laurajv: The Vulcan Community Finds Your Shenanigans Illogical (star trek shenanigans)
[personal profile] laurajv
I think this fandom has eaten my brain.

The Word for World Is--

Humans would've named the planet New Earth and the places things like New Africa or New Russia. Vulcans did no such thing; they named the planet Vik: the well in the desert. They named the continents Ashv'cezh, Laktra, and Vrekasht: Revenge, Grief, and Outcast.

Spock moved his rook up three levels, and Kirk frowned. "About the Vulcan colony," he said, calculating his options.


"You don't find those names...emotional?"

Spock raised his eyebrows. "They are Vulcan."

"No, I mean, of course they're Vulcan, but -- "

"Jim." Kirk held his breath; Spock so rarely used his name. Spock frowned at him. "The names are...consonant with Vulcan history and culture."

The highest mountain on Vik rose out of a long chain of rock along the coast of Laktra. The Vulcans did not give it a name. It was not Seleya-that-was, though the remaining Kohlinaru took up residence, though the course of the kahs-wan ran over its sides, though hired crafters and builders recreated the Hall of Ancient Thought under the direction of an aged Vulcan mason.

Kirk found her in the empty botany lab after her shift. She was carefully picking out scales on a Vulcan lute. "Lieutenant Uhura?"

"Captain?" Her face was carefully neutral; he'd annoyed her too many times at the Academy for her to like him, he thought.

"You're the closest of any of us to Spock."

Her hands stilled the strings. "Perhaps."

"I don't want to pry," he said, sitting down across from her. "But I need to know how he's doing." He tapped his temple. "In here."

She simultaneously flinched and relaxed. "How would you be doing, in his place?"

"I'd be recklessly destroying government property in an effort to prove my manliness."

"So what you do anyway."

He shook his head and grinned at her, rueful. "And I'd be having screaming nightmares while simultaneously denying I needed any help." He searched her face. "Unless I had someone who knew me too well to let me get away with that."

She nodded. "There's...some of that. He's getting better. Did you know, Captain, that the entire Vulcan race is mentally linked to some degree?"

Kirk frowned. "I did know, yes -- when so many of them died, it must have hurt like hell."

"I think so," she said. "Spock says -- he says the Vulcan crew get together, every few days, to touch minds. It helps them heal." She ran her fingers through the notes of the scale, almost absently.

"I'm surprised so many Vulcans stayed in Starfleet," Kirk said. "I thought they might all leave, to help rebuild."

"They're all young," she said, thoughtfully. "All of them; I think Spock's the eldest by a number of years. I've heard Vulcans judge adulthood differently than we do."

The Kohlinaru knew every carving on every wall, every echo in every room, and the name of every katra that had been lost to the winds when Vulcan died. They touched their fingers to the face of the aged mason, and to the faces of all the Vulcans working under her direction; the mason's swift hands drew out the plans for all her alien crew.

The mason also met with the Federation aid officer, for the Kohlinaru would not speak with him. "What do you do?" he asked, at their first meeting.

She turned her face upwards, lifted her arm, and pointed up the long slope to the site of the Hall. "I build on the mountain," she said.

"But what do you do?" he said, waving his padd at her. "I have to write down what you do, and what aid you need, and how you will use it."

She shrugged. "We are the people of the mountain, and the desert, and the well. I build on the mountain, the highest mountain of Vik, where Laktra meets the sea. Perhaps one day we will be a people of the sea, as well, but we will always need the mountain."

The two eldest Vulcan crewmembers -- eldest, but for Spock -- resigned their commissions abruptly, and took commercial transport to Vik. Kirk found the rest of them holding a small, quiet conference in a corner of the rec hall, with Spock standing a little apart, his arms crossed. "I am half-human," Kirk heard him say, with the mismatch of mouth and voice that meant Spock was speaking Vulcan; bless universal translators. He hovered, almost out of earshot, his translator set to maximum, and pretended to be engrossed in reading a padd. "I have been told by my counterpart that I will not be spared, but it will be some time."

The others ducked their heads. "I had forgotten your counterpart," Ensign Setep said. "I merely wished to know if you would consider relinquishing any claim on my family; we have three women of age but would prefer they be free to wed at any time. Of course, if there is one of them you would take, my clan-head would be honored, but --"

Spock shook his head. "No need, Setep."

Setep closed his eyes. "We have all lost much. I did not wish our clan to breach contract-- "

"Your family owes the House of Surak no obligation but what it owes to all our people. There are so few of us; I would not hold anyone back from a productive arrangement. I am sure my father and my clan-head would agree."

All of them were silent, for a time, and Kirk was about to click off the padd and depart, when another -- Lieutenant T'Mit, he thought -- said "It is the month of the blood-mountain, when the watcher is blind. I have arranged to hold a room for us, for a week, for the meditations of blood. I will send a message for scheduling." She paused. "I have no knife."

"I have two," Setep said. "One of bone, one of steel. I will loan you the steel for the duration."

"This one is grateful," she answered, and the meeting broke apart.

Vik was a wetter world than Vulcan, with several oceans and many rivers, but the colonists showed little interest. When asked, all they would say is "The well weeps for those who cannot."

They built five villages, scattered over the continents, and began cataloguing the flora and fauna of their new home. Every village was within sight of a mountain, and surrounded by desert, and centered around a well.

From the mountains they quarried rock and built arenas in the deserts; in each arena they hung bells and a gong. "It will suffice," they said, "for now," and touched each others' faces in reassurance.

Kirk reached out and flicked Spock's king over. Spock caught it before it fell from the board. "You're distracted tonight," Kirk said, and Spock sighed.


"Woman trouble, or Vulcan trouble?"

"Why must it be either of those options?"

"Because I'm your CO, and I know it's not professional trouble. That leaves only woman trouble, or Vulcan trouble."

Spock fidgeted with his king, then set it down on the table with a thump. "My counterpart is an unsettling individual."

Kirk laughed. "He is that. What's he done?"

"He married." Kirk could hear a strange undercurrent in Spock's voice.

"He married, and...?"

"And he forced the Council to agree that my father could leave me unmarried until I chose my own mate."

"And that's unsettling because....?"

Spock looked faintly aggrieved. "How did he know I wished to find my own mate? I did not even know, until Vulcan was destroyed."

"He's you," Kirk said.

"He is not," said Spock. "He is someone I might have been, with a life very different from the one I am living now."

Kirk started setting up the chess pieces for a new game. "So think of him as a strangely prescient cousin. You're black this time."

"I also do not understand," said Spock, "how someone whose experience and political ties exist solely in another reality forced the Council to agree to anything."

Kirk grinned. "Look," he said, "would you want to mess with that guy? I sure wouldn't. I bet T'Pau took one look at him and went weak in the knees just from the vibes he gives off."

"I find that exceedingly unlikely."

The House of Surak made its home in the village nearest the unnamed mountain. The Federation aid officer stood at the well, with Sarek of Vulcan at his side. "What will you name this village?" he asked. "New ShiKahr?"

Sarek raised one eyebrow, and looked across the central square to where T'Pau stood, speaking with his other-son. "We do not name as humans name," he said. "This is Heya, city of the mountain."

"But all your settlements are near mountains," the aid officer said.

"Only one is near this mountain," Sarek answered. "Come, I will show you the school; it is nearly complete."


A/N: Diane Duane's use of mountains in Spock's World was an enormous influence on this story.

The Vulcan vocabulary is all Modern Standard Vulcan, somewhat loosely translated. The most complete Vulcan dictionary online that I know of is
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(no subject)

Date: 2009-05-18 05:55 pm (UTC)
eruthros: Delenn building the crystal machine in season 1  of B5, captioned "foreshadowing" (B5 - Delenn incredible foreshadowing)
From: [personal profile] eruthros
If this is the result, I encourage more brain-eating! I love the way you're worldbuilding the pain and grief of Vulcans, and the new Vulcan world, and the relationship between Spock Prime and Spock and Sarek. And I love, too, that Kirk and the Federation don't understand about Vulcans.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-05-18 05:56 pm (UTC)
elynross: (Default)
From: [personal profile] elynross
This is lovely, and rich. I haven't been reading fic for the reboot, because I'm not quite settled in my mind whether I want to, and what kind I might want, but I really enjoyed this.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-05-18 05:56 pm (UTC)
ellen_fremedon: overlapping pages from Beowulf manuscript, one with a large rubric, on a maroon ground (Default)
From: [personal profile] ellen_fremedon

I think this fandom has eaten my brain.

You say that like it's a bad thing.

This is fantastic-- your Vulcans are (as ever) alien and right.

Also-- "So think of him as a strangely prescient cousin." WIN.

(no subject)

From: [personal profile] krait - Date: 2009-05-31 10:24 am (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

Date: 2009-05-18 06:02 pm (UTC)
cimorene: (yo)
From: [personal profile] cimorene
Exquisitely Vulcan!

(no subject)

Date: 2009-05-18 06:02 pm (UTC)
musesfool: River from objects in space (it doesn't mean what you think)
From: [personal profile] musesfool
This is lovely.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-05-18 06:06 pm (UTC)
fox: my left eye.  "ceci n'est pas une fox." (Default)
From: [personal profile] fox
I'm not fluent in Star Trek, but you've given me goosebumps (in particular, though I don't know why, with "Only one is near this mountain"). I'm delighted that you're posting fic. Yay yay.

(no subject)

From: [personal profile] beatrice_otter - Date: 2009-06-28 03:02 am (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

Date: 2009-05-18 06:19 pm (UTC)
ratcreature: RatCreature as Spock (trek)
From: [personal profile] ratcreature
The fandom makes good use of your brain! I like your look at the Vulcans.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-05-18 06:21 pm (UTC)
lanning: (sea chimes)
From: [personal profile] lanning
I love your Vulcans, and their new world. And your humans, for that matter. This is a jewel. Thank you for posting it. :)

eta: And I really need to find my copy of Spock's World.
Edited Date: 2009-05-18 06:24 pm (UTC)

(no subject)

Date: 2009-05-18 06:38 pm (UTC)
lferion: Portrait of Sarek from Journey to Babel (ST-ToS_Sarek)
From: [personal profile] lferion
*Shivers with the rightness of this*

And if the Meditation of Blood addresses what I think it addresses, then yes, indeed will they need it. Oh yes.

I totally agree with your thought on the effects of Spock's meld with Kirk. I suspect there is going to be fallout from that for some time to come. I'm thinking that interaction is as universe-shaping as the destruction of the Kelvin in its own way. Because Kirk is a vergence/nexus/tipping-point/key, and that *changed* stuff for him.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-05-18 06:56 pm (UTC)
kass: white cat; "kass" (Default)
From: [personal profile] kass
Oh, wow. Lovely and sharp.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-05-18 07:41 pm (UTC)
raine: (SGA: A new day)
From: [personal profile] raine
You have always impressed me with your writing;, and this is no different. Thanks for answering one of the better questions the movie left behind.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-05-18 07:45 pm (UTC)
devohoneybee: (Default)
From: [personal profile] devohoneybee
Just beautiful.

I love the image of Uhura and the lute, harking back to the original series, and how she has Kirk's number, the alienness of Vulcan's and their very different takes on marriage, partnership, and naming.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-05-18 07:50 pm (UTC)
bethbethbeth: (ST Kirk Spock (bbb))
From: [personal profile] bethbethbeth
So basically, I'll just be reccing everything you write in this new ST world when I next update my recs page. Wonderful, perfect voices, feels like the mountains and the desert, somehow.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-05-18 11:43 pm (UTC)
isweedan: White jittering text "art is the weapon" on red field (Star Trek - Galia Is full of yay!)
From: [personal profile] isweedan
Whoa. That's...that's just...whoa. Yeah.
Vulcans, yo. *wanders off in daze from too awesomeness of Vulcans*

(no subject)

Date: 2009-05-18 11:52 pm (UTC)
ljc: (lost (vulcan))
From: [personal profile] ljc
This is so stunning. Just the way you use language is beautiful and structured and it creates such amazing resonance. I don't know any other way to put it.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-05-19 01:50 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] dswdiane
Incredibly well done. Thank you, Laura.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-05-19 03:03 am (UTC)
emyrys: This is my default (Default)
From: [personal profile] emyrys
Ah, it is nice to be sharing a fandom with you again! I love your writing. I love this. *is smiling warmly at the thought of them rebuilding*

(no subject)

Date: 2009-05-19 08:03 am (UTC)
egret: freddie mercury with mustache (freddie)
From: [personal profile] egret
I am so happy to read this and that there's more to the story that I loved so much in your previous fic. *settles in and snuggles story*
Plus I love the eavesdropping Kirk moment.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-05-19 02:04 pm (UTC)
naanima: (Default)
From: [personal profile] naanima
The way the Vulcan grieve; understated and so many things unsaid. The way their lives must go on, the way the humans cannot comprehend the way they grieve.

Just amazing.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-05-20 02:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh, but this is lovely.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-05-20 02:47 pm (UTC)
from: a sign that reads 'smile you are beautiful' (frame the world)
From: [personal profile] from
Lovely and crisp. I love how the parts about the Vulcan colony would make me think of Spock and vice versa.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-05-20 04:09 pm (UTC)
olliefree: (Default)
From: [personal profile] olliefree
Wow. This is exquisitely lovely. I hope there is more along these lines.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-05-20 04:59 pm (UTC)
meri_oddities: Reboot Kirk and Spock (01 ST Kirk/Spock 3)
From: [personal profile] meri_oddities
Oh, this was so well done. I love the rich layers you've created. Beautiful.

I'm very glad this fandom has eaten your brain, though I doubt you're alone. *g*

(no subject)

Date: 2009-05-20 05:07 pm (UTC)
sanj: A woman sitting in space, in a lotus leaf (Default)
From: [personal profile] sanj
This is absolutely gorgeous, and painful, and -- healing, in a way.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-05-20 06:32 pm (UTC)
lapislaz: (enterprise)
From: [personal profile] lapislaz
If I may be so bold - Fascinating.

(no subject)

From: (Anonymous) - Date: 2010-04-21 04:17 am (UTC) - Expand
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