((OOC: Had to
change things around a little so Connor could answer his checking from
the bridge in the other sim :D Hope that's doing it for everybody))
(( USS Arrow, Deck 2 - Crew Mess ))
Dewitt: So, if you don't mind me asking. Why engineering? Given your heritage and your father, it would look like you could have as easily ended up in a blue or red collar.
Tallera: Or a gold one, hmm? :: A silken, upturned hum. ::
Connor nodded, when she finished the question for him. After all she was a marine, not an engineer, although the young engineer had the feeling of talking with a colleague. He was glad that a conversation with Tallera seemed to be honest, open, and direct. He had asked questions, he would not have asked any other officer, he had just met.
Tallera: There's a few answers to that, both rooted in one core fact. I'm 85 now, and the Vulcan psyche is not as malleable to rapid change as a human's. The price of longevity.
Dewitt: You don't look any older than 40... I guess...
Connor frowned at his own attempted joke, followed by a smile.
Dewitt: Let's forget that and follow up with an assortment of further answers. Why a marine?
Tallera: The first answer - The Ianorian rift was, until ten years ago, impassible at warp. We had some chemical, and later fusion rockets before that, but their use for travel was impractical. So while I've known the theory behind warp travel for decades, neither I nor my family or friends considered preparing for long-duration space flight. When I joined, there was no one close to me to help ease the transition. So I found myself preferring hard rock under foot.
Connor was hanging on her every word. Being isolated on a planet because of a phenomenon not allowing warp travel - that was something he couldn't even imagine.
Dewitt: This is... Where did the excitement for engineering come from, then?
Tallera: I suppose with frontier life, there's also a sense that everyone is building a new life, building a community. It's not easy to shake the impulse to create, innovate, to find ways around the challenges nature presents you and even harmonize with the land. Even Klingon culture on Ianoria has departed a great deal from the Empire's. There is more glory to be had in building a generator or an aquaponic farm, in bettering life for future generations, than in combat. A battle with nature, if you will.
Connor was fascinated by her story. It was so different - and of course - so much longer than him growing up. He was caught by the same excitement that the evening at Collinsport had sparked in him.
Dewitt: That covers a first answer, as well as the engineering background. If there's more honor in building a generator than in combat. Why becoming a marine?
She sighed softly, but as far as Connor could tell it was not a bugged sigh. She continued.
Tallera: Second answer - the "work" I mentioned? :: Beat. :: I've practiced a local blend of Klingon and Vulcan martial arts since I was very young. The idea was inspired by how Klingons moderate their impulses. The basic principle is meditation-in-motion. Make no mistake - the style is practical and lethal, but the foremost intention is that discipline in the body gives discipline to the mind. It's more than that, but the physicality keeps me sane by giving a place for emotion and energy to go. After leaving home, the military strictness of the marine corp was... familiar. Helpful.
That was the part why the average Starfleet officer was aloof with marines. They were good at fighting whenever necessary. It went up to a degree that might be necessary in some circumstances but was hard to align with what the Federation's ideals stood for. But Connor knew the value of feeling something familiar or even at home.
Dewitt: ::nodding and giving her a thin smile:: Remind me not to disagree with you on your engineering style again.
She leaned in a little and continued in a quieter voice.
Tallera: I do not relish violence in the traditional Klingon way. Few of any heritage on Ianoria do. Still, I possess a comfort and ease with it I didn't know unusual until meeting so many people from other places. It seemed logical to use the mentality and skills to protect an honorable institution and good people from tyranny. I'd prefer to build bridges - literally, if called to - and make allies of enemies where possible, but am ever prepared for the alternative.
After she put her cultural heritage with the Klingon way in perspective, Connor had the urge to comfort her in some way. She clearly discovered discrepancies between her reality on Ionoria and the world Starfleet lived in.
Dewitt: I grew up at the heart of the Federation. I probably don't know how lucky I really am, but I have the understanding that there are other places. Places that require a different view of reality, a different way of doing things in order to live safe and happily. I think that might be what makes being a marine in Starfleet so delicate.
He paused thinking about if he had made his point clear or if it might take further clarification when Tallera smiled standing up.
Tallera: Come, it's not wise to dwell on such things. Would you care to watch our departure with me before returning to your duties?
Connor looked over to the window in the room, but could not see any movement yet. And the window had not been in her view. How did she know that they were leaving? He put down his mug and stood up to follow her to the big window.
Dewitt: How did you know?
As he finished his consternated question, beams of light entered the window as they saw a sunrise behind the space station. Connor briefly closed his eyes and felt the warm effect of the sunlight on his skin.
Dewitt: Marine or Engineer... This is the magic why we're here.
Tallera: Magical indeed...
Tallera put a hand against the window and looked fascinated at her fingers.
Tallera: "...And it seemed to him he could reach out and let the stars fall through his fingers like sand, and know them by the softness on his skin..."
Connor looked at her and smiled. He was eager to know what she was reciting from, but any question would destroy the moment. She took another moment before she removed her hand from the glass and clapped him on the shoulder. Almost at the same time Connor's communicator chimed.
Shayne: =/\= Engineering, Sickbay, Security check in, please. =/\=
Connor tapped his communicator, suddenly aware that he should be in engineering for Proteus activation.
Dewitt: =/\= Dewitt here. I am on my way to engineering. All systems are prepared for departure. Commander Wilde is in engineering, standing by for Proteus activation. =/\=
Waiting some seconds for any check backs he closed the comline and looked at Tallera.
Tallera: Adventure awaits, my friend!
He nodded also turned around. He smiled at her calling her a friend, although he knew that they only knew each other for a couple of hours and that was more of a saying. But maybe a friendship was what could come from her doing engineering the Klingon way.
Dewitt: Let's get to engineering. I'll show you around Proteus.