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Chapter Notes: Segue to a Vulcan ship that has picked the three up from the Gavin III. To get the background between the two protagonists of this chapter read (or listen to) "Motherhood” and its sequel, “Fatherhood”

The doors of the darkened sickbay quietly slid open to admit a tall, middle-aged Vulcan, however the senses of the single, totally paralysed patient in the room had been honed through decades of battle. "Who is there?"

"You know my name."

The voice from the bed paused for a second, "T'Lor! It has been too long."

"It is you who never sought me out."

"We did not part well, you were disappointed that I turned away from your Vulcan teachings and followed the ways of my forebears."

"It was not for me to choose. You have had...” the Vulcan paused, "an eventful life.

"And now it is over. I know. The space beast's energy drain has started an irrevocable shut down of my nervous functions. Why did you come? Surely not for a sentimental farewell?"

A rattling laugh that sank into a gurgling coughing fit came from the biobed as an eyebrow was raised in the darkness.

"I came to return something that belongs to you."

T'Lor slid something from his waist that gleamed dully, a D'K Tahg, the ceremonial knife of the Klingons, which he held before Kirok's eyes!

“The Heart of L'Stok! Handed down from Karvac, the first of the L'Stoks. What more fitting way for me to die than that the person who was there at the start of my life should be there at the end of my life! I am asking you vav to help me perform the hegh'bat, to help me end this life with some dignity.”

The Vulcan's face was as inscrutablebut his words cut like a knife. "The House of L'Stok is no more. Your warriors and ships - L'Stok Hall itself! - they are all gone. All wasted on a grab for power that was doomed to failure"

The old Klingon gave a mocking laugh, "Aye, all wasted."

"What if I told you there was an option. A way that you could not only live on but achieve the greatness and honour that you so crave?"

"I would say that you are suggesting a half-life sustained by Vulcan science but devoid of honour. I have chosen to live as a Klingon and wish to die a Klingon. To feast in the halls of Sto Vo Kor with my ancestors..."

With a cold disdain the Vulcan sniffed. "Then, Kirok of the house of L'Stok, I would say that you are a coward for giving up when there is a hope of life, honour and glory."

A gasping, rattling breath heaved from the the broken creature, spots of blood-flecked sputum spraying upwards from his paralysed head as his wild, staring eyes struggled to look at his tormentor.

"Kill me! Kill me now! For if you do not, I swear I will find a way of getting up from this bed and tearing the life from your throat!"

The corner of T'Lor's mouth twitched in it's effort to hold back the Vulcan equivalent of a grin. “That is the Kirok I knew.”


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