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Re: Day 13 [ 0900 hrs.] Heeding Her Summons

Reply #25
[ Lt. Commander Alana Pierce | Holodeck 02 |  Deck 8 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] | ATTN: @Ellen Fitz [Show/Hide]

The feeling of comfort in her own skin, which was still odd at this point, stuck with her. Alana stood up and chuckled at his retort of the 'letting her die' that might be frowned upon by the crew. Now that he voiced it aloud, it did make sense in his best interests to keep her alive. Regardless, he did attempt and succeed at saving her life.

Hirek's appreciation for the lakes only made her continue to smile at the knowledge she showed him this glimpse into earth's beauty. Pierce could empathize with him on the holodeck versus real scenario. It was something that she always knew was a sticking point with going into a holodeck for realism. Escapism, you knew what you were getting into with something such as a holonovel. But the places that were real, those were the ones that made the largest difference when it came to visiting on the holodeck.

"Well, you can always describe home to the holodeck. With the star charts and the various databases available to it, you should be able to get a facsimile to home." She suggested to the Romulan male.

Clearly she'd made another cryptic mistake in her verbiage because it triggered a curious response from Hirek. He was stuck on the 'dying again'. "Well, with that, I suggest you tell the computer what you have in mind. Maybe it can replicate the appearance to one of your liking. I know of no tea or specific places of business to go on earth's past."

She rubbed her back as she stretched. The aches she had told of another time, another mission, but she'd just have to remedy that later. Pulling her hair out of it's pony tail, she flailed it about before it rested on her back calmly. Slowly drying from the sun's rays. Pierce looked back at him and wondered what his fascination with tea was. But she was going to table that for when they got to where they were going. "I will look forward to sharing the death and survival stories...that is once we get where we're going." She smirked as she stood firm, waiting the change in scenery.

Re: Day 13 [ 0900 hrs.] Heeding Her Summons

Reply #26
[Hirek tr’Aimne | Holodeck 02 |  Deck 8 | Vector 02 |  USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Pierce

Nodding at Pierce’s suggestion, Hirek looked to the blue sky overhead. “Computer, please draw up the closest rendition to the Uluma Islands you can, using my earlier descriptions.” He paused before adding, “Create a cliffside café with grey driftwood tables under colorful awnings made from old sails, and black wooden walls made from the broken hulls of sailing vessels. Temperature should be seventeen degrees Celsius, clear mid-day sky, bright sun, with a breeze carrying the scents of baking bread. Add the sounds of surf, overhead songbirds, and the clinking of metal wind chimes. Execute command.”

It was dizzying how quickly everything around them changed in an instant. No longer were they on the rocks by the lake but now stood at the entrance to a fairly close rendition to a café run by one of his cousins on their family island. Hirek smiled. It wasn’t perfect and it was without the usual array of fishermen, merchants, and fellow exiles, but it would suffice. He frowned when he looked down at their attire, or rather lack thereof. After glancing at Pierce and offering an almost apologetic smile, Hirek tipped his head to the side and spoke to the computer again.

“Computer, please provide a wardrobe change for Pierce and I. For the lady, a cerulean blue wraparound dress, and myself, a traditional black Romulan tunic.” The items appeared on the table closest to them, and after handing the dress to Pierce with a playful wink, Hirek added. “Populate café with fishermen, merchants, and exuberant artists all in good spirits. Add a musician playing a stringed instrument nearest the bar.”

Again, everything changed in seconds, and again, Hirek’s lips tipped upward with the alterations. Yes, it did scratch at his soul how close it was to home, and yet assuredly was not at all the same, but he was also thankful that something like this was available to him to work with. Over time he believed what Pierce had said, and he should be able to tweak the commands until he got something closer to what was HIS home, but for now, this would suffice. Hirek looked back to Pierce and nodded toward what looked to be the washroom.

“While you change, I will work with the computer to get something close to Romulan spiced tea. Maybe even something close to one of our homebrews with ale.” He offered the beauty another smile before moving further away, wanting her to know that while he was an arrogantly shameless flirt, he was still a gentleman and would not seek to impose on her privacy.

Once he was further away, Hirek followed through with his comment and before Pierce reappeared to join him at the table, he’d gotten the table filled with a variety of fruits, nuts, cheeses, cuts of cold meats with bread, and an array of drink options, some warm, some cold, some tea and some ale. He wanted to try it all to see which was closest to that of home, which he could then continue to tweak until it was even more reflective of reality. It was easy for him to pull the tunic over his head and tie it neatly in place. He lacked the matching trousers, but Hirek didn’t mind the moments of breeze blowing up his legs and fluffing out the tunic’s material. It reminded him of the days when his parents took him fishing. How they’d end the days at a similar café, with him half-dressed because he’d lost the other half or ruined it by climbing up something.

Hirek was smiling at the memory when he looked up and saw Pierce approach. He gestured to the table laden with food and beverage with a grin.

“I find that I really like your holodeck technology.”

Re: Day 13 [ 0900 hrs.] Heeding Her Summons

Reply #27
[ Lt. Commander Alana Pierce | Holodeck 02 |  Deck 8 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] | ATTN: @Ellen Fitz [Show/Hide]

Alana watched as the surroundings changed and morphed to that which Hirek inputted to the computer systems of the holodeck. The sky changed from one of clouds and blue to nearly completely blue. The beautiful cafe' on the cliffside appeared nearby her. Sounds of birds and the brief winds in the heat of the day overhead. Her swimsuit was still present as was Hirek's when he finished, but the other contents were now gone that they'd taken into the depths.

Looking at Hirek, the look of awe at the facsimile was across his face which Alana could relate to. Especially since in her day, these didn't least on a Starship. But he didn't realize that either at this point. That was when he opted to have a wardrobe change. And he selected for the both of them. Something she wasn't used to and didn't particularly care for, but wasn't going to protest in the event it was something she wouldn't personally choose for herself.

It was then that a cerulean blue wraparound dress appeared before Pierce and Hirek handed it to her. She attempted to smile and gave a thankful glance as she took it from him. The playful wink from Hirek was present and Alana didn't feel like being disrespectful as he was trying and clearly enjoying this change. His further instructions for the holdeck included population in the café with fishermen, merchants, and artists all in good spirits. As well as a musician playing a stringed instrument near the bar.

He spoke back to her, “While you change, I will work with the computer to get something close to Romulan spiced tea. Maybe even something close to one of our homebrews with ale.”

Pierce took the dress, carried it to the washroom. She walked up to the door and locked it as she looked at herself in the mirror. Her hair was no longer wet, but her wetsuit was still clinging closely to her frame. Sighing quietly, she dreaded the putting the dress on and wasn't sure what to expect. But having had her impromptu meeting with Reggie in the gym mere hours before, and the confidence she showed at that point only served to drive her now. She unzipped the front of the wetsuit, allowing the view of cleavage on her front, as she modeled it to see how well she looked. After playing for a short moment, she stripped the wetsuit completely off, revealing her now completely bare body.

"Computer, replicate my personal underwear from my quarters and place on the counter." Within moments, the contents appeared as she walked over and put them on. Then she stood in front of the mirror, looking at the dress in front of her before finally putting it on. Her red hair flowed over her blue dress. It was a v-neck in the chest area displaying some of the skin she had. Pierce took one look at the image in the mirror, placed her hands on the counter and whispered, "Alright Pierce, get yourself together." She looked on and was stunned at what she saw in return. Taking a deep breath, she stepped out of the washroom.

Re-entering the cafe' she saw Hirek with a full spread of delectable foods for them to sample. Fruits, nuts, cheeses, cuts of cold meats with bread, and an array of drink options, some warm, some cold, some tea and some ale. Hirek was smiling when he looked up and saw Pierce approach. He gestured to the table laden with food and beverage with a grin.

“I find that I really like your holodeck technology.”

Alana smiled back at him and replied, "I can see that." A curious face rested at the table. "Sampler? Hoping to try and regain that home experience? I've done the same with various pastas and platters from my home as well. The time it took to perfect it was long but worth it. But I prefer making the food in person. Gives it that personal touch and fresh always trumps the holodeck, despite it's capabilities."

She pulled her seat out and sat down, careful to allow the crossing of her legs and to fold the dress under her legs to not allow for wind or a possible show down below. Slightly uncomfortable in the dress, more due to never choosing to wear one than anything else, and the showing off of her chest in the top section, she was a little self-confident. Smiling at Hirek she hoped to get an understanding for his home now. "So this is home?"

Re: Day 13 [ 0900 hrs.] Heeding Her Summons

Reply #28
[Hirek tr’Aimne | Holodeck 02 |  Deck 8 | Vector 02 |  USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Pierce

“The colors of the dress are very becoming for your figure.” Hirek gestured to the dress as Pierce took a seat. “While it is not quite the fashion for back home, most women wear a simple wraparound dress when at this café back home. Underneath, they’re either nude or wearing swimming garments. It is a very casual and open place, where everyone prefers as little clothing as possible.” Hirek winked before grabbing one drink and taking a tentative sip. He gave a half-shrug before taking another sip. “Also not quite like what we can find on the islands, but this spiced herbal tea is palatable if you care to try.”

He noted her discomfort as she shifted in her seat across from him. Hirek was uncertain the reason, but something was definitely making her uncomfortable. Rather than directly calling attention to her obvious tells, Hirek instead responded to her comments and question.

“I also prefer cooking and blending my own ales and teas. From a young age, as I gained knowledge in botany and zoology, I also enjoyed applying insights into using the plants and animals in my culinary life. I am curious how it will go, now that I am on the ship, whether I can resume this practice.” A burst of laughter came from a nearby table, followed by clinking glasses as the individuals there toasted one another. “This is not home but it is close enough for now. If this was home, there would be an amphitheater in the valley between this cliff and the beach down there.” Hirek moved to a half-standing position long enough to point toward the coastline. “Every evening, there would be a drama, sometimes put on by professional troops, but mostly by amateurs. Romulan thespians wear intricately designed masks, and in the play's course, they will remove the layers, one by one, changing their voices and body language to match the new mask. One actor may end up playing ten different characters before the end of the play, where he will reveal his ‘true nature with the last mask, but as all the audience knows, this is still just a mask because the actor himself is the true nature, and yet even then, is what he shows society actually true?” Hirek smirked at the complexity, knowing that for some, this would sound more exhausting than entertaining. “This unmasking process reflects our societal tendencies towards deception and trickery, conspiracy and betrayal. Our respect for truth and our passion for protecting secrets.”

Hirek allowed silence to touch the air around them as he nibbled at some of the fares. Again, they were pleasant enough, but they were not home. He could see why this program could be more bitter than sweet, giving a close enough facsimile to haunt you. Leaning an elbow on the table, Hirek picked up a series of nuts and began placing them between his lips one at a time.

“I couldn’t help but note you said ‘again’ earlier when speaking of death. May I know what you meant by that? It is a most intriguing word to use in that context.”

Re: Day 13 [ 0900 hrs.] Heeding Her Summons

Reply #29
[ Lt. Commander Alana Pierce | Holodeck 02 |  Deck 8 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] | ATTN: @Ellen Fitz [Show/Hide]

Pierce smiled and nodded at Hirek's attempt for politeness and for complimenting her body in the dress. While she wasn't a big fan of this particular type of clothing, she appreciated the appearance nonetheless. The added confidence booster only added to her own growing pool of it. She looked a little alarmed by the lack of clothing underneath but truth be told, she would have liked it if she were a male. Better to look at and well... She left that thought.

She tried the herbal tea that Hirek replicated in the holodeck cafe'. It was rather good in her opinion. In the past, she wasn't much of a tea drinker but had grown accustomed to it in her current form. "It is rather delicious. Thank you for all of this." She said warmly as she took another sip of the hot tea.

Listening to the Romulan male, she nodded attentively as he spoke too of his preference for cooking and creating his own drink blends. Something she could relate to. He commented about home and not being there but that continued to explain his enjoyment of the familial island with all of its cultures. His further communication of the dramas and the actors' change of layers and hiding what's underneath only brought the hairs on the back of her neck to attention. She could tell he was slowly sniffing out the true nature of her person despite it sounding otherwise in conversation.

Alana took a bite of some of the delicacies as she sipped her tea and allowed the quiet or that of it between them to settle somewhat. That is until the question of her death returned to the forefront of the conversation. She nodded and smiled uncomfortably at least initially. "Well Hirek, that's a rather long and complicated story."

Taking another drink of her tea, she shook the cup around letting the liquid inside swirl slightly before she placed it on the table once more. "There's a lot you don't know about me. A lot I cannot say either. That being said, I am only as old as I am because..." The words stuck in her throat as she let it slip methodically and carefully. "...I am not from this time period. Humans typically can live to the ripe age of 150, but there's no way to mask it as we get older. We get white hair and wrinkled and shrivel up and die. Unlike Vulcans or Romulans or other species."

Allowing it to settle momentarily she continued, "So when I said I was technically 127, I meant I am actually around 32 years old. I was in a top-secret operation where a temporal distortion got in my path. I was dragged to this century. I lost my life, my ship, my rank, and everything as I was reborn in this era."

Hot tears stung her eyes as the irritation and anger at the scenario snuck into her mind. She didn't wish for Hirek to see it but these issues continued to plague her from time to time. Placing her head down, she looked the cup over as she drank again, sniffling and wiping both her eyes with her right hand as if to wipe the tiredness away. When actually it was water forming in the corner of her eyes. Pierce was slightly mad at herself for letting it happen, here of all places, but the emotions and hormones got the better of her nowadays.

Regaining her composure she looked at the snacks and grabbed some of the finger foods as she leaned back, careful not to let anything slip out.

Re: Day 13 [ 0900 hrs.] Heeding Her Summons

Reply #30
[Hirek tr’Aimne | Holodeck 02 |  Deck 8 | Vector 02 |  USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Pierce

Hirek remained stoic as Pierce spoke, even when she was reduced to swiping at tears as they furthered her discomfort with their presence on her cheeks. He could tell she didn’t like crying. Be it merely because it was in front of him or as a general rule, Hirek would have to ask directly to determine. But he wouldn’t do that now. While he’d not much experience with crying humans, he did have experience with distracting irate Romulan ones. Determining on a course of action, Hirek finished his tea and moved on to one of the ale blends he’d used the computer to concoct. It was a far cry from anything he’d consider “good” from back home, but he supposed a less aware individual of what Romulan ale was supposed to taste like could enjoy it to a degree.

Leaning forward, Hirek plucked up a piece of fruit and used the end to point to an area over Pierce’s shoulder. “If this were back home, there would be a knoll over there where my cousin’s compound would be situated in the middle of a hedge maze.” Popping the fruit in his mouth, Hirek carefully spoke around the bite as he used his fingers to “draw out” a maze and outline a compound using the nuts and dried fruits on the platter between them. “For those unfamiliar with Romulan building styles, if you were to walk across the islands, it may confuse you if there were any houses at all as each compound is surrounded by large groves of trees, planted in such a way as to blend into the countryside and make it difficult to determine if there is a house there at all.” Hirek glanced up at Pierce with a smile before continuing. “If you make it through the maze without getting lost, you’ll find a false entrance unless you are guided by a family member who will take you to the true entrance, which is sometimes the back and sometimes not.” He winked, gesturing to the food version of a home then nodded again to the grassy area on the hillside behind her. “If this were home, my cousin would arrange rooms for us both and instruct his children to perform a family concert in our honor.”

Hirek paused a moment to let the breeze move between them, the sounds of the café filling in the gaps of their conversation. He bypassed the attempt at blended ale and picked up the plain one, still disappointed in the computer’s attempt at something his family had been making for generations. Setting the glass down with a grimace, Hirek returned his gaze to Pierce.

“I mention this in response to your sharing, not out of disrespect for your candor, but to share a part of myself in return.” He shifted in his seat, not because he was uncomfortable, but to display an awareness of her own discomfort. “You see, my cousins all have siblings, and they all have children. My parents, however, had only me, thanks to the Tal Shiar. Where my cousin’s compound would be filled with the sounds of family, my family compound echoes with a lack. I have been reborn on this ship because I do not want my parents to die in shame. I do not want them to die alone.” He gestured to his body with one hand, laying the other palm up on the table. “I have no rank here, I have no family, and I suspect most will look me upon as nothing more than an instrument to be used to end the threat of the Infested.”

A child came by holding a basket filled with fragrant blossoms of bright red, orange, and yellow. Hirek stopped her long enough to take a long stem with a hybrid red and orange bloom, patting the girl on the shoulder as she moved off. He laid the flower on the table close to Pierce by making no effort to force it into her hands.

“In your culture, they are called phoenixes. We have similar creatures that are reborn from the ashes of their old lives.” Hirek kept to himself that one of his names was for that very creature. “You have been reborn in this time period, at this age, and in this way, for a purpose only you can fight your way to determine. While you have lost much, from what I have gleaned in our short acquaintance, it seems to me that you have gained and continue to gain much as well. There is no replacing,” he gestured to the surrounding program, “never can there be a replacement for truth. But there is always something to fight for and to fight towards.”

He leaned back in his chair and let his gaze move up and down what he could see of Pierce then. Hirek let another moment of casual silence pass before his lips pulled up in a mischievous smile. “So when you were talking about an old man earlier, were you referring to yourself?”

Re: Day 13 [ 0900 hrs.] Heeding Her Summons

Reply #31
[ Lt. Commander Alana Pierce | Holodeck 02 |  Deck 8 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] | ATTN: @Ellen Fitz [Show/Hide]

Pierce noted the various things that Hirek mentioned. It was a beautiful scene that he'd painted not only in the holodeck but in the description he gave her in the conversation. She knew that he was persistent and that he was picking up on the various tells she gave whether she meant to or not. The morning had already taught her some valuable lessons and the late morning even more of them. But it was intriguing nonetheless.

She swallowed her tea and admired the taste. But she looked on at the architecture that Hirek showed. And the visual picture he painted about the concert in their honor. "That sounds nice Hirek." She smiled in a friendly manner back to him.

Listening continued as he mentioned his story and reason for sharing with her. As well as the Tal Shiar's instigation and the dying alone. The thoughts hung in the back of her mind. "I too, do not wish to die alone. It's...not something I relish the thoughts of." She concluded.

The flower now laid on the table near Pierce, she picked it up in thanks and not to offend, as well as to admire the plant. Which had a stunning similarity to one she had seen on the Qu'vot Colony when she was undercover for Starfleet Intelligence in the 23rd century. But it was a beautiful flower. "Thank you." She said to the little one that scampered off.

The rebirth lines about Phoenixes and the like was what she knew would culminate in the full reveal. At least that she could tell. "Thank you my friend for those kind words. I am hopeful that the same can be said for you too. It is a different time and you're right."

As she turned her head thinking the conversation over, the question sprung up finally. "I was referring to myself." She paused and looked into the distance as she drank her tea and then placed the glass down again. Folding her hands in her lap of the cerulean blue dress. "I was once a man. I was on a covert mission in the 23rd century when Admiral Cartwright once again put me in harms way. I was to get a special serum in the Klingon Empire and return it to Starfleet. All was going well when..."

Again Alana paused and thought about it. "...when I attempted to escape. The Klingons were firing on my shuttle, and I was caught in a temporal distortion. That distortion sent me into the 24th Century...but that wasn't all. I was knocked out as the compounds shattered and spilled on me. In combination with that and the transporter, it fused into my DNA. Thus, who I am now is before you. My original transporter pattern was lost to time and with it, the old me. Sure I can have surgery but that won't fix anything. I am who I am now."

She let a slight tear drop before wiping it from her eye. The emotion of the situation in her mind. "Sorry Hirek. I still struggle from time to time with the emotions of my change." She straightened up before finally calming down. Smiling now, "The best I can do now, is live the life I was given and complete my mission. Even if I am a new person. But you must keep this between us. Few are allowed to know."

Standing up now, she straightened the dress and walked to the window to look at the surroundings. "Your homeworld is beautiful."

Re: Day 13 [ 0900 hrs.] Heeding Her Summons

Reply #32
[Hirek tr’Aimne | Holodeck 02 |  Deck 8 | Vector 02 |  USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Pierce

Hirek gave no indication of shock as he listened to Pierce’s story. And in truth, he wasn’t. There was something about Pierce that seemed different that he’d noted from the very beginning of their acquaintance, and now it made sense, whereas before he’ just presumed it had more to do with Starfleet Intelligence training. Hirek sipped at the various drinks in front of him, noting which he preferred and would continue to experiment with and which he would discontinue altogether, as Pierce continued. He didn’t want to overwhelm him/her by focusing too much on the story, so he nodded, hummed acknowledgment, and continued picking at the food.

“There is no need to apologize, Pierce. You have experienced more than most, and from what I have observed and experienced, you’ve held up well through it all.” He chuckled and shook his head. “I’ve no doubt I’d be as shameless a female as I am a male and just as attracted to both sexes. Opportunistic to a fault.” He winked, hoping to cheer the woman/man away from melancholy. “And I’ve no one to tell, Pierce. I doubt my parents would care, not that I’m in contact with them and have no allies on the ship to speak of. So it is easy to say, your secret is safe with me.”

Hirek chose not to comment on his concerns, figuring that Pierce was warming up to him and that was in his favor for continued success and thriving on the ship. If he decided to point out to her that she’d just given away a major detail to basically an unknown element—him—then likely Pierce would withdraw and his life on the ship would be far more miserable. No, best to keep his mouth shut and Pierce talking. He was learning much and it seemed, so far at least, that Pierce would be a worthy ally, if not a friend, in the coming days. She was already calling him friend, so that was a plus.

He watched her get up and move to the window. Hirek followed a moment later, popping a piece of fruit in his mouth before joining her. Since this wasn’t quite to the magnitude of what his home truly was, Hirek gave a half shrug and smiled when he reached her side.

“This is an acceptable rendition of my home. If I’m given clearance and time, I’d like to continue to work with the programming to see I can make it more accurate. But for what we have here,” he gestured to the cerulean sky above and the turquoise sea with white surf below, “it is pleasant.” Eyeing Pierce with his peripherals, Hirek spoke after a few moments of silence, “Forgive my curiosity, but did you leave anyone in the last century?”

Re: Day 13 [ 0900 hrs.] Heeding Her Summons

Reply #33
[ Lt. Commander Alana Pierce | Holodeck 02 |  Deck 8 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] | ATTN: @Ellen Fitz [Show/Hide]

Alana could tell that Hirek wanted to know more but for the politeness and niceties of the conversation decided against it. To which she felt slightly at ease about as they conversed about differing topics. She simply nodded without facing him as he noted there was no need to apologize for the emotional aspects and dumping of the baggage. She did turn and smirk when he mentioned how shameless he would be regardless of the circumstances. "I wouldn't say I am opportunistic but merely still getting my bearings. Despite a year of therapy at Starfleet's starbases. But thank you. I appreciate the candor."

She took another sip as she stared at his holographic similitude of his home. "If you get this looking right, I'd be interested in visiting your abode and seeing these places you enjoy. Who knows, maybe in the future, we'll get time for shore leave on Romulus and you can show the genuine article." She beamed with a playful smile as she looked back out the window.

"I will say that while I have divulged these details, I sense you are the keep your cards close type of individual. Especially at this point in time. So, I believe I can trust you. My gut tells me anyway." She had always relied on her gut instinct no matter the situation and this was no different. While Fisher was a creature of hidden agendas with those he worked with, and Pierce had to in some fashion do the same, she wanted an open and honest dialogue between the Intel crew or their mission was a failure before it starts.

Pierce nodded as Hirek explained his desire to continue to work on the program and perfect it. "I think that can be arranged."

When he brought up the last century and leaving ones behind, she paused and looked into her drink. There were a great many left behind, but no one of familial relation. Just coworkers and friends. "Well...I left behind the ship, my crew, and my yeoman. She was young. Actually, most of my past is gone other than the ship. The USS Eagle which we can explore another time on the holodeck, or in person, is in the Fleet Museum. I visited her when I was brought up to speed on this era. She has survived a lot. Wolf 359 did a number on her but she's in one piece and all that remains of my past."

She laughed momentarily. "Oh. And I discovered when I transferred onboard that my great-granddaughter was brought on less than a week after I was. That yeoman had a child and so on until, well, here we are." She smiled and drank more of her ale.

Re: Day 13 [ 0900 hrs.] Heeding Her Summons

Reply #34
[Hirek tr’Aimne | Holodeck 02 |  Deck 8 | Vector 02 |  USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Pierce

“Well, it may still come across as odd to hear, but you are a lovely-looking woman, Pierce, and if you carried over some of the same traits as a man, you were likely a handsome man.” Hirek grinned then, “We old men can stick together on this ship of youngsters. And I can treat you to the ‘old man’ pampering of Romulus, if I manage to get everything programmed properly.” He couldn’t help the snort of disbelief at the far-fetched concept of shore leave on Romulus. “Even if we get all of Romulus united under the banner of ridding our galaxy of the Infested, we are coming up against centuries of isolationist policies that allowed the Tal Shiar to poach and destroy aspects of Romulan culture until everything was reshaped in their approved image. It would take many decades after peace was had before the first off-worlder embassies found permanent locations on the planet, and just as long, if not longer, before the Federation itself was welcome to have a presence on the planet. Personal opinion, of course.”

Hirek turned to lean his back against the railing, elbows perched on the ledge above it. His eyes tracked over the comings and goings of the simulated café as he listened to Pierce share more of his/her past. The mentioning of a great-grandchild had Hirek’s eyebrows rising, and he cocked his head to the side as he observed Pierce with a new glint of curiosity.

“Have you met your progeny yet?” He smirked, am amused chuckle rumbling from his throat. “If I were a good Romulan, I would’ve been remarried by now. Either with one woman, as is the custom of our islands, or with a dyadic pair, man and woman, or two women, as is the custom of the capital cities. If I had to translate the name for the wedding ceremony of such a triad, the closest equivalent would be ‘A terror and a Name.’ This is because each partner acts as a verificator to the other two at every moment in the marriage. Whereas in a dyadic relationship, which is more customary for Uluma, there is only one other in the trust bond, which is the translation of what we consider a marriage. The terror is the revealing of one’s greatest fear, and the name refers to the speaking of one’s true name to the spouse, or spouses.” He shrugged. “If I were a good Romulan, I would’ve gone through that again and given my parents at least two grandchildren by now, if not more.”

Re: Day 13 [ 0900 hrs.] Heeding Her Summons

Reply #35
[ Lt. Commander Alana Pierce | Holodeck 02 |  Deck 8 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] | ATTN: @Ellen Fitz [Show/Hide]

The commentary about her appearance from Hirek caused a slight blush as she looked at the Romulan man before her. He was quite a bit taller than herself too as she looked on at the visuals outside as they talked. She laughed at this comment about 'we old men' sticking together. "I'll take you up on the old man pampering." She laughed again as she sipped her ale.

As the discussion spun to that of Romulus and the isolationist mentality, she nodded. "As you can see however, time can heal all wounds with the right person at the helm." She grasped his shoulder in a friendly manner as she looked at him. "First we get the infested under control. And then we work on the Tal Shiar my friend." She relinquished her grip.

He was clearly intrigued by the notion of her having a descendent and on board no less. "I have met her actually. She looks very very similar in appearance and was raised to know about my exploits which are what drove her to Starfleet. She's one of the helmsman on board actually. Odd situation." She said taking another gulp. Alana walked over to the chair to take a seat again, folding the dress beneath her legs some to allow for some added movement.

"I can see that. As for where I am now, if I choose a spouse, I am not having children. Period." She smirked. "Different anatomy and all. Besides, I am happy to know I have another Pierce on board with whom to learn more about. Especially since my disappearance and all. But time hasn't allowed that with my change in position."

Glancing at the food, she took a few bites before leaning back again and allowing herself to relax some and enjoy the sounds of the area. "Again, a very interesting place you have here. I hope to visit it in person some day." She said genuinely. "So, where do we go from here Hirek?"

Re: Day 13 [ 0900 hrs.] Heeding Her Summons

Reply #36
[Hirek tr’Aimne | Holodeck 02 |  Deck 8 | Vector 02 |  USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Pierce

“Pampering transcends gender and age,” Hirek rolled his shoulders, tipping his head up to the sun for a moment, “and it is something our souls need on occasion, whether we care to admit it or not.”

Pierce’s touch was friendly and welcoming. Nothing like the intimate touches he’d received from the counselor or even that doctor, and assuredly nothing like the violence from Amarik. It was fascinating how he could encounter such a diverse reception on one ship.

Hirek listened attentively as Pierce described the meeting with her descendent. He could tell more had been said or felt than what Pierce let on, but she also didn’t seem particularly interested in going into more detail about it at this time. Following her back to the table, Hirek couldn’t help the playful smirk as he sat across from her.

“So then, if you are still getting accustomed to this,” he gestured to her body, “do you find your attraction still veers towards the fairer sex, or are you slowly growing accustomed to the flutterings of attraction for those of us less fair?”

He left the teasing comment in the air between them, leaning back in his chair as he contemplated her question. This sort of programming was so new to him, Hirek was almost overwhelmed with the possibilities. Until he’d been given more time to study the programming, he felt at a disadvantage in arranging settings or determining their next “location” for their time together. Exhibiting the human shrug in response to her question, Hirek smiled.

“If you’re referring to the holodeck, I would prefer to defer to your greater experience. If you’re referring to our relationship,” he winked, “I’d say let’s take it one day at a time.”

Re: Day 13 [ 0900 hrs.] Heeding Her Summons

Reply #37
[ Lt. Commander Alana Pierce | Holodeck 02 |  Deck 8 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] | ATTN: @Ellen Fitz [Show/Hide]

Pierce smiled as Hirek mentioned her attractions. Something she had caught her mind on both sides of the spectrum as of late. "I've noticed with this body, I veer both ways in mental state. The female form seems to be enamored with the male physique, however I am very much still a male in mind and in that, I am attracted to the female form. It's...complicated at best. But I would say I am veering towards the fairer side of things." She chuckled and drank another sip of her ale before she leaned back.

"To be honest, it's been on my mind as of late but I haven't had the time or inclination to pursue anything one way or the other. With all the changes, duty and some minimal downtime seem to be my main focuses." She knew what he was alluding to or inquiring at the very least. He was a tease in of himself but she didn't mix work with pleasure regardless of the individual.

In response to her own question he gave a very human shrug as if saying, not sure. She grinned as she knew the looks since she herself had given it when asked questions like that. His verbal response however was funny regardless how it was answered.

"As for our relationship, let's keep it as friends and yes, one day at a time. But as for location on the holodeck....let me think." She looked off into the distance and then it came to her. "How much do you know about the 23rd Century Starfleet vessels?"

Re: Day 13 [ 0900 hrs.] Heeding Her Summons

Reply #38
[Hirek tr’Aimne | Holodeck 02 |  Deck 8 | Vector 02 |  USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Pierce

Hirek gave a cat-like grin, “I’m enamored. Period. Male, female. I enjoy the hunt; I enjoy being hunted.” Waving a hand in the air between them, Hirek gave a subtle head shake. “I would not presume to be either hunter or prey with you, Pierce. You’ve already expressed your disinterest. In my ‘old age’ I’ve discovered the seduction process is far more pleasurable and memorable when both parties are keen. For as devious and nefarious as I have been or may still be, I can say with all honesty that is not often expected of my race, that I have never forced my attentions on someone. I can admit, without shame, that I have been rejected at the same rate that I have rejected.”

Leaning back, Hirek gave Pierce another studious glance.

“I learned a term from one of your colleagues. Our colleagues, I suppose. ‘Wingman,’ do you know it?” Hirek’s smile returned in full mischievous force. “I would be honored to be yours. Utilizing what time is afforded us strategically to ensure your thorough…relaxation.” He winked.

A few moments later, Hirek shook his head at her suggested location, “I have minimal background information on Starfleet, period. Whatever was available to us lowly junior officers or civilians, that is what I know. So, needless to say, I know propaganda only. Open to whatever or wherever you take us.”

Re: Day 13 [ 0900 hrs.] Heeding Her Summons

Reply #39
[ Lt. Commander Alana Pierce | Holodeck 02 |  Deck 8 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] | ATTN: @Ellen Fitz [Show/Hide]

Pierce chuckled at Hirek's response about enjoying the hunt of relationships. "As did I, in the past at least. Still adjusting to my own skin before I worry about going on the prowl as it were." She smirked taking another sip.

The term wingman caused her to bare a toothy grin. "That term is very old and can mean many things. When on the Flight deck, well it means the Lone Wolves. But in social situations, it means the one to show that assists you in trying to find someone to approach romantic endeavors with. But I am familiar with it." She almost gagged on her drink as he mentioned helping be her wingman. Placing her glass down, she folded her arms. "I will certainly keep that in mind when I feel...up for it. And I would do the same for you given the nature of our growing friendship."

After her suggestion of entering old Starfleet vessels, he explained his lack of knowledge in such things without propaganda tied to it at least. That caused her to gain a little added interest in the matter as she had an idea of where to take him that was otherwise not somewhere she'd been in some time. "Alrighty then, let me give you a taste of the past. Arch."

The arch appeared in the holodeck nearby and Alana stood up with her dress still wrapped tightly on her form. Straightening it out, she stepped over to the console and tapped in a few controls and observed the uniform that materialized before her. It was made for her specific body shape and was like what she was found in upon her appearance nearby the Starbase before the unfortunate accident occurred. "Hold on just a minute. If you'd like, I materialized a male's uniform much like what I have here or you can wear what you'd like. I'm going to go change and come back to activate the program."

Stepping away, she went to the dressing room and looked into the mirror before checking herself out. She was stunning in this garb that Hirek chose. Something to remember at least for the future. For now, she planned to get into character. Taking the contents as she undressed and redressed in the old 23rd Century vested uniform, she looked once more in the mirror, observing the more confident version of herself instead of the scared one that appeared on the Starbase in this very uniform. She shook it off and walked out towards the arch once more.

"Ready Hirek?" She said allowing for his response before activating the program. "Computer save current program and save for Hirek's personal files. Authorization Pierce Alpha Zeta 1864." The computer chirped before the current program faded and was replaced by an old Starship. One with meaning to her past. The USS Eagle.

The transporter attendant finished the mock beaming as she stepped down. Pierce turned to Hirek, "Follow me." She said before heading out of the transporter room. The rank on her uniform shown Lieutenant Commander. Her current and previous rank of this century. She was going to play, as herself despite the physical changes.

"Care for a tour?" She inquired as they walked down the pale white corridors of the Constitution Refit which like her had made it to this century, but she wasn't in a museum like the Eagle was.

Re: Day 13 [ 0900 hrs.] Heeding Her Summons

Reply #40
[Hirek tr’Aimne | Holodeck 02 |  Deck 8 | Vector 02 |  USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Pierce

Hirek delighted in pulling on the strange uniform, finding the fit unflattering in some ways and yet more comfortable in others. Altogether, completely worth trying on, and not only to enhance the experience of the program. He took a little longer to change, only because of the novelty of the fabric and the design distracting him, and returned to Pierce’s side with an affable smile and nod, noting how the uniform hugged her curves nicely. He knew now to keep the comment to himself, but that didn’t stop his eyes from moving over her form and his smile turning upward in an impish grin of male appreciation.

As before, Hirek stood next to the woman with his hands clasped lightly behind his back as he waited for her to issue the directives and the program to adjust accordingly. The 23rd century ship they beamed onto was quaint, Hirek immediately noted. He was quickly called to fall in line behind Pierce as she led the way out of the transporter room and into the white corridor of the ship. He nodded at her question and maintained his position at her side as she led him further into the ship.

“What makes this particular ship so meaningful to you?” Hirek asked after a few paces. "I can easily confess that I've never had a great emotionally connection to a starship, though I've enjoyed elements of my service aboard them. I much preferred being on the sailing vessels of our seas."

Thank you for your patience. I apologize that even after so long a wait, the post is short.

Re: Day 13 [ 0900 hrs.] Heeding Her Summons

Reply #41
[ Lt. Commander Alana Pierce | Holodeck 02 |  Deck 8 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] | ATTN: @Ellen Fitz [Show/Hide]

Pierce looked at Hirek who like herself, humored the gesture to try on the outfit for the scenario. She had forgotten how snug these older uniforms could get since her time there, but also she had to contend with two additional aspects on her chest that weren't present before too. She was greeted as Commander Pierce, despite the fact that she looked nothing how she used to. But programming the simulation to make her be her old self was a welcome diversionary therapy from time to time.

Lost in thought briefly, she turned to Hirek and noted the question he brought to her attention. Licking her lips to wet them, she took a deep breath and spoke as they passed by other officers.

"Well, to be honest, this was my home. For quite some time. I served aboard her for close to eight years. From Ensign to her Executive Officer and commander." She paused briefly as she remembered the various missions and memories here. "I could tell you how fast we were going by the vibrations on the deck and knew most of the crew to some degree. I could...feel....this ship. And I had served under two of these Constitution Class refit vessels. The original Enterprise, and the Eagle. The Eagle was home though. I had a lot of friends and in Starfleet Intelligence, a few enemies."

Resuming her walk she looked and smiled wryly. "Seems some things never change. The ship might but the scenarios stay the same." She continued walking as she took him to the mess hall. Not much to go on there but a good place to pause for reflection. "That and she is the only thing from my past to still exist in this time. She's in a Starfleet museum now, decommissioned and I visited when I first came to this time. It's still...home. Crazy as it sounds. You probably think I'm nuts." She said wiping her palm against her face as she thought about it.

Re: Day 13 [ 0900 hrs.] Heeding Her Summons

Reply #42
[Hirek tr’Aimne | Holodeck 02 |  Deck 8 | Vector 02 |  USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Pierce

“I’m insatiably curious now,” Hirek jostled closer to Pierce’s shoulder, knocking against her playfully as they moved through the corridor, “Why would you have enemies with Intelligence? I find that both curious and amusing considering your present position on the ship.”

Looking up as they moved through an archway, Hirek noted it was the ship’s mess hall. Interesting how nearly every species he’d ever studied or known associated meals with a time to pause. Either consciously or not, Pierce had brought them verbally and physically to a place where they could idle and dig in. Moving his gaze back to his companion, he shook his head at her presumption.

“Though it may not provide you with much reassurance on your mental status, I can assure you that if I were in a similar situation as you, I’d likely do much the same and feel much the same.” He moved to the area where food could be collected. “What was your favorite meal while on this vessel?” He glanced back over at the comings and goings of the fabricated crew and added, “What was something that existed here that doesn’t on the present ship that you wish could exist?” Hirek smiled then and gave a shameless shrug. “You’re my first time traveler.”

Re: Day 13 [ 0900 hrs.] Heeding Her Summons

Reply #43
[ Lt. Commander Alana Pierce | Holodeck 02 |  Deck 8 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] | ATTN: @Ellen Fitz [Show/Hide]

She smirked at Hirek for his mention of being so curious. The playfulness of the two pushing off each other's shoulders caused her to grin wider, especially at the notion of having enemies in Starfleet Intelligence.

"Well, that's the funny part. Admiral Cartwright was a warmonger who wanted conflict. He was a Starfleet member through and through but he also didn't like soldiers who questioned bad calls. I was one who called him on his shit often and he tried to suicide the ship and the crew with me aboard tracking down the Genesis devices. So suffice it to say, he got his in the end but I was just unable to see it happen sadly."

The mess hall was thankfully vacant at least nearby besides the holographic crew buzzing about as she gave the $3 tour as it was said in old earth terms. "Care to stop for some drinks? least one for the road?" She winked as she ordered a cola since the ship couldn't replicate actual alcoholic drinks being of modern vessel's real holo tech.

She sat down with it in hand as she leaned back in the chair. Unbuttoning the flap on the chest of the uniform, revealing the command-level white turtleneck undershirt beneath it. Crossing her legs to the side of the table, she took a drink from the glass, which was thankfully tall, and had plenty of her favorite earth drink on hand.

“Though it may not provide you with much reassurance on your mental status, I can assure you that if I were in a similar situation as you, I’d likely do much the same and feel much the same.” He moved to the area where food could be collected. “What was your favorite meal while on this vessel?” He glanced back over at the comings and goings of the fabricated crew and added, “What was something that existed here that doesn’t on the present ship that you wish could exist?” Hirek smiled then and gave a shameless shrug. “You’re my first time traveler.”

Pierce looked at him and nodded. "Thanks means a lot actually to hear you say that." She was shaken from her daze at the mention of food. "I really enjoyed a good steak dinner, with potatoes but as of late, I can't eat it with this physiology. I have resorted to a chicken sandwich and fries since it agrees with the current version of myself. Tastes good too." She chuckled.

Alana pondered the thought of an object that wasn't around on current ships. "I guess, just the comradery that comes with a smaller ship. I know Starfleet has smaller vessels but it seems like their powerhouses are larger in stature nowadays. Back in my day, the cruisers were the Constitution and Excelsior class vessels. Miranda class was too but those were different yet."

The mention of his first-time traveler caused her to think momentarily. "So I broke your space-time cherry then?" Then she laughed a little louder but calmed quickly. "Sorry, it just caught me off guard. But I'm happy to answer whatever helps continue to build this friendship and trust. I can see you will be a fun one to read but not as guarded as you'd imagine." She winked briefly in a sort of flirting manner before taking a bite of her sandwich.


Re: Day 13 [ 0900 hrs.] Heeding Her Summons

Reply #44
[Hirek tr’Aimne | Holodeck 02 |  Deck 8 | Vector 02 |  USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Pierce

Hirek raised an eyebrow as he listened to Pierce share some of her past issues with the higher ups in her career. After taking a sip of the drink he’d ordered, a direct mirror of her own, Hirek replied, “I worked with more than a few ‘warmongers’ in my lifetime. And not always in the military service. Although my particular subjects had little to do with direct conflict, lecturing at the Imperial War College did bring with it certain expectations from a portion of the students as well as my fellow lecturers.” Hirek tilted his head toward Pierce, “I can say with great confidence that none of those individuals got ‘theirs in the end,’ not unless they’ve found themselves on the wrong side of the civil war. And then there’s the question, which side is the wrong side?” He shrugged, tipping the glass against his lips for another sip before adding, “Both have entangled themselves with the Tal Shiar over the years, and Donatra served directly under that maniac Shinzon, so it is rather like choosing which you’d prefer to die by, fire or ice, but death is inevitable.”

Leaning back, Hirek stared at the dark liquid in the glass, brows furrowed as he traced his tongue over the contours of his mouth. As a master blender—though of ale and teas not whatever fizzy drink this was—Hirek was always curious about the makeup of new drinks. There was something citrusy, a spice, a sweet base, and an effervescent acidic. Drawing in more liquid between his teeth, Hirek swished it around a few times before swallowing, saluting Pierce with his glass.

“Is this still a popular drink? I think it could pair well with some of the liquor blends of my home.” When Pierce spoke of popped cherries, Hirek raised an eyebrow again. “I’m afraid I don’t get the idiom. A cherry is a weapon? A food item? And why would it being popped have anything to do with this scenario?”


Re: Day 13 [ 0900 hrs.] Heeding Her Summons

Reply #45
[ Lt. Commander Alana Pierce | Holodeck 02 |  Deck 8 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] | ATTN: @Ellen Fitz [Show/Hide]

Alana felt at home here. On this ship. Despite her current future and image, this was where she knew she wanted to be, but that was a time she could never live again. Or go back to with her physical form. She refocused on Hirek's comments about Donatra and the Tal Shiar. "That's true I suppose."

She chuckled as she saw him attempting to place the liquid drink in his hands. "It's an old Earth recipe and one I rather still like the taste of surprisingly. Small favors I guess. But it's been known to go with various alcoholic drinks on Earth too. Occasionally I partake of it but not since my change. I prefer Romulan Ale if I'm going to drink something real. Or wines for that matter."

Taking a swig of her own drink, she swished the glass as she looked at the pristine mug with the USS Eagle's information blazoned on the side. She saluted Hirek back as they took another drink.

Pierce about choked on it however when he didn't grasp the concept she'd used. Despite how crude it sounded. "Sorry, it's an old slang expression. Pop the cherry means to lose one’s virginity or do something one has never done before." Turning slightly red of embarrassment for the comment she hid it with her palm as she took a deep breath. Her chest heaving in and out in the tight uniform before she resettled.

"I merely meant to say, we're in interesting waters here." Finishing her drink, she stood up and walked over to the counter to place it back. "Care to finish the tour before we get back on duty?"

Re: Day 13 [ 0900 hrs.] Heeding Her Summons

Reply #46
[Hirek tr’Aimne | Holodeck 02 |  Deck 8 | Vector 02 |  USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Pierce

“If you like Romulan ale,” Hirek raised the glass in her direction and smiled confidently, “give me leave to set up a processor in my quarters, and I’ll brew you some fine ones. Master blender and brewer of the family business now, with our ales being some of the most sought-after. You may have had some already.” He gave a shrug before finishing off the drink.

When Pierce stumbled through her explanation with a blush, Hirek’s amusement doubled. He couldn’t help but smile at her near-death response to his confusion. He would have to remember this phrase and use it often. He followed her movements, returning the glass to the counter alongside her own and nodding to her query. She was by far the most personable handler he’d ever dealt with before. Though Hirek knew better than to presume that meant she was easily manipulated. She’d already given him insight into why she shouldn’t be underestimated; that was just what she was willing to share openly. He was certain there was far more than she shared openly to contend with. But still, he much preferred the looks of her giving him orders than the previous handlers. Made the potential discomfort of being an informant more palatable.

Knowing she’d find his thoughts less than appealing and more akin to annoying, Hirek kept them to himself as she showed him the rest of the ship. Throughout the tour, he offered insight into the Romulan counterpart where applicable or where there was a dearth of counterparts.

“This has been most enlightening, Pierce; thank you.” Hirek commented as they returned to where they’d started the tour some time before. “I’ll have to work with the computer to create a more accurate depiction of some more of the Uluma Islands for you to experience. So you can see for yourself that we aren’t all glowering like Amarik.” As she’d been the one to invite him, Hirek paused, waiting for her dismissal or for her invitation to do something more.

Re: Day 13 [ 0900 hrs.] Heeding Her Summons

Reply #47
[ Lt. Commander Alana Pierce | Holodeck 02 |  Deck 8 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] | ATTN: @Ellen Fitz [Show/Hide]

She smiled at Hirek and nodded as she listened to him discuss his brewing. "I do enjoy a good ale. I'll look forward to dining with you again and tasting the delicacies of your world soon." Alana glanced around the room, recalling the ship she'd spent so much of her time on before going back to the present.

The growing friendship was definitely something she would be interested in continuing as she also became his handler. Besides, what good is work if you have to be all business all the time? Assuming he was as pleased with meeting her as she was with him, this would turn into a rather fruitful and educational encounter that when this was all over, she could see continuing the friendship with afterward.

Meanwhile, after the tour, which she made short to be courteous on his time and her next duty responsibility, she took him to the arch as she saved and deactivated the program. "Thank you for entertaining this meeting and I think we're going to get along rather well as we disembark on our next course of missions." She turned and heard him out on the final comments about recreating his homeworld. Chuckling slightly at the comment about Amarik, she nodded before shaking his hand. "Again, I appreciate your time and this was fun. But for now, you're dismissed. I have to get to another appointment in my new position. So if you need anything, you know where to find me."

She waved with a smile and headed back to her office. Something tells her that she and Hirek were going to get along just fine.


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