|Intelligent Lifeform Index|
|Four Letter Code||VLCN|
|Planet of Origin||Vulcan|
|Encountered||Part of the crew of the USS Enterprise, NCC-1701, (TOS: Where No Man has Gone Before). First Contact occured on Earth in Bozeman Montana, April 5, 2063, (Star Trek: First Contact). An earlier and undocumented first contact, however, is hinted at having happened during October of 1957 (ENT: Carbon Creek)|
|Current Tech Level||N+|
|List of Named Vulcans|
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The Vulcans are a humanoid race located in the Beta quadrant. They are a founding member of the United Federation of Planets.
- See also: Vulcan (planet)
Vulcan civilization expands back significantly farther than that of the Humans, and there are many gaps in Vulcan prehistory. Around 2700 BC, they were a barbaric, war-like species whom were near self-extinction, suffering through an aggressive colonizing period considered savage by many modern Vulcans today. Some Vulcans began to mentally train themselves so to suppress their emotions by the middle of the third millennium (BC). With many religions available and celebrating deities of war, death and peace, hoidays during this time ceased to be observed in the following centuries (however, some rituals were preserved, such as the Vulcan wedding ceremony).
The inhabitants of Vulcan would be tearing themselves apart by the 4th century. Their rampant emotions, combined with their hostile warrior culture, led to many wars utilizing weapons such as atomic bombs (and the Stone of Gol). A philosopher named Surak would emerge from the chaos, and proposed leading a life governed by logic, rather than emotion. His teachings would quickly spread and be recorded in the Kir'Shara, and finally, Vulcans would begin on the path to peace. Surak himself would ultimately die of radiation sickness on Mount Seleya, now one of the most revered sites on Vulcan - though his katra was saved.
One group, the ancestors of the Debrune and the Romulans, would oppose allowing logic to govern their lives and fought a final war with the rest of the Vulcan population. Eventually, they were forced off the planet. In the 24th century, myth suggests that a Q amidst a "self-destruction stunt" was perhaps responsible for a hundred year war between the Romulans and the Vulcans.
By the 9th century BC, Vulcans were capable of space travel. When they first travelled into deep space, they didn't face encounters with hostile aliens often - and not nearly at the same rate as Humans during their first endeavors - due to fewer warp-capable species. The P'Jem monastery was founded on another planetary body, and early Vulcan space exploration would be taught in schools of the Federation many years later. After the invention of the warp drive, it took them another century before they broke the warp 2 barrier.
Vulcans would make contact with the Tellarites in the early 20th century, as did contact with the Andorians. However, they found themselves in a border dispute with the latter, due to their neighboring home systems and the Vulcans suspicious nature towards the Andorians' territorial and militaristic nature. It lasted two hundred years, with many Andorians feeling that the only thing keeping Vulcans from invading their homeworld was the threat of Andorian retaliation.
Their first contact with the Klingons resulted in the Vulcan starship attacked and destroyed. Unable to open communications with the Klingons, Vulcans began all subsequent encounters with the Klingons by firing on their vessels on sight, which earned them the respect of the Klingons and finally beginning formal relations.
When the Humans launched their first artificial satellite into orbit, the Vulcans began making routine flybys of Earth in the Sol system to keep track of Human development. These observations were limited to remote studies from high orbit. They were thus aware of humanity's World War III, but chose not to intervene in what was considered a local problem. They would, however, make formal contact with Humans when a routine scouting mission noticed Zefram Cochrane's first warp-speed flight. And alliance between the two races was born, though the Vulcans initially refused to share advanced technology or information. Although many Humans believed the Vulcans were holding them back from their true technological potential, Vulcan considered Earth its most important allies "for over a hundred years."
By the 2150s, Vulcan was considered a regional power in the Alpha quadrant, despite their rocky relationships with species such as the Andorians, and in 2161, one year after the Earth-Romulan War was decided, the old war allies, with the consent of the Vulcan Council, founded the United Federation of Planets in San Francisco, on Earth.
A Vulcan faction known as the logic extremists, opposing Vulcan participation in the Federation and the integration of aliens - namely Humans - into Vulcan society, bombed a Vulcan Learning Centre in an attempt to kill a Human child whom was studying there. They would continue to exist into 2256, with an attempted assassination of the Vulcan Ambassador Sarek. Despite the complications within their own society, the Vulcan people remained an integral part of the Federation during the Federation-Klingon War. Over the following decades, Sarek would be asked to come out of retirement to represent Vulcan at the Babel Conference in 2268, where the Vulcan government strongly promoted Coridan's admission into the Fedeartion - he would also act as a personal adviser to the Federation President, and was involved in the Khitomer Accords.
In the second half of the 23rd century, there were Starfleet vessels crewed entirely by Vulcans.
A renewed attempt at Vulcan-Romulan reunification almost resulted in an invasion of Vulcan, beginning when Ambassador Spock went to Romulan homeworld when the new Proconsul Neral convinced him to be ready for opening formal relations with the Vulcan people. However, it wasn't authorized by the Federation Vouncil, or by Starfleet, and would soon present itself to be a Romulan attempt to gain a foothold within the Federation by using the underground reunification movement as a cover. The cover was ultimately exposed, and Romulan forces entering Federation space aboard Vulcan transport vessels towards the Vulcan homeworld discovered. Spock would continue to work for a rapprochement between Vulcans and Romulans over the next two decades.
The Vulcans would be at the forefront of exploring the Gamma quadrant after discovery of the Bajoran wormhole in 2369. Here, they would first encounter the Wadi, and science ships would later encounter the Rakhari. Unfortunately, the discovery of the Bajoran wormhole also introduced the Alpha quadrant to the Dominion, and in late 2373, the Dominion War broke out. During the early months of the war, the Fifth Fleet fought against Dominion forces near the Vulcan homeworld. When Betazed fell, it left Vulcan in increased danger as the Dominion began building its forces on the Betazoid home planet. The danger would thankfully never materialize, with the Dominion War ending in late 2375, the Federation Alliance with the Klingons and the Romulans emerging victorious.
The efforts began by Ambassador Spock to facilitate eventual Romulan-Vulcan reunification came to an abrupt end when Romulus was destroyed by the Hobus Supernova. Spock, unable to prevent the destruction of the Romulan and Reman homeworlds, used a red matter singularity to stop the spreading of the supernova. During the choas, however, Ambassador Spock was lost.
The government on Vulcan is a representative democracy. Individual political advancement is based on meritocratic principles.
Similar to Humans in appearance, Vulcans are distinguished mainly by their pointed ears and up-swept eyebrows. Their skin colours range from pale to dark shades, not dissimilar to Humans of European, Asian, or African descent. They exhibit generally dark hair colours, and have body hair (also similar to Humans). Males are capable of growing facial hair, but most chose to shave it.
For all their external similarities, the internal anatomy of a Vulcan differs radically from Humans. Their heart is located where a Human's liver would be, and beat several hundred times per minute. They possess a highly efficient respiratory system to extract the oxygen they need from Vulcan's thin atmosphere, and are comfortable in high temperatures (a Vulcan of advanced age may become more sensitive to lower temperatures) - natural, given the hot and arid climate of the Vulcan homeworld. They also have no appendix. Vulcans are three times physically stronger than Humans, with considerably faster reflexes.
Their blood is copper-based, and is copper or rust coloured when deoxygenated in the veins, and green when oxygenated in the arteries. Bruises and dermal abrasions take on greenish tinges. The substance trellium-D acted as a neurotoxin to Vulcans, destroying the neural pathways which controlled their emotions. Treatment had to be provided quickly after exposure; otherwise, the damage was irreversible. Vulcans typically had a lifespan of two hundred years or more.
A Vulcan often has sensitive hearing, and female Vulcans in particular, a heightened sense of smell. Having evolved on a planet which was mostly desert, Vulcans developed ways of surviving in desert conditions. For example, they could survive for several days without water and had inner eyelids which protected their eyes. Vulcans are also capable of surviving for long periods of time without food, and under stress, can potentially go without sleep for weeks.
Adult Vulcans endure "pon farr", a mating period that affects both sexes, approximately every seven years. This is marked by intense emotions and primal urges that have the potential to kill the Vulcan within a fortnight if not satisfied (known as plak tow, the "blood fever"). The affected Vulcan's cortical levels rise and fall, as the brain's regulatory system appears to shut down when serotonin levels became unbalanced. The imbalance during pon farr can be transferred to others, including other species, through a telepathic mating bond.
Certain microbes are also known to trigger pon farr prematurely, and due to the private nature of the pon farr within Vulcan society, Starfleet doctors only begun to learn of this biological period during the 23rd century. Some doctors may still struggle with the lack of resources regarding pon farr today.
Contrary to the stereotype, Vulcans do possess emotion, often far more intense, violent and passionaite than those of many other species. It was this passionate and explosive emotionality that Vulcans blame for the vicious cycle of war that nearly devastated their planet. They now focus their mental energies on mastering emotion. The essence of Vulcan society is in arriving at the truth through logical process - emotions are considered illogical, thus making them impure and deterrent to truth. All Vulcans are born with the same emotions that afflicted their violent ancestors, but continuous mental conditioning generally gives them the impassivity they seek today.
Though not all could arrive at the ultimate pure logical state, the exacting process of mental control gave Vulcans enough to conform to the ideals of Vulcan society. The ultimate level of logical thought was achieved through the attainment of kolinahr, which was said to purge them of all remaining emotions.
Vulcans are known for their high degree of honesty. Some may perceive this as an incapability to lie - this is false, as they are instead extremely reluctant to tell a lie, as they often believe there to be no real purpose or gain by doing so. However, they will do so for what they perceive as logical reasons, though they rarely refer to their dishonesty as "lying."
For an intensely logical race, the Vulcans do have spiritual beliefs. Though little is known about the details, their religious system is polytheistic. They also believe in the katra, the soul and consciousness of a person, which can be transferred psionically prior to death.
Vulcans consider death to be the completion of a journey. Therefore, they do not fear it happening, however the loss of one's katra is to be avoided if possible, since the katra lives on beyond the physical death.
- See also: IDIC
The essence of their logical society is in arriving at the truth through logical process. Emotions are illogical, thus making them impure, and deterrent to truth. Vulcans are born with the same emotions that afflicted their violent ancestors, but continual mental conditioning gives them the impassivity they seek.
Though not all can arrive at the ultimate pure logical state, the exacting process of mental control gives Vulcans enough to conform to the ideals of Vulcan society. The ultimate level of logical thought is achieved through the attainment of kolinahr, which is said to purge them of all remaining emotions.
As with most species there are a range of ethnic groups with different ways of life, located in different geographics regions of the planet, and several groups who have left their homeworld to form colonies elsewhere.
- See also: Ahm-van-kal
Vulcans are generally non-violent, but logic dictates that combat is sometimes necessary. Vulcans can and do use weapons and practice martial arts called "tal-shaya", and "Suus Mahna". Most modern Vulcans are vegetarians.
As parents, Vulcans never shield their children from the truth. Doing so would only hinder their ability to cope with inevitable difficulties. A Vulcan parent's attachment to their children cannot be described as an emotion. They are part of the parent's identity and the parent is incomplete without them.
Vulcans believe knowledge to be the best defense against unknown dangers, and pursue them with the intellect and logic that makes them some of the finest scholars in the Federation.
Different Vulcan racial and cultural groups have evolved different languages over time. Modern Golic Vulcan, also often known as 'Vulcan Standard' or 'Main Vulcan' to other species, has become the common language between groups and almost all Vulcans speak it. Many also speak at least one native language or dialect. Traditional Golic Vulcan is an antique language which has been preserved for ceremonial purposes.
- Vulcan Language Dictionary
- Vulcan Language Institute Archive
- English to Vulcan Translator
- Common Vulcan Phrases
- Korsaya - Project for the Preservation of Vulcan Culture and Language
- Vulcan Phrases and Sources
- Vulcan Online Flashcards
Development of a Vulcan's life of logic begins at a young age. Vulcan parents will utilize learning tools, such as pleenoks, to train their infants in primary logic - it should be noted, however, that despite this early training in logic, Vulcan children in nursery school are allowed to dance.
Vulcans sometimes have mates chosen for them by their parents at the age of seven. During the 2200s, the mates would be joined in a ceremony that links them telepathically that is "less than a marriage, more than a betrothal". When the two come of age and undergo the pon farr, the link compels them to follow through with full marital rituals, which cement their relationship. If, for whatever reason, the female did not wish to go through with the marriage, then the ceremony of koon-ut-kal-if-fee ("Marriage or Challenge") was invoked. The male would fight for the right to keep his mate against a challenger of her choosing. The female becomes the property of the male who won the contest, unless he chose to release her. The koon-ut-kal-if-fee is generally considered a fight to the death, though there have been instances where a victor can defeat a challenger without fatality.
The timing of Pon Farr (every seventh year of a Vulcans "adult life"), would suggest that Vulcans marry either in the equivalent of their early/mid teens (just after the onset of puberty) or in their early/mid 20s (7 years after puberty).
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Starfleet Intelligence Files
- Vulcans on Memory Alpha: More canon information on the species.
- Vulcans: An Introduction: UFOP: SB118 specific, non-canon information on Vulcans and their world.
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