OOC: If anyone is interested in seeing a picture of the violet described in this post, you can find a picture here: https://img1.etsystatic.com/161/0/10047372/il_570xN.1112507121_477w.jpg
((Starbase 118 Ops - Nijil’s Office))
So many plants, so little time. Alora had plans to give as many as she could, cultivate more, then distribute those babies as well. First, she planned to give those with whom she would work the most closely with plants. Then, she’d branch out from there. Of course, higher ups counted, including the First Officer. Both he and the Captain needed something special, one of her violets that stood out from the rest. After much consideration, she chose one of her favourites, and decided to present it to him. So, after finishing her shift, Alora took the saintpaulia that she’d carried with her to her office and made her way over to Commander Nijil’s. Honestly, Alora wasn’t sure what to expect. They’d barely met, more of passing ships in the night, but she loved to give her plants, and it gave her an excuse to get to know him. Upon arriving, she pushed the button that alerted the commander to her arrival, then stepped through the doors once they opened.
::When the door chimed he stared for a long moment at the still closed doors. Then let them open.::
DeVeau: Hello Commander Nijil!
::Nijil hadn’t any meetings planned nor did he expect anyone during the final moment of shoreleave. His plan had been to focus on reports and an early night, very boring he knew. But as of late he found persistent headaches seemed to be a daily companion, and sleep helped. Plus.. he had spent most every night up very, very late.
Needless to say, he was surprised to see the newest science officer with a … plant helping herself into his office.::
Nijil: Afternoon… ::his tone was mildly concerned.::
Alora cradled the flora in her hands, then lifted it slightly so that he could get a better look. It was still young, but had already begun to flower. Three buds were curled up, not ready to awaken and greet the world, but one particularly bold one had burst onto the scene and splayed its glory to all who would gaze upon it.
DeVeau: I thought I’d bring you a little something.
Dark green leaves sported a quilted like pattern, though the shape itself was a traditional one, broad on one end, tapered on the other. Long stems reached into the earth, arranged in a natural fibonacci sequence that was so common among nature in the universe, particularly Earth. The blossom itself sported five distinct petals arranged in a star-like shape, a brilliant yellow anther right in the center. Upon that purple was scattered a spray of pink, like stars in a purple firmament.
::For him? It wasn’t easy for him to reign his paranoia. He swallowed it down and took a closer look at the purple spotted plant. Expression deadpan, but blue eyes gave away his curiosity. Damn those eyes of his sometimes.::
Nijil: A… flower… ::he looked at her rather perplexed.::
DeVeau: It’s an African Violet from Earth, a common and beloved house plant - one of my favourites.
::The silence between them lingered as he just stared at ther.. Then the plant… then her again. Was this the flower version of O’Grady? Instead of bugs, it was plants? Honestly, he could live with that better.
Plants were like pets, they usually required care and attention. His tongue swished behind his teeth. He stood up, straightening his shirt and stepped around his desk to approach the woman.::
Nijil: ::hands held out.:: Thank you…
De’Veau: I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoy mine.
Nijil: Don’t go to far - ::he didn’t let her run away that easy.:: What does it need to not die.
Alora lifted her hands as if to calm him.
DeVeau: Have no fear, I’m not going anywhere. It doesn’t need much to “not die”
::He glided over to the small, but comfortable, sitting area and set the flower and pot on the small coffee table. Followed by gesturing her to sit with his other hand. Nijil spun the plant around a few times to get a better look at it from all angles.::
Oh, she was actually going to get to sit. A smile tickled Alora’s lips and she circled around and took the proffered seat. Leaning over, she set her elbow upon her knee and rest her chin in her hands, watching him examine the plant. Instead of talking, she allowed him to take a few moments, to inspect it with the intensity that he desired.
Nijil: Alright… ::his brow furled before he looked back up at her.::
DeVeau: See how the pot is in two parts? If you lift the top part, you’ll see that the top of it is glazed, but the bottom half isn’t. That means it’s porous and can absorb water. The lower half will hold the water, and the plant will absorb water as it needs it. Just keep the bottom half filled with water. Other than that, repot it once a year in a pot that’ slightly bigger than the one before it. I’ve got replicator programs for both the pots and the soil, so it’s easy.
::He nodded, then leaned back in his chair, legs extended out beneath him and crossed at the ankle. One hand stroked the trimmed beard.::
Nijil: Why? Why this plant, and why the gift?
::Okay, so he couldn’t not ask.::
DeVeau: Why not?
Nijil: I suppose you don’t have to have a reason.
::He contended the notion that some people just did things to be nice. Though he was always skeptical. Years in service and listening to old timers from warships tended to do that to someone. The dark purple ceramic was well polished and had been smooth to the touch. The flowers reached for the ceiling.::
DeVeau: My reason is I love plants. This one is beautiful, it blooms nine months out of an Earth year when kept watered and fed, if not longer. Beauty is something I enjoy sharing with others. I think we could all use more beauty in the world. It’s...kind of a tradition - me giving out these as gifts. I enjoy it, because if it makes someone happy, that makes me happy.
Nijil: Does it really… ::he eyed the flower again then her.:: That is very kind of you. ::he bowed his head slightly.:: Thank you.
::Now he had to make sure it didn’t die…. ::
DeVeau: You’re welcome. I hope it brings you some joy.
Even if it was small. A little was better than nothing at all.
Nijil: How are you settling in?
::Did he change subjects? Absolutely. Gifts made him.. Uncomfortable and he always seemed awkward on the thanks. But her gift giving tradition was an excellent chance for him to meet her more one on one. The most interaction they’d had, had been during the award ceremony. Sometimes it was evident that the XO was a reclusive.::
If Alora was bothered by the change, she didn’t let on, though she canted her head to the side to regard him, studying his face as much as he had studied the plant.
DeVeau: I’m settling in as well as possible.
Considering the situation she’d come from...anyway.
Nijil: your service record is quite impressive -
DeVeau: Thanks, but I’m sure others have had more impressive records. Still, I’m glad for the opportunity to come here, and I have really enjoyed my time thus far. Have you always been stationed at Ops?
If he was asking questions, she was going to ask them too - not that it would have mattered had he not asked any, she would have asked them anyway.
Nijil: ::he regarded the woman for a moment.:: I have not, I have been stationed on many ships. Though it is my first station posting.
DeVeau: Oh? How long have you been in Starfleet, and where were you posted before here? The man seemed hesitant, but Alora loved learning about people. People were interesting, their experiences could be enlightening. Certainly the First Officer of a base like Starbase 118 Ops had some interesting stories to tell - and some of them might not be classified!
Nijil: 26 years… And I’ve been on several ships, much like you. The only one you might know is the Constitution, my previous posting to ops. ::in order to stop the train of never ending questions from the youthful woman he threw a few back at her.:: You spent a month on Earth before this posting - did you know you were going to be stationed out so far?
DeVeau: No, but I’ve been at a deep space station before. Astrofori One and Deep Space Ten. Both were very interesting. It’s quite a bit different from being on a ship, but still very interesting. It’s a different atmosphere, but not in a bad way. Unique. Beautiful. Anyway, my turn. What do you like to do in your downtime?
::He looked at her like she’d grown two heads. Her turn? When did he agree to that.. A quick glare at the flower as if it was its fault he was now trapped in some kind of 20 questions game. He sucked his teeth and looked up at the almost bubbling woman. What was happening here….::
Nijil: I talk to science officers ::he snarked, though it wasn’t untrue. This was down time and he was talking to a science officer.:: Between gift giving and forcing others to tend to your plants, have you had a chance to see the science labs?
DeVeau: Oh yes. I’ve been working in them and enjoying being back in a lab. I...missed it. There was a long pause, her smile fading a bit, but she shook her head and the expression returned. Science is my calling, so it’s always refreshing to participate in it.
DeVeau: Okay, my turn again. Other than chatting with science officers, which I’m more than happy to do whenever you need to relax, what else do you like to do?
Starbase 118 - Ops
Lt. Cmdr. Alora DeVeau
Starbase 118 Ops