Sarek's eyes gazed over the horizon of the Vulcan forge. The deep red sand was being swept up by the eastern winds and started to spiral in the air. The refraction of the air bounced off the desert floor giving the horizon a wavy look of scorching temperatures. Sarek could feel the small nuances of the temperature starting to decrease and he soon calculated that the sun would completely set in 35.23 minutes. The cry of a le-matya was heard in the distance. He let out a controlled breath. A small sense of confusion had been plaguing his consciousness for a few hours now. The time he just allocated to meditation did little to dispel it. His work as an astrophysicist at the Vulcan Science Academy had been grueling the last 6 months. The Terran's demanded new chemical weapons that could destroy whole worlds, galaxies, and universes with a project they named Satev-tukh. At the beginning of Project Satev-tukh Sarek calculated that the likelihood of success for the project would be as low as 3.24%. He was ordered by his father to lead the research team even with it having such a low success rate. Yet he continued out of honor and service to his father but also to the Emperor. The research his team was collecting was mostly inconclusive until only just 4.1 hours ago.
The mornings in Vulcan during the summer were relentless in their heat even by Vulcan standards. Sarek went through his normal grooming routine and put on his traditional clan robes. He grabbed the Terran Empire pin that sat on a counter to his sonic and attached it to his outfit. He gathered his PADDs and took his leave of his clan's ancestral home. He was escorted in a hover car towards Shi'kahr. It skyline was filled with ancient Vulcan architecture. Symbols of the Terran Empire were plastered on nearly every building. Holo projections of the Emperor were shown with her victories and strengths as reminders to the Vulcan people of who was protecting them.
Sarek made it to Vulcan Science Academy and went to the restricted part of the building after verifying his identity. As he entered the research lab with 4 other colleagues they stood up and bumped their right fist to their chests and extended their arms straight out. Sarek mirrored the Terran salute before everyone sat down.
T'Lara, an older Vulcan woman spoke first, "Greetings, Sarek. We are honored to be serving the Terran Empire."
"Your service honors the Terran Empire. What are the simulation results of Phase 1.4 in variable 2.4?"
"The simulation came back as unsuccessful. The synthetic dilithium became too unstable in the transfer of energy to the device to be used properly."
"I see. We will need to keep testing all 500.45 variables in Phase 1.4 before we can move onto Phase 1.5."
"Affirmative, I will run the rest of the variables today and through the night."
Sarek made his way through the rest of the team. They were all busy on their PADDs and running test in the lab. Sarek sat at his desk and reviewed the various PADDs that his team had left on his desk. Each report detailed the usage of dilithium crystals and the potential each had in destroying a planet. All of them were inconclusive.
He looked at Phase 1.3 Variable 3.5, the amount of dilithium crystals needed in this simulation was catastrophic. It would deplete all of the Terran Empire's resources if they used Project Satev-tukh to obliterate 3 different Class J planets.
Each result for all of Phase 1.3 was the same. The probability of using phaser power for creating a super weapon that could destroy planets was looking 10,568,000.765 to 1. The number seemed to be growing day by day. The research was thorough in nature but no solutions were presenting themselves. For the next hours Sarek continued to run simulations by adding new variables and altering the equations but the results were always unsuccessful.
Sarek reviewed the project data file they were briefed on when they started. He looked at the method for how Qo'nos was destroyed. It was through a simple method but only because of the geographical make up of the planet. When Sarek read the file for the project the first time he automatically ruled out that it would be impossible to replicate the same conditions because of the infinite variables that various planets had. The purpose of Project Satev-tukh was to create one solution for this problem.
Sarek went through the Vulcan Science Academy data archive looking for a different alternative to dilithium crystals. Sarek eyebrows raised slightly when he saw a file titled 'Case Study: Type 1 Star as a Power Alternative for Deep Space Stations' written before the Terran Empire ruled over Vulcan. It was old but Sarek opened the file.
His eyes examined each piece of data and absorbed every word. The research was disregarded since most type 1 and class V stars were considered necessary to preserving life and equilibrium to many solar systems. The technology from that time was not able to harvest that type of energy. Now that it had been a few centuries since the data file was written, the advances could certainly make it possible, but even the thought of taking energy from a star made Sarek feel uneasy. His face remained emotionless but the feeling stirred inside of him. He tried to shake the feeling and focus on his research. He did so for another 1.2 hours until his mind connected the research together and looked into black holes. The energy from a black hole had the power to absorb universes and planets. The science and engineering behind it would likely take decades but it was entirely possible.
They would have to recreate a substance that once activated could turn into a blackhole and absorb a planet. Once Sarek came to the conclusion the uneasy feeling he had returned. A weapon patterned on something so destructive could potentially annihilate the entire Terran Empire if it wasn't used properly. He tried to shake the feeling as he started to organize the data files on his PADD but as he did so the burden of the information started to weigh on him. It was illogical for him to feel this way, he had never felt this way when working on this project. In that moment, he realized that the success rate would go up 71.4% if he divulge this information he had gathered. Was it worth the risk of withholding information and getting executed, but save trillions of lives in the process? Was it logical to break a law to do this? If anyone mind melded with him would he be able to hide his findings? He battled with these questions for an unknown amount of time until Vorlik approached him.
"Sarek, I found the results of Phase 1.3 Variable 44.3 most fascinating. I suggest you look at my findings."
Sarek looked over the data. It was not very different from the other result. He handed back the PADD. "I suggest you look over variable 41.2 and do a side-by-side comparison of the data."
Vorlik walked away and Sarek was left to decide if he should delete the data file he was working on. It would be a small act of rebellion if he did so. Sarek let out a controlled breath and deleted the file. Someone on his team would figure it out eventually but if he could delay it for as long as he could then it would hinder unnecessary destruction. Sarek tried to justify his own logic by thinking that in his own way he was serving the Terran Empire.
An uncharacteristic shiver went down his spine as he recalled the events from earlier in the day. He may have committed a small act of treason. He started to feel a small sense of fear concerning the consequences but the uneasiness he felt because of his research was stronger. Sarek tried to squelched the emotion and continued to stare at the vastness of the desert. Only this morning he thought that he was doing the greatest of service to the Terran Empire now he couldn't shake the illogical emotion that he was the one destroying it all.
The more he tried to organize his thoughts about this matter the more the beginning of an illogical hatred for the Terrans started to grow inside of him. For the first time in his 62.2 years of life, he was questioning the logic of his father and the whole Terran Empire.
He blindly followed in the path his father, Skon, created with blood and greed for years. He thought nothing of it until today. A life taken was a logical means to getting power and influence, but now he was not sure that was true. Something in his katra always knew that maybe this wasn't the true Vulcan way, but what was the solution to this growing turmoil inside of him? In that moment, he decided to attribute his emotions to an insufficient amount of sleep and meditation. He was still a loyal subject of the Terran Empire. He had to be since his father was Governor of Vulcan. He had no choice. He could always regather the information and present it later and then no one would ever know of his lapse in logic. In the coming days he would meditate over this and never question the Terran Empire again.
"Sarek." The baritone voice drew him out of his ruminations. He collected his emotions and turned around to face his own cousin Selek.
Immediately, he saw his cousin hit his right fist against his chest and move his arm straight out in front of him. Sarek returned the Terran salute. Selek had light brown wavy hair that was in a traditional Vulcan cut. His facial hair only covered the area around his mouth as was customary with Vulcan males. Yet he had a scar on his chin that was 1.23 inches long and .13 inches wide where his facial hair did not grow.
"Greetings Selek. I trust that the service you render at the Terran-Vulcan Imperial Academy is going according to your will."
"Affirmative, the graduating class will have a death tournament in 2.5 days to determine who will be given a first officer title when they graduate." Selek said matter-of-factly, and then continued, "I hear you are working on a project that brings service and honor to the Emperor herself."
"Correct. It is currently confidential and cannot be discussed with anyone but the Emperor and her Governors."
"I see. Yet I am your cousin who only wishes to serve thee."
Sarek took a step closer to Selek and slightly raised his eyebrow, "Your only wish should be to serve the Terran Empire. I sense there is more to your motives. I must tell my father about this."
Selek's face had a subtle moment of discomfort, "That will not be necessary. I only wish to serve the Emperor by assisting you, cousin."
"I suggest we change the topic of this conversation. I will not share class 5 restricted information with you. It would be a matter of my own life and even your own. Do you understand, cousin?"
The Vulcans' faces remained stoic and they stood in silence as the unspoken tension filled the room. Selek finally conceded with a nod.
"Very well. I wanted to inform you that the House was gathering for end meal."
Sarek walked next to his cousin as they both exited the balcony. "Selek, is the health of your bondmate T-Letya positive?"
"She is in good health. I received a deep space comm from her 2.1 days ago. Her ship the, ISS Forge, has recently taken down a Klingon insurgent group at Barisa Prime in the Delta Quadrant. I assume you have seen it on the Official Imperial Holonews?"
"I have. Her work is thorough and most effective."
"May the matriarch find you a bondmate with such qualities soon." Selek replied almost smugly.
Sarek knew exactly what he was referring too. Anger started to fill Sarek and he felt for the dagger in his robe and clutched it for a brief moment before letting it go. It would do him no good to kill his cousin.
"Skon requested we not speak of the dishonor that T-Rea brought our clan." Sarek controlled the emotions on his face well, but the anger in his eyes were there.
"Understood. I did not mention her name. You formulated those conclusion. I was only stating a logical fact about your unbonded status. Your Time is approaching, cousin."
Sarek stared at Selek for a long moment before he continued to walk down the corridor.
They continued their walk in silence. They finally made it to the kitchen where the rest of the clan was taking their end meal. Skon saw his father at the far end of the table. The man had traditional Vulcan hair that was mostly white. His facial hair and eyebrows were still grey. He had a severe look on his face at all times. The maroon robes draped around his frame and his Terran Empire pin was proudly placed on his garments. Skon's dark eyes held a relentlessness and totalitarian sense of power that demanded respect. The most defining characteristic about him was not from his appearance but the entourage that was constantly present when he was in a room. He had 2 menacing bodyguards that were standing near him at all times.
Even though there had been multiple attempts at murdering Skon, he had lived through over 60 years of being the Governor to Vulcan. His value was of the utmost importance to the Emperor because the Vulcan people equally respected and feared him as their representative.
Skon's eyebrow lifted up slightly at the sight of Sarek and Selek's late appearance at end meal. Both males prepared their plates and sat at their respective places. Sarek sat next to his mother, T'Rama, who gave him a silent look and returned to her meal. Silence returned to the room as everyone ate their meals. Sarek stared at his plomeek soup and saffir. He was reminded of the puzzling events of the day, and the illogical feeling of guilt that was omnipresent in him for the last 5.3 hours. Many of the different clan members started to depart as they finished eating leaving only him and his father who had been done eating for a few minutes.
Sarek finished his meal and Skon was still at the table waiting for him to finish. His father wanted something from him but he hoped it did not involve Project Satev-tukh. Skon waved for his guards to leave the room.
"Son, I have been summoned by the Overlord of Vulcan to be part of the Terran Empire Delegation. The Emperor requests thy presence with me."
Sarek raised his eyebrow slightly in response but recovered quickly, "I am honored by her request. I question what her motives may be?"
"I know not. We cannot foresee what purposes she intends. It would be illogical to speculate on such. It should be thy desire to serve the Emperor with her request."
"I also have another request, one of a personal nature."
Sarek waited for his response.
Skon opened his mouth again to speak, "I wish for thee to take my position of Governor once I have passed."
Sarek looked slightly aghast and tried to choose his words carefully, "I...I do not desire the position of Governor. I simply want to serve the Terran Empire through my current occupation."
Skon's face hardened slightly, "Thou doest not wish to serve the Empire in a most honorable way? To reject my will is illogical."
"I do not reject your will. I wish to serve the Terran Empire through my work as an astrophysicist."
"I did not send thee to the Terran-Vulcan Learning Center and give thee extensive training in Suus Mahna for it to be under utilized. Thou must be prepared for the necessary lives that must be taken for thy rightful place as Governor."
"Father, you have an estimated 23.3 standard years left as Governor. I do not see the logic in discussing this any further."
The volume of Skon's voice increase ever slightly, "If thou will not heed my words on this matter. I will discuss something of a different importance, such as thy unbonded status."
Sarek clenched his jaw slightly. It was the second time he had heard this in less than 3 hours. It was something his clan did not stop informing him of. He saw the anger seething from his father's eyes as he brought up his lack of a bondmate.
"Thou has not accepted any of the options T'Rama and T'Pau have chosen thee. Thou hast a year left."
"I am aware. However, we can discuss this more after the Terran Empire Delegation."
"I see thy talent in pivoting topics of discussion which would be useful for position of Governor. Very well. We depart in 3 standard days at 0230. Depart from me."
Sarek rose and offered the Terran salute. His father mirrored his actions and Sarek left the room to head to his private quarters.
The events of the day were perplexing to say the least. Sarek would need to meditate over many things. He was unbonded and he had an illogical train of thought most of the day concerning the Empire.
The added pressure of obtaining the governorship was adding an unprecedented amount of tension inside Sarek. He did not feel like he had sufficient time to prepare nor did he want the power and public exposure the position would give him. He knew his father would assassinate or dispose of anyone or anything that would stop Sarek from getting the position. His choices were limited and he knew soon he must respect his Father's wishes. With a small sigh, Sarek donned his meditation robes and went to meditate.