Apr 16, 2015, 12:25:33 AM4/16/15
(Alora's Quarters, Saveron's Quarters)
::Her sleep had been restless and troubled. Although the nightmares from
her previous experiences had been kept at bay thanks to sleeping agents,
the news Skyfire had shared troubled Alora so much that she awoke in the
middle of the night, unable to return to sleep. After the day had
officially ‘dawned’ as much as it would on a ship, she finally threw off
her covers and rose to dress. Food offered no temptation and she skipped
breakfast in favour of trekking through the corridor toward specific
quarters. When she arrived, she indicated to the computer to announce
her presence, then slipped past the door once she was given leave.::
::Two Vulcans - perhaps more correctly ‘one and a half Vulcans’ - were
seated on the floor at the low table, eating some sort of salad for
breakfast. They looked up in unison at their visitor.::
Saveron: Sochya, Alora. ::He said mildly, as though the visit were not
entirely unexpected.:: Be welcome. Would you wish to join us for breakfast?
::Saavok favoured Alora with a ta’al.::
::Alora returned the gesture, but her usual smile didn’t make an
appearance. Although she tried, what she offered was pale in comparison
to her normal luminescence.::
DeVeau: Sochya. Um...sure.
::Even though she wasn’t really hungry, Alora didn’t want to be rude.
She also didn’t necessarily want to divulge what was on her mind with
Saavok around, but she enjoyed the lad’s company regardless.::
DeVeau: Sorry to barge in like this.
::Perhaps she ought to think things through more thoroughly next time.::
Saveron: Your company is welcome, Alora. You may share our salad or
avail yourself of the replicator.
::Meal times were important in Vulcan culture and whilst they made her
welcome it was plain that neither father nor son intended to interrupt
their stoic mastication of what looked to be vegetable matter native to
their homeworld, narrow leaves and tough looking roots. No doubt highly
nutritious but not particularly exciting.::
DeVeau: Okay. Thank you.
::The sudden desire to sit and talk about the revelation was curbed by
the presence of the Vulcan child. While Alora knew that Saveron talked
with his son frankly, it was not a subject she wished to bring up in
front of him. She paused, uncertain.::
DeVeau: I can come back later if you would prefer. I don’t want to be a
Saveron: You are not a ‘nuisance’; you are welcome to join our meal.
::He assured her once he’d finished a mouthful of something crunchy. She
might join them, but not interrupt them.::
::Alora finally settled down on the floor, seemingly quite comfortable
with that sort of position. In Japan, it was still customary to sit in
such a manner, and though her parents didn’t follow that tradition, her
Japanese friends and even many restaurants still did. Rather than make
use of the replicator, she simply elected to partake of the fare that
was already available.::
DeVeau: Thank you.
::There was a calm if slightly formal peace in the room, two Vulcans
going through their daily rituals. Saveron did quietly alter the
environmental settings so that Alora didn’t cook, but the remaining
warmth was still cosy to one accustomed to Federation Standard.::
::Alora’s unease had not been missed by either Vulcan, nor the tired
look on her features. Was she having nightmares again? It was agreeable
that she considered him such a friend that she used him as part of her
support network, but friendship went both ways and he in turn harboured
a certain level of concern for her wellbeing. The depths of space were
not easy on anyone.::
::At length the plate of salad was empty and three sets of utensils at
on it’s edge.::
Saavok: May I leave and get ready for school?
Saveron: You may. ::The older Vulcan allowed.::
Saavok: It is agreeable to see you Alora. ::He said before disappearing
into his room.::
::Saveron meanwhile rose gracefully to his feet and carried the empty
plate to the replicator to reclaim.::
Saveron: May I offer you a beverage? I do have dried Theris leaves from
Vulcan, if you are interested.
::That which his usual poison was brewed from, but the real thing rather
than the replicated version. He didn’t know whether she drank
DeVeau: I don’t think I’ve ever tried it.
::She paused a moment to consider, then nodded.::
DeVeau: If you don’t mind, I enjoy new experiences.
Saveron: Certainly. May I enquire as to the reason for your visit?
::No doubt Alora knew by now that she was a welcome visitor, but the
time and manner of her arrival left no doubt that she had not come
simply to share breakfast. His question remained unanswered for a little
as she scrutinized his movements while he prepared the tea.::
::A few moments later he carried an ornate brass tray to the table,
holding a tall, angular pot and several small cups. The scent of the
spices drifted from the set, becoming more intense as he poured the tea
with a care that bordered on ceremonial. At last he set a cup first
before his guest and then took one himself.::
::Finally, once he placed the steaming beverage before her and she
cupped her hands around its warmth, she answered him.::
DeVeau: Chythar told me about the duplicates.
Saveron: The fossilised remains that his team discovered during the era
of the Peppalexan First Kingdom. ::He clarified.::
::That grassy gaze flicked back from the tea to the Vulcan.::
DeVeau: It was...rather upsetting.
::That gave him pause, as having to consider situations from an alien
point of view often did. They all knew that Starfleet was a risky
occupation, and having a friend lost to the past would be deeply
regrettable. For other species, that degree of regret could be
detrimental to their mental wellbeing.::
::This case however was more complicated. He was here, retrieved by the
transport, yet as the evidence was pieced together it seemed more and
more likely that there had indeed been duplicates left in the past,
created by the difficult transport effort. At first they had considered
it likely that the past had healed when they were retrieved, but then
all record of Skyfire’s observations should also have disappeared as
happened when timelines were altered so clearly the situation was not
::When you eliminated the impossible, whatever remained, however
improbably, had to be the truth. Which in turn left one logical
Saveron: You consider the fates of our duplicates. ::He said simply.::
::Alora’s hands tightened around the tea, the warmth seeping through the
cup as if in an attempt to soothe her irritation.::
DeVeau: I know they were duplicates...but that means they were also you.
And the idea that you...and the others, were left there, all
::She trailed off with a wince, then sipped at the steaming liquid that
had, thus far, remained untouched.::
::The Vulcan got that thin-lipped look he wore when he found a concept
Saveron: Then there is nothing that can be done to change that. ::His
tone was gentle but firm.:: As it is we damaged the timeline, violated
the Temporal Prime Directive.
DeVeau: I know. I know...I just...the thought of you...them...all of you.
::She squirmed in her seat and though the tea was bitter, it seemed to
match the mood she found herself as she ruminated over what had happened.::
DeVeau: I don’t like the thought of it. I don’t...I just wish there was
something we coulddo.
Saveron: Any efforts to retrieve them would require a further expedition
into the past, risking further damage to the timeline and danger to the
remainder of the crew. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.
::Still, he could not pretend that it was not something he himself had
pondered. He had meditated long on the fate of his other self, the
choices that he had faced until the transporter had snatched them away,
that his duplicate had remained to face.::
Saveron: I anticipate that our alternate selves were not there long.
Given Ki Shandres’ state on retrieval, I do not doubt that his duplicate
died shortly afterwards. Core was becoming increasingly unhinged by the
situation; I do not know how long he could have stood it. As for myself,
I had already considered that the path of minimal timeline contamination
was to commit suicide.
DeVeau: Don’t say that. Don’t ever say that. Don’t ever thinkthat.
::Alora’s hands gripped the cup so tightly that had it not been made of
sterner stuff, it surely would have shattered in her hands. As it was,
her knuckles were white and she quickly put the rim to her mouth to both
prevent more words as well as tears from spilling.::
::He glanced away from the obvious distress in her expression, sipping
his own tea. He knew enough about his friend to know that an explanation
of his logic was not what she wanted to hear, nor the fact that whether
his alternate’s life was longer or shorter would make no difference to
them, being eleven thousand years in the past.::
Saveron: I note that Dr Skyfire’s report contains no reference to the
modes of death, however I understand that the remains were several
thousand years old when he examined them.
DeVeau: I can’t help but wonder...did Core wonder what would happen to Nara?
::It took Saveron a moment to place that name, as he knew no one called
by it. However he had overheard it on occaision; it was a diminutive for
Roshanara. Rumour held that she and Core were… involved.::
::Her gaze, which had been focused on the table as they discussed almost
unbearable thoughts, lifted to settle upon the tall, slender Vulcan.::
DeVeau: Did you wonder about Saavok? His fate? What sort of man he would
Saveron: Often. ::He admitted quietly.:: I do not doubt that he would
have found and followed his own path.
::There at least was something he did not need to worry about. He did
not doubt that Saavok would have found it deeply regrettable to have
lost his father, just as Saveron did not find the idea of never seeing
him again at all agreeable. But Saavok had his mother and siblings to
look after him as well as extended family, and whilst he would no doubt
find a return to Vulcan a little stifling, Saveron suspected it would
only drive him harder to achieve his own goals and once again access the
Saveron: As would all of you. Had we not returned you would have all
continued your lives. ::He said pointedly. Alora seemed to find the
prospect of their loss particularly difficult.::
::That gaze drifted lower once more, focused upon the colour of the
table, the curl of her fingers about the cup, the swirl of steam as it
rose from what was contained within.::
DeVeau: Did you…::She paused, as if reconsidering what she was going to
ask before finally moving on.:: What else did you think about...while
you were there?
Saveron: I considered my other children, my family, and my friends.
::The look from grey eyes was direct.:: The prospect of never again
seeing any of you was… disagreeable. ::Very.::
::With a swift motion, Alora set the cup upon the table and swiveled
around to fix an intense gaze upon the Vulcan.::
DeVeau: I was worried about you. I was afraid…::She hesitated,
uncertain, then finally finished, her voice softer.:: I’m glad we were
able to bring you back. ::Even if they left another one of him behind.::
Saveron: I consider it vastly preferable. ::He agreed.::
::The prospect of spending the rest of his life, short or long, in the
prehistoric Peppalexan jungle had not been at all agreeable. Yet risks
were part of Starfleet, even if dying thousands of years before you were
born on a planet that didn’t exist then was one of the more outlandish
ones. Still, the majority of the crew had treated their return as a
relief and little more; standard medical and counselling protocols had
come into play, and the ship moved on.::
::He had spoken to Chythar Skyfire out of concern over his observations,
but Alora was the only person who had come to talk to him out his
experiences, beyond the necessary for various reports. The hard look she
was giving him suggested that she considered it a subject of importance.::
Saveron: Have you spoken with Shandres and Core as well? ::He asked.::
Saveron: But you intend to.
::There was a slight hesitation, but in the end, the answer was the same.::
::It was not the answer that he had expected. Perhaps she did not know
Shandres or Core, or at least did not know them as more than colleagues
and passing acquaintances. But she had made a point of speaking to him,
of revealingto him her distress - as no Vulcan would - at the prospects
of his duplicate self; the prospects which, were it not for the
ingenuity of Doctor Rahman and her team, would have been his.::
::Why did she hesitate?::
Lt. Cmdr. Saveron
Lt. Alora DeVeau
Chief of Science