Wednesday, September 16, 2009

[USS Charon] SD240909.16 - Personal BackLog “Out of the Dark“ Epilogue Part II - CHO - Sakarra Tyrax

Introduction to "Ancient and Modern Golic - Etymology of Vulcan Languages and Pronunciation" by Adaxa Tyrax
Zhit-Vesht-Tal Ba- eh Iyi-Gol-Vuhlkansu - Gen-Lis-Tal eh Salasharaya
There is a fine irony in the fact that the Vulcan language - the modern as well as the ancient variety - has more inflections and intonations to indicate subtle meanings and (don't dare say this one out loud though) emotions, than just about any other Federation language.
Beginning with the simple matter of saying 'hello'. 
You can greet a Vulcan in an almost infinite number of ways, from the brief telepathic 'nudge' that is pretty much the equivalent of a tap on the shoulder or a Betazoid saying 'Hi, I'm here', to the long, elaborate and quite ancient words that are delivered with as much ceremony as a presidential inauguration.
The endless variations in between are a linguist's dream come true, or quite possibly a nightmare. For even the informal 'Tonk'peh' can mean 'hello, how are you today' when a Vulcan uses it this very second and  'wow, long time no see old friend, am I glad you made it' when the very same person speaks it a minute later. And that's just for starters.
Sadly, for most other species all variations will sound almost exactly the same and the Vulcans, not so much a taciturn race as a practical one (or so they will prefer to be seen) will hardly ever bother to point out what to them is as obvious as sunlight on the desert sands. That to understand, you have to listen.
Of course there is no more intimate way to greet a Vulcan but speaking his or her name, even if it is only the second, the 'public' name (if that sounds odd to you - remember the last time you cried out a friend's name in joy after you hadn't seen them in a long time? Or deliberately spoke a person's name with that icy cold politeness when really you wanted to rip off the head belonging to it?).
The 'first one' the really important one, is almost never spoken aloud and known to few enough people to warrant no more than a brief mention here. Some off-worlders however know or have heard that Vulcans have 'first' names, it's just that one couldn't pronounce them.
That is true, in a way - since Vulcans as a rule don't lie any more than a Betazoid would, although for slightly different reasons - but like the old iceberg metaphor goes, only a tiny part of a much larger truth.
For a Betazoid or Terran or even Betelgeusian could quite possibly get their mouth to make the approximate sounds required to produce the liquid, lilting syllables of a Vulcan's name.
What they could not do is pronounce it, give it the shades of meaning and feeling (yes, the unspeakable word. Don't try to call a Vulcan on it, though. At best, you'll get the 'silent answer') that will let the person in question know all they need to know. Like that you are talking to them and no other, that you know who they are down to the last little spinning atom and what they are to you. No more. No less.
There's a headache waiting to happen in this complexity, although of course a Vulcan will not hesitate to point out the elegant simplicity of few words, much meaning. 'Infinite Diversity' they call it, if they can be bothered to make any comment at all. 
This book is an attempt to explain the fine nuances of a fascinating (no pun intended) language from another telepathic species' point of view. There are whole libraries filled with explanations on how aξ'àl'el became ashahl and then asal - the rising (time). What tends to be overlooked is that there is much more to a morning on the planet Vulcan than just a hot sun rising.
Once one grasps that concept, a new understanding dawns as well - and maybe the cryptic looks our pointy eared friends give us sometimes will finally begin to make sense.
In that spirit: Live long, and prosper!
Dr Adaxa Tyrax
Daughter of the Twelfth House
University of Betazed (linguistics department)
He called to her as soon as she stepped out of the ancient gates, and the resonance of the silent voice echoing in her head almost drowned out the very non-telepathic vocalizations that reached her ears seconds later.
"OY! Ohashsu!"
Turning her face into Nevasa's scorching heat, the young woman found it difficult not to chuckle - if they hadn't already drawn everyone's attention with all the noise they were making, shouting the equivalent of "Ace!" with a very Andorian accent across the golden colored stairs and the plaza beneath - well, that certainly had done the job now.
She returned the friendly waves by raising her hand in greeting when he stepped beside her, repeating her name in a low murmur, but with the same melody of joy and relief.
"Isha nam-tor itar-bosh ish-veh gla-tor du, Sovar."
He seemed amused by the exuberant greetings of the people in Starfleet dress uniforms, although to any onlooker he presented nothing but the perfect picture of a stoic Vulcan with chiseled features and black hair.
Only the young woman now turning back to face him and place her fingertips ever so lightly on his outstretched hands knew him a little better than that.
"Friends of yours?"
Immediately there was that wave of recognition, the familiar sensation of two minds reestablishing contact, seeking and finding something that neither had known was missing.
Startling, as always, how dark those eyes were that now looked up at him.
And something he had not seen in them in a long time, resting in their depths, concealed to anyone but those who knew what to look for.
An unspoken question, a small nod, and a friendly goodbye to the off-worlders later, they were walking under the stone arcades in silence.
Companionable silence, as familiar as her long legged stride and the subtle scent of her hair, but again there was that undercurrent of 'wrong-ness', no matter how hard she tried to conceal it.
She seemed hardly surprised when he suddenly steered away from the old arcades and into one of the many, tiny gardens that were so abundant in the Old Quarter. In fact, a memory of their walk across Sas-a-Shar briefly flashed at the uppermost regions of her mind and despite himself, Sovar found he had to press his lips together lest he should break into a smile.
'Am I truly that insufferable?'
'You certainly can be.' 
But along with her words came the sensation of warmth, of good humor and above all, the friendly teasing none but her ever dared to subject him to. And as always it made him … feel … feel?
Later. He would have to find the reason for these odd sensations later. This mild confusion, mixed with desire to chuckle at her innocent expression while her eyes sparkled with mischief, and the even stronger wish to see it again, see those serene features lit up by a smile like the morning light rolling over the hills.
The young woman with the tightly braided curls stood under one of the hardy little trees now, apparently mesmerized by the feathery, maroon-colored leaves. Her fingertips toyed with the soft leaves and there it was again. For the briefest of moments, something flashed into the light telepathic thread between them, and Sovar understood.
Sorrow. Faces, names, all of them inevitably and for all time linked with loss and pain. And although he could not sense it, he knew there was that anger underneath, the rebellion, the burning fury kept in check by nothing more than sheer force of will.
They had been her friends. And this was going to be another burden he could not take from her.
Without thinking, without regard for the semi-public place they happened to be in, and utterly without caring for what anyone might think, he reached for her face, tracing the familiar lines of high cheekbones and smooth temples warmed by the sun, gently lifting her chin until she looked up at him with those deep, black pools.
His deep baritone had a husky timbre to it that made the young woman blink, but he was shielding now, hiding the pain that had sprung up in his side, projecting nothing but the calm she new so well. 
For long seconds, the only noise was the low rumbling of city noise and the small mill-stone fountain bubbling under the trees. Then her arms moved up slowly until her hands rested against his shoulders and the rustling of fabric seemed to echo loudly in the stone-walled garden.
"Fa-wak nakarat"
Always the same melodious voice, soft and quiet now like the murmuring of the water.
"I know."
He breathed, slowly and deliberately, resisting the irrational impulse to reach for that other consciousness, increase the tender pressure of his fingertips until the light mind-link would become a flowing, unstoppable current.
Wrong in oh so many ways, but he found his gaze drawn to her lips, now parted in just a shadow of the smile he longed to see. It would be so easy to pull her closer, have his fingertips find them and abandon all reason just to know… just one kiss.
Would she scorn him as she had every right to, or forgive her friend the emotional lapse that had to be a result of his concern and immeasurable relief to have her standing here, alive and whole…
He dared not think what might happen if his mental shields dissolved under the sudden searing fever that was threatening to gain control.
'This is madness. She is my friend.'
Her gaze was questioning now, not quite concerned yet, but reaching for something she recognized as unusual.
Her traced her elegantly slanted brows, and then slowly dropped his hands, invoking every last shred of control to push away the thought what it might be like to see those calm, dark eyes set ablaze.
Wrong. In so many ways.
Silently, she spoke his name, her trusting hands still resting against his shoulders. Gentle, curious, and thankfully unaware.
If there was an echo of what he now realized he wanted to hear in the cadence of her thought, it could easily be the turmoil within his own mind, summoning that which was not.
And he would rather tear his heart of out his side with his own bare hands than cause this one more grief.
At least, he thought with no small measure of dark humor, he no longer had to wonder about the reason for his most unusual behavior in her presence.

"Yes, t'sai Sakarra. Shall we go home?"

[End Log]

Lieutenant Sakarra Tyrax
Chief Helmsman
USS Charon