“Hey, T’Pol?” for SoCS

Here’s the standard disclaimer. I don’t own them; I don’t make money from them; I just love them, and I tell the stories they give me as well as I can.

“Hey, T’Pol?”

“Mind if I join you?”


“What are you reading?”

“I have a new language lesson from Ensign Sato.”

“Well, you look a little confused.”

“I am. Your language is most imprecise, Commander.”

“Tell me about it. On the other hand, don’t.”

“I already have. I can’t undo the action now.”

“You could if you talked to the Cap’n’s friend, Daniels.”

“That is illogical. The Vulcan Science Directorate has determined that time travel is impossible.”

“Hey, T’Pol?”

“Yes, Commander?”

“Wanna know something?”

“If it is something of significance?”

“Well, I’ll let you be the judge of that.”

“What did you wish to tell me, Commander Tucker?”

“I’ve determined that the Vulcan Science Directorate having a single imaginative thought between them is impossible.”

“It’s not their duty to pursue imaginary thoughts, Commander. It’s their duty to advance scientific theory.”

“Whatever you say. You want help with the lesson?”

“I’m uncertain that will be possible.”

“Are you criticizin’ my command of my native tongue, Sub-Commander?”

“Not at all. You seem to communicate well with your fellow humans, despite what Ensign Sato has intimated.”

“Let’s come back to what Hoshi said about me later. If you don’t think I’m incompetent, why don’t you think I can help you?”

“Because my difficulty is with the illogical nature of the material, not with your proficiency. You can do nothing to alleviate that problem.”

“Wanna bet?”

“If you’re proposing a wager, Commander, you must first name the terms.”

“Looks like you’re almost out of tea. If I can’t make some sense of whatever’s got you stymied, I get the refills.”

“And it you are able to provide clarification, Commander?”

“You put the PADD down when I bring the next round, and we just talk until it’s gone.”

“Your wager is acceptable.”

“Okay, then. Show me the part that’s tripping you up.”

“It is this: ‘Rain. Reign. Rein.’”

“I can see why that would be tricky – honestly, that one got me a lot when I was a kid, too.”

“I’m neither a young human, nor an immature member of the goat family, Commander Tucker.”

“Yeah. I know that, but that’s a whole different thing. I’m not ready to start working out idioms with you. That would be like pulling your eye teeth.”

“I wouldn’t advise attempting it -”

“You don’t say.”

“I just did.”

“Forget it.”


“I mean let’s change the subject, before you give me a headache.”

“Are you unwell, Commander? If so, there’s no need to attempt to assist me. Perhaps you should return to your quarters and rest.”

“I’m fine – it’s that damned language barrier again. Or the brain barrier. I’m not tired; I need something to figure out. So c’mon. Hand it over. Hmmm…so what is it about those three that’s catching you?”

“The words are each spelled differently, and have different meanings. I further suspect that there are nuances of meaning, in each case, which I don’t understand. For instance, rain. Your language database contains a remarkable diversity of words to define liquid precipitation, all of which are essentially variations on several easily quantifiable conditions . Would it not be more efficient to identify the forms by those measures?”

“Well, I guess that’s true enough – but that’s just not how we do it. It wouldn’t be useful to me unless I was conducting some kind of experiment.”

“Why not?”

“Let’s circle back to that one – I need to think it over a little. How about the other two?”

“I would rather focus on precipitation now, Commander. It seems likely that Ensign Sato will be able to adequately explain my difficulties with the other versions of ‘rain/reign/rein’ when I next consult her.”

“Okay, so what do you want to know about rain? I mean, what can I tell you that you don’t already know first-hand? Defining rain by measurable variables doesn’t say anything about the way ir feels on your face, you know?”


“No, what?”

“No, I don’t know. I have seldom felt rain in that manner, and have never had the leisure to explore the sensations associated with it.”

“You mean you were never an adorable tiny little pointy-eared pixie with great big eyes turned up to the sky in a rainstorm? Not even once?”

“No. It seldom rains on Vulcan, Commander, and virtually never in the region where I was raised. When rain occurs, it never reaches the ground.”

“Never? What – is the whole planet a desert or something?”

“No. One point six percent is not.”

“And so you never felt rain when you could just be there with it?”


“Well, then – that’s why all our names for rain don’t make sense to you. You don’t have a frame of reference.”

“That is unlikely to change.”

“Now, wait a minute. We can’t exactly just step outside and take a walk in the rain, but there’s a way you could get an idea why we have so many way to describe rain. Play with the adjustments on your shower; Starfleet assigned something pretty dull, but I went all out and made sure every shower head on this ship has enough variety to simulate at least a few dozen types of rain, more or less – you’re not saying anything.”

“I’m considering the concept, and devising an experiment to test the theory.”

“Well, while you do that, I’ll get the refills. It’s up to you now – did I win my bet, or not?”

Trip grinned as T’Pol set her PADD to the side, decisively. Now all he had to do was not let on how much he was fighting imagining her in the shower.

This post is for Linda G. Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday, where this week’s prompt is rain/reign/rein, one or all, used any way we like.

Wade into the Stream of Consciousness right here!


    • I have something of an ongoing story arc of all the ways our language is most illogical, and of T’Pol’s struggles to reconcile this in her early days on Enterprise. I have this mental image of her not knowing how to read English when assigned to Enterprise, which is one reason she uses her own Vulcan hand scanner.

      Happy you enjoyed – this conversation was fun to write! =)

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