Location: Kyoto, Japan
8 Months Later
He was wearing an earpiece connected to his Mapping data, so knew he was close. He walked down the paved street. In the distance, a Pagoda and either side, wood block boundary fencing. The fencing was not uniform, each property had used the same wood, creating tonal harmony, but each fence was subtly different. The walls differed in height, in entrance size, some had lattice designs, others pickets, which had diagonal boards. Some of the entrances had modest gable roofs with intricate detail. It felt as if this was a classically Japanese experience, as if time had stood still. He guessed that it probably looked the same two hundred and sixty years ago.
He slowed a little, realising he was very close to the property he was seeking. He checked for the sign he was looking for, obtained a match and activated the sensor, letting the owner know that he had arrived.
The Japanese were well known for their efficiency and, unsurprisingly, within a minute the entrance panel was opened by a cheerful young man. “Ah! welcome Henderson-San.” Henderson reached for his belt and switched on the Universal Translator. “It is good to be here, thank you for allowing me to come to your home.” The young Japanese man moved to the house, slid the Panel back and beckoned in the newcomer, who instinctively removed his shoes and placed them in the Genkan. He hesitated for a brief few seconds, shook his head and walked in.
“Henderson-san, we know you have made a long journey to be here. We have prepared everything for you. Our Great Great Aunt is the most notable member of our family and she brought great honour upon us. We have kept her memoirs and you are welcome to study them as part of your research.” Henderson stroked his beard and nodded thanks, “May I presume upon you for some personal details.” His host nodded, “But of course.”
“She left Star Fleet in 2165 and returned to Japan to teach comparative linguistics until she retired forty years later?” “That is correct and she is related to you, how?” “My Great Great Grandmother was her sister. Our Aunt never married and her possessions were passed down from her sister through the generations of her family.” Henderson nodded, “I see.”
“Henderson-San, we have prepared all the materials and as our honoured guest would like you to take tea on the Terrace. Please come this way.” He followed and walked out and looked out across the view at Mount Fuji. Trip was stunned. He looked, open mouthed, my God it’s that view!! A voice, “Are you alright, Mr Henderson?” Trip gathered himself, “Yes, yes. It’s just the view. It’s…. breath taking.”
He fell back into the wicker chair whilst the host brought out the green tea. The host poured out the tea and smiled, “Please take your time, and if you need anything please let us know.” His Japanese host slid the panel entrance open to the central room and disappeared inside.
Trip was bemused. He knew the view, he had experienced it in a dream in one of the darkest moment of his life, when he was held by the Romulans. He set his bewilderment aside and turned to the memoirs. He opened them and began reading what was a diary that she had kept whilst on board the Enterprise. He was interested in everything she wrote. It brought back so many memories for him, but knew he was speeding through to arrive at 2155 and 2156. Once there, he slowed down.
Was he disappointed that the narrative remained functional through out? He was mentioned but only in the same way as Malcolm or Jonathan. He put the journal down and drank some more tea and looked at the view. Maybe his vanity had got the better of him but then he took out the beautiful Omamori, so painstakingly restored by Madam Bouvier the previous year. Maybe Hoshi, being Japanese, was an intensely private person and chose not to record anything especially personal.
He went back to the journals and looked through the remaining years: the Romulan War from her point of view. Engagements, setbacks, patching through Admirals to offer pep talks, eulogies transmitted, letters to grieving parents, news of deaths: the Colombia, the Princetown and the destruction of the Endeavour, to communicate. Deaths everywhere.
Ensign Sato, Communications Officer, had been the conduit for it all. Alone, soaking up the pain and suffering, relaying it back and forth. He wished he had been there just to squeeze her hand and give her reassurance, but then he wished he had been with Amanda. He took comfort from knowing that, most of all, his destiny had been to try and prevent it all.
After the war, there was a period when she worked for research and development on the Universal Translator in San Fransisco before retiring five years later. Nothing.
When he had finally finished, he stood up and walked towards the panel entrance to the main room. His hosts must have been aware and this time a young woman slid back the panel and greeted him. To his surprise, she did not guide him to the Genkan but beckoned him to sit in the ‘Tokonoma’, the area in the main room for guests where their most precious items were kept.
The husband left and Trip sat down opposite his wife. Between them a Tatami Mat was laid out and in the centre the most elegant keepsake box. It had been painted in red lacquer but the lid had a beautiful relief which captured the view from the Terrace.
“Mr Henderson, I would like to share with you a family tradition about our Aunt. It has passed down through the generations to the most senior female member of the family for many years. It is not written down; it is an Oral Tradition.” Trip nodded.
The young Japanese woman, whose looks echoed Hoshi, looked intently at Trip and began. “Hoshi-Sama found a special place in her heart for someone on her great journey through the stars. He was an honourable man who went into great danger to help this world and others and never returned. In this box is her very personal diary, where she reveals her joy in her love of this man and her fleeting glimpses of Nirvana.
“She told her sister when she returned home that one day she believes he will come to her with a token to fulfil a promise. Alas, when she died he had not yet come but she asked her sister to prepare for his coming with the token and gave her this box, which has been handed down ever since. I am sure you agree it is a strange story but my Aunt saw and experienced many strange things on her journey. Please, you may take the Book and read it.”
Hoshi’s Great Great Niece opened the Box. Did she expect the inquisitive Henderson to take up this treasured possession and read it?
Trip reached into his pocket and drew out the charm. He placed his cupped hand in front of the young woman turned it over and opened his hand. The beautiful yellow Omamori unfolded with the release of Trip’s grip and the characters were revealed to the young woman. She reached out to Trip’s hand and, with her index finger, lightly stroked the charm. Both of them watched her stroking the charm for several moments. For Trip this was not a moment for sadness but a time to consider treasured memories and the goodness that mankind was capable of.
Eventually she looked up, pursed her lips, a gentle smile on her face. “I had presumed correctly.” Trip sat crosslegged on the floor opposite the woman and returned the smile, the briefest nod of his head. “Indeed, you have, and therefore I am able to convey a message….’all ended well.'” She bowed her head, “That is Good. Hoshi-sama will I know be pleased.”
Location: A Kyoto Cemetery
Trip and T’Pol had walked up through the cherry trees, which were full with blossom, to the cemetery which, when reached, offered a commanding view of Kyoto and Mount Fuji. It had taken several minutes to find Hoshi’s Family Shrine but they had finally found it.
It was marked out by a stone rectangle, in which a series of vertical pillars with inscriptions stood, telling the story of her family. There were also a number of ornate carved wooden reliefs set inside the family shrine.
They were now stood silent before Hoshi’s memorial stone. Trip spoke. “Can you explain why I had been there before, been to her home?”
T’Pol turned to Trip, a picture of serenity and spiritual completeness in her Vulcan robes, which protected her and the baby she was carrying from the breeze. She beckoned Trip to do the same. The Cemetery was empty, the only sounds under the clear blue sky, the wind passing through the cherry blossoms and the gentle tinkling sound of a Suzu in the distance. “I have a gift for you,” she lifted her right hand toward his face. He closed his eyes.
Your Mind to Her Mind
Your Minds are One
My God, I am so lucky to have you.