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Lt. Trovek - Path of the Prophets - Hilja and Jeni

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I am so eager to see how this will unfold. And even if @Arys gave me a few spoilers I still think she might hold a surprise in her hand.




((Somewhere on Bajor))


A few days ago, Arys had met with her brother Aaron for the first time in almost a year, and despite their differences, their little family reunion had gone a lot better than expected - even if far from perfect. Aaron had, at first, been appalled by the idea that his sister was planning to get married to a Cardassian. Even if he himself hadn’t experienced the Occupation, he had been raised by someone who had, and who even now made sure he stood firmly in his dislike towards everything Cardassian, or non-Bajoran for that matter. 

What seemed to have changed his mind was that Arys insisted on how different Lukin was. He was kind, caring, and interested in lasting peace and cultural exchange. But what made him stand out, in particular, was that he had been willing to adopt a little, an orphaned Cardassian-Bajoran hybrid.

Before parting ways, Aaron had invited Arys to visit him and the family she could be part of if she decided to stay on Bajor. Arys was following that invitation as she stepped off the transporter pad and looked around with thinly veiled surprise. She found herself on the edge of a small village that, with its traditional houses and surrounding farmlands, seemed so very different from the large cities of Earth she had grown up in.

Taking a few tentative steps towards the centre of the little village, she noticed that the path that was laid out on her PADD seemed her way led her away from the town, rather than towards it. 

Of course, Arys sighed. Aaron had always liked an air of mystery around his person, and it only made sense that it extended to his place of residence. She just wished he had told her and an hour of walking was involved.

Though after the first few minutes she quickly noticed that she didn’t mind as much as she initially thought she would - It was peaceful here, and instilled a sense of serenity and safety, and was a welcome break from life with Lukin and Geleth, from work in sickbay, and from her occasional synthethol-based adventures with Foster, Rue, or Aine. 

The path she was following eventually arrived at a small farmhouse overshadowed by several enormous nya trees. Kuja flies and liccie bugs buzzed all around the cacophony of flowers near the entrance, and dozens of frog-like creatures living in a small pond to the side filled the air with croaks and splashes. Arys couldn’t quite explain it, but there was just something about the farm that felt intimate and welcoming. Like returning home after a long and exhausting mission.

She knocked on the door - a foreign yet familiar gesture, and a moment later said door creaked open. The girl who stood to greet her was blonde and had just about reached adulthood, but at the same time was quite visibly pregnant. She wore simple and modest linen clothing, and greeted Arys with the same knowing smile Aaron had plastered on his face. 

Hilja: We've been told of your arrival ::she beamed:: It’s good to meet you, sister - Welcome! I’m Hilja. 

Arys stepped inside and just about dodged Hilda’s attempt to hug her. 

Trovek: Thanks... I'm Arys. ::pause:: But you know that. 

She sheepishly looked around, trying to take in her surroundings. The interior of the house was held in natural tones that were usual for Bajoran design, and Hilja laughed as she motioned for Arys to come along. 

Hilja: Of course you are. ::she motioned for Arys to follow her as she made her way through the hallway:: Aaron is not here at the moment, but he will arrive for dinner. I hope that doesn't disappoint you. 

Disappoint her? No, but it certainly came as a surprise. After all, she was following his invitation. Arys shrugged to herself and followed Hilja, trying not to wonder if the girl was one of Aaron’s wives. She was marrying a Cardassian, he was marrying several barely-legal girls. They both had their flaws. 

That said, he wasn’t the only difficult family member Arys had to deal with. 

Trovek: What about Sileah? Is she here? 

Hilja: Sileah doesn’t want to see you. ::she turned, offering her a sad smile:: I’m sorry, Arys. 

Arys shook her head. She hadn’t expected anything else, and she didn’t wantto see her mother in the first place. Why had she even asked? 

Trovek: That’s quite alright. 

They continued, and the hallway opened to a large living area with wooden furniture, an actual fireplace, and colourful rugs on which several children between the age of perhaps three and six years were playing. They regarded Arys with curiosity, but it seemed the arrival of strangers wasn’t unusual to them. 

Despite now having a child of her own, the children didn't exactly capture Arys' attention. They were cute, sure, but that was about it. 

Trovek: Yours? 

Arys asked curiously and was somewhat relieved when Hilja shook her head. She motioned towards her own babybelly with the beaming smile of a future mother. 

Hilja: This is my first. I'm really excited to meet him ::she paused:: Or her! I don't know yet. 

Trovek: Do you want it to be a surprise? 

There was a flicker of... something in the girl's eyes, something Arys caught immediately, and which caused her to focus her attention fully on the young woman. 

Trovek: You didn't visit a hospital yet. ::she waited for Hilja to confirm, then continued:: How far along are you? And it is Aaron's right?

Hilja nodded meekly before she spoke. 

Hilja: Four months. And yes. 

Arys smiled, but her practised gaze eyed Hilja up and down with some concern. She was petite. Birthing a Bajoran child would be difficult enough, but gestation for Bajoran-Human hybrids was somewhere between six and seven months, and the unborn child was larger and heavier. This could potentially be a very complicated birth. 

Hilja: Do you have children of your own? 

Arys nodded, deciding to deal with this new complication at a later stage. 

Trovek: I do. I have a little daughter.

Hilja: Oh cute, what's her name? 

Arys had almost answered that question with "Geleth", but Lukin was right to not want to disclose this information. 

Trovek: We call her Jelly. 

Hilja: Oh that's so cute! Maybe our children can be friends. 

Arys nodded, deciding there and then that she would talk to Aaron about getting Hilja the medical care she would need, and suggest he start marrying people his own age. 

They walked over to the playing children, Hilja told Arys their names, but Arys wasn't really listening. What she really wanted to know was if these were just 'some kids' or if these were her nieces and nephews. With the human ancestry two generations away, it was difficult to tell. 

Footsteps in the hallway announced the arrival or additional people, and a moment later two women stepped into the room, introducing themselves as Kasira and Nimea. Both were (thankfully) around Arys’ age, one of them with dark hair and blue eyes, the other brunette and a little taller than her. More interesting than the two Bajorans however was the child one of them was carrying in her arms. From what Arys could guess, the toddler was perhaps two years old, and a little bigger than the usual Bajoran child at that age. A lot more interest than that, however, were the genetic markers that determined the child's appearance. Brown hair framed a round, slightly puffy face, and while the 'wrinklies' (that's what Geleth called them) indicated Bajoran heritage, the spots on both sides of her face clearly indicated 'Trill'. 

Trovek: Oh hi there. ::Arys extended her hand towards the little girl, using her baby voice:: 

The brunette smiled, turning the girl to face Arys. 

Kasira: You must be Arys - this is Leothera - Leo for short. 

Arys wondered why everyone here seemed to know her name. She also wondered if the name Leo had been chosen because of the spots, but decided that a Leo wasn't a leopard and that leopards weren't a thing on Bajor. 

Trovek: Your daughter is adorable.

Kasira: Oh she isn't my daughter. I'm just taking care of her for the time being. Her mother is a Starfleet Officer and decided it's better for Leo to stay with family while she is gone.

Arys blinked in surprise. So one of her nieces was half Trill, and one of her sisters-in-law was a Starfleet Officer? She had expected a lot, but certainly not something like that - after all, Aaron had always preached Bajoran supremacy. 

Trovek: Hi Leo. ::she smiled at the child:: You are adoooooorable. 

Ugh. Maybe she did have a motherly bone in her body after all, or perhaps she was just glad to have proof of Aaron’s claim that he had changed. 

The rest of the tour of the farmhouse was somewhat uneventful. The number of women living here fluctuated, and Hilja hinted that there was a large retreat somewhere, but didn't want to elaborate on when one qualified to visit said retreat, or where it was. That said, Arys didn't mind it here at all. It was a nice and modest property in bright colors and with open doors, and with women who supported each other in raising the children their lives revolved around. 

Arys and Hilja chatted about the pregnancy, with Arys offering more than once to take the younger woman to a hospital, and eventually, they agreed on her returning with a medical tricorder. 

Trovek: What's there? 

Asked Arys, approaching a room to which the door was closed, which made it stand out from any other room in the house. She approached, curious as to what waited inside, but as she tried the door handle, found it locked.

Hilja: Oh, that's the prayer room. 

Trovek: Huh. Do you have a key? 

Hilja shook her head and seemed somewhat relieved when Arys offered a shrug. Not like she wanted to see a prayer room that badly. If she did, she might as well have visited the temple with Lukin and Geleth.

Hilja: Aaron said you don't follow the prophets. So you wouldn't really like it anyway. 

Trovek: That's correct, I suppose. 

Hilja: I think you would enjoy the Garden though. Would you like to see it?

Before Arys could reply, Hilja already began leading down the hallway - Arys wasn't sure if she was so eagerly leading her into the Garden, or away from the ‘secret room’.

Arys followed Hilja back to the living area and from there into the Garden, where the young girl excused herself as one of the children began crying. Arys didn’t mind, and as a matter of fact, she was glad to have some time to herself. So far, the visit had been a pleasant surprise, but at the same time the new information was a little overwhelming, and it would be good to collect her thoughts. 

The luscious field of grass that made out the main part of the garden was surrounded by evergreen bushes and shrubs, and she could make out beds of flowers and fruits and vegetables that were surely thriving in Bajor’s warm autumn sun. A few young trees offered shade, and their roots playfully crept and crawled their way through the garden, expanding their foothold beyond the locations given to them.

On the edges of the property, the farmland seemed eager to reclaim its domain, and there was no clear distinction as to where it began and the garden ended. 

Arys liked it here. It reminded her of her grandfather’s property on Earth, and as she strolled through the garden, listening to the chirping of porli in the distant trees, she wondered what had become of it. Last she heard, her father had tried to sell it. 

She sat down on a wooden bench, and turned to look back at the farmhouse. Somehow, she had always imagined Aaron living in a temple, where his many wives worshipped a statue of him and Sileah. Perhaps not that, but definitely something along those lines.

Instead, she had found that he was living with his family. An unusual and imperfect family, just like her own. 

Jeni: Hello, Arys. 

Arys turned around as a soft voice interrupted her thoughts. She must have been so lost in thought that she hadn’t noticed the woman sitting down next to her. It wasn't Hilja, and it wasn't any of the other women she'd seen around the house, but this one wore the same linen dress as the others did. Her hair was strawberry blonde, her features delicate, and in an instant, Arys knew who that was. 

Trovek: Jeni. 

The woman nodded and Arys marvelled at how she looked exactly like Arys had imagined her growing up. Warm, radiant, and beautiful. While Arys and Jeni hadn't been close, they had still been friends, and after the nightmare that had featured her and Kent, Arys found herself thinking back to that time more often than usual. 

Jeni: And here I was worried you would not recognize me. 

Trovek: Yes it’s.. Been a while. 

Not to mention that, until a few seconds ago, Arys had thought Jeni to be dead. According to Arys, Jeni’s family had been part of Sileah's followers, and had something to do with an explosion in a nearby warehouse, and one of the many things she blamed her mother for was the girl’s death. 

And yet here she sat. Unharmed. An adult. 

Jeni: More than two decades. I know. 

Trovek: … I thought you had died. 

And now?

Jeni laughed and shook her head, placing a hand on Arys' shoulder. 

Jeni: I am right here. Children have a very lively imagination, don’t they? 

Arys nodded. Since people didn't randomly come back from the dead, it was far more likely that she, back then, had been an angry teenager making up horrible stories about her mother. 

Jeni: So what brings you here? Are you visiting your family?

Trovek: Yes. My brother in particular. 

Jeni: How come? You were never close.

That was true, and of course, Jeni would remember all the arguments the Trovek children were known for. Arys hadn't been particularly quiet about her disdain towards her brother and her mother and Bajor and everything Bajoran.

Trovek: I suppose I… changed my mind? Things happened and they changed my mind.

Jeni: How do you like it here? 

Trovek: It's... nice? ::She opened her mouth, wanting to remark on how it was still odd that Aaron had his own harem, but decided against it before any word could escape::

Jeni: Did you notice that Nimea looks a lot like you? Isn’t that a little offputting? 

Arys frowned. She hadn’t quite noticed that before, but now that Jeni mentioned it, there definitely were similarities. The woman who had introduced herself as Nimea was her age, had the same wavy black hair and dark blue eyes, and even her figure resembled hers. 

How had she not noticed that? 

Trovek: I… guess? I don’t really know anything anymore. It's been an interesting few days to be sure. 

Jeni: Sometimes answers are hidden in plain sight. ::she shrugged:: Maybe in that secret room. 

Trovek: The.. what?

Arys asked, but she knew exactly what Jeni meant. The room with the locked door, which Hilja had called the 'prayer room'. Arys had thought about it as 'secret room', largely for her own entertainment, but she hadn't said it out loud.

Jeni: The room with the locked door. 

Trovek: The prayer room. 

Jeni nodded and Arys sighed. Find answers in prayer. Really? 

Jeni: ::sensing Arys' apprehension:: Maybe not now. Maybe opening that door won’t make things better. ::She paused, letting the silence settle, before eventually, she added:: But it’s odd that a prayer room should be locked, isn’t it? Why do you think that is? 

Trovek: I… suppose it’s to keep people from going inside? 

Jeni: That is one out of two options. 

Before Arys could reply, someone else called her name, this time it was Aaron who stood by the house, waving her over to him while simultaneously making his way to her. 

Jeni: I will leave you to it. 

Trovek: I’ll see you around, I guess. 

Jeni: You will.

Somehow that sounded ominous, but Arys tried to shake that thought as she got up and met Aaron halfway. 

Aaron: Speaking to the Prophets, little sister, or still relying on yourself? 

Arys gave a smirk and a nod, but did find that an odd comment to make. 

Trovek: The latter. But who knows, maybe I'll try things your way. 

He seemed elated by that idea and ushered her towards the house. 

Aaron: Let's head inside. We have much to discuss. 

Lt. Trovek Arys

Chief Medical Officer

Starbase 118 Ops




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