Disclaimer: Star Trek is the property of Paramount/Viacom. This story is the property of SterJulie and is copyright © 2005 by SterJulie. Rated G.
TREASURED MEMORIES: Birds of Consolation
Climb. Climb. Reach. Strain. Climb. Hoist up on the ledge. Adjust harp across back. Climb. Climb. Sniffle. Climb. Reach. Slip. Reach. Slip. Reach again. Grab. Hoist. Higher, higher!
Young Spock scrabbled higher and higher, faster and faster, up the mountain to the very top. He wanted to be as far away as possible from those that took his brother away, far away from those who let his Sybok be taken away.
Soon, yet not soon enough, Spock found himself at the summit of the mountain. All of Vulcan lay at his feet. He threw back his head and poured out his grief to the four directions. The winds tried to caress him, tried to console him, but Spock would have none of it. He struck out at the air and continued screaming.
Spock slipped back down the trail a little ways and entered the cave he and Sybok had once discovered there. He circled the cave's perimeter, ranting and raving like a fevered male. He screamed again until his ears rang. He bellowed until his throat was raw. He pounded his fists against the rock until they bled.
Then, young Spock took hold of his Vulcan harp by the neck and bashed it against the cave wall. The harp exploded into shards of wood as the "twang" of sundered strings echoed in the cave.
"Sybok!" Spock shrieked. "You promised that you would always be with me!"
Spock staggered to the mouth of the mountaintop cave and screamed until he passed out.
* * *
The warbling cry of the morning birds roused the sleeping boy. The fluttery touch of something brushed Spock’s cheek and he opened his eyes.
Looking up, Spock saw the silver birds cartwheeling on the morning breezes, showering him with discarded iridescent feathers.
Spock's katra drank in the vision and the consolation of the rarely viewed sight. He dropped into the meditation pose and contemplated the recent events -- Sybok's exille and his own response. After a time, he rose and gathered a handful of the feathers. He then picked up the largest shard of his spoiled harp and wound its attached string round and around, making a package of wood and feathers. Tucking it into his tunic, Spock began the long hike down the mountain.
* * *
Amanda nearly screamed at the sight of him.
Spock was covered in dust. The fine red soil lightened his hair and darkened his skin. A small cloud of dust trailed him and emanated from the youth each time the wind caressed him.
Sarek rushed to the door at the sound of Amanda's strangled gasp. He drank in the sight of his younger son, his remaining son and hurried to bring him water.
Spock removed his desert suit and boots. He shook the dust from his hair and went straight to the garden fountain. Kneeling in the water, Spock let the spray trickle over him and rinse him clean.
Dripping, Spock rose from the fountain and returned to his pile of clothing. He retrieved the bundle he had made on the mountaintop.
Amanda had never seen anything like it. Sarek had never seen so many of them before. There, in Spock's hands, were a dozen silver feathers, shiny-bright like new tin.
"One for each year we were brothers," he rasped.
Amanda started at the hoarse sound of Spock's voice. Sarek stilled her with a touch. There was no need to state the obvious.
Spock removed a feather and gave it to Sarek. He gave another to Amanda.
"For the ceremony," Spock declared. Sarek nodded in understanding. The family would have a mock funeral for Sybok, declaring him dead to them and striking his name from any family record. Since there would be no body, no ashes to release to the winds, Spock intended scatter the silver feathers instead.
Sarek picked up Spock's hand, the one that held the bit of wood and wire. He recognized it as a shard of Spock's harp. /The illogic of waste,/ Sarek thought.
Spock raised a challenging eyebrow at his father. /Don't start,/ Spock thought. /Sybok was wasted and you did nothing./
Sarek held his tongue. He knew that Spock had to work out his grief for himself. Instead, he turned his attention to his son's fingers. They were torn and tattered as Spock's tortured soul must be.
"Come inside," Sarek said gently. "We will see to your hands."
Amanda placed her hand against her son's cheek. Spock tuned his head and nuzzled against it briefly. "Come inside," she repeated. "We will make you something warm and soothing for your throat."
Nothing more was said of Spock's trek to the mountain. His hands were treated and healed. His shattered harp was replaced so that he might further his music studies. His token of splintered wood, harp string and feather was reverently placed into his box. The rest of the silvery fluff he dispersed to the four winds.
And his katra sang out in plaintive cries to his Sybok.
End story 5