This story is based in the "Star Trek" universe. The use of anything related to "Star Trek" in this series is not intended to infringe upon the rights of Paramount Pictures. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise.
All other content or otherwise are works of my own imagination. All events are fictitious in nature.
Any similarities to persons living, dead, or otherwise are purely coincidental.
This story contains strong themes of homosexual content, if this offends you in any way, please refrain from reading further. If you are not of legal age to read this, please leave now.
A/N: I'd like to thank TalonRider for editing this chapter. His unparalleled brilliance and tireless effort applied to my work is greatly appreciated. Thank you.
Chapter 22: Vulcan
I glanced across at my Vulcan god as he conducted the pre-flight checks. His long fingers tapping away at the various consoles, bringing the different systems online. We were inside the USS Archer’s main shuttlebay, where T’Luk had managed to procure a type-9 shuttlecraft from the Archer’s Captain. According to T’Luk, we were going to fly down to Vulcan, dock at the shuttle port and then a crewman will beam down to retrieve the shuttle. Fantastic!
T’Luk looked across at me, “We are ready for departure. Are you ready, Kai?” He asked.
I smiled, “I’m ready.”
“Good.” He replied, before he tapped on a button, opening a comm to the bridge, “This is shuttlecraft Athos requesting departure. Flight plan Vulcan-Delta has been confirmed by Captain.”
There was a slight pause before a voice replied, “Shuttlecraft Athos, flight plan Vulcan-Delta has been approved, you are authorised to depart. Have a great trip.” Came the voice, as the shuttlebay doors began to quickly retract.
“Thank you. Athos out.”
I looked across at T’Luk again and watched as he tapped commands into the helm, causing the shuttle to raise off the floor and head towards the open shuttlebay doors. Without turning to me, he spoke, “Relax, Kai. I took advanced flight training at the Academy.”
I giggled, “I’m relaxed. I’ve just never seen you fly before. You have a certain…elegance.” I replied, as we exited out of the ship, turning towards Vulcan. I stared in awe as the planet loomed before me. I felt another wave of emotion wash over me. Finally, after all this time, I was going to Vulcan. Vulcan!
T’Luk tapped on the console a few more times, activating the auto-navigation, before he turned to me, “Elegance?”
“Yeah…” I said, my eyes glued to the planet. I glanced at T’Luk and watched as he looked at Vulcan, his home. I smiled, “Do you feel something from this, I mean seeing home?”
He thought for a moment, “For lack of a better word, I do feel ‘pleased’ to be home. So yes, I do feel something.”
I reached across and held his hand as we entered into the atmosphere, “I’m so glad that we’re here.” I said softly.
About two minutes later I glanced down at my console to see that we had just exited the stratosphere at an altitude of 21 kilometres. From this altitude, you could still see the curvature of Vulcan, yet you could now feel its immense size. I looked out the window. I could begin to make out the various rock formations, the plains of the deserts, and to the left, one of Vulcan’s oceans. I tapped on my console, finding out the temperature of the ground below, 43 degrees. A ridiculous temperature, one that I couldn’t get my head around.
I looked out again, smiling in amazement at the landscape below.
“Do you like it?” Asked T’Luk.
I turned to him, nodding, “I love it.” I said, before I looked back out of the window, not wanting to miss the slightest detail. As we descended further, you could begin to distinguish the cities and neighbouring towns. It was always a treat to fly at these heights, where everything seemed so small below. As though you could envelop entire continents in the palm of your hand.
I looked at my console again, but noticed that we were travelling away from Shi’Kahr, rather than towards it. T’Luk didn’t seem to show any signs of noticing it, but I thought I’d alert him, “T’Luk, aren’t we heading in the wrong direction?” I asked.
He focused on me, shaking his head slightly, “I have a surprise for you first.”
“A surprise?” I asked.
The console indicated that we has just passed 7km, but were continuing to descend rapidly. I reached out to the console to pull up a map, but T’Luk shut off that part of the display.
“It’s a surprise.” He stated.
I giggled at him, “Ok, I won’t peek.” I said, before I stared out of the front window, hoping to see where we were heading. We were still quite high up, so there wasn’t anything that noticeably stood out from the rest. “Have you always lived in Shi’Kahr?” I asked.
“Because of the complications surrounding my birth, I was born in the Vulcan capital.” He said, as I squeezed his hand reassuringly, “As such I remained there for several weeks, but after that period I returned with my parents to their home in Shi’Kahr.” He paused, “While I have always lived in the same city, I have moved house once, to where my parents currently live.”
I nodded, “What about your extended family? Where do they live?”
“My extended family are spread out over Vulcan. However, most of the family on my father’s side all live on the same continent.”
“Vulcan has three continents, right?”
He nodded, “Yes, the largest two are next to each other, while the third is an island.” He said, as he sat up, looking forward, “We are approaching what I wish to show you.”
I looked out of the window to notice that we were much lower now, a glance at the console confirmed that we were a little over 700 metres high. We flew over a few smaller settlements, and some large patches of vegetation, before we entered what appeared to be a harsh and rocky terrain. We flew for another minute or so, and descended further still, to a height of around 200 metres, before I finally caught a glimpse of where we were going.
T’Luk brought the shuttle around the area before he rolled it over slightly in my direction, and slowed its velocity until he brought us above the famous fire plains of Vulcan. I swivelled my seat and placed my palms up against the window, staring at the hot, spewing lava lapping around the rocks and caverns below. The sight was breathtaking and the colours were dazzling, the reds, oranges, and yellows were all vivid and pure. Standing within the plains were several tall, hooded statues, most likely representing Surak, the father of Vulcan logic.
“Indeed it is.” He replied, as he stood next to me.
I pointed at the statues, “I wonder when they were built. They look very old.”
“They are from the time of awakening. I believe they placed a special cover over the lava while they were built, to shield the workers from the heat.”
I nodded, “Still, the heat must have been extreme.”
“Yes.” He paused for a moment, “I would not have volunteered for such a task.”
I smiled, “Me neither.” I said, “This is so amazing T’Luk. Thank you.”
He remained silent for a moment before he spoke, “You are most welcome, Kai. However we are not finished.”
I turned to him, “Oh?”
He nodded, “I have more to show you, whenever you are ready.”
I looked back out of the window again, watching as the vicious, molten rock swirled below, “Ok, I’m ready.”
He walked back to his seat and tapped on the consoles, as he levelled out the shuttle and began to accelerate, climbing to a higher altitude.
I faced T’Luk, “So is this our romantic getaway?” I asked.
“You may call it as such, however I would use the term ‘tour’.” He replied.
I giggled at that, “Hmm, I can live with a tour.” I smiled, “At least the tour guide is a local.”
I looked out of the window again, watching as Vulcan whisked underneath us, “I should have done this for you, back on Earth.”
“You were recovering from an injury, not to mention that we were not expecting shore leave.” He paused, “I, on the other hand, had three days to plan this.”
I nodded before I turned to him, “Erm, when did you do it?” I asked, before I immediately knew the answer, “You didn’t sleep the whole time, did you?” He remained silent, causing me to giggle at him, “You’re so cheeky, you know that?” I smiled, “So you waited until I was asleep before you went off planning our getaway?”
“Indeed.” He faced me, “But if is any consolation, I was reluctant to leave the bed.”
I giggled again, “Am I that cuddly?”
He nodded, “And warm.” He added, before he tapped on the console again, “We are approaching the second place I wanted to show you.”
I turned and looked out of my window as the shuttle rolled in my direction, bringing the land beneath into view. We were now flying over a very rocky terrain, mountainous even. The shuttle descended lower, and slowed down until we came above a peak, where we stopped.
“That is Mount Seleya.” Said T’Luk, as he stood up and walked over.
I looked at the orange mountain closely. We were about one-hundred metres above it, near to a valley that ran past the tall peak. Along the side of Mount Seleya were a few structures and caves built into the rock. About three-hundred metres away from the caves were several larger buildings, along with a small shuttle port, which were most likely built for visitors and tourists. There were quite a few people walking about below, most were dressed in casual clothing, while some were dressed in some type of Vulcan wear.
I smiled, “It looks so…spiritual.”
“Indeed, many Vulcans travel to here because of its cultural importance.”
“Surak.” I said.
“He’s very important to Vulcan culture, isn’t he?”
“Yes, it is likely that our civilization would have been destroyed, had it not been for Surak’s teachings.”
I turned to him, “I studied Surak at the Academy, but we didn’t go into much detail. What’s the link between him and Mount Seleya?”
“Surak travelled to Mount Seleya in the 4th century of your calendar. It was here where he discovered pure logic.”
“Was he alone?”
Surak discovered it on his own, however, he did have several followers later in his life.” He paused, “Surak also died while on Mount Seleya, due to radiation sickness.”
“From one of the wars?”
“Yes, a period known as the Time of Awakening. This was when we abandoned our violent natures and embraced logic.”
I nodded, “What about his katra?” I asked. A katra was, in essence, a living spirit. Similarly, it is part of the Vulcan mind. But where it gets interesting is the fact that it can be transferred. So if a Vulcan was near death, he or she could ‘transfer’ their mind to another person, or store it in a small item called a katric arc.
“It it stored within Mount Seleya, inside a katric arc.”
“Are people allowed to mind meld with it?” A mind meld was a type of Vulcan telepathy between two people, where their minds would become one. Mind melds also worked with katras, in fact, an event similar to a mind meld is needed to transfer the katra in the first place.
“Only those who have been practising mind melds for many years, and have a valid reason to do so.”
I thought for a moment, “Have you ever performed a mind meld? Or had one done to you?” I asked.
He shook his head, “No. A mind meld is a highly intimate act. I have not received or initiated a meld.”
I looked down at the mountain peak, “Could you perform one?”
“Theoretically I know what needs to be done, however, I have never researched the topic in detail.” He paused, “Do you want me to meld with you, Kai?”
I faced him, “Yeah, yeah I do.” I smiled, “We already have a telepathic bond between us, so this would just be an evolution of that, right?”
He nodded and thought to himself, “If you would like, I could discuss the matter with my parents. It is logical to assume that they would have performed a meld between each other, therefore they may be able to give me some insight.”
“Yeah, that’s a good idea.”
“Very well.” He said, as he walked over to his seat, looking at a console, “We need to arrive at the shuttle port soon.”
“I’m ready to go whenever you are.”
He nodded and tapped on the screen, causing the shuttle to begin to move, “We are relatively close to the shuttle port, however I wish to take you a different route. I have one more thing to show you.”
I looked out of the window as we descended into a valley, before it spread out some. We weren’t travelling at that great a speed, perhaps around four-hundred kilometres per hour, but it was quick enough to keep us moving through.
“This is The Forge.” Said T’Luk.
I looked at the rocky and barren land below, “This is the path that Surak took to Mount Seleya?” I inquired.
“Yes. The Force was created by the atomic weapons used during the wars. It is quite fitting that Surak chose this particular path for his pilgrimage.”
I nodded and stared outside, noticing a weird, dust coloured cloud drifting towards us from the other end. T’Luk caused the shuttle to rise a few hundred metres above it. “Is it a sand-storm?” I asked.
“It is called a sand fire. It is similar to a sand storm, but it also exhibits powerful discharges of electricity.” He said, before the shuttle shook gently, as a soft chirp sounded. “We were just struck by a discharge, but they are harmless to modern shuttles.” He said, “However, they can be fatal to Vulcan or Human exposure.”
I looked down below, watching as the storm engulfed the Forge. I glanced out the front window to see patches of it illuminate as it discharged against the surface. It was quite a sight. “Do they always appear in the Forge?” I asked, noting how suddenly it seemed to arrive.
“Not always, but often. Once they start, they can last for hours, even days.” He explained.
“Isn’t Shi’Kahr located near to the Forge?” I asked.
“Yes, but it is still a relatively safe distance, so we are not troubled by the sand fires.”
I turned to him, “T’Luk, did you do the kahs-wan?” I asked. The kahs-wan or Vulcan maturity test was a test of survival for pre-teen Vulcans. They were to survive for ten days without any food, water, or weapons, within The Forge. Oh, and they were alone for the whole time.
“How old were you?”
“I was eleven.”
I shook my head, “If there’s one Vulcan ritual or custom that I cannot understand, that is it. I mean, what’s the logic behind it?”
He turned to me, “The basic principle is to ensure that we retain strength and courage, and not to let pure logic make us weak and helpless.”
I thought for a moment, “But aren’t strength and courage emotions?”
“Indeed they are.” He paused, “It is more of a traditional custom, rather than to enforce a Vulcan’s strength and courage.”
I looked at him, “Can you opt-out of it?”
“There are some Vulcans who believe that such a ritual is illogical and only serves to remind us about our natural temperaments.” He paused, “But the majority still encourage it.”
I eyed the harsh land below, “I wouldn’t let my child go down there alone for ten days. I wouldn’t even let you go down there now, as an adult.”
He raised an eyebrow, “Neither would I let you.”
“But it’s different for me, I’m not Vulcan. I’d struggle to spend a day down there, let alone ten.”
“Even if you were Vulcan I would not let you go.”
“Really? So you find it illogical?”
He thought for a few seconds, “I can see both sides of the argument, however, possibly due to my ability to experience a little emotion, and because of the bond, I would not like to place you in possible harm.”
I smiled at him, “Aww, you’re so lovely, T’Luk.” I said, before the console in front of him chirped.
“Curious, our flight plan has been re-routed around the city, instead of over it.” He said, tapping at the display, “The Vulcan Defence Force have isolated the area from airborne traffic.”
“Hmmm, that’s odd.” I said, “I wouldn’t have thought that a major city would be off bounds. I wonder why.” I mused, as I looked out of the window, trying to see Shi’Kahr.
“Uncertain, but I have encountered a similar incident many years ago, while I lived in Shi’Kahr. It was when the President of the Federation visited the city.”
“You think it’s a security precaution?”
He nodded, “It is a possibility, yes.”
I looked over at his console as mine was still deactivated, “How far until we reach the city?” I asked.
“Thirty kilometres, however the shuttle port is ten kilometres away. That is where we are heading.”
“Isn’t there a port in the city?”
“Yes, however we have been redirected away from that port as well.”
“Wow, that must be some visit. Lots of important people.”
He thought for a moment, “Given the recent actions from the terrorist cell, it is wise to be cautious.”
I smiled, “Still, this is Vulcan.”
He turned to me, “Meaning?”
“Meaning that this place is too special to have terrorists come and mess it up.”
He paused, “I agree.”
I giggled, “Are you funny around your parents?”
“No. While some Vulcans understand the concept of humour, I am not aware of any who attempt it.” He tapped on the display, causing us to bank to the left, “To put it simply, my parents would not appreciate my…talents.”
I giggled again, “Oh I appreciate your talents.” I said, before I blushed on the innuendo.
T’Luk looked over and noticed, “Intriguing.”
I stared at him for a second, before I looked out of the window, immediately noticing the shuttle port, and far in the distance, Shi’Kahr.
“We should be on the ground in less than a minute.” Said T’Luk, as we quickly approached the shuttle port. As our flight plan was rerouted, we were automatically assigned to a landing pad, so we did not need to alert anyone for our arrival.
I glanced over at T’Luk to see his fingers working on the console, seemingly he was going to take us in, instead of the computer. I looked up again to see that we were about one kilometre out, but were coming in rather fast. However, that wasn’t much of a problem when you have inertial dampeners. We could stop instantaneously and not feel a thing. I watched as we drew closer. There were a few other shuttles about, some of them landing while others were taking off. But they didn’t pose a problem as we were travelling in different directions.
When we were about one-hundred metres away from the port, T’Luk rapidly decelerated the shuttle, bringing us directly above the pad, before he gradually lowered us to the floor. He took great care with the last metre, something that made me smile. And after a few seconds, we were down.
I clapped my hands, “Exceptional flying there, Captain.”
“Thank you, Kai. I hope you enjoyed the tour.” He replied, standing up.
I stood up, before I leaned in for a quick kiss, “It was very beautiful and thoughtful. Thank you.”
“You are most welcome.”
I beamed at him before I walked towards the rear and picked up my suitcase, with T’Luk following suit. Seeing as we were to transfer the shuttlecraft over to someone else, there was no need to shut the systems down.
I reached into my pocket, retrieving my sunglasses and placed them over my eyes. Like all modern sunglasses, they had very little tint to them, but that particular pair were specifically designed to protect Human eyes while on Vulcan. I turned to T’Luk, looking at his eyes as he flicked down his inner eyelid. I smiled at him, “Show off!”
He raised an eyebrow at me, “Are you ready?” He asked.
I nodded, before he reached out and tapped a button, causing the rear entry ramp to begin to open outwards. Initially I didn’t feel anything, but once the ramp opened a little more, I suddenly felt a wave of heat rush towards me. It was like stepping into an oven! Well, almost. We waited until the ramp touched the floor before we walked out into the scorching sun. Walking down the ramp felt normal, but it wasn’t until I took my first few steps on Vulcan did I immediately notice the difference in gravity. Sure we had played around with artificial gravity at the Academy, but it was quite different to that inside a holodeck.
Seeing as Vulcan was larger than Earth, it had a slightly stronger gravity. I took a few steps about, before I jumped; noting how I arrived back at the floor a little quicker than usual. It wasn’t that big a difference, but it was somewhat noticeable. I inhaled deeply. The air didn’t smell of much, but it was quite dry. Vulcan also had a thinner atmosphere than Earth, something that wouldn’t have affected me unless I undertook quite an amount of physical activity, in which case I would need to breathe quicker to get enough oxygen. None of it was bad, but it was quite different to what I was used to. I was truly on a different world.
I looked across at T’Luk as he watched me amuse myself with the workings of his home world. I smiled at him, “I’m done playing now.”
“You may continue.” He said, “We have to wait until the-“ He began before a female Ensign materialised a few metres ahead of us. She turned around.
“Hey, guys. I’m from the Archer, and I’m here to pick up the shuttle.”
T’Luk nodded, “The systems are still online. Have a good journey.” He said.
She smiled and walked up the ramp, “Thanks. Have a good holiday.”
“Thank you.” I called out, before we turned and walked towards the terminal building.
I looked up at the sky. The blue sky. I turned to T’Luk, “I thought it was red?”
He nodded, “Vulcan has six seasons. The blue sky occupies two of those, however I believe it should transition back to red within the next two weeks.”
We stepped inside the terminal as I glanced about. While there were some other races about, for the most part they were all Vulcans. I found myself grinning as I watched them. The way they worked, it was so precise, so perfect, so very logical.
I turned to T’Luk, “Is there an easy way for us to get into the city from here?”
He nodded, “We can use the STS. There is a stop approximately three-hundred metres from my parents’ home.”
“Ok.” I said, as I smiled at him. The Subterranean Transport System, or STS, was a very advanced means of travel throughout Vulcan. As the surface of the planet can reach some extreme temperatures, mass transit systems are located beneath the surface. STS actually began nearly two-thousand years ago, sometime during the 5th century. While on Earth, the Western Roman Empire was coming to an end, the Vulcans, on the other hand, were building electromagnetic underground transport systems. And although the system has been improved upon and expanded exponentially since its initial conception, it all stemmed from that point in time after The Time of Awakening.
The modern system used in 2380 consisted of ‘Pods’ and ‘tubes’ that were underground. Essentially it was very similar to the London Underground, or the New York City Subway, in that it’s vehicles moving through tunnels bored through the ground. But where the systems differ is that the STS was all within a vacuum, so everything can move really, really quickly. That coupled with anti-grav systems and inertial dampeners means that the ‘Pods’ can easily reach speeds in the thousands of kilometres per hour range.
We walked through the terminal and headed towards some turbolifts, which would take us down to the platforms. After a short descent in the lift, we emerged on the main platform, where there were many screens showing various destinations and what Pod to take. I looked up at the screens, but they were all Vulcan, so I left that job to T’Luk while I glanced around. As the system was in a vacuum, the platform was sealed off from the tubes by air locked doors alongside its length. Some people were entering Pods while others were exiting them. Unlike the Underground or Subway, more than one Pod can arrive at the platform, as they ‘slide’ sideways next to the closest empty airlock.
T’Luk glanced around the platform, “We can take that one, Kai.” He said, pointing towards one of the Pods ‘docked’ at an airlock.
We wondered over there and stepped through the double doors. There were a few people in there already, but there were many empty seats. T’Luk and I sat down, storing our suitcases in front of us, before I looked around. The Pods were about fifteen metres in length and three in width. Unlike the ones on Earth, were we kept the old style seating where you sat opposite each other, in the Pods, the seating was more like a shuttle, where all seats faced forward, but there was a galley down the middle so you could get to your seat. Along the sides of the Pod were windows, but they became opaque while travelling, as not to disorient the passengers because of the speed.
We sat there for a few seconds before the doors closed, ensuring a tight seal. The windows clouded over as the front screen came on, showing our current position and ETA. As the system was computerised and automatic, there was no need for a driver, or pilot. This greatly sped up the system as well as make it much more reliable and safer. I looked up at the screen to suddenly find that we were moving, yet, I couldn’t feel a thing.
“These are some inertial dampeners!” I remarked.
T’Luk nodded, “Yes, they are highly advanced.”
I glanced up at the screen again to see that we had an ETA of around thirty-seven seconds, while we had a distance of twenty-two kilometres to travel. Not too bad. I turned to T’Luk, “You mentioned that some of your family live all over Vulcan, but do any of them live in Shi’Kahr?”
“Yes, my cousin and his wife both live in Shi’Kahr, but quite a distance from my parents’ home.” He replied.
I nodded, “Do Vulcans visit each other frequently? I mean, in terms of family.”
“We do visit each other, but not frequently.” He paused, “Perhaps twice a month, or more depending on the occasion.”
“Oh, so you’re quite similar to us in that regard.” I said, as I looked at the screen, noting that we had nine seconds left.
And nine seconds later, the windows became transparent, showing us the new platform, while the airlock doors opened. I still couldn’t believe that I had travelled twenty-two kilometres during the past thirty-seven seconds. It wasn’t so much the speed, but the fact that I didn’t feel a thing. It was an incredible feat of engineering.
T’Luk and I stood up, retrieving our suitcases and stepping out of the Pod. I smiled at him, “We have to do that again soon.”
“You enjoyed it?” He asked.
“Yes, it was quite an experience, or should I say, it was the lack of experiencing anything that made it so fun.”
“Intriguing.” He remarked as we headed over to a set of turbolifts. This stop was much smaller than the one at the shuttle port, obviously because of its location within a suburban part of the city, rather than a transport hub.
We rode the turbolifts up and into a small building, before we stepped out and emerged in a street. It was a very quiet neighbourhood, with only a few people walking past, and perhaps one car driving by, but when I turned around, I could see the large metropolis of the city centre. It wasn’t that close as to be dominating the skyline, but close enough to be under its geographical jurisdiction.
“The house is this way, Kai.” Said T’Luk, before I walked alongside him down the street. I looked closely at the beautiful architecture of the houses. They were very Vulcan in design, with straight lines, but with just enough graceful curves to supplement them nicely. The colouring varied from house to house, but it was generally a mix between burgundy and dark brown.
“Do you know what the time is?” I asked.
“The time in the Pod was twelve-fifty-seven.” He looked at me, “Are you hungry?”
“A little bit, but I was just wanted to know the time.”
He nodded, “It is likely that my parents have prepared lunch.”
I smiled, “I’m sure it’ll be delicious.” I paused, “Unless you’ve spoiled me with your culinary methods.”
“My parents are both very good cooks, much better than I am.” He replied.
“You’re just saying that.” I looked at him, “I assume that they eat Human food sometimes.”
“Yes, during our visits to Earth, they have indulged in the local cuisine. My father is particularly fond of sushi.”
I giggled, “Sushi?”
“Yes. I also find the dish quite appealing.” He turned to me, “What is your favourite Human food?”
“Ooo, that’s a tough one. It wouldn’t be sushi though, I do like it, but not that much.” I thought for a moment, “I like a lot of Italian food. Different pastas, pizzas. The healthy kind.”
He nodded, “Is that why we visited an Italian restaurant during our one-month anniversary?”
I grinned, “Yep. But it wasn’t just for me, from the Vulcan food you made it was clear that you liked a lot of flavour, and Italian food does tick all those boxes.”
“Indeed. Do you not like Indian cuisine?”
“Sometimes, actually, I am quite good at cooking one dish in particular. Perhaps I could make it for you and your parents while we’re here.”
He seemed to like that idea, “I’m sure they will appreciate that.” He raised an eyebrow, “What is the name of the dish?”
I opened my mouth, but smiled instead, “It’s a secret. It’ll be a surprise.”
“Naturally.” He said, causing me to giggle.
“Don’t be worried though, it’s really nice, my granddad’s recipe.” I replied, as he slowed his walk.
“I look forward to tasting it.” He said, before facing the house, “This is my parents home.” He said.
I looked up at the large two-storey home. It was similar to the other houses, but there were enough subtle changes to make it different. It looked quite nice from the outside, quite modern too, but I wasn’t an expert on Vulcan architecture, so it could have been a hundred years old for all I knew.
T’Luk ushered me towards the path, “After you.”
“Thank you.” I replied, as I walked down the paved path, leading to the door. While I had been looking forward to meeting T’Luk’s parents for a few months now, I suddenly began to feel uneasy. I mean, what if they didn’t like me? Or worse, what if I messed up, what if I did something to offend them? I guess it wouldn’t be that bad, as they knew that I was Human, so they’d let some things slip, but I really wanted to impress them, show them that I was good enough for their son.
I felt T’Luk’s hand squeeze my shoulder, “Do not worry Kai, I told you, they will love you.” He said softly, as we stood outside the door.
I nodded slowly and swallowed, removing the glasses from my eyes.
T’Luk reached out and tapped lightly on what appeared to be a doorbell next to the door. We waited for a few seconds, before I could see some movement behind the small, frosted window. The door opened inwards, revealing two Vulcans standing there. I watched as they stepped out. A woman came out first, T’Luk’s mother. She was around my height and had a slim build. Her hair was a dark brown, like her eyes. While she appeared to be in her mid thirties, I knew that she could be in excess of one-hundred, given Vulcan longevity.
Following behind her was a man, T’Luk’s father. He was much taller than myself, perhaps an inch or so taller than T’Luk. He also had quite broad shoulders that made him appear well built. He had black hair and brown eyes. He appeared to be around the same age as his wife, but again, looks can be deceiving.
Looking at both of them, their facial features, it was clear that they were T’Luk’s parents. His father in particular bore a striking resemblance to his son. I watched as their eyes looked at T’Luk, and then over to me. They looked at me for a few seconds, before they turned to their son.
T’Luk raised his hand, something that I mimicked, as we performed the Vulcan salute. We held it for a second, until his parents done the same, before dropping their hands. I followed and lowered my hand to my side.
“It is pleasing to see you, T’Luk.” Said his mother.
“Indeed.” Spoke his father, “It has been many months.”
T’Luk nodded, “It is equally pleasing to return here.” He replied.
I couldn’t help but smile as I watched them interact. While neither of them were expressing any emotions, it was clear that they were all very pleased to be reunited. Especially his parents, they seemed ‘happy’ to have their son home again.
T’Luk turned to me, “This is Kai Taylor, my partner.” He said, turning to them, “Kai, this is my mother, T’Kal, and my father, Volak.”
They both turned to me, his mother walking forward, offering her hand, “It is good to finally meet you, Kai.” She said kindly, almost Human in her gentleness, “T’Luk has spoken very highly of you.”
I smiled at her, shaking her hand, “It is good to meet you too, T’Kal. Thank you for allowing me to visit your home.”
His father stepped forward offering his hand, “You are most welcome. We are pleased to meet you, Kai.”
I shook his hand, “Thank you.” I said, grinning at him.
He pulled back and walked towards the house, “Please, enter.”
T’Luk and I followed them inside, where I immediately revelled in the cooler, conditioned air. I quickly glanced around the open planned house. In some ways it was similar to my own house on Earth, but its layout and design were very different. In front of the door was a hall that led to a lounge, and behind that lay a dining room. As we entered further into the home, I could see the kitchen to the far right, and some stairs on the left.
“You have a very beautiful home.” I commented, as Volak closed the door.
They looked up at me, “Thank you.” Replied T’Kal, leading us towards the dining area, “We have prepared lunch, if you two desire something to eat.”
“Yes, we last ate many hours ago.” Answered T’Luk.
I nodded, “Lunch sounds great.”
Volak looked at our suitcases, “Perhaps you would prefer to place your items somewhere first.” He said, looking at us, “We were unsure of where you would prefer to sleep, Kai. Both T’Luk’s room and the guest room will be able to accommodate you.”
This was new. I wasn’t expecting them to ask if I’d like to stay with T’Luk, in his room. I wasn’t sure how to answer, “Erm…I don’t mind.”
T’Kal looked at me, “You are the guest so you may choose either. “
T’Luk sensed my apprehension, “You may stay with me, Kai.”
I thought for a moment and nodded, “Ok.”
Volak spoke, “T’Luk, you may show Kai to your room, while T’Kal and I prepare the table.”
T’Luk nodded and turned to me, “It’s this way, Kai.”
I nodded and followed him towards the stairs, before we headed up to the second floor. Even the upstairs of the house was very spacious, with quite a large hall and a few windows, which helped illuminate the area. T’Luk’s room was to the rear of the house, overlooking his back garden. We walked into his room, as I took a look about. It was a relatively large space, with a double bed, desk with a computer terminal, a wardrobe and some drawers. It was all quite simple, and very similar to how his quarters looked onboard the Titan.
“Will there be enough room for you?” He asked.
“You kidding, this place is big. I think we’ll do just fine.” I looked at him a second, “You don’t mind me staying here, do you?”
“Of course not.” He stepped forward, “I would very much appreciate you staying here with me, in my room.”
I smiled at him, “Ok.” I said, pausing, “Your parents seem very nice.”
He nodded, “They are pleased to finally meet you. I did tell you that they will love you, Kai.”
I grinned at him, “I’m pleased to finally meet them.” I said, before looking at our suitcases, “We’ll unpack the stuff later, right now I want to make myself useful in the kitchen.”
He raised an eyebrow, “You may offer, but it is likely that they will refuse.” He said, as he led us out of his room.
“My cooking isn’t that bad.” I joked.
“I was not referring to your cooking, I was implying that they would not expect you to make your own meal.” He said, as we trotted down the stairs.
“I know, I know, but I still feel like I should.” I replied, as we stepped off the stairs, and walked down the hall towards the kitchen. T’Luk and Volak had finished setting the table and were placing the food on the table.
T’Luk turned to me, “It seems they were too quick for you, Kai.”
I nodded, eyeing at the tasty looking food, “Indeed, it looks delicious.”
Volak and T’Kal walked over, “Please, sit.” Said Volak, “What would you like to drink?” He asked, looking at us.
“I will have a glass of Gokund juice. Please.” Said T’Luk, sitting down, before looking at me, “Gokund is a type of fruit. It tastes similar to…” He said, trying to explain the taste.
“Pineapple.” Finished T’Kal, “It is similar to pineapple, and perhaps a little mango.”
I sat down and looked at Volak, “I’ll have some Gokund as well, please.”
He nodded and poured us each a glass, and some for T’Kal and himself as they sat down. He handed a glass to me.
“Thank you.” I replied, before I drank some of it, swirling the orangey liquid around my mouth. It did taste of pineapple and mango, like T’Kal suggested. It was very nice and quite refreshing. I swallowed it down, “That’s lovely, very nice indeed.”
Volak raised an eyebrow, “Yes, it does have a unique taste, from a Vulcan perspective.” He said, “Please, help yourselves to the food.”
I nodded, glancing down at the plate of food. I could recognise some of the things, but there were others that I had no idea about. I picked up my knife and fork.
“I have checked with the Federation database.” Began Volak, “All of the food is safe for Human consumption.”
I smiled at him, “Thank you for checking.”
He nodded at me.
I looked down at my plate again and cut a piece of what looked like Pok, before I chewed on it. Yep, it tasted just like the Pok that T’Luk had made for me many times before, clearly it was his mother’s recipe after all.
I looked at T’Kal, “Your Pok is delicious.”
“Thank you.” She said looking at T’Luk, “I assume that T’Luk has prepared the dish before?”
I nodded, “Several times. I like it quite a bit.”
“T’Luk informed us that you have expressed a liking towards Vulcan cuisine.” Said Volak.
“Yes, I hadn’t eaten a lot of Vulcan food before I met T’Luk. But he has been quite generous with his cooking abilities and has shown me a thing or two in the kitchen.” I replied.
Volak nodded, “T’Luk was always quite attentive in the kitchen. Always asking questions.”
I turned to my prince, ‘Yep, he certainly was one to be intrigued.’ I thought to myself, as I had some more of the food.
“Are you aware of anything taking place within the city?” Asked T’Luk.
“Yes.” Answered Volak, “The Museum of Astronomy is being used by Starfleet. Why do you ask?”
“Our shuttle was rerouted around the city, by the Vulcan Defence Force.” He replied, “I speculated that perhaps the President of the Federation was visiting.”
Volak shook his head, “I have had no word of that, but security is high, and I have been restricted from certain areas.”
I nodded at him. Like me, Volak was an Astrophysicist and worked at the Museum of Astronomy. I remember T’Luk telling me how it was his father who introduced him to Cosmology. “I wonder what it could be.” I said.
“A variety of things.” Said T’Kal, “But a visit from the President does seem likely.”
We spent the next twenty-minutes or so finishing the food and cleaning up. I was quick to offer to take the plates to the replicator, something that T’Luk helped me with. After we finished that, we headed over to the lounge where we sat down and chatted for a while. It felt really good to be invited to T’Luk’s home, even more so to meet his parents. As I sat there speaking to them, it was clear that they were a very close family. But even so, Volak and T’Kal were very friendly and welcoming towards me, and maybe, just maybe, they were beginning to like me too.
“If you would excuse me for a moment, I need to go to the bathroom.” Said T’Luk, standing up.
“Sure thing.” I replied, before T’Kal continued.
“T’Luk has been quite fond of strawberries from a very young age.” She said, “Volak often used to order some real ones from Earth, rather than replicated ones. T’Luk could always tell the difference.”
“Yeah, he’s eaten them quite a bit while we’ve been together.” I paused, “He likes strawberry ice cream too.” I said, being careful not to mention his ‘seductive-licking’ technique.
“He used to replicate it here many times before he left to go to the Academy.” Said Volak.
I nodded and looked at them, “Erm, can I ask you a question?”
“Please.” He said.
“Well, how did you feel when T’Luk told you that he wanted to go to the Academy? I mean, neither of you are in Starfleet, so I was just wondering what you thought.”
“You must understand that while we do not have an emotional connection with T’Luk, his absence does…give a sense of incompleteness.” He said, “But on the contrary, we were both…satisfied with T’Luk’s decision. A career in Starfleet would be quite challenging and enriching for him.”
I smiled, “Yeah, although perhaps challenging for the wrong reasons recently.”
T’Kal nodded, “Yes, the recent happenings within the Federation were most troubling. Fortunately that appears to have been dealt with, due to the Titan and the Intrepid.”
“We were in the right place at the right time. And while we’re scientists, defence is part of Starfleet’s charter.” I replied.
“Indeed.” Replied Volak.
We were quiet for a moment before T’Kal looked at me, “I can sense a great bond between you and T’Luk. Something quite rare for a relatively new couple.” She said.
I nodded, “Yes. T’Luk and I have become very close over a quick period of time. We suit each other perfectly.”
“That much is certain.” Remarked Volak, “T’Luk thinks very highly of you, and I sense that you feel the same.”
“I do, very much so.” I thought about my Vulcan beauty, before he entered the room, walking over to us. “He’s so perfect, so unique.” I paused, my eyes connecting with his, “I love him.”
Earth, San Francisco
Tal Shiar warbirds have returned to Romulus, the terrorist cell has
been destroyed, and the diplomatic talks seem to be progressing
well.” Stated Becker, “Clearly the situation is much
Admiral Hayes nodded, “We have assessed the logs from both the Titan and the Intrepid to piece together how events occurred.”
Becker read the report, “However, you have not questioned anyone other than the Captain. What happened to a ship-wide debrief?”
“Starfleet Medical cut us off. Given what happened, they wanted us to give the respected crews some time to deal with what happened. We are, however, due to start questioning the senior staff and several other personnel tomorrow.”
Becker flicked past the report and read through the list of names, nodding, “I see.”
Hayes spoke up, “In particular, a certain person, Ensign Kai Taylor has stirred quite a lot of havoc back in Starfleet Command.”
“Taylor?” He asked, looking up at him, “I believe Ensign Taylor performed admirably well during the situation.” He smiled, “Quite an impressive strategic decision…for a scientist.”
“Yes, but there are several other people at Command who believe that Taylor’s behaviour would better be described as reckless.”
“Reckless?” Becker shook his head, “No, it wasn’t reckless, Admiral. It was genius.”
“He remotely piloted several shuttles into the bridges of the warbirds.”
Becker looked at him, “Taylor destroyed one warbird, while severely crippling the other, which later exploded. His ‘reckless behaviour’ resulted in cutting the enemy forces by half. I’d call that an achievement.”
Hayes held up his hands, “I’m not the one calling the shots here. If it were me, I’d call the guy in, pat him on the back, and send him out that door as a Lieutenant.” He sighed, “But like I said, too many people at Command don’t want to let this one drop. Their ordering a full investigation into the issue.”
Becker tapped on Taylor’s record, bringing the information, “Where is Taylor now?” He asked, as his eyes scanned the screen.
“He’s on Vulcan, with his partner, Ensign T’Luk.” He paused, “He, too, is part of this inquiry.”
“T’Luk overrode the shuttlebay door security lockout, allowing Taylor to launch the shuttles.”
Becker shook his head, placing the PADD on the table, “This is hardly worth the resources required to undertake a full investigation.”
“I agree, but it’s out of my hands now. Command will begin the investigation tomorrow, beginning with the questioning.” Replied Hayes. The two men stared at each other for a second, “Well, I have to return to Command headquarters, but I’ll be in touch.”
“Good.” Replied Becker, before Hayes walked out of his office. Becker stood there for a moment before he turned, and walked up to the window, smiling to himself, ‘I can’t wait to see how Ive reacts to all this…’
hope you enjoyed reading this chapter of A Vulcan's Love.
Any comments and constructive criticisms are greatly appreciated.
I respond to every email, so feel free to send me a message, even if it's just to say, “Hi!”
You can E-mail me at: emulatedlove[at]gmail.com
Discuss this story with other readers at: http://www.gayauthors.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=20578
Each chapter also has a short analysis, which can be found on my blog the day after the chapter's release.
You can visit my blog at: emulatedlove.blogspot.com for news about future chapters and my other stories.