Beginnings

By Brandyjane

Rating: PG-13

Genres: au drama missing scene romance

Keywords: Romulan War Romulans T'Pol's Parents

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Chapter 1

Disclaimer: I do not own these characters, and I am not making any profit from them.

Archive: Sure. Just give me credit, please.

 

Author's Note: Although I like the character of T'Pol, I always found certain aspects about the way she was written inconsistent and puzzling.  This is my attempt to reconcile some of the inconsistencies and explain why she did some of what she did.  T'Pol's mother T'Les will be a prominent part of this story. In my story "Mr. Velek" I wrote that the Vulcan teacher Trip mentioned in "Strange New World" was T'Pol's father.  I decided to keep that relationship for this story.  The first chapters will take place primarily before the events in Enterprise, but I do have some plans for several missing scenes from the series, lots of TnT goodness, and even a few post-season four chapters leading up to the Romulan War.  I apologize to any Vulcan experts if I get anything about Vulcan culture wrong!  Thanks to my beta, WarpGirl, for helping me refine my ideas.

 


 

            "Mother, what does rihannsu mean?"

 

            T'Les's body stiffened momentarily as she almost gave in to an emotional reaction.  Before turning to face the inquisitive girl, she finished washing and drying her hands, all the while mentally reciting a calming litany to herself.  When she turned to face the child, T'Les's demeanor betrayed no sense of her inner disquiet.   

 

"T'Pol, where did you hear that word?" she asked the seven-year-old sitting at the table across the room, awkwardly peeling the reddish-pink rind from the gespar fruit her mother had just plucked from the lush vines growing in the courtyard of their home.

 

            "I heard it from you, Mother," the child said calmly, wondering why her mother's answer had been non-responsive. 

 

            T'Les stared at her daughter in shock, unable to disguise her shock or infuse her voice with a tranquility she did not feel.  "You most certainly did not hear that word from me!"

 

            "Yes, I did, Mother," T'Pol said indignantly, disturbed by her mother's blatant lie and by her obvious unease.  Though she had occasionally seen her father exhibit subtle emotional responses, T'Pol had never once in her short life seen or even heard of T'Les behaving as anything less than the model of Vulcan logic.  It was believed by many that T'Les would undergo kohlinahr after T'Pol reached adulthood, though T'Les herself had remained noncommittal about the possibility of undergoing the final purge of all emotion.   "You said it just now when you were picking gespar," T'Pol said, pointing to indicate the basket of fruit on the table next to her.

 

            T'Les's face lost all color and she began to tremble.  "Oh, child, no.  No.  This cannot be!"  She took a few deep, calming breaths to regain her composure.  It had been a very long time since T'Les had been this close to losing her control, yet what parent could face such a disturbing truth about her own offspring with cold, logical equanimity?

 

            T'Les knelt down next to T'Pol.  "Listen to me, T'Pol.  Never, never use that word.  It is a vile word.  Do not say it.  Do not even allow yourself to think it."  And stay out of my head! she added silently to herself.

 

            T'Pol obediently nodded her assent but was puzzled by her mother's instructions and odd behavior.  It was just a word.  Father had explained that on other worlds social conventions made certain words "bad," but Vulcans had no need for such arbitrary taboos.

 

            That night, after T'Les put her daughter to bed, she sent out a message to her husband who was supposed to be spending the rest of the week as a guest lecturer at a university on the other side of the planet.  "Velek, you must come home immediately.  Something is wrong with T'Pol."

 


 

            "No, T'Les, I will not allow it.  Our child belongs at home, not locked away in a monastery."

 

            "Velek, be reasonable.  It is for her own good.  The child is not normal.  We cannot give her the guidance she needs to function in our society.  She must be sent to Gol," T'Les pronounced with finality.

 

            "T'Pol is my child, T'Les.  My daughter stays here, with her family."

 

            "Velek, she is a melder."

 

            "You don't know that, T'Les."

 

            "She took a thought from my mind, Velek, and we were not even touching.  T'Pol was across the courtyard from me, playing with her sehlat.  Such strong telepathy is an early indicator of melding."

 

             "Not always, T'Les.  Some people are just more sensitive than others.  You know that.  She might outgrow it.  You are overreacting.  It was only one incident."  Velek took his wife's hand.  He had never, ever seen her this rattled, not even the night a pregnant T'Les had gone into premature labor, and they feared she would lose T'Pol.  Velek, too, was disturbed by the possibility that his daughter might be a melder, but he was not willing to concede that it was a foregone conclusion after just one instance of unusual telepathic activity.  After all, Velek himself was a more sensitive telepath than most Vulcans, but he was certainly not a melder. 

 

            "She will not outgrow it," T'Les insisted.  "Even if she is not a melder, such a high degree of telepathic sensitivity will make it impossible for her to learn emotional control."

 

            "She - "

 

            "No.  Listen to me.  How can she learn to control her own emotions if she cannot block the emotions of everyone else around her?"

 

            "She can learn.  She is a remarkable child," Velek objected.

 

            "I have no doubt of that," T'Les answered, softening.  "She is an unusually intelligent child.  She can learn control, but we cannot teach it to her.  She needs to be taught by a Master." 

 

            "What will we tell Solon and V'Lan?  Would you stigmatize young Koss by severing the tie between them?"

 

            "The contract can be broken quietly.  They have only been betrothed a few weeks.  Koss's family should have no trouble making another arrangement."  Koss came from a high-ranking family, much higher in status than Velek's clan.  T'Les had been thrilled when her husband's childhood friend agreed to join their two families.  Solon was advancing quickly through the ranks of the High Command, and T'Les knew that a union between Solon's son and her daughter would provide T'Pol with both respectability and protection. 

 

            "And our explanation for breaking the contract would be - "

 

            "We will tell them that T'Pol is sick, too sick to make a proper wife."

 

            Velek stared at his wife incredulously.  He knew that others thought T'Les was an unusually stern woman, but until now he had never seen this coldness.  "You would destroy her chance for marriage, for children, perhaps even for a good career.  Why are you doing this?"

 

            T'Les gazed back at her stricken husband.  T'Les had always found it ironic that her Vulcan husband had far less emotional control than she did.  If T'Pol had inherited weaker than normal control, it had been from Velek, not her.  Nevertheless, she knew for certain that Velek's telepathic abilities were nowhere near as strong as their daughter's.

 

            "Velek, you and T'Pol are my life.  I would never do anything to hurt my child.  I only want to protect her.  What will happen to her if she does not receive the guidance she needs?  Would you have her become an outcast, V'tosh ka'tur?"  She saw Velek cringe at the shameful thought of their daughter being called "one without logic," and she pressed on.  "The priesthood is the only place in our society for people with abilities like T'Pol's.  She would be respected - no, revered - if she becomes a priestess.  If she does not...I fear for her, Velek," she admitted.

 

            She saw Velek waver for an instant before his resolve hardened again.  "T'Pol would never be happy shut away in a monastery.  She wants to be an explorer."

 

            "She is seven.  She also wants to train sehlats."

 

            "I will never consent to this.  I will stay home, train her myself."

 

            "You do not know how to give her what she needs."

 

            "I will find a way.  I am not giving up my daughter."

 

            T'Les nodded in acquiescence and turned away to prepare for bed.  She would be watching her daughter extremely carefully.  Perhaps Velek was right.  Perhaps it had been a one-time occurrence.  Before retiring for the night, T'Les walked into T'Pol's room and stared down at the tiny waif sleeping so peacefully, completely unaware of what she was and what she might be.  It was imperative that T'Pol did nothing to bring attention to herself.  If anyone suspected the truth about her... 

 

            I will protect you, my child


Comments:

bluetiger

How very interesting to see T'Pol as a child and a special one at that.

I will have to see more of the actions of your T'Les to make an informed decision. The T'Les we saw on the show did not offend me as she did some.

I love Velek here and will wait to see how this unfolds between T'Pol and her parents. Very good chapter.

 

Brandyjane

Linda, you must be reading my mind, because the chapter I'm working on right now has Velek challenging his own preconceptions. :p

Linda

This is an intriguing start to a story.  I'd like to see how you develop it and bring it up to the point where T'Les actually joins a group of melders herself.  Also, I always considered Velek to be quite open minded since he told Trip and his class to "challenge your preconceptions or they will challenge you".

Cogito

I'm ambivalent about T'Pol. She clearly stands out from the orthodox Vulcan culture of the time due to her curiosity and spirit of adventure and is widely criticised for that, but on the other hand I think she epitomises the philosophy of IDIC. I'm equally ambivalent about T'Les's view of T'Pol. Clearly above all she wants T'Pol to conform. I suppose in the current Vulcan culture there is a stigma attached to non-conformity of any sort. It is not her idiosyncrasies that T'Les disapproves of, but the difficulties that she will suffer because of them. And yet, from T'Pol's point of view this must be seen as disapproval of her.

 

I think the world you've created fits in very nicely with the love and disapproval that T'Les showed in Home and Awakening, and explains how this troubled relationship came about. You have shown T'Pol's father was more supportive than her mother, and clearly he was absent in her later life. I can only imagine that T'Pol's life must have been miserable without him, especially if T'Les disapproved of her misery too. I look forward to seeing how they get on together, but even now I can see the beginning of the young adventurer who wanted more than a coldly logical existence.

Asso

Well, excuse me, my friend, but I don't think ambiguous is the right term.
In all honesty I am inclined to suppose that you wanted to describe a T'Less even more distasteful than the one we saw on the screen.
I find always hard to justify the stupid and bad deeds that people do as a consequence of the distorted idea of love they have.
Anyway, that is my own idea, and the story is surely good.
Interesting the way you wanted to explain T'Pol unicity (because that T'Pol is unique, that's a matter of fact, isn't it?;))

Brandyjane

I don't know why it says "Chapter 14 - Part II" at the top.  That's kind of weird. 

If I can make this story work, then I predict that my T'Les is going to provoke a lot of strong reactions.  A lot of people are going to hate her, but I think some might, if not "like" her, then at least come to understand why she does what she does.  WarpGirl, I want people to see that part of T'Les's motivation is deep love for her family, T'Pol in particular, but at the same time she is going to have some selfish motivations, too, when she makes the decisions she makes.  T'Les is going to be a very ambiguous figure in this story.

WarpGirl

Yey! It's up... I think my favorite part about this is that you have T'Les acting out of love. Even if her methods seem harsh, or even completely unjust, she is acting out of love. It might not make her actions correct, but at least she cannot be percieved as selfish or callous to her daughter's life. Sometimes she is percieved in such a way particularly in Home and this sort of sets the record straight. So again Bravo!

Silverbullet

I do NOT like T'Les and even less in this story.

She sounds like one of the Religious bigots who had thier children locked up because they were different. they believed them to be Possesed. The child was only very intelligent not possesed but was locked up anyway because they had no one to stand up for them.

Hope the father hangs in there for T'Pol's sake

Aikiweezie

OOOOO, this looks like it's going to be very, very interesting.  Love that you have T'Pol different even as a child. 

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