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 G.
**In memory of Bernie**
A battered box
Story of a life
A battered book
A broken string
Pieces of nature
A pretty rock
A dried flower
A polished bit of wood
Memories of loved ones
A braid of hair
A piece of fur
A swatch of lace
A polished gem stone
A bit of blue ribbon
Admiral James T. Kirk reverently rummaged through the worn carton with the eclectic gathering of items. He wiped a tear away as he gazed at the family portrait.
"Spock couldn't have been more than seven years old. Probably his 'wedding,'" Kirk mused aloud.
He picked up the battered book and gave a puzzled smile. "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day," he read. Kirk knew that Amanda had a collection of old, paper books, but he didn't know that Spock had his own!
As Kirk paged through the book, a strange sensation enveloped him. He saw a sullen child, sore from fighting his schoolmates, reclining against a wall of shaggy fur, carefully reading this book.
Kirk blinked. Was this just his imagination, or was Spock's spirit still present here, the day after his funeral, sharing his memories with his friend?
Setting aside the book, Kirk gingerly picked up the braid of blonde hair. It was intricately woven, a delicate, lacy thing.
"Whose was this, Spock?" Kirk whispered aloud. He listened carefully as his fingers caressed the woven strands,
Spock entered his cabin, finding a slim book of blank pages--a journal. The braided hair marked the first page where it was written, in a woman's handwriting, "On Valentine's Day."
"Christine," Spock breathed, shaking his head.
Kirk blinked again, returning to the present once more. He knew that Christine Chapel carried a torch for Spock during the first five-year mission, so this gift, while amazing, was not unexpected. What did surprise Kirk was that Spock kept this very personal memento.
Next Kirk picked up a fragile piece of blue ribbon. He passed the satiny softness through his fingers and waited.
"Spock! Wait!" a woman's melodious voice called. Spock turned back to see his mother Amanda tear a length of ribbon from her clothing. She knew these robes were Spock's favorite garments on her. "Take this with you," she said tearfully. "Know that I am always with you." Spock took the ribbon from her hands, lingering his fingers on hers.
"I know, Mother," he said gently before turning to board the shuttle for Earth that would take him to Starfleet Academy.
Kirk looked again at the ribbon and noticed that the original shade of the fabric matched the color of Amanda's eyes. No wonder the robe was Spock's favorite.
Kirk put the ribbon aside and picked up a small conch shell. Holding it to his ear, Kirk heard a toddler's laughter on the occasion of his first trip to an ocean. Kirk had to pause as another bout of tears shook him.
Drying his face, Kirk next picked up a bundle of disparate items: a bit of polished wood, an iridescent feather shiny bright like new tin, and a broken harp string, which bound it all together. Holding the items, Kirk became aware of an adolescent's anger.
Young Spock took hold of the neck 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 silvery 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 exile 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, making a package of wood and feathers. Tucking it into his tunic, Spock began the long hike down the mountain.
Kirk shook himself. He never realized how deep Spock's anger could reach.
The admiral was shocked at the next item--a dried Omicron Ceti III spore lily encased in glass. "For the first time in my life," Kirk tearfully remembered his friend saying, "I was happy."
Admiral Kirk was not able to sort through the rest of items in the box as the housekeeping crew arrived just then to pack up Captain Spock's quarters before they reached spacedock.
The admiral dried his face and nose, cleared his throat, and straightened his shoulders. Kirk replaced the lid on the battered little carton, tucked it under his arm, and marched out of Spock's cabin one last time. Kirk missed his Vulcan with a passion born out of years of friendship, of being t'hyla, but he had to now consider the living.
Kirk had a boatload of traumatized cadets and of walking wounded, especially his other "other half," Leonard McCoy.
Just as the admiral carried the Vulcan's treasures in the box under his arm, Spock was the treasure Kirk carried in his heart.
It was time to move on.