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Summary

Avarak (original character) undergoes his Kahs-wan. This is a side story to Into the Deeps. I don't think you need to have read 'Into the Deeps' to make sense of this story. However, if you have not read it I will quickly introduce some of the characters here.

Avarak - Vulcan son of Healer Sordd. His mother died before the events of 'Into the Deeps'
Sordd - Vulcan Healer, widowed. Remarried a human wife, Mimi. Brother of Sarek (I know its not canon, none of this is!)
Mimi - Human, married to Sordd. Relocated to Vulcan.
T'Shahel - Avarak's older sister
T'Rama - Sordd's mother
Skon - Sordd's father

The Kahs-wan, or Vulcan maturity test, was a traditional survival test of adulthood for adolescent Vulcans. The basis for the Kahs-wan was to survive ten days without food, water, or weapons in The Vulcan's Forge.
This ritual was undertaken when Vulcan children reached the age of seven, equivalent of eleven Earth years of age.
Amanda, Sarek and Spock will make a short appearance at the end of the story.

*'*

Avarak's Kahs-wan Ritual - Preface

The Vulcan's Forge - Pre Dawn

Sordd carefully fastened his son's robust desert boots. He took his time doing it as he wanted to make sure they were secured correctly, a loose boot being a common source of injury. Satisfied with that, he moved to lift the hood on his son's desert robe. The desert robe, which could be folded up into a pocket, had two main functions. During the day it afforded protection from the heat of the sun and the desert winds, during the night it provided extra warmth when the temperature dropped in the desert. Underneath his desert robe, Avarak was wearing a long-sleeved tunic and trousers. The tunic had specially designed cuffs that could open, to allow ventilation in, and close, to keep the sand out. Sordd had already checked that the fastenings worked adequately. Avarak was permitted to carry a small pouch that could be used to carry any foraged items. Sordd had carried out a quick strength test on the straps to ensure that they would not snap.

"Tell me what are the crucial tasks required for survival?" Sordd asked his son.

"Shelter, warmth, food, and water," Avarak replied.

"Why is shelter the most important?" Sordd questioned.

"A Vulcan can survive for days without water and food, shelter provides a place of safety at night from predators," Avarak answered calmly.

"What if you are unable to obtain any of these things?" Sordd continued.

"I must master my frame of mind. A survival situation is not the time for fear or panic. I must focus on logic and formulate a plan," he replied.

There was no indication on Sordd's face that he was pleased with his son's responses, but he was. "What must you do each day?"

"I must develop a plan. Inventory the resources I have. I must identify the crucial tasks required for survival, shelter, warmth, food, and water," he replied.

"What about your feelings?" Sordd asked probingly.

Avarak was surprised at this question and he needed to think before answering, "Feelings are not facts, Sa-mekh," he replied neutrally.

"Rom, good, Avarak!" Sordd said in an encouraging tone. (In private the family had fallen into the habit of translating Vulcan into Standard for Mimi's benefit to aid her learning the Vulcan language, so even when she was not there they continued the habit.) Sordd handed Avarak a glass of water, which he proceeded to drink.

"Kah-if-farr, it is time," Sordd said as Avarak handed back the glass.

*'*

Avarak walked down the flitter ramp, Sordd followed on closely behind. It was true dawn, not totally dark, neither was it totally light. Avarak looked around, to the South he could see the outlines of the L-langon Mountains, which formed the Southern perimeter of the desert area known as The Vulcan's Forge. To the East was the outline of the most prominent feature in the area, Mount Seleya. To the North and West were the desert lands of the the Forge. This was the starting place of the Kahs-wan route.

They walked towards a small group that was beginning to gather. Other fathers were in attendance, escorting their sons and daughters who were also going to undertake the Kahs-wan ritual at the same time as Avarak. T'Rama, the clan mother, was also here. The only other members of the party were priests holding torches, to give light and ward off any desert animals. The children undergoing this ritual would not be afforded that luxury. They would be sent into The Vulcan's Forge with nothing but the clothes on their back, to survive for ten days without food, water, or weapons...

*'*

Notes:

The Kahs-wan, or Vulcan maturity test, was a traditional survival test of adulthood for adolescent Vulcans. The basis for the Kahs-wan was to survive ten days without food, water, or weapons in Vulcan's /

This ritual was undertaken when Vulcan children reached the age of seven, equivalent of eleven Earth years of age.