Star Trek: Wings of the Renaissance

A Star Trek fanfiction by Andrew Joshua Talon

DISCLAIMER: This is a non-profit fan-based work of prose. Star Trek is the property of CBS and Paramount. Please support the official release.

Suref grew up in Raal'ston, the capital city of the Raal province on Vulcan. It was a center of trade with its huge spaceport, where his father worked as an engineer. His mother was a nurse at the local hospital. Suref spent his childhood wandering the streets, amazed at the aliens who lived on and visited his world. It was a bustling city, filled with beings of every description from across known space came to trade, work and live in Raal'ston. Even the architecture reflected the incredible diversity: Sleek, efficient Vulcan architecture was alongside boxy and practical Tellarite, organic-looking Terran, outrageous Bolian, and even austere Andorian. All with shopkeepers and owners from dozens of worlds.

One of his favorites was a Tellarite mechanic named Bombur, who went racing hover cars with his father on weekends. He told Suref stories about his time as chief engineer on a mining freighter beyond the frontier. Suref would listen for hours in his shop as Bombur talked about Klingons and Tholians and other hazards out on the frontier. It was truly fascinating to the young Vulcan boy, and his parents encouraged him to expand his mind.

It wasn't all fun though. Suref still remembered the day he met Mora Chai, after all.

He was taking a shortcut from his school to home, across a recreation space. Three older Vulcan boys were tormenting a young, human-looking girl. All of them were cold and cruel in their words, and not loud, but the girl was crying.

Suref walked up boldly, Bombur's stories of being a fearless frontiersbeing in his mind.

"You don't belong on our planet," the tallest Vulcan boy stated, "you're a pollutant. Your people are just whores for Earth."

"Leave her alone," Suref had stated, "you are acting badly!"

The subsequent fight... Well, Suref had lost that quite badly. He was beaten up and left lying on the ground. The boys fled. However, the girl stayed and sat with him, fussing over him.

"I'm sorry," she said, sniffling, her eyes dripping tears. "I'm sorry... Are you all right?"

"No," Suref said honestly.

"That was stupid. Fighting three guys bigger than you. Aren't Vulcans supposed to be smarter than everyone?"

"No," Suref replied, "but it is... The right thing to do."

The girl smiled, and kissed his cheek. It was electric, how the feeling warmed him up despite his bruises. He felt his green blood rise to his cheeks.

"I'm Mora," she said.

"Suref," he replied. Mora helped pull him up to his feet.

"Let me help you home..."

She did help him home. His parents were perturbed and went to the parents of the Vulcan boys. Suref didn't know what they discussed. He simply enjoyed having a friend like Mora. She was funny, and smart, and brave. Her parents were in Starfleet and she was his age. They went to the same school, and walked there and back every day together. Time continued to pass, and he grew closer with her. She wanted to join Starfleet when she grew up, and he could see the appeal.

Despite the fact his telepathic abilities were very, very basic, he could tell Mora's mind was beautiful. Warm, kind, and bright. When they were close, he felt like he could fly across the galaxy. It was illogical, but his mother and father had told him not to be ashamed of his feelings. Merely to control them.

It was the best six months and five days in his life. Or so he had thought.

He came home to see his parents sitting with a vaguely familiar figure: The tall, stern form of his Uncle Solok.

"Father, Mother, Uncle Solok," he had greeted them politely, as typical.

"Son," his father had said, "your Uncle has secured a place for you with a kohlinar master."

Suref looked aghast, for him.

"But-I thought we don't practice kohlinar!"

"Neo-Syrrannites do not," Solok stated, and it was clear his uncle did not approve of the Neo-Syrrannites, or Suref himself, "however, being an apprentice to the kohlinar master Sodon will bring you greater opportunities. Especially if you wish to join Starfleet."

"It is an excellent opportunity, Suref," his mother had said, "but it is your decision."

To join Starfleet? To follow Mora on her dream?

"I will do it," Suref said.

Solok nodded, almost approvingly. He rose and gently rested a hand on his shoulder. His telepathic presence was strong, firm and focused.

"You will achieve great things," he said.

Of course, Suref didn't know this would require being taken away from Mora. He promised he would write her, and she tearfully hugged and kissed him goodbye. He found this very nice, indeed. The fact he was not betrothed, like most Neo-Syrrannite Vulcans, meant that when he became a man he could join with her in marriage.

The training was difficult. His mind was shaped and sharpened, akin to metal being heated and forged. His uncle Solok often visited with Sodon, working their minds against his. His childhood memories were locked away, as he found new ways to use his incredible mind. He learned of the great heritage of the Vulcans. Of the mysteries that could be revealed when all emotions were tightly controlled and buried.

He thought of Mora less and less. He still wrote letters to her, of course. Suref had promised to. But the satisfaction it brought him became less and less. It was simply another task before him.

When he met Mora again, it was at Starfleet Academy. She had grown into a tall, beautiful woman with long, dark hair in curls and a bright smile. Her mind was still as bright and warm as ever... But it met his newly hardened, steel forged defenses. She had been dismayed, at first, yet also impressed. They courted for a time throughout the Academy. He focused on Tactical, she focused on Intelligence. They were together again...

Yet the defenses he had erected had held. Her mind kept trying to break into his, desperate to join with his. He had mind melded with his uncle and Master Sodon, but Mora's chaotic mind seemed to threaten everything he had worked for.

His Vulcan superiority.

It had come to a head at a suitably romantic cafe in San Francisco. The moon had been full. The stars were bright. The food was adequate.

Yet the barriers between them were as strong as ever.

"You're doing all this to try and appease me, when you know what I want," Mora insisted. "Why won't you let me in?"

"I cannot," Suref explained. "It is not what I desire. Your chaotic emotions."

"Then why are we dating in the first place then?" Mora demanded. She glared at him. "What do you think this is, huh? Not very logical to date me if you have nothing in it but a promise!"

"I..." He had paused. His control was shaken. It always was shaken around her. "It is... Preferable to be with you than not."

"But you can't explain why?" Mora growled. "You can't even let me in?"

His uncle's disapproving expression flashed in his mind. He knew how he felt about non-Vulcans. The part of him in his mind knew exactly how Solok felt about this... Dalliance.

"I cannot," he said. "It is too-"

"You're afraid, and you can't even say it," Mora stated, her dark eyes probing his. He was silent, his emotions threatening to boil over.

"This control," he said, "is how we came together. How I am here-"

"What's the point of it if you deny your feelings?!" Mora demanded. "Vulcans share their feelings via touch telepathy! I understand that! So why not with me?!"

"... Because you are not Vulcan," he said quietly, shame rearing itself deep inside him.

Mora stared at him as though he had struck her. She shook her head slowly.

"Being a Vulcan isn't being a bastard," she stated, quiet and angry, "being a Vulcan isn't what made me love you."

She stood up and stalked off, her head held high. She would be crying, but she wouldn't let him see it. He sat at the table, silent, hearing the murmuring of the other patrons around him.

He felt like cold stone. Yet it was for the best, his uncle's presence in his mind reminded him. His future counted on being a proper Vulcan. To be as his uncle wanted him to be.

As he wanted to be.

Didn't he?

Eris pulled back from Suref's mind, panting in exhilaration as her sweat beaded across her forehead. Suref was breathing hard too, but his Vulcan discipline kept him focused on the ceiling. The Vorta telepath smirked down at him, as her assistant worked quietly in the background of the interrogation room.

"Haa... You know, I'm glad you turned out to be a challenge," Eris admitted, "compared to the other Federation citizens we fought. Such deep conviction and control makes pulling your secrets out far more enjoyable."

Suref closed his eyes briefly.

"Your torment of me is part of your duties then?" Suref asked. Eris laughed, running her fingers over the front of her tunic.

"It makes my duty more enjoyable," she stated, "and testing the limits of the abilities the Founders have given me." She smiled unpleasantly, and pressed her fingers against his face once more.

"Now then," she said, "as pleasant as it was experiencing the pain and trauma of your life, I do have more pressing matters to attend to. Why are you here?"

Suref strained, but the information came into Eris' mind. Faster now, as though his resistance was spent.

"The Defiant is officially overdue," Commander Shran said in the briefing room. They'd spent weeks of training in the new Valkyrie fighters, and Suref and Mora had been assigned to the same craft for most of their exercises. It had brought up so many emotions, deep and lingering-

"Nice to know," Eris stated, "but not relevant."

She sifted through the memories, making Suref's mind scream in agony even as he remained silent. Eris smiled as she found the rest of the briefing.

"So what's the plan, Commander?" Nick Lorcano asked flippantly. He'd proven himself to be an able pilot, but his attitude still grated on everyone. Sito Jaxa was his backseater, and even she was straining to put up with him sometimes. Shran, however, was unaffected. The tall Andorian remained stoic in front of his pilots.

"Simple," he said, "we're going to find out what the Dominion has done with our people... And make sure they know we're tired of being pushed around."

"Has a counter strike been authorized by Starfleet Command?" Suref asked. Shran gave a wry smile, and Suref recalled the commander wearing that same expression when he defended the young Vulcan at his court martial.

"Officially we are going in for search and rescue," Shran stated, "however, if we end up in a situation where fire must be exchanged... We will win." He leaned forward, making sure every pilot could look him in the eyes. "There are strategic considerations here, as well. The Dominion thinks we'll just lay back and take whatever they do to us. This is a dangerous precedent and all but encourages them to continue to attack us. Captain Sisko agreed with me, but as Starfleet officers, we need to try to make the effort to find a peaceful solution to a conflict."

The tall Andorian nodded.

"If that attempt fails, and it seems clear it has," he stated, "then to show further weakness is to invite further attack."

Andross sat up in his seat, clearing his throat.

"Even with our new fighters," Andross pointed out, "I'm not sure how much damage we can do, sir. Especially since we'll probably be outnumbered."

Shran chuckled darkly, his smile resembling an Earth shark.

"It was an ancient Earth general who said 'All warfare is deception'. We Andorians have a similar saying. We'll be taking a Karemma freighter Starfleet Intelligence bought for us to the nearest Dominion starbase. Our fighters will ride inside, staying hidden until the right time. Meanwhile, an away team will get into the ground facilities of the starbase, and copy all the data from the Dominion computers they can so we can find out where the Defiant is, and get a better picture of our enemy."

He looked over at Mora and Suref. "

It will, however, be a big ask. It will require a great deal of you both. If you refuse it, I'll understand-"

"It's my job to do this kind of thing, Commander," Mora said, "and I'm best equipped to handle it." She looked over at Suref, and gave him a timid smile. She was expecting an answer. It was perhaps unfair of her to ask him this in front of everyone else, but given how he had treated her, Suref supposed it was natural.

He wasn't doing this just to make amends though.

"There is no need," Suref said with a nod, "the plan is logical. We will proceed."

Eris paused in her explorations, and frowned deeply at Suref.

"Plan?" She demanded, "what plan? What were you plotting?"

Suref stared at her in silence. Eris snorted and grasped his temple again.

"I asked as a courtesy," she snorted, "as your mind is now too damaged to resist me."

She dove in... And met the metal equivalent of a stone wall. Confused, Eris tried to piece his defenses again, the exact same way she had before. Again, nothing. In her frustration, Eris put both of her hands on both sides of Suref's face, and pushed as hard as she could. Suref gritted his teeth, his defenses straining to keep her out. Eris grinned savagely, and gave it her all!

She got a few memories... Flashes. Nothing useful... Then, at last, she got a view of the inside of the crashed runabout they had found an unconscious Suref in. Mora was in the co-pilot's seat, giving him a warm smile.

"Ready for this?" She asked.

Suref nodded.

"Always," he said.

Suref reached out and touched her temples. Mora stared deeply into his eyes, as he began the Vulcan mind meld.

"My mind to your mind... My thoughts, to your thoughts..."

Suref stared into Mora's eyes, those familiar pools comforting to him. Something had bothered Eris about those eyes from the moment she'd begun the interrogation. Indeed, many things had bothered Eris about this Mora Chai from the moment she'd appeared in Suref's memories.

It was only upon seeing through Suref's eyes and gazing deeply into Mora's that Eris finally realized what that niggling feeling had been about.

Mora looked like a human in every respect... Save for one. Her eyes were completely black, without visible irises.

There was only one species in the Federation that fit that description.

"A Betazoid-?" Eris gasped... Just as her assistant Vorta pulled a phaser and shot her in the back. "AUGH!"

The Vorta fell off the interrogation table, her lifeless eyes still locked in shock and surprise. The "Vorta" touched her belt, and the holographic disguise vanished. Mora immediately rushed over to Suref, pressing a hand to his cheek tenderly as her other hand went about undoing his restraints. A glowing yellow computer core hung from her belt.

"You okay?" She asked urgently, "it was hard managing her, even with my help-"

"I will live," Suref said gently. He glanced at the glowing yellow device she had affixed to her belt. "Did you-?"

Mora smirked and nodded.

"Of course," she said, "that bitch was so obsessed with you, she wouldn't have seen me if I'd decided to drag their central computer core out of here!"

"Unlikely, but fitting," Suref replied. He tapped his commbadge. "Joker to Icebreak. Mission accomplished."

"Acknowledged Joker," Shran spoke over the commlink, "Phase 2 underway. Stand by for transport."

The space elevator of Kurill Prime had been one of the few remaining megastructures on the planet after the Dominion conquered it. They had subsequently taken control of it and upgraded it substantially with their technology, turning it into a massive starbase that controlled most of their operations in the sector the wormhole was located in. Even now, multiple Jem'hadar fighters and cruisers were docked at the oval-shaped station, held in purple-highlighted docks and hangars. A multitude of Karemma vessels were also docked with the huge station, here to either drop off supplies or to take on goods or personnel to transfer elsewhere.

One of these freighters had arrived shortly after the crash of a Federation runabout, claiming it was stopping for repairs. It stated it was suffering many mechanical failures, hence why numerous Vorta technicians were now waiting at airlocks that simply refused to open. EPS umbilical lines had been extended to the ship, plugging it into Kurill Starbase's power grid.

Abruptly, the warp core of the freighter began to redline, and the flow of power from the Starbase abruptly reversed. EPS conduits were hit with a sudden rush of unexpected power, and the Vorta technicians across the station worked furiously to compensate. They shut down EPS conduits, tried to redirect the flow wherever possible.

They may have succeeded in stopping the overload... If the Karemma freighter's warp core hadn't gone critical and exploded in that moment.

The blast tore through the docking ring of the station, ripping apart Jem'hadar fighters and detonating their cores. Forcefields were erected, power was diverted, but the sheer force killed power to more than half of the station. Hull breaches were torn open and Vorta and Jem'hadar alike were sent into the vacuum.

Out of this brilliant explosion, white and black Valkyrie fighters flew, like avenging angels emerging from a sun. In one of these fighters, Suref and Mora materialized in their seats. Suref immediately affixed his harness, as Mora did the same. They were without flight suits and thus would be more vulnerable to gee forces and decompression.

Suref did not concern himself with this though, as Commander Shran's voice roared over the commlink.

"Jolly Roger Squadron: BREAK AND ATTACK!"

Sorry it took so long to get this going again, but I hope you enjoyed.