Testament: Chapter 24

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.

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Image Credit: Paramount Pictures

Chapter 24

The priests of Yanash had convened a Council to discuss a question of Community membership. Every interested party had been heard, and now Sparn listened while his nephew stood to present some final remarks.

Spock was saying, “You have all witnessed the positive changes that Yanash is working in my son. You have seen how Simon has devoted his musical talent to our temple rites. Earlier this morning he came before you and gave a verifiable account of the spiritual favors he has received. Simon is not asking for any special recognition—only for the right of full participation in the Yanashite faith.” In completion he calmly added, “That is all either of us asks of you.”

Spock sat down beside Sparn in the general seating area of the chamber.

Impatient to speak one last time, Sparn rose to his feet. “I admire my nephew’s restraint. I, who from childhood have known nothing but Vulcan blood—I am surprised at you!” He searched the faces of those priests and members of the laity—both male and female—who had expressed some opposition to admitting Simon. “Spock, as you know, is but half Vulcan, yet the loving Shiav never ceased calling to him even while Spock traveled the wrong path. Priests of Yanash, I ask you: At what genetic degree does one cease to be Vulcan enough?”

Sparn leaned forward and rested his hands on the chair in front of him. “Before I committed myself fully to Yanash, matters of race were of great concern to me. I have written of my shameful reluctance to travel to Spock’s home on behalf of the Master. I have behind me a lifetime of pride and prejudice…and I cannot help but wonder if those same insidious sentiments might be influencing some of us here today.”

From his seat at the priests’ table Sorel said, “It is not a matter of racism. Yanash said, ‘I came for the people of Yatara’.”

Sparn argued, “Does he not also say, ‘Welcome all those who come to you’?”

“Taken in full context,” Sorel replied, “one can logically assume that Yanash was referring to all those Vulcans who come to us seeking release from their sins.”

Sparn straightened. “Has it now become a matter of logic? Yanash has called this child by grace and overt signs. Why do we sit here discussing genetics? Would it matter even if Simon were fully human? What matters is the will of God…and I believe that Yanash has made that will abundantly clear, not only by favoring Simon, but also by raising Simon’s brother from the dead. Or do you believe that Yanash cares more for the body than for the soul?”

Marek asked, “Are you suggesting that anyone and everyone should be admitted to the faith?”

“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.”

Weary from the effort, he sank into his seat. It would take more than his poor words to move some of these stubborn hearts.

Sorel polled the group for further comments, and finding none, dismissed his fellow priests for the interval of private meditation that preceded every decision of importance.

Three hours later they returned to the table. As soon as everyone was present, Sorel reconvened the Council. Then he said, “The question that has been brought before us concerns Simon, son of Spock, son of Sarek. Can we admit him to the Yanashite Community of faith?”

Sorel nodded to the priest at his left, and the voting began. As always, it was by public affirmation, a simple yes or no.

As Sparn listened anxiously for each voice, he could only imagine what his nephew was feeling beneath that placid exterior. In order for Simon to be admitted, the vote would have to be unanimous.

Marek first gave his assent, and the balloting went halfway around the table without any opposition. Unbroken, the vote came at last to Sorel.

Solemnly their leader opened his mouth and said, “So be it.”

***

The fountain annex had been scrubbed and decorated with T’Prinka’s flowers for today’s Rite of Ablution. Very little dirt was tracked in now that drainage issues had been addressed and paving stones installed wherever necessary.

Spock was proud that his son had volunteered for the improvement project. Though Simon’s musical and academic studies kept him quite busy, he had still managed to contribute many hours of labor. These days, the boy seemed to derive a great deal of pleasure from helping others. Even now, with the ceremony about to begin, he could be seen in his ablution robe readjusting a pot of flowers under his aunt’s direction.

As soon as the boy rejoined the other candidates, Sorel declared that everything was ready. The flow of pilgrims had been stopped at the Visitor’s Center. Even if this were not a private ceremony, there would have been no way to accommodate so many people. Due to the ever-increasing number of candidates, it had become necessary to divide even them into smaller, more manageable groups. Each ten or so candidates would be handled by a different priest.

Simon was in Marek’s group. When the moment came, Spock looked on as Marek called his candidates forward and said, “This solemn rite signifies your entry into the life of faith. By the water, you will be washed clean. By my touch, Yanash will welcome you.”

Marek then led them in the vows of fidelity. He spoke each phrase of the creed and the candidates repeated the words after him in unison.

Spock heard Simon’s young voice among the others. He gazed at his son’s face, so alive with unquestioning faith, and was overwhelmed with gratitude. Sparn had argued well in the Council, but only the grace of God could have brought them to this remarkable moment.

There remained just one thing lacking. Spock wished Lauren and the rest of his family could be here, joining in his pleasure. Recently Simon had told his mother about his newfound faith and his desire to remain with Spock in the growing Yanashite Community. Lauren had been quick to respond. In her com she seemed hurt and angry.

“Stay on Vulcan? Spock, you’ve already been away too long. I want you both home.”

Replying, Spock had said, “Not just yet. How can I tell you of what is happening here? Of something that is greater than any words? Despite our separation, my love for you has only deepened. How much more easily I can say it now. Yes, I love you.”

And again she had responded, “Not just yet, Spock? What does that mean? Look at the way we’re living. It’s because I love you that I want us to be together. I want us to be able to share everything—as a family. But now I’m not sure that is even possible.” Tears welled in her eyes and softly she said, “There are things that I haven’t told you, either. I don’t care what it takes, but I want you and Simon home for Christmas. Those people can get along without you for a month or two. For the sake of our marriage, we have to get this straightened out.”

To Lauren the Yanashites were only “those people”, and of little importance to her. But was he not one of them? And now however many times Spock questioned her about the “things” she had not told him, the reply was always the same. “We’ll talk about it when you get here.”

Pushing the worry from his mind, Spock focused on Simon. With their vows completed, the ten candidates formed a line and followed Marek outside, near the gushing fountain. The air was cool and wet with mist as Marek spoke a blessing over the geyser. Then one by one he positioned each candidate under the main downpour and recited the sacred words of ablution. At Simon’s turn, Spock struggled to maintain his composure as Marek laid hands upon the boy and said, “Simon Spock, be washed clean…through the power of the Father, and of the Shiav, and of the Spirit that dwells within.”

Simon came out soaked, and embracing him, the priest said, “Welcome to the Community of Yanash.”

Then Simon found his father, and smiling through tears of joy, hugged Spock with all his might.

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