:: A deep pulse of bass music opens up with a graphic of turbolift flashes over the screen before the screen lights raise up to focus in on Vulcan man seated in a chair with a pair of ceramic coffee mugs on a small table between his chair and the as of yet off screen occupied one. ::
Sopek: Hello and Greetings. My name is Sopek and it is time once more for an installment of The Lower Decks. Where we leave behind the center chair and big office and go down below to speak with the crew of the vessels and bases in Starfleet. ::He shifts slightly to meet the changing camera and waves a hand to the other chair.:: Tonight’s guest is Lieutenant, junior grade, Alora DeVeau. She serves as a science officer on the USS Mercury. Good Evening Lieutenant.
DeVeau: Sochya, Sopek, and good evening. It is a pleasure to be here.
::The face of the young woman immediately lights up with a smile. She perches upon her chair, her back straight, posture flawless, but she holds an air of ease about her. A moment is taken as her green flick down to peer into the coffee mug closest to her, slide up toward the camera, then back over to her host.::
Sopek: So Lieutenant tell us what being a science officer means to you.
DeVeau: What being a science officer means to me. Hm.
::She leans back and throws one arm over the rest of her chair as she considers the question.::
DeVeau: Well, it means an opportunity to explore the unexplored, to discover, whether it be something completely new, or just gain a better understanding of the knowledge we currently have. It means a chance to do something worthwhile and maybe even help others.
Sopek: And do you find yourself easier to accomplish those goals on a technologically advanced ship as the Mercury?
DeVeau: To be honest, I would say yes. At least, there’s more of a potential to do so. I’ve only been a aboard the Mercury a few months – I just graduated this past August. In fact, I arrived right in the middle of a mission and thus far have only two missions under my belt. Actually, if you want to get right down to it, a mission and a half.
Sopek: With such a fresh faced approach to life in Starfleet, how does it compare to academy life for you?
DeVeau: It’s crazy.
Sopek: ::His head shifts slightly.:: Would you care to elaborate?
DeVeau: In Academy, the training is excellent, don’t get me wrong. They throw all sorts of things at you, things you’d never expect and it helps, but in real life…well, it’s less controlled. You don’t have safeties or professors who will pull the plug if things get too insane. You can really get hurt. It’s sobering, I guess.
Sopek: How do you cope with the real dangers then once they have passed?
::The question should have been expected, but Alora’s answered is preceded with silence. Her gaze lowers and her hands are awarded with an intense scrutiny for a moment. Finally, those green eyes tear away and she fixes them upon Sopek.::
DeVeau: That’s a good question. I guess you could say I’m still trying to figure that out. It helps to have friends to talk to – and of course we’re fortunate to have a Counselor available as well.
Sopek: ::With a nod.:: Have you always found yourself interested in science?
::Alora’s expression relaxes and a bit of light returns to her visage.::
DeVeau: Oh yes, I’ve always been fascinated with it, particularly with my fields of specialty. I’d read as much as I could and go out and bring back specimens to study. At least, that’s what I would tell my mom when she’d complain. It was all in the interest of science!
Sopek: What made you decide to enlist in Starfleet?
DeVeau: Well, first, there’s the chance to go to far off places, places you’ve only heard of in books and reports. I’ve known a few people from different races and planets on Terra and I’ve learned a lot from them, but to go and see the galaxy and all the wonders it holds.
::As she speaks, Alora’s hands grow animated.. Her fingers contract, then spread apart as if mimicking a burst, then spread apart, as if stretching across a miniature galaxy.::
DeVeau: It’s just far too exciting and interesting to keep me on Earth. Don’t get me wrong, I miss it, but there’s just so much out there, you know?
::Her hands fall back to her lap and her smile has increased in its brilliance.::
DeVeau: Second, you just can’t help but imagine what sort of people you meet or flora and fauna you’ll come across. Maybe you’ll discover a new species that could be beneficial to everyone. There’s so much potential when you go beyond your home world.
Sopek: Will your obvious love of exploration and discovery lead you into the command structure? Perhaps to your own ship?
::At that, Alora shakes her head.::
DeVeau: Oh no, I highly doubt the latter. My goal would be Chief Science Officer, but I really don’t see myself commanding my own ship.
::Of course, anything was possible, but it was not a position in which Alora honestly saw herself. Things could always change, but at the moment her goal was fixed.::
Sopek: A goal you seem headed for directly considering your quick rise through the ranks so far. How do you spend your free time?
DeVeau: I enjoy a variety of pursuits.
::And she certainly made good use of the ship’s resources that were at her disposal.::
DeVeau: I study the martial art Aikido, I keep up with the languages I know, I’m trying to learn Klingon. I also play a couple of instruments and sing so try to keep up with my practise. I’ve been learning to play the Vulcan harp as well as been exploring Earth and Vulcan with a friend.
Sopek: How are you finding your comparisons between Vulcan and Earth?
DeVeau: Vulcan is definitely hot so I can finally say I understand the term ‘Hotter than Vulcan’. It has its own beauty, though, and its culture is far more diverse than I ever realised.
Sopek: :: A nod of acknowledgement.:: Have you interest in any other planets as exploration targets?
DeVeau: Oh of course. I’d like to explore as many as possible.
::Vulcan was only the tip of the iceberg. Actually, it wasn’t even the tip, just a snowflake on the tip most of the peak.::
DeVeau: I’m currently exploring Vulcan mainly because Saveron is from there.
Sopek: And Saveron is?
DeVeau: He was the Chief Medical Officer aboard the Mercury. Well, actually, we’re now aboard the Garuda. Anyway, he’s a friend and has been teaching me a lot about Vulcan history as well as the Nel-Gathic dialect of the Vulcan language.
Sopek: You come from a background of a family in the commercial sector, does that influence how you approach problems?
::Ah, her father. His company was well known throughout the galaxy, and he’d had his share of dealings with various races, including the Ferengi.::
DeVeau: Honestly? Not at all. I’ve never really had an interest in business. That’s my father’s field, not mine and it’s never influenced me in that aspect.
Sopek: Can you share with us some of your more memorable missions?
::That question actually elicits soft laughter from the lieutenant.::
DeVeau: Both of them? I fear I’m not the most interesting interviewee, I’ve actually only been involved in two missions. Actually, if you want to get technical, one and a half.
::She’d said that before – she was getting redundant!:: I arrived on the Mercury right in the middle of the mission at 83 Leonis.
::There’s a brief pause as she considers the question a little more thoroughly.::
DeVeau: Of the two, I’d have to say the second one, when we were searching for the Gateway. That in of itself makes it memorable, but getting kidnapped also sort of makes that mission difficult to forget.
::She freezes and turns her gaze straight to the camera.::
DeVeau: Is this live? Er…could we edit that?
Sopek: I am sorry.
DeVeau: Oh boy.
::She hadn’t divulged certain details to her father about that mission. She had a feeling she was going to get an earful.::
Sopek: Although we may be able to fix it in later airings.
DeVeau: I…think the damage is done.
::Her family was probably watching that very moment. No doubt they would attempt to ping her as soon as she was off the air. She was really going to get it.::
Sopek: So what led you to your choices of botany and zoology in Starfleet academy.
DeVeau: I’ve always held a fascination for plants and animals. There’s such an enormous variety, even just on one planet not to mention what you find when you visit other solar systems. They’re complicated and amazing in their ability to adapt and survive not to mention how they function together in an ecosystem. We always had plants in the house growing up – and always had animals too since I seemed to attract any and every stray and injured creature within a ten kilometer radius.
Sopek: A skill I am sure will help you attain much within Starfleet given your outlook on life. I’d like to thank you for taking the time to speak to me today.
DeVeau: Thank you for inviting me.
::She lifts her hand in a ta’al accompanying it with a bright smile.::
DeVeau: Dif-tor heh smusma.