Yanash signaled for quiet. “I have shown you the Father’s love. Trust me. Even though I die, I will not leave you.”
Voices filled the tent. “Die?” “Do you mean killed?” “But who would kill you?” “Such a thing cannot happen here.”
Yanash waited patiently for them to subside. “My work here is almost finished. When I lie down in your place, you will know that I go willingly, because I love you. I will lay down my life, and out of my body will spring a fountain of living water.”
Spock attempted to make sense of the assertion. Shortly after death, tissues began to break down and exude fluids, but a “fountain of living water”? The statement was illogical and absurd.
Yanash bid the Chosen Ones to form a circle around him. Standing aside, Spock watched the Teacher go to Sorel and gently embrace him. Slowly, silently, Yanash moved around the circle, clasping each Vulcan, meeting their embarrassment and confusion with all the calm authority of a parent.
Spock’s heart pounded as Yanash suddenly turned and approached him. Their eyes met.
“No.” The whispered word came unbidden from Spock. He did not want this strange man touching him, yet he could not seem to move away.
Yanash reached out and held him close, overwhelming Spock’s barriers with a tsunami of love. As Yanash moved on, a peculiar thought lingered in Spock’s shaken mind: Is this what it means? Is this what it means to ‘be with God’? But recovering his control, he firmly rejected the notion. Yanash’s detractors were correct. This was clearly some form of mental manipulation, and all of Vulcan was in danger from it.
Now Yanash stood in their midst and said, “Do you understand what I have done? I have told you to touch and hold your children. Now I say: embrace one another. The fact that you are telepaths does not mean that you should hold yourselves aloof behind shielded minds. As I have given you my love, so welcome others, so that all of Vulcan will see and know that your Father is a God of love.”
Without another word, Yanash turned and walked out of the tent. For an awkward moment no one moved or said anything. Then with lowered eyes Spock listened to the hushed comments begin.
“How can we do this?” “He is asking too much.” “We would be ridiculed.” “It is not dignified.” “After all, we are Vulcans.”
Never had their discord been more evident. Spock left the tent at once and called Sarek on his wrist phone. He was in the midst of a furtive conversation when T’Naisa appeared out of the dark, her eyes wide with alarm.
“Spock—what are you doing?”
He swiftly broke the connection and said, “That is no concern of yours. Stay away from me.”
But she did not leave. Instead, she gazed at him so long and hard that he turned and strode into the shadows.
Though the eve of Surak’s birth heralded a time of celebration throughout Vulcan, Sparn noticed that Yanash scarcely touched any of the special foods that were being prepared. Sparn had never seen the Master forego a meal. Often Yanash would accept invitations to dine with people they met during their travels. But today Yanash avoided not only the food, but even the crowd that had gathered to see him.
Late in the afternoon Yanash called his Chosen Ones together with Sparn and Spock, whom he always allowed near him. They boarded three skimmers lent to them for the day by locals and withdrew to a remote area of nearby Ar-Bekani Preserve. There, Yanash sat down amid the volcanic mud pots and gathered the men around him—all but Spock, who had wandered off by himself. And they waited. Why? Was Spock’s presence somehow important?
Sparn wondered if someone had carried last night’s remarks to the Master, and if Yanash had chosen this lonely place to express his disappointment in them.
There was a sound of sand boots and as Spock returned with tricorder in hand, Yanash asked him, “Have you finished with your business?”
Spock’s eyebrow climbed. “Yes,” he replied, and took his usual place beside Sparn.
Now, with everyone assembled, Yanash began to speak. “Listen to me carefully, for soon I will no longer be with you.”
“But Master-” Sorel began to object.
“Silence,” said Yanash. “Have you no faith? Open your hearts and your minds to me, and do not be troubled. You have seen the works that I have done, and through you my work will continue if only you believe in me. A great hour of darkness is coming. You will experience sorrow and confusion, but know that I will see you again. In that day you will rejoice and everything will become clear to you.”
Yanash looked at each of them in turn. “Take heed, for pride is the sin from which all evil flows, Learn humility. Do not judge one another, but bear all things with the same love that I have shown you. This is how everyone will know that you belong to me—if you value the practice of love even above logic.”
After he had spoken these words, he asked that a cup of water be brought to him. Taking the red crystal goblet into his hands, he lifted his eyes to the evening sky and said, “Father, I have completed the work that you gave me to do. Now I am praying for these men because I am returning to you, but they must remain behind. I have revealed the truth to them, that you are a loving Father. Yet there is one here who still prefers darkness over the light. Keep them all under your protection; make them united even as we are united, and preserve them from every evil.”
Raising the cup, he continued, “Loving Father, accept this life-giving gift of water and consecrate it in my name. May it sanctify all who receive it in faith.” With his gentle eyes upon them, he said, “Take, all of you, and drink. This is my blood that will be poured out for you, the cup of everlasting salvation. My Chosen Ones, do this in my memory, always.”
Solemnly the crystal cup passed from hand to hand. Then, at the bidding of Yanash, Sorel then offered the cup to Sparn. Clearly this was no ordinary water, for it left him feeling closer than ever to the Master. Very carefully he handed the cup to his nephew, hoping the “living water” would awaken Spock’s faith in the Shiav. But when Spock declined to drink, Sparn himself finished the last precious drops.
Yanash bowed his head. He covered his face with his hands and openly struggled with his emotions. Rising, he walked away and lingered alone in the shadow of a skimmer.
Sparn cast an uneasy glance at the others, and his eyes came to rest on Spock. Who among them preferred darkness over light? His nephew’s face was stony.
A heavy silence stretched until the first stars appeared in the sky. Suddenly Sparn became aware of a faint hum, like a distant swarm of insects.
The hum was growing louder when Yanash returned to them and calmly said, “It is time. Be in peace, my children.”
Military transports lifted over the ridge and descended upon them in a stinging whirl of sand. Shielding his eyes, Sparn struggled to his feet. The noise subsided. The sand had barely begun to settle when hatches hissed open, releasing a flood of armed Vulcan police. In an instant they had everyone surrounded and locked into energy cuffs.
“What is the meaning of this?” Sparn demanded. “We have not violated any laws.”
A police officer grasped him by the neck and held a scanner up to his eyes. He checked the reading and said, “Here is one of them.”
The same officer scanned Spock and said, “This is the other.”
“The other?” repeated Sparn. “For what crime are we being arrested?”
Every member of the group had gone under the scanner. Yanash was taken aboard one transport, and his followers herded toward another.
An officer returned to Sparn and uncuffing him, said, “You are not under arrest.” Then he released Spock as well.
The transports roared into the sky, dipped over the ridge, and disappeared. When the air cleared, Sparn and Spock stood alone upon the sand.
For a moment Sparn was too shaken to speak. Then finding his voice, he said, “This is an outrage!”
He looked at his nephew. Darkness was gathering, but for now he could clearly see the distant look in Spock’s eyes.
“Why were we not taken?” Sparn asked.
Spock gave no reply.