The Most Logical Choice

THE MOST LOGICAL CHOICE

by Anna Perotti (aperotti@insinet.it)
English text edited by Marketa J. Zvelebil

SUMMARY: A love vs logic story. A young woman is going to face
koon-ut-kal-if-fee. She has to decide if she will accept her bondmate
or allow her lover to challenge him.
Author’s note: I wrote this story many years ago, when I knew very
little about Star Trek and Vulcans. After that I’ve learned things,
which led me to change some of my ideas about Vulcan culture (Those
who can read Italian can see what I currently think about women’s
place in Vulcan society at FONDAZIONE VULCANIANA; those who can not,
have tp wait that I’m willing to translate it). Anyway, I decided to
leave the story as it was. (A. P.)
DISCLAIMER: Star Trek is the property of Paramount Studios, the
following a non-profit work of fan fiction. No resemblance to any
individual, living or dead, is intended.

THE MOST LOGICAL CHOICE

Left alone, the young woman sat by the firepot. She would spend the
whole night meditating to better prepare herself for what she had to
face tomorrow. The so long awaited and feared time had come? She had
felt it: her mate’s stormy call had reached her through the bond,
tearing her defences apart. His burning pain had become hers. That had
to be … That had always been … Was it logical?

“What is the logic in accepting something which repels you, just
because others did it before?”

Those rebel words had come back in her mind suddenly, right when she
thought she had succeeded in erasing them forever. Shelik had told her
that dozens of times. The last one, a few days early, when, helped by
T’Reil – a good companion of hers – she had managed to escape her
parent’s surveillance and had gone to say him her farewells.

Shelik …

Though unwilling, the young woman saw again in her mind his dark,
handsome face, his deep black eyes, which were so hard to stare at,
his soft curled black hairs, always a bit too long …

Shelik …

He had been her dialectics teacher at high school. A very bright young
man, with an exceptionally sharp mind. It had been really a pity that
the modest state of his family had not allowed him access to a higher
level of specialisation. A man with his talents should have applied
for higher position. Quite soon she had become his most appreciated
student; the brightest one; the most talented. Often, when classes
were over, she joined him in his study to ask him questions and
discuss ideas. Both of them had innocently enjoyed those meetings. It
was the confrontation of two fertile minds, naturally close. Slowly,
more personal subjects had joined the scholary ones. Confidence had
been established.

Then, what happened? How could have it happened? Obviously if he still
had had his bondmate …

Two years ago, Shelik had lost his wife and his son because of a
tragic accident. A loss which he thought impossible to fill. At least,
until the urge of need had hidden under reason’s cover. But nature has
its own laws, which do not follow reason. When his Vulcan blood had
awakened, she was there.

For a free Vulcan woman, to help a man in Pon Farr, without a legal
bondmate, was considered an act of mercy. Nobody would blame her. But
she was not free: her bonding with Sawor, the mate her family had
chosen for her, was not completed yet, but it existed. How could she
have forgotten it? She had not, indeed. She had just thought it did
not matter, at the time! … It was quite illogical, but it had
happened. Something inside her – something, which escaped her reason’s
control – had compelled her toward him, almost with the same urge as
his.

It had been different than she had expected. She had been taught that
physical mating was a hard experience, which every Vulcan woman had to
face with courage and dignity. A painful duty, demanded by tradition
and by the logical need to give one’s family offspring. But Shelik was
an extraordinary man. His wonderful mind had been able to maintain
control over the fury of passion. Somehow, he had succeeded in
checking himself and respecting her virginal innocence. He had given
her time to get used to all those unknown emotions, helping her to
understand and accept them.

She had heard that such men might exist, but they were so rare that
they were almost legend. Girls covertly whispered about them. Once,
she remembered, she had heard a schoolmate telling her about an old
housemaid – one who had become so old that convention no longer
mattered for her – who admitted that her husband had been such a
pleasant mate, that seven years were a very hard long time.

She had always frowned at those tales. They were silly, childish
fantasies, which reared illogical delusions, not worthy of a real good
Vulcan!

She had always been proud of her heritage. Her family was among the
noblest ones on Vulcan. Her father occupied one of the highest offices
on Vulcan and he had wished for her to be educated about alien
cultures as well as theirs. Often he had brought her along in his
trips to star bases where it was possible to meet alien people. Very
interesting experiences, indeed, but which had strengthened her
certainty about her race superiority.

Nevertheless, unlike many of her compatriots, she shared her father’s
opinion that Vulcan would not afford to maintain her apartheid very
long. There where clear factors of economical and political
convenience, which led in the opposite way. All over the Galaxy,
alliances were growing, trading agreements were being signed and there
were talks about a federal union between the most important planets,
which grew more substantial every day. To stay out of that would be
disadvantageous, it was illogical. She strongly wished to contribute
so that, when the Federation of Planets would be born, Vulcan would
take its right place in it and hold it with honour.

In view of that, she had to acknowledge that her parents could not
have chosen a better companion for her. Sawor already was an esteemed
Science Academy member and it was common opinion that he would gain a
Council seat, quite soon. From the few occasions she had had to see
him, she had become aware that he owned his position more to his
family’s prestige and wealth than to his own talents, but this was a
good point in her point of view. A more bold and capable man would
likely reduce her to a secondary role, as tradition demanded. But she
had other goals. Once she would be, to all means and purposes, Sawor’s
wife, she would take their lives in her hands. She would use her
father’s and husband’s authority to reach the highest power levels,
where she would be able to show her own talents. She knew she had been
born for that and had well prepared herself for the task since her
childhood. To give that up, would be surely illogical

“I am not asking you to give up your ambitions …” Shelik’s voice in
her mind again. “A person with your skills and will does not need a
high placed husband to obtain all what you desire. I am just asking
for a chance, according to tradition, without failing to fulfil your
duty nor compromising your honour.”

“My duty!” The woman thought bitterly. She already had failed to
fulfil her duty! Shelik had all her rights; she never would really be
Sawor’s. Even though she married him, she never could allow herself to
wholly open her mind to him. She would have to keep her secret for her
whole life. She didn’t doubt about being able to, but what a life it
would be?

She knew she could trust Shelik. Whatever she might decide, he would
respect her choice. But her mind would not ever be free.

***

Reddish blades of light began to filter through the tiny cleft, which
gave air to the room. Far away, the sound of ritual drums and bells
announced the approaching wedding train; in a few minutes her mother
and sisters would come to help her dress. Time was over …

***

First gong had sounded. Sawor waited for her in the centre of the
place where, since ever, all her family’s members had married. A few
steps behind her, Shelik followed along with Sorval, his fellow
student and fencing master. When they had taken their places in the
procession, they had exchanged looks. His carried the same, quiet
prayer. A prayer so strong that she almost feared everybody might
sense it.

Second gong beat. Slowly she advanced toward Sawor, who waited
quivering. She could feel Shelik staring at him. That gentle man, who
abhorred any violence, was ready to kill or die to have her. All she
had to do was give but a simple gesture.

Sawor raised the hammer.

“Stop him, I beg you!” Shelik’s cry sounded only inside her mind; it
made her shiver. Her face very pale, but perfectly impassive, T’Pau
did not move.

The gong sounded. Choice was made.

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