Da-Kuv t’Yoshuhlnak- The Dragon Circle
The next day, they stopped at the gym before carrying on with their duties:
“I want to show you something”, Maximillian said. He looked around, making sure they were completely alone. He carefully closed the door and started to perform complex and elegant moves. He ended up lifting a 100 kg weight with one arm.
“Incredible, isn’t it?” he stated smiling.
“The moves you just performed are coming from Tal-Shaya while the first ones you made were the Suus Mahna style, and your strength is truly impressive”, she admitted. He felt proud of himself.
“My strength increased too, and when I perform traditional moves, I can mentally see their shapes and symbols”, she added.
They remained in the gym a while to train and explore until it was time to head to the bridge.
Walking together, T’Prion suggested the Admiral to reveal a bit more about the mission to the Captain:
“My orders were clear about it”, he replied.
She continued “there is something utterly illogical in all this”.
He interrogated her with his eyes.
“This is supposed to be the last trip of the USS Adventure because it is seen as too old, too slow, not efficient enough, right?”
The Admiral nodded.
“Then how come that Starfleet chose such an old ship for such an important and secret mission, this is illogical”, she insisted.
“I had never thought of that, but you are right…” he replied. “I suspect there is something under that…the Captain is a trustworthy man, his opinion would be precious indeed…” he paused. “For now we could tell him about the eggs…as for the Spirit of Vulcan…”
“I don’t think such details are important for him", she answered.
Had they decided to remain silent, they would have had to change their mind. Indeed, as soon as they reached the bridge, Captain Spencer asked to talk privately to them:
“Admiral”, he started. “I respect you and your mission but I retain it is important for me to know what happens on my ship…this is logical”, he added, staring straight in the Commander’s eyes.
“I was not supposed to get to know so much myself”, the Admiral admitted. “They gave me a closed box, but before leaving it in Commander T’Prion’s cabin I thought it was my duty to make sure nothing contained in it could provoke any damage…and so I opened it”.
“The box contains two eggs of Vulcan Dragons”, T’Prion said.
“Wow!” the Captain exclaimed. “Dragons like dinosaurs?” he asked.
“Yes, but they are not supposed to be disclosed here”, the Commander replied.
The Admiral continued, “There is something very unclear in this whole story”. He said “secrecy, fights as Peter said”.
Before he could go on, the Captain interrupted:
“Peter! Who is he really? And if I understood well, he tried to steal the eggs, why?” he asked.
“Let’s say that we have solved the matter”, T’Prion replied.
“More enigmas and mysteries”, Captain Spencer commented.
“It has to do with Vulcan ancient Spirituality”, she explained.
“All right, those answers are fine for me. I trust both of you”, the Captain said inviting the Admiral and the Commander to follow him on the bridge.
Minutes passed by; hours, and T’Prion was feeling increasingly dizzy and tense. She was wondering why the Spirit of her world would want to make her experience those sensations. With time, they became clearer and more intense; definitely familiar, yet different. At lunch time, she decided to retire and meditate. She was unsure of what was happening to her and wanted to understand.
“I am coming with you”, offered Maximillian.
“I need to meditate on my own”, T’Prion replied.
He asked to be at least allowed to see the eggs, which she could not refuse. He had noticed her dizziness and didn’t want to leave her alone. In him, his senses and emotions were growing but he didn’t notice significant changes.
“Something is happening to you, isn’t it?” he asked.
“I need to make sure of it”, she said.
He nodded and reluctantly left the cabin.
T’Prion entered a deep state of meditation. She was searching, exploring, and the further she was going, the more convinced she became. She opened her eyes. The sensations she was beginning to feel were growing fast and she had to remain in control, while she still could…
The afternoon on the bridge seemed endless to her. It was always harder to hide her inner state. She had difficulties to focus and inner fire was intensifying and starting to become pain. Maximillian was aware of every step of the process without understanding the reason of it. He was feeling helpless again.
Just as she had skipped the lunch-time, the Vulcan Commander retired before dinner. Maximillian followed her again, pretending to check the eggs. T’Prion was walking fast, without a word.
Once they reached her cabin, Maximillian said:
“I know you are in pain, we are sharing the same experience, talk to me”.
“Yes, I am in pain, and it will become worse”, she stated. “Until the point I will have no control over it at all”.
“How so?” he asked, “and why am I not directly feeling this pain?”
“Because you are human”, she replied, increasingly tense.
He stared into her eyes. She lowered her head, then looked at him again.
“I think it is logical allowing me to understand”, he whispered.
Silence fell in the room.
The Admiral wouldn’t have left until he had his answer:
“The Dragon is provoking in me the Pon Farr”, she said, “I ask you to not reveal this to anyone”.
“I promise you to keep it secret”, he replied.
The Admiral knew what the Pon Farr was but had never directly seen it.
“I need to meditate in a very intense way to keep in control, as long as it will be possible”, she said.
“I know that this is very…private and delicate for you”, he started, “but…remember that you can call on me anytime”.
“Thank you”, she said.
He put a hand on her shoulder and left the cabin.
The next day, T’Prion was on the bridge as usual, but she was struggling against the violent imbalanced emotions that were assailing her. She crossed the look of Maximillian, he noticed her eyes were different, colder, harsher. He was feeling something inside of him too, like a call urging him to act but he didn’t know what to do. Vulcan people had always been very secretive about the Pon Farr, so he knew very little of it. He resolved to invoke the Dragon’s guidance, here and now. For him, being in a meditation posture and state was less important than reaching the knowledge he needed in any way and at any cost. There was no real task for him on the bridge, mostly making sure the mission was proceeding well, so this was leaving time for him to think and observe.
He was deeply immersed into these thoughts when a distress message was transmitted. It was very unclear but the word “Help” could be very well recognized. The coordinates of the caller were identified; it was a shuttle, visibly damaged. The Captain let them know that he would teleport them on board. He invited the Admiral and the Commander to follow him.
They reached the teleport room just in time to see six male figures materializing in front of them…one of them was holding a small round device, he spoke:
“Greetings Captain Spencer, we are very thankful to you for having saved us, so I have a present for you”, he smiled. The Admiral was definitely finding it all very weird, for a reason he could not put his finger on. The Commander was repressing the aggressiveness she was feeling toward the new comers. She was aware that all of it was not due to the Pon Farr… the man continued:
“I know your ship is transporting a box with very special eggs inside”.
T’Prion was about to react when she felt the Admiral’s strong hand grabbing her arm.
Captain Spencer remained silent, the man went on:
“I want you to order your First Officer to go, take this box, and bring it to me”, he said.
“Never!” T’Prion said firmly.
“Opposition?” he came closer to the Vulcan officer. Maximillian was ready to react.
The man showed the round device he was holding:
“If I only press on this tiny button, no more USS Adventure”, he laughed. “You have no choice”, he added.
He was indeed holding a bomb, but T’Prion was beyond the state of thinking. Her body reacted, led by the fire running in her blood. Before the Admiral could stop her, she grabbed the man’s throat and lifted him up with one hand. The bomb fell down just in time for Captain Spencer to catch and deactivate it. T’Prion got rid of her prisoner by throwing him against the wall with violence. The other men who were with him had watched the scene in awe but they suddenly woke up and started shooting. The Captain and Admiral dodged the blows and punched some. The Admiral did his best to conceal his unnatural strength, until one of the blows reached T’Prion who fell unconscious. Maximillian’s rage blossomed and he started to fully use his strength provoking great damage on the enemy side. Captain Spencer called the security officers who finished capturing the men and lead them into cells. Both the Admiral and the Captain rushed to T’Prion. She opened her eyes and made them know that she was fine. She got up and was about to leave the room when the Admiral stopped her: “I need to go”, she replied, rushing out.
He was about to follow her when the Captain called him back:
“I expect explanations Admiral”, he said, visibly shocked by what he had just witnessed.
He led the Admiral to an empty room:
“I have seen my First Officer in a similar state a few times, but I never saw her lift up a fully grown up man with one arm, as you did too…then the weapon that shot her was set to kill, yet she was stunned for merely a few seconds…I am amazed of it, but I want to know…what is happening to you both?”
“This is related to my mission”, the Admiral replied.
“And?” the Captain insisted.
“It is hard to explain to a human being”, Maximillian stated.
The Captain started to laugh:
“Because you are not a human being, maybe?”
“Not at the moment Captain, not fully at least”, the Admiral admitted.
“Why?” the Captain wanted to know.
“The eggs are linked with an ancient energy; very powerful…Commander T’Prion may be more qualified to explain than me but…”
“Commander T’Prion cannot be disturbed Admiral, and I suggest you don’t underestimate her present state”, he recommended.
“What do you know of it?” Maximillian asked.
“Surely no more than you Admiral”, he continued. “We need to discover who those men are and how they knew about your mission”.
“I will take care of it”, the Admiral replied.
The Captain returned to the bridge while the Admiral headed to the prisoners quarters when he felt the urge to stop by T’Prion’s cabin. He knew it could have heavy consequences but he was feeling called. He obeyed; maybe it was only his personal will to see her, or maybe it was more…
He reached her door and called for her:
“Leave me alone!” she replied.
He started to walk away, but changed his mind and stopped again at her door. Resting his back against it, he closed his eyes and asked for help and guidance, then he called again:
“Commander T’Prion, open, this is an order”, he said.
This time there was no reply. He was definitely feeling like leaving; it would have shown respect, understanding, but his body could not move at all.
Inside the cabin, T’Prion’s pain was intense now. She was feeling unable to control her violent impulses and she didn’t want anyone to see her this way.
“Open this door or I’ll put it down!” Maximillian’s voice thundered almost against himself.
The door opened:
“You have no right to speak to me with that tone!” exclaimed T’Prion out of herself.
“I am your superior and I care for you”, he said.
“Then you should show respect and leave before things get worse”, she advised.
“I won’t leave you alone in pain”, he stated firmly. “I don’t care about the risks”, he added, coming closer.
Then they both looked at the eggs, they were smoking!
The Admiral approached them. “Are they about to disclose?” he asked.
T’Prion didn’t answer; he turned back to her. She had sat down on her bed, her head in her hands, her body tense and shaking. Maximillian sat next to her and things became clear to him:
“Choose the Kali-Fi”, he whispered, “Allow me to fight for you”.
T’Prion stared at him, he continued:
“Don’t you understand why the Dragon provoked the Pon Farr, precisely now? My feelings for you have been only growing since his Spirit inhabits me”, he added.
“If you fight, you will have to kill”, she replied, “Are you ready for it?”
“I am ready to do what is needed”, he answered.
He gently took T’Prion’s hand with great care and started caressing it with two fingers according to the Vulcan tradition, and led by the Dragon. T’Prion’s body stopped shaking and relaxed; the pain decreased. Maximillian was feeling grateful:
“You understand the Dragon well”, she said “Better than me”.
“Because I am a human being”, he answered, “I see things from a distance, as much as I love Vulcan and consider it my home, it is not. I can see the wonders of your world but also its flaws”
“Flaws?” T’Prion inquired.
“Vulcan’s emotions are more violent and intense than human emotions, so you need to find a way to control them. And so Logic appeared but at the same time, repressing these emotions lead to their explosion which is what you call Pon Farr”, he explained.
“The Pon Farr though painful is necessary for the survival of our race”, T’Prion said.
“Exactly, those painful, terrible, violent emotions that can lead to destruction are necessary for survival” he stated.
“Would you suggest Vulcan people to become emotional and illogical like human beings?” she asked.
“No, well I don’t know…what I just said is what I understood or what the Dragon led me to discover…I think evolution is not over yet, not even for your people, so advanced and admirable”, he said.
“Evolution never stops”, she replied.
There was a silence.
“We need to understand more about those men who knew of your mission”, she said, getting up.
“Are you sure you want to come?” he asked.
“We need to discover the truth, it is our call and our duty”, she stated firmly.
“I agree”, he said, leaving the cabin with her.
Only four men were in cells, the other two were still unconscious. As soon as they saw the Admiral and the Commander approach, they started to shake with fear:
“Please, don’t kill us!” one of them pleaded once Maximillian and T’Prion had reached their cell.
“We have no reason to do that”, the Admiral said calmly “but you need to collaborate and tell what you know and who you are”.
The men said their names; they were all low ranked Starfleet officers.
“We don’t know much really”, another explained, “it was said to us that we needed to take those eggs from you otherwise the consequences would have been terrible”.
“Who told you so?” Maximillian asked.
“He is a scientist called… hmmm, Reynolds, Stanley Reynolds…he said there was much at stake and that High Officers of Starfleet were involved”, he continued.
“Names?” the Admiral asked.
“We don’t know more. At the beginning, we hesitated but then Reynolds started to threaten us and our families, so we had no choice…he has created multiple weapons”, he added.
Another said, “Maybe Lieutenant Perkins knows more, but I am not even sure he is still alive”.
“Both your companions are alive, unconscious for now but they will live”, the Admiral said. He added, “Keep us informed if something more comes to your mind”.
“Do you think they know more?” T’Prion asked while leaving the cells area.
“I doubt it, those were only pawns”, Maximillian replied, “We need to find information about this Reynolds”.
They headed to the Archives room and searched for Reynolds on the computer. A long biography was read to them: a brilliant scientist in his fifties who specialized in weapons, had various rewards for services to Starfleet, and an impressive and stainless career…
“He is creating weapons”, said T’Prion. “So he probably created the bomb they brought too, we could examine it”, she proposed
“I think the Captain has it, let’s ask him”, he replied.
Once on the bridge, the Captain was quite surprised to see T’Prion, but didn’t say anything. The whole story was now far beyond his understanding.
He handed the tiny bomb to the Commander; she observed it very carefully:
“I have never seen anything like that; obviously very powerful…especially for that part in the middle…” she indicated a small reddish piece of what looked like metal. “Interesting”, she added.
“What is it?” the Admiral asked.
“It is used to enhance the effects of an explosion…but what is very singular is that only Romulans use those”, she stated.
“Well maybe a Vulcan scientist made one or managed to get one”, the Captain offered.
“Any Romulan would rather die than give one of those to a Vulcan, human, or any other race. I exclude it”, she said.
“Then you suggest that Romulans are involved in all this?” the Captain asked in disbelief.
“Well, to me this is more than a suggestion, this item is a proof of it”, T’Prion replied.
“This story becomes better and better each day”, the Captain exclaimed.
“Better? What do you mean?” T’Prion asked.
“I mean nothing. This was just some kind of humour to sooth the situation” the Captain replied.
“We have to discover more about it”, the Admiral said, “And we will”.
T’Prion was fulfilling her usual tasks, amazed by the control she was having over her state. She concluded that the Dragon energy must be helping her in that sense, so she mostly focused on the tasks at hand. Later, she went to visit the unconscious prisoners with the Admiral:
“If I could use the mind meld I would easily find all the answers we are looking for”, she said.
“It would be too risky, it would probably kill him”, the Admiral replied.
She knew he was right. She had experienced it herself when she had attempted to read Peter’s mind.
“I wish I had not been so violent”, she said.
“Same for me”, Maximillian echoed. “The second leader is unconscious too, the one who started shooting...” He paused. “I lost control when I saw him shooting at you”
They asked the Doctor about them:
“Hard to determine when they’ll wake up, it could be at any time really”, he said.
T’Prion started to think loudly:
“Reynolds is the one who creates weapons, and probably sells them too. The eggs could be seen as a scary weapon…it is logical such a weapon attracts the Romulans”, she stated.
“And they must have probably offered a fortune to Reynolds for having them”, the Admiral continued, “And not only to Reynolds but to High Officers of Starfleet, which makes me definitely very worried.”
“Corruption is part of human nature unhappily”, T’Prion said.
“I know, but until now it didn’t seem to touch Starfleet much”, he replied, deeply disappointed and feeling as if part of Starfleet ideals were damaged. “We must discover who they are”, he said.
“We have to, otherwise things may become worse”, T’Prion replied.
He turned toward her, ”And you?” he asked.
“I don’t know”, she answered, “It is not completely like the other times, I mean it is worse in some moments and in others…it seems the Dragon keeps me in control”
“That is a good thing”, he said.
“It is, until it lasts”, she replied.
They decided to head toward the gym. There was not much more to do on the bridge, or to discover for now. But T’Prion definitely needed to express the part of energy that the Dragon wasn’t controlling and Maximillian wanted to train.
They started to perform Tal-Shaya moves together:
“We could fight”, he proposed.
“It would be too risky”, she answered.
They paused for a while. The Admiral seemed to be lost in his thoughts. Finally he spoke:
“When the eggs will disclose, the Spirit will inhabit the new born Dragons, right?” he asked.
“It seems logical”, T’Prion replied.
“Will I remember those Tal-Shaya moves?” he wondered, “we will lose our supernatural strength, but what about the knowledge we came in contact with?”
“We cannot be sure what will happen after”, she said.
“And there is a chance that the eggs disclose before the Kali-Fi…” He commented.
“You have been training before the Dragon”, she replied.
“Yes, but I would be no match for a well-trained Vulcan warrior which is why I need to train more. If my mind forgets, then my body may keep the memory of those moves”, he said.
“If really the Dragon meant to have us united, you will win”, she stated.
“If not…” he echoed.
“You can still change your mind, or I could fight myself or eventually find someone else to do it”, she suggested.
“Never!” he exclaimed, he paused “I would never accept that you or someone else risk their life for me and I will not change my mind”, He paused. “But if your chosen mate wins, would it be really the same for you? I mean uniting with me or with him?”
“I have no memory of him. At the age of seven we went through the mind meld ritual, that’s it. I have not known you for a long time, but we have shared and experienced much. Of course you are a human being, yet I find more logical mating with someone I know than with a person I saw only once or twice as a child”, she said. “So no, it is not the same because logic dictates to choose you”.
“Logic”, he repeated, “Of course”.
He smiled; through the Dragon, he had been aware of T’Prion’s thoughts and feelings for the last few days. He knew well at this moment that she was using logic as an excuse to avoid admitting her feelings for him. Would she ever admit them? He was very unsure of it and yet he was ready to risk his life to discover it. It made little to no sense, but it was simply feeling like the only right thing to do…
“I will teach you everything I know about Tal-Shaya and Vulcan combat arts”, T’Prion offered, “this knowledge would not be the Dragon’s but mine, so you will remember it whatever”.
“Thank you”, he replied, considering her proposal like one more manifestation of her feelings.
They trained for a long time; then the Admiral went to the dinner room, while T’Prion reached her cabin. She observed the eggs, they were still smoking, warming, their aspects were slightly different as if they were becoming less solid. She started to meditate.
In the dinner room, the Admiral referred what they had discovered to the Captain who felt equally disappointed:
“Starfleet is not like it was once”, he said with a sad look in his eyes then he invited the Admiral to join him at his table:
“I just want to take a few dishes and will eat with Commander T’Prion”, he replied politely. “She hasn’t eaten much in these days”.
The Captain smiled, “I am glad to see you taking such care of her…I take she doesn’t feel like joining us here”, he added.
“I haven’t asked her really but I’d say it is very unlikely”, the Admiral answered.
“I understand”, the Captain said.
T’Prion opened her door as soon as the Admiral called, he was pleased:
“I brought something to eat”, he said.
“I am not very hungry”, she replied, “but thank you”.
“I have discovered something very interesting about the eggs”, she continued. “They will not break, they will melt”, she stated.
The Admiral approached them and considered their aspect as well as the whitish smoke rising from them. T’Prion continued:
“Their heat is increasing each day, until it will melt the eggs by making them liquid and the Dragons in the middle of it”, she explained.
The Admiral put his hand near the box sides: “The box is cold”, he said surprised.
“It is”, she answered. “Peter must have thought of it”, she added.
The Admiral started to eat. T’Prion took a little of everything mostly to be polite but she was starting to feel imbalanced again.
They meditated together some moments; it was helping but not fully suppressing the violent emotions. Pain was getting more intense again. She sat on the couch; the Admiral held her for a long while until she was almost falling asleep from nervous exhaustion. He caressed her fingers again which allowed sleep to come faster and more peacefully. He left the cabin only once he saw her fully asleep.
The next day, the Admiral headed to the Commander’s cabin before doing anything else. The door opened even before he called. The Vulcan officer was still laying on her couch visibly is pain. The Admiral came closer. She didn’t talk; her body was tense and shaking. The Admiral tried to help but nothing really worked. He was still trying when the noise of the USS Adventure suddenly stopped:
“The engines!” he exclaimed, “they stopped working”.
“Then the ship is motionless”, T’Prion said in a desperate way. “I need to reach Vulcan”, she added.
The comlink rang, the Admiral replied: “Commander T’Prion is urgently required on the bridge”, a voice said.
“I cannot”, she whispered helplessly.
“I am sure Captain Spencer will solve things”, he said coming closer to her again “I don’t know how I can help”, he whispered.
“Make that ship move!” she exclaimed.
He got up: “I will”
As soon as he reached the bridge, the Captain yelled:
“Where is my First Officer? I need her”.
“I am afraid she won’t be able to come, not until we reach Vulcan”, the Admiral stated. “What is the situation here? What’s happening?” the Admiral asked.
The comlink rang:
“It is sabotage”. The Admiral understood of the conversation.
“What? Who? How? And…when will we be able to move again?” the Captain asked.
“I have no answer for you Captain at the moment. I am doing my best to repair but…”
“How much time will it require?” the Admiral asked.
“Honestly I don’t know”, was the answer.
“Maybe there is some ship in the area?” he asked the Captain.
“I have already checked, there is none”, he replied, “Maybe there is another solution though”.
“Which?” the Admiral asked.
“But this would put the ship at risk”, the Captain continued, “for that reason I wanted to talk to Commander T’Prion, her advice is usually wise”.
“Anything that can help this ship move should be attempted at any cost!” the Admiral shouted.
“Admiral, this ship is under my responsibility, this is not a light decision”, the Captain stated.
“I am not sure you are fully aware of the seriousness of this situation Captain, your First Officer may die if we don’t reach Vulcan before six days and there is more…” he paused.
“I know”, the Captain said, “and she would choose the ship”. He put his head in his hands.
“Well, the eggs may disclose here, so no, this time she would choose to risk”, the Admiral replied firmly.
“Then there is no choice Admiral”, the Captain said. “Years ago, the USS Adventure engineers worked on a device that could re-launch the engines if for any reason they would stop”, he explained, “but when we tested it…it revealed unstable and dangerous”.
“But would there be a chance to see it work?” the Admiral asked.
“Yes, the first time it worked, but the second time we nearly lost the ship”, the Captain replied. “The situation is clear, either we see Commander T’Prion dying or coming close, the eggs disclose and two Vulcan Dragons fly freely in this ship- or we risk to lose everything”, He paused. “You outrank me Admiral, so the decision may be yours”.
“The USS Adventure is your ship though”, Maximillian replied.
“This ship has been my home for the last 15 years of my life. She is strong, she can make it. She can reach Vulcan before it is too late!” he said.
He got up and went to the engines room, he had orders to give. He invited the Admiral to take his seat, Maximillian sat down, full of admiration for the Captain, and full of hope…
When the Captain came back on the bridge, he looked older, burdened, he barely seemed like the same man:
“It is done”, he said.
Indeed a few minutes later, the engines started to work again:
“It is working!” the Admiral exclaimed.
“There was no doubt about it, now we have to see if it lasts or if the engines start to overheat, and eventually explode”, the Captain said.
The Admiral went silent; he had left the seat and gave it back to the Captain:
“In how much time shall we know?” he asked.
“Last time it took a few hours”, the Captain replied. “Maybe I am supposed to make some kind of announcement but if the worst happens, not much can be done”, he added.
“No need to alarm the crew”, the Admiral stated.
The comlink rang; it was the Doctor informing the Captain that Lieutenant Perkins had woken up. The Admiral rushed toward the lift:
“I need to have a talk with this guy”, he said.
Before he could come closer to Lieutenant Perkins, the Doctor suggested him to leave the man some time to recover:
“There is no time Doctor”, the Admiral said, directly walking toward the man still lying down.
Lieutenant Perkins was a thin tall man in his late twenties, with dark hair and green eyes. He avoided the look of the Admiral:
“Lieutenant Perkins”, Maximillian started.
The other looked at him but remained silent. The Admiral continued:
“I need answers, and you will give them to me”.
“You assume much”, the Lieutenant replied coldly.
“Well, I can obtain them in a soft way or in a hard way”, the Admiral stated. He was in no mood for gentle manners.
“I will not answer your questions, do whatever you want”, the Lieutenant said.
“Very well”, the Admiral answered, grasping the other’s throat with his right hand, “You have a few seconds to tell me everything”.
The Lieutenant didn’t react, the Admiral couldn’t deny that the man had some courage, but there was too much at stake to be soft. He didn’t consciously do anything but he noticed his right hand becoming warmer and warmer, hot, until it began to burn. He was feeling no pain, but he could see pain growing in the Lieutenant’s eyes. He started to move, attempting to escape the burning grip; then he screamed. The Admiral couldn’t explain what was happening other than realizing how the strength of his intention was manifesting in the heat released by his hand, the fire of the Dragon.
“Who is behind it all?” he asked.
“Professor Stanley Reynolds”, he finally said, unable to bear the Admiral’s grip any longer.
The Admiral’s hand became fresher but he didn’t take it away from the man’s throat:
“And?” he asked.
“He wants to sell the eggs to the Romulans”, Perkins continued.
“We had figured this out”, the Admiral replied surprising the Lieutenant, “Who are the Starfleet High Officers involved?”
“They remained anonymous, we never talked directly”, the Lieutenant replied.
“Who damaged the ship?” the Admiral asked.
“Reynolds”, the other replied.
“Is he on board?” Maximillian asked.
“No…He created devices, mini robots that can enter anywhere unnoticed”, the Lieutenant replied.
“How many of them are on board”?” the Admiral asked.
“Two”, the Lieutenant replied, “One was programmed to damage the engines, the other was programmed to locate the eggs and kill those around. It was a back-up plan”.
“T’Prion!” the Admiral exclaimed, leaving suddenly the Lieutenant and rushing toward the closest lift to go to the Commander’s cabin.
The door opened as soon as he rang: the Vulcan Commander was sitting in her usual meditation posture, eyes closed. Her body was still very tense and somewhat shaking but she was alive:
“You are in danger!” Maximillian exclaimed, looking around.
She opened her eyes and handed him a small device, once probably round shaped, but now totally crashed:
“It came too close to the eggs”, she stated.
“It was programmed to locate them and kill you”, he explained, “Perkins has woken up, he confirmed that Reynolds is behind it all with the Romulans but no way to know about the Starfleet Officers”.
“How is the situation with the ship?” she asked.
“The engines are working again, thanks to a device tested years ago. The Captain said it was risky to use it but there was no choice”.
“This may result as the engines exploding!” the Commander exclaimed.
“Or maybe not, maybe it could result in us reaching Vulcan in a couple of days”, the Admiral replied.
“The Captain shouldn’t have done it, risking the life of everyone for me, his ship…”
“He did it for you, yes, but also for the eggs”, Maximillian answered.
“The needs of the many overweight the needs of the few or the one”, she added.
“But the eggs are more important than many”, he replied.
“Did you discover what created the damage?” she asked.
“A device similar to the one you crashed”.
“Then it may be reprogrammed either to repair or to cool down the engines”, she suggested.
“This is a brilliant idea! But Reynolds is an incredible scientist. I have no idea how to reprogram this thing”, the Admiral admitted.
“Peter will help you. I would come with you too but in my present state I would be of little help and eventually an obstacle”, she said.
“You already helped much”, he answered.
Their fingers touched again.
“The eggs are starting to melt”, she said once their hands parted.
The Admiral looked at them:
“In two days, we will be on Mount Seleya, I promise”, he said, leaving the cabin.
T’Prion drifted back into her intensive meditation state, while Maximillian headed toward the engines room.
The heat was already intense in the room and was growing. Officers and engineers were busy trying to keep things working especially by making attempts to avoid the engines from heating too fast.
The Admiral had given orders to have Peter sent to him. He talked with Lieutenant Skipper, responsible of the area and showed him the crashed device:
“What reduced it this way?” the man asked.
“It was programmed to kill Commander T’Prion, and she didn’t like it”, the Admiral replied with a point of humour and pride.
“I saw nothing of this kind here”, the Lieutenant stated.
Peter was escorted there by two guards. The Admiral explained to him the situation and suggested to find the device as the first step. They spent several hours looking in every corner of the room. They were losing hopes when Peter noticed something shining in the middle of junk. He grasped it and handled it to Maximillian:
“It should be that”, he said. “We got it!” he added.
They moved in another room, quieter, fresher. They sat at a table. Peter examined the object with attention:
“I need tools to open it, see how it is made, how it functions”, he said.
The Admiral gave orders to get tools:
“Can I have a look?” he asked.
Peter gave him the device, it looked like a silver tennis ball with tiny holes, probably to allow tools to come out and connect with other devices:
“I don’t understand where its energy source is”, Peter commented.
The tools were brought, Peter started to open it, taking out piece by piece, then he finally found at the center a very tiny cube similar to a cell:
“No idea how to make it work though”, he stated.
While he was considering the other parts, the Admiral took the cube in his hand. As soon as it came in contact with his skin, the cube came to life; a blue light was shining from inside:
“How did you do that?” Peter asked.
“I am not sure”. Maximillian replied. “At least the energy source is working now, hope it will last”, he added.
Hours ran away before Peter could access the memory and core of the device. It was complicated, a genial creation yet the young scientist was brilliant and started reprogramming it.
He was still struggling with it when the alarm rang. The Admiral called the Captain to understand the situation:
“Things are getting really worse”, he replied.
“How much time do we have?” the Admiral asked.
“Less than 30min”, the Captain said.
“Hurry up Peter!” the Admiral exclaimed.
“I am doing my best!” the young man replied.
The Admiral opened the door, outside people were running; rushing to try and solve the issue. His thoughts went to T’Prion, then to the eggs and to Vulcan. But thinking was not enough, action was needed.
He entered the engines room; it was like hell. The area surrounding the engines was impossible to approach. He was feeling helpless. He returned to Peter to see the young man getting up and handing him the device fully working:
“Let’s connect it to the central computer”, the Admiral said.
As soon as the connection was established, a strident whistle was heard. Smoke was coming out of the engines room. The men inside the room rushed out while the Admiral went in to check the situation. Lieutenant Skipper was still there with a couple of assistants. The smoke was making breathing hard but the men were also definitely happy to see the engines’ heat decrease, which was actually provoking much smoke.
“It is working!” the Admiral whispered with an immense sigh of relief, he turned to Peter:
“Thank you”, he simply said though he would have wanted to tell him more.
“At the end, I protected the eggs”, the young scientist replied.
“They are still important for you, aren’t they?” the Admiral asked, leading him out of the engines room.
“I am not sure why but yes, in a way they are like my babies”, he answered.
“I understand it”, Maximillian said.
“What will be of them?” Peter asked.
“Commander T’Prion and I will take them on Mount Seleya, their home”.
“I think it is right”, the young man stated.
“You are free”, the Admiral told him, “you can go anywhere from now on”.
Peter thanked him and they parted. The Admiral reached the bridge, where Lieutenant Skipper had already informed the Captain of the situation:
“Well, you saved us”, he told the Admiral.
“Let’s say that it was a team work, Commander T’Prion’s idea, and Peter Andrews’ skills. Lieutenant Skipper seems to do a great job too”, he said.
“We will be on Vulcan in less than two days now”, the Captain said, “How is Commander T’Prion?”
“She is struggling but she is strong”, the Admiral replied.
“Go to her, Admiral”, he suggested.
Maximillian smiled and rushed toward the lift. He found T’Prion still in an intense meditation state. She was sweating and her face was expressing her inner struggle:
“I don’t want to disturb”, Maximillian whispered.
“Stay”, she said, opening her eyes.
“We are safe”, he said and he told her about the way they had proceeded.
He checked the eggs:
“They seem to be moving inside”, he commented.
“They are. The eggs will melt very soon now”, she paused and got up. “I need to inform Vulcan of our arrival”.
She sent a message directly to the Religious authorities:
”What will happen there?” the Admiral asked.
“I don’t know for sure but there will be a ritual for the eggs disclosure and also the Kal-If-Fee of course”, she replied.
They remained together until the night. There was only one more day to wait…
When Admiral Williams woke up that morning, the thought that he may be living his last day of life came up. He had faith in the Dragon but he wanted to be prepared for the worst. He didn’t want to die but he felt the need to write a letter to his parents and to Starfleet. In any case, his life would change. Until that moment he hadn’t thought of after…as if after may never have come but now after was the very near future. Would he or T’Prion ever be able to leave the Dragons? After having been so close to them…Could he ever be able to leave Vulcan again?
He took the letters with him and visited T’Prion still meditating, exhausted yet still assailed by the fire in her blood. The eggs state was mostly unchanged:
“You need to train”, she said after a while.
He left the cabin short after and listened to the advice. He repeated the Tal-Shaya moves and did any physical exercise he thought could help him win the Kal-If-Fee.
Then he headed toward the bridge. He wanted to talk with Captain Spencer and asked him for a word in private:
“When we will arrive near Vulcan, Commander T’Prion and I with the eggs will have to be teleported directly on Mount Seleya, where we are expected”, he instructed.
“It will be done”, the Captain replied.
“I may not return from the ritual”, he admitted.
“What?” the Captain asked “And T’Prion?”
“She will return, as soon as she is on Vulcan, there will be no more risk for her”, the Admiral assured.
“Why would there be risks for you?” the Captain asked.
“I will take part of the Kali-Fi, the challenge, I will fight for her”, he explained.
“Well, considering the strength you have I would not be anxious”.
“I don’t know if I will still have this strength there if the eggs disclose before. I may be simply a human being fighting against a Vulcan, in his home world. I trained a lot, I trust myself and…and the energy that has been guiding us yet…I want to be ready”, he said.
“You are wise Admiral, and I sincerely hope you will win”.
The Admiral handed the letters to the Captain:
“If I lose, please give those letters for me: one is for my parents and the other for Starfleet. I don’t want to burden T’Prion with that”, he stated.
“I will…hmmm or better I will give them back to you hopefully”, he laughed to hide his inquietude. “T’Prion’s father would have been honoured to see you fight for his daughter”, he added.
“Well, I will fight to kill the man he chose for her”, the Admiral replied.
The Captain stopped laughing; suddenly the thought of his best friend came to him:
“I wish he was here now”, he said.
“I wish I had known him”, the Admiral replied.
“Well, too much human emotions here!” the Captain exclaimed, recovering his joyful face.
“Am I needed on the bridge?” the Admiral asked.
“No Admiral, you made an outstanding work, go and get ready for your battle”.
They bowed to each other and parted. Maximillian spent the rest of the day between T’Prion and the gym. Then he took a well-deserved rest for the night.
T’Prion had spent the night preparing too. In the morning, the Admiral entered her cabin:
“Are you ready?” he asked, “It is time”.
She was wearing a traditional Vulcan dress. Maximillian considered her; he had kept his uniform on. He took the box in his hands, very carefully; it was still cold though the eggs were now slowly melting.
They went out together heading toward the teleport room where the Captain was waiting for them there:
“May I be allowed to come with you?” he asked.
“I wish it were possible”, T’Prion replied, “But this is not only a Kun-Ut-Kali-Fi ritual, there are the eggs”.
“I understand”, he said a bit disappointed, he rose his right hand in a Vulcan salute. She answered.
“Good luck Admiral”, he added. Then he personally pressed the teleport button
On Mount Seleya, a group of Priestesses were waiting for Maximillian and T’Prion. They led them at the center where an elder Priestess started to chant invocations. Maximillian was invited to put the eggs on an altar. As soon as the chant was over, the eggs completely melted exactly as T’Prion had foreseen. Two tiny creatures appeared out of the dense whitish liquid. They were orange with shades of purple; they were similar to Dragons in shape with small wings and four paws. Maximillian and T’Prion were staring at them in awe.
The old Priestess put one hand on Maximillian’s face and the other on T’Prion’s face. She sang another chant then went silent.
“The Dragons will have to be taken to the secret cave. Only you know where it is”, she told them.
She proceeded then with the Kun ritual, explaining that the Dragons had chosen them so no Kali-Fi was needed. Maximillian was relieved.
They were led in a sacred room with the Dragons, visibly still under their responsibility. Once alone, they approached the creatures and attempted to make contact. They were obviously wild animals but were showing no aggressiveness toward them. The couple spent the night together. In the morning, T’Prion felt totally free of the Pon Farr but both were feeling the Dragon even more growing in them:
“I know exactly where to go”, Maximillian said.
“I can see the place very clearly too”, T’Prion replied.
They left for the journey with the Dragons. The cave was a legend for the Vulcan people, but they walked directly to it. The Dragons were now fully able to fly and were following their lead. They finally reached the cave entrance: it was dark yet colourful symbols were clearly seen on the walls:
“Ancient Vulcan Glyphs”, T’Prion commented.
“The Dragon Circle”, Maximillian added.
They remained a long moment in meditation, with the Dragons. The Spirit was returning home but something of it remained deep inside of the couple. Once the right moment had come, they respectfully greeted and went out. They knew that they would often visit the cave in the future:
“I want to stay on Vulcan”, Maximillian stated.
“I think it would be logical now”, T’Prion agreed.
Captain Spencer, Peter, and a few members of the USS Adventure’s crew had been teleported on Vulcan short after the Admiral and the Commander. A team of scientists were expecting Admiral Williams, and the Captain politely greeted them. The team was composed of both human and Vulcan scientists. When they noticed Peter near the Captain, some of the human members whispered. One of them spoke:
“May we know where Admiral Williams is?” he asked coldly.
“He is fulfilling his mission”, Peter replied before leaving time for the Captain to talk.
“His mission was to bring here a box with a very special content”, he stated.
“Actually the content of the box was even more special than what you had thought”, the young man said.
“Professor Andrews, you have been excluded from this team due to your arrogant behaviour. This now does not concern you any longer”, the scientist replied bluntly.
“I am the one who started it all, so it is still my responsibility, whether you like it or not”, Peter argued. “I think it is very logical”, he added staring at the Vulcan members.
One of them, made a step forward:
“What have you discovered about the eggs?” he asked calmly.
The human scientist intervened:
“This person should have nothing to do with this experiment!” he exclaimed, almost shouting.
The Vulcan scientist looked at him coldly, Peter replied
“You call this an experiment! But you know nothing! Science and Spirituality are one in this case. We are talking of the Spirit of Vulcan here, not only of two eggs! They should be respected and treated with devotion in order to be fully understood”, he said full of passion.
The Vulcan scientists talked to each other for a moment, the human scientists remained silent:
“Will you relate us what made you come to that conclusion?” one of the Vulcan asked.
“Of course I will, if you are willing to listen”, Peter replied.
The Vulcan part of the team led Peter in a room inside of the Academy of Sciences; only one human member followed. The Captain was about to go with them when the human part of the team stopped him:
“We want explanations”, one of them said.
The Captain nodded, visibly embarrassed. During the past few days, so many things had happened that he had not had any time to consider how he would have responded to the team. They led him and his officers in another room of the Academy. They sat down:
“I am not the most qualified person to talk about it but I witnessed some incredible feats on my ship…you see, those creatures are sacred for the Vulcan people. They are not only animals…” Before he could finish, one of the scientists interrupted him:
“Please, spare the chapter about Vulcan mysticism and ancient Dragons legends! We are scientists not priests!” he said.
“That is why you don’t understand”, Captain Spencer stated.
“Well, if Williams is not here in one hour of time with the eggs, I will have you all arrested”, the man stated.
The team went out, locking the door on the Captain and his crew. Miss Pebble tried to comfort the Captain:
“I understood some of what the Vulcan scientists said”, she explained, “They will be with us”.
“Ironic, isn’t it?” the Captain replied, “a people whose culture is based on science and logic would challenge a scientist team for mystical ideas…”
“Vulcan people can be very mystical”, she continued, “for them Logic represents both science and spirituality, it is one”.
“I would say that after all we have seen in these days, they are right”, Captain Spencer added, “Well, I assume that now we can do nothing else but wait…and hope Admiral Williams and Commander T’Prion will be back soon”.
In the other room of the Academy, Peter had related everything to the Vulcan part of the team:
“Fascinating”, most of them had replied.
One of them asked where the eggs were. Peter paused unsure whether to trust them or not:
“None of us would ever do anything against our sacred creatures”, the scientists assured.
Peter looked at the human scientist who had kept silent:
“I have always considered science and mysticism as one”, he said, “You have my word”.
“The eggs are on Mount Seleya”, Peter confessed.
“Then we should leave them there”, the Vulcan scientist concluded.
“What will you do with the rest of the team?” the young man asked. “I mean all this was totally unexpected so I can understand the others could be angry, plus…” he paused, lowering his head.
“What?” the human scientist asked.
“There is more…on the ship they tried to steal the eggs”, Peter said, now fully trusting the team.
“Who? Why?” one of the Vulcan asked.
“I am not sure of the name, but Admiral Williams knows everything”, the young man stated.
“The Spirit of the Dragon inhabited you…” the Vulcan scientist went on, “You received his Katra in a way, like many creatures before you, but I wonder why a human being…you, then Admiral Williams, I could understand why he chose Commander T’Prion but…” he paused “each of you have something very special to accomplish”. He concluded, “Maybe it has something to do with the collaboration between our two species”…
They went out of the room to meet the rest of the team:
“Have you managed to get any useful information professor?” one of the human scientist asked.
Peter swallowed hard:
“We got all the information we needed”, one of the Vulcan replied, “but those are related to our culture and go far beyond the boundary of official science.”
“So you sided with them?” the human scientist asked.
“We sided with logic as always”, the Vulcan replied, “Where is Captain Spencer and his crew?”
“Safely locked”, the human replied.
“You have no right to do that!” Peter shouted.
“This won’t help the situation to be solved”, the Vulcan said addressing both the human man and Peter, “Would it be possible for you to cast aside your emotions so that we can talk in peace?”
“We had a plan, precise, clear, now you are changing it. Where is the logic here?” the human argued, struggling to hide his anger.
“Plans can change when logic dictates so”, the Vulcan replied.
The human part of the team understood that they would not win this battle so they revealed where the Captain was kept prisoner. One of the Vulcan headed toward the room; he opened the door:
“I apologize for this inconvenient Captain Spencer, we came to an agreement”, he said politely.
“Well, I know Admiral Williams left with the eggs without consulting anyone but…” the Captain replied attempting to justify Maximillian.
“He did the only logical thing possible”, he said and he added that Peter had related most of the story.
“It seems Romulans were involved in the attempt theft of the eggs”, the Captain added.
“We need to find the truth about it”, the Vulcan replied. “An investigation will start as soon as Admiral Williams will be back”.
“I will tell you all I know”, the Captain said “Have you heard of Professor Stanley Reynolds?”
“Of course”, the Vulcan replied. “He is one of the most respected and gifted scientist of his generation”
“As incredible as it can sound, it seems that he was the one wanting to sell the eggs to the Romulans”, the Captain explained.
The Vulcan remained silent, they reached the whole team:
“We need to find Professor Reynolds as soon as possible”, the Vulcan scientist stated. “I think here we would need the support of Ambassador Sarek, this is too big”, he stated.
The Ambassador was quick to arrive. Captain Spencer related the whole story again, adding the part involving Starfleet High Officers’ possible involvement.
Sarek remained silent for a long while:
“This is a very delicate story that could lead to misunderstandings between our people, if not handled in the right way”, he stated.
They went on talking for a few hours then Sarek invited all of them to a dinner at the Embassy. Peter’s heart was on Mount Seleya and so the Captain’s thoughts…
The Captain and his officers went back to the ship for the night; Peter followed them. Neither of them slept that night. Peter was thinking of the Dragons and the Captain was worried about the Admiral and T’Prion; they had been gone the whole day…
Next morning, Captain Spencer and Peter were teleported on Vulcan again; with them Lieutenant Perkins and his men under vigilant guard. They were led to Starfleet Headquarters where they were interrogated again. Perkins felt relieved as he didn’t see Maximillian, but he didn’t bother to lie or hide anything. He knew it would have made his situation only worse.
Captain Spencer and Peter were back to the Embassy talking with Sarek about the next steps to take when the comlink rang: ”We are back”, said Maximillian’s voice, “Where are you?”
The Captain got up from his chair out of joy and replied:
“They are fine!” he exclaimed, and he informed him of their location.
“He didn’t say anything about the Dragons”, Peter whispered visibly disappointed.
“I have to admit that I will be quite interested to meet this Admiral”, Sarek confessed.
Captain Spencer could not wait inside any longer. His eagerness led him to run outside, almost like a child. Peter remained a while with Sarek:
“What are you planning to do now?” the Ambassador asked.
“I don’t know but…I would like to remain here on Vulcan, I mean”, he replied.
“Understandable”, Sarek said. “I am sure we can collaborate in many ways”, he added.
“I would be honoured to”, the young man said.
They started to talk about possibilities for the future, and after a while they joined the Captain who was right outside the Embassy, gazing at the horizon.
Soon after, the Admiral and the Commander reached them. Captain Spencer rushed to hug both leaving them quite surprised of this sudden burst of affection. He handed the letters to Maximillian:
“I am glad to give those back to you”, he said, “They will never be sent”.
“I will give two more letters to you though, a bit different”, the Admiral replied.
The Captain considered T’Prion:
“My First Officer is back”, he stated.
She didn’t answer, but slightly bowed her head in sign of respect.
Peter had remained silent, he stepped forward:
“The eggs?” he asked.
“The Dragons are born”, T’Prion replied. “They are home”.
“I am sure you’ll see them one day”, Maximillian added.
“They are fine?” the young man asked.
“They are awesome”, the Commander answered.
She suddenly noticed Sarek who had watched the scene at a distance. She greeted him and introduced him to Maximillian. Sarek stared at the Admiral for a few seconds:
“Captain Spencer talked a lot about you”, he said simply.
The Ambassador had met many people from different planets and cultures. He had just spent some time with Peter, who had hosted the Dragon Spirit for a while but he found the presence of the Admiral almost overwhelming. His thoughts went to the Commander then. He had met her on several occasions but she was definitely changed. The same sense of power was coming from her, power yet no danger. Sarek was starting to see the logic of all things, especially as Maximillian related to him of his childhood and years spent on Vulcan.
There was one more dinner at the Earth Embassy, T’Prion’s mother was invited too and spent a long time talking with the Captain about her husband and her daughter:
“It is as if I had already met you”, she admitted. “My husband admired you much and was honoured to serve under your guidance. As for my daughter, I wish to express gratitude to you for having always been there for her”, she said.
The Captain smiled: “I am the one who wants to express gratitude, for all the lessons your husband taught me. Also for our discussions at times, the dangers faced together, the hard times, and the good times. He was my best friend, my brother, I will never forget him. I wish there had been the opportunity for him to transmit to me his Katra before dying, but we were separated; I arrived too late…” he paused, the words strangled in his throat. “And your daughter”, he continued, “She saved me. I never would have started flying again without her at my side. She has been the best First Officer a Captain could ever dream of, I will miss flying with her…so much”, he said, full of a passion and pain unknown to the Vulcan woman but that touched her in some way.
They went on exchanging memories; then the moment of the greetings came:
“We are not coming with you Captain”, T’Prion said.
The Captain lowered his head; it was already hard enough to think of taking back the USS Adventure on Earth for the last time. It sounded even worse without his First Officer at his side:
“I knew you would have stayed here”, he replied. “After all, this is your home”.
The Admiral handed him two letters:
“Let me guess…” the Captain started, “One for your parents and the other for Starfleet”.
“Yes”, the Admiral said, “We need to remain here”, He added, “I hope you can understand”.
“Of course” the Captain replied, struggling against coming tears.
“You will have to lead the investigations on Earth”, the Admiral continued. “Make sure to surround you with trustworthy people, only those”.
“The Vulcan Embassy will be your home”, Sarek intervened, “my people will help and protect you, I gave orders to teleport some of our best warriors on your ship”.
“Thank you Ambassador”, Captain Spencer said.
He knew it was time to leave, yet his body was not moving. Reluctant to part with his friends and reluctant to be teleported on his ship for the last time…
Concluded in Part 3!
The Reboot Series
Da-Kuv t’Yoshuhlnak- The Dragon Circle
|Part Three, On a scientific mission to return ancient relics to Vulcan, the crew of the USS Adventure find some things will not stay in the past.|
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