TESTAMENT: A STAR TREK FAN-FICTION SAGA – CHAPTER 11
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 hour was unusually late in ShanaiKahr, where an emergency session of Vulcan’s High Council was brought to order behind locked doors. From their lofty dais the Council of Ten, chaired by the ancient T’Gora, gazed down upon the seats where the High Priestess T’Lar and Marek the Grand Master of Kolinahr waited with their companions.
T’Gora inconspicuously signaled to an attendant, who struck a ceremonial gong. Then opening the session, she announced, “We are gathered here to consider a matter of grave importance. The decision rendered here tonight will affect all of Vulcan. This past year we have witnessed a dangerous erosion of our culture resulting from the revolutionary teachings of T’rel N’hor Yanash. We have all agreed that it cannot be allowed to continue. T’rel N’hor Yanash has been taken into custody. Now this is the question before us: what is to be done with him?”
She nodded at the red-robed bailiff standing to one side of the dais. A door opened. A pair of armed Council guards escorted the handcuffed prisoner to the center of the chamber, then took up station beside the bailiff.
Yanash faced the Council. Although his clothes were dusty, his hair uncombed, he projected a calm majesty that his accusers found disturbing.
The gaze leveled upon him by T’Gora was scathing. “The prisoner will identify himself,” she commanded.
“I am T’rel N’hor Yanash,” he replied, “son of Norek, son of Tarel.”
“Do you consider yourself a son of Surak?”
“I am,” Yanash said.
“Surak’s teachings promote orderly conduct, yet you have created disorder among the populace. Do you deny it?”
Yanash answered, “Surak’s teachings are intended to promote truth. That is also my intention.”
T’Gora’s hooded eyes studied him. “What is this ‘truth’ you teach?”
“That our God is a God of love.”
“God?” said a kolinahru.
Yanash turned toward him.
The kolinahru continued coldly, “That which you call ‘God’ cannot be proven to exist, but we do know that love is an emotion. Surak teaches that logic is superior to emotion. Therefore your teaching of love is flawed and inferior. By your own admission you are guilty of promoting an erroneous doctrine.”
Yanash was silent.
A priest of Seleya spoke. “There have been reports that you heal with only a touch and even restore life to the dead. Is it true?”
“Ask those who have witnessed it,” Yanash responded.
The priest quietly consulted with his companions before saying, “If you do not deny these acts, then tell us this. By what power do you heal and restore life?”
“The power of healing and life belong to God alone,” replied Yanash.
“Then logic dictates that no Vulcan can hold such power. Your statements are conflicting and illogical. You must stop deluding the public immediately and make a formal confession of error.”
Yanash’s composure was unshaken. “It is you who are deluded. If you release me, I will continue to speak the truth.”
“What do you know of truth? You are undereducated, your mind untrained, your behavior undisciplined.”
The High Priestess T’Lar spoke. “A probe would reveal the state of his mind. Yanash, would you submit to a mind probe?”
“Though I would not advise it,” Yanash said, “you may do as you please.”
The Council conferred in low tones and concluded that such a probe would be useful. T’Lar petitioned the Grand Master of Kolinahr. With a courtly nod, Marek left his seat and approached Yanash. For a moment they stood eye to eye, then slowly Marek raised an arm and reached out. His long fingers settled on the prisoner’s face. For a moment Marek’s expression grew distant…
Then he screamed.
The guards rushed forward, stopping short as Marek collapsed at their feet, his face contorted with some nameless agony.
Yanash gazed sadly upon the suffering kolinahru and said, “His mind has been blinded by the light, but he will recover.”
From all sides the Vulcans stared at Yanash, and many of their faces were quite pale.
T’Gora of the High Council spoke in a taut voice. “We have seen enough. Remove the prisoner. Help the Grand Master to the healer’s chamber.”
After Yanash and Marek were taken away, she dismissed the guards and bailiff. A heavy silence hung over the gathering.
At last, very quietly, T’Gora said, “On Vulcan there is no mind greater than Marek’s, yet we all saw the damage inflicted upon him. The law is clear in such cases. The criminal must be censured and permanently exiled from Vulcan.”
“If he were sent into exile,” noted a fellow Councilman, “there is a high probability that a great many Vulcans would follow.”
“I agree,” said another from the dais. “We could be faced with a schism as damaging as the Romulan departure.”
“Incarceration is an alternative,” came the response, “but as you say, this one’s following is large and loyal. If we keep him imprisoned, they may rise up in revolt and free him.”
“A revolution…” T’Gora voiced the one concern uppermost in everyone’s minds. It was for this reason they had come together, secretly, at such an unusual hour.
In the deep of the night they felt their hold on their power slipping.
At last the old priestess T’Lar said, “There is only one solution. Yanash must die.”
Heads turned, eyebrows rose in consternation.
T’Gora remarked from the dais, “I remind you that Vulcan has no capital punishment.”
“Modern Vulcan,” agreed T’Lar. “But this Yanash teaches a return to many of the old ways. Therefore I say, let him perish in the old way—slowly, with much pain, so that everyone will see that his power is not without mortal limits.”
The images conjured by her words were so horrifying that no one spoke for a full minute.
Then T’Gora said, “The Henidd?”
T’Lar gave a single, sober nod.
Beside her, the priestess T’Sorr rose to her feet. “I object! It is barbaric for a Vulcan to consider torture. We are a people subject to laws. If in fact Yanash has violated any law, he is entitled by that same law to legal representation at a public trial. If he is found guilty, he must receive the sentence prescribed by law, regardless of the consequences to ourselves.”
Without looking at her, T’Lar coldly said, “It is Vulcan that will suffer the consequences; it is Vulcan we must preserve. Although I, too, regret the need for such tactics, there is a surprisingly logical human axiom that applies well to our current situation. ‘The end justifies the means’.”
“Have we become humans?” T’Sorr asked, and then sank into her seat.
The discussion continued. Shortly after midnight T’Gora received the healer’s report on the Grand Master’s condition. Grimly she announced, “Marek’s mind is destroyed. That alone is sufficient to convict Yanash. Whatever its source, his power is clearly treacherous. For the good of Vulcan, he cannot be permitted to live.”
After polling the priests of Seleya and the kolinahru masters for their opinions, the High Council delivered its legal decision. Since every member of that esteemed body concurred with T’Lar, there remained only to settle a few delicate matters of procedure. Then the prisoner was returned to the chamber.
T’Gora regarded Yanash through narrowed lids. “T’rel N’hor Yanash, you have been found guilty of destroying Master Marek’s mind, of perverting the teachings of Surak, and promoting disorder among the populace. It is the decision of this Council that you be sent immediately to Mount Seleya, and there suffer a death fitting for your crimes.”
Yanash received the sentence with equanimity.
Once more the priestess T’Sorr rose up. “I protest!”
As her words rang through the chamber, Yanash turned around and met T’Sorr’s eyes. Then the guards converged on him and he was removed to the Council transporter.
Spock piloted a skimmer through the night while his uncle sat quietly at his side. Sparn had been outraged at the guerilla-like seizure at Ar-Bekani and the humiliation at having been passed over. Though Spock had tried for hours to dissuade him, Sparn insisted they travel to ShanaiKahr in the hope that the others had been taken to the capital.
Reaching for the dash, Sparn tuned in a news channel. A bulletin announced Yanash’s arrest and went on to detail his crimes. “A conviction came swiftly,” said the reporter. “Due to the gravity of the charges, the High Council of Elders has invoked an ancient penalty. The self-proclaimed teacher and healer has been carried off to Mount Seleya for execution.”
Spock’s fingers clenched the controls and his heart froze.
“Execution!” Sparn exclaimed. “The report must be in error. In any case, no trial could proceed so quickly.”
“Surely not,” Spock faintly agreed.
“He tried to tell us that he was going to die. God help us—this cannot be happening. Yanash will not allow it. But change course, Spock—hurry! We must go to Seleya!”
Spock did not bother to point out the contradiction in his uncle’s statement. Just now his own thoughts were something less than logical. Again and again they returned to Yanash’s strange warning. When I lie down in your place…when I lie down…
Spock was aware of only one ancient penalty of death that involved a prone position. Dread knotted his stomach and for a moment he thought he would be ill. Turning toward Mount Seleya, he pressed the skimmer for more speed.