Dawn of the Federation

By Kotik

Rating: PG-13

Genres: adventure romance

Keywords:

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Tilek svi'khaf-spol t'vathu - tilek svi'sha'veh.

Surak 

Authors Notes:

The idea for this story has been at the back of my head for a long time. In fact it is already it's own reincarnation as a different story grew to 100 pages, before I had to face the grim reality that my writing - although evolved - did not live up to the premise, mainly because I didn't have the right support in the form of a talented and knowledgeable beta reader.

My initial idea was to start at the end of the episode "Bound", but I revised that in favour of more canon friendliness. The only deviation from that route is, that I will consequently ignore the events of "These are the voyages...", since that particular - rightly criticized "valentine" did not show any real events, but a holo-deck simulation, the historic accuracy of which cannot be ascertained. Several indicators, like the lack of transfers, promotions or deaths over the course of 10 years, which included the atrocious Earth-Romulan war, make it rather probable that the shown holo-deck simulation was an utter and complete fabrication. At a later point in this book, that topic will be dealt with accordingly. 


Acknowledgments:
                                                                                     
The Vulcan mourning chant is from The Vulcan Information Centre For Extravulcanians

High Priest Torok originated in Dinah's The Thorn and the Rose and it's sequel The Briar Patch and appears with kind permission of his creator.

A big thank you goes to my wonderful beta's EntAllat and Cogito.

All pictures in the print-version of the story are from TrekCore

 

Enjoy,
Kotik aka Lukenwolf

* * *

T'Pol had completely lost track of time while sitting on her bunk, still gently holding the hand of her human mate. The physical contact allowed her to feel the agony in the mind of Elizabeth's father and, although it should have theoretically added to her own pain, she found consolation in his presence just as the ancient texts in the recently rediscovered Kir'Shara said she would.

Not only did this confirm her suspicion that they were bonded in a very rare and fulfilling union of true soul mates - a connection that so many Vulcans in ancient time had wished and searched for in vain - it also meant that her usual approach of dealing with things on her own, would lead to grave consequences. They needed each other and T'Pol had decided to not repeat the mistakes she had made before.

Without looking up to him, the IDIC pendant of her late mother still pressed to her cheek, she knew that his tears had not dried yet and she wished she could do the same and just let her grief take free reign. Instead of pondering the implications of such, she decided to do what she realized she should have done before. She decided to ask for his help, just as her older self had advised her.

"Trip," she asked softly. "Will you help me? I need your assistance to regain my composure."

Looking up to him, she saw into his tear stained face, his eyes reddened and unfocused. His weak nod indicated his agreement, before he put it into words. "I'll do whatever I can."

"I need you to meditate with me. It is the only way to deal with this."

Seeing his doubtful face expression, she surmised that he did not believe he'd be able to meditate. An explanation was obviously necessary.

"We need to connect our minds. We did so before and I believe it will help. Please sit down with me and do what you did that caused our spontaneous connections while you were on Columbia."

"We were trying to get the engines running smoothly, I checked on them by listening to their sound," he explained, while she helped him to sit down on her meditation cushions.

"Please do so again and try to reach my katra," she explained and lit the candle, before she sank into a deep meditation.

* * *

Malcolm sat at his station and pondered the day's events. His upset stomach, which still caused a rather queasy feeling of discomfort, was a ridiculously banal predicament in contrast to the tragedy that had hit his best friend and the ship's first officer.

As the ship's security officer it had always been his job to avert all sorts of danger and threats to the crew's welfare. But how did one fight a universe that seems hell bent on destroying two innocent people by throwing one tragedy after the other at them? Two children lost, a coerced marriage, death of a mother and a sister respectively - that was enough to break the will of a Klingon and he had been powerless to do anything about it.

He knew how ridiculous it was to ponder such things, as none of it could have been avoided no matter what he would have done, but it didn't take away the ache in his heart caused by seeing the two suffer. And he wasn't alone. All the crew-members on the bridge had barely spoken a word since Captain Archer had returned from sickbay with the grim news that Elizabeth had died. The silence was deafening.

Both Hoshi and Ensign Mayumi Rao, T'Pol's second in command now manning the science station, had stains of tears on their faces. While his instinctive adoption of a stiff upper lip appearance had enabled him to avoid such open display of grief, he had almost succumbed to the urge to take Hoshi in his arms to console her.

Still deep in thought, he had missed captain Archer's approach.

"Malcolm?"

"Uh, sir," he replied after being startled out of his thoughts, slightly annoyed by his own lack of concentration.

"Can you scan for Trip and T'Pol? They were scheduled to meet me 15 minutes ago."

After he had initiated the sensor sweep, a schematic of T'Pol's quarters came up on his screen with two blinking dots - a red and a green one - located across from the door.

"They appear to be in commander T'Pol's quarters," Malcolm explained and with a slightly alarmed tone, added, "No sign of movement, sir."

"Can you give me a heat map?"

Malcolm started programming the sequence for a temperature differential sweep, and soon an overlay was drawn over the readout showing a singular heat source right between the two dots, each of which represented the secluded officers.

"Thought so," Archer said. "That's where her meditation mats are. I think the meeting can wait until after the morning briefing."

"Aye, sir," Malcolm answered and removed the data from the display.

* * *

After several minutes of careful analysis of the engines' sound pattern, Trip found himself in what should have been T'Pol's white, empty space. Unlike last time however, it was dark - almost pitch black - and he had to squint a few times before he could see the vague shadow of T'Pol. She sat crouched down on the 'floor' and he heard the distinct sound of sobbing.

After an initial feeling of shock, he remembered that she had explained to him, during their recent talk about the 'birds and bees' of being bonded, that Vulcans expressed their emotions within their minds during meditation. But theory was one thing. Witnessing it was an entirely different experience. Before he could say something, T'Pol started reciting an ancient text. It had to be ancient, it sounded somewhat like medieval English in his mind.

Darkness reigns over the endless plains of the Forge,
T'Rukh, the nightly watcher,
covers her regal face with a veil of clouds,

now, it is falling night in me.

Parted from me and never parted,
never and always touching and touched.

I gently caress the transparent filigree of Thy katra,
with my mind's tears so far away and yet so near.
The once so glorious and firm bridge,
of the precious link between us,
now reduced to only a pale, dying shadow of the living,
breathing presence of Thee, my Loved One.

Parted from me and never parted,
never and always touching and touched.

Though I will have to release Thee,
I plead with nome - the All the mighty Immanence,
that I could be holding on to my bridge to Thee forever more.
May we hold on together, opposing the scorns of time,
belying our fate, belying our grief,
beyond life, beyond death,
beyond tears and beyond fear.

Eternity is a concept,
filled with new meaning,
now that Thou hast ceased
to enrich my life with purpose and with joy.

Thou leavest behind a void in me, cold as the desert night,
sharp and piercing as the desperate,
high-pitched cry of a lofty bird circling Mount Seleya,
that becomes the breath of wind once it dies,
and that never touches the ground,
incomparable beauty in life and in death.

Thou hast honoured me with Thy presence,
Thou was my teacher, my student, my friend and my child
may Thy voice be heard,
in the Hall of Ancient Thought,
to where I have conferred,
the most precious gift I have ever known.
Mayst Thou never be forgotten

Go free, my Love!
join the ceaseless murmur of the wind in the Old City
go free, my More-Than-Worthy!
become a grain in the storm-lashed, sun-seared sand,
an indistinguishable mass from the distance,
but singular in its essence,
for no sand-grain is alike,
in its infinite diversity

Trip's heart felt as if it was about to be ripped out of his chest. Hearing an ancient lament, recited by a Vulcan in a breaking, sobbing voice was almost too much to bear. But what struck him the most was the realization that - if the content of the chant was anything to go by - she must have had the same mental connection to Elizabeth, that she had to him. Suddenly he understood what she meant when she said that she knew Elizabeth was theirs. Only now he began to understand the sheer amount of agony she felt. She had had a part of her soul ripped out of her.

"Can I do something?" he asked softly, after she had finished her heart-breaking lament.

"Hold me, please."

At first the request caused an almost instinctive confusion, considering Vulcan's prohibitive attitude towards touch, but Trip remembered that all this was happening on a mental, rather than physical level. He sat down behind her and slung his arm around her waist, gently rocking her, while T'Pol quietly sobbed for a long time.

* * *

Hoshi pondered the wisdom of interrupting Captain Archer's discussion with Ambassador Soval. She decided that the chances of her request being granted were better if Soval was present and so she pushed the call button next to the door to the ready room.

Noticing the questioning looks of Travis and Malcolm, she almost missed Archer's call to enter.

"Hoshi?" Archer asked, when she came in. Ambassador Soval sat in one of the armchairs, something she found slightly odd as Vulcans usually preferred to stand.

"Um, sir," she began carefully, "I know you said in the morning briefing that Ambassador Soval would do the translation during the memorial service, but I was wondering if there was a chance that I could get permission to do it instead."

Seeing Archer's questioning looks and Soval's inquisitively raised eyebrow, she decided to elaborate.

"Elizabeth was half Vulcan and half Human. Wouldn't it be a stronger symbol if the service was done by a Vulcan and a human instead of two Vulcans? And... and T'Pol's my friend. I want to do this for her."

"After such a long time it's only natural that we get closer to each other, but T'Pol still keeps her distance to everyone but Trip. Are you sure that T'Pol would see you as a closer friend than, let's say, Ensign Rao?" Archer asked with what Hoshi thought was slight surprise.

Hoshi nodded and explained. "When I was injured, when we ran into the Romulan mine field, Commander Tucker suggested that T'Pol visit me to check on my recovery. She came to my quarters and we talked about a lot of things. It was the first time we ever talked about anything that wasn't related to duty. We've met often since then. T'Pol helped me with my studies of Golic Vulcan, I helped her understand human colloquialisms. With Commander Tucker being a constant source of new phrases, we met quite often."

Hoshi felt it strangely soothing to see Archer smile for the first time that day.

"Ensign Sato," Soval interrupted. "If it is not too intrusive, do you know T'Pol's age?"

"Yes, sir, she told me," Hoshi explained, knowing that Soval would know how to interpret the fact that T'Pol had revealed her age. He would see it as the Vulcan equivalent of a very close friendship.

"I believe we should grant Ensign Sato's request," Soval explained. "Her reasoning is logical and I believe it would be T'Pol's wish to have a friend take part in the ritual."

"Ok, Hoshi, permission granted."

"Thank you, sirs," Hoshi said and left.

* * *

When T'Pol was roused from meditation, she saw that Trip's mental faculties and his body had taken two very different courses of action. While he had stayed with her, holding her in her mind, his physical presence had succumbed to exhaustion and lay now in deep sleep on the floor of her quarters. Thankfully there were so many cushions that he did not end up on the cold floor. She arranged some of the remaining cushions in a way that allowed her to rest by his side, then dropped her robe and grabbed a blanket from the bunk. Gently lying down, she draped the blanket over them and soon she joined him in an exhausted slumber.

* * *

Starfleet memorial ground was packed. Even though the media had acquiesced to the Vulcan consulate's wish to stay away, the sheer number of mourners had exceeded all expectations. The little coffin of Elizabeth T'Mir Tucker had lain in state for an entire day and hundreds of thousands had spent hours waiting in line to walk past the dais and pay their respects to the deceased infant. Parents, some of which had lost children of their own in the Xindi attack, had walked past and little children had left stuffed toys as a last gift to little Elizabeth.

Malcolm Reed sighed heavily. This was the second time that he had to change the honor guard, as one of the two MACO's standing watch could not fight her tears any longer.

"I'm sorry, sir."

"It's ok, Amanda," he said soothingly. "This is hard for all of us."

"I just couldn't hold it any longer..."

"It's all right. Nobody will hold it against you."

Watching the Corporal leave towards the resting area, he took out his tactical scanner and checked all the security posts. He had been powerless to avoid this tragedy, but at least he could make sure that no new one would arise at the funeral.

One of the few things that had lifted his spirits in this whole mess was Earth's reaction. Once word had come out that the child's parents were two heroes of the Xindi war and that the infant had died due to a deliberately engineered genetic defect, the population had almost gone berserk. The prison in which Paxton was incarcerated had been besieged by thousands of protesters. Anti-Terra Prime demonstrations had replaced the xenophobic hate rallies.

Early this morning Berlin, NewYork, Moscow and London among other major cities had reported staggering crowds of millions of people calling for the wrath of United Earth to come down on those responsible for this abhorrent crime. There had even been calls for reintroduction of the death penalty.

A beep from his communicator interrupted his thoughts.

"Reed."

"Lieutenant, we are ready to come down. Is everything set?"

"Yes, Captain. You have permission to approach landing ground beta."

"Acknowledged."

Closing his communicator, Malcolm jogged towards the grounds, where the ceremony was to be held. When he arrived, he spotted an elderly pair of humans who looked somewhat lost. Somehow they seemed familiar but he didn't immediately know why.

"Madam, sir, I'm Lieutenant Malcolm Reed. Can I help you?"

"Trip's friend from England," said the woman. "Glad to meet you. I'm Catherine Tucker. This is my husband Charles Tucker Jr."

"The pleasure is mine," Malcolm answered and shook the hands of both of them. "I know you never met her, but please let me express my condolences for the loss of your granddaughter."

"Thank you, Mr. Reed," Catherine answered sadly. "We don't even know her name."

Malcolm hesitated. "Elizabeth, her name is Elizabeth T'Mir Tucker."

As could be expected, Trip's mother broke into tears and Malcolm wondered if he should do something to console the woman but Trip's father put his arm around his sobbing wife.

"It was Commander T'Pol's idea, sir," he said when he saw Charles Tucker's questioning, bleary-eyed look.

"We want to meet her," the man answered in a breaking voice.

"If you would follow me, please," Malcom said and indicated towards landings site beta. They are on their way down here."

* * *

Charles Tucker Jr. still had his arm soothingly slung around his wife's waist, when the shuttle pod landed with a soft thud. Looking around, he saw a lot of people waiting for them. There was the Vulcan Ambassador, the arrogant, condescending man, who in recent news transmissions had appeared to be almost sympathetic. Beside him was an even older Vulcan, who, by all he knew about them, could just as well have been born two centuries ago. Not too far from them stood several well-known human politicians, including Nathan Samuels. On the other side of the crowd were several bright blue aliens, all blond with twitching antennae on their heads. Andorians, he remembered. Then there were the pigs, little stout people with snouts, who liked to be insulted as he recalled from Trip's transmissions. Tellarites, he thought. One thing was sure. If all these aliens congregated to pay respect to their grandchild, she surely had been important and he felt that at least her death was not in vain.

He watched Enterprise's officers leave the shuttle pod. First was Jon, the man who had recruited his son as the Chief Engineer, followed by a young Japanese woman in a black ceremonial Kimono. Must be Hoshi Sato, he thought. He remembered that Trip had - not too long ago - almost died with her from some obscure virus. When Trip came out, he gasped slightly. Seeing his son in Vulcan ceremonial robes was a new experience. Trip lent a hand to the woman following him, a beautiful Vulcan in a long black human dress with a black veil - the mother of their grandchild.

* * *

Having done one last checking sweep of all his security posts, Malcolm took his place to the left of Captain Archer as the ceremony was about to begin.

An old Vulcan steadying himself on a cane, stood before the grave into which the tiny coffin had just been lowered. Hoshi was by his side, ready to translate the Vulcan ritual words.

"Dor-tor etek nash-gad vokaya t'T'Mir Elizabeth - ko-kan t'Charles heh t'T'Pol. Nam-tor ek'etek nelauk k'tevakh hi vesht tvidonik k'pen-ha'kiv t'oko-veh."

"Today we honor the memory of Elizabeth T'Mir, child of Charles and T'Pol. We are all diminished by her death but we were enriched by her short life," Hoshi translated and Malcolm could not suppress the flash of pride that he felt at Hoshi's brave decision to take on this sad duty.

"Dor-tor etek nash-gad oko-veh - doran ko-kan - doran ko-kai - doran ko-bath - doran ko-kan-kan - doran ko-thrah. Noshau pen-ha'kiv t'oko-veh wuhkuh t'dan-fudaya eh t'dan-vam"

"Today we honor her: We honor the daughter, the sister, the niece, the grandchild, the friend. Her brief life is one to be held in the highest regard and esteem."

Malcolm did a double take. The sister? Had the old Vulcan priest really just accepted the existence of Lorian, despite all the Vulcan insistence that time travel was impossible?

"Dungi i'stariben mekhu - zahalan k'fan-vath-kanlar t'au s'keshtan-zek - kuv aitlu au fan-vel hau"

"The parents will now speak, followed by any other children, in birth order, if they want to add anything."

He saw Hoshi whisper something to the old Vulcan. Hoshi had probably just told him that none of her parents was in any condition to speak. At least, that was the impression he got from watching Trip and T'Pol clutching each other's hand as if hanging on for dear life. Malcolm put his right hand in his pocket and pressed a button on his communicator. This sent the preprogrammed signal to his second in command back on the ship to send down Shuttlepod Two, which would take Trip and T'Pol back as soon as the ceremony was over.

"Pi'maat heh t'hai'lu t'etek - sochya eh dif," Trip and T'Pol said in perfect unison.

"Our family and friends . . . peace and long life," they repeated in English and Malcolm could clearly hear that both of them were fighting for control. What puzzled him even more was the fact that Trip was speaking in Vulcan - and without his southern accent by the sound of it.

"Dif-tor heh smusma," the old Vulcan priest answered.

"Live long and prosper," Hoshi translated, just before she lost the fight against the tears and this time Malcolm lost his fight, too. Officer's conduct be hanged, he rushed to her side and took her in his arms. Hoshi buried her face in his chest clinging to him as all the tears she had bravely kept down during the ceremony were set free. Looking around self-consciously, Malcolm saw Captain Archers understanding nod. Even the old Vulcan priest seemed understand Hoshi's outburst and his public contact to console her. Maybe the Vulcans are learning to accept us as we are, after all, he thought and continued rubbing Hoshi's back gently to soothe her.

* * *

"Trip, T'Pol, get out of here," Archer said. "Malcolm has sent down shuttle pod two. Soval and I will handle the guests."

"Thanks, Jon," Trip managed in a breaking voice, before he lead a shaking T'Pol away towards the direction that Jon indicated.

"Are the parents safe?" Soval asked a few minutes later.

"They are, Ambassador. Thank you for your help with the ceremony."

"It was the logical course of action, Captain."

"Including hauling Vulcan's high priest to Earth?" Archer asked.

"High Priest Torok requested to officiate at the ceremony."

"And some say, Vulcans are slow to change," Jon said with a slight undercurrent of irony.

"As my good friend Maxwell would have said, Torok is not your garden variety Vulcan, Captain," Soval answered with a raised brow.

"Jon?"

Jon turned to see Trip's parents looking at him questioningly.

"Catherine, Charlie, glad to see you."

"Where are Trip and T'Pol?"

"They've been under a lot of stress. They headed back to the ship as soon as the ceremony was over."

"We had hoped we could at least meet them," Catherine said and Jon's heart ached at the sheer sadness in her voice.

"You can," he said softly. "Give them a night to recover and tomorrow I'll send a shuttle to take you to Enterprise."

"Sending a shuttle will not be necessary," Soval said. "As I shall visit your ship tomorrow, I shall also provide transport for Elizabeth's fore-parents."

Jon saw the almost shocked look of Charles and Catherine.

"I grieve with thee," Soval added with a nod to Trip's parents.

"Much obliged, Ambassador," said Charles Jr.

 


Comments:

Asso

"He sat down behind her and slung his arm around her waist, gently rocking her, while T'Pol quietly sobbed for a long time."

 

You understood everything, Kotik. EVERYTHING.;)

 

A single sentence like this one, and a story is able to display its whole worth.

 

My compliments to you.

 

 

Most likely you know this was my comment to your chapter in ff.net.

I felt the need to repeat it here.

Because this starting is full of great things, and is a promise for very great things.                                

panyasan

I am so amazed at the improvement of your writing, Kotik. The sentences just flows so well. You can see a lot of effort in put into this chapter. I really liked the scene between T'Pol and Trip, that was wonderful done. The poem was great and a very creative way of showing T'Pols grief.

Malcolm was protrayed very well and you made the others also of flesh and blood. Soval was great as well.  I had some trouble with the display of emotions by Archer and the crew, because I thought they would keep their distance more. But that's a very minor point. You have created a great first chapter, giving space to everyone to be part of the scene and excell. Bravo. 

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