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T’Pol’s Garden: Missing Scene from Vulcan for ‘Intimate’ – Chapter 4
Author - John O. | Main Story | Offshoots | Rating - G | T
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T’Pol’s Garden: Missing Scene from Vulcan for ‘Intimate’ – Chapter 4
AN: This is supposed to be the story, or one of the stories, T’Pol may have told Trip about her childhood, but told from a third person point of view. Just assume all the dialog is in Vulcan. Single words that appear alone in Vulcan indicate a cultural meaning or significance that would be lost in translation.
Sixty Years Ago
“Papa’s home, papa’s home!”
T’Les turned from pruning the tirnuk on the far side of the garden to see her husband climbing the final stair to the front of their home. He crossed the archway that crowned the threshold from the rock Vulcan soil outside their property to the fertile ground of the gardens. T’Les frowned at her daughter’s behavior and set her clippers down as she approached the pair to admonish her daughter’s outburst. And that illogical Earth-name.
A man was revealed behind Sovek as he turned to one side and T’Les regarded him from the distance with guarded distrust. She watched as her four year old daughter went scampering up to her father, harms stretched out wide. The girl’s fair brown hair and abnormally expressive tendencies were clearly derived from her father.
Sovek fell from his usually large stature to catch his daughter just as she came crashing into him, nearly knocking the middle-aged Vulcan off his balance. It was enough to turn his already upturned lips into almost a full smile. His restraint held as his wife approached with a look of mild reproach while the colleague behind him looked on with poorly hidden disgust. His daughter smiled as she hugged him but when the man behind her father came into view, she gasped in exaggerated fear and her cheeks turned pale. Sovek patted her helmet-cut chestnut brown hair and looked up at his wife.
“It is agreeable to see you,” he told her, mustering an even and emotionless voice. She nodded and saluted his company with her fingers wide. T’Pol pulled herself from her father’s chest, the momentary fear of the man behind him forgotten as she turned back to her mother with a look of sheer glee. A tiny smile begged on Sovek’s lips, withheld only by the recollection of his company. His colleague, an older Vulcan with severe eyes glared disapprovingly at the openness of affection their daughter showed and her clear lack of emotional discipline. The young children on Vulcan were less stoic than their parents until undergoing formal training in their teenage years, but T’Pol was more expressive than most. Her father often proved ineffectual at discouraging such behavior, though in truth the fault of her behavior was his.
He set her down and looked into her brown eyes with a smile in his eyes, though his lips became flat and impassive. Sovek rose and turned to his colleague, who still glared at the raucous child. For an instant Sovek’s eyes became harder and his jaw became rigid. As if by mention, his colleague, V’Las, turned to him.
“Good day, Councilor V’Las,” Sovek bid the man a short farewell with a slight edge. V’Las nodded, turning a sharp eye on T’Les for an instant as he turned and walked from their home.
“T’Pol, you are aware that is an unacceptable way to greet your father,” T’Les admonished the young girl. She looked up at her mother’s dark eyes, the mirror of her own, and cast her gaze down to the red brick beneath her feet.
“I know…” she muttered guiltily. Her father came to her rescue as T’Les regarded her severely
“T’Pol, why don’t you go inside and begin preparing the mid-day meal? I know how you enjoy peeling the kasa, and if your mother consents,” he peered down at T’Les with a hint of pleading.
“Perhaps we will take Tikosh for a walk through the Round Hills after the meal?” T’Les blinked but before she could respond, the girl’s smile exploded from her lips. Her trim brown hair fluttering behind her, she made a run for the kitchen door with her robes slinking about her tiny feet. The tiny girl turned to grin at her mother as she neared the house and she tripped as the robe fell underfoot. She collapsed forward, splitting her lip on the edge of the walkway leading into the home. T’Les gasped, losing most of her carefully constructed reserve and hurriedly moved to her daughter’s side. Sovek followed close behind. A smudge of green blood and gravel peppered the girl’s lip, her eyes watering but withholding their tears. T’Les came to her side, sensing the child’s safety through their empathic connection. She watched proudly as T’Pol wiped her lip with professional detachment and straightened her robes, endeavoring to mimic the discipline with which she was taught to treat injury and pain.
“Are you unhurt, mi-kan? ” her father asked, instinctively. She nodded proudly, pulling a large clump of the satin robes into her face to wipe her eyes. T’Les frowned at the use of her robes as a tissue but did not rebuke her. She stroked the child’s hair before gently squeezing T’Pol’s shoulders and turning to her husband. T’Pol turned and ran into the house with equal vigor as before, her injury long forgotten.
T’Les sighed as if a great weight had been lifted but her face showed only displeasure as she paced towards the large fountain that lie in the center of the large, botanical garden. Her husband followed silently, folding his hands within his robes. He approached her cautiously; unsure of the trouble he was in this time. She often disapproved of his leniency with T’Pol, allowing her to act on her emotions openly with him. He did not allow it when they were in public or with guests (save this afternoon’s incident), however, T’Les knew that a pattern of behavior was easy to establish and difficult to break. When she turned to confront him, Sovek was sure he was to face another scolding for his encouragement of T’Pol’s emotional expressionism.
“You were supposed to be home last week,” T’Les said, turning finally to face him. Her face was impassive but Sovek read the features that only a bondmate could. Her eyes softened as he approached and their fingers met. The gesture was deceptively reticent, waves of emotion flowing empathically from one to the other. Only in this sanctioned, secret way could T’Les confront the powerful attraction she still had for Sovek after three decades of marriage.
After several moments she let her fingers fall away from his and paced away from him, keeping her eyes from him as she must to maintain the strength of will to scold her husband.
“You spend too much time on Earth,” she said distantly, turning her eyes towards the house. He turned to face her but she continued to avoid his face.
“It is my job,” he replied defensively, tilting his head. She looked up doubtfully at him.
“You grow too much like them. Others have seen it as well; your colleagues at the Ministry will not tolerate it. Counselor V’Las may be reporting you at this very moment for T’Pol’s behavior. Your fascination with humanity is illogical, and it is affecting our daughter. You treat her like a human child, and she is beginning to act like one!” T’Les replied, her voice quivering with shaky control as she angered. He approached to consol her and her face hardened as if to resist.
“It will only be more difficult for her to master control of her emotions when her training begins. As you know it must,” she insisted, as if it were not the first time she had done so.
“T’Les, ashayam, I care deeply for our daughter, as you do, and I will not hide that. Regardless of what the Ministry thinks, I must be true to myself and my family.” He replied with a hint of reluctance.
When Tikosh tired of T’Pol’s endless chasing and capturing of her beloved pet, she fell back to trot side-by-side with Sovek who glanced down at the creature appreciatively. T’Pol followed moments later, circling her father who watched her from the corner of his sparkling eyes. She inserted herself between the two parents, mimicking their stoic appearance as she folded her fingers at the front of her robes, hoping to please her mother.
“Pa… Father, tell us about Earth again. Do the humans really have white hair? ” T’Pol asked professionally, as if she spoke on behalf of her mother as well – whose curious and displeased eyes followed her daughter. Sovek glanced at T’Les then at T’Pol.
“Yes, mi-kan. Many humans have a color of hair they call ‘blonde’. Do you not wish to know more of the Earth? Its blue sky, frigid northern climates, oceans, massive bodies of water containing countless thousands of organisms not found on Vulcan; as well as tropical rainforests unlike anything on our planet?” T’Pol wrinkled her brow curiously then turned to Sovek honestly.
“No, Father, I am more curious of the humans themselves,” she remarked as her mother had strained to teach her, with professional intonation. Sovek found T’Les’ displeased gaze on him again, as if to confirm her worst fears of Sovek’s influence on T’Pol.
“Professor Solkar says they do not harness emotions as we do. He says they are dangerous,” T’Pol recited her grandfather’s words.
“They are different from us, mi-kan. They do not suppress emotion, but rather embrace it. It has lead to great suffering and injustice in their planet’s history, much like the days of Surak. They recently suffered a great War that caused great loss of life,” he remarked solemnly. T’Pol looked up with sorrowful eyes, as if she felt grief for the humans rather than disgust. Pain like that which lurked still in the hearts of so many humans who lost loved ones in the Great War, sixteen light-years from the young Vulcan.
“And now? If they still war with one another, why do you go there? Are they dangerous?”
T’Les looked up in curiosity as her husband carefully formulated a response.
“They have built ships capable of interstellar travel, as Vulcan has. They have successfully made peace and unified previously warring nation-states. They live in peace now, so short a time after a great war.”
“But how can this be, Father? I thought Vulcans fought each other for hundreds of years after Surak taught logic to us.”
“Indeed we did, mi-kan. The humans show a perseverant spirit we Vulcans do not completely possess. They are a truly fascinating species,” he replied, looking down at her. She furrowed her young brow most curiously before turning back to her father.
“I believe I will visit there one day. I would like to meet one of these… ‘blonde’ humans,” she declared precociously. Sovek fought back the smile on his lips, in stark contrast to T’Les’ very displeased and disapproving frown.
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A whole mess of folks have made comments
John, I LOVE 4 year old T'Pol. This explains a lot about her reluctant fascination with humans... and one blonde human in particular, LOL!
A minor housekeeping suggestion... you might want to review the proper use of "lie, lay, laid, lain". It's always been particuliarly troublesome to me as well.
An excellent story. I find myself liking T'Pol's father quite a lot. Are you going to continue this?
Well, T'Pol got her wish and met one of those 'blonde' humans. Nice fic, John. Curious that the Romulan operative is hanging around...
Hee hee! Nicely done! :)
Thanks, I enjoyed that. I'll plug two other T'Pol as a child stories: Linda's A Vulcan Childhood and Peter Simons and Click's The Greater Good, Part I. (The T'Pol as a child story is a sort of a flashback in the second story--which starts out in the present.) The present? Am I going nuts? I've got to take a break from this.
Lovely. "One day I want to meet a blond human", that's great. And I like her parents... More of this please.
Delightful story, nice portrait of a young child. I think childhood exuberance must be universial in sentient species. And I liked the nice descriptions of the clothing and the desert colors. One picky thing - you might want to proof read one more time as I saw the word 'often' used twice in one sentence. I know it is a pain to proofread! I hate it too; spelling is my personal downfall.
"A minor housekeeping suggestion... you might want to review the proper use of "lie, lay, laid, lain". It's always been particuliarly troublesome to me as well."
ACK! That's one of the mechanical bugaboos I try to go after in my final spell/grammar check. PM me with the offending line and I'll correct it.
Don't stress, Bucky. I didn't mean you, dear. I don't know how John feels about it, but I always considered proper verb usage to be the reponsibility of the author. It's nice to have you checking after us, though. Thank you.
I believe Distracted was actually referring to Chapter 5 and just posted it here, although I just didn't say anything. I looked and found no such instance of any of the conjugations of 'lay' in this release... :?
It's not that important. I saw a couple in the other story too, so I thought I should point it out. Here's the incidence in this story. (It's a minor nit-pick, though... not really much of a distraction. The story is wonderful. Both of them are.)
"T'Les sighed as if a great weight had been lifted but her face showed only displeasure as she paced towards the large fountain that lie in the center of the large, botanical garden."
While we're picking at technicalites, which I hate to do--when creativity and talent are the main thing and you HAVE THAT (John)!!!
But . . . I see lots of instances where the dialogue of one speaker is broken up into two short lines in separate paragraphs, each enclosed in quotation marks, so that you are expect that the second sentence will by the other speaker's lines, but it isn't.
It's not too distracting because your voices of Trip and T'Pol are so distinctive (in perfect characterization BTW) that you pretty much always know who is talking. I would have told you by PM, but couldn't find your address.
My theory about good writing: The technicalities are only about 2% of it. The rest is that unteachable something, which you happen to be able to do.
ty for that. as every writer has their quirks, perhaps not universally recognized for their intention, i have mine as well. Often, the reason I break lines up from the same person into two paragraghs is to emphasize that in my mind, there is a break in the person's thought patterns, and in their speech. I feel it more narratively smooth to have two lines broken up and by that means imply the person stopped talking or paused, than to say "T'Pol paused." every time they do so. I just feel as though the narrator is too close to the reader's ear it is distracting. It is probably not always clear, but that is the aim of separating sentences... to show that a person isn't just rattling away one sentence after the other.
As we've seen, our characters are faced with unique and unforseeable situations nearly every moment, especially when they speak to one another and are not always sure how to respond to the thoughts and feelings of the other. If they knew exactly what they were going to say and just blurted it out, it wouldn't feel real. To me, when T'Pol stops and thinks about what is going to say, it is a sign she is conflicted, confused, or unsure, as she really would be... As Tucker often makes her feel.
On the bridge with the Captain, for instance, she is in full-control mode, and what she says comes in one fluid, practiced exposition.
I try to do the same in my stories, John. What I usually do in that situation is to briefly describe the speaker's expression or behavior to make it clear to the reader that the speaker is pausing for thought. You did this several times in this story. Since both you and justTrip'n referred to a conversation between Trip and T'Pol, I'm assuming you're both referring to your other stories and not this one when you describe separating the dialog without an intervening descriptive passage. I agree that simply repeating "T'Pol paused" can get old, but there are many other things you could say to clue the reader in. It tends to allow the reader to better "see" the scene when you do this, IMO.
OK, John and Distracted. I buy that. Thanks for the explanation/advice.
This was simply a fantastic story. I really liked all the characterizations and the simple every day nature of the story. Gives a real insight into T'Pol was a person and explains alot regarding her character, especially in your stories. Thanks for this really enjoyable story!
how do i get 2 de 1st chapter?