Chapter One: The Arrival
The city of Sha’Kir on the planet Vulcan was unique. While is was not particularly large, nor was it a center of government or culture, it did possess one feature that no other city on the planet could boast.
It had humans.
More than 300 years before, a ship had crashed on Vulcan, just outside of Sha’Kir. Those of the Ruling House of the province, the House of Surak, had feared that the downed ship, filled with an odd, alien species, was perhaps the first scout ship of an invasion force from an unknown race. Another ruler might have simply killed the crew of this ship, but the Head of House, a young woman named T’Pau, was wise for her years and not inclined to make hasty decisions. She had simply confined these odd aliens and thoroughly investigated the ship, its contents, and its databanks. T’Pau’s people had quickly confirmed that these—humans, they called themselves—were not warlike; they were explorers, adventurers looking for life on other planets. Well, they had found that life.
T’Pau was a just ruler, but she was not soft. She had informed the leader of these 214 humans that he and his people were now her property, to serve her and her House for the rest of their lives. She had granted them a settlement in Sha’Kir, allowing them to build houses and gradually organize themselves into family units, which they did over time. The adults worked in farming, in domestic settings, and in handicrafts of various kinds. A few even came to serve their overlords in more—personal—ways. The lords of the House of Surak had soon discovered that humans, both male and female, were highly responsive and interested in the sensual arts.
The children (and there were children fairly soon after the crash; these humans were prolific) were given a basic education and aptitude tests. When they were old enough, they were assigned work as well. The original humans resented being made into ‘serfs’ as they called themselves, but within a generation or so, they no longer resisted. Humans were fairly fragile; most lived only seven or eight cycles of years, but they were good workers, and they were treated fairly, so over time, they and those of the House of Surak grew—accustomed to each other.
So it was when a young human and an heir to Surak’s House met for the first time….