- Text Size +

On one tumbled boulder a le-matya crouched, poised to spring, its eyes glittering, the tip of its tail twitching.  Spock lifted his hand, a swift gesture of command, and the creature flattened itself against the rock.  Slowly, Spock approached it, spoke to it in the hissing, guttural speech of its kind, the strange sounds slipping easily off his tongue.  Mesmerized, the beast’s eyes glazed, closed, and it began to sway softly in response.  Spock was close enough now to touch the huge head, to scratch behind the ears.  He touched its mind, lightly, suggesting that good hunting lay elsewhere tonight, perhaps in the ravine to the south.  He released it, and the giant beast licked his hand, then padded away.  Spock turned and continued his journey, climbing the cliff to its summit...The Ring of Vahakreya.

The great rocks rose in a circle, a ring of monoliths hewn from marble found nowhere else in this hemisphere.  They glistened blueblack in the night, darkness standing against darkness, solid stone seemingly as infinite as deep space.  At once sentinels and portals to the unknown.

Vahakreya was forbidden...And the Book of S’aaht.  Many things had been forbidden...once.  Once that had mattered a great deal.  But the Vulcan he had known no longer existed.  The world he had known.  The faces.  He had thought he held himself apart...until fate had snapped, one by one, all the lives entwined with his own.  And snapped first the one life he had always acknowledged.

In the twenty years since the holocaust, he had found no spirit to match his own.  Tonight he came to Vahakreya, Master of the Book of S’aaht, to call back the one that did.

A z’hai’fra, a spirit of the dead, clothed in immortal flesh conjured from flame.  This was a spell that could be accomplished only once.  The dead could be commanded to speak, but only one soul could be called forth from the fire to live again, bound to the life of the summoner, vulnerable only to the wounds of the wizard’s flesh.

The night wind lashed at Spock’s cape, whipped his hair in his face as he walked to the middle of the arena.  He could feel its exact center, like a heavy pulse throbbing deep underground.  Calmly, he stripped all garments except his sorcerer’s cloak, woven of spells, and knelt, arms extended, his forehead pressed to the ground.  For a timeless interval he lay there, his mind clear, open to the ancient power that flowed from the ground into his body.

He drew back, gathering and holding energy within himself.   From inside his cloak, he took a small sharp knife and a metal flask.  Then he removed the heavy medallion from around his neck and laid the disk on the ground.

The gold gleamed dully on the Vulcan earth.  He had chosen an old Earth symbol of magic, the pentacle, a star bound in a circle.  what could be more fitting than a star? He had cast it himself, cast it of metal and magic.  Once fashioned, he had meditated upon it, dreamed over it, imbued it with his memories and his power.

Next, Spock took the knife, the blade making a thin cut on his wrist.  He let the green blood drip onto the star.  His fingertip traced through the fluid, repeating the design in blood, as he murmured the words of binding.  Then he lifted the little urn of delicately incised metal.  He withdrew the stopper and gently sprinkled out the fine-grained dust it held.  The wind took some for its own, but what touched the medallion remained, clung to its surface.

Flesh…to flame.

Flame…to ashes.

The essence of James Kirk lay, a circle of dust at his feet.

Spock continued to kneel for a moment, letting the emotion well within him, but controlling it, bending it to his own will, directing its almost overwhelming course to serve his power.  Then he rose and stepped back from the center, one hand pointing to the star.  It was a simple spell, requiring only perfect concentration for the sorcerer to succeed and to survive.

“T’hy’la,” Spock commanded.  “Arise.”

The dust smoked, smoldered, ignited.  The flames leapt, growing as his arm lifted them upward, casting an eerie blue light within the ring of stones.  Spock felt them, fierce and hot, raging within his own body, his power the fuel that fed them and made them grow.

The blaze fanned outward, then curved toward him, drawn to him against the path of the wind.  Within it, a figure began to coalesce, a wavering form taking on a known shape, a known face, the hair a swift flame burning in the night.

Ashes…to flame.

Flame…to flesh.

The body sculpted itself from the flames, drew them within itself, contained them, until it stood whole and perfect before him, gleaming in the darkness.  The luminous flesh incandescent in its own preternatural light.

Slowly, Spock lowered his arm, stood, still and trembling, his body quivering with exhaustion, with awe, with joy.

“T’hy’la,” Spock whispered, his heart pounding.  “Awake.”

The eyes opened, glinting gold and green, the contained fires flickering within them.  Aware, they met his and sparkled with recognition.

Jim Kirk smiled and stepped forward, speaking his name.

You must login (register) to review.