Blue on Blue

By Lt. Zoe Jebkanto

Rating: PG

Genres: adventure

Keywords: bond

This story has been read by 1294 people.
This story has been read 3762 times.


Chapter One

Disclaimer: Star Trek, Enterprise and all associated ship, species & character names are the property of Paramount. No infringement is intended.  This story was written for entertainment purposes only, not for profit.

Summary: Technically, T’Pol was not lying when she told Captain Archer that she had never “initiated” a mind meld, but semantics, she has reasons to know, carries its own set of consequences.

____________________________________________________

Blue on Blue

Meditation had not come easily this evening. It had barely slowed her breathing or quieted her thoughts. Still, she had given the exercise the allotted amount of time, had murmured the ritual words of preparation, had dimmed the lights of her quarters, and hoped, however illogically, that tonight’s results would be different from those of last night or the night before - different from the results of the past… how many weeks now?

T’Pol rose from the mat where she had been sitting, motionless before a low table which held a single candle.  Crossing the outer room of her quarters, she stood gazing at the star-field beyond the view-port.  The flowing Doppler-tinted red and violet streams displayed against blackness as the ship traveled at warp-speed went unnoticed. What she saw was the candle reflected on the port’s surface, shining over her shoulder. It would have been wise to extinguish that light. It only served to remind her that continuing the mental exercise would be a fruitless endeavor. 

She would make another attempt later. Meditation served as a discipline whether or not she achieved the desired results. Discipline, according to Surak, was the cornerstone of Vulcan society.  Discipline in study brought knowledge.  In honesty and behavior, it fostered cooperation with others.  Discipline in avoiding the temptations of telepathy, or mind-sharing, created both personal privacy and integrity. The discipline of exerting mind over emotion brought tranquility, or so she had been taught, so she had believed to be true through her growing up years and much of her adult life.

Now, she wasn’t so certain.

The shimmering yellow glow of the candle did not speak of peace.  The soft colors of her home-world: creams, golds and warm burnt-oranges woven into the hangings on her walls, had not spoken of tranquility for some time now.  The measured, tidal flow of her breathing did not wash tension from her muscles and allow them to relax into stillness.  Instead, it reminded her that had she exerted mind over emotion in the first place, as she had been taught, her muscles would not be tight. 

And, whatever other benefits discipline might provide, she doubted she would achieve any greater success in her meditations until she addressed the root cause of her difficulty, or to be more accurate, the many root causes that had come to light and grown like untended weeds over the past weeks.

First, she had sacrificed the peace of exerting control over her emotions when she let her curiosity about them lead her to experiment with the mind altering Trellium-D.  Later, she allowed her resultant emotions to become entangled with those of Commander Tucker.  After that, on a journey back to her home-world, she had begun questioning whether the teachings of Surak had traveled down the centuries unaltered, had wondered if the interpretations she followed were what he had intended.  Ideas and beliefs on which she had built her philosophy, her very identity, had begun crumbling around her. 

And then, not long ago, she’d compromised one of the few remaining constants in herself- her sense of honesty and personal integrity.  Maybe she had not precisely liedto Captain Archer, but she had decidedly used semantics to practice subterfuge on him.  She’d known even then, that she would regret the action.  Hadn’t she once told herself that semantics carried its own set of consequences?

She sighed.  Just one more of many roots.  If the analogy held, she had allowed herself to become a very poorly tended garden. 

Nurturing the many varieties of succulents native to Vulcan had been her mother’s interest far more than her own, but as a child she had often watched Tales working under the warm early morning sun as she tended the desert blooms in the courtyard of their home. She had listened to her mother’s words as her strong, nimble fingers made their gentle, insistent way through tangles of fat, grey-green leaves.

“Often,” TLes had said, as she released a cluster of flowers to flow in a fragrant cascade over the side of a large ceramic planter.  “One twisted stem can bind up many others, though, at first, it can be difficult to know which one it is.  Still, they may all be freed, undamaged, if the gardener realizes they all are important to the plant’s well-being and treats them with appropriate patience.”

T’Pol wasn’t sure which troubling thought was the root that bound her in a tangle of emotions.  Still, she had tried to work free one of the more obvious ones earlier that evening. 

She turned from the view-port.  Moving past the low table, she again considered blowing out the candle, but decided against it.  Reaching her personal work station in the corner, she slipped into the chair before the computer’s terminal.  She didn’t look at the lines of words on the screen, but at a grouping of small, personal objects beside it.

There was a hand-held computer pad filled with the complete transcripts of Surak’s recently discovered writings, a gift from Captain Archer after their recent time together on Vulcan.  Two holographic pictures stood beside it- one of that same courtyard garden her mother had tended, and one of the Golden Gate bridge in Earth’s San Francisco, T’Pol’s first off-world posting.  Nearby sat a small, ornamental ceramic bottle filled with sweet scented herbs, a gift that had been purchased for her by Ensign Sato on a planet in the Rigel system when she’d discovered they shared a pleasure in exotic teas. Beside that a raw crystal glimmered, its jeweled facets vivid blue as they caught the candle’s light.    

Blue…  On blue…  Brilliant.  On blue…  Dazzling.  On blue…  So… bright and- 

Blurring…

But only in a memory.

T’Pol blinked.  The moment of what humans called “déjà vu” was gone. That crystal had also been a gift, one whose significance was now known only to her.

As she turned to the monitor she saw again the candle’s small golden light reflecting on the surface of the screen, a reminder of what she had come here to do. 

After a moment, she began to read.            

 

Enterprise Interpersonal Communication

For: Captain’s Eyes Only

Designation: Private: Non-Official.

 

Captain Archer,

This communication comes in the nature of an apology, both to a captain from a member of his crew and also to a trusted associate and friend. What I wish to discuss touches on both relationships.

As you know, my mother TLes was a Syrannite.  Sometime after I left my home to assume a position with the Vulcan Embassy on Earth she joined that faction, which stood in opposition to the High Council.  I had strong reason to distrust their interpretations of Surak’s teachings regarding both emotional expression and Vulcan mental abilities.  In part this stemmed from my encounter with Tolaris. 

Before my mother became interested in the Syrannite faction she raised me in the conventional wisdom that the use of Vulcan telepathy was an indulgence, even a sort of perversion, which only undercut emotional control and intellectual achievement.

None of this is new information to you.  You spoke with my mother and other Syrannites.  You know first-hand of their personal dedication and integrity.  And, as the carrier of the katra of Surak, even  for that small number of days during our time on Vulcan, you have been exposed to many more of his beliefs and teachings than I have. 

But this is not about what I have learned from his newly discovered writings.  It relates to something I heard my mother say while undergoing questioning by a representative of the High Council.

“I am a Syrannite,” she said.  “We do not lie.” 

I spoke those words once myself under similar circumstances, though it was more to affirm my loyalty to her and her chosen associates than because I had become committed to their cause.

I do not know yet if I consider myself a Syrannite.  But I do know I was less than truthful with you when you made a request for my assistance recently.  Though you asked as my commanding officer, I hesitated to comply.  With your reassurance and encouragement I did manage to do as you asked, and with successful results.  Still, it has troubled me that I was not more direct with you at the time.

You are likely wondering; to which of the many orders, suggestions or requests you have made during your time as captain am I referring? That may become evident if you choose to review the log entries embedded within this communication.

I can only justify my response to your request by stating that in the most technical sense of the word I did not lie.  I used semantics to circumvent details of an event I was reluctant to share.  Any explanation would have involved another crew member.  I did not believe it was my right to provide that information without his prior permission.

Circumstances have changed.  It has become general knowledge that there is a connection or bond between Commander Tucker and myself.  Why else, I have heard it whispered in the corridors, was he the only male on board not affected by the beauty and pheromones of the Orion slave girls, if he was not already involved with me?  Hadn’t the two of us spent a good deal of time together in my quarters over an extended period of months?

What I withheld pertains to that connection.  Since our mission to Algieba, Commander Tucker and I have had difficulty finding a mutual definition for our relationship.  However, after your request to me I decided I must tell you what happened there.  I have not yet discussed this disclosure with him.   However, I came to the conclusion that because you were part of those events you have a right to an explanation about a decision I made there, and what happened as a result.  

For reasons which will become obvious, it falls to me, rather than to Commander Tucker, to provide it for you.

My part in these events began when I elected to become part of a team searching for a missing landing party on Algieba Three.  Shuttle-pod Two had been out of contact with Enterprise for several hours, when Lieutenant Reed, Ensign Mayweather, and I met in the transporter area in preparation to leave for the planet’s surface…

 

T’Pol looked up from the monitor.  The letter to the captain was not yet complete.  Aside from adding the entries she had made in her personal logs regarding the abandoned mining complex on Algieba III, she was uncertain how best to continue. There was so much to consider.  How had the events of those hours influenced her reactions to the Syrannite movement and its beliefs?  What did she think about their growing acceptance on her home-world now that Surak’s original writings had been found?  How much of her initial reluctance to obey Captain Archer’s request lay not with what she had learned about herself on Algieba but from attitudes and automatic responses she had learned from childhood? 

Certainly those hours had caused her to question many of her old beliefs, but what new ones had replaced them?  How much farther would her inner changes evolve? 

Perhaps, before she proceeded any further with her communication, she should review those events, not by examining her carefully evasive entries in the ship’s log or the series of half-answered questions that had burst into the files of her personal one in the days after Algieba, but by examining her memories themselves.

Rising, she crossed her quarters and heated a cup of water.  She opened Ensign Sato’s ceramic bottle and brewed some of its contents into herbal tea.  It was an intriguing blend of mild, sweet scented Earth chamomile and the light citric taste of Vulcan shavarit kie, an odd combination to find on Rigel, but an interesting choice, all things considered.      

As the brew steeped, she cradled the steaming cup in her hands and carried it across the room with her, not to the desk at her work station, but to the low table.  Setting it down, she lowered herself to the floor.  Somehow this seemed far more appropriate.  After a moment, she picked up her cup.  Gazing at the golden light of the candle through the rising steam, she gave herself to the memories.


Comments:

Cap'n Frances
Cap'n Frances

An excellent start! Now I'm really curious to see what happened on Algiega III.

Dinah


Excellent start! You writing flows nicely and your imagery is vivid. Now all we have to do is find out what happened on Algieba III and how it changed her relationship with Trip.

Cogito

The other comments have already summed up perfectly how I feel about this. "Intriguing" is exactly the right word. The writing conveys so much vivid imagery that I can easily imagine the scene in my mind's eye. Clearly we're about to look back on something extremely important to T'Pol. There are a couple of passages - "it falls to me, rather than to Commander Tucker" and "one whose significance was now known only to her" - which have some rather alarming implications so I'll be on the edge of my seat as we re-watch the recent events through T'Pol's eyes. It's a beautiful start to the story; I'm hooked already.

putaro

Off to a good start - nicely written!

Lt. Zoe Jebkanto

Thanks for your comment about TPol's memory of her mother.  I like TLes and, though it's not part of this story, it gets me intrigued to think if there might be material there.  Hmmmmm...

As for the pen name?  Lt. (Starfleet of course!)  The rest is colorful- in honor of two Yellow labradors and one Russian Blue.  Zoe (lab) is almost two.  General Jeb Stuart got his name by turning up on 4 July wearing a grey coat.  (Warning: never name a cat anything that outranks you, it just inccreases the "cat"-itude.)  Kanot (also known as The Awesome Dude) was my previous yellow lab. I just liked the interesting way their names fit together.

panyasan

I really want to know those memories and what happened next, so please continue. A warm welcome to you, Lt. Zoe Jebkanto. It's nice to see a new writer and I have enjoyed your first chapter. I also liked you have inbeded a memory of T'Pol and her mother. Nice work. BTW, I was curious by your pen name. Zoe means life, but I couldn't figure out the Jebkanto part. 

Lt. Zoe Jebkanto
Hey, everybody! Thanks for the wonderful warm welcome and the encouraging comments! I'm almost as excited to see my log in succeed (at last!) as I was to look in this afternoon and see my first story's title looking back! Thank you Alelou for the browser suggestion- it apparently made the difference. I'm now at home on chrome! Thanks also to Elissar & Distracted for ALL their patience with my efforts these past weeks! Now, I think I can boldly go where I've unsuccessfully gone before and make a few comments on the wonderful stories I've been reading there! LZJ
Weeble
Intriguing start, damn Eireann already used that lets go with marvelous. Also excellent character development.
Alelou

Yes, I'll second that!  I am, of course, most intrigued by "Since our mission to Algieba, Commander Tucker and I have had difficulty finding a mutual definition for our relationship."

It's exciting to welcome a new author (and one who is clearly talented).  :)

(Now if you want to respond with a comment, try using a browser other than Internet Explorer.)

Asso

Okay. Let us see.

Eireann

An intriguing start, I'll be interested to see where this is going!

You need to be logged in to the forum to leave a review!