Dependency Posting

by Cheryl Petterson

(Standard Year 2253)

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In order to receive an affidavit of Dependency Posting, Cadets or Officers in Starfleet must meet at least one of the following conditions:
a) be married according to the laws of their homeworlds
b) have a signed Federation co-habitation contract on file with Starfleet (standard duration three years)
c) show cause before a Starfleet Tribunal that separate assignment poses a clear and present danger to the physical and/or psychological health of at least one of the parties involved. This requires the testimony of at least three Federation-recognized experts in the fields of medicine, psychology and/or religion.

***** ***** *** ***** *****

“The point is moot,” Commander Jilla Majiir insisted as she stood before the door of the office of the Chief of Personnel.

“No, it isn’t,” Captain Sulu returned just as insistently. “We got lucky. Our friends called in favors. I’m not taking this kind of risk again.”

“We do not meet Starfleet’s requirements. We cannot meet Starfleet’s requirements.”

“We haven’t presented our case yet.”

“Sulu, our application was denied…”

“Without a hearing,” Sulu interrupted. “We have the right to appeal.”

“You have command of the D’Artganan. I am her Chief Engineer. Starfleet will be unlikely to reassign me and…”

“Unless five years from now they want new ships and decide their Chief of Engineering has to be assigned to one of them. No, Jilla, I’m not taking that chance.”

Jilla stared up at her mate, her eyes filled with abject misery. “Please, Sulu, do not subject me to this,” she pleaded in a near-whisper.

Before Sulu could answer her, the office door hissed open. A young, efficient-looking Yeoman motioned them forward, consulting a statboard in his hands.

“You are Captain Sulu and Commander Majiir?” he asked.

“Yes,” Sulu responded.

The man nodded. “Come with me, please, sir, ma’am.”

Sulu quickly slipped Jilla’s hand into his. “It’s going to be all right, hon,” he murmured.

“No, it is not,” was her soft, desolate reply.

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Rear Admiral Chunyuan Jun was a pleasantly featured, easy-going TerAsian man in his mid fifties. Rumor gave him a even temperament, with a firm but fair grip on the intricacies of Starfleet policy regarding its personnel. It was said that while he might be a stickler for the rules, he understood that the letter of those rules was not quite as important as the spirit.

He rose from his desk as Sulu and Jilla were ushered in, took the statboard his yeoman handed him with an easy, “thank you, Rob,” then smiled at the officers before him. “Captain Takeda, Commander Vtkrghdantm,” he acknowledged.

Sulu had several reactions at once. First was a pleasure that the Admiral obviously knew that, in Japanese culture, one’s surname was given first. It had always been a minor irritation that, given the allegedly multicultural attitude of Starfleet, Personnel still couldn’t get that detail right in his service records. It was only the fact that he’d always been a casual sort of person that kept the minor from becoming major. Of course, he thought, he probably has the same problem. I’ll bet he’s always called ‘Admiral Jun.’ He found himself wondering briefly how Jade had avoided the position he’d found himself in – and Uhura, and Spock, and every other Vulcan…

Then there was resentment and anger that the Admiral refused to use the name Jilla had chosen for her Fleet records. It stirred the possessiveness of the Vulcan bond within him, and made him want to challenge it. I’m her mate, he growled to himself. If she’s anything other than Majiir, she’s Takeda! and freely acknowledged that it contradicted both his pleasure and his irritation of a moment before. The Admiral was only being as precisely correct with her name as he had with Sulu’s own.

Finally, there came a sudden understanding of just why Jilla was so nervous about this entire appeal. For in order to present a convincing enough case, they would have to give as fact their Bond. Which would necessitate explaining how two non-Vulcans could be partners in a Vulcan telepathic union. Which would put on display both her genetic alteration – and her damnation.

Sulu closed his eyes. Hon, I’m sorry, he thought at her, I really am – but how can I let even a thing as personal and painful and difficult as this is gonna be preclude our only guarantee?

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“Please, be seated,” the Admiral said as he quickly re-acquainted himself with the details of the case before him. He glanced up only to make sure that the officers had, indeed, taken seats. “Captain Takeda, it says here,” he began, “that you and the Commander have cohabited on Starfleet ships for four of the past five years, and the year-long separation was only due to your conflicting assignments.”

“Yes, sir,” Captain Takeda replied. Chunyuan briefly acknowledged the touch of gratitude for the correct appellation in the Japanese officer’s eyes.

“It also says, Commander Vtkrghdantm,” he went on, and noted the Indiian’s wince, “that you are married by Indiian law. And not to Captain Takeda.”

The petite Indiian before him silvered. “Yes, Admiral,” she returned faintly.

Chunyuan folded his hands on top of the statboard. “My condolences on the death of your husband, Lady Vtkrghdantm, and my congratulations in obviously avoiding the usual fate of one in your position,” he said with only a touch of disparagement. “But seeing as how Indiian marriage is an absolute, that, my good officers, would seem to be that. What’s the basis for your appeal?”

The Indiian Commander bent her head, her glow increasing. The Japanese Captain took her hand, clearing his throat. “We’re Bonded, Admiral.”

“Bonded? Do you refer to a specific ritual of…”

“I refer to the Vulcan farrlrnan,” Takeda clarified.

The Admiral carefully kept his face neutral. He had, of course, all the information in Jilla Costain Vtkrghdantm’s personal history, including the genetic alteration to which she had been subjected while married to Selar Vtkrghdantm. And he had Takeda Sulu’s file as well, which contained an interesting footnote regarding the unusual strength of a certain empathic latency. But surely, these two facts can’t really be enough to claim a Vulcan Bonding, can they?

“I’m afraid you’re going to have to explain that one to me, Captain,” he said.

“If I might call some witnesses who will be better able to do just that, Admiral?”

Eyebrows rising, Chunyuan nodded. “By all means, Captain. That’s what this hearing is for.” And this, I’ve got to hear.

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“… and I can authenticate by my medical records of the time in question, the chemical change my attempted cure of Mrs. Majiir’s condition caused, and can present theoretical biological verification of the effect such a chemical change has on Indiians,” Leonard McCoy stated firmly. “Observation of the behavior initiated by these changes is also documented in the logs of several Enterprise officers, notably myself, Chief Engineer Scott, First Officer Spock, Assistant Science Officer Ruth Valley, and Captain James Kirk.”

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“The Bond was verified by Healer T’Pen on Starbase 16 one point seven one years ago,” Captain Spock confirmed. “I present as evidence her signed affidavit. She, too, was unable to explain how a Vulcan Bond could exist between an Indiian and a Human, but it would be illogical to deny what empirically is.”

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“Having made extensive observation of Mrs. Majiir and Captain Sulu, I can state without any hesitation my psychological certainty that a permanent separation would cause serious harm, and very likely death,” Dr. Jade Han reported calmly. “That meets the requirements for dependency posting, Admiral, any way you slice it.”

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“After six months, his physical condition was impaired, his sleep-patterns erratic, and his general bodily functions in a seriously abnormal state,” Dr. Lian Rendell informed the Admiral.

“Can you explain what you mean by ‘seriously abnormal’?” Chunyuan asked.

“He didn’t eat enough to keep a Sirian Twitterfly alive, yet he exercised like some kind of health fanatic. He was up at all hours of the night, and his dermal-optic tests showed he was under an alarming amount of stress. He drank more coffee than the rest of the crew combined,” the Haven elaborated. “We were lucky Commander Paget arrived with his Lady when he did.”

“And did his condition improve after his visit from Commander Vtkrghdantm?”

“Who?”

“His Lady, Dr. Rendell.”

“Oh, you mean Majiir,” Lian said with a pointed smile. “Yes, sir, it did – for about three weeks.”

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“As you know, Admiral, I’m an expert at covert psychological observation,” Jeremy Paget stated. “There’s no doubt in my mind that separatin’ Captain and Lady Takeda will do them both irreparable harm.”

“Captain and Lady Takeda, Dr. Paget?”

“I’m only statin’ the psychological truth, sir. Those two are as married as it’s possible for them to be given the fact that Indiian culture won’t let them make it legal. You do know, Admiral, that that’s the only thing standing in their way.”

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“Well.”

Sulu and Jilla were again seated before Admiral Chunyuan Jun. The admiral again had his hands folded over a statboard. Jilla was pale, her eyes downcast. Sulu again held her hand.

“I have before me the sworn testimony of five Starfleet officers, four of whom are properly certified experts in medicine or psychology. They all tell me that this Bond is real and that, regardless of its cause or inception, it has the full psychic effect of any Vulcan Bond. I also have before me an affidavit from the Vulcan Council requesting the verifications be forwarded to them, although I can’t for the life of me understand what they have to do with this, since neither one of you are Vulcan citizens.” He shrugged, noting but not commenting on the Indiian’s sudden flush. “I also have a request from Ambassador Costain that the Indiian legalities be – suspended, shall we say, given your genetic alteration, Commander. He makes a good case for the possibility that you may no longer be the same genetically identifiable person who took the mnorindar vow, and therefore Indiian strictures may no longer apply.” He paused, his face crinkling in a smile. “I suspect he loves his daughter very much.” He straightened, placing his hands flat on the desk in front of him. “So, it looks like everything is in order and condition C of Starfleet regulation 7616D/1301 has been met.” He rose. “Congratulations, Captain, Commander. Starfleet Personnel will have your official mandate for Dependency Posting logged in by the end of the day.”

Jilla let out a surprised gasp, and Sulu shouted, “Yes!” then leaped up from his seat, pulling Jilla into his arms. He reached around her small frame to extend his hand to Admiral Chunyuan. “Thank you, sir, thank you!” he enthused.

“No need to thank me. It was you who met the burden of proof.”

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McCoy, Jeremy, Lian, Scotty, Spock and Ruth, and Jim and Jade were waiting for them in the hallway outside the Personnel Office. Ruth hugged Jilla, Jeremy hugged Sulu, then Jeremy hugged Jilla and Lian hugged Sulu, then Jade hugged Jilla and Ruth hugged Sulu. Scotty nearly crushed Jilla in a bear hug. He and McCoy and Jim shook Sulu’s hand, and Spock quietly clasped his fellow captain’s forearm, as they had a year previously upon Sulu’s taking his leave of the Enterprise.

Thank you, thank you all,” Sulu said when he got his emotions under control.

“I did not believe it would be possible,” Jilla managed, her voice full of wonder and cracking under the force of the joy within her.

“It had to be,” Ruth returned. “Roy was right, we didn’t have any more favors to call in.”

“Maybe you didn’t…” Lian retorted with typical Haven mischievousness, “though I wouldn’t necessarily call what I’ve got on some people favors…” and Ruth laughed.

“God, how are we ever going to get used to Havens in our crews?”

“At least it’s not Klingons,” Sulu returned, then put his arm around Jilla’s shoulder. “Come on, we’ve got a public relations spectacle to rival a nova of a launch to put on.”

The End

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