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.
In Tareel, the initial shock of Yanash’s arrival gradually gave way to a joyous sense of serenity for all but Spock, whose role as an informer was looming large in his mind again. He did not belong with these others who had always been faithful to the Shiav. The men specially chosen for the new priesthood clustered closely around the risen Master while Spock and his uncle sat with the other onlookers.
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 had thought the question of his personal identity had long ago been settled. He had thought that he knew exactly who he was and what his role in life would be. But this God-man, this Vulcan Christ, had taken hold and shaken the very foundation of his being. Yet he was still Spock the betrayer. How could he move among these others, burdened by such a secret? Every fiber of his Vulcan being demanded complete honesty, while the human part of him feared the shame and condemnation that such uncompromising truth would bring.
All were seated and the room had grown quiet when Yanash addressed them. “Listen carefully, all of you. I Am and remain the unchanging One, the only perfect Truth. Truth is a tree which bears good fruit. Every good and fruitful work has its source in love. Love has chosen you. Love has set its seal upon you.”
Rising, he beckoned to his Chosen few, and they followed him to their feet.
To them Yanash said, “The kolinahru and the priests of Seleya demand the thoughts of their disciples. However, you will not be masters, but servants.” Moving slowly among them, he briefly touched each forehead with his fingertips. “To thee I give the Spirit of Life. Welcome all those who come to you seeking release. Receive their sins and grant them forgiveness in my name.”
When the Master had finished, he went to Spock and said, “My son.”
Instinctively Spock knelt, and as the hand of Yanash touched him, as unseen light flooded into his soul, illuminating a lifetime of unholy urges and acts. In the perfect light of God, nothing could remain hidden. Yanash saw, understood, and forgave even Spock’s acts of betrayal. There was no longer any question of Spock leaving Vulcan just now. Body and soul, he was committed, but there still remained one very difficult hurdle.
When Yanash removed his hand, Spock rose and faced the others, including T’Naisa Brandt. Though her presence made the task harder, he could no longer hide behind a mask of innocence. Encouraged by Yanash’s generosity, and without implicating his father, he openly confessed to his role in the Shiav’s arrest.
Sparn looked upon him with a stunned disappointment that cut to the bone. T’Naisa seemed merely saddened, but other faces revealed shock and anger. Sorel was about to speak when Yanash raised one wounded hand and said, “Those among you without sin, let them speak against him. Your work is not to pursue vengeance, but to heal. Go now in peace to Mount Seleya.” Then he simply vanished.
Everyone stood shaken and silent while Spock awaited his fate. But when Sorel spoke, it was not of him, but rather to remark, “Seleya? To go there is to invite arrest.”
“Yet we must obey…” Sparn said softly.
Sorel turned to Spock with animosity in his eyes. “If you still wish to return to Earth, I withdraw my objection. That is a matter between you and the Shiav…but perhaps it is best, after all.”
Spock’s shame intensified. With a slight bow of his head, he declared, “I too will obey.”
Marek and T’Annel transported from the hospital directly to Mount Seleya. They entered the priests’ compound and found it eerily deserted. The disaster crew had already completed its work. Rubble had been cleared away, structures inspected for safety, and emergency bracing installed wherever necessary. One could almost forget that a deadly earthquake had struck there only this morning.
Then an aftershock rumbled under their feet, climaxing in a sharp jolt that sent dust sifting from the ruined portion of the complex.
When it was over, Marek said, “Show me the fountain.”
Even as T’Annel led him to the eastern wall, she knew something was wrong. No mist cooled her face; the sweet scent of moisture had disappeared.
They reached the cliff and looked over. Down at the ledge, four temple guards stood watch over a great bulging bubble of water.
Dismayed, T’Annel cried, “But what have they done? It was a veritable geyser!”
“Someone has placed a containment field,” Marek said with displeasure. “Come. I will soon put an end to this.”
As High Master of Kolinahr, Marek’s authority exceeded even that of Seleya’s High Priestess. With T’Lar gone, Dalek would hold a ceremony to assume the title and office of High Priest. Marek and T’Annel walked over the narrow land bridge and entered the temple. They stood watching in the shadows by the door as the investiture rite concluded. Incense braziers sent up a fragrant smoke, and a gong sounded. Resplendent in his robes and headdress, Dalek mounted a sedan chair and was carried out in solemn procession. An occasional eye broke discipline to glance at Marek, but every face remained properly impassive.
As the sedan chair approached, Marek stepped squarely in front of it. He was a tall Vulcan with a naturally imposing presence, and the attendants stopped at once.
“Dalek,” he said loudly. “I will have words with you.”
Dalek’s eyes widened perceptibly at the sight of him. After a brief hesitation, the reed-slim priest signaled his attendants to lower the chair.
“Leave us,” Dalek told them. When they were alone, he stepped down and inclined his head to the High Master. “Marek, we were told that your mind was destroyed by the criminal Yanash. It is well that you have recovered.”
“It is very well,” Marek agreed. “A great evil has occurred in my absence. Death has visited Seleya.”
Dalek lowered his eyes. “Yes. T’Lar will be greatly missed.”
Not long ago, Marek would have been appalled by the anger that welled inside him. Now he welcomed it. “I am not speaking of T’Lar! Here, on this sacred mountain, a man was tortured to death!”
Dalek lifted his chin and studied him closely. “Such was the ruling handed down by Vulcan’s High Council.”
“With the active participation of the priesthood. When did you become executioners for the state?”
“Yanash injured your mind,” Dalek argued. “He and his renegade teachings were a danger to all of Vulcan. How is it that you defend him…so emotionally?”
“I defend that which is true,” retorted Marek. “Yanash warned me not to touch his mind. I could not bear the light I saw in him. But now that I have seen the light, I must by logic act on it.”
“Of what light do you speak?” Dalek questioned.
“There is but one light, one truth,” Marek replied. “By that same truth, and for the evil that was performed here, you and your priesthood will leave this mountain forever.”
There was a silence so complete that the incense could be heard sizzling in the braziers.
Dalek scarcely breathed. “…We are expelled?”
“It is well within my power. You will assemble your priests and your attendants and prepare to go. But first you will deactivate the containment field you have placed over the fountain.”
T’Annel spoke for the first time. “Dalek, why did you stop the water?”
The High Priest slowly removed his ceremonial headdress and stared at it. “They came almost as soon as the water appeared, soaking themselves like children, scooping it into their hands, drinking as if it was something more than ordinary water.” His voice took on an unmistakable note of contempt. “Yanashites!”