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 My Vision Is Spotty

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Arlan Opran
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PostSubject: My Vision Is Spotty   Sat Oct 24, 2015 1:06 am

Arlan had just recently joined the Phoenix, and as he was new aboard, he decided that he'd start off the same way he did aboard the Honshu - keeping his head down.  After all, being chided for 'eating like a Vulcan' could only get ignored just so many times.  So he sat down to his lunch - a bowl of plomeek soup - and muttered because the computer never added enough salt.  So he stood up from the bowl, and walked over to the replicator.  While there, he saw another Trill about his age - with normal spots.

He wondered how she would react to him, even as he tried to diligently ignore her.  "Computer.  Table salt, one tablespoon."

He sighed and waited for it to replicate, shaking his head.  "You'd think they'd learn to add enough salt to a simple bowl of soup.  Unless it's 'not logical' to add salt."

He was mostly talking to himself, but if the woman responded, so much the better.[/i]


Last edited by Arlan Opran on Sat Oct 24, 2015 2:27 am; edited 1 time in total
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Leela Kaz
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PostSubject: Re: My Vision Is Spotty   Sat Oct 24, 2015 2:05 am

Leela stood in the front of the room holding a small tray that contained her light meal of Gespar rolls and Vulcan Spice Tea, it was a favorite of Juval's that Leela had acquired a taste for. She scanned the room for a familiar face when someone that seemed out of place. An odd looking man seemed to be hiding in the middle of a crowded room. As she examined him more closely she noticed a row of spots running down the side of his face. A Trill! She thought. She noticed something odd, his spots seemed dis-colored. She moved across the room and stood at the opposite end of the table.

"Mind if I take a seat?" She asked.

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PostSubject: Re: My Vision Is Spotty   Sat Oct 24, 2015 2:33 am

Arlan looked at her as he returned to his table with the salt. The Trill woman was approaching him and he had to admit to a little terror. He was expecting another investigation, the fear of touching him, everything. Instead, she seemed... calm. She wanted to be close to him. He gestured, awkwardly, and nodded, pouring the salt into the still-hot broth.

"Um, no, not really."

Not exactly an effusive sort to begin with, he was now simply flustered at being treated with dignity from a fellow Trill (which was more than his family or community could do). He hoped she didn't take it to mean that he was attracted to her. When he looked down at his bowl, she'd see the spots on his neck, not the usual liver-brown color but rather more bruise-colored and sickly looking.

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PostSubject: Re: My Vision Is Spotty   Sat Oct 24, 2015 2:53 am

Leela took his reluctant approval and sat in the chair across from him. She took a seat and had a sip of her Tea before opening conversation. The man seemed awkward and out of place in his surroundings. He was obviously uncomfortable. Jereda immediately came to mind and Leela had a sudden intense urge to bite her nails. Leela was quick to shake off the urge and returned her focus to her new acquaintance sitting across from her.

"How rude of me. I sat here and never bothered to introduce myself. Kaz, Ensign Leela Kaz. I am stationed in main engineering."

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PostSubject: Re: My Vision Is Spotty   Sat Oct 24, 2015 3:05 am

Arlan glanced across the table and saw the slight twitch he'd learned meant a joined Trill was experiencing a symbiont memory. No one would remember him like this - and not for the first time he was glad. It was strange, wanting to be forgotten, but regardless, there it was.

He stirred the soup and took another spoonful, nodding. Now it tasted alright - well, it tasted like something edible, really. But regardless, it was now something he could eat for lunch. He didn't extend a hand to her, knowing that every other trill shied away from touching him, and with good reason.

"Don't worry, if that's the worst rudeness I get around here, I'll be... amazed, really. I'm Arlan. I'm usually up on Deck C, in the torpedo room."

He turned slightly so she could see the matching single pip on his collar, glancing around. Most people who weren't comfortable with a Nebula-class starship would have specified that it was in the pod. The fact that he didn't, despite being new to the Phoenix, gave an indication to his previous experience. At the same time, she'd notice - he didn't seem to be accessing past memories. There was no interaction with a symbiont - it was all him.

And the fact that he didn't give a last name was interesting as well - Trill went by one of their parents' joined names until they were joined; that he didn't give it would probably seem strange to Leela.

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PostSubject: Re: My Vision Is Spotty   Sat Oct 24, 2015 9:20 pm

Leela watched curiously as the individual across the table seemed to shy away. He seemed fixated on the soup before him and uncomfortable speaking with her. She could recognize his illness. Thanks to Heral and his medical expertise.

"So, what's your story?"

She wasn't known to be timid, shy or to beat around the bush. She was curious so she asked plainly. It didn't take but a moment for her to realize that she may had been too blunt, but it was too late to retract the words.

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PostSubject: Re: My Vision Is Spotty   Sat Oct 24, 2015 11:05 pm

Arlan's reaction was one of mild shock. He really wasn't accustomed to having Trill treat him so well. Usually it was the 'you're a disgrace to our species' speech and off they went. This woman, however, seemed to actually care about what he had to say. Needless to say, a little surprising.
"I don't know what you mean. I mean, I just transferred on from the Honshu - and it's really weird, seeing all these little differences between the ships, but every time I walk in here, I keep having this idea in the back of my mind that I'm gonna come in, and Lieutenant Fogerty - head of Sec/Tac over there - is going to be sitting at his usual table; which is where those two Science guys are sitting right now."

He took another spoonful of soup, looking at Leela and raising an eyebrow. "What about you?"

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PostSubject: Re: My Vision Is Spotty   Sun Oct 25, 2015 12:10 am

Leela chuckled. "I know what you mean. I was transferred from the Enterprise not all that long ago." She took a sip of her tea and began to answer the young mans question. "Oh you know, usual story. I am the eighth host for the Kaz symbiont. Lived through the competition to become joined. After joining I decided, with more than a little influence from the symbiont, to join Starfleet. I have served in Engineering here for a few months now. Its been a great experience. I was grateful to be chosen for the assignment."

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PostSubject: Re: My Vision Is Spotty   Sun Oct 25, 2015 12:47 am

Arlan's eyes widened as he stopped, mid-bite of plomeek. He finished the bite with a swallow and looked at her. "Enterprise? Wow! I mean, that's an amazing ship. And Captain Picard is legendary. I'd love to have been there. I mean, in a fight, that ship can put out about three times as many torpedoes as any Nebula. I'm... I'm kinda sorry for you, that you got transferred away from there."

He looked her square in the eye and decided to just say it outright. "Then we'd better make sure that they have it on file that we can't donate blood to each other. I have a... chronic disease, or something, with some exceedingly long name, that basically means my body kills symbionts. Everybody back home is afraid to even touch me."

He shrugged and went back to his soup. He looked up again. "That's also why I don't do meat - too much protein."

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PostSubject: Re: My Vision Is Spotty   Sun Oct 25, 2015 1:16 am

"Yeah maybe." Leela reminisced about her time on the Enterpirse. "Pickard chose me right our of the Academy. I was a peer distribution specialist. But I never shook the feeling that they chose Preta, not Leela. And it was a big ship. I felt lost in the shuffle, when this assignment opened I jumped at the opportunity and I don't regret it."

While Arlan explained his illness Leela was surprised by how he felt he had been treated. "Well I'm sure the Doctor's here wouldn't make that mistake. Zero knows me well, she knows I value the life of the symbiont above my own."

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PostSubject: Re: My Vision Is Spotty   Mon Oct 26, 2015 2:52 am

Arlan smiled at her faintly, shrugging. The idea that she'd give up an assignment like that... he couldn't wrap his head around it. "Well, I dunno. I'd rather have that feeling, after feeling like everyone at home had their eye on me, like I was a failure because my body went weird after encountering some alien atmosphere. Still, I'm kinda glad I don't know the feeling of being picked in lieu of someone else - no symbiont, and my family's not even Fleet, so... it's just sort of, here I am."

He looked down and took a mouthful of rapidly-cooling soup. Now he understood why the Vulcans always ate very quickly. Then he looked up. "Maybe that's another part of why my family and I don't get along. I don't understand that, valuing its life over your own. It just... doesn't make sense to me. And I can't really say any more about it without probably getting under your skin."

He returned to his soup, diligently eating and trying to preserve what warmth there was to his bowl.

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PostSubject: Re: My Vision Is Spotty   Tue Oct 27, 2015 12:56 pm

"Why does your medical condition make you feel like a failure?" A perplexed look flooded Leela's face. She was struggling to understand his perspective on this odd issue. She couldn't help but to see it as a version of self pity, and the she loathed self pity. It took everything she had to avoid an eye roll that could make everything extremely awkward. "Have you talked to the counsellor? Because I don't think you will find a lot of sympathy aboard this vessel. Most of this crew are war veterans hardened by their experiences. You may want to make an appointment with Ensign Warden."

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PostSubject: Re: My Vision Is Spotty   Tue Oct 27, 2015 6:33 pm

Arlan looked at her and raised an eyebrow, setting down his spoon and pushing aside the bowl of soup. He shook his head before speaking, trying to remain calm. "No, no. It's the way my folks treat me. Believe me, I can see it and hear it when I talk to them. They expected me to get joined to a symbiont and then join one of their fields. Me, I'm proud of myself. I'm here, in Starfleet, on a starship. And I got here on my own merit, not the knowledge of however many other people. I never have to worry about someone else being the reason I get an assignment."

He looked at her, taking a breath and watching her. "Let's just say your experiences and mine are different, Leela - you didn't have a family that thought you were a freak of nature. But I might go see the Counselor anyway; just because it never hurts to know people in a new place."

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PostSubject: Re: My Vision Is Spotty   Tue Oct 27, 2015 6:46 pm

"Less than ten percent of our population re joined, your parents shouldn't be upset. If they are they are simply terrible parents with unrealistic expectations." Leela took a drink of her coffee. I think I'm going to need something stronger than this.. She thought. As she set the cup down she continued her comments. "What do they expect, if you can't be joined, you can't be joined. They can't risk the life of a symbiont."

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PostSubject: Re: My Vision Is Spotty   Wed Oct 28, 2015 1:53 am

Arlan shrugged lightly when she commented on his parents. "Never said they weren't. People tend to act terrible when they get disappointed."

He smiled at her reaction to his being unjoined. "Yeah. That's why I'm not particularly concerned about the situation. At least, so long as I don't have to go back to Trill. The farther I stay from Tenara, the happier I am."

He shrugged lightly. "Like I said, I'm okay with being me."

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PostSubject: Re: My Vision Is Spotty   Wed Oct 28, 2015 2:21 am

Leela smiled. "Well that's all that matters, you're not accountable to anyone but yourself." She glanced out the window and watched as the stars flew by. All of this talk of home was making her long for that beautiful ball she called home. "So, when you left, why Starfleet? What made you want to wear that uniform?"

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PostSubject: Re: My Vision Is Spotty   Thu Oct 29, 2015 2:39 am

Arlan actually chuckled lightly at that comment and shrugged, sitting back slightly and glancing out the window himself before looking back at her.  "Actually, I didn't join Starfleet at first.  I was in the Merchant Marine for a good two years, aboard this J-Type rustbucket of a freighter called the Sophie.  Tough little ship, probably older than your symbiont, though.  But I got antsy, and realized that, well, just going from Point A to Point B with Cargo C wasn't enough for a life; and there was no way I'd get enough under me fast enough to buy a ship of my own."

He shrugged lightly.  "And what pushed me toward Starfleet specifically?  Well, we had a... well, the damn ship broke down.  There's no other way to put it.  From what I've been told, here's the breakdown, but don't ask me how half of it works.  The autoloader for the torpedo bay misfired and seized up when I was launching a comm beacon so we could contact some client or such. I hit with my spanner, which usually got it working again.  I dunno how, but that made the EPS circuit-breaker trip, which caused a small backflow up the line and processed plasma entered the crystal chamber.  The old, and already corroded dilithium crystals shattered with this high-pitched ring that reverberated through the entirety of the ship - and of course, the Captain hadn't ever installed a recrystallization chamber onboard, so there we were, expecting the damn Orions or the Pakled to come any second.  And all we were hoping was  that we could jump ship - leave them in the Sophie and take their vessel; which would of course make us pirates, unless we turned the ship in for a bounty, which'd leave the Feds asking where the hell the Sophie got to, and we'd have to tell them."

He grinned, having told this story before - and always found that pausing here for a moment led to a 'what happened next' in the listener.  Then again, you sat around long enough in a freighter's "mess hall", you got good at telling stories, real and fake.  "So as we're debating how long the life support will hold out, up comes this big ol' gal off our port side.  It's the Repulse.  I'd seen a few Starfleet ships before, but... I swear it was like something out of a holodeck simulation.  This ship just  pulls in from warp and her Captain hails us.  Here we are, a bunch of roughnecks playing cards in the dark and he's got a damn cup of coffee, sitting in the middle of a brightly lit bridge.  I decide right then and there, I'm off this boat the moment I get a chance.

When I got to Starfleet Command, they actually offered me a Warrant into the Tactical department, but.. I decided to go the full way.  Tested for officer and all.  They put me on the Honshu, for three years.  Then they decided to shuffle guys around - apparently, those of us who know how to handle a Nebula's weapons pod are kinda thin on the ground."

He glanced at the mostly-empty bowl, and wondered if he shouldn't have gotten a cup of coffee too.  "So, yeah.  That's why - and how I got here."
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PostSubject: Re: My Vision Is Spotty   Fri Oct 30, 2015 12:35 am

Leela laughed right along with Arlan as he described this awkward group of this ragtag freighter crew slapping equipment with spanners to get it to work. "Oh my goodness, you're a menace." She continued to laugh. "You better stay out of our engine room. Gabe is likely to hit you with that coil spanner if you tried that here on the Phoenix.

Listening to Arlen recount the story of how he came to Starfleet made caused Leela to recount her own journey into the service of the Federation. She took a sip of her drink as the laughter diminished into contemplation. "I never intended to join Starfleet. My parents were scientists on Trill and I always planned on following in their footsteps. After joining though..." She paused. "I never realized that the symbiont would have such a pull on my interest and ambitions. I am the fourth consecutive host to join Starfleet. And being an engineer... Well we can thank Kaz for that too. Its like it is somehow hard wired into the DNA of the symbiont. Ever since Jereda successfully completed that first warp flight. I have spent lifetimes defending the Federation, somehow it just felt natural to enlist."

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PostSubject: Re: My Vision Is Spotty   Sat Oct 31, 2015 10:31 pm

Arlan looked at her and shrugged. "Well, I don't want to go down there, so we're good. But... why didn't you fight it? Why did you let some... thing make you give up on your dreams? I mean, yeah, Starfleet's great, but... you had hopes and dreams. You had things that you wanted to do with your life. I don't understand how you're so happy with having completely changed what you wanted to do with your life."

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PostSubject: Re: My Vision Is Spotty   Sun Nov 01, 2015 1:20 am

Leela had never really thought of it form that perspective. "I don't really feel like I gave up anything. I think the influence of the symbiont was stronger than I expected. After I was joined my priorities shifted. I discovered skills and interest that I didn't even know I had."

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PostSubject: Re: My Vision Is Spotty   Tue Nov 03, 2015 3:59 am

Arlan shook his head and leaned forward slightly - this was something about being Trill maybe, they were made to be thinkers, talkers, and listeners. It was something they were all good at. Which was part of why it was infuriating to debate a joined Trill. He waved the one hand in refutation of her argument and started tapping the table with a finger to accentuate his points as he tried to stay one step back from simply ranting at her.

"No, no... see, that's the whole point. After you were joined, you weren't you anymore, do you see what I'm saying? See, I'm me. I'll never be anything but me. But I've had friends who were joined, like you, and one guy, he was planning on joining me in the merchant marine. But his symbiont had been a diplomat like a gazillion times over, and suddenly the guy I knew who could barely string three words together in public and was obsessed with engines and tinkering with warp fields, he was just completely gone. He was replaced by some smooth-talker who was wearing his face. He went to work with my dad in the Ambassadorial service. I gave him as many chances as I could, but when I went to the Sophie, I just gave up trying to talk to him. And he hasn't contacted me in like... four, five years now. Because whoever it is that's wearing his face? It's not him. It's the symbiont."

His pointer finger was still stabbing the table as he continued. He looked at Leela, his eyes meeting hers. "But even if that did happen to you, you wouldn't really know, because the symbiont would be suppressing that thought in you to exert its own control. Those skills and interests weren't really yours - I mean, really, tell me one memory of yours - I mean you personally, Leela, not Kaz - that would have led you here before you were joined."

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PostSubject: Re: My Vision Is Spotty   Thu Nov 05, 2015 2:40 am

The young woman scoffed. Leela was quickly starting to feel judged and even slightly insulted. "Of course the symbiont influenced the choices I've made. Its supposed to. That's why its called a symbiont. Its two different beings who interact with each other. Hence, symbiotic relationship." She took a sip of her coffee in an effort to buy time to formulate a response that wouldn't be insulting.

"I am still me, but I'm the others too. Its hard to explain to someone who hasn't experienced it. Of course its intrusive... that's why the testing is so extensive. Someone who isn't strong enough to be joined... well... it would be a disaster. An individual has to be strong enough to cut through the noise of all of the memories. Strong enough to maintain their own identity among all the chaos. Just because I chose to be an engineer after joining doesn't mean Kaz dispensed with Leela. It simply means that joining gave me a different perspective on life; a new way of looking at my own goals and aspirations."

She reached for her drink again. As the cup approached her lips she stopped mid-motion. Her index finger extended from the side of the cup and pointed towards Arlen. "You know, you sound resentful. Do you resent being Trill? Our society had a mutually beneficial relationship with these creatures long before you came along..." She stopped before running into a tangent. The finger close back around her cup and she resumed the motion and finished her drink.

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