((Saveron's Quarters, USS Garuda))
::At the rear of the quarters a door slid open and Saavok re-appeared, now appropriately attired and obviously ready for school. Saveron looked away, glanced over his shoulder at his son, who in turn was watching them.::
Saavok: I am ready for school.
::Like father, like son when it came to stating the obvious.::
::A gentle smile appeared and Alora nodded, then she tried to cut through the silence that had settled.::
DeVeau: I hope you have a good day.
Saavok: We’re studying ancient Menthar civilisations at the moment. It’s quite interesting, although Misha doesn’t think so.
DeVeau: It is fascinating.
::Alora hadn’t done an extensive study, but she’d perused historical data during some of her free time. Sometimes, there were as many questions as there were answers.::
DeVeau: Maybe you can teach me what you learn.
Saavok: I would not object to that. Maybe you could teach me some more origami?
::Or anything else really, Terran culture could be quite fascinating.::
DeVeau: Of course, I’d be glad to.
::Alora did not seem inclined to leave just yet, and Saveron had no desire to interrupt the conversation if she did not consider it complete.::
Saveron: Would you object to walking to school alone this morning? ::He asked his son.::
::The Vulcan took his son to school when he could, though there were plenty of times when that was not practical and Saavok was more than capable of getting there on his own. However he considered it important to be present and available for his son, as much as was possible. There were times when he considered there to be insufficient occasions, but the fact that the boy seemed to flourish whilst on the ship indicated that, overall, it was a positive environment.::
::Like any parent he wanted the best for his son.::
Saavok: I have no objection.
::The boy glanced from his father to Alora and back, then approached Saveron and held up his hand, palm flat. His father copied the gesture and the two Vulcans pressed their palms together for a moment, the equivalent of a hug goodbye, yet more so as brief thoughts were exchanged before their hands parted. The brief intimacy almost spurred Alora to excuse herself, but she remained silent and watched.::
Saavok: Farewell Father, Farewell Alora.
Saveron: Farewell Saavok, I will see you this evening.
::The boy shouldered his satchel with his PADD in it and slipped out through the doors, and his father watched him go before returning his attention to Alora. She was/is concerned about you. Saavok had said in that moment of contact. She likes us, she spends a lot of time with us. ‘Like’ was not a Vulcan term, but as Saavok had pointed out, Alora was not Vulcan.::
::Alien conventions and considerations could be difficult to respond to, particularly when not regularly encountered. He could not claim many close friends.::
Saveron: I… appreciate your visit Alora. ::He said at length, folding his hands in front of him.::
::Did he? Alora had just busted into the room, practically, even if the motivation had been because of her concern. Although she managed a flicker of a smile, she wondered if that were a dismissal.::
DeVeau: I...should probably let you be so you can enjoy what’s left of your shore leave.
::The Vulcan cocked his head slightly.::
Saveron: You appear to imply that I do not find the current situation agreeable. That is not the case. ::He said, after a moment.:: I would not object to your remaining, if you would find such preferable.
::Confusing yes, but not disagreeable. Like most of his colleagues, conversation with Alora could be a minefield of cultural unknowns, but that was never something that he shied away from. Sometimes the only way to learn was to explore such, even if it was a path lined with potential pitfalls.::
::She would find it preferable. Although there were times a human might indicate that one should stay and yet not mean it, Saveron wasn’t a human. Generally, Vulcan’s didn’t say one thing and mean another.::
Saveron: I will admit, I do not fully understand the reason for your visit, though you are welcome. ::He assured her.::
::How could she explain her reason if she didn’t fully understand it herself?::
DeVeau: It just bothered me. And I felt...like I should come talk to you.
Saveron: Our conversations are agreeable. Are you less… bothered, now? ::He asked, using her term.::
Saveron: I would consider honesty preferable.
::It was still difficult for him to grasp the ease with which other species were sometimes dishonest with each other. To him deceit lacked logic.::
DeVeau: Not really. But I think talking to you helped.
::She just wished there was something she could do.::
Saveron: Then that is agreeable. Is there some way that I can assist you in becoming less bothered?
::He couldn’t truthfully claim that the fate of his duplicate had not required extensive meditation, but logically there was nothing that he could do for the other; nothing without undue risk to himself and the crew. History would remain.::
DeVeau: Yeah. There is something.
Saveron: And what is that?
DeVeau: No more traveling through time.
::No more duplicates.::
::There was a long moment where the Vulcan regarded his visitor stoically.::
Saveron: You know that I cannot promise that. ::He said eventually.:: It was not my intention to do so even once.
::Alora sighed and plopped back down in her seat.::
DeVeau: I wish you could.
Saveron: I might require of you a guarantee of no more possessions by alien species.
::Yet it had happened to both of them; different times, places and species, but still.::
::Alora’s jaw tightened and she turned her gaze away from the Vulcan.::
DeVeau: I don’t ever want that to happen again.
Saveron: I do not believe that anyone would. However we all work in a dangerous field, on the edge of what is known and what is possible. To remove such risks we would need to remove ourselves from that field, and in doing so remove ourselves from the discoveries and innovations inherent in it. ::He steepled his index fingers.:: I choose to be present for those discoveries and innovations, and to face those challenges with the support of my colleagues and friends.
DeVeau: I know.
::If anyone knew what it was like to have been in her shoes, Saveron did. He’d metioned his own experience in a similar situation.::
DeVeau: I just wish there was a way to remove the risks without stepping away from the opportunities.
::He had observed previously the tendency to express a preference for the impossible. It was illogical but knowledge of that fact was often implied even as the desire was spoken.::
Saveron: The question is: are the opportunities worth the risks?
::They had spoken before of minimising risk; eventually there came a point where they must simply be accepted.::
::That question was immediately met with silence. Perhaps she had to medidate over the answer, but she finally whispered.::
DeVeau: Yeah. I guess they are.
::Another brief smile manifested and she straightened up.::
DeVeau: At least you’re back. Got to try and focus on the positive...right?
Saveron: That is, I believe, the most sensible approach.
::He deliberately didn’t say ‘logical’. He was learning that logic did not apply for everyone in all situations. Alora particularly had been through significant trauma recently; it would be more healthy to focus on positive aspects than her apparent distress at his situation.::
::Still those were people who had gotten left behind. Despite the fact they were duplicates and one of them she didn’t know well, Alora’s heart hurt for them.::
DeVeau: Maybe what I need is closure. Maybe I’m not the only one who needs it either.
::Would the fates of their duplicates affect others negatively? Certainly it was possible, for those who knew himself, Core and Shandres well.::
Saveron: That may indeed be true. ::He knew that he had spent time considering his duplicate’s fate.:: If agreement can be reached, I would find it preferable to return to the cave we inhabited.
::Alora didn’t think he’d ever want to go back.::
Saveron: The Peppalexans removed their remains and belongings, but it is possible that my duplicate may have found something with which to imbue his katra. If so then I would consider it preferable to retrieve it.
::Alora was familiar enough with Vulcan culture to understand the context.::
DeVeau: I never thought about that. I think I’d like to do something more immediate. A memorial service.
::He had been present at memorial services for Starfleet members lost in service.::
Saveron: I would have no objection. ::He allowed.:: Would you welcome assistance?
DeVeau: You don’t have to...but I wouldn’t mind you being there, if you don’t mind being there
Saveron: One wonders whether we might be able to negotiate with the Peppalexans for return of the remains.
::Some cultures put a lot of importance in remains. His people less so, though they were more respectful than Klingons. For Vulcans it was the katra that was important.::
DeVeau: Perhaps but...I think if we honour them at the very least, that would be something. Closure.
::There was that word again, and yet it was so important for Humans - maybe more for Alora because she’d never been in situations where she had gone through so much and needed that sort of thing.::
Saveron: Please inform me if I can assist. I would have no objection.
::After all, in many ways it would be something that was done for him. He appreciated the idea that his other self’s sacrifice should be honoured, as should Core and Shandres’.::
DeVeau: I will. Thank you.
Lt. Cmdr. Saveron
Lt. Alora DeVeau
Chief of ScienceUSS Garuda