Posted Oct. 29, 2020, 2:25 p.m. by Lieutenant Junior Grade Sharah Fayth (Chief Science Officer) (Jennifer Ward)

Posted by Civilian Geoff (Arboretum Plant) in Arboretum

Tabris shook his head ever so slightly as the Lieutenant apologized. ‘I didn’t say anything, how did she…’ He thought as he looked up and said, “You didn’t insult me Lieutenant, and as a hold over from being a doctor it’s a fantastic quality to have. Did I say something?” He asked, starting to put the pieces together but no where near a conclusion as of late. ‘Why does she keep calling Geoff a she’ Tabris thought as he stood watching the CSO plant his beloved ficus when she called out that Geoff was sentient. Wait. Geoff was SENTIENT??? Tabris took a step back and looked as quizical as a cat would look at it’s prey feigning death. “Lieutenant.....” Tabris called out as he stepped forward and got on his knees. “Are you feeling well? Should I organize a site to site transport to sickbay? Maybe you should lie down.” Tabris said as he looked at Geoff, just sitting in it’s new plot of dirt.

Ensign Tabris Asam, Eng

Did I say something? Oh no, she’d responded to his thoughts…oh....and she couldn’t blame it on body language. Sharah felt absolutely horrible. She was doing worse than she thought. When Dr Marshall had given her the sedative the night she’d gotten sick, she hadn’t blurted out people’s thoughts. Oh no....

Tabris thought he sensed a flash of concern from the Lieutenant but wasn’t sure it was truly there, him not being the most practiced of empaths he never knew if he was sensing another’s emotions or just being weird.

Of course most Betazoids could read surface thoughts and would often respond. People got used to it and even expected it. But with Sharah, with her tremendous strength and ability to ‘hear’ and ‘feel’ more than ordinary telepaths, she always held herself to much stricter rules. She was about to apologize and explain when she’d recognized Geoff for what she was.

She looked at Tabris, her eyes very clear and her expression series. “No I do not need a doctor. Your plant is sentient.” She grabbed her tricorder and began scanning it. “Her DNS has been manipulated, and....” She stopped and turned to her tray of supplies. Very carefully Sharah collected a pollen sample from one of the flowers. It was the gentlest way to collect a plant DNA sample. “She has foreign DNA in her system…no not DNA itself....” She took a sample from another flower on the tree as well. She put the samples in the tray and turned to look at Tabris again. “Yes sentient. And yes I would know, I’m Betazoid and your plant is talking to me.” She let that sink in. Then out of pure scientific curiosity (and some personal if she were honest), and careful that her words did not seem offensive because she did not mean it that way. “What kind of experiments have you been doing with Geoff?”
Lt. jg Fayth, CSO

Tabris got on his knees and looked over the tricorder, seeing the readings and taking it in as he looked at the officer and thought, ‘Do I come across as someone who who wouldn’t believe you? I’ve been around since your great grandprents were in diapers and have seen a few things. This is not even on the list of most surprising.’ It was almost an incredulous thought that he didn’t know would be heard. What did surprise him though was that Geoff was talking to her. “In all this time you have never said a word to me…” He said, putting his hand out and laying in on her trunk. Tabris shook his head a little before pulling off the hand and looking at the Lieutenant. “Well from his, I suppose her, start Geoff was planted from my folks tree back on Earth when I was a kid” Tabris said, his youth up till he was around 80 always referred to as ‘being a kid’. “After Earth’s Eugenics wars and World War 3 I was just happy that my folks and I had survived and I had kept Geoff right along with me. Our area was relatively untouched and then Cochran broke the warp barrier for humans. Once my folks could somewhat come out of hiding and venture back into space I knew that it’s where I wanted to end up.” Tabris rambled before stopping. “I’m giving you my life story. You asked about experiments. Basically there was radiation from WW3 in Geoff’s early life as the background radiation rose after the bombs fell. When I got to space in the early 2100s on the freighters I took Geoff with me and did some modification of the oxygenic photosynthesis process in order for Geoff to be able to use the light on the SS Jerome to survive. I traveled around during that time and during the 2200’s and made small modifications to allow Geoff to survive on planets and ships with different atmospheric and light compositions. The longest stay was on Bajor from 2290-2380 where I ran an antique shop in the garden district of Jalanda City. Geoff was outside most of the time and so I modified he genetics to adapt to the soil and such. The local kids would love to come and pick the figs after the Cardassians left. I was lucky that she survived the occupation.”

Ensign Tabris Asam, Eng

Geoff’s song started to adjust in pitch and tone, she could make an easy home here. It would be by far the most luxurious of the homes she’s been on! Climate controlled room with optimal soil composition and perfect humidity and temperature mix? This was a plant’s heaven. As her roots started to settle the melancholic tones started to wane until the plant felt something unexpected. Well the fact that Geoff was feeling anything was an interesting thought in and of itself, but when she felt the familiar presence of Tabris it was… different somehow. It felt, sorrowful in a way. Geoff wasn’t able to understand the man’s sadness on learning of his beloved ficus’s sentience from another. Geoff had been singing all along, Tabris just couldn’t hear it. There was a mourning quality to her song now, not for herself or for Tabris himself, but for the centuries of lost communication and time. Geoff had been singing to a deaf audience for centuries and while Tabris took care of Geoff and pampered her, there was no dialogue, no song sung between the two. Geoff, as much as a plant can be, was sad.

Geoff, CFP

Sharah felt the emotions coming from Geoff as Tabris got closer, it was…happy. Geoff was happy and content in the space she had been given, but when Tabris got closer, the symphony changed, it was still happy, but it was unique to his presence. Geoff was certainly ‘talking’ to Tabris, and then Tabris hurt communicated itself, somehow, to Geoff and the symphony became sad. So sad in fact it affected Sharah. She repressed a gasp of sorrow. She closed her eyes pulling away firmly from what she was hearing. Oh Joseph was going to think she was cracking under the strain....and he might be right.

The thought was rude. “I know you were alive when my grandparents were babies. But this IS weird. Earth Ficus is NOT sentient. It’s not supposed to be and it’s not a fluke of genetics. This plant was altered. It has not just instinct and emotion, but thoughts. Cognoscent fully formed thoughts. That IS extremely strange from an ecological and botanical point of view.” Sharah finished her little come back and then her eyes got big and she covered her face with her hands for a moment. Then she looked at Tabris. “I’m Betazoid. I’m empathic and telepathic. I apologize.”

She recorded the information that he provided. She would look up the environmental information for each of those and run DNA scans to figure out how he had manipulated Geoff. See if she could figure out how this happened. She looked at the tricorder again, a hypothesis forming in her mind. But she would have to wait. She was too tired and overwhelmed from other things the past two weeks to approach it appropriately. But Tabris was so sad and it pulled at her empathy. The sadness from both Tabris and Geoff nearly overwhelming her on their own. And she responded to that deep need she always had to help those who were hurting. This might not be physical injury, but they were hurting none-the-less. “Your species is empathic isn’t it? You could learn to hear her probably. It’s…not quite the same as humanoids. But she’s been singing for you, her whole life.” Geoff wanted Tabris to hear her, that emotion was clear. She closed her eyes briefly trying to imagine that calm, quiet space Joseph had for her. Trying to recreate it in herself. It never worked, she didn’t have the strength to stop the input but she could sometimes quiet it just a little.

Lt jg Fayth, CSO

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