Letters Home

By Linda

Rating: G

Genres: family missing scene

Keywords: Koss pon farr T'Pol's Parents

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Chapter 1

Disclaimer: No filthy lucre changed hands.

Summary: This story is a section of correspondence between T’Pol and her mother, T’Les, during the years T’Pol worked off-world.  The specific time period of these letters is from the date T’Pol started working at the Vulcan Embassy on Earth up to the time of her mother’s death.

 


 

                                                                                                                                     February 9, 2149

My Esteemed Mother,

This world is indeed as primitive as you warned me.  Yet it has a certain vibrant charm.  Many of the technical amenities we Vulcans are used to are absent.  I am getting use to the feel of bathing with water on my skin until the sonic shower is installed in my compound quarters.  The apartment building was human built and is being upgraded to Vulcan standards.  There are more Vulcans moving to Earth now to work than ever before.  Some people are most daringly finding housing in a human community.   I do not see myself ever trying to do something like that.

The Ambassador, Uncle Soval, has pronounced my work here ‘adequate’.  He took me to dinner at a local vegan establishment to give me that news.  Dining outside the compound is a new and rather exciting experience for me.   The human diners’ annoyingly loud conversations were halted when a musician began playing a stationary instrument called a piano.  We have no equivalent for this but it is actually a stringed instrument played with a keyboard connected to hammers that tap strings.  I know this because I was quite forward in asking the musician to open the instrument after his surprisingly soothing recital. 

Uncle Soval was put out by my bad manners in engaging the musician in conversation.  But he too, was interested in the instrument and walked over to put his head down in the sound box and pluck one of the strings.  Some human music is made to calm emotions though the usual thing is to excite emotions with music.   I wish to learn more about their music and perhaps write an article on it and ask you to submit it to the Science Academy Anthropology Department.

Your Obedient Daughter, T’Pol

 

                                                                                                                                           March 1, 2149

Dear Daughter,

My warning was not heeded then, since you are now on that backward world.  Yet we have had a presence there for almost a hundred of their years, which says something for their intelligence in that they recognize the need for our aid. 

All is well here at home, a place that I sincerely hope you find it is logical to return to after only one tour of duty.   You have been gone long enough on off-world assignments.  It is time to put some serious thought into giving me some grandchildren. 

T’Fel, Koss’s mother, least you have forgotten her name, has been asking after you.  Koss is now well established in his profession and can provide sufficiently for a family.   There are some suitable houses at good prices on the market now in communities where young families like to settle.  I will send you some listings if you like.  Let me rephrase that – I am sending you some listings with my next letter.

I have spoken to Seemik in the anthropology department and he will review any articles on human culture that you send me.  As to publication, he will let you know.

Mother and Grandmother-To-Be

 

                                                                                                                                            March 8, 2149

Dear Grandmother-To-Be,

I do intend, one day, to make you an esteemed grandmother.  But not yet.  Logically, I will have more to offer my future child or children when I have had more experience as a diplomat.  For do you not agree, Mother, that diplomacy and patience in dealing with less logical creatures is necessary for a mother?  I realize that you had to exercise such qualities when raising me.

Along with the house listings, would you send me copies of those recordings Father had, of his favorite music?   I have found some human music that has hauntingly similar structure.  I think the recordings he liked best were of off-world music.

Uncle Sovel’s patience is often needed in dealing with the humans’ space agency which is called Starfleet.   This Starfleet, in cooperation with some warp ship construction companies, is experimenting with warp 5 technology.  The humans have warp 3 and 4 freighters now, that venture on established trade routes that we have recommended.  This trade has grown in volume and so far, has not caused any interplanetary incidents where we have had to intervene.  We monitor this trade closely, which has been irksome to many humans.  Since irksomeness and resentment are emotions, we conclude this species will need continuing monitoring for an indefinite time to come. 

How is your work at the Science Academy progressing?  I read two of your published papers in academic journals.  I pointed them out to Uncle Soval who grunted and accused me of the emotion of pride in my mother.  Yet, I think he is suffering from the same emotion, as he has framed the first page of one of the articles that has your photo on it, and mounted on the wall of his office beside his own academic achievement documents.

Your Obedient (and shameless proud of her mother) Daughter, T’Pol          

                 

                                                                                                                                               May 12, 2150

My Esteemed Mother,

In every letter for the past year, you have been urging me to ask for a transfer to our home world.   Logically, you know this will not happen before my tour of duty is over.  You know that will be in three more years.

Thank you for sending a copy of the issue of the anthropological journal that published my article on comparing human jazz to Andorian jazz.   I know you think this style of music was a secret vice of my father’s and is becoming a secret vice of mine.  Do not worry.  It is only an academic exercise on my part, and with the article’s publication certainly not secret.   I would just ignore the objections of Koss’s parents on my choices of activities outside of my embassy work.  To quote another human phrase “it is none of their business.”   Nor is it Koss’s business now, or even after we are married.  I will use headphones in our future home so my music preferences will not accost his sensitive ears.

I am glad your latest articles on the analysis of trends in legislation of interplanetary commerce have been well received.   I see that you are recommending a more modest growth in this area.   I agree to some extent.  See my comments in the margins of your articles which I have enclosed.

Your Obedient Daughter, T’Pol

 

                                                                                                                                              June 20, 2150

Dear Daughter,

I am late returning your monthly letter this time.  I read your comments on my articles several times before I was able to accept that there was at least a modicum of logic to them.   While I do not entirely agree with your viewpoint, it is helpful.  Many of the more liberal academics would agree with you. 

As for your own writing on music, I do hope you have gotten this subject out of your system now?  My friends and I eagerly await an article from you on the emotional aspects of humans and suggestions on how to correct them.  Or, an assessment of the interplanetary trade practices that I could include in my own articles.  For instance, how do the human freighters package the Earth products bound for Vulcan differently than those bound for Telar?

Notice I did not urge you to transfer home in this letter.  But it does not mean I am not thinking about it.  I saw Koss at a political meeting.  He, of course, asked after you.  He is such a polite young man and well known in his profession.   Your father and I chose well for you.

Your Patient Mother      

 

                                                                                                                                            April 16, 2151

My Esteemed Mother,

I have been assigned to accompany Earth’s first warp 5 ship on its very first mission.  The humans have decided, against our advice, to return a Klingon they injured to his home world.  I expect that I will have to intervene with the Klingons to keep the humans from starting an incident.  These both are volatile species.   Contact Uncle Soval if you want any updates on this assignment, as I will be reporting to him on the progress of this mission.

On another subject, you were right.  Sovik asked for reassignment after only a month on Earth.  You may tell his parents that this will not in any way be a black mark on his record.  Some of us are an ill fit to work with humans.  His heightened telepathic sense, even among Vulcans, gets overloaded with a barrage of human emotions even before he arrives at the embassy for his shift.  Although he made an enormous effort to cope, his headaches were incapacitating.  Expect him home sometime next week.  He will have two months to recover before reassignment.  I know his parents will be glad to see him.  Please invite him over to tea; he can update you on my activities.

Your Obedient Daughter, T’Pol

 

                                                                                                                                               May 30, 2151

Dear Daughter,

Your Uncle Soval has informed me that you are still on that Earth ship.  This is not welcome news.  Does not NX in its number system denote experimental?   How you can stand living in close quarters with humans for so long, I really cannot conceive of.    That you are of an independent and strong will, I have always known.  But daughter, this extended exposure may be harmful to you psychologically, if not physically.  I have asked your Uncle to do all he is able to do, to get you off that ship.

It has been almost seven years since Koss’s last pon farr.  I realize that this would be the perfect excuse to get you off any Vulcan ship but you will have to use some other excuse to the humans who do not know of our biological imperative.  But I strongly urge you to find an excuse soon.

Your Very Concerned Mother  

 

                                                                                                                                                 June 15, 2151

Dear but Disobedient Daughter,

It is with deep disappointment, though feelings of any kind are unseemly, that I heard from Koss’s parents that you were not returning to Vulcan for the marriage they so carefully arranged.   I have not heard a valid reason for this from you yet, though I promised Komuk and T’Fel that I would obtain one from you.  Your father would be so disappointed in you.

On other matters, I have been put under probation at the Science Academy though my work load and its quality continue the same as always.  

I had the repair person in again.   The cooker is well past its replacement date, but it was a gift from your father to me when we were first married.  Sentiment should not enter into this and I will soon be forced to replace it.  Yet it was a calming experience to cook over an open fire in the garden for 2.5 days while I awaited cooker repairs.  Do you remember how your father used to enjoy that outdoor cooking even when the inside cooker was operational?  You would feed the fire with twigs from desert bushes while he told you tales of ancient Vulcans searing sehlat steaks over such a fire.  I am glad that since then, we became a civilized people.  Yet you used to love that time spent with him.

Why do you persist in dishonoring us both with your refusal to return home?

Your Pushed-Beyond-Tolerance Mother

 

                                                                                                                                         June 28, 2151

Dear Long-suffering Mother,

It was good to receive a letter from you, even though it came by subspace printed in computer text format.   I prefer your letters on our own Vulcan velum in your exquisite handwriting.  They are a work of art and a nostalgic touch of home.  Now please do not reprimand me for expressing that emotion.  Take it as a compliment to your artistic skill.

Now on to a less pleasant subject.  This is not the first time Koss and I have put off our wedding.  You must recall that the time before this, it was Koss who postponed.  He had a career-making building project on one of our colony worlds and decided to visit the local priestesses for three days to take care of his need.  I was more than obliging with that, having made travel arrangements to meet him on Vulcan which had to be cancelled including a non-refundable cancelation fee.   Kindly remind his parents of this when they next bring up MY unsuitable behavior.  And they WILL bring it up because nothing is too good for their precious son.

With all due respect, Mother, I do not think you can speak for my father.   I do not think he would be disappointed in me over the postponement of my marriage.  As I recall, you and he postponed once yourselves, because of his off-world work.  Enough said.

As proof of my making the right decision, Captain Archer showed me a report he was making to Admiral Forrest which said I was an invaluable member of his crew.   We are heading further away from established routes, sometimes outside of the Vulcan star charts the captain so values.  I think humans would like to add some original information to the charts.

I hope the cooker is back online and that your employment is going better.  Remember that at this time of year, the ivy plant that Father gave me for my graduation from elementary school needs trimming back and extra water for a week before it enters its dormant period.

Your Obedient (mostly) Daughter, T’Pol

 

                                                                                                                                                     July 10, 2151

Dear Mostly Disobedient Daughter,

You are spending too much time with a species with faulty memory if you think that I would forget to care for the seasonal needs of your ivy plant.  It is thriving, perhaps too much.  It is trying to push its way through a window and become an indoor plant. 

The disappointment over the again postponed wedding is behind us now.  T’Fel has accepted your reasoning as logical, but I think one more postponement would cause Komuk and T’Fel to search for another wife for Koss.  When he tried to defend you, they silenced him with potent stares, like they used to do when he was a young boy.

I am glad that the privacy of personal communications is as sacred to the humans as it is to us Vulcans.  What I am about to share with you, you are not to pass on to your shipmates for I have some reservations about our High Command.   It was an organization implemented to just supervise our space navy and dealings off world.  But V’Las is interfering with planetary administration under a guise of security.  It may come to having curfews and anti-invasion drills.  Who would dare invade us?  I think V’Las is concerned about the Andorians, though all we have ever had with them are skirmishes over small mining asteroids.   I think he has a hidden and dangerously martial advisor.   But this is pure speculation, so my thinking here may be faulty.

Anyway, I will remind you to keep to a strict meditation schedule.  Being among humans, you must badly need it.  Do you realize that you hold the record for tolerating humans with no other Vulcans around?  Soval has told me this for he is concerned about your welfare.

Mother                   


Comments:

Cogito

Great to see the not-so-subtle barbs traded between a mother and daughter who obviously have very different plans for said daughter. The affection between them is nicely shown, and so is the friction that is obviously growing between them. It's a great lead up to the exchanges we saw in Home.

Lt. Zoe Jebkanto

Delightful.  I love T'Le's nonn-emotional (:D) completely logical (:D) subltly stated (:D) wish for grandchildren!  This is a wonderful mix of day-to=day happenings, intellectual & academic discussion, family reminisence and mother-daughter annoyance and affection.  Brilliant, humourous and touching.  Looking forward to chapter two! 

Weeble

What is it about prospective grand parents???:D  This is a fun read, 3 giggles out of 4. Look forward to the next mail drop

Cap'n Frances

Intriguing and funny. I'm looking forward to more.

Asso

I really think it's worth repeating here the enthusiastic comment I posted on Fanfiction.Net.

This story is a volcano of originality. I am delighted by how, slowly, you manage to show the difficult evolving of the relationship between T'Pol and her mother, warm - almost - at first, and then more and more cold, somehow: mother and daughter are moving away from each other-
And then, here and there, some spark of true genius: a comparison between human Andorian jazz and jazz!
Superb!

:p:D

Linda

Okay, the keyword and genre designations were not assigned by me and are a little misleading.  I don't see this story as a missing scene nor as dwelling on Koss's pon farr in particular, though that is mentioned in the story.  This is only the first chapter of this story, so the correspondence between T'Pol and T'Les will continue up until the time of T'Les's death.  I am trying to work through the bitter/sweet relationship of a mother and daughter over time.

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