812: The Summit

by Commander Salvek
Two days after But Not Today


-= Mount Seleya, Vulcan=-

The path to the temple was shrouded in the late day shadows, as Lair Kellyn caught sight of the summit for the first time.

The heat had been unrelenting, as they made the ascent over several hours. She wondered if perhaps it were a mirage, or maybe a hologram, designed by the Vulcans to trick outsiders into stepping off the cliff and plummeting to their deaths.

She looked over the edge of the path, wondering exactly how far the drop was now. The low-lying haze between herself and the ground made it impossible to tell however. So much the better.

Salvek had yet to break a sweat, despite the heavy dark robe he wore which absorbed the sun’s heat. He kept his eyes on the path before him, and his hands crossed. It had been some time, perhaps as far back as when the ground was still visible, that he had spoken.

She saw the anguish in his face, and knew the presence of Taris was fighting against him for control. He was trying to hold himself together for these last few meters as best as he could, but it was more then that.

Salvek was nervous.

She wondered still how she was going face melding with him again. He had justified his motives over and over again, but none of that could ever change that fact that he had melded with Taris.

In Salvek’s view, he feared that he risked eternal torment if he carried his animosity towards Taris through out his life. That he simply could not allow the memories of her senseless rage to occupy his thoughts and dreams.

So he had sought a shred of goodness inside of her, and offered his forgiveness to unburden his soul. But as he gave a semblance of peace to her, Taris' torment had invaded his spirit.

The protective, loving and honorable man that was Salvek was slowly being poisoned, from the soul out, by a lifetime of accumulated hatred.

He had told Kellyn at the base of mountain, that this was his path to walk, and she did not have to come if she did not wish to. Her response was to tighten the laces of her boots, and wish Arie well.

Despite her own feelings about every bad decision he made to lead them to this point, she was there. Her presence was all he had to drive him forward.

His body was sound, and accustomed to the searing heat. It was his fading inner light that made each step more difficult to take. That, and the knowledge that the keepers of the Temple would leave no aspect of his life unexplored in their attempt to cleanse his mind.

He felt Kellyn’s discomfort beside him as they drew closer to the Temple. She felt out of place here, and very much cognizant of the fact that she was Bajoran, and everyone else here was...not.

Salvek let his mind wander from the path before him just long enough to picture himself at the Vedek Assembly on Bajor. Wondering if he would feel misplaced in one of the most sacred halls to Kellyn’s people.

They reached the plateau at last, upon which the Temple sat. Where Vulcans through out history had come to learn the philosophy of logic, cast off their emotions, and attain the Kolinahr.

The guards at the entrance came into view as they drew closer. Their faces were obscured from the eyes down by a black covering, and they wore traditional steel armor from the waist down. Their chests were bare except for a dark blue sash with gold lettering that extended from their right shoulder to the left hip, and looped around their backs. Each man was armed with a staff, which bore the head of an axe at the end.

Kellyn easily read the words on their chests as, Strength of Logic, Strength of Vulcan.

The guard stood motionless as Salvek and Kellyn approached, but one stepped in front of Kellyn as she was about to pass, and brandished his weapon before her.

“Good afternoon,” She said, choosing to let her anger be expressed in an insincere pleasantry.

“She is my mate,” Salvek spoke. The second guard stepped past him, and took up position next to his partner. They crossed the blades of their weapons, effectively allowing Salvek access, but making it impossible for Kellyn to follow.

“I didn’t expect to be welcome here. Never mind that I have said the prayers, learned the mental disciplines, and raised my child in the Vulcan culture,” She spoke to the guards, not to Salvek, who was well aware of Kellyn’s commitment to Vulcan tradition.

She traced the ridges of her nose, “ek’wak Beidzhorsu. (Forever Bajoran).”

She glanced at her husband and nodded slowly. He had to go inside, so there was nothing she could do but wait.

“Will you at least allow her entrance to the Temple, so she is not in the heat?” Salvek asked. The guards simply stood still.

“I’ve been through worse.”

“I will not leave her here.”

“Yes, you will Salvek," Kellyn insisted. "Because the people that can save you are in there. If you love me, you will go.”

Salvek let out a deep breath through his nose. “I will return,” He promised, his statement having more than one intended meaning.

“I hope so,” Kellyn added, after he was gone. She stepped away from the guards, and they resumed their normal positions. She wandered over towards the edge of the plateau, sat down in the red clay on the ground, and crossed her legs together.

She picked up a small pebble, and tossed it over the edge.

Inside the Temple, Salvek wound his way through the dimly lit corridors, in search of one of the Masters.

Commander Salvek
Executive Officer
USS Serendipity NCC-2012

NRPG: To be continued…-Salvek