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.
SEEDS OF VIRTUE, SEEDS OF VICE
Spock supposed he was dreaming.
He found himself back on Vulcan, back at Koon-ut Kalifee: the hot sun, the burning ground, the stone walls, the red sky, the press of higher gravity. Everyone was there again: T'Pau, Stonn, the guard, the servants, Kirk, McCoy, and her, the unfaithful one. All had their eyes on him, waiting for his answer. Unfortunately, he did not know the question.
"Spock," T'Pau asked again, "what is to be done with T'Pring?"
Yes, T'Pring. She had made him fight his best friend, his captain. Spock looked down at his hands. He felt the ahn-woon press heavily in his hands as the limp form of James T. Kirk hung from its loop. He felt McCoy brush him aside and declare Jim dead.
The plak tow had caused Spock's vision to turn blood green. Now it turned black, black as night, black as death, black as rage. Yes, T'Pring had been in her right to demand the challenge, but this was barbaric!
"T'Pring." The faithless one stepped toward him. Spock had intended for her to explain her actions, then release her, but from the depths of him gushed a torrent of anger, of rage, of fury -- and lust. His hand shot out and grabbed T'Pring's wrist, bending it back until she cried out. "Now I claim the ancient right," Spock bellowed. "This traitor is my property," he spat, "not my mate. No one else may have her, nor will she receive anything that is mine." The plak tow inflamed him again, and he started to drag T'Pring to one of the caves. "Come," he ordered as she fought back, looking to Stonn, pleading silently for his help.
"Kroykah!" T'Pau ordered, but no one stood still. Spock continued to drag T'Pring, Stonn fought with the guard, and the servants rushed to T'Pau's side. Spock threw T'Pring into the cave. As Stonn lunged for his lover, the guard wielded his blade. A head rolled to the mouth of the cave and hit Spock's foot. Looking down, he saw his own face.
* * *
Jim Kirk burst through the cabin door and was at Spock's side before the echo of the Vulcan's scream had died down.
"My God, Spock. What's wrong?" Spock was sitting up in bed shaking violently, mouth opened, eyes wide. Terror, terror! His jaw worked up and down several times as he tried to speak. Kirk hit the intercom button. "McCoy to Spock's cabin!" he barked. He turned back to the Vulcan and grabbed his shoulders. "Talk to me, Spock."
"You were dead," he finally managed. Kirk nodded.
"That was yesterday. I'm okay now." He turned to see McCoy rush into the first officer's cabin. The doctor passed a scanner over Spock and took note of its readings. He shrugged then shook his head, indicating that nothing was amiss, at least, medically speaking. Kirk continued. "Were you dreaming?"
"I wanted to talk to T'Pring," Spock gasped, "to make her explain, but instead I tried to punish her. I wouldn't release her to Stonn. He tried to stop me and was beheaded in the struggle. T'Pau tried to make everyone stop, but no one would obey her." Spock looked down at his hands. They were still shaking. "Stonn was beheaded, but it was my head that hit the ground." He looked up at his friends.
"I wanted to hurt T'Pring. I wanted to hurt her, to make her pay. I was burning with rage, and I wanted blood." Spock's words were repulsive, especially to himself.
Kirk and McCoy sat by their friend in silence. Spock's dream was disturbing to them all.
"I don't know what to say, Spock," McCoy said, finally stirring. "I know how a human mind works, and what dreams mean to us, but I don't think that will help you." Kirk rose and paced in the small quarters. "Spock, what was the worst part of the dream for you?" Spock blinked.
"I don't understand."
"Was it the part where I was dead, or when no one would listen to T'Pau or when your head rolled towards you or what?" Spock shuddered at the memory.
"It was when the desire for revenge overtook me and I wanted to assault T'Pring," he replied in a small voice.
"And why is that the worst part?" McCoy stirred.
"What are you getting at, Jim?" the doctor asked. Kirk held up a hand.
"Let him answer. Spock?"
"It was wrong, morally wrong, by Vulcan or human standards."
"And?" Kirk coaxed.
"It was totally out of character."
Spock was puzzled. McCoy crossed his arms and sat back, trying to follow Kirk's train of thought. "I don't understand," he repeated.
Kirk continued pacing. "Excuse the next question, but how did your behavior in the dream make you feel?"
Spock lowered his head. "I was appalled."
"Horrified. Overwhelmed. Shamed. Frightened. I didn't think myself capable of such actions." Kirk snapped his fingers.
"Exactly." He stopped pacing and sat near his friend. "Now let me give you a down-on-the-farm explanation my grandmother once gave me. We carry the seeds of every virtue and every vice in us. Being civilized means cultivating those things that help us get along. It frightens us when we realize that we carry the potential for evil in us. Nightmares remind us of those seeds of destruction. We carry these seeds of murder, of rage within us. Only our vigilance over them keeps us civilized." Spock clasped his hands and thought awhile.
"So, according to your grandmother, I carry within me a murderer, an abuser, a..."
"A liar, a gigolo, a cheat, a drunkard, a glutton... Actually, she said that we carry the potential for all these things. We also carry the hero, the nurturer, the champion. It's whatever we choose the cultivate, like deciding whether to raise weeds or watermelons in a garden." Spock flashed an eyebrow.
"Poetry, Captain?" Kirk grinned.
"It works for this Iowa farmboy." He cocked his head to one side. "Is any of this helpful?" Spock slowly nodded his head.
"Indeed," Spock murmured. He took a deep breath. "Indeed." Spock imitated Kirk's pose. "Captain, I believe you have missed your calling. You make a much better psychologist than Doctor McCoy." The doctor retorted with one succinct expletive. Kirk clapped his first officer, his friend, on the shoulder.
"Are you all right now?" Spock nodded, then dipped his head to one side.
"Somewhat. I am still... shaken."
"Understandable," Kirk answered. Spock shook his head.
"The dream seemed so real. How do I know that this--" He gestured around him. "--is not the dream?" Kirk chuckled and glanced at McCoy.
"Why, Spock, my friend, as my favorite song says, 'Life is but a dream.'" The Vulcan crossed his arms.
"I hardly find that reassuring, Captain."