Disclaimer: Star Trek is the property of Paramount Viacom. This story is the property of SterJulie and is copyright 2006 by SterJulie. Contact: sterjulie@yahoo.com; http://sterjulie.bravehost.com Rating: PG13

 

AFTER THE CREDITS: Acting Out Fantasies

Ster Julie

 

I stand in a remote area of what has been called The Shore Leave Planet in the Omicron Delta system. When Doctor McCoy first suggested that I spend some time on the planet, "acting out a few fantasies," I thought him to be mad. Upon later reflection, I thought that the idea had some modicum of merit. Or as Mother would say, "It couldn't hurt."

 

However, the good doctor thought I would be acting out sexual fantasies on this planet. That would be as beneficial as some lubrication and a fist. No, I have come here to face some demons.

 

The Caretaker met with me briefly by subspace. I gave him a short list of names of people I wished to encounter. He said that the telepathic scans he needed would not intrude on me. In fact, I would not even notice them. The scans would be initiated during the initial beam-in and the effects would be automatically severed at beam-out.

 

T'Pring

 

I walked into an impressive garden. There was a variety of plants that represented many different worlds. Sitting in a leafy arbor is my betrothed, T'Pring. She looks at me disdainfully, as she is wont to do. I speak to her at a distance. Even though I know her to be just a creation of this place according to my specifications, I am still wary.

 

"Spock. When are we to be wed?" she asks. "I am disgraced to be bonded to someone who has not yet entered into the Fires, when other women my age are already raising children. What is wrong with thee? Are thee defective?"

 

I knew that this was an illusion, that the real T'Pring would never hear my next words. There was no one present to witness my lack of decorum.

 

"I do not want thee!" I hiss. "I want to be rid of thee, thy coldness, and thy disdain. What I really want to do is to sever the bond that tethers us and weighs us down. I want to choke the breath from thee until I am free of thee. I do not want thee. I never wanted thee!"

 

Suddenly, T'Pring is looming over me as her settee rises above the ground.

 

"Thee wish to be rid of me. Spock?" she counters. "That can be arranged."

 

I nod. "Yes, I know of thy lover," I reply. "Bring him to the arena. I will slice him in two!"

 

"Thee speaks of infidelity," T'Pring accuses. "I know of thy conquests, and thy unfulfilled desires."

 

I think back in a panic. My only moments of weakness had been with Leila, and only because of my exposure to the spores. I had been sorely tempted with other women at times, especially in the Academy, but I stayed faithful to the one who whispered only bitter words through our bond.

 

I look again at T'Pring. Yes, she is beautiful, but her acrimony so dulls her beauty. Would she dare challenge me in the ritual place? Would she bring her paramour to battle me for her hand? Would she dare to risk that I kill or be killed?

 

This artificial meeting with her made me realize that, as much as I loathe, despise and resent T'Pring, I need to be more respectful of her. Otherwise, she just might bring a champion to the place of marriage or challenge. I may be forced to kill for the privilege of mating with her.

 

Or I may be killed myself.

 

I withdraw from the garden and move to a portico. I see as the image of T'Pring dissolves as so must dust in the wind.

 

Sarek

 

I hear a familiar voice behind me, and it causes me to halt in fear. Yes, I had asked the Caretaker to provide an image of my father, but this, like T'Pring, is too real to me.

 

Again I remind myself that I asked for this meeting to "blow off some steam" with my father, but I "lose my nerve" as I turn to see him approach. First of all, he appears to me as he did when I was very small and their was no rift between us. Secondly, I sense no coldness in him. I begin to think that it was never really there.

 

"What is this place, Spock-kam?" my father asks.

 

"Spock-kam"? He has not called me that since before my kahs-wan!

 

"What is this place?" he repeats. "It is very lovely. Your mother would wish to see this."

 

"This planet is in the Omicron Delta system," I reply. "It is colloquially name 'The Shoreleave Planet.'"

 

"And how did I come to be here?" he asks further.

 

I swallow nervously. "I wished for you to be here," I state simply, steely myself for his retort.

 

It never comes! He accepts my statement as truth, which it is, after all.

 

"And why did you wish me here, my son?" he asks gently.

 

And with nine words, my resolve to tell him off crumbles to dust.

 

"I've missed you," I whisper.

 

Sarek's eyes light up with a twinkle. "And I have missed you, little one," he replies warmly.

 

"I long for the day that I may return home," I continue in a small voice.

 

Father steps closer and brushes my cheek with the back of his fingers. "I have set fresh water at the east gate for you every day since you left home," he reveals.

 

I find myself trembling. "If only that was true!" I yearn. Is this warm, gentle Sarek that stands before me closer to reality than I think, or am I only projecting how I wish it was so?

 

I had made arrangements with the Caretaker to provide an image of Sarek so that I could say what I held deep within without fear of any repercussions. What I find at the core of me is a deep desire to share a warm experience with him.

 

My father doesn't retreat as I step closer to him. I slowly close my arms around him and find that he is returning the embrace. Then I realize what we are reenacting. Sarek last held me so the day Sybok was taken from us forever. I hold him closely until I feel nothing but air in my arms. All too soon, he is gone.

 

I sigh deeply and pull out my communicator. It takes me long moments to finally open the device, only to find that it is not working.

 

Myself

 

I examine the device and find that the parts are in working order, yet I am unable to contact the ship.

 

"Maybe," comes a eerily familiar voice behind me, "it's because you are not finished here."

 

I recognize the voice as my own, yet different. For some reason, I am loathe to turn around. I am afraid of what I might find.

 

"Turn around, Spock," he says gently. "I'm not your enemy. I'm your friend."

 

As I suspected, the person behind me wears my face, for the most part, but he is most decidedly human in appearance.

 

"Are you my human half?" I ask, realizing only after the words have left my mouth how absurd that question sounds.

 

The human waves a hand at me dismissively. "You don't have a human half," he retorts, "just like he is not your Vulcan half."

 

I turn to where the human had indicated and find a more exact copy of me, yet not. The Vulcan looks more like me, yet somehow more, like a picture in sharper focus. He approaches us and stands next to the human.

 

"You are seeing us as two people, Spock," the human continues, "but you have worked so hard all your life for integration."

 

"The difficulties you have encountered have occurred at those times when you have sacrificed your human needs for the sake of some Vulcan ideal," the Vulcan inserted.

 

The human turned and embraced the Vulcan, who responded in kind. "You need us working together," the human continued, "or you will always be miserable"

 

"You need to find the center path, Spock," the Vulcan responded, "or you do your mother's people no credit."

 

"But the two sides cannot always be in harmony," I reply.

 

"Spock," the human said as he disengaged from the Vulcan, "remember when Mother took us to that old-fashioned circus and we saw the person walking the tightrope? Remember how she used that long pole for balance? Remember how she had to lean to one side or another in order to keep her balance?"

 

"That is how you must keep the harmony in your life," the Vulcan continued the thought. "You must learn to walk the razor's edge, and lean to one side or the other to restore your balance."

 

I look skeptically at the two preaching to me. I know what has served me all my days. I have dabbled in what they proposed, but I always had to turn away from my human side in order to function and succeed.

 

"That is because you have not trusted me," the human says, obviously reading my thoughts.

 

"Are you saying that I must embrace my inner human?" I retort.

 

"Indeed yes," the Vulcan says in all seriousness. "It is only logical."

 

The human extends his arms to me in invitation, his lips bowed in a small smile.

 

I reach out to him tentatively, and after a shove from the Vulcan, embrace him fully.

 

Before long, the two dissipate as mists and I am left standing alone in the beautiful meadow. I look around and find no further surprises, so I pull out my communicator once more and find that it is working.

 

But before I am able to call the ship, I find the woman in yellow again, the feathers in her hair still bobbing in the breeze, the trained tribbles on her bosom still purring gently.

 

"Your time with us is not up," she said seductively. "You still have over an hour. Why don't we go over to those trees by the lake and just ... relax?"

 

Many thoughts go through my brain. I imagine myself as the one on the tightrope, the pole dipping to one side as I try to regain my balance. Since this woman is just a construct, would that violate my bond with T'Pring? As I said earlier, would it not be the same as a lubricant and my fist? I next see T'Pring's scornful face looking down her nose at this common dance-hall girl. That clinches it for me. I draw the woman in yellow to myself. Meditation on what I learned here about myself can wait. I was sent here to "blow off some steam." I intend to do just that.

 

FIN