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"Arrival at StarBase 118" (Introduce your character here!)


FltAdml. Wolf
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“Let’s start with the most obvious question, Miss Trov-..”

“Arys.”

“Arys.”, the man on the other side of the desk nodded benevolently as he chose to follow the request of using her first name. He was aged but his eyes were alert and dark, betraying his species. Then again, Arys pondered, it might as well be a cosmetic adjustment, but he didn’t seem the type for it. Betazoid was a lot more likely, and a lot more common in this field of work too - a fact Arys hated because it made her feel a little inferior.

“I would like to know what prompted your choice to move away from medicine and towards counselling.”, he asked eventually and raised a greying eyebrow. Arys took a deep breath. She had thought about this a lot, and she had prepared for this exact question, but now her mind was blank as if someone had deleted the file containing her carefully curated answer, and then the backup, and the backup of the backup. “….Something happened.”, she said eventually. A few moments of silence later she realised that she should probably elaborate, even if the man looked at her with infinite patience. “So.. a few months ago… I am working in the maternity ward. A quiet night, but I am on-call, so I decide to sit in my office, read a book or catch up on a few notes, you know?” He nodded as if he himself often spent his on-call nights in such a manner, if he even had such a thing as on-call nights. When he didn’t say anything, Arys continued. “I am not even supposed to be working that night. I took over for a colleague who was feeling a little ill. While I work I decide to check my PADD for any private messages I left unanswered during my week. I work a lot and sometimes I forget to let people know I still exist. There is nothing and I am about to put the PADD down again, when at that exact moment I notice a new incoming message. I open it and it’s from my brothers best friend. I have no idea why he writes me, and I am about to check and send it back telling the idiot that this is Arys, not Aron…” The man makes a note, and Arys reminded herself that she should avoid words like ‘idiot’, even if she is pretty sure they are more of a coping mechanism than malice. “Does that happen a lot, Arys? That you get messages not meant for you?”, he asked. She shook her head. “No. So this is weird, right? Anyway I open the message and it’s only four words. I’m done. Goodbye, Aron.” She paused for a moment to collect her thoughts. “… Well what was I supposed to do? I write him back, tell him I’m available to talk, and remind him that I am a doctor.” “But not a councillor.” “But not a councillor.”, she confirms. “Well okay I didn’t say that. I just told him I’m a doctor. So while I am desperately trying to figure out what to do, he calls me. He looks horrible, he’s been crying and drinking, just broke up with his girlfriend. On the one side I am not more qualified to talk to him than I am to build a Warp-core, but he thinks I am, and that’s good enough for both of us. He’s fine now.” The man nods slowly, making another note. “That was something you can be proud of. Not everyone would be willing to step up, and even less people would do it as well as you clearly did.” She smiled, and even blushed a little. She was proud of this. “Did you consider that sending you the message might not have been an accident”, he asked, tilting his head at her. Arys frowned. She had not. “No… I mean.. people talk to me about things, sometimes. I guess I am just that kind of friend, you know? The one you don’t invite to your birthday party but seek out when you are in trouble” He makes another note.  “Perhaps you want to talk about that more, at some stage. But I am wondering… is one positive experience enough to change your career path so completely. From mothers and infants to counselling, in Starfleet non the less?” “Don’t get me wrong, I love my current job. Brats and twa-… uh… babies are great. And I understand it looks like a whim and a really bad idea, but… a lot of times I wish I was more qualified to help with the emotional side of things, not just the medical one. I think I could make an impact.” “I see.”, said the man thoughtfully, his eyes still fixed on her. Maybe her words were lacking, but he seemed to be able to sense how important this was to her, even if she couldn’t phrase it in a convincing manner.

 

____

 

Four - no, let’s be truthful - five years later, Arys remembered this meeting fondly as her first step towards a career in Starfleet, and she couldn’t help but feel nostalgic. But as much as part of her wished to head back to Starfleet Academy, where she had spent some of the best years of her life, she was headed to Starbase 118.

The shuttle dropped out of warp and she got a good first look at the the thing. She had been to Deep Space Nine before, and was relieved that Starbase 118 didn’t also look like an evil but oddly fascinating jellyfish. Cardassian design surely was an acquired taste. She smiled nicely enough at the cadets who eagerly shared their excitement with her, but did her best not to engage in conversation. She could see that the Bajoran who had been sitting a few seats away from her, kept eyeing her curiously and tried to get her attention. The Bajoran moved her hand to her own earring, probably wondering why Arys wasn’t wearing one. Arys did not feel like elaborating on her choice of… accessories. She had this discussing with her mother at least once a month, or she would have if she spoke to her that regularly. Either way she really didn’t feel like explaining herself to a random stranger who she shared half a species with, even if the other half - human - didn’t exactly have features that would give it away. Maybe she was just really bad at being Bajoran since she didn’t go to the temple either.

She found a place overlooking the promenade, and decided to just stand here for a moment and observe people. It was an interesting mix of species,  shops, cultures. Busy and buzzing, and in many ways not unlike any given day at Academy. There were friends reconnecting, Cadets like her nervously waiting for instructions, and more seasoned officers trying not to smirk or pity them. Arys felt old, which was a weird feeling when she considered that some species grew three-hundred years old while others only lived for three. She rolled her eyes at her own behaviour and reminded herself that she always felt this way about new places, and that she would adjust. She took a deep breath, and decided to find someone to introduce herself to and be social with.

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  • 2 weeks later...

“You have been honored; you have been ordained, but you will never find the answers you seek here,” the elder warrior priest told Ar-Ghorvalei.

Ar-Ghorvalei knelt on the cold, hard ground. “You mean in the seminary, Master?” An icy wind blew, and Ar-Ghorvalei shivered.

“I mean in the world,” the elder replied, his black and white robes rustling in the wind. “Until you resolve the questions in your soul, there is no place for you in all of Efros.”

A shiver ran up Ar-Ghorvalei’s spine, unrelated to the unrelenting cold. “But Master, where must I go?”

His master’s gaze turned upward, and Ar-Ghorvalei followed it up to the night sky, where the stars seemed to glare balefully down upon him accusatorily.

 

Ar-Ghorvalei shook his head, banishing the memories as he felt the thrumming of the transport docking with Starbase 118. He took one last look at the Starbase 118 map on his PADD and strapped it to his belt. The minute vibrations reminded him once again that his path has taken him into the Endless Sky.

Grabbing his duffel from under his seat, Ar-Ghorvalei followed the other cadets off of the transport and onto Starbase 118.

Ar-Ghorvalei and the other cadets had been transferred to Starbase 118 to await their cadet cruise assignments. The transport was a few hours early, so there was time to spare.

Ar-Ghorvalei knew his long, white hair and facial tattoos made him stand out from many of the other cadets.

The sounds and smells of the promenade nearly overwhelmed him when he stepped out of the turbolift. Starfleet Academy had been an experience for the sheltered Efrosian, but at least there was plenty of open air. Here, everything was tightly contained, the starbase temperature was uncomfortably warm, and Ar-Ghorvalei struggled against a feeling of claustrophobia.

Some starship officer I’ll be if I get claustrophobic this easily, Ar-Ghorvalei thought to himself. He moved out of the direct path of traffic and took a few deep breaths, closing his eyes to center himself in this strange environment.

He closed his eyes and practiced one of the basic meditation techniques he learned in seminary. He pictured the map in his mind and centered himself, imagining his own location on the map.

Turning the map in his head, he visualized the layout of the starbase. His breathing slowed, and he felt himself enter a state of calmness as he centered himself in his new environment.

Suddenly, someone slammed into him. “I’m sorry, I wasn’t watching where I was going. Are you alright?” Agitated, Ar-Ghorvalei opened his eyes. It took a few moments for his eyes to focus. A floral scent, some type of perfume, reached his nostrils first.

The face in front of him was not close enough to be distinct, but was human and feminine. Long, reddish-brown hair hung loose. She was about a foot shorter than Ar-Ghorvalei, and dressed in the yellow of an operations cadet.

“Yes, just a bit … tired; space lag,” Ar-Ghorvalei said, smiling and shrugging his shoulder.

“You were in my Zero-G class, weren’t you?” the woman asked, in a strange, lilting accent.

Ar-Ghorvalei shrugged, not wanting to admit to the weakness of his eyes. “There were a lot of students, and I’m not very good with human faces. Have we spoken before?”
The woman shook her head, auburn tresses flailing. “It’s hard to talk when you’re careening wildly off the walls or trying not to be spacesick. My name’s Siobahn, by the way, Siobahn O’Leary. I’m an engineering major.”

“I am Cadet Ar-Ghorvalei.”

“Hungry?”

“No, medical,” Ar-Ghorvalei said, confused.

Siobahn laughed, and her laughter reminded Ar-Ghorvalei of the songbirds of his homeworld. “No, are you hungry? I’ve heard there are interesting restaurants here, and we’ve got some time to kill before the assignment briefing.”

Ar-Ghorvalei gave her another puzzled look. “But why should we kill time? Starfleet’s mission is peaceful.” Ar-Ghorvalei puzzled look turned to one of consideration. “Or is this an Earth philosophical concept?”

Siobahn laughed. “In a manner of speaking. It’s an expression. Lunch?”

Ar-Ghorvalei smiled. He considered her accent, which he recognized as coming from an island from the continent of Europe on Earth. “There’s a place, Keal’s Pub, approximately 487 meters on the right. Would you care to accompany me?”

Siobahn smiled. “Oooh, pub food; you read my mind! Come on!”

Ar-Ghorvalei trailed after her. “No, my apologies, but I’m not telepathic. My abilities don’t encompass mind-reading.”

 

The two were seated at a table in the back, where a rather attractive Betazoid waiter took their orders. Siobahn ordered lamb vindaloo, which Ar-Ghorvalei decided to try as well.

After the waiter left, an awkward silence fell.

“You’re an engineering major?” Ar-Ghorvalei asked, trying to break the ice.

“Yes, I minored in helm operations.” Siobahn let out a deep breath. “But my heart’s really into taking things apart and putting them back together again. You? Medical, you said?”

Ar-Ghorvalei nodded. “I was already a physician on Efros, as part of my seminary training. But the academy really allowed me to branch out my studies into other species. I specialized in xenobiology.”

Siobahn leaned forward. “You said seminary training? Are you a priest?”

Ar-Ghorvalei nodded again. “I am an ordained warrior-priest among my people. We are trained in the dual arts of martial combat and saving lives.”

Siobahn whistled. “That sounds like a contradiction.”

Ar-Ghorvalei shook his head. “Not so. They are both sides of the same coin. Warrior-priests were the leaders among my people since ancient times. It was our duty to protect our tribe, physically, spiritually and martially. Our world is harsh, and survival…” Ar-Ghorvalei paused, wondering how much he should say to a non-Efrosian.

Their waiter arrived with the vindaloo, allowing a break in the conversation.

Ar-Ghorvalei tasted the vindaloo. A sensation much akin to a supernova exploding occurred inside his mouth.

“This…this is good!” he gasped. “But very…very hot!” He poured a glass of water from the pitcher on their table and gulped it down, then poured another.

Siobahn laughed, then took another deep bite of her food, washing it down with synthehol beer. “Why did you decide to join Starfleet?”

Ar-Ghorvalei paused, covering his hesitation with another glass of water.

“To see the stars…” To touch The Endless Sky, a voice murmured inside him. “To discover new life, new civilizations…” to discover the answers I’ve sought. “The usual.”

“You?” he asked, eating more vindaloo, then downing more water.

“To make a difference,” Siobahn looked away. “I lost my older brother during the Dominion War. I felt I needed to pick up where he left off.” She paused. “So, what do I call you anyway? Ar?”

“It is a prefix denoting my paternal lineage, so it would be the equivalent of calling you O’Leary.”

“So, is Ghorvalei your given name?”

“In a manner of speaking.”

“May I call you Ghorvalei?”

Ar-Ghorvalei blushed slightly. “That would be…a name a parent might use. Or a lover.”

“Ah.” Now it was Siobahn’s turn to blush. “Ar-Ghorvalei, then.”

 

Name: Ar-Ghorvalei

Race: Efrosian

Age: 28

Height: 5’9”

Weight: 165 lbs.

Identifying Marks:  Pale blue tattoo lines across forehead, down nose and curving onto cheeks.

Build: Slim, athletic

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Guest Mira Weaver

This was it. After four long years at the academy, I was finally here. The Starbase was always on my mind since joining the Federation on Vulcan, and now, experiencing it for real, was amazing. I brushed my black hair out of my face, and continued out of the the landing bay. I was a bit early for my briefing, so I decided to look around the base. As I walked, my eyes started darting around, I wanted to take in anything and everything.

After looking around for a bit, I started to get hungry. I decided to look for a restaurant, and to my surprise, they had a Vulcan restaurant. Excited, I walked over to it, and ordered my meal. The food, although blander then what I was used to, reminded me of my home planet. After finishing up my food, I decided that I should head up to the holodeck, and get prepared for the Cadet Cruise.

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