SIM:Varaan: What Goes On Behind Closed Doors

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Crew of Deep Space 26

Varaan WIP.jpg

Commander Varaan

This SIM was written and presented on March 3, 2002, (corresponding to the IC stardate 237903.03).

((USS Paladin, Crew Quarters - MD 7))

VARAAN: Computer, secure the door. Authorization: Varaan-delta-6.

COMPUTER: ::beeping:: Door secure.

::Varaan stood just inside the door of his quarters. The lights had been lowered to 5% of normal. The ambient temperature of the room was slightly higher than the rest of the ship. How Vulcans had managed to serve for so long on the cold Starfleet vessels was almost beyond his comprehension. Vulcan ships were much warmer and comfortable to be on. But of course, the Paladin was a Starfleet vessel, not a Vulcan one. It would have to serve.::

::After changing out of his uniform into more traditional Vulcan robes, he performed the ritual lighting of his meditation candles. He had been forced to add a subroutine to the internal sensors to abort the automatic Fire Suppression System reaction to open flame in his quarters. Simply turning it off would be breaking Starfleet regulations. To avoid that, he had programmed the internal sensors to ignore open flame in six specific locations in his quarters. As such, he had to leave the candles in those areas, or rewrite the subroutine each time he moved the candles.::

::With the six pairs of candles burning, Varaan sat on the carpet in the middle of his quarters. His legs were crossed and his eyes were closed. His hands were partially folded in front of his face in a traditional Vulcan meditation pose. The last two fingers of each hand were folded, intertwined with each other. The first two fingers of each hand were pressed against each other, pointing to the ceiling of his quarters, and his thumbs were pressed together pointing at his face.::

::Varaan's breathing slowed. The only noise in the cabin was the nearly sub-harmonic humming of the engines as the entire ship vibrated to the pulse of the warp core. Most people never noticed the vibrations, and hardly any noticed the sound the engines made throughout the ships. Engineers noticed. They had to. Many of the best engineers used the vibrations and the sounds as a diagnostic tool. Some could even recalibrate the systems to the proper settings by the feel alone. Varaan was not at that level yet. Soon.::

::He was a disembodied essence, floating in a void blacker than anything one could imagine. All around him was nothing, and the silence was deafening. Slowly, ever so slowly, the center of the void was becoming brighter. A light was beginning to burn away at the darkness. Gradually the source of the light became evident. The flame of a single candle was burning, surrounding the wick with a sweet warmth. The candle never burned down, but was eternally lit.::

::There was only the candle. Nothing else existed. The candle was everything. Then, slowly, Varaan could sense something approaching the flame. He could still see nothing, yet somehow he knew it was there. In the same way, he knew it was Anger. Anger was always the first one to come to the flame. Perhaps it was that way for all Vulcans. Like a moth, Anger was drawn to the flame of the candle. It approached hesitantly, almost studying the flame. But true to previous experience, it could not resist. As Anger entered the flame, a brilliant explosion of light was emitted from the candle without noise or heat. And then, again, there was only the candle. Varaan knew what was to come. Each in turn, Jealousy, Pride, Greed, Fear, Anxiety, all of the negative emotions approached the candle and were incinerated.::

::It was not over. Excitement, Joy, Happiness, Love, all of the positive emotions slowly approached the flame. They did not come separately, however. They never did. They always came as a group. And when they entered the flame, the results were the same. A subtle difference always existed, though. The negative emotions were incinerated and the candle remained the same. The positive emotions were incinerated, but somehow fed the flame, and made it stronger.::

::The exercise was over. Varaan would be cleansed of emotion for another day. The flame of Logic was a powerful tool. As usual, Varaan remained in the void, to bask in the light of the candle. Today, however, he was not alone. Neither was he alone yesterday, or the day before. There was still something out there, out beyond the reach of the light. Each day it had been getting stronger, but was still beyond identifying. Only through previous experience did Varaan know what was out there. It would continue to get stronger, and soon approach the flame. It emerged from the greatest distances of the void like this every seven years. And Varaan knew what would happen when it touched the flame. Every seven years the same thing happened. The candle would go out.::

::Varaan resurfaced from his meditating trance. He opened his eyes and rested his unclasped hands in his lap. Uncharacteristically, he was sweating. Varaan knew it would get worse. He estimated that he could last another three days, four at the maximum. This had been another reason he had hoped that there was enough time to return to Vulcan before the Paladin left on her mission. But duty is duty. He belonged here, at his post. He would last as long as he could.::

::Varaan contemplated speaking with Dr. Greene about some form of medicinal regimen that would help with the altered brain chemistry he was about to endure. No, the pon farr was a very private thing to a Vulcan. He would have to see this through himself. He had managed before. Of course, the other times he had experienced the pon farr, he had been able to return home to his wife, T'lani. This time would be different. The Paladin was on its way out of known space, heading in the opposite direction. Varaan stood up and retrieved a towel from the bathroom to dry the sweat from his face. He would have to speak with Commander Daninburg, though, and request to be relieved from duty for a few days. Tomorrow. Tonight he desperately needed sleep.::