SIM:Blood is thicker than water

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A series of sims by Doctor Saveron, during a return visit to Vulcan.

((Vulcan, Mount Selaya, Temple of Gol))

The High Priestess spoke, the bells chimed at regular intervals, and the hot winds blew lazily across the red sands. Two young Vulcans knelt across from each other in the red dust on that high platform above the plains.::
T'Rayel was the picture of Vulcan serenity and calm, her traditional robes marking her as one of the pair to be bonded. Her dark hair was cut neatly short in the porridge-bowl style favoured by many Golic Vulcans, and her dark eyes watched the young man across from her. In the two days since their arrival Saveron had taken the opportunity to speak with T'Rayel, and to his perceptions she was an intelligent, centered and logical individual; fully prepared to bond with his son. He had expressed that he had no objections.::
Teron did not look nearly so well. The young Vulcan's suspicions had been well founded and he now deep in the throws of Pon Farr, though he was dealing with it well. Savehroahn had spoken with him also, passed on the advice and knowledge that each father passed quietly to his son when the time was right. It was interesting that though they had chosen a Golic ceremony Teron had accepted Savehroahn's offer of his own bonding robes, which were in the Nal-Gathic style.::
Kneeling in them now, Teron had gone pale beneath his usual light tan, his grey eyes feverish. As the Priestess spoke on Savehroahn suppressed frustration at the Golic way of doing things, making his son go through this, distracting himself by scanning those gathered.::
There was a contingent of Golic Vulcans in Temple robes of course, central amongst them T'Rel herself in the robes of a Temple initiate, her long black hair bound back in a high tail, beautiful as ever as she too watched their son. At her side was a stocky, tanned man with a square face, dark eyes and the usual haircut, also in initiate's robes. Serok. Saveron noted the presence of a small figure in a hooded robe between them; they had wasted no time then.::
Across from the Temple contingent more Golic Vulcans were gathered, T'Rayel's family, from a variety of callings and backgrounds, including her parents, whom Savehroahn had spoken with. They were agreeable individuals.::
Amongst the Golic Vulcans with their regulation haircuts and angular clothing styles was the small cluster who had made the journey half-way across the planet, centered around Savehroahn himself. Tall, slender and pale-skinned, they were clad in robes of pale hues or tunics and trews heavy with embroidery. Every one of them wore their hair long bar Saveron himself, and in most cases it was bright; several sets of pale eyes followed the proceedings. The Nel-Gathic Vulcans stood out in the crowd, looking like nothing so much as a bunch of elvish extras from a Lord of the Rings movie. Certainly they looked out of place here on Mount Selaya.::
The bells chimed for the last time, the Priestess spoke the final words, and an expectant air settled over those gathered on the dusty plateau high above the desert plains, on this the holiest of mountains. It was the time of bonding. Saveron looked at the young pair, and noted that Teron seemed frozen. For much of the ceremony he had held himself still, fevered gaze fixed on T'Rayel's face, fighting to keep himself calm and controlled. Savehroahn knew the fear of letting that control go.::
The wind sighed in the silence and T'Rayel reached out her hand and touched Teron's cheek. Suddenly he seemed to see her again, her touch calling him back from that place where he had held himself, her mind calling to his. He put his hand up to cover hers, then reached for her.::
As he turned away, Savehroahn suppressed the urge to smile.::

((Vulcan, Mount Selaya, after the ceremony))

Vahnyahraeon: Whatever the way, whatever the mores, it is done, and done well. T’Rayel seems a logical young woman.

Savehroahn: I concur. They are a logical match, and it was a satisfactory bonding.

If anyone would wonder what Savehroahn might look like when he was older, they need only look at his father. Like him, Vahnyahraeon was tall and lean, grey-eyed and black-haired. But now that hair, worn long, was shot with silver, and lines marked his brow and the corners of his eyes and mouth.::
As his son spoke of the logic of his grandon’s match, Vahnyahraeon’s silver-grey eyes searched for a moment the more youthful face before him, met the matching set of grey eyes. He knew, of course, of Savehroahn’s unbonding, that there had been problems in his relationship with T’Rel, though he was never privy to their extent. Having been responsible along with his wife for choosing Savehroahn’s mate and supervising their initial bonding, he had to acknowledge some responsibility.::
There was no accusation however in Savehroahn’s eyes, past choices could not be unmade. The fact that he and T’Rel had chosen not to bond Teron, to let him find his own mate, spoke all that needed to be said.::
The family group stood at the edge of the plateau on Mount Selaya, looking out over the red desert below, the ever present dry wind stirring robes and hair as they talked quietly between them.::

Tohraeinahn: A new chapter begins in your life, brother. It has it’s own rewards.

Tohraeinahn was fast approaching his first century in age, and already had grandchildren of his own. Silently he offered his hand, flat and palm outwards, to his younger brother, offering to share what he had learned. Silently Savehroahn accepted the offer, placed his hand against that of his brother and received the experiences that Tohraeinahn conveyed to him, of the precious lives of his grandchildren.::
Savehroahn’s older brother looked more like their mother, a little shorter, auburn haired and with a quiet light in his blue eyes, as though he was always suppressing the urge to laugh. Both their parents were grey eyed, but the gene was dominant and Tohraeinahn was the one in four chance, he had inherited both recessive genes. Savehroahn on the other hand was the opposite one in four, he was homozygous for Dominant Grey; all of his children had grey eyes.::

Savehroahn: Clearly your grandchildren bring you contentment and serenity. ::He observed as the brothers broke contact.::

Tohraeinahn: Family is life affirming, centering. ::He agreed, casting a side-long glance at his space-faring brother.:: It is your intention to stay for a period of time?

Savehroahn: Affirmative. I shall have thirteen days to spend on Vulcan before I must depart for Duronis II.

Tohraeinahn: Have you considered staying longer?

Savehroahn: I have not. ::As far as he was concerned, he needed to get back to his posting.::

Vahnyahraeon: You may wish to do so. It would be advisable. ::Their father rejoined the conversation, unexpressed concern hanging in the air. Some things did not need to be said.::

Savehroahn: I have duties elsewhere. ::And priorities that differed from those around him.::

Father and older brother exchanged wordless looks.::

Tohraeinahn: Will you visit with us in T’raloria then?

Savehroahn: I would not object to that. ::He agreed easily. It would be agreeable to go home.::

The discussion might have continued further, but as the gathering dispersed following the ceremony a voice rang out across the plateau.::

T’Rel: Savehroahn!

As one the three Nel-Gathic men turned to look in the direction of the call, at the Golic woman in Temple robes who stood looking directly at them, her dark eyes fixed on the youngest of the three. Her former bond-mate.::

Savehroahn: Please excuse me. ::He said quietly to his father and brother.::

Vahyahraeon and Tohraeinahn bowed their heads silently and stepped away, following the departing groups down the long path that lead from the plateau. Savehroahn meanwhile turned and approached T’Rel, inclined his head quietly in acknowledgement.

Savehroahn: T’Rel.

T’Rel: I would speak with you.

Savehroahn: You may.

He could not honestly say that he had no objection. His admission to Yael that their break-up still hurt had been honest, even though Savehroahn considered that he had largely dealt with it, they had even had cordial communications. Seeing her up close however brought it all to the fore once more, requiring strict suppression. She was beautiful as ever, exotic with her slightly sallow skin, dark eyes and thick black hair that hung from her high pony-tail like a cascade of black silk past her shoulders, clad in the robes of a Temple Priestess.::

T’Rel: Walk with me.

Savehroahn inclined his head in silent aquiescence and followed her to the edge of the plateau. Serok, her current bondmate, waited a short distance away with their child, watching them with expressionless dark eyes. By traditional mores Savehroahn should have waited for him to declare kun-ut-kal-if-fee and fought him for T’Rel all those years ago, but he had seen no logic in doing so when he knew that T’Rel did not want him, so he had let her go. He made no move to acknowledge the other man however.

T’Rel: It was a satisfactory bonding.

Savehroahn: Affirmative.

T’Rel: One would hope that they will remain on Vulcan for a period as is traditional.

Savehroahn: They may choose to do so, but it is unlikely. They both have careers, and Starfleet makes allowance for families.

He knew that wasn’t what T’Rel wanted to hear, and sure enough it earned him a look, but she had never forgiven him for Teron to joining Starfleet in the first place, as though it was all his fault. It did not make his words any less true however. He doubted that T’Rel had asked to speak with him only to make small talk, and that reminder seemed to goad her to her purpose.::

T’Rel: On the subject of family, there is someone whom I wish you to meet.

Savehroahn raised one eyebrow, but T’Rel gave no immediate answer, instead turning towards Serok and calling sharply.::

T’Rel: Saavohkh!

Quietly, the child looked up, then answered the summons, approaching it’s mother with an even and graceful step.::

Saavohkh: Yes mother?

T’Rel: Saavohkh, this is your father, Savehroahn. ::She turned to her erstwhile bond-mate.:: This is S’Shghren T’Yamar Saavohkh.

As she spoke T’Rel gently pulled back the cowl of the child’s robe. It was a boy, approximately five years of age, with his black hair cut into the usual porridge-bowl style. But his face was paler than hers, and the big eyes that looked up at Savehroahn were a distinctive pale grey.::

Saavohkh: Sochya, father.

Savehroahn knew his own eyes when he saw them, there could be no mistaking the child’s parentage. T’Rel must have been pregnant when they had separated. He looked from the child to his former mate.::

Savehroahn: Why did you not inform me you were pregnant? ::He asked, as blandly as one might ask the time of day.::

T’Rel: I did not learn that I was until after you had departed Vulcan. ::She replied evenly.::

Savehroahn: You still could have informed me.

T’Rel: You would have returned.

And that said it all really. T’Rel had wanted their separation to be as clean and clear-cut as possible, hadn’t wanted to involve him any further. Savehroahn however felt acutely that he had been deprived of sharing his child’s life.::

Savehroahn: I have a right to know my child T’Rel, and he to know me.

T’Rel: Affirmative, which is why I asked to speak to you. I suggest that when you leave you take him with you.
::Savehroahn glanced from T’Rel to Saavohkh and back again, trying to fathom his ex-bondmate’s logic.::
Savehroahn: You suggest that he accompany me to Duronis II? ::He wanted to be quite certain he understood. They were speaking Golic Vulcan now, it was his second language.::
T’Rel: Affirmative. It is the school recess at present, a broadening of Saavohkh’s perspective and education provided by interaction with other species would likely be of benefit to him.
Savehroahn: ::Not entirely believing that there was not some other reason, for T'Rel had opposed anything non-Vulcan with regards to their other two children.:: May I enquire as to your logic?
T’Rel: ::Giving him a flat look, she spoke quietly.:: He has been disruptive in class.
Savehroahn: How has he been disruptive? ::He queried, wanting more information.::
T’Rel: He displays excessive levels of curiosity, and asks inappropriate questions.
::The words 'just like you' hung unspoken in the air between them as her dark gaze met his pale one.::
Savehroahn: Then I cannot fault your logic. ::He turned his attention to the small figure by T’Rel’s side,  dropping gracefully to one knee to bring himself eye to eye with his son.:: Do you find this suggestion agreeable?
Saavohkh: I have no objection. ::The child met his father’s gaze squarely, emotionlessly.
Savehroahn: Then it is agreed. I shall submit a request to Captain Turner that you be permitted to lodge with me at the Embassy for the duration of the Vulcan school recess. ::He couldn’t see the Captain refusing, given her own family situation.:: Do you speak Federation Standard? ::He asked, switching to that language.::
Saavohkh: Affirmative. ::He answered in kind.::
Savehroahn: That is preferable. ::Then he switched to his native tongue.:: Do you speak Nel-Gathic Vulcan?
::This time Saavohkh looked at his mother, a ghost of uncertainty on his features.::
T’Rel: He does not.
Savehroahn: Then we shall have to remedy that.

((Vulcan, the path descending Mount Selaya))

Saavohkh: Duronis II is a world with a high degree of water on the surface and in the atmosphere, is it not?

Savehroahn: Higher than Vulcan, certainly. ::He replied as they walked sedately down the long, curved path, among the last to leave the plateau.::

Saavohkh: I am given to understand that it is comparable with Earth, Bajor, Betazed and a large selection of other Federation planets.

Savehroahn: That is correct. I can only comment from personal experience on perceived similarities with Earth, which I have found to be the case.

Saavohkh: That subtype of M-Class planet is more commonly found amongst Federation member planets than desert-type M-Class planets, is it not?

Savehroahn: That is correct.

Saavohkh: Then Vulcan is unusual in this region of space in that it supports a sentient species. ::The boy reasoned.::

Savehroahn started to see what T’Rel was getting at when she said Saavohkh asked inappropriate questions. Personally the doctor was of the opinion that Golic Vulcans had never really got over their ancient view that Vulcan was the centre of the universe.::

Savehroahn: Affirmative. However archaeological records indicate that Vulcan once had a much wetter surface and atmosphere; such is more conducive to the evolution of life than desert environments. Pre-warp Vulcanoid species have been found on other planets.

Saavohkh: I see.

The child pondered this for some time. ::
As they walked the pair were joined by a third, a slender woman in elegant robes; like them she was pale-skinned, black haired and grey-eyed; she still had that look of youth about her which suggested she had not passed thirty years of age.::

Savehroahn: Sochya S’Rel ::He greeted his daughter evenly.::

S’Rel: Sochya father. ::She glanced from him to Saavohkh and back again.:: He will accompany you to Duronis II?

Savehroahn: Affirmative, it is agreed. ::He replied. Then,:: Did you know? ::He asked, one brow quirked.::

S’Rel: ::Glancing away.:: Affirmative.

Savehroahn: You could have informed me. ::He said, making the same emotionless accusation to his daughter that he had made to his wife.::

S’Rel: Would you not have returned, had you known? ::She asked, unwittingly giving the same answer as her mother had.::

Savehroahn: Affirmative. ::He agreed.:: I do not see why both you and T’Rel consider that this would have been an unfavourable course of action. ::Well, T’Rel he could, but not S’Rel. He had always had a good relationship with his daughter.::

S’Rel: ::Glancing at him.:: Do you find your current persuits and undertakings agreeable? ::She asked, taking an odd tack.::

Savehroahn: Affirmative. ::He replied, not certain why she was asking.::

S’Rel: You are able to fulfil your desire to work with aliens and broaden your knowledge and your research as you wished?

Savehroahn: Affirmative. My current pursuits are agreeable.

S’Rel: You did not find your last few years on Vulcan agreeable. ::She observed quietly.::

This was true. Saveroahn had grown restless; he had perceived a limit to his work and his studies, his relationship had been breaking down, he had already left his home region to live amongst a different culture with whom he had difficulty; Vulcan had grown too small for him.::

Savehroahn: You are of the opinion that you acted in my best interests.

S’Rel: Affirmative.

Savehroahn: And was Teron also a part of this conspiracy?

S’Rel: Teron did not know that Saavohkh was yours. He left Vulcan before you did.

Savehroahn: I would have preferred to have been a part of Saavohkh’s early upbringing.

S’Rel: You have changed nappies before, father. Now you have the opportunity to remedy time lost.

Savehroahn: I find your mother’s logic behind her recent actions to be flawed. ::He observed.:: She has never previously championed non-Vulcan cultural exposure. ::She didn’t even like non-Golic cultural exposure.::

S’Rel : Her expressed logic is not the entirety of her motivation. ::S’Rel agreed.::

Savehroahn: What do you mean? ::S’Rel had always been close to her mother, no doubt she had insights that he, absent for six years save for a brief visit at her graduation, did not.::

S’Rel: ::Thinking for a moment, choosing her words with care.:: Saavohkh is her son as much as yours, she had a duty to raise him. Now she may begin her new life; you have already begun yours.

Savehroahn: Saavohkh is only accompanying me for the school recess.

S’Rel: Is he? I suspect that if he finds Duronis II agreeable, mother will have no objections to him staying.

Savehroahn: What is your logic?

S’Rel: Mother knows that he will leave; as you left, as Teron left, as I will leave. It is only a question of when. Mother will never leave Vulcan, and she wants a family that will stay with her. That is why. Mother knows that you engender a restlessness in your children, like your own, and she wants family that she can grow old with. ::S’Rel explained.::

Savehroahn: That is not logical.

S’Rel: Not all that is true is logical.

She was, in Savehroahn’s opinion, overly fond of making him eat his own words.::

Savehroahn: Will you leave?

S’Rel had always been the one who adapted most to the Golic way of life, despite looking distinctly Nel-Gathic, unlike her brother Teron. She gave him a look now that could almost have held amusement.::

S’Rel: I am studying Astrophysics father.

Savehroahn: Such work can be carried out remotely, from a planet.

S’Rel: It is possible, but it is not practical. And I am curious about the stars.
She looked over at him, almost as though to say ‘you see?’::
Perhaps T'Rel had been right, after all.::

((Captain’s Yacht, Duronis II Orbit))

Savehroahn had remained in the Vulcan capital for several days, spending time with S’Rel and later with Teron and T’Rayel, and visiting some of his old haunts and colleagues. Everywhere he went he took Saavohkh with him.::
They had travelled then to Han-Shir, to the southern T’ralorian plains and the An’ahaeyas Valley, where Savehroahn had introduced Saavohkh to his Nel-Gathic grandparents, his uncle, aunts, cousins and second cousins. They had walked the valley and climbed the hills, explored old ruins together and Savehroahn had shared old stories and bits of his people’s history with his son.::
Savehroahn’s family might seem a little unusual to some of his colleagues. In this modern age when people of mixed race like his children were common, and even people of mixed species were not rare, Savehroahn was not only of a single race, but a single clan within that race, able to trace his ancestry back four thousand years to just a handful of families. In an age of genetic hybridisation he was distinctly inbred. But that carried with it a strong cultural heritage which had been preserved through the generations by his people. He wanted his young son to understand who his father’s people were.::
Two weeks were not long however, and all too soon they had gathered their belongings and boarded the Captain’s Yacht for the journey back to Duronis II. Now the ship was making it’s final entry into orbit, and Savehroahn was dressed once more in his uniform. Saavohkh regarded him gravely.::

Saavohkh: Uniforms are a militaristic concept. ::The child observed, hands tucked into the opposite sleeves of his robes.

Savehroahn: And many Federation species have militaristic backgrounds, most recently Humans and Andorians amongst the founding species, but even our own in it's distant past. Part of Starfleet’s purpose is to protect and defend. For that purpose it must be prepared for possible aggressive confrontations.

Saavohkh: We learned in Ancient History that Torek, one of Surak’s disciples, once admonished the Nel-Gathic people for failing to embrace all of Surak’s teachings, and dispense with unnecessary weaponry and training. ‘We should embrace peace and learning. He that seeks war loses logic, and cannot be allowed to act to the detriment of others.’

Savehroahn: And do you recall Minister Kohraedhyon’s response?

Saavohkh: Negative. I do not believe that was taught.

Savehroahn: He said ‘We do not seek war; but he that would bring war to us, let him beware.’ ::Saveron related.:: Prior preparation is always advisable.

Closing a case, Savehroahn regarded his son.::

Savehroahn: It is important to acknowledge that many other species have vastly different ideologies and cultural backgrounds. In order to work cooperatively we must be prepared to make allowances, and to give others the benefit of the doubt.

Saavohkh: I understand. I am interested in what I might learn from other cultures.

The was no doubt about it, Saavohkh was his father’s son.::

Savehroahn: You will be aware from your Federation Standard studies that most other species have difficulty pronouncing the full range of Vulcan vowels and consonants. It will be easier for them if you introduce yourself as ‘Saavok’ rather than ‘Saavohkh’. ::He advised, pronouncing the name with a simple click the first time, rather than the correct guttural the second time.::

Saavohkh: That is acceptable. Can they pronounce Savehroahn?

Savehroahn: Not in my experience. I am known as ‘Saveron’ in Starfleet.

Saavohkh: Saveron. ::The boy repeated dutifully, pronouncing the simple syllables.::