DISCLAIMER: The Star Trek characters are the property of Paramount Studios, Inc. The story contents are the creation and property of Cheree Cargill and is copyright (c) 2005 by Cheree Cargill. This story is Rated PG.



AMOK TIME: ASHES

Cheree Cargill



Stardate: 3373.8, Personal Log, First Officer Spock recording.

I sit looking at the photo of my wife ... no longer my wife ... and wonder what transformed her from the girl I knew into the woman who stood before me so recently. What made her cruel and cunning, humiliating me in the eyes of the Family and my peers? She has reduced me to wind-blown dust with a single word. The flame in my blood is spent, as cold and dead as a forge left untended.

Emotions tear at me that I am not yet able to fully control. Anger. Betrayal. Outrage. Shock. Hurt. Bewilderment. Emptiness. Confusion. Sadness. Fear. Disbelief. Revenge. Indignation. Depression. Acceptance. Numbness. Defeat.

Even, distantly, Gladness and Relief.

I am at war with myself. The Vulcan and the Human within me are at war. Tradition and Rebellion have always vied for control of my life and, until recently, I thought that the Rebel had won. I had defied my father and joined Starfleet. I had spent over twenty years living among my mother's people, making my way on my own terms, mentally thumbing my nose at the Vulcan even as I portrayed Vulcan incarnate to those around me, denying even to myself that the Human ruled. Hoping secretly in my deepest soul that the Human ruled.

But in the end, it was the Vulcan who ultimately won the victory. I could not defy my genes. My father had known that all along when he tied me to T'Pring in the katri-lah. It was logical and it was tradition and therefore it was done.

T'Pring. Cousin. Wife. Princess.

She was my equal in every way. A kinswoman of the da'Ni'ikhirchi. Direct descendant of Surak. Her lineage and breeding made her the perfect mate, royalty fit for the mother of my son ... Seventeenth Lineal Heir of Talek-sen-deen. When we were grown, that is. When we were bonded at my first pon farr. Or so it was planned.

T'Pau joined our minds well, making sure that T'Pring would await me. My whole life, she has been there, in my mind, subtle and distant, but there. A comforting presence, even as it was a confining one. I defied that, too. At the Academy, I ignored the link and dallied with Human females. I experimented with sexual attraction and used the exotic nature of my alien blood to woo a number of them. I made them fall in love with me, especially Leila. Most especially Leila.... Then I shunned them, saying that a Vulcan had no feelings, that I was incapable of love.

I lied even to myself, but I would not ... could not ... break my bond with T'Pring. Only she would have the power to cool the fire that would eventually take me. And I could not explain that fact to any of the others, not even Christine. My tongue was sealed by the true reasons. Even when the virus held me and I wanted to respond, I could not. Only stumble a lame "I'm sorry" and flee from her presence.

I want to make her understand that. I want her to know why I have rebuffed her all these months. Why I grew so irrationally angry when she brought me food. She could not do that. She could not serve me because she was not mine. Only T'Pring. Only my wife. I grew so angry with Christine because what she did made her a whore. She is too honorable for that and so I shouted and drove her away. She does not understand and I cannot explain it to her. To do so would dishonor her further.

But now ... suddenly it doesn't matter any longer. I am unbonded. My wife is gone and has dishonored me. Perhaps I knew already, deep down, through the bond, what she intended to do. Perhaps that was why I tried, finally, to make Christine see the situation when she returned to my cabin while I slept. I was still tongue-tied. I talked of dreams and natures and still could not say it. I was blinded by the flames in my eyes, the flame that was T'Pring. The flame that inexorably burned me to ashes.

Ashes. Cinders. My life has been reduced to soot. I have no one now. The pon farr has ended and nothing has come of the fire. No joining, no child, no future. I am an empty hearth, cold, useless.

The buzzer to my cabin door sounds and I numbly bid the caller enter.

It is Christine. She has a tray with soup. Plomik soup. I do not stop her now when she bends to serve me.

Perhaps an ember lives, after all. I find that I am hungry.

THE END