Vrusk Tai Chi

Vi-k'tr flowed through the movements of the Ti'Yagong-Tu, the Group Gathering Song. He felt energized and invigorated to be with other members of his species, the vrusk, doing this quintessentially vrusk activity. To be a vrusk was to participate in a public show of social solidarity through song and dance.

Humans liked to call this social solidarity gathering Vrusk Tai Chi, because the Corporate Familial Morning-Song, as properly pronounce by a vrusk sounded like, “Chai'Ti Qind'Yagong. Somehow in typically human fashion “Chai’Ti” became “Vrusk Tai Chi.” To a certain degree he understood humans better than most and recognized the similarities between Thai Chi and social solidarity songs. They both involved structured graceful movement by groups of beings but the similarities were superficial. For a vrusk a solidarity song was an emotional experience that conferred a feeling of belonging and bonding to his social circle or company. Even as the participants focused on the dance moves and the song notes created by expelling air from their spiracles under their abdomen there was a wealth of communication going on amongst the participants. This communication was lost on non vrusk as it was carried by minute flourishes of movement in body or antennae or by the slightest stress of a note.

Vi-k’tr had not been able to participate in this activity while growing up because he had not been raised by his own kind. Born on a pirate vessel crewed by vrusk he had become a ward of the Crown of Clarion when the Royal Marines had captured the pirate vessel. None of the vrusk crew had surrendered. With no living relative to take him in and no vrusk trade house willing to accept the orphan of criminals into their crèche programs Vi-k’tr entered the foster care system on Clarion.

His foster parents had been working class Commoners. His foster father had served with the Royal Guard during the famed Mercy Mission to Madderly’s Star when the human colonist of Kdikit had risen in rebellion and evicted the vrusk running that colony. Atrocities had occurred and the Crown of Clarion had sent in troops to stop the killing. It seemed to Vi-k’tr that his father had perhaps taken him in as some form of penance for guilt associated with that long ago police action. He had never been able to discover the truth behind it and his mother vigorously professed their love for him. She had been a prone to doting.

He loved and appreciated his human parents but he had always felt cut off and a misfit in Clarion’s human society. After his mother had called him Victor in front of class mates he had garnered the nick name, Victor the Vrusk. There had been bullies too but his natural speed had allowed him to avoid most harassment. It was the sense of not belonging that had led him to attend college on Triad with its evenly mixed human, dralasite and vrusk population. His parents had been a little hurt at his refusal to attend school on Clarion but something drove him to seek out other vrusk.

The first time he had joined a solidarity song as a freshman had been like an epiphany. Many of the other vrusk students had showed amused surprise at his awkwardness not suspecting it was his first time. The moment had changed his life, from then on he had become a student of vrusk culture, history and society. Later that passion matured to focus in depth on the Hive Period but the passion of his heart was the social solidarity dance.

After graduating and about the time he had taken the job at the institute he had made peace with his human culture. He had embraced the name Victor for use with his non vrusk colleagues and begun to send Christmas presents and birthday cards to his parents every year. He still felt somewhat out of place because his youth had given him a deep insight into humanity and his adulthood was honing his insight into vrusk society. He would probably forever have a bond to both that neither would understand but if he was honest with himself he enjoyed both the solidarity song and decorating the Christmas tree with his mother. Perhaps next Christmas he would develop a modified “Vrusk Tai Chi” to share with his human family.

The Group Gathering Song ended and the twenty or so vrusk present began to twitch their antennae in the customary “warm embrace” gesture to one another. Vi-l’tr enjoyed this moment of afterglow most but it was suddenly disturbed by a passing trio of humans. The group had the appearance of parents bringing their son to attend the institute.

“Look, Honey! They’re doing Vrusk Tai Chi,” exclaimed the mother a little too loudly.

Some of the vrusk clicked their mandibles in mild angry annoyance while others gestured mild perturbed annoyance with their antennae. Vi-k’tr just flicked his antennae in laughter.

Sharp looks form his fellow vrusk brought forth his first true vocal communication since the song had begun, “Humans, to know them is to love them.”

Many of the vrusk flicked warm love mild annoyance back at Vi-k’tr.

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