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Ens Sovak, "Remembering Happiness"


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((Quartermaster's Office, Deck 3 - USS Darwin-A))

::Sovak gratefully took Karami’s advice to visit the arboretum when he could. He loved plants. He loved what they represented to him. His mind began to drift into the realms of memory at the thought, but he held to the conversation at hand. There was another topic of interest upon which Karami might help increase his knowledge.::

Sovak: Please, if you have time, will you tell me about this ship's Multispecies Initiative? I find the concept most intriguing.

Karami: Oh! That's why I'm here! The Multispecies Initiative is quite prevalent on the Darwin...

::Karami proceeded to fill him in on the details of this incredible intercultural venture. He listened at first to every detail. As she went on and on, he found himself reminded of someone else he knew who sometimes talked too much. Plant life. Talking. The memory swirled through his mind, wrapping around him, until he was momentarily lost in it.::

((Flashback - Arnmere, Trill - 5 Years Ago))

::Sovak sat quite still on the crumbling remains of an abandoned old border that had once bisected the lush green field before him on a homeworld vastly different from his own.::

::On Vulcan, everything was red. Everything was dusty, dry and hot. Temples of stone had been built all over the planet, more for their cooling properties than their meditative purposes, he sometimes thought.::

::Here on the Trill world, Rennyn’s world, everything in sight was alive with color. Electric blue air with high white clouds spread over fields of green and gold that stretched to eternity. Ripe berries of crisp red and deep, luscious purple dotted the hedgerow along Sovak’s crumbled old stone fence. A clean, cool breeze washed over him, rustling the nearby tree line, sometimes ringing a distant chime, providing pleasantly intermittent respite from the brief midday heat.::

::In all his years of struggle, the Vulcan had never fallen so far from controlling his feelings of joy.::

::At the sound of approaching footsteps behind him, Sovak forced his face to abandon the little contented smile he’d dared to allow himself.::

Rennyn: Beautiful, isn’t it?

::Almost against his will, drawn by the force of Ren’s personality, Sovak had accompanied his roommate here to Trill on break from the Academy. Ren had refused to leave him behind to haunt the hills of San Francisco alone. The trip had been a challenge of mental control in dealing with the sprawling Rennyn clan and the curious people of their home village, Arnmere.::

Rennyn: Had to get away, didn’t you?

Sovak: Your family is much larger than mine.

Rennyn: My family is much louder and more obnoxious than yours. ::Ren was happier here than at the Academy, Sovak could tell. The man’s whole being was alight with contentment.:: I know you’re used to solitary meditation on a mountain top. How do you like meditating on my great-grandpa’s broken old border wall? Without us all talking over you?

Sovak: The afternoon has passed pleasantly for me.

::Ren laughed goodnaturedly.::

Rennyn: Sovak, you’re one of a kind! All your Vulcan formality...

::The people of Arnmere certainly found him amusing. There had been a constant parade of locals fighting for their moment with the strange visitor from a distant planet. He was an oddity in this hidden corner of Trill, where few offworlders were known to visit. Ren had a cousin who was married to a Betazoid, but they'd moved to one of the large cities in another region of Trill. Here in Arnmere, one felt as far away from a metropolitan area as from an alien world.::

::Sovak thought on Ren's words. He found the Trill took delight in singling out his oddities. He found, too, that he rather liked being the cause of Ren's amusement. Shyly, afraid of the implications of these burgeoning feelings, he avoided those thoughts. He was not comfortable being so different from other Vulcans. At the same time, he knew he did not want to be like them. The Rennyn family and their steady stream of visiting friends and neighbors all brimmed over with joy and vibrant life. Sovak had to run from them, out to this far corner where he could be alone. He had to run because he wanted to be like them, and he did not know how.::

::Ren put his hand on Sovak's shoulder, and the Vulcan forced himself to remain motionless. Inside, his heart leapt. He was finally beginning to understand some of his feelings, and the one in particular was turning his heart in circles.::

Rennyn: I'll leave you to it. ::He breathed deeply.:: This place will do your soul good. It does for me. Thanks for sharing it with me, buddy.

::Sovak nodded weakly. As Ren walked away, the Vulcan wondered how long he could hold off the feelings stemming from his heart. Ren had wanted to be a kind and inclusive friend. Instead, he had made the Vulcan fall in love.::

::Sovak sat motionless, long into the afternoon. He smelled the rich earth and felt the warm sun on his face, and heard nothing but the breeze rustling round him and the distant crack of the forest line, punctuated sometimes by a bird's call or the unselfconscious fall of a leaf or old fruit. He could not resist that small, contented smile.::

::An abundance of plants. An abundance of life. He felt a bit centered again, though still with many challenges. He'd glimpsed the source of the calm Ren held at his core. Sovak had a long and emotionally turbulent way to go before he would understand it, but that day, he began to know what it meant to feel at peace.::

((End Flashback - Quartermaster's Office, Deck 3 - USS Darwin-A))

Karami: ::finally stopping to catch a breath:: So yeah, the Multispecies Initiative has had some hiccups for me, but I'd still call it a success overall.

::Sovak came back to reality as Karami’s longwindedly helpful speech came to its conclusion. He was sorry to have missed a few lines of what she said, but he counted on his placid outward demeanor to have hidden any evidence of a wandering mind. That, combined with the Vulcan reputation for stoicism, allowed him to cover a great many faux pas, including totally zoning out.::

Sovak: It seems to me that your contributions have been a part of that success. You should be proud of that. I thank you for letting me know so much about the program.

::The Bactrican gasped as she looked at the chronometer, but Sovak was not bothered by the passage of time spent in conversation. He had come to see her specifically to spend time that was not needed anywhere else, and it had been a pleasure getting to know her, despite his own momentarily wandering thoughts.::

Karami: If I don't stop talking, you won't get any time to visit the arboretum, and that would be a shame. ::trying on an apologetic grin::

Sovak: I shall go to the arboretum at my first opportunity, on your recommendation. Thank you, Karami.

Karami: If there's anything else I can assist with, please don't hesitate to let me know. I hope you get settled in soon and that your quarters end up to your liking. And I hope that our arboretum makes you... ::conspiratorial wink:: happy.

::Though he was now allowing himself to feel emotions as they came, Sovak would perhaps never lose the formal Vulcan manners that had been trained in to him.::

::He bowed to Karami swiftly, rigidly nodding from the waist up.::

Sovak: That is a highly probable outcome. Good day.

::At that, he exited the Quartermaster’s Office with a brisk step. It was the Vulcan way to get on with business without any delay. It was Sovak’s way to smile inwardly as he went, happy to have made a friend.::


============================================
Ensign Sovak
Operations Officer

simmed by

Lieutenant Commander Rendal Rennyn
HCO Officer
USS Darwin NCC-99312-A
============================================

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