Rating: Right now: PG-13. Will be R later.
Disclaimer: I am not responsible for them in any way-except for the nonsensical Vulcans whose names I made up. I'm also not making a profit, so please don't sue.
Spoilers: Major for Stigma.
A/N: If you've watched Voyager's Blood Fever, you will see familiar elements in this story. Think of it as an attempt to reconcile Blood Fever, Stigma, and Amok Time. The key word, of course, is *attempt*.
As Ambassador Soval took his seat at the conference table, he noticed the curious look of the Vulcan doctors already seated on the opposite side.
"Is there a problem, Vortik?" Soval asked, addressing the highest ranking doctor. Soval realized too late that his voice betrayed him by flaunting his emotion . Another sign that the time draws near, Soval noted to himself.
"No, there is no problem, Ambassador," the Vulcan doctor replied. "We are simply uncertain as to why your presence is required here."
"Indeed," the Vulcan seated to the left of Vortik agreed. "We were under the impression your duties of monitoring the human star ship would have sufficiently occupied your time."
Before Soval could reply, another presence joined them at the table and answered in Soval's place. "The Ambassador joins us due to his high rank and his experience with humans. Do not forget, gentleman, that your actions have involved the human Captain. For that reason, the Ambassador has been briefed on the events that transpired between Captain Archer, Sub-Commander T'Pol, Doctor Yuris, and yourselves." The voice, Soval noted, belonged to Sumarek, chief of the Vulcan justice department.
The doctors did not question Sumarek's remarks. Although crime was virtually non-existent on Vulcan, the justice department was in charge of not only making certain that remained the case, but also maintaining order in intergalactic incidents. The recent incident with Sub-Commander T'Pol's illness fit both categories.
"I see," Vortik responded, with a respectful nod towards Sumarek. Turning towards Soval, he added, "We can only hope the children can do without their caretaker for the duration of this meeting."
"If that is your concern, Doctor, perhaps it is best if we get started right away so that the caretaker can return to his post," Soval rejoined, gritting his teeth as he did so. The anger coursing through his body would have caused him alarm, had he been in complete control of himself at that moment.
Sumarek ignored the conversation between the two of them, and took his own seat at the head of the conference table. "I trust we all know the reason we are here. However, to clear up any confusion you may have," with this, he looked in the direction of the Vulcan doctors, "I will briefly review. Not only has the incident with Sub-Commander T'Pol raised concern because it involved outworlders, the justice department has become the cause of scrutiny by several of our alien allies due to the increased vocalization of discontent by the former Doctor Yuris."
"Discontent?" asked Vortik. "By a man castigated from Vulcan society for acts of blasphemy against Surak's teaching?"
Before Sumarek could respond, the doctor seated to the right of Vortik voiced his opinion. "Yes, why should any of us heed the voice of that ignominy?"
Soval listened as the events transpired, with his hands placed firmly in his lap. There was no other logical locale to place them that would not reveal how badly they shook. Soval was still able to use his Vulcan control to maintain stillness in his shoulders, but his hands displayed movement, regardless of what he willed them to do. Although he did not immediately wish to do so for fear- Vulcans should not FEAR!- that his voice would betray him, Soval knew it was his place to enter the conversation.
"I do not believe the concern lies with Yuris, or other Vulcans for that matter, gentlemen," Soval stated.
No one could have doubted the ability of Vulcans to glare if they had been in the room at that moment. "I do not comprehend," Vortik stated. "If Yuris is not a concern, nor is the population of Vulcan, then why are we here?"
You do not understand because you have the intelligence quotient similar to that of an ameba, Soval thought to himself. Soval let out a deep breath before continuing. "Our allies have heard Yuris' complaints. They do not understand the magnitude of what he has done. To them, we are behaving quite illogically and hypocritically by condemning a member of our society over an illness."
"Our methods are not the concern of outworlders," Vortik stated coldly. "Or has such interaction with humans made your Vulcan blood turn red, Soval?"
Sumarek intervened before Soval could respond. "This is not a matter concerning Soval personally, Doctor," he reminded the physician. "However, both the Justice Department and the High Command are concerned with the results. There are some high ranking members of our society who have expressed lately that perhaps our actions have been lacking in logic."
Soval nodded his head in agreement, and his shoulders ached to twitch as well. Fortunately, the attention of the doctors was focused entirely upon Sumarek.
"Such as whom?" Vortik demanded.
"T'Mir, Sulan, T'Pau," Soval replied.
"Of course T'Pau sympathizes. She has always been leaning towards the radical extreme of Vulcan logic," was Vortik's reply.
"Indeed," the Vulcan seated on Vortik's left agreed. "I would not be surprised to discover she herself was a melder."
Sumarek's eyes flashed briefly. Soval noted that the anger reflected in them must have been a feature on his Vulcan ancestors before the time of Surak.
"And if she is a melder, should we stigmatize her as well?" Sumarek demanded. "Even such a well respected, high ranking official with T'Pau's numerous accomplishments?"
"Yes," Vortik said simply.
"Where is the logic in that?" Sumarek demanded.
"Are you not familiar with the history of melders?" the Vulcan on Vortik's right spoke up.
"I must confess that I am not. Please enlighten me, Doctor," said Sumarek.
Soval listened as the doctor related the story he had heard numerous times before. In the time after Surak, a Vulcan named Sorik had promoted the art of melding amongst the planet. As a result, mind melds had been a treasured part of Vulcan heritage. Shortly before his death, however, Sorik rejected Surak's teachings as Sorik became consumed with the privileges brought by his own power. During his last pon far, Sorik was said to overcome a Vulcan prince, enforce a meld upon him, and transmit his own pon far into the young Vulcan.
"The Prince's body was not prepared for the physiological changes brought about by pon far as it was not his time. As a result, he died. Melding was forbidden on Vulcan from that time forth," Vortik finished.
Sumarek looked at Vortik for a moment, then turned to look at Soval. "Were you aware of this story, Ambassador?"
"I have heard it. I believe it to be nonsense. The notion that someone can give someone pon far is ridiculous and scientifically impossible," Soval replied. "Obviously, something else was responsible for the death of the Prince."
Vortik and his fellow doctors looked at him. "You are suggesting then, that we allow these melders to pollute Vulcan society?" Vortik asked incredulously. "They are a danger to all of Vulcan and must not be allowed to exist."
Again, the doctor was trying his patience. Not a wise course of action considering Soval's current physiological state. "I am simply of the opinion, Vortik, that it is unwise to risk interstellar incident over belief in a fictional story that has somehow managed to become known as history."
Sumarek intervened again, before Vortik could say anything in reply. "The decision will not be made immediately, gentlemen. I shall take your suggestions back with me to the Justice Department." He looked at Vortik one last time. "Both opposed to the melders and in favor of the melders."
With that, Sumarek stood and raised his right hand in the standard Vulcan gesture. "Live long and prosper, gentlemen."
"Long life and prosperity, Sumarek," Soval stated. The Vulcan doctors quickly followed Sumarek out and Soval was grateful to be alone. He attempted to rise and found it difficult to do so. Reaching a hand out to steady himself, his grasp found the edge of his desk before his vision blurred.
I must fight this. The time must wait. I can return to Vulcan after the signing of the Andorian-Vulcan peace treaty. If I give into the disease now, they will send T'Ling in my place, Soval thought as he shook his head firmly.
Soval would not allow that. The signing of this treaty would be a historic event and Soval aimed to be present at such an event.
His vision restored, he contacted his ship to let them know he was ready to be beamed aboard. He was greeted by Sub-Commander Slark. "Greetings, Ambassador Soval," the officer acknowledged.
Soval was not in the mood for such pleasantries. "I am going to my quarters to meditate, Sub-Commander," he said forcefully. "I do not wish to be disturbed until we rendezvous with Enterprise."