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.
“No, this sort of work was too lowly for the likes of Ambassador Sarek and his halfbreed son Spock. Since leaving prison, Spock had somehow recovered his reputation and gone on to receive new honors in the service of Starfleet. Once more the names of Sarek and Spock had been lauded in news reports. Sparn found the situation galling.”
“Yanash faced his accuser with calm authority. “You have said rightly; there is no Vulcan power that heals in this manner. But why do you question me? Have I caused pain or injury? Or have I relieved it? All that is good originates from the same Source, who is God.”
“What do you know of The Source!” scoffed the priest. “By what authority do you dare to teach? Show us your qualifications!””
“Yanash began to speak. “If one looks honestly at history, it becomes clear that Vulcans are, by nature, a highly emotional people. Surak taught you to control your emotions; he gave you the Mind Rules; he gave you a system of self-discipline to help regulate your behavior. But Sparn, none of that has really solved the underlying problem.”
“Emotion,” Sparn said confidently. It was an answer known to every Vulcan schoolchild.
Shockingly Yanash said, “No. It is the abuse of emotion and intellect by a misdirected will. It is sin.””
“Astonished, Sparn stepped away from Yanash and his pleasant, disturbing touch. “No. There is no need for that. I will send him a message.”
“And he will contact his parents and they will assure him that all is well.”
Sparn argued harder. “Why would Spock believe me? Me, of all people? Teacher, you do not understand…””
“Sparn remembered the Teacher’s parting words. “Go to him. Go at once.”
Sparn’s eye rose to the ceiling and he thought of the stars glimmering in the night sky, of distant Vulcan, of Yanash. “Now?” he said aloud. “At once?”
“Not now,” Sparn argued. “It is too soon. And the day has not gone well for him.””
“Sparn moved swiftly. At the doorway he grasped Spock by the shoulder and swung him around. Confronting him, he cursed, “T’Vareth! You will listen to me!”
Spock stared at him, wide-eyed. “You have lost your mind.”
“Are you so certain?” Sparn asked. “If you do not go to your mother now, you will regret it for the rest of your life.” Suddenly he was no longer angry, no longer afraid. Raising a finger to his own temple, he said, “Spock, you are an intelligent man. There is only one way for you to be certain that you are making the right decision. Come, see the truth for yourself. It is only logical.””
“Sarek’s hand relaxed and he spoke in a weary voice. “Yanash is a threat to every Vulcan. Spock, I grieve for you and James, but you have not seen the change creeping over our world. If, in fact, you still consider yourself a student of logic, I appeal to you…”
“At the cost of my son’s life?” Spock drew out his communicator. “I must go. I will see this renegade for myself and inform you of my observations. Please tell Mother that I shall return…””
“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.”
“Raising his hand, Spock answered, “May your peace return to you.” With an effort he added, “You returned my son to me, and I said nothing. I thank you now.”
Yanash gave him a warm look. His hand settled over Spock’s forearm, and the strangely electrifying touch seemed to seek out the empty places inside Spock. Though the sensation made him uncomfortable, he merely took note of it and did not pull away.”
“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.””
“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.””
” “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.”
“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.”
““T’Lar spoke rightly,” she whispered. “I sent you to your death in agony. My hand, no other. You knew what I was doing…yet you forgave me. That is not logical. But even if I were to accept your forgiveness, how then can I forgive myself?””
“There before him stood a man. The Vulcan was tall, his features shrouded by the hood of a desert robe, his hands deeply wounded.
Spock stared in shock. But rather than run, fascination held him. Slowly he moved toward the person and his hand seemed to rise of its own accord, fingers outstretched, seeking…
And he whispered, “Qual se tu?” Is it thou?”
“Spock could hardly take his eyes off the marks left by the rods of impalement, for in those wounded hands he clearly saw the reality of a God who loves and redeems. He knew what it was like to give one’s life so that others might go on living. His own sacrifice aboard the Enterprise had been motivated more by love than by any logic, but even so he had saved only his friends’ bodies. The perfect sacrifice of Yanash would accomplish infinitely more. In taking the guilt of Yatara upon himself, Yanash had restored their broken relationship with a holy God. Through Yanash they were being born into a new spiritual life.”
“Spock’s eyebrow rose. Meeting his uncle’s eyes he recited from memory, “’Out of my body will spring a fountain of living water’.”
“So,” Sparn murmured with a touch of sarcasm, “it would seem that at times you occasionally did listen.”
“Yes, I listened,” Spock responded. “I listened closely, even if I did not always understand. And now I have begun chronicling the events I witnessed.”
In the crush of pilgrims Sparn said low, “And how will your chronicle read when it comes to Ar-Bekani? Will you tell the truth or will you spare yourself?”
It was a disturbing question for which Spock had no answer.”
“Breaking into a smile, she rose up and slipped her arms around him like an affectionate human child. Spock not only accepted the embrace, but returned it, remembering the first time he saw her from behind the commandant’s desk at Starfleet Academy—the troublesome halfling cadet so resistant to any kind of discipline. In those early encounters she had inspired fatherly feelings, and now those same feelings returned to him.
She stepped back, her eyes aglow. “I’m glad you kicked me out of the academy. This is better. It’s what I’ve been looking for all my life.”
“We were all looking,” he said.”
“With this new viewpoint it was as if he were lying on that stone, at one with Yanash, joining in the Shiav’s sacrifice. How fitting it seemed—to offer this ordeal as reparation for the evil he had done. He could willingly surrender to the One who forgave him and promised to be with him always.”
“In the hour before daylight he had a dream. That in itself was not unusual, for he was half human. But the intensity of this experience gave it an eerie reality unlike any dream Spock remembered. A Vulcan wearing a light colored robe had appeared beside his bed and told him, “Spock, the immediate danger has passed, and the heart of your son cries out for you. Why is Simon not at your side?””
“Simon picked a page at random and began to read. It was not as easy for him as speaking the language, but little by little he managed to translate and found an incredible story about his little brother James. He would never have imagined that his father would write fiction—or worse yet, lie. Spock was always so big on telling the truth, yet here he was, claiming that James had been brought back to life instead of being healed by Yanash, like Mom said.”
“The music came to an end. Simon lowered his violin. From his place near the sanctuary he watched the Vulcan penitents line up before the priests. One by one they came forward and dropped to their knees. As always, Simon’s stomach went leaden at the sight. What must it be like? He could not imagine anything more embarrassing. Was it worth it? Afterwards, did they feel forgiven? Did they feel clean inside? Did Yanash really take away their sins?
He remembered a saying he had once heard on Earth. You can’t fool a Vulcan.
How then could all these Vulcans be fooled?”
“The tremor stopped almost immediately. Heart pounding, he rose from his seat and was about to run outside when his eyes lit on the great portrait of Yanash hanging over the altar. It must have been firmly secured, because it was not even swaying—and something in the Shiav’s calm face made Simon feel secure, too.
Standing there, he thought how wonderful it would be to feel anchored like that, always. Anchored in a stone that would never quake or shatter. Anchored in someone who would never be sent away or go off into Space or get sick and die; someone who would understand him at every moment, who would know his thoughts even before he thought them, and love him even when his thoughts were bad.”
“”In his lifetime Yanash excluded no one, Vulcan or non-Vulcan. It is true that he once said, ‘I came for the people of Yatara’. I was present. The Shiav was speaking to an outworlder who demanded healing as if it were his right. Yet when that same outworlder humbled himself, even he was healed. In view of this, how can we turn anyone away? It is written that Yanash said, ‘Raise the stone and there you will find me; cleave the wood and there I am’. Can you then believe that he is not also in the living heart of this dear boy?” Sparn sighed and shook his head. “If this will not convince you, there is nothing more I can say. As for Spock and his son—they have consulted Yanash in prayer and pledged complete obedience, however you may decide.””
““You are Yanashites and teachers of the ‘Way’. Surely you know how to produce your so-called ‘Living Water’.”
“A priest effects a change to Living Water through the words and the power of Yanash. But we are not priests.”
Rokar posed another question. “Do you attest that those who partake of your ‘Living Water’ are spared the full rigor of pon farr?”
“Those who receive the Living Water in faith,” Sparn answered. “Why question us on this matter? You have the testimony of your spies, Nath and Dekin.””
“Simon tried to ignore the sandclaws and the terrible throbbing that filled his head. His mind drifted and he found himself talking to Yanash about what Christmas would like in San Francisco. Crisp ocean air, all the water he could drink, even water to bathe in. And the sweet pine scent of the tree Mom would decorate—his mother, who had tried to understand him even when he was lashing out at everyone around him; even when he was saying hateful things about his own father. Let me see her again, he prayed, give me a chance to show her how I’ve changed, and show Teresa and Jamie that I really do love them.”
“His every instinct warned him to move away from the danger of smoke and continue along the original passage. Reaching out with his right hand, he edged along, feeling for a far rim. He had not yet found it when a light appeared directly in front of him, revealing a chamber.
A lone Vulcan wearing a white robe walked toward him, torch in hand.
Sparn crowded closer and peered at the approaching figure. “It’s him!” he exclaimed.
“Yes.” Spock barely managed a whisper. The Vulcan of his dream, the mysterious advisor, the messenger of Yanash.
The Vulcan reached them and simply said, “Come with me.””