perrin

Lefaucheux Mle1854 revolver

Designed by Eugene Lefaucheux, manufactured for the American Civil War, later converted to centerfire.
11mm Perrin, single action, side loading gate, lanyard ring.

I don’t know what advantage this gave its owner, considering 12mm pinfire cartridges were much more abundant. At least that’s how it was in the old world.

Sarek’s Ladies

Sarek and Amanda are the bees’ knees. I’ll confess – they might be my favorite pairing ever. Part of what I find so appealing about them is how different they are and how difficult their marriage must have been, but they managed to find a way to love each other and endure. The other part of what’s so great is that there’s so little in canon, and it gives way to a lot of imagination. They’ve been central to a number of novels and fan fictions over the years, but almost everything we do know about their relationship comes from the TOS episode “Journey to Babel” and the films Star Trek III: The Search for Spock and Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. People dispute the canonicity of the animated series, but there were snippets of their lives revealed in the episode “Yesteryear,” and we were given glimpses in the 2009 rebooted Star Trek. But that’s it.

They really are cute, aren’t they?

We know a lot more about Sarek than we do about Amanda, and there are a couple of things in canon that many fans of this pairing really seem to despise. First, Sarek obviously had a female companion before he met Amanda because Spock wasn’t his first son: Sybok was. Secondly, after Amanda’s death, he eventually remarried a human woman named Perrin, whose most egregious crime was that she married our beloved Vulcan widower.

Why are people so married to the idea that Sarek and Amanda are soul mates like ole’ Dan and Ann from Where the Red Fern Grows? Or hopelessly devoted to each other like Romeo and Juliet, such that Sarek should want to kill himself following Amanda’s death? Most people who have experienced a romantic relationship have done so with more than one person, so why do we hold Sarek to this impossible standard?

I’ll start with Sybok’s mother. She’s never formally named in canon; she’s only identified as a Vulcan princess who died. The end. There’s no explanation of whether or not she was actually married to Sarek, how old she and Sarek were when they hatched Sybok, how old Sybok was when she died, or virtually anything. There’s a lot of weird fanon speculation about her, and almost all of it vilifies her in some way, because you know, she dared to have a relationship with Sarek well before he even met Amanda (and possibly before Amanda was ever even born).

Artist’s rendering of Sybok’s mom.

The TOS novel Sarek identifies her as T’Rea, a woman who married Sarek, had sex with him exactly one time, gave birth to Sybok, kept him hidden from Sarek, had their marriage annulled, and went on to teach Sybok that emotions were actually good things. Other variations on this theme include 1.) she left Sarek for another man, 2.) Sybok isn’t actually his biological son, 3.) they were never really married, or 4.) pretty much anything you can contrive that would put romantic distance between them. If there’s a theory that includes Sybok’s conception via turkey baster, I wouldn’t be shocked. 

There really is the possibility they were never married. In the TNG episode “Sarek,” Sarek strongly implies Amanda was his first wife, and if that really is the case, then perhaps he never was married to Sybok’s mother. I’m not sure if some people are aware, but it is possible to swap gametes outside of marriage. Or perhaps other fanon theories hold true and their marriage was annulled or Sybok is actually Sarek’s adopted son, reminiscent of Julius Caesar and Augustus Caesar. 

But whatever the case, Sybok’s existence strongly points to the fact that Sarek probably spent some time between the sheets with a woman other than Amanda, and given what we know about Vulcans, why is this thought so repugnant? The TOS episode “Amok Time” establishes that many Vulcan children are bonded at age seven, so it’s very likely Sarek was also. Furthermore, according to canon, Sarek was in his 60s when he met Amanda, so unless he didn’t experience his first pon farr until middle adulthood – which I imagine would be roughly analogous to getting one’s first period at age 32 – he probably had to find some way to cope with this drawback of Vulcan biology.

Now, barring any kind of Big Love scenario, Sarek was once again a bachelor by the time he met Amanda. I could write about this pairing for days, but because their relationship has been so heavily analyzed, I’ll keep it short.

Sarek clearly cared for Amanda and Amanda definitely loved him back, but I imagine they had more than a few bumps throughout their marriage. I should probably save my feelings about the bizarre way Sarek is romanticized for another post, so I’ll just point out something about their relationship that I feel is painfully obvious – Vulcans live much longer than humans, so Sarek, being the logical dude he is, must have understood Amanda was going to kick the bucket long before he did. Yet he married her anyway. And then she died. It sucks, but hey, biology can be cruel.

And then Perrin comes into play. We first meet Perrin in the TNG episode “Sarek” and she reappears in the TNG episodes “Unification I/II.” The amount of hate she gets among Sarek/Amanda shippers is truly epic. One would think she seduced Sarek in the grand style of a succubus, had Amanda murdered, and then forced Sarek to dance on her grave.

So she’s probably not guilty of home wrecking, but she’s definitely guilty of having a questionable choice in headbands. 

And that is so weird. I don’t know why Sarek took another human wife, but he did. My instincts tell me she probably reminded him of Amanda in some way, and I’m sure after an appropriate period of mourning, he decided to get on with his life. Some people move on after the death of a spouse, some people don’t. We’re allowed to handle loss in any way we find appropriate, but remember, Sarek had pon farr to deal with. Perhaps his reason for taking another wife had a basis in practicality too.  

The hate for Perrin is even more bizarre when one realizes that – again, excepting some kind of witchcraft seduction – Sarek agreed to marry her. To hate Perrin for marrying Sarek, one must also hate Sarek for marrying Perrin. I don’t think finding love after Amanda’s death meant he loved Amanda any less, but that he had room in his heart to love even more, and given the nature of the Vulcan heart, I think that’s really intriguing.

And here’s the kicker: Perrin clearly loved Sarek. He died in the TNG episode “Unification I,” and Perrin was with him until the bitter end. At that point, he was suffering from Bendii Syndrome and hadn’t managed to reconcile with his son prior to his death. It’s really very sad, but it would have been sadder still for him to have died alone.

Love can be sad and painful. How does that amulet not cause back problems?

Maybe Sarek wasn’t looking to replace Amanda as the one true love of his life; maybe he was looking for a companion. Whatever Perrin was to him, she was there for him through the Bendii Syndrome, so there’s that. 

Bottom line is, we love in all different kinds of ways. Love can last as long as lust and fade into nothing or it can metamorphose into passion or companionship. Lovers can become friends and friends can become lovers – there is no universal or right way to love. 

Maybe I say this because I don’t subscribe to the concept of soul mates. The idea of soul mates implies that we’re static beings, who exist largely to make up one half of a greater whole. But people change – at 31, I love much differently than I loved at 14 – and our purpose extends far beyond the people we love romantically. To suggest otherwise implies that a person who dies before experiencing romantic love never realized their full potential and completely cheated someone else out of the chance at true, unadulterated bliss.

No. I don’t think so. The human heart has the capacity to be a hell of a lot more resilient than that, so why shouldn’t the same be true of the Vulcan heart?

“Portrait of a Woman, Called the Marquise Perrin de Cypierre“ (1753) (detail) by Jean-Marc Nattier (1685-1766).

10

Perrin Mle1865 revolving rifle

Manufactured by Louis Perrin c.1873~80′s in paris, France - based on his Mle1865 revolver design - serial number 413.
11mm73 six-round cylinder, double action, side-loading gate with manual ejector rod, leaf sight, military foregrip and buckles
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Originally presented in its prototype stage along with its handgun counterpart to the French army as concurrents to the Chassepot rifle and Lefaucheux revolver, the Perrin Mle1865 was rejected on both occasion. It was however a very popular private purchase for French officers, especially in the Army where the service pistols were still percussion designs. I doubt that the prototype carbine presented by Perrin was in a serious military rifle caliber, which might have been why it lost to the Chassepot despite arguably using superior technology.
This particular example was manufactured well after that however, since it is chambered for the same round used in the MAS Mle1873 revolver.

8

Here’s the thing about this love story that’s so amazing. Despite all its twists and turns, it has endured for almost twenty years. You guys have been best friends your whole lives. You fell in love with her when you were in kindergarten and have never stopped loving her. Not even for a day. You told me you always knew that someday you’d be together. I think that someday is now. The only question is: what the hell are you waiting for?