“You can use logic to justify anything. That's its power and its flaw.”
A Vulcan holds logic in the highest esteem. I myself have undertaken the Kolinahr. I prize logic above all else. Thus, it is unsettling to be confronted with this assertion. Perhaps, it is most unsettling for it was my logical deduction that led me to act in a manner of a rather un-Vulcan nature. I defied the rules I have sworn allegiance to, and betrayed the Captain I faithfully serve.
A Vulcan acting upon logic and determining to break the rules: many might argue that it was the most human I’ve acted in a long time and pat me on the back with a smile. Perhaps they would be correct. Yet it is often mistakenly asserted that Vulcans do not experience emotions. It stands to reason that among the ebullient Bolians, passionate Klingons and fiercely proud Bajorans with their heart on their sleeves, to use another human expression, Vulcans may appear somewhat cold. As we often have to politely remind others, our composed outer appearance, however, is the product of years of mental training, and trials of logic; it does not, as many believe, bespeak a complete apathy to the plight of others, and ultimately belies a state of intense reflection which in itself forms part of our active pursuit of logical detachment.
Perhaps herein lies the crux of the matter. There are certain people in our lives that simply enhance us, a concept, I believe, that spans all species, including Vulcans, and would be illogical to deny. Kathryn Janeway is one such person in my life. It was in this matter that my loyalty to her as a person, as my friend, eclipsed my loyalty to her as Captain.
"My logic was not in error... but I was."
Yet, it is clear to me now that my logical assertions regarding the matter on Sikaris were rooted in my friendship with Kathryn Janeway, which transcended our relationship as Lieutenant and Captain.
She has allowed me to know her. Our twenty year friendship has forged the trust that allowed me to know her deeply, see her, and her true nature that resides beneath the calm, commanding, assured exterior. I, in turn, have welcomed her into my life, felt at ease in her presence, enjoyed the challenges our friendship brings. Her unique and complex character, at once full of contradictions that seem to exist in harmony, pushes me, forces me to scrutinize my own sense of self and worldview. These contradictions that humans love with such passion oft perplex Vulcans who have not spent long in the company of the species. She is akin to a flowing source; her energy for life is strong. Yet, as Captain, she must now stem that flow in order to provide her crew with a bedrock of stoic hope, determination and objective leadership.
In a sense, as Captain, the crew demands that she become more Vulcan-like: someone who can bear the mantle of the tough decisions that will be made out here in the Delta Quadrant. A leader with a singular aim and an unfailing devotion to it. A leader who will not break under pressure.
In fact, for someone so incredibly emotional, Kathryn Janeway has been accused by some of having an almost Vulcan-like ability to suppress her emotions. However, Kathryn Janeway is not Vulcan. She has not undertaken Kolinahr. She has not learned to live, breathe and exist in the techniques we Vulcans learn in order to process emotions and apply logic. The human propensity to suppress emotions as opposed to process them is a damaging psychological trait. If we continue to be here in the Delta Quadrant much longer, and we could be here for a further 70 years, I am concerned that the burden of command may prove to be her greatest personal challenge yet.
I have no doubts about her abilities has Captain. She has an unbending will, and implacable mental discipline that is one of the wells of my deepest respect for her. Thus, herein lies the crux of the matter. Kathryn Janeway will attempt to exist almost solely as Captain for the sake of her crew. Starfleet captains do not have the luxury of allowing self-doubt to set in, of pondering their decisions made, and most of all, do not normally have the luxury of acknowledging their own personal loss when they perceive their crew to have lost a great deal more.
Kathryn Janeway has experienced loss too, and now burdens herself a unique sense of guilt as a result of destroying the Caretaker’s array. She will carry this guilt with her and use it to forge the razor edge of her determination as Captain to get her crew home. However, I fear that while she has this goal, honourable as it may be, it will be both her crutch and the stick she will use to beat herself.
I myself undertake the most difficult of meditation to alleviate my own sense of loss. The prospect of not seeing my wife and children for decades is not an easy one to bear, even for a Vulcan. Now, Kathryn Janeway has both mourning and guilt squarely fixed on her shoulders and a responsibility that she believes forces her to quash these feelings, hide them behind closed doors and, if possible, subdue entirely.
I now understand that this was the motivation for my actions on Sikaris. As her friend, I recognized her guilt and wanted to alleviate it. Knowing that Janeway is true to her word and would indeed destroy the device, I even managed to logically weave a version of events that side-stepped the issue at hand: Starfleet Protocol.
"You are one of my most valued officers. And you are my friend. It is vital that you understand me here. I need you. But I also need to know that I can count on you. You are my counsel. The one I turn to when I need my moral compass checked. We have forged this relationship for years and I depend on it."
This episode has proven to me that she does not truly need me in terms of a moral compass. Yet, if this is what she states, then that is what I will be for her. My actions on Sikaris and the Captain’s reaction have led me to re-evaluate how I shall support both my good friend, Kathryn Janeway, and my Captain simultaneously. As a Captain of a somewhat volatile and mixed crew, I will be there for her as she suppresses her own grief to lead us out of our collective loss, I will be the counterpoint to her emotions. I will endeavor to provide her with the solace she needs in order to maintain her resolve and composure.
When she needs it, I will be there. I will sit. I will listen. I will provide a sanctuary for Kathryn Janeway. I will be an unshakable element in her life amid the chaos of the Delta Quadrant. I will not judge unless asked for advice. I will simply be, and let her be too.
I will not fail her.