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Senses: Sight (3/5)



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Senses. A ni-var, chapter 3/5
by athens7 (as Capt. J.T. Kirk)
and mazaher (as Cdr. Spock)
completed Stardate 2010:12:05:19:00 (ship’s time).
Notes to series:
A ni-var is a Vulcan term denoting a literary composition describing the same thing, event or series of events from two different points of view.
Endnote numbers make reference to the whole series, not to each story or chapter.

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3. Sight
summary:
Touch, taste, sight, smell, sound. Parallel paths winding, intersecting, and finally coming together. See, look,watch, stare, shut your eyes.

3.1 Kirk

Somebody please stun me.
I didn’t enlist for this kind of shit. I’ll never get out of here alive, not a chance. I mean, why nobody ever tipped me off to the fact that handling a berserk Romulan from an alternative future is better than overseeing one of these power pantomimes that we persist in calling diplomatic meetings?
Really, I’ll never figure out how all these stuffed peacocks manage not to choke on the gibberish they stick restlessly in their big mouths.
My point is, if all this fooling around was to serve some other purpose aside from the expansionistic ambitions of the Headquarters brass and the thirst for higher profits of the business sharks then I would put up with it more than willingly. But this is not the case. Instead, what I’m doing here today on Le-pe-sheth in my capacity of Starfleet Captain is having a share in a straightforward, up-front genocide that has been going on for decades.
You see, the Mavrosians are (or maybe it’s more correct to say that they were) a small humanoid race of farmers and breeders who led their existence on this godforsaken planet peacefully and monotously, every day the same as the one before, their lives marked just by the perpetual succession of the seasons under an amber yellow sky.
Then, almost half a century ago, they abruptly found themselves dragged into a civil war that probably they’ll never be able to fully comprehend.
Ever since the day the Lefkosians, in a desperate escape from their doomed star, descended from the clouds and seized Le-pe-sheth, Death has been prowling through these lands with its aeonian sickle constantly at work. Not spring water, but blood and sweat and tears shed by both the factions now sprinkle the fields and time flows chanted by the burials and the explosion of the bombs.
Although now the Lefkosians are the official owners of the planet and are distinctly superior under the technological and economical aspect , the Mavrosians never gave up what should be for all intents and purposes theirs: in their refuges inside the mountains, they put together a Resistance that until now has been impossible to tame; they train all their children in using at least one weapon, they ambush and set up assaults, they blow themselves up, displaying a savage determination they didn’t even know to have.
In all likelihood they would have stopped only when skulls and debris had been all that was left.
But one month ago some strategy brainiac back at Headquarters noticed that Le-pe-sheth is located in a particular corner of the quadrant where the Fleet is unforgivably exposed to Klingon raids. Negotiations were opened and after a few days an arrangement was made: starting today, Lefkosians are the newest member of the Federation. The construction of the shining Starbase 40 will bring them sky-high incomes; and finally they will be able to subdue the Mavrosians, with Starfleet’s tacit permission.
What can we say? We’re truly sorry, but the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, so deal with it.
That’s all, folks.
Really, I’ve never considered myself to be an idealist or a stargazer who dreams about universal harmony and heaven on earth for everyone but goddammit, why have I to be always right in my cynicism? Why the residents of this galaxy don’t surprise me, once in a while?
Jeez, I’d better cool it and think of something else, otherwise how will I manage to deliver my crafty speech in which I express all my satisfaction with the fact that the Federation has been enriched with such a honorable member?
Let me see. Bones is engaged in what seems to be a rather engrossing debate with a distinguished Betazoid surgeon about the possibilities offered by establishing an empathic link with the patient during an organ transplantation. So, no help from that front.
The rest of my senior officers is scattered across the room, totally oblivious to their Captain in need. Wait a minute, one (the most important one) is missing. I can’t see… oh. Oh.
Finally I’ve found what I was looking for. How in this entire Universe (and in the other one, too) is it possible that he makes me catch my breath even when he’s ten meters away?
He’s standing slightly aside, exchanging now and then some polite remarks with the few ones bold enough to approach him and more in general showing off all his patrician upbringing. Dressed in his silken deep blue uniform, with his legs spread widely apart, his shoulders straight and firm as cathedral pillars, his chin daintily raised, the right hand exquisitely holding a goblet while the left hides behind the back, his gaze piercing as an eagle’s, he’s quite simply something to die for.
The best that two worlds have to offer made flesh. A daemon who descended from his throne to humiliate us miserable earthworms.
Eventually he catches on my scrutiny and his eyes shift by an imperceptible fraction to meet mine: the atmosphere crackles with static a flow of energy made of unvoiced thoughts and remembered sensations and echoes going non-stop back and forth between us --
-- something fundamental in the fabric of the universe (of my being) switches and then repositions planets rearrange their orbit stars collapse and die and are born again gravity pulls me and stretches me and redefines the limits of my body everything that is not him disappear in the background of my perception like a slowly-fading dream and I am not here anymore we are not here anymore /where do we go now? follow me/ his coffee-colored eyes lull me and take me adrift in an ocean of silence and noise and light the ebony of his eyebrows of his hair the ivory of his skin the crimson of his lips fill my vision /oh now I can see you/ I remember I know him /I know you/ I know everything everything and I am lost -- I am home.

I slowly release the breath I’ve been holding for the past minute and take another one, while my cheeks and the back of my neck feel like they’re on fire. And this happens. every. fucking. time.
Maybe I should suggest his wearing a pair of very dark sunglasses. But from the sparkle in his eyes, I’d say that he felt it too, or at least some part of it.
Finally he manages to regain some presence of mind and raises an eyebrow signaling puzzlement (one day I’ll write a manual and I’ll entitle it “101 ways to tell what your Vulcan wants”, and it’ll make me rich).
I wink at him, and the first eyebrow is immediately followed by its companion.
I grin and I lift my glass in a wordless toast.
He mirrors my action, and I can see that the right angle of his mouth is slightly but unmistakably upturned.
His eyes then move to my left and I am suddenly aware of someone tapping my shoulder and calling repeatedly my name.
The dreaded hour has come, but somehow I don’t care anymore. The sooner this mess is done with, the sooner I can be with him.
I’m on my way to the small stage, the Lefkosian president and the ambassadors with their staffs slightly ahead of me when something (the need to see him one last time?) makes me turn to the left. It’s then that I notice a man rushing towards us with one hand inside his jacket.
I’m on president Noshar one second before the man pulls out the gun, but it’s not enough.
The first bullet grazes my left temple and sticks in the arm of the Earth ambassador’s assistant.
My left shoulder takes the second one (damn, right in the blade).
But it’s the third bullet that really hurts, because it aims straight at my spleen and if I had to go by the stab of pain I feel in my side then I’d say it’s just smashed it in a thousand meaty atoms, the little bastard.
The fourth and the fifth break into pieces one of the chandeliers hanging from the ceiling, because by then Giotto’s men are on the assailant and half a second later he’s stunned and handcuffed.
It’s funny how I’m hyper-aware of every detail, every movement, the world around me expanding and slowing down as if we were underwater or in a wormhole.
I realize I’m collapsing to the ground. I try to speak, but the words die on my lips as a sharp exhale of agony.
I try to stay at least on my knees, but my body doesn’t agree. I continue sinking and there’s nothing keeping me afloat.
Finally I drop on my side, blood flowing copiously from the holes in my body from my forehead and my vision turns red, I can count the ruby droplets framing my eyelashes.
Distantly, as if coming from a great interval in space and time, I can hear people screaming moving all around me (is that you, Bones?) words without meaning pounding my ears barks sirens (red alert? the ship… is in danger) hard floor beneath me (why am I on the floor? and why is it so wet?) a metallic taste in my mouth convulsions running through my writhing body clutching my muscles but this doesn’t matter nothing of all this matters because because what’s really important is… is that everything is becoming black and I can’t see him. I can’t. see. him.
I reach the bottom of the well, at last. Lights go out. Hide underneath the covers. I feel tired, so tired. Time to sleep, Jimmy.
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3.2 Spock

Le-pe-sheth is an obnoxious planet, and for once I do not mind being of a same mind with Dr. McCoy, who pronounces the name with a peculiarly acute intonation in the final “e”.
I am watching the Captain at the other end of the crescent-shaped buffet table, observing his increasing levels of boredom, frustration and anger: boredom at the intense repetitiveness of Lefkosian conversation, frustration at our hosts’ imperviousness to discussing the plight of the Mavrosians while engaged in their favorite occupation of imbibing their sulphidric national drink, anger at the ongoing genocide and Starfleet’s disinterest in putting an end to it.
It is curious how things seem to take a visually sharper definition around the Captain. My eyes slide lazily over the pastel-colored hangings, the pearl-and-gray patterns on the tabletops, the faded indigo of the ceremonial clothes worn by the Lefkosians, but they snap to attention as soon as they reach him and fix on his uniform. The golden braid on the sleeves, the red trim around the collar and down the seam. His black trousers with their knife-like crease. The glint of the crystal glass in his hand. His eyes, turning now to look at me, blue with exasperation, or...?
He is not breathing.
For a whole minute he does not breathe, and an unusual buzzing in my ventral region seems to suggest that it has something to do with my presence, but I am not sure.
Then he does take one breath, then another, and although he is showing signs of moderate vasodilation, he appears to be no less clear-minded than his usual. He easily reads my puzzlement bordering on worry, and he raises his glass, reassuring me that all is well.
I have never known such thankfulness as what I feel every time he goes out of his way to reassure me that all is well.
The Lefkosian Master of ceremonies comes to call him to perform his part in the proceedings. I follow him with my eyes as he crosses to the other side of the hall and steps up the platform where he is going to deliver his speech. So light, his gait. He moves like a flame in the wind.
I look at him and keep looking at him because --as it always happens-- I cannot do otherwise.
But it is a mistake.
Suddenly there is a firearm (an antique handgun) and the bullets are flying (ogive-shaped bullets, with a shiny yellow tip), and the Captain is throwing himself toward them, irreparably. Time is running in slow motion, but I find I am even slower than the pace time is keeping. I cannot stop the Captain, I cannot stop the bullets, I cannot stop time, the warning I am shouting is too late. I can only watch as bullets meet flesh with a scrape, then a punch, then a slap.
I watch, and I see the bullets entering, and I feel them as though they were piercing my own body.
Our Security is efficient in capturing the killer, but only a small part of my mind is required to monitor their intervention. The rest, the major part, is all eyes.
My eyes are filled with Jim’s shape dropping down, on his knees, on his side, then supine, blood oozing from his scalp next to his left temple, spurting from the front of his shoulder in pulsating gusts, pooling out from a hole in his chest a ta’al’s breadth above and to the front of his left hipbone.
My eyes draw me across the hall to him like a winch, counter the press of people running for the exits.
I jump I am on the platform and Leonard has unbuttoned the Captain’s jacket and shirt and now he is ordering me in his cutting emergency voice to press with the heel of my hand between his collarbone and first rib, to staunch haemorrhage from the subclavian artery while he tries to stabilize the wound in his chest. I slide my hand under the back of the Captain’s shoulder and press with the other from the front, and all I see is blood, soaking his jacket in cruel mocking of the red trimmings I found so fascinating, wetting the floor in a slippery puddle, drenching my hands trembling on this smooth beloved body, *Jim’s* body, profaned by these wounds, and pearling his eyelashes in a spray of minute droplets.
His eyes are closed.
He cannot see me.
I cannot see him.
I only see red blood.
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3.3 Kirk

Here I am again --
-- stuck by this river
always failing to remember
why I came
came
came
I wonder why I came here --

The water is frozen. It doesn’t flow.
A beach of jagged stones. Sand of steel under my bare feet.
There’s light, so much light, but there’s no sun.
The sky is made of ice and there’s no horizon.
A breeze of stardust is blowing, caressing my face like a tender mother.
Peace. So much peace. But --
-- something feels wrong.

And then.
A sudden hush across the water (9).
A drop falling.
A presence.


I feel something -- creeping inside my skull
like water trickling through the cracks of a rock.

Is there anybody out there -- beyond the threshold -- ?

It is me.

Who are you? Give me your eyes so that I can see you.
You do not need them.
Wha – wait. -- Yes, you’re right. I know you. But – I can’t remember your name.
It is of no importance. You will remember, as soon as you leave this place.
The breeze dies.
But… where should I go? I can’t find my way back.

Look at the sky.

I raise my eyes. It’s a ship, the most beautiful I’ve ever seen, shining and crystal-clear, and it’s sailing.
No. No. I should be on board.


You must leave if you desire to reach it.

Clouds gather. A storm is coming.

But -- there’s pain outside. It’s not a nice place.

Do not fear, bright one. I will be there as well, always by your side.

The sky cracks. Chunks of ice tumble to the ground.

Is that a promise?

Yes. Yes, I promise.

The river melts; water pours out and floods the beach.

In that case… lead the way, my Virgil.

Follow me.

The sky explodes
the noise resounds in the hollow lands
ripples wrinkle the surface of my consciousness
splinters of slowly increasing awareness needle my dimming slumber.


Open your eyes.

...

I open my eyes. And all I see is white.
It takes me a full minute to realize that what I’m staring at is sickbay’s polished ceiling.
The lightest rustle makes me turn to the left, and ocean blue meets earth brown. Of course. I should have known.
His uniform is rumpled, his bangs are slightly disheveled and he seems like he could use some good sleep. In other words, he’s gorgeous.
“Welcome back, Captain.”
“It’s good to be home Commander, but… don’t misunderstand me, I feel like crap.”
But I’d take all the bullets and the phaser blasts of this universe to be granted the privilege to see Spock’s face right now because at my words his eyes lit and shimmer his shoulders relax his entire body seems to come to life after a long period of lethargy and then he… he smiles.
He fucking smiles (I can even catch a glimpse of his teeth) and it’s like someone’s just injected me a hypo of molten lead, I can feel it flowing in spurts through my veins, filling them ‘til they’ll burst, reaching my brain cells and dissolving them.
A seed planted a long time ago in my chest (during the Kobayashi Maru hearing? On Delta Vega? On the Narada? In the other universe? Before the Big Bang?) grows and blossoms and twists all around my heart shaping an inescapable cage and I know.
I know that his breath is my soul and that I am his. My bones, my teeth, my hair, my organs and everything beyond. It all belongs to him.
He can hate me, he can eat me,
he can leave me, he can kill me,
but this impossible, indisputable axiom will never decay.
Even if he’ll never want me; even when I’ll be gone from this reality and my ashes will be swept out by the winds of our dying Sol, it will be so.
I’m James T. Kirk and I’m in love with S'chn T'gai Spock.

Note (9): THE CURE, A Strange Day (from the album Pornography, 1982, 2005).

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3.4 Spock

I have been blind.
43.8 hours the Captain has been in a coma after he was shot, and I have been unable to see.
During said lapse of time I have functioned as Acting Captain. I have made sure the Enterprise was safe in geostationary orbit. I have co-operated with restoring order on the scene of the attack, and with bringing to a delayed, subdued conclusion the programmed ceremonies. I have given my witness to the competent officers, and reported to Starfleet. I have interacted with members of the Enterprise crew and with the Lefkosian authorities. I have remembered all names and charges correctly. I have operated computers and communicators. I have walked rooms and corridors, sat in chairs, stood waiting in sickbay during the two successive, difficult operations the Captain needed in order to try and begin repair of his life-threatening injuries. I have navigated without mishap around living beings, furniture and fixtures. All this I believe I have accomplished with acceptable efficiency.
Yet I have been blind.
Until now, I had never given thought to the origins and significance of the illogical Terran idiom, “being blinded by grief”. But now I do, and I find it is not illogical after all.
Light impacts my optical nerves through the pupils, patterns form on the retinae and are interpreted by the brain, my body takes the appropriate actions, but the sense of what I see and the sense of what I do have lapsed into irrelevance.
I am now sitting in sickbay, next to the biobed where the Captain, where *Jim*, is laying completely still.
The sheet on the bed is white, his face is white, the walls, the floor and ceiling are white. All is white, and I do not see. I cannot even remember.
My mind knows that there was a time when the world had not yet been reduced to this whiteness, but all I can see now is a blank, and even the shape of Jim’s body, limp under the cover as though emptied of his pulsing life, seems to dissolve in the white light.
I do not know anymore if I am awake or asleep, if this is reality or the worst dream I ever had.
I close my eyes against all this blinding white.
And I hear the faint blink of eyelids opening.
I look, and by the forked roots of Mount Seleya, Jim’s eyes are wide open, and I see again.
For sight is not seeing if I can’t see him.
For there is no color if his blue eyes are closed.
For I am nothing if he doesn’t look at me.
“Welcome back, Captain,” I say, and I am welcoming back at the same time my sight and myself.
My heart is swelling with something hot and human that I cannot contain and that splits my lips apart in an undignified smile, but I do not care, because I feel like the day I came back from kahs-wan and I finally knew who I was.
I am S’chn T’gai Harold Spock, son of Sarek and son of Amanda (10). I am a Vulcan and I am a Terran. I am First Officer on board the U.S.S. Enterprise, NCC 1701. And I am in love with James Tiberius Kirk, my Captain. My Jim.

Note (10): The name Harold was first mentioned by Jane Wyatt (Amanda Grayson) at the Creation 20th-anniversary Trek Con held in Boston in 1986. See http://memory-alpha.org/wiki/Spock and http://www.ex-astris-scientia.org/inconsistencies/culture1.htm.
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