((Starbase 118 Ops - Nugra’s Guest Quarters))
There were so many things to do, so little time, especially since they only had a few days on the station. Alora had managed to get to know Jalana, T’Aven, catch up with Saveron and spend some quality time with Saavok. Alas, Theo Whittaker had eluded her, but there was just enough time to catch one person she hadn’t been able to get to know well before it was time to depart.
Well, not quite time, but there wasn’t enough of it to allow for an extended period where they could go somewhere, sit, and chat for a while. Idly, she wondered if Nugra would have liked the restaurant Tatash had taken her to. Well, she’d have to find that out some other time. She hoped there would be some other time. For the moment, she could at least give the Gorn a parting gift. It was with that in mind that she arrived just outside the temporary quarters, pot in hand, finger on her free one pressing the button to announce her arrival.
Nugra did not come with much, all he needed could be fit in to a circular carry case that he could move from the shuttle to his room and back. He had learned to pack lightly in his military days and it was not something he easily forgot.
He had just finished rolling up his dress uniform and zipping up when the door chimed. Assuming it was either Saveron or Jalana, Nugra did not turn around.
Stepping into the room, Alora’s face immediately lit up in a warm smile as she gazed up at the man. Not quite as tall as Tatash, he nevertheless towered over Alora’s much slighter frame.
The Gorn Senior Commander turned and paused for a moment as he saw the humanoid woman standing in front of her. Her face was familiar and it only took a few moments before he realized who it was. Thank the pale goddess he had taken the time to read the command staff dossiers.
DeVeau: Hello Commander!
Nugra: Lieutenant Commander DeVeau. Pleasure to meet you.
DeVeau: Sorry to bug you, I know you’re headed out soon, but I just couldn’t let you get away.
Nugra: ::puzzled:: Could not let me get away? Have I broken some sort of rule that I am not aware of?
Alora couldn’t help it. She giggled, but shook her head. Yes, there were times that language barriers went beyond just the definitions of specific words.
DeVeau: No, no, it’s just a saying. I wanted to catch you before you left.
Nugra: Oh! An Idiom. ::tapping combadge:: sometimes my translator struggles with them. What can I do for you?
DeVeau: That’s okay. It can make for an amusing conversation. I know I’ve had laughter at my experience during my attempts to learn a language.
Nugra: Languages can be a challenge. Especially if it’s completely alien.
Alora grinned, then held up the pot in her hands.
DeVeau: I must say, I was quite disappointed that I didn’t get the chance to really sit down and get to know you, but I thought I could at least give this to you before you leave.
Nugra set down the items in his hands and turned to face the woman that had come to this room. This was quite unexpected.
Like she always gave, Alora held aloft an African violet. Set in a pot of yellow, the leaves were wide and quilted, the middle part a dark green, but the outer edges were white with an undertone of pink, and that pinkish-white manifested itself as speckling throughout the green. Lage, semi-double blossoms of a medium pink hue were already blooming, their faces lifted up in cheerful display. For some reason, Alora just felt like that particular variety was rather becoming of the Commander.
DeVeau: I’ve forwarded all the instructions, how to care for them, as well as replicator programs for soil and pots when you need to give them a bigger size. Of course, if you have any questions, you can feel free to ask me any time. I’m just a com call away!
Nugra gently took the potted plant in front of him and examined it in detail. He had not seen a species like this before and honestly, the only other plant in his room that meant anything to him was the jestral that Jalana had given him years before.
Nugra: This is quite an interesting looking species. Horticulture is not my strong suit. What species is this?
DeVeau: It’s called an African violet.
Nugra: Ah. I have never heard of it. Where did you find it way out here in space?
Alora laughed softly. They were not known to grow way out there in space, except wherever she resided and wherever those who had received one of her babies resided. Well, that and Calsus VI where they had taken her advice and planted the species. That reminded her, she should follow up with Lazarus. Which gave her another thought - and she wished it had come to mind prior!
DeVeau: They actually grow on Earth, but I have quite the collection. One of my specialties is botany, you see.
Nugra: Ah! Well that would explain why you came to have this in the trinity sector. Do you have others? I would hate to deprive you of such a beautiful plant.
DeVeau: I do. In fact, I would say half of what I own is probably a gesneriad of some sort - that’s the family to which the African violet belongs. Of those, probably seventy five percent are actually African violets.
Though he could understand most of what she was saying, a bit of it was over his head. Plants had never been anything he could say he held a fascination with, especially since his species was mostly carnivorous. He gently set the plant down as if just even the wrong look could shatter it.
Nugra: I am honored by the gift though I do not know what made you think of me. It shall look nice beside my jestral plant.
DeVeau: I like giving plants to people, especially African violets. They’re hardy and beautiful, and I like to spread beauty. I hope it brings you joy.
And he had some experience with plantlife at least. Jestrals were a lovely plant, and they had multiple uses.
DeVeau: You grow a jestral?
Nugra: Yes. It was a gift from Commodore Rajel years ago before I returned to the Hegemony. I have been collecting its leaves in a box until I can get her to teach me how to make that special trill tea.
DeVeau: Glad to know I’m in good company when it comes to giving gifts. I didn’t realise the trill used it to make tea.
She was familiar with jestral tea, a Betazoid drink, but it wasn’t uncommon for other cultures to appropriate practises and give them their own flair. She’d have to ask Jalana about that tea.
Nugra: I appreciate the gesture, Commander. I hope I am conveying that alright.
DeVeau: Yes, you are, of course. I hope you enjoy it. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask.
There was another pause, but she was there, he was there, and they were leaving very soon.
DeVeau: Actually, I do have a favour to ask, if you’re willing.
Nugra: What can I help you with, Commander?
DeVeau: It just dawned on me that I haven’t given Lazarus one. I could ship it to him, but would you be willing to come with me and let me give you one to take to him?
The Gorn glanced down at the duffle bag that he was almost done packing. There were still quite a few hours before the shuttle was leaving. Though he had not met Lieutenant Davis much as of yet, he was aware that he was aboard the Constitution-B.
Nugra: I would be happy to. Please, lead the way.
((Starbase 118 Ops - Alora’s Quarters))
They didn’t have far to go, fortunately, just a quick hop on the lift to a different deck, then through another corridor to an apartment marked ‘24E’. As they approached, the doors immediately parted for their owner and her guest. Inside, the spacious living area had a couch and two armchairs along with a single African Violet. On the walls, however, shelves upon shelves had been hung and all of them had residents, though there was plenty of room between them to add more. Pots of a variety of flora were grown, but the particular variety she had given Nugra was certainly the dominant. On the arm of one of the chairs stood a cat of several colours with piercing blue eyes. Those eyes settled upon Nugra, half open, and a slight twitch of the tip of her tail was followed by a squeak of a ‘meow’.
Nugra: I take it you are familiar with Lieutenant Davis?
DeVeau: Sort of. I’ve not met him face to face, but he contacted me for my opinion on a botanical and zoological matter.
Alora strode over to one set of shelves on the left and began to peruse the offerings. The first didn’t seem to satisfy her, so her gaze traveled to the second.
Nugra: I know of him though I have only seen him in a few meetings. I would not say I know him well yet.
DeVeau: I don’t know him well either, but I like spreading beauty, and the matter he contacted me about actually involved African Violets, so this is fitting.
No, those weren’t right either. Alora’s attention went from shelf to shelf. When she wasn’t happy with any on that set, she quickly crossed the room and began to peruse the other set.
DeVeau: Saveron and Saavok have a few I’ve given them. I gave one to Jalana. I wish I had thought to give Lazarus one earlier, but I’m glad I thought of it before all of you left. I’m thankful that you’re willing to deliver it.
Nugra: I am quite happy to help.
DeVeau: Ah! Here we go!
Alora had searched until she had gotten to the bottom shelf, then reached in and pulled out a pot. It was a bright, sky blue in hue, the top easily coming out from the bottom where the water would be poured. Within the pot sat another African violet, but with double flowers, bright yellow anther set amid ruffled burgundy petals trimmed with white The fuzzy leaves were of a solid medium green, but still quilted and slightly serrated edges. Turning, Alora held the pot out for Nugra to take. They were always beautiful, the violets were. The only thing they lacked was a scent, but Alora still loved them dearly.
Delicately so his own clumsy claws didn’t crush the pot, Nugra reminded himself to replicate a stasis chamber so he could make sure it got to Davis safely.
Nugra: I shall make sure he receives this as soon as feasible, Commander.
DeVeau: Alora. My name’s Alora, so please feel free to call me that.
Nugra: I...will try.
The lizard understood that for some cultures, using their first names was important but for Gorns, it was far more personal.
DeVeau: I’m glad I got the chance to meet you. Perhaps the next time you’re on base, you can look me up? We can have dinner or something together.
Nugra: That sounds quite interesting. I’m not sure when we’ll be back in this area but I’m always up for an adventure.
A bright smile blossomed once more as Alora escorted Nugra to the door. Such an expression was no stranger, the tell tale ease of it marking it as an all too familiar resident upon her face, a twinkle sparkling in her eye which only told of its sincerity.
DeVeau: Until we meet again.
Nugra: Fight for Duty and Honor...Alora.
Lt. Cmdr. Alora DeVeau
Starbase 118 Ops
Senior Commander Nugra
USS Constitution-B NCC 9012-B
'17 Simming Prize Laureate
Simming Prize Administrator 2019-Present
Simming Prize Trustee 2021-Present
he/him (player & Character)