And the just man trailed God’s shining agent,
over a black mountain, in his giant track,
while a restless voice kept harrying his woman:
“It’s not too late, you can still look back
at the red towers of your native Sodom,
the square where once you sang, the spinning-shed,
at the empty windows set in the tall house
where sons and daughters blessed your marriage-bed.”
A single glance: a sudden dart of pain
stitching her eyes before she made a sound . . .
Her body flaked into transparent salt,
and her swift legs rooted to the ground.
Who will grieve for this woman? Does she not seem
too insignificant for our concern?
Yet in my heart I never will deny her,
who suffered death because she chose to turn.
-Lot's Wife, Anna Akhmatova
location. San Francisco.
mother. Ilara Grayson (nee Stemple).
father. Aaron Grayson.
sibling/s. Alan Grayson, Catrina Grayson.
Played by Lili Mirojnick. This claim is unshared.
languages. Spanish, English, Hebrew, Vulcan, Agarin (Tellarite), Orion.
anything else? Amanda was born to Ilara and Aaron in Buenos Aires, Argentina and grew up in the back kitchens of Char-Cute-Erie, her family's deli which had been in their care since the late 40s when her ancestors immigrated there. They sold old-world cuisine out of the same brick-walled building that was first established, in the bustling and thriving community around.
Her fire for languages ignited early on, since they lived near the Orion Quarter, and her childhood best friends were all munis from Animus. She was well-traveled by the time she hit seventeen and fluent in four languages (three Earth and one alien), and no one was surprised that she knew exactly what she wanted to do with her life.
Amanda attended school in America studying linguistics at Washington State in Pullman, with the added bonus that her extended family were located in Seattle and she finally got to strike up a relationship with them beyond comm calls. There, she picked up Agarin by proxy of her roommate Gantreel and delved deeply into Tellarite culture, growing a deep appreciation of their focus on one's Voice and the structure of debate and argument in their society.
Knowing what she wanted to do and getting there were two different things, though. Producing original research in the 23rd century wasn't easy, but finally she found her niche and soon became known as the pioneer of truly innovative technology: the Universal Translator or UT, developed by teams from all over the galaxy in its infant stages (including Hoshi Sato, the communications officer of the first Enterprise), based on harmonics, mathematics, psychology and neural vector mapping. Even the research behind it was the first of its kind in the Alpha Quadrant, the most ambitious project the United Earth government had ever undertaken, and at the center of it all was masters student Amanda Grayson.
It was no doubt then that in the advent of receiving her Ph.D., she was assigned to the Vulcan Embassy as a translator and to help integrate the first pilot programs of full-scale Universal Translator usage. At this point in time, linguistics and diplomacy were practically inseparable and she made fast friends with Silek, a Vulcan cultural guide with a penchant for humor if one dug beneath the surface a speck. It's here that she spends most of her time nowadays, preparing for the final ramp of her dissertation while she inundates herself with Vulcan culture, its heritage, principles and language.
Growing up, Amanda had heard the term d'Vel'nahr. It was something she'd encountered in obscure media, in the Vulcan language buried deep inside hard to access databases. Some of it was so old she had to translate between Modern Golic Vulcan (MGV) and Ancient, but it all kept coming back the same. It described people who were outsiders to the Vulcan way of life, to the Age of Surak, adopting Vulcan principles, speech, dress, codes of conduct, ethics, laws, and customs. It even involved psionic training of non-psionic minds, a field of utmost fascination for her as an academic.
Over the years she found herself gravitating back to this again and again, amidst her piles of Stoic literature, Epicurean philosophy and Aristotalian-Socratic logical modes, a slow weave of influence through her later works and general mindset so pervasive that it wasn't uncommon for someone to remark you're spending so much time with Vulcans you're turning into a Vulcan! whenever she mentioned logic at all.
But she was an outsider, so she never really entertained the possibility that d'Vel'nahr was an option. After all, where could she fit in on such a world, a world who claimed not to but truly did view humans as inferior? Such a world could only bring pain, after trial upon trial resulted in failure and rejection, after she could no more explain her affinity for the culture than she could describe why she had brown eyes.
It didn't even occur to her, until she met him.