DISCLAIMER: The Star Trek characters are the property of Paramount Studios, Inc. The poem is the creation and property of Ruby Houldson and is copyright (c) 2003 by Ruby Houldson.



A Final Farewell

Ruby Houldson



Black. Cold. Quiet.

Pain. Tears. Despair.

All this in one room.



I look upon that which now houses a body that once teemed with

life. Now there is only stillness.

I look around and through tear filled eyes I see the blurred

images of those you leave behind.



My mind wanders back in time to the moment just before your death

and it seemed that time dragged on into infinity.

Even now your face haunts me. My pain is too real. Your presence

still lingers here in this place. I feel you all around me.

You're embodied in the very walls that surround me…in the very

object you gave your life to save.

I've tried to tell myself that you're really gone, but still…



I fight to suppress my pain. Pain can be controlled, you once

said. But you've never faced this kind of pain.



I think back to the trials of your life as the bagpipes play its

sorrowful song.

You never realized this, but I fought alongside you many times.

My silent voice lent itself to your own. I was there when you

cried and even when you smiled…yes, smiled. Without your even

knowing, I held your hand through the rough times and I cried for

you when you could not. I cried as you fought through the human

trials that was your birthright. I was with you, beside you all

the while.

But in this, your last battle, words of self-preservation you

ignored and you gave your life for the ship. You fell and never

rose again.



Listen to the mournful whine of the bagpipes. NO! Block it from

your mind, my heart whispers in warning.



Close your eyes. NO! If I don't close my eyes then I won't have

to relive the nightmare again. I won't be forced to watch the

scene that now so clearly sears across my mind.

Can I will the pain away? I could if I had the will…but that too

is buried in the sea of grief as I mourn your passing.



Oh, god. Disease flows through my veins.

Pain. Anguish. Despair. Emptiness.

I can't go on like this. A void has taken over the place where

you once stood. It threatens to take away what is left of you. I

can't allow that!



I force my eyes to look upon the black case that surrounds your

body. You are safe. Nothing can harm you now. Your fears are

behind you. There is no need to worry that you may lose control

over your emotions. Gone is the fear that you might slip and be

shamed for it.



My mind doesn't understand what my heart whispers to it. He is

gone, I hear. But how can that be? You were always the strong

one. You always came through your trials, maybe not always in top

shape, but alive nonetheless. What has happened? Why is this

time any different?



Dreaming. That's it. I must be dreaming. Someone, please wake

me from this accursed nightmare. If I awake and then dream again,

can I close my eyes, ride the stars, and discover you are among

them? In all my other dreams you were there. You've always been

there.



Darkness. Reliving your death in my mind hurts even more now

because it plays over and over so agonizingly slow. My heart

trembles…it bleeds. The cruel hand of winter has touched you and

taken your life away.



I feel loneliness. Hopelessness. If you could see me now you

would look upon the face of despair and emptiness.



Someone, please, stop that music for it cuts through my heart like

a freezing gust of winter air across exposed, delicate skin.



I feel something wet and warm slide down my face but I'm numb and

cannot move to brush it away.



Pain, hot and vivid, sears across my mind. It was logical, you

said. What was? I now ask.



It was logical for you to endear us to you, captivate us, and then

take that all away?



It was logical for you to claw for solid ground as you fought

through searing, killing pain?



It was logical for them to gently carry your body from the

wreckage in reverent silence?



Where is the logic in that?



I saw you slide to the floor as your heart ceased to function, as

each breath you took burned through your body.



Voices flooded my heart, screaming to be freed, to be heard. Tell

him! they yelled. But it's too late! I replied. Tell him! Tell

him that he has been your pillar of strength. That he led you

through dark times, if only in spirit. Tell him you'll never let

him go! Tell him now, for you'll never get another chance!



Dear heaven. I never told you then, but I tell you now. My gift

to you, brave soul, are these, my immortalized words. For in them

are memories and feelings that time and death cannot erase.



Oh, god. Memories seep from my mind and heart. They pour forth

from my very veins. Will I ever find peace for my troubled and

broken soul? You will be with me for a lifetime of lifetimes.

Love was when I found you, when I saw your face. The moment I

looked into your eyes you took my breath away and I knew there was

something about you that resided in no other. I would have

willingly taken your place…died for you. But it was not to be.



What is that message the bagpipe plays? It speaks of making it

through many dangers and toils. Oh, you did that many times over

the years…until now.



Now you're gone. The pain deadens my senses. Time stole you away

but you still reside in my thoughts, in my heart. You have all of

me.



You're gone. Your resonating light has been put out. Life here

is cold and bitter without you. I'm sinking into darkness. All I

ever asked of you was for you to allow your strength of will and

your kindness to shine across all you came in contact with, for it

to continue for all time. But now you're gone.



Love. It is indeed a powerful force. How can I ever open my

heart again? How can I know it won't be shattered by the power of

love? Even though you aren't here before me, I still feel you. I

believe in you. I always have.



If I close my eyes, block out that music that now speaks of being

lost and now found, I know you would be standing before me. But I

can't do that. To close my eyes would mean I'd block out the last

glimpse I'll ever have of you, of this moment.



I hear the music again. Its slow, melancholy rhythm pierces my

heart once more. It closes in and suffocates me. It crescendos

and speaks of death and life. Life? What life? Yours has been

stolen from you.



Run! Can I run away from this pain? I know that the faster my

feet would carry me from here the closer they would bring me to

you.



A faint echo in the distance fills the room. Don't grieve. My

breath catches in my throat. It is your voice. My heart

quickens. Don't grieve? How do I instruct my heart to follow

that advice? How is that done? Please, tell me. I beg of you.



Silence.



Someone steals away the blue flag with the white government symbol

emblazoned in its center. You swore allegiance to that entity,

and now you have lost you life in the line of duty and their very

flag has covered you.

You begin to drift away from me. A better resting place, you

hinted to one man. Where is that place? For I wish to go there

too.



The volume of the music increases and I feel it sweep beneath my

feet. It fills the air and all around me tears flow like a gentle

river. I hear broken sobs and my throat constricts as I try to

swallow my own that threatens to escape.



As your body slides away, ghostly images of your face appear

before me.

I see your eyebrow rise in fascination.

I see your expression of surprise and intrigue.

Your brows furrow as in thought.

I see your face in stern concentration as you work on a complex

problem.

I see a tear slip down your cheek as you mourn for V'Ger.



I see your hands as they gently assist your friends to their feet

after an encounter with troublesome persons.

I see your hands as they fight for the right to live and for

justice.

I see you with the good doctor. Poor doctor. How will he survive

this loss?



You found a place in all our hearts. You were never without a

place to call home. You were never without a friend, never

alone. But now. Now… Who will hold your hand now? Who will

be there to quietly guide your steps as you enter the unknown and

unexplored regions of death?



Where does this leave me? Where do I go from here? Oh, my dear.

If I knew this would happen, I would have been in that chamber

first. For it would have been better for me to go than for you.

My absence wouldn't have left as vast a void in as many lives as

yours does now. You would still be safe, still be alive.



Someone calls for attention.



My brain hears the command but my body cannot respond for it is

caught up in my pain and in the slow death I now experience.



I hear your haunting words from times past.

Fascinating.

Illogical.

Most curious.

Indeed.

Live Long and Prosper.



I know now what that is flowing quick and hot down my face. It is

the river of tears that I shed for you. When will it end? Until

the river has run dry. Until I am completely empty and all that

is left…is you.



I see a glimmer of light among the black. It is the light of a

new sun reflected off your encasement. You fly through space like

a shooting star, a falling star. Dare I wish upon it?



I dare.



I squeeze my eyes shut. I wish with all my heart and soul for one

last glimpse of your face, vibrant and overflowing with life. I

release my pent up sob. I have to. For there before my mind's

eyes you stand with your hands raised in the Vulcan salute. This

is your gesture of…



A final farewell.