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“Mind Over Matter”
(Continued Buk Lau Vaik flashback)
T'Kara came to a viewpoint along the campus pathway that overlooked a flowery landscape surrounding a large fountain. The fountain was overflowing water down into a small pond. T'Kara could see large fish swimming underneath the water. She paused another vulcan moment to appreciate the scenery. She recalled the many hikes she had enjoyed with her father back when he was still alive. The father daughter pair had completed many hikes on Earth, Vulcan and other planets that provided many intriguing landscapes--some green and fantastic like this, others more red or desert-like. The two shared a common appreciation for nature, and their hikes were always a special time that they had shared, just the two of them.
Her mind continued analyzing her time spent with the Buk Lau Vaik. After finding out that she had been genetically altered and essentially been given a year to live unless she helped Surlac perfect his genetic manipulation techniques--she had decided that she would die rather than help that evil man. She spent that first week and a half refusing food or water and simply meditating. She tried desperately to calm the rage and hatred within her that Surlac had ignited. T'Kara knew they could not force her to help them, though Surlac tried every bit of coercion technique that he had at his disposal.
Her body was becoming weaker and weaker, yet still she maintained her meditation. Her mind went further and further within itself; detaching from the senses of her body as she searched for a place to go to wait for the end. Soon, the surroundings disappeared from her awareness and her mind drifted to another place...
T'Kara made her way up the steep trail. The wind was blowing, lightning could be heard, and the trail was muddy from intermittent rain. The hike was harder than usual. Normally her body had much more endurance than this. She all but wheezed as she climbed the mountain; every muscle ached.
Unwavering, she marched on. She attempted to clear her mind and focus as she climbed. It was paramount that she make it to the top of the mountain. There, she knew, awaited her relief, refuge, and peace. It was there that she'd find her strength renewed.
She came to the large boulders that needed to be climbed. On other occasions this was one of her favorite parts of the hike…€Â”it provided sufficient challenge for both her mind and body as she worked to overcome the large boulders. Now, through exhaustion, she wondered if she'd make it past them. She took a deep breath and let it out slowly. One step at a time, she braced herself against the rock and placed her hands and feet in the appropriate indentations in the rock. With all the strength left within her she pulled herself up the rock…€Â”one foot/hand hold at a time.
Lightning struck the rocks just above where she was holding on; a small landslide of rocks came crashing down. T'Kara was able to avoid getting hit in the head by a large rock, only to get one of her hands slammed by a smaller, yet sharp rock.
She screamed in pain, and pulled her hand away; nearly slipping, she scrambled to regain her grip on the side of the mountain. Her knuckles on her right hand were now bruised and oozing green blood. Still, she managed to regain a firm hold and she began pulling herself up the mountain once more.
After much effort she finally reached the top. She crawled onto the grassy plateau and lay for a moment on the ground in pure exhaustion. Her clothes were wet and muddy from the journey; her hands were both caked in a mixture of dirt and dried blood.
As she lay there it began to rain. First a few drops, then a downpour. T'Kara remained sprawled on the ground; getting drenched from the rain. All the dirt and mud in her hair, on her skin, and clothes began to wash away…€Â”leaving her clean, yet completely soaked.
Eventually she sat up and looked around. “Where are you?” She called out. The reason she had climbed the mountain; the thing she had hoped for during her entire journey seemed to be absent. “I need you!” She continued.
After a few moments it stopped raining, the sun came out behind a cloud and the heat warmed T'Kara face. A Vulcan figure could be seen in the distance walking toward her.
Relief, and joy filled T'Kara. She stood and ran to the figure. “You're here! I was afraid you had left me alone.”
The Vulcan had short brown hair, dark brown eyes, and was wearing a grey robe. He raised his eyebrow. “Of course, my daughter. I will always be here when you need me.”
“I know…€…but I have not seen you since the mind meld with Mother after defeating those that had caused your death. I thought…€…the closure had meant you would not be returning.”
Schandel shook his head. “You simply have not needed me until now. The piece of me I left with you before I died will always remain with you.”
“I am pleased father.”
Thunder could be heard in the distance, which made T'Kara look in the direction of the sound. She looked back to her father. “The journey here was difficult. More so than before. I am losing my control.”
“Your mind is greatly troubled. But you have a strong will. You made it here through great struggle. Your soul is strong.”
“I almost lost it several times…€….” She looked away. “They changed me, father. There is this energy that…€…burns inside me now. My emotions are harder to control; they feed off the energy…€Â”and then the energy feeds off my emotions. It is a cycle that I am afraid I cannot beat.” She looked back. “Father…€…I can feel myself breaking. I do not know how long my mind and body will continue to coexist.”
Schandel thought for a moment. “You need more than the strength of your mind to overcome this.”
“There is nothing else. I have no other choice.”
“Yes you do. You have a brilliant mind…€Â”you can fix this.”
T'Kara stared at her father. She couldn't believe what he was suggesting. “I cannot in good conscious do anything that even remotely helps him.”
Schandel cocked his head slightly. “I did not suggest you help him.”
T'Kara raised her eyebrow. “I have no other choice, father. Either I help them fix whatever they did to me, or I refuse to do anything and wait for this transformation to completely consume me; ripping me apart mentally and physically until I cease to exist.”
“There is another answer.” Schandel conjectured.
T'Kara looked at her father intently.
“As an ambassador it was often better to have full information about either side in order to accomplish peace. Strengths and weaknesses, motives, incentives, concerns, and…€Â”especially for species less logic based…€Â”the emotional ties each side had on their position. If one knows everything about what drives each side to their stance on the matter…€Â”it is more likely one would be able to convince both sides of the solution that is best for everyone involved.”
“Surlac is not the type of man to be convinced of anything that would be …€Â˜best for everyone involved'. He cares only about his own fate…€Â”and anyone that gets harmed along the way to his goal is simply collateral damage.”
“Perhaps. However, the principle remains the same when dealing with stopping a dangerous foe. The more information you have about him, the more efficient solution you will be able to come up with to stop him.”
T'Kara nodded, understanding where her father was leading her. “I can join them…€Â”in order to destroy them.”
“You can use their resources to cure yourself of their changes to you…€…”
“And save the others who have been condemned as I have. Then, I will sabotage everything; I cannot allow him to have the knowledge he seeks. I will stop him and his Buk Lau Vaik and stop them from hurting any other vulcans.” T'Kara finished, a new determination in her eyes.
Schandel gave a nod. “Indeed.”
T'Kara held up the Vulcan hand sign. “Thank you, father.”
Schandel mirrored the hand sign. “Until next time, my daughter.”…€….
T'Kara's eyes shot open. She was drenched with sweat, and her energy was greatly depleted. To the side of her lay a try of food; her captors had not given up trying to feed her. She reached for the tray and brought it in front of her, picking up one of the vegetables she nibbled on it. T'Kara hardly had energy to eat, but she knew that she required the nourishment. She looked up at the dome shaped camera across from her cell and gave a nod. Knowing Surlac would get the message soon enough, she simply ate her food and waited for him to summon her again. He would think she had finally given in to helping them…€Â”not for his sake but for vulcans everywhere. She would gain their trust, stabilize her own condition, and then destroy everything…€Â”stopping Surlac and his followers from doing any more harm to the vulcan people.
...TO BE CONTINUED...