A Last Walk In the Desert

By Linda

Rating: PG

Genres: drama

Keywords: T'Pol's Parents

This story has been read by 564 people.
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Genre: Strange New Worlds reject.

Note: This story got rated in this category “good writing but your story seemed to loose focus after the first few pages”. It did not make the second read pile. I was scratching my head because I thought it was too short to loose focus, LOL. It is another view of the Syrran character.


A Last Walk In the Desert
By Linda

He had been walking since sunset, his pace as brisk as when he was a younger, much less heavy man. If he was noticed, all a passing stranger would see was a broad chested, middle-aged Vulcan with straggly sun-lightened hair, whose traveling robes were stained, sun-faded, a bit tattered, but once must have been respectable. A snug sehlat skin worker’s vest spanned his ample lower torso, with the rest of his garment loose fitting to protect his body from the relentless radiation of Eridani, Vulcan’s sun. He looked like he knew the desert and could take care of himself. His solid purposeful step warned strangers that he was not a man to try to rob, but a man who you would not hesitate to ask for aid, if you were in need. And you would expect gruff, silent, efficient aid, accompanied by a whatever-is-a-weakling-like-YOU-doing-out-HERE expression. This was just the image Arev wanted to project, so no one would suspect he was a wanted man.

His people needed him, and he would be joining them at the ancient ruined sanctuary by the time Eridani set tomorrow over The Forge. The katra he had carried within his mind for seventeen years had finally revealed the location of the Kir’Shara. Why had it taken Surak this long to trust him? No matter. He and his people would retrieve it and move deeper into The Forge where they had numerous food caches and boltholes.

Not all of his followers would be making this trip. Those too elderly or otherwise unfit to live the life of hunted refugees, would have to take their chances in the cities. Arev disliked leaving his three human students, their rounded ears and pink skin easy for the minions of the High Command to spot. If captured, perhaps they would only be sent back to Earth and not tortured for information, Earth being Vulcan’s closest ally at this time. Arev had told them nothing of his escape plan in order to protect them. But he set aside thoughts of those left behind, for as Surak said, the needs of the many took precedence. ‘The many’ were an assemblage of young to middle-aged followers of the True Teachings of Surak who awaited him in the outer reaches of The Forge.

Arev continued his loping desert eating pace, the glow of civilized Vulcan a faint after-image far behind his back. Like the wind’s signature, the desert was marked by his passage with temporary impressions in the soft sand. His pseudonymic traveling name was apt: Desert Wind. A sound. He stopped. This noise came from above, but only as high as that hill to the left, as it was not the steady whine from the increasing number of patrol craft etching con trails in Vulcan’s skies. The wild sehlat heard it too. It was hunting something. Arev raised his hand to his mouth and gave the sehlat territorial call: “this is MY hunting ground, fight me or move off!” The sehlat moved off. It must have been poaching. Then two figures rose from their hiding place on the hill.

….

And now these two were following him, but Arev would not slow his pace. As followers of Surak, their names should be familiar, but he had never met them during the years of consolidating his movement. He hoped the human would keep up. It was already nearing mid-day as Eridani climbed toward its apogee. He had no time to waste on a lying human who did not even know the first thing he had taught his serious human students, that it was T’Plana-Hath who said: “Nam-tor ozhika kluterek t’sha’sutenivaya – k’ish she-tor etek s’nezhak – isan utvau vah sha’kakhartayek”. (Logic is the cement of our civilization with which we ascend from chaos, using reason as our guide). This human was depleting his water supply at an alarming rate. The Vulcan woman had not had any water since they joined him, and Arev’s last drink had been yesterday at noon. But this human kept on going, he seemed determined like Arev’s committed human students who would have to be tortured before they revealed the little they knew.

Arev’s Vulcan students like T’Les were also stalwart and committed. And T’Les had a brave but eccentric daughter, who followed her own path in defiance of the High Command. Arev approved of defying the High Command. He had told T’Les that this path was her daughter’s destiny and would affect Vulcan in a positive way. Her daughter’s life was about change, and change could be frightening, even painful. T’Les was unsure, for she had been gratified when her daughter chose tradition over inclination. It worried T’Les that she let her daughter do this for her sake, though it was also a comfort to see her daughter return to the traditions of her own people. Nevertheless, T’Les had confided that she had been deeply affected by her human houseguest. That human engineer’s ethics had been tested and had come up honorable. T’Les was glad her daughter served with such people aboard this experimental alien ship over which a mother had no control.

Arev walked quickly and noiselessly over the desert sand. The weather was changing; they should not relent their brisk pace. He would have time to consider the logic of T’Les’s situation, as their destination was still a pinpoint in the distance, not reachable before nightfall. Arev had asked T’Les about her daughter’s Vulcan husband. This architect was the ideal Vulcan mate: wealthy, talented, with connections at the highest level of Vulcan society. Was he not the sort of man every mother wanted for her daughter? But his ethics had not been tested, nor had his commitment to her daughter shown anything more than an insistence on following tradition. Would he stand by her in her future conflicts with the High Command? T’Les had begun to wonder if the human would have been the better mate for her daughter. She had asked her mentor and Arev was also unsure whether logic dictated that the right choice had been made. Surak was silent on the subject - silent in a knowing sort of way, for he did not reveal everything to the carrier of his katra.

Arev’s footfalls and thoughts slowed so he could give the desert his full attention. There was a dry and magnetic feel to the air, an eerie brightness was building. “Run!” Arev shouted to his companions as he consulted the map in his mind, with Surak concurring. There was a cave close by and they might reach it before the roiling dust cloud engulfed them and the stabbing needles of energy found their mark.

They just made it, tumbling through the cave entrance, and then preceded to seal themselves in. The human managed to hold up his end of a rock. Not so weak after all, this human, although adrenaline might have had something to do with it, thought Arev as he turned to the Vulcan woman and spotted the IDIC. Arev grunted softly and the side of his mouth twitched in the way it had since childhood whenever he was surprised about something. So, the woman he had been contemplating all day had been walking the desert behind him since the darkest hours of last night. And the human - this water-wasting, sunburned human - was the starship captain who had bested the High Command over the matter of P’Jem. Arev had much to discuss with both of them.

….

Arev set his dish aside and licked a finger. Manners forbade the touching of food with bare hands but manners were a luxury in the desert where it was illogical to adhere to them. He was ready to start the education of this human captain on the basic tenets of Surak. Surak himself would be dictating the lesson. To begin, Arev focused on what he knew of humans. T’Les thought T’Pol had been intimate with this human engineer. Maybe so, but T’Pol had done the honorable thing in reaffirming the bonding pledge she made when she was seven. Even so…was her true mate this human engineer? There was much to be admired in humans but they could never be completely Vulcan. Humans did not have the desert-hardened toughness of mind and body bred into his people over the eons. They could never understand Surak the way a native could…never know the touch of Surak’s mind the way Arev did. But Archer could still be taught the simpler control techniques which would aid a mind already sophisticated enough to discover the truth about P’Jem and expose what was so wrong about the current leadership on Vulcan.

Then Arev’s desert bred ears felt the pressure change in the storm. It was intensifying. A searing flash and ear-piercing explosion broke through the rock barrier they had erected and stunned all three of them. Arev, with Vulcan swiftness, was the first atop the barricade; with T’Pol only a heart beat behind him. He heaved a rock back into place, then felt, more than saw, the blinding flash that knocked him backward…

He knew he was dying. His back was broken; blood was drowning his brain, seeping through the deeply charred places. He feared for Surak, and made him retreat along undamaged neurons. But soon every haven in his brain would be gone. The human! He was male, and that mattered more than that he be Vulcan. Male to male, female to female – that was the way it must be if the katra was not to be damaged. Only such a female as T’Pau would be capable of…yes, it must be himself to Archer to T’Pau: the most gifted of his followers. Surak concurred.

Shaking and in great pain, Arev made the finger connections, focusing his whole being on the delicate transfer before he became too weak. Yes! It would work. A human would become a link in the ever so tenuous chain of events that would save Vulcan culture. Again Surak assented, so Arev connected the neural pathways and fortified the human’s neurons with gentle insulating energy - all the way to that place in Archer’s brain which would best house the katra. Archer would never be the same again, even after the inevitable transfer of Surak to another Vulcan. Archer, from now on, would be part Vulcan. Arev’s katra laughed at the irony of this. With a rasping breath Arev whispered, “vokau!” (remember!), and his own katra fled the mortally wounded Vulcan body, following Surak through the neurons; a true disciple was Arev-Syrran, even in the moment of his own death.

His katra gone, his sight fading, the last face Syrran perceived was T’Pol’s, and she was showing an unVulcan-like sadness. Or was that the face of his mother, softly singing a lullaby while cradling him in her arms? His mother, T’Les, T’Pau, T’Pol – the faces of the Women of Vulcan shape shifted through the last moments of Syrran’s life. The Women of Vulcan were the Vulcan heart, the Vulcan soul, as the wise ancient philosophers had always known. Mother-T’Pol-Mother dimmed as the echo of Syrran’s consciousness faded away. He had been one of the few who were now aware of the potential of a Vulcan/human bond, but it would not be from his lips that anyone else would come to know of it.


Comments:

Linda

Another story that got its comments blown away when the system went down. :@   But they were nice comments, really!  LOL.:D

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