“The Rain Chronicles” [PG] – Book VI
Rain Robinson of ”Future’s End” ends up on Voyager, following her adventures with Tom Paris and Tuvok in late 20th century Earth. Here is Book VI.
RAIN ROBINSON – JULY 17, 2373:
Christ! What a surreal day this has been! Who would have thought a simple mineral gathering expedition would turn into some bizarre journey into alien sex, lust and violence. Hmmm, sounds like a bad “B” movie.
Anyway, I know one thing. Never get between a lust-driven Klingon and the object of her desire. Damn! My shoulder hurts just from remembering what happened. And all because Ensign Vorik went into some mating frenzy. Something he had managed to pass on to B’Elanna. Tuvok explained it all to me.
I was in Sick Bay, being treated by the Doctor (when is that man ever going to find a name?) when Tuvok entered. B’Elanna had already left, thank God! I really couldn’t face her at that moment. And Vorik remained unconscious on one of those beds. “There you go, Miss Robinson,” the Doctor said, after waving some instrument over my shoulder. “You’re completely healed.”
Aside from a bit of soreness, the Doc was right. I sighed with relief. Tuvok halted in front of me. “Miss Robinson, he greeted, “how are you feeling?”
I tenderly moved my shoulder. “Fine. I can’t say the same about Vorik,” I added, staring at the unconscious man. “Looks like he’s still out cold. What happened down there?”
Tuvok opened his mouth to speak, when he noticed the Doctor staring at him with anticipated interest. “If you don’t mind, Doctor. This is a private conversation.” The Doctor let out a grunt and retreated to the office behind the glass wall. Tuvok continued, “Both Ensign Vorik and Lieutenant Torres had been affected by the pon farr.”
“Yeah, I remember you mentioning that on the planet, below. But what does it mean?”
Tuvok shot a glance at the Doctor’s office and sighed. “Considering what happened to you, today, you deserve an explanation.” Then he gave me one.
Pon farr – the Vulcan term for the time of mating. According to Tuvok, the Vulcan ‘s reserve and logic are completely ripped away by an intense mating desire. Many Vulcans discover their life-long mates when they experience pon farr. If any of them are unable to sexually satisfy their urges, a chemical imbalance forms in the brain, causing the Vulcan to become even more violent. This is called plak-tow. The “blood fever”. And this happens to the Vulcan every seven years of the adult life. Christ!
“You mean to tell me that sex is the only way to satisfy these urges?” I asked. I couldn’t believe what I had just heard.
Tuvok replied, “As I had explained on the planet, it can be resolved three ways – intercourse, meditation or combat ritual.”
“And B’Elanna and Vorik got rid of theirs the third way. Through hand-to-hand combat.”
“Precisely.” Tuvok nodded.
The explanation continued. It seemed that Vorik had chosen B’Elanna to be his life-long mate. When she rejected him, the plak-tow got worse and he attempted to telepathically link with her. This is how Vulcans become couples and it usually happens during a Vulcan’s pon farr. Although the mind link failed, Vorik had accidentally transferred his mating urges to B’Elanna. Which explained her overtures toward Tom and my aching shoulder.
I asked, “Why didn’t Vorik use meditation to get over this pon farr? It seems it would have been a lot easier.”
“Actually, Miss Robinsnon, meditation is the most difficult method.” Tuvok maintained his usual stoic demeanor. “Most Vulcans rarely succeed in resolving their pon farr through meditation. It is extremely difficult to resolve. As you have witnessed from Ensign Vorik and Lieutenant Torres’ actions. In a way,” he released a rare sigh, “pon farr is like a side effect of the Vulcans’ tradition of suppressing our emotions.”
Well, I had a simple answer to that. “Then maybe you shouldn’t suppress your emotions,” I replied with a shrug.
“Miss Robinson, you have seen a Vulcan with his control of his emotions, ripped away. Imagine all Vulcans consistently behaving in that manner if we did not suppress our emotions. There have been cases of Vulcan sects who refuse to suppress their emotions and maintain that doing so is unnecessary. However, in the end, they have been proven wrong. In fact, Vulcans are so naturally volatile, we have to meditate on a daily basis to maintain control of our emotions.”
Memories of a violent Vorik challenging Tom for B’Elanna’s hand, entered my thoughts. Now that I think about it, I would prefer that Tuvok and Vorik keep their emotions in check. “I understand,” I finally said.
Tuvok nodded. “Good. Do you have any further questions?” I told him no and heaved an exhausted sigh. Tuvok must have noticed my reaction, for he added, “I suggest that you retire to your quarters for rest, Miss Robinson. This day has obviously proven to be quite exhausting for you.”
Knowing good advice when I heard it, I nodded once more and left Sick Bay.
RAIN ROBINSON – JULY 18, 2373:
The following day, I received a visitor in my quarters. It was Vorik. Gone was the violent expression and odd light in his eyes. Aside from looking slightly exhausted, he seemed his usual self. “Miss Robinson,” he greeted.
I tried to smile, but failed in the attempt. Those last moments on Sakari IV keep entering my mind. “Vorik. What are you doing here?” I knew the answer. But I wanted to hear it from his lips.
A faint green blush colored his face. Green blood? “I came here to apologize, Miss Robinson. For my actions. What I did was . . . unpardonable. I never meant . . .”
“Wait a minute,” I said, interrupting. “Why are you apologizing? You never attacked me.”
“If I had not attacked B’El . . . Lieutenant Torres, she would have never injured your shoulder.” True. Can’t argue with the truth. Vorik continued, “I realize that I can never repay for what happened . . .”
I interrupted him for the second time. “Vorik, I understand what happened to both you and B’Elanna. Tuvok explained everything.”
“Oh.” His face became even greener. He looked embarrassed. Almost ill.
Then I asked him, “How many times has this . . . uh, pon farr happened to you?”
Embarrassment flitted across his face. Vorik murmured, “I’m sorry, Miss Robinson, but that subject is considered . . .”
“I realize that it’s a taboo subject, Vorik,” I quietly responded. “But after what happened, I think I at least deserve an answer.”
His expression tightened for a second. And then, “Of course.” Vorik took a deep breath. “The answer to your question is this was my first experience with the pon farr.”
Hmmm, no wonder he went off the deep end. Then again, I recalled Tuvok stating that for a Vulcan, controlling one’s pon farr does not get any easier with age. Seven years from now, I plan to remain locked inside my quarters. I asked, “Have you spoken to B’Elanna since our return to the ship?”
Vorik replied that he had just paid a visit to the Chief Engineer’s quarters and offered an apology. “She has accepted it.” He paused. “Somewhat. However,” his dark eyes looked slightly embarrassed, “I have suggested that I spend the next month on Gamma Shift. It would be easier for both of us, since she seems to be a little uncomfortable in my presence.”
Hell, I don’t blame B’Elanna. I don’t exactly relish being in the same room with her, right now.
Several hours later, B’Elanna approached me during lunch, in the Mess Hall. Amazing. The moment I felt her presence, I became immediately tense. I guess I expected her to fly into a rage and toss my body across the room. Ridiculous, of course. But it’s hard to get over being attacked by a half-Klingon in a state of pon farr.
Like Vorik, B’Elanna offered an apology for what happened on Sakaris IV. And like the other engineer, she seemed very embarrassed. I told her that I understood her actions. Did I? Maybe, I did. At least a part of me did. I added, “Both Tuvok and Vorik explained everything to me.”
“Vorik?” The lieutenant’s eyebrows shot up several inches. “You’ve spoken with Vorik?”
Surprised by her reaction, I replied, “Yeah. He wanted to apologize. I understand that he’s done the same to you.”
B’Elanna nodded. “Yeah. I uh . . . he came to my quarters, this morning.”
“I guess he’ll be starting on the Gamma shift, today,” I added.
Dark brown eyes narrowed. “He told you about that also, huh?” B’Elanna did not look particularly pleased by that bit of news. Or the fact that I knew. Why, I have no idea.
Coolly, I replied, “Yeah, he did. Why? Is there a problem? Vorik told me that he had volunteered for that shift.” In any other situation, tempers would be flying right now. Including mine. But I suspected that both of us wanted to avoid any further conflict between us. Especially, after what happened on Sakari IV.
“Of course. I . . .” Once more, B’Elanna’s words froze. Christ! This conversation seemed to be growing more uncomfortable. Frankly, I wished she would just leave. A moment later, my wish came true. “Never mind.” B’Elanna nodded and gruffly said good-bye. Then she left. For how long, I don’t know.
LIEUTENANT TOM PARIS – STARDATE 50553.18:
What a damn mess this has been! All because of that damn Vorik who didn’t have the decency to keep his hands to himself! Hell, he’s a Vulcan for crying out loud! One would think he could have learned to control that pon farr!
And B’Elanna! What an awful thing for her to experience! All because that bastard couldn’t control his damn libido and keep his hands to himself! Thanks to Vorik, B’Elanna became infected by the pon farr, nearly went berserk, assaulted both Rain and myself; and nearly died of a chemical imbalance in her brain. Shit!
Perhaps I should have relieved her blood fever in the Sakari caves. But I felt unable to take advantage of her like that. It would have ruined our friendship. Even worse, I couldn’t have done with Rain looking on. That really would have ruined any semblance of a relationship we had left. God! What an awful mess!
Once we found Tuvok and Chakotay, the former practically ordered me to have sex with B’Elanna. On one hand, I’ve always wondered what making love with B’Elanna would be like. On the other hand, there was Rain. I saw the look of horror in her eyes when Tuvok gave the order. As much as I hated Vorik for interrupting B’Elanna and me, a part of me felt relieved over the interruption.
I did not see either Rain or B’Elanna for the next three days. Finally, I encountered B’Elanna in one of the turbolifts. She tried to dismiss her actions on Sakari IV as something meaningless that had occurred, due to Vorik’s pon farr. A part of me just could not allow her to get away with that. I told her that her Klingon side did not frighten me one bit. And that I would like to see more of it. You know what she said before leaving the turbolift? “Be careful of what you wish for, Lieutenant.” Was that an invitation?
B’Elanna’s words took me by surprise. But Rain’s comments, later that evening, shocked the hell out of me. Left me practically stunned.
It started after my encounter with B’Elanna. I spotted Rain inside the Mess Hall, for dinner. Sitting with Vorik, of all people! What the hell was she doing with that bastard?
I felt so outraged that I confronted Rain inside her quarters, an hour later. “What the hell were you doing speaking with that bastard?” I cried out, after she ushered me inside.
Rain stared at me with stunned eyes. “What? What are you talking about?”
“Vorik! I saw you having dinner with him about an hour ago, in the Mess Hall! How can you even be around that bastard, after what he did . . .”
“To B’Elanna?” she finished rather nastily. “You forget. It was she who attacked me. And you. Not Vorik.”
I shouted back, “It was Vorik who practically mind raped her in the first place! Giving her that damn pon farr!” By then, I felt furious.
Equally furious, Rain reminded me that B’Elanna had tried to rape me in the Sakari caves. “And that was before she threw me against the cave’s wall! Dislocating my shoulder!”
“She was under the pon farr!”
“So was Vorik! Or have you forgotten?”
I could not believe this! How could Rain defend Vorik for what he did? I asked her that, adding, “At least B’Elanna has an excuse! She wasn’t used to being under some influence, common to Vulcans!”
Rain stared at me with a look that dripped with contempt. A look that made me feel very uneasy. “Oh, I get it. It’s okay to excuse B’Elanna for attacking us, but not Vorik for attacking her.”
Jesus! Was she this stubborn? How could I get her to understand? “Rain, didn’t you hear what I said about B’Elanna?” Frustration oozed in my voice. “B’Elanna has an excuse. Vorik doesn’t!”
“Oh, gee Tom! I hate to tell you this. Whether any of us like it or not, he does have an excuse. It’s called pon farr!”
“You don’t know what you’re . . .”
Then she exploded. “For God’s sake! You don’t know what the hell you’re talking about, do you? Do you have any idea what pon farr is like for a Vulcan? Do you?” Staring into those impassioned dark eyes, I found myself unable to respond. “Neither do I!” Rain continued. “At least not personally. But Tuvok gave me a pretty good idea what it is like. Did you really expect Vorik or any other Vulcan to control their pon farr just like that?” She snapped her fingers. “Hell, they have to meditate on a daily basis just to maintain control of their emotions. Jesus, Tom! You saw how it affected B’Elanna. Well, it affects Vulcans, just as bad. And if you think all Vorik had to do was take a cold shower or masturbate, while reading a “PLAYBOY” magazine . . .”
“Play what?” I asked.
Rain’s eyes narrowed even further. “A pornographic magazine,” she hissed. “Controlling the pon farr is not as easy as you seem to think, for Vulcans. This is serious shit for them. Most of them can’t even control it without sex or violence. Meditation rarely works, as well. Even for Vulcans with long experience with pon farr. And this was Vorik’s first time at the bat!”
I opened my mouth to speak, but I could not. I wanted to deny Rain’s words. Tell her that she was wrong. But she did not give me the chance. Even worse, I had the horrible feeling that she may be right.
“What were you about to say?” she continued. “Hmm, I guess being a Human, you don’t really understand what going through thepon farr means. Do you? You know, for a man who prides himself on being tolerant, you sure can be narrow-minded! Was that how the rest of the crew were to you, two years ago?”
I gave her a sharp look. How did she . . .? Of course! The ship’s computer.
“That’s right,” she said, confirming what I suspected. “I read your Starfleet record. All about Caldik Prime and serving time in prison. Maybe accidentally killing three people and lying about it doesn’t quite add up to assaulting a fellow officer, while under a chemical imbalance. But like it or not, Vorik has a hell of a better excuse than you do.”
People have accused me of a lot of things. Cowardice, murder, lying and God knows what. But I have never been accused of being a bigot. Or a hypocrite. Until now.
Rain spoke one last time. “Now, if you’ll excuse me,” she marched to the door and opened it, “I’d like to be alone.”
Still dazed, I slowly walked out of her quarters. I later learned from Harry that Vorik had volunteered for duty during Gamma shift, for the next four weeks. To be honest, I barely heard him. My thoughts remained fixed on the words that Rain had hurled at me, earlier that evening. I also realized something else. I never did find out what Rain and Vorik were talking about, during dinner.
END OF BOOK VI
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