Hello again The third story from this little corner of the fan fiction universe is (hopefully) ready to be released to the world. It might be published a little slower than the first two parts as I'm still making a final tweak or two to the final parts, but I'm getting started to give me a reason to get it all finished. Once again, thanks in advance for stopping by and reading, and I hope you get some enjoyment from it. Star Trek: Bounty is a slightly off-kilter series set in the Trek universe that focuses on the adventures of the ragtag crew of a small civilian ship, who do what they can to get by in the Alpha Quadrant. They're not exactly Starfleet spec, but they try to keep on the right side of the moral line where they can. The story, such that it is, so far: Star Trek: Bounty - 1 - "Where Neither Moth nor Rust Destroys" Star Trek: Bounty - 2 - "Be All My Sins Forgiven" ============================================================= Star Trek: Bounty 1.03 "The Other Kind of Vulcan Hello" Prologue S'Lara region, Planet Vulcan. Stardate 12475.9 Agitated. He was agitated. Of that, there was absolutely no doubt. Based on all of the evidence on the subject he had been able to gather after hours of researching, having cross-referenced multiple historical accounts and countless medical studies from across the galaxy and compared them to his current situation, that was clearly the appropriate term for his current state of mind. And yet, he wasn't supposed to be agitated. The concept of agitation was, quite literally by definition, a purely emotional feeling. And emotions were not logical. Ergo, he was currently being deeply illogical. And that inescapable truism simply served to make him more agitated. He sat at the metal desk of his study in front of the bank of screens displaying the details of his research and steepled his fingers in front of him, trying to focus. Focus on anything other than his current state of illogical agitation. This wasn't how he should have been spending his afternoon. He had been intending to review T'Plana-Hath's seminal work 'Ascent From Chaos' as part of his ongoing studies. But as soon as he had begun to read, he had found himself completely unable to concentrate. Yet again. He knew that both of his parents had worked especially hard to prepare him for the rigours of Kolinahr training. And that this sort of flagrantly emotional display was not what they had worked so hard for. Not that his parents hadn't wanted to put in that work. After all, becoming a Kolinahr graduate was the highest achievement a Vulcan could attain, so it was entirely logical that his parents saw this as the appropriate path in life for their only son. Still, they had sacrificed a lot in order to get him this far down the road to attaining complete mental discipline and he deeply respected them for that. Which meant that his ongoing failure to back up their years of hard work and sacrifice with any real tangible progress in his studies merely exacerbated the distinct emotional issues that had been plaguing him. And as his internal struggles continued, his agitation transformed into something else. Something that he remembered from one of his earlier episodes. He was annoyed. Annoyed that he was getting so distracted from his studies, annoyed that he was having to waste yet another afternoon on such aberrations, and annoyed because he knew that he could ill afford such a wasted afternoon when he was already lagging behind his peers in the training programme. But most of all, he was annoyed because he was getting annoyed. Which was a completely illogical circular argument. And that made him even more annoyed. He suppressed a sigh and got up from his desk, gliding silently across the room in his plain white robes to the window on the far wall. Looking out, he could see the dusty streets of the S'Laran township that they called home. He saw groups of figures walking along in the rust-coloured light, all in their usual orderly formations. Very efficient, very logical, very calming. Except, not so calming. Because today, something about those perfectly methodical movements struck him as being a little too logical. Was it really necessary, he wondered, for his people to take their dispassionate approach to life and even apply it to the concept of pedestrian behaviour? Great, he thought to himself, now I'm irritated. First agitation, then annoyance, now irritation. The worst part of it was, they weren't even basic emotions. No simple, beginner level feelings here, these were considerably more nuanced and complicated than all that. He remained next to the window, feeling the late afternoon sun on his face, and closed his eyes, deciding to switch his attempts to focus onto the matter of gentle meditation. He followed a well practiced technique that he had first been taught as a young child by his mother, just as all Vulcan children were. Many times during his difficult developmental years he had been able to quell any pesky emotional feelings by following this tried and tested method. In his mind, he was onboard an ancient sailing ship in the middle of the Voroth Sea. The air was calm, the great white sails were at rest against the wooden masts. Around the narrow, weather-worn hull, the sea was as smooth as Tholian silk, and as clear as a mirror. He stood on the deck of the ship, his feet slightly apart and angled outwards, with his arms stretched out to his sides. Perfectly balanced and perfectly in tune with the stillness of the scene. In harmony with the sea, and at one with his surroundings. Except, he couldn't help but think as he took a deep meditative breath, since his mother had taught him this technique all those years ago, he had actually been to the Voroth Sea, on a scientific field trip as part of his studies. Harsh winds constantly whipped up across the expanse of the water thanks to the air passing over the surrounding mountains. The sea's surface itself was a whirling, writhing tumult all year round, the water a dirty red colour from the silt churned up from the sea bed. Presenting a meditative vision of the Voroth Sea that supposed a becalmed, windless expanse of crystal clear water was simply...not logical. His irritation gave way to outright exasperation as he opened his eyes. Even the most basic piece of meditation was providing him with no solace. Behind him, he heard the door to his study open and gentle footsteps enter. He didn't turn around, but he felt his father's presence as he approached. "It is acceptable to talk with you now?" his father asked in his usual clipped, deliberate tone. He looked over to the grey haired Vulcan, who stood with his hands gently clasped together in front of his chest, and nodded. His father didn't meet his look, and instead turned his attention to the vacant desk on the other side of the room. "Your studies are complete for today." A statement, not a question. He paused before answering, doing his best to force whichever emotion was dominating his thoughts at this precise moment to the back of his mind. "No, father," he replied truthfully, "I was just...contemplating what I had read." His father nodded thoughtfully, returning his attention to the view out of the window. "There is a lot to contemplate in her words," the reply came, referring to T'Plana-Hath's work that he was supposed to have been reading, "It is necessary to ensure you fully understand them before you move on." He didn't reply, and instead followed his father's gaze back to the scene outside the window, the slowly setting sun casting long shadows over the ground as the pedestrians below continued their carefully considered walks. There was a moment of silence, which he found excruciating, before his father continued. "Your mother and I have been talking about your studies. Your instructors remain convinced that your progress has still not been sufficient." At this, he instinctively snapped his head around to stare at his father. It was enough of a reaction for the older Vulcan to raise a curious eyebrow. "I am not--!" He immediately realised that he had spoken too quickly. His voice betrayed clear feelings that he was sure his father would pick up on. He controlled himself before he continued. "I will try harder, father." His father's eyebrow remained cocked at this reply. "To not already be trying one's hardest to attain one's goals is not logical." He did all he could not to allow the fresh flare of frustration he felt to show on his face at his father's dispassionate observation. "Regardless," his father continued, "We have considered the matter in detail, and we believe the only correct course of action is to remove you from the Kolinahr programme." Once again, there was no hiding his flash of annoyance. "Wh--? But why?" He mentally flinched as he heard the tone of his voice. He momentarily closed his eyes and tried to picture the sailing ship on the fictional serenity of the Voroth Sea again. But it was no use. A storm was blowing in. His father calmly gestured to him, indicating the emotional state that was increasingly clear on his face and in his actions. "The reasons are obvious. It would not be appropriate for one still struggling with such basic irrationality to proceed any further in the programme. Your instructors tend to agree with this assessment and--" "No," he persisted, as calmly as he could manage, "I am making progress, father. And I assure you that I am...in control." His father considered this, then walked over to the desk, where the screens still displayed his earlier research. All carefully compiled, referenced and ready to betray him. "Agitation is a feeling of aggravation or restlessness," his father read directly from the screen, "Often brought on by little to no provocation." He felt a rush of shame as his father turned back to him. Another emotion that he was becoming increasingly used to. He closed his eyes again. The storm front had reached the ship, the sails flapping helplessly in the tumult. "Father," he began, "I can explain--" "I do not recall this particular teaching from T'Plana-Hath," his father continued, ignoring any effort he was going to make to explain away this latest humiliation. "What shall I do?" he managed eventually, "Tell me, how can I satisfy my instructors? And you, and mother?" His father stared back at him in silence for a moment, keeping his hands calmly clasped in front of him. In truth, he needed no time to contemplate his son's questions. He already knew the only logical answer. "We all believe it would serve you well to undergo another session with Doctor Sevik--" "No!" He screamed out before he had a chance to stop himself. It had been an instinctive reaction upon hearing the doctor's name. Even that was enough to send a coruscating flood of new emotions through his mind. Panic, fear, worry, angst. Ironic, he couldn't help but admit, given what the doctor would be doing to him. The storm raged across the sea. The main mast began to creak. Several years ago, when his emotional issues had first become a serious and uncontrollable problem in the eyes of his parents, they had sent him to Doctor Sevik for the first time. He was a practitioner of a supposedly ancient practice of emotional purging via mind melds. The idea went that the calmer and more focused thoughts of a more centred Vulcan would help to flush out the emotional strife of the patient. Except, while it might have served that function for a time, and brought an element of calm and logic to his thoughts once again, he also remembered the other effects it had on him. The pain, the confusion and the mental agony. The physical spasms that had lasted for many weeks after the treatment was supposedly complete. He didn't want to have to go through any of that ever again. And yet, his irrational and instinctive reaction to the doctor's name and the memories of the things he wished to avoid had already sealed his fate. "Yes," his father noted after seeing his son's moment of frenzy, "It appears that we should contact him at once." The grey haired Vulcan calmly walked out of the room, leaving him alone again. Alone, but for the feelings that still swirled around inside him, where one particular emotion was now coming to dominate. One that he felt more strongly than anything he had ever felt before. Except this wasn't agitation, or frustration, or shame, or fear. This time, he felt something different. Yet oddly comforting. An emotion that he had read about in his studies, but never really experienced before. Until now. He closed his eyes. The storm had become a hurricane. He felt angry.