And Water Provided

By Linda

Rating: G

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The red-haired kid in the workman’s coverall pushed the last stake in with his boot heel and checked off an item on his clipboard.

“Hey Eddy, I think this’ll do’er.”

“Right, Joey. This heat, man. Can’t take any more of it. We done here?”

“I ‘spect so. C’mon, let’s go back to the parking lot and put up the sign.”

They headed for the lot, sweating, moving as if they were about to tumble over. At the lot, Joey let the tailgate of the pickup drop so it swung a time or two.

“Geez, man, if’in it was your truck you wouldn’t do that.”

“Sorry.”

“Here, got an idea.”

Eddy took a large marker and wrote “52” in big black numbers after the first two words on the sign, this being somwhat west of the famous Air Force base that had been obliterated in the Third World War. Weary from the heat he laughed weakly but his eyes danced.

“Now we’re done.”

The two of them pushed the sign into the soft sand, pounded it in with a hammer, then went back to lean against Eddy’s truck and gaze at the sign.

Joey barked out a short laugh. “The people who come here won’t understand the joke.”

“S’okay then, right?” asked Eddy.

“Okay by me, man. There really any water here?”

“Oh, some. Way below ground. The builders will tap into it, but hey, THESE people won’t need much.”

“So I hear. I’d never live here, would you?”

“Don’t spect I would. We’re done here. Let’s go.”

The pickup roared to life and ran along the road for a quarter mile before it lifted off the ground angling upward until it reached its two hundred feet cruising level. It flew over a ground car coming in on the road below.

Joey glanced down. “Yup. Didn’t take’em long to hear ‘bout the new settlement going up.” He turned back to his driving and did not give the ground car another thought.

In the ground car, Sutvik looked up from the map on his padd. “Two kilometers straight ahead.”

“Noted.”

“Best time of day. I finally feel warm.”

“I also, My Husband,” said T’Sal, dropping one hand from the steering wheel.

She decelerated. Then used both hands again to bring the car to a complete stop precisely between the lines which defined one of the parking spaces. They got out of the car without a word and walked side by side along the sand toward the perfectly flat space fifty meters from the parking lot. As they walked, T’Sal turned her face to the sun to absorb its warmth. She didn’t even bother to close her eyes because the inner membrane deployed. She stopped a moment to take her shoes off to walk barefoot, enjoying the wonderful sensation of sand grains sifting between her toes.

“Sutvik, is it not good to get out of the city and into the wilderness? Can you just see a lone wild sehlat romping over the dunes?”

“Yes, My Wife. You are an incurable romantic. Sehlats in the dunes.” He sighed. “They would not allow wild sehlats in this area. We would be fortunate if they allow us to bring our miniature pet sehlat here. And this will not be wilderness for long. See, already they have graded this area for the housing project. Activate the GPS function on your wrist watch. Are we not 5.346 meters from the location of our future condo site?”

“Correct, My Husband. Well, almost correct. We are 5.332 meters from the site of our future condo.”

“I stand corrected, Thy’la. Again!”

“No need to go all emotional on me, as the Humans would put it, My Husband.”

“I stand corrected, agai . . ., I stand corrected.”

T’Sal half raised an eyebrow, but chose not to comment, since Sutvik had made an effort to control his emotions. Males were so volatile when less than a year from their time, and she could not bring herself to voice that unmentionable condition so she thought of it as “his time of the decade.”She held out her arm, reading the coordinates as she walked off to their left. The Lat and Lon on her watch brought her to the exact spot she wanted, right where the condo they were being offered would eventually stand.

“Precisely . . . here. I am standing in the probable position of your chair in which you will observe the recorded ash’ya-dukal [Vulcan form of soccer] final game of 2186 between The Vulcan Science Academy School of Engineering and the University of the South Continent Department of Logic Studies, once the condo is built. I hear that was an exceptionally intense game.”

 

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“Yes, the goal keeper of VSA neck pinched the lead runner of the USC team and the referees argued for six hours over the logic and legality of that action before the game resumed. The repartee between the players and the referees was exceptionally well developed; unlike in the equivalent human game where there is only a gesture and a single loud utterance from the referee before the game resumes. And usually one of the players walks off the field holding a hand to his face to stop the bleeding. Where is the fun in watching that? I do not understand the human form of the game.”

“You are wise in your evaluation of human organized sport, My Husband. It is so boring. I do not understand why the humans say exactly the same about our, far more compelling, games. When the discussion by the referees reaches the level of the sublime . . . ah! . . . . that is what the game is truly all about. Humans are so stuck on the actual physical plays.”

Sutvik nodded his head. “How can they appreciate each play if they do not take the time to fully analyze it?”

T’Sal raised an eyebrow. “There was one human who appreciated the analysis of the plays. You remember that my family once had a human exchange student living with us when I was in primary school? He really got into the Vulcan spirit of the game and was enjoying immensely the fascinating three hour discussion of one particular play. Our family was glued to the screen when he blurted out passionately ‘For the sake of God, get on with it!’ My mother understood the poor boy. She didn’t want him to harm himself from overwrought enthusiasm for the discussion, so she put some sehlat downers in his tea and he fell asleep for the rest of the game.”

“Was that medication safe to give a human? Why did she not just coach him through a quick meditation session to calm him like she would have if you had become too excited about a game?”

“Well, Thy’la, you know that humans are not trained in meditation techniques, as Vulcans are from an early age. My mother correctly surmised that what Bart needed was a quick fix. We did not keep drugs in the house for people, only for pets. She logically thought that what was good for a sehlat would be good for a human. After Bart fell asleep, she picked him up and laid him beside Spotted Fang to sleep off that emotional overload. They did look so cute together.”

“That was very kind of your mother. What Vulcan would not be so kind, My Wife? We are such a compassionate people.”

Turning back to the business at hand, T’Sal asked “A ten gallon water tank in each unit set up for four people? How extravagant. There must be many humans coming to live here too. Of course the energy needs are provided by solar panels. And I see the solar units are of Vulcan manufacture.”

“It would be a fascinating experience to live here. I think we should try it.”

“Well, Thy’la, I concur. We are already doing our civic duty to our home world and the Federation by tolerating a four-year stretch as employees in our embassy. And now we will even be stepping out of the protective walls of the Vulcan Compound to live among the humans themselves. How many human neighbors do you estimate we might acquire here?”

“Oh, quite a few, Thy’la. The literature on this project does not specify a quota for either species. And take heart, we have only 1.862 Earth years left to serve.”

“And we do come to serve,” he answered piously.

T’Sal touched two of her fingers to his in response and they strolled back to their ground car parked in the newly paved lot beside the project’s sign:

Development
Area 52
Death Valley Region
Terran Global Government
Alien Housing Project

It had been an interesting day. Their acceptance of the condo offer would be forwarded to the High Vulcan Ambassador to Earth when they got back to the Vulcan Compound. Both of them were looking forward to living human-style in the new condo project in Death Valley.

 


Comments:

Aquarius
Area 52--LMAO!! :D The "Alien Housing Project" thing--maybe I've been around Detroit too long, but I just had this mental picture of a human kid asking a Vulcan kid where he lives: "The projects!" he answers, and the human kid cowers to the Vulcan kid's badassness! I liked your Vulcan couple here.
Linda
JadziaKathyrn, uh, I meant that recorded game to be in the past, so 2186 is a recent but past year. This is a recording of one of Sutvik's favorite games that he watches over and over. Sorry that it wasn't very clear, but I'm glad you liked the story. I'm glad everyone likes my Vulcans! They do seem real to me, but that is because they are based on some very real human behavior that I have absorbed. Humans have such variety that maybe some of them are actually Vulcans who have had themselves surgically altered, don't you think? ;)
blacknblue
You have a marvelous talent for putting yourself into other people's shoes.
JadziaKathryn
I like this - the idea of referee discussions being as important, or more important than, the games is very interesting. And using "Area 52" is perfect. But I'm confused. How can they be talking about a championship game that hasn't happened yet in past tense??? Are they time operatives or something?
Pitseleh
Fully... analizing... each... football... play... Isn't that the reason why there are four years between each World Cup?:p Lovely story, Linda. Those Sehlat downers could come handy from time to time.
Asso
Let [b]Linda[/b] write Vulcans. Nobody else can do better! VERY DELIGHTFUL! And I love the idea: [i]Development Area 52 Death Valley Region Terran Global Government Alien Housing Project [/i] :p:p:p
anaM
I love the way you write Vulcans, you make them real people. And very compasionate too:p
justTrip'n
Yes, now that you mention it, they are very Vulcan. 20% stronger and faster than comparable human soccer players. Sorry . . . I'll stop. :p
bluetiger
I absolutely loved this.Drugging the exchange student was a stitch. A very entertaining story and the area 52 sign was hilarious.
Linda
The pic JT is referring to is of her sons playing the 'human' form of the game, but they look very Vulcan to me! And thanks go to JT for beta'ing this story.
justTrip'n
He, he . . . great story. Nice pic. *wink* You know how to get on my good side. :D

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