Palan is Different



     "Mama gone?"  The young boy was sitting on the floor holding
a soft toy.
     "Yes, Palanka.  Mama is dead."  His father sat down next to
him.
     "Mama not come back."
     "No.  Mama isn't coming back."
     "Palan-ka big boy.  Not cry.  Make papa proud." 
Nevertheless, his father could see tears in the boy's eyes.  He
touched his son's face.
     "Papa is always proud of Palanka.  So was mama."
     "Papa not go away?  Please?"
     "Papa will never go away.  I'll be with you as long as you
live, my son."  Tuvok thought that if wishes were logical, he'd
wish that this promise would be difficult to keep.  He'd first
made it four years earlier.

     "Thank you both for coming here.  I know that you are each
going through a difficult time."
     "If you know that, Doctor, then you know that I need to be
in my cabin, not meeting Kes in sickbay."
     "On the contrary, Lieutenant.  You need to be here.  Kes is
going through her Elogium."
     "While I'm aware this is an important time in Kes' life, I
do not see why this should concern me at this moment."
     "Tuvok, Doctor...I'm sitting right here."
     "My apologies, Kes.  I'm under some strain."
     "Yes, that's my point.  You, Mr. Tuvok, are the cause of
Kes' condition."
     Kes and Tuvok looked at each other.  They had been spending
a great deal of time together, both socially and in the interests
of training Kes' abilities.  It was quite possible that Tuvok's
pon-farr was causing her elogium.  If so, they had forged a bond.
She would be an excellent companion.  Moreover, if they could
overcome their physical and genetic differences, they could
produce a superior cross.
     Over the years, Tuvok had become skilled in reading Kes'
face, but that was unnecessary now.  She was smiling broadly.
     "Kes, if what the Doctor says is true, and I believe it is,
would you consent to be my companion?  I would father your child
if you wish."
     "Tuvok, are you proposing marriage?"
     "I cannot.  I am already married.  However, it is common for
spouses separated for many years to take companions.  My wife is
certainly doing the same.  I would be honored if you would
consent."
     "I do."  Tuvok was relieved.  And, somehow, he didn't
remember that Kes would not live more than a few more years.  She
exhibited a wisdom that went lightyears beyond her actual age and
she didn't seem to age any faster than the humans around him.

     The next few days were a blur, as pon-farr days always were
for him.  He found that rubbing Kes' hands and feet helped
satisfy his own urges, and they found they were more sexually
compatible then they'd originally thought.  Genetically, however,
there were problems.  It was nothing short of miraculous that The
Doctor managed to implant a child in Kes' sack.  
     Two months later, Kes managed to deliver a beautiful baby
boy.  Tuvok felt the same way he did when his wife had given him
his other children.  He'd been unable to experience the childhood
of his youngest and he'd already missed one wedding.  He would be
able to raise Palan.  

     Three months after Palan was born, Tuvok walked into their
quarters to see Kes weeping over their baby son lying in her
arms.
     "What is wrong, my companion?  The child seems healthy."  He
took the baby and sat down in a chair.  Palan lied there quietly.
Very quietly.
     "If he were fully Occampa, Palan would be a little boy now,
going to school and making friends."
     "He is half-Vulcan.  It is logical that he would age more
slowly."
     "I know, Tuvok.  I'm five years old today.  Did you kno