Haumea Colony

A Play-by-Nova roleplay game.

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A Little Consolation

Posted on Fri Aug 16th, 2019 @ 7:32pm by Lieutenant Winford Simril PhD & Lieutenant Commander Sofia Nikedoros

Mission: Canary
Location: Starfleet Arboretum, Haumea Colony
Timeline: MD 04

As part of the colonisation effort, it was inevitable that Haumea Colony ended up with a number of green spaces. Many of these were indoors and climate controlled, and they could be found all over the civilian section of the colony. To provide an area exclusive for Starfleet personnel to relax in a natural selection, some months before Simril's arrival the colony command had begun a Starfleet Arboretum. It also provided a unique research ground for the colony's fledgling Botany Research Unit.

Simril was considered to be "green-fingered". He liked plants, he liked to keep them, and that was something that defined him. On occasion he talked to them. Although his academic work was in seismology, he also moved in high Starfleet botany circles, and was friends with several leading researchers in the field. Hence, it was one of his priorities to get the Botany Research Unit off the ground at Haumea Colony.

The Arboretum itself was quite a large oval dome. The ceiling was a transparent synthetic material, to let in light for the plants. The walls were an ivory colour, although some of them had been appropriating by sprawling vines. The various bays contained everything from the Bajoran Moba Tree to various Pittosporum. Simril was interested, walking around the plants asking them things like "Why, aren't you a pretty little thing?" and "I hope they're taking good care of you." He had a Chameleon Rose in his office, that he had brought with him, taking great care in the process. He would have to run the appropriate analyses, but he wondered whether he could introduce it here to the Arboretum.

As he was walking round, he noticed another admirer, dressed in the same blue as himself and with three pips on her collar. He thought for a moment of who it might be, and realised that it was probably the colony's Chief Counselor, Lieutenant Commander Nikedoros. He had noted her name as she had come up, when scanning personnel files, as someone with a knowledge of archaeology. The Commander appeared to be looking quite closely at a bloom of yellow roses when Simril decided to approach her and test his theory: "Commander Nikedoros?"

Although she usually enjoyed winter, as the bitter cold had worn on Sofia had increasingly come to the arboretum to be among green, blooming things. Even if it was high summer outside, it have been a good place to mediate and pray, but in the midst of winter's dormant cold, it was in its own way an 'assurance of things hoped for' though in the case of the flowers here, that came through scent and bright colors, rather than things not seen.

She had been admiring both scent and color in the yellow roses - symbolic of friendship and joy - when she heard her name. Turning, she smiled warmly at the older gentleman in science blue. She knew most people who had been here any length of time, and so assumed he was one of the new arrivals. "Yes. Can I help you?"

"Yes, I'm Dr Winford Simril, the colony's new chief science officer." Simril shook her hand. "I'm sure we'll be working with each other down the line so I thought I would introduce myself. I only arrived a couple days ago so I've been spelunking around, so to speak, getting a grip of the place." Simril smiled at his own turn of phrase. "Speaking of which, I understand you've a bit of a background in archaeology? I may need to call on you to help with something soon. Can't elaborate much as I'm limited by what I know, but if you're happy to put your faith in an old man, keep your diary pretty free, if you get my meaning."

On a roll, he continued, turning to the plants in front of them. He gesticulated at the bloom of roses: "Lovely flowers, a lovely bloom. A very pleasant place, I think." Simril did a full turn, looking at the entire building. He brought himself to a stop and returned to face the chief counselor. "Sorry, I get a little carried away around greenery. Do you think you would mind lending me a hand, considering your archaeological experience, if the time came?"

Sofia suppressed a chuckle - the man was obviously a bit eccentric, although in her experience that almost 'breed standard' for CSOs. "I'm pleased to meet you, Dr. Simril. Welcome to Haumea," she replied, smiling as she shook his hand. "There is something marvelous about greenery, especially in this cold season. A place like this that's full of light and life - it's almost like a taste of Christmas."

"And, yes, I do have some background in archaeology - primarily as it relates to religious studies since in addition to counseling, I'm also a chaplain," she explained. "But my family has a ...history of interest in the field, and my last posting involved support for an archaeological expedition. So, I'd love to be involved in whatever you're working on there."

Dr Simril had reached the age where he had little care for eccentricity. He was a Lieutenant at 62, there were no more promotion boards to appeal to! It was far more important to him that he was judged on the quality of his work rather than the quality of his sociability. Sometimes he rubbed people the wrong way in the process. "Excellent, excellent. As soon as I know, you'll know." This was, of course, an exaggeration - but Simril wasn't lying when he said he might need a hand, and there are few people as trustworthy as counsellors, or, indeed, chaplains.

"So you are our chaplain, then, too?" Simril tapped his foot for a couple seconds and a wry grin crossed his face that quickly changed into a dour expression. "You know, decades at the forefront of seismology in Starfleet and it makes me think whether I missed it. You know, whether I missed the meaning of all this. Life, beauty, joy." He gestured at the plants and flowers in front of them again. "Perhaps I could do with a little more faith in my life, especially at this stage. I think many of us," by which he meant Starfleet officers, "could."

"I am. And if there's a spiritual path you'd like to explore, my door is always open," she affirmed, but given what she'd observed of him so far, made a mental note to brush up on the current branches of neo-Druidism. "But I don't think studying science means missing the bigger questions. After all, you're exploring the underpinnings of creation, and the conditions for sustaining life." She smiled. "There's great beauty in that, and, I would think, joy."

"Obviously though, I believe there is meaning beyond that, and purpose and value in connecting with that which is beyond scientific quantification. Like the scent of a rose," she paused a moment to smell one of the blooms, "it makes life more worth living, even if we can't explain exactly why or how."

"No, no, you're quite right." Simril scrunched his facial features for a moment, as if deep in thought. "Anyway, I had ought to get off. I am a busy man, I'm afraid! Where can I usually find you, if I ever need to?"

"I'm usually either in the chapel or the hospital. But you can always reach me by comm," she added, pointing to the badge on her chest. "I take it off active during counseling sessions, but I'll get the message afterward and respond."

"Fantastic. Well I had better head off, I set an Ensign to chart some unstable anomalies a couple systems over and I need to make sure they're not charting the wrong stuff. It's been a pleasure." Simril shook the counsellor's hand and headed for the exit. Even though he personally thrived on his independence and unpredictability, it was nice to have friends, too.


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