T'Pel woke up to a very quiet house and headed to her parents room. She quietly knocked on the door to check on her mother, and heard nothing but knew she was in there so she cracked the door, but stopped when she saw Lorina meditating and still no sign of father. There was a sick feeling growing in her stomach as she shut the door and headed down stairs where Kalen and Nala were sitting at the table drinking Raktajino from the smell of it.
Kalen looked up at her and forced a small smile, "Sleep well?" He asked.
T'Pel took up her own cup of raktajinoand sat, "Well enough. Father never came home?" She asked, not wanting to avoid the issue any longer.
Kalen shook his head and looked at his wife, "We informed the authorities an hour ago. They are looking into it and said that they would contact us should any news surface. They suggested that he perhaps just wandered off on his own. However, we both know it is not like him to do that."
"Mother hardly ever meditates unless she is stressed beyond her tolerance. I also still have not heard word from him." T'Pel responded, ignoring the fact that she was being stared at by Nala.
Silence followed until she couldn't stand it any longer and looked to Kalen with a firm stare, who quirked a brow before looking to Nala who in turn darted her eyes to him and back to T'Pel, "Sorry. I didn't mean to stare. It's just that even with Vulcan ears, I would have expected you to be a bit more worried about this. After your mother comes down, we were going to go searching for him ourselves."
T'Pel quirked a brow and took a sip of her coffee, "Worrying would accomplish nothing. Vulcan logic dictates that emotional control must be a constant and being worried is not a productive emotion. That being said, do not think that I do not care."
"You just have a funny way of showing it. He is your father. He raised you." Nala said and drank her coffee.
T'Pel stared at the woman a moment, finding her to be a growing disappointment as a mate for her brother and took a deep breath, "The fact that Bajoran's lack emotional discipline does not render their feelings more genuine. That I choose not to engage in hysterics does not mean that I am indifferent to my father's well-being nor ambivalent about his safe return."
Nala then bit her lip and looked at Kalen who said nothing and sipped his coffee. There was some telepathic communication between the two, T'Pel assumed, and she shot Kalen a stern look… do not be rude.
Kalen said nothing but looked to the table, and for the first time T'Pel was able to notice he was holding back tears. She knew he was concerned but had no idea it was affecting him to this point, "Vulcan security are doing everything they can, I am sure. This man will be found and brought to justice." She assured.
His dark eyes fixed on her sternly, "Before or after father is murdered? You are in Starfleet. Surely there is something you can do." There was a slight quiver in his voice, and despite Kalen's usual acceptance of his emotional nature he was often more adept at holding onto his nerve.
T'Pel could not help but stare at him, "It is not that simple. Vulcan is a sovereign member of the Federation, and Starfleet cannot simply barge into Vulcan internal affairs. Also, Starfleet likely is aware of the situation and has moved to offer assistance."
"So…you are saying you are going to do nothing. Sakar I am sure would turn every rock over to find you." Nala chimed in angrily.
T'Pel just sat and stared at her in mild shock. The nerve this woman had. However she was correct and T'Pel knew her father would not sit idly by if it was her missing. Which just made the sickening knot in her stomach tighten painfully and she stood, heading for the back door.
"You are going on a walk, now? Are you sure you should go alone, Kessy?" Kalen called after her. She turned back and picked up her phaser from a drawer, shooting them both a glare, "Since you seem to expect Starfleet to solve this problem while you are sitting around drinking raktajino, I will do as you demand and begin my own investigation.
Nala was staring at her cup and Kalen put a hand on hers, "She is not angry at you. Though, it would be best not to push her buttons on this matter. T'Pel is capable of a very violent and unrelenting temper and with this added stress we do not want to unleash it. She is not like me."
Nala gave a nod, "I suppose you are right."
T~V~ T~V~ T~V~ T~V~ T~V
Solok had woken up to the news of another murder the night before and had gone into meditation to contemplate and try to suppress the impact of the news. He bowed his head, sorrow seeping in through his barriers when he read the description, and knowing what he knew, it wasn't making it any easier to suppress. To also add on the growing concern for his crew that was scattered about, it was proving to be a difficult task.
He was interrupted by the chime of an incoming call, and he stood and headed to the computer getting the small feeling it was more bad news waiting on the other line. On the screen appeared T'Pel and he brows rose slightly, but he was glad she seemed well, "T'Pel. What may I do for you?"
She looked off to the side and shook her head to someone off screen and looked back to him, "My father I missing. He never came home last night and my mother is unable to sense him. I have been visiting places he usually frequents, but no one has seen or heard from him. I felt I should inform you and wished to inquire after any advice you can offer."
Solok's jaw clenched as he knew the murders must be heavy on her mind now with Sakar's absence,
"That is regrettable. Have you informed Vulcan security?" He asked and began to pace slightly.
T'Pel gave a nod and he could see what he thought to be fear in her eyes, "How is your mother?" He asked softly.
"Meditating. This is highly unusual for her. I will admit, there is a great deal of emotion running through the house today. It does not make things easier. Part of the reason I left. That and my brother and his wife seem to believe I need to be taking a more active role in his search" She answered, not taking her eyes off his face. It was somehow calming to her just to know he had called and seemed in good health.
With that tone of put me to work before I go mad in forced control, yet her eyes betrayed something far deeper, "With news of the murders, I felt the need to check in with you and found a public comm booth."
Solok gave a small quirk of his head and stopped pacing a moment to look at her, "It is my intention to contact Varel, to determine if he has contacts involved in the murder investigations. Despite the fact that this is a Vulcan matter, the disappearance of your father- a Federation Ambassador- might surely attract the attention of Federation Security and Starfleet- I intend to offer our "assistance" in this matter. I trust I can rely upon your participation?"
Her eyes locked on his and the hope he had seen when she first called returned, "Yes. You know you can."
The way she looked at him made him swell with pride and he gave a quick and short bow, "Then I will be in contact after I affirm these plans." Now she will be looking forward to your call…his inner voice purred, and received no argument from him as she had given him a nod and the call ended.
Quickly he took a seat and dialed Varel, who was standing as his wife was pinning fabric to him when he answered. He seemed to be catching everyone in the middle of something today, "Am I interrupting, Varel?" He asked, somewhat amused by the chiefs expression after getting pricked by a stray needle.
"No, Captain. Simply some modifications." His wife answered. Varel turned his gaze to Solok, "How may I be of assistance?"
"No doubt you have heard of the murders that have occurred in the last couple of days." He paused and Varel gave a nod, "I was just informed that T'Pel Kestra's father has been reported missing. Given the public locations in which the bodies were discovered, it would appear that the perpetrator is seeking attention for his crimes. The murder of a Federation ambassador would be a logical escalation of that pattern."
Varel gave a nod and stood in thought, "That is unfortunate. I would also agree with you."
Solok gave a nod, "I was wondering if you have any contacts in Vulcan Security who would be willing to share their information. I intend to contact Starfleet for permission to begin an investigation on the grounds that the disappearance of a Federation ambassador is not merely a local security concern."
Varel looked at Solok a moment in thought, wincing slightly again due to another pin prick, "A practical plan, Captain. I will see what I can find and will contact you as soon as I am able."
Solok could see his mind working now and gave a nod, "I will be waiting." He said and ended the communication.
Solok sat back a moment in thought, raising his two touching index fingers to his lips. It would be a waste of time to personally look in on all of his crew so he decided to contact the head of every department to do a head count. Admiral Burnely was his next call. Hopefully his friend would be able to pull some strings to allow at least a few of his staff to assist with the investigation.
Solok saw these murders as an attack on Vulcan itself. Barbarism like this was rare, and it seemed as if someone wished to provoke them all on an emotional level. A rather foolish idea. However, there needed to be proof that Sakar was indeed one of the killers next victims and he was not keen on waiting until his body was found. He sent a message to T'Pel informing her to get to work on compiling the last know traces of her father so he could forward the information to Varel after the Chiefs call. If for no other reason than to give T'Pel something to think on until they were allowed to go further.
Solok sat as he watched her frantically type away at the console with a determined precision. He had arrived earlier with the investigation reports Varel was able to acquire and she practically ripped them out of his hands. Her fathers capture had affected her to the point she did not bother to hide it and to the point he could feel it clearly from her as if it radiated from her being like a pulsar. More so she was using the emotional distress and energy to further her efforts on the investigation. Where as the Vulcan authorities were efficient, they had the last several murders to look into as well as her fathers disappearance, so she was attempting to find any useful information to see if there was a high chance that he was indeed another victim. It was impressive and for the first time he was seeing just how motivating emotions could be.
The same could be said for her mother, who after looking through a photo album had decided she could not sit there doing nothing either and headed off to the Embassy with her son, leaving T'Pel and Nala behind with Solok who had arrived with Varel's information shortly before.
"There is nothing outwardly significant linking the victims to one another. However all of them seem to be spouses of non Vulcans. I think this may be a good indication that who ever has such a grudge would have taken my father." T'Pel stated out loud to herself, shortly after giving a slightly annoyed sigh.
Nala could be heard through out the house, occasionally breaking out into rather loud sneezing fits (as is usual for pregnant Bajoran women), which seemed to be nagging at T'Pel's concentration. Solok was not sure what had transpired between the two women, but Nala seemed to be pulling on T'Pel's last nerve quite easily.
"I wonder if I sedated her if it would stop the sneezing. Of all the races in galaxy he had to impregnate a Bajoran." T'Pel muttered quietly under her breath.
Solok quirked a brow at her comment and was watching as she seemed to be re-reading certain paragraphs over and over again, "Perhaps you should take some time to rest your mind and meditate. It may offer a clearer vision of these files." Solok spoke calmly, concerned that if he pushed too hard her anger would uncoil and be unleashed on him.
"I want to make sure I have not over looked anything." She responded coldly.
He uncrossed his legs and stood, walking up behind her, "I simply ask that you consider rest soon. It is getting rather late."
T'Pel paused and sat back, silently submitting to his request. Her dark eyes were focused on the wall in front of her, and had she the power, holes would have been burned into it as she listened to another sneezing fit coming from the other room, "You are correct." With that she stood and took a step toward her room from the study before turning to him, "I want to thank you for your attention during this time, captain. It is not necessary, but appreciated."
Solok gave her a small bow, "I wish to be of any assistance I am able. Your father is a good man, and these abductions have affected everyone. Especially concerning the nature of these...murders." He watched her face a moment. She was here, yet a part of her was not and her eyes seemed distant. He had to admit, if only to himself, that the sight of fear in her did nothing to quell his own growing anxiety with the issue. Especially when he could sense it so clearly from her.
"My mother is likely to stay at the Embassy tonight dealing with the investigation and media and Kalen is looking after her. Could...could I possibly make one more request of you?" She asked.
Solok took a step forward and clasped his hands tightly behind his back, "Anything you wish, T'Pel."
"Would you stay here tonight? I do not wish to be alone with Nala, as she will not provide any comfort or use during my investigation, and your presence here is...comforting to me." T'Pel requested, with every bit of awkwardness she felt. It was the truth, however. He was emitting calm and assurance and it helped stable her own nerves, "I feel I may not be able to rest sufficiently if left in this house with that woman."
He gave a blink, feeling a sense of honor at being requested to guard her, "I will not leave you if that is your wish. "
She gave him a less then steady nod, "Then my home is yours. Feel free to do as you wish." And with one farewell bow she headed into her room and closed the door behind her leaving Solok standing in the hall.
After a calculated moment he turned and headed down stairs to make sure all the doors and windows were secure then to fetch himself some tea. He was not yet tired, and perhaps a bit on edge. Once he had his tea he took a seat in the sitting area and saw what looked to be a photo album on the small table. If memory served him correctly, it was the book that Lorina had been looking at before she determined she could no longer sit at home and do nothing. Curiosity won over and he picked it up, setting it on his lap as it was quite large and opened to the first page.
There was a picture of Lorina and Sakar on a much greener planet then Vulcan with a very small infant in her arms and who he assumed was a three year old smiling little girl, T'Pel. The little girl had Sakar's robes firmly grasped in her little hand. By far it was a pleasant family photo, and he turned the page to see the same little girl in a pool of water with her mother as she learned to swim, that familiar look of determination in those big dark eyes.
It became apparent that these photo's were taken on Betazed, a place T'Pel never spoke of without logical cause, and even then briefly. He scanned through further, watching as the years seemed to go by and T'Pel's innocent smile fade with her increasing age. There was even one picture where he swore he could see a darkened eye as if she had been in a fight. It was after that photo the scenery changed to the red of the Vulcan terrain.
Another picture that peeked his interest was one of what he assumed was a seven year old T'Pel sitting with Kalen, her brother, in her lap as she seemed to read to him from a book. Her hair was short, uneven and frizzy from the natural curl. The next photo was of her sitting cross legged in front of Sakar in meditation, her hair straightened and trimmed.
There were several more photos of her with her father, and all were of the father teaching his daughter the ways of Vulcan. Then it struck him, just what her battle to find inner peace may have been like. The chaos of emotion and the repercussion of them for any with Vulcan blood. Sakar had taken extra care to teach her himself, where most parents would send their children to temples and schools to learn from masters.
This placed her rigid emotional control in context. The moment of clarity was startling; fear of losing the father who taught her to be Vulcan was being expressed in clinging even more rigidly to his teachings.
Solok's thoughts were suddenly interrupted by a sobbing scream and a loud thud coming from upstairs and he left the book on the couch as he rushed up the stairs, grabbing his phaser on the way up and burst through her bedroom door.
The view was fairly dark for a moment before her eyes adjusted to the low light. However that was, in fact, the last thing she could care about. There was an overwhelming sensation of agony and desire. A deep hunger and desperate need that she had only known once. Plak'tow.
Yet these feelings were not her own; nor were they those of the person sharing them with her. Despite carefully guarding his or her own identity, someone was projecting the needs and emotions of others into her mind.
In her mind, T'Pel saw a long hallway of what looked to be cells, shielded with high energy walls. This was it. The killers lair. She felt the killer's amusement at her feeling of disgust and she wanted to scream. They walked by the first cell, which was empty.
"Soon to be filled." A whisper came. It was now clear that this person was intentionally showing her these things.
The cell on the other side was occupied by a Vulcan man, who she did not know, and was clawing at the wall to the next cell, groaning in pain. Her heart sank as she could feel the Plak'Tow coursing through him like fire in his veins. This sicko had placed a female next to him, who was also in the same state. Taunting them with the fact that they were so close to one another, yet not close enough.
There was a cell at the end, "I think this one will interest you my little hybrid." The whisper spoke again. T'Pel could feel her blood run cold as she saw her father sitting in meditation in the darkened end of his cell. She could feel him and his attempts to hold fast to his control, but both he and she knew it would not last indefinitely. Yet she swelled with pride feeling his firm control on his fear. However his anger was paramount.
The killer raised a hand to the panel on the side of the cell, activating a bolt of electricity that found Sakar who let out a blood curdling scream as he hunched over. She could almost feel herself scream with him, though there was no certainty as he did it again. The tumult of images gave her no time to focus Her (and her father's) assailant's attack cut both ways, however; his control was not perfect. She could tell by their hand that this person was male and the skin tone narrowed down the lists of possible species. The fact that he was able to reach into her mind spoke of telepathic capabilities; strong ones at that.
Her (and her father's) assailant's attack cut both ways, however; his control was not perfect. She could tell by their hand that this person was male and the skin tone narrowed down the lists of possible species. The fact that he was able to reach into her mind spoke of telepathic capabilities; strong ones at that.
"I will find you." was the only message she was able to get through to him before she heard another voice and felt a different set of emotions, concern, trying to pull her back from his mind. He did not want to let her go, but T'Pel forced the connection to break, perhaps pulling out a little carelessly, and her eyes fluttered open to see Solok above her.
T'Pel was on the floor kicking and screaming, and after a quick scan around the room he found that she had been alone and was still stuck in her dream. He quickly set the phaser down and moved to grab the wriggling woman, getting smacked across the face for his first efforts and he was sure had she not still been asleep the pain of it would have been far worse.
It took a moment of maneuvering, but he was able to pin her arms to the floor, making a point to stay clear of her legs, "T'Pel! Wake up. You are have having a nightmare." He insisted firmly.
There were tears running down her face and she was muttering something he couldn't determine. It sounded like Vulcan mixed with what he wasn't sure, "T'Pel Kestra. This is your captain. Wake up! T'Pel!" He insisted again. This time she seemed to calm a bit, her eyes attempting to flutter open until they shot open and locked on him.
"Solok?" She whispered, her tears still falling as she began to look around at her surroundings a little dazed and confused.
He released her arms and nodded, "You were dreaming and threw yourself out of bed."
A bolt of shame shot through her and she pulled her arms to her chest and turn from him, curling up in the fetal position as she began to cry even harder. There was a resonance of the emotions from her dream still swimming in her head making her head pound, "Forgive me." She whispered in pieces.
He quirked a brow, looking down at her with a sudden lack of knowledge of how to handle this situation, "For what do you need forgiveness?" He asked softly.
"I saw my father. I saw others. I saw what he is doing to them." She choked out, sobbing into her hands.
"It was just a dream, T'Pel." Solok tried to assure her.
She sat up and looked into his eyes, "No. He showed me. That son of a bitch is a telepath and linked with me to torment me! He made me watch him torture my father." T'Pel sobbed, her voice strained with anger and the whites of her eyes were beginning to redden.
Solok pondered her words a moment, "He communicated with you through a telepathic link? How? Why?" He asked, only to watch her shrug and shake her head telling him she did not know the answer at that moment.
He could feel the hate rolling off of her, yet it some how did not feel like hers alone, "Your mind has been taxed greatly. You need not apologize to me. Just try to calm yourself. Use me if you need. I will give you what you require, T'Pel. He is simply trying to get to you. Do not allow him."
He was almost surprised with himself, with his willingness to assist her. Up until a thrilling sensation shot through him when her hand reached up and tightly gripped his shirt, her nails raking down his chest. There was definitely more then anger rippling through her as she gave a growl and sat up, breathing deeply as she tried to calm herself.
"Enough. I will not allow myself to succumb to such a low level of emotional expression of sadness and curl up like a child. Not now. Not ever. It will solve nothing. Focus is the only way to bring him back." T'Pel insisted more to herself then to Solok. Her eyes closed as if it would better resonate the words within herself. Solok could sense something much darker, something familiar coursing through her and he was sure it was the remainder of Plak'tow she had been exposed to, and he held firm to his spot at her side.
He watched as her breathing calmed, and she finally opened her eyes again. His hand moved to wipe tears from her cheek, pausing a moment before he found a tissue of sorts and handed it to her. There was quite a bit of emotional turmoil coming from her because of this telepathic encounter, leaving her feeling invaded and vulnerable and he had no intention of adding to it. That included any physical contact that could spread the residual emotions to him.
T'Pel watched him as she carefully cleared her face, and there was a sudden impulse she acted on and leaned forward to press her lips to his. She knew of his attraction to her, and was still accepting hers for him, but this seemed far more desperate then a simple moment of weakness that she was having difficulty controlling. It was the burning that still lingered in her mind along with the images that kept repeating themselves over and over. It was difficult to filter it out and she began to wonder if it some how set her own Vulcan biological clock off.
Solok gave a small gasp. Her lips sudden attention to his own shocking him slightly, as well as the sudden flow of images coming from her of her dream, yet he gave no protest or effort to pull away. The impulse flooded his own mind, just as he was hoping to avoid. He moved his hand to her cheek to lace his fingers in her long raven locks to pull her closer. This seemed to only spur her on as her own hand moved from his chest to his neck, her lips brushing against his lightly, teasingly at first. Only to have her tongue replace them to urge his lips to part.
There was an electricity that pricked at his entire nervous system, sending shivers down his spine. Never in his life had he been kissed in such a way. With such passion. He let her lead, following closely with her tongues passionate instruction as it teased his. The sweetness of her soft supple lips was beginning to intoxicate him and there was an urge to pull away from it, yet the beast in him had latched on with a death grip and was refusing to let go. He was trying to regain control of his logic and break away from her. This was not right. This was not her and he could almost taste it on her lips.
It was alarming at just how quickly she inspired his libido and in an attempt to gain some control he pinned her to the floor, easing up on his own eagerness and broke away from her. His eyes were locked on hers and there was a mix of fear and desire in them. However, this could not continue. This was not their doing. It had to of been some hidden manipulation passed through to her. Something to be thought on further at a later time.
"I apologize." She whispered shamefully, looking away from him as he sat back up and scooted away from her.
"It is not all your doing. I believe the killer may be behind this as well." He straightened his shirt, glancing to the floor. This was most embarrassing and he felt shame of his own for not being stronger to resist. It took a moment, but he realized it was not her fault, "You still need rest, T'Pel. There is still work that needs to be done and I will not distract you from your task." He answered softly, hoping that would be assurance that he was not angry with her.
T'Pel laid there a moment longer, her breath slowing "I understand." It was all a lot to take in, and having been woken from a deep sleep hadn't helped. It actually made it worse and she felt as if she had a hangover, and she could almost hear the killers wicked laugh in her ears.
Solok helped her up from the floor and watched as she crawled back into bed. Understandably she was a little reluctant to return to sleep lest the killer find her mind again, but he turned and started to walk away.
"Solok?" She asked softly after him. He stopped and turned, "Are you leaving?" She felt insanely childish and was sure this discomfort was written all over her face. Distance was needed, but she still wanted him to remain. Nala wouldn't have the faintest idea of how to assist should this happen again, and T'Pel would likely snap and harm the woman should she not realize quick enough.
Solok was finding it difficult to even look at her, however he sensed that she was no longer worried about just herself now, and he could follow the logic and tilted his head, "No. I will not leave. I will be just down stairs should my assistance be required."
A woman who never asked for help aside from once was asking him for assistance. It was a request, that despite his own emotional uneasiness, gave him some sense of pride. It was something that he could at least focus on for the time being.
T'Pel laid down again and curled up, "Thank you, Solok." She said softly before closing her eyes.
"It is my pleasure, T'Pel." He answered, shut the door and turned to head back down stairs. His eyes caught sight of Nala who had been watching from afar wide eyed, "She is not to be disturbed. It is best that you avoid her room completely. The situation has become worse."
Nala looked from T'Pel's room back to Solok and nodded, "Are you ok?" She asked, noticing he seemed to still be off kilter.
He gave a slight nod and straightened his posture, "I will be fine once I am able to meditate on this and purge it from my mind. I ask that I also not be disturbed. Only should dire need of my intervention should arise. Do you understand?" He was firm, but tried to not sound as if he was scolding her for something she had no control over.
Nala nodded and headed back into her room and shut the door and Solok heard her lock it behind her. On his way back down stairs he could not help but wonder if she was beginning to regret her union with Kalen. Vulcans were hardly easy to understand.