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Intrepid Vulcans

Author - Quills | Genre - Alternate Universe | I | Main Story | Rating - G
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“Intrepid Vulcans”

by quills

Rating: G
Summary: A sequel to my story Gateway. This is a Captain Soma story that takes place after the "Enterprise" series.
Disclaimer… Captain Soma is a character I created from the Enterprise era and is treated in my stories as an "Enterprise" character. I may have created him, but I don’t own him. This is just fan fiction and I’m not making any money of it.


The Vulcan stood gazing out the view port at the swirling red atmosphere of the planet below. He studied the intricate and beautiful patterns the planet's weather patterns created. The site of such natural beauty always moved the Vulcan and normally, he would gaze at such a sight for hours marveling at its natural splendor. However, today he had more pressing matters on his mind and this wondrous site proved to be nothing more than a temporary distraction.

Jonathan Soma, Captain of Starfleet Operations, was waiting in the outer office of Commodore Stone: commanding officer of Star base 11. Percy Stone was a long time friend of Captain Soma. He had been a young headstrong Ensign aboard the U.S.S. Argo, under the command of then Captain Soma. The Ensign had started out in the lower sections of the ship but soon attracted the attention of the Captain who promoted the bright and eager Ensign to a bridge officer. Soma had never regretted that decision and had followed the young officer’s career as he watched the young Ensign make an indelible mark in history as one of the few Starfleet officers to rise to command a starship. Soma always felt a rush of pride whenever one his own made a name for themselves. He felt that in a small way he helped those officers fulfill their potential to the Federation, Starfleet and to themselves.

Stone, now winding down his career, had accepted a recent promotion to Commodore and an assignment to Star base 11 where he and his wife, Carolyn ,and their daughter, Stacy, had moved. Stone had never been much for space stations and the thought of living aboard the orbiting Starbase didn't appeal to him. He had decided to move his office to the planetside facilities where he and his family lived. The move was still in transition so the Commodore frequently had business back and forth between the station and the planet. It was aboard the station where Soma was waiting to see Stone.

Soma took a deep breath and let it out gently. He detested waiting and he detested waiting for unpleasant business even more so. As Captain of Starfleet Operations it was his responsibility to oversee starship mission assignments. A task he had originally believed would be one to which his command skills would be best served. Now, he wasn't as certain. Not with the loss of the Intrepid, the business that had brought him to Star base 11.

The U.S.S. Intrepid, Constitution Class, Registry NCC-1631 was a unique vessel in all of Starfleet. It had the distinction of being the only Starfleet vessel to be manned entirely by Vulcans. The ship carried out the normal duties of a Constitution Class starship; patrol, ambassadorial duties, first contact, but its primary responsibility was as a science vessel. In the three years the starship had been operating with an entirely Vulcan crew, it had mapped and catalogued more scientific and astronomic discoveries than her twelve sister ships combined. The Intrepid and her crew were a testament to Vulcan ability and scientific achievement. Her destruction was an incalculable loss, not only for the 400 Vulcans who had died, but for the service they provided to both Starfleet and the Federation.

Soma had read the preliminary report on what had occurred. The Intrepid last sub-space transmission came from a region of space in Sector 39J. The ‘Intrepid’ had sent a message to Star base 6 that they had lost contact with the nearby Gamma Seven-A system and were heading to investigate. Soon after, Star base 6 lost contact with the ‘Intrepid’ and diverted the starship ‘Enterprise’ to investigate. What the ‘Enterprise’ and her crew encountered and the ultimate fate of the ‘Intrepid’ and her own crew were what Jonathan Soma was here to find out.

The starship ‘Enterprise’ had arrived in orbit within the past hour. Her Captain, James T. Kirk, was currently being debriefed by Commodore Stone. It was the captain’s report on the matters surrounding the loss of the ‘Intrepid’ that Captain Soma was less than patiently waiting for.

Both he and Stone had a past with Kirk; both were rocky. Recently Stone had presided over Kirk's court martial involving charges of willful negligence resulting in the death of an ‘Enterprise’ crewman. During the Court-Martial the death was proved to have been faked by that crewman as revenge against Kirk and the charges were dropped and the court martial dismissed. Unfortunately, it caused a rift between the friendship Stone and Kirk had. To be honest, Soma thought Percy had been too hard on Kirk. He had read the court-martial transcripts and concluded that Stone was out to get Kirk, probably because he felt betrayed by what he believed was Kirk's guilt and a stain on Starfleet.

Kirk was an impulsive officer. Soma knew that all too well. Hadn't he transferred a young Lt. Kirk off his own ship for being long on career advancement and short on discipline...very short on discipline. Not to mention the lieutenant’s dislike for the Vulcan. He recalled overhearing Kirk refer to him as ‘that pointy eared devil’ on more than one occasion. However, Kirk's transfer to the starship ‘Farragut’ and the subsequent disaster aboard that ill-fated starship must have taught the young Kirk a valuable lesson. After the ‘Farragut’, Kirk moved through the ranks quickly receiving high marks in command and diplomacy; not to mention a list of commendations and awards as long as Soma’s arm. Eventually Kirk rose to be captain of the ‘Saladin’ and finally the ‘Enterprise’ where he has served with remarkable distinction for over three years.

Soma felt a twinge of envy at that last thought…the ‘Enterprise’. He wanted her, very badly. When she was first commissioned, he was in line to take command. He was more than qualified and he had a unique relationship with another starship named ‘Enterprise’. Unfortunately, a last minute decision by Starfleet Brass gave command to Captain Robert April. Bob April was a good captain, but Soma knew he was better. He had the experience, not to mention time in grade, but what he also had was a Vulcan mother. Starfleet never explained their decision to give command of the ‘Enterprise’ to April, but most felt it was because Starfleet wanted the best and brightest of Earth to command the new Constitution Class starships--or perhaps it was a holdover to an old grudge Earth held against the Vulcans for holding back their advance in warp flight technology.

Soma remained in deep in reflection as he stared out the view port. This tragedy with the ‘Intrepid’ was bringing old memories to the surface for the Vulcan. His mind was still preoccupied as the door to the outer corridor opened. He hadn’t noticed that someone had entered the room or that the person was now staring at him quite intently.

"Captain Soma?" came a voice from behind, jarring the Vulcan Captain from his thoughts. Turning, Soma looked to see who the voice belonged to and was surprised when he saw a tall Vulcan man in a science blue Starfleet uniform.

"Commander Spock," said Soma not attempting to conceal his obvious emotional surprise at seeing the younger Vulcan. Then he chided himself for forgetting, Spock was the first officer aboard the ‘Enterprise’.

Spock and Soma shared a similar history. Though the two men only knew one another by reputation they both had the distinction of being hybrids; both had human and Vulcan parentage. They seemed to be much alike but were in fact opposite sides of the same coin. Captain Soma's mother was Vulcan while his father had been human. Spock's own mother was human and his father was Vulcan. Soma had chosen to follow his humanity while Spock had chosen the way of logic. The two men were a contrast of choices.

"It is agreeable to see you again sir," said Spock. "Though under unfortunate circumstances."

"Again?" said Soma trying to recall if he had met the Vulcan before.

"Yes sir," replied Spock with almost a twinge of disappointment that Soma did not remember. Spock had always been torn by his dual heritage. It was a matter that he had never quite resolved, but had managed to make peace with. In large part, through the legendary exploits of the half human, half Vulcan Starfleet captain who stood before him. It was his exploits that helped both Earth and Vulcan to see that together they could be greater than the sum of their whole. He remembered the stories he read as a child of the half Vulcan captain who had finally brought Andor to the peace table with Vulcan. The half Vulcan Starfleet captain who finished the legendary Captain Archer's quest to defeat the Suliban renegade Silik. The half Vulcan captain who had become a hero of sorts to a young half Vulcan boy named Spock.

"I was a cadet at Starfleet Academy," explained Spock. "You were a guest speaker in one of my physics classes. You gave an insightful lecture on time paradoxes. We spoke briefly after the lecture."

Soma raised a brow in signal of his recognition. "Oh yes...I remember," smiled the captain."I also remember you grilled me pretty well about several points in my lecture."

Spock seemed to turn flush as a tinge of green came to his features. "It had not been my intention to show you disrespect, Captain," said Spock apologetically. "I merely disagreed with some of your suppositions. If I had shown any disrespect I humbly…"

"It's ok Spock," said Soma holding his hands up in mock surrender. "I can take a rebuff as well as the next man."

Soma smiled briefly and the two Vulcans stood quietly as both contemplated discussing the matter that had obviously brought them both to this office. As Vulcans the matter struck a more person chord than it did with the rest of Starfleet.

"You’re waiting for your captain?" asked Soma, already knowing full well that Spock was.

"Yes," replied the Vulcan science officer. "When Captain Kirk has finished his debriefing. I will be required to undergo a similar...'grilling'."

Soma looked at the Vulcan for a moment. His encounter with Spock was unexpected, but might prove more informative that any report filed by Captain Kirk. Soma stared at Spock as he attempted to gauge what kind of man he was. As a young boy he could remember Captain Archer telling him that a starship captain not only had to be a good judge of character but he had to be able to do it on the spot. Soma decided he could speak plainly with Spock.

"What happened Spock?" asked Soma point blank.

Spock looked at Soma for a moment. He knew what the Captain was asking him and it wasn't about the mission or how the Enterprise had resolved it. He wanted to know about the ‘Intrepid’.

"I…will be giving my deposition shortly, Captain," said Spock hesitantly. "As Captain of Starfleet it is available for your review."

"I'm not interested in your report Spock," said Soma. "I can get the same information from your captain’s report. I already know the ‘Intrepid’ by the same organism that wiped out the Gamma Seven A system. What I don’t know is what they felt at their deaths. The ‘Enterprise’ was in that sector. You must have been close enough…tell me what you felt from them."

Spock looked at Soma hesitantly and then turned away. He studied the swirling planet that had captivated Captain Soma's attention earlier. As a fellow Vulcan, Soma knew the deep spiritual collective of Vulcan and what it meant to be Vulcan. He recalled Doctor McCoy's ambivalence in failing to comprehend how he, Spock, had felt the death of four hundred Vulcans. Captain Soma’s interest could be a catharsis which Spock could use to excise the turmoil he was experiencing over those four hundred deaths. As he focused on the jetties of clouds he collected his thoughts and after several moments, Spock spoke.

"I felt their death cry," he told the Captain. "Four hundred and twenty Vulcans who knew they were dying but could not comprehend why. Their logic wasn't enough. Their intellect failed them...that is what I felt."

The two men remained quiet for several moments as Soma considered what Spock had revealed. It would undoubtedly never make it into any official report even if the Vulcan science officer chose to include it, which Soma highly doubted. Soma shook his head silently. "Thank you Commander...for giving me your insight."

Spock tilted his head at Soma and gave the Captain a curious look. "May I ask you a question, Captain? It is of a personal nature."

"You want to know why...am I correct?" asked Soma.

"I am understandably curious," replied Spock, both brows raised.

Soma shook his head in agreement. "When Starfleet agreed to man the ‘Intrepid’ with an entirely Vulcan crew, I was approached to be her Captain."

Spock looked at Soma with obvious surprise. He had often wondered why Starfleet's For-most Vulcan starship captain was not in command of the ‘Intrepid’. "I take it then that circumstances resulted in you declining the position."

"I did," said Soma shaking his head. "I didn't feel I was the right person for the job. I'm a Vulcan...like you Spock...I have a dual heritage. Unlike you, I chose to embrace my human heritage over my Vulcan heritage. It was my belief that the ‘Intrepid’ and her crew needed a Vulcan…one who was more Vulcan than I could be. So, I submitted a recommendation for an alternate candidate."

"Captain Suvek." said Spock.

"You knew him?" asked Soma.

"I served under him briefly on my first deep space assignment aboard the science vessel 'Sato'." answered Spock. "He was a very capable commander."

"He was a scientist at heart," said Soma. "That's why I thought he was the right man for the job."

"You do not believe that in light of what has happened?" asked Spock.

"No, “ said Soma shaking his head. “It isn’t that I think Captain Suvek wasn't the right man for the job, but that I don't think that I was the wrong one. I should have been aboard that ship."

"Then you believe that you could possibly have averted the loss of the ‘Intrepid’ if you had accepted command." said Spock. It was less a question than a statement. "There is no logic in holding yourself responsible. You can not say if your own decisions would have had any different outcome than that Captain Suvek's."

"We both know that’s not true, Spock," replied Soma. “I've been a starship captain longer than you've been alive. I had the experience, but I passed on it because I didn't think I belonged there. Your Captain found a way to stop what killed the ‘Intrepid’s’ crew. It pains me to say so, but Kirk and I are cut from a similar mold. If he found a way to stop it, then I think I could have as well."

Spock considered the validity of what Soma had said. He had to concede that the Captain was one of Starfleet’s finest and had time and time again proven His ability to defy ‘the odds’ was evident.

“I was also offered a position aboard the ‘Intrepid’” said Spock. “Shortly before Captain Kirk took command of the ‘Enterprise’…It would have been an ideal opportunity for me to work with fellow Vulcan's in an atmosphere unfettered by emotionalism."

"Why did you turn them down?" said Soma.

Spock nodded. "I also considered myself an outsider. It was my opinion that accepting a position aboard the ‘Intrepid’ would not enable me to advance further as a Vulcan. In fact, I believed, as I still do, that my service aboard the ‘Intrepid’ would have been far less fulfilling, than my continued service aboard the ‘Enterprise’. ”

“Why is that?”

“For the same reason I believe your self recrimination is unfounded,” Replied Spock. “If I may be so bold Captain…if you had accepted command of the ‘Intrepid’ you would be in an environment which is alien to you and in all likelihood your ability to be an effective commander would be reduced, just as my effectiveness as a science officer would have been reduced. You are human and Vulcan…I have discovered that it is something which one cannot ignore when he chooses. Perhaps it is why we both have chosen to serve with humans. For all that we as Vulcans can offer them, they have many aspects of humanity that they can offer us.”

“Perhaps we are more alike than I realized.” said the captain.

“I would consider that an honor,” said Spock.

Soma cocked a brow, inviting Spock to explain.

“You are a man of considerable distinction,” said Spock. “Your exploits are legendary both on Earth and Vulcan. You are respected. It was your exploits and personal struggles that helped me choose which direction my life would take. I may have made different choices than you Captain, but I could not have made those choices without the example you set. I owe you a debt.”

"Then you may consider the self imposed debt you owe me to be repaid," said Soma smiling. “You have shown me a part of myself that needed my attention. Perhaps we will both be instrumental in each other’s decisions.”

Before Spock could respond, the door to the inner office opened and an officer in Starfleet gold walked out. Seeing the two Vulcan's by the view port he changed direction and walked over.

"Spock...Captain Soma, I didn’t realize you were here," said Captain Kirk acknowledging the two Vulcans. "I'm not interrupting anything?"

Soma looked at Spock for a moment to make sure their conversation was concluded. Spock gave Soma a slight nod. "Not at all Captain Kirk."

"Captain, is your debriefing with Commodore Stone complete?" asked Spock.

"Yes," replied Kirk. "I told the Commodore exactly what I filed in my report. He wants to see you next. I was going to head back to the ship and send you over, but since you’re already here..."

"I shall see the Commodore now," replied Spock as he turned to Soma. "Captain Soma, I have found our conversation most illuminating.” Raising his hand in the Vulcan salute he spoke. “Live Long and Prosper, Captain."

Soma raised his hand returning the Vulcan salute. "Peace and long life, Spock."

Spock turned and headed for the Commodore’s office. Kirk and Soma watched as the Vulcan entered. Once the door had closed to the inner office, Soma addressed Kirk. "You've got a good man there, Kirk,"

"The best, Captain," stated Kirk

"Well…I believe I have what I came for," said Soma. "A pleasure to see you again Kirk.”

Soma headed for the door, but was stopped when Kirk called out to him.


"Yes?" said Soma turning.

"I just wanted to take the opportunity to tell you how much I appreciated the transfer you gave me when I served under you. I know you were just getting rid of me because I wasn't seasoned enough, but you did me a great favor. I learned a lot on the 'Farragut' and I owe that to you"

"Actually 'Kirk', I sent you to the 'Farragut' so Captain Garrovik could whip the ‘career boy attitude’ out of you." said Soma. "From the looks of things I'd say he did a good job...Captain."

“Thank you, sir,” said Kirk. “I just wanted to thank you and to apologize if I showed you any disrespect back then. I know I wasn’t the most model midshipman. I can appreciate what being the Captain means since I’ve had the job a few years.”

"Water under the bridge,” said Soma smiling.

“Thank you Captain,” said Kirk.

“Not at all,” said Soma. “After all…I’m not always a “pointy eared devil”.”

Kirk’s mouth dropped open in surprise and Captain Soma flashed the younger Captain smile “See ya around Kirk."

Kirk stood in the room with utter shock as Soma exited to the outer Corridor. When the door closed behind him, Kirk shook his head and laughed “Son of a…I shoulda known…those pointed ears weren’t just for show.”

The End

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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

Love Soma, absolutley love him! :) Love Kirk-bashing, too... OMK had to have learned from someone, wild youth that he was!

PS: "Sequel" implies that your magnificent epic -- the greatest Enterprise story ever written -- is done... did I miss something? I gotta know how it ends (whine, whine switching quickly to encourage, encourage)... will it help if we send m&ms and Dr. Pepper? :)

Love the whole universe... please keep going!

I like Mr. Pibb...es...it's done and I'm
just cleaning it up...It will be posted
in the next day or so.

Personally, I didn't care for it at all. I like the Gateway story, but this one suffers because of the Kirk bashing and the Spock worship. Shrug, sure Kirk possibly learned from someone before, but the idea that it was from your character is more than a bit arrogant, and in fact makes your previously likeable character Soma more of a Gary Stu. If Soma couldn't see the characteristics that made Kirk a good officer, then clearly he's not the great Captain you try to make him out to be, and it's no wonder he wasn't given the Enterprise originally. Frankly, he didn't deserve it.

Katie...your welcome to your opinion, but I think
you haven't given it much thought. Soma is second generation Starfleet. He would have been among the
core Starship Captains like Robert April, Garrovick and Garth of Izar that Kirk and other great Captain's would have come from. The second gen Captains would be more sure...more ready
to do what was expected of them and become great heroes because the first gens like Archer paved the way for them.

As far as him not recognizing Kirk's greatness...your completely off..the transfer
off his ship was deliberate...Kirk was a Lt and not yet seasoned. In my thinking, Soma transfered him, not because he didn't think Kirk had potential, but because he thought Garrovick could reach the young Kirk more readily. So in fact...Kirk learned little from Soma other than what he might have gotten at the acadamy. He only
owed Soma for sending him to a Captain that Kirk
did learn from and worship...Garrovick.

As far as Spock goes, it is absolutely logical that Soma would play an important role in the
half Vulcan's life...directly or not. They share a commonality and hence it makes sense that a man
like Soma would influence a boy like Spock.

So...your opinion that Kirk is being bashed and Spock is kissing butt is just not valid. Soma
has only marginal ties with either character
and what you see as bashing is nothing more
than humanizing Kirk...a character you apparently
feel very strongly about.

Finally...there is no arrogance in writing my character. I write my characters realistically.
If Soma is a starship Captain then Kirk will
know of him, whether he is great or not, considering that at this stage of
Starfleet there are not that many. Also, your
claim that I'm suggesting Kirk learned from Soma is off base. Clearly, he had only a marginal
influence or even contact with Kirk. Spock he had even less contact with, but it stands to reason that if Soma is a half vulcan/half human in Starfleet then Spock would at least be curious
about the man. As far as Soma being a great Captain..that is about the only area you have leg to stand on since it's a matter of opinion what makes a great Captain. So maybe he didn't deserve the Enterprise, but that's another story to write.

ok, normally i don't get involved in criticism but i have to side with q on this. katie, your
criticism sounds more like a defense of kirk and spock. i see that way to often. someone writes
a character a certain way and fans see it as some big insult. i like what q said, he was humanizing kirk. who wants a perfect character. i'd rather see kirk overcome his short commings than to have never had any. good job q, guess now you know how berman&braga feel when they get trashed by fans.

Tbone and nikkitee

thanks...I have to say that I did not expect the negativity I have recieved over this story. Not on this site of course...the regulars here are very gracious and restrain their criticism even if they feel strongly about something. No..I'm talking about the half dozen e-mail I have recieved...some quite nasty...others merely calling my character the male version of a "Mary Sue". Below is the response I e-mailed to these individuals as well as the critics on fanfic.net I'm not directing it to any of you regulars of the Triptpolers site who always behave nicely. This is merely my response to any further negativity and my view of those who are
giving it.

Sorry folks but some of you fan fic readers need..to quote Shatner.."get a life". Kirk & Spock...wonderful characters but they are not the end all be all of trek and if you think they are what are you reading my stuff for?

My character preceeds them in the continuity timeline. It is LOGICAL that a half vulcan/human like Spock would look to another half
vulcan/human like Soma. A little hero worship
is natural and quite frankly if I had reversed it and Spock preceeded Soma in continuity then you would have no problem with Soma looking up
to Spock. Drop the Double standard.

As for Kirk...I humanized him. Soma transfered him when he was Lt. Kirk...not Captain Kirk. Just as Picard needed to get stabbed by a Nausican
to wake up and become a great captain, so to might Kirk need a transfer to the Faragut where he ended up distinguishing himself and became a
great leader.

I used my Soma character to weave a story that crosses over generationally and addressed a few points about Kirk, Spock, The Intrepid and my
own character that I was interested in devlving into. The only difference between me doing it and a Trek novelist or episode writer is that
mine isn't licensed and accepted into the official canon.For that matter..Trek novelists and comic book story writers are not either.
Only episodes are cannon.

In the end...you need to lighten up and allow your beloved characters to have skeletons..foibles and above all growth. As a recent critic pointed out...I now know how Berman & Braga feel when the hard core fans can't handle a little humanizing of characters they froze in time as perfect and unable to show themselves
flaws and all. My character is far from any "Mary Sue" type since he is riddled with his own flaws and imperfections which goes against the definition of a "Mary Sue" type character who is perfect. The story I wrote..you can like it or hate it...but it was a growth in character and should always be welcome or you invite
stagnation. I certainly will continue to write as I always have. If you can't handle it..move on to some fluff writing where you don't have to worry about your characters ever having a hair out of place.

At the risk of sounding like a gusher, I love Soma. I also liked his interactions with Kirk and Spock.

Waiting anxiously for the next installment or finale (?) to Gateway.

First about the story. I thought it was a great interaction between Soma and Spock. I liked how Spock saw the humanity of Soma, and Soma the Vulcan side of Spock, and yet, discovered each in themselves. Sometimes all it takes for characters, and people for that matter is someone holding up a mirror infront of them, and that's they did for each other. The commonilaties and the differences. And I did like the Kirk part, I thought it added a bit of humor,which Roddenberry always did in the shows, both TOS and TNG. And lets face it, Kirk is not perfect, he's made mistakes, and that is what makes him human.

As for the reviews, well, I have to agree with Quills here, and the rest of the reviews Katie. I don't see Kirk bashing. What I saw was a mentor who knew enough to a. spot a good officer in the making, ie the younger Kirk, but knew that his style of command, teaching, etc would not reach him. So he sent him to the man that could help Kirk reach his potential. That is what that part of the story was about. Not bashing Kirk, but rather showing that not everyone can reach ever single person, and Soma knew that. So what did he do? Not try to hold Kirk back, but rather sent him to someone who could make him out to be one of the top officers of StarFleet history, no matter the bad tupee.

^^ That's how I saw it, too, Alora.

Spock always been one of my favorite Trek characters, so I like that the story found a way to bring him in.

I liked the interaction Soma had with Kirk and Spock. Then again, I didn't watch TOS so I guess I have less complaints about characterization. But I found the story enjoyable.

haha!!! I love the exchange with Kirk!

I always wondered about the Intrepid. Your insight into the Vulcans that what lives beyond logic is a mystery, even at the point of death, is perfectly logical. The illogical is logically significant and perhaps over four hundred katras have since found peace with that. At least that is the way I like to think of it. Thanks for a good story.

Loved it

I loved it! Wonderful!

I liked your insight into what it means to be Vulcan and what it means to be half Vulcan. Your story gives me inspiration to go beyond the TOS idea that Spock was the first half Vulcan in my own story ideas. The culture-clash-culture-merging theme is something that plays out within my own family because of the European and Native American elements. It translates well into stories of Vulcans and Humans - a kind of therapy actually.

I hope you don't mind me visiting again after a few months and leaving different and possibly contradictory comments. I like to reread stories that leave an impression so I can gain more insights. Hopefully that means a better understanding.