Saturday, November 6, 2010

[USS Charon] SD241011.06 || Joint Log "Mirrors" Part II || Capt Savant, LtCmdr Sakarra Tyrax, Solkar

 [T'Shen monastery, Shi'Al province]

19th Day in the month of et'Khior, YS 9022


"R'lha paresh, ko-kan." (What is it, little one?)

"Strehdarr vu rh'wlõlhell, ha." (Nothing escapes you, does it?)

No longer carrying the soft timbre hinting at great exhaustion, the young woman's voice floated on the evening breeze like silk and velvet, but it was the night black gaze lifting to politely acknowledge the silent stranger that explained what her unreadable demeanor did not.

 Recognition. Flaring, dispersing, to leave but the unreadable dark pools.

"Rit'surrelkh." (Rarely)

Dry as his answer was, it also held a fair amount of the patient humor that would prompt a great many people to mistake the steel-haired Vulcan for one of the resident monks if not for his attire indicating otherwise.


The stranger set her cup down beside her and put her hands to her cowl, lifting it upwards. Her face was pale, smeared with dust and soot and dried blood, her lips cracked and her skin split with unhealing scars left by knives and implements of torture; her hair was tangled and matted. And yet, she had an unshakably even expression unperturbed by the pains that no doubt wracked her. It was Yyaio, without a doubt. Down here, on Vulcan, lost in the sands. The Commander's Adjutant-that-never-was, the Dead One. Her voice sounded as if her throat were coated in sand, as it most likely was.

"Na'shaya Okosu. Itar-bosh nash-veh ki'palesh-tor t'du. (Hello, Ma'am. I am glad that you have endured.)"


"Savant." There was a word of affection in every syllable, a universe of joyful recognition in the level, melodious voice. Inaudible to anyone but another Vulcan to be certain, but there for all with ears to hear and senses to comprehend. "Il vesht dehskhu Yyaio – rhesheku'u tsa vel-hon."


Savant. Though several puzzle pieces smoothly aligned themselves to form a logical image in the elder Vulcan's head, both the traveler's appearance and his grandchild's almost … tender demeanor convinced him this was one of the times when scientific curiosity had to make way for courtesy. Giving the smooth half-bow accorded an honored acquaintance, Solkar cut the fragrant Gespar with skilled hands and silently arranged the pieces in a bowl, never failing to observe the small nicety of creating an aesthetically pleasing pattern in the process.


Yyaio, for her part, did not let the meeting interrupt her even expression. She had endured, but by her appearance, only just. What was more, she looked as if she had spent the intervening time being rolled about the dusty barrens of the planet. How this had come to pass was a mystery for the moment, as the android said nothing on it. "I wasn't expecting you to be here, but I'm glad to have found you and your grandfather. I have been concerned for your health since leaving our captors."


Which was true. Sakarra had suffered greatly, mentally moreso than physically - and her wounds were serious enough to show how deep her mental pains must have ran. While Yyaio had suffered the greater of the physical trauma, it was the Commander who bore the brunt of the suffering. While she did not show more than a hint of it, she was made uncomfortable by the fact, and behind the stolid expression was a devoted concern.


And then it was gone, as she turned her head to the elderly Vulcan amongst them. She seemed to recognize him, at least - it was difficult to tell, as she didn't greet him by name or speak in anything but polite terms. "I appreciate your attention to courtesy. Thank you."


Her health. Solkar nigh expected another small, invisible flare of temper, as she had exhibited frequently over the past day. Gracious though his grandchild had come to be in acknowledging the voiced concerns and to an extent, even had come to allow being doted upon in a manner he knew she found highly … annoying… he knew all too well her deeply rooted distaste for being coddled. Being forced to allow others to care for her. And mayhap worst of all, having to know, sense, feel … the concern of others.


Illogical as it might seem to one who didn't know this specific breed of women, such 'fuss' was in a way adding insult to injury, and while Solkar knew to circumvent the ire of both his mate and grandchild by virtue of patience, perseverance and much practice, he was experiencing no small amount of astonishment that this … part of Savant, as the traveler likely was, seemed to be exempt from Sakarra's wrath.

Noteworthy; though he remained as unperturbed as ever, giving another small nod to the woman whose injuries had to have every healer within sight silently screaming to get their hands on her. Sooner or later one might feel compelled to breach protocol and offer aid where none was asked, sensitive creatures that these healers were and rarely able to see suffering without experiencing the near irrepressible need to relieve it. As it were, Solkar delayed any such attempts by politely setting a second plate with freshly cut Gespar next to the traveler, assuming the role of host for now before retreating to engage the nearby abbot in a hushed conversation regarding the rearing of Favinit orchids in a mountain climate.


"Nor was I expecting to see you here." If there was any sign that the Vulcan wrapped in the luxurious blankets experienced pain of any sort, it was visible only in the slow, almost ceremonial way she shifted her body on the couch, subjecting the fruit to a long look.

Home. She knew the tree this fruit had grown on, knew it like her own kin. Knew it would be swaying in the evening breeze now, its leaves rustling in a quiet, soothing song. Grandfather had meant well, but truly all she wanted right now was to escape the healers and sit in the branches of that very tree, as she had so many times since … oh, since she had been old enough to climb.


Unreadable black eyes settled on the android, taking in her appearance, acknowledging it. In truth, she had not expected to see Yyaio ever again and was silently overjoyed her probability assessment had been wrong. Barely, if what she saw was any indication.

Leaving our captors. Only Savant would … put it quite like that. And it was enough to let some melancholic humour shine in the deep, dark pools as Sakarra briefly inclined her head.

"It is in no small part due to your efforts that I have any health worth mentioning. According to the healers, if you had not recognized my … condition and forestalled a fatal breakdown, even the retrieval of my Katra might have become … a formidable task."

And that was not even mentioning that without Yyaio's steady presence, the glimmer of hope she had carried into the darkness, the Vulcan might well have been too deep in her fever that fateful moment to even accomplish the trance. Or estimate more than the proverbial 'snowball's chance in hell' that it would succeed.


"Luck, and your own resolve, played a greater part than my own in your survival. I do not understand all of the details of the Vulcan Katra. While there is a great deal of writing and philosophy on the subject, my studies were inconclusive. I was unable to improve my prediction calibration on your survival chances during the encounter, and had to proceed with very large margins of error." Leave it to Yyaio-er, Savant, to discuss a lethal conflict as if it were a scientific experiment.


While Yyaio did not see, the copper-haired healer was approaching behind her with a thin broth, and had gotten a brief expression of understanding on her face as she overheard the discussion. Sakarra could see that glimmer of knowledge clicking into place, like a key - and unlocking vast dark territories of mystery. A Vulcan - with no Katra? No soul, no spark of life? Her intense curiosity redoubled. If metaphors lived, the healer's eyes would be burning holes into the back side of Yyaio's skull.


The vagabond drank what remained of her water, and used the edge of her dusty traveling cloak to wipe her split and bloody lips. "This is why I am here, in fact. This episode has revealed to me a gap in my knowledge. This state needs to be ended." And, as if that were announcement enough on the topic, she turned to the healer and accepted the gift of food with archaic grace.


Luck. As a Vulcan, Sakarra was naturally skeptical where the concept of random chance was concerned. However, as a Betazoid's daughter she had to acknowledge the possibility that there was such a thing as plain dumb luck, events taking unpredictable turns to favor one unlikely outcome over the much more probable ones, simply because somewhere, some day, a butterfly had flapped its wings. Or to put in Rel Tyrax's own words – one grain may tip the scale and whole worlds will change their course. If you were a botanist traversing vast jungles in search of one rare plant, you relied on luck as a starship relied on antimatter. Without it, there was no point in even planning the journey.

Resolve. Her birthright; curse and blessing. Of course it was more often called 'pig-headed stubbornness' but the implication … was the same.




[To be continued …]



Seeker of wisdom


LtCmdr Sakarra Tyrax

Executive Officer


USS Charon



Senior Professor / Vulcan Science Academy


And some other pointy ears





Il vesht dehskhu Yyaio – rhesheku'u tsa vel-honLit. Or would be named Yyaio. Said is the same by other (ancient phrase, difficult to render in standard)

Fig.: Who is also named Yyaio. I am very glad you have endured as well.