Canticle:

A song, poem, or hymn especially of praise.

A/N I've zoned in on the religious connotations of this word. A little study on the nature of Vulcans.

Spock and McCoy strolled slowly along through the hold of the ship, past the uniform lines of Vulcans on their knees. Their eyes were closed, their steepled fingers pressed against their lips. "Spock, what are they doing?"

"The correct verb does not exist in Standard. I would hazard that "praying" will suffice."

"Vulcans?Praying? To, what, God or something?" McCoy spoke a little too loudly, and the Vulcan woman next to him glanced up sharply.

"There are no Gods, Doctor," Spock paused, "I am ever more convinced of that fact after the events of today."

"Then what –?"

"'To pray' often represents a mental state akin to meditation. Upon reflection, neither word is adequate to describe so involved an experience."

McCoy paused, "En masse meditation?" It was an eerie sight. The Vulcans barely moved, except when the passage of the ship caused their heads to roll back a little on their necks.

"Correct, more or less. They have established temporary telepathic bonds between each other, all the better to focus the mind and share thoughts, experiences. So tragic an event will not be without repercussions for the Vulcan soul; control must be maintained at all cost."

"Can you feel it, Spock?"

"There is a certain…presence in my mind."

"A feeling?"

A Vulcan eyebrow was cocked.

"Is that it, Spock? A feeling?"

"I have my shields in place, and so I am not experiencing the full force of the meld."

"But there is something?"

Spock seemed reluctant to speak further, and when he did speak his voice was a shade hoarser, "There is no pure Vulcan word for "conqueror", Doctor. We have borrowed that term from you humans. No Vulcan has ever lived that saw their race defeated. I am not surprised by what I sense here today."

"What?"

"Astonishment."