Chapter 7 - When it's over

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T’Shan had organised to meet Irago at 1900 hours, but she had arrived ten minutes early. She had attempted several techniques to steady the upswell of anxious feeling she was attempting to restrain. She knew this was necessary, but the irrational part of herself was against it. She could not remember the last time she had felt so conflicted.

She recited a V’Lasi mantra and quietened her senses until only her mind remained. She began to visualise the connections and the feelings themselves on a representation of her mind that she pictured. She redirected the undesirable emotions, while also redirecting the necessary functions associated with those parts of her brain. There would be consequences for her short-term cognition if she attempted many other higher-order tasks without resting, but she felt the emotions subside.

“Hey T.” Irago said to her casually, not realising the depths of her own psyche that she was in the process of emerging from. He was early.

“Irago. Greetings. Please sit.” T’Shan told him, gesturing to the seat opposite her.

“We waiting for someone? Or are you planning an interrogation?” He asked playfully, somewhat confused by her choice of meeting place, one of the less remarkable replimats on Esquimalt station, where the Letayo was docked.

“I require an immediate discussion about our personal relationship and its future.” T’Shan explained.

“Are you.. is this.. are you breaking up with me?” He responded almost like it was a prank that amused him.

“I have accepted assignment aboard the Hou Yi. We will be unable to continue our relationship.”

“You’re serious?”


“It’s been two years, T, c’mon. Didn’t we have fun together? Do you not like doing things with me as much as I like doing them with you?”

“I am Vulcan. I do not have fun, I do not like things.”

“Don’t give me that robot routine. You might say all the prayers and do all the moves, but even if I did grow up on Romulus, I’m still biologically twice the Vulcan you are. I know the difference between controlled feelings and not feeling anything.”

“That remark could be considered offensive and biologically essentialist.”

“I don’t care. You didn’t answer my question. Did you not enjoy being together?”

“I did. But it is no longer feasible. My assignment is taking me elsewhere.”

“So what? We can teleconference. Even bad holosuites can do that now with barely any lag-time.”

“You deserve the opportunity for a real relationship. Not one of simulation. That is all I can offer. And that is why we must desist.”

“What, they don’t need scientists on Hou Yi? I can request a transfer too. I don’t care about being assistant chief, I’ll do the junior lieutenant thing for as long as I need to, I don’t care about promotion. I care about you. About us.”

“I would not ask you to do so. Your career and position are hard-earned. You are serving under Commander Sutulhar, you will not have a better opportunity to advance in proximity to such genius.”

“I can make decisions for what’s best for me, T. You’ve never tried to do that before. I don’t think you’re telling me everything.”

“I find you to be a most suitable partner. You are intelligent, driven, capable, considerate, aesthetically pleasing, and sexually talented. Even if you do retain certain questionable ethical viewpoints as a result of your Romulan upbringing. You have often stated that you wish to be a great scientist and the father to a large family. I will not stand in the way of those goals, and I do not wish to maintain a relationship that would disrupt them.”

“I can be a great scientist on the Hou Yi. And don’t you want a family too?”

“There is no guarantee that we will be compatible. If I have the capacity to bear young at all. My physiology and reproductive cells are so unique that some of the best Federation scientists have been unable to tell me.”

“So what? There’s a dozen other options for family regardless of how fertile either of us are.”

“As a Vulcan, and an Andorian, there would be a confluence of reasons why I would be unable to accept them.”

“I don’t understand it, but… damn it. It’s your choice. I hope you’ll think about it and reconsider.”

“Thank you for your understanding. Live long and prosper.”

“I uh.. I still have stuff in your quarters.”

“Please access them and take whatever you require. The rest is scheduled for matter resequencing. You remain on the access whitelist.”

“Thanks.” He said flatly, and stood up from the seat, and left the replimat.

T’Shan felt a small sense of relief, but the tension returned as suddenly Irago came back.

He remained calm and walked casually, speaking when he got close enough. “I don’t think I’ll change your mind, but I love you. And I think you love me too. You get to decide whether or not that means anything.”

“Live long and prosper, Irago.” T’Shan repeated.

“You too, T.” He made the Vulcan salute at at her lazily and turned.

When he was gone, she tried to get up, but realised her leg had gone numb, and she was suppressing a great deal more functionality than she intended to. She considered re-entering the meditative state to reactivate the suspended regions of her mind, but knowing the rush of feeling that would follow, she chose to limp back to the Hou Yi.