Alora DeVeau Posted April 11, 2021 Share Posted April 11, 2021 OOC: There's a play by play of the most humourous parts over on the Thor quotations thread. However, once you've read the gems out of context, I thought it was only fair to allow people to read them in context. @Alieth, @Saveron, and @Geoffrey Teller have done a superb job of invoking humour and solemnity. Excellent arc with excellent writing. IC: ((Temple of Gol, Mount Selaya, ShirKahr Region, Vulcan)) Their slippers sounded ever so softly on the stone floors, polished smooth by millennia of footsteps, as the two Vulcans walked in a stately, measured manner, side by side, through the Hall of Ancient Thought. Stone faces, far larger than life, were carved to represent the katras that they housed; High Priests and Priestesses of the order of Kolinahru since long before Surak had walked their world, and the name of the order implied something very different. How might those slumbering thoughts view their modern world now? No one asked them. Some ways of the past were best left behind. If only everyone could see that. T’Rel: You stated that you had a request of the Temple? Her voice was even, smooth, completely devoid of emotion. She had purged it from her mind. Once, in a different life, there had been emotion there, even love, for him, and he had held the same for her. But they had parted many years ago now. And both of them had changed. Saveron: Affirmative. I would ask that a Senior Priestess accompany me to the USS Thor to retrieve a katra from a non-Vulcan crewmember. She paused, turned to look at him for a moment, before continuing her sedate walk. T’Rel: Why not bring the crewmember here, to the temple? ::She asked.:: It was the most logical and simple solution. Saveron: Because of the clan Matriarch, T’Sai T’Mihn, whose logic appears to be impaired on the subject of her grandson. ::He said quietly. It was no light accusation.:: She has suppressed her grief, and I know the damage that failing to process such can cause. He glanced across at her. Oh, to have known fourteen years ago what he knew now what he had only learned by undertaking Counsellor training through the multi-species entity that was Starfleet. If he’d understood her grief then, that she’d hidden so well, they might never have parted. But then he would never have left Vulcan. Now she was kolinahru, incapable of grief. She was content, and he must therefore be so also. But there were times when it was challenging. T’Rel: You anticipate that T’Sai T’Mihn would obstruct the process? He nodded curtly. Saveron: If Commander Teller were to set foot on Vulcan, I anticipate that she may instigate a legal claim of ma maat katra. And when I spoke with her, she expressed no regard for his wellbeing. Humans, he had learned, had a pre-Federation legal concept called Habeus Corpus, whereby one might challenge an individual’s imprisonment and obtain their freedom by proving that their incarceration was invalid. There were some parallels with the ancient Vulcan right of a Clan to demand the katra of one of their members from the individual currently holding it. T’Rel: So you would seek to circumvent our legal system by having the Fal-tor-pan performed off-world. ::She observed.:: The Commander’s thin lips pressed together into a thinner line. Saveron: The claim of ma maat katra predates Federation and does not take into account a non-Vulcan bearer of the katra. It assumes the ability of the bearer to relinquish the katra they carry. ::Which a non-telepath couldn’t do without assistance.:: In Commander Teller’s case, it would force him to undergo the Fal-tor-pan against his will. That itself contravenes Federation law. Which made the situation very complex. T’Rel: There are those who hold that traditional Vulcan law stands above Federation law on our homeworld. Saveron: T’Sai T’Mihn is one of them. But then for what purpose did we federate? I say to you as I said to her; the needs of the living outweigh the needs of the dead. There is no logic in destroying this man’s mind for the katra of one already deceased. His people hadn’t always thought that way, and some still didn’t. Vulcan had a long and tumultuous history and the complex culture that went with it. In the days before Surak wars had been fought and people tortured and killed over just such matters, as their literature still detailed. But he was a true adherent of logic, if not the best disciple of mental discipline. He returned the look that his erstwhile bond-mate gave him. She knew his view on traditions that lacked logic in his eyes, but he was less certain of hers. Especially now that she was steeped in Vulcan tradition. T’Rel steepled her fingers and kept walking, but she changed their direction, heading for a small antechamber T’Rel: Regrettably, your understanding of the legal implications is not complete. If T’Sai T’Mihn has already made a legal claim for ownership of the katra, then no registered telepathic practitioner may intervene until that claim is resolved. Saveron considered her words as they passed through the doorway and T’Rel headed for a niche that proved to contain a discrete but very modern computer terminal. The Temple was not as unchanging as many thought. Saveron: That process could occupy cycles, years. Humans have not proven durable to containing a Vulcan katra for so long. T’Rel nodded slowly, dark gaze following a rapid scroll of Vulcan script on the screen, before turning back to him. T’Rel: The legal claim has already been made. Its trajectory is longer if it must be made through Federation channels, and seizure of the individual less likely. But whilst it is unresolved, my colleagues and I cannot assist. Saveron: Then Commander Teller’s welfare is in jeopardy, whether he comes to Vulcan or not. A touch from T’Rel closed the console down again, and it blended in with the more antique decor. T’Rel: Unless one goes to him who is not bound by such law. It applies only to those of us who have trained through the traditional pathways. Again that piercing, dark look. He knew what she referred to. Saveron: They are the only pathways to guaranteed proficiency. ::He objected.:: The situation on the Constitution was made urgent due to synaptic degradation, and we were days from Vulcan even with slipstream. I had no alternative. She knew, because he’d called her; logically, serenely desperate for a way to save two Ensigns who’d placed themselves in a most untenable situation. T’Rel: But you succeeded, where most would not dare to try. Did that make him revolutionary, or foolish? His old research supervisor Professor Ramsey Bakewell had once remarked ‘they said it couldn’t be done, but the damn fool didn’t know it and went ahead and did it anyway’. Far too apt. Saveron: Not entirely. The Human retained a significant influence on his personality, likely permanent, from the Vulcan participant. ::He admitted.:: He… had welcomed her influence, I believe that he envied her confidence. She shrugged eloquently. T’Rel: Then the fault is not yours. He considered her words. Saveron: Having one untrained perform the rite when the ship is in orbit around Vulcan, home to the majority of our telepathic practitioners, appears to lack logic. T’Rel: Yet, as you have observed, you have no alternative. [[Transporter Room 2, Deck 4, USS Thor, On orbit over Vulcan]] There were few occasions when Alieth was strictly punctual. But there were even fewer occasions when the petite Vulcan was early for an appointment. This was one of those infrequent occasions, since the event merited it. After weeks of research, work, plead and rummaging through what seemed like half of Vulcan and a quarter of the Fleet, finally the time that she had been waiting for had arrived. Also, the time she had dreaded. The time to remove Sern from his temporary residence aboard Geoff's brain. Given how long the two had been together and the confusing mix they were in, it was a delicate situation per se. But she, too, had perhaps made it a little more complicated. A few days ago, when her mentor had left for Gol, he had left her one of the crystals that could be used in the ritual. And she had given it to Teller. She bit the inside of her lip slightly and straightened her posture even more, enough to clasp her wrists tighter behind her back. It had seemed like a good idea. The crystals were intended for use with Vulcan minds and given the important part a human was going to play in all this, it made sense that a human (more so! A brilliant engineer trained at Starfleet Academy) could come up with some kind of enhancement, some kind of catalyst to facilitate the ritual. Then, when it was just too late, she had realized that she had given it to Geoffrey John "Good Job Guarantee" Teller. The whole thing could end in disaster. However, she had no time to further torture herself with this, as, at that moment, a form began to materialize in the centre of the transporter. Alieth: Osu Saveron Saveron acknowledged his protégée with a slight bow before he stepped down from the transporter and glancing around, but the only other person in the room was the engineer behind the control panel. Saveron: Alieth. I trust that Commander Teller will be joining us? She offered a small nod. Alieth: I have sent him a message to join us on the holodeck 3. It was a fitting location, as they would be able to recreate the conditions and location that would be best suited to ease the process. Alieth: I expect he has read it and is already there. Saveron: Then he is prepared for the ritual and understands what is involved? Alieth:... Perhaps... She would have preferred to provide a more accurate answer but, given who was involved, it was better than a lie. He gave her a long look from grey eyes, noting her hesitation. But the facts were the same; what would be, would be. Saveron: Then lead on. Without further ado, they both left the room and walked down the many corridors of the Thor in search of uncertainty. [[Holosuite 3, Deck 5, USS Thor, In orbit over Vulcan]] Geoff was uncharacteristically nervous as he headed down towards the holosuite, his grav-sled of equipment humming along merrily while taking up most of the hallway. He’d spent the last several days cooped up in one of the ships engineering labs, emerging only for parts and the occasional “nearly fatal” dose of coffee from the new shop. He’d been working himself ragged ever since Alieth had passed him the rare Vulcan crystal that was somehow part of the upcoming procedure to disentangle Sern from his mind. Likewise, he’d spent days pouring over the tiny bit of information he could find about katras and katrics arcs and the general handling and operation there of, but there simply wasn’t much to work with. For all their intellect and deep adherence to scientific rigor, the Vulcans were still steeped in a kind of mysticism surrounding many aspects of their telepathic gifts. Empirical information was almost nonexistent and most of what he had found was guesswork and worryingly incomplete translations from ancient texts. There was simply no other way to say it. They were winging it. Hard. Geoff smirked in spite of everything, having too often been the source of unconventional ideas and improvised problem solving to shy in the face of it now. That folks were taking that approach to his brain was equal parts unsettling and reassuring. Geoff resumed whistling a tune Alex had sung brilliantly on the holodeck a few days earlier while he considered what little his research had turned up. Everything he had found said what had happened to him shouldn’t have been possible, or that it should’ve killed him within days. The one fairly well documented account he had found was in the fleet archives, surrounding a ships human surgeon who had unexpectedly become a receptacle for the ships Vulcan XO. Over the course of a few weeks the surgeon's personality was slowly overwhelmed as his body broke down, the strain of carrying two people in one brain acting like a deadly poison. In the end, it had been a near thing, and it had required the direct participation of the most revered high priest on Vulcan. Geoff’s resources were somewhat less...robust. He had a troublemaking Doctor, a Commander he’d never met and a medium sized shuttles worth of hastily assembled parts. Geoff wasn’t sure how prepared that actually made him for whatever ordeal lay ahead but was satisfied he was going into harms way as well armed as possible. He was fairly certain he’d been in worse situations than this one but at the moment no graver set of circumstances sprang to mind. As the double doors slid aside and Geoff pushed his sled of rattling equipment to one side, he waved merrily to the two stone faced Vulcan’s staring back at him. He didn’t think he was egregiously late but the deep scowls, identical on both officers faces, said otherwise. Geoff looked down at himself and considered a different possibility. Teller: What, are these the wrong robes? They were in the replicator database. The long flapping Vulcan robes, with a number of glyphs down the front explaining the lineage of Teller’s ‘clan’ and how great logic must be, or so Geoff imagined. The petite doctor used a few precious seconds to stare her executive officer up and down, and then, she frowned even more deeply. Not for the first time in the course of all that trouble, Alieth wondered if it was really worth all the effort to try to save Commander Teller. While certainly Sern would be lost in the process, maybe the galaxy would be better and more organized without him. Pausing for a moment, she glanced sideways at the other Vulcan, more than curious about his reaction. Saveron had never met Teller previously, and he couldn’t resist raising an eyebrow slightly at the man’s attire, and the mound of equipment he’d brought with him. Saveron: Commander Geoffrey Teller, I presume. ::He greeted him.:: I am Commander Saveron, as I do not doubt you can intuit. He’d been told by Alieth that Teller’s mind had seemed remarkably stable for a Human carrying a Vulcan katra. Taking in the man’s attire and accompanying collection of… stuff, Saveron was forced to ponder either Alieth’s perception of him, or his nature before acquiring Sern as a mental companion. Alieth: Commander, I presume you are aware that you are wearing a priestess's regalia. While not unprecedented, it is... rather unorthodox. The words were calm and measured, but the glint in her eyes belied these facts. Teller: Priestess...robes? Phew….now I’m really glad I didn’t wear the hat. Before she could be drawn into a long, convoluted and (admittedly) instructive lecture, the other Vulcan wrapped up the matter tersely. Saveron: Your choice of attire is irrelevant. ::Said the man wearing his standard Starfleet uniform.:: What is the purpose of this equipment? The Fal-tor-pan was traditionally performed using telepathic abilities only. Whilst he would advocate the use of the Thor’s Sickbay, the purpose of this accumulation of engineering parts he could not begin to fathom. Alieth: Given that the commander's telepathic abilities are nil, I considered that some external assistance might be in order. Of course, she refrained from pointing out her own lapse in not taking into account his tendency to get overzealous with mechanical gadgets. Reminding himself that he was dealing with a Human - visits to Vulcan always tended to shift him back towards an earlier, less alien-centric frame of mind - Saveron decided to reserve judgement for now. Teller: Well I can tell you about this thing, or you can tell me what the plan is. Actually, while we’re doing that can you help me unpack this stuff? Geoff nodded to the grav sled. There were a half dozen equipment cases, spools of ODN conduit, several tool boxes and at least one small supply of self sealing stem bolts. Saveron: The 'plan' is to perform the Fal-tor-pan. ::He said, opting for the first option.:: This is the ritual whereby the katra of a deceased individual is removed from the mind of the one carrying it, and placed in a suitable vessel. This can be the mind of another, in rare instances a new body, or a katric ark. The intention is to return Sern’s katra to Alieth who will then take him to his ancestral katric ark, or if necessary utilise a small, temporary ark to house him for his return to Vulcan. As he said the last he glanced at Alieth, silently requesting the crystal ark that he’d entrusted to her. It was a small one, only intended to house a single katra temporarily, for transport home. Saveron normally kept it with him in case of disaster. The woman, who up to that point had been discharging part of the bizarre stack of objects off the sled, halted mid-motion, with what seemed like three kilometres of cable struggling to snake out of her arms. Alieth: Commander Teller has been working with the crystal which is why an educated guess is that it must be here ::pointing with her chin towards the sled:: … Somewhere. Had ever one managed to compose an expression of apology and sheepishness by not moving a single muscle on his face, then Alieth achieved that feat at that moment, as she gazed up at her mentor. On the other side of the sledge, the only human in attendance appeared utterly oblivious to the exchange. Teller: Computer, give me a standard engineers workbench, height 70 cm, with a type nine EPS power feed and a standard ODN interface. Tie the whole thing into the ships power grid and data networks. The holodeck shimmered as Geoff began grabbing equipment cases and shifting them to the floor. The visiting Commander watched, perhaps a little bemused, as Teller began to assemble the… contraption. Was this a nervous displacement activity? Saveron: Commander Teller, the Fal-tor-pan is an ancient rite which does not require additional equipment. What is the purpose of… this? He asked again, gesturing to the pile and beginning to doubt Alieth’s assessment of the man’s mental state. Perhaps she couldn’t see the desert for the sandstorm. Alieth: Osu may be a bit non-standard, but I am sure the idea fits, considering Sern's reluctance to leave Geoffrey John. The older Vulcan turned to look at his mentee. Saveron: Is Sern’s reluctance to leave Commander Teller, or to return to yourself? ::He asked, pointedly.:: Alieth: Both. ::The faintest hint of an expression crossed her face briefly before she specified:: Yet mostly the latter. At the same time, Geoff huffed as he shifted another heavy crate off the sled and onto the workbench. He went to grab another but realized he owed their guest an introduction and an explanation. Teller: Commander Saveron... I’m sorry to come off a bit frantic. I’ve probably had enough coffee in the last two days to keep this ship moving for a week. Geoff Teller. ::Geoff offered his hand:: I really appreciate your assistance in this, and I’d be happy to explain what I’ve cooked up here. Normally Saveron didn’t shake hands except with very special friends, being an active touch telepath. But since he was about to be delving into the man’s mind, he decided that the gesture might help to instill a little confidence, so briefly clasped the other man’s hand. It also gave him a momentary impression of the frenetic activity going on in the other man’s head. Saveron: I would appreciate your explanation. ::He said evenly.:: Teller: Ok, so the crystalline structure of these katric arcs is, frankly, pretty amazing. The refractive lattice allows for the creation of a self-sustaining energy matrix...the katra...and it functions great as a durable long term storage medium. But they’re not perfect. The Katra itself has to be in pretty good shape to begin with to be stable in there, and we know that’s not the case with Sern. So think of this as an...upgrade. Saveron listened with a mixture of interest and mild horror. The traditional Vulcan in him held to the sacred ideal of mental discipline and telepathic primacy, whilst the doctor and scientist in him knew that for something to be real and true in this universe it must be detectable and understandable. All else was religious dogma. He did not hold with religious dogma, but that did not mean that this dissection of his people’s most sacred practices did not make him uncomfortable. It would be something to meditate on later. Geoff took the last of the components off the sled and pushed it to the far corner with a foot. Laying spools of cable out for easy access, he cross connected a subspace field emitter he’d pulled from one of their class five probes to a tunnelling quantum resonator he hoped the science lab wouldn’t miss for a few days. The devices began humming and beeping as he slotted in power connections and began self-diagnostics, still connecting more components to a growing pile. The young Vulcan woman nodded as the human in the room work. Likewise, she stepped away from the device that seemed to grow in size and complexity in the middle of the holodeck, just to avoid disturbing or tampering with whatever it was that was being connected. Alieth: ::Slowly:: So this is a kind of ICU for a katra? A system to keep it stabilized and prevent the degradation of one that is in a compromised state? It was certainly a revolutionary solution. Saveron: Fascinating. Teller: I decided to look at the problem like I would with a computer core - Sern’s a subroutine I want to save, but there’s a lot of data corruption, right? This…::Geoff nodded over::...is a katric data recovery system. As you guide Sern into the ark, it’ll be scanning through my brain, finding all the little bits of him that have gotten tangled up and making sure they get transcribed over to the ark. If it works right, he’ll be back to his old self and better than ever. Saveron didn’t think anyone had looked at the problem in quite this way. Mind you, usually there wasn’t this problem in the first place. One of the components sparked and started smoldering. Geoff swatted at it with the hem of his robe. Teller: That’s fine, just...warming up. Speaking of, there is just a...tiny bit of radiation. Not enough to get worried about, but we should probably get some hyronalin shots later...today. The young woman's eyebrows furrowed slightly and, for a moment, she paused in her efforts to untangle a pile of wire from a shiny thing she could not define as anything other than a "thing" from another.... "thing" that had begun to hum faintly. At least it wasn't on fire. If it wasn't supposed to be. Alieth: would not be preferable to do it… before? Saveron: Logical, certainly. Humans; what would they think of next? Teller: Well the thing is I already turned it on….and the half life of some of these isotopes is pretty short. ::Geoff nodded towards a humming cylinder on the floor:: Just try not to stand too close to that glowing part over there. She didn't feel reassured at all, but she couldn't oppose it either. Alieth: I will accept that, then we radiate ourselves and then...? Teller: Anyway, the ark itself slots into that cradle on the workbench. This’ll all run automatically, but if you hear anything start beep/beep/beep’ing three times we should probably get out of the room. ::Geoff coughed awkwardly:: Quickly. Certainly, all that process made sense in a wacky way. In a way that was bordering on lunacy, yet Alieth had learned, over the course of the last year, that unconventional solutions were sometimes not just the only possible option, but the most logical one, no matter how much she vehemently protested against them. On the other hand, Saveron resisted the urge to pinch the bridge of his nose, and reminded himself that Commander Teller was understandably extremely nervous, and possibly being pushed by the katra they were trying to retrieve. Saveron: Commander Teller, I appreciate that you are understandably nervous about the procedure, and trusting your mind to an ancient Vulcan rite which, not being a telepath, you cannot fully understand. By the same token, I am sure you would appreciate that I am reluctant to trust my mind to an untested piece of equipment. He gestured to the pile of… stuff. Which was humming, in a slightly worrying way. It was the kind of hum that indicated pent-up energy, just before something exploded. Saveron: However, I appreciate your interest and active participation in this endeavour. The petite doctor glanced first at the tall, pale-eyed Vulcan and then at the not-so-tall ginger human. Somehow a kind of tacit and respectful agreement seemed to have been established between them. Alieth: ::Nodding to herself.::So we have ::she did some quick mental calculations::: ...twelve percent higher success rate. She tilted her head to a side, her expression still mostly controlled, but there was a slight relax in the muscles of her face, a not-at-all-expression somehow more casual. Alieth: It is an improvement... Geoff shrugged and crossed his robe covered arms. Teller: Look, I know how serious this is. This doesn’t work, the odds of me waking up are pretty low, and even if I do…::Geoff shuddered:: I might not be the same person. It’s not something I’ve enjoyed dwelling on. If there’s anything I can do to help, you can bet your ear points I’ll do it. Then, the older Vulcan sighed, ever so slightly. Saveron: Computer, chair. He sat down, bringing himself closer to Geoffrey and Alieth’s heights. Saveron: I understand that much of the recent discussions have been around Sern and his katra, and how to retrieve it. I do not doubt that the importance placed on that by his Clan has had an impact. But, Commander Teller, I want you to understand that that is not why I am here. He spoke, aware that what he was about to say may not go over so well with his mentee. The chair had been created by the holodeck and should’ve been perfectly comfortable, but somehow it was already digging into his back. Teller: You’ve got my undivided attention, Commander. And seeing as how you’ll be wandering around in my brain, I think you can call me Geoff. Saveron: I am here for you. Sern is dead, and as you have observed, his katra partially degraded, likely long before he came into your care. If I can retrieve him then I will, but my focus is the preservation of your mind and mental faculties, and if I have to discard Sern’s katra to preserve your mind, then I will do so. Alieth clenched her jaw but said no word. It was something that she understood could be required, and yet she didn't relish the prospect. For his behalf, Geoff looked to Saveron in surprise and considered raising a protest, but it died on his lips. Teller: I regret to admit I see the logic in your position, Commander. ::Geoff sighed:: It’s what Sern wanted too, and I can’t ignore his wishes in all of this. He never wanted to take me down with him. Still, I want to give the guy a fighting chance. Is there anything else I can do? The woman swallowed her breath and finally found her voice to speak again. Alieth: I would prefer that both could be preserved intact. ::She lowered her head to stare at her hands before continuing:: But in case that is not possible... Geoffrey John's life has priority. Those words stung like salt on an open wound. The need behind them, even more so. Saveron: The only other reassurance that I can offer is this; the Fal-tor-pan is rarely needed on Vulcan, and one High Priestess in a generation might only perform it once in her lifetime. ::When it was utilised for Captain Spock, it had not been used in living memory.:: I have already performed it once, successfully, so am in the unique position of having prior experience. ::Because he hung around with aliens too much.:: What you can do, is trust me. Geoff considered the impassive features of a man he hadn’t met before today, then looked to Alieth, who had brought them all together. Four minds, 3 bodies and an odd collection of technology, drawn from different worlds and vastly different cultures. It was slapdash and desperate and crazy. It was also reassuring, somehow. Teller: I can do that, Commander Saveron. Doc, you got any last minute advice? She took a deep breath and stared at Teller for a while, a moment that thickened rather quickly. When she finally answered, her reply was remarkably specific. Alieth: Give up coffee. Or at least reduce it to less than 250 millilitres a day. Teller: Oh come on, Doc, you can’t be serious. How will that help? A little spark flashed in her eyes. It was a very brief thing, hardly a second, a little more herself there, just as was before all this had happened, before the danger and Sern's silence. Alieth: It will improve your digestion. You may recover part of the parietal cells.::She tilted a head to the side, the glint again in her gaze:: You may even get the amount of sleep stipulated for your age and species. Saveron: She does appear to have your wellbeing in mind… this time. ::He said dryly.:: OK, two on one - and two Vulcan at that - probably wasn’t fair. Geoff smirked and turned his attention to Commander Saveron. Teller: You happen to need a medical officer over there on the Conny? ::Geoff scowled in Alieth’s general troublemaking direction::I think I’ve got one available. Alieth: ::raising an eyebrow:: Really, Geoff... Saveron: In fact our CMO recently went on leave, so we do have a vacancy. She quickly spun around to look at her mentor, the surprise and shock, while not reflected in her features, plain in her attitude. Geoff’s barked out a laugh. For all their claims otherwise, Vulcan’s could have a great sense of humor. Teller: Fine, but I’m putting a pin in this conversation till after we’re done. Alright Doc, Commander. Let's get started. [TBC] OOC: ma maat katra → The clan owns the katra Fal-tor-pan → Right whereby a katra is transferred from an individual’s mind into another destination T’Sai → Lady Osu→ Sir, used as a form of polite address for a man Orensu→ Student ================================= As simmed by: Commander Saveron First Officer USS Constitution-B R238802S10 & Commander Geoffrey Teller Executive Officer USS Thor - NCC 82607 Commodore A. Kells, Commanding V239509GT0 & Lt. Alieth Chief Medical Officer USS Thor NCC-82607 E239702A10 Image Collective Co-Facilitator /Art Director ================================= 3 Quote Link to comment
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