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Chap 18: Ice and FireIce and Fire
Chapter 18: Acclimatization
Revealed within was a concourse wholly different from the bland and empty walkway that had brought them there.
The two-tiered circular plaza stretched wide and soared loftily above, the roof arched with vaulted stone apparently carved from living rock. A gentle radiance, kind to even the Human eye, shone from some hidden source. Around the walls, alcoves separated by square pilasters held crystal sculptures and marble statuettes interspersed with low seating. Several large archways led deeper into the retreat. The upper level surrounded by a stone balcony mirrored the first floor. Vulcans of both sexes came and went, alone and in groups of twos and threes, passing through on their way to other destinations. A cluster of schoolchildren, dressed alike, and accompanied by two adult women stirred up fond memories from Amanda's past.
Apart from an Andorian child, blue skinned and white haired, who sat on one of the alcove benches nearby, legs swingin
Chap 17: Ice and FireThe bell that rings inside your mind
Is challenging the doors of time
It's a kind of magic
Chapter 17: Sar-e-Kahr.
They arrived at the shuttle transportation bay only seconds before Sarek. A personal flyer, sleek-lined and ultra modern waited for them there. After ushering the two Humans into the back, Sarek climbed into the pilot's seat.
Amanda focused on him as he began the pre-flight routine, her mind in disarray. She breathed in, counted to ten, breathed out and searched for calm. It seemed strange but never once had she considered that her Vulcan might be married. Even now, the reality appeared improbable. It just could not be. The Cosmos had gone all awry. Yet the memory, Sarek's memory, was as clear as the blue crystal dining-ware he used. When just seven years old, he had climbed the thousand steps to Seleya's Mount, he had taken the delicately pretty T'Reah as his mate. The intimacy of the mind touch Amanda had shared with him meant nothing in the face of that.
She thought bac
Chap 16: Ice and FireIce and Fire
Chapter 16: Phoenix From The Flames
Her own clothes were no longer where she had left them. T'Lachtli saw her look and inclined her head, "Thy garments will be returned after the ceremony concludes."
The floor length gown, long sleeved and high-necked, with a cowl-like hood, fitted her exactly. Flowing Vulcan script decorated a panel down the front fastening. A phrase entered Amanda's mind: veshtau'svai kau hohnaya experience increases wisdom. A venerable Vulcan saying no doubt, though she had no idea whether originally coined by Sarek or something he had learned. It sounded appropriately astute - especially in the circumstances!
Still barefoot and without a stitch of underwear, feeling vaguely decadent without it, Amanda followed T'Lachtli from the room. Mike, dressed likewise in a long robe, bare toes peeping modestly from beneath the hem, waited in the corridor with his attendant acolyte. His left eyebrow rose as he gazed at her in obvious enquiry.
Her cheeks col
Chap 15: Ice and FireIce and Fire
Chapter 15: Drum Beat Out Of Time
Reldai Pesht'Ihai looked beyond Sanshoum to Mike and Amanda. A glint of what might be conjecture in the serene inspection, she met and held Amanda's concerned gaze. A strange quiet fell. Awed by the silence, Amanda's breath stilled in her throat, caught in the spell of the reldai's depthless, black-satin eyes.
"Come to me, Child."
Amanda shivered in the heat of the small antechamber; found her feet moving toward the priestess without her conscious volition. It seemed a natural enough act to kneel before the tall and slender Vulcan woman.
"I would feel thy thoughts. Will thee permit this?"
The hot, dry air of the Vulcan station seemed abruptly insubstantial, but Amanda bowed her head in agreement and readiness, "Certainly, Reldai Pesht'Ihai."
With permission established, the priestess reached out, and stroked a finger along Amanda's temple. White fire burned along with the touch and Amanda gasped aloud. A powerful consciousness probed deep
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