Thirst

By Linda

Rating: G

Genres: challenge

Keywords:

This story has been read by 1621 people.
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Disclaimer: No filthy lucre changed hands

 

 

Summary: A Halloween story. When my granddaughter asked me to write a story for her she said "vampires, Grandma, not Vulcans". Well...I think I may have satisfied both of our personal obsessions with this story.


Dr. Torvik took a sip of his favorite drink on earth - Crab Cocktail, a rare and expensive libation. He adjusted his glasses and squinted through them at Dr. Nichol. "And may I ask what documentation you have of these fascinating stories"

 Dr. Nichol put down the glass of soda that he had accepted from Torvik and said "Of course you may," sliding a padd across Dr. Torvik's desk. "Eye witness accounts. But mind you, they used diabetic's lancets and only tasted a drop on the tip of their tongue. You see, it was a kind of play acting, though a documented cultural ritual for sure. Our youth go through these, ah, fads, taking as their inspiration the fantasy stories portrayed in the cinema. It fades out of popularity after a few years but resurfaces again and again through the centuries - sometimes as little as fifty years between fads."

 "I see," said Torvik, steepling his hands. His brows met at their base as the skin wrinkled above his nose. "I am making a study of this vampirism in the cultures of earth. Truly fascinating how persistent it is. But as you say, I too have not found any basis for it in reality."

 Dr. Nichol stood up. "Well, it is of the same ilk as legends of fairies abducting Humans. We as a species have active, creative imaginations. I suggest you consult the psychology department for you most likely will find better explanations there."

 Dr. Torvik gave a brief nod of acknowledgment. He held back the urge to tell his colleague that those stories of pointy-eared fairies abducting Humans into fairy mounds did have a basis in reality. It was fortunate they hadn't tumbled to the connect between Vulcans and fairies when the legends had it that when a Human returning to his village after a night with the fairies discovered years had passed and he had aged but the fairies had not aged at all. A prototype ship early in Vulcan's space exploration years was thought to have crashed in the Terran system. Secret excavations in Ireland during the first hundred years that Vulcans were officially on earth had proved that it had crashed on this planet. But this information was still kept from the Humans. He wondered if this had been the only ship of his people to ever meet its end here.

Dr. Torvik rose to see Dr. Nichol out of his office, making his usual gesture of offering his hand, then gracefully withdrawing it before real physical contact. It was a gesture emulated by other Vulcans as a compromise of cultural necessity to satisfy protocol in Vulcan-Human relations.

"Good luck with the dinner at the Thompson's household tonight. I hear they have a pair of precocious children." These parting words were accompanied by a mischievous grin as Dr. Nichol softly closed the office door.


 Later at the Thompson's residence, Dr. Torvik was offered a glass of wine from the Thompson's well stocked bar. He politely refused. Dr. Thompson was mildly disappointed because he considered his stock the best in Oshkosh Wisconsin.

 "I am sorry I was unable to stock your Crab Cocktail on such short notice." Dr. Thompson's visage was one of true regret. He prided himself on pleasantly surprising his guests with their favorite libation. "A crab blood based distillation, I believe? It is copper based is it not? You have a unique taste in beverages, Dr. Torvik, and quite an expensive one. Ah, here is my wife. Dinner is ready, I see. I do think we have selected a variety of foods from which you may find something to agree with you. My wife has even prepared a Vulcan soup."

 Dr. Torvik was formally seated as the guest of honor by Mrs. Thompson. Dr. Torvik glanced with interest at the young eager face staring unabashedly at him from across the table.

 "You have not seen a Vulcan before, young lady?" inquired Dr. Torvik.

 "Oh, of course I have, that is silly. One of my best friends... Well, that sounds racist, doesn't it? Sorry. What I mean to say is... Well, Vulcans are all over the place now." She frowned. "That didn't sound too good either. But you know what I mean. It's not like it was an infestation like Albert says."

 Her eyes got wide and she put her hand over her mouth. There was a second of awkward silence.

 Then Dr. Thompson cleared his throat but Torvik beat him to it saying "Tell me more about this Albert, my dear child."

Not to be let off the hook, Alice Thompson's cheeks colored and she said "No disrespect, Dr. Torvik, but your people are mostly the snooty sort. Not YOU of course or my friend T'Lina."

 "I see," Torvik intoned slowly, "you do realize that what you call snooty, and I have heard other Humans describe it as standoffish, is meant by Vulcans to be proper respectful social distance. Perhaps in your comparative culture classes at school, it has not yet been explained that this behavior is practiced between Vulcans as much as, if not more than, with other species. It is a cultural response to our physical nature which is extremely touch sensitive."

Alice lowered her eyes. "Uh, yes, we have had that pounded into our heads, Sir. But some people make sick jokes about it." She looked at him again with questioning eyes. "And don't Vulcans make disparaging remarks about Humans when they are alone among themselves?"

 She had him there. He raised one elegant eyebrow and said "Yes, they do." He, like most Vulcans, was bluntly (in Human perception) truthful. "Valid comment, young lady."

 Mrs. Thompson tried to change the subject by starting dishes around. Dr. Torvik politely took a small sample of everything and passed the dishes on.

"Please take as much as you like," suggested Mrs. Thompson, noticing that Torvik's plate held only a scant forkful of each item.

 "You are very generous, Mrs. Thompson," offered Torvik, "but we Vulcans eat sparingly. It is our nature. Limited capacity, so to speak, or overly efficient digestive system. It is the effect of evolving on a planet of limited resources, having to endure long periods without food. We now are privileged to receive in trade from other worlds such as yours, a rich bounty of foods. However, our bodies demand we limit our intake, much as our taste buds might desire us to indulge."

 "I see," responded his hostess, who really did not see. She also noticed that he had only a spoonful of plomeek soup in his bowl. Perhaps he thought a Human could not prepare it properly. Oh well. His loss. T'Val at her workplace loved her plomeek soup. She sighed and turned her attention to her own amply loaded plate.

"I hear your major objective during your tenure at our university is to study Human legends," began Dr. Thompson.

 "Yes," said Torvik, "in particular, the persistent cross-cultural phenomenon of many centuries duration called vampirism. The same basic characteristics of the so-called Human vampire occur in legends over time and across Human cultures yet are bewilderingly without basis in fact. There is no medical or other evidence, no valid documentation, that vampires ever existed. Fascinating, don't you think?"

 Before Dr. Thompson could gather his thoughts, Alice with youthful speed and candor said "Vampires ARE fascinating! Have you seen the holo-movie 'My Vampire Sweetheart'? It is so cool! I read the book six times before the movie came out. Whenever I finished the book, I immediately started reading at the beginning again. On the bus to school and at lunch, all of us girls do nothing but moon over Eric Robbins, the vampire in the book. And the actor who plays him, Bobby Belling, so dreamy!"

 "You find the idea of vampires romantic, not something scary and to be avoided?" inquired Torvik.

"Oh, yes, scary AND romantic. Both. Having someone scary and dangerous turn out to be a good friend and a great boyfriend is ever so exciting. So delicious!"

 "Like Vulcans seem to Humans," piped up Jimmy, Alice's younger brother, who until now had been practically invisible, sitting to the left of Torvik's elbow.

 "I see," said Torvik, who really was perplexed but considered it impolite to continue questioning the girl and boy as if this was a field study instead of a social evening. He would very much like to interview the girl and her school friends. He turned to Dr. Thompson. "Perhaps I could visit your daughter's school and speak on life in my home province on Vulcan? All Vulcans are not alike, as you must realize, but many young Humans do not understand that. Perhaps I could enlighten them? And...learn from them more about their lives here."

"I think that could be arranged. Dear?"

 "I don't see why not," Mrs. Fields replied.

 During the rest of the meal the conversation drifted into departmental gossip. The Anthropology department at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh had its own fascinating local culture.

 


 The air coming off Lake Winnebago was chill for a Vulcan, but Dr. Torvik insisted on walking home from the Thompson's. He said he wanted to experience the weather on this world as much as he could since he only had a year's appointment. But at this moment he was starving and decided to go past Dr. T'Rene's residence on the way to his own lodgings.

 There were only three other Vulcans holding teaching and research positions at this university. He was naturally acquainted with all of them. In fact, he was dependant on them, especially when he ran short of his supply of fresh Vulcan blood shipped discretely to him from the embassy in San Francisco and disguised as medical supplies. Each vial of blood was one meal. He had to be careful to at least ingest a small portion of solid food along with the blood, though he found even the soft pieces in soup difficult to digest. His eyesight was weak, but he had not gone completely blind like most of those in his age group who were similarly afflicted. Such an inconvenient condition, he thought, but controllable. What was necessary...was necessary. And not so dramatic as the Human legends...they tended to exaggerate everything, didn't they? No Vulcan vampire ever killed to survive.

 He had truly hoped there was some truth behind the Human legends. It was lonely being one of only a very few Vulcans inflicted with this condition. Still, those known as 'The Thirsty Ones' were accepted within Vulcan culture. Family and clan kin readily offered a neck when blood bank supplies were low. Not that this happened often, as Vulcans readily donated blood for all the medical purposes that were necessary.

 But Torvik was in need at the moment because the expected delivery of his latest shipment had been delayed by a Human postal strike. The Humans had much yet to learn from Vulcan efficiency at running vital services. But no matter, what was, was. And there were always options, like his colleague T'Rene, whose door step he was now standing on. He ran the bell and was let in.

 After feeding, and he only took what normally would be a pint donation at a blood bank, Torvik brought fruit juice to T'Rene as she rested on the living room couch. He handed it to her and sat beside her to see that she recovered safely.

 She raised an eyebrow and said "I am perfectly fine, Torvik. Just like the last time. Your condition is really less intrusive than the effects of aiding you during your, ahem, male cycle, would be. But any Vulcan women in a male's time of need...whatever the need, would be glad to serve. We Vulcans serve our own people as well as coming to serve those of other species. The known universe would be a sorry place without us, would it not, my friend?"

 "True, my esteemed colleague, quite true. Now rest, for I must see to YOUR needs at this time."

 "T'Rene closed her eyes and settled deeper into the couch. Then she opened one eye and said "Would you mind a personal question?"

 Torvik shifted slightly but said "No, not from you. What is it?"

"I am curious. Would Human blood slake your thirst?"

 "Yes, but like a thirst for knowledge when acted upon sometimes having a painful result, ingesting Human blood with its hemoglobin content makes me ill. I did try it, with the individual's permission of course, and only took a few ounces. It had a most exquisite taste - a bit too salty, but quite lovely. I felt dizzy and disoriented for two days after, but was able to function in my normal activities. It would do in a survival situation, like others have told me happens when forced to eat animal flesh to survive. You get sick, but you live."

 "I see," she said. "Well, do avail yourself of my services before you are reduced to that option."

 He inclined his head in thanks and pulled a comforter up over both of them. They rested side by side on the couch until morning when they returned to their offices at the university.


 End note: I did a search and found that crustaceans and mollusks on earth do have copper based blood using hemocyanin instead of hemoglobin. However, it is blue rather than green. Also, my granddaughter has informed me that this story does NOT make it as her type of vampire story. Apparently I cheated when I threw a Vulcan into it. But I hope the good folks at Triaxian Silk enjoy it anyway. Happy Halloween! Happy Samhain!

 

 

 

 

 

 


Comments:

Lyle Aiken

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FireWolfe

Linda this is wonderful. I so love it.

 

Lisa

Linda

Yes, I wanted this in Library of P'Jem.  But I know the people who work on the site have a lot to do so I don't want to make more work for them by asking them to move the story. 

I thought Vulcan vampires would be different from Human vampires, like it was more just a medical condition with them.  That is why I set the story up as I did.  I might use this character in future stories and explain more about his condition - as soon as he opens up and tells me!  Okay, I will think about working in the Vulcan fairies stuff too.  And make it a mystery as Distracted suggested, and throwing in a little erotica for JT.  Gotta please the readers, you know! ;)  

 

JadziaKathryn

Oughtn't this be in the Library of P'Jem?

 

Anyhow, I'm not a big vampire fan, but it's interesting, the idea of Vulcans just accepting it. Of course, they'd ruthlessly suppress any thoughts of "oh, gross, he's drinking my blood!" Apparently it's not contagious.

 

Personally, I want to see the story about the Vulcans who were the basis for fairy stories.

evcake

oooh, I love it! You think up the coolest things, Linda.

Linda

Thanks for the comments, everyone. 

Distracted, I wrote this off the top of my head, in a hurry, based on looking up in the internet to see if any of earth's creatures possibly had copper based blood.  Now you have intrigued me with the idea of a plot for Torvik...hmm...    And Dinah wants to know more about his condition...so do I, so I guess I will have to ask him.  JT wants Torvik in PG 13 - a little green blood dripping down the chin perhaps?  Hmm...   I wonder if during Pon Farr he...uh, now that would slip into NC 17.  Right.  Now I haven't done an NC 17 for a while but maybe I could do multiple things here.  My granddaughter might be interested in that, LOL.  She recently turned 18.

Distracted

Very innovative and unique, as are all of your stories, Linda. Now that you've introduced your Vulcan vampire, I'd like to see something with a plot.  Maybe a murder mystery with him as a suspect?  Hmmm?

Alelou

Ah, well, maybe your granddaughter will appreciate it better in another decade or two.  It was quite inventive!

justTripn

I would like to read the PG-13 version of this.

Dinah

That a marvelously creative story!  Vulcans as the basis for our fairy and vampire legends -- terrific!  I wish we knew a little bit more about what afflicted Dr. Torvik.  Is it a disease?  Is it a genetic condition that passes through certain families?  There appears to be no social stigma attached to it, so it differs from pa'naar syndrome.  Now it would be interesting to discover where Humans picked up the ideas of the wooden stake through the heart, the lack of a reflection in a mirror and an inability to cope with daylight.  I'd like to think Dr. Torvik carries a small transfusion kit with him -- idea of one Vulcan biting another Vulcan on the neck just seems soooo wrong.

Great story!  Happy Halloween! 

Asso

And could it be, a Vulcan Vampire, nothing else but logical?;)

Gorgeous, Linda!:p

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