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Story Notes:

Slow Building K/S, with murder, plot, action and intrigue on the side.

Author's Chapter Notes:
*
‘The Devil, I safely can aver,
Has neither hoof, nor tail, nor
sting;
Nor is he, as some sages swear,
A spirit neither here nor there,
In nothing - yet in everything.
He is what we are; for sometimes
The Devil is a gentleman;
At others - a bard bartering rhymes
For sack; a statesman spinning
crimes;
A swindler, living as he can.’ “ Peter Bell the Third, P.B Shelley
*
Shi'Kahr City, Vulcan – 2237
*

At the heart of the Vulcan metropolis Shi'Kahr, there stands a modestly grand residence of considerable age and monetary value. It is, undoubtedly, a beacon of ancient Vulcan infrastructural design, and camouflages perfectly with the desert landscape, for the bricks are of an unblemished yellow and red; worn smooth by the thousands of sandstorms that have raked through the city. It is sprawling and yet somehow contained, in a way which confounds many of its frequent guests and visitors. The spacious entrance leads through to a cool, airy courtyard which is partially shaded by the exquisite ridged roof tiles. Beneath, hand crafted mosaics adorn the floor the multicoloured lashings of bright, spontaneous colour refreshing against the oppressive heat. In the centre, a blue spray of water bubbles and froths from a carved stone fountain that poses majestically in the morning light.

Inside, the building is quiet, as only a mother, father and son occupy the many rooms.

'Any humanoid who has ever visited Vulcan in its long history will almost certainly confirm that it is, indeed, a startlingly hot, desert-like planet, with a harsh, suffocating atmosphere. The inhabitants are, for the most part, emotionless, repressed, and occasionally bordering on downright rude. Any display of outward emotion is considered an embarrassing social faux-pas, and moreover engaging in conversation with any of their species will no doubt induce extreme fatigue and severe boredom.'

Ambassador Nathaniel Hannity gritted his teeth irritably whilst his secretary rattled off the Vulcan trivia straight from her PADD and into his ear at a hundred-rounds-per-minute; her high, nasal voice grating painfully against his sensitive eardrums.

It was early morning, yet the blinding Vulcan sun had already settled on its perch high in the cerulean sky, forcing him to squint through the bright haze.

He pulled out a yellowing handkerchief from his trouser suit pocket, dabbing at the beads of sweat that had begun to form on his brow.

He had a hangover, and a pounding headache which assaulted him ruthlessly and relentlessly. To darken his mood further, he was expected by the Vulcan High Council at their toffee-nosed Science Academy that morning, and to top it all off, he was late.

And so help him; if that stupid, air-headedwhore didn't shut the fuck up right now, he was going to knock her head off.

"Jesus woman!" He spat harshly in her direction. She fell silent instantly, blue eyes frightened. "Shut. Up!" He almost shouted, only just restraining himself from raising his hand. Speckles of his saliva fell upon her shirt collar, but she daren't remove them. She only whimpered quietly, shrinking away from the tyrant, not daring to meet his cruel green eyes.

The pair hurried across the courtyard of the Vulcan Ambassador's residence in silence, none of the beautiful sunlight falling on them.

Across the courtyard grew a little copse of desert trees, which offered some shade from the oppressive sun. In the darkest shadows of the brush stood a small Vulcan boy, who could not have been hardly more than seven years of age. He observed the pair closely, curiosity alight in his unusually expressive eyes."

A most unusual couple, he concluded. The way in which the male human interacted with his female counterpart was contemptible, and most divergent from any previous interaction he had observed between the two sexes of humans.

The female was of petite stature, with long, artificially-treated blonde hair. He supposed that she might be considered aesthetic-pleasing amongst fellow humans. However, she displayed erratic body language when in the presence of her employer, which could only suggest extreme fear and terror. This thought drew a question to the boy's attention - why would the female continue to sustain interaction, when she was so clearly afraid of him?

Not fascinating, but indeed curious.

His observant brown eyes moved across to her companion. If anyone would have cared to observe the slight wrinkle in his nose, this alone would have told the observer the boy's opinion in its entirety of the man in question. However, the courtyard was empty, and the boy was alone.

The overweight Terran male was clothed in attire typical of human fashion. He had sustained a great loss of head-hair presumably during the later years of his life, and beneath his heavy brow a beady pair of eyes glittered dangerously, reminding the boy of the poisonous desert snake that inhabited the sands of Vulcan.

The boy had superior olfactory senses, and through his elegant nostrils he expended little effort detecting the strong stench of processed ethanol emanating from the man. However, his acute sense of smell was at the present time rather unfortunate, for it was not a pleasant smell.

His exobiological studies had informed him that this was the Humans' preferential drug of choice. One might then conclude that the male was fond of this drug, considering the large amount he had consumed. Moreover, this drug was notorious for its addictive properties. But perhaps it was unwise to speculate.

Furthermore, the way in which he had lashed out at his companion was not only highly erratic, but also suggested at a violent and abusive personality, another trait of a typical Terran alcoholic, as such humans were known.

A most incorrigible human being.

It was illogical for him to dislike this man. Vulcans did not judge fellow beings. It was against their most adhered to principles.

But his small nose wrinkled even further.

However, his observations were abruptly suspended for further consideration, as his tapered Vulcan ears had detected Mother's lyrical voice summoning him from inside their residence.

Casting one last departing glance at the Terran couple, he turned around, features calm, but his eyes freely expressing his inquietude.

When the blinding Vulcan sun had set beneath the craggy hills and rolling plains of the desert; darkness, like an eagle, swiftly descended upon the citadel, wrapping the inhabitants in the shadowy blanket of dusk. It was a balmy night, and silence reigned, except for the occasional howl of the desert wolf, and the occasional discordant death cries of its unsuspecting prey.

An insidious unease crept into the heart of the city. However, there was no one in the vicinity to witness the foreboding which loomed over the once golden residence like a wrathful spirit.

Mellow, untarnished light shone from the Vulcan's Ambassador residence, where his family and their honoured human guest sat around the grand dining table, which had a great many dishes of both Vulcan and Terran cuisine laid upon it, carefully selected in order to appease both races.

The Vulcan boy sat quietly in his seat. The blonde female who had accompanied Ambassador Hannity that morning had retired early, leaving her companion alone. The Ambassador was clearly not accustomed to socialising with Vulcans, as could be seen from his lack of knowledge concerning conversational etiquette. Indeed, for an ambassador, he grievously lacked in both tact and diplomacy.

And the strange looks the man would too frequently direct to his mother were...worrying. However, he could not decipher the human emotion that was intent in them. But, judging by how often his mother would fidget and break eye contact with the man, this was clearly a human gesture that Spock could not yet fully comprehend.

However, his father appeared absorbed in deep thought. The boy extrapolated that he was most probably pondering the current diplomatic crisis between Earth and Vulcan, an issue which had been concerning him recently.

So deep in thought in fact, that he failed to observe the strange interaction between his mother and the stranger.

His father excused himself from the table to receive an urgent incoming call from the High Council. The man's eyes were now fully fixated on his mother; the human smile on his lips curling in a most displeasing way to reveal a straight set of gleaming white teeth, the canines particularly sharp.

A most thoroughly dislikeable man, the boy concluded.

The boy sat a little further back in his seat, looking up to his mother. She looked uncharacteristically apprehensive, but offered him a small twitch of her lips, and smoothed his hair in a way which he knew he should dislike, as Vulcan custom dictated.

His father returned to room after precisely three minutes had passed, informing the table that he had been summoned to a meeting with the High Council. He offered his apologies to the Ambassador, who chuckled a little, and accepted the apology most ungraciously.

The boy shifted in his seat.

A little after his father had left, his mother bade him a good night, and sent him to his sleeping quarters. The boy was strongly opposed to departing from his mother's side, but she appeared insistent, so he deferred to her wishes. He changed into his sleeping garments slowly and methodically, climbing into his bed, far from fatigued.

Vulcans are envied throughout the galaxy for their eidetic memory; and they themselves consider it a valuable asset; if only for its practical use in academia – after all, pride was a dangerous and illogical emotion.

However, that night, the boy severely questioned the supposed value of this 'asset'. It was a logical assumption that there would, undoubtedly, be moments in one's life that one wished to forget. Therefore, having an eidetic memory was most assuredly not an asset.

The resounding smash of shattering pottery startled the boy out of his bed. He hurried straight to the epicentre of the commotion.

The dining room had darkened considerably, but he could still observe the outline of his mother's favoured vase lying broken on the floor, shattered into miniscule shards.

Intermixed with these pieces was...

Hismother's blood.

The boy's breath hitched in his throat.

"Mother!" he called, suppressing the desperation that his mind was threatening to succumb to. He determined to ascertain her location, immediately.

A muffled female scream from his parents' sleeping quarters urges him to hurry. The noise implied that events were worse than he had previously hypothesised.

For an entire agonising minute, the boy stood frozen in the doorway of his parents' quarters. He could feel the tangible coil of sharp, strong, intense emotions entwining in his abdomen, similar, he thought abstractly, to that of a double helix.

He confessed to himself some years later that this moment of emotional weakness was, without a doubt, the first and last moment in his life where he had professed a want for ignorance – for if he had possessed such ignorance at this moment, it was then highly probable that he would not be aware of the facts and nature of the crime that was taking place before his eyes in the most violent and brutal manner.

...That any sentient, intelligent being could willingly inflect this on another... that this human would presume to forcefully and violently take what should solely belong to his father...that any man should dare to harm his mother...

The Ambassador looked up and snarled, glaring at the intruder. Instinctively,Spocksnarled back. The Ambassador's cruel face flickered with a variety of emotions. He dropped his mother to the floor uncaringly, leaving her to crumple against the wall. The man departed with an infuriating air of confidence and fear.

A nanosecond passedwhen Spock debated whether he should tend to his mother or attempt to disable the man.

He hurried to his mother's side, the last of his emotional control slipping from his mind. He almost immediately turned around once more, intent on finding the man.

Seeing what he is about to do, his mother grabbed desperately at his wrist to restrain him.

"Calm yourself, ashalik - you must control your emotions!" His mother cried frantically, attempting to control the roused Vulcan child.

She emitted strong waves of pain/fear/anger/humiliation-

He could no longer hear her voice. The tone became dulled and distant as he sank further into the red, blissful rage that was eating away at him alive, tearing out huge, bloody chunks. Shudders ran through his body, violent and uncontrollable. He must have that man's life, his blood, his heart. He wanted-needed revenge for this heinous act which that beast had attempted against his mother-

Spock physically sensed the roils of determination that sung strongly from his mother, even as she bled and wept onto the cold, unforgiving, stone floor.

Humans are universally acknowledged as psi-null, so the boy considers his mother's next feat to be wondrous, miraculous.

She speaks directly into his mind in a steady, controlled tone, "Hayal i', sa-fu!"

Be calm now, my son!

The boy freezes stock straight, spinal cord straining. His eyes are squeezed shut, his face stony. His hands grip the sleeping garments too tightly, leaving little tears in the fabric, and painful bruises imprinted on the skin underneath.

They stay in these positions for what can be no more than a few minutes, but Spock has become transcendent as he floats through the shattered and cracked barriers of his emotional control. It is simultaneously shaming and terrifying.

Sometime later, he opens his eyes to witness that his mother had clearly lost control of her tear duct functions, as their product tracked down her cheeks and onto her ripped dress in a steady stream of salty liquid.

She whispered his name, voice trembling. She held his face in her hands, looking into his eyes. He gripped her wrists desperately, trying to project a strong sense of calm and comfort. His hands shook.

A purely Human anomalism, he assured himself in the meditational aftermath.

She reiterated his name.

"M-mother?"

"You must promise me something, tal-kam."

He titled his head, pose stoic, mouth attempting to form coherent speech. Instead, the hinge of his jaw opened and shut in a gormless fashion. It appeared that he could not form words at this time.

"Say you'll promise tal-kam." She leant his forehead against hers, eyes shut tightly. cutting off the emotion underneath the surface. "Please."

Her hands trembled lightly in his. His lips moved to form the words. His tongue rolled in his mouth, preparing to perform the necessary actions that would implement speech. Yet no sound was produced when his lips parted, only a little gasp of air.

His mother inhaled a deep, shaky breath. The boy tensed. "You must promise me, talk-kam, that-... you cannot reveal to Father anything of what has just occurred. You must hide it with your strongest shields within the deepest corner of your mind, and you must endeavour to forget. Will you do this, for me, my ashalik?"

The boy becomes very still in her arms. Their eyes locked, both teary.

It was unusual for his mother to hide something from his father.

The boy corrects his previous assumption – it is in fact an unacceptable anomaly. His mother's chosen course of action was highly illogical. If they were to inform Father, he, as head of the household, could take the appropriate disciplinary actions to ensure that the-one-who-had-harmed-his-mother would receive a criminal trial and a severe prison sentence.

"Why?" He asked impulsively."That is not-"

His mother smiled, but the boy deduced through their skin-to-skin connection that it was not a typical Human smile – strangely, hers conveyed only sadness.

"I shall endeavour to explain when you're older."

The boy stood still a moment, looking into his mother's shimmering eyes.

It would be logical to utilise his telepathy in order to make an informed decision.

He can detect no malice behind her actions; she appeared only to (irrationally) want to protect his father from an unknown threat. A most confusing impulse, as she was the one in need of protection. But he concluded that shewas his elder, and wastherefore infinitely wiser. He must bow to her wishes.

A question occurs to him. "How do you intend to hide this from irak-nahan?"

His mother's face is shot with a pain so acute that he fears he may once again lose reign over his control.

Her voice rises barely above a whisper when she, "Do not worry yourself over such things, my tal-kam..."

From the remainder of the Ambassador's stay, the boy stolidly refused to leave his mother's side. However illogical his elders may label the action, or how often his peers mocked him with cries of 'arie-amp komihn!' he considered it a greater failing to leave his mother open to further violation.

He concludes that he would favour a slow, painful demise rather than allow the iniquitous sub-human within reach of his mother for a second time.

Whenever the Ambassador came within eyeshot, he eyed the boy with a combination of hate, fear, and a smug satisfaction that what the boy had seen would-could never be revealed.

Blackest night had engulfed Shi'Kahr when the Federation ship departed from the Vulcan space dock.

The boy stood a short distance in front of his mother and father, who were conversing with the Council members. His mother shot subtle, frequent glances in his direction.

The darkness absorbed him, welcoming the boy into its folds. He stood quietly in the chill air, deceptively tranquil. It was his little hands that gave him away – for they quaked and trembled tumultuously. His head was titled up at a forty –five degree angle, his gaze fixed hatefully upon the large ship in the night sky. His brown, human eyes were tumultuous, a swelling sea of emotion that threatened to consume the little boy alive.

Pain, rage and loathing seething and scratching behind the flimsy facade of control. But above all, there was hate. It was a burning, consuming hatred beyond repression; transcendent of time and space. It ate at him, gnawing at his control. This staggering amount of loathing was reserved for a single being alone - that animal; that vile sub-human who had dared to violate his mother.

His voice barely above a whisper, he spoke his name to the night sky. He looked back at his mother and his father. "I am Vulcan." His tempestuous eyes returned to the ship, which was seconds away from departing. "I will never forgive the severe grievance you have caused my mother, Ambassador Hannity." His tone was livid, each syllable enunciated ruthlessly.

The ship shot into the night sky without a trace.

"And I will never forget."

With those parting words, the boy turned around. With controlled, caged strides he returned slowly to his mother's side.

"How do you feel, tal-kam?" She asked quietly, so that only he may hear.

He replied gently, "Vulcans do not feel, Mother."

She remained silent, but her eyes glistened with momentary amusement, as if she were privy to a joke that he could not comprehend. "Of course not. That was most unforgivably human of me for asking."

Silently, and when his father's attention was diverted, the boy reached out to grip a little corner of his mother's sleeve; his compact, elegant hands calm and steady. But beneath the boy's upswept brows, Obsidian eyes burned with a wintry, perilous fury.
*
Chapter End Notes:
A/N - A massive thank you to my fab beta, Syrus, who patched this up brilliant, as well, she's a huge source of Star Trek knowledge that I have shamelessly plundered! I hope she'll continue to be a big pillar for me to lean on whilst I write this massive fic. And I mean MASSIVE. I'm aiming for 100k words!

And I was going to abstain from updating till it was all nicely written up and beta'd, but the thought of all your lovely comments kept poking my brain until I relented! Hence, updates will be slow and irregular , but I hope it'll be worth it in the end! Good thing comes to those who wait, as they say! ;D

But there's also the slogan on that advert, something like 'patience is NOT a virtue.'

Therefore, I wait impatiently for all your lovely reviews! :D

And I *really need reviews, because writing Star Trek is always a big challenge for me as a writer, and your support and advice is so appreciated!

~BB
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