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Joanne K. Seward



My dearest Spock,

I hope you don’t mind that I address you that way. An only child is inevitably dear to his mother and one like you - so loving (yes, I know it’s not Vulcan but I have never doubted the existence of your love), so responsible, so giving of yourself despite the pain your choices have caused you - is understandably that much more dear.

I’m writing because I’m worried about your father. For the last few months he has been withdrawn and silent. Yes, I know - it’s his way. The Vulcan way. He is always withdrawn and silent. But this is different, Spock, though I’m not certain I can put the difference into words.

No, I don’t think I can put it into words. At least, not precisely. But it is a different withdrawal - a harder withdrawal, a harsher silence. As though there were a wall between us - transparent but impenetrable.

And now, now he has come to me to tell me he has decided to retire. Retire, Spock! With the Babel conference coming up in only a few months... He is merely 102 years old - "measured in your years," as he puts it. Given the median lifespan of a healthy Vulcan, that’s barely middle age. It’s like a Human retiring at 40. What will he do with himself, Spock? I told him I’ll throw him out if he gets under foot around the house. I meant it as a joke - a little bit of teasing. He just stared at me, then said in that solemn way he’s acquired of late that he will "endeavor to stay out of my way."

Endeavor to stay out of my way!

I know he has not permitted you to witness it very often, but your father does have a rather wry sense of humor, Spock. But there was no sign of it when he said this. Just that controlled Vulcan facade he projects to others.

I’m frightened, Spock. I know something is wrong. I know it. But I have no idea what it is. If he were Human, I’d think perhaps there was another woman. But Vulcan men don’t have affairs.

All the same, he’s cut himself off from me. He meditates, seemingly for hours on end. Then he goes off to "appointments" but never says where or with whom.

And so I’m writing to you. I know there is nothing you can do--given the situation that exists between the two of you it is not possible for you to ask him. Still, I needed to speak to someone. Someone who knows us both, who understands the situation. Someone who will listen and not nod gravely while thinking "foolish Human woman!" I do love him, you know. I always have and always will.

I’m sorry to dump this on you. You have problems of your own on that starship of yours, I’m certain. Perhaps now that I’ve finished, now that I’ve said the words, I’ll simply hit "delete message" instead of "transmit." For now, though, I think I’ll just go to bed and attempt to sleep.

Good night, dear Spock. Dearest Spock. I love you--and no, love is not a dirty word. I hope you’re learning that, surrounded as you are by foolish, emotional Humans.

Please write when you can.

Your mother,


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