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Commander Alora DeVeau - "Life Changes"

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Finally, I can send in a proper appreciation for @Alora DeVeau. Who I have admittedly kinda stalked the writing of for a while on Ops. But with her transfer over to Denali, I can now reasonably be someone who gives her the appreciation that she so readily deserves for her beautiful writing. This is beautiful. It's emotional. Outstanding. I'm so excited to have her on the Station with us.


((DeVeau’s Quarters, Starbase 118 Ops))

The awards were finished, the celebration had continued, but Alora
excused herself before it was completely over.  Generally she would have
stayed late into the night, but though she had made sure to rest prior,
the fatigue began to hover.  Politely extracting herself, the first
officer returned to her quarters, the doors parting to allow her entry
into the dark and silent rooms.  They were standard quarters, a single
bedroom with a living area and dining area that allowed her to relax and
eat comfortably.  Unlike her own, there was no kitchen, for these were
not meant for long term stays, but she didn’t need to cook.  She didn’t
have the energy to cook.

Making her way to the bedroom, Alora sighed softly as she reached up to
undo the clip that held half of her hair back away from her face, the
tresses tumbling over her shoulders and down her back. Tossing the
object onto the provided dresser, the movement echoed in the mirror and
drew her eye to the reflection that peered back at her.

She had lost weight.  Never a particularly hefty individual, nonetheless
the shadows occupied a little more depth beneath her eyes and her
cheekbones stood a little more prominent.  The weeks after Kalin’s final
departure found her lacking appetite, and though she did eat, she did
not do so more than was absolutely required.  With the discovery that
she carried a child, that had changed, but that had only been in the
last week.  Frowning, Alora’s reflection mimicked the expression and she
leaned against the dresser, the cool metal stinging her hands before it
warmed to her touch.  Then, with one swift movement, she removed the
dress and stood before herself only in her underclothes.

Turning to the side, Alora critically eyed the belly that housed the
life growing within.  Try as she might, she could discern no extension,
no tell-tale sign that gave even a hint of her condition.  Truthfully,
very few people knew.  Wyn, of course, for he had been the one to tell
her.  Sal, because had to know as her superior officer.  Raymond,
because while she sought counselling at the station, she had yet to
really *click* with anyone since Ashley’s departure.

Ashley.  She missed him.  She missed Raissa even more.  Both were so far
away now, stationed light years apart.  She should at least tell them. 
Raissa would be happy for her.  And Ashley?  She didn’t know.  Since his
reposting, he had been strangely silent. She couldn’ dwell on that,
though, for far too much occupied her attention on Ops, including the
person inside her.

Alora had specifically asked not to be told the gender.  It wasn’t that
she denied the pregnancy, nor was it that she resented the child.  No. 
If anything, the one thing she *did* want was that baby.  For the first
time since the Romulan mission, something had really, truly sparked her
interest.  For the first time since that mission, something seemed
worthwhile, set apart from mundane life.  For the first time since then,
something felt like a true light in the darkness.

Yet every light cast shadows with its brilliance.  That baby was
precious, so very precious, but the fact remained that Kalin was not
with her, and he would not get to meet his progeny.  And Alora would
raise the baby alone.  The hands that ran over that belly ins search of
*some* indication of the child suddenly fell and gripped the edge of the
dresser again.  Her head dropped, hair falling into her eyes which
closed tightly against the sting of tears.  Kalin was gone.  She had
known that, had suffered through his loss  three years prior, then
again.  She had never loved but one man in her life, and she had lost
him twice.

The sob escaped without warning, and before she could catch her breath,
another followed. Then another.  And another.  They came without
respite, wracking her body until she could do little but sit upon her
bed and allow them to consume her.  For a time, her world consisted of
tremors that rattled the tears from her eyes and soaked the linens upon
her bed. Eventually, though, they lessened in intensity, their grip upon
her weakening, and eventually sleep gathered her in its embrace and gave
her respite.

The morning came, as the morning before it had done, in quiet
stillness.  The computer’s programming allowed for a gentler awakening,
the lights only rising to a dim glow that was easy on the eyes that
first awakened from a deep slumber.  She let them open, the greyed
outline of the room cast in tender shadows that were far more welcoming
than the ones that had beckoned in the night.

Something else called her from her dreamless sleep, and it took a moment
to shake off the mist that shrouded her mind so early in the morning. 
Slowly, she rose, a dim realisation that she had removed her garment and
her hand stretched out to pluck her bathrobe.  After shrugging into it,
she groggily trudged toward the sound, a gentle chirp that emanated from
the other room where her console sat, softly calling to her.  Still half
asleep, she plopped into the seat and tried to peel open her eyes the
rest of the way, breaking the seal of tears that had dried in the night.

The message was clear, a summons and an order that she had not expected.
It came as a shock, and yet it didn’t.  Her two and a half years on Ops
had been the longest she had ever served in any posting, and now
Starfleet was calling her somewhere else.  The name was familiar,
because she knew at least two people there - Denali Station.

Perhaps such a sudden and unexpected change might have been met with
more tears, but Alora simply sat there as her mind warmed up into
wakefulness and contemplated the message that the powers that be sent to
her.  How did she feel about this?  That question would be asked by
Raymond, she was certain, because the shift from one posting to another,
from a place she had come to know and love for one that, though there
would be some familiar faces, was still a stranger to her, was likely a
shock, was it not?

Could anything really shock her anymore?  Alora was beginning to doubt
that.  Reaching up, she rubbed her hands over her face and allowed the
message to run through over and over again.  A change in posting.  She
would no longer be First Officer.  Nor would she be a Science Officer. 
Instead, Alora would step into an entirely new duty posting, one that
was not only unique to her, but unique in nation.

And she would leave Ops.

For the first time in a month, Alora felt something beyond the
excruciating sorrow that left her wandering almost listlessly through
life.  A twist of her heart, a sorrow yes, though different from what
she experienced due to losing Kalin again. This was the silent
acknowledgement that yet another door in her life was closing.  A
chapter had ended.  She was leaving.

Yet, that spark that was, at the very core of the person who was Alora
DeVeau, a sense of hope and light could not be diminished. Despite all
that had happened, despite all that she had suffered, despite all she’d
been through, that could never be completely snuffed out.

Alora loved Ops.  She always would.  It had been home as soon as she had
set foot upon it.  Now?  It still felt like home.  But she had to
leave.  Yet, as sorrowful as that was, there were hard memories
associated with Ops, ones that, perhaps, were exacerbated by her
dwelling there.  She was too close to the place where she had lost Kalin
a second, where he had been stolen from her, forever.  Perhaps….perhaps
this was a chance to step away, as she had done before, to take a moment
and allow herself to open her eyes to possibilities.  Though this door
closed, another one opened.  It didn’t lead to the same destination, but
that didn’t mean it was *bad*.  Maybe it would allow her to breathe again.

She hated that idea, and at the same time, realised that considering it
all, maybe that was just what she needed.  She was wallowing, and she
knew that was dangerous. If nothing else, maybe this would bring an
opportunity of healing.  Still, it would be difficult, and she wasn’t
sure what Sal would say.  Regardless, what was done was done, and she
could not ignore orders.  Her finger tapped against the console and
closed the message, only to tap it once again.  Inhaling deeply, she let
the breath out slowly before giving a soft command.

DeVeau: Computer, connect me with Commodore Sal Taybrim…


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