Aftermath by Sue Wilson
First published in the fanzine, "Masiform D #15", in May 1986
Dusk. The first day.
I must have sat like this for hours, gazing out on the yellow ochre monsters that are your wind carved mountains. Tunnels. Arches. Caves also, I have heard. Such a wild and harsh landscape to have produced such a spirit of peace! Part of me sees no logic in that.
Yet part of me is stirred by Seleya's fortress, its amber turrets rising like some forbidden palace of dust-dried secrets. It is the same part of me which gazed upon the Sasashar, an endless desert sea strewn with mica which caught the red sun's glow as we passed over and threw it back, bloodstained there, more glorious than anything I had ever seen. That part of me, always there, like coals still hot which need only prodding to stir themselves to flame. How odd. It is not that part of me which calls this planet home; yet it is the half that wakens and comes, with quickened pulse, when Vulcan's landscape calls.
Perhaps it is well that circumstance has forced this lonely time upon me. I am so in need of peace, of finding harmony... before I see you gain.
Memories flood my solitude. One. Repeatedly.
"Saavik, you are no poet."
I can hear your voice now, kindly instructing without ridicule.
"Your gift is for mathematics, and your impulsive nature more suited to action than.... verbal expression.
The pages fluttered in your hand, all my ill-concealed emotions laid bare in crudest verse. Had embarrassment been of the feelings you allowed existed I would have felt it then... keenly.
"But then perhaps I am wrong. Such depth of feeling has occurred so rarely in my life, I am ill equipped to judge its perception by others."
You were lying even then, were you not? Or was it merely a wise and cautious step made to avoid a young student's eager, but misdirected, affection? No matter. You dismissed those thoughts from my mind with a single, weighty glance. Until today, I had forgotten my one impetuous display.
Oh, Spock, that was years ago! Yet how quickly the time melted away and that past became my present. Today. Fal-tor-pan's ritual complete. You took precise and careful first steps to stand before me, your eyes intense with meaning you have yet to discover. Searching painfully for something just out of mind's reach. Something... familiar... and shared.
I could not bear to see the questions there and be reminded, hot-faced, of that other time, of gestures made and gently refused, of denial. I felt like that child again, the one so torn by feelings she had for reasons she did not understand. Deja-vu. The only way to bear the re-enactment of that long-forgotten day was to look away, let you move on, and hope beyond hope that time had somehow changed us both to better cope with what we are.
It is only now that I am quite alone that I have allowed myself to consider the events on the Genesis world. My mind, trained in Vulcan discipline, recalls long past lessons in the folly of these emotions, but of me -- that other part -- cannot put away what happened there. Some serendipitous fate thrusting possibility between us. Your hand's touch, freely given, extended in trust, without the constraint of the teacher who once refused me. Am I wrong to hope? Is it illogical to feel so – strongly -- when confusion is the only certainty?
Questions. So many. And my life, like delicate threads, hangs on missing answers. Vulnerable. Waiting.
The healers come and go in a steady stream from your secluded room. Quiet. Regally important. In their efficient Vulcan way, they will probe and test and read their efforts in your mind until what was once done only in legend is reduced to psychic fact. They will not call it magic -- certainly not a miracle -- though it was both. They have not noticed me or my curious stares after their paths, or my mind's screaming "Answers!" on their return. I will not know, perhaps, until I see you next, what changes they have wrought within you, what Genesis-sparked difference there is.
I pray -- by the four elements of my birthland, by the logic our fathers, by Surak himself, and by any other gods that might listen -- that when next we meet, be it hours or days, your dark eyes are lit by some brief flash of recognition. For if they are not, how can I ever tell you?
Perhaps it is wise to be prepared. Dry tears which are not there. Calm this unsteady breath, and gather the shreds of our self-respect around me lest my unVulcan soul threaten to consume your newly discovered peace. Forget Genesis caves and childish poems and seek instead the constancy of the stars.
"Ah, Saavik, now when did you start lying to yourself?"