TESTAMENT: A STAR TREK FAN-FICTION SAGA – CHAPTER 13
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.
Up ahead, Mount Seleya loomed like a dark fortress against the stars. Spock banked the borrowed skimmer sharply and settled among the other vehicles at the base of the mountain. Today the temple would be crowded with pilgrims honoring the birth of Surak. Would there also be an execution? Driven by a sense of urgency, he shut down the engine and snapped open his door.
His uncle’s words stopped him. “Wait, Spock! Now that we are here, what will we do? We are only two men, with no authority…”
Spock scarcely hesitated. Unwilling to acknowledge the utter hopelessness of the situation, he said, “We will do all that we can.”
Then he was out the door, running. He reached the unrailed stair path carved into the mountainside and his pace hardly slowed. Leaving Sparn far behind, he recklessly skipped steps and charged past startled pilgrims until he arrived at the reception court. There he bypassed the public area and ascended a torturously steep path reserved for the Seleyan priests and their initiates. Winded, his leg muscles burning, he emerged into the private compound and came to an abrupt halt.
He took a moment to regain his composure and observe the activity in the lighted courtyard. The meditative atmosphere normal for this area was tangibly disturbed. Priests and priestesses stood about conferring in small groups. Despite a large number of temple guards, no one seemed to have noticed his arrival.
Then Spock stepped forward. Immediately two guards spied him, rushed over, and barred his way with their lirpas. A priest who had attended a boyhood academy with Spock approached him and coolly noted his breathless, disheveled appearance.
“This area is restricted,” Dalek warned. “Surely you are aware of that.”
Spock held his ground and said, “I must see T’Lar at once.”
Dalek peered down his nose at him. “T’Lar is presently occupied. The priestess T’Sorr has fallen from a cliff path to her death—a most unfortunate accident.”
“Then I shall wait,” Spock said.
Spock attempted to muscle his way past the guards, but the lirpas moved swiftly. Circular, razor-sharp blades found his throat. He went still.
Dalek said, “These guards will escort you to the visitor’s center and see that you do not stray into forbidden areas again.”
Spock backed away from the blades’ pressure. He was powerless against the forces at work here, yet he could not leave without making his protest known. He raised his voice so that everyone in the courtyard could hear. “Tell T’Lar: we are a Federation planet! Her treatment of Yanash is in violation of sentient rights and an affront to moral decency! Tell her that I shall protest to the Vulcan High Council! I shall protest to Federation President Ra-ghoratrei! Tell her…” The cudgel end of a lirpa jabbed his stomach and he doubled over in pain.
“Remove him,” the priest said.
Long before dawn, preparations for the Henidd were underway. T’Lar was determined that there be no delay. Time enough later to officially mourn T’Sorr’s unfortunate “fall”. Her shattered body had been recovered from the base of the cliff quietly, quickly, so as not to disturb the kolinahru researching the Golheni death ritual. On their advice, a fitting site was chosen—the great meditation ledge low on the eastern face, where ancients had carried out their own bloody sacrifices. The site was accessible by stair path and could easily be viewed from both the visitors’ and priests’ courtyards. Spotlights were trained upon the ledge, long spikes embedded by a construction expert into the solid rock. When all was ready, T’Lar inspected the site and approved.
As morning approached, T’Lar’s healer went to the room where Yanash was held under guard. Unlike the priests she served, T’Annel was a woman of unusual compassion. She disliked the task that had fallen to her. While preparing the injection, she had considered refusing to administer it. But had she refused, they would simply have brought in a more cooperative healer.
T’Annel entered the prisoner’s chamber and found him sitting on a bed, his arms locked behind him in energy cuffs. Feeling a stirring of pity, she carefully avoided his eyes. A guard pulled up the prisoner’s sleeve, exposing a strong, youthful arm. T’Annel placed her sprayhypo to his skin, but her finger froze against the trigger. She considered how she might spare him, perhaps by delivering only a partial dose of the drug that would disable the brain’s center of pain control. Glancing up, she looked into his placid blue eyes and her heart behaved strangely.
“T’Lar will demand your thoughts,” he told her in a kind voice. “It is necessary that you fulfill your obligation…but know, my child, that I forgive you.”
T’Annel’s fingers trembled as she pressed the trigger. With a snakelike hiss the drug flooded into his bloodstream. It was a terrible thing she was doing—cruel, unforgiveable. He would go to his death defenseless against the agony, yet this strange man who called her “my child” was willing to forgive her.
Tears blurred T’Annel’s vision as she turned and left the room, only to find T’Lar waiting for her.
The sentiment that the old priestess found in her healer’s mind displeased her; nevertheless, the job was done. Within the hour T’Lar called her chosen observers to the assembly chamber. They stood as stiff and silent as pillars while the prisoner was brought in. There was no need for words. The guards had been well-instructed and they knew exactly how to proceed.
A doubled rope hung from a hook that had been specially set in the stone ceiling. Yanash was positioned beneath it, his handcuffs removed, his clothing stripped away. The guards bound his hands with the rope and pulled the end until the prisoner’s heels left the floor. When he was strung up securely, the beating began.
T’Lar watched without emotion as two strong men methodically lashed the prisoner with bundle-whips. The knotted cords were designed to maximize pain without tearing too deeply into the flesh. It was necessary that some blood be drawn, but not enough to unduly weaken the condemned man. Death would come later, slowly.
T’Lar could see that Yanash was having difficulty with the pain. He shuddered as the whips struck front and back, high and low. All his skin began to look tender and raw.
Without turning her head, she spoke to Dalek beside her. “Now Vulcan will see; they will see what has become of their Shiav’s power.”
Dalek edged closer. His voice was little more than a whisper. “Tonight Ambassador Sarek’s son made a disturbance in the priests’ courtyard. He is threatening to create political complications with the Federation. He should have been arrested with the others.”
T’Lar’s lips tightened perceptibly. “So Sarek’s son has turned from informer to advocate. The Federation dares not dictate the internal affairs of a charter planet. Vulcans rule Vulcan. As for Spock—I should never have performed the fal-tor-pan on a half-human. If Spock persists in his aberrant behavior, it may become necessary to make additional mental adjustments.”