Chapter 1: Heritage of Choice

Elizara stared at the computer screen in front of her, a letter from her Betazoid grandmother, Airilia Gwyn, open, but she saw nothing of the words. Her mind was far from the letter, the screen, the ship even, though it was the letter that had prompted her immersion in thought.

Though she was very well versed in Betazoid culture, she had never experienced it. She was very knowledgeable about Betazoid telepathic and empathic powers, but had never received any instruction on the furthering of these innate powers from a Betazoid. In short, a part of her heritage was missing, but she had never really noticed. As a Vulcan, she did not dwell on it or anything else, focusing on her duty and the task at hand. But her grandmother Airilia had brought this up, and she must now attempt to catalog and make sense of Airilia's words in her mind.

Airilia brought up a valid point. Zara had, in a way, neglected both her Betazoid heritage and relations. As a Vulcan, Zara found nothing wrong with this, she had taken the logical path that lay before her. She had little contact with her mother and Vulcan relatives, why should she go out of her way to maintain contact with her Betazoid relatives with whom she had very little in common with.

Then again, the Betazoid in her knew she had a responsibility to them. She was their only living granddaughter, and might as well be dead for all she communicated with them. If she had been brought up with more experiences from her Betazoid father, she would not be having this difficulty now. But Kayeel Gwyn had died when she was just a few days old, though the cause of his death was undetermined. Now that she thought about it, she had never been told much about Kayeel's work, his life, or his death. He had never existed to her, which might be a cause for her detachment from Airilia and her grandfather, Derex.

Zara thought deeply about the situation, the details. With her flawless Vulcan logic, she saw no point in continuing a string of useless "gossipy" letters to her grandmother, but in the long run, it would not hurt. A word from her now and then might satisfy Airilia and cause no harm or loss of efficiency in the time it would take to write a letter now and then.

She turned to her computer screen and begin composing a letter, when a vivid memory struck her. It was the memory of the battle that led to her discovering she was part Betazoid. Her mother, Siva, had never though to inform her of her Betazoid father, it was deemed by her unnecessary information. Zara had gone through life thinking and believing she was full Vulcan. And no one disputed the word of a member of a well respected Vulcan family as she was from. No one had ever bothered examining her close enough to discover her Betazoid was not distinctive enough a change to be seen from cursory examinations. It was the battle that caused the doctors to discover he true race. A battle that to this day, a little over 15 years since the battle, she did not remember more than that the ship was almost destroyed. The Chief Tactical officer of the ship had suffered serious injury, it had been up to her to take over. Her first battle. and it was a major, life threatening one, that very nearly caused her death.

She did not remember who they had fought, or for what. But she remembered the noise, and the smoke, and the console exploding in front of her. Zara remembered that the last thing she saw was flame, and the next thing was the sickbay, days later. But it was during her time in sickbay that the doctor had to perform an in depth scan that revealed her Betazoid half, the half she had not know she had had.

Over the years she had accepted that half, but she had not accepted it in more ways than the simple ways that allowed her to master Betazoid telepathic and empathic techniques. She had maintained totally Vulcan in mind, thought, and actions. She still remained that way...except now her Betazoid half was pushing at her. It was forcing her to recognize it. It was insistent, it was illogical...but it was in the form of her Betazoid grandmother Airilia. What could she do to counteract the strong emotion she got just from Airilia's letters? It seemed her that Airilia was determined to have her recognize her Betazoid heritage, but the question was, did she want to? Zara saw perfect logic in her actions as a Vulcan...but as a Betazoid, should she truly continue to deny that part of her? It might be that experiencing things from a Betazoid standpoint as well as a Vulcan standpoint could have a positive effect on her view of situations and greatly improve her efficiency. Then again, experiencing things as both a Vulcan and a Betazoid might flaw her pure Vulcan logic with emotion.

The situation was difficult, Zara could not deny the interest she felt when she thought of her grandmothers suggestions, but in the end, was she willing to accept the change in herself, or would it destroy the perfection and control that she had worked for thirty-eight years to develop?

Perhaps she should take more time to contemplate this, when she had time to meditate and weigh the options Airilia had presented to her with her Vulcan ideals.