Jan 30, 2015, 1:29:47 PM1/30/15
((Holodeck, USS Garuda))
::She had almost escaped, almost managed to flee without getting caught.
Almost, however, wasn’t quite good enough. Alora hadn’t really
registered Reynold’s presence until her voice made her feet
automatically paused. Two more steps and she would have been around the
corner and could have used the excuse that she hadn’t heard the pregnant
woman. For a moment, she pondered continuing on despite the fact a
captain had indicated she shouldn’t, but while Alora was upset, she also
didn’t want to offend a superior officer. So she waited, though she
didn’t turn, didn’t look at Reynolds.::
REYNOLDS: Walk with me.
::Did she have to? All Alora really wanted to do was to just leave.
While the crew that remained in Ten Forward celebrated, she wanted to
simply go somewhere else, maybe huddle with a book or with a friend. The
last thing she wanted was to be with a crowd - or even someone she
wasn’t particularly close to.
As Reynods caught up to her and then passed her, Alora silently fell
into place slightly behind her. The stroll took far too long, Reynolds
in no hurry despite the science’s officer’s desire to get away. When
they arrived at the holodeck, however, Alora couldn’t help but be
curious. What was she doing?::
REYNOLDS: Computer. Run program Reynolds-Twelve.
::A personal program? The scene that greeted her was quite welcome and
familiar enough to indeed help Alora relax a little. While it was not an
exact replica, it reminded her of the rock gardens at Ryoanji in Kyoto.
She’d been there multiple times, admiring the artistic placement of the
rocks, the rivers of gravel that silently offered insight into abstract
ideas and metaphors for life, the universe, and everything.::
REYNOLDS: I visited a place a lot like this when I was at the Academy. I
liked to sit, drink genmaicha and write my papers.
::Popcorn tea, the more colloquial term for it. Alora would sometimes
have it for breakfast when she had lived in Japan, and still
occasionally partook, though local and non replicated fare was far, far
better. For some reason, the replicator could come close but not quite
get it. So why had Reynolds brought here there? To bond? It wasn’t that
Alora disliked the woman, but they’d had very little interaction.::
DeVeau: I know you mean well but…
::Reynolds cut her off with a gesture.::
REYNOLDS: I'm not going to ask you to confide in me. I'm well aware that
I'm not the most… approachable of people, so I was just going to tell
you a story.
::That was true. It wasn’t that Alora hadn’t tried, but she hadn’t tried
much. Another hint of guilt caused her to wince. How badly had Reynolds
fared during everything? And the baby?::
REYNOLDS: I was… Well, thinking about it, I was a lot like you when it
happened. A Lieutenant, chief of my department. Filled with with
optimism and wonder.
::She paused for a moment, as if uncertain, then finally pushed forward.::
REYNOLDS: I was taken prisoner, by the Breen. "Interrogated". It was for
a very long time, and by the end of it… ::She breathed a long sigh,
finding the words hard to say.:: I thought they were going to kill me,
and that single thought… I can't describe to you the sense of relief it
made me feel. I was ready for it, because I *hurt*. Not just the
physical harm they'd done, but… I'd told them everything I knew. And I
knew a lot. And I told them, knowing full well that lives were going to
be lost, because of it.
::Alora didn’t know that. That sort of information wasn’t available for
someone of her level when looking at Reynolds’ file, and why would it?
Although she had survived, Alora knew that Reynold’s must still retain
scars - perhaps some physical, but surely others emotional.::
REYNOLDS: Thing was, afterwards. It was shame, and guilt that stuck with
me, not so much the memories of what they did ::She shook her head.::
Everyone told me -- hell, I even knew it myself -- that being subjected
to that much for that long, anyone would have broken. But still… There
was that feeling. That I should have been stronger. That I could have
resisted. That I may as well have killed people myself. ::She looked
across at Alora.:: I'm guessing this rings a bell.
::Alora canted her head, then turned away. Yes, it rang a very loud
bell, but while their situations were similar, they weren’t the same.
Reynolds had talked under torture, that was true, but her body hadn’t
been physically used to torture and kill others. She hadn’t had to feel
the sensation, as if it were her own hands clenched around their necks.::
REYNOLDS: I know. Starfleet is hard. Far harder than it has any right to
be, sometimes. And I know that after something like this, the instinct
is to prove to yourself you can be strong, to throw yourself into your
work, to try and shut it all out.
::Yes, that was exactly what Alora wanted to do - at least in part.
Although she had been told she was off duty and would be for a while, it
was the last thing she wanted. If anything, the work would be a
blessing, a distraction from remembering too much.::
REYNOLDS: Be *kind* to yourself, Alora. And I know that's not going to
come easily, so you need to let other people be kind to you in the
meantime. Lean on your friends. Spend every evening sobbing in their
quarters. Camp out in the counsellor's office. Whatever gets you through
it, but don't isolate yourself, and don't build yourself a crutch out of
work -- or anything else.
::That was one area that wasn’t a problem. As much as keeping busy
helped, friends helped just as much, if not more. There was no way Alora
could truly isolate herself completely. People energized her, and when
dealing with trials and tribulations, it was those she was close to she
sought to surround herself with. Although Saveron wasn’t there, she
still had Raissa and Aron.::
DeVEAU: I do. I will.
::She paused in uncertainty. Reynolds was trying to help. to give her
advice born of her own experience. Indeed, the attempt was not
necessarily going to be ignored, but Alora honestly wanted some
DeVEAU: Thanks. I appreciate the advice.
::She glanced around, noting the placement of the rocks once more and
the tranquility they offered for anyone who wished to linger. While
Alora might decide to do so at some point, she was more eager to
retreat. She’d leave a message for one of her friends, see if they’d
come over once the party was over. Sometimes she felt like she needed to
be alone, but usually she preferred company - especially when images she
didn’t want to remember continued to plague her.::
DeVEAU: Would it be...okay to use this program some time?
::Alora nodded, then reached up to rub the back of her neck. Although
Reynolds meant well, Alora was still a little uncertain and
uncomfortable. It was time to go.::
DeVEAU: I’m going to try and get some rest. Thanks for the insight, I
_do_ appreciate it.
Lt. Alora DeVeau
Chief of Science