Hello! Is There Anybody in There?
Posted on Fri Dec 28th, 2018 @ 11:17am by Lieutenant Jori Zann
Olympus Has Fallen
Location: Crew Quarters
Surak could not say that he was a Vulcan with Vulcan patience because he most definitely was not. Questions about everything churned in his mind all the time and sometimes didn't even let him sleep. He would do research into the early hours of the morning in order to find an answer to whatever was currently on his mind. Most of the time he was obsessed with interactions. It was his sociological education that drove him to seek answers as to why people, of any species, reacted the way they did.
Tonight was no exception. Surak had paced his room so many times he was afraid that they would have to replace his carpet, as he was going to pace it bare. When he finally managed to get himself to stop he knew what he wanted to do to answer the particular questions that were burning in his mind. He pulled on casual clothing, consisting of a light brown tunic and a pair of black pants and headed out of his room and down the corridor. He was in officer's quarters, but the person he wished to speak to was not. He had already checked the duty roster to see if this particular person was off shift currently and they were. He was hoping they were also in their quarters.
After making his way down to the crew quarters, he came to a stop in front of Lieutenant Jori Zann's door and tapped the buzzer twice.
Jori almost jumped out of his spotted skin when the door chime rang. The hour was not particularly odd, but he had not been expecting a visitor and therefore had settled in for a quiet evening. He was wearing a loose-fitting pair of black lounging pants accompanied by a white tank top with the Starfleet Engineering Division logo in red, and a pair of black flip flops. A recording of Debussy’s “Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun” was playing softly, and a PADD was in the Trill’s hand. He places the data access device on a small table and walked toward the door.
“Computer, pause music playback,” he said as he reached the door. Jori presses the ‘open’ command key and standing outside was Surak, one of the few Vulcans serving aboard. “Mister Surak!” Jori said enthusiastically. “I’m delighted to see you. Won’t you come in?”
For a moment Surak had an expression on his face that said he wasn't prepared for Jori's enthusiasm. He nodded and tucked his hands behind his back. "I would very much like to come in." As he stepped into Jori's quarters, he couldn't stop the barrage of questions on his mind. "Lieutenant, you are a joined Trill... is that correct?" He was looking around at the Lieutenant's quarters.
“I am a Trill,” said Jori as the door slid closed. He turned toward the young-looking Vulcan. “However, I am not Joined. In fact, I have never even met another of my race besides my parents. May I offer you some tea?” Jori gestured toward a small coffee pot sitting on a warming tray near the window. “It’s a blend of black and amber teas from Alpha Centauri.”
"I would enjoy tea. It would be... nice." He said "nice" like he was practicing it and turned to look at Jori. "What is your experience with Humans? You were born on Corvan II, correct?" He tipped his head to the side, his gaze focused curiously on Jori.
“You are correct,” said Jori as he poured another cup of tea. He handed it to the Vulcan on a saucer with a pretty floral pattern, then gestured for Surak to sit as he took a seat himself in a comfortable padded chair. “Corvan is a mining colony. Most of the people there have had several generations of their family work the mines. Very industrious people.” He paused to take a long sip from his tea. “I have been around Humans my entire life, and so have my parents. I tried my hardest to assimilate into their culture.”
"Assimilate..." Surak repeated taking the cup and saucer, picking another chair and sitting carefully. He sipped at the tea. "Pleasant flavor," he remarked flatly. "Mining is a dangerous business, is it not?" He tried to wait for Jori to respond, but he couldn't manage. "How did you try and fit into the culture? If it was where you grew up wouldn't that be the only culture you were familiar with? Were they difficult about your differences? Did you ever want to go home to Trill?" He put a hand over his mouth as if to stop himself. "My apologies..." he said through his hand, staring at Jori.
“Mining can be dangerous,” said Jori evenly, setting his cup on the small table and crossing his legs. “Mines in the Federation are as safe as they can possibly be, though. It is sometimes nice to have a government that mothers you.” He folded his hands on top of his knee. “The Federation is the only culture I have ever known. My parents taught me of the history of my race, of their many accomplishments large and small. But they taught me to adopt and emulate Human mannerisms... to walk, talk and act like your average Earthling. If anything, I was chastened by others for not being alien. I’m guessing they expected a non-Human to be different. I was something of an enigma, I suppose.”
Surak nodded and his brows furrowed a little. "Do you remember things in particular you would emulate?" he asked, then pressed his lips together tightly as if to keep himself from repeating his barrage from earlier. Although, in his struggle to wait for an answer the burning curiosity was probably apparent in his gaze.
“It has taken a lot of listening and watching,” responded Jori. “I have made my vocal inflections and pronunciation a fusion of several different Human groups, to ensure that the largest portion of their species can easily understand my speech.” Jori sighed heavily. “Perhaps if Trill becomes a Federation member I will make an effort to visit there, but for now, I am satisfied here.”
Surak nodded. "I can sort of understand. My experience was exclusively with other Vulcans. I was an aide for government officials and now... I am here. I sometimes question if I am "fitting in". There are many things about Human relationships that I cannot seem to understand. Perhaps I should study more. I especially do not understand their mating rituals. Have you ever mated with a Human?"
Jori swallowed his mouthful of tea quickly, fearing that he would spray it out of his mouth. He had not expected such a personal question... although the Vulcan’s matter-of-fact demeanor suggested that it was based more in scientific curiosity. “I have had intimate relations with several species,” said the Trill. “But never with a female. Humans are included in that group.”
Surak was silent for a moment. "I..." he paused again and tipped his head to one side, his brows furrowing. "How did you... achieve this? I have been struggling quite frequently with making my attempts at relationships clear. Humans use a vernacular for their relationships that is quite puzzling to me."
“I agree,” said Jori, dropping his voice to a lower, huskier tone. “I’m not sure how to explain how I ‘achieve’ success in that department. It’s kind of an instinct that you develop with time and practice. For example, you and I seem to have good chemistry and we communicate with each other clearly. If I believed you would be receptive, I would attempt to initiate an intimate encounter with you.”
Surak slowly raised one eyebrow. "You would do that? How would you determine if I was receptive? I... I do prefer the company of a T'hy'la to that of a female," he added softly.
“I would watch,” began Jori, “to see if you were listening and paying attention to me. That is usually one of the first signs. And also, taking opportunities to move closer and initiate physical touch. But to be honest...” Jori paused, uncrossing his legs and leaning a bit closer. “Sometimes you just know.”
The other Vulcan eyebrow joined the first. "I was certain that humans had a saying for that. Something about assumptions and asses. Is that not an assumption, unless you are telepathic in some way?" He leveled his serious gaze at Jori. "Is your species telepathic? At the moment I cannot remember." Surak didn't stop there. "How do you know when you know? Would it not be better to just ask? What if you are wrong?"