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Lt. Cmdr. Hsina Amman & PNPC Ensign Torali Elzizabath - Interesting Conversation

Tal Tel-ar

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Data here used on the species wiki page

OOC – First day of shore leave

((Science Department, USS Athena))

:: Hsina had just left what had turned out to be a somewhat less brutal interrogation than she had expected, no doubt made a little easier by the good night’s sleep, hearty meals and vigorous workout she had enjoyed between her arrival on the ship and her appointment with the Intel officers. ::

:: She still hadn’t met the captain though no doubt she would be summoned as soon as the intel reports were in, but it was clear that her file and codes had been uploaded and she now had at least basic access to some of the science facilities. ::

:: Basic clearance, strangely, couldn’t access most of her own research concerning the Preservers and other ancient spacefaring species, but that was to be expected.  What she was able to access was the Starfleet unclassified library, which included the one item she wanted most; the definitive history of the Preservers, published in Oxford University Press way back in the year 2324 one Hsina Amman, Ph.D and doctoral candidates Natsuko Imai, Jason Klein and Semak, who was a Lieutenant Commander in Starfleet on an educational leave.  Based on Hsina’s work decoding Preserver cuneiform script 19 years earlier, the four scholars had undertaken the massive project of translating all extant Preserver texts and, most importantly, cross-indexing them with ancient Terran, Vulcan and Klingon writings that linked Preserver contact with those respective species. ::

:: Information, including full cuneiform lexicon and translation matrix loaded into a PADD, Hsina logged out of the research system and headed for the door, almost running into the last thing she expected to see, which was to a say a woman of roughly the same height.  She had known a few, VERY few, but it still usually came as something of a surprise. ::



:: Torali stretched and then reached up to massage her neck. She had put in a lot of hours already and the little interruption by that barbarian had not helped. A glance to the side showed that it was past time that she should have stopped and gone to get something to eat. ::

:: With a shrug she turned off the computer she was working on and stood. As she did her mind wandered back to her home. She had not been back since she had informed her father that she was going to enlist in the Federation militaristic war machine as a scientist. He had exploded, the first and only time she had ever seen him angry in her life. ::


:: In fact that was the last time that she had spoken to him. He could not grasp the concept that his daughter had chosen to live with and work beside such primitive barbaric species and while she understood his worries and his disdain for any species that could not rise above any and all forms of violence her intellectual curiosity had driven her to take the step that she knew might drive a wedge between her and her people. ::


:: So far it had proven to be a mix of interesting new experiences and disappointments, mostly disappointments. Far too many of the species that belonged to the Federation were noticeably inferior, barbaric and savage. Even the Vulcans who were intellectually on a level close enough to be considered members of an intelligent species harbored a dark and primitive capability. ::


:: Still the exposure to so many different species, cultures, worlds and societies was a treasure trove of unexpected new concepts, information and even experiences. All of which she recorded, preserved in analytical and concise scientific reports that she diligently sent back to her world. ::


:: She doubted that it would make any difference with her father but she knew far too many others and not just scientists who would read, debate and study her reports. If her people were to survive in this savage universe they needed to be warned, to be prepared for just how uncivilized all of those species were. ::


:: With a shrug she shook off her thoughts and turned to leave. As soon as she exited the lab she had been working in she had to stop before bumping into someone who was almost as tall as she was, a female Lt. Cmdr. that she had seen a few times here in the science department. ::


Elzizabath: Excuse me.

Amman: Pardon me, I should pay more attention.

:: Torali found it refreshing not to have to look down when speaking to someone, especially another female even if she was old enough to be her mother. ::


Elzizabath: Ensign Torali Azivalora Poracin Elzizabath


Amman: Hsina Amman, nice to meet you.


Elzizabath: I came aboard the USS Athena just before leaving the Alpha Quadrant.

Amman: I came aboard yesterday.  I’ve actually been stranded on that space station the last three weeks, and was transported there from a very, very distant planet, most likely by some sort of gate.

Elzizabath: I had heard about that, the circumstances which resulted in that occurrence seem to be unusual and deserving of further scientific research. Unfortunately that is not my field of expertise, is it yours?


Amman: I’m an archaeologist actually. You?


Elzizabath: Technically I am a planetologist but I also have a solid understanding of most of the sciences associated with planets and their ecology. I have been assigned to this vessel to study the various new planets this vessel comes into contact with.


Amman: Well, being as far out as we are, its likely I’m stuck here for at least the near future.  


Elzizabath: I would expect that to be correct. :: Torali tilted her head slightly and asked a question in a curious tone. :: I take it you would have preferred not being rescued or was there some place you would rather be?


Amman: Well, a ship assignment is not what I was looking for. I was in charge of a rather extensive research project for the last few years, based on a bronze-age planet.  High gravity, harsh weather, no technology.  I’d gotten rather comfortable not having any of the bureaucracy or protocol of Starfleet.


Elzizabath: Aahhh…. I think I understand…. :: She paused for a moment then continued. :: Having scientists on a military vessel seems wrong… being free of the bureaucracy… the savage Neanderthal mentalities of most Federation individuals would have been a wonderful way to immerse yourself into proper scientific research.  

Amman: I wasn’t there to study a primitive culture, rather exploiting a long-lost library left behind by the Preservers; ancient spacefarers who seeded many of the galaxy’s humanoid species.

Elzizabath: That is not what I mean, merely that maintaining an intellectual devotion to peaceful scientific research should be the goal of all scientists. 

Amman: Is that why you are here, to peacefully study us Federation savages? 

Elzizabath: Call it scientific curiosity. My people have never been able to understand how the Federation has managed to survive considering the barbaric and violent nature of most of the species that are members of it. :: She paused for a moment and then smiled as she continued. :: In many ways that phenomenon deserves to be studied so that some kind of understanding of the events and forces involved can be better cataloged and understood. 

Amman: Yes, it is rather surprising we haven’t blasted ourselves into tiny bits yet. 

Elzizabath: I meant no insult by my words, my only real desire is to develop a better understanding of the various species that make up this Federation. My people find it difficult if not impossible to understand why any intelligent being would ever resort to physical methods of dealing with problems in regards to others. It is my hope that by exposing myself to these species I may eventually develop some king of logical hypothesis as to why they do it. 

Amman: No insult taken, I was being serious.  It really is surprising.  My ancestry is Greek and Iraqi, specifically Spartan and Assyrian, with the Spartans in ancient Greece known for their military prowess and purity and the Assyrians of ancient Iraq for their military power and brutality.  

Elzizabath: Spartans…. Assyrian…. Ohh… I read about them at the academy. They were both ancient human cultures, militaristic, savage, brutal… an unusual heritage for someone who values logic and knowledge.


Amman: The Spartans, and all ancient Greeks were eventually enslaved by the Romans, who not coincidentally based their military on the records of the Assyrians.  Sometimes I think I was born 30 centuries too late.


:: For a human this woman was surprisingly intelligent, showing unexpected depths. Too bad most of her species seemed to lack those fundamental qualities. :: 


Elzizabath: That is a surprising statement. Considering what I know about those cultures you would have been treated as less than a person, useful only for the work you could do and the children you could produce. I believe that would have been a waste of a brilliant mind. Still that does not explain why you are here in this quadrant.


Amman: That bronze age world I was on was a Preserver seed world, an almost exact duplicate of Earth in the 7th century bce.  I was, in a way, living among my Assyrian ancestors, right down to their language, their foods and their religion.


Elzizabath: Ahhh…. Hence the unusual connection to your own heritage, still I believe that this opportunity must have also allowed you to make numerous discoveries that may have an impact on the history of your own world and people. I almost envy you the opportunity that you were able to involve yourself in.


Amman: Tell me about your species.  Since by your own admission they lack an understanding of violence, I’d be curious to learn of your history, and how they reached such a state.


Elzizabath: My homeworld is Ash’lie IV in the Draco Sigma Sector of the Alpha Quadrant. It is deep within the current borders of your Federation. My people had mastered space travel and visited most of the planets in my own system more than 5,000 years ago.

Amman: I’m slightly familiar with it.  Your people didn’t leave many footprints on surrounding worlds. 

Elzizabath: We never really traveled farther than our own system although we did visit many of the systems within a twenty light year radius. On those worlds that we observed intelligent life we left satellites to observe and send back data.  

Amman: 5,000-year-ago even the Vulcans were 3,000 years before Surak taught them to embrace logic and suppress emotion.  The Preservers were still seeding worlds and extracting resources, but had already abandoned the Alpha quadrant a few thousand years before that.

Elzizabath: It was due to these observations that we learned about the savage, violent nature inherent in all of these species. Long debates among the council with input from a vast majority of our intellectual leaders resulted in us removing those satellites and withdrawing back behind the border of our own system.   

Amman: Hence the lack of an exploratory footprint.

Elzizabath: It was just a precaution, to prolong the inevitable contact that must eventually occur once one of those species mastered enough engineering and scientific knowledge to allow them to produce some form of space craft. Most of our leaders believed that those species would never reach that stage or that they would cause their own extinction before it could occur.

Amman: We came very close on many occasions to wiping ourselves out, but give us time, we might still bring about our own destruction.

Elzizabath: That is a conclusion that many of our intellectual leaders believes applies to all of the other species we have encountered so far. I just find it unusual that someone from one of those species would agree with them. Is there a reason for this belief?


Amman: Despite all of our altruistic laws and lofty ideals, most of our species maintain not only their potential for violence, but dare I say our reliance on it.  Thanks to a 60-year nap in a stasis tube I’ve lived more than a century, and I honestly believe that the galaxy is just as dangerous, or perhaps even more so than it was at the time of my birth.  


Elzizabath: You would find many of my people who would agree with you. Still it is nice to meet someone who does not ooze testosterone fueled primitive aspects. :: As she said it she smiled. :: 


Amman:  I’m perhaps not as peaceful or evolved as you might think.  In addition to being a scientist, I’m also a boxer, a Terran blood sport in which two fighters, following certain rules, beat one another up with their thinly padded hands until a certain number of timed periods elapse or more often, one is knocked unconscious.


Elzizabath: I observed a few such matches at the academy as well as others involving martial arts, although I never did learn where the arts came into those activities. Even those sports, I believe that is what they are called that did not have physical violence built into them seemed to be aggressive and rudimentary with undertones of primitive savagery. :: Torali paused for a moment as she considered how best to ask the question she now wished to ask. :: If I may ask, why?


Amman: I started as a teenager and have always excelled at it.  Physical strength runs in my family, and I guess I enjoy the contest on many very different levels.  The thrill of the challenge, the pain and even the pride at winning far more often losing.  


:: Torali shook her head. The answer matched those that she had received from others during her years at the Academy. It still made little sense to her, how could anyone enjoy hitting another sentient, intelligent being. It was cruel, sadistic and inhuman. Yet they did and neither party involved in the barbaric acts seemed to even realise that it was wrong. If anything both parties seemed to emerge from the encounters experiencing joy, happiness and elation. Again she shook her head, still baffled by the very concept and the fact that everyone else around her accepted it as a normal part of their existence. ::


Elzizabath: I fear that I may never understand. However that is part of why I joined your Starfleet, to learn about other species.  

Amman: I take it your decision wasn’t a popular one. 

Elzizabath: My people may never understand, my family certainly did not. None of them have spoken to me or replied to any of my messages since I announced my decision.

::Hsina found it almost amusing that a species that prided itself on being so highly evolved would be so narrow-minded when it came to one of them wanting to explore and study. 

Amman: Not a particularly evolved response. 

Elzizabath: You must understand. While some of my people do have limited but regular contact with other species only a very small percentage have ever left our world to live and work among aliens.

Amman: Strange that they chose to excommunicate you over your choice to explore and serve. 

Elzizabath: It was my decision to join Starfleet that created the insurmountable gulf between me and my family. Regardless of all the medical, scientific and altruistic acts that members of the fleet take part in each and every year it is and always will be considered by my people as a militaristic war machine. One whose sole purpose is to fight, maim and kill others regardless of the reason for such actions. 

Amman: Well, we do fight, main and kill others from time to time, though for the most part it is usually done in defense of innocents or to thwart the aggression of others.

Elzizabath: My studies at the Academy for the most part were fairly complete in regards to this aspect of service. That does not mean I understand or condone such actions.


Amman: Tell me, have you ever taken a life?  I mean personally, up close.


:: The question was both shocking and abhorrent at the same time. Torali could not help allowing the feelings to be mirrored on her face but her time at the Academy had presented her with so many shocks that she was quickly able to regain her composure and hide her reactions behind a mask. ::


Elzizabath: Never!!!! I have never intentionally or accidentally struck, injured or by some action allowed someone to be injured. It would be unthinkable.

Amman: Not even in self-defense?

Elzizabath: No. Not even to protect myself.

Amman: What if it came down to self-defense, or defense of your shipmates?  Starfleet is pretty clear on such things.

Elzizabath: I enlisted under a provision that ensures that I will never be expected or asked to take part in any such acts of barbaric violence.


Amman: I have, more than once.  The first time was when I was 19-years-old, at university in Los Angeles, a big city on Earth.


:: Against her better judgement Torali found herself asking the question. ::


Elzizabath: How did it happen?


Amman: It was self defense.  I was late coming home from school, and a man grabbed me and tried to force himself on me.


Elzizabath: Force himself…. :: Torali had to think about that for a moment. It was a foreign concept to her people but one that she had quickly learned about while living on Earth herself. :: He wished to mate with you. :: The nod she received in response confirmed her guess even as the other woman continued tio speak. ::


Amman: He knocked me to the ground and then got on top of me, but I was able to grab a rock and I hit him in the head with it, and kept hitting him until he was dead.


Elzizabath: Your actions were extreme… :: Torali said even as she allowed a slight smile to soften her features. :: but from what I have learned about your species it may have been instinctual, not a rational response…. Did it not bother you???


Amman: I’m not really sure.  It bothered me at the time, and I remember having nightmares for years afterwards, but I never felt sorry or that what I did was wrong.  If anything, I think what bothered me the most was the thought that he wasn’t really any different than me, or anyone else for that matter, but somewhere in his past, or perhaps in his genetics, something went ever so slightly differently and resulted in a criminal or a deviant, instead of a scholar, or a baker, or anything else that humans could grow up to be.  I don’t even think he was that much older than I was at the time.


Elzizabath: It is incidents just like that, that make me glad that I was raised on my world. :: As she said it Torali thought back to her childhood, the flowers, music, art, a time of wonder and joy. It brought a wide, warm smile to her face even as she continued to talk. :: Still it must have been a traumatic experience for you. :: The smile had faded as she talked but her expression was still warm and soft. :: Still you seem to have survived more or less intact.


Amman: Honestly I hadn’t thought about it for many years, but I’m sure it was a formative experience.  


:: Hsina found herself enjoying the conversation despite the dark memories it brought up. ::


Elzizabath: You humans. :: Torali said with a smile and a soft laugh. :: How many species could say that of attempted rape and defensive murder.  

Amman: Quite a few I would imagine.  From what I’ve seen, violence, at least in defense seems more the norm than the exception.  Even in just the criminal context, there are so many crimes related to taking a life.  Homicide is the generic, of which are varying degrees of murder depending in intent, manslaughter is a lesser version.  Voluntary, involuntary, reckless, justifiable, I’m sure I am missing a few.

Elzizabath: I stand corrected…. That is yet another peculiarity that I have not yet mastered, this series of descriptive designations used to describe and define the parameters of someone’s death. 

Amman: Well, we must differentiate between natural causes and otherwise. 

Elzizabath: For us it is simple. Either one is alive or he is dead. 

Amman: Rather simplistic, don’t you think? 

Elzizabath: Every member of my species that dies is medically examined. In this way we continue to improve our understanding of medicine and the frailties of the physical form. 

Amman: Frailty is something I do my very best to avoid.  A great comedian from my world named Groucho Marx perhaps said it best, “Time wounds all heels.”

Elzizabath: That makes no sense. :: Torali replied with a puzzled expression on her face. ::


Amman: It’s a play on an older saying, “Time heals all wounds”, meant to help people grieving a loss or suffering an illness or injury.  Reversed it’s a metaphor for aging and the delicacy of life.


Elzizabath: I think I understand… :: Torali still had a puzzled expression on her face, it was just not as puzzled as it was. :: sort of, but….. this helps?


Amman: My father died when I was a young girl.  He was a police officer and was killed on duty.  My mother died about 7-years-later when I was a teenager.  She was a medical doctor, healthy and strong, but she slipped, fell down a flight of stairs and broke her neck.  It doesn’t matter how young or how strong you are, when it’s your time, it’s your time.


Elzizabath: That sounds more like fate and fate I understand even if my people do not believe in it themselves. Still from what I understand of most human cultures there is a grieving process, it varies from culture to culture but most seem to have one. If it is not prying was that true for you? :: Torali asked politely. :: 


Amman: I remember when my father died, I cried for weeks.  We all did, my mother, my brother and my two sisters.  It took us a few years, but eventually life returned to a new normal, and then that ended too.


Elzizabath: If there is one thing that I have learned since leaving my world, it is that regardless of the species nothing stays the same forever, change is inevitable. :: Torali paused for a minute as she tilted her head and pursed her lips while looking away. It only lasted for a moment then she returned her gaze back to the Lt. Cmdr. and continued to speak even as she tilted her head back upright. :: Obviously something else happened, may I ask what?


Amman: Nuri, my oldest sister was away at police academy, following in father’s footsteps.  Day, my brother was a professional boxer, and Samira, my other sister was a college student.  For a few weeks Samira and I stayed in the house, but she withdrew, hardly said a word, ate almost nothing.  One day I came home from school and found her hanging.


Elzizabath: Hanging…. I am unfamiliar with that term…. I understand how things hang but a person?


Amman: She took her own life, asphyxiation.  


:: A shocked expression appeared on Torali’s face, one that lingered even as she spoke in a tone that was also stunned. ::


Elzizabath: But that is illogical…. to take one’s own life….. :: She reached over and placed a hand on the older woman’s shoulder. :: I do not understand… why… there is no logic to such an action… this must have been…. confusing… disorienting… how did you respond?


Amman: I’m not sure really.  That time is rather foggy, but I remember moving in with my brother and he made me go to the gym with him after school and do my homework while he trained.  


Elzizabath: He worried about you, cared for you… that is good, I think I would like your brother, as a person, not as a barbarian. :: As she said the last Torali smiled to take any sting out of her words even as she dropped her hand from the other woman’s shoulder. :: Still it is obvious that you overcame a series of unusual traumas to become the person you are. I have a feeling that your brother was instrumental in that development.


Amman: Well, I started boxing, stopped mourning, stopped hurting, stopped crying and stopped fearing.  Right or wrong, I learned that pain and pleasure were basically the same, and that since everyone will die anyway, there was no point fearing it.  Death revealed itself to me as just an inevitable part of life, the last page, a comforting future rather than something to be feared.


Elzizabath: Death comes to all living things, it is not to be feared, nor is it to be embraced. My people believe that life is for living, to be enjoyed. So we learn, live, laugh and love. We do so for as long as possible, knowing that eventually it will end.  

Amman: Many of my kind believe the same way.  As I’m sure you’ve noticed, we can be a rather chaotic lot.  Learning is seen by many humans as a chore, by some as a challenge, and by a few of us as a passion.  Laughing, living and loving, we try to do as much of those as well.  In fact it can be argued that most human behavior at some basic level is aimed at attracting an appropriate mate. 

Elzizabath: ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, :: Torali laughed, the sound almost musical for the sheer sense of joy that rang through it even as it lit up her face. :: Sometimes I forget just how different our species are. :: She finally managed to say when the laugh died out but the smile remained. :: 

Amman: So you no longer have baser passions? 

Elzizabath: Those are for the most part myths and preconceptions regarding my people. Yes we do enjoy the physical act but just as much as the emotional aspect. It just does not rule our lives, it is merely a part of a healthy and rewarding life. To be enjoyed as much as music, art, dancing, the thrill of learning something new, reading a new book or hearing a new poem. :: As she finished speaking she turned and motioned in a way that seemed to ask, shall we walk while we talk. ::

:: Hsina walked alongside this most interesting officer, eager to learn more about her and her kind. ::

Amman: I think most humans have evolved far beyond their animal instincts, but still the drive remains.  I tend to think that most humans put far too little effort into their relationships and perhaps too much into their careers and hobbies.  I am quite guilty of this myself.  I’ve only had two intimate relationships in my life, and neither of them went particularly far.  The physical aspects were fine, but I’ve always found it difficult to make a deeper connection with living people and tend to prefer studying people who’ve been dead for millennia.  How do your people approach physical intimacy? 

Elzizabath: I would not go that far, :: Torali replied even as she started to walk along beside the other woman. :: still I will admit that from my experience my people do tend to pour a bit more effort into the physical aspect, much like some of your athletes do with their sports. Especially the one called a marathon.  

Amman: I’ve run more than one marathon, and can’t imagine the “physical aspects” having that kind of duration.  Is that normal with your people? 

Elzizabath: Not bragging, merely a statement, still I will admit that I could be wrong, after all my experiences in this regard would not be what you could call all that conclusive. After all I did spend most of my time at the Academy learning about your Federation and the species in it, not experimenting.

Amman: I would very much like to learn more, perhaps experience such a different approach to life.

Elzizabath: That is the scientist in you. :: Torali replied calmly. :: Something that I think we both have in common. Although I believe that we approach it in slightly different ways. :: Torali glanced over at the other woman as she continued to speak and walk. :: Would you not agree?


Amman: While archaeology was always my primary field, anthropology was my minor and is quite closely related.  In my last assignment, it was always a struggle when reporting back to Starfleet to drop the mannerisms of the culture I had assimilated into.  I love to “go native” as many scholars refer to fully assimilating into a culture to facilitate a deeper understanding of it.


Elzizabath: As I thought, while I have enjoyed studying the various species and cultures I have encountered since joining Starfleet I have never felt the urge to “go native” as you call it. However the idea is intriguing. Could you elaborate on the concept if you do not mind? :: She asked is a curious tone. ::


Amman: Pisces IV had most of the cultures that Earth had 30-centuries-ago.  While I spent most of my time among the Assyrians for access to the Preserver library, I also spent considerable time with the Shang Chinese and the Egyptians, and was able to integrate into different strata of their societies and truly “go native”.


Elzizabath: An interesting concept, one that would most likely result in a better and fuller understanding of the culture and species. :: For a few moments they walked along in silence before Torali again spoke. :: However I doubt that such an experiment would work for me. I fear that certain aspects of my cultural beliefs would prevent me from being able to achieve a status even faintly close to what you describe. 

Amman: That’s the point, you have to abandon your cultural beliefs and live within someone else’s.  Certainly you’ve had to adapt somewhat to be where you are now. 

Elzizabath: My first year at the Academy was most definitely a cultural shock but I was fortunate to have a good roommate who helped me to adjust. 

Amman: How so? 

Elzizabath: Perela was a Serilian from Seril IV. However she had spent most of her formative years off world with her father living aboard a freighter. As a result she was able to fit in with little to no difficulty.

Amman: People in isolated environments like a freighter, or even a farm, tend to be far more egalitarian, while in most large groups gender norms tend to be more strict.  Its something I’m always very keenly aware of when I try to blend into a society.  Most humans tend to have rather rigid views on age, gender and many other immutable characteristics. 

Elzizabath: She mentioned that. :: Torali replied calmly but then her tone changed to one tinged with puzzlement as she continued to speak. :: Even after all this time I have difficulty understanding how any intelligent species could logically think there is a difference between the sexes. From what she told me most females from her world would never have the opportunity to join Starfleet like she did. 

:: The two of them stopped at the lift and waited for it as they continued to talk. :: 

Amman: But there are differences, beyond the strictly anatomical.  There is a spectrum in any given trait, but averages definitely exist, and are vary among species.  In humans men do average stronger than women and women on average have a longer life span.  Of course there are men who live to be vastly older than the average woman, and women who are vastly stronger than the average man, but in general there are traits and identifiable differences. 

Elzizabath: ha, ha, ha, ha, :: Again Torali laughed her musical laugh before she continued to speak. :: From what she told me she was most definitely not your typical female Serilian but I think that was a good thing. If she had been I doubt that she would have gotten into Starfleet or been assigned as my roommate. 

:: As she finished talking the lift doors opened and they both entered. :: 

Amman: And how exactly did she help you adapt? 

Elzizabath: She encouraged me to try different things, foods, activities, even some sports…. :: A large smile lite up her face as she spoke. It stayed there as the lift doors opened and they walked out into the corridor. :: 

Amman: Sports?  

Elzizabath: I know, silly really but it seems that there are some that do not require a baser instinct for savagery, besides, regardless of anything you may have heard about my people we all tend to spend a portion of every day in some kind of physical fitness activity, swimming being one of the most popular.


Amman: I love sports, at least individual sports.  I was never much of a team player, but I did always enjoy direct competition.  I’m a mediocre tennis player, but I’ve always enjoyed the game.  It’s the same with swimming, where I have excellent endurance but am rather slow.  Which sports have you tried?


Elzizabath: Most were classed as track and field activities but I also tried gymnastics which are very similar to something we have on my world but we consider it to be a visual performing art set to music however Perela and I did play a lot of tennis as well. I found it challenging and an excellent way in which to exercise. 


Amman: Perhaps we can play some time.


Elzizabath: I would love to, for some reason I have found that it is not as popular an activity among most humans. :: As they turned a corner Torali had to pause her speaking for a moment and sidestep out of the way or she would have bumped into a purple skinned being with three eyes and strange waving tentacles hanging down from the top of its head. However as soon as it had passed she continued speaking. :: If you do not mind my asking, are there any other activities that you enjoy?


Amman: You mean hobbies?  Well, I’m not very good yet, might never be, but I’ve gotten involved in ballroom dance and try to practice at least two or three times per week.  I also like combining my professional knowledge with cooking, vinting and brewing.


Elzizabath: An interesting selection of activities. I am not sure what form of dancing, ballroom is but cooking I am familiar with and correct me if I am wrong but vinting is to create wine and brewing is for ales? :: Looking over Torali saw her new friend nod to indicate that she was basically correct. ::


Amman: That’s the fun part.  Ancient recipes are very easy to find, and with archaeological evidence we can often get a fairly accurate picture of the processes they used, but in many cases ingredients are no longer the same or even available due to changed climates and extinct plant and animal species, and of course we can often only guess.


Elzizabath: While I was at the Academy I heard about some university students that had managed to recreate what many believe may be one of the first brewing recipes on Earth, something from approximately 5,000 BC.  

Amman: The oldest I’ve managed was an Sumerian millet beer dating to about one thousand years later.  How about you, any hobbies? 

Elzizabath: Me. I paint, do some drawing, play a few musical instruments. I use to perform as part of the Ulasivierathalosovoron Olarisian Ensemble. My mother is one of the senior musicians with the company. 

Amman: Olarisian Ensemble?

Elzizabath: Olarisia is the most popular form of performing art on my world. Every major city has a couple dozen performance troupes.

:: Hsina was genuinely curious. :: 

Amman: Can you describe it to me? 

Elzizabath: If I had to describe it I would say that it is a large spectacle. :: Torali paused for a moment to consider how best to describe just what a performance was like before she continued. :: Think of it as a hybrid blend of Earth like ballet combined with circus de soile acrobatics and backed up by a symphony orchestra of 50 plus musicians and an audience participation that might resemble those individuals attending a performance of the Earth cult classic “Rocky Horror Picture Show” but without the audience wearing any silly costumes. As you might expect most performance groups have at least 100 performers. 

Amman: I’m not familiar with the Picture Show you mentioned, but it does sound like something I’d like to see.  What is your part in it? 

Elzizabath: I played the coralis, an instrument that is faintly like one of your Earth saxophones but with one mouth piece connected to two sloping metal tubes, one longer and thinner than the other which is slightly thicker and each with its own keys. 

Amman: I sort of know a woman who was a world class violinist, but I don’t believe she still plays.

Elzizabath: Violinist? :: Torali answered in a slightly puzzled tone even as she glanced over at her new friend. Then her expression changed as she continued to speak. :: Oh yes, a stringed instrument from Earth. It has some wonderful tonal qualities as I recall. What happened?


Amman: It’s a long story.  Someone my shipmates and I rescued, a woman out of time.


Elzizabath: That is an unusual statement. If you do not mind my asking, how and why did you describe her in such a way? :: Torali asked as they turned the corner and came to a stop near the entrance to the officer’s mess hall. ::


Amman: We found the wreck of an early Federation starship in orbit around a remote world with unusual conditions much like the planet Ba’ku in that it caused organic cells to regenerate themselves.  The crew of that ship had been stranded on the surface of Kjenta II for almost 220 years, but were all in their physical primes.  In the three weeks I was there I reverted physiologically ten years.  It’s a rather desolate place, extreme gravity and weather, but it was also the proverbial fountain of youth.


Elzizabath: That is a human reference correct? :: Torali asked and was rewarded by a nod even as she continued to talk. :: something to do with one of your mythological stories, water that prevents aging…. An interesting biological mystery, one that would be sure to interest anyone with a medical background, I take it that the Federation is now studying it?


Amman: It’s quarantined now.


Elzizabath: That is a unexpected decision. I would have thought that scientific curiosity would have won out… still that has no bearing on your story. What happened to her? The violinist.   


Amman: Major Irina Pavlova is her name.  She was accepted to the Moscow symphony in the year 2165, but chose to join Starfleet instead.  About a week after we had evacuated the survivors to the Discovery she tried to play, but couldn’t make her left hand work the strings without severely cramping.  That was three-years-ago, and when I saw her a few-months-ago she didn’t mention playing again, and I didn’t think to ask.  I hope she did.


Elzizabath: My musical talents may not be nearly as extensive or impressive as my mother’s but I would miss them greatly if for some reason I could never play again. Did you ever play an instrument?


Amman: I tried the guitar and the flute as a child, but I had no talent whatsoever, and I’m a horrible singer.  Something about female vocals and tenor just not being a pleasing combination.


Elzizabath: I think I understand, most species that I have encountered since leaving my world seem to produce only a small number of musicians, artists or performers.  

Amman: None of my my brothers and sisters ever had any musical talent.  I guess its just not in our gene pool. 

Elzizabath: Almost everyone on my world practices some form of artistic expression. 

Amman: You are known for it. 

Elzizabath: I had to laugh when I read the Federation description of my people at the academy. We were described as a species of artists, our world a gallery of visual and performing arts to delight the senses. Our achievements as doctors, scientists or engineers received only a short mention. 

Amman: I’ve only read of your world once, and if my memory serves, we hadn’t made first contact yet when I was a student.  I hope you’re not offended by my lack of knowledge or my people’s oversimplification of your society.

Elzizabath: It did not offend me. After all there has been less than a dozen visitors to my world from the Federation that I know about. I can see how it might be possible for them to have come to the conclusion that they did. 

Amman: Not unlike some of your people’s impression that we are all violent barbarians.  Anyway, I do need to take care of a few things and I believe I’m due to be interrogated by a punch of Intel types who seem to think I’m not who I say I am.  Should be fun. 

Elzizabath: Oh… I’m sorry. I did not mean to keep you. :: Torali replied in response to her new friends statement that she had to run as she was expected elsewhere. ::

Amman: Oh no, I most enjoyed our conversation.  If you don’t mind, I’d very much like to spend more time with you.  Perhaps you could show me one of those performances on the holodeck?  Just because I have no musical or artistic talent doesn’t mean I’m not a discerning spectator. 

Elzizabath: I would like that. :: She replied with a smile. :: This has been an interesting meeting, one that I welcome the opportunity to continue at another time. 

Amman: I’ll see you soon. 

Elzizabath: Till we meet again. :: Torali replied as her new friend turned and left. As for her she turned and entered the officers mess. It was long past time that she should be getting something to eat, or at least that was what her stomach was telling her. ::





Lt. Cmdr. Hsina Amman

Science Officer

USS Athena, NCC-97780

Author ID 0238908HA0




PNPC – Ensign Torali Azivalora Poracin Elzizabath 

Science Officer

USS Athena, NCC-97780


As simmed by


Cmdr. Tal Tel-ar

Chief Tactical Officer

USS Athena, NCC-97780



Tal Tel-ar’s Writer’s ID: T237708TT0


Edited by Tal Tel-ar
Forgot names in subject line
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