Against Tradition
by Gamin Davis

TOS (prequel)  S, Sa, Am [G] 
Spock's decision to join Starfleet, and his parents'
reaction. (WARNING: contains a very harsh portrayal of Sarek.)

DISCLAIMER: For lo, the Deity Paramount doth own these characters; I
do but frolic briefly with them in their playground.
SUMMARY: Spock's decision to join Starfleet, and his parents'
reaction. (WARNING: contains a very harsh portrayal of Sarek.)


Sarek had just come home after a trying day at the Science
Academy and was in no mood for unpleasant surprises. He paid little
attention to the stargram lying on the dining room table, which he
just caught out of the corner of his eye as he passed the dining room
door on his way down the hall, assuming it to be something for Amanda
from one of her relatives; for the moment, all he was aware of was a
need for several uninterrupted hours of meditation.

Suddenly, however, he realized he had not told Amanda of his
intentions, something necessitated by the illogical tendency she
still retained, even after all their years together, to become
worried if he remained in meditation for any extended period of
time. Sarek turned and went back to the dining room, then into the
kitchen and the parlor, only to find them empty; a quick look out the
nearest window told him Amanda and Spock were both down in the
garden, and he went back around through the kitchen and dining room
toward the door.

And again, he saw the stargram, this time getting a good enough
look at it to see that it was on Starfleet Academy stationery.
Puzzled, Sarek stopped to examine it, unable to fathom what business
Starfleet Academy could have with anyone in his family; noting that
it was already open, he looked inside the folded paper and frowned at
the name on top. It was addressed to Spock.

Without reading any further, Sarek calmly refolded the stargram
and continued out of the dining room, down the hall, and out the door.


Amanda and Spock were discussing Spock's decision, as they had
been doing quite often the last few weeks. She was the only one who
knew, so far, for Spock had not yet decided how to tell his father;
that was what they were discussing now.


They both turnd at the unusually harsh sound of Sarek's voice.
Spock hesitated, glancing at Amanda with eyes full of apprehension.

Amanda met his eyes. "I think I forgot to put the stargram up.
He must have seen it--"

Spock turned away again briefly, saw Sarek approaching rapidly
from the other side of the garden in great, striding steps, and
looked back at Amanda. "Then I must tell him now," he realized
reluctantly. "But..."

At that point, Sarek reached them. "Spock, I will ask you to
explain this stargram," he demanded quietly, but with an ominous
undertone to his voice that did not escape Spock.

As he had long ago learned to do, Spock hid the discomfort he
felt in Sarek's presence. "I applied for enrollment in Starfleet
Academy," he told Sarek finally. "This stargram is to notify me that
I have been accepted."

Sarek's penetrating gaze never once wavered, but his face
registered shock and disapproval. "You *applied*--? Why would you
do such an irrational thing?"

Spock, gradually unnerved as Sarek's eyes continued to bore into
him, cast a pleading look at Amanda.

She stepped forward immediately. "There was a Starfleet
recruiter at Spock's school," she elaborated carefully. "He gave
Spock an application form to fill out."

Sarek looked at her sharply, but said nothing.

Spock decided to try again. "I talked to the recruiter for a
long time, and I showed him my school records. Father, he said I
could become a science officer on a starship!" He immediately
regretted his failure to fully control his excitement, for Sarek now
glared at him openly.

"Amanda, it is time for dinner, is it not?" Sarek asked,
without looking at her, though it was too imperative in tone to be
taken as anything but a command.

Amanda nodded reluctantly, saying nothing, and headed back
toward the house.

"You, Spock, will go to your room and remain there, and we will
discuss this after dinner."

"Yes, Father," Spock answered submissively, then turned and fled
from Sarek.


After dinner, Spock was allowed to come out of his room. While
they waited for him in the parlor, Sarek confronted his wife. "How
long have you known about this?" he asked.

"Since he sent off the application--about six weeks ago," she
replied, watching Sarek anxiously and knowing the tight control he
was exhibiting was a sure sign of rising anger within him. "I didn't
think it would be necessary to tell you unless he was accepted."

Sarek said nothing, but it was clear that he took a dim view of
information being withheld from him, whatever the reasons were.

Just then, Spock arrived. He went to stand before Sarek,
tensing in preparation, all too aware of his father's displeasure.

Sarek turned slowly toward him. "Spock, I do not know what your
reasons are for doing this, but you have already been accepted by the
Science Academy," he reminded Spock quietly. "You will, of course,
write to Starfleet Academy and explain the situation."

"No, Father."

Sarek stared at him in complete uncomprehension. "What?"

Spock lifted his chin, meeting Sarek's gaze. "I do not intend
to go to the Science Academy," he informed Sarek levelly.

"I see," Sarek replied tightly, though in fact, he did not see
at all. "May I ask why?"

This time, Spock was silent. How could he explain to his father
something he did not really understand, himself?

Sarek merely raised an eyebrow at his son; he had not expected
an answer. "In any case, it hardly matters. I have already made the
arrangements; I attended the Science Academy, as did my father before
me--and you will do likewise," he told Spock peremptorily.

"But, Father--"

"Enough. The matter is closed; you will write Starfleet Academy
tomorrow." Sarek turned abruptly and stalked out of the room.

Spock watched him go, lowering his eyes and turning away,
walking over to stand before a window.

Amanda anxiously watched him looking out at the stars, as he had
often done lately. Spock was approximately eighteen Vulcan years old-
-an adult by Human standards, as well as Vulcan--normal height,
though still unusually thin, and as physically strong as any full-
blooded Vulcan. But within him, Amanda knew, nothing had really
changed; the lonely little boy had grown into a lonely, withdrawn
young man, whose longing for acceptance and fulfillment now compelled
him to leave Vulcan. Amanda had always understood how out of place
he felt, and so was prepared for what she saw as an inevitable
decision on Spock's part; she could only hope that Sarek would
somehow understand, as well.

Amanda went to stand beside Spock, who let her take him by the
shoulders and gently pull him back against her chest. "I had
hoped...that Father would be pleased with my potential," he admitted

"He will," Amanda told him reassuringly. "He just needs time to
accept it."

Spock simply shook his head, closing his eyes. "How can he
accept it when *I* cannot even give him a reason?" He sighed. "I do
not know what to say to him, Mother. How can I explain that I cannot
stay on Vulcan...because of something I have *felt*?"

Amanda turned him slowly around to face her, giving him an
encouraging hug. "I'll talk to him, Spock. Between the two of us,
we'll change his mind," she promised.

Spock looked doubtful. "Are you sure?"

Amanda nodded, releasing him. "You go tend to your studies.
I'll go talk to your father right now.

"Yes, Mother."

When Spock was gone, Amanda went to look for Sarek, discovered
he was meditating, and went to their bedroom to wait for him. As
soon as he returned, an hour or so later, Amanda got up from where
she'd been sitting and went to meet him as he entered. "Sarek, we
have to talk."

Sarek spared her a disinterested look as he continued across the
room. "About what?"

Amanda followed him determinedly. "You know perfectly
well 'about what'."

Sarek stopped, half-turning his head toward her. "Spock?"

"Yes, Spock."

Sarek turned away again, walking over to the glass terrace
doors. "There is nothing further to discuss."

"But you haven't heard his reasons!" Amanda protested.

"You heard me ask him why; he has none," Sarek reminded her

Amanda came around to stand in front of him. "That's not true.
He *does* have reasons," she countered. "He hasn't told you because
he assumes you won't hear him out."

Sarek turned to her finally, raising an eyebrow. "Emotional
motivations, surely, or he would not have hesitated to tell me."

"What if they *are* emotional motivations? I don't see that it
makes any difference," Amanda returned. "Sarek, he's not a child any
more. He has to make his own decisions."

"I am aware of that, Amanda, but he is still my son," sarek
replied gravely.

"Which is why you should at least listen to his reasons."

Sarek regarded her undecidedly, knowing she was right; Spock did
have the right to explain his reasons--or try to--even if they were
emotion-based. However..."As I have already stated, his reasons do
not matter. He cannot attend Starfleet Academy because he has
already been accepted by the Science Academy," Sarek explained
finally. "As soon as Spock accepts the logic of this--"

"What 'logic' is there in refusing to hear his side of the
matter?" Amanda demanded to know, her voice rising in spite of

Sarek raised an eyebrow at her again as he walked past her back
toward the bed. "You are becoming emotional, Amanda," he chided her
quietly, ignoring her question.

"*Of course*, I'm becoming emotional! Spock is *my* son, too,
and I want him to be happy!" she returned emphatically, knowing
Sarek was right and not caring.

Not bothering to answer, Sarek continued on across the room and
disappeared into an alcove.

Amanda followed him as far as the door. " least *try*
to understand," she pleaded. "He's half-Human, after all. He needs
to feel wanted and accepted."

Sarek reappeared, wearing a long nightshirt, and looked at
Amanda thoughtfully. "I know," he conceded, at last. "But he is
first and foremost a Vulcan, and he knows what is expected of him
*as* a Vulcan: that he attend the Science Academy as I did. He will
soon realize his error and make amends."

Amanda sighed in exasperation, watching Sarek as he went to the
bed and climbed under the covers, and was tempted to remind him of
his own Vulcan philosophy of IDIC--surely Spock's choice was not
wrong because it was contrary to the choice Sarek had already made
for him! Vulcan tradition and Sarek's desire for his son to follow
in his footsteps were only part of the problem, Amanda knew;
Starfleet, whatever its virtues and however good its intentions, was
still a military organization--something no self-respecting Vulcan
would want his son to be a part of.

Finally, Amanda went to her husband's side. "What if he doesn't
change his mind?"

Sarek looked up at her. "He will," he stated simply, with more
conviction than he felt.

"I don't think so," Amanda responded.

Sarek found the quiet conviction in *her* voice contrastingly
genuine and very unsettling. He pretended to brush it off. "Be that
as it may, I, for one, have had enough of this matter for one
evening. The discussion is ended. Good night, Amanda," he said
finally, rolling over and putting his back to her.

Amanda waited until it was apparent that Sarek was
asleep. "Ignoring the problem and hoping it'll go away? *Now*,
who's being illogical?" she asked softly, shaking her head in
resignation. Time to call a truce until tomorrow. //End of round
1...contestants, to your neutral corners,// she said to herself,
changing into her nightgown as silently as possible and climbing into
bed next to Sarek.


When Sarek came home the next day, he found that Spock still had
not written to Starfleet Academy. Spock, having become determined to
face his father and explain as best he could why leaving Vulcan for
Starfleet had become necessary for him, made no attempt to avoid
Sarek and was in the parlor reading when Sarek entered.


Spock put down the book and stood up. "Yes, Father?"

"I have just spoken to your mother," Sarek told him, very
quietly. "She tells me you have not done as I asked."

"No, Father," Spock replied.

Sarek stared at his unrepentant son. "You admit deliberately
disobeying me?"

Spock nodded, staring to elaborate: "In this instance, I could
not obey you. I know this is not what you intended for me...but when
the new classes start at Starfleet Academy next month, I mean to be
there. I do not ask you to agree, only accept. I have concluded--"

"*Silence*!" Sarek thundered. His sudden loss of emotional
control frightened Spock so much that he visibly jumped, and Sarek
gave himself time to regain control of himself before he spoke
again. "Am I to understand, then, that you *refuse* to attend the
Science Academy?" he asked, with the deadly calm of a volcano about
to erupt.

"Yes, Father, that is correct," Spock confirmed, watching him
anxiously for a reaction.

"I see." Clasping his hands firmly behind his back, Sarek
turned toward the door. "I know you have been listening, Amanda.
Come in."

Looking embarrassed, Amanda stepped sideways into the doorway
and entered.

Sarek went to her side. "I am going to meditate, Amanda--for
the rest of the evening. I do not wish to be disturbed--" he paused
here and looked pointedly at Spock. "--for *any* reason." He turned
then and marched out out of the room.

Spock bowed his head despondently as Amanda went to his
side. "I...tried to explain, Mother. He would not let me."

"I know," Amanda replied, sighing. She put a reassuring arm
around Spock's shoulders and tried to sound encouraging. "Don't
worry. There's still time."

Time passed; days became weeks, but in the changed household of
Sarek of Vulcan, they all ran together. Sarek became a walking
iceberg, having to exercise such iron control over his anger that he
dared not even speak to his son, lest he lose control and do
something he might regret. He managed to be just barely civil to
Amanda, who was caught in the middle, as usual, and was rapidly
losing patience with him. This time, however, Amanda found she had
to take sides, rather than just try to mediate--and there was no
question of what side to take. It had to be Spock's.

Life on Vulcan had just become impossible for him--he had long
ago, Amanda knew, secretly decided to leave as soon as he was old
enough--and he had clearly set his heart on a career in Starfleet.
With no friends his own age, Amanda was the only one he could turn to
for help. So she pleaded his case to Sarek whenever he gave her the
chance (which was, of course, as seldom as possible)--which resulted
chiefly in more friction between them.

Spock tolerated the situation as best he could, but Sarek's
antagonism hurt him deeply. He could understand his father's
displeasure, even his anger, but Sarek's obstinate refusal to
*discuss* Spock's decision--or anything else--with him confused
Spock. And the longer his cold, angry silence continued, the greater
the strain of controlling his own emotions became for Spock.

Soon, the time for Spock's departure was only days away. While
Amanda helped him pack, Spock became determined to talk to Sarek
again. "Where is Father?"

Amanda took some more clothes out of his closet and turned back
toward him, looking at her son understandingly. "Meditating," she
told him, knowing what he intended.

Spock met her worried gaze. "I cannot leave without trying one
more time to speak with him, Mother," he stated softly. "It may do
no good, but...I must try."

Amanda wept inside at the anguish reflected in her son's dark
eyes, anguish which belied his otherwise flawlessly controlled facial
expression. "I know," she agreed quietly. "Would you like me to go
with you? We can finish this later."

Spock thought this over. "Perhaps you should. not
certain how he will react."

"All right. Come on."

Together, they left Spock's room and went down the hall, pausing
at the door to Sarek's meditation chamber. Spock stood in uncertain
silence before the door for a moment, knowing somehow that Sarek was
not meditating--just hiding. Finally, with Amanda standing
supportively behind him, Spock stepped forward, placing his hands on
the door and resting his head against one hand. "Father," he began
softly, almost plaintively. "Father, please listen to me...let me
explain. I know you wanted me to attend the Science Academy; I
always meant to, but...I have had to realize that I cannot. If only
you could understand...I do in here, even though I have
tried all my life. Even if I went to the Science Academy, my
scientific abilities would not hide the fact that I am half-Human; I
would not be accepted there any more than I have been anywhere else
on Vulcan."

Spock paused, waiting for a response from Sarek as Amanda
squeezed his shoulders encouragingly. When none came, he resumed
speaking. "I understand your objections to Starfleet. But it is
clear that I must leave Vulcan, and Starfleet affords opportunities
for scientific study, exploration, and discovery that would be
unparalleled anywhere else..." Spock paused again, knowing Sarek
would hear the excitement and eagerness in his voice and waiting to
regain control of himself, then continued in a voice that pleaded for
Sarek's forgiveness: "...and perhaps in Starfleet, as a science
officer on a starship...among Humans...I will at least be accepted.
I realize my decision must seem most illogical, by Vulcan
standards...but I am not entirely Vulcan."

Having finally stated his case, Spock now backed away from the
door, and he and Amanda stood on the other side of the hallway and
waited. The door slid open almost immediately, and Sarek regarded
his wife and his son condescendingly, bringing his cold, dark eyes to
rest on Spock. "*You* are not a Vulcan at all, in anything other
than physical appearance," he countered accusingly. "Very well--I
have heard your defense; I trust you are both satisfied."

"Not quite," Amanda returned quietly, almost matching Sarek's
coldness. "Don't you have something to say to your son?"

Fully aware she was expecting an apology, Sarek nodded
briefly. "In fact, I do," he agreed, returning his cold gaze to
Spock. Then, in a voice that gave no evidence of any emotion but
distaste and disapproval, he said, "Spock, I have endured your
recurrent emotional outbursts and tolerated disappointment after
disappointment with you--but this decision of yours to join Starfleet
is totally unconscionable. Since you insist on standing by a
decision that goes against every tenet of Vulcan tradition and
philosophy--and against everything I have taught you as my son--it is
clear that you are neither a true Vulcan *nor* my son. Henceforth,
until you rescind this irrational decision, you are not to consider
me your father."

It was the last time he would speak directly to Spock for
eighteen years.

The protest that Spock was about to make--that his decision
*was* in accordance with that most important aspect of Vulcan
philosophy, IDIC--died in his throat as shock and anguish filled
him. He had opened himself to his father--wating to fully and
honestly explain his reasons for this act of defiance to Sarek, as
difficult as it was, because he wanted so badly for his father to
understand--only to be condemned for it. Spock wondered now if he
would ever have the courage to open up about his feelings to anyone

Sarek addressed Amanda. "I...find myself with a considerable
backlog of work at the Science Academy. I will probably be quite
late coming home for the next few days."

Too shocked to respond, Amanda simply stared at him as he walked
past them back to the parlor.

After a moment, Spock--appearing as emotionless as Sarek had--
went back to his room; Amanda, afraid to leave him alone, followed
him. She found Spock sitting on one of his twin beds, his face
averted, looking out his window and up into the red mid-day sky. He
heard her approach, but did not turn toward her. It had been years
since he had allowed himself to cry, but now, he couldn't stop
himself; tears streamed down his cheeks as he recalled how he had
always respected and admired his father--even, he could admit to
himself now, loved him--always trying to emulate him...and yet, now,
Sarek could do this to him.

Finally, succumbing to what he viewed as an illogical and
childlike need for comfort, Spock wiped his eyes (for all the good it
did) and turned toward his mother. Amanda immediately sat down
beside him and took him in her arms, searching for words that would
console him. "I'm sorry, sorry. I don't know why he said
that. Surely, he didn't mean it."

"He did," Spock told her softly, closing his eyes in an effort
to stop the tears. "I know he meant it; otherwise, he surely would
not have looked at me the way he did." Spock hesitated, swallowed
hard, and continued dejectedly, "I...I failed him, Mother. Look at
me--I feel...I hurt...just like any Human, and I cannot always
control it. And when I try to find my own way to alleviate it..."
He sighed. "He is ashamed of me."

Unable to confidently deny this, Amanda simply held him more
tightly. "Oh, Spock...someday, you'll be a Starfleet officer, and
Sarek will be so proud of you," she told him, sounding hopeful mainly
because she wanted so badly for Spock to believe it.

"Do you really think so?" Spock asked doubtfully.

"Yes," Amanda asserted gently. This was one time when honesty
was *not* the best policy.


Spock said nothing more. Amanda held him, gently massaging his
tense back muscles, until he finally fell asleep some hours later.
Amanda herself could not sleep, as Sarek discovered when he woke up
in the middle of the night for some reason and found that Amanda had
still not come to bed. Having a good idea what was bothering her, he
got up and went to the parlor. She was there, curled up on the sofa
in semi-darkness, looking out a window.

Sarek went to her side. "Amanda--" he paused suddenly, seeing
light reflected from a wetness on her face.

She shook her head, not looking at him. "Sarek...*why* did you
say what you said to Spock this afternoon?"

"I believe I explained myself sufficiently," Sarek responded

Amanda turned toward him. "*Nothing* you've said so far it
sufficient to explain or justify your disowning our son!" she
declared, not bothering to hide her anger and pain.

"Amanda, you have lived on Vulcan long enough to know the
consequences of such blatant defiance of Vulcan philosophy," Sarek
pointed out quietly. "Joining Starfleet--"

"--fits in with the philosophy of IDIC," Amanda
finished. "Spock would have explained that to you, if you'd given
him a chance."

"And he would have been correct," Sarek conceded. "But in this
instance, my wife, IDIC is not a matter we need concern ourselves
with; our philosophy of non-violence *is*. For a Vulcan with
abilities such as Spock's to use those abilities for an organization
which maintains peace through the use of force, rather than
developing his abilities further at the Science Academy..." Sarek
simply shook his head in distaste and let the sentence hang.

"You know perfectly well that that's not Starfleet's only
purpose," Amanda reminded him.

"Be that as it may, my objection stands."

"What about Spock?"

Sarek turned away. "He has made his decision."

"And you've made yours," Amanda concluded.

Sarek nodded.

Amanda's view of him was suddenly blurred by a fresh wave of
tears. "Do you know what you've done to Spock? Or do you even
care?" she demanded.

Sarek sighed. "It is too late to continue discussing this
tonight. I am going to bed, Amanda. Are you coming?"

At that point, Amanda came to a decision of her own. She stood
and faced her husband. "Sarek."

He stopped and turned back toward her.

"I'm not going to stand by and let you hurt Spock like this.
Either you go to him tomorrow, apologize, and tell him you didn't
mean it when you said he wasn't your son any more, or....when Spock
leaves, I'll go with him."

Sarek stared at her as he had stared at Spock earlier that day,
seemingly unruffled. "You are not going anywhere; you seem to have
forgotten your place, Amanda."

Amanda stood her ground. "I know my place. I'm Spock's mother
and I love him--even if *you* don't," she returned defiantly, still
angry and hurt even more by Sarek's words.

Sarek hesitated, his manner softening a little, and went back to
her side. "You do not understand because you are Human," he
explained carefully, trying to be gentle but only succeeding in
sounding patronizing. "This is a matter for Vulcans; you have no
part in it." Before she could protest, he continues, "Spock
understands why his decision is wrong: it is not logical."

"Isn't it?" Amanda questioned, not ready to give up
yet. "Spock isn't a carbon copy of you, as much as he'd like to be.
He's Human as well as Vulcan. Don't you think he *might* have a
better idea of what's 'logical' for him than you would?"

"Spock *has* professed to be a Vulcan, and I am speaking of
Vulcan logic."

//So what else is new?// Amanda thought. Too tired to argue
any more, she reluctantly followed Sarek back into the bedroom. But
she was still dissatisfied and very worried about Spock, and she
cried herself to sleep that night.


The next morning, Sarek, realizing he had given no thought to
how his harsh words to Spock would affect Amanda, decided they needed
to talk again. He watched her worriedly as she sat before a mirror,
brushing her hair. "Amanda...would you really leave me because of

Amanda stopped, stared at her reflection in the mirror for a
moment, then lowered her eyes. Such threats were not to be bandied
about lightly; Sarek was still in his prime, and they both knew that
separation from Amanda meant death in his next pon farr. "I don't
want to," she admitted finally. "You know I still love you, but...I
don't know if I can live with a man who would disown his son simply
because he chose a career that was different than what his father had
chosen for him."

Sighing, Sarek got up from the bedside where he'd been sitting
and went to stand behinf her, placing his hands on her shoulders. "I
know it is difficult...but it is the Vulcan way," he reminded her
gently. "I have done nothing to Spock that any other Vulcan father
would not have done. Spock understands this, and in time, you will,

Amanda looked up at him dubiously.

"No matter how confusing it becimes for you, Amanda, you must
remember that I have Sock's best interests at heart," he told her

She shook her head incredulously. "If only I could believe

"You can," Sarek assured her quietly, taking her hands and
pulling her to her feet. "In time, you will adjust. For now, will
you accept my word that I know what I am doing with Spock? I have no
wish to lose you."

Touched by this admission, Amanda finally gave in, taking him
briefly in her arms. "All right--but under protest!"

"Agreed," Sarek responded, allowing her embrace.

"And I still consider him my son, even if you don't!" she
insisted firmly.

"Of course, Amanda," Sarek agreed tolerantly. He touched her
face, which was still streaked with half-dried tears, and carefully
wiped her eyes. "There. You would not wish Spock to see you always causes him to react so emotionally," he teased her

Amanda smiled then, hugging him once more.

"Now...finish with your hair and go to your son."

It was a long three days for Spock, but he buried his pain deep
within himself, determined to put his father's antipathy behind him
and eager to get on with his career in Starfleet. He and Amanda
finished his packing, and Spock spent most of the rest of his time
meditating (something he had not been able to do for a while) or
playing his Vulcan harp. They saw very little of Sarek, who was gone
most of the time and emanated a cold, forbidding presence toward
Spock when he was there. Realizing that Spock needed to know she
would be here for him, Amanda never again threatened to leave Sarek;
for now, she made herself available whenever Spock needed someone to
talk to.

He appeared to be back to normal, now--logical and unemotional,
with the mask of control firmly in place--but Amanda worried about
him still. This last conflict with Sarek and his subsequent
rejection had only increased Spock's inner feelings of inferiority,
and the depth of agony that he was now forced to suppress virtually
negated the excitement he felt at the prospect of beginning a new
life and a new career in Starfleet. Beneath the young Vulcan's
granite exterior, Amanda knew, much of the lonely little boy remained-
-searching, hoping, dreaming of the acceptance and friendship that
had been so far denied him, but which the Human part of him still

Perhaps somehow he could satisfy that need within Starfleet;
Amanda fervently hoped so, anyway.

* * * * * *

Finally, the day arrived. With Sarek nowhere in evidence--not
having come home at all, in fact, for two days--Amanda accompanied
Spock to Vulcan Space Central and they said their goodbyes in a
spaceport waiting area as Spock waited for the passenger transport
ship to arrive. Spock stood before her with his eyes lowered, still
obviously hurting, and Amanda watched him anxiously. "Nervous?" she
asked, though they both knew that that wasn't really what was
bothering him.

"A little," Spock admitted reluctantly. "I will doubtless be
the only Vulcan at the Academy."

Amanda smiled encouragingly at him. "Just remember you're half-
Human yourself and you'll be all right."

Spock sighed. "I wish Sarek would have come."

It was the first time Amanda had ever heard Spock refer to his
father by his given name, and she knew that, as long as things stood
the way they did between Spock and Sarek, it would not be the
last. "I know," she replied understandingly, producing a small,
black box and placing it in Spock's hands. "Here--a going-away gift."

Puzzled, Spock opened the box and removed its contents--a
beautiful silver and gold IDIC pendant. Spock's face registered a
certain amount of surprise and pleasure as he examined it, and he
finally looked up at Amanda. "Mother...?"

"I had it made for you a few weeks ago," she explained, then
added significantly, "Something to remind you, Spock: you're Human as
well as Vulcan, and you'll need *both* halves, now."

Spock nodded, accepting this, and hung the pendant around his
neck. "Thank you, Mother. I will not forget," he promised her.

An uncomfortable silence fell between them.

It was Spock who finally ended it. "I wonder if...if it will
really be any different for me among Humans," he ventured softly.

It was the first time since his childhood that Spock had tried
to speak directly of the loneliness and desire for friendship that he
always kept buried deep within himself under a thick layer of Vulcan
logic and emotional control, and Amanda hastened to reassure
him. "It will," she told him knowingly, but without knowing how she
knew. "Be patient. Don't be afraid to let people get to know you;
it'll be natural for them to be curious about you. You'll learn
which ones you can share your feelings with, and which ones' feelings
you don't mind sharing...and someday, somehow, you'll find you've
made a friend, perhaps without knowing it."

Spock, his voice and facial expression now tightly controlled,
responded uncertainly, "I do not know how to be a friend to a Human."

"You'll learn," Amanda assured him kindly. "Someday, somehow,
someone will teach you. And it's well worth learning."

//Very emotion-laden, Human-like advice,// Spock noted to
himself--but he had no desire to belittle his mother's wisdom. In
fact, he had come to value her opinions and advice almost as much as
Sarek's--and all the more now that Sarek refused to have anything to
do with him. "Mother, I wish to thank you...for being there for me,"
he told her, with difficulty.

She smiled at him again. "You're my son. I love you," she
returned simply.

As Spock bowed his head in acceptance of this, they were
interrupted by an announcement over the intercom: "Passenger ship
Trans-Stellar Express now boarding on transporter platform 5."

"I must go," Spock realized regretfully.

"I know..." Amanda embraced him, and Spock allowed himself to
put his arms around her, holding her tightly for as long as he
dared. Then they released each other and their eyes met for the last
time. "Any message for your father?" Amanda asked finally.

Spock hesitated, his dark eyes suddenly filing with
anguish. "Yes. Tell him...I seem to need something more than Vulcan
can offer."

Amanda nodded, then, while she still held Spock's gaze, she said
softly, "I wish you happiness, my son."

Spock again bowed his head slightly in gratitude, then gathered
his belongings, turned, and headed off toward transporter platform 5.

Amanda watched him until he stepped onto the platform, gave her
a Vulcan salute (which she returned), and dematerialized, then she
turned and left the spaceport.

The prospect of going home to an empty house didn't bother her
so much any more; at least, it would give her some time alone to
think before Sarek came home. Somehow, Amanda knew, she had to do
her part to see that this situation between Spock and Sarek did not
continue indefinitely. And as for Spock...somehow, Amanda knew he
would be all right.

Feedback for this story greatfully received at

Return to main page

A small bonus, one of my infrequent rhyming and scanning this goes with the just-posted story and was published
alongside it, I thought I may as well include it.

TITLE: A Letter to Sarek

AUTHOR: Gamin Davis


CODES: S, angst


SUMMARY: What Spock would have LIKED to say to Sarek, but probably
never did.

DISCLAIMER: For lo, the Deity Paramount doth own these characters; I
do but frolic briefly with them in their playground.


I've always tried to do and be
whatever you required of me--
faced scornful schoolmates every day
and tried to heed the Vulcan way,
locked my emotions deep inside
and hoped that it would bring you pride.

I took to heart your every word,
though seldom any praise I heard--
no solace for the pain I hid.
And still you guided all I did.
I wanted so to be like you--
the perfect Vulcan through and through--
that I was pleased you planned my life,
picked my career and chose my wife.
To Vulcan custom I'd be true,
and be a mirror-image you.

But time has passed and I can see
I am not you nor are you me;
I cannot be the son you sought--
full-blooded Vulcan I am not.
My Human half, always submerged,
still gives me needs I cannot purge--
acceptance, friendship, inner peace.
Nowhere on Vulcan found I these.

A child no longer, I am grown;
the choice I make must be my own--
a life on Vulcan, so alone,
or chance of life where friendship's shown.

I made the only choice I could,
and still I wish you understood.
I have not fled the Vulcan way,
but longer here I could not stay.
No more on Vulcan could I live--
I needed more than it could give.

You disowned me for what I did,
rejected me and from me hid.
The choice, Sarek, was mine to make--
accept it, please, for Mother's sake.

Gamin Davis, 1990

Feedback for this poem greatfully received at