Disclaimer: Star Trek is the property of Paramount/Viacom. This story is the property of and is copyright (c) 1981 by Ingrid Cross. Originally published in Alpha Continuum #3, Tina Henry, editor. Rated PG.


Ingrid Cross

"...and your young men shall see visions..."

Dreamer, dreamer awake!

For the sun lingers on the horizon and the night beasts lurk closer,

closer! The sun has burned its golden way into your mind, your soul

and I fear that the moons

will not give you the rest you seek ...

Dreamer, your thoughts are magic this night.

Your mind has the power to summon

or dispel memories -- choose well!

Those you think of most come back

and for the night you have the power

to push death back or relive a memory.

See! he chooses to relive that

which causes hurt even now.

This man, this golden man of his mind,

why comes he as a lion, a predatory beast?

In this creature's eyes is sorrow

and pain and soul-weariness.

What means this sorrow, this weariness?

The man sleeps on, tosses fitfully,

his thoughts do not make good company.

There was a time, a year and more ago,

when thoughts could not harm him,

when sleep offered a peaceful respite.

And yet on this plan of forgetfulness,

he still cannot forget a certain day.

a day of certain pain.

Once he traveled among the stars,

and the music of friendship and love

played in his ears. Once he stood at the side of a golden man.

Duty grew into friendship, comradeship into love.

Until one day he knew of this love

and realized it had encompassed his very soul. On that day,

his world and foundations shook apart.

After five years of such friendship

he turned his back on the friend, comrade.

And this golden man? Ah, he could

not understand. For this was a blow

that cut too deeply. All the gods above

could not afford him peace or hope now.

The sleeper remembers words, harsh

and cold and speaking of finality.

"I don't understand. What about all

that we shared?" His friend has no

answer ... his silence is condemning.

"Then get out of here! I f you don't

have the decency to tell me what's

wrong, then get the hell out!"

And so the sleeper left the stars ...

left the friend, the dream.

He returned to his homeworld, a place

of desolate deserts. Here, his heart

sought peace and solitude.

And yet, something was missing,

a piece of the jigsaw of his life that

he could not bring into focus.

And on this magical night, on the

desert of Gol, he chooses the power

to relive a solitary moment of farewell

so he might find a clue to the missing piece.

Dreamer, dreamer awake!

The spectre at your side beckons,

and I fear you will not discover

what you long to find! Awake,

see what I can see, that even you--

mortal of a race of mortals, yet somehow more--

cannot find! The secret is here,

it waits patiently at your side.

Ah, he sleeps on. And the lion-man

vanished slowly, the victim of non-belief.

The sleeper stirs restlessly again

and he has lost the power to comprehend

this night of magic, this night of spells.

And the power comes but once in a lifetime

for any mortal ... the gift has vanished.

* * *

And early in the morning he awoke, knowing that the key to his soul-searching had been close during the night. Frustrated, he pounded a fist in the sand around him, wishing for the power of tears, knowing they would only be sucked from his body as the desert takes all moisture. He rolled over, turned his face to the two moons hanging lower in the sky now, and tried to calm his thoughts.

Giving up finally, he rose silently, broke camp, and walked toward the high plateau of Gol. He dismissed the broken threads of a half-remembered dream, bitterly deriding the myths that some had spoken of regarding this campsite. He was nearly a disciple now; such thoughts were nearly blasphemous.

And yet as he walked away, clearing his mind, ridding himself of such thoughts, he overlooked the paw prints in the sand, blowing away in the dry, hot winds of the Vulcan desert ....