the Eve of Sarpedon
Who Buried Zarabeth?
by Michael Halm
from Warped Space 6 (May 2, 1975)
Of the many unanswered questions on the inhabitants of the late planet Sarpedon, there is one which has especially interested me. It comes from considering the very last words ever spoken on that planet. They are the words of Science Officer Spock of the starship Enterprise, spoken even as the exploration team was beaming up and the ship was warping out of danger of the nova sun.
Referring to the mysterious Zarabeth of Sarpedon, he said, "She is dead -- dead and buried long ago." To those unfamiliar with Vulcan psychology, this seems to be a case of redundancy due to the stress of the situation. But it would be contrary to Spock's Vulcan nature to make any statement for which he did not have sufficient reason to accept as true.
Therefore I ask the question, "Who buried Zarabeth?" The hypothesis I proppose is based upon the answer which is found to hold true for all comparable planetary cultures. She was buried by her surviving relatives.
But we also know that she was exiled by Zorkahn to the Ice Age, specifically specifically because she would not only be separated from her relatives but from anyone at all. To answer the question of where they came from, we must make further investigation into Sarpiedonian biology. Perhaps they reproduced by parthenogenesis like several known life-forms and she required only the stimulation of a Vulcan (or Terran) male to become fertilized? Or perhaps there has been an omission in the memoirs of Mister Spock and Doctor McCoy? In any case, there is definitely a need for further investigation into this question. Who did bury Zarabeth?
The following is based on that further investigation.
The planet named Sarpedon by Humans for the legendary son of Zeus and Europa, the king of Lycia, is unique in the archives of the IDIC Institute, because of its remarkable atavachron. The name atavachron comes from attawa- (father's grandmother, akin to atavism, "throwback") + -khron, "time". The name indicates its long-term (three-or-more generation) time travel capability. This unusual time machine was invented by Zorkahn who in trying to stifle and bend civilization to his own will, inadvertantly creating it as he did not will it. During the geologically brief period when Sarpedon was habitable between the end of its primordial Ice Age and its star's going nova its inhabitants had a very tangled history.
The atavachron was apparently developed using the tricorder technology left behind by Science Officer Spock with Zarabeth to aid her and her their child's survival. Although it could identify the time portal location and connections it could not prevent prepared time travellers who re-cross or unprepared ones do not from dying with the closing of the portal.
Zorkahn sent those who tried to rebel against his empire (and their families, even whole tribes) to scattered places in Sarpedon's past. This however only resulted in strengthening them as individuals and their remaining family ties. Even with "adjustment" to the time period to which they were sent exiles remembered fragments of their past in the future. Although this knowledge of future history turned into ancient legend over the millennia, Zorkahn's tyranny was eventually destroyed and his atavachron used for evacuating every inhabitant to safety in the past.
Technically it would have to be classified as the first Vulcanthrope colony, even though it began two millennia before Vulcans went into space and over four millennia before the first Vulcan-Human hybrid. It ended soon after the first Human contact with the last surviving Sarpedonian, Mr. Atoz the Librarian (from aleph-de-zayin "beginning-to-end"
By the prophesied time that Sarpedon's star, beta Niobe, went nova more than 20,000 Verisim recordings, averaging a few days every few months, were made by the atavachron. Each recording called up a different portal time (though at the one and the same location) from the glacial ice wall of the 28th century BC to the Library wall of AD 2269. Communication between the times was possible only during brief, unpredictable periods. These were also the times of mysterious appearances -- of witches who seemed to have come from nowhere, who talk to disembodied spirits, who are able to read and even control minds. Even more rarely were the appearances of replicas, people who had crossed (and re-crossed, and re-re-crossed, etc.) over through the atavachron during portal openings, a technique used originally by Zorkahn to build his nearly invincible mercenary army. Each crossing split the time traveller's subjective time so that two "replicas" would have half the time of the verisim recording [from wero- "true" + -sem "as one", a recording intimately connected via the portal to the real events recorded]. Three would split the time to one third each, and so on. Zorkahn could, and did, replicate his forces recruited throughout five millennia an estimated 100,000% by this replication effect. Only the subjectively most future replica, the one with a memory of all of the others, could be killed because of the paradox exclusion principle. The secret development of telepathy therefore was inadvertantly fostered by non-telepath Zorkhan's scheme, a talent Zarabeth and Zar undoubtable possessed at least to some degree.
Zar, son of Zarabeth and Spock, led the exiles who had survived the Ice Age toward civilization, founding with his wife, Peido, the first city, Zar-Peido. Their descendants, the Zarites feature significantly, if stelthily, in the whole of Sarpedon's tangled five-millennia history filled with apparent prophecy, fantastic invention, hauntings, intrigue and persecutions.
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