Logic and Emotion (RP Log)
|20 Mar 2014|
- Promenade - Section C [Deep Space 9]
- This part of the promenade is not quite as congested as the primary concourse, yet people course through the passages at a steady flow.
Having just entered from the doors to Section C, Senka surveys the promenade.
Carey enters from the direction of Section B, walking slowly along with a preoccupied air. She pauses and glances back in the direction of the coffee shop, brushing stray curls out of her face, then continues on without really looking where she's going. Her attention returns to her immediate surroundings just in time for her to stop short with a gasp right in front of Senka. Another step would have caused her to bump into him. "I'm sorry, Lieutenant!" she says in a startled tone, stepping back quickly.
"You seem preoccupied," Senka observes mildly.
Carey nods. "I'm sorry, I didn't see you...I mean, I wasn't looking. I guess I am."
Senka says, "What is on your mind, Miss Carey?"
Carey takes a breath to answer, and then says as if before she can think better of it, "Please, sir, you may call me Aliyah when duty doesn't demand otherwise." She smiles ruefully. "I can't actually remember the last time someone called me by first name in a face-to-face conversation. I don't want to forget it entirely." She laughs a little. "And it's the time of year. It's been a long time, but Christmas makes me think about things I'd rather not."
"Very well, Aliyah, and off duty, I am merely Senka." He steeples his fingers before him in thought. "You are the second person in the last hour with whom I have discussed Christmas. Did you commemorate the birth of the one known as the Christos, or was the holiday significant for non-religious reasons?"
Aliyah's smile is grateful, but tremulous and somehow sad. "Yes, we commemorated Christ's birth. My family had Judeo-Christian roots. My father was Irish Catholic and my mother's ancestors were what she called Messianic Jews. But Christmas was about spending time with family and friends, too. There were gifts, but that was just a small part of it."
Senka nods, listening.
"My mother ran away with a trader when I was eight," Aliyah says slowly, as if fearing to say too much. "She took me with her, and died shortly afterward. Our so-kind host," her voice drips with sarcasm, "couldn't be bothered to return me to my father and my home. By the time I ended up on Betazed, the colony world where I was born had suffered serious natural disasters, and no one knew what had happened to my father. It's been a long time...at least for a Terran. But special times make me wonder what did happen."
Considering what Aliyah said carefully, Senka finally offers, "It may be that as a member of Starfleet, you now have access to resources which, provided they are used within the boundaries proscribed by regulations, can assist you as no other resources have heretofore done." A beat, "You may be able to determine what became of your father."
Carey nods. "I've thought of that. Actually, it's what I was thinking about when I nearly walked into you. I know that Elva II was evacuated a few years after I was taken away. The founder of it and its sister colonies was really against technology, and without it, the residents couldn't deal with the food shortages or the other problems. But..." She pauses, thinking. "If he is alive, it may be better to leave things as they are."
Senka shrugs, an economical gesture hardly requiring any motion. "That," he replies, "is a most private and personal decision which is yours alone to make."
Carey smiles slightly and nods again. "Thank you for the suggestion, though. I may eventually do it. Knowing can't hurt, anyway."
"As a Vulcan," he offers, "I believe that knowledge is always preferable to its absence. Willed ignorance is not logical." His tone remains mild.
Carey smiles more fully. "You're right, of course. But I guess my reasons for not looking for him are also illogical. I wouldn't like to have to tell him about how my mother died or what happened to me between the time we left and arriving on Betazed." She says this as lightly as she can, but the smile doesn't reach her eyes.
Senka says, "You also do not know, Miss Carey, how much of that information he himself may have discovered in the intervening years."
Carey says, "That's true. Although most of it would have been impossible for him to learn." She smiles wryly. "My mother's and my host wasn't the kind to tell the truth about much, even under threat."
Senka nods. "In any event, the decision is, must be, yours."
Carey inclines her head in acknowledgment of this, then changes the subject. "I met another of the Vulcan officers aboard the station this evening." A smile plays at the corners of her lips.
"Logically, you can only have met one of two people. Lieutenant Commander Sirac of security or Midshipman Tavrok of Sciences."
"It was Midshipman Tavrok, yes." She glances toward a nearby unoccupied table and arches her eyebrows in a question. "I almost always enjoy making new acquaintences, but he in particular raised some questions. Not personal ones," she clarifies, "but ones I would have felt uncomfortable asking at a first meeting."
Responding to Carey's silent request, Senka precedes her to the table and waits for her to sit before sitting, himself. "Proceed."
Smiling fully again, Aliyah gestures for him to sit first. "Just a moment." She hurries back along the promenade and disappears into the coffee shop. A moment later she emerges. Keen hearing would pick up the Bolian's raised voice lamenting her order and her own silvery laughter. Her eyes are still sparkling when she returns to the table and sets a Romulan latte in front of each of them.
Senka is seated by the time she returns. he did indeed hear every word of the exchange, and his eyebrow has climbed to his hairline. "Thank you," he says, observing the human politeness custom as he takes his latte.
Carey sits, grinning from ear to ear. "You're welcome. Your friend is disappointed in me." She laughs again.
"He is not my friend, strictly speaking," Senka murmurs.
Williams arrives from Promenade - Section B.
At a table on the promenade, Senka sits in uniform across from a Terran female in civilian dress. He appears to be engaged in a casual conversation.
Emily enters from Promenade B, her pace is slow and she doesn't seem to be heading anywhere specific. Her feet slow as she sees the familiar Vulcan. His partner is someone she doesn't know and, not wishing to interrupt, she offers a wave and heads past.
"Hmmm," Carey says as she sips her latte. Her eyes pop open. "Woooow. If I ever need to stay awake all night and most of the next day, I'll remember this," she says, tapping the side of her mug.
"T'Lila," Senka says. A Vulcan greeting? Or something else. But as he says it, he gestures to the Vulcanoid woman in the mustard yellow engineering uniform passing through the promenade. Emily would sense Senka's relaxed mind. He is mildly curious about something, and this is overlayed by his positive pleasure at seeing her. He gestures her to approach.
Emily slows, "Lieutenant."She says with a slight grin. Not wanting to be rude she introduces herself to his guest, "Emily Williams."
Carey looks up with a warm smile. "Hi! I'm Aliyah Carey. I was just assigned here as a nurse a few days ago. Would you like to sit down? I just had my curiosity aroused about some Vulcan customs and was going to ask Lieutenant Senka about them."
"Indeed." One of Senka's feet pushes a chair out from the table. Of course, it's the chair closest to Emily, and his foot shoves it at just the right angle to see it slide smooth and straight away from the table towards her rather than hanging up on another chair or going off at an angle. "Emily and I know one another very well," he says to Carey. "Please join us, Crewman Recruit Williams." He is, of course, returning Emily's teasing measure for measure, sans smile. "Proceed with your questions, Miss Carey."
Pulling the chair back further and settling herself in it, Emily returns Aliyah's warm smile, "Thank you for the offer and welcome aboard. You're in good, although very Vulcan, hands."
Carey laughs. "I'd noticed. And thank you." Under her amusement is confusion about how this young woman can look so Vulcan and yet show her emotions so freely, but she doesn't voice it. Turning to Senka, she asks, "Well, I know how important emotional control is to your people. I just wonder, is it a lifelong goal to aspire to, or something one can be said to have reached by a certain age or time of life? Your control is as close to perfect as I've ever seen, for instance, whereas Midshipman Tavrok's is...well...not. I don't mean that as a criticism of him, either, and I wouldn't like anything to be said to him about it because of what I've asked. But he looks very young. I may be wrong about that, but it did make me wonder. I'm especially curious about it, having grown up among Betazoids...at least for the time that actually matters."
Senka steeples his fingers before him. Emily would sense his mind turning the question over. Beneath his surface thoughts is an awareness that Emily too may want the answer to this question for her own reasons. "Ariem'nu," he begins, "is the Vulcan word used to describe the emotional control you describe. It is often mistranslated as suppression of emotion, which is wholly inadequate, or control of emotion, which is less inadequate. It's literal rendering would be akin to passions mastery. it acknowledges both eh full and valid existence of emotion, while asserting that we have attained a level of control over them." A beat. "Ariem'nu is neither a goal as such nor an action, but a process, a continual choosing to subject one's emotions to one's intellect. Most jejune to your point about the midshipman, emotional control is almost non-existent in children, in evidence in young adolescence, and demonstrated in greater degrees as the person approaches maturity. It is taught through meditation and explicit instruction in logic. I cannot vouch for the midshipman's background. I do not know how or where he was raised or with what attention to instruction in ariem'nu. You would have to pose that question to him, and I would caution you that it is a highly personal topic." Senka's tone and cadence throughout are calmly measured. He concludes, "Speaking for my own control, it is imperfect."
Emily snorts quietly at his final sentence, "Sorry."She apologizes and focuses on finding a hot cup of tea.
Carey touches her hands lightly to her cheeks as they color. "I would never ask such a thing," she says in a hushed voice, horrified even by the thought. "I was raised to notice subtleties. If I hadn't been, I might not have even noticed anything."Then, turning to Emily, she asks, "Would you like something from the coffee shop? I'm treating tonight and would be happy to get you whatever you'd like. Besides...I don't think I have the stamina for Romulan latte." She grins. "I have a lot of excess energy as it is. If I drink all of this I'll be bouncing off the walls."
"Uh, thank you but no. I have millions of credits that need spending somehow." She grins at the Terran, "Try Romulan ale next time."
"As Terran physiology is much more susceptible to the effects of Romulan ale than Vulcanoid physiology, I would try it cautiously if you do so, Miss Carey," Senka says dryly. "In any event, did you have other cultural questions you wished to pose?"
Carey laughs. "Me drinking? Bad idea. Very, very bad." She shudders at what Emily would sense as remembered embarrassment. "I do have more questions," she says more seriously. "At least one more. But it may be best left until later, as it may be even more sensitive." She smiles at Emily, pleased and even relieved to make another acquaintance who seems friendly. "Besides, I wouldn't want to dominate the conversation."
"In that case, Miss Carey, we will discuss the other cultural matter at your next duty shift, and we will begin your transporter training at that time," Senka replies.
That shadow of apprehension shows in Carey's eyes again, but she smiles, attempting to cover it. "Wonderful. I look forward to it." She stands up, stretching. "But I guess I'd better go to bed while I still can, before I'm tempted to drink all of this delicious but very potent coffee and everyone around me regrets it as much as I do."
Senka nods. "Indeed. Good night, Ensign Carey."
"Good night to you both. And..." She pauses, half turned, and looks back. "I'll consider what you said," she says to Senka.
Senka nods back, offering no further comment.