DISCLAIMER: The Star Trek characters are the property of Paramount Studios, Inc. The story contents are the creation and property of T'Sia and is copyright (c) 2004 by T'Sia. This story is rated PG.
The huge linguistic building stood dark at the university complex, the offices long since deserted by the personnel who hurried through its corridors by day. Only two windows on the top floor were dimly illuminated.
The young woman who was working on one of the many computer stations in the huge office straightened from her work. Her back and the muscles of her neck hurt badly and she grimaced slightly when she tried to stretch in order to loosen the cramped muscles.
She sighed and gave up the attempt to ease the dull ache and sat back, still staring at the computer screen. The machine gave a slight sound and the status lights indicated it was working.
"Oh no, not again," she muttered and sat up, hitting the save button as quickly as she could. She held her breath and released it only when her action was confirmed. She looked at the huge chronometer above the door to the office. It showed 0005 hours. She sighed deeply. She had to get up at 5 am to be ready for the morning class. If this stupid machine had not crashed and destroyed her work a few hours ago, she would be in bed already.
Collecting her hand-written notes from the desk, she made a hard copy of the files and saved them to a disk just to be sure that her work would not be lost again. She turned off the unit and the room went completely dark when she switched off the small desktop lamp at her station.
She maneuvered through the corridors that were only dimly lit by the emergency panels along the ceiling and collected the hard copy from the printer. When she came around the last corner on her way to the elevators, she nearly dropped the notes and gave a startled yelp when she ran into someone.
A flashlight shone into her eyes and the grip on her arm was loosened when the night watchman recognized her as being a staff member by reading the ID-chip on her chest. His brows lifted and he regarded her with an accusing expression, the seriousness not quite reaching the older man's eyes. She squinted into the light and smiled sheepishly.
"I'm sorry, I did not expect to meet someone at this hour," she managed, her voice still a little unsteady from the shock of the sudden unexpected meeting.
The main light panel was activated and the corridor was lit completely.
"Neither did I," the guard replied dryly. "Why are you working this late, Miss...?"
She blushed slightly. "Grayson," she replied. "Amanda Grayson. The computer crashed this evening and I had to redo the work. I need it for tomorrow's lectures. I am new here."
"I see," he answered. "You should light the corridors when you are leaving this late, and notify the security team. It has to be written in the report when staff members stay this late," he said.
"All right. It won't happen again," she answered and placed a strand of her wavy brown hair behind her ear.
"Are you leaving through the front gate or the underground car park?"
"Car park. I left the groundcar there."
He reached into his pocket and gave her a code card. "Take this one to open the doors to the car park and the outer gates. This will not trigger the security alarm. You can return it to the security personnel at the front gate tomorrow."
"Oh, thank you. I didn't know that I couldn't leave with the card I have."
"Not at this time. The doors are locked at 9 pm. We cannot leave the buildings open for twenty-four hours."
"Of course not," she answered and cursed herself for not thinking about the obvious herself. "Thank you and good night."
"Good night," the guard answered and continued his rounds in the other direction.
She was able to open the doors to the car park and the gate outside without any problem and made her way home.
* * *
She drove on the deserted coast road and watched the silvery moonlight being reflected from the water in the bay while the stars glinted in the cloudless night. She slowed down and opened the top of the groundcar until the cool breeze and the airflow of the drive ruffled her hair. She smiled and relished the feeling of the cool air in her face while she sped up again.
Muffled by the wind which rushed along her ears, she thought she had heard a crashing noise ahead. She frowned and reduced speed again to hear better. The road hugged the coastal cliffs and she could not see far as it disappeared behind the next huge stone wall. Suddenly a groundcar shot around the curve and skidded off the bend, spinning around several times. She jerked the steering wheel to the right to prevent a crash and pushed the brake pedal to its limit. A squealing noise could be heard when the wheels of her groundcar locked and the vehicle slid out of control.
Only a fraction of a second later she connected with the other car. It sent her own vehicle into a spin and her eyes widened in fear when she saw the abyss to the sea and the cliff walls flying by in turn while the car spun around several times. The harsh stone walls of the cliff where illuminated by the headlights of her car and with a tremendous crash, the vehicle connected head first with the stone. She was hurled forwards and her head connected with the steering wheel. Then she knew nothing more.
* * *
A sound penetrated the fog. It was dull but insistent. When she turned to it in the confines of blissful unconsciousness, she felt herself drift back to the surface and the sound grew louder. It hurt in her ears and she tried to turn away. With a start she gained consciousness and recognized the sound. It was the horn of the groundcar and it wailed without end, the sound distorted by the crash. She felt her head ache and realized she still lay on the horn panel embedded in the steering wheel. With the force of pure will, she lifted her face from the panel and the wailing stopped. Her whole world spun and she felt a cool dampness on her forehead.
Slowly memory returned and she knew she'd had a car accident. Carefully she sat up but slumped bonelessly against the back of the seat, the motion sending a fresh wave of throbbing pain through her head. When the spinning had subsided a bit she opened her eyes slowly. She needed some seconds to realize where she was and saw the harsh contours of the cliff ahead of her. One of the headlights was still operable and illuminated the scene dimly.
Slowly she turned her head and the cool breeze from the sea cooled the searing pain. She couldn't see the other car anywhere. It must have either gone over the edge into the sea below or the driver had taken off after the accident. Only broken pieces from both of the vehicles lay strewn over the driving lanes. Slowly the pain in her head subsided to a tolerable level and she checked her body for other injuries. She found some scratches from the broken windshield on her arms but was miraculously not injured severely.
Carefully she reached for her forehead and when she looked at her hand it was red with blood as she had expected. She wasn't bleeding heavily and the blood on her hands was partially dark and already coagulated. With a twinge of shock she realized that she could have easily died either from sliding into the sea or from any number of severe injuries. The car was old and the security systems obviously failed. The outcome of this could have been far worse.
She got out of the car and braced herself on its side. When she trusted her legs enough, she released her hold and slowly made her way to the guardrail on the sea side of the road. It was not broken and she couldn't see any other sign that indicated that the other car had fallen into the sea. The driver must have taken off with the damaged, but obviously still-running, car.
She looked to the right and saw a piece of metal glinting in the moonlight. She frowned and regretted the move a second later when fresh blood dribbled down onto her nose and white shirt. She cursed silently and used the hem of the shirt to wipe the blood away. Then she turned her attention to the thing that glinted in the moonlight. It lay against the guardrail. It couldn't be the car that had hit her. It was too far away and in the wrong direction. But it was a groundcar of some sort. Only the position seemed odd.
She remembered the noise she had heard shortly before the accident. Was it possible that the car with which she had collided had caused another accident? The driver must have been drunk or insane to finish two other cars and take off after the accidents. She tried to see more but it was too dark and she couldn't make out any movement. As quickly as she could, she returned to the crashed remains of her vehicle and retrieved the emergency kit. Checking her own wounds again, she realized that the bleeding had stopped and decided to save the sealed antiseptic bandages for the passengers of the broken car who might be injured more severely.
With slightly insecure steps she walked along the cliff around the next curve and saw the other vehicle when she drew nearer. It lay on its roof, crashed into the guardrail on the sea side of the road, the skid marks still clearly visible on the driving lane. It was an old style stretch limousine; the windows and surface colored pitch black which had made it difficult to be seen from her earlier position. Several windows were broken and she spotted a pale hand lying lifelessly out of the driver's cabin. She swallowed and drew nearer. Squatting down in slow motion she came to eyelevel with the broken side window and glanced inside.
The window on the side that faced the bay had a huge crack in it and a piece of glass had fallen away, allowing some of the silvery moonlight to filter in and illuminate the scene inside.
Her eyes widened when she saw the liquid that had splattered across the separation window to the passenger's cabin. It looked very dark and she could not make out the color clearly in the moonlight. Somehow she had no doubt it was blood but it could not be human blood. She saw a humanoid figure lying in a contorted position that left no doubt the person was dead. Nevertheless she reached out as far as she could and touched the neck of the driver to feel for a pulse of some sort. She did not feel any sign of life. The skin was wet and cold. When she drew back she saw that she had the blood of the creature on her hand. Still she could not make out the color in the false light. She thought it might be green but she was not sure. She heard a small noise from the darker side of the passenger's cabin and glimpsed through a crack in the separation window.
Small eyes, wide open and frightened met hers and she leaned forward to get a better look. A scrambling sound could be heard and the eyes disappeared. 'A child,' she thought when realization hit her. She tried to see more but the crack was not wide enough and she drew back and crawled alongside the car until she reached one door that had partially opened during the crash. Slowly she pulled it open wider with a screeching sound. The physical strain rewarded her with intensifying throbbing in her head and she paused a moment to let it ease. When the painful pulsations lessened a bit she leaned inside the passenger's cabin carefully, straining her eyes to see something in the semi darkness. "Hello," she called softly.
A sound from the rear caught her attention and when her eyes had adjusted to the darker interior of the car she could make out the small figure of a child and the larger form of humanoid shape lying on the roof of the car which was now the bottom in its upturned state.
"Shh, it's okay," she soothed and leaned further into the dark, laying the emergency kit down to brace herself with both hands. She could see the child now. It was male and must be three or four Standard years of age, his elfin features making it clear he was Vulcan. He huddled beside the head of the larger figure and touched his hand to the figure's temples. A slight tremor went through the larger body and an anguished moan was heard. Judging by the proportions and the deep voice the figure was male too, and probably the father of the child whose expression became even more frightened when he heard the moan. She watched when the boy tried to shake the father's shoulder with all of his childish might but it moved only slightly and caused no further reaction.
"Osu," the child whimpered, obviously frightened by the strange alien that crawled slowly nearer. The alien's face was covered with a dark substance which held a strange smell and it had the green liquid of Vulcan blood on its hands. Would it harm him? The boy hesitated to retreat back further and leave the still soothing, solid presence between him and the alien. But, despite his early telepathic education, his fear mounted. His control slipped and his lower lip quavered. He cast a glance at the emergency signal and saw it was still flashing like it did when he pushed the button. Why weren't other Vulcans coming to help them? The alien came nearer. "Go away," he said in Vulcan and grabbed the elder's tunic for comfort.
Amanda hesitated. She understood what the child said. The words were Vulcan. The boy was understandably frightened with his father unconscious and a blood-covered alien crawling inside the car, she realized. What astonished her was the fact that the child seemed to initialise a mind meld at this tender age. As far as she knew Vulcan children were taught this technique much later in life. Maybe this little boy was specially gifted. She stopped her approach and projected calm and comforting feelings. She followed the child's gaze to the emergency light that still flashed as it broadcast its signal. The boy must have activated it after the accident. 'Clever child,' she thought when she turned back to him. But there was no time to lose. "Have no fear, little one," she said in Vulcan. "I will help you." The phrases were still difficult to pronounce for her and she wondered whether the child understood her.
The boy still regarded her with fear in his huge dark eyes but the shivering of the small body had lessened a bit. He understood her, obviously, but she could not blame him for not trusting her. Carefully she shifted her position and looked the child over as far as she could for any injuries. She could see a small dark scratch on the boy's forehead but nothing more from her position.
With a concerned glance at the Vulcan male who lay between them and who was only breathing shallowly she realized time was running out and she had to get to the boy to insure that he was not badly injured. Then she had to get help for the older Vulcan quickly, so she leaned forward and reached for the boy's arm.
When the female alien touched his arm he saw the blood on its face and hand clearly. A wave of emotions and feelings washed over him, mingling his own shock and pain with hers. Frightened for his life his still fragile childish control snapped and he fought, calling for help loudly.
Amanda held on to the fighting child as gently as she could without releasing him. She had nearly dragged him over to her when a large hand closed painfully around her wrist, nearly crushing her bones. She yelped and barely avoided breaking her hold on the child who had suddenly stopped fighting. She spun to the man lying beside her and saw it was he who had grabbed her arm painfully. His face was covered with dried blood but his eyes were open and their gazes locked onto each other tightly.
Suddenly she seemed to fall and pictures flashed in her mind so quickly she nearly blacked out from the intensity of it. She saw pictures of wide, ochre-colored deserts, of foreign cities and unfamiliar people until she realized the memories were not hers. The vortex of swirling pictures and impressions pulled her down to its base and she was suddenly one with the Vulcan; saw what he saw and felt what he felt. S/he sat in the car, watching the boy play before the accident. Suddenly the vehicle was hit from the side and behind. It spiralled out of control and turned upside down. While they were in motion s/he grabbed the child and curled around it, shielding the fragile body from the bone-crushing impacts as the car rolled over several times. At last the security belt tore and s/he was thrown into the roof of the car and blackness descended.
Pain washed through them and a separate part of Amanda's mind realized the Vulcan was injured severely. He shouldn't be conscious at all. Only the desperate cries of his child must have called him back from the verge of death. He was weakening quickly and the grip he had on her wrist lessened along with the intensity of the mental contact. Dizziness washed over her when her brain tried to compensate for the mental intrusion. Pictures were still swirling in her head and she felt panic grip her for an instant when she realized the former intensity of the contact and weakened controls of the Vulcan had formed a link between them. She was no telepath and could not break it. What if he died and dragged her with him? His mind was delirious, barely able to formulate a coherent thought. Only the urge to protect the child broadcasted clearly. She tried her best to project calming feelings and thoughts. She broadcasted the message that she would not harm the child. She did not know whether he understood her. She'd never experienced a mind meld before. It was like speaking in a foreign language. His eyelids fluttered and his eyes rolled back when he was about to lose consciousness again.
Afraid he could die and take her with him she called out mentally and tried to reach him. Collecting all her remaining power she imagined throwing a lifeline to him. The response was weak and she felt like something took hold of her thoughts like a drowning man taking hold of an offered lifeline. Paradoxically she did not reject it. She felt herself becoming weaker and knew he was drawing energy from her. It was the most amazing feeling she had ever had and she tried to strengthen the link. Her attempts were clumsy compared to a real telepath but it was sufficient to prevent the Vulcan from dying.
The intensity of the link lessened and she became aware of the real world around her. She was breathing heavily and opened her eyes slowly. Her weak gaze was met by the curious look of the Vulcan boy who was observing her carefully.
Obviously he didn't understand why an alien and a non-telepath could help instead of harm them. He found an acceptable distance between him and the female when her grip on him had loosened after the unintentional mind meld between the adults.
Suddenly the interior of the limousine was brightly lit and a flitter descended beside them. Amanda's vision swam slightly before her but she was able to make out the medical insignia on the flitter's side. With a relieved sigh she sagged a little and waited until the emergency team had cut away the side of the limousine to retrieve the injured.
'Poor boy. More aliens to deal with,' Amanda thought when she saw the boy tense upon realizing the members of the rescue team were not Vulcans but Humans. She regarded him through heavy, half-closed lids. The poor child obviously did not know where to go and in his despair, he chose the place that held less danger in his opinion and crawled over to her, snuggling into her arms, one hand resting on the hand of the older Vulcan which was still closed around Amanda's wrist.
Moved by the fragile trust the child showed her due to her helping actions she enclosed him with her other arm and stroked his head soothingly. Through her touch the boy probably felt her connection to the other Vulcan and it calmed him enough to let the emergency team approach. They examined the Vulcan and hooked him up to a portable life support system. They stabilized him first and ran their scanners over Amanda and the boy afterwards. The child pressed even closer to her when the scanner hummed over his head.
A questioning gaze from Amanda was met by an encouraging smile of the medic. "He is fine," he said. "Just a few scratches and bruises. But your head is worse. You have a severe concussion and a slight neural disorder."
"Must be the link," she muttered.
"The link?" the medic asked. He was astonished. As far as he knew there existed no marriages between Humans and Vulcans so far. The child was obviously fully Vulcan so this could not be the mother. But maybe she was bonded to the Vulcan. He knew the surviving partner of a Vulcan couple could die too due to the mental loss of the other and he made a mental note to call a Vulcan healer to the hospital to care for the woman in case the injured Vulcan died.
With a little effort they loosened the Vulcan's hand from the woman and loaded him into the flitter. His vital signs dropped when the connection was severed but stabilized again when they brought the woman in and laid her on the second diagnostic bed. The child still clung to her and snuggled down beside her on the way to the hospital.
* * *
Amanda's injuries were minor compared to that of the Vulcan and after her concussion had been treated she was seen by a Vulcan healer who explained to her what the link meant; that the other Vulcan was drawing strength from her to stay alive. She had most likely saved his life with offering the help although the link had been a great risk to both of them. It would have to be severed after the surgery. Until then the healer had closed off their minds from one another except for the life-ensuring link. He stayed ready, however, to severe it immediately if the Vulcan died so that she wouldn't die as well.
Now she sat in the waiting room, the little Vulcan boy cradled in her arms. After his father had been brought in for surgery he had refused to leave her side and had clung to her until he fell asleep. She looked upon the elfin features of the boy and realized how vulnerable he looked -- just like a Human child, only with slightly different features. He had been trained in telepathy early. Of that she had no doubt but otherwise he acted like Vulcan and Human children at this tender age. He was obviously frightened and overwhelmed by the events of the day. She cradled him closer and stroked the fine black hair away from his forehead.
The double doors of the outer entrance opened and she expected to see investigation personnel again who wanted to interrogate her on the facts of the accident. They had suspected she had caused the accident at first but they had found clear signs of a third groundcar and the position of her own made it impossible for her to have caused the crash with the limousine. They still had not revealed the identity of the Vulcan or the boy to her but she suspected the Vulcan must be of high rank. The limousine and the heavily-adorned robe the Vulcan wore testified to this fact.
She leaned forward and saw a tall, imposing Vulcan approach the counter where the nurse on duty kept the night watch. They spoke for a moment and then the Vulcan turned his head and looked straight at her. Her heart nearly stopped. He looked much like the man whose life she had saved. He was just slightly stronger built and his hair was a shade darker. 'He must be closely related to the man in the ICU,' she thought. He said something to the nurse and started in her direction.
Nervously she shifted the child in her arms and sat straighter when the door to the waiting room opened and the Vulcan entered. She could see a warm glow in his eyes when he regarded the sleeping child in her arms. Then his gaze traveled up to her face and she met his eyes that looked remarkably warm for a Vulcan although his face remained expressionless.
He wore a dark robe, cut in a Vulcan style without any ornaments. Only the golden clan insignia were embroidered on the collar of the outer robe. She tried to identify them but failed, her still-fogged brain refusing to supply the right information. The Vulcan approached her with cat like grace that barely hid the amount of power he held in check.
He spoke up with little introduction and his deep voice vibrated in his chest. "They say my brother is doing well. He will survive and the link can be dissolved or transferred to my mind." He regarded her calmly. He had been astonished to learn that this Terran female had offered a link to save his brother's life. It could have well been her own death but she chose to help nevertheless. The fact that she coped well with a mind meld naturally surprised him even more. He barely could make out any ill side effects in her features. They shone only with the remains of the shock and the concussion. Fatigue was clearly visible in her posture and he sat beside her and gently took the sleeping child from her arms. The boy stirred lightly but did not wake up. He touched the child's mind briefly and strengthened the link. Then he turned to the Terran woman and lifted his hand, questioning her with his gaze.
"Is it safe to transfer the link now?" she asked, carefully reaching for the secured pulsing link that connected her with the Vulcan in the ICU.
"Yes. You will not suffer any ill effects and neither will my brother," he answered calmly.
She sighed deeply and tucked her hair behind her ear to give him sufficient room to place his hand against her face.
He watched every movement she made and was amazed at the simple grace with which she moved her hand and tilted her head to one side to give him better access. The light from the little light on the wall illuminated the room with a warm glow that shone on her features and emphasized the soft planes and angles of her face and her neck, glinting softly off her brown curls. Mesmerized, he regarded her and felt a little twinge when he pondered the possibility that she might want to renew the link with his brother when all this was over.
She regarded him quizzically and he shoved away the disturbing, illogical thoughts and placed his hand on her face. Her skin was soft and slightly cool. He initiated the meld and her mind opened to him in acceptance. Slowly he maneuvered through her thoughts, careful not to invade her personal memories. He pondered about the surprising ease with which he would be able to form a lasting link with her but she was not his. He felt a strange familiarity with this mind and he had to summon his controls not to get distracted. He did not expect to find this in a non-telepath. Reminding himself of the reason he was performing the meld he loosened the pulsing link with his brother from her and attached it to his own mind, feeling the steady flow of energy to his brother. If it was recognizable for him it must have been straining for her, especially in her current condition. Carefully he closed all remaining connections from her to the mind of his brother and retreated, although a little bit reluctantly.
When he broke the meld she turned and regarded him with surprise shining in her eyes. "I did not realize how straining the link was. Thank you," she said.
"It is I who has to offer gratitude," he answered. "You saved the life of my brother," he looked down at the child he cradled gently in his arms, "and that of my son."
Her brows rose. "Your son? But I thought your brother is his father." She felt a slight rush of regret when he admitted the child was his. If this was his son, then he was surely married. Puzzled, she analysed the feeling. This could not be. She only knew this Vulcan for a few minutes. Why did it matter to her that he was possibly married? She tried to shake of the disturbing feeling but she remembered the gentleness with which he had moved inside her mind and she could not help the longing for his touch. Then she remembered the boy's words in the limousine and she frowned lightly. "Why did your son call the other Vulcan 'osu' when he is his uncle? Does this word not mean 'sir'?
"The translation is correct." He hesitated, not willing to discuss personal issues.
Noticing his reluctance to explain the circumstances further she decided to lead the discussion back to safer territory. "I see. The word did mislead me then. I thought it was a title and replacement for father."
He gave the impression of a smile but his lips did not move. "No," he said. "The child is mine." The amused gleam in his eyes vanished. "His mother died recently and my brother brought him to Earth for me. They had just arrived when the accident happened." He stopped and realized with surprise he had spoken about personal issues he originally did not want to discuss.
"I grieve with thee," she intoned in Vulcan, causing his eyebrows to climb into his hairline, distracting him from his thoughts.
He masked his surprise about the fact that she spoke Vulcan and knew the ritual words as well as he did, and gave the ritual answer. Then the two of them regarded each other silently, both comfortable in the other's presence.
A movement outside of the waiting room caught Amanda's attention and she saw one of the two investigating officers who had interrogated her after her treatment. The man looked inside the waiting room briefly but nodded only to the Vulcan and moved on. Amanda's gaze turned back to the man beside her. Had they told him more than she knew?
"What about the driver of the other car?" she asked. "Did they already find him or her? They didn't tell me."
"I spoke to the security patrol and they have already identified the other ground car. It will not take long until the driver is arrested," he answered.
She leaned back in the comfortable chair. "Good. He nearly killed us all." The picture of the smashed driver's body in the limousine flashed in her mind and she closed her eyes.
He saw her fighting with what seemed to be painful memories. He imagined the scene in the car and had to tighten his controls to keep his reaction in check. He knew the driver of the limousine had been killed and he did not dare to imagine what else could have happened. Unthinkingly he held the boy tighter to his chest. He looked at the Human woman and saw the fatigue clearly written in her features, but still she remained and stayed despite the events she had gone through.
"Do you have to stay in the hospital for the night?" he asked softly.
Her drowsy eyes opened again at the sound of his voice and she rubbed her face. "No, they released me. The injuries were not that severe and the medication will take care of the concussion." She bit her lip. "But I will not make it in time for my lectures in the morning if I go home. I have no transporter clearance."
The statement piqued his interest. "You are taking lectures at the university in San Francisco?" he asked. "Which subject?"
She smiled weakly. "Linguistics. And I do not take lectures, I give them."
He estimated her to be twenty to twenty-four years of age. His regard for her climbed higher when he realized that she had already finished her studies at this age. "I offer you residence in the city for the night if you wish," he heard himself say. He paused, surprised by his own boldness at inviting her. His controls seemed to slip around her and he made a mental note to meditate about this curious lack of logic where she was concerned.
She regarded him with a questioning gaze. "You live here in San Francisco?" She felt so comfortable in his presence immediately and hope rose in her at the prospect of spending more time with him.
"I work for the Vulcan diplomatic corps and reside at the Vulcan Embassy."
'I knew this man in the car holds an important position,' she thought. Maybe he was even the Ambassador himself, judged by the richly decorated robes he had worn.
She smiled tentatively. "Thank you. I'm grateful that I do not have to take the long trip home."
Noticing her exhausted state and the deep shadows under her eyes, he motioned for her to follow him. She collected her personal items and rose slowly. Together they made their way to the transporter station of the hospital.
Against all reason she felt a slight uneasiness creep down her spine. She barely knew this man and now she was already following his invitation. But this was a Vulcan. If she could not trust him whom could she trust at all? After all, Vulcans did not lie. Nevertheless she stopped in front of the transporter room
When he realized she was no long following him, he turned and watched her curiously. "Is something the matter?" he asked.
She tilted her head to one side. "Well," she said, "I don't even know your name."
Startled he realized he had not even introduced himself. The day's events had obviously affected him too. Again he looked down at the child to insure he was still alive. Slightly embarrassed by his lack of manners he bowed as far as he could with his son still in his arms. "Forgive me T'sai," he said, "My name is Sarek. Sarek of Vulcan."