Da-Kuv t'Yoshuhlnak- The Dragon Circle

Admiral Williams was contemplating the precious box that two of the most brilliant scientists of Starfleet had just given to him along with the heaviest responsibility he had ever received…

He was a strong built man, in his late thirties, tall, with deep blue eyes, brown hair with more and more shades of grey, and a short beard. He was very young for an Admiral, probably the youngest one of the whole Starfleet, thanks to his exemplary courage, dedication and efficiency. He was gifted in many areas and worked hard. He found that he was not as fit as he used to be when he was flying, but he was training each day to keep in shape.

His mission was clear, escorting the treasure from Earth to Vulcan. He had not been fully told of what the box contained. He had only received a long list of instructions to keep it safe during the trip.

Then he had another mission…attending the last flight of the USS Adventure and the last mission of his Captain, Edward Spencer who was the eldest officer that still did some flying. He had read much about him and met him a couple of times. He remembered a very strong willed man, determined and excessively stubborn. He had been offered several times missions and work in the Starfleet offices but he had always refused taught for a few years at the Academy but ended up feeling restless, so he then decided to ask to be in command of a ship again…Admiral Williams wondered which words he would choose to tell such a man that he now would need to remain on Earth or at least retire…Worse than this, the USS Adventure would be totally transformed and upgraded before flying again. Those were the orders, it had not been his decision, and it sounded rational, logical, yet it was sad…

He was only a few steps away from the ship when he heard a young man calling his name gasping, running to reach him. He turned his head toward the voice. "Admiral…please, take me with you! Please!" A young blonde man was standing next to him, pleading with his eyes. He was not older than 18 or 19 and seemed very determined in his request.

"I am Peter Andrews, I gave the start to all of this" he said.

Admiral Williams was searching in his memory if he had ever heard of this name before; he sounded strangely familiar to him.

"I am part of the scientific team, I just want to come with you, I won't be a burden".

The Admiral was silent, taking one more man aboard was of course possible, yet it had not been prevised…

"If ever there were any problem with this" he showed the box in the Admiral's hands "I would be able to solve it".

This last phrase convinced the Admiral. He knew almost nothing of the object in the box, so if something occurred he would be totally unable to act.

"Come with me", he simply replied.

"Thank you Sir, thank you!" the young man exclaimed, running to follow the officer's wide steps.

The two men got on board and were greeted by Captain Spencer. The Admiral considered him for a moment. He had changed since their last meeting: his hair was starting to become white, he was a bit more round, but his charisma was still there and very strong. The Admiral was still feeling very ill at the prospect of having to talk to him when he noticed a smaller figure behind the strong built Captain. It was a woman. She stepped forward. The Admiral's breath stopped for a second when he noticed that she was a Vulcan. Seeing her was allowing old memories to come back to him: images, smells, music. He found himself totally unprepared and realized just how much he had truly missed Vulcan.

The Admiral rose his right hand in a perfect Vulcan salute, "Dif-tor heh smusma", he added.

The lady replied, doing her best to hide her disbelief in front of a human man talking in her language. The Admiral anticipated her question, adding that he had lived on Vulcan for five years as a teenager.

"You speak my language perfectly", the Lady answered, "I am Commander T'Prion, First Officer"

She was probably in her thirties though it was quite hard to determine her age. She had dark shiny eyes and very long brown hair; she was pretty short.

The Captain gently interrupted them, "Well, hmmm, Admiral, you have found someone to practice the Vulcan language", he smiled.

"It is so unusual to find a human being able to speak our language", T'Prion added.

The Admiral suddenly remembered the reason why he was on board: "I need to find a place for this very delicate item". He showed the box and said, "it is supposed to travel in a warm place, like Vulcan really".

"Then we have here the perfect place!" the Captain said while laughing.

T'Prion rose an eyebrow. "I am serious", said the Captain

The First Officer invited the Admiral to follow her.

"Hmm by the way", he said "This young man will travel with us, he is here to …hmmm, make sure the item travels safely".

The Captain ordered a young officer to find a cabin for the young man who was still staring at the box in the hands of the Admiral.

The First Officer and the Admiral had gone on talking while she was leading him through the ship's long corridors. He was pleased to notice that he had triggered her curiosity. She had asked him about his life on Vulcan, his studies, his career. He had related to her how as a fifteen year old boy he had won a contest allowing him to study at the Vulcan Academy of Sciences for five years. He said how much he had been willing to remain there but how his family was contrary which resulted in him returning back to Earth and joining the Starfleet Academy instead. He told her some short memories of his missions and the fact he had embraced the Vulcan religion and culture as his. She remained quite fascinated by it without showing any external sign. He was pretty curious about her too and regretted not having read more on the USS Adventure's officers. However before he could ask anything, she stopped in front of the door of a cabin. The door opened, the heat of the cabin hit the Admiral in the face along with the smell and general colours. It was Vulcan; more memories hit his head and he was feeling dizzy. This was definitely too much for him, though part of him was willing to scream for joy.

"This is incredible", he just said, looking around and noticing a typical Vulcan musical instrument and a Chess set along with ritual incenses burning on a small altar…

"Captain Spencer calls it Little Vulcan", T'Prion explained.

"I like it, it is…" the words didn't come out.

"It is perfect for your…this item", the First Officer stated.

The Admiral handed her the box.

"There is a list of instructions about it but …", he stopped. He was not supposed to open the box at all, but this place was obviously in the private cabin of T'Prion. He couldn't think of leaving the item there without knowing if it could represent a danger.

"I think we should open it", he stated.

"Is it on your list of instructions?", the Commander asked.

"No but…". The Admiral felt like a child surprised with his hands in a marmalade pot, "It is illogical leaving it here with you all night without knowing what it is".

He was secretly hoping that talking of logic would convince her.

"You have a point", she simply replied doing her best to control and conceal the little bit of curiosity rising in her.

"Even because we need to determine where the best location for it is", she added

She put the box near the altar. While both were staring at it, the Admiral started to laugh. The Commander looked at him with her deep dark eyes and this was enough to make the Admiral regain his seriousness. He had forgotten the coldness of the Vulcan people. Though he had always considered himself part of their culture, some of it still remained a mystery for him.

He put a hand on the box and started to search for a way to open it. He finally found a small button and pressed it. It opened slowly discovering two perfect spheres, whitish with pink and orange shades which looked like the artwork of a painter.

T'Prion was staring at them. "This is impossible!", she exclaimed

"You know what they are?" the Admiral asked.

"Those are eggs of Vulcan Dragons", she answered in awe.

"Vulcan Dragons have been extinct for millions of years", the Admiral said as if he was reading a History book.

"What do you know of these eggs?" she asked.

"They are coming from the scientific team I thought…" He paused, "I thought it would be something like a weapon or a new technology device…" He let himself fall sitting on the couch.

T'Prion came closer to the eggs and she put the box in the middle of the altar. She knelt and gently put her right hand on one of the eggs. It was big enough not to be completely covered by her tiny hand. She closed her eyes and allowed her mind to reach the egg. Then she repeated the same ritual with the other one. The Admiral had kept totally silent, watching the scene in awe and joining spiritually the woman in her attempt to make contact and understand. Once she had finished, she turned to him.

"They just want to go home", she stated.

"You made contact with them?" he asked amazed.

"Yes", she simply replied. "I thought it was logical", she added.

"How was it?", he asked.

"I don't know how to describe it with words. It was like…contacting the heart of Vulcan", she replied.

"Would you allow me to experience it?" he pleaded.

"Mental fusion with you?" she said "I would get to know of your thoughts", she added.

"I have nothing to hide", he stated. "Not to you".

She stared at him. There was something familiar in this man, yet disturbing. He was not a Vulcan man yet part of him clearly belonged to it.

She came closer and sat next to him. He closed his eyes and she put her hand on his face. Both allowed their minds to touch and become one.

Once done, both remained a long moment in silence. The Admiral suddenly realized that probably nobody else was aware of the importance of the eggs.

"Where do you have to take them on Vulcan?" T'Prion asked.

"I am only supposed to hand them to a bunch of scientists", he replied.

"The Dragons were sacred before their extinction. It is said that they lit the fire at the center of Vulcan…" She paused, "They are seen also as a symbol of the ancient Vulcan inner fire…"

"Passion, emotions, violence, all the things logic canceled", the Admiral continued.

"Exactly, yet it seems the Dragons perished because of violence and conflicts from the Vulcan's primitive people", T'Prion explained. "Maybe now we will be able to keep them alive", she added.

"We will", the Admiral replied. "I will make sure they stay alive and safe", he stated.

"We were not chosen by case", she continued, not fully aware of the meaning of this phrase.

"I guess we need to reach the Captain now, he will wonder where we ended up", he said, getting up unwillingly.

They both stared at the eggs again, before going out and heading for the bridge.

Captain Spencer was waiting for them in his chair at the center of the bridge. It was definitely later than the Admiral and the Commander thought. Indeed, it was almost dinner time.

"Did you guide the Admiral into a visit of the ship, Commander?" the Captain asked, smiling.

The Admiral was quick to reply: "Commander T'Prion helped me in my mission…it is revealing more complicated than prevised", he said.

"Problems?" the Captain inquired.

"Nothing that will remain unsolved, thanks to your First Officer's collaboration", he replied.

"I am glad to hear it", the Captain stated.

The Admiral added smiling: "And the Commander said she would guide me into a visit after dinner".

T'Prion gazed at him with icy eyes. His smile became wider and he blinked at her. She would have liked to reply but preferred to keep her icy behaviour and reached her seat on the bridge.

Everything was working well and the ship was going on toward Vulcan.

Short after, the Captain invited the Admiral and officers to come to dinner.

"You haven't been to your quarters yet Admiral", he remarked. "Allow me to take you there", he added and he took the Admiral's arm in a brotherly manner leaving him no other choice than to follow. It was clear that the man wanted a word with the Admiral. He swallowed hard, probably the time had come to let him know of Starfleet's decision about him. Captain Spencer was the first to talk though and definitely took the Admiral off guard.

"I will be direct with you Admiral. You are my superior, I have respect for you, but Commander T'Prion is like a daughter for me", he started.

The Admiral felt relieved and worried at the same time. He was about to talk when the Captain went on:

"Her father was my First Officer on the USS Incredible. He was like a brother for me. When he sacrificed his life to save the ship, I just decided to change my life and taught at the Academy- T'Prion was 17 when she joined. She was totally unprepared to deal with human beings full of illogical emotions". He paused smiling. "I took her under my wing. She was brilliant, still is…she was the one who allowed me to fly again…one day, when I'll be dead or too old…she will be Captain of the USS Adventure". He paused again, staring straight in the Admiral's eyes "And I will allow nobody to ever harm her in any possible way, am I clear?" he asked in such a tone that definitely impressed the Admiral.

The man replied "I will never harm Commander T'Prion. I have much respect for her and…"

The Captain didn't leave him time to speak further.

"Respect and more, come on Admiral, a child would see it!" he said bluntly.

The Admiral felt embarrassed, he replied:

"I lived on Vulcan for five years, I am feeling very…attracted by Vulcan culture and…" he paused.

Captain Spencer laughed: "I know that, I have read everything about you…you didn't think I would host someone on my ship without knowing him, right?" he paused. He was definitely more clever than the Admiral in his thinking. He continued, "You are putting yourself in a lot of trouble. Vulcan women are very hard to deal with; I have spent more than 15 years on that ship with Commander T'Prion, believe me, I know what I am talking about". He considered the Admiral who had fell silent. "But you may have some chance, I don't know why but T'Prion seems to appreciate you, maybe because you are speaking her language…be careful though". The Captain put a friendly but firm hand on the Admiral's shoulder.

"Here we are, these are your quarters, the dining room is…"

"I know where it is, I have a plan of your ship…I took information about places and people too", the Admiral said.

"One point for you, Admiral!" the Captain replied jokingly.

The Admiral rushed in his cabin. He didn't even take time to have a look around. There were too many things happening and the Captain's words were making it all even more difficult. Then there were the eggs, his mission, and …her…

Everyone was already sitting around the table when the Admiral joined them. Captain Spencer invited him to sit between him and the Commander. The Admiral launched him a thankful glance to which the Captain replied with a friendly smile. The conversation was peaceful, going from memories of past missions to discussions about science and exploration. The Admiral was glancing around in the room looking for Peter Andrews. Indeed, both T'Prion and he had decided to question him about the eggs…

Right after dinner, T'Prion invited the admiral to follow her. The man was very pleased of the fact she had taken the initiative herself but his bliss went a bit down when she proposed to go search for Peter. It was his intention as well but he had hoped for some moment of simple walk and talk before it.

"Let's start with his cabin", she offered.

The Admiral nodded and followed her. She rang and the door opened.

"Admiral, I would have searched for you", Peter said.

"We have to talk", the Admiral replied while entering the cabin, followed by the Commander.

He sat down, inviting T'Prion and Peter to do it too.

"Is there a problem with my presence here?", the young man asked.

T'Prion replied in a very direct way: "What will happen with the eggs once we reach Vulcan?"

Peter seemed embarrassed as he clearly disliked the question.

"I am not sure", he said. "I was…I was excluded from their plans", he admitted.

"Interesting", the Vulcan woman commented.

"Why?" the Admiral asked in a cold way.

"At the beginning, I was the one who helped them manage to create the eggs", he explained.

"Create?" T'Prion repeated with much disbelief. "How? From what?"

"From a fossil found in the Vulcan desert…the idea was mine and in some way I made it work", the young man said.

T'Prion and the Admiral exchanged a glance.

"Tell us everything you know about their plans", she demanded.

He looked at her: "You are not supposed to know", he whispered.

"Well", the Admiral replied visibly irritated, "You are not supposed to be here".

The young man swallowed hard.

"There were arguments about it. At the beginning, it should have been only a scientific experiment and nobody really took it seriously. Then it worked and people started to speculate on the future. Some wanted to keep it as an experiment, others claimed that Dragons could be used as a weapon while others suggested that they could be left free to live in their home place…I was defending the latter but most of those who did were excluded. Then I came to know that the eggs were transported to Vulcan but I am not sure what they will do…whatever happens will be my fault", he lowered his head.

Silence fell in the cabin.

"The Dragons were sacred for our people", T'Prion explained. "Anyone talked of that?"

"One Vulcan scientist did but the others said it was just material for myths and legends", Peter replied.

"They have no idea what they have in their hands", she stated.

"The eggs are under my responsibility", the Admiral said, "And I will not let them until I am sure they are where they are meant to be".

"Thank you", the Commander replied.

She stared at Peter; there was something strange about him but she could not understand what. She would have liked to fuse her mind with him to discover what he was hiding but she was aware this wasn't the right moment for it. Her gaze on him was making him feel and look even more ill. The Admiral was curious about the young man but he was feeling much stronger and he knew he would discover all there was to know, in the soft or hard way.

They left the young man for the night and the Admiral asked for a quick visit of the ship. The Commander was not that hard to convince which made the Admiral feel definitely well.

He was quite silent though, so at a certain point T'Prion said, "Something is bothering you".

He sighed, "This mission will be the last one for both Captain Spencer and the USS Adventure".

"And you need to tell him", she replied. "I had gotten to know of that through our mental fusion…well you are a high officer who needs to communicate a simple order to a lower ranked officer. It is simple and logical; no need to over think of it", she stated coldly.

He stopped and considered her. "Captain Spencer told me he considers you as a daughter, you spent more than 15 years with him on this ship…possible that you can't understand that this order as you said, will destroy his life?" The Admiral was fully showing his human indignation in front of T'Prion insensibility.

"Transform it, most probably, not destroy it", she replied. "And, no I am still not able to understand human's emotions. You may speak our language or embrace our religion, but you are still a human being".

"I have never denied it, and will never deny it", the Admiral stated.

"Do you want me to tell the Captain?" T'Prion offered.

"It is my call Commander, and I suspect this news coming from you would hurt him even more", he replied.

"I respect human beings", T'Prion added. "I just can't understand them".

"Well, one could say that it is logical I suppose".

"It is", she whispered.

They went on walking in silence for a while then the Admiral talked again:

"Sorry if I seemed angry at you Commander, it is just that…", he stopped.

"You have much on your shoulders, this is a fact", she replied. "I am willing to help, for what I can".

"You can do much", he replied, smiling.

The Commander led the Admiral into the depth of the USS Adventure.

"No doubt, she is an old ship, but she served well", the Admiral commented.

"She did, very much like her Captain", she said.

"I wish there was another option for him", the Admiral said. "I tried but…"

"The Captain will surely find something for him to do"

"He said you were the one convincing him to fly again", the Admiral whispered.

"And now you are thinking I could prepare him. Maybe, I don't know…when he has an idea…nothing seems to move him".

"He can really be scary", the Admiral said laughing.

They went on with their visit. T'Prion was doing her best to help the Admiral focus on something else and help him let go of his emotions.

"By the way, my first name is Maximillian. You can call me so", he attempted.

"As you well know, Vulcan people are not used to be that familiar so fast but…" she stopped and quickly changed the subject explaining something about the ship.

Once they had explored every bit of the ship, they stopped in front of the Commander's cabin.

"I know it seems quite invading", the Admiral started, "but may I have a quick look at the eggs before going to sleep?" he asked.

"I expected you to ask, and it sounds logical to me", the Commander answered, opening the door.

They stared at the eggs, everything seemed unchanged and peaceful.

"I will let you know if anything happens", T'Prion assured him.

"Thank you very much Commander, your help is truly appreciated", he replied.

The Admiral left to head toward his cabin. He was still assailed by many thoughts and doubts. It had been a long day and something was telling him that the days to come wouldn't be much simpler. He was feeling at the edge of his life, right before falling down, or learning how to fly.

In her cabin, T'Prion had started to meditate. It was her usual habit before sleeping but this night was special. She was retaining herself, honoured to watch over the sacred Dragons' eggs. She attempted to connect with them again without physical contact though. She sensed there was more to discover about them and she was convinced many answers could be found.

The next day, the Admiral had woken up early. He went out in search of the Commander but didn't dare coming to her cabin. He didn't find Peter either. He went to the gym to train for a while then had a light breakfast before heading to the bridge. T'Prion was already there. The Admiral remained on the bridge until lunch time.

After eating at the Captain's table like the previous evening, T'Prion whispered, "It is time, release your burden", to the Admiral. He nodded and invited the Captain to talk privately, T'Prion followed.

The Captain led them to a lounge next to the dinner room. He was amused, figuring out that the Admiral would have talked with him about T'Prion again although her presence with them was a bit suspect.

"So", he started, "What have I done? Or better what have you done?" He laughed. He was definitely not making things easy.

"This is a serious matter, Captain", T'Prion said.

"You are here so I have no doubt", the Captain replied, trying to sooth the atmosphere. He talked to the Admiral, "I have been feeling that you had something big to say, come on, don't be scared!"

"There is no right way to communicate it Admiral", T'Prion said in Vulcan language. "Just do it".

"Captain Spencer, Starfleet has decided to offer you the rank of Admiral", he said.

"But it comes with a price, a price I won't accept", the Captain replied clearly.

"This is not a deal, Captain, those are orders", The Admiral explained.

"So this was the good news, right? The reward…and what is the bad news?" he asked.

"As an Admiral you will be expected to serve in the Starfleet Headquarters", the Admiral said.

"Sitting in a boring office while the others are flying in the stars!" the Captain commented. "I'm too old! This is what your lazy high Officers think, isn't it?"

"They think you could serve better as an Admiral now. It sounds logical", T'Prion said.

"Why was I convinced you would say that?" he replied with a point of bitterness.

"The USS Adventure needs me. I know Commander T'Prion would be an outstanding Captain but…"

"This is the last mission for the USS Adventure too", the Admiral added, aware that his words were more lethal than a sharp sword.

"What?!" the Captain exclaimed. "They have no right!", he shouted, striking his fist on the table.

"Captain, being part of Starfleet means serving for the best of our qualities, as persons and as ships", T'Prion said.

"That is quite ironic, T'Prion…precisely, you convinced me to start flying again, and now…"

"You had stopped flying for a wrong reason at that time", she added.

"I stopped flying because I could not sit on this chair knowing that it had cost the life of my best friend. That day I should have been the one sacrificing myself, not your father!" the Captain let himself fall into a chair.

"I read the reports with much attention. No other man on board was qualified to do what my father did. He died because there was no other choice to save the ship. He died because the needs of the many outweighed the needs of the few or the one", T'Prion said calmly.

"He said the same thing before going…"

"You would not have stopped him because he knew that at this moment he was meant to serve this way, even if this would have meant serving for the last time", she paused. "My father admired you much Captain, more than you can imagine. If he was here today, he would tell you to serve as Starfleet asks, even if this means losing the USS Adventure and stop flying. You have much experience. In the Headquarters you can help take important decisions that will shape Starfleet and change the life of many; think of it".

Silence fell.

"You are right, you are terribly right as usual. You are the voice of logic, wisdom, rationality, like your father…but at times this voice has to be so painful. What is expected from me, Admiral?" he asked, getting up.

The Admiral had observed without talking. He could have found no better words. He answers:

"Take us to Vulcan where Commander T'Prion and myself will make sure our mission is fulfilled. Then go back to Earth where you'll be nominated Admiral and take your new functions".

The Captain sighed, "If there is no choice…"

Silence fell again.

"Anything else?" he asked.

"No", the Admiral simply replied.

"I'd like to remain alone for a while then", the Captain said.

T'Prion went out, but before the Admiral could follow her, the Captain asked him a word.

"What will be of my crew? Of the Commander? Of my ship?"

"The USS Adventure will be upgraded, then she will fly again in some time", the Admiral replied.

"A pity they cannot upgrade me!" the Captain answered.

"I like to see your humour is back".

"And for the rest?" the Captain continued.

"Your crew will be given new tasks and probably many of them will serve on the USS Adventure once ready. As for Commander T'Prion, I will personally watch over her".

Before the Admiral could continue, the Captain said, "I had no doubt on this one but not because I will stop flying. I won't keep a close eye on her, and on you".

"I had no doubt either, Admiral Spencer", Admiral Williams said.

"How weird it sounds… Admiral Spencer…did you ever get used to it?" he asked.

"With time you will get used to it too", Maximillian replied.

"Well, I guess I need to enjoy my last mission here as much as I can, so let's go to the bridge", he stated as he headed toward the door.

"This mission is more important than I can tell", Admiral Williams commented.

"They chose Starfleet prodigal son for it so I could imagine. I won't try to know what it is all about even because I see that my First Officer and you are on top of things. I trust you both to do a good job".

They walked together silently toward the bridge. The Captain sat on his chair, he caressed the material as if it was the first time he was sitting there.

No major event happened for almost the whole afternoon when T'Prion sensed a strange urge to go and check the eggs. She got up and told Maximillian about her intention in Vulcan to keep it private. He followed her- Miss Peeble, the communication officer had understood, but when the Captain asked her about it, she said she didn't. She was a tall blond half German, half Irish lady in her fifties, she was curious herself about the Admiral's mission but knew when it was the moment to respect secrecy.

"Let's arrive from two different directions", suggested the Admiral.

T'Prion nodded and rushed toward her cabin. Maximillian was quicker and arrived just in time to find in front of him Peter, visibly going out of T'Prion's cabin, carrying the box with the eggs in his hands. Maximillian threatened him with his weapon:

"If I fall, the eggs will fall too", Peter said.

"Why?" the Admiral asked.

"They are mine!" the young man shouted.

He seemed almost crazy.

"Calm down, we all want the best for these Dragons", he said.

"No! It's a lie!" Peter screamed.

T'Prion had observed the scene; she had been approaching the young man very silently in order to find herself right behind his shoulder. This was all done so that she could perform a nerve-pinching that resulted in Peter losing consciousness. Maximillian jumped to grab the eggs before they could fall. He sighed in relief.

"What happened to him?" T'Prion wondered loudly.

The Admiral called the security while the Commander went to her cabin in order to put the eggs back on the altar. "Admiral!" she called suddenly. He rushed inside:

"The eggs are slightly warming", she said.

"Would this be a sign they will soon disclose?" Maximillian asked.

"I don't know", she answered, calculating the consequences that their disclosure on the ship could have.

"I want to talk more with Peter", the Admiral stated.

"Me too", T'Prion replied.

They went out heading toward the prisoners' quarters.

"How did you know the eggs were in danger?" Maximillian asked while walking.

"It was as if they were calling me for help", she replied, "As if our minds were still connected in some way. I have to say that I meditated in that sense, I thought it would help me understand more, find answers".

"It helped you save them for sure", the Admiral said.

In his cell, Peter had recovered his senses. When the Admiral and the Commander reached it, he turned his back to avoid their eyes contact:

"Now I want the truth! Why did you want to come? To steal the eggs? Why? I want answers", Maximillian said firmly.

The young man remained silent. T'Prion said, "We will have answers". She entered the cell and the Admiral followed her.

"What do you think you can do to me?" Peter asked in an arrogant way.

"Are you sure?" the Admiral asked T'Prion in Vulcan. She nodded. "it is the only way", she replied.

Maximillian grabbed strongly both hands of Peter and put them behind his back to immobilize him. The young man didn't even try to escape. T'Prion approached him and put her hand on his face. She attempted to reach his mind, to find the answers, to understand. When a sudden surge of powerful energy violently invaded her and she screamed and fainted. The Admiral rushed toward her, letting go of Peter who was laughing.

"T'Prion!" the Admiral called, holding her in his arms "Commander!"

The guards had surrounded Peter in order to make sure he would not escape. They had witnessed the scene in disbelief and were very impressed by the young man.

The Vulcan officer finally opened her eyes:

"It was like electricity", she whispered in her language. "He is not human", she added.

"Are you OK?" the Admiral asked.

"I don't know", she replied.

He lifted her. "Take me to my cabin", she asked.

He gently put her on the couch, holding her hand, he was feeling helpless and was always more confused by the whole situation. He looked at the eggs, then at the tiny lady lying down… And then…a verse in Vulcan came back to his memory, "The Great Dragon will inhabit a manly body to defend his offspring…"

T'Prion stared at him:

"That is the Da-Kuv t'Yoshuhlnak, the Dragon Circle, a very ancient poem…how do you know it?" she asked.

"I don't know", the Admiral replied. "Maybe I read it when I was on Vulcan, I don't remember…"

T'Prion repeated the verses:

"The Great Dragon will inhabit a manly body to defend his offspring. Until the one who touched those who are unborn will rise and welcome him".

She paused "that is not only a poem, it is a Prophecy!" she exclaimed, sitting up.

"What do you mean a Prophecy?" Maximillian asked.

"Peter was not himself because the Spirit of the Dragon inhabited him. The one who touched those who are unborn, this is me!"

"What do you want to do?" he asked puzzled.

"I need to go to Peter again, he needs to be released of this", she stated.

"Attempting another mental fusion? It will kill you! I cannot allow it", the Admiral stated firmly.

"There is no other choice, this has to happen the way it is written", she replied determined. "Trust me", she added.

"I don't want to lose you", he said.

She stared at him and got up. He understood that she would not change her mind. He followed her.

They reached the cell where Peter this time was staring at them. He hadn't thought to see them back so quickly. T'Prion entered the cell, the guards surrounded the prisoner. Maximillian was standing right behind her. "I trust you", he whispered in her language and she glanced at him.

"Am I so scary?" Peter asked.

T'Prion replied by clearly speaking the words of the Prophecy:

"Dungi ha'au Yoshuhlnak Lo'uk svi'vukhut sa-kahk

Na'lof fosh-tor n'nusarlahn-kanlar t'ish-veh

Abi'wak ik shen-tor veh ik ki'estuhl eifa ik wi ri pukeshta

Heh farmah n'ish-veh"

Then still repeating the words, she put her hand on Peter's face. She started to speak faster, louder. Peter's body was shaking, he screamed. T'Prion was invaded by an ancient Fire. It felt like the source of her life, the heart of Vulcan; it was overwhelming. Finally, she interrupted the physical contact and fell backward just in time for the Admiral to grab her. She was gasping but she was conscious. Her eyes were full of tears as if she had just made a long journey in a forgotten place. Maximillian felt that it would be too much though. In this brief instant, he understood that everything happened in his life until this day had been leading him exactly where he was:

"Share this burden", he pleaded.

"No", T'Prion whispered.

"It is too much for one person…it is meant to be, you know it", he replied.

She knew he was right, the Dragon wanted so.

She fused her mind with his, it seemed to them that a swirl of intense energy where flooding their whole beings. Then the energy settled, like two parts of the same thing, all was calm, peaceful, balanced.

"Thank you", she said.

"I suppose that we need to fulfill the Prophecy in some way", Maximillian replied.

They got up in the cell; Peter was sitting down with his head in his hands and was crying. The Admiral put a hand on his shoulder. "I apologize, I just wanted to…to protect them", he paused. "No! I wanted to keep them for me, I knew what would happen, I knew you were the ones", he admitted. He paused then he continued, "that power inside is overwhelming, I wanted it for me, only for me".

"It is too heavy a burden to carry alone", T'Prion said.

"Forgive me", the young man whispered.

"Don't worry", the Admiral replied.

He ordered the guards to take Peter back in his cabin but recommended that his door was guarded to avoid him going out.

Maximillian and T'Prion checked the eggs again. Then they meditated for a while together.

"I am not feeling any different for now really", the Admiral said.

"The same for me, but we need to keep ourselves in check". She added, "Nobody really knows the essence of the Dragon".

"You said the last Dragon perished because of early Vulcan violence", the Admiral said.

"Indeed, but part of his energy is violent too, we saw it in Peter", she replied.

"No, what we saw was Peter's greed for power. It had nothing to do with the Dragon".

"We saw what killed the Dragon", T'Prion said. "But his Spirit survived in our planet's core and later he started to inhabit persons and guide us…could it be that Surak…?" She paused.

"I am sure that many things will appear clearer to us now; this is really a gift", Maximillian said. "And now I understand each choice I made in this life", he added.

T'Prion stared at him; she knew he was also talking of his feelings for her. Their mind meld revealed to her everything about them, nor did he try to conceal anything.

"We need to go back to the bridge" she said, not willing to think or talk about it for the time being.

The Dragon Fire was a gift, yes, but for her it was also a danger. The danger of coming in contact with long forgotten emotions…

On the bridge, the Captain had already received the notice of Peter's incident. Nobody had fully understood how the events really went and most of all, the reason why the young man had behaved the way he had. The guards had heard the Admiral talk about eggs. Now the Captain wondered what the Admiral's mission really was. He had heard of T'Prion fainting and was also worried for her. Yet there was a point of anger toward the Admiral that stung his heart.

When Maximillian appeared on the bridge, the Captain launched him a cold look but said nothing. He asked T'Prion how she was:

"The situation is under control", she replied.

Nothing of interest happened until dinner time, after which Maximillian and T'Prion retired to meditate more and share their experiences:

"My senses are sharper", the Admiral said. "I feel more balanced, yet my emotions are definitely enhanced. I live everything with more intensity"

"I am experiencing the same" T'Prion replied, without adding more details.

The Admiral was aware of the fact that these sensations could be a problem for her. At times they were hard to control for him too, even though he was used to dealing with emotions…

"The eggs are warming more", she noticed. "I wonder what it means, is there anything written about that in your list of instructions?"

Maximillian checked; there was nothing.

"I don't even know whether it is meant to happen or not", he said.

"Maybe Peter could tell us", she offered.

"We can try to discover it in meditation", Maximillian proposed. Yet he still did not fully trust the young man.

They sat down in the area T'Prion had dedicated to meditation. Maximillian wasn't very used to doing it but he felt this was essential in order to understand and learn more.

They closed their eyes. The smell of Vulcan incense was helping their mind to drift. The regular soft noise of the USS Adventure was sounding like a sweet lullaby. Soon after starting, both of them began to see images, sounds, words. They were no longer on the ship; they were traveling in space and time. Slowly they were getting to know better the Dragon and its origins. It was older than they had thought- in fact there was no Dragon; there was a Spirit: the Spirit and Soul of an entire planet. Over time, it had grown and taken many shapes. The most famous of them was a mighty Dragon but some were actually persons. Slowly they went through the early History of Vulcan, the wars and violent emotions that were leading to destruction…T'Prion's breath became faster as she was fighting not to contact those ancient passions. Maximillian noticed it:

"Is it alright?" he whispered.

She opened her eyes.

"The Dragon is the heart and Spirit of Vulcan, it is not an animal", she replied.

"I saw it too, but then he showed us more", he said.

"Ancient Vulcan History is dark. Without logic, our civilization would cease to exist. Emotions are dangerous when my people experience them. They run toward destruction", she explained.

"Those things happened so long ago", he replied.

"We were there. Those were all around us, poisoning us. My people have evolved, I cannot go backwards", she stated.

"I think those things are shown to us for a reason. We should not fight them, we should not be afraid of them".

"Fear is an emotion, so it is impossible for me to know it", T'Prion said proudly.

"Yet you seem to be afraid by those images", he considered.

"It is illogical to dwell on this dark past", she concluded.

"Then most probably now we will see something else", He closed his eyes.

T'Prion stared at him for a while then imitated him.

The face of Surak appeared: ancient verses and proverbs written in old Vulcan calligraphy, the rising of the Academy of Science, the first contact with human beings, rituals on Mount Seleya, evolution of technology, spirituality, logic…Then images of the way the eggs were created from a tiny piece of fossil found in the desert, their coming to life until the day they were brought to the USS Adventure. The trip seemed to be done. Both opened their eyes.

"It was beautiful", Maximillian said.

"It was more than that, it was enlightening", T'Prion replied.

"I wonder if we will ever see the future", the Admiral wondered.

They parted for the night. Maximillian was simply feeling happy, fulfilled, and eager to wake up the next day to experience more; thankful.

T'Prion went through a ritual to purge emotions. She wanted to remain in control of whatever she would have seen or experienced…

The next day, they stopped at the gym before carrying on with their duties:

"I want to show you something", Maximillian said. He looked around, making sure they were completely alone. He carefully closed the door and started to perform complex and elegant moves. He ended up lifting a 100 kg weight with one arm.

"Incredible, isn't it?" he stated smiling.

"The moves you just performed are coming from Tal-Shaya while the first ones you made were the Suus Mahna style, and your strength is truly impressive", she admitted. He felt proud of himself.

"My strength increased too, and when I perform traditional moves, I can mentally see their shapes and symbols", she added.

They remained in the gym a while to train and explore until it was time to head to the bridge.

Walking together, T'Prion suggested the Admiral to reveal a bit more about the mission to the Captain:

"My orders were clear about it", he replied.

She continued "there is something utterly illogical in all this".

He interrogated her with his eyes.

"This is supposed to be the last trip of the USS Adventure because it is seen as too old, too slow, not efficient enough, right?"

The Admiral nodded.

"Then how come that Starfleet chose such an old ship for such an important and secret mission, this is illogical", she insisted.

"I had never thought of that, but you are right…" he replied. "I suspect there is something under that…the Captain is a trustworthy man, his opinion would be precious indeed…" he paused. "For now we could tell him about the eggs…as for the Spirit of Vulcan…"

"I don't think such details are important for him", she answered.

Had they decided to remain silent, they would have had to change their mind. Indeed, as soon as they reached the bridge, Captain Spencer asked to talk privately to them:

"Admiral", he started. "I respect you and your mission but I retain it is important for me to know what happens on my ship…this is logical", he added, staring straight in the Commander's eyes.

"I was not supposed to get to know so much myself", the Admiral admitted. "They gave me a closed box, but before leaving it in Commander T'Prion's cabin I thought it was my duty to make sure nothing contained in it could provoke any damage…and so I opened it".

"The box contains two eggs of Vulcan Dragons", T'Prion said.

"Wow!" the Captain exclaimed. "Dragons like dinosaurs?" he asked.

"Yes, but they are not supposed to be disclosed here", the Commander replied.

The Admiral continued, "There is something very unclear in this whole story". He said "secrecy, fights as Peter said".

Before he could go on, the Captain interrupted:

"Peter! Who is he really? And if I understood well, he tried to steal the eggs, why?" he asked.

"Let's say that we have solved the matter", T'Prion replied.

"More enigmas and mysteries", Captain Spencer commented.

"It has to do with Vulcan ancient Spirituality", she explained.

"All right, those answers are fine for me. I trust both of you", the Captain said inviting the Admiral and the Commander to follow him on the bridge.

Minutes passed by; hours, and T'Prion was feeling increasingly dizzy and tense. She was wondering why the Spirit of her world would want to make her experience those sensations. With time, they became clearer and more intense; definitely familiar, yet different. At lunch time, she decided to retire and meditate. She was unsure of what was happening to her and wanted to understand.

"I am coming with you", offered Maximillian.

"I need to meditate on my own", T'Prion replied.

He asked to be at least allowed to see the eggs, which she could not refuse. He had noticed her dizziness and didn't want to leave her alone. In him, his senses and emotions were growing but he didn't notice significant changes.

"Something is happening to you, isn't it?" he asked.

"I need to make sure of it", she said.

He nodded and reluctantly left the cabin.

T'Prion entered a deep state of meditation. She was searching, exploring, and the further she was going, the more convinced she became. She opened her eyes. The sensations she was beginning to feel were growing fast and she had to remain in control, while she still could…

The afternoon on the bridge seemed endless to her. It was always harder to hide her inner state. She had difficulties to focus and inner fire was intensifying and starting to become pain. Maximillian was aware of every step of the process without understanding the reason of it. He was feeling helpless again.

Just as she had skipped the lunch, the Vulcan Commander retired before dinner. Maximillian followed her again, pretending to check the eggs. T'Prion was walking fast, without a word.

Once they reached her cabin, Maximillian said:

"I know you are in pain, we are sharing the same experience, talk to me".

"Yes, I am in pain, and it will become worse", she stated. "Until the point I will have no control over it at all".

"How so?" he asked, "and why am I not directly feeling this pain?"

"Because you are human", she replied, increasingly tense.

He stared into her eyes. She lowered her head, then looked at him again.

"I think it is logical allowing me to understand", he whispered.

Silence fell in the room.

The Admiral wouldn't have left until he had his answer:

"The Dragon is provoking in me the Pon Farr", she said, "I ask you to not reveal this to anyone".

"I promise you to keep it secret", he replied.

The Admiral knew what the Pon Farr was but had never directly seen it.

"I need to meditate in a very intense way to keep in control, as long as it will be possible", she said.

"I know that this is very…private and delicate for you", he started, "but…remember that you can call on me anytime".

"Thank you", she said.

He put a hand on her shoulder and left the cabin.

The next day, T'Prion was on the bridge as usual, but she was struggling against the violent imbalanced emotions that were assailing her. She crossed the look of Maximillian, he noticed her eyes were different, colder, harsher. He was feeling something inside of him too, like a call urging him to act but he didn't know what to do. Vulcan people had always been very secretive about the Pon Farr, so he knew very little of it. He resolved to invoke the Dragon's guidance, here and now. For him, being in a meditation posture and state was less important than reaching the knowledge he needed in any way and at any cost. There was no real task for him on the bridge, mostly making sure the mission was proceeding well, so this was leaving time for him to think and observe.

He was deeply immersed into these thoughts when a distress message was transmitted. It was very unclear but the word "Help" could be very well recognized. The coordinates of the caller were identified; it was a shuttle, visibly damaged. The Captain let them know that he would teleport them on board. He invited the Admiral and the Commander to follow him.

They reached the teleport room just in time to see six male figures materializing in front of them…one of them was holding a small round device, he spoke:

"Greetings Captain Spencer, we are very thankful to you for having saved us, so I have a present for you", he smiled. The Admiral was definitely finding it all very weird, for a reason he could not put his finger on. The Commander was repressing the aggressiveness she was feeling toward the new comers. She was aware that all of it was not due to the Pon Farr… the man continued:

"I know your ship is transporting a box with very special eggs inside".

T'Prion was about to react when she felt the Admiral's strong hand grabbing her arm.

Captain Spencer remained silent, the man went on:

"I want you to order your First Officer to go, take this box, and bring it to me", he said.

"Never!" T'Prion said firmly.

"Opposition?" he came closer to the Vulcan officer. Maximillian was ready to react.

The man showed the round device he was holding:

"If I only press on this tiny button, no more USS Adventure", he laughed. "You have no choice", he added.

He was indeed holding a bomb, but T'Prion was beyond the state of thinking. Her body reacted, led by the fire running in her blood. Before the Admiral could stop her, she grabbed the man's throat and lifted him up with one hand. The bomb fell down just in time for Captain Spencer to catch and deactivate it. T'Prion got rid of her prisoner by throwing him against the wall with violence. The other men who were with him had watched the scene in awe but they suddenly woke up and started shooting. The Captain and Admiral dodged the blows and punched some. The Admiral did his best to conceal his unnatural strength, until one of the blows reached T'Prion who fell unconscious. Maximillian's rage blossomed and he started to fully use his strength provoking great damage on the enemy side. Captain Spencer called the security officers who finished capturing the men and lead them into cells. Both the Admiral and the Captain rushed to T'Prion. She opened her eyes and made them know that she was fine. She got up and was about to leave the room when the Admiral stopped her: "I need to go", she replied, rushing out.

He was about to follow her when the Captain called him back:

"I expect explanations Admiral", he said, visibly shocked by what he had just witnessed.

He led the Admiral to an empty room:

"I have seen my First Officer in a similar state a few times, but I never saw her lift up a fully grown up man with one arm, as you did too…then the weapon that shot her was set to kill, yet she was stunned for merely a few seconds…I am amazed of it, but I want to know…what is happening to you both?"

"This is related to my mission", the Admiral replied.

"And?" the Captain insisted.

"It is hard to explain to a human being", Maximillian stated.

The Captain started to laugh:

"Because you are not a human being, maybe?"

"Not at the moment Captain, not fully at least", the Admiral admitted.

"Why?" the Captain wanted to know.

"The eggs are linked with an ancient energy; very powerful…Commander T'Prion may be more qualified to explain than me but…"

"Commander T'Prion cannot be disturbed Admiral, and I suggest you don't underestimate her present state", he recommended.

"What do you know of it?" Maximillian asked.

"Surely no more than you Admiral", he continued. "We need to discover who those men are and how they knew about your mission".

"I will take care of it", the Admiral replied.

The Captain returned to the bridge while the Admiral headed to the prisoners quarters when he felt the urge to stop by T'Prion's cabin. He knew it could have heavy consequences but he was feeling called. He obeyed; maybe it was only his personal will to see her, or maybe it was more…

He reached her door and called for her:

"Leave me alone!" she replied.

He started to walk away, but changed his mind and stopped again at her door. Resting his back against it, he closed his eyes and asked for help and guidance, then he called again:

"Commander T'Prion, open, this is an order", he said.

This time there was no reply. He was definitely feeling like leaving; it would have shown respect, understanding, but his body could not move at all.

Inside the cabin, T'Prion's pain was intense now. She was feeling unable to control her violent impulses and she didn't want anyone to see her this way.

"Open this door or I'll put it down!" Maximillian's voice thundered almost against himself.

The door opened:

"You have no right to speak to me with that tone!" exclaimed T'Prion out of herself.

"I am your superior and I care for you", he said.

"Then you should show respect and leave before things get worse", she advised.

"I won't leave you alone in pain", he stated firmly. "I don't care about the risks", he added, coming closer.

Then they both looked at the eggs, they were smoking!

The Admiral approached them. "Are they about to disclose?" he asked.

T'Prion didn't answer; he turned back to her. She had sat down on her bed, her head in her hands, her body tense and shaking. Maximillian sat next to her and things became clear to him:

"Choose the Kali-fi", he whispered, "Allow me to fight for you".

T'Prion stared at him, he continued:

"Don't you understand why the Dragon provoked the Pon Farr, precisely now? My feelings for you have been only growing since his Spirit inhabits me", he added.

"If you fight, you will have to kill", she replied, "Are you ready for it?"

"I am ready to do what is needed", he answered.

He gently took T'Prion's hand with great care and started caressing it with two fingers according to the Vulcan tradition, and led by the Dragon. T'Prion's body stopped shaking and relaxed; the pain decreased. Maximillian was feeling grateful:

"You understand the Dragon well", she said "Better than me".

"Because I am a human being", he answered, "I see things from a distance, as much as I love Vulcan and consider it my home, it is not. I can see the wonders of your world but also its flaws"

"Flaws?" T'Prion inquired.

"Vulcan's emotions are more violent and intense than human emotions, so you need to find a way to control them. And so Logic appeared but at the same time, repressing these emotions lead to their explosion which is what you call Pon Farr", he explained.

"The Pon Farr though painful is necessary for the survival of our race", T'Prion said.

"Exactly, those painful, terrible, violent emotions that can lead to destruction are necessary for survival" he stated.

"Would you suggest Vulcan people to become emotional and illogical like human beings?" she asked.

"No, well I don't know…what I just said is what I understood or what the Dragon led me to discover…I think evolution is not over yet, not even for your people, so advanced and admirable", he said.

"Evolution never stops", she replied.

There was a silence.

"We need to understand more about those men who knew of your mission", she said, getting up.

"Are you sure you want to come?" he asked.

"We need to discover the truth, it is our call and our duty", she stated firmly.

"I agree", he said, leaving the cabin with her.

Only four men were in cells, the other two were still unconscious. As soon as they saw the Admiral and the Commander approach, they started to shake with fear:

"Please, don't kill us!" one of them pleaded once Maximillian and T'Prion had reached their cell.

"We have no reason to do that", the Admiral said calmly "but you need to collaborate and tell what you know and who you are".

The men said their names; they were all low ranked Starfleet officers.

"We don't know much really", another explained, "it was said to us that we needed to take those eggs from you otherwise the consequences would have been terrible".

"Who told you so?" Maximillian asked.

"He is a scientist called… hmmm, Reynolds, Stanley Reynolds…he said there was much at stake and that High Officers of Starfleet were involved", he continued.

"Names?" the Admiral asked.

"We don't know more. At the beginning, we hesitated but then Reynolds started to threaten us and our families, so we had no choice…he has created multiple weapons", he added.

Another said, "Maybe Lieutenant Perkins knows more, but I am not even sure he is still alive".

"Both your companions are alive, unconscious for now but they will live", the Admiral said. He added, "Keep us informed if something more comes to your mind".

"Do you think they know more?" T'Prion asked while leaving the cells area.

"I doubt it, those were only pawns", Maximillian replied, "We need to find information about this Reynolds".

They headed to the Archives room and searched for Reynolds on the computer. A long biography was read to them: a brilliant scientist in his fifties who specialized in weapons, had various rewards for services to Starfleet, and an impressive and stainless career…

"He is creating weapons", said T'Prion. "So he probably created the bomb they brought too, we could examine it", she proposed

"I think the Captain has it, let's ask him", he replied.

Once on the bridge, the Captain was quite surprised to see T'Prion, but didn't say anything. The whole story was now far beyond his understanding.

He handed the tiny bomb to the Commander; she observed it very carefully:

"I have never seen anything like that; obviously very powerful…especially for that part in the middle…" she indicated a small reddish piece of what looked like metal. "Interesting", she added.

"What is it?" the Admiral asked.

"It is used to enhance the effects of an explosion…but what is very singular is that only Romulans use those", she stated.

"Well maybe a Vulcan scientist made one or managed to get one", the Captain offered.

"Any Romulan would rather die than give one of those to a Vulcan, human, or any other race. I exclude it", she said.

"Then you suggest that Romulans are involved in all this?" the Captain asked in disbelief.

"Well, to me this is more than a suggestion, this item is a proof of it", T'Prion replied.

"This story becomes better and better each day", the Captain exclaimed.

"Better? What do you mean?" T'Prion asked.

"I mean nothing. This was just some kind of humour to sooth the situation" the Captain replied.

"We have to discover more about it", the Admiral said, "And we will".

T'Prion was fulfilling her usual tasks, amazed by the control she was having over her state. She concluded that the Dragon energy must be helping her in that sense, so she mostly focused on the tasks at hand. Later, she went to visit the unconscious prisoners with the Admiral:

"If I could use the mind meld I would easily find all the answers we are looking for", she said.

"It would be too risky, it would probably kill him", the Admiral replied.

She knew he was right. She had experienced it herself when she had attempted to read Peter's mind.

"I wish I had not been so violent", she said.

"Same for me", Maximillian echoed. "The second leader is unconscious too, the one who started shooting..." He paused. "I lost control when I saw him shooting at you"

They asked the Doctor about them:

"Hard to determine when they'll wake up, it could be at any time really", he said.

T'Prion started to think loudly:

"Reynolds is the one who creates weapons, and probably sells them too. The eggs could be seen as a scary weapon…it is logical such a weapon attracts the Romulans", she stated.

"And they must have probably offered a fortune to Reynolds for having them", the Admiral continued, "And not only to Reynolds but to High Officers of Starfleet, which makes me definitely very worried."

"Corruption is part of human nature unhappily", T'Prion said.

"I know, but until now it didn't seem to touch Starfleet much", he replied, deeply disappointed and feeling as if part of Starfleet ideals were damaged. "We must discover who they are", he said.

"We have to, otherwise things may become worse", T'Prion replied.

He turned toward her, "And you?" he asked.

"I don't know", she answered, "It is not completely like the other times, I mean it is worse in some moments and in others…it seems the Dragon keeps me in control"

"That is a good thing", he said.

"It is, until it lasts", she replied.

They decided to head toward the gym. There was not much more to do on the bridge, or to discover for now. But T'Prion definitely needed to express the part of energy that the Dragon wasn't controlling and Maximillian wanted to train.

They started to perform Tal-Shaya moves together:

"We could fight", he proposed.

"It would be too risky", she answered.

They paused for a while. The Admiral seemed to be lost in his thoughts. Finally he spoke:

"When the eggs will disclose, the Spirit will inhabit the new born Dragons, right?" he asked.

"It seems logical", T'Prion replied.

"Will I remember those Tal-Shaya moves?" he wondered, "we will lose our supernatural strength, but what about the knowledge we came in contact with?"

"We cannot be sure what will happen after", she said.

"And there is a chance that the eggs disclose before the Kali-fi…" He commented.

"You have been training before the Dragon", she replied.

"Yes, but I would be no match for a well-trained Vulcan warrior which is why I need to train more. If my mind forgets, then my body may keep the memory of those moves", he said.

"If really the Dragon meant to have us united, you will win", she stated.

"If not…" he echoed.

"You can still change your mind, or I could fight myself or eventually find someone else to do it", she suggested.

"Never!" he exclaimed, he paused "I would never accept that you or someone else risk their life for me and I will not change my mind", He paused. "But if your chosen mate wins, would it be really the same for you? I mean uniting with me or with him?"

"I have no memory of him. At the age of seven we went through the mind meld ritual, that's it. I have not known you for a long time, but we have shared and experienced much. Of course you are a human being, yet I find more logical mating with someone I know than with a person I saw only once or twice as a child", she said. "So no, it is not the same because logic dictates to choose you".

"Logic", he repeated, "Of course".

He smiled; through the Dragon, he had been aware of T'Prion's thoughts and feelings for the last few days. He knew well at this moment that she was using logic as an excuse to avoid admitting her feelings for him. Would she ever admit them? He was very unsure of it and yet he was ready to risk his life to discover it. It made little to no sense, but it was simply feeling like the only right thing to do…

"I will teach you everything I know about Tal-Shaya and Vulcan combat arts", T'Prion offered, "this knowledge would not be the Dragon's but mine, so you will remember it whatever".

"Thank you", he replied, considering her proposal like one more manifestation of her feelings.

They trained for a long time; then the Admiral went to the dinner room, while T'Prion reached her cabin. She observed the eggs, they were still smoking, warming, their aspects were slightly different as if they were becoming less solid. She started to meditate.

In the dinner room, the Admiral referred what they had discovered to the Captain who felt equally disappointed:

"Starfleet is not like it was once", he said with a sad look in his eyes then he invited the Admiral to join him at his table:

"I just want to take a few dishes and will eat with Commander T'Prion", he replied politely. "She hasn't eaten much in these days".

The Captain smiled, "I am glad to see you taking such care of her…I take she doesn't feel like joining us here", he added.

"I haven't asked her really but I'd say it is very unlikely", the Admiral answered.

"I understand", the Captain said.

T'Prion opened her door as soon as the Admiral called, he was pleased:

"I brought something to eat", he said.

"I am not very hungry", she replied, "but thank you".

He smiled.

"I have discovered something very interesting about the eggs", she continued. "They will not break, they will melt", she stated.

The Admiral approached them and considered their aspect as well as the whitish smoke rising from them. T'Prion continued:

"Their heat is increasing each day, until it will melt the eggs by making them liquid and the Dragons in the middle of it", she explained.

The Admiral put his hand near the box sides: "The box is cold", he said surprised.

"It is", she answered. "Peter must have thought of it", she added.

The Admiral started to eat. T'Prion took a little of everything mostly to be polite but she was starting to feel imbalanced again.

They meditated together some moments; it was helping but not fully suppressing the violent emotions. Pain was getting more intense again. She sat on the couch; the Admiral held her for a long while until she was almost falling asleep from nervous exhaustion. He caressed her fingers again which allowed sleep to come faster and more peacefully. He left the cabin only once he saw her fully asleep.

The next day, the Admiral headed to the Commander's cabin before doing anything else. The door opened even before he called. The Vulcan officer was still laying on her couch visibly is pain. The Admiral came closer. She didn't talk; her body was tense and shaking. The Admiral tried to help but nothing really worked. He was still trying when the noise of the USS Adventure suddenly stopped:

"The engines!" he exclaimed, "they stopped working".

"Then the ship is motionless", T'Prion said in a desperate way. "I need to reach Vulcan", she added.

The comlink rang, the Admiral replied: "Commander T'Prion is urgently required on the bridge", a voice said.

"I cannot", she whispered helplessly.

"I am sure Captain Spencer will solve things", he said coming closer to her again "I don't know how I can help", he whispered.

"Make that ship move!" she exclaimed.

He got up: "I will"

As soon as he reached the bridge, the Captain yelled:

"Where is my First Officer? I need her".

"I am afraid she won't be able to come, not until we reach Vulcan", the Admiral stated. "What is the situation here? What's happening?" the Admiral asked.

The comlink rang:

"It is sabotage". The Admiral understood of the conversation.

"What? Who? How? And…when will we be able to move again?" the Captain asked.

"I have no answer for you Captain at the moment. I am doing my best to repair but…"

"How much time will it require?" the Admiral asked.

"Honestly I don't know", was the answer.

"Maybe there is some ship in the area?" he asked the Captain.

"I have already checked, there is none", he replied, "Maybe there is another solution though".

"Which?" the Admiral asked.

"But this would put the ship at risk", the Captain continued, "for that reason I wanted to talk to Commander T'Prion, her advice is usually wise".

"Anything that can help this ship move should be attempted at any cost!" the Admiral shouted.

"Admiral, this ship is under my responsibility, this is not a light decision", the Captain stated.

"I am not sure you are fully aware of the seriousness of this situation Captain, your First Officer may die if we don't reach Vulcan before six days and there is more…" he paused.

"I know", the Captain said, "and she would choose the ship". He put his head in his hands.

"Well, the eggs may disclose here, so no, this time she would choose to risk", the Admiral replied firmly.

"Then there is no choice Admiral", the Captain said. "Years ago, the USS Adventure engineers worked on a device that could re-launch the engines if for any reason they would stop", he explained, "but when we tested it…it revealed unstable and dangerous".

"But would there be a chance to see it work?" the Admiral asked.

"Yes, the first time it worked, but the second time we nearly lost the ship", the Captain replied. "The situation is clear, either we see Commander T'Prion dying or coming close, the eggs disclose and two Vulcan Dragons fly freely in this ship- or we risk to lose everything", He paused. "You outrank me Admiral, so the decision may be yours".

"The USS Adventure is your ship though", Maximillian replied.

"This ship has been my home for the last 15 years of my life. She is strong, she can make it. She can reach Vulcan before it is too late!" he said.

He got up and went to the engines room, he had orders to give. He invited the Admiral to take his seat, Maximillian sat down, full of admiration for the Captain, and full of hope…

When the Captain came back on the bridge, he looked older, burdened, he barely seemed like the same man:

"It is done", he said.

Indeed a few minutes later, the engines started to work again:

"It is working!" the Admiral exclaimed.

"There was no doubt about it, now we have to see if it lasts or if the engines start to overheat, and eventually explode", the Captain said.

The Admiral went silent; he had left the seat and gave it back to the Captain:

"In how much time shall we know?" he asked.

"Last time it took a few hours", the Captain replied. "Maybe I am supposed to make some kind of announcement but if the worst happens, not much can be done", he added.

"No need to alarm the crew", the Admiral stated.

The comlink rang; it was the Doctor informing the Captain that Lieutenant Perkins had woken up. The Admiral rushed toward the lift:

"I need to have a talk with this guy", he said.

Before he could come closer to Lieutenant Perkins, the Doctor suggested him to leave the man some time to recover:

"There is no time Doctor", the Admiral said, directly walking toward the man still lying down.

Lieutenant Perkins was a thin tall man in his late twenties, with dark hair and green eyes. He avoided the look of the Admiral:

"Lieutenant Perkins", Maximillian started.

The other looked at him but remained silent. The Admiral continued:

"I need answers, and you will give them to me".

"You assume much", the Lieutenant replied coldly.

"Well, I can obtain them in a soft way or in a hard way", the Admiral stated. He was in no mood for gentle manners.

"I will not answer your questions, do whatever you want", the Lieutenant said.

"Very well", the Admiral answered, grasping the other's throat with his right hand, "You have a few seconds to tell me everything".

The Lieutenant didn't react, the Admiral couldn't deny that the man had some courage, but there was too much at stake to be soft. He didn't consciously do anything but he noticed his right hand becoming warmer and warmer, hot, until it began to burn. He was feeling no pain, but he could see pain growing in the Lieutenant's eyes. He started to move, attempting to escape the burning grip; then he screamed. The Admiral couldn't explain what was happening other than realizing how the strength of his intention was manifesting in the heat released by his hand, the fire of the Dragon.

"Who is behind it all?" he asked.

"Professor Stanley Reynolds", he finally said, unable to bear the Admiral's grip any longer.

The Admiral's hand became fresher but he didn't take it away from the man's throat:

"And?" he asked.

"He wants to sell the eggs to the Romulans", Perkins continued.

"We had figured this out", the Admiral replied surprising the Lieutenant, "Who are the Starfleet High Officers involved?"

"They remained anonymous, we never talked directly", the Lieutenant replied.

"Who damaged the ship?" the Admiral asked.

"Reynolds", the other replied.

"Is he on board?" Maximillian asked.

"No…He created devices, mini robots that can enter anywhere unnoticed", the Lieutenant replied.

"How many of them are on board"?" the Admiral asked.

"Two", the Lieutenant replied, "One was programmed to damage the engines, the other was programmed to locate the eggs and kill those around. It was a back-up plan".

"T'Prion!" the Admiral exclaimed, leaving suddenly the Lieutenant and rushing toward the closest lift to go to the Commander's cabin.

The door opened as soon as he rang: the Vulcan Commander was sitting in her usual meditation posture, eyes closed. Her body was still very tense and somewhat shaking but she was alive:

"You are in danger!" Maximillian exclaimed, looking around.

She opened her eyes and handed him a small device, once probably round shaped, but now totally crashed:

"It came too close to the eggs", she stated.

"It was programmed to locate them and kill you", he explained, "Perkins has woken up, he confirmed that Reynolds is behind it all with the Romulans but no way to know about the Starfleet Officers".

"How is the situation with the ship?" she asked.

"The engines are working again, thanks to a device tested years ago. The Captain said it was risky to use it but there was no choice".

"This may result as the engines exploding!" the Commander exclaimed.

"Or maybe not, maybe it could result in us reaching Vulcan in a couple of days", the Admiral replied.

"The Captain shouldn't have done it, risking the life of everyone for me, his ship…"

"He did it for you, yes, but also for the eggs", Maximillian answered.

"The needs of the many overweight the needs of the few or the one", she added.

"But the eggs are more important than many", he replied.

"Did you discover what created the damage?" she asked.

"A device similar to the one you crashed".

"Then it may be reprogrammed either to repair or to cool down the engines", she suggested.

"This is a brilliant idea! But Reynolds is an incredible scientist. I have no idea how to reprogram this thing", the Admiral admitted.

"Peter will help you. I would come with you too but in my present state I would be of little help and eventually an obstacle", she said.

"You already helped much", he answered.

Their fingers touched again.

"The eggs are starting to melt", she said once their hands parted.

The Admiral looked at them:

"In two days, we will be on Mount Seleya, I promise", he said, leaving the cabin.

T'Prion drifted back into her intensive meditation state, while Maximillian headed toward the engines room.

The heat was already intense in the room and was growing. Officers and engineers were busy trying to keep things working especially by making attempts to avoid the engines from heating too fast.

The Admiral had given orders to have Peter sent to him. He talked with Lieutenant Skipper, responsible of the area and showed him the crashed device:

"What reduced it this way?" the man asked.

"It was programmed to kill Commander T'Prion, and she didn't like it", the Admiral replied with a point of humour and pride.

"I saw nothing of this kind here", the Lieutenant stated.

Peter was escorted there by two guards. The Admiral explained to him the situation and suggested to find the device as the first step. They spent several hours looking in every corner of the room. They were losing hopes when Peter noticed something shining in the middle of junk. He grasped it and handled it to Maximillian:

"It should be that", he said. "We got it!" he added.

They moved in another room, quieter, fresher. They sat at a table. Peter examined the object with attention:

"I need tools to open it, see how it is made, how it functions", he said.

The Admiral gave orders to get tools:

"Can I have a look?" he asked.

Peter gave him the device, it looked like a silver tennis ball with tiny holes, probably to allow tools to come out and connect with other devices:

"I don't understand where its energy source is", Peter commented.

The tools were brought, Peter started to open it, taking out piece by piece, then he finally found at the center a very tiny cube similar to a cell:

"No idea how to make it work though", he stated.

While he was considering the other parts, the Admiral took the cube in his hand. As soon as it came in contact with his skin, the cube came to life; a blue light was shining from inside:

"How did you do that?" Peter asked.

"I am not sure". Maximillian replied. "At least the energy source is working now, hope it will last", he added.

Hours ran away before Peter could access the memory and core of the device. It was complicated, a genial creation yet the young scientist was brilliant and started reprogramming it.

He was still struggling with it when the alarm rang. The Admiral called the Captain to understand the situation:

"Things are getting really worse", he replied.

"How much time do we have?" the Admiral asked.

"Less than 30min", the Captain said.

"Hurry up Peter!" the Admiral exclaimed.

"I am doing my best!" the young man replied.

The Admiral opened the door, outside people were running; rushing to try and solve the issue. His thoughts went to T'Prion, then to the eggs and to Vulcan. But thinking was not enough, action was needed.

He entered the engines room; it was like hell. The area surrounding the engines was impossible to approach. He was feeling helpless. He returned to Peter to see the young man getting up and handing him the device fully working:

"Let's connect it to the central computer", the Admiral said.

As soon as the connection was established, a strident whistle was heard. Smoke was coming out of the engines room. The men inside the room rushed out while the Admiral went in to check the situation. Lieutenant Skipper was still there with a couple of assistants. The smoke was making breathing hard but the men were also definitely happy to see the engines' heat decrease, which was actually provoking much smoke.

"It is working!" the Admiral whispered with an immense sigh of relief, he turned to Peter:

"Thank you", he simply said though he would have wanted to tell him more.

"At the end, I protected the eggs", the young scientist replied.

"They are still important for you, aren't they?" the Admiral asked, leading him out of the engines room.

"I am not sure why but yes, in a way they are like my babies", he answered.

"I understand it", Maximillian said.

"What will be of them?" Peter asked.

"Commander T'Prion and I will take them on Mount Seleya, their home".

"I think it is right", the young man stated.

"You are free", the Admiral told him, "you can go anywhere from now on".

Peter thanked him and they parted. The Admiral reached the bridge, where Lieutenant Skipper had already informed the Captain of the situation:

"Well, you saved us", he told the Admiral.

"Let's say that it was a team work, Commander T'Prion's idea, and Peter Andrews' skills. Lieutenant Skipper seems to do a great job too", he said.

"We will be on Vulcan in less than two days now", the Captain said, "How is Commander T'Prion?"

"She is struggling but she is strong", the Admiral replied.

"Go to her, Admiral", he suggested.

Maximillian smiled and rushed toward the lift. He found T'Prion still in an intense meditation state. She was sweating and her face was expressing her inner struggle:

"I don't want to disturb", Maximillian whispered.

"Stay", she said, opening her eyes.

"We are safe", he said and he told her about the way they had proceeded.

He checked the eggs:

"They seem to be moving inside", he commented.

"They are. The eggs will melt very soon now", she paused and got up. "I need to inform Vulcan of our arrival".

She sent a message directly to the Religious authorities:

"What will happen there?" the Admiral asked.

"I don't know for sure but there will be a ritual for the eggs disclosure and also the Kali-fi of course", she replied.

They remained together until the night. There was only one more day to wait…

When Admiral Williams woke up that morning, the thought that he may be living his last day of life came up. He had faith in the Dragon but he wanted to be prepared for the worst. He didn't want to die but he felt the need to write a letter to his parents and to Starfleet. In any case, his life would change. Until that moment he hadn't thought of after…as if after may never have come but now after was the very near future. Would he or T'Prion ever be able to leave the Dragons? After having been so close to them…Could he ever be able to leave Vulcan again?

He took the letters with him and visited T'Prion still meditating, exhausted yet still assailed by the fire in her blood. The eggs state was mostly unchanged:

"You need to train", she said after a while.

He left the cabin short after and listened to the advice. He repeated the Tal-Shaya moves and did any physical exercise he thought could help him win the Kali-fi.

Then he headed toward the bridge. He wanted to talk with Captain Spencer and asked him for a word in private:

"When we will arrive near Vulcan, Commander T'Prion and I with the eggs will have to be teleported directly on Mount Seleya, where we are expected", he instructed.

"It will be done", the Captain replied.

"I may not return from the ritual", he admitted.

"What?" the Captain asked "And T'Prion?"

"She will return, as soon as she is on Vulcan, there will be no more risk for her", the Admiral assured.

"Why would there be risks for you?" the Captain asked.

"I will take part of the Kali-fi, the challenge, I will fight for her", he explained.

"Well, considering the strength you have I would not be anxious".

"I don't know if I will still have this strength there if the eggs disclose before. I may be simply a human being fighting against a Vulcan, in his home world. I trained a lot, I trust myself and…and the energy that has been guiding us yet…I want to be ready", he said.

"You are wise Admiral, and I sincerely hope you will win".

The Admiral handed the letters to the Captain:

"If I lose, please give those letters for me: one is for my parents and the other for Starfleet. I don't want to burden T'Prion with that", he stated.

"I will…hmmm or better I will give them back to you hopefully", he laughed to hide his inquietude. "T'Prion's father would have been honoured to see you fight for his daughter", he added.

"Well, I will fight to kill the man he chose for her", the Admiral replied.

The Captain stopped laughing; suddenly the thought of his best friend came to him:

"I wish he was here now", he said.

"I wish I had known him", the Admiral replied.

"Well, too much human emotions here!" the Captain exclaimed, recovering his joyful face.

"Am I needed on the bridge?" the Admiral asked.

"No Admiral, you made an outstanding work, go and get ready for your battle".

They bowed to each other and parted. Maximillian spent the rest of the day between T'Prion and the gym. Then he took a well-deserved rest for the night.

T'Prion had spent the night preparing too. In the morning, the Admiral entered her cabin:

"Are you ready?" he asked, "It is time".

She was wearing a traditional Vulcan dress. Maximillian considered her; he had kept his uniform on. He took the box in his hands, very carefully; it was still cold though the eggs were now slowly melting.

They went out together heading toward the teleport room where the Captain was waiting for them there:

"May I be allowed to come with you?" he asked.

"I wish it were possible", T'Prion replied, "But this is not only a Kun-ut-Kali-fi ritual, there are the eggs".

"I understand", he said a bit disappointed, he rose his right hand in a Vulcan salute. She answered.

"Good luck Admiral", he added. Then he personally pressed the teleport button

On Mount Seleya, a group of Priestesses were waiting for Maximillian and T'Prion. They led them at the center where an elder Priestess started to chant invocations. Maximillian was invited to put the eggs on an altar. As soon as the chant was over, the eggs completely melted exactly as T'Prion had foreseen. Two tiny creatures appeared out of the dense whitish liquid. They were orange with shades of purple; they were similar to Dragons in shape with small wings and four paws. Maximillian and T'Prion were staring at them in awe.

The old Priestess put one hand on Maximillian's face and the other on T'Prion's face. She sang another chant then went silent.

"The Dragons will have to be taken to the secret cave. Only you know where it is", she told them.

She proceeded then with the Kun ritual, explaining that the Dragons had chosen them so no Kali-fi was needed. Maximillian was relieved.

They were led in a sacred room with the Dragons, visibly still under their responsibility. Once alone, they approached the creatures and attempted to make contact. They were obviously wild animals but were showing no aggressiveness toward them. The couple spent the night together. In the morning, T'Prion felt totally free of the Pon Farr but both were feeling the Dragon even more growing in them:

"I know exactly where to go", Maximillian said.

"I can see the place very clearly too", T'Prion replied.

They left for the journey with the Dragons. The cave was a legend for the Vulcan people, but they walked directly to it. The Dragons were now fully able to fly and were following their lead. They finally reached the cave entrance: it was dark yet colourful symbols were clearly seen on the walls:

"Ancient Vulcan Glyphs", T'Prion commented.

"The Dragon Circle", Maximillian added.

They remained a long moment in meditation, with the Dragons. The Spirit was returning home but something of it remained deep inside of the couple. Once the right moment had come, they respectfully greeted and went out. They knew that they would often visit the cave in the future:

"I want to stay on Vulcan", Maximillian stated.

"I think it would be logical now", T'Prion agreed.

Captain Spencer, Peter, and a few members of the USS Adventure's crew had been teleported on Vulcan short after the Admiral and the Commander. A team of scientists were expecting Admiral Williams, and the Captain politely greeted them. The team was composed of both human and Vulcan scientists. When they noticed Peter near the Captain, some of the human members whispered. One of them spoke:

"May we know where Admiral Williams is?" he asked coldly.

"He is fulfilling his mission", Peter replied before leaving time for the Captain to talk.

"His mission was to bring here a box with a very special content", he stated.

"Actually the content of the box was even more special than what you had thought", the young man said.

"Professor Andrews, you have been excluded from this team due to your arrogant behaviour. This now does not concern you any longer", the scientist replied bluntly.

"I am the one who started it all, so it is still my responsibility, whether you like it or not", Peter argued. "I think it is very logical", he added staring at the Vulcan members.

One of them, made a step forward:

"What have you discovered about the eggs?" he asked calmly.

The human scientist intervened:

"This person should have nothing to do with this experiment!" he exclaimed, almost shouting.

The Vulcan scientist looked at him coldly, Peter replied

"You call this an experiment! But you know nothing! Science and Spirituality are one in this case. We are talking of the Spirit of Vulcan here, not only of two eggs! They should be respected and treated with devotion in order to be fully understood", he said full of passion.

The Vulcan scientists talked to each other for a moment, the human scientists remained silent:

"Will you relate us what made you come to that conclusion?" one of the Vulcan asked.

"Of course I will, if you are willing to listen", Peter replied.

The Vulcan part of the team led Peter in a room inside of the Academy of Sciences; only one human member followed. The Captain was about to go with them when the human part of the team stopped him:

"We want explanations", one of them said.

The Captain nodded, visibly embarrassed. During the past few days, so many things had happened that he had not had any time to consider how he would have responded to the team. They led him and his officers in another room of the Academy. They sat down:

"I am not the most qualified person to talk about it but I witnessed some incredible feats on my ship…you see, those creatures are sacred for the Vulcan people. They are not only animals…" Before he could finish, one of the scientists interrupted him:

"Please, spare the chapter about Vulcan mysticism and ancient Dragons legends! We are scientists not priests!" he said.

"That is why you don't understand", Captain Spencer stated.

"Well, if Williams is not here in one hour of time with the eggs, I will have you all arrested", the man stated.

The team went out, locking the door on the Captain and his crew. Miss Pebble tried to comfort the Captain:

"I understood some of what the Vulcan scientists said", she explained, "They will be with us".

"Ironic, isn't it?" the Captain replied, "a people whose culture is based on science and logic would challenge a scientist team for mystical ideas…"

"Vulcan people can be very mystical", she continued, "for them Logic represents both science and spirituality, it is one".

"I would say that after all we have seen in these days, they are right", Captain Spencer added, "Well, I assume that now we can do nothing else but wait…and hope Admiral Williams and Commander T'Prion will be back soon".

In the other room of the Academy, Peter had related everything to the Vulcan part of the team:

"Fascinating", most of them had replied.

One of them asked where the eggs were. Peter paused unsure whether to trust them or not:

"None of us would ever do anything against our sacred creatures", the scientists assured.

Peter looked at the human scientist who had kept silent:

"I have always considered science and mysticism as one", he said, "You have my word".

"The eggs are on Mount Seleya", Peter confessed.

"Then we should leave them there", the Vulcan scientist concluded.

"What will you do with the rest of the team?" the young man asked. "I mean all this was totally unexpected so I can understand the others could be angry, plus…" he paused, lowering his head.

"What?" the human scientist asked.

"There is more…on the ship they tried to steal the eggs", Peter said, now fully trusting the team.

"Who? Why?" one of the Vulcan asked.

"I am not sure of the name, but Admiral Williams knows everything", the young man stated.

"The Spirit of the Dragon inhabited you…" the Vulcan scientist went on, "You received his Katra in a way, like many creatures before you, but I wonder why a human being…you, then Admiral Williams, I could understand why he chose Commander T'Prion but…" he paused "each of you have something very special to accomplish". He concluded, "Maybe it has something to do with the collaboration between our two species"…

They went out of the room to meet the rest of the team:

"Have you managed to get any useful information professor?" one of the human scientist asked.

Peter swallowed hard:

"We got all the information we needed", one of the Vulcan replied, "but those are related to our culture and go far beyond the boundary of official science."

"So you sided with them?" the human scientist asked.

"We sided with logic as always", the Vulcan replied, "Where is Captain Spencer and his crew?"

"Safely locked", the human replied.

"You have no right to do that!" Peter shouted.

"This won't help the situation to be solved", the Vulcan said addressing both the human man and Peter, "Would it be possible for you to cast aside your emotions so that we can talk in peace?"

"We had a plan, precise, clear, now you are changing it. Where is the logic here?" the human argued, struggling to hide his anger.

"Plans can change when logic dictates so", the Vulcan replied.

The human part of the team understood that they would not win this battle so they revealed where the Captain was kept prisoner. One of the Vulcan headed toward the room; he opened the door:

"I apologize for this inconvenient Captain Spencer, we came to an agreement", he said politely.

"Well, I know Admiral Williams left with the eggs without consulting anyone but…" the Captain replied attempting to justify Maximillian.

"He did the only logical thing possible", he said and he added that Peter had related most of the story.

"It seems Romulans were involved in the attempt theft of the eggs", the Captain added.

"We need to find the truth about it", the Vulcan replied. "An investigation will start as soon as Admiral Williams will be back".

"I will tell you all I know", the Captain said "Have you heard of Professor Stanley Reynolds?"

"Of course", the Vulcan replied. "He is one of the most respected and gifted scientist of his generation"

"As incredible as it can sound, it seems that he was the one wanting to sell the eggs to the Romulans", the Captain explained.

The Vulcan remained silent, they reached the whole team:

"We need to find Professor Reynolds as soon as possible", the Vulcan scientist stated. "I think here we would need the support of Ambassador Sarek, this is too big", he stated.

The Ambassador was quick to arrive. Captain Spencer related the whole story again, adding the part involving Starfleet High Officers' possible involvement.

Sarek remained silent for a long while:

"This is a very delicate story that could lead to misunderstandings between our people, if not handled in the right way", he stated.

They went on talking for a few hours then Sarek invited all of them to a dinner at the Embassy. Peter's heart was on Mount Seleya and so the Captain's thoughts…

The Captain and his officers went back to the ship for the night; Peter followed them. Neither of them slept that night. Peter was thinking of the Dragons and the Captain was worried about the Admiral and T'Prion; they had been gone the whole day…

Next morning, Captain Spencer and Peter were teleported on Vulcan again; with them Lieutenant Perkins and his men under vigilant guard. They were led to Starfleet Headquarters where they were interrogated again. Perkins felt relieved as he didn't see Maximillian, but he didn't bother to lie or hide anything. He knew it would have made his situation only worse.

Captain Spencer and Peter were back to the Embassy talking with Sarek about the next steps to take when the comlink rang: "We are back", said Maximillian's voice, "Where are you?"

The Captain got up from his chair out of joy and replied:

"They are fine!" he exclaimed, and he informed him of their location.

"He didn't say anything about the Dragons", Peter whispered visibly disappointed.

"I have to admit that I will be quite interested to meet this Admiral", Sarek confessed.

Captain Spencer could not wait inside any longer. His eagerness led him to run outside, almost like a child. Peter remained a while with Sarek:

"What are you planning to do now?" the Ambassador asked.

"I don't know but…I would like to remain here on Vulcan, I mean", he replied.

"Understandable", Sarek said. "I am sure we can collaborate in many ways", he added.

"I would be honoured to", the young man said.

They started to talk about possibilities for the future, and after a while they joined the Captain who was right outside the Embassy, gazing at the horizon.

Soon after, the Admiral and the Commander reached them. Captain Spencer rushed to hug both leaving them quite surprised of this sudden burst of affection. He handed the letters to Maximillian:

"I am glad to give those back to you", he said, "They will never be sent".

"I will give two more letters to you though, a bit different", the Admiral replied.

The Captain considered T'Prion:

"My First Officer is back", he stated.

She didn't answer, but slightly bowed her head in sign of respect.

Peter had remained silent, he stepped forward:

"The eggs?" he asked.

"The Dragons are born", T'Prion replied. "They are home".

"I am sure you'll see them one day", Maximillian added.

"They are fine?" the young man asked.

"They are awesome", the Commander answered.

She suddenly noticed Sarek who had watched the scene at a distance. She greeted him and introduced him to Maximillian. Sarek stared at the Admiral for a few seconds:

"Captain Spencer talked a lot about you", he said simply.

The Ambassador had met many people from different planets and cultures. He had just spent some time with Peter, who had hosted the Dragon Spirit for a while but he found the presence of the Admiral almost overwhelming. His thoughts went to the Commander then. He had met her on several occasions but she was definitely changed. The same sense of power was coming from her, power yet no danger. Sarek was starting to see the logic of all things, especially as Maximillian related to him of his childhood and years spent on Vulcan.

There was one more dinner at the Earth Embassy, T'Prion's mother was invited too and spent a long time talking with the Captain about her husband and her daughter:

"It is as if I had already met you", she admitted. "My husband admired you much and was honoured to serve under your guidance. As for my daughter, I wish to express gratitude to you for having always been there for her", she said.

The Captain smiled: "I am the one who wants to express gratitude, for all the lessons your husband taught me. Also for our discussions at times, the dangers faced together, the hard times, and the good times. He was my best friend, my brother, I will never forget him. I wish there had been the opportunity for him to transmit to me his Katra before dying, but we were separated; I arrived too late…" he paused, the words strangled in his throat. "And your daughter", he continued, "She saved me. I never would have started flying again without her at my side. She has been the best First Officer a Captain could ever dream of, I will miss flying with her…so much", he said, full of a passion and pain unknown to the Vulcan woman but that touched her in some way.

They went on exchanging memories; then the moment of the greetings came:

"We are not coming with you Captain", T'Prion said.

The Captain lowered his head; it was already hard enough to think of taking back the USS Adventure on Earth for the last time. It sounded even worse without his First Officer at his side:

"I knew you would have stayed here", he replied. "After all, this is your home".

The Admiral handed him two letters:

"Let me guess…" the Captain started, "One for your parents and the other for Starfleet".

"Yes", the Admiral said, "We need to remain here", He added, "I hope you can understand".

"Of course" the Captain replied, struggling against coming tears.

"You will have to lead the investigations on Earth", the Admiral continued. "Make sure to surround you with trustworthy people, only those".

"The Vulcan Embassy will be your home", Sarek intervened, "my people will help and protect you, I gave orders to teleport some of our best warriors on your ship".

"Thank you Ambassador", Captain Spencer said.

He knew it was time to leave, yet his body was not moving. Reluctant to part with his friends and reluctant to be teleported on his ship for the last time…

It required five years to find Professor Reynolds, identify the High Officers involved, and gather the necessary proofs to arrest them. It required those same years to upgrade the USS Adventure, giving it the first system of engine re-launching and cooling. All those years were required also for the Captain to get used to his new Admiral rank. In this same time, a child was born, called Surak, named after the father of Vulcan Logic. A significant name for a child half Vulcan and half human, but that had been suggested by the Dragons. They had grown up and were fully adults. They weren't allowing many persons to see them, mostly Maximillian, T'Prion, little Surak and at times Peter. They were appearing to the crowd in occasion of special rituals though. In these years, Peter had collaborated a lot with the Vulcan Embassy and had been working on a secret project nobody knew much about. Maximillian and T'Prion had taken work in Vulcan Starfleet Headquarters, and had always stayed in touch with Admiral Spencer.

One day, a message from Earth came requiring their presence at the trial of the High Officers: Stanley Reynolds, Richard Perkins and all the persons involved in the attempt theft. An invitation to the first flight of the USS Adventure was attached to the message:

"Returning to Earth?" Maximillian said to himself.

It felt weird for him. Indeed, Vulcan had become his only home; he had now fully embraced the culture, philosophy, way of life and was educating his son as a full Vulcan. Actually, Surak was incredibly gifted in everything and he had a very special link with the Dragons:

"It would be an occasion to show Surak his second home", T'Prion suggested.

It was decided to bring the child and T'Prion's mother to take care of him while Maximillian and T'Prion would have to be away.

They visited the Dragons together before leaving. Surak asked to remain in the cave alone for a while; his parents went out to wait for him. He reached them short after, his bag was heavier but nobody noticed it…

Once everything was ready, Maximillian, T'Prion, her mother and Surak were teleported on the ship that would take them to Earth. They had spoken with an Officer and they had not even bothered to get to know the name of the ship…or maybe nobody had communicated it to them. Indeed as soon as they materialized on board, their surprise was huge finding themselves in front of Admiral Spencer! The man was widely smiling. He was more round but had not changed that much in the years. He greeted with the official Vulcan salute before rushing to hug his friends. He lifted Surak:

"Welcome on board of the USS Adventure!" He told him.

"This is the USS Adventure?" T'Prion asked.

"Exactly, I managed to anticipate its first flight and I asked to come to Vulcan to pick you", he explained.

"Are you in command?" Admiral Williams asked.

"As incredible as it may seem…I am! I think they got fed up with me creating trouble in the Earth Headquarters so they decided to get rid of me", he blinked. "On a more serious note, I think they retained; I would be safer exploring unknown space rather than remaining on Earth…after all, I put down some big fishes, most of them are caught but we never know", he added.

"You showed much courage", T'Prion's mother said.

"Well, we all showed courage", he added.

He led them to their quarters, he had gathered some of the objects T'Prion had left in her former cabin and had done his best to recreate the atmosphere of it:

"Little Vulcan on new USS Adventure!" he announced.

Surak had kept silent but had started to explore the place:

"Simply amazing", his father stated.

"Thank you", T'Prion said.

"It is good to have you back on board First Officer T'Prion", Admiral Spencer replied, "Even if it will be only for one flight".

He went on with the complete visit of the upgraded ship, explaining all the modifications brought. They headed to the bridge where T'Prion recognized most of the crew who all expressed their pleasure to see her back, as well as Admiral Williams and their family. For both Surak and his grandmother, this was the very first space travel. The Vulcan lady was fascinated by what she was seeing around, but the little boy was burdened by more serious thoughts; he hadn't left his bag at all since he had gotten on board…

Before dinner, they went back to their cabin to settle a bit more. Surak considered the place again and his eyes stopped on a painting representing Vulcan:

"We will not see Vulcan again", he whispered.

Maximillian heard him:

"We will be back home in a month, space travels are very safe", he reassured, thinking the boy was anxious about the trip though it would be very weird for a Vulcan child.

The boy didn't reply.

T'Prion came closer and added:

"Both your father and myself had hundreds of those trips"

Surak opened his bag, revealing a sphere, whitish with orange shades on it:

"This is another Dragon egg!" T'Prion exclaimed "Where did you find it? Why taking it with you?" she asked with a point of reproach in her tone.

"The Dragons gave it to me, it was meant to come with us on Earth, it will disclose on New Vulcan", he said.

"What does this mean?" Maximillian asked.

"I cannot tell you, not now", the boy stated.

It wasn't the first time that such scenes had happened; Surak was often a mystery for his parents. They proceeded preparing for dinner and forgot about it all. They had placed the egg on the altar where the other ones had been kept a little more than five years before…

The dinner, just like the rest of the trip went on without any issue. T'Prion had recovered her job as First Officer and Maximillian was spending a lot of time with their family.

Once on Earth, they immediately headed to Maximillian's house: it was huge, in a very quiet area.

Before the man could open the door, a young tall blond woman in her late twenties went out:

"So finally my old brother is back on Earth!" she exclaimed, rushing toward the Admiral to hug him.

Before he had a chance to say a word, she considered the rest of his family and warmly greeted them all, attempting a clumsy Vulcan salute.

"By the way, I am Susan, Maximillian's sister", she added, she lifted Surak:

"I am so excited to be an aunt!" she said, kissing him on the cheek.

T'Prion and her mother were watching, speechless, while Maximillian was in vain attempting to say a word.

She led them to the house, and added:

"I cleaned up everything, I did it from time to time but when I got to know you were coming, I put more effort in it!"

"Thank you Susan", Maximillian finally managed to say.

"I tried to convince Mom and Dad to come but well, Mom would like to get to know your family but Dad is the usual stubborn. You know what I mean, but don't worry I will get them to come", she assured.

"Maybe we could visit them", Maximillian offered.

"Yes that is an option too", she replied.

T'Prion and her mother were admiring the house: many rooms, full of paintings showing Vulcan, Mount Seleya, figures of Tal-Shaya…then they reached the library: it was huge with books and databases covering the walls, most of them were about Vulcan culture, language, science, and history:

"I can't think of any place that contains that much different information on our people", T'Prion commented.

"When I was forced to come back, I spent years gathering anything I could find about Vulcan. I was feeling kind of in exile on Earth, so I brought Vulcan with me or at least searched for it", he explained.

"This place is important", Surak said in Vulcan, "very important".

He was still in Susan's arms and said in English:

"You took care of this place for my father, this also is important".

"You are such a sweet little boy", she said, squeezing him.

They finally settled, they ate together then Susan left:

"I am sorry for that", Maximillian said a bit embarrassed.

"Your sister is holding you in great regards", T'Prion's mother replied.

"She does, and it is good we got to know her", T'Prion added.

"I am glad to hear it. I am fond of her really, but at times she is so…" he said.

"She is so human", T'Prion continued, "well this is quite logical, and after all, it is also logical that Surak could learn about the human civilization and part of his family".

"I wanted to see your home world too and know your family", her mother added.

"I am sincerely pleased of it", Maximillian replied.

T'Prion's mother retired to her room, while the couple and Surak headed to the place Maximillian had dedicated to Vulcan spirituality. It was a small room, very simply furnished, with an area for meditation and a small altar. Surak placed the egg on it:

"It will be safe here", Maximillian assured, he opened a small cassette, and handed a key to Surak:

"Only this can open the door once it is closed, I had left it open when I left but now, it will be good to keep it locked when we aren't home", he added.

"I will keep it", Surak said.

Giving such a precious object to a five year old child would have sounded like nonsense in most cases, but both Maximillian and T'Prion were convinced that the key could not be safer in any other hands.

The next day the couple's presence was required at the Trial. They had left Surak with his grandmother in the house, surrounded by guards:

"Nobody can hurt us", Surak had assured his parents

They were unsure whether the boy could call for the Dragon's power or supernatural strength but they trusted his words.

At the Trial, the High Officers kept denying their involvement even though evidence was produced. Former Lieutenant Perkins and his men told the truth and were doing all they could to collaborate. Professor Reynolds started by denying everything too, but once the evidence appeared, he started to get angrier and angrier, declaring that he had served Starfleet for years in complete loyalty but hadn't received the reward he was expecting for it.

During the pause of the Trial, Maximillian and T'Prion talked with some scientists from Earth and Vulcan who had witnessed about Reynolds outstanding inventions:

"This man is completely crazy", one of them said "yet putting him in jail for the rest of his life would be such a waste".

"This is very true", a Vulcan scientist replied, relating some of his collaboration with Reynolds.

"Maybe if one of us could fuse their mind with him, a compromise could be found", T'Prion suggested.

"Even because you either lock him in an empty room, or his brilliant mind will find a way to make him escape", Maximillian added.

"That is correct Admiral", an Officer replied, "actually Reynolds escaped a couple of times. We were lucky to catch him each time but surely one day he would escape definitely. And if he decided to run to the Romulans, this would be a real trouble for us".

"We need to have him on our side," the Vulcan scientist commented. "Mind meld could be a start but we need to be allowed to do it".

"I will talk with the court", Maximillian proposed.

He directly went to ask a word with the court and his proposal was accepted:

"Who will do it?" he asked.

T'Prion suggested that the Vulcan scientist, former colleague of Reynolds, could be chosen. The man accepted and was led to Reynolds' cell:

"Professor", the Vulcan scientist started, "a possibility will be offered to you, but in order to find the best agreement it is logical to fully know what you really want". He paused; Reynolds was silent. "I was allowed and required to proceed with mind meld".

"No court has the right to impose this", the human scientist protested.

"Well, if you prefer to be locked in a cell for the rest of your life…" the Vulcan replied.

"The Trial is not over yet", Reynolds replied.

"Mostly all is said and done professor, but Starfleet doesn't forget your services, or your brilliant mind. So the court agrees to search for a compromise, whose first step is mind meld. You have only one possibility Professor and I won't force you", the Vulcan stated, waiting in silence

Reynolds considered the proposal. Most of his life had been carefully scanned by investigators, secrets revealed in front of the court…he had not much more to hide, especially to a colleague he was once held in great esteem:

"Proceed", he said.

The Vulcan put his right hand on the professor's face and allowed his mind to reach Reynolds'. It was complex, imbalanced, like a computer saturated by too many data. Once the mind meld was done, the Vulcan scientist thanked Reynolds for his collaboration and assured him that they would find a satisfying compromise.

He went out and shared the information he had gotten.

The court took many hours to deliberate, there was much at stake.

Finally it was decided to expel all the High Officers from Starfleet and send them to prison for twenty years. Former Lieutenant Perkins and his men were suspended and put into a probation period with a length of time determined by their behaviour. Professor Reynolds was sent to a special area of vigilance and allowed to work with other trustworthy scientists among which his former Vulcan colleague who had volunteered for such responsibility. The court imposed regular mind meld sessions to keep in check his intentions.

Maximillian and T'Prion came back home late, wondering why Peter had not shown during the Trial, though his presence was required. Surak and his grandmother were already in bed. The couple went to sleep as silently as possible, relieved at the thought that this past story was definitely solved.

Surak wasn't sleeping, he was thinking. He had read something more on the walls of the Dragons' cave and this knowledge was a burden, a responsibility, a mission, the reason of his own existence, his destiny, yet he could not understand it. He had decided to talk, to share this knowledge with his parents, with all his people because this would save millions of lives. But each time he had attempted to speak, he had felt his mind burning. He had heard the Dragon begging him to remain silent, forbidding him to talk. He had deeply thought of it and hadn't been able to find any logic in it all. Why would the Dragon forbid him to save his own world? He invoked the Dragon and asked him to allow him to share his burden…short after, he fell asleep…

The next day was dedicated to a visit to Maximillian's parents and a walk in the surroundings.

As soon as the Admiral rang, Susan opened the door warmly greeting her brother and his family. Her mother, a smiling woman in her sixties rushed to hug her son. She politely greeted T'Prion and her mother and knelt in front of Surak:

"How beautiful you are!" she said. "I am so happy to get to know you finally".

Maximillian was moved by the scene, forgotten emotions were coming back to him, the feel of childhood, memories, smells from the past…home, he thought suddenly, yes, he came to the realization that as much as he was denying it, Earth was his home. T'Prion was still thinking that getting to know her husband's family was logical but she was fully contemplating the gap between both civilizations. This is what she had chosen though and deep inside her, she knew well that those emotional human beings had much to teach her and to give, more than she could even imagine.

Maximillian's mother led them to the living room where his father was waiting. He stared at his son for a long moment, visibly struggling to remain as cold as possible, but this couldn't last long. He greeted T'Prion, her mother, and considered Surak:

"Welcome in my house", he finally said, yet he didn't directly greet his son.

Susan put a hand on her brother's shoulder: "he will melt at some point", she whispered.

T'Prion was very interested in this human man apparently even colder than a Vulcan, but she didn't say a word about it.

They talked about many things, their life on Vulcan, Surak, life on Earth, plans for the following days. The evening passed very fast and soon came the departure moment. Maximillian promised his mother that there would be another visit before their return on Vulcan.

Once home, Surak asked his parents to come with him in the meditation room. He had come to a kind of agreement with the Dragon; he would not talk but show them something he had written. He took his notebook from his bag:

"On this, I copied all the ancient glyphs of the cave", he explained, "when I went there for the last time, I was allowed in a deeper part where we had never been before, I found the end of the Da-Kuv t'Yoshuhlnak- the Dragon Circle…I copied it here too". He handed the notebook to his parents who read together loudly first then in silence when it came to the part of the poem they had never read.

"It is talking about destruction", Surak commented.

T'Prion stared at him, "Destruction can be seen in many ways. Indeed it is talking of destruction to allow a rebirthing, evolution. This is surely symbolic".

"Nothing of this poem has been symbolic until now", Maximillian replied, "What if this was true? It is clearly talking of the destruction of Vulcan!"

"How could that logically happen?" T'Prion asked.

"There is no logic here, T'Prion! And I think we need to warn the Vulcan", Maximillian stated firmly, "Even if there is only one possibility on a million for it to happen".

"You are right", T'Prion agreed. "We will take care of this my son", she added, staring at Surak.

"I don't want to betray the Dragon", he said, fully manifesting his young age.

"He would not have allowed you to show this to us if he had not agreed", Maximillian replied.

"I asked him to allow me", the boy added.

"You did well Surak", T'Prion said.

They put the child to sleep and left his room only once they were sure he was peacefully resting:

"Maybe the Dragon gave him his Katra because his Spirit could no longer inhabit our world", T'Prion said.

"Why such a thing would happen? Suddenly…" Maximillian wondered.

"It makes no sense, yet it is our duty to warn our people", T'Prion concluded.

The next day, T'Prion contacted Sarek. She couldn't think of any other person to talk with about it. She related what Surak had shown them and made them read. There was a long silence then the Ambassador spoke:

"I have to say that I don't know what to think of this", he admitted. "I observed your son a lot, Peter, your husband, yourself, and I noticed that even though you clearly show signs of being inhabited by the Spirit of Vulcan, at times you are just yourself. At times Surak is only a five year old boy, intelligent, brilliant but still a child…"

"I thought of it too but the glyphs?" she asked.

"Ancient Glyphs can be interpreted in many ways. Their meaning and system is still very unclear to us", Sarek stated.

"So you'll do nothing?" T'Prion asked.

"I will contact the Priestess, she should know and I will transfer data to the Embassy on Earth: vital information for our civilization I should have transferred time ago. What else can I do? Surely not evacuate all Vulcan for something that may never happen. Did your son mention a precise date?" he asked.

"He only said that we won't see Vulcan again", she replied.

"So it would be this month…or never, I will go to Mount Seleya", he concluded.

Surak and Maximillian had listened to the conversation:

"Sarek is right, there is nothing more we can do", Maximillian stated.

Minutes became hours, and hours were never passing, heavy like the burden of years. The whole family had decided to remain home. T'Prion's mother had been invited to the Vulcan Embassy, for now they had decided it was useless to tell her anything.

Before she came back, the comlink rang, it was Sarek again:

"I am back from Mount Seleya, the Priestesses entered the deepest state of meditation in order to find answers; they remained very perplexed. They told me that the future seemed like dividing itself into many possibilities. They saw the destruction but they also saw its contrary. They told me they had never seen such thing before. They added that they had no idea whether it will happen or not, and when…" he paused "I have already started to transfer information and archives, we have a back-up of most archives, but I think it is logical finishing it right now. Will you turn back to Vulcan as prevised?" he asked.

"We will", T'Prion replied, Sarek greeted them and turned back to his work

Maximillian turned to Surak:

"Can you see in some way these different possibilities for the future?"

"I never see the future", he explained "I just get like a kind of knowledge of what should be done in the present, and at times flashes, like when I first thought that we wouldn't see Vulcan again, or when the Dragons gave me the egg meant to disclose on New Vulcan".

"What is New Vulcan? Where is it?" T'Prion asked.

"I don't know", he answered "I don't know everything, neither does the Spirit".

They decided to spend the next few days as prevised. Indeed Maximillian was willing to show his Vulcan family as much as possible of the Earth, at least the part of Earth he was raised up in. T'Prion was discovering many places she didn't know. She was considering with great attention how human beings were living. At times she found herself excluded and perplexed:

"It is very interesting to observe human beings, I still can't understand their behaviour. They are totally illogical most of the time. I spent 15 years on the USS Adventure but it was different, as much as I considered this crew like a family, we had missions, tasks to accomplish, no real occasions to take time to consider differences of culture". T'Prion stated, "Now my son is half human and I realize that this part of him is still a mystery for me".

"Human behaviour is mostly the result of their emotions indeed, or at least the mix between what they feel and what they think", Maximillian replied.

"What is the function of emotions?" she asked.

Maximillian thought for a while then laughed:

"You know that I had never thought of that!" he replied, "well, I guess some emotions help us recognize a danger, make choices, take decisions".

"I mostly see them as very confusing", she said.

"They surely can be confusing", Maximillian answered, "They are part of what makes the human beings dumb and great at the same time".

"Are you suggesting that my people would be greater if we had emotions?" she asked.

"I don't know, maybe it would be part of your evolution. Instead of suppressing emotions, finding a sense of balance", he replied.

"This would sound logical but not simple and probably impossible".

"Why?" he asked "Your people are awesome. I mean you are intelligent, brilliant, and full of many resources but…"

"But we are different from human beings at a physiological level. My people may appear cold to you but the truth is that we are far more sensitive than human beings, which gives us abilities such as the mind meld. But emotions for us would be overwhelming and would simply lead us to manifest the barbaric part of our nature, which you partly saw, this would be no evolution", she paused. "We have no choice we simply took the only logical decision to preserve our race from self-destruction".

"Yet I know you have emotions", he whispered.

T'Prion didn't answer, admitting it would have sounded like a defeat for her.

The next day Maximillian was contacted by Starfleet. Vulcan had sent a request of help. Indeed the planet was undergoing an abnormal seismic activity:

"So it will happen", T'Prion stated.

"We need to go there", Maximillian said and before T'Prion could reply, he asked to be included in the rescue mission but he received a negative reply: "Enough ships have been sent and are already on their way. I was ordered to inform all the Admirals of the event", the communication cut.

"This is logical", Surak intervened "We should remain here, alive, for after, this is our mission".

T'Prion attempted to contact Sarek but the communication wasn't possible.

"Maybe it is only an abnormal seismic activity", Maximillian said.

"We cannot exclude it of course", T'Prion answered.

Time passed, hours or maybe minutes that seemed hours.

Surak had reached the meditation room while Maximillian and T'Prion were waiting for any possible communication. Suddenly Surak screamed, yet it wasn't the voice of a five year old boy, it was the heart-rending cry of the Dragon. The sound of millions of voices screaming at the same time; it was the Spirit of Vulcan watching his body disappear into the cold dark space…

Maximillian and T'Prion rushed toward the room where they found their son in meditation posture, crying:

"It is happening", he said.

Maximillian knelt at his side and hugged him; tears were filling his eyes too. T'Prion was standing there, cold, motionless, until Maximillian's look crossed hers. She knelt near them and joined the hug. It was unusual for her but she could feel their pain, though she was using all her skills to deal with it and suppress it.

Once the child stopped crying, there was a sense of silence, emptiness. T'Prion got up, Maximillian imitated her still holding Surak:

"Wait", the child said, "we need to connect with those who survived".

They entered a deep state of meditation, and went through a kind of ritual; the Spirit of Vulcan supporting his people. They had just left the room when the comlink rang. Maximillian rushed:

"All the high Officers of Starfleet and all the Vulcan Officers are called for an emergency meeting", was said through the comlink.

"You need to go there", Surak said "I will remain here with my grandmother".

"Are you all right?" Maximillian asked.

"Yes, I am strong", he replied.

Admiral Spencer was there wondering the reason of this sudden convocation:

"What have I done this time?" he said, joking as usual, but Maximillian didn't laugh.

They entered the meeting room and were invited to sit down, one of the High Officers spoke:

"Something terrible has just happened", he started. "I will go straight to the point, Vulcan has been destroyed".

Maximillian was expecting this phrase but he couldn't help striking the table with his fist:

"How? Why?" he exclaimed; fully manifesting his pain and rage. T'Prion's hand grasping firmly his arm calmed him down.

The High Officer continued:

"We still need to have the details of it but it seems a rogue Romulan has caused it".

"How is it possible that a single man could do that?" Admiral Spencer intervened.

"I don't have that many answers", the High Officer said.

"How many survivors are there?" T'Prion asked.

"The survivors are estimated to be around 10,000", was the answer.

"So few", she whispered.

There was a long moment of silence. The human beings were visibly upset and none of the other Vulcan Officers had spoken, then one of them asked:

"Is it possible to contact the survivors?" he asked.

"They are on their way here", the High Officer replied, "We will contact all of you as soon as they arrived".

The High Officer had just finished talking when suddenly the Earth started to shake. Everyone got up and rushed to the windows without being able to see anything. Then it stopped just as it had started.

Everyone left the room but no information could be found at the moment.

Maximillian and T'Prion returned home. Admiral Spencer had asked if they wanted him to come too but T'Prion had replied that it was okay. Maximillian was amazed of her coldness while he was upset, wanting to scream and punch the world.

Once they reached the house, he stared at her:

"How is it possible that you feel no pain at all?" he said.

"How would pain be useful now?" she replied, "we need to rebuild our civilization, pain would only be an obstacle".

Maximillian knew she was right. At that moment he was almost wishing to have no emotions at all. He started thinking:

"When Surak first entered the library, he said that this was important. I know now why", he paused, "what about making it a kind of research center about Vulcan civilization? I mean until our people can find New Vulcan of course".

T'Prion stared at him:

"This is a very generous and helpful idea".

"I gathered all of this information exactly for this reason, I think, even though I was completely unaware of it", Maximillian replied, there was another silence. "It is weird; I don't sense anything has happened to the Dragons. They were on Vulcan, but I feel they are alive", he said.

"For some reason I am sure of that too", T'Prion replied.

Her mother appeared:

"Surak told me", she simply said.

The child was near her:

"I need to see those of my people who are still alive", he stated.

The bell on the door rang and Maximillian was surprised to see his parents there with Susan. He invited them to enter where his father started to talk:

"I strongly disagreed with many of your choices, my son", he started. "I never understood your love for Vulcan but I want to be there for you in this moment of pain", he said nothing else and hugged his son.

"I don't know what to say", his mother whispered, coming closer to T'Prion. "Is there any way we can help?" she added.

The Vulcan Commander had a moment of hesitation, she wasn't expecting this visit and all of this human warmth and tenderness, she replied:

"Surely… for now we are waiting for information but they told us the survivors will be led here on Earth".

"Well, you would say that it is logical for human beings to support your people right now, since the Vulcan helped us so much after the war", Susan started. "Plus this is what it is to be a family", she added, blinking at her brother.

Maximillian's family remained there until the comlink rang: the first survivors were on Earth.

The whole family moved. Indeed Susan had proposed to go in search of more information and offer their help, while Maximillian and the Vulcan part of the family would go in search of the survivors.

As soon as they arrived, they were directly led to Sarek who had asked to meet them.

He was changed, he didn't show any emotion, but he was looking different, older, burdened:

"I have to thank you for your warning", he started. "It allowed me to prepare somehow, and my son came just in time to save the High Council", he added.

"I wish I could have done more", T'Prion said.

"There was nothing any of you, any of us could do", he stated, "the Dragons are safe anyway. Indeed this secret project of Peter was a huge ship, able to take the Dragons away. He told me that he had worked on it for years without even knowing the reason why it was necessary, until yesterday…"

Maximillian spoke about his idea of creating a Vulcan culture center out of his library. Sarek was pleased of it and they started to talk about ways to link it with the Vulcan Embassy.

While they were still talking, Surak went exploring the surroundings; he was searching for someone. When he finally found him, he was surprised to see that the man wasn't alone. Coming closer, he became even more fascinated realizing that there were two of them, the same person: one younger and one older. When they parted, Surak ran after the older man, who considered him with attention:

"You are the son of Admiral Williams and Commander T'Prion", he stated.

"You know me?" the child replied.

"Let's say that we will know each other in the future".

The child asked: "So you have really identified a planet that could be a colony for Vulcan?"

"Yes, I did", Spock replied.

"This is wonderful", he paused, "you are doing all you can for our people".

"It is the least I can do after having…" he said, without being able to finish his phrase.

"If you burden yourself too much, you won't be able to help others carrying their burdens", the child said, then he opened the bag he had with him "As strange as it can seem, this was all written". He handled the notebook to Spock.

"Da-kuv t'Yoshuhlnak?" the man asked "It is talking about Vulcan Spirit under the form of a mythical Dragon but nothing about destruction".

"Read the end", Surak adviced. "It was written on the walls of the Dragons cave deep in Mount Seleya".

Spock went silent, the child continued:

"The Dragons were born again to lead our people. The Spirit is now spreading among us and even more when this egg will disclose on New Vulcan". He showed the Dragon egg.

Spock didn't speak, the child added:

"You will be our guide Ambassador Spock", he stated.

They went on talking for a while then they parted.

Surak reached his parents who were looking for him. They were still with Sarek and young Spock had joined them. He was in process of telling his father about his decision to remain a Starfleet Officer:

"I know it would sound logical for me to resign in order to help rebuilding our civilization, but to me it feels right to remain in Starfleet", he stated.

"It feels right?" Sarek replied in disbelief.

Surak intervened: "At times the most logical thing to do is admitting our feelings, and following them", he paused, "like when you chose to marry Spock's mother or when my mother chose to marry my father".

"This is what I think too", Spock added.

"The Spirit has chosen two half humans to manifest, two human beings and only one Vulcan", he continued. "Vulcan people taught so much to human beings. Now it is time for them to teach much to Vulcan people, if we are willing to learn".

"For now it is logical to focus on preserving our traditions", Sarek replied.

"Of course, and the Spirit is here to help with it too, but it will also inspire new traditions to be created. New Vulcan is an occasion of rebirthing and evolution for our people", the child said.

"Our future is in our hands", Maximillian added.

"This is the new dawn of Vulcan", T'Prion said.