This post was written as a response to the Write On Wednesday prompt over at Story a Day. For this week, which is my first WOW, the prompt was to write about a character who’s committed to getting something, and the obstacles in their way.
Almost immediately, there was this Vulcan woman in my head, insisting I tell her story…
“You are distracted today, T’Pol.”
“Yes, Soval.” There would be no point in denying it; I had made three errors of omission, and six more of commission, in the course of reviewing the day’s reporting. I sighed, softly, before I could catch back the sound. “I request clearance to retire for the purpose of meditation.”
“Granted. Additionally, you need not report for duty tomorrow, or the day following. You have worked exhaustively and satisfactorily, to this point. Perhaps you are in need of rest, or recreation.” Soval said nothing more, but there was that in the way that he remained turned slightly away which revealed that he suspected this was a personal matter. It wouldn’t be wise to forget that he was uncharacteristically perceptive.
“Perhaps you’re correct. A temporary cessation of my duties would be agreeable.” Yes. Better to remove myself from his presence, and hope that the time spent in meditation would allow me to find a way to achieve equilibrium.
Hope, I reflected as I returned to my own small room, is a human emotion. I am changing as a result of his presence in my life.
It would be better to release the memory of the human male named Trip. Thus far I had been completely unable to do so. He had injected a chaotic variable into the order of my life. I was Awakened to him, and, apparently, would remain so. The flame flickered, and I held my pose for several hours –
But meditation did not come. Only memories of Trip, the way his eyes shifted away each time he looked at me, but always returned, the way his face had shifted as he spoke to his friends, the indentation in his cheek when he made the strange human expression known as smiling, the way his voice had sounded, the words emerging as though they sprang from one of the free-flowing bodies of water this world had such an abundance of – like waves, out on the ocean.
Like the tides, he had settled into me, become, somehow, a part of me.
How was I to go to Koss, now, and marry him? Spend a year far, far, from this world, on Vulcan, living with a man I scarcely knew.
But I didn’t know Trip, either. It was only the nature of Awakening that made it seem so. Only that which had led me to believe we had shared our thoughts. Only that which precluded meditation, and troubled sleep with dreams and imaginings that led to strange and uncontrolled physical sensations…
This time, the sound that escaped me was one the humans might call a moan – something of a sigh, and something of a soft cry. It was suddenly hot – so hot that I began to prespire. The tunic tightened around my neck, constricting breath. The room was far too small. I rose and paced it, but there wasn’t enough space for the action to be at all satisfactory. The air hung thin and dry around me…why was it so heavy in my lungs?
“I must go outside!” I said this aloud, and startled at the sound of my voice in the stillness of the room. It was late into the night; all the others would have retired by now. I still had the Terran clothes that I had worn before; and I yearned to walk by the ocean. Although he hadn’t spoken of it with his friends, I – I felt – that the ocean held deep significance to Trip, that he felt its rise and fall as a part of himself. And now, it was becoming a part of me, as well, the desire and hunger for him rising and falling with me, a force that I had absolutely no ability to control or repress.
This was my Awakening. I was certain of it, now. He was with me, and within me, always.
And I was meant to marry Koss. Already, I had postponed it, to come to Earth. It was all the allowance I would be given. I was expected to go home, to formalize my union with Koss, to provide Vulcan with the benefit of at least one child who would combine Koss’ genetics with my own.
I shuddered as I went to the drawer where the human clothing was stored. I was still too hot, but it would be far too cool for my comfort outside. I stripped the robes and tunic away, and retained my formfitting undergarment.
Was it logical, to go outside, alone? To seek out peace in the manner that had already led to chaos?
Was I attempting to find peace, or to find the Terran man named Trip?
I didn’t know. But the question stayed with me, as I dressed and slipped outside. It measured itself into the pace of my step as I made my way to the shoreline, as I walked – through the night, and through the next day, varying my pace only to move further ashore as the tides rolled in, deep and mysterious and wholly Terran. I continued, until Sol seemed to melt into the horizon, the colors muted compared to those of Eridani 40 interacting with the atmosphere of Vulcan – and yet, there were blues and purples I’d never seen on my homeworld, and something new and alien within me perceived it as home.
I breathed in the beauty of his world, and I knew. I would find peace when I found Trip, and only then. Perhaps it wasn’t logical, but it was no less true. “I am Awakened to Trip, and will remain so.”
I spoke it as truth, and as oath. There was no logic to it; beyond the incomprehensible logic of the Vulcan soul, and the Terran man who had risen like a tide within me.
It was as the sun touched the surface of the water – no, it didn’t, but the illogic of it was inescapable; the sun set over the ocean – that I knew. It didn’t matter that I was meant to marry Koss. There would be no peace for me with him.
I must find Trip – and I must prepare to be the mate of a human male.