I couldn't believe it at first, I honestly couldn't. I don't know if it were more out of shock or more out of the levity of the situation. To make matters worse he was actually proud of it. As far as the boy knew he was officially the first member of the crew to own another person. It's easy to forget that Wraith is only about six or so years old, he looks early twenties maybe even the same age Thomas would have been now, but things like this tend to make it clear just how new he is to our way of life. To his credit she was a lovely young woman, beautiful, polite, well mannered and respectful, but that's to be expected of a princess.... another factor that made this so unbelievable.
As far as scans had shown the world had been uninhabited. A Typical Class N planet with a dying ecosystem but rich in materials we could mine to replenish the reserves for our tricobalt device though the conditions would make surface communications difficult. The team consisted of Commander David Keating as lead, Mr. Sabin and Edison to run the scans and equipment, and T'Pal and Wraith as escort and of all people Ensign Guy Richards. As a warship, I didn't have need for any one with mining or excavating experience, but when the need arose, I count myself fortunate to have some one like Ricky on board. He'd grown up on a mining colony so when it came to needing a resupply he was more than willing to do what he could to help. I'd sent down the team to scout a suitable location and begin reclamation when they were attacked by an unlikely source: Aehallh Worms.
From the reports Simon Edison was the first to wake up, he's one of the few unfortunate officers who are managed to be liberated, but are too far gone to ever be fully human again, but luckily it was that feature that allowed him to free himself and Wraith. As they searched their surroundings they managed to find the rest of the away team as well as where exactly the worms had brought them, the hatchery. They'd been stuck to the walls with some bio-organic resin but with Wraith's augmented Vulcan strength and Mr. Edison's Borg prosthetic arm tools they were able break the rest of the crew free, Ensign Ricky however had managed to get some type of larva attached to his torso. He was alive and able to move, but the luck he has on these away missions... On the way out they managed to find another group, possibly on the same mission to replenish various resources. While trying to get to the surface Wraith and one of the other crew were separated by a cave in only to be attacked by an Aehallh.
He'd was able to defend them until the away team managed to get to the shuttle and managed to do an emergency beam out. Once on board and out of the EV suits, it turns out that our new friends were in fact some form of royalty, not the king and queen type but very high up on the political scale. The one Wraith protected was the highest up and ended up giving him a gift ?equal to the man who'd earned it?, that gift was his daughter Nanete who was still on their ship. Don't get me wrong, the two get along great and she was mature and intelligent for her mid twenties, but even though he's not officially Starfleet, I couldn't allow the boy to own another sentient being, he was understanding but I'm sure a little sad that he wouldn't be able to rub it in Keating's face.
I invited their senior staff to a dinner with mine and tried to talk them out of this ?arrangement? but unfortunately as a matter of respect it would be impossible since it would be seen as an insult to them as a people, which for a first contact means I couldn't refuse. For the time being it seemed we would have an extra guest on our return to Earth. There was a ceremony held in the Mess and as part the boy was also given a dagger, some form of obsidian I?m told but much stronger than most natural minerals. Even the Ensign was able to attend after having the worm removed and being cleared by E'Saul who was more than eager to begin studying it in more detail. It wasn't until Richards made the joke about it being a lovely wedding that I was struck with another awkward moment: ?The talk?. I'd only done it the once when Thomas was young and first noticing girls, bu he was a human so I asked E'Saul to join me given that Wraith's still technically a Vulcan, but she didn't see the problem with it since it might be of cultural importance, but when i asked for any advice she only told me that "Vulcans do not discuss such things openly".
I quickly found that once again my diplomacy left me wanting. The more I told Wraith that it would be wrong to take advantage of her in this situation the more he asked about ? ?mating? in general. Apparently with all the preprogramming he'd received something like this never made it in and in fact he didn't even know species procreated in the first place. Needless to say i directed him to the ship's Chief Medical Officer for any and all of his questions, I?m sure she'd appreciate the humor since it was the ?logical choice?. He agreed to be a gentleman but it seemed that even he had a hard time getting used to his situation, it was hard to get any alone time as well as not being used to some one trying to be so attentive to his well being. To be honest though I?ve never seen him so well groomed, I guess as a princess she refused to let him report for duty in such disarray as she put it. Maybe the boy will learn to be a little more confident with her around.
It seemed that she was quite popular with the crew we only had a three week trip until we'd reached home. The two had become good friends over that time, and both seemed to agree that she wouldn't be allowed stay on board. Wraith had no family other than his friends on the crew and nothing out side the ship leaving the girl quite homeless once she was off the Geist. I would have offered my own house, but I?m a career man, so my only home is my ship, even the senior staff was reluctant for solutions, so it was almost ironic that the least experienced of us all came up with the best solution yet. It was suggested in casual conversation, Wraith said it almost as if he didn't even know it came out of his mouth and Nanete and I stopped in mid bite and it took him a moment to realize we'd left the table. A few calls later and the Federation had itself a new ambassador. She would live the life she's accustomed to as well as be able to return to her people with out insult and even aid in diplomatic relations.
Once we'd arrived at earth there was a diplomatic envoy waiting for us. I gave my people a few days of shore leave while we were here as well as to allow Nanete and Wraith a few days to say goodbye. Upon returning to the ship I was called in by security. Wraith was trying to come aboard the ship armed, and when I arrived attached to the belt he was wearing was an unusual blade made of some type of obsidian. Even though personal armaments weren't allowed under normal protocol I ordered the officers on duty to stand down. When he tried to quote the rules I just looked at him and asked ?Tell me lieutenant, knowing what rumors you've heard about Crewman Wraith, do you really think taking away that knife would make him any less dangerous??. The look on his face was well worth it.
It didn't occur to me until later, but other than the Ambassador herself that blade was the first thing that was really ever his. Everything in his quarters, any clothes, any personal touches or nicknacks, every last bit was Starfleet issued and only there at my encouragement. Wraith has no official ties to the Federation and to be honest is probably more of a prisoner than he'd ever be an officer but even after the hardships he'd had due to what he is, I?ve seen him risk everything for any one on this crew without any though of himself. With all he's given how could I not make an exception to the standard protocol when he's earned it hundreds of times over. Despite it technically being his ?only? possession I think it's safe to say that black blade might just be his prize possession and I can't think of a day I don't see it at his side.
Some days I can't help but learn something new from the boy, he's not Starfleet issue and I?m not sure I?ve ever met such a fish out of water, but sometimes it's his different perspective that makes me pause every now and then to reconsider mine.