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Joint Personal Log, Shadow & Relok
Relok stood quietly in one corner of Sickbay as a medical team scurried around one of their own, Dr. Shadow Wind K’Trevala. For all external perception, Shadow was in a coma, unresponsive, his breathing and heartrate almost imperceptible.
But Relok knew differently. During his rage-induced attack in which he’d forced a mind-meld on Shadow, he’d created a sort of link between the Vulcan and the Tayledran. Relok could feel Shadow’s mind. It was weak, wounded from a combat no-one else could have witnessed. Beaten and bruised, but victorious.
But that mind-meld that had made this link was not just between two minds. There had been a third. Inzari Jostumal, one of the souls trapped in one of the soul spheres, had been in that link. And both Relok and Shadow could feel the mind of this lost soul as well.
Through the mental link, Relok knew that “Inzari” was a Tayledran word that meant “hated foe”. He wasn’t sure if this was the creature’s true name or whether this was an appellation given to it by Shadow after the assault. It didn’t matter, it felt like a name, and it was applicable.
Inzari, too, was wounded, and weakened. Inzari was still trapped, tied to the soul sphere in a way that Relok still did not understand. He had been in that sphere for months, maybe even years. He wasn’t a good person before he was imprisoned in the sphere, and the long isolation and intense desire for release had driven him mad.
Relok himself was conscious, true, but he too was weakened and suffered wounds from the psychic battle. His only real advantage was the intense focus that Vulcans trained themselves for, an ability to suppress their emotions and focus on a task or problem with analytical single-mindedness. He stood, staring at Shadow, his focus on only one thing: strengthen Shadow’s mind. While the link remained, Relok was using it to wrap a mental blanket of calmness and peace around his friend in order to allow Shadow’s mind to recover. It was all Relok could think of to do.
Shadow had heard what Inzari said to Relok, calling into doubt all the Vulcan had gone through in his life and throwing castigations on everything that made the Vulcan so strong, both mentally and physically. He reached out mentally to Relok. ~~Inzari would do anything he could to get you to doubt yourself to try to get a momentary advantage in his attack on us both.~~ He recalled Relok’s confession of cheating on his quest for the Fang of the Sehlat. ~~You are strong and honorable, Relok, I KNOW you would never cheat on anything you did or accomplished. I don’t blame you for what you did, instead I thank you, Shayana.~~ Shadow used an ancient Tayledran word that translated as “wingsib”, or perhaps “oathbrother”, a word often used for one who had been adopted into a Tayledran clan.
Even as Relok tried to wrap his own healing blanket of peace around Shadow’s mind, Shadow was trying to do the same for Relok. It was like two weary, wounded warriors, walking off the battlefield together, supporting each other on their way to get some rest and regroup for the next salvo.
Relok thought back to his friend, no, his sibling now, ~~I know it was only an attack, an insidious undermining of my belief in my own strengths, Shadow, but what made the attack work is that it was founded on truth, or at least concepts I believe have some truth in them.~~
Relok reflected on what Inzari had told him. How Relok had abandoned the teachings of Surak, the path of logic. This had a grain of truth in it, since Relok often felt that a strict adherence to logic and suppression of emotion left one empty and unable to appreciate the finer elements of living.
And the feelings of worthlessness Inzari had started had caused Relok to reflect on other things. Relok had confessed to cheating on his quest for his Sehlat Fang. Looking back on it with a clear mind, Relok knew that it wasn’t a cheat, since the ordeal had not specified how one had to acquire a fang, only the timeframe for the exercise and the fact it must be done alone. Relok had not violated either of those decrees.
What he had done was rig a trap for the sehlat, and part of the trap involved the sehlat breaking a fang when it tried to escape. Later Relok had simply returned to the area and picked the fang up off the ground. He was actually applauded for his ingenuity. But, sometimes it still felt like he’d cheated since he didn’t actually fight the sehlat personally.
Shadow’s psychic voice came into his mind again, ~~Relok, remember what we were told back at the Academy? “Work smart, not hard”, that’s what you did with the trap, and there is nothing wrong with using your brain rather than your muscles. They approved, and some of the greatest tacticians could not have done better at your age then. You fought with your mind, not your body, there is nothing wrong with that.~~ Shadow ached for his friend and the cruel slurs on his honor that Inzari threw at him. He just wished he knew the right words that would help make Relok feel better about himself and what had happened. Battling a depressed Vulcan was never easy.
Shadow could feel the mental equivalent of a sigh come through his link with Relok. The Vulcan’s thoughts seemed to heave once and then settle back into position. Relok thought to his new brother over their mental link, ~~I had sought to calm your mind, Shadow, and instead, I find you seeking to calm mine. Thank you. Now, if you have gathered yourself enough, wake up and help me figure out how to save the other souls trapped in those spheres. One Inzari does not mean they all are.~~