Chapter VIII. The Arrival of the TES 'Fields of Pelennor'.

T'Kon pondered events over the last month since the war had officially concluded. She had spoken with her mate, Eolus several times and they had decided together that it was worth the cost for her with the children to travel to T'Paal and meet Eolus on his return. He understood the reason for this request and T'Kon's wish for his presence to support her upcoming action. This was how she found herself now traveling from Sha'Kir to T'Paal with Talia, Hadrian, and Abelia in tow. At the last minute, Portia Angelina was added to the mix. It only made sense since Portia's parents were close friends to T'Kon and her spouse Eolus.

T'Kon sat placidly upon her seat on the mass transport; Abelia was lightly resting her head against T'Kon's right shoulder and was asleep. Yet T'Kon was far from calm. Her inner self was a mass of emotions raging that she was trying to quell through meditation and controlled breathing. Yet on the noisy transport, meditation would not come, but past thoughts resurfaced.

The Vulcan mother had not visited T'Paal since the Koon-ut-kal-if-fee. She recalled initiating the 'marriage or challenge' as was her right at the bonding ritual to Vol. T'Kon had never developed any feelings for her selected husband other than annoyance over the course of forty years with them interacting less than ten times during their betrothal. She would now admit that she never cared for his touch, in fact it was almost repulsive. She slightly smiled, careful not to be too overtly emotional to upset fellow travelers.

"Repulsive," mused T'Kon. "That is definitely an emotion. I have become less Vulcan in my life with Eolus, but it is for the better."

She softly exhaled a short breath and looked out the window of the shuttle, surveying the arid landscape of Vulcan, noting the ever increasing green areas that indicated the presence of Latin-Vulcan estates. These vistas should have a calming effect. Yet even now her inner self fluttered as she remembered initially meeting Eolus and the eventual consequences that ensued.

They were both physicians, he was a member of the imperial fleet and had been assigned to the hospital at T'Paal. They originally were assigned to work together as part of a team looking for a cure of Bendii's Syndrome. Over the several years of working together, T'Kon found herself going from indifference to interest and finally desire for Eolus. Thus when Vol had called for the marriage rites as his pon farr was onsetting, T'Kon had already decided to mate bond with Eolus.

Her mind too easily recalled the look of muted anger on the faces of her parents as she pronounced the words indicating her desire for the Koon-ut-kal-if-fee. She saw the face of Vol, anger and rage so easily read as his blood fever raged. The ritual fight to the death between Vol and Eolus was brief, barely lasting thirty seconds. Vol had rushed Eolus, lirpa sweeping in his hands. Eolus simply evaded then grasped Vol and snapped his spine with ease, crippling him. Eolus further angered the Vulcan priests present by refusing to kill Vol. He then initiated the ozh'esta with T'Kon. At that moment, she knew that her ties to her parents were gone. The looks they gave her were easy to read.

They left T'Paal quickly married and traveled for several years on star ships as a physician team before deciding to return to Vulcan after Eolus entered the reserve forces. T'Kon reasoned that the smaller city of Sha'Kir was a logical place to reside and continue their medical practice. Thus they obtained a villa on the hillsides of the city and settled into farming, being healers, and starting a family. Sha'Kir had a sizeable population of Latin-Vulcan families. Therefore the children they wished for would be treated well and not subject to the discrimination that might have occurred if they had decided to live in T'Paal. Plus, she would avoid her parents as they would never travel to Sha'Kir.

Illogical it was now after fifteen years of being mated with Eolus and three children, that her mother had initiated contact and wished to see T'Kon and her growing family.

"Perhaps one of them is ill?" thought T'Kon. She mused on the meaning of this request from her mother V'Mar. She had thought to contact the eldest mother of her clan. Even if she was considered an outcast by her parents, T'Kon had maintained contact with Eldest Mother. Eldest Mother had not shown judgment and had accepted T'Kon's mating with a Latin. She had stayed close to Eldest Mother. Eldest Mother had kept T'Kon abreast of any developments that concerned her parents, Tomur and V'Mar. But Eldest Mother knew nothing of V'Mar's latest actions.

"Besides," thought T'Kon, "I have several krei that have married Latins, one even mated with a Rigelian. So it was not unheard to have rish-a-vels in the skann. But Tomur and V'Mar are very conservative and I being their only child did cause them pain. No, not pain, pain is an emotion that my parents would never admit to having. Yet I am unsettled by their request, especially since it came when I was preparing to meet my adun. I now wish I would have told them that it was not possible to meet with them."

T'Kon was taken from her thoughts by the voice of Talia.

"Ko-mekh, are we to see our mekh'als before we see Sa'mekh?"

T'Kon eyed Talia, who was sitting across from her between Portia Angelina and Hadrian. Talia was wide eyed with excitement. The reason for this feeling was very apparent, first to reunite with her father and then meet her Vulcan grandparents finally. T'Kon could easily read Talia expressions.

"Talia what did I state yesterday?"

"We will contact V'Mar when we reach T'Paal and then decide if we actually will meet with my mekhs," quoted Hadrian, interrupting before Talia could answer.

Talia raised an eyebrow and stared at her brother for a moment. Then she turned towards her mother saying, "Exactly what Hadrian quoted, but that is not really an answer."

"It is the course of action that is to be followed. I would desire to have your sa'mekh with us if and when we meet with V'Mar and Tomur. So I have decided that we will unite with Eolus before we visit my mekh's ha-kel. Perhaps we will not meet them."

Talia's eyes darkened and looked unhappy for a brief moment. Then she said, "We must meet with them. I so desire to be able to know them. Please, Ko-mekh, ensure me that we will have contact."

T'Kon viewed Talia's soft young face impassively. Yet her mind was active with thoughts. "I should admonish my ko-fu for disrespect but her eyes tell me all. Talia is very desirous of knowing my mekh's. I surmise it has been influenced by Portia's living with her mekh'als. I also realize that Abelia and Hadrian too wish to meet and have a relationship with V'Mar and Tomur. If I am honest, I also desire this. Fifteen years is too long for the estrangement. Yet, I am leery and need Eolus with me if we do this visit."

T'Kon released a shallow sigh and nodded towards the children and said, "I promise that after we have met with your sa'mekh, if they wish us to come to their ha-kel, we will honor that request."

T'Kon returned her gaze to the window and the views outside of the car. Yet she noticed the small smile that Portia gave Talia and the slight squeezing of hands before she again watched the red landscape of Vulcan unfold.

On Vulcan at the city of T'Paal, a Latin warship slowly maneuvered it way toward the docking ports. The ship was large and moved clumsily in the atmosphere. Its design was more suited for interstellar travel, not landing on planets. It was named The Empress' Ship 'Fields of Pelennor' and Subcommander Soren was mentally cursing the engineers for their design. As the executive officer, she had the com and was doing her best to make a dignified docking at the Vulcan port. Commander Adona was with the two Legates in the ship's board room.

"Probably drinking wine and telling war stories," grumbled the Subcommander to no one in particular.

"Did you say something, Subcommander?" asked a young antecenturion at the helm.

"Non Centurion," replied Soren, now back from her musing. "Steady as she goes. We don't want to embarrass ourselves upon returning after five years."

Subcommander Soren's full name was Lucinda Soren Maximus. She was one hundred seventy-five centimeters tall. Her hair was very white and her skin had a blue tinge. This blue coloration came from her mother, Soren Tyva, an Andorian from Weytahn. Likewise, her mother gave her the small blue antenna that functioned as sensatory organs that projected out of the top portion of her shapely head. Lucinda was tired and her dark eyes showed the weariness. Although at two hundred fifty years of age, she really should not feel so exhausted. Yet it was more a fatigue from being gone from her children and missing her spouse.

She thought of the last time she had sat in the courtyard of her estate's urbana, holding her twin daughters, Isabella and Miriam. Laughing at her husband Matthias' funny little jests as the sun in setting framed a halo about his golden hair. Her mother, Tyva, would come out of the kitchen with lamb and citrus. Antonio, her father would pour wine for all and her dog, Atlas would sit at her feet. She closed her eyes for a moment and heard the shrill calls of the many birds that fluttered in the trees; she sensed the smell of blossoms and remembered the laugher of her three sons as they played with the soraks by the ghetto. She knew that Fernando, Bassenio, and Stephano were well, yet…

"Matti," dreamed Lucinda. "I miss your arms about me and our joining." She paused in her memories and noted the successful docking of the ship.

"Good job, Centurion Faunus,"

"Thank you Subcommander Soren."

She turned to the communications officer and was about to tell her to inform the Commander of the docking.

"I have told the Commander that we have docked, Subcommander," replied the Communications officer Angelina Baccha.

Lucinda nodded, "Proactive as always Centurion Baccha."

Baccha smiled and replied, "Sic Subcommander, yet perhaps it is my excitement at realizing that I am home. And the wish to be off this ship."

Soren smiled at her communications officer. She remembered Baccha's arrival upon the ship four years ago. She was a replacement and a reservist. It was touch and go at first, but Angelina Baccha quickly fell into the routine of the bridge and both Commander Adona's and Lucinda's expectations and habits. Subcommander Soren identified with her in many ways, especially when she realized that she had left her child in the care of grandparents as her husband was in the Vulcan Legion and also deployed.

"I can imagine the rush you must feel knowing that soon you will be with your family Acacallis," said Lucinda with a touch of envy in her voice. She thought, "Perhaps it is not protocol to address by her first name, but what the hell, the war is complete. Besides, as a reservist, she will be released and I imagine will even leave the reserves."

"Sic, Subcommander," smiled Acacallis. "I imagine my daughter Portia is awaiting somewhere in T'Paal with my friend T'Kon and her children. Both our spouses served under Legate Sybik. My spouse, Sorok, informed me that they all traveled here."

"I am glad for you," replied Soren and she then returned to thinking, "Lucky me, I get to shuttle troops back to Vulcan and Hellenes before returning home to Weytahn. We will probably land dock for a week here at T'Paal before continuing on to Rigel Kent. It will probably be months before I get home. I wonder, perhaps I should retire from active and go to the reserves. This war has left me longing to just be a wife, mother, and faithful daughter of my House. I miss my children. Matti, you and I have much to discuss when we reunite."

Soren looked about the bridge and noticed that the members on the bridge all looked tired. Yet, even if she was homesick, she thought, "They had accomplished much and supported the wishes of The Empress Alivia. The Klingons were sufficiently chastised and if that boorish legate of the IX Legion is correct, probably half the planets of the Klingon Empire will join ours within a few years."

"That Legate, Brutus Linux Castor, there is a piece of work. Arrogant, social climbing, what a bully!" thought Lucinda as she sat down in the commander's chair on the bridge. "Oh how I pity Gratius and his frater Aurelius. To have such a pater…"

Commander Adona poured Legates Castor and Sybik each another glass of wine. Or to be entirely accurate, he poured two wines and a water for the Vulcan. The three were enjoying themselves in the officers' mess. Adona had not known either of the Legates well but he had worked with Brutus Castor in the past.

Sybik was an enigma, Vulcan, detached, very formal. Commander Adona was not certain if Legate Sybik was enjoying himself or just tolerating the presence of the two Latins.

Well respected by the members of the XXIX Legion, Sybik was the first Vulcan Legate in the empire. Hard for a non-Latin to become a Legate since it took so many years and Vulcans did not usually join the military to act as warriors. Legate Sybik was tall, angular, and regal looking, typical of Vulcans. His age was around one hundred eighty years based on the Latin calendar. His dark brown eyes denoted intelligence, but were always reserved when in the presence of non-Vulcans. In the presence of Commander Adona and Legate Castor, Sybik generally listened and said little. He found the two Latins to be fascinating in their habits, speech, and manners. He was immensely enjoying himself, but as a Vulcan striving for the kolinahr, he showed no emotions, repressing all signs outwardly.

Legate Castor was another story. Brutus Linux Castor was a handsome man, in his prime, over six hundred years old. He was the son of the famous Legate, Leonides Castor Aurora from the moon Sparta. He stood the average two meters of height that Latins generally reached if not surpassed. His piercing blue eyes and curly blond hair denoted his pure Latin heritage. No Vulcan or Andorian blood ran in his veins. He could be described as the model of what Latins were in the past before the intermixing with the others. He was heavier built than either Adona or Sybik. Probably his mass passed one hundred forty kilograms, but he carried it well and was very graceful for a man of his bulk.

Brutus was the Legate of the IX legion; the Dragon's Head or often called the Black Dragons. Shock troops extraordinaire, always his unit was first in and skilled in all the deadly arts of destruction. No other legion in the empire had the weaponry the Dragons commanded. To be in the IX legion guaranteed notoriety. He was known throughout the empire and unfortunately was not well liked. The exception was his legion; he was a god to his men.

Commander Adona held up his glass and said, "I propose a toast, gentlemen. Victory, more importantly peace and as always Hail to The Empress!"

Both Legates held up their drinks and stated, "To the Empress."

"And to peace, long lasting," repeated Legate Sybik.

Then all three downed there drinks. As Commander Adona was setting his glass down, the ship's intercom whistled and he heard his communications officer, Centurion Baccha.

"Commander Adona, docking is complete and successful. Your guidance is requested."

Adona moved to the intercom and replied, "Tell Subcommander Soren an excellent job as always and plan on my returning to the bridge momentarily."

"Sic sir," replied the communications officer.

Commander Maximus Decima Adona was a veteran of the Latin navy and pure Latin. He was nearly as aged as Legate Castor, but he had left the active service when he was about three hundred and fifty years of age. His wife had wished this, so he returned to her estate, he took up the life of a country gentleman and applied his knowledge of commanding ships to aiding the Elder council of his spouse's home village on Gondor. He had left the service at the rank of senior centurion but he had managed during his reserve years of training and duty to reach the rank of commander. The war had allowed him to command a ship. In a strange way, he was grateful to the Klingons for attacking, because he had fulfilled his desire to be the senior officer on a starship. He no longer felt that hollow feeling in his soul which he had hidden from his wife, Leah Karena Medea for nearly three hundred years. All seven of his children had entered the navy. His eldest daughter, Krista Karena Decima, was again a civilian, married, a mother, and the mistress of the Karena Estate. Adona's pale blue eyes glazed for a moment as he thought of his life. All now seemed complete. Soon he would be home, back on Gondor, near the city of Rivendell, in his village of Minho. It was but a moment of thought then he turned to the two legates.

"Well gentlemen, we have arrived and docked. Legate Sybik, it has been my pleasure to ferry you and the XXIX Legion back to Vulcan."

Legate Sybik nodded his head slightly in acknowledgement of Commander Adona's statement. He raised his right hand and performed the ta'al.

"Dif-tor heh smusma, Commander Adona," said the Vulcan.

"Sochya eh dif, Legate Sybik," replied Commander Adona returning the ta'al.

Sybik turned to Brutus Linux Castor and said, "Legate Castor, Dif-tor heh smusma."

Brutus nodded toward Sybik. He waited until the Vulcan had left them. Then he turned to the Commander Adona, "Maximus, how long will we tarry here at T'Paal?"

"Perhaps a week Legate, I will need to confer with my logistics chief and see what needs must be filled," answered Adona.

Brutus nodded assent, then replied more to himself than Adona, "A week, I will need to inform with my commanders and then decide the course to take with my legion if we stay on Vulcan for such a length." And with that Legate Castor left Adona and walked the corridors of the ship towards his cabin, making plans in his mind.