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Bouquet of Fire

Posted on Sun Feb 26th, 2017 @ 4:34am by Commander Tyro Adina & Lieutenant Commander Alekelia illm A'olha

Mission: Winter Shoreleave
Location: Tranquility
Timeline: Convention

:: ON ::

The ship was on leave for the Betazed conference. Tranquility became one of numerous starships parked in orbit around the system, entangled in the wiry lanes of shuttle-traffic. As a servant of the Diplomatic Service, Tranquility offered preferential lodgings to VIPs in attendance of the convention. This naturally kept Tyro extremely busy, and to complicate her schedule even further, Command saw this as an optimal chance for Tranquility to complete its crew.

The captain beamed up from the convention and made her way to the bridge, where her yeoman Nu'havri was very glad to see her. There'd been an important rendezvous which the captain had missed, and the message was left unanswered. Stepping into her readyroom, Tyro turned on a padd and began scanning for details about the appointment as the computer redialed the incoming shuttle from Leto Colony.

Said shuttle had arrived and it had been a bit ago. Alekelia had departed for the conference and during one part of the science presentations had presented some work. Thus she herself was running late for checking in as the PaDD reminded her endlessly. Question and answer session had taken much longer than anticipated, and there was one thing she did not like, nor was it tolerated back home at that was to be tardy without a darn good excuse. There was the inevitable hold up at the security check in before she could get up to the new ship and then being unfamiliar with the layout exactly trying to ask the people on board directions. Finally she made her way to the room that was indicated. The door was open so Alekelia politely knocked rather then pressed the button. She could see the rank from here, and presumed the Captain which she had not had time to pull up the file on.

"Pardon Commander, I am Alekelia, reporting in for duty. I do apologize for my tardiness." She waited to be invited in before handing the orders over.

Tyro let a laugh flutter through the room. She had an unusually penetrating voice. It had a resonance that sounded all the more uncanny because of how quiet it was, sandy and unmistakable.

"Your timing's miraculous," she corrected. Tyro looked over at the tree next to her desk, and touched the padd off so that Alekelia's file wasn't open on her desk. She hoped the officer wouldn't notice, but figured after that it might prove insightful regardless. On the ferny tree planted in Tyro's ready room, a handful of spectacular orchids were growing along the bark. They were closed now, morphogenic flowers that could only bloom under the most extreme conditions. In the case of the Melona Wildfire Orchid, they were flowers known to bloom only the most extreme geologic conditions. They were relegated to catalogues rather than greenhouses as a result of their specialized growth conditions. Few samples existed in private collections, and at least five pods were growing on Tyro's tree.

"Formality isn't enormously important for me, Doctor," said Tyro. "Thank you for joining us. I understand your work on a colony might feel a lot different from what you can expect on a little vessel like mine."

"Thank you," Alekelia moved closer and set a PaDD down with the transfer orders. "Being prompt is something that is drilled into us from a young age." Alekelia nodded a moment thinking back a moment to her younger days before focusing her attention once again. "As for your assessment, yes, I shall miss the open sky and sea," she made a sort of odd rolling shrug which caused the long translucent wings to rustle and show for a moment. "We are children of the sky and sea, while not horribly claustrophobic, enclosed places do not sit as well." Again she made a small smile, "I shall adapt." Her attention turned to the tree and she tilted her head as she regarded it. "An interesting specimen if I may say."

Tyro looked curiously at Alekelia. She had not been an authority for very long, but already the way people treated their commander had eroded some of her optimism. It wouldn't be too cynical to assume comments like that were just empty, and meant to endear an officer to her superior. It was no problem at all of course, but being over a subject she really liked personally, Tyro found herself a little more possessive of it in this case.

Damn it though, if Alekelia didn't seem genuinely interested. "It's an orchid-like native to Melona. It can't grow anywhere else, and its habitat has degraded enormously. These clones were blooming some months ago..." ...During the end of the ship's visit to Aracelli. "We don't have a lot of success inducing them to flower on the ship. They're perennial, but I've had to keep my original samples in stasis, because their native growing conditions are so extremely specialized. They only flower during volcanic events. The colonists call it the Wildfire orchid."

"Very interesting, so thermogenic activation? I wonder if it is the heat, or chemicals that cause that? Akkadia is all islands and many are thermally active. There are somewhat similar plants that have evolved to handle the sudden change in environment. We have found that changes in the concentration of certain chemicals that are found in the air during and after such an event seem to hold the key. For example the A'puai plant will not bloom until there are high concentrations of cadmium and lead that an eruption causes." She did not touch the plant but turned her attention back to the captain. "Well, just a bit of speculation, I am sure you know much more about the orchids."

Tyro nodded. She was smiling, though automatically. "We can find examples almost anywhere, you're right, of local volcanism forming the basis of incredibly dynamic and abundant biodiversity. It's a little bit of a paradox of course, that destruction which would seem so sterilizing can prove to be such a generative force at the same time. In the case of Wildfire, the biomass supporting its habitat are similarly specialized to the region. The native spongy 'trees' keep a lot of water in the system, and it only escapes mostly during eruption events in the form of steam. The orchid flowers for a very short period of time before the trees hosting them are too desiccated, and the flowers fall and die on contact with the forest floor. The drying air might provide better conditions for repopulating the region after the event, since these forests repair themselves with remarkable efficiency."

"I would love to see them sometime in flower," Alekelia replied. She said then, "Ho'imailiki pua'ahi", before turning her attention back. "It means blessings to you flower of fire."

"It's been pleasant meeting you, Doctor," smiled Tyro after a pause. "I'm sorry for the tangent. Was there anything else before I let you settle in?"

"Not at all captain, just the formality of checking in," Alekelia replied and made and sketched a small salute. "Then I shall be on my way."

"As you were," agreed Tyro. She stood from her chair to release Alekelia. "Thank you, and try to enjoy the convention as well while we're here."

:: OFF ::

Tyro Adina
Commanding Officer
Commander, USS Tranquility

Alekelia illm A'olha
Chief Medical Officer
Lt Cmdr, USS Tranquility


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