Posted in Flash Fiction Pieces, Life Writing, Story a Day May Challenge, WIPpet Wednesday

WIPpet Wednesday: Gradations of Memory

Welcome to WIPpet Wednesday –K.L. Schwengel’s weekly blog hop which encourages writers to move their WIPs (works-in-progress) to publication by posting excerpts related to the date.

For those keeping track:

  • This is the first installment of Story #3, “Vermilion Threads”. The prompt was to write a story of about 640 words. An additional guest post was to write a story that incorporated the words “vermilion” and “musky” (that one’ll be in a future WIPpet).

WIPpet Math:

Today is June 11, 2014.

Today’s math…

  • 6+11=17 (adding the digits of the month and day).
  • 17 sentences, this time.

I’m offering up a taste of my Story A Day May Challenge: my fanfiction concept for Star Trek: Enterprise, and the interspecies relationship between T’Pol and Trip, in a project tentatively titled The IDIC Romance.

A bit about the challenge:

Story a Day is just that- a story every day in May. To make the challenge more interesting for myself, I used all of the prompts offered, throughout the month.

The stories are sequential, they will have various tones, POVs, and voices, due to the particular prompts that were in play during the writing.

I like the effect, and the way the stories stretched me out of my comfortable writing spaces, and took my stories with them. It would be best, maybe, to read each story without expectations that it will match those before or after it. I will let you know when I shift to a new story, to help ease any pangs the transitions might bring.

I’ll keep sharing these for a while; they seem to be rather popular, and I won’t see Henry and Tisira again until later in the summer.

This snippet is an extrapolation of what T’Pol might have experienced just before, and during the first hours of her compulsory assignment to the human starship Enterprisein the pilot episode:Broken Bow Part 1. Her unsettled state has led her to seek balance and control through meditation – but she finds herself immersed in memories, instead…

The final cleansing breath sighed from my lungs as I sank slowly to my floor cushion. My hands, reflecting my disquiet of mind, weren’t ready to fold into my lap. Instead, they drifted out to touch the two items on my meditation table – a small skein of vermilion Vulcan silkthread, and the edge of a Starfleet datapad.

The vibrations of this ship differed significantly from those of the Seleya, and I found them, as so much here, unsettling. Not nearly so unsettling, however, as I found Commander Charles Tucker the Third. If I was to work with this man, or resolve my own tangled emotions regarding him, I must have the clarity of meditation.

I centered myself, found the white void of stillness within – although it wavered alarmingly; threatening to dissipate and leave me without recourse for my inner upheaval.

A memory- conversation, three days past, filtered into the stillness, the edges indistinct, so that I might attend to the interaction and my responses, without the distracting overlay of emotion or irrelevant detail.

“You are saying that the word ‘vermilion’ refers to more than a specific gradation of color?”

“Affirmative, Ambassador. Humans often attach evocative values and symbolism to colors. In the case of vermilion, it has cultural significance in several cultures; it represents concepts as diverse as eternity and marital status.”

“You have made a considerable study of this people, T’Pol. Until now, it has seemed – ” Ambassador Soval refrained from saying ‘illogical’ perhaps wishing to convey something other than censure – “somewhat irrelevant.”

“Until now?”

“The High Command has reinstated your rank, Subcommander T’Pol. You are assigned to Enterprise for the duration of its mission, effective as soon as you have cleared the medical and debriefing processes.”

Ah…memories. What else will T’Pol remember? How will the memories affect her? Will we ever find out if there’s any significance to that vermilion thread or that datapad? Will she be able to meditate, or do the memories have her?

Yup, you guessed it…you’ll need to either read below, or wait for next week, to learn more…

Story A Day commentary…

Full version of the story…

These posts are the seeds of a project that will germinate over the next months, so input is especially valuable. No need to feel shy; I’m a friendly sort, and will keep my phase pistol on stun ..for the most part.

Want more WIPpets?

A hint of the incendiary volatility in store for these two…oh, and a cute beagle, too!



I am myself. I own my life, and live with three other people who own theirs. My intention is to do only those things that bring me joy, and to give myself wholly to those things I do. Writing has been my passion throughout my life, and this will become the home for my writing life...because it brings me great joy!

8 thoughts on “WIPpet Wednesday: Gradations of Memory

  1. I really love the way you actually manage to narrate a Vulcan’s thoughts in first person without it sounding odd. I don’t read a lot of Trek fic but people not being able to manage that was something I came across a lot.

    1. Emily,

      Why, thank you! I know what you mean. I’ve been reading a lot of Enterprise fan fiction this month, and some of it (even when they aren’t in first person) is – well, really wrong, to my sensibilities. T’Pol is a passionate Vulcan more prone than most to expressing emotion…but she is still a Vulcan, by genetics and by upbringing. It would make as much sense for her voice to be human as for Trip to be human.

      I’ve spent over three decades of my life with Vulcans whispering fascinating things in my head, though. That definitely helps.

      I’m glad you’re choosing to read MY trek fiction! =)

  2. Ooh, intriguing snip! Love the flow of this line, especially: “A memory- conversation, three days past, filtered into the stillness, the edges indistinct, so that I might attend to the interaction and my responses, without the distracting overlay of emotion or irrelevant detail.”

    1. Deniz,


      The setting of the conversation in question, especially the indistinct edges, is something I took from the last season, where we get to “see” bits of T’Pol’s meditation, through her eyes and Trip’s. Although he teases her for the nothingness of her inner space, I think she uses it to focus on something very specific. I played with it just a bit.

  3. Oh, I like this. I like the connection between the thread and the conversation. Also, I just plain like the word “vermilion.”

    1. Amy,

      I’m not especially a fan of the color red, but I do agree with you on the word “vermilion”. And that thread may return later, with deeper meaning….and that’s all I’m gonna say.

      I do enjoy playing with imagery. =)

  4. Hmm…interesting. Why was she stripped of rank in the first place, and what is the reason behind putting her on the Enterprise? Those are the questions that come to mind. Oh, and I love the way her hands can’t stay still in the beginning. Nice touch to echo her inner turmoil.

    1. Kathi,

      I don’t actually know that she was without rank, but I’m not postulating she was stripped of it. I’m assuming that when she left the Science Directorate after her year-long assignment to the Seleya and joined the Ministry of Diplomacy, she didn’t need a military rank.

      Reinstating it was likely seen as a pre-emptive matter, and I scarcely think the Vulcans would have missed that their representative outranked every human but Captain Archer…

      As for why she is assigned to Enterprise…well, I can’t tell you everything, can I? Well, yes, I could, but what would be the fun? Those monkeys already gave me the flu; and I won’t be home to find this weekend, so….

      Vulcans are hand-centric. Their hands are also, as it happens, a prime erogenous zone, and therefore rather vital to their foreplay. It is conceivable that T’Pol’s restless hands and inner turmoil may have a rather specific cause…

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