Thursday, September 1, 2011

Star Trek: Voyager - Banjo, Part 6

There was one particular event early in our so-called voyage home that stands out, mostly because, if everything had played out the way it seemed initially, we’d be home by now. I’m talking about the discovery of the wormhole. I’m talking about our unlikely discussions with a Romulan.

A lot of Starfleet officers have years of study about the Vulcan/Romulan dynamic, since it’s required study at the Academy, with the option for more advanced classes past the mandatory first-year lessons taught invariably by Saavik. I happen to have spent my whole tenure in one of her classrooms each semester. Vulcans are hot, so sue me! I hear she hooked up with Kirk’s kid, before he died in the Genesis incident. She likes humans. Always seemed to give me a little hope. But I was at least as interested in her lectures. When everyone eventually learned the truth about Tuvok, I had a little more respect for him. He seemed to blend a lot more of the Vulcan/Romulan personality than most people give him credit for; logical all the way, but also extremely pragmatic. I switched to the security field in part because I wanted to understand him better. I’m not sure I’ve managed it yet.

Anyway, I was especially curious about his reaction to our unlikely Romulan friend, but more than usual, he seemed to keep his reactions close to the vest, even for a Vulcan. Telek, that is to say the Romulan, eventually agreed to do all he could for us, which was unusual enough, because Romulans view the Federation at best as an impediment, and at worst, from the very beginning, as collaborators with their sworn enemies, their own cousins. I think it was because he himself was a scientist, like Janeway, first and foremost, that he held any sympathy for us at all. I should say, that’s how I thought initially. Later, when the truth was revealed, after we’d failed and after we learned he was from twenty years in the past, I suspect he must have known, or suspected his fate all along. That was the only reason he humored us at all. He was curious.

Maybe that’s not fair. I asked Tuvok about it, first chance I got, which was months later, after everyone seemed to have forgotten about it, but I knew he hadn’t. Tuvok doesn’t forget anything. It isn’t just about his long Vulcan life, or his discipline. He remembers, and he files everything away in that brilliant mind of his. He knows before anyone else the likely outcome of any given event, and it’s nothing to do with statistical probabilities. He’s a student of behavior. I suspect he knew we would all end up here long before anyone could have suspected a thing. I think he half-banked on it. He’s not your regular Vulcan. He rebels in small ways, and then again, sometimes in pretty large ways. Who’s to say he didn’t have any readings, or reports, about what might have awaited the Maquis ship in the Badlands? He punishes himself all the time, for all the ways he doesn’t fit in. Being stranded in the Delta Quadrant would be just another calculation in that regard. He’d still be young enough to enjoy his family when he got back…

I’m sorry, I think too much into things, sometimes. I admire him. Banjo Man, on the other hand, all the Caretakers…Maybe it’s time. Maybe I’m ready to talk about that now…

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