As the cool reprieve of twilight crept upon Yon-Shal, the TARDIS rested between buildings, unnoticed. Having safely regrouped in the main control room, and in need of a break from the harsh climate, the Doctor and his companions traded notes and attempted to glean what they could from the stoic young fugitive who had nearly perished at their doorstep.
Sulren wore the 24th-century Vulcan attire he had borrowed in lieu of his bloodied robe. In spite of the grievous injury he'd sustained, he displayed no distress, and refused to lie down; the Doctor's stubborn insistence was only enough to place him in a chair. Meanwhile, Nazeh hopped up onto the main TARDIS console and crossed her legs, which dangled a few inches above the floor. She kept the police-issue PADD she'd stolen in her lap while undoing the scarf that covered her head and ears.
"There were two people from your temple at the police station," she told Sulren. "I think they were asking the cops to look for you."
"They weren't merely looking when we arrived," Goren muttered, breaking out of a reverie that had settled over him as he wandered through the room. The observation failed to strike him as odd, though, given the police tactics he was used to.
Sulren blinked at Nazeh. "They were not from my temple. They couldn't have been."
"I caught one of their names," Korduc offered. "Does 'Staam' sound familiar?"
The look on Sulren's face made it plain that the name rung a bell.
"Children," Goren broke in, "while you were away, our friend here described to me how Daleks made a massacre of his temple."
Nazeh had no idea what Daleks were, but given how grave everyone else became at the sound of that name, she assumed these were their villains. Scary, formidable villains.
"Indeed, they did." For Korduc's and Nazeh's benefit, Sulren continued. "Their emergency vehicle crash-landed in the desert, 7.4 kilometers east of our temple. We freed them from their confines and healed them, without telling the local authorities that we had discovered survivors. Elder T'Kala believed this was in their best interests." He paused to swallow a lump in his throat. "I joined minds with one of them, and I can attest that the mainstream discipline would not have been enough to help them. They were consumed with hate, and fear. We purged it from them, and brought them peace."
Some of this was new to Goren, and he spun around to face Sulren with bemusement. "You shared minds with one, read all its thoughts, and you believed peace was what it wanted? Surely you must have discovered what plans they have for this world, what sort of horrible things they're given to doing without a second thought?"
"They had never intended to arrive here, they were survivors of a malfunction aboard a larger vessel." Sulren leveled an appraising look on Goren. "Your fear is no different than theirs."
Goren gave no reply to the accusation.
"We recognized their violent tendencies, and answered with mercy," Sulren continued. "A victim is not rehabilitated through further abuse."
Many past doctors had viewed the Daleks as irredeemable creatures, sworn enemies. Goren's Romulan sensibilities meshed well with this stance. "'Victim?' That's new. Well, nothing for it now. Quite to my lack of surprise, your rescued Daleks made tame pets for only a short time before turning on you. How did that happen, exactly?"
"I don't know," Sulren replied. "We restored their conveyances, but only after we destroyed their weaponry- at least, so I believed. I don't know enough about arms to tell you whether they attacked with their own, or with weapons forged elsewhere on Vulcan. Amid the… confusion, I could not gather such details."
"You sustained a dagger wound, uncannily close to your heart. That was from a Dalek?" Unlikely, but Goren kept skepticism out of his voice, trying not to tip off Sulren.
Sulren hesitated, glancing askance. "I cannot recall the manner in which I was injured. The violence descended. I could not to stop it or save anyone, so I got away."
Nazeh leaned toward him, taking the PADD in hand and resting her elbows on her knees. "Have you actually been through kolinahr?"
Sulren blinked his surprise at her awareness of that term. "No, I am an initiate. I have not received the ritual yet, which is especially unfortunate given our circumstances. I would be of more help to you, were I not forced to struggle."
"Against your emotions, you mean?" Goren asked. "You just saw your home destroyed and your friends killed- who wouldn't be struggling in your stead? I told you, lad, it's your choice, but while you still acknowledge that you have emotions, you needn't fight them off completely. No one here is going to judge you according to the stiffness of your upper lip."