Roraemey: Um… hello.
Solok: Greetings. ::He paused.:: It is ... somewhat unusual, to find you in the absence of Doctor Bailey. Are you well? Do you require assistance?
Roraemey: Oh… No, Doctor Solok. I was briefly unwell, but am now fine. No need for alarm.
Solok: I see. ::He paused, but could not tell whether Roraemey had more to say.:: I do not mean to detain you unnecessarily; please, feel free to go about your business and, if it is possible, to enjoy the ... ceremony.
::He could not bring himself to use the vulgar word, "party."::
::Instead of departing, however, Roraemey rose up to about half of Solok's height. The Vulcan took this to indicate a new and perhaps more formal mode of address. He listened.::
Roraemey: Doctor Solok, in your… society, in the Federation, how does one go about becoming a member of a fi nahe?
Solok: I do not believe I understand. A "task family"?
Roraemey: Apologies, the term is perhaps not entirely analogous. I think you would say… a ship crew? How would one join the crew of a ship?
Solok: Ordinarily, individuals interested in joining Starfleet must either enlist and attend basic training, or apply to Starfleet Academy to undergo a multiyear course of study prerequisite to service as an officer.
Roraemey: ...I see. And this is the case for everyone? Everyone who was on the Montreal, or who will be on this Astraeus vessel?
::Solok was silent for a moment.::
Solok: I do not know the histories of every member of the Astraeus. But there have always been exceptions to the customs and traditions of Starfleet service. Some individuals have served as representatives of their cultures or homeworlds, without rank, in either diplomatic, scientific, or other posts related to their expertise. ::He paused.:: Individuals from non-Federation planets often follow unique paths into Starfleet service, however. To be the first is, by definition, to go where none have gone before. Starfleet Command actually seems to appreciate that sort of thing.
::Roraemey was silent a moment, then turned her attention back to Solok. The Vulcan doctor was beginning to be able to differentiate between some of Roraemey's moods and gestures -- but not many, and not with regular success.::
Roraemey: Thank you, Doctor. You have been very helpful. ::She started to lower herself back to floor level, then rose back up.:: In the near future, if I am unable to do so at this gathering, I may need to ask you to arrange for me to speak with your Captain Mei’konda. Is that something you would be able to do?
Solok: It would honor me to arrange such a meeting, Roraemey. I come to serve.
::The two parted ways. For Solok's part, he was prepared for the formal ceremonial component of the gathering to occur. Such ceremonies, for all their pomp and all-too-human sentimentality, were among the most Vulcan elements of Starfleet life. Solok found them somewhat more tolerable than other sorts of social events.::
::Looking around the room, however, the Vulcan was puzzled. He could not locate Admiral Washington anywhere.::
((OOC: I've just wrapped up the tags, but I assume we can return to this conversation aboard the Astraeus at some later point, if you like!))