I must be crazy. Shiarrael could hear the damn thing roaring wildly behind her as she let out a hurried sigh. Her boots dug into the sand kicking up a trail of dust behind her as she trudged forwards towards the boulder ahead of her. "Sehlat!" She cursed- if she only had a phaser or a disruptor that worked she would have vaporized it. A groan escaped her lips as she neared the boulder- behind her the roaring grew louder and more fierce. How can something so big run so fast?! Her foot caught a rock obscured beneath the sand causing her stumble forwards.
"Fvadt!" She cursed as she danced awkwardly into the boulder. The beast was so close she could almost feel the warmth of its breath in the cold Vulcan night. Her fingers feverishly searched the smooth face of the boulder for any nook she could use to climb up. Finally finding a small groove she slipped her fingers into it and pulled herself up. She repeated the process until she finally found herself atop the cold rock and laid on her back to catch her breath. Beneath her she could hear the Sehlat pacing around fervently. "They say you are persistent creatures." She hissed and pushed herself onto her knees crawling to the edge of the boulder to look down at the Sehlat "you want to eat me?" She asked.
Bathed in the crimson light of Vulcan's burning sister planet t'Khut the Sehlat looked up at her with bright yellow eyes and roared. Shiarrael shrugged and felt around the top of the boulder until she found a loose rock "damn you and your Vulcan kin" she tossed it down hitting the Sehlat on the head causing it to shake and let loose a second roar "oh, you won't shut up?" She found another and pegged it on the head ahead. Falling back onto the boulder she sighed "ridiculous..." looking up at the burning T'Khut she let out a frustrated groan and closed her eyes.
Hot...Shiarrael stirred slowly feeling the intense baking heat of the Vulcan sun searing on her exposed flesh. Her eyes opened to painful brightness as she sat up shaking the sand from her hair. How long have I been here? She wondered before searching through her pack for the canteen of water. After a minute a searching Shiarrael realized it was missing. "I must have dropped it running from that damn Sehlat." She slowly pulled herself to the edge of the boulder, hands burning on the heated rock, and peered over the edge to see if the beast was still hunting her. But as she peered over all she noticed were waves of windswept sand framing the bottom edges of the boulder. "At least they are not foolish enough to be out in this heat" she commented dryly before slinging the pack over her back and slowly sliding down the rock.
She walked, and walked...the Vulcan desert was an endless, arid, hell. "How Ironic should I die here." She stared at the waves of the heat radiating off the hot sand that distorted the horizon into a rusty ocean. She licked her chapped lips with a dry tongue. She took one final step forward before succumbing the Vulcan wilderness . Her eyes rolled into the back of her head as she collapsed into the dry sand.
Water. Her tongue touched the wetness as drops trickled across her dry lips and into her mouth. Her eyes slowly opened and she looked up to find a Vulcan woman standing over her ringing the moisture out of a wet rag. The woman smiled apparently noticing the now roused Romulan. She turned and shouted to someone in that ancient tongue which Shiarrael so disliked. "Where am I?" Shiarrael asked in standard and attempted to sit up but was quickly pushed back by the woman.
Shiarrael slapped the woman's hand off of her and sat up- agitation creased across her forehead as she looked around the dusty cavern. Amber light filtered in through the entrance where a shadow was just making his way in. Shiarrael watched the stranger with caution as the Vulcan woman who had been tending to her stood up and nodded to the new arrival.
"She is exactly as describe Surol- very irascible." The woman grinned at Shiarrael as the shadow pulled away the hood of his dark brown robe revealing a young Vulcan male- poised with sharp features he smiled and directed his pale blue eyes towards the Romulan with a smile.
"Indeed- it is a very refreshing expression, anger."
"Are you mocking me?" Her eyes narrowed suspiciously. When Shiarrael noticed the woman something bothered her- and this feeling of intense anxiety only amplified when the man revealed his face. She cocked her head and studied them for a short moment before letting out a tense breath "you're Vulcan?" their features told her they were...but those expressions! "How strange- does it hurt to smile? Do not strain yourselves."
Surol laughed "it is odd for our people yes- but as I am sure you are well aware Captain: we do feel- we do have emotions. While my brothers may choose to bury them beneath a layer of logic- some of us have chosen to embrace our emotions." He beckoned her to come with him as he turned around and started towards the entrance "since you seemed healed, please follow me."
Shiarrael stood up and picked up her jacket which had been neatly folded next to her. She casually nodded at the woman and followed Surol while slinging the jacket over her shoulder "I don't understand- I am not familiar with Vulcan tradition. I was under the impression that all Vulcan's subscribed to emotionless logic. That such logic, is what make's Vulcans such higher beings." She finished her statement with dripping sarcasm.
"A choice. A Vulcan is born with emotion- to suppress feeling, is unnatural, and illogical. Kol-Ut-Sha." He said as they worked through way through a series of caverns lit by cracks in the ceiling which allowed speckles of sunlight to seep in. "We are the V'tosh ka'tur- Vulcans who embrace emotion. However, do not think we have abandoned logic- we believe that logic and emotion can coexist."
She nodded her "and you are the ones who contacted me?" Shiarrael asked as they made their way through a sunlit archway. Beyond it she found herself standing on the second floor of a rotunda that circled a courtyard. The entire area appeared to have been carved out of rock, the top opening of which was encased by a glass ceiling that filtered out the harshness of the sun. The sound of trickling water from a center fountain could barely be heard amid a cacophony of competing sounds as several Vulcans were below playing a game while chatting and laughing.
"Yes Captain. I must seek your forgiveness for our subterfuge- but you have to understand that we must take precaution. To live peacefully among our peers we must be discreet in our interactions. V'tosh ka'tur are highly frowned upon- and anyone discovered would be considered an outcast. Shunned by both family and friend. So this is how it must be." His smile faded slightly "we are in one of our sanctuaries, where we are free to express our emotions without fear under the protection of the forge."
She watched the activity below and smiled slightly when a group of children ran through the courtyard playing some type of 'chase' game "considering some of the fools I have met- I can see why discretion would be necessary- however, I am more curious about why you have contacted me." She turned her head to look at the Vulcan who nodded his head apparently expecting that question.
"Well Captain- to be truthful, you have become somewhat of a folk hero among us. We have always held some fascination towards the sundered. To have a sundered save Vulcan- well, I'm sure you can understand the impression that has left among us, and other Vulcans." Surol looked down and appeared somewhat abashed "we have been discussing the possibility of you..." he paused for a few seconds "joining our movement."
"What?" Shiarrael's eyes widened as she frowned "join your movement? Ridiculous." She shook her head "this is not possible. I am not Vulcan and do not have the time for such nonsense." She turned her back to the Vulcan and started through the archway but stopped when she felt his hand firmly grip her shoulder "it is unwise to suddenly touch me" she warned.
Surol released his grip "I apologize- but please hear me. We have been shunned for generations- those who follow Cthia continue their prejudice against us. Your name now circles Vulcan Captain. You have no fear- no barriers. We do not wish for you to simply join us...many of us want you to lead us. How could a sundered save Vulcan? You are what we have waited for Captain."
She held her hand up and looked around "is this a joke?" Shiarrael turned around and returned to the barrier and peered over the edge searching through the crowd for a bit "is Ambassador Lamont here?" She asked and looked at Surol who seemed perplexed. With an exasperated sigh she shook her head "If what you are saying is true- I will consider it, but for the moment I have business I must attend to- I need to return to my shuttle."
Surol nodded with a grin "yes, certainly Captain, I will have one of us escort you through the forge- your fellow crew are already waiting for you there."
"How expected." She commented dryly. At least they were able to get back to the shuttle while she barely escaped the Sehlat's stomach.