Star Trek #11: Yesterdays Son | Chapter 27 of 29 - Part: 1 of 3

Author: A.C. Crispin | Submitted by: Maria Garcia | 2556 Views | Add a Review

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Chapter XIX

 


At the sound of Spock's voice, the thrashing intensified until the onlookers could barely see for the choking dust. The Doctor heard his own voice, tight with anxiety. "Spock, your phaser! Stun Tal!" From out of the melee on the ground, a hand—Tal's hand, they could tell by the Romulan insignia—reached, groped, then closed on the Romulan sidearm that had been knocked to the side. Zar evidently saw the barrel of the weapon turning toward his head, and heaved wildly at the Romulan's body. Spock hesitated, trying for a clear shot.

McCoy flung himself at the Vilcan's weapon. "Stun both of them, for God's sake! He's going to kill Zar!" Out of the corner of his eye, he saw the younger man's knee move, heard Tal's grunt, then his fingers closed around the phaser and McCoy turned to fire.

Spock shoved the Doctor's hand, spoiling his aim, just as they saw the flash of a blade in Zar's hand. They heard the muffled impact as it connected with the back of Tal's neck, and then the Romulan sagged, limp.

Zar let him sprawl in the dust as he pulled himself to a kneeling position, leaning heavily on a nearby boulder. The young man's breathing was a ragged sob … the only sound in the stillness.

McCoy moved to the Romulan and turned him over, then stared in surprise as his hands came away unstained. Kirk joined him, and both men looked up at Zar's words to Spock—formal, almost ritualistic. "Just as I have shadowed thy life, thy shadow now lies over me." Zar straightened, his mouth a grim slash. "I hit him with the butt … not the blade."

Tal gasped, moaned, and McCoy hastily took out a charge for his hypo, pressed it into the Commander's shoulder. The Romulan sagged again. "That should hold him, Bones," Kirk said. "We'll take him with us when we beam up."

"How did you find him, Zar?" asked the Doctor, standing up. "And where did you get the uniform?"

"I came back here to make sure nobody would tamper with the Guardian." Zar replied. "Then I saw him, digging around the unit we installed. I was able to get close enough wearing the uniform to jump him. I 'borrowed' the uniform from one of the sentries before I planted my phaser to overload."

"And to think we didn't want you to come with us because Spock was worried you'd get hurt." Kirk lowered himself gingerly onto a fallen column, shaking his head. "Tell me, have you ever considered joining Star Fleet? We could use someone with talents like yours."

Zar started to say something, then bit his lip. As they watched, his expression changed, became shadowed, remote. "I'm afraid not, Captain." He turned to McCoy. "Did you bring along that duffle bag from my quarters I mentioned?"

McCoy pointed. "Over there. What's in it, anyhow?"

"Clothes." Zar said shortly, stooping to pick up the bundle, then continuing out of sight behind a large boulder.

The Doctor looked puzzled, then glanced back at the time portal, quiescent, grimly lifeless. "Helluva lot of trouble over a big stone doughnut, wasn't it, Jim?"

Kirk nodded, an echo of old sadness in his voice, "But still worth it, Bones. Always worth it."

It was Spock who saw Zar return from changing his clothes, and the other officers turned at his in-drawn breath.

The leather tunic was tight, now, and the rough breeches pulled taut around hard-muscled legs above the fur mukluks. Only the gray fur cloak, sweeping the ground, fit the same as it had seven weeks ago. Zar stooped, gathered up the hide bag that contained his few possessions from the past, and slung it across his back, fastened it with thongs. Then he faced them, head up, his expression calm but watchful.

Spock was the first of them to find his voice, and it was incongruously normal-sounding. "You are going back?"

"Yes." The remoteness faded he met Spock's eyes, watched his father get up, walk over to face him. "I have to. We've all risked our lives to make sure history isn't changed, and I have reason to believe it will be if I don't return. I'm needed there …" His mouth softened into what was almost a wry smile. "Needed there, as I'd never be here—despite the Captain's kind remark. McCoy was right. Two of us is two too many. I don't want to spend my life trying to stay out of your shadow. . . . And I would. So I'm leaving. What better place to go than a planet where my skills, what I have to offer … teach … are needed desperately?" His voice softened. "After all, it's my home."

"What makes you think you'll change history if you don't return? Living in that arctic wilderness alone—" Spock half-protested.

"I'm not going to be alone. Instead of the Northern hemisphere of Sarpeidon, I'm going to the Southern one … to the Lakreo Valley." Zar watched recognition dawn in Spock's eyes as he mentioned his destination.

"The Lakreo Valley 5,000 years ago?" Kirk frowned. "I … what's the significance of that?"

"Ask Mr. Sp—" Zar hesitiated and his shoulders straightened even more. "Ask my father. I can tell he remembers."

"The Lakreo Valley … the Sarpeidon equivalent of the Tigris-Euphates civilization on Earth … or the Khal at R'sev on Vulcan. A remarkable cultural awakening. Within a comparatively short span of time, the backward hunting and gathering tribesmen developed many of the basics of civilization. A spoken and written language—the zero—agriculture—" The Vulcan's dry recitation paused, and Zar took up the list, eyes shining.

"Domestication of animals—smelting metal—architecture. More than that. All within a very short span of time. An unprecedented development in a people's history. Such rapid growth logically indicates that they had help. I have strong evidence to indicate that help was me."

"But Beta Niobe …" McCoy began, and stopped. Zar nodded gravely.

Comments

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Alice
Great book, nicely written and thank you BooksVooks for uploading

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