Testament: Part 6
Upstairs, Spock sat at his desk in his darkened study, his face lit eerily from the computer running before him. The screen bothered his eyes. His mind rebelled against the hyperdimensional physics in which he was trying to lose himself; again and again it strayed to more personal thoughts—troubling images from the past, rife with conflict and the bitterest of emotions. T’Beth, Simon, James—his children’s names had become a litany of failure and loss.
Every Vulcan knew that pain was a matter of the mind. He should have been able to control it, yet tonight he felt increasingly helpless against the tide of despair rising in him. Closing his eyes, he shut out the glare of the computer. Once more he began the exercise for emptying his mind. When that proved unsuccessful, he tried to concentrate on the vastness of the universe, but just now the universe seemed cold and crushing and sinister.
Disgusted with himself, he shoved back his chair and stood up. At that instant the door opened. Light from the hallway streamed into the study, silhouetting a tall masculine figure. All too well, Spock knew he had neglected his uncle. Erratic, Sarek had called Sparn. Indeed, Sparn was behaving strangely, but then so was Spock.
Uninvited, Sparn came fully into the room and closed the door. A small courtesy light automatically flashed on. Now they could see one another plainly.
It occurred to Spock that his uncle had not knocked, but his own rudeness toward a guest more than outweighed any intrusion on his privacy. It was he who owed Sparn an explanation, so quietly he said in his native tongue, “I should not have left you, T’teer. This evening I have not…been myself.”
The Sparn he remembered would have looked upon him with disdain and lectured him, but the eyes of this Sparn held an unmistakable light of compassion. Clearly his uncle had in some manner changed.
Sparn said, “It must sometimes be difficult for you, living so far from Vulcan.”
“There are moments when I long for my homeworld,” Spock admitted.
“I must leave soon for Vulcan,” Sparn said. “Return with me for a time.”
The invitation was unprecedented. Suspicious, Spock came out from behind the desk and studied his uncle’s new, kindly face. “May I ask why you have come?”
Sparn seemed to undergo an interior struggle. Finally he said, “That will soon be evident. I ask only that you return with me.”
“I cannot,” Spock told him.
“You must,” Sparn said urgently. “As the humans say, it is ‘a matter of life or death’.”
A sudden resurgence of grief crushed the breath out of Spock. His throat tightened painfully as he revealed, “It is because of death that I cannot go with you. My son James…”
Sparn’s face lit strangely. With a slight smile, he stepped closer. “Bring him! There is one on Vulcan who can heal your son!”
Spock stared at his uncle. Now Sparn’s behavior was beginning to hint of madness, yet there was something within Spock that badly wanted to believe. “Sparn, no one can heal my son. There is no cure for Vash-Lester.”
Sparn merely nodded. “So that is it. But it does not matter. You have only to believe, to ask Yanash, and your son will be healed.”
All at once Spock understood. Annoyed with himself for having begun to hope even for an instant, but annoyed most of all with Sparn, he said, “Yanash the ‘Shiav’! Have you actually become a devotee of that fool?”
Sparn’s face became as stony as Spock had ever seen it. “I will excuse your words because you do not know Yanash. But nephew, I will not hear such disrespect from you again. As for Vulcan, you must come. You will come.”
“Because your Shiav commands it?”
“Because…” Sparn stopped and his manner grew gentle. “Because your mother is about to die.”
So it was said. Sparn turned from the sight of his nephew’s pain and walked over to the tall glass doors. His heart raced as he drew aside a filmy curtain and looked at the stars visible beyond the balcony. Now the questions would begin in earnest. Now, more than ever, he would need the strength and wisdom of Yanash.
Spock’s voice came to him—cool, controlled, skeptical. “Today I heard from my father. I find it peculiar that he said nothing about my mother’s health. He did, however, express concern regarding yours.”
Sparn turned and faced him. “Sarek should pay more attention to his wife. He has put all his confidence in her healers, but I tell you, she will not recover.”
“Are you now a physician, then? Or perhaps a seer?”
“You know I am not,” Sparn replied. “It is Yanash who knows, Yanash who sent me.”
Spock’s eyebrow rose and he nodded. “Ah. I understand. Then the solution is simple. Have Yanash heal her.”
Growing frustrated, Sparn said, “Spock, your mother is old and her time has come. There will be no healing.”
Doubt flickered in Spock’s eyes, then disappeared. He went to a side door and as he opened it, a light came on, revealing a bedroom. Without looking at Sparn, he said, “If you wish to stay, there is a room directly across the hall. Excuse me now, for I am tired…”
Sparn moved swiftly. At the doorway he grasped Spock by the shoulder and swung him around. Confronting him, he cursed, “T’Vareth! You will listen to me!”
Spock stared at him, wide-eyed. “You have lost your mind.”
“Are you so certain?” Sparn asked. “If you do not go to your mother now, you will regret it for the rest of your life.” Suddenly he was no longer angry, no longer afraid. Raising a finger to his own temple, he said, “Spock, you are an intelligent man. There is only one way for you to be certain that you are making the right decision. Come, see the truth for yourself. It is only logical.”
The shock of the meld left Spock lying awake for hours. Sparn was profoundly changed, but on close examination his mind had seemed entirely sane. Yet in the clarity of his uncle’s mind he had encountered deeply disturbing images.
Yanash. An archaic name vanishingly rare in Vulcan’s highly rational society, for it meant “God lives”. Who was this Yanash, wielding powers far beyond those of other Vulcans, publicly making bold declarations such as “I am logic, I am truth, I am enlightenment?” Not even Surak had made such claims.
Spock rose and slowly paced the darkness beside his bed. As a child he had been fascinated by the greatest of mysteries until Sarek convinced him that the concepts of God and an afterlife were fallacies unworthy of a modern Vulcan. Years of study among the kolinahru had not led him to change his beliefs, nor had his personal experience of death.
How many times had he been asked the same question: “What was it like to die?” In reply he did not recite the old katra legends of the Vulcan people. He did not speak of a tunnel, light, or glorious spiritual reunion like so many humans reported from their “near death experiences”. He did not reply at all, because he did not remember anything beyond a vague katra-link with Doctor McCoy. Yet here he stood, living proof that his essence had in some form continued beyond death.
The words of this young renegade fascinated him, but most intriguing of all were the many images of healing. If Yanash truly wielded the power of life…
Spock abruptly returned to the facts. Even a sane man could be deluded, and the light in his uncle’s eyes seemed all too familiar. Hadn’t Spock’s own brother Sybok looked the same? Sybok’s religious delusions had led him to commit crimes and eventually resulted in his death. So far, Yanash was not advocating criminal behavior, but his hold over the people of Vulcan made Spock uneasy. Ultimately there was only one way to verify what was happening on his home world. And so he made his decision.
In the hour before dawn he put through a quick series of phone calls. Then he awakened his uncle. After informing Sparn of his plans, he left for Starfleet Medical Center where Lauren had spent the night. As he entered his son’s hospital room, she rose from her place at James’ bedside. The boy was sleeping, but Lauren looked as if she had not gotten much rest.
Wordlessly she embraced Spock and began to quietly weep with a depth of emotion that intensified his own sorrow. As he held her close, he turned his thoughts to the images of Yanash in Sparn’s mind. There was so little time left. Somehow, for the sake of their son, he must convince her to make this one last attempt.
Softly he said, “It may be…that he will not die.”
Lauren drew back, eyes wet with tears, her hands still holding him. “Spock.” She pronounced each anguished word slowly, deliberately. “We…have…to…face…reality.”
He touched her face, wanting her to understand, wanting to share this unlikely flicker of hope kindled in him, yet keenly aware of how foolish he would sound. “Lauren…aisha…there are facts of which you are not aware.”
Dull with sorrow, her eyes turned aside and her grip on his arms loosened. “No.” Her voice was barely audible. “I’ve gone over all the facts….over and over and over.”
Spock prepared himself for an argument. Drawing a deep breath, he said, “We must take James to Vulcan immediately. Your mother is supplying a medical courier ship from Sanger Industries. My uncle Sparn is currently sending Simon and Teresa to stay with her. He will accompany us on our journey.”
The dullness fled from Lauren’s eyes. She stared at him, speechless.
He continued. “You must prepare James for transport. There is a man on Vulcan—“
She interrupted. “Did you say ‘Sparn’? Sarek’s brother? The perpetual ‘thorn in your heel’?”
“Yes,” Spock said, “it is he who brought news of a healer on Vulcan. Sparn has become a…a follower of the man; he has greatly changed.”
“A follower?” she asked with suspicion. “Whose follower? What’s his name?”
A nurse entered the room. Impatient with the delay, Spock nevertheless waited until she finished with James. The boy slept on.
Their privacy assured, Spock voiced the name that he feared would unleash a storm of protest. “I am speaking of Yanash.”
Lauren merely lifted one eyebrow and studied his face in silence. Then quietly, reasonably, she said, “But I thought you were opposed to him. Strongly opposed.”
He, too, raised an eyebrow. “Perhaps…I have been in error. After all, until now our knowledge of this man has consisted entirely of news coverage and hearsay. Sparn offered something more. He permitted me to look into his mind and see Yanash through his own eyes.” He paused. “I can’t say that I agree with his teachings, but Lauren…Yanash heals. With a touch, with a mere word. Perhaps if we ask him, he will heal our son.”
She looked upon him with amazement. “You actually believe that!”
Spock considered for a moment. “It’s what I have seen in my uncle’s mind. It’s what I would like to believe.”
All at once the exhaustion and hopelessness seemed to drain from Lauren’s face. Breaking into the first smile that Spock had seen from her in days, she said, “How soon can the ship be ready?”
By M.C. Pehrson