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Starfleet Academy Lounge image
“Coercion” (Continued flashback)

Starfleet Academy Lounge

by Lieutenant Commander T'Kara
[Stardate ]



((Continued flashback to T'Kara's Buk Lau Vaik experience))

T'Kara sat cross legged on the floor of her cell; sitting straight, eyes closed, and hands clasped together in the meditation stance.  She had been doing nothing but meditating since the day she tried to escape her captors. They had mended her shoulder and placed her back in her cell to …˜think about her situation'.

Periodically guards would bring her food, and then take it away an hour later when it was clear she was not going to touch it.  T'Kara had yet to break her meditation.

Satog visited a few times to try and convince her to help them…”but T'Kara continued to meditate; refusing to acknowledge anyone or anything else.

After a week and a half of her meditation and refusal to communicate…”she felt herself being transported away from her cell.  T'Kara braced herself for new surroundings.

When she rematerialized she opened her eyes to look at her new environment.  She was sitting on the floor of the conference room where she had first met with Surlac after her capture.  There were two guards on either side of her with their guns trained on her, and sitting at the table facing her was Surlac.

“My apologies for interrupting your mediation, but I had need of speaking with you once more about what I'm asking of you.”  He motioned to the seat across from him. “Please take a seat.”

T'Kara raised an eyebrow, but complied.  She stood and took a seat across from Surlac.  “My stance on this matter remains the same, Surlac.  I will not help you.” She said calmly.

Surlac smiled slightly and nodded.  “As I doubt I will be able to change your mind about me and my vision for the Vulcan race.  I do believe I can change your mind about completing the tasks asked of you.” He pressed a button on his device and a screen appeared on the wall behind Surlac.

Images of the Vulcan children that T'Kara had treated and helped over the years appeared on the screen one at a time in a slide show format.  “You've helped many Vulcan children regain their health; you saved lives, and helped provide these children with a future where they could embrace the Vulcan motto of a long and prosperous life.”

The screen now showed some of the children who had been diagnosed with a deadly disease but were cured after T'Kara and her team created a genetically specific medication that targeted and repaired the mutated gene in the affected cells.  

“You have the calling of healing, T'Kara.” Surlac continued.  “You helped these children overcome a flaw in their genes and improved their immune systems.  All I am really asking is to do the same thing here. There are so many genes that encode for amazing capabilities that have yet to be realized by the Vulcan population.  We could overcome so many more diseases, heal so much quicker, and live that much longer if we could just understand how to unleash those genes without overloading our systems.  Can you really not see the possibilities here? Think of the lives you could save, the children you could keep from suffering, there truly are infinite possibilities!”

T'Kara looked at him through a stoic stare.  “What you ask of me is not healing…”it is mutilation.  Our bodies encode in a certain way for a reason. We are not meant to …˜unleash' all possible encoding combinations within our genes.  There are consequences to your actions for a reason…”you are trying to reach beyond the limitations of our very existence.”

Surlac raised an eyebrow.  “Come now T'Kara. You cannot sit there and tell me that all the diseases, pain, and suffering that our people go through…”especially the children…”is a necessity.  If you believed that, you would not be in the business to help alleviate that suffering. The encoded genes are present for a reason. Mutations occur for a reason.  The way our DNA is read, interpreted, and implemented leads to evolution. We as a race are continually changing, and improving. With a little help we can achieve ultimate evolution without having to suffer the slow, sometimes deadly consequences of mutations…”whether randomly occurring in nature, or through genetic manipulation.  What is so wrong with wanting to help the Vulcan race become as healthy as possible and realize their fullest potential in life?”

“Pushing the body too far too quickly will cause more harm than good.  Nature causes evolution slowly because fast transformations may cause an extinction of the race…”erasing the genetics from the gene pool altogether.”

Surlac sat back slightly. “That is true……however we were given our intelligence for a reason as well. Mind over matter.  I believe there is a way to achieve the transformation without suffering the consequences of pushing the body too fast too far.  We have the technology, we have the brain power. T'Kara with you helping us…”we will do more good than harm……in fact we will do all good and no harm.”

The image changed to that of Sandru, T'Kara's nephew.  It was a picture of him when he was in the children's hospital, being treated for his second bout of blood cancer.  T'Kara looked at the picture and immediately remembered the tense months that were full of uncertainty, anxiety, fear, and despair as she watched her nephew fight the cancer.  The treatments to cure his ailment had almost been worse than the disease itself. The child had spent several months in the hospital, and underwent years of treatment that was hard on his mind and body.

T'Kara nearly held her breath as the memories and emotions flooded her mind.  It had been 8.25 months since she had last seen her nephew in person, though she knew he was doing well and had been completely in remission for the past 2.78 years.  She wondered if she'd ever see him again…”or if she would just die alone here in Surlac's hide-out.

Surlac studied T'Kara as he continued; knowing he was hitting a nerve. “What I am proposing is to help the Vulcan race avoid circumstances like this.  Surely you don't believe it was right that your nephew, and other Vulcan children like him, suffered these things? Would you not do anything in your power to prevent your nephew from having to go through something like this again?  Would you not want to keep others from having to live this nightmare? Genetic Evolution is the answer, T'Kara. You can prevent this from happening again, to your nephew or any other Vulcan child.”

T'Kara broke her stare at her nephew's image and looked at Surlac.  Her eyes were moist and threatening to form tears. “Leave my family out of this.”

Surlac gave her a sympathetic look.  “I'm not trying to hurt you, T'Kara. I am trying to show you the good that you will able to accomplish by helping us.”

T'Kara shook her head and glared at him.  “Do not pretend that you are doing this for the greater good.  You twist the truth to fit your needs. The benefit of vulcan kind is not what you seek.  You want the power; you want to evolve into this super vulcan.  This is entirely about you…”and you do not care for the lives of those around you that may be adversely affected by your quest…”you never have.”

Surlac shook his head.  “Regardless of what you think of me, the outcome will still be the same.  Your aide will help vulcan kind survive and flourish. Don't do this for me.  Do it for him.” He motioned toward the picture of her nephew. “And do it for every child like him.  Save their lives.” He leaned forward and looked straight into her eyes. “Save your nephew.”

T'Kara's anger welled up inside her and she stood.  “If you even think about touching him……I will kill you!”  She knew what he was implying with that look.  Hidden behind that indulgent speech of his, he was warning her that if she didn't help them, they would harm her nephew.

The guards closed in on T'Kara; their guns trained on either side of her; ready to pull the trigger at any sign of attack.

“No, no.”  Surlac assured her; while motioning the guards not to shoot.  “I have no intention on harming your nephew. Or any other member of your family.  But you know better than I do the percentage of survival rate your nephew will have if the cancer were to return a third time.  Not to mention the lowered immune system he will have for the rest of his life…”there are infinite numbers of diseases or infections out there that he could come into contract with that could keep him from thriving.  If you perfect the treatment that I am proposing…”you could help him be the most resilient being in the galaxy. Do you really want to deprive your nephew of guaranteed good health for the rest of his long life?”

T'Kara just glared at him angrily.

Surlac nodded.  “Well you can think about it.  You may return to your meditation.”  He pressed a button on his device.

T'Kara immediately was transported out of the room……and back to her cell.

“SURLAC!” She growled.  Every muscle in her body was tense. She sighed heavily, and then took a deep breath in and let it out slowly.  There was something about Surlac that kept her from keeping control of her anger. I hate him.  She thought, before sitting on the floor, resuming her mediation stance, closing her eyes, and attempting to clear her mind.  Perhaps she could think of a way out of this insane asylum…….
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