Moments At Gol - Spock
I – am.
I am told that there is no one with my experience in living memory. I am told that the process I underwent, the fal-tor-pan, is so rare as to be almost unheard of, and that it took considerable effort on my father's part to convince the adepts that the procedure should go ahead. It was only the extraordinary circumstances of the situation, most notably the deleterious effect of the katra on Dr McCoy combined with the fortuitous existence of my regenerated body, that convinced them.
I have heard that certain aspersions were cast regarding the question of my father's emotional control. Nevertheless, he succeeded in his persuasion, and so I am. I exist.
As yet I feel I exist in some species of void, or rather that the void is within my own mind. There are – patches of knowledge, patches of instinct. I have been told that instinct is something of which to be wary, because very often instinct and emotion goes hand in hand, and emotion is undesirable. I confess I am not entirely certain why emotion must be undesirable. It is true that certain memories that surface in my mind are painful, but it is equally true that some are comforting. For instance, I have a strong memory of my head against my mother's breast. I could not say how old I was at the time but I am aware that she was younger, and so was I. I am aware that the feeling was pleasant and that all felt well with me at that time.
Conversely I have memories of intense anger. I recall pulling my fist back and swinging it forward so as to make contact with the nasal bone of a young boy, and the shock of blood, green as al'hart, suddenly surging down his face. I recall holding an object of some kind, something squat, square, up above a golden-haired head, and being quite ready to slam it down in an act which would have crushed my captain's skull. Perhaps the adepts are correct about emotion. But is it not possible to control the negative while embracing the positive?
That is not a thought I will express often to my tutors, I think. I do notice a certain degree of wariness on their part, as if they are attempting to ascertain quite how far I am broken and if it is perhaps possible that I cannot be repaired. My mother has told me that one of my defining characteristics is, or was, stubbornness, and I am quite determined to succeed in this attempt to rebuild my mind.
Outside it is very hot, another thing to which I shall have to accustom myself. It is evident that I spent the greater portion of my youth enduring such temperatures, but the initial stages of my regeneration were on a planet which was considerably cooler than this, and on a ship also set to human comfort levels. I must acclimatise to the heat of my native planet, and it is something I attempt each day now. I walk out onto the spreading rocks of the plateau and I feel the heat of the sun through the soles of my feet. The rock is smooth and pleasant against my skin. I am growing to find the stark heat of the sun on my head and shoulders equally pleasant, although to take pleasure in both sensations is, of course, an emotion which I must strive to eliminate. I must think, the rocks against my feet are hot and smooth, not, the smooth, hot rocks against my feet give a pleasant sensation.
As I raise my eyes to the sun I squint. I do not know if others of my race squint when they look at the sun. This simply serves to underline how much I have yet to learn. I am fully cognisant of the scientific principles of space warp, but I do not know if I should squint when I look at the sun. I spent a considerable time in the early days reconciling myself to the fact that when I wish my hand to move, it moves, and when I wish my feet to walk, they walk. I spent time learning that thoughts within my head can be translated to words spoken via my lips and tongue. All of this is progress.
This is all expected and I should not evince surprise. However, I do find this learning process fascinating.
There is some kind of winged creature flying in the thin air. It cuts across the sun, makes a noise like metal streaking across metal, and dives as if to capture prey. I do not know the name of the creature, so I take careful note of its appearance and size so as to consult the computer when I return inside. Now I have been allowed access to the teaching computers I can discover almost anything I want to know, although there are, of course, restrictions.
The material I most desire to access is contraband. The adepts desire that I recover my memory gradually and naturally. I am quite aware that there is a vast bank of logs amassed from my service in Starfleet, both official and personal, but these I have not been permitted to see. I wish to know more about those figures that loom so large in my thoughts and feelings. The Captain – or the Admiral, I should say – who seems very dear to me. Dr McCoy, who provokes emotions both of friendship and irritation. I am – confused – by the way they manifest in my mind. I am not supposed to feel affection, friendship, irritation. Am I to deny myself friendship?
One thing I know I must do. I must go to Earth to stand trial with my shipmates – for the Admiral and Dr McCoy are my shipmates, as are Uhura, Sulu, Chekov, Mr Scott. They risked their all to recover what they thought to be my dead body. They lost a ship. The Admiral lost a son. I am not sure that I totally understand what provoked a sacrifice of this magnitude in order to recover what they believed to be no more than my deceased remains, but nevertheless, they did this. My mother told me, They have sacrificed their futures because they believed that the good of the one – you – was more important to them.
I think my learning curve in the vicinity of human illogic and emotion may grow very steep in the coming weeks.
I have spent enough time in thought. I must speak to my tutors. I must take my leave of my parents and of Saavik, who will not be coming to Earth. I am, at least, spared the task of packing my possessions, since all that I possess is the robe that I stand in. I know that the repairs and modifications to the Klingon bird of prey are almost complete, and as soon as they are complete the Admiral will feel it his duty to leave the planet.
And yet I still find myself in thought. There is a conflict in my mind between what I have been taught over the previous weeks and what my mind attempts to tell me. I recall a moment, what some might call an epiphany – an extraordinary mind-meld between myself and a vast mechanical entity known as V'Ger. I recall that before there was emptiness, and after a kaleidoscope of feeling which I found almost impossible to process. I recall feelings of sadness, love, joy. These are all the things I am told I must eliminate in order to be restored to Vulcan.
Memories rise like bubbles in water. Standing in a briefing room a long, long time ago, with emotion surging through me, I don't remember why.
Jim, when I feel friendship for you, I'm ashamed.
Lying on a biobed in sickbay, reaching out my hand, the feeling of the Captain's fingers closing around mine.
Jim, this simple feeling is so far beyond V'Ger's comprehension.
This simple feeling...
I do not know exactly what else I need to discover. The nature of discovery is such that one's goals are often obscured. But I know that there is little left for me to discover on Vulcan. I know that half of my journey lies on Earth, and with my flawed, feeling, human friends.