((Holodeck 4 - Starbase 118 Ops))
DeVeau: Sure, but one comment.
Alora glanced up at the sky. The scenery was beautiful, serene, but she also knew that looks could be deceiving. What lay beneath the surface, at least in real life, would be a flurry of activity, a fight for survival. Just because they couldn’t see it, didn’t mean that it didn’t exist. Alora had found that was the way of things with people in general. There was so much more beneath the surface, good and bad, that people dealt with.
DeVeau: Your issues...we all have issues. And they aren’t yours to bear alone. Whether it be to discuss with friends, or going to a counselor, don’t try to do it by yourself, okay?
She turned to him and smiled, though it lacked the brilliance earlier. Thoughts raced through her head, memories, things that she knew would haunt her for the rest of her life. Yes, they all had issues - but he didn’t need to hear about hers. Alora shook her head, and her smile brightened.
DeVeau: Let’s see...one of my favourites. I have so many, but I’ll start with...computer, play the accompaniment track to O Mio Babbino Caro by Puccini.
Alora waited as the music eased into existence, then slowed briefly. The scientist opened her mouth, and from it poured the words in a Terran language. Even if Kudon couldn’t understand it, the music spoke of desire, longing, and sadness.
It’s a short piece, and it ends with a lingering note that fades. Alora sighs as she completes it, then turns to Kudon.
DeVeau: It’s a rather...ironic aria.
Kudon certainly felt the gentle, yet somehow profound emotion of the woman singing, even though he couldn’t understand the words. He understood why it could resonate with DeVeau.
Kudon: Ironic how? What is it about?
DeVeau: The girl who sings it...well, she wants to marry this guy, but he can’t marry her unless he gets some money because his aunt won’t let him. He thought he was going to get some money left to him by his cousin. Come to find out, he wasn’t left the money, so his aunt won’t let him marry the girl he wants to marry. So he asks the father of his beloved to help him get the inheritance. Her father refuses, so she sings this song in order to convince her father to help him. It basically says, Daddy, I like him a lot and he’s very handsome, I want to go and get the ring in Porta Rossa, and if you don’t help him, I’m going to throw myself in the Arno river and drown. I pine, I am tormented, and oh God I just want to die. Have mercy, Daddy, have mercy.”. The opera it’s from...it’s actually a comedy. Wouldn’t know it from the song.
It certainly was a more sophisticated song than the one he had played for DeVeau.
Kudon: It sounds like quite a profound story.
DeVeau: It reminds me of something though.
Kudon: And what is that?
DeVeau: What we think we know isn’t necessarily what is the truth.
Kudon paused, wondering what to say next. He sensed that there was a depth to her words and that she had more she was thinking of sharing. It seemed to him like she was waiting for him to speak. But he was not entirely sure of what to say.
Kudon: Alora...I will be honest that I am not very good at these situations. Vulcan families are not the best role models for how to listen to another. But if there is more you wish to say...please speak.
More to say? Not really. Then again, maybe she did? Alora hadn’t really thought about anything beyond the pondering that the music had spurred. Yet, at the same time, though she knew the context of the song, there was something about it that resonated with her. It had always resonated with her, but even more so lately. Strange how something that was supposed to be comedic had come to mean something more in a way.
DeVeau: I’m not sure what you mean.
Kudon: Your advice to me earlier to not deal with problems all on one’s own seems to apply here to you. Commander Galven had given me the same advice.
Alora looked down and smiled, but there was no humour in it. Oh how little he knew.
DeVeau: You’re right, but I’m not dealing with it alone.
Kudon wondered what “it” was. He could not tell if she genuinely was dealing with a real problem or if he had read too much into her words.
Kudon: Why is that?
DeVeau: I have a support network. I’m...trying to work through things.
A support network...that indicated to Kudon that his instinct that there was something deeper was probably correct.
Kudon: I see. How does that impact your work as an officer?
At that, Alora did allow a small chuckle.
DeVeau: Well, considering that I’ve only been back as an officer for..two weeks now, thus far, it’s not impacting it. If it does, hopefully other officers will call me out on it.
Kudon had learned in his dealing with emotions that in moments of awkwardness or tension, sometimes humor can make everyone feel more comfortable.
Kudon: ::with a gentle laugh and smile:: So even a lowly Ensign like me can call you out if I think something is wrong?
DeVeau: I think if an Ensign sees something wrong, even if it’s in regards to a ‘superior’ officer, then yes. The Ensign should speak up.
Kudon: I do not know you that well, but as of right now, you seem like someone in good shape to me. ::smiling again:: I think I can hold off on reporting you for now.
Although he was joking with her, this was the truth from Kudon’s perspective. Whatever issue was on DeVeau’s mind, she appeared to be handling it well.
DeVeau: Well, that’s good to know!
Kudon: Is there anything you wish to say?
Alora arched an eyebrow, then canted her head.
DeVeau: Do you think I should?
Kudon: You were kind enough to listen to me, so I will be pleased to offer the same.
That was a kind offer. A great offer. Everyone on the ship or base, or wherever an officer was posted needed that sort of thing. She was glad to know there were people she could go to - not just counselors, but people she could call friends.
DeVeau: Not right now. But thank you.
Kudon: I see. Well, I hope I may be part of your...support network.
DeVeau: I appreciate that, Kudon. Really.
Kudon felt a change of subject was in order, as there was a pause in their speaking..
Kudon: Regarding Lactra VII, which environment do you like better? The rainforest :: turning and gesturing towards the rainforest:: or the desert ::pointing at the barren mountainous desert across the river?
DeVeau: They’re both beautiful, and life is so unique to each environment.
How could she choose? Being who she was in the field that she had, some might consider the rainforest to be her pick. What some people didn’t realise was that the desert offered it’s own beauty with it’s own array of flora and fauna that was just as fascinating, if not as overflowing.
DeVeau: Honestly, I think that’s dependent more on my mood. Right now? Desert I think.
Kudon: It’s strange. I feel like both resonate with me. I feel like I come from a barren desert, not only because Vulcan is rather barren, but because the emotional wells are all dried up. And I am intrigued by the rainforest, which is teeming with an enormous range of life, much like my curiosity about new emotions. I suppose I like the rainforest better, but the desert is part of me too. It is my heritage, so to speak.
DeVeau: I think we all have a little of each in us.
Alora could understand what Kudon meant, and she felt similar, if not for the same reasons. As she had said, the desert seemed to particularly speak to her. What did that say about her?
Kudon: I am glad we came here. Shall we go back?
DeVeau: Probably a good idea. I’m sure our time is close to running out if it hasn’t already, and other people need an opportunity to use this as well.
As the two headed out of the Holodeck, Kudon felt an appreciation for DeVeau’s time. She had listened to him share information that he did not talk about with many people and he found her trustworthy. She had not shared with him quite as much as he had with her, but he felt like he gave her an opening, if she ever wished to pursue it further. In fact, he hoped she would. At the very least, they had shared with each other about their musical tastes, which certainly was a way to learn more about their personalities.
Starbase 118 Ops
Lt. Cmdr. Alora DeVeau
Starbase 118 Ops