- V -
Tela had lead Xylion into the colony’s most central building, which was made up of the bulk of the transport ship which had remained after it had crashed on this world over two decades earlier. And just like she had said, every single resident had assembled in the large cargo bay turned meeting hall, with Volik, Tela’s father and town elder standing at the very front on a slightly raised platform.
The room was poorly lit in Xylion’s opinion. With no windows or other openings, the sole source of light was provided by a number of torches set up at the corner of the room, allowing long shadows to dissect the assembly hall.
Volik spoke almost as soon as Xylion had entered. “Most of you have already met Mister Xylion who has graciously accepted our offer to join our settlement on this world and who has shown great interest in helping us find ways in which to grow the colony and ensure it remains healthy and stable.”
The crowd barely reacted to this, other than to turn and look towards their newest member. Those standing closest to him took a step backwards to allow him more room.
“Xylion,” Volik continued, speaking directly to the science officer, “on the behalf of the colony, please accept my gratitude for your decision to join us. I am convinced that with your help, we will ensure that we will continue to prosper on this world which has become a home to us all.”
Xylion wanted to point out that his decision to join them had been in part achieved by rather dubious and un-Vulcan manners. That it hadn’t been his choice initially to stay behind. He didn’t regret that choice but he also couldn’t deny that it simply hadn’t been his to make. Nor could he forget that this was yet another symptom of what ailed this colony and what he hoped he could cure by his presence and his teachings.
“Perhaps now would be a good time for you to address the colony, Xylion, in order to clarify the role which you will assume here. Please, join me,” said the elder.
Xylion moved towards the dais without hesitation, the crowd easily parting for him as he went. He stepped up next to Volik and faced the dozens of Vulcans assembled here. “There are many reason why I have come to be here amongst you today,” he said and found Tela looking up at him from the crowd. He couldn’t be certain but she looked almost guilty. Xylion of course didn’t believe in the human custom of mincing words. But on this occasion he believed in diplomacy and he thought it to be in poor taste to accuse his now fellow colonists of blackmail on his first day. “As to my role as part of this settlement, I have identified three critical points. One: Assist in making the colony more productive in the ways in which we apply agriculture, construction and infrastructure in order to ensure continued growth and stability. Two: Re-introduce the Kir'Shara and Surak’s teachings and commence lectures which each member of the settlement may attend and finally third: Commence an investigation into the attack on Ensign Srena, locate the guilty parties and bring them to justice.”
There was a murmur going through the crowd and Xylion couldn’t immediately determine which of his three points had caused this unexpected reaction. He glanced to his side to find Volik who was quick to assist.
The elder Vulcan raised both his arms. “Please, people, settle down,” he said and the crowd reacted immediately as they stopped whispering to each other and focused on Volik instead. “All of Xylion’s proposals have great merit and are undoubtedly crucial long-term goals for our continued prosperity.”
Xylion raised an eyebrow to this. He didn’t consider any of his proposals as merely long-term goals. In fact he wished to commence putting each into practice with immediate effect.
“For now, of course,” Volik continued, “we have much more pressing concerns we need to discuss,” he said and found his daughter in the crowd. “Tela, please join us.”
The woman offered a quick nod and then stepped up on the stage and next to Xylion who was still not certain what matters where more pressing at this moment in time.
“It is with the great joy of a father as well as the leader of our settlement to be able to administer the first joining between two of our own in a great many years. We all wish them a prosperous and fruitful future. Their consummation will ensure the offspring which will guarantee the continued existence of our colony.”
The crowd nodded with agreement.
“Volik, this is most irregular,” said Xylion, having been blindsided by this sudden development.
“It mustn’t be,” he said. “After all you are fond of my daughter, are you not? You find her pleasing?”
“That is not the issue.”
“It is for the good of the settlement.”
Xylion considered the older Vulcan for a moment. It wasn’t difficult to tell that he was set on this marriage to go ahead. He looked towards the crowd which seemed just as keen to see him accept Tela as his wife. And the young Vulcan woman was perhaps the most eager, judging by her almost brimming eyes.
“If you will excuse me,” he finally said.
“Where are you going?” Tela said.
“I shall retreat to my room to mediate,” he said simply and headed for the exit, this time the crowd much less willing to part before him.