Chapter 7
The Blood Fever

Spock was no stranger to passion. Although it was the one emotion that the Vulcans had tried to eradicate entirely from their lives, the price they paid was Pon Far. Once every 7 years of an adult male's life all that buried passion boiled to the surface in one violent burning fury. In ancient days the male of the species fought for their women to the death during Pon Far. The winner claimed the female as their mate and the act of mating saved their lives.

As civilisation came to the Vulcan people, it became customary to bond their children at a very early age (just after they had survived their Kaswan ordeal) in order that there would be no need for a fight to the death. But no matter how civilised they became, when Pon Far happened to an adult male, no training in the world could stop them from losing control.

Spock had nearly died during his first Pon Far rather than break the ancient rules of privacy which prevented him telling his friends on the Enterprise what was happening to him. He became the first Vulcan in the planets history to survive the ordeal of Pon Far by neither mating OR dying. He had wondered if his human blood had prevented him from experiencing the full force of the plac Tau or blood fever. Then he recalled how it had felt to be gripped by that inferno of passion to the point where he would even kill his friend Jim Kirk for the right to mate. No - he had felt its full unleashed force and he had survived.

The whole affair had raised certain unavoidable question for Spock. He had no mate and was not bonded. 7 years from now (nearly 17 standard years) this would happen to him again. What would he do? He supposed he would die. That was infinitely preferable to fighting someone else to the death.

Perhaps he could find another suitable woman to bond with. Spock dismissed the idea. When would he find time to do that? No he was in all probability a doomed man. With careful planning and monitoring of his general condition, he was sure he could arrange to be on Vulcan the next time this happened where at least some-one would take his Katra to the Hall of Ancient Thought.

A few years later, Spock had undergone 2 years of Kholinar training on Vulcan. One of the benefits of such rigorous mental discipline was the ability to withstand Pon Far through the use of deep meditation techniques. Although not entirely infallible, the techniques allowed most Kholinaru to survive the blood fever. Spock was confident the next time he would be prepared.

It had not happened that way of course. The call from Carol Markus had initiated a remarkable series of events, which had not only caused the Vulcan to experience Pon Far prematurely, but had culminated in his death and rebirth.

There was no doubt that had Spocks Katra been in his body at the time, he would never have allowed Saavik to make the sacrifice that she did to save him. But forces his primitive brain could not understand controlled his body. Saavik later doubted that Spock would even remember the events. Spock remembered. He had cheated death a second time.

Spock had not had to push the question of survival to the back of his mind for many years now. And yet today, when he had held Seleya in his arms, the blood fever became a sharp focused memory, one that he had not allowed himself to remember for a very long time. He knew that it was not nearly his time yet. His reaction to her came from some other need deep within him. She was a woman who could match him in intellect, strength and power. It was possible that she could become another part of him just like Jim and McCoy and all his other friends were. But much more. Since Kirk's death, Spock had been aware of a gaping void in his life, one which he knew, on a purely instinctive level, this woman could fill.

Now Spock stood watching her fumble the lock on her apartment door and realised that he was experiencing another human emotion. Nerves. He reached past her to take the key card from her trembling fingers and swiped it down the lock with undue force. The door mechanism squealed in protest but the door slid open never the less. She thanked him quietly and stepped through the threshold.

Spock glanced around the brightly-lit apartment. There was a large fire pit in the centre of the room surrounded with soft cushions and furs. It could be lit with a simple verbal command. Spock looked back at her and without taking his eyes from hers said loudly, "Fire"

The flames sprung up in the pit and Spock saw them reflected in her eyes. "Lights, one third" he heard her say as the ambient lighting in the room dropped to a more intimate intensity.

He reached for her hand to draw her close to the fire but the simple act of touching her turned his blood to molten lava and the next few moments were lost to his conscious mind. He had no idea how they came to be lying on the furs or how their clothes came to be scattered over the floor. He had no idea how his lungs had survived the ragged breathing he was unable to control or how his heart had not burst open under its own frenzied hammering.

But none of this mattered, all that mattered were her lips, whispering his name against his own mouth, inflaming his passion to the point beyond return. He was no longer in control of his emotions and he did not care. He lay back in the soft fur savouring the sensation of her hair trailing sensuously down his body. He heard the ragged groan issuing from his lips and reached for her. This torment could not continue. He threw her back onto the furs and covered her gasping lips with his own and was lost to the outside world for a very long time.

Spock had made 6 other trips to Rihannsu over the next 40 years, all of them more for personal reasons than political ones. On the third trip he had made the decision to marry Seleya. His choice could not be explained using logic, and Spock had suddenly gained an insight into the reasons behind his father's choice of life-mate. The thought that he may have more in common with his father than he could ever have imagined caused Spock some discomfort.

Perhaps that was why he had failed to mention all this to Picard. Two standard years later, Spock received news of the birth of his son.




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