Common Ground

By Lt. Zoe Jebkanto

Rating: PG

Genres: drama

Keywords: T─ÁPau Vulcan Civil War

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Summary:  Though their differences are as vast as the distances between desert sands and star-filled space, in their grief can they find common ground?

Key words:  Vulcan’s Forge, Syrranites, Pa’nar Syndrome, T’Pau

Disclaimer:  I don’t own Enterprise or the Universe she warps her way through.  This story was not written for profit.

 


 

 

10 October, 2154

Vulcan’s Forge

 

 

T’Les was dead.

T’Pau had known it even before she saw how her head had lolled against the shoulder of T’Pol, the Starfleet officer who was her daughter.

Dead.

And gone.

 

Though there had been no telepathic link between herself and T’Les, their months of study together, their long, thought provoking discussions, the sometimes wordless companionship and the linked meditations had sensitized her to the subtle thrum of the other woman’s consciousness.  Hours ago, she had experienced something she could best describe as a jarring thrust of mental recoil at the moment when T’Les’s katra departed and  that awareness had snapped.

 

Gone.

Now she stood, almost shoulder to shoulder with T’Pol, gazing at the fourth patrol of the day as it disappeared beyond the borders of the Forge in the direction of the capital.  Nearby, as they kept their watch, the human, Archer, slept amid the fever dreams of one taxed by what was for him an alien desert heat.  And by the honor and burden of carrying the living essence of Surak within his mind.

“There is a strong security grid…”  T’Pol’s voice sounded at the edge of her awareness.  “It’s unlikely we’ll get past it.”

“We’ll find a way,” said T’Pau.  The reply was more automatic reflex than any sort of logical response.  It provided no plan, nor any information for devising one.  Her gaze traveled from the place where the craft hunting them had vanished in the sun’s brightness to the rugged landscape.  She knew the Forge better than either of her companions.  Even having Surak’s katra to lead him toward the city, Archer, with a human body not bred to this environment, lacked her instinctive understanding of how best to navigate through the harsh Vulcan desert.  So, it would be wise to steady her breathing and focus her intention solely on determining their safest path.

To do so, she must first recognize, then separate herself from the thoughts and emotions that had distracted her these last hours.  The grief over the death of her mentor, Syrran, only days ago in a desert storm, and her friend, T’Les, back at the sanctuary, could be set aside for the moment.  It would be there, patient and waiting, when she had time and strength to give it its proper respect.  They, she was certain, would both understand the logic of prioritizing.

The matter of the Kir’shara was more difficult to dismiss.

For almost two millennia, the complete writings of Surak had been kept here, hidden safe and sacred, in the Forge, where the Father of Vulcan Logic had come searching a means to end the violence on his world.  In recent years that old violence had begun to recur.  She could not ascertain precisely when it had begun, but her mentor, Syrran had said that, in his earliest youth, he could recall a Vulcan society that was far more tolerant of diverse customs and ideas than anything she had ever known.

T’Pau did not find it ironic that she and her fellow Syrrannites had been condemned as  originators of the violence.  To the High Command, it would be entirely logical.  The group’s well-known pacifist precepts, put down in Surak’s own hand, no longer served the needs of those who governed Vulcan. While those in power still used his honored name in ceremonies for the power it held in the hearts of her people, but what words of his incomplete manuscripts remained had been used and twisted for some as yet unclear purposes of their own.

For the High Command, anyone whose views diverged from theirs as was a potential threat.  One that must be eliminated.

Only hours ago, they had located and destroyed the Syrranite sanctuary and kill those

who had not managed to escape before the bombing began, including T’Les.

But they had not found the Kir’shara.

Archer, who, during a desert storm, had received the katra of the dying Syrran had, with its guidance,  had located the sacred relic.  It cradled now, protected close beside him where he slept.

While T’Pau had no great affinity or trust for humans with their emotion-driven impulsiveness, she could agree with his insistence they get the kir’shara to the city with minimal delay.  She would accept his marginal leadership to take it to scholars who could study and freely disperse its teachings among the Vulcan people.  Surak’s living essence must also be removed from its human host and secured in the Hall of Ancient Wisdom.

Above all, both must be kept from the hands of the High Command.

Which brought her attention back to locating the path she had spoken of to T’Pol.

The other woman had made no reply to her earlier comment, only continued to stand motionless beside her, filling the air between them with skeptical silence.

After a moment of centered breathing, T’Pau found her resolve strengthening as she affirmed aloud what she believed.  “Surak will help us.”

T’Pol’s silence deepened.

Turning, T’Pau studied the stranger who was the daughter of her friend.  “You don’t believe in the katra.”  She heard the note of disappointment in her tone and focused a moment’s attention on suppressing it, along with a fresh ache of sorrow.

Gone.

The last person T’Les had touched with her living hands was a non-believer.

There was no logic in regretting that she hadn’t been the one to hold T’Les in her arms at the moment the katra left her body.  It was too late.  What was done, was done.

But what a waste.  T’Les had been an apt pupil, an earnest seeker and a dedicated Syrrannite disciple.  Moreover, she had been her friend.  Now all her wisdom, both acquired and innate, was lost.  T’Pau had sensed nothing of her familiar thrumming presence as she stood close beside T’Pol.  Not so much as a fading echo.

Nor had she sensed anything from  the Starfleet officer herself beyond that resistant wall of skepticism.

T’Les’s katra would scatter, dissipate like rare Vulcan rain on the winds above The Forge.  Perhaps, in some vague and indefinable way, its richness could nourish her world.  But T’Les’s individual essence would never take its place on Seleya in the ancient Halls of Wisdom.  Despite her efforts of the past hours, T’Pau found the loss to be a bitter ache.

Yet somehow she would find a way to grieve with T’Pol.  Though little else, they could share that much.  If, that was, they ever reached some area of common ground.

Still, T’Pol’s disapproving resistance to all that the Syrrannites stood for had been obvious since she and Archer had appeared in the Forge.

It was now quite understandable why, during their long and thoughtful discussions, T’Les had more than once confided her concerns about her daughter.

T’Pol had spent years away from home, serving on an Earth vessel and seemed to have more affinity for her alien shipmates than the people of her home-world.

As T’Pau understood it, Archer was not the first Earth human T’Pol had brought with her to Vulcan.  The other, whom T’Les had referred to as “Tucker”, had appeared at  her home with no prior announcement from T’Pol.  At least he seemed to have redeemed himself for this breech of etiquette, even winning some degree of her approval by helping to prepare the morning meal as custom demanded and then by repairing several of T’Les’s kitchen appliances.

While it would have been an intrusion to ask her friend for specific details, T’Les had, in part, begun her studies in the Forge as a possible means for helping her daughter regain some inner balance.  T’Pol’s years of association with humans had intensified her emotional reactions or weakened her control over them.

Even without T’Les’s concerned observations, it was not difficult to recognized the truth of them.  Though even the slightest ripple of T’Pol’s internal essence was locked away beyond T’Pau’s perception, her attitudes were evident in defiance of her stance and the tone of her voice.

“It is irrelevant what I believe,” T’Pol dismissed her words.  “The captain could be permanently injured if we don’t get him to a doctor soon.”

While T’Pau could appreciate the concern for Archer, the narrowness of  T’Pol’s understanding of the Vulcan mind, the Vulcan soul, was all but inexcusable.

“He doesn’t need a physician.  He needs a priest.  One experienced with katras.”

Glancing toward where Archer rested, she dismissed those words as well.  “It is irrational that we are following someone in his state of mind.” Her chin lifted and her voice grew hoarse with challenge.  “What if he dies before we can get help?”

As T’Pau’s eyebrows rose, the rigidity in T’Pol’s posture lessened.  For the first time there as something other than disapproval in her stance.  When she spoke, her voice was level, her words measured, though weariness weighed on each one.  “I apologize.  My mother’s death has affected me more than I realized.”

Logic could not diminish the strange finality of that word, death, paired with the name or the thought of her friend.

T’Les, dead?  Yes, it was so, but…

Dead…  And gone.

“It was a great loss.”  T’Les’s death, T’Pau realized as that bitter ache asserted its presence again, had affected her as well.   Seeing the vision of her friend clarify as her memories formed themselves into words seemed to ease it.  Perhaps hearing of her would offer comfort to T’Pol.  “We disagreed frequently, but I valued her council.”

The shadow of sorrow flickered in the Starfleet officer’s steady gaze.  Perhaps this was the common ground that, despite their differences, would allow them to begin healing the loneliness of their mutual grief.

“I could,” T’Pau offered.  “Allow you to experience what she shared with me.”

“You melded with her.”  It was a statement, not a question.  When T’Pol continued, her brittle tone did not quite cover a deep weariness and, could it be, resignation?  “I cannot meld.”

That was something T’Les had never mentioned.  Perhaps she had seen no reason to do so.  Though any willing Vulcan could participate in a meld, it seemed in recent years that many could not activate another’s psi points to begin the process.

Was that heredity, or some unconsciously conditioned constraints resulting from the High Command’s strictures and society’s deepening prejudices against those who melded?   T’Pau was unsure, though she had her own suspicions.  Hadn’t her studies of

Surak’s teachings implied the melding of minds was the legacy of all Vulcans?

Such conjecture was currently irrelevant.  “I would initiate it,” she offered.

“That’s not what I mean.”  T’Pol drew a careful breath and continued with what seemed great difficulty.  “I was forced… to participate in a meld, several years ago.  I was infected… with a neural disease…”

T’Pau knew what she was about to say and spared her the effort.  “Pa’nar syndrome.”

Though she did not move, T’Pol’s every muscle seemed to tighten in withdrawal.

Shame!  T’Pau had seen it before.  It was a useless, but powerful emotion.  One hard to overcome since it had to do with a person’s perceptions, not of what one had done, but of what one was!  A stigma imposed for acting in accordance with one’s own nature!

And a needless burden on her friend’s only child.  T’Les had not known of the pa’nar or she would have shared that knowledge in order to find help for her.  Privacy would have been of less than usual significance since stigma against melding was nonexistent among the Syrrannites.

How many years had T’Pol carried the needless shame in silence?

Now it was obvious why she had not accepted reassignment back here to Vulcan.  She would have been summarily dismissed from her position, a public disgrace both to herself and to her family as soon as the inevitable changes in her condition became apparent.

T’Pau’s discontent with the High Command and what it was doing to Vulcan society was an old, old ache deep within her.  The anger she had almost mastered through joining the Syrrannites and remaining here in the Forge the last two years in self-imposed exile, simmered hot green in her veins once more.

When the words of the kir’shara were made known, such gross injustices as this could be exposed and then corrected!

Important as that would be, it held no bearing on the here and the now.

A momentary meditation, the slow and even practiced intake of breath and its steady, tidal release, along with the press of emotions left her able to concentrate on the woman before her.

Nothing but calm directness sounded in her tone.  “Do you still suffer from it?”

It was illogical to have asked the question.  The answer to it had become all too obvious.  Even through T’Pol’s skeptical attitude, the resistant wall around the Starfleet officer was too complete to have been a deliberate block.  That lack of thrumming essence T’Pau had sensed, especially in such close proximity, could have served as the first diagnostic clues.  A priest would have recognized them for what they were.

But she was not a priest, and she would not reproach herself.  Instead she would listen for T’Pol’s response.  She would use it to gage the level of actual resistance and plan her manner of offering help accordingly.

Perhaps, she decided with fleeting gratification, she was finally learning something out here on the Forge after all.  One of the lessons which had given her the most trouble.  The beginning of patience.

T’Pol’s response was carefully neutral.  “There’s no cure.”

Needless shame.  Needless time anticipating a future of worsening symptoms.  T’Pau’s anger was stronger this time, more difficult to ignore.  Still, she would breathe.  In, out.  Slow, slower.  And she would seek the help of Surak’s words in dealing with it.

In, out.  Yes.  All her studies made them easy to recall.  Control meant recognizing the difference between anger and temper, the difference between temper and purpose.

T’Pol’s steady, waiting gaze questioned T’Pau’s moment of silence.

Though the Starfleet officer stood motionless, T’Pau did not find it difficult to discern the suggestion of shame in the tightness of her shoulders and the defiance of it in the way she stood with her head high and her feet planted squarely in the sand.

Anger refined itself in empathy.

“Another lie perpetrated by the High Command,” she said and heard the gentleness in her own voice.

Was it any wonder that T’Pol had allied herself so closely with the wild, impulsive, emotion-riddled Earth humans when she considered herself to be akin to outcast by her own people?  She would have deemed it only logical to remain with those who would not shun or stigmatize her, or force her to abandon making useful contributions even as the progression of the pa’nar began to be debilitating.

Still, it must have been difficult learning to live surrounded by aliens and their  customs.  Listening to the constant offering of thanks, apologies or explanations for obviously understandable actions, putting up with the intrusive, often careless curiosity, witnessing the consumption of animal flesh, enduring the close contact with outburst of vehement emotions and…

The smells.

IDIC, T’Pau reminded herself, battling down a wave of repugnance at that last thought before she drew another balancing breath.  Infinite diversity in infinite combination.  A tenet of belief that was easier to hold up as an ideal than it was to tolerate living by day after day.  One that, T’Pau admitted to herself with some reluctance, despite her lack of formal mentoring in the words of Surak, and the effects of the pa’nar syndrome, T’Pol had mastered more successfully than she.

At least her shame, her sense of isolation could be lifted, the injustice corrected at this one moment for this single, highly courageous person.

“Pa’nar,” she explained.  “Has been known since Surak’s time.  It’s caused by melders who have been improperly trained.  One with great experience can correct the neurological imbalance.”

“Is there something you can do?”  T’Pol’s gaze was steady on hers, curiosity and hope kept in courteous and disciplined check.

Perhaps she had been less influenced by the humans than T’Pau had believed.

Raising her hand, T’Pau allowed her long, slender fingers to trace the side of T’Pol’s face.  To discover the soft, rounding skin covering the hardness of bone at her cheek, the gentle ridge at the brow, then the subtle valley in front of the ear.  The paths to the psi points that would bring the two of them together.

The tightening was there again, a contraction of tiny muscles at temple and jaw, barely perceptible beneath her light, seeking touch.  An instinctive mental retreat expressed only by the slightest of physical reaction before, with a determined effort, T’Pol’s features relaxed beneath her hand.

So T’Pol was, perhaps, less influenced by humans, and far more disciplined in the meditative techniques of her own people than she had first suspected, T’Pau decided.  This would make things easier.

“My mind to your mind.”

Harder than bone, the wall was there beneath her touch.  It was immovable beneath her questing fingers as she probed for the psi points.

Patience…

She closed her eyes.  Gentled her exploration.  Slowed it.  Slowed it.  Shifted the position of her thumb.  More.  A little more…  Almost there…

For an instant, even through her closed lids, she caught a glimmer of T’Pol’s face.

Contact!

It flickered, once, twice.  Came clearer as the connection solidified.  Then the face in her vision was replaced by the image of another.

Was it her own?

Yes.  But only for an instant.

She was there at the border of T’Pol’s mind.  Not yet truly in the presence of the woman beside her on the Vulcan sand, but touching the smallest crack in the wall of wounded memory.

“My thoughts to your thoughts,” she said, her fingertips adjusting, aligning the psi points until a faint vibration shivered through them.

 

“Our minds are moving closer.”

 

She did not move.  Did not seek to examine the sensation with strengthening pressure.  Only allowed the vibration to flow.  To grow.  Fuller, stronger.  To become a shudder, then a kind of silent rumble.  The resistant wall of scarred awareness was deconstructing as the current flowed through opening channels and the mind beyond moved steadily toward its point of proper balance.  It began to come apart as the rumbling grew, deepened until a moment later, it became an earthquake.

In the one after that, the quaking was gone, the wall crumbling.

“Our minds are one.”

They were not truly one person.  She’d experienced this merging enough to recognize which sensations were hers and which T’Pol’s, though their was not the usual sharp divide between personalities.

A face was staring back at her.

No, at T’Pol.

It belonged to a male.  His eyes were alight with fervor.  His touch on T’Pol’s temple had been heavier than her own.  More determined fingertips had pressed these same points, their careless thrusts beginning the cascading imbalance that was pa’nar.  T’Pau could read them like the footprints of a sehlat across the desert.  And like a wild sehlat’s, their search was driven by… curiosity, yes… but even more by a relentless hunger.  For T’Pol’s experiences, for her emotions.

No.  Stop!

He would free them, would have them.

Stop…!

Whatever her reservations might be now, he would overcome them.

No!

He would enlighten her to the wild joys to be found in feeling, feeling, feeling!  Then they could share and share and share…  Again and again and…

There was a face.  A name.  Tolaris.

He was aboard Enterprise with a group of renegade Vulcans…

With the…

The V’tosh ka’tur!

T’Pau knew them by that name, though it was not one the group had given itself.  Vulcans Without Logic.  In the early days of her seeking, she’d attended one of their gatherings.  She had been drawn by the shared idea that the High Command was twisting the meanings of Surak’s words to meet their own use.  Like her, they believed it was robbing the Vulcan people of much of its heritage, but soon after the meeting began it became clear they wished to reclaim that heritage by experimenting with, rather than disciplining their emotions.

She had not attended a second gathering.  Though she believed their search was earnest, she had found their ways… disquieting.

The ways of this Tolaris were far more than that.  Someday, if it lay within her power, T’Pau knew, he would be brought home to Vulcan.  For justice.  Or treatment.

His face vanished, banished to the past.

This was not the moment to dwell on him.

“The wound he caused has been opened,” she said and heard T’Pol’s meet it in perfect unison.  The words were spoken more within the space of their joined minds than aloud, though their soft murmuring left a slight movement of breath on the still desert air.  “The scar that held the infection in has been lifted.  We have cleansed it away with awareness so that now our healing will begin.”

The last of the wall had gone.

The pa’nar’s imbalance had been corrected.  Already, faint but steady, T’Pau could feel the gentle thrumming of T’Pol’s presence.  Over the weeks and moths to come, she would regain her innate abilities.  Those numbed by illness and, perhaps those pressed into constraint by the strictures of the High Command.  After so long, the adjustment might be difficult, but she would regain her natural powers of telepathy.  Maybe even her ability to meld…

Yes, to meld…

T’Pol’s response was tentative, but determined.

Beneath their fingers, muscles relaxed.

Images flowed.

There was no wish to intrude, but their experiences shone vivid, the exchange devoid of any shame or regret.

Over desert sands, or through the starfield, the paths had looked so different, but they had traveled such common ground.

Across the Forge more than two years ago now, with nothing more than desire and intuition to guide them, they walked on and on beneath sharp edged crystal stars.  There was no place left for them in the city, with its contradictions, its corruption and betrayals.  Still, there must be something beyond the futility of disillusion, the grief for what could have been, beyond this restless, driving anger!  Perhaps it would burn itself out in the desert as they headed toward…

Toward… the unknown.

A figure loomed at the edge of the rocks, a shadow within shadows.  There was nothing left but to risk announcing their purpose here.

I’m seeking the Syrrannites.  There must be some logic, some truth to being truly Vulcan.  I cannot seem to find it.  I want to learn…

The loneliness remained, but the figure looking down at them now was Tucker…

No.  Not just Tucker, but Trip!  Already, a year ago he had been Trip.

He stood, casual and out of uniform near the door to their quarters on Enterprise.  His arms were folded across his chest as he gazed down at them, his lilting voice a slow rise and fall that suggested the alien mystery of tidal waves.  They had been attempting to meditate.  Attempting for release as they had done for days and days now, to search out the old sense of peace, of sureness that had been theirs before… before the loneliness of pa’nar.  Before the addictive urgency of Trellium D…

Anger was a sehlat’s claw shredding any hope of finding serenity.  Those experiments

had been their own idea!  How, how, how could they have believed an artificial substance could help them break through their isolation?

How soon would he leave so they could continue their search?

Why did his words have to be as gentle as the lightest touch?

Truth is,T’Pol…  I’ve been worried about you…

How long had they fought the gentleness?  The… loving concern?

A year?  Was it that long they held out before allowing Syrran’s hand to touch their temple, and through its reassuring pressure replace his spoken words with those that could be given directly, his mind to theirs?  Before they accepted the sharing of strength as he led them toward their longed for release.

Breathe in, T’Pau. Yes.  Steady and deep.  You have learned much.  Remember that

anger is only  pain and fear that have been carried far, yet  gone unacknowledged.  View it, recognize its cause and trust that you can  let it go with your breath…

Pain…  Carried far.  Unacknowledged until only months ago.  But not their own.  Eyes, alien-ocean blue, brimming over with salt-water streams of grief.  It was so palpable it did not need telepathy to be recognized.  To know the deep ache of it and understand that they now knew how it could be gathered close, shared and released within the strength of their warm, waiting arms.  Trusting that, despite all that was different, all that was unknown between them, together they could get through any loss.  Listening in silence as words poured out, emptying the sharpest sorrow along with Trip’s tears.  She was my sister, T’Pol… my baby sister…

Any loss.

She was my friend…

She was my mother…

Together they cocooned within the tired peace that followed that release, as the ache of grief-

(was that the fading echo of Trip’s, or was it their own?)

-began to ease and the vision changed.

The small, glinting lights before them ceased to be reflections from Trip’s tears.  They were the flames of the fire in the sanctuary’s main room, mirrored in T’Les’s eyes.  She was sitting across from them at the evening meeting.  There was a shared moment of gladness as the last ache of grief gave way at the look of serenity on her intelligent, beloved face.

…together they could get through any loss…

She was so close, so real in the moment, with one eyebrow rising as she exchanged glances with them as they all listened to Syrran’s strong, resonant voice and heard the measured undertones of Surak’s knowing words.  “There are travelers making their way across the Forge to us.  Tonight they rest high on a hillside, beyond the reach of High Command surveillance crafts and sehlat claws.  I must go to meet them.  I believe they may hold the future destiny of Vulcan in their hands.”

He had turned and made his way into the night, the darkness and the oncoming storm.

With the quiet rustling of fabric, T’Les rose, her garments flowing in a graceful sweep around her as she moved with long, confident strides to pick up an ancient golden tapir.  “In Syrran’s absence,” she said, lighting one lamp then another mounted around the walls.  “I will lead the meditations tonight.”

Without conscious thought, their breathing began to slow.

“After his first sojourn in the Forge, Surak wrote,” T’Les began.  “That the beginning of peace is…”

Their visions blurred, gave up brightness, then faded… faded… faded as T’Pau allowed T’Les’s voice to recite the wisdom of Surak.  To the steady, restful rhythm, she began to ease herself back from the meld.

“Our minds are one.”  Her murmuring was only the barest suggestion of words, far in the background of T’Les’s narration.  After a centering breath, she continued, her voice and thoughts becoming more decisive, more her own.  “Our minds are sharing what has united them…  Those things we each shall keep to enrich us in the days to come, even as we begin to move away…  Away…”

Her voice growing firmer, she gathered up the memories of her friend: snatches of conversation, observation, companionable work within the quiet peace of the sanctuary.  She did not stop to examine them, one by one, but lightly bundled together the thoughts and images that had touched on T’Les.

“…away from each other’s thoughts, each other’s minds…”

They would be waiting for her and for T’Pol to discover and to unwrap, each in her own way and in her own time.

There was comfort in that.  As there was in the flow of T’Les’s voice, the sense of her presence, as she led an unbroken circle of Syrrannites into meditation for the last time.

It did not fade as the last of the meld dissolved.

“Our Vulcan hearts are one,” said T’Pau.  “Our minds are two.”

Her hand, so heavy now, dropped away from T’Pol’s cheek, and her eyes opened.

T’Pol was looking at her.  She did not move, not for several seconds, not to even so much as blink.  But in her motionlessness, there was no sense of hardness or rigidity.  Only, perhaps, a hint of perplexity.  After several contemplative seconds, she bowed her head in a traditional gesture of acknowledgement and gratitude.  “Thank you,” she said.

T’Les had always said the offering of thanks for obviously understandable actions,  was illogical: a human, not a Vulcan custom.

Still, in these circumstances, T’Pau was certain her friend would appreciate its significance.

She watched as, after a moment, T’Pol turned an made her way into the shadows to check on Archer.

This time it was not illogical.

T’Pau blinked.  Those words could almost have been from T’Les.  It was the same way the voice of her friends’ thought had resounded when they had been joined in meld or meditation.  But the vision of the sanctuary did not return.  In any event, those words had not been a part of T’Les’s recitation.

Your actions were obviously understandable…

There was a pause.

They were also generous.  And difficult for both of you.  And they…

Eyes widening, T’Pau dared to whisper the word.  “T’Les?”

…are very much  appreciated.

She caught her breath as the significance of the response became spreading awareness.

The words were not a memory!  They were a reaction to this moment!  T’Les was…

Not gone!

Unfelt, yes.  And until this moment, unrecognized.  But resting safe within T’Pol’s illness numbed mind.  Waiting there until healing could release it.  Until it could find a way to get home to the Halls of Ancient Wisdom.  Until her friend and fellow Syrrannite could carry it there for her…

T’Les’s katra!

Her friend was dead.  She would be grieved, but still there was also reason to rejoice because she was…

Not gone!

In the weeks and months to come, as T’Pol finished her recovery, she might realize what had rested there, and learn of the peace that T’Les was finding in the next part of her journey.

Would she discover that, under T’Les’s gentle prodding, Tucker had confided his love for her daughter? A love that was deep enough to be left unspoken when it would only complicate T’Pol’s life?  Would it surprise her as much as much as the errant memory had surprised T’Pau, to find that, human or not, T’Les had come to respect and approve of Tucker?  That, had T’Pol not already been prepared to be wedded to Koss, T’Les would have considered him an acceptable mate for her only daughter?

T’Pau was not certain what she thought about that.  Humans might have good intentions, like Archer’s determination to protect the kir’shara, or Tucker keeping his silence out of love for T’Pol, but that didn’t mean she was comfortable with the thought of spending much time around them.  They were a strange, emotional and impulsive people for all that.  Not to mention… that smell.

IDIC, she chided herself as, behind her she heard the crunching of footsteps across desert sand as T’Pol approached with Archer.  After she ascertained the safest path by which the three of them could reach the city, she must concentrate on that ideal of IDIC.

After all, in the kir’shara, hadn’t Surak considered it to be of great importance?


Comments:

panyasan

Rich in details, you painted the Vulcan minds so well. It does more justice to T'Pau and T'Pol than that short moment we saw in the show. Here we don't see a quick cure of a great burden of T'Pol, but a gentle healing when two minds meet. Very well done. 

Weeble

Pleasantly complex your story ties together may loose ends in the VCW arc. A sequel would be interesting as T'Pol might be more secure in her actions now that the Pa'nar is cured. I have always considered T'Pau to be a bit intolerant of the IDIC principle and you handled that quite well. Nice Tale!

Linda

A really good insight you had was that T’Pol may have chosen the company of humans over her own kind because she would be an outcast due to the pa’nar syndrome.  

Good description of a gentle meld against the background of a harsh rape meld.   And the fact that T’Les did pass her katra to T’Pol is one I have also felt to be true.

Reanok

OOps what I meant about T'Pau needes to get over bigotry about Humans and other Vulcans like T'Pol who don't agree with her attitude about the syranite beliefs and Katras.

Reanok

This a wonderful story. Nice to see T'Pau was wrong about T'Pol being able to live with humans and being more open minded than T'Pau that Vulcans are superior to Archer and that her attitude needs a big change in her thinking.  I really liked the fact you get to see T'Pol and T'Pu's pov in the mindmeld scene and her thoughts about Trip helping her with her mother's loos.:)

Asso

Deep? 

Yes, this is the term. 

For me it is difficult to approach a story which doesn't dig into Trip and T'Pol, but this is different. 

Hats off, my friend. 

Hats off. 

You really know how to give body to feelings and emotions.

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