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Serala

Serala: "I Swear It"

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Serala sat in the First Officer’s chair staring at the viewscreen. The Captain was off somewhere and she had been left in charge today. The shift was turning out to be fairly routine, and to her mind, boring. She found herself hoping for a little excitement today, but she really should have heeded that old adage: “Be careful what you wish for.”

Several weeks ago, Serala had experienced what she was still calling Hell Week. An ironic nickname considering that Serala had no religious beliefs of her own, outside of a regard for The Elements.  The only good thing to come out of that week had been the birth of her beautiful daughter, T’Saara. But other than that one wonderful event, she had experienced crashing into a frozen wilderness and being stranded with government sanctioned assassins hunting her and the other survivors; the rather brutal death of her husband which she had felt through their shared telepathic bond; and the rather unexpected return of her deceased father from the grave after nearly thirty years. Two weeks later, the Captain promoted her to First Officer. Life was just starting to settle down, and here she was wishing for more excitement.

Suddenly, the viewscreen began to shimmer and the stars faded out to be replaced by the image of her husband’s face. He looked straight at her and began to speak.

“Serala. What are you doing, e’lev? Why have you not taken me to Vulcan?”

Not sure that what she was seeing was real, and confused by the question since she had sent his body home, she hesitated briefly before answering. “But how are you here? And what do you mean? I sent you home?”

“But, e’lev, I do not live in my body. I am in you. My katra is in you. You must take me back to Vulcan. To Mount Seleya.”

“Stevok Deyhhan? What do you mean? How can your katra be with me? We were nowhere near each other when you died.”

“My wife, we were bonded. We did not need to be together.”

Of course! How could she have not realized that. Stevok had told her about katra and that they were usually transferred to someone if they could not get home. There, the katra was taken to their holy mountain, Mount Seleya, where the priestesses would store it. How that was all done was a mystery to Serala.

She had always believed that physical contact was necessary for the katra to transfer to another, but the nature of their bond would have changed that. On their very first meeting, Stevok was in the early stages of his pon farr and had instinctively chosen her as his mate. Somewhere along the way, they had bonded telepathically. It was not uncommon for Vulcans to bond with their mates, but it was usually done in a ritual ceremony as so many things with Vulcans are. But occasionally, it could occur as an instinctive action on the part of one Vulcan partner or the other. Such had been the case with Stevok and her. Ever since that day, they had never been apart even when separated physically.

“But I felt you die! I felt the bond sever. How is that possible if you were still with me?

He smiled that knowing smile of his that often irritated her. Like he was sharing some private joke at her expense.

“Yes, Serala. The bond was severed. My body was dead. But my katra needed a place to go, so I clung to that bond and was flung into you when the strand was severed. And I have been here since. I am just now recovering enough to be able to reach you again.”

“Then I must take you home at once!”

Stevok seemed to consider it for a moment before responding. “I have reconsidered this, ailhun.  I can remain this way for years and I sense that you still need me. But when the time comes, I need you to promise me you will take me home.”

“I promise, Stevok. On my Honor!” Anyone who knew Serala knew how much that honor meant to her. “But, how will I know when it is time.”

“Another will come to take my place in your heart. You must let him. And when he does, then it will be time.”

That was never going to happen. She was sure of that. But Stevok had said it with such certainty that she wondered. When she next spoke it was whispered, barely audible. She was making a solemn vow to the love of her life.

Jol-ao au deyhhan. There will never be another to take your place.”

E’lev, there must. You must continue to live, and love is a part of life. It is not logical for you to remain so. Grieve for me as you must, but do not refuse to live your life because of a memory. For that is all I can ever be for you now.”

Serala doubted such a thing would ever happen. She had loved before, but none ever held her heart like he had and none ever would. Sensing her thoughts, he laughed that most wonderful laugh of his.

“Of course, e’lev, none will ever hold your heart in the same way. For each, love will be different. But it does not mean it will be less. Only different.”

She still doubted his words, but Stevok had always had a way of reaching that stubborn part of her that few could ever breach. So, she conceded the possibility, though she didn’t think it would be for years to come, if it ever did.

“If such a time ever comes, e’lev, I swear on my Honor that I shall return you to Mount Seleya.”

“Then I can ask nothing else of you, Serala. I wish that I could have remained for you and our child, but it was not meant to be so.”

Tears began to creep into her eyes. More than anything, she wished he had lived to see his beautiful daughter.

“I wish you had been here to see her, Stevok. She is so beautiful. And she has your eyes. I named her T’Saara after your grandmother.”

“But Serala, I have just told you that I am with you. I have seen her and she is beautiful, just like her mother. And you will be a wonderful mother to her. I am so proud of you both.”

She cried in earnest now, and part of her worried that the others on the bridge were witnessing this private moment. She did not want to be a spectacle for her crew. But the love she felt, and the loss, once more rose up to overwhelm her. She was so unsure of so many things. How was she going to raise a newborn and yet remain as First Officer on this ship? Yes, so many had stepped up to offer their assistance. She knew Little Bean was never going to be unloved or uncared for. But there was just so much even she could handle. And with Stevok gone…. She was feeling overwhelmed again. With love, with loss, with loneliness, with responsibility. She had friends, but Stevok had always been her confidant. The one she could turn to when she needed to talk, to work things out, or just to be vulnerable for a few minutes.

“I am still here, e’lev. And I will not leave you until another has come to take that role from me. But you must let me go when that time comes. Live, Serala. Love.”

The smiling face of Stevok vanished at that and Serala noticed that the others on the bridge seemed to not have realized anything had just happened.

“I Swear It.”
 

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So sweet and heartbreaking at the same time. 😭

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