The Commission

By Linda

Rating: PG

Genres: angst romance

Keywords: Koss

This story has been read by 314 people.
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Disclaimer: No filthy lucre changed hands.

Notes:  Most fan fiction using the character, Koss, and most posts on fan boards, see him as an unprincipled, evil, manipulator who tried to sandbag Trip and T’Pols budding romance.  They imagined all kinds of horrible fates for him.  A few fans though, actually liked Koss, and I am one of them.  I thought the actor played Koss as really concerned for T’Pol and devastated when he released her from their marriage – just look at the actor’s face in that scene.  I feel that Koss was behaving correctly within Vulcan culture when he insisted on marrying T’Pol, where other fans thought him a blackmailing bastard.  See what you think – do you hate Koss or can you sympathize - at least a little, with him?  

The journal dates in this story are given in the Terran calendar for convenience of Terran readers.  I will put in Vulcan dates for the Vulcan translation, LOL. 



The architect descended in the glass elevator on the outer wall of the skyscraper.  The buildings facing him in Shi’Khar’s cityscape flashed by, floor after floor.  He had actually worked on the plans for several of these buildings, young as he was.   His reputation as an up and coming architect was enviable.  Still, he was old to be unmarried.  He had not taken offense, as his parents had, when his intended refused to interrupt her mission on the Human ship to attend the wedding whose date had been carefully set years in advance.  Unforeseen events had transpired; all of their lives had changed in ways unimagined.  His parents should have accepted the logic of unpredictable change. They should have been more tolerant.  


There were critical times in his own career where he would not have liked to be interrupted by a marriage ritual and the setting up of a household,  so should not his intended have the same consideration?  He considered the incident when he had not made it home to attend his forefather’s funeral.  His parents had been upset by that, too. He had been on Vulcana Salaka, a colony world, where he was building administration buildings.  And now his mother had notified him of T’Pol’s impending arrival on Vulcan.  T’Pol’s mother had received a note from the Terran world upon the return of the Human ship from the mission in The Expanse.  After five years absence, his intended was coming home.  Events would now be able to take their proper course and his parents would finally be content. 


The elevator settled smoothly on the ground floor, interrupting Koss’s thoughts as he maneuvered through the street crowded with Vulcan day shift workers.  He picked up his musings again, when he engaged his hovercar’s engine and set course for his parents’ home.  His parents.  They had insisted he contact T’Pol, so he had sent a letter to her mother’s home.  The act of writing it had reawakened his hopes.  He longed to catch up with his age mates and begin married life.  He longed to hold a child of his own proudly in his arms, like his younger sister already did.  Maybe then his parents would treat him with some respect.


His mother was waiting for him when he entered through the garden, standing with arms folded over her chest, face unreadable.  “She has arrived.  T’Les vmailed 20.5 minutes ago.”


“Thank you, Mother.  I will pay a visit tomorrow.”


“You will pay her a visit tonight.”


“No, Mother, tonight belongs to her immediate family.  I will observe the proper protocols.”   


“As you wish.  That is your right as an adult, though it seems your father and I have had to give you more guidance than has been necessary for most adult children.  You should have been on that ship with Vanik and taken her off that Human ship yourself.  I blame you for that insult to us and what she subsequently was forced to endure on that ship.”


“So you kindly remind me at periodic intervals, Mother.  I will not fail you this time.  We will both do our duty to our parents.”


His mother gave him a curt nod. “Oh, by the way, she arrived towing an unannounced  guest.  Of all absurdities, a Human male.  That should not be a problem  for any Vulcan male, even yourself.”


Koss sighed when his mother finally turned her back and walked off to her study.  He quietly went to his own room, his sanctuary within his parents’ home.  Not quite the  level of privacy he would have liked -  that would have to wait until he and T’Pol took an apartment together, and later a house when they produced the required child.  Sitting at his desk, he unlocked the drawer which held his journal padd and tapped in a few lines to help settle his mind.


The next day, Koss paid his intended a welcome home visit.  It did not last as long has he expected, and he said not a word as he returned to his parents’ home past his mother standing in the doorway with raised eyebrow.   One look at his face and she decided it was better not to accost him yet.  His hand trembled when he extracted his journal and began to try to make sense of the meeting with T’Pol.         


Journal entry (April 1, 2154)


When he opened the door of T’Les’s home to me, I knew instantly who he was.   I have not yet gone through my first Pon Farr, yet I can sense a male rival when I see one.  I fought anger and despair and the urge to finish it right there, but that would have violated the ancient Vulcan rule of guest status.  


I am in despair because I know part of the reason T’Pol wishes to bond with him.  He is of delicate build, like her, and his form is esthetically pleasing - for an alien.  I have never considered myself more than average in looks.  Except for my size and fitness, I am an ordinary Vulcan male.  But my family is powerful and they could have bonded me with any number of potential mates.  Parents choose mates for their children carefully, that is our way.   What has physical beauty to do with the mating process anyway?   Everyone cares deeply for their parents and they do not get to choose them.  And so it is with the mate that you don’t choose yourself: you form a deep lifelong bond despite being strangers when you marry.  Who is this inferior alien usurper that wishes to steal my mate?   Is this how the Humans repay us for all our mentoring and protection of their world?     


Ever since I was seven years old I have kept a photo of her, though that was not strictly necessary.  Her changing image over the years is sharp in my memory: my beloved, the mother of my future children.  How dare he!  But I must keep a logical focus, I must be solicitous and tender with her.  I must try to understand what her life has been like on that Human ship.  She has been damaged emotionally by it, I can see that.  But the bond we made as children is strong and will prevail, as that is the heart of our species’ genetic inheritance.  I will insist on compliance with our ancient traditions even if I, with my family’s help, must manipulate her through the use of her mother’s sad and unfair predicament.  It is best for her, for our families, and our way of life.   End Entry.


As the sun set, Koss slid the glass door closed and removed his meditation robe.  Having a private high-walled meditation garden attached to each bedroom was a luxury obtained by few Vulcan families.  He might one day be able to have it in his own home if his career continued to blossom.  He appreciated the private garden here in his parents’ home, with the present state of his relationship with them.  Squaring his shoulders, he  strode down the hall toward the dining room.


“You are .5 minutes late.  Dinner is served sharply at sundown,” announced his mother.


Koss nodded a brief acknowledgement and stood at his place until his father gave the signal for the family to seat themselves.  The lighting was set low and the cut crystal goblets gleamed softly.  It was blessedly quiet as the serving dishes where handed around.  Koss had a forkful of food halfway to his mouth when the first question came.


“Well?” said his father, after his mate had given him ‘the eye’.


“Well, what, Father?” asked Koss, returning his fork to his plate, food untasted.


“You know very well what,” snapped his mother.  “Relate to us your conversation with T’Pol.”  


“The essence of our conversation was noncommittal.  We require further negotiation.”


“That is not what I asked you to tell us.  I asked you to relate the content of the conversation.”  


“Mother, with all due respect, the conversation between myself and my intended is a private matter.  We do at least have that right, do we not?”


Koss’s mother stiffened and stabbed a beat root with her fork.  “If you had been as dutiful as your sister to us, I would not be addressing you in this manner.  You owe us compliance with that which we have provided for you.”


“Of course I do, Mother.  As you did with your parents, and as my children will do with me.”  Koss took a small bite, hoping not to be undignified enough as to choke on it.  Consuming the morsel allowed him to delay the rest of his response.  He swallowed and continued.  “I will speak with her tomorrow and arrange a meeting between her and you for further negotiations.”


“That is acceptable,” said Koss’s father before his mate could offer a response.  


Koss nodded in acknowledgement, ending the dinner exchange, knowing his mother would not cross his father, for that would be highly unmannerly.  He concentrated on finishing his dinner and escaping to his room at the earliest opportunity.     


Journal entry (April 12, 2154)



We are married, tradition has been followed.  This gave me some comfort and I felt so protective and wanted to hold her.  But it will take some time for her to acquiesce to the rightness of it, for again I was insulted, even there at my own wedding.  She kissed him.  She did not kiss me.   Then she did not want to stay with me, even for a private hour or two after the wedding.   At least she did not have the impropriety to go off with him.  She went off by herself to meditate, and so did I.  I walked out into the desert and sat alone for many hours.  Upon my return, the family said nothing, just set my place at the evening meal.  Later in my room, I folded my ceremonial robe and carefully stored it away.  It is ready for our next meeting, ready for the rite of Pon Farr.  End Entry.


T’Pol returned to her Human ship.  Several months passed and Koss received only two letters in response to his ten.  Yet he was patient and hopeful.  Now was not a good time anyway, to start a family.  The political situation on Vulcan was deteriorating. From his parent’s conversations, he was aware more than most Vulcans, of the maneuvering of the Vulcan High Command.  His parents voices of late had dropped when he was around, furtive glances directed at him.  They were aware that he did not completely share their political views.  And they had made a point about telling him to stay clear of alien persons and alien-owned buildings in the city. 


They had been right to warn him.  For one day Koss found himself running toward a  column of smoke after picking himself up off the sidewalk where the shaking of the blast had thrown him.  He had a sinking feeling about which building it was.  Even so, he now stood in shock when he saw the ruin.  He was stopped by the cordon of security guards   keeping him and other civilians from running into the building to help those who where exiting dazed and wounded.  One Vulcan woman, her clothing hanging blackened and tattered, but seemingly unhurt, was allowed to pass out through the security line.  She took a few steps, then stopped, staring with unfocused eyes.  Koss stepped forward and put an arm under her shoulder and walked her to a nearby café chair.  She slumped into it  before the blood started pouring out of her mouth.  Koss yelled for the emergency medics who were starting to arrive and lowered the woman to the ground.   She died in his arms.      


Journal entry (June 2, 2154)


 My poor, dear, world,  it looks like we are on the brink of civil war.  Will any of the buildings I designed be destroyed in the conflict?   Actually, one has been already, and I cannot force myself to walk past the remains of the Terran embassy.  I did some of my best work as part of the team who collaborated with the Humans in its design made to complement the structures surrounding it.  It represented the melding of the esthetics of two worlds, and I felt a genuine camaraderie with the Humans with whom I worked.  Until one of their tried to steal my mate, that is.   


I feel ill at ease about this destruction of Terran property on our soil, but even more so about their ship orbiting our world in silent accusation.  My beloved is on that ship.  I must visit that ship as T’Les was in quite a panic when she summoned me and gave me this artifact to take to T’Pol.  T’Les was just settling into her old lifestyle and now she is an exile again.  I feel obligated to my mother-in-law; I will try to protect her.  She reminds me so of my dear T’Pol and I wish to look out for them both.  End Entry.


Koss locked his journal away.  Soon he found himself standing in the sitting room which exuded his mother’s personality in its stark luxuriousness.  “Mother, I must go personally.  T’Les asked me to and I will honor her request.  T’Pol is my wife, after all.”  


“I do not want you in danger, my son.  This marriage has not proven worthy of us, after all.  Logically, I cannot blame you for the actions of either your mate or her mother, accept for your weakness in not being able to control your mate enough to make her stay with you for the required first marriage year.  This insult dishonors many past generations  and no doubt will dishonor many future ones.  T’Les will be eliminated when the High Command finds her.  And though she is your mate, T’Pol should be eliminated too.  Perhaps she will be smart enough to remain on that Human ship of hers.  When this rebellion is put down, I demand that you divorce T’Pol.”


Koss widened his stance and took a deep breath. “I do not wish to divorce her, Mother.  You wanted this marriage.  Now live with it, as I must.  We will yet show you it can work, me and T’Pol.  The bond will hold.  It is deeply rooted in me…I love her.”  


Once again, Koss’s mother’s back turned from him in anger.   Angry himself, he quietly left the room.


Journal entry (June 4, 2154)


As the shuttle climbed above my world, I clutched T’Les’ IDIC tightly.  With some trepidation, I took a deep meditative breath and step through the docking port.  So this is the Human ship, I thought.  It does not smell as bad as T’Pol described it when she first wrote to me from it.  It appears almost as sophisticated as our own space vessels; but what do I know, I am no ship’s architect.  I have no desire to leave the soil of my own world and I do not understand T’Pol’s enthusiasm for space travel.  


The meeting with my wife was not what I had hoped.  It provided me with a sharp and unwanted realization.   


With the sands of my world again under my feet I should have been at ease, but today I was compelled to consult a priest about crisis meditation techniques.  My emotional control is very thin.  My wife did not welcome my presence in her quarters on the ship   and I was deeply hurt.  I have been repressing a revelation that I cannot face full on: the revelation that our bonding is not enough and that she will never truly be mine.  I had an urge to walk out in the desert and keep walking until I was so weak that a wild sehlat would end my misery.  That is why I spoke to the priest.   


I cannot talk to my parents about this personal crisis as I am also repressing jealous thoughts about their loving marriage.  Is it their fault that they did not choose wisely for me?    Actually the fault lies elsewhere.  Why did some of us ever venture out into space?   It may be our seeking out other species that is the root cause of my misery.  Will I ever feel whole again?  End Entry.


People on the streets of Shi’Khar avoided strangers – both aliens and other Vulcans.  The curfew was strictly obeyed, families huddled around their vid screens watching the latest news of the surgical bombing strikes against the rebels.  Government buildings were secured around the clock, and reconnaissance over flights left a lattice of crossing vapor trails in the Vulcan sky. 


Koss’s peers and clients went about their business life with a somber demeanor.  Somehow, Koss knew T’Pol was no longer on the ship.  How he knew, he wasn’t sure.   He repressed those suicidal thoughts with great difficulty, telling himself he could decide about that later when the planetary crisis was ended.  He needed to talk to her. They needed to settle things between them.  He no longer cared what his mother thought, he had stepped quietly out from under her control, though she did not know it yet.  She continued to show her displeasure with him by ignoring his presence in the house.  He willed T’Pol to be safe, to avoid the patrols which were surely hunting her down.  And then, she called.  


Journal entry (June 7, 2154)


When Archer and T’Pol contacted me, I was so relieved that she was alive and unharmed.  I grieve with her for the loss of her mother; I should never have let T’Les go off into the desert with the Syrrannites.  But my family would not have tolerated my hiding her in their home.   I feel a good deal of anger with my family, and also with myself, for not having the strength to resist their demands.  Yet I have found that strength now.  May the katras of my ancestors forgive me, for I have given that Human captain the codes which will allow him and T’Pol and that misfit T’Pau to transport into the heart of the High Command.  End Entry.


Koss pressed back against a building as a company of Kuvak’s troops trotted by.  He had seen several of his parent’s friends arrested on the streets and taken away.  He felt like a traitor.  One man with his hands secured behind his back had actually spotted him observing the arrest and shouted to Koss to have his parents go to comfort his wife.  Koss had nodded curtly, unable to speak.  When he got home, both his parents eyed him with distrust.  They suspected.  So he told them about the part he had played.   


Journal entry (June 15, 2154)


My world is safe now, ironically with the help of the Humans.  But my heart is heavy;  I will never again be the person I was.  How could I?  I have released her from our marriage.  To do anything else would have been futile.  We both would have been miserable, so now it is only I who am in misery.  Perhaps it is justice for not protecting T’Les.   


I have moved the possessions that I still kept at my parent’s house into the apartment I took in the city.  Since I have cast aside the marriage my parents set up for me, and in their words: “committed an illogical and disloyal act” over the matter of the transport codes, it seemed best to distance myself from them.  I live alone in the city now.  I have increased my meditation time, as this is my only solace.  What sort of person will I be when these emotions recede?   Hopefully I will be able to find peace.  As for my home world, may it also find peace and its place in the universe.   


Six months later:


Journal entry (January 6, 2155)


This ship has more amenities than I thought: they will bring you meals in the privacy of your cabin.  That suits me well.  I have been going over the materials sent to me by the corporation president, including their mission and vision statements, and their specifications for the new headquarters building.  I will make short work of this commission, as my reason for taking it is not noble: it is revenge.  I wish to finish it and get on with the commission for that art gallery on Betazed.  


These off-world commissions, I have often resisted them over the years.  But they are presently a convenient excuse to avoid the overtures of my family, through the mediation of my uncle, to discuss a new bonding.  My family has found someone, but I do not wish to consider that yet, or to make amends with them that quickly.  On rethinking my actions over the transport codes, I find no fault within myself.   The new government is much better than the old, so my part in bringing down the High Command was fortuitous.  And I will make a quick job of this commission whose original architect was killed.  It was HIS sister, this Elizabeth Tucker.  


I will begin by convincing the board of directors that her preliminary drawings are not what they need.  How dare they choose me because my work is so like hers!  How can it be like hers?  She was Human.  I am Vulcan.  I will tell them they need no soft rounded façade, but a strong angular one.   And no duck pond.   I will fill in with sand that  swampy area they wish to convert to a pond to keep the area’s wild life.   Instead, they will have a desert garden.  They need to have an interplanetary focus and feel to their headquarters if they plan to do business beyond their home world.  


The day my building is dedicated I will go back to my hotel room and burn the last of her sketches.  In the packet of materials was a letter from HIM to the corporation president saying he would be honored to attend the dedication of this building as a last tribute to his sister.  He would like to meet the architect whose work was so like hers that he had been chosen to complete it.  I will take him aside and tell him how I destroyed her work just as that Xindi weapon destroyed her body.  I want to see his Human expression when I tell him.    End Entry.


Koss paced his cabin, waiting for the call from his uncle.  Even knowing it was coming, the chime of his cabin’s com unit startled him.  


“Greetings, Uncle Vilmik.  Are you and your family well?”


“We are well, my nephew, Koss.  And your parents are well, though still under house arrest.  This restriction is to be lifted soon, they tell me, since it has been proven they had no direct part in V’Las’s planning.  In fact, it has been discovered that they were under observation by V’Las’s secret security forces.”


Koss was in shock.  “Because of me?”  


“Apparently not.  Your marriage to T’Pol had been dismissed as of no consequence politically.  But your father had actually voted against a couple of  V’Las’s attempts at restricting citizens from free access to public communications under martial law.   He was not on the prime elimination list, but he was on the persons-to-be-watched list.  Being on any of V’Las’s lists is now considered a ‘get-out-of-jail-or-house-arrest-free card.”


“Thank Surak!”


“Yes, indeed.”


Koss sighed.  “That is one thing off my mind.  Have my parents asked to speak to me?”   


“Not yet. But they asked after your health.  They had not asked that until now.”


“Well, that is a start.”


“My nephew, I am confident of reconciliation.  Their communications to you through me on this plan for a new bonding are very encouraging.  I strongly advise you to comply with their wishes.”


Koss relaxed.  There was hope.  He ended the call because the ship was getting out of com range of Vulcan.          


Journal entry (January 14, 2155)


The moss covered trees had an alien beauty that intrigued me when I paid a visit to Elizabeth Tucker’s parents in north Florida, the city of Tallahassee.  Mrs. Tucker, who insisted on my calling her Caroline, was a gracious hostess and said she would comply with my wish not to have my name revealed to her son before the day of the building’s dedication.   I have notified the board of directors of my wishes in this matter also. I can be deceptively charming when I have a strong purpose.  I feel no guilt in this, but I did warm to Caroline Tucker’s graciousness.  Charles Tucker said that his wife was much like their daughter in personality and looks, as we paged through a scrapbook of Elizabeth’s work.  I must admit I was impressed, so much so, that I had to repress the sympathetic feelings that were rising within me.  


They gave me the key to a family retreat where they said Elizabeth had been working on the commission.  She had gone there because the solitude and cool mountain air helped her think.  This cabin in North Carolina in the Appalachian Mountains will be suitable as a work place for me as it is isolated from large numbers of Humans.   I accepted the basket of food that Mrs. Tucker, Caroline, had assembled for me based on her research of Vulcan nutritional needs.  How thoughtful.  And they have contacted a grocer who lives near the cabin to see to my needs.   How Vulcan their manners are.   It is a shame they are HIS parents because I like them.  It makes sticking to my purpose that much harder.  End Entry.


Journal entry (January 18, 2155)


The cabin is adequate in a primitive Human style.  It is cold in these mountains, but the Tuckers have provided blankets and wood for fires.  The fires in this open stone chimney remind me of the Vulcan myths from our ancient violent days.   Appropriate, for I am here to do violence to the memory of a woman who I am growing to respect.  But HE destroyed my well-planned life and I will make him hurt as he has hurt me.  


When I first opened the door to the cabin, it had a musty smell.  The Tuckers have not returned to the cabin since Elizabeth last used it.   They said it was too difficult for them as yet; it would bring back painful memories.   I can see why it would, her presence is strong with that lace shawl thrown carelessly over the couch as if she had just discarded it to make a cup of tea.  And this instrument, her fiddle, was in a box leaning against the couch.   I have seen such instruments on my world.  They are called violins though, and are used by musicians who experiment with off-world musical forms.   Caroline told me to retrieve this fiddle for her if I found it, as she plays in an Irish band at a local pub.  She wishes not to let a good instrument get badly out of tune and she wishes to feel closer to her daughter by playing it.  End Entry.


Journal entry (January 30, 2155)


I found Elizabeth’s diary of the last five years of her life and spent many nights reading it while sitting on the over stuffed couch in front of the fire.  Such a happy childhood she had!  Memories of it were interspersed with her comments on architectural styles in places she had visited all over the planet.  Like me, she had never wished to leave her home world.  Her determination to design buildings that complemented the natural beauty of her world is commendable, and certainly I have done the same in working with the natural colors of rock and sand on my world.  But now there is this scar marring her planet, from the alien weapon that killed her.   I guess no one was able to retrieve Elizabeth’s katra, or any of those seven million.  Having the katras of one’s family members to talk to is a great comfort to my people.  I have been sensitive to these spirits since I was a child.  If one of them were trying to reach the family, I always knew it.   I wish that I could talk to Elizabeth’s katra; it would make my work easier.  End Entry.


Journal entry (February 6, 2155)


There is a small creature which hops down onto the porch of the cabin when it sees me come out.  It lives in a nearby tree.  There is a can resting on the windowsill, which contains a substance that the grocer who delivers my food calls ‘peanuts’.    He said ‘Liz’ used to feed these to the ‘squirrel’, so I have started to do the same.   It is haunting, the remnants of her presence here.   I almost feel like she is guiding me.  


There are some books on Frank Lloyd Wright on a shelf in the main room which I have been glancing through between reading chapters of Liz’s diary.   He is her favorite architect and his work is what inspired her to choose her profession.   How like T’Les’s house is the concept of Wright’s Usonian house!   Liz likes Mies van der Rohe too.  His concept of ‘less is more’ is so Vulcan in spirit.  I can see why the board of directors chose me; Liz’s esthetics and mine are actually very close.  I am developing a fondness for this woman and it is not helping me stick to my purpose.  Why did she have to be HIS sister!  End Entry. 


Journal entry (February 20, 2155)


It was interesting to read that Lizzie often had arguments with Trip, though he is her favorite brother.  He perceived his role to be her mentor and protector.   He taught her how to tie her shoes when she was very young, and how to swim and scuba dive when she was older.   But she rebelled against his efforts to intimidate prospective suitors.  Why were her parents so negligent in this matter?   Did they not see that such an attractive girl would need bonding very early?   Oh yes, I recall that Humans do not practice the bonding of their children.  How unfortunate.  It might have saved Lizzie the terrible experience with this Jack person.   It makes me wish to track him down and punish him for hurting her.   How could Trip have thought Jack a suitable mate for her after scaring off all the others?   Well, maybe I can see why, as Jack’s family was well placed politically and had great wealth.  The Tucker family, while good citizens and not without talents, is of modest origin.   


Journal entry (February 25, 2155)


Today I sat at Lizzie’s drawing table and played with finishing a drawing of her annex for viewing the duck pond.   It was just an idle exercise, but I am pleased with the results.  We might have worked well together, unlike this Jack who tried to repress her talent.  It seems he only wanted someone who would understand the terms he was using when he described his day’s work to a submissive wife who dutifully put his dinner on the table.  Although I brought my computer with me so I could work with my CAD program, I find hand drawing as relaxing as she said it was for her.  Her computer must have gone back to the house in south Florida with her.   End Entry.


Journal entry (March  2, 2155)


This evening, I tried a recipe that was in Lizzie’s handwriting in a drawer in the kitchen.  I am now proficient in lighting the pilot on this gas stove, though I almost asphyxiated myself the first time I tried to light it, which caused a slight explosion.   Wouldn’t it be fascinating for the corporation to have to hire a third architect because the second one blew himself up in the home of the first?   Maybe her drawings, which I have made additions too, would be used by the third architect while he completed the job. 


It was quite an adequate meal I made for myself from her recipe and it is too bad we could not have cooked this meal together.  There was this haunting feeling that she was sitting at the table with me while I ate, smiling and telling me what a fine person I was.   I feel so guilty now about wanting to hurt her brother.  I could never cause her any pain no matter how much I want to ‘kick Trip’s butt’ as she, in her own words, wanted to do to this Jack.   End Entry.


Journal entry (March 15, 2155)


Perhaps finding those recordings of family events was the final thing that bound Lizzie to me so that I can never be free of her.  Seeing her being carried home two days after her birth, the fiddle recitals, the birthday parties, the graduations, and the media interview about her work, are now my own memories.   I hear her voice, as she calls out “side sevens” while holding hands with a line of dancers who move to the right in a cross over step.  I see her lithe body move in tune to the reel she is playing on her fiddle, encouraging the dancers to a faster pace.  Then I dreamed one night of the ceilidh: that dance.  It was so real that I felt her link arms with me as we twirled briefly together before moving on to the next partner in our dance set.  


I don’t use her bedroom in the cabin.  I use what must be her parent’s room. Yet I was feeling lonely, and since I had finished reading her diary, I wandered into her room.  On her dresser was a hairbrush containing some long blond hairs.  It smelled of a flower called lilac.  That must have been from the liquid she used to wash her hair.  I have used that liquid myself as there was a half empty bottle of it in the washroom.   I thought it was bath soap, but it bubbled up and over the tub when I made myself a hot bath to counter the chill of the mountain night.  My skin smelled of lilac for days. 


This hairbrush may contain all that is left of her physically.  I extracted some hairs, wound them around my fingers, and braided them so I could keep them.  Then I put her hairbrush back carefully in its place on the dresser.   But I picked it up again and threw it into my travel bag.  I wanted it.  Then I went over to the bed.  Her bed.  This is where she must have had those dreams about finding a mate who would treat her better than Jack did.  I lay down on her bed and the thought of her loss overwhelmed me, the loss of a woman I never met but who has become so real to me.  Vulcan tears are rare as diamonds and just as hard.  I had not cried since I lost my pet sehlat as a child, but I turned my face into her pillow and wept like the world had come to an end.  For me, perhaps it has.  End Entry.


One year and a half later:


Journal entry (May 30, 2156)


Human rituals can be as tedious as some of the Vulcan ones.  My formal tunic 

chaffed my neck and I wished to be away from there.  Then a duck walked across 

my foot as we led guests around the pond and it set us all in good humor.   But 

when I saw them standing there, Trip and T’Pol, I tried to turn away.  Caroline, who was with them, waved and beckoned me over, so I came.  I was surprised that seeing T’Pol in a smart outfit that suited her form, did not move me.  Perhaps that is for the best.  I think Trip almost fell over when he was formally introduced to the architect that completed his sister’s final project.  He remained speechless while I greeted Caroline and Charles like the friends they have become.  I ignored T’Pol and Trip, not because I wanted to snub them, but because I did not know what to say.


The new corporate headquarters shone in Earth’s mellow sunlight while the speeches and the ribbon cutting moved along quite well, despite their length.  Trip made a short and heartrending speech about how his sister would never be forgotten because of this beautiful building that captured her spirit.  He glanced briefly in my direction and said this was another example of how well Vulcans and Humans could work together.  I made no speech myself.  I let my work speak for me.


During the reception, Trip was eyeing me several times and I saw T’Pol push him in my direction.  I sighed and braced myself for the inevitable.  It wasn’t that bad, all he said was “Thank you, Koss.  You have been nicer to me in your actions and probably in your thoughts than I ever was to you.”


“You can hardly know my thoughts in this matter, but you are welcome,” was all I could manage.  And I turned away then because I did not want to say something like “You think you know your sister, but I know her much better than you do.”   That would have opened old wounds and was not really true.  We each knew aspects of Elizabeth that the other did not.  So I walked away, because the shuttle that would take me to the ship that would take me to the ground breaking for that art gallery on Betazed, was waiting.  Trip could not hear me, but I whispered “Peace brother, peace and long life, between us and both our worlds.   End Entry.         






Wow!!!  This is great!  Poor Koss...I just think it's brilliant that you gave him a connection with Lizzie.

I dropped a word in my last post. I meant to say that I don't hate Koss.
Yeah, I thought Koss got in deep emotionally very fast - but those volcanic Vulcan emotions that underlie their surface repression, once engaged... Yes, this is an uncomfortable situation to fans who really hate Koss. But what set this off is that I don't Koss and see him as misunderstood character! And when I heard both he and Lizzy shared a profession, the idea for the story just ran away with me. I even had an idea for a story where Koss goes back in time and gets Lizzy just before the weapon deploys and brings her forward in time and marries her. But, uh, I am afraid I'd be skinned alive by the fans if I wrote that one! :s ;)
I really liked the beginning, but i got some what uncomfortable when Koss get some what obsessive about Trips sister. The ending was beautiful. Liked the way you explained Koss his thinking, how he - just like TPol - is between a rock and a hard place, because of the circumstances.
I really like this revised story about Koss. It's really nice to see how reacted to the events on vulcan and how manipulative parents were.
Thank you all for the nice comments. I have been wanting to do justice to this story for a long time, and I think revising it was an improvement. I realize that there are diverse opinions on the behavior of the Koss character in the episode 'Home' and my opinion lies at one end of the extreme. That is what makes life interesting, right? If we all thought the same way, life would be ever so dull, LOL. ;)
Of course, I want to underline this, your story attracts and grasps.:D My problem is Koss.
Linda, you must forgive me.:( Your job is remarkable, splendid.:) But, even if Black and White sometimes can be Gray, in my mind, Koss is Koss. Nothing, but Koss.:s It is stronger than me.:p
Oww! my heart hurts - it's so sad! I've always felt sorry for Koss. Poor blindsided, torn-in-two-directions, well-meaning, in-the-way guy is how I see him, and how the actor played him. Lovely updating of your original.
Zane Gray
That's a magnificant story. Absolutely wonderful - I enjoyed every minute. Well done!
Wow! I wish I could tell you how impressed I am. This reminds me of "Vulcan's Don't Have May'ple Trees" So richly detailed and complete. I remember that backstory with Jack you are referring to. I'm glad you stood by that story, even though it puts Trip in a bad light. All your characters are complex and believable. I did ache for Koss when he became suicidal. I was a little uncomfortable with his obsessiveness in taking Elizabeth's hairbrush. The ending was perfect "We each knew aspects of Elizabeth that the other did not." Way to go LINDA!!! You have a special ability, this wild imagination, which you use to tell a story that is nevertheless very real.
I loved the extra details. I had read the previous version long ago. I like this story as much or better. Please send out that sequel soon!:D

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