DISCLAIMER: The Star Trek characters are the property of Paramount Studios, Inc. The story contents are the creation and property of Ster Julie and is copyright (c) 2004 by Ster Julie. Rated PG.


by Ster Julie

Surak of Vulcan. Spock looked again at the image of the Father of All We Hold True. Logically, this could not be Surak. He lived and died millennia ago. Yet here he stood, flesh and bone, living and breathing. Impossible, illogical, yet here he was.

Spock busied himself about his duties, building up an arsenal of crude weapons to help defend the "good" side from the "evil" side, as the inhabitants of this planet had called the groups they had assembled. Surak returned Spock's curious gaze for a while before approaching him.

"You have questions, Spock. Ask them." Spock returned his gaze to the spear he was sharpening. He had to summon courage to voice his thoughts. He could not, would not shame himself or his people before the image of Surak. Finally, he took a deep breath and plunged ahead.

"What are you? Logically, you could not be the one you resemble."

Surak nodded. "Fair enough. My countenance and my words are drawn from you mind, from the group mind. I am Surak. I am the one you have studied, whose image you have seen, whose words have been dissected throughout these many years. I am the one you see." Surak offered his face to Spock. "Touch my mind. Know that what I say is true."

Spock flinched and shook his head. "No," he breathed.

Surak was taken aback. "I have disquieted you," he murmured. "What is wrong?"

Spock lowered his head. "I am not prepared," he whispered. How could he join his mind to this one, this one who could very well be the Father of All We Hold True, when his very presence threw Spock into turmoil? How could he open his mind to this one and shame himself and all of his people?

Surak drew nearer. "I sense a duality in you," he said quietly.

Spock didn't know where to look. "I am a duality."

"I do not understand."

Spock took a deep breath. "I am half-Vulcan and half-Human."

Surak pondered this. "Where is your home?"

"I was born and raised on Vulcan."

"And is that home?" A sigh escaped Spock's lips before he could repress it. "You look and comport yourself as a Vulcan."

Spock felt his face flush. "High praise," he managed, although he felt most un-Vulcan. Surak shook his head.

"It was not intended as praise, only as an observation. I sense that you have to work very hard at living as a Vulcan." Spock nodded, afraid to speak, afraid that he would be found out to be an impostor. "How does this give honor to your other people?" Spock met the other's steady gaze.

"I could not find a middle path. I chose to follow the Way of Vulcan. I do not wish to bring shame or dishonor to my people."

Surak's eyes softened. "What honor is brought to your other people, the ones you have disregarded?"

"Humans live by their nerve endings. If I gave into my emotions, I would be lost." Spock lowered his voice along with his head. "I know. I have tried before. It was a difficult road back." Surak nodded. And Spock knew that the Old One saw memories of his first days in space, away from home. He allowed himself to feel, and found nothing but pain.

"Two things, Spock. Vulcans are to master their very powerful emotions. We need to acknowledge our passions and divert their energies to useful purposes. Secondly, I see from your friend's actions that humans desire peace also. There is no shame in acknowledging the good things found in humans. I perceive that you chose to follow the Vulcan path mainly because of your appearance, and to please your father."

Spock's head dropped again. "That didn't work." He hated the sound of those words. He felt so childish saying them.

"You were trained that the greatest dishonor would be to bring shame to your father's people." Spock began to tremble, which became worse as he fought to control it. "I do not agree." Surak drew Spock's gaze to meet his own. "A great disservice was done to you, my son. The greater shame is to discount your mother's people. You need to build your own path. Use a portion of your meditation to make that new way for yourself. It will take a long time. Be patient with yourself." Surak drew two fingers across Spock's cheek. "Do the breathing exercise with me now." Surak opened his arms to Spock, who nearly collapsed into them. Surak circled his arms around Spock and held him gently. Peace, he whispered into Spock's mind. Spock drew one, and then another deep breath as peace flowed over him like cool water in desert heat. Calm. Another deep breath and the trembling stilled. Serenity. Spock straightened and met Surak's eyes.

"Image or not, real or not, I am grateful for this time together." Surak pressed his forehead briefly against Spock's.

"Be at peace. Do what I said, and make your own way. Be true to yourself. Be integrated." Spock nodded.

"I shall. Peace to you, Surak, Father of All We Hold True."