Carbon Creek

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A Vulcan's Tale

In a dowdy living room, T'Nana irritably flips through a book while Mestral seems entranced by a Western television show. T'Nana is probably known around town as a Sweater Girl, since she's wearing a dinner-outlining yellow button-up cardigan with embroidery on the lapel. I sorta covet it. Heh -- Mestral's even got his hands pressed together at the fingertips, as though he's almost meditating in front of the TV. Too bad it's not the late sixties; they could have seen themselves on TV. T'Left Behind At Crash Site walks in, carrying a toolbox and plunger. He sighs and tells the other two Vulcans, "This is the third time this week I've had to fix Mrs. Garrett's sink." Wonder if she hangs around in a black negligee and offers to make him drinks. Without taking his eyes off the tube, Mestral comments it might be because she "enjoys [his] company." T'Left sighs again and says, "It might be tolerable if her son didn't insist on calling me 'Moe.'" T'Nana sulkily asks why he does that. "There is a comic actor known as a 'Stooge' with that name. He believes we have similar hair," T'Left tells her, quite evidently feeling put upon. "There is a resemblance," Mestral affirms. T'Moe sighs again, tucking his hair back to expose his pointy ears, and crabs, "This is intolerable, I'm a warp field engineer." Who plunges toilets. Sounds like a few M.I.T. grads I know. Now, if T'Moe and T'Nana can grow their hair out to hide their ears, why can't Mestral do the same and get rid of that stanky knit wool hat? He's not Dumb Donald. What is he going to do during the summer?

T'Nana stands up and pushes her book at T'Moe, requesting that he help her construct a subspace transceiver. "I told you, it's impossible," T'Moe says, handing her book back. "If we remain here we'll die, this world is on the brink of self-annihilation," T'Nana tells T'Moe. Mestral calls out that he doesn't believe that. T'Nana spins on her heel to look at him and snots, "Because your fascination with this species is blinding you. You sit for hours each day in front of this...idiotic device." She gives the idiotic device a malevolent stare. Mestral says he's doing research and that if T'Nana observed the humans at all, she might not be so down on them. "Open your eyes," T'Nana tells him. "They revel in violence. They devote what little technology they have to devising ways of killing each other." Heh. It's funny cuz it's true. Mestral reminds her that they were the same way centuries ago, and says that humans just haven't realized their "potential." "What 'potential'?" T'Nana asks. "They have great empathy and compassion. Look how we've been made to feel welcome," Mestral says. T'Moe pauses in his fiddling with a toaster to glance up. He must be thinking of Mrs. Garrett. Who, in my mind, is Edna Garrett from Facts of Life. T'Nana snittily snaps off the television and tells him that the humans wouldn't be so quick with the welcome wagon and casseroles if they knew they were from another planet. Mestral gets up and put on his knit hat -- red this time -- and jacket. "Where are you going?" T'Nana demands. Mestral tells her he's going to the ship, because their antenna is "inadequate." "I believe I can use a waveform discriminator to enhance it," he explains. Vulcans, the first cable bootleggers. T'Nana takes his coat away and tells him he'll have to go after dark in order to prevent being followed. "I need to go now," Mestral counters, taking his jacket back. "I Love Lucy is on tonight." He leaves. She's not that great of a commanding officer, is she? She has no control over Mestral, and she can't get T'Moe to do any technobabbling to save her life.

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