DISCLAIMER: The Star Trek characters are the property of Paramount Studios, Inc and Viacom. The story contents are the creation and property of Djinn and are copyright (c) 2001 by Djinn. This story is Rated PG-13.

Reflections Strange New World

by Djinn

Greetings, T'Kan. Your last communication contained so many questions. Your curiosity is as great as it ever was. An admirable trait for a researcher. Also for an explorer in the stars. At times, I believe you would have been the better choice for this mission, cousin. Your desire to know, to explore purely for exploration's sake, has always been greater than mine. You would have found our last mission interesting, I'm sure. I found it a waste of time.


Well not entirely a waste. I did learn more about human behavior. That is why I am here after all. I am a scientist but I have always been driven by my fascination with species-to-species interaction. It was the reason I joined the diplomatic corps and later requested a posting to Earth. At the Vulcan compound, I was rated quite highly. Soval considered me a valuable member of his staff. My contribution was beyond doubt.


I am quite sure my human colleagues would disagree with the Ambassador's assessment of my interpersonal skills. It is one thing to work with these people in a limited capacity. It is quite another to live with them. I am finding the experience to be somewhat unpleasant at times. The last mission...actually I prefer not to dwell on the last mission. It will serve no purpose to discuss it.


So let me turn to one of your questions. You asked about my personal interactions with the humans. On a professional level, I must deal with all of the crew of course. But on a personal level, I have had more limited contact. I have spent time dining with the captain and Commander Tucker. These meals were quite strained at the start of the voyage, but I believe we are falling into a pattern. We are becoming more at ease with each other. That will be beneficial for our professional relationship. I also meet regularly with Ensign Hoshi to speak Vulcan. She has picked up the nuances of our dialect very quickly. Her skill with language is indeed impressive. I also occasionally visit the Doctor. He sometimes has some unique insights on dealing with humans. But for the most part, I spend my leisure time alone, in meditation or in study. I have made significant progress in my reading.


And yes, cousin, I believe they still consider me a "wet blanket." I am untroubled by this assessment of course. If it is my habit of pointing out the correct path and the risks of the less acceptable ones that has earned me this label, then I will not seek to refuse it. I think however, that the crew's antipathy toward me goes deeper. It is more fundamental than just resentment that I "spoil their fun." They actively distrust me. I am unsure if it is the individual T'Pol or the Vulcan representative that makes them wary. But it is clear that they believe that I might be deceiving them at every opportunity. The last mission made that clear. It... My apologies, cousin. I said that I would not belabor this.


I have also acquired an admirer. A crewman has become enamored of all things Vulcan. She has been quite persistent in wanting me to know of her high regard for our culture. It is somewhat disconcerting. Wherever I go, I am sure to find her nearby. Enterprise is a small ship. It is natural to run into one's crewmates. But the probability of meeting her in the corridor outside my quarters is much lower than what is actually occurring. I have not encouraged her, have treated her with the same professionalism I would show to any member of the crew. This appears to have angered her. On the last mission she turned on me.


The last mission. What is our private rule, T'Kan? A subject thrice mentioned demands discussion. I do not wish to discuss the last mission. But I have not been able to totally dismiss it from my mind. Perhaps speaking of it will allow me to consign it to memory.


Our last mission was on an uninhabited planet. Very similar to Earth. We were studying the fauna and I chose to spend the night in order to capture date on the planet's nocturnal animals. Four of the crew stayed with me. On this planet, there is a flower the pollen of which is both hallucinogenic and toxic. We were exposed. I was affected but not as much as the humans, who became disoriented, delusional...and violent. Their hate, T'Kan, was a palpable thing. Hate toward me. Hate toward our people. I have told no one this...but I was afraid. And I wanted to come home.


I tell myself now it was merely the effects of the pollen. That it was simply my loss of control that manifested itself in an overwhelming desire to flee for Vulcan. That is what I say when the issue arises in my mind like the specter from Mr. Meriweather's ghost story. I am not afraid of my colleagues. The pollen made me think I was afraid. It made me think I wanted to come home. But I am what I have always been. A scientist. A diplomat. A Vulcan. And Vulcans do not experience homesickness. So this desire to taste your mother's s'varal roll or to stand in my family's garden and look out at the desert or up at a sky that is not blue, these are all just aftereffects of the pollen. They will dissipate as the substance leaves my bloodstream. I am certain of this. Homesickness is not logical.


Is the sky very red today?


T'Pol out.