USS Enterprise Communications Web
Voice Message 1030723
Recipient: Commander Spock
Sender: Captain James T. Kirk
I am attaching a rough draft of my incident report. I want to remind you that regulations require that I receive a copy of yours.
There is a logical reason for calling this a "CYA" form, you know. Quite appropriate, wouldn't you agree?
Starfleet Incident Report
Warning: Willful filing of an inaccurate or incomplete report is a violation of S.M.C. Article VI, Section 11, Subsection 24, Paragraph 4. Failure to report an incident may cause Starfleet to surrender jurisdiction in the event of charges by external authorities. Penalties under Starfleet Military Code for improper filings may include reduction in rank, dishonorable discharge, loss of military pension, and rehabilitation sentencing, as appropriate.
Section I. Parties
James T. Kirk, Commander Level 4, Captain USS Enterprise, (I'll look up my FIN later)
Commanding Officer of Filer:
Komack!!!! Was Filer Personally Involved?
Yes, and caught red-handed at it, too. Or is that red-faced? Date of Incident:
Stardate 2266.2772 Location:
Secure Conference Room D
Federation Diplomatic Center
Antares VIII List All Starfleet Parties Involved:
Spock of Vulcan, Commander Level 3, First Officer and Science Officer USS Enterprise, S179-276SP List All Non-Starfleet Personnel Involved:
Vulcan Ambassador Soran and a fleet of Vulcan flunkies, two of whom also witnessed some of the action. Their names are unknown to me. Section II. Impact
Losses Or Adverse Consequences:
(Describe all losses or negative outcomes of the incident as fully as possible in the appropriate categories. Enter none for a category only if certain that no adverse impacts relating to the category have occurred. List any mitigating arguments available to Starfleet related to the loss or adverse outcome.) Loss Of Sentient Life:
None Loss of Non-Sentient Life:
None Injury To Sentient Life:
None Injury To Non-Sentient Life:
None Loss or Damage To Starfleet Property:
None Loss or Damage To Other Property:
None Damage to Diplomatic Relationships:
Speculatively, Vulcan. I am unable to be more specific at this time. Damage to Starfleet's Reputation:
I doubt it, but let's put it this way: Ambassador Soran's opinion of Starfleet's diplomatic priorities may have been adversely affected. The question is, do Vulcans gossip? If so, the damage may spread. In mitigation I would argue that whatever anyone thinks about my actions, the Sc'annna and the Vithans did reach an agreement in principle on truce, and did sign a cease-fire to end a centuries-long armed conflict. It worked. Violation of Starfleet Regulations:
None, or so I maintain. Any Charges Or Legal Actions Under Civilian Legal Codes:
None anticipated at this time. It's hardly illegal, as far as I know. This incident occurred on Starfleet territory, in a secure facility, in what was supposed to be a private conference room. In mitigation of any possible complaints I would argue that Starfleet has jurisdiction and that Vulcans, who insist on their own privacy, should not open closed doors of secure conference rooms unless given permission to enter. I maintain further that since Ambassador Soran's unwarranted intrusion was the source of the problem, logically he should just forget about what he saw, and instruct his staff to do the same. On the other hand, Vulcans rarely find human arguments logical. Itemize Any Other Known Or Suspected Adverse Outcomes:
Commander Spock no longer appears to be speaking to me outside of duty. Since leaving Antares VIII he has been spending his off-duty time (not that there's much of it, considering his duties and his complete attention to them) brooding in his quarters. I consider this a very adverse outcome and a strategically flawed course of action. It would be much more logical to present a unified front to the enemy.
It is possible that Commander Spock's reputation in Vulcan society and thus his long-term future may be affected adversely. All possible actions to prevent any such result should be taken. I have no idea concerning what those actions might be, but I am more than willing to go along with whatever is necessary.
Komack will certainly get his knickers in a twist if he hears about it. Of course, if the Vulcans don't complain to Starfleet, this won't happen. But if they do or they might, I need to start defensive maneuvers immediately. For one thing, I can argue that Komack gave us an impossible job that, pursuant to our orders, we accomplished, and that he is acting out of irritation that we were successful at a task he was afraid to touch.
This will be credible. His reputation for grandstanding is well known; if he had believed the Fleet could make any progress reconciling the Sc'annna and the Vithans he would have arranged to be present to take credit for it. The "Diplomatic Admiral" spread far too many rumors about an earlier situation to be believed now. A few years ago I lit a backfire that will be useful. In short, I can take care of the Fleet side of this, but I would rather not be blindsided.Section III. Scope And Circumstances Did This Incident Occur In The Line Of Duty?
I believe so. Commander Spock and I were assigned as the Starfleet representatives at peace negotiations between the Sc'anna and the Vithans. At the time of the incident, we had completed the afternoon session in which the Sc'anna told me in heart-rending detail yet another chapter of their grievances, most of which dated from a period several hundred years past, while Commander Spock was no doubt getting a similarly detailed explanation from the Vithan point of view.
We had retired to Secure Conference Room D, as we normally did after the afternoon sessions. As far as the Sc'anna and the Vithans knew, we were actively involved in discussing the merits of the stated grievances during our conferences. Certainly that was the impression we conveyed to them at the evening sessions, during which the Commander and I argued vociferously, at length, and with a ridiculous degree of determination about the grievances that we were supposed to be discussing during our private conferences. We carried our debates on outrageous claims of injury and outrageous settlements to the point that even the Sc'anna and the Vithans concluded that these matters could be settled with less animus and discord than we were showing. Then we let them patiently make peace between us. Some evenings we made them work pretty hard at it too - they needed the practice.
I maintain that our private conferences were a necessary part of our strategy, given the total impossibility for a human of maintaining a straight face for more than a few hours at a time during these events. Therefore they must be considered a form of duty, in the same sense that diplomatic dinners are considered part of a duty assignment.
Describe The Incident:
(Include as much detail as possible about the incident and any relevant interactions with non-Starfleet personnel. List any mitigating factors or justifying circumstances.)
While the Commander and I were engaged in sucking face, Vulcan style, in "Secure" Conference Room D, Ambassador Soran entered unexpectedly and without permission. I can certainly state that the Ambassador did not knock, key the entrance signal, or verbally request permission to enter. Commander Spock and I were not even aware that Ambassador Soran and his party were present on Antares VIII.
Due to the level of physical and mental concentration we were devoting to this aspect of our diplomatic endeavors, neither of us noticed the Ambassador's intrusion for an unknown interval of time. In response to a comment made in Vulcan, which I did not understand, the Commander and I abruptly terminated our negotiations and turned to find the Ambassador and two large aides just inside the conference room entrance, contemplating us with raised eyebrows. Further repartee, also in Vulcan, was exchanged between the Ambassador and the Commander. The Ambassador and his two aides left the room. I found this logical.
After a thoughtful interlude, the Commander informed me that he would "deal with the situation", and also left the room. I was not sure if this was logical or not, and after a few moments of regretful reflection upon the interrupted argument and the phrase "it takes two to tango", I also exited.
Outside in the corridor I found the Commander confronting the Ambassador, the two large goons (whoops, sorry, I meant "aides") and another three Vulcans. They were speaking Vulcan. Something about the Commander's crossed arms, rigid posture, lack of expression, and tone of voice recalled a past discussion in which the Commander had explained to me in detail the logical fallacy of certain of my actions. Assuming that the Commander was explicating the illogic of Ambassador Soran's intrusion, I advanced to the Commander's side, crossed my arms, adopted my best Klingon-repelling expression, and stared at the goon standing at Ambassador Soran's right.
The reinforcements appeared to have some effect. The two goons (sorry, "aides") moved up in front of Ambassador Soran, possibly fearing attack. While I was wondering if a slow frontal advance would be advisable, the Commander appeared to reach the culmination of his logical exposition. All parties then fell into a meditative, brooding silence of the type for which Vulcans are so justly famous. After a minute or two Ambassador Soran seemed to reach some conclusion; a few brief remarks between the Ambassador and the Commander were exchanged and then the Ambassador's party retreated.
Here the incident seemed to end. In later interactions with the Ambassador and his party no mention was made of the altercation. The only repercussions I could see were that none of the Ambassador's party would stand closer to me than ten feet for the remainder of the conference. This led me to believe I might have slightly overdone my best Klingon-repelling expression, especially because they also seemed somewhat skittish around the Commander. Still, they were not explicitly complaining about it to me.
If any official complaints regarding the incident are made, I would suggest that the best defense would be a strong offense. The Ambassador had no right to intrude on our privacy. No public display of affection was made. Any contention that the Commander and I were neglecting our duties will not stand against the facts. We were successful because of our unorthodox strategy, not in spite of it. The face-sucking was an integral part of that strategy.
A Vulcan normally appears remarkably calm by the standards of most species, even when under fire or in great physical stress. The Commander is no exception to this rule. In order for our strategy to succeed, it was necessary for the Sc'anna to receive the impression that the Commander was truly engaged on the side of the Vithans in our evening session. I had noticed previously that if a bout of face-sucking is interrupted before it has reached its logical culmination, the Commander, while perfectly able to function, remains in a deeply focused state until able to amend this illogical situation. His fixed stare, alert demeanor and a high level of concentration on the other participant may seem to other species a lot like aggression. Thus, sucking face during our private conferences was extremely logical under the circumstances.Fully Describe The Incident:
(Include a description of all circumstances that may be relevant.)
This is a tall order. I'll do the best I can. Assistance in determining all relevant circumstances would be helpful.
It seems that while attempting a relief operation for some damaged Federation freighters, several Vulcan ships had gotten caught in the intersystem crossfire between the Sc'anna and the Vithans. While I suspect that the weaponry involved was about as dangerous as a popgun to the Vulcan ships, perhaps the incident offended their dignity. For all I know, the commanders were forced to file an incident report under regulations and found all that paperwork very illogical. In any case, Vulcan filed a complaint with Starfleet which handed it off to our fearless leader, the Diplomatic Admiral.
A visit to their home systems having failed to resolve the matter, by some means Komack got the principals holed up at the Diplomatic Center. Orders were duly transmitted to the Enterprise to divert to Antares VIII, where the Enterprise was scheduled for maintenance and its Captain and First Officer were scheduled for an exercise in diplomatic futility.
As a result of certain events a few years ago Grand Admiral Nogura disclosed to Admiral Komack that Commander Spock was the son of the then-retired Vulcan Ambassador. Knowing this, one might speculate that Komack decided to involve the Commander in the negotiations with the idea that Vulcan would consequently be unlikely to make waves about Starfleet's lack of success. But as I have been told so often, it is illogical to speculate, so I won't.
After the Commander and I had spent several days of preliminary discussions with our parties, certain minor technical obstacles to a diplomatic solution became apparent.
Both the Commander and I agreed that the Sc'anna and the Vithans were the least likely candidates for a peace assured by conditional Federation protectorate status we had ever encountered. However, our Chief Engineer assured us that he highly approved of the opportunity to take advantage of the maintenance facilities at the Antares VIII shipyard. While you can irritate the occasional Admiral and survive, Starfleet commanders soon discover that letting down your Chief Engineer is always a losing tactic. It became apparent that the Commander and I were doomed to negotiate with the Sc'anna and the Vithans for as long as it took to resurface the Jeffries tubes.
With that in mind, the Commander and I decided that the first logical step would be to introduce elements of reality into the worldview of the Sc'anna and the Vithans. Before the warp drives were brought down for maintenance we loaded the Sc'anna and the Vithans on board and scouted until we found a group of them engaging in warfare. It was a colorful spectacle; my Senior Navigator described it as "paintball in space". Notwithstanding the combatants' enthusiasm, remarkably little actual destruction was taking place.
Following our plan, and being careful not to inflict injury, the Enterprise used its tractor beams to seize ships and transport them elsewhere, transported groups of the combatants out of their ships and onto the cargo decks, and generally wreaked havoc. The Sc'anna and Vithan delegations were given a ringside seat for these activities.
On our journey back to Antares VIII they were a soberer if not friendlier lot. Commander Spock and I met with them and pointed out that many Federation ships had automatic defense systems that might be accidentally invoked by Sc'anna/ Vithan crossfire; we let them watch while we vaporized an asteroid with the ship's phasers. Point three had been dealt with.
We found their reaction interesting - both sides now showed a tendency to draw together against what they seemed to perceive as the Federation threat. The Sc'anna and the Vithans protested in unison our interruption of their conflict, and advanced the same arguments against it. Both sides agreed that our interference would negate the current battle and must force it to be refought. When not making claims for indemnity against the Federation, they proceeded to negotiate the circumstances and timing of this future battle with each other.
In all of this the Sc'anna and the Vithans showed a level of trust and confidence in each other which seemed puzzling. Both species seemed to enjoy the armed conflict, and to regard the Federation's intervention in it as that of an armed bully. Upon questioning it emerged that the "skirmishes" were occurring away from their home systems because they did not wish to disrupt their shipping lanes; discreet observation confirmed that a regular traffic of ships was continuing between the two systems. At this stage I began to wonder if this wasn't some form of interstellar football and asked them what the purpose of these armed encounters were.
The Sc'anna and the Vithans were more than willing to expound upon their grievances against each other with a degree of bombastic enthusiasm which I found amazing and they seemed to find deeply enjoyable. To me the function of the two delegations appeared to be that of referees to the conflict. As far as I could understand the situation, these two species had evolved a way of isolating conflict to prevent disruption of society proper instead of resolving the conflicts at their source. Peace was not the desired outcome of their activities - I believe they would have found it too boring. However, as Commander Spock observed, the presence of referees must logically indicate that these two species had developed a mutual rules system and therefore a method of mutually agreeing upon the rules.
I won't go into much more detail; the full exposition is available in our report on the conference itself. To summarize, Commander Spock and I decided to adopt the strategy of portraying diplomatic negotiations as a form of dramatic cognitive war. We also agreed that the Sc'anna and the Vithans had a deep regard for "fairness" as they understood it and must be convinced that Starfleet and the Federation did take their rights and therefore their grievances seriously.
I will conclude with the observation that the Commander found this strategy profoundly illogical on its own merits, but agreed to participate because he could not logically refute my assertion that humans were far better equipped to understand the illogic of other species than Vulcans. Left to his own devices, the Commander would simply have sat down and explained the illogic of their thought processes to the Sc'anna and the Vithans. It was only after I pointed out to him that this logical approach rarely worked with humans and was, in essence, too boring to stand a chance of success with the Sc'anna and the Vithans that he conceded the unfortunate necessity of more dramatic techniques.
In closing I would like to note that the Commander maintains that logically the Federation should immediately dispatch diplomatic missions to make peace between the teams of the North Atlantic football league. He has gone so far as to point out that the Federation requires internal peace as a prerequisite for membership; after viewing certain vids I showed him while we were trying to understand the nature of the Sc'anna/Vithan conflict he believes that Terra never truly qualified for Federation membership and Vulcan agreed to its membership on the basis of a misunderstanding.
I suggest that he not be further irritated by an unduly active inquiry into these matters - it might serve to recall this chain of logic to his mind. I have taken the precaution of deleting all holovids of organized Terran sports from the Enterprise databanks, but his research skills are legendary, and it must be conceded that he has potential influence in Vulcan diplomatic circles.
As you appear to be aware, logically there can be no need of an incident report unless a complaint is made to Starfleet. I informed you at the time that I would resolve the issue. I have, and no Vulcan agency will contact Starfleet about the events on Antares VIII. Consequently I find it illogical and inefficient to prepare such a report.
I would find it quite logical to receive a copy of your report on the conference.
You really aren't speaking to me, are you?
Logically that causes me to believe that there are going to be further consequences of my behavior on Antares VIII. Okay, I've thought about it and I have to admit that from a Vulcan perspective I'm irritating, illogical and human, but I was just as irritating, illogical and human eight months ago.
Are you in trouble over this, Spock? Four messages from Vulcan have come through for you over the last five days. Something is going on.
You have no obligation to me in any way. If you want to forget about the last eight months, fine. I promise you I won't pressure you for anything... personal. But Spock, you have to realize that I'm to blame for this and that you don't have to face it alone. I meant what I said - anything I can do I will. Try me, I might surprise you. I'm resourceful!
Exactly how did you "resolve the issue" with Soran? That was one unhappy Vulcan.
I haven't finished my report yet, but if you'll read the incident report you'll get the drift. I'm making it clear that you found the proceedings very illogical and that you just went along with my idea because you couldn't figure out any way to handle it more logically. The Vulcans did try talking with the Sc'anna and the Vithans and failed, right?
I find our relationship logical and I do not wish to alter it. Vulcans do not brood, sulk or experience unhappiness. Ambasssador Soran was confronted with a situation in which the logical course of action was unclear, and I was forced to characterize our relationship in order to clarify the logic of the situation to him. I have been evaluating the logical repercussions, as well as attempting to redress four weeks of neglect of the Enterprise's scientific program.
I will answer your questions if you will first answer one of mine: Am I correct in believing that your actions of seven months, 23 days and six hours ago were intentionally directed towards achieving the outcome that did occur, and that you have been satisfied with the result?
I find you quite human. I also note that while you do take an illogical enjoyment in representing your means as randomly motivated, the ends that you pursue are logical, and the means that you choose are generally remarkably effective in attaining your goals. The word "irritating" connotes an emotional reaction; I am Vulcan and therefore it cannot apply to our interactions.
I await your response.
You're confusing me - not that it's the first time. Have you ever heard the saying about Vulcans being an enigma posed as a riddle and contained in a puzzle box? Vulcan or not, Ambassador Soran obviously knew what he was seeing when he saw it. We were really going at it, Spock - there wasn't much room for "characterizing" what he saw. Explaining to the man that I was attempting to remove an obstruction from your airway with my tongue was obviously not going to work, or I'd have tried it. I don't think his intrusion was unintended, either. He had no business walking in when he did and he knew it.
If by the "seven months and 23 days" you meant our wrestling bout, I certainly found the outcome pleasurable and satisfying, if not expected. I'd go so far as to say the outcome was extremely logical, but that's not true if there are negative consequences for you. I should have asked you then about the implications for you. I'm truly sorry, and I apologize.
Spock, talk to me. I'll do whatever's needed to fix this for you.
I will grant that you could not have anticipated the precise outcome, but are you claiming that you did not intend to provoke a response similar to mine when you requested that I be your wrestling opponent on that day?
It was a lucky shot, okay? I do get lucky sometimes - I'm practically famous for it.
Though I'm not denying responsibility for the mess you're in. Spock, I've answered your question. Could you answer mine now? What's wrong?
I have considered your claim but I find it logically implausible, nor do I think that you can attribute your success to a "lucky shot". I have noticed that what humans term your luck is generally the result of a very deliberate strategy on your part to maximize the possibility of outcomes in your favor.
In evaluating your assertion I considered the following:
1) Five weeks prior to our encounter in the gym, you claimed to be confused about a passage in the logs of the Vulcan ship Hth-Lan. You requested a more complete definition of the various Vulcan words that are translated as "death" in Standard.
Before reaching my conclusion I considered other factors as well. For years you had made it clear that you found my company enjoyable and valued my friendship. You openly called me a friend and more than a friend. You also consistently made it clear that you trusted me and relied upon my judgment, and thus upon my logic. In numerous ways you conveyed the impression that you accepted me as an individual and did not regard the fact that I am Vulcan as a barrier between us. You seemed to be aware of the mental tie between us, and you appeared to find it logical.
On the basis of this evidence and your obvious ability to infer the logic of alien cultures, which you describe as intuition, I concluded that you had decided the time was appropriate to complete the Kalifee and that your invitation to wrestle was an invitation to do so.
You state that you are confused by my question. I will rephrase it as a hypothetical. If you had the choice today, would you choose to extend such an invitation on the basis of your current knowledge?
I regret the necessity, but logic forces me to request an answer to my query. Neither logic nor human custom can be interpreted as obliging you to respond affirmatively.
That's a hell of a hypothetical question. You want me to answer your questions but refuse to answer mine. That places a limit on my "current knowledge", doesn't it?
So my decision is that I'm not going to answer it, positively or negatively. Logically you can't decide that my lack of response means no, either. It doesn't. Let's just put it this way - you seem to want me to flip a coin. I don't find it logical to flip coins without looking at both sides of the coin first.
Regarding the question in its original form: I was more than satisfied with the results of our wrestling bout as far as I could assess them. It looks like I was not aware of other results. It was never my intention to do any harm to you in any way. It still isn't. I really don't know how to tell you what I intended, but I'll do the best I can. I've been trying to figure out how to answer you, not ignoring you.
I see why you concluded logically that it was a planned campaign, but honestly I don't know what you mean when you talk about completing the Kalifee. It's been over for years. You won the fight, no one can deny that. You told me that you gave T'Pring to Stonn, so T'Pau must have ruled in your favor. It was just you and me in the gym, and we certainly weren't conducting some Vulcan ceremony.
Regarding your evidence: yes, you're my friend, and more than that. Yes, I enjoy your company, rely on you and trust you. Yes, I said we had been made brothers and I don't think I was speaking out of "undue emotion", either. I was being accurate. Friends are chosen, brothers don't get to choose. Brothers share the same responsibilities and have common duties; brothers have a logical right to each other's support.
Spock, I know you don't always find my decisions logical. One of these days you might get fed up with me and walk away to pursue a more logical existence, but I also know something else. We could not talk to each other for years, we might both leave Starfleet, but if something happened to threaten life in the Federation we might very well find ourselves back doing what we've always done the way we've always done it.
We both chose Starfleet because Starfleet was a means to do what we both wanted to do in the first place. You'll never find it logical to tolerate the needless death of one sentient being, whether you are fighting against that with science or with phasers. We will always have something in common to defend and a reason to cooperate under the worst of circumstances.
And as night follows day, it follows logically that the fact that you're Vulcan and I'm human can't be a barrier between us. As for what you call our mental tie, well I do find it logical, and more than logical. It's logical because it helps us work together more effectively in a crisis. It's more than logical because I like it.
Spock, humans like cats not because cats like humans but because cats find humans useful. Cats are independent, obstinate, finicky and sometimes seem to treat humans with disdainful contempt. Cats often seem to view humans as fumbling servants that they only tolerate as long as they suspect we have good intentions. But there's something about watching a cat curled up in a patch of sunshine, purring with contentment, that feels good to us humans. I like hearing you mentally purr in the background when you've solved some scientific puzzle. I like knowing when you're not purring, because there might be something I can do about it. Truthfully, there's something more than that to it - it's orienting. It's like having a mental rock to stand on.
As for what I meant to do that day, I'm not sure I know anymore. Reading your summation of the evidence made me wonder myself. The most honest answer I can give you is that I wanted to open up a chink in your armor so I could talk to you, but it wasn't a very conscious strategy. Spock, I often act out of intuition. It works, but it isn't something that's subject to a logical analysis.
I had the sense that something wasn't quite right with you. Nothing dire, but something. Then Bones told me that he was worried about you. He said that he was pretty sure that you should be gaining weight after reaching full maturity, but over the last few years you had been very slowly losing weight and muscle mass. He said talking to you about his concerns was useless, maybe worse than useless. He said it might be the environment; he wasn't sure if your body was getting the right physical cues.
I wanted to talk to you about it, but I was pretty sure that if I asked you directly I'd get an offended stare and you'd stalk off. Most of the time I didn't think about what happened on Vulcan, but when I did, I wondered about some things. I don't remember all of it - Bones says that's a normal side effect of the drugs he used. What I did remember was confusing. If the Kalifee had to end with one of us dead, why did T'Pau call it when you broke my lirpa? That made no sense - you were in a perfect position to finish me off. I didn't think she did it for my benefit - I thought she was on your side, that she wanted to save your life. Why were there two stages of combat by custom? It had to be a normal part of the ritual, because they had the leather straps ready along with the lirpas. The drugs may have confused me, but I remember thinking that you really didn't intend to kill me either.
So I asked you about the Vulcan words for death. I knew you weren't going to find my sudden interest in the Hth-Lan's twenty-year study of amphibious form-changing life on Theta Auriae II very plausible, and I didn't care. I wanted you to call me on it. But you didn't, and you didn't talk. As for the meld, well, all I can say is that I found it logical at the time and you did too. But you still weren't talking, although I thought I could hear you purring a bit.
As for the wrestling, well, that was a feint. I think I expected you to refuse, which would have been grounds to ask you about it later, privately. But you didn't refuse. I wasn't sure what was going to happen when you accepted, except that I knew I was going to lose. I suppose I didn't want an audience. And by the way, Spock, in wrestling you are supposed to knock your opponent off balance and pin them on the mat. Picking your opponent up by the legs and the torso, kneeling, and gently placing his shoulders on the mat is not wrestling as humans know it.
The night before our wrestling match I'd watched the vid of Branagh's Henry The Fifth in the recreation room. The "I bid you achieve me", etc is pretty much what Harry tells the herald when he comes right before the battle to tell him to surrender. The herald in Branagh's production has a long face, dark hair, and he looks at Harry with the same sort of compassionate restrained concern you were showing to me. You were still in control and just kept getting more controlled no matter what I did. I realized that this wasn't going to work either, and I was very frustrated, but I wasn't going to give up.
Then you touched me, asking me some sort of question while you were having some sort of Vulcan epiphany of logic. So I yielded in an absent-minded way, because you seemed to think it was logical, and I was more interested in finding out why everything had suddenly become so logical than in wrestling. By the time we made it back to your quarters I was more in favor of exploring this new logic than figuring out the why of it, and when we woke up the next morning, we were both so convinced the world was a stunningly logical place that it seemed foolish to question it. The human word for this is serendipity.
From that point things just kept proceeding in a very pleasantly logical way. Bones thought it was very logical that you were eating more, and you seemed to be purring away in the Vulcan equivalent of a nice sunny spot. But obviously there is some problem in this logical paradise, and that does make sense because there's an illogical human in it. Me.
Now, this is the best I can do to answer your question. It's your turn, logically, to answer me. Spock, we don't have to be lovers, but we are friends and in a sense brothers, and we always will be for quite logical reasons. Even Surak admits that all things have the right of self-defense. In defending you I am defending my own interests, and so logically I have the right to know what's going on. I want an answer, Spock. And by the way, check your message queue. After shift two messages came in from Sarek for you. The plot thickens. Probably they're something along the lines of "How sharper than a serpent's tooth".
The only thing I can figure out from this talk about the Kalifee is that you must still be married to T'Pring under Vulcan law. If that's true I'm not pleased, because I've never approved of adultery. I also think Surak would rule a divorce had occurred, regardless of any legal technicalities. Spock, just let me know what you need me to do or say.
I see your logic, although I decline to accept some of your assertions. Vulcans do not purr. I will answer your questions.
I have reviewed my father's messages. I can assure you he is neither quoting Shakespeare's King Lear nor any Vulcan analogue.
I am not married to T'Pring in any sense, Vulcan or human. She blocked the tie that existed between us when she challenged, which caused me to enter Plak Tau. The link was then severed completely during the combat. I gave Stonn the use of my rights in T'Pring after I believed you dead and I still find that decision logical. I have not reinstated that link and I will not.
Jim, I believe I now comprehend your confusion. Humans appear to regard ties such as marriage as being created by a ceremony with legal standing and terminated by yet another. Vulcan is a telepathic society, and a Vulcan is "married" if the full link to another exists. No ceremony can create bonded minds and no ceremony can unbind them. Such links were always protected from attack or outside interference by custom, and are now protected by logic. The ceremony that surrounds the Koon-Ut-Kalifee evolved to protect the participants from outside interference when forming the full link and limit the scope of any possible conflicts arising from a challenge.
By custom there were only two ways that T'Pring or I could be allowed to sever the link that was established between us when we were children. The first way would be if it never functioned and thus effectively did not exist. From ancient times, if a male reached six cycles and had never entered Pon Farr or passed into Pon Farr and consummated a link with another, the childhood link would be ignored and both would be considered free to consummate other links. I was in my fifth cycle when I entered Pon Farr for the first time, which is exceedingly rare. T'Pring and I did not expect to consummate the link.
The second way is by the Kalifee, which may be invoked by either the male or the female at the time of the male's first Pon Farr. There are several stages of the Kalifee. The first involves an attempt to unilaterally sever the link, which may be initiated by either the male or the female. If it is successful the male's Pon Farr will wane, because the male's first Pon Farr is driven by the signals emanating from the link from the female's mind. Both will then be free to seek another.
If severance is not successful, and it often is not, a female will block the link as much as she can and choose a champion to fight for her. A male would attempt to block the link as far as he were able, and attempt to form a full link with a male friend to supercede the childhood link to the female. This is the reason why both females and males have the right to bring their closest friends to the ceremony.
T'Pring does not comprehend humans. Few Vulcans do. After she challenged and failed to sever the link, she expected you to intervene and offer to link with me. This would have ended a tie that had never satisfied eithr of us. Had you offered to link with me and been successful, by our custom you would have had no right to sever the link later unless I consented and we were able to do so without harm to each other. The logic of this is that you, had you been Vulcan, would have known the consequences and accepted them while you were rational. T'Pring assumed that you were hesitant to create a lifetime link with me. When you did not intervene she chose you as her champion, which was also highly logical based on what she could perceive.
Jim, I find your usage of the word intuition fascinating. In the past both you and Dr. McCoy have defined human intuition as the processing of subconscious clues, such as body language, in order to develop probable hypotheses about what seems logically unknowable. You have consistently used this word to explain how you obtained accurate information about the motives and purposes of extremely alien beings. You correctly inferred that the cloud-being's relationship to Cochrane was essentially one of what humans call love. In the case of the creature that attacked the Farragut you were able to accurately predict the creature's destination when we lost track of it.
In the case of the Horta, after maintaining to all of the security party that the creature was extremely dangerous and should be destroyed immediately upon contact, you initiated some sort of truce when you encountered it. Furthermore, you were certain that she would not attack - certain enough to request that I meld with the Horta. As a result of having melded with her I can assure you that your certainty was well-founded. When I first entered her mind she was very aware that you were a sentient being who intended no harm to her but wished to protect other sentient beings from attack.
You are not a telepath by the Vulcan definition. You are capable of direct mind-to-mind contact in some fashion. When I first felt the traces of the illogic of Pon Farr I was not aware what was occurring, and believed I was merely suffering mental imbalance. You were aware of my distress and approached me, offering comfort in your way. I found your attempt deeply disturbing, both because I was shamed that my illogic was apparent to others and because your offer seemed to increase my mental imbalance. Therefore I requested that you cease your efforts and told you that I required isolation. After you learned that my situation was grave you approached me again. You silently offered ease and I accepted it, without speaking, without touching in the Vulcan way, and without thanking you in any human way.
I meant to honor both you and the good doctor when I asked you to accompany me. I wished to publicly recognize your generosity to me and acknowledge Dr. McCoy's discretion and his efforts to save my life. I was aware that my imbalance had lessened, but you and I had not touched as Vulcans would have, and I was not aware how perceptible the awareness between us would be to other Vulcans. I did not expect T'Pring's actions.
When T'Pring chose you as her champion she did not believe that the combat would end with your death. When T'Pau permitted it she did not believe it. Both were aware that you wished to preserve my life; both were aware that I was aware of this as well. From ancient times there have been two stages of combat. The first is fought with the lirpa, and if the combatants are truly hostile it will end in the death of the loser. Traditionally the second is initiated by one party breaking the lirpa of the other; then the combat is continued with the ahn-woon, physical strength and a form of mental struggle.
The second stage will almost always end with the victor establishing a full link with the loser. Again, neither party will have the right to end the link unless the consent of the other is given and it can be accomplished without harm. It was only after the fever of Pon Farr faded and I returned to rationality that I understood the logic behind T'Pau's decision to allow the combat. You did not understand what was at stake and could not make a knowing choice, therefore you would have had the right to get the link severed before my next Pon Farr.
You have asked how I settled matters with Ambassador Soran, and you appear to be somewhat suspicious of his motives on Antares VIII.
It is illogical to speculate scientifically on the basis of insufficient data. When dealing with diplomatic relations, I have often heard my father comment that it is illogical not to speculate upon the motivations of other parties. I was aware that Admiral Komack had wished to press charges against you for disobeying his direct order at the time of my Pon Farr, and I also considered the logical possibility that he might attempt to proceed against you under other pretexts in the future. During the Babel conference I discussed this possibility with my father and he agreed to "light a backfire" to prevent such an eventuality. He arranged for T'Pau to inform Starfleet that you had Vulcan citizenship, which would then allow him to intervene on your behalf if it became necessary.
Once I was informed of our assignment to handle the negotiations with the Sc'anna and the Vithans I contacted Vulcan to request details on the prior contacts with these two species. I was informed that Vulcan did not regard the principals to be susceptible to logic, and had forwarded the request for diplomatic intervention to establish a record of their unreceptiveness to diplomatic overtures. This was considered a necessary diplomatic step before bringing a proposal to quarantine both species before the Federation Council. Your speculation about Admiral Komack's motives for assigning us this duty may be correct; I also considered the possibility that he intended to use this situation to move against you. I contacted my father and warned him to be alert to this possibility. He sent Ambassador Soran to Antares VIII; if the necessity arose his report on the proceedings could be used to counter any assertions or charges against you.
Nor did Ambassador Soran intentionally intrude upon your privacy. If you will recall, you were simulating physical arguments during our private conferences by systematically raising your voice, hurling items of furniture across the room and jumping up and down. I can assure you that I was grateful for the quiet of the intervals when you permitted me la'thran kath. That is the Vulcan word for the activity you refer to as "sucking face", which I find a singularly inelegant expression.
Upon Ambassador Soran's arrival he proceeded to inform the Sc'anna and the Vithans of his presence and offer help if needed. The Sc'anna were quartered on the level below us. Initially Ambassador Soran was somewhat skeptical about their assertion that we were close to killing each other. An episode of sound effects must have convinced him that in this the Sc'anna were reporting reliably. Therefore it appeared logical to him to attempt to interrupt the conflict and he brought several of his bodyguards to assist if needed.
La'thran kath involves mental contact for the purpose of enjoying each other's presence. Due to the possibility that a non-telepath might have little defense against forced participation, there are restrictions on this type of mental contact with a member of a non-telepathic species unless consent has been verified by a third party. There is also a widespread perception among Vulcans that humans are illogically reluctant to engage in mental intimacy, and indeed I believe that my father's reputation for verbal persuasiveness was much enhanced by his success in convincing my mother to form a link with him.
The Ambassador questioned the logic of my activity. I told him to leave because you found his entrance illogical. He agreed to do so if I would cease what appeared to be an illogical violation of your rights and leave you alone in the conference room. I assured him that he had successfully ended this activity for the present and that I would shortly join him outside the conference room to explain his error.
Specifically, I informed the Ambassador that you might be a member of a species believed to be non-telepathic, but you could not be classed as having no telepathic abilities. I also explained that we were t'hy'la to each other and that you would not find any attempt to separate our minds acceptable. He was skeptical of my claims until you emerged from the conference room, expressing a considerable degree of hostility and aggression both physically and mentally. As I have explained, logic and Vulcan custom forbids interference with another's mental links. To interfere with an established link is regarded as a violent assault; the attacked parties may logically defend themselves by physical violence.
Ambassador Soran concluded that you regarded his intrusion as an attempt to interfere with our link and asked me to convey his apologies and regret for the misunderstanding. I informed him I would do so when you were less perturbed, and that unless you perceived an unjustified attack on your own or another's rights you did not initiate violence. There will be no complaints from Vulcan. I do not believe it would be logical for either of us to complain of the Ambassador's behavior; his actions were based on a misunderstanding and were an attempt to prevent harm.
Have I addressed your concern adequately?
Let me make sure I'm understanding you.
If I were to show up at your quarters with a bouquet of roses in my hand, kneel, and ask you for the favor of your hand in marriage, would the answer I get be something like "Jim, your request is superfluous, and therefore I find it illogical?"
From a Vulcan point of view your request would indeed be superfluous, however I would not find the intent behind the request illogical. Perhaps from a human perspective the question would not be superfluous, as we have not participated in any sort of ceremony that might render us married by human norms.
I can definitely state that I would find the bouquet of roses illogical.
I just want to clarify a few more things.
If I were to show up in your quarters with a notice that I'm filing for divorce, your response would be a raised eyebrow and the Vulcan equivalent of "Not on your life?"
There is no Vulcan equivalent of the phrase "Not on your life". You have already stated that you do not consider us able to terminate certain aspects of our relationship because it would be illogical. Therefore I do not see the logic of an attempt to abrogate the other aspects, unless you were to suffer harm through them. The only logical response, therefore, would be to ask you to explicate the causes of your dissatisfaction and attempt to assuage it.
This mental link stuff cuts both ways. You've got some nerve claiming you don't purr when I can hear cautiously muted purring from here. I think you've lost the right to complain to me about full disclosure issues and Fizzbin, which I find a very logical game. I'll bet your father taught you poker right along with your first instruction in science.
Let's review the hands:
Due to Bones' well-intentioned interference, we did not manage to get fully and unambiguously hitched on Vulcan. If we had, I could have gotten the Vulcan equivalent of a no-fault divorce.
You preserved a discreet silence about the fact that we were probably hitched or at least in the running to get hitched, because Vulcans don't talk about these things even among themselves, much less with humans to whom they've accidentally gotten hitched. Meanwhile, you waited around for me to decide that it would be logical to get hitched as Vulcans define it.
We got hitched in Exercise Room C at my instigation during a supposedly rational and definitely consensual moment, so "by logic and custom" there is no way for me to get unhitched.
Ambassador Soran is under the impression that he walked in on the conclusion of a Kalifee in Secure Conference Room D and that I was most definitely an aggressively willing participant. How on earth did you explain the next five days of sound effects emanating from our private conferences? Did you tell him that human customs require multiple rounds just to overcome our "illogical aversion to mental contact"? He must have thought I was a sex-crazed madman. No wonder the Vulcans seemed nervous! They were probably afraid I was going to jump on one of them and drag my victim into Secure Conference Room A for a quickie while you were resting!
You've been lurking in your quarters or hiding in the labs ever since we warped out from Antares VIII, trying to avoid the day of reckoning when you'd have to admit we were hitched. Sure, you were willing to "achieve me" in Exercise Room C - but you were planning to wait till after your next Pon Farr to break the news that you weren't selling my bones, weren't you? Just in case I came up with some sneaky illogical human tactic to claim we weren't hitched. But now you think you've pretty much taken care of all the loose ends.
Admit it, you're busted.
You've got to deal with Sarek. I'm staring at a notification of a message from him. Now I understand why you crushed your terminal back then. He's your father, he's your problem.
It is possible that when you refer to "purring" you are attempting to describe a mental sensation in a language inadequate to the purpose. I have been meditating on the human concept of serendipity; perhaps that is what you are sensing. I know that I do not emit a rhythmic rumbling from my chest.
My father will not be a problem for you. It is probably a formal message of congratulations on your success in reconciling the Sc'anna and the Vithans. Earlier you drew my attention to my father's messages; in the second of them he informed me that you have been correctly registered as my t'hy'la in the annals of the House of Surak.
With regard to your admonition to "admit it", I do not find it logical to argue about human perceptions with my t'hy'la. You are human; thus it is logical that you will interpret certain events in a different manner than a Vulcan. I can assure you that Ambassador Soran's party did not fear a sexual or mental approach from you. They merely wished to avoid engendering the impression that they were attempting to interfere with your rights.
You're bluffing. It is the only tactic available to you.
I never understood what I was doing. Without knowledge of the consequences I can't be deemed to have consented. It was entrapment. In a telepathic society I can prove I didn't know, no matter how implausible it looks on the face of things. Fold 'em. You ARE busted. There's a limit to even Vulcan powers of equivocation, although I am deeply impressed by yours.
I'm not going to mess up all this orderly Vulcan recordkeeping. But it's not because you outmaneuvered me - you didn't. It's my duty to protect the galaxy from the menace you have become, and I always do my duty. If I let you go wandering around loose, who knows how many innocent and unsuspecting victims may succumb to your machinations?
I've thought it over, and I have to admit some responsibility for your twisted genius. All those times you told me my tactics were illogical and I maintained they weren't - I can see now how the slow subtle corruption began. Of course, in a telepathic society I can prove that I had no clue whatsoever that this was occurring, but I don't evade my responsibilities.
Plus, I'm sort of looking forward to preparing this long list of my "sources of dissatisfaction". Number 1 is going to be withholding of conjugal benefits, which is a very severe offense in Iowa. Let's say your wife gets badly injured in a flitter accident, and is in the hospital for eight months. If it was the other driver's fault, you can sue the other driver for loss of conjugal benefits and make a mint, at least if you get enough men on the jury.
I would not make too long a list. Rights are logically reciprocal, and it might prompt me to prepare my own. I am currently too deeply involved with my meditation on serendipity to complete such a list, but I believe the first item must logically be a request that you surrender the coins. I do not consider flipping coins a logical way to make decisions, and I fear that this tactic may be used to the detriment of others.
Vulcans do not bluff. Bluffing is illogical. Bluffs may be called by one's opponent and result in defeat.
The first of my father's messages to me concerned a recent conversation he had with Grand Admiral Nogura. As a result of my message to my father, he had checked Starfleet records and had discovered that your Vulcan citizenship did not appear on your files. Believing that it was time to take official action about this omission, he arranged an appointment with the head of Starfleet.
Imagine his surprise when Admiral Nogura informed my father that your Vulcan citizenship had been correctly recorded, but was suppressed from your official file as a security risk. My father found this illogical, and inquired as to the reasoning behind such an action. Admiral Nogura informed him that you and I had been registered as domestic partners for years. However this information was classified by your request because you feared it presented a possible security risk to me, and was thus not reflected in either your or my official file. When Starfleet processed your records, it was deemed that Vulcan citizenship might serve as a clue to the suppressed information and thus it too was suppressed.
I do not believe that you can make a credible claim of entrapment in light of this information. I presume that this is the "backfire" you mentioned in your incident report? If not, please specify the details. My father was most displeased to discover that he had not been notified of his son's change in status. He did not find it logical, and I would prefer that he were not surprised again in such a manner.
How do you pronounce that anyway?
Yes, that's the backfire. Komack was spreading rumors in the Admiralty that we were lovers and that was why I disobeyed orders and took you to Vulcan. After the Babel conference Nogura called me in and asked me about the rumors directly. He knew Sarek was your father, and he told me he didn't want any trouble from the Vulcan Ambassador. I had only two choices - say no or say yes. So I said we hadn't been then, but that now we were, and that your father knew about it and had made me promise that I'd take care of you. I told him your father wasn't too pleased that you'd almost died because of Komack's unwillingness to authorize leave on Vulcan.
Look Spock, I never meant for Sarek to find out. It was just a precaution in case you suddenly went into Pon Farr - this way I would have had the legal right to do whatever was necessary if you were incapacitated, and no rumors could touch either you or me. Nogura was willing to go with anything that would keep your father out of his office.
I could hardly send Sarek a notification when I hadn't notified you. I couldn't notify you because Vulcans don't talk about Pon Farr, even among themselves. See? I was just following the rules. I didn't make them.
You are not getting the coins. I promise not to use them on any Vulcans, not that I expect to get the chance. The whole point of having the coins is that flipping coins isn't a logical way to make decisions; the coins allow me to arrange a much more logical outcome.
You're usually much more logical than this. I suspect that trying to meditate on serendipity in solitude is disturbing your thinking processes. It is a human concept after all, and the logical thing to do would be to discuss it with a human. I volunteer.
Look, in theory I have spent all day holed up in my quarters, working on the conference report. I'm not making any progress, and I suspect you're not achieving much either. Why not call it a day and proceed to contemplating logic in private?
That proposal appears logical. I will return to my quarters at 2200. Your assistance in explicating the logic of serendipity would be most welcome.
That's my logical Vulcan! See you then.