Friendship, Emotions, and Vulcans (RP Log)
Kainon points at the door. "Or. Is there something twisting your brain? Like someone else."
Senka raises an eyebrow at the door. "If you are refering to Dr. Astor-Cross, I fear I do not entirely comprehend your meaning."
Kainon gives a sideways grin. "An acknowledgement of an order is two words." At the mention of Astor, "Well. I see that you two have become fast friends. I guess in our case, fast is relative. I've known her for just about thirty years. Must be something about you that she sees. She just doesn't trust like that."
Senka's expression becomes a touch more solemn as he gives, a little anyhow. "She is my superior officer. She is also my friend."
Kainon stops for a second before going on. "Let me tell you a little something about Alynn Astor, Doctor. We reported to Astraeus at about the same time. I didn't know her, and vice versa. To be honest, I didn't much care about the faces around me. I had a job to do and wasn't going to let people get in my way of doing it. She was young and it was her first posting to a ship. Very much like a little girl that had lost her way. And, it was my first ship, also." The man fidgets for a second before continuing. "It took a while, but we grew on each other. She softened me up a bit and I put an edge to her. Taught her how to shoot a weapon and she taught me to think before flying off the handle. We grew. And that took the better part of my adult life to cultivate that friendship into what people would call 'best friends.' Now. I don't know which section of the Academy you came from or what posting you had before... but Alynn isn't /that/ giving up of her friendship."
"Under the command of Commander Jonathan Starr," Senka murmurs. He considers you for a long moment. "Aly and I simply communicate most effectively. I know that she feels physically safe in my presence and that she trusts me. I am gratified to induce these feelings, and I attempt to justify them."
Kainon boggles slightly. "Gratified? Wouldn't that indicate an emotion on your part?"
Senka raises an eyebrow. "Merely a preference. One would prefer to be trusted rather than mistrusted under most conditions."
Kainon points at his hand to drive things home. "What I mean is, gratification is a selfish emotion. I eat, it makes my stomach gratified. I go to target practice, makes me gratified that I can see clearly enough. I kiss my family and it makes me gratified to know I'm loved. So on."
"One could extend this philosophical point and contend that altruism does not exist in any form. I have read such arguments. Though how such an argument in philosophy pertains to your question about Aly and her friendship with me is unclear to me."
Kainon says, "It's just merely the fact that you feel gratification from it. It just sounds not Vulcan, I suppose.""
"A curious statement. The greatest misconception about my people is that we feel no emotions or, related, that we have none. Neither is true. What is true is that we are not controled by them. Consider. If I tell a junior officer, "your progress is satisfactory," you could argue that I am doing one of two things. Expressing a blatantly emotional response, or using points of reference available to him to inform him that his work is meeting set standards. you could indeed argue that I am doing both." Senka considers you. "Indeed. Vulcans acknowledge the concept of friendship. Does that make us emotionally responsive beings? I do not know many who would take such a position."
Kainon says, "But reference that with what I said before. Gratification is a selfish emotion. Too much is gluttony. I know that Vulcans have emotion, but to speak of that one emotion seems to be a bit out of the norm, in a way. Especially when it pertains to others."
"If I saved your life, and the procedure was particularly difficult and required a certain amount of ingenuity on my part to accomplish, you would find it odd if I were to say that I was gratified to have been able to preserve your life?"
Kainon narrows his eye. "A bit. It would be like my saying that I'd have been gratified to have taken a life when on a mission, in some way. I wouldn't be. And haven't been. It's part of the job like most jobs."
Senka steeples his fingers and considers you. "I believe I see the flaw in your logic, Commodore. You seem to believe that any emotive language used by a Vulcan may indicate an actual emotional response or an action that is predicated on an emotional response. The notion of gratitude is a case in point. In fact, employing your logic, I would be in error if I ever uttered the expression thank-you."
Kainon says, "Saying thank you is something engrained since childhood to express politeness. It's become a habit. Yet, I would venture to guess that there a lot of people that don't mean it on a regular basis unless they get something they really want from someone."
"That is certainly possible. Not having conducted a survey of the majority of adults in known space who use the expression, I cannot be certain. However, you have referenced another relevant point. It is also possible that I occasionally utilize emotive language as a means of referencing common frameworks for non-Vulcan colleagues. It may not follow that I feel the emotions to which I refer. In such cases, I would, at best, be utilizing a form of linguistic metaphor to make myself clear to those around me."
Kainon says, "Or a possible form of assimilation to your surroundings?"
"That is, at least, a logical possibility. And I submit with all due respect that you lack sufficient data in my case to draw any logical conclusion in the matter."
Kainon says, "You're right. Which is why I phrased it in the form of a question. I don't have conclusions or data of anything."
"Indeed," Senka agrees.
Senka gazes into the flame of one of the lit candles. His expression, if he can be said to have any at all, seems pensive.
Kainon gives the Vulcan a pat on the shoulder. "Keep staring at that candle, Doctor. A Prophet might speak to you." The Commodore rises, "Until next time. My paperwork won't do itself."
"That, at least," Senka allows, "is almost certainly true. ... Good night, Commodore."