Date: 14 Oct 2013 20:33 Title: Chapter 5 - Wonderful and Rare Characteristics
That was all quite something Jesph. I maintain a love and fascination for these stories you weave, this universe within that of ENT and in this case the AOS. Top marks, it really was good to read :)
Aw, thank you!! We missed ya.
Date: 28 Sep 2013 10:41 Title: Chapter 5 - Wonderful and Rare Characteristics
I must respectfully disagree with TS here--I loved this ending. As touch telepaths, Vulcans would be much better equipped to understand whether or not another is compatible, both emotionally and romantically, than we humans. To my mind, the process would be much shorter and 'logical.'
As for your comment about arranged marriages, I think that age and wisdom have a lot to do with who people eventually become. I honestly think Sarek and Amanda thought T'Pring was a good match for Spock, and I truly believe this was the case when they were children. Spock said it himself: "One touches the other, in order to feel each other's thoughts." If there were compatibility issues, they would have been seen at that time and the bonding would by necessity have not taken place. That being said, it doesn't mean that T'Pring's mindset about certain things could not have been influenced or altered by those adults around her as she grew. Suppose her parents or grandparents held the same beliefs as the matrons on Mars?
Such are the follies and foibles of arranging marriages for young children.
And I love you definition of t'hy'la here, for it is a word I also use to describe my vision of the relationship between Kirk and Spock. In my world, they are not involved romantically but do share this special bond. I see the word as having many layers and shades of meaning. Truly IDIC as it was meant to be, not as the warped and twisted version espoused by some members of the race which developed the concept.
This was a great story, and a wonderful look into the conventional, and not so conventional, aspects of everyday Vulcan life and culture. Well done, madam. :-D
Oh, I thank you for reading!
I wanted the concept of t'hy'la to be - this is the person who knows you. And sometimes that's your mate. Sometimes it's your mother, or your brother, or a classmate or a coworker or a friend. It's just, someone who can cut through the layers that we all have. The one who can look past your masks.
And so they know, quickly, that they are meant for each other, as they can do this. Could they do this with others? Possibly, and that could very well be the root of T'Pring's behaviors in TOS (I actually have something planned for that but it's not Eriecho-based). I think, much like we can learn to love people, and we can potentially have more than one 'love of our lives' (e. g. for people who are widowed and then have a second, equally fulfilling marriage, that most assuredly is what's happening there), a Vulcan could potentially have more than one t'hy'la.
They just needed to look past the noise. The noise, quite literally of the matrons and the Old Guard, and the thunderstorms in their own brains. Eriecho sees past Sollastek's survivor guilt, and how he saw Amanda Grayson fall to her death and could not save her. Sollastek, in turn, sees past Eriecho's convict past, her violence and even, at times, her acquiescence in having earlier partners, because they brought an advantage or another to her. She will not be a virgin bride for him, but he accepts that, and hell, they likely would not have been together at all. Even if Eriecho had not been at Canamar, she's still a good 15 or so years older than he is. Even if they had known each other, they would not have been paired.
So she thanks Nero, in the end, because Nero did a lot of horrible things and is unforgivable, but there is a positive ending all the same. And much like, as a t'hy'la can, all of the background noise is winnowed away, so were all of the other possible mates winnowed away for her and Sollastek. And when they could both look up, they saw the path was never clearer.
I humbly thank you for reading and reviewing. And of course they will be back at some point.
Date: 28 Sep 2013 10:13 Title: Chapter 4 - A Fourth
The squee factor was in full effect for me in this chapter, from the way the four of them stood up to the matrons, to the mention of the human film at the end--one of my all-time favorites. Seems to me that maybe the matrons would benefit by watching it, and grasping fully the message contained within. ;-)
I like the addition of Valeris here, and of the fact that she is a rogue even in this universe, but for vastly different reasons. Interesting how some threads diverge on the ripples of time, yet others remain constant more or less. I really, really liked this chapter. :-D
Nero changed a lot of lives, not just the ones we saw on screen, I feel. Valeris would be very young here, given the time frame, but why not? Plus of course the idea of having Pon Farr comforters is actually pretty practical, for a society where not having relations every seven years can be fatal. What do you do when you're widowed, or your partner is paralyzed, or you are away on some mission?
And yeah, they have their small victory here. ;)
Plus - the alternate reality that is Jimmy Stewart!!
Date: 28 Sep 2013 09:55 Title: Chapter 3 - A First
Ah, this chapter explores the very thing I was talking about--the 'generation gap' so to speak.
I have always found it interesting--and a bit infuriating TBH--that Vulcans are credited with the concept of IDIC, but are very hypocritical when it comes to putting the tenets of that philosophy into practice.
In TOS, pretty much every Vulcan who interacted with Spock--his own father included--felt it necessary to condemn his human half as something undesirable, rather than embracing it as part of what makes up the unique being that is Spock. That's what I love about Jim Kirk--he may tease Spock on occasion, but it's obvious that he is the only being who holds a significant place in Spock's life who accepts him for who he is--warts and all.
We see this narrow and destructive mindset carried over here, in the way the matrons react to Saddik, Eriecho and Sollastek. To my mind, very inappropriate behavior for a race which claims to embrace diversity in all its forms. Seems to me, the 'matrons' could learn quite a bit about how to treat people from the younger generation. Just sayin'...
And I love Sollastek for the same reasons I love Jim Kirk. :-)
I went with an ENT-style set of behaviors for the matrons. They are so concerned with preserving what remains of Vulcan existence that they fail to see where they might need to adapt and change (and grow). They are also completely left out of the genetics sweepstakes (although in A Gathering, Shaw mentions that they contribute something to do with Vulcan genetic engineering in order to make it possible for human women to act as surrogate mothers), so they are contributing in the only way they know how.
They are the Old Guard, and their time is more or less up.
Date: 28 Sep 2013 09:17 Title: Chapter 2 - The Mundane World
This chapter is a wonderful window into the beginnings of the relationship between Sollastek and Eriecho, but even more so into the change in attitude Vulcans as a race will have to undergo if they are to survive and prosper as a species.
Change--whether it be social or technological--is always most difficult for the older generations to grasp and embrace. I like the fact that Sollastek is younger--a maverik with wild ideas, if you will. It will hopefully be his actions, and the actions of other members of his generation, that open the eyes of the older, staid, more set-in-their-ways Vulcans, who need to realize that concessions will need to be made for their culture to not only survive this catastrophe wrought by Nero, but to grow and evolve as a race.
And now I get the reference TS left in his review of my piece about touch telepathy. :-) I agree, this was a very underutilized and often poorly explained or examined aspect of Vulcan physiology. Much more has been written about it in fandom, particularly in reference to Spock (guilty as charged). Glad to see it explored here as well, for it is such an important part of who Vulcans are as a race, and explains some of their more eccentric (at least to us) behaviors, such as an aversion to casual contact with strangers.
Exactly! I wanted it to that there's a good reason why they don't touch much.
At the very end of ENT (in the episode that shall remain nameless), T'Pol and Archer hug. Or, rather, he hugs her and she mainly just stands there. She doesn't really hug him back. And that was one of the few part of that episode that I think they got right. She wouldn't hug him back; she'd be overcome by him.
So Eriecho and Saddik, both being Vulcans, are going to have even more of that. Even accidental contact is bound to have a tidal wave behind it.
Date: 28 Sep 2013 08:56 Title: Chapter 1 - Beats
*total squee* I've been waiting for this all month, ever since you confessed to me that it was an Eriecho story. She's my favorite of your vast store of OC's.
That being said, this scene brought back the horror of her origins, exploring the only life she ever knew before Mars. Very beautifully written, and very evocative of that former life--of the things that were good (Saddik and H'Shema) and those that were bad (the constant beatings, the assaults on her body, some consentual, most not, and of course, the loss of H'Shema).
Off to read more. Hopefully it'll be more positive, for this chapter wasn't--from a contextual standpoint, of course--but these are the things that make Eriecho who she is.
Yes, this is the storm in her head. Thank you for reading!
Date: 24 Sep 2013 03:58 Title: Chapter 5 - Wonderful and Rare Characteristics
I originally finished this thinking, "Hmm...I'm not quite sure I liked this ending." I'm really sorry.
BUT! I re-read it...thought about it for a bit...and decided I'm ok with it, though not really crazy about it still. I guess what hit me was just the speed that they went from little flirting to..."let's get married!"
Granted, I can understand why it isn't as quick as it maybe seems to me: this whole story covers a good year, maybe even longer, in the life of Eriecho. Sollastek and her have known each other for a while now, and certainly have been getting much more comfortable with one another. Their race is decimated; it's definitely important and logical to procreate. So, I'm ok with it.
Beyond that, it was a nice look at what exactly is shared by Vulcans when they do the two finger thing...I know myself (and probably a few other people) interpreted the gesture as something likened to kissing for in public - a very intimate act for a society that doesn't take part in much physical contact. The idea that they're sharing, even in such a small act, so very MUCH of their lives and thoughts and emotions was a wonderful idea, and the shared memories and emotions between Sollastek and Eriecho were very sweet and beautiful. I'm happy to see them together and in love and for the future you hint at of them together. I would have liked to see it happen further out, but it works well and, like I said, you compounded on a bit of trek-lore that's been around since TOS that never really got much attention. Great job.
I confess I was nervous about the ending (you're also right that there's time passing and I may not have evoked that as well as I could have).
For both of them, the logic is not only of procreating, but also of knowing that there will be no one better. The appearance of Valeris virtually assures that the other sanctuaries will be even worse in terms of acceptance.
I also think that Vulcans wouldn't have grand and glorious expressions of passion. They would just decide, this is it, this person is the one, and that's that. I can go along with the idea of arranged marriages in that way (although with more input than T'Pring and Spock ever seemed to have gotten in Amok Time), as you would select the best-suited mate for your child and that would be it. Emotional attachment could follow later, likely through this sort of method.
The touch telepathy thing always struck me as being underdeveloped in TOS, and so I felt that, for two people who have it, to combine it would mean some sort of a synergistic effect. When Betazoid Lwaxana and half-Betazoid Deanna are near each other, they thought read, and they aren't repressing their emotions. Hence the physical contact, to me, would be where the emotions would lie, and they would collide. I then got to thinking about what prolonged contact would be like, but also what the ability to have prolonged contact over time would be like for a pair of Vulcans (for Sarek and Amanda, it's more like PDA as she's not a telepath, but for a pure Vulcan pair, I think it would be more like this. Plus I suspect they would do a lot less of the public finger touching). Maybe Spock and Sarek don't hug because it's a thunderstorm of emotions? But Spock needs physical contact, and so he gets those from his mother.
Actually, this begs the question of what breastfeeding and even gestation are like for Vulcan infants and fetuses. It would have to be a tornado in your head, 24/7. I should write that.
Thank you for reviewing, and I appreciate your honest feedback.
Date: 22 Sep 2013 16:17 Title: Chapter 5 - Wonderful and Rare Characteristics
So Eriecho reveal some of the nasty truth of life in Canamar and Sollastek reveals how a lowly Vulcan like him got lucky and escaped Vulcan. I can imagine his deeper guilt play on his low self-esteem that he survived when others didn’t.
I think that by letting the two vocalize first and them move on to their touch telepathy snapshot scenes exchange was an inspired choice that works well in this context.
They talk about surrogate babies and the t’hy’la bond ceremony is touching, I just hope it goes well. I did like that Sollastek try to let Eriecho know to be proud of herself, regardless of the nature of her regressive genes.
These are two people who have been told all their lives that they are unimportant. Now, suddenly, they are the Vulcan race's last hope. By becoming an endanged species, Vulcan society cannot help but to be changed for good. But there are silver linings in there, for people who are willing to make the effort.
Thank you so much for reading and reviewing.
Date: 22 Sep 2013 16:07 Title: Chapter 4 - A Fourth
I like that you gave Eriecho and Sollastek a slow burning relationship, that type of relationship in stories always feel more realistic. Using the holidays to mark the passage of time, plus your interest idea on how the Federation Colony splits it years to get a 2:1 ration with earth is an interesting idea.
Good to see Saddik make his opening move on Valeris (I wonder if that her true name of a professional name) her response was interesting, It does seem that the Sanctuaries are becoming breeding grounds for Vulcan bitterness. I’m shock a well respected Vulcan like Ambassador Sarek would come in for flank from his new wives and children, I do wonder how AOS Spock would react to gaining some more siblings?
Still it is to my mind good on them all for scandalizing those small-minded biddies. I think someone should remind those biddies that the Federartion is an official flat society as per it foundation treaty.
The new children are all via surrogate mothers.
The theory being, there are only something like 3,000 Vulcans left (that's canon). How do you get a species that isn't super-interested in sex except once every 7 years to replace their lost numbers? The answer is surrogate mothers - human, Andorian, etc. Lots and lots of volunteers but the Federation of course takes care of them, rewards their patriotism, etc. But it is uncomfortable all around. The Vulcans have to rely on the kindnesses of others, and they don't like it, and so they react.
Date: 22 Sep 2013 15:50 Title: Chapter 3 - A First
So Eriecho is indeed interested in Sollastek and her playing with various hair styles was a interesting way but well done, as it shows in a none verbal way, her growing feelings. I think the piercing wail of the evening meal call, does add to a sense of a concentration camp.
I think that the communal meals and Jack Shaw attempts to engage with his charges and it’s gossiping Vulcan matrons, is a great idea for showing the flaws in the Federation system and the Vulcans logical behavior when it doesn’t work for all.
It interesting to see how those who would cast aspersions against the newcomers because of reputations of past roles and what their past actions might be. Got to say Saddik behaviors show that he has learned to deal with others in a none-Vulcan way on Canamar and his pointed loud conversations with Sollastek are a good way to show that.
They are very different people. And, whether the matrons like it or not, whoever's left is who is going to decide what the future of Vulcan culture will be like. And it will not necessarily be what they are used to.
Date: 22 Sep 2013 13:25 Title: Chapter 1 - Beats
The examination of Vulcan culture, and the shock of it being whittled down to so very few who might normally never bump elbows, is really fascinating to read. The entire setting is great too--communal habitats on Mars, complete with big group meals, is a really great setting for this.
I love the various ideas presented: the strat of Vulcan society; survivor's guilt for anyone who *did* make it off Vulcan; surrogate mothers because pretty obviously the remaining Vulcan women can't produce nearly enough babies on their own; the suggestion that really, sometimes you go into pon farr and you're not married or betrothed, so then what?? All great stuff.
I hope we get to see more of all of these folks in the future!
Oh, thank you for your kind review! :)
Eriecho has a few other stories tucked away, including how she and Saddik got out of Canamar in the first place.
Date: 21 Sep 2013 10:17 Title: Chapter 4 - A Fourth
Ooo, Valeris. And, as you said, a fourth person on the island of misfit toys. Is it the same Valeris (well, obviously not THE same, since it's the AU, but is she the same Valeris)?
Again with the notice to detail of the touch telepathy and the intense Vulcan emotions. And good to see that, while Saddik had originally intended to use Valeris, he's actually being courteous and bringing her into the fold.
And, oh boy. Leaving the kids home alone. This should prove most interesting... :)
Yes, of course, same person (she'd have to be rather young, but I think it could work). Nero changed a lotta people's lives. And of course you must learn the difference between the two Martian moons!
And watch an important human AU story.
Thank you for reading and reviewing!
Date: 20 Sep 2013 12:59 Title: Chapter 3 - A First
*grumble grumble mutter stupid old hags grumble mutter*
Seriously? Come on. That's just ridiculous.
(no, that's not to you, it's to those mean old witches at the other table. I thought this part was great, though I have to wonder with the Vulcan women, what is Shaw doing? Why all the Earth appreciation food? I realize, ENT-era humans would have definitely been doing this just because they were still learning. But for TOS-era...it's been over 100 years. How have they not figured out what Vulcans like to eat yet?)
And go Eriecho...so scandalous! lol, I loved that bit with the hot sauce. But for someone who wasn't raised Vulcan (or at least, a *proper* Vulcan) her curiosity is very natural and awesome to see. And I almost feel that Sollastek and Saddik both are feeding off that and venturing further out than they would have normally. It's great to read.
And again with the Vulcan flirting. Sollastek and Eriecho are a very cute couple. Is it wrong that I'm almost expecting you to take a trekfan/Gibraltar left turn and do something really mean with them?
Quiet, reflective Vulcan flirting.
I've been reading Jane Austen lately and so their speech patterns keep creeping in (it is most agreeable, etc....).
Eriecho is kind of a trendsetter but doesn't mean to be. And yeah, scandalous! For the matrons, who are trying to preserve what's left of Vulcan culture, it's all too much.
I think Shaw was just a bit tired of constantly feeding them the same things, over and over again. He's also a little mischievous. And maybe a tad passive-aggressive, e. g. give them a little appreciation of who's really responsible for them now.
With the catastrophic loss of so much of their species, it's hard not to turn the Vulcans into pets or museum exhibits.
PS Glad you liked the hot sauce scene. :)
Date: 20 Sep 2013 12:38 Title: Chapter 2 - The Mundane World
Ah, now this one I *DO* remember reading. And a wonderful way you bridged the gap between chapter 1's WFW and this one with Sollastek's touch telepathy (which, more kudos to you...I'm not sure many people really use the fact that Vulcans are touch telepathic, that it could happen without a proper "mind meld") seeing Eriecho's nightmare. I can imagine, with as intense as Vulcan emotions are, the experience must have been very uncomfortable.
And I think I said it the first time I saw it but if I neglected to...I love the Vulcan flirting. I can imagine the very casual, emotionless delivery of the lines, and it's all very hilarious.
And poo on the mean Vulcans. You made the point several times, and Eriecho even reflects on it; there are too damn few of them to have the same preconceptions and notions as before Nero. They can't afford to be fractured any more than they already are.
I guess I tend to go with ENT-style Vulcans, plus I've read that the T' prefix for women denotes a kind of upper class whereas other names don't. In such a stratified society, people would potentially be pretty awful to each other. And then to do that here, it's a reactionary move. You can't trust anyone, even your own.
Date: 20 Sep 2013 12:33 Title: Chapter 1 - Beats
First of all...*fanboy/girl squee* So happy to see another Eriecho story. I know I've said it before, but since she was the first character I read on this site, I'm kind of a fan. So, you're already doing a great job with this one.
Now, this first chapter...I think I missed this WFW but...wow. The imagery, the constancy of the beat that permeates everything in this prison(the marching, the eating, the rape). It is very intense, and you can feel it rise to a climax with H'Shema's death. Very beautifully crafted.
Oh, thank you very much - it was a nightmare WFW if I recall correctly. I just had in my mind the idea of what a regimented existence would be like. Plus, of course, all the other things that would happen to the only woman in the prison.
Thank you - Eriecho says it is most agreeable to have a fan. ;)
Date: 19 Sep 2013 17:53 Title: Chapter 2 - The Mundane World
That was nice, so Eriecho has her own little H’Shema garden and it seems an admirer in Sollastek. This is a well though out and well execute story, and typical of your own high standards.
As soon as I discover she was sneaking out to attend a garden, it made perfect sense to me. Especially since you established in her past that she had no real freedom, so a simple and other ignore pleasure of growing her own crop even if it’s only yellow peas in her own garden must seem wonderful freedom to her.
Adding the touch-telepath moment and the fact that she felt the need to apologies and give Sollastek something for accidentally de-weeding his patch, something most of us would laugh off. I think is an accurate reflection on her unfortunate up-bring on Canamar, and not this time out of a secret desire to impress Sollastek.
I do like that Sollastek is prepared to do the logical thing and get to know someone and not pre-judge her on being ex-cons. I await the next chapter with interest.
Yes! It's his lack of pre-judging .... ;)
Thank you for reading.
Date: 18 Sep 2013 21:14 Title: Chapter 1 - Beats
Ah, excellent use of the freewrite, and Eriecho must be my favorite of your large stable of characters. You convey all of the horror and all of the abuse frankly and without embellishment, which drives the point home. Well done.
Thank you! There's more to tell!
Date: 18 Sep 2013 15:26 Title: Chapter 1 - Beats
Yay finally more Eriecho stories from Jespah AOS Verse.
I do like your story work on Eriecho and her guardian Saddik. I did feel that this nightmare sequence does feel right for that poor Vulcan lady. I think you’ve done a good job with the nasty surreal nightmare of been back in the Canamar jail prison especially with the reference of the green cloth on H’Shema decaying body is a nice touch in showing the important of H’Shema to Eriecho.
I do wonder how Saddik would try to logical calm Eriecho in the aftermath of a reoccurring nightmare but his response sounds Vulcan and yet his reference to a better place shows a lot about him. It is a sad sign that Eriecho views of her Martian Vulcan camp as a better place akin to heaven.
It's certainly heaven for her. To not be beaten, to have the air and the sky, to have some choices in her life (although not too many) - that's her 'better place'. And of course the biggest, worst part of her nightmare isn't so much the loss of the air and the sky, but the loss of her mother.
Thank you for reading --- more to come tomorrow!