"Kala. Please have a seat. Your mother and I want to speak with you. You have grown into a fine young woman that brings much honor to our family. You are accomplished in your studies. You are disciplined in your athletics. You are kind and generous to your classmates. Your future has much potential. Yet, it is your future that is the genesis of this conversation today. As fine of a young woman as you are, now comes a decision that only you can make. My daughter, you are neither human,nor are you Vulcan. You are both. Inside of you races the heart of two peoples. You have already felt the call of your first pon farr and more than once have we had to discipline you for outbursts of anger. But the time has come to choose. You are graduating soon and you can either go to Starfleet or the Vulcan Science Academy as both have accepted you. There has been a Maddox in Starfleet for 5 generations. It would be a fine choice. Your ancestors have also studied at the Vulcan Science Academy for over four hundred years with one who made it to the High Counsel. You are Kala Renee Maddox. You are also Skarp G'rau T'pala. We cannot make the choice for you. You must decide." "..and honey please know that whatever you decide will be fine with your father and me. We love you so much and we know it's been hard but you have overcome so much. I know that you may be tempted to think that you will disappoint one of us by choosing one thing or another but truly truly know that we love you and will support whatever you decide. Sweetie....as your father said you are human, you've got your grandmother's eyes, my nose and your granddaddy's smile but you've also got your father's ear's and your father's father's eyebrows and your father's mother's hands. You are a beautiful, strong, intelligent, gifted, generous, kind young woman. You have worked hard so don't worry about trying to please us and guess which way you should go...your heart already knows and if you follow it...we will be pleased won't we father?" "I do not desire for you to follow your heart but for you to follow your first best destiny." ******* "I cannot wait to visit the Hong Kong sector. I hear they have the best noodles this side of the galaxy!" "I'm going after some ummm...less than legal...souvenirs I hear they have in the Dungeon.I'm especially looking for a...." "I think this turbolift is taking us to the main courtyard North of the arts district so we'll need to exit and turn .." "Grady stay with me and don't get lost and don't stare at the aliens and don't........ " "There are talks of border skirmishes between Xalal Prime and Xalal 2 and I don't think either side knows why they're fighting. If you ask me..." Kala pressed against the back of the turbolift. Memories of family, the weight of the future, and excitement for opportunities weighted her eyes closed. She floated in the river of possibility and the diversity she found in the turbolift. There had always been diversity at the Academy but it was corraled by duty, academic focus, sameness of uniform but here on Starbase 118 the infinite splendor of the galaxy stood in a very small part on this turbolift in all of it's unbounded glory. The conversations (about something other than finals), the sights of native dress (other than Starfleet uniforms) and the .....smell, oh yes the smell of cultures living their daily lives were all signs that Kala had arrived. Despite the fact that she wore Starfleet utility fatigues, her dark hair was pulled back in a neat ponytail, and her posture was Vulcan straight, she felt free inside. oO It's only logical. I just took my first unescorted trip across space. I'm experiencing a rite of passage into maturity. I should feel exhilerated. And besides I can get some chocolate Oo Kala smirked at her own internal dialogue. The turbolift arrived at the destination and the shooshing doors magnified Kala's excitement Kala ventured to open her eyes as if they were the curtains to the beginning of a grand opera. The orchestra was not filled with strings and woodwinds and percussion but the lush deep and incoherent sounds of the grand Starbase 118. Kala nodded to her fellow actors as they exited the "wings" of the turbolift and out onto the "stage" and she allowed herself the small indulgence of being the starring ingenue. She grasped her duffelbag tightly and confidently. This was it, she was about to take her first steps into a larger world, she was about to grasp the destiny her parents spoke of she was here to take charge and.... Kala's indulgent thoughts were rudely and quite painfully interrupted when she tripped over the threshhold of the turbolift. All 5'5 inches sprawled unceremoniously onto the deck sending her duffel a good five meters into the "orchestra pit." At least twenty people stopped and looked at her, blinking (at least those with eyelids), at the sight. oO Nice. Oo Kala flushed a light green as she stood quickly and collected her things. She was grateful that the activity surrounding her quickly rejoined it's previous fervor and no one seemed to care. She brushed herself off and looked about to orient herself. It was then she grinned at herself. "Welcome to Starbase 118 Kala."