((Starbase 118 Ops - Alora’s Quarters))
Alora’s fingers danced lightly over the strings as she hugged her guitar. Although the song was not new to her in the sense she’d never heard it, it was new in that she’d never attempted to play it before. Bourrée in E minor by Bach was a masterpiece that she was determined to learn, and would play it well or not at all. To get to that point would take time, and she’d only just begun, but she would work at it a little at a time until she was satisfied. Or maybe not satisfied.
The scientist paused and perused the notation on the music in front of her before she took up position once more. She’d only gotten a couple of notes out when the computer beeped at her.
Computer: Incoming call from Lieutenant Lazarus Davis of the USS Constitution- B. Alora’s hand froze and she glanced over at the console upon the desk that squatted in one corner of her living area. A call? Alora didn’t know any Lazarus, and she certainly wasn’t expecting a call from the Constitution. Not that it mattered - she would take it regardless.
Leaning the guitar against the couch, she rose and made her way over to the desk, plopping in her chair. Was it an official call? Well, whoever it was calling was going to have to deal with the fact she was in her civvies. Tapping the console, she smiled brightly into the screen, and at the unfamiliar face that greeted her.
DeVeau: =/\=Alora here. Hello!=/\=
Davis: =/\= Hello, er, Lieutenant Commander DeVeau. Alora. This is Chief Science Officer Lieutenant Davis. Lazarus. =/\=
He sat upright at his office desk. Before making the call, he checked his uniform and comm badge to make sure they all looked spot on. Important to make good first impressions, especially in cross-fleet communiques.
DeVeau: =/\=A pleasure to meet you. I’d shake your hand, but that’d be a little difficult. How can I help you?=/\=
Alora’s warmth was obvious, almost emanating from the display.
Davis: =/\= Likewise! I’m afraid I have a rather mundane favor to ask of you. Can you submit an expert opinion on this report? =/\=
DeVeau: =/\= Mundane? Mundane isn’t necessarily a /bad/ thing. As for can I, yes, I can. What report, what kind of opinion, and will I get into trouble? =/\=
Davis: :: flash of a wry smile :: =/\= I don’t think so. Hopefully you’ll agree with my conclusions, but I’m no expert on xenobotany. On the Constitution, we recently had an *incident* with an escaped genetically modified wasp. =/\=
DeVeau: =/\= Ooo! Really! Do tell. What kind of incident? Modified how? =/\=
Alora laced her fingers together and leaned forward, eyes wide, the green bright with interest. A playful smile hovered over her lips as she regarded the rather serious faced man in front of her.
Davis: :: He elected to pretend to not hear the first question, at least for now. :: =/\= Well that’s where you come in. The wasps were to be modified to both pollinate and defend plants, derived from African Violets, used in a geo-engineering effort on Calsus VI. =/\=
DeVeau: =/\= Wait, seriously? That means they took my recommendation! =/\=
Alora popped up and clapped her hands together. Lazarus coked his head slightly, amused by her exuberance.
DeVeau: =/\=I /told/ them it was the /perfect/ environment for African Violets. Someone actually listened to me! Well now! I feel honoured!=/\=
Davis: =/\= Oh, then it sounds like I have the exact right person. =/\=
He smiled a half smile. It was an unpleasant memory, but he could also appreciate Alora’s excitement. The thrill of knowledge!
DeVeau: =/\=Oh right, Wasps. The Wasps. So you used wasps, not bees? Why is that? Wasps are aggressive little buggers. =/\=
Davis: =/\= Well, that was kind of the problem. My team was carrying out an experiment on wasps, as I understand it, exactly because they are so aggressive. There’s some local insects and fauna that would like to get a hold of those violets. My team was involved in the first steps of the project: learning how to control the lifespans of the wasps. =/\=
DeVeau: =/\= Gotcha. Okay, so wasps, not bees. Makes sense with that type of situation. So, tell me about the lifespans. Have you found them to be shorter? Longer? What happened?=/\=
Davis: =/\= Mm. A rather sentimental member of my department had a specimen with a bad fuse, and he thought it would be better to just let it live out its natural life. In theory I don’t disagree… but he did it secretly, and poorly. =/\=
DeVeau: =/\= Secretly and poorly? Okay, this sounds like this is where things get interesting. And...not so much fun. What happened?=/\=
That was the part where things went awry. Chaos theory - if something was going to go wrong, it would. Well, maybe that wasn’t exactly it, but it was close, and they were in Starfleet. If something /could/ go wrong, it /would/ go wrong.
There was no sense in dressing up the story. The cold hard facts were hard to confront.
Davis: =/\= Got out and into a pressure suit. Nearly killed our Chief of Security. =/\=
Lazarus’ brow furrowed. Not only was it a scary and painful memory, seeing his comrade injured… but it was humiliating. It happened almost immediately after he took control of the department.
DeVeau: =/\= Oh man, that’s not good.=/\=
And the smile faded. Even when trying to do something positive, to effect a beneficial change, it seemed like sometimes, things fell apart, now matter how hard one tried to keep it together. Alora understood that all too well.
DeVeau: =/\=Who’s your chief? Is he okay?=/\=
Or she. Either way…
Davis: =/\= Lieutenant Commander Yito. She fully recovered, fortunately, but it was pretty close. =/\=
DeVeau: =/\=I’m glad to hear that. So...where do I come in?=/\=
Davis: =/\= Me too! Ok, I’m sending you my report now. Part of the incident report is an analysis of the scientific merit of the wasp study to determine if the study was even warranted in the first place, given the danger. It’s my opinion and the opinion of my team that it is, but we need an expert opinion of the value of the plants the wasps were meant to pollinate and protect. =/\=
DeVeau: =/\=Otherwise, what’s the point?=/\=
Davis: =/\= Precisely. :: beat :: Sorry to meet on these terms–a dangerous incident and a boring report–but I deeply appreciate the help. =/\=
DeVeau: =/\= I’ll read this over and get you a report in the next twenty-four hours. As for appreciation, I’m sure there is /something/ you can do in return.=/\=
Alora’s eyes glittered with the grin that spread across her face, mischievousness running rampant over her expression.
Davis: =/\= Then I guess I owe you a favor. :: wryly smiling :: Should I be concerned? Or are you a reasonable person to be indebted to? =/\=
DeVeau: =/\= Well...that depends. =/\=
Davis: =/\= On what! =/\=
DeVeau: =/\=On who you ask.=/\=
Davis: :: laughing :: =/\= Excellent. Sounds like you’ll keep me on my toes. =/\=
DeVeau: =/\=There are a few here and there who could give you hint. Now I have to think of what you can do for me. I may need to get back to you.=/\=
Davis: =/\= Well, the offer stands. Writing this report will be really helpful. I typically wouldn’t get so invested in these kinds of things, but since there was a serious injury… Anyway. Enough about all that. How’s life on the starbase? =/\=
DeVeau: =/\= Life is interesting. We had a mission dealing with a rogue Borg collective that had taken over a ship called the USS Nimitz about a decade ago. =/\=
Davis: =/\= So, the opposite of dull. That sounds… complicated. =/\=
DeVeau: =/\= If it were dull, we’d be bored.=/\=
Davis: =/\= It’s funny to think that despite being on a Galaxy class, I’m isolated compared to you. =/\=
That made Alora pause and she canted her head to the side as she regarded the man across from her.
DeVeau: =/\= Isolated? In what way?=/\=
Davis: =/\= Hm? Oh, Uh… All the people, you know? We may have a lot of people here for a ship, but it’s still nothing compared to a starbase. =/\=
Alora sighed, but the sound wasn’t sad - rather wistful. She’d served on other starbases before, a long time ago. She still hadn’t gone back to visit the CyberSpiders. Well, she’d take the chance in a few months - she’d only come back to work a few months prior, it wouldn’t do to ask for leave so soon.
DeVeau: =/\= I’ll let you in on a little secret.=/\=
Davis: =/\= What’s that? =/\=
DeVeau: =/\= Before Ops, I was stationed on DSX for a while, then Astrofori for a while, before it was destroyed. Even in a Starbase, you tend to only know a certain amount of people. Those are the ones you work with the most, interact with the most. You might do that with a few more because you have access to things like museums and restaurants, but really? Most of those are fly by night interactions. =/\=
Davis: =/\= I suppose that makes sense. I guess it’s more that there’s a variety of people to see out and about. Everywhere I go there are familiar faces. That’s not a *bad* thing, per se, just the homogeneity can feel a little stale. Like never leaving the small town you grew up in. You ever serve on a ship? =/\=
DeVeau: =/\= Oh yeah, several. The Mercury, Invicta, Garuda, Za, Veritas. It was pretty much the same there as on the ship. That being said, I’m sure you’ll find circumstances that will allow you to get to know people who are new to you - you just have to look for them. And there’s something to be said about having those familiar faces surrounding you all the time. Even if you recognise them, you don’t necessarily know them. That leaves all sorts of opportunities.=/\=
Davis: =/\= Well I think today, I might have made a new friend. :: smiling :: Or at least a new colleague. =/\=
Alora leaned forest, elbow on her desk and rest her chin upon the palm of her hand.
DeVeau: =/\=I should hope so - I love meeting new people and making new friends. =/\=
Davis: =/\= Indeed. Just be sure to not get indebted to me. =/\=
DeVeau: =/\= Oh?=/\=
A single eyebrow arched upward in a manner that was reminiscent of a Vulcan, though the smile that remained upon her face was anything but.
DeVeau: =/\=Why is that?=/\=
Davis: :: wryly:: =/\= I collect my debts. =/\=
Alora laughed, the musical sound ringing across the intercom, then shook her head.
Davis: =/\= Mm. Just don’t be surprised if I call you up one day: “Alora, I need help polishing all the sensor lenses in the biology labs.” =/\=
DeVeau: =/\= I believe in this case, you are the one indebted to me.=/\=
Davis: =/\= True, true. It only seemed fair to let you know what you’d be in for. =/\=
DeVeau: =/\=We’ll see. I’ll let you know when I intend to collect mine. In the meantime, don’t hesitate calling upon me again - even if you just need someone different to chat with.=/\=
Davis: =/\= Thank you! You know, I just might. As department head, it is sometimes hard to “talk shop” with the other scientists on board. There’s that added context of “oh jeeze, this is my boss.” :: beat :: I’m glad we are acquainted. =/\=
Deveau:=/\= It was really great to meet you...sort of. Hopefully some time we can do it in person.=/\=
Davis: =/\= That would be great! I’ll be sure to look you up if i’m ever in the sector. =/\=
DeVeau: =/\=Yes, that would be amazing! Catch you later gator!=/\=
With that, comlink disconnected and Alora was once more left with a blank screen. That had been unexpected, but fun. Random calls could be a rather delightful interruption in the monotony that marked some days.
Lieutenant Lazarus Davis
Chief Science Officer
(he/him; player & character)
Lt. Cmdr. Alora DeVeau
Starbase 118 Ops