[T'Shen monastery, Shi'Al province]
19th Day in the month of et'Khior, YS 9022
The being walking into the main hall with its vaulted ceilings and graceful columns drew more than one puzzled glance before the assembled Vulcans politely refrained from staring. A Vulcan, or at the very least a Rihanha with the stamp of her ancestors prominent on her clear, sharply defined features, but only in appearance. For even the Sundered, parted for millennia from the world that had spawned them, still carried the distinct silent hum, the unique, unmistakable signature that makes Nevasa's children recognize their own even if all other senses would be taken from them. Changed, faint, but there.
The female whose limping but still proud gate took her past the fountain and towards the tall monk floating serenely about the countless scrolls nestled in their wooden cubicles, had not even the sparkling, gentle and mildly chaotic signature that identified most living creatures native to other worlds. To a Vulcan, she was there, solid, substantial, visible, audible, real to all senses but one. The one that insisted this being was not there at all.
What wonder, that a race famous for being more curious than any small feline born on any planet in the galaxy would look and be intrigued. Not that they would be so rude and show it.
"Puna-sha'uh akhlami, ri-fainusu. Kup gol-tor nash-veh, ha." Steepled fingers hidden under the long, flowing sleeves of his robe, Sarol gave a flawless half-bow of greeting, his dark cinnamon eyes alight with friendly curiosity. And there was much to be curious about - his guest wore a dusty, voluminous traveller's cloak and robe of her own, and a cowl that half concealed her face as well. Light cast upon a strong jaw and pale, dirty cheeks, tinged slightly green and unmistakeably Rihanha; black hair tumbled from either side of her face in a tangled black cascade, but her identity was fleeting, difficult to capture.
When she spoke, her voice rasped. Her words were clipped. "Rau-neyol s'falek t'las'hark, masu, heh ten-awek'es (Sanctuary from the sun, water, and less solitude)."
The clearly accented Golic held not only a melodious Shi'al accent, but a very noticeable inflection of military Rihannsu? Interesting. But first and foremost, this was a being in need and as far as Sarol was concerned everything else was of little consequence. "Kup tanilau etek."
Giving another sweeping half bow that made his robes rustle and float about him like T'Khut's light had been poured into a waterfall of heavy, soft wool, the Vulcan waved for a female novice who exuded cheerful calm like a mountain breathes majesty to care for their guest and extended an arm towards the massive gates leading to the courtyard.
"Zahal'uh k'san. (If you would follow me, please)"
Their guest bowed her head in archaic formality and followed behind her, the heavy robes almost concealing her limp.
Out into the gardens, so lovingly tended and right now still giving of the scent of rain, along the raked gravel path and past the cheerfully gurgling little fountains. Patients and healers floated through the gardens like so many clouds, taking in Nevasa's warm, copper-tinted rays as the hearth star leaned over the treetops and the evening winds rose from the hills of Kir.
Motioning for the traveler to choose one of the low couches arrayed in a subtle, elegant pattern under the shade of a pergola overgrown with fragrant, hardy mountain vines, the healer poured a cup of the monastery's own water and quietly held it out with the small ceremonial gesture that accompanied this most basic of courtesies. And then a faint expression seemed to dawn at the corners of her eyes as she heard a most melodious voice float over the waterlogged grounds. She did not even need the liquid, lilting sibilance of the Nel-Gathelkh dialect as a hint, for there were but two voices on the planet that sounded quite like this. It seemed the young T'sai was feeling well enough to become irate with her caretakers. A good sign.
"Ryih nnah-darr, O-sa'mekhón."
"Ah, fay-wah hòn'siq hassu-lorr."
"Mhau-dhiśan nhashelkha auh."
Clad in a light silken garment and wrapped in blankets of Efrosian cashmere, the young Vulcan with the mass of shiny black curls was carried towards a couch near the massive ic'tan conifer by a stoic healer who did his very best to ignore the amicable argument between the young T'sai and her grandfather while keeping his precious cargo safe. And the latter proved a minor difficulty, seeing as the annoyed woman was positively squirming.
The traveler accepted the gift with as much formality as it was offered, sitting and drinking as her hostess was distracted with the new arrivals. She did not seem entirely at ease on the couches, too conscious of the dust and grit that had settled about her on the clean cushions. Propriety concerned the vagabond, even now, in the state she was in. The water, at least, wetted her split lips, returning their natural colour and looking far less agonized.
From behind the shadow of her hood and the seclusion of her seat, the woman saw the two approaching, and smiled. Something lit her blue eyes, unseen behind the cowl. She did not interfere with their argument, preferring to watch, as if she enjoyed the casual intimacy of family vicariously, through them.
"Nhandarr wye-róm nay-veh."
No matter how reasonably the small woman might believe her argument to be, neither the healer nor her grandfather appeared to be swayed, somewhat to her dismay if her furrowed brow was any indication. Of course there was always the option of becoming insistent. But if anyone knew how to counter a T'sai stubbornly set on getting her will, it was the tall male with the surprisingly gentle expression on his aquiline features, having a wealth of experience in such matters. You did not spend over a century as the Matriarch's mate without learning a thing or two.
Of course she was not ready to cede the battle, nor had he expected otherwise. Forestalling any more protest for now, Solkar settled leisurely on the low couch opposite the one where the healer had set down his grandchild with the same care as if he were handling a fragile item an action which earned him another quiet huff and opened the basket by his feet to procure a ripe Gespar.
"Kes'helkh. Na'mha'akh, hia vohrrel'uh iy-veh."
Whether it was the round, amaranth red fruit, ripe and near bursting with tangy sweetness that mollified the young woman or the elder Vulcan's unshakable calm, the soothing voice vibrating with gentle amusement and affection, or mayhap all of it, she seemed willing enough to stretch out on the couch and be fussed over. At least for now.
Nodding with the shadow of a smile flashing in his dark eyes, Solkar cracked open the Gespar's shell.
"Kup nufau yem-tukh, ri-fainusu. (May I offer you some food, traveler)"
The healer's pleasant voice was intentionally non-intrusive, though she was certainly aware that their guest required more attention than this. A bath for starters, as the woman's demeanor suggested she would not take unkindly to. But the Rihanha with the inexplicable lack of any mental signature seemed soothed by the amicable banter taking place before her, as if merely being in the company of other living creatures were healing in itself. And oftentimes it was, as the copper haired Vulcan knew well.
"Shu'el - kuv la'ka-yehat. Nemaiyo (Broth, if you have it. My thanks.)"
The healer nodded and departed with fluid grace, leaving the traveler alone alongside the woman and her grandfather. There was something unmistakably familiar about the vagabond to Sakarra, though she wasn't immediately aware of it - she was too adsorbed with her grandfather. The familiar undertone in the woman's hushed, gravelly voice drew Sakarra's sharp ears even before she was conscious of the strange familiarity.
Knowing all too well what the subtly tilted head and the sudden thoughtful light in his grandchild's eyes meant, Solkar raised an inquisitive brow. Ah, she had not changed, not in any way that mattered. True, her temper was much less evident than ever, subject to her will as it never had been before though burning all the more heated for it. Other things that had been hidden, slumbering, or outright kept at bay were surfacing though, and each was familiar and welcome. Not that the elder Vulcan could prevent a small surge of humor at recognizing a good many of them. It should be interesting to observe how the planet might handle another T'Leia blossoming in the sands.
[To be continued ]
Seeker of wisdom
LtCmdr Sakarra Tyrax
Senior Professor / Vulcan Science Academy
And some other pointy ears
-------------- Puna-sha'uh akhlami, ri-fainusu. Kup gol-tor nash-veh, ha. Lit. Be greeted among us, stranger. Is this one able to assist you, yes. Standard Federation: Be welcome, traveler. May I help you? Kup tanilau etek Lit. We can provide In given context: informal "Of course" Ryih nnah-darr, O-sa'mekhón. Lit. Not (my) thought, honored forefather - Fig. I don't think so, grandfather Ah, fay-wah hòn'siq hassu-lorr. Lit. Would (you) debate the healers - Fig. You want to argue with the doctors? Mhau-dhiśan nhashelkha auh. Lit. overly guarding, they Fig. They're overprotective Na'udh-vayh, ha Lit. with reason, yes Fig. Shouldn't they be? Nhandarr wye-róm nay-veh. Lit. Is (feeling) better this one Fig. But I am much better Kes'helkh. Na'mha'akh hia vohrrel'uh nay-veh - Lit. Obvious. To (my) gratitude, but will indulge this one. Fig. I can see that. And I'm glad, but will you indulge me anyways? M'ha du. Lit. You got (it) Fig. Fine / You win
Puna-sha'uh akhlami, ri-fainusu. Kup gol-tor nash-veh, ha. Lit. Be greeted among us, stranger. Is this one able to assist you, yes. Standard Federation: Be welcome, traveler. May I help you?
Kup tanilau etek Lit. We can provide In given context: informal "Of course"
Ryih nnah-darr, O-sa'mekhón. Lit. Not (my) thought, honored forefather - Fig. I don't think so, grandfather
Ah, fay-wah hòn'siq hassu-lorr. Lit. Would (you) debate the healers - Fig. You want to argue with the doctors?
Mhau-dhiśan nhashelkha auh. Lit. overly guarding, they Fig. They're overprotective
Na'udh-vayh, ha Lit. with reason, yes Fig. Shouldn't they be?
Nhandarr wye-róm nay-veh. Lit. Is (feeling) better this one Fig. But I am much better
Kes'helkh. Na'mha'akh hia vohrrel'uh nay-veh - Lit. Obvious. To (my) gratitude, but will indulge this one. Fig. I can see that. And I'm glad, but will you indulge me anyways?
M'ha du. Lit. You got (it) Fig. Fine / You win