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Today is a Gift
Author - Angel | Genre - Future Story | Main Story | Rating - PG-13 | T | Virtual Season 5
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Today is a Gift
By: Angel Koerkel
Rating: G, I guess
Summary: A brief intermission between episodes five and six of my virtual season five.
A Virtual Season Five Series
An interlude between the fifth and sixth stories--so 5 1/5!
Return to The Virtual Series Five SeriesMENU page
TíPol drifted. She knew neither hot nor cold, dark nor light. She simply was. Slowly her mind began to become aware of itself. At first, she knew that something was not right, although she could not have said how she knew that. Gradually, her sense of self grew until her name was a real thing in her mind and she imagined a body for herself. As this new form floated freely in the space of her subconscious, more of reality seeped into her thoughts. After a time, she created a place for her to be within the emptiness. Its stark whiteness was in contrast to the nothingness of before, and she rested where she thought the floor should be. Finally, she pulled her memories out from their hiding place in the farthest corners of her mind.
The most recent memory came first. She had been on the bridge. The Romulans attacked and there was a blast. She recalled falling as a noise erupted from nearby and something seemed to pass across her head. Then there was simply nothing.
Her thoughts traveled backward through time quickly. In the blink of an eye, she was back to her first day on Enterprise. One more second and she had gone through her career in espionage. Literally in a heartbeat, she watched herself grow younger by decades until finally TíPol of Vulcan looked on herself as a small child. Now the passage of time slowed and began to move forward at a seemingly normal pace. She watched the memory play out like one of Tripís movies on a vidscreen.
The younger version of herself stood ramrod straight in perfect imitation of the older Vulcans surrounding her. Her tiny hands clasped themselves firmly at the small of her back and her short dark hair lay meticulously shaped around the tips of her ears. However, there was a light in the childís eyes, a tiny flicker of a smile touched the corners of her mouth, and she seemed on the verge of bouncing on her toes with excitement.
The landing platform around the girl was crowded with Vulcans of all ages going about their daily business, awaiting shuttles, either arriving or departing, so that they could continue on their way. But, the child TíPol was there for the pure joy of greeting her second-foremother when she stepped off her transport.
It had been a bit of a bribe made by TíLes. TíPol had been quite negligent in her studies ever since hearing about TíMirís impending visit. So in order to motivate the child, TíLes had agreed that she would be allowed to accompany her to the transport station only if all of her work had been completed for the past week. It had been difficult for TíPol to concentrate, but somehow she managed and at less than an hour before the scheduled time, she finished her last assignment.
Now the two females stood side-by-side on the platform, looking less alike than ever before. TíLes stood at rigid attention, her face impassive, as she watched dutifully for the appropriate shuttle. As the small ship approached, TíPolís impatience grew exponentially and her eyes danced with anticipation. TíMir was unlike anyone else TíPol knew, and the polar opposite of TíLes, which pleased TíPol to no end.
Of course, her mother blamed the older womanís eccentricities on her age. Even Vulcans had been known to suffer its effects, after all, and she was exceptionally old. TíPol had heard that TíMir had once been the very embodiment of logic and suppressed emotion, but she had a hard time reconciling that knowledge with the woman who had just walked off the ship with a twinkle in her eye that turned to a slight smile upon seeing TíPol.
Several days after TíMirís arrival, TíPol was awakened from her sleep to the sounds of arguing, an uncommon occurrence in any Vulcan household. Not that Vulcans didnít disagree, they just tended to do it quietly, using logical statements to make their points rather than raised voices. But on this particular night, a very vocal disagreement made its way through the house and to TíPolís ears.
ďAbsolutely not! I can not believe you would even suggest such a thing!Ē she heard her motherís voice raised above its normal volume.
ďWhy are you so stubborn, TíLes? I took you when you were her age, and your mother before that. She is the last of my line that I will be able to show the site to, and I have held onto this life just long enough to take her.Ē TíMirís voice shook with anger and something else, sadness, maybe?
Footsteps echoed down the narrow hallway and TíPol knew that her mother was pacing. She always paced when she knew she was wrong but looking for a way out of admitting it. ďJust because you felt it necessary to expose us to that does not mean I will allow my daughter to set foot there!Ē
A pause settled heavily over them to be broken by the soft tones of TíMir as the sadness won out. ďVery well, if that is your wish. She is your daughter and I will abide by it.Ē A few moments later, TíPol heard TíMirís door close and then the unmistakable sound of crying drifted through the thin wall that separated their rooms. TíPol wished desperately that her father were there and not gone on assignment for the Science Academy.
They were gathered in the sitting room the following day when TíLes surprised TíPol by announcing that she would not be going to school that day. Even more surprised was TíMir when TíLes continued. ďYour second-foremother would like to take you on a trip, TíPol.Ē
The child nearly burst out in laughter at her surprise, but she managed to control herself at the last moment. ďWhere will we go?Ē she asked with barely restrained excitement as she bounced in her chair.
ďIndeed, TíLes, where will we go?Ē TíMir asked.
Taking a deep breath, TíLes closed her eyes in final acceptance of her decision. ďTíMir would like to take you to Earth. However, I do have some ground rules,Ē she added seeing TíPolís happiness mirrored in TíMirís features.
ďOoh! I know Earth! Weíve studied it in school. We made first contact with the humans 57.3 years ago. Theyíre quite a lot behind us technologically, and they show their emotions openly. Can you imagine that?Ē the little girl babbled on as her smile grew wider. ďOh! And they have so much water there, the planet is nearly covered in it!Ē
TíMirís own grin broadened as she observed the childís joy. TíLes only shook her head disapprovingly. ďThis is exactly the sort of behavior I do not wish to encourage, TíPol. You already have such trouble suppressing your emotions, I can not imagine that visiting such a place will be healthy for you.Ē She turned to face her own foremother. ďThat is why I will not allow you to go to the planetís surface.Ē
ďWhat? Then why go?Ē TíMir railed at TíLes. ďYou know where I want to take her and why. What would be the point in sitting in a ship in orbit?Ē
ďYou can share the story with her. Point out the location from orbit, let her see and appreciate the beauty of the planet without being poisoned by its influence. Itís not as if there is any memorial on the surface and the location bears no resemblance whatsoever to the town of your memory. I see no logic in taking her down to the planet when an orbital view will do just as well.Ē
Within moments the details were settled. By the afternoon, TíMir and TíPol were back at the transport station getting on a shuttle to take them to an orbiting ship headed for Earth. They arrived at the blue and green planet before TíPol knew it and as soon as it was visible, she barely moved from the small porthole in their quarters. As the planet grew in size outside their window, TíMir took TíPolís hand. ďCome, child, I have a story to tell you.Ē
Together, they walked to an observation deck and sat side-by-side in comfortable chairs facing the large view ports that allowed them to watch the rotating planet below them. After sitting in silence for a while, TíPol noticed a single tear trace its way down the elder womanís cheek. ďPlease, donít cry, TíMir. Whatís wrong?Ē
Turning a smile toward her, TíMir answered, ďNothing dear. I simply enjoy this view and I shall never see it again.Ē Swiping away the moisture from her face, she reached out again and handed a small parcel to TíPol. The girl opened it and ran a delicate hand over the soft fabric of the gift.
ďWhat is this?Ē she asked with wonder.
ďThat is the ending of my story,Ē TíMir said. ďIt is called a handbag, but we will get to it in time. This is the beginning,Ē and with the sweep of her hand she indicated the world outside. Coming up over the horizon was the continent of North America. With a shaky finger, she pointed at an area. ďThis story is about a little town located there. It is called Carbon Creek, Pennsylvania.Ē
ďI am pleased that you remember her so fondly,Ē a soft voice said to the adult TíPol, still seated in the white emptiness.
Looking up, she was surprised to see an image of her mother standing nearby. ďYou are not real. TíLes died.Ē
Coming closer, the apparition replied, ďThat is correct, TíLes is dead. I, however, am quite real. I am the shadow of her left upon you by both your own memories and by the meld you shared with TíPau.Ē
TíPol stood now, her head tilted in question. ďWhy would you wish me to think of TíMir with affection? TíLes was barely tolerant of my second-foremother.Ē
ďOutwardly that may have seemed so, but I always envied the freedom TíMir felt. TíMir learned a valuable lesson from the humans. It took her many years to realize it, but eventually she did and she put it to practice in her life. She believed the most precious gift the humans had was their capacity to rely on others, to allow their loved ones to share their pain and joy. It gave them great strength.Ē
TíPol turned back to the image of her child self and the elderly TíMir that seemed to have been paused in mid-play on the screen of her own mind. ďShe died less than a month after this journey,Ē TíPol whispered. ďAt first, I missed her terribly, but as I grew, I came to despise that part of myself that she had helped keep free. I should not have been so emotionally open at this age,Ē she indicated the scene before them. ďI began to see her presence in my life as a liability.Ē
TíLes approached her daughter and placed a loving hand on her shoulder. ďI do not regret having raised you in our ways, TíPol. You know our planetís history; you know why we must be so very careful with our emotions. The violence our people are capable of is nothing short of amazing.Ē She turned TíPol to face her and as their gazes met, she continued, ďbut so is the love we can achieve. We should not be afraid to share that love with someone who will understand our limitations and who will appreciate what we have to offer.Ē
ďAre you suggesting I abandon the ways of Surak?Ē TíPol asked with a raised eyebrow.
ďNot in the least, daughter. I am simply saying we should not waste TíMirís lesson. There is nothing wrong with allowing our innermost selves to be seen by those we care about.Ē TíLes looked over TíPolís shoulder and into the distance. A slight smile graced her lips as she said, ďand I believe that there is someone coming who would understand you well.Ē
TíPol shifted to look behind her. The image of TíMir and the child had gone. Now someone was approaching from the distance. It didnít take long before the guest stood beside the women.
ďGood afternoon, ladies.Ē A broad smile lit up Trip Tuckerís face as he looked from one Vulcan to the other.
ďTrip?Ē TíPol asked with worry evident in her tone. ďHow are you here?Ē
End Chapter Five and One-half
Have a comment to make about this story? Do so in the Trip Fan Fiction forum at the HoTBBS!
A whole mess of folks have made comments
Nice...glad to see you're back, Angel.
And how is Trip there anyway or is that just an echo too? Looking forward to the next chapter...
Iīm really happy the season continues...lovinī it!!!
Thank you Angel. I really enjoy the thought that T'Pol could have actually met and loved T'Mir. It's a sweet idea. If Vulcans live to about 200, and if T'Pol's great-grandmother, grandmother and mother all had children in their 60's, that would make T'Mir about 190 or so... just in the final decade of the Vulcan lifespan. Very believable.
Distracted: First of all, thanks for the back-up. I went round and round with myself trying to decide if it was believable. In the end, I figured, what the hell! It's my story and I say it is, so there! Besides, my own grandmother is still alive and my oldest daughter (her great-granddaughter) is almost seven, so if it's plausible here, why not on Vulcan?
Secondly, I really wanted to tell the story of how T'Pol learned about Carbon Creek without retelling the episode. Also, I thought that T'Mir showed definite signs of acceptance by the end of the ep and I wanted to see how that effected the rest of her life. So, here we have it!
This is VERY good, please write some more soon !
Mwa ha ha! More Virtual Season Five! (*steeples fingers a la Mr. Burns*) Eeeeeeexcellent. Although... I was sure Vulcans could live decades into their second century. Maybe I'm wrong, but *meh*, doesn't make this any less awesome! :)
I have a soft spot for anything having to do with Carbon Creek. The passing of that purse on to T'Pol is a great story idea, so I am glad you wrote about that. Great interplay between these characters and nice descriptive touches on Vulcan culture.
Lovely story, lovingly told. I can't wait to read the rest of it.
About Vulcan life spans. I thought some of them could reach 250 or more years. But maybe that was only in later centuries than the twenty-second? Sarek reached 202, but might have lived much longer if he did not have that condition that killed him. I am not sure canon is clear on Vulcan life spans, I sure am not clear on them.
Me liken' this! Next chapter out soon? please? ;*
Lovely installment! I'm eagerly awaiting the next episode. You're really doing a wonderful job!!
Just read the whole of Season 5 in 24hrs, need more soon please! Really enjoying this very much.