Duty Log
USS Darmok Briefings and Logs
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The duty logs, weekly status reports and sim logs of the USS Darmok.
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  Lieutenant Commander Relok & Ensign T'Lin, SD
"Flawed Perspective", JDL Relok & T'Lin, SD 201901.03
"Flawed Perspective"
Joint Duty Log, SD 201901.03
Lt. Cmdr. Relok
Ens. T'Lin
.  Relok sat at a science station in the main science lab. He had steepled his fingers and closed his eyes for the umpteenth time in the last two hours.
.  T'Lin was sitting on the floor of the science lab, not far from where Relok sat, partially reclined on one hip, her legs stretched out beside her to rest her injuries. She was scribbling with an "old-fashioned" graphite rod encased in wood on a sheet of white pressed tree pulp (aka, pencil and paper). She was working yet another algorithm on the scans for the thousandth time.
.  Relok released a breath, sounding remarkably like a sigh, and spoke, "We're missing something."
.  T'Lin responded, "The download was only 47% complete."
.  Relok opened his eyes, "That is not what I meant. Whether it was 47% or 13% matters little if we cannot read the first 1%. We don't know their language. Or," he paused, "even if they have a language. Some telepathic races do not have language as we understand it."
.  "What if their language is not words?" T'Lin asked. "What if it is images?"
.  Relok turned and stared at her a moment. He said one word, "Colors."
.  T'Lin suddenly snapped into action, flipping back to other sheets of her paper, tossing some aside seeking something specific. As she did, she said, "In my culture, each color has a code built into it. It mattered in the context of what colors were presented with one another. Purples and blues, the colors I saw on the station when we started the download, would mean surprise and excitement. But it could be completely the opposite." She found the page she was looking for and then said, "Look, I made a sketch of the shape and color of the blobs. What if this was fear and concern instead of surprise and excitement?" She struggled to her feet and hobbled over to Relok's station.
.  Relok raised an eyebrow. "Colors play a part in my own culture as well, though perhaps not as much as in yours. There are 'wet' colors, 'dry' colors, 'hot' colors, and 'cool' colors. Purple and blue would be cool and wet, and not surprise or excitement or fear or concern. How do we know which way to interpret the colors?"
.  T'Lin suddenly twitched. "Feelings!" She pressed a few buttons on the display to pull up the video log of the mission, fast-forwarding to the moment where the download began. "When I first accessed the node, I was in full 'logic' mode, focused on the mission at hand, however, in remembering, I can recall my emotional state at that time. Perhaps the images include feelings."
.  Relok shrugged slightly, "Written communication is intended to convey feelings with meaning, but it is often difficult to discern. How often do you hear the phrase 'you read that wrong' or 'you misunderstood what I wrote'. Tone of voice often does not come through in the written word, except for those rare individuals gifted with a poetic muse."
.  "What if they do speak?" T'Lin asked, "What if they are not telepathic at all, but they speak in frequencies our scanners cannot detect?" She began fiddling with the video log.
.  "Ambassador Android and the Reciprocity and Agamemnon records are all certain that the Kyrathians are telepathic, that their communication is nonverbal and instantaneous."
.  "What if they came to that conclusion because they simply could not detect it?"
.  Relok stared at her, dumbfounded. "Color? Frequencies we did not detect? Chemical pheromones? We've been looking in the wrong places because we started from flawed assumptions!"
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