Testament: Chapter 13

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.

 

ArchiVulcan1
Image Credit: Paramount Pictures

 

In Seleya’s crowded visitor center, Spock made an urgent series of calls on his wrist phone while Sparn stood nearby. No member of Vulcan’s High Council could be reached. Next, he contacted Vulcan Federation Headquarters, only to be informed by a recording that the bureau would be closed for the holiday.

“Try Starfleet,” Sparn suggested.

Spock sighed and shook his head. “It is out of their jurisdiction.”

There remained one last, impossibly slim hope. Spock withdrew from his uncle to a more a private place. Alone, he ordered up his father’s number. Although the hour in ShiKahr was still early, the image of Sarek that appeared on the tiny screen was impeccably dressed and groomed. The ambassador’s eyes caught sight of Spock and narrowed.

“Father,” Spock said urgently.

“Spock,” Sarek replied in his usual calm manner.

Spock spoke in a low tone. “Father, are you aware of the events here at Seleya? I ask you to put a stop to this outrage. You have influence with the Council. Perhaps they will grant a stay of execution until the matter is properly reviewed.”

Sarek’s features were stony as he said, “There is not stopping it.”

“No stopping it?” Spock struggled for control. “Try, Father! I know you respect the laws of our people.”

Sarek looked pained. “Unusual times…call for unusual measures. The good of the many, Spock. You yourself have said it.” And at that, he broke the connection.

Spock remained as he was for three full minutes. High up in the priests’ courtyard, a gong began to sound. A deep, resonant chanting rose in honor of Surak’s birth.

***

“Dawn,” Sparn said to his nephew, sick at heart. He could only hope that Spock was wrong; that Yanash would not be subjected to some frightful Golheni torture.

Since completing his calls, Spock had descended into a dark mood, but now he roused himself. Shadowed by guards, they went out into the warm morning air. The courtyard was packed with pilgrims, but it soon became clear that not all of them had come to honor Surak.

A cry arose at the eastern wall. “There! They are bringing him down. I see him now.”

Sparn headed toward the voice and Spock slowly followed in the path cleared by him. They reached the low stone wall. Sparn looked over the sheer edge of the cliff. Priests and temple guards carrying torches were working their way along a trail. By the pale light of dawn he saw Yanash walking with them, holding something heavy in his hands. The grim procession came to a plateau and stopped. Floodlights switched on, illuminating the sledgehammer Yanash was carrying.

Sparn shuddered in horror.

Nearby a man spoke in a cool, sarcastic tone. “The great healer Yanash. Now we will see if he can heal himself.”

Sparn swung around and confronted him. “Be silent! Have you no conscience?”

The Vulcan raised a superior eyebrow. “You seem very emotional. Are you one of Yanash’s devotees?”

Sparn felt Spock touch him in warning. Of course, they should not be drawing attention to themselves. But as they turned back to the scene below, Spock spoke into his ear, “Only the dead feel no compassion. To think that I once longed to be a kolinahru…”

Voices chanted on the morning wind. The gong rang in mournful, measured tones as Yanash surrendered his clothes. Already the day was lighter, and one could see that his shivering body had been savaged by a beating. Without a struggle he lay down on the hard stone. A guard positioned his right hand over one of four spikes. The sledgehammer swung; Yanash cried out, writhing in agony as blood spurted green.

Sparn was marginally aware of Spock leaving the scene, but he could not bring himself to move.  Averting his face, he bit his lip until the hammering and the cries subsided; but still, somehow, he heard them and realized that those terrible sounds would never fade from his memory.

When he was sure of his control, he turned and looked again. Eridani loomed red and angry at the horizon. Its first deceptively pleasant rays shone upon the ledge where Yanash lay spread-eagled, hands and feet impaled. In an hour’s time the heat would begin to burn. Drawn by the scent of blood, scavenging insects would find Yanash and swarm over him, biting and tearing at his unprotected flesh. Before the day was over, he would be eaten alive.

***

Spock spent the morning in a shaded retreat on the far side of the courtyard. A steady stream of Vulcans took part in the deathwatch—unmoved, critical not of this outrage against justice, but of Yanash. What had become of his many followers? The countless Vulcans he had taught, counseled, and healed? Strike the shepherd and the flock will scatter. Now Spock saw his own words coming to fruition, and there was no pleasure in it. Guilt slashed at him for his part in the Teacher’s arrest. He had never intended for anything like this to happen.

At noon he went to the wall and forced himself to look downward. Though it seemed impossible, there were still signs of life in Yanash’s ravaged remains. With each spasm and gasp, Spock seemed to feel the torture in his own body. Surely Yanash would find release soon.

Sparn appeared at Spock’s side.

“His mother,” Sparn said, indicating a sorrowful woman keeping vigil at the wall.

Spock did not plan to move, but his feet seemed to walk of their own accord. Reaching her, he said low, “I did it. I am the one.”

The woman looked at him. There was no condemnation in her eyes as she touched his arm and said, “Whatever you have done, he will forgive you.”

“He will forgive you?” How could a dead man forgive anyone?

Spock turned and walked away. The gong tolled all through the afternoon, but he dared not visit the wall again. Was Yanash still alive? What manner of Vulcan was he? Now and then, fury came at Spock in white-hot waves, and he felt capable of killing Yanash himself, just to end the suffering. Perhaps the temple guards sensed his emotional state, for they continued to follow everywhere, silent and watchful, never allowing him a moment’s privacy.

He was pacing the stone floor when a chilling, desolate cry came from below the cliff. He stopped, his heart torn. In a moment voices untouched by emotion were carrying the news through the courtyard.

“So it ends.” “He lived as a Golheni; it is only just that he died as one.” “This is a great day for Surak.”

With a feeling of utter desolation, Spock sank down on a bench and wept.

***

Today, more than ever, Sparn had felt his age creeping up on him. The hours spent watching Yanash agonize had been so wrenching that by evening he was utterly drained. As lights came on in the courtyard, he went over to the bench where his nephew had sat, hunched over, for hours.

As Sparn put a hand on Spock’s shoulder, the touch intensified his own feelings of grief. Softly he said, “T’teer…nephew…there is no logic in remaining here. Yanash is gone.”

Spock slowly lowered his hands and raised his head. His brown eyes stared vacantly.

Breaking the contact between them, Sparn added, “By morning there will be nothing but bones. His mother asked for them, but was refused even that. Come,” he urged, “Get up, we are leaving.”

Spock rose from his state of shock. Together they descended the steep stair path, but this time Sparn led the way and settled in behind the skimmer’s controls. It would be a long flight to his home in Tareel, and the energy feed showed signs of malfunctioning.

Another fact made him equally uneasy. The skimmer belonged to neither him nor Spock. Like those others left behind at Ar-Bekani, they had been lent by camp followers for the day. By now it was entirely possible that the skimmer had been reported missing, even stolen.

As he flew along, a news bulletin declared that the “Yanashites” had disbanded and were returning to their homes. In all parts of the planet, Vulcans were once again embracing the way of Surak.

Sparn turned off the speaker. Beside him, Spock was very quiet as the miles rushed by.

At last Sparn said, “I keep thinking of Sorel and all the others who were arrested. What do you suppose will happen to them?”

Spock’s tone was bitter. “Where law is disregarded, anything is possible.”

The skimmer gave out on a stretch of safebelt outside Kreb. Abandoning it, they walked the remaining distance to town and there bought public passage to Tareel. They arrived at Sparn’s home shortly before dawn. Sparn took a quick turn in the fresher and collapsed into bed, but he doubted that either he or his nephew would be sleeping well.

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