Into the Valley ~ Guy Talk, Girl Talk #Uhura

Previously ~ The Softer Side of Science

Later that afternoon, the boys decided to get together for an “herbal session.” As the smoke and smell of burnt leaves filled the Laidley dorm room, a single irritable voice stated, “There are too many damn rules at this school.”

“What’s wrong, Jim?” Hikaru snickered. “Still can’t get the replicators to make contraceptives?”

“Precisely,” Jim complained. “Which means that when I hook up with your cousin—”

Hikaru coughed out his interruption, “You will never hook up with my cousin.”

Jim Kirk’s lips bore confident sneer. “Sure about that? ‘Cause it’s a Mission Impossible you’ve got going on there, bro. Face it; you’re going down.”

“You wish,” Hikaru snorted, passing the bong to Lenny McCoy. He had to jab the bong into the poor boy’s chest a couple of times to wake him. Lenny woke with a start before accepting the bong.

“You know, bro,” Jim suggested, eyebrow raised, “you might wanna cut back.”

Lenny ignored him and took a deep hit instead.

“So anyway, I’m ahead,” Hikaru relished. “Spock already asked Nyota Uhura out. They’re going to the holodeck this Saturday.”

Lenny choked on the smoke while Jim’s jaw hit the floor.

Over on his bed, nestled in the corner with a book, the Vulcan in question sighed loudly. While his roommate was well aware of the fact he did not like being spoken of as though he wasn’t in the room, Hikaru always persisted in doing so, as though he were attempting to provoke an emotional response. Normally, Spock would ignore him, however, this time another person was involved and he didn’t want to subject her to fresh rumors.

“Hikaru,” he began clearly, “it is not a ‘date.’ Vulcans do not date.”

“Aha!” Jim shouted. “Loser! Give me your cousin’s frequency right the hell now!”

Instead, Hikaru slyly turned his head slightly to the right, asking over his shoulder, “Spock? Does Nyota know this little trip you planned isn’t a date?”

The Vulcan paused for a moment, before inquiring, “Why would she think it’s a date?”

“Because she likes you, and you asked her to be your only guest to the holodeck,” his roommate snickered.

“And therein lies the flaw in your logic,” came the dry reply. “Nyota is not attracted to me and school regulations only allow two students at a time to participate in recreational holodeck activities.”

“Not if you reprogram the biosensors in the central simulation processor to ignore additional lifesigns,” Lenny choked out. “A standard hexadecimal algorithm should do the trick, now that I think about it.” For a split second, sheer silence filled the room, with all eyes on the only student ever to be held back at Stellar Valley. It was as though the Klingon tobacco he smoked last year had made him dumber, while the Andorian dream leaf was now having a reverse effect. The silence ended with Lenny coughing for a moment before passing the bong to a wide-eyed Jim.

“Anyhoo,” Hikaru redirected, “I’ve spoken with her. She does find you attractive, Spock, and very much so. She wouldn’t admit it to me, but Vira knows.”

Except for Spock, all the boys looked at one another and chorused, “Vira always knows.”

Spock’s voice came out a bit tight. “But Nyota does not consider our appointment a ‘date.’ Need I remind you that I’ve been bonded to a Vulcan female who awaits my eventual return home? For me to even attempt to pursue a romance with another female would be—”

“—illogical,” the boys finished together. The Vulcan raised an eyebrow. Was triangular telepathy a side effect of Andorian dream leaf as well? The corners of Spock’s mouth twitched, but he masterfully resisted the smile. Just as their abysmal leaf smoke was rubbing off on his clothing, he himself appeared to be rubbing off on them.

“You’re evading,” Hikaru accused playfully, repacking the bong. “You haven’t said anything about how she feels.” He lit up and took another long draw.

“I cannot say anything when all I have to go on is hearsay, Hikaru.” Spock swung his legs over the edge of his bed and leaned in, but not so much that he’d get a good whiff.

“Evading,” Lenny yawned, taking the bong from Hikaru. “Spock, do you think she’s hot or not?”

All heads turned toward him, and they could swear they saw him flinch. Their slightly glazed eyes were still clear enough to bore holes into him.

“I am…flattered, by her attentions,” Spock admitted. “Nyota is an intelligent and insightful person.”

“Like your mother,” Hikaru shrugged, his voice light. Even though he was facing Lenny and Jim, he could practically feel Spock’s whole body going rigid behind him. The Vulcan was probably trying to decide whether to feel insulted or informed.

“I will admit,” came the tentative, measured response, “that Nyota’s personality does bear some resemblance to that of my mother’s.”

Hikaru nodded his head from side to side. “Would explain what your dad saw in her then. Girls like Nyota…they don’t come by the dozens, if you catch my drift. You’ve been taking Vulcan Lit all semester long and not a single girl—or guy—in that class has been able to properly interpret any of the work; you’ve stated this on multiple occasions. But then she comes along and in two days—two days, Spock—she’s analyzing Vulcan Literature better than you!”

He finally turned to face his roommate, who was now visibly perplexed—or at least the Vulcan equivalent.

“You came to Earth, of your own free will. Your continued stay is in direct defiance of your father’s wishes.” By Spock’s slight wince, Jim could tell Hikaru’s words had hit close to home. “Why? What you are looking for that’s so important?”

The Vulcan averted his gaze, swallowing as he carefully considered his response. “I’m not looking for anything—or anyone, Hikaru. I’m seventeen. I have my whole life ahead of me.”

“Exactly. So what’s one harmless date, Spock?” his roommate insisted. “Your father says he married your mother because it was the best way to fully understand the world he was an Ambassador to. No one’s asking you to marry Nyota,” Hikaru added quickly, when Spock would interrupt him. “But if you came to Earth to understand humans better, to understand your mother better and why your father would marry her, wouldn’t it be logical to follow in their footsteps…at least, in a ‘junior’ sense?”

His words were clearly sinking in; Spock’s body language had loosened a little, and he had on his “deep thinking” face. It was a rarely seen expression, as Hikaru rarely ever convinced Spock to do something.

“I supposed,” the Vulcan began falteringly, “that I could pursue…a…a…,” he quickly grasped for an appropriate term, “…an acquaintance with Nyota.” His eyes snapped sternly to his roommate.  “Strictly in an exploratory fashion, of course.”

“Of course,” Hikaru beamed, before triumphantly turning to a gawking Jim Kirk. For him, Hikaru had only two words.

“Keys, bitch.”


Later that evening, Vira joined her roommate in the dorm right before they were to go to dinner. She triumphantly slammed a padd down on Nyota’s bed.

Pon Farr!” she exclaimed, eyes shining.

Her roommate raised an eyebrow. “Pon what?”

“Pon Farr,” Vira clarified, “also known as the Vulcan time of mating. It occurs every seven years in mature Vulcans. It is characterized by a neurochemical imbalance which causes sweating, irritability, and a loss of focus, control, and appetite. Then,” she sat down by Nyota, “the final stage sets in—the plak tow. Translation:—”

“‘Blood fever,’” Nyota rasped. “How’d you find all this?”

“Well,” the Trill drawled, “thanks our original Vulcan bad boy Kurik, the infamous scholar-turned-soldier, I managed to cross-reference his experiences with numerous others—Vulcan diplomats on assignment to interstellar conferences, officers aboard starships, scientists aboard survey vessels—you name it. In each instance, the Vulcan in question came down with a sudden fever and loss of self-control. The attending physician would then note the symptoms of a neurochemical imbalance, but before she or he could continue analysis, the patient would request emergency leave…right before returning to Vulcan.”

Vira knows, Nyota grinned broadly, increasingly amazed by her roommate’s research abilities. Vira always knows!

“The plak tow,” Vira continued gleefully, “is a really cool phenomenon. It’s when a Vulcan’s hormones peak; they become so aroused they actually start going crazy—like full-out insane!”

Each day my mind is fragile and frayed, Kurik had written. Turns out he wasn’t exaggerating.

“And the only thing that can calm them down is…is…well—” Nyota had talked enough about sex for a week; she didn’t trust herself to speak on it anymore.

Of course, Vira on the other hand….

“Copulation quells the madness,” she nodded avidly. “And not just any copulation. We’re talking raw, brutal, anything-goes, beast-like fuc—”

“Vira!” Nyota cried, her face heating. Elsewhere, she felt her body responding to each enunciated syllable. Her roommate’s words from earlier echoed teasingly inside her mind, like a naughty whisper. Vaginal moistening in response to a sexual stimulus is common in most humanoids….

“But, wait!” the Trill exclaimed. “It gets better!”

“No, no,” Nyota nervously shook her and waved her hands. “I think I’ve heard enough about hormones and imbalances for one day.”

“Actually,” Vira laughed, “I was about to mention their mythology.” She picked up the padd tapped a few times. “See, according to a Vulcan philosopher who lived around a hundred and fifty years after the death Surak, Vulcans who followed Surak had renounced the gods of war, passion, and the hunt. They embraced logic, the pacifist philosophy of Nom, strict vegetarianism, and maintained very strict mating practices in an attempt to control and diminish their desires.” The Trill’s dark eyes suddenly gleamed impishly. “But then came the Pon Farr, a time when Vulcans became stripped all of their carefully developed discipline, and this philosopher—Silorian of Gauth—theorized that the Pon Farr was punishment, a penalty exacted by the neglected gods who sought revenge for being abandoned.

"Of course,” Vira chuckled, “Silorian’s work was immediately dismissed as antiquated superstition.”

'The Twilight Scholar’' is a deliberately neglected work in the world of Vulcan literature, Spock had told her. Kurik wrote it the year he turned twenty-one and went to serve under his father, Commander Syal.

“Spock’s seventeen,” Nyota said suddenly. “Does this mean the Time will come when he’s twenty-one or…did he go through it at fourteen or—how does that work now?”

“According to my research, teenaged Vulcans don’t usually go through it. However, he’s half-human, and the first of his kind.” Vira shrugged. “He may go through it sooner or maybe later—or maybe not at all.”

Nyota’s mind was suddenly rushed with images of a trembling Spock trying desperately to hold on to his self-control. His blue tie was loosened, and the top button of his black uniform shirt was unbuttoned, giving the slightest peek of pale, sweaty skin. The effect her imaginings had on her body was something akin to an explosion.


“Which brings me to another issue,” Vira said softly, and Nyota immediately braced herself. Vira in soft-voice, empathetic ‘teacher’ mode was never a good thing. “Human boys are far more hormonal and less controlled than Vulcan boys. Why, statistics on the masturbatory practices of the average human male alone—”


“Sorry, sorry,” the Trill relented quickly, getting back to her original point. “What I’m saying is this: Vulcans don’t masturbate; they meditate. It keeps them calm and in check at all times. But with human males, it’s like Pon Farr Junior all year round. Spock is half-human. If he were to become aroused, it could very well trigger an early onset of Pon Farr which, as a human female, you might not be able to handle.”

“Whoa, whoa, whoa,” Nyota blinked. “Um…WTF? Pon Farr is dangerous to me now?”

Vira’s tone turned apologetic. “Vulcans are three times faster and stronger than humans, Ny. They sometimes call Pon Farr ‘the unleashing’ because they can’t control themselves when they mate. All that repressed emotion—seven years’ worth—doesn’t just bubble to the surface; it erupts. Now, it’s one thing when it’s two Vulcans going at it; but with you…Spock could accidentally snap your neck, break your arm, or even completely, like, destroy your pelvis when he’s—”


“But he’d feel really sorry about it!” Vira added quickly.

Nyota stared at her, horrified and agape. “What happened to sweaty, hot forbidden-ness?” she finally asked sheepishly. “I finally learn that Vulcans actually do have a sexy side, only to find out it’s more than I can handle? WTF?”

“Well, Nyota,” Vira said, painful discomfort clouding her eyes, “you’re sixteen. Do you really want to start having sex? They don’t provide contraception to minors for a reason, Ny; it’s a deliberate deterrent to something we shouldn’t be indulging, no matter how much we might want to. You could get pregnant.” Pause. “It would destroy your future…while he could just hop the next ship back to Vulcan, honorable or not.”

Nyota hadn’t thought of that. This wasn’t ancient times, when people were confined not only to one planet, but single continents with a limited set of opportunities. These days, the sky wasn’t the limit, but the universe itself.

Did she really want to risk all that because of a crush?

And it was strange, once she asked herself this. A new confidence infused her; an odd calm comparable to that of a Vulcan came over her for the next two days. She started paying stricter attention in class, taking more detailed notes, participating in discussions, and even going to the Buskirk House library to stay on top of homework.

On Friday, in Vulcan Lit, the class discussed the tragic tale of Princess T’Nani, whose father reigned five hundred years before the time of Surak. T’Nani’s handmaiden was a dedicated and devout servant girl who brought her mistress a handsome lover. The tryst ended up impregnating the Princess, who was to be bonded to a northern King. In despair, fearing shame and the wrath of her father, T’Nani beseeched her handmaiden to help her. So her maid brought her the root of a something called a “talon tree” to kill the unborn child, but T’Nani, in her zeal to free herself, took too much of the root and died.

“Comments?” Vladimir asked the class. “Miss Uhura?”

“That’ll never be me,” she replied flatly, causing the other girls to laugh in agreement and the Vulcan to raise his eyebrow.

Friday ended uneventfully, and Saturday dawned, finally bringing about “the date.”

Next - Niorah Plak