Alt!DeVeau: This is more perilous than most. ::She paused.:: Some have given up hope.
::He knew that, but there was little he could do about it beyond continue to lead them. The Federation was gone, Starfleet reduced to scattered rebels and their allies; no one was required to be where they were. Anyone who wanted out could be dropped off on the next barely-habitable world they visited.::
Alt!Saveron: Have you? ::He asked bluntly.::
::No hesitation marked that single word and she punctuated it with a sharp shake of her head. Then, she turned the question back on him.::
Alt!DeVeau: Have you?
::Had he given up hope? It depended on what one was hoping for. Of fighting off the Dominion and re-establishing the Federation in all it’s glory? Oh yes; that was never going to happen. Of there proving to be some overwhelming good in sentient-kind? No, he’d seen too much self-interest at work. Of taking as many Jem’Hadar as he could with him and maybe carving out some tiny sanctuary beyond their control in the process? Maybe. But Alora, her hope still bright in her eyes, did not need to hear that.::
Alt!Saveron: Negative. Where there is life there must be hope.
::That elicited one of her smiles, pale though it was.::
Alt!Saveron: We are a beacon in the darkness, Alora. We represent what may be done when we stand together, and in doing so we bring hope to others. Tomorrow we will bring hope to those refugees you identifies; hope they have no doubt lost.
Alt!DeVeau: Then we will bring them hope.
::Alora inhaled deeply, the smoke causing her lungs to itch, one which was eased as she let the air out slowly.::
Alt!DeVeau: Never give up. There is always something to fight for.
::She had told Raissa as much, though how well those words would stick, she couldn’t tell.::
Alt!DeVeau: I’m preparing for the worst and hoping for the best.
::Yet there was that unspoken doubt that lingered in the silence.::
Alt!Saveron: That is logical. ::And sometimes all that they could do.:: You will not be alone; the entire crew is behind this effort.
::He would give her that. She had inspired a hope in them that went beyond the gritty determination they seemed to draw from their Captain. Alora really was a child out of time; she seemed to embody that hope for a better future.::
Alt!DeVeau: I know.
::Yet that knowledge did not shake the uneasiness that grew within her.::
Alt!DeVeau: Would you mind if I remained here and meditated a bit with you?
::Normally he preferred to meditate undisturbed, and he kept the crew at a distance. He was closest to Mei’konda, but the two of them were brothers in arms, survivors of some of the fiercest firefights of the War. He’d been there when the Caitian had lost his eye - and nearly his life - to a Jem’Hadar Elder; carried him out when his knee was smashed. It was thanks to his friend’s quick actions that he had only a scar on his cheek, and not a missing eye to match.::
::Alora had come to the crew much more recently, and was more of an unknown. Was she having apprehensions of her own mortality? They all had those. Some drank, some used substances that had been illicit in the time when anyone cared, some sought brief amorous liasons. Some just accepted that it was only a matter of time.::
::Yet allowing her request would cost him nothing.::
Alt!Saveron: You may.
::For some time, Alora remained with him, silent, allowing her mind to focus on the room, his breathing, her breathing, the flicker of the candlelight. Eventually, however, she rose, at first in silence then a gentle whisper of words uttered. There was a thanks followed by the murmur of something else, not quite audible, even to sensitive Vulcan ears. When she turned and aimed for the door, a tune played upon her lips, gentle, soft, far lighter in spirit than he atmosphere should have dictated. Then, the doors parted and closed behind her, thrusting the solitary Vulcan once more into complete silence.::
::A soul out of another time, searching for something that simply wasn’t there. Saveron wondered, as Alora silently left, how much of a hold this reality had on her, and she on it. Would she become more grounded in life on the Ronin, or pass briefly through their lives and on to some other future?::
Crewmember Alora DeVeau (Alt)