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.
The day after Christmas, all government offices were closed for a long weekend. After lunch Spock donned a warm, hooded rain cloak and made his way through a fine mist to the Vulcan Embassy. The long, cold walk gave him ample time to think about his responsibility as a son. Yanash had warned that those who followed him might be ostracized by members of their own families, but his doctrine of love seemed to demand at least some effort at reconciliation.
Perhaps here, far from the pressures and prejudices of Vulcan—here where Sarek had first fallen under the charm of a human named Amanda—he would open his mind and his heart to the son they had conceived together.
Spock came to the door of the embassy and was admitted. Drawing back his hood, he waited uneasily as the doorkeeper informed Sarek by intercom that his son wished to see him.
There was a telling pause.
At last Sarek’s deep voice filtered through the speaker. “I will receive the visitor in the secondary conference room.”
Spock knew the way well. He had occasionally lived in the embassy as a boy. After his re-education on Vulcan, he had stayed here with his father before returning to Starfleet. In this same building he had taken Lauren to be his wife, and Sarek had danced the waltz at their wedding reception.
He entered the richly paneled room, turned on a lamp, and stood waiting. It seemed a hopeful sign that his father had consented to meet him. At least Sarek had not yet fully retreated into his usual bitter, unyielding silence. Perhaps he had come to realize that nothing was ever solved in that way.
Spock heard heavy footsteps in the hall. The turning of the antique doorknob sent him fleeing back in time to that insecure halfling boy, desperate to please his eminent father. He scarcely recognized the Vulcan who entered the room.
Sarek’s steel-gray hair had gone mostly white. His cheeks were hollow, his frame shrunken and frail-looking beneath the robes of his office. Only his eyes were unchanged; they struck at Spock like a pair of dark, penetrating daggers.
It took a moment for Spock to find his voice. “Father,” he said, and the wrenching thought followed, Have I done this to you?
Sarek coolly scrutinized him. “So…you have come back to Earth. Have you also come back to your senses?”
The boy in Spock shrank before his father’s question. With all his heart he longed to tell him, Yes, have come back to my senses. I will not grieve you any longer. I will do whatever you ask, if only you will accept me as your son. If only you will love me.
Sarek grew impatient with waiting and said, “Do you intend to answer?”
The harshly spoken words yanked Spock free from the temptation. Sarek was blind to his emotional needs; he would only have found them weak and disgusting. The love and acceptance Spock had always sought from his father could only come from a higher Source. Had not Yanash said to him, “My son”?
Sending the Eater of Souls fleeing, Spock affirmed, “I am pledged to serve Yanash.”
“A dead criminal?” Sarek exclaimed. “You went among the Yanashites as an agent of sanity. You advocated the renegade’s arrest. What has become of your logic? Turn away from this Yanashite madness!”
The verbal attack struck Spock with all the force of a blow. Struggling for composure, he said, “Father, you do not realize what you are asking. If you knew the Shiav as I do…”
“The Shiav,” Sarek countered with disdain. “You sound like—“ he barely stopped short of speaking the forbidden name—“like your deluded half-brother. What have you and your fellow Yanashites done? At the Hall of Ancient Thought, our treasury of katras was lost forever. You were there.”
“Yes, and we submitted ourselves to verifier scans. Surely you must know that the Yanashites have been vindicated of any wrongdoing. The collapse of the power grid cannot be explained by anything but an act of God.”
“An act of God! I give no credence to such things,” Sarek declared. “You are a scientist. There is cause and there is effect. With your background, you are quite capable of masterminding an act of sabotage that would be all but undetectable.”
Spock could not deny that he possessed such a capability. “Nevertheless,” he insisted, “I did not, and duly testified to that fact.”
Sarek glared at him. “Perhaps you now fancy yourself as another Surak. Scientist and reformer.”
“No,” Spock said, weary of the conflict. Any further remarks would only fuel the argument. There was but one way Sarek might be made to understand, and as daunting as it seemed, he had to make the attempt. “Father, if I could share what I have experienced among the Yanashites these past months, you would see us differently.” He tried in vain to swallow the dryness from his mouth. “Although I have never made such a request of you, it is permitted by Vulcan custom. I am asking you to meld with me.”
Sarek reacted as if the invitation were an insult. His dark eyes flashed as he pronounced each word forcefully. “I…will…not! I will not enter into your twisted, illogical mind!”
Spock stood mute before his father’s rejection, his last hope for reconciliation crushed. He might have sought escape if Sarek were not blocking the only exit.
“At least think of your mother,” Sarek continued, “and the shame you are bringing to her memory on Vulcan. There have always been those who blamed her when you behaved inappropriately. Plak-waru. It is the same in both worlds. Bad blood.”
Spock cleared his throat, but no words came. Was he really hurting his mother? Before the end she had encouraged him to begin a spiritual journey, and since her death she had journeyed far ahead. But someday, when he also passed through that portal, they would surely meet again.
Disgusted by his silence, Sarek pronounced, “You should have died with your brother.”
The ambassador turned on his heel and left the room.
Alone, Spock closed his eyes, shut them tight, forcing away the stinging pressure that was gathering behind them. He needed to leave this place. He needed to walk out calmly, in complete control of himself. But it was not so easy to submerge his emotions as it had once been, when the discipline of Vulcan was his only creed.
His thoughts went to Yanash, and he was thankful that he had not denied his faith in the Shiav. In the midst of his anguish he remembered how Yanash had also been rejected; how he had willingly lain down and offered himself upon the ledge. As Spock united his suffering with that of the Shiav, his pain took on new meaning and became manageable.
He opened his eyes, set his jaw. And drawing up his hood, he walked out of the Vulcan embassy into the damp winter day.
Lauren was amazed at how at how word of Spock’s arrival spread. Their time together as a family had become very limited; she longed for privacy, but each day brought a steady influx of visitors to the house on the hill. There were relatives such as Lauren’s mother who came in from New York for an evening. There was Doctor McCoy, now semi-retired from Starfleet, and Aaron Pascal, who had unexpectedly taken a shy interest in T’Beth and returned almost every day to see her. There was Leo Kessler, Spock’s friend from prison, who had won his release and taken a job at a desalinization plant in Long Beach.
All of these were to be expected, particularly since they knew that Spock would not be on Earth very long. It was the others who began to try Lauren’s patience—the ever-increasing number of journalists, media representatives, and curiosity seekers who found their way to the front—and even sometimes—the back door. The polite ones were not too objectionable, but the people who angrily demanded an interview with “the Yashanite”—an all-too-common mispronunciation—found the door firmly shut in their faces. There were crackpots who shrilly denounced Spock for everything from “scientific heresy” and “cultural perversion”, to a “male clergy sexist”. And worst of all were those who branded him a “Judas”. Spock had never acted out of avarice, but from a concern for Vulcan’s welfare.
Lauren had just banished one such lady from her porch when the doorbell chimed yet again. Annoyed, she flung the door open.
A slender, balding tower of a man grinned at her. His gray eyes twinkled with mischief and he caught her in a hug that lifted her right off her feet.
“Larry!” she gasped.
“Hi, Sis.” His moustache tickled as he gave her a peck on the cheek. Then he sat her down. “I’m staying out at the beach house. I tried to call, but couldn’t seem to get through. What happened to your phones?”
“We had to turn them off…” she began to explain.
“Money that tight?” he quipped. Drawing her completely onto the porch, he pulled the door closed so that no one in the house could overhear them. Suddenly serious, he said, “I know Spock’s back from Vulcan. That’s why I came. I need to talk to him.”
Lauren’s heart seized. It pained her that Larry had never had any use for her husband. He had avoided Spock ever since their wedding reception, when the two men nearly came to blows. Larry was a Salesian priest and seldom left his mission field on Gamma Vertas IV; until now he had carefully times his visits for those occasions when Spock was away from Earth.
“Don’t look so worried,” he said. “I didn’t come all this way just to pick a fight.” He slashed an invisible X over the front of his sweater. “Cross my heart.”
Lauren studied his face. “Okay then,” she said with trepidation, “but mind your temper. He’s already had enough trouble from his own relatives.”
She opened the door and they went inside. For once, the house was quiet. T’Beth and Aaron had taken all the children up to the snow. Spock was upstairs going over the material he would need at the Vatican tomorrow.
“Wait here in the living room,” she said, and turned to the staircase only to discover that Spock was just starting down.
She met him at the base of the stairs and looked a warning into his eyes. “My brother Larry is here. He wants to talk to you.”
Spock raised an eyebrow and waited to see if she would add anything, but all she could do was shrug. Lauren followed him into the living room and stood watching at a discreet distance. These were the two most important men in her life. She intended to make sure they didn’t kill each other.
Larry turned from the Christmas tree and gave Spock an odd, searching look. “Captain. It’s been a long while.”
“Indeed,” Spock said. “But you need not call me Captain, for I am retired from Starfleet.”
Larry nodded. “So Laurie told me. She’s kept me pretty well-informed over the years…” He stopped to rub the back of his neck in a self-conscious gesture carried over from childhood. “It must seem pretty strange to you, my showing up all of a sudden…after the way I’ve always shut you out.”
Very courteously Spock said, “I know that you have always acted out of concern for your sister’s well-being.”
Larry sighed. “Yes, that’s how I saw it at the time. But lately…” His voice trailed off.
“Please,” Spock said, “sit down.”
Lauren stayed in a corner of the room while the men took chairs at a comfortable distance from one another. She could only hope that, for once, the doorbell would remain silent.
Larry leaned forward and rested his elbows on his knees. “I hear you were on Vulcan before Yanash was executed. Laurie says that he cured your son Jamie, and after that you stayed on with him. That you saw Yanash die and you saw him come back from the dead. She says there’s a church forming with a priesthood and sacraments.”
“All correct,” Spock said, “only in the case of James, our son actually died. Yanash touched the boy and restored him to life…but I did not commit myself to the Shiav until after he had died and come back.”
Looking suitably amazed, Larry glanced over at Lauren. “Jamie was dead?”
At her affirming nod, he turned his attention back to Spock. “And Yanash—you’re absolutely certain that he died? There was no possibility of mistaken identity, or a hoax?”
Though it was a common question, Spock patiently described the cruel ordeal he had witnessed with his own eyes. “…and so as you see,” he concluded, “at the point of death his body was in a state of complete mutilation. By morning—although I did not stay to see it—there would have been only skeletal remains. T’Lar’s healer was present and she attested to that fact. It was she who first saw the Shiav when he rose from the tomb. Although she participated in his execution, she is now a devoted believer. And you may as well know there is more.”
Lauren held her breath as Spock unflinchingly described his own role in the Shiav’s arrest.
Larry sat up very straight, just listening until it was over. “Oh my God,” he said. “How difficult that must be for you.” Then, like so many others before him, he asked, “Can you tell me about your Yanash? What he was like, what he taught. I hear that he’s turned Vulcan upside-down.”
Lauren knew it was safe now. Humming happily to herself, she went into her laboratory and set to work on some research. Later, when she came out, the two men were on their feet. Larry was shaking Spock’s hand like a brother.