Seleya Journey

By Lt. Zoe Jebkanto

Rating: G

Genres: drama family

Keywords: Baby Elizabeth Tucker bond

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Chapter 4

Disclaimer:  I don’t own Star Trek or any of its planets or peoples.  I’m not making money from this story, no copyright infringement is intended.

Keywords:  Vulcan’s Forge, bond

Summary:  Trip had never held his baby daughter in life…

A/N:  Unspoken thoughts (as well as “Bond speech”) are shown in quoted “italics”.  Other italicized items depend upon context.


 

Family

T’Narra waited, erect and unblinking, at the far side of the stone table.  On each end of it stood a beautifully carved vessel.  Stone also, Trip guessed, his stride slowing as he gazed at them.  Probably rock that also came from within the cave, but of a different variety.  There was a translucence about them that suggested a quartz blend.  Reluctant to disturb the stillness, he glanced at T’Pol, raised a brow, then lifted his hand in a questioning gesture.

“The katric arks,” she said, close to his ear.

He nodded.  It was what he’d suspected, from his readings during the trip from Earth, though the reality of them was far more elegant than what he’d imagined they would be.  “Beautiful,” he murmured in return.

It was good, imagining Elizabeth’s katra being housed amid such beauty.  He could picture those huge blue eyes of hers wide with a child’s curious wonder as the torchlight painted the ark’s surfaces in pale shades of oranges and golds.

“Yeah, definitely quartz.”

Stepping closer, he examined a series of intricate figures carved across the glimmering surface of the nearer ark.  Not simply designs, but writing.  Trip couldn’t read all of the Vulcan words…

“(he really should start an in depth study of both the spoken and written language)”

…but he made out at least enough of it to recognize the name of T’Les.

on the Katric ark.

He didn’t have to ask.  Even if he couldn’t feel her presence…

“She was here.”

Elizabeth’s grandmother was here!

Unmoving for the space of two, three, four heartbeats, Trip gazed at the beautiful vessel and found he was remembering large, deep-seeing dark eyes looking into his while nimble fingers adjusted the front of this same ceremonial robe and brushing away a phantom dust-mote or two.  Something in the gentleness of that touch had conveyed a new and deeper acceptance of him, human or not, as somebody who would have made a worthy son-in-law.

Would touching the gleaming ark help him convey all he wanted to tell her, like they were in a meld together?  Or would it be disrespectful, a sort of violation?  In the end he settled for gazing at the glimmering surface and the symbols that formed her name.

“You know I didn’t rush outta the room that day to tell her my feelings, much as I wanted to, but now she knows.  We both know, and somehow, I hope you’ll know too, how much we love each other.  And, even though we won’t have a priestess there to speak the words over us, whatever happens to us  from here on out, while you watch over your beautiful granddaughter tonight, her mother and I will be bonding ourselves to our  future together…

With the faintest of smiles, he raised a slow hand to touch the smooth fabric of the wedding day robes.  Adjusted the collar, almost like she had done.  Good thing after all that he’d decided to wear it.

T’Narra resounding voice broke the stillness.

“In the manner of Surak and of thy ancestors, from the time of our beginnings, have thee, through thy mental discipline and meditation, prepared to assist this katra on the first part of its journey through the Gates of Ancient Wisdom?”  She intoned the initial words of the formal ceremony for the in-gathering of the katra.

“I have so prepared myself, by my mental disciplines, through my meditations…”  Again, as it had on the mountainside, T’Pol’s voice filled the antiphonal response with richness and power.  Ancient power, strong and protective.  Loving power, for the katra that was Elizabeth. “To assist this katra, the katra of my daughter, Elizabeth T’Les as she approaches the Gates of Ancient Wisdom.”

Without any break in its rhythm, Trip took up the next line of the response, as if he and T’Pol had been speaking it in one voice.  “By this ritual, I bestow blessings on this katra…” He realized he was shivering with emotion and that the back of his neck was trickling cold sweat as the meaning, the significance of the words surged through him.

“… This katra, this Elizabeth, this beloved little daughter…!”

He drew a deep breath and continued, his Vulcan slow, careful, as Florida-panhandle as ever, but without hesitation or stumble.  “Blessings on the katra of my daughter, Elizabeth T’Les, on her venture, her undertaking and her journey.”

Amid the poignant words, he couldn’t help but be aware of more than a little relief.

“He’d done it!  Gotten through the whole, entire thing in a manner worthy to do his little girl proud!”

He glanced at T’Pol, watched her step forward for the next part of the rite.

T’Narra’s gaze met T’Pol’s.  Her hand lifted, touched her cheek, searched the side of her face and remained there, motionless.  After several long seconds, her eyelids drifted closed.  When the priestess spoke, her tone was no less formal, but the power had given way to a sort of brisk gentleness.  “Are thee ready to begin thy journey throughout the Profound Wisdoms of the Universe?”

She’s talking to Elizabeth!

“I am…”  As T’Narra assisted Elizabeth from the resting state of the disembodied katra into a conscious meld with her mother, T’Pol, her features softening, spoke on their daughter’s behalf. “…prepared to undertake my journey.”

“Thou two, mother and child, are now joined, one mind to one mind, two awarenesses becoming one mind together.”  T’Narra’s hand remained, its touch light on T’Pol’s cheek.  She was standing with her eyes closed, looking inward with something that was the faintest suggestion of a smile touching the corners of her mouth.

The priestess turned to Trip.  Spoke briskly.  “Does thee wish to enter into the meld with thy family?”

“What?”  Had he heard her right?

“To meld here and now? With both of them?  With his beloved T’Pol?  And with his beautiful little Elizabeth?  What more could he wish for?  But would that be possible for him, when he was no telepath?  No Vulcan?  Was what T’Narra herself had called an…”

Before he could finished the though, T’Narra went on.  “Though thee be Outworlder, as her father, it is thy right.”  Some of the briskness dropped from her tone.  “And thee has conducted thyself here with both dignity and respect for our rituals and traditions.  I can open the door of the mind for thee.  Thy…” for a moment she glanced toward T’Pol.  “…bond-mate will be able to assist you to join her within the meld, while I inform T’Les to await her grandchild.”

“Thank you…” Trip managed in his careful Vulcan.  But instead of addressing her by the traditional “Reldai”, he offered her the title of respect he’d been taught from his own earliest childhood.  “I’d be honored by your assistance… Ma’am.”

“Then we shall proceed.”  T’Narra accepted the small tribute with a gracious inclination of her chin.  Trip saw the hand not touching T’Pol’s cheek rising toward his own.  There was the light, searching movement of warm fingers and then…

Everything went white.

Brilliant white.  Dazzling white.

He’d been here before.

In every direction there was nothing but whiteness.  No defined floor, ground, ceiling or sky.  No sense of whether it came from a lamp or a sun.  Only still and endless whiteness, gleaming with its own special vibrancy.

No sense of time passing either.

Trip might have stood there for seconds or hours, scarcely wondering about the paradox of how he could tell he was standing without any sense of there being a surface beneath him.  It hardly even surprised him that he could be so full of eager anticipation without it being strained by impatience.

When was the last time he’d felt so at ease?  So peaceful?

He didn’t know.  And it didn’t matter.

And then…

Was that a shimmer?  A faint shadow stirring amid, somehow dissolving, the whiteness?  Growing larger, closer?  Taking on a suggestion of form?

Yes!  It was a figure.  Faint, but growing clearer as it approached.  At first little more than a silhouette amid the dazzle, it took on shape, solidity, then the subtle beginning of color as a voice –

“…a thought…?”

sounded in his –

“…ears?  His mind…?”

“Trip?”

T’Pol took another step forward, then, pausing, looked up at him.  There was no challenge in her beautiful amber gaze as there had been when he’d found himself here in the white space before, back during the time he’d served on Columbia.  T’Pol did not order him to leave like she had then, but raised one arm to beckon him nearer.

In the other, she cradled Elizabeth.

There was no sign of illness now.  The baby’s eyes were bright with curiosity as she looked at him.  He was aware that he was all but glowing with smiles.

“Beautiful… So beautiful…!”

In this meeting of minds, he could sense the growing connection of being a family that the three of them had only begun to form in their few hours together before Elizabeth’s death.  Now, being with them here, it was as if that growth had never been interrupted.  Their presence was so vivid, the time spent sitting beside the incubator seemed distant and dreamlike by comparison.  This was the reality.  This was their bond.  Even if this bright solidity of this moment only lasted for a brief time, it outweighed the sadness that was the separation to come.

Because, something far within him was realizing, in the deepest sense, there would really be no true separation.

T’Pol was so close now that, if he raised his hand, he knew he could touch her cheek and feel the vibrant warmth of her skin, the silkiness of her shining cap of hair.

Then his gaze shifted back to Elizabeth, snuggled safe and well against her mother’s breast, but with those wide blue eyes lifted to meet his.

He stepped forward, his eager voice coming out soft, little more than a whisper.

“May I?”

“Of course.  You are her father.”

Leaning forward, Trip brushed T’Pol’s forehead with his lips, then gathered Elizabeth up into his arms, cradled her head against his shoulder and, rocking gently, began to sing her a lullaby.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Comments:

Eireann

Right, I'm going away now to dry my eyes.

You really do have the most amazing talent with words.  This chapter was just ... stunning.

Asso

Amazing the ability, shown here,  to make feelings and emotions "living things."
Hats off!
And I do not say more.

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