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Topic: [2372] Course Correction (Read 245 times) previous topic - next topic

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[2372] Course Correction
[ Professor Hathev | Accommodation of Professor Selv | Starfleet Academy Faculty Housing | San Francisco | Earth | SD 49884.13] attn: @Numen

It had been Triss who suggested the meeting; a logical improbability that had surprised Hathev somewhat. The circumstances surrounding Kireil's birth had always been a subject of some difficulty for Triss, and thus Hathev had avoided discussing Selv's arrival at the Academy with her wife. However it seemed the gravity of the situation had been impressed upon even the human in the family; testament to the seriousness of the problem that had brought them here.

Before today, Hathev had contacted Selv only once, to acknowledge his presence and lay out her expectations for their relationship -- or lack of it. He had agreed there was no logical need for them to be in further contact, and so their exchange had been duly terminated.

Hathev would have been content to leave the matter thus closed, were it not for Kireil's behaviour. As a Vulcan she did not feel frustration, disappointment, or anger towards her son for his refusal to listen to her teachings; however Kireil seemed to feel these emotions in abundance and without reservation, and no matter Hathev's logic she was unable to persuade him of his own folly.

It seemed this was the price she was to pay for raising a Vulcan child amongst humans; their lack of emotional restraint, their childish petulance, and their utter disregard of logic had tainted Kireil's upbringing. She had relied too heavily upon their shared biological imperative, and failed to adequately judge the risks of allowing him to grow up surrounded by a species so bereft of proper logical application.

Her son's deficiency had grown so pronounced that even Triss had acknowledged its seriousness. She, being a fragile human, had easily become upset at Kireil's provocation, and thus she had supported Hathev in seeking out others of the Vulcan species in an attempt to rectify the faults in his attitude. Their search had, in turn, led them here: to Kireil's father.

Selv answered the door with expected punctuality, and Hathev acknowledged him with the customary Vulcan salute. Triss offered the same, as did Kireil -- although he did so alongside a human verbal greeting.

Invited inside Selv's home, Hathev cast a cursory glance across her fellow Vulcan's habitation. It met with her approval, and she accepted the seat at Selv's table when it was offered.

Triss attempted to make small talk, which Selv responded to surprisingly well. Of course, he was a professor of sociology -- his understanding of emotional beings could reasonably be expected to be close to her own. She must be careful to ensure his ability to balance that understanding with his own adherence to the teachings of Surak.

Kireil was silent, simply watching his progenitor with unbridled curiosity. She anticipated meeting Selv would assist Kireil in coming to the realisation that Hathev's teachings were logical and correct; however considering his current behaviour was more that of a human or some other such being undeveloped in reason, it was not possible to predict his reaction to a satisfactory degree of accuracy.

Of course, the individual with the highest probability of inducing an effective response in Kireil had yet to arrive.

'Will Seren be joining us?' Hathev inquired at a suitable stage.

'He shall,' was Selv's response. 'His classes at the Academy concluded at 1700 hours; I anticipate his return in the next three minutes.'

'It is well,' Hathev said. She was content to wait.
  • Last Edit: May 08, 2019, 07:01:55 PM by fiendfall
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Re: [2372] Course Correction
Reply #1
[Professor Selv | Personal accommodations | Starfleet Academy Faculty Housing | San Francisco | Earth]
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attn:  @fiendfall

Selv had just enough time to take a look at the main room before the visitors arrived. A quick visual review showed him that everything was where it should be, where it was expected and appropriate. Then he checked his own person. He had chosen a traditional, simple attire in reddish shades and had allowed himself to break the symmetry of its pattern with pining an IDIC clasp in one of the lapels. It wasn't a futile indulgence, but a statement of principles. The brief information Hathev had provided realed there was a matter of concern, but with the details he possessed he was unsure that the mother of his youngest son just was being excessively zealous. After all, it wouldn't be the first time he had met mothers who placed too high expectations on their offspring, without letting them fully mature. Seren was the proof of that, for that matter.

The door rang exactly at the agreed time. Not a second before, not a second after. And just as the guests had been punctual, he stood by the door to receive them on time. Hathev and her wife greeted him with the traditional salutation and Selv replied in the same fashion. None recited the spoken part of the greeting, and Selv found it appropriate, given their lack of acquaintance. The underage boy also emulated the gesture, but accompanied it with a very human "Hi!" Although his facial expression was less human than Selv had feared, his eyes sparkled with curiosity, and his voice suggested a badly restrained excitement. They were disturbing signs, but still Selv acknowledged the salutation with a single nod.

The Vulcan moved aside and invited the family in, guiding them to to the house's main room. They had barely taken three steps inside the residence when the human tried to fill the silence with a chat.

"So, Selv... Hathev told me that you teach in the Academy, what is the subject you impart?" she asked.

Selv was well versed in human customs, and had carefully studied the art of what they called 'small talk', so he was ready to answer as expected.

"I am a professor of comparative sociology and an assistant  in interspecies relationships," he declared in a neutral tone, exposing the data in a simple fashion according to the practices of his people. If his interlocutor had been another Vulcan, he would have ended the conversation at that moment, once the question had been answered, but a human would wait for additional unsolicited details to keep the conversation flowing. Thus, Selv provided. "Interactions between social groups with different philosophies is a fascinating field of study."

"I'm surprised to hear a Vulcan expressing it like that, but there's some logic in your words." Triss replied with a certain mischief. Selv appreciated the subtext inherent in that statement, which gave a glimpse of a sharp mind under the human placid façade.

"Kol-Ut-Shan taught us Surak," Apostilled Selv as he sat down and offered his guests the remaining chairs around the table. "Infinite diversity in infinite combinations. In diversity there is truth and beauty and it is logical to cherish and preserve it." he deadpaned.

"You mean you have found fondness in less logical species?" Triss teased.

"After twenty years residing on Earth I still find research material among humans," answered Selv, deflecting his response from confirming his affection for the specie that Triss belonged to.

"Such a flatterer" rebuked her, though the smile that flashed in her face refuted the harshness of her tone. Selv simply raised an eyebrow, neither accepting nor denying the definition he had been given. At the sight of this, Triss giggled pleased.

"Will Seren be joining us?" Hathev inquired shortly thereafter.

"He shall," Selv promptly replied, then elaborated his answer to meet the needs of his human guest. "His classes at the Academy concluded at 1700 hours; I anticipate his return in the next three minutes."

The group fell into a comfortable silence and Selv was finally able to concealedly observe his unknown offspring. The young Vulcan shared many traits with his other son, but his behaviour was also as different as night and day. Selv had met Seren in a similar situation, when he was much younger, and yet he had only broken protocol once. Kiriel, however, seemed to be making real efforts to control his impulses. Where Seren was indecipherable, repressing to a minimum the small gestures of which he himself endured, Kiriel was like an open book, almost like a human. Selv had students of mixed ancestry more restrained than this son. If this was his behavior in a controlled and quiet environment, his conduct in other situations should be, if nothing else, unpredictable.

His gaze shifted from the boy to Hathev and he found that she was looking at him as well. Selv subtly bowed his head, barely a millimeter, conveying that he shared her concerns.

This wordless exchange was interrupted by the hiss of the door opening and closing, which brought in the last attendee of that gathering.



[Cadet Seren | Selv's Household | Starfleet Academy Faculty Housing | San Francisco | Earth]
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When Seren arrived at his father's household, he wasn't alone. It was an inconvenient situation, and the cadet would have preferred to be informed of this deviation from his routines. However, thinking about what might have been and not what was was a pointless task, so he proceeded with his usual activities, placing his regulated bag and coat in their usual locations, perfectly aligned with the rest of the garments as well as with the floorplates lines. As he turned back to the main room, his parent waved his hand so that he would join him and the visitors.

Seren scanned them for a second before he approached the principal room, straying into the final meters to retrieve a stool from the kitchen area. He placed the seat next to the youngest Vulcan, equidistant from his chair and that of his father, as it was the right place for a minor among people to whom he had not been introduced. The other young man looked at him with curiosity, but didn't say a word.  Seren found himself disturbed by his evident lack of self-control. Curiosity was one of the few emotions Vulcans allowed themselves to experience. But from that to making such display of it lay a great gap. So, Seren maintained the upright posture, the back in perfect ninety degrees with the legs, so that his uniform had only one wrinkle where his body was bent. His gaze remained fixed on the face of his progenitor, at was mandatory.

"Allow me to introduce Seren, who is my son," Selv said then and only after that Seren allowed himself to observe for brief seconds the rest of the table occupants, as they acknowledged his presence. He didn't delve too much in none of them, although his presence and looks only prompted more questions.

"Seren" called Selv to get his attention. When the young man looked at his father, he let the silence go on slightly longer than it would be usual if the two of them were alone. Just a few split-seconds. But they were more than enough for the cadet to prepare himself for the question that would follow. Seren knew when they evaluated his proficiency in front of others, even when the motive behind the test wasn't clear for him.

"Expose your schedule for this afternoon," requested Selv. Seren obeyed on the spot, once verified that it was the only request made. Despite the fact that the information was addressed to the visitors, he exposed the information looking at his father.

"Formal greeting after arrival. Statement of the day occurences. 1713, musical practice. 1740 Brief meditation. 1800 Academy assignments.  1930 physical training. 2000 preparations of the end meal. 2005 Compsumption of the end meal. 2025 Kal-toh and parental advice..."

"Enough" cut out Selv. "Today you will make amends to that schedule to assemble your duties with the requirements of our visits." He ordered next. Seren simply inclined his head once, accepting all that was requested. His face showed no sign of displeasure at such a disturbance in his routines, and he kept looking at Selv placidly, waiting to be introduced to visitors. And the explanation  for their presence. For his part, Selv averted his gaze towards Hathev, ceding the word to the oldest person in the room.
  • Last Edit: May 17, 2019, 12:39:59 PM by Numen

Re: [2372] Course Correction
Reply #2
[ Professor Hathev | Accommodation of Professor Selv | Starfleet Academy Faculty Housing | San Francisco | Earth | SD 49884.13 ] attn: @Numen

Hathev would not have brought her family to meet Selv had she not considered it a logical action with a high probability of being a positive and useful encounter, and it was pleasing to see her predictions so confirmed. Triss and Selv appeared to converse with surprising ease considering their respective relationships to Hathev and Kireil were somewhat conflicting, at least in the human tradition. Some friction between them, at least from the side of Triss, would not have been unexpected; however it was entirely lacking from their interaction. Instead, Triss was as friendly as ever, although with a slightly more restrained and respectful approach than she might have had were she conversing with another human. Selv responded in kind, each making efforts to accommodate the other.

Privately, Hathev allowed herself a moment of gratification: her wife was not to be underestimated. Triss had been personable enough to win over even Hathev; she should not have been surprised to see the woman apply the same intelligence here. Still, it was pleasing to see her wife and erstwhile lover behaving so cordially towards one another. Perhaps this could mark the beginning of a more permanent relationship between their families.

Hathev herself did not speak to Selv particularly, although that was not to say that they did not communicate. The look they shared was meaningful even without words. Selv had also noticed Kireil's deviancy; she was reassured to know he would offer his assistance in correcting it. Hathev had various Vulcan acquaintances with whom she had discussed Kireil's behaviour, however few of them had met him in person, and none had a personal interest in amending that behaviour.

Triss herself had only recently offered her support of Hathev's endeavours, previously preferring to remain neutral or even to encourage Kireil to 'retain his personality' as she had worded it -- a foolish perspective, but Hathev should have expected little else from a member of a species so enamoured of individuality and freedom of expression over reason and decorum. Selv's immediate analysis of Kireil's inadequacy was grafitying, therefore, as was the logic that he, as Kireil's father, had a duty to asist in the rectification of such a fault.

There was little time for anything more to be conveyed, however what had been communicated was enough. With a punctuality that Hathev was pleased to see, the door hissed open at precisely the moment Selv had predicted, and all at the tabel turned to view the new arrival.

Seren son of Selv was a young Vulcan of the same complexion as his father, with hair close-cropped and neatly-presented attire. Most striking, however, was the resemblance he bore to Kireil, one far stronger than Hathev had expected. A quiet intake of breath from Triss informed her that the woman was similarly taken aback by this new information. Even if Hathev had not known the Seren and Kireil shared a father, it would have been immediately clear that the pair were brothers. They had the same dark eyes, the same delicate bone structure, the same facial shape and features. Of course, there was no 1:1 correlation, but nevertheless the association was undeniable.

The similarities were limited to the physical sphere only, however. Even before Seren spoke, his deportment revealed him to be a true Vulcan; calm and collected, he carried himself with a grace and poise unruffled by emotional distraction. As he answered his father's question with brief, factual statements, he displayed a sharp intellect, logical mind, and decorous respect.

In short, where his physical appearance bore remarkable similarities to that of her own son, Seren's behaviour showed him to be every bit the proper Vulcan that Kireil staunchly refused to be. The proper Vulcan that Kireil perhaps could have been, had he been raised among his own kind, or had Hathev been more present and active in his early years, or had she introduced him to Surak earlier or more convincingly. There was little to be gained from dwelling on such alternative scenarios, and yet Hathev found herself unable to entirely discard them. If nothing else her son was a useful case study in the psychology of a Vulcan raised solely among humans; that, at least, should be her consolation.

Nevertheless, she remained hopeful that exposure to well-behaved Vulcans would assist Kireil in accepting the proper nature of his species and to conform accordingly.

'Your son does you credit,' she said to Selv. Standing, she offered Seren a salute in greeting. 'My name is Hathev. My companions are Triss Liebrecht, my wife, and Kireil, who is my son and your half-brother. This introduction is logical at this stage in your development.'

She waited while Seren seated himself. Then: 'You practice Kal-Toh. Do you favour the Prian Approach or Sevek's Gambit?'
  • Last Edit: May 15, 2019, 05:56:31 PM by fiendfall
CPO Morgan Song - Engineering - Chief of Maintenance (V2)
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Lt Cmdr Hathev - Counselling - Chief Counsellor
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  • Numen
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  • " I'm trying to make science here!"
  • Awards: Awarded for participation in Part 1 of Episode 05: Courage is Fear. Awarded for participation in Part 2 of Episode 05: Courage is Fear.
Re: [2372] Course Correction
Reply #3
[Cadet Seren | Selv's Household | Starfleet Academy Faculty Housing | San Francisco | Earth]
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When Hathev had presented himself, introducing those who accompanied her, Seren had to make a conscious effort to keep his semblance impassive. His half-brother. Seren allowed himself a moment to contemplate this new member of his family. The resemblance between him and the other young man was uncanny. It was like looking at one of those funfair mirrors, those pieces of glass that deformed the world and that humans found hilarating. Seren had never understood the appeal of staring at one's own image deformed by an easily explainable physical phenomenon. He had always found humans too eager to search thrill in ... in any trifle. They tended to mystify events that should be studied and understood, not worshipped. However, at that moment, he thought he could understand the attraction they encountered.


The young man they had presented as Kiriel curved slightly one of the corners of his mouth. The faintest sketch of a smile. An expression that might be considered shy, as if it sought his approval. Seren blinked only once, very slowly. It was unacceptable. It was like contemplating himself failing in the most basic protocol. What defined him. Such lack of self-control was characteristic of a toddler, improper on an almost adult Vulcan. As a result, that first experience in front of a deformed mirror, instead of amusement, made him reject this recently found half-brother. Perhaps it was the reason why Selv had never told him about this deviant offspring. In the same way that his half-brother and sister on his mother's side didn't consider him part of their family because of the circumstances in which he was conceived, perhaps Selv didn't want to embrace that bond. Seren understood the motivation perfectly, but it turned out to be an anomaly in his father' s usual behaviour patterns. In Seren's eyes his parent had always been... vexingly tolerant.


Not willing to let his mind wander around on unwanted paths, Seren rested his wrists on the table's edge. As he interlocked his fingers in front of him, he refocused his attention on Hathev. Unlike her offspring, she exhibited a controlled and succinct behavior. She had made clear her affiliation and the motivation for the meeting, although the young Vulcan suspected that the reason he had received was a mere pretext. Only one piece of a larger jigsaw puzzle. But if she didn't share more, it was probably because he didn't need to know any more. He was pleased with that. The excessive information his classmates were inclined to share was bothersome enough. Concise data and concrete questions with no time wasted on dissertations and superfluous data. It was a welcome contrast to the events of the day.  So, when Hathev posed her questions, Seren ignored everything else and focused on finding the right answer.


He didn't rush to provide an answer, but elaborated it to be as precise as possible. "Prian Approach is a suitable maneuver if one plays alone and finds one of the two hundred and fifty-six figures that make up the sequence. However, it is too predictable against an opponent with some experience. Sevek's Gambit is more flexible and permits the articulation of a more complex strategy, but it is still deficient if the opponent knows how to dismantle it". For a second his eyes shifted from Hathev's to Selv's face. His father had always favoured Sevek's lessons and Seren had spent years looking for a proper counteroffensive. " I would not choose either against a rival, but would use Voris' pattern. It is a long-term method, but it permits greater flexibility and can be combined with various strategies on different planes," he explained in a monochord tone.

"And this way, Triss, it is like two Kal-toh players begin a match without even having the board on sight." Selv interrupted. Although his words were directed toward the only human in the group, his eyes were fixed on the face of the youngest Vulcan. "Hathev has raised two well-known classical moves, while Seren has dismantled them with the usual countermeasures. At the same time my son has raised a reactive opening, sufficiently vague to spark the interest of an advanced player, but does not expose what would be his real strategy." There was a slight reprimand tone in Selv's words, a slight tension in his voice.


"I simply answered the professor's question." Seren justified himself, with the same disinterest he had shown so far. However, he was really interested in competing against Hathev. He suspected that she had a sharp mind, which was a new challenge. Kal-toh against Selv was quickly losing interest, as the sociologist would eventually resort to known patterns that Seren could use for his own benefit. It was too predictable. Yet this woman seemed to be a challenge. However, it was improper for him to request that she join him across the board, so Seren looked at the younger Vulcan and inquired. "This who is your mother has introduced you in her tactics?"

Re: [2372] Course Correction
Reply #4
[ Kireil | Selv's house | the Academy | San Fran | Earth | Tuesday ] attn: @Numen

Kireil had known better. He had. He'd known there was no point getting all hopeful, or excited -- his dad was gonna be just another Vulcan, just another guy who looked at him the way they all did, the way Mother H did, the way Mommy T had started to. All condescending and fake-worried and pretending they wanted what was best for him when really all they cared about was themselves.

Everyone wanted him to be one way or another: more human, less human, less emotional, more normal... No one understood that he was how he was and that was it, that was just him; everyone wanted him to change somehow. He'd always been too human for Mother H, and always too Vulcan for his human classmates. Always the odd one out, missing social cues, taking things too literally, or not literally enough, no friends in either camp.

But he couldn't help the curiosity -- that's allowed, right, Mother? He'd never been told anything about his father, or where he came from; there was 'no logical need' for him to know, apparently, and the matter had been closed. Mommy T had told him what she knew, one night, after a particularly bad fight with Mother H. But that had been scraps fed to a kid who'd been starving his whole life, it'd been way too little too late, and Mother H had still refused to talk about any of it to him.

So when she'd said they were going to meet him, Kireil had been excited in spite of himself. He'd been jittery the entire journey over here, Mother H shooting him disapproving glares every time he'd been too obvious about it.

Through all of it, though, it'd never occurred to him that Selv would look like him. It was obvious the moment the man opened the door -- of course Selv would look like him, he hardly looked like Mother H after all, he had to get it from somewhere. And maybe if he got his appearance from Selv, he got other stuff from him too -- maybe he wasn't the only Vulcan in the galaxy who was like this, maybe someone would finally understand...

And then Seren arrived. And Kireil had a half-brother -- no point mentioning that, Mother? No 'logical need' for him to know? -- a half-brother who was like him in every single way apart from the important one, the only similarity Kireil had been looking for. His small, hopeful smile was dashed instantly as his brother stared at him with the same distant, impassive judgement he was used to seeing on his mother's face.

Seren began reciting his day's activities like a computer, like he was just a catalogue of information rather than a sentient being, a living and feeling creature, and Kireil felt himself slipping down slightly in his seat. What was the point of even being here? He should've known better.

He had known better. And it hadn't even mattered, because he was a stupid hopeful idiot.

Hope was illogical, after all. Happy now, Mother?

[ Professor Hathev | Accommodation of Professor Selv | Starfleet Academy Faculty Housing | San Francisco | Earth | SD 49884.13 ]

Hathev approved of the way the meeting was unfolding. Selv was proper and decorous, but even he was put to shame by his son's exemplary deportment. Seren was considered and factual in his response to her, laying out the strengths and weaknesses of each of her proposed strategies before proposing a third option in Voris' Pattern.

Interesting. She might have expected a less experienced player to choose a more well-known counter; Voris' Pattern was surprisingly complex and nuanced for such an answer. It was a choice that suggested a mind that favoured patience and flexibility; not her preferred method personally, but she could not deny its efficacy. Selv was correct in his assessment: she found the choice curious, especially alongside the insinuation that Seren favoured a different strategy altogether.

'We shall play another time,' she decided. She did not consider herself a Kal-Toh master, yet she believed her expertise would be enough to accommodate an interesting game with a young tactician such as Seren. Kal-Toh was still the very best method of psychological analysis she had discovered; if she could exhort her patients to play against her, the process would be more efficient to the power of up to 46%.

Seren directed his next inquiry to Kireil, as was polite; perhaps an opportunity. Hathev had attempted to instruct her son in the nuance of the game, however Kireil had struggled to understand even the basics, and had grown hostile to her encouragement. Such deficiency reflected negatively on her abilities as a Vulcan mother; yet if Seren could encourage in her son the behaviour she had tried and failed to instil, she would be glad. Her own pride had no place here, illogical as it was; she wished only the best for her child, and it mattered little which individual was able to facilitate that.

'I don't play,' came Kireil's answer, sullen and morose. Hathev pursed her lips slightly at the childish display.

'Come now, we have played together Kireil,' she said, adjusting her speech into the register she normally reserved for emotional species -- and, more recently, her own child. 'Perhaps it would be well for you to show your brother what you have learned?'

'I don't remember how to play,' Kireil said, distinctly human in his rudeness. 'Do you play football, Brother? Or video games? Go Fish?'

Embarrasment was an illogical emotion and as such it was one Hathev did not entertain; nevertheless, she endeavoured to rectify the situation where possible.

'My son has kept human company too long,' she said, tone controlled. 'It seems he borrows their humour.'
  • Last Edit: May 29, 2019, 02:41:52 PM by fiendfall
CPO Morgan Song - Engineering - Chief of Maintenance (V2)
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Lt Cmdr Hathev - Counselling - Chief Counsellor
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Ensign Inej 'Avi' Avirim - Security - Investigations Officer
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  • Numen
  • [*][*][*][*][*][*]
  • " I'm trying to make science here!"
  • Awards: Awarded for participation in Part 1 of Episode 05: Courage is Fear. Awarded for participation in Part 2 of Episode 05: Courage is Fear.
Re: [2372] Course Correction
Reply #5
[Cadet Seren | Selv's Household | Starfleet Academy Faculty Housing | San Francisco | Earth]
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Seren tilted his head slightly at the hostile reply his half-brother gave. Not because Kiriel didn't favour the strategic game. After all, Kal-toh wasn't a suitable activity for developmentally delayed people, as could be his case. But even a simple-minded vulcans would try to repress such an open hostility expression, even if they failed to do so. There was something intrinsically broken in Kiriel. This fact engendered rejection on him, in the knowledge that they shared blood, and made him doubt the appropriateness of his father's choices to sire offspring. On the other hand, it also sparked his professional curiosity. Could his half-brother's behavior be amended? It opened up a very interesting array of possibilities.

Before Seren could ponder in the matter too much, Professor Hathev intervened, trying to persuade Kiriel to speak. Her voice pitch and demeanor had shifted, as he had seen Selv did when he dealt with a broad group of emotional beings. Fascinating. It trully was fascinating. Seren's dark eyes moved swiftly between birth mother and son, trying to analyze their micro expressions. Or, in Kiriel's instance, his widely bradcasting disgust. It was like witnessing an abysmal creature luring a reticent squid between its jaws.

Finally, the young man confessed that he didn't remember the game rules, which was regrettable in some fashion, but at least it was the first logical answer that came out of his lips. Unfortunately, that little achievement was tarnished when he riddled Seren with other options. Despite all his efforts to avoid it, one of the cadet's thin eyebrows moved half a centimeter upward and his posture became even more stiff. If that was possible.

"Video games are a pointless pursuit and devoting time to them is highly inefficient," he said by way of introduction. Despite the scolding that distilled from his words, his tone was calm and cold. "Fishing is an activity aimed to obtaining food that has lost its logic due to replicators, even more so when our protein intake MUST be free from other living beings' suffering. " Seren pointed with his eyes fixed on his half brother's, the way in which he stressed the words showed his displeasure at Kiriel's choices. It was illogical to have to remember another vulcan the customs of their people, even more so in something as basic as food. However, the very hint that Kiriel wanted to kill for mere recreation stirred something inside Seren. One might almost say it was just indignation. But it was illogical to feel righteous anger. So he only remarked the illogical of the activity given their know-hows and traditions. "Football is a fairly complete physical activity and i could be willing to engage on it, but if we follow the manual to the letter." Seren paused slightly, making it clear that there was no other possible way to engage in a sport. "We would need twenty additional team-mates" he stated. "I gather that I know these facts as well as you do, so I do not understand the point of proposing activities that cannot be carried out." He finally admitted. Hiding his bewilderment had no positive consequences, so requiring explanations was the most convenient approach.

Finally, his eyes drifted towards Hathev's face, when she explained that it had all been a display of humour. Seren tilted his head two degrees to the opposite side. "That display of humour is the symptom of a neurological problem of importance or...?"

"Seren" Interjected Selv before he could fully formulate his theories. When Seren looked at his parent, there was a slight tension in the corners of his mouth. He could even swear that the tips of his ears and cheeks were dimly dyed green. Noticing this fact made him incline his head one more degree. Although Selv's self-control was... debatable on the Seren scale, it was far from utterly imperfect, so that reaction triggered all the cadet's alarms.


"Yes, Father?" he asked.

"Go fish is a human card game," Selv calmly explained.

Seren just nodded succinctly.

"We will talk about human innuendos and play on words later," Selv continued, still in a relaxed tone.

"It was actually the topic I wanted to bring up during the parental advice time," Seren remarked.

" We will use that time to address other issues," Selv pointed before he looked at the visitors. "Apologies on my son's behalf."

"Apologizing is illogical," Seren declared, with the same tone his mother had used, long years ago.

"Seren..."

"Yes?"

This time, Selv only stared at his son.

The cadet finally closed his mouth.
  • Last Edit: June 09, 2019, 04:56:51 PM by Numen

Re: [2372] Course Correction
Reply #6
[ Professor Hathev | Accommodation of Professor Selv | Starfleet Academy Faculty Housing | San Francisco | Earth ] attn: @Numen

Hathev had not come here expecting to have full control of the situation, of course; even if it was something she could have hoped to command, it would have been rude had she demanded it in another's home. However she was still sharply aware of the fact that what little control she could have laid claim to was spiralling away from her as Kireil and Seren 's conversation, such that it was, continued. She was aware of Kireil beside her, bristling at his half-brother's rejection; with her experience in psychology, it was not difficult to diagnose his resentment and anger. That she was required to utilise her study of humans to understand her own son rankled with her, though at least she had this knowledge to draw upon: the same could not have been said had she pursued a career in another field.

Seren's misunderstanding of his half-brother was to be expected: Kireil had drawn heavily upon human linguistic styles and modes of conduct in his speech, employing their unfortunate habit of blundering around adjacent to the point they were attempting to make, and spewing various pieces of extraneous information in the process. Worse, he had done so with an underlying emotion that was not carried through to his words, and was present only in subtext and tone. That Seren should have had difficulty parsing his brother's offerings was hardly surprising, and the preciseness of his response threw the contrast between them into sharp relief.

It was Triss who attempted to rectify the situation, laughing gently in a manner Hathev knew intellectually was intended to lighten the mood -- an ineffectual recourse considering the current company, and distinctly human in its purpose. It was her nature, after all; of course she would default to her own experience.

'Oh, teenagers can take things so seriously can't they?' Triss said with a laugh. Then, winking at Seren: 'Don't worry, 'Go Fish' is an ancient earth game -- I'd forgotten what it was too!'

What the woman had believed this might achieve Hathev did not know, and although the sentiment was appreciated, it fell short of its intended effect. Triss' experience with Vulcans was lacking, the two of them only having been to Vulcan once. It had been a short visit in 2366 for Hathev's award ceremony, and Triss had been out of her depth and endearingly proud, all at once. The current situation was far removed; there was no pride to bolster her through now.

For Seren's part, model Vulcan though he was, his response to Kireil had been a reminder that the youngsters of their species were often ill-equipped for engagement with human culture. The preciseness of his speech was laudable, and his self-assured adherence to the teachings of Surak was reminiscent of Hathev herself at his age; however as she had grown older and more experienced in the ways of emotional creatures she had discovered the need to employ a certain amount of delicacy in her dealings with them. Vulcan sensibilities should never be compromised, of course; however a respect for human expectation, no matter how illogical, could pay dividends.

Of course, Kireil was not a human, and it was inappropriate that Seren be expected to treat him as though he were such; however it was a lesson it would behove him to learn, just as she had once done. In any case, indecent though it was, Kireil's current psychological state was certainly closer to humanity than to his green-blooded kin, and to ignore that fact would be counterproductive.

In any case, further pursuit of the current line of engagement would likely be ineffectual; she doubted the likelihood of anything of value being achieved from Kireil continuing to confound his half-brother, and Seren continuing to reject him in turn.

'Your apologies are welcome,' she said to Selv with an inclination of the head, taking command of the situation once more. Then, recognising an opportunity for instruction, she turned to Seren. The boy would do well to keep his outspoken righteousness in check.

'Unnecessary and illogical though they might be in themselves,' she said, 'adherence to local custom provides goodwill and acceptance which can later be leveraged. Thus inherently illogical actions can be employed logically for benefit.' A lesson she herself had learnt, and which had served her well since its understanding. With Seren's demeanour, she had to wonder: 'How long have you lived amongst humans, Seren?'
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Re: [2372] Course Correction
Reply #7
[Cadet Seren | Selv's Household | Starfleet Academy Faculty Housing | San Francisco | Earth]
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The human laughed.

A crystalline, melodious sound. But, in Seren's experience, typical of children. No one had ever laughed in Selv's household, at least not since he lived there, so the laughter was doubly shocking. He knew that humans laughed, as emotional beings tended to do it pretty often. But it had always happened... outside his home. The sound seemed to tarnish the sacredness of their house, so un-vulcan as it was. That Selv bowed his head toward the human and allowed himself a soft snort through the nose, despite keeping his face unperturbed, only added to the cadet's confusion. Thus, in spite of himself, Seren found himself staring at Triss, trying to guess what had promoted that unexpected display of hilariousness.

The explanation did nothing but confuse him even more. Teenager? The human considered him and his half-brother as mere children? Seren wasn't sure of Kiriel's age, but it was probably just a little less than himself... and he was closer to his thirties than to his teen years. He didn't even have time to think about what had prompted Hathev's wife to consider him an infant when she provided a small sample of information expanding on what Selv had explained, along with an associated personal commentary. It didn't make sense at all. He had to regard that sentence as a way of... encourage him? He wasn't distressed to the point he requires a manifestation of empathy. He was confused, embroiled in a situation where he didn't fully understand the rules that governed it. He needed guidelines, not... emotions.

Seren glanced at his father, trying to find some logic in the development of such a situation, but Selv didn't even deign to look at him, on a clear display that, on this occasion, he had to seek the solution by his own means, without his guidance. On the other hand, the sociologist inclined his head towards the human and addressed her. "I still remember the rules, it will be a pleasure to refresh your memory, Mrs. Triss," he said with a plain tone of voice. "Or I can instruct Seren in it, if the idea is of your interest, Kiriel" told Selv directing his words to the youngest Vulcan. In Seren's eyes it was clear that there was an ongoing altercation. Something that had escaped his perception and that his father was trying to solve.

Seren's gaze wandered over the faces of the people sitting around the table. The human wasn't hiding her feelings and showed an evident desire to please the rest of those present, as well as a badly disguised nervousness. Hathev was practically illegible, but Seren could deduce from her micropressions that she was.... disappointed. If it was aimed at anyone attending the meeting or at the meeting itself, Seren had no way of knowing. Kiriel, his half-brother, wasn't as easily legible as his human mother, but still much more than the adult Vulcans. The problem with his surly half-brother was that, in Seren's eyes, he sent confusing and contradictory signals, as if he himself didn't know how to feel about the whole situation, but he needed broadcasting it anyway, in an extremely offensive way. Selv, for his part, tried to act as a mediator, even though his face didn't betray his thoughts, but his posture, more rigid than usual, the slight tension in his shoulders, revealed that he was a man fighting against a force greater than himself. Verify this fact only confused Seren even more. The only thing that was clear to him was that his half brother was the source of most of the discomfort that began to thicken in the room. The young Vulcan's eyebrows sloped one degree over his dark eyes.


Hathev's voice interrupted his line of thought, initially following the parameters of courtesy Seren expected, even though it was to accept unnecessary apologies. At least the form of her words and the objective were clear. The Professor's next words plunged Seren into deep reflection. Accept and assume illogical behaviors as a sign of good will. The logic of accepting and following an illogical behavior. There was wisdom in her words, but they also clashed head-on with everything Seren had learned. With everything he believed. "But, if we allow ourselves to be dragged by illogical behaviors in order to indulge the sensibilities of the emotional species, are we not losing part of our essence? We do not risk falling back into the practices that brought our ancestors to the point of provoking the annihilation of our kind?" asked Seren, the challenge to Hathev's words implied in his statements but not in the tone of his voice. " Is not a way to lose ourselves or  become V'tosh ka'tur? There is logic in your words, Professor, but also danger," Seren said. However, he was unable to continue with his reasoning, as Hathev's mind had followed a different path from his, so she had decided to ask him about the time he had lived among humans.

"I moved to Earth a decade ago." he answered succinctly.

"I considered that an early interaction with emotional beings could be detrimental to Seren's development, so I limited his interpersonal interaction with other species until two years ago. Except in controlled environments." Selv broadened the matter. Seren knew his father wasn't explaining the reason behind that decision, and he wondered why explain one part and hide another.

Unconsciously, Seren stretched and contracted his fingers. "I was trained at Vulcan learning center, in the Embassy," Seren added.

"It was the most appropriate thing for a young Vulcan."

Re: [2372] Course Correction
Reply #8
[ Professor Hathev | Accommodation of Professor Selv | Starfleet Academy Faculty Housing | San Francisco | Earth ] attn: @Numen

Hathev did not countenance amusement as an emotion she might ever feel; however had it been part of her remit she would have experienced such a feeling here. Seren's clear floundering confusion in the face of Triss' conversational offerings was markedly reminiscent of the effect the woman had wrought upon Hathev herself on their first few meetings. The human had been strange and charming in equal measure, and despite her frustration at Triss' illogicalities, Hathev had found herself drawn to her all the same, propelled by curiosity and even something akin to fondness -- at least, as much as it was possible for her to experience. Still, to see Seren just as disconcerted as she herself had been was a reminder of how different she had been in her youth, and how far she and her wife had come together in the years since. She did not expect laughter to be a common sound heard in this atrium; however in her own home, it was a daily occurrence, and though the sound was undoubtedly odd and the impulse illogical, she found herself glad of its presence.

Of course, the tableau was swiftly dismantled as Kireil spoke in response to Selv, a sullen 'I didn't really mean it, don't bother'. Hathev resisted the urge to purse her mouth slightly in displeasure, instead maintaining a smooth control of her features and an iron grip upon her composure. That the effort was even necessary was testiment to the the particular difficulty of the situation. Her son did test her so.

Looking over to Triss, she caught her wife's eye for only the briefest of moments; more than enough time to read the emotion held within. Triss' compassion was unnecessary, of course, and yet it was appreciated all the same. The human understood the toll this meeting was taking upon Hathev, and yet a simple glance was enough to convey belief and support. She really was remarkable.

'Kireil, remind your mother of the rules,' she said, maintaining a neutral tone with only the slightest hint of sternness. Perhaps the human touch that even she valued from Triss would be beneficial here, tempering the Vulcan influences Kireil so clearly detested. 'The three of you can play together.' She would speak to Seren seperately; the combination of Seren's impeccable Vulcan composure and youthful Vulcan arrogance seemed to interact negatively with Kireil's own more human pride and stubbornness, and more controlled than her own son as he was, Seren would likely be more receptive to her guidance on this matter. There was little purpose in extending this meeting if the two younglings could not be convinced to interact productively.

Kireil attempted a brief resistance, but was soon won over by Triss. Hathev had been correct: her wife's gentle humanity was indeed of use in this instance, compelling Kireil to join her through her amicable nature alone; although it did not escape Hathev's notice that a true Vulcan would never have been persuaded by such methods.

As Triss and Kireil set about preparing to play, Hathev listened to Selv outline Seren's training thus far. Given her experience with the man, she was perhaps a little surprised to hear Seren had been raised in such a traditional manner; perhaps his mother's influence, although it was certainly true that Selv had changed significantly in the years since she last saw him, and indeed even at their time their interaction had been... limited.

'Agreed, that is fitting,'
she said as he completed the explanation. Unfortunate that her own son's training had not been so thorough and efficient; she had neglected her duties too long in the formative years. She had never intended to have a child, never wanted one, and when Kireil had been born she had been all too eager to return to duty and focus on her career once more, with little consideration for the affect her actions would have on her young son.

Hathev understood enough psychology to know that, in some part, her current actions were sub-conscious attemps to make recompense for that early deficiency; a most illogical pursuit, as there would be no undoing the damage she had unknowingly allowed to be wrought upon Kireil. It was a failing that she had accepted in herself long ago; now all she could do was temper it, and minimise its effects moving forwards. In many ways she was fortunate: her son was not aware that the anguish he now experienced was entirely due to her own inadequacy. Of course, that fact also meant he was resistant to her attempts to rectify the situation, seeing her interference as the cause of his difficulties and not the cure. While he had not inherited the Vulcan control, he seemed to have all of their pride.

Kireil and Triss began to play, under Selv's instruction, and Hathev pulled her gaze away from her small family to the young man seated close to her, the photo negative of her own child. There was still something to be gained here.

'You are right,' she said, circumspect, returning to his earlier statement. 'We risk ourselves with exposure to humans, and with adherence to their customs. Your father was wise to keep you separated from them for as long as he did. If you do not wish to expose yourself to that danger, you would do well to continue that separation.'

Triss' bubbling laughter drew her gaze back to the scene playing out before them. Kireil appeared brighter, more engaged; there was no smile on his face, but Hathev could see the lack of tension where before he had been wound tightly. In this moment, from this distance, she could almost convince herself he was as she wished him to be, content in himself and his place in the world, free from the turmoil of emotions that plagued him.

She folded her hands, pressing them together more tightly than was perhaps necessary. Her desires for Kireil were so simple; that they could not be realised threatened her own self-control.

'There is risk in many things,'
she said. 'We cannot know the strength of our dedication to Surak if it is not tested. If you wish to remain among humans, you may find it necessary to compromise your external conduct; the true test comes in ensuring that compromise never touches your internal control. It is a trial like no other, and it is one the successful navigation of which is exceedingly rewarding.'

She regarded Seren once more, considering the boy's disposition. 'I take it from your training at the Academy you do not intend to return to Vulcan?'
CPO Morgan Song - Engineering - Chief of Maintenance (V2)
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Re: [2372] Course Correction
Reply #9
[Cadet Seren | Selv's Household | Starfleet Academy Faculty Housing | San Francisco | Earth]
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Att: @fiendfall


Seren nodded when Hathev accepted his reasoning. A simple head inclination, restrained, perfect. There was neither lack of discipline nor an excess of pride in that gesture. At least not externally reflected. It was simply an admission of the flawlessness of his logic and the excellence of his upbringing. However, at the end of the sentence, Hathev left a opinion hanging in the air, something that she hadn't said, but that made his reasoning not quite ideal. The older woman fell silent, while on the other side of the table a crystalline laughter flickered.

Seren cast a glance at the trio, leaning his head to see what the protocol disruption meant. On one side of the table, Triss was still chuckling, while his father, who had moved the chair to position himself slightly behind her, kept whispering something in her ear. Despite the proximity and his keen hearing Seren was unable to identify the words they shared. He could simply watch that Selv signaled a pair of cards in the human hand, and in response, she glanced mischievously at him. On the other hand, Kiriel seemed little impressed by the whole performance that the two adults were playing, raising an eyebrow in the most Vulcan gesture he had shown since Seren had met him.  With a surprisingly controlled voice, he asked for a queen. Tris groaned and gently shoved Selv's shoulder. Then, she placed the queen of hearts on the table. His progenitor shrugged, a barely perceptible motion. For his part, the youngest Vulcan placed four cards face-up on his left side while his expression became more self-sufficient. Tris laughed again and Seren could almost assure that Selv had curved one of the corners of his lips into the tiniest grin. The three of them seemed at ease, the strain of the meeting now forgotten. A fact, to say the least, remarkable.

Some fabric rustle made Seren divert his attention to Hathev. The professor had changed her stance a bit, her hands leaning against each other. The cadet had no reference of the meaning of this gesture in the woman demeanor, but his parent often adopted it when he was about to impart an important lesson. More avid of knowledge than he could openly exhibit, Seren made sure his stance was correct and prepared to absorb what Hathev was about to share.

Her statement provided him with more doubts than answers. There was truth in her words, for sure, yet at the same time it clashed with everything he had learned. Was his formation inadequate then? Would an excess of zeal in tradition have any negative consequences? That compromise that the professor was talking about was the ultimate proof of self-control? Perhaps THAT which had impelled him to join the Academy was not a weakness but a test? As he pondered, the young Vulcan leaned his head over his left shoulder. In the group at the other side of the table, entirely coincidentally, Selv tilted his head in the same fashion towards his right shoulder while, in front of him, Kiriel did so towards the left. The outcome looked as if something intangible had swirled on the table, bending the men's heads like the wind over the crops.

Eventually, Seren emerged from the thoughtful lethargy in which he had immersed himself, back to an upright and perfect stance. "I have always assumed that there was enough challenge in the pursuit of self-moderation that I have not taken into account how it is affected by the interaction with emotional beings. It is an intriguing... pursuit," he finally agreed. For the first time since Seren entered into the household, he didn't exhibit an unyielding resolve in his discourse, but rather he made it clear that he needed time to reflect on the issue.

Time that he didn't have available at that moment since, after a reasonable pause for his reflection, Hathev asked another query. Unlike her earlier assertion, Seren knew the answer to this one, so he didn't waste a second more than necessary to give an answer. "My original intention was to undergo Kolinahr in T'Karath once I came of age to be a servant in the Sanctuary," he explained. "But that would only serve me and those initiated, and Surak exhorts us to put the welfare of many above the welfare of only a few or ourselves. So I made the choice to serve in the Fleet. It represents the most refined version of IDIC and must be safeguarded. But our duty as Vulcans is to be the voice of logic in Starfleet, and to lead emotional beings along that path. That way, it will continue to be the reflection of the greatest ethos that Federation can provide," he continued, nearly echoing the conversation he had had with Selv so long ago. "I would like to train myself as Hakausu," he added, using a term in his native language, ambiguous enough to include medicine, psychology and other more metaphysical practices in the same word.




OOC:
IDIC: "Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations. Symbolising the elements that create truth and beauty."
Hakausu → healer
  • Last Edit: August 10, 2019, 09:48:28 PM by Numen

Re: [2372] Course Correction
Reply #10
[ Professor Hathev | Accommodation of Professor Selv | Starfleet Academy Faculty Housing | San Francisco | Earth ] attn: @Numen

Hathev kept her gaze averted from the young Vulcan beside her as he contemplated her words. There was no need to look upon him; she knew what expression she would find engraved into the lines of his face, and though it would not be entirely fruitless to study the details of his microexpressions, she did not think there was much need for such scrutiny. Instead she would offer him the space he needed to consider what she had said, unburdened by her gaze or perceived judgement.

Duly, she kept her attention bent to the scene before them: her wife and son, a human who understood Vulcans and a Vulcan who refused to understand himself, their heads bent in concentration as they played an ancient and obsolete human card game under the instruction of a Vulcan sociologist, the father of her child. The watching was something of a test for herself, if you will.

If she had desired an easy life, with her control never challenged, she would have remained upon Vulcan to live out her years there. She could have controlled every aspect of her life, with no unpredictable factors to threaten her inner mastery. A Vulcan wife, a child raised in the proper way, a place in a society designed around total calm and equilibrium. A truly peaceful and enlightened existence.

Starfleet was the very opposite. Perhaps it was little wonder humans outnumbered Vulcans so greatly aboard starships; humans' natural curiosity and childlike confidence lent itself to a lifestyle chaotic in comparison to the one her species could expect on their home planet. Hathev had always intended to remain on Vulcan and dedicate herself to learning and teaching; the very possibility of enlisting in Starfleet had gone unconsidered until she arrived on Earth and found her interest in humanity took a more practical turn than she had previously anticipated.

She had never explicitly intended to challenge her self-control, and yet at every turn she had made decisions that took her further and further away from that sterile Vulcan lifestyle she could have enjoyed upon her own planet. Her interest in humans had hardly ended with Starfleet: Triss was unlike anyone Hathev had ever met, and had always fascinated her on both a professional and personal level. Once she had begun to challenge herself thus she had found a certain satisfaction in maintaining her composure and balance in the face of such trials. She had sought out new experiences and worldviews with a scholarly interest -- to boldly go -- and taken some small pride in her ability to study such things while maintaining a proper distance.

Seren's speech broke through Hathev's introspection, his words heavy with thoughts of his own. She dragged her eyes from the subjects of her mental disturbance, swivelling slightly to look at the other Vulcan boy in the room. Despite his being sheltered from humanity, Seren had decided to enrol in Starfleet Academy just as she had done; indeed, he wished to pursue much the same career as Hathev, dedicating himself to caring for his fellow Starfleet personnell. A suitable application for an intelligent young Vulcan well-versed in the teachings of Surak and methodology of control, especially considering the truth of Seren's statement on the Vulcan place within Starfleet.

'I approve of such intent,' she said. 'Starfleet is a trial like no other. Humanity remains in its infancy; as a more emotionally controlled species we have a responsibility to the Federation that can only be fulfilled by followers of Surak. Yet in doing so we open ourselves to risk; this is the balance required of us.' She returned to an earlier topic for comparison: 'It is as Kal-toh. The tactician who capitulates to every new change is weak-willed, but the tactician who remains steadfast in the face of changing developments is foolish and proud. The ability to adapt to circumstances while maintaining one's core is the mark of a true master.'

She considered the young man before her. He had much to learn, but then so did they all. She had not come here with the intent to engage with Seren herself, so much as to facilitate interaction between the half-brothers. She had no connection to Seren and no need to behave as if she did; he was the child of a man she barely knew, related to her by chance alone.

Perhaps it was the resemblance that stirred her. Seren did truly recall her son in every line of his face, save for the expression worn atop. Or perhaps it was that he reminded her of herself, when she was young and brimming with righteousness, before her first few disastrous years as a counsellor taught her the lessons she needed. Perhaps it was merely that he was a good, upright Vulcan boy, and she had something within her that moved to help when it was within her power.

Whatever the cause, she found herself breaking her own rule. She and Selv had agreed on absolute separation of personal and professional life when they had arranged this meeting. Nothing about their working relationship, or lack thereof, would be affected; learning that Seren himself was enrolled in the Academy only strengthened that agreement. Seren's education was not her concern, and making it so would only complicate an already delicate situation.

But there was no logic in depriving a studious mind of the opportunities it required to flourish and succeed, she reasoned.

'I have been Hakausu for many years,' she said, circumspect. 'My classes on applied psychology and the theory of therapy may be of interest to you. Report to me next semester if that is so.'

Perhaps his career lay elsewhere, and she would not need to contend with the complex quandry she had just created. If it did not, however, he would need a Vulcan instructor, and she would be gratified to be so.
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Re: [2372] Course Correction
Reply #11

[Cadet Seren | Selv's Household | Starfleet Academy Faculty Housing | San Francisco | Earth]
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Att: @fiendfall


Seren listened to the teacher attentively, more excited by her words than he wanted to admit to himself. Even more than he could show. Even with all his self-restrain there was a spark in his eyes that there hadn't been there until that moment, an subconscious reflection of youthful excitement. Selv, despite his imperfect control, had always offered the young man a counterargument to his musings. His way of trimming the young Vulcan had been to seek to broaden his perceptions of the world around him, rather than have him focus excessively on a single facet, a unique, flawless vision of the universe. This had helped to sharpen his capacity to observe a debate from different points of view, but it hadn't equipped him to enjoy the fact that he was proved right. So Seren let himself be carried away by that satisfaction for a few seconds, before his mind focused on the details of Hathev's discourse again.

In the meantime, Selv shifted his dark eyes from the card game to his son and his coworker. The tall Vulcan's eyebrows had lowered smoothly over his black eyes, giving him a troubled and uneasy appearance for those who were skilled at reading the nuances of his gestures. His gaze remained caught up with them, attempting to foresee how the conversation would unfold. For better or worse, Triss lifted her voice, at the time she almost pressed the cards onto his face as she asked him about the strategy she should adopt. Selv returned his focus to the game but his attention was split, so that one of his pointy ears always aimed at his firstborn and Hathev's conversation.

 For his part, Seren was still listening to the older woman. The challenge of preserving a Vulcan composure and a perfect adherence to logic while at the same time dealing with beings who let themselves be guided by emotion was not alien to him, since that same day he had seen himself in a situation in which logic and reason had placed him at a disadvantage with respect to his classmates. Heartless, they had called him. And no matter how contradictory the term was, Seren began to perceive his accuracy in the light of Professor Hathev's reasoning. The word didn't imply the absence of the organ that moved his blood through his body, but a strictness of his behavior and morals that was too foreign to those creatures that based their demeanour on irrational impulses. Seren could articulate his peers' behavior toward an ethos based more on facts and certainties than emotions, but to do so, he had to accept being surrounded (and subjected) to some level of incoherence and irrationality. In spite of this, he had to maintain his core of righteousness, true to Surak's teachings that had guided him to that moment. It was a pagmatic approach to the problem, a way to remain immutable and, at the same time, adapt to the circumstances. It was a key to learning to serve while guiding others as well as orienting oneself. It was complex and stimulating in equal parts.

What Hathev suggested became even more clear when she matched the quandary with a Kal-toh match. The cadet subtly nodded, endorsing the metaphor choice, as Hathev's proposed strategy resembled more the strategy he favored than a more traditional arrangement. Extrapolate Kal-toh's strategy into a form to deal with no-vulcans sounded wise and fitting, even though the game offered a stable and immutable framework and humans and other emotional species were a shifting and ever-changing battleground. It was just a step further, a game complication that Seren had not anticipated but that would involve myriads of choices and strategies to pursue. It was certainly a exhilarating challenge.

Seren was about to point this out when the Professor made her proposition. It was an unexpected offer, given the delicate bond that tied them through Selv and Kiriel, but at the same time, it was very convenient. A mentor who would guide his steps through the Academy and spare him the misunderstandings and dilemmas she had already overcome was an obvious advantage. Seren was a well-educated young man and Hathev seemed to value adherence to Vulcan custom, despite the obvious deficiencies her son experienced in that regard. Or perhaps precisely because of them. For all this the cadet hastened to giveher an answer for the first time since he met his half-brother's mother. " Your offer honours me. I will initiate the process tomorrow," he stated.


Selv averted his eyes from the game once again, and, this time, doubts were plain on his face, even to an untrained eye. After gazing at one and other for a short time, his eyes lingered on Hathev's, seeking her gaze, nearly as he begged her to step off the table and talk privately. Nevertheless the sociologist knew that it was something extremely improper, a display of ill manners that he couldn't tolerate in front of his visitors and his offspring. Yet the man started to open his mouth to put voice to that objectionable request when Kiriel interrupted him. It was an anodyne statement, which Seren didn't even register except for the fact that it was the first time his young brother had adressed Selv directly. He then faced the boy and offered an elaborate answer that distracted him from his original purpose.

Meanwhile, Seren had spoken to Hathev once more. "What is the Vulcan ratio in your class? Is it a subject favoured by our people? Can it be applied to any career choice or is it focused on those who wish to pursue the path of Counselling?" he inquired.