SIM:Lt Rogg: A long time

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The events in this SIM occurred on stardate 238901.09

(( USS Discovery-C, Rogg's Quarters ))

:: Lieutenant Inarr Rogg d'Squamos, a Dachlyd Engineer of some skill and a trained scientist had lately been examining other cultures. The lizard-like officer always been curious about the values and challenges of other beings, but lately Terrans had seized the Dachlyd's interest. Specifically, Rogg had branched out into examination of Terran history. ::

:: Comfortably lounging in a woven hammock, tail hanging over the side, Rogg's attention focused on the opposite wall. A projection there served to educate the reptiloid about the story of Terrans, or "human beings" as they called themselves at times. Generally Rogg would examine a PADD of relevant information, but lately the Engineer was growing concerned about only looking at what was in claw. Many Engineers had the habit of being preoccupied with what they thought, or held in their hands, or had their hands on; Rogg decided that peering intently at information at least across a room would be good eye exercise. Also Rogg's eye had been injured in the explosion of the Discovery-B, and prior to that both eyes had been damaged by an unshielded laser, so keeping healthy, functioning vision was a bit more of a concern to the young officer — as one might have guessed. ::

oO Human History. There certainly is a lot of it. A lot of notes, and still, flat pictures, and moving pictures, biographies, and art. Quite like the art. Oo

:: Last night Rogg had fallen asleep learning of "World War III". Spanning four decades, the war had nearly set back all human civilization millennia, and had been the end of some unique cultures. Recovery from the war had taken the world of the Terrans much more time than had been wasted on almost-destroying the planet. ::

:: The Dachlyd could identify somewhat with this destruction and prolonged aftermath - Life on Drax, the planet of the Dachlyds, was almost wiped out. Several times, terrible cataclysms had threatened Drax's fragile biosphere. These events were not of Dachlyd making, though. That was an important difference. Human beings had nearly wiped out themselves along with the majority of their planet's life. Drax life, however, had been endangered by asteroid impacts. Dachlyd civilization had its own history of being reduced to crude survival. ::

:: Before WW3 had been the Eugenics Wars, which Rogg had had to learn about in Xenobiology 202. Xenobiology 101 was basic, universal principles of life and their documented existence throughout the quadrant, but 202 was about failings of life. Two-zero-two had featured extinctions, dead-end paths of development, and numerous examinations about how tampering with life could have ill consequence, such as weeds like vacuum flowers. Or there were sometimes more dramatic examples, such as the Terran Eugenics Wars (and of course, the infamous Project Genesis). ::

:: Tonight, Rogg enjoyed entertainment from a golden age. Twentieth century Terran movies came highly recommended to the Dachlyd. Naturally, the dialogue had to be translated. For Rogg, lyrical accompaniment to any music was best left untranslated. Powerful songs had a way of intruding upon the reptiloid thought process. Even some simpler films could lure Rogg into detailed world of fiction, with or without persuasive song. "A Night at the Opera" could almost convince the Lieutenant he was a stowaway and resourceful victim of circumstance. ::

:: After Rogg finished watching the movies he had learned a thing or two about Terran values. And maybe a bit about Dachlyd values as well. ::

(( Eagles' Roost ))

:: Rogg enjoyed a meal of carefully chosen fruits and vegetables. One benefit of matter replication coupled with the stored floral information of thousands of planets was that one could make dietary requirements first priority and still enjoy a variety of sustenance broad enough to engage the palate. Rogg continually explored new tastes in food, although usually along traditional Dachlyd (similar to "vegetarian") diet. This time Rogg's arbitrary theme had been "red things". ::

:: A companion joined the Dachlyd Engineer. ::

EDEN: Mind if I join you?

ROGG: Hello. Yes, please join me. I was only musing about certain ideals and aspirations, lofty thoughts leftover from something I saw. ::The Dachlyd unconsciously massaged his dewlap in ponderous manner a final time before regarding the face seated across the table.::

:: Eden sat down awkwardly having given up attempts at being graceful somewhere around the sixth month. The boys were growing quickly, moving less now that they took up so much room. Privately, she was counting down the days till she could deliver and get back into the gym. Not working out was driving her a little crazy. ::

EDEN: ::Looking at his plate and not recognizing everything on it, her curiosity got the better of her.:: So ... what's for dinner?

ROGG: ::gesturing at the plate:: This? Well, you know the old saying, "matter in, matter out". One has to keep the engines fired up to remain fit for duty. ::There was a pause.:: What is it you eat?

EDEN: ::Laughing:: I started out in security. On the run, usually on an Away Team, so basically, I'll eat whatever's not nailed down. You can't afford to be choosy when you're under fire more often than not.

:: Rogg was not certain that translated exactly. Either that, or the Dachlyd had not heard correctly. In any case, lieutenant Rogg nodded acknowledgement. ::

ROGG: I have an idle question for you: Is Waltas a Highlander?

EDEN: ::Pausing with the teacup half raised to her mouth:: A what?

:: The Dachlyd Engineer was prepared to clarify the inquiry. ::

ROGG: Oh, I was watching a movie, some Terran fiction from before the wars. A Mulcahy piece called "Highlander" after its featured race. Very moving music, in my opinion — listened to the sound track a couple times. Afterward I was thinking that the Captain's physical appearance and abilities do not seem to degrade as is common with carbon-based lifeforms. Waltas has long head fur and warrior prowess. Impassioned involvement with the crew and our duties, yet so often carefully reserved as though afraid of becoming too attached to us. ::Rogg finished off the last of the meal.:: What finally sold me on the possibility was the swords. Long blades are relevant. For the Gathering.

EDEN: ::Taking a cautious sip and frowning as she thought about it:: I remember that. We had an action marathon on my last ship. Sort of like Klingons in a way. Advancing by eliminating the competition, so to speak. I suppose I could see how you'd think that, on the surface anyway, but the Captain is Ba'Ku. I grant he's most atypical. But as far as I know, he hasn't beheaded anyone, with the except of the Borg who boarded the ship. I think its probably an outgrowth of his interest in martial arts which dates back to before our parents were even born. I think the swords came out of that.

ROGG: Well, it could mean that. Terran, err, human history is rife with examples of cultural contamination. Some Ba'ku could have visited the Earth. Sssomehow.

oO Although it is less probable that somehow enough evidence remained to influence a film's creation. Oo

EDEN: ::Smiling:: Now, that's an interesting thought. Wouldn't it be interesting if a race such as that existed. Course, kind of a self-limiting problem, I suppose. All we'd have to do is wait and arrest the last one. ::Laughing:: Game over.

ROGG: Okay, less idle question, more philosophical: Do you want to live forever?

EDEN: Hmmm. Define 'live forever'. Could I get sick? Would phaser beams bounce off me?

ROGG: Stars, no. You can totally be killed. But barring your intentional murder or very unlikely accident, let us say that you go on with your life processes, minus ageing or any degradation of mental faculties.

oO I certainly would not want to live forever. Close to forever, possibly. At the very least, just long enough to where geologic ages begin to grow tedious, but certainly not so long that the formation of star systems is boring. Oo

EDEN: It's a tempting thought. Mostly because I want to know how it all turns out. Dying is like leaving before the credits in the movie. So many questions you never get to hear the answer to ... If I have to answer, I'd have to say no. Though I do like the idea of reincarnation.

ROGG: Sequential lives? Pardon? ::Rogg's habit of reaching for a PADD nearly got the better of the Dachlyd's manners.:: Sssorry, Commander - there musst be a gap in the UT or my knowledge or perhaps both. What is this idea?

EDEN: Reincarnation? That's the belief that when we die, our soul, if you will, that which makes us uniquely individual is passed on to a new body, gets reborn to live another life.

:: Inarr Rogg had an intricate vision inspired by Eden Redstone's words. Some part of her was immortal, passed on from body to body. Eden would grow old. She would become frail, and perhaps wither as she approached the end of her body's life span. And then she would be pregnant, as she was at present, but instead of new life beginning she would birth herself. A baby Eden would emerge from her old body. Old life would be given a new story, another chapter added, another volume of a saga. And her venerable body would be cast off. Eden Redstone would be something like the serpent, casting off its skin and continuing to live with a fresh one. A loop of lives, repeating a form indefinitely while the inner being continued to grow towards... Well, towards something. ::

ROGG: Fascinating.

:: Inarr had been admiring Eden before — something about gestation and viviparous birth appealed to the reptiloid. Reincarnation added another wrinkle to what seemed to Inarr to be a brilliantly beautiful way to begin life. That the quintessential part of a being would be preserved and more than that continue on was familiar to Inarr Rogg, but including other races in the concept made it more interesting. Inarr was looking at Eden with heightened respect. ::

EDEN: And what about your people? Do the Dachlyds believe in an afterlife of any kind?

ROGG: That is a whole ball of snakes. People come in many scales and there are about as many beliefs as there are colors and patterns. So the short answer to your question would be "yes".

:: Inarr Rogg elaborated his personal beliefs. Although Rogg had neglected both Dachlyd tradition and faith for Starfleet service, Rogg firmly believed in the established doctrine. Although not a particularly devout Dachlyd, Rogg believed in "hatching". ::

ROGG: Our life begins in an egg. We hatch, moving forever outward, always further away from our initial confinement to the egg, always growing larger so that the egg could never contain us as before. We believe this is the first step, that we continue to grow and emerge from our shells of confinement. True, the egg nurtures and protects us. However, the egg only does so in acceptance that we are destined to break it and know greater freedom, greater self, and to grow in that larger world until we must hatch out of it in turn. Life begins in an egg, Commander.

EDEN: It's a very profound thought and true of us all, I think. We are limited at the moment of birth, limited physically but also perceptually. We exist in this small space, nurtured and cared for, but the process of growing up is all about breaking out of that comfort zone, that egg. Becoming our more.

ROGG: ::laughing:: I know only what they teach young lizards, and what I have observed since I was born. We hatch, and grow. If there is life after physical death, I believe Dachlyds must hatch into it as eager to be free as we have always been.

:: There was a much grimmer interpretation among certain Dachlyds. Rogg did not feel comfortable introducing heretical concepts; the lieutenant was enjoying time off from problems, be they practical or dogmatic. The Dachlyd Engineer was enjoying the appearance of Redstone, the conversation, pleasant odor - her presence. Rogg enjoyed it too much to sully the moment. ::

:: The dark side of hatching was some Dachlyds believed the destruction of the egg to be more than a necessary phase. To some, it was an end more than it was a transition. One's egg had to be broken to be free; one's limits had to be transgressed in order to be powerful enough to escape the the layer of egg. Although not common, Rogg knew some people pursued freedom at any cost. This philosophy was one of immaturity. Rogg had always wondered how a Dachlyd could hope to survive outside the egg without having grown in wisdom before hatching? ::

oO Perhaps some time Eden and I could elaborate on our cherished myths? She must have many stories she could share. Oo

EDEN: I like that thought and thank you for sharing it with me.

ROGG: You are welcome.

:: Rogg could not help noticing Redstone appeared only marginally more comfortable than if she had had a tail to work around instead of her belly. Since standard chairs discomforted them both, the lieutenant suggested they move their discussion. The two officers were soon lounging on couches in a cozier nook of the Eagles' Roost. ::

ROGG: You said you like the idea of reincarnation. Were you raised in a faith which precludes reincarnation? Or do I mistake your words?

oO This would not be my first time for such a mistake. Oo

EDEN: Between worlds more like. I'm half Vulcan and there were those who wanted me to embrace my Vulcan side rather than stay with Max, my human grandfather. Reincarnation was something I discovered on my own. When I first heard of it, I fantasized about what my next life would be life. Shorter, so I wouldn't have to give up gymnastics, born of one world not two. ::Chuckling slightly:: I think at 10, I saw it more as a way to correct what I perceived as problems in this life.

ROGG: ::nodding:: I feel you made the best of the matter. Starfleet requires much of its officers, but we all do our part to make the universe a little better, a little less chaotic.

:: The Dachlyd Engineer stretched out, nearly three meters long. (Almost half Rogg's length was tail.) Rogg was feeling even better than if he had been hiding in the Arboretum. A pleasant shiver ran under Rogg's scales. ::

EDEN: ::Nodding:: Especially when one has children to consider. I've always been an adrenalin junkie myself but Teagan, my daughter, she taught me to embrace the quieter moments.

ROGG: Are you planning on raising your children to be strong in faith? Or to be officers?

oO I shall try to push my own offspring toward Starfleet. Oo

EDEN: I believe more in letting children envision their own futures. Explore ideas, try them on like shirts, see what fits and what doesn't. Though its likely, given the fact that Tyr and I are both Starfleet and the children will grow up on Discovery, that a career in Starfleet might just turn up as an option.

ROGG: With luck your exampless will be emulated. If not as 'fleet careers, then at least your dedicated ressolve purssue other "futuress".

:: Rogg thought wistfully of being a botanist. This was not the first time such fancy had occupied the Engineer. As a youth, the Dachlyd had witnessed glorious stellar phenomena. Inarr Rogg grew up learning to pilot cargo drones, harvest minerals from space, and negotiate trade deals. Finally college had prepared Rogg for a career in xenobiology and entry into Starfleet Academy. Despite a life of satisfying experiences, puttering with moss and flowers was an appealing escape fantasy. ::

oO Perhaps after I retire... Oo

EDEN: Didn't I hear that you're about to be a parent?

:: The question brought Rogg smartly back to the present. ::

ROGG: Yess, sssoon Counselor Blueheart and I shall be raising our young. Raj really looked out for the brood during the destruction of the B. I am glad that the eggs were no where near the explosion. ::Rogg unconsciously rested a hand on his scaly abdomen.:: Incubation has a few biological benefits for both young and parents. Egg-laying seems simpler to me.

EDEN: ::Resting one hand on her belly:: Well, certainly a lot easier than how we do it. How long before they hatch?

ROGG: They should be hatching quite soon now. oO I hope we are out of this bizarre sphere when they hatch. Oo

EDEN: Do you have plans for them? Starfleet or otherwise?

ROGG: I should like them all to be officers! Although my preferences will likely have minimal effect on their wills. We Dachlyd are quite headstrong, you may have noticed. Most are not ssso gregariouss as I am?

EDEN: Its the way of children, I think. There's an ancient philosopher who said ... now what was it ... oh yes ... You may give them your love but not your thoughts, For they have their own thoughts. You may house their bodies but not their souls, For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow. ::Shifting a bit in her seat because nothing was comfortable for long it seemed:: I think its natural that children are headstrong and opinionated. I think that's part of the natural mechanism at work. How they break away, find their own paths, their own journeys.

ROGG: Yes, that sounds more accurate to say.

EDEN: ::shifting toward the edge of the seat:: Well, I best be getting back to the Bridge.

ROGG: Then I shall take my leave as well. I am due to be relieved by Eskyys soon. May the stars watch over you, ma'am.

EDEN: And you, Lieutenant.

:: The Commander and the Lieutenant departed the Eagles' Roost to their separate destinations. ::

Lieutenant Inarr "Steve" Rogg d'Squamos
Assistant Chief Engineer
USS Discovery-C