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A Quiet Sort of Kindness

Posted on Fri Jul 17th, 2020 @ 9:22am by Lieutenant Odan Tran

Mission: Into The Delta Triangle
Location: Earth
Timeline: Backpost

 

An elderly Varro sat nestled on a bench in the middle of a vast forest, his hair as white as freshly fallen snow. His form was fragile but filled with life. His fingertips gingerly dropped into a pouch he held and he munched on some freshly picked Moba fruit. The sweet juices brought a smile to his already brightened face. He seemed as content as a Frerengi in a vault filled with gold-pressed latinum. He was a simple creature, he enjoyed simple things, and in this moment, the sweetness of his snack, the gentle breeze, and the warm sun was all he needed.

Before long his communicator chimed and he happily tapped it, only pleased that someone wanted to talk to him, “Hello, Lieutenant Odan Tran at your service, what can I do for you?” He smiled warmly, even though no one could see him and he lowered his snack to speak.

A female voice emitted from his communicator, “Hello Lt. Tran, Ambassador Griffin here, we spoke earlier. Our team has secured passage for you aboard a Starfleet vessel, the USS Astraea. The ship will be leaving Earth in the next few hours, I trust you will be ready?”

Tran smiled wider and nodded his head as he leaned back on the bench, one arm dropped over the back, “Well let me tell you Ambassador, if you have placed your trust in me, it was not misplaced. I will be aboard the Astraea on schedule you can be sure.”

“I am glad to hear that,” replied the woman. “The Astrae’s mission will bring her to the Kessik System, the delegation will await your arrival.”

“Swell, I shall tag along for the ride. Who is the Commanding Officer?” Tran asked.

“Captain Abigail Laurens, she personally confirmed your travel and is expecting you. Safe travels,” the woman answered.

“What a lovely name. I look forward to meeting this Captain Laurens. And to you Ambassador, thank you! Thank you for taking the time to arrange my travel, I hope I haven’t been too much of an inconvenience,” Tran reached for his snack again.

“It is my job sir, no trouble at all. Geesh, you know? It is true what they say, you really are the kindest,” complemented the woman.

Tran’s eyes brightened and his smile only strengthened, “If kindness is my reputation then I happily wear it. My mother always used to say, if you can’t be kind… be quiet!” A small laugh escaped his lips. “Good advice, truly. Well Ambassador, I hope you have an enjoyable day.”

The woman laughed too, “Thanks. You too Lt. Tran, you too.”

Tran sighed a pleasant sigh and then returned to his Moba fruit, he had a few hours, he was already packed - a simple man did not carry much.

While Korbin attended to his ambassadorial duties assisting his aunt, Kassie and Mo took the opportunity to enjoy the landscaped area that surrounded the embassy. The sunlight was a welcome change to the artificial light she had “endured” over the past few days while updating her training and certification with Starfleet Enlisted Psychiatric Wellness Administration or SEPWA as it was known. While she wasn’t currently serving on an active ship, she was always ready to assist while she and Korbin travelled around the various Betazoid embassies on other planets and the addition of a Nerus cat was always a plus. Moswen Tau, or Mo as he was usually called, was more than content to move through the lush foliage, his sleek spotted body disappearing amongst the large paddle shaped leaves. Over the years, Kassie had developed a solid connection with the cat, even though she wasn’t an empath so she wasn’t concerned that she had lost sight of him, what he was seeing being sent back to her and appearing in her mind’s eye. That didn’t stop her from sending out a slight cautionary signal for him not to go too far and, obediently, he obeyed as he plopped down on the lush green moss taking the opportunity to paw at a dangling leaf in front of him.

Raven locks loose and free and dressed casually in a white tank top, faded jeans and bare feet, Kassie paused, her eyes closing as she lifted her face to the warmth of the sun, her toes scrunching into the green grass. She could sense that Mo was doing the same, his massive paws flexing against the soft moss as he raised his nose and sniffed the air. Something smelled...interesting. Getting up, Mo moved once more through the undergrowth until he came out from under the greenery, his golden eyes falling upon a figure who sat on a bench eating something. As food was always interesting, Mo made his way towards the figure but Kassie’s mental words to stop and stay made him instantly sit down as his Athuai, her handler appeared moments later. Kassie gave the older man on the bench an apologetic smile.

“I’m sorry, I hope Mo didn’t startle you.” she said going over to the cat who instantly leaned against her leg. Curiosity was something that both shared so she couldn’t really be angry at Mo.

Tran lifted his head to the sound of the voice, his eyes gentle and he wore a welcoming smile. “No, no bother at all,” he responded as he lay down his snack and looked to the woman then to the feline creature. “You probably know this already; but, this park is called Omnia Grata, it means all are welcomed. That surely extends to your friend there.” He motioned his hand toward his chest, “I also like to think it extends to me, hailing all the way from the Delta Quadrant. And to my little friend I planted here last fall, all the way from New Varro, my home planet.” The elderly man lifted his wrinkled finger and extended it toward a small bush which was flourishing just to his side. The bush was green with life with lush pink flowers with veins of pink and blue peppered it. “It is called Hibiscus Syriavarro, or the Varro Rose for short.”

Tran took a deep breath and sucked in all the aromas around him, “Did you know, 87.3% of the plant life in this park is from off world? Something of an interstellar community garden, all living together and complementing one another, in complete unity. I am certain there is a metaphor for us in there somewhere...” His smile widened, “With all the embassies around this district, everyone is permitted to bring a piece of home with them. After a lengthy review process of course…” A small laugh finally escaped his lips, “Forgive me! I am rambling! Your friend is growing impatient with my rant.” He looked down to the creature again, “Such glorious spots! Nice to meet you, I’m Tran,” his eyes returned to the woman now, “Salutations to you as well!”

Kassie listened quietly as the older man spoke, his voice, though soft, was clear and strong and it made her think of her fathers.

“From the Delta quadrant...my...you and your pretty friend have travelled far. It is a pleasure to meet you, Tran...my name is Kassie and this is Moswen Tau which in the Nerusian language, means Great White Cat...which is somewhat odd seeing as he isn’t white and does have spots.” she shrugged. “I guess I just got used to calling him Mo.” she laughed lightly. Crossing her feet at the ankles, Kassie lowered herself until she sat crossed legged, on the green carpet as Mo promptly took it as an invite and plopped half of his body across her lap.

“I’ve never been to the Delta Quadrant but your planet seems to have beautiful flowers...and people…” she nodded towards him. “My fathers have a wonderful garden on their land and I try to get them different plants when I travel...all carefully vetted.” she added quickly. There was nothing more dangerous than introducing something unknown into an environment where it could wreak havoc and destroy the natural order.

“Are you an Ambassador from New Varro?” she asked as she gently stroked Mo’s head.

“The pleasure is all mine. On such a beautiful day, who knew I could be so lucky to gain some pleasant company too. Hello to you Kassie and Mo,” Tran rarely stopped smiling so he continued, even as he slowly stood, his movements were careful, he placed his hands on his thighs and stretched up. His old bones were not what they used to be. His feet shuffled along before he stopped at the Varro Rose bush, “An Ambassador? No, when my wife faded some years ago, a Starfleet Doctor saved my life. I joined Starfleet shortly thereafter, and decided to repay my debt in service to a worthwhile cause. I’ll pay it as long as my old hearts keep beating. I am now a diplomatic officer,” he shared his story happily, there wasn’t an ounce of sadness in his voice.

Tran lowered himself and ever so delicately plucked three short fibres from inside one rose. He rolled them between his fingers which twisted them together and caused pollen to flutter around, in moments the pollen started to glow, blue bolts of light circled his hand dulled only by the sun’s rays. He closed his hand on the fused fibres and the blue light faded out completely. He walked toward the woman and her companion, his posture was hunched, he had been seated too long. He extended his closed fist, and opened it towards her. In the palm of his hand sat a blue seed. “For your fathers, from me to them. They will find it to be most agreeable with other species…” He nodded towards her to take the seed, his smile only widened.

Kassie and Mo, watched in fascination, her celadon eyes growing with wonder as the old man placed a blue seed into her opened hand. She was speechless for a moment.

“Th...thank you. This will be a lovely addition to their garden. Perhaps, if you have time, you can visit it and them. They love guests.” This was more than true. In her time, Kassie had invited/dragged several members from the ship’s she had served on as well as her husband’s family. Her fathers and relatives always had open arms, and more food and drink than anyone could want, for anyone who showed up. Placing the seed carefully in her pocket, Kassie smiled up at the man.

“Starfleet saved my life as well. I am happy in the work I am able to do...the people I am able to meet.”

Tran lowered himself to her level, his old bones cracked as he knelt. “I would love to visit. Seeing their garden has worked its way onto my desire list, you can be sure.” He finally nodded and placed his hand on his chest then motioned it towards her, “two lives worth saving, let us make the most of it.” He placed his small pouch down in front of her and carefully unfolded it, it rolled out into a napkin which revealed more of his snack. “I have plenty, please help yourself. It is Moba fruit. It is a fruit grown from the Moba tree native to Bajor. A tree grows just a few skips that way,” he pointed overwander, “The Bajoran groundskeeper allows me to pick several fruits once in a while, it is truly delicious.” He cocked his head to the side, “Your friend’s claws probably aren’t for picking fruit; but, welcomed to share in any case…” His eyes narrowed in a friendly sort, “I feel like we have so much more to say friend…” he looked to her furry companion, “And second friend,” he added. “But alas, I have a ship to catch… Until we meet again.” Tran motioned his hand over his chest to signal a warm goodbye.

 

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