((Starbase 118 Ops - Captain’s Quarters))
Alora was on a mission. That mission was to see the Captain. It was important. Very important. There was a baby involved, and that baby needed a forever home. Alora had a feeling that the captain would be able to provide that forever home. Besides, it was tradition. She couldn’t /not/ give him one. She’d given others to her new fellow officers - now it was his turn.
So Alora made her way to his quarters. Like she had with Commander Nijil, she’d decided to choose a specific one. All she had to do was to get it to him. When she arrived, as she had many times before, she hit the button that announced she was there. As soon as the doors parted, she stepped inside, her smile bright as she regarded her superior officer.
DeVeau: Hello Captain!
Sal Taybrim was letting thoughts move around his mind in a relaxed state, not so much organizing thoughts as he was allowing them to pass by his consciousness to see if any of them were thoughts he wanted to explore more thoroughly. He rarely had visitors here, most everyone came to his office in the hub. Clearly german Galven had let slip where his private quarters were.
Still, the empathic read he had was pleasant and positive which immediately brought a smile to his face. Sal was no hermit, the privacy was for sheer practicality on a starbase full of tens of thousands.
Taybrim: Ah, Alora, please come in.
He waved her inside the unique, organic looking room which was lined with well kept built in planters filled with a variety of greenery and mosses native to Betazed.
DeVeau: I hope you’re doing well.
Taybrim: Well enough. Please come in ::he rose and waved her in.:: What brings you by? Everything ok?
Sal had a natural sort of ‘counselor mode’ that he fell into with conversations, seeking to gauge the other person’s emotional level and how they were feeling before moving forward. Generally empathy gave him a good read, but he liked to back that up with actual conversation - something that made him somewhat of an anomaly with the strong telepaths on his homeworld.
DeVeau: I’m fine thank you. I just wanted to bring you a little something.
She lifted the potted plant. It was a young one, but it would grow and eventually get bigger. That particular variety sported dark green foliage with a scalloped edge. The blossoms, of which there were already a few, were semi-doubles of a medium lavender, but the outer edge of each petal was a rich violet. Those petals were full enough that they almost completely hid the bright yellow anther.
Taybrim: It is completely lovely. Please, tell me more about it.
His dark eyes sparkled a bit. It was clear from the abundance of foliage - and lack of pets - that Sal was a plant person rather than an animal person. He pulled out a chair for her and gestured for her to make herself comfortable.
Alora accepted the gentlemanly invitation and lowered herself into the chair. He seemed genuinely pleased with the gift which, considering the other residents of his quarters, was appropriate. She was glad there were so many plant lovers aboard the station, though she hoped to help cultivate that love among the more hesitant as well.
DeVeau: Oh, they're very easy to care for. They hail from Earth. They originally grew in the forests of Africa, beneath the canopies. They're very hardy and adaptable. In fact, they've been known to grow in soil so shallow, they would grow on the rocks in the forest!
Taybrim: Really? Fascinating! ::He leaned forward, curious.:: And how does one care for a plant like this?
DeVeau: If you check your messages, I've already sent instructions.
In fact, she had done so just before getting off the turbolift so that she wouldn't ruin the surprise.
DeVeau:. There are programs in the replicator files for both soil and various pot sizes as needed.
Taybrim: Oh, perfect! ::he was impressed, perhaps even a little delighted at the forethought and tapped the nearby desk padd to confirm receipt of the message as his dark eyes twinkled.::
DeVeau:. It's my pleasure. I love giving them and spreading beauty. Don't hesitate to call me if you have any questions.
Spreading beauty was a wonderful and noble cause, one that Sal Taybrim would happily support.
Taybrim: Will do! I am quite fond of plants so hopefully this one will be right at home.
Alora turned to gaze at the greenery that surrounded her. She was certainly in good company.
DeVeau:. I didn't realise you already had a botanical menagerie. I have to admit, I'm enjoying the extra space being here on a station. I had to keep my collection much smaller on a ship.
He grinned softly and easily.
Taybrim: You will be able to indulge your passions here, we have plenty of space.
DeVeau:. Which one is your favourite?
He shifted his position and brushed his hand against a soft pile of soft green fronds
Taybrim: These are Betazoid rock ferns, very soft, almost soothing in their presence. They were common around Arenthna Province where I grew up ::he smiled fondly.::
Deveau: They are lovely indeed. And that’s not one that I have.
Alora knew, of course, she was going to acquire one as soon as possible. Now that she had more room, she could expand her collection, and she would take every available space she had to do so.
Taybrim: Well, to turn it around, what is your favorite? ::he queried with curiosity.::
Alora motioned toward the plant that was now a part of her Captain’s home.
DeVeau: That’s the one I give away. I have other plants, other species, some from worlds beyond Earth, but the African Violet has always been my favourite.
Taybrim: And why the violet? ::he asked with a curious expression.::
Alora didn’t have to think about that - she’d been asked the question enough times, and it was easy enough to answer.
DeVeau: Despite some pickiness, it’s actually a very hardy plant. It’s adaptable, and it’s a fighter. They don’t give up easily, and even when conditions are against them, you’ll be surprised at how they can bounce back even when it seems like they’ve given up.
And they had always been a part of her life. Her mother had grown them. Her mother’s mother. Her great grandmother had even talked about how /her/ great grandmother had them. It seemed that, if nothing else, there was a generational love for the houseplant that had been carried down through centuries. Alora, however, had carried it to the stars.
Taybrim: That is an admirable quality in a plant or a person ::he smiled softly.:: I can see the parallels in life and Starfleet.
DeVeau: As can I.
Sometimes it was hard to bounce back - Alora had found that to be true, especially recently. However, like Raymond said, one day at a time. One day at a time.
He settled back calmy, just enjoying the quiet chance to chat.
Taybrim: How have you been settling in on Ops?
DeVeau: Very well actually. People here have been wonderful, and I’ve met quite a few.
Taybrim: I’m glad to hear that! Who have you all met so far? ::He asked, ever planning on how to make more positive connections between people.::
DeVeau: Well, besides you and the...first officer…
There was some hesitation at the mention of him. Their meeting and interactions had been...mixed. Mainly, she was trying to avoid him. After a moment, Alora realised she had let some silence creep into the conversation, so she cleared her throat and continued.
DeVeau: I’ve met Attikus, Penny, Taelon. Ruwon! I actually worked with him on the Za, and didn’t realise he was here on the Station, but found out so we got to reconnect, which was wonderful! Oh, Masha and I have made plans!
Alora’s eyes twinkled mischievously at that little tidbit and her smile turned into an all out grin.
Taybrim: Plans? ::He caught that mischievous look and queried:: What sort of plans?
DeVeau: Well, we were discussing a ball. Perhaps a masquerade ball.
The prospect excited her. Alora loved to dress up, loved to dance, and loved to mingle. A masquerade would be fun, and the costumes, oh she could just imagine the costumes! That was the best part of the entire thing - seeing the imagination that people put into what they were going to wear. Sometimes there was a theme in what people did, and sometimes, it was just something they created with no real sense of anything, but it was beautiful just the same. Then, of course, the dancing…
DeVeau: Would...that be a possibility, perchance?
Taybrim: ::he smiled, enjoying that idea.:: You know that sounds quite lovely. Are you thinking of a shore leave activity?
Sal would readily admit he loved parties. Any excuse to get people together and enjoying themselves.
DeVeau: Shore leave, next time we have some sort of award ceremony. We were thinking of doing it and then using it as a jumping point for a regular social dancing activity - though not as involved.
Taybrim: Oh? Do you have a venue in mind?
DeVeau: Well, there is the ballroom. Is it used much? It would be nice to have an actual ball in the ballroom!
Dancing. She loved dancing. Actually, Alora loved many things, and wished there were more opportunities to indulge in some of her extra curricular activities with other. Doing things by herself was well, good, and fun, but doing it with others was exciting. To share that enjoyment with others, to see their excitement and their pleasure in the event was almost as much fun as actively participating in it.
Taybrim: I think it’s more often used as a conference room. They have a special floor that can be pulled back to reveal the polished ballroom floor. ::he considered this. It had been at least two years since he had been in the ballroom - far too long.::
DeVeau: May I have permission then to pursue this? Do you want to coordinate it with any other event?
Taybrim: Yes, of course! This sounds like a lovely plan!
DeVeau: Oh good! Thank you for allowing it!
Taybrim: Certainly, by virtue of your rank you have access to the public facilities calendar - pick any open day and put in a request. That simple, should go through in a matter of a day or two.
One side of Alora’s mouth quirked up.
DeVeau: Maybe, but I’m still new here. Rank, or no, I don’t want to assume, and I don’t want to overstep my boundaries. ::She paused a moment, eyes glittering with mischievousness.:: So...I can make this a big deal, right? .
Fleet Captain Sal Taybrim
StarBase 118 ops
Lt. Cmdr. Alora DeVeau
Starbase 118 Ops