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Lieutenant JG Zayar Feraoun, "They Were Here First"

Myrta Shirazi

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((Observation Lounge, USS Constitution-B))

:: The preceeding mission briefing was vague, but perhaps understandably so. The Menthar Corridor was a long ways away and Zayar would need to brush up on the area in the intervening period it would take the Constitution to reach Deep Space Ten. There were several sources he could consult, but it was unknown how much good anthropological reports would do the Constitution. Still, anything might help, Zayar had learned that a few days ago during the last mission. Every little bit of information was an edge. But of course he didn't know how much he could truly get done with his mother lingering around. She would no doubt want to spend the rest of the journey with him and while he could certainly think of an excuse to deny her, Zayar didn't know if he had the heart to do so.::

Faranster: Dismissed... Except McCleran, I would like a word with you.

:: Zayar filled out with the rest of the crew, leaving Lieutenant McCleran behind. Most likely to discuss the shift in the power structure in engineering. With the departure of Lieutenant Commander James and the arrival of this Commander Hunnicut, McCleran was no longer next in line. Hierarchies were fascinating structures, they relied on charisma and the balance of ego along with the nuances of flow and what was 'understood' between different members. Fascinating as they were though, Zayar had other matters to attend to.::

:: It appeared that the Constitution's crew, himself included, would have to endure the presence of Jherain Nevarin for a little while longer. Trotting off the bridge and catching a turbolift with some of the other officers, Zayar was off to see the Conny's quartermaster. He would be dead before he would cohabitate with his mother, it was bad enough that he would be sharing the Constitution with her. And Zayar feared that not even 42 decks would be big enough for the both of them.::

((Zayar's Quarters, Several Hours Later))

:: Sitting on his bed once more, Zayar was once again attempting to finish his latest journal entry. He had arranged accommodations for his mother that were several decks away, though she was being unusually persistent in her desire to be near him. Luckily Zayar had talked her out of sleeping on his couch, or rather, him sleeping on his own couch.::

:: Zayar loved his mother, but they're superficially amiable relationship depended on distance. Setting down his pen, he couldn't help but feel that he had just lied to himself. Did he love her? Was it possible to love someone and not like them, in much the same way as someone could 'like' another, but not reach a more substantial level of intimacy or closeness? His mother had walked out on him when he was sixteen, and he was hard pressed to find happier memories before that. Or maybe there were and he simply didn't remember them. 'Time makes liars of us all' and all that. Which perhaps, examined in a Freudian light, meant he hated his mother so much that he had repressed all happy memories of her.::

:: He remembered the fights, the quarrels between his mother and father, the fiery Amazigh man and the passive-aggressive, haughty El-Aurian. They were split on cultural lines and never made the effort to understand each other or level with one another. Jherain had always stood defiant and pouty, like a child, while Mezwar had been unyielding and fiery, deeply offended at his wife's lack of sensitivity to his culture.::

:: Years later it was still hard to piece together if 'cultural differences' were the causes of the termination of their marriage, or just a cover Zayar had created in his mind. Perhaps they were just ill-suited to each other, psychologically. Of course then the anthropologist in Zayar wished to pose the question, 'which came first, the chicken or the egg'? Whatever the reasons were, Zayar's relationships with his parents really ended when he was sixteen. Jherain moved out and Mezwar went off somewhere, Zayar never learned where, and left him in the custody of his grandparents, who never liked his El-Aurian mother. In the years since he had spoken to his parents only superficially, though that was somewhat true for all members of his family. Or most other people for that matter. He valued objectivity, and perhaps that was an excuse not to get close to the 'subjects' he was observing. Most of the time, they were simply other people.::

:: And now his mother was here, ostensibly riding along to Deep Space 10, and after that who knew? She most likely wouldn't stay beyond that but Zayar could never tell with her. She was flighty and frivolous, or at least appeared to be.::

:: As was happening with greater frequency now that his mother was around, Zayar heard a beep over his communication system. Looking over to the panel on his end table, he sighed as he pressed the 'Open Channel' button.::

Feraoun: :: Massaging his temples.:: Yes?

Nevarin: :: An exuberant tone.:: Oh good you're up my dear.

:: It was a simple statement, but one that revealed much about his mother's character.::

Feraoun: :: Leaning his head back onto his pillow, his tone was a bit strained, marked by exhales, but he tired not to openly sigh.:: What is it mother?

Nevarin: Oh I just couldn't sleep, I was hoping we could talk.

Feraoun: :: His tone was devoid of patience.:: About what? :: He asked, closing his journal, resigning himself to not finishing it any time soon.::

:: There was a silence on the other end for a while. Perhaps Jherain was becoming aware of the gap in the relationship between herself and her son, maybe that's why she came to the Constitution in the first place.::

Nevarin: :: A little hesitant at first.:: Why don't you tell me about the people you work with?

:: It was something more substantial than small talk, it wasn't about the weather or simple facts about what was going on in his life, it was about the people in it. Perhaps she was sizing up the competition? They were hardly in competition for his affections, but perhaps she sensed the connection he had with the other officers. She was, to some degree, empathic, perhaps she felt the panic of when Zayar had realized that Aigle and Jherain would intersect. It was one thing to watch his words, but Zayar rarely watched his thoughts.::

Feraoun: :: Taking a great intake of air followed by a long decompression.:: Um well... :: He shifted around in his bed, pulling the covers over his legs and body, lying down to get comfortable. He could feel that he would be here for a while.:: There's Commander Faranster.

Nevarin: :: Perking up a bit in tone.:: Tell me about him, and the others, in detail. What are they really like?

:: Zayar looked over to his end table, as if to face his mother on the other end. She was clearly intent on learning about the other people in his life.::

Feraoun: :: Brushing his hair out of his face.:: Ah well, he's... :: Zayar struggled to describe the man in the most basic of terms, but then remembered his mother's prompt and his brain recalled the conversation they had a few days ago.:: ... strong. He's a lot like a father to the crew, a parent, much like any Captain should be I suppose.

:: Zayar put Commander Faranster in the context of the others he had known and he found the comparison positive.::

Nevarin: So he's good at command?

Feraoun: :: He didn't think about this answer, perhaps he was finally reaching a place of honesty.:: Yes... I originally thought he was coming into his own, but I suppose he already has. I haven't seen much of the way he actually 'commands' though, I've been away from the bridge when he's there and then when I was a few days ago, he was, of course, held hostage. He doesn't look any worse for wear though, none of them do. I think that's pretty admirable.

Nevarin: So what about the others then?

Feraoun: :: He pushed into his bed, considering the others.:: Oh the others... hmm... oh well there's this engineer, Lieutenant McCleran, I think you'd like her Mother, she's got this spirit to her, it just radiates off of her. She tells it like it is, point blank.

Nevarin: :: He thought he could almost hear her smile on the other end.:: I suppose I would like her.

Feraoun: :: Going on without being prompted.:: And then there's Selene.

Nevarin: Selene?

Feraoun: Doctor Selene Faranfey, she's... an enigma, there's so much about her that just doesn't add up. She's a Doctor but she has this confidence about her, mixed with experience and a certain... pain, I guess. I don't know. :: He paused for a moment.:: I didn't like her originally, I'm not really sure if I like her now, but I respect her and her ability, and perhaps that's better than merely liking someone.

:: Perhaps that's what he felt towards his mother? 'Respect'? No, that just seemed to clinical and in recognition of a familial position or title Jherain never claimed.::

Nevarin: Perhaps.

Feraoun: There's Lieutenant Stoyer, the Conny's helmsman, he's a good man and a good officer, but he has a certain trepidation to him, I think he served in Starfleet before, enlisted, before attending the Academy and his assignment to the Conny.

Nevarin: :: Interrupting.:: I'm sorry, Conny?

Feraoun: :: Remembering his mother's ignorance of shipboard lingo.:: Oh right, um that's just what we call the Constitution, for short.

Nevarin: Ah.

Feraoun: :: Returning to his recollections.:: Okay, then there's Commander Siris, he's El-Aurian, I could sense it a mile away, but there's something a bit off about him. He's intelligence, or was I guess, I don't know if I trust him either, still he's proven himself a capable battlefield commander, if nothing else. I suppose that skill trumps all others in certain situations. He worked hard to get Commander Faranster and the rest of the crew back and he didn't even know them. I guess that's admirable. :: Zayar said the last part as if admitting defeat, in the context that his earliest assumptions about Commadner Siris might have been wrong.::

:: Zayar continued his tales of the Constitution's crew, the ones he was more familiar with anyway. He spoke about the indomitable Andorians aboard and the rather honest and well meaning Lieutenant Danara, who was nothing like he expected in an Intelligence Officer. He spoke about Ensign Kala and how she had been thrown into the fire the moment she came within scanner range but had performed bravely, same with Ensign Li, who was a counselor of all things but served admirably as a bridge officer during the asteroid crisis. It had been a day for the shifting of assignment though, and testing one's boundaries as an officer, Zayar would know.::

:: He talked about the mission to Sotra and his first experiences with Lieutenant Faranfey, Commander Udas and the rest of the crew, and tried to explain the best he could about what had gone on there, still not fully understanding it himself. Zayar also relayed the tale of Doctor de Massard, the Maquis agent who posed as a Starfleet Engineer.::

:: Eventually he found himself talking with his eyes closed, and after non hearing questions from his mother in a while, he looked over to his end table.::

Feraoun: Mother?

Nevarin: :: There was a pause, followed by her voice in a rather distant tone.:: Oh, still here dear.

Feraoun: Are you tired?

Nevarin: :: There was another long pause before she spoke again and her tone was equally distant, preoccupied.:: Yes dear I'm sorry...

Feraoun: :: Showing a measure of genuine concern.:: Oh well you should have said something then. I didn't mean to keep you up.

:: It had been a nice talk, or a monologue perhaps. It was honest at least, the first honest, meaningful words he had exchanged with his mother in a while. It was a gateway to be sure, to other conversations, though Zayar never really took stock of what others told their parents. It could very well be that this was just it.::

Nevarin: Ah yes... well I'll see you tomorrow then?

Feraoun: :: A bit of a somberness, disappointment in his tone, mixed with a certain anticipation. It was sadness at the end of the momentum of this conversation, but the happy anticipation of others.:: Sure, we can find something to do.

Nevarin: :: Her tone rushed.:: All right my dear, good night.

:: The line cut out and Zayar was left alone to his quarters. Rolling over on his side, he once again retreated into his own mind. He considered the implications of his previous words. He couldn't help but be somewhat concerned that his mother was somehow hurt by them. If she really was concerned that she had missed out on the last half of his life then perhaps she wasn't keen on hearing about the people that now filled his life. They were colleagues but the ways he had described them perhaps made them seem like giants, in the context of his personal life at least, no matter how professional their relationship was.::

:: Rolling over on his other side Zayar breathed for a moment. He was looking forward to seeing his mother again, for the first time in a long time, but part of him thought this conversation was like every other one they had, had, the only irregularity being its length. There was still a lot she didn't know, and there were things Zayar would never tell her. Perhaps the type of honesty he envisioned with his Mother wasn't possible, and as he drifted off to sleep, he could feel his thoughts grow cold to her once again. Perhaps he wasn't so much excited about talking to her, as he was about talking to someone. It wasn't something he often did, confiding and relaying his thoughts to another.::

:: Perhaps he would talk to T'San about it. Yes, the logical Vulcan would know what to do. But like an impending day with his mother, it could wait till morning.::

Ensign Zayar Feraoun

Mission Specialist

USS Constitution-B

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