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Safine Rael - Good Air


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This @Alleran Tanshoreleave has said goodbye to two PNPCs and in both cases it has done so in a delightful way, showing us that we have only witnessed a fraction of the characters' lives, a small window into a larger story. And that is a singular beauty, all the more so as closing our interaction with the stories in a satisfying way is a challenge in itself. Excellent job.


(( Quaint Apartment, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Earth ))
Buenos Aires. Literally, "Good air."
Ancient humans believed "foul air" was the cause of illness. So when Buenos Aires was founded, away from the swamp-stench of the old city of the Aragonese, they noted that malaria (literally, "bad air") no longer plagued them; here, the air was sweet and free of disease. Thus the city was named.
Malaria, of course, being transmitted by the everpresent flying bloodsuckers in the swamp, not by the stinking air itself, was a fact lost to them. But such was the progress of medicine; the observation was not wrong, only the specific cause. The ancient Humans were on the right track. Close, but not quite right.
Safine inhaled and let the breath out slowly. The air indeed was good here. Sweet and clean and perfect; as was all of the air on Earth, that crystal blue/green ball that was the headquarters of the Federation. Rael had seen so many images of it over her lifetime, but never actually visited. Close, but not quite actually set foot on it before.
Her Human parents, by adoption, of course, were both from Russia. That area was next on her itinerary. Moscow was lovely this time of year—lovely any time of year—and she knew her Dads would be proud of her, going to the Motherland. So many charming souvenirs would be bought. The cheaper and tacker the better, just how Dads liked them. Gaudy reflections of a trip back to her roots.
Her roots on an alien world, home to a species she was not part of. Feeling a connection to a home that was hers only by adoption... there was nothing shameful about it, intellectually, but on some level, it did feel shameful. Claiming a heritage that didn't feel truly hers.
She felt like one of those souvenirs. Cheap and tacky. A knock-off. Not charming at all.
An imposter.
A failure.
A loser.
Not a real Russian. Not a real Starfleet officer. Not a real host of the Tan symbiont. Always second place. Always the runner up. Always the pitiable creature who screws everything up.
Loser, loser, wouldn't want to be her.
She wasn't ready for Moscow yet. Moscow was supposed to be a good day. Today was not that yet. For now, he wanted somewhere beautiful. Somewhere the air was beautiful. Because she had to process another second place in her life.
Mallora had transferred.
As a civilian, her visibility was less than it had been. She had no idea where the Betazoid had transferred to or if she was coming back, and although she desperately wanted to reach out to her new friend, she just couldn't bring herself to make the call. It felt intrusive; it felt wrong, and her moral compass would not permit it.
Still, today was a bad day, and she did not feel good about respecting her friend's privacy. Vossti's absence felt unfair. Not being Russian felt unfair. Not being in Starfleet felt unfair. The needs of the service had taken Doctor Vossti away from her. The service she had already given a lot to (in her mind). There were ten thousand reasonable thoughts she could be thinking at this very moment, but the primus was this:
It wasn't fair.
What a miserable day, on this beautiful, joyous, prosperous and safe and developed and wholesome world. How annoying; she was determined to have a bad day and feel crummy, and every part of this planet was just working as hard as it could to make her feel better. Paradoxically, that just made her feel worse.
Safine drank from her mostly empty cup full of rocket fuel, watching the world outside her apartment become fuzzy and pleasantly numb. The booze took the edge off, as it tended to, and while Corliss Fortune—the friend who hadn't left her, yet—would probably not approve of this method of coping with the unfairnesses piling up in her life.
Fortunately, Corliss wasn't here to judge her. That didn't keep away the guilt. Not crushing waves, not pressing weights. Just a little guilt. Like a splinter in her mind. Nagging. Unfairly nagging; this was wholly a construct of her own mind, and it felt rude to blame someone else for it.
Especially because the ghost of Corliss, haunting her and judging her, was right. She shouldn't drink so much.
Safine wiped her lips, tossing her hair and straightening her back. She cast her eyes out over the bustling city full of mostly Humans and steeled herself.
Rael: Malip ahtah tel, malip tel¹. She—things—ain't coming back. ::Slurring,:: So get used to it.
There were no miracle treatments in her future. And that was okay. She'd gotten through the last five (six?) years without them.  She would get through the next five, or six, or seven, or whatever. It was time to grow up and accept what had happened to her, and accept that things were never going to be as they were. To think otherwise was a fantasy. An unhealthy one.
Speaking of unhealthy, the rest of her deep mug started to kick in, and Safine let it happen. She passed out in the pleasant sun, relaxing in her chair and embracing the soft, warm haze of another of those ancient Human traditions: day drinking. Probably the oldest medicine known to that whole species, and certainly one practised in pre-World War III Russia, amongst other places. So maybe she wasn't so out of touch after all.
And at least the air was clean.
¹ Trill: "What is gone, is gone."



simmed by



USS Gorkon


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