((OOC: When reading this I could see the scene play out in front of my eyes the descriptions are spot on, and the conversation manages to weave through different topics both in the character's recent lives as well as past events. Very well done!))
((Science Department Holodeck Facility #1, Deck 547, Starbase 118))
German had been configuring the holodeck to meet the right specs, but more he just wanted the room to look just the right way. He hadn’t seen Ayiana Sevo for a while after they were training officers together quite some time ago. After the barrage of emails between the two senior officers, they agreed on a day to go over a rather unique subject that the Trill Commander had experienced.
Part of the large area had a section where a conference room was laid which was where German was at as he poured some coffee from the pot into a mug. There was another next to it that was empty, but he determined that he shouldn’t fill it in case Ayiana didn’t want any. After he took a sip, he grabbed a PADD on the table and then leaned backwards against the wall trying to make more sense of what the Gorkon had experienced. There wasn’t as much detail in the report which made sense given how important it was to summarize what happened than to dispel anything to any prying eyes.
Dozens of light-years away, Ayiana stood in one of the Gorkon’s holodecks, the blank black-and-yellow grid surrounding her like an unpainted canvas. She was surprised to hear from Commander Galven in recent weeks; aside from a training class the two ran some months back on Starbase 118, she hadn’t seen him since his own final exam.
He had nearly blown up a bomb in her face.
German was mostly curious about Ayiana’s scientific papers, especially her theories on the recent Q encounter; more precisely, her own hypothesis on the nature of the Q. Some people had told her to drop it; by their very nature, the Q were unknowable and beyond understanding. Ayiana couldn’t accept that; to her, everything in the universe was explainable with science.
This was the most unusual part. Galven had insisted they meet via holo-conferencing, a technology that had been up-and-coming in recent years. It was more personal than staring into a flat viewscreen, but she couldn’t help but feel some trepidation. With a final sigh of anxiousness, Ayiana established the connection. The blank grid disappeared around her, replaced with a lush furnished conference room in standard Starfleet decor. If she didn’t know any better, it could have been one of a dozen such rooms on the Gorkon itself.
The only other occupant in the room was a lanky man with his back to her. He wore one of the newly-issued Starfleet uniforms, a far cry from the grey-on-black jumpers with department undershirt. The new design was reminiscent of the uniforms worn just before the Dominion War, albeit with a slightly different shoulder design, subtle chevron stitching in them, and a wholly redesigned combadge. All-in-all, it looked sharp. She was still wearing the old, military-esque uniforms with a skirt.
Galven: ::turns quickly around:: When did you get here? I didn’t hear you come in.
Sevo: That’s what happens when you’re a hologram. Poof! :: She mimed an explosion with her hands. ::
Ayiana took in the sight of the man. It had been a while since she’d seen him and his appearance seemed to have changed slightly. He stood the same height as her, but his hair was short-curled greying black. Characteristic Denobulan ridges ensconced his jovial face.
Galven: ::wry grin:: Perhaps you’re right. ::shrugs:: Maybe not. Anyways, would you like some coffee?
Sevo: Not unless I’m hungover, but shore leave is just getting started. You wouldn’t believe the mission we’ve had. :: She paused. :: I’ll take a Pepsi, though.
When the redheaded senior officer remarked that a hangover hadn’t happened yet, German smirked as the thoughts ran through his mind. Momentarily shaking his mind off, he approached the panel and brushed his fingers along the numbered codes.
Galven: Computer, activate G-SBH-001, requesting a Terran carbonated soda beverage and a Denobulan subterranean medium roast coffee.
A holographic attendant appeared behind a small bar tucked into one corner. He quickly busied himself with her order while she strolled over to a couch. She sat down, crossing her legs and propped an elbow on the armrest.
Sevo: I have to say, this is an unexpected venue. Is this really a holodeck? :: She half-wondered if it was a real room with holoemitters. ::
German had walked over to the bar to grab their drinks once the holo-attendant finished when Ayiana was mesmerized with one of the newest holodeck features. When he walked back, he had to admit that even though uniform dress skirts were a little dated that the clothing actually fit her body type.
As he sat her drink on the three legged metallic steel end table next to her side of the couch, German sat down on a black curved chair, slightly diagonal from where Ayiana was sitting, still holding his mug.
Galven: ::nods:: It is. ::takes a sip:: One of the newest editions with the latest updates.
Sevo: I don’t think I’ve communicated like this before. It’s much more...real.
Galven: One of the many perks being on the starbase. I can send you the schematics if you're interested along with the upgrades for it to properly run in one of the holodecks on the Gorkon?
Sevo: I’m sure we’ll get it during our next layover. As a Task Force flagship, we get all the bells and whistles. Besides, we’re upgraded enough to have this little chat, right? :: She winked at him as she took a sip. ::
Galven: ::shrugs:: The offer is always there. ::grins:: So, how have you been? A lot of things have happened ever since we last trained some cadets together.
Sevo: Indeed. You’ve got a few more pips on that collar. You haven’t blown anyone else up, have you? :: She eyed him playfully. ::
Galven: More or less. We've been trying to locate a group of Klingon cultists that have devised a poisonous bioweapon. A powerful gas that kills Klingons instantly and other species.
Sevo: That doesn’t seem very honorable. Klingons regard the use of poison as a coward’s weapon.
Galven: I'm more interested in what you and the Gorkon crew have encountered. You said in one of the emails about encountering Q, right?
Sevo: Yea. She put us in an alternate reality based on an earlier experience we had in a dream state. The difference is, this time I remember *everything* that happened.
German leaned forward a little and took a sip of his drink. He was already getting pretty enthralled in what she was saying which was more than what German had to offer because he didn’t have anything to say when she paused for a second.
Sevo: Don’t know how much you’ve read up on the Gorkon’s mission reports, but a couple of years ago we were captured by a renegade Trill who put us in a collective dream. We thought we were a Maquis cell still fighting the Cardassians. Anyway, Q used that as the basis of her own “science experiment.” I think she wanted to see what made us tick.
Galven: That doesn’t sound like she was very experienced at all.
Sevo: I got the impression that she was relatively young, or at least naive, for a Q. She wanted to learn and know about us.
Galven: Well, I know about one thing. We are a pretty explosive bunch. ::chuckles as he playfully tapped her knee:: So how did you guys get out of it?
Ayiana ignored the bad joke, obviously referring to the incident between them at Galven’s final exam simulation.
Sevo: *We* didn’t. :: She emphasized the “we.” :: Q did. She got all the data she wanted from us, then popped us back to the Gorkon at the exact moment we left. To those around us, it looked like we hadn’t left at all. Except that one moment we were fine, then the next we were sprouting injuries.
Ayiana took a sip of her soda, letting Galven soak in the news.
Sevo: I don’t suppose you’ve had any experiences like that, huh?
Galven: I can’t say the same for me. There haven't been any missions like that, only personal struggles and demons.
Sevo: Oh, I’ve had those too. Care to give an example?
Ayiana paused again, finishing her first quarter of the sandwich, took a sip of wine, then moved on to the second quarter.
Sevo: Anyway, what’s this about you in the *BORG UNIMATRIX?!* :: She emphasized the last words rather loudly. ::
He nearly choked on his sandwich, but caught himself in time. Her raised tone made him realize that not everyone had heard about his experiences as well as being able to create a way to go in and out of the unimatrix.
Galven: Oh, yeah. Well ::takes a drink:: It started about several years before I even considered joining Starfleet. Another scientist and I worked on stray Borg nanobots and with enough tachyokinetic energy conversion, we were able to minimize it into an ocular device allowing me to enter into the unimatrix.
It took her a moment to translate the technicals he just explained.
Sevo: So...you don’t actually connect your mind to it? It’s more like a virtual reality tour? Still sounds dangerous. Anything having to do with the Borg is dangerous. We’ve been lucky not to cross paths with them.
Galven: Eh… well… that was the plan in the beginning until there was an accident. I don’t remember too much of what happened, but during my first mission on the Veritas, I was trying to disconnect a drone from the Hive Mind when they caught on to my device and used that to partially assimilate me without me even realizing they did so.
Ayiana nearly choked on her sandwich; a look of surprise and fear was on her face.
Sevo: You nearly got *ASSIMILATED?!* :: She was beginning to think Galven was rather reckless. ::
He stopped to take a drink and waited for the next reveal so that she could digest more about what he said. After a few seconds, he took another drink and began speaking again.
Galven: ::shakes his head:: No nearly. Another mission aboard the Montreal, a Klingon terrorist had poisoned me which activated the nanoprobes that I injected into myself during those earlier years which acted as a bridge leading towards my nervous system which I basically assimilated myself, but it actually saved my life by improving my nervous system to act as a strong barrier from the poison that would’ve killed anyone else.
She paused, taking a long, slow chug of her drink.
Sevo: I’m going to need more bloodwine… :: She paused, finishing the mug. :: So you still have the nanoprobes in you? :: Ayiana eyed Galven up and down suspiciously, as if he was ready to burst into a Borg at any moment. ::
Galven: Don’t worry. The nanoprobes were taken out by Lael. You can even see for yourself if you want?
Lael Rosek. Ayiana remembered her; served with the woman for a time on the Victory and Gorkon.
Sevo: No, I’ll take your word for it. Glad to hear Lael is doing well. How is her spinal injury?
He didn’t even realize he said Lael’s name until Ayiana said it back to him. As he furrowed his brow and took the rest of his drink. German really tried to find the words that were suddenly lost on him. As if a long forgotten memory had just been burned into his mind.
Galven: Computer. Another round of drinks. Double on the Ale.
Ayiana paused her meal, blinking. Did she say something wrong?
The last time he had seen her was very short and sudden. With all the work German busied himself with, he hadn’t had the chance to mourn the loss of the relationship.
Galven: ::murmurs:: She had to stop taking the medicine when she found out we were pregnant. ::grasps his second drink:: Last time I heard, she was doing well enough. ::grasps the mug with both hands:: The sudden transfer orders the Astraeus received really affected her. ::takes a drink:: I lost her when the baby was lost. ::clears his throat:: Win some and you lose some, right? Anyways, that was too much to say and to put on you. I apologize.
Ayiana straight up dropped her food on her plate, completely forgotten. She stared right at Galven.
Sevo: *Pregnant?!* I haven’t heard from her in a while but...she was...you were…damn.
She paused again, taking a long, slow sip of wine, more to shut her mouth than anything else, while she regained her composure.
Sevo: I...I’m sorry. I didn’t know you and her were like that. I’m sorry for your loss.
Galven: I chose not to have our relationship broadcasted so others wouldn’t think my promotions and awards were given to me because I was sleeping with the First Officer. No need to apologi--
Sevo: Don’t put down the loss so quickly. You lost *a child.* I have no idea how I’d feel if that happened, and I’ve had several over the centuries.
It was a good thing that she had interrupted him because he hadn’t put two and two together ever since the news broke about it. German was always a workaholic, but when something so tragic happened, he would hammer down which would help his memory from thinking about any of those transgressions.
Galven: ::stares at his mug:: Her name was going to be Galilea Belle. I was so excited about finally being a father. ::smiles softly, lost in thought as he saw more of his reflection in the mug:: The things I was going to spoil her with. It hasn’t been easy, but Lael is most likely better off without someone like me. ::takes a sip, then glances back up at Ayiana:: Are you seeing anyone?
Ayiana smiled as Galven revealed his daughter’s name.
Sevo: That’s a beautiful name. I’m sure you would have been a great father. :: She took a sip of her freshly refilled wine. :: No, I’m not at the moment. I hope you’re not asking...I mean...we just met...again...um… :: This time, she stuffed her mouth with a large bite of the sandwich.:: oO SHUT. UP. MOUTH. Oo
Galven: ::chuckles:: I wasn’t asking, but more like trying to reverse engines on myself for the time being. I wouldn’t be a great candidate to match your prowess anyways. ::extends his mug to klink hers as a signal hopefully allowing the awkwardness to drift away::
She lifted her mug, completing the toast.
Sevo: Well, I haven’t exactly had the best luck with relationships recently. Not sure what you’ve heard about me or my… “prowess”? You mean my work?
Galven: Your work and being the best training officer to work with as a cadet and trainer. Even though we’re galaxies apart, I still like to brush myself up with what other scientists are doing. Especially Lt. Commander Ayiana Sevo. My students hear enough about you from me. ::smirks with a wink as he takes a drink::
Her cheeks were starting to turn a shade remarkably similar to the bloodwine she was drinking.
Sevo: Heh, thanks, I guess. I keep up with most of the scientific community, and I’ve seen your name here and there. You’ve become something of a celebrity among temporal mechanics circles.
Galven: I don’t know about celebrity status, but when you’ve got plenty of time to work on, there’s suddenly even more time to further more research. ::smiles at his own bad pun::
Sevo: :: She arched an eyebrow at the bad joke. :: Ha. Ha.
Ayiana smiled at German as she took a sip of her wine. She was glad to meet another scientist, and someone who made her laugh.
JP written by
Lt. Commander German Galven
2O/Chief Science Officer
Starbase 118 Ops - USS Narendra
“Adhere to your purpose and you will soon feel as well as you ever did. On the contrary, if you falter, and give up, you will lose the power of keeping any resolution, and will regret it all your life.” - Abraham Lincoln
Lt. Commander Ayiana Sevo
“Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.” -Carl Sagan