Visiting a friend
Of Machines and Men
Timeline: (slight backpost)
Ziyal slipped into the sickbay. She waved to Hel and approached her bed. She smiled, "So, I heard their going to be keeping you here a while." She said.
Hel's bed was in a darkened, secluded corner. The lights turned down low so she could be comfortable without her contacts in. She smiled when Ziyal approached. "Oh, hey, Ziyal. I was hoping you'd come and visit."
Ziyal liked the lower light that Hel favored as well. It was a departure from the uncomfortable brightness of the rest of the ship. "I figured I might as well stop by, see if you are getting better, and perhaps drop off some reading material." She said, holding up a thick book, "It's a bit short for my tastes, but it's a Cardassian Horror novel, 'Between the Stars'. I thought you might like it."
A soft, weak smile. "Thank you. I really appreciate it, just lying here is making me insane with boredom." Hel mused, accepting the book with a grunt. "What kind of story is it? You said Cardassian Horror, but I have very little concept what that's like." She placed the book down on a side table for now. "What do Cardassians find frightening?"
Ziyal shrugged, "I'm not a horror fan, but I suspect the usual. In terms of genre, I'd say that we don't have much if any supernatural horror, and less individual killer horror, typically the threat is not to a lone individual, but to whole groups. There is a lot of apocalyptic horror, but the horror there is focused on the destruction of family and social structures. There is a lot of the more physiological and social horror though. Gore scares everyone though, I think that's pretty much a universal. Although I'll note that torture is often portrayed as a bit more heroic."
A nod. "Well, I'm looking forward to reading it. Maybe it'll give me some inspiration for my own stories as well." Hel mused. "I find it interesting that cardassian literature tends to be so much longer and more substantial than Human literature."
Ziyal nodded, "That's probably due in part to my personal bias towards longer works. I'm a fan of the repetitive epic which is, well epic in length. The other one that I'm a big fan of is enigma tales, where everyone is guilty of something and you have to figure out what. For that to be really interesting, you have to take longer with the development and there is more to find out."
"True. You need time with a character to create pathos. More characters equals more time." Hel agreed. "Did you have a chance to look at that book I gave you a while back? 'Forget me not'?"
"Yes I did, I thought it was a fascinating read. The idea of your memory being imperfect and growing less and less perfect was interesting. I liked it, although it was a bit short and not my type of thing, but not being my type of thing doesn't make it bad." Ziyal shrugged.
Hel smiled. "Glad you liked it, as much as you like such kinds of stories." she mused, before becoming more quiet for a moment. There seemed to be something on her mind, but she wasn't sure she should even talk about it.
Ziyal noticed that her friend was holding something back. "What is it?" She asked.
"Just thinking about something. Someone." Hel sighed, then chuckled, lying back in her biobed, closing her eyes for a moment. "You ever meet someone that throws your entire preconception about the world into disarray? Challenges what you thought you knew?"
Ziyal thought for a moment, considering Hel's question. She was a full blooded Cardassian and also considered herself to be culturally Cardassian as well. She nodded, "Yes, and no. My job is full of surprises, good and bad. I'm also someone who a lot of people have preconceived notions about. Notions that arn't true. On the other hand, changes in my overall worldview typically come slowly." She shrugged.
Hel shuckled softly. "Fair enough. I didn't think you'd be the best person to talk to about this. Is why I remained quiet."
Ziyal shook her head, "I'm might not be, but I'm your friend. So now that there is something to know, I want all the juicy details." Ziyal said with a grin.
Hel chuckled, but regretted it immediately. "Ow." She rubbed her temples a bit, weakly. "Ok, ok. You win." the pale engineer mused, before continuing. "I've always treated romance as a game. I'd find someone I fancied, take them home, had a night of fun, threw them out the next morning. Toys, they were. But now - " she trailed off.
Ziyal nodded sympathetically. She had her own fun times with men. There was a memorable one when she had slept with a older man who she had met at a bar, only to find out he was a visiting admiral who she had to give a report in front of. Another was when she met a cute Caitian woman who was amazing pilot. Nothing serious, in her heart she knew that she'd find another Cardassian to settle down with. "Now you feel more deeply." She prodded.
"Don't know." Hel shrugged. "Don't know how I feel. Just know that I enjoy my time with her more than any old lover. Even just innocent time working together or on a date. The thought of using her and sending her away - ... Just doesn't sit right with me. I always felt like I was in control. Not with her though."
Ziyal nodded, thinking, "Sounds exciting, so are you going to ask her out again?" She asked.
Another chuckle. "You bet. I'm not sure where this is going but I'm gonna be there when it - ... gets there? Arrives? This metaphor was going somewhere too I'm sure but then I lost track of it."
"Gets there I think. If my parent's relationship is anything to go from, it is sure to be an interesting ride. So, who is she? Do I know her?" Ziyal asked.
Hel hesitated. She wasn't sure she should tell Ziyal. But then, she counted the woman as a friend, and she trusted her not to make things awkward. "Valeria Mordin. Operations chief."
Ziyal broke into a huge grin and squeed slightly. "Valeria! You two would be soo cute together."
Hel chuckled again, though that devolved into a coughing fit, which itself ended in a wince and groan of pain. "Yeah. That's how I expect my mom to react to her as well." A pause. "By the gods, what am I thinking."
Ziyal nodded, "Running so far ahead of yourself that you might trip over your feet?" She suggested playfully. Then she waived the thought away, "I wouldn't worry about it, I'll call the doctor when you're so in love that it makes me sick."
Hel made a face. "Please do. I hope I never get that bad."
"It's part of the natural process. Being so sickly romantic helps keeps others away so the pair can bond better." Ziyal suggested. "But you can deal with that when it happens. I'm so happy for you."
"Yeah yeah." A sigh from Hel. "We'll see where this goes."