((Starbase 118 Ops - Jalana’s Guest Quarters))
DeVeau: There’s another problem. I feel like he shouldn’t have to teach me. That I should be able to handle things without him putting more work on his plate.
Jalana reached across the table to pat Alora’s hand.
Rajel: He wasn’t a Commanding Officer from the start either, he knows how it feels to be a new First Officer. You are a team and you will do fine.
DeVeau: Thanks for the reassurance. Alora smiled and finished off the half of her bagel which she’d been slowly working on during the conversation. As she chewed, she picked up the second half, slathering an even thicker layer of topping onto it. Yes, she liked a little bagel with her cream cheese.
DeVeau: I didn’t know Saveron had become a first officer until we reconnected around Christmas. I imagine he’s an excellent one.
Rajel: Oh yes. He was just promoted around Christmas, so you actually got a timely update. He was a temporary FO for me before and he did a really great job, so when my First Officer left, it was just natural to ask him.
If anyone would be a natural, it would be Saveron. Vulcans in general were stereotypically calm, cool, and collected. Saveron, however, had something more. Even though he was a Vulcan, there was just something about him that made him stand out, that made him a perfect choice. Although Alora couldn’t exactly say what it was if she were asked, which she was sure a Vulcan would think illogical.
DeVeau: Honestly, I think he’s an excellent choice.
Rajel: I am a quite emotion- and impulse driven person, his logical and calm demeanor puts our teamwork in balance. For example in one of our missions we were in an outpost that was badly damaged and we found labs that were flooded with some gas. I saw someone unconscious inside and was about to jump inside through one of the broken windows but he held me back because the gas was most likely what knocked the scientist out. We then took the long route and all, but without his quick thinking who knows what would have happened.
A smile slid across Alora’s face and she nodded. Yep. That was Saveron. Thing was, it wasn’t just him being logical and calm, it was also him thinking about the other person. Emotions weren’t something he let slip outwardly, but inwardly, there was a deeply caring person.
DeVeau: We sound a lot alike. Honestly, it’s one of the reasons I thought we made a great couple. Jalana raised her eyes and a brow rose slightly up, together with a corner of her mouth forming a smirk.
Rajel: But dear Alora, usually I don't decide on such matters before we went at least on one date. But you'll have to buy dinner and woo me properly.
For a moment, Alora sat there and blinked at the red headed commodore. Then, she erupted in musical laughter, through her head back, then shaking it.
DeVeau: No! No! I mean, Sav and me! Sorry, but you’re not my type!
She continued to laugh, though it softened down to a giggle which she managed to stifle somewhat with a large bite of the second half of her bagel.
The Trill joined in the laughter and shook her head, raising a hand, her green eyes sparkling in amusement.
Rajel: That is your loss, dear, I am amazing. ::She grinned and shook her head again.:: No worries, it was a mere joke. I can’t resist a good opening. ::Leaning forward:: So Saveron and you?
That piqued her curiosity.
DeVeau: Yeah, several years ago, didn’t work out. I’m glad he’s found someone else though. Alora truly was. And while Kalin had been the sort to admit to emotions, there were other aspects of him that were similar to Saveron. Perhaps that was why they had made a great couple. They say that time healed all wounds, but the stab that gutted her then almost took Alora’s breath away. She should have known better. Quickly, she took another bite, lowering her gaze and trying to push her thoughts in a completely different direction before everything spiraled out of control.
DeVeau: How long have you been in Command of the Conny?
The sudden change of subject did not go unnoticed by Jala, but she wouldn’t go and push a subject on Alora she didn’t want to talk about. Of course she was still curious, but not enough to do that. She took a bite from her croissant and thought about that question.
Rajel: It’s been 5… no 6 years this June. ::A chuckle:: Man how time flies.
DeVeau: I have to admit, I hope that’s one job I’m never given.
Rajel: They usually ask before throwing you in. Granted for me it was right on the bridge presenting the ship and adding a line of ‘if you want it that is’. That is a little hard to decline but I know if I really didn’t want to I could have said that.
Alora couldn’t help but giggle. Well now, what would one say to that? No thank you? Well, for Alora, that would have been exactly the answer she would have given. Not her thing. She was quite happy to stay where she was.
DeVeau: So, almost six years ago, just sort of threw a ship at you, huh?
Rajel: It happened right after I was joined and I guess I got a little adventurous. ::Chuckling:: I also had that little nagging past life voice in my head, telling me that someone will be very unhappy if I do it, so I had to.
DeVeau: So a symbiote telling you not to made you do it, is that it?
Rajel: One of my past hosts was a Captain in the Trill Private Service, right at the time when Trill joined the Federation and the TPS was integrated into Starfleet. She was not happy about it back then so… ::smirking:: I had to show her that I do what I want.
Alora nodded as she took another bite of the bagel. Being joined with a symbiote sounded quite intriguing, but also confusing. To have that voice, and in a sense, multiple voices in one’s head.
DeVeau: Does it sometimes seem like the lines between you and your symbiote blur? How do you keep from losing yourself?
The question was fair, it was one of those things that was hard to grasp when one wasn’t joined. Despite being trained for it, it had been surprising for Jalana.
Rajel: It does, sometimes. You see, it isn’t that you actually talk with the Symbiont just like you don’t talk with your past self from last year. But you share memories. So something may make you remember something from the past, a situation, a smell, a name, all this stuff. So that’s the same for joined Trills, but with a lot more memories. ::She paused briefly:: There are times when I remember something and I forget that they are not my memories, because for the symbiont, they are his memories and emotions and shares them with me. But when I think about it I remember who they belonged to.
Munching on he bagel, Alora processed the information that had been shared. It sounded very complex, but she could, she supposed, get a sense of what she meant. Not necessarily by choice.
DeVeau: It sounds difficult.
It had been for her.
Rajel: It’s an active process of reminding myself who I am, something I do every day. It’s something we are trained for before being joined. That’s why that training takes so many years to prepare us for it, and why we get tested until the moment it happens to see if we are suitable. There have been times when a host became overwhelmed and that didn’t end well.
Including her own first host, something she had never talked about, and probably wouldn’t for a long time.
DeVeau: I see. I have to admit, it’s something that sounds difficult to truly comprehend, not in the same way as actually hosting a symbiote.
Well, she was not a Trill, but it was interesting to talk about, interesting to consider.
DeVeau: How long have you been joined?
Rajel: ::Smiling:: I was joined a week before I received Command. It was quite a gift.
She was especially proud of having reached that milestone without the help of that symbiont. It was all her own work and effort. Something that she sometimes had worried about when thinking about being joined, how much of that was actually her and how much was past experiences. But knowing she had gotten there by herself was something she reminded herself of every now and then.
DeVeau: What made you decide to pursue joining with a symbiote?
Jalana smiled and leaned back, crossing her legs as she recalled.
Rajel: I don’t know how familiar you are with the system but only a few people are chosen to become hosts and they undergo rigorous training to assure that they are the best choice for the symbiont. That makes it quite… prestigious. My father is an Ambassador but neither he, nor my mother or brother were suitable hosts. Back then when I applied I was young and still in training to follow my father’s footsteps. And it would have been the pride of the family if accepted and being his successor…
Ah, yes, parents were like that. There was something, it seemed, about having children and wanting them to succeed, whether it be in a shared field or in a field where the parents were not successful. For Alora’s mother, it was music and the stage. Her mother had never quite made it on the stage, and she had hoped her daughter would attain that goal. Yet, when Alora had turned to Science instead, she had both conveyed disappointment, but also support for her daughter’s chosen career. It was an interesting juxtaposition between desires, but nonetheless, Grace had never made her daughter feel less simply for taking a different path.
DeVeau: Going through the training changed things?
Rajel: ::nodding her head:: That is how it started. But after I got accepted, the more I learned the more I wanted to do it for myself and the symbiont. I realized that it was a true honor, and hoped I would be able to give that symbiont I would receive a new experience... One that is worth it. I still hope so. ::She smiled::
DeVeau: Even if the previous host didn’t want you to?
Alora grinned, finishing off the last of her bagel. Leaning back, Alora grabbed a napkin to wipe her hands and dab at her mouth. DeVeau: So, I was thinking, if you have time and want to explore some of the base, I could show you around.
Rajel: ::chuckling:: Even then. And yes that sounds like a wonderful idea. I have only seen a fraction of a percent during my last visit, I would love to see more.
Her whole face lit up and she suddenly felt as if she had some buzzing bees in her rear and got up. Then realized that Alora may have meant another time and hesitated.
Rajel: You do mean now, right? Because I’m ready to go. ::grinning::
DeVeau: Oh yes, I meant right now.
Rising, Alora’s expression matched that of the Commodores. She had eagerly anticipated spending time with friends, and now she had the opportunity to do so with her newest one. DeVeau: No time like the present. ********
Commodore Jalana Rajel
USS Constitution B
Image Team Co-Facilitator
Lt. Cmdr. Alora DeVeau
Starbase 118 Ops