(Karen note. There are italics in this entire issue’s content. I didn’t mark
them, assuming you can note them on your own. If this issue needs re-editing, so
that the italics are noted, tell me how to note the italics, and I’ll do the
work again. There are also underscores, as in previous files, noted as you
(RBW Note. The front cover is on thicker, very light gray paper, but the front printing is all black with the letters not inked, to make it in reverse, so the cover is black and the letters are light gray.)
(RBW Note. Fancy sculptured container.)
Many people have complained that Kraith turns Spock into Superman. The definitive exposition on this subject has been done by R. R. Bathurst for this fanzine. In his short, lucid essay he explores the possibilities of the myth and brings the theme to a startling conclusion. We highly recommend that you study his piece entitled "The Vulcan as Superhero" before reading further. It will give you a sense of perspective.
At this time, we feel that we should put out a general "Call for Papers." Jacqueline Lichtenberg, knowing how patiently her fans have been waiting for the rest of Kraith, cleared two full weeks of her schedule this past summer. She planned to write the detailed outlines for the last Kraith stories. Those two free weeks never materialized. Her publisher sent her two galleys to be corrected, so that the books could go to press. Since professional commitments must come before fanish activities, she used up those two weeks. And she hasn’t had any free time since. If there is to be any more "Kraith Collected,", then it must come from you fans.
Certainly Ceiling Press will continue, for the foreseeable future, to keep Kraith Collected in print. It’s just that, without the help of some dedicated fans, there will be no new Kraith stories.
For more information on how we feel about fanzines in general, please turn to "Editors are Ghouls and Cannibals."
Kraith Collected continues, with this issue, it’s long established policy of publishing a new volume at least two years later than we promised.
(RBW Note. Signature of Carol.)
(RBW Note. Signature of Debbie
(RBW Note. Signed) Carol Debbie
Carol Lynn and Debbie Goldstein
December 18, 1980
(RBW Note. The following part of the page is lined off in two columns and the right column into two sections. Begin two columns)
EDITING: Carol Lynn, Deborah Goldstein
TYPING: T’Pat, Deborah Goldstein, Carol Lynn, Michelle Barney
LAYOUT: Carol Lynn, Deborah Goldstein, Fred Breitbach
tppgtrsfomh: Deborah Goldstein, Fred Breitbach, Deborah Laymon
Randy Bathurst: 74
Mary Bohdanowicz: 52, 114
Susan Ceci: 23, 84, 110, 127, 129, 135, 138
K. L. Collin: 122
Barbara Craig: 64, 84, 117
Desire Gonzales: 28, 45, 59, 67
Erin Jahr-Strom: 103
Mike Kucharski: 77
Gee Moaven: Cover, 39, 85, 91, 94, 100, 125, 141
P. S. Nim: 3, 5, 9, 11, 13, 16, 22
D. M. Olsen: 37, 73
Janet L. Trauvetter: 77
Joni Wagner: 29, 32, 102
Mel White: 107
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Editors’ Preface . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
Kraith Chronology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
Sundered Duties . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Sarek’s Meditation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
Operating Manual . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
Three Steps Behind Him . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
A House Divided . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
Christine’s Decision . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59
The Vulcan as Super Hero: an Essay . . . . . . . . . . . . 74
One Fingered Symphony . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75
Days of Future Past . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77
Bones’s Vision . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 85
Editors are Ghouls and Cannibals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 102
The Affirmation of Nellie Gray . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 103
Kirk’s Triumph . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 107
Equity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 127
Acknowledgments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 142
(RBW Note. Two lines to separate section.)
BETH HALLAM & MARGARET DRAPER
MUSTARD SMUGGLERS __ALWAYS__ RIDE CHICKENS
(column break, begin single column)
Key to numbering systems:
(RBW Note. The top part of this page is in two columns. Begin two columns.)
aI stories coming before I
I main series stories
AI stories coming during a main series story
IA stories coming after a main series story
IA(1) stories coming after IA but before IB
(column break, return to single column.)
bI SUNDERED DUTIES, Frances Zawacky, Linda Deneroff, Jackie Bielowicz (KCVI)
aI THREE STEPS BEHIND HIM, Eileen Roy (KCVI)
I SPOCK’S AFFIRMATION, Jacqueline Lichtenberg (KCI)
IA SHEALKU, Lichtenberg (KCI)
IB ZYETO, Lichtenberg (KCI)
IC YEHAENA, Lichtenberg (unwritten)
ID A MATTER OF PRIORITY, Anna Mary Hall (KCI)
IE THE LESSON, Lichtenberg (outline only, KCM 1)
IF SSARSUN’S ARGUMENT, Lichtenberg (KCI)
IG THE WAY HOME, Hall
II SPOCK’S MISSION, Lichtenberg (KCI)
II(a1) SAREK’S MEDITATION, Jean Lorrah (KCVI)
II(1) LEARNING EXPERIENCE, Jean Sellar (KCIII)
IIA T’ZOREL, Lichtenberg (KCI)
IIB THE DISAFFIRMED, Ruth Berman (KCI)
IIC OPERATION TRANSPLANT, Lori Dell
IID TEMPORARY ADDITION DUTY, Beverly C. Zuk
IIE INITIATIVE, Lichtenberg (KCIV)
IIF NI VAR, Claire Gabriel (sold to Bantam Books for ST: The New Voyages) There is a Kraith version for which Jacqueline Lichtenberg wrote a scene, somewhat different from the Bantam version, yet they won’t let us publish it.
BIII TO BE A PART, Ellie Bach
AIII THE TANYA ENTRY, Pat Zotti (KCI)
III SPOCK’S ARGUMENT, Lichtenberg (KCI)
III(1) THE OBLIGATION/THROUGH TIME AND TEARS, Lichtenberg and Joan Winston (KCIII)
IIIA FEDERATION CENTENNIAL, Lichtenberg (KCII)
IIIA(1) WARDER LIEGE, Lichtenberg (unwritten)
IIIB SECRET OF BROSKIN, Lichtenberg (KCIII)
IIIC COUP DE BRACE, (sic RBW Grace) Lichtenberg (KCIII)
IIIC(1) COUP DE PARTIE, Berman (KCIII)
IIID JH’NFREYA, Carol Lynn and Deborah Goldstein
IIIE OPERATING MANUAL, Hall (KCVI)
IIIG A HOUSE DIVIDED, Zawacky, Deneroff (KCVI)
IIIH WITH ALL THE WISDOM I CAN SUMMON. Richard Piazza (unwritten)
IV SPOCK’S NEMESIS, Lichtenberg (KCIII)
AV BONES’S VISION, Roy (KCVI)
V SPOCK’S DECISION, Lichtenberg (KCIV)
VA CHRISTINE’S DECISION, Sharon Emily (KCVI)
VA(1) ONE FINGERED SYMPHONY, Roy (KCVI)
VC DAYS OF FUTURE PAST, Cynthia Levine (KCVI)
VD SPOCK’S PILGRIMAGE, Lichtenberg and Sondra Marshak (KCIV)
VD(2) KIRK’S TRIUMPH, Deneroff, Lichtenberg, Zawacky (KCVI)
VE THE MAZE, Winston
VI SPOCK’S __________
VII SPOCK’S CHALLENGE, Lichtenberg (unwritten)
VIII SPOCK’S MEMORY, Lichtenberg (unwritten)
(RBW Note. Spock sitting with Sarek in background.)
Art by P. S. Nim
"After all these years among humans, you still haven’t learned to smile."
"Humans smile with so little provocation."
"And you haven’t come to see us in four years either."
"The situation between my father and myself has not changed . . ."
My father’s voice intervenes. "My wife, attend." She turns and walks toward him, leaving me to my thoughts.
__Journey__ __to__ __Babel__, Act II, Scene 9B
I sat at the computer console, working on the formula. My father came up behind me, looking over my shoulder at the screen.
"What is this?" he inquired.
"It is the formula for Suvil’s experiment tomorrow. He has assigned it to me as a practice."
"Then they still intend to attempt the Uncommon Occurrence despite the danger?" His voice was disapproving.
"Yes." I did not look at him, but continued to work. "You know their reasons. It is the only alternative left."
Sarek did not answer, but stood in silence behind me. Finally, he stated, "I will not allow you to go. There is no reason why an Uncommon Occurrence should be part of your training. It is improbable that you will ever attempt one; it is an unnecessary danger."
A cold sphere settled in the pit of my stomach. Not be with Suvil in this, his greatest experiment? I spoke quietly, forcing my voice to remain steady. "Suvil considers this part of my training."
"I do not. Suvil is your grandfather and responsible for your training in the Tradition, but I am your father. I will not permit you to be endangered by experiments that will add nothing to your ability to fulfill tsaichrani. I shall speak to Suvil of this." Once again my father had overruled my wishes in the matter.
He left me and I stared unseeingly at the console screen. A great tension swelled up in me, and, disengaging the computer, I strode out of the house. I walked quickly, the stress building inside me until at last I found myself running across the darkening desert. When I reached the foot-hills of the mountains, I halted, controlling my breathing. I could not remain still; I began to pace, rebellion surging up in me. Once again, my father and I had clashed. While the small part of me that was still calm recognized his concern for me, most of my mind fought against the Vulcan control. Was I really deficient as a Vulcan because of my human characteristics? I sank to the ground, my knees under my chin and my arms wrapped around my legs. Phrases from my childhood floated into my mind: "Earther . . . incapable . . . part human . . . lacks the necessary control . . ." I slammed my fist down on a rock next to me, shattering it and cutting my hand on the shards. Unheeding, I wiped the blood on my shirt. What were these human traits that made it so difficult for me to contribute fully to Vulcan?
The thought was not a new one for me. What did I know of humans except for my mother, who had lived so much of her life among Vulcans? The concept intrigued me, and I sorted through all Mother had told me about human cultures and behavior.
I spent the rest of the night in contemplation and when the dawn came, I had little to show for my time. I was who and what I was. Suddenly I had a great urge to speak with Suvil. He and I had discussed this at various times during the past year and that was why he had encouraged me to put in my application to Starfleet Academy. He considered it the ideal way to complete my education and begin to understand that part of me that was human.
I quickly rose to my feet, starting for home into the rising sun. Though I did not run, was home before the desert began to heat. Suvil was awaiting me in the main hall as I came in.
He had large, broad shoulders, though he was of average height. His face was almost untouched by time. His back was as erect as a young man’s as he stood there with his sturdy legs apart. His gnarled, scarred hands were lightly clasped in front of him as he looked me over carefully. "Did you have an accident?"
I looked down at myself. My shirt was soiled and stained with blood. "No. It is unimportant. Grandfather, Sarek has said that I am not to go with you."
"And you had another of your arguments." He gestured for silence before I could tell him of the meeting. "I have already spoken to your father. You are to go with me." I could only guess at the words that had passed between them.
My argument with Sarek lingered in my thoughts. Our disagreement had been but one of many, each adding to the widening rift between us. The matter would have to be settled, most probably when he learned of my application to Starfleet Academy. To him, it would be a sanction of war, but to me it had come to mean a search for more than existence. If I were accepted, and chose to go, it could cause a complete break between us. But now was not the time for these thoughts. I had to turn all my attention to the experiment.
"Prepare," my grandfather interrupted my thoughts, "we will leave for Beom as soon as you are ready."
I went to my room. My father was with Suvil when I returned, but he did not speak as we left.
(RBW Note. Drawing of a younger Spock.)
Mother once stated that Beom sometimes presents a brooding appearance as one approaches it. Had she made that statement on the last day of my grandfather’s life, I might have agreed with her.
As our aircar approached Beom, the sky behind the utsulan was overhung with sullen, reddish clouds that threatened one of Vulcan’s rare but violent thunderstorms.
Walking to the main building, the air around us seemed to be waiting, though I knew it was merely an effect of the sudden fall in the atmospheric pressure. My grandfather supported my grandmother as she walked slowly across the packed ground. She was a tiny woman, only 1.68 meters tall. Her hair was translucent white and worn pulled back, throwing into relief her wide-browed, pain-etched face. She pressed her hands over her swollen belly. T’Olne was carrying the fruit of Suvil’s last pon farr, but because of her age, the pregnancy was not proceeding well. The Academy had done all they could and now Suvil had brought her to Beom, hoping to use the Forgotten Sciences to save her and their unborn child.
My grandfather was as he always was, calm and confident. Though he walked with us, he had withdrawn into himself, going over the expected procedure in his mind.
I was torn between pride that I would be helping Suvil and uneasiness because of the unusual nature of the experiment. I knew myself to be too tall, too thin, too young for my seventeen years and I was uncertain that my skills would be of genuine use to my grandfather.
Sinzu, Chief Attendant at Beom, stood in the door of the utsulan, waiting for us. He had recently been appointed Chief Attendant and had won great honor for his performance at the utsulan. He did not approve of Grandfather’s work in the Forgotten Sciences, but at least he had never tried to interfere with it. He frowned slightly as his eyes took in T’Olne’s weakened state; she was obviously in no condition to endure the forces of Beom. Sinzu’s face was grave as he greeted my grandparents. "Live long and prosper, Suvil." He turned to my grandmother and nodded slightly, "T’Olne."
He stepped aside to allow us to enter the utsulan and waited until my grandmother was seated on a nearby bench. Then he turned to Suvil. "All is in readiness. Will you require my assistance?"
"No. Spock is all the assistance I require. Leave us now."
Sinzu, after handing Suvil the Flame Keys, left as my grandfather motioned for me to follow him. T’Olne leaned back against the wall, her eyes closed, gathering her strength in meditation. Suvil and I moved through the long passage to the darkened wheerr. As his fingers manipulated the thin strips of metal, columns of brilliant fire rose higher and higher to the dome. I stood waiting as Suvil swiftly used the Keys to open the Hidden Door, squinting my eyes against the powerful glare that it always produced. The massive crystal glittered with deep-laden fires, increasing the light in the normal gloom of the wheerr. When the door was unlocked, I moved up to the massive chair, pushed it back, and waited to follow Suvil down to the red-lighted laboratories.
The laboratories were filled with all the tools of power used in ancient times. Neither of us spoke much while we worked; I, only to ask an occasional question, and Suvil, to give an explanation. We worked quickly, setting up the equipment Suvil needed in the wheerr. There was the web of power crystals that would connect my grandmother to the larger crystal so that she could draw power from it. There was also a set of controls that would allow Suvil to regulate the amount of power. At last we were ready.
"Spock," said Suvil, and gestured toward the door.
I started back to the entrance of the utsulan, but at the door, turned and looked at him as he finished the final adjustments. That is an image of him I will always hold in my thoughts. I wanted to ask him to allow me to stay, but knew that remaining there was not only illogical, it was actually dangerous for a third person to be present during the experiment. I had seen the mathematics.
T’Olne opened her eyes when she heard my footsteps and her face softened as she saw me. "Is it time? Then let us not keep Suvil waiting."
She rose to her feet, and refusing my assistance, preceded me into the passage. The meditation had been beneficial. She seemed much stronger than she had been in days. With no hesitation, she moved to the spot Suvil indicated and stood quietly as I enveloped her in the power web. She and Suvil exchanged no word to each other, but when their eyes met, some unheard message passed between them. They both knew that this was the last and only chance they had. They had both agreed to take the risk. When I finished, she nodded a dismissal.
As I walked to the administration building, the harmonics from the crystal rose. Wind-whipped dust obliterated the sun and static electricity crawled over my skin. Inside the administration building, the sound of the wind was muted, but the pressure was still heavy. I sat out of the way of the attendants and watched the control dials for the utsulan. As the dials began to creep toward the danger mark, the tension within the room began to rise. Attendants moved from panel to panel, pushing buttons and moving levers. Sinzu paced the room, checking every dial, his hands gripped tightly behind him. There was the scent of ozone as the panels overheated. Finally, Sinzu sent some of the attendants to the utsulan with instructions to use the anti-wheerr to protect the wheerr, but they were not to interfere with Suvil’s work. They had been gone only four minutes when there was a sudden, sharp increase in the harmonics and then, for just a brief moment, there was a disorientation of the world. As everything came back to normal, a powerful explosion came from the utsulan, knocking everyone to the floor. Because I was closest to the door, I was the first one out, running for the utsulan. Sinzu was close on my heels.
As I approached the utsulan, an apparition staggered out of the door. It was Suvil with his blackened clothes seared into his flesh. I learned later that over 80 percent of his body was seared with third degree flash burns. In the areas where the bones run close to the surface, the flesh was burned off his bones. His fingers were almost non-existent. His face was comparatively untouched, though his eyes were closed with the strain of movement. In his arms was what was left of T’Olne. She had been burned brittle, as if she had been totally enwrapped in flame. There was no doubt that she had died instantly. A few feet from the door, he dropped to his knees and she tumbled out of his arms as he fell.
I registered all this as I ran to Suvil’s side; I knew my grandmother was dead and wasted no time searching for signs of life. I scooped Suvil up in my arms, and bracing him against my chest, moved swiftly to the Resident’s Infirmary. Sinzu ordered two attendants to carry T’Olne’s body there and then he continued into the utsulan.
The healer was waiting, ready for us, when I entered. I laid Suvil on the indicated bed and stepped back against the wall as he moved in to examine my grandfather.
The healer worked quickly and efficiently, futilely searching for a vein where he could insert the necessary supportive liquids vital to counteract dehydration. His assistant began debriding Suvil, covering the burns with strips of burn-gel bandage. Suvil lay with his eyes closed but conscious, fighting to control the pain. Blood began to trickle out of his nostrils and his breathing became increasingly labored. The healer tried to talk to him, but he made no response. I saw Sinzu quietly enter and stand waiting for the healer to report. Finally, the healer approached Sinzu. "You must contact Sarek. Suvil will not survive," the healer said.
Sinzu glanced at me, but I refused to acknowledge his unspoken question. I did not want to leave Suvil. Sinzu hesitated and then left the room. I moved closer to the bed and looked down at my grandfather. He lay still, though every now and then his head would twitch from the strain he was undergoing. Suddenly his eyes opened and his glazed vision passed around the room until it found me. His bandaged hand stirred and he tried to speak. I laid my hand lightly over his and spoke quietly. "I’m here, Grandfather. Sarek will be here soon. Do you want me to help you into a healing trance?"
His head moved slightly in a gesture of negation and he again tried to speak. I bent closer, straining to hear and as I did so, slipped into the pykhylsion link, flinching from the pain that was in Suvil. Faintly, his thoughts came through the pain.
//Spock! Beware . . . power was . . . directed . . . . Danger . . . error . . . adjust . . . through . . . .//
Then my head was filled with a searing orange flame and I felt Suvil die. Pain flowed through my entire consciousness, followed by an icy relieving darkness.
When I regained consciousness, Sarek was seated beside my bed, deep in contemplation. He must have sensed me watching him because he unexpectedly looked straight into my eyes. His were opaque as he asked tersely, "Do you feel strong enough to return home?"
I did not answer, just swung my legs off the bed. There was a slight touch of nausea, but I ignored it and followed my father out of the Infirmary and to our aircar. The thunderstorm had come and gone. The plantlife around the yard of the utsulan lay beaten to the ground. The released water was already steaming off the hot earth and the pressure had returned to normal. Suvil’s aircar was gone, used to transport my grandparents’ bodies to the Place of Preparation. Neither of us spoke while Sarek got the craft airborne and headed for the city. Then I spoke, looking straight ahead. "I would like to serve in your stead at the Place of Preparation."
Sarek shot a quick glance towards me. "Why?"
"Because I feel the need to be there."
"That is illogical. By tradition, it is my duty."
As usual, my father and I were not communicating. Suvil would have understood my need to be with him to the final step without having to be told. But to my father, any deviation on my part from tradition, from the Vulcan way, was to be discouraged. I knew he considered my request to be a human response and wanted to deny it.
"He was my teacher. I feel that it is also my duty."
"I do not agree with your reasons, but if it is necessary to you, then you may go in my place."
Again, there was silence between us until Sarek continued. "Spock, Suvil died because of his studies in the Forgotten Sciences. We have histories of what happened at Top of World when men dealt with that-which-was-better-left-untouched. In my judgment, it would be better if you did not continue Suvil’s studies. The unreliability of your mind techniques presents a greater danger than with Suvil. Even with his greater control, he, in this last experiment, has wrecked the wheerr and badly misaligned the crystal. Vulcan cannot risk its greatest utsulan in experiments of ancient practices."
A great stillness grew within me. My curiosity of the Forgotten Sciences was as great as my grandfather’s, but I also knew my father was correct. I have always had the greatest respect for him and knew that his request was made through genuine concern -- both for me and Vulcan.
"It shall be as you have said."
The rest of the trip was made in silence while I prepared myself with private meditation. When we reached the Place of Preparation, my father walked with me to the waiting area.
"I shall await your return. Serve with honor."
With these ritual words, I began my duty. I walked to the preparation rooms. The bodies had already been cleansed and the technicians were awaiting my father’s arrival.
In the ancient days, Vulcans had buried their dead. But with the Reforms, emphasis was placed on preserving Vulcan’s elements to produce more arable land. Therefore, bodies were used as fertilizer in arid areas. As Vulcan technology advanced, terra-forming became the means of improving land and there was no longer the need to use the dead. In modern times, except for the water in bodies which ritually was returned to the community through the main water supply of the city, all other chemicals were returned to the family.
The room we were in was a giant, orderly laboratory with the machines necessary for reducing the body to its chemical components. The technicians and I placed my grandparents’ bodies in the vacuum chamber that would withdraw the water. Because of the charred condition of T’Olne’s body, only a kilogram of water was extracted. The dehydrated remains were then transferred to another machine where the remaining chemicals were separated by catalyst and mixed with necessary additives for use in the soil. What few waste materials there were that couldn’t be added to the soil were set aside for use in various Vulcan industries.
During the entire process, there was silence in the room. The technicians worked quickly and smoothly. As was my duty, I chose two dark blue urns, fifty centimeters high with hinged white tops and placed in them all that remained of the physical bodies of Suvil and T’Olne. It was a clean, dignified occurrence: the body goes from life to life.
I returned with the urns to where Sarek was waiting. Without a word, he took T’Olne’s urn and we began our homeward journey. Mother was waiting for us in the main hall of D’R’hiset. Though her eyes were reddened, she was calm. This was the first close death she had ever faced on the Vulcan side of the family. She and my grandfather had had their disagreements at times, usually over me, but he would have been pleased at her present peace.
"I have everything ready, my husband," she said softly.
Sarek nodded and we went straight out into the Gardens of Thought. Set out for use was the blending tray where the tonir or remains of my grandparents could be blended in death as they had been in life. There was also the l’atne, used for loosening the soil around the roots, and the flask of water that would seal the soil after the blending. We each started to work, placing the blended tonir within the root networks of all the plants and using the silence to meditate on our memories. The quiet of the Gardens exerted a healing peace over me, and except for Sarek occasionally aiding Amanda, we were each locked in an isolation that was shared. When all the tonir was blended and the soil mended, Sarek spoke the only words that are ever allowed within the Gardens. "May they continue to serve Vulcan in Peace and honor."
We returned to the house and Sarek left us to return the komatts, a duty which, by Vulcan law, only he could perform. As I started to my quarters, my mother put out her hand to halt me until Sarek was out of hearing. "Spock, I grieve that Suvil is gone from you."
"He is not gone as long as I have my memories of him."
"Yes, but he of all of us understood you best." She gave a small smile as she laid her hand lightly along the side of my face. "I know how important that was for you."
I waited patiently, having no answer for her. She withdrew her hand, stood straighter, and changing the subject, said, "Your father said that you became unconscious when your grandfather died. Are you sure that you are all right?"
"Yes, Mother." I knew she did not quite believe me; I also knew she would not impose on my privacy.
With Suvil’s death my father became the head of the family and I his heir. Assuming my grandfather’s position as head of xtmprsqzntwlfd added greatly to my father’s duties. Not only did he have his usual work at the Academy and as Ambassador of Vulcan whenever needed, but he also had to handle all administrative and judicial duties on family matters. Also, he would be responsible for conducting the next Affirmation, a duty of vital importance to all Vulcan.
We saw very little of each other. Sarek was involved in his increased duties and I only saw him in connection with finishing my primary education. The relative freedom of this time had increased my interest in the half of me that I had always been encouraged to control strictly. I began a study of human literature and philosophy, but this left me with more questions than it answered. The sociology tapes only added to my difficulty; there were so many cultures and customs. There seemed to be no one uniting factor, or equivalent to tsaichrani for humans. And more often, the question arose in my mind. "Where do I fit in?"
I also began to question whether I would be able to function totally within tsaichrani. I was accustomed to the fact that I did not always quite fit, but would it keep me from serving Vulcan fully? Even worse, might I endanger myself or all-Vulcan due to a lack of understanding of my human side? My eighteenth birthday came and went and I felt within myself a great drive to go into the
(RBW Note. Drawing of Sarek and T’Pau.)
human culture and learn about my other half there. Each day that passed reinforced that drive. And one morning, as the crimson sun reached its zenith, I took the first step.
The very air of Vulcan was still, lending itself to the spell of silence that seemed to have been cast over the entire area. I permitted its peace to wash over me as I surveyed the view from my study, putting my mind in harmony with the moment.
Then the inner and outer stillness was shattered by a mechanical chattering. I turned from the window and crossed to the computer console. Instead of the confirming figures I had been expecting, there was a communique bearing the Vulcan Science Academy identification. I knew what it said almost before I read it.
The Science Academy is a scholarly institution. One does not apply to it. The criteria used to choose its students are many and confidential. To be one of the chosen is an honor recognized throughout the galaxy; I had been chosen.
I sat at my desk meditating, my work forgotten for the moment. Anyone wishing to call himself a scientist yearned to study and work at the Academy. My father had been granted that privilege -- and expected me to be chosen as well. He was rarely in error and now his expectation was fact.
Yet, in the six months since Suvil’s death, the idea of remaining, studying here on Vulcan had become more and more of an impossibility. That, in and of itself was illogical, for with his death my place was here. Suvil would have understood these contradictions within me, but my father . . . . It only became more difficult to tell him that I must leave Vulcan.
The tasteful and tranquil garden attached to T’Pau’s home belied the seriousness of the conversation taking place on the shaded lawn. The air was charged with electricity, as before a sudden storm.
"T’Pau," Sarek’s voice was even, "they are on their way."
She stopped in mid-stride and her hand tightened on the sculptured staff of her office. "Thee are sure of this?"
Sarek nodded slowly. "The information is accurate. Starfleet has need of a base in this sector. This time they are determined to see the matter through, and locate that base here. Apparently, they do not wish any delays," he finished grimly.
"I had hoped it might be otherwise . . ," the lines on her face seemed to have multiplied overnight, ". . . that they would come to believe the cost too high."
"Vulcan is too strategic . . . ."
She cut him off -- just sharply enough for him to know she was disturbed. "They shall have their base. Thee knows the decision of the Daughters." It was a statement, not a question.
He was not unaware of the weariness in her tone. "Of course. I have planned a dinner to mark their arrival in two standard days. Will you attend?"
He sensed her weariness again but checked a vocalization of his concern. Instead, he rose to leave. "I shall keep you informed."
"Sarek." He turned toward her again. "What of T’Uriamne?"
"The matter is out of her hands."
"She may not agree."
"That would not be unusual." He turned to leave. "I will see you in one yahvee."
In seconds, the tranquility of the garden was restored. It took longer for the peace to filter through to T’Pau’s mind.
The main hall of D’R’hiset was spacious, comfortable, sunny and pleasant, and often used for entertaining guests. When Father left to collect our guests, I was helping Mother with the dinner preparations. It was one of the few opportunities I had had in recent days to speak with her. I wanted her advice, but I did not know how to begin.
"Spock, you’re wearing one of your pensive looks. Is there something wrong?" I looked at her in confusion and she smiled as she always did when she knew she had surprised me.
"No," I replied. "Who are our guests tonight?"
"Admiral Malcolme and his secretary, Lieutenant Nadaf. They’re here to negotiate a starbase. This is the third time the Federation Council has sent a representative. I would have thought they’d have given up the idea long ago."
I nodded, listening with care. I had not known what had taken up so much of Sarek’s time recently. And now I realized that I was applying to Starfleet Academy at the same time my father was trying to block a Starfleet base on Vulcan. No matter where I turned, the same conflict confronted me.
"I know about your inquiries concerning Starfleet." Her smile was gone. "Even if the base were not an issue, your father would never agree to your entering a military organization."
"That is something my father and I will have to reconcile between us."
She said no more, but I knew she was still concerned. Watching Mother, I again realized that I would have to tell Father what I wanted to do within a short span of time. My basic education was finished, Suvil was dead, a career had to be chosen.
"What about the Science Academy?" Mother had ceased working.
"I have heard from them," I admitted. "I do not plan to attend."
A frown momentarily crossed her face. Then concern replaced it. She was aware, just as I was, that one did not lightly turn down an honor such as this. My father would not approve.
"Would you like me to talk with Sarek?" Again her question broke into my thoughts. I considered for a moment. It was a great deal to ask of one’s mother. Yet perhaps she, if not I, might make him understand.
"I will consider your offer." When she did not answer, I added, "I believe that Father and I can come to a logical compromise."
Our eyes met for a moment, but "Dinner will be ready shortly," was all she said. I took it as a dismissal and went up to my aerie to study.
Father arrived shortly with his guests and introductions were quickly made. As we sat down to dinner I studied the two offworlders. The human was Admiral Harold Malcolme, known throughout Federation space as a top military strategist. He had worked his way up through the ranks, eventually joining Starfleet’s diplomatic corps. The Tellarite was unknown to me; he had been introduced as Lieutenant Nadaf.
The meal passed in silence, as is our custom, but as soon as we had finished, Admiral Malcolme smiled and said, "Mmmn, delicious, Ma’am. I haven’t had such a good meal in years."
Mother nodded in quiet acceptance of the compliment. "A good meal should always precede serious discussion," she replied. "It serves to make both parties more amenable."
The dining area was cleared within seconds. All that remained were the few after-dinner sweets prepared especially for our guests, and coffee.
(RBW Note. Drawing of Spock and Amanda.)
"You make a stranger feel right at home," Admiral Malcolme said to Mother, smiling as he finished his second cup of coffee. "I, for one, vote that you program our embassy computer. Its coffee tastes more like soap than anything else."
Mother laughed lightly, but I did not see the humor. "The secret of a good cup of coffee," she answered, "is in the brewing. Never trust a machine." The Admiral said nothing in reply, but I noticed that he accepted when she offered him a third cup.
"How long do you plan to be here?" I addressed myself to the Admiral’s secretary.
After a few seconds he replied, "We are assuming a standard month." He was apparently having difficulty converting standard time to yahvee . . . Or perhaps it was his way of indicating the Federation’s importance in this meeting.
"Eight yahvee," I computed silently. He looked uncomfortable. "Are you feeling well, sir?" I inquired.
"The heat." His reply was curt. "Could you turn up the air conditioning?"
"Certainly." I rose and went to adjust the controls to make the room slightly colder for Lieutenant Nadaf, but not enough to disturb either Admiral Malcolme or Mother.
My mother’s voice interrupted the discussions. "If you will excuse me, gentlemen, I have an appointment with the Legion of Merchants." Mother was assisting in the creation of a more efficient universal translator, a vitally needed aid to interstellar trade. And since I had a tape on quantum physics to study, I too said goodnight and went upstairs. As I walked up the stairs, I could hear Father and his quests in the office.
It was several hours later, and I still had work to do, but I decided I wanted some prookle and went to the kitchen. As I was returning through the main hall, I heard the office door open. I waited until the three men entered the room so that I might say goodnight to them again.
"Sarek," Malcolme turned to face Father as they stopped walking, "before we can accept your compromise, I should like to tour the present Space Central facilities." Sarek said nothing and Admiral Malcolme turned to me. "How about it, Spock?" Evidently Admiral Malcolme had studied my family before coming to Vulcan and therefore knew I was an accredited tour guide, but still Father said nothing.
"I would be of service, Sarek," I said quietly.
"Then it’s settled!" Admiral Malcolme grinned. "When can we go?"
"I’ll check with the spaceport in the morning and inform you," I replied. "Would the day after tomorrow be soon enough?"
"Fine. The sooner, the better."
The Tellarite turned to Father. "There is one thing I do not understand, Ambassador. Your son has applied to Starfleet Academy and been accepted." His speech was harsh and guttural. "Is that not inconsistent with what we have discussed this evening?"
I stood there, turned to stone.
Admiral Malcolme’s eyes blazed with anger at his secretary’s effrontery and he looked hard at Father, expecting a reaction, I assumed. But I knew Sarek better and though not a muscle flinched, a phrase of Mother’s came suddenly into my mind: "There’d be hell to pay."
Father’s voice was quiet as he replied, "My son’s actions have no bearing on these negotiations. Goodnight, gentlemen."
The door closed behind them before Father spoke again. "Spock, we will talk in the morning."
"Yes, Father," I replied and retreated upstairs.
I knocked quietly and opened the door to the office without waiting for an answer. It closed softly behind me and I quickly surveyed the room. Already it had been re-arranged from the previous evening and Father was at his desk, concentrating on the information on the viewscreen before him. His back was rigidly straight, flat up against the back of his chair. His hands were relaxed, one always ready to adjust the controls. I had no sooner turned to withdraw from the room when his voice broke the stillness.
"I did not wish to disturb you, Father."
"You have not. The work is finished." As if to substantiate the claim, he snapped off the viewscreen. "It would be best if you refused the Starfleet Academy appointment immediately."
"Father . . . ."
(RBW Note. Spock and Sarek in a hallway.)
"The Science Academy has notified me you have been selected to study there."
"Father, I do not wish to study at the Science Academy." The words had streamed out almost without thought.
He seemed to stare at me forever. "You have a duty to Vulcan."
"As well as to myself."
We each remained silent for a long moment, Father’s fingers were steepled in a meditative position. "Your choice was Vulcan," he said slowly. "Your place is here -- both by heritage and tradition. Would you deny that?"
"No, Father. I would not. But there is more to this universe than Vulcan." I paused, and he did not interrupt. "Starfleet offers me a better opportunity for scientific study." My thoughts were racing furiously; I would need all the skill I had been taught to argue successfully with my father.
"Then you would join Starfleet?"
I folded my hands on the desk and stared down at them. "I feel that studying at Starfleet will help me better understand my human half."
"You did not consult me."
"There was no need. It is my decision. In accordance with Federation law, I am of age to join Starfleet."
"Why Starfleet? It uses the force that we have learned is unnecessary. If you must go off Vulcan, why not simply visit your mother’s home world?"
"I do not wish merely to observe human life, but to live within it. Starfleet will allow me to do this and to continue my education at the same time."
"My son, you are Vulcan, bound by its traditions, heritage, philosophy, and belief in peace. Can you reconcile that with Starfleet? It is illogical to expect peace to be bred of violence."
"The Starfleet is a necessary instrument of peace . . . ."
"And of war . . . . What if the psychology of violence becomes overwhelming to you? The threat to tsaichrani is too great."
"No, Father. If our way is right, Starfleet cannot threaten it. We also believe in IDIC. There is much to learn by studying other peoples, other customs, other worlds . . . . That too is part of our tradition."
"And should it become necessary for you to kill?"
The thought of taking a life disturbed me, as my father knew it would. Still, my voice was quiet and firm when I answered. "I do not know, Father, but it makes no difference; I will do what is necessary."
"Few of our people have gone offworld. You would be alone. The Starfleet makes little provision for our customs and way of life. If you should taint the Affirmation, or miss it . . ."
He did not need to finish. "The Affirmation will not occur for another 21.86 years." I added hesitantly, "Much will have changed by then."
"And what of your training here?" Father then inquired.
"Suvil was almost finished before he died," I replied. "And you contributed what you could. I will be capable of assuming my place here when the time comes. In addition, my experience in Starfleet will aid me in other ways."
"Vulcan needs you now. Studies are being planned to determine the impact the Federation will have on Vulcan. As a scientist, you can contribute much to this research."
"With a better understanding of my human half, I can contribute more."
"You do not need to leave. Tsaichrani is a guide. Amanda has been able to use and live within it."
"My mother is an exceptional woman and has known both ways of life. I have not."
"You are Suvil’s heir. You have responsibilities here now."
"They are not pressing." Father knew I was correct, for T’Uriamne had recently been appointed to succeed him as head of the Guardian Council. My voice took on a determined tone. "I must leave Vulcan, Father. I have not made this decision lightly. I am Vulcan; my decision is based on logic."
"I do not see the logic." Father paused once more and the silence hung heavily in the room. "Consider well, Spock, before you make your answer to Starfleet. A life’s decision deserves such consideration."
"My decision has already been made, Father."
"Despite its consequences?"
I knew there would be consequences in any event. "Yes, Father. Vulcan is --" I paused a split second and continued in a softer voice, "not enough."
I could feel the electricity in the air as we faced one another.
"I am leaving, Father, as soon as arrangements can be made." With that I turned and left the room.
Amanda was on her knees working in the small garden set aside for her use near the house. It was spring on Vulcan, the harvest season, the time of year she’d come to like best on her adopted world. It had been spring when she had first met Sarek; spring when she’d married him; spring when she had come to his house as a bride. She had taken over the garden that year and had continued to manage it thereafter. The unbearable heat of the Vulcan summer was still a thing of the future, and the warm sun and soft breezes made the work enjoyable. It provided a kind of therapy for her. She thought back to the early years of their marriage -- how often she had been angry, held her tongue, and then vented her energies weeding a flowerbed, "I wonder if we would have survived our first year without it," she mused as she worked.
She was proud of the garden. Under her care, fifteen plants from fourteen Federation worlds flourished. As a "Starfleet courtesy," the Admiral had delivered some new seeds. So now, here she was, dressed in coveralls, carefully removing soil to pot the seeds until they could be transplanted to the garden itself and wondering how Starfleet had known about her "hobby."
She brushed back a strand of gradually graying hair, smudging her face with the dirt from her hands, and sat back on her heels at the sound of footsteps. She watched her husband’s approach, studying the man she’d married. Was it already twenty years? He hadn’t aged much -- not even a little grey at the temples. "He looks tired," she thought. She stood, wiped her hands on her soil-splotched coveralls, and waited for him to speak.
On a day such as this, Sarek knew where he would find his wife, but this time he didn’t see her until she rose. "My wife." He almost smiled as he surveyed the soil-smudged face. "The years have done well by her," he thought as he extended the first two fingers of his right hand.
"Oh dear," she thought, touching her fingers to his, "he’s being formal. I do hope nothing is wrong."
Almost as if by mutual agreement, they began to walk along the stone lined path.
"Is there something wrong, Sarek?" she asked neutrally, attempting to match his mood.
"I have spoken with Spock. I do not understand his decision to attend the Space Naval Academy."
They walked on in silence. "Why?" she asked.
"Amanda, decisions must be made after all the facts are weighed. I do not believe Spock has evaluated all the parameters involved. Hence, I must disagree with him."
"What parameters? Surely he is entitled to attend whatever school he wishes?"
"Spock has always shown an aptitude in computer sciences. The Science Academy has the best training programs in that field. It is rare that one so young is invited to attend there, Amanda, and he is refusing the privilege. That is illogical."
Amanda was torn: long-smoldering emotion told her that her son must not be trapped by the conventions and dictates of others. "Has he told you his reasons? Perhaps there are some factors unknown to you?"
"We have spoken."
"Sarek," her voice was gentle, "he is your son; he has followed your teachings all his life. But he is not fully Vulcan." She thought of all the difficulties that Spock had borne simply because she was human. "If he is to be at peace with himself, he must understand all his heritage, human as well as Vulcan. That is a conflict only he can resolve; we can only advise and guide, each in our own way. He must learn to combine both heritages for the greater good of both. ‘If the father claims thus and the grandfather teaches another view while both disagree with seven of the Great Ones, the child must search for his own truth!’ " Amanda knew she had made her point; it wasn’t often she was able to show her training and quote from the Book of Logic.
"‘The needs of thy son can be fulfilled only by the community’," he countered. "His training and abilities are needed here."
"When he is needed, he will come. We have no claim on him."
"My wife, even you will admit the mores of your culture are sometimes difficult for even humans to cope with. Spock would be surrounded by people who generally make no effort to control any but the most violent of their emotions. And I have found that most humans have no consideration for customs other than their own. Spock’s mind control is erratic; he may not be able to protect himself from mental intrusion. I fear for his sanity if he can not."
Amanda stopped in mid-stride, turned, and faced her husband squarely. "Spock has managed to deal quite capably with my emotions, Sarek. I have not driven him insane. And remember, even your father was surprised at the special mind talents he seems to possess. Only time will tell, but keeping him in a cage out of fear is no answer."
"I am thinking more of keeping him alive," he replied evenly as they continued their walk. "Spock is the last of the First Realm with all the obligations that accompany it. It is imperative that he stay alive, remain sane, and have a son. Joining Starfleet will be physically dangerous. And a son lost to tsaichrani through insanity might as well be dead. Spock is kataytikh; he preserves the past for the future. His death, without a son, without a grandson to train, might be extinction for all-Vulcan. Do you understand, Amanda? Cage Spock? No. But he must be made to see reason."
"Sarek . . . ." She broke off as a series of pictures floated through her thoughts: Spock as an infant, the day he spoke his first words, the passing of the Kahs-wan, his bonding, the preparations for his first trip to the Science Academy, the day Suvil died. "Help me," her mind seemed to scream, "help Spock." She could not let her son be trapped. Quickly, she calmed her thoughts and proceeded with a coolness that belied the depth of her feelings. "Don’t you think Spock knows all this? Yet he wishes to go offworld. Isn’t it remotely possible that the more totally he understands himself, the better position he will be in to serve Vulcan to the utmost?"
(RBW Note. Amanda thinking of Spock at various ages.)
"I do not dispute that, my wife. I merely question the means he uses to gain that knowledge."
They continued their walk in silence, each meditating on what the other had said: Sarek working out the probabilities; Amanda determined to do everything possible to prevent any further rift between her husband and her son.
I arrived at the Enclave at dusk and collected the two offworlders to take them on their tour. It seemed to me to be the best time of day for the excursion for I knew that the heat, even then, would be oppressive to them. The brief walk to the waiting aircar lined Admiral Malcolme’s face with beads of sweat while Lieutenant Nadaf grumbled about the heat from the moment he stepped out of the air-conditioned Embassy.
"Does one ever adjust to this climate?" he asked me as we entered the climate-controlled aircar.
"My mother manages quite well," I replied.
I told them about the spaceport as we traveled. "Space Central is located to the east of the Enclave and north of the Lachlelan Forestry. The land on which it was built was originally worthless marsh." I could see the spaceport vaguely in the distance and pointed it out to my passengers before I continued. "Under the terms of Federation membership, Vulcan is permitted to regulate its own interplanetary space lanes." I realized suddenly that Starfleet, and therefore Admiral Malcolme, would be well aware that the strictness of our "maritime" codes sometimes exceeds those of Starfleet.
"They expect to run a starbase from here -- in this heat?" Lieutenant Nadaf’s booming tones brought me up short. His contempt was unmistakable.
"I am sure it is not very large by Starfleet’s standards," I replied, carefully choosing my words, "but it serves our needs. Vulcan is very nearly self-sufficient," I added by way of explanation.
"Is that why your people are so opposed to converting the present space port into starbase? Do you fear dependency on the Federation?" Malcolme asked.
I was impressed by his quick insight. "There are those who fear your human-dominated culture would overpower ours," I replied. "A starbase here is seen as another attempt at encroachment."
"You speak as if your planet were outside the Federation," the secretary interrupted in challenging tone.
I glanced at the Tellarite. We were over the spaceport and I guided the car to its center. Admiral Malcolme’s voice filled the awkward pause. He ignored the comment. "But you want to join Starfleet -- or at least attend the Academy. And obviously, since your father opposes a Starfleet base here, he must also have opposed your application. I’m sorry if our being here at this time has caused you personal difficulty."
I said nothing, thankful that for the next few minutes my attention was absorbed in grounding the aircar so that the Admiral could not pursue the matter.
We left the carpark and headed for the administration building. The area was almost deserted and it was the lieutenant who broke the silence as we walked. "No security guards! A spaceport with no security!" He shook his head in disbelief.
"There seems to be no need." Admiral Malcolme spoke quietly before I could explain. "And given that premise, it would be illogical to have security guards." His imitation of Father’s voice was extremely good and evidently startled the lieutenant, who turned expecting to see Sarek. "Sorry," the Admiral apologized, "couldn’t resist." I could not be sure to which one of us he was apologizing and thought it wiser to remain silent. The Tellarite just scowled.
"The fact that you do not see any security guards," I sought to reassure the secretary, "does not mean that there are no security arrangements." We had reached the administration building and I confirmed our clearance. We borrowed a ground craft and headed for the outskirts of the base; I intended that we spiral in toward the center of the base, winding up in the administration building where we had begun. We examined the loading docks where Admiral Malcolme tried his hand at piloting one of the Vulcan-designed simulator-shuttles used for training new pilots, and then we moved on to the storage silos.
"What’s inside?" Lieutenant Nadaf asked as we passed the storage warehouses and it became evident that we were not going to enter.
"At present, grain for the Sirian Colonies. It is being shipped via the Excalibur within two yahvee."
From then on, the secretary seemed content to let Admiral Malcolme ask the questions while he walked around, peering, poking, and always complaining. He never seemed to wander far and was always there when we moved on so I began to ignore his disappearances. I showed them the central transporter facilities and then we headed for the communications center. We had not stayed very long in any one area but the Admiral saw to it that it was a comprehensive tour. His questions were plentiful and demanded my full attention. Since he had clearance, he also spoke with the personnel. After questioning one woman in communications for a rather lengthy time, he turned to me, "How do they do it?"
"If I didn’t know better, I’d say that this section is understaffed and everyone here is obviously busy. Yet, when I ask a question, it’s as if they had all the time in the world to answer it."
"They all understand the reason for your inspection. Your questions have high priority," I explained. I wasn’t sure he understood.
"Well, we could sure use a few lessons in courtesy from your personnel here," he answered ruefully. It was my turn to wonder if I fully understood.
Having satisfied himself at communications, we proceeded to the passenger facilities and immigration services. "We have few arrivals at any one time," I told the Admiral as we entered, "so it is possible to contain all the service and registration sections required by both Federation and Vulcan law in one building." We went up to the next level and I noticed that the secretary again wandered off alone while Admiral Malcolme continued his interviews. When we were ready to leave, the Tellarite was nowhere to be found. The Admiral too had apparently noticed his frequent disappearances for his tone voiced the exasperation I felt. "Now where has he gone?! It would serve him right if we left him behind."
For a moment I thought the Admiral was serious, then I realized his statement was a measure of his unconcern. Then he added, "I expect we’ll find he got bored and returned to the administration building."
I hoped he was correct in his assessment; I should not have let the secretary wander off alone.
We walked quickly back to the administration building. The lieutenant was not waiting for us. I called Shiel, chief of security, and informed him of the situation. As he initiated a search detail, he offered us the use of his office while we waited for news.
But I found I couldn’t sit there and wait. "Admiral, I’m going to look for Lieutenant Nadaf."
"I’ll go with you," Admiral Malcolme offered.
"No. I’ve already lost one Federation representative -- I have no desire to make it two." It was fully dark now and the secretary had been missing for over thirty standard minutes. I admitted to myself that I would feel better if I were the one who found him.
"But, Spock, Security is searching for him. Where will you look that they won’t?"
I stepped out of the opening door without replying. Actually, I wasn’t sure where I was going to look. I stopped at the building’s entrance to consider the matter. Shiel’s sensors would first probe the area where I had last seen the lieutenant and fan outward from there. If I didn’t want to duplicate their efforts . . . . Lieutenant Nadaf had been fascinated with the storage silos. And we hadn’t gone in. Perhaps he had wandered back there to look inside. I took the aircar back to the warehouses.
Once there, I activated the door mechanism and entered the darkness. My eyes adjusted immediately. I suddenly felt very foolish. What would the secretary be doing here? And if he were here, why had he not activated any of the lighting panels? He could not see in the dark. Fortunately, I could. I circled slowly around the upper walkway of the storage silo noting that everything was as it should be and then made my way down one of the ramps leading to the lower level.
"If he has walked back here from the administration building, then he cannot have been here long," I thought to myself. Nothing had been displaced. I had not seen or heard the Tellarite. "I was wrong," I told myself, "he did not come back here. I should have left the matter to Shiel." Turning to walk back up the ramp, I stopped short as I heard something bump into a packaging container followed by a string of Tellarite expletives.
"Lieutenant Nadaf!" I called out, and moved toward the sound.
And suddenly the world was turned upside down. I was thrown to the ground, deafened by the force and sound of the explosion. My last conscious thought was of my grandfather’s death at Beom.
I have no recollection of the events that followed and it was only later that the healer told me that I owed my survival to the fact that I had immediately entered a healing trance. I only know that I awoke in the eerie to the sight of Mother’s face anxiously regarding mine. When she realized that I was awake, a smile appeared briefly; I could sense her relief followed by a new worry. Then her hand left my forehead, breaking what contact we had, and I was left puzzled.
Ignoring that, I raised myself to a sitting position. I was anxious to learn what had happened, but . . . . "Mother, I must speak with T’Pau. Nadaf . . . ."
". . . is dead," she finished in a flat, quiet tone. "T’Pau has asked to speak with you as soon as you are well. Shall I arrange it?"
I nodded and soon sank into a deep, dreamless sleep.
T’Pau arrived at D’R’hiset the next day. My father brought her into his office where I waited and immediately withdrew. Father’s office chair seemed to envelop her slight physical frame, yet her presence dominated the room.
"Spock, Lieutenant Nadaf is dead," she began abruptly.
"Amanda has told me this," I answered quietly.
"Thee was responsible for thy guests." For the first time the words were more than just words; I knew the implications. I had been responsible for the Federation representatives, but had permitted Lieutenant Nadaf to wander freely. I was also responsible for their behavior. Had the entire grain shipment been destroyed? Further, I was responsible for Lieutenant Nadaf’s death, for when he realized that I had discovered his actions, he had taken his own life.
Suddenly, my thoughts were interrupted when the door opened and Sarek entered the room. Mother followed close behind him, her face awash with emotions she could not control and I could not comprehend.
"T’Pau -- your pardon for the interruption. They found these," Sarek said as his hand revealed three small electronic components. "Shiel felt you should see them."
"Lieutenant Nadaf was a saboteur," I told them.
"Thee knew this?" T’Pau returned her attention to me. "Why did thee not inform security?"
"I could not be certain of my facts," I replied. "Lieutenant Nadaf would disappear and then return. Admiral Malcolme did not find this unusual. He might simply have been making inquiries on his own. Admiral Malcolme only complained about the lieutenant’s final disappearance. It was only after Shiel had left that I remembered Nadaf’s curiosity about the storage silos. Logically, it was my place to go after him. My error was that I called out his name. Instead of surrendering, he chose suicide."
"It was a suicide mission," Father said calmly. "Judging from the primitive components, and adding the facts you have just given us, it could be nothing less. Indeed, I would judge the timer to have been set for less than a standard minute." I must have looked surprised for he added, "It is as I have tried to tell you, Spock. Offworlders do not follow the ways of logic."
There was silence as each of us contemplated the new information. I was aware of the truth behind my father’s words. Nadaf had tried -- and come very close -- to killing both of us.
T’Pau broke the silence. "Thee will accept the consequences of this judgment?"
"The matter will be considered ended." I heard my mother’s gasp of surprise. "The life of the Tellarite was already forfeit. Had things gone as planned, Tellar would have used his death for their own purposes and cited it as evidence of Vulcan incompetence. Your arrival and Lieutenant Nadaf’s haste will now allow the evidence to speak in our defense. Admiral Malcolme has indicated that he wishes the matter closed. He assures me that Tellar will replace the grain shipment and pay for all damages." She paused a moment and then continued, "And thee must live with the events of this day all the days of thy life."
A new calm encompassed me as I realized what T’Pau’s judgment meant. I had no doubt that Admiral Malcolme interceded. Why he did it, or how he had managed to convince T’Pau, I did not know.
T’Pau left immediately, Father escorting her out. As Mother accompanied me upstairs, I received the answers to some of my questions.
"Admiral Malcolme told us what happened. He was very puzzled and concerned when he discovered you were in trouble. Your father tried to explain to him." Mother smiled and I was relieved to see the worry gone from her brow. "I like that man," she continued. "He honestly tried to understand our way, but he is not one to permit what he considers an injustice. I’m afraid he used a little blackmail." Again Mother’s face held an inscrutable smile. "As a condition of Vulcan authority over the new starbase, you are not to be considered in any way responsible for Lieutenant Nadaf’s death."
"But I was." I told her.
"Admiral Malcolme considers what you did a service to both Vulcan and Starfleet. Are you going to contradict an Admiral?" she asked.
We remained silent the rest of the way to the eerie. The ways of humans are strange I told myself, and I remained confused over everyone’s easy acceptance of T’Pau’s ruling. I myself could not accept it. She was correct about the fact that I would have to live with what had occurred for the rest of my life.
Slowly, I realized that I was still free to leave Vulcan and pursue my intended course. The thought crossed my mind to see Malcolme; I knew humans were accustomed to being thanked.
I did not know it then, but I would limp for a standard month after the explosion. I was concerned about what it would do to my chances of succeeding in Starfleet until the healer assured me it was only a temporary condition. No one had spoken of my intent to attend Starfleet Academy, nor had I mentioned it since the accident, but I was still determined to go.
Mother had sent me on an errand that took me to the Enclave. As the healer’s recommendation had been exercise, I had decided to walk the distance from D’R’hiset, testing the strength of the injured leg, and was pleased to find that it had healed almost fully. The consulate was my last stop before returning home. The building matched its neighborhood: a low, squat, steel-gray edifice set amongst others of similar architecture and making no use of the locale to enhance its appearance. Mother had once claimed that recent human architecture had no aesthetic value, and on the basis of the Enclave, I had to agree. The auto-receptionist instructed me to the second floor, fourth door to the left. I located Admiral Malcolme’s office without any difficulty and knocked on the heavy wooden door.
The Admiral opened the door of his office almost immediately.
"Spock, come in." He smiled warmly and indicated two well-upholstered chairs in an alcove of the office. "Is there some message from your father?"
"No, he does not even know that I am here."
"I see," he responded non-committally. There was an almost imperceptible pause. "Then I suppose I should ask what I can do for you."
I noticed his slight stress on the last word. "I have decided to attend Starfleet Academy," I began.
"In that case, welcome to the Fleet." Admiral Malcolme smiled again.
"Is that not a bit premature?"
"I have no doubt of your capabilities. However, I’m sure that’s not what you’re here to talk about." He reached over to the small table on his left and picked up a small cylindrical object with a flat stem at almost right angles and placed it in his mouth. "Do you mind if I smoke while I listen?" I had never seen a pipe before. He took my silence for consent and I watched curiously as he lit the cylindrical end. He settled back in the chair, waiting for me to begin. I was uncomfortable in the big plush chair and the knowledge of what I had to say only heightened the effect.
"I should like to know why you interceded on my behalf with T’Pau?" I began awkwardly.
"Well I couldn’t let a future Starfleet officer suffer for something he had no control over, could I?" The question startled me. How had he been so confident that I would be going to Starfleet? "If you had discovered Nadaf’s treachery earlier, you’d have been a hero," he continued. "And if you’ll pardon my prying, I should like to know why you were up on charges in the first place?" I tried to explain something of Vulcan responsibility to the Starfleet Admiral, but I can only conjecture that he was as puzzled by my explanation as I was by his.
Finally, he sighed. "Well, I can’t say I’m sorry. I can’t even say I feel you did anything wrong. But what are your plans now?"
"I was hoping you would permit me to travel with you as far as Starbase One. Unfortunately, Vulcan has no direct shuttles to the Academy. I have enough credits to pay you and to take a shuttle from there."
Admiral Malcolme looked puzzled. "The term doesn’t begin for several months." He seemed pensive then smiled. "Well, there’s plenty of room and I’m going to One anyway . . . . All right, you’ve got your lift." He paused a moment. "I expect the Federation Council to agree to the compromise momentarily. The actual signing will be left to others, so you may have to leave on short notice." he warned me.
"Agreed," I replied.
"Then I’ll call you and try to give you some advance notice."
"That will be satisfactory."
Malcolme saw me to the door and I left the consulate to return home. It remained for me to tell my parents of my arrangements.
We sat in the usual silence as we ate our evening meal, but for several days now it had not been the silence of peace. My mother merely toyed with her food, absent-mindedly pushing it from side to side on her plate. Sarek ate a normal amount, but stolidly and without appreciation. My own meal lay like sand in the pit of my stomach.
Admiral Malcolme had contacted me; it remained for me to tell my parents when I was leaving. As we rose to clear the table, I spoke without looking at either of them. "I leave for Starfleet tomorrow at eighteen hundred standard hours."
My mother passed an anxious glance at Sarek. "Shall we see you off?" she asked me, but her question was really intended for my father.
There was a silence, then Sarek’s curt reply. "I have another appointment."
He turned his back and walked into the main hall. My mother clasped her hands together to control their trembling and followed him. "Sarek," her voice was tense, "Spock has made his decision. Accept it as his right. And in this case," she paused slightly considering her next words, "given time the action will pass judgment on itself."
I had followed them and stood passively by as she pleaded my cause. So now Sarek and I stood facing each other, firm and unmoving from our separate positions. My mother moved in between us, laying a hand on each of our nearer arms.
"Spock! Sarek!" There was no response from either of us. "There must be some way you can compromise this. Please! Sarek, he doesn’t have to serve on a ship . . . Starfleet needs scientists in many different positions." Pausing, she turned to me. "Could you not wait to go to Starfleet until you have finished your studies here at the Academy?"
Without looking at her, Sarek removed her hand and answered tonelessly, "Spock cannot choose his assignments, Amanda." His voice became more stern. "I will have no son in Starfleet. If you go, you deny tsaichrani."
"Father, I go to find my place within tsaichrani."
"There are those older and wiser than yourself who believe that it is best found here." I must have looked puzzled as he knew I would, for he continued, "Admiral Malcolme offered T’Pau a seat on the Federation Council. She has refused it, knowing her place is here."
"I am not T’Pau," I responded quietly.
"Then let us speak of you, Spock. Do you realize what your death now would mean to Vulcan? You are the last of the First Realm. If you should die before you have a son . . . ."
My mother’s gasp cut off Sarek’s words. It did not matter; I knew he had come as close as he dared to speaking of that which was not discussed -- and to intruding on my privacy. For a brief moment, I stood silently and stared at him. Then I turned and walked out of the hall, leaving a stunned silence behind me.
"Sarek . . . ." Amanda’s voice conveyed her shock. She stared from her husband to the place where her son had stood only a moment before.
"The matter is not open for discussion, my wife." Sarek’s voice was cold. "Our son’s place is here."
"Sarek, he will leave and go to Starfleet. Nothing you have said tonight has changed his decision." The silence hung heavily in the room. "He’s your son . . . . You can’t let him leave like this."
"If his choice is to leave, there is little I can do to change it."
His calm tone infuriated her. She paced a few steps before speaking. "Your father accepted Spock’s needs in this matter. Can you do less? Have all these years with me taught you so little?" She could not stand the silence. "Vulcan has compromised on the matter of the Starbase, can you not do the same for your son?" His silence defeated her. "Sarek, at least speak with him."
She had asked him for so little in the time they were married; he’d denied her less. But this time . . . "I cannot."
I went to my quarters, high above the rest of the house. Not turning on the lights, I stood in the darkness, looking out over the starlit view. Slowly, I realized that Mother was standing outside the arras, waiting for me to answer her low voiced call.
I hesitated a moment, and then . . . "Come in, Mother."
She entered slowly, unable to see in the dark. I reached down and flicked on a small desk lamp. Her face was damp; I knew she had been crying. I deliberately turned my back on her, returning to the window.
"Spock, you can’t leave like this. Please, go to your father; the two of you must work this out." I could hear the slight tremble in her voice as she came up behind me.
"Mother, I must do what I consider logical. Have you not often told me that I must accept responsibility for myself?" Suddenly, I realized how difficult this was for her; I tried again. "I have no wish to separate myself from Vulcan or my father. But we do not agree."
She answered evenly, "I can accept your decision, Spock, because I love you, and I understand your arguments. But I love your father too, and I understand his objections." I could sense her tension but could do nothing to relieve it. "If you must go, so be it. But don’t leave in haste or in anger. Don’t let him lose a son as he has already lost a daughter."
I turned to face her. "Mother, I must leave, it is not a matter of choice now. When Sarek sees that I have done what I must, there will no longer be a separation. It would not be logical to reject proven facts. Until then, we must travel different paths. It is enough that we seek the same goal."
She seemed to be reassured by my words, perhaps because she wanted to believe. She smiled at me and gave me a quick hug. I automatically strengthened my shields.
"Promise me that if he speaks to you, you’ll at least listen."
"It would be illogical to do otherwise."
"You sound like your father. Goodnight, Spock."
She left me and I returned to the window. There could be no delay; my decision was made. I quickly packed the few things I planned to take with me. It was then that I found the book. It had been Suvil’s and must have been left behind when my grandparents’ possessions were removed from the aerie after their deaths. An inscription on the title page -- in Suvil’s hand -- read, "The roads of logic are many." Strangely appropriate; I had chosen mine. I slipped the book into my carry-bag. I would leave tonight and stay in the Enclave. When the Aztec left Vulcan, I would be aboard with Admiral Malcolme.
I arranged my room, preparing it for a long absence. When I was sure my parents had retired for the night, I let myself quietly out of D’R’hiset.
The night quietly enveloped the land. On the horizon, I could see the ever-present lights of the Federation Enclave. I slung the carry-bag over my shoulder and drew a deep breath into my lungs. Then without looking back, I began the long walk toward the lights.
(RBW Note. Drawing of Spock with back pack walking towards the Enclave.)
I pull myself out of the memory and turn to leave, only to be brought up short by the Captain’s voice: "Mr. Spock. A moment, if you please."
~ ~ ~
(RBW Note. Drawing of Amanda)
(RBW Note. Image of a cup with handles at the four corners)
(RBW Note. Ten ^ (carets) one above each other to the right of the above image.)
(RBW Note. Drawing of Spock to the right of the above title)
Sarek sat watching his unconscious son, Spock xtmprsqzntwlfd, Kataytikh of the First Realm, and possibly the last hope for the survival of tsaichrani. All of Vulcan, lying pale and strained on that bunk, while the __Halbird__ pitched and bucked with Thilien’s maneuvers to escape the Romulans, and Dr. McCoy worked at rigging a blood filter, muttering angrily each time the delicate work was jarred by some new movement of the ship.
For the first time since his time sense had returned, and he realized he had missed the Affirmation, Sarek had a reason for living: Spock needed his blood, containing the Romulan antibodies that would save his life. It was a simple thing. This man who had proved himself Vulcan beyond all doubt by performing the Affirmation in his father’s absence--and with a borrowed Kraith--was now dependent for survival on the blood of a man who was no longer Vulcan, and on the fact that that blood contained a Romulan substance.
There was great humor in the situation. The tight, logical focus of Sarek’s thoughts fragmented and randomized, reforming with a new clarity as tension drained from him and he entered a deeper state of meditation.
There was also tragedy inherent here: if Spock died, Sarek and T’Uriamne would be the last members of the xtmprsqzntwlfd left alive. T’Uriamne was a Daughter, and Sarek was Disaffirmed. Yes--that was where the humor lay. Amanda had tried so often to explain to him that the highest comedy lay on the trembling edge of tragedy. Now he understood. He would tell her as soon as he got home; she would appreciate that. Perhaps, if Spock survived, they would laugh together.
This, then, was what it meant to be Disaffirmed, to be lost from the lifestream of his people. T’Aniyeh and Spock understood. Even the humans understood--both Kirk and McCoy had gasped in horror at the realization of Sarek’s state. While Sarek himself . . . had made a bad joke of it.
He hadn’t expected the difference to be so obvious. He had, after all, been Affirmed before. He had not seen the change in himself while confronted only with Romulans, but the moment he was once more among Vulcans, the difference in him was so evident that he could not conceal it. He had exposed himself practically with his first breath. T’Aniyeh had given the logical greeting to a Disaffirmed: "May you not live long and prosper."
And Sarek had answered, illogically, "Thank you." __One__ __does__ __not__ __thank__ __logic__.
When Spock had mentioned Amanda’s pleasure at Sarek’s being alive, he had felt a stab of pain so great that he had spoken in what now seemed a flippant manner. "Your mother is often irrational. She’ll get over it." Meaning, __she’ll__ __get__ __over__ __me__, for Sarek did not expect to live to return to Vulcan. He never expected to see Amanda again, and so he had cut himself off from contacting her through their bonding. __And__ __now__ __I’m__ __sitting__ __here__ __thinking__ __of__ __her__, __of__ __laughing__ __with__ __her__ . . . __I__ __cannot__ __even__ __control__ __my__ __own__ __intentions__.
How did he dare meld with Spock? What if that spread the-- No. No, it was less than a year since Spock’s Affirmation. Tsaichrani was the complete mold and character of a kataytikh’s mind so soon afterward. He need not fear contaminating his son.
In fact . . . .
__I__ __need__ __not__ __remain__ __Disaffirmed__. __Possibly__ __I__ __cannot__.
Well, as Amanda would say, that only showed how far from logic he was. Two kataytikhe of the same family, melding so soon after one of them had performed an Affirmation. Sarek would be trans-Affirmed . . . or both of them would die.
Fascinating. He experienced no joy at the thought of rejoining tsaichrani. Why not? It should be worth his life to have the chance. Was not his life worthless as a Disaffirmed?
Worthless to whom? To Vulcans. But . . . Sarek was one of the principle proponents of the idea that other values might be as worthy as tsaichrani. In just the first months he had known Amanda, before there was any thought of marriage between them, her "intuitive logic" had shown him the way to persuade the Federation to accede to Vulcan’s needs.
For the first time in his life, Sarek considered not simply the fact that there were other ways of thinking . . . but that he might adopt them. In all the days he had sat in that Romulan prison cell, knowing himself irrevocably Disaffirmed and waiting for Nature to put the logical end to his life, it had not occurred to him that he had any other choice.
Now, when surely he ought to see trans-Affirmation as the only possible course to pursue, now, suddenly he perceived a choice. Remaining Disaffirmed somehow seemed a viable alternative, perhaps as attractive as trans-Affirmation?
__Why__ __am__ __I__ __thinking__ __this__ __way__? __There__ __is__ __no__ __other__ __way__ __of__ __Life__ __for__ __a__ __Vulcan__.
__Oh__? he answered himself. __And__ __why__ __not__? __Others__, __like__ __T’Aniyeh__, __become__ __a__ __part__ __of__ __tsaichrani__. __Why__ __cannot__ __one__ __born__ __Vulcan__ __become__ __a__ __part__ __of__ __another__ __tradition__?
__Madness__, he thought. It was well known that Vulcan children could not be adopted into other cultures. __But__ __I__ __am__ __not__ __a__ __child__.
__What__ __am__ __I__?
He considered. It could be said that he had regressed in maturity--but that still left him physically, emotionally, and sexually mature. He ought to be able to function as well as any Vulcan who had not yet participated in his first Affirmation.
However, he knew what always happened to the Disaffirmed: eventually they went mad and died. __Did__ he know that? He had never known anyone Disaffirmed, had never seen it happen. Were his wife Vulcan, he would face death at his next pon farr, for an Affirmed Vulcan wife would have the right to reject their bonding. __But__ __what__ __of__ __women__? An Affirmed husband would reject his bonding with a Disaffirmed, and remarry. The shock of Disaffirmation, followed by the severing of one’s closest relationship? That in itself . . . .
He remembered Amanda’s theories that Vulcans, with their total bodily control, actually brought on much of the madness of pon farr themselves, because they __believed__ they would go mad at that time. Although he had never admitted it to her, he thought she was at least partly right; for he, himself, had overcome the madness to speak . . . to win Amanda. He had heard that his son had managed also to speak through the blood fever, and T’Pau, who had been witness on both occasions, credited Spock’s ability to his human blood.
__That__ __is__ __illogical__, Sarek realized for the first time. __T’Pau__ __is__ __wrong__. __Either__ __Spock__ __inherited__ __that__ __ability__ __from__ __me__, __or__ __it__ __is__ __inherent__ __in__ __every__ __Vulcan__ __given__ __sufficient__ __provocation__.
So . . . it appeared that Vulcans believed things about the madness of Pon Farr that would not stand examination in the light of fact. Perhaps they were wrong about the inevitability of madness among the Disaffirmed.
The question still remained, however: given the choice, why should he consider remaining Disaffirmed? It would mean leaving Vulcan, but he had spent many years on other planets and had little trouble adapting. It would mean leaving his work, but that would leave him free to do . . . anything he wanted! Almost anything. It would be a bit difficult to be a freelance diplomat.
One could, however, be a freelance journalist. Over the years, he had seen events in the Federation influenced as much by the news media as by politicians and diplomats. Sarek knew everyone, and what he might not understand in a given situation, Amanda would.
Would Amanda like that? Journalists, linking their names when they had just met, had almost made it impossible for Sarek to get to know her as he intended. Odd . . . he had never told her that. She ought to know that it was not merely the accident of their being caught in the anomalous Blooming that had made him want her for his wife. Oh, she knew that much. They had been good friends long before that day, despite the journalists. But what he had never told her was that he had begun to choose her that very first day she had appeared at his home, intending to confront T’Uriamne. Even Sarek found it difficult to meet T’Uriamne head on, despite the respect she owed him as her father . . . and there had come that small human woman, determined to tell a Daughter of the Tradition that she was a disruptive influence.
From that day, Amanda had remained a constant in the corner of Sarek’s mind, not often in his thoughts, but never far from them. When he found her alone in the Interstellar Restaurant one night, the realization rose to the surface of his mind and he joined her determined to find out what she truly was. He had felt at that moment as if a long, pleasant time stretched ahead of him . . . with her. He would speak with her, explore what he sensed was a keen mind, show her Vulcan, lead her gently to its philosophy, and eventually . . . .
The point his thoughts had reached by the time he had joined her at her table startled him. Drawing back, he began at the beginning, with her name. Miss Grayson. She bore the "Miss" proudly, although it signified she was unmarried, unchosen. "Grayson" was her father’s name; it
told nothing of what she was herself, and Sarek knew nothing of her family. He would ask her soon--but it was not the point at which to begin. Thus far, her name yielded only the important fact that she was not committed permanently to another.
"Amanda," she supplied when he repeated the formal variation, seeking to find more in it than was there. The name her parents had chosen for her, on the other hand . . . .
Searching his mind for the proper references, he recalled that she was from Earth and spoke English as her native tongue. Not a Germanic name--something from the Romance languages. He had learned some Latin, because of the way that dead language cropped up in Federation legalities.
Then he recognized it. Her name meant "Beloved", or "worthy of being loved." That emotion was extremely important to humans--but Sarek did not comprehend it.
__I__ __didn’t__ __comprehend__ __it__ __then__, thought Sarek, meditating on board the __Halbird__. __I__ __chose__ __you__ __logically__, __my__ __wife__, __even__ __though__ __Nature__ __forced__ __the__ __choice__ __before__ __I__ __was__ __ready__ __to__ __voice__ __it__ __to__ __you__.
Amanda, acting out of love, had gone into their marriage unprepared, unequipped with simple facts of Vulcan biology, Vulcan tradition. It was not a reasoned choice, but she had made it and stuck by her decision. Fortunately, they were able to talk to one another. She asked for what she wanted, and he gave it . . . all except love. He and his son had both disappointed her in that. Sarek could not comprehend the emotion, and Spock had to be raised in tsaichrani, so that it was equally foreign to him.
Sarek pondered that point. It was the one thing he could never give Amanda. She seemed to have accepted that. "I love you anyway," she would say lightly and change the subject.
She had taught him so many incomprehensible things. He recalled how bewildered he had been when she asked him to sleep in the same bed with her, despite the fact that he was sexually non-functional when not in pon farr. Their bonding, though, showed him her need for physical touch . . . and eventually, on those occasions when they were separated, he missed her small body curled up against his. He missed her now.
That was illogical. Everything he thought was illogical, and he didn’t care. __Amanda__, __if__ __I__ __knew__, __absolutely__ __knew__, __that__ __by__ __remaining__ __Disaffirmed__ __I__ __could__ __learn__ __to__ __love__ __you__, __there__ __would__ __be__ __no__ __choice__. __I__ __would__ __choose__ __you__ __over__ __tsaichrani__.
Heresy, too. Why was he even surprised? He had chosen her over tradition in the madness of pon farr, and never regretted it. Not for himself. For Spock, at times--yet now he knew that Spock had gained greater strength from growing up half human than he would have if he had been pure Vulcan.
The theft of the Kraith and the kidnapping of Sarek had left a void to be filled by someone of exceptional ability . . . and Spock, Amanda’s son, had been there to fill it. Now the father of that son must fight down his own illogic and meld with Spock, to heal him for the future. Before he began the meld, however, he must decide whether he would accept the trans-Affirmation that the meld offered.
His thoughts were interrupted by the appearance of T’Aniyeh with a tray of food. He ate without thinking about it, trusting that T’Aniyeh would not poison him--and was half-way through the meal before it occurred to him that an Affirmed Vulcan might consider poison an act of mercy toward a Disaffirmed.
No--Sarek was needed to save Spock’s life, and T’Aniyeh, her mind clear and logical after her recent Affirmation, would undoubtedly also have realized at once that the meld would give Sarek the opportunity to trans-Affirm. It would never cross her mind that he might reject the opportunity.
__Am__ __I__ __mad__? he wondered. He had made another Life Decision in a state of madness, and never regretted it. It had been right for Sarek . . . and right for Vulcan. The proof that he had chosen rightly lay before his eyes. The son he might have had with T’Kye would not have had the strength of Spock’s dual heritage. Had there been no Spock . . . he needed no acasomy to construct the outcome of the theft of the Kraith: a rift in tsaichrani, possibly irrevocable.
How ironic! Sarek could very well say that he had done his duty to Vulcan by producing Spock. Did he have a higher duty now? __There__ lay an interesting problem! Would tsaichrani thrive with Sarek within or without it? __If__ __I__ __had__ __five__ __years__, __I__ __could__ __construct__ __both__ __models__. But he didn’t have five years. He had to decide now, knowing that Spock would never comprehend what his father felt just now. To be free. To lay the burdens he had carried all these years on Spock’s shoulders, and T’Uriamne’s. To have a perspective!
No, he wasn’t mad. Suddenly he knew that without a doubt he was saner than he had ever been in his life. He found it difficult to concentrate? No wonder! The universe was no longer filtered through Vulcan tradition--his perceptions had expanded radically. He was like a child developing ESP--he would have to learn to control his choices, but at this moment having an infinite number was an overwhelming experience.
__I__ __can__ __do__ __anything__ __I__ __want__ __to__ __do__.
From the distance of a hundred years, his grandfather’s voice seemed to speak to him. "Yes, Sarek, any Vulcan can do anything he wants to do. Within tsaichrani, all he must learn is to control what it is he wants."
__And__ __all__ __my__ __life__ __I’ve__ __controlled__ __what__ __I__ __wanted__--__except__ __once__.
Amanda again. She would understand. She would rejoice in his decision, in his return to her. __I__ __can__ __love__ __her__ __now__.
A fantasy rose in his mind--as easily, and from the same mechanism, as an extrapolation, but he knew quite well that the application was something entirely new in his experience. He indulged it shamelessly. He was home, walking alone up the steps to the front entry of D’R’hiset. The doors opened, and Amanda stood framed there, small and elegant, concealing her concern as he approached.
He stopped a few feet from her, looking into her eyes, waiting. Would she accept him now? Her eyes swept over him, assessing him anxiously; he saw relief in them when she found no physical damage. Then, "Sarek," she murmured, "oh, my husband--welcome home!"
She stepped forward, properly offering her first two fingers for him to touch. But Sarek held out his hand, fingers spread, palm up. Hesitating only for a moment, Amanda placed her hand in his.
He drew her to him, there on the front step of his ancestral home, hugging her against him like a child seeking the physical presence of a sehlat as solace after harsh lessons.
But Amanda gave more than a physical presence. He felt her joyful surprise as her arms circled his waist. "Oh, Sarek," she said, "I was so afraid! So afraid they’d hurt you. But you’re all right. You’re home now. Oh, you’re too thin--but I’ll take care of you."
"I’m fine, Amanda," he replied. "Just happy to see you."
"Happy?" She pushed away, to look up into his face.
"Yes, happy! I know what it means, Amanda." He picked her up, carrying her inside. "The Dominance of Logic is gone; that’s all. It has set me free to choose--and I choose to love you, my wife."
Her eyes were wide with astonishment. Sarek laughed at her. "I haven’t gone mad I’m simply finding my own way now. With you to help me."
"Oh, yes!" she replied, hugging him. He took the opportunity to kiss her, human-style, as she had taught him long ago in that first pon farr . . . .
The fantasy hung suspended, Sarek holding Amanda in his arms, standing in the hall, at the bottom of the great staircase, kissing her--it was a cliché scene, he recognized, from a hundred human stories. It would be fascinating to act it out. Amanda would be pleased, he thought. Unfortunately, that was not the end of the scene. The hero was supposed to carry the heroine up those stairs to a sumptuously appointed bedroom, where he would make love to her.
__Slight__ __error__ __in__ __calculation__, Sarek told himself wryly. Why had his mind turned up that particular fantasy? To warn him that Amanda had adjusted to him as a Vulcan, and might not adapt readily if he changed? It was his mind doing the fantasizing, though. Where was he going with that scene?
A most unVulcan thought occurred to him: __I__ __do__ __have__ __total__ __conscious__ __control__ __of__ __every__ __part__ __of__ __my__ __body__.
It was a shocking thought. Sarek savored it. He also had selective memory; he could call up the feelings of . . . .
Incredible the ways in which his mind twisted now! Logic applied on a much larger scope that he had ever before considered.
Deliberately, he turned his mind from his fantasy. He did not have time not to indulge in such extrapolations--sufficient that he had discovered a possibility that would open new worlds to him . . . to Amanda.
He was left once more with the basic question. Forget Amanda. Forget his own desires. He must apply his mind to the question of which would be better for tsaichrani.
Or for the Federation.
That thought had been long on his mind: did not Vulcan owe something to a higher order than itself? All life was to be respected, intelligent life revered. He did not believe that the infinite diversity of Federation races could destroy tsaichrani; he had never believed it.
Suppose . . . he were to remain Disaffirmed, and go forth to live among the other races of the Federation? Becoming a journalist would facilitate that, and would give him a voice within the Federation. He was respected. Everyone would listen to him except Vulcans.
He would have more than half a century to learn what it meant to view the universe through eyes uninfluenced by Vulcan tradition. Then . . . at the next Affirmation . . . .
Theoretically it was possible. Historically, no Exile had ever survived to be Reaffirmed--not with Vulcan the only place he could live, with his family cutting themselves off from him, with people greeting him on every side with "May you not live long and prosper."
Now, however, the Federation provided hope for the Disaffirmed. There were others of this Cycle, he was certain--star travel would inevitably mean Exiles in every Cycle. Vulcan sought to close in upon herself, maintaining tsaichrani at the expense of change, of growth. That way lay death. Had Sarek succeeded in keeping Spock on Vulcan his son would not have had the adaptability to perform the Affirmation, and the First Realm would have ended with his death or Disaffirmation.
Sarek wondered if Spock could understand. Another irony! Father and son had parted in bitterness at Spock’s decision to join Star Fleet. Could Spock now comprehend his father’s decision to remain apart from tradition--to remove himself across a far more impenetrable void than the reaches of space?
With that, he knew he had made his decision. For Amanda? No, although she was the symbol of the world beyond Vulcan that Sarek would now enter, a world with tradition as valid as tsaichrani.
For a few moments yet, he sat savoring the idea. It was right. Nevertheless, it could become academic.
He had to save Spock’s life. Without Spock to carry on the First Realm in Sarek’s absence--without Spock as an accepted spokesman for the Federation now that Sarek was unacceptable to Vulcan--Stovam and T’Uriamne would convince all Vulcan to remove itself from the Federation . . . to close itself to growth, and ultimately die.
In melding with Spock, Sarek might not be able to avoid trans-Affirming. The unfettered vision he had glimpsed so fleetingly might be closed to him forever. But at all costs, Spock must live. Possibly . . . if Sarek could not live his vision, he could pass it to Spock . . . or to his grandchildren.
His decision made, he rose and went to Spock’s side. The concentration exercises came easily. Placing his hands properly, he began the meld.
(RBW Note. Drawing of Spock.)
(RBW Note. Drawing of young girl child, about 2 or 3.)
Anna Mary Hall
McCoy flicked off the viewer and climbed wearily to his feet. He yawned, then stretched to ease cramped muscles. Every entry was up to date, he thought with satisfaction. He could start this voyage with a clear conscience. And he shouldn’t have to look at another record until their first stop.
He stepped out of his office into the dimly lit nighttime corridor and turned toward the rec room, then paused at the sound of footsteps. There were only two people on board who walked with a tread so firm you felt every step had been carefully considered. She had to be headed for sickbay.
"Good evening, Tanya," he said as she came to a precise halt in front of him.
The infinitesimal movement of her head might have been an answering nod. "Commander Spock asked that I deliver your copy of the scheduled stops for this quadrant." She dropped the tape in his hand, wheeled smartly, and returned the way she had come.
"Thanks," McCoy muttered at her retreating back. He juggled the tape in his hand and considered. He could look at it now, or wait until morning. With a sigh of resignation he turned back to his office. He dropped the tape in the slot, fixed himself a small drink--a reward for his devotion to duty--and settled down to see what problems the medical department could expect.
The first five entries were routine, but the sixth brought a smile to his face. The mere name evoked pleasant memories. Not that the planet was remarkable; it was an ordinary Class M, hotter and drier than Earth, cooler and wetter than Vulcan. Since no intelligent life had been found, it had been opened to Federation settlers.
Fireside had no great stores of minerals to lure miners, but two groups of farmers decided it filled their needs. Along the coast of one of the seas a small human settlement had taken root and was prospering. In the hotter, drier interior a group of Vulcan agronomists had located territory suitable for the testing of cold-resistant hybrid grains they were developing.
Three times the __Enterprise__ had been the Starship that made the yearly check on their health. McCoy had found the humans congenial companions, always pleased to see new faces. And the planet was a great place to stretch your legs and breathe fresh air.
McCoy chuckled gleefully. When they had been there sixteen months ago, five of the women had been pregnant. He should have a fine selection of babies to examine this trip.
A faint alarm bell began to ring in his mind. Sixteen months? That was either too long, or too short. He turned back to the tape and sat in stunned silence while the terse report spelled out the disastrous chain of events that had taken the lives of all sixteen adult humans. The five babies, the youngest only a month old, had been saved. The Vulcans had filed the report and informed the authorities that they would care for the children until other arrangements could be made. That eased his heartsickness. There were no more conscientious people in the Federation; the children would be well cared for.
McCoy skimmed the remainder of the schedule, then headed for bed, grateful that he had the night to adjust before facing more work. As he prepared for sleep he wondered if Spock had had that in mind when he sent the tape at such an unlikely hour. He snorted. Spock would claim he’d done it that way in order not to reduce McCoy’s efficiency during working hours.
The children were still on his mind next morning. He had learned to put aside problems he could do nothing about. There was nothing he could do for the children except have his department ready to care for them, yet they plagued his thoughts all morning. He finally went back to the report to try and find what was worrying him.
The tape was starting for the third time when Christine interrupted with a report for him to sign. He turned back to the viewer in time to see the date on the report--a date eight months old. McCoy whirled to stare at the door that had just swished shut behind Christine--and knew what was wrong.
An attempt to prove or disprove his fears kept him busy checking tapes--ancient medical data, modern child-rearing manuals, one Starfleet personnel record--for the rest of the day.
The information he found confirmed his fears.
McCoy brooded over his knowledge for a few days before he decided to tell the captain. There was nothing to be done about it, but if the worst happened Kirk would want to know why he hadn’t been told ahead of time.
Kirk and Spock were finishing lunch when McCoy came in. He got a cup of coffee and sat down at their table.
Kirk almost smiled. He had wondered how long Bones would worry his problem before passing it on. "What’s the trouble, Bones?"
"You saw the report from Fireside?" Kirk nodded, and McCoy continued, "I’m worried about those children."
One of Spock’s eyebrows slipped upwards.
"Bones, the Vulcans said they would care for them!" Kirk exclaimed.
Spock, aware of McCoy’s very real distress, added. "They will care for the human children as carefully as they would for their own."
McCoy nodded again. "That’s exactly what I’m afraid of--as they would care for their own. That kind of treatment can kill a human child."
"Doctor, they will receive the best of treatment," Spock stated flatly.
"The best of __Vulcan__ treatment," McCoy corrected softly. "I watched the way you and Lt. Minos handled the Vulcan children. Human babies have to be held, cuddled, played with. It is essential for their survival."
"Bones, are you sure?"
"I wasn’t, so I checked some historical tapes. Infants in foundling homes, institutions where orphans or unwanted children were cared for, had a much higher death rate than babies cared for in homes. The deaths were finally traced to one factor. The babies in the institutions did not receive as much ‘stroking.’ They died of marasmus."
"This fact became so well-known," McCoy added bitterly, "that standard manuals on raising children don’t mention it. ‘Everyone’ knows you have to hold children a lot. As long as ‘everyone’ is human."
"Then how do you explain Lt. Minos?" Kirk asked.
"Oh, the children don’t always die, Jim. Sometimes there just isn’t any emotional growth. Tanya doesn’t exhibit normal human emotional patterns. Besides, she was four when she was adopted by her Vulcan parents. By that age the security they offered was enough to sustain her."
"The oldest child on Fireside was thirteen months old when the accident occurred," Spock said.
"Would it do any good to skip the intervening stops and go straight there?" Kirk inquired.
McCoy gently swirled the coffee in his cup. "No. The critical period has already passed, months ago. Either the Vulcans discovered what was wrong, or the damage was done long ago."
"Logically . . . ."
"That’s the problem, Spock!" McCoy almost shouted. He got his voice under control and continued, "It’s knowledge that must come from the heart, not the brain, and you’ve . . . decommissioned your hearts."
"I beg to differ with you, Doctor . . . ."
"Gentlemen, please," cautioned Kirk. McCoy’s raised voice had attracted attention.
Spock disregarded Kirk’s admonition. "Captain, the point should be clarified in the Doctor’s mind--the treatment that comes from the human heart would be as deadly to Vulcan infants as normal Vulcan treatment would be to humans. The Vulcan heart is not decommissioned, Doctor, it’s range of sensitivity is merely different, and __always__ __has__ __been__. This is something that the Vulcans on Fireside are acutely aware of . . . and they will allow for it. You have nothing to fear on that account."
Engineer T’Eeba stood at the door of the bright sunlit room and admitted to herself that she was failing. The human infants had been in her care for sixty days. Today she had taken the monthly growth and developmental measurements to continue the charts begun by proud parents. What had been a tendency too slight to be of significance thirty days ago was now a well developed trend. Growth, in any form that could be measured, was not taking place at the expected rate.
She moved silently into the nursery, a duplicate of the one at the human settlement. They had deemed it advisable to provide air conditioning for the children as the summer advanced, even though for Vulcan taste it was still wet and chilly. All five of her charges were asleep, a once rare occurrence she had looked forward to, enjoying the quiet it brought on both the physical and mental levels. Now she suspected it to be another sign of her failure.
With the data fresh in her mind she studied each child. Three month old Mary Jane had been the largest and most vigorous of the children at birth. In the last thirty days she had gained only half the average amount the others had during a similar interval. The story was much the same
(RBW Note. Drawing of sleeping infant.)
for Brian, Capella, and Naftale. Fred, at fifteen months, seemed most affected. He had not just failed to gain weight, but had lost three pounds. What seemed even more serious to her, sixty days ago he had been making determined, if unintelligible, efforts to talk. Now the only sounds he made were cries when he was hungry, or wet, or dirty, or . . . .
T’Eeba sighed. If she could complete that sentence there would be no problem.
She stepped back through the air curtain into her office. With her daily thought that this work would be consigned to a computer as soon as they could afford one, she started work on her supply and maintenance lists.
In the other room Capella whimpered softly. T’Eeba moved quickly to her crib, but she was not awake. T’Eeba returned to her work without touching the child. She sat back down at her desk, but did not return to the lists. They concerned only machines, and she was feeling the burden of a greater responsibility.
For the third time she reviewed the steps that had been taken. There must be something she hadn’t tried.
They had been on their way to aid the humans five minutes after receiving the call. They had arrived in time to ease the dying of the last four adults with their promise of care for the children. They had gathered the children, all data pertaining to them, all the artifacts that might be associated with them, all of the food supplies, and returned here. The data had been divided and read or listened to immediately, so no mistakes in care would be made. Complete directions for the children’s care seemed to be laid out in the manuals. What to feed, when to feed it, what degree of cleanliness to maintain, ailments that might develop and how to treat them--all these were covered in the manuals.
Since all members of their group were equally ignorant of human children, she was chosen as their nurse. Much of her work was normally done around the buildings where her tools were handy. She could care for the children and still carry on her normal routine. Broken field machines could be brought to her, or someone else could watch the children if she had to go to a machine.
T’Eeba had found her task unexpectedly difficult. She had an unusually strong telepathic ability, and a weak shield. Everytime she touched the children she was exposed to their emotions, the sharp emotions of childhood, unblunted by experience or reason.
She had adjusted, working out arrangements that allowed her to minister to the needs of the children with a minimum of physical contact. At every opportunity she retreated to the nonthinking, unfeeling companionship of her machines.
A month ago she had begun to suspect the arrangement was not working. Today’s tests had given concrete proof of her failure, and she could not find the fault in what she was doing.
"Fear not your ignorance of the universe; rather strive to enlarge it, for to know that one knows-not is also wealth incomparable," she muttered to herself. It was time she sought help, she decided. Tonight, after the meal, she would lay her problem before her colleagues. Sure now of her next step, she returned to the routine work.
T’Eeba laid aside the last chart. "You now have all the information I can give you. Has anyone a suggestion for further action?"
A thoughtful silence lasted for several minutes before Smoov, the co-ordinator of the group, asked. "Could there be something on the tapes, or in the books, that was misinterpreted?"
"No," T’Eeba stated confidently. "The directions are simple and clear. I have been following them correctly."
"Could something have been left out of the manuals?" Smedle asked, thinking that they might as well get all the obvious questions out of the way immediately.
"I considered that possibility," T’Eeba remarked. "However, I can see no logic in omitting information, especially as it seems to be vital to the infants’ welfare. Their parents were having success using the same set of instructions."
Smedle closed his eyes momentarily, then gently chided his bondsmate, "They are not pieces of machinery, T’Eeba."
T’Eeba’s chin went up slightly as she answered. "And yet, allowing for a greater latitude of individual differences within certain specified areas, they react much as a machine would."
She considered her statement, then turned to Smoov. "If there is any possibility that it is some lack in me that is causing the trouble, the children should be put in someone else’s care."
Smoov looked around the table. "All of us have assisted you when there was need. Your care seemed proper and complete. The logic that dictated your choice at the beginning still applies."
"Smedle might be able to help," T’Volath asserted. She swiveled to face him. "During the trip we made to Haven in late winter you had to wait for me. Didn’t you spend the time talking to one of their biologists, in her home, where she was caring for her small baby?"
"I was there only one hour fifty-three minutes," Smedle protested. "The child slept part of that time, too," he recalled, as he considered the event.
"Recall all you can of what happened," Smoov ordered. "Then observe T’Eeba with the children. Perhaps you will notice some difference. The schedules can be rearranged to free you tomorrow."
Smedle watched silently until the children had finished breakfast. He noted, but did not comment on, T’Eeba’s grimace as she picked up Capella. Capella was standing in a playpen screaming. She was wet and had had to wait until Mary Jane finished her bottle to be changed. T’Eeba talked to her all the time the diaper was being changed, explaining why she’d had to wait. Capella was sniffling softly by the time the procedure was finished. As soon as she was stood back in the pen she began screaming.
"Her mother sang to her," Smedle commented.
"What song?" T’Eeba inquired.
"The words are unimportant," he said, obviously quoting. "The tone of voice is more important, and the fact she is receiving attention."
T’Eeba squatted down by the playpen and sang, "Hand me one of those books of nursery rhymes. The red one has music with it."
Five minutes later Capella had stopped screaming and was hiccupping loudly. T’Eeba picked her up, gave her a drink of water, and put her down as soon as the hiccups stopped.
"Her mother held d her more."
"Her mother had only one child," T’Eeba said in a tone of voice that accused Smedle of stupidity.
His eyebrows rose as he continued. "She was busy when I was there. She was talking to me, finishing the analysis of a fruit, fixing a meal, and caring for the child. Yet, anytime she picked up the child she ended up cuddling her before putting her down."
"I can not do it, Smedle." T’Eeba faced him, chin high. "We seldom speak of it, but you know I have great difficulty blocking out the thoughts and . . . and feelings of others. It doesn’t matter with other adults; their shields are up. Vulcan children are calm and controlled in the presence of an adult."
She gestured toward the children. "Smedle, I can sense their emotions even without touching. They are as strong as the vocal cries." Her voice was steady, but the strain showed just a bit around her eyes, and she averted her face to avoid communicating anything more than that fact to him. "When I hold one of them, the flow of their unstructured, uninterpreted impressions confuses my thinking . . . almost as if the emotions were my own."
Fred dropped the toy he was playing with. T’Eeba automatically bent and picked it up, glad to have an excuse to move away from Smedle. The strain of the last two months had left her ability to prevent projection of emotions far beneath her own substandard norms.
She returned the object to the boy and as she did so, he reached out and grabbed her hand. "I won’t take it away, Fred," she said, sinking to her knees beside his crib. For a moment, her face registered a profound grief. "A sadness, discontent, abandonment!" she said, turning to Smedle as grief gave way to shock and alarm. "An ebbing will to live! Smedle, that wasn’t there before, it wasn’t! What have I done!?"
She knelt there, holding Fred’s hand until the child began to whimper. Breaking out of his own shock, Smedle moved to her side and gently disengaged her hand from the boy’s. Raising her to her feet, he held both her hands between his as if warming them from frostbite. "The calm of inward being flows outward to thy charges giving them the will to live."
"So it is with a Vulcan, Smedle, but I have failed him somehow."
"A child lives in a universe he cannot comprehend or control. It is not an inviting universe. But when he sees that you control it, and that you are like him, then he sees himself gaining control of his own destiny. All sentients live by controlling their environments--even humans." As he spoke, he led her out through the air-curtain and pushed her down into her chair at her desk.
When she looked up at him, she took a deep breath and said, "Thank you."
He nodded and let her meditate until she could bear to speak. He could see she was badly shaken, and that in itself was (to his way of thinking) detrimental to the children. At length she raised her eyes to meet his squarely, but the urgency behind her words turned her voice ragged. "We have to do something soon."
Smedle nodded. "Was that the first time you ever deliberately tried to sense his thoughts?"
"Yes, I’ve always maintained what block I could before."
"Ignoring the emotions, tell me what was in his mind," Smedle ordered.
She began hesitantly, unsure of what he wanted. "Impressions, mostly blurry, of what he’s seen, heard, touched, smelled, and tasted. He’s beginning to understand cause and effect relationships."
"What was the clearest, strongest?"
"The tactile memories," she said immediately.
"Then that is the way his distress can be most easily alleviated," Smedle observed. "He will have to be touched, and held, and cuddled until he know he has not been abandoned, until he knows beneath verbal levels that his universe is under his control through you."
Seeing T’Eeba’s unsuccessful attempt to mask her distress he asked. "Would you let him die?"
"No! But it is going to be . . . difficult for me. If I do not admit this to myself it will be even harder."
"May I help you, wife-to-be?"
T’Eeba looked up to see him standing beside her, two fingers extended. Gratefully she laid her fingers upon his. They remained that way until her face returned to its habitual serenity.
"How will you go about it?" Smedle asked as she started toward the nursery.
"The way I would any other experiment. Frank will get all the cuddling possible while the others receive the same treatment they have been. If he improves the cuddling will be extended to them." She paused thoughtfully and turned back to Smedle. "It will help if you care for the other four today and allow me to handle only Frank."
She glanced around the nursery. There would have to be some changes made. As a beginning she turned the air conditioning almost off. "If I’m to touch them often, they’ll have to move around the buildings with me."
Drawing a deep breath she stepped to Frank’s crib where he was listlessly playing with a toy. He looked soberly at her as she stood above him, but made no move to help as she picked him up.
It was a secure hold, but something was lacking, Smedle decided. "Hold him against your body as though you were seeking to warm him with your body’s heat." he advised.
Operating Manual Continues
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