A tiny spark flickered within the dark recess, struggling to break through the darkness. It flickered, flared briefly, but seemed to be swallowed entire by the all-consuming darkness. It seemed as though the darkness was all there was, all there ever had been or could be.
Ming moved toward the tiny spark, not entirely certain what he would find but knowing that somehow he *had* to get there. He felt drawn to it, compelled to it... but the darkness threatened to consume him, just as it threatened to consume the tiny spark.
He dropped into a lotus position and began to meditate. He'd tried this before, and had made the spark grow brighter in the process. *Perhaps I can make it drive away the darkness completely,* Ming thought.
"YOU CANNOT ESCAPE ME. I AM KELVAN. I CONTROL ALL", the darkness responded. "YOUR FEEBLE ABILITIES CANNOT OVERCOME MY POWER."
Ming was tired. He'd been struggling against the darkness for what seemed to be an eternity. Perhaps if he'd just relax, attain the state of *mu-shin* -- "no mind"....
But that's what the Kelvan wanted, wasn't it?
Instead, Ming focused on his *ch'i*, his warrior spirit, directing what remained of his conscious energy toward it. The *ch'i* expanded, and grew, causing the spark to expand, and grow, and become a flame, then a fireball, then crackling ball lightning, then finally a supernova! as Ming's consciousness overwhelmed the Kelvan's.
Ming didn't even hear the dying scream of the Kelvan as he flickered back into consciousness.
The light overwhelmed the darkness, then resolved itself into images. Ming saw a crewman in Medical uniform standing over him. She seemed to be trying to say something. Ming heard sounds that resolved themselves into language, then into English.
"Dr. Hancock! Lieutenant Wang is back!" she shouted.
Hancock checked over Ming with a medical tricorder. "There's no trace of the Kelvan consciousness left in you. It looks like you're free, Ming! How did you do it?"
Ming sat up on the biobed, rubbing his temples. "Believe me, Doctor, I wish I knew!" he replied.
"I want you to stay here for a few hours, though, so we can monitor you. Unfortunately I have to get going. We've got a minor crisis on our hands."
"Crisis? What's going on?" Ming asked.
"Commander Bentara is in pre-term labor. She's stable for right now but I'd better get back there pronto."
"I'm coming with you."
"Are you sure, Ming? You've been gone for several days," Hancock said with worry.
"I helped her get into this, I'll see it through to the end! Besides, after what I've just seen, a little life couldn't hurt!"