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Fic: Observations, Ch 254
Star Trek

What think you I take my pen in hand to record?
The battle-ship, perfect-model’d, majestic, that I saw pass the offing to-day under full sail?
The splendors of the past day?  or the splendor of the night that envelops me?
Or the vaunted glory and growth of the great city spread around me? –no;
But merely of two simple men I saw to-day on the pier in the midst of the crowd, parting the parting of dear friends,
The one to remain hung on the other’s neck and passionately kiss’d him,
While the one to depart tightly prest the one to remain in his arms

-Walt Whitman


“You’re sure you don’t want me to come with you?”

“Jim, I need to do this for myself.”

“You won’t disappear.”

“I promise you.”

“Let me know if you need anything.  Anything.”

“I will,” I kissed him.

He held me tight.  “I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’ll be monitoring your frequencies.”

“Sir?  The taxi is here.”

“Guess you’d better go.”  He kissed me.  “I love you.”

“And I you.”

Jim let go of me and followed me to the taxi.  He gave the driver instructions while I settled into the seat.  I put the window down and took his hand.  We kissed until the car began to speed away and Jim ran alongside until the vehicle outstripped him.  I watched his figure until it disappeared behind the traffic of the roads.

I closed the window and stared out into the scene.

This is the planet Zpakeha.  It is a highly developed civilization with advanced technology and a singular devotion to the arts.  The Enterprise has just finished a diplomatic mission here.  I participated partially in the dealings, but had to retire when I became extremely fatigued.  The close proximity with so many unfamiliar people was tiring.  I was on edge for the duration of the talks.

After I rested, I woke.  My energy levels were replenished, but frustration mounted that I was still so visibly effected by the incident.  I have been in this state of stupor long enough.

That is why I am here now, in a taxi, on the surface of Zpakeha.  The diplomats offered their own private shuttles, but I declined.  I wanted to be alone.

I have to do this alone.


We arrive.  Compared to the buildings around it, the building is rather small.  I survey the architecture and walk up the stairs.  I present my ticket and receive a program.  I do not go to my seat immediately, but stand and look up at the ceiling.  It is vaulted.  Sound echoes through the building, but the arches are not so high that the sound is lost in the space above.  Instead, it is reflected back down, pure tones ringing and weaving between the columns.

There is no stage.  The chairs of the audience are right before the chairs of the musicians.  It is something of an unorthodox arrangement, but it creates a sense of intimacy, an island in the open space of the building.  The program indicates that a full orchestra will not be utilized.  Instead, different ensembles and the choir will perform the pieces.  There is no special lighting, only natural light streaming through a mixture of clear and stained glass windows.

I take my seat.

The musicians file in with their instruments.  The members of the chorus file in.  The audience is still quietly humming with words and anticipation.  When the conductor comes out, there is applause.  The sound reverberates against the walls and the vaults, making the space of audience and musicians at once closed and open.



Bach and Mozart, cantatas and requiems, concertos, sonatas.

It is indescribable. My katra leaves the boundaries of my body and I soar up to those vaults.  The music fills the space, it transcends the limitations of my logic, of my emotions, of my body, of my soul.

It is like water.  Golden water pours from the ceiling, flows and wraps around me.  Washes away the terror and blunt edge of my memories.  I sit and listen, entranced by the voices of the strings and the woodwinds.  The notes, the chorus singing, tones arching and entwining, merging into chords, separating to point, counterpoint, harmony, cacophony.  A landscape in rhythm, a fluid world created through sound that purifies the very air I breathe.  Water infused with gold, falling like a desert rain, soaking into my skin, the sensation liberating.  A river at the bottom of a deep amber canyon, water clear and cold, driving away the fear.

The memories, the fear will return, I know.

For now, I am free.

For now, I remember that despite the filth of the universe and the ugliness of people, there is still beautiful music.


When the concert is over, I am exhausted once more.

I return to the Enterprise.  Jim is there to meet me.  We go back to his quarters.  I change out of my clothes, as does he.  We attend to our hygenic needs, then I settle into his bed.  He lies down beside me.  I take him in my arms.

We sleep.

When I wake, I will face the same challenges once again.  I will fight the same battle to find myself, to find a reason to stay.  Today, I won.  Tomorrow I may lose.  But I can remember that for a moment, listening to the music, gold water falling from the vaults, I was free.


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I know just what Spock means by this.
Rachmaninoff in particular is my escape.

I used to sing in choirs, and for a long time, this is what performing was to me. I thought it was indescribable, but you've put it into words very well here.

(also, still crying, goddamnit)

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