This post is part of Linda G.Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday meme an unedited stream of consciousness piece that ties into the weekly prompt: “naught/knot/not”. This flash fiction story inspired by Star Trek: Enterprise is also the opening scene of a short story-in-progress, “Slow Jazz Awakening”, as a young woman considers the nature of logic and humanity on an alien world called Earth.
T’Pol walked through the muffling fog, her sensitive ears, evolved for the desert, catching up sounds. Staccato footprints, their force and swiftness betraying tension in the legs that made them. Bits of conversation, in several alien languages.
And laughter. Strange expulsions of breath, accompanied with percussive sound that caused sharp pains in her head; kept her always poised, ready to face danger – danger that did not come.
“Humans don’t laugh when frightened,” she told herself silently – but, in truth, she did not know if this was so, and there was a certain illogic in making any such assumption.
There was a certain and undeniable illogic in being here at all.
T’Pol thought of her small and comfortable room at the Consulate. It was a Vulcan space, quiet and contemplative. The air, conditioned to Vulcan-normative heat and dryness, carried neither unexpected outbursts of sound, nor the profusion of scent that assailed her senses here, where they lay heavy on San Francisco’s humid ocean breeze. Her meditation candles waited, offering the calm of deep reflection. She would be alone, there, and there would be no need for her current state of alert.
“There is a danger in breaking protocol.” This she couldn’t dispute. She was not intended to be out of the compound alone; Soval considered her still too young and unpracticed in diplomatic matters, and, perhaps more importantly, she was Promised, but not yet bonded. She was still a year from her marriage to Koss, and she risked both the termination of the contract her parents had arranged with the young man’s when they were seven years old, and the loss of her posting here on Terra – a posting that, however illogically, was of far greater importance to her than the bonding that would define the rest of her life, once formalized.
Comfort, safety, and security awaited her at the compound. All were at risk, with her current activity. Logic dictated that she should return immediately to the compound, and her life as it had been.
And yet, she didn’t turn, didn’t return to the safety of her room at the Consulate. As she had once ingested the rarest of Vulcan nectars, knowing the act would change her forever. As she had, as an infant, touched the flame of her mother’s meditation candle, even after the warning that it would bring pain…
Now, she simply kept walking, as though there was no danger, as though her muscles weren’t tightening into what a human might refer to, in the particularly imprecise manner of the prevalent human language, as ‘knotted’ – as though muscles were lengths of rope. She walked as though the sounds didn’t pain her head, as though the odors that overwhelmed her olfactory senses were not also ‘tying her guts up in knots’, as she heard a passing human male say.
An imprecise language, this English, and very different than that taught to her by her first foremother, T’Mir. And yet, very apt. Her digestive tract did indeed feel as though it was twisting and tightening, threatening to expel the plomik broth she had eaten at the evening meal, when she had too agitated by the breach of protocol she had so meticulously planned to consume anything more substantial.
T’Pol stopped walking. Her senses were being assaulted, and she was risking her position, not only in the Ministry of Diplomacy, but also as regarded her marital status, and her duty to Vulcan culture.
Highly illogical. She would return. To the Consulate, and her small, safe life. A progression of increasing age and responsibility that might, in time, allow her the freedom to move amongst the fascinating, chaotic species which named itself ‘homo sapiens’ – ‘rational man’.
She was turning to leave when she heard the strains of Terran music – discordant, and yet stirring something to life within her, something that had stirred when she touched the flame, and drank the tikkin nectars.
In time, she might earn the right to explore Earth and her people. After her marriage, and the traditional year lived with Koss, on Vulcan. If she were not pregnant; she had once postponed the marriage, and Koss might expect her to conceive their offspring at once. It had seemed an acceptable risk at the time, but now, the possibility seemed far too restrictive.
The notes of the chaotic music drifted freely to her, and something within T’Pol was compelled by them. She turned back, tipping her head to better catch its direction, and began to follow…
She reminded herself of logic, and risk, and protocol. “Kroykah,” she told herself, a word learned before all others, a command to desist that must be obeyed, even in plak tow, the blood fever of mating-
And yet, T’Pol walked on, her guts in knots, not heeding logic. The human language English had another term, one she’d always felt was completely illogical, a mathematical impossibility. “All was for naught.”
Now, as the young Vulcan woman commanded herself to return home, and continued to follow the strange human music, she thought perhaps that she was beginning to understand.
The video below is just a bit spoilery, if you haven’t seen the series, and don’t know T’Pol’s story…
Enjoy stream-of consciousness writing? Come play – there’s just a few simple rules. See you next week, for another live-streaming look into the lovely chaos in my mind! =)