OOC: Takes place before Alora's promotion.
((Starbase 118 Ops & USS Constitution-B)) When the message had appeared in her inbox, Alora had certainly been surprised. The last time she had really talked to Saveron had been years prior, and at that point, their conversation had not really been, as a Vulcan might put it, amicable. Instead, they had parted on less than friendly terms, and Alora’s heart had been broken.
When the message had appeared in her inbox, a plethora of thoughts had flooded through her mind. Despite the way they had left things, there were still a lot of fond memories associated with the Vulcan, and his son, and Alora would have been lying if she’d said they had not played a significant role in the few years they had been an active part of her life.
When the message appeared in her inbox, there had been an interesting array of emotions that came to the forefront as well. There was still a sense of hurt - not that she was pining for him. No, any romantic notions toward him were long gone. However, Alora still cared about him, and she couldn’t help but still be a little hurt by the way he had left things, by the way he’d been so unwilling to sit down and just talk to her. At the same time, she knew she would always love him. Not in an amorous way, but as someone she cared about - and Saavok too.
In the end, she’d decided to simply let it go. Maybe if it ever came up, they might have that talk, discuss things, but it wasn’t worth holding on to. Things had changed so drastically, and if he hadn’t cut things off, her life might have turned out very different. Despite the terrible things that had happened, she would never have wanted to not experience the wonderful things that had preceded them. And she never truly wanted to lose a valued friend. With that in mind, Alora found herself in front of her console in the privacy of her quarters. For a few moments, she simply stared at the console. Even with the message and her own desire to reconnect, she had to admit, she felt a little odd contacting him after so long. Finally, chiding herself for her hesitation, Alora opened a channel.
DeVeau: Computer, establish a connection with Commander Saveron of the USS Constitution-B.
A moment later, that thin, familiar face appeared on the screen, and Alora couldn’t prevent a warm smile from spreading over her own.
DeVeau: Hey Sav.
The call was unexpected. He and Alora hadn’t spoken since their relationship of several months had ended, and he’d been transferred off the Invicta. He’d assumed that she’d preferred it that way, given her reaction to his preference that they end their relationship. The strength of it had shocked him, made him realise how little he understood the psychology of other species. That was before he’d trained as a Counsellor.
He had never meant to hurt her, he held her in very high regard and still did, but it had become increasingly apparent to him that whilst they’d been firm friends, they had very different expectations of relationships. To ‘make it work’ between them, they would have to change both their expectations, and themselves. Given the 497 billion sentient beings in the Federation, the short time they’d been together and the fact that he was transferring, he had deemed it more logical that they separate, and consider relationships with others.
Alora hadn’t agreed with his logic, and he’d learned a very hard lesson in how logic often played no part in the relationships of other species. Not as hard perhaps as the lesson Alora had learned about loving Vulcans.
Saveron: Alora. ::He acknowledged.:: It is agreeable to hear from you.
And he meant it. When he’d composed the letter to send to friends on Ops, he’d included her despite their mutual silence, because he would not exclude her from amongst his friends. Quite the opposite. For a moment the muscles at the corners of his mouth tightened slightly, the ghost of a Vulcan smile.
Perhaps enough time had passed.
Saveron: Are you well?
DeVeau: I seem to be! I hope you are well.
Alora’s gaze shifted to the side slightly, as if she expected there to be another figure there with him. Not that there was. No other form appeared besides that of Saveron herself, but when Saveron came to mind, another miniature version was always thought of at the same time.
DeVeau: How is Saavok?
Saveron: I am in acceptable health, as is Saavok. I will convey to him your enquiry. He will be interested to know that you called.
The distance placed between her and Saavok had been as much a heartbreak as Saveron’s unwillingness to talk to her about things and the sudden breaking of the relationship. She’d loved the son as much as she had loved the father.
DeVeau: Please do. It’s been a long time. I can’t imagine how much he’s grown.
Saveron: Considerably. ::He said dryly.:: He is now fifteen Standard Years old.
A ‘teenaager’, an adolescent by the standards of most species, though as was normal for a Vulcan he lagged his peers in physical development.
DeVeau: I’d love to chat with him too at some point, if he’s interested. I’ve missed him.
And she’d missed Saveron too, though the way in which she’d missed him had changed over time.
Saveron: I do not doubt that he would be. I will inform him.
And he would.
DeVeau: So what’s new with you? Probably a lot. After all, in Starfleet, an almost endless amount of things could occur in a single year, much less several.
He considered; much had changed since they had last spoken.
Saveron: It may not surprise you that I undertook training in diplomacy, intending to pursue that track, which included a psychology qualification and a post on the Constitution as her Counsellor.
When they’d last served together he’d been a medical officer.
A single eyebrow arched upward. A counselor? Interesting. She’d never known a Vulcan counselor - not that it was a bad thing, she just hadn’t expected it.
Saveron: I have now been asked to take on the role as her First Officer, which is a change of direction. ::He acknowledged.:: But I serve where I am of the greatest benefit.
DeVeau: As a member of Starfleet, that’s what we’re called to do. How are you finding the new position?
Saveron: I have acted in the role previously, and do not object to filling it again. ::It was different certainly, but not disagreeable.:: I would be interested to hear ‘what is new’ with yourself. Am I correct in thinking that you are returned following a period of leave?
He’d taken leave himself in the past. Many officers did. Starfleet recognised that other aspects of life sometimes necessitated it.
DeVeau: A short leave, yes. I spent the better part of a year at a research facility.
There, Alora descended into silence. For the most part, her expression remained unchanged, save for the tightening of her jaw, a bit of tension around her normally glittering eyes. Finally, she offered a little more.
It was an unusual expression for the normally vivacious young woman, but the Vulcan was hesitant to probe further.
DeVeau: There was an accident. I had a lot of healing to do. But I’m back now.
Saveron: That is regrettable. ::He said with care, but also empathy.:: It is agreeable that you have returned, but it would have been preferable that your absence had not been necessary.
DeVeau: Well, sometimes things happen that you don’t expect. The time off was needed.
Not that she had wanted to take the time off, but it would have been foolish not to. It also would have been foolish to extend it any further than it had gone. While she knew she had needed to recuperate, she’d also started going crazy from not working. Starfleet gave her a sense of purpose and normalcy, something desperately needed.
The Vulcan considered carefully.
Saveron: Should I ask about the nature of the accident?
He didn’t want to pry if she didn’t want to share - or revisit - but he still cared for Alora and the idea that she had been badly injured was disagreeable.
There was a slight uptick of her chin, just the barest hint of motion as she mulled over the question.
DeVeau: Probably just best if you read it in my file. You likely have the clearance - but it was a classified project - and I didn’t request a secure line.
The slight lift of Alora’s chin was mirrored by a slight lowering of Saveron’s the faintest of nods.
Saveron: That is not necessary. I only considered that you might wish to talk about it.
But he trusted that Alora had received appropriate treatment and counselling, had been able to offload on someone.
DeVeau: I don’t think I can really add much more than what’s in there, but if you have questions, you can ask if we’re on a secure line. Anyway, how are you finding things on the Constitution?
Saveron: I find the Constitution and her crew agreeable. In nature she is not dissimilar to our postings in the Menthar corridor, being also a deep space exploration mission. I have been with her for four Standard years now, and have formed appropriate relationships with the rest of the crew.
Four years. Somehow he hadn’t thought of it in those terms before now, though his calculations were accurate.
Four years. It had been almost five since they had last spoken. Had so much time really passed? To Alora, it seemed likely barely any time had passed - and yet, also almost as if a century had.
DeVeau: What about Saavok?
Saveron: Saavok still accompanies me. He is focusing on Science in his studies, and has shown a particular interest in Botany and Environmental Engineering. ::So not medicine like his father, but still bioscience.:: My daughter T’Sera has also come aboard as a civilian astrophysicist.
Alora’s eyes lit up. Saavok? Botany? Did her short presence in his life have anything to do with that? Probably not, but Alora would be more than happy to cultivate that interest.
DeVeau: Then perhaps I can help encourage him in those pursuits. I never had the pleasure of meeting T’Sera.
Alora had seen a picture of her - though she had been quite a bit younger.
Saveron: Her company is agreeable, as is the opportunity to develop our relationship now that she is adult. ::He paused for a moment.:: She was close to her mother, after we were Unbound.
Ah, yes. T’Rel. Even though they were no longer a couple and never would be again, Alora still couldn’t help but feel a sense of resentment toward the woman. She’d treated Saveron horribly.
DeVeau: I see.
Saveron: T’Rel achieved kolinahr. I trust you appreciate what effect the true purging of all emotion would have on one’s mind, and relationships. Particularly amongst telepaths.
Unfortunately T’Sera hadn’t truly appreciated it, until it had happened. She’d admired her mother’s devotion to the ways of the Temple of Gol, but sometimes wanting was more satisfying than having. Deep down, a child wanted there to be love in a parent’s touch.
Yes. Yes she could. Honestly, Alora felt sorry for T’Sera.
DeVeau: How does she like being on the Constitution?
What would it be like to work with family? That was another pleasure Alora had never known. The one brother who had entered into Starfleet had never been posted in the same place as she. Adrien had been aboard DSX, but as usually, he never stuck around for very long, and he hadn’t exactly been a part of Starfleet, even as a civilian. It would be so nice to have some family close - birth family. But, it wasn’t to be.
Saveron: I believe that she finds the pseudo-military structure of Starfleet somewhat challenging, particularly when viewed from the outside. She is also unaccustomed to working with other species, but is taking it as an educational opportunity.
That didn’t mean that she didn’t think her dad had gone native and her brother was growing up feral. But given her recent experience of the other extreme, she was prepared to give the benefit of the doubt. Whether or not T’Sera remained on board long term was still very much in question.
DeVeau: I imagine it’s a big adjustment. All in all, it sounds like all is going right for you.
Saveron: It is. Additionally, my second grandchild was born six months ago. A son named Allonis.
DeVeau: Really? Congratulations!
Babies. Alora loved babies. Well, Alora loved children in general, and she’d had no problem spending time with Saavok without his father when they had been together. Children were interesting.
Saveron: And are things ‘going right’ for you now, on Starbase 118?
Having to take long term leave due to an accident hardly counted as ‘going right’, but perhaps now that she was back in the fleet, things might have changed for the better.
DeVeau: Oh I’m loving it here. The facilities are stupendous and there are some really great people here. In fact…
There was a brief pause, and Alora’s eyes lit up with a hint of mischievousness.
DeVeau: I seem to have become acquainted with a couple of old acquaintances of yours.
Saveron: Indeed? I have served with a number of Operations crew.
In fact, he’d been just about to ask whether she’d met any.
DeVeau: Prudence Blackwell and Ashley Yael.
The Vulcan nodded in what was almost an amiable fashion.
Saveron: Rue served with me on the Constitution, as did Wyn Foster, if you meet him. Ashley and I were Ensigns together at the Embassy on Duronis II.
DeVeau: Oh! Wyn too, huh? He’s great. Love that little Andorian.
Saveron: It is agreeable that my friends are also now friends of each other.
DeVeau: And what about some of our mutual friends? How are my former babies doing?
Saveron: My African violets are prospering.
He stood and disappeared for a moment, to return with a small, protective environmental chamber containing four potted plants. That was to compensate for the fact that he kept his quarters at Vulcan Standard environmental settings, which would have cooked them.
Through the glass the plants were obviously healthy, and flowering.
DeVeau: I can’t say I’m surprised. You’re as diligent as anyone I’ve met, and the babies look so happy!
Indeed, if they weren’t, they would not be flowering. That was when you knew you were doing something right. For most of the year, Alora’s violets generally flowered, going dormant for short periods once or twice.
DeVeau: Let me know if you want any more.
The Vulcan inclined his head slightly in acknowledgement, though given the special environmental arrangements he had to make for them, the four ‘babies’ were plenty. But it was satisfying both that they were flourishing and that Alora was pleased to see them do so. That was the bright, effervescent personality he remembered.
She glanced at the clock, an eyebrow arching up. She hadn’t realised how much time had passed.
DeVeau: I should probably go - I’m meeting someone for dinner. It was great to talk with you again.
Saveron: It was agreeable to speak with you also. I trust that your dinner will prove agreeable.
DeVeau: If Saavok wants to call me, please let him know I’d love to talk with him. If y’all ever come to Ops, maybe we could do dinner or something.
Saveron: In fact, I understand that several of us will be attending and event on Starbase 118 at the end of the month. Preferably, one will see you there.
DeVeau: Yes. I would love that. If you stay more than one night, maybe we could have dinner together or something.
Saveron: Certainly. Live long and prosper.
He raised his hand in the ta’al, satisfied to know that, thus far, Alora had.
Alora raised her hand and repeated the gesture.
DeVeau: Dif tor heh smusma, my friend.
Lt. Cmdr. Alora DeVeau
Chief Science Officer
Starbase 118 Ops