The Past Is Present
What Lies Within Us
Roe sat at a table near the window in the Lounge; a bowl of soup and fresh bread replicated warm with a glass of sweet wine. The fact he had a full docket of people today had him feeling like he was doing something; it was fulfilling to be of service to others. The fact he could help took away some of the things he sought to get away from, he was not asked to do last rites as no one died and he has opportunity to consult with those that need him.
Alora walked in, as usual her head bent to a PADD. She seemed to have a sixth sense as she moved around people and tables. Part way in she looked up to find a seat, her eyes glancing around the room. She saw a new Bajoran and immediately his face was familiar but she couldn't place him. It drove her nuts, almost remembering something but not being able to him then it hit and her eyes widened. The Vedek who'd suffered so much in one of the Dominion Camps was well known to anyone who even had a passing interest in fighting the Dominion. She'd been only 16 but even she had been involved in her own way. He was considered a holy man and accorded a respect among her people. Her father talked of him and others often, after the Dominion got pushed back. She paused trying to decide if she should talk to him, in the end she walked over. "Vedek Roe?" She said softly, a little shy for once.
Roe looked up at the Bajoran; he had that soft smile that he gave all those who greet him as it was always a gift to be sought out; He stood as was polite when a lady is present. "It is Prylar now." He said with a smile as he had left being a Vedek to pursue being a Counselor in Star Fleet and accepted the 'Honorary' title of Prylar instead. "I see my reputation has preceded me." He moved to offer a chair to the lady. "Would you join me; it is not often I can speak with other Bajorans." His eyes were happy as another from his heritage is always welcome. "Please for give me as I do not think we have met? Who might you be Child..." He said before he could catch his old Vedek habits.
The last few decades seemed to melt away as she was reminded, more strongly then ever of the traveling Vedek who secretly made her way to different cells and villages to give soul aid to those who needed. Alora lived in a network of caves with the base of her parents cell operations, closest they had to safety. Though it was scary time they at least were safe from Cardie harassment, a special worry as the girls grew older. The children of her parents cell called the Vedek, “The Quilt” for her peaceful nature and feeling of safety. For a moment Alora could almost smell the campfire as she shook off old memories and her eyes cleared from the distant look that had flowed through them. She replied “Doctor Jaenke Alora, Ved..Prylar Roe.” She gave a traditional little bow. “We have not met but my father spoke of you and others who helped during the Dominion War often. He felt those who gave so much to aid others during the Second Resistance should not be forgotten.” There was a respect in her voice. The Second Resistance was what members of the First Resistance against Cardassia called those who aided the Federation and her citizens as much as they could during the Dominion War. When the First Resistance saw what was what old skills, old safe houses, and old contacts became new again. They'd been free less than ten years so it didn't take much to as her mother put it, “Fall into an old bed...”
Bajorans as a rule didn't like to be treated badly and being on the receiving end vowed to aid those they could especially those who were so noble as members of the Federation. And besides their own Emissary fought with the Federation as if one needed yet another reason to chafe against Dominion Rule. “His name was Jolum.” Alora knew Roe would know her father. Her dad had to organize the Vedek's escape but he wouldn't leave the camp knowing the reprisals would be massive.
Roe's face acknowledged the name before his words. "You have his eyes." Roe commented. "I must admit a bit of neglect in my dealings with Bajor since becoming a part of the Counselor Branch." He smiled a bit. "You father was a fine man of the Prophets and brave; he did try to get me to leave more than once but as the Flock ... needed me more I thought?" His face showed; for an instant the pain he had endured before converting back his friendly manner. "I also had many Paghs and other souls that I was given their last rites to perform. You can imagine the need for a pagh to be given the chant and sent on their way to the Prophets?"
Alora smiled a bit too at his first words, it had been a long time since she'd been home but she did her best to keep on touch with her family and her culture. Using it for the source of strength and touchstone it was to her. Her smile fell at the rest of his words and she nodded somberly. “A common terror tactic, someone kills 10 of your soldiers, kill 100 of their people.” She didn't elaborate she knew she didn't need too. Even as a child she'd seen things and heard the stories during the First Occupation. Called that because although Bajor was technically not 'Occupied' by the Dominion, well as her human friends would say, 'a rose by any other name' . “In a place like that more then anywhere else...we did what we could, I hope you knew that....” Her fathers cell and a few others did what they could to help in ways that wouldn't always trigger mass responses. She said hoping he would understand. It has always felt like too little too late but her mother said that was a common feeling in the resistance but one needed to never give up hope. “Where there is life there is hope...or at leas the will to survive...” she would say.
"The prophets never let me forget that thought, it was a warmth that kept many of the people going in that hell." Roe smiled in a kind way that almost hid the pain from his life at that time. "I have seen both occupations in many ways; I know the depth from which a Bajoran can be thrust and the Prophets carry them back." He looked into her eyes. "But the past is not where we dwell, as the Prophets teach be aware of the past so not to be fooled again, but live the moment you are in." He nod. "I like to think one should not think too much of the past or they miss the present and cannot look forward to a future. Like having someone from home I can talk to, a kind ear to recall what the Prophets are to us. Not many races are willing to listen ; try to call them aliens and such." He chuckled. "But ours is a rich heritage and a bright future."
Alora listened reminded of the lessons others tried to impart over the years. It made a lot of sense and normally did well but sometimes the past would come rushing back like now. She nodded, “Of course you're right Prylar...” And she was proud they managed to survive however she couldn't completely let go of her dislike and distrust of Cardassians and the Dominion. Lessons learned that hard tended to stick with one. She gave a small smile, “There's one more Bajoran on board perhaps from time to time we could meet and remember.” She said, old memories still floated in the background of her mind but she pushed them aside to focus, feeling oddly settled.
"I would enjoy that as it is so rare that I can talk of Bajor, having those of like minds would be a great gift I think." Roe said. "We never forget whom we are; it is the main stay of our culture."
Alora seemed to sit straighter in her chair as she nodded with a smile. "It is how we continue to survive.." She agreed, "I.." She stopped when another engineer called to her, some problem he was trying to solve with a few others at his table. She gave him an apologetic smile, "Duty calls always doesn't it Prylar Roe? Thank you for the talk, I've forgotten how much I miss sometimes." She stood. "I will talk to Lt. Breena. I know she misses reminders of home too." She gave a formal bow and hand gesture one gave when parting from a member of a holy order. She then turned and headed toward the group who were now arguing over some point or another.
"Be well Jaenke." He gave a nod. "May the prophets protect you."
"You as well." She said pausing then continued. She didn't dislike him as some might for what he did during the Second Resistance, he did what he had to do, what he could do. Growing up in one Resistance or another, that was something Alora could respect.
It came from people like her; the draw to recall shared heritage, that eased the pain. The sparkle in another's eyes while reminiscing upon common ground. It reminded Roe more of why he had been a vedek; stirred a small bit of that nearly covered over faith, she had respected him as Prylar Roe so easily rather than the stigma of the Pagh Vedek.
He smiled as he drank some more of his beverage and felt more at ease with the universe.
Crewman Doctor Jaenke Alora
Tactical Systems Specialist
Lt. Acel Roe