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Generational - part 2
A/N: I want to apologize again for the delay. My friend’s daughter's death was such a shock and the fundraising took up all my free time. The deceased had two small children of her own, now being raised by their grandmother, who is as you can imagine, beside her self with grief. If I may ask, please send some warm thoughts and prayers for the family. They could sure use it. Thanks for understanding.
January 21, 2006
T’Pol opened the door, quite shocked at the ruckus this Human was making. "Commander?....Come in.." She stepped aside and allowed him entrance. Before the door slid shut she searched the corridors to see if anyone else witnessed that display.
Trip standing in the center of the room, looked at the alien with the same determined stare he had when she'd greeted him. T’Pol could tell he was angered at her, but wasn't sure why. That is part of the reason she hesitated with answering the door, feeling his anger and frustration from the corridor. Now that he was here, she simply had to wait for his words to determine the cause.
"What the hell is this?" He asked handing her the padd, almost in a throwing motion. T’Pol read the contents of the screen. It was as she'd worried, that someone would get a hold of what she was doing and try to stop her.
"Malcolm was downloading the computer memory…. Anything encrypted without his knowledge automatically sets off his sensors. He was about to take this to the Captain." Trip's voice got tighter as he spoke, more accusatory with every word.
"So…." She returned trying to pull off the biggest bluff in her life.
"So????? …… What was the Captain gonna think when he found out you were researching this stuff? You think he would have been fine with it?" The young man's arms flew up and slapped down hard on his thighs in frustration.
"I was merely researching these substances. I am after all a science officer and chemistry is part of my responsibility. Some of these substances could be of use to us." Again T’Pol was trying to bluff an old southern poker player and wasn't doing too well.
"What could we possibly need Brenoxia for…. Or Theropimide……" He pointed to the screen as he read them off. "And what about Sylenthimene? What good could they possibly do us. They are not propellants. They are not chemical abrasives or corrosives. Hell they aren't even toxic to Humans, Denobulans or a half dozen other species. The only thing they are good for is killing Vulcans." Trip was almost yelling now. T’Pol leaned back from his breath that was hot against her cheek.
"What is going on with you?… Why did you research these chemicals?" Trip moved in even closer, his chin a few millimeters from her hair. T’Pol looked straight ahead not meeting his gaze.
"I am a scientist… I have to know of these chemicals and their side effects." She tried to put an even spin on things, but found it difficult.
"Is that so…. Then why did you request the recipes for them. This isn't just research. It is a cookbook of Vulcan poisons…." He stepped in front of her and made her eyes come to him. "Why T’Pol ….Why?"
The Vulcan held steadfast, silent without so much as a twitch to denote she was disturbed by his outburst. She stared hard at him, almost daring him to continue, but also setting her breath into rhythmic short bursts. Trip was growing more angered by the second. He felt that her defiance of him was a blatant act, designed to get him to give up and go away. But this Vulcan didn't know him that well. This type of behavior would only set him in his resolve all the more. He glared back at her holding the padd in front of him like the damming evidence it was.
"Well……" He added, his eyes set, and mouth pursed.
"I don't understand the question." She replied evenly, just as determined, but trying to hide it better.
"Well are you gonna explain yourself, or is my next stop the cap'n's quarters and then sickbay? If you won't tell me, I know the cap'n will make you tell him…." Trip wheeled around feeling a bit hurt that she'd act like this with him. "Geez, T’Pol, I thought we were friends…." He spit out at the open part of the room, not facing her. The Vulcan felt a pang of regret. Of all the people on board Enterprise, this Human would be the first one she'd confide to with other things, but this subject was private, even for someone as trusted as him. She couldn't discuss such a matter, wouldn't even with Phlox. She felt his anger, but much more she felt the hurt her coldness was causing. It made her oddly distressed.
"I explained to you my reasons for having the information. And as for being friends, I do consider us so… I would tell you if there was something more, if I could." That answer was not what he wanted to hear, but at least it was honest.
"So you want me to believe that the reason you have the recipes for half a dozen Vulcan neurotoxins is because you are a scientist and have the need to know them. Well if that inn't a crock of shit, I don't know what is." Trip wheeled back around and looked directly at her.
"T’Pol, I looked up these substances. They have no redeeming use other than to kill, and they can't kill Humans or Denobulans. They only harm Vulcans. They work on your neurophysiology like a paralyzing agent. These chemicals make Trellium look like a pint of scotch. You won't lose your control. You will be so paralyzed by them, you'll simply pass out and die. What good does it do for you to have their chemical make up? What, are you working on an antidote in case someone else poisons you? Come on… what is the likelihood of that?" Trip began to pace the room. His friend's silence was disturbing to him and more over the fact that she'd changed greatly after their night together had him worried that she was preparing to do something quite impulsive--if you could say that of a Vulcan.
T’Pol remained silent, not knowing what to say to the Human. She thought of lying and going with his antidote story, but she knew he was correct in pointing out that she had no enemies aboard Enterprise that would pose a threat to her. She stood there, her back to the desk and watched him continue to pace about the room.
"You know… if you don't tell me what's going on here, I'm gonna have to get the cap'n and Phlox involved. I don't want to have to do that, but as a Commander, I am charged with providing for the safety of all aboard. If I even suspect there is a possible threat to a crewman, I am required to report it. Please don't make me do that. You can talk to me…. I want to help." Trip came up to her, his eyes showing the worry that was flowing from him and into her. T’Pol remained silent.
"That's it then…." Trip threw up his hands and slapped his thighs in defeat. "I guess I've got a meeting with the cap'n and Phlox. You'd better have a better explanation prepared for them; 'cause if I know Phlox, he'll be all over that one you gave me in a heartbeat." Trip moved toward the door, gaining momentum with every step. He slapped the door control with the palm of his hand, indicating the level of frustration he was feeling. The Human was almost totally out the door when he heard the familiar sound of the Vulcan, calling his bluff.
"Trip…!" He stopped, feeling immediately relieved that he didn't have to make good on his threat, but stood still not to give her too much confidence in her ability to sway him.
"I have my reasons." She stated plainly, turning herself to look out the portal.
T’Pol remained silent a long moment, watching the stars go shooting by the glass. She felt the growing impatience coming from the male behind her. Finally Trip broke the silence. "I'm waiting."
"It's personal…." She answered his invitation.
"Well I'm all ears….." He thought a moment about the inappropriateness of his comment then tried to rephrase. "I mean….. You know you can trust me… I won't repeat what you tell me." T’Pol turned to face him. She felt the sincerity of his words, and saw the caring expression on his face.
Closing her eyes exaggeratedly and exhaling heavily, she tried to find the courage to address this personal subject with the most illogical of confidants. "It has to do with biology." She stated flatly, looking off into the distance at the deck plating across the room.
"Biology?" Trip repeated feeling a bit uncomfortable and now wishing he'd let Phlox handle this one. "You mean…….." He stammered a bit trying to fulfill his promise of support to her……."as in reproduction?" Trip swallowed hard mimicking the Vulcan's discomfort. T’Pol gave a faint nod.
"So Vulcans use these substances to reproduce?" Trip asked hoping it was as technical as that.
"No…" T’Pol kept her answer short feeling just as awkward.
"Okay….. So what do these chemicals have to do with Vulcan biology?" Trip eased his discomfort to try and get to the meat of the conversation.
"Nothing….. They are meant to stop the process." T’Pol kept her eyes from his, looking now at the large Vulcan artwork on her wall. It represented all the negative aspects of what made their reproductive time so difficult to live with.
Trip thought a moment and a sick feeling crossed his mind. "Are you pregnant?" He jumped in wondering if something more happened between them that night than just sex. T’Pol drew her eyes to him immediately.
"No ! " She snapped back at his implied but unspoken accusation. "I am not of the age for reproduction yet." That remark both comforted and disquieted the commander a bit. On earth girls under the age of puberty were considered jailbait. He wondered how it worked on Vulcan. He decided not to question it and simply replied, "Oh…"
Trip waited patiently for her to continue, sensing her discomfort at talking about this subject. T’Pol realized the Human was not satisfied with her confession so far. She steeled herself and begrudgingly began her explanation. She pointed to the cushions beside her and Trip took a seat.
"It is the Pon Farr…….the time of mating…." Her voice reflected the distaste she held for the subject. "If ever a species so devoted to their logic as we are, were to have it ripped from them as this time does to us." T’Pol looked out into the far side of the room remembering the stories of what was in store for her. Trip could sense she was afraid and wanted to reach out to her, but thought better of it. He remained quiet, letting her continue at her own speed.
"There is a madness that comes upon us at this time…a madness we are powerless to control. I can't let it affect this ship or our mission." Her head tilted downward indicating the level of resolve she had for her plan.
"But to kill yourself?…. T’Pol …. We can figure out another way… Phlox could probably find a cure for this… I mean, worse comes to worse he could just keep you sedated during this time you speak of. Taking these substances is a bit extreme." The engineer absently placed a hand upon her knee trying to get her to turn to him for support.
"Phlox will not be able to cure this. My people have tried for centuries, and haven’t been able to do anything to stop it. As for sedation, it may only slow me down, but it will not stop the impulses that this time brings." She looked at the large blue eyes that studied her caringly. "While I will not be able to control the impulses, I will still be able to function enough to be a danger to the crew."
"How… What impulses does it bring?" Trip couldn't understand how this wisp of a female could possibly be a danger to over 80 crewmen.
"The blood fever….. it brings a madness that drives us to return home and take a mate. I would be drawn by those same forces and try to take control of the ship." She looked away from his gaze.
"T’Pol, I don't think you can take on all of us. And if you want, I can arrange with Malcolm to lock you up under a MACO security detail." Trip smiled warmly trying to reassure her she was among friends that would be sympathetic to her situation.
"Trip…. Even fully aware, there are ways for Vulcans to get around your security measures. Vulcans are very resourceful and have many ancient ways that we no longer use around Humans, for they would injure them…." She paused a moment and looked directly at him. "We are a race of warriors …. We cannot forget that fact. It is in our nature to be violent when left unchecked. We can only survive by controlling our emotions so as not to set off the ancient drives within us. But these controls we use every day are not able to withstand the pull of the blood fever and when it comes my time, I will not be able to stop myself from reacting to them." The Vulcan's voice wavered a bit remembering her loss of control aboard the Seleya. "I cannot allow myself to harm anyone… and cannot trust myself that it will not happen. I must be prepared."
Trip realized just how painful this admission was. His hand wanted to come up and hug her, but instead stayed lightly upon her knee. "T’Pol…. Look… maybe Phlox can come up with something your people haven't… I mean he is very resourceful. You know, your people might not have wanted to stop this… I mean if they stopped the reproductive process, then your race would be in danger of extinction." Trip tried feebly to give her some hope. It didn't work.
"Trip… there is no Vulcan living that doesn't dread their time….. If it were just a matter of procreation, a mandated order would be enough to keep our population ongoing. This time is so dreaded, that we don't even speak of it amongst ourselves. Believe me when I say they have really tried to stop this madness… But all that can stop it is to go through it." T’Pol exhaled heavily feeling as defeated by the situation as the conversation.
"Well… what's the problem…..I mean it's not like we haven't….." Trip didn't finish, figuring she would know what he was offering without his having to actually say it. She looked at him stunned he would even bring their exploration up again after that awkward morning-after conversation in the mess hall.
"Trip…. What we had was an exploration… it is not the same thing." T’Pol felt the hurt she caused him come back and hit her in the face.
"Well excuse me…. I mean you did say mating…… Maybe on Vulcan you do it a bit differently, but to Humans that's how it's done." Trip gave her a frustrated look. He was trying to be helpful and as usual she was pushing him away. But maybe this time she had an ulterior motive.
"Vulcan mating requires the formation of a bond….. Unbonded, a Vulcans going through Pon Farr would simply try to get home to find their mates. For this reason, Vulcans serving aboard starships are assigned together with their mates or given leave to return home to be with their mates for the year they are due." T’Pol kept her explanation even, though it irritated her that she needed to explain such things at all.
"Okay…. What does it take to bond then…..what is it some kind of ceremony?" Trip quipped back knowing full well that Vulcans married each other hardly knowing the person they were marrying.
"It takes time….and practice….and patience, many characteristics Humans lack." T’Pol was returning her own brand of sarcasm and this made Trip feel a bit better about his friend's frame of mind. He decided to make use of this new found energy.
"Oh is that so…. I bet any Human is capable of this bond thing…. I mean time, practice and patience aren't exactly exclusively Vulcan commodities." He lashed back hoping she would take the bait.
"Possibly, but I see little of that working around them. Most Humans are impatient, imprecise and usually can't afford the time to spare. Look at your attempt at Warp stream compression… I believe it landed you in sickbay, in a coma." T’Pol had become very good at this game. Perhaps what she said about Vulcans' ability to get around the Humans was true and she had simply been holding back on them. I mean this response took the engineer from a playful mood, into an all out protective one. Not of the Vulcan, but of his abilities with a piece of machinery.
"Hey…. That failed because we came upon a field of magnetized particles that clogged the intake manifolds. Otherwise that plan was solid and you know it." He showed a hurt look at her doubting his ability and was almost ready to walk out when it hit him that, that was what she wanted him to do….. distance himself before she had to do whatever it was she felt she had to do.
He looked at her hard and sat back, crossing his arms over his chest. He stared her down, his tongue exploring the inside of his cheek……"Inn't gonna work, sister…….You can try all you want but I am on to your tricks…….See, Vulcans aren't so smart after all….. I saw that one coming a half a light year away." Trip formed a wicked smile upon his face and waited to see what else she would try to pull. T’Pol simply returned her own smirk in kind.
"So this bond…. Why is it so important to things?" Trip asked after several seconds of standoff.
"It is how we stay connected with one another."
"So you don't just communicate like normal Humans?" Trip felt cocky seeing that she didn't win the battle he started.
"A deep connection is what the bond is. Once formed it binds the two bond mates for life. They can communicate without speaking if they wish, but mostly it keeps them in touch to be able to provide for each other's needs." Her tone was low, feeling loathed to explain what this Human couldn't possibly understand.
"Love…." He blurted, nodding exaggerated and staring forward. "You made it sound so complex when a deep love is all it really is. Leave it to Vulcans to make something so simple, so technical." He turned to face her with a crooked smile.
"Vulcan's don't experience love……" She returned sharply, just as sharply as she had told him about their lack of jealousy. T’Pol knew it was untrue, but wasn't about to admit that to this cocky alien.
"Yeah, right and you don't accidentally get back at your competition by pinching a nerve in their back and causing them momentary discomfort. Amanda now actually leaves the room when I walk in, you got her so afraid of you." Trip was feeling like his old self, arguing with the first officer and her returning his barbs verbatim. A strange feeling of happiness filled his heart. This happiness translated to the Vulcan who stared him down and corrected his last accusation.
"The discomfort Corporal Cole experienced was an accident. I apologized fully. And if you are so concerned for her welfare, I suggest you go and try to make amends." Now it was T’Pol's turn to give back as good as she got.
"Ah. Oh… do I detect a little green eyed monster peeking out there?" Trip jibed and saw the flustered look and quick turn. T’Pol crossed her arms over her chest now, mimicking the stubborn nature of the engineer.
"I told you. Vulcans do not experience..." She was cut off again.
"Yeah and I am Santa Claus, nice to meet yaw." Trip got in another zinger making the Vulcan stand in a huff and walk a few steps away from his location. He sensed he may have gone too far with that one, so he came up and stood right behind her.
T’Pol's face was turned downward, but as she sensed his nearness, she lifted it in defiance. Trip put a hand on her shoulder. "Look T’Pol…. I'm just saying that I don't think we are that much different. We could probably pull this bond thing off if we gave it a chance…… I mean how much time do we have until this….Pon….Farr thing happens anyway?" His voice was low and soothing to her, a fact that she couldn't understand.
"As little as two years, possibly as many as five if I am fortunate and don't start until late in my cycle." She eased up feeling warm waves coming from his touch. His emotions were blatantly assaulting her senses. Feelings of concern and compassion and of something she didn't quite know how to interpret, but was not harmed by it.
"Well… that's plenty of time….. I mean don't Vulcans marry complete strangers and still manage to bond? How hard can it be?" He picked up and put his other hand on her shoulder.
"A marriage doesn't always result in a bond. And if a bond does form, it certainly doesn't form over night." Her voice was low and exhausted by the topic.
"Okay…tell me how it does form. How long I mean? It's not like you guys date or anything, that's what usually allows love to form for Humans."
"Once married, a couple has up to one Vulcan year for a bond to form. If it does then they are bonded for life. If it doesn't, then the parties can have the marriage dissolved and look for new mates to marry and try to bond with. There is no disgrace in not being able to bond. The families honor is not tarnished by a failed attempt, as long as the attempt has been made." T’Pol remembered that her own family's name was now bearing the smudge of her cancelled wedding to Koss.
"So it can take up to a year?" Trip was floored by that statement. "Then why do you marry first. Why go through the divorce if a bond didn't form?"
"The marriage of two Vulcans is different than that of Humans. Humans begin their sexual relations immediately after the ceremony. Vulcans do not. The marriage is a socially acceptable way of allowing the two parties to reside together under the same roof and attempt to form a bond. It keeps them free of distraction from other would be suitors and allows them to focus on building this connection between them." T’Pol was patient in her explanation of Vulcan society etiquette.
"So they live together, but not in the same room?" Trip was thinking he wasn't liking the Vulcan's idea of marriage.
"Two weeks after the ceremony, the couple moves into one of the family's ancestral homes, which has been vacated to give them their privacy." T’Pol started and was stopped by an overly interested Trip Tucker.
"Why two weeks, why not right away?"
"There is much adjustment a Vulcan needs to be prepared to share a dwelling with someone they don't know. It is our habit to go on retreat to meditate and get our minds ready to take on the challenge of so much change." T’Pol answered him patiently.
"Oh… I guess it would be a bit unnerving to move into a place with a total stranger."
"After moving in together, they begin interaction little by little each day. They talk, share ideas and opinions…. They begin sharing minor activities, taking meals together, attending social gatherings in their new capacity…meditating." Trip found that point interesting.
"They meditate together? How does that do anything…. Isn't meditation a private thing?" He squinted his eyes not seeing how this would help them get together.
"Meditation is crucial in allowing each other's mind to become accustom to the patterns of their mate. When a bond is formed, they will each have a part of their mind imprinted onto the other's, so it is crucial that they are compatible." This remark got Trip's attention.
"You mean the two of them swap brains?" His question was crude but partially accurate.
"We allow access of our minds to our mates so that they can become a true part of us. That is what a bond is and that is why I don't believe a Human is capable of forming a bond." T’Pol drove that last point home more than she meant but for the first time Trip was thinking that maybe she was right.
"You mean I would not be physically capable to do this due to my brain's makeup?" He asked feeling a bit defeated.
"I believe so… There has been no documentation of a bond forming between a Human and Vulcan couple to date." Her words didn't mean to hurt, but they did anyway. Then Trip realized her last part.
"So there have been others……….I mean Vulcan/Human couples…. How do they survive this thing? You said it happens to all Vulcans, what do they do to get through it?" Trip wasn't letting this one go.
"Most probably they die….. but there is no record of their lives together, since no Vulcan/Human couple has ever resided on Earth or Vulcan. They are shunned on both worlds and usually go to a neutral planet to begin their life together."
"What do you mean they die?" Trip didn't like the sound of that.
"That is the other reason I was looking up neurotoxins. If I don't find my bond mate and mate with them, the sheer force of the condition on my systems will eventually kill me. No one has ever survived Pon Farr without mating… This condition forces them to return home and take a mate or die in the attempt." T’Pol hoped he would get her meaning for the substances and allow her the dignity of dying in peace when her time came.
"So you see, the neurotoxins’ effects re far more preferable to that of going mad and dying from multi-organ system failure." She grew quiet knowing what she was contemplating bothered her friend to his very core.
He considered her words a long time then turned her around to face him. "Then we will just have to find a way to bond. I'm sure Phlox will help us…Maybe something he has in sickbay can help me achieve this connection."
She looked into his brilliant blue eyes, now dark with the worry he felt for her. "Trip….I have no control over that time in my life. Even if a bond does form, it will not mean you will be able to survive the rigors of mating…"
"Come on T’Pol… yes it was intense, but I survived it last time. I liked it even…" he added trying to encourage her sense of hope.
"Trip that wasn't the true extent of mating…." She returned dryly.
"Yeah, I know there wasn't a bond between us, but that should only make it better. Then I will know exactly what to do to please you." Trip didn't realize what she was saying.
"That's not what I meant. Vulcan mating is much more intense. What we explored was more the Human version….I don't believe you could handle our way." She wasn't being cocky, just trying to warn him.
"Oh really, is that so…." His manhood was insulted, as most Human males would have interpreted her answer to mean. "So show me…..I dare ya…" He egged her on wanting in the back of his mind to find out exactly what she was talking about.
"I cannot…. It is not allowed with a Human….It is too dangerous, you could be injured." That peaked his curiosity.
"Yeah, well the last time you caught me on a very mild mannered day. I have been known to…" He started and wondered what a Vulcan would consider as rough sex. She stared at him waiting to hear his ideas and found they never came.
"No I mean it….You keep saying I can't tolerate it…. Put your money where your mouth is…." He saw her confused look. "I mean show me…..convince me I can't handle it." He stood there with his hands on her shoulders staring right at her. The Vulcan considered his forbidden request a moment and knew he would not give up until he understood the full extent of what he was asking. Lowering her eyes, she concentrated on the male before her. She took a few short breaths and began sending waves of energy into his brain, right to the specific centers she was aiming for.
Instantly Trip felt a bolt of lightening hit his mind, followed by an increased warming sensation down his spine and through his nether regions. His engineer's mate grew long and rigid, more so than he'd ever known it too. But worse was the sense of uncontrollable lust he was feeling for the woman before him. Without warning, his mind clicked into overdrive and he shoved the female backward towards the bunk.
He pushed her down, climbing right atop her. He forced his mouth onto hers while his hands groped at the material below the belt area of her jumpsuit. His fingers clawed intensely at the fabric over her privates trying to gain access for his own pleasures to be fulfilled. Then suddenly the insanity stopped and Trip realized what he had just done. He leaned up from her, his eyes wide with fear and his mouth still covered with the traces of saliva passed between the two of them. He jumped up off her immediately, realizing next where his hands were and backed away to the far corner of the room. T’Pol sat up and watched him recoil in fear, not of her but of his own lustful ways.
"What the hell was that?" He asked wondering if his numerous sexual dreams of the young woman finally took their toll.
"That was me… what my mind could do to yours if I wished to…. I told you we have ancient ways that would get around Human defenses. That is just one of them." She came to stand before him, not too close, but close enough to lend an ear.
"I felt like I wanted to devour you… I had no control over what I was doing… I just wanted to do it over everything else. I just wanted you as mine." Trip was reliving the feelings that he could remember about the event.
"I know… and that is with me fully in control. If it had been my time, then both of us would be acting in such a manner, and you could get seriously damaged. You see now why I can't take that chance." She reached out a hand and placed it on his shoulder. The fear and shame he was experiencing quickly disappeared.
"Did you do that too?" He asked knowing it wasn't just her presence that made him so quickly recover from such an experience. She nodded.
"Wait….in the corridor, when I was talking about my sister, and you put your hand on my shoulder then,….did you?" He realized she'd played this trick on him before. His answer came in the form of a pair of lowered eyes. He stewed on this several moments… "If this is Vulcan mating, then how were you able to keep from doing this when we…… I mean I know I was doing a lot of my own…… that time, I wasn't being forced….was I?" Trip dreaded that question knowing he could have been and probably didn't know it. But her response cheered him up immediately.
"No, as I said we are not allowed to do that to Humans…. Not only is it a danger to them, it is also quite addictive." Trip looked at her knowing full well she was right. He could see how being able to take the Vulcan anytime and anywhere could become habit forming.
"Well if you could control it then, you can control it now….. It doesn't have to be that way. We could try to form this bond doing things more subdued and when the time comes then we'll have to turn to Phlox to get us through it. You said yourself that heavy sedation would only slow you down. Maybe that's all we need. Reduce your ability to control my brain and I can provide the rest." He felt corny using that analogy, but it was essentially what the problem called for.
"So you are suggesting we marry and attempt to form a bond in the hopes that Phlox will be able to control the blood fever with medication and allow us to mate to keep me from dying." T’Pol wasn't so sure of his reasoning. It seemed logical, if you believe that all the factors would work, but clearly all the factors may not, and she knew it. "I hardly think it will be effective…." She started and was stopped by his coming forward and grabbing her shoulders.
"Listen T’Pol… I can understand, believe me I can really understand your reluctance to doing this, but I can't just watch you kill yourself over this. Not without at least giving it a try. If it doesn't work.." Trip swallowed hard at this next part. "I promise I won't stand in your way, or let anyone else do so either; but we have to give this alternate plan a chance first. We got the time…let's make use of it…" His words seemed sincere, and even a bit more logical, although the science officer didn't really believe in the success of this plan. At best she thought it a waste of time, but if it helped her friend to see the importance of her duty then it would be worth it. She thought another long moment then nodded her agreement.
"Great…" Trip blurted, pulling her into a hug more of relief, but also a remnant of his lustfulness for her a moment ago. He felt her arms stay out to the side and rather than release her, he merely whispered in her ear, "This is the way Humans form their bonds….give it a try."
To this he felt her arms wrap about him. She rested her chin onto his shoulder then turned her cheek to the soft material of his uniform. This act was strangely satisfying to her, feeling a bit like she did when she was a child and was hugging into her pet sehlat for comfort. She lingered there, allowing the Human all the bonding time he needed, before trying to pull away. They were there the better part of ten minutes, locked in an embrace, neither wanting to end it or drag it out further. They were satisfied with their first contact and that was all that mattered.
The next day found Trip in a flurry of activity. He'd accessed the Vulcan data base and researched the proper protocols for a Vulcan wedding. After reading and downloading them to a padd, he went to his resident social director, Hoshi Soto for some assistance with his upcoming nuptials. She wasn't too surprised at the news, figuring this was bound to happen one day, even if they hadn't been thrown back through time. But the speed at which it was happening took her back. She took great glee in trying to get the southern accent out of the Vulcan words that needed to be spoken to make this ritual completely authentic.
"Isn't this a bit sudden Trip? Why don't you and T’Pol just explore a relationship for a while… I mean you guys work well together, but that's a far cry from actually living together." Jon held his hand on his friend's shoulder.
"Hey, Cap'n… this is how it's done on Vulcan and I have to abide by the rules. Besides, T’Pol and I have sorta….. I mean we are kinda……" He tried to find a way to break the news to his closest friend of many years. "I mean we are familiar with each other already….." The engineer scrunched up his face trying to be less bold about his admission.
"Oh… I see…. And T’Pol feels as you do…. I mean she wishes to marry you in a week." Archer was now wondering why his first officer wasn't present for this meeting.
"She does…. We have agreed to the terms and wish to make it official on the indicated date." Archer looked twice at the blond haired male before him, thinking he could swear he heard the voice of his Vulcan science officer instead.
"She's okay with it, Cap'n… we both are…. Will ya do this for us?" Trip asked knowing the answer but holding his breath all the same. Jon took the padd and looked at the Vulcan translation of symbols upon the screen. The phonetics even seemed like gibberish to the Human.
"Of course I will…but I'm gonna need Hoshi to help me prepare." And to that Jon got a sarcastic "Tell me about it", from his friend that made him feel like the engineer was back again. Having finished their talk, they agreed to meet later that night for some good old fashioned bourbon and bonding of their own.
The next night was movie night and all the crew that was off duty had jammed themselves into the less than capable area of the mess hall. Movie night had become a popular avenue aboard to resemble dating, though few ever watched the movie anymore. The dark afforded them the chance to steal a kiss, or a caress that many who had roommates couldn't do in their quarters. This was the venue Trip chose to announce his up coming wedding to T’Pol. He stood there with Hoshi, outside the mess hall doors, but just inside the kitchen area. He was in full dress uniform, seeing as how he didn't have the appropriate robes yet to represent her people's heritage.
"You’re sure this is what I am supposed to do?" He asked feeling very uncomfortable in his tightly starched collar and military white gloves.
"Yes….it's all there in black and white." Hoshi giggled as she returned this Human's incessant whining.
"What's this thing for again?" He lifted up the make shift gong and looked at it nervously.
"It is to officially gain the attention of all present aboard. I told you that three times already."
"I feel like a fool…. Why movie night… Why not just make a ship wide announcement from my office, or from the bridge?" Trip was having a severe case of cold feet.
"Because you are indicating a challenge. You must declare your desire to own T’Pol and give any challengers a chance to respond." Hoshi swiped at a bit of lint on his arm.
"Well everyone isn't there.. Won't that make it unofficial?" Trip was trying anything to get out of this.
"Look, Commander, we have been over this before…. We chose movie night because everyone who isn't on shift is here. The rest can hear your proclamation over the intercom. I've rigged it to play deck to deck. Now are you gonna do this, or should I tell crewman Minochovich to start the movie. I mean we are waiting for you." Hoshi stood there and stared at him. Trip just fretted all the more
"Look at it this way, Commander, at least you can speak these words in English…" She hoped that would cheer him up, but it only made him groan louder.
"Yeah, my luck… I get to go out there in front of everyone and declare my intentions of taking T’Pol as my property. Furthermore, what if the Major decides to challenge me. Then what?"
"Well you shouldn't worry about that Commander…. I hear MACOs can kill very quickly and virtually painlessly." Hoshi was trying to lighten the mood. It didn't work.
"Look, if Hayes does try to challenge, once he finds out he'd have to kill you to own her, I am sure he will back down. Don't worry. Everyone on board knows of you two's relationship. This is just a formality." She put a hand on his arm. "It's time.."
Trip swallowed hard and steeled himself for the ritual about to take place. With a final long breath he struck the gong hard, creating an eerie sound to reverberate about the room and into the next. With his next strike he began moving forward through the open door, held by Hoshi.
The sound startled all in the room, especially T’Pol who had been sitting in the front row waiting for Trip to return with the popcorn he said he was going for. As he made his way along the rows of people, he kept time with the instrument, striking it the precise number of times indicated in the data base. As he came to the front, he stood facing the group of stunned patrons, and struck the gong a final time. Knowing of the ceremony, T’Pol watched him as he began to speak. He took a huge cleansing breath and began:
"I, Charles James Tucker, the third, son of Charles Jr, son of Catherine Elizabeth, of Earth, do hereby declare my intentions in the ownership of the female T’Pol, daughter of Stepan, daughter of T'Les, of Vulcan. Any and all challengers be aware of my intention to take her as my mate." That part stuck a bit in his throat, being so personal and so private a thing to speak of. He continued…"I am prepared to take on all challengers to the property, T’Pol. Speak now or else relinquish your claims to her eternally." This was the part Trip was dreading. It was the full minute of silence he had to give anyone to step up and make their claim. The room was silent, all in it were stunned at his words, and even more at his audacity to speak that way about another living being. After about 30 seconds, a rustling came from the back of the room.
Out stepped Major Hayes, coming out from the isle and moving along the seats. (Oh shit…this is what I was afraid of.) Trip thought as he steeled himself for a confrontation.
"Now listen here Commander… I dare say it is inappropriate for you to be speaking of T’Pol in such a fashion and I…." his words were cut off by a sharp feeling of tightness in his throat. Oddly enough he could get no air, and he turned in shock to the source of his distress.
There in the front row, T’Pol's eyes were trained on him, half closed and concentrating hard on his presence. His eyes grew wide when he realized this condition wasn't a natural one. Trip meanwhile, watched this exchange with great interest. He looked from the major to T’Pol and back again, realizing what was happening.
When the major's intentions had turned from trying to own the Vulcan to trying to save himself, she allowed his throat to ease up again. He gasped in a breath, looking with fear to the unfettered female that sat before him. He looked back at Trip who tried to put up his best defiant stare, as was the protocol. This, the major realized was what the Vulcan desired, so he back down, nodding his withdrawal as he left the room.
Trip took a deep breath in relief. He steadied his thoughts and tried to get back on track with the ceremony. This time, though, he knew she was supporting his efforts, and it somehow made this awkwardness easier to bear. He allowed for the remaining seconds to pass, not speaking to maintain the authenticity of the ceremony.
"It is done…… What has been in the distant past, will now be again. The marriage will take place one solar week from today. All are invited to attend…." He struck the gong one last time before stepping down to the front row to face his beloved. He reached out two fingers, showing he knew of the custom and watched as she accepted them with two of her own. They merely touched, lying straight against each other, but it was so moving that all in the room were silently taken in by this love story. T’Pol maintained her contact as she rose to leave with her betrothed. They retraced the path he came in on, demonstrating his words of declaration were true.
Upon reaching the galley, Trip almost collapsed from the release of all the tension. His shoulders slumped, his breathing ragged in his chest and his face turned three or four shades of white, something he had to will his body not to do during the challenge. T’Pol looked at him, obviously knowing how hard this was for him. She brought her hand to his face and stroked gently at the long line of his jaw. This touch brought immense sensations of pleasure into the young man's body and his worries of what just took place all faded in comparison. It was many more seconds before the roar of applause coming from the room they'd just left was audible to their preoccupied minds.
"You did well…..I am most pleased." She said giving him the credit for so carefully carrying out such a difficult ordeal."
"Your being pleased makes it all worth it….. to me." Trip murmured, and stepped forward to give her a hug. He saw Hoshi quietly close the door behind her as she left to give them some duely earned privacy.
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A whole mess of folks have made comments
Interesting... John was right. :-)
love the story... hope all goes well with things at home
Veeeeeeery interesting! I hope this ends up being more than a Pon Farr marriage-so-T'Pol-doesn't-die thing! Really good, can't wait for more! :)
Chapter is good, but I don't really like that it looks like they only get married because of Pon Farr. That almost had me stopped reading. Feels a bit unromantic and rushed. Well, let's see were you take this. Looking forward to the next chapter.
This was a great chapter, and I agree that it would be nice if it became more then just a marriage, but at the same time you can see that it is something more because of the reasons Trip is willing to go through.
Very interesting (oh and Kevin, lol, I guess I was a bit right :D, I totally hoped Hayes would interfere).
Ok, WHO ELSE pictured this "Darth-Vader"ish T'Pol with her hand held out, with a choke hold on mid-air as she telepathically choked Hayes?! HAH! LOVED IT! lol
Btw, since Vulcan history/culture that we don't see fascinates me, I love the concept of "the ancient ways" and being able to take over humans' minds. It makes a lot of sense because throughout the Trek'verse we've been told Vulcans are such intelligent and capable telepaths, yet it's always the unnamed or insignificant 'alien of the week' who can do the really interesting mental stuff. I like this coming from Vulcans' dark and sordid history!
one thing I just thought I'd mention though, "daughter of Stepan, daughter of T'Les, of Vulcan" that line is the same as the one from TSFS where Spock was re-fused, but I just wanted to correct on the use of it. by saying "daughter of Stepan, daughter of T'Les" it's not an indication of mother and father (as I assume you intend) it's a multi-generational thing. That would mean Stepan was her mother (or father) and T'Les was that mother or father's mother or father.
i.e., "Sarek, son of Skon, son of Solkar" means Skon is Sarek's father and Solkar is SKON'S father. just a nitpick ;)
I don't mind the way the marriage is done (somewhat practically and logically) because it's concievably that a Vulcan would handle it as such. The balance with Vulcan/Human partners (Sarek/Amanda) has always been that the human has to just *trust* that the Vulcan really does have emotions for them, b/c in reality (as much as we like to write her being emotional in *special times* ;)) in reality vulcans are most likely pretty drab 95% of the time, even to their mates. They're not gonna cuddle and spoon in the lift on the way to the bridge for example.
So I like the way you did it :), and you can see T'Pol getting a little touchy-feely in the end, which is a real nice beginning to a more lov-ey T'Pol.
Is this "ownership" thing canon? It bugs me.
I think the concept of a mated Vulcan female being the property of her mate is either fanon or a misinterpretation of a statement from ST:TOS. If Spock had taken T'Pring as his mate, she would have taken his name and property, not become his property.
Although I've not studied it in detail, the only place I've ever seen it mentioned was on this site and then only by three, soon to be four :-), authors.
Actually it comes from Amok time when T'Pau states "so begins the battle for the ownership of the woman T'Pring." I think it's just a title cause as you see in the story, the females have their own way of getting their own way....T
Actually it comes from Amok time when T'Pau states "so begins the battle for the ownership of the woman T'Pring." I think it's just a title cause as you see in the story, the females have their own way of getting their own way. I know I don't much like the term either, but it is a different culture....T
That makes me feel better, I guess.
It doesn't make sense to me that a culture whose traditions permit a female to require her prospective mate to battle to the death for her (It was T'Pring's choice to invoke Kalifee, remember?) would then refer to that same female as property. Property doesn't have a choice. It's not logical that "property" would be granted the power of life or death over her owner, is it?
Interesting, I missed that part. So it is canon after all.
Actually, I don't think it's all that strange if I understand the situation. T'Pol was betrothed to Koss and in this case would become his property. Her only choice was to choose a challenger and become his property if he killed Koss. As I understand it, she doesn't then get to pick another challenger and start killing off Vulcan males one at a time. She gets one choice-her betrothed or a challenger.
That's true. In the case of T'Pring, she chose Kirk instead of her beloved Ston, because she knew that Kirk would not want her and would set her free, so she could be with Ston. If Spock did win, then he would have been put off by her challenge and set her free and she would still have Ston. And if he didn't set her free, he would be off again, and she would still be there with his name and his property, and Ston would still be there. So by all standards, she was to become the property of whom ever won the Kalifee. T.
I don't think Trip thinks of this as just a marriage of convenience. I think he's been trying to find a way to get back into T'Pol's heart and this just seemed to be the logical way to get close enough to do that. I think that is what we are gonna see happen. I mean if it was a marriage of convenience, then why is he making her hug him.
I think that this chapter is really, and I agree that you need to make it clear that Tpol actually dones love Trip and is not just marrying to make her death easier on him.
I really liked the way this story is going. However I agree that you need to make it known that Tpol does love Trip and isn't just marrying him in order to make it easier for him when she kills herself.
I'm enjoying this story. I'm Really interested to see what happens now, and I hope that T'pol does love Trip and it's not just becuase of the Ponn Farr
Well I guess I was right about T'pols reason for thinkin about suicide. It was just the Ponn Far,, but also her not knowing if she could form a Bond with a Human(Trip),, an with out a Bond to Trip which is need, she will under instinct do anything an everything inorder to return to Vulcan,,, I forgot about that part of the Ponn Far... Very interesting spin on things.
An God I lol an was so in aww of the part where Trip claimed T'pol as his mate. LOL,,, I just loved How T'pol went all Vulcan Darth Vader on Hayes when he tried to interupt Trips claim,,,,,,An loved the tender sweet scene at the End where T'pol was there with Trip after the proposal,,,, Beautiful how just the touch of her hand eased away all that tension.
Cant wait to see the next part,,,, an like the Rest I cant wait to see more proof that T'pol is indeed in love with Trip,,,, But she just dosnt seem to be able to grasp that concept yet.,,,,, Up date soon.
Oh an Im sorry TLR about your friend's daughter's death. :(
Yeah - Definitely brought up visions of Vader with the choke hold :) Great story so far. I can't wait until you update.
Thanks everyone for your kind expression for my friend Dee's situation. She, like me is a big fan of TnT and has actually given me a hand with some of my ideas. In one story, she even wrote part of it and allowed me to add it too a bigger story. She publishes occasionally on another website. She is hanging in there, but hasn't come back to work yet. It was a big shock to her and now she has an 8 yr old and a 12 yr old to raise. I know she's seen your kind words, cause she is a frequent reader of this and other TnT sites. So thanks again for your loving words of support. I will get the next part out today. T.